After Beyoncé’s Nov. 15 appearance on “Saturday Night Live,” while many fans swapped videos of a leotard-clad Justin Timberlake mugging as one of the singer’s backup dancers, a contingent of fashion-savvy viewers took to the blogosphere with one question: Who designed the curve-clinging dress Beyoncé wore as she belted out “If I Were A Boy?”
None of the usual suspects (Mugler, Versace, Léger), it turns out. A gray knit number with yellow piping and plunging neckline, the piece was designed by Brooke Martisse and plucked by Beyoncé’s stylist (on the evening before the performance, no less) from Martisse’s debut pre-fall collection, Martisse New York. “The dress was a sample that we had fitted on a tiny model,” the designer explains. “The fact that Beyoncé could pull it off, and the fact that it was returned to us in its original shape, was a testament that the fabric I use can perform.”
That fabric, which Martisse dubs the “angel knit,” had been six months in development. It’s a high-twist cotton yarn and a high-density Lycra combo that lends the material a matte texture. Martisse is something of a knitwear authority: following graduation from F.I.T. in 1995, she launched knitwear collections for Carolina Herrera, Douglas Hannant and Lela Rose, discovering that combining yarns captivated her more than the standard cut-and-sew process of contemporary design. In 2005, she left the city for the town of Warwick in upstate New York, where she opened a clothing boutique, B. Page & Co. Martisse stocked designs from small knitwear companies, but when the shop closed last year, she began whipping up her own samples.
The result is a tightly edited pre-fall collection of 24 snug pieces. The Crawford pencil skirt, for instance, is woven with Lycra for a tightening effect; the Angelina camisole is sewn in panels, evoking a bustier (all the pieces are named for “style icons past and present,” says Martisse — the one Beyoncé wore is dubbed the “Johansson tulip dress”). Martisse has also included the requisite filmy cardigans — 16 gauge, a blend of silk and cashmere — though the collection’s standouts are more intricate: a ribbon-tie, pleated shrug (“the Hudson”) and dresses embellished with weaves and ruffles. For fall, Martisse will expand to about 50 pieces.
As of press time, New York’s Eva boutique had picked up the pre-fall line, but with the current retail climate in mind, Martisse is trying to keep prices affordable: the collection wholesales for between $85 and $365. “A lot of different body types can wear knits, and I wanted to fill a niche at a price point that didn’t shut a lot of customers out,” Martisse says. Of course, having a famous fan has never hurt a new business — according to Martisse, Beyoncé’s styling team has already called about pulling pieces from the fall lineup.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews