Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Vanity Fair's Fashion in Film

While many of us are putting our proverbial whites away after Labor Day and closing the lid on summer, New York prepares for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and the preview of the spring/summer 2012 line. Ending the week of the latest must-haves on the runway, celebrity spotting, see and be seen parties and continental-style air kisses will be Vanity Fair's Fashion in Film event. 

VF partnered with the Lincoln Center Film Society and co-creator Simon Doonan, creative ambassador at large of Barneys New York (now there's a title) for a series of weekend long screenings, panel discussions and receptions at NYC's Museum of Art and Design (MAD). The events take place September 9th through the 11th with a rather varied list of fashion related films. The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), psycho thriller about a fashion photographer and her visions of things to come, stars Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones (along with a Streisand soundtrack -- did I mention boyfriend Jon Peters was the producer?). The film has lots of fashion shoots, Dunaway in her seventies best, the bygone era of Studio 54 and a twist ending.  
Dunaway and camera in The Eyes of Laura Mars

Fashion shoot 
Qui êtes vous, Polly Maggoo? (that would be Who Are You Polly Magoo? for the French challenged) was quite the cult sensation in the sixties. The docu/fiction satire tells the tale of an American girl in Paris pursued by a television producer and Prince Charming. The film marks the first for William Klein, a controversial Vogue fashion photographer who was known for his subversive and experimental shots. Filmed in black and white, Magoo is a wonderful send up of the fashion industry, pretensions and all. Even Diana Vreeland can't escape unscathed. 

60s model Dorothy McGowan as Miss Maggoo
Other films include The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), 1972's X, Y and Zee (with an all star cast of Michael Caine, Elizabeth Taylor and Susannah York) and Russ Meyer's exploitation flick Faster, Pussycat. Kill!...Kill! (1965). And yes, you read the last one correctly. 

Perhaps the most interesting will be Hearts and Crafts, documentary  that chronicles the behind the scenes action at Hermes. If you can't get to the show, the doc will run on The Sundance Channel on Sunday, September 10th at 7pm EST. It doesn't get any better in life than an Hermes scarf (what can I say, some people collect art, I collect scarves) and I can't wait to learn about the artists who make it happen. 
Artisans at work

Grand Manege Design

Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Elizabeth Taylor and Susannah York in X, Y and Zee

Taylor and Michael Caine

The Vanity Fair Fashion in Film Schedule:

Friday, September 9th
8:30 p.m. Qui Êtes-Vous, Polly Magoo?, with introduction by Simon Doonan

Saturday, September 10th
Vanity Fair “Fashion in Film” Lounge, open to the public 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
3 p.m. X, Y, and Zee
5 p.m. Hearts and Crafts
7 p.m. Umbrellas of Cherbourg, presented by L’Oréal Paris, followed by reception in “Fashion in Film” lounge
9 p.m. Eyes of Laura Mars

Sunday, September 11th
Vanity Fair “Fashion in Film” Lounge, open to the public 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
3 p.m. “Spotlight on Innovation: Creative Inspiration from Cinema” panel discussion presented by BMW, moderated by Simon Doonan, and followed by reception in “Fashion in Film” lounge
5 p.m. Diva
7 p.m. Rick, Michele and Scarlett (Rick Owens Documentary)
9 p.m. Faster Pussycat, Kill! … Kill!

Photo Credits: Vanity Fair, Hermes, Sundance Channel, Criterion, Columbia Pictures, Parc Film

Monday, September 5, 2011

When Worlds Collide: Fashion and Film

Fashion and film has always been a perfect marriage and whether we realize it or not, a major influence on how we shop. (Case in point -- just look at the millions of clothing items sold over the years by those who wanted to channel their inner Carrie from Sex and the City). It's interesting to see how the worlds of celebrity as designer and ambassador and fashion collide and the right endorsement can mean major sales for luxury and mass brands. Will a consumer buy a dress because it looks good on Naomi Watts (Ann Taylor) or pay $30,000 for an alligator bag as seen on the arm of Victoria Beckham (and now in her new collection)? It's a concept retailers hope to take to the bank.

