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Cutting Edge

Avant Garde Edited by Symphony Campbell

To my fashionable Grandmother and Mother

Copyright © 2019 Symphony Campbell All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, addressed “Attention: Permissions Coordinator,” at the address below.

ISBN: 040-570-79-321789-5 (Hardcover) Library of Congress Control Number: 00000000000 Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Names, characters, and places are products of the author’s imagination. Front cover image by Michelangelo Do Battista for Flawless Magazine Book design by Symphony Campbell. Printed by Book 1 One, in the United States of America. First printing edition 2019. Book 1 One 655 Driving Park Avenue Rochester, NY 14613

Chapter 1 3



Avant Garde?


History Chapter 2


Designers Chapter 3

38-49 35

Beauty Aesthetics Chapter 4


Met Gala


Fashion Journalists




oduc Azzedine Alaia, Fashion designer

and Elle McPherson, Fashion Model

tion 8



Avant Garde Fashion

a Modern Definition An excerpt by Barbara i Gongini


“...thinking forward and exploring new possibilities.” - Barbara I Gongini

The Avant-Garde Fashion Term

In Fashion

To fully grasp the concept and its importance, Barbara Í Gongini, our avant-garde fashion designer explains:“Avant-garde can be viewed as experimental because it has something to do with constantly being on the edge, thinking forward and exploring new possibilities. Mirroring the times in which we are living provides a relevance to the form of expression of the artist.”

In fashion, avant-garde manifested in a similar way to other fields. It presumes forward thinking, artistry, unconventional designs, new forms, structures and an extraordinary touch that separates the ideas from the mainstream. Avant garde fashions distinguishes itself through the fact that it embodies a way of living. To show how avant garde influenced fashion, Barbara Í Gongini explains:“Avantgarde fashion emanates deeply in some sort of holistic sense of being. The whole Japanese aesthetic philosophies emanate very much with what I am. What I stand for.“ The continuous experimental approach has defined a fashion style that has a very specific tone of voice.

By relying on social context, the artists explores and creates blindly, in an experimental approach to discovering where the artistic inspiration will take him. With trying different ways of doing something comes innovation and thus, progress. Avant-Garde’s History & Artistic Roots The avant-garde movement primarily consists of artists, designers, musicians, writers and thinkers who are opposed to cultural values of the mainstream. The vanguard notion means traveling beyond what’s accepted as the status quo, to think and create beyond established social norms.

Those who are familiar avant-garde fashion have developed a unique way of understanding it. Thus, a connection is made through very personal way of expressing yourself “It tells stories which go deep under the skin and perception of the wearer.”


s ay i

g co mp l ic a t ed t hing s.”


of y wa e pl m i as s i yle t S “

-Jean Cocteau


Garde The avant-garde (from French, “advance guard” or “vanguard”, literally “fore guard”) are people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to fashion, art, lifestyle or culture. The avant-garde pushes the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo. Many fashion designers have aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement to create a buzz around their name, brand, or designs.

When clothing is designed in an unusual manner (possibly outlandish manner), it typically garners more attention from celebrities and the press. The media and bloggers enjoy writing about clothes,shoes, or accessories that don’t fit the norm. Frankly, avant garde fashion provides interesting photographs and news. Purposely creating unusual clothing helps develop brand awareness which often trickles down from the media to consumers. Avant-garde is a style defined through strong personality. The style can be sophisticated, intriguing, and striking. Fashion designed in this manner can also be considered to be mysterious as well as intimidating for typical consumers.

Pierre Cardin, 1960

Avant garde fashion is typically very modern but can take on aspects of vintage as well. Because this style of clothing is often produced with unusual shapes and sometimes unusual fabrications, it often takes on the appearance of being more of a costume than clothes to be worn on a normal day.


Avant Garde | History and Breakthroughs

Avant Garde Fashion:

History and Breakthroughs Avant Garde is the French word Vanguard, which has been described in both art and military scenarios. In fashion Industry, we would also find Avant Garde Fashion. It has been described as being innovative or inventive. It has also been labeled in some cases as Vintage, unconventional and innovative fashion. It is hard to determine exactly when designers started creating Avant Garde Fashion. The Avant Garde art itself started around the early 1900’s, but there is some indication that the art and some fashion pieces, like wedding gowns were created in the late 1800’s Avant Garde fashion was quite a controversial subject through the 1960’s. As with any trend, fashions seem to disappear or slow down, but Avant Garde has been present in one form or another since the beginning.


Futuristic geometric silver Avant Garde Metalic Headpeace, VVBDesignStudio


Des ign ers

Alexander McQueen, British fashion designer



Avant Garde | Designers

Pierre Cardin Pierre Cardin is an Italian fashion designer naturalized French. He is known for his avant-garde style and his Space Age designs. He prefers geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. He founded his fashion house in 1950 and introduced the “bubble dress” in 1954.

