Condé Nast Traveler: What To Wear In Hawaii by Nick Remsen

Getting There.

Getting There.

On The Beach.

On The Beach.

A Night On The Town.

A Night On The Town.

Though they unfolded in London, Paris, Florence, and Milan, the menswear shows for Spring/Summer 2018 had a common place in mind: Hawaii. Ermanno Scervino had graphic intarsia palm trees on sweaters, and Craig Green had geometric palms, birds, and mountains on capes. At Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones gave us a techno-fied version of the typical floral Hawaiian shirt, while Demna Gvasalia gave us the same at Balenciaga, but in a most everyday way.

The thing is, there’s a big difference between Hawaii-inspired style and what to actually wear in, say, Honolulu. You don’t wear a Hawaiian shirt in Hawaii. Rather, the look is an off-hand beach-chic—an aesthetic that mirrors the cosmopolitan place Honolulu has evolved to be in recent years. (Yes, there’s much more than Cheesecake Factories and throngs of sunburned tourists on Waikiki Beach.)

With that in mind, we put together a mini-style guide for three newsy (or just plain nice) scenarios regarding Honolulu. Check out our tips, below.

To view on Condé Nast Traveler, click here

Vogue Runway: Brandon Maxwell Spring/Summer 2018 Review by Nick Remsen

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What Brandon Maxwell does well, he does very well. His heart—and it’s a big heart—is 100% invested in what he does, and he celebrates not only the beauty of the women he dresses, but also the camaraderie. He eats pizza with his models before his shows. He spends as much time with his mother and his sisters as he can. And, through that, he listens.

Spring was his best collection to date. Maxwell’s label is still young, and in the year and a half or so since he’s been in stores, his codes have been somewhat predictable—formal, evening, luxe-but-clean glam, the works. Spring shifted that. There was far more color, significantly more day or cocktail wear—the perfect crisp white button-down, fabulous with a capital F animal costume earrings made in collaboration with a jewelry line called Lunch at the Ritz by Zander Elliot, and even denim, which Maxwell originally swore to George Cortina, his stylist, that he’d never do (you can take the boy out of Texas…). But perhaps most importantly, there was a buoyancy that enlivened the low-lit chambers of New York’s famed Doubles Club beneath the Sherry-Netherland. The point: Maxwell is the happiest he’s ever been, he said backstage after the show. “In the past six months, I’ve enjoyed my life for the first time as an adult,” he added.

An emotional rollercoaster brought him to that place; after last season, his grandmother passed away unexpectedly, but two weeks later, he got engaged. The down-and-up of that dual experience catalyzed a kind of come-to-peace moment. “Maybe I am never going to be that ‘big thing,’ but I can be that big thing to myself,” Maxwell said.

And creatively, clear-headedly, he blossomed—formality remained to a degree, but variance emerged. Gigi Hadid opened the show in a belted pink blazer and cigarette jeans (cigarette and bootleg shapes are Maxwell’s best-selling trousers—it made sense to do them in denim)—it was Dallas-chic in the best way. The show progressed with a primary color-centric palette, mixed with pale pinks and signature noirs and whites, along pin-tucked and flirty dresses, or pleated gowns—sportive on top and flowing in the skirt. Maxwell offered embroidered suits, low-cut dresses, flared-sleeve jumpers, vaporous angora sweaters, and more. Basically, something for every woman, or at least every woman who likes to dress up, get her hair done and wear her lipstick bright (another source of inspiration—this was the image upon which Maxwell “was raised.”) “I wanted to give something that our customer could wear to work, or to her friend’s house on the weekend,” he said.

At show’s end, a platinum haired Karlie Kloss exited in a ball-skirt with an equine-motif brocade. I Instagrammed it, and within a few minutes, a friend messaged back saying “I want to re-do my wedding, and I want to wear what Karlie’s wearing.” Insta-validation, from the public itself, in near real time.

Optimism and improved mental health served Maxwell to great effect tonight, and the evening had an added bonus: to help contribute to Hurricane Harvey’s repair funds in his home state, the designer auctioned off two tickets for guests to attend his show, with 100% of the proceeds going to the Houston Food Bank. The warmth of that gesture, plus the strong lineup, amplified Spring into something fuller. “The most honest thing to say,” Maxwell said, “is that my life has become more colorful. I will go home tonight and I am going to be very happy.” Well-deserved, sir.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here

Vogue.com: Fiji’s Coral Coast Promises a Glimpse at Local Life—And Unspoiled, Breathtaking Nature by Nick Remsen

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There are reasons to visit Fiji, I’ve learned, beyond the postcard-ready beach vignettes and the sun-soaked appeal usually associated with the tropics (these aspects, as travelers know, can be found in locations much closer to the U.S. than the Fijian Islands, which are some 10-plus hours by plane from Los Angeles).

First and foremost, it’s the people. Fijians are disarmingly and memorably kind, which took me a bit by surprise, especially coming from New York and double especially coming from a country where frustration and exasperation seem to tick upward by the day if not hour. In Fiji, most everyone greets you with a whole-hearted “bula!,” which is a phrase that essentially means “hello!” but that can also be interchangeably used as “cheers” or to mark other moments of ebullient expression. Get used to saying “bula,” because you will say it a hundred or more times if and when you visit.

There’s also a palpable, emotional sense of pride one gets in talking with Fijians; driving through Sigatoka, a town on the southern side of Viti Levu, Fiji’s “main” island that holds both its capital, Suva, and its largest international point of entry, Nadi (pronounced “Nandi”), our driver remarked on the area’s high concentration of talented rugby players. He then went on to pause, before saying, reverently, that Fiji had won its first ever medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro—gold, in, of course, rugby. That day was declared a national holiday in Fiji.

