‘Thierry Mugler: Couturissime’ Will Open This Fall at the Kunsthal Rotterdam




In 2011, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presented the landmark exhibition The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier – effectively illustrating how a new generation of designers had extended the influence of fashion far beyond its traditional perimeters. The show went on to tour eleven more cities, including New York, London, Paris, Melbourne and Seoul.

Another such radically brilliant designer is Strasbourg’s own Thierry Mugler, who also rocketed to stardom amidst the wild experimentation of the 80s; and like JPG, his talents were, and are, legion. So it’s hardly a surprise the MMFA would make him the focus of yet another monumental survey, Thierry Mugler: Creatures of Haute Couture, which debuted in March of this year.

Now it will make its way t0 Europe, where a reimagined edition titled Thierry Mugler: Couturissime will open at the venerable Kunsthal Rotterdam, one of the Continent’s most innovative cultural institutions.



On display will be more than 150 outfits created between 1977 and 2014, including costumes for the staging of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by the Comédie-Française at the Festival d’Avignon, and Cirque du Soleil’s daring Zumanity…along with never-before seen accessories and stage costumes, archival documents, sketches and videos.

“I have always been fascinated,” Mugler reveals, “by the most beautiful animal on Earth: the human being. I have used all of the tools at my disposal to sublimate this creature: fashion, shows, perfumes, photography, video…”

Most fascinating will be the exhibition’s exploration of his storied history of famous – and infamous – collaborations, including the considerable likes of David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche, Andrée Putman, Herb Ritts, Helmut Newton and David LaChappelle. Not to mention his “Too Funky” video for the late George Michael.



Not unlike the Gaultier show, many of the galleries – designed by artists Michel Lemieux and Philipp Fürhofer, along with special effects studio Rodeo FX – will have an immersive quality. The mannequins have been custom created by Hans Boodt Mannequins, also of Rotterdam.

The Kunsthal, it must be said, has become a leader in the staging of high-profile fashion exhibitions, having last year presented Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years. And the museum’s Director Emily Ansenk enthuses of the Mugler show, “We consider it a great honor to be able to present yet another fashion icon to the Dutch public this autumn.”

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime will be on exhibit from October 11, 2019 to March 8, 2020.



Karl Lagerfeld Paris’ Fall Collection Includes Tribute to Choupette the Cat



The fashion media is ever promising to spill the secrets of “French Girl” style, only to reveal yet another navy and white striped t-shirt or lash-skimming Lou Doillon-inspired fringe.

While we’re generally skeptical of any article that encapsulates style into a half-dozen pieces that can be easily purchased at your neighborhood H&M (or an equally ill-advised bangs experiment snipped in front of your bathroom mirror), there is something intriguing about the effortlessness self-confidence that many French women project. It’s a slightly off-kilter combination of classic shapes artfully woven with quirky, attitude revealing pieces; and if you’re looking for a place to start, look no further than master himself, the late Karl Lagerfeld.

Although the exalted designer/provocateur may have taken his last bow, his legacy lives on through his eponymous collection, Karl Lagerfeld Paris. His women’s fall collection offers ladylike sheath dresses and tweedy blazers alongside rocker-inspired skinny jeans, graffiti tees and covetable Margot Tenenbaum-esque faux fur jackets and leopard-print coats.

While the apparel line may lean classic and refined, the real fun begins with the accessories collection. In true “French Girl” fashion, this is where the brand’s style philosophy really shines through. The shoe collection ranges from sequined patch-covered sneakers in red, mustard and navy, to Chelsea boots with pearl-encrusted heels or metallic silver leather. Handbags run from classic totes and bowling bags to trendy quilted fanny packs and sleek evening bags.



But, by far, the season’s must-have item is a meow-mix of hats inspired by the designer’s erstwhile feline companion, Choupette. The collection includes a beanie with Choupette’s likeness in sequins (wearing Lagerfeld’s trademark dark sunglasses, naturally), a knit headband adorned with tiny, fuzzy cat’s ears, and a classic French beret encircled with a halo of cat-shaped silver-studs.

As one would expect, the surprisingly affordable collection invites the wearer to reveal as much, or as little, about herself as she would like. And that’s truly the essence of the Parisian charm and wit that Lagerfeld always sought to cultivate.

The collection will be available online and at Karl Lagerfeld Paris boutiques globally.