Cardin was educated in central France. Beginning his career early, at age 14 he worked as a clothier’s apprentice, learning the basics of fashion design and construction. In 1939, he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he began making suits for women. During World War II, he worked in the Red Cross, launching humanitarian interests that continue to this day. Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin after World War II. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga. Pierre Cardin, 1960


Cardin founded his own house in 1950. His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for “the party of the century”, a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo’s owner, Carlos de Beistegui. In both 1977 and 1979, he was awarded the w Golden Thimble by French haute couture for most creative collection of the season.




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Avant Garde | Designers

Thierry Mugler, Chimera dress


Avant Garde | Designers

“I made clothes because I was looking for something that didn’t exist. I had to try to create my own world.” - Thierry Mugler


hierry Mugler is a fashion designer and perfumer from France. He was born in 1948 in Strasbourg. As he turned 24, Mugler shifted to Paris and started designing apparel for Gudule, a Parisian store. Two years later, he began designing for a range of prêt-a-porter fashion stores in different parts of the world.

Two years earlier, an influential editor in the fashion industry, Melka Tréanton assisted him in launching his career. She made him exhibit his work in an event by Shiseido in Japan. During the 80s and 90s, Mugler turned out to be a renowned designer internationally and his work garnered a great deal of commercial triumph.

At first he only designed for women but as of 1978, he focused on menswear as well. Two years earlier, an influential editor in the fashion industry, Melka Tréanton assisted him in launching his career. She made him exhibit his work in an event by Shiseido in Japan. During the 80s and 90s, Mugler turned out to be a renowned designer internationally and his work garnered a great deal of commercial triumph. At first he only designed for women but as of 1978, he focused on menswear as well.

Mugler took a break from fashion but continued with his bodybuilding. In 2013, he did a show called Mugler Follies in Théâtre Comédia. The entertainment included models, acrobats, singers, dancers. There was eroticism, technology, lights and fantasy filled in the venue. Guest were served with champagne and dinner – a lavish comeback. Mugler has no doubt re-invented himself as Manfred.


Avant Garde | Designers

Vivienne Westwood, Spring 2012


Avant Garde | Designers



ivienne Westwood is an English businesswoman and fashion designer. She is noted for bringing new wave and contemporary punk fashion into the mainstream industry. She gained publicity when she designed an apparel collection, for Malcolm McLaren’s fashion house. They blended fashion and music to shape the punk scene in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. Later on, she opened shops in London at first and then expanded her business throughout Europe and in some other parts of the world. Her stores sell an array of merchandise and some of the things have political ideas and causes. She was born in Derbyshire to Gordon and Dora Swire. Vivienne went to Glossop Grammar School. In 1958 when she was seventeen, she moved to London and studied at Harrow School of Art. She then started working in a factory and meanwhile took a teaching course, in order to teach primary school children. Around this time, she designed jewelry herself and sold it on a stall located on Portobello Road. Apart from her love for designing, she is a political activist as well. She has passed statements and has conducted campaigns in support of her political views.


AMc Avant Garde | Designers

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Avant Garde | Designers


ee Alexander McQueen was a British couturier and fashion designer known for working at Givenchy as head designer between 1996 and 2001, and for establishing his own label. He was born in London to a taxi driver and teacher. He went to Carpenters Road Primary School. During this time he began designing and stitching clothes for his sisters and intended to become a fashion designer once he grew up. He then joined the Rokeby School but left the place at in 1985 in order to do an internship at Anderson & Sheppard with Savile Row prior to Gieves &Hawkes and then ended up at Angels and Bermans. With these apprenticeships, he earned a great reputation in the world of fashion. With these apprenticeships, he earned a great reputation in the world of fashion. His clients at the time included Prince Charles and Mikhail Gorbachev. When he was twenty years old, he worked for Koji Tatsuno and then for Romeo Gigli. In 1994, he did his masters from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design. Later on, McQueen launched his collections and along the way he met Katy England who accompanied him in his work. His designs have been worn by David Bowie and Björk for their tours and music albums. Between 1996 and 2001, Alexander McQueen worked at Givenchy and ended the contract after expressing that the company constrained his creativity.

At the age of eighteen he told his family about his sexual orientation, and although there was disagreement at first, they later accepted this. In 2000 because same sex marriage was not legal in Spain, McQueen married George Forsyth unofficially. Alexander McQueen won himself some prestigious awards, such as British Designer of the Year, and the Year’s International Designer by the Council of Fashion Designers. In addition to this, he also partnered with Gucci selling them 51% in his brand and became their Creative Director. McQueen

“I find beauty in the grotesque, like most artists.” - Alexander McQueen also became the first designer to be involved in the promotional activities of cosmetics by MAC. On 11 February 2010, Alexander McQueen he was found dead hanging from the ceiling in his home. Though he left a note, it did not say the reason of his suicide. At the time of investigation, one of his friend’s explained that McQueen was unhappy for some time and consumed a great amount of drugs. His memorial was attended by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour, Stella McCartney, Sarah Jessica Parker and Björk. McQueen loved his dogs so much that he left thousands of dollars for them to live a luxurious life after him.



