Corporate fashion’s game of musical chairs has once again completed a round of play, with the news of Kim Jones’ appointment as the new Artistic Director of Dior Homme. In a press release issued by LVMH, the French conglomerate that owns the historic house Cristian Dior Couture, Jones’ appointment was announced by CEO Pietro Beccari, who joined the brand from Fendi in November. “He will benefit from the support of the teams and from the ‘savoir-faire’ of the Ateliers to create an elegant men’s wardrobe both classic and anchored in contemporary culture,” he said. “I am confident that he will continue to further develop Dior Homme on a global scale.ˮ Jones, whose future was feverishly speculated after leaving Louis Vuitton two months ago, expressed his excitement about the new opportunity: “I am deeply honored to join the house of Dior, a symbol of the ultimate elegance. I am committed to create a modern and innovative male silhouette built upon the unique legacy of the House.ˮ He replaces designer Kris Van Assche, who for over a decade has ensured Dior’s position as the procurer of the most sublime luxury menswear, seamlessly merging traditional tailoring with contemporary silhouettes. Van Assche’s future is unclear, although NYT reports that he will stay within the LVMH group (he closed his namesake brand in 2015). As a cherished name within fashion’s inner circles (BFFs with Naomi Campbell as well as British Vogue editor Edward Enninful), the Central Saint Martins graduate is expected to breathe new energy into the seasoned house, and surely, put some fire under Maria Grazia Chiuri, his womenswear counterpoint whose work at Dior has received mixed reviews since her appointment in 2016. Have you completely lost track as to who works where? We don’t blame you. Just watch this space for further explanation.
There is no better smell than the smell of fashion. For those who dismiss perfumes manufactured by luxury fashion houses as watered-down branding-proxies, a relatively affordable wiff the life in opulence that we all aspire to, they fail to see that the contemporary human being senses not through through chemical compounds floating in the air registered via the nose, but through taste. Didn’t you read Bourdieu in college? Even if Paris Hilton’s 32nd perfume just so happened to be the best in the world, we wouldn’t be caught dead with it in our toilet cabinets. No-uh. Rather, what you’d find is the latest olfactory innovation from Maison Louis Vuitton, the seasoned French luxury brand who arrived in the scent industry only two years ago. With incredible packaging and an actually ambitious scent design strategy overseen by Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud at their in-house atelier in Grasse (the capital of global perfume production). The new scent Le Jour Se Lève is characterized by the magical excitement of dawn, where the sun caresses the tree tops signaling a new day. Mandarin is the base note here, paired with the more subtle Jasmine Sambac from China, and finally, a subtle stint of magnolia petals, apricot-tinged osmanthus and a subtly tangy blackcurrant accord. What is getting my heart going right now, you may ask yourself – the olfactory ingredients? The answer is LV. It always is.
No home is complete without the appropriate padding – and here, we’re not talking childproofing any sharp corners, but about comfort. While “hygge” has become a fraudulent term, the coinage for quintessentially Danish ambience having been coopted in the corporate interior design industry, we still believe strongly in providing surfaces all over the house on which to rest one’s body, strike up conversation, have a 1pm cocktail. A bit of spectacle helps too; we’ve always been drawn to daybeds more than couches, functioning as they do as stages in their own right. Who doesn’t remember Elizabeth Taylor greeting her suitors from her Ancient Egyptian chaise longue? Imagine the Queen of both Hollywood and the Egyptian Empire trying to project from a Fatboy or an Ikea floater. Daybeds, rather, are for people with class, stamina, pose; a kind of stringent comfort, somewhere between performance and rest. Our current favorite hails from Händvark, the emerging furniture producer founded by Danish media man Emil Thorup. Händvark strives to pair stellar interior design with sustainable materials, which in the case of their daybed manifests in velvet-smooth aniline leather – a type of leather dyed exclusively with soluble dyes without covering the surface with a topcoat paint or insoluble pigments – upholstered locally in Copenhagen. Get your hands on a bed in time for the summer party. You might as well cancel if you don’t have a place to lounge.
