JUST CHILLING: Doja Cat kicked off her New York Fashion Week weekend on Friday morning at Pier 45. The musician, outfitted in a light blue dress and coordinating makeup, dropped by the downtown locale to take in Bronx and Banco’s sunny outdoor runway show. While she was there “just chilling” (aka, not doing press), the singer gamely posed for photographers as her two bodyguards lurked nearby. Afterward, the singer made her way over to greet designer Natalie De’Banco, who was taking a post-show group shot with all of her models. “Amazing show,” said Doja Cat, before slinking across the West Side Highway and into the black SUV waiting on Christopher Street.
“Is that a fashion show we just missed?” asked a bystander outside his parked delivery truck, watching the crowd of showgoers in the brand’s eveningwear walk by, en route to their next show. “Oh, no.”
On Saturday, Doja Cat will headline a party for Heaven by Marc Jacobs in Brooklyn, where she’ll perform along with Kaytranada and Charli XCX. — KRISTEN TAUER
WHAT A YEAR: While millions would not want to rewind the past 12 months for obvious pandemic-related reasons, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has taken a tally and has plenty to show for it.
Last fall the Upper East Side museum unveiled the first part of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” to much fanfare. The exhibition was a vocabulary of sorts about American fashion that spotlighted a slew of designers including many young, emerging and little-known ones. In March, 70 percent of the exhibition was refreshed so that the work of about 35 designers could be added to the rotation.
The second part of the yearlong show bowed in the spring. Titled “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” it examined some of the complexities of fashion history in the U.S. and was staged in the museum’s American Wing period rooms. Spanning from the 18th century to the present day, the second part enlisted the talents of notable filmmakers like Sofia Coppola, Chloe Zhao, Martin Scorsese, Janicza Bravo and Tom Ford, among others.
It appears that the Costume Institute’s first yearlong exhibition was well worth the wait. While the 12-month stretch was planned pre-pandemic, the timing turned out to be fortuitous since like many major and smaller museums, The Met’s attendance had been dented during the pandemic due to temporary closures and COVID-19-related capacity restrictions.
Combined, the first installment of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” its refresh and “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” resulted in 947,465 visitors. All told, that makes “In America,” the fourth most attended exhibition.
However, the Costume Institute’s 2018 exhibition “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” still holds top billing. With more than one million visitors, that religious themed show ranked third among The Met’s most-visited exhibition. That still couldn’t touch the top one — the 1978 “Treasures of Tutankhamun,” which reeled in 1.36 million visitors, or the 1963 show for the “Mona Lisa.” Like “In America,” the museum’s “Heavenly Bodies” was housed in two locations — albeit one further than the American Wing — up further north in New York City at The Met Cloisters.
Although the latest Costume Institute has officially wrapped up, this weekend is the last chance to catch “An Anthology of Cinema” at the Metrograph in Brooklyn. In conjunction with the Costume Institute’s “In America: An Anthology of Fashion,” filmmakers involved with the second installment selected films to show at the theater. “The Fountainhead” and “Leave Her to Heaven” will be shown on Saturday and “The Portrait of a Lady” will be the finale on Sunday. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG
PARTYING IN PARIS: Paris department stores celebrated la rentrée — the traditional back-to-school season — with a week full of events.
La Samaritaine launched its “Paris en mode Arty” program, with a chic coctail at the store’s ultra-modern Rivoli location.
Bright Pop Art decorated the floors with installations from young artists.
A graduate of Hermès crafts academy, Marion Flament took over the street-level windows with a bright sunburst glass sculpture, while Ella Batts uses body parts blown out of proportion to create a massive pastel wall. An interior walkway was painted by Cecilia Granara in sunny motifs inspired by Italian and Moroccan floor tiles. Another stairwell is dominated by the bright pink tapestries of Turkish artist Désiré Moheb-Zandi.
Bringing in art and merging it with commerce is “part of our DNA,” said Nathalie Montaldier, vice president of marketing for DFS Europe, which operates the store. “We have a different approach, to have brands that are consistent with our storytelling and to give new experiences linked to art.” Montaldier said she envisions the walls of the department store “like a blank canvas” for artists to display their work, which changes quarterly.
The idea is to approach this section of the department store — closer to the main shopping street of Rue de Rivoli — as a concept store, Montaldier said. It attracts younger customers and mixes fashion, lifestyle, accessories and art including curated events such as inviting customers to customize Cahu tote bags.
It has brought in pop-ups and special items, including a limited-edition Ruinart bottle painted in pastels by Claude Viallat. The bottle is only available at Samaritaine and the Champagne house’s headquarters in Reims.
The installations will last through October.
The following night, Le Bon Marché celebrated its 170th anniversary with a splashy party with a carnival atmosphere. There was popcorn and colorful cotton candy machines and a giant maze for guests to get lost in.
