First Images: New Henrik Vibskov Flagship Opens in Copenhagen

 

 

Arguably the unofficial international figurehead of the “New Nordic Movement” (traceable back to the early oughts, when the opening of the Øresund Bridge connected Sweden and Denmark, and made anything seem possible), Henrik Vibskov represents perhaps one of the last of a generation of “rock star” designers.

After graduating from London’s Central Saint Martin’s in 2001, the provocative Dane’s eponymous fashion label rejected Scandinavian minimalism for a more theatrical, colorful bohemian aesthetic – yet with a distinct attention to tailoring and craftsmanship. After producing his infamous The Big Wet Shiny Boobies Collection, he opened his first Copenhagen shop in 2006 – before also taking up in New York’s Soho in 2011.

 

 

Now, just in time for holiday shopping for your most flamboyantly fashionable friends, the new Henrik Vibskov flagship has opened in the Danish capital, along the buzzing Gammel Mønt. The clean lined, cavernous space was designed by Clover Studio (a London and Copenhagen based concern), and its defining feature is a series of red roping, fastened to tabletops above and below, creating something of a stalactite/stalagmite effect. Large arched windows take in the graceful historic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.

Stocked are the full range of uniquely stylish offerings, including shoes, sneakers and accessories.

Ever the thoughtful provocateur (as well as artist, film director and musician), Vibskov’s most recent, Spring 2020 collection was titled “Stuck Under the Surface,” a commentary on human stagnation and entropy. Which, considering this dazzling new flagship boutique, he is in absolutely no danger of being guilty of.

 

Missoni’s Spring/Summer 2020 Collection is Inspired by Jane Birkin + Serge Gainsbourg

 

 

When the storied romance of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg is the muse for a fashion collection, you know it is going to be equally passionate and complex. And Angela Missoni perfectly captures their ’70s luxe bohemian lifestyle and fluidity of spirit in her Missoni Spring/Summer 2020 collection, which we have a first glimpse of here.

With an evocative show staged at a public pool in Milan (see the full video below), the exalted designer sought to convey freedom from gender with pieces that she envisioned Serge and Jane effortlessly sharing on a whim: Birkin slipping on a tailored ombre jacket over a floral dress, or Gainsbourg indulging in a sheer knit lurex top. (La liberté!)

 

 

The house’s signature stripes were paired with a patchwork of elements including bright florals, windowpane checks, stripes, and knits shot through with metallic threads – sometimes all in the same ensemble. Equally colorful platform shoes were balanced with beaded baskets filled with freshly cut flowers to evoke a breezy summer feeling. (We miss it already.)

During the finale, the models emerged holding portable Little Sun solar lights to bring awareness to climate change, and highlight Missoni’s prominent sustainability efforts.

 

Weekend in The Berkshires: The Elegant New Williams Inn Brings the Farmhouse Chic

 

 

When summer’s life-sucking humidity finally lifts, autumn’s crisp air always feels extraordinarily invigorating. And as Mother Nature’s pageantry begins to unfold in a patchwork of golds, reds, and yellows, we always find ourselves yearning for the ideal road trip in which to immerse ourselves in said colors.

Now, while we love the Catskills’ bohemian vibe and Manchester, Vermont’s rustic-coziness, the rolling hills of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts – just a few hours from NYC – offer a more sophisticated getaway, one that seamlessly blends nature with the arts (and a good hike or two, if you’re up for it).

 

 

Recently, we were drawn to the just-opened Williams Inn, located in, naturally, Williamstown – since an interesting new hotel always piques our curiosity. Surrounded by the Williams College campus, it reflects the vibrancy of the local community as much as it does its historic academic roots. Indeed, its stately stone-covered / farmhouse-colonial façade has been thoughtfully designed to blend into the college’s mélange of ivy-covered collegiate and increasingly modernist architecture.

