That’s a wrap, fashion fans! After more than a couple dozen shows, about that many parties and countless air kisses and compliments I probably didn’t mean, the fashion pack is rolling out of New York. It was a whirlwind week, to say the least. I don’t even know where to start. On the tip of my mind is Marc Jacobs, because his postponed show took place last night and he made me want to wear silk pajamas every day all day. Riccardo Tisci was in town this season, and I saw him out and about (a cameo at Alex Wang’s unofficial afterparty and then with Ciara at his arm at Carine Roitfeld’s CR party) and in a more official capacity (when he made a very early presentation with Anna Wintour and Lauren Santo Domingo to kick off the new Punk exhibit at the met’s Costume Institute). I would never deign to say I had a favorite show, but I have to give a shoutout to my buddies Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez because their Proenza Schouler collection was so stellar and sophisticated it made me want to move to the Upper East Side. The two people I fell in love with this week? Net A Porte’s Natalie Massenet, because she not only didn’t squirm when I asked for a bottle of tequila at dinner but joined in on me; and Cheyenne Jackson because he give me the juice on playing Michael Douglas’ boyfriend in the new Liberace movie when we were sat next to each other at the Michael Kors show. (He also said there are some intense sex scenes with Matt Damon, but I’m not sure I’m ready to think about that yet.) The week ended in an appropriately fashionable way: Valentine’s Day with Valentino. Giancarlo Giammetti had a few friends over for a decadent Italian dinner at his house, which was the perfect way to wind down after the festivities. Not that I’m taking time off just yet. In fact, I’m off to London (literally, I’m at JFK airport), so be sure to check back soon to see what’s happening on the British fashion scene. Until then, enjoy these snaps from my New York fashion week.
Captions, from top: Marc and Cara goofing off after the designer’s show at the close of fashion week; Alexa and I goofing off at amFAR, which signaled the debut of fashion week; Giovanna (with Luisa in the background) at her and Vlad’s housewarming party; Lauren and Nessie are smoking hot; Riccardo getting kisses from Carine and Ciara; Paola, Sasha and Anja at the dinner for 25 magazine; my new favorite person, Net A Porte’s Natalie Massenet, at the 25 magazine dinner; Samantha, Kelly and Marjorie doing their best impressions of downtown girls; my favorite fashion week couple, the artist Cyprian Gaillard and Terry Richardson; a pair of Lily’s: McMenamay and Donaldson; perhaps the highlight of my fashion week, sitting next to Cheyenne Jackson at Michael Kors; Karolina Kurkova twirling on the Bowery; Kristina O’Neill, the new editor in chief of WSJ. Magazine, with Stephen Gan; My Missouri next of kin, RJ; Carol and Humberto from Opening Ceremony with Vanessa Hudgens, the star of my not-so-secret High School Musical obsessions; Alessandra with Chelsea Handler, who is a genius; Andre and Tom at the Purple magazine dinner; Boys night out: Harry, Lazaro, me, Jack and Petey; Alison Mosshart after her DJ set at the Marc Jacobs afterparty; Trish and Michelle at Marc’s party; Natasha Lyonne, who is back and better than ever, or so I have proclaimed; Hilary Swank and Karlie backstage at the Michael Kors show; Dan, Jen and Nate and the Proenza Schouler show; Lazaro and Jack with Lizzie and Liv after their stellar show; Lily vamping it up at Acme; the cutest man in fashion, Bill Cunningham, still shooting at the Ralph Lauren show; and my Valentine’s dinner companions, a true Italian fashion trilogy: Giancarlo, Franca and Valentino
The fine folks at Opening Ceremony have been rounding up this city’s real world Valentine’s. Now, I’m a lucky guy who has the joy of having a few ladies in my life. But this year, my special someone on the 14th of February will be my St. Louis sister Karlie Kloss. (It helps because it’s also the last day of New York Fashion Week, so I would have been with this leggy lady anyway.) Team O.C. found us on the street last night on our way to a date night, and got to the bottom of our friendly love. And in case anyone is wondering what the perfect Valentine’s Day gift would be, can I suggest a handwritten letter in the mail? Conveniently, I can even help you out in sending them: Buy my special line of Derek Blasberg for Opening Ceremony stationery Valentines at a store near you, or here on line.
