This Happened: Vanessa Paradis Arrives in Full Chanel to Deauville American Film Festival

Vanessa Paradis attends the opening ceremony at 46th Deauville American Film Festival on September 04, 2020 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)



There’s a kind of surreal quality right now in regards to anything that actually, you know…takes place. Major concert tours, art fairs like Frieze, Basel, as well as our beloved Fashion Weeks, have all been shut down by this coronavirus crisis—and no one is really quite sure when the culture of culture will again resume in full.

So the reality of someone pulling off an actual event is both admirable, and a little head-spinning at once. But the 46th Annual Deauville American Film Festival, in the French beach town of the same name, is indeed taking place at this very moment. Officially opening this past weekend, and carrying on until the 13th, it is a veritable thrill to just once again take in images of the famous and fabulous (and glamorously attired) traversing a red carpet, as was the case with this year’s President of the Deauville Festival Jury, one Vanessa Paradis—who was looking smashing in head-to-toe Chanel. The exalted fashion house, known for vigorously supporting the arts, had signed on as an official sponsor in 2019, and re-upped this year.


Ana Girardot attends the opening ceremony at 46th Deauville American Film Festival on September 04, 2020 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)


Notably, with the Cannes Film Festival having been cancelled in May, Deauville this year is featuring a Cannes 2020 sidebar, with several films being screened that did not get their chance at the industry’s most glittering annual event. The list includes Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country; Lucas Belvaux’s Home Front; Yeon Sang-ho’s Peninsula; Farid Bentoumi’s Red Soil; Charlène Favier’s Slalom; and Jonathan Nossiter’s Last Words, with a cast including Stellan Skarsgard and Charlotte Rampling.

Amongst American films, Miranda July’s Kajillonnaire is prominently being featured.

“The host of one of France’s oldest film festivals will exceptionally take on the guise of la Croisette in this most unique year for cinema,” explains Cannes Artistic Director Thierry Frémaux. “We are immensely pleased by the hospitality extended to us to screen films from the Official Selection on the Deauville boardwalk.”



As for star power, the 2019 edition drew the likes of Catherine Deneuve, Johnny Depp, Pierce Brosnan and Kristen Stewart. But travel restrictions presented obvious difficulties for many this year. Still, the French were out in force, with Ana Girardot and Astrid Berges-Frisbey joining Paradis for flashy photo ops.

Chanel’s involvement actually runs deep, as not only was founder Gabrielle (Coco) intensely involved with Hollywood style—in her day dressing the likes of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich and Gloria Swanson—but Deauville, which was the height of chic and high society in the early 20th Century, was where she actually launched her fashion empire. If you didn’t already know.


Astrid Berges-Frisbey attends the opening ceremony at 46th Deauville American Film Festival on September 04, 2020 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois G. Durand/Getty Images)


Fendi is Celebrating Chinese Valentine’s Day w/ Mr. Doodle + Jackson Wang



Considering how impossible it seems these days for China and America to play nice in the sandbox together, it only makes sense to call on the Italians to intervene with a message of love.

And from Roma, con amore, indeed comes this cool new Fendi Chinese Valentine’s Day collection, created in collaboration with Brit art sensation Mr. Doodle (née Sam Cox)—and featuring an accompanying video starring Hong Kong pop icon Jackson Wang…who has become an enthusiastic ambassador for the exalted fashion house.



The styles themselves reflect Doodle’s maximalist style, which pay homage to the late, great Keith Haring, while also nodding to the chaotic beauty of Stephen Sprouse’s now coveted 2001 Graffiti Bags for Vuitton. And though the artist’s name is ostensibly supposed to be descriptive of his style, the designs here are tightly controlled, and smartly realized, if decidedly playful and cheeky. The partnership was actually launched when Doodle did an artistic takeover of Fendi’s spectacular headquarters in Rome—so a collection seemed a natural progression.

