With less than three weeks to go before it ends, the Schiaparelli + Prada “Impossible Conversations” exhibit at The Metropolitian Museum of Art is a must-see for any self-respecting fashionista. Miuccia Prada has become one of the most influential fashion designers of our time and the Prada brand is now among the most ubiquitous labels in the world. Prada’s initial rise to fame began in 1985 when her nylon backpacks became a commercial hit but it is her unique approach to fashion that has cemented her reputation as a trendsetter.
During her heyday from 1927 until about 1940, Elsa Schiaparelli revolutionized the fashion world with her innovative and sometimes scandalous collaborations with modern artists of the time. After the war, Dior’s new look became a success and Schiaparelli failed to adapt to changing sensibilities ultimately closing her fashion house in 1954. Over the years, Schiaparelli’s name had been forgotten to most but fashion diehards, yet rumors of a 2013 revival of the house by current owner, Diego Della Valle and this high-profile exhibit have renewed interest in her work.
Organized by Harold Koda, Curator in Charge and Andrew Bolton, Curator, both of The Met’s Costume Institute; The exhibition was inspired by Miguel Covarrubia’s satirical “Impossible Interviews” for Vanity Fair in the 1930s. Koda and Bolton orchestrate conversations between the two designers via eight videos created by Baz Luhrmann and starring Prada herself with actress Judy Davis playing the late Schiaparelli. The designers’ work is displayed side-by-side with virtually equal attention given to both. Many will find the Schiaparelli creations unfamiliar and rather old-fashioned but it would be wise to consider the times when such pieces actually made their debut. True to form, the Prada pieces look cutting-edge and they are, yet it is most interesting to see the similarities that bind these two Italian women from different eras. They were both born into wealthy families, possess an individualistic point of view and propose unexpected fashion choices. Prada has championed and met great success with military looks, nylon backpacks, esoteric prints and Chinoiserie. For her part, Schiaparelli was often treading untested waters during her time and was also met with unprecedented success and although Chanel has become the mark of excellence among contemporary fashion houses today, back in 1934, TIME Magazine placed Schiaparelli’s Paris-based house at the top of the fashion world and relegated Chanel to the second tier category — in spite of the financial success it had already achieved.
Miuccia Prada took over her family’s luggage business in 1978 and began showing ready-to-wear for the first time in 1988. Since then, her fashion shows have become among of the most important in the industry and she has managed to keep her collections evolving and stay relevant. The Schiaparelli label is not actually in business at the moment — at least in terms of fashion ready-to-wear — but it has such a storied past that it cannot be ignored. Schiaparelli’s influence is so pervasive that many aren’t even aware of the designer’s various contributions to fashion. That sexy Jean-Paul Gaultier perfume bottle in the shape of a female torso — Schiaparelli’s 1936 “Shocking” perfume was its predecessor which was sculpted by the French artist Leonor Fini and modeled after Mae West’s body. The famous “Lobster” dress worn by Wallis Simpson at a photo shoot by the legendary Cecil Beaton — a collaboration with Salvador Dali in 1937. These are just a few examples of Schiparelli’s work with high-profile artists of her time; a practice widely used today by top fashion houses.
In addition to sought-after handbags and super-cool shoes, Prada has found a home at the heart of lady-chic. Widely considered a modern label, Prada excels at cocktail dresses, flirty-yet-proper skirts and updated classics. Prada loves to focus on legs and fashion-forward shoes. Best exemplified by the Waist Up – Waist Down exhibit (pictured below), this gallery underlines Schiaparelli’s focus on embellished jackets and Prada’s long-held fascination below the waist. Bra tops and midriffs have been featured in many Prada shows yet the designer is clearly in her element when designing embellished cocktail dresses or merry skirts that are paired with low-key tops — the designer is often found wearing such a look herself. By contrast, Schiaparelli seemed to prefer to focus on the top portion of the body as she produced many embroidered jackets and evening dresses that were more covered up, yet ornately decorated on top or with interesting prints such as the tree bark print dress (pictured above). Their love for trompe l’oeil prints however, is something that both designers embraced.
