BEST DRESSED: Leading figures in the fields of art, fashion, music, films and business gathered Tuesday night in London at the Serpentine grounds for its legendary annual summer party while marveling at this year’s pavilion, designed by architect Lina Ghotme.
Many of them dressed to impress for the occasion, which is best known in popular culture for when Diana, Princess of Wales, wore a black Christina Stamboulian dress dubbed “the revenge dress” to the party in 1994.
Bianca Jagger arrived at the party in her signature white ensemble, looking effortless and practical, as she kept her reading glasses hanging around her neck while posing for cameras wearing sunglasses. She was accompanied by American record producer Nile Rodgers, who accessorized his elegant black suit with a Chanel brooch, and a quilted cross-over mini bag from the brand.
Both Emma Weymouth and Diane Kruger opted to wear dresses designed by David Koma. Kruger’s sultry body-con look was custom-made by Koma, inspired by the brand’s fall 2023 collection. While Weymouth sported a sequined orange dress with ostrich feathers at the bottom from the brand’s pre-fall 2023 collection.
Emilia Wickstead was another winner of the night as the designer dressed both Minnie Driver and Alexa Chung for the party. Driver wore a strapless dress in black bonded satin with pearl and crystal embellishments from the spring 2023 collection. Chung picked a dress in pink floral taffeta faille from the pre-fall 2023 collection.
Other notable attendees of the Serpentine summer party included Venus Williams, Andrew Garfield, Ellie Goulding, Natasha Lyonne, Lena Dunham, Justin Theroux, Georgia May Jagger, Jourdan Dunn and Anna Cleveland.
Big fashion designers came to the party as well. Paul Smith was spotted measuring Orlando Bloom’s muscular arm. Andreas Kronthaler arrived with his late wife Vivienne Westwood’s granddaughter Cora Corré, and Roksanda Ilinčić was accompanied by Golda Rosheuvel, who played Queen Charlotte in “Bridgerton,” and poet Arch Hades.
Erdem Moralıoğlu wore a casual beige suit with a red cap for the party, while his date for the night, actress Ruth Wilson, looked graceful in a ruffled green top from the designer’s fall 2023 collection.
Playing a wild card here, Burberry’s Daniel Lee set himself apart from the rest by wearing a bold, optical illusion-inducing ensemble for the night.
The night started with a live performance by the Aga Khan Master Musicians produced in partnership with the Aga Khan Music Programme, with limited-edition macarons by Ladurée. The party was followed by a DJ set by Benji B and a performance by Major League DJz. — TIANWEI ZHANG
As a purely local initiative, it was a small endeavor that drew a large crowd, with enthusiastic fans forming long lines in front of the pop-ups despite the scorching heat.
For the weeklong affair, which launched last Sunday, Louis Vuitton transformed three established coffee spots — Metal Hands Café, Plusone Café and Manner Café — into monochrome spaces in red, yellow and peppermint, which is in sync with the book cover colors of Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai within the brand’s City Guide Series.
Shoppers queued for a chance to purchase a title from the maison’s City Guides, Fashion Eye or Travel Books collections. Upon buying any two titles, customers receive a Louis Vuitton City Guide souvenir tote bag.
The Shanghai pop-ups are one of Louis Vuitton’s recent localized initiatives to infuse cities with “color and culture.” In April, a bookstand and outdoor café launched at The Hall, Louis Vuitton’s Chengdu restaurant, to celebrate the City Guide and “the art of travel.” A second bookstand was launched in the seaside city of Xiamen this June.
According to Vuitton, the bookstand project will continue to be rolled out throughout the year.
An updated version of the Shanghai travel imprint will also hit the shelves later this year, guest edited by a local creative.
Despite luxury brands’ shift to focus on high-net-worth clientele, catering to the young and savvy is just as crucial for gaining street cred and harnessing brand awareness. Chinese netizens largely welcomed the pop-up initiatives, lauding the brand for being “down to earth,” one fan exclaimed on Xiaohongshu, the Chinese social commerce platform.
Apart from localization efforts, Louis Vuitton is doubling down in the China market with plans to open a four-story stand-alone store in Beijing’s Sanlitun shopping complex early next year. The brand has also been revamping existing flagships to include expansive VIP areas where high spenders can browse exclusive offerings while sipping Champagne. — DENNI HU
FRESH PERSPECTIVE: Becky G has been named creative director of swimwear brand Gonza.
The 26-year-old singer and actress, born Rebbeca Marie Gomez, has released fashion collaborations in the past, but this marks her first title as creative director. She succeeds Fancy Gomez.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Gonza as its creative director and embark on this new journey,” Becky G told WWD in a statement. “I had no doubts in taking this opportunity knowing that the brand actively seeks to uplift Latin creatives across its entire business model. I hope each piece I create becomes an armor of strength that captures the essence of summer and fuses it with confidence and self-expression.”
