Nov 30, 2012

London show fetes Italian fashion designer Valentino

LONDON (Reuters) - The Oscar dress worn by Julia Roberts and a frock for Audrey Hepburn are just two tantalizing items out of the dozens of sumptuous pieces gathered for a new show in London celebrating Italian designer Valentino Garavani's 50 years in fashion.
"Valentino: Master of Couture" at Somerset House on the River Thames in central London features more than 130 pieces from a designer whose clients included Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret.
Dressed in a light grey suit and lilac shirt, the man simply referred to in the industry as Valentino told reporters he hoped to do more shows in England in the future.
"I love England, I love to be in London and I hope to be able to come very often to do other exhibitions, other Valentino things in this beautiful city," he said.
Besides the black velvet evening gown with white ribbons Roberts wore when she won the best actress Oscar and a delicate floral dress with green sash designed for Hepburn, the exhibition delves into Valentino's personal letters and photographs, displays handcrafted couture gowns and has digital installations, including videos of his atelier.
Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a huge white flower installation with interactive projections and quirky display cases made of plush white upholstered chairs.
A pale lilac carpet on the next level leads visitors towards a catwalk, where rows of white chairs are lined up amongst more than 130 pieces from Valentino's couture collections.
"We want visitors to feel in the centre of things on the catwalk, so it's a privileged catwalk in a sense...We hope it's going to be a really pleasurable experience," co-curator Alistair O'Neill told Reuters.
Mannequins, sporting blonde wigs in different hairstyles, are dressed in decadent evening gowns with ruffled floral details, in the designer's signature red, as well as black, soft creams and animal prints.
The exhibition took around a year and a half to assemble, said O'Neill, who co-curated the show alongside Patrick Kinmouth and Antonio Monfredo.
The collection also features sleek capes, brightly colored kaftans and chic day dresses which span Valentino's work over the past 50 years.
"We wanted to be able to show something of this very rarefied world," O'Neill said.
"It's very normal for Mr. Valentino...but for us, it's an amazing thing to step into."
(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang, editing by Paul Casciato)

Alexander Wang to Take Reins at Balenciaga

The New York-based designer will replace Nicolas Ghesquière at the French fashion house, who officially leaves today - after 15 years at the helm.
According to market sources, the PPR-owned fashion house picked the buzzy New York designer to succeed Nicolas Ghesquière, who is to officially exit Balenciaga today.

Balenciaga officials had no comment on Thursday. Wang officials did not respond to a request for comment.

A designer in the sleek-and-modern fashion mold of Ghesquière, but with a streetwise edge and a tinge of Goth, Wang has become one the brightest stars of the American fashion scene with his groovy T-shirts, studded handbags and high-impact fashion shows.

He is also admired for his commercial savvy, having rapidly built a sizable business with manufacturing muscle and a global footprint.

Source: WWD

Nov 1, 2012

Josh Wood Opens Second London Salon

WOOD WORK: “I hate salons,” said Josh Wood, the London hair stylist who’s just opened a space at Liberty. “That’s why we do things differently, with iPads for our clients to play with, and I never have more than 10 chairs.”

WWD - Wood’s new space, on the third floor overlooking Carnaby Street, is his second London salon. The original Josh Wood Atelier is in Notting Hill. Guests at the launch party included Sam Taylor-Johnson, who made a cameo appearance before she rushed home to relieve her babysitter; Laura Bailey; Henry Holland; Jade Williams, and Serena Rees.

“It took us a year to find the right space and they’ve given us a room that has never been used for retail before; it used to be an office,” said Wood.

“Hair first, face second. If the hair is perfect, nothing else matters. I can walk out of here with no makeup but perfect hair and still feel like I look good,” said Kristen McMenamy, whose long silver tresses are tended by Wood. His high-profile clients also include Elle Macpherson, Daphne Guinness, Jemima Khan, January Jones and the Duchess of York.

The evening featured a special performance by Theo Adams Co., with 20 blondes wearing wigs that had been styled by the Josh Wood team.