Name: Derek Blasberg
Describe the first time you and Karlie met? Although we grew up in the same neighborhood back in St. Louis, Missouri, we didn’t meet till she was living up here in New York. Everyone said I had to meet this sweet girl from St. Louis because I’d love her, and they were right! We were instant family—she’s the little sister I always wanted!
What is she currently obsessed with? Cookies. Or, should I say Kookies? Have you tried her Karlie’s Kookies yet? Mmm, good.
What is her pet peeve? People who expect her to be on time.
Favorite celebrity couple of all time? Bacall and Bogey, of course.
Describe the best first date you’ve ever been on: It’s been so long since I’ve been on a date, they all seem good.
On Valentine’s Day, we’ll find you: Attending New York fashion week. Romance isn’t dead, but it’s work. I’ll get to see my Valentine, though, so there’s a silver lining!
Name: Karlie Kloss
Occupation: 6-foot-tall giraffe (aka model)
Neighborhood: West Village
If Derek was a song, what song would he be? “Meet Me in St. Louis” by the one and only Judy Garland. We are both from the same small town in Missouri, so it is practically our theme song.
What is he currently obsessed with? Spin class. Not exactly a bad obsession, hey? These days, he has better legs than me!
What is his pet peeve? Tardiness, which happens to be my specialty. Maybe that’s why we get along so well. Opposites attract, right?
Favorite celebrity couple of all time? I have to agree with my big bro on this one. You can’t beat Bogey and Bacall. They’re the ultimate power couple.
What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever gifted or been gifted? I recently received a very special Valentine in the mail from Derek! It was written on his fabulous new stationery line.
On Valentine’s Day, we’ll find you: Hopefully, spending the entire day with my Valentine, Mr. Derek Blasberg. And maybe a few runway shows somewhere in between.
Photos by Brayden Olson
In the January issue of V magazine, which stars Kristen Stewart on the cover shot by Inez & Vinoodh with an article written by my buddy Sarah Cristobal, I debuted a new column on the last page: ‘Bon V Vants.’ (I also interviewed an icon of mine, Penelope Tree, but more on that another time.) Since the theme of the entire issue was inspired by women of influence, for this debut column I dug through my personal photos to find the sorts of people I thought had inspired me. So, who did I come up with? First was my Mom, of course, and I had a shot of her with another influential female, Chloe Sevigny, which was taken at a fundraiser at the St Louis Contemporary Art Museum when Chloe came home to Missouri with me in 2010. Then there was the fash pack that included models Natalia Vodianova and Kate Moss (taken at the Love Ball in London with Mario Testino), and muses Amanda Harlech and Daphne Guinness with Courtney Love (at the reopening of the Chanel Soho store). Lady Gaga (at a MOCA gala), Mary J Blige (at Michael Kors 30th anniversary party at the Residence of the US Ambassador to France in Paris) and Grace Jones (at the launch of a Viktor & Rolf perfume) have left an indelible impression on both music and fashion, and I think Lisa Eisner (with Tom Ford at a gala in LA in 2009) is the ultimate stylish artist. And when it comes to female designers, is there anyone more influential than Miuccia Prada, who I snapped with Francesco Vezzoli and Marc Jacobs at Dasha Zhukova’s 29th birthday party in Venice? Last but not least, I had to include Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen, seen here with Karl Lagerfeld in his studio at Chanel headquarters on the rue Cambon. Whenever I hear the word Influence I think of those smart little ladies because I helped them with their book of that very name way back in 2009. Jeez, time flies when you’re dealing with women of influence.
