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40 FALL MUST HAVES layers, fake fur, thigh high boots, gold graphic print,assymetrical, shoulder pads

in this issue

big city shopping • oriental fashion vivienne westwood • green glamour

$16.99 Aug 2009

0 9246 37618 295


cut the crap... just fashion

6 Feature

CONTENT Editorial








Cut hearts...


Creative Director Jaclyn da Cruz Senior Editor-at-Large Sandra Cooper Feature Editor Sheila Kahn Fashion Editor Lauren James

Get the look , sunkissed 33 Get the look , colourmania 41

Photo Editor Joel Campbell

Get the look , couture divine 51

Art Director Jaclyn da Cruz


Stylists Brody Johnson, Alexis Mariello

The Hit Girls


Fashion Against AIDS?


Handmade Tales


Is Fashion Racist?


Wonder Boys


Writers Hamish Bowles, Terry Ericsson, Johnathan Van Meeter, Tia Ja Vicki Woods. David Colman





Advertising director Samira Xavier

Couture Divine



Photographer Steven Meisel, Brad Handler, Mario Testino, Gian Rodrigo Patrick Demachilier,

Distribstution Stibo Graphics Publisher Hachette Filipacchi Media 1633 Broadway, New York NY 100019 USA

Cut is a registered trademark of Cruzial Creations. The Cut trademarks, denomination and logo are owned by Cruzial Creations inc. Copyright Š 2009.






THE SUN Ready for beach season 2009? In this issue of Cut you will find everything you need for a sunny day by the beach or a fabulous time on the dance floor. Hot trends, exciting people and a cornucopia of inspiration. This summer’s fashions take us beyond the horizon to such exotic locales as Mexico and Polynesia. Tropical colours, explosive patterns and sun-drenched elegance. It’s all about enjoying life and dearing to be free. Meet designers such as Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler who dreams up eye-catching creations for people who love dancing and partying til sunrise. The dressmakers and tailor (or magician as we like to call them), talk about creating the haute couture vision for design houses such as Givenchy and Chanel. We also bring you feature articles on the phenomen closest to our hearts like racism in fashion. Summer is the season when we long for ultimate freedom. Now is the time to strip off our everydays clothes, forget about fashion do’s and dont’s, and show our true selves under the clear blue sky. Whether your holiday take you to the big city or a desert island, make sure to revel in every moment! See you in the sun,

Jaclyn da Cruz - creative director



07 news

Sergio Rossi

: t o h

s, ker a e ut sn ed y. C e r r u u s lo ux l co lian l y choo e w l a ’s je d It t, simp ma ol an in u P o c si dm s ed. n n o a m a R r t b e o r o l f i 0u ans , vio erg n S of 198 ethyst ntly tr i t m ree sta on e st t fusi tin in a ok in h t fec ng sa our lo Hit i per y the gleam d see n m fro ade a h as

s ’ t ha



Sergio Rossi

Thights have become a staple in fashion. This spring the tights are more than simply one coloured. They have cut-outs, such as Rodarte’s version or patterns like Alexander McQueen’s. Common for all the tights is that they stand out and attract attention.

Alexander McQueen

“Fashion fades, style is forever.“ - Yves Saint Laurent Rodarte

Alexander McQueen

Online shopping just got a bit cheaper. The Outnet. com will be opening this spring. It will be the outlet site to Containing the widest range of authentic luxury designer brands. It’s Chic-onomics!

of Cool immediate hit of glamour with the right shades. Pick a pair to suit your face and make an event of every outfit.

The belle of the beach. Ready for a long, hot night. The right sunglasses give you the hottest possible summer look. Add an

“If all you want from your sunglasses is a bit of shade, you’re asking too little.” - Diane Von Furstenberg

Aviators: The modern classic will see your style status roar. Sleek aviators are ideal for heart shaped faces.

Oversized: Supersize your shades for showstopping starlet appeal. Oversized styles look sophisticated on square or petite faces.

RayBan Prada

Vintage: The quirky chic choice will bring timeless glamour with retro shapes. Flatter a round face with two tone shades.

Sporty: Exercise your super cool style credentials in sporty-luxe lenses. If your face is oval or triangular seek out wide set frames.


Emilio Pucci

: w ne

ed bas of k r Yo tion New collec tering w ho ut e flat ” is er deb gure real lif d e fi t h a a es to rom tic his escrib e cut f you in p o r s a rn zd and ande bikinis and tu y n x r k e s e rve n, s Slee ie F der a Mar wear. you cu o m “M t Lis swi ’ll give dez. is l c i y t h n y s c rty- e.“The Ferna o p s n s y pre , sa neo girl” d Bon


’s t a h

Lisa Fernandez

08 news


09 news

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al ryst t c zing rfec gra e pe h a r e h uld wit is t sho eart them s i ar xH . Th ack Bijou tic. We b e r exo from sa ring style nd the r a t. old nt e na me sted g ptow d nigh e t sta eu an twi The and n of th ll day is o a lap binati dress m k co lac eb littl

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Bijoux Heart

Face the summer in flowery dresses, They should be ultra chic floral designs. They are distinctly femine, soft and sheer, so to roughen up the look, pair it with some rough and edgy ankleboots.



• The key to the perfect mini is accesories. • Work the colour of your dress into your accesories. •Add black and gold.

• Create a long silhuette with sky high heels. • Clinch in voluminous shapes at the waust. • Define petite silhuettes. Preen

Roberto Cavalli

13 Feature

11 trend

Calvin Klein

Diane Von Furstenberg

Michael Kors

Marc by Marc Jacobs

In New York this summer? Then here’s a look for you, chic, crisply pressed fashion for an urban holiday. You’ll recognise the style from major American desgners like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan. It’s elegant like Sex and the City and preppy like the French Riviera, with a fresh feeling running through it all, from the colours to the materials. The pastels are frosty, the fabrics light and the patterns truly summery. Pick and choose among flowers and fruits, stripes and polka dots, or dip into the season’s trends, from light hear ted kitsch to blurry watercolours. The new urban warderobe won’t let you down. It includes clothes that are just as right beside the pool as they are at the bar later in the evening. Inspired by classic summer sports like sailing, golf and tennis. And don’t forget to dot your i’s and cross your t’s with the right accessories. With the right sunglasses triumph is yours.


