"Why have 20 million people with zero connection to the clothes?" - Oscar de la Renta
Photo: Getty Images
Fashion shows are a circus. Granted, they're inspiring and electric—the culmination of months of hard labor and magic—but the curtain's long been pulled back on those 10 minutes of shimmering mastery to reveal the s***show behind the scenes. (If you've ever been backstage and bludgeoned by a photographer whilst trying to grab a post-show quote, you'll know what I'm talking about.)
Industry insiders (not entirely sure who that even refers to anymore) are demanding change and according to this Wall Street Journal article with NYFW show-runners IMG Fashion, some of that manic hullabaloo will be remedied. "It was becoming a zoo," says Catherine Bennett, IMG's SVP and managing director of WSJ. "What used to be a platform for established designers to debut their collections to select media and buyers has developed into a cluttered, often cost-prohibitive and exhausting period for our industry."
A still from GoldieBlox's 'Princess Machine' commercial.
Photo: GoldieBlox's YouTube Page
Holy smokes. Please look at this new video from the toy company GoldieBlox because it is EXCELLENT. Set to a remake of the Beastie Boys’ “Girls,” it features a Rube Goldberg machine (an overly-complicated contraption that relies on a sort of domino-effect to complete a simple task) that destroys tea sets, marabou feathers, dolls, a rolling pin, a see-saw, a badminton racket, and a parasol, delighting a crew of really frickin’ adorable girls. If you’re not familiar with the company, GoldieBlox was launched last year with help from a gobsmackingly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $285,881; way over their $150,000 goal.
Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, a Rhode Island native who studied engineering at Stanford, wanted to start a movement to “disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers,” attributing the discouraging lack of women in her profession to a dearth of maker-minded toys for girls. GoldieBlox features a book, a tool kit, and a construction set, with the book as a sort of Trojan Horse for girls who tend to be more verbally inclined (“boys like to build; girls like to read,” she says in her Kickstarter video).
Miley Cyrus at the 2013 Bambi Awards in Germany.
Photo: Getty Images
Last night, Miley Cyrus arrived on the red carpet of the 2013 Bambi Awards in Berlin dipped in a floor-length, black, scoop-neck, Jean Paul Gaultier dress from the late-90s. I love this look. In fact, I love when the blonde, Bangerz bombshell elects to wear clothes. It's not that I give a fig about her "messaging" and the "impact she wields on impressionable female minds" when she shuns pants or tops (or both) as she frequently does, it’s more that she's so damned uniformly '90s when she's wearing enough textile that you can suss out her personal style (not that her birthday suit isn't from the ’90s as well [1992 in fact], but you know what I mean).
It's an era that I’m hugely fond of and one at which Miley's particularly good. Between gem-studded vintage Dolce & Gabbana leggings for the VMA red carpet and the shiny, silver mock turtleneck, long-sleeved, knee-length situation (with matching creepers) from the EMAs, this velvet-rolled, cuff-and-collared number from a decidedly The Fifth Element design era from the French designer is just an excellent look. In fact, it's kinda dorky from a fashion perspective (in fact, I'm fairly sure this dress is from JPG's gender-bendy Maille era which is very 'inside baseball').
It’s clear that Miley Cyrus is comfortable with her body so when she uses it as a springboard to take up an unorthodox amount of space or cut an unexpected witchy, spacy silhouette, I get a frisson of excitement about what to next expect from her. It's not unlike when she first chopped off her hair. It’s akin to when Rihanna wears head-to-toe menswear or tucks a flannel tied around her waist INTO her jean shorts. If Miley spends the next week expressly in dresses that LE1F would also look AWESOME wearing, I'd be very happy.
Jean Paul Gaultier's music video, "How To Do That" in 1989.
Real talk: I have seen this Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition three times. I saw it in San Francisco last summer. I saw it again last Thursday—briefly—before I heard the marvelous Parisian designer speak in a discussion led by the exhibition's curator, Thierry-Maxime Loriot, from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. And then I enjoyed a guided tour by Thierry-Maxime himself on Friday morning moments before the installation was officially opened to the public. If you find yourself in Brooklyn or, truly, anywhere even remotely within driving/flying/subway-ing distance of the Brooklyn Museum, you should check this out. It's f***ing mind-blowing. God's honest. It's here 'til February 23 so you have time but DO NOT FORGET.
"Embellishments" dress from the Spring/Summer 2009 "Calligraphy" Collection/Beyoncé performing in 2009.
Photos: Mary H.K. Choi/Getty Images
Rihanna in Abu Dhabi.
Photos: @badgalriri Instagram
Few would deny that Rihanna is a beautiful girl. Fewer still would dispute that she looks phenomenal in these stunning photos that appeared in the 25-year-old’s Instagram feed this past Friday. In them, the international superstar is discreetly covered in head-to-toe black, serving hijab realness during a visit to the magnificent Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. That said, I completely understand why they've stirred up some serious drama online. Read More...
