Edited by Lester Brathwaite
Edited by Lester Brathwaite
The supermodel is that most rare of species: the working model who transcends the runway or the pages of magazines and catalogs to become a part of the popular culture. An ageless beauty whose style and personality make up for any shortcomings in talent, or sanity, or choice in men. I was going to create a Top 10 list of the greatest supers, but then I got to thinking, ‘Hey, Lady (that’s what I call my inner self), everyone knows Naomi, Kate, Christy, Linda and Cindy. But what about the ladies of yore; those catwalk pioneers who paved the way in false eyelashes and broken champagne bottles for the supermodels of today?’ So I dove into the past 50 years of modeling and came out dragging the 25 muses who best defined what it meant to be a supermodel. Grace, beauty, versatility, influence and overall fierceness. Let’s start in the swinging 60s!
Edited by ShirleyWarner
1. Michael Lewis: Lewis is footwear’s best kept secret and has impressed the likes of Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, Christopher Bailey at Burberry and Tom Ford at Gucci with his shoe-shaped talents – before recently stepping into the role of creative consultant at Kurt Geiger. He brings his own label collection to LFW for the first time this season.
Has an eye for: What women really want – fun yet luxurious, affordable shoes.
Is inspired by: “Early Kenzo and Russian fairytales.”
Shop it: Exclusively at Dover Street Market for autumn/winter 2009.
2. Michael van der Ham: The Dutch born designer’s Warhol art-inspired dresses caught the attention of more than one fashion insider during his autumn/winter 2009 Central St Martins show – for which he also scooped the L’Oreal Professional Award. Prior to this, the young impresario honed his talents with stints at Alexander McQueen and Sophia Kokosalaki.
Has an eye for: The eclectic – van der Ham’s mismatch approach to design ensures there’s never a dull moment.
Is inspired by: Women who aren’t afraid to be bold.
Will be: Showcasing as part of NEWGEN’s Ready-to-Wear exhibition at Somerset House.
3. Fred Butler: New kid on the block Fred began life as a set designer and prop maker before packing a style punch with her first jewellery collection of bold, bright and sculptural designs for autumn/winter 2009. Since then she has presented workshops at London’s Design Museum, guest lectured at the London College of Fashion and collaborated with Asos.com on their limited edition ‘Hit’ line.
Has an eye for: Creating “wearable sculpture,” by using graphic shapes, clashing colours and tactile forms.
Is inspired by: The unpredictable in the everyday.
Shop it: Online at Kabiri.co.uk this season.
4. Mark Fast: Since the success of the 28 year old Canadian’s Central St Martins graduate collection in 2007 (which was quickly snapped up by Browns Focus) the young designer has gone from strength to strength. His autumn/winter 2009 show featured a bold collection of black knitted body-con dresses, embellished with fringing and dramatic cut-out panels.
Has an eye for: Exquisite pieces that are contoured to the body.
Is inspired by: Finding innovative ways with knitwear.
Will be: Available from Browns Focus.
5. Eun Jeong: 2008′s Fashion Fringe winner, Eun Jeong leapt on the scene with a collection made entirely from white cotton lace. The Korean designer has since been working hard to develop her own label ‘1st element by hong eun jeong’.
Has an eye for: Neat pleats and effortless tailoring.
Is inspired by: Uniqueness in others.
Shop it: at Net-a-porter.com
6. Emilio de la Morena: Having trained as a sculptor in his native Spain before sharpening his fashion skills at Central St Martins in 2002, de la Morena’s designs are inspired by structural shapes and traditional Spanish artisan techniques.
Has an eye for: Fluid and feminine sculptural lines.
Is inspired by: The relationship between organic shapes and defined silhouettes.
Shop it: Online at Browns Focus.
7. Josh Goot: His sleek and monochromatic autumn/winter 2009 collection had London based Goot dubbed the new king of modernism, for his simple yet sophisticated use of black and white on shifts and neatly tailored suits.
Has an eye for: Colour blocking and clean lines.
Is inspired by: Human anatomy and abstract forms for spring/summer 2009.
Shop it: At Liberty.co.uk.
8. Mary Katrantzou: Since her fun graphic print collection for autumn/winter 2009, that featured dresses emblazoned with images of perfume bottles, we have not been able to shake the feeling that Katrantzou is going places. Having worked under fellow Greek, Sophia Kokosalaki and freelanced for Bill Blass, the young print designer also makes jewellery to complement her collections.
Has an eye for: Digital prints and bold, industrial jewellery.
Is inspired by: Antique perfume bottles and 18th century portraits for spring/summer 2010.
Shop it: At Browns Focus and Harvey Nichols.
9: Maria Francesca Pepe: With style insiders dipping into Pepe’s jewellery box for her hand-crafted Italian pieces to adorn their fashion pages – including Harper’s Bazaar – it is little wonder the designer already has a loyal following. You might have seen her designs embellishing the shows of Roksanda Illincic (S/S09 and A/W09), Emilio De La Morena (A/W09) and Louise Grey (A/W09), for which she designed a shoe collection.
Has an eye for: Chunky tubular necklaces made using old, handcrafted Italian techniques.
Is inspired by: Pieces that appeal to all tastes and ages.
Shop it: At Dover Street Market and the label’s own online store that launches this December.
10. Veryta: Designer and Fashion illustrator Tanya Ling brings her talents to the role of Creative Director of not-for-profit label Veryta, which appears for the first time this season. Launched with the backing of Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati and Filippo Binaghi of Italian Silk manufacturer, Lorma, 10 percent of sales from the collection will go direct to children’s charities in India.
Is inspired by: Her native India.
(Harper’s Bazaar U.K.)
Edited by Kirby Marzec
Tragedy struck the White House late Friday evening. Hartmarx Corp., President Barack Obama’s (ahh, I love saying that!) favorite suit company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy, leaving our President cold, naked and alone. Maybe this is good incentive for him to get cracking with economic rehabilitation or simply go shopping for a new designer! Whatever the case may be, we sympathize with you, Mr. President. After all, we share in your sympathy as Obedient Sons and Daughters as well as Bill Blass are pushing up daises.
Edited by Kirby Marzec
This may be premature, but I’ll start digging the grave for clothing line, Bill Blass. With the current economic situation, NexCen dropped the label, selling its assets and licensing for a mesely $10 million. Initially, NexCen sought $25 million for the label, but let’s be real, what fashion company has that kind of money to blindly throw millions of dollars into a label that was failing to begin with? Oddly enough, a small men’s dress shirt and neckwear company, Peacock International Holdings LLC, snatched Bill Blass for $15 million less than what NexCen demanded.
My utmost respect goes out towards Peacock…it’s nice to see some optimism and hope during such difficult times. But let it be known, they certainly have their work cut out for them! Not only did NexCen shut down Bill Blass’ ready-to-wear line in mid December, laying off nearly 60 reputable employees, with the MIA Peter Som, the label didn’t have the money to finance a 2009 spring runway show! For now, i’ll have a bit of faith that Peacock can revive such a magnificent label, but that grave is ready for Bill Blass if they get themselves in too deep.
Edited by Kirby Marzec
It’s all fun and games until you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Ever since Peter Som stopped designing for the couture department at Bill Blass, the label has been on a steep decline to failure. Sorry folks, game over, Bill Blass New York recently announced their liquidation. To make matters worse, Bill Blass Couture, a line designed directly by Peter Som, isn’t looking too promising either. Will we ever see Som’s Blass line in stores? Things are looking bleak. Poor Bill Blass himself is probably turning over in his grave.
Thanks NY Mag!