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ON THE COVER
PLAYING THE PART Model Rianne Van Rompaey portrays 10 different characters for a fashion portfolio by Inez & Vinoodh—with the help of Björk’s makeup artist. BY JESSICA IREDALE
HAT WILL TWO well-tended ladieswho-lunch look like in the year 2025, when the cosmetic-augmentation craze has gone far beyond ﬁller and Botox? That was one element of the complex concept that photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin asked the Berlin-based multidisciplinary artist Johannes Jaruraak, known as Hungry, to help realize with model Rianne Van Rompaey, as one of three covers for WSJ.’s September Women’s Fall Fashion issue. The look that Hungry came up with, featuring rose-petal nose prosthetics, oversize, doll-like eyes, crystals and highly rouged cheeks, is based on one from her repertoire called “the Rose.” It is “very distorted and weird but still sophisticated in a way that is somewhat believable,” says Hungry, who also appears in the shot. “It’s a ﬂoral character I created thinking of how humans and ﬂowers could interact.” Stylist Alex White selected classically conservative ensembles from Celine’s latest runway show to juxtapose with the surreal, phantasmagoric faces. (The other two covers, also styled by White, show Van Rompaey as a ’50s-era platinum-haired pinup and a wealthy art collector full of ennui.) Hungry, whose anatomical and natureinﬂuenced makeup techniques are largely self-taught, caught the eye of singer Björk in summer 2017. Hungry ended up helping to create trippy, kaleidoscopic makeup for the cover of Björk’s latest album, Utopia, as well as two music videos. This year, Hungry accompanied the singer on tour to create all-new looks. Van Lamsweerde and Matadin met Hungry backstage at a recent concert and asked her to be in the WSJ. shoot, a three-day enterprise in New York’s Hamptons. “We had been obsessed with Hungry for a long time,” says Matadin. “It just fell into place.” Portraying so many different personas was not a leap for Van Rompaey, who has always
been interested in acting. Growing up in the Netherlands, she participated in community theater, until her Botticelli-like strawberry-blond hair, blue eyes and lanky frame caught the eye of a modeling scout. Initially, Van Rompaey saw modeling as a potential means to an end. “I thought, Maybe it’s a way to get a part with people in the ﬁlm industry and fulﬁll my dream in that way,” says Van Rompaey, who today hones her acting skills with New York–based teacher Sheila Gray and strives to bring a theatrical quality to her modeling projects. “I also feel that now the photographers whom I’ve worked with know that I like to take on a character.” She’s had plenty of practice, booking campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Versace and Marc Jacobs and appearing in countless shows and editorials, including covers for French and Italian Vogue and one of this magazine’s September 2018 10th-anniversary covers, also shot by van Lamsweerde and Matadin. Still, for this feature, Van Rompaey, van Lamsweerde and Matadin had to get out of their comfort zones. Fitting 10 wildly different scenes into three 19-hour days on location compounded the intensity. The cover scene with Hungry proved the most challenging. The idea for that image was to have Van Rompaey be “this alpha woman, with this kind of bitchiness,” says van Lamsweerde, “but then having it also be humorous and have a bit of campiness.” It helps, she says, that they had willing collaborators. Of Van Rompaey, she says: “She has no fear.”
ON A ROLE Rianne Van Rompaey, photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Alex White. From top: Celine by Hedi Slimane clothing and accessories (on Hungry, left, and Van Rompaey); Max Mara top, Dior skirt, Fallon earrings and Paco Rabanne shoes; Victoria Beckham shirt and pants, Tiffany and Co. earrings and bracelets and Celine by Hedi Slimane shoes. For details see Sources, page 182.
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september 2019 50 ON THE COVER 64 EDITOR’S LETTER 70 CONTRIBUTORS 74 COLUMNISTS on Music 77 THE WSJ. FIVE 183 STILL LIFE Betye Saar The 93-year-old artist shares a few of her favorite things. Photography by Kayla Reefer
What’s News. 87
Streetwear by and for women
A beloved Mexico City restaurant expands; Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix Self-Winding watch; a new Florence hotel; Second Home opens in Los Angeles; a cigarette case for cellphones
Henrietta Lovell’s rare teas; structured handbags; Liselotte Watkins for Svenskt Tenn
Francesca Woodman at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver; chic ankle boots
Trend Report: Belt bags
The Download: Brené Brown; ’90s fashion redux
Max Mara Atelier coats; Diptyque’s new home goods
Sustainable beauty packaging; fall design books
Jewelry Box: Harry Winston’s Candy rings
Neighborhood Watch: North Loop, Minneapolis
The Shift: Brands going to the ends of the earth
THIS PAGE From left: Thais Borges in Øblanc clothing, Gap socks and Dr. Martens shoes; Songhwa Oh in Maisie Wilen clothing and Raised by Wolves x Manitobah Mukluks shoes; Nikita M’Bouroukounda in Ottolinger clothing and The Row boots; Nastya Zakharova in Kirin overalls, Re/Done x Hanes T-shirt and Vans sneakers; Zwaan Bijl in Aries clothing and Converse sneakers, photographed by Jody Rogac and styled by Laura Stoloff. For details see Sources, page 182.
FOLLOW @WSJMAG: To purchase original single issues from WSJ. Magazine’s archive, visit the WSJ Shop at wsjshop.com.
R A LPH L AUR EN
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“I LIKE PIECES THAT SHOW THE HAND HAS MADE THEM.” –BETYE SAAR
Market report. 111 BOUGIE NIGHTS The discreet charm of the ’70s makes an appearance in this season’s tailored skirts and tweeds. Photography by Jen Carey Styling by Alexandra Carl
the exchange. 119 TRACKED: Sue Y. Nabi The former L’Oréal executive has forged a new life in London, where she co-founded vegan skin-care brand Orveda. By Harriet Quick Photography by Harry Mitchell
122 BEAUTY, COLOR, LINE Fernando Santangelo—whose aesthetic Bette Midler describes as witty and well-informed—turns his decorator’s eye to his own apartment in a Chelsea brownstone. By Sarah Medford Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson
From left: Loewe bag and Gabriela Hearst clothing, photographed by Sophie Tajan and styled by Laura Stoloff. For details see Sources, page 182. Artist Betye Saar, who has fall shows at MoMA and LACMA, photographed by Kayla Reefer.
“THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE COMPASSION IS TO UNDERSTAND PEOPLE’S LIVES.” –BRAD FALCHUK
Interior designer Fernando Santangelo’s New York apartment, photographed by Stephen Kent Johnson. Left: Writer-producerdirector Brad Falchuk in his L.A. office, photographed by Jesse Chehak.
women’s fall fashion. 126 VIENNESE WALTZ
152 DREAM SEQUENCE
Visit the art nouveau landmarks of Austria’s capital, with clothes as striking as their surroundings.
Morph into a new identity this fall with looks that play on the many faces of fashion.
Photography by Ethan James Green Styling by Anastasia Barbieri
Photography by Inez & Vinoodh Styling by Alex White
146 SCENTS OF OCCASION The iconoclastic Hedi Slimane is launching Celine’s ﬁrst fragrance collection with 11 debut scents. By Chandler Burr Portrait by Henry Taylor Photography by Philippe Lacombe
166 HOLLYWOOD’S BESTKEPT SECRET Writer-producer-director Brad Falchuk is making a name for himself with a new Netﬂix deal and his own production company. By Alex Bhattacharji Photography by Jesse Chehak
170 WILL THE REAL JEANNERET PLEASE STAND UP? Navigating the turbulent market for designer Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh furniture. By Sarah Medford Photography by Martien Mulder
176 EPIC YARNS For six decades artist Sheila Hicks has been pushing the boundaries of her medium, ﬁber, and in the process, challenging conceptions of art. By Alice Cavanagh Photography by Jo Metson Scott
EDITOR’S LE T TER
FIELD DAY ILLUSTRATION BY ALEJANDRO CARDENAS
CHAIR GAME Anubis and Bast (both wearing Hermès) enjoy a leisurely fall aft ernoon on Jeanneret chairs as Who prowls in the grass.
OR YEARS the modernist furniture designed
by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret in the 1950s and ’60s for the utopian Indian city of Chandigarh languished in relative obscurity. Today original versions of his chairs and tables are snapped up by collectors like designer Raf Simons and art dealer Larry Gagosian. Our feature traces the story of how Jeanneret, a younger cousin of Le Corbusier (born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret), generated vast amounts of unsigned pieces that combined industrial-age elegance with Shaker-like simplicity. The market for these designs has never been hotter—and never more saturated with everything from faithful replicas to outright fakes. Legendary fashion photographers Inez van
Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin took over our September cover, producing three iconic images starring Dutch model Rianne Van Rompaey, including one with multidisciplinary artist Hungry. For each cover, and throughout the rest of the portfolio, Van Rompaey embodies dramatically different characters, as captured by Inez & Vinoodh during a three-day shoot in New York’s Hamptons. For each of the 10 identities, Van Rompaey wears a selection of the fall season’s most sought-after looks, taking readers through momentous—and mundane—stages of life. Our interview with Hedi Slimane about Celine’s ﬁ rst-ever fragrance collection, Haute Parfumerie, reveals how scents have been something of a
personal obsession for the designer, dating back to 2004, when he was fashioning colognes for Dior. To create 11 new Haute Parfumerie releases, Slimane embarked on an intellectual and sensual quest, moving beyond the expression of raw materials to capture moments, moods and attitudes inspired by Paris nightlife, French luxury and the free spirit of California. For Slimane, fragrances are an ideal way to distill one’s authentic identity: “Perfume needs to get us to who we truly are.”
Kristina O’Neill email@example.com @kristina_oneill
WSJ. M AGA ZINE
Kristina O’Neill Magnus Berger EXECUTIVE EDITOR Chris Knutsen MANAGING EDITOR Jacklyn Monk DEPUTY EDITOR Elisa Lipsky-Karasz DIGITAL DIRECTOR Sarah Ball EDITOR IN CHIEF
F E AT URE S
Lenora Jane Estes Julie Coe EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Natalia Barr
EXECUTIVE FEATURES DIRECTOR
Pierre Tardif ART DIRECTOR Tanya Moskowitz SENIOR ART DIRECTOR Katie Field DESIGN DIRECTOR
P HOTOGR A P H Y
Jennifer Pastore Dana Kien PHOTO EDITOR Noelle Lacombe ASSISTANT PHOTO EDITOR Sara Morosi
EXECUTIVE PHOTO DIRECTOR
SENIOR PHOTO EDITOR
David Thielebeule EXECUTIVE FASHION EDITOR Laura Stoloff SENIOR MARKET EDITOR Alexander Fisher ASSOCIATE MARKET EDITOR Alycia Cohen STYLE DIRECTOR
Kevin Huynh, Nathan Simpson, Cheryl Son P RODUC T ION, COP Y & RE SE A RCH
Scott White COPY CHIEF Ali Bahrampour RESEARCH CHIEF Randy Hartwell COPY EDITOR Clare O’Shea
P UBL ISHING
Anthony Cenname Stephanie Arnold ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/LUXURY Alberto E. Apodaca EUROPE DIRECTOR/LUXURY Omblyne Pelier BUSINESS MANAGER Vincent Shapiro LUXURY DIRECTORS Robert D. Eisenhart III, Richie Grin, Alana Scharlop, Megan Tompkins (TRAVEL & DESIGN), Chloe Worden EXECUTIVE FASHION DIRECTOR Jillian Maxwell EVENTS DIRECTOR Scott Meriam MARKETING MANAGER Sarah Hong MARKETING COORDINATOR Courtney Gallagher VP/PUBLISHER
DIRECTOR OF INTEGRATED MARKETING/LUXURY
Emma Jenks-Daly T HE WA L L S T REE T JOURN A L EDITOR IN CHIEF
SENIOR EDITOR, FEATURES AND WSJ WEEKEND
Michael W. Miller DOW JONE S
William Lewis Josh Stinchcomb
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
EVP & CHIEF MARKETING & MEMBERSHIP OFFICER
Myles Tanzer Saira Khan DIGITAL STAFF WRITER Lane Florsheim DIGITAL VISUALS EDITOR James Clarizio
Frank Filippo Kristin Heitmann SVP FINANCIAL John Kennelly SVP GLOBAL AGENCY PARTNERSHIPS Josh Rucci VICE PRESIDENTS Robert Welch (B-TO-B), Sara Mascall (TELECOM & TECH), Luke Bahrenburg (REAL ESTATE), Anna Foot (EUROPE/ASIA), Colleen Schwartz (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS), Paul Cousineau (AD SERVICES) AD SERVICES, MAGAZINE MANAGER Don Lisk AD SERVICES, BUREAU ASSOCIATE Tom Roggina
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Rorna Richards Raymond Ang
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Rupert Murdoch Robert Thomson
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CON T RIBU T ING EDI TORS
Alex Bhattacharji, Michael Clerizo, Kelly Crow, Jason Gay, Andrew Goldman, Shakthi Jothianandan, Howie Kahn, Joshua Levine, Sarah Medford, Hope Brimelow Oliver, Esmé René, Christopher Ross, Fanny Singer ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTOR Andrea Oliveri for Special Projects CONTRIBUTING CASTING DIRECTOR Piergiorgio Del Moro
EPIC YARNS P. 176
When Paris-based writer Alice Cavanagh interviewed Sheila Hicks in her 6th arrondissement studio, the meeting lasted three hours and Hicks invited her back for a second visit in a few days’ time. The artist, whom Cavanagh proﬁled for this issue, even told her to bring along her infant daughter. “In person she can be utterly intimidating, but she’s also undeniably down-to-earth and very amusing,” says Cavanagh. “Our encounter left such an impression on me that I have thought back to my time with her almost every day since.” Paris was in the midst of a heat wave when photographer Jo Metson Scott arrived from London to meet with Hicks. “I was worried the boiling temperatures would make someone in her 80s tired and unwilling to be photographed, but I was completely wrong,” says Metson Scott. “She did say that I asked too many questions for a photographer, which made me laugh...but she was very generous with her time and talents.”
WSJ. Executive Fashion Editor
PIERRE JEANNERET P. 170
STILL LIFE P. 183
TRACKED P. 119
FEMALE FORWARD P. 87
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: ANDREW MOORES; COURTESY OF LAURA STOLOFF; COURTESY OF HARRY MITCHELL; COURTESY OF KAYLA REEFER; COURTESY OF MARTIEN MULDER
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JEN CAREY Photographer
FEMALE FORWARD P. 87
GOING TO EXTREMES P. 108
STILL LIFE P. 183
BOUGIE NIGHTS P. 111
This issue’s story on Celine’s new fragrance line features a painting of designer Hedi Slimane by American artist Henry Taylor. This summer, Taylor was staying with friends in Paris, model Helena Severin and artist Christian Rosa. Severin, who has worked with Celine, facilitated the portrait session at their apartment. The couple had recently moved in, and Taylor set up a makeshift easel on the boxes. “It just sort of ﬂowed,” says Taylor, who completed the work in one afternoon. “I felt like I was painting Phil Spector, which I said to [Slimane] jokingly—not because they look alike, it just felt like, or I knew, I was painting someone with amazing gifts, and that sometimes can affect me.” Perfume expert Chandler Burr ﬂew from L.A. to Paris to try out the perfumes. “The project was so secret they set up a table in the far, far corner of an impossibly vast room in the Grand Palais,” recalls Burr, who is working on two television shows linked to scent. “It felt illicit. We went through the samples one by one. Lab glass, no retail bottles or packaging, none of the visual stuff with which they always gild the lily. Three people smelling each work and talking. Two hours in an extraordinary museum.” Photographer Philippe Lacombe took the pictures of the bottles.
BRUSH HOUR Artist Henry Taylor in his studio in Los Angeles. Photograph by David Black.
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TOP ROW, FROM LEFT: COURTESY OF JODY ROGAC/SUPERVISION; COURTESY OF NAT IVES; VICTORIA STEVENS; COURTESY OF JEN CAREY
SCENTS OF OCCASION P. 146
WSJ. asks six luminaries to weigh in on a single topic. This month: Music.
FAB 5 FREDDY
“Max Roach was my godfather, and he made a record that was in the house when I was a kid called We Insist! It showed these black men sitting at a lunch counter, looking back at the photographer with serious looks on their faces. There’s a white guy behind the counter. Finally I was old enough to comprehend that it was a reenactment of a lunch-counter protest from the civil rights movement. The record was referred to as one of the ﬁrst protest records. That was a reﬂection of what my dad and his friends were like—the music was part of the voice they had. Jazz was a platform to speak up and speak out against what was going on. The same thing happened to me with hip-hop. It’s often underpinned a lot of what I would do in the culture, as a person who helps stir it up and spread it out there, but also helps to control the narrative.”
“In Leonard Bernstein’s Harvard lectures, he said, I believe that the ﬁrst word uttered by humanity was not spoken, it was sung. For me that explains how there’s something in our DNA that’s hardwired for music—it’s something that we are inherently predisposed toward doing. I’m a re-creator, so I’m always trying to look at the world through other humans’ eyes. This week I’m working on Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, which is an incredible piece about letting go—it’s his last piece. And, of course, we’re having struggles here in Baltimore, it’s a tough city. There’s something about working on this piece with my musicians that’s empowering, because it’s a journey we can take together with our audience. I ﬁnd that music enables me at particularly difficult moments to open up to this world of possibility and sense of joy. Nothing else gives me that feeling.”
“You know what Lenin said about Beethoven— [Lenin] didn’t understand music’s transcendence, it was totally counterrevolutionary, and you had to stay away from music because it made you love people when you have to ﬁght. There have been so many times in my life when I’ve been listening to something and I just can’t believe that human beings are capable of this. It’s like, how could anybody conceive this? How could anyone plan this? There are critics who refuse to just lose themselves in it and surrender their critical faculties for a while and say, I’m so lucky to be on earth to be able to experience this now. What if I had been born 10 years earlier? I would have missed this. There are critics who would never express anything like that. Those are critics I loathe and detest. To be able to capture and build a world out of a song, a part of a song—that’s what it’s about for me.”
“When you’re young, music is evocative of a future and a promise, and when you’re an adult, it’s evocative of the past. Early rap music reminds me of that period when people basically hijacked electricity from lampposts and set up DJ systems in the public parks at night. Everybody went running. We would say, ‘They’re jammin’ in the park,’ which meant we were going to dance until the cops shut us down. It was just such a Brooklyn vibe of a certain time, mainly the ’80s and early ’90s, where you made your party wherever you could and used the tools you had. For me, it feels like the music of a revolution. People like Wu-Tang and Tupac were speaking about social justice and resistance. As a young person, I came to understand that not only were these rappers speaking to me, they were speaking to me about some work I needed to do to change the system.”