The new documentary McQueen analyzes the origins of the McQueen mythos and aims to peel it away, discussing the designer’s work, personal life, and legacy through archival footage and interviews with some of his closest friends, collaborators, and family members, including McQueen’s sister Janet and his nephew and Janet’s son Gary James McQueen. The film offers a comprehensive survey of McQueen’s career.


Avant Garde | Designers


survivor and witness of the devastating Hiroshima bombing in 1945 and a technology-driven fashion designer from Japan, Issey Miyake was born on 22nd April 1938. He is recognized worldwide for his contemporary, industrial and innovative apparel designs, fragrances and exhibitions. His work cuts the edge of science and fashion, combining the two into a harmonizing symphony using unconventional materials. Miyake studied in Tokyo at the Tama Art University majoring in graphic designing. Those mathematical, structured and technical skills are applied in his fashion as well. After his graduation in 1964, he worked in New York and Paris in order to buff his skills and gain experience in the best cities for fashion enthusiasts. Six years later, he returned to Tokyo where he established the Miyake Design Studio that produced high-end, sophisticated and extraordinary fashion for women. Issey Miyake got his first break when one of his works was featured at Bloomingdales and in Vogue. His talents were acknowledged so much so that the magazine published his work and the store assigned him a mini-shop within its terrain. After the mid 1980s, he commenced experimenting with fresh ideas and methods of a stitching technique, called pleating. With this activity, Miyake aimed to discover types of pleats that would increase the flexibility in movement for the people who wore his outfits. Also, he wanted to invent something that could be easily produced and appeared comfortable to the customers at the same time. Such work by him was observed in a piece called The Loss of Small Details, a costume created for BallettFrankfurt. Between 1994 and 1999, Miyake turned his attention to research work, exploring new approaches and resources to use in his work. Similar to what many other fashion designers do, he has collection of perfumes. His debut


fragrance, L’eau d’Issey for females with a light floral-aquatic scent was introduced in 1992. The bottle is designed by Miyake and is influenced by a view of the Eiffel Tower and the moon from his apartment in Paris. This innovation was followed by L’eau d’Issey Pour Hommes in 2004, L’eau Bleue d’Issey Eau in 2006, Drop on a Petal in 2007, Reflections in a Drop in 2008. All the Miyake perfumes are manufactured under an agreement with Shiseido‘s Beauté Prestige International sector.


Miy ake Issey Miyake design Photographed by David Sims


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Avant Garde | Designers



Japanese fashion label founded by and headed by Rei Kawakubo. It is based in Tokyo and also in the Place Vendôme in Paris

The label was started in Tokyo by Rei Kawakubo in 1969 and established as a company Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in 1973. and translates as “like boys” in French. The brand’s name was inspired by Francoise Hardy’s 1962 song Tous les garçons et les filles, particularly from the line Comme les garçons et les filles de mon âge.The brand became successful in Japan in the 1970s; a menswear line was added in 1978. The year 1981 saw Comme des Garçons’s debut show in Paris. Kawakubo’s heavy use of black, as well as distressed fabrics and unfinished seams, were viewed negatively by French critics. Throughout the 1980s, Comme des Garçons’s clothes often were associated with a ‘distressed’ and ‘punk’ oriented style. Comme des Garçons continued to produce unusual styles through the 1990s, many of which were disliked by experts but by 2004 the company had grown Homme des Garçons Deux and Comme des Garçons Shirt, are all handmade. This is because Comme des Garçons adamantly values the quality of handmade garments, reflected in the more expensive price and longevity of their products.


Avant Garde | Designers

ÇONS Fashion Comme des Garçons collections are designed in the Comme des Garçons studio in Aoyama, Tokyo and are manufactured in Japan, France, Spain, and Turkey. The company has over the years recurrently associated itself with the arts and cultural projects internationally. The 1997 spring-summer collection, often referred to the “lumps and bumps” collection, which contained fabric in bulk and balls on the garments. This led to a collaboration, also in 1997, between Rei Kawakubo and New York-based choreographer Merce Cunningham called “Scenario”.

“Beauty is whatever any one thinks is beautiful.” - Rei Kawakubo

The 2006 autumn/winter collection dealt with the concept of the “persona”, the different ways we present ourselves to the world. Fusing tailored menswear with more feminine elements such as corsets and flower printed dress fabrics, “Persona” was another collection that combined the feminine with the masculine by Comme des Garçons. Junya Watanabe and, as of recently, Tao Kurihara have started their own sub-labels under the Comme des Garçons name to much acclaim. Both also were involved in designing for the casual women’s knitwear line “Comme des Garçons Tricot”.


