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COVER PHOTO © Ben Fourmi

NEWS

/NEWS

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Sacai / Model: Amber Valletta / Photos © Annie Leibovitz

It is referred to as fashion’s biggest night out, the MET Gala 2023, is a fundraising benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute in New York City.

 

The event, traditionally held on the first Monday in May, welcomes stars, celebrities, and industry giants. The 2023 Met Gala theme was ‘Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty’ to honour the late designer, who was during many years a star guest at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute.

 

Unlike any other fund-raiser events, the MET gala is invitation only, and the entry is not about the price, which this year went up to $50.000 for one person, with tables beginning at $300.000. Even if you donate a lot of money to the museum, it is absolutely not sure you will be qualified, or if your company bought a table, you still won't have the right to choose who to invite, as every guest has to be first cleared by Vogue Editor Anna Wintour. You can only pray to be in the 400 chosen ones.

 

This year’s fashion extravaganza circus gave us a variety of surprises from Vermeer’s Fat Girl with Pearls, Men in Back(less), to Men in Shorts and Karl’s beheaded, life-size cat, Choupette.

 

Soon after the red-carpet walk, many guests flocked to numerous late-night after-parties around the city including the Mark Hotel, the Box and the Top of the Standard. Many attendees didn’t even attend the gala, many who did, changed into new outfits.


Downtown at the Box, a burlesque club, Sean Combs held a party of his own. Paris Hilton swayed from side to side, eyes hidden behind white sunglasses, with Marc Jacobs and his husband at her side.

 

Rendez-vous next year, same time, same place, same people.

MET GALA

KARL LAGERFELD

10 DESIGNERS

PAY HOMAGE TO

KARL LAGERFELD

GRAND PALAIS

PARIS

+

MET GALA

NEW YORK

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(from top left) Erykah Badu / Jared Leto / Lily Collins /  Marc Jacobs / Ivy Getty / The Box

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Undercover / Model: Liu Wen / Photos © Annie Leibovitz

 

 

 

 

MEANWHILE IN PARIS

 

At the Grand Palais, Paris, ten designers cast Karl Lagerfeld’s legacy into the future photographed by Annie Leibovitz. We choose two:

Designer Chitose Abe for SACAI (cover photo)

 

Karl used to say, ‘Fashion isn’t art - it’s business.’ I’ve always thought about that. These days a designer’s job isn’t just about designing clothes, and that’s something Karl saw way back when he was like a fashion cyborg. He was a great designer from the start, but he was also good at branding his own image. When you think about Karl, it’s the white shirt, a tie sometimes, and some hard-edged jewellery. I’ve tried to capture that, not to reproduce it, but to hybridize it in the Sacai style and turn it into an elegant dress.”

Designer Jun Takahashi for UNDERCOVER (photo above)

 

It’s wonderful how Karl managed to achieve so much for so long. When he started reworking Chanel, changing the look bit by bit over the years, it was really fresh, he captured the atmosphere of each passing era and wove it into Chanel’s designs, making them evolve. I’ve tried to reinterpret what Karl did around the time he took charge of Chanel. I wondered what would happen if I attempted what both Karl and Coco had been doing. It’s a quintessential Chanel suit, but there’s something you can’t quite put your finger on, dark pop and punk accents, with the seams exposed or cut into tatters.

/ The Instigator

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Photos © JR

THE OSCARS

OF JR

PAPER FACES

BACKSTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

THE ACADEMY AWARDS

LOS ANGELES

After the ceremony of The Oscars 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, many of the stars, as they have done every year since 2008, gathered at “The Party”, an exclusive event organised by agent and talent manager Guy Oseary.

 

Rule number one of this inaccessible fight club is don’t talk about the fight club, so don’t take photos or videos of the event. That is why only one artist is allowed to take portraits of the guests, and since 2017 this name is JR.

French photographer JR arrived at the after party with part of his team to photograph the stars for his Paper Portraits series. Pictures were taken in his unmistakable style, this year, for British Vogue.

 

Among the photographed guests were Billie Eilish, Timothée Chalamet, Ke Huy Quan, Madona, Lil Buck, Loic Mabanza, Sofia Boutella, Paul Mescal, Guy Oseary, Judd Apatow, Paul Dano, and Salma Hayek.

