>> INSIDER WIRE — Raf Simons unsurprisingly finished with one of the top — if not the top — Milan collections for Fall 2009, and Suzy Menkes scored a rare video interview to chat with him about his newest Jil Sander collection. She points out that until he came to Jil Sander, he was solely a menswear designer, and he comes off as one would expect — very real and down-to-earth; when Suzy asks him, "Do you feel yourself as an artist?" He quickly replies: "No, I'm a fashion designer." [The Moment]
Posts for March 4th 2009
>> Milan is infamous for being one of the hardest markets to break open for models of color, and unfortunately, that still seems to be the case, based on tallying by The Cut. The worst offenders? Burberry, Giorgio Armani, Missoni, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, who all only used one model of color, while Gianfranco Ferre, Jil Sander, and Prada didn't use any.
Meanwhile, buyers have spoken on their Milanese favorites: Jil Sander, Prada, Marni, Bottega Veneta, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Pucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Gianfranco Ferré — surprisingly, Missoni was not in the mix.
A number of critics and retailers have Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi on their lists as Milan's most promising up-and-coming talent, but their situation at Gianfranco Ferre is currently tenuous — the front row Friday included three government-appointed special administrators, a reminder that owner IT Holding faces bankruptcy proceedings, and could take Ferre, Just Cavalli, John Galliano, and Malo down with it. Regardless, hopes are high — as Linda Fargo, fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman, put it, "Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi continue to show the promise of world-class design for the future — both in their own line and at Gianfranco Ferré. We hope the dust settles favorably on Ferre as the two designers are hitting the right notes."
Other highlights on the to-watch list: Christopher Kane at Versus and, for next season, Vionnet, under the care of Prada alum Rodolfo Paglialunga.
>> THE MODELIZER —It sounds like those rumors about Chanel Iman being co-host of the new House of Style along with Bar Refaeli were right — she's featured in a April 2009 Glamour spread as a young talent, and credited as "co-host of MTV's House of Style." Bar said last month they were starting shooting shortly, so Chanel's been a busy girl, between that and walking the runways. [Glamour]
>> WSJ., The Wall Street Journal's glossy, is back this weekend with a fashion-centric March issue featuring LVMH chief Bernard Arnault. Inside, Arnault hints that LVMH might be in the market to acquire more companies. “We’re about to enter a market of buyers over the next six-to-eight months. There will be opportunities, and we will be looking at them.” According to WSJ., Arnault was “in talks to invest in a fashion company with ecological and ethical goals founded by a global celebrity” at the time the article was written — WWD is guessing Edun, Bono’s green clothing line.
But there are certainly a couple of other designers on LVMH's radar. Gareth Pugh is the obvious one — rumors have run rampant about him taking over at Dior Homme ever since LVMH heiress Delphine Arnault sat front row at his debut menswear show, and Bernard Arnault has already confirmed that LVMH has helped finance Pugh's shows. Talking acquisitions, however, Rodarte may be a more likely candidate — Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH's fashion division, was in attendance at the Fall 2009 show, and soon after, Katherine Ross, PR honcho for LVMH, hosted a poolside tea party at the Chateau Marmont in LA for the designing duo, so they're definitely on the radar.
Bernard Arnault confirmed in January that Gareth Pugh wasn't the only "new talent" LVMH supports — "LVMH does that with many talented people" — so a number of other brands may be being looked at. Especially now, when as Arnault points it, it's a buyer's market — young brands with plenty of talent may need that big-company backing to keep them going.
>> INSIDER WIRE —Marc Jacobs is known for his shameless mantra, his willingness to be photographed in any situation, but it looks like Diane von Furstenberg is giving him a run for his money. First, her Madonna-like outfit on the cover of Purple, and now her team posted a picture of her hanging upside-down while talking on the phone today. [Inside DVF]
Before Samantha Pleet landed an Urban Outfitters collab and launched her second line with Eviana Hartman, called Bodkin, she was something of a Brooklyn darling--a designer that, even if no one else knew who she was, Williamsburg definitely did. Put Rebecca Turbow in that category, the Brooklyn designer literally wore turquoise and white for seven years straight before moving on to her current palette of gray and black. This season, Turbow's basics are right on target with current trends featuring cut-outs and eighties references. One might wager that it's only a matter or time before Ecco Domani comes knocking.
>> Gareth Pugh never fails to surprise with his runway shows, and for Fall 2009, he pulled the rug out from under editors by showing them an eight-minute video when they came expecting a runway show. He's not the first — in recent seasons, Stefano Pilati, Viktor & Rolf, and the good people at Halston have all dabbled in the format — but using a video in place of a runway is polarizing, since it makes it harder to get a good look at the clothes. Natasa Vojnovic marches, writhes, and dances to demonic music in the mostly black-and-white film — which features one striking scene with her birthing herself from a bronze pod jacket. When interviewed on his choice, Gareth explained that he finds sending a girl walking up and down the catwalk "a little half-assed, for lack of a better word. It's a well-trodden formula and I think it's time for a change." And how appropriate that the first clear picture of the collection comes courtesy of Natasa, who walked away from the show in a Fall 2009 Pugh cape.
>> THE MODELIZER —Mystery solved; an anticlimactic end to the why Auguste Tomasuite (aka Auguste Abeliunaite) was crying at Jil Sander question. Her agent confirmed that the tearing was due to the harsh runway lights, and it was indeed Tomasuite who commented two days ago, "There wasnt any small shoes or my emocional [sic] problems!!!! The lights was very strong and cameras was flashing all the time. My eyes are very sensitive thats why i was crying." Apparently, two other unnamed models were crying at the show as well. As for Auguste, she's done for the season, even though she snagged Jil Sander and Prada spots — she can't go to Paris because she's too young. [Heard on the Runway]