insider: CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: crahay’s inspiration board; the accessory designer in one of her creations; the hat making studio; an illustration from her maison michel look book; tools of the trade.
as accessories and jewelry designer at chanel and artistic director for french milliner maison michel, laetitia crahay wears many hats. by nora baldenweg
I FIRST MET LAETITIA Crahay at a small soirée in Paris three years ago. She looked effortlessly cool in a sharp black dress and towering heels; a whimsical chain-band was woven into her hair and she held a clutch emblazoned with sleek, interlocking Cs. Introduced to me by the host of the party as the accessories designer at Chanel, Crahay told me about another venture she was working on: She had just been appointed as head of the small hat company Maison Michel. Since then, the Belgian-born Crahay has not only been churning out amazing accessories under the direction of Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld, but also making headpieces relevant to young tastemakers. “You know, that really wasn’t the easiest challenge. I had to find a way to make hats cool again,” she says, sitting in her office at the famous Chanel
headquarters in Paris. Her workspace is filled with little trinkets and books she has collected on her many travels. “Maison Michel was known for making big, voluminous, made-to-measure creations for weddings and things like that and, at the time, hats really weren’t that fashionable,” she says. So Crahay came up with everyday versions of classic Michel headwear: minia ture boaters, petite trilbies, tiny top hats, a slew of cheeky accessories such as cat and bunny ears, and her now signature headband (“le ed-bohnd,” as she calls it in her French accented English), embellished with lace, pearls, chains, and feathers. Enlisting Lagerfeld to photograph the pieces on the heads of Crahay’s cohorts was just another step toward turning Maison Michel into a covetable accessory brand. “I’m really just lucky to have friends who are cool and famous,” she says while going through her look book, which reads like a who’s who of the hip and beautiful. The wall behind her desk is covered in little thank you notes and cherished pictures of pals— such as Jeremy Scott, Vanessa Paradis, and Madonna—wearing her accessories. “I guess I kind of started a phenomenon,” she says while twisting her hair into a chignon and securing it with a pencil. “I mean, personally, I still don’t wear a lot of hats. I do wear my little rain hats with plastic ears in the winter because I don’t have an umbrella, and I often wear my headbands. But actually, I’m starting to be a little over those now, they’ve been copied so much.” Maison Michel-inspired accessories really have popped up everywhere. “I don’t mind being copied by Zara and all that—that’s actually quite flattering and I understand that girls can’t always buy expensive stuff,” she says. “It’s more annoying when young designers copy my things. They’d be better off creating something of their own.” Crahay herself is more than used to dreaming up new ideas. “We do nine collections a year with Chanel alone, so you have to be able to come up with new stuff all the time, and switching over to Maison Michel is actually quite refreshing,” she says. “I’m always working, observing, thinking, and looking. I try and juggle both jobs all the time. I’m always here and there and constantly running all over the place. It’s tiring, but I love it.”
studio photographed by rachael woodson. portrait by karl lagerfeld. look book illustration courtesy of maison michel.
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Fotos Yannis Vlamos
Knallbunte Stickereien, psychedelische Muster und explosive Farbkombinationen: Willkommen auf einem Trip in der Welt von Manish Arora. Spätestens seit Katy Perry damals bei den MTV Awards in einem seiner fantastischen Karussellkleidern auftauchte, ist er bekannt für seine extravaganten Kreationen. Und auch im Modezirkus Paris gilt der indische Designer als wunderbar exotischer Stern der Fashion Week.
./(*012&0314(&)*31&5'&0$1$(6&)'&7*0#&8/& -*+9:*31&*..$+&'(#$+-$;0&666& Ja, etwas zu oft vielleicht. Ich verbringe sogar mehr Zeit unterwegs als zu Hause in Indien. Dort bin ich nur in den zwei bis drei Monaten vor den Schauen, um an den Kollektionen zu arbeiten.
($70#&)$*($+&9:/00*031$(&/+7$*#&/:0&.<)$= )$0*;($+&./310#&)'&8/&/'31&'(;:/'7:*31& ,*$:$&9<::/7<+/#*<($(&.*#&)$(&'(#$+= 031*$):*310#$(&7+/()0>&(*,$/2&($0?+$00<2& 0-/#312&+$$7<92&/70<:'#2&./3&666& Ja, das ist ein großer Teil meiner Arbeit. Ich glaube es kommt daher, dass ich als Inder eine frische, etwas andere Perspektive auf Mode und Trends habe.
0*$10#&)'&)*31&)$((&$1$+&/:0&9@(0#:$+& <)$+&/:0&.<)$)$0*;($+A Ich würde sagen, ich bin einfach ein kreativer Mensch, der die Mode als Werkzeug nutzt, seine Kreativität auszudrücken und dabei die Möglichkeit hat, mit einer ganzen Menge anderer Brands zusammen zu arbeiten.
'()&-*$0<&1/0#&)'&)*31&$(#031*$)$(&)$*($& 7/0*0&*(&*()*$(&5'&7$1/:#$(A Weil hier mein Studio und meine 200 Angestellten sind.
!-*$!-'$("#$")*5"'-+"&)$89'$(#")#$ )#,#*+#$%&..#%+"&)1 Die Kollektion war inspiriert von der Art Deco Bewegung – die Haare, die Farben, der Stil – aber gleichzeitig war sie sehr futuristisch, so eine aktuelle 90er oder 2000er Version davon. Man könnte fast von Art Deco Kriegern sprechen. Aber viel mehr kann ich dazu nicht sagen, denn in meinen Kollektionen passiert immer so viel, dass ich gar nicht viel erzählen muss.
("#$/&(#.*$+',4#)$.#,23+#)(#$*5-2#: %&583;'#'<$!-*$3-+$#*$(-/"+$-,8$*"231 Na ja, die Kollektion war so Art Deco, dass ich mir überlegt habe, wie ich ihr etwas mehr Witz oder Humor verleihen könnte. Wie ich auf die Idee gekommen bin – keine Ahnung!
#)+*23#"(#*+$(,$&8+$*&$!"..%9'."231 Ja, immer!
4"0+$#*$(#))&23$+3#/#)$&(#'$#.#/#)+#=$ ("#$(,$"//#'$!"#(#'$-,80'")4*+1 Mein Logo ist ein Herz, und irgendwie hab ich es bisher in jeder Kollektion geschafft, ein kleines Herz einzubauen, sei’s als Print, als Teil einer Stickerei oder im Logo ... Als Inder ist die Stickerei bei mir natürlich ein grosses Thema. Und ich glaube auch, dass ich bisher in jeder Kollektion pink verwendet habe.
8-'0."23$*+#23#)$(#")#$%&..#%+"&)#)$ ")/"++#)$(#'$5-'"*#'$*23-,#)$"//#'$*#3'$ 3#'-,*<$"*+$("#$-'0#"+$/"+$%)-.."4#)$8-'0#)$ +>5"*23$89'$")("*23#$(#*"4)#'1 Der einzige Eindruck, den ich von typisch indischer Mode habe, ist der von traditioneller Hochzeitskleidung. Hochzeiten sind hier sehr wichtig und die meisten indischen Designer leben von dieser Familientradition. Ich glaube aber schon, dass wir uns grundsätzlich wohler fühlen im Umgang mit Farben und ethnischen Mustern. Aber es wäre doch auch für andere endlich an der Zeit, sich an mehr Farbe zu gewöhnen. Schwarz ist ja schon seit einer ganzen Weile Mode.
!"#$%&&'(")"#'*+$(,$-..$("#$/"+-'0#"+#'1$ !"#$/,**$/-)$*"23$(#)$#)+*+#3,)4*5'&6#**$ #")#'$%&..#%+"&)$7&'*+#..#)1 Ich entscheide mich für ein Thema, eine Grundidee, irgendwas. Dann wird recherchiert, wir suchen Bildreferenzen, mehr Informationen, so viele Infos wie möglich. Währenddessen arbeiten die einen an Silhouetten und andere an Verzierungen. Und wenn dann alles irgendwie zusammenkommt, versuchen wir die ganzen Kleider herzustellen.
(,$3-*+$(#")#$%&..#%+"&)#)$6,#'*+$-)$(#'$ ")("*23#)=$(-))$-)$(#'$.&)(&)$8-*3"&)$!##%$ 4#6#"4+<$),)$(#8"."#'*+$(,$*#"+$#")$5--'$?-3: '#)$")$5-'"*<$3-+$(-*$(#")#)$*+".$7#'@)(#'+1 Ja, sehr. Aber das passiert wahrscheinlich jedem, der aus einem anderen Land nach Paris kommt. Man lernt soviel in dieser Stadt. Und mit jeder Show wird man besser. Paris ist eine globale Bühne und das ist auch der Grund weshalb ich dort zeige. In Paris zu präsentieren ist ein Traum.