“Oh, shit!” That’s essentially the theme of this video of bloopers from a short video that Chloe Sevigny and I did for our friend Dasha Zhukova. But we meant mainly as a term of endearment, if not just a wee bit of frustration. But learning some swing choreography in a few days and then being thrust into filming was a bit manic, especially for me since, well, I’m not a Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated actress, like Chloe. Oh, but what fun we had! A little background on the original film: In 2012, the fashion photographer Nick Knight commissioned Dasha, the museum founder and magazine editor, to participate in a series of short films called Fashion Fetish for his online platform, SHOWStudio.com. Her concept: A woman goes to a crappy store party and feels dispirited, until her imagine is caught by a Prada dress on a rail. We see her fantasy sequence, when she is charmed by a handsome stranger in 1920′s swing style. She snaps back to reality at the end, but realizes sometimes a dream can be a dress. So she takes it. This was one of the most fun and most fabulous things I did in 2012. And it gave me a whole new respect for those Frenchies who made The Artist.
And in case you missed the finished product, here it is:
Red hearts, chocolates, flower shops, scented candles and sex shops be on high alert. That’s right: It’s Valentine’s Day time, sweeties! And with Opening Ceremony, I’m doing my own little part in participating in a holiday that is all about love to some, and corporation sponsored commercialism to others. I’ve done my part to serve both, for the record. The Derek Blasberg for Opening Ceremony special editions Valentine’s are here, both in stores and online. (GO HERE TO BUY THEM!) Just like the original line of stationery (WHICH YOU CAN SEE HERE, IN CASE YOU MISSED IT LAST TIME), I had a blast putting these together. There are love notes for significant others, secret admirers, family members, close friends and even those sour sorts who hate the holiday – but still deserve to be told they are loved. Here’s an example of those lost three, with the letters I sent to my Mom, and my friends Chloe and Karlie.
Last Thursday, the New York Times ran an article entitled ‘Illness Walks the Runway.’ It was an amusing piece on the frenzied — and immune system challenging — pace of the international collections, which start at the end of this week in New York and then move to London, Milan and Paris, written by Tim Murphy. I was quoted in the piece: “Fashion Week season is a nonstop assault on the immune system,” was one line, as was, “You don’t want to sit next to anyone coughing, because if you get sick, you’re screwed.” My mom will be so proud I managed to say “you’re screwed” in the New York Times, surely.
I have been asked if I think fashion week is too crowded. Many people are quick to say yes, but I’ve always been a little hesitant to show disdain for the (yes, it’s ridiculous) schedule. Am I often pooped? Totally. Do I think some of the shows and presentations and parties are frivolous? Definitely. In fact, when someone asks me if they should do something during fashion week, I always tell them it’s a terrible idea. Most of the events get lost in the shuffle, forgotten in a long stream of handsome waiters holding sponsored cocktails and fatigued publicists working overtime with swollen ankles from standing at doors for too long. Much better to do an opening or a party or a press appointment at a different time in the year, when people aren’t so zonked out.
Another reason I would hate to say that fashion week is too crowded is because it would seem like we aren’t supportive of this industry. I love that everyone wants to participate in the dialogue of getting dressed, of expressing ourselves through clothes. I like that people are crashing shows and dressing up and have a vested interest in this industry. We’re in a recession, and if people stop caring about fashion, I’m out of a job.
At any rate, I had a splendid time thinking about this article, and I thought I should share some of the other things I told Mr. Murphy. First, I told him most of my friends have a joke about fashion week: That by the end, you’re fashion weak. Fashion fatigued. (That’s pronounced “fat-ta-gayed.”) And I told him that there are two kinds of people you don’t want to sit next to at a fashion show: Someone who smells like a bar, which is another epidemic during the shows because socializing is such a big part of the business; or someone coughing, because if you get sick during the shows you’re screwed. It was at this point where I managed to slip in the “screwing” to the Times.
