October 5th, 2011
The New York Times
For Miami, Dior Goes Arty
by Suzy Menkes
The bags were in high-octane colors the camouflage nature tones replaced by a digitalized landscape of purple, red, green and gray. Only a familiar lattice or "cannage" pattern, set at a rakish angle, suggested that these colorful products belonged to Dior .
The accessories collection by the Berlin artist Anselm Reyle, who said he had never before done a fashion collaboration, will go on sale in a pop-up Dior store at the Art Basel show in Miami in early December.
The modernistic bags, bracelets and key rings dangling with geometric plastic not to mention nail polish inspired by the artist's work are a departure for Dior, orchestrated by Delphine Arnault, deputy general manager for the brand.
"Mr. Dior in his time was fascinated by artists like Renι Gruau and Christian Berard," Ms. Arnault said. "Art is part of the DNA of Dior." Suzy Menkes
Greek at her 'Kore'
Joining a widening band of designers who think that looking after the planet should be a fashion consideration, the Greek-born designer Sophia Kokosalaki introduced a new line called Kore , in collaboration with the online retailer Asos.com.
Lacy handwork, made in Sri Lanka using an age-old technique, formed the basis of the new line, which sells at one-third to half the cost of the designer's main line. Ms. Kokosalaki also has designed a collection of wedding dresses that will go on sale at Net-a-Porter.com.
After two seasons off the runway, following the rupture of her collaboration with the Diesel group, Ms. Kokosalaki came back to Paris with a collection that had less of the Greek twisting and shaping of her early designs, but still a sense of that country in the liquid draping. Like all forward-looking designers, she also played with new fabrics, keeping the signature she has already established but giving it a modern push. S.M.
Vuitton's puppet master
The lobster, its claws wrapped round its carapace as it nestled behind domed glass, looked almost as lifelike as its companions: stuffed foxes, cats and leopards frozen in time at Deyrolle, the famous Paris taxidermist.
But the creatures the frog with its open mouth, the fluffy little bird, the furry squirrel and the cute kitten turned out to be interlopers, pieces made by taking small leather goods from Louis Vuitton and twisting and turning them so that they appear to be part of this animal kingdom.
The British puppet maker Billie Achilleos was the creative force behind the tiny treasures, designed to celebrate 100 years of Vuitton's inventiveness in leather. S.M.
Uniqueness on sale now
On screen, the designer Alessandra Facchinetti could be seen putting the finishing touches to her mini show. There is nothing new about this idea of allowing the front of house backstage. But the idea of presenting clothes during the fashion season that go on sale instantly is a product of the Internet age.
Uniqueness 1.01 is the new label for Ms. Facchinetti, who previously designed for Valentino, following a stint at Gucci. She showed a streamlined wardrobe, adding military details to separates and giving a girly touch to a trench coat by making it in sugar pink. Part of the Italian Pinko group and with prices from about 500, or about $665, the clothes are on offer now at www.uniqueness.it. S.M.
Karl Lagerfeld rocks
Karl Lagerfeld as a 21st-century rocker? Maybe the designer wants to keep in touch with his wilder side, for the collection he did in collaboration with Hogan was filled with zippered leather jackets and patent leather bags with a bubble effect on the surface. A techno nylon trench coat was an example of strength without weight.
In its third season, the link with the Italian house allows the couture designer to nurture his graphic and edgy side, using plasticized and stretch materials and bringing high tech to leather. The shoes were mostly sporty variations on sneakers, sleek in black and white python or two-toned leather. But the collection also included ballerina flats with floral -patterned perforations that reflect current casual style. S.M.
Knitwear for all seasons
"Jane Birkin going off to Ibiza for the summer," said Claudia Schiffer to describe the summer spirit of her cashmere collection. But the hippie-du-luxe vibe was not just for casual clothes, like a maxi crochet dress with color block stripes. The summer journey also took the former model to Paris and London, to create appropriate wardrobes with the German knitwear expert Iris Von Arnim.
With a web as her signature, Ms. Schiffer also produced an intarsia knit with spidery mesh a contrast to simple sportswear like a denim check dress.
Her aim is to make this knitwear line appropriate for more than cold weather, by mixing cashmere and cotton or silk and linen to make an easy boyfriend sweater dress alongside a Paris-worthy little black dress. S.M.