Brian Atwood

Ralph Lauren

Carolina Herrera

Donna Karan


Erickson Beamon

This season, rock gets reinvented with chic, sophisticated styles. Fitted black dresses, lots of leather, glitz and glitter. And fabulous footwear are taking over the fashion stage making up the “cool� clothing of the moment. Designers like Alexander Wang and Gucci have streamlined the trend, and with an abundance of accessories to try, women of all ages can add a little edge. So put your notions of punk aside, and look out for fashions that are glamorous and grown-up, with a little bit of attitude. The little leather jacket sings glam rock like no other piece of clothing. In addition to the leather jacket, leather skirts and even leather pants are all hot once again. A great way to go glam rock below the gams, check out spiked heels and even the ultra-popular edgy ankle boot.




ROLL Lous Vuitton

Alexander Wang


Charlotte Ronson

Alexander McQueen

13 trend

Emilio Pucci

This summmer’s ethnic trend takes you to a Polynesian isle were vanilla grows wild and the seas are full of black pearls. The flora and fauna of Tahiti inspire an explosion of colours and patterns: batik and big flowers, shocking pink and sunny yellow, deep purple and verdant green. Designers like Emilio Pucci, Matthew Williamson and Rosa Cha are all at the helms of this trend. The tropical look includes classic beachwear like shor ts, t-shirts, sarongs, and tunics. Find your own favorite look. Maybe a sporty surfer outfit is best for you. Or a safari look the way Yves Saint Laurent might have imagined it, with harem trousers, draped jersey and a scarf wrapped around your hair. Complete the look with bamboo accesories, handmade items and lots of jewellery, especially wooden bangles.





Matthew Williamson

Tracy Reese

Diane Von Furstenberg

Victoria’s Secret

Alexander McQueen

Rosa Cha

17 Feature

15 Feature

Ten top models brings personality and attitude to spring’s eye-popping prints. Are we witnessing the return of the model? Words: Johnathan Van Meeter - Photo: Steven Meisel


19 Feature

17 Feature

On the Monday following Fashion Week, I stop by a vast studio on a pier in Chelsea. All ten girls are present and in various stages of hair and makeup, getting ready for the photoshoot with Steven Meisel. GIRLS, GIRLS,GIRLS The chatter among the girls runs a predictable course for a while: the free clothes they get during Fashion Week, the difficulty of packing all that swag as they head off to London, Milan, and Paris, jet lag, and watching sad movies in hotel rooms all over the world. But then the conversation takes a different turn. Agyness makes a joke about starting a models’ union and then says, “Supermodels could be really diva-ish, but we can’t.” “That’s because we have to work so hard,” says Raquel, who has taken on a sort of big-sister role to the group. “I think the girls nowadays are really professional.” “We don’t have any of the stereotypical model traits,” says Agyness, whose boyfriend is in a punk band and who regularly deejays in clubs. “We don’t all go out and get absolutely wrecked all the time. We go home and go to bed.”“It’s big business,” says Raquel. “There’s much more of everything: more shows, more designers, more models, too. So the ones who are more disciplined work more.” She’s right: As fashion has become ever-bigger business, the tolerance for larger-than-life characters and behavior has almost entirely disappeared.“It’s kind of nice, though,” says Agyness, “because all of us girls are totally different. In between the supermodel period and now, we kind of went through a phase where all the models kinda looked the same.” Suddenly Coco, who has been only half-listening, looks up from her book.“There was the time when every girl had her own walk,” she says. “Like, everyone knows the Naomi Campbell walk. But for a long time you couldn’t have a walk. Even now backstage, they’re like, ‘No, no, no. Calm. Slow. No emotion.’ ““But there are certain shows,” says Jessica, “like Zac Posen and Versace, where everybody’s backstage looking at the monitors, cheering on all the girls.” EVERY GIRLS DREAM One gets the sense that these girls could have done anything with their lives. The fact that they have chosen to be a model tells you a lot about the profession today. As Nian Fish, the creative director of KCD, the media relations company, tells me, “It doesn’t matter what level of education or economic status you are, everybody wants to be a model. I cannot tell you how many phone calls I get about ‘Oh, my niece is fifteen, and she wants to be a model. She goes to Brearley!’ Being a model has become the thing every young girl wants to be. When I was young, it was ballerinas, teachers and nurses.” When Lily thinks of her profession, she sees it as a sort of utopian melting pot. “We have all come from different

parts of the planet and every walk of life, and we come together in this mad ball of energy.” DEATH OF THE SUPERMODELS When fashion took a turn toward the minimal around 2000, so did the models. A lot of designers had come to feel that supermodels were distracting from what they felt should be the real star of the show: the clothes. Before long, the models all started to look alike. The biggest catalyst for the cloning phenomenon was Miuccia Prada. In what many people in fashion saw as a corrective. She hired a full-time casting director, Russell Marsh, to scout for girls who all had a very similar look, that blank Prada look, in places like Belarus and Latvia. Gemma Wa rd w a s d i s c o v e re d t h i s way, as was Sasha, who is now almost singularly identified with Prada’s print campaigns. The unintended effect, however, was that every one jumped on this model bandwagon andmany fashion shows began to look like automatons marching to funeral dirges. NEW WAVE Not surprisingly, people in fashion eventually g re w t i re d o f w h a t casting director James Scully calls “the innocuous girls.” He goes on, “The average age of the girls I’ve met in the last two years has been sixteen. It’s very hard to work with a girl that young, who has no life experience, no carriage or command of her body. When you’re dealing with sixteen-yearolds, you almost feel when you see them that they only have a few seasons in them, and you kind of don’t invest the emotional time. With someone like Agyness, who’s 21, even though she’s not a traditional beauty, she just has so much personality.” Agyness’s agent, Louie Chaban at DNA, agrees.

On Doutzen: Carolina Herrera rust poppy-print dr M+J Savitt hoop earrings. Manolo B flat sandals.

