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.

 

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. 

Milan Design Week: ME Il Duca Unveils Zaha Hadid Tribute Exhibition

Image by Adam Holicska

 

Perhaps the most renowned architect of her generation, Zaha Hadid left this world suddenly in March of 2016, suffering a serious heart attack at just 65 years of age.

As her influence very much carries on, this year’s Milan Design Week (April 9 – 14) finds the ME Milan Il Duca hotel organizing a tribute exhibition to the late “Queen of the Curve.” Working in cooperation with her firm Zaha Hadid Design, they have curated select design pieces from her illustrious career, whose high-profile manufacturers have included the estimable likes of B&B Italia, Cassina ZH, Royal Thai, Citco, Lalique, and her own ZHD Collection.

 

 

“The strength of the collection lies in our ability to interpret the ordinary into something unexpected,” enlightens ZHD Director Woody Yao. “When designing objects, Zaha was never constrained by any given use or spatial context. We continue to follow and draw strength from this approach so that the collection has room to evolve without compromising the integrity of the design.”

The exceedingly stylish ME Milan Il Duca itself is one of the most buzzed about of a new generation of hotel’s in Italy’s fashion capital, and is appropriately located in the Piazza Della Repubblica, just north of Brera, the city’s venerable design district. The exhibit will be on show at the hotel through April 30.

 

Images by Luke Hayes (top) and Fabrizio Bergamo (middle); Bottom image, the ME Milan Il Duca

 

BlackBook Exclusive: A Très Romantique ‘Oddities’ Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Above image: arrangement by Wicked Florist
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It’s often forgotten amidst the avalanche of bright red and expensive gold that has come to characterize Valentine’s Day – but throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the words “romantic” and “gothic” were literarily intertwined. The worlds depicted in those stories were the antithesis of dull pragmatism and mercenary pursuits, and were often characterized by the rush of fear and danger. Shelley, Byron, Poe…and of course, the apotheosis, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

With that in mind, BlackBook has once again enlisted that renowned impresario of all things mystical and macabre, Ryan Matthew Cohn for our très romantique 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. Should you require edification, RMC was the star of the fantastical Discovery Channel show Oddities, and is currently the co-founder, with his wife Regina, of the Oddities Flea Market Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn. He is also the co-owner and curator of Brooklyn’s iconoclastic House Of Wax bar.

(N.B. – There will be a Brooklyn Oddities Flea Market at Brooklyn Bazaar April 6-7, and a Los Angeles Oddities Flea Market at The Globe Theatre May 18-19.)

The BlackBook Oddities Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

 

Wicked Florist

Flower shop specializing in morbid arrangements (top image). Obviously, skulls and black roses are involved.

Scientific Woman

If you’re hoping to convey how much you love someone in a uniquely “heart”-felt way, how about an actual anatomical heart?! Scientific Woman features art that will make anyone’s ticker skip a beat. Flesh is coupled with scientific artistry to create a stunningly unusual taxidermy gift. Each mount is quality crafted to stand the test of time…just like your love.

 

Image by Glenn Jones, @ikona_photography

Vegan Treats

If you are like me, you are sick to death of happy looking hearts, boring blue boxes of jewelry and tired looking Cupid iconography. So consider some chocolate severed body parts by Vegan Treats. The “Fatally Yours Chocolate Box” is a custom designed heart shaped box by Cecilia Granata, featuring 18 pieces of handmade vegan chocolates with gold leaf, including gems like: White Chocolate Fingers, Swiss Chocolate Stomachs Filled with Peanut Butter Cup, and Vanilla Bean Caramel Filled Ears.

This Shit Blinks

I only have eyes for you…doll eyes! Brooklyn based jewelry designer KT Ferris creates an eclectic, wide array of eyeball related jewelry, using real antique dolls’ eyes as components.

MM Fabrications

Every queen deserves a crown. Make a true statement while wearing one of these hand-made dark & deviant head-pieces made by MM Fabrications from Los Angeles. You can become a cross between Baphomet and Snow White’s worst nightmare!

 

Gotham Taxidermy

Nothing screams “I love you” more than a preserved specimen in a glass dome. Check out the genuine “orb-weaving” spiders delicately climbing the stem of a real, preserved rose, adorned with antique brass filigree. These arrangements (sustainably sourced and professionally preserved) are mounted beautifully in a Victorian glass display dome. Your significant other will either kiss you with excitement or run for the hills screaming in horror! (Obviously not recommended for lovers suffering from arachnophobia.)

