Glenn Martens Returns for Second Jean Paul Gaultier Collaboration
SEEING DOUBLE: Y/Project’s Glenn Martens, guest couturier at Jean Paul Gaultier in January 2022, has returned for a second ready-to-wear collaboration, this time focused on prints that give the illusion of garment mashups.
The knit-enhanced mesh clothing gives the trompe l’oeil impression of jean jackets spliced with sailor shirts; wader jeans superimposed on narrow skirts, or lacy lingerie floating on slipdresses.
The collection drops on Friday on the e-stores of Jean Paul Gaultier and Y/Project, along with select retailers. Prices range from 320 euros for T-shirts up to 1,290 euros for long, tailored jackets.
The range includes looks for men, from T-shirts banded with a print of belt-encircled jeans to a tailored coat suggesting a pair of briefs and bare legs.
Martens was Jean Paul Gaultier’s second guest couturier, after Sacai’s Chitose Abe, following the founding designer’s retirement from the runway in January 2020.
That was something of a homecoming for Martens, who was recruited by Gaultier shortly after graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2008 and became junior designer for his women’s pre-collection and the G2 men’s label.
After his high-fashion debut, Martens also turned out a capsule rtw collection, also in the trompe-l’oeil vein. It was based on Gaultier’s spring 1996 “Cyberbaba” collection, and featured various body parts printed on unexpected garments.
One of France’s most iconic and popular fashion figures, Gaultier had the idea of inviting different designers to interpret his couture once he hung up his scissors.
Martens, who is also creative director at Diesel in Italy, likes to tumble together disparate references, from classical tailoring to streetwear to offbeat historical references, including Flemish Old Masters. He is also known for his avant-garde silhouettes that incorporate exaggerated and twisting volumes.
His latest Y/Project collection for fall 2023 included garments made of shredded denim, and other looks where shredded denim appeared as a photo print.
Pratt Fashion to Honor Robin Givhan at Show, and Plans MFA Launch for 2024
Pratt Institute plans to honor Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan during this spring’s Pratt Shows: Fashion.
Scheduled for May 10 at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, the event will salute Givhan, The Washington Post’s senior critic-at-large, by presenting her with Pratt’s Fashion Visionary Award. With work that encompasses politics, race and the arts, Givhan has been celebrated for her groundbreaking fashion criticism. That three-fold perspective appealed to Pratt.
“Honoring her now is important as fashion education is undergoing a transformation in response to, and in dialogue with, politics,” race and the arts, according to Jennifer Minniti, chair of Pratt Fashion and inaugural Jane B. Nord Professor of Fashion Design.
After launching her career at the Detroit Free Press, Givhan has also written for such outlets as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, The Daily Beast, Essence and New York magazine. She first joined The Washington Post in the mid-’90s and swiftly became an authoritative voice in the fashion industry with a wide-angled and connect-the-dots point of view. Last fall she was honored with the Editor Award from Harlem’s Fashion Row. Givhan’s also has written several books, including “The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History,” which was published by Flatiron Books in 2016.
Minniti described Givhan as “one of the foremost fashion writers and critics of our generation” whose insight into fashion as culture “reflects the ethos of the fashion department and our new MFA in Fashion Collection + Communication.”
For fall 2024, Pratt’s School of Design will be offering this new MFA, which is targeted at a wide range of creatives including designers, curators, performance artists, theorists and educators. The objective is to address the movement underfoot to redefine fashion not just in terms of production and conceptualization but also through social critique. Describing the new MFA as “a call to action,” Minniti said, “We had a lot of time, during the past three years, to reflect upon fashion practice and fashion education — and the urgent need for change.”
Designed to be “trans-disciplinary,” the two-year, 60-credit program is built “around dynamic elective pathways” that are meant to be an innovative new model “that will empower participants to tailor their graduate education to their own areas of focus, including photography, education, film, curation, and performance.”
Currently the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute has about 4,300 undergraduate and graduate students studying art, design, architecture, information and digital innovation and liberal arts and sciences.
