Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Goodbye Mr Slimane .. You Simply Won't Do


There have been many fashion tiffs. Amusing, elegant, and downright witchy. Michael Coady was legendary at ignoring a designer in W/WWD for some transgression, and in those days it mattered. Shop buyers worried and the designer's own staff was chastened. Usually it righted itself with even more pages of advertising and the good make-up days.

It's a business of manners, fashion is. Well, was. It's changed with the economy and technology and a democratic let's get down to business: social media is a term I've come to loathe. It's always and forever about product, about a damn good dress ... after that, all the tweets and blog posts and clever email campaigns may come and go. A good dress which, in my opinion, is ever more elusive .. along with the language of fashion. The shorthand of twitter and thumbs on an iphone have dwarfed description and understanding. Iphone photos in low light and from the third row are, in a word, awful. It's astounding that in a fashion generation, and I have no idea how long that really is, the banned polaroids buyers needed to work in foreign hotel rooms have given way to streaming fashion shows and all the Vogues having instant runway slideshows. The only thing missing and maybe it's on the designer's websites as they have begun to sell directly, oh delicious dreamy profits, to the customer.

Brand loyalty was a requirement. Something Pierre Berge was rather strict about ... the only thing that mattered in the early moments of pret a porter was loyalty and great banking relationships. Even before all the showrooms learned to utter good morning and here's the minimum, the buyer was expected to come back every season, good collection or not, and for this the house limited (well, a few in Milano forgot about this, promising exclusivity to any store that left an order) distribution. Old-fashioned but friendly.

The heartbreakingly creative designers of those early days grew and grew and grew until they were the establishment, millions in the bank and designing hotels, boats, cars and bigger bank accounts. The brand mattered.

Into this brasher, richer moment came Hedi Slimane. Memories of his very good, very slim mens wear in mind, his perhaps eccentric move to Los Angeles and his work as a photographer came together into a very heated debut with his collection for Yves Saint Laurent. Dropping some of the letters, keeping some, adding Paris ... he was allowed all of that. Pierre Berge approved and that was that.

The collection was good ... for a stylist. Not all of it will be bought but there were pieces. A rock-n-roll mood that was genuine a while back when Tom Ford did it at Gucci was not quite as well done in Slimane's hands.

The above tweet, ill-mannered, vulgar, déclassé  ... is the work of Hedi Slimane. It has nothing to do with the history of the House of YSL and nothing to do with anything that is fine and revered.

It is unacceptable. It would be ever so appropriate for Slimane to slouch out of Paris for another city, not wanted.

Can't get the size right of Slimane's awful tweet but it will go to full size if you click on it.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cornel Lucas at Fiorentini & Baker: The Seduction Of Film-Noir Photography And The Most Delicious Boots

Brigitte Bardot 1955

 Brigitte Bardot 1955

 Diana Dors 1955

 Joan Collins 1952

 Katherine Hepburn 1950

 Lauren Bacall 1958

Joan Collins 1951

Sultry ladies of that oh-so-seductive film-noir chic .. iconic images of Brigitte Bardot, Joan Collins, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Bacall, Diana Dors and Marlene Dietrich. Intimate portraits revealing the glamour and allure of these beautiful women. 


Cornel Lucas, the legendary British photographer, the only photographer to win a BAFTA in honor of his work with film, will show his work in New York for the first time, celebrating his 92nd birthday with an exhibition at the Mercer Street boutique of Fiorentini & Baker at the invitation of Deborah Baker. The show runs through October 28.


How delicious ... Fiorentini & Baker boots, the playful ladies shown in the exhibition, all those boots! 

Fiorentini & Baker website link here.

Cornel Lucas website link here.


Silver gelatin prints on fiber based paper, all prints signed and stamped by the photographer, all vintage prints printed by the photographer.


$5000 vintage 20x16
$3000 vintage 12x10
$2500 modern 20x16



Marlene Dietrich 1948


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Foreward by Anna Piaggi


"A confection herself as an object not to be touched: hats with light bulbs going off and on, a wave of gray-black hair cut to wind its way from the hairline to the eyebrows." Anna Piaggi. The inspiration for the fashion journalist of Gini Alhadeff's Diary of a Djinn.