The way Prada incorporates elements of popular culture into her designs is one of the most fascinating aspects of the exhibit. In recent collections, Prada has explored colorful club-kid platform shoes, Hot Rod Cars and even Fishing Waders. On this occasion, the hair & makeup is forgone and beautiful masks created by master hair stylist Guido Palau are used instead. These masks are entirely made out of fabric, are embroidered with Schiaparelli motifs such as lips or memorable hairstyles from recent Prada campaigns (also styled by Guido Palau) and cover the mannequins’ heads entirely. The result is chic and looks so strangely elegant that it has made several hardcore Prada lovers wonder if the masks can be purchased. They cannot.
Whether one is familiar with Schiaparelli’s work or a Prada devotee, the Schiaparelli + Prada “Impossible Conversations” exhibit presents an excellent opportunity to view the collections of two influential fashion houses that happen to find themselves at unique junctures in their existence. Prada riding high in popularity and Schiaparelli at the dawn of a new era. – Victor Vargas
Schiaparelli + Prada “Impossible Conversations” exhibit at The Metropolitian Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art through August 19, 2012
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028
Tel. (212) 535.7710
Official Designer Websites: PRADA and SCHIAPARELLI
On Tuesday, July 24th, Patty Sue Mozart hosted a cocktail party at her stunning lakeside home to identify possible community leaders and board members for Make-A-Wish in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area. Spanning from the Oregon border all the way to Monterey County, the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area chapter happens to be one of the largest and most successful chapters within the organization making over 340 wishes come true last year alone. Executive Director Patricia Wilson and Development Director David Hatfield drove up from San Francisco to inspire the guests with touching anecdotes about their valuable work. Also on hand from San Francisco were YPAC Chairman Aimee Berger and advisory board member and longtime supporter Billy Harris.
Patty Sue Mozart and Make-A-Wish YPAC chair Aimee Berger.
Guests from the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento Valley, Nevada and of course, Lake Tahoe enjoyed white and red wines, delicious hors d’oeuvres such as crab cakes, salmon with cream cheese, vegetable spring rolls and other tasty bits from local caterer Paul Selak. Everyone was grateful for the beautiful sunny afternoon which almost didn’t happen due to presence of severe hail storms the day before. Among the guests were Michael and Marilyn Cabak, Craig and BJ Miller, Brian and Alice Johnson, Bernie and Sheila Sloop, Pat and Florence Buckman and other full and part-time locals.
Key supporters such as Reno’s Dick Wilson and Joyce Trombley also showed up to support the cause and everyone’s emotions got a bit stirred upon listening to Patricia’s account of a wish that had recently been granted to a young boy suffering from cancer. Dylan simply wanted to see snow – about four days before a major life-threatening surgery. When it hadn’t snowed for over a month, thereby making the snow icy and rendering the boy unable to build a snowman and making him visibly upset, The Ritz-Carlton’s staff noticed and graciously came to the rescue with shovels, turned the snow and instantly brought happiness to a young boy’s life. Such are the wishes this wonderful organization provides and they range in scope from helping a child keep up with their schoolwork via computer during hospital stays, a family trip for a well-deserved respite to Hawaii, to something as simple as seeing snow for the first time. The impact they make in a young person’s life however, is priceless. - Victor Vargas
San Francisco’s Michael & Marilyn Cabak.
Brokers Trinkie Watson and Valerie Forte with Sara Obexer.
M. de Phocas designers Jesus Torres and Alexis Zambrano with Patricia Harteneck, Yaz Hernandez and Leticia Presutti.
El Museo del Barrio’s 19th Spring gala was held on May 17th at Cipriani on 42nd Street in the heart of New York City. Various celebrities and fashion world luminaries attended the lively event which is among the most important Latino fundraisers in New York. The highlight of the evening was honoring the Cuban-American fashion designer, Narciso Rodriguez.
Actress Julianna Margulies, Fashion Designer Narciso Rodriguez and Yaz Hernandez.
A sea of fashion designers such as Bibhu Mohapatra, Cristian Cota, Carlos Campos and editors from Vogue and W Magazines among others intermingled, as actress Julianna Margulies presented the award for Excellence in the Arts to Rodriguez for his longtime patronage to El Museo del Barrio. Margulies described the designer as “the only designer to win two consecutive CFDA awards for women’s wear and her dear friend for the past 18 years”.
Fashion designer Carolina Herrera also served as presenter, bestowing Yaz Hernández with a trustee leadership award for her generosity, exemplary years of service and influential work on the museum’s Executive Committee. Ruben and Isabel Toledo presented Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. with the 2012 Corporate Excellence in Arts Award as the company celebrates the 150th anniversary of their founding in Santiago de Cuba.