18 hair and makeup, she’s lost. Which is the reason that Agyness is so special: She can do that.” THE MEISEL EFFECT Along with having bigger personalities, one of the things that all of these girls have in common is that they have all graduated from the Steven Meisel Finishing School for Future Supermodels. As Chaban says,“He’s single handedly the number one career maker in our industry. There are certain models who are not great in front of the camera, and more often than not people will say,‘Well, she doesn’t have that Steven Meisel training.’ “ When I ask him why he thinks models have dropped off the popular-culture radar screen, he says, “The only reason they’ve gone away is because fashion magazines put celebrities on the cover. And the reason is because America loves Star magazine and the Enquirer, and Britney shaves her head and that’s news. It’s just the world right now. Everyone’s interested in all this reality garbage. That’s all it is. It will pass.” He pauses for a moment.“I hope.” As for the supermodel phenomenon of the eighties and early nineties, he says, “It was a time of over the top–ness; it was our society at that moment. And this is just our time. I think that, modeling is even larger now. The number of agencies around the world has tripled. Every season

ress. Blahnik

On Coco: Marc Jacobs tweed print jacket and chain print pants. Miranda Green pleated lime hat. Stephen Russell diamond earrings. H. Stern rock crystal and diamond necklace. La Crasia acid-green gloves. Devi Kroell jeweled clutch.

On Hillary: Chloé print minidress with appliqués. Lola straw hat. Mark Davis ring. Dinosaur Designs bangle.


“What I find great about Agyness is that she has so many other interests: music, art, design. She has this incredible personal style that’s so different from all the rest. She has a lot of the qualities that contributed to why Kate Moss is so successful. It’s about her life. It’s a cool factor.” In the pre-supermodel days of fashion, in the sixties and seventies, “every girl did their own hair and makeup,” says Chaban, “so what made Penelope Tree, Penelope Tree was Penelope Tree. They were their own creations. That doesn’t exist anymore. You ask a girl to do her own

19 Feature

there are hundreds of new girls. For some reason, the girls are taller and prettier than they ever were. Not all of them are successful. And then, not all of them maintain a longevity. That depends really on the girl and her personality. It’s more than what she looks like. And in the end, the cream always comes to the top.” THE RETURN OF THE MODEL? Coco has been known to entertain the other models on photo shoots, who often goad her into dancing for them. Word got out that she could “Riverdance,” and Jean Paul Gaultier, whose fall collection was inspired by the Scottish Highlands, sent Coco down the runway to open his show in a red jacket, tartan kilt, and a big plume of feathers in her hair, doing a rousing, stomping jig. And there you have it: the Coco Moment. It was the biggest sign yet that fashion have begun to admit that maybe there is a longing for supermodels. There have been other clues that the age of anonymity is coming to an end: Gap and Versace ads are now featuring the names of the models right on the page. Agyness’s best friend, the designer Henry Holland, recently rolled out a line of T-shirts with naughty rhymey slogans splashed across the front in big block letters featuring the names of both the supermodels and the hopefuls: “I’ll show you who’s boss, Kate Moss”, says one. “My flies are undone for Lilly Donaldson.”

COMMERCE VS. ART Fashion is, obviously, one part art, one part commerce, though there are plenty of people out there who see it merely as clothes for sale. But the one thing that everyone understands about fashion is that it is entertainment. It is show business. And you can’t have show business without stars. Fashion needs supermodels. To reject that idea may very well be the best example I’ve ever encountered of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. If the disappearance of the supermodel is bad for fashion, then imagine what it has done to modeling. Models go through months, sometimes years of what Steven Meisel describes as “standing around in your underwear three, four, five times a day with a bunch of people sitting in a circle talking about you as if you’re not even in the room.” If that doesn’t have a payoff, if there isn’t the possibility that

“There is definitely a hunger for a supermodel,” says Nian Fish. “The last model who became a household name was Gisele. Gemma Ward is a big model, but I don’t call her a supermodel, because the average person has never heard of her. When I talk to editors and designers and stylists and photographers, they are just dying for a supermodel moment again.”

On Raquel: Jonathan Saunders tangerine slip dress with geometric print smock overlay. M+J Savitt silver hoop earrings. Sheva Fruitman sterling silver necklace. On Jessica: Bruce watercolor silk floral-appliquéd dress. Marc Jacobs jeweled cap. Marni collar. Dean Harris necklaces.

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you will one day reclaim your name, make a fortune, and have the whole world know you, then the entire enterprise swerves dangerously close to exploitation. And if longevity is what photographers, models, and their agents crave, then why is there all of this constant turnover? I suspect it is simple insecurity. A constant and manic chasing after the new.

On Sasha: Miu Miu violet silk shirtdress. Christian Louboutin shoes. Agyness: Miu Miu tribal-print shirtdress. Christian Louboutin shoes.

On Lily: Versace pop-print dress. Marimekko zebra-print sun hat. Carolina Amato gloves. Emilio Pucci shoes. On Caroline: Jonathan Saunders chiffon tank dress. Orla Kiely floral hat. Carolina Amato gloves. Emilio Pucci shoes.

21 Feature by Dita Von Teese


the d n a ever ashion s a t rtan udded. F orting o p m t p s as i as star-s tion sup igners i e g essa i s j u s t ollec brity des pread c m a e , T h n t e a m s back cele to s : H&M h t M i i g & i w S to des st AID t AIDS, hop H Ericsson - Pho s l i n s i a Aga ht again the ret Words: Terr y g h the fi ng up wit safe sex. i f team essage o the m

22 Feature

by Tokio Hotel

What do Katy Perry, Tokio Hotel and Yoko Ono have in common? They are all active in the fight against HIV and AIDS. For the second time H&M and Designers Against AIDS asked thirteen inspirational contributors to help design a clothing collection promoting the message of safe sex. The result is Fashion against AIDS, 30 garments for men and women grazed by the artists powerful motifs.

“It’s an honour to be part of this fantastic project,” says Dita Von Teese. “Every little thing you can do as an indivindual makes a difference in our common fight against HIV. By wearing these great looking t-shirts, you are part of something that really helps create change, and you look terrific in the process. UNINFORMED HIV/AIDS remains a serious threat around the world. Some believe the biggest danger is past, since media coverage has tailed off in the west. Others believe there’s a cure, which unforunately is not the case, prevention is the only way of avoiding the spread of HIV. An estimated 33 million people carry the virus. In 2007 some 2,5 million died of AIDS-related illnesses. Almost half of the people infected are between 15 and 25.