Avant Garde | Designers


B ohji ama moto

orn in Tokyo, Yamamoto graduated from Keio University with a degree in law in 1966. He gave up a prospective legal career to assist his mother in her dress-making business, from where he learned his tailoring skills. He further studied fashion design at Bunka Fashion College, getting a degree in 1969. Yamamoto debuted in Paris in 1981. In an interview with The New York Times in 1983, Yamamoto said of his designs, “I think that my men’s clothes look as good on women as my women’s clothing] When I started designing, I wanted to make men’s clothes for women.” Yamamoto is known for an avant-garde spirit in his clothing, frequently creating designs far removed from current trends. His signature oversized silhouettes often feature drapery in varying textures. Yohji’ collections are predominately made in black, a colour which Yamamoto has described as “modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: “I don’t bother you - don’t bother me” Yohji Yamamoto was invited to curate the second issue of A MAGAZINE curated by in 2005, following Martin Margiela. Poor decisions by finance managers pushed the brand into debts of more than 65 million US dollars in 2009, which angered Yamamoto and led to a company restructuring from 2009 to 2010. The private equity firm Integral Corp. was identified as the Japanese company who will restructure the Yohji Yamamoto Inc and by November 2010 the company was out of debt and avoiding the risk of bankruptcy. Yohji has expressed a deep love for designing clothing, going so far as to say he ‘cannot imagine [himself] retired’.


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Cardi B, 2019 Met Gala

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” —Miuccia Prada 27

Alessandro Trincone, Spring/ Summer 2017


Avant Garde | Designers

Why Fashion is going

Avant Garde Lisa Armstrong

It’s a fashion paradox that the more avant-garde the piece, the less likely it is to date. Or maybe it’s not such a paradox. The same applies to all areas of creativity. Literature? James Joyce is almost certainly more widely read (or at least studied) now than he was when Finnegans Wake was first published in 1939. Picasso? Most people wouldn’t be averse to having any one of his works on their walls, although when he started, he was a much tougher sell. If you can train your eye to adjust to the shock of the new, you’re on to a winner. That’s not to say you’ll make a financial killing — not on clothes, at any rate. Whatever they tell you when you’re hovering over an expensive special buy in a store or at the auction houses, clothing still doesn’t appreciate in monetary terms the way art or cars do. But fashion economics are about more than cold cash. They’re also to do with longevity.


Avant Garde | Designers


t’s a Soros-proof truism that, provided

The reverse, in fact. It marks you out as an early

you avoid the more obviously trend com-

adopter. And it makes for uniquely versatile

patible details (huge 80s shoulders, for

staples. When a dress is also a hybrid jacket, or

instance, although even here, there’s a caveat,

an evening tux has sporty details, you end up

which we’ll come to in a moment), practically

being able to wear it to all kinds of events.

anything from Comme des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake (all Japanese) and even Azzedine Alaia (French-Tunisian) is dateless. That’s because when you march to your own beat, as they all do, you operate in your own timeless paradigm.

It’s probably no coincidence that the hottest labels around now — Vetements, Balenciaga, Celine, Jacquemus, J.W.Anderson and Sacai — position themselves at the avant-garde end of the spectrum. Not only that, even their most outre propositions are spawning mass-market imitations.

If done without humour, that can seem prodically pretentious. But on the upside, in a world of endlessly disposable products, theirs aren’t. Whereas it’s become quite common for women to feel a bit shabby in certain company when they’re wearing “last season”, there’s no stigma attached to wearing an avant-garde outfit from two or 10 years ago.


The mismatched shoes on Celine’s spring catwalk — one of those “not in a million years” styling suggestions — have been taken up not just by Brooklyn Beckham (mismatched high-tops) and Naomie Harris (a chic pair of asymmetric jewelled sandals by Calvin Klein), but by White House press secretary Sean Spicer,

who wore one black brogue and one brown last month. Now Asos is selling mismatched pairs. Perhaps it’s a reaction to the blingy, body-con old-school aesthetics of the White House’s current incumbents.

But in the fashion world, ideas have, momentarily at least, overtaken embellishment. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out at the Met Ball, which, as Anna Wintour buffs will recall, is on the first Monday in May. The theme, as ever, will coincide with the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibition, which this time is Rei Kawakubo, the 74-yearoldfounder and designer of Comme des

“...the space between boundaries...” -Metropolitan Museum 31

Polyposis Designer: Kermit Tesoro


Avant Garde | Designers

Kermit Tesoro initially came into prominence through his sophisticated shoes that were used by Lady Gaga in many of her tours. He has used various mediums in his shoes such as wood, plaster, steel, leather, industrial resin, coral, and human bones and teeth, all of which have been inspired from natural environs and things found in specific environments. The first artwork he made were 9-inch Filipino clogs or bakya. He made them after being inspired by John Galliano’s work with Dior.

Tesoro 33

Avant Garde | Aesthetics

Design elements in Fashion There are four elements of fashion design: shape and form, line, color/value, and texture. There are five principles of fashion design: proportion and scale, balance, unity (harmony), rhythm, and emphasis. These aspects of design can be categorized into two areas: Principles and Elements of Design. One way to describe this is: “The principles are the directions for a cake recipe and the elements are the ingredients. There are four elements of fashion design: shape and form, line, color/value, and texture. There are five principles of fashion design: proportion and scale, balance, unity (harmony), rhythm, and emphasis.