Ruben and Isabel Toledo.
The glamorous fundraising event benefits New York’s leading Latino cultural institution and was chaired by Nina Garcia, Alex González and Sarah G. Wolfe. All honorees received a one of a kind piece designed by jeweler John Hardy.
Leslie Sardiñas, Rafa Marquez y Jaydy Michel and GRB Communications' Gabriel Rivera-Barraza.
Fashion Designer Bibhu Mohapatra and Model, Mackenzie Hamilton. American Vogue's Valerie Boster.
American Vogue's Valerie Boster, Fashion Designer Christian Cota and Eugenia Gonzalez.
Marjorie Gubelmann, Carlos Mota and Nina Garcia. Monica Zaldivar.
Fashion Stylist Claudia Talamas, Karla Martinez and Menswear Designer Carlos Campos.
Jose Solis Betancourt, Yaz Hernandez, Valentin Hernandez Jr. and Makeup Artist Karlo Karlo.
Models in Narciso Rodriguez Dresses and Carlos Campos Menswear. From left, Anita Hodosi, Julia,Wayne Stephens, Jordan Hathaway, Daniel Broitman, and Dontus Borg.
Julianna Margulies and American Vogue's Fashion Director, Tonne Goodman.
Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Label in lace
Over the last five years, San Francisco’s de Young Museum has become an essential stop for both local and visiting fashionistas alike. Their ascension in fashion has been largely fueled by the passions of John E. Buchanan, Jr., the late director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, FAMSF curator of costume and textile arts, Jill D’Alessandro, and the success of their recent exhibitions on the collections of fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, Cristóbal Balenciaga and Yves Saint Laurent. The de Young has now cemented its relationship within the fashion world — and their current exhibit on Jean-Paul Gaultier is one of their finest yet.
"Virgins Collection" Lumière Gown Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2007 Photo: Patrice Stable
"Virgins Collection" Dolorès Gown Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2007 Photo: Patrice Stable
The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk highlights the Paris-based designer’s innovative collections from his first runway shows in the 1970s through 2011. Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Thierry-Maxime Loriot, the originating curator worked directly with Gaultier to carefully select approximately 140 ensembles spanning over 35 years from the designer’s couture and ready-to-wear collections, along with their accessories, and archival documents. Many of these extraordinary pieces are being exhibited for the very first time. The exhibition begins with a spectacular mise en scène comprised of fascinating mannequins with projected moving faces that seem to be speaking directly to the viewer and often break into song. This first segment features Gaultier signatures such as head-to-toe outfits in blue and white sailor stripes, mythical mermaids in cone bras, and couture-clad virgins in exquisite textiles with such ornate beading, embroidery and headdresses, they are downright decadent.
Jean-Paul Gaultier Haute Couture "Virgins Collection" dress detail
Further along one encounters Gaultier furniture, which can still be purchased at Roche Bobois stores – the designer’s childhood Teddy Bear replete with the first prototype of a cone bra and of course — that ubiquitous Madonna corset that has become ingrained into fashion history and pop culture. A large pink, tufted, satin cube houses various incarnations of men’s and women’s lingerie-inspired garments and perfume bottles which call attention not only to another Gaultier staple — through said lingerie looks but also, to those familiar with Gaultier boutiques, it will come as a happy reminder of the sumptuous dressing rooms. Immediately transporting you to an intimate boudoir, my personal experience of a Gaultier dressing room has been both splendid and confusing — as one is often unable to decipher which part of the cube conceals the door handle, resulting in the need for assistance when exiting!
Corset worn by Madonna during her 1990 Blond Ambition World Tour. Photo by Emil Larsson
Comprised of six different thematic sections, the de Young’s multimedia exhibition on Gaultier incorporates runways shows, sketches, stage costumes, footage of concerts and videos, as well as world-class photography from top shooters and artists such as Pierre et Gilles, Jean-Baptiste Mondino, Steven Klein, Miles Aldridge and Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot among others. Although this exhibition is not a retrospective, it underscores the monumental effect Gaultier’s work has had — and continues to have — on the international fashion stage and by extension, popular culture. The trend of men in skirts — that took Paris and New York men’s wear designers by storm a couple of years ago — and has been adopted into Marc Jacobs personal wardrobe … it was Gaultier who championed it back in the spring of 1985 and continues to reprise it in his menswear; leggings for men — a Gaultier staple. Punk references are now routine in high fashion but it was Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood who led the way years prior. In addition, many designers have also played with androgynous references and overt sexuality — and while many women’s collections have achieved great success with such looks (Versace in the early 1990s, Givenchy now, Dolce e Gabbana quite often, etc.) — when it comes to menswear on an international scale, it can be argued that Gaultier was truly the pioneer.
