Thompson’s First, Zegna and Mr Porter Celebrate, Holt’s ‘Renaissance’ – WWD

A FIRST TIMER: It was Emma Thompson’s first fashion show.

“I know, can you believe it? Incredible. But it’s not my world,” quipped the Oscar winner at Giorgio Armani’s haute couture show in Paris on Tuesday. She was clad in a bright pink suit for the occasion, and accompanied by daughter Gaia. “I love Armani, new inventions and you can be perfection,” she added, breaking into rhyme.

Thompson climbed over the seats to hug Kate Hudson amidst the claustrophobic close quarters of the front row frenzy. “It’s so hot, what were they thinking?” she said of the tented area where the show was held.

But Hudson was keeping cool in a bandeau top and high ponytail. “I think he’s an icon,” she said of the designer. “He’s brilliant, he’s amazing and a legend.” She snapped photos on her phone throughout the show.

Ever the performer, Thompson went backstage after the show to thank the Paris-based couturiers and dressing team in French, and then the Milan-based staff in Italian.

Camille Razat was in character, but not as her “Emily in Paris” alter ego. The actress likes to imagine backstories for her outfits, and the night’s blue velvet suit and dark smoky eye had a plot.

“I pictured myself as a widow and I’m grieving my deceased husband, he’s just passed and I’m very sorrowful,” she said of the moody colors.

“Armani is a house that is timeless. It has been and will always be a legend,” she added.

The scrum to get past the velvet rope and take photos with Mr. Armani was dozens deep. Even the VIPs were caught up in the madness.

“We’ve all been waiting. We’re in a pack, and you’re in the pack with us now,” said Laura Dern, pulling in Noah Centineo as the crowd surged forward in a wave. She declared the collection “a masterpiece.”

Sydney Sweeney was equally enamored. “It was beautiful, the collection was absolutely stunning. There was a beautiful red dress that I’d really love to wear; I literally looked over at my stylist and was like, ‘I absolutely love it.’” She was accompanied by stylist Molly Dickson, and wearing a black sequined gown.

Sydney Sweeney at the Giorgio Armani Prive Fall 2023 Couture Collection Runway Show on July 4, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images)

Sydney Sweeney at the Armani Privé fall 2023 show on July 4 in Paris. (Photo by Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Images)

WWD via Getty Images

After the greetings, Sweeney quickly ducked out, trying to avoid photobombing pics with Centineo. “That black velvet dress, the simple one with the roses in the back. I would wear that. I definitely should, right?” he joked. “It was phenomenal. It was my first time coming to a couture show, and for it to be Giorgio’s, I feel very lucky.”

He’s been in France for the past couple of weeks, as a juror at the Biarritz International Film Festival. “It was gorgeous, oh my god. The fellow jury members were awesome.”

After the crowd made it backstage, Thompson roped in everyone for a group photo, including Centineo, Dern, Hudson, Alessandra Ambrosio and Felicity Jones. Instead of “cheese,” she joked, the crowd should yell “it’s hot!” Then realizing there was video shooting, everyone sang in unison: “Giorgio Armani Privé!” — RHONDA RICHFORD

ZEGNA OUT EAST: Fashion’s pull east shows no signs of slowing. Brands from Chanel to Gucci and Isabel Marant have been setting up shop in the Hamptons this summer and last Friday evening, Zegna and Mr Porter were the latest to get in on the action. Zegna is the headliner of the latest installment of Mr Porter’s summer campaign, titled “Al Fresco,” a partnership that was celebrated Friday evening with a party at the LongHouse Reserve in East Hampton. 

Alessandro Sartori, Kieran Culkin, Alison Loehnis

Alessandro Sartori, Kieran Culkin and Alison Loehnis.

Joe Schildhorn/

Zegna’s “Triple Stitch” shoe was the star of the night. Kieran Culkin, fresh off his “Succession” run, serves as “Triple Stitch” ambassador for Zegna and was the celebrity guest du jour, joining Yoox Net-a-Porter Group interim chief executive officer Alison Loehnis and Zegna creative director Alessandro Sartori as hosts for the night. Dede Lovelace spun music for guests who included Blake Abbie, Michael Avedon, Barton Cowperthwaite, Saint Jhn and more.

The Zegna casualwear collection is 28 pieces spanning across trousers, shorts, casual shirts, swim trunks and more; the “Triple Stitch” shoe is available exclusively at Mr Porter. 

The Mr Porter overall summer campaign, called “Summer Stories,” is “a celebration of global summer style through a series of multifaceted chapters,” the brand says. It launched May 29 and will have a three month run through the summer, encompassing 125 different brands, eight of which are new to Mr Porter. — LEIGH NORDSTROM

HOLT’S RENAISSANCE: Canada’s Holt Renfrew, tying into Beyoncé’s “Renaissance World Tour,” has installed a “Renaissance Flagship” at its own flagship in Toronto.

Holt executives called the flagship an “immersive” experience celebrating the fashion of Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” tour and album. The format was created by Parkwood Entertainment, the film and production company, record label and management firm founded by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter in 2010.