“I ﬁnished high school with all my net worth tied up in a stereo and CDs. I had music playing all the time in my room, and when a song came on that really meant a lot to me, my reaction was always the same. I put my chair in the middle of the room, turned off the lights, closed my eyes and would just be absorbed in the music to the point of wanting to turn off all my other senses so I could just focus only on that. One of the most amazing things about music and storytelling when done well is it enables the creator to almost take over the mind of the listener and present this almost out-of-body experience. It transfers an emotion and a sentiment and a feeling from one person to another. It enables the listener to feel something that was felt by the creator of that piece.”
“It used to be that I couldn’t leave the house without my headphones on, but now I really appreciate silence. For me it’s more interesting when I’m pulling music apart and it becomes more elemental. Music is composed, it’s sound arranged into melody and harmony, so I’m interested in deconstructing it. It can become sculptural and deﬁne the space you’re in. You might sing a really wellknown pop song, but when you strip it back to just the voice and leave spaces for instrumentation, it can become something completely different through gaps and silences. There’s that Emily Dickinson quote where she mentions a boy who sings to himself by the grave to keep himself company because he’s afraid. When I use my voice in my work, I want to evoke a sense of solitude. And I ﬁnd the songs you sing when you’re alone are melancholy songs.”
Petrović is the co-founder and CEO of Nura.
Philipsz is a Turner Prize– winning artist.
Fab 5 Freddy is a musician, artist, director and producer. His documentary, Grass Is Greener, was recently released on Netﬂix.
Alsop is the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra.
Marcus is an author, journalist and music critic.
Woodson is an author of novels and young adult literature. Her new book, Red at the Bone, is out in September.
WSJ. M AGA ZINE
SEP TEMBER 2019
the wsj. ямБve 1. THE SCARF Graphic patterns mirror a pulled-together piece. Celine by Hedi Slimane scarf.
REFLECTED GLORY The best accessories of the fall season offer ladylike looks with a twist. PHOTOGRAPHY BY BENJAMIN BOUCHET FASHION EDITOR LAURA STOLOFF
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2. THE HAT A tweed trilby that has the golden touch. Chanel hat.
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3. THE JEWELRY Cause a chain reaction with a matching set. Balenciaga necklace and bracelet.
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4. THE BAG Red-letter day with a structured purse. Bottega Veneta bag.
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5. THE BOOT A reďŹ ned take on motorcycleinspired style. Louis Vuitton boots. Prop styling, David de Quevedo. For details see Sources, page 182.
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BINX WALTON PHOTOGRAPHED BY JUERGEN TELLER
SEP TEMBER 2019
what’s news. TAKE FIVE Brands like Øblanc, Kirin, Ottolinger, Aries and Maisie Wilen are shaking up streetwear. From left: Øblanc clothing, Gap socks and Dr. Martens shoes; Kirin overalls, Re/Done x Hanes T-shirt, Vans sneakers and model’s own socks; Ottolinger clothing and The Row boots; Aries clothing and Converse sneakers; Maisie Wilen clothing and Raised by Wolves x Manitobah Mukluks shoes.
FEMALE FORWARD Streetwear by and for women is disrupting a category that has long focused on men’s silhouettes and sizing. BY JESSICA IREDALE PHOTOGRAPHY BY JODY ROGAC FASHION EDITOR LAURA STOLOFF
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STYLE FILE Below: Øblanc jacket and pants and Calvin Klein Underwear T-shirt. Models, Zwaan Bijl and Nastya Zakharova at The Society Management, Songhwa Oh at Muse Management, Nikita M’Bouroukounda at Ford Models, Thais Borges at Wilhelmina Models; hair, Fernando Torrent; makeup, Allie Smith. For details see Sources, page 182.
NEW WAVE Clockwise from below: Ottolinger clothing; Kirin overalls and jacket and Re/Done x Hanes T-shirt; Aries clothing and Converse sneakers; Maisie Wilen dress.
TREETWEAR’S mix of graphic T-shirts, athletic wear, utilitarian denim and status sneakers has become the toast of high fashion thanks to cult labels like Supreme, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White and Kanye West’s Yeezy. As a category, streetwear has long been male dominated, in both its key players and its sizing and tailoring. But a new crop of female designers is beginning to tip the scales, introducing ﬁts, colors and concepts on the feminine side of the spectrum. And these designers are getting recognition not just from customers but also from the industry powers that be, including LVMH, Adidas, Nike and West himself. Earlier this year West launched a fashion incubator offering ﬁnancial assistance and mentorship to young designers, and named Maisie Schloss its ﬁrst participant. Her womenswear label, Maisie Wilen, debuted in Los Angeles in June—a lineup of colorful pieces inspired by gymnastics outﬁts, along with paint-bynumber T-shirts and snakeskin-embossed separates. Schloss, who graduated from Parsons School of Design, was formerly a womenswear designer at Yeezy, where she caught West’s eye early. “He always really admired my style,” she says. Abloh, too, has been instrumental in the launch of a women’s streetwear line. After he saw a set by South Korean–born, Berlin-based DJ Peggy Gou, he encouraged her to meet with Milan’s New Guards Group, which counts Off-White, Heron Preston, Marcelo Burlon and Palm Angels among its brands. Gou studied at London College of Fashion and worked at the Korean edition of Harper’s Bazaar, but she had never considered designing. She launched her New Guards
label, Kirin, at Paris Fashion Week this past February. The line takes its cues from what Gou herself wants to wear, including printedpajama looks, redlatex trenches and robe dresses featuring haetae, Korean mythological creatures. “I noticed that if I was going to buy streetwear, it was all always men’s clothing,” says Gou. “I wanted to create the same vibe, but the female version.” When Olivia Oblanc founded her unisex collection Øblanc, right after she graduated from Parsons, in 2017, streetwear mecca VFiles—a New York City store and social-media platform known for its talentspotting—picked up the line almost right away. Shortly thereafter Adidas Originals came calling for a collaboration that dropped in 2018; a second collection is now in the works. Øblanc draws a customer base of mostly men, except for its jeans, which feature exaggerated lines and convertible silhouettes. “There is a strong middle ground for unisex clothing,” says the designer. “I don’t really see myself shifting [away from unisex], but I do want to create more feminine garments because I lack that.” Berlin-based Cosima Gadient and Christa Bösch employ techniques and fabrics that elevate their fouryear-old label Ottolinger beyond typical streetwear. “We don’t necessarily think of Ottolinger as a streetwear brand,” says Gadient, who met Bösch when
they were students at the Institute of Fashion Design in Basel, Switzerland. “But we do have a streetwear audience”— likely drawn to the brand’s denim, athletic and DIY references. The designers’ approach involves a certain amount of deconstruction: denim treated with a blowtorch, for example. And instead of sketching their designs, they use old-school draping techniques to construct everything. LVMH took notice of Gadient’s and Bösch’s talents last year, nominating Ottolinger for its 2018 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. Soﬁa Prantera is a veteran of the original ’90s streetwear boom. Back then, as a student at London’s Central Saint Martins, she found herself immersed in skate culture, working for Slam City Skates and, in 1995, starting her own street label with fellow Slam City alum Russell Waterman. In the ’00s, when the big brands began dominating the streetwear market and making hyper-girly fashions, Prantera lost interest and took a break. She got back into it in 2010, teaming up with Fergus Purcell, who did graphics for Palace Skateboards, on a luxury streetwear line for men and women. Even nine years ago, “streetwear was a bit of a dirty word,” says Prantera, who is now the sole designer of the brand, Aries. Hand dyeing, printing and repurposing are core features of Aries’ clothing, much of which is unisex. “For me, it’s always about designing for women like myself who don’t really care where they shop,” she says. “They might buy a men’s suit or a women’s bra.” WSJ. M AGA ZINE
Lazo Mini Bags, 2019
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MAJOR MEXICAN Masala y Maíz, the Mexico City restaurant that melds the ﬂavors of Mexico, East Africa and India, has a new home in the Colonia Juárez area. With the move, chef-owners Norma Listman and Saqib Keval are expanding their menu and adding a natural wine shop. The space adjoins the ﬂagship of fashion designer Carla Fernández, whose husband, artist Pedro Reyes, did the restaurant’s interiors, marking a full-circle return: The idea for Masala y Maíz arose from a dinner the chefs cooked at the couple’s home. —Fanny Singer
STAY CHIC The new Hotel Calimala, in Florence, occupies a Centro Storico building redesigned by Alex Meitlis, the interior architect of Yotam Ottolenghi’s restaurants. Meitlis’s husband, Ivo Bisignano, who has illustrated for Prada and Missoni, helped out by creating the rooms’ bold carpets. —Andrew Sessa
For details see Sources, page 182.
Gabriela Hearst’s Callas clutch was inspired by antique cigarette cases, but it’s meant to hold an entirely different vice. “It’s a play on the phone addiction of our society,” explains Hearst, who envisions the bag as a way to clear dinner tables of unsightly devices. For details see Sources, page 182.
SUNNY OUTLOOK EUROPEAN CO-WORKING AND EVENT SPACE SECOND HOME OPENS IN LOS ANGELES.
.A. IS ONE OF the most diverse cities in the world,” says Second Home co-founder Rohan Silva, “but there are still too many walls—too many barriers between different types of people, communities, industries.” These are the walls that he and business partner Sam Aldenton are seeking to break down with the new East Hollywood location of their workspace and cultural venue, which already has locations in London and Lisbon. Unlike Soho House and other membersonly clubs, Second Home offers spaces and cultural programming that are open to the public, with the aim of promoting diversity and creativity. In fact, it subsidizes rent for certain smaller community groups and nonproﬁts, curating an eclectic mix of tenants. Rejecting a corporate aesthetic, Second Home embraces the playful architecture of Spanish ﬁrm Selgascano, which has designed nearly all of its locations. (Second Home also recently brought Selgascano’s rainbowhued Serpentine Pavilion structure to L.A.’s La Brea Tar Pits.) Opening in September, Second Home L.A. occupies a 90,000-square-foot campus that’s home to a 1963 Paul Williams–designed building as well as Selgascano’s 60 yellow-roofed, oval-shaped studios that from the air look like a series of golden droplets. On the grounds, 6,500 new trees and plants are watered by a special retention system that captures rainfall. “[It’s] a million miles away from another glass cube,” Silva says. secondhome.io. —Christine Whitney
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BÓGAR ADAME MENDOZA; F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS; COURTESY OF SECOND HOME; F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS; UMBERTO D’ANIELLO
FOOD NE T WORK
Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix SelfWinding timepiece is a reinvention of the Swiss ﬁrm’s 6073 model from 1956. The watch’s vintage styling is paired with practical features like a stainless-steel band and water-resistant case.
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IN THE BOX Structured bags give shape to any outﬁt. For details see Sources, page 182. M O Y N A T
T HE M A RC JACOBS
ENRIETTA LOVELL travels with a handled
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case stocked with the tools of her trade. Inside are loose-leaf teas, ethically grown and personally sourced from some of the world’s remotest regions. In the 15 years since Lovell launched Rare Tea Company from her London apartment, her tasting case has helped earn her legions of fans among top hoteliers and chefs. Her teas are served at Claridge’s and at the Chiltern Firehouse hotels in London, at Noma in Copenhagen, at Momofuku Ssäm Bar and The Modern in New York City and at Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. “In the beginning René [Redzepi] said, ‘I love what you do...but we don’t sell any tea in Copenhagen. We’re Danes. We serve coffee,’” says Lovell, 48, of the Noma chef. “That’s what I heard in every restaurant. That was the norm back in 2004.” Lovell’s memoir, Infused, out in October, follows her struggles to build a new market among chefs for highquality tea as she shakes off the “golden handcuffs” of a decade-plus career at a ﬁnancial printing ﬁrm, launching her company just months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. “There was the possibility of adventures ahead,” she writes, of undergoing treatment for her illness. “There was tea.” Her adventures have taken her everywhere from the foothills of the Himalayas to the Shire Highlands of Malawi. She once brewed Chinese white peony while bobbing in an inﬂatable boat in the Norwegian Arctic as Noma’s shellﬁsh supplier dived for sea urchin. “The message of my book,” she says, “is take as much pleasure as possible from the things you can. You can have a really boring cup of tea, or you can have a really f—ing amazing one.” rareteacompany.com. —Jay Cheshes
M A RK CROSS
STUDY IN DE SIGN
Stockholm-based design store Svenskt Tenn, best known for its pieces enlivened by the playful prints of Josef Frank, has tapped Swedish illustrator Liselotte Watkins to do her ﬁrst collection of home goods for the brand. Named Via Sallustina, a nod to Watkins’s adopted home city of Rome, the series of trays, pillows, lamps and vases features her signature cubistinﬂected imagery done in a palette that recalls both midcentury Swedish ceramics and the colors of the Mediterranean. For details see Sources, page 182. WSJ. M AGA ZINE
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PAUL WINCH-FURNESS; F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS (BAGS); COURTESY OF SVENSKT TENN
GA BRIEL A HE A RS T
HENRIETTA LOVELL, WHO SPECIALIZES IN SOURCING RARE TEAS, PUBLISHES HER FIRST BOOK THIS FALL.
OSC A R DE L A REN TA
HER CUP OF TEA
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BR A NDON M A X W EL L
R A L P H L AUREN COL L EC T ION
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HE LEGEND of Francesca Woodman looms large, even 38 years after her death at age 22. The precocious photographer worked mostly in black-and-white, and her pictures—many of herself in strange and dramatic poses— still have a strong resonance for viewers, making them a go-to for representing the emotional landscape of young women. The daughter of artists Betty and George Woodman, she developed her skills at the Rhode Island School of Design and continued her practice for two years in New York. Then she died by suicide. This tragic death often obscures her work, something the new show Francesca Woodman: Portrait of a Reputation hopes to change. The exhibition opens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver on September 20, and an accompanying book is being co-published by Rizzoli. Some 50 unique and neverbefore-seen prints, from the trove of college friend George Lange, will be on view. “She was working
IN THE PICTURE Francesca Woodman’s self-portrait Untitled, Providence, Rhode Island, 1975–1976.
on a completely different level than anyone at RISD,” says Lange, a photographer himself. “She was already the real thing.” Woodman gave Lange many of the prints, and he kept them in a box for almost four decades. They aren’t pristine, and the ﬁ ngerprints and smudges give a sense of her process. “She’s a real person and not a mythic ﬁgure in this show,” says MCA curator Nora Burnett Abrams. “This rounds out our picture of her.” Burnett Abrams is also including some of Lange’s own pictures of Woodman in the exhibition. They show her at work, giving a small glimpse of a great artist developing her eye, but also relaxing at home, dancing and eating. “Though she’s revered, I felt that everything about her was overshadowed by how she died,” says Lange, who notes that her short life had a lot of joy in it. “You’ve never seen a picture of Francesca laughing, but I have a lot of them. This was a slice of the story that was not getting told.” mcadenver.org. —Ted Loos
MADE FOR WALKING Buckles, paisley and exotic skins add some glamour to fall’s easygoing ankle boots. From left: Brunello Cucinelli, Givenchy, Proenza Schouler, Etro, The Marc Jacobs and Paco Rabanne. For details see Sources, page 182.
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FROM TOP: FRANCESCA WOODMAN, UNTITLED, PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, 1975–1976. GELATIN SILVER PRINT, 10 X 8 INCHES. GEORGE LANGE COLLECTION. IMAGE COURTESY OF GEORGE LANGE © ESTATE OF FRANCESCA WOODMAN/CHARLES WOODMAN/ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NEW YORK; F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS (BOOTS)
A show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver reveals unseen prints of and by the late artist Francesca Woodman.
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BELT IT OUT
The fanny pack’s chicer cousin is a pretty and practical alternative to the classic purse.
IN THE MIDDLE Top, from left: Celine by Hedi Slimane bag, jacket, shirt and pants; Chanel bag and jacket, Max Mara top and Officine Générale pants. Center, from left: Chloé bag and top and Agnona jacket; Dior bag, jacket, shirt and skirt.
FROM THE HIP Left: Fendi bag, coat and shirt. Right: Hermès bag, belt, coat and turtleneck. Model, Rocio Marconi at Next Management; makeup, Maki Hasegawa; manicure, Yuko Tsuchihashi. For details see Sources, page 182. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOPHIE TAJAN STYLING BY LAURA STOLOFF
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T H E
LG α9 Gen2 Intelligent Processor
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ART INSPIRES TECHNOLOGY | TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES ART What is the essence of a television? To immerse viewers in a new world. To showcase mesmerizing beauty. To aesthetically elevate a space. The LG SIGNATURE OLED TV was designed to strip away the unnecessary, delivering an experience true to the essence and showcasing the culmination of LG’s most advanced technologies. Because everything has an essence, the art is in finding it. Find your essence at LGSIGNATURE.com
Included TV-to-AV Box cable is required for TV operation.
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BIGGE S T T IMEWA S T ING APP: T W EE T BOT.
NEWLY NINETIES Grunge-era plaids and combat boots get a 21st-century update.
C A SE: “CL E A R W I T H A ROSE- GOL D P OP SOCK E T.”
MICH A EL KORS COL L EC T ION
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: ALESSANDRA OLANOW/ILLUSTRATION DIVISION (PHONE ILLUSTRATION); MAGNIA/SHUTTERSTOCK (BACKGROUND); COURTESY OF MICHAEL KORS (MICHAEL KORS COLLECTION); COURTESY OF AGNONA (AGNONA); F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS (CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES)
HOME SCREEN IM AGE: “A SUNF LOW ER P IC I TOOK .”
The University of Houston professor, who writes and speaks on leadership and vulnerability, shares what’s on her phone. First app checked in the morning and last app checked at night Slack and Slack.
Times you try to stay off your phone Church, serious conversations and at the dinner table.
How long did your most recent phone call last and who was it with? One minute. My 14-year-old son.
Favorite podcasts Too many to name.
Siri user? No. My husband is Steve, so every time I say, “Hey, Steve!” the damn thing answers. Battery percentage at which you feel compelled to charge your phone 10 percentish. No extra battery. When it goes, I go. Most-used app Instagram. Favorite Instagram ﬁ lter Crema or Gingham, depending on my mood.
Most-watched entertainment app This is a game, but I love Heads Up! We play when we’re in long lines. Your most re-tweeted tweet “I BS you not!” announcing my Netﬂ ix special. Favorite food-related app Favor. Person you FaceTime most often My daughter in college. Favorite ﬁtness app Peloton Digital.
Funniest text message of the week A meme from my sisters showing a person being thrown ﬁve feet in the air off a tube pulled by a boat. The caption read: “Some of your parents never did this to you, and it shows.”
