Naomi, Linda, Kristen and Cindy! This video of Naomi Campbell hanging out with her fellow supermodel mates in a hotel room is pure gold. Watch!
Are you on Google Plus (Google+)? I am! I know, I know, another social media outlet. I thought I’d give it a go before it’s too late. I kind of regret being a late Instagram adopter but now I’m loving it. If you’re on Google Plus, be sure to follow me!
Click HERE to follow me on Google+!
On our last day in Morocco, Rumi, Queenie and I piled into a chartered van to hit unexplored areas of Rabat. Our first stop was the shopping area at Rue due Consuls where I found an amazing hand-dyed and hand-woven hooded jacket and a messenger bag to match.
In light of our new purchases, Rumi challenged me to work on my rendition of the ‘world traveler’ look. Rumi, as you know, is known for her effortless, luxe/bohemian sensibilities. Unfortunately, I own very few options that would have passed for ‘world traveler’. Rumi vetoed out my new, space-age (as she called it) Ferragamo fall 2013 bag and the white, button-down Giorgio Armani shirt I had on. She insisted in lending me one of her her peasant-inspired blouses to match my embroidered Suno shorts. She finally gave up when I protested by crying ‘I need my fashion credits!’ in the van.
It was golden hour and we asked our diver to pull over at the entrance of a small medina just outside of the city. I hid my white Ferragamo bag inside the ethnic messenger bag and, to Queenie and Rumi’s surprise, took it out after a few shots. They both ganged up on me and laughed at my inability to pass up the opportunity of using a fashion credit.
On me: Hat by Burton, white shirt by Giorgio Armani, shorts by SUNO, jacket and messenger bag from Moroccan shop stall, sandals by COS, bracelets by Hermes and Cartier, watch by Cartier, white bag by Salvatore Ferragamo
SUNO available at Moda Operandi [click here]
It was our third day in Rabat and we decided to break away from the rest of the group to do a little bit of exploring. Our first stop was the Kasbah, which we had assumed there was only one. We thought we were headed to Kasbah Des Oudaias, but ended up instead at what our driver told us was Kasbah Chellah.
Kasbah Chellah was the site of an ancient Roman city and necropolis. A local guide tagged along behind us, insisting we be accompanied. But after many protests in broken French, he left us on our own.
As we wound our way into the maze of crumbling buildings and ruins, we began to notice the many ancient gravestones as well as the immense stork nests perched among the tops of the walls and arches. The site had a strangely eerie feeling. While our visit to Kasbah Chellah was completely accidental, I have to say that I’m glad we made the trip.
On me: Hat by Burton, sunglasses by Prada, sweater and jacket by Salvatore Ferragamo, belt by Giorgio Armani, jeans by MiH Jeans, bracelet and watch by Cartier, shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo
On Queenie: Hat, shirt, scarf by Giorgio Armani
Click click click to see more photos!
I love my labels. I really do. Who doesn’t? Who doesn’t like to wear things that people can easily identify? Fashion, thanks to its multi-billion dollar global advertising budgets, has a way of making identifiable things ultra desirable. The more identifiable an item or a brand is, the higher the value goes.
Anyway, believe it or not, some of my favourite purchases don’t come with a label attached to them. I recently bought this python skin jacket and shorts in Bali for a fraction of what it might retail for elsewhere. The shorts were about US$150, almost the same as a pair of cotton shorts in America! The quality isn’t the same, of course, but it’s not bad either.
Bonjour from Maroc! I’m currently here in Morocco for the 2013 Mawazine Music Festival in Rabat. As previously blogged, Rihanna opened this year’s music festival. They have a fascinating line up. David Guetta is performing this week, ditto with Mika, Jessie J, The Jacksons and more! I’m thrilled to be back in Morocco. The last time I visited this beautiful country was two years ago with my friend Kyle. The weather is beyond amazing… much better than muggy New York City, that’s for sure.
Sunglasses by Prada, shirt by Maison Martin Margiela, bracelet by Cartier, belt by Giorgio Armani, trousers by Jenni Kayne Fall 2013 (Jenni Kayne available at Shopbop), sandals by COS
I love Bad Gal Riri. I really do. Rihanna is EVERYTHING! I don’t care if she lip synchs or what have you but she’s a terrific entertainer. I went to my first Rihanna concert last night, thanks to Mawazine Music Festival here in Rabat, Morocco. Rihanna, who opened the show wearing a spring/summer 2013 Miu Miu coat, performed her greatest hits — Umbrella, Rude Boy, Only Girl in the World, What’s My Name, We Found Love, Stay and Diamonds, amongst others. She looked AMAZING last night. Ultra fit body, her abs were incredible and her weave, my gosh, the weave, not a single weave strand out of place while she twerked the stage!
On a side note, poor Queenie. Remind me to give him a gift certificate to my local Asian masseuse as soon as we get home.I don’t know how he managed to carry all my weight as I sat on his shoulders in order for my petite ass to see what was going on stage. Sitting on his shoulders was definitely a highlight of my night. I’ve never done that before. It was exhilarating to be sitting on top of a 6-foot-5-tall guy, while having laser beams above you and everyone and their sea of mobile phone and camera screen beneath you. Surreal. Absolutely surreal.
Special congratulations to the lovely Rebecca Minkoff for winning the 2013 American Apparel Footwear Association (AAFA) American Image Awards Designer of the Year!
