Impossible though it may seem, the United States currently finds itself at political and ideological “war” with both of its neighbors, Canada and Mexico – obviously the result of the ongoing follies of the current administration.
Thankfully, fashion exists far above such absurdities – wanting only to help us spend our days feeling a little more fabulous via our stylistic choices. Nordstrom’s venerable VP of Creative Projects Olivia Kim, specifically, has made a mission of exactly that; and her latest undertaking, Pop-In@Nordstrom ¡Viva México!, crosses our unnecessarily controversial southern border to bring a bit of Latin heat and chic to select Nordstrom locations.
Launching this Friday, August 31, it will feature some of the hottest and most authentic Mexican apparel, accessories and home decor brands – Binge Knitting, Olmos Y Flores, Siempre Viva, Carla Fernandez – exhibited in a fittingly elegant and artistic manner.
“Cultural exploration is a guiding theme for Pop-In@Nordstrom,” enthuses Kim. “We have had partnerships inspired by different countries including France, Italy and Korea; and I’m so excited to bring the vibrant culture of Mexico to our customers through a unique curation of our favorite finds that have been created by Mexican designers and artisans.”
And putting the project decisively above the political fray, a partnership with the Mexican Consulate will celebrate Mexican Independence Day on September 16, featuring traditional chefs and street food vendors.
The venerable design icon Jonathan Adler said of Greg Natale, “His rooms are designed with such sureness that they look as if they were always meant to be.”
This is high praise, to be sure – but one look at the Australian interior designer’s new book The Patterned Interior (Rizzoli), and you get an idea of exactly what he means. Despite Natale’s signature ability to, as the title suggests, bring together patterns in an inimitable, thought-provoking way, the rooms featured on the book’s pages (from Sydney to Oklahoma to New York City) convey an insouciant naturalness – a sense that nothing is meant as a “show off” statement…despite the compelling final effect.
As the book was about to hit the shelves this week, we caught up with him to chat about inspiration, not following trends and the role of nature in contemporary interior design.
What were some of your earliest influences, and how have they changed over the years?
My sister studied fashion and some of my earliest memories are of her putting colored pencils in my hand and making me draw. It really unlocked my imagination and got the creative juices flowing.
As well, I grew up in a family home in Sydney that was built by Italian migrant parents, and was awash with pattern. In the book I talk about how this immersion, from the tiles in every room to the upholstery and so on, instilled in me a real love of pattern and the place for decoration in our living environments. I think there’s always a clue to where we came from in our work, whether it’s deliberate or subconscious.
Do you feel as if we’ve moved beyond overarching trends in interior design, to focus more on an individual sense of style?
I’m always a little wary about trend-talk. I avoid what I call “cookie cutter” design, but I do also believe in the zeitgeist and the commonalities that can come through in the work people produce. I would definitely say that I enjoy seeing what’s going on around me, but there is so much inspiration in looking at what’s been, and I love pushing new boundaries by referencing the past, looking at other creative spaces like fashion, art and seeing how that can all be brought together to put a new twist on something.
Was there a particular impetus for doing The Patterned Interior?
I often joke that there is a pattern molecule hidden away somewhere in my DNA makeup. I love it and I wouldn’t be able to create a space without it. The new book is an exploration of how pattern doesn’t have to be one note, it’s about how it contributes to a space, visually and on an experiential level. It also addresses the breadth and versatility of pattern, by showcasing twelve vastly different homes that we have designed, from Australia to the US.
What are you trying to convey with the title?
My first book, The Tailored Interior, was a bit of a manifesto. I wanted to demystify the interior design process for those who wanted to understand how and why things worked – not just to look at the book and see beautiful spaces. When it came time to start this book with Rizzoli, I felt like pattern was something that I had touched on but really felt that it offered so much more to explore. For The Patterned Interior we really pick up on the pattern story, but we do it in a different way this time around. It’s a monograph that explores twelve of my projects and draws out the place and function of pattern. The title for me was a neat way to pick up where we left off, but it gives clue to the new focus.