#$%&'$()&*+&%$,%-).$/0&*12+&,%3455%-& 54*%*%($,-%6&2+&#%6*%-7 Als 17-jähriger Student in Mumbai habe ich von einer School of Fashion Technology in Delhi gelesen. Ich habe sofort angerufen, den Test gemacht und wurde kurz darauf auf ein Interview eingeladen und dann ausgewählt. Es war nie wirklich mein Plan, aber sobald ich dort war, wusste ich, dass es das war, was ich machen wollte.
#1(&*%$-&%6()%6&81(0$4-&545%-)9& 1-&*%-&*+&*$/0&-4/0&0%+)%&%6$--%6()7 Soll ich lügen oder dir die Wahrheit erzählen ... Als etwa 15-Jähriger trug ich gelbe Hosen und knallrote T-Shirts mit irgendwelchen Logos drauf. Jedes Mal, wenn ich an meinen ersten FashionMoment zurückdenke, kommt mir dieses Bild. Ich schäme mich wahnsinnig dafür, obwohl ja gerade ich Mode mag, die etwas mutiger ist, als nur beige zu tragen.
#$%&($%0)&*%--&*1(&):;$(/0%&51-$(0&16461& 5<*/0%-&1+(7 Sie ist abenteuerlich, spontan und sehr international.
#1(&#=6*%()&*+&0%+)%&)+-9&#%--&*+&*$/0& *151.(&-$/0)&%-)(/0$%*%-&0<))%()&54*%> *%($,-%6&2+&#%6*%-7 Ich glaube ich würde Filme machen. Ich wollte schon immer Regie führen.
+-*(&8=6&8$.5%&#=6*%()&*+&51/0%-7 Etwas mit Humor. Etwas, das die Leute glücklich macht, sie zum Lachen bringt und dennoch eine tiefgründige Botschaft hat.
8$.5%&1.(49&*$%&;%68%3)&2+&*%$-%5&.1'%.& ;1((%-&#=6*%-? Genau! Wenn man meine Kleider trägt, soll man lachen und wissen, dass das Leben toll ist. Das ist die ganze Idee hinter meiner Brand. h
Photography Roman Goebel Styling Bodo Ernle, / nina-klein.com Hair and make-up Christiane Buchholz Models Darryl Sharp / d1 models Eddie Ness / vivamodels
TEXT AND INTERVIEW Nora Baldenweg
DRIES VAN NOTEN
Dries van Noten
ELEGANT SKIN Dries Van Noten is known for beautiful prints, subtle colour combinations and deeply romantic shows. Thatâ€™s why his last menswear collection was quite a departure. Beneath a graffiti-clad tunnel right beside the Parisian river Seine he sent out tough-looking guys in bleached denim jackets, splattered shirts and black combat boots. INDIE finds out about the Belgian fashion designerâ€™s new take on elegance and why he is mixing tailored jackets with rough pieces reminiscent of the English street culture of the 70s.
to buy or wear this? I really wanted to give the whole thing a sense of reality. A real guy doesn’t have a summer and a winter wardrobe. He’s just always mixing everything. I wanted to use things that men know, typical masculine garments, and combine them in a new way. I wanted to play with garments, take completely different elements and put them together to make a new silhouette. I just wanted to create a new kind of elegance by mixing, as usual for me, a lot of elements: English street culture, going from the 70s, Ska, Mods, Skins, Punk, all that, with some very elegant jackets and tailoring. Really for me this was like a new take on wearable menswear. Do you design with yourself in mind?
No, it’s already a while ago that I stopped designing for myself because otherwise you risk that your client ages together with you. It would be a little bit dangerous to design with myself in mind because now that I’m older than fifty, I would make collections for the middle-aged man, which is not really the ideal fashionable guy (laughs). How do you come up with a direction then?
I think about who the person is that I want to dress, I start to give him more characteristics, like: is the person travelling to Barcelona or to Scotland, or is he just visiting the village beside his city, where he lives? Is he drinking tea or coffee or a cocktail? I gather all these things, which really define a character. And then my team adds even more layers and information. They will be like: Ok, he drives an automatic car and he drinks cocktails, so in that case he would be the type to wear these kinds of shoes. What kind of a person is the guy you created in this collection?
You are often referred to as a very cerebral designer. Would you say so yourself?
I guess it’s kind of a combination of things. On the one hand, it’s true, I do not draw a collection. It’s really about the things that work in my head. I always start from something: a song, a sentence, a movie, an artwork, an exhibition, it can be anything really, and from that on I start to create a woman or a man around that image. So in that way yes, but on the other hand, the moment the fabrics come in, that is really my starting point. I’m not a designer who could make a collection out of black or white poplin 96
like other designers. I need my fabrics, my colours, the different drapes. In the end that’s my language, that’s my material, that’s my paint to make my paintings. Your last men’s collection was quite different to what we’re used to seeing from you. What happened?
I think people were a little surprised to see something concrete and very industrial. I’m a little bored of seeing conceptual fashion shows which are maybe very nice to see on the catwalk, but you say: in fact, this, who is going
This guy is really kind of tough. He just wants to be himself. He’s definitely somebody who lives in the city and has different lives, a lot of different lives. What kind of lives?
That’s up to you to fill in. I often think that too much information blocks creativity. I don’t communicate on our mood boards. It’s always nice to tell a story and then get another interpretation of it. Since starting your brand in 1985, you have never done advertising. Is that something you want to continue?
„ICH FINDE DEN GEDANKEN, DASS ICH DIE WELT MITVERÄNDERN KANN, SPEZIELL FÜR JUNGE LEUTE SEHR WICHTIG. ICH BIN TEIL DER
Well, in fact it was never intended like that. When I started I really didn’t have the budget to advertise. I had to work as a commercial designer during the day to earn money to be able to design my own collection in the evenings. Once I did have a little bit of budget, I realised that you should either advertise in a lot of magazines or better not do it at all, so I decided to invest in doing fashion shows instead. And then when the company became bigger again, the moment when I really had the possibility to advertise, I felt it would maybe hurt the company. People were really starting to buy the clothes for the clothes and not for the label inside. Now a lot of my clients see themselves as the client I’m designing for. So maybe if I was to choose a model
for my advertisement, I would surprise people and they would be like oh, I thought that the Dries Van Noten man was this type of man or this type of woman and they would be surprised to see someone younger or older or bigger or taller or smaller or softer or more aggressive than themselves. What do all Dries Van Noten clients have in common?
My clients really care for clothes. They are not too into fashion, but use clothes to express who they are. They buy garments and make them a part of their own wardrobe. They wear them in their own specific way, not in the way that we show them in the fashion show.
“A REAL GUY DOESN’T HAVE A SUMMER AND A WINTER WARDROBE. HE’S JUST ALWAYS MIXING EVERYTHING.” 22
Yet, do you think there is a piece that every guy should have in his wardrobe?
A great suit, something that fits perfectly, which is well made in a nice material. Personally I like English Wool in classic colours like navy, black, grey and camel. But luckily enough beauty is something very personal and there are no rules. I think men just have to be themselves and be very comfortable and confident about who they are. Being real, no fakeness, to me that’s what is important. After all these years of showing in Paris, why have you decided to keep your base in Antwerp?
I could never work in Paris, for me it would be too much. I like the fact that we can take a healthy distance to look to the whole fashion world and to live our quiet life in the city of Antwerp. I think big cities ask for a lot of energy, just taking the metro or the taxi can be challenging. You automatically create your own little village, you stay in your neighbourhood, frequent the same restaurants, meet people of your own trade. In Antwerp you’re forced to meet people who have a lot of other interests, people who are busy with other things, you can walk through the whole city and everything is kind of relaxed. I like that. What is typical of Antwerp fashion?
We have a strong sense of reality. And most of us design piece by piece, so even when the style is different you can easily mix them with other collections. That’s not always the case for other designers. Many create with a total look in mind and their separate pieces don’t really have a value. Our fashion is easy to mix and match. That’s also why a lot of multi-label stores sell so many Belgian labels. As a child, you went to a Jesuit school. How did that shape you?
I think I’m quite severe with myself. I always want to do better and better and I am very critical of my own work. Automatically, education is always part of your personality. Like it or not, it always appears in one way or another. But it was always quite clear that you would end up in fashion. You pretty much grew into it.
Yes, I literally grew up in stores. My grandfather had the first prêt-à-porter men’s store in Antwerp, and my father started his own luxury prêt-à-porter stores for men and women in the 1970’s, so in fact, when I had to make a choice 96
to continue my studies, for me fashion was quite logical. Fashion was always what I liked. But, you never know … Maybe I am still young enough to decide whether it is the right thing for me for the moment or if I should be doing something else … (laughs) Any dreams or plans?
