Far From Punk

Beginning her fashion revolution making ‘Teddy Boy’ clothes for Sex Pistols’ Svengali Malcom McLaren, refitting her shop post-punk wave into the style (and name) it still bears, Worlds End, all the way up to her recent partnership with The Woolmark Company presenting Australian Merino wool in pieces at the Gold Label AW12 Paris catwalk, see the video here:

Really is there anything Vivian Westwood does not get into?

I can’t say I was such a fan of punk or the seemingly do-it-yourself style of the clothes boys and girls of the era wore but Westwood’s designs rose above the usual unusual zippers and safety pins. As so many of her contemporaries of that scene either flittered away or exposed themselves as the charlatans they reveled being-even some would argue McLaren himself-from the infamous Pirate Collection of 1981, her Harris Tweets and ‘Tatter’ girls later in that decade and her work in what her website calls an ‘Anglomania’ aesthetic, Westwood stands among the best of her contemporaries.

Vivian Westwood is a survivor by any true definition of the term and in the fashion world this fact is nearly as important as the designs she has unleashed. Seeing as Von Gutenberg is built around iconoclasts, cutting-edge designers forever pushing boundaries a visionary like Vivian Westwood is certainly one of those people we celebrate.


Hedi Slimane Challenges

First we get a name change in June, now we see some extraordinary black and white pics in Vogue Hommes Japan of rocker Christopher Owens. This is all the work of Hedi Slimane and his creative creative directoring of Yves Saint Laurent. Knowledgeable in the area of the off-beat fashion shost as we are, these first ads from Slimane for Yves (which he renamed ‘Saint Laurent Paris’ by the way) number 15 in total, featuring the tattooed Owens’ bared torso, his luxurious hair, startling face, a velvet pillow and the new Saint Laurent Paris logo.

Keeping his eye on details of the past and present equally seem foremost on Slimane’s mind as he uses a modern day indie rock star but also reintroduces original fonts used by Yves (sorry that’s Saint Laurent) back in 1966. This approach truly bespeaks to the man’s mix of the old and new and his courageousness to move forward in a new job he seems most suited for.

Owens is best known as the songwriter/guitar player/singer in the group Girls, having formed and worked that band with partner Chet “JR” White. Having grown up in the infamous fundamentalist cult Children of God, Owens more or less ran away to travel far and wide and finally found his muse. This past July he left Girls to pursue solo music career (at least according to what he said on his Twitter feed). It seems he also likes to take his shirt off to model for one of the highly respected fashion design houses (and creative directors) in the world.

Might Owens be on to a new focus in his career and what exactly will Slimane surprise us with next are questions too big for me to answer.

To Be Beyoncé For A Day

There’s no mistaking the connection between fashion and pop-ular music. It’s been there from the days of Elvis’ first gyrations to Carnaby-street frockery in mid-60’s London, to the glam styles of Bowie and his ilk in the 70’s, Madonna, Prince and Michael Jackson a decade later and right up to now with those new pics of indie rocker Christopher Owens taken by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent Paris.

No one will ever accuse super popular songstress Beyoncé of not styling every second of her day, but when the lady and Jay-Z-and their new baby Blue Ivey-were all spotted recently on her vacation, as well as her b’day celebration, wouldn’t you know magazines not only reported the sightings and showed the pics, but to be sure we found out right quick about the lady’s cute little shorts outfit (along with a $500 dollar Jil Sander Varsity Lettered Sweater) and then her Gucci Oshibana Print Gathered Pants and ultra-cool Ray Bans.

Sure the Beyoncé’s, Madonna’s, Lenny Kravitz’s of this world (even pop/rock stars seemingly not so concerned with fashion like Bruce Springsteen) are aware that when they step out in public they invite scrutiny as well as paparazzi. As my dear old dad is fond of opining, being in the public eye is part of a celebrity’s job, I just wonder who is ultra aware of what they are wearing and who just dresses super cool because they can afford to and like the clothes?

Or is it in Beyonce’’s case a matter of all these factors together?

Either way, we like watching our hippest, handsomest, most talented (or at least most popular) act as human clothes racks for us. It gives us a chance to dream, ‘what if I was in their place’ and a perfect opportunity for new fashions to get a good public airing.