Favorite emoji Combination of heart and ﬁst and maybe rainbow.
Alarm setting Change it every day.
Craziest place you’ve left your phone On my bumper. And it stayed there.
VINTAGE VIBES Clockwise from top: Loro Piana coat; Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello sunglasses; Gucci shirt; Jimmy Choo boot; Isabel Marant trousers; Bottega Veneta bag; Salvatore Ferragamo scarf. For details see Sources, page 182.
Most-listened-to artist Johnny Cash.
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Inverter Linear Compressor
ART INSPIRES TECHNOLOGY | TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES ART In the LG SIGNATURE refrigerator, there is no such thing as a small detail — each feature is a testament to our high level of craftsmanship. By striving to perfect every element, the refrigerator stays true to its essence — keeping food fresh and at an optimal temperature, with consistently cold air. Because everything has an essence, the art is in finding it. Find your essence at LGSIGNATURE.com
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TO THE MAX For a decade, Max Mara has been producing its annual Atelier collection, a series of coats made with top-quality materials and sophisticated cuts. Laura Lusuardi, who has been with the label since 1964, is the mastermind behind the line. She sees Max Mara Atelier as a project of experimentation and research—into volume, proportion and materials. For the 12 styles in this year’s offering, she looked to the work of Italian artist Mimmo Paladino. “His art consists in retrieving archaic ﬁgures and reworking them in a contemporary way,” she says. “Max Mara Atelier takes inspiration from this way of understanding art. Which means retrieving iconic coats and creating something new.” 100
ALL GOOD THINGS FRENCH FRAGRANCE BRAND DIPTYQUE LAUNCHES BAZAR, A SELECTION OF CURATED OBJETS AND ACCESSORIES.
HIS FALL , the French fragrance house
Diptyque returns to its arts décoratifs roots with Bazar, a 350-strong collection of artisanal homewares that will be sold at a pop-up store opening September 4 on Paris’s rue Saint-Roch, then rolled out long-term next year. Before it became a popular purveyor of candles and scents, Diptyque began in 1961 as a Parisian interiors boutique, selling an eclectic pastiche of charming home goods, such as Lorraine glassware, Indian incense burners and Scottish throws, as well as the brand’s own fabric collection. “It was a concept store, before the time of concept stores—a destination to ﬁnd things you cannot ﬁnd elsewhere,” says Myriam Badault, the company’s director of international marketing and product creation, who spearheaded Bazar. For the debut selection, Badault has assembled an assortment of delights, many of them handmade or hand-ﬁnessed: rattan mirrors by Provence-based Atelier Vime, porcelain soap dishes from Milanese ﬁrm Laboratorio Paravicini, pajamas illustrated by the French artist Pierre Marie and pretty ceramic tableware by the Parisian painter Julien Colombier. “With all of the artists and creative people I’ve met over the past 10 years,” Badault says, “I just felt we had to do something.” diptyqueparis.com. —Alice Cavanagh WSJ. M AGA ZINE
FROM LEFT: MODEL, ROCIO MARCONI AT NEXT MANAGEMENT, HAIR BY BRAYDON NELSON, MAKEUP BY MAKI HASEGAWA, MANICURE BY YUKO TSUCHIHASHI; COURTESY OF DIPTYQUE
WRAP STAR Max Mara Atelier coat and Max Mara turtleneck. Photograph by Sophie Tajan; styling by Laura Stoloff. For details see Sources, page 182.
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Inverter Direct Drive Motor
ART INSPIRES TECHNOLOGY | TECHNOLOGY COMPLETES ART The task of a washing machine may be simple, but behind the cycles are intricate layers of technology, working together to clean your favorite clothes in the most effective, delicate way possible. Whether by precise control of the spin and water flow, or by being able to wash separate loads at the same time for various fabric needs, the LG SIGNATURE washer delivers an enhanced clean like no other. Because everything has an essence, the art is in finding it. Find your essence at LGSIGNATURE.com
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THE BE AUT Y OF
Beauty brands are focusing on reﬁllable, compostable and biodegradable packaging materials.
SENSE OF PLACE Above: Ezra Stoller: A Photographic History of Modern American Architecture. Below: Axel Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors. Center: Vincenzo de Cotiis: Works.
billion units of packaging every year. Almost one third of the garbage in U.S. landﬁlls is from containers and packaging. Statistics like these have inspired eco-conscious beauty brands to reconsider their packaging footprint. When Michelle Feeney started her fragrance line Floral Street, she applied the same principle to both her natural ingredients and her packaging: Everything is sustainably sourced. “[The box] leaves no trace, even if it does end up in a landﬁll,” she notes. Skin-care brand Ayond conducted a life-cycle assessment of its raw materials to help guide sourcing and disposal. “We developed a recycling program to handle packaging waste, not just from Ayond but from any other beauty brand,” says co-founder Shani Van Breukelen. Organic makeup brand Kjaer Weis and skin-care purveyor Follain were early adopters of the reﬁ llable model; recently, hair-color brand Bleach London has incorporated reﬁ llable glass bottles, and personal-care startup By Humankind has a reﬁ llable system for its deodorant, shampoo and mouthwash. But the biggest challenge for brands may not be cutting back on packaging, but cutting back period. “The beauty industry really needs to take a look at just how many products it produces,” says Feeney. —Fiorella Valdesolo
FLORAL STREET The brand’s boxes are made at a 160-yearold paper mill. “The package represents modern luxury in that it considers source, process and end of life,” Feeney says. ﬂoralstreet.com
BY HUMANKIND Subscribers to the brand’s three reﬁ llable products prevent about ﬁve pounds of single-use plastic from entering the environment over a yearlong period. byhumankind.com
AYOND The brand uses compostable cellophane wrapping and paper that is 100 percent post–consumer waste. In addition, labeling is minimal to encourage packaging reuse. ayond.us
LIVING SOUL Above: A spread showing marble bath ﬁ xtures, from Locatelli Partners: Dialogues: Architecture Interiors Design; the book’s cover. Below: A spread from Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture featuring a home in Brussels; the book’s cover.
BUY THE BOOK
WATCH THIS SPACE In Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture, the designer writes, “I enjoy houses the way other people enjoy writing.” Those who feel the same can look forward to a range of design-focused books coming out this fall, from Ezra Stoller’s midcentury photographs of iconic buildings to the elegant interiors and furnishings of Milan-based ﬁrm Locatelli Partners.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: IRISH_DESIGN/SHUTTERSTOCK; F. MARTIN RAMIN, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS (BOOKS AND PRODUCTS)
HE GLOBAL COSMETICS INDUSTRY produces 120
JE WELRY BOX
SUGAR HIGH Harry Winston’s one-of-a-kind cocktail rings show their candy colors.
Harry Winston was often called the “king of diamonds,” but the New York jeweler had an eye for colored stones as well. A series of midcentury sketches from his ﬁrm’s archives features gems as bright and bold as ring pops. These drawings have inspired Winston Candy, a collection of one-off rings anchored by lollysize jewels, from a tsavorite garnet (top) to a pink spinel (far left) to a Paraiba tourmaline (near left). Around each stone is a scattering of smaller, bonbonlike sapphires, aquamarines, rubies and, of course, diamonds. For details see Sources, page 182. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN STEIN FASHION EDITOR LAURA STOLOFF PROP STYLING BY MARGARET MACMILLAN JONES
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Minneapolis’s former warehouse district is now ﬁlled with high-style shops and restaurants.
MIDWESTERN CHARM Above: The dining room at the Bachelor Farmer. Right: City views from Hewing Hotel’s rooftop pool.
The Bachelor Farmer Blending foraged ingredients with expert technique, this dining spot serves dishes like shaved-pork pastrami and pickled strawberries. thebachelorfarmer.com
MINNESOTA WINS Above: A banquette at Spoon and Stable. Left: The wares at women’s fashion boutique Parc.
FROM THE HEARTLAND Right: The Oliveto, a cocktail at Marvel Bar. Below: Stationery store Russell+Hazel.
D.Nolo This designer collective offers modern classics such as Pas de Calais coats and Jonathan Simkhai dresses. dnolo.com
Hewing Hotel A century-old warehouse is now a 124-room hotel showcasing Minnesota-modern design, including a cedar sauna. hewinghotel.com The Lab Theater Experimental performance, from opera to burlesque to ﬂamenco, is the focus at this intimate space. thelabtheater.org MartinPatrick3 This men’s emporium also offers interior design services—which explains the mix of Ligne Roset sofas, Billy Reid tweeds and M.Cohen bracelets. martinpatrick3.com Marvel Bar Tucked below the Bachelor Farmer, this speakeasy serves craft cocktails alongside its signature snack, Cheetos. marvelbar.com Parc Gap alum Thao Nguyen stocks Canadian jewelry, French barrettes and Spanish shoes at her tightly curated women’s boutique. parcboutique.com Russell+Hazel Pick up colorful notebooks, Swiss-made pencils and Sandqvist bags at this stationery brand’s ﬂagship. russellandhazel.com
LOCAL DRESS Above: A selection of menswear at MartinPatrick3.
Spoon and Stable James Beard Award–winning chef Gavin Kaysen has turned an old stable into a destination for elevated comfort food. spoonandstable.com. —Sara Clemence
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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF THE BACHELOR FARMER; COURTESY OF HEWING HOTEL; BONJWING LEE; COURTESY OF MARVEL BAR; SPACECRAFTING; COURTESY OF RUSSELL+HAZEL; WING HO/CANARY GREY PHOTOGRAPHY
CLEANUP CREW A Bally-sponsored effort this May helped rid Mount Everest of litter as part of its Peak Outlook initiative.
THE SHIF T
GOING TO EXTREMES Luxury brands are looking to the ends of the earth, from the depths of the South Paciﬁc to the peak of Mount Everest, to set their companies apart. BY NAT IVES
HIS SPRING, the Swiss fashion house Bally
sponsored a mission to remove garbage from the slopes of Mount Everest, even in the so-called Death Zone above 26,000 feet. In September, Italian watch manufacturer Panerai will take about 15 customers diving off the island of Moorea in French Polynesia, hoping to catch sight of whales. And from August through December, the Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen will underwrite a round-the-world ﬂight for a restored Spitﬁre airplane that ﬁrst went into production in 1943. “The Spitﬁre is a short-range propeller aircraft without a pressurized cabin, modern communication or heated elements,” notes IWC Schaffhausen chief executive officer Christoph Grainger-Herr. What happened to the lap of luxury? Premium marketers have been compelled to look beyond traditional advertising, driven in part by consumers’ desire for brands with a sense of mission.
The Spitﬁre circumnavigation could help IWC Schaffhausen differentiate itself from its competitors, according to Heidi Hovland, chief executive officer at the communications agency Devries Global. She points out that luxury watchmakers all make similar claims of precision craftsmanship and brand legacy. “The Spitﬁre—that’s an example of a brand that is taking what it has in common with other brands and making it meaningful,” she says. IWC is selling a timepiece tied to the project, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Spitﬁre Edition “The Longest Flight,” for $12,400. It allows wearers to use the bezel to set a new time zone without stopping the watch’s movement. The Spitﬁre pilots will wear it during their journey, according to the company. Rareﬁed land, air and sea environments ﬁt luxury marketers’ ambition to project an aura of exclusivity. None of these brands are cleaning up Times Square, after all, or crossing the country in an Amtrak train. Panerai’s Moorea dive has added another layer: It’s open only to the 15 or so people in the world who snagged a particular special-edition watch named for champion free diver Guillaume Néry. (The price for the watch plus the dive: $40,000.) “They need to ﬁnd a way that has the same rarity as the watch itself,” says Queenie Lo, chief executive officer at FutureBrand UXUS, a design agency with a focus on customer experiences. Panerai has announced two other upcoming expeditions, a training experience with the Italian Navy’s Comsubin special forces and a glacier excursion in Svalbard, Norway. The company continues to spend money on traditional and digital advertising, says Jean-Marc Pontroué, Panerai’s chief executive. “These experiences are not really advertising,” he says. “They are meant to make sure customers understand the brand on a different level.” Bally says its Everest cleanup, part of Peak Outlook, its new long-term initiative aimed at preserving mountain environments, is not about marketing. “With an ever-increasing number of trekkers, we have felt that there was a requirement at the end to help clean up these mountains,” says Bally CEO Nicolas Girotto. “And because these environments are linked to our history, we felt it was natural for us to support such initiatives.” Bally sponsored a Swiss expedition in 1947 to climb Mount Everest, supplying footwear that it says famed Nepali climber and guide Tenzing Norgay also wore during the ﬁrst successful summit with Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. For consumers, the most visible sign of the highaltitude cleanup may be the associated capsule collections, like a $130 “No Mountain High Enough” T-shirt released in July, from which Bally will use the net proceeds to help fund further Peak Outlook work. Girotto says he doesn’t expect any business return from the company’s spending on Peak Outlook. “Brands like Bally must have a purpose beyond proﬁt,” he says. Of course, many consumers might say the same thing. “It is connecting through values,” says Hovland, the Devries Global CEO. “It’s extreme marketing, but it’s not extreme for its own sake.” WSJ. M AGA ZINE
SAMIR JUNG THAPA
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We are L148. #WeAreNewYork Discover Fall 2019 at lafayette148ny.com
Visit the new Madison Avenue Flagship | 956 Madison Avenue | 148 Lafayette Street | 423 Broome Street | Brickell City Centre | South Coast Plaza | Tysons Galleria
SEP TEMBER 2019
market report. BOUGIE NIGHTS The discreet charm of the ’70s makes an appearance in this season’s tailored skirts and tweeds.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEN CAREY STYLING BY ALEXANDRA CARL
SUIT LIFE Checks and squaretoed loafers are a sharp look. From left: Loewe feathered cape, No. 21 shirt, Oscar de la Renta pants and Chloé shoes; Givenchy suit, turtleneck and belt, Marc Jacobs shoes and Falke socks; Maison Margiela jacket and belt, Etro skirt and Loewe shoes.
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SHEAR BLISS A soft, supple coat will warm things up. From left: Hermès jacket, JW Anderson top, Peter Do pants and Alighieri earring; Chloé jacket and pants; Celine by Hedi Slimane jacket, sweater and skirt, Falke socks and Marc Jacobs shoes.
CARPET DIEM Trench coats rise to the next level. From left: Sportmax coat, Gabriela Hearst skirt, Proenza Schouler boots and Givenchy bag; Bottega Veneta coat, Max Mara sweater, Brunello Cucinelli skirt, Falke socks and Maryam Nassir Zadeh shoes; Todâ€™s coat, Lanvin pants, Marc Jacobs shoes and Jil Sander bag.
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FRONT RUNNERS Skirt suits are back in power mode. From left: Carolina Herrera jacket and top, Marni skirt and Marc Jacobs shoes; Bottega Veneta jacket, M Missoni top, Tibi shorts and Marni bag.
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OLIVE HUE SO MUCH A color thatâ€™s new to the canon of classics. From left: Rejina Pyo jacket, Loewe shirt and Ulla Johnson pants; Akris coat, Peter Do shirt and Bottega Veneta skirt.
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MELLOW YELLOW Cheer up any chore with a pop of sunshine. Left: Stella McCartney dress, Falke socks and Loewe shoes. Above, from left: Max Mara jacket, Lemaire shirt, Joseph pants, Marc Jacobs shoes and Mansur Gavriel bag; Miu Miu cape, Boss dress with scarf and ChloĂŠ shoes.
TWEEDY PIE Get straight As this fall by turning tradition on its head. From left; Lanvin coat, Sportmax top, Alighieri earring and Proenza Schouler boots; Michael Kors Collection coat, Acne Studios belt and Jil Sander bags; Khaite coat, Bottega Veneta sweater, Emporio Armani shorts and Givenchy bag. Models, Irene Guarenas at Girl Mgmt, Ning Jinyi at Viva Model Management Paris, Kathia Nseke at New Madison Models; hair, David Harborow; makeup, Megumi Zlatoff; set design, Sophear. For details see Sources, page 182.
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l, na so er rp Fo Classical Elegance. Contemporary Luxuries. Designed by Deborah Berke Partners, 40 East End is a new boutique condominium enlivened with every contemporary luxury. Timelessness, delivered at just the right time.
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SEP TEMBER 2019
UE Y. NABI begins her day with a glass of
kombucha tea and a stroll through London’s Hyde Park to the Knightsbridge tube station. Nabi, who co-founded the vegan skin-care line Orveda in 2014, once led a very different life as an executive at L’Oréal Group in Paris, where she worked for 20 years, becoming president of L’Oréal Paris in 2005 and president of Lancôme in 2009. She traveled for two weeks of every month, ate a high-carb diet and took painkillers (to quell migraines) and sleeping pills (to counteract jet lag) on a regular basis. Nabi also experimented with numerous beauty procedures, from Botox to lasers, microneedling and ﬁllers. “I loved it. It was part of my job,” she says. One impetus for creating a vegan, biotechnologydriven beauty brand was Nabi’s personal desire for a calmer, more holistic lifestyle, so she left the corporate world in Paris for the startup scene in London. Nabi and her co-founder and investor, music producer and manager Nicolas Vu, identiﬁed vegan skin care as an opportunity. “Everyone was talking about the microbiome as the next big thing, and we wanted Orveda to be a pioneer,” says Nabi, who has a degree in engineering with a focus on agronomy and a master’s in marketing management. “The skin is a fragile ecosystem.... The surface of the skin is made of natural oils, dead skin cells, sebum and living bacteria. [People] use harsh exfoliates that strip that natural barrier.” Following three years of development, Orveda was launched in 2017 at Harvey Nichols in London with 17 unisex products. Many of the ingredients are generated through biotechnology, with a core of marine enzymes, natural prebiotics and kombucha. “We said no to plastic, animal ingredients, sulfate, soap, mineral oils,” says Nabi. “Fermentation is about creating sustainable molecules.” Nabi grew up in Algiers, Algeria, and speaks French, Arabic and English. When she ﬁrst joined L’Oréal, she was a traveling sales rep for Jacques Dessange hair products, driving around the south of France and launching the line with supermarkets there. Her aptitude for both science and marketing made her a force, and she quickly rose through the ranks, achieving double-digit growth for Lancôme and winning over 100 industry awards along the way. Today, Nabi, 51, works from an office in Vauxhall with a small team. She is good friends with fashion designers Alber Elbaz, Riccardo Tisci and Giambattista Valli as well as with Vu and his children. Next year sees the opening of the ﬁrst Orveda counter in Paris at La Samaritaine department store, the launch of spa services in two new Parisian hotels, and additional research and development into ecofriendly SPF products. “I try moving the mind-set from looking younger to looking good at every age. You cannot look 20 at age 50,” Nabi says. “The best of you at every age is the most modern idea.” >
SUE Y. NABI The former L’Oréal executive has forged a new life in London, where she co-founded vegan skin-care brand Orveda. BY HARRIET QUICK PHOTOGRAPHY BY HARRY MITCHELL
WSJ. M AGA ZINE
T R ACK ED
T HE E XCH A NGE
Nabi’s weekly vinyasa yoga session at her Knightsbridge apartment.
days The portion of each week when Nabi fasts intermittently, skipping lunch or dinner.
