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Balenciaga Moments

November 5th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Nicolas Ghesquiere by Steven Meisel

We were shocked and a bit saddened today to hear of Nicolas Ghesquiere‘s departure from Balenciaga. After 15 years at the legendary house, Ghesquiere is parting ways with the luxury powerhouse, a label he helped become one of the most influential and respected in the business. Though we know this is likely the start of an exciting new beginning (let the rumors begin) we can’t help but look back at a few of our absolute favorite Balenciaga moments, from the very first collection to those infamous leggings. Take a look at our favorites and let us know yours in the comments.


THE REVIVAL

In 2012 it seems like there are new designers shuffling in to breathe life into old houses every few months, that wasn’t so much the case back in 1997. At 25 after assisting designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and paying his dues behind the scenes at several brands, Ghesquière came to Balenciaga to design for the brand’s Japanese licensing partner. Hardly the most glamourous gig – but his talent was evident and soon he found himself creative director of a brand that had yet to rediscover its footing. His first show back in S/S 98 changed all that, with a darkly chic update on the brand’s identity that made the fashion press stand up and take notice. View the collection in full for yourself at Balenciaga.com.


THE BAG

Seasonal styles of the popular Balenciaga bags

It bags come and go, but modern classics are very rare indeed. Ghesquière knocked the ball out of the park when he launched Balenciaga’s Lariat bag in 2000, the oft imitated but never duplicated style has been seen on the arm of everyone from Mary-Kate Olsen to Carine Roitfeld and is still going strong.


THE GAINSBOURG CONNECTION

Nicolas Ghesquiere and Charlotte Gainsbourg by Jean Paul Goude for Harper’s Bazaar

Twilight cutie Kristen Stewart may be the latest actress to catch Ghesquière’s eye, but the original Balenciaga-fille has got to be Charlotte Gainsbourg, a woman whose idiosyncratic beauty and avant-garde career choices mirror the spirit of Ghesquière’s boundary breaking aesthetic. Serving as both muse and face of the line’s signature fragrances, Gainsbourg is a fixture in the Balenciaga front row and in the brand’s iconography.


THE FLOWERS

Jennifer Connolly for Balenciaga S/S 08 by David Sims

It is hard to go back through Ghesquière’s 15 years at Balenciaga and pick the most memorable collections, each collection has its own merits but there are a few that take on special significance. S/S 2008′s floral explosion remains one of the most daring and influential, just when we thought we knew what to expect we got hit with a strong dose of flower power. Reactions to the collection may have been divisive, but it jumpstarted the current craze for bold, head-to-toe print and has been replicated by everyone from H&M to Celine.


THE ARCHIVES


Cristobal Balenciaga Cape, 1963 – Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere F/W 2006 cape on Coco Rocha

Every designer working at a storied house has access to a wealth of archival inspiration, but only a select few put it to good use. Ghesquière was always adept at taking Cristobal’s shapes and points of reference, then modernizing them, either with subtle changes or grand re imaginings. Take a look at how Cristóbal’s 1963 cape compared to the oversized brocade cape from the F/W 06 show.


MOD MOMENTUM

Freja Beha Erichsen for Balenciaga F/W 05 by David Sims

Sixties style mod looks often found a place on Ghesquière’s runways and made for some of the most memorable looks; who can forget the mod touches in the F/W 05 and F/W 06 collections?


MARIE AMELIE

Marie Amelie’s interpretation of Balenciaga in Strict Elegance from Interview – Ph. Craig McDean

As much as we love Nicolas’ work, all the credit for Balenciaga’s longstanding cultural impact can’t rest solely on his shoulders. As the brand’s stylist, muse and loyal supporter, Marie-Amélie Sauvé has shaped the Balenciaga look for years on the runway and in numerous editorials. Some of our favorite Balenciaga moments occurred while looking at her artful and creative interpretations of that look in the pages of magazines like Interview and Vogue Paris.


i-ROBOT

Kate Moss by Sølve Sundsbø for Numero Tokyo‘s inaugural issue.

