Remember the old Johnny Mathis song "Wild Is the Wind"? It inspired Nina Simone, David Bowie and George Michael to do their own versions. Now that ditty also has influenced a couple of Chicago designers, Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters. They recently launched Creatures of the Wind, named for a phrase from the song lyrics. Their fall debut skews "a bit hippie, a bit folksy," says Gabier. Here, one example, an embroidered cotton and silk dress with a cotton jersey inset.
From a sister act to an interior-design doyenne, a new set of designers is hitting the fashion scene.
Backstory: Fashion may have been a big part of Julia and Natalia Alarcon's upbringing — their mother was a seamstress — but it was only recently that the sisters opted for a career in design. Both were involved in two very different — and "unglamorous," says Julia — professions until 2005, when they decided to enroll at Parsons The New School for Design together. Natalia did contract negotiations for engineering and construction companies, while Julia left a post as the assistant director of the Pittsburgh Zoo to go into industrial sales. "We both always really loved fashion," says Natalia, "so we finally decided, let's just do it." Both interned at Phi prior to launching their line, Lialia, in the spring, and Natalia also spent time at Reyes, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta.
Collection: "We wanted to put together a collection for someone who's tired of wearing jeans," says Julia. "Pieces you could realistically wear on the street, like a feminine dandy." To date, the collections have taken a cue from the Forties — a recent inspiration Alfred Hitchcock's "Suspicion" — as seen in trim sheaths, high-waisted skirts and tuxedo blouses. But the color palette is another story. "We were inspired by mold," says Julia. "You can get some really beautiful hues — chartreuse, purples and blues."
Stats: Lialia, a play on the designers' names, wholesales from $200 to $1,000, and is sold at Début in New York and Inago in Los Angeles.
Rose Anne de Pampelonne
Backstory: Rose Anne de Pampelonne's name might already ring a bell. She's a prominent Paris interior designer, who decorated the old Eddie Barclay house in Saint-Tropez and had a hand in the recent renovations at Paris' Hôtel Lutétia. It's appropriate, then, that her entrée into fashion came by way of interiors: She began by dabbling in cushion and lamp shade designs, which eventually led to her year-old ready-to-wear and accessories collection. And, not surprisingly, de Pampelonne notes that a home line is in the pipeline.
Collection: Rich, lavish embellishments are the focus. Her clothes feature traditional Indian zardozi embroideries (done with metal threads) and are accented by ebony, tigereye, rose quartz and turquoise. Exotic stone patterns, for example, decorate everything from a simple cashmere cardigan to more elaborate hand-dyed caftans and tunics. De Pampelonne even adds carved Tibetan prayer beads to the mix. But the designer makes clear it's not the spiritual elements she's after here, but the craftsmanship. "It's about respecting a lost art," de Pampelonne says.
Stats: Accessories wholesale from $270 to $360, and her rtw from $240 to $800. Retailers include Vivre.com, Scoop and Stanley Korshak in Dallas.
Creatures of the Wind
Backstory: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the city's indie art scene proved the jumping points for fledging line Creatures of the Wind. Shane Gabier graduated from SAIC a decade ago and, after working in Antwerp, Belgium, for designers Dirk Schönberger and Jurgi Persoons, launched his own eponymous collection in 2003. Now the Michigan native is also a professor at the school and recently teamed up with another SAIC graduate, Christopher Peters of New Jersey, to rework his own label into Creatures of the Wind, which will launch this fall. The curious moniker comes from an old Johnny Mathis song recorded by Nina Simone, "Wild is the Wind."
Collection: "A cross between both our aesthetics," says Peters. "Shane is more structured, and I'm much more cartoon-y and graphic." The result is a charming lineup underscored by an arty, homespun vibe — cotton eyelet blouses, geometric wrap jackets and tops accented with handcrafted macramé insets. The two have also collaborated with local artists. Fall, for instance, included the work of jeweler Ryan Davis and fiber artist Elspeth Vance. "It's a bit hippie, a bit folksy," says Gabier, "with a creepy Sixties commune edge."
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye