Mr Blasberg
10:03 am

A DIARY FROM NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: SPRING/SUMMER 2014

14/09/2013, General

Now I know I’m getting old. Why? Because hangovers last for more than a morning. Because now, when I stay up just a little bit later than I probably should, I am tired a little longer than I think I should be. Or such was the case with fashion week this season. You see, in yesteryears, I was able to do the cocktail circuit as well as the morning shows. Top secret Lady Gaga show where she keeps us waiting till 1am to hit the stage? No problem, I can still make it to Victoria Beckham at 10am the next day. (I did. I still don’t know how either.) But, jeez, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

So, here I am going through my NYFW diary on the plane to London for LFW with a delirious smile on my face. It all started just a week ago on such a high note: Victoria’s Traina’s birthday dinner at Le Grenouille on the Upper East Side. It’s one of the most beautiful restaurants in New York, and the Traina sisters are one of the most beautiful group of girls I’ve ever met. And only for her would designers like Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez and Alexander Wang leave their studios before their shows to show some love.

This was a big season for live music acts. Lady Gaga gave Stephen Gan and V magazine a special sneak peek of her new album with a top secret gig at a club on Bleecker, and on the same night Nicki Minaj performed at the Alexander Wang show. (Much to my amusement, this week I got into a little Twitter tiff with Nicki, which was covered by Life + Style magazine. What? The elevators are big enough for more than one queen, Barbie girl. Ha!) A highlight, or maybe lowlight, from Alex’s party was when Joan Smalls and I were dancing on a table in the VIP area – and it collapsed. Like, it just crumbled. Never a dull moment. Pharrell turned up at the Calvin Klein party to perform a set, and my friends, siblings Sasha and Theo Spielberg, performed at Diane von Furstenberg’s dinner on the Highline after her show.

Speaking of Alexander Wang, my partner in crime this week was Natasha Lyonne. She picked me up for that show and had me in stitches throughout the entire car ride, fashion show and car ride home. She popped up a few other times too, like the Opening Ceremony rave on the Pier 26. Fashion week is best digested with a smile.

Carine Roitfeld’s documentary, Mademoiselle C, premiered during fashion week, which I thought was a fantastic glimpse into the life of a modern fashion icon. It will undoubtedly be compared to The September Issue, which chronicled the creation of Vogue’s biggest issue of the year, under the tutelage of Anna Wintour, but they are two very different films. Like the women themselves, Wintour’s is more polished. Carine opened up more, and as she told me at the party, she had no idea it would have been such a personal project that captured so much of their emotion. The parties for the two documentaries were much different too, with Carine swinging around the Four Seasons Pool Room with Kanye West on her arm. My favorite part of the film? The scenes with Karl Lagerfeld. In one, he’s pushing a stroller, which is something that only Carine could get him to do.

As for the fashion shows, the New York collections didn’t disappoint this season. Marc Jacobs’ show was legendary, and not just because it took place while a torrential downpour tortured everyone outside and the room temperature in the Lexington Avenue armory was ridiculously hot. Backstage after the show, he told me it was Tropical Victorian, and indeed, my favorite parts were the ruffled, vintage feeling dresses at the end of the show. I also loved Proenza Schouler (my date to the show, Linda Evangelista, said she was particularly taken with the ‘palazzo culottes’) and Alutzarra, which was a super sophisticated French take on American sportswear.

The most memorable moments of fashion week, as is often the case, were the impromptu ones. Lily Donaldson took me on a bar crawl on the first night of fashion week that had us screaming to Lil Wayne in the backseat of a taxi, and a few nights later I found myself at Odeon after it had closed with Frankie Rayder and Karen Elson giving runway through the tables. The manager warned the girls that they might get hurt, and they politely warned him that they were professionals.

And finally, there was the eye candy. Not just with my super saucy supermodels, either. I’m looking at you Noah Mills and Alexander Skarsgard. Scroll down for pictures of those studs and more fashions.