“Protect your body” proclaims musical artist Robyn on a t-shirt covered by a diamond print. Cyndi Lauper seems to have scrawled “Girls just want to have safe sex” with red lipstick on a black singlet. Pharrell Williams of N.E.R.D says it with a short sweet graphic print: “Use your brain.”

H&M design director Ann-Sofie Johansson points out that the battle against HIV/AIDS is essential. She is overwhelmed by the commitment of the celebrity contributors and looks forward to seeing the shirts in H&M shops. “The collection has a real eighties feel, whith lots of white, light tones and grafitti-inspired prints. Gilrs can wear them with a short skirt and big jewellery, while guys can pair them with dyed denim or rolled-up chinos.”

EASY TO HELP Fashion Against AIDS is raising money for preventing efforts. 25 % of the sales price will be donated direclty to projects involving HIV/AIDS SPREAD THE WORD issues. Last years campaign was a massive Ninette Murk is the founder success, bringing in some The purpose of this campaign is to raise of Designers Against AIDS. €1,5 million. The project also She also spear headed helps raise awareness on awareness of AIDS and HIV, spread the Fashion Against AIDS. When the part of young people. message of safe sex and raise funds she was editing a fashion Everybody who wears the for organisations working to improve magazine, her assistent died shirt is doing their part. awareness of HIV/AIDS. of the disease and it struck her that many young people lack essential knowledge about the virus. Since founding by Katherine Hammett Designers Against AIDS she has learned a lot. Last year she spoke to an audience of Dutch university students, telling them about a study showing that 70% of young people in Holland

by N.E.R.D

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have unprotected sex. “They were surprised, yet many felt condom weren’t necessary if the girl was on the pill. As if the biggest danger were unwanted pregnancy! If these well educated young people don’t understand the risks, there’s a real danger that the number of HIV cases may rise in industrialized countries.” WIDE REACH For Ninette Murk, H&M was an obvious choice when she went looking for partner , her organisation could never reach so many young people on it’s own. The response to the first collection was 25% of the sales price will be no short of spectacular. divided among four organisations: Some of the money it Designers Against AIDS, the MTV raised is financing the international HIV/AIDS Staying alive foundation, UNFPA Awareness Centre in and Youth/AIDS. Antwerp, which opens later this year. Some of it’s funding far-ranging campaigns, including a presence at musical festivals and some supporting the founding of a film festival. Another slice of the proceeds went to projects in Haiti and Russia under the agency of YouthAIDS.

by H&M

by Katy Perry

24 Feature by Cyndi Lauper

by Estelle

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The most important thing Fashion Against AIDS does is give people a reason to start talking about HIV/AIDS again. And as Ninette Murk notes, “Building on the project and taking it further makes the message more effective.” IN STORES The collection will be availeable in H&M’s Divided youth department from the 28 of May. It includes t-shirt, singlets, bodies and t-shirt dresses. A total of 30 pieces, 17 for girls and 13 for guys. The garments are made of 100% certified organic cotton. The labels indicates which artists helps design the garments.

by Yellie

by Katherine Hammett

by Roisin Murphy

29 Feature

27 designer

Alexander McQueen The Brittish designer offers a taste of colourful prints in his new collection. Get an affordable look by combining bright colours with graphic prints.





Matthew Williamson

31 Feature

Rihanna The popular singer is quite the trendsetter. From mini dresses, to hot colours, to stylish cuts, the ever changing styles of Rihanna never goes unnoticed. Take note from her edgy style and don’t be afraid to experiment with colours and crazy accesories.

29 Feature Behind the Paris haute couture masterworks lie the fabled workrooms. Meet the highly skilled tailors whose wizardry makes the magic real.

“I wanted to be a Chanel suit takes c o n s i d e re d a 150 hours to make, good craftsman,” requiring three Words: Hamish Bowles - Photo: Patrick Demarchelier wrote designer fittings, and, with a Christian Dior of his spring 1947 debut impressionistic sketches into three- smattering of embroidery by the fabled collection.“I wanted my dresses to be dimensional desire, employing a Lesage, can edge toward a $100,000 constructed like buildings, molded to roster of dressmaking techniques both price tag (elaborate evening gowns the curves of the female form, stylizing innovative and archaic to interpret his can soar beyond that figure). its shape.” vision. More than six decades later, when John Galliano looked at images A best-selling Chanel suit may be Dior’s sensationally feminine and of those clothes to inspire his own fall ordered by ten or fifteen clients, romantic clothes, a provocative haute couture collection for the House though chez Lacroix, for instance, only challenge to the dominant broad of Dior, it was these same skills that a one model of each evening dress is shouldered, man-tailored wartime new generation of technical wizards sold per country. Guiding them in silhouette, won him instant celebrity. employed to bring his fantasy to life. their choices are the “vendeuses”, or But it was to Dior’s directrice technique, sales ladies, who, with their directrice Marguerite Carré, that much of this A TRUE ART FORM de la couture, coordinate the client’s early success must be attributed. It Today, an estimated 200 women buy requirements with the fitter and her was she who transformed Dior’s rapid, regularly from the Paris couture. Where seamstresses to make them a reality.


Chanel Haute Couture: Alabaster embroidered pearl and strass organza dress with layers of pleated tulle, and ruffled hat with silk camellias.

Gaultier Paris: Black silk lace and velvet cage dress over flamingo-pink silk chiffon dress, gloves, and tights.

This relationship “is a question of trust,” says Dior’s ineffably chic directrice, Catherine Rivière. “You need to know her body,” adds Raffaele Ilardo, Dior’s head tailor.“She knows you know every fault and every quality. It’s like being her doctor!” SERIOUS BUSINESS In the couture ateliers, the atmosphere is one of single-minded focus and industry. Mobile phones are forbidden, and the garments in progress are shrouded in white cotton capes to protect them from dust, light, and prying eyes. Battalions of headless tailor’s mannequins are padded in the exact measurements of clients to facilitate the fitting process. In most

houses, the seamstresses and tailors wear clinical white lab coats and pochettes as pendants containing the little scissors, small thimbles, and skins of thread that are the tools of their trade. At Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld’s exquisite sketches are so precise, every seam and pocket clearly marked, that he often doesn’t need to see a complete toile (the cotton version of the garment made to confirm that it represents the designer’s vision before the precious fabrics are cut). For Galliano, the process is evolutionary: Each garment is constructed in toile form three times, often undergoing

radical changes at each transition. “The greatest challenge is to find the exact forms, the volumes, that Mr. Galliano wants,” says Raffaele. “It’s a work of mutual confidence and understanding, a real collaboration with the creator. Each season he goes further and further. For me, the most satisfying moment is to see in Mr. Galliano’s eye that he recognizes what he wanted.” “John knows that even if he suggests something ‘impossible,’ “ adds Rivière, “it will happen.” THE MAGICIANS The designer’s caprices must be indulged at all costs. “We have to efface ourselves entirely and absorb the spirit of the designer,” says Chanel’s


Givenchy Haute Couture: Creamy and powder silk organza dress and shoes.