I have many dreams, but I’ve never really worked with a business plan. It’s not like I say, ok,
this year I’ll do this and then next year I want to do that. In everything I do, I just wait for nice opportunities. What are other things you’re moved by?
Gardening. After the fashion world and the fashion craziness, being in the garden keeps me perfectly in balance. Shoving my two feet and my two hands in the ground keeps me balanced as a person and I need that kind of reality check.
Vibrant fluoro skivvies with loose board shorts; heavily beaded shimmy dresses, perforated leather tank tops and an awesome pair of anorak sleeves to tie around our waists:This season the power duo behind PROENZA SCHOULERhas us trolling the streets as pretty damn cool and sexy surfer girls.Russh catches up with designersLAZARO HERNANDEZ and JACK MCCOLLOUGHto find out about the art of hanging around, the beauty of floating men and the impossibility of convincing someone to like a colour they may just not like. WORDS Nora Baldenweg PHOTOGRAPHY Blossom Berkofsky FASHION EDITOR Aya T. Kanai
mind-blowing fusion of old-world tailoring, surf and skate references and an array of tropical underwater prints in green, turquoise, yellow, purple and Nemo blue - Proenza Schouler’s Spring/Summer 2010 collection was simply beautiful. Dividing their time between their studio (a big Soho loft), their New York apartment (a little brownstone) and their big country house (an old colonial cottage from the 1700s: “tackling the kitchen is our next plan, it’s a disaster”), Jack and Lazaro love rocking different worlds. Take a look at their “schizophrenic” iPod: “Sonic Youth, The Cure, Joy Division, The Smiths, Public Image Ltd. and a whole lot of classical music”. On a personal level? “We’re pretty mellow. We just like hanging out in the country with our dogs [Jojo and Buster].” Recently adding killer shoes and the must-have PS1 bags to their high-end line of women’s apparel, these guys don’t look like they’re about to slow down any time soon. Russh: Guys, I’m still in awe. Your last show was so knock-out beautiful. What were you driven by? Lazaro Hernandez: Thanks! We wanted to go back to a lot of the influences that we had as teenagers growing up. We were looking at
skateboards, skateboard graphics and these beautiful images by Glen Friedman, who documented the Californian skate culture scene in the 70s and 80s. Jack McCollough: In combination with that we were inspired by a trip we took to Bora Bora in Tahiti – all those fish, colours, textures and this hazy underwater natural world – it was such a sparkling trip. We developed fabrics based on repeated and reflected tropical fish prints and then we had them chintzed so they became all glossy. At the same time there was a real slouch and ease to everything. LH: It was a mix of skate culture, surfing, waves, beach, fish and underwater stuff. Our collections are always the accumulation of a half a year of personal experiences. If you want to know anything about us, have a look at our collections and you’ll know what we’ve been doing for the past six months [laughs]. What are you up to right now? LH: Well, we’re out here in our country house in Massachusetts – a cool old farm with cows, sheep, chickens and goats. It’s our drawing week – our favourite part of the season. We come up here and draw for eight days straight. We have all our inspiration and research laid out and then we just jam it all out. JM: After that we go back to New York and
things start to evolve. It’s nice because certain parts of our job allow us not to be in an office. This is a good place to just turn the phones off and concentrate and… And do interviews with people like me… LH: Yeah exactly [laughs]. But in the city it’s just non-stop phone ringing and e-mails and people asking us a million questions. Here, we’re kind of in our own world. We were just in the woods taking a walk and then we looked at the time and we were like, ‘crap we have to run back to the house to talk to you’. We’re just hanging around, exploring, dreaming... What are some of the things you’re dreaming of right now? LH: It’s really preliminary. We just started drawing two days ago. But it’s going to be a continuation from the last season. We’re playing with codes of Americana, the sport influence might continue and the silhouette maybe. JM: But, it’s going to completely change by the time you see it on the runway. We always start off with a couple of basic feelings and ideas. We try not to research too much in that one direction and just let our imagination go. Do you always work together? LH: We do everything together. It’s definitely a 50/50 collaboration.
“We’ve always been interested in this OLD WORLD OPULENCE and designers that were really constructing clothes, makingBEAUTIFUL TAILORED SHAPES...” Is there anything that drives you nuts about each other? LH: Sometimes it gets frustrating that we always have to agree on every little thing to get something done. JM: We’re constantly in dialogue, we make every single decision together. They’re not decisions you can assume or back up. They’re all subjective, there’s no right, no wrong. Sometimes it’s hard to convince someone to like a certain colour, if they might just not like the colour. Could you imagine doing your own thing without each other? JM: We have very different aesthetics, but it’s the combination of our two worlds that make Proenza Schouler what it is. The label wouldn’t exist without one of us. But to be honest, when we graduated we thought we were going to go out and just get a job somewhere. It was never really our plan to start a label. But then we got introduced to Julie Gilhart from Barney’s and they ended up buying our senior collection. So we were just kind of letting things happen. What actually got both of you into fashion in the first place? LH: I grew up in Miami and instead of going to sports after school, I would go to my mom’s beauty salon with all the ladies. Out of boredom I’d pick up Vogue, Bazaar, Elle and all that and just stare at these images of a world I thought existed only in magazines. It was a bit like when you see a movie and you’re like, ‘It’s a movie, it doesn’t really exist.’ You know, growing up in Miami, you don’t dream of becoming a designer. It’s not one of the options [laughs]. When I was 17 after high school I went to New York for two days and realised that fashion was actually something that existed. I was studying pre-medicine at the University of Miami to go to medical school and then I applied for Parson’s. I got accepted, dropped everything, went to New
York, met Jack and here I am today. JM: I never wanted to be like a doctor or a veterinarian [laughs]. I went to an art high school in Massachusetts, outside of Boston. It was painting and sculpture every day from one ‘til six pm. Then I went to college at the San Francisco Art Institute to do a glass blowing major [laughs] and then I transferred to Parson’s in New York because I wanted to move back to the east coast and I somehow ended up in the fashion department, where Lazaro and I literally sat down next to each other on the first day of class. When did you realize you worked well together? JM: We were put into the same section, so we immediately had every single class together. We started hanging out and doing our homework at each other’s places. He’d be doing his projects and I’d be doing mine, but we’d always feel like talking about our work and asking each other for advice. We just became good friends. LH: When we commenced college, all the downtown people were deconstructing and ripping up clothes. We found the idea of construction and tailoring interesting – constructing things as opposed to deconstructing things. We’ve always been interested in this old world opulence and designers that were really constructing clothes, making beautiful tailored shapes. The Dior’s and the Balenciaga’s were big inspirations to us. But through our eyes, having grown up in the 90s and the generation of grunge, there was always a kind of nonchalance and something a bit rough around the edges to our attitude. Is there a specific woman you have in mind when designing? JM: We don’t have a muse we look to for inspiration. It’s a little more abstract than that. We take bits and pieces from our friends and things we see. Maybe it’s not even a
person, maybe it’s just a feeling or a painting or the combination of everything that comes together and creates what it is. We always say: ‘if we were to wear the clothes, what would we want to wear?’ Have you ever thought about doing a men’s line? JM: Not really. It’s such a fine line. We enjoy some men’s fashion, but being guys, maybe it just becomes too personal. With women’s, we’re separated from it enough to see it in a more fantastical kind of way. I mean, it’s something we’d be open to, but we wear T-shirts, jeans and corduroys every day. So surely it would just be more geared towards practical basics and less about fashion. What kind of stuff do you like to spend your money on, if not on fashion? JM: [Laughs] Well, we have this house up here and all our money disappears into this house. It’s like owning a money pet… But we’re collecting art. LH: We’re really into contemporary art. It sounds kind of cheesy. But we’re much more interested in the art world than in the fashion world. We just came from Robert Longo’s studio last week. He does all these pictures of guys in suits in black and white and they’re kind of in the air floating. He’s incredible. And the archives at the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation are so beautiful and inspiring. We’re into that early 80s, late 70s kind of downtown New York art. What are some next plans for your label? JM: Our next dream is definitely to open our own flagship store in the next couple of years so we can really express what the brand is about. Great! Good luck with all your future endeavours and thanks so much for your time! LH: Thank you! It was nice to talk to you. JM: Yeah, it was good chatting with you. We’re going to get back to drawing now.
Photographer Blossom Berkofsky Stylist Aya T. Kanai Model Martha S @ Supreme Hair Martin-Christopher Harper @kate ryan Makeup Stevie Hyunh @ thewallgroup
PHOTOGRAPHY Philipp Mueller FASHION René Gloor
DRESS33 Green feather earings. ART/C IFRACH Jacket made of golden zips. HEAL Blue sleevles overall.