The iPhone 5 Revealed

Boasting 84 million iPads sales in June 2012, 7 million people downloading the Mountain Line operating system and the tsunami of interest, rumor and all-round buzz for today’s unveiling of their iPhone 5, Apple is at the top of their game with their portable devices-as they are with mostly everything else their produce-and don’t seem to show any signs of slacking.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and vice pres. of marketing Phil Schiller took the stage in San Francisco today to present what Schiller called “an absolute jewel” speaking about the glass-aluminum new iPhone. Compatible with HSPA+, DC-HSDPA and LTE systems, the iPhone 5 is able to match wireless speeds with Samsung’s Galaxy products. This new phone is also twice as fast as the 4S-sporting as it does a new A6 processor-and the phone’s 8MP camera now boasting a better low light performance and image capture.

Personally what I find I like the most about all this excitement…is the sheer excitement these Apple unveilings seem to muster. Akin to a important live concert or some sort of huge political rally, every time Apple gathers the press, their company members and fans together for an unveiling-viewed online just as ardently as in person-the product launch is an unmatched cultural event.

Lets’ face it, whether you are an Apple user or not, there is no denying that Steve Jobs’ inventions and innovations changed the world. And with the man recently departed it seems people like Cook and Schiller-along with all the amazingly talented visionary folk who work for the company-are forging right ahead with ever more amazing inventions that always receive rock star-like attention. But unlike too many things we see and hear hyped these days, Apple does deliver and when they can’t they are in none too quick a rush to just flood the market with an inferior product; everything they release now just seems that much better, faster and more convienent for their customer’s use.


Fashion’s Night Out with Taschen

So, what’s doing in the world of fashion you ask? God, don’t I keep you up-to-date as it is, writing about the Curve expo, NYC’s fashion week, etc?

Ok, ok, you want more, well here ya go.

Our good friends at Taschen, internationally known publisher of high-end art books and photo collages are holding a Fashion’s Night Out tonight at their NYC city store, from 7 to 9pm. Located at 107 Greene Street, this amazing store in the heart of vibrant Greenwich Village will host a get together for anyone interested in fashion and the curated libraries of Dana Lorenz, Valerie Steele, Jeremry Scott and a whole bunch more. As the press for the event states: “Peruse New York fashion favorites while enjoying hot and cold brews provided by Stumptown Coffee Roasters and confectionary provided by Eleni’s New York.”

To ensure admittance please RSVP to store-ny(at)taschen.com or call 212.226.2212

I have been to plenty a party at this Taschen store, have interviewed a bunch of Taschen authors and photographers and know the staff well, they are all a friendly bunch, as interested in publishing one-of-a-kind books as they are in hanging-out and getting friendly. Really you couldn’t do better then getting your tuckus down to the village this evening for this one-of-a-kind fashion event. 

Curvy Is In…At Least With Christina

With a new album coming and all the attention she usually garners, 31-year old Christina Aguilera told Lucky Magazine that: “Actually, the challenge I’ve always had is being too thin, so I love that now I have a booty, and obviously I love showing my cleavage.” So with some women, curves are in, as the star of The Voice goes on to champion bigger girls: “Hey, if you can work it and you can own it, that confidence is going to shine through.”

This has been a debate in the fashion world for as long as we’ve had fashion and we run up against the quandary here when shooting models as well: just what size is the right size for a woman to be? Granted modeling latex dresses one tends to want ladies who are more on the lean and lanky, but really who is to say what works and what doesn’t until a girl (or guy for that matter) wiggles into a specific outfit and we all see how they come across on camera; it really is a completely subjective call. In Ms. A’s case, where a woman is powerfully controlling her image in a specific way, adding and losing weight over the years (the lady has had a baby, been working the pop stardom roller coaster for over a decade), being seen in tight outfits obviously accentuating a bigger booty or bulging breasts is exactly what she wants when she does it.

Being the ancient age I am-and hetero to boot-I have often opined in these blogs to liking curves more then I don’t. But I like to think I also might be evolved enough (I stress ‘might be’) to take each woman individually. How she carries herself, her sense of humor (has she one) and said woman’s capacity for kindness works more for me then how big or how small the lady might be. I applaud Christina Aguilera’s sense of confidence no matter what size she happens to be and find myself as much lusting over her now as I did before. 


No stranger to controversy, it seems all Lady Gaga had to do for her latest brouhaha was stand there.

In pictures that grace Vogue’s cover and an inside photo-spread for their Sept. issue, the provocative singer is seen wearing a purple Marc Jacobs gown that Prince would be envious of, sporting a tinier then tiny waist, small but gravity-defying bust and a halo of yellow hair. As one would expect, yes Gaga’s Vogue images have been airbrushed, but to some industry movers and shakers (or at least people who see the need to Twitter and blog about such things) a behind-the-scenes video showing the differences between real Gaga (as if there really is a real Gaga) and airbushed Gaga has raised the often raised question of where are we going with all this photo-shop retouching and airbrushing? As Amy Odell blogged on BuzzFeed: “Sometimes I wonder why people bother with the original photography anymore when the end result is basically just a photo illustration.”