Since its New York Fashion Week and Fashion's Night Out (FNO to some of you in the know) is September 8th, I thought it would be fitting to look at a few retail/celeb marriages:

Katie Holmes and Barneys New York

Katie Holmes debuted her line Holmes and Yang at Barney's NYC with business partner Jeanne Yang, noting the line is for real people "mixed with Diane Keaton." The collection is a mix of suede, silk and suiting in cerise pink, red, white and black and the vibe is definitely more career oriented. Prices range from 325.00 for a camisole on up to 9.000 and available at Barneys and Harvey Nichols in London. 
Tie Blouse 715.00

Criss Cross Dress

Barbour: The Steve McQueen Collection

No one did biker chic better than Steve McQueen. For that matter, no one did anything better than Steve McQueen. From the infamous motorcycle scene in The Great Escape to a game of chess in the Thomas Crown Affair, McQueen symbolized looks that were classic, elegant, timeless and a bit of a rebel. Barbour teamed up with the late legendary actor's estate for the ultimate in cool -- think motorcycle jackets and you get the gist. 

Baker Jacket

Papillon Jacket  - perhaps named by the film

Jennifer Lopez and Kohl's:

The press kit reads that J-Lo "channels the timeless allure of Old Hollywood in a contemporary interpretation of classic, sexy glamour..." and that works for me -- plus you can't beat the price point. Launching this month, the line will feature signature J-Lo looks from wide leg pants, shearling and faux fur to winter shorts and a Jennifer Lopez Home Collection. You can see more of the collection at the Kohl's website.

Sheath dress with faux fur vest

Brigitte Tote
Jennifer Lopez Home Collection

Kate Winslet and St. John Knits

The venerable St. Johns Knits have stepped up their game with a new fall campaign featuring Kate Winslet. The Oscar winning actress recently told Women's Wear Daily, "They want to keep it looking like me and not have it look like me pretending to be a model wearing these clothes. I'm obviously not a model. I'm not the size of a model. I don't have the face of a model or the shape." I disagree  as many women will totally identify with her curves. The line is definitely a more contemporary, youthful collection for St. Johns and looks fabulous.

Milano Knit Dress in Camel 795.00

Kate Winslet and Lancome

Celebrities loaning their faces to cosmetic companies is certainly a mainstay and actress Kate Winslet will be the face for a small makeup collection at Lancome this holiday season. Her charity, The Golden Hat Foundation which helps autistic children will be the beneficially of at least 150,000 euros from the collection's sales.

Winslet has also collaborated with fellow actresses Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz and set up the British Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League to support (and defend!) natural beauty in Hollywood.

Reese Witherspoon and Lindex

I guess it's fitting that the Tennessee native would team up with Swedish fashion chain Lindex to design a line of California denim and clothing. The collection is seventies inspired which translates into lots of ponchos, jeans and floppy hats. You can purchase the items online at the Lindex site.

Bryce Dallas Howard and Kate Spade

Fresh from the set of The Help, actress Bryce Dallas Howard became the first celebrity face for Kate Spade. The red headed beauty starred in the company's ads this past spring and is featured again this fall. The daughter of director/Opie star Ron Howard admitted that the classic Kate Spade bags were at the top of her Christmas list as a teenager. The ads are colorful, quirky and Bryce's classic looks are a perfect fit with the brand. The fall campaign was shot on the streets of Soho and Howard is said to be channeling the late Amy Winehouse. I love the cutting edge mix with Kate's bold colors -- you can check out the video here.

On another note, one of my favorite new blogs is from friend and former special projects editor at Architectural Digest, James Munn. Launched in August, cinemagumbo: Random Musings on the Art of Classic Film  covers a variety of topics from Hollywood's Golden Age and I look forward to his posts.

Photo Credits: Kohl's. Babour, Lindex, Lancome, Kate Spade, St. Johns Knits, Holmes and Yang, New York Times.