Perhaps the singularly most infamous pair of leggings in history and certainly one of the most iconic Balenciaga pieces of all time. How many leggings find their way onto the bodies of Terence Koh, Kate Moss and Beyoncé Knowles? Not to mention the omnipresent place these leggings held in fashion edits for nearly a year. We love it when Balenciaga goes on a sci-fi streak!


THE GIRLS 

Balenciaga S/S 2002 by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Every season we’ve looked forward to see which beauties would be featured in the Balenciaga campaign and to date we’ve yet to be disappointed. Whether it is a bonafide supermodel like Gisele Bundchen, or Christy Turlington or a fresh crop of brand new faces, Balenciaga always goes for the unexpected and remains one of the few brands whose campaigns can really launch a compelling face.


THE COPYCATS

The one thing we’ll miss most about Ghesquire at Balenciaga is his ability to kickstart a design trend. There are whole websites devoted to looks cribbed from Balenciaga and while all designers get inspired by each other every now and then it was always amusing to see who was drawing inspiration from Ghesquire.


THE EDITORIALS

There were and are so many great editorial images that involved Balenciaga, but we’ll end on this great shot of Gemma Ward by Nick Knight for Pop Magazine.

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Beauty Bytes: Pure Luxury

August 17th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Christy Turlington, Karolina Kurkova and Liya Kebede by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Donna Karan Woman

Donna Karan has always stood for a celebration of modern femininty and the latest fragrance launch from her eponymous line captures that ideal perfectly. Donna Karan Woman is an elegant tribute to the many sides of being a modern woman and the result of a dynamic collaboration between some of the most prominent female talents working. Famed architect Zaha Hadid created the impressive, sculptural bottle, celebrated perfumer Anne Flipo crafted the intoxicating blend of sandalwood, Haitian vetiver and orange blossom and the stunning campaign was shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and features 3 of extraordinary beauties of substance Karolina, Christy & Liya. The end result is truly a showcase for the power of women and the sensual scent itself is absolutely irresistible.

Francophiles and fragrance addicts rejoice – Serge Lutens comes stateside to Barney’s New York offering their previously Paris only scents at the Madison Avenue location.

Actress Jessica Chastain becomes the latest face of YSL Beaute, taking a starring role in the brand’s campaign for Manifesto. She also shares an adorable story about wearing Opium in the 5th grade.

Aline Weber shows off some beautiful hot pink lids on Into the Gloss‘ exploration of vivid eyeshadow color inspired by Dior Couture.

Nail innovator Jin Soon Choi – woman behind some of the greatest editorial nail moments ever – talks about her brand new line of polishes.

 

Tom Ford Beauty never fails to impress us with its commitment to all out glamour. We’re especially taken by the latest campaign imagery featuring Snejana Onopka wearing a glossy crimson lip and looking every inch the supermodel. You can almost smell the scent of Lavender Palm wafting through the air just by looking at this shot. Get the look on your own with a swipe of the oh so chic Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lipgloss in Lost Cherry. 

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Blast from the Past: Naomi Moments

May 22nd, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Happy birthday to supermodel Naomi Campbell, who turns 42 today and is still one of the most in demand faces within the industry. Naomi’s career is legendary not just because of her phenomenal accomplishments (there isn’t a campaign she hasn’t booked or a runway she hasn’t walked) but also because of the series of ground she broke, not just for herself but for models of color everywhere. Take a look back at some of our favorite Naomi moments from her 20 years in the industry.

1988 – THE 1ST

As a true trailblazer Naomi was not only the very first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue Paris, she was also the first to land a spot on the cover of American Vogue‘s coveted September issue.

1994 – PRADA

Not to mention the very first black model to appear in ads for Prada, also one of the few to ever set foot on the mega-brand’s runways. Fashion historians will note that it took 10 years for another black model to grace the Prada catwalk.

90s – THE TRINITY

The iconic faces of a generation; along with friends Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington, Naomi owned the 90s runways. More than just a group of besties, the trio banded together with Evangelista and Turlington refusing to do shows unless Naomi walked alongside them.

1989 & 2008 – YSL

As a mentor, friend and supporter, Yves Saint Laurent was an important part of Campbell’s success. “He was the one who campaigned to put me on the cover on French Vogue and I was the first woman of color to be on the cover — that was because of him. He was so supportive of me. Not just for me, for women of color everywhere.”

