Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts

February 20, 2019

“Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore” Lagerfeld Dead at 85



                   
Mr. Lagerfeld in 1954, after winning the coat category in a design competition in Paris.CreditKeystone-France/Gamma-Keystone, via Getty Images
                                             











Karl Lagerfeld, the most prolific designer of the 20th and 21st centuries and a man whose career formed the prototype of the modern luxury fashion industry, died on Tuesday in Paris. He was 85.

His death was announced by Chanel, with which he had long been associated.

“More than anyone I know, he represents the soul of fashion: restless, forward-looking and voraciously attentive to our changing culture,” Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue, said of Mr. Lagerfeld when presenting him with the Outstanding Achievement Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2015.

Creative director of Chanel since 1983 and Fendi since 1965, and founder of his own line, Mr. Lagerfeld was the definition of a fashion polyglot, able to speak the language of many different brands at the same time (not to mention many languages themselves: He read in English, French, German and Italian).

In his 80s, when most of his peers were retiring to their yachts or country estates, he was designing an average of 14 new collections a year, ranging from couture to the high street — and not counting collaborations and special projects. “Ideas come to you when you work,” he said backstage before a Fendi show at age 83. 

His signature combinations of “high fashion and high camp” attracted admirers like Rihanna; Princess Caroline of Monaco; Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Julianne Moore.

Mr. Lagerfeld was also a photographer, whose work was exhibited at the Pinacothèque de Paris; a publisher, having founded his own imprint for Steidl, Edition 7L; and the author of a popular 2002 diet book, “The Karl Lagerfeld Diet,” about how he had lost 92 pounds.
Mr. Lagerfeld in 1954, after winning the coat category in a design competition in Paris. 

A self-identified “caricature,” with his dark glasses, powdered ponytail, black jeans, fingerless gloves, starched collars, Chrome Hearts jewelry, and obsessive Diet Coke consumption, he achieved such a level of global fame — and controversy — that a $200 Karl Barbie doll, created in collaboration with the toymaker Mattel, sold out in less than an hour in 2014.

He was variously referred to as a “genius,” the “Kaiser” and “overrated.” His contribution to fashion was not in creating a new silhouette, as designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel herself did.

Rather, he created a new kind of designer: the shape-shifter.

That is to say, he was the creative force who lands at the top of a heritage brand and reinvents it by identifying its sartorial semiology and then pulls it into the present with a healthy dose of disrespect and a dollop of pop culture. 

Not that he put it that way exactly. What he said was: “Chanel is an institution, and you have to treat an institution like a whore — and then you get something out of her.”

This approach has become almost quotidian in the industry, but before Mr. Lagerfeld was hired at Chanel when the brand was fading into staid irrelevance, kept aloft on a raft of perfume and cosmetics, it was a new and startling idea.

That he dared act on it, and then kept doing so with varying degrees of success for decades, transformed not only the fortunes of Chanel (now said to have revenues of more than $4 billion a year) but also his own profile.
Mr. Lagerfeld with the Italian fashion writer Anna Piaggi in 1977.


Mr. Lagerfeld in Berlin in 2015 with a painting of Choupette, his Birman cat.CreditJens Kalaene/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
                               
A ‘Fashion Phenomenon’

Those who wanted to dismiss Mr. Lagerfeld referred to him as a “stylist”: a designer who creates his looks by repurposing what already exists, as opposed to inventing anything new. But he rejected the idea of fashion-as-art and the designer-as-tortured genius. His goal was more opportunistic.

“I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon,” he once said.

Indeed, his output as a designer was rivaled only by his outpourings as a master of the telling aphorism — so much so that his quotations were collected in a book, “The World According to Karl,” in 2013.

Some choice excerpts: “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat,” and “I’m very much down to earth. Just not this earth.” 

Whether his statements were true was immaterial (anyway, it was conceptually true, or true at that moment). The truth could be a fungible concept to Mr. Lagerfeld, who was fond of taking creative license with the past. His birth year, for example, was a matter of some dispute: was it 1938, as Chanel believed, or 1933, as a book by the writer Alicia Drake asserted? Or was it 1935, as he told the magazine Paris Match in 2013? (The Hamburg Genealogical Society says he was born on Sept. 10, 1935.)

His personal proclivities were a constantly mutating collection of decades, people and disciplines. His one great fear was of being bored. His conversations (or monologues) could, in almost one breath, bounce from Anita Ekberg romping in the Trevi fountain, to how rich women in the 1920s slept under ermine sheets, and then to the Danish fairy tale illustrator Kay Nielsen. His one blind spot was his own mortality, which he refused to acknowledge.
As he said in the 2008 documentary “Lagerfeld Confidential”: “I don’t want to be real in other people’s lives. I want to be an apparition.”

Karl-Otto Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg to Otto Lagerfeld, a well-off managing director of the German branch of the American Milk Products Company, and the former Elisabeth Bahlmann. His mother was Otto’s second wife, and Karl had both an older half sister, Thea, and an older sister, Martha Christiane.