Idris Elba Launches New DJ-Inspired Clothing Line 2HR SET



Is there anything Idris Elba can’t do? The award-winning actor, director, producer and internationally acclaimed DJ can now add a fashion brand, 2HR SET, to his already superhuman resume.

Elba previously collaborated with Superdry in 2016, before quietly soft launching 2HR in the U.K. last year – and he’s now taking it global. The venture was inspired by his love of music and DJ culture, and the name, 2HR SET, refers to a DJ’s usual set time – as well as his hyper-focused approach to everything he does.

“A two-hour set is the acid test for a DJ,” he explains, “But for me, I’ve taken this idea a step further. Whether I’m behind the decks on stage, in the gym, or studying a new script, I’ll give myself two hours and really get stuff done. It’s my window to go for it, get it done, and get it done well.”



The 2HR SET line for men, women and little rock stars will be released in two drops. The first features hoodies, tees, bomber jackets, hats, leggings and joggers, and footwear prominently featuring the brand’s cool graphic logo. The second is set of collabs with artists who have inspired Elba, including fellow Brit superstar DJ and music maker Fatboy Slim.

As passionate as he is about music, Elba is equally fired up about giving back. 2HR boasts a selection of hoodies and tees with “Don’t Stab Your Future” splashed across the front, to bring awareness to the knife crime epidemic in Britain. Proceeds from the sale of this campaign are donated to Faron Alex Paul’s Faz Amnesty campaign to educate youth and stop street violence.

The line is available exclusively through his website, 2HRSET.com.



First Images: Dior’s Stunning New Champs-Élysées Paris Flagship



Its name literally translates to Elysian Fields. And the Champs-Élysées has also been called La Plus Belle Avenue du Monde – the most beautiful street in the world.

Of course, throngs of tourists, and a fair degree of over-commercialization means that a stroll along the fabled avenue now also includes a Disney logo here, a Starbucks logo there. But a quick craning of the neck to take in the breathtaking Haussmann-era architecture, and you’ll quickly remember how it got its name.

We also vigorously recommend skipping the H&M and Marks & Spencer, for a genuinely Francaise shopping experience – which as of this week will include a temporary but no-less spectacular Dior boutique at number 127. It will act as the pro tempore Paris flagship, while the brand’s iconic HQ at 30 Avenue Montaigne undergoes what is expected to be an approximately two-year renovation.


And one notices right away that the new location is very much an homage to the former, as an optical-illusory drape bearing the image of 30 Avenue Montaigne covers, and will continue to cover the facade for the duration. But inside, hallmarks of exalted decorator Victor Grandpierre (subject of the 2018 book Dior and His Decorators) are very much in evidence, and no expense was spared in creating a space that is the genuine epitome of understated elegance. From Versailles parquet flooring, to the “ghostly” grand staircase, to a cabinet of curiosities displaying accessories, books and fragrances, to furnishings ay Paolo Castelli and Phillipe Malouin, to the house’s signature Cannage motif, it is all very, very Dior, indeed.

As for what will be unveiled along the Avenue Montaigne in 2021? Expect the newly renovated space to house three times the previous retail space, which will expand to 3000 square meters. And, very much in keeping with the 21st Century fashion zeitgeist, there will also be a new Dior branded restaurant and museum on site.


Couture Closeup: Fendi’s ‘The Dawn of Romanity’ Show is Now an Exhibit in Rome



Last Thursday at Rome’s Colle Pallatino, at the Temple of Venus and Roma, Fendi unveiled its 2019-2020 couture collection to much fashionista fanfare.

And now, to add a special measure of gravitas to the event, pieces from The Dawn of Romanity (as it was so dramatically titled) will be on show at the 1st floor exhibition space of Fendi’s headquarters, at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana (near Rome’s Parco del Ninfeo). Open to the public, fashion fans will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the couture creations up close, and watch the brand’s artisans from their ateliers in Florence and Porto San Giorgio carrying out the creative process right in front of them.

No appointment is required to view the exhibit. Alas, it will only be open 10am to 10pm daily, now through July 14.


Après-Ski Season: A Rather Sophisticated Springtime in Vermont – Part 2, Burlington

Shaksbury & Co at The Soda Plant



Part I of our latest Vermont story, covered Manchester; and now we’re off to Burlington…


The ridiculously scenic drive from Manchester to Burlington is genuinely like traveling back in time; and, at any point, you might be the only car on the road. Along the way we took in the soaring mountain vistas, stopped at roadside farm stands for fresh-picked produce, and found quirky treasures at village antique shops.