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Chanel Haute Couture: Slate faille dress with camellias and train.

“A modern approach has to evolve with modern times. Our clients now lead faster lives. I want couture to be alive, to be young!”

Lacroix Haute Couture: Buttercup ottoman A-line dress, jet chiffon hood with embroidered .

Givency Haute Couture: Wool and silk chevron-print coatdress, bowler, gloves, tights, and boots.

Mme Cécile.“They are artists, and one must interpret what they want.” At Givenchy, the directeur des ateliers, Richard Lagarde, remembers the midcentury glory days when he worked with the young Yves Saint Laurent at Dior: “It was a dream. Clients would come from New York to Paris and stay two or three months for their fittings. We have dressed mothers, and now we dress their daughters. The mothers didn’t work. They knew their social schedules.When they had a ball coming up, the dates of the races. But their daughters work; they are on planes the whole time.” States Dior’s Rivière, , “A modern approach has to evolve with modern times. Our clients now lead faster lives. I want couture to be alive, to be young!” Gaultier Paris: Black silk velvet sheath with emerald-green taffeta train and pheasant-feather detail.

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Words: Hamish Bowles - Photo: Brad Handler


WHITEOUT Iman is a longtime friend of Bethann Hardison, the former runway model turned model agent. Both women are dismayed about the current predilection for an alienating aesthetic on the runway. “The model has become a hanger.” Iman (who was muse to Yves Saint Laurent and

black!”). Agents being told, “We’re not seeing black models this season.” As Iman points out,“In any other industry that would be a racist remark, and you would be taken to court for it!” By Hardison’s third meeting, the concerns that had been quietly voiced in editorial meetings finally hit the mainstream. Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, sent an e-mail to the New York designers asking them, prior to their castings, to be mindful about diversity. As Hardison says composedly, “You start using the word race and it gets a lot of people talking.”This diverse country has long gotten used to calling people “attorneys” or “movie stars” or “presidential candidates” without an ethnicity label. Back when Americans only had to choose which besuited candidate on offer was the one they’d most like to have a beer with, nobody ever needed to call Al Gore “white.” But this year, there’s no escaping labels. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both had to drag the baggage of old-fashioned sexism and racism around with them for us to judge. Curiously, for only a very tiny minority of occupations, ethnicity must be thus spelled out in 2008: Running for president is one, and modeling, suddenly is another.

In an industry that has long championed individuality, what happened to diversity? Cut invistigates our colourless catwalk and meets the models making a difference. stood for days at a time while he created and fitted his African Queen couture collection on her body) grew tired of looking through “lifeless” shows online. But what really got their dander up was the noticeable whiteout on the runways of 2008. Bethann Hardison (black model from the 1960s, and founder of her own pioneering modeling agency) e-mailed me,” says Iman, “one single sentence: ‘Did you realize that over the last decade, black models have been reduced to a category? Call me.’ “ They had dinner, they talked, and then, Hardison, who walked the runway back in the day when Saint Laurent’s and Hubert de Givenchy’s cabines contained far fewer white faces than beige, black, and brown, convened the first of three town-hall meetings in New York City. Models, agents, casting directors, and backstage people attended. By the second meeting (titled “Out of Fashion: The Absence of Color”), held at the New York Public Library, people were telling disconcertingly old-fashioned stories about the reality of life as a twenty-first-century black model. Go-sees turning to no-sees (“You didn’t tell me she was

FASHION FAIRYTALES Chanel Iman Robinson is a demurely beautiful girl of almost eighteen, from Culver City, California. She was blessed at birth with appropriate height, a flower-petal face, and a huge appetite. One day when she was twelve a family friend (a former model) picked her up from school, painted a hot-red lipstick on her mouth, and whisked her into Ford Models in Los Angeles. They put her “into development” and in time into the Ford Supermodel of the World competition. She was runner-up, thus blithely breaking the sporting rule “Nobody ever remembers who came in second.” Fast-forward to Steven Meisel’s Vogue cover from last May 2007 and then sixteen-year-old Chanel as the youngest of ten “World’s Next Top Models.” This spring she walked for Galliano, Stella McCartney, and YSL. Now, making our way from breakfast at the W hotel to Ford’s New York office, we pass under a billboard of her beautiful head plastered all over the Gap campaign. The fashion tale of Jourdan Dunn, a staggerigly gorgeous and funny seventeen year old girl from the northwest


This magazine exists to inspire women. How do fashion editors get inspired by watching the same procession of anonymous, blandly pretty, very young, very skinny, washed-out blondes with their hair scraped back in show after show? The glamazon supermodels of the late eighties and early nineties (Linda, Christy, Cindy, Naomi, Claudia) all looked equal but different as they thundered down the runway. Like the Spice Girls, each had an individual personality, a different physicality. So did the late-nineties wave of sexy Brazilian girls (who come in all colors, from milk to brown). The current wave of Eastern Europeans all look pretty much alike, which is odd for a trade that thrives on appealing to a woman’s personal style. And all are, obviously, white. Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm model agency in London, remarks,“It’s a naughty thing to say, because I’ve got some beautiful Eastern European girls, but to be honest, when I go in cars with them in Paris, I do get snow-blinded.”

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oh, my God!” This spring, Kate Moss cast her in a Topshop show in which she met Naomi Campbell, and was too frozen with hero worship to speak.