The Renaissance Flagship exhibit at Holt Renfrew.

The Renaissance Flagship exhibit at Holt Renfrew.

Stephanie Kretzschmer

“At Holt’s, we stand behind empowering self-expression and igniting positive change and we truly believe that the Renaissance Flagship is an incomparable illustration of this spirit,” Sebastian Picardo, president and chief executive officer of Holt Renfrew, said in a statement.

The set-up features a 21-piece memorabilia edit of apparel and accessories, priced $25 to $325 (all figures are in Canadian dollars). Among the items are a “We Shut This City Down” T-shirt, a “Green Screen Horse” long-sleeve T-shirt, a “Summer Renaissance” hoodie and a “Renaissance Cowboy” hat.

Also on display are pieces from the Renaissance Couture collection codesigned by Beyoncé and Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, as well as four limited-edition fashion items — two oversize T-shirts, a dropped-shoulder hoodie and a giant tote, priced $200 to $600 — that draw inspiration from the couture. In addition, there is an 80-page art book with imagery that helped inspire the concert tour.

The Renaissance Flagship, launched Tuesday, occupies 5,000 square feet on the third floor of Holt’s 50 Bloor Street flagship, and will be up until Monday. The timing of the exhibit corresponds with Beyoncé’s Renaissance concert being held Saturday and Sunday at Rogers Centre in Toronto. In Canada, the concert will also be held in Vancouver on Sept. 11.

The Renaissance World Tour is the ninth concert tour by Beyoncé to support of her seventh studio album, “Renaissance.” The tour began in May in Stockholm. The official merchandise partner for Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour is Amazon Music. — DAVID MOIN

GAME, SET, MATCH: Andy Murray is playing games both on and off court at the 2023 Wimbledon Championships.

The British tennis player won his first match on Tuesday against Ryan Peniston and has made it to the second round, but at the Southern Village on the Wimbledon grounds, he’s taking on “Race to Wimbledon,” an interactive game developed on Fortnite Creative as part of the American Express Fan Experience.

Murray stars in three interactive games that take players on a tour of London landmarks, as well as the Wimbledon Village and its grounds. The first player to arrive at the prestigious Centre Court wins.

The two-time Wimbledon champion and American Express ambassador also features in Find Andy, where guests are invited to find him amongst giant pieces of artwork throughout the grounds.

Andy Murray poses in the American Express Fan Experience zone whilst playing Fortnite: Race to Wimbledon at All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Picture date: Monday June 26, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story TENNIS Murray. Photo credit should read: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

Andy Murray playing the Fortnite Game that he stars in.

Courtesy of American Express

The fan experiences on site from American Express includes trainer cleaning with Jason Markk, which was founded by Jason Mark Angsuvarn in 2007, and a postcard station that allows guests to send personalized postcards to anyone they want in the world.

In the Cardmember Lounge, Ralph Lauren has set up its own customization station where guests can personalize their products and accessories from the American brand, which has also created two exclusive designs only available in the lounge.

The Ralph Lauren customization station at the Cardmember Lounge.

The Ralph Lauren customization station at the Cardmember Lounge.

Courtesy of American Express

Off the Wimbledon grounds, the experience will be somewhat replicated at the Centurion Lounge at Heathrow Airport with the trainer cleaning service, Sipsmith cocktails and other giveaways. 

Last year, Murray collaborated with celebrity nail artist Michelle Humphrey, whose clientele includes Dua Lipa, Adele, Cate Blanchett and Madonna, on a bespoke nail bar.

Together they designed four limited-edition nail styles that best represent the tennis games: strawberries and cream, a tennis ball, tennis net and the famous Wimbledon purple and green colors. — HIKMAT MOHAMMED

TENNIS, ANYONE?: Tennis is on the brain in London as the 2023 Wimbledon Championships continue.

Italian sportswear brand Sergio Tacchini has set up its first installation at Selfridges, on the men’s floor, which will run until Aug. 6.

The space has been titled “Causing a Racquet,” a nod to the tournament taking place at Wimbledon, as well as the brand’s history.

The brand was set up by former tennis player Tacchini in 1966.

The space at Selfridges has been transformed into an all-white tennis court with large tennis racquets and balls being part of the display, along with Roman columns and statues to signal the brand’s Italian history.

“We are very excited to be creating this immersive installation to introduce the brand to the Selfridges customer. We have carefully selected products that reflect both our heritage as well as providing exciting new designs for everyone to enjoy,” said Zubair Mal, U.K. brand manager at Sergio Tacchini.

“Being inside such a highly regarded department store over the London tennis season is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the brand’s history and future,” he added.

Sergio Tacchini Selfridges

Sergio Tacchini at Selfridges.

Courtesy of Sergio Tacchini

The shop will stock spring and summer pieces such as their track tops and polos, as well as pieces exclusive to the British department store, including the Vento Track Jacket, taking inspiration from the ‘90s using prints from the Tacchini archive. — H.M.

LOOKING AT BEAUTY: Wellcome Collection, a museum and library located on Euston Road and owned by the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline via Wellcome Trust, will host the exhibition “The Cult of Beauty” with an aim to examine the influence of morality, status, health, age, race and gender on the evolution of ideas about beauty through history.

