Before Christina Vantzou, a Kansas City, Mo.-born art student, fell in love with an American expat during a layover in Brussels seven years ago, she had never given the city a second thought. She assumed it was as bland as everyone said, and when she packed her bags and moved there soon after, she found plenty of Europeans who agreed. “The people I was hanging out with at the time referred to it as the Mexico of Europe,” she says. “Everyone wanted to go to Paris or London or Amsterdam, and Brussels was just this weird place in the middle.” At first, Vantzou stayed mostly for her relationship and for the hefty artist’s stipend she received from the Belgian government, having secured E.U. citizenship by way of her Greek father. But then a funny thing happened. Continue reading
It’s not as though anyone in Berlin really needed proof, last week, that the city’s once-hip central Mitte neighborhood had officially jumped the shark — two years’ worth of boutique hotel and Mavi-store openings, plus skyrocketing rents and a mass exodus of the gallery scene, had all been fairly obvious clues. But as the local fashion crowd milled around on Wednesday night outside the opening of Andreas Murkudis’s sprawling concept shop, newly and thrillingly relocated to a remote stretch of Potsdamer Strasse once ruled by drug dealers and prostitutes, there seemed to be only one sentiment on everybody’s lips: Goodbye, and good riddance.
WHAT’S NEU? In Vienna’s cobblestoned city center, where horse carriages amble by and street signs are printed in Gothic type, bygone artisans still flourish: some of the most beautiful storefronts belong to tailors and shoemakers that have been there for generations. And yet, with Helmut Lang and Raf Simons having done turns teaching at the city’s fashion school, a nascent contemporary men’s-wear scene has emerged, making no Viennese shopping expedition complete without experiencing old and new… Continue reading
For anyone raised on Madonna or Rihanna, it’s hard to fathom how a rich girl with a wardrobe full of shirtdresses, twin sets and pearls — and a firm disbeliever in women wearing trousers — could become the fashion idol of her generation. But Grace Kelly epitomized a time before rebellion was a virtue, and the forthcoming “Grace Kelly: Style Icon” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London pays homage to the actress-turned-princess’s sartorial legacy, from her rise to stardom in the ’50s to her untimely death in 1982. Continue reading
At Bernhard Willhelm’s spring show, there was the usual assortment of men’s-wear oddities — things like feather headpieces and Shakespearean culottes. So it’s understandable that the designer’s new, relatively understated line of footwear sneaked by undetected. His leather sandals and moccasins, inspired by peasant shoes and released under the fledgling Together brand, are a collaboration with the Spanish footwear company Camper. Continue reading
This month, a pair of gold lame hot pants, tattered from use and carefully encased in glass, will be hung on a wall in London’s prestigious Victoria and Albert museum. As if that weren’t bizarre enough, these particular hot pants, instantly recognizable to many, belong to Kylie Minogue. Continue reading