J.C. DE CASTELBAJAC Black bast skirt wearing as hat, HEAVEN Big round crystal-pendant, DRESS33 Green feather earings and short dress with transparent sleeves, JANTAMINIAU big metal necklace.
JUDGING BY OUR PICTURES, YOU MAY WELL THINK THAT EBONY BONES! LOOKS A LITTLE MAD. WELL, LET US ASSURE YOU, SHE IS A WHOLE LOT MADDER THAN YOU MAY THINK. INSPIRED BY CLOWNS AND DRIVEN BY THE URGE TO ENTERTAIN AND CONNECT, THIS GIRL SURE KNOWS HOW TO ROCK A PARTY. DURING OUR SHOOTING SHE WAS WHIZZING AROUND THE STUDIO TRYING ON SKIRTS AS HEADPIECES, GENUINELY LOVING THE SPOTLIGHT AND SQUEELING WITH JOY ABOUT HER MAKE-UP FOR THE DAY. IN BETWEEN JUMPING INTO DIFFERENT ROLES FOR THE CAMERA, WE LITERALLY TIED HER TO THE CHAIR TO FIND OUT ABOUT HER BACKGROUND AND WHAT IT IS THAT KEEPS HER GOING AND GOING AND GOING. ENJOY THE WILD AND WONDERFUL POST-TRIBAL-PUNK SONGSTRESS FROM SOUTHWEST LONDON. THIS IS EBONY BONES! INTERVIEW NORA BALDENWEG TELL ME ABOUT YOUR NAME. Well, Ebony is my real name, actually. I was named Ebony by my parents because of that awful song by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder: ‘Ebony and Ivory’ - I shouldn’t really admit to that, but it’s one of their favourites. And Bones is a real reflection of my music: it’s quite raw, it’s stripped down and it’s the fundamental basis of the music. When someone says ‘show me your bones’, it means ‘show me the real you’. THE REAL YOU - IS THAT WHY YOU RECORDED THE WHOLE ALBUM BY YOURSELF? Sometimes I find working with other people quite annoying. You know that feeling when you start to compromise or water down your ideas to compensate other people’s feelings, that’s never good for creativity. Once the track’s down, it becomes something else, but in the studio it’s very much me, myself and my silly little faults. YOU WERE RECENTLY NAMED ONE OF THE “40 MEN & WOMEN WHO MAKE LONDON” BY TIME OUT. DO YOU FEEL LIKE A LONDON GIRL? Ironically I’ve always felt like I’m so not London. My parents were born in Jamaica. My mum’s got Irish blood and my dad’s got Asian blood in him. But there’s no such thing as a London girl really. London is a cosmopolitan city so it’s a melting pot of anything goes. I guess it’s always been a magnet for the eccentric. There’s something about the energy. I think we’re not afraid to break the rules and we’re able to switch things up a little which makes it fun. WHAT WERE YOU LIKE WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE CHILD? I was very much a tomboy. I wasn’t interested in dainty things and if a boy picked on me I’d go and slap him back. I didn’t want anyone to help me, I could do my laces myself, thank you very much. But at the same time I could be very shy. I had a really huge imagination and I’d get sudden bursts of energy and just jump up and down like a mad cat running around the room. I think that part of my child is still very much alive and I’m able to kind of embrace that when I’m up on stage. BEFORE GETTING INTO MUSIC YOU WERE ACTUALLY QUITE KNOWN AS AN ACTRESS. DID YOU GET BORED OF ACTING? I started off in Shakespeare doing McBeth at the age of 12 and then from there moved on to this British soap named Family Affairs. My character owned a hair salon and sort of thought she could dress well. I loved acting, but after a while I did get bored of it because I realized there’s not a lot you can do to connect with people playing a bimbo in a miniskirt. I was always looking for ways to vent my creativity. I would take costumes home and customize them, but I was starting to feel stagnant creatively and I really didn’t want to be stuck in a glasshouse. I’d forgotten what it was like to be scared of not having an income and I wanted to challenge myself. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC? Well, my album is really just a soundtrack to somebody with ADD (attention deficit disorder). It’s almost like a compilation or iTunes playlist of random thoughts. It’s very much split up into these kind of dark political-like tracks and then like fun or kind of pop-like sing-along songs to deflect from that. In the end it’s all about juxtaposition and subversiveness. YOU DESIGN A LOT OF YOUR OWN STAGE COSTUMES. Yeah, I do. But I also work with Timothy James Andrews and Alison Gaukroger, two really good and talented designer friends. I’m into silhouette and shape and colour and I like things that put fun back into the heart of creativity. I think there’s no beauty without strangeness. That’s why I’m sitting here right now with clay on my face while I conduct an interview (laughs). WHAT DID YOUR PARENTS DO? My mother, at the time, was working in fashion for Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni and Moschino. She was constantly in Italy and Paris, so I spent a lot of time in London with my dad and my sister, who was 15 years older than me. My dad had a small record store in Brixton Markets selling punk music to black folks. After school I would stand on a little stool and dance and just hear so many varieties of music. I think having a mother on the fashion end and my dad in music really inspired me in what I’m doing now. WHO HAVE BEEN OTHER IMPORTANT INSPIRATIONS TO YOU? I’m a fan of anybody who can have the audacity to step outside the circumference of what they’re expected to be. You know, growing up I always felt like I didn’t really fit in. I had this uncomfortable feeling about being a girl. I felt girls were weak and annoying and it wasn’t until I saw artists like Patti Smith, Suzie Sioux, Grace Jones and Annie Lennox, these women, who redefined femininity in music in their own way, that I realized that being female was also very strong. So those women were definitely big inspirations. I also vividly remember this lady I used to see on my way to school. She was always riding this bike with a basket. She had the craziest redhead and wore eccentric clothes. I had no idea who she was but I used to sit and watch and wait for her. It wasn’t until years later my dad told me it was Vivienne Westwood. I met her recently when I was at a photo shoot with Jean Baptiste Mondino with the New York Times. I remember thinking wow, the queen’s arrived. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER PASSIONS BESIDES MUSIC? Many, yes. I’ve just learnt how to swim, so I’m really proud about that. And I’m really into a lot of politics. Without sounding like Bono, I like to know what’s going on in the world and I’m disturbed by a lot of what I read or see. I mean, you can tell when something just doesn’t feel right or doesn’t make sense and you go: hang on, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. IF YOU COULD BE SOMEONE ELSE FOR A DAY, WHO WOULD IT BE? I’d love to be a fly on an MI5 or FBI government headquarters wall to find out lots of secrets and put them all on twitter.
MANISH ARORA White/grey sequins corset, RAD HOURANI Silver/black top. HAIR Kazue Tanya Bagency. MAKE UP Eny Whitehead Calliste, STYLIST ASSISTANT Azadeh Zoraghi. SPECIAL THANKS TO www.lepetitoiseauvasortir.com
JULIEN FOURNIE Black knitted rubber jacket, J.C. DE CASTELBAJAC Black/blue bast dress, DANIEL HERMAN Red rubber leggins.
SCENT MEMORY RUSSH talks CREATIVE PROCESSES, fragrance clichés and the mysteriousMARTIN MARGIELA with GIVAUDAN’S DANIELA ANDRIER.
WORDS Nora Baldenweg DANIELA ANDRIER IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP ‘NOSES’. The award-winning perfumer has created signature fragrances for fashion brands like Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Lancôme, Kenzo, Armani and Calvin Klein. Her latest creation is Maison Martin Margiela’s debut perfume, named (untitled). True to the brand’s tradition of rewriting codes in new and unexpected ways, the olfactory creation explores a ‘green trail’, reinterpreting the forgotten green notes often used in the 70s. Its lovely, earthy smell is fresh, subtle and intriguing. Entering the Paris offices of Givaudan is like entering a parallel world. Walking along the delicately scented corridors of the world’s largest fragrance company, you can’t help but peek into all those little offices where people are sniffing away at narrow strips of scented paper, their desks overflowing with miniature bottles filled with essences. Daniela Andrier’s desk looks just the same. “My desk is a huge mess,” she says. “I haven’t been here for ages.” At the very back of the premises there is an enormous lab lined with rows of neatly labelled vials and glass accessories. But that is not where Daniela Andrier spends her time mixing together new concoctions. “I usually work from home,” she explains. All she really needs to create a scent, is her laptop – to write down the formulas she creates in her head.
