If someone were to ask you what a plumassier does for a living, unless you're somehow involved in haute couture or are a hard-core follower of fashion, chances are you would draw a blank. This is why I was excited to read in today's WWD a short piece mentioning Maison Lemarié, one of the oldest remaining plumassiers in Paris and probably in the world. The focus of the article is the costume designed by Karl Lagerfeld for Elena Glurdjidze, a senior principal dancer with the English National Ballet but I would rather draw your attention to this increasingly rare craft.
Given the current state of the economy and the tough retail landscape, one would be forgiven for being skeptical of anyone launching a luxury brand in a climate such as this. All the more so if the brand in question were launching a luxury sunglasses line, a crowded field if ever there was one. Yet, that is precisely what designers and business partners Gareth Townshend and Megen Trimble have done.
In keeping with the times, it will be a dark and moody Fall ahead, at least if Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy has anything to say about it. The images released today via WWD are scheduled to debut in Paris Vogue's August issue which is fitting since the campaign could almost be mistaken for an editorial spread in Paris Vogue.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It is also Fleet Week in my former home, New York City, a time when the city is overrun with clean cut, handsome young men in uniform - a nice change from the usual downtown hipster/mid-town business casual/up-town BCBG crowds. Military uniforms in all their glory have therefore been on my mind lately.
Karl Lagerfeld must be cursing the Internet just about now. Back in 2007, he had all but succeeded in snuffing out any coverage of a "tell all" book written by a former assistant, Arnaud Maillard, thanks to the cosy relationship his employers (Chanel and LVMH) cultivate with the fashion press. Now, thanks to a few plucky U.S. based fashion bloggers, the book is now the subject of much chatter throughout the English-speaking blogosphere.
When Suzy Menkes speaks, we should all sit up like eager school children and pay close attention. Ms. Menkes gave an impromptu talk recently in San Francisco where she touched upon the subject of fashion blogging. In particular, she addressed a common weakness encountered across the blogosphere but which seem to affect fashion blogs in particular: accuracy.
Her haute couture salon on Paris' Place Vendome was decorated by Alberto and Diego Giacometti, she trained fledgeling young designers Hubert de Givenchy and Pierre Cardin, she cultivated close ties to surrealist artists Man Ray, Dali and Cocteau thereby blurring the lines between art and fashion and was a permanent thorn in the side of Coco Chanel. Now, an important private stash of her groundbreaking creations will go under the hammer at Paris' Hotel Drouot this coming July.
One of the many satisfactions I derive from writing The Luxe Chronicles is discovering a great new brand and tracking its progress. All the more so when the brand in question is built on a passion for and commitment to craftsmanship and beauty such as Tuccia di Capri, the plucky little label based in Miami and founded by Tove Nord and Terri Coleman. Ever the resourceful entrepreneurs, the pair have now brought their elegant, expertly crafted sandals to New York City via a pop up store in Manhattan's prestigious Henri Bendel department store.
Welcome to The Luxe Chronicles.
The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.Read more »