Supermodel’s Best Friend

Canine companions are always in style. Some might even call them the chicest of accessories (kidding…kind of). In Garage magazine’s 7th issue, on newsstands this Thursday (9/4), fashion photog Platon snapped an array of top models styled to perfection to match the natural styles of some fabulous pups.

We got an exclusive sneak peek at the spread, called Deep Breeding, which includes fashion royalty such as Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Lindsey Wixson, Jessica Stam, and Liu Wen. Jessica Stam’s piercing blue eyes are juxtaposed next to those of a gorgeous Siberian Husky. Lindsey Wixson and a Toy Pomeranian are practically one. And so it goes–as we imitate Cara, she imitates Komondors, which goes to show, that fashion inspiration is always in the most unlikely of places.

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Dutch Supermodel Lara Stone Stars in the New Mercedes-Benz Key Visual

Now that the fall/winter 2012 season of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is nearly a month away (seriously, where does the time go?), Mercedes-Benz has revealed their latest "Icon of Style" campaign, shot by photographer Alex Prager. The key visual will debut during MBFW, and stars two very attractive subjects: Dutch supermodel Lara Stone, and the luxury vehicle manufacturer’s new SL Roadster.

Known for her thought-provoking cinematic imagery, Prager created a 21st century version of a classic film noir scene by having Stone pose as a Hitchcock blonde that overcomes fear as she outpaces a tornado. Stone dons a dress designed by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein Collection that is meant to reflect the same timeless elegance as the subject’s getaway vehicle. See more images and bonus behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot here.

New York Fashion Weekend Wrap-Up: Part One

While non-fashion folk closed up shop on Friday night to enjoy 48 hours of R&R, the rest of us geared up for two days of back-to-back presentations and runway shows by trading in our 7-inch platforms for flats. You see, dressing cute the first few days of NYFW is fun and all, but after a few rounds of subway, taxi, and – yes – pedicab sprinting to complete an impossible schedule, comfort rapidly becomes key. Sure it’s stressful, but you know what? We love it. Read on for Part One of my weekend show and party highlights, including a chat with Jessica Stam and Terry Richardson–bonus Grace Coddington sighting–after the jump.

Friday’s first stop was the Mercedes-Benz Star Lounge at Lincoln Center to catch Stam and Richardson (pictured above) as they unveiled the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week key visual, which features the supermodel posing on top of the Concept A-Class in Giles Deacon for Emanuel Ungaro. “I was inspired by Tom Cruise in movies like Top Gun and Mission Impossible,” says Richardson of the high-fashion meets high-action shoot. “I wanted something daring, and I knew Stam had the perfect energy for it.” When I asked Stam if, like Cruise, she did her own stunts, she excitedly responded: “Yes! Always.”

image Next up was the Mandy Coon show at the Metropolitan Pavilion, which featured liquid leather, jaw-dropping jumpsuits, and one of SS12’s top hues: white. Pattern play is another standout trend of the season – and no one did it better than Suno. The brand went all out for their first-ever runway show, which featured hypercolor florals mixed with bold stripes in dresses and separates. The VPL show at Chelsea Piers fittingly promoted a swim theme as well as spring’s high-flying sportswear trend. Models glided down the runway in damp, slicked-back hair and looks that featured neoprene and cleverly gilled accents. I call it extraterrestrial surfwear. Photos: Style.com image Friday night belonged to Nicola Formichetti, as Thierry Mugler Parfums celebrated their creative director’s body of work as well as the opening of his pop-up concept store. Guests like Visionaire’s Cecilia Dean, designer Richard Chai, and Elle style director Kate Lanphear (above, right) sipped on Belvedere Vodka as Nomi Ruiz of Jessica 6 performed a series of infectious party bangers. Formichetti kept the party going with his non-stop energy on the dance floor.

image Mega shows like Alexander Wang and Charlotte Ronson featured instantly covetable accessories, like Wang’s to-die-for supersized weekender bags and killer footwear. The brand took spring’s sportswear to the next level by introducing motocross-inspired pieces, fit for his ride-or-die chick muses. (By the way, the show’s attendees were major – I couldn’t leave without snapping Vogue’s Grace Coddington in all her flame-haired glory, pictured above center.) Ronson’s Western-themed collection was just as stellar and debuted my new must-have neckpiece: the belt-buckle choker (sported by Ronson’s sister, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, above right). Photos: Style.com

image Saturday culminated with BlackBook favorite Asher Levine’s mesmerizing menswear collection. While last year’s spring show was all about transformation, this season’s theatrics foregrounded mutation. In true Levine fashion, the production was dramatic and thought-provoking. Cleverly blending accessible pieces, like utilitarian pants, with progressive elements–tentacle masks and neoprene latex enamel gauntlets–it’s no wonder that Formichetti is one of the outré designer’s top supporters. It’s inspiring to watch this young designer grow and single-handedly lead fashion to uncharted territories.