CEO Patrice Wagner held court as guests filled up the interior floors, before pop star Mika took to the stage — and atop a grand piano — to sing his hits just ahead of the kickoff of his European tour.
The store will be featuring its own pop-up “La vie en orange,” with vintage luxury accessories including 40 Hermès bags and pieces from artists including sculptor Alexander Calder. — RHONDA RICHFORD
STEPPING OUT: J.M. Weston held a back-to-school celebration on Thursday by gathering friends of the French heritage footwear brand for a dance class.
The event was held at the barracks of the Garde Républicaine, the regiment whose origins date to Napoléon Bonaparte. Weston has been making made-to-measure boots for its cavalry division since the ‘70s, and is preparing to launch women’s boots inspired by the equestrian designs.
Under a blustery sky, guests assembled in a courtyard where a tent was set up for the evening’s Bal Weston: an opportunity for participants to learn dance steps directly from leading choreographers Mathilde Monnier, La Ribot and Asha Thomas.
“I wanted to give you something that money can’t buy,” said Olivier Saillard, artistic, image and culture director of J.M. Weston. A fan of contemporary dance, he’d been planning a dance party since before the coronavirus pandemic and liked the idea of people leaving with some new steps in their repertoire.
“For example, I regret never having been able to learn the steps of Pina Bausch or Merce Cunningham, or Loïe Fuller or Isadora Duncan. Dance is something that can’t be sold, it’s something that is passed down,” he told WWD.
Just half an hour into the event, news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II spread through the crowd. Nonetheless, several dozen guests gamely lined up for the first tutorial by Monnier, to the sounds of the camp French dance track “Louxor J’Adore” by Philippe Katerine.
“Now let’s be clear: we’re all amateurs and all you need to dance is enthusiasm. We’re not talking about performing at the Paris Opera on tiptoes in ballet shoes,” Saillard said. “You have to be very relaxed and just plan to smile through the evening, whether it rains or not.”
Speaking before the news of the queen’s death broke, Saillard said he wanted to offer people a moment of levity to counter the steady diet of negative headlines this fall.
“The world is anxiety-inducing, but if you think about nothing else, I’m afraid we’ll be dancing on embers for the next 50 years. I am worried about the world. I think it’s very alarming. Sometimes, I wonder what kind of role fashion can play in such a context,” he mused. “Nevertheless, even in times of war, you have to raise your head and try to find hope.” — JOELLE DIDERICH
ON THE TABLE: Luke Edward Hall’s paintbrush worked its magic Thursday evening in Ginori 1735’s Paris store. The artist-designer was there, alongside a host of guests, for a cocktail to celebrate his collaboration with the luxury Italian tableware brand.
Together they recently birthed Profumi Luchino, a collection of five candles and related collectables that were inspired by Edward Hall’s travels and the places he loves.
“They are places I’ve had an overwhelming reaction to,” Edward Hall said, explaining that within those locations, he created imaginary buildings and stories surrounding them. “I love the idea of telling stories.”
In the Faubourg Saint-Honoré store, five tall canvases sprang to life of buildings Edward Hall created from his mind’s eye. There was Rain Rock Creek, for instance — a forest cabin in Big Sur, California. That was rendered as a single-story orange structure in orange and red, with yellow windows, surrounded by soaring trees and foliage.
La Gazelle d’Or was a Marrakech medina with arched windows and black-and-white tiled floors. Edward Hall also painted the Palazzo Centauro he dreamed up in Venice, Italy; the Fox Thicket Folly in the U.K.’s Cotswolds, and the Rajathra Palace in Rajasthan.
Those imaginary locales became the inspiration for the candles’ outer packaging — the Jaipur-related candle holder, for instance, has a floral-geometric pattern in intense orange, pink and green — and their olfactive elements.
“I really wanted to make slightly unusual scents, as well,” said Edward Hall.
For the Venice-inspired candle, for instance, he wished to conjure up the incense smell wafting out of a church’s open door — and the odor of the canals.
“I didn’t want them to be all lovely,” he added of the scents. “I wanted them to be a bit realistic.”
For the Folly fragrance, he had in mind the smell of bonfires, wet dogs and Wellington boots.
“We imagined a different piece for each destination,” continued Anna Lisa Tani, creative and brand director of Ginori 1735.
For Gazelle d’Or, an oval cameo incense holder was made and a pot with a pine cone-decorated top goes with Rain Rock Creek.
Ginori 1735 first collaborated with Edward Hall in 2019 on a carefree tabletop collection, dubbed Il Viaggio di Nettuno, which became one of its bestsellers.
“It really changed the perception of the brand,” Tani said. “It was supposed to be a capsule, but as the result was so great, we decided to keep it in the collection.”
The Profumi Luchino range is expected to be broadened, too. “We are currently working on the next releases,” she said, adding new iterations should be out in early 2024.
Ginori 1735’s party then moved across town to the Bourse de Commerce for a sit-down dinner. — JENNIFER WEIL