His mother was, by all accounts, the single most formative influence on her precocious son, who often reported that he had disliked his childhood. His father moved his family to a small town in the north of Germany during World War II, and Karl, who was given to wearing a formal suit and tie to school, did not exactly fit in.

“When I was 14 I wanted to smoke because my mother smoked like mad,” he was quoted as saying. “But my mother said: ‘You shouldn’t smoke. Your hands are not that beautiful, and that shows when you smoke.’ ”

She was responsible, he said, for his fast-forward manner of speech and voluminous conversational references. In an onstage interview at Lincoln Center in 2013, he told the actress Jessica Chastain that when his mother had asked a question, he “had to answer quickly, and it had to be funny.” 
“If I thought of something to say 10 minutes later,” he said, “she would slap me.”

Karl escaped to Paris as a teenager, and though he did not go to art school or receive a classic fashion education, he entered, in 1954 at age 18, a fashion competition called the International Wool Secretariat (now reborn as the International Woolmark Prize) and won the coat category; Yves Saint Laurent, also a young designer, won in the dress category that year. 

Mr. Lagerfeld was hired at the couture house of Pierre Balmain and remained there for three years until he left for Jean Patou. He stayed at that house for five years, until deciding to trade the more rarefied environs of the couture for a freelance career in the emerging world of 1960s ready-to-wear.

He went on to do freelance design work for Krizia, Ballantyne, Charles Jourdan and Chloé, where he stayed for over 10 years and became close to the founder, Gaby Aghion, developing his trademark irreverence for style’s sacred cows.

The approach could also be seen at Fendi, starting in the mid-1960s, when Mr. Lagerfeld was brought in by the family to transform the brand from boring bourgeois furrier into hip fashion name.

And Now, ‘Fun Fur’

He refused to treat such luxury pelts as mink and sable too preciously. Instead he shaved them, dyed them, tufted them and otherwise created the concept of “Fun Fur,” which gave the brand its enduring double F logo.

Silvia Fendi, the only member of the third generation still engaged with the brand, said that even as a child, “when Karl came” she knew “something special was going on and I should pay attention.” 

He also started collecting: furniture, books, magazines — even apartments. He would delve deep into decades and their aesthetic movements, from Art Deco to Memphis, the Bauhaus to the space age, and then discard them, auctioning off his carefully curated acquisitions without nostalgia or emotion. (It was a characteristic of his personal relationships too, according to those who knew him.)
Mr. Lagerfeld in New York in 2002, when he received a lifetime achievement award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s 40th awards gala. 

Mr. Lagerfeld in New York in 2002, when he received a lifetime achievement award at the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s 40th awards gala.CreditBill Cunningham/The New York Times
Mr. Lagerfeld left Chloé in 1982 and took on Chanel — returning first to the haute couture and, the next year, to ready-to-wear. It proved an alchemic combination of designer and brand, given the house’s rich iconography (ropes of pearls, camellias, bouclé, Cs), which Mr. Lagerfeld treated like toys that were his for the twisting.

A photograph of the original supermodels — Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington — as a motorcycle gang in pastel colored Chanel bouclé minisuits and biker caps captured his iconoclasm. Women were breaking glass ceilings and refusing to play by the old rules, and Mr. Lagerfeld transformed Chanel into the armor they could wear to do it.

His work so clearly expressed the ethos of the moment that his early “muse,” the model Ines de la Fressange, was later chosen as the model for a new bust of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic — at which point Mr. Lagerfeld, incensed at the idea of having to share her, ended their professional relationship. (They made up years later.)

Celebrities flocked to Chanel, and to Mr. Lagerfeld, who seized on the marketing possibilities. He teamed up with the movie director Baz Luhrmann and the actress Nicole Kidman to make short promotional films; Mr. Lagerfeld later directed the actresses Cara Delevingne and Kristen Stewart and the singer Pharrell Williams in his own minifeatures about Chanel. 

As social media exploded, Mr. Lagerfeld understood early on how widely disseminated images had the power to transform a show for the trade into a show that would resonate in the digital wilderness. He trucked in a 265-ton iceberg from Sweden for one collection, and built an airplane hangar, a brasserie and a supermarket (stocked with Chanel dishwasher powder and Chanel pasta) for others, all in the confines of the Grand Palais, his Parisian presentation venue of choice.

A Cat in the Lap of Luxury

While his professional life became ever grander, however, his personal life remained a mystery. Mr. Lagerfeld lived alone in a Left Bank apartment crowded with books and clothes, sharing it only with a Birman cat called Choupette, who became as famous as her master, with her own maids, pillow, diamond necklaces and Instagram account.
Mr. Lagerfeld in Berlin in 2015 with a painting of Choupette, his Birman cat. 