Talking to business partner Nicolas Vu on her morning walk to the office. Vu and Nabi met in 2001 at a friend’s party.
The Orveda counter at Harvey Nichols displays a silicone face mask and glass-bottled formulas.
Nabi and Orveda’s head of visuals at the V&A Museum.
The average spend on orveda.com. Prices range from $89 for the Eye Duo to $410 for the Rich Brew Botanical Cream.
years old The age at which Nabi became CEO of L’Oréal Paris. She was the youngest CEO in L’Oréal international brand history.
science-ﬁction novels The number Nabi reads per year. She buys French-language editions.
3,000 people The audience at the 2019 Love 4 All festival in Mexico, where Nabi spoke on “The Power of Difference.”
of sales The proportion of Orveda products purchased by customers either before or after a surgical procedure.
3,500 samples The fragrance variations tested by Nabi and perfumer Olivier Polge when creating Lancôme’s best-selling La Vie Est Belle.
5:26 p.m. 3:03 p.m.
Testing the treatment procedure for the new Biotic-Full Eyes Duo product at the office.
Nabi does a four-minute cryotherapy session in a subzero chamber.
employees Full-time staff employed at Orveda.
10,000 bristles The composition of an Orveda kabuki brush. WSJ. M AGA ZINE
OCEANFRONT TWO-STORY CABANAS
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T HE E XCH A NGE
BY SARAH MEDFORD PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON
Fernando Santangelo—whose aesthetic Bette Midler describes as witty and well-informed—turns his decorator’s eye to his own apartment in a Chelsea brownstone.
BEAUTY, COLOR, LINE
unknown number, consider the case of Fernando Santangelo. On a spring day early in his career, an unidentiﬁed man rang his office in New York and explained that his wife had just been to the Chateau Marmont, the fantasy Frenchrevival castle–turned-hotel on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, and admired the coquettish lampshades Santangelo had made for the lobby. She’d asked the front desk for his number, which they provided. Would he be willing to meet? Before autumn rolled around, the designer was coming up with shades, lamps and furnishings to outﬁt a triplex on Central Park for his new client: Bette Midler. She calls him the King of Lamps. He calls her “a great design addict who loves books. I think she feels a kinship with all artists and creative people.” Santangelo’s experience with Midler, back when he was in his early 30s, boosted his public proﬁle as a decorator, but his brush with stardom had little impact on the way he operates. At 56, he still works out of a small office in Manhattan’s Flatiron District and walks home to a modest rental, the latest being a one-bedroom apartment on the parlor ﬂoor of a brownstone in Chelsea. Santangelo has skipped from one set of rooms to another since moving to the city from Uruguay at 18, in thrall to the joys of serial decorating. And having convinced himself that he could never afford to buy what he covets, he’s also mastered the sort of workarounds that help him feel at home without a big outlay of cash: a makeshift bedroom, blousy draperies to hide a Fatal Attraction kitchen, a DIY paint job. The handmade settings enhance the more elevated treasure he brings in, a trick he learned from his early days dressing some of the city’s high-concept nightclubs, including M.K. and the underground cabaret known as Fez. In early 2018, the designer was lured to his current building—a mid-19th-century townhouse that had somehow escaped major renovations—by its Italianate detailing and gentle desuetude. His biggest effort, beyond painting, was to uncover an archway between the two airy parlor rooms that had been wallboarded over. He sniffed around at examples of other mid-Victorian houses for stylistic cues but admits that no urbane Victorian would ever have painted the walls of the front parlor a patchy cypress he calls “dead green” or installed twin sectionals. After work, he often lies across the one closer to the window and tunes in to NPR or the BBC on the radio. “I don’t like to play music; it drives me a little crazy,” he says before dropping down into one of the sofas, covered, like its twin, in a murky velvet slightly warmer than the wall color. “But I love the sound of voices. I could listen to that forever.” “Fernando is like an old lady—I tease him about it all the time,” says the New York design dealer Cristina Grajales, who worked out of the same loft building in SoHo for more than a decade and has become a friend. The two collaborated on two successive interior design projects for Sandy Hill, the ex-mountain-climbing socialite. “He is really an old soul,” she adds. “He’s able to capture the past—and
HE NEXT TIME YOU ignore a call from an
DE SIGNER DIGS
TIME OUT Original details and a bust of Nefertiti highlight Santangelo’s hushed front parlor.
LOST AND FOUND Clockwise from above: Czech glass lighting and a 19th-century portrait in the rear parlor; Santangelo; Shiva watches over the bedroom; khadi silk curtains echo the color palette of a landscape painting.
look to history. Not everyone is doing that.” Santangelo’s apartment shares a bit of the unplaceable European languor of the Chateau Marmont, a project he’s had a hand in (with a shortlist of other designers since the early 1990s) after its purchase by André Balazs. The hotelier attributes Santangelo’s genius for creating lost-in-time narratives to his upbringing in Montevideo. “It’s like coming from old Havana,” Balazs says. “It’s a long-forgotten sophistication and aesthetic code—a mashup of colonialism and different tastes from different cultures.” The two have gone down countless decorating rabbit holes over the years on Balazs’s personal as well as public projects. “Fernando has no classical training in any of the decorative arts, but he has an intuitive eye that I ﬁnd so ﬂexible,” he adds. “I’ve found myself working with him on almost everything—even if it was primarily created by someone else.” In the Chelsea apartment, Santangelo indulged his fondness for oddball antiques and the chiaroscuro lighting effects that lend a churchy atmosphere to the dark suite of rooms. A burly grandfather clock, a half-upholstered armchair and a standing lamp
with a pagoda shade (his addition) all date to a micro-period in early-20th-century Germany when fairy-tale motifs met art deco; the remix delights him. “I got all these from my friend Markus Winter in Brooklyn because he was closing shop,” the designer says. “He was like, ‘I want to be a healer now, not a dealer.’ So I scored some really good deals.” Though stillness is the prevailing mood, a lively conversation is taking place between objects and eras. A chipped plaster bust of Queen Nefertiti, one of Santangelo’s prized possessions, beckons from the front room. Beneath the lofty, paint-caked moldings of the rear parlor, an anonymous 19th-century gentleman’s portrait hangs beside an Eastlake bibelot cabinet crammed with tiny ﬁgurines. In Santangelo’s bedroom, Shiva the destroyer peers down from the wall with glacial calm, his neck and topknot encircled by asps. The room’s curtains are made from nubby bronze khadi silk the designer bought in Mumbai. “They move from apartment to apartment with me,” he explains. “At the end, I’ll say, ‘Can you just wrap me up in the curtains?’” Darkness and light go hand in hand for Santangelo, in life and in decorating. He jokes that his style falls
“somewhere between a funeral parlor and a fortuneteller,” and his most adventuresome clients pick their poison. For ﬁlm director James Oakley, the designer created a sepulchral living space in Greenwich Village where panels of onyx replaced glass in the kitchen windows. For Midler’s Fifth Avenue penthouse, he layered slightly witchy Viennese antiques with Swedish painted chairs, English carpets awash in art deco ﬂowers and lanterns shrouded in vintage kimono silk. She’s called the beguiling result gemütlich. “Fernando’s work is witty, well-informed and not stodgy in the least,” Midler says via text message. “We all love the eccentric and the handmade, and his work reﬂects those loves. We don’t care for provenance, we only care for beauty, color and line.” To that list, Santangelo would add surfaces. He— and Midler—have an obsession with them, he says, because “that’s where you see age and truth. I’m happy leaving the crust.” Convincing clients to do the same is a challenge, but he tries. “We keep it at a certain level of nondesign,” he says of his ﬁrm’s work. “It’s my specialty and non-asset. I’m totally ﬁne with that.” Over lunch at a diner near his office, he talks about his latest projects—a townhouse in Greenwich Village, a new hotel on the Lower East Side, another upstate for Balazs. And yet there are days when he second-guesses some of the choices he’s made since moving to New York 38 years ago—such as never apprenticing with a major interior designer. “David Easton, I think I should have worked for him,” Santangelo says, referring to the courtly classicist behind new-money manor houses in Connecticut and Virginia hunt country. “You learn so much, and you’re witnessing how it all moves. I think I missed that. If I could be 25 again, I think I would say, Oh, I should just do an internship.” WSJ. M AGA ZINE
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FALL BACK More can be more, as with this saturated moment amid Franz West pieces at Viennaâ€™s MAK museum. ChloĂŠ dress, Oscar de la Renta necklace, Wolford tights and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.
CHECK, PLEASE The strict elegance of the turn-of-the-century Loos Bar calls for a shot of black-and-white, straight up. Chanel coat, jacket and trousers, Gucci shirt and Dolce & Gabbana shoes.
Take a glamorous journey through the art nouveau landmarks of Austriaâ€™s capital, with clothes that are as striking as their surroundings.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ETHAN JAMES GREEN STYLING BY ANASTASIA BARBIERI
ly . co Fo m rp m e er rs ci on al a us l, e on no nCAFE SOCIETY A cape is an easy way to create drama. Celine by Hedi Slimane cape, shirt, pants and belt. Opposite: Alexander McQueen dress, Erdem hat and gloves by Gaspar Gloves.
ly . co Fo m rp m e er rs ci on al a us l, e on no nLE SMOKING SECTION Masculine has never looked so feminine as at gentleman’s outﬁtter Knize. Ralph Lauren Collection jumpsuit and coat. Opposite: Dolce & Gabbana jacket, shirt, vest, tie, pants and shoes.
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COCKTAIL HOUR Outﬁts that can go anywhere—since it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere. This spread, from right: Balenciaga coat and Paco Rabanne dress; Loden-Plankl shirt and jacket and Giorgio Armani trousers; Yohji Yamamoto shirt and skirt and Erdem hat.
l, na so er Fo rp LANGUOR GIRL Echoes of Gustav Klimt shine through these glittering gowns. Michael Kors Collection dress and hat, Louis Vuitton belt and gloves by Gaspar Gloves. Opposite: Giorgio Armani dress and hat and Catherine Osti collar.
l, na so er Fo rp ECCENTRIC SHOCK A pleated collar, a fascinating hatâ€” statement accessories bring new to the old. Gucci dress and gloves, Alberta Ferretti earrings, Wolford tights and Manolo Blahnik shoes. Opposite: Bottega Veneta shirt, Gucci trousers, Michael Kors Collection hat and Charvet suspenders. 136
DIVAN INSPIRATION Don an arty ensemble to take in Franz West’s vibrant couches on view in the MAK museum. Loewe coat, shirt, skirt and shoes, Dary’s necklace and Wolford tights.
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TIED UP Perusing the wares at fabric merchant Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe. Burberry coat with attached scarf and Loden-Plankl shirt and hat. Opposite: Fendi jacket and shirt. 141
l, na so er Fo rp BASKING BEAUTY Step into transcendent dreams with patterned pieces. Balenciaga coat. Opposite: Paco Rabanne dress, Loewe headband and Daryâ€™s ring. Models, Iris Strubegger at Women Management, Christine M. and Katja P. at Das Deck Casting; hair, Shon Hyungsun Ju; makeup, Miranda Joyce; manicure, Alice Retzl; set design, Julia Wagner. For details see Sources, page 182.
SCENTS OF OCCASION
At the helm of Celine, the iconoclastic Hedi Slimane is launching the French fashion house’s ﬁrst fragrance collection, which will feature 11 original scents, with names like Reptile and Nightclubbing. BY CHANDLER BURR PORTRAIT BY HENRY TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY BY PHILIPPE LACOMBE
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST Hedi Slimane as captured in a new painting by the artist Henry Taylor. Says Slimane, “This Haute Parfumerie collection is probably the most intimate and personal part of my overall creative project at Celine.”
“THE CONTROVERSIES...THAT I HAVE OFTEN PROVOKED IN SPITE OF MYSELF HAVE NEVER INFLUENCED ME. A STYLE IS CONSTRUCTED OVER TIME, BY MY BEING OBSESSIVE.” —HEDI SLIMANE
BOTTLE ROCKET In designing the perfume’s glass bottle, Slimane aimed for French classicism with modern touches such as a faceted black lacquer top.
HEN ONE HAS newly embarked on building an empire-withinan-empire, as Hedi Slimane did last year at Celine, it is helpful to have already had some experience with creating fragrances. Directing a perfumer in the creation of a perfume is unlike directing anything else in the world. But Slimane had prepped for this role, to a great extent without really consciously preparing for it at all. He was born in 1968 in Paris’s 19th arrondissement to an Italian mother and a Tunisian father. At age 11, Slimane got his ﬁrst camera and learned to develop
black-and-white ﬁlm. As a teenager, he started, with no particular goal in mind, making his own clothes, then with the same philosophy got an art history degree from the École du Louvre. He decided to be a journalist, then decided not to. And then, at age 28, Yves Saint Laurent CEO Pierre Bergé tapped him as the menswear designer for the house. That was pretty much that. Slimane works on his own terms. He is one of the fashion world’s most powerful, if at the same time hyperprivate, ﬁgures. When he decided to leave YSL in 2000, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault hired him for the ﬁrst time as Dior’s menswear designer. He left Dior in 2007 to become a full-time photographer (in black-and-white, naturally). In 2012 he went back to his ﬁrst label, again on his own terms—he changed its name to Saint Laurent, its design studio to Los Angeles, a city he had adopted and where he photographed musicians and surfers. In January 2018, he became the artistic, creative and image director of Celine. He began, more or less immediately, working on the idea of fragrance. The brand had no perfumes. Slimane has now given it 11, collected under the name Haute Parfumerie, with nine coming this fall and two in 2020. (He previously launched Celine menswear for the ﬁrst time and announced his plans to debut a made-tomeasure collection.) Slimane had worked powerful sales magic at Dior and Saint Laurent, and no brand breaks the top ﬁnancial ranks without a scent. At Dior, he creative-directed his ﬁrst fragrances, producing four aesthetically challenging and technically perfect scent works. For Celine, he is building a mini-temple to his fragrances, in the form of a dedicated perfume shop on Paris’s rue Saint-Honoré. The scents, which start at $220 for 100 ml, will also be available from the brand’s boutiques and website. Slimane’s 11 Celine scents constitute a single work of contemporary art made in the medium of scent. Slimane’s concepts are wildly variegated. While he says he seeks to evoke Paris in different ways, the perfumes are internationalist in style, all fascinatingly unplaceable. The method is cerebral, and above all it requires that one approach and understand it on its own terms. Here, by emailed correspondence, he tells WSJ.
