>> Vogue contributor Amanda Brooks was named Barneys' new fashion director, vice president succeeding Julie Gilhart last Friday and she starts in the role on Monday without much retail experience in her pocket (she was most recently director of fashion at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, and in the past, a creative director at and Tuleh). But, when Barneys CEO Mark Lee was asked about his decision to hire Brooks and Dennis Freedman, former longtime W creative director, who also doesn't have a strong retail background, Cathy Horyn reports: "Mr. Lee said that Ms. Brooks brought a diverse background, as an editor, stylist and brand developer, to her post. 'We didn’t need more retail help,' he said. As for Mr. Freedman, Mr. Lee said, 'Great creativity is hard to find,' and that Barneys can benefit from Mr. Freedman’s ideas and knowledge of the worlds of art, design and architecture." [On the Runway]
Posts for February 4th 2011
>> The rumor has been confirmed: Manish Arora is the new creative director of Paco Rabanne, and will show his first collection for the label in October during Paris Fashion Week — for Spring 2012. He will also continue his colorful signature collection, which is also shown in Paris but sells mostly in his native India.
The founding designer Rabanne has been consulting on the relaunch, which was kickstarted last month with the reissuing of the brand's iconic 1969 chain-mail bag, done in collaboration with Comme des Garcons's Rei Kawakubo. Those collaborations are expected to continue — next up is Judy Blame, who in March will unveil a collection of jewelry and his take on the chain-mail bag for the brand.
Vincent Thilloy, Puig VP overseeing Rabanne, said that the founder is looking to “transmit this brand to a new generation,” adding: “I think people are looking for brands with great heritage — and stories to tell. It’s a perfect time to come back.” And Arora, who is charged with bringing fashion back to the brand that shuttered ready-to-wear in 2006, says he is committed to Rabanne's heritage: "It’s very easy to use unorthodox materials, but not to do it with this kind of workmanship."
>> For Spring 2011, designers Shannon Davenport and Julia Wilson stayed true to their modern Southwestern aesthetic for their Fortune Favors the Brave jewelry collection. "We love the tough-meets-bohemian feel of Southwestern design," said Davenport. "It's both storied and somehow a bit mysterious at the same time." This season, the duo injected a bohemian twist — perfect for Spring's '70s craze — adding fringe and tassels to bracelets and necklaces. Our favorite piece? This chain and turquoise Concho hand piece. Peruse the entire collection — now available online — in the slideshow.
>> If the usual fare of denim skinnies left you singing the blues, dip your stems in something more colorful. Liz Cherkasova from Late Afternoon styled her burnt sienna pants with a striped sweater, leather vest, circle scarf, and Pierre Hardy for Gap booties. Emulate her brilliant high-contrast look with similar and exact picks from American Apparel, Forever 21, and Ray-Ban.
Left to right: American Apparel Burnt Sienna Pants ($78), Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses ($140), Topshop Leather Vest ($85), Marciano Circle Scarf ($58), Pierre Hardy for Gap Booties ($195)
Photo courtesy of lookbook.nu
>> There's been a lot of speculation, but Barneys new chief executive Mark Lee has finally shed some light on where he's taking the retailer — and it doesn't involve Prada handbags or women's ready-to-wear, both of which Barneys has dropped. Barneys will continue to sell Prada menswear and women's footwear, while Valextra, which is now exclusive to the retailer (it was once exclusive at Saks), will take the place of Prada handbags on the floor.
Lee, who explained, “I’m a worker, not so much a talker,” says there will be several more shifts in merchandise assortments (soon, Barneys will house Azzedine Alaia's largest space in the US), but there are no plans to close any of the Barneys flagship stores, despite recent thought otherwise. WWD noted on Monday: "It is widely believed Barneys New York is bolstered mainly by its three flagships in New York, Beverly Hills and Chicago, and dragged down by newer stores opened in Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Boston and Scottsdale."
Instead of spending money on new store openings, as Barneys has done in recent years, budget will instead be allocated to store renovations, particularly in the New York and Beverly Hills locations. The awnings at the New York store will be changed from red to black to tie in better with the iconic black Barneys shopping bags, and a new black and white ad campaign is set to break Sunday in The New York Times Style section, followed by appearances in magazines like Vogue — peeks at the ads here and here.
>> It's well established at this point that Tom Ford won't be doing a show for his second womenswear collection — he'll only be doing press appointments with magazine editors . . . no news reporters allowed. A Ford spokesman confirmed: "[There] will only be a small presentation for international monthly magazines." And Harper's Bazaar is reporting that cameras will again be barred — save perhaps for Terry Richardson's. The appointments will be held at Ford's London showroom during London Fashion Week, instead of in New York like last season, which means that all the major fashion editors will have to stop by London. Perhaps that's partially why Emmanuelle Alt decided to attend London Fashion Week this season?
And speaking of Ford, there is no veracity to the rumors that Keira Knightley has signed on to be the collection's face for the next six years. Elle UK had reported that Knightley was modeling Ford's first womenswear collection for six years — since 2004 — and the wording was misconstrued. A Ford spokesperson told Fashionetc.: “Keira is just modeling the collection for the first time in six years. She is not the new face of the brand.”
>> "Really, it's just the flavor," said Stefano Pilati, when describing his Pre-Fall 2011 collection for Yves Saint Laurent. "When you go back to look at these things, they are amazing, but you cannot wear them now." The flavor that he was referring to? Yves Saint Laurent's poignant Opium collection of 1977 and the forties-inspired YSL collection from 1971. To make the look modern, Pilati remixed Saint Laurent's old day opulence by adding long sleeves — a key Pre-Fall trend — to a reproduced print dress from the archive. And: decadent cashmere coats came equipped with detachable fox fur hoods.
>> Fashion Week mania is on the horizon — ready to gear up? Our essentials include a trusty water-wicking laptop bag from Tory Burch; a snazzy red Smythson journal for quick runway notes; the latest pair of slick — not slippery — oxfords from Alexander Wang; an everyday eye-catching cuff from Giles & Brother, and a cozy statement blanket scarf from Free People. Armed and ready!
Left to right: Free People Navajo Blanket Scarf ($30, originally $88), Alexander Wang Zoe Oxford Shoes ($450), Tory Burch Tierney Matte Nylon Laptop Case ($125), AcmeStudio Kuzi Pen ($55), Smythson Bright Ideas Journal ($60), Giles & Brother Chaton Spike Bead Cuff ($98, originally $150)