Jean-Paul Gaultier "Paris and its Muses Haute Couture Collection" Fall 2000
Jean-Paul Gaultier "Women Among Women Collection" Fall 1989 and Men's "Rap Sody in Blue Collection" Spring 1990
Madonna might be Gaultier’s most high profile collaborator yet the designer has explored various aspects of his all-embracing global vision with a host of entertainers. These include dance floor diva, Kylie Minogue, contemporary dancers Angelin Preljocaj, Régine Chopinot and Maurice Béjart and some of his most intriguing work has also materialized in films with noted directors such as Pedro Almodóvar, Peter Greenaway, Luc Besson, Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. These bold and sometimes controversial costumes are also on display — mostly in sketches, photos and video screens which can be viewed at leisure in special seating areas.
Pedro Almodóvar, Victoria Abril and Jean-Paul Gaultier for the opening of Almodóvar's "Kika" in 1993.
There are many more designers working today than when Gaultier began his career — yet at sixty years-old, he remains one of the most creative, diverse and provocative designers of our time. And although his references sometimes come from social taboos such as sadomasochism, with Gaultier at the helm, his creations emerge tastefully alluring, full of life, humor and beauty. Magnificently showcased at the de Young’s not-to-be-missed exhibition, Jean-Paul Gaultier is not only one of the most important designers of the last forty years, the sense of continuity and optimism that always shines through his work also renders him a beacon of light. -Victor Vargas, editor-in-chief
The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier – From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at
The de Young Museum through August 19, 2012
50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive San Francisco, CA 94118
Visit the official site of Jean-Paul Gaultier
"Fin de Siècle Collection" Women's Ready-to-Wear Spring 1995 Advertisement. Art Direction & Photo by Jean-Paul Gaultier
Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012
Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012
Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012
In recent years, New York City’s young fashion designers have enjoyed an unprecedented level of visibility. Unlike their counterparts in Paris, who achieve success by working for storied fashion houses such as Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Givenchy or the young Italians, who often get buried by the publicity machines from huge labels such as Prada, Dolce e Gabbana, Giorgio Armani etc. New York’s young designers are riding high, in no small part thanks to the support of two very influential women, FLOTUS, Michelle Obama and of course, the force of nature that is American Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Obama catapulted Jason Wu‘s career by wearing one of his dresses during the Inaugural Balls and has also raised the popularity, on an international scale, of fashion designers Peter Soronen, Doo-ri Chung and Prabal Gurung among others. For her part, Wintour has consistently devised new (Fashion’s Night Out) and clever ways (The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund) to promote the careers of these talented young designers.
Mohapatra holding one of his gowns at Neiman-Marcus, San Francisco. March 2012.
Amidst the largely day wear-focused collections of young designers showing in New York, Bibhu Mohapatra‘s work cuts a glamorous swath. His specialty is evening wear and furs. Not entirely surprising for a designer who started at Halston and then moved on to work for J.Mendel (a fur house that also makes red carpet dresses) but most remarkable for a four year-old small fashion house. Mohapatra is already making an impact in the American Fashion World as evidenced by orders from the USA’s top department stores as well as select international boutiques and well-placed editorial coverage. Yes, there are other designers that make beautiful evening gowns and he is not Dennis Basso, with regards to furs but he is definitely the only young designer that is showing movie-star worthy dresses, in what appears to be oversize floral prints but are actually photographed crumpled organza patterns, with details that are inspired by a cleft palate (indeed) and can be topped-off with show-stopping diamond-cut mink coats in vivid colors! This is true cutting-edge glamour at its best.