But it boils down to more than that. I met a man named Solo, who works for the Nanuku Auberge Resort, located a couple of kilometers past Sigatoka en route to Suva, on Viti Levu’s southern Coral Coast. He spoke with excitement and gusto of what Fiji is becoming, of what its potential may be, after the country reinstated democratic practices in 2014 (eight years before that, a military coup had seized control of Fiji’s government). Begrudgingly but with a twinkle in his eye, he mentioned foreign investments, a growing global interest and presence on the island, and, I think, he secretly felt excited about it. Yet then again, as we drove to Suva one day, he spoke not of infrastructure and industry but of kava roots and tarot leaves and the red earth that you can see in cutaways in the distance, or the beautiful African tulip tree flowers that pepper the landscape. Once you learn these blooms are actually invasive, it’s a reminder of the perils that small island nations face. Solo, among others, was not happy about President Trump’s stance on climate change.

And all of the above isn’t to say that the people necessarily override the natural splendor of Fiji; rather, they enhance it. If you can find them, there are lagoons so thick with coconut palms and mangrove roots and climbing vines and wild orchids that you’d think you were in a time long extinct, the time when the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman first crashed upon Fiji’s teeming reefs. Starfish are the color of warm skies at midnight; sea snakes, banded in silver and shimmering black, wriggle towards the soft cyan sea. As Solo said, at the end of the day, “Fiji is, you know, the heart of the Pacific.”

Here, a photo guide, lensed by the Mexico City–based photographer Marco Bochicchio, of Viti Levu and its Coral Coast area.

To view on Vogue.com, click here

Vogue Runway: Palomo Spain Spring/Summer 2018 Review by Nick Remsen

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How to describe a Palomo Spain show? It is, altogether, highly intimate—akin to the largely lost practice of salon presentations—utterly mad, fearlessly proud, and, foremost, emotional. A young man who walked—wearing a periwinkle bouclé jacket with bunched Bermuda shorts and knee-high, heeled boots—evinced as much, as tears dappled his makeup during the finale.

Alejandro Gómez Palomo’s label caught the American market’s eye when the designer brought it to New York last February. Back then, he was an outlier that few had heard of locally. But soon, he started garnering attention: Who was this sensitive Spaniard who operates somewhere in the flowery ether between costume and camp, debutante and drag, and couture and cross-dressing? And, to that point about his material, questions arose: Does it even matter what the distinction is? Should a distinction be made? Putting it on the line—men in women’s clothing—sounds and reads outdated, but, such is what much of Palomo Spain does. The designer’s purpose and point, though—and this was further proven by his Spring 2018 show tonight in Madrid—is that gender binarism (or any form of self-identification therein) really doesn’t and shouldn’t matter when someone is enjoying themselves at the party. If a person who sees himself as a man wants to dress up in a Montana- or Mugler-esque suit with fuck-me boots and a red lip, let him and love it. Likewise, if a woman wants to wear this “menswear” brand—as Beyoncé did in her Instagram revelation of her new twins, now with over 10.2 million likes—she will do so fantastically.

Beyoncé’s publicity helped, but even without it, Palomo Spain was growing on its own—and Spring demonstrated that Palomo can move, not always perfectly but certainly with narrative clout, within the niche that he’s opened. The theme this season was "Hotel Palomo," which took over Madrid’s actual Hotel Wellington. Postcards accompanying the show notes featured lobby-art drawings by Jordi Labanda—the kind of fabulous cue that what was to follow was going to be decadent and delirious in the way that only a hotel can make you feel (the transience, the secrets, the potentially suggestive eye-contacts, and the resultant one-night stands). And definitely tawdry.

What resulted was a borderline Wes Andersonian, sometimes Prada-ish romp through a once-grand old inn, its ghosts still looking for sex and trouble, its devastatingly beautiful twin bellmen swinging their keys provocatively. There was a towel series; Jacob Bixenman wore a one-shouldered toga while another model yawned in a headpiece mimicking the terry swans that honeymooners sometimes find on their beds. Robes transitioned to twinsets, which then moved to long dresses—some with metallic patinas—to blazers, flamenco ruffles, and loads of illusion gowns. (Worth noting: Much of Palomo’s fabrics are vintage and the designer and his team know how to work them—everything looked very well made.) Rossy de Palma danced in a sultry wrap dress lined in thick, dusty feathers—a glorious vision of a more glorious time. Perhaps it was fitting that Lindsay Lohan sat front row. Though not of the same era, she was the queen of her zeitgeist, and that Palomo was able to communicate a kind of perverse nostalgia (or possibly even upbeat sadness) through all of this variety and vividness—and then surround it with yet more of it—was impressive.

The final outcome was something that also sparked thoughts of The Shining; Poconos’ love motels with martini-glass hot tubs; and the girls (or boys) who didn’t quite get to debut at the Crillon and had to settle for their own, less elite (but no less glam, in the end) rungs on the social ladder. With his storytelling capabilities—and his openness and bravery, really—Palomo stands pretty much in his own corner of fashion right now. Even if you write his work off as costume or kitsch, there are at least guts and struggle and heart stacked deep behind that surface. Watch him closely.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here

VOGUE RUNWAY: Gosha Rubchinskiy Spring/Summer 2018 Review by Nick Remsen

January in Kaliningrad this was not. Despite being, geographically, a mere 513 miles to the northeast, this was far, far from the westernmost Russian city where Moscow-born Gosha Rubchinskiy showed his Fall 2017 collection. St. Petersburg in summer’s ascent is sublime: Surging rivers ribbon their way through the old streets, the teal-and-gold livery of the Winter Palace gleams under a sun that scarcely sets, and lilacs pierce the open-air paths of Isaakievskaya Ploshchad. It is fantastical in scale, library thick in lore, and crisp despite the humidity from the nearby Gulf of Finland—enough to partially cure, say, the hangover of a red-eye haul from New York to Helsinki followed by a cramped puddle jump to Pulkovo Airport.