RUSSH: What was Margiela’s brief for (untitled)? Daniela Andrier: A flash of green, something very intense and powerful… That’s it? How did you get working on it? Creating a perfume is something very intuitive. There’s an inspiration, a fantasy, a certain poetry... I really love Margiela’s world, so it was like sending back an echo or responding to something I’ve been inspired by with a smell. It’s about the right moment and it comes by itself and very quickly. There’s no long research or that I would ask myself a thousand questions. I just have something in my head that I translate into a formula. That sounds so mathematic. Don’t you try mixing together different scents from different bottles? No, making perfumes is a profession, a trade that is learnt over many years. If it was about mixing together potions in test tubes like kids in a sand pit, everyone could do it. Perfumery involves a lot of thinking. But I can’t tell you what goes on in my head. It’s like with every creative process. If you ask a musician how he composes his music, he will tell you he writes music. Of course I don’t consider perfumery an art, but it’s the closest parallel I can think of. There’s an abstraction in the head of a perfumer. We imagine smells in our head. Once I’ve written my formula, I send it to the lab, where the different ingredients are weighed and mixed together by a robot. Are you ever surprised with how they turn out? Not really. After twenty years in the business, you rarely experience surprises. You studied philosophy. Does that come into play in your job? It doesn’t really. It’s just part of who I am and everything that is a part of me is part of my work and what I create. So how did the collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela come about? It started with that brief, which L’Oréal sent out to a couple of maisons back in the summer of 2007. At the time I was pregnant and just about to go on maternity leave, so I didn’t participate. I was actually quite sad because I love fashion and Margiela’s world in particular. But then, eight months later, when I was back at work, they contacted me again. Apparently Martin Margiela had gone to all the companies and hadn’t found what he was looking for. They gave me two weeks to prepare about ten new perfumes. When I met up with them to present what I had done, Martin Margiela smelled the third one and said: “This is it. I found it!”
So you actually made this perfume in less than two weeks? Actually, I made it in about 20 minutes. But after that, we worked on it for about a year to really finetune it. Refining and reworking takes most of the time and it’s also the most boring and difficult part about making a perfume because that’s where you can lose vision of the direction you’re working on. The fun part is making it; it’s not every day that you are in the state of creation, of making something new and exciting. There are very prosperous periods, when you have lots of ideas. You get into a real state of enthusiasm and joie de vivre. What’s the hardest part about being a perfumer? The moments of doubt… But it isn’t a job that makes me suffer. Although having said that, it can be hard when you win a perfume and it just doesn’t have the success it deserves. At the same time, I imagine it being just as annoying if a perfume works too well, when every dork runs around wearing it… Well, it has never happened to any of my perfumes, but you’re right, that is horrible – although, I would prefer for everyone to be wearing very nice scents. Today the perfumes worn by everyone are not the good ones. They’re always very commercial, simple and clichéd. Perfume clichés sell well. What’s a perfume cliché? It’s something very evident and banal. A stereotype of what a woman or man should smell like. It’s a scent that has nothing more to say than that it smells. For example, it can be bad for a perfume to be too feminine or too masculine. When a scent is clichéd, it is too stereotyped, there’s no fantasy, no originality, no personality. How would you describe (untitled)? I would say it is, of course, very green; it’s very raw but also extremely refined and elaborate, it’s very dense, very natural and, at the same time, very surprising and strong, it is close to nature and has a very reassuring side… It really does smell green. Why is that? It’s not surprising that you think it smells green. When perfumers say green, they make reference to nature with vegetal smells like crushed leaves, freshly cut grass or when you roll a leaf between your fingers… You think of green because it reminds you of natural smells. Maison Martin Margiela’s artistic identity is based on the reinterpretation of basic codes. Did you try and take that aspect into account as well? I didn’t expressly try to, but reinterpreting
things from the past is something that is very present in my work too. I have a strong connection to the past, I’m nurtured by my memories and I’m really interested in the tradition of perfumery, so that aspect just came in very naturally. It’s not always about being modern and now. Why didn’t you use patchouli? It has been Maison Margiela’s signature scent in their boutiques and offices for years. I decided to use galbanum instead. I think it has a lot of similar qualities to patchouli, which has a very hard and cold head note. It’s very fresh, and then while it gets older on your skin, it becomes warm and very mysterious and sensual. Galbanum doesn’t smell the same at all, but it has similar cold/warm aspects. What’s your favourite smell? Oh, there are so many… I really do like galbanum… But having favourites is a very childish thing to do. My kids always ask me about my favourites: ‘Do you prefer strawberries of raspberries?’ As if you have to have favourites for everything in life. There are things I like infinitely, but I also know that my list is not finished and as time goes by I realise what other things I love. Are there smells you don’t like at all? I hate synthetic fruit scents like peach, or anything that smells really fake. But I don’t think there are any natural smells I don’t like. Do you wear perfume yourself? Oh yes, of course! I’ve been wearing (untitled) all the time ever since it came out. And I also love and wear Infusion d’Iris by Prada. Those are the two I wear the most. Those are both perfumes you created. Are there also perfumes you’ve made, that you don’t wear yourself? Nowadays, I wouldn’t make a perfume that I wouldn’t want to wear myself. But I don’t wear them all. I’ve made so many, it would be absurd to want to wear them all. Do you live life through your nose? I am not a nose before everything else. Smells are very important in my life. They’re important in how I perceive everything around me, but so is what people tell me. I love smells and they help me think of the past, but more important than my nose is my memory. If I had to say what I’m touched by most in life, it would be everything that serves our memory. Perfumes help us remember. I’d be very sad, if I lost my sense of smelling, but I can imagine smells in my head, so if I had to choose, I would prefer to keep my sight.
An American in Paris
Tim Hamilton is the first American designer to show his menswear collection in Paris by nora baldenweg/all images courtesy of tim hamilton
Since he started his eponymous label in 2007, there has been a buzz about the American fashion designer Tim Hamilton. Having been nominated for the CFDA Swarovski Award for Menswear three times consecutively, Hamilton finally walked off with the coveted industry award this year. Brought up in the American Midwest, and trained by all-American fashion brands such as Ralph Lauren and J. Crew, Hamilton’s casual but streamlined designs have become synonymous with preppy New York Cool. But the 38-yearold is also one for surprises. Last fall, he quietly introduced his first womenswear line in Paris. It was a striking departure from his signature sleek and sportswear-inspired menswear. Last June, Hamilton’s menswear made its runway debut in Paris with a surprising opener. Twisting his classic background into a more polished direction, the Spring/Summer 2010 collection was all about new shapes, proportions and deconstructed suiting. “Think a well-suited New York man who travels through space and lands in Paris,” says Hamilton. Soft cotton button-downs with singular parts tailing down the front, deep collarless tops with adjustable waists, diaphanous raincoats worn upside down with super short boy pants… Fabrics were hand-dipped in a variety of industrial materials such as wax and vinyl to create a shiny, crackled and coated look. Breaking down his streamlined silhouettes into intricate parts, this was a layered and somewhat dressier take on formal clothing. Overall, the look was less New York Cool, but still strikingly modern and urban chic. A few days after his runway debut, I met Tim Hamilton at his quiet Paris hotel, just off Place des Vosges, where he told me about his design aesthetic and his ultimate desire to build a ‘Tim Hamilton World.’ Nora Baldenweg: Tim, I really love your glasses. Through your eyes, what really makes a man and a woman beautiful? Tim Hamilton: Oh, thanks! I think real beauty comes from within. Confidence is key: what you’ve seen in life, hard work, and yes, also how you’re put together to a degree, absolutely...
NB: You’ve completely reinvented the Tim Hamilton man for your first runway show here in Paris. What has happened to the New York Cool you’re known for? Has showing here changed your design approach? TH: I would have presented the same collection in New York, but doing a runway show has definitely changed my approach. I wanted to have directional highlights stand out next to my more classic pieces. Obviously, you want your collection to sell, but you can’t just show basic items on the runway. The coated outerwear, the leathers, the shirtings—I’ve played with new shapes and proportions and I feel like now my product is much more polished than it was in my beginning stages. NB: The collection was extremely fabricdriven. TH: Fabrics are my starting point. I go to all the fabric shows, develop different coatings, prints and treatments. The whole theme was based on a well-suited New York man who travels through the toxic layers in space and then lands in Paris all coated and deconstructed. I wanted to translate the message of that theme, but still keep a minimal, sort of cold feel. NB: I must confess that at times your men sort of reminded me of priests. Kind of like space priests, maybe? TH: [Laughs] Wow. That was not the intention. So you’ve just changed the whole theme. Ok, I can see what you mean, the dark color palette, and the length of the coats, they could be perceived as robes, yeah, and the collars. But that wasn’t the intention. Priests in space, ha ha ha! NB: What was it about Paris? How would you compare the Parisian to the New York market? TH: To me, Paris just feels 100 percent right. In New York, people are a lot more fast-paced and they shop in the moment. In Paris, however, I feel like they have to have an understanding of the brand, its history, its quality and they ‘invest’ in products. It was sort of a natural progression for me to show here. It’s where I do my sales and I mostly produce in Italy. I’m really thrilled that I had this opportunity. I’d love to be transatlantic and spend a lot more time in Paris. Plus, in New York they don’t separate men’s and women’s.