He traveled with an ever-shifting entourage, though his godson, Hudson Kroenig, was something of a constant in recent years. Hudson’s father is Brad Kroenig, one of Mr. Lagerfeld’s favorite male models (Mr. Lagerfeld used to accessorize his Chanel shows with the occasional man), and Hudson would often appear on the runway with his godfather to take a bow.

Ironically, though he started his own brand in 1984, the Lagerfeld line never found the same success or popularity as Chanel and Fendi, leading naysayers to suggest that Mr. Lagerfeld worked best within the framework of someone else’s vision. His partisans said he simply did not have enough time. (His brand changed ownership a few times; investors included PVH, Apax Partners and Tommy Hilfiger.)

Though rumors often circulated that Mr. Lagerfeld was sick and about to retire, he never did. He had a lifetime contract with both Chanel and Fendi, and he exercised it. If he stopped, he would say when asked, he might as well stop breathing.

Mr. Lagerfeld was responsible for so many shows, stores and events that in 2017, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, awarded him the city’s highest honor, the Medal of the City of Paris, for services to the metropolis.

Toward the end of his career, fashion was troubled by questions over whether it was demanding too much of its designers, but Mr. Lagerfeld had no truck with any complaints.

“Please don’t say I work hard,” he said to Ms. Frankel of The Independent. “Nobody is forced to do this job, and if they don’t like it they should do another one. People buy dresses to be happy, not to hear about somebody who suffered over a piece of taffeta.”

His pretensions were not to the eternal, but to the ephemeral. In the end, however, with the personal brand that was Karl Lagerfeld, he may have achieved both.


Mr. Lagerfeld with the singer Rihanna at a Fendi dinner in New York in 2015.credit Danny Kim for The New York Times
                                         





June 18, 2018

Amanda Stenberg Comes Out Gay

Amandla Stenberg, CFDA 2018
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Amandla Stenberg came out as gay in a new interview for Wonderland.
The Everything, Everything star shared a picture of the corresponding shoot and cover story on Instagram. 
"OUT & PROUD," part of her post read. "So happy to say the words Yep, I'm Gay in official print."
In the piece, Stenberg said she released "joyful and overwhelmed sobs" upon realizing her sexuality.
"I was so overcome with this profound sense of relief when I realized that I'm gay—not bi, not pan, but gay—with a romantic love for women," she said. "All of the things that felt so internally contrary to my truest self were rectified as I unravelled a long web of denial and self deprivation. Like oh, maybe there's a reason why I kissed my best friends and felt ashamed growing up. Or watched lesbian porn and masturbated (and more) with my friends at sleepovers. Or stifled a scream of horror the first time I saw a penis and had to convince myself with much internal strife that I was enjoying what was going down. Or could only find attraction towards gay men and femme boys who damn near had the sensibility of a woman. Or developed earth shattering, all consuming crushes on… GIRLS!" 
She then added, "I was flooded with a sense of calm and peace because everything that I struggled with or felt discomfort around finally made sense to me, and once those floodgates opened and years of pent up pain and shame were released, I found the freedom to live my best life waiting for me just underneath." 
She also cited Mila Kunis as her "first lesbian crush" and recalled watching her performance in After Sex. Other early crushes included Mirage from The Incredibles and Christina Vidal from Freaky Friday.
In addition, the Hunger Games actress shared her appreciation for being gay.
"I'm grateful for how being gay has afforded me this ability to experience and understand love and sex, and therefore life, in an expansive and infinite way," she told the publication. "The continual process of unlearning heteronormativity and internalized homophobia can be difficult, but one of the biggest blessings lies in the magic that comes from having to understand love outside the confines of learned heterosexual roles. It is the power to reveal the ethereal love that exists within us underneath socialization. Once I was able to rid myself of those parameters, I found myself in a deep well of unbounded and untouchable love free from the dominion of patriarchy. My sexuality is not a byproduct of my past experiences with men, who I have loved, but rather a part of myself I was born with and love deeply." 
To read the full interview, visit Wonderland.com.

June 5, 2018

Icon Designer Kate Spade Body Found, Suspected Suicide


Source: Getty
Iconic designer Kate Spade was found dead Tuesday in a suspected suicide inside her Upper East Side home, cops said.
Designer Kate Spade was found dead inside her Upper East Side home, Tuesday, June 5. Officials arrived in the afternoon to inspect the scene.A housekeeper found the body of the 55-year-old fashion maven in her apartment on Park Avenue near E. 77th St. at about 10:20 a.m, police sources said. Spade hanged herself with a scarf, police sources said. A note was found inside the home, suggesting Spade committed suicide, sources said. 
Kate Spade New York has more than 140 retail shops around the U.S. and more than 175 elsewhere in the world. 

Born Katherine Brosnahan in Kansas City in December 1962, Spade attended an all-girls Catholic high school. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in journalism in 1985. 

