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Behind the Scenes

October 11, 2013

In the Studio: Nina Ricci

Join The Thread at the Paris-based maison of Nina Ricci, where we dive into the details of the spring/summer 2014 collection.

Let There Be Light: Bursts of sunshine fill the showroom of Nina Ricci, exposing glittering tweeds and ethereal fabrics.

Breakfast at Nina Ricci: C’est si bon.

Lovely Lace: The last looks presented on the runway now drape on dressmaker mannequins like works of art.

High-Tech Luxe: Sharp lines on this coat crafted from technical cotton hint at an historic period in men’s dress.

Pleats Please!: This timeless coat reveals an architectural nod to modernity with sleek, tailored pleats that add a preciousness to the construction.

Contrasting Textures: A lace skirt is fused with mirror embroideries, revealing a sparkling sentiment for spring.

It Comes Down to the Details: Crepe embellishments on the shoulders of this cotton jacket create a delicate and elegant effect.

Wardrobe-Ready: Peter Copping, the brand’s creative director, mixed pale hues and flashes of floral into his otherwise all-white palette.

Fields of Flowers: Layers of printed chiffon and subtle floral appliqués enhance the romantic mood of the collection.

A Canvas of Sophistication: Washed-out, watercolor floral makes an artfully feminine statement.

The Look to ♥: Our designer apparel buyer, Sahar Sokhandan, shares her thoughts on one of the standout looks for spring:

“What I personally love about Peter Copping is that he takes the thinking out of dressing. He makes it effortless. One of my favorite looks from the spring line is this extra-fine cashmere sweater paired with a pleated lace mini-skirt. It’s ultra-chic and luxe! I don’t know any woman who wouldn’t want to look like that.”

Shop our Editor’s Picks from the current collection.

Nina Ricci Lace & Satin Dress | Nina Ricci Bouclé Pencil Skirt
Nina Ricci Chiffon Back Tank

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

As Paris Fashion Week comes to a close, models from around the world are preparing to unwind after a long season of international travel, late-night fittings and early-morning makeup sessions. On our last day in the city, we bumped into our friend Frances Coombe, who still managed to keep an infectious smile through it all.

A former hip-hop dancer, this hazel-eyed Canadian beauty broke it down for us with a celebratory vogue.

“See you next season!”

Make your own rhythm with a taste of Frances’ wardrobe:

A.L.C. ‘Harper’ Twist Back Top | Saint Laurent ‘Billy’ Short Boot

rag & bone ‘The Leather Skinny’ Pants

Photos by Ford Leland

Issey Miyake, the Japanese fashion house, lights up the runway for spring/summer 2014 with the illuminated silhouettes of its new collection.

Where’s the Issey Miyake woman going this season? According to show notes, she’s walking “toward the stars and shine in the inky black sky, toward the moon.”

Gros bisous!

Getting cheeky backstage with Issey Miyake’s womenswear designer, Yoshiyuki Miyamae.

Rays of light in rainbow patterns splash across dresses and separates, creating a freshly innovative outlook on high-tech wearability. And of course, no outfit is complete without a spritz of Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please, a Nordstrom exclusive fragrance that embodies one of the most fundamental concepts of Issey Miyake.

Jump over to our Beauty Blog and discover the look that Alex Box and the M·A·C PRO team has created for spring/summer 2014.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

The visionaries behind the Chloé Attitudes book hosted a swank gathering at the brand’s rue Saint-Honoré boutique to celebrate the first printed volume to chronicle the maison’s 60-year contribution to fashion.

(left to right) Art director Marc Ascoli, Chloé creative director Clare Waight Keller, Chloé CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye and the book’s lead author, fashion critic Sarah Mower, jump in the life-size TV photo booth for a candid photo op.

Guests were treated to their own impromptu shoot in the TV box, which was situated in the boutique’s courtyard, and received a keepsake photo.

The evening was marked by a special appearance from Gaby Aghion, who created Chloé in 1952.

Ascoli, who is known for his image-branding work at fashion houses that include Jil Sander, Yohji Yamamoto and Chloé, is a contributor to the book.

The noted art director helped scour the brand’s archives to find imagery that captured the essence of Chloé from its founding with Aghion to its present allure thanks to the talents of Karl Lagerfeld (1966), Martine Sitbon (1988), Stella McCartney (1997), Phoebe Philo (2001) and current creative director Clare Waight Keller.

Pages from Attitudes decorate the boutique, like this tear from the September 1965 issue of British Vogue, featuring model Breiten Moser in a graphic skirt and headdress by Chloé.

