Posts for June 4th 2008
>> About the "host of British and international beauties" that an Agent Provocateur spokeswoman said would be repping the lingerie's main line come September: former Zac Posen muse Paz de la Huerta (left) and Helena Christensen are rumored to be joining Alice Dellal among the chosen ones.
>> Little did we know it at the time, but the Marc Jacobs dress that Victoria Beckham wore to the CFDA Awards Monday night was part of his Resort 2009 collection, which — get this — is a homage to Yves Saint Laurent. As Marc put it, "Unfortunately, it's extremely timely," but does he have a weird sixth sense, or what?
Heart and bow motifs pervaded throughout, and together with mannish high-waisted suits, harem pants, and robe silhouettes, were a fitting ode to YSL. After that, it was non-stop '80s for Marc — do you see the shoulder pads in that sheer blue dress?! Metallic shoes, square shoulders, and rose prints filled out the riff on the over-the-top decade.
»Victoria Beckham was spotted in the reception area of Vogue's offices today — Is she a potential cover girl? [Chic Report]
»Catherine McNeil went to Disneyworld for her birthday, and here's a picture to prove it [MDX]
»H&M is planning to use organic cotton in all departments come Fall [Vogue UK]
»Guinevere van Seenus and Paolo Roversi shot a project for an upcoming New York Times T Magazine [The Moment]
>> Models are really starting to undertake the green cause: Cindy Crawford has been blogging for Vanity Fair on her eco experiences, Shalom Harlow and Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann teamed up to organize the Earth Pledge FutureFashion show during New York Fashion Week this January, and now Angela Lindvall is joining Adrian Grenier on a new eco-centric TV show, Alter Eco.
The show, which premieres tonight at 10 PM ET/PT on the new channel, Planet Green, is essentially a green makeover series, so Adrian and his team of four — Angela's area of expertise is eco fashion — go out and "green-over" homes, schools, and businesses. Well, that explains her tree-hugging photo-op last week.
Below, a promo clip of the show, and the series schedule is here.
Whoever said New York is dead, obviously wasn't hanging around with this pack. Now with a showroom, magazine, Brooklyn and Manhattan store locations, and an online store that's selling so much inventory it can barely keep items in stock, OAK is literally taking fashion in New York by storm. The last party they threw, to celebrate their newest issue of Oakazine, called for a few hundred people and the rsvps came in at well over a thousand. At the party were designers, artists, writers, and anyone else who gives a damn about fashion, there to support OAK's efforts. For today's interview, we talked with Kim Christenson, OAK's buyer and all-around stand up gal, on what it takes to buy for the boutique. Christenson's job is not an easy one, many eyes are on her (including other buyers who let her take the risks while they poach up-and-comers) as she's someone who can greatly influence what become major New York fashion trends. Here's what she had to say...
As a buyer, your professional duties must fall into a rhythm according to when collections are shown to the public and then officially shown to you. Do you also pick up lines for OAK under more spontaneous circumstances?
Absolutely! We are always searching for new designers and innovative ideas. Obviously the best time to find new lines is during market but I am constantly scouring blogs, boutiques, my personal email, etc for a line that we would consider a positive addition to our store. Most of our best lines collaborate with us and form a more personal bond then just a business one.
What lines are you really excited about right now that perhaps people don't know OAK carries or you haven't received deliveries for just yet?
We just received Rick Owen’s lower priced denim heavy line DKSHDW which is completely stunning and dramatic for both men and women. Another line that I just put a reorder in for is called Complex Geometries (out of Canada). The designer focuses on creating new shapes out of mainly cotton or wool jersey that is creative and architectural while remaining completely wearable. It always blows out.
As far as next season goes, the line list for men’s fall is going to be amazing. I personally think that the menswear field stepped up to the plate and is really outdoing itself for next season. We picked up a bunch of new edgy labels like Public School, Wrath Arcane, Chronicles of Never, Raf Simons and men’s Helmut Lang. Labels for women’s that were real stand outs were Fifth Ave Shoe Repair, Cavern, Marios and Les Chiffoniers.
As always, I am excited for our own private Oak label as well. Next season is based on heavy metal and I know it will be super fun and easy.
