Must See Exhibition: ‘Dior: From Paris to the World’ Opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

 

 

Texas is once again playing host to Dior. Specifically to Dior: From Paris to the World, an exhibition that follows the history of the exalted Parisian house, opens this week at the Dallas Museum of Art. It features legendary styles from founder Christian Dior himself, naturally, to current Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s spring ‘19 haute couture collection.

It’s actually fitting that Chiuri’s haute couture line – inspired by circus shows from the Victorian era – would find a home in Texas: she had in fact presented a high-fashion take on the cowboy boot, done in a glittery finish, with red and blue stars and accents that nod to classic Americana style.

 

 

The collection displayed in Dallas includes more than 200 pieces in total, including prototypes from the atelier, photographs, sketches, and never-before seen film footage.

Visitors will also find an immersive experience by architect Shohei Shigematsu, 15 thematic spaces that span the Dior artistry throughout its history, as well as the creative directors who built its legacy. Some of the classic designs are teamed with other artistic mediums, including a John Galliano with a South American religious painting, and a Raf Simons with a painting by Sterling Ruby that inspired his first show with Dior.

 

 

An apt footnote to the exhibition is a dedication to Dior’s fashion show in Dallas in 1947, where he presented his H line and received the “Oscar” of fashion from Neiman Marcus.

“I was in the midst of working for my second collection when I received a letter from the house of Neiman Marcus inviting me to come to Dallas to receive an Oscar,” Dior wrote in his memoir. “Re-reading the letter, I discovered that the Oscar had been instituted during the war and this was the first time it had been awarded to a French couturier. I had won this honor with my very first collection.”

Dior: From Paris to the World runs now through September 1 at the Dallas Museum of Art.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Kit Kemp Launches Exclusive Collaboration w/ Bergdorf Goodman

 

Few interior designers can legitimately claim an utterly unmistakable signature. Jacques Garcia is one; Kelly Wearstler is certainly another. But Kit Kemp goes them all one further – having arguably created an immersive world all of her own making, something of an “Alice’s Wonderland” for unconventional but uniquely cultivated aesthetes.

Now that style is on full glorious display at Bergdorf Goodman in New York, as the exalted luxury retailer has granted the iconoclastic British designer a trilogy of rooms to write a new chapter in her inimitable stylistic story. Kemp is known, of course, for her daring textile juxtapositions (especially in her and husband Tim Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels in London and NYC), which blend English eccentricity with a uniquely feminine elegance – though certainly urbane gents love just as much.

 

 

Central to the new partnership is the launch of a new Wedgwood fine bone china collection, romantically titled Sailor’s Farewell – drawing inspiration from a folkloric tale of a lover waving goodbye to her sea-bound beau. Less obviously dramatic but certainly no less eye-catching will be displays of sofas, chairs, cushions, rugs and blankets sporting fabrics from her recent collection with Brit interior designer Andrew Martin – as well as collectable art and special one-off found items.

“With Bergdorf, it is an opportunity to have all my collaborations and designs in one place under one roof,” Kemp enthuses. “It is the first time I have had the chance to do this, especially in such an iconic place.”

It’s also most serendipitously timed with the release of her latest book Design Thread, published last month via Hardie Grant.

Kit Kemp’s shop at Bergdorf Goodman will be open through August 12; for full effect, book a room or at least an afternoon tea after shopping at Firmdale’s Whitby Hotel, just around the corner.

 

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.

 

 

Such Glamorous Images: Dior Throws Extravagant ‘Tiepolo Ball’ at the Venice Biennale

Images by Virgile Guinard

 

Back in 1951, Charles de Beistegui – the legendarily flamboyant interior designer and art collector – threw what was fittingly dubbed the “Ball of the Century” in Venice, with costumes by attendees Christian Dior and Salvador Dali. The night is remarkably still buzzed about to this day.

This past Saturday, without the slightest pretension to topping Beistegui’s storied fête, Dior and its Italian Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri simply paid it glamorous, extravagant homage with their lavish Tiepolo Ball at the 17th Century Palazzo Labia. It was timed perfectly, of course, to the start of this year’s always enthusiastically anticipated Venice Biennale – and benefitted the Venetian Heritage foundation.

 

 

Very special guests Karlie Kloss, Sienna Miller and Monica Bellucci were gloriously adorned in bespoke gowns that were a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between Dior and the Venetian fabric houses of Rubelli and Bevilacqua.

Rising to the glittering occasion, a “performance” by artist ParolaBianca featured a moving tableau of dancers and stilt walkers, set against a surreally starry night sky, themed around the 12 signs of the zodiac. Other boldfaced names looking on in wonder included Tilda Swinton, Ellen Von Unworth, Hamish Bowles, Cornelia Guest, Dasha Zhukova and architect Peter Marino.

 

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.

 

New Book ‘Red Lipstick’ Gorgeously Traces the History of Beauty’s Most Indispensable Item

Illustration for the French beauty brand Payot, 1951. © 2018 René Gruau: www.gruaucollection.com

 

Author and journalist Rachel Felder has long had a love affair with red lipstick. And her latest book is evidence of her devotion to, and fascination with that classic, perfect pout.

She reveals, “I’ve been wearing red lipstick every single day for decades, and writing about makeup for many years as well. I felt the subject would resonate deeply with many women, perhaps for different reasons, because of those intense associations.”