Model Sacha captures the beauty and wearability of Chloé in this July 1973 spread from British Vogue.

Photography duo Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin snap the playful and cool side of Chloé for Vogue Paris, February 2012.

Noted guests of the evening included Tank magazine’s Caroline Issa, Moscow-based street style star Miroslava Duma and Vogue Japan’s Anna Dello Russo.

Shoes to ♥: Chloé ‘Suzanna’ Stud Buckle Bootie

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

September 27, 2013

A ’90s Flashback at Carven

American pop culture from the ’90s meets couture craftsmanship at Carven spring/summer 2014.

When you think of Hollywood cool girls from the ’90s, Drew Barrymore, Alicia Silverstone, Claire Danes, and Liv Tyler immediately come to mind. The vision of these platform-wearing, midriff-baring, vintage print-pairing teen dreams provided Guillaume Henry with a reference point to further develop his position on easy elegance.

Key prints create contrast in the form of multicolor camouflage, rich floral print and classic gingham.

The scene backstage at the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées. “When working on this collection, I looked at my own souvenirs from the ’90s,” the Parisian designer tells The Thread.

Argentine model Magda Laguinge dons a fresh floral mini.

Lithuanian head-turner Agne Konciute mirrors the image of Carven coolness.

Subtle rodeo references add to the playfulness of the collection.

Carven’s boyfriend coat will be essential on breezy spring nights.

“As a teenager, super cool girls surrounded me and they all really dressed quite the same: wearing a simple cardigan, a tube skirt, a heavy shoe, a little necklace and a huge jacket,” says Henry. “The girls would pretend that they were wearing their boyfriend’s jacket, which wasn’t so true. So I wanted to get this feeling of the boyfriend jacket. We had the boyfriend pant, and now we have the boyfriend coat.”

Choker necklaces complete each look and also play up the ’90s vibe.

Rose appliqués add a scrapbook nostalgia to key pieces within the collection.

Skin-baring eveningwear in luxe fabrics concludes the youthful narrative for spring.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

American expat Rick Owens steps into a new future for fashion, where raw energy and motion give new meaning to outerwear.

Instead of holding the traditional model casting, Owens recruited four step dance troupes—Step with Momentum, W Diva, Zeta and Soul Steps—to form a single unifying force he titled “Vicious.”

Futurism and organic expression were combined through electro-synthetic beats and rhythmic communal stomp to create an experience that was perfectly congruent with the progressive mindset of Owens’ universe.

Olive-soaked hues draped the body to form a structured silhouette fused with a tribal, Grecian statement.

A new industrial uniform emerges with a religious undertone.

Angular shapes construct a dramatic—yet minimalistic—aesthetic.

After the electrifying performance, The Thread dashed backstage to learn more about Owens’ vision for spring ’14.

“I have the opportunity to do shows, and so I like to have fun with it,” says the Californian designer (pictured left), who has called Paris home for over a decade. “When I do things that genuinely please me, they come out for the best. This show was really my own celebration, and if people wanted to join in, that’s fine by me!”

So what’s the message behind the movement? “It was about American unity and American teamwork,” Owens says. “I love that spirit and wanted to project that—both in the performance and clothes.”

“The show was amazing. Different. And very appropriate,” says rock star Lenny Kravitz, whom we caught backstage congratulating dancers from the show with his longtime friend, actress Gina Gershon. “I loved seeing the variety of sizes and the diverse looks of the girls. It’s so important to project that.”

Shop our Editors’ Picks from the current season.

Rick Owens Blistered Lambskin Leather Jacket | Rick Owens Twisted Jersey Tank
Rick Owens Calfskin Leather Jacket

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

Paris is one of the most romantic cities in Europe, which is why we must profess, “Nous t’adorons, Meghan Collison!” En route to Anthony Vaccarello, her first show of Paris Fashion Week, the Canadian charmer blew us a stylish kiss.

“I love ending the season in Paris. It’s just so beautiful. The designers here always find a way to outdo themselves, so I’m excited,” says the muse of our rag & bone Fall Lookbook. “Plus the weather is nice, which makes running around the city fun.”


Two things every girl needs in Paris: a smile and a map!

Re-create Meghan’s Euro-chic style:


Alice + Olivia Leopard Print Faux Fur Jacket | Topshop Lace Trim Jumpsuit | Fendi ‘Be’ Leather Baguette

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

Enter the Hôtel Scribe in Paris’ Opéra district, where the black-and-white photographs of Gérard Musy line the walls in ‘Back to Backstage,’ a rare exhibit that captures behind-the-scenes moments in fashion.