NB: You also debuted your first womenswear collection here last fall. Your woman was mysterious, dramatic and strong—quite the opposite of your preppy American boys. I remember you saying at the time that you were showing it in Paris because people weren’t as preconceived about what you do in men’s. TH: Well, I think the two worlds are becoming closer and closer now. But initially I didn’t want to be one of those designers who just does a feminine version of his men’s collection. Women shop differently. If they’re going to buy a masculine piece, they’re going to buy the masculine piece, not a masculine-looking one. I wanted it to be different, very feminine. My first women’s collection was a tribute to my late mother. She was Lebanese and she always stood out exotically in Iowa, where I grew up. She was into theater and dancing and she would wear crazy black dresses and a lot of black eye liner. My first men’s collection, on the other hand, was influenced by my father, typically American. There are still some of those elements in there, but he wouldn’t be wearing the stuff I’m doing now. I guess in the end, I just really want to start building my brand. I like the idea of creating a whole lifestyle, a real ‘Tim Hamilton World.’ So men’s and women’s should probably be in the same place after all.
Tim Hamilton's mum at age 18
ZOO MAGAZINE–2009 NO.24
me for this new concept they had and I ended up staying there for seven years. NB: What’s your very first fashion memory? TH: I clearly remember a trip to London when I was 11, in the early 80s. I was totally fascinated by seeing all these punk rock guys on the street at Piccadilly Circus. It was then that I realized that people can have the confidence to really step out and dress in a certain way to match their personality. I never knew that this existed and from then on I started fantasizing about being part of the fashion world.
Tim Hamilton at age 10
NB: Is that brand awareness something you picked up at Ralph Lauren? TH: Oh yeah, definitely. It was kind of crazy at the time to be part of this whole lifestyle that he creates. I always felt iffy about not really fitting into it, but I did learn that you can create a brand image, a world within a store, within your advertising and everything you do. His whole world was so opposite of how I grew up. Throughout my childhood, I had fantasized about being in New York, about working in fashion, art or acting. I grew up in a big household, seven kids, but not with a lot of money and, you know, you always dream. I really wanted to do something different. I just wanted to get out of this massive house and do something better.
NB: So what actually made you create your own brand? TH: I think I got burned out with corporate and there weren’t a lot of other options for fashion designers in New York at the time. I was heading up this whole new division, a big job with a big team, but it just wasn’t profound. When I was 33, one of my best friends passed away and I realized how fast life goes by. I had always wanted to do something on my own, so I just got to the point where I had to give it a try. NB: And now you’re showing in Paris. There was a huge buzz preceding your first runway show. How was the pressure level? TH: Apart from constantly hearing from my Parisian press agent that I was the only American ever to show menswear in Paris, I was really quite okay. I mean, at a certain point, the clothes were done and from then it really is up to the editors and buyers. NB: So what’s next for you? TH: I want to keep moving forward and start spreading what I do. Maybe kids, shoes, furniture… I’d love to have my own store and progress into a real brand.
NB: What are your brothers and sisters doing now? TH: They all stayed in Iowa and are kind of set in their ways. One works in furniture, one works for a printing company, one of them is a hairdresser, one of them is in sales, another one does landscaping—he changes his career every three months—and my sister does all the shipping and receipting for me. NB: How old were you when you left home? TH: I left when I was 19. I went to acting school and lived just outside of where I grew up. After that I went on a crazy backpacking trip through Florida for a year before finally moving to New York at the age of 21. I had no money, so a friend told me to apply at Ralph Lauren, where I landed my first job in sales. Eventually, I told them I was interested in fashion design and they gave me an internship and paid for classes for me to go to Parsons [School of Design.] Then they picked ZOO MAGAZINE–2009 NO.24
Tim Hamilton at age 20, when he left for Florida
Tim Hamilton, Fall/Winter 2009-2010
Tim Hamilton, Spring/Summer 2010
#()# Nora Baldenweg *+#+,-%*.($Rachael Woodson
Die schöne Belgierin Laetitia Crahay ist Schmuckund Accessoiredesignerin bei Chanel sowie Kreativdirektorin beim hippen Hutmacherhaus Maison Michel. Uns öffnet sie ganz exklusiv die Türen zu ihren persönlichen Arbeitsräumen im Herzen von Paris.
Angela Missoni | Head Office
Head Office | Angela Missoni
Words | Nora Baldenweg Portrait | Tommaso Mei
Despite never having formerly planned to step into her parent’s shoes, ever since taking the helm of Missoni in 1997 as the brand’s creative director, Angela Missoni has successfully led her family’s legacy into the 21st century, securing its position as one of the world’s most recognizable Italian fashion brands. By maintaining the house’s iconic zigzag patterns, characteristic multi-coloured stripes and vivid patchworks, and adding a distinctively contemporary twist to the designs and silhouettes, the Missoni heiress has confidently updated the company’s image to a fresh and desirable look. “It was all about cleaning out, focusing on new ideas and redefining what the brand’s icons were. I wanted to wear Missoni. I wanted Missoni to be modern. I remember people telling me: This is not Missoni enough, it only has four colours”, she says. Today, under her reign, the company has expanded to a 360-degree lifestyle enterprise. Along the main men’s and women’s lines and the less pricier and younger M Missoni collection, the brand has successfully licensed accessories, sunglasses, swimwear, fragrances, a home collection and even the design identity of a hotel chain.
Angela, what does your workplace look like? (Laughs.) Well, actually, I don’t have my own office yet. But that is about to change very soon! Finally! My personal assistant has an office, my assistants all have their own desks, but I move around. I go to the different ateliers and sit at the big communal tables in the middle of each room. Actually, come to think of it, I never had my own private working spot. So tell us about this future work station. What will it be like? It will be great, the kind of office I have always wanted and dreamed of. It’s going to be on the roof of our headquarters. I am finally going to have my own corner with my very own views. How will you decorate it? At the moment I don’t have anything specific in mind. Our work is already so full of colour. Even if you clean up at the end of the season, everything seems to be decorated with pieces of colourful fabrics. I did recently come across some beautiful antique desks though. Maybe I could put one of them in my office. To be honest, I don’t yet really know what I will be doing with the space. Needless to say, you will surely still catch me touring our various ateliers… Perhaps I should just get a big oval table, able to accommodate at least ten, so when I want to see the people I’m working with I can invite them to my office. When and where are you most inspired? It can be anywhere and anytime, but the reality of the matter is that inspiration is only the beginning
Effortlessly juggling work and family life, the passionate and down-to-earth designer looks back at over half a century of unique prints, patterns, textures, technical innovation and durable design: “I like that people get attached to our products and keep them forever.” Just like the collections, the Missoni headquarters in Sumirago near Milan, reflect a joyful, harmonious and colourful atmosphere. “My parents built this factory in the late 60s. They knew that work was going to be a big part of their lives, so they decided to build it in this beautiful place, on a hill amidst woods with great views over the Alps.” The women’s, men’s and accessory ateliers are all located in the same building, housing vast working spaces with full window fronts, a few high desks overlooking the forest, an inspiration board, mirrors for fittings and a big round table with wheeled baskets filled with bits of fabric. For Gatsby, Angela Missoni opens the doors to her “head office”:
of a very long process. Of course you start with drawings and fabrics, but the moment you actually see the first pieces of clothing come out, is when you realize how many other things you can do with it. When I see the model fitting the first samples, that’s when I really start changing lengths, proportions and silhouettes, bringing the piece to life! What’s on your mind when you are not designing? Well, that would have to be my family. Margherita (25), Cesco (23) and Teresa (20), who call up every five minutes. “Ciao Mamma!” About whatever… Are you good at multi-tasking? Yes, of course! You have to be good at multitasking in this job. Making clothes is one thing, but that’s only about 25% of the workload. The rest is about creating an identity, taking care of this image, looking after your shops, visiting independent retail spaces to see how they sell your brand etc. You have to know how to host parties and how to entertain. I’m a solution-finder and my job is to work in every field: design, PR, music, lighting – everything! The good thing is I really don’t have any time to get bored. Are you rather organized or would you describe yourself as a more chaotic personality? I’m organized in my work, very organized in my mind and chaotic in my personal space. But I always know exactly where everything is. I accumulate things because I always think there might be a spark of inspiration in everything. That’s why I think archives are so important.
