It's a week after the screening of Glenn Close's new FX drama "Damages" and designer Domenico Vacca is still aflutter from watching the actress transform into ruthless lawyer Patty Hewes. "I had goose bumps," he says. (The show debuted on television Tuesday night.) Of course, Vacca has more reason than most to be excited by cable's latest leading lady. Close goes through 12 costume changes in the pilot, always clad in Domenico Vacca, from head to alligator-heeled toe.
"She was perfect — spot-on," Vacca says. "And not because she looked good — she looked good for the part." The Italian rattles off a list of high-powered workwear Close dons from his collection: silk shirts, cashmere boucle suits, overcoats. In fact, perhaps no designer was more equipped to dress Close's litigating lass than Vacca — he himself spent 10 years as a successful attorney.
It was the designer's seamstress grandmother, Nicoletta Orciula, who introduced him to fashion and also sent him with a swift boot-kick toward his lengthy stint in law. Orciula had her own dressmaking business in Italy and, thus, Vacca spent his childhood "among tailoring tables." But she also warned him against a career in fashion. "She said, 'Don't do anything that has to do with this,'" he recalls. "'It's a lot of work, and you're never going to become wealthy.'" So he eventually became a lawyer and landed a job in Milan with Baker & McKenzie.
But kismet's a funny thing. When the firm transferred him to New York in 1990, Vacca found himself in fashion circles yet again, representing companies such as Tod's, Genny, Byblos, Malo and Ermenegildo Zegna. Soon, he launched a magazine called Italia to showcase the labels and designs with which he was involved.
That was 1992. By 1997, he had stopped practicing law altogether, and in 2001, he abandoned publishing to launch his own label, making use of the master Italian tailors he had encountered during his travels. He opened his first store at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street the next year. Now, Vacca owns three New York boutiques and others in Beverly Hills and Florida's Bal Harbour and Palm Beach, with offerings that run from his signature fine tailoring to eveningwear to accessories and jewelry. Next year, he plans to open his seventh store, a 5,000-square-foot one in Atlanta, in which he'll also debut a home furnishing collection that's, believe it or not, all made from alligator."The approach is, no problem. We can custom-make everything for you," Vacca says. "We have 2,000 fabrics for suits and jackets. Our alligator bags — we have 25 different colors." It's the kind of can-do mentality that has enabled him to carve a name for himself in Hollywood, with costume credits in "Stranger Than Fiction" and "Inside Man," as well as the upcoming "The Night Watchman" and "The Kite Runner." Many of his own customers, Vacca says, are equally high-wattage. But perhaps there's no better example of his on- and offscreen popularity than this: The designer says he dresses Jeremy Piven's character Ari Gold on "Entourage," as well as the real-life talent agent on whom he's based, Endeavor Talent Agency founder Ari Emanuel.
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)