FashionFeed: Pose 2.0, Heidi Klum 3.0

● Our favorite social shopping app, Pose, now lets you showcase your style finds within your own custom profile page. Version 2.0 also lets you discover the finds of brands like Levi’s and those of your friends. [Mashable] ● What doesn’t Heidi Klum do? The supermodel-turned-host is now a footwear designer, launching not one, but two shoe lines: A seven-style collection called HK by Heidi Klum (sold exclusively on Amazon) and a six-style sneaker collection for New Balance (available on the brand’s website). [WWD] ● Another day, another reason to shop Alex Wang. Take 40% off the designer’s spring 2011 apparel, footwear, and accessories while shopping the pre-fall 11 RTW collection. [Wang]

● Not only does Pamela Love’s fall 2011 lookbook present ridiculously cool warrior armor, but it also features our favorite pink-coiffed model, Charlotte Free. [StyleCaster] ● Fashion rebel Gareth Pugh is jumping on the commercial bandwagon, gearing up to produce a makeup line with MAC, set to launch in November. [Fashionologie] ● Jessica Stam is the face of the SS12 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week campaign, shot by Terry Richardson. [Modelina]

First Look: Jessica Stam’s Latest Design Gig

Images from Jessica Stam’s latest design gig have found their way onto the web. The model’s first foray into design premiered last fall at New York Fashion Week, where she put personal touches on garments for Rag & Bone’s SS10 collection. Then, just a few months later, the doe-eyed mannequin signed on to design a full capsule collection with Rachel Roy for the seasoned designer’s Macy’s collection. Now the fruits of the partnership are on view. “Her latest endeavor—four pieces for Rachel Roy’s lower-priced line, RACHEL Rachel Roy—launches this month at Macy’s,” says Fashionologie, adding that the model told Marie Claire she had “full creative control” over the clothes.

The four pieces include a gingham cardigan that looks decidedly Chanel-esque, and which sells for $99. There’s a $49 canvas grommet belt that looks like something you could pick up on Saint Marks Place for half the price, and black skinny jeans that look an awful lot like the jeggings that have become ubiquitous for fall ($89). And, last but not least, a navy bucket bag with a chain strap that calls to mind a similarly structured Alexander Wang bag from last fall. It’s not the most innovative collection (the cardigan is surely the best of the bunch), nor does it offer a lot of room for choice, but that doesn’t mean Stam is necessarily hanging her design hat up for good. When Marie Claire asked if the model would ever launch her very own collection, she responded with simply, “no comment.”

Jessica Stam & Lily Allen to Launch Lines

Models, actresses and singers all want to be designers these days. From Coco Rocha’s recently launched line to Nicole Richie’s boho-inspired collection, there’s no shortage of crossover into fashion designer. The latest photogenic faces trying their hand at designer? Lily Allen and Jessica Stam. The latter tweeted yesterday, “Just finished my first design meeting with @Rachel_Roy. I’m doing a capsule collection with her for Macy’s. So much fun sketching designs!”

As for Allen, she’s leaving music altogether to pursue her sartorial passions. First up, Allen plans to launch a vintage shop in London called Lucy in Disguise, which she’ll curate along with her sister, Sarah Owen. “Allen and Owen will cherry-pick vintage pieces for the shop under the mentorship of Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, the English vintage gurus who have helped turned Camden Market into the destination it is today,” Style.com says of the soon to launch shop. But, Allen’s mission isn’t only to find and then pass along beautiful items.

In fact, the shop is a statement of sorts against fast fashion. “The thing I love about vintage is that it’s all incredibly well made, like Chanel—it lasts forever,” she says. “Hopefully, Lucy in Disguise will be an education as well, teaching customers there’s something other than mass-produced rubbish.”