Of course, St. Petersburg is a city with much greater and grander a history than Kaliningrad. Rubchinskiy was particularly interested in its somewhat more recent legacies of two divergent categories: football and electronica. Regarding football, it is acknowledged that soccer first took hold in Russia via St. Petersburg. During the late 19th century, British merchants began to popularize the sport here. It was the Brits who founded Russia’s very first football association, the St. Petersburg Football Club, in 1879. The Russians followed in 1897 with their own official debut group: the Kruzhok Liubiteley Sporta, or, translated, the “Circle of Sport Lovers.” Fast-forward 121 years, and Russia will be hosting the 21st FIFA World Cup in 2018. The event has inspired Rubchinskiy to bring his collection home and ink a collaboration partnership with Adidas, which debuted in Kaliningrad and carried on this evening in St. Petersburg. Next season will also be shown in Russia, in a yet-to-be-decided city—though, the designer admits, it won’t be Moscow.

As for electronica, Rubchinskiy is an ardent fan of Timur Novikov, the artist and Warholian peterburzhec credited with creating the first Russian rave just before the USSR’s collapse. Tonight’s show venue—the Communication Workers’ House of Culture on Bolshaya Morskaya Ulitsa—reportedly hosted St. Petersburg’s first-ever such event in 1989. Rubchinskiy picked the spot to invoke the “ghosts” of revelers past—an especially freewheeling, experimental crowd partying deep into the fading (and post-) Soviet night. “Football, music, nightlife, fashion—all help to unite people,” said Rubchinskiy, borderline reverentially, of his broader thinking.

The clothes, self-described as a “mix of sportswear with a nightclub rave feeling,” managed to blend Rubchinskiy’s fountainheads effectively; this collection had significant range and guaranteed general appeal, despite its subtly (but specifically) anthemic notes to its host city. This is the designer’s most valuable strength: He has, more acutely of late but throughout his nine-year career (yes, he’s been in business that long), used Russia as source material but given it a salable, globally naïf lean. Just don’t call it the “Eastern Bloc look,” anymore (more on this in a moment).

Rubchinskiy unveiled yet another collaboration, this time with Burberry, to pay respects to the football “heritage” the British instituted so very long ago. (This aspect also further added to the more tailored and dressier elements that first surfaced last season.) Burberry’s Christopher Bailey sat smiling in the front row. The best in the series was a bichrome trench, half khaki and half black, with the house’s signature tawny plaid lining its collar; perfectly Burberry, perfectly Gosha. The Adidas linkup provided full kits, ready for the pitch, replete with shin guard socks as well as strappy new sneakers. And the clubbier pieces included acid-bright tops with sicko sicko ’90s iconography and motifs (including a great reworking of Rubchinskiy’s name in Cyrillic), hot pink track pants, barely there tanks, and even a flak vest with room for a water bottle—for when morning inevitably rolls around but the party is still going. There were also hats made by Stephen Jones for Burberry for Rubchinskiy, including a baseball cap, as well as a collaboration with Retrosuperfuture on throwback shades. (Sometimes one couldn’t tell the difference between the main line and a collaborative branch—not that that’s a bad thing, as all of it looked good together.) Laughing, Rubchinskiy said: “There’s a lot of collaborating, but it all tells the story.”

A story that was, at the end of the white night, pretty damn convincing. This was an energized Rubchinskiy—maybe even optimistic—and while it meandered from direct sportswear to mismatched striped or plaid suiting (sometimes with a smart double-belt styling trick), it felt confident and it felt current. Yes, the raving bits were based on a post-Soviet headspace, but generally, the Rubchinskiy look is now something a bit less nail-on-the-head and a bit more freewheeling: Kids will be kids, no matter where they are in the world, and if they want to wear neon track pants and a batwing hoodie, they’re going to say fuck off if you tell them otherwise. And that’s, essentially, the message: There was a lot of spunk and grit—pride, really—in this collection, and it was well earned.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here. 

VOGUE.COM: Sugar High–Moschino and Candy Crush Are Launching a Capsule Collection at Coachella by Nick Remsen

Even if you haven’t downloaded Candy Crush Saga, you’ve no doubt heard of it. The five-year-old game, played mainly via its app on smartphones and tablets, has had over 1 trillion rounds completed since its launch in 2012. 198 billion rounds of Candy Crush were played in 2016. Broken down, that figure is equal to just about everyone on the planet playing the game 28 times in one year alone. And if games were viewed in the same spheres as the Kylie Jenners and Selena Gomezes of the world, Candy Crush would be in good company: it has almost 80 million likes on social media.

Leave it to Jeremy Scott, then, to partner with the phenomenon on a capsule collection for Moschino that will be introduced this weekend at Coachella, the annual music festival in Indio, California. (Scott is the creative director of Moschino, as well as the founder of an eponymous line which, sidenote, turns 20 this September.) Scott has long proven his sixth sense for highly attuned pop culture divination, having partnered with Google and buddied up with megawatt stars like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, for various costumes and red carpet appearances. Scott’s aesthetic is unashamedly mainstream. He’s reimagined a Snickers logo on a dress, for example, and recreated a Transformers battle scene on a suit; he’s even channeled the arguably sinister undertones of ’60s and ’70s–era TV dinners— from a time when families were affixed to the boob tube, not individual iPhones. Say what you will, but there’s a molten kind of genius beneath the spotlit and sugar-bombed aesthetics of his work.

While there isn't really a notable subtext to the Moschino x Candy Crush collection—a capsule of his-and-hers swimwear, plus a backpack—there’s certainly a savviness to recognizing collaborative opportunities beyond the expected. “It’s a very cool thing,” says Yonna Ingolf, narrative designer for the Candy Crush program. “It’s the first time we’re partnering with high fashion. It felt like a natural step for us. Jeremy’s mind is very ‘candy.’” Scott agrees. “I think almost everyone plays, right? It’s kind of off the charts,” he says. “My mom and my nephew… they both play it. It’s for everyone.”