But while many are quick to complain — and I’m sure my day will come when I’m over it, when I’m a bitter fashion queen who can’t crack a smile even when a girl trips on the runway — but as for now I’m still enthralled by the industry. I still get giddy when the lights go down at a fashion show. I still want to know the new models names and go check out whatever young designer everyone is talking about. It’s insane, yes: Early shows, late dinners, everyone crammed into tents and airplanes with other people. Talk about fashion fat-ta-gayed. But I’d be happy to mop the floors at a fashion show if that’s as close as I could get.
And it isn’t completely dire. It’s not exactly nuclear warfare. One can prepare for this extravaganza, after all. A lot of my friends like to de-tox before they re-tox, so to speak. Lots of green juices, vitamins and sobriety happening in the weeks leading up to the shows. Organization is crucial too: That’s why so many editors plan their outfits in advance, and print and laminate their schedules. They want to be able to let their body rest until the last possible moment, and then get up, get dressed and get going as quickly as possible.
The reason I think some people get sick is good ole fashioned hedonism. So, my suggestion is: Pick your nights out and, just as importantly, pick your nights in. And always go home before you’re entirely inebriated. The one thing to remember when it comes to fashion week is that it it happens twice a year.
Illustration from the original New York Times article, published on January 30, 2013, by Rowan Barnes-Murphy
I’m a big fan of Michael Kors. Not only does he have one of the most wicked senses of humor in all of fashiondom (including great impressions), his fashion shows are one of my favorites of all of fashion week. Pounding music, women stalking runways in furs, boys in short shorts, glamour. What’s not to love? I’ve done a lot with Michael, too. From helping him celebrate his 30th anniversary in New York and Paris with this video to wrangling some of my philanthropic friends to watch him get a well deserved award from God’s Love We Deliver. It was at the gala for the latter that I filmed my (extremely brief) appearance in the above video for the United Nations World Food Programme’s fight to end “the world’s most solvable problem”: Hunger. To do your part for the campaign, text ‘MKHUNGER’ to 50555 to donate $5.00 to the World Food Programme.
The haute couture shows are a thing of extremes. Especially this most recent season. It was some extreme weather in Paris: It was like the French had never seen snow before when the city was blanketed in a beautiful layer of the fluffy white stuff. But really, it was like they didn’t have a single plow or a bag of salt. (They probably didn’t, actually. Plows don’t work on cobblestones, and all the salt is for sure in the butter.) But in the city’s paralysis there was a new form of beauty. The other extreme of this season’s couture, of course, is the designs. As Daphne Guinness once explained to me, the haute couture is fashion’s laboratory, the upper echelon of fashion when designer’s experiment with their most grandiose and delicious ideas. And what a feast it was! Raf Simons stretched his legs at Dior, Donatella turned her eye for fluorescent to fur minidresses and Karl Lagerfeld presented two lesbian brides in his winter wonderland for Chanel. After Paris, I headed to Milan for Dolce & Gabanna’s top secret couture show for their line, Alta Moda. Pictures of that breathtaking show are embargoed and reserved only for their VIP clientele, but what a presentation! Check out some of my pictures from a decadent week.
Captions, from the top: Watching a throne with Hamish Bowles, Lauren Santo Domingo, Bianca and Coco Brandolini and Giovanna Battaglia; Carine and Karlie at Paris’ Natural History Museum; Paris in the snow; a gown in Dior’s haute couture finale; Chloe Sevigny’s kisses with Andre and me; Natalia and Antoine; watching the snow come down and the sun go up with Sean Avery; Karl at Chanel’s haute couture bow with his lesbian brides; Dita waiting for her car; Vanessa Traina with her fabulous mother, the novelist Danielle Steele; Lily at the Berlutti presentation; me and kid sister Karlie; Petey and Harry Brant with Kristen McMenemy at the Versace dinner; Giambattista Valli at his dinner; Mary Charteris in Harry’s Balmain jacket; Tallulah and Laura at Chanel; Lindsay and Andre at Le Baron; Julien, my fashion week buddy; a leggy look at Jean Paul Gaultier’s haute couture show; Bianca, Coco, Domenico Dolce and Lauren in Milan; Carlos and Mira; Eugenie in the Woody Allen suite at Le Bristol; me and some fabulous Versace boots; Queen Giovanna takes a couture nap.