1992 – THE KING OF POP MEETS THE QUEEN OF MODELS

We know the George Michael Freedom video is another fashion milestone, but only one supermodel shared the dancefloor with the King of Pop!! Jackson’s In the Closet video, directed by Herb Ritts, shows two enduring talents at the top of their game.

1993 – VERSACE

Richard Avedon‘s Versace ads are modern classics and Naomi’s history with the house is well documented, from her friendship with Donatella & Gianni to her numerous appearances on the Versace runway.

2003 – CHANGE CLOTHES

A decade later and still serving it up in memorable music videos, this time for Jay-Z and Pharrell.

2007 – THE NAOMI DIARIES

Could most models turn their community service into one of the best fashion editorials of the year? The answer is no.

2008 – DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

You have to love Mario Sorrenti‘s images of Naomi for V Magazine.

2009 – SO GOUDE

Jean Paul Goude + Naomi is a winning combination, especially when recreating one of his classic Grace Jones images with the help of Marc Jacobs.

2010 – PUSHING BOUNDARIES

Never one to be afraid of controversy, Naomi has appeared in countless editorials that push the limits, most recently her Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott story in Interview was an especially striking example.

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Beauty Bytes: TopChicret

April 24th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Can you keep a secret? Everyone’s favorite pink haired model Charlotte Free is the brand new face of Maybelline. Following in the footsteps of Christy Turlington, Julia Stegner, Erin Wasson and Jessica White before her – Charlotte is the latest model to join the Maybelline family. News like this travels fast, especially when you share it with shameless gossips like P’trique. Take a look at what happens in this funny, fashion insider filled video – there’s no such thing as secret in this business!

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Blast from the Past: Linda Loves Chanel

April 19th, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

We couldn’t help but rejoice when we saw the supermodel to end all supermodels, Linda Evangelista, showing up in the latest Chanel eyewear campaign. Of course that got us thinking about Linda’s history with the brand; can you believe she’s been working with Chanel for over twenty years now?! Have a look back at some of our favorite Linda + Chanel moments, and be sure to share yours in the comments!

Linda for Chanel Spring / Summer 1991

Chanel No. 5 Fragrance Ad with Linda, Yasmin LeBon,Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell

Linda & Christy Turlington

Linda strutting her stuff down the Chanel couture runway in 1991

In the pages of American Vogue with Naomi CampbellCarla BruniNiki TaylorNadja Auermann & Claudia Schiffer, 1994

Linda and Karl Lagerfeld by Jean Paul Goude for Harper’s Bazaar, 2000

Coordinating Chanel couture looks with Marge Simpson for Harper’s Bazaar, 2007

Linda’s brand new Chanel Eyewear ads, shot by who else – Karl Lagerfeld

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20 More All-Time Fashion Icons

April 2nd, 2012 |Posted by Janelle

Time Magazine‘s list of the 100 Greatest Fashion Icons is a compelling read. There are some obvious choices – Karl, Coco, Marc, Naomi, Linda & Kate are absolute icons. There are also few unsuspected surprises – we love The Row but, it was shocking to see the Olsen Twins mentioned alongside names like Schiaparelli and Prada. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the list were the names that don’t even appear at all. Time’s list passed over a host of bonafide icons from the world’s of design, entertainment and modeling. Here are 20 people Time missed that we think deserve to be held alongside the icons of the industry.

DESIGNERS

1. MADAME GRES
The legendary couturier, creator of the draped dress and one of the first designers to utilize the bias cut. Should be up there with Chanel!

2. HALSTON
Seminal American designer of the seventies, without the Halston look designers like Michael Kors wouldn’t exist.

3. THIERRY MUGLER
Mugler’s boundary pushing fashions defined the 80s and early 90s with their exaggerated proportions and dangerous sex appeal. Nicola Formichetti‘s revamp of Mugler’s label is nice and all, but nothing can ever compare to the original.

4. YOHJI YAMAMOTO
The unquestioned master of Japanese design – his omission from the list left us flabbergasted.

5. OLIVIER THEYSKENS
One of the brightest talents to emerge in the past decade. His designs at Rochas and Nina Ricci raised the bar for everyone in the industry and at Theory he continues to innovate.