The designer was particularly smitten with the game's retro, puffy-loop font, which has been recreated to spell out “Moschino” and screened over a grid of confectionery characters, similar to how the matrix might appear in the program. And Scott wanted to keep it relatively straightforward: “We’ve got swimsuits, because, everyone’s going to be in a pool at one point or another at Coachella, or it’s going to be so hot you wish you were in a pool.” Pragmatic. We like it.

The designer—who is in the process of updating a recently-purchased John Lautner home in Palm Springs, near the Coachella site—adds that he “was a little heartbroken about Beyoncé” dropping out of the festival’s lineup. “I was actually halfway mesmerized, like, how is she going to pull this off with the twins all up in there?!” But even so, Coachella will be his vacation time before getting back on the road. Afterwards, he’ll head to Milan to get ready for Moschino’s next menswear show, and then back to New York for the Met Gala in early May. We're sure, given his track record, that he'll keep the sugar high going.

To view on Vogue.com, click here.

Vogue Runway: Palomo Spain: “The Most Amazing, Beautiful, Decadent, Evil Thing” at the New York Men’s Shows by Nick Remsen

Twenty-four hours before Alejandro Gómez Palomo’s Palomo Spain show, Nicola Formichetti—arguably one of the industry’s most clued-in, youth culture–glancing arbiters—told me, “You can’t miss it.”

Then, five minutes before the runway lights dimmed, the expectations compounded. Bryan Grey Yambao, my seatmate, leaned over and said, “This is so fashion,” referring to the crowd, which included singer Troye Sivan (wearing Palomo Spain’s pink velvet trousers), photographer Ryan McGinley, and model Hari Nef. (A “fashion” crowd isn’t usually the case at a New York menswear show.)

And as the first look walked out, a man to my right said out loud in pure exhilaration: “Gender! So last season!”

What would result lived up to and, in fact, beyond the hype—and it was a privilege to witness. Not a moment too soon, and somehow fitting for the final day of the menswear loop, Palomo sent out a lavish and over-the-top collection that, at its core, gave a bejeweled and feather-trimmed middle finger to the unaccepting and the regressive. How fabulously timely.

“It’s about the sexual self,” said the emotional designer backstage, cheeks streaked with lipstick smudges. “There are boys looking for other boys—seducing and being seduced. Some are virgins and you can only look at them.” Each of his models was male, but wearing clothes that might traditionally be categorized as female—though, in his book and increasingly so around the industry, clothes are clothes and can be worn by anyone.

Model Marc Sebastian Faiella opened the show, sauntering out in an electro-blue pseudo-blazer with the shoulders widely removed. Others would wear: a flamenco-inflected minidress with thigh-high laced boots; a tailored coatdress with queenly feather quill embroidery on the chest; and a possibly bridal look of white briefs, white corset, and white marabou-trimmed cape. McGinley’s boyfriend, Marc Domingo, sported what can only be classified as an Erdem-esque doll dress in flowery brocade.

At first glance, it might be easy to label Palomo’s clothes as couture-inspired costume—perhaps drag, or even post-drag, with a bit more design than dash. Yet however you see them, it’s tough to argue that they weren’t uplifting. More than one person remarked that he or she hadn’t left a show feeling so good in so long. Nef gushed to the designer: “That was the most amazing, beautiful, decadent, evilthing I’ve ever seen!” Palomo started his line for Spring 2015 after graduating from the London College of Fashion, but has remained, for the most part, under the radar. That has now changed, with a collection and a moment that put a glittering cherry atop New York Fashion Week: Men’s.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here

Vogue Runway: La Perla Fall/Winter 2017 REVIEW by Nick Remsen

For her second season as creative director of La Perla, Julia Haart envisaged the artistic interpretation of British gardens across six chambers of a British manor. So, expressionistic flora, by function of room. “It’s really this concept of nature redefined by people,” said Haart. “And I chose English gardens because they are more of a riot compared to, say, manicured French gardens. That’s what I am thinking about: I don’t like people telling me what to do or where to go. I want to wear what I want, when I want, how I want. It’s all about the freedom.”

That she used the word “riot” was telling: Haart’s La Perla is confident, often over-the-top, consciously indecorous and all the more noteworthy for it. She is presumably catering to those women that might tune into the Victoria’s Secret show (as it happens, a number of her Fall cast are also Angels), but would never actually buy Victoria’s Secret—all La Perla, all the way. Also notable, Haart says, “I am creating this specialized world where ready-to-wear and lingerie meld together—our clothes come in dress sizes, but also cup sizes.”

Naomi Campbell, bathed under ultraviolet ambient light, opened the show in a navy stretch silk slip dress patched with black lace parts, and a floral macramé-embroidered tweed overcoat. She was in the “Study”—the tweed, followed by tailored wool pieces, vaguely connoted academic practice. That set the tone for a sprawling lineup, which, as one behaves in one’s own abode, appeared in varying states of dress and undress. Haart’s “Terrace” section was her best, in which hothouse florals and leaves were worked onto little negligees and rompers. Model Lineisy Montero’s outfit—a fitted micro slip dress with a built-in bra and a panoply of Crayola-bright blooms—was the collection’s top look. (Her spider jewel-embellished mules were also cute, in a costume-y way). Haart’s exploration would conclude in the “Foyer,” with Kendall Jenner shutting down the installation in a metallic gold lace gown, replete with elaborate embroidery.