Under the new MFA program, students will embark on research, studio work and self-directed studies with input from Pratt Fashion faculty, scholars and industry peers. By doing so, the new MFA candidates will develop relationships with leaders in sustainability, human rights and social justice, and create partnerships with local and global organizations that are “transforming fashion systems,” Minniti said.
The launch of the MFA “brings renewed attention to the role of social critique in fashion — and Robin Givhan’s extensive body of work in this area is deserving of recognition now more than ever,” she said.
This spring’s event in Brooklyn will also feature the work of select Pratt seniors in the school’s 122nd annual show. Billed as “Assemblage,” the runway show will include eight to 15 looks from the featured collections. Accessories will also be in the mix. Inventiveness is a key part of the equation since the school’s fashion program blends illustration, photography, film, performance, visual studies and material culture.
Saks Toasts 20th Anniversary of Nili Lotan
Ahead of her upcoming 20th anniversary in business, Nili Lotan partnered with Saks for a celebratory dinner Thursday evening. Held at the fourth floor walkup Jacqueline Sullivan Gallery, guests like Jacqueline Jablonski, Colin King, Alex Tieghi-Walker, Beverly Nguyen, DeVonn Francis, Anh Duong, Alexander Roth and Saks’ Roopal Patel and Tracy Margolies were treated to a special dinner by former Bon Appetit editor Andy Baraghani. Nili Lotan has been carried by Saks for roughly a year and a half.
The art gallery venue is in Tribeca, where Lotan has lived since 2006.
“I am a Tribeca queen,” the designer said during cocktails. “I live in Tribeca, my studio is in Tribeca, my store is in Tribeca. As a matter of fact, my studio was right next door to this gallery before the galleries were here. At one point there was a developer who brought all these galleries here. So I know this street by heart.”
She loves the “unpretentious and laid back” nature of the neighborhood, noting her local haunts include The Odeon, where she is “almost every night.”
Adding a personal touch to the night was the custom plates at each place setting, designed with a motif Lotan’s mother had done years prior.
“My mom was a textile designer who never pursued her career. In her 20s she was caught in a war in Europe and immigrated to Israel, and had very limited possibilities to pursue her talents,” Lotan explained. “I wanted to honor her here because it’s a milestone in my career and I wanted her to be here.”
Antonio Marras Opens First Flagship in Rome
BACK IN ROME: Antonio Marras has opened his namesake brand’s first store in Rome, which kicks off the distribution boost promised by the company’s new owner Gruppo Calzedonia.
Located in the luxury shopping street Via dei Condotti, the store marks a return to the Eternal City for the designer, who almost 30 years ago presented his first Alta Moda couture creations in Via Margutta, a stone’s throw from the retail space.
“It was right and proper to be back here,” said Marras about the store, which quietly opened at the beginning of the month and will be officially celebrated with an event on Thursday.
The unit carries both women’s and men’s ready-to-wear collections and accessories, as well as the designer’s artistic home objects and ceramics. These are flanked by books, drawings and portraits that Marras sketched exclusively for the store and that punctuate the location, further amplifying the feeling of stepping into a house rather than in a retail space.
A series of black-and-white rugs realized by a Sardinian craftsman based on Marras’ designs cover the marble flooring, while essential displays, wooden furniture and brass lamps finish off the interior concept.
As reported earlier this year, the brand was previously mainly distributed through the wholesale channel and Gruppo Calzedonia’s chairman Sandro Veronesi is committed to building a retail network. For one, Veronesi plans to emphasize the importance of the designer’s atelier in Alghero, in Sardinia, aiming to double the space of the boutique there and to refurbish it.
A store in Italy’s resort town Forte dei Marmi in early June and one in Venice will follow the opening in Rome. Other units opening in the fall might involve Florence or Naples, while a retail space in Milan is planned for early 2024.
Based in Verona, the hosiery, innerwear and swimwear group Gruppo Calzedonia acquired an 80 percent stake in Marras’ namesake brand last year, since then providing its retail and production experience, in addition to its financial muscle, to develop the label. The group also includes the Calzedonia, Intimissimi, Tezenis, Falconeri, Atelier Emé and Signorvino brands.
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