Showing posts with label Suzy Menkes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Suzy Menkes. Show all posts

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Galliano and de la Renta Marriage cancelled!


a birdy told me...

What passes for news? It shows you just how far we've come when almost 2 years ago, the universal smack down of John Galliano from his Olympus perch was the passing of gas heard and smelled round the world. Remember how stricken the good people of Vogue, Harper's, International Conde Nast, and every other rag worth its weight in ads. The lines were so clearly drawn over this "problem" that you'd think the earth had cracked open with the beliebers on one side and the who gives a shits on the other, which would include all of the offended faith based shoppers and the shoppers who couldn't afford the high cost of faith or his clothes. The shock of his precipitous fall, the court appearances, the suave hats and soberly colored suits, the downcast gaze, the drooping mini-stache, his look of befuddlement, the constant airplay/YouTube play of the rants in question at La Perle, the offended patrons who baited him, laughed and kept their phone's video app rolling, the loss of his job at Dior, the loss of stewardship of his eponymous collection, the search for a suitably glamorous Centre de Rehab, the rallying of his friends using their pull at the same said Centre de Rehab where they've all taken the waters, as it were, all of that.... Remember? Barely.

No to the nuptials...
My Mom is the ultimate disseminator of news. If it's not on CNN, then sorry, it ain't news. Mommie doesn't let a moment pass on any given day that CNN is in her direct sight lines or loudly playing in the background. I asked if she'd heard about Oscar and Galliano's negotiations to take the wheel of La Finca de la Renta. "No, Baby", she said. "There's that terrible funeral for the firemen in Boston, the plane to nowhere is still, well, nowhere to be found and I heard from Aunt Willie. Her pneumonia is much better." End of news flash. It wasn't til I was at the gym, pumping iron, kicking ass and watching Maury Povich on the monitors with some Baby Daddy and his accusing ex he'd never to that moment met, let alone, lay with, in the biblical sense (straight out of Johnny Weir's lips re. his divorce proceedings against his Russian husband, make up sex was NOT happening after a fist fight. Some people just don't know when to kiss and lay) that my trainer JOE LAZO of LAZO FITNESS and a budding reality star of a pilot in the works for Bravo, "Fit and Frisky", that Galliano's demands for a studio of the quality he's used to employing was just too, trou, cher, (means expensive). I had to get the news from my fitness Guru who also happens to be my life coach and personal savior. I've learned more about women from him than in the 30 years I designed clothes for them, but that is another story, too long, too steamy and too damn fascinating to take the time here. He'd read it in WWD and though it was a Thursday, NYTimes Style section day, not a word was printed, not even on their blog. ZILCH. None of the important newspapers bothered to mention it at all.

I ran to the showers where Paul Wilmot, the uber-P.R. guy through the ages and yes, a member of my gym, was showering after his grueling routine. I whipped back the curtain just as the soap fell to the floor and asked him what the skinny was. He didn't answer, just kept reaching  for the soap. Dismayed, I ran from the gym, no towel, no clothes, NO HAIR and made a bee-line for 7th Ave to get to the bottom of the story. The cops grabbed me. They were unmoved by my plight and also unable to shed any light of the issue. With hand-cuffs and leg chains and a tranquilizer dart still dangling from my haunch, I wasn't moving either.

Joe Lazo/Lazo Fitness/my trainer and Guru
 Eventually I was released thanks to Cathy Horyn and Eric Wilson who vouched for me. As both are no longer at the Times they were as clueless as yours truly. Suzy Menkes was gonna come too but was still tied up at Conde Nasty hammering out her new deal with Madame le Ambassadresse de Wintour. But that's ok, Suzy never would have made it through security with that hairy nob on her head. It wasn't til I got home and turned on my computer that I dug it up under layers and layers of the 3rd rate news feeds online. Crap like London's Telegraph, Daily Beast, Daily News, The Cut and Fashionista, the blog that banned me and my comments in my infancy. What an afterthought it all was. The de la Renta's and their brilliant stewards, the hapless son-in-law and his spoiled, unpleasant wife whose mom is Mommy de la Renta. Between the two they could barely tie a bow or tell a sequin from a paillette. With so much money (maybe there isn't as much as there was) you'd think they'd do all they could to land such a big fish, guaranteeing buzz, the retreading of their listing brand and even make some great clothes in the process. well, um, no. Not happening. Hence, not newsy.