If Haart’s focus veered away from her core inspiration, it was forgivable in that she offered a lotto take in. And even though differing tastes will prefer different parts of this collection, the unifier among them—cleverly realized by the designer—is a penchant for that bold-willed freedom mentioned above.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here

Vogue Runway: Palm Angels Fall/Winter 2017 Review by Nick Remsen

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Picture this: A Wall Street guy gets fired, or rather, gets so angry with the system, he quits the game and decamps to Southern California. And through the weed smoke and sunny lethargy of it all, he finds that his new life doesn’t totally wipe out his old demons. He’s still mad with corporate everywhere. Occupy Venice Beach.

Such was the message behind Francesco Ragazzi’s latest Palm Angels collection. The 2-year-old brand, which is based in Milan but showed here for the first time this evening, has been snowballing in popularity in the hype-fueled, hazy world of fashion merch. Troye Sivan wore a Spring Palm Angels “rainbow” hoodie last year to much social media fanfare; in Milan last night, Ragazzi did a surprise drop of free sweatshirts. “Two minutes,” he said, for 200 pieces to fly off the trucks. (Those revealed his new logo, a caution-sign triangle with a palm tree, as per.)

And before naysayers bemoan yet-another-streetwear brand, remember that Ragazzi knows his proverbial shit: The man started Palm Angels after photographing a book of the same name around skateboarding culture in Los Angeles. What he does is convincing, if not downright compelling.

Fall had lots of ska-era flares on logo-stamped pants, or denim. Hardware, either Old English P’s or A’s, swung from zipped-all-the-way-up tops. Bloodshot eyes stared ahead from behind narrow sunglasses with unforgiving Croakies. There were subtle nods to the old banker’s life, too, like gold buttons traditionally reserved for navy blazers, only this time on a fuzzy plaid topcoat. Rasta-striped shirts, giant text lines across the shoulders, stoner dad hats, and cool cross-body bags rounded out Ragazzi’s defense—and, even if it’s not everybody’s preferred strain, one can’t help but to smile at the audacity and the draw of his Angels.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here. 

Vogue Runway: Gosha Rubchinskiy Fall/Winter 2017 Review by Nick Remsen

GOSHA

Tucked on the southeastern toe of the Baltic Sea sits the Kaliningrad Oblast—a Russian exclave that doesn’t actually touch Russia Major; similar, say, to Alaska’s geographic relationship with the continental United States. To Kaliningrad’s north and east lies Lithuania; to the south, Poland. From near its namesake city, two “spits” of land span outward, flanking the dark Baltic like some kind of defensive anemone. This place was known as German (or East Prussian) Konigsberg, before July 4, 1946, when Stalin made it into the USSR (The Red Army had taken Konigsberg from Nazi Germany during WWII.) It was renamed for the Soviet president Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin, who reportedly never stepped foot in the region. It’s where philosopher Immanuel Kant is buried. It’s where the current Russian president, Vladimir Putin, redeployed nuclear-capable arms last October (Kaliningrad, given its unique location and governance, has often been observed with tension by both “the West” and Moscow). And it’s where, today, Gosha Rubchinskiy showed his very strong Fall 2017 collection, which included a brand-new collaboration with Adidas.

Before the why, the how, and the what: Around noon, a select group of Russian and international editors was taken to a site called the Mariners’ House of Culture. The room therein, with faded blue velvet chairs (mine might’ve had a cigarette burn in it) and gold and white drapery, exhibited the sort of spare irreverence for which Rubchinskiy has become famous. As the show started, the soundtrack—from lost-era speakers stationed at both ends of the catwalk—discharged voice-overs in Russian. It became clear that as each model made his lap, it was he who was speaking.

“It’s a portrait of Russia now,” said Rubchinskiy of the monologues and the casting. Each mannequin hailed from somewhere in the federation, from Kaliningrad local to Siberia, thousands of miles to the east. “It’s a real way to show the country to an international audience. Some boys say, ‘I don’t know what to do in my life; I am just chilling and I have fun and I have skateboard.’ Others say, ‘I want to be an army service agent.’ Another says he wants to write a book.” Rubchinskiy’s friend and collaborator on the audio, a Moscow-based DJ named Buttechno, admitted a more ominous testimony: “One boy said he doesn’t want to die before he’s 25.”

If the models represented a cross-section of the country, that’s also a good way to describe the clothes. “We try to put some unexpected parts in, not only cool, streetwear things,” said Rubchinskiy. That was welcome. The designer played with the tailoring he introduced last season by layering it into the sportif kick he was feeling, courtesy of Adidas. The show opened with a loose-sleeved button-down shirt worn with a square-knit tie and skinny-belted trousers—it was about as polished as he has ever done. There was a smart double-breasted gray pin-striped suit, ditto a military-olive shirt and pants, offset with a pale blue cinch. The outerwear options were among the strongest he's offered, and the newsboy caps, by Stephen Jones, were fresh.

And the Adidas collaboration, with pieces emblazoned with Football in Cyrillic and which includes two new sneaker models, will satiate hype-beasts. “Adidas is very natural for Gosha,” said Rubchinskiy. “The brand is very popular in Russia; it’s a very Russian image—this man in his tracksuit.” The move is savvy; the partnership will last into 2018, when Russia hosts the World Cup. Rubles will flow.

In the end, the very best looks struck notes from both arenas—see faded quarter-zips and wide-collar polo shirts together, or an excellent denim bomber jacket with a dashing, daresay dressy, scarf tied round the neck. This was Rubchinskiy’s evolution of the streetwear riot he helped to incite—a conceit that looks familiar, but one that also reveals a broader scope and a more modern sense of wardrobe inclusiveness and cunning. It was intelligent.

Lastly, if one was wondering as to any sort of geopolitical commentary about doing a fashion show in Russia today amid the U.S.’s election-hacking accusations and President-elect Trump’s is-it-or-isn’t-it cozy relationship with Putin, the answer is . . . sort of. When pressed as to his opinion on the matter, Rubchinskiy said: “Look . . . come and see Russia. Not only on the Internet, not only in the paper. See what’s really happening in the cities . . . come and have your own opinion.” And as for his and his peer group’s feelings about Trump? “It’s interesting . . . I like the strong character. He’s a strong character—not a boring, random person. It’s interesting. Let’s see.”