/ The Instigator

Video © Noir

NOIR

KEI NINOMIYA

FALL / WINTER 2023/2024

PARIS

NOIR Kei Ninomiya's shimmering FW23 presentation at Le Marché des Blancs Manteaux was Paris Fashion Week’s centre of attention.

 

There are few designers who stood out for their ability to create sculptural runway pieces this fashion week and NOIR was one of them. Experimental materials with glimmering and metallic finishes sent models gliding down the runway like fluorescent particles in the air.

 

Particularly the iridescent pieces, which bounced gently as they caught the light, conveying a feather-like weight I am sure they did not possess. Various nets and knots layered the body yet it was not constrained as the sheerness and holes allowed room for a very relaxed movement.

 

Notably, Ninomiya’s iconic harnesses remained a statement yet stepped away from typical black leather grunge through a mixture of pink metallic bows, braided laces, and bright fuzzy intertwinements. 

 

Ninomiya certainly gave his collection a floral feel with an apocalyptic twist through the seemingly microbic, molecular shapes. These shapes are intended to open Ninomiya’s mind to ‘new worlds’ as well as the viewers, who are transported through both the garments as well as the unique makeup and headpieces.

 

Talking backstage to makeup artist Amazing JIRO, the seemingly paint-splatter-like splashes on the model’s faces are a ‘thick gelatine,’ again creating an other-worldly feel of deformation. Suddenly, the rules of proportion and human features no longer apply, as though NOIR’s floating, bacteria garments have contaminated its wearer. The expressionist beauty of these blue, yellow, and pink marks offers a fresh take on the apocalyptic fashion trend, Ninomiya’s hopeful message for the future of our post-pandemic world.

 

The headpieces were also fitting, evoking crashing meteors or modern-day spaceships. Uniquely, each piece was made through burning plastic, Ninomiya’s reference to environmental issues and the need to look outside this world into the next. His intricately constructed garments versus the spontaneity of the make-up and headpieces are perhaps a nod to the fast-paced fashion world that beckons designers to maintain their craftsmanship whilst also urging the creation of Instagram-worthy, spectacle pieces. Embodying the spirit of fashion today, the models’ looks are well thought out with the illusion of a last-minute, thrown-together ensemble.

 

NOIR’s show confirms there is still room for extreme sculptural design in fashion, an art that must surpass the need for trends. Ninomiya’s experimentation with materials, forms, and processes opens up the necessary conversation about sustainability in the industry, looking towards a future that is both bright and only partially but not entirely noir.

Music: Original composition by Setsuya Kurotaki

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Photos © Noir

/ Angelia Pietrafesa

MAISON

MARGIELA

JOHN GALLIANO

FALL/WINTER2023/2024

PARIS

Maison Margiela FW23 by John Galliano, held at Margiela HQ, paid homage to Vivienne Westwood during Paris Fashion Week.

 

No one does storytelling better than Galliano. In his concoction of tartan, veiled hats, crystallised Tabis, and skirts tucked into fishnet stockings, Galliano’s collection screams teen with a mission as Margiela’s models’ power walk with purpose down a blindingly lit, white, mirrored runway. 

 

An indulgence into a young Westwood and Galliano’s  lives in London, during the 80s, the contrasting textures of tulle, organza, lace, velvet, and woolly tartan mimic the revolutionary attitudes that have now become an iconic political and artistic movement. Only a month after Westwood’s memorial in London, the models re-imagined as her loyal followers, continue mourning by wearing veiled hats and sunglasses. They clutch bags as though they were shields, their weapons being the clothes and the attitude that wears them, determined to carry on the punk legacy. 

 

Galliano’s punk uniform is completed by his trademark tailoring, occasionally adorned with chains and badges, maintaining an intentionally unfinished look, as though it were ripped from a dad’s musty closet before leaving the house for that evening’s rave or protest, depending on the agenda.

 

Once again, Galliano has created a collection, rebellious to the core, that is nothing short of intellectual extravagance, nostalgic yet boldly relevant today.