 

Captions, from top: Me and Terry Richardson at some club on Bleeker Street, where Lady Gaga threw a top secret concert in honor of Stephen Gan and V magazine; Jessica Alba and those weird twins from Spring Breakers; Stephen and Gaga; Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Lily Donaldson; The Carine; me and current Vanity Fair cover star Kate Upton; Noah Mills and Alexander Wang at the designer’s afterparty; Joan Smalls and Naomi Campbell at a party for Interview magazine; sweet Toni; WSJ. Magazine’s Magnus Berger and Kristina O’Neill with a very handsome Matthew Moneypenny, and yes that’s a real name; Lily putting her face on in the taxi; riding in the backseat with Natasha Lyonne to the Alexander Wang show; the fashion professional at work: Lauren Santo Domingo at Moda Operandi HQ; Hanne Gaby on the dance floor at Alex’s party; Nicole Richie and Andre Leon Talley; Magnus, David and Giovanna squeeze in a beer before the Thom Browne show; Alexander Skarsgard being appropriately sexy at the Calvin Klein party; Gaga in concert; Christie Brinkley, still smoking; Not An Average Joe, Nicole and me; Dree Hemingway and CK’s Francisco Costa on the dancefloor; Georgia May Jagger backstage at Marc Jacobs; me and The Linda; Lou Doillon in concert; Frankie Rayder and Karen Elson at Odeon; Angela Lindvall and Irina Shayk at the Vanity Fair party; me and Jess; Theo and Sasha Spielberg in concert at DVF’s dinner; James Rothschild, Nicky Hilton and me at Gaga’s concert; Alexandra Richards and Patti Hansen; Karolina Kurkova helping Carmen Carrera with some adjustments; Cory Bond and Vogue’s Hamish Bowles; Lily Aldridge, Tabitha Simmons and Karen at Carine’s party; Harry and Petey Brant; me and Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough; Heidi Mount and Joan making Hello Kitty backpacks work; Leigh Lezark and Courtney Love; three kids of the 1990′s, Amber, me and Karen; Inez and Vinoodh; Noemie Harris and Jason Winberg at the CK party; Terry and Sky Ferreira at a party for WSJ. Magazine; my muses, Dasha Zhukova, Lauren and Karlie Kloss; Victoria Traina’s birthday party crew, including Ms. Danielle Steele, my icon

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10:40 am

HERE’S A LOOK AT YOU, SUMMER!

05/09/2013, General

It can be hard to define summer in the fashion industry. What does one include as time off and time on? And I mean really on? The way that I will sum up summer is the time elapsed between the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France and a relaxing, quiet weekend I had at a ranch in the Northwest of America. So, what has transpired since then? I hung out with a bunch of gorgeous girls on the Riviera, went to Rome to celebrate my friend Francesco Vezzoli’s opening at the Maxxi Museum, headed to Venice for the Bienale with the Brant boys, made a stop in London for Gucci’s Chime for Change benefit, and then finally headed back to New York for the CFDA Awards. The following weekend I headed home to Missouri for my nephew and godson’s first birthday, but made it back to New York for the amFAR gala – and then it was back to Europe, first for the Liasiasons au Lourvre  and the haute couture shows. Back to New York, briefly, for a soccer tournament and then back to Europe for Natalia Vodianova’s Love Ball in Monaco. I finally came back to the good ole United States for some quality down time with the family in Missouri and ultimately a badminton tournament at my friend Lauren Santo Domingo’s house. Last up was Montana, where I had no cell reception and no contact with the outside world, which was a change of pace for the safari I’m about to go on: New York Fashion Week. Check back in a week for all the fun from #NYFW


