>> Rag & Bone Team Up With RJ Cutler For Short Documentary —The September Issue director RJ Cutler was working with Grace Coddington on an animated film earlier this year, and although there have been no updates on that effort, Cutler does have another new fashion project debuting soon: He filmed Rag & Bone's Marcus Wainwright and David Neville as they readied for their Fall 2010 show. The short documentary capturing their preparations will screen on Sept. 8 at New York's Crosby Hotel and will be followed by a Q & A session with Cutler. For those who can't make it, the film can be viewed post-screening at rag-bone.com. [WWD]
Proenza Schouler Fall 2010: Graffiti Pants, Schoolgirl Skirts — And Anna Wintour Watching Without Her Sunglasses On
>> If you didn't get enough late '90s references at Alexander Wang, look to Proenza Schouler to fill your Fall 2010 quota. Newcomer Ann Kenny — who has the most arresting blue eyes — opened the show in high-waisted graffiti pants, made in collaboration with J Brand, and a shrunken navy toggle jacket. All the John Fleuvog-style curved platform heels and sheer thigh highs paired with full pleated school girl-style miniskirts must have caught Anna Wintour's attention — she sat next to Bee Shaffer the entire show, sunglasses-less (a first?), until the final runthrough when she finally put her trademark shades on.
Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez had the house packed: benches arranged around the X-shaped runway sat as many as they could possibly fit — with the likes of Pamela Love, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jen Brill, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Carine Roitfeld (in green furry heels), Joseph Altuzarra, Lauren Santo Domingo, Vanessa Traina, Chloe Sevigny, Craig McDean, Terry Richardson, and Olivier Zahm all accounted for. Bass pumped through Milk Studios loud enough to shake the walls, while fuzzy printed flannel dresses and alpine knits evolved into razor-sharp cropped jackets and finally, patterned minidresses with bubble skirts and trapeze shapes.
Marie Chaix styled once again, and if you're a fan of straight-off-the-runway (many front-rowers had their PS 1 clutches handy), for the next 24-odd hours, two of the runway handbags are available for purchase. Post-show, a sight: Hamish Bowles, in his usual dapper suit, but instead of his usual brogues, his trousers stuffed into shiny black wellies. A video of the show can be seen here.
>> LVMH Still Keeping Front Row Eye on Rodarte —For the second season in a row, Pierre-Yves Roussel, CEO of LVMH's fashion division, who plays a key role in spotting talent for LVMH labels, was front row at Rodarte. When asked about possible placement of Laura and Kate Mulleavy within the LVMH portfolio, Roussel played coy. All he would say: "We still love what they do." [WWD Blog]
>> Last night, in a dimly-lit warehouse space in New York's Hell's Kitchen, Marios Schwab unveiled his first collection for Halston. The house has had a rocky past since its namesake designer died in 1990, not excluding under the current management of Harvey Weinstein; in other words, the pressure was on for Fall 2010, with the feeling very do or die.
The models stood, sat, or lounged in a mirrored set, full of linear and geometric shapes, showing off their largely monochrome looks in a variety of colors. There was plenty of draping to go around, but also a bit of stiffness — one tan dress had a barely detectable pentagon shape coming out of its center. Marios, mingling with the crowd, explained that he was less interested in the Halston archives — he only used his memories of the pieces — and instead focused on the Halston idea of creating timeless pieces for strong women. He said of his Halston girl: "She is open minded. She is the daughter of the original Halston woman.”
Harvey Weinstein and newly-named Halston president and chief creative officer Sarah Jessica Parker, too, were on hand — the latter overheard saying when she arrived, “Excuse me, I have to meet Marios!” before congratulating the designer. Kate Young styled, and Schwab had London-based jeweler Jacqueline Rabun create silver accessories — including ear cuffs — in organic shapes remniscent of Elsa Peretti's work for the original Halston.
Puff-strapped sandals caught the eye of many, but on a whole, Cathy Horyn was still not convinced:
Marios Schwab, the latest designer at Halston, appeared to struggle in his first effort. A handful of fluid silk jersey dresses looked Halston-ish. But it was hard to see how his lineup of stiffly constructed dresses and twisted velvet chemises varied significantly from his own label in London. It’s not that Mr. Schwab has to adapt his style to the heritage of Halston. Who remembers exactly what that was, anyway? But the two sides need to stop fighting so much.
>> Mathilde Frachon Takes a Spill at Marc by Marc Jacobs —Agyness Deyn kicked off this season's edition of falling models at Fashion for Relief on Friday, where she fell twice, but it was Mathilde Frachon who took a tumble today at the Marc Jacobs show, despite the fact that she was in kitten heeled boots. Blame it on the floor — Robert Duffy Tweeted after the fact: "I was very nervious. 5 girls slipped and thankfully didn't get hurt." [The Cut, @Fashionista_com, TFS, @robertcduffy]
>> A number of designers have been doing all black for Fall 2010, but between Marc Jacobs yesterday and Rodarte today with their parade of pales, we're left wondering: is soft the new loud? The theme of the day was sleepwalkers, Laura and Kate Mulleavy said backstage, with some inspiration drawn from the Mexican border town of Juarez.
