Despite perhaps the messiest album rollout of all time, the queen is back. Rihanna’s first album in over three years – subject to countless delays – features none of the singles she released in 2015, rather all new material and an almost entirely new direction. And the album, which she finally dropped on January 28, might be Rih’s boldest move yet.
There’s no denying the massive impact of the legend that is David Bowie, transcending beyond rock superstardom to influence art, culture, film, and fashion. Serving as an endless source of inspiration, the master of reinvention captivated the world from his breakout Space Oddity. From there, he instilled an appreciation for androgyny, noted for his eccentric, glam, otherworldly presence during the Ziggy Stardust era. His creative edge continued throughout the entirety of his career, bringing the unusual to the mainstream. We could write a dissertation on the immeasurable effect David Bowie has had on us, as well as countless others over time, whether through image or sound or aesthetic or attitude. But instead, we can simply show our gratitude. Thank you, Mr. Bowie, for showing the importance of individuality and the power of unconventionality. But most importantly, thank you for not just keeping your head in the clouds, rather amongst the stars. Rest in space.
We unfortunately have to accept that we can’t wholly address this issue with just one article, and that we can’t completely decipher or even entirely address it all at once. But we can start by stating the obvious: racism is ravaging our society.
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: 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!
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.
AP Photo/Kristian Dowling
It’s safe to say that London-based designer Mary Katrantzou is kind of killing it this year, with her otherworldly optical prints gaining tons of popularity. Meanwhile, sporty fashion doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, enhanced by countless designers getting in on the omnipresent sneaker trend. The athletic footwear’s prevalence is only further popularized by the many to-die-for collaborations between Adidas and designers like Rick Owens and Raf Simons. So, it only makes sense that the sportswear powerhouse’s next mashup will come courtesy of Mary Katrantzou.
Katrantzou is set to design an entire capsule collection of shoes and clothes for Adidas Originals, presumably featuring her trademark graphics and hues. But despite the bold aesthetics that put her work in the spotlight, Katrantzou’s recently shown fall 2014 ready-to-wear collection presented a subtle move away from over-the-top eccentricity; it’s possible that she could do some more experimentation with toned down styles through her upcoming work for Adidas. Regardless of what route she chooses to go, there’s no doubt that this collaboration will be one of epic proportions.
Mark your calendars, because the Mary Katrantzou capsule collection for Adidas Originals will debut in stores this November. And along with H&M’s upcoming collaboration with Alexander Wang, it’s looking like that’s going to be a pretty good month.
Harper’s Bazaar Brasil
After Jil Sander’s surprising departure from her namesake fashion house last year, it wouldn’t be long before a new talent would take the reigns. Cue Rodolfo Paglialunga, set to make his debut as creative director of the label this September. The Italian designer’s past gigs include working in the ranks of Vionnet after spending some time as the womenswear design director at Prada.
So, what can we expect to see from Paglialunga come the spring 2015 ready-to-wear shows in Milan this fall? His past work (see the gallery below) is certainly impressive, but his ability to continue the ultra-minimalist Jil Sander aesthetic is somewhat questionable. Meanwhile, with little mention of menswear, it’s difficult to predict what will become of that essential aspect of the brand.
Regardless of what Rodolfo Paglialunga’s highly anticipated debut will produce, hopefully we can begin to see some more stability in terms of the revolving door that has overcome this iconic fashion house.
Check out some of Rodolfo Paglialunga’s past work here:
All images via Fashin
The title pretty much says it all. For H&M’s next designer collaboration, the fast-fashion powerhouse has tapped none other than it-designer Alexander Wang. Wang made his Instagram debut with a teaser video for the collection (below), while also breaking the news at a Coachella party. The video features nothing more than field lights and a countdown clock with the numbers 11:06, implying that the collaboration will hit stores on November 6 of this year.
H&M’s past collaborations have come from the likes of Versace, Alber Elbaz for Lanvin and most recently Isabel Marant, whose collection for the global retailer sent sales through the roof. And with Wang’s immense popularity beyond the realms of just the fashion industry, there’s no doubt that this endeavor will be one of the biggest mashups yet. It’s also pretty likely that this will warrant crazed crowds and possible stampedes upon it’s retail debut; it’s recommended that shoppers prepare themselves ahead of time for potential madness. But until the highly anticipated November 6 release date, we can all stay up-to-date on the latest news for Wang’s H&M collaboration via Instagram.