Jourdan Dunn

Then Vogue’s editor in chief, André Leon Talley spotted Jourdan in a casting call at Oscar de la Renta: “And she was booked, and then we went on to Proenza, and the next thing I know she was in Costello Tagliapietra, so she’s all over the New York runways. And then suddenly she shows up in Milan, at Prada! Which is absolutely mind boggling because I can’t tell you the last time I saw a girl of color in a Prada show.” (It was 1997, and it was Naomi.) The third tale is of Arlenis Sosa, a stunning college freshman with fabulous eyebrows. A few weeks short of her nineteenth birthday, she was walking to class in Santo Domingo, and a guy asked if he could take her picture to send to a friend in New York. “He’s a designer,” says Peter Cedeño, a model agent at Marilyn, “so he knew what he was looking at.” When Cedeño saw the pictures, he booked a flight to JFK for the girl who’d never been out of the Dominican Republic, and here she is,in shock, in Vogue, and in a state of bliss, struggling to answer in English the questions translated into Spanish. “¡Sí, sí! Happy!” she shouts. “Now work, working. For…for…important people! Steven Meisel, Oscar de la Renta, ¡sí! Yes! ¡Besos!” “Her chart’s full. She’s gonna be busy”, says Cedeño.

suburbs of London, is classic, too. She was hanging out with two friends who dragged her into Primark when they were all fourteen.“So

“Well, we already have our black girl.” “Honest to God, your reaction is, Did I hear that right? Secondly, you’re so offended you want to say, For your black girl slot?” - Neil Hamil, Elite we were trying on sunglasses, and this woman kept looking at me. We wondered if maybe she thought we were stealing something! Then she asked whether I’d ever thought about modeling, ‘because you’ve got good bone structure and you’re tall,’ and then she showed me her card, and it was Storm, and I got really excited because I knew Kate Moss was at Storm, and Lily Cole, and I was like, Oh, my God,

REACHING THE TOP Nothing so charming as a Next Top Models fairy tale. Chanel, Jourdan, and Arlenis have planted their feet on a path to the sunlit uplands of global fame and personal fortune. Millions of little girls all over America dream of walking that path, and only a chosen few ever do. For black models (as well as Asians and other ethnicities), though, in the past ten years the path has been rockier. Hardison maintains it always was rockier even in the high times of the eighties and nineties, when black models would be well represented on runways, but their covers were fewer. Any black model you meet can tell you hard stories, including the fabulous women at the top of their profession. Liya Kebede, the fashion star and philanthropist, was discovered by Tom Ford in 2000. She appreciates Ford for seeing “the woman he feels is beautiful, so his cabine has pretty much always been nice and colorful. And then I’ve had experience with people who did not want to work with me, because I was black.” Really? Truly? Her voice drops an octave as she says,“Really. Truly,” and goes back to normal to say,“There’s no point in pointing fingers.” Veronica Webb, whose brilliant career was ten years earlier than Liya’s, says it’s always hard when “the editors and photographers who really want to support you find that they can’t.”


They love it when they’re both in the same show. “There’s a bond; we’re friends,” says Chanel, who has a year’s head start on Jourdan, even though she’s a tad younger. With a Vogue cover behind her, she was the known “black girl” at all the the New York shows thisseason. “People even call me Chanel sometimes,” says Jourdan. “They’re like, ‘Oh, Chanel!’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’m Jourdan.’ “ It was in London that Jourdan supposedly made the remark that went round the world in seconds. “Jourdan Dunn asks, ‘London’s not a white city,so why are our catwalks so white?’ “ She didn’t make the remark, she corrects me: “Kelly Osbourne did. She was at the Topshop show, and she said it to a journalist, who ran out and did a telephone interview with me. She said, ‘Do you agree?’ And I said, ‘Yes, it’s true.’ “ But if you Google her name, you’ll find the words attibuted to Jourdan’s mouth. She sighs. “I know. And now it’s on the Internet; it’ll be there forever.” WHOSE FAULT IS IT, ANYWAY? Why are the catwalks “so white,” though? Is it because model agencies are reluctant to send black models to castings? You wouldn’t be surprised if they’d gotten tired of hearing, as Neal Hamil of Elite reports, “Well, we already have our black girl.” He says, “Honest to God, your reaction is, Did I hear that right? Secondly, you’re so offended you want to say, ‘For your black girl slot?’ “Is it because photographers don’t want to photograph black models anymore? No way, says starmaker Mario Testino: “People come in groups; we react to the supply. I think it’s just moments. Don’t forget, at the time of the supermodels, there were girls for magazines and girls for shows. They didn’t overlap. Then Gianni Versace took the girls from the magazines and put them on the catwalk. He made a lot of fanfare about

‘these are the top models’ and used them in a group. I fell into the moment of the Brazilian girls. I didn’t make that moment, but I embraced it.” Maybe some designers just won’t use black girls? Because (in the overheard words of a Paris designer I can’t name) they are “too strong for the clothes”? But many designers love to use black models, precisely because of that strength. When Alber Elbaz at Lanvin takes his clothes “out of the oven, ten minutes before the show,” he has no idea which of his diverse group of girls will wear what. “I try all different dresses, and when I see only the face of the girl and the dress disappears I know it’s the best dress fo r h e r.” O n l y the face of the girl…black or white. How


B o t h C h a n e l a n d J o u rd a n h a ve experienced the discomfort of finding themselves the one and only nonCaucasian booked to walk a particular show (Arlenis is just beginning the process). Both girls are usually strenuously positive because they already understand the custom and practice of their trade all too well. “Nobody likes to work with someone negative”, says Chanel. But if pressed, they acknowledge it. Chanel murmurs, “Sometimes, when they want all the girls to have the same slicked back hair, and I have to tell them you can’t use water on it once it’s been gelled…I’m uncomfortable about feeling different.”

Arlenis Sosa

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lyrical. But Elbaz says he was “trained” to use black models: “I love them from the time I worked at Saint Laurent; he used always black models. I worked with Geoffrey Beene; he did. It’s not because she’s black I use a girl. I work with her because she’s beautiful, because she inspires me, she makes me want to dress her. So I’m very open about all of that.

than the girl. And that was kind of the demise of the supermodel in a way, wasn’t it? You ended up looking at the girls more than you looked at the collection.”