Everything should be archived, there are so many different things and different ways I feel about these objects… What drives you crazy? People who are always in a bad mood and people who don’t have a sense of humour. I’m always ready for a good laugh. It also drives me crazy when people touch my hair. And when the office is messy for no apparent reason. How do you relax before and after work? I wake up kind of early and just love being at home, reading newspapers, enjoying breakfast, no phone calls, no nothing. I try to spend at least two hours at home before arriving at the office around 10am. In the evenings I like to stay home with my partner or going out to see friends. Milan is only half an hour away, but usually I am so tired that I prefer to just stay on my sofa watching a movie. Could you imagine designing for a company other than Missoni? Probably yes. But if it weren’t for Missoni, I would most likely be doing another job. I could see myself as an architect… What’s your most important office utensil? The pencil. Oh, and a rubber!
Gatsby Magazine | 43
FOTO Carl Bengtsson
TEXT UND INTERVIEW Nora Baldenweg
anzkörper-Tätowierungen, schwarze Lippen, verwunschenes Setting: Als Rodartes Tribal-Gothic-Schönheiten während der letzten New York Fashion Week aus einem Meer von gelbem Rauch empor traten, gingen die Bilder ihrer verschrobenen Vision für Frühling 2010 sofort um die Welt. Die Kollektion: eine wunderbar delikate Parade von kurzen, de konstruierten Kleidern in erdigen Brauntönen, verbranntem Orange und bemalten Plaids. Obwohl sie sich selbst als Außenseiterinnen der Modewelt bezeichnen, präsentierten Kate und Laura Mulleavy, die zwei Schwestern hinter dem jungen Label, eine der meist bejubelten Shows der NYFW. 2005 mit einer Mini-Kollektion von 10 Stück gegründet, heimsten sie für ihr La bel inzwischen nicht nur eine Reihe von Auszeichnungen ein, sie kollabo rieren mittlerweile auch mit Verkaufsriesen wie Target, Gap und Opening Ceremony. Aber abgesehen davon, dass sie etwas ‚anders‘ sind, machen sie wohl auch noch ein, zwei andere Dinge richtig. Mit INDIE sprachen Kate und Laura über ihre Anfänge im Modebusiness, brennende Mädchen, Pilz festivals und warum es so wichtig ist, seine eigene Stimme zu finden.
“WITHIN A MOMENT THERE’S A FASHION VOCABULARY WHERE EVERYONE RECOGNIZES WHAT LOOKS COOL. WE FEEL LIKE WHAT WE DO IS A LITTLE OUTSIDE OF THAT.”
to what we do. Of course, when I say we’re doing a collection about some one that burns alive it may seem dark, but to us it’s more about the beauty of the idea of ruined decay in general. We’re not interested in just making something that looks pretty on the surface. We want some kind of interplay, a viewpoint, a context. Without that, it’s just not interesting to us.
Is it actually true that you watched horror movies for a year after Why don’t you wear your own designs? college? It’s an interesting conception people have about designers wearing their
Yeah, it is true. We became really obsessed. And we only realized how own clothes. Of course there are the ones like Coco Chanel for example, strange it was later. We just felt like it was something we had to be doing. who was an embodiment of what she did and so essentially she designed We’ve always been firm believers in following our momentary interests. the perfect clothes for herself. But you also have others, and a lot of men are like this, that don’t necessarily design for a specific woman. In a lot of Are you still inspired by them now? ways we design for ourselves and there is a personal connection, but it’s We use movies as a reference when talking to each other. They’re like a not for ourselves in terms of being the clothes that we want to wear every tool for us to interact and communicate. If I were to tell Laura I want the day. The reason we’re driven to do collections is for the creative process. I red to be like the red from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, she would know don’t think we would make the clothes that we make if we were running exactly what I mean. Our last collection, for example, was about the idea around wearing them every day. If we were doing that, we would just of a girl burning alive in some kind of wasteland and transforming into a travel and read and go to museums (laughs). condor. Between us, we would just talk about The Hills Have Eyes, a film How did you actually get into fashion? made in the 70s. We started sketching when we were really young but we never had any Is the starting point for your collections always a story like that? technical fashion training. We had become interested in other things by Yes it is, and we’re not afraid of telling stories that are a little bit weird. the time we were in high school. I did art history and thought I wanted to People often make the mistake of assuming that our collections are dark or be a writer, and Laura thought she was going to be a doctor and did preGothic. The funny thing is, we don’t find them dark at all. Everything just med at Berkeley for a while. But for some reason we always knew that we has a story behind it and that might be the reason there is a darker element wanted to be designers. 43
FOTO Carl Bengtsson
And your father?
In a way his job was very similar to ours. It’s always hard to explain what we do to someone who doesn’t really know much about the fashion world. And I never really understood what my dad did either. Growing up as kids, we would go to these mushroom festivals. Everyone I knew would build their own greenhouses and we would spend our time in rooms filled with hundreds of racks filled with soil where they were growing mushrooms. We were around people with a specific knowledge, people obsessed with small things. It was a weird environment. I never really asked much about it, it was just something I absorbed and it wasn’t until later that I processed it as being a little different. Being different has kind of been the key to your own success.
“MAYBE IF WE HAD GONE TO SCHOOL, WE WOULDN’T BE DOING WHAT WE DO NOW. IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE YOUR OWN VOICE. IT’S ALL YOU REALLY HAVE TO SET YOURSELF APART FROM THE REST.”
It was hard when we started out. We were not prototype designers, we had no technical training, we weren’t from New York and we didn’t know anything about how the fashion world works. I guess that also partly explains our obsession with horror films: it must come from identifying with people that feel like outsiders in an industry. We had a lot of things that were stacked against us when we started out, but those very things ended up being so intrinsic in the way we create today. You first collection was an instant success. Two weeks after laun ching your label, you were on the cover of Women’s Wear Daily.
At the time we thought our first trip to New York was completely doomed. We didn’t know what we were doing, we were staying at a friend’s house in the East Village together with ten dogs, no one was calling us back, no one wanted to see us, I was freaking out. I was like: ‘this is not going to work, what are we doing?’ and then all of a sudden we had this thing happen with WWD. They don’t even remember why they called us, they said they never see people before fashion week. It was just this amazing and weird thing. We wouldn’t be anything if it weren’t for WWD giving us that cover two weeks after making our first 10 pieces of clothes. Someone must have loo ked at it and thought there was some possibility for it to go somewhere. How do you want your label to evolve?
Why didn’t you go to a fashion school?
We did think about it, but we’ve never really seen schools as a fast track to reaching your dream career. Everything we’ve done, we’ve just done because it seemed right. It all makes sense to me now. What we did was more like creative training. We had very open-minded parents who just thought it was important to be exposed to things and do whatever we were interested in. We always sketched when we were bored in class and by the time we got out of school we had developed a very natural and personal style. We have a lot of interns now and I’ve realized that they all have the same technique because they’ve been taught how to do it. Our sketches are a lot more emotional and they involve us working hand in hand with the collection. Maybe if we had gone to school, we wouldn’t be doing what we do now. It’s so important to have your own voice. It’s all you really have to set yourself apart from the rest. Tell me about your parents.
Our mum used to do these large-scale Navajo weavings, she’s an amazing painter and she can draw whatever she wants. We have hundreds of sketchbooks from that time, not just family photos. It all came so naturally to her. She had a huge influence on us. 44
I think the important thing for us is to always keep the integrity of what we’re doing. Every season we understand more what we want and what our viewpoint is. Once you become comfortable with what your specific vision is, your interest in growing and broadening it becomes relevant. Right now a lot of the collection is close to being couture. That’s part of the heart of our work, but there’s definitely room to grow a more readyto-wear component about it. Our collaboration with Target was really fun and exciting and it allowed us to stretch our ideas and kind of stretch ourselves as designers. Could you imagine going your own separate ways?
No. Being together is what makes what we do. The reason we work well together is because we allow each other to be different and to take on diffe rent roles. We’re very connected. There’s a great line in that movie Margot at the Wedding, where she says, ‘It’s hard to find people that you love more than your family.’ I always felt that was really true. We wouldn’t be the one without the other.