Industry Insiders: Scott Harrison, Clean Water Guru

You may remember Scott Harrison from back in the nineties when he was often spotted in the enclaves of New York’s VIP rooms and parties. After a decade as a club promoter, Scott had an epiphany. The seemingly dazzling world of glitz and status in NYC nightlife was not everything he wanted, after all. He’d soon begin dedicating his life to providing clean water to millions of people around the world. In just three years, his organization, charity: water has raised over $11 million.

What does charity: water do? We are a nonprofit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in need around the world. We work in 16 developing nations, mainly Africa, but also Southeast Asia, India, and Central America.

How does a club promoter become the founder of a major charity? From the age of 18 to 28, I was involved in nightlife. I moved to New York City at 18, grew my hair long and planned to become famous. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, I guess. After ten years of nightlife, I found myself with the life I thought I’d always wanted and I was completely miserable. When I was on a long vacation in Uruguay, I decided to change my life and go serve the poor. I then went to Liberia and my journey started while volunteering on a hospital ship with some facial surgeons. I spent two years there and decided to help people for the rest of my life. I wanted to start my own charity and sort of reinvent (the idea of) charity.

How were you able to use your club promoter expertise in creating charity: water? I hadn’t gone to school for international development or anything like that, but during my time in Liberia I was traveling like crazy. I was flying on UN helicopters and spending time in Leper colonies. I really got to see a lot of need and what was being done about it. That entire time, I was writing and sending photos to 15,000 people. So, my whole decade of nightlife contacts was in an email database. I was talking to a pretty influential group of people from the beginning. When I came back I just took my laptop to clubs every night. I’d be in DJ booths at three in the morning showing people photos of kids with huge tumors and facial deformities, drinking out of swamps.

Who are your biggest contributors? We’re really now a celeb-driven cause. We’ve had great help from Adrian Grenier from Entourage. He’s hosted the last three events that we’ve done. Jessica Stam has helped in the fashion community. We’ve had some actors sponsor wells all over the world. But mainly the $11 million or so that we’ve raised has come from 60,000 donors. It’s really grassroots. The average gift size is $180. So, it’s not foundations, it’s not million dollar gifts, its kids, its parents, its families sponsoring $5,000 wells and companies getting involved.

Any events coming up? We do the charity: ball every year. It’s on December 14. Last year’s is going to be hard to top. It was 1,200 people. We put out a big photo exhibition and really try to tell the stories of the people we help to the people contributing.

Do these events raise a lot of money? The last two brought in a half a million dollars — so a small-ish percentage, but it’s great for awareness and it’s great to get people together. We’ve always kept them pretty cheap. They’re normally $250, so it’s not like buying a $20,000 table where people won’t be able to afford it.

Who inspires you? I was most inspired by a doctor named Gary Parker. He was on the hospital ship with me. He left his plastic surgery practice in California to go and volunteer his assistance on the ship. He’s now been there 23 years, so he never left. He traded in a life of driving a Mercedes and having lots of money to operating 60 hours a week on people who have no money with facial deformities and people that are blind. I spent a lot of time with him, and he was one of the most humble people that I have ever met.

Do you go back to the nightclubs anymore these days? I did at the beginning. I have to get up so early now, so it’s really tough. Every once and a while I’ll go out. It’s hard to find me at Marquee or Griffin these days. I have a lot of love for people in nightlife though. Many clubs have sponsored wells. Lotus/Double Seven group has been really supportive. Tenjune helped sponsor $40,000 in projects in Northern Uganda. I definitely have not turned my back on nightlife, it’s just that the hours are too tough.

What about restaurants … any NYC favorites? I live in SoHo so I just go to the hole-in-the-walls. I go to Fanelli’s. Every once and a while I’ll go out with donors to Nobu. That’s always a treat.

What is something about you that people may not know? I’m getting married September 26 to charity: water’s designer, and I’m going to take my first proper vacation in a while. We’re going to go to Europe for our honeymoon, and then I’m going straight to Ethiopia.