Bibhu Mohapatra Gown Fall 2012
Bibhu Mohapatra Fur Coat Fall 2012
So what can be more seductive than high glamour? Impeccable manners. In the great tradition of the late Bill Blass, Mohapatra is charming and super polite and hits the road several times per year to personally attend his trunk shows at Neiman-Marcus stores and proceeds to spend whatever amount of time is necessary with his clients to assure them that the fabulous cocktail dresses which have just been ordered will be ready, to precise specifications within two weeks, unless of course, a request is made for the extensively beaded gowns which take five weeks as these pieces are often hand-beaded and hand-embroidered. That said, an American spirit shines through as the labels in his garments proudly state that the collection is made in New York City.
Bibhu Mohapatra Furs at Neiman-Marcus, San Francisco
Mohapatra is hailed by The CFDA’s Lisa Smilor (@smilor) for his unique voice and excellent sense of color as well as by buyers at Bergdorf Goodman and of course, Neiman-Marcus among other top stores, that it seems just a matter of time for this gifted designer to be swept-up by Hollywood and jet-setting clients across the globe. - Victor Vargas
View the complete Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2012 Collection at Bibhu.com
Bibhu Mohapatra is available in the Couture Salon on 3 at Neiman-Marcus, San Francisco Tel. (415) 362.3900 as well as select Neiman-Marcus stores nationwide. For more information visit Neiman-Marcus.com
Tiffany & Co.'s Tom Carroll, 7x7's Chloe Harris Frankeny, Tiffany & Co.'s Ray Raby, 7x7's Ali Grosslight and McEvoy Media's Todd Sotkiewicz.
Tiffany & Co. rolled out the pink carpet last Thursday to celebrate the fabled store’s 175th anniversary and the launch of RUBEDO, the newest star in the Tiffany universe. This on-trend rosy hued metal is making it’s grand entrance to the market in Tiffany’s classic 1837 Collection which salutes the founding year of Tiffany & Co. in New York City. Guests from San Francisco and Silicon Valley toasted the Rubedo debut with rose champagne and pink grapefruit mojitos, served with a tasty variety of hors d’oeuvres by Melons Catering. Tiffany & Co. Group Director Ray Raby cohosted the cocktail soiree with 7×7 Magazine‘s executive editor, Chloe Harris Frankeny. In her opening remarks Harris declared that the Ultra Wide Rubedo Cuff topped her list of “cravings” for May. Judging by the number of Rubedo pieces that found their way into little blue boxes and out the door that night, she was not alone. Photographs by Moanalani Jeffrey for Tiffany & Co.
Models wearing Tiffany & Co.'s new 1837 Collection jewelry in Rubedo metal.
LUXETIGERS' Victor Vargas, Tiffany & Co.'s Terri Tiffany, blogger Alexis Meredith and Rusi Yan.
New pieces from Tiffany & Co.'s 1837 Collection in Rubedo metal.
Gentry Magazine's Jan DiNouscio, Daniel Chen, Katie Gross, Nick Goldenson, YYL PR's Ye-Hui Lu, Adam Chetkawoski and 7x7's Ali Grosslight.
Bracelets, pendants and earrings from Tiffany & Co.'s new 1837 Collection in Rubedo metal.
Tiffany & Co.'s Carson Glover, LUXETIGERS' eic, Victor Vargas and LUXETIGERS' Foodie Editor, Steve Paulovich.
Tiffany & Co. San Francisco team
Tiffany & Co.'s Renee Rogers, 7x7's Chloe Harris Frankeny and SFist's Brock Keeling. Ray and Kimberly Raby.
Jack + Mary + Kate Lucas in full bloom
Fund-A-Cure Speaker, Shelby Payne
On Friday March 30, I participated in JDRF Bay Area’s annual fundraiser “Spring Fling” at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay. The 16-hour event begins with Golf in the morning, a Ladies Luncheon and Shopping Boutique in the afternoon and is finished-off with a glamorous evening bash which raised over $700,000 for Juvenile Diabetes Research on this night alone. Presented by US Bank, Allgress, The Chisholm, Colella and Lucas Families and The Praisner Family Foundation/Mia and Richard Moser; the evening was the quintessential California mix of cultures and casual elegance. In this spirit, three-time Emmy Award winning Raj Mathai was the Master of Ceremonies. The charismatic NBC Bay Area news anchor is a veteran key partner of the JDRF Spring Fling.
