Photo Courtesy Jed Root
Reports flooded social media this weekend of the untimely passing of another one of fashion’s greatest imagemakers. On Saturday, October 25, photographer David Armstrong died at age 60 in Los Angeles. Armstrong had reportedly been suffering from liver cancer.
Born in 1954 in Arlington, Massachusetts, David Armstrong first gained attention with “The Boston School” art movement. Alongside photographers such as Nan Goldin, Mark Morrisroe, and Jack Pierson, Armstrong’s photos presented quick snapshots of the vibrant lives he was surrounded by. He has maintained a consistent – and iconic – style of photography throughout his entire career, creating beautiful portraits through natural light and soft focus.
David Armstrong’s one-of-a-kind, captivating vision eventually earned him credibility in the fashion world. At the height of the industry’s obsession with youth, Armstrong’s photos of beautiful, often-adolescent subjects were some of the most coveted around. Hedi Slimane commissioned him to capture the teenage boys backstage at his Dior Homme shows in the early 2000s, and the rest is history.
Who could forget the defining images in the realm of fashion that Armstrong produced, starring fresh faces like Boyd Holbrook and Natalia Vodianova? Armstrong’s pictures have become staple pieces in the history of fashion; his work gave a new dimension to advertisements and editorials that had not yet been explored. But it’s his fundamental aesthetic that he established long before his work in fashion that made his work truly remarkable. The passion and the feeling within each photograph is what would define his work as art, what could convey a message larger than fashion or commodity, and what has made his storytelling technique so memorable and so necessary.
David Armstrong’s work paved the way for so many photographers after him, whether in fashion or other spheres. The creative world has lost a pivotal figure, but his work could never be erased.
See more of David Armstrong’s photos below, and join us in honoring this legend.
One of the brightest stars of not just New York, but the global fashion scene, designer Oscar de la Renta has died at 82-years-old.
The prolific creator of some of the most iconic fashion ensembles, Mr. de la Renta was born July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic. He studied at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, where his sketches gained the attention of the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, who subsequently commissioned him to design her daughter’s wedding dress. Said gown appeared on the cover of Life magazine, putting de la Renta on everyone’s radar. He landed an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga before heading to Paris, where he was immediately offered a job at Lanvin. Two years later, Oscar de la Renta found himself designing for Elizabeth Arden in New York. And it wasn’t long before the designer made the city his empire; in 1965, Oscar de la Renta’s namesake brand was launched.
The news of Oscar de la Renta’s death comes just after the announcement of Peter Copping taking the reigns as creative director of the house, following his tenure at Nina Ricci. Though there were rumors that de la Renta had been battling cancer for years, his passing was an unexpected – and utterly devastating – shock for the entire fashion community.
We can remember Oscar de la Renta for his undeniable vitality and relentless passion for his work. A true magician and a modern-day couturier, the designer never put anything above his primary goal of making women look and feel truly remarkable. It’s no wonder that his pieces were go-to’s for everything from red carpet events to daytime attire. And although he worked through the New York fashion market growing more chaotic, even more aggressive at times, he still never sacrificed vibrance, glamor, and undeniable elegance. Always a highlight of New York Fashion Week, de la Renta’s shows would be a parade of stunning women from all different racial, cultural, and physical makeups, exuding beauty and grace in his classically luxurious designs.
Oscar de la Renta’s necessary jolt of life into the fashion scene in New York and the rest of the world made him one of the most valuable and influential designers of all time. He will be missed dearly by the fashion community and people around the globe, but his legacy could never be forgotten.
Photo: Gwen Stefani
After rumors swirling for months about a third solo album from No Doubt front-woman Gwen Stefani, it looks like we’ve finally got an answer. The singer, songwriter, and L.A.M.B. designer (among other things) may still be working with her longtime bandmates on some new projects, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t save herself some “me-time.” Case in point: her new single, “Baby Don’t Lie.”
Following in the footsteps of her past endeavors, Gwen’s first solo track in eight years stays true to irresistibly catchy beats and infectious hooks, throwing her bubbly voice into an endearing loop. The song was co-written by producers Benny Blanco, Ryan Tedder, and Noel Zancanella, and it alludes to what we could potentially expect from a full release. Although there hasn’t been much more concrete information about the album yet, rumor has it that Stefani will be working with her go-to partner and fellow coach on The Voice, Pharrell Williams on a lot of the pieces. Meanwhile, if “Baby Don’t Lie” is any indicator, we can expect more depth and prevalence than even some of her most ubiquitous works (we’re looking at you, “Hollaback Girl”).
Another majorly exciting thing about a full-fledged Gwen Stefani comeback is all of the videos that will accompany her viral hits; if Gwen excels at anything (aside from what she’s already got), it’s looking damn good virtually all the time. And let’s not forget about all the magazine covers and spreads, event appearances, performances, and other moments for this style icon to shine through.