Magazine about his inspirations, his controversies and his thoughts on the tides of fashion. Chandler Burr is a perfume critic, the author of The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York and a curator of olfactory art. Chandler Burr: What does perfume mean to you on a personal level, in your past and in your current life? Was it important in your family? Hedi Slimane: In all likelihood, my fascination for perfume began at the age of 11 with the discovery of Caron and Guerlain. Still, I remember the captivating impression left on me as a child by Mediterranean gardens, the scent of ﬁg trees and lavender. I grew up in Paris in the ’70s and ’80s. The culture of perfume was at its peak. For me it was a promise of luxury, the discovery of a mythology nourished by great advertising talents. I was fascinated by crystal and the lines of the bottles. Finally the door was slightly opening onto my life as a couturier—something, no doubt, I sensed instinctively. CB: Why was it important to you to introduce a perfume collection as one of your ﬁrst works of creation at Celine? HS: The olfactory dimension of the holistic project that I conceived for the maison seemed essential to me. I could not possibly imagine the fashion project outside an olfactory deﬁnition and ethereal landscape. It helped me to deﬁne the very notion of a couture house but also to deﬁne my characters, women and men, to get an inkling of their psychology, their temperament, in the end to reposition the roots of the French spirit speciﬁc to Celine. I began to conceive this collection of perfumes during my ﬁrst days at Celine. I worked on them tirelessly every day and enjoyed every moment. This Haute Parfumerie collection is probably the most intimate and personal part of my overall creative project at Celine. CB: Why, instead of launching a single pillar, did you decide on 11 perfumes for the collection? HS: Fragrance is a totally new chapter for Celine. It seemed important to me to deﬁne its foundations, a distinct and meaningful olfactory universe and semantics. It was also about showing all the aspects of my characters and constructing a faceted
and contrasted collection. I achieved a balance with 11 juices, a collection of great luxury like a declaration of intent, of fundamentals. Lastly, this almost outmoded notion of haute parfumerie is no doubt a return to a tradition that I have always loved, the quintessence of French taste, like haute couture is to fashion, olfactory compositions of the ﬁnest quality. CB: More than any other recent collection, Haute Parfumerie is arguably a single work. One always contextualizes works of art vis-à-vis each other, and while each of the individual works stands on its own, it is also true that experiencing Parade and Dans Paris means one understands Reptile and Bois Dormant—and, ultimately, the Haute Parfumerie collection as a whole—much more deeply, like a series of related novels, photographs or symphonic movements. Did you consciously choose to create works that, understood together, form something greater than its individual parts? HS: That’s exactly it. Although each of the perfumes has a personality, a uniqueness, a singular trail and patina, in this Haute Parfumerie project for Celine there is the idea of deﬁning my style as well as a crossways olfactory tone. It’s absolutely fundamental to ﬁnd an identiﬁable and shared writing. Here, each perfume participates in an olfactory ensemble and reinforces the collection’s architecture. This stylistically coherent work is deliberately and naturally a transposition of my style of fashion and photography into the world of perfumes. Furthermore, I have always been part of the forgotten tradition of couturiers parfumeurs, codifying my olfactory semantics since my years at Dior. CB: Postmodernism has made the title integral to the work of art. A paradigmatic example: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe,” by Magritte. Your titles can often seem postmodernist. One example: With Cologne Française you took the hyperspeciﬁc cologne equation—citrus (peel oils of grapefruit, bitter orange, lemon, orange blossom leaf, etc.) and aromatic (rosemary, thyme, etc.)—and deformed it. Where cologne is crystalline, light and cool, Cologne Française is shadowed, dappled and warm. Where cologne is bitter and sharp, yours is sweet and soft. Was it your intention to subvert or reinvent the form? HS: I started to work on the historicism of eau de cologne when, in 2004, I created one of the very ﬁrst
collections of private perfumes for Dior. At the time, I cared deeply about this very personal project, and I revisited the tradition of colognes with three of my creations: Cologne Blanche, Eau Noire and Bois d’Argent, now a classic at Dior that really makes me happy. Then I was interested in a kind of orthodoxy in the compositions. For Celine’s Cologne Française, on the contrary, I created a trompe l’oeil classicism, taking a subversive road by introducing desire, instead of and in place of the innocent freshness of colognes, by reversing the notion of gender, a kind of femininity and softness in contradiction with a masculine olfactory structure. Through Cologne Française, Dans Paris, SaintGermain-des-Prés and especially Parade, I pursued a form of French olfactory identity, simultaneously exclusive and extremely codiﬁed. Here, there is a sense of ritual, of transmission, beyond any temporality, a form of purely French neoclassicism. CB: Reptile is a masterwork. In one way, it is completely clear: It is the scents of black pepper and crystal meth. A fragrance at once edible and thrillingly poisonous. But this reptile—this guy before us in a python jacket and toting a gun—is strangely softspoken, gentle, a disconcerting contradiction given his exterior. Did you intend Reptile to be an opaque, dangerous-looking, vulnerable-feeling man in liquid form? HS: I created Reptile for my musician friends. Besides, I had this name and project in mind for a very long time. This singular perfume is a noir and glittering olfactory kaleidoscope of all the rock stars that I have photographed and dressed for the stage over the past 25 years. I am thinking about the dark and reptilian glamour of Lou Reed, the wiry body and sparkling charisma of Iggy Pop or Keith Richards’s effortless sophistication and elegance. There is also the memory of [Jean] des Esseintes, [Joris-Karl] Huysmans’s decadent and theatrical hero in the book À Rebours. From an olfactory viewpoint, Reptile starts with an elegant top note, while immoral and poisonous notes build in, leaving an addictive patina smelling of powder, incense, stardust and glitter. Finally, I selﬁshly wanted to wear Reptile at night, next to Black Tie, which I often wear with Parade for the day. CB: You said Rimbaud took the longest of the 11 149
“I HAVE NEVER CONCERNED MYSELF WITH THE FRAMEWORK, WITH SET RULES OR MOVEMENTS IN FASHION.” –HEDI SLIMANE
to ﬁnish and was “the most difficult because it was the simplest.” And that this scent captures the poet’s youth, correct? Why did you ﬁnd it the most difficult to create? HS: I discovered Rimbaud at age 14. I remember reciting “Le Dormeur du Val” with my friends. We were lying down in the grass during the Parisian summer. His poetry was always around me. I had the desire to approach the romantic myth of eternal youth in an olfactory way. How to express the idea of being 17 years old, the realm of possibilities, teenage subtle fragility but also the spleen? Working on this perfume, I had to recognize the emotions I felt growing up to adulthood. We did countless versions, and one day we found it. CB: You have created a collection composed of 11 works of contemporary art. You’ve made virtually no reference to the classical schools or tropes of the scent art medium. How important to you is reinvention, departure from the norms? HS: I have never concerned myself with the framework, with set rules or movements in fashion. Whatever is normative is bound to be disembodied. I have always created a huis clos, an enclosed space; I created my path in fashion, in photography and perfumery with a distinct and codiﬁed universe shielded from any outside inﬂuences. Celine’s Haute Parfumerie project is quite naturally free, personal and private. It tells my own story through 11 perfumes with contrasted facets. The controversies, the polemics that I have often provoked in spite of myself have never inﬂuenced me. A style is constructed over time, by my being obsessive. I have always abided by the principle of reinvention, by roads less traveled, always following my intuition. CB: Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a work of impressionism, is fascinating in that it conjures up a location—the scent of this speciﬁc, chic, moneyed Paris neighborhood and the Parisian families who have lived there for generations—then places its people before us as blurs. One smells them in the way one sees blurred, indistinct ﬁgures in a photo, when the photographer slows the shutter speed. For Saint-Germain-des-Prés did you (metaphorically) intentionally slow your shutter speed? What do you ﬁnd similar and different as both a photographer in 1 50
the medium of photography and a creative director in the medium of scent? HS: Yes, absolutely. Olfactory and photographic works seem to me to be very similar. For me, it’s about capturing the very essence of my subject, of my character and in this case the ineffable culture of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, my beloved neighborhood for so many years now. It’s a question of suspending these characters from a novel or a ﬁlm that I see passing by from the terrace of a cafe along the boulevard. A girl, a boy, an incomparable allure. Here, you can capture a movement, the indescribable aura of Parisians that I constantly rediscover and that always transports me. CB: You used words on a Celine T-shirt: “I still don’t know if this is getting me anywhere.” What does that statement mean to you, and do you apply it to your works with regard to scent? Do you believe perfumery needs to and/or can get us somewhere? HS: This quote is from a painting by the American artist David Kramer. Perfume needs to get us to who we truly are. There is nothing like ﬁnding a perfume that moves us and feels like the expression of our souls. Perfume should express our deepest desires and help us be ourselves. I also always see it as a magical shield, some kind of divine protection, a magniﬁer of aura. CB: Black Tie and Bois Dormant are works of realism. The smoke of burning wood, the ﬁr tree in the winter cold. Nightclubbing is photorealism, and not a scent for a hot evening at Sound in L.A. but rather sharply focused photos of the club at 4 p.m., doors open to air it out a bit; the hot lights are off but the hot metal scent lingers on the leather of the booth seats. Do you recognize this interpretation, or was your vision quite different? HS: Black Tie is a strict interpretation of my style in fashion, a sharp and dark composition, completely androgynous. Bois Dormant is a total departure from what I have experimented with wood in the past (creating Bois d’Argent), probably more aristocratic, something like the library of a Parisian hôtel particulier from the 18th century. Nightclubbing is strictly biographical. The precise olfactory souvenir of the nights I spent growing up as a club kid in Paris from age 15 at Le Palace or Les Bains Douches.
Nightclubbing is also strictly Parisian, smoky and as decadent as can be. CB: Haute Parfumerie takes a very different approach from the fragrances you creative-directed for Dior, which were very much about their raw materials. Here, few of the works focus on their materials; instead, most present themselves as abstract expressionist pieces, giving no real-world signposts or recognizable landmarks. Why did you make such a striking change in direction? HS: I presume it was a different time. When I created the cologne collection at Dior in 2004, working with short and simple compositions and raw materials felt completely new. It was also one of the ﬁrst “collections” created for a luxury house. Fifteen years later, with hundreds of collections around and almost systematically a focus on the next single material available, from countless oud woods to vetiver, I felt this direction had become a bit generic. There was a need to change tune and explore ethereal and sophisticated constructions, strictly emotional, multifaceted narrative perfumes. The Celine collection of Haute Parfumerie is constantly playing with trompe l’oeil. It is ineffable, sometimes esoteric. It reﬂects our complexity and our paradoxes. CB: When you creative-direct a collection of scents, your time and creativity result in works that remain unchanging and untouched. They move through time as they are, and you create them few and far between. Clothing is something you create and re-create repeatedly several times a year, constantly having to morph and renew your ideas. Do you ﬁnd these two endeavors call on different strengths, different forms of creativity, or in the end the same ones? Do you prefer one or the other? HS: I tend to prefer this luxurious idea of creating something that can last and be adopted intimately, by extension the sense of a secret community. Perfume is like music, a time capsule that strongly impacts us. Photography also naturally brings me that sense of permanency, of time suspended. That said, I see fashion like a Polaroid of the time I’m living in. There is great satisfaction and joy in letting go, in preserving the lightness and recklessness of the ﬂow of fashion I have to create every single season.
l, na so er Fo rp ELEVENTH HOUR Slimane is pushing the upper boundaries of luxury in fragrance with Celine’s initial collection of 11 scents. “Haute parfumerie is no doubt a return to a tradition that I have always loved, the quintessence of French taste, like haute couture is to fashion.”
l, na rp
so Morph into a new identity with looks that play with the many faces of fashion, featuring must-have wardrobes from the fall collections.
DREAM SEQUENCE PHOTOGRAPHY BY INEZ & VINOODH STYLING BY ALEX WHITE
FUTURE BOURGEOIS The surreal life, as seen on a trippy walk through Southampton, with multidisciplinary artist Hungry (left) and model Rianne Van Rompaey. On both: Celine by Hedi Slimane clothing and accessories.
l, na so er rp Fo PAST TEENAGE Seeing double with Van Rompaey as two â€™70s teenagers beyond their years. From left: R13 cardigan, dress and boots, Simone Rocha headband and American Trench socks; Gucci vest, Tommy x Zendaya top and jeans, Converse sneakers and Laura Lombardi necklace.
GRUNGE REDUX The new rules for dressing up mean a trip back to the era of undone glamour. Prada dress.
SUBURBAN CHIC There’s an art to being exquisitely bored. Victoria Beckham shirt and pants, Celine by Hedi Slimane shoes and Tiffany & Co. earrings and bracelets. Painting at right: HERO (1980), by Gilbert & George, © Gilbert & George.
RAVE INTELLECTUAL Hungry and Van Rompaey as goths who have gone on holiday by mistake. From left: Dior sweater, Chanel pants, Alexander Wang earrings, vintage sneakers and model’s own iPhone; Khaite jacket, shirt and pants, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello boots, Jennifer Fisher earrings and model’s own iPhone.
RUNAWAY ROMANTIC A country wedding with Van Rompaey and Madeleine Joyce in hers-and-hers styles. From right: Emilia Wickstead dress, Oscar de la Renta veil, M&S Schmalberg ﬂowers (on veil) and Laura Lombardi ring; Alexandre Vauthier waistcoat, shirt and trousers and Ralph Lauren Collection coat and bow tie.
l, na so er rp Fo ELIZABETHAN BUSINESS The return of the â€™80s power broker, complete with skirt suit. Louis Vuitton jacket, shirt, skirt and belt, Fogal tights, Ralph Lauren Collection shoes, Fallon earrings and brooch and Ben-Amun bracelet.
MENSWEAR REVISITED A bearded Van Rompaey subverts fallâ€™s masculine tailoring. Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello coat, Primark sweater, R13 jeans, Schott NYC belt, Brock Collection boots and vintage glasses and vest.
NEW WAVE COUTURE A futuristic princess makes an entrance at a house party. Valentino dress, Rosamosario shorts and Ben-Amun choker (worn as headband).
l, na so er rp Fo EARLY STARLET Reﬂecting on a new look that’s worthy of Hollywood. Max Mara top, Dior skirt, Paco Rabanne shoes and Fallon earrings. Models, Rianne Van Rompaey at DNA Model Management, Hungry and Madeleine Joyce; hair, James Pecis; makeup, Fulvia Farolﬁ and Hungry; ﬂorist, Ariel Dearie. For details see Sources, page 182.
Writer-producer-director Brad Falchuk—Ryan Murphy’s collaborator and Gwyneth Paltrow’s husband—is making a name for himself with a new Netﬂix deal and his own production company.
as “rich people stuff,” ignoring that Paltrow and Falchuk stated this setup was made in deference to the needs of their teenage children from previous relationships—Isabella and Brody, from Falchuk’s marriage to Suzanne Bukinik; and Apple and Moses from Paltrow’s with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. Such are the perils when the person you love and are married to—and yes, for now, live with four days per week—is not just an Oscar-winning actress and the CEO and founder of Goop but also a go-to target for celebrity gossip pages. Falchuk is concerned with more pressing matters. “Wait. When is Pose premiering?” he asks as he takes a seat. “Is that tonight?” After the office assistant conﬁrms that the second season of the hit FX series— about New York’s LGBTQ ballroom subculture and communities of color during the height of the AIDS crisis—is indeed coming back this evening, Falchuk nods and returns to discussing the scene at hand for 9-1-1: Lone Star, 9-1-1’s newly greenlighted Texan offspring. Falchuk, who has collected two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe (as well as a combined 10 nominations), is no stranger to multitasking. In addition to his series on air, he is putting the ﬁnishing touches on the highly anticipated Netﬂix show The Politician, which starts streaming in September and stars Ben Platt, Jessica Lange and Paltrow. He also has numerous projects in various stages of development, both in collaboration with Murphy and—now that he has launched his production company, Brad Falchuk Teley-Vision, and signed a reported fouryear deal with Netﬂix—on his own.
N THE SECOND ﬂoor of Building 12 on the Fox Studios lot in the Century City section of Los Angeles, home to Ryan Murphy Television, Brad Falchuk’s office sits beside that of his mentor Murphy, who ﬁrst hired him as a junior writer on Nip/Tuck in 2003 and with whom he has worked on more than a half dozen series, including Glee, American Horror Story, American Crime Story, Scream Queens and Pose. The two workspaces are similar in size and décor. However, one contains a trove of Boston Red Sox and Bruce Springsteen memorabilia and Falchuk himself, a trim, muscular man in a white V-neck tee, paint-spattered carpenter pants and work boots, who straightens a stack of scripts before making his way to a story meeting. The 48-year-old writer-producer-director warmly greets his friend Tim Minear—the two, along with Murphy, created the Fox hit procedural 9-1-1. “Literally, I googled my name yesterday—as one does,” Minear says, gently needling Falchuk, “and the ﬁrst thing that came up was Brad Falchuk’s freaking Wikipedia page.” “I’d be happy if that was the ﬁrst thing that comes up,” says Falchuk, aware he’s trending because of an association of his own. “You wouldn’t believe some of the bullshit I see.” Over the past several days, news that Falchuk and Gwyneth Paltrow, 46, his wife of nearly nine months, spend several nights a week apart in separate houses has spread across the internet and social media. The latest fuel on this mid-June day: Meghan McCain deriding Falchuk and Paltrow’s living arrangement
HOLLYWOOD’S BEST-KEPT SECRET
BY ALEX BHATTACHARJI PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSE CHEHAK
STAGE DIRECTION “I’m not the person out front. Never been my thing,” says Brad Falchuk, photographed on the Fox Studios lot in Los Angeles. “But it’s to a fault. It has cost me.”
HEY’RE GOING IN, they’ve got to save
the day,” Falchuk says, digging into the pilot of 9-1-1: Lone Star, which will star Rob Lowe and air on Fox in January 2020. Falchuk, Minear and two producers jump back and forth between scenes and dead-end more than once—all what Falchuk calls “invisible steps” toward what they hope will be yet another hit. The palpable progress results from Falchuk’s sixth sense. “Brad somehow cannot just see a hole in a story, he can smell that something’s wrong,” says Ian
Smith Colleges, Falchuk was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. He says it was “true catharsis.” Having named the cause of his pain and perceived failures, he could address it. For the ﬁrst time, he began getting positive feedback from professors, particularly on his writing. After graduating, Falchuk drove cross-country to attend ﬁlm school in L.A., at American Film Institute, and never left. It took him a half dozen years of spec scripts and pitches to land a writing job at a secondrate sci-ﬁ show (Earth: Final Conﬂict), then another (Mutant X). Things changed when he was hired on Nip/Tuck. Within a year, Falchuk had ascended to Murphy’s right hand. “He was a star then, and he’s a star now,” says Murphy. “He and I will always be working on something [together] until I’m lowered into a coffin in the ground.” While working on Nip/Tuck, Falchuk and Murphy became writing partners and produced Pretty/ Handsome, a show about a trans gynecologist. The pilot was shot for FX in 2008 but never aired. “I don’t have any regrets,” Falchuk says. “If Pretty/Handsome goes, we don’t do Glee.” That genre-bending series, which ran six seasons, fundamentally altered Falchuk’s personal and professional lives. He met his future wife when Paltrow guest starred on the show in 2010, and he found his groove. “When we did Glee,” Murphy says, “we used to say I was the brain, Brad was the heart and Ian the funny bone. And I think that’s true. Brad is the heart of every show he’s worked on.” Falchuk is prepared to play that part, and others, as he strikes out on his own. “Everything is coming together for him,” Murphy says. “He did the emotional and creative work to get all these things. I’m excited to see where he is going to go, because he always surprises me.” Falchuk grants that he’s in a good place, albeit an unfamiliar one. “I’m going to have independence,” he says. “I have my own company. I’m stepping away from the people I’ve allied myself with and where I’ve had a lot of success...and that’s terrifying. So my emergency is: Am I good enough to do that? But that’s always been my emergency. Am I good enough?”
Murphy’s forthcoming prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In the past, Paulson has sought out Falchuk to craft a scene, most notably one between the conjoined twins she played on American Horror Story: Freak Show that she calls “one of the greatest acting challenges of my life.” According to Paulson, the key to Falchuk’s writing is his otherworldly ability to sense human emotion. “Brad’s an extraordinarily great listener—he picks up on all the tiny things that you may not mean to say,” she says. “It’s actually what’s so great about his writing, that ability to read nuance. It’s just about authenticity.” Although Falchuk’s sensitivity came from within, it was shaped under Murphy, who uses his position to create work that celebrates diversity and the LGBTQ community. At times, Falchuk has been the lone straight man in the writers’ room. “I feel so lucky that I am mentored by a gay man who’s powerful— and coming from a place of looking to elevate people,” Falchuk says. “The only way to have compassion is to understand [people’s] lives...to hear their stories.” Where Glee broke ground in representation, Pose, a show co-created by Steven Canals, a ﬁrst-time producer and queer person of color, stands as a towering tribute to empowered storytelling. “A lot of writers in Hollywood believe they can write anything,” says Janet Mock, the acclaimed memoirist, who is a writer, director and producer on the show, “but Brad understands that Steven and me, we are the authorities on the speciﬁc experiences that we go through. He can listen in the room and he can translate the themes and the points of injustice that I faced, as a trans woman of color, into the character.” The old assumption that embracing a niche subculture would limit a show’s commercial appeal is, thanks in part to Murphy and Falchuk, starting to fall away. Pose attracted critical acclaim in its ﬁrst season, and just one episode into its second, it was preemptively renewed for a third. For its part, Netﬂix sees the audience-building beneﬁts in Falchuk’s storytelling. “He seems to have an amazing ability to understand and to tap into the human condition
the Murphy-Falchuk producing team together, they wanted Falchuk—whom Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer, calls a “remarkable individual creative force”—to pursue his own projects. Indeed, in the weeks since the deal went into effect, Falchuk has already set three new shows, with more in the offing. Long averse to attention, Falchuk is venturing far from the shadows now. “I’m launching a company, and people need to understand who I am,” Falchuk says. “I’ve operated as a light next to a very bright light.” To be clear, Falchuk is referring to his work partner, not his romantic one. In fact, Paltrow bristles when her husband’s contributions are slighted. She says that while ﬁlming a promotional video for The Politician, she was asked: What is your favorite Ryan Murphy show? “I was like, Excuse me one f—ing second!” Paltrow recalls. “People think Ryan is a oneman band. It’s never bothered Brad, but at the same time, he is invested in creating his legacy.” Paltrow is hardly the only one who encouraged Falchuk to strike out on his own and become more visible. “My agent always pushes me,” he says. “My brother. My friends. And Ryan always pushes me.” Turns out, it takes a village to raise a reluctant television titan. “He’s already won and been successful at launching things,” says Murphy. “Because I am front and center, I do probably get too much credit. None of the shows that we have would work or be successful without Brad’s leadership.”