"A fine poet of clothes." Bill Cunnigham

"Her pages are the reason to read Vogue." Manolo Blahnik

I remember her elegance, her happiness with fashion as much as the ensembles that were so natural on her. Perhaps a Vionnet dress over tight jeans, the possibilities of her shoes for her delicate feet as whimsical as what passed for her hats. Loved fashion beyond the front rows of shows, the shows which once were disorganized and scattered. She worked in fashion, striding in through showrooms, walking quickly, through tumult and saw each thing uniquely. Vanity, her own magazine, and then to Franca Sozzana's Vogue and her never again DP's ... the Double Pages captured in her book Fashion Algebra.

But there was a beginning to Italian fashion ... from the Alta Moda to its version of pret-a-porter. The days of running out of Italian bathrooms if you didn't have a coin for the little plate, the notices in the Principe Savoia elevator randomly and politely informing that the elevator would be on strike from 1pm to 3pm, the tiny yellow taxes with their drivers shaking fists at the traffic, the fashion train from Milano to Firenze, the shows in hotel ballrooms and Miuccia straight out of college with long dark hair showing Prada bags at the Hotel Diana, lunch in the back room with Armani's boy models, starched bed linens and calzone on the back streets.

It was the time of the foreword and literally that in 1979 when Anna Piaggi wrote that for Who's Who In Italian Fashion. And here it is ... in its entirety: if you are to love fashion, you may savor the understanding and language of fashion from Anna Piaggi. I do.


Toasting with champagne is a thing I love and I've always dreamed of being godmother to an Ocean Liner. The christening of this book calls for a special celebration: the deck is prestigious and the cargo exceptional.

Forty Italian designers have gone on board, preceded and followed throughout their journey by a festive fanfare. The press cheers, as they might have done at the arrival and departure of the golden stars of the Hollywood ere; a crowd of fans on both sides of the ocean is ready to swear by their elegant rules.

That's how it is: they are all wrapped in a magic halo of miracles or hard-won achievement, talent or brilliant craftsmanship, professionalism or trance, imagination or high-technology and it all comes in reams of silk, mind-boggling yarns, velvet-smooth leathers and unfathomable patterns. Neatly packed into an army of trunks, it travels around the world under a single, unmistakable label: the Italian Look.

When I think of the glorious and animated history of the Italian Look, a host of episodes and images appear before my eyes: a model standing on top of a Land Rover in the courtyard of the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, wearing one of Lancetti's military coats, Verushka in a Ken Scott tiger print, on the grand stairway of the Brera, Walter Albini's '40's styles photographed in front of Kafka's home in Prague, in that fateful May of 1968, Ali MacGraw in a Capucci in Tivoli, models in Missoni pullovets waving starter flags, an Emilio Pucci against a sunset in Baalbeck. There were many hours spent with Alfa, sitting at the Biffa Scala cafe or at the Giamaica bar, eagerly flipping through the bibles of fashion: designs by Galitzine and Forquet, perfect graphisms for Scavullo's pictures at the EUR or in Bomarzo; Ferragamo shoes transformed into abstract space-age designs by Hiro's camera. In the reign of pure photography, nothing was more essential or desirable than a crisp Nattier fabric or Simonetta's sculptured look, especially if the model happened to be Isabella Albonico, Iris Bianchi, Tilly Tizziani, Mirella Petteni or Isa Stoppi.

Fashion and the mood that went with it gave the image its impact: an image drawn from a ritual of secrets, inventions and a special chemistry, fluctuating with the ever-changing tide of the fashions, faces and looks of the time. In the great carousel of this improvised replay, I can suddenly see Suzy Blakeley dancing in one of Valentino's Cruise outfits at the photographer Pierluigi's studio in Rome, in front of Chris von Wagenheim's camera, then Silvano Malta's New Orleans style, Caumont's Art Deco, the sexy-exotic-peasant girls, a Rolls Royce and a pair of skates, a cheerleader and a lesbian. Ah! the thrill of the cast, the themes, and dresses of the Italian Look, seen slightly unrealistically, as I have always seen them, through the eyes of a camera.

The ultimate test for dresses really comes when you photograph them: for me they should have a soul, create a mood, leave a souvenir, exude luxury or misery and carry a message from those who designed them to those who wear them. It's like an intimate relationship, technique counts but love and a sense of humor are essential. Designers, then, bear the important responsibility of communicating an idea. Theirs is like a secret society, a special ethnic group made up of pioneers, a few inventors and a few poets. The strongest is the one who can thrill you with a dress, the way Walter Albini's early designs used to thrill me.