 Captions, from top: Milla, Jourdan, Lily, and Rosie in Cannes; Natalia in Cannes, Dita and Mark, Isla Jen and Dasha in Cannes; Mattia in Venice; Francesco in Rome; R.J. and Andy; taking time to smell the roses in Venice; Petey in repose; my purchase in Venice: a gondolier’s hat, which I love; not quite clear skies, but still gorgeous; Pixie, Florence and Poppy; Rita and Poppy giving cheek; Lauren, Lazaro and Jack at the CFDAs; Nicole and Alex at the CFDAs; Lily and Alessandra at the CFDA after-party; Dan and Douglas after the CFDAs; Jessica and I after the CFDAs; Tory and Kristina; Milla and Karlie after the CFDAs; Will in his element; Birthday boy; no place like home; Karlie at the launch of her Frame Denim collection; Eniko and Lindsey looking glam; Leigh, Candice and Olivier are hooked; Giambattista arrives; Milla, Bianca and Olga, coming into the Louvre for the Liaisons gala; Diana performing; Emma and Mena at Versace; Naomi at the Versace party; the master himself: Azzedine; Lea and Christian in Paris; Kristina and Carine looking haute in Paris; Baz leading Karlie down the stairs and into the rose garden at Wideville; Riccardo at Wideville; Vera in paris; Rose McGowan at the Fendi dinner; Alexa striking a pose; Dorian on the metro; only in Paris; Jared on stage; Patrik and Christopher inVienna; Caroline: the beautiful bride, Vanessa and Mike in Vienna, Joan and Karlie in Brooklyn, a gorgeous view from the Brooklyn Bridge, Supernova Natalia in Monaco, Camilla and Mario in the casino, James and Harvey showing some sweet love at the Love Ball; Sofia in Monaco; the Kaiser himself in Monaco; Tyra and Karlie smize-ing at Karie’s 21st; babe on a boat; there’s no place like home in St.Louis (x4); Dree loves my shoes; Alexa in the Hamptons; In the Hamptons; Ludi loves his toys; Starvos, Jess, and Alexa take a ride; Heart of Americana, Montana (x4)

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8:00 am

A REAL SLIDE SHOE: MY BELOVED SUMMER SANDAL

31/08/2013, Derek of the Day, General

I’ve never hard such a response to a pair of sandals. The simple, three-stripe, navy blue Adidas flip flops I ordered on Amazon in the spring as my go to summer footwear had quite a reaction on my social media. And the comments ran the gamut. Some said they were ugly, passé, skewing too grunge; others said they were chic, classic, comfortable.

For me, they’re all of that and so much more. The sandals are most importantly extremely nostalgic. In case I needed to remind my dear reader, I fancy myself a closeted jock (remember when I played soccer on the V team?) and these were the sandals that I wore to countless games and tournaments when I lived back in Missouri. Nowadays, these sandals are probably the only thing that both me and my brother, an accountant who lives in Texas, both have in our wardrobes. And, if I may be so bold, these little pieces of plastic go with everything: With jeans and a T-shirt, with a bathing suit, with khaki trousers and a button down. I’ve worn them to cocktail parties and spin classes. Well, to be honest, maybe I’ve worn them too much. (Not that the people at Another Magazine would agree with me. They love them too.

Finally, these bad boys are a little bit of gender equality. Remember the fuzzy, fur lined sandals that Phoebe Philo did at Celine? Why can the chicks get by with a comfortable and stylish slide? So, these are the mens version. And so much cheaper.

 

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9:51 am

THE TIME THAT NICOLE RICHIE TOOK MY CUTICLE VIRGINITY. ON CAMERA.

28/08/2013, General

I have a confession: I have never had a manicure. There’s a few reasons for this. One is that I’m too cheap. I grew up in Missouri and paying people to trim your nails is considered rather decadent. Another reason? When I was little I saw a 20/20 episode that investigated the dangerous, fatal germs in nail parlors. That stuck with me. Anyway, my friend Nicole Richie got wind of this, and with her friend Simone Harouche, they gave me my first buff and polish this summer. Nicole is hysterical. Not because she tells good jokes or is good at physical humor or anything. What gets me in stitches is her dry wit, arrogant pronouncements and the weird, amazing, ridiculous things that just fall out of her mouth. So, I can safely say that my first time was certainly memorable. And not just because it was caught on tape. Does that make this a cuticle sex tape? (PS. We did another video too, so get ready for that post.)

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7:51 pm

EVERYTHING LOOKS BETTER SET TO THE SWEET SOUNDS OF TAYLOR SWIFT. EVEN JAY-Z.