Neiman-Marcus San Francisco GM, John Capizzi in TOM FORD
The super-chic Patty Sue Mozart in CHANEL
My party allies were none other than the ubiquitous PR darling, Hope Patricia Daly and the peninsula’s own Cristina Floriani Nangle. The evening was off to a merry start with free-flowing Mumm Champagne, Grey Goose Vodka cocktails and white and red wine selections from Napa Valley’s Wind Gap Wines. Executive Chef, Xavier Salomon and his culinary team put together a seriously delicious three-course dinner comprised of a sesame crusted Ahi Tuna and lightly smoked Salmon Sashimi salad, which was followed by a scrumptious balsamic-glazed filet of beef and finished-off with a sweet and tasty white chocolate passion banana dome. Unfortunately, photos of the actual menu items are unavailable at this time because I was busy socializing and snapping shots of all the well-dressed attendees, so when I finally made my way back to our table, the servers where collecting plates and I had to discreetly pester one to bring me my salad (the 1st course) which I did not want to skip. Much to my delight, I found an agreeable server and she immediately brought me the salad. It was gorgeous and worth the pestering.
Brenda Mittelman + Cristina Floriani Nangle in MICHAEL KORS
As dinner was coming to an end, Spring Fling’s founding family, The Lucas‘ proceeded to describe their daughter Mary’s ongoing battle with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Mary’s story is awe-inducing and filled with optimism and grace which has surely made her family into role models for other families and organizations battling similar long-term medical conditions. Mary’s speech was followed by yet another invigorating story, that of Shelby Payne‘s. Payne was diagnosed with T1D at age eleven yet in spite of having to deal with this complex disease, she is a pre-med student at Stanford University and is a member of Stanford Women’s Soccer Team, the National Champions of 2011. To call these young women inspiring is an understatement and such touching narratives yield the best reasons to get involved with these charitable events.
Faran Sheikh + Jeff Garelick + Jill Plant in MONIQUE LHUILLIER
Victor Vargas + Sonia Mathai in DVF
Last but not least was the much anticipated Live Auction. The auction had a range of fabulous items such as a Palm Springs getaway at The Parker, a Labradoodle Puppy, a Fisker Automotive and Napa Valley Film Festival Weekend and several other fantastic experiences. It also included a three-day styling/shopping consultation with yours truly, a small detail that made me extremely nervous as it was my first time at auction. Happily, I can report that a few very chic ladies decided to give me a warm welcome and my package went for $11,000. I was beat by the puppy who went for over $15,000 but then again, they get him for life. -Victor Vargas
Adam + Erin Simms
Sarah Lucas in Michael Kors + son Henry
Mozart’s Chanel Heels
Athletic Chic. US Soccer's Young Star ALEX MORGAN accessorized with TIFFANY & Co's RUBEDO Jewelry.
Left to Right. Alex Morgan wears a cropped top with bishop sleeves by ZIMMERMANN with a navy skirt with tweed panel by RENA LANGE and high heeled sandals from Maria Sharapova by COLE HAAN.
All RUBEDO jewelry by TIFFANY & CO. Sports bra, boy shorts and gladiator sandals; all by NIKE. Photographed by VICTOR WANG Styling by VICTOR VARGAS
Why just throw one lavish party for your 175th Anniversary when you can throw several parties around the world and launch a new metal too. This is exactly what Tiffany & Co., the legendary American Jeweler is doing this year. The party continues throughout 2012 with the debut of RUBEDO; a rosy looking metal in which the alchemists at Tiffany & Co. married the richness of gold, the brilliance of silver and the warmth of copper to achieve the perfect color and consistency. RUBEDO metal makes its launch in Tiffany & Co’s timeless 1837 collection. Comprised of sensual cuffs, statement necklaces, classic earrings, rings and pendants, every item in the entire collection boasts Tiffany & Co. founder Charles Lewis Tiffany‘s signature and is priced from $200 for an 1837 RUBEDO Bar Pendant to $8,000 for the fabulous 1837 Interlocking Circles Necklace in RUBEDO and Sterling Silver (pictured above and at the bottom of this post).