When a dress seen through a camera feels void, I often decide to transform it, giving it some meaning, some character.

And for an incurable romantic like myself, who believes that every dress must be a story, things couldn't be better: never as in the past few years, the words, pages and chapters of Italian stories, on racks, runways, jets and in magazines and store windows, stories bought, sold, worn, paraded, shown off, celebrated, have built up such a formidable saga of influential fashion.

And the protagonists of these real stories are the forty designers of dresses and accessories portrayed in this book.

It's important to get to know them: we're in their hands. They hold the key to the past and future of the Italian adventure in fashion. They have created a group image which was once the prerogative of artists and architects.

They are the new phenomenon and the new elite.


Anna Piaggi



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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Louboutin, Big Old Lines, Neiman Marcus and Love


 




Just another designer showing at Neiman Marcus in Beverly Hills? I think not!!! That 2pm - 4pm signing?  It looked like the line at Studio 54 back when Bianca and Halston were dancing and smoking. Counting the red soles was beyond possible as the perfumed Louboutin-clad ladies and that cool dude (Jackson holding his shoe box lid and yes he wore his basic Loubs, not the spiked leopard spotted ones or his way-mean black and spiked version) visiting the heart of the Loub madness only to discover Neiman's doesn't do mens Loubs (how many times can I stick that in one sentence, oh grammar fairy help). At the very end of the line chatting it up with the coolest Neiman's shoe salesman, that line ended with me being told, since it didn't move at all in the twenty minutes I patiently waited, that it would probably be 6pm before all were signed. Ladies (and a couple of guys) wanting their red soles signed. 

Party time as cute waiters passed out drinks to the line snaking past accessories into cosmetics and perfume. Parking lots and valet completely filled, no more room signs planted. Jackson and I left, sad we'd missed the Manolo Blahnik event in the '90's when he signed shoes there, male models reclining in gigantic fishtanks clad in white Speedos. Events, Disneylandish big things and fun to get the shopper back in the shop.

Graffiti and urban art, gorgeous and impactful in the week that David Choe, link is to my post, cashed out to the tune of $2,000,000.00; after Mark Zuckerberg had him do a few paintings on Facebook walls, David agreed to be paid in Facebook stock not cash. Delicious paydays are what dreams are made of and he can now buy all the Loubs he wants.

Having valet parked, keep the Jeep up front please, at a different Wilshire Boulevard department store, we walked through the mens store and counted three shoppers. A for lease empty shop next door. Not easy days for let's-retail-like-it's-1999.

Urban art is a whole lot like Holga pictures: each is interesting but not all are important. Between Banksy and Marc Jacobs working with Stephen Sprouse on the graffiti-inspired LV pieces, it's here to stay and if you have a teenage boy, chances are you need to check his socks for hidden markers.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Poetic Steampunk Hand Made Dress



Sometimes it's just one poetic dress that matters. This one, one of many Jenny Eve lives with sold under the name of Madame Chic de France, link here.

Her description ...


"Black rayon/viscose fabric
The applique in front the dress is like a half dress . I made it with a cream linen fabric and beads applique ( silver and white colours ) , tulle hand dyed with tea and pleated + black ruffles in black rayon/viscose 
Vintage finest lace ribbon from Belgium, dating early 1900s , hand dyed with tea , to adjust the black dress on the back.
The long sleeves are in black rayon , the padding shoulders with linen fabric and tulle , like the front part of the dress .
They are fixed with black metal snap closures . You can wear the dress without sleeves .
In pictures n°4 sleeves " work in progress "  One of a kind.

To work with beautiful materials , to sew by hand in Europe , to create one of a kind garments, it costs money and time .
I cannot make garment for 50 USD .....

Many garments which I create are conceived to adjust themselves to the sizes S , M and sometimes L
They adjust themselves with pleats, darts , straps .
Design , creation and realization are made with this idea of free size for a garment piece unique .

All my fabrics are washed before using them, and when garments are finished, they are hand washed."



The accessories ... exquisite.

Dancing Not Fashion, Perhaps A Myth Or A Fairy Tale


Sometimes it's not about fashion, it's about dancing. Or fishing. Always music. Archetypes, fairy tales and myths that touch our collective unconscious before morphing, but have mattered. Reaching through the language of myth, afternoons curled up with a set of Joseph Campbell books and videos and a bit of time. 