You talk in the book about nature as a muse. Do you think environmental worries are inspiring us to reconnect with nature in design?
In Australia, I think to a certain extent we are always aware of how nature impacts on our lifestyle. We are lucky enough to live in a very beautiful part of the world and the outdoors plays a huge part in how we design our homes and how we interact with them. Our climate means that a lot of the time we design for seamless indoor/outdoor living. The chapter in my book that explores nature as muse is the one that takes us to an incredible private villa on The Great Barrier Reef – to a magical, tropical place called Hamilton Island. I think that here more than any other place you are aware of your environment; the raw beauty of the place was something that couldn’t be ignored in this design.
Do you particularly enjoy updating historic styles, as you did with Victoriana in Geelong, Australia?
The process of restoration is an important one. As well as interior design, I also studied architecture, so I have a great appreciation for a home as a whole. The idea of context, site and designing sympathetically to the era of that place but investing a place with a new character or giving it a new lease on life is thrilling.
What were some of your most challenging assignments?
Some of our most challenging works have beendelivering some pretty huge projects in very-very tight time frames. While it’s not my preference, it is always remarkable to look back and see what can be achieved when the pressure is on and the constraints are really imposed. Beyond that, I think designing for yourself will always be challenging. In the past three years I’ve redesigned my own home as well as built and fitted out my company’s headquarters in Sydney. To the annoyance of my partner and my staff the places are never done – I can’t help but keep tweaking and adding to them.
How would you ultimately describe your style?
I consider my style to be layered, and I strive to create tailored, tightly edited spaces that meet at the intersection of design and decoration.
What do you hope people will take away from The Patterned Interior?
I talk in the book about how powerful pattern can be in eliciting a reaction in people – it can actually be very polarizing. It has the capacity to really draw a range of emotions, and in this book, by demonstrating the diversity of uses and the range of styles, I hope to start a conversation about its place in not only performing a decorative function, but also the impact it has on how we feel and how we relate to our interiors.
CGI’s not a completely new tool in the fashion industry – after all, cyber It-Girl Lil Miquela has collaborated with brands like Prada and NYC-based AREA. But Olivier Rousteing took the trend to a whole new level when he decided to cast three CGI models for his latest Balmain campaign. That’s right – as if women didn’t have enough to stress over in looking at real life models, we now have to compare ourselves to digital perfection.
For the brand’s Pre-Fall 2018 campaign, Rousteing reached out to digital artist Cameron-James Wilson to “construct a new, alternative and virtual Balmain Army.” Wilson became popular earlier this year with his virtual model Shudu, who has almost 150K Instagram followers, and has graced the pages of The Cut and The New Yorker.
For the Balmain campaign, however, Wilson created two more models, Margot and Zhi, so the trio could model digital versions of the brand’s Pre-Fall collection created by CLO, a company that creates “true to life 3D garment simulation” to help designers throughout their development process.
The campaign definitely looks cool, but also, kind of like a Sims version of a fashion ad. Yet is Balmain just the first brand to reject IRL models to dive head first into CGI? We’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I guess we should all follow Shudu on Instagram. I mean, she’s already stealing our jobs. So, best to keep an eye on our man’s DMs.
And you know what that means? All of our favorite brands will be hitting the runway, with everything kicking off in New York in just a few short weeks. This season, Rihanna will be joining the NYFW lineup, with her new lingerie brand, Savage x Fenty making its runway debut.
Of course, Rih is no stranger to the fashion fanfare. Before launching Fenty x Puma, which she presented during NYFW and PFW ahead of the brand’s current hiatus, she sat front row at shows for everyone from Yeezy to Alexander Wang. But the inclusive lingerie label she announced last spring hit stores earlier this summer, following a series of viral Instagram ads featuring influencers of all sizes and colors. Hopefully Rihanna will maintain the brand’s focus on diversity and ethos of empowerment for their first runway show.