Luxuriously wrapped in a matte gold-toned cover, Red Lipstick (released April 9, via Harper Collins) is filled with show-stopping imagery. Packed with a museum’s worth of fine art, including both Man Ray’s photograph of Red Badge of Courage and Chagall’s Les Amoreux. Lush, rarely seen vintage magazine ads from beauty biggies Guerlain and Elizabeth Arden mingle with a gorgeous array of illustrations and paintings by renowned artists including Francesco Clemente, Alex Katz, Maira Kalman, Bill Donovan, Edgar Degas and Wayne Thiebaud.

A promotional photograph of Elizabeth Taylor in the 1950s. She’s wearing a fur stole that was typical of the period and, of course, red lipstick. Everett Collection. 

With fascinating insights into the uses and cultural history of lipstick, Felder makes an astute case for the “one item most women can’t live without.”

“Every woman has a relationship with red lipstick,” she insists. “For some, it’s associated with a relative – like, say, the aunt who always wore it, perfectly applied. Others think about it for special occasions, whether they’re nights out in black tie or important meetings at the office. And then there are those who say ‘I can’t wear red lipstick,’ which I believe simply isn’t true: everyone can wear red lipstick, it’s just about finding the right one.”

Power and beauty factor heavily into Felder’s exploration, as she excavates the origins and history of red lipstick. Illuminating its association with movie stars, aristocracy, sex appeal, illicit sexuality, rebellion, glamour and fame, she never loses sight of the woman herself.

Bil Donovan, Dotty Girl (watercolor and ink), 2007 © Bil Donovan / Illustration Division.

 

She enthuses, “Women love red lipstick because it’s simultaneously polished and bold, and both classic and cutting-edge modern. I love it for those reasons and also because, after wearing only red lipstick for so many years, it makes me ‘myself.’  It’s the ultimate finishing touch to face the outside world, and makes you look made up even if it’s the only beauty item on your face.”

Granted unprecedented access to experts and the archives of revered brands like Chanel and Dior, there’s lots of juicy tidbits within the pages of Red Lipstick. Little known fun facts, quotes and anecdotes, and a striking 100 plus images. Felder’s expert curation – which we’ve come to expect from the Insider London and Insider Brooklyn writer – make her musings even richer. She also spotlights a fascinating array of women who’ve worn red lipstick through the ages: think, suffragettes (yes, even those early feminists wore it), monarchs, flappers, geishas, Hollywood sirens, rockstars, working women during World War II, politicians…we could go on.

It’s an irresistible little (in size not stature) book, a must-have for any fashionista or fan of beauty’s cultural history. As Ms. Felder puts it, “When I wear red lipstick I feel stronger, more confident, and ultimately, more beautiful. It makes me feel like I can conquer anything the day brings my way.”

Catwoman represents a different type of powerful woman: one that uses sensuality as one of her weapons. Here, Michelle Pfeiffer plays the part in Batman Returns (1992). © Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection. 

Report From Milan: Dior Presents ‘The Unexpected Subject: 1978 Art and Feminism in Italy’

 

It’s a bit of a cliche that feminism has particularly struggled along in Italy, perhaps due to the unusual sociology of family, in a country that is notable for both innovation, as well as holding fast to tradition.

A new exhibition presented by Dior at the FM Center for Contemporary Art in Milan, however, makes good work of pinpointing a pivotal moment in Italia’s history of women’s advancement. Edifyingly titled The Unexpected Subject.1978 Art and Feminism in Italy, it examines how artistic boldness contributed to the feminist cause, specifically, of course, 1978. Specifically that year, eighty female artists – among them Tomaso Binga, Irma Blank, Maria Lai, Lucia Marcucci, Giulia Niccolai and Patrizia Vicinelli -were invited by curator Mirella Bentivoglio to the exalted Venice Biennale, where their unfettered experimentalism, as well as sedition and dissent, notably captured the cultural imagination of the time.

 

 

Forty years on, their wild spirit is being honored by Marco Scotini and Raffaella Perna, the artistic director of the Frigoriferi Milanesi and the art historian, respectively, bring together women artists this time numbering more than a hundred, and including such contemporary icons as Marina Abramović and Rebecca Horn. Not to be missed is Tomaso Binga’s striking sceneography for the first female Dior Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s A/W 2019/20 Fashion Week presentation, specifically reassembled for this show.

The Unexpected Subject.1978 Art and Feminism in Italy exhibition was assembled in cooperation with the MART Museum of Contemporary Art or Trento and Rovereto, and runs through May 26.

 

 

Louis Vuitton’s New Unisex ‘Les Colognes’ Are an Homage to ‘Le California’

 

 

Considering what an all encompassing lifestyle one is able to be immersed in by becoming a devotee of Louis Vuitton, it seems odd to think that their first men’s fragrance range was launched only last year – with the five scents making up the Les Parfums collection, bottles by Marc Newson.

Now they’re going unisex, with the equally concisely titled collection Les Colognes – and curiously enough for the French luxury house, the inspiration is, well…California. In which case the timing could not be more perfect; after all, with spring in full bloom, no one really wants to smell like a pine forest or a pile of dry firewood, do they?

Rather, we get such optimistically monikered fragrances – by LV’s Master Perfumer Jacques Cavalier Belletrud – as Sun Song, Cactus Garden and Afternoon Swim. The scents evoke the endless sky and sun, the wide open desert, and the all around ineffable pleasures of nature in the great Golden State.

All three come in stark but cool, almost apothecary like bottles, with the blue, green and yellow fragrances contained within aesthetically distinguishing each. Vivacious packaging is by L.A. multimedia artist Alex Israel. In fact, it’s all so cheerful, it might even inspire your average Francophile to the occasional sunny disposition.