CYCLIC FASHION Iman, the supermodel of the world, won’t accept that at all. “As much as I keep hearing that the designers want to make the presentation uniform, because it’s all about the ”Is it the rise of the all powerful casting directors? In our clothes. it’s not all about the clothes, because they don’t ever accelerating ADD world, where designers spin from show the clothes.” It’s the lifelessness of the current aesthetic pre-spring to spring to pre-resort to resort in order to feed she can’t stand.“You don’t want to look like these models. the brand, casting directors control certain shows from You don’t want to emulate them.” Iman “sold” the clothes soup to nuts. Reckoned the most powerful of all is the she walked in on the runway. She sold the designer’s artistic Englishman Russell Marsh, who casts for Prada, arguably creation. So did Veronica Webb, muse to Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most influential and directional and culturally who says her job as a model was to take whatever outfit attuned brands. “it will change. Because once you start to was put in front of her “and bring it to life. To give you Since Prada had a widely nudge someone and prick their sense of power, to give you presence, noted decade-long gap responsibility, they start to realize that and to give you pleasure.” A between Naomi and Jourdan, they’re guilty of something that they few years ago, Gisele was I call to ask what had caused never meant to be. It’s not conscious doing the same: Prada to choose her. “I can’t Cindy Crawford speak for Prada,” says Marsh racism. It’s a racist result. “ laughed at the - Bethann Hardison, model agent sight of her (in swiftly, but “in general terms” he adds, “Well, she was elegant, and she was strong, a retrospective photo with girls wearing the and she’s confident, and she’s got all those traits that clothes of their vintage). “Gisele was running are required to do what was asked of them to do on that around saying, ‘Do ya wanna buy it? Do you particular show, you know? I mean, there’s no reason.” He wanna buy it?’ “ explains, “It’s the clothes that take much more the priority

Chanel Iman

When I call Marc Jacobs to tell him that Chanel wishes “the supermodels would come back,” so she could dance down a runway like Naomi did, he’s super tactful. His own shows are diverse (both Jourdan and Georgie, a black model from Paris, walked his last outing): But it’s true, he says, “that shows have this kind of robotic feeling to them now, like mannequins come out, and they sort of walk the clothes through in single file, out and back. There’s a kind of austerity, a coldness, in the way they present the clothes. In the eighties there was more interaction posing and all that stuff. But that seems now, to my generation and maybe now in fashion, like an old-fashioned way of showing clothes.” So I’m stuck in a time warp? Thoughtfully, he says, “I remember one season not very long ago when we asked the girls to smile on the runway. And no matter how many times we would say, ‘OK, now smile!’ they would forget. I think it’s been drummed into their heads they that they are not to smile you know, that it


OUR TIME FOR CHANGE James Scully, who cast for Tom Ford at Gucci’s diverse and vibrant shows in the nineties, is upbeat as fashion people relentlessly are, about change. It’s been a ten year cycle, he says, but it’s changing, as fashion cycles always do. There are encouraging signs that models, rather than celebrities, may be slipping back into their former role as inspirers of women. “For example, models are totally reclaiming the ad campaigns,” he says. “After the supermodels, and down to Gisele, the campaigns all went to celebrities. Now the models are totally claiming their territory back.” True enough: This fall, Lanvin is using Liya, Dior is using Daria,

Jourdan Dunn: Walking for Carolina Herrera and Zac Posen.

Yves Saint Laurent has Naomi, Prada has Linda, and Versace has Natalia and Isabeli. Scully points out that the last decade has been bad for models. “And when it’s tough for models, it’s really tough for black models. Bethann Hardison is upbeat, too. What she did (running her meetings, talking to the press,) was to “get people to pay attention. People keep saying to me, ‘Do you think it will make a difference?’ I say, ‘Oh, please! It’s fashion we’re talking about!’ Believe me, it will change. Because once you start to nudge someone and prick their sense of responsibility, they start to realize that they’re guilty of something that they never meant to be. It’s not conscious racism. It’s a racist result. But I know for a fact, in my country, my designers, the people who live in this city these people are not conscious racists.” What concerns her is that “the designer doesn’t relate to fashion models anymore. The fashion model is part of fashion and without her, fashion is limp. Lame.” She laughs. “I’m almost more pissed about that than I am about the black thing...Almost.

Arlenis Sosa: Walking for Oscar de la Renta and Derek Lam.

Chanel Iman: Walking for Diane Von Furstenberg and Derek Lam.


looks cheap or it looks silly. So you get all these girls staring straight ahead like zombies.” It’s just a reaction, he says, “to the way shows used to look.” But fashion is a cycle, he reminds me. “Things move on.”

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WONDER BOYS In an industry as colourful, cut-throat and crowded as fashion, it takes a serious scene-stealer to get noticed. But these runway talents have done it, raising eyebrows among both top fashion editors and savvy shoppers. Check out these taste and trendmakers as they make their way out of the ateliers and into your wardrobe. Words: David Colman - Photo: Mikael Jansson

PROENZA SCHOULER The hype surrounding Proenza Schouler is so strong and consistent that one might think the clothes are beside the point. It’s been said again and again that Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, both 30, are the 21st century’s first big fashion success story, with two CFDA awards, a collection for Target, accessories lines, and an army of devoted fans like Chloë Sevigny and Amy Adams. Fun, photogenic, punkish, professional. What’s not to love? But what makes the Proenza boys transcend the hype is how they’ve resisted that gotta-getta-gimmick branding101 advice so many swallow without thinking. They don’t have a “look”, it’s more nebulous than that. One season it’s oldschool, black-velvet, art-deco, nipped waists and hauteur. Next it’s flirty color, short skirts, flowy bows, and ruffles. Then, for Spring ’09, a power-chick ’80s-mélange artsy-slouchy here, a streamlined-saucy there. They saw that women don’t want preconstructed ideas of femininity. They just want clothes. Great, beautiful, fun, real, flattering clothes. “Having a muse is limiting,” says Hernandez.“It’s more about a general vibe of a woman. She’s not about being so fussy

and put-together and precious. She’s very casual, with an element of grunge, but also sophisticated and elaborate.” Even the Spring show that Hernandez thinks of as a foray into fantasy (which would play as all-out sensible on other runways) felt like too much. “We’re taking it back to what we do best,” says Hernandez. “A little messy, nonchalant, that tomboy who’s into fashion that we love.” ALEXANDER WANG In just a few short years, 25-year-old Alexander Wang has become so linked with downtown New York and its grungy burgeoning art scene that it’s almost starting to bug him. “I do live in the East Village and I want to grow old there, but I’m not some crazy party animal,” says Wang, whose fast rise began in 2005 with a knitwear collection that he designed while he was still at Parsons. He’s now the beloved of ladies such as Alice Dellal, Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, and of course, Erin Wasson.“I’m not the biggest art person either,” he admits.“I love the amazing mix of characters in my neighbourhood doing whatever they want. I live right next to this retirement facility, so I always see great old people in these crazy