Line Line in avant garde fashion can be found in many different ways. Some are subtle and others are prominent.


Balance Avant Garde designs use mostly asymmetrical balance within its designs, especially when it comes to jackets and skirts.

Shape Avant Garde designs use many geometric and some organic shapes.


Bea uty Liu Wen, Editorial China Vogue



Avant Garde | Beauty

Avant Garde

Makeup Although individual makeup looks may be distinct, there are several characteristics that typify this style of makeup. The word avant garde itself is a French term meaning ‘advance guard,’ and refers to things that are unique and new; experimental or innovative in nature. Applied to makeup, this term represents very artistic looks that are often exotic and high fashion makeup styles.

Michelle O ‘Connor, Hairstylist



Avant Garde | Beauty

Charac teristics

makeup of this style include: 1. Very artistic and unusual or unique 2. Dramatic and stylized 3. Follow a specific theme or meant to evoke a certain image Often uses bold or unusual makeup color 4.

May have heavy emphasis on a specific feature, often the eyes


Use of additional mediums beyond the makeup palate, such as gems, feathers, or glitter


Use professional quality cosmetics


May take a significant amount of time to create

Lady Gaga, Makeup artist Sarah Tanno




“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” —Gianni Versace

Yumi Jalouse, Geisha



Avant Garde | Beauty

Makeup Artists you should follow @joynara

Is Won Joy Eon the Pat McGrath of Korea? She’s certainly getting there, with a list of clients like W, Vogue, Elle Girl and more on her resumé, plus a slew of model fans. She uses makeup in new and different ways that you may not have seen before. @crystabelmakeup This British makeup artist’s work is usually pastel, sometimes grotesque, but always inspiring. Her feed is a well-curated mix of inspiration images and works in progress. Crystabel’s use of lines and body parts also sets her outside of the ‘box.’ @mirandajoyce You might have seen her work on Kendall Jenner for her #MyCalvins campaign, but Miranda thrives when she’s creating colourful, innovative looks for the runway - think graphic chevrons for Matty Bovan at London Fashion Week.


As a rule of thumb, anyone who has worked with FKA Twigs has our approval. Daniel Sallstrom’s approach is definitely avant-garde, or at the very least transformative, and he’s created magnificent looks for many of our favourite celebrities and magazines. @violette_fr Estée Lauder’s new Global Beauty Director first made a name for herself on YouTube, where she created beauty looks based off of the “French girl” aesthetic. Moving into more editorial work, Violette’s signature features are her use of pink, experimenting with avant-garde eyebrows, and always making something fun and sweet.





“The foundation of beauty is the body.” —Azzedine Alaia

Unknown, Symphony Campbell


“I came to terms of not fitting

in a long time ago. I never fitted in. I don’t want to fit in, and now people are buying into that.”

—Alexander McQueen

Alex Box, Makeup Artist




Gala 50

Rihanna, 2018 Met Gala


The Met Gala, formally called the Costume Institute Gala and also known as the Met Ball, is an annual fund-raising gala for the benefit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. It marks the opening of the Costume Institute’s annual fashion exhibit. Jennifer Lopez, 2018 Met Gala


“ is an expression of who I am right in that moment...” - Jennifer Lopez


Gigi Hadid, Met Gala 2018


Avant Garde | Gala

Who, What,

Wear? André Leon Talley, Vogue Contributor

Who gets invited to the Met Gala? The world’s best achievers in all the spheres of music, film, Broadway, and fashion, as well as simple supernova personalities. The list changes each year. My favorite guest was Diana Ross, also in a full-length dress of exotic feathers. Which bird was it, I am not sure: guinea hen, turkey, or some exotic bird. It was strapless and full-skirted. What is the dress code for the Met Gala? Dress codes vary. If you are Kanye West and Kim, you come in your own matching Balmain silver jacket and dress. If you are Beyoncé, you wear something that’s a big statement.


Avant Garde | Gala

Jaden Smith in Louis Vuitton


Gala 56

Avant Garde | Gala

Karwai Tang in Tommy Hilfiger and Loriblu boots

Jared Leto in Gucci

The Met Gala isn’t just for the women to parade around in designer gowns and accessories, but the men have made their presence known at the 2018 Met Gala.


Avant Garde | Gala


Dominated the

Met Gala 2019

Katy Perry 33.1 M MIV

Moschino 23.3 M MIV Serina Williams

Balmain 17.6 M MIV 58

Avant Garde | Gala

Lady Gaga 62.9 M MIV

Harry Styles 36.8 M MIV Versace 53.6 M MIV

Kim Kardashian 33.6 M MIV

Gucci 39.1 M MIV

Dior 25.5 M MIV Celebrities



Zendaya, Met Gala 2017


“The only opinion that should matter when you look in the mirrior is your own.” - Zendaya


Avant Garde | Gala

Driving Impact at the Met Gala 2019 Voice Share ‘Media’ (both traditional and social) represented the highest Voice share for the Met Gala 2019 by a landslide, as it accounted for $373.2M of the total MIV generated (coverage from social media channels specifically represented a staggering 81.21% of this). Instagram alone was responsible for 55.26% ($338.6M) of the total MIV, proving that it is an essential platform for brands and influencers when it comes to event coverage. This isn’t surprising as every top performing brand and celebrity at the Met Gala primarily posted on the platform before, during and after the event.


