In October, I had the pleasure of attending Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Week – or, as I like to think of it, Kiev Fashion Weekend (October 21-23). My sincere thanks to Miss Daria (Dasha) Shapovalova for inviting me to come and speak. Kiev is an extraordinarily beautiful city in the Ukraine with amazing churches and monasteries, good-looking young people, and a small but vibrant fashion scene. There were ten fashion shows by mostly young designers such as Anna October, Sasha Kanevsky, and Anton Belinsky. But my favorite thing was a display of amazing, hand-crafted leather handbags – half kawaii and half steampunk – by the Ukrainian artist/designer Bob Bassett (firstname.lastname@example.org) . If I’d had an extra $1,000 I would have bought the over-the-shoulder bag shaped like a dragon.
I’m busy working on lots of terrific projects – including the Daphne Guinness exhibition and book, and also the museum’s Masterpiece book. Yesterday we threw a “birthday party” for Christian Dior at the Museum; Fred Dennis and I showed five of our beautiful Dior dresses to eight members of the Couture Council.
I saw an interesting show at the Museum of Art and Design on the Global Africa Project, with one of Nick Cave’s art costumes, clothing by Black Coffee, photographs by Daniele Tamagni, and Sheila Bridges’ very-cool Harlem Toile de Jouy.
Best wishes for a happy and fashionable New Year!
Much as I admired Carine Roitfeld, I am super-excited that Emmanuelle Alt will be the new editor in chief of Vogue Paris. I love her cool, boyish, rock-and-roll style.
Charles LeDray’s retrospective at the Whitney is totally inspiring. I remember the first time I saw his tiny hand-made clothing sculptures displayed on the floor of the Guggenheim Soho for the Art/Fashion exhibition in 1997. I told him, “Mr. LeDray, I love your work,” and he said, “Thanks very much – we’ll search your bag on the way out.” There is something so poetic and mysterious about constructions like Overcoat (2004), a miniature coat lined with even tinier garments. You’d think that designers would be inspired by his disintegrating jacket, shirt, and toe ensemble. Of course, the straitjacket is incredible.
Sorry! I’ve been AWOL for months! But I’ve been super busy….
The Museum at FIT is now featuring two great exhibitions: 1) Eco-Fashion: Going Green (curated by Colleen Hill and Jennifer Farley) and 2) Japan Fashion Now, the exhibition that I’ve been working on for the past two years. Eco-Fashion closes in November, to be replaced by Colleen and Jennifer’s new show, His & Hers, but Japan Fashion Now is being extended through mid-April, 2011.
Long long ago (in July) I had two weeks vacation in France – the Loire Valley, northern Burgundy, and Normandy with a half a day in Paris to see the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition and the History of fashion show at the Musée de la Mode. After all the chateaux on the Loire, I saw a really cute little fashion museum in Avalon (Burgundy). At a friend’s Louis XIII chateau in Normandy, I met a really fascinating older man who had known Coco Chanel. He said that she talked a lot about the famous men she had known, but never mentioned another woman…
Later in the summer, I had the opportunity to attend Copenhagen Fashion Week. In addition to seeing the world’s longest runway, I also saw a lot of fashion shows – of which my favorite was by NOIR, a really cool (and ecological) line.
Back in New York City, we held the Couture Council summer party at the French Consulate, which was very chic, and attracted publicity for our (sold-out) Awards Luncheon, which took place at Lincoln Center on September 10. This year the Couture Council honored Karl Lagerfeld with a special Fashion Visionary Award. It was an amazing event with hundreds of ladies, almost all wearing Chanel.
At New York Fashion Week, my favorite shows were Rodarte and Altuzarra.
The opening reception for Japan Fashion Now (September 22) was a lot of fun. We’ve also been having a lot of great public programs about Japan, including a Lolita Tea Party, featuring Gashicon, creator of Hangry and Angry, and the owners of the store Tokyo Rebel. Now that Japan is up-and-running, we’re working on next September’s big show, Daphne Guinness.