As the lights went down in the Gagosian Gallery, a centerpiece of white candles, dripping wax everywhere, was lit at the runway entrance, and white confetti was thrown on floor, causing the photographer pit to break out in a rendition of "Happy Birthday, Rodarte." Soon, a trail of girls, including Karen Elson, who's been walking a surprising number of shows this season, and Jamie Bochert, entered the smoky room, filling it with patchwork tops, Aztec eagle prints, and even a few pairs of pants. The look was very Virgin Suicides — appropriately, Kirsten Dunst was front row (along with Tavi Gevinson, Chloe Sevigny, Ryan McGinley, Natalie Portman, and Jason Schwartzman) — floaty wedding dresses with ivory and white crochet, lace chiffon, feathers, and pearls. The shoes, meant to look like the models were floating on melted candle wax, had drippings on their heels.
In true Rodarte fashion, four (instead of the usual three) white be-gowned models were left standing in stilted formation at the end; black lights were turned on for the finale procession to "Blue Moon," causing the gowns and confetti on the ground to glow blue in the dark, and revealing lights in the shoes. Cathy Horyn weighs in: "Re Rodarte, concept of randomness not fully developed or particularly novel. We've seen broken brides before. Rei?" Full video of the show can be seen here.
>> Last night's launch presentation of Alexa Chung's Madewell collection at the Bowery Hotel Terrace brought out interested parties in droves. Alexa, in short velvet shorts and white safari shirt from the first collection, involved as many of her friends as possible — Poppy Delevigne and Pixie Geldof were on modeling duty, Tennessee Thomas DJed, and Daisy Lowe mingled with the crowd.
The models, replete in cardigans, striped shirts, and Peter Pan-collared dresses, were arranged in tableaus — on a bench, leaning on a retro bicycle, surrounded by vintage suitcases. "It's actually a bit weird to see everyone walking around in the clothes today because they all look like me," Chung said of her designs. "It's a very egotistical exercise."
She doesn't know if the collaboration is a one-time thing — “We haven’t really discussed another [collection] yet but it would be amazing to do" — but she definitely had a hand in the design process — one look at the clothes makes that obvious. "[But] I can't take credit for the hard work at all because I just took sketches in and talked about them," she said. And not all of her sketches made the final cut: "There was one weird leotard — a denim thing — I tried to push on Kin. I was thinking in my head that I could make a stage outfit for a lead singer but it ended up looking like a weird circus child."
The collection hits Madewell stores in August. So is she sticking around in New York, or headed back to London, now that she's done with her MTV gig? "I don’t really know. My rent doesn’t end til June."
>> Proenza Schouler to Livestream Show, Make Fall 2010 Runway Bags in Flash Sale —Tomorrow night, Proenza Schouler, too, is livestreaming their Fall 2010 show on their website. But they are doing things a little differently than just your run-of-the-mill live video — starting after the show Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 8 pm EST, for the 24 hours following, the Fall 2010 runway bags — straight off the catwalk — will be available to purchase exclusively on the designers' website.
>> At 7:56 pm EST this evening, a booming male voice came over the loudspeakers at the Armory in New York, asking everyone to take their seats, the Marc Jacobs show was about to start. Meanwhile, the rest of the audience, via live.marcjacobs.com, had already taken their seats at home and were watching. The lights went down in the space, covered floor, wall, and ceiling with corrogated cardboard. Then, a spotlight appeared on Marc as he and Robert Duffy walked across the room to tear down a floor to ceiling segment of brown paper, revealing all the models, standing in a giant wooden crate, behind.
Tatiana Cotliar opened the pared-back, neutral-dominated collection to the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" soundtrack, which featured a mix of three different renditions of the song. The 56-look collection was modeled by a cast who exited the box one at a time and included Marc by Marc Jacobs stylists Camille Bidault-Waddington and Suzanne Deeken, plus two girls who were pulled off the street; Jamie Bochert closed.
There was no finale procession, just Marc taking a bow in a Bottega Veneta suit; it really seems like Marc is ready for his show to be about the clothes again, something Robert Duffy suggested recently: no celebrities front row (just Crystal Renn — Andre Leon Talley was even left standing after coming late), a one song soundtrack, a brown paper set, very few recognizable models. Even the after-party is staff-only this year. "It's not about fashion, it's about style. That's why we used 'real' girls," he said post-show.
And people seem to be responding. "Beautiful show, wistful. Fab coats with glossy, shaggy fur. A-line skirts," Cathy Horyn remarked. Paper's Kim Hastreiter wrote: "Marc Jacobs show was the most beautiful of his career IMO."
>> After the New York Times article two weeks ago extensively covering Zac Posen's recent financial struggles, needless to say, eyes were peeled this morning bright and early at the Altman building for Posen's Fall 2010 plan of attack. Glenda Bailey, which the aforementioned article noted was not in attendance at Posen's show last season after they had a confrontation last April, was front row this time around, as were Posen's advertising photog Ellen von Unwerth, Patricia Field, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington, Joe Zee, and Robbie Myers.
As the lights dimmed and runway photographers scrambled for their places, Israeli "hip-hop violinist" Miri Ben-Ari stepped from backstage to the left side of the runway, where she played her electric violin throughout the show, backed by a thumping bass. Despite the fact that Posen is still going with a pared-down runway in general, the performance added the energy of his elaborate productions of yore. The models, too — including Alek Wek, Hana Soukupova, Anne Vyalitsyna, Posen's muse Anna Cleveland, and Coco Rocha, who closed — were clearly told to smile and work the runway; Sessilee Lopez, hands on her waist, swung her hips with satisfaction. Posen's boyfriend, Christopher Niquet, styled the show.
The clothes, however, were telltale that Posen is making an effort to resituate himself: there were none of his signature gowns whatsoever. In their place, short skirts with flounce, '40-style trousers, and plenty of fur. "I'm playing with clean fabrications and upping the luxury level," he said backstage after taking his bow with Rocha and Kinee Diouf.