The heart motif joyfully reminds that this is indeed a tribute to a day that’s all about being in love; and Chinese Valentine’s Day—otherwise known as the Qixi Festival—is fast approaching (August 25). Of course, considering we’ve all being living through seven months of fear and divisiveness, a bit of romance does seem to be just what we need. And now there’s the perfect bag to accessorize it.


New Ferragamo Virtual Tour is the Trip to Florence + Rome We Can’t Take Right Now



Whilst this insidious pandemic has definitively focused our attention on a sense of responsibility to the health of our surrounding community, if we’re allowed a moment of self-indulgence, we’ll admit that one thing we’ll most definitely be missing in 2020 is that moment of touching down in our beloved Italia. And as the EU has just admonished America with a necessary and perfectly understandable travel ban, it seems nothing short of a fait accompli.

Our friends at Ferragamo must have sensed this, as they have worked seemingly tirelessly to create this fascinating and visually exquisite new virtual gateway into the world of the exalted Italian fashion house. First, a beautifully captured digital tour of their recently renovated and design-focused flagship on Rome’s Via Condotti (separated by men’s and women’s), closely replicates the actual in-person shopping experience. It’s so realistic we almost thought we could walk out the front door and over to the The Antico Caffè Greco for a morning espresso.



But perhaps even more excitingly, they have created a stunningly vivid virtual tour (narrated in both Italian and English) of the Museo Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence. It takes viewers from the Piazza di Santa Trinita at which it is located, on into the museum itself, where the current exhibition Sustainable Thinking thought-provokingly mediates on our increasingly distressing relationship with nature and our environment. One can then detour into the permanent collection, which gorgeously and edifyingly tells the rich history of the Ferragamo brand (including the shoe models of movie stars like Audrey Hepburn and Greta Garbo).

Surely nothing could completely replicate the experience of actually being in Roma or Firenze—we miss the scents in the air, the sounds of the people. But with our worlds having gotten a lot smaller these last few months, taking a digital tour with Ferragamo will surely be distinctly good for our weary souls.


House of Bijan is Re-Opened in a New Beverly Hills HQ – And They’ve Got High Fashion Face Shields



In the early ‘70s, an enterprising men’s clothier from Iran immigrated to the United States, settling in Los Angeles. Bijan Pakzad quickly established a reputation for purveying the highest quality of men’s fashion, upgrading the American gentlemen’s very perception of what a well-cut, beautifully tailored suit crafted from exquisite fabrics could be. More importantly, Pakzad showed men of power and distinction what  stylish wardrobe could do for their image.

Soon dubbed the founder of the ‘West Coast Saville Row,’ Pakzad made an indelible mark on the very notion of men “dressing the part.” The brand ultimately expanded globally, and earning acclaim from fashion connoisseurs and critics alike, winning awards especially for its iconic fragrance bottles and outré ad campaigns, in addition to numerous honors for fashion design. Bijan would go on to dress everyone from Tom Cruise to Tom Ford to the very much missed at the moment Barack Obama.


His 1976 establishment of the luxurious Bijan menswear boutique on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive bore a sign reading: “by appointment only”—echoes of the great British tailors. Entering past the locked doors into his exclusive atelier, distinguished gents from all around the world were introduced to a world of highly exclusive menswear, décor and service. It was bespoke luxury before the ’80s wave of extravagant ready-to-wear. Now, more than four decades later, the House of Bijan is re-upping its contemporary relevance with a plush new Beverly Hills boutique at 443 North Rodeo Drive.

More than double the size of the original landmark, the new structure is, as would be rightly expected, absolutely stunning. Coated in bold, trademark Bijan Yellow both inside and out, the design updates both the look and customer experience, while, at the same time, not doing away with four decades of Bijan’s signature style. Heritage elements from the former location, including the original entry door, the iconic Fernando Botero painting and, but of course, the Baccarat crystal chandelier with over 1,000 bottles of Bijan perfume were meticulously removed, transported and installed into the new retail space.



“After 44 years in the same location on Rodeo Drive,” explains Pakzad’s progeny Nicolas Bijan, “we wanted to remain true to our heritage and ensure our respected clients continue to feel at home in the new flagship boutique. We wanted to accomplish this while modernizing the overall look and feel of the boutique, as well as the overall brand.”