As of now, not much is known about the presentation, other than that it will take place on September 12 in New York City, and that it won’t be just like any other fashion show. Rih described the event as an “immersive experience.”
There’s one thing we do know, though: Rihanna definitely doesn’t like to follow convention. When she released the Savage x Fenty line in May, she even included a set of handcuffs as part of the collection. So, whatever she does on the runway this Fall, we know it’ll be lit AF.
Ramy Brook just wants to make women feel beautiful – and that’s exactly how it feels to wear her clothes. “Sexy, sophisticated and timeless,” the New York-based mother of three started her eponymous label after a never-ending quest for the perfect going out top. Of course, she couldn’t find one that wasn’t either cheesy or completely unaffordable, so she started making them herself. A ton of tops – and seven years – later, Ramy Brook has become one of the city’s most exciting lifestyle brands. From a recent collaboration with supermodel Martha Hunt, to an expanding range of dresses, jackets and eventually, accessories, the label only continues to grow.
“It’s just the tip of the iceberg for us,” says Brook. “My end goal is to have Ramy Brook fulfill every need — full outfitting for women.”
Below, the designer sounds off on her creative process and outfitting mother/daughter duo, Cindy Crawford and Kaia Gerber.
Tell me about the brand. Why did you decide to start it?
In the beginning of 2010, I found myself shopping a lot and looking for a sexy, simple, solid top that I could wear with all of my jeans — really make it my own — but I could never find any. So, I decided I was going to learn how to do it myself and start my own business. I basically asked anyone I knew who was involved in fashion for advice and help, and within 6-10 months, I developed 6 sexy tops and one very short dress, then started having trunk shows — pretty much anywhere I had a friend, we had a show. Finally, a buyer from Bergdorf’s saw some of my designs and bought a bunch of them. So, I really jumped right into and had to learn everything quickly.
Did you have any sort of design background?
Not at all. But growing up, my mother used to make all of our clothes. She was a teacher, but she loved fashion, and a lot of our weekends were spent shopping for different patterns and fabrics. So, it’s something I’ve always been super passionate about. I just love getting dressed up and thinking about what I’m going to wear. So, I guess you could say I’ve had a lifetime of training — but definitely nothing formal.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
I always use three words to describe the brand: it’s sexy, sophisticated and timeless. Whenever I would look for sexy tops, so many of them would be so cheesy. So, I always want to make sure my tops are sexy, but still sophisticated. Being timeless is important to me, too, because when I would go through my closet, I’d constantly be getting rid of clothes that were trendy, but not well-made. So, I wanted to make sure that whatever I made would be able to stick around for a couple of seasons and fit really well, with great quality.
Walk me through your design process. How do you go from inspiration to a finished piece?
First, the design team puts all of our inspiration photos into a folder. Then I really start to think about, ‘Where am I going? What do I want to wear? What’s appropriate? If I’m going to a school function what do I want to wear that could also look good when I go out to dinner? If I’m going to work, what can I wear so that I can also meet my friends at happy hour?’ In my head, Ramy Brook is really a lifestyle brand — we make clothes for women to wear all of the time.
You recently did a collaboration with Martha Hunt. How does she represent the Ramy Brook girl?
The beauty of Martha is that she really is happy, sexy and strong, and she’s really comfortable with who she is. That’s the Ramy Brook girl.
What do you want women to take away from wearing your clothes?
The biggest thing for me is for women to feel good about themselves. No matter what you look like or what size you wear, it’s really important that when you wake up, you feel confident and good about yourself — that’s what I want women to feel when they wear my clothes. Whether it’s just walking around the street, or going to a party; whether it’s a date night or just simply going to your kids soccer game — happiness is the end goal for me and the clothes can help you get there.
If you could pick one woman to wear Ramy Brook, who would it be?
That’s a loaded question! But it’s funny because I walked into my store today with my daughter and Cindy Crawford was there. She’s great,and a big fan of the brand. So, what would be really fun for me would be to have her and her daughter wearing it together. I just love that mother daughter connection, and it shows how all women, no matter their age can feel beautiful in Ramy Brook.