SANDRA BACKLUND Carl WOMAN Bengtsson TEXT UND INTERVIEW Philipp L’HeritierFOTO ZOOT
69 TEXT Nora Baldenweg FOTOS Romeo Mori
ZU BESUCH BEI
chanel’s schuhmacher Chanels Haute Couture Show für Frühling/Sommer 2010 war ein zuckersüßer Traum aus romantischen TüllKleidchen in pudrigen Pastelltönen, die an Marshmallows, süße Vanille, Sahne, Mint und Lavendel er-innern ließen. Der perfekte Kontrast dazu waren die Accessoires und Schuhe in spiegelndem Hochglanzsilber. Kurz vor der grandiosen Modeschau haben wir bei Chanels Schuhmacher angeklopft, um zu erfahren, was es eigentlich alles braucht, bis wir schlussendlich die schönen Treter auf dem Laufsteg bewundern können.
ie Adresse von Maison Massaro, Chanels Schuhmacher, ist, wie zu erwarten „très, très chic“. Der Showroom liegt an der prestigeträchtigen Rue de la Paix gleich neben dem Place Vendôme im Herzen von Paris. Fährt man mit dem kleinen Lift jedoch zum Empfang im ersten Stock, taucht man ein in eine Welt, die ganz anders ist als erwartet. Hinter einem einfachen Showroom verstecken sich zwei kleine Werkstätten. Es riecht ganz normal nach Schuhmacherei, und begrüßt wird man vom Chef persönlich: „Kennen Sie die Geschichte von Maison Massaro?“, fragt Philippe Atienza, Geschäftsführer seit 2008, und lädt in sein Reich. Überall Schuhe: Pumps, Loafers, Sandaletten, Ballerinas, ThighHighs, Clogs ... „Herr Massaro hat die Firma vor über hundert Jahren hier in Paris gegründet. Die Tradition und das Know-how wurden über drei Generationen hinweg weitergegeben und gepflegt.“
ersten Prototypen, aber meistens bringen sie ihn auf neue Ideen, und er fragt nach Modifikationen, um das Modell zu komplettieren. Es ist immer eine Evolution. Das endgültige Design entsteht auf dem Holzleisten.“ „Kommen Sie, ich zeige Ihnen das Lederatelier!“ Dieses liegt versteckt hinter einer unscheinbaren Tür auf der anderen Seite des Showrooms. Aus einem kleinen Radio ertönen die Nachrichten, an verschiedenen Tischen wird Leder geschnitten, gemessen, geformt, zusammengenäht und an gewissen Stellen mit einem Skalpell verdünnt. Der Bearbeitung der Knöchelriemchen alleine könnte man stundenlang zusehen: Dünne Lederstreifen werden vorsichtig aus einem Leimtopf gezogen und dann minutiös mit weichem, silbernem Kalbsleder überzogen. Sind die verschiedenen Lederteile einmal zu einem Schuh zusammengenäht, werden sie zum Trocknen auf die vorbereiteten Leisten gezogen. „Eigentlich sollte der Leisten ein paar Tage im Schuh bleiben, aber vor den Schauen reicht es manchmal nur für ein paar Minuten,“ sagt Atienza. „Bei Chanel muss immer alles sehr schnell gehen. Das gespiegelte Leder für diese Kollektion ist erst heute Morgen eingetroffen. Nun können wir mit der Lederarbeit loslegen, die in etwa einer Woche geliefert werden muss.“ Für die Show wurden fast 100 Paar Schuhe in drei verschiedenen Modellen bestellt und ein komplettes Paar braucht etwa 20-30 Stunden bis zur Fertigstellung. Ob es denn auch mal Schuhwünsche gäbe, von denen er als erfahrener Schuhmacher von Anfang an wisse, dass sie kaum funktionieren können? „Unsere Arbeit ist es, die ausgefallensten Träume und Wünsche unserer Kunden zu erfüllen. Unsere Kreativität liegt einzig und allein darin, Lösungen zu finden. Wir geben den Ideen der Kreateure ein Leben. Wir sind Lieferanten, Ausführer. Aber das ist es auch, was so spannend ist. Wir müssen die größten technischen Grenzen in kürzester Zeit kreativ überwinden können.“ Das bekannteste Modell aus dem Hause Massaro ist wohl die Ikone aller Schuhe überhaupt – der weltbekannte zweifarbige Chanel-Pump. „Der ist 1957 entstanden, als Mademoiselle Chanel zum ersten Mal ins Geschäft kam, um hier ihren Traumschuh kreieren zu lassen. Der Schuh wurde mit einer schwarzen Kappe und einem schwarzen Absatz gemacht, um den Fuß weniger lang aussehen zu lassen“, erklärt Atienza. „Außerdem liebte sie beige,
aber sie wollte verhindern, dass ihre Schuhe schnell schmutzig aussahen, deshalb ließ sie die delikaten Teile mit schwarzem Satin überziehen.“ Der Unterschied zwischen einem perfekt sitzenden Massenschuh und einem perfekten Schuh auf Maß? „Das ist etwas ganz anderes! Ein maßgefertigter Schuh sitzt schon mal viel enger, wie angegossen. Einen Billigschuh hingegen kauft man immer lieber etwas zu groß, damit er ja nirgends drückt. Hat
WIE MAN SEINE SCHUHE TRÄGT UND UNTERHÄLT, SAGT SO VIEL ÜBER DEN CHARAKTER UND DEN LEBENSSTIL EINES MENSCHEN AUS. “ man mal einen maßgefertigten Schuh getragen, will man kaum mehr zurück. Und natürlich sieht man den Unterschied auch“, sagt er. „Aber man kann auch billige Schuhe mit Würde tragen. Es ist ein bisschen wie mit Autos. Es gibt die, die ihr Auto gut pflegen, und solche, die sich weniger darum kümmern. Wie man seine Schuhe trägt und unterhält, sagt so viel über den Charakter und den Lebensstil eines Menschen aus.“ „Ich liebe es, passionierte Leute zu treffen, und ich liebe es, wenn mein Tag rappelvoll ist mit Terminen“, sagt Atienza über die Freuden seines Alltags. „Ein Schuhmacher muss einen ausgeprägten Sinn für Perfektion und Qualität haben und alle Facetten seiner Arbeit lieben. Meine Aufgaben sind so vielseitig: die Führung der Firma, die sozialen Aspekte, die Produktion, die Kreativität, der Kontakt mit den Kunden ...“ Auf welche all seiner Schuhkreationen der Meister denn am meisten stolz sei? „Das ist immer das neueste Modell. Jeder neue Schuh ist immer eine neue und noch größere Herausforderung.“ (
Im Jahr 2002 wurde Maison Massaro von Chanel aufgekauft, um das traditionelle Handwerk des ‚maître bottier’ zu bewahren. „Wir sind eins von sieben Maisons, die seit mehreren Jahrzehnten Hand in Hand mit Chanel für die Couture-Schauen zusammenarbeiten“, sagt Atienza. „Chanel ist unser Hauptkunde: Wir kreieren deren Laufstegmodelle für die Kollektionen der Haute Couture, der Métiers d’Art und zum Teil auch für die Prêt-à-PorterSchauen. Aber wir sind spezialisiert auf Maßanfertigungen. Die Chanel-Läden beispielsweise beliefern wir nicht. Außerdem haben wir viele Privatkunden. Wir bewahren die ‚Holzfüße’ aller unserer Kunden im Keller auf. Wir haben fast 4000 individuelle Leistenpaare im Lager. Das heißt nicht, dass alle unsere Kunden wie früher jedes Jahr mehrere Schuhe bestellen, aber selbst wenn sie nur alle drei bis vier Jahre kommen, sind sie für uns sehr wichtig.“ Der Prozess des Schuhmachens ist seit der Gründung des Hauses im Jahre 1894 unverändert geblieben. In einer kleinen Werkstatt hinter dem Showroom arbeitet konzentriert ein kleines Team von Handwerkern. Filigrane Lederstreifen werden zusammengehämmert, vorgeformte Harzabsätze mit Silberfarbe bestrichen und dann von Hand mit Reihen von Perlen besetzt. „Der erste Schritt ist es, einen Holzleisten zu kreieren, auf dem dann der Schuh Schritt für Schritt entworfen wird. Sobald die Proportionen richtig und von Karl (Lagerfeld) genehmigt sind, konstruieren wir denselben Leisten in verschiedenen Größen,“ sagt Atienza. An der Wand, zwischen verschiedenen Werkzeugen, hängt der Ausdruck einer Skizze vom Chefdesigner selbst. „Karls allererste Skizzen und Ideen flattern etwa einen Monat vor der Schau in Faxform rein.“ Der etwas zerknitterte Ausdruck ist mit verschiedenen Randnotizen von Lagerfelds Assistenten versehen. „Wir reden nicht direkt mit Karl“, erklärt er. „Natürlich habe ich ihn auch schon getroffen, aber er hat Angestellte, die uns als ‚Zwischenleute’ sagen, was zu tun ist, bis es seinen Wünschen entspricht. Karl hat Spezialisten für jedes Gebiet. Bei Chanel hat jeder eine klar bestimmte Rolle.“ „Wir kriegen von ihm die ersten Elemente – zum Beispiel die Skizze einer offenen Sandalette mit einem neo-barock-inspirierten Stuckabsatz –, der Rest passiert direkt während der Arbeit im Atelier. Für dieses Modell haben wir versucht, diese Blattbewegungen einzufangen und zu reproduzieren. Wir haben ähnliche Formen recherchiert und daraus erste Prototypen aus Harz realisiert“, beschreibt Atienza. „Manchmal genehmigt er bereits unsere
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