Despite Wang’s embrace of the full East Village spectrum, there’s no denying how deftly his raw, industrial colors and slouchy, sullen silhouettes jibe with the EVil’s grungy glory days in the ’80s and ’90s. For Spring ’09, though, Wang added some aerobics to the cigarette regime, imbuing his power-girl look with a kind of ’80s-health-goddess sex appeal, and demonstrating that he can add new fans while holding onto the old ones. Et voila: He won last year’s prestigious CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. CHRISTOPHER KANE For spring, dinosaurs. For fall, cockroaches. And yet Christopher Kane is not just being obscure to shock the ladies. His valentine to stegosaurus plating not only bristled with candy colors and futuristic pizzazz, it had a grand dame old worldliness recalling the obsessive sugar-cookie geometries of the Wiener Werkstätte. Kane loves layers of fabric, of texture, of reference and meaning. The 26-year-old Scot studied fine art and fashion at Central Saint Martins College in London, interned with Giles Deacon, and his first show, for Spring ’07, was a colorful take on ’80s power pop that won him instant love and admiration. In his work since then, some inspirations seem clear: a rainbow of Versace colour; a louvered space-age mass of Cardin circles; a skinny Alaïa silhouette. But there’s so much more going on. Asked what’s inspired and interested


him lately, Kane scarcely knows how to begin. It’s everything from bathrooms to Barbie, everything from Tokyo to Gossip Girl. Or it can be any far flung thing since the dawn of time. The challenge now isn’t casting the line, it’s in reeling it in. “The whole economy change has scared me,” he says. “I want to close the sale, make clothes that are beautiful and wearable for next season. It’s difficult to be experimental right now, the fear of going under is very real.”


insane outfits. I love seeing people dressed like that. You can’t get away with that anywhere else. And that’s the thing today, there’s not one scene. Everyone has their own little scene . . . They do what they want.”

CHRISTOPHE DECARNIN It seemed only yesterday that a designer had to have a secondary skill set as a party boy. How else could you stay on the pulse and cultivate that crucial “It”-girl following? At first glance, the wild Euro ’80s clothes that Christophe Decarnin has been designing for Balmain since 2005, making the label today’s most talked-about resurgent maison and a favorite of young Parisians, might suggest that Decarnin goes out all night every night. Certainly Decarnin does not disappoint with his runway shows. But when it comes to bad-boy antics, the designer is one big letdown. He doesn’t go to discos. He doesn’t hang out at Le Paris Paris. “I’m absolutely not a party boy,” says the 46-year-old Decarnin. “I never go out at night. I like being at home. I like to cook. It’s important for me to do things that I can control totally. I don’t travel a lot, I don’t like to go to museums. I like to keep everything in my imagination. I have my own world in my mind.” Yes, those little liquid gold dresses, those slouchy, shimmery tank tops, those slim rocker pants, all spring from Decarnin’s head. The reclusive designer, who headed up the Paco



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Rabanne women’s line for seven years, has the finesse and audacity to make it work.“I love special clothes for special occasions,” he says, “I love the glamour, the Swarovski, and the sequins.” Who needs a hangover?

going to the British Museum to see the British home county ladies,” he says. “I love people who are eccentric, and you see really great eccentrics here.”

GILES DEACON It’s a good thing that, despite being named British Designer of the Year in 2006, Giles Deacon has yet to become a household name. Words haven’t caught up with what he does yet. Explaining his collections for Giles to your sister or neighbour is not easy. Other designers have vision, but Deacon has visions, plural. The kind that usually send you to a shrink or priest. Not fond of restricting himself to any one kind of unifying theme for his phantasmagorical shows, Deacon at age 39, has become some kind of a British Bacchus. At each show a fresh gang of camp followers emerges as if leaving a mad party, festooned with Deaconesque fancies like ribbons, graphics, fringe, and more. His Fall ’08 show an eerily prescient ode to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death. It was a crepuscular parade of gothic elegance with whiffs of mantillas, mantises, and Metropolis. But even though his mind seems lodged in the notions district, Deacon is no fool. A graduate of the prestigious fashion school Central Saint Martins who worked at Gucci and Bottega Veneta, Deacon showed his practical side with Spring ’09, focusing on lesser-known fortes Cutting the simple, sweet, and sexy dresses with just a dash of Giles Deacon. He finds himself drawn to the strange but true images and stories he finds on the Internet, as well as the colourful personalities London is known for. “I love


JONATHAN SAUNDERS Rejecting the idea of a signature style, Jonathan Saunders designs each season as though clothing a squadron of secret agents on special assignment. The 30-year-old Scot’s Spring ’08 collection found unity in clean lines and creams, blacks and grays, yet each look seemed designed for a different murder suspect: governess, art dealer, socialite, au pair. Last fall, Saunders found surprising beauty in humdrum English camel, fashioning it in ’30s deco lines, neo-noir ’80s silhouettes, and satiny flounces, usually the sacred domain of cocktail black. Then just as this sexy-secretary act was hitting the stores, he showed a Spring ’09 collection so alive with color it might have been made by Disney. A corps of Sgt. Pepper–jacketed, soft-skirted beauties that resembled . . . What? The passengers and crew of a 1960s interstellar luxury liner en route to Venus via Rome? Saunders studied fashion at Central Saint Martins, and consulted with McQueen and Chloé while starting his own line in 2003. Today his clients include Thandie Newton and Charlize Theron. But his inspirations range from the specific, like the collaborations between Grace Jones and Keith Haring and his own niece’s drawings, to the tapestry of life that is London. “There’s such a wealth of visual information here,” he says. “London’s a pretty expensive place and young people here are pretty poor. So basically the youth culture just thrives on making things out of the means you have. It’s really kind of amazing to watch.”



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