Just inside, we were greeted by a roaring fire in the stone hearth and invited to relax in plush seating with a view of the hotel’s gardens. Upstairs, our room (there are 64 of them, so yes, it’s a hotel, not a B&B) was surprisingly spacious and almost ridiculously comfortable, with local wood and stone elements, eclectic furnishings and soothing color schemes.

 

 

We probably could have relaxed in the hotel all day – but we came also for the nature…and there was really rather a lot to choose from. Williamstown is actually just minutes from Mount Greylock, in the town of Adams. Technically part of the Taconic Mountain range, it’s the highest peak in Massachusetts, and offered panoramic, Instagram-worthy views of five states at its summit (we think we might have even seen Russia from there). The mountain road is only open to autos from late May through November, but its spectacular network of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, is open year round. For those who prefer a more leisurely stroll, there are plenty of easy walking trails within a short drive as well.

Being the cultural sorts that we are, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) in North Adams is always a must for us – and currently on show are exhibitions of works by the likes of Annie Lennox and Anselm Kiefer. The Clark and Williams College Museum of Art are both top class cultural institutions – and Williams College boasts a highly regarded theater program, which hosts pizza-fueled discussions every Friday at noon.

 

Williams College Museum of Art

 

We always love to feed our literary appetites with visits to The Mount, Edith Wharton’s palatial home and extensive gardens in Lenox, and Herman Melville’s house, Arrowhead, in nearby Pittsfield, where he wrote Moby Dick, Israel Potter and The Piazza Tales.

Back at the hotel, we took leisurely cocktails by the inviting fire pit, before heading into The Barn Kitchen + Bar, the rustically stylish farm-to-table restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kitchen is headed by Chef Kevin DeMarco, formerly of the Forbes Five-Star Relais & Châteaux Castle Inn in Newport, and offers a fresh vision of the region’s culinary traditions.

 

 

Menus will change seasonally and are heavily sourced by nearby farms and purveyors such as Maple Brook Farms and Cricket Creek cheeses, and locally sourced produce, meat, and poultry from Red Shirt Farm and Mighty Food Farm. Even the cocktails get their flavor from Berkshire Mountain Distillers (tip: try the unbelievably smooth and flavorful Berkshire Bourbon).

We started by sharing the cornmeal crusted calamari with a slightly spicy pimentón aioli, and the grass fed meatballs served alongside rosemary-laced focaccia. Entrees rose above the standard sylvan New England fare, with standouts including the crispy skin chicken with stone-ground polenta, and the all-natural double cut pork chop with saffron vegetables. We highly recommend adding a side of very on-trend parmesan fries with truffle aioli – they’re truly unforgettable.

As ever, the Berkshires seduced us with their unspeakable beauty, charm, and character – and in the Williams Inn, there’s at last a hotel in which to stay there in style.

 

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

Helmut Newton, photo shoot for the catalogue of the collection
Lingerie Revisited, Monaco, 1998.
Photo: © The Helmut Newton Estate.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Lingerie Revisited collection, prêt-à-porter
fall/winter 1998–1999

 

 

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.

 

Helmut Newton, Johanna; Vogue (US), November 1995.
Photo: © The Helmut Newton Estate.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Anniversaire des 20 ans collection,
prêt-à-porter fall/winter 1995–1996.

 

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.

 

Ellen von Unwerth, Eva Herzigová, behind the scenes at the
Thierry Mugler fashion show, Paris, 1992.
Photo : © Ellen von Unwerth.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Les Cow-boys collection,
prêt-à-porter spring/summer 1992.

 

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.

 

 

From top:
Christian Gautier, stage costumes for the show Mugler Follies,
2013. Photo: Christian Gautier / © Manfred Mugler.
Outfits: Thierry Mugler.
Patrice Stable
Photo: © Patrice Stable.
Outfit: Thierry Mugler, Les Insectes collection,
haute couture spring/summer 1997.
Thierry Mugler, stage costume for the character of First Witch.
Centre national du costume de scène, D-CF-2234G.
Photo: © CNCS Pascal François

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.

 

 

Juniper

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.