12/08/2013, Observations

An avid reader of this blog will know that I travel quite extensively. And even though I manage to work in quite a bit of socializing (and drinking) while I do it, most of it’s for work. Which is why I’ve tried to spend a bit of quality time away from my computer on this last bit of summer, before we get thrust back into the fashion week swirl. But there are a few things in this world that make me want to flip open this laptop. Jay-Z is one of those things. So is Marina Abramovic. And certainly, so is Taylor Swift. So, when a friend of mine forwarded me this video of Jay-Z’s ‘Picasso’s Baby’ set to Taylor Swift’s ’22,’ I knew I had to come out of holiday mode, if even only for this post. (Last month, I posted my take on the concept of Jay-Z’s making of the video, which I missed because I was in Paris reporting on the haute couture shows, but I was still moved to discuss because it reminded me of Pop art and Pop music mashups of yester decades.) I have made no secret of my affection for Ms. Swift and her sweet country songs. So, the idea of Jay-Z’s music video laid over her track, ’22,’ the tale of young female adolescence, which I probably also have more affinity for than a grown man should, put a giant smile on my face. Have you seen it? If not, check it out here:

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12:54 pm

Two Killer Kookies and 21 Candles: Happy Birthday, Karlie Kloss!

03/08/2013, Fast + Louche, General

 

You can take the girl out of St Louis, but not the St Louis out of the girl! Karlie Kloss, whom I refer to as my leggy little sister since we grew up so near each other in America’s great Midwest, had a big birthday this week: She (finally) turned 21! Though, she often jokes that she’s 21 going on 41 since she started working when she was 14, turning up in a Calvin Klein show on an exclusive New York fashion week appearance the same week she started high school in Webster Groves, Missouri. Despite logging in more frequent flyer miles than even I can count in the past seven years, she has maintained a sweet charm that has made her one of the most popular ladies in the business.

So, just how popular? Let’s get back to this birthday, which we celebrated with a fete I oragnized at the recently refurbished Paramount Hotel in Times Square. Her best buddy Jourdan Dunn, who turned 21 on the same day she did, showed up with Cara Delevingne and immediately hit the dance floor. Tyra Banks turned up and turnt it up, and so did Karlie’s pals Joan Smalls, Cynthia Rowley, Emma Watson, Lauren Santo Domingo, Giovanna Battagalia and Harry Brant. But the guests of honor were the rest of the Kloss Klan. Her mother and father were there, as was all three of Karlie’s sisters (Kariann, Kristine and Kimberly), as were her grandparents. And yes, Grannie Stella hit the dance floor after Karlie blew out the candles on her birthday cake. Oh yes, that birthday cake. The birthday girl spoiled us when we wheeled out two giant Karlie’s Kookies.

For more pictures, head over to Vogue’s coverage of the big night. 

Captions, from top: Karlie and her balloons; Cara, Karlie, Jourdan and me; Joan striking a pose on the dance floor; the fashion designers Prabal Gurung and Cynthia Rowley; Francisco Costa between two Klosses; Jenke and Giovanna; Lauren; Josh; Chanel Iman; Karlie and her grandparents; the entire Kloss Klan; Harry, Karlie and Lauren; Karlie’s cakes (kakes?); Harry; Chris Bollen and Patrik Ervell giving Cythia a seat; Cara, Jourdan and Karlie on the dance floor; Karlie and Jourdan having a dance off; me with the girls; Tyra and Karlie, getting their smize on.

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9:19 am

SPREADING THE LOVE (BALL) ON THE FRENCH RIVIERA

30/07/2013, Fast + Louche, General

Natalia Vodianova looks like an angel. Her beauty is ethereal, her seduction is sweet. But just because she has the grace of a swan doesn’t mean that she’s not kicking beneath the water. To wit, her Naked Heart Foundation is an international philanthropic powerhouse, largely because of the work that she single handedly has done. Nearly 10 years ago, she founded the charity to build playgrounds in underprivileged villages, first in her native Russia and now abroad. She has hosted galas around the world, in New York, London and Moscow. Her most recent stop was in Monaco, and I was only too happy to support my friend on yet another of her successes. Not that it took much convincing. Three days on the Riviera, with a ball and Russian ballet at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo? Fiiine, I’ll go.