Eight years later, after a stint as a fashion editor at Mademoiselle magazine, she launched Kate Spade. Her partner on the new line of handbags was her soon-to-be husband, Andy Spade, the brother of comedian David Spade. But her handbags, with their modern look and bright pops of color, soon attracted legions of loyal buyers. Kate Spade handbags lined the shelves at Barneys and other high-fashion retailers. 

Spade parlayed her fame into three successful books, “Manners,” “Occasions,” and “Style.”
She sold the company in 2007 to focus on the couple’s daughter Frances, who was born on Feb. 2005.
But she returned to the fashion world in 2016 when she launched the Frances Valentine line in U.S. stores.



NY Daily News.

August 14, 2017

Fashion Celebrity? Calls for Mass Execution of "Non" Heterosexuals



                    Gallery • ArtRon Griswold: Modern Handshows With Classic Touches!


I was going to post a picture of this hater, I felt I would rather put the picture of a duck for my own reasons but then I decided to post something universal to us all and it should make a man or woman, gay or straight say, ahh! comme c'est beau (French not Turk)




A Kyrgyz fashion-world celebrity has drawn criticism after apparently calling for the mass execution of "nontraditional" sexual minorities and prostitutes in the Central Asian republic.

In a Facebook post on August 10, Amina Yusurova 🦆 a fashion model and national director of the Kyrgyzstan World Beauty Congress wrote: "Round up all the people of non-traditional orientation and blow them all up on one island." 

She added that "women of low social responsibility" should be included "on that island."

It is unclear what prompted the digital outburst, but in it, the 29-year-old Yusurova suggests that such people damage the reputation of the country and its capital, Bishkek.

The term "nontraditional sexual orientation" is frequently used by detractors in ex-Soviet states to refer to gay, lesbian, and other sexual minorities.

'Intolerant, Bloodthirsty'

Yusurova🦆🦆 has provoked outrage in the past with comments targeting ethnic Russians in Kyrgyzstan, a country of around 6 million people that declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

A number of Yusurova's Facebook followers criticized her remarks, variously calling them "intolerant," "aggressive," and "bloodthirsty," and a Kyrgyz news website urged police to take action.

"You're setting everyone against yourself," Dzhamilya Turdakunova said via the social network.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Sumsarbek Obbo Mamyraly, a Facebook user from Bishkek.

Another suggested Yusurova "use her beauty to spread a different type of message."

One Facebook user wrote that he is "against" sexual minorities but that doesn't give him the right "to blow them up or take some other action against them."

Yusurova🦆 countered by saying that "these are my thoughts," while adding that she had the right to express her opinions.

Inciting Hatred?

The model, who has more than 6,100 Facebook followers, has previously urged Kyrgyz people to kick out ethnic Russians on the social network, according to local media reports. She has since removed that post.

Kyrgyz news website vesti.kg called on Kyrgyzstan's Interior Ministry and security services to "react" to Yusurova's comments, suggesting she has a history of offensive remarks.

Another popular news website, knews.kg, suggested that Yusurova's "comments in the public space -- directly or indirectly -- fall under the article on inciting ethnic hatred" in the country's Criminal Code. 

Sexual minorities often face discrimination and harassment in Kyrgyzstan, where statistics point to a recent rise in attacks on gay, lesbian, and transgender people.

In 2016, Kyrgyzstan effectively banned same-sex marriages in an amendment to the Constitution stipulating that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

A bill criminalizing so-called gay "propaganda" is currently set for a final reading in the Kyrgyz parliament before becoming law.

Written by RFE/RL correspondent Farangis Najibullah

July 7, 2016

A beautiful Stud Model Undies (and Explanation)



                                                             


Sometimes we just have too much to tell,  you might not know(media’s fault by publishing on the net only what gets hits and sells), that we don’t have the space and time to tell about things we used to tell you or show you before. Do you know we started with just gay stories? What ever was gay almost qualified, it had to be true. Then when the gay media was established as is today that changed.

Now we concentrate on what the publisher feels you might want to be aware without boring you with a lot of other stuff. It could be a gay story or about a story in Turkey or Scotland. It’s a hit and miss because we use the information we get on what is being read not to republish the same thing but to teach us what people are interested in and then check if enough it’s being said,  if not,  we will pick a good established network to post one of their postings or just write it ourselves if we have all the information. This has to be done very fast before midnight everyday.

We always give the gay story the highest priority but you don’t need  o see the same story everywhere. We don’t live by our community alone so we need to know what is going around us.

So to change the pace we decided to publish a beautiful stud model undies. Artificial? Yes but is good to watch and it might give us ideas of what to wear. 

This introduction is not to excuse what you are about to see but we took this story with a video as another chance to tell you more abut us. Love to our readers…








April 10, 2014

Life of Gay Married Designer Tom Ford

                                                                                     

Famed fashion designer Tom Ford, 52 and his long-time love of 27 years, Richard Buckley, 66, casually announced that they are now married at the Regent Street Apple store in London on April 7.  We think it is incredible that the couple is now committed in marriage after 27 years together. We wonder why the marriage was so under wraps but we are sure the dashing couple and their son, Alexander John Buckley Ford, are ready to take on married life!