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Photo / Video © Maison Margiela

/ Angelia Pietrafesa

Video © Cartier / Guy Richie

CARTIER

TANK FRANÇAISE

CATHERINE DENEUVE

RAMI MALEK

PARIS

Cartier's new commercial is a tribute to the French cinema and to creative freedom. The movie is embodied by an international cast: Rami Malek, one of the most singular actors of his generation, and Catherine Deneuve, the French legend of cinema. It is a meeting between French style, symbolised by Catherine Deneuve and Cartier’s Tank Française, and with the avant-garde that Rami Malek so brilliantly conveys.

Deneuve and Malek present an expression of the free spirit of French cinema, connecting us to Paris, its flamboyant freedom, culture, creativity and spontaneity that once was captured by the Novelle Vague. For the commercial, it was only natural for Guy Ritchie to capture it on film, halfway on the bridge Alexandre III, between the Rive Gauche and the Rive Droite of the Seine.

 

Continued...

/ Zoltan Alexander

Video © Saint Laurent

YSL

ANTHONY VACCARELLO

FALL/WINTER 2023/2024

PARIS

PARIS, February 28: Saint Laurent Fall/Winter collection hits Paris catwalk with broad-shouldered glamour.

 

The show opened with models wearing sharp, extra wide-shouldered double-breasted jackets over slim silk tops and knee-length pencil skirts, some with scarves trailing behind. Designer Anthony Vaccarello moved in perfect confidence with YSL’s signature pieces, mixing ultra-feminine and more assertive masculine styles.

There was a standing ovation for him who brought his audience into a dark, radically contemporary black-box setting with a chandelier-lined runway, recreating the famous ballroom of the Hotel Intercontinental, Monsieur Saint Laurent’s favourite venue for his Haute Couture collections between the late 1970s until early 2000.

Darling, it was beyond beauty, divinity, infinity, exquisite sophisticated chic, epic, sensual, and sensational. J'adore!” Catherine Baba

/ The Instigator

/CLOSE-UP

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BEAUTÉ

BEAUTY

Photo © Lucrezia Ganazzoli

PIERPAOLO

LAI

THE GENIUS

MILAN

Björk, Lady Gaga, endless Vogue covers. Hair Stylist Pierpaolo Lai untwines the history of beauty, and reminds us of the broken, imperfect and messy things in life we live in.

 

We, Italians are great in artisanship. We always do things with passion."

 

"I enjoy looking at people. First, they want my blood because I stare. I’m simply curious!” Pierpaolo Lai

/ The Instigator

/CLOSE-UP

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WILLY

CHAVARRIA

THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CAST

NEW YORK

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Photos © Ruven Afanador

 

 

 

At 55, Willy Chavarria is the most anticipated designer in the American fashion industry.

My message has always been about empowering the people who inspired me,” Chavarria says. “With the credibility and the notoriety comes this ability to take broader steps. There’s a shift happening culturally, and for me getting bigger also means being able to raise more of my people up.

What the designer brings to the job,” says Valerie Steele, Curator and Director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, is “this sense of dignity and self-presentation that understands how clothes take up space in the world. His message is ‘See me, take account of me, show me respect.’”

Images taken by Ruven Afanador for House & Country USA.

/ The Instigator

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SOON

WE WILL SOON

BE REPORTING ON

MAISON ARTC

ARTSI IFRACH

MARRAKESH

Interview with Marrakesh-based designer Artsi Ifrach, founder of Maison ARTC.

/ Stay connected

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LATEST

/LATEST REVIEW

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VIVIENNE

WESTWOOD

MEMORIAL SERVICE 

SOUTHWARK CATHEDRAL

LONDON

Designer Daniel Angelo Nicola Pantaleo had the privilege to work with Vivienne Westwood for many years. He is now designing with Andreas Kronthaler for the menswear and womenswear collections of Westwood.

 

We recently received a moving letter from him after the memorial service held at Southwark Cathedral, London, to pay tribute to one of the most influential designers of all time, Vivienne Westwood, who died on 29 December 2022.

 

Here is Daniel’s letter.

 

Continued...

/ Zoltan Alexander

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