And The Theme Of The New Costume Institute Exhibit Is…

Article via

costume institute

It seems like just yesterday that fashion’s finest took to the Met steps in their best punk impressions. But the Costume Institute isn’t wasting any time. It’s already at work on next year’s exhibit–and this one should be much easier for the A-list to dress for.

According to WWD, the Costume Institute’s next show will be titled Charles James: Beyond Fashion, and will explore the life and work of America’s best-known couturier.

“He really is a one-of-a-kind designer,” explained Costume Institute curator Harold Koda. “Even if you look through the history of French haute couture and all the English couture designers, James stands out as a very idiosyncratic personality and artist and one of the few designers who, in his own lifetime, felt that his work transcended the medium.”

Besides the new theme, this year’s exhibit will also unveil the Costume Institute’s newly renovated show spaces–particularly the new Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Gallery–which sounds like it’ll make make visiting the space a whole lot more enjoyable.

“Since the early 1990s, it’s the first time we will be able to have an open space that is also wired for the latest technology,” Koda explained. “People were always somewhat hesitant about coming down the stairs and seeing our galleries because they can get so congested with two cul-de-sacs. Now we will be able to direct the circulation in a way that underscores the narrative structure of the exhibitions.” Does this mean no more hour-long lines and craning our necks to get a glimpse of the exhibit? Amen!

The show, which will run from May 8 to August 10, will make good use of the new spaces.

“There will be the new gallery space, which will focus on describing James’s professional and personal biography, a timeline of his career, and how he developed as an artist through to the final years at the Chelsea Hotel, where he had these remarkable collaborations with others and really was serving as a mentor to people,” Koda said. “Upstairs, in the temporary gallery spaces, we are going to have a presentation of what is probably more familiar to people–knock-your-socks-off, glamorous clothes, but presented in a way that makes you understand what separated him from other designers.”

In total, there’ll be 100 pieces by James on display at the exhibit, including “iconic ball gowns from the late Forties and early Fifties such as the Four Leaf Clover, the Butterfly, Tree, Swan and Diamond designs,” as well as something he dubbed the Taxi dress.

“He had this funny idea that a woman who wanted to dress and undress in a taxi could spiral out of this dress, and put on another dress,” Koda said. [Ed note: That would actually really come in handy during NYFW.]

The exhibit is being underwritten by Aerin, the brand by Aerin Lauder, with additional support from Condé Nast, and co-chaired by Oscar de la Renta, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, Anna Wintour… and Bradley Cooper. Go figure.

Anna Wintour gets a MAJOR promotion

Original article retrieved from

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour

So about those nagging rumors that Anna Wintour is up for an ambassadorship in the Obama administration–or even those rumors that she’ll retire soon: This latest bit of news should put them to rest once and for all.

Condé Nast has promoted Anna Wintour to the newly created role of artistic director. She will stay on in her role as the editor in chief of Vogue and editorial director ofTeen Vogue.

Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld

Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld

“The establishment of an Artistic Director is a reflection of our commitment to preserve and champion all that exists ‘Only at Condé Nast,’” Charles H. Townsend, the chief executive of Condé Nast, said in a release. “This is the ideal time to leverage Anna’s extraordinary vision and leadership to amplify and elevate the profile of Condé Nast U.S. both domestically and abroad. Anna is an icon in the worlds of fashion, business and the arts, she has the foresight and wisdom to influence the major trends of our society and is respected globally as an accomplished businesswoman.”

Finally speaking out on those ambassadorship rumors, Wintour told the New York Times, “It was an honor to work for President Obama… but there was never a long-term discussion about anything.”

Townsend admitted to the Times that he would “go to great distances to avoid losing Anna, particularly in the prime of her career.” This promotion is meant to ensure that Wintour, who is now 63 and coming up on 25 years at Vogue, stays with Condé Nast.

Marion Cotillard covering French Vogue (ok so this is unrelated but I just love Marion so much!!)