Tiffany & Co. RUBEDO Ultra Wide Cuff
RUBEDO’s allure lies in its soft pink tone which is currently riding high in fashion due to the popularity of rose gold and rose-toned costume jewelry. The popular hue can be found in everything from Rolex men’s watches, Cartier rings and Bvlgari bracelets to Alexis Bittar’s costume jewelry. Metallurgists at Tiffany & Co. labored over a long testing period in pursuit of this beautiful tone that captures the essence of morning’s first light. The unique alloy is lightweight yet strong and polishes to a smooth luster which feels silky and proves irresistible to your skin. The effect is sexy, exotic and quite fantastic.
Tiffany & Co. RUBEDO Wide Ring
I could go on and on about this exciting new metal and you can view the full collection here but a better option is to drop by your nearest Tiffany & Co. store and experience RUBEDO yourself. Unlike the dizzying frequency of the collections, new metals in jewelry do not surface every few months, so chances are, you’ll be glad you did. – Victor Vargas
Tiffany & Co. RUBEDO and Sterling Silver Interlocking Circles Necklace
Vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier Dress from Decades, Los Angeles
Jean-Paul Gaultier Trompe-L'oeil Detail on Kilt
On March 15, the super cool vintage boutique Decades, Los Angeles hosted a Jean-Paul Gaultier pop-up shop at the legendary Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. As a long-time fan who obsessed, although did not purchase, his first Gaultier piece at 14 years old I was very excited to see what what lay in store. That sleeveless and backless men’s motorcycle leather vest that I first fell in love with at the closed-for-many-years-now Ralph Davies Boutique back in 1987 is a piece which at the time represented a spirit of freedom for me that I didn’t think existed in high fashion and certainly not in most menswear of the time. Prior to my encounter with Gaultier pieces, I used to save my money from my after school job as a busboy for Girbaud jeans, pointy-toed boots with skull buckles from NaNa’s on Polk St. and maybe the odd Perry Ellis piece that I found at Neiman’s Last Call sales but I had never in my wildest dreams imagined that a Paris-based designer was already putting men in skirts, inspiring lead singers of pop bands such Cameo’s Larry Blackmon to wear a red cod piece (it became his signature), and basically becoming the first internationally renowned high fashion bad boy. Gaultier has most famously put Madonna in cone-shaped bras and did the costumes for her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour and of course, dressed almost every celebrity of consequence during the late ’80s and through the ’90s. Unfortunately, in recent years Gaultier pieces for both women and men have become exceedingly difficult to come by and sadly that includes new collections at full prices. Several years ago, a Gaultier Boutique opened at The Wynn in Las Vegas but it has subsequently shuttered, a fate also met by the New York City Boutique.
Late 1980s Jean-Paul Gaultier Advertisement
Madonna in Jean-Paul Gaultier by Jean-Baptiste Mondino circa 1990
These are just a few key reasons why Cameron Silver and his store Decades are so important to stylists and serious vintage shoppers. Looking for a one-of-a-kind Gaultier to wear to the de Young’s Opening Gala on Friday? Decades hast it. A sought after piece from the estate of the late Lyn Revson? Ditto. At a time when a great designer such as Gaultier has become difficult to find in stores across the USA, it is a huge relief to know that one can peruse the Decades website and find just the right piece. Alternatively, join their mailing list for trunk shows and pop-up shops to shop in you own city and in person. The sale at The Mark Hopkins turned out to be really fun since they were filming for a Decades Reality TV show which will debut on Bravo and we even spent time talking with The de Young Museum’s Jill D’Alessandro, the curator for the upcoming Gaultier exhibit which opens this Friday, March 23rd. The same curator responsible for bringing Vivienne Westwood, Yves Saint Laurent and most recently Balenciaga to The de Young Museum. As luck would have it, the Decades sale did not have a men’s selection and a close male friend of mine whose an even bigger Gaultier fan than myself attended the event with me and was duly disappointed. We walked around for about forty-five minutes looking at everything when finally I told him he should try on a women’s mid ’90s black wrap-around jacket with a shawl collar in silk. He refused so I tried it on, he stared at it as did Cameron and both decided they also wanted the jacket on the spot which was only $450 and in perfect condition. The jacket was free of any bust darts and we all remembered that an almost identical men’s version had been made so we all exchanged nervous glances at the prospect of a bidding war, after all this is a vintage Gaultier piece and apparently highly sought-after. I saw the look in my friend’s eye and couldn’t get myself to keep the jacket for myself since he spent the entire 1990s in Gaultier while I became an infidel when the Versace bug hit me in the early 1990s. At that moment, I decided to part with my Gaultier find but kept a good friend – who owes me one! -Victor Vargas
Decades' Cameron Silver in vintage Jean-Paul Gaultier, The de Young Museum's Jill D'Alessandro and Victor Vargas.