Avant Garde | Gala

Retailers 1% Brand 8%

Influencer 14%

Celebrity 16%

Media 61%


Avant Garde | Gala

Met Gala 2019:

Best Fashion The Met Gala’s red carpet is known for delivering some of the most daring fashion statements of the year. The charity benefit, which costs upwards of $30,000 a head to attend, has a rich history of attracting risqué outfits. Lady Gaga wore not one -- but four outfits to the event while actor Billy Porter, decked all in gold, was carried in on a chaise by six shirtless men.

“We’re going to be camping? That’s not my cup of tea.” - Celine Dion

The event’s reputation, coupled with 2019’s theme “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” has again resulted in an eye-catching assortment of bold looks. And, as the stars of stage, screen, music, fashion and sport arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Monday night, it also became clear that definitions of “camp” remain open to interpretation.

Memorable looks Harry Styles donned a flamenco-inspired, gender-fluid look designed by Gucci at tonight’s event. The singer wore a black jumpsuit by the label, in one of the mostsearched outfits of the night.


Avant Garde | Gala

from the

Red Carpet Lady Gaga, who has a long history of exaggerated and theatrical looks, also sparked a social media frenzy over the four outfits she wore to the Met Gala. Arriving in a voluminous bright pink dress by Brandon Maxwell, she then stripped down to a black gown, pink slip dress and finally into a crystal bra and panties.

Zendaya had a fairy tale entrance to the red carpet. The actress and singer, who wore a black Tommy Hilfiger gown, was walking up the stairs when her stylist, Law Roach, waved a wand and transformed her dress into a glowing version reminiscent of the iconic baby blue gown worn by Cinderella.

Rapper Cardi B showed up to the Met Gala in a dramatic burgundy gown that extended into a full quilted circular train. The dress, trimmed with feathers, was designed by Thom Browne and took more than 2,000 hours to make.

Jared Leto went with himself to this year’s Met Gala. Well, sort of. Leto arrived with a mannequin of his own head, apparently inspired by Gucci’s Fall-Winter 2018 show, where the fashion house sent models down the runway with heads.

Celine Dion’s 22-pound gold Oscar de la Renta dress became the topic of heated discussion online. While her dress, which took 52 master embroiderers to make, was a sheer work of art, the singer said she almost got the theme wrong.“I thought everyone was going to be sleeping toge-ther,” she told The Cut. “We’re going to be camping? That’s not my cup of tea.”

Last month, Nick Jonas told “Entertainment Tonight” that his wife, Priyanka Chopra, would “set the tone” for the pair’s Met Gala outfits. The Bollywood star did just that, wearing a silver Dior Haute Couture dress with a rainbow feathered skirt and a thorny crown. Jonas complemented her in a white suit by Dior Men. Both of them wore glittery silver shoes.

Whether it’s enormous angel wings or a spraypainted dress, Katy Perry always takes the Met Gala theme seriously. Unsurprisingly, Perry went all-out this year, attending as a life-sized chandelier with electric candles and dripping with crystals, designed by Moschino’s Jeremy Scott.


Avant Garde | Journalists

Andre Leon Talley, Met Gala 2011


Avant Garde | Journalists

André Leon Talley American Fashion Journalist


ndré Leon Talley (born October 16, 1949) is an American fashion journalist, who is the former American editorat-large of Vogue magazine. Talley has also served as international editor of the Russian fashion magazine Numéro. Talley was born on October 16, 1949, in Washington, D.C., as the son of Alma Ruth Davis and William C. Talley, a taxi driver. His parents left him with his grandmother, Binnie Francis Davis, who was a cleaning lady at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina. Davis raised him and Talley claims he was given an “understanding of luxury.” His grandfather was a sharecropper. Talley grew up in the Jim Crow era South, where the segregation was clear. His love for fashion was cultivated at an early age by his grandmother, Binnie, and his discovery of Vogue magazine, which he first found in the local library at the age of nine or 10. Talley was educated at Hillside High School, graduating in 1966, and North Carolina Central University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in French Literature in 1970. He later won a scholarship to Brown University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree in French Literature in 1972. At Brown, he wrote a thesis on Charles Baudelaire and initially planned to teach French.


