Chanel’s ‘Mademoiselle Privé’ Exhibition Opens in Tokyo

 

 

Chanel will be taking its Japanese devotees on an intimate journey into the very sources of the brand’s ideology this fall, on the fifth leg of its installation, Mademoiselle Privé. It is an apt title, one that also adorns the doors of its Paris Creation Studio at 31 rue Cambon.

The innovative exhibition features iconic pieces from its archives, and will be open to the public this month and is up through December 1 at Tokyo’s B&C Hall. It follows a successful run earlier this year in Shanghai, which was preceded by Hong Kong in 2018, Seoul in 2017 and London in 2015.

 

 

Visitors will experience Chanel’s creative processes as well as its absolute sense of luxury up close, with three different worlds being presented: haute couture, fragrance and jewelry. Among the highlights is a panoply of fabrics and patterns from Chanel’s most groundbreaking designs, with several salons dedicated to different materials used in past collections.

Also, a gallery devoted to the classic fragrance Chanel No. 5, which was created in 1921 and remains absolutely iconic. It’s just one example of the label’s unmatched longevity and relevance, as the scent continues to remain en vogue after nearly 100 years.

 

 

Perhaps most dazzling is the Bijoux de Diamants jewelry, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s collection of diamonds in platinum designed in 1932. It pioneered the use of flowing, asymmetrical styles at a time when high jewelry was quite stiff, making use of motifs of the sun, stars, and lions – favored symbols of the legendary designer. At the time of the release of the collection, it was quite unusual for a couturier to dabble in high-end jewelry.

To any connoisseur of Chanel, the installation is a delight to the senses, and is perhaps even a reason to stop putting off that trip to Tokyo.

Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Tokyo will be presented through December 1 at the B&C Hall in Tennoz, Shinagawa. 

 

Must See Exhibition: ‘Super Funland’ Delve’s Into the Peculiar Eroticism of Carnivals

 

 

Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when open celebration of human sexuality was decidedly taboo, carnivals and fairs served to pique the erotic imagination through otherwise verboten imagery and suggestion. Indeed, they have long drawn on the subconscious – celebrating repressed desire, promiscuity, and rebellion against sexual and societal norms, and serving as outlets for hedonism throughout history. They also allowed revelers to experience decadent pleasure and, quite often, actual vice.

Fittingly, the Museum of Sex, whose mission is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and cultural significance of human sexuality, has just opened its largest and most immersive exhibition to date, Super Funland: Journey into the Underground Carnival. Inspired by the social, artistic, and purely salacious aspects of historical fairground attractions, it reimagines the illicit thrills of a lost world of traveling carnivals and World’s Fairs for 21st century audiences, blurring the line between art and experience, and inviting visitors to become participants in said history as well.

 

 

Super Funland‘s exploration of the carnival’s roots is accompanied by a multi-floor interaction exhibition of thirteen humorously explicit games and amusements, as reimagined by contemporary artists – allowing for the possibility of losing oneself in both the carnality and the simple joy of the fair.

The exhibition opens with the living history of Al Stencell, who proverbially joined the circus at age 11 and documented the midway’s underbelly of burlesque, strip, and girlie shows along the way. The exhibition then transitions into an immersive 180-degree cinema, which depicts the carnival’s origins, followed by “Stardust Lane,” a forty-foot kaleidoscope where six dioramas represent examples of bawdy moments from the World’s Fairs and Coney Island, which emerged in the 19th century as one of the most notorious meccas devoted to hedonism.

A variety of amusements encouraged licentious behavior, with headline attractions such as the “Blowhole Theater,” which exposed the lower halves of skirt-wearing visitors. Upon visiting New York in 1909, Sigmund Freud himself purportedly said that, “The only thing about America that interests me is Coney Island.”

 

 

Additional highlights to arouse the senses include a 4-D immersive “Tunnel of Love” ride, an erotic fortune-telling machine modeled as RuPaul and styled by personal designer Zaldy; and an elaborate illuminated climbing structure leading to a two-story spiral slide, which whisks visitors into the museum’s psychedelic carnival bar, Lollipop Lounge. One can also test one’s romantic vigor with a biometric Kissing Booth.

Original commissions were created by an international team of artists and designers that include Bompas and Parr (UK), Droog (Netherlands), Bart Hess (Netherlands), Rebecca Purcell (US), and Snøhetta (Norway).

Seriously, Super Funland is without a doubt the most fun you’ll have all year for the price of a museum admission.