 

Beauty Nirvana: BLVD Strikes an Exclusive Partnership w/ Neiman Marcus to Reinvent the Beauty Experience

 

Have you ever hoped you could just relax at your hair appointment, but instead found yourself stressing about whether or not you were going to make it across town to your manicurist in time? Your Beauty BLVD not only understands this, but they’ve done something about it.

Indeed, they’ve created the first luxury one-stop beauty shop, and have just begun rolling out more locations in a high-profile new partnership with Neiman Marcus. Already servicing clients in its Scarsdale freestanding location, Short Hills opened Friday, February 1, with a much-anticipated outpost arriving in the new Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards store in New York City this March. It’s perhaps best described as a veritable beauty services playground.

Buzz about the brand and concept, is that this could possibly be the new standard in beauty services…and it may in fact just be.

“We have reinvented the traditional full-service salon model,” explains Hudson BLVD Group President Robin Moraetes, who co-founded DREAMDRY with Rachel Zoe. “BLVD brings the best in beauty service brands together under one roof, while offering clients their favorite specialty beauty brands in one convenient, luxury experience.”

 

 

Just imagine getting a blowout, then walking just 20 feet to get a manicure, then some eyelash extensions or a brow shaping. And the consistency of quality of the brand partners means never having to think twice before booking an additional service. From the aforementioned DREAMDRY, to Pucker Lash Extensions, to Valley for manicures + nail art, and Spruce and Bond for brow shaping & tinting or a quick peel, only marquee beauty services will be on offer.

Moraetes elaborates, “We have reinvented the traditional full-service salon model by bringing the best in beauty service brands together under one roof, and offering clients their favorite specialty beauty brands in one convenient, luxury experience.”

Another great perk of the partnership? Members of Neiman Marcus’ loyalty program, InCircle, will be able to enjoy BLVD services as an added redemption option of their InCircle Perk Cards.

Beauty services at BLVD’s Neiman Marcus Short Hills location can be booked online at www.yourbeautyblvd.com or by calling the salon at 973.847.2583. Appointments at Neiman Marcus Hudson Yards will be made available to customers this March. Services are available seven days a week.

 

Doggie Style! Moncler Brings the Canine Couture to Fashionably Warm Your Pup This Winter

 

If you’ve ever taken your pup for a massage, or ordered off the room service menu for them, read on…

Indeed, man’s – and women’s – best friend is getting a wardrobe update, thanks to those keen arbiters of style over at Moncler. In other words, your dog can now dress to the same nines as you yourself.

The fashion brand known for its unfailingly chic outerwear, has just teamed up with Poldo Dog Couture to make the coolest – but also warmest – collection of cold-weather swag for your pooch. And as a project entirely dedicated to our four-legged friends, Moncler Poldo Dog Couture strives to bring the runway to the road, so that Fido/Fluffy can stay warm and fashionable throughout the winter…and isn’t that what really matters?

 

 

The mini collection draws inspirations from the brand’s classic down jackets and reversible waistcoats…and even uses the same iconic nylon laqué material for your furry beloved. On those less frigid days, Moncler still has it covered, with the cutest hoodies to keep your stylish woofer at the perfect temperature, while on those high-visibility walks through Central/Echo/Hyde Park…or wherever you choose to exercise your canine companion.

But wait…as if those wooftastic threads weren’t enough, the collection also includes an exceedingly chic collar and matching leash in Moncler’s quintessential tricolor French flag design. (Allons, chiens de la Patrie!)

With winter’s first snowfall behind us and temperatures at peak unpredictability, we all have to consider stylish ways to pack on those layers, tail-waggers included. This is a great start.

MONCLER POLDO DOG COUTURE is available now in Moncler boutiques and at moncler.com.

 

 

BlackBook Interview: Leon Bridges on Style, Red Rocks + Playing Gil Scott-Heron Beside Ryan Gosling

 

Leon Bridges has a way of making it all feel so easy – as the soft-spoken Texas singer has managed to go from unknown dishwasher to twice Grammy-nominated fashion plate in less than a few years.

Fresh from LA to launch the limited-edition AHLEM sunglasses inspired by his sophomore album, Good Thing, he quietly glides between interviews, photo shoots, stage set-up and soundcheck as if he’s just sitting down to dinner. Today, the place is Missoula, Montana, and Bridges has managed to sell a packed stop on his tour, even here. He warmly smiles and stands against a wood-paneled trailer wall, casually talking about his role as Gil Scott-Heron in the new Ryan Gosling film, First Man. Directed by Damien Chazelle, it tells the story of the years leading up to and through man’s first walk on the moon.