The fashion was tiptop. Natalia wore custom-made Christian Dior haute couture. Princess Caroline of Monaco was in Chanel haute couture. The other princess of Monaco, Charlene, wife of His Serene Highness Prince Albert, was in Atelier Versace couture. And the men too turned up in their Riviera best. My favorite? Eugenio Amos, husband to Margherita Missoni, who’s striped double-breasted jacket hit the 1960’s theme on the head. (Margherita, nearly nine months pregnant, looked divine in her Missoni creation too.) Even Harvey Weinstein cleaned up nice, blushing when the master of ceremonies, James Corden, smooched on him during a smoke break.

‘Twas a night to remember. Maestro Valery Gergiev conducted the orchestra, Diana Vishneva of St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Orchestra took the stage for a breathtaking ballet, and all was under the artistic direction of the adorable Vasily Barkhatov. The highlight of the live auction was when Novak Djokovic bid on a private tennis lesson with his rival Rafael Nadal. We ended in the casino, myself on the arm of Camilla al Fayed, who with Harvey Weinstein commandeered a roulette table.

I am not a new witness to Natalia’s charitable efforts. I was at the launch of the Naked Heart Foundation at Diane von Furstenberg’s studio in 2004, and all of her subsequent Love Balls. [I profiled Natalia recently for the Wall Street Journal too, and we discussed her charitable efforts]. But this night left something so sublime in my memory. It harked back to a decadent and, dare I say it, royal time of long ago. In the name of a charitable spirit, we celebrated Russian culture. The event raised more than $4million for the Naked Heart, which is a sum that will do great service to children around the world. Mario Testino, who was at these festivities too, gave Natalia the nickname SuperNova. And in this weekend, it was clear to see why.

Captions, from top: Natalia at the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo; the Kaiser and I, me and Karl Lagerfeld; the Monaco royal family with the patrons of the evening, including Natalia, Antoine Arnault and Lagerfeld; Camilla and Mario in the casino; James Corden and Harvey Weinstein showing some sweet love at the Love Ball; Margherita and Eugenio; Antoine, Natalia and Mario on the terrace; Alexandre de Betak and his fiancé, Sofia Sanchez; the ceiling of the Opera; Monaco’s harbor at sunset; Camilla and I at a dinner that Mario hosted for Natalia the night before the ball on a friend’s boat; Camilla and I; my friend Tatiana’s dog, Daphne, getting ready for bed; Noor Fares showing one of her faces; Eugenio, Tatiana and Andrea at dinner; Caroline and Karl in conversation; Astrid Munoz striking a pose before dinner; Natalia, spreading the love; Ulyana Sergenko; Sofia waiting for her cards; Harvey, Natalia and Camilla, at the Love Ball’s after party

 

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9:00 am

Soccer, Showers and a Sunset: A Perfect Saturday

22/07/2013, General

Here’s a secret: I’m a secret jock. No, really. I was the 2000 Missouri Scholar Athlete back home, and I graduated with a doctorate in athletics from my high school. My favorite sport was soccer, and the opportunities for me to show off my (relatively) good ball handling skills (let it go, you perverts!) are few and far between. Which is why I was so happy when V magazine entered the Adidas Fanatic Tournament this weekend, held on Pier 5 under the Brooklyn Bridge. We got flossy uniforms and had a sunny day and gorged on hot dogs and Heineken’s after our games. All that in short shorts. A perfect Saturday.

So, how did we do? We won two games (suck on that, Opening Ceremony and Steven Klein’s assistants, which are the two teams that we beat) and lost one. Which isn’t bad considering we only had one practice and the last time I touched a soccer ball was this time last year. And I probably won’t touch one again till next year.

While we didn’t win the championship, it wasn’t for lack of glamour with our cheering section. Karlie, Joan and Sigrid all made the trek to Brooklyn to whoop it up for us. As did Karlie’s Terrier, Joe, who we had to smuggle in. We needed a mascot, didn’t we? At the end of the afternoon it rained, and I mean it RAINED. Drenched. I was on my bike and on the Brooklyn Bridge when it came down. Not that it really mattered since I was already soaked. It was a pre-shower shower. But the cherry on the sundae of my Saturday was a brief relief in the storm, when the clouds parted and I found myself almost entirely alone on the Bridge, glistening in the rain water and the sweat of the city. The bad part of the day was that it had to end.