We dress methodically, hunting for what we need and want, and some things we love. Sighing over the perfect Manolo Blahnik black faille shoe, the one with a rhinestone buckle, or a vintage evening bag that we changed from vintage then to somehow now by replacing a single chain with silk ribbons. There were clothes that our teachers and parents rolled their eyes at and that made the wearing better, I think. 

Greedy to see the pictures of Dorothy's glittering slippers, Audrey Hepburn's LBD from Breakfast at Tiffany, everything Elizabeth Taylor at Christie's auction. The wild innocence of a flapper with bobbed hair even as you knew she was naughty at a speakeasy, the harsh slash of lipstick and darken brows and shoulder pads that borrowed from Joan Crawford's imperious movie star image in the forties, the modern stay-at-home (ha!!) wife and mother of the fifties whose cinched waist and pastel house dresses were as cute as her daughter's poodle skirts and sweater sets. Hippies and elegance in the sixties, mini skirts and sheaths and little hats that segued to Halston's jerseys and caftans, false eyelashes and party nights while the pret-a-porter exploded in Paris, YSL and Le Smoking. Boys too ... spats to cowboy boots and Elvis.





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Polka Dots Are A Way To Infinity" Yayoi Kusama







Yayoi Kusama. Avant-garde artist, fashion designer, writer, woman and now beginning a collaboration with Marc Jacobs that will be in shop in July '12. Clothing, accessories, bags ... art and commerce as Marc did with Stephen Sprouse, Murakami, Richard Prince. 

Yayoi Kusama is not a young woman although her eagerness and condensed excitement and compulsion cannot be suppressed. Once as important as Andy Warhol, perhaps more so, she was forgotten by the art world when confined to a mental institution in '75 in Japan. A beautiful woman with lovers left behind .. perhaps Joseph Cornell and Donald Judd. Art that sometimes originates in her hallucinations. She stays near the institution even as her work is found again, shown in major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Walker Art Institute in Milwaukee, Tate Modern in London and the Whitney in New York. 

Her beautiful world. Her website is linked here. Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama is linked here.

"A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colourful, senseless and unknowing.

 Polka-dots can't stay alone; like the communicative life of people, two or three polka-dots become movement.

Polka-dots are a way to infinity.

It was not so simple, not so easy to come up with this way of living that I've had. I was given a sad life by fate, but I think I won a happy life. 
 Not one day has passed when I didn't think of suicide, but I'm very glad to be alive now. 
Most people are so preoccupied with their illness, sickness, and they live a very ordinary life. 
I was so involved and so engrossed with painting, and knew from my childhood that it could help me to overcome unhappiness.
If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago."  


Monday, January 9, 2012

The 'Extravagants' Of The Market: A Diana Vreeland Memo


Memo from Diana Vreeland
February 24, 1969
I think that the most completely constructive thing that Vogue can do for its readers is when we show a group of inexpensive clothes for summer — we do a group of really cheap dresses.... for example — JUNE if we can do 10 pages of dresses for under $30.00.
You say it is not possible to dress for under $30.00.......
To put it frankly, everybody wears them — it is just that we don't show it.
Whose market will have these clothes? I am speaking of Banlon houses like Nestroy, etc. I cannot believe that by interesting a certain group of the market — perhaps they are Kezia's houses — please — check — that people would be interested in doing something for us as this special price.
With health, a good figure and brown skin in the summer, people should spend very little money on their clothes.
Could these people investigate at once.... I understand that we are now through with the selection of the extravagants of the market... until we start going into autumn. By through, I mean we are through looking at them though certainly we will put some of the beautiful organzas in, etc....
Nylon, dacron, synthetics, hersey....
I would like to have an answer from each and every one of you as to where these things could be found, and what you are going to do about them....
In the case of Babs and Baron de Gunzburg — they will certainly say "this is not my market". The point is that it is your Fashion Department and you should make suggestions to the girls....
Mrs. Mellon can make suggestions from her shirt collection — the shirts done in cotton this summer.




Visionaire 37: Vreeland Memos [Box Set] [Hardcover]




The mysterious package  of over 400 memos dashed off by Ms. Vreeland to her secretary as she made up for the day, sent anonymously to Visionaire, became the red boxed set of 160 memos of Visionaire 37 in 2002. And made me fall in love with her all over again. Frivolous, imperious, whimsical and extraordinarily pragmatic ... her delicious why don't you's and joyful understanding that perhaps even a color could define a season and all the grand collections. 