Avant Garde | Journalists


eginning in 1974, he worked at Andy Warhol’s Factory in New York City and at Warhol’s Interview magazine for $50 a week. That same year Talley volunteered for Diana Vreeland at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He went on to work at Women’s Wear Daily and W, from 1975 through 1980. He also worked for The New York Times and other publications before finally landing at Vogue, where he worked as the Fashion News Director from 1983 to 1987 and then as Creative Director from 1988 to 1995. He pushed top designers to have more African-American models in their shows. He left Vogue and moved to Paris in 1995 to work for W, and served as contributing editor at Vogue. In 1998, he returned to Vogue as the editorat-large until his departure in 2013 to pursue another editorial venture. From 2013 to 2014, he served as international editor of Numéro Russia, joining the team shortly after the magazine launched in March 2013 but

Left: André Leon Talley Right: André Leon Talley and Diana Vreeland 68

resigned after 12 issues. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Savannah College of Art and Design since 1995.In April 2017, Talley began hosting his own radio show focusing on fashion and pop culture on Radio Andy, a Sirius XM satellite station. Talley is the subject of a documentary film, The Gospel According to André, directed by Kate Novack, which was screened in September 2016 at the Toronto Film Festival and was released in the US in May 25, 2018. Reviewing the film, Variety magazine said: “The documentary is a deeply loving, frequently beautiful testament to the former Vogue editor, who rose from humble beginnings in North Carolina to become arguably the high fashion world’s first major African-American taste maker, as well as the type of multi-lingual, Russian-lit-citing public intellectual who is perfectly at ease gossiping on TV with Wendy Williams.”


Avant Garde | Journalists

Anna Wintour British Fashion Journalist


ame Anna Wintour born 3 November 1949 is a BritishAmerican journalist and editor who has been editor-inchief of Vogue since 1988 and artistic director for Condé Nast, Vogue’s publisher, since 2013. With her trademark pageboy bob haircut and dark sunglasses, Wintour has become an important figure in much of the fashion world, widely praised for her eye for fashion trends and her support for younger designers. Her reportedly aloof and demanding personality has earned her the nickname “Nuclear Wintour”. Her father, Charles Wintour, editor of the London Evening Standard (1959–76), consulted her on how to make the newspaper relevant to the youth of the era. She became interested in fashion as a teenager. Her career in fashion journalism began at two British magazines. Later, she moved to the US, with stints at New York and House & Garden. She returned to London and was the editor of British Vogue between 1985 and 1987. A year later, she assumed control of the franchise’s magazine in New York, reviving what many saw as a stagnating publication. Her use of the magazine to shape the fashion industry has been the subject of debate within it.


Avant Garde | Journalists

Anna Wintour, Met Gala 2019


Left: Anna Wintour with Donatella Versace Right: Anna Wintour with friend and Donatella Versace 72

Avant Garde | Journalists


former personal assistant, Lauren Weisberger, wrote the 2003 bestselling roman à clef The Devil Wears Prada, later made into a successful film starring Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly, a fashion editor, believed to be based on Wintour. In 2009, she was the focus of another film, R. J. Cutler’s documentary The September Issue. Wintour was born in Hampstead, London in 1949, to Charles Wintour (1917–1999), editor of the Evening Standard, and Eleanor “Nonie” Trego Baker (1917–1995), an American, the daughter of a Harvard law professor. Her parents married in 1940 and divorced in 1979. Wintour was named after her maternal grandmother, Anna Baker (née Gilkyson), a merchant’s daughter from Pennsylvania. Audrey Slaughter, a magazine editor who founded publications such as Honey and Petticoat, is her stepmother.

Wintour is a member of a landed gentry family. Through her paternal grandmother, Wintour is a great-great-great granddaughter of the late-18th-century novelist Elizabeth Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire and her first husband, the Irish politician John Thomas Foster. Her greatgreat-great-great grandfather was Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol, who served as the Anglican Bishop of Derry. Sir Augustus Vere Foster, 4th Baronet, the last Baronet of that name, was a granduncle of Wintour’s. She had four siblings. Her older brother, Gerald, died in a traffic accident as a child. One of her younger brothers, Patrick, is also a journalist, currently diplomatic editor of The Guardian.James and Nora Wintour have worked in London local government and for international non-governmental organisations, respectively


Avant Garde | Journalists


n her youth, Wintour was educated at the independent North London Collegiate School, where she frequently rebelled against the dress code by taking up the hemlines of her skirts. At the age of 14, she began wearing her hair in a bob. She developed an interest in fashion as a regular viewer of Cathy McGowan on Ready Steady Go!, and from the issues of Seventeen which her grandmother sent from the United States. “Growing up in London in the ‘60s, you’d have to have had Irving Penn’s sack over your head not to know something extraordinary was happening in fashion,” she recalled. Her father regularly consulted her when he was considering ideas for increasing readership in the youth market. At the age of 15, she began dating well-connected older men. She was involved briefly with Piers Paul Read, then 24. In her later teens, she and gossip columnist Nigel Dempster became a fixture on the London club circuit.