Tom Ford Married To Richard Buckley

The couple met when Tom was 25 years old and Richard was 38.  We think it was about time for these two love birds to tie the knot!  Tom showed off his ring announcing to the audience, “We are now married, which is nice,” during his appearance at the Apple store.  He shocked us when he then added that they were married in the United States! 
Early on in their relationship, Tom’s fashion brand was just beginning to sky rocket and achieve success and Richard, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Hommes International , was also very much an integral part of the fashion scene.  Sadly, Richard was diagnosed with cancer in 1989 and after his recovery the couple moved from New York to Italy.  As their relationship began to grow, the couple announced that they started a family and revealed their son Alexander John Buckley Ford, to the world in 2012.  They are now residing in London where Ford’s famous fashion brand is based.
Life Story of Tom Ford

Tom Ford famously–and it seems incongruously–grew up in Austin, TX and Santa Fe, NM and it resonates with and influences him still. His childhood seemed idyllic, and he counts a grandmother–who was married six times and insisted on going by the name “Duckie” because she didn’t want to be called “Grandmother”–as a huge influence. Ford said, “She jingled and smelled good.” Despite a self-described happy childhood, he acknowledges that being different in the Texas school he attended was not celebrated. He experienced bullying for things like carrying a briefcase, but his parents continued to encourage him to do it, for which he was obviously grateful.

He went to NYU as an undergrad, but dropped out after a year. “Um, I was going to Studio 54 lot,” he said by way of explanation. In the meantime, he embarked on a short-lived acting career about which he said (totally tongue-in-cheek), “I didn’t want to be an actor. I wanted to be a movie star!” He ultimately attended Parsons , where he ended up with a degree in environmental design–not fashion design, and spent some time interning in Paris. But his ballsiness landed him a job in fashion after he hounded designer Cathy Hardwick until she agreed to see his sketches. Ford said, “She said [she hired me] because I had pretty hands.” He basically learned on-the-job, and told a story about being asked to draw some circle skirts. He ran down to Bloomingdale’s, looked at the seams of some skirts, then ran back to the office to sketch.

Fast forward a few years, where he landed a job at Perry Ellis in the jeans division. Working there in an environment where a few cents per yard of denim was a hotly debated topic seems to have convinced him that he doesn’t want to work in fast, or “accessible” fashion. “I’m really happy doing this,” he said. “This” meaning making really high-end clothes.

After an almost decade-long stint at Gucci and then YSL, Tom Ford started to feel burned out. “I bought a house and art and a lot of material things. But it did not make me happy,” he said. “In a way I think I willed my own departure from Gucci.” While he’s proud of the growth the company achieved (from near bankruptcy to a company worth billions) he regrets not leaving on good terms with Yves Saint Laurent (whose company was acquired by Gucci) himself. Ford claims to have “beautifully handwritten notes from Yves detailing how in 13 months I destroyed what he built in 40 years.” He started drinking to “escape” and knew he needed a change.
A year of retirement and playing golf (with wooden clubs and custom-made golf shoes, natch) didn’t sit well with him. He started his film company, and released A Single Man, to much acclaim. But fashion called to him. “I was shopping and couldn’t find anything I wanted,” he said. “At Gucci I just made myself things!” So Tom Ford the company was born–then came menswear, eyewear, beauty, and finally women’s RTW and a full beauty collection. While he claims to have three film projects in the works now, fashion is winning out. “The film industry is too slow. I would lose my mind,” he said. He will continue to show his collection to small groups of editors and plans to control the release of images as he’s done for the last year.

We could have listened to him for another hour, but it was not to be. However, the 92nd Street Y is hosting another talk that promises to be equally as exciting: “Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis: Michael Kors.”

Slated for June 6 at 8 PM, vente-privee will once again provide unparalleled access to this intimate conversation. Become a member and be on the lookout for these packages available soon on vente-privee, and you just might be rubbing VIP elbows with Mr. Kors himself.

Oh, and since Tom Ford was inspired by European style during his time in Paris, why not live that experience yourself? It’s not too late to enter our contest to win a trip to Paris courtesy of vente-privee! All you need to do is register here.

