Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Access Denied

Access Denied. Photo Credit: glennharper. C.C. License.

You know all about dress codes, but one Jersey nightclub is causing an uproar for its...flesh code. A group of girls hoping to have a good time at a Havana Club in St Helier this Saturday got dismissed for being too fat, and police had to be called to calm the uproar that ensued.

Georgina Mason, a 23-year-old member of the rejected group, says the ban left her "disgusted". One of her friends, a UK size 14, was also shot down.

An onlooker claims she heard club manager Martin Sayers retort, "Go away and lose some weight, love," when questioned about his decision.

Sayers told the Daily Mirror his decision was all about profit. "We got a lot of people that I'd classify as morbidly obese, and we were getting complaints...Business is not good at the minute, and I was trying to protect my business."

Because of the incident, 20 women have complained to police, and an anti-ban Facebook group has collected more than 700 members. But, Sayers explains, he's not being mean. "I am overweight myself," he says. "I did not do this to hurt anyone."


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Viktor & Rolf Plus One

Viktor & Rolf design. Photo Credit: styleserver. Creative Commons License.What's better than two Dutch designers with a surrealistic bent and prankster tendencies? Two of those designers and an Italian industrialist who could give them serious cash to propel them into the major fashion players they want to be.

Diesel creator Renzo Rosso has taken over the majority stake of Viktor & Rolf, but the financial details of the deal aren't being released. Rosso had been negotiating with Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren since 2006 and now is in talks with Belgian design label Maison Martin Margiela, which his holding company took over six years ago.

"It's a new chapter to start building on the brand and to focus on creativity." Rolf told WWD. "We needed to team up with a strong partner to realise our dreams...It's like a marriage: You have to be sure you have the right partner."

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Halston Heat-Up

Walking Away. Photo Credit: Decafinata. Creative Commons License.The monochromatic fellow at left isn't Marco Zanini, but you probably knew that a dapper young gent like him would never step outside with something looking curiously like a lightning bolt around his waist. The Italian-born designer reportedly is walking away from the iconic disco-age design label Halston, though, just a year after he took the reins as creative director.

Marco had joined an impressive pack working together to resurrect Halston to its former 1970s glory. Movie producer Harvey Weinstein (who's married to Marchesa co-designer Georgina Chapman) and Jimmy Choo Founder Tamara Mellon are leading the effort, with the media-schmoozing designer to the stars Rachel Zoe also on the creative advisory team.

But unless roving eyes missed Rachel's teeny frame at Marco's first runway show in February, she was M.I.A. Insiders speculated she and Marco, who previously worked with Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, had conflicting visions for the line. Overall, the collection earned underwhelming runway reviews.

WWD reported that American retailers were less than impressed by the new Halston, but European and Asian shops seemed more optimistic – Selfridge's even opened an 800-square-foot Halston boutique last month. There are plans to expand into denim, swimwear, sunglasses and candles, but seemingly with a new someone in charge.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Nomad Hatter

Mary Jane Baxter wants one of her hats on Keira Knightley. And Dita von Teese. "I think she's got great style," says the former BBC journalist turned milliner. "I'm really into the 1930s and 1940s look."

After dabbling in hat making for years, she started Mary Jane Millinery in 2006 and impressed Harvey Nicks so much that the store bought her first two collections. (The store's millinery has since closed.)

Now, Mary Jane has a travelling millinery that lets customers make their own hats for £55, including supplies. "People really seem to like it when I make flowers out of tights and wire," she says. "I've done a number of very glamorous hen parties."

The push to go vintage is leading Brits toward her styles, Mary Jane says, and she hopes to soon stage a cross-country tour for the mobile millinery. "I'd like to gather together stories about people's experiences with hats," she says. "I've also thought of doing a book one day. I'd love to do that."

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Viktor & Rolf Dress up the Barbican

Is the collar of your favourite dress made of satin pillows? Do you think wedding dresses look just a bit smarter with red-glitter messages down the front? Lucky you - The House of Viktor & Rolf, on display until 21 September at The Barbican, shows off 16 years worth of surrealistic Dutch clothing design.

This is Britain's first solo exhibition for Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who can count Tilda Swinton and Rosin Murphy among their fans. The gallery's two-story retrospective is packed with couture-clad mannequins and video screens with runway shows playing on a loop, but the main feature is a giant white house with tiny dolls dressed in some of the designers' signature looks.

Known for bizarre antics like launching a PR campaign for a fake perfume and installing an upside-down interior in their Milan boutique, Viktor & Rolf have an outlandish but appealing range at the Barbican. It's just £8 to get in, so you'll have plenty of money leftover to buy a bottle of the designers' Flowerbomb perfume on the way out.

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