MAKEUP ARTISTS & HAIR STYLISTSthere wasn’t a single makeup artist or hairstylist on the list and that in itself is downright criminal.

5. PAT McGRATH
From the game changing looks she’s created over the years on the runways, to her role in shaping Rooney Mara’s transformation in Girl With the Dragon tattoo, Pat has more than made an impact on the way we view makeup.

6. WAY BANDY
Creative genius behind those epic Scavullo shots that dominated the 70s and continue to inspire. Was one of the first makeup artists to step into the publishing field with his book, Designing Your Face.

7. VIDAL SASSOON (with Grace Coddington)
The man behind every geometic bob ever to exist and one of the first hair stylists to achieve celebrity status. Remember that gorgeous pixie Mia Farrow had in Rosemary’s Baby? You can thank Vidal for that.

MODELS

8. VERUSCHKA
One of the most photographed women of all time and the model in one of the most influential fashion films, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up.

9. CHRISTY TURLINGTON
You can’t exclude one of the most important members of the Trinity and not expect to hear about it. On top of being one of the most prolific supermodels ever, Christy’s continued humanitarian put her at the top of the list.

10. BROOKE SHIELDS
The face of the 80s in every way imaginable. From those unforgettable brows, to the Calvin ads that live on as the standard even now, Shields is iconic in every way.

MUSES

11. MARILYN MONROE & ELIZABETH TAYLOR
Two legends of vintage style who didn’t make the list. We can’t think of a single more copied look than Marilyn’s pneumatic bottle blonde chic. The public frenzy over La Liz’s posthumous Christies auction all but proves her lasting influence as an icon of celebrity style.

12. IRIS APFEL
When the Met launches an entire collection based around your style, you know that you’re a legend. Apfel has inspired everyone from MAC Cosmetics, to labels like Suno, Prada and countless fashionphiles.

EDITORS / INSIDERS

13 & 14.CATHY HORYN & SUZY MENKES
The two strongest and most opinionated voices in fashion criticism surely deserve a spot on the iconic list. Besides, where would we be without Suzy’s inimitable hair croissant?

15. ANNA DELLO RUSSO
If the street style revolution has a face it belongs to the outlandish and perennially over the top, Ms. Dello Russo. If Lady Gaga gets a slot for sartorial antics, so should Anna.

16. POLLY MELLEN
From Miss Porter’s school to the pages of Vogue, Bazaar and Allure, in her nearly 50 year career Mellen contributed to some of fashion’s most memorable imagery.

PHOTOGRAPHERS

17. PETER LINDBERGH
One of the more shocking omissions, Lindbergh’s signature cinematic style has stood the test of time.

18. MERT ALAS & MARCUS PIGGOTT
For better or worse their sleek, surreal style changed the landscape of fashion photography forever.

19. BILL CUNNINGHAM
The creator of street style and still its very best representative. Forget Sart, Garance, Tommy Ton and all the others – Bill originated it all.

INNOVATORS

20. MILENA CANONERO
Costume designer Edith Head gets a nod for her role in shaping Hollywood glamour, but Canonero’s inventive costuming doesn’t get a mention. Her role in crafting our vision of subversive glamour is unparalleled; Clockwork Orange, The Hunger, Barry Lyndon, Marie Antoinette – the list goes on.

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mdc ♥ : last minute gifts

December 24th, 2010 |Posted by Janelle

Still looking for a last minute gift? Or perhaps ready to treat yourself to something great in celebration of surviving the year? Here are a small selection of fashionable treats certain to bring a smile to anyones face.

Masters of Fashion Illustration

A stunning collection of images by one of the foremost fashion illustrators; Downtown has captured everyone from Linda Evangelista to Carmen dell’Orefice in his beautiful drawings.

Tom Ford Lipsticks

With their silky smooth texture and righly pigmented colors Tom Ford’s lipstick collection offers up a bit of luxury for beauty lovers. Shown here in the covetable shades of Bruised Plum, Warm Sable and Moroccan Rouge.

Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow

One of fashion’s most influential forces is remembered by her husband in this revealing biography. A must read for any fans of Isabella Blow or Alexander McQueen.