Clockwise from top left: Bemelman’s Bar in the Carlyle Hotel; the Sunset Tower in LA; St. Louis’ sunset; Chuck Close in front of his Barack Obama series; Chanel’s Sublimage creme; Acne jeans; Band of Outsiders; My St. Louis sister, Karlie Kloss, a backpack.
As any red carpet watcher can tell you, it’s awards season. Not that Hollywood is the only one giving out accolades this time of year. The fine folks at Mr. Porter tossed me a bone too, nominating me to their distinguised Style Council, where I am joining the likes of Hugh Jackman, Tim Jeffries and Jefferson Hack in a group of well groomed gentlemen. So, suck it, Anne Hathaway! It’s been a good year for me too. Below are a list the things I find super stylish. (Go to my profile at Mr Porter to read more of my stylish suggestions, and go here to the Members Gallery to see those who came before me.)
FAVOURITE RESTAURANT AND DISH
“Tiny’s is this adorable restaurant near my house in TriBeCa, and they make the best kale salad in the whole city.”
“I love Bemelmans Bar in The Carlyle. It’s stuffy in the most glamorous way. And you never know who will turn up there. Remind me to tell you the time Mariah Carey showed up and we convinced her to sing for us.”
“Whenever I get some time off I find myself heading home to Missouri, where I grew up. I’m still a Midwestern boy at heart, and unwinding with my family is a beloved pastime. Hiking in the winter and water-skiing in the summer, and some fabulous untouched vintage shopping.”
“Sunset Tower Hotel in LA because it’s a mix of old Hollywood glamour and modern sophistication, and they do a mean Cobb salad.”
TYPE OF BAG
“I have acquired more bags than there are days of the week, and I keep them in pretty steady rotation. I have an Alexander Wang book bag for when I’m on my bike, an old Hermès cloth tote for when I’m on the go and on foot, and I have a monogrammed Louis Vuitton Speedy for when I’m lugging around a bunch of stuff.”
“Ralph Lauren, because I believe in the American Dream he is so good at selling.”
ESSENTIAL WARDROBE ITEM
“A light blue Band of Outsiders button-down Oxford shirt, because I can wear it with a suit or with shorts.”
MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN
“Tough question. Is it weird if I say Karlie Kloss, even though she’s like a little sister to me? She’s beautiful on the outside and the inside.”
“For boys it’s Chuck Close, because he has fun with what he wears despite being bound to a fancy wheelchair; and Tom Wolfe, because a man who can pull off a white suit will always be chic in my book. For girls, my friend Lauren Santo Domingo is the most chic girl I know.”
“When in doubt, wear something with a collar.”
“Mrs. Cecco, a little old Italian lady who lives near my Mum in Missouri, has been altering my clothes for two decades. She’s quick, she’s good and she’s cheap. She’s also the sweetest little thing.”
BEST SHIRT BRAND
“My favorite dress shirts right now are from Gucci . Fabulously tailored.”
“Burberry suits are a good mix of tradition and modernity.”
CUT OF TROUSERS
“I like a slight tailor and fit, with a spiffy dropped crotch to avoid obscene bunching. I find that Acne does the best khakis in the world at the moment.”
“I get all my jeans made at this shop called 3×1 on Mercer street in New York. They’re constructed entirely on-site and are fit straight to the leg. Jeans are an investment, so why skimp on something you wear so often?”
PREFERRED JACKET STYLE
“Cropped, fit and with a little pizzazz: So I get a lot of my jackets from Dolce & Gabbana .”
“I’ve been stocking up on colorful Cole Haan brogues and dark Nike ‘s at an alarming rate recently.”
FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT
“I once borrowed a girlfriend’s Chanel Sublimage cream, and wow does it feel fantastic on the skin. I feel like I’m glowing. But when I’m traveling I use a Kiehl’s face cream and whatever the hotel puts in the bathroom.”