The mainstream eye-wear market is both mind boggling and pricey: a roster of luxury brands dominate the industry through opaque but far-reaching licensing deals and mass manufacturing, while retail is dispersed across individual and chain vendors. This leads to a particularly inaccessible system for emerging brands, as well as steep price points for consumers (a pair of frames usually falling around the €400 benchmark). Luckily, in recent years a number of young brands have found ways to circumvent this dissatisfying set-up, and one of the brightest shining stars in this generation is Amsterdam-based Ace & Tate. Known for their hip take on classic frame design, the young brand skip license-holders and retail by selling exclusively online and in their stores in Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, and Copenhagen (to name but a few locations). This results in frames offered at the neat price of €98 – quite a no-brainer! Keeping in the spirit of their hipster roots, their most recent campaign – called Come as You Are, echoing the infamous Nirvana anthem – sees Ace & Tate’s creative team take a closer look at the creative class of their Dutch home town, highlighting the work and stories of selected designers, artists, and other creatives. We caught up with Anoma Whittaker, Head of Creative at Ace & Tate, to discuss eyewear design and the future of the rapidly growing brand.
Photograph: Freja Beha in Commes des Garçons archive, by Collier Schorr
The press have received New York’s ‘New Guard’ with an unconditionally warm embrace, or so the stream of glib praise that has been flowing unstemmed from around the middle of the decade would have you think. Show write-ups have heralded the arrival of a long-awaited revolution, lead by an army of emerging designers and their refreshingly diverse entourages. They are not wrong, the contribution made by this new generation to the on-going shift in fashion’s status is not to be downplayed. A closer listen, however, reveals old habits murmuring beneath the platitude-heavy hubbub, colouring their whoops and cheers with doubt.
In the spring of 2015 the American writer and conceptual artist Kenneth Goldsmith taught a class at The University of Pennsylvania called Wasting Time on the Internet. Later that year, he published a book on the topic where he argued that while browsing around “wasting time” online, we actually also create a culture of creativity and collaboration. In an interview with the New York Times Goldsmith notes: “The DNA of the web is embedded in 20th-century movements like surrealism, where artists sought to live in a state like dreaming, or pop art, where they leveraged popular culture to make bigger points about society. Postmodernism is about sampling things and remixing them, and that is made real in this digital world.”
Goldsmith’s emphasis on the amazing, creative, unifying qualities of the internet – despite the temporary sense of dizziness that a few hours on social media tends to leave us with – is hard to argue against when examining the biography of the faux fur universe Feast Studio. The brand was established less than two years ago but the astonishing furs are already worn from Russia to the Emirates and the US. Behind Feast is the 30-year old Copenhagen-based designer, Nova Frangø. Her fur universe has developed in its own (fast) pace through Instagram, and although she manufactures her designs in her Copenhagen apartment, she does not necessarily identify as a Danish designer: “I make furs for Feast kids more than for a specific nationality. For the nomads in the modern world, where you do not identify through nationality or social class but through sub cultural groups across all national borders. Social media has been such an eye opener for me. I grew up before they were there and now I just love that you can connect with people through them, and find kindred spirits all over the world,” Nova notes when we meet up with her in Copenhagen on a chilly Sunday morning to learn more about Feast.
Danish-American photographer Charlie Rubin takes photographic image-making into an expanded field of motifs, processes, and psychic feel. Working across classical portraiture, publishing, and painterly post-production, his work creatively reflects upon the changing notion of photography after its digital revolution, and asks how it relates to our contemporary social spirit. He recipient of the Foam Talent award from the Foam Museum in Amsterdam in 2013, which enabled him to publish Strange Paradise in 2014, a book of photographs and collages that “explored American anxiety and lethargy.” Currently preparing for an upcoming show John Doe Gallery in New York, we sit down with Rubin to discuss photo manipulation, meditation, and entropy.
There are countless ways to wear your art – repurpose a sculpture, painting-as-t-shirt; there’s nothing we haven’t seen, really, in the line outside Holy Mountain on a Saturday night. But Calvin Klein Underwear recently released a capsule collection that allows for the same auratic vestiary experience in a much more down-to-earth manner: the American heritage brand, led by stoic Belgian Raf Simons for the last couple of seasons, has partnered with the Andy Warhol Foundation to license small stills from his epic 50-minute silent film Kiss (1963) and print them on their timeless underwear. Kiss was one of Warhol’s first ventures into cinema, shooting it in 1963 after having set up the early Factory in Downtown Manhattan; it features a series of rather nerve-wrecking 3-minute make-out sessions between the likes of Gerard Malanga, Naomi Levine, and Johnny Dodd, all Factory regulars. The collection ties in seamlessly with Simons’ larger neo-America project since arriving at the CK doorsteps a few seasons back, releasing his 2017 campaign that featured a youthful clique of models facing great modern American masterpieces. We imagine Warhol underwear as a great conversation starter for any potential bedroom visitors, but even if that feels improbable in the near future, CK’s still take the prize of best underwear out there.