So back to ambulance chasing, searching for the next fashion star, continuing the search for missing fashion stars and waiting for the next episode of Game of Thrones. Now that's news.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Exodus: The winter of our discontent.

Cathy Horyn

Has anyone besides me, Catherine, Jolain and others noticed that before the credits rolled the theater emptied? Where did everyone go? That goes for all of NYFW.....

Ok, so I did see a few shows, CH and RR along with a few others (Bibhu Mohapatra, Duckie Brown and some others not worth mentioning). They were each moving in their own ways. Ralph Rucci, of course, was the most moving, but in a static, frozen in time way. Carolina Herrera had some great moments that were so chic, so interesting, starting with an exaggerated Fez on the heads of many of the girls parading in DELUXE daytime clothes. Great fur treatments on cashmere coats, a turtleneck cashmere sweater that all but made the notion of a coat redundant. Day in the world of CH is more compelling than evening where the hand can become a tiny bit ham-fisted. Still it is the pervasive feel of chic, even modern at times, propriety that persuasively makes the argument for luxury. Ms Herrera is a classy Lady and her team led by Herve Pierre and crew are clearly a joyful gang with none of the angst that has riddled so much of the industry. Maybe that's because Mrs. H has nothing to prove. When you have IT why bother? It's a European sensibility that many of us inhabiting the New World are still centuries away from embodying.
Eric Wilson

The Ralph Rucci collection, due its own individual analysis, is interesting in a similar way with the exception that most every exit was its own show, its own statement on the nature of modernity in a time of social decay. I say static in that his themes were further developed, refined and distilled making the message, the sheer beauty and brilliance of idea/execution that much more obvious to see. The show staged in his own studio, a space that defies description other than to say it is part laboratory, part gallery and part heaven, was much more intimate than the tents so the clothes passed so close to you it was possible to see the texture of the fabrics, hear the rustle of fabrics and the sound of crystals and beads whispering to one another. It left me not so much stunned as satisfied.

Suzy Menkes
The strangest part of all was the absence of critical eyes. Ms. Horyn was not in attendance having left the Times only a week before to be with her partner, only for him to pass away within the following week. Her exit was the end of an era, or the end of an error, depending on how one chooses to look at it; glass half empty or glass bone dry. Though the uproar over her departure was such that some lamented that hers was the last voice of intelligent, objective discourse/criticism. Others mourned that fashion criticism is now the domain of ignorant uninformed bloggers. There may be some truth in that...

Watching Suzy Menkes shuffle in, then reading her reviews that parroted the hackneyed Horyn-isms (cutting on the "round" and "couture shapes", tropes, the notion of, etc.) and happy talk was distressing but not unexpected. Eric Wilson moved on to greener pastures too. I miss him. Eric's is an intelligent voice that is surprisingly objective. Rarely did he print a review that was oblique and freighted with meaning that couldn't be deciphered. I never had to read him twice... I even miss Cathy. She at least supplied the catnip for me and others to rake our claws over. I also feel for her Greek chorus weighing in on her blog with comments so dense in language and meaning that only she could "get at" what they attempted to "get at". I call them the Horyns of Babylon. Mrs. Menkes I understand is/has jumped ship to join Conde Nast so that completes the circle. The vacuum that's left is as disturbing as the legion of uninspired "designers" tossing looks down the runway like a pot of uncooked spaghetti at the wall; nothing much sticks just a mess on the floor to step in like the lazy entitled zombies in Brooklyn Heights whom no longer feel responsible for picking up after their mutts.

Europe, Paris in particular, is another story altogether. A story with a beginning, middle and end.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Monkey Business

I, like so many other New Yorkers, am stressed out. With the hurricane, the election and our early- bird blizzard, things have just gotten to be a little too out of control. Anxiety is the new normal and upheaval is the order of the day. One doesn't have to be flooded out of their home, without electricity or heat or water for going on 2 weeks, unable to find gas or public transport to get from what was once your home to your job to feel a sense on unease. All those mornings I didn't want to get out of bed are nothing to the feelings I've had of late. Things just don't feel right.

Fortunately, the election went the way I'd hoped. That's all I'll say about politics. Except, I'm still struck by the look on Anne Romney's face as Mitt conceded. In her red Oscar or Fiandaca or whatever it was she wore, with those boulder sized rock crystal beads around her neck, she looked as though she'd been woken from some nightmare only to find that the dream was real and all of it while standing in front of millions of people. So much for smug, self satisfaction.

 Smug self satisfaction is the operative phrase. Fashion today, or more to the point, the fashion business, has drowned in its own puddle of standing water. Reading the news of Balenciaga, the exit of Nicholas Ghesquierre and the machinations of LVMH to somehow show up PPR, Nicholas' supposed dissatisfaction with the lack of "support" given by Mr. Pinault, his unhappiness at the "freedom" and "license" so freely given to Hedi Slimane for his re-tread of (Y)SL, all of this "business" is stultifyingly dull and has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion, that poor unsuspecting victim, not to mention all of us who have followed her, as though she were a siren song or the pied piper, have come to a place in the forest empty of trees, water, sky or light. It's a scorched earth we stand on.

Slimane's (Y)SL means little or nothing to me. Other than editors and the conglomerate that owns and supports it and a few die-hard sheep it has no validity. Balenciaga has been the same in my eyes for years. Sure, the accessories, shoes and bits and pieces made money and noise.
lock-step editors
The gush of hyperbole from editors like Suzy Menkes at the International Herald Tribune and others at the Times, WSJ and a host of blogs/bloggers made Ghesquierre out to be the most influential design force of the past 10 years. The item he sent the world scurrying to copy was a pair of cargo pants. Gee. ( I know I over simplify, but I'm trying to make a point here. Work with me on this...) From his beginning where he "designed"a much photographed vest that was a COMPLETE copy of one by the master of collage, Koos van den Akker, put an sour taste in my mouth. Koos was my last boss before I struck out on my own. There is only one Koos, and fortunately the world is about to learn a great deal more about him thanks to an up-coming book and documentary film.

Nicholas who pointedly avoided the Balenciaga archive made one unfortunate misstep by that decision. The ethos of Balenciaga's approach to design was that the fabric, no matter its property: hard or soft, must move with the body. Never should it be in combat with the body. Despite all the creative experiments that Nicholas achieved with his fabrics, many of them man made state of the art manipulations of disparate materials they rarely worked with the body. Hard, harder and rock hardest is one way to describe them.They were the stuff of a trend poisoned editor's dream. Aggressive, self-consciously studied clothing rested on the shoulders of models like provocative sandwich boards, one moment drwing attention and the next repelling it. The rare times I came upon women in the street wearing the label it was too often re-issued designs from the original archive. They were often coats that made your heart stop. So, no tears from this corner. If LVMH now wants to give him his own label, he should remember that is in name and contract only. One need only to look at Galliano and his eponymous label to see that it is only yours as long as you have a job. The moment you're no longer essential, the name stays and you go.

There's a lot more to be said on this. I don't want to go on and on and risk boring you.  The newspapers and blogosphere are jammed with innocuous stories and pathetic bits passed off as news. It's not. Tory Burch's legal problems with her husband Chris of C.Wonder fame (and the guy whose money set her up and continues to head her business' board) is all just a mammoth luxury problem. Anna Wintour and DVF climbing in between the battling parties is unseemly. Kate Moss' supposed nervous breakdown while shooting CK ads in panties sans bra with Marky Mark is simply fantasy. The prescribed Valium to help cope wasn't as effective as coke. Simple math.
Model pregnancies, break-ups and break downs isn't news. Reed Krakoff looking at the camera in a NYT's story about being the consultant to the architects in charge of building the new tower in the Hudson Yards that will house the new Coach headquarters as though he were president of MOMA instead of a handbag company and another that couldn't make a dress that storm victims would take even if it were offered for free. He can design a great bag, but that's the beginning and end of story. He knows how to buy pedigreed art, furniture and homes like the best of them. But that's not rocket science when you have that kind of money. It buys you a cozy seat on the board of the most important body of American Fashion designers, too. In the end, this is all just monkey business. The big ape getting throttled by the rabid chimp with the hairy low hanging balls. Its all just a jungle, and we're just the suckers off to the sides watching helplessly like forlorn bunnies forgotten on the sofa.

*all images shot by me at Montreal's Musee' de Beaux Arts