What do you think makes a good designer? Does this necessarily mean you will carry the line or do you sometimes have to buy based on consumer demand (rather than pure innovation)?
We pride ourselves on finding fresh, innovative designers but I often times buy things that I wouldn’t necessary wear but I know that the customer will really like. Not everyone wants some crazy 90’s flash back tie-dye shoulder pad dress (like me). You have to offer goods to many different niches. I live and work out of Williamsburg and the customers on Bond Street and in Park Slope overlap in some respects to the Williamsburg aesthetics but it is important to differentiate. We are also trying to offer more “basics” (in addition to the more editorial pieces) that help round out a wardrobe like easy tees and tanks that can be worn everyday alongside the fantastic ones.
Do you always buy clothes that you, yourself, would wear?
I put in my share of personal orders but being a good buyer means that you can see a sellable piece and not think about yourself. Otherwise, I have my muses…friends, co-workers, customers that help the buy. The store has to keep an aesthetic and I try to keep to that as best I can with out my own personal wardrobe getting in the way.
How do you study the inventory in the stores? Is it a numbers game or is it more casual than that?
I find it is most beneficial to actually interview the sales associates about inventory and demand. Not to say I don’t also check the figures added by the computer system, but I can learn about what is doing well, what customers are avoiding and what is demanded by them. You can’t see that by staring at numbers on a screen.
We know that OAK has an unwavering reputation for scouting out new and hip designers. Why else do people shop at OAK?
We work hard to offer a very curated selection from each line. A lot of thought and time goes into the buying of each and every collection so shopping at the store can be effortless.
In addition, Oak has always associated itself with a Brooklyn aesthetic which people really seem to get and embrace. It’s more “downtown” than “downtown”. Cool, edgy, casual and sexy.
We also make it a point to buy for multiple price points. Not everyone can afford a $900 leather vest but want to shop at the store. So we try to offer a range accessible to just about everybody.
How does buying for the website differ from buying for the actual stores?
Our site does best with editorial pieces and limited editions as well as hard to find but amazing labels. Many people are shopping from locations that lack the resources so they can come to us for remarkable and hard to find pieces. It’s no easy task getting these items into our store but I want to be able to offer the most edgy and cool styles to our customers world wide.
Our buy for the website remains pretty similar to that of the stores as well. It is more practical for everybody. Many of our customers are actually New York based so they check the website for new additions before coming into the store. Often times they come into the store specifically to try on something they saw online so it only makes sense to offer that option.
>> As funeral services for Yves Saint Laurent near, the list of attendees grows — almost 1,000 guests plan on attending.
Among the substantial group, YSL's designer peers Valentino, Giorgio Armani, Stefano Pilati, John Galliano, Hubert de Givenchy, Alber Elbaz, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, Hedi Slimane, Kenzo Takada, Sonia Rykiel and Jean-Louis Scherrer, plus his former muses Catherine Deneuve, Laetitia Casta and Claudia Schiffer, are all expected.
We're not sure how we feel about wearing makeup on the beach, but there are a variety of beach-friendly products available to those who insist on bringing their A-game to sandy shores. Sephora's website currently features a beach makeover using products from The Balm. From what we gathered, chief among its aims are to bronze and mattify, while creating a waterproof barrier, should you be splashed with saltwater.
Leave it to Cargo, the brand that invented Blu Ray, a line designed specifically for HD moments on film, to create a collection of melt-proof makeup . . . and actually trademark the term "melt-proof." The product description states that the technology involves a "formulation that uses a mixture of emollients and waxes to form a water-resistant film on the skin." Though we occasionally strive for greatness here at Coutorture and hope to someday be immortalized for our efforts, we're not yet ready to resemble our replicas at Madame Tussaud's. This one scares us a bit, but we'd love to hear from anyone who has tried it.