FROM TOP: COURTESY OF NETFLIX; JOJO WHILDEN/© FX/COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION; STEVE DIETL/© FOX/COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION; PRASHANT GUPTA/© FX/ COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION; ADAM ROSE/© FOX/COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION; MICHAEL BECKER/© WARNER BROS. TELEVISION/COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION
“NONE OF THE SHOWS THAT WE HAVE WOULD WORK OR BE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT BRAD’S LEADERSHIP.”
and tell stories about people that are so speciﬁc they become universal,” Sarandos says via email. Falchuk’s storytelling is informed by a personal narrative that is marked by a few emergencies. In 2008, at 37, Falchuk was found to have a mass on his spinal cord. Doctors told him it was cancer—a misdiagnosis, which could have killed him. Had he gone forward with radiation treatments, the mass— in actuality a collection of abnormal blood vessels called a spinal cavernous malformation—might have bled out. Luckily, he got properly diagnosed thanks to Best Doctors, the medical consultation service founded by his father, an internist and a professor at Harvard Medical School, and run by his brother. Following a second opinion from a neurosurgeon, Falchuk underwent surgery, which saved his life but left his spinal cord permanently damaged. “Fortunately everything important works,” Falchuk says. However, the surgery’s after-effects still reverberate throughout his body. “There’s just pain, constantly,” he says. “Sometimes I want to crawl out of my skin, or my hand feels like it’s stuck in a beehive.” What’s more, Falchuk lives with another potentially fatal cavernous malformation in his brain, which could start bleeding at any time. “It’s like walking around with a guy with a gun at the back of your head at all times,” he says. “At any point, he could pull the trigger. He probably won’t, but he could trip.” Although cavernous malformations are only sometimes hereditary, he inherited the condition from his father, Kenneth, who died in 2018, at 77. Kenneth was raised in Maracay, Venezuela, and moved to Brooklyn at 12. He eventually attended Harvard Medical School, became chief resident at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (then Peter Bent Brigham Hospital) and joined the faculty at his alma mater, where he emphasized open-minded observation in diagnosis—a tenet he brought to Best Doctors. Falchuk’s mother, Nancy, worked as a nurse and later at Hadassah, the Jewish women’s organization that supports open-access health-care initiatives in Israel; she eventually rose to president of the organization. His younger sister, Aimee, once a lobbyist, is now a psychotherapist. Falchuk’s older brother, Evan, left a partner-track post at a Washington, D.C., law ﬁrm to run Best Doctors, which later sold for more than $400 million. In 2014, he made an unsuccessful run for governor of Massachusetts as a representative of the United Independent Party, which he founded. Amid this accomplished family of academic achievers, there was Falchuk, the middle child, a good kid with bad grades. If his test scores were low, his self-regard was lower. In high school, Falchuk played baseball, lacrosse and basketball and shot horror movies on a VHS camera, but, he says, “I was not the guy you could point to and say, ‘That guy’s going somewhere.’” For a time, though, he did stand out. In a private school full of progressive kids, Falchuk wore a jacket and tie and, going against his beliefs, declared himself a Republican. “That’s what a smart person looks like,” Falchuk says of his conservative costumery. “I was just playing a part to cover up a deep insecurity: ‘I know I’m not special, so what can I do to make myself seem special?’” During his sophomore year at Hobart and William
Brennan, who co-created Glee, Scream Queens and The Politician with Falchuk and Murphy. And indeed, in short order, Falchuk sniffs out the gaps in Lowe’s character, a ﬁsh-out-of-water New York ﬁre chief. “‘9-1-1. Hello, what’s your emergency?’ Every one of our characters needs to have an answer,” Falchuk says. “The problem with Rob is that there’s an air of perfection about him. But beneath that, what’s his emergency?” A few minutes later the meeting breaks when Sarah Paulson, who has starred in eight seasons of American Horror Story and also in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, comes in bearing hummus. The acclaimed actress is willing to trade dip for script help with her titular nurse in Ratched,
For all his proximity to fame, Falchuk has preferred to operate in the background. On this day, while Murphy is in New York doing a press tour for Pose, Falchuk will hunker down in his office and write a scene about the pain of trans parenthood for the eighth episode of the new season. For nearly two decades, this has been a mutually agreed upon division of labor. “I’m not the person out front. Never been my thing,” Falchuk says. “But it’s to a fault. It has cost me.” Still, Falchuk has quietly become one of the television industry’s most inﬂuential and in-demand producers. His deal with Netﬂix is reportedly in the high eight ﬁgures. Netﬂix didn’t merely want to keep
IT’S LUNCHTIME, NEARLY a day after we last met, and Falchuk is sitting in the Grill on the Alley in Beverly Hills. The intervening hours have unfolded in typical fashion. He wrote a poignant scene for Pose and then went home and cooked dinner—a recipe from a Goop cookbook—but only he ate. (Paltrow is on a cleanse.) Then the two took a sunset walk on the beach in Santa Monica—where they went unrecognized—and returned home to watch the ﬁnale of Chernobyl before turning in early. “There’s a media version of her and me,” Falchuk says, “but we’re just home cooking dinner. Or she’s just cooking me breakfast. That’s all. We could not be a more normal couple.” The two rarely discuss headlines, no matter how annoying they may be. “Gwyneth has a very tough skin. She’s like, ‘You’ve got to relax,’” he says. “At the end of the day, we’re getting into bed together...and nothing from the outside world or anybody’s opinion means anything. ” If the celebrity commentariat had checked, they
THE HIT LIST Falchuk has worked with Ryan Murphy on more than a half dozen television series, including (from top): The Politician (2019), which streams on Netﬂix this fall and features his wife, Gwyneth Paltrow; Pose (2018); Scream Queens (2015); American Horror Story (2011); Glee (2009); and Nip/Tuck (2003).
might have learned that Falchuk just sold his house in Brentwood a few days before. “I’m moving in September. We’ve just done it slowly,” he explains. “Divorce is terrible, even when it’s the right thing to do. And it’s really hard on kids.” Blending their families is going well precisely because they haven’t rushed matters. “Come September,” he says, “we’re all gonna Brady Bunch it up, and it’ll be great.” That same month, he and Paltrow will be under the microscope again, as The Politician airs on Netﬂix. The series follows Payton Hobart, an overachiever determined to rise to ever-higher elected office, with each season tracing a different campaign, starting with student council president and including, if all goes to plan, a run for the White House. “It’s probably, everything told, my favorite thing ever that I’ve done,” Falchuk says. It’s a satire in which no character is spared, including Paltrow’s. She plays Hobart’s adoptive mother, which Falchuk wrote as “a much darker version” of his wife. “I steal from everyone,” he says, “and I know her better than she knows herself.” Their time on set was terriﬁc, except, he says, “She gets a little handsy.” After a moment, Falchuk second-guesses his humor and adds: “Only with me. Not with anybody else. I shouldn’t have made that joke....” “It’s true,” says Paltrow. “I was handsy.” At ﬁrst, when Falchuk said he was writing a part for her, Paltrow didn’t think he was serious. Although she acts less and less these days, she couldn’t turn it down. Scheduling was difficult; working with Falchuk was not. “We have such a strong friendship and deep knowledge of the other, so it was very easy,” she says. “I can be very impatient with acting these days, and he was really good at wrangling that impatient side.” In addition to working on Pose and 9-1-1 and the rest of his collaborations with Murphy, Falchuk is busy writing pilots and proposals to produce at Netﬂix. He’s gearing up to announce a full slate this fall, which will consist of a mix of comedy and drama, miniseries and documentary, and feature ﬁlm projects. “He’s just coming into his own now,” Paltrow says. “I said to him, ‘You’re the best-kept secret.’” Although Falchuk has come to terms with the need to raise his public proﬁle, he has no interest in creating a two-celebrity household. “That whole world of fame is her world,” says Falchuk, who, with all due respect to Paltrow, doesn’t mind having the occasional moment away, especially with his children. “I always tell my kids, we have it great—because if I need to get us a dinner reservation in Rome, it’s easy. But when we get there, nobody knows us. I can operate anonymously in the world. And I like that.” A moment later, a group of diners pauses by the table in front of Falchuk, then breaks into smiles and nods of recognition before continuing toward the exit. Falchuk shakes his head. “Look,” he says, with a laugh. “They must think I’m Zach Braff.” 169
l, na so er rp Fo IMITATION GAME Re-editions of Jeanneret’s 1950s compass-leg chairs produced by Phantom Hands in Bangalore, India. Some reproductions (and also outright fakes) have unsettled the market while doing little to curb demand.
Will The Real Jeanneret Please Stand Up?
WHILE SWIPING through images on an iPad, interior designer Billy Cotton recalls the process of hunting down furnishings for the project onscreen, a family home he’s ﬁnishing up not far from his office in downtown Brooklyn. A banquette stretching to diving-board length slides by, followed by a cluster of ’50s chairs against a wall of abstract paintings. In the living room, a cube-shaped ﬁreplace is ﬂanked by a pair of vintage armchairs by the Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret, their teak frames blanketed in loden green cowhide. When he gets to a shot of the study, Cotton stops. He pinches and zooms to highlight a desk the color of butterscotch with compass-style legs: another piece by Jeanneret. “The ﬁrst time I saw it in person was on the jobsite, during installaBY SARAH MEDFORD tion,” Cotton says, explaining that PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTIEN MULDER the desk had been purchased online and warehoused until the house was renovated. “I looked at it and I immediately said, ‘That is a fake. We’ve been screwed.’” The chairs, purchased from a European dealer, had passed muster, but the desk was another story. “There was a perfect angularity to it,” Cotton says. “And that’s the thing—those pieces were not perfect. The joints were made by hand; they’re not exact. On the underside, the wood was just too uniform. And the ﬁnish was too new. It had a little patina to it—it looked like maybe vintage ’70s.” After explaining the problem to his client, Cotton forced the vendor to replace the desk. “It was a very touchy situation,” he says. As a quick online search lays bare, furniture identiﬁed as “Jeanneret” is only a few clicks away, priced anywhere from $360 for a cane-seated armchair to as much as $109,000 for a library table. What you pay depends on where you shop and what you think you’re buying. Over the past two decades, a certain subset of furniture by Jeanneret—designed in the 1950s and early 1960s for Chandigarh, a utopian city in Punjab, India—has evolved from cultural curiosity to collector’s trophy to social-media love object, which in turn has led to rampant copying. Online, the differences between real, passing-for-real and deliberate knockoff are obscured: All three categories can become indistinguishable in the immersion blenders of Instagram and Pinterest. Original or not, the work appears earnest and modern and decidedly handmade—the current coordinates for fashionable furniture around the world. Reproductions have unsettled the market recently, but they’ve done little to slow global demand. If anything, the heightened visibility of pieces from Chandigarh has jacked up interest to the point where it’s nearly impossible to ﬂip through a decorating magazine in New York, Hong Kong or Rio without coming across a pair of the architect’s cane-seated chairs. Raf Simons has furnished his Antwerp living room with them. Larry Gagosian has dotted them around his St. Barts home. Various members of the Kardashian/Jenner/West brigade have paraded them on social media. One could even say that Jeanneret (1896–1967), who spent most of his career in the shadow of his more renowned cousin, the architect Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (aka Le Corbusier), is verging on real-world fame. Le Corbusier may have created the master plan for the Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, now a Unesco World Heritage site, but his quiet relative has since put it on the map. Some of the best advertisements for Jeanneret’s Chandigarh furniture appear under the
Navigating the turbulent market for Pierre Jeanneret’s Chandigarh furniture.
Instagram hashtag of French architect and designer Joseph Dirand. The minimalist behind Midtown Manhattan’s new restaurants Le Jardinier and Shun, the Surf Club in Miami and several popular Paris boîtes—Loulou, Monsieur Bleu—lives with Jeanneret’s work himself and has deployed it repeatedly in residential projects, such that it’s become a signature. “In my home, it is everywhere—my dining chairs are Jeanneret, my table is Jeanneret, my desk is Jeanneret, the armchairs too,” Dirand says. “And in my office. Sometimes on Instagram people ﬁnd this furniture because of me—and sometimes they ﬁnd me because of this furniture,” he adds with amusement. “And now people connect my work to those objects.” As a teenager and budding Le Corbusier obsessive, Dirand visited Chandigarh to see the Capitol Complex, 17 2
an assemblage of buildings and monuments shaped by the master out of reinforced concrete. He assumed that Le Corbusier had designed their contents. He tried to buy a few chairs on the spot but was told it would be complicated because they were owned by the Indian government. When the furniture surfaced in Paris years later, Dirand began buying it from dealers, as he still does today. Jeanneret’s faddishness—and overexposure— doesn’t bother him. “I’m a collector,” he explains. “I love these objects—they are historical. Not a fashion or a trend. I don’t care. What they represent in terms of architectural history is my interest.” Dirand says his passion for the work stems from its “archaeology of modernism,” which he describes as a conjunction of postwar industrialization and ancient
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: © STUDIO INDIANO. ARCHIVES GALERIE 54, PARIS; AMIE SIEGEL PROVENANCE (STILL) 2013 HD VIDEO, 40 MINS, COLOR/SOUND COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND SIMON PRESTON, NEW YORK; ALAMY STOCK PHOTO; PIERRE JEANNERET FONDS CANADIAN CENTRE FOR ARCHITECTURE GIFT OF JACQUELINE JEANNERET; COURTESY GALERIE PATRICK SEGUIN; PIERRE JEANNERET FONDS CANADIAN CENTRE FOR ARCHITECTURE GIFT OF JACQUELINE JEANNERET
ORIGIN STORY Clockwise from top left: A Chandigarh resident in a V-leg chair; heaps of Chandigarh pieces, seen here in a still from Amie Siegel’s 2013 ﬁlm, Provenance; a Le Corbusier drawing of Chandigarh; Le Corbusier (left) and Jeanneret; Chandigarh pieces at Galerie Patrick Seguin; Jeanneret’s experimental designs for himself.
craft. Jeanneret’s design language was brought into being by individual craftsmen wielding hand tools, and the crudely painted or stenciled building codes that often mark a piece (“HCS/CT.18,” for instance, shorthand for “High Court Secretariat Coffee Table number 18”) just add to the mystique. “Each piece is unique,” Dirand goes on. “The same, but different. Which brings another layer of poetry.” Conservative estimates put the original production of Chandigarh furniture at roughly 30,000 pieces, but the number is devilishly difficult to pin down because the most common models were produced continuously for almost 30 years—and then as needed, when a shelf’s joints loosened or a chair’s cane seat blew out. Within the past decade, inmates at the central jail in Chandigarh have made new batches of chairs. Authenticating the objects is also no easy task. “If Jeanneret lived to be a thousand, they couldn’t make that much furniture,” says Reed Krakoff, a longtime art and design collector and the chief artistic officer of Tiffany & Co. Krakoff admires Jeanneret’s Chandigarh material; 12 years ago, he bought a major-league library table at Sotheby’s that he still loves and uses. But he’s lost trust in the market. “I know for a fact there are people still making this furniture,” he says pointedly. “And they’ll leave it out in the rain for a year so it looks old if you want that.” Tales of chicanery and back-room dealing have dogged the high-end furniture market for centuries. Joseph Duveen, the son of a decorative arts dealer, was a wily British promoter of old master paintings to American tycoons; he peddled suspect tapestries and other less-than-pedigreed furnishings on the side. In 2016, a scandal erupted in the 18th-century French furniture market when Paris dealer Bill G.B. Pallot was accused of overseeing the forgery of four armchairs later sold into the collection of the Palace of Versailles; he was exposed by the use of black licorice as a dirtmimicking glaze. (On advice from his lawyers, Pallot declined to comment until his case has gone to trial.) As the prices for 20th-century design have escalated, so have rumors of fakes muddying the market. Works by some of today’s top-selling designers have been called into question—including Louis Comfort Tiffany, Serge Mouille, Charlotte Perriand, Jacques Adnet, Jean Royère, Diego Giacometti—at least behind closed doors. Disputes of authenticity rarely go public, especially at the higher end of the market, since the potential for embarrassment on the buyer’s part usually outweighs the desire for payback. Where do the fakes go? Traded on with the rest of a collection, experts say, a good deal of the time. Not all copying is done with duplicitous intent. In 18th-century England, cabinetmakers Thomas Chippendale and Thomas Sheraton each published illustrated pattern books of their designs, disseminating them to the American colonies and beyond. Today the terms “Chippendale” and “Sheraton” are applied both to works attributed to and styles popularized by these men. Before and since, sampling has been a constant in the design trade, with or without a published pattern book. Among a certain caliber of decorators, it’s common practice to fabricate furniture that mimics a sought-after style and solves a particular design problem: a wood slab dining table in the manner of Perriand scaled up to seat 12, say, or a serpentine sofa
referencing Vladimir Kagan but with better lumbar support. Some deep-pocketed retailers have taken this kind of quotation to wildly proﬁtable ends. For a designer or foundation, shutting down trafﬁc in outright fakes can be like holding back the ocean. Stools and daybeds designed by Perriand in the 1950s have been copied without permission for years, according to the lawyer for Perriand’s estate, Dominique de Leusse. He says that the costs of taking legal action against fakes are so onerous that most of his clients don’t bother. “It’s so easy to order through the internet; you don’t even know where it’s coming from or who is selling,” he says by phone from his office in Paris’s 8th arrondissement. “It’s almost the same with the other French luxury goods—Cartier, Hermès, Louis Vuitton.” De Leusse is well-versed in the minutiae of France’s intellectual property rights laws. They date back to 1791, though legal protection of authorship in furniture design wasn’t formalized until 1957, when a law passed stating that work is safeguarded from the moment of its inception. De Leusse has spent close to 40 years consulting with the Le Corbusier Foundation, and about three decades ago he was hired by Jacqueline Jeanneret, Pierre Jeanneret’s niece and his closest surviving relative, to look after some of the architect’s legal affairs. (When she died in the winter of 2018, her two daughters stepped into her role.) De Leusse has helped place the Jeanneret archive at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, in Montreal, and he keeps a weather eye on the market for knockoffs. While the family has given up on combating every fake, he says, “they will take great care and [pay] great attention to any large company who may try to manufacture and sell it under the ‘Pierre Jeanneret’ name. Pierre Jeanneret is a trademark. “I think they didn’t realize the treasure they had in their hands,” he admits. “Actually, the treasure they had in intellectual property—the real treasures were in the dealers’ hands.”