It was definitely successful. Upon entering the boutique, Roman “Bocca della Veritá” Mouth of Truth sculptures greet clients, acting as both art installation and product display (an especially welcome touch, since we won’t be traveling to Rome any time soon). Elsewhere, exclusive furnishings exude warmth and masculinity, including custom-made mahogany cabinetry, marble and onyx stone flooring, glass guardrails, and custom skylights. Look a little harder, and you just might find several rare works of art carefully placed around the space.

Of course, social distancing rules remain in force, especially as Los Angeles has seen a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases. But one can actually make a zeigeisty visit to the new House of Bijan HQ, by making a purchase from the new line of what are surely the most opulent face shields anywhere, also in their signature yellow—and brazenly logoed. Because what could be better than being safe and responsible, and doing it in style?


Milan Digital Fashion Week: Ferragamo Sets the Standard For Virtual Presentations



With the raft of pandemic-caused virtual art fairs (Frieze just announced it was even canceling its physical London flagship event in October), it was inevitable that fashion weeks would ultimately go the same way. And so Milan Fashion Week has indeed gone digital, with a summer special edition taking place this week, July 14 – 17 specifically—and with a program presented entirely on the Camera Della Moda platform.

When it was announced in May, Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera della Moda, told Vogue: “Everybody can decide their own message. The advantage is that in a digital world, you are completely free. You find your way of expression. We said to everybody, ‘You have from one minute to 15 minutes, and you decide what you want to show.’”



Obviously the good people of Ferragamo took that to heart, and created a dazzling video presentation, that in just under four minutes, manages to tell the story of the brand (with some beautiful shots of its home city of Florence along the way), show off the Pre-Spring 2021 collection, and also seek to share their inspiration, hoping it will make viewers want to rush out and be just as creative.

Of course, the pragmatic goal of showing said collection was achieved, and can obviously be viewed from this point on at one’s whim—no need for an official invite. But it perhaps also exhibited that the fashion world, hit particularly hard by the coronavirus quarantines (let’s face it, if you’re not going out, you’re not dressing up), can decisively innovate its way back. It also suggests a new way forward for fashion weeks in general, as the skyrocketing costs of presenting have become a much buzzed about issue, especially for younger, up-and-coming designers.



But Ferragamo CEO Micaela le Divelec Lemmi sees it in a bit more ethereal light, considering the global populace has gone, and is still going through this crisis together.

“At a time of profound change such as this,” she offers, “standing together and being part of an innovative project like Camera Moda’s is an important place to start (again). With this video we wanted to create a collective vision of the world of Ferragamo; to affirm who we are, our roots, as well as to celebrate those characteristics, such as the ability to face the challenges brought by the present with strength and flair, which made our founder so unique. A message of strength not just for us, but for everyone.”

Like so many other industries, fashion will survive and in many cases thrive. But, as this Milan Fashion Week has indicated, do expect profound changes in the way we sell, buy and live with our style choices.


Gotham’s Latest ‘It’ Girl is PhoebeNewYork – And She’s Trying to Help




From Betty Boop to Blair Waldorf, New York City has inspired an ever-evolving history of fictional “It” Girls. Although the latest fille to make the list hasn’t been defying social distancing guidelines in covert downtown speakeasies or igniting Page Six scandals; she has been—much to our delight—regularly spotted around town.

Meet PhoebeNewYork, the charming and très fashionable alter ego of NYC-based artist Libby Schoettle. Phoebe has been popping up on boarded up storefronts and bus shelters throughout New York and across the globe, and stirring up quite a buzz. More than just a street-art phenomenon, she’s amassed over thirty-two thousand Instagram followers, collaborated with brands like Victoria Beckham Beauty, lululemon, and Rag & Bone, and will be the subject of a Canobie Films docuseries next year.



Phoebe may come to life as a collage, but she’s no paper doll. She grapples with the questions we all ask (“What the fu*k” is happening?”) about sexual politics, and the stark realities of living in an increasingly unstable and divisive global society. But she does it in a way that makes us feel a little less alone in it.