The Museum of Sex is located in at 233 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan’s NoMad district – so to keep the hedonism going, we suggest drinks at the nearby Clocktower, the always fabulous bar/restaurant at the New York EDITION hotel, inside the namesake’s architectural treasure, followed by a late dinner of decadent comfort food at The Breslin inside the Ace Hotel just a few blocks up.

 

Dear Giana is Re-Inventing Fashion Illustration…and She’s Just 10 Years Old

Above: Exclusive Illustration by Dear Giana for BlackBook

 

 

A young artist is blazing new trails in fashion imaging these days, taking both critics and galleries by fashionable storm. And when we say young…we mean young.

Illustrator Dear Giana is positioned perfectly at the intersection of art and fashion, and has, at just age 10, already received numerous accolades. No surprise, she’s also already inked collaborations with high profile brands, Nordstrom x Nike, for instance. But she has absolutely earned it.

This Filipina-Mexican-American artist has become known for recreating high-end fashion ads using freehand drawing techniques, with various mediums outside of color crayons. Her mother’s extensive collection of books, and numerous old print issues of Vogue, I-D and Harper’s Bazaar had provided with Giana no shortage of references and subject matter to influence her singular style.

 

 

Indeed, her work is a tour de force, that innovates even the most established logos and looks, infusing them with a distinct new life. Just when you thought a Nike swoosh was a Nike swoosh, or perhaps you were eagerly awaiting the next release of Jordan or Kyrie high tops, you will be dazzled by something dynamic, yet organic; urban and sophisticated…yet youthful and playful. That’s the magic of Dear Giana, or as her family calls her, “Lil G.”

We recently had the pleasure of meeting Dear Giana at her first show in New York at the flagship of discount fashion retailer Century 21, where she led a customization workshop sponsored by the Levi’s X Crayola collaboration. She was invited by Executive Vice President Isaac Gindi, who discovered her through Instagram and was instantly enamored.

 

 

Congratulations on your first show in New York. Your work is really exceptional and looking at your portfolio, we see that you’ve used several media in your work. What is your favorite medium?

I don’t really have a favorite. When I start to work on something, I usually make half drawings. So if I am using paper, I divide the paper in half and then to sketch out half of the image first, then work on the other side. I pay close attention to textures, and that helps me choose a medium. And I try to find a texture that best matches the crayon or the marker or whatever I am using to create the image. I always want things to match.

Are there any people who in particular that inspire you as an artist? Who are your influences?

Well, I really look up to my mom – but as an artist, I would say that Frida Kahlo is someone who inspires me. Even when she was sick, she stayed dedicated to her art. She continued to paint and she still held her shows. She had a passion and she carried on, which I think was amazing.

 

 

Do you listen to music when you work?

I listen to classical music when I work. I enjoy Mozart very much, it’s at the right speed for doing my work. When I am not doing my art, I really love to listen to Gwen Stefani. I like all of her music.

So now that you have held a successful event in New York City, what city would you now most want to show your work and share your talents in?

That’s a really hard question! I want to get it as far as it could go. I want to get it everywhere.

 

The Dior S/S 2020 Collection is an Homage to the Gardens of the Legendary Designer’s Sister

 

 

We never tire of Dior’s ability to bring together the classical and the innovative – to be sure, the house continues to set the pace for the industry while still finding ways to invoke its rich heritage.

And once again our expectations were exceeded, as Dior delivered a stunner at their Spring/Summer 2020 runway show at Paris Fashion Week. In an homage to the legendary couturier’s sister Catherine, an avid gardener – who was actually best known as a key figure in the Resistance against the Nazis during World War II – the theme of the collection, and the show, was that of a garden.

 

 

Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri explains, “I started this collection by thinking about a key inspiration for Christian Dior: the garden…which Catherine Dior, his sister, grew and nurtured as a professional florist.”

Against a scenography of live trees inside the venue, Chiuri unveiled a collection inspired by photographs of Catherine, in which she appears amidst her flowers. The set was conceived as an “inclusive garden,” unfolding across a wealth of plant species, and raising questions about the role of everything living on our planet. The traveling grove used in the show, which will ultimately be planted, celebrates the biodiversity of wooded spaces and other elements of sustainability.

 

 

And indeed, biodiversity is celebrated via the integration of floral motifs against avant-garde silhouettes throughout the bold collection. For Spring/Summer 2020 ready-to-wear, Chiuri was featuring nature, in light of contemporary challenges. (Dior went as far as to create a short film around Emanuele Coccia, author of the newly released book The Life of Plants.)

“It appeared essential to me that this legacy be addressed with a new perspective,” she enthuses. “Flowers and plants don’t just serve an ornamental purpose, they are our environment. We have a commitment to care for them, today more than ever.”

