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2011 March 24
Rebecca Taylor View Gallery
Last night Chic mingled with Michelle Trachtenberg, Katrina Bowden, Selita Ebanks, and more at Rebecca Taylor's flagship store opening on 34 Gansevoort Street. Guests poured in, escaping the bizarre hail storm, to find a warmly lit boutique stock full of Taylor's ultra-femme Spring 2011 collection. In between nibbling on wee treats--Baked by Melissa cupcakes and Jacques Torres chocolate--we caught up with the designer and host of the evening.
Have you ever snuck in one of your stores and pretended to be a salesperson?
Yeah, I love it! I love being a fly on the wall. They have no idea—I’m super low-key. No one ever knows so when I tell them, they’re like, ‘Oh you’re Rebecca. I expected someone bigger or larger than life!’
How often do you come to the Meatpacking District?
I’m a bit of a control freak. I’ve been here all day rearranging the flowers, rearranging the merchandise, fussing with it. I come to the store every Thursday to see what’s going on.
Any vacation plans in the works?
Tomorrow morning I’m going to Turks and Caicos with the kids. It’s the first time we’re taking them on an airplane by ourselves. We’re going for five days. We have two iPads between the five of us.
How do you like to relax?
Pina coladas on the beach! I’m not a pool person, I’m a beach person so we’re out on the beach. The water is amazing--one of the best beaches in the world.
What do you read when you’re sunning on the sand?
I would read a shampoo bottle, I’m such an avid reader. Right now I’m reading The Secret Garden but it’s not the one you think of, and a Philip Roth book. I love Philip. I love reading books with a male perspective. This is so horrible. I have audio books and I downloaded a Jodi Picoult book. I don’t need all that woman stuff...and the woman who’s reading it is beyond irritating.
2011 March 24
Photo via Billy Farrell Agency View Gallery
The launch of Vanessa Traina's S/S 2011 capsule collection for Maje at Barneys brought out some of our faves including Judith Milgrom of Maje, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler and good buddies Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra, who were doing interviews TOGETHER! We caught up with the boys for a quick chat.
Chic: Congrats again on the CFDA noms, how do you guys feel now that it has settled in a bit?
Alexander: It's always an honor, but you're always running because there's the Spring collection….
Joseph: There is never a settling down moment. You gotta keep going!
Chic: How do you know Vanessa?
Alexander: We actually went to high school together. We're both from San Francisco. We've known each other for many, many years. For her to come full circle and have her own line, I'm so proud of her. She was there for me when I was first started and it's awesome that I get to see her with her own collection.
Joseph: We met in Paris through a mutual friend and we've been very close ever since. I've just seen the look book. I haven't seen the racks yet, but I'm very excited.
Chic: Alex, were you the same year?
Alexander: She was one year younger than me. I was in her sister's year. We were always the outcasts at school so we'd all huddle together.
Chic: How would you describe her in high school?
Alexander: High school! Oh My God! She opened my very first fashion show at my brother's wedding. She was always someone of inspiration who had her own style. She was an individual.
Chic: What were you like in high school?
Alexander: I don't know. (Laughs) It's hard for me to describe!
Joseph: I was the same. (Chic Editor's Note: We are 99.9 percent sure he was kidding with us.)
2011 March 24
Getty Images View Gallery
(PARIS) Hervé Léger, the man behind the famous bandage dress, has seen it all: Paris through the glorious excesses of the 1980s, building his company only to be forced out by financial backers, and the revival of his designs at the company he rebuilt, Hervé L. Leroux (a name suggested by close friend Karl Lagerfeld). The Daily caught up with Monsieur Léger at this week’s Luxury Summit held by the Centre du Luxe et de la Création in Paris, to discuss Karl, designer pressure and more! D'ARCY FLUECK
Tell us about the Hervé L. Leroux woman.
It’s very simple. I dress women who want to be beautiful and who want to please others. I have the image of a very classic woman. I love women, I love curves, and I’m obsessed with the female body so I love women with a bust, with hips, and a real size. I only work with this image in mind, so I don’t like clothes that hide a women’s form. Of course it’s a sort of obsession, but that’s what women come to me for -- I dress women from 16 to 75 years old. They come because it’s an attitude and the clothes are often seductive, but not in an obvious way. And unfortunately we see a lot of dresses today that are like potato bags. That drives me crazy--it’s not at all my thing!
What’s inspiring you at the moment?
Since last year, people have been coming back to me. They come to Hervé Leroux to have a dress by Hervé Léger, and that really inspires me. I’m not someone that goes on trips just to travel and get inspiration. I don’t go to flea markets to find old dresses to make them more modern. It’s my clients that inspire me the most, the women who come to me. We’re a very small company; we have one boutique in Paris, in St-Germain-des-Prés, a wonderful neighborhood. So it’s really about my clients. I don’t have a muse. There are people that fantasize about a model or an actress, but I don’t at all, I work for all women. Prêt-à-Porter is a bit mysterious for me as each woman has her own identity, her own body type. I can’t work just for one female ideal--need many.
You worked for many years with Karl Lagerfeld, what did you learn from him?