To view on Vogue Runway, click here. 

Vogue.com: Pro Surfer, Model, and Hawaii Native Koa Smith Shares His Guide to Oahu by Nick Remsen

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On Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii, designer fashion isn’t really a topic of conversation. Fair enough. This is surf country. The Guccis and the Louis Vuittons are all comfortably nested down on Kalakaua Avenue or at Ala Moana Center, an hour’s drive south in Honolulu. Up here, all you need is a swimsuit, really. Shoes optional; sunscreen recommended.

So it’s borderline discordant—but excitingly so, for someone constantly seeking the sartorial—when Koa Smith, the striking 21-year-old professional surfer and model, says: “Yeah, I shot a campaign for Alexander Wang last year, and I became pretty good friends with Steven Klein, who photographed it.” Oh, okay. That’s very . . . well, not many people can say that. I don’t know Klein and I’ve spoken with Wang only a few times, and the fashion business is my day-to-day. The exchange is made all the more unexpected by the fact that Smith is sitting at the Sunrise Shack—a Crayola-yellow snack stand he opened recently with his two older brothers, Alex and Travis—wearing a Hurley T-shirt and hat and a wire-wrapped crystal necklace, clearly very much in his element, as mentally distanced from the fashion establishment as he is geographically. The wind is cutting and the waves, breaking barely 100 yards in front of us, rattle the picnic table.

Therein lies, like so many unlikely links these days, a social media–born connection: “They randomly hit me up,” says Smith. “I have no idea how they found me. . . . It was on Instagram, I think, and I was in Indo.” (That’s Indonesia.) “Afterward, Steven suggested entering the VMAN/Ford modeling competition.” (VMAN, the magazine, and Ford, the agency, host an annual search for new faces.) He ended up winning 2015’s contest and is now signed with Ford. That two fashion-world icons would take notice of Smith isn’t hugely surprising—the industry has long drawn inspiration from surf culture (see recent Saint Laurent and Thom Browne collections), and this particular surfer is very good-looking. What is a bit remarkable to consider, though, is that Smith is both the kind of multi-hyphenate professional that millennials are so damn good at being, and a product, really, of global street casting (very much still the du jour thing for cool designers). Essentially, he is blessed on all fronts.

Smith is also: not insignificant on YouTube (a self-shot GoPro video shows the surfer slicing through a 27-second long barrel in Namibia’s Skeleton Bay), a reality TV show participant (The Runner, from Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, of all people, with brother Travis), and now a food vendor. Ford lets his surfing take the front seat over his modeling requirements. “They’ll call and say there’s something happening, but I’ll say I’m in France, or wherever,” he says. “They’re really free with me. I am more focused on the surfing side.” Though Kauai—the Hawaiian island north of Oahu—is home, he spends winters residing in and competing on the North Shore. Here, Smith sounds off on Oahu’s charms—from gasoline-strength mai tais to what he says is “the most nowhere-else-like-it beach in the world.”

On food . . .
Pupukea Grill, right over by Shark’s Cove, is my favorite place to eat on the island. They have this coconut quinoa curry with spicy ahi poke in it . . . and acai bowls. It’s hard to drive past it without getting both.

On nightclubbing . . .
I like to go to the Addiction at the Modern in Honolulu. That’s a once-a-month blowout, for sure. Living up here on the North Shore, there’s pretty much nothing to do but surf, and so once in a while it’s like, Okay, I need a break. So I head down to Waikiki and check out for a couple of days. I go into full tourist mode, even though I am from Hawaii.

On booze . . .
My favorite Hawaiian cocktail has to be a mai tai. You’ll have one, your memory will get a little fuzzy, and then you’ll be hungover an hour later. Hard to resist! At Haleiwa Joe’s in Haleiwa, they have this drink called an Outside Double Up and it’s in a fishbowl. I think it’s four mai tais in one. It never ends well. 

On athletics, other than surfing . . .
There’s an old war bunker up in the hills above Sunset Beach Elementary School. It’s about a 10-minute hike, and it’s pretty vertical, but it’s incredible to watch the sunset from there. Also, I used to do more free diving and scuba—it’s good on the North Shore in the summer, when the waves have died down—but I kind of had a bunch of shark encounters in a row. One time, it was with a 15-foot tiger shark and her baby, and the water was murky. That freaked me out. But now sharks don’t bother me. I am on good terms with them. 

On the best beach in Hawaii, if not the world . . .
[Without hesitation] Pipeline, for sure. I’ve been coming to Oahu since I was 9, and for a while I think I took it for granted. When you see how big the waves are and how close they are to the beach, there’s nowhere else in the world like it. It’s insane. You can basically see people’s faces as they’re dropping into the waves. Also, when you get a good wave, the whole beach erupts. It’s like an arena.

On Chanel . . .
They do make surfboards! I don’t think anyone rides them, but they sure do hang them up.

To view on Vogue.com, click here.

V: BEN JONES ON HIS ART BASEL INSTALLATION FOR ADIDAS by Nick Remsen

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The Miami Marine Stadium is one of those oddball Magic City relics that lives on, despite the area’s constant development. Located on the Rickenbacker Causeway—en route to tony Key Biscayne—this strange brutalist arena, now a hulk of humidity-stained concrete, is where skate kids break onto the roof to smoke weed, where vandals have left myriad graffiti tags, and where, last night, adidas hosted a major Art Basel blowout to fete a gigantic commissioned piece by the artist Ben Jones. (Jones created a video installation of lo-fi, repeated nineties-esque graphics that was subsequently projected against the Stadium’s vaulted overhangs.)