Left: Anna Wintour in the 90’s Right: Anna Wintour as a young editor in 1960, photographed by Michael White


“I think my father really decided for me that I should work in fashion,” she recalled in The September Issue. He arranged for his daughter’s first job, at the influential Biba boutique, when she was 15. The next year, she left North London Collegiate and began a training program at Harrods. At her parents’ behest, she also took fashion classes at a nearby school. Soon she gave them up, saying, “You either know fashion or you don’t.” Another older boyfriend, Richard Neville, gave her her first experience of magazine production at his popular and controversial Oz.

“I think my father really decided for me that I should work in fashion.” -Anna Wintour

Avant Garde | Journalists

In 1970, when Harper’s Bazaar UK merged with Queen to become Harper’s & Queen, Wintour was hired as one of its first editorial assistants, beginning her career in fashion journalism. She told her co-workers that she wanted to edit Vogue. While there, she discovered model Annabel Hodin, a former North London classmate. Her connections helped her secure locations for innovative shoots by Helmut Newton, Jim Lee and other trendsetting photographers. One recreated the works of Renoir and Manet using models in go-go boots. After chronic disagreements with her rival, Min Hogg, she quit and moved to New York with her boyfriend, freelance journalist Jon Bradshaw. In her new home, she became a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in New York City in 1975. Wintour’s innovative shoots led editor Tony Mazzola to fire her after nine months. She was reportedly introduced to Bob Marley by one of Bradshaw’s friends, and disappeared with him for a week; in a 2017 appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, she said she had never actually met the reggae legend, but certainly would have “hooked up” with him if she had.

A few months later, Bradshaw helped her get her first position as a fashion editor, at Viva, a women’s adult magazine started by Kathy Keeton, then wife of Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione. She has rarely discussed working there, due to that connection. This was the first job at which she was able to hire a personal assistant, which began her reputation as a demanding and difficult boss. In late 1978, Guccione shut down the unprofitable magazine. Wintour decided to take some time off from work. She broke up with Bradshaw and began a relationship with French record producer Michel Esteban, for two years dividing her time with him between Paris and New York. She returned to work in 1980, succeeding Elsa Klensch as fashion editor for a new women’s magazine named Savvy. It sought to appeal to career-conscious professional women, who spent their own money, the readers Wintour would later target at Vogue. The following year, she became fashion editor of New York. There, the fashion spreads and photo shoots she had been putting together for years finally began attracting attention. Editor Edward Kosner sometimes bent very strict rules for her and let her work on other sections of the magazine. She learned through her work on a cover involving Rachel Ward how effectively celebrity covers sold copies. “Anna saw the celebrity thing coming before everyone else did,” Grace Coddington said three decades later. A former colleague arranged for an interview with Vogue editor Grace Mirabella that ended when Wintour told Mirabella she wanted her job.


Avant Garde | Gala


Isabel Toledo Avant Garde Fashion Designer, Dies at 59


Avant Garde | Memorium


oledo was born Maria Isabel Izquierdo in Camajuaní, Cuba. Raised in West New York, New Jersey after settling in the United States at the age of eight, she attendedMemorial High School, where she met her future husband and collaborator, Ruben Toledo, whom she married in 1984.Toledo told CNN, that she started sewing at age eight, because “I couldn’t find anything I loved.”She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (NY) and Parsons School of Design (NY), where she studied painting, ceramics, and fashion design. She left Parsons in 1979 before graduating in order to become an intern under Diana Vreeland at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“...a designer’s, designer...” -Toledo’s Peers Toledo presented her first collection in 1984 at Danceteria, with the help of her friend Joey Arias, who organized the events, and became an official participant in New York Fashion Week in 1985. Her work was soon being sold by Barneys New York, Colette in Paris, and Joyce Boutique in Hong Kong. Her work became influential in the world of design. According to the Israeli designer Alber Elbaz, “Everybody sort of stole from Isabel. Her work was about volume, cut, experiments, a laboratory of fabric — and that was not an Instagram moment. It was fashion.” In 1998, she stopped presenting biannual collections, instead choosing to create on her own schedule. Toledo was named creative director of Anne Klein in 2006 after more than twenty years of working solely under her own name, and this allowed her work to reach a wider public. Toledo made her debut with Anne Klein at New York Fashion Week in February 2007. Toledo and Anne Klein parted ways later in 2007.

Left: Isabel Toledo, photograph by Henny Garfunkel Right: Isabel Toledo poses with her shoes and handbags designed for Payless ShoeSource in Miami Beach, Fla. Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010



Index Chapter 1

Chapter 3





Avant Garde




Avant Garde: History


Makeup Artists


Chapter 2

Chapter 4

Cardin, Pierre


Who, what, wear


Mugler, Thierry


Men of the gala


Westwood, Vivienne


Dominated the gala


McQueen, Alexander


Driving impact


Miyake, Issey


Best fashion


Garcons, Comme de


Talley, Leon Andrè


Yamamoto, Yohji


Wintour, Anna


Going Avant Garde


Toledo, Isabel


Tesoro, Kermit


Design elements in fashion




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