But it is all about the music after all, and there’s no doubt that Gwen’s upcoming projects will be just as sick as she’s been for the past 45 years of her existence.
Listen to “Baby Don’t Lie” below, and share your thoughts on the new single!:
After the announcement of Alexander Wang’s H&M collaboration earlier this year, customers have been anxiously anticipating a preview of the coveted capsule collection. Well, now all of the looks are here, including tons of neoprene, utilitarian winter outerwear, and items garnished with a bold “WANG” logo. There were some great bags and shoes, too, like those slide-on sandals, leather high-top sneakers, and leather backpacks. And let’s not forget about the accessories. Bringing a few things from his “items” collection to the masses, Wang threw in the towel…literally. He also threw in a pair of goggles, a water bottle, a trophy, boxing gloves, keychains, and a whistle ring (because why not?).
The collection epitomizes Wang’s minimal, sporty aesthetic, providing tons of timelessly stylish pieces; we’re putting virtually every single thing on our wish list, to be honest. And while a lot of these items would make great investment pieces, there’s no need to shell out all of your money. In the event that you somehow forgot about H&M’s remarkable prices, you’d be pleasantly surprised to find out that many of these pieces come in below the $400 mark.
Every H&M designer collaboration is kind of a big deal, with customers lining up hours before store openings to get their hands on these pieces before they run out. Meanwhile, Alexander Wang is undoubtedly one of the biggest contemporary labels of the moment. The New York-based designer’s mass following expands well-beyond the realms of the high fashion niche. In other words, it wouldn’t be surprising if the release of this collection resulted in utter pandemonium. We’d definitely recommend reading up on some tips for shopping an H&M designer collaboration, especially this one. And in case your calendars aren’t already marked (which they definitely should be by now), Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M will be available at select H&M stores and at hm.com on November 6.
Check out the full Alexander Wang x H&M lookbook below!
Photos courtesy H&M
AP Photo/Francois Mori
Right on the heels of John Galliano’s appointment to Maison Martin Margiela, news just broke of another round of designer musical chairs. Guillaume Henry will take the helm as the new creative director of Nina Ricci.
After Peter Copping’s departure from the Parisian fashion house, the end of Paris Fashion Week brought the announcement of the end of Henry’s tenure at Carven. The 35-year-old French designer had been at Carven since 2009 and had since given the brand a unique, modern edge.
Ralph Tolenado, the president of Puig, Nina Ricci’s parent company called Guillaume Henry a “major designer,” and emphasized his “great ambitions” for yet another reinvention of the brand.
Over the years, the house has evolved from the conceptual designs of Olivier Theyskens to Peter Copping’s ultra-feminine approach. Meanwhile, Henry’s work at Carven has earned the brand something of a cult following, and his midas touch is expected to continue throughout his new design endeavors. The designer’s first ready-to-wear collection for Nina Ricci is scheduled to be shown during the fall 2015 shows at Paris Fashion Week.
Looking forward to Guillaume Henry’s work at Nina Ricci? Tell us how you feel.
Photo: Patrick Demarchelier for Maison Martin Margiela
Okay, actually, call it a comeback.
Over the course of his 15 year tenure at Dior and through his work at his own eponymous label, John Galliano graced fashion with a huge level of eccentricity, showmanship, and above all, creativity. His designs embodied the enchantment and magic that accompanied high fashion, always going above and beyond with each collection. That was until he was given the boot from both of his design projects in 2011, following the release of a video in which he drunkenly slurred antisemitic remarks at a Parisian café.
After years of treatment for his substance abuse and working closely with the Anti-Defamation League to educate himself on the harmful repercussions of his hateful words, Galliano emerged as a changed man. This brought him a few high-profile fashion projects, such as designing Kate Moss’ wedding dress, collaborating with Oscar de la Renta, and being appointed as the creative director of Russian perfume brand, L’Etoile. However, none of that had truly reached the magnitude of his previous endeavors, as companies were still skeptical to invest in his supposedly volatile behavior.
But now Galliano’s getting a second chance.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, WWD announced that the designer has been named as the new creative director of Maison Martin Margiela. Though nearly no one saw this coming, the president of OTB, Margiela’s parent company said of the appointment:
Margiela is ready for a new charismatic creative soul … John Galliano is one of the greatest, undisputed talents of all time – a unique, exceptional couturier for a Maison that always challenged and innovated the world of fashion.
Galliano is set to debut his first collection for the house in January during the Haute Couture shows in Paris. Of course, many are wondering what to expect from his new project; while his shows at Dior and his own line were major spectacles, highlighted by extravagant, over-the-top designs, Maison Martin Margiela is known for a “non-standard elegance” aesthetic. In other words, it’s hard to imagine how Galliano will adapt his grandiose concepts to a brand so often focused on anonymity and at times, even minimalism.
But one thing that’s not in question is John Galliano’s true creative mastery. No one can deny that the man is one of the best when it comes to precision, proving himself as one of the most valuable couturiers of our generation. And who knows? Maybe Maison Martin Margiela is due for a bit of a maximalist upgrade.