It helped that Land Rover was kind enough to loan us a Range Rover Sport Hybrid PHEV to get us there in style. While the vehicle isn’t yet available in the U.S., its agile handling and luxurious feel are the familiar hallmarks of Land Rover’s entire range of SUVs.

Of course, there is obviously legendary skiing up this way. But spring is turning to summer soon, and ours was a much more epicurean mission.

Here’s how it all went.


Philo Ridge Farm

This working farm has been in operation since the 1840s, and has evolved as a community gathering place and a model for regenerative agriculture, with its own research and education center. Its market offers farm-produced meats, cheeses, and other local items and sells a seasonal shortlist of home made soups, salads, pizzas, and sandwiches on site. We ordered the better-than-Thanksgiving freshly sliced turkey breast with cranberry mustard on house-made Pullman bread, savory herb-flecked chicken salad, and gooey Vermont grilled cheese – we were definitely not disappointed. Oh, and make sure you visit Odyssey and his llama pals for an Insta-worthy selfie.



Foam Brewers

As we traveled the route from Charlotte to Burlington, we felt ourselves being pulled back into the 21st century. The University of Vermont’s sprawling campus welcomes visitors into Vermont’s largest city, and offers a hint at its vibrant culture. Once in town, all roads lead to the Lake Champlain waterfront and the striking Adirondack mountain range bordering it to the west. We stretched our legs with a stroll around the waterfront and popped into the celebrated Foam Brewers on Lake Street to see what was on tap that day, check out some local music, and chill on its patio.
Named among the best new brewers in the nation by Beer Advocate, RateBeer, and Men’s Journal, Foam offers a rotating selection that varies by season and inspiration. We tried the Mythological Beauty, a lavender-hued fruited sour beer with notes of blueberry, coconut, and lemon, as well as Nightmares on Wax, a modern white IPA with notes of vanilla, spice, and citrus.




We checked into the appropriately monikered Hotel Vermont, and as happens, its Juniper restaurant also focuses on locally-crafted spirits and home-grown provisions that drive the menu. For dinner, we started by nibbling on roasted carrots with pistachio hummus and buttermilk crumble and Maple Wind Farm chicken drumsticks with spicy house-made sauce. For entrées, the seasonal gnocchi specials are highly coveted (ours featured chevre gnocci with sunchokes and caramelized Brussels sprouts, but the new spring version is filled with fresh spring peas and other first-comers from the garden).
But fall-apart-tender was the grilled pork belly served on a bed of creamy polenta with a dollop of tomato jam. Insider tip: You can ask for local wine pairings from Shelburne Vineyards or celebrated Vermont winemaker Krista Scruggs of ZAFA wines. But if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, their drinks alchemists boast a menu of inspired tipples crafted from local distillations – for a refreshing twist on a gin and tonic, we tried the Business Thyme, featuring Barr Hill Gin, lime, honey, and, of course, thyme. A seat on the outside on the patio and promises breathtaking views of sunset over Lake Champlain.
Come the weekend, we started the day with the hotel’s in-house yoga classes…though a refreshing run along the waterfront before settling down to brunch at Juniper meant we didn’t have to regret ordering the decadent Red Flannel Hash (grass-fed corned beef, beets, potatoes, topped with two golden-yolked eggs) and the savory mushroom tartine oozing with creamy Spring Brook Tarentaise cheese. Safe to say we also made a selection from their Bloody Mary Bar, and we went as spicy as possible.


The Soda Plant

Before the day was up, we made a stop at the city’s South End, a former industrial area emerging as a galvanizing point for artists and young entrepreneurs. The Soda Plant is, as we had guessed, a former soda factory space that has been transformed as a collective for small, upstart businesses. Brio Coffeeworks has a space, both roasting and selling their beans; CO-Cellars is a winery and tasting room, a collaboration between the founders of Shaksbury hard ciders and Krista Scruggs of ZAFA wines. The space is used for active fermentation, experimentation, and an open-to-the-public tasting room – and we highly recommend stocking up on their rosé cider before you depart.
Other forms of fermentation can be found at Pitchfork Farm & Pickle, which, sure, is one big hipsterriffic cliché – but they will literally pickle anything from butternut squash and carrots to classics such as Bavarian-style sauerkraut and Korean kimchi, if that’s your thing. After you’re done with all that tasting, stroll through a few of the art galleries, jewelry makers, and other intriguing independent shops.



