>> After flirting with the idea via collaborations with H&M and Macy's, Matthew Williamson's is finally premiering his first diffusion line, MW Matthew Williamson. The approximately 250-piece collection — which is hitting shop floors now — has an average price point of $400-$560 and a slightly different slant than Williamson's main line. The designer explains: "The main line is known more for print and color and that sort of red-carpet aesthetic, glamour and jet-set and all those kind of ideas. So whilst those ideas have some synthesis within the diffusion line, I wanted to make it more about an urban wardrobe and less about specialty pieces."
Posts for July 2011
>> As suggested, after more than a year of negotiations, Permira has finalized the sale of its stake in Proenza Schouler to a group of investors that include Theory founder Andrew Rosen and John Howard.
According to a statement from Proenza Schouler, the new partnership is a "recapitalization" of the label and will allow it "to enter a new phase of development.” Valentino Fashion Group (which is owned by Permira and bought the 45 percent stake in Proenza Schouler in 2007 for $3.7 million) will keep a minority share in the new partnership.
“We are thankful to VFG for giving us a start, and allowing us to get where we are today,” Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, and Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook said in a joint statement. “There’s so much we’d like to accomplish and have found the perfect complement in John and Andrew to help us realize our dreams.”
Rosen and Howard, meanwhile, jointly commented: “When we look at the current state of American fashion, we see the next generation focused in the advanced contemporary space. We believe that the Proenza business is the future of American luxury, and uniquely poised to compete in a global marketplace, which is currently dominated by European designers. In infusing this brand with our resources and experience, we will position this business to achieve its full potential."
This is a personal investment for Rosen, who also hold similar investments in Alice + Olivia, Gryphon, and Rag & Bone.
>> From rustic Southwest arrowheads to super-polished crystal crossbows, these little arrow-shaped jewels hit the mark perfectly. Click through to shop piercingly chic earrings, bracelets, rings, and necklaces from House of Harlow 1960, Bing Bang, AK Vintage, and more.
At left, Friendly Gesture Golden Arrow Earrings, $15
>> For the first time, Marc by Marc Jacobs is dedicating itself to denim in a big way — instead of only producing denim pieces sent down the runway, the label is focusing on building a denim collection that stands on its own. For launch, there are nine new styles in 12 washes — including dark-wash trouser jeans; they start hitting stores this month and run $138-$228.
>> After debuting her signature collection for Fall 2011, interior design guru Kelly Wearstler is back with her Resort 2012 lineup. Bleach-stripped dresses and skirts are complemented by cropped textural blazers and cracked-stone statement earrings; the line (T-shirts start at $58, dresses average $450) hits Wearstler's website in August.
>> Nicola Formichetti is starting to give Karl Lagerfeld a run for his money in the how-many-projects-can-I-simultaneously-take-on game. Formichetti, who currently acts as Lady Gaga's stylist, Mugler's creative director, and fashion director for both Uniqlo and Vogue Hommes Japan, recently revealed: "I’m launching my own brand next year." Formichetti, who is planning "Nicola's," a pop-up store in Manhattan to coincide with New York Fashion Week (located at 57 Walker Street from Sept. 8–21), promises that the store will showcase "a sneak preview of what’s coming up in the future" for his namesake brand. [Milk Made]
>> Could Lara Stone be headed to the big screen? She's previously named playing a villainous Bond girl as a dream, and now, she tells Vogue UK: "I would love to be in Zoolander 2. I'd be so good at that 'Blue Steel' pose. I think I'd enjoy doing that, it'd be funny. I'd like to try acting if the right part came along, but I'm not actively looking — I'm pretty busy at the moment. I definitely could never go into singing at all ever though, unless it was for a huge joke. I don't even sing in the shower. Actually the other day I was in the shower and I didn't realise my husband was in, and I sang away to myself. I got out and he gave me the most disdainful look."
Before Kate Moss's wedding earlier this month, Stone was nervous about what to wear to the festivities, but now, she gushes: "Kate is such a lovely, fun woman. The wedding was just the most perfect day. She looked beautiful. I loved the dress, she looked gorgeous. She was the most radiant bride. There's a [British] Vogue cover with Kate wearing a crown — she just looks so cute and so charming. She is pretty perfect and incredibly beautiful. She's so striking. If you see her face on a poster in the street you can't ignore it." As for Stone's own marriage, she says: "I like spending time with my husband. Marriage takes work — it doesn't just happen. It's important to spend quality time together, like going on holidays away."
And ever self-deprecating, when queried about which part of her body is her least favorite, Stone replies with a laugh: "Most of it. It depends on the day. Like most women, I have days where I feel like today I'm not leaving the house — you know days where you've got a spot on your nose or when you've just got off a flight, eaten fish and chips and feel really bloated — that one happens a lot to me. You have to accept yourself though, and accept that there will always be something to worry about. It's much easier just to accept things."
>> A year and a half into his creative directorship at LL Bean's younger-bent heritage line, LL Bean Signature, Alex Carleton is turning out polished, modern versions of the Bean archives more than ever. Fans of the Givenchy Rottweiler sweater and the Balenciaga German Shepherd sweater will appreciate Carleton's own take — the duck sweater; other highlights for Fall 2011 include a sporty wedge boot with contrast piping, a mustard-highlighted field coat (left), and a roomy drawstring bag. The collection launches online Aug. 1 — we've highlighted the top looks in the slideshow.
>> Colorblock has appeared on dozens of designers' runways for the last three seasons, but it's not all about Mondrian-style squares and hard-lined panels. As Carey Mulligan proved in a skin-baring Roksanda Ilincic frock at Comic-Con last week — and Karolina Kurkova attested earlier this month in a sweep of Sophie Theallet — the trend can be sweetly feminine and softly sexy as well. From Gucci's artfully-draped Spring 2011 versions to the Fall 2011 Grecian styles on offer from Carlos Miele and Costello Tagliapietra, here's a look at the softer side of colorblock.
European private equity firm Permira — which took a 45 percent stake in Proenza Schouler four years ago and is also the principle owner of Valentino — is expected to sell its shares to a group of New York investors led by Andrew Rosen (founder of Theory, overseer of Helmut Lang, and investor in both Rag & Bone and Alice + Olivia) and John Howard, an early and successful investor in Seven for All Mankind and Aeropostale.
Horyn speculates that after the deal is complete, Proenza Schouler may explore more product categories like denim or bolster its accessories offering with more leather goods, shoes, and eyewear.
As for Proenza launches already in the works, the label just released its Fall 2011 ad campaign (left), shot in New York's Milk Studios by Willy Vanderperre, styled by Marie Chaix, and starring Zuzanna Bijoch.