 

 

Photo by Scott Hoeksema

 

The year is 1969. America is a country torn apart by extravagantly priced, questionable government agendas and deep social strife (sound familiar?). The Vietnam War rages on, set against deepening poverty, social inequality and of all things, the space race. From the perspective of the late, legendary musical poet Gil Scott-Heron, it was a blur of inspiration for his politically charged spoken-word performances, from drug addiction to a nuclear meltdown to the Detroit Riots.

Today, Gosling stars as Neil Armstrong, a man largely hailed as the hero who made history aboard the Apollo 11. And Bridges performs Scott-Heron’s “Whitey on the Moon,” during a protest, underscoring the unthinkable price that was paid for…a white man to walk on a planet far away from the issues that burned so deeply at home.

Bridges’ demeanor suggests that it is perfectly no big deal that his young career has culminated in an appearance in a film that is going to be, actually, a very big deal. And considering today’s political climate, Scott-Heron’s words ring truer than ever.

 

 

Wearing a vintage jacket he bought in London and black pants with a maroon side-stripe, Bridges leans back on the sofa and adds up how it all came together.

“I met Ryan while we were both on Saturday Night Live together,” he recalls, “but Damien had caught wind of me and felt I would be great for the part. I perform the piece during a protest scene; it was cool – they really let me just be myself. I didn’t even have to change my hair, which is in a freaking perm. I don’t even look like [Gil Scott Heron] – his hair was always in a fro.’”

And while he connects the dots in his nonchalant style, it’s even easier to forget how green Bridges is. He reflects back to the difficulties he had when his tour stopped at Colorado’s Red Rocks amphitheater. 

“I just have never performed in a venue that size,” he says. “I had to get a sense of what my show really was and how to fill it into a space that size.”

 

Photo by Scott Hoeksema

 

The 29-year-old is, of course, known as much for his trademark style as his music. Dapper, fresh, yet somehow effortless, his interest in fashion was born when he was still just a young child.

“Even as a kid, I was so into it. I just couldn’t afford to do exactly what I wanted to do,” he recalls. “I studied dance in college. When we performed a Bob Fosse repertoire, African or even a jazz piece, we had to pick out outfits for dance. The costume shops were filled with vintage clothing, and that is where my love for vintage started. I would steal pieces from the costume shop and wear them.”

 

With Ahlem Manai-Platt at the AHLEM for Leon Bridges launch party, image courtesy of AHLEM Eyewear

 

Today, Bridges has broken into completely new ground in just one album’s time. Blazing past the sepia confines of hi ’60s, soul-inspired debut album Coming Home, his latest Good Thing is indeed a colorful, hi-fi affair and draws inspiration from influences as varied as ’70s southern country soul, to R&B, à la Jodeci. Each track is completely different from the next, yet each is still steadfastly rooted in Bridges’ personal style. The result of studio sessions he took to LA with producer Ricky Reed, he calls Good Thing a collaborative affair and shyly nods in agreement that it’s a glimpse into his true musical wingspan.

“I just knew that if I was to make another project similar to the first one that I’d be stuck forever,” he says. “I’ve been able to grab more of the attention of the black community with this album, which I really wasn’t able to do before.”

Looking a bit like David Byrne crossed with James Brown gyrating through his setlist, whatever box Leon Bridges may have been in, he’s popped right out of it. Comparisons to anybody, much less Sam Cooke, be damned. And he makes it all look and sound like the easiest breath of fresh air.

“I just like to live within the rhythm,” he adds. Just like that.

 

Gorillaz and G-Shock Team Up for Limited-Edition Watch Collection

 

We never really gave it much thought, to be honest – but despite living in a sort of parallel universe, cartoon characters still do seem to be subject to the rigors of scheduling. Though the fact that they never age does make one wonder as to the actual effects of time on their seemingly ambiguous reality.

Still, such existential concerns need not necessarily interfere with the desire to simply be in possession of this season’s surely most talked about timepiece. And one of the new GORILLAZ x G-SHOCK collection should absolutely be on the wrist of everyone who counts themselves amongst the disciples of the most enduring animated band in (sort of) existence.

 

 

The watches are styled in tribute to each of the four members: 2D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs – so you may finally have to decide which of them is your actual favorite…despite egalitarian impulses to love them all equally. Best of all, only 1000 of each are being produced – so bragging rights are included in the price. They’ll be available as of November 15…but insider tip: go to the Gorillaz web shop today, October 25, for a chance at early pre-order.

Don’t even consider buying one, though, until you’re in possession of a copy of their excellent new album The Now Now, which was released earlier this year to nearly universal acclaim.