What do you see for the brand going forward?
It’s really just the beginning for us. Right now, we’re truly an emerging company. What started as a few sexy shirts for myself because I couldn’t find any, has moved into a full brand. I just want to continue building that.
For many it is hard to imagine, but R & Company opened their first gallery in Williamsburg in 1997, long before the by now overwhelming hipster / real estate agent encroachment. Moving to Tribeca in 2000, around the time that the Lower Manhattan neighborhood became the city’s predominant design incubator, they continued to cultivate and champion the industry’s bleeding edge, from the standpoints of both style and edification.
But earlier this year came the news that they had outgrown their Franklin Street space; and so they subsequently moved to a stunning new HQ at 64 White Street this past spring. The new gallery is spread over 8000 square feet, with a spectacular, light-flooded, three-story atrium.
To celebrate, R & Co is hosting what is arguably a genuinely monumental exhibition, 20 Years of Discovery, focusing on four major modern movements: Brazilian Modern Design, Postwar American Design, Contemporary Design, and the self-codified “Difficult” Design. Included are works by such culture-altering giants as Charles & Ray Eames, Ettore Sottsass, George Nelson, Verner Panton and The Haas Brothers, along with 33 others.
To put it concisely, if you’re seeking a primer on how we have arrived at this particular moment in contemporary design, this is an unmissable event. Thankfully, it runs until August 25.
The critical eyes of the fashion industry can often be brutal for anyone who doesn’t stand out. All it takes is a wrong look from the right person to immediately knock you down the ranks.
This is the case in Victoria Beckham’s short film for her FW18 collection. Model Chloe Nardin navigates the streets of a seedy metropolitan, sporting a bold look. Turning heads throughout the city, she finds herself at the entrance to an elite nightclub where none other than Beckham herself is working the door with a stamp of approval for only the most fashionable people.
Luckily, Nardin makes the cut, as she dons a chic leopard print from Beckham’s latest collection. It also references the coat worn by the designer in the film, as she steps aside to usher the model through. Their looks perfectly exemplify the animal prints and feminine yet sophisticated silhouettes of the fall line.
Victoria Beckham’s FW18 collection is now available online. Watch the film below.
Faye Dunaway has led a storied career, with iconic roles from Bonnie and Clyde to Chinatown to Barfly, her work has endured generations. But her most memorable role might be that of the late Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, a jaw dropping account of the movie star’s dark maternal secrets.
Dunaway sets her sights on fashion in her latest project, which features her as a different kind of Hollywood mother: indeed, imagine Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise in 20 years. As this fictional Hollywood matriarch embarks on a day of shopping, tennis, and signing autographs, French singer and actress Soko accompanies her as her adoring daughter.
The short fashion film is for a Gucci campaign featuring Dunaway as the face for Sylvie 2018; as the ladies sport some high-end Gucci looks, the Sylvie bag pops up throughout. It concludes with Dunaway gifting the bag to Soko, as if to pass it on to a new generation.
Fans are on the edge of their seats for the upcoming eighth season of American Horror Story. But Sarah Paulson’s latest project looks like it could be a highly stylized Ryan Murphy work itself.
Paulson stars in Neon Dream, a short film by Willy Vanderperre for Prada’s Fall/Winter 2018 campaign. Aptly titled, it features a collection of neon accented pieces on model Amanda Murphy. It plays out against the neon lit dreamscape that is Las Vegas’ Sunset Strip, like a fashion-forward homage to Hunter S Thompson.
Paulson makes multiple appearances as a hauntingly mysterious woman. A suited valet, a roller-skating bartender, and a Marilyn Monroe impersonator, she shadows Murphy through this colorful fashion fantasy. RuPaul’s Drag Race season seven winner Violet Chachki also makes an appearance as the front woman of a Marilyn army and a showgirl performing onstage for Murphy and Paulson.