Notably, Schoettle is also one of many street artists participating in the Yourban2030 Color 4 Action Campaign in support of the coronavirus emergency. Yourban is a not-for-profit group working for a more sustainable future, and a donation of $25 or more to any of the COVID-19 related charities on the site will earn donors access to over 60 street artists’ drawings to download and color.

In the midst of such a busy schedule, we caught up with Schoettle to learn what inspired her and why Phoebe is everything we need right now.

What or who inspired Phoebe, and when did you begin creating her?

Phoebe came about completely organically, as in, I had no plans to make her, she just appeared. It’s hard to identify the exact moment, because my art went through various stages that eventually brought Phoebe to life and, poof, one day she was there, a small face on a pink record album cover. I instantaneously felt connected to her, and saw her as something very important, something for years I kept repeating over and over again…this pink head with a small mouth and a large eye in profile. Over time, Phoebe’s voice became clearer and clearer as I began to add words and phrases to the collages in order to let that voice be heard.

How do your own thoughts and personality come through in her character?

She is inspired by the things I am inspired by. I pour my own feelings into each PhoebeNewYork piece, using a combination of fashion imagery, found objects, colors, and words. Each element reflects whatever I’m drawn to at that moment, often things that make me feel reminiscent. She also does the things I cannot do. Such as, I need to constantly remind myself to “never quit” and “to just keep going,” “be confident” and “believe in myself.” Through Phoebe I do keep going, she gives me a reason to wake up in the morning—and by placing her on the street, I find that other people find reflection in her the same way I do.



What makes Phoebe so relatable?

What I’ve realized is that many of us feel what she feels and appreciate the messages she offers. I think she’s braver than I am and she’s confident enough to expose her insecurities and vulnerabilities, and to express optimism at times, too.
The fact that she’s been pasted on to walls in other countries, and that people in other parts of the world say they relate to her, tells me that her words and messages can resonate with people, no matter where or who we are. It makes me very happy to be able to send out messages and connect with others about love, loneliness, woman-power, insecurity, self-image, and hope.

And she’s unexpected.

People have told me that they’ve come across PhoebeNewYork at just the right time: they’ve turned a corner and seen a message like, “Don’t panic” at the very moment they needed to. I actually know what that feels like, because she has brightened my days, and I do tend to feel better whenever I happen across a PhoebeNewYork art piece on the street.

How have recent events like COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter protests shaped Phoebe’s worldview?

These are both such major events, and I’m still taking it all in. [As always] I am inspired and challenged to express myself in my art.


Pride Month: RXM Creative’s ‘Virtual Pride March’ Digitally Subs For the Real Thing



This year Pride Month looked and felt different across the globe. Normally a time when generations of the LGBTQIA+ gather in streets and social venues to celebrate gay culture and history, the pandemic has otherwise spawned virtual events, enabling people around the world to join the festivities online instead. And while 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the very first Gay Pride March in New York City, social distancing of course forced the cancellation of the March itself; so RXM Creative, the digital creative group behind Virtual Cheers, has created a Virtual Pride March, with custom avatars generated through Instagram.

The goal of the project is to enable the LGBTQ community to see themselves on a virtual street, with the possibility to choose the styling and messaging for their own avatar…and, importantly, to support The Trevor Project.

Here is how the program works: you make a charitable donation to The Trevor Project, a leading organization supporting young LGBTQ+ people with numerous life-saving resource—such as an 24-hour suicide hotline, educational workshops and more. Once the donation has been confirmed, you direct-message @virtualpridemarch on Instagram to have an avatar created of yourself. The avatar becomes part of an extended Pride March through the Instagram feeds of all supporters.

As Pride Month is winding down, Virtual Pride March is a great way of bringing the LGBTQ+ community and allies together with a fun, interactive, custom, and we must say, adorable, online experience. Join the virtual parade to be seen with the likes of Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Amanda Lepore, and Alok and give to a charity that needs our help more than ever during these economically uncertain times.