On me: Jacket, trousers by DSquared2, shoes by Louis Leeman, bag by Rebecca Minkoff
Thought I’d update you guys with recent developments on my unisex fur accessories collaboration with Adrienne Landau. I’m happy to report that many of my favourite retailers will carry pieces from my first accessories collection! Starting this fall, major retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Holt Renfrew in Canada will sell my pieces. In NYC, Kirna Zabete, Five Story and V Files will carry my line. Ditto with Colette in Paris. You’ll also see my collection at Luisa Via Roma and my beloved Shopbop! Many other smaller, independent boutiques will sell my goodies. I’ll update with a full list of retailers once it’s finalized. I’m super happy with the result. I can’t wait to work on my next collection!
Above: Queenie wore my double-ply rex rabbit scarf (peach) in Zurich recently.
You may pre-order pieces directly from Adrienne Landau if you want to guarantee delivery. Delivery begins around the same time my merchandise hit the retailers’ shelves. Click HERE to order online.
Oh Francisco! I had a lovely time catching up with Calvin Klein Collection’s Womenswear Creative Director Francisco Costa in Savannah. Francisco is this year’s recipient of the Andre Leon Talley Lifetime Achievement Award by the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Bryanboy: A lot of young people go into fashion design with the dream of one day pursuing their own label. Considering your path, would it be ideal to contribute to the work of existing designers or focus on developing themselves as a brand?
Francisco Costa: They have to focus on developing their own personality and then everything will fall into place. When I ended up at Calvin Klein, I felt like this is an ideal situation because it is a brand with so much strength and I really try to bring what I like in combination with what Calvin did. I feel very blessed to have such a structure under me, but I’m also very nurturing to young students.
For instance, I had somebody that I hired temporarily who was an architecture major and had no idea what fashion was. So I said, “come work for us and see how you like it.” He showed interest. After awhile, I hooked him up with this one organization which held an international contest. Next thing you know, he was one of the participants and he ended up becoming very successful with it. Then he came to me after winning the contest and asked me what he should do next. I said, I don’t know, go open your own business because I felt like it’s the right time. This is a guy who has a lot of talent. But then again, maybe he is young enough and he could explore. Every experience is individual, right?
I’ve been working for a long time. Andre Leon-Talley came to me a long time ago, when I used to work for Gucci. I was in London and he asked me, “why don’t you open your own business?” I said, “Andre, I am truly happy.” I made a conscious decision not to. I could have done something, I could have played, I could have. But in retrospect, I am extremely happy.
Bryan: Speaking of Gucci… Tom Ford is known for his va-va-voom, high-octane, glamazon aesthetic whereas Calvin Klein Collection is the polar opposite — pure, luxurious, modern American sportswear. How did you refine your aesthetic considering the differences between the two brands?
Francisco: Interestingly enough, what Tom Ford did was really based on Calvin’s aesthetic. All the advertisements, the imagery, the sexiness — they were all very, very strong and very Calvin in many ways. So I don’t think that was a challenge so much because, you know, we are talking about the same thing.
The primary challenge for me was, as the business grew bigger and bigger, after it was sold it went from $700 million to $8 billion, the company exploded into so many different areas. The challenge for me is to keep that flame of the collection genuine and really protect it. So whatever it is that we are doing has to have a true essence and not just an essence, but a personality that wouldn’t be mixed up with all the other products in other categories.
Bryan: That’s another question for me — how do you bridge Calvin Klein Collection, your collection, which is very architectural, pure, modern and very technical whereas whereas the general public’s perception of Calvin Klein the brand? You have sexy, you have provocative, you have underwear, you have fragrance… how do you bridge the two?
Francisco: It’s all about securing that high-level position. A brand can actually exist both in high-end and low-end categories. It’s seamless. It’s totally seamless. If you think of the Calvin Klein lifestyle, you get it. A woman is able to explore both ends of the spectrum. One can have extraordinary clothes, very fine clothes while at the same time, have a lifestyle that’s cool. The juxtaposition is very modern. A cool woman goes shopping and mixes it all up today. I think that’s the most exciting part because it reflects independence.
Bryan: You’re one of the very few designers who actually push new fabrics, new, modern techniques in fabrics. What’s your relationship with fabric?
Francisco: I love fabrics! That’s the most organic part of designing because its tactile and you have to be part of the development. For example, for Fall/Winter 2013, it took me three years to get certain mills to agree to develop the same kind of fabric. Because you buy cashmere from one mill, you buy suiting fabric from another, you buy this from another, so you have to make them agree to make the same thing at the same time. It’s very costly for these people to change their techniques and what have you. A lot of fabrics for fall, for instance, those are actually woven and not cut-out.
I could have achieved that by cutting and boiling but I didn’t. It thrills me to be experimental — this is how you learn about the essence of fabric. Experimentation triggers fabric mills to create other things and further their development. It’s the same experimentation that would be seen two, even three seasons later. It’s all a great exercise.
Bryan: Do you start your design process with fabric itself or do you conceptualize shapes and silhouettes before deciding which fabric to choose?
Francisco: It goes both ways. A collection starts with an idea and could take up to years to materialize. And then all of sudden, you saw something on the street that inspires you and feels really relevant and it’s just this is the way to go. The design process comes in very different forms but ultimately, fabric is really the catalyst for a collection to work or not.
Bryan: If your next ten years of work could be described into one word, what would it be?
Francisco: In one word?
Bryan: Go on…
Francisco: I think it’s… I could give you three words (both laugh)
Bryan: Three is good!
Francisco: I think what I do is, you know, essentially provocative, strong and current and strong in many ways. If it had to be described in one word, I would have to say having a pulse. Pulse, pulse.