Of course, we love the awareness raised in the theme as much as the designs themselves, as a new era of environmental consciousness takes over high fashion.

 

Legendary GQ Creative Director Jim Moore on Personal Style, Young Designers, and Dropping Jake Gyllenhaal in the Middle of Times Square

 

 

Jim Moore, the legendary Creative Director-at-Large for GQ, has just penned a magnificent chronicle of his four decades of breakthrough, iconic work for the men’s fashion bible – and we can’t put it down. The book, which features a forward by Kanye West, is aptly titled Hunks and Heroes, and takes us through some of his most memorable work, capturing the style of captains of industry, pop culture celebs, politicos and artists.

In 1980, Moore landed at GQ as an assistant, but quickly rose through the ranks, as his creative talent did not go unnoticed. Along the way, he brought men’s fashion out of the shadows, both celebrating and demystifying fashion for the American male. He made the fantasy real, and the reality fantastic. Though perhaps his most notable contribution was his ability to bring the world of serious fashion into the mainstream.

 

 

In Hunks and Heroes, Moore treats readers to the stories behind the stories – from a glimpse of the unseen detail that goes into the production, to colorful anecdotes of his interactions with celebrities and their myriad idiosyncrasies. Stories include the time he used double-sided tape to affix a basketball to the palm of a rising star called Michael Jordan, and the time he made President Barack Obama change his tie to one he deemed more fashion forward and emblematic of his commanding presence.

Moore uses both image and prose to unveil the creative process behind some of the most memorable covers, and imparts his own brand of fashion advice. This volume features over 250 archival images of the author’s collaborations with the most talented photographers, such as Inez & Vinoodh, Peggy Sirota, and Craig McDean, and includes seminal GQ photos Moore masterminded of such a-listers as LeBron James, Ryan Gosling, Leonardo Di Caprio, David Beckham, Drake, Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, Justin Bieber and Brad Pitt, amongst others.

BlackBook caught up with Moore for an exclusive chat following his signing at Rizzoli Bookstore in New York.

 

 

Of the behind-the-scenes stories you share in Hunks and Heroes, which is your most memorable and why?

When you produce a shoot, you have a triple duty: you have to be able to show the clothes, you have to show who the person is, and then you have to give the background some context or, at times, a contrast between the subject and the surrounding. I love the ones where we crowdsourced: those are shoots where we intentionally drop the celebrity in a public place and just see what happens. About seven years ago, I was doing a spread for GQ with Jake Gyllenhaal, who I’d shot several times before, and I needed to come up with something different. I decided that shooting Jake in public places, rather than at a studio, would make for the best backdrop, and he and his publicist agreed.

Where exactly?

We started downtown on the Lower East Side at Katz’s Deli, then moved to Economy Candy on Rivington Street, and finally, and I might add with a pending snowstorm, landed him among a crowd in Times Square. If you are visiting New York as a tourist, it’s probably the first place you go. But it’s also the last place you would expect to see a celebrity. So as the van pulled up to Times Square and Jake got out and walked into a crowd I had a lump in my throat – not knowing whether anyone would actually notice him and what the reaction would be. Imagine that you’re in Times Square visiting from Wisconsin and you’re looking around and all of a sudden this major A-List celebrity is right in front of you!

What happened from there?

It quickly turned into a polite mob – with women moving towards Jake and taking selfies with him using an early version iPhone. It was just an amazing scene and it turned out brilliantly. It inspired me to do something very similar with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson amongst a crowd at Venice Beach. Both events are featured in double page spreads in the book. If you have the right person, you can put them out in public and experiment with the energy and organic uncertainty of the crowd.

 

 

In a world increasingly dominated by fast fashion, how can American men who strive to establish a distinctive personal style differentiate themselves from the pack?

Many of the brands that are putting out fast fashion are doing a great job of making fashion available at an accessible price point. What I would suggest to men is that you select a few items to integrate in your wardrobe that are a higher price point – higher quality and more distinctive. You can manage to differentiate yourself and make it more of a reflection of you and less generic. It’s a way to show your personal style. If you are a man of great style, or a man who aspires to great style, those stores offer some great basics, but you will still want to enhance that [with something unique].

You have to consider quality too.

The fast fashion companies enable someone to experiment with looks that are on trend and take a risk without making a heavy investment in something that would otherwise be very expensive. I would caution men to look at the quality of the product, to beware of copies, and to still invest in pieces or accessories that would be your signature look or style – for instance, buy a piece that is a little loud and proud that will be unique to you.