Christian Dior Ready-to-Wear by John Galliano Fall 2011 (Final Collection)
Christian Dior Ready-toWear by John Galliano Fall 2011 (Final Collection)
The most recent speculation regarding the revolving door circus that Paris fashion houses have become has taken yet another dramatic turn of events. The latest reports state that Raf Simons is not going to Dior after all and that Bill Gaytten (John Galliano’s ex-right-hand man at Dior + John Galliano the label) is to remain at the helm of the collections at Christian Dior. There are also rumors that have Raf Simons getting fired at Jil Sander instead of stepping down by choice but for the sake of clarity, we will only discuss the musical chairs at the fashion houses and not pay any attention to whether Simons was fired or not. Up until two days ago, the general expectation was that Simons would go to Dior and not to replace Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent, as was practically declared by a major fashion editor, as far back as September of 2011. After many months of sometimes ridiculous hypothesis posed by various members of the fashion press, Yves Saint Laurent finally made an announcement three days ago that Pilati’s final collection for the label will be the fall 2012 show in Paris, on March 5th. Pilati’s replacement at Yves Saint Laurent is none other than one of fashion’s biggest darlings, the hugely influential designer Hedi Slimane, the man responsible for the skinny tailoring trend that redefined the men’s market back in the late 1990s and is still evident today. This will mark Slimane’s second time at the helm at YSL, a post he held in their menswear collection before jumping ship to Dior Homme but it will also be his debut as women’s designer.
Jil Sander Fall 2012 by Raf Simons (Final Collection)
Jil Sander Fall 2012 by Raf Simons (Final Collection)
What is so odd about this situation is that the executives who seem to influence these decisions don’t have a very clear head about who the next designer at Dior should be and as a consequence, a sea of rumors, largely fueled by the media it must be said, are materializing in every direction. Among the names that have been floated as the next head designer at Christian Dior have been Marc Jacobs, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and even a few much younger designers who have no experience with big houses or couture. Obviously it makes sense that Jil Sander come back to her namesake collection, she established the style at that house after all. Raf Simons is a great designer and he did a spectacular job at Jil Sander but the fact remains that the business lost a lot of customers and many have never come back after both of Sander’s departures. She hast left twice in the past due to differences of opinion with upper management. With this latest development of Simons not going to Dior, perhaps he will focus on his own collection which is always directional and well received yet could benefit from a higher profile worldwide.
Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati Spring 2012
Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati Pre-Fall 2012
So who will take Christian Dior into the next stage?! It would seem Bill Gaytten will for the time being but fashion editors and critics alike have yet to warm-up to him in their reviews and who knows what’s happening at retail levels in terms of the sell through of the ready-to-wear collection to say nothing of the couture. It would be very difficult to imagine that the same type of extroverted woman, socialite or celebrity who might have relished in her couture orders with John Galliano would be buying the same amounts from Bill Gaytten. To be fair, Gaytten’s collections are faithful to the Dior legacy but they are a definite departure from the theatrics of Galliano. One would assume that former Galliano clients are now flocking to Givenchy or to Milan’s Francesco Scognamiglio, Lady Gaga certainly is.
Giambattista Valli Spring 2012 Haute Couture
Giambattista Valli Spring 2012 Haute Couture
Still, one has to wonder why one of the most natural choices for the job has never surfaced as a contender? Giambattista Valli commands a jet-setting clientele across the globe. He is always surrounded by cool society girls which constitute a good part of his wealthy clientele and his collections are not as theatrical as Galliano’s but they always walk the fine line between high glamour and sex appeal. His designs are modern without being trashy or gimmicky and he is fast becoming a staple during awards season in Hollywood. What’s more, he has already proven himself as a couturier as this past January he became an official member of Le Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. So what is going on with this post at Dior? Could it be that they are just buying more time and will heed to Franca Sozzani’s (Editor in Chief at Italian Vogue) suggestion to bring back Galliano himself? – Victor Vargas
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring 2012 by Bill Gaytten
Christian Dior Haute Couture Spring 2012 by Bill Gaytten