From revolutionizing basketball in the 1920s to igniting punk rock counterculture to becoming the go-to shoe for men, women and kids of all ages, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has seen it all—until now.
To celebrate this month’s Pop-In @ Nordstrom, which is devoted to all things Converse, we’ve invited local artists from every corner of the USA to put their own unique spin on the ultimate blank canvas: a pristine pair of white high-top Chucks. Keep reading to see 14 hand-painted sneakers—and find out where you can nab these limited-edition kicks while supplies last.
Walking into a presentation for Alice + Olivia during New York Fashion Week is much like entering a one-of-a-kind aesthetic experience. The imaginative world of Stacey Bendet envelops you, allowing the colorful textures and architectural shapes of her designs to converge into an installation of art. In celebration of Art Basel invading the shores and streets of Miami Beach, today through December 8, we asked the avid collector of culture to shed some light on the many artful objects of her affection.
THE THREAD: What first motivated you to begin building a collection of art? STACEY BENDET: Art is really inspiration for me. I started casually collecting things when I was younger. Each year I’ll buy one or two pieces that are really special to me because of the artist, or because of the collaboration we’re doing, or just because I’m really inspired by their work. It’s a range of things. I have a table in my office by artist Liana Yaroslavsky, who creates beautiful, unique pieces from antique chandeliers. Also I collect, obviously, paintings and other things too, sculptures, all different kinds of stuff.
Three members of our creative team had the good fortune to travel to Hong Kong recently, to experience the modern and contemporary work displayed at Art Basel—as well as all the architecture, cuisine, culture and style they could manage to absorb during five 16-hour days of intensive sightseeing. Last week, we offered a glimpse of their first day on Chinese soil; below are the Instagram’d highlights of the rest of their trip.
[Above: Art is everywhere in Hong Kong. This 54-story inflatable ducky made a big splash
in one of the city's harbors, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.]
L: A super-stylish coffee shop. | R: Simple, elegant artwork at Art Basel Hong Kong.
L: City steps near our team’s hotel. | R: HK school uniforms.
Intricate sculpture installations sat alongside paintings and line drawings at Art Basel.
(R: One of our HK correspondents, Gloria, poses next to a favorite piece.)
L: Hong Kong subway style. | R: A preferred method for drying clothes.
L: HK is one of the most vertical cities in the world—even when it comes to gardening. | R: Shopping is a language we all speak.
L: Caught in one of many downpours. | R: Another highlight from Art Basel HK.
L: Inspired footwear. | R: Our team took in student artwork as well—like this eye-catching light show.
L: Mesmerizing colors. | R: Work by Yayoi Kusama.
L: Dinner at Morihachi Yakiniku. | R: 118 floors up at Hong Kong’s tallest building, ICC Tower.
L: Mong Kok at midnight—as bright as the middle of the day. | R: The installations at Art Basel weren’t just for looking at.
Two of our Hong Kong correspondents, Gloria and Peter, trying to stay dry.
To celebrate its 60th birthday this year, the creative team at Chloédug through their archives and came up with 26 things—one for each letter of the alphabet—that represent the iconic French brand. Short films and photos accompany the mini stories, in addition to posts by 26 fashion bloggers, who each wrote about a letter.
The tribute runs concurrent to the Chloé exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, featuring signature pieces designed over the years by the house’s nine creative directors. The show takes place now through November 18; if you’re lucky enough to be in Paris over the next few weeks, it’s definitely worth stopping by.
We’ve highlighted a few of our favorite pieces from the Chloé archive:
G for Gaby: Founder Gaby Aghion, pictured above, grew up surrounded by her mother’s haute couture, but found it stuffy and constricting. Her goal with Chloé was to create easy-to-wear, cool, youthful clothes with couture sensibilities, available straight off the rack.
I for Innovators: Four years after debuting her collection at a Parisian café, Aghion showed these contrast-trim coats, which have come to epitomize the 1960s.
D for Deco: This art-deco-inspired dress, from the spring/summer 1966 collection, was likely designed by Karl Lagerfeld, who become Chloé’s creative director that year.
R for Rachmaninoff: Aghion steered the overall direction of the brand until it was sold to the Richemont Group in 1985. The dress pictured above was part of a 1973 collection inspired by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.
B for Banana: Stella McCartney became the brand’s creative director in 1997 and introduced a cheeky, feminine side with playful banana and pineapple prints.
E for Embroidery: Speaking of playful, the video above demonstrates the lighter side of old-world embroidery, which Aghion loved but wanted to implement in a fresh way.
We could go on forever—instead, explore the Chloé Alphabet for yourself. Be sure to watch the videos for M for Music, which talks about the brand’s runway-music composers, and V for Visit, which takes you through the Palais de Tokyo exhibit. Enjoy!
In the Boston area? Get up close and personal with The Museum of Fine Arts Boston’s exhibition of work from Mario Testino–In Your Face, October 21-February 3. A no-introductions-necessary photographer, Testino will be displaying a retrospective of his enormous contributions to his medium and fashion with iconic images of celebrities, pop culture, editorials and more.
If you’re not in the area, but would still like some Mario Testino In Your Face–or on your coffee table–keep an eye out for the eponymously named book, being simultaneously published by Taschen.
One of our web designers here in the Nordstrom creative office just shared this stunning video. It may have little to do with fashion—or even this hemisphere—but to see the Sydney Opera House transform before our eyes is breathtaking. Enjoy a little down-under lunchtime distraction.
The LA Philharmonic’s run of Don Giovanni began over the weekend. With costumes designed by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, we’re glad to have these front-row snaps of the sisters’ always-genius work in action.
More photos from the production—with Gustavo Dudamel conducting and set designs by Frank Gehry, no less—on the LA Phil’s Facebook page.
The de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Nordstrom present The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, showing now through August 19.
With 140 haute couture and ready-to-wear designs, along with sketches, archival documents, photography and video clips, this exhibition showcases the masterful craftsmanship and rebellious spirit of fashion’s “enfant terrible“, starting from the launch of his first collection in 1976.
We were thrilled to speak with Gaultier about his works on display, his design philosophy and his thoughts on beauty and individuality.
Not that we need an excuse to go back to Venice (though this time we know to pack the Dramamine for any all-day canal tours), but this exhibit is a definite motivator. The life and work of Diana Vreeland—one of the 20th century’s most influential tastemakers—is now on display at Palazzo Fortuny.
Starting her industry career as a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, and moving on to Vogue as editor in chief for almost a decade, Vreeland helped to revolutionize the world of fashion. The exhibit celebrates Vreeland and her contributions to the industry, and displays a collection that drops the names of the era’s most important designers and couture.