Captions, from top: The V team on the sidelines; the Brooklyn Bridge in all its glory; me and Joan Smalls; Joan, Sigrid and Karlie are quite the cheerleaders; the red shirts; Joan, me and Karlie on the sidelines, and please note the battle wound; V takes the field; supermodel competition from Jacquelyn, who played on The Last Magazine team; Karlie and Joe; me on the field; the long bike ride home.
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3:28 am

WHEN POP MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE ART COLIDE: JAY-Z AND MARINA ARE THE NEW BOWIE AND NOMI

11/07/2013, Observations

Jay-Z, live, with Marina Abramovic at the Pace Gallery in New York

Last night, I want to sleep pissed off. Umm, was I the only person in the entire world that didn’t know that Jay-Z was going to pull a Marina Abramovic at the Pace Gallery in New York? The king of hip hop performed for six straight hours yesterday, and if the images I saw (which were mainly on Instagram, and on nearly every single one of my friends’ feeds) were to be believed, not only did he interact with Marina in a Pop music salute to her The Artist is Present performance piece, he threw down with the audience too. No really, from artists to fashion editors to assistants to socialites to whoever: Everyone knew Jay Z was going to pop up at Pace, apart from me. (Not that I mind. I’m in Paris! So, na na ni na na.) The kids over at Dis magazine compiled some Vine videos of Jay and Marina rocking out, which you can find here.

I was obsessed with this performance that I didn’t see. Although, the reviews have been a mixed bag. While mostthought it was a clever performance, some  thought that Marina was diluting the purity of her own work by collaborating with a Pop star and, likewise, some people thought that Jay-Z had no part trying to conform his art into someone else’s. But to those people I say: Shut up! To be honest, I’m not particularly invested in what other people have to say on the internet. (The only blog you should listen to is this one, dammit!) What I thought was so marvelous about this performance was how it collided these two worlds: hip hop and performance art. Not that they hadn’t met before: Marina isn’t unfamiliar with the worlds of hip hop, after all. I blame Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci for that; I have a picture of him with Ciara and Marina on my desktop because it makes me smile. Not to mention we’ve seen Jay-Z and that wife of his at art fairs and galleries around the world. I remember two years ago at Art Basel Miami there was nearly a riot when word spread that they were at the Gagosian stall.

Jay is following in Kanye’s tracks into the world’s of avante garde art. And I must concede that it’s not like Jay completely left his comfort box here. The best comment I read on the internet? “If Jay-Z is an artist because he lip synced a song for six hours, then Milli Vanilli deserves an entire retrospective at the MOMA.” But I must celebrate Jay for sparking this discussion at all. That he entered a hall of performance art with Marina, the Queen, to me is feat enough.

It reminded me of another cultural collision, which I was also not physically present at. (Though, for that one I had a much better excuse: In 1979, I wasn’t born yet.) David Bowie performed on Saturday Night Live with the performance artist Klaus Nomi, which may be an uncommon name to some of my readers. If so, Google it! I didn’t know about this particular SNL performance until I went to the Bowie exhibit at the V&A earlier this year with my friends Jack and Lazaro from Proenza Schouler. They featured clips, which I thought were fantastic: There is Bowie, dressed in a purple military jacket and tight pencil skirt, with Nomi and Joey Arias; in another more fantastic clip, there is Bowie dressed up like, well, it’s hard to explain – maybe a pie-shaped tuxedo wedding cupcake? It took some digging, but I found the clips and will imbed them below.

What I find inspiring in any artist, from Jay to Bowie and Marina to Nomi, is the willingness to try something new. I don’t want to say push the envelope, because that expression irritates me. To push the envelope is to try and get by with something that someone shouldn’t, like when kids play the Penis Game on the school bus. (Please tell me you know the Penis Game. If not, back to Google!) I don’t think Jay and Marina were doing that. They’re trying new experiences with new people who want to see new things. I can’t say Marina’s biggest fans are card carrying members of Jay Z’s fan club. I can’t say Jay Z’s fans know Marina’s last name, much less how to spell it. But for six hours one afternoon in New York, they got together, shared ideas, and created an international buzz that is still reverberating. And that, my friends, is the power of art.