In the late 1980s, Musy became an industry pioneer, snapping the first images of the flip side of fashion, better known as the backstage. The Swiss photographer ditched the podium for a tightly filled room that few had access to and zoomed in on the beauty amidst the chaos. He moved his lens away from the clothes to expose the heart and emotion of the then-unknown supermodels who were wearing them—from Linda Evangelista to Iman.

Get a sneak peek at the secret side of the shows from Musy’s point of view.

Martinique-born model Mounia at a 1988 Yves Saint Laurent show.

British beauty Naomi Campbell circa 1988 at Thierry Mugler.


A 1988 snapshot from KARL LAGERFELD.


Iman and Katoucha Niane (left), two of the first African women to attain international modeling fame, at Thierry Mugler in 1988.


Inside Jean Paul Gaultier, 1987.

Katoucha Niane at Sonia Rykiel in 1987. Originally born in Guinea, the French model was scouted by Jules-François Crahay, who at the time was the designer of Lanvin.

Stay tuned for more on-the-scene shots from Paris Fashion Week.

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

It’s day 1 of Paris Fashion Week, and it looks like we’re not the only ones thrilled to see what the leading French couturiers have planned for spring/summer 2014. The Thread caught up with model Malaika Firth outside Palais de Tokyo, where she showed us just how excited she is to end the season in the City of Lights.

Even though the UK-based ‘it’ girl just touched down from an incredibly busy week in Milan, walking in shows for Salvatore Ferragamo, Dolce&Gabbana, Emilio Pucci, Marni and Roberto Cavalli, she looked refreshed and full of energy. Her secret? Plenty of beauty sleep.


The sky’s the limit for this Kenyan-born supermodel in the making. Malaika made history this year, becoming the first black model to be featured in an ad campaign for Prada since Naomi Campbell in 1994.

Free-spirited style begins with black and white basics.

rag & bone/JEAN ‘The Classic Beater’ Tank | Current/Elliott Skinny Ankle Jeans
Michael Kors ‘Miranda’ Tote

Qianna Smith
Photos by Ford Leland

Enter into the world of Milly and watch Michelle Smith, the creative force behind the brand, translate the idea of transparency into a three-dimensional sculpted look for spring/summer 2014.

Michelle invited The Thread to sit in on the model castings and final fittings for her show.

To make the Milly casting cut, you need to exude femininity with a modern edge.

French model Loulou Robert stops by the showroom to finalize the fit on the two looks she’ll wear for the show.

The Parisian glam-girl is also the face of Milly’s fall ’13 ad campaign.

“I’ve got a base palette of black and white. You’ll see a lot of clean, stark silhouettes, but color really comes into play via my prints,” says Michelle, who designs all her own patterns.

Vintage accessories give the ultra-modern collection an added layer of depth. We can’t wait to see how she puts it all together.

It’s almost showtime! We catch up with the designer at The Stage at Lincoln Center, where we find models Anya Kazakova, Emeline Ghesquiere, Vasilisa Pavlova and Steffi Soede donning heels by Manolo Blahnik for Milly spring ’14.

“For me, the collection always begins with the fabric. I love designing fabric and customizing it. Most, if not all, of my fabrics are European,” says Michelle. “I love taking a fabric swatch that may appear sporty or athletic and then transform it into something very feminine and beautiful.”

“I keep eight factories in New York pretty busy year-round, and they are all within a five-mile radius from my studio,” she says of her New York-made brand. “I make 12 ready-to-wear collections a year, so one each month, as well as 5 cabana swimwear collections, Milly Minis childrenswear and handbags.”

Milly’s black and white palette is punctuated with splashes of tropical and floral prints. “I was in Hawaii back in April on the Big Island and the prints were really conceived from that trip. Prior to Hawaii I was in Japan. so you’ll see touches of Japanese floral layered in,” she adds.

There’s nothing like bringing your kids to work when you’re a fashion designer. Michelle’s two children, William and Sophia, join her on the runway to watch the preshow run-through. And it appears William, who is all smiles, sees something he likes.

Models practice moving to the music before it’s time to change into the first looks.

“This collection really emphasizes the classic silhouette: bust, waist and hips. I wanted to draw attention to the hourglass proportions of a woman’s body,” says Michelle. “There’s also a lot of play on structure and shape.”

The key luxurious fabric used in the collection feels almost like a carbon fiber. What makes this material so advanced is that the transparencies give an X-ray effect.

This sportswear-inspired look with its architectural illusions feels so fresh and chic for spring.

Michelle’s attention to detail and continuous fabric innovation truly make her a master among contemporary designers. Bravo!

Qianna Smith
Photos by Fernando Colon