How do we get involved? The value proposition for giving people clean water is pretty simple. It’s $20 helps one person for 20 years. One of the unique things about the organization is100 percent of the money that we raise publicly goes to directly to our projects. All of our operational costs — such as staff costs, or flights — are covered by a separate set of donors. So, if you give $20, all of that $20 goes to a well. If you give $5,000, for those people who are wealthier, it can sponsor an entire community of 250 people with clean water. Come to the volunteer night every second Wednesday right here in the office. We also launched a new website just a few weeks ago called mycharitywater.org. It’s a way that people can petition for donations by giving up their birthday, running marathons, or swimming. Some people ask for money for their anniversaries or weddings. It’s already raised $265,000 in three weeks. There are more than 5,000 people already part of that community. We got a call from one of the people on there who is an entertainment attorney. One of his clients just sponsored $250,000 worth of wells for his 50th birthday. So, you never know.

Yet Another Model Turns Designer: Jessica Stam

There’s new news of yet another model turning designer (I’m starting to get why Hussein Chalayan finds the whole trend so bizarre). Mannequins who have made the transition are quite literally a dime a dozen these days. While it’s not exactly a stretch — models spend their days trying on ensemble after ensemble, not to mention garnering unique access to lengthy process that is realizing an individual garment — everything in moderation. Amber Valletta may have recently joined the ranks of the dozens of other models with clothing and/or accessories lines, but now comes word of Jessica Stam’s getting into the designing biz.

At a party in New York recently honoring Rag & Bone’s launch at Intermix, Stam told Style.com that she has “been designing some clothes” with Rag & Bone’s Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. While little else was divulged about the collaboration, looks are said to hit stores Spring 2010. In other Stam news, an image from her work for fragrance ads for Ricci by Nina Ricci have leaked. And it looks like the Louis Vuitton bunny ears influence continues unabated.

Industry Insiders: DJ Jus Ske, Master of Western Decks

Mr. West co-owner and DJ Jus Ske talks about blowing up, speeding up, and building up.

Favorite Hangs: When I’m in Tokyo, I love Feria. It’s a very high-energy, New York-style club abroad. David Guetta’s “F*** Me, I’m Famous” parties are always insane, and I love those. When I’m in NYC, you can usually find me at Mr. West, 1Oak, Beatrice Inn, or Rose Bar.

Point of Origin: I was born in Manhattan and have lived here my entire life. I think a lot of my musical influence comes from my dad. Everywhere we went, he was constantly playing music in the car — funk, 80s, jazz, classic rock, Latin — you name it, I heard it as a kid. When I was 21, I started at Life, promoting Friday nights with Mark Ronson. Mark was really the one that got me into DJing. He taught me the basics, and I took a big interest in it from the start. A few years later, I was promoting and starting to DJ at Lot 61 with Richie Akiva, and from there, everything started to snowball. Before I knew it, I started getting recognized by a lot of big-name people and was being asked to spin at clubs all around with world.

Occupations: I just opened a new club with Danny Divine in West Chelsea called Mr. West. I’m also continuing to DJ all over the place — I just DJed at Diesel’s XXX party in Brooklyn and was also in LA for DJ AM’s welcome home party. I really want to own more properties. I’m loving what Danny Divine and I are doing with Mr. West. and I’m excited to see what we can do next … maybe a hotel. I’m also thinking about possibly getting into acting and maybe releasing a DJ album soon.

Side Hustle: I have a clothing line called Danucht. Its very street couture, and I have a good handle in the design process, which is a pretty cool new world for me. I’m also a part owner of Oso energy drink, which can be found all over the city at places like Mr. West, Rose Bar, Marquee, etc.

Industry Icons: I really respect Richie Akiva as a veteran of the industry and his ability to pull together all the right elements of a party in order to make it perfect. I also admire Danny A for the way he can bring together the best crowd. Noah Tepperberg has proven time and time again that his business savvy is unmatched in the industry today. No one can run a business like Noah. All of these guys have the ability to maintain the sexy and classy integrity of a party by recognizing that it’s not always about making money.

Deck Trends: Music in NYC is definitely changing. It’s becoming a lot faster, which is great because it really increases the energy in a club. I’m starting to hear less hip-hop and more electro and dance, but I can never get enough of my hip-hop and rock and roll.

Known Associates: Shout out Pharrell, Zac Posen, Kanye, Noemie Lenoir, Mark Ronson, Mario Sorrenti, Jessica Stam and Kaws — all of these people have been huge supporters of Mr. West, and I can’t thank them enough.

What are you doing tonight? I’ll be at Mr. West.