ITH THE exception of Le Cor-
busier, who had a habit of referring to himself in the third person, members of the Jeanneret family seem to have cultivated an air of selfeffacement. Pierre Jeanneret was nine years younger than his mercurial cousin, and he followed Le Corbusier from his hometown of Geneva to Paris, taking a partnership position in his studio in 1922. The elder architect relied on the younger’s technical skills and ability to work with builders and engineers to realize his ideas. In letters, he referred to Jeanneret as his best friend and insisted they sign off on plans using both their names. But the hierarchy was clear. During World War II, Le Corbusier’s decision to collaborate with France’s Vichy government caused a decade-long rift between the two men, and Jeanneret had to be persuaded (by his former lover Charlotte Perriand, among others) to join Le Corbusier’s team in Chandigarh when an invitation was extended in 1950. Already on board were the British couple Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew, who brought valuable experience from civic construction projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Jeanneret hesitatingly agreed to oversee
the architecture office in the still-nonexistent city, while Le Corbusier would jet in several times a year, an arms-length arrangement that ended up working well for both. Jeanneret fell in love with India and its people. He stayed on in Chandigarh for 13 years, well beyond the scope of his initial commitment, and was appointed head of the Chandigarh College of Architecture in the early 1960s. When his health began to falter in 1965, he moved to Geneva, where he died two years later. His ashes were scattered over Chandigarh’s Lake Sukhna. “Chandigarh really became the ground and the ﬁeld for Pierre to express his own ideas in architecture,” says Maristella Casciato, head of architectural collections at the Getty Research Institute and a Jeanneret specialist. While Le Corbusier took on the city’s master plan and the heroic structures of the capitol complex, he left the better part of the city to Jeanneret and his team (with the exception of the municipal manhole covers: Le Corbusier’s 1951 design, featuring the city’s grid, now trades at auction for about $20,000). Casciato estimates that Jeanneret designed hundreds of buildings between 1951 and 1965, from schools, apartment houses and other essential infrastructure to major monuments (the Gandhi Bhawan is considered a masterpiece). The furniture was an extension of the architecture. “Jeanneret was really an intellectual, a poet, somebody very pure,” says François Laffanour of Galerie Downtown in Paris, one of the principal dealers for Chandigarh furnishings. “In photographs, he was never dressed up the way Le Corbusier was. He was very often in short pants, without shoes, sitting in a very simple chair. And if you look at the furniture he created, it’s the result of this simplicity, this spirit.” Similarities between Chandigarh furniture and the work of the Shakers—both conceived, says Laffanour, out of a sense of social responsibility that led to radically reductive forms—are clear to him. “Making things to be happy and comfortable,” he says of Jeanneret’s approach. “That was it.” Le Corbusier and Jeanneret were both steeped in the modernist philosophy of building affordably for the masses. Guided by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision for a new and independent India, Jeanneret assembled a team of young Indian-born architects and builders who would learn the principles of European modernism on the job. The exchange went both ways: Jeanneret immersed himself in their culture, studying precolonial crafts and getting a grip on the Punjabi language as best he could. When Le Corbusier visited in 1951, the two explored nearby villages by car, stopping to sketch (Le Corbusier) and photograph (Jeanneret) before returning to the temporary camp where each had a small house. Among the earliest pieces created for Chandigarh were a few rather staid upholstered chairs, several tables and a desk, all destined for the government offices of the capitol complex. These were technically collaborations between Le Corbusier and Jeanneret, but from that point on the younger architect assumed responsibility for the design of all furniture and lighting, an undertaking that spanned 1953 to 1965. Attuning himself to Chandigarh’s context and culture, Jeanneret studied the working methods of the local artisans who made his designs—and, of
course, what they’d made previously. It’s no surprise that the stalwart, Instagram-friendly office chair known to millions is sometimes confused with AngloIndian campaign seating. Even in a postcolonial city, Jeanneret felt history deserved a place. The rough-hewn forms and hand-worked surfaces of the furniture brought a touch of humanity to the concrete behemoths that were rising out of the dust. There were correspondences too. “I love spotting the thinking behind Le Corbusier’s facades in the structure of some of the furnishings,” says Patrick Seguin, among the ﬁrst dealers to source Jeanneret material. The younger architect’s stylistic language fused his understanding of Corbusian principles with his own innovative designs of the 1930s and ’40s—the compass leg, the scissor joint—and the materials and traditions of the subcontinent. That language was extended across forms, from workhorse items like sheet-metal lamps or school seats with retractable desks to more luxurious sofas and dressing tables intended for the private homes of Punjabi government officials, whose villas he also designed. The question of how a single individual, even one backed by a youthful, civic-minded architectural office, could furnish the schools, workplaces and highbrow residences of an entire city continues to puzzle many observers. More than 100 different models have been recorded; new pieces turn up now and then at auction. (The most interesting are the experimental ones Jeanneret dreamed up for himself in bamboo, metal, wood and even plastic. They were never produced in quantity and have been given their own display area in the Chandigarh Architecture Museum.) Jeanneret’s designs have no known pattern book, and the drawings that do exist—disseminated among sources on at least three continents—are often unsigned, undated or both. What is known is that the pieces were made cottage-industry style in carpentry workshops across the Punjab and possibly even farther aﬁeld. This explains the variations that exist even among the simplest pieces. According to Casciato, the job of managing the furniture production fell to a young architect named Eulie Chowdhury. Fluent in Punjabi, French and English, “she was basically the go-between,” Casciato says. “They had, let’s say, a kind of network, and she was extremely important in creating that network and supporting the production and all the detailing.” Chowdhury even shared a design credit with Jeanneret, for an X-base chair with a wood back. As Casciato sees it, Jeanneret himself was quite clear on the question of authorship with his designs: They also belonged to the local artisans who constructed them by hand. “Many times, everywhere, Pierre said that he not only respected but was learning from his Indian experience,” she says. “So, for him, a hundred percent they are attributed to India. They are Indian made. “This is the philosophical question of what is authentic,” she continues. “Is it the idea or the object? Authenticity and authorship go hand in hand. But for furniture, it’s very complicated. The craft and the material are part of the authenticity.” THE FASHIONABLE furniture of Chandigarh made its debut in the early aughts at a number of design
galleries in Paris. Around that time, a handful of sustaining their audiences,” says Michael Jefferson, dealers in 20th-century French design—among newly hired senior international specialist of 20ththem Laffanour, Seguin, Philippe Jousse of Jousse century design at Christie’s New York. (Jefferson Entreprise and Eric Touchaleaume of Galerie estimates he sold some 450 lots of Chandigarh fur54—began showing Chandigarh pieces alongside niture for his former employer, Chicago’s Wright better-known midcentury material. auction house.) “But here they have a vested interest “People were responding very fast,” says Laffanour, in their own works being right, so you have to kind of who’d been worried that the furniture would come understand that,” he says. “They are the referee and across as too rustic. “It was surprising to me to see they are the athlete.” how positive the response was, especially for the A similar thought has occurred to Cristina Miller, armchair.” He concluded that functionality was a the chief commercial officer of 1stdibs, a major online big part of its appeal. “Prouvé and Perriand special- seller of Chandigarh pieces worldwide. In her words, ized in bookcases, tables, the dealers in question are desks—but sofas, comfort“sort of ﬁlling the power vacable armchairs, there was uum, right? They’re writing “THE FRENCH HAVE no production. It was misstheir own books. In one way, BEEN INCREDIBLE ing in the apartments of it’s really great because a lot FOR CENTURIES our collectors. We had the of them are right and they’re opportunity to sell somedoing the right thing, but AS DEALERS AND AS thing that was comfortable some of those same dealers MARKET-MAKERS.” and affordable. That was will tell you, ‘Well, this other –MICHAEL JEFFERSON also part of the success.” dealer, or this other person, How these dealers came wrote a book, and we’re not to have the material at all is so sure about that content.’” by now a familiar story. Prospecting in Chandigarh in In 2013, American artist Amie Siegel made a ﬁlm the late 1990s, and increasingly aware of Jeanneret’s called Provenance that rewinds the complicated hisstature in the French-modernist clique of Prouvé, tory of Chandigarh furniture, starting in the polished Perriand, Royère and Le Corbusier, they found desks Manhattan apartments and yacht staterooms of coland chairs heaped like broken dolls from the roofs to lectors and ending on Indian junk heaps, where the the sidewalks of Le Corbusier’s radiant city. They con- pieces languished for years—out of view, out of style, vinced local officials to auction off the discarded work. out of gas. According to Siegel’s website, the ﬁlm And after doing signiﬁcant restoration on it back in “exposes the circuits of ownership and history that France (sometimes reconstructing a piece by as much inﬂuence the furniture’s ﬂuctuating value.” as 40 percent, Laffanour estimates), they started Six years later, the artist’s choice of Jeanneret selling it. Ever since, they’ve been sniped about for as a case study in the punishing effects of specularunning off with India’s cultural patrimony. tive markets on global culture seems almost quaint. Laffanour speaks eloquently for the defense. “It’s The popularity of the work has exploded, which has only because dealers have this kind of interest—of cued the lookalikes and, inevitably, dimmed intercourse they think they can make a proﬁt—but also est among a certain segment of trend-aware buyers, they have the patience” to hold onto material until many of whom have moved on to Brazilian modernthe fashion cycle revolves, he points out. “Because you ism. Michael Jefferson of Christie’s says Jeanneret are working on something which is totally rejected by prices have vacillated but are largely holding ﬁrm. everybody. You have to believe in it. If you are really Acknowledging the inﬂux of fakes, he nonetheless in the mood of the piece, it’s like your treasure. You notes that “the spectrum of acceptance for restorafeel like you are a little bit lonely with your treasure, tion in Chandigarh material is very broad”—because because nobody wants to take it from you. But it’s also so much of it was essentially pieced back together in really exciting.” the ﬁrst place before hitting the sales ﬂoor. As several of the French dealers emphasize, they “There are ethical questions,” he admits. He haven’t been the ones to juice prices—the auction describes the practice of “gene-splicing,” where “you market has done that. They’ve simply trailed values on have one arm and you create a complete chair out of their way up. (A pair of upholstered Senate armchairs that. That’s wrong, and you can spot it.” that might have sold for $12,000 in 2006 generally Reed Krakoff is among the collectors confounded sells in the range of $30,000 today.) What the French by the current market. “Why would you buy reﬁndealers have also done, over a period of nearly two ished old chairs when you could buy new ones for decades, is to make the Chandigarh market as airtight a tenth of the price? You can buy them for $500 and sexy as they could, contextualizing the work with easy,” he says of the ersatz compass-style seats. He well-researched shows, publishing books and cata- sees a paradox in the work’s ubiquity. “It doesn’t logs, scooping up stock at auction and positioning the make it any less great, but it does have something pieces as add-on buys for collectors of contemporary to do with how much it’s worth on a simple market art. Their efforts have paid off: Jeanneret continues level.” Krakoff likens the chair in constant rotation to be an art-world darling. This past May, White Cube on social media to a poster in a museum shop. “If gallery furnished its booth at TEFAF in New York with you see a thousand images of a certain painting, it Chandigarh pieces; Tina Kim did the same at Frieze does change how you perceive it,” he says. “It’s the New York. same painting, but it just doesn’t have that spark of “The French have been incredible for centuries uniqueness. If you go online right now, I bet you’ll as dealers and as market-makers, developing and ﬁnd 350 Chandigarh pieces. Design collecting has 174
become a fashion trend,” he says with discernible agita. “It never was before. Never.” Cristina Miller of 1stdibs sees things differently. In her view, the power of inﬂuence—the rush to own what someone else already has in her living room, for instance—is really nothing new. “That desire has always existed,” she argues. “That’s what drives trends and design and gets people interested.” Miller characterizes the dealers who sell on 1stdibs as its curators, relied upon to deliver what the market wants. In her experience, the company has never turned away the legitimate work of a designer, even when what might be considered a glut of it already exists on the site. “I’m sort of pausing here because we usually have the opposite problem, which is we want more,” she continues. “One of the things we look at on a regular basis is what we call supply/demand lapse, where we have more demand for something than we have supply, and we share that with our dealers. We’re usually focused on saying to them, ‘Hey, we need more of this.’ “With six million people on the site every month,” Miller adds, “there’s a lot of demand.” A recent partnership with Christie’s to host online sales should further goose that number. In recent years, 1stdibs’ vetting procedures have been tightened up. When the sale price of an item exceeds a certain threshold, and the creator is wellknown, a higher level of scrutiny is applied. A specialist reviews it, and a condition report is requested. “We do our best to support the creators and the legitimacy of these pieces,” Miller says. “There are just a few areas, like Jeanneret, where it’s very, very nebulous. If there were a foundation to work with, we would work with them, but there isn’t. And the pieces were unsigned.” Miller isn’t concerned about the increasingly segmented market for Chandigarh furniture. “There’s the collector level, and then there are plenty of pieces that look like these pieces, that you can buy for a lot less,” she says. “In that way, it sort of devalues it. But, at the same time—and this isn’t necessarily 1stdibs’ stance—if people want access to a beautiful design and they don’t maybe have an understanding or an appreciation of the history of that design, who’s to say that they shouldn’t have it?”
ANGALORE, the hub of India’s tech industry, lacks the stately urban plan of Chandigarh, more than 1,200 miles to its north. But on a nondescript street, in a former metal shop hemmed in by factory buildings, an artisan collective called Phantom Hands is crafting furniture very much in the Chandigarh spirit. Its founder, Deepak Srinath, is a tech refugee who launched the business in 2013 out of a personal preoccupation with vintage Indian modernism. After building an online sales site for his weekend ﬁnds, Srinath ran into trouble sourcing enough vintage pieces to feed the response, and in 2015 he decided to shift to a new-production model. “I realized in my conversations with our customers that most of them didn’t really care if an object was vintage or new—what they cared about was the design and the craft,” he says by phone from his office near the carpentry shed. The sentiment dovetailed with his own. Phantom Hands now sells online to over a dozen
countries, with 90 percent of orders coming from outside India. It has partnered on successful collections with two European design ﬁrms: X+L—the Dutch duo of Xander Vervoort and Leon van Boxtel—and Inoda+Sveje, the Milan-based couple Kyoko Inoda and Nils Sveje. The company’s bestsellers, though, aren’t new designs but an offering of sofas, chairs and stools called Project Chandigarh, attributed to Pierre Jeanneret. The name Phantom Hands has raised some eyebrows among Jeanneret dealers who have visited its website. “What does that mean?” Patrick Seguin asks, pacing the parquet ﬂoor of his study in Paris’s Marais district, a well-worn Chandigarh armchair placed beside a formidable desk. His investment of time and scholarship in the architect’s work has been signiﬁcant, and he declines to comment on reproductions, he says. For Srinath, the phrase “phantom hands” evokes the unsung artisans behind so much Indian modern furniture, whether it was conceived by Jeanneret or one of the many native-born designers he inﬂuenced. Today, the craftsmen who come to work at Phantom Hands from across the continent have already absorbed lessons from the Swiss architect by osmosis. “Really, Indian modernism started with Jeanneret,” Srinath insists. “It was the ﬁrst independent, modern Indian furniture.” Srinath is, by his own admission, a Jeanneret groupie. He’s researched the architect at length and has come to think of him as the George Harrison ﬁgure to Le Corbusier’s Lennon/McCartney. Before launching his re-editions, as he calls them, Srinath did his best to secure legal permission. He visited the archive, now located at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, in Montreal, and he reached out to Jacqueline Jeanneret as well as de Leusse, the family lawyer, about obtaining rights to the material but received no reply. Nonetheless, he is rigorous about adhering to the proportions, materials and manufacturing techniques Jeanneret employed. (Very minor adjustments have been made to improve durability, he says.) It takes ﬁve or six of Phantom Hands’ craftspeople almost a week to make an armchair from reclaimed teak and cane grown in the state of Assam. Srinath considers the company’s meticulous approach to production to be part of its origin story as he sets out to build a global brand on the foundations of a 70-year-old design movement. His long-term goal, he explains, is to develop a market for well-made furniture in his home country and support local designers: “I’m optimistic because I see some very interesting young design talents coming out of India right now.” Not long ago, Srinath was approached by Cassina, the Milan-based company behind licensed reproductions of furniture by Perriand and the team of Le Corbusier, Perriand and Jeanneret. Cassina was considering making a Chandigarh collection. Would Phantom Hands be interested in collaborating? The idea never got off the ground—Cassina chose to keep the production in Italy—but the collection, named Hommage à Pierre Jeanneret, moved forward and will launch worldwide this fall. Cassina CEO Luca Fuso calls the Indian chapter of Jeanneret’s career “the ﬁrst open source of design ever,” because “the work was intended to create something for the community of Chandigarh.” (To be on the safe side, the company
GHOST OF UTOPIA Buildings in Le Corbusier’s Capitol Complex in Chandigarh, now a Unesco World Heritage site.
secured permission via an arrangement with the Jeanneret heirs.) Srinath has made his peace with the stillborn deal. “The only thing that worries me is that Cassina will ﬂood the market with these designs, and it may become too much,” he says. “Right now, there is a bit of exclusivity.” When Phantom Hands showed pieces at a design fair in Mumbai last year, the work caught the attention of Suchi Reddy, an Indian-born architect and interior designer now based in New York. Reddy was impressed with its quality and admired the Jeanneret pieces, which have always seemed at home in India, she says. She recalls seeing them around as a teenager in Chennai (then called Madras) and assuming they were native. “When I was in architecture school in
Detroit, I was surprised to ﬁnd out there was a Swiss architect behind it all,” she recalls. In Chandigarh, at the Architecture Museum, Jeanneret designs are currently being assembled for a permanent collection. Only pieces made before the architect’s death in 1967 are being considered. Even so, the city’s civic relationship with Jeanneret and his legacy remains fraught. Casciato recalls a trip she made in 2015, when she happened across heaps of discarded Jeanneret desk chairs on the balcony of the Tarlok Singh Central State Library. And yet, she adds, “People came to me many times, officials, saying, ‘Oh, we want to sue these people, these things are part of our heritage.’ And I said, ‘Listen, guys, let it go—you opened the door and all the cows went out. What do you want to do now?’”Ǖ 175
For six decades, artist Sheila Hicks has been pushing the boundaries of her chosen medium, ﬁber, and in the process, challenging conceptions of art more broadly.
