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fashion

Comme des Garçons Collaborates with Raw Vision Magazine

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raw visionRaw Vision turns 25 this year, and the UK-based outsider art magazine is marking the quarter-century milestone in style: by collaborating with Comme des Garçons. As part of the partnership, which officially kicks off next month at the Outsider Art Fair in New York, Raw Vision has allowed Comme des Garçons to delve into its vast archive of images and layouts to create 20 to 30 mini-magazines that will be dispersed around the globe. Get a first taste of Rei Kawakubo and co’s picks on the Comme des Garçons website, which has been wallpapered with outsider art by the likes of Howard Finster and Anne Grgich.

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Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

The Treachery of Sneakers: Opening Ceremony Prints Magritte Paintings on Vans

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As part of their year-long exploration and celebration of all things Belgian, the surrealist gang at Opening Ceremony is plastering the reality-bending works of fresh-from-his-MoMA-restrospective artist René Magritte on instantly collectible goods. First up in this partnership with the Magritte Foundation: Vans. The five sneaker styles, priced at $135 each (a bargain for a Magritte!), include kicked-up canvas versions of Magritte’s Ladder of Fire (1939), The Blow to the Heart (1952), and, for lovers of his bowler-hatted men of mystery, The King’s Museum (1966). The sneakers are available for pre-order through Monday, March 17.

Kvadrat Debuts Raf Simons Collaboration

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A taste of Kvadrat/Raf Simons, which arrives at retail in April. (Photos from left: Anne Collier, Kvadrat)

It’s easy to forget, now that he has ascended to the creative helm of Dior, that Raf Simons began his career as a promising young furniture designer. He returns to his roots with a new range of textiles, cushions, and throws created in collaboration with Kvadrat. Simons looked to his beloved mid-century masters, including Jean Royère, Pierre Jeanneret, Finn Juhl, and Hans Wegner, for textured elements, including a woven mohair reminiscent of sheepskin, speckled boucles, and a fur-like textile. Others reimagine the work of the late Swedish textile designer Fanny Aronsen.

And while Simons used many of the textiles in his fall/winter 2014 menswear collection, for which he teamed with artist Sterling Ruby, the Kvadrat collection was conceived with interiors in mind. “We are making fabrics that are like a blank canvas for designers,” said Simons in a statement issued today. “They are waiting for input from the furniture designers—we don’t control the design they will use the textiles for, so we try to leave it very open; these fabrics should be multifunctional.”

Quote of Note | Marc Jacobs

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“…Jamie [Bochert, fit model and muse] comes in with jet black hair and traipses in some old Victorian dress in the middle of summer. And you know what? She looks cool. So you sort of say, ‘Why not?’ We started looking at things that are Victorian. It really started with a pair of surf shorts and a Victorian blouse….There were a list of reasons: the final scene of Pippin. This book of women in Tahiti wearing Victorian blouses and making these tropical print quilts. Maybe a bit of what Prada’s men’s show was. Maybe a lot of things I’ve taken in. Then Jamie walks in with this dress and all of a sudden you’re adding things up, and somehow I make a logical connection between those things. There is no right or wrong.”

-Marc Jacobs discussing the origins of his spring 2014 Marc Jacobs collection (pictured) in an interview with Bridget Foley in WWD Collections

Mark Your Calendar: Isaac Mizrahi at 92Y

Watching the multitalented Isaac Mizrahi converse with flighty QVC hosts who do not understand most of his references is more enjoyable than most network television, and so you won’t want to miss his upcoming appearance at New York’s 92nd Street Y. The fashion designer, business mogul, “masstige” pioneer, raconteur, and sometime cabaret singer will submit to the surgical, this-is-your-life interview stylings of IMG and CFDA vet Fern Mallis, who never fails to draw big crowds for her ongoing “Fashion Icons” series at 92Y. The Mizrahi-Mallis matchup is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday, February 4. Grab your tickets here before the QVC Mafia buys the lot of them. Think of this as our version of Today’s Special Value.

Intel Teams with Opening Ceremony, Barneys, CFDA on Wearable Technology

carol and humberto OCWatch out, Google Glass, there’s an Intel-powered bracelet on the horizon, and it will be designed in collaboration with Opening Ceremony (founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are pictured at right) and make its retail debut at Barneys New York. The in-the-works “smart bracelet” is part of a broader wearable technology initiative announced by Intel at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which runs through Friday in Las Vegas.