Marion Cotillard covering French Vogue (ok so this is unrelated but I just love Marion so much!!)

So what does Wintour’s new role entail?

According to a release, she will “curate and cultivate the creative vision for the Company, working with the extraordinary editorial talent at Condé Nast to shape its artistic inspiration and innovation across all platforms.” What that really means is that Wintour will function as a “one-person consulting firm” (her words to the Times) for the publishing giant, meeting with the editors of Condé’s various titles to weigh in and offer advice. That doesn’t mean she’ll be involved in nitty gritty editorial decisions at other titles–as The New Yorker editor David Remnick so succinctly put it, “I don’t expect Anna to be picking the cartoons or directing our war coverage.” Think more big picture. Additionally, Wintour will reportedly be involved in Condé Nast’s “expanding portfolio of platforms,” like those recently announced branded web TV series.

If you’ve ever watched The September Issue (and we’re betting you have) you’ll know that consulting is part of what Wintour does already. In her role as editor of Vogue she essentially serves as consultant to designers, retailers, and even the Mayor on matters concerning the fashion industry (see: Fashion’s Night Out).

Lara my love covering another Vogue that's not American Vogue.

Lara my love covering another Vogue that’s not American Vogue.

Taking on these new responsibilities, it’s likely that Wintour will not be able to devote as much time to Vogue (she is, we’re pretty sure, only human). Our money’s on Sally Singer taking on a bigger role. But don’t expect any reshuffling of the masthead. A Voguespokesperson confirmed to us that there will be no major masthead changes as Wintour’s role at the magazine “isn’t any different.”


All this fashion week talk just makes me want to hurt some people. Or maybe a lot of them. Join me in this endeavor with these little voodoo dolls of some of fashion’s biggest personalities.

Anna Wintour and Vivienne Westwood.

Anna Wintour and Vivienne Westwood.

Do the world a favour and stab that Prada clad devil where she most deserves it.

Donatella Versace and Anna Dello Russo

Donatella Versace and Anna Dello Russo

Battle of the uglies: Who gets the stab?

Miuccia Prada and two versions of Marc Jacobs

Miuccia Prada and two versions of Marc Jacobs

I guess with so much success a little stab won’t hurt them right?

Happy Fashion Month!

The Foreign Girl.

Once upon a time: A Rose in the Desert

As fighting escalates in Syria and news of more atrocities–like using children as human shields–in the region accumulates, Anna Wintour is finally speaking out about that March 2011Vogue feature on Syrian’s first lady, Asma al-Assad. Al-Assad is the wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, and was the subject of a fawning profile penned by Joan Juliet Buck, titled “A Rose in the Desert.”

This weekend the New York Times took a look at how the al-Assads essentially hoodwinked the western media–via paid PR companies–to get favorable coverage. The Vogue piece, which the powers-that-be subsequently removed from in the wake of criticism, was one of the more cringe-inducing examples.

Soon after the article was published, Buck, the author (and the former EIC of French Vogue before Carine Roitfeld), started making the rounds to “speak out against the Assad regime.” But how on earth did al-Assad get that whopping 3,200 word feature in the first place? Buck told NPR back in April:

I think that Vogue is always on the lookout for good-looking first ladies because they’re a combination of power and beauty and elegance. That’s what Vogue is about. And here was this woman who had never given an interview, who was extremely thin and very well-dressed and therefore, qualified to be in Vogue. And they had – Vogue had been trying to get her for quite a long time.

This sentiment colors the entire original article, in which Buck wrote things like how “glamorous, young, and very chic” Mrs. Assad was.

It was obviously a huge tone-deaf misstep for the glossy, especially in light of Wintour’s recent, escalated political visibility within the Obama campaign. Wintour issued a statement on Sunday in which she said:

Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms.

Vogue has obviously been criticized in the past for being completely out-of-touch with reality. Is this statement too little too late, or do you think the glossy learned a valuable lesson