Everything. He is a genius! He is someone very wonderful. I started my career as a hair stylist, then hat maker, and then I met Karl and it was a shock. There is nobody like him. I had the chance to work very closely with him at Fendi and Chanel, and he gives everything. You just have to look at him work. We learn a lot with him. It’s not like in a school, it’s a touch, he is good at everything, it’s a spirit and a vision of things, and he is very, very modern. He is always in the future: when the collection is finished, we start over the next day -- and he refuses all doubt and just goes forward. He’s everything that I’m not! That’s why I am so fascinated by Karl. I’ve always said the day that I feel better, that’s the day things are over! But we have to follow our own road, our own destiny, and go forward because he’s just one-of-a-kind.
Since the John Galliano scandal, quite a few people have been commenting about the pressures fashion designers face, what are your thoughts?
I think that exists, but I made a different choice from the rest. I have my own house. I don’t have a backer--it’s difficult, but there’s nobody to tell me what to do and any pressure that exists only comes from myself. However, I think Karl was right when he said that if one can’t play the game, one shouldn’t try. It’s true at a certain time in my life I experienced pressures from fashion groups too, and it can make you a bit crazy. It’s the rhythm that makes you crazy, the rhythm of this industry, and I do think that is starting to have an impact on creative people. I don’t like the word creator. It’s the pursuit of profitability at all costs, meaning in today’s world the parameters for a designer or couturier are so heavy that they become unhinged. Because before the creation, before creativity, they have to think of money and that can really make you crazy.
Is it possible to be the design head of large company and stay sane?
I don’t know, because it depends on what we’re after, what we’re looking for: I think if we run after glory and notoriety we’re already in danger. I think it’s dangerous to choose this profession to be famous. On the other hand there is a luxury, the luxury of doing what one wants to do, and that is paramount to me. I have that luxury, but I finance it myself so I know exactly what it means. But I have worked at different houses and I don’t think creative people are respected anymore, it’s bizarre. I think people are always asking what they can bring to the table in terms of financial results, and I don’t think that is respectful of the creative process.
Today designers almost have to answer for their choices in annual reports…
It’s horrible. Of course that exists, we’re in the profession and we have to earn money but if that’s the only thing…And you know today it’s become groups of people, the only people left who are really autonomous are Lagerfeld, who can do what he wants, it’s Giorgio Armani, and it’s Ralph Lauren because they are the people who constructed their own businesses. No one would dare to say to them, “Oh, Monsieur Armani, that didn’t sell well. You can’t do that.” They’ve created a kind of power, but it’s a power that they earned. And when we see the waltz of designers that goes on today it’s obvious that there are few people that are really respected. They change designers every three or four seasons. They don’t even leave people the time to settle in and do their job.
Do you think you could ever go back to a house or work with backers?
I thought about at a certain time, and then I really calmed down and thought, “If it comes, it’s comes.” You know I was associated with people at the beginning of my career, when I created Hervé Léger, and that turned out badly. I see people all around me who take up associations that turn out badly so I don’t know. There was a moment when things were a bit difficult for me, but I’ve stopped looking so we’ll see what happens.
Do you miss doing runway presentations?
Not at all! (Laughs) I feel a bit different from other people; I don’t think that the défilé is really a driving force because I think people do so many things just to please the press. I have nothing against the press, but I feel like designers betray themselves a bit. They show things so people will talk about them, and I think there’s a lack of sincerity and it gives a fashion that is very uniform. There are the famous tendances and finally everyone ends up showing the same thing. I think today that people who have a real instinct are very rare. And it’s true that if I had to go back to catwalk presentations I would be in a panic because today people are so out of touch with the reality of everyday life. Already the models I find are too skinny, too sad. And I knew the age of the super top models, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford, who were always lively and smiling. Today you go between several défilés and you will see the exact same type of girl--it just doesn’t inspire me. Of course I do presentations, I do three presentations a year: spring, fall and cruise, that I show at my showroom and what I like is to have the buyers come to me. They buy, things sell well, and that really gives me the feeling of existing for something because I know that somewhere out there in the world I have clients that adore what I’m doing and that’s really reward enough.
2011 March 24
Original Sketch by Cynthia Rowley for Chic Report View Gallery
How have we lived without this? Cynthia Rowley's clever mind has come up with another invention that she'd produce "if only..." she had the time. Introducing the corkscrew belt! MacGyver has already ordered 20.
Don't forget to follow Cynthia on Twitter!
2011 March 24
Photo Via Billy Farrell Agency View Gallery
Hello, Gorgeous! Joseph Altuzarra snuggles up to his dear friend Vanessa Traina at the launch of her S/S 2011 capsule collection for Maje at Barneys last night. You'd never know it was sleeting outside!
2011 March 24
Photo Courtesy of GQ View Gallery
Gavin Bond shot Alessandra Ambrosio for the cover and premiere issue of GQ Brasil. (Does anybody know why they'd ask her for that? We don't get the correlation...kidding!) Non-shocker of the day: She looks hooooot. But we can't quite figure out what's on her leg in this pic. Any thoughts?
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