Why not a summer dress, a cotton shirt, the "nylon, dacron, synthetics, hersey" ... (I think hersey referred to a particular textile manufacturer, not the name of a new fabric). 


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Forever David Bowie






David Bowie's 65th birthday, Elvis Presley's 77th birthday and while it's not Mick Jagger's birthday, he is a hardy 68 years old.

Forever young ... but actually getting older. Azzedine Alaia, Rae Kawakubo, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren ... aging. 

Hogan McLaughlin .. twenty-two. Brilliant and coming up. His website here

Cloudy Moody Skewed Beauty




Slightly ominous, cloudy dark beach days skew the light and the images are removed from anything banal. A plastic camera leaking light, a Holga or a Diana, with oversized square images shattering the edges.

Lagerfeld shocking the light meter with his white hair and darkness, contrast muted.

Unlikely and suitable for threatening plain white walls.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lovely Aesthetic Ghosts





"... everyone needs aesthetic ghosts in order to live. " YSL

Ropes of pearls, little black dresses, white gloves, ruby red lips, Shalimar perfume, khaki and plain white T's, corsets, ballet flats, languid silk flowers, charm bracelets, Levis 501's fragile from so many washes, crisp white blouses, pencil skirts, black faille mules, armloads of bracelets, over-the-knee boots, smoky smudged eyes, a Kawakubo intricate skirt, a Rick Owens cardigan, crocheted shawls, black bad-ass skintight jeans ... the images don't change.  Always the things I bring home to fondly place next to others very like them.

My mother asked for extra butter on her popcorn and we always sat in the last row at the movies. I have to remember to ask others where they want to sit having come to understand that not everyone likes extra butter or the last row. When she was very weak and drifting away, those last days of hers, I showed her pictures of glamorous women in opulent evening dresses. She thought they were too revealing and she frowned. I sat on the carpeted floor of a store dressing room when I was small listening to her stage-whisper to another woman that she shouldn't chew gum in public. I looked away, not knowing that decades later I'd notice a woman chewing gum in the car next to me and those memories would rush back.

Life wasn't grand, not when you're wearing a navy school uniform with a (terrible) white blouse with an anemic Peter Pan collar and aren't allowed to roll your white socks down below your ankle and your saddle shoes are scuffed. I followed my mother through the basement at Ohrbach's where the copies from the Haute Couture hung and wondered whether she'd scowl at loose buttonhole threads or worse. It pleased and surprised me that salesladies were more eager to please my mother, bringing armloads of dresses for her consideration, than some of the other women shopping. She thanked them graciously, telling them she would think about a dress or two. 

It's a sunny day and perfect to see a movie, wander into a shop. I could use a white T, maybe black jeans, All Saints skinny black jeans that is.






Sunday, November 20, 2011

Popovers ... Really


Neiman Marcus popovers are served hot from the oven, risen maybe 4" and accompanied by the most decadent amount of butter whipped with fresh strawberry preserves. Sumptuous, decadent and so satisfying, gorgeous airy things. Memories of your mother's delicate department store tea room, the kind that had lovely fashion shows at lunch, flood in. Small discreet pleasures of food and memories.

Sometimes when it's cold or the world seems too large and chaotic, I read recipes and old cookbooks. Chasen's Hobo Steak, the Bistro's Chocolate Souffle, an early Martha Stewart cookbook with cranberry pie and another with a yam soufflé.

Oops. A period of ignoring my blog, again. Big mistake, because sending bits of fashion (and just this week) a bit of the more romantic, some long-gone great dishes is almost as satisfying as chocolate pudding or just roasted French coffee, smoky and deep.

Ingredients

3 1/2 Cups of Whole Milk

4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour

1 1/2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Baking Powder

6 Large Eggs, at room temperature

Place milk in bowl and microwave on high for two minutes or until warm to the touch (yes, of course you can gently do this in a saucepan but it leaves a scummy film that I hate cleaning)

Sift flour, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl

Crack eggs in another large bowl with an electric mixer  and whisk on medium for about three foamy frothy minutes (or whisk forever by hand, satisfying in a peculiar way but your arm must ache terribly before it's done). Turn down mixer speed to low and add warm milk

Gradually add flour mixture and beat for two minutes. Let batter rest at room temperature for about 1 hour

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Spray popover pan generously with nonstick spray (yuck, really .. you can wipe with a nice light oil with a towel, what are nonstick sprays made of ???). Fill popover pans almost to the top with batter and place popover pan on cookie sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes before turning oven down to 375 and bake for 30 to 35 minutes more, until popovers are deep golden brown.

