After Nicolas Ghesquiere has announced that he is leaving Balenciaga, it gave me time to think about the ever changing landscape of the fashion industry.
There were a lot of comments that Nicolas leaving was the “end of an era”. In some ways I would agree. With the passing of McQueen, Galliano being booted and now Nicolas resigning, it does appear that the few creative minds that have shaped creativity in fashion are dwindling quickly.
There are still a few pillars (like Rei from Comme Des Garcon, Raf Simmons and Marc Jacobs who are known for understanding the theatrics of fashion as well as the artistry) working today, but there does seem to be a dramatic lack of talent at the moment. There is always the new young crop of designers that the industry pushes forward, but these days, they seem to follow the heavies listed above. It has definitely left a huge vacuum for creative designers to come forth. Let’s hope some do and put creativity first before being sucked into the aspects of business and making money in the industry.
Nicole and I met first in Scottsdale at another personal appearance I was doing. Her husband was stationed in Japan at the time, and she came to do a little shopping and say hi. At the time she struck me as one of those amazing examples of a perfectly balanced and beautiful person that is SO hard to find. She has 4 gorgeous children and her heart radiates.
Apparently Nicole has started a business designing tee shirts. Her business is called Cotton Candy Playground and you can visit her website here (www.cottoncandyplayground.com). This is an image of her latest, very chic indeed.
I’m obsessed with the Sunset Tower Hotel in LA. I stay there when I’m in LA for its old Deco charm and boutique feel. It doesn’t feel like a club and there are only 8 suites on each floor. If you want a low key hotel this is the joint.
Now, a few days after Hurricane Sandy, I’ve snagged some time to reflect upon a few disasters, natural and unnatural, in my life. It’s a blessing of age that I don’t get as flustered as I once did, and I have devised some sort of routine about “what to do”. Of course being a normally emotional person and being a business owner with over 250 employees has its own complications. My mind tends to go straight to survival and to preserving our organization.
When Sandy hit the ground in NYC 8:30 pm, I headed down the hill from my home in Brooklyn Heights to the factory where we produce our jewelry. As I reached the neighborhood referred to as DUMBO — Down Under the Manhattan Brooklyn Overpass – I saw that it was clearly a disaster. The Hudson River had engulfed two city blocks of DUMBO lowland. Across that river, the south end of Manhattan was to have no electricity for a week. Unprecedented. Having grown up in NYC I have seen a few hurricanes and seriously nasty weather but never anything as epic as this.
The next day I had to assess the damage to the business and lay a game plan for my staff. In the end we had to shut down the entire NY operation for a total of 5 days. Our stores and offices had no electrical power. Some of my staff had damage to their homes.
NY was stunned. People came out to see the wrath of the storm, but overall there was a sense of community that engulfed the city after this great shock. It’s one of the amazing and unexpected features of NYC. “The city that never sleeps” is known for its stock market traders, screaming cab drivers and Sex in the City girls frenetically shopping. Weirdly and wonderfully, in times of crisis all demographics pull together instantly and reflexively. This is not true solely of NY; it seems to be an amazing universal human trait.
Both slowly and quickly, NYC has rebounded and resumed a healthy dose of normalcy. You kind of wish you’d run into a surly cab driver, a screaming Rite Aid clerk, or a subway commuter with sharp elbows to remind you that everyone has truly shifted back to type.
Hopefully, the 20,000 people who were displaced by the storm will find shelter and normalcy in their lives asap. My thoughts are with them.
We are at back to work at Alexis Bittar Inc and oddly enough I’ve never seen my staff so happy to be here. The sense of purpose that work provides, shutting the door on the constant TV destruction saga, has made our workplace a happy place to resume life.
My friend Todd had a family vacation and discovered that his 14 year old nephew, Zak, is a budding designer who lives in Southern California.
Apparently, he has been studying Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle, taking in all the nuances.
Todd asked me if I could look at his work and give him some pointers. At first I thought, he’s probably going to be super young and really rough around the edges… Which at 14 years old, what more could you expect?!
After I looked at Zak’s work, I couldn’t believe my eyes. This kid has got some crazy talent! He designs and edits his own magazine. He styles the hair, does the art direction and meticulously designs the dresses which he sews himself and uses Barbie as a model.
Some of the shots would give FIT students a run for their money, and since I have designed 2 Barbie’s myself, I felt not only competitive looking at Zak’s work, but intimidated!
I think we will see a lot more of Zak in the future so I wanted to be the first to introduce this talented kid to the world… World meet Zak.
I dropped off from writing for awhile but now I’m back!
Last night I had the chance to hear Cyndi Lauper sing “Time After Time” with Allan Cummings.
It took me back to being 14 years old and watching MTV. She looked great and still has the same thick NY accent when she talks. Her voice is riddled with pride but when she sang it was incredibly delicate.
In Milan we just debuted the collaboration between Alberta Ferretti and me for Spring 2013.
Alberta Ferreti is known for her amazing detail and execution of ready to wear. There is always a femininity to the collection which also reflects the modernity of today.
We decided to sculpt clear Lucite so that it resembled the way the fabric would be pleated. Each bracelet was encrusted with inlaid rectangular and square crystals, which accented the curves and angles of the bracelets. The clothing combined the metallics with a softness for the season. Below are some shots and the reviews from WWD which just got posted.
That the buzzwords bandied about backstage before Alberta Ferretti’s show included “sensual,” “feminine” and “luminous” was not a news flash. Throw in “ethereal” and “goddess” and you’ve got Ferretti’s aesthetic vocabulary virtually covered. This collection, too, sprung from the designer’s well of hyper-romantic beauty, which never seems to run dry. Puns aside, a wet look was intentional in the lineup, where the goddesses were more like sirens, the kind lonesome sailors shipwreck over in fairy tales — or Ice Capades, in the case of a short, skaterly blue dress with nude tulle embroidered with lace. (There were also hints of McQueen in the aquatic.)
The liquidity was conveyed in a couple of ways. First came fringed dresses, some of which featured fringe embroidery, veiled in a layer of sheer, pale organza that resulted in a foamy iridescence. Then, at the end of the show, Ferretti worked slick lamés in black, blue, green and ivory on her signature fluid gowns, here done with an artfully tattered sensibility. “There’s almost an absence of gravity,” she said preshow. “As if the fabrics are floating around the woman.” That was precisely the effect on pretty cutaway chiffon tops worn over cropped pants — Ferretti’s newest proposition for evening — and the array of tattoo lace-on-tulle gowns that seemed to melt off the body.
There were a total of 7 people who went on the tour. The minute you get onto the Hudson River you can go full throttle, about 65mph.
My boyfriend Matt had never done it before and was apprehensive about being in the Hudson on a jet ski. He weathered it alright, except for a brief collision with a bunch a fishing lines. He had inadvertently got caught like a fly in Charlotte’s Web with 20 fishing lines from fisherman on the pier. It was like something out of a comedy.
After he was untangled we really hit the waves, which was incredible with the outline of NYC in the background.
For those who are aren’t afraid of getting The Hudson water on you and the occasional ship, I highly recommend it.