Running from Oct. 26 to April 28, 2024, the admission-free show will feature more than 200 objects and artwork sourced from new commissions, contemporary artworks, and historical and modern materials, and presented under three themes: the ideals of beauty, the industry of beauty and subverting beauty. 

The first part of the show will lay out the beliefs that have shaped the pursuit of unattainable beauty in society across time and cultures with historical objects such as corsets from the 18th century, an Egyptian mirror from 800 to 100 BC, a powder compact designed by Salvador Dalí from the ’50s, and beauty products by Lisa Eldridge and Rihanna’s Fenty on display.

Feminine A La Couronne corset, 1900-1905

Feminine A La Couronne corset, 1900-1905

Fashion Museum Bath [existing images] / Reproduced with permission of Fashion Museum Bath [new photography]12. Ivory mortar and pestle, 1501-1700 © Wellcome Collection / Science Museum Group

The part will also include a new commission, “An Algorithmic Gaze II,” by Cecilie Waagner Falkenstrøm. Created as an invitation to meditate on the changing human form, the work features an AI-generated, endlessly morphing human form created from a wide range of datasets of bodies.

In a section dedicated to hair, a film by hairstylist and the British Fashion Council’s Changemaker Prize recipient Cyndia Harvey will form a group display along with “Hairstyles,” a series of photographs celebrating cultural traditions in Nigeria captured by J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, and Jennifer Ling Datchuk’s “We Climb,” which shines a light on the cultural significance of hair and the strength and support within the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

Raphael Albert (1935-2009) archive 1960 -1980, including beauty pageants such as Miss Black and Beautiful and Miss West Indies in Great Britain; as well as documentary photographs and family portraits of the local community in West London.

Raphael Albert (1935-2009) archive 1960-1980, including beauty pageants such as Miss Black and Beautiful and Miss West Indies in Great Britain; as well as documentary photographs and family portraits of the local community in West London.

Courtesy of Wellcome Collection

The “Industry of Beauty” chapter will explore the relationship between medicine and cosmetics, while tracing a history of product innovation, revealing how the industry has influenced the relationship with the body and self-image.

This part comes with a new installation by Makeupbrutalism, a conceptual art project made by the London-based artist Eszter Magyar. It aims to question how beauty has been instrumentalized as monetary and cultural currencies.

The impact of beauty pageants and cosmetic surgery is also being highlighted with an interdisciplinary project of photography, sculpture and installation based on collections at Wellcome, titled “The Disobedient Nose,” by Sarabande resident artist Shirin Fathi.

The Disobedient Nose: Fig. 1. The reconstruction of a nose 2022, Shirin Fathi, 2022

“The Disobedient Nose: Fig. 1. The reconstruction of a nose 2022,” Shirin Fathi, 2022

Shirin Fathi [existing images] / Reproduced with permission of Shirin Fathi

The subverting beauty section aims to “question what beauty means in society today and how it can be used as a tool to subvert social constructs.” It will showcase commissions including a digital installation by Xcessive Aesthetics, exploring the opportunities nightclub bathrooms can offer as platforms for experimentation and community-building, as well as a film and sculptural work by Narcissister, which will consider the weight of beauty ideals within mixed-race mother-daughter relationships.

Other highlights in this part of the exhibition will include the film installation “Permissible Beauty” by singer-songwriter and art historian David McAlmont, photographer Robert Taylor and filmmaker Mark Thomas. The show will also highlight the importance of Black queer visibility through new portraits of six Black queer Britons. — TIANWEI ZHANG

Permissible Beauty 2022

“Permissible Beauty,” 2022

RCMG / Soup Co [film stills] / Robert Taylor [production stills]

PIÈCE UNIQUE: Roger Vivier made its first showing during couture since artistic director Gherardo Felloni joined the label, presenting a collection of one-of-a-kind handbags intended to celebrate the height of French craftsmanship.

The 15 designs, based on one of the brand’s classics, the Viv’ Choc bag with its rectangular clasp, feature a range of embellishments and craft techniques, from plumasserie to embroideries with hundreds of shivering natural pearls. The Colibri design, for example, was inspired by the 1959 “Choc” heel designed by Roger Vivier, with which he innovated by integrating feathers traditionally used in hat-making.

The Junon design from the Pièce Unique collection from Roger Vivier / Courtesy of Roger Vivier

“It’s really beautiful for me in terms of working, because I don’t have to think about production,” said Felloni. “Our clients love limited edition and made-to-order products. They are really precious, they can’t be replicated.”

The designs, using materials including velvet and alligator skin as their base, were inspired by French history, evoking the Eiffel Tower, Versailles and Marie-Antoinette, for example. Each piece is a one-off, and took artisans up to 90 hours to make, often involving a number of intricate steps. As the collection travels the world for presentations, each one sold will be replaced by another, different design.

For the presentation, Felloni also designed a custom ceramic display inspired by a chandelier, its painted branches each holding one of the precious pieces, which cost up to $50,000. — ALEX WYNNE

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