Network partner She Finds reports that Too-Faced has a collection of water-proof, sweat-proof (not trademarked terms) formulations that don't melt on your face the way that many products tend to when the heat turns up. What we don't understand is why none of them have an SPF. After all, if they're supposed to be beach-appropriate, isn't avoiding burns one of the primary concerns of beachgoers? If sitting pretty oceanside means courting melanoma, I think we'd rather not adapt our workaday beauty routine for the outdoors and opt instead for a hefty dose of UV blocking salves and hair-saving solutions. However, we're still intrigued, so we'll continue to delve further into the obsessive world of the beauty-at-all-costs, at-all-times mantra that seems to pervade American society and keep the beauty business a-thriving. Here are some products that baffle us, and others that tempt us to try.
Our curiosity led us to ponder what exactly it is that we would want out of this beach makeup. Products that would polish and perfect, while remaining virtually undetectable, and thereby won't betray our raging inner vanity to our boyfriends and beach-bound frenemies. Beach makeup, if there should even be such a thing, should be all about stealth. We'll start with the dont's.
Foundations and powders. One of the less lovely aspects of the summer sun is that its harsh glare allows the world to see your skin in all of its imperfect glory . . . as well as any attempts to cover said imperfections with a layer of product. Visible particles of makeup just look tacky, so we'd advise you to skip this one. Let your skin breathe sans makeup and sweat out the toxins, because suffocating it with product just seems like a recipe for a breakout. However (and there is always a "however" with you, isn't there?), if you can't face the world without some armor for your acne, we suggest nothing heavier than a lightweight tinted moisturizer with SPF, and matching it exactly to your skintone becomes even more crucial. The sun, though merry and cheerful, is not your friend.
Oil-blotting papers. We just can't picture dabbing at our faces with these little bits of paper during a 90 degree sweatstorm. It would be something akin to trying to mop up Lake Michigan with a Kleenex. It's hot and you're going to sweat profusely, so don't bother.
Sheer lipgloss seems like it could work on the beach. A subtle hint of shimmer can't be too bad. Or can it? College Fashion alerts us to a study that shows that wearing lipgloss can increase your risk of getting skin cancer on the lips, as its shiny surface attracts UV rays. That's really too bad, since we're such fans of Vincent Longo's Gelli gloss. Again, if you must, choose one that has an SPF of at least 15, or opt for a lip stain instead to add a bit of healthy color without the evil shine. Stains are also great to use in lieu of powder blushes.
And now, for the somewhat acceptable uses of makeup in beachside environs...
Waterproof mascara. We love the drama of dark, Bardot-style lashes, but a little moisture can cause your mascara to race towards your chin and leave you looking like a lost member of Kiss washed ashore, battered and possibly beaten -- hardly the sex-kitten look you were going for. Switching to a waterproof formulation is a no-brainer for summer months, but if you really want the most natural look, try a lash stain, which will darken your lashes without the flaky fuss of mascara. Pricier options include salon procedures like lash extensions or tinting.
Waterproof eyeliner. We're still a hung jury on this one, but simply rimming the inner side of the lower rim in a superfine line can provide just the definition you need. Summer's electric hues look like they could be fun without being fussy.
Though undecided on whether we'll be toting our makeup bags with us to the beach, we'd be willing to give these products a try for work or play during the sweltering summer months just for their sheer staying power and supposed ability to fight humidity and keep the greasies at bay.
>> We covered most of the highlights from Monday's night CFDA Awards yesterday, but today come the videos shown to the audience.
First up? The Mike Figgis-directed tribute video to Style.com's executive fashion director Candy Pratts Price, which contains such gems as Kate Moss, dubbed over with a man's voice, saying (what I assume is a quote from Candy): "You haven't got a Birkin, oh my god, you have to have one, we're going straight back to Hermes now." Also, Anna Wintour, describing Candy: "She is a fashion character . . . a fashion . . . nista." A word which I never imagined to come out of Anna's mouth, but it does, and she simultaneously twirls her fingers for emphasis:
Then, the Douglas Keeve-directed spoof of HBO's In Treatment, which was used to introduce the Menswear Designer of the Year nominees — Tom Ford, Thom Browne, and Michael Bastian. Only Tom Ford's clip is to be found, but Tom sobs, sips a martini, and vents to therapist Gabriel Byrne with all the gusto you would expect from Tom Ford. It's like a peek at the Hollywood Tom Ford, when he left fashion to direct films, which never really happened . . .