King Krule plays at Bowery Ballroom.
Photo: Jon Snyder
Certain New York evenings are significant and judging by my Instagram feed from last night, loads of people had heaps of fun at the DKNY 25th anniversary party held down at Wall Street. But further uptown, at Bowery Ballroom, I went to see 19-year-old Archy Marshall, a.k.a. King Krule, play to a packed but intimate crowd upon the release of his debut album 6 Feet Beneath the Moon. It was mind-bogglingly, face-meltingly pleasurable. The kid is really important.
Cast in a soft violet light, the flame-topped, gangly Brit arrived onstage promptly at ten and didn't say much at all outside of singing or introducing his songs. It was all, "this one's about living under the sea," or else "this one's about the sky," which seemed exactly right for someone responsible for this season's most depressing, profoundly English tunes.
Since this is a style site I'll leave the music reviewing to others but I will say that a great place to start (for the uninitiated) is to watch the "Easy Easy" video on repeat because it's perfect for fall in that it's. Just. Gutting. It's wistful but hopeful and you feel like you've missed everything already. And if you've been on a fashion week bender, you might as well have a good, self-indulgent cry so you can leech out some of the crazier-making caffeine and vestigial alcohol shambling in your system.
Male models at the En Noir New York Fashion Week presentation.
En Noir, the street-goth cult hit beloved by everyone from Yeezy to Drizzy and Miley Cyrus to A$AP Rocky flaunted their spring/summer 2014 wares in a presentation at Milk Studios last night. The smoke-filled 8th floor studio was dimly lit with writhing, scantily-clad dancers skulking amongst the coal-colored crags and the spartan plink-plonk and haunting chanting of the soundscape, designed by Stelios Phili, only served to heighten the palpable frisson of a rumored Justin Bieber appearance that never materialized.
Renowned for their $1,600 leather sweatpants, $7,300 python sweatpants and leather T-shirts for men (and resourceful, swag-laden ladies), we were all curious to see what designer Rob Garcia and style director Matthew Henson had planned for their first foray into womenswear. “En Noir is renowned for leather but this collection really shows Rob’s versatility,” says Henson. “He created his own silk blend which looks to have a wrinkle effect but it’s actually just carbon dyed. And we’re seeing houndstooth printed on a lighter nylon as well as six strong women’s looks that standalone wholly separate from the men’s designs. They speak for themselves.”
9:00 PM — It's showtime, peeps! Gotta run inside to catch all of Gaga's performance - what will she doooo? More accurately, what WON'T she do?
8:59 PM — PLUS: Let me also tell you about the time I asked Jared Leto "who are you wearing?" And we both took a beat to consider the douche-factor of the question at which point he responded "myself." And then I looked chagrined so he turned his eyes to STUN and just said, "oh, it's all old stuff." Mortified. But, whatever, also 100 percent worth it. Jordan. Catalano.
8:56 PM — Taylor Swift in a bodycon-diculous Herve Leger dress with a plunging back and immaculate pin curls.
Taylor Swift on the red carpet at the 2013 VMAs.
8:53 PM — Sometimes famous people are so famous that for a split second it doesn't occur to you how you know them. It's the most surreal thing. It's what happens when you see Will Smith basically.
Will Smith on the red carpet at the 2013 VMAs.
It is a play-date fever dream and a 2013 MTV VMA wish-fulfillment miracle that none other than the legendary Kathleen Hanna and future-legendary Grimes (also known as Claire Boucher) interviewed each other for our All Access Live stream. We've included the clips for you of this fascinating chinwag but the best part is that the conversation topics ran the gamut from deceptively subversive Beyoncé lyrics and contemporary misconceptions of feminism.
Hanna, who blazed the trails as the lead singer of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, is currently the front woman for Brooklyn band The Julie Ruin, whose debut album Run Fast will be released on September 3rd on TJR Records. And of course Grimes, who will also be hosting our Red Carpet show later today with designer Rachel Antonoff, is best known for her Faery Queen musings and manifestos on various social media platforms as well as her status as a critical darling amongst the music cognoscenti for her peripatetic influences and how her voice feels like air conditioning on your face.
Rachel Antonoff and Grimes on the VMA Red Carpet.
It's the day before the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in Brooklyn, New York, which means our red carpet hosts, Grimes a.k.a. Claire Boucher and Rachel Antonoff are here at the Barclays Center rehearsing the rigamarole of posing that age-old question—who are you wearing?
OK, so, the weirdest thing about the VMAs this year being within walking distance of my house is that it makes downtown Brooklyn serve eerie "movie studio backlot" vibes, and it's even more surreal to get to see one of our favorite recording artists and one of our most beloved clothing designers chatting it up with MTV Style mic cubes. Obviously, the best part of all this is that me and Chrissy get to take turns pretending to be Austin Mahone or Selena Gomez.