BY ALICE CAVANAGH PHOTOGRAPHY BY JO METSON SCOTT
T WEAVING HER MAGIC Sheila Hicks with several works in progress at her studio in Paris’s 6th arrondissement.
HE 85-YEAR-OLD Paris-based American artist Sheila Hicks officially speaks three languages—English, French and Spanish—but her most remarkable ﬂuency is with the yarn she weaves, wraps, knots and assembles into her monumental works of art. Hicks views her practice as a passe-partout— the French word for “master key,” or literally “go everywhere”—a universal language that everyone can access and enjoy, regardless of cultural, political and socioeconomic status. “If a locksmith has that key, you can send him out to any emergency situation, and he’ll manage to go through the barrier,” she says one summer afternoon in her 6th arrondissement studio. “This is the métier that I practice, and the material that I have chosen to use, and the way I have chosen to work.” Around us is a hive of activity, with three or four people working on multiple pieces, which Hicks oversees with a canny attention to detail. She guides two young assistants in the room as they experiment with wrapping methods for new soft sculptural forms; she ﬁelds a stream of phone calls; and she never once loses her place in the conversation, which she steers entirely, often answering a question with a question. “I have a roving vision,” she says. “There are no binoculars that I look through, and I am watching, discovering and thinking and processing. That’s why
people don’t like to walk down the street with me,” she says. Hicks delivers her punch lines with theatrical suspense and a drawn-out, raspy chuckle. The artist has long been driven to explore, challenge and bring new meaning to her medium. She’s done this without being conﬁned by ﬁber’s perceived functional or decorative purposes—an approach that has made her something of an iconoclast. In the sixth decade of her career, Hicks is still experimenting and creating at a proliﬁc pace. In just the past two years, Hicks’s site-speciﬁc, prismatic sculptures have inhabited the basin of the Bosquet de la Colonnade at the Palace of Versailles, the High Line in New York and the Arsenale at the 2017 Venice Biennale. She works with multiple galleries, including Sikkema Jenkins & Co. and Demisch Danant in New York, Galerie Frank Elbaz in Paris and Alison Jacques Gallery in London. Last year saw her ﬁrst major retrospective in her adopted home city—the exhibition Lignes de Vie at the Centre Pompidou—and her work currently features in four shows, including three solo presentations: Sheila Hicks: Secret Structures, Looming Presence at the Dallas Museum of Art, Campo Abierto (Open Field) at the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach and Reencuentro at the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino in Santiago, Chile. “When you say recent,” she clariﬁes when a work from 2017 comes up in conversation, “I think in months.”
One of the pieces coming to life in the studio today—a graded, colored yarn–wrapped canvas that draws you in immediately—doesn’t have a destination in mind. Hicks says she doesn’t sit by the phone and wait for commissions. “I’m making these panels because I want to make them, because I’m intrigued with what’s happening,” she says, adding, “I don’t work toward anything.... But if someone tells me to walk left, I walk 10 feet right. It’s just kind of an independent spirit, doing whatever I want to do.” We pause to watch the process, which involves an assistant meticulously arranging lines of yarn so that some of the colors come to the surface and others are submerged, while another assistant pulls each ﬁbrous thread down over the other side of the frame to achieve tension. There’s no front or back to this work. It is seamless like a painting. Hicks began experimenting with this wrapping technique in the early 2010s. Dior artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri recently used a number of similar pieces as backdrops for the house’s fall 2019 campaign, with Jennifer Lawrence posing among them. “Sheila’s works create a special relationship with space,” says Chiuri. “They invade it as much as they give shape to it, and through their materiality, form and color they manage to transﬁgure it as well.” “This technique of wrapping and making threads intermingle, and not at right angles, like in weaving,” Hicks explains, intertwining her ﬁngers to 17 7
“WAS I EVER REPRESSED? PROBABLY LEFT AND RIGHT, BUT YOU CAN SEE WHAT KIND OF CHARACTER I HAVE.”
architecture students there. Through Larraín’s son, also named Sergio, she was introduced to the painter Nemesio Antúnez and the writer Pablo Neruda. Later in his life, the older Larraín founded the Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, where Hicks’s retrospective is currently installed alongside the permanent collection of pre-Columbian textiles. “It’s a big closing of the circle,” Hicks says of the exhibition. After completing her master’s at Yale, Hicks traveled to Mexico, where she met architects Luis Barragán and Mathias Goeritz, who both encouraged her early experiments in textiles. On a personal note, she met the ﬁrst of her three husbands, Henrik Tati Schlubach, settling for a period in his adobe house in the valley of Taxco el Viejo, giving birth to their daughter, Itaka Marama, in 1960, and making textiles on a makeshift loom—the legs of an upside-down table. To this day, Hicks still doesn’t work on a loom but on a painting stretcher with nails. “I am not a weaver…but I have a very big weaving following,” she says with a laugh. These years formed a crucial period when Hicks began to believe she could work with ﬁber as an art form. Zoë Ryan, the curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, is in charge of the upcoming exhibition In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury, which includes a selection of Hicks’s work from this era in Mexico. Ryan sees this as a critical moment: when the artist “broke free from the loom” and recognized that weaving wasn’t a utilitarian, two-dimensional practice. “Modernists were looking for universal languages through their art, and of course, abstraction was all about that. When they went to Latin America, they realized the locals had been using abstract forms for centuries,” says Ryan of Hicks and the other women featured in the show. “Through the structure
demonstrate, “we’re going off track and doing something completely different.” Hicks was born Francine Rae Hicks in Hastings, Nebraska, in 1934. The oldest of three children, she grew up in Detroit and went on to study art at Syracuse University for two years, before enrolling in the Yale School of Art, where she was one of three female bachelor of ﬁne arts graduates in 1957. (In 1959 she earned her master of ﬁne arts from Yale, and in May of this year, she received her third degree from the university: an honorary doctor of ﬁne arts alongside other luminaries like Gloria Steinem and Chimamanda Adichie.) At Yale, she specialized in painting and took art history classes with George Kubler, whose teachings on pre-Columbian art—speciﬁcally images of Peruvian mummies—sparked her interest in textile traditions. When she graduated, in 1957, she went to Chile on a Fulbright scholarship at the behest of her teacher Josef Albers, the Yale design department chair and former Bauhaus and Black Mountain College professor whose analytical approach to form and color resonates in her work to this day. (Hicks met Albers’s wife, the renowned Bauhaus weaver Anni Albers, only a few times.) As a 23-year-old en route to Chile in the late 1950s, she traveled by bus, plane and whatever means available through Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, taking photos, sketching and journaling as she went. The prominent archaeologist Junius Bird guided her to certain points on the map and encouraged her to seek out indigenous populations. In Santiago, Hicks connected with the architect Sergio Larraín García-Moreno, the dean of the architecture school at the Pontiﬁcia Universidad Católica de Chile, and taught a Bauhaus-designed course to
FLOWER OF CREATIVITY Hicks in her studio’s courtyard.
of the making they could create universal language— it crossed cultures and language barriers.” In 1964, Hicks left both her husband and Mexico and relocated to Paris. She married her second husband, the Chilean painter and engraver Enrique Zañartu, there, and they had a son, Cristobal Juan, in 1965. In her Paris studio today, Hicks leafs through a book and lands on an image of an ancient Andean shirt that was woven with a backstrap loom, a tool that requires the weaver to use a tree or a post to create tension. “The people who worked in the altiplano in South America were very sophisticated in the sense of their technical ingenuity,” she says, pointing at the work. “I am not drawn to the compositions or the iconography…[but] their vocabulary, their way of moving lines in space and threads.” Such textile traditions, along with those she encountered in India and Morocco in the 1960s and 1970s, have fueled both the foundation and the innovation of Hicks’s practice, allowing her to reinvent the wheel with ﬁbrous form and blur the boundaries between art, design, architecture and fashion. “These trips in the Andes always gave me ideas, and then 180
such, we tiptoe around themes of her achievements as a woman artist—“Was I ever repressed? Probably left and right, but you can see what kind of character I have,” she says—and any line of thought that textile work is traditionally female. “It’s not gender-based. In India it’s the men who weave. Also, who’s growing the material?” she says with a shrug. And she even pushes back on the narrative that she has broken boundaries. “Someone who sets out in a direction that hasn’t been mapped? But don’t you do that every day?” says Hicks. “Don’t you walk down a street you don’t know?” There was a time, in line with trends in art history, when the world of textile art, with its tapestry biennials and craft councils, was more interested than the art world at large in Hicks’s works. Yet it is also true that Hicks was recognized as an artist from day one: The Museum of Modern Art was the ﬁrst museum to acquire one of her pieces, Blue Letter (1959), a monochromatic hand-woven wool work. Though MoMA has since amassed a signiﬁcant collection of Hicks’s work, there were long gaps between the 1960s exhibitions that ﬁrst featured her work, one show in 1986, and 2012, when she started to be included more regularly. The reason for this, says MoMA modern design curator Juliet Kinchin, is multifaceted: “One of my heroes is Mildred Constantine, curator in architecture and design from 1943 to 1971, who staged the groundbreaking 1969 exhibition Wall Hangings, which launched the ﬁber art movement in the United States and featured the work of Sheila Hicks. After Constantine left MoMA, there was undoubtedly a lull in acquiring and exhibiting textiles that was consistent with a more general trend in contemporary art museums and the marginalization of work by women artists,” Kinchin says. “The situation is very different now—textiles are undoubtedly having a moment.” This fall, as part of MoMA’s reopening lineup, Hicks’s monumental 2013–14 work for the Whitney Biennial, Pillar of Inquiry/Supple Column, will be part of the mixed-medium group exhibition Surrounds: 11 Installations. Michel Gauthier, the curator of Hicks’s Pompidou retrospective, agrees with Kinchin but offers a cautionary note: “Sheila Hicks is now considered to have played a leading role in the textile recognition process, but let’s not imprison her in this category of textile artist even if it’s to make her queen,” he says. “To Hicks, textile is above all the ideal material for resisting formal reiﬁcation and striving to keep the work of art alive.” In the studio, Hicks turns her attention back to the work at hand: The wrapped panel is almost ﬁnished, and the colors have evolved from vibrant blue and green—the rich hues you might see in Morocco—to a hint of deep red. The evolution of color is determined by the ratio of colored yarn each time; more spools of one color will set the tone, but this can always change and evolve—such is the spontaneous nature of her process. “You’re making something as it is happening, and it can be changed at any moment,” she says, adding that there is never a recipe. “The genesis is [the] doing, working and thinking. That’s what I am doing all the time: I’m walking out on a plank.”
FROM TOP: FAITH STERN, COURTESY OF SHEILA HICKS; PIERLUIGI PALAZZI/ALAMY
LOOMING LARGE From top: Hicks weaving on a backstrap loom in Mitla, Mexico, in 1961; her installation Escalade Beyond Chromatic Lands at the 2017 Venice Biennale.
I’d say aha! and try and think of a new way that they didn’t do or I haven’t done yet,” she says. “What Sheila does is very playful. She plays with construction and technique and imbues them with modernist ideals of color, form, textures, order and shape,” says Ryan. “Coming up to the present day, all of those early inﬂuences have persisted, though she is more and more liberated.” Hicks says she has always learned by doing. While previous reports have traced her craft skills back to her family, Hicks dismisses this: “I always make a different answer to that question, and I give credit to all different kinds of imaginary scenarios,” she says of her talents. Then she clariﬁes, “My hands are curious; I am curious. It’s unbelievable to someone like me that someone doesn’t pick up something to ﬁgure out how it works and where did it come from, and wonder who made it and how they made it.” An encounter with Hicks’s work invites the same level of inquiry and engagement. At the 2017 Venice Biennale, “the mayor came to inaugurate the show, and he walked right up to [my installation] and just plonked himself down in the middle,” Hicks says, visibly thrilled. She even recalls mounting an exhibition in the early ’80s in Australia where, she says, people began to cry, for reasons she doesn’t understand to this day: “People became very emotional, so much so that I thought I had to stop. I wasn’t sure I could go on with the show.” For her commissioned works, like the two linenand-silk modernist wall panels she made for the Ford Foundation in 1966–67, Hicks has always set out to consider this interaction with the audience in clear-cut terms: “Who is inhabiting the space? Who are these people? Where are they coming from? What might they need and appreciate? How are they going to use the space?” The Ford Foundation works, which sat unprotected in the boardroom and auditorium, were damaged over time, and Hicks replaced them entirely in 2014, almost 50 years after the original installation. “That’s a life-affirming experience,” she says. “The work is timeless: It is as powerful today as it was 50 years ago,” says Ford Foundation president Darren Walker. “I observe people looking up at it; they are awestruck or they are not sure exactly what they’re looking at. Sometimes I see people not looking at the stage but to their left towards Sheila’s work.” The term pioneer comes up a lot when people talk about Hicks. (“Does that have anything to do with Nebraska?” she jokes.) Stella McCartney, for whose winter 2019 runway collection Hicks created a bright and imaginative selection of what she calls “adornments, not accessories,” is one of many who use the word. “Sheila is the real deal. There are very few people like her on the planet,” says McCartney. “I mean, the life she’s led and the things she’s achieved; it’s important to look at that.” For her part, Hicks evades conversations around feminism and which equation she ﬁts into. “These are kind of easy questions that writers and journalists and people grab at now because it makes their life easier,” she says of the imperative to box her in. As
FIBERS OF BEING Top, from left: A 2019 work, Hamdoullah, hangs on a door; two scenes from the studio, including works in progress. Middle, from left: A tray of works in progress; ceramics by Rebecca Clark sit on the windowsill; a basket of unspun wool. Bottom, from left: Works in progress hang from a rack; the lush courtyard; a broomlike found object in front of containers of Chinese noodles.
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Prada dress, $4,250, select Prada boutiques Victoria Beckham shirt, $890, and pants, $1,290, victoriabeckham
.com, Celine by Hedi Slimane shoes, $760, celine.com, Tiffany & Co. earrings, $4,300, and bracelets and necklace (bottom, worn as bracelet), prices upon request, tiffany.com
PAGE 158 Dior sweater, price upon request, Dior boutiques, Chanel pants, $2,950, select Chanel boutiques, Alexander Wang earrings, $695, alexanderwang.com; Khaite jacket, $3,900, shirt, $380, and pants, $580, khaite.com, Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello boots, $945, Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, New York, Jennifer Fisher earrings, $325, jenniferﬁsherjewelry.com
PAGE 159 Emilia Wickstead dress, price upon request, emiliawickstead.com, Oscar de la Renta veil, price upon request, personalshopper@odlr .com, M&S Schmalberg ﬂowers, $40, customfabricﬂowers.com, Laura Lombardi Jewelry ring, price upon request, lauratlombardi.com; Alexandre Vauthier waistcoat, $1,100, shirt, $720, and trousers, $1,025, netaporter.com, Ralph Lauren Collection coat, $2,890, and bow tie, $195, ralphlauren.com
PAGE 161 Louis Vuitton jacket, shirt, skirt and belt, prices upon request, select Louis Vuitton stores, Fogal tights, $35, fogal.com, Ralph Lauren Collection shoes, price upon request, ralphlauren.com, Fallon earrings, $250, and brooch, $275, fallonjewelry.com, Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz bracelet, $220, ben-amun.com
PAGE 162 Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello coat, $4,390, Saint Laurent, 3 East 57th Street, New York, Primark sweater, $18, primark .com, R13 jeans, $425, r13denim .com, Schott NYC belt, $75, schottnyc.com, Brock Collection boots, price upon request, modaoperandi.com
PAGE 163 Valentino gown, $25,000, Valentino boutiques, Rosamosario shorts, $380, rosamosario.com, Ben-Amun by Isaac Manevitz choker, $345, ben-amun.com
PAGE 165 Max Mara sweater, $525, maxmara .com, Dior skirt, price upon request, 800-929-Dior, Paco Rabanne shoes, price upon request, pacorabanne .com, Fallon earrings, $310, fallonjewelry.com
WSJ. Issue 110, September 2019 Women’s Fall Fashion, Copyright 2019, Dow Jones and Company, Inc. All rights reserved. See the magazine online at www.wsjmagazine.com. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. WSJ. Magazine is provided as a supplement to The Wall Street Journal for subscribers who receive delivery of the Saturday Weekend Edition and on newsstands. Individual copies can be purchased at wsjshop.com. For Customer Service, please call 1-800-JOURNAL (1-800-568-7625), send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at: 200 Burnett Road, Chicopee, MA 01020. For advertising inquiries, please email us at email@example.com. For reprints, please call 800-843-0008, email customreprints@dowjones .com or visit our reprints web address at www.djreprints.com.
BETYE SAAR The 93-year-old artist shares a few of her favorite things. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYLA REEFER
“MY RED-FOOTED TORTOISE Ms. Rojo is 18 years old. It
took me three years to ﬁnd her; I bought her at a Petco. She loves strawberry tops, Rojo. She’s not a cuddly pet; she’s just to look at, moves slowly, sleeps most of the time, has a hiding place. The Uneasy Dancer poster from Fondazione Prada is on the wall to make me feel proud that I had a residency there. Prada was really curious: What does the title mean? What does uneasy mean? I said, ‘Sort of restless—like dance. Something that has a routine but you feel uneasy about.’ The title refers to my work in that I’m a mixed-media artist and I like things superimposed on each other, like a collage. Or an ordinary item like a chair or a ladder:
Put something on it that makes it uneasy, and it still looks great. The teapot is ‘shardware,’ which I collect. It has all of these wonderful things [on it], like a political button. It’s a folk art expression mostly from the South; instead of tombstones, they would glue small belongings from the deceased on a bottle or a box. I like pieces that show the hand has made them. Except for that stool—that’s from India, and craftspeople there do everything perfectly. It was a gift from my ex-husband, Richard Saar, and I’ve had it for a long time. I found the assemblage cat in West Hollywood at a place called Cake and Art. My kids were little then, and it was very expensive for me. The
tin toy musicians are an assemblage, in a way, a gift from my former New York dealer, Michael Rosenfeld. Now these dolls, they’re Brazilian. I have an American friend whose wife is Brazilian, and he bought them for me on a visit. The dresses had been lost, but they have bandannas and beads and ﬁngernails. Their costumes would have been full white dresses, which is what they wear in [the religion] Macumba. I’m trying to think of when I got that mask. I think it was the color that I liked about it, that intense red. I collect masks, and I’m interested in the psychology behind them: to hide reality, to pose as something different.” —As told to Molly Creeden WSJ. M AGA ZINE
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Fall Fashion Character Study