 

 

There are so many emerging designers entering the fashion space, with social media opening doors to them in ways that traditional marketing could not. But there is a lot of clutter in the market. What advice would you give to emerging designers about breaking through and having the staying power to compete effectively?

That is a passion of mine at GQ – that I can actually mentor young talent. The need to recognize and provide a platform for young designers is why we started the Best New Menswear Designers in America in 2005. We recognized that a lot of them needed a little push and we did that, not only by giving them good real estate in the magazine, but also eventually connecting them to established retailers and getting their name out there.
I love to look at collections of new designers, but I need to know that they are in it to win it – that they recognize that fashion is a business. It’s great that you have a talent and see it as art, but you need to have a good plan. You’ve produced a first season, and that’s great, but do you have the plan in place to produce the second season and get it to market? How are you going to obtain funding and scale production? Being creative is not enough.

 

 

10 Corso Como’s ‘bold, beautiful and damned’ Pays Homage to Legendary Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes

 

 

10 Corso Como, it turns out, has transitioned effortlessly from the rarefied heights of fashionista Milan to the more approachable confines of NYC’s newly revitalized Seaport District. Still archly conceptual and multi-faceted, the new outpost integrates fashion, design and art, and its eponymous Italian restaurant allows one to stop and consider all they’ve just seen (and purchased).

One thing that simply must be seen is a striking new exhibit at 10 CC’s in-house gallery of the works of late and lamented fashion photographer and illustrator Tony Viramontes. It’s co-sponsored by Fondazione Sozzani, a foundation whose mission is to promote the intersection of fashion and art.

 

 

With Tony Viramontes: bold, beautiful and damned, they’ve assembled a breathtaking overview of his iconic fashion illustrations, mixed media collages, and photographs from the 1980s, curated by design historian Dean Rhys Morgan. Viramontes, who was lost to AIDS in 1988, was a prolific and trailblazing creator of fashion art, collaborating with some of the most exalted fashion houses, sketching haute couture collections for Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Chanel, and Christian Dior. His work was featured in virtually every major fashion publication of the day – and even graced the cover of 1985’s So Red the Rose album by Arcadia, whose members included Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes.

Also a clothing designer, makeup artist and hair stylist, his illustrations quickly becoming known for his bold, graphic lines and dramatic use of color. Viramontes challenged the status quo with drawings of dominant women dressed in the theatrical haute couture of the day. His models posed in make-up, jewelry and exotic turbans.

 

 

 

 

“Tony was the enfant terrible of fashion illustration,” says Rhys Morgan. “His strong and direct drawing style was a marked contrast to the whispered, pastelly, WASPy visuals of the time. There was an insolence about his women. They were very hard and aggressive.”

Of course, his depictions of men exhibited the same sort of audacious sensuousness, boldly stretching the boundaries of masculine identity.

Working in pencil, charcoal, collage and occasionally even lipstick or eyebrow pencil, Viramontes decisively revived the tradition of selling fashion through drawing, which had largely been sidelined by photography at the outset of the 1980s. And in changing the way we viewed high fashion illustration, he created images that remain unquestionably influential to this day.

Tony Viramontes: bold, beautiful and damned will be on exhibit at 10 Corso Como NYC from September 8 through November 10.

 

 

NYFW Spotlight: The Miron Crosby x Prabal Gurung Collection is Rife w/ American Symbolism

 

 

Tired of the same old collabs coming out of New York Fashion Week?

Fear not, avant-garde boot maker Miron Crosby, the brand that has decisively brought the cowboy boot into the 21st Century, has just debuted its collab with design visionary Prabal Gurung, with a ‘New West’ line that revives the iconic 1960s rodeo boot shape. The style was originally worn by women during a time of great social change in America.

The Miron Crosby x Pabal Gurung collection, which debuted in at NYFW September 8th, features a plunging scallop, midi-height and open pull holes sweetly wrapped in paisley. Patent leather – a first for Miron Crosby – adds a futuristic touch to the design. ’New West’ will be available in five bold colorways – including a cool all-white, a cardinal patent energized with an imperial red croc overlay, and a deep obsidian that comes to life across a croc and python pairing.

 

 

In contrast, the maximalist ‘Legend’ style is marked by intricate stitching reminiscent of traditional cowboy boots dating back to the 1880s. The inclusion of a delicately cut-out modern-day rose motif above the heel adds a touch of unexpected romance and patriotism (the rose is the National Flower of America). It mimics the roses seen throughout the Prabal Gurung Spring 2020 ready-to-wear collection and speaks to the brand ideal of celebrating femininity with a bite. The ‘Legend’ is available in three colorways, including a mirrored rose gold leather and quartet of smooth leathers in pink parfait, mint, daffodil and celeste blue.

