CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Add Chanel to the luxury brands answering the siren call of California.
The French luxury house revealed Saturday that it will unveil its cruise 2024 collection in Los Angeles on May 9. Chanel did not specify the venue for the show, but noted that it presented the cruise 2008 collection designed by its late creative director Karl Lagerfeld inside Santa Monica airport.
“This show is an opportunity for the house to celebrate its connections with the City of Angels,” it said in a statement.
Chanel’s links with cinema date back to 1931, when movie mogul Sam Goldwyn invited founder Gabrielle Chanel to Hollywood. Her welcoming party at the Los Angeles train station included Greta Garbo, and Chanel would go on to design costumes for actresses such as Gloria Swanson.
The house has costumed actresses ranging from Kristen Stewart in “Spencer” to Jeanne Moreau in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses” and Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine.” It also has long-standing partnerships with film events such as the Deauville American Film Festival in France and the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
California has become a hot spot for destination shows, with Celine, Ralph Lauren, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent among brands that have mounted runway displays there in recent years.
While Lagerfeld was known for staging shows as far afield as Dubai, Singapore and Cuba, Chanel creative director Virginie Viard has mostly stuck closer to home, especially since the coronavirus pandemic hampered international travel in the wake of her appointment.
She presented her cruise 2023 show in Monaco, with a repeat show in Miami in November. Signaling it is ready to resume destination shows overseas, Chanel staged its Métiers d’Art show in Senegal in December, with a repeat show in Tokyo planned on June 1. — JOELLE DIDERICH
TIME OUT: Philipp Plein hosted an elegant cocktail party on Friday evening at the Hôtel de Crillon during Paris Men’s Fashion Week to reveal his Spectre watch line.
In one of the grand, gilded rooms, set to live classical music, the Skeleton Spectre and Spectre Chronograph were on display in real life and through holograph displays. Visitors could also see the campaign for the brand, fronted by motorsport great Eddie Jordan.
“I love cars, I love watches — [they’re] machines,” said Plein. “One is a Time Machine and the other is a racing machine and they are very technical.”
Plein himself is a long-standing watch collector and launched his first watch collection more than a year ago, with licensee Timex’s luxury division.
“This was for Timex the most successful watch launch of the last two years,” claimed Plein, for whom the bestseller in 2022 was the Skeleton watch.
The model, which he designed, is less sporty than its predecessor.
“It’s more elegant,” said Plein, pointing to the flat case. The designer poured his brand’s codes into the model. For instance, Spectre’s face is a hexagon, like the shape of Plein’s logo, and there’s his signature skull inside, along with the automatic movement.
“This is a watch you wear with a suit,” he continued.
Plein himself was wearing a tux with the timepiece, which comes in metals such as pink gold and steel. The Spectre, out starting in February, will be priced at around 790 euros.
Plein expects his watch business will pull in 20 million euros in wholesale turnover this year, versus 8.9 million euros in 2022, when there were stock issues.
“Spectre” holds great cachet. It was the name of the 24th James Bond film, and is also the moniker of the next Rolls-Royce model.
“I’m a Rolls-Royce fan, too,” said Plein. “I have four Rolls-Royces.” And, he’s ordered the Spectre, making five.
But back to timepieces. Next up for Plein will be an exclusive Swiss-made model, called Crypto King, with a retail price range from 2,000 euros to 4,000 euros. — JENNIFER WEIL
Wang, who is on tour in Europe, showed up at Louis Vuitton men’s fashion show in an all-black ensemble and mingled with fellow guests such as Usher, Tyga, JJ Lin and Jasper Liu.
“I’m getting ready for an American tour, then South America and probably Europe after that. The European crowds are crazy. There’s a lot of prep, but I’m excited,” Wang told WWD before the show.
Ahead of the show, Vuitton teased the appointment with a 30-second video in which Wang invited fans to watch the livestream on Weibo and WeChat. The video received more than 188,000 views at the time of publication.
The global star, who has more than 31 million followers on Instagram and 30 million followers on Weibo, recently made headlines for reiterating his patriotic feelings on stage, calling China a “dope place” and defending the country against “bulls–t” Western media coverage. The topic started trending on Weibo and received more than 540 million clicks on the platform.
Known for treating his fans as friends and inviting them onstage during soundchecks, Wang made Weibo Trending Topics again the following day for sharing an intimate home-cooked dinner with lucky fans. The news received more than 160 million views on Weibo.
The Hong Kong-born, 28-year-old Wang is a former Olympian and member of the K-pop group Got7. Wang released his second solo studio album, “Magic Man,” last September and embarked on his first solo world tour that launched in Bangkok. Recently, Wang also confirmed his return to Coachella this April.
The restless performer is also the founder of the record label Team Wang and director of the fashion brand Team Wang Design.
“We want to bring more values to the international level,” Wang told WWD last summer after dropping a capsule collection called “Sparkles — Mudance” for his brand.
Before signing on as a Louis Vuitton ambassador, Wang was also the face of Armani Perfume in APAC and Hennessy. He was previously a China ambassador for Fendi, a “friend of the house” at Cartier and a spokesperson for Ray-Ban.
Wang is Louis Vuitton’s most high-profile Chinese ambassador appointment after Kris Wu, who fell from grace two years ago.
DEEP DIVE: Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, aka Kid Cudi, is delving ever deeper into fashion.
The rapper and actor sat surrounded by displays of his brand Members of the Rage’s first full ready-to-wear collection, for fall 2023, in a Right Bank Paris showroom on Thursday.
“I really wanted it to represent Scott Mescudi, who I am,” he said. “I think anybody that knows me will be able to look at this collection and feel my spirit all throughout it.”
The artist is highly inspired by ’90s culture — grunge, hip-hop — and described himself as a “super sci-fi freak.”
“So I wanted to add futuristic elements and things like this on top, to just give it a little spin and make it a little bit more fun,” he continued. “It’s almost like retro future-type vibes.”
Hanging along one wall was a brown faux-fur jacket, multihued floral shirts and dresses, plus camo bombers in a cool colorway of egg blue, olive and gray-green.
Mescudi said the unisex collection, which comes after a first T-shirt drop last year, will be sold worldwide in stores including Selfridges, Saks Fifth Avenue and H.Lorenzo. It came together in pieces: A knit, then a leather jacket idea would bubble up.
“Over the course of a year, I was just thinking of everything I ever wanted to make, everything I wanted to perfect,” he said.
Mescudi would see clothing in-store and think: “If they change this color and they change that, it would be doper.”
One of the first things he wanted to make was a black-and-red distressed sweater that’s an exact replica of the one Kurt Cobain wore. A varsity jacket with piping on the sleeves was another early creation.
“I felt like the varsity style has been around for decades, and no one has really tried to freak it or upgrade it or do anything new with it in all this time,” he said. “I wanted to take a stab at it.”
Mescudi drew a design in his sketchpad and that came out exactly as he wanted. He enjoys mixing fabrics in unexpected ways. There’s an overall made of sherpa, with tulle running down it, for instance.
“I’m always coming up with ideas,” he continued. “If I’m in Tokyo, I’m seeing all sorts of vibes. The fashion out there is totally inspiring.
“I am just a fan of fashion,” added Mescudi, who planned to go to the Sacai show.
“Chitose [Abe] is a new friend of mine,” he said of the brand’s designer. “We met recently when I was in Tokyo and we really hit it off. We’re actually working on something special. I can’t say exactly what it is.”
His goal is for MOTR to ultimately become a lifestyle brand. Meanwhile, Mescudi remains been busy in other domains. He has a cameo in the recently released movie “House Party,” and will appear as a dad in “Crater” from Disney+.
Mescudi will begin writing his memoir next month, but a dream is to direct his own films.
“It’s up there with creating this line,” said Mescudi. “Doing this has given me a load of confidence. I feel like I can do anything now. I’m just really inspired.” — J.W.
K-POP WAVE: The K-chaos continued at Friday’s Dior show, with new global ambassador Park Jimin drawing thousands to Paris’ Place de la Concorde ahead of Kim Jones’ latest collection.
The Korean pop star was joined by his BTS bandmate J-Hope, who also attended the Louis Vuitton show Thursday, keeping it all in the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton family.
It made for the most electric front row of the week, with Jimin and J-Hope seated between Naomi Campbell and J Balvin, just seats down from Eddie Redmayne and Robert Pattinson.
J-Hope chatted with LVMH scion and Tag Heuer chief executive officer Frédéric Arnault through an interpreter. He said he tried to catch up on sleep after Thursday’s Vuitton show.
Despite the madness outside, Balvin felt that the vibe of the shows this season is “more chill than it used to be.” He has become a regular at Paris Fashion Week, and took in the Vuitton and Givenchy shows earlier in the week.
He chatted with Jimin and J-Hope at their seats, and proclaimed himself a fan of BTS. Asked if there could ever be a collaboration with the group or solo members, he was up for the idea. “I met them before and I mean they’re great. I would love to, why not?”
“They’re doing it amazing. I see how their mood is going up,” Balvin said of the group’s popularity. “They’re singing in Korean; I’m Latino and I’m singing in Spanish. It’s all about having a global reach. I mean, you gotta get to know a little bit about the culture and the sound but I think it’s great. People are connecting with their music, which means they are doing the right thing.”
Fellow face of Dior Pattinson seem unbothered by the commotion and chatted with Redmayne about upcoming travel plans. Redmayne, clad in a classic suit, complemented Pattinson’s kilt. “A little extra ventilation,” he joked.
Pattinson appeared on screen to perform T.S. Eliot’s poem “The Waste Land” with Gwendoline Christie, while models walked to a meditative mix of their words and music.
“Kim is someone that I’ve known for a really long time and we have a shared history that means an awful lot to me,” Christie said. “Kim demonstrated what he’s always so good at, which is being able to see in people what other people can’t necessarily see, and make connections in a different way. It meant a huge amount to me to actually be brought together with this text, which I’ve never performed before, and to work with Robert Pattinson, who’s one of my favorite actors.”
“It’s very overwhelming actually and emotional, and I loved the process of working on it,” she added.
“The White Lotus” star Adam DiMarco reflected on how much his life has changed in the past year. He set out to film the cult hit on location in Italy last February.
“This is all new to me, it’s a really foreign world and I’m just curious, trying to be a sponge and learn as much as I can. My brain is taking a while to catch up with my body. It’s very surreal everything that has been happening,” he said of his sudden fame.
DiMarco promised not to take any sartorial tips from his character. “He wasn’t particularly well dressed, so I think I learned what not to do,” he said. Sporting a velvet track suit, DiMarco said he had no idea if he would get to keep the loaned duds. “It’s really comfortable — I hope so,” he said.
K-pop has dominated fashion week, with fans turning up for J-Hope at the Vuitton show at the Louvre, and Big Bang’s Taeyang at Givenchy. It follows the mobs that stood outside the Prada show in Milan for BTS’ labelmate Enhypen last week as K-culture continues to make its mark on the fashion world. — RHONDA RICHFORD AND JOELLE DIDERICH
SALE SET TO GO: Property from the groundbreaking fashion designer Arthur McGee will go under the gavel at Hindman Auctions in mid-March.
In 1957, McGee became the first African American designer to run a Seventh Avenue design studio — Bobbie Brooks — doing so at the age of 24. Largely unheralded during his career, McGee, who died in 2019, helped pave the way for other African American designers like Willi Smith, Stephen Burrows, Scott Barrie, Jeffrey Banks and B. Michael. What distinguished him from others was the multiple platforms he worked on, running his own signature shop, selling his collection to department stores and working on his own on Seventh Avenue. McGee forged into fashion at a time of great racial divide in the U.S. Post-Bobbie Brooks, he ventured out on his own working from a St. Mark’s Place atelier. He also designed the Tammy Andrews juniors label at one point for the company Stacey Ames. In 1965, he opened his own store on Third Avenue, aptly named “The Store.” His collection of clean styles was also sold via Bloomingdale’s, Henri Bendel and Saks Fifth Avenue. Combining African fabrics with Asian-inspired silhouettes, McGee’s apparel appealed to a wide range of shoppers crossing all ethnicities.