The day before, in buzzing Wynwood—the arts neighborhood in midtown Miami—Jones said: “The static electricity in the air, the color, it’s real. Being here is definitely a thing.” The testament ended up aligning nicely with his concept—one could feel a kinetic throb in the space as his piece aired above. “Things are different now, though,” he added. “My first time at Basel, we drove down for a project that Jeffrey Deitch was doing. We had a car full of cardboard and house paint. I think we slept in the exhibition space.”

Said difference is palpable amongst Basel-goers who have seen the show morph from small and insular and mildly branded to gigantic and popular and commercially saturated. But adidas’s involvement was smart this time around; they pulled off something fresh with the project, and even though the Stadium is a fair hike from the beach, it was worth it.

The event also served to kickstart a greater company campaign around adidas’s EQT product line, new merchandise of which drops in January. They did introduce a limited edition Art Basel edition sneaker, which they released in a series of public giveaways on Wednesday night. It also featured a panel moderated by System Magazine with Jones, model and activist Adwoa Aboah, and rapper Pusha-T, who later performed.

But Jones’s work was the star of the night. “There was this great idea to look at a body of work and design language from the nineties, the original era of EQT,” he said. (The EQT line first came out during the decade, and was an exercise in paired-back restraint—the minimum needed for maximum impact.) “adidas really had a strict manifesto of purpose and of function,” Jones continued. “When you look at it now, it was ahead of its time.”

So how did that manifest in his video? “I indulged in the technology of the era. As an artist I always kind of default to working with early computer graphics, those primitive, bad computer programs.” And where did it most correlate with adidas’s aesthetic ethos? “It comes down to limitations. Sometimes, limitations are a great way to define purpose.” 

To view on V, click here. 

Vogue.com: Madonna and Bulgari—Along With Ariana Grande, Leonardo DiCaprio, Dave Chappelle—Party in Miami for Raising Malawi by Nick Remsen

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“I’m going to tell you an interesting correlation between Britney Spears and . . . Donald Trump,” said Madonna in Miami last night. “I’ve had intimacy with both.” (The crowd inhaled sharply.) “You saw the kiss with Britney—historic moment. What you don’t know is that I’ve slept in Donald’s bed. But he wasn’t in that bed. He wasn’t anywhere near that bed. I was just doing a photo shoot in Palm Beach. For a Versace campaign. In his house. And let me tell you, the sheets were not 100 percent Egyptian cotton.”

The Material Girl was as insurrectionary and unpredictable as ever, but damn, was it surreal to see her in such an intimate setting. Madonna was in town for a one-off night of music, “mischief,” and auctioneering, all to benefit her foundation,Raising Malawi, which supports orphans and children in the African country where her adopted son David was born. It was likely Art Basel Miami’s hottest (and most expensive) ticket—an over-the-top evening to remember, rendered with support from Bulgari.

Let’s go through this chronologically, because there’s a lot to cover. The night started at 9:00 p.m. with cocktails in the Faena Forum, the new OMA-designed building that is part of the Argentine hospitality company’s growing Miami Beach complex. Its sunken gallery space was flanked by the possibly personal, or associated, art that Madge would soon be selling off (alongside the night’s official auctioneer, Paddle8’s Alexander Gilkes). There were: Tracey Emin’s artwork and photographs by Mert and Marcus and an angular Ai Weiwei sculpture. At 9:55 p.m. sharp, an announcement signaled the beginning of dinner.

Guests entered a room that’d been treated to look like a carnival—Madonna’s version, ostensibly, of clowning around. The meal had a circus-y theme, too, with sushi, popcorn, and French fries. James Corden, the night’s MC, quickly took the stage. “The closest thing to a cultural event in Miami is when Pitbull does a promotional concert for Sprite,” he said, roasting the Magic City to polite laughs. He introduced Dr. Eric Borgstein, a surgeon in Malawi who works with Madonna, and who’d flown in for the fundraiser. Borgstein noted that while the evening was all in good fun, it was important to remember that the average Malawian lives on less than $2 a day.

Next up to the podium was David, Madonna’s son. “Hi,” he said, taking a deep breath. “I realize now that I was one of the lucky ones. My mother found medicine for me, and that medicine saved me.” When he was adopted, David was under the care of an 8-year-old girl at an orphanage—his biological mother died during childbirth. 

David then introduced M herself. There were audible gasps in the audience—there she was, in full court-jester regalia, commanding and confident as always. “In case any of you don’t know about me, I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself. I’m from Detroit. I travel a lot. I like music.” The room went wild.

The night’s most entertaining segment came during the auction. Gilkes and Madonna make for quite a team: he the charming Brit; she the abrasive icon. The crowd’s VIPs all got involved. Over a Jeremy Scott–designed dress—modeled onstage by Ariana Grande—Madge sweet-talked with Sean Penn to drive up the bidding. “I’ll marry you again. Please.” Grande herself then bid $150,000. Penn ended up winning, but suggested, “Ariana, come over and wear it any time.” Karolina Kurkova sported a Bulgari serpent necklace that went for $180,000—she kissed Madonna goodbye, and, afterward, admitted that she “didn’t think [she’d] kiss a girl” that night. Regarding a Jacob & Co. watch, Madge said: “Brett Ratner, are you here? Fucking buy this watch.” David Blaine ate glass. Leonardo DiCaprio watched on, pensively. Chris Rock brought the big laughs. Dave Chappelle said: “We’re giving you a goddamn chance to ball for humanity.” And that’s only a fraction of the shenanigans.

When all was said and done, Madonna finally took the stage around 1:00 a.m. for an hour-long performance. She performed a cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic,” along with her own megahits, like “Don’t Tell Me,” “Express Yourself,” and more. She thanked everyone—and even auctioned off the chair she was sitting on, for $10,000, and a selfie, to a man from New Zealand.