“Ever since I was a little boy, I wanted a Jeep with a zip off roof. But now that I’m a little older and more practical I want the four door version.”
“David Yurman. His son, Evan, was my first friend when I moved to New York and was a freshman at university. He designs all their men’s watches and jewelry, and I love his stuff.”
“Anything by Oscar Wilde, and particularly his play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Such wit and such candor, I’ve read it a thousand times and it still makes me smile.”
“Andrew Lloyd Weber’s soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar and Harry Chapin’s greatest hits. My dad used to blast these in the family van when I was a kid and it reminds me of adventure and being mischievous, both of which I don’t get to be very often anymore.”
Clockwise from top left: My favorite work from Oscar Wilde; A Gucci briefcase; Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, my father’s favorite rock musical; the 3×1 shop on Mercer Street; Tom Wolfe; Ralph Lauren; a Burberry plaid; a Cole Haan brogue; my dream Jeep
I have a confession to make: While I’m quite obviously a fan of the women’s collections, men’s fashion week is often times a much more fulfilling fashion experience. Why? The shows aren’t so late, they aren’t so crowded, there isn’t so much attention paid to stuffing the front row with whatever reality starlets a publicist can find in an oversaturated fashion week. An obvious bonus is, of course, I can envision myself wearing the clothes. And let’s be honest: The boys in these shows ain’t that hard to look at either. That’s why I was more than happy to go accompany my peers at VMAN, the men’s counterpart to the aspirational high fashion magaizne Vmagazine, where I’m also the editor at large, to the collections in Milan, and make some notes on my favorite fashion moments. For the full list and descriptions, go to my slideshow on the VMAN website.
There were a few trends that we saw this season, but let me tell you some of my favorites: First, the leather suiting. As coincidence would have it, I brought my first pair of leather trousers to Milan this season (what? What mid life crisis?), and I couldn’t have been more on trend than when I wore them at mens fashion week. Leather was everywhere, even in lilac and as a suit at the Bottega Venetta show. Other trends? There was also lots of orange, reds and, much to my amusement, pimped out fur coats that looked like they had crawled out of a 1990s rap video. I’m not sure if that’s a look I can personally get into, but Gucci, Fendi and Versace all showed oversized man furs. (Versace, which I dubbed as part ‘Guys and Dolls’ and part Puff Daddy, was one of my favorite shows because, well, it was ridiculous. Men in lace teddy boxer briefs and fur coats? Only you, Donatella.) And a final trend we saw often in Milan was what the International Herald Tribune’s legendary fashion critic Suzy Menkes dubbed the ‘Moncler effect’: puffers everywhere. Calvin Klein did quilted, puffy leather sweatshirts, even. And Missoni, a label known for its colorful knits, even got in the puffy market with some vests. Speaking of Missoni, I just want to briefly say that I’m sending my love and prayers to the Missoni family in their time of personal crisis. I had dinner with Margherita Missoni, the eldest in the youngest generation of Missoni’s, when I was in Milan, and I am continually impressed with that clan’s sense of spirit, love and togetherness. If anyone can pull through something like this, it’s them.
Well suited, above, from left: A look from the Prada show, which was one of my favorites because it reminded me of a vintage Prada show; one of the blue windowpane suits at Gucci, which had some of the best tailoring of the season; a Fendi double breasted suit; one of the purple suits from Bottega Venetta’s show.
Shut the puff up, above, from left: A lovely leather jacket from the Salvador Ferragamo show; a knit puffer vest at Missoni; a fur headed sweatshirt at Emporio Armani; Thom Browne’s Scotland-meets-St. Moritz themed show, which I thought was fantastic, for Moncler
Renaissance men, above, from left: An overcoat at Dolce & Gabanna,which was covered entirely in embroidered flowers; Burberry went wild with leopard, tiger and zebra accents on their accessories, which I thought were divine; a look from the outrageous DSquared2 show; and last but not least, the men’s lace teddy and oversized fur coat, seen at the Versace show.