In addition to the product partnership, the company outlined its plan to work with the Council of Fashion Designers of America “to create a community for technology developers and fashion designers to network, match-make, cultivate, and exchange ideas on wearable technology.” The alliance will connect the CFDA’s 400 members with hardware and software developers. “The collaborations we announced today will merge the expertise of two very distinct disciplines of technology and fashion, essential in realizing the vision of prolific adoption of wearable technology,” said Intel’s Ayse Ildeniz in a statement. “Intel’s aim is to initiate sustainable, long-term cooperation between the technology and fashion worlds beginning with today’s announcements.”

LUSH Teams with Vivienne Westwood for Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap

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knot wrap vivBefore you run to the store for another roll of glitter-flecked snowflake paper, check out the sustainable solution cooked up by LUSH. The Canadian handmade cosmetics juggernaut teamed with fashion designer Vivienne Westwood to create the Knot-Wrap, a square of organic cotton that can be re-used as a scarf or drawstring bag after the presents are long gone. Profits from the knot-wraps, available online and LUSH stores while quantities last, go toward Westwood’s Climate Revolution initiative.

Quote of Note | Miuccia Prada

look36“Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer. The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people. You know, this might have been a scandal in fashion but in other fields of art it is common: in painting and in movies, it was so common to see ugliness. But, yet, it was not used in fashion and I was very much criticized for inventing the trashy and the ugly.”

-Designer Miuccia Prada, in an interview with Andrew O’Hagan for T: The New York Times Style Magazine

Pictured: A look from the spring 2014 Prada collection

Buon Natale, London! Dolce & Gabbana Design Claridge’s Christmas Tree

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ImageA Dolce & Gabbana Christmas conjures images of leopard-print stockings hung by the chimney with care and a tree draped in black lace, but the Italian duo have put on their Santa hats (red velvet, ermine trim) for one of their favorite casas away from casa: Claridge’s. The London hotel enlisted Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana to design its annual Christmas tree (pictured). This year’s festive fair is decked out in hand-crafted Sicilian puppets known as pupi, hand-painted Italian glass baubles, and a custom-made “luminaire” framework created in Southern Italy. Note the designers, “Our Christmas tree isn’t only a celebration of Christmas as we celebrate it in Italy, but it’s at the same time a tribute to the artisanal Italian tradition.

Seven Questions for Diana Vreeland Biographer Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

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Cecil Beaton described her as “an authoritative crane” or “some extraordinary parrot,” while Nicky Haslam likened her presence to “a sock in the jaw.” Both were referring to the fashionable force of nature that was Diana Vreeland (1903-89), the subject of Amanda Mackenzie Stuart‘s Empress of Fashion, out Tuesday in paperback from Harper Perennial. The dazzling biography delves into the origins of Vreeland’s genius as it follows her from an ugly duckling childhood in Paris and a self-imposed extreme makeover at the age of 14, through her tenure at Harper’s Bazaar, at Vogue, and at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“There were imagination and fantasy in fashion before Diana,” says Stuart (pictured below). “What she did, indefatigably, and from a position of great influence at Vogue, was to assert the authority of the imagination—and the idea of possibility that galloped along beside it.” We threw on our most exotic caftan, streaked on the rouge, and managed to narrow our questions for Vreeland’s Oxford, England-based biographer down to an elegant seven.

AM StuartWhen/how did you first encounter Diana Vreeland?
I’m British and live in the UK so I was only vaguely aware of Diana Vreeland before I started writing a different book, about Consuelo Vanderbilt and her mother Alva (Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Mother and a Daughter in the Gilded Age, HarperCollins, 2005). Before my research for that book, and like a number of people now I think, I knew something about DV without being quite sure why. I wasn’t quite sure what she did, but I did have a blurry image of a snood, a dash of brilliant red lipstick, and an achingly hip granny who ran ’round town with Andy Warhol. Quite terrifying, in other words.

At the very end of my research for the book about Consuelo, I discovered that Diana Vreeland had long been fascinated by her story and her style and had included her in the Costume Institute exhibition in 1976 called “American Women of Style.” So that was the point at which I first properly encountered DV.

Was there a particular aspect of her background or a finding in your initial research that convinced you to proceed with a biography?
Well, when I was writing the Consuelo book I should have been a very self-disciplined biographer and stopped myself from going off-piste for days on end. I should have allocated no more than half a day’s research, or maybe one day maximum, to the curator of an exhibition in which Consuelo appeared twelve years after her death. But it didn’t work out like that. I became completely distracted by DV, who was very funny, and, at first glance, not unlike Consuelo’s mother. (On second glance she wasn’t like her at all, but that’s another story.)
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