And though it was entirely wild and indulgent and almost hard to believe, the night exceeded expectations. More than $7 million was raised for Raising Malawi. To echo Chappelle, Miami turned up to ball for mankind, and Mo proved, once again, she’s still the queen. “The most controversial thing I’ve done,” she concluded, “is stick around for 34 fucking years. And I’ll be here for another 34 fucking more!” 

To view on Vogue.com, click here.

Vogue.com: Public School Launches a Radio Station at Art Basel Miami Beach by Nick Remsen

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Tonight, Public School’s Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne will begin airing a new performance art piece, rendered as part of Miami’s The Confidante hotel’s Designers in Residence program: a pop-up radio station, live until December 3, with such guests as Daniel Arsham, José Parlá, Heron Preston, and Uncle Luke.

“We’re not fine artists, and we didn’t want to come up with a pseudo-fashion-art thing,” says Chow in South Beach.“Our thought was to create a platform for interactivity and immersion, while rounding up a mix of our peers from all different verticals.”

Those associates also include Derek Watkins, YesJulz, Selema Masekela, and Tarell Alvin McCraney, the screenwriter of Moonlight. “It’s a pretty open format,” Chow continues. “We paired up every guest with a DJ—there will be a music component and a talk component. There are all these political undertones, too, which is cool.”

The broadcast—dubbed WNL Radio, which is a common acronym used in Public School’s collections (in this case it stands for “We Need Leaders”)—will be streamed on PublicSchoolNYC.com and via TuneIn, the digital radio provider. Playlists are also going to be compiled for Apple Music.

So what do—or did—the guys listen to for inspiration? “One of my favorite shows was Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito on Columbia University’s WKCR in the ’90s,” said Chow. “They’ll be on, too.” And for Osborne? “Back in New York, it was all Hot 97 for me.”

To view on Vogue.com, click here. 

Vogue.com: What Does The Row’s New Menswear Look Like? You’ll Have to Go to Its New York and L.A. Stores to Find Out by Nick Remsen

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As a guy burning the final flickering embers of his 20s, I’ve been thinking a lot about . . . well, consistency. I work in the freelance world—which has its consistent moments, but is, for the most part, the lawless West of careerdom. I travel a lot—the only consistency therein being airport headaches (not the kind of steadiness I’m seeking). And I’m obsessed with clothes—but I have a lot of Supreme, a lot of Hood By Air, a lot of skinny jeans, and so on. My closet is very young and very random and has started to feel a bit hungover after a decade of shopping such different collections. Essentially, the key components that make up my life are rather inconsistent, right down to the basics, or lack thereof, in my wardrobe.

Enter The Row’s new menswear collection, available as of this past weekend exclusively at the brand’s New York and Los Angeles stores (the launch was so quiet that the products have yet to be photographed). I took a trip uptown yesterday, and I can report that Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s men’s offering is full of the style staples their women’s collection has delivered for years: expertly made, luxuriously conceived coats, along with sweaters and tees in timeless shapes. You’re getting wearable but you’re also getting well versed; the Olsens just seem to know how to breathe magnetism and cool into their designs. “We’d been receiving inquiries about bringing back menswear,” Ashley said via email (The Row sold men’s briefly for Spring 2011). “We’re beginning with essentials,” added Mary-Kate. “And from there, we will grow it organically.” What that means: The Row guarantees basics, the highbrow way.

I am 6 feet 6 inches tall, and I have annoyingly long arms. They’re so annoying, in fact, that on separate occasions my upper-body proportions have been called “just weird,” “Egon Schiele–esque,” and “similar to the Upside Down monster’s fromStranger Things.”

This usually doesn’t bode well for outerwear compatibility. At The Row’s Upper East Side townhouse—which opened this year, was designed by Jacques Grange, features Keith Haring artwork, and is so impossibly chic it makes me already hate my future homes—I headed up to the third floor, which has been converted to a men’s salon. There I found a black melton wool double-breasted jacket, size 42, and asked to try it on—hesitant but game. It fit flawlessly. I suspect, though this is unconfirmed, the fit is because of slightly lower armholes, which play to the Olsens’ generally slouchy and non-restrictive cuts. “This never happens,” I said, and the saleswoman replied: “They just get it right, every time.” It’s out of my price range for now, clocking in north of $4,000, but it is a goal.

Other things that caught my attention: ultra-fine cotton T-shirts, a navy cashmere topcoat with pleating on the front, Charvet slippers, and sunglasses—dubbed “The Board Room”—made in collaboration with Oliver Peoples. They’ve got a bit of a John Lennon mod thing going, but are lent a muscular edge by beveled and grooved frames. These I placed on hold, at a more accessible $490.

Walking out onto East 71st Street, I decided that I want to invest in a few of the garments I saw upstairs. I’ll need to save a bit first—The Row is gigantically expensive—but for me, it’s worth it. Because, as proven today, the twins are nothing if not consistent.

To view on Vogue.com, click here. 

Vogue Runway: Moschino Fall/Winter 2016 Review by Nick Remsen

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Jeremy Scott’s Moschino is polarizing, but undeniably entertaining. His brand of humor is Pop-ier, wackier, more sugary than Franco’s, but that’s not a negative: Scott is a designer who hits the bull’s eye of contemporary look-at-me preoccupations. Everything he shows can be Snapchatted or Instagrammed pretty much without hesitation. The collection he unveiled tonight, in a Mayfair church setting, was as vivid as ever, yet there was a shrewdness apparent, thanks to collaborative input from British agitprop artists Gilbert & George.

“I wanted to do supersaturated clothes, so I had tea with them,” said Scott. “And as I was telling them my ideas for the collection, they said, ‘Why don't you take from our archive?’ So from the crosses to the heads to the slogans [which appeared fast and furious on virtually everything] there were so many wonderful things I was able to incorporate.” Evidently, G&G’s color-rich graphics had catalyzed yet another chromