Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Classic Chic from Down Under

Thursday, March 12th, 2009
Martin Grant in his Atelier

Martin Grant in his Atelier

Martin Grant is a women’s designer. He’s not making street clothes, he’s not designing with 25-year-olds in mind. This Melbourne-born, Parisian makes wonderfully feminine, highly architectural clothes that are timeless, tasteful and always beautiful.

This collection, which I saw in his showroom on the rue Charlot in Paris, is among his best in his 15 years in the industry. Grant’s reference points are Balenciaga, Dior (when Dior was designing) and Yves Saint Laurent. His background and education in sculpture show through so well too: dresses follow the form of a woman instead of trying to reshape it. Taking the economic situation into consideration, he used less expensive materials this season, opting for wool jersey, for example, instead of leather. But there’s still lady-like refinement, such as the belted Monk coat in pale gray angora wool with a silver fox collar, and a draped navy silk satin gown with tiny-button front and a broad neckline. And his friend Christian Louboutin kindly designs shoes to go along. Cocktails, anyone?

Fashion’s Freshest Voice

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
Wu's Inauguration Dress

Wu's Inauguraton Dress: Photo by Getty Images

How much do we love Jason Wu? First, he designs the best inaugural gown that a First Lady has worn ever. And then, when I met him at a fab fashion dinner thrown by top Chicago retailer Ikram Goldman at RATN, our new favorite Indian restaurant in Paris, I discover he is humble, polite and delightfully charming too. In the sea of black and trendiness—including Sally Singer of Vogue, Tim Blanks of Style.com, Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy (who the New Yorker are profiling in its September Style issue) and British designer Duro Olowu —Wu arrived in skinny suit and skinny tie. (He’s just a wisp of a thing too.)

Over chicken curry and naan, the 26-year-old designer gushed about Paris—it was his first visit—and how he wished he could stay longer. I could gush over his pretty, feminine dresses all day long. With rumors that Wu is up for the design job at Valentino—now that would be the smartest move in fashion in ages—chances are we’ll see him in the City of Light a lot more in the future.