Fendi Taps the ‘Soul of the World’ for its ‘Anima Mundi’ Livestream Concert



It’s been a difficult time for fashion, with most of the word sheltering-in for the last three months, and not necessarily thinking about dressing to kill all that much. But some brands have notably and commendably turned to activism, at a time when their level of influence is surely needed.

But our empathetic friends over at Fendi have taken a more ethereal approach, having apparently been hard at work organizing what will surely turn out to be one of the more memorable digital events of this long, dispiriting (but obviously necessary) lockdown. Indeed, on Saturday, February 20, the exalted Roma fashion house will present FENDI Renaissance – Anima MundiLatin for “the soul of the world”—a summer solstice outdoor concert, in partnership with the Eternal City’s own Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.



With star violinist Anna Tifu front and center, the Academy’s orchestra will perform Vivaldi’s fittingly soulful, hopeful The Four Seasons, with all members draped head-to-toe in Fendi—a bellissimo reminder of fashion’s long and inextricable relationship with music. The stage will be the brand’s exquisitely photo-ready headquarters at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, a stunning 1937 example of rationalist architecture by Ernesto Bruno La Padula, Giovanni Guerrini and Mario Romano

“We would like this to be a moment of renaissance,” enthuses Fendi CEO Serge Brunschwig, “linked to our home, our Roman roots, and celebrating our artisans’ craftsmanship as much as the Accademia’s artists.”

And with so much strife and division in il mondo right now, a renaissance seems just what we need.

Stream FENDI Renaissance – Anima Mundi here on Saturday, June 20.


Virgin Hotels Employs Fashionable Mannequins to Illustrate Social Distancing Guidelines




Despite being an international hub, Dallas has experienced just a fraction of the coronavirus cases as has New York (about 9200 vs. 200,000)—so it’s no surprise that gyms, bars, restaurants and shops have already begun opening back up there. And, no surprise, veritably every action being taken has been swept up into the escalating socio-cultural war surrounding the crisis.

Hotels represent unique situations, of course—with guests coming from all over the world to congregate under one roof…all with possibly different ideas of what it means to be taking precautions. So rigorous measures are naturally being undertaken to ensure everyone’s safety.

But what hasn’t been talked about much, are those more ethereal aspects of our contemporary urban lives that have lain dormant these last ten weeks or so, replaced by vintage TV binging and too much bread baking. Fashion, especially, took a bow and left the stage, acknowledging that flouncing around flamboyantly and/or expensively was probably not the best look for the time. But calling upon our dormant desire for nattiness seems to be a reasonable strategy for finding our way back to some sense of normalcy. And Virgin Hotels‘ Dallas outpost is leading the stylistic charge, with a new installation titled Together Again: Reconnecting Through Fashion and Art.




Organized by Kristen Cole of Forty Five Ten (she a style arbiter, it an exalted local boutique), the display is spread throughout the hotel and comprises a dozen chicly adorned mannequins, done up in particularly bold, challenging—and colorful—pieces by designers like Christopher John Rogers (a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner), CFDA Swarovski nominee and milliner Gigi Burris, and 2019 CFDA womenswear designer of the year nominee Rosie Assoulin. Contributions also came by way of Archive Vintage, and some well-chosen contemporary art pieces are woven into the narrative.

But the installation also has a more serious purpose. Indeed, it is meant to make guests aware of social distancing guidelines, without the usually ominous visuals that go along with such a purpose.

“With the hotel located in the Dallas Design District, we wanted to do something artistic, bold and characteristically Virgin to promote social distancing in the hotel,” says Teddy Mayer, Vice President of Design at Virgin Hotels. “Instead of removing furniture or roping off areas, we thought bringing in mannequins to supplement limited capacity requirements would be more upbeat and lively. Kristen Cole brought it far beyond my expectations.”

Cole remarks of the unprecedented assignment, “I selected joyful and bright fashion and art pieces that celebrate life and coming together.”

Seems like precisely what we need right now.