 

 

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9:38 am

WHY THE HAUTE COUTURE SHOWS HAVE BECOME SUPERMODEL TRYOUTS

10/07/2013, Observations

Despite the naysayers, the haute couture has continued through credit crunches and international recessions. And good thing too because, as Daphne Guinness has been happy to tell me, “the couture is the laboratory of the fashion arts.” As the shows dwindled off the schedule, we’ve seen other parts of the industry rally: Now in Paris, between couture shows, myself and other editors take time to see the Fine Jewelry appointments (Diamonds! Cartier! Rubies! Van Cleef! Bvlgari!) that we sometimes don’t have time to see during the ready-to-wear shows. Also, many designers show their resort collections, and there is time to see the menswear shows too. (Which reminds me: Christopher Kane and J.W. Anderson, if you’re reading this: My shirts have better been ordered.)

What I find so interesting about the couture shows now is the casting. Here’s some insider info: It’s just not worth it for the big girls to do the couture shows anymore. Unless you’re on an exclusive and flights and boarding are paid for, or else you already live in Paris or are here for a job, the cost of coming to Paris and paying for a nice hotel is more than what you would make walking in the half dozen fashion shows on the schedule. So, if a big girl has two options — one to come to Paris and break even, at best, or do a catalogue job somewhere else — she’s going to take the money and run (as opposed to runway. Har har har.) What this situation has created, however, is an opening on the catwalk for fashion’s new faces to showcase their stuff. Which I think is so ironic because the couture shows really should be the upper echelon of design. So, for many of these girls, it is sink or swim. Figure out how to wear this $100,000 gown or go home.

I asked my friend Douglas Perrett of the blog Confessions of a Casting Director about this phenemonon and he agreed. And he also picked out his favorite new faces from the haute couture shows. Think of it as supermodel tryouts. These are the girls who made the first cut, and I’m looking forward to seeing who will be back for training in the fall. The ready-to-wear fashion shows are just around the corner, ladies. Suit up!

Sasha Luss: Sasha was born in Russia in 1992 but didn’t start modeling until 2007. Her big break came more recently in 2013. The 5’10 model has done campaigns for Chérie ma Chérie, Badilo, Tate, Bohemique & Furla.

Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2013

Ashleigh Good: Ashley was born in England in 1992 and later moved to New Zealand with her family where she was discovered while waiting at a bus stop on the way to her job at a local coffee shop. Her big moment came when she booked an exclusive for Givenchy in Fall 2012. 

Christian Dior Fall 2013 Couture by Raf Simons

Pauline Hoarau: Pauline was born in Reunion, France in 1994. In 2011 she placed in the top 7 for the World  Finalists at the Elite Model Look Contest. Since then she has been featured on the cover of Elle Italy and Elle France. 

Elie Saab Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2013

Kayley Chabot: The 5’11 model was only 13 when she was signed to her first agency. Now, at 17, she has begun to enter the spotlight after walking in critical shows such as Alexander Wang in SS13.

 Elie Saab Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2013 

Nicole Pollard: The 18-year-old model was born in Brisbane, Australia and seems determined to stay connected to her home country despite making it big elsewhere. Her first modeling experience came during Sydney Fashion Week in 2011. In 2012 she was named the face of Perth Fashion Week. On a much larger scale, she has scored two exclusives with Dior- including Raf Simons much-anticipated first collection in FW12. More recently she has appeared in the SS13 Dior campaign. 

Armani Privé Haute Couture Fall 2013   

Elizabeth Erm: The Estonian 5’10 model was born in Tartu in 1993. She was discovered at the age of 17 at a local mall. Her breakout came in FW13 when she opened for Lacoste.

Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2013

Tessa Bennenbroek: This 6’0 Dutch stunner is both new and mysterious. After a playing a pivotal roll during the haute couture season in the likes of such legendary designers as Elie Saab, Versace, and Armani, we are sure to be seeing a lot of Tessa. 

Atelier Versace Haute Couture Fall 2013 


with additional reporting from Caroline Mason

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