Amy might have a point but then again is complaining about something like akin to raising the alarm on singers who use Auto-Tune to the exclusion of singing in tune or fretting over which professional athlete is juicing? It is as much the way of the world that we don’t see friends anymore as much as we Facebook them as it is that with tools like photo-shop at our finger tips we’re damn well going to use them to alter pics…as famed duo Marcus Piggott and Mert Alas let their team do on the Gaga photos.

Either way Vogue’s issue hits the stands and they released that behind the scenes video so I guess the complaints over altering the photos don’t fazing them a bit.

From Titanic Caterpillar To A Leather Butterfly

Have you seen the new pictures of Celine Dion in V magazine? There’s shots of the 44 year old diva topless (her back to the camera), standing with her butt thrust-out wearing high-cut black panties and holding her hair up in what could be termed a lattice-backed ‘bondage’ dress in what is Dion’s first non-promotional campaign in six years (some of the pics are embedded here).

Known this past decade for her residency in Las Vegas (Cesar’s Palace actually built a concert arena just for the Canadian singer) the Sebastian Faena photos show a side to the quite leggy Dion her public has never seen before. It truly gives one hope that not only can anyone of us don some leather and lace and look completely different than usual but that if one wishes, with just some slight altering, anyone of us can appear slightly randy, maybe even downright kinky.

It doesn’t take much really to alter your style, change your look, give a hint of something slightly naughty rolling round your cranium. Dion claims these pictures hint at her true personality, “I’m like this in my real life,” she said at the shoot, although what she meant is anybody’s guess as she quickly followed with: “I was scared a little bit because this was so different for me, but I’m glad I did it.”

Granted if you are stepping out in something truly different then what you normally wear, tickling a new date’s sensibilities with a splash of skin or executing the 360 degree spin at the hubby or wife expect a shocked reaction, at least your own when you pass a mirror. But remember, just like a super popular Titanic-sized celeb anyone of us can get away with stepping to the side of our style comfort zone every now and again. 

Fashion Football

Attending a local Giants football exhibition game I suddenly realized just how much fashion now plays (or maybe it has for years and I just didn’t notice) in official fan clothing of NFL teams…and how much fans are buying into it. We are enjoying a new stadium here for our Superbowl champions and the place is not only loaded with expensive eateries, bars and brand-spanking-new corporate boxes but stores where fans can buy a litany of shirts, pants, jackets, hats, etc. bearing the Giants logo and team players’ names. Colors range from the Giants’ classic silver and blue to red-on-white, their ‘away colors’, to even more vibrant fashion varieties for men and women alike.

It was such a interesting array of I was nearly assured I was seeing a new purple among all the shirts before I realized it was merely a ‘darkness’ added on a blue shirt when I looked at it through my sun glasses…duh!. Really, mostly everywhere I looked fans were wearing hats, pants or shirts or walking around with plastic bags from those stadium stores obviously containing some item of Giants’ product (most likely clothing as I’d guess shirts and hats have to be the most popular item sold these days).

I never thought I’d be thinking about fashion in the mayhem of lights and sounds that meets one at a present-day live sporting event, but I was…

Gettin' Curvy

As I ‘hipped’ you to Fashion Week rolling into NYC in the not-too-distant future I wanted to let you know about another little happening in the fashion universe…a’happening right now! The infamous Curve Expo-Designer Lingerie, Swimwear & Men’s elegance Show rolls into Las Vegas today (Aug 21st) and stays until Thursday the 23rd, all at the Venetian Hotel Ballrooms (specific info here: http://www.curvexpo.com/las-vegas/show-info.php).

Of the designers and brands on hand-including Dorit, Huit, Inca, Munki Munki, Go Sport, Mansilk and La Isla, Lenny, Calvin Klein, Simone Perele, Stella McCartney and 1 Sol Swim- 70% are domestic and 30% international. In all 250 brands, from swimwear to maternity to hosiery to sleepwear will be featured. Seminars, fashion shows and trend displays stretch as far as the eye can see, so if you are in the business, want to get into the business or a fashionista, you need to be at Curve.

As Curve proves fashion is so much more than just high-end couture, or even what we sell here: http://vongutenbergcouture.com/ and can include really anything we wish to wear, make a statement with or create an entire universe around. Follow Curve’s doing at their website above as the show rolls through places like NYC (where is just was at the beginning of August) and this one is Las Vegas, as well as being affiliated with shows in Paris and Shanghai.