Hotel Vermont

Although Burlington isn’t lacking in good, atmospheric hotels, the Hotel Vermont is a more contemporary choice, sleek and modern, but with rustic design touches and a welcoming atmosphere. Perfectly located between the Church Street shopping and entertainment hub and the waterfront, the five-year-old hotel has become central to the character of the community and is a staunch supporter of Burlington’s groundswell of emerging businesses. From the architecture to the food and beverage program, almost everything is sourced locally – including the in-room coffee mugs created by a Burlington-based potter and the coffee served in them, from award-winning Burlington roaster Brio Coffeeworks. Urbane rooms feature patterned carpets, warm woods and stylishly muted color schemes.


Gentle Fendi Eyewear Collection is Launched with a Totally Surrealist Campaign



Fashion collaborations are simply abounding these days; but when two of our favorite brands come together to create something unpredictably grand and groovy…well, it’s definitely still news. And to be sure, iconic fashion house Fendi has just teamed up with super hip South Korean eyewear creator Gentle Monster, to bring to life a capsule collection of impossibly cool limited edition sunglasses.

The Gentle Fendi collection is introduced via a campaign with a surreal, Dali-esque video directed by Russian artist collective AES+F. It features models wearing the limited-edition eyewear as they playfully cavort with alien-like geometric forms. (Is it possible this is what the world looks like through Gentle Fendi glasses?)



The striking collection includes two unisex eyewear styles which are each available in three colorways. Gentle Fendi No. 1 is an avant-garde take on the classic cat’s eye frame in black, blue, and pink with the Fendi logo prominently displayed on the tips of the lenses. Gentle Fendi No. 2 is a universally flattering oversized aviator shape in khaki, orange, and yellow with the distinctive Fendi logo visible on the temples.

For our part, we’re still having a hard time deciding.

Gentle Fendi debuts May 7th, and is available in select Fendi and Gentle Monster boutiques worldwide.





Report From Paris: Kendall Jenner Intros New Warhol + Bauhaus Inspired Longchamp Collection


The new monogram Longchamp LGP collection is kind of a big deal. So much so that Kendall Jenner took to the streets of Paris this week to spread the word.

Teased on the runway at this past February’s New York Fashion Week, last night Ms. Jenner celebrated with the venerable French luxury brand at the historic Galeries Lafayette department store, which was launching its own LGP pop-up. The logo-riffic collection itself is playful, sexy, insouciant, but with just the right touch of restrained elegance. Encompassing luggage, leather bags, totes, sneakers, sunglasses, statement jackets, even fashionable fanny packs (some pieces designed for both men and women), the collection’s stylistic inspirations run from the cool austerity of 1930s Bauhaus, to the Pop cheekiness of 1960s Andy Warhol.

Longchamp LGP will be available, naturally, at Longchamp’s New York and Paris boutiques – but a one-of-a-kind dedicated L.A. pop-up shop will also be making it available to West Coasters through June 21st at the Westfield Century City Atrium.

Here are some of our faves from the collection.



First Images: Chanel’s Exquisite New New Delhi Boutique

Images by Oliver Saillant


Regardless of socio-political and infrastructural instabilities, the Indian economy has continued its impressive rise these last five years. What that means, naturally, is unflagging growth in the luxury market there – and Chanel is answering with this new location in the capital.

Located in the posh, international Lutyens district, their latest New Delhi boutique is comprised of 315 square meters spread over two floors, specifically in the Chanakya shopping center. And continuing their high-profile and quite stylistically successful relationship, design was by New York based architect-provocateur Peter Marino. (Indeed, from designing the brand’s new Boston boutique in 2014 to revamping its NYC flagship last year, it seems to be a partnership with no necessary end in sight).



Inside, Chanel’s signature black and white color palette is aesthetically enlivened by pink and blue accents and tweed furnishings – refined, yet anything but staid. Each space is furnished with custom designed sofas, lacquered tables and striking bronze lamps.

What can local and visiting fashion devotees expect to find there? A full complement of ready-to-wear, as well as shoes, handbags, jewelry/watches, accessories and eyewear – as well as, naturally, those iconic, can’t-do-without fragrances.

Of course, we are all still mourning the loss of Karl Lagerfeld, who left us, and Chanel behind in February, when he passed away unexpectedly at age 85. But his legacy surely lives spectacularly on around the globe in just such stunningly realized new boutiques as this.