Sources: fashionista
             hollywoodlife

September 26, 2013

A Queer History of Fashion at F.I. of Technology NYC

A Queer History of Fashion
 An exhibition at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York explores the LGBTQ contribution to style, from 18th-century London to present-day AmericaA Queer History of Fashion.
The celebrity-heavy unveiling of New York's annual Met Ball may guarantee its home, the Costume Institute, a certain amount of attention each year, but it is not the only museum in the city that explores the history of fashion.
At the Fashion Institute of Technology, museum director and chief curator Valerie Steele has been carving out a reputation for shows that flirt with the fetishistic and expose the often uncovered side of fashion. Her latest, A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk, co-curated with Fred Dennis, delves into the LGBTQ contribution to style, from 18th-century London, where "mollies" cross-dressed (here in red velvet capes) and had mock marriages, to present-day America, where gay people can legally marry.
Steele says: "We wanted to put gay people back into history, not just by saying that some designers happened to be gay, but by saying, 'actually, LGBTQ people have had a big impact on fashion for a long time, and it's not just by chance.'". Ranging from the sober to the flamboyant, and referencing hanky codes, Aids awareness, leather and lumberjack, the exhibition explores gay people as both designers and trendsetters, through high fashion, street style and performance gear.
Queer FashionAn 1882 day dress. A man’s three piece silk velvet suit, 1790-1800, France. Naomi Campbell models Versace, leather evening dress, autumn/winter 1992
While many designers these days are openly gay, homosexuality in the industry was once either a fiercely guarded or an open secret. Dior was terrified his mother – and the wider world – would find out he was gay; Yves Saint Laurent's relationship with Pierre Bergé was only explicitly romantic later in his career; and Austrian designer Rudi Gernreich (if only we were all floating about in his printed unisex kaftans) was a founding member of gay rights group The Mattachine Society in 1950 - although he quickly quit, terrified he would be arrested and deported from the US.
The show is a small, celebratory sprint through centuries of style. Certain looks stand out: the lesbian elegance of the 1920s, typified by the Monocle clubMarlene Dietrich's looks, which show off her impeccable taste as well as her gender-bending; the moving collection of Aids awareness T-shirts; Versace's leather ballgown, which disgusted wealthy women in Dallas early in his career, but captured the fashion world's imagination during his heyday 15 years later ("Now look: 200 socialites in bondage!" he laughed, according to Steele).
There is great pleasure in imagining the people connected to the clothes, too. A Saint Laurent suit isn't just a great example of the designer's tailoring, but was also worn by Aids activist Larry Kramer. Spanish designer Miguel Adrover's astonishing – but kinda gross – coat is made out of Quentin Crisp's stained old mattress, which he found in the rubbish after the raconteur's death.
Since the exhibition ends with the plain suits worn by a male couple at their recent marriage, the question is: will greater assimilation make LGBTQ fashion less "queer"? Steele thinks not. "People have been saying that for years: 'We're not going to be so edgy! It'll be all bourgeois with gay marriage!' First of all, it's not all New York and London – there's Egpyt, Russia, Uganda, lots of places where there's still tremendous hostility towards gay people. Also, there's the sense of feeling different; that your gender or sex alignment is not the norm. I think that sense of being different is not going to disappear."
• A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk is at The Museum at FIT, New York, until 4 January 2014.

September 1, 2013

Is Femme The Looks of The Future of Men's Fashion



(Follow up)


Some fashion trends sneak up on you. Others ring out loud and clear. Last week, as the Spring ’14 menswear shows kicked off in London, one trend sounded with all the subtlety of an air horn: androgyny is the new black.
The most forceful expression of this theme came from up-and-coming brand JW Anderson. The five-year-old label comprises collections for men and women, and designer Jonathan Anderson likes to overlap the look of the two. Last season, for instance, Anderson showed pairs of ruffled shorts for men much like the ones in his Spring ’13 womenswear collection. And this time, Anderson’s dominant silhouette was a lean tunic paired with fluid, elongated trousers, another shape he’d begun to articulate in his previous womenswear show. But the look that got eyebrows arching and tongues wagging was Anderson’s male halter top: backless, semi-sheer and floral patterned, the look was unavoidably effeminate. “Atrocious,” sneered The Daily Mail.
Anderson is upfront about the fact that he likes testing the boundaries between men’s and women’s clothes. But he insists that he’s not setting out to create controversy; for him, the gender-bending emerges organically, out of formal risk-taking.
“In a way, it’s funny that people had such a strong reaction to that look,” Anderson tells me. “I mean, that top started as a long raglan mac. And then we cut the sleeves off, and then we made it short. When you’re in the studio,” he goes on, “that kind of experimentation feels normal. In fact, it’s the point. You’re playing with a piece of fabric, trying to create a new line, a new proportion. But then you present that to the world, on a runway, and it becomes this ‘thing.’” 
A pattern forming
If Jonathan Anderson were an outlier, one mad designer whipping up androgynous looks out of a surfeit of aesthetic zeal, that would be interesting. But what’s more interesting is the fact that Anderson is not alone. Another London up-and-comer, Shaun Sampson, showed pale pink organza board shorts and ‘skirts’ made to look like beach towels. At Alexander McQueen, creative director Sarah Burton opened the show with a fitted suit of white lace. The Topman show featured fanciful cowboys, and embroidered florals. At a certain point, it started to feel unfair, or arbitrary, to think of those looks as ‘feminine’. I found myself wondering: who decided that men couldn’t wear lace? Or skirts, for that matter? Back in ancient Greece, guys were wearing togas, right? So when did all this vigilance around masculinity happen, exactly?
“I feel like we’ve been in a really conservative moment,” notes Martine Rose, another London-based menswear designer who tests gender conventions with her clothes. “It’s so lazy, this way of thinking – that ‘real’ men wear this, but not that. I was really influenced by [funk musician] Rick James, for this collection,” she continues, “and he was so sexy, so gangster, and wearing ruffled shirts and thigh-high red boots. He wasn’t letting his clothes define his sexuality. Or his masculinity.”
Rose’s new collection featured all manner of ‘feminine’ detail. What made it intriguing, though, was the fact that the attitude of the clothes was so incontrovertibly masculine. Rose draws a great deal of inspiration from sport, and beyond that, from the way even non-sporty guys wind up integrating athletic kit into their wardrobes. This season, she expanded that concept into lace-frilled running shorts and blouson trousers with the indolent slouch of tracksuit bottoms.
‘Crisis of confidence’?
“Footballers back in the seventies, they used to wear those little shorts,” Rose muses. “No one was questioning their manliness; other guys wanted to look like them, in fact. And they were sexy, those footballers. They had the confidence to show their bodies, and to be playful.”
Confidence. If there’s one thing these new androgynous looks demand of men, it’s that. Which raises the question: have the über-masculine looks dominating menswear up to now been signaling a crisis of male confidence?
When The Atlantic magazine publishes cover stories that trumpet ‘The End of Men’, it’s tempting to read the advent of Don Draper, style icon, as channeling nostalgia for an era when men were the breadwinners. Likewise, the rise of earthy looks – lumberjack hipsters, and all that – could be symptomatic of revanchist idolatry of the ‘manly’ man, who would never, ever change a diaper.
But you could just as easily argue that Mad Men fetishists in the US are really just sentimental for the days when America was coming up in the world. And all those guys in their Woolrich parkas and plaid flannel, well, maybe their dreams are of working with the hard, physical matter of the world, rather than the e-stuff and iThings of our virtual age.
Fine and dandy
The point is, clothes can be complicated. They can tell a few stories, all at once. And so it’s entirely probable that there’s more to this gender-blurring fashion moment than gender.
Dandyism, wrote the 19th Century poet and essayist Charles Baudelaire, emerges in times of transition. And at such moments, he asserted,  “a certain number of men, disenchanted and leisured ‘outsiders’…may conceive the idea of establishing a new kind of aristocracy.”
What Baudelaire is talking about, of course, is taste. And when Jonathan Anderson explains that his controversial halter tops were the product of his desire to create “a new line,” he’s talking about taste, too. So is Charlie Casely-Hayford, co-founder of the luxury menswear brand Casely-Hayford, when he says that feminine elements give his brand’s natty suits a sense of “refinement.” You could argue that what we’re seeing on menswear runways right now is the establishment of Baudelaire’s aristocracy of taste. The folks in the front row were perfectly blasé about the halter tops at JW Anderson’s show. Their focus was on the way Anderson finessed the look, and his conviction in selling it
There’s a kind of ivory tower thinking at work in this, no doubt about it. But I’m willing to bet that, given some time, the public will come around to some version of this new unisex aesthetic. It’s happened before: as Martine Rose pointed out, there was a fey moment back in the seventies. And the feminine influence is already apparent in a handful of brands, like Casely-Hayford, that traffic in relatively conventional men’s clothes.
And Charlie Casely-Hayford agrees that, in time, his customer will fully come round. “We want to challenge our customer, but we don’t want to freak him out,” he says. “So every season, I’m asking myself – can we do a skirt? Will he understand? We’re almost there,” he adds. “But, you know, not quite yet.”
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August 13, 2013

Andre Leon Talley- Gay and Super Talented From Vogue in NY to Moscow Russia


ANDRÉ LEON TALLEY

Andre-Leon-Talley-hero.jpgPhotograph by George Burns/Harpo, Inc. Published in Vogue, April 2006.
“André doesn’t have fashion. André himself is fashion,”[1]the shoe maestro Manolo Blahnik said in 2010 of the high-flying contributing editor to Vogue. And Talley is, by any account, one of the most authoritative voices in the industry, offering his encyclopedic knowledge of design as a critic, columnist, television personality, and all-around inspiration.

Talley once wrote that he was a “true fashion convert by the age of twelve.”[2] He has attributed his rise to a devout passion for the subject, fostered by a series of female mentors: first and foremost, his grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, who raised him in Durham, North Carolina. She took pride in her appearance—with a Sunday wardrobe that was modest, but impeccable and very stylish—that left an indelible mark on young André. After attending college in his hometown, he pursued a master’s degree in French literature at Brown University; he considered becoming a professor before moving to New York City in 1974
  • First worked at Vogue1983
  • Born1948Washington, D.C.