Remove from oven and pop out popovers on a cooling rack.

Serve with Strawberry Butter, yum.

To make the strawberry butter, place 1 1/2 cups of butter at room temperature in a bowl and beat in 1 cup of strawberry preserves. That's it.


Drag out gorgeous crisp white napkins and admire.

What to wear? Jammies are nice. Anything will do. There are thankfully no fashion rules here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Exoticism of Rifat Ozbek








“Four or five years ago, if you were lucky enough to meet Robert Forrest, the marketing director for Rifat Ozbek, he would give you a ticket to see the fashions of the Turkish-born designer. The small showings were held in a loft in the unlikely-sounding Haunch of Venison Yard, an alley between Claridge's and Bond Street. Buyers and reporters would ascend four flights of stairs and enter a Turkish fantasy, where tea and fruit were served while models paraded Mr. Ozbek's exotic styles.
Now Mr. Ozbek has been in business for five years, and his shows have become the hot ticket in British fashion and one of the more compelling reasons for the fashion faithful to come to London at all.
He still operates out of Haunch of Venison Yard, but as a measure of his success this season Mr. Ozbek held two heavily attended fashion shows in a West London television studio.
The intensity of the debate over his fall collection - split down the middle between lovers and haters - is another index of his importance.
Mr. Ozbek has had to grapple with many of the problems that confront young American designers, as well as some that are peculiar to London. ''When our volume increased, we couldn't get the right commitments from our English contractors,'' Mr. Forrest said. ''They pushed the collection through in half the time, and it just wasn't made as well. It's part of the fashion malaise in English factories.''
The designer clothes are now produced under a licensing arrangement with Aeffe, an Italian manufacturer that also produces the Franco Moschino line. Mr. Ozbek's company, a partnership between him and Gulf International, expects to have about $4 million in sales this year of his designer clothes and his casual line, called O and made in Turkey.
Unlike other London designers, however, Mr. Ozbek is selling more and more to the United States, Mr. Forrest said. His largest accounts are Saks Fifth Avenue and Madeleine Galley, a Los Angeles store.”

Rifat was British Designer of the Year in '88 and '92 with exotic gorgeous clothes that sometimes sold straight out of the shipping box. Rifat worked with rich colors and textures, embroidery and decoration, slashes of silver buttons or leopard against rich colors. Very rich bohemian clothes.

Campbell Soup Company: Lessons About Copyright And Art


That was then ... it's very hard to understand fashion designers policy regarding copyrighted material being loosely woven into a work of art. Louis Vuitton sued, twice, a Danish art student, Nadia Plesner, for using an image (not even an LV) to raise money for Darfur orphans. A stylistic take-off on the ubiquitous image of Paris Hilton holding a designer bag in one hand while cuddling a tiny yipping dog in the other.

Curiously Louis Vuitton itself was sued for fraud for selling Murakami framed works of art which were discovered to simply be the material used for  its bags during the collision of art and commerce at the Murakami exhibit at MOCA in Los Angeles.

Louis Vuitton is supporting young artists again through its Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project.

Lessons that should have been learned from Campbell Soup.



In Which Chanel Diversifies: Holland & Holland





Chanel. Designer guns? Well actually yes. Chanel purchased the world's finest, most expensive gun house in 1996. The kind of rifles and shotguns that can and do come in at over 100,000.00. Sport guns, not evil hand guns. Collectors who (hopefully) will display these beauties (sans bullets) that are incredibly collectible, as are Samurai swords which one sincerely hopes are not played with but safely hung on a certain kind of wall. The company was founded by Harry Holland back in 1835. 

Not to fret. Holland & Holland is very much about fine gentlemen's and ladies fashion, classical, very English upper class and totally cool. Ready to wear jackets around 1600.00 and bespoke mens suits from 3000.00. Exciting to know that the foray into Chinese manufacturing (why does this happen???) failed and tailoring has returned to Great Britain, where it completely belongs. An example that Levi Strauss could emulate and should because national treasures are inspirational and we all need a good shot of pride.