The boots produced in collaboration with Miron Crosby are the perfect accessory to Prabal Gurung’s Spring/Summer 2020 line, which pays homage to American heritage through the use of traditionally American symbols such as roses and tie-dye.

The designer enthuses, “Miron Crosby is reinventing western wear by bringing consumers premium, handcrafted artisanal boots with cutting edge designs. I am thrilled to be collaborating with them as part of my label’s 10th anniversary celebrations, which honors creativity, individuality and inclusivity,”

 

 

Gurung, who did indeed fete the anniversary at his NYFW runway show on Sunday, is a Nepalese immigrant who gained early support from the Ecco Domani Fashion Fund and the CFDA. He has since used his success to advocate for immigration and women’s rights, having woven important social messages into his work and contributed proceeds to related human and civil rights organizations. In a not so subtle critique of current US policy, his Sunday evening show was capped off with an ethnically diverse crew of models wearing a sash labeled, ‘Who gets to be American?’

Miron Crosby is a bespoke cowboy boot brand started in 2017 by sisters Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means. The pair envisioned bringing an elevated yet authentic boot to the market with a “ranch to runway” versatility, inspired by their experiences growing up in West Texas and later living in New York City. Each pair of boots is handmade in the 160-year-old Rios of Mercedes factory in Mercedes, Texas, using century-old techniques.

The Miron Crosby x Prabal Gurung collection will be available on MironCrosby.com and PrabalGurung.com.

 

self-portrait Debuts First U.S. Concept Shop in Soho

Images courtesy of self-portrait

 

 

Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner…they’re all fans. But Han Chong’s super hot label self-portrait – launched in 2014 at London’s Selfridges – had yet to find a Stateside home. Until now.

From the moment you enter the new temporary concept shop at 158 Mercer Street in NYC’s Soho, you are enveloped with Cire Trudon Odalisque, the signature scent of the Mayfair, London flagship. What awaits is a 2,590 square foot space, with soaring 22-foot ceilings, designed by StoreyStudio.

It’s a genuinely magical place, inviting visitors on a journey of exploration, touch and discovery, a tactile labyrinth of layered lace suspended within a timber structure. A soft, flowing gradient of tonal lighting illuminates the rings of hanging fabric, engaging at every moment, while decisively capturing the unique femininity that is self-portrait.

 

 

Amidst the visual dazzle, of course, hangs the Autumn-Winter 2019 collection, once again characterized by Chong’s experimental textures and graceful silhouettes – which have already seduced the British royals (both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle has been spotted wearing his designs). In addition to the ready-to-wear collection, a selection of swimwear and footwear, launched earlier this year, is also on offer.

Sadly, it’s open only until December – but expect upcoming, limited edition products to include chic sticky notes, water bottles, tote bags, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. Said items will be dropping periodically, with in-store release dates to be announced via the brand’s Instagram account, @mrselfportrait.

 

First Images: Olivia Kim’s Exclusive Herschel Collab for Pop-In@Nordstrom

 

 

Olivia Kim does it again.

Pop-In@Nordstrom has partnered with global travel brand Herschel Supply Co. on an exclusive collab designed by Kim, Nordstrom’s VP of Creative Projects. Inspired by travel and music culture, Pop-In@Nordstrom x Herschel features six new collections in four fabrications of signature Herschel backpacks, duffle bags, crossbodies, hip packs and more. A particular fave is the plush tiger print with contrasting cobalt trim, meant to loosely evoke ’90s grunge – though don’t come looking for a “Heart Shaped Box.”

Kim, a New York native and former medical student – who has been called the “rockstar” of buyers by Vogue – is widely credited with putting trendsetting boutique Opening Ceremony on the map through her critically acclaimed avant-garde curations.

 

 

“I have been a long-time fan of Herschel as a go-to brand for travel and adventure,” she enthuses, “and it was an exciting opportunity to be able to collaborate on this collection. It was so much fun putting a twist on some of my favorite classic Herschel styles, reimagining these pieces with bright colors and fun textures.”

The goal, duly accomplished, was to create a collection of wearable art accessories that was equal parts style and versatility. “I hope our customers will love them and discover the world of Herschel through a new lens,” Kim continues.

In addition to signature pieces, the collaboration includes exclusive Herschel Supply Co. patches that will be available in new languages for the first time, as well as a custom Pop-In@Nordstrom x Herschel tee and sweatshirt. It’s a great strategy for amping up your fall look, and beating those post-summer doldrums like only fashion can do.

The temporary shop launched in select Nordstrom stores August 16, and is also available online at Nordstrom.com/pop.