History
  1. 1948
    André Leon Talley born in Washington, D.C., the son of Alma Ruth Davis and William Carroll Talley (by day a press operator at the U.S. Patent Office and by night a taxi driver). André’s parents will eventually divorce and he will be raised by his maternal grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, in Durham, North Carolina; she works as a dormitory-room cleaner at Duke University.
  2. 1961
    Baptised. Family life is grounded in the church. “My childhood was, by anyone’s standards, a rich one,”[7] he later writes. Because of his height—which eventually will reach six feet seven inches—his father entertains hopes he will become a basketball player.
  3. 1966
    After graduating from Hillside High School, studies French at North Carolina Central University.
  4. 1970
    Leaves Durham to pursue a master’s degree in French literature at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. While there, he participates in an exchange program at Rhode Island School of Design; at RISD, he will take an art history course, develop friendships with fashion enthusiasts, and write a gossip-and-fashion column for the school newspaper.
  5. 1972
    Earns his master’s. Later writes, “My topic was the pivotal role played by all the fabulous, exotic North African women in the works of poet Charles Baudelaire and painter Eugène Delacroix.”[8] After weekend visits to friend Reed Evins in New York, realizes that a career in academia is not for him. Encouraged by Reed and the artist Richard Merkin, decides to pursue fashion.
  6. 1974
    Moves to Manhattan. With a letter of recommendation from the father of a friend from RISD, obtains a volunteer position at the Met’s Costume Institute. Contributes to Interview magazine’s Small Talk column.
  7. 1975
    Takes first steady job in New York, working for Pop artist Andy Warhol at Interview. “On his first day at work,” editor Bob Colacello later says, “André turned up in khaki safari shirt and Bermuda shorts, with matching knee socks, topped off by a hunter’s helmet from Abercrombie & Fitch. . . . We dubbed him André de Interview, because he often answered the phone with a festive ‘Bonjour!’ ”[9] Soon, Talley is promoted from receptionist to fashion editor.
  8. 1977
    Becomes a Paris fashion editor for WWD.
  9. 1982
    Hired by Eunice W. Johnson as the fashion editor of Ebonymagazine.
  10. 1983
    Joins Vogue as fashion news editor; will be in charge of Vogue’s View fashion section.
  11. 1988
    Named Vogue’s creative director.
  12. 1989
    Loses the two most important women in his life, his grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, and his mentor, Diana Vreeland. Joins the congregation of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
  13. 1994
    Begins writing his memoir, partly as a therapeutic way to get over the deaths of his grandmother and Vreeland.
  14. 1995
    Leaves Vogue and moves to Paris to be bureau chief for W.
  15. 1997
    Returns to the States and to Vogue (where he is named editor at large). Begins writing a regular column, Style Fax; it will later be known as Life With André.
  16. 2000
    Savannah College of Art and Design, of which he is a trustee, creates a lifetime achievement award in Talley’s name; Oscar de la RentaMiuccia PradaTom Ford, and Manolo Blahnik are among the future recipients.
  17. 2003
    A.L.T.: A Memoir published by Villard.
  18. 2004
    Takes the stage with the Martha Graham Dance Company to narrate The Owl and the Pussycat.
  19. 2005
    His second book, ALT 365+, published. Inspired by a trip to Turin, Italy—where he took a snapshot of Miuccia Prada with a disposable camera—it is an art monograph, chronicling 365 days of his life through his own photographs and words. Included are fond remarks about Diana Ross, Oscar de la Renta, and Diane von Furstenberg (a friend since the 1970s).
  20. 2007
    Comments on Oscar fashion—live, from the red carpet—as one of the cohosts of ABC’s Academy Awards night coverage. Curates “A Celebration of Oscar Fashion,” which showcases famous dresses from down the years, in the grand lobby of the Academy’s Beverly Hills headquarters.
  21. 2008
    Plays himself in Sex and the City: The Movie.
  22. 2009
    Blankets the airwaves as an authoritative voice on White House fashion during the Obama administration’s inauguration week. Appears in two hit documentaries: The September Issue andValentino: The Last Emperor. Signs on as a judge in America’s Next Top Model.
  23. 2010
    Gets a new title at Vogue, contributing editor; continues to write his column, Life With André, and report from around the globe, while accepting more freelance television gigs and personal projects.
  24. 2011
    Steps down as America’s Next Top Model judge. The André Leon Talley Gallery opens at the new SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia.
  25. 2012
    Becomes frequent contributor to Entertainment Tonight,reporting from red carpet events including the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars. February: Receives Emerge! Fashion Innovator Award, presented by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg. September: Curates “Little Black Dress” exhibit at the SCAD museum. October: Hosts a dinner for British designer Zandra Rhodes—a longtime friend (and fellow Diana Vreeland protégée)—in celebration of a retrospective of her work at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
  26. 2013
    January: Begins shooting a regular video column called Mondays with André for Vogue.com. February: Strikes a deal with production company Electus for his own late-night talk show. Named editor at large for Numéro magazine’s new Russian edition.

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