Jonathan Adler Angel & Devil Mugs

Who cares if you’ve been naughty or nice! Taking a sip of eggnog from one of Adler’s delightfully cute mugs is pure fun.


Edith Head : The Fifty-Year Career of Hollywood’s Greatest Costume Designer

Any appreciators of cinema will enjoy this look back through the years of costumer Edith Head’s creations for the films of Paramount and Universal. Her work for actresses like Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly helped to define Hollywood style for several decades.

Graphic Image iPad Case

Need something chic to put your latest tech goodies in? This grey leather case is about the coolest we’ve seen.

Vosges Exotic Truffle Collection

Paprika, pepper, caramel, nougat and then some; experience the multitude of flavor sensations in Vosges’ Exotic Truffle collection. Delicious!

Panasonic TA-1

HD video in your pocket, perfect for recording family moments or sneaking backstage with.



Patrick Demarchelier

There are so many iconic images inside Patrick Demarchelier‘s eponymous book that it would take forever to list them. The special shots of Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Madonna should be more than enough to entice you.



Bond No. 9 Scented Candles

With their unique packaging and heavenly scents, Bond’s candles make for a sweet scented treat. Especially fabulous is the Andy Warhol Union Square candle, with notes of Lily of the valley, green stem, blue freesia, white birchwood, amber, and musk.

Make A Donation!

Don’t forget that a charitable donation also makes for a wonderful gift this season. Incredible organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Fresh Air Fund , World Wildlife Fund , UNICEF and hundreds of others are all in need of a helping hand.

Happy Holidays from Everyone at MDC, no matter what you’re celebrating (or even if you’re not celebrating at all) we wish you a joyous end of year!

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Bits & Bytes: Coco by Behati

July 19th, 2010 |Posted by Betty


Behati Prinsloo not only is one of fashion’s most beautiful faces, she’s an up and coming photographer. Here, she shoots the one and only Coco Rocha with her new husband, James. Take a look at the interview between the 2 close friends and more of Ms Prinsloo’s effervescent images of the happy couple.

PINUP GIRLS from V Magazine on Vimeo.

PINUP GIRLS from V Magazine on Vimeo.
V Magazine‘s Pinup Girls in video is summery, sexy and has Elvis Presley music. What could be better? If you’re still pining for soccer, check out their Footballers’ Wives video (with Eniko, Dree, Simon, etc) which is awesomely sexy and hilarious.


Modeling news:

Christy Turlington has parlayed a long and glamorous career into making a difference in the world. Read all about it here.

The new documentary on models promises to be epic!

Model Matthew Hitt shoots the men’s shows for T Magazine and captures all his friends.

Why does one model make it big when others don’t? May we suggest that mysterious x- factor plus personality and professionalism?

They can be 35 or 25 but the clothes need to be worn on intelligent, experienced women.” Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa on why Lara Stone is Calvin Klein’s face.

Crystal Renn, shows why she is so awesome.

Speaking of Crystal RennCarine Roitfeld says: Don’t lose weight. You’re very beautiful just how you are.”

Who sees baby Nadja Auermann? At least in this picture. Codie Young, another Aussie face is about to make a big splash on the scene.

Fashion and miscellaneous:

Happy Birthday WWD! 100 years old is an amazing feat.

CFDA Fund Finalists: Joseph Altuzarra of Altuzarra, Christian Cota, Prabal Gurung, Robert Geller, Eddie Borgo, Oliver Helden and Paul Marlow of Loden Dager, Pamela Love of Pamela Love Jewelry, Moss Lipow, Gregory Parkinson and Billy Reid. Read all about it on WWD.

Stella McCartney’s mom, Linda, is the style icon for Summer 2010. Speaking of Stella, she is the creative director for the London Olympics. Fierce.

Want. This. iPad. Cover.

Youngsters, listen up.. Pierre Cardin was a genius. If you don’t know who he is, check out his new book now.

Famed Vogue photographer Arthur Elgort has passed on his love of photography. Daughter Sophie Elgort shot this editorial!

Check out Anna Dello Russo‘s favorite looks from couture.

The talented creative director Giovanni Russo died last week from his battle with cancer. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

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