Let’s be real, things in fashion are somewhat bleak these days. Runway shows are virtually devoid of impressive models, with an immense lack of diversity playing a huge part in this debacle. Meanwhile, brands are growing more commercial, sacrificing creativity for sales. But if Gemma Ward’s comeback this season could usher in a resurgence of the powerful women we saw on the runways in the early 2000s, perhaps John Galliano’s new position at Margiela could provide a revival of the creativity and the artistry in fashion. That is why many of us fell in love with fashion, after all.
Stay tuned for what’s next from John Galliano at Maison Martin Margiela, and check out some of his most noteworthy designs below!
Casting at the spring 2015 ready-to-wear shows was beyond atrocious, with too many whitewashed lineups of forgettable faces. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few standouts. Take, for example, Aya Jones N’Guessan.
Aya first grabbed our attention when she walked exclusively for Prada in Milan. Surprisingly one of the more impressive casts of the season (see Gemma, Malaika, Stam, Lara, Issa, and more), it would be easy for any new face to get lost in the mix. But that’s the thing: Aya’s not just another new face. With a virtually immaculate appearance, reminiscent of early 90s Naomi and a touch of FKA Twigs, this stunner is bringing real beauty back to the runways; no shade to any other models of the moment, but how often do we see a human being this beautiful?
Not surprisingly, her turn at Prada got a lot of other designers’ attention when Paris Fashion Week rolled around. The world was blessed to see Aya Jones at Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Sacai, Giambattista Valli, Sonia Rykiel, Valentino, and Miu Miu (did we miss any?). To debut halfway through the show circuit and garner so much buzz is pretty impressive, so we can hope that big things are ahead for this gorgeous rookie.
Check out some more photos of Aya Jones N’Guessan below, and let us know what you think of this new face!
Sometimes it’s a lot harder than you’d think to find the perfect accessories, especially when it comes to menswear. Over-the-top styles make for great statement pieces, but what happened to a traditionally good bag?
Cue Oppermann, the London-based label that fuses luxury and practicality to create undeniably beautiful leather goods. Launched in 2012 by two Swedish brothers, Niklas and Mattis Oppermann, the brand shows the perfect combination of sleek Scandinavian minimalism and cutting-edge London style. And just when it seemed as if the perfect shapes, high-quality materials, and couture-like craftsmanship couldn’t get any better, Oppermann is also using a refreshing new retail model.
Launching this fall, set to make waves through 2015 and beyond, Oppermann will be one of Europe’s first online-only menswear labels. Retailers often mark up the cost of items by at least three times, and by distributing directly from the source, Oppermann offers their pristine products at astonishing prices. But don’t think a reasonable expense means lower quality; the brand is still all about getting better and better with each piece.
As with typical minimalism, the details are what truly make Oppermann’s items stand out. From bags to wallets to leather sleeves and document cases, everything is handmade in Italy, while all materials come from some of the finest European manufacturers. Take the brand’s latest collection, “Surfaces.” Featuring tumbled leather from Tärnsjö Garveri in Sweden, Italian vegetable-tanned leather trims, and zippers from Raccagni, Italy, the items are handcrafted in Naples, Italy to produce duality and versatility. In a nutshell, Oppermann is proving that the pricetag doesn’t have to match the elevated quality, putting the brand in line to be one of the hottest men’s luxury accessories labels.
Get in on the label’s Kickstarter campaign here, and check out some of the awesome items below!:
All photos courtesy Oppermann London
Is it just us, or has badgalriri been a little less ubiquitous since receiving the CFDA Style Icon Award back in June? But let’s be real, homegirl could never stay out of the spotlight for too long. This time, the news doesn’t come from a hairstyle change or a new single or a barely-there ensemble or any other typical thing you’d expect. Instead, Rihanna’s been making business moves; rumor has it that the iconic songstress recently filed trademark documents under her official last name, Fenty (yes, Rihanna has a last name). This could mean apparel, lingerie, cosmetics, swimwear, and more.
This shouldn’t be surprising, as Rihanna’s definitely grown into quite the fashionista over the years (hence the CFDA award). And let’s not forget about how she killed it at Paris Fashion Week, her role as the face of Balmain, her multiple collaborations with MAC, and her collections for River Island last year. Sure, these rumors aren’t really indicative of anything just yet. But Rihanna as a designer? Into it. We’re thinking lots of cutouts, oversized menswear-inspired outerwear, sexy strappy sandals, urban accessories, and plenty of the other things that Riri does best. Plus, with the probable help of stylist Mel Ottenberg, all of these elements would be perfectly meshed together in a cohesive, super stylish fashion.
Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. While we could hope that this would end up like Gwen Stefani and Victoria Beckham’s impressive design endeavors, there’s always the possibility that things could go a little JLo. And again, nothing’s really set in stone.