The McGee collection will be part of Hindman’s March 14 Spring Fashion & Accessories auction. In addition to dresses, sportswear and jackets designed by McGee, there will be photographs of him, including a few with pre-sale estimates ranging from $4,000 to $6,000.
Born in Detroit, McGee’s mother was a dressmaker who could make patterns from newspaper. He started designing hats for her at the age of 15. He first came to New York after winning a scholarship to Traphagen School of Design, and later studied millinery and apparel design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. During that time, he also worked at Charles James for a period. After being told that there were no jobs for Black designers, McGee ditched the academic route and set up his own downtown operation catering to actresses. He later segued into making clothes for Broadway actors and working for Seventh Avenue companies such as College Town of Boston. McGee once recalled how he “worked in backrooms designing whole collections with no credit,” when he started out in fashion.
McGee was a supporter of the Fashion Coalition, a group formed in 1968 to promote the advancement of Blacks in the fashion industry and to encourage more to join. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
TAKING THEIR SEATS: On Friday night, the tables were turned at the Salle Pleyel concert hall, with musical artists taking to their seats rather than the stage for the third chapter of Nigo’s tenure at Kenzo.
Outside, Parisian fans had given a warm welcome, screaming in delight as the likes of rappers Pusha T, Skepta, Tyga and Kodak Black, who was carrying his one-year-old daughter Queen Yuri Kapri in his arms, came in thick and fast.
Pharrell Williams also arrived with his family, posing with wife Helen Lasichanh and son Rocket in a photo-call with spinning arms that captured an aerial 360-degree video portrait.
“I love Paris — just like my home. It’s always so good to me, always, from music to art, to design to fashion, they’ve always welcomed,” he said.
The next project he’ll be sharing with the City of Light will be Sunday’s launch of the sneaker collaboration between Adidas Originals and the artist’s product company Humanrace, which will see the NMD S1 Mahbs model released at Kith.
Pop star Aya Nakamura, recently dubbed the “queen of French pop” by French newspaper Le Monde and currently the most listened to Francophone artist in the world on streaming platforms, slipped into her seat as the show was about to start. Her fourth album, titled “DNK” as a reference to her last name Danioko, is slated to drop on Friday.
Rather than the radical lyrics of any of these artists, it was the ballads of The Beatles that accompanied the fall 2023 Kenzo show, as all-female string ensemble 1966 Quartet performed live.
For former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” headliner Lisa Rinna, this felt like a warm-up for couture, as she revealed youngest daughter Amelia Gray would be coming to town to walk in her first couture show, though she demurred on revealing the house for fear of jinxing the project.
The actress was up for “everything and anything” now that her eight-season run on the hit reality show is over. “I’m free and I can do whatever I want — here I am in Paris at the Kenzo show,” she said with relish. “Life is an open book right now and I love that.”
While her next move is still up in the air and with Rinna Beauty gathering pace, Rinna was spotted earlier in the day shopping and sightseeing with friend and former costar Erika Jayne, who also attended the Kenzo show.
After the show, guests regrouped downstairs in the foyer for canapés and cocktails named Boke and Poppy, after the house’s signature blooms.
Expectations were high as a surprise performance had been announced. With the many heavy hitters in attendance, it was American rapper Lil Baby who took to the stage, to the delight of the crowd.
Among them was K-pop star Big Matthew, who revealed he was a big fan of the rapper as he nodded appreciatively to the lyrics of diamond-certified hit “Drip Too Hard.” The surprise concert was exactly the kind of moment he’d come to expect from fashion week.
“Paris is always a good time,” said the Korean American musician with a grin. “So much inspiration, so much creativity around. It’s a breath of fresh air.”
With a new Kard album and a rash of new solo songs in the works, he’s already thinking about what to wear for performances and public appearances. “There are a couple pieces — I took a couple videos — when they come out, they’re gonna be mine.” — LILY TEMPLETON