Launched in June 2021 by sisters Victoria and Sofia Villarroel, with chief executive officer Ryan Horne, Gonza designs utilize bold colors and prints, inspired by Latin culture. The brand has been worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber.
“Becky G brings forth a fresh perspective and an undeniable influence that will propel Gonza to new heights,” said Horne in a statement. “Her artistic vision, coupled with her strong connection to her fans and the broader fashion community, will shape the future of Gonza. Becky G’s appointment as our creative director represents a powerful step toward greater inclusivity and representation in the fashion industry. As a BIPOC [Black, Indigenous and people of color] business, we understand the importance of providing diverse voices and perspectives in shaping the swimwear landscape. Becky G’s remarkable achievements and her genuine passion for inclusivity align perfectly with our core values.”
The brand will be unveiling collections and collaborations as part of the partnership. — RYMA CHIKHOUNE
ONE OF THE ORIGINALS: Mitchell & Ness is partnering with one of the basketball world’s biggest names for its latest collaboration.
The sportswear company is teaming up with 12-time NBA All-Star Isiah Thomas for an apparel and accessories collection launching on Wednesday. The lineup, dubbed the “Original Bad Boy” collection, offers T-shirts, hoodies and hats inspired by Thomas’ basketball career.
It pays homage to Thomas’ time playing for the Detroit Pistons in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when the team earned the nickname of “The Bad Boys.”
“Partnering with Mitchell & Ness to celebrate my role with the legendary ‘Bad Boys’ was a dream come true,” Thomas said. “It’s an honor to be the original ‘Bad Boy.’ We dominated on the court and influenced culture off the court. This line is a salute to the OG fans and a welcome to new ones.”
The collection incorporates elements from Thomas’ NBA career, including his number 11 jersey. Thomas named the hoodie, which has the script “The Original Bad Boy,” as his favorite piece in the collection.
“We are honored to partner with Isiah Thomas, a true legend of the game, for ‘The Original Bad Boy’ collection,” said Mitchell & Ness chief executive officer Kevin Wulff. “Isiah’s extraordinary basketball career and his accomplishments as an entrepreneur perfectly embody the spirit of Mitchell & Ness. This collection is a testament to his influence on the sport and his entrepreneurial mindset.”
This is Mitchell & Ness’ latest collaboration this year. In April, the brand partnered with Formula 1 to create three merchandise collections for McLaren Racing and also reunited with Major League Baseball for a baseball hat collection. In February, Mitchell & Ness tapped streetwear designer Don C as its new creative director.
Mitchell & Ness’ “The Original Bad Boy” collection is available for purchase on the brand’s website. Styles range in price from $32 to $95. — LAYLA ILCHI
BARBIE WORLD: In a lead-up to “Barbie the Movie,” Boohoo, the global e-tailer, has partnered with Barbie to launch a limited-edition capsule collection.
The collection includes 39 styles including accessories and ready-to-wear, with sizes ranging from 0-24. Items are $8 to $65, and are available to shop Thursday at boohoo.com.
Boohoo is the latest retailer to jump on the Barbie bandwagon. Bloomingdale’s has launched a multifaceted partnership that includes online and in-store pop-up shops, an exclusive collaboration with “Barbie the Movie” and Bloomingdale’s private label Aqua, window displays and various events and activations this summer. Zappos just launched a shopping experience that includes all types of products for anyone to incorporate #Barbiecore style into their lives. Other companies, such as Kendall Jenner’s Moon, Superga, Impala and Gap, are among the brands that have released Barbie-inspired collections this year.
“While creating the Barbie x Boohoo collection, we wanted to go after the hottest trends of the season while bringing the casual streetwear vibe that we know our girl loves,” said Samantha Helligso, brand director of Boohoo. “This is a super fun nostalgic collection that will allow you to show your personality through mixing and matching the pieces to customize your wardrobe.”
Among the looks are a Barbie motocross jersey, rugby shirt, Ts, tanks, varsity jackets, shorts, pants, dresses, sweatpants and sweatshirts.
“With Barbie everywhere this summer, the partnership with Boohoo is a natural fit and brings this trend, along with Y2K together in one incredible collection. We are excited to partner with the team at Boohoo to offer fans great product as we celebrate this exciting time for Barbie,” said Joe Spalding, head of U.K. Consumer Products at Mattel.
“Barbie the Movie,” stars Margot Robbie in the title role and Ryan Gosling as her male companion Ken, with an additional ensemble cast including Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Will Ferrell, Simu Liu and Kate McKinnon. The film premieres in theaters nationwide on July 21 and internationally on July 19. — LISA LOCKWOOD
FASHIONING EMPATHY: What would the uncertainty of living with a rare skin disorder look like through the lens of fashion?
Pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim tasked students from The Fashion Institute of Technology’s DTech innovation lab to answer the question with their addition to The Unwearable Collection, a line of conceptual garments made in collaboration with Danish artist Bart Hess in 2022 illustrating the burdens experienced by people with generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP).
Titled “Trapped by Uncertainty,” the new design was unveiled Tuesday evening at a private ceremony inside FIT’s Katie Murphy Ampitheatre and was inspired by firsthand accounts of GPP patients.
“Flares are episodic, but the disease never goes away,” said Claudia Beqaj, executive director of dermatology, sales and marketing at Boehringer Ingelheim during opening remarks. “These patients live in fear and uncertainty of when that next flare could potentially occur.”
Along with mentorship from Hess, students worked under the supervision of FIT faculty members such as DTech Lab executive director Michael Ferraro to spin this feeling into couture. “We started the creative direction by focusing on the ethereal and diaphanous nature of uncertainty,” he said, before outlining the thoughtful decisions behind each detail of the garment.
GPP, which causes severe bouts of anxiety and depression, led the students to work exclusively in a somber palette of grays and blue-greens. Clouds of gazar mesh sprout up from the base evoking what Ferraro described as a “psychological fog,” while swaths of Lycra are tightly wound around the mannequin constraining the arms like a mummy to signify a loss of control. Finally, crystals dotted throughout the exterior of the garment represent pustules, nodding to the individual beauty of those experiencing the disease as well.
“Trapped by Uncertainty” will be permanently added to Hess’ four original designs — “Pain of Isolation,” “Physical Pain,” “Life-Threatening” and “Flair Intensity,” which the artist described as being more about physical pain, adding, “the fifth piece is more emotional and I think that’s beautiful.”
“My background isn’t in fashion, I’m a product designer, but [the students] really have the skills of working with fabric, which was amazing to see how different their minds are and how they can create shapes and tell stories,” he continued.
The Unwearable Collection will travel to Singapore for the GPP Forum and World Congress of Dermatology in July before returning to New York where it will be displayed at FIT from Sept. 14 to Oct. 15. — ARI STARK
ROYAL TOUCH: As much as the annual Pirelli Calendar is anticipated for the featured talent, it gives equal billing to the photographer calling the shots.
The 2024 edition is being crafted by the self-taught Ghanese photographer Prince Gyasi. The Gen Zer sees himself as a visual artist and like millions of his peers, he started taking photos more freely once he got an iPhone at the age of 16. Prior to that, he first started out using a disposable camera as a child.
The lensman, whose given name is Prince Gyasi Nyantakyi but is known as Prince Gyasi, was not available for interviews. His manager Tony Tagoe declined Tuesday to discuss any of the photographer’s future projects at this time. His work can be seen at the Maât Gallery in Paris.
The 28-year-old is part of Africa’s next wave of creative forces. His community-centered shots are meant to be a counter-narrative to dominant Western notions of the continent, according to Pirelli. Dating back to 1964, “The Cal,” as many call it, has featured the work of Peter Beard, Sarah Moon, Arthur Elgort, Robert Freeman, Richard Avedon, Bruce Weber and Peter Lindbergh, among other standouts.
In recent years, a broader mix of people of different ethnicities, gender identities and body types have been recruited to appear in the calendar. The 2023 calendar chose to highlight the professional and activist achievements of models Karlie Kloss, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski. Before the #MeToo movement, the Pirelli Calendar could rival Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in terms of raciness.
Egalitarian in his tastes, the lensman has worked on projects for Apple, Converse and Balmain. among others. A quick scroll of his Instagram highlights his preference for beyond bold colors. Known to digitally manipulate his images to magnify those shades, Prince Gyasi creates images that cause some to wonder if they are paintings. That made-you-look-twice mentality is intentional in jest, as some people don’t rate photography as a fine art.
He has spoken publicly about having synesthesia, a neurological condition that leads to experiencing colors in multisensory ways. The name is derivative of the Greek meaning “to perceive together” — people with synesthesia can experience color through hearing, smell, taste or pain. Others associate digits, letters or words with color. For Prince Gyasi, Wednesday means aquamarine, according to pre-release press material.
Although he has worked with top models like Naomi Campbell, Prince Gyasi has enlisted street children in his hometown of Jamestown as models for his work. His nonprofit Boxed Kids offers impoverished children in his area an educational and creative outlet.
His vibrant images can also be found in such contemporary art collections as Jean Pigozzi’s and the Pinault Foundation. Last year, he had a solo show at the Kyotographie photography festival in Kyoto, Japan, and took part in group shows at the Museo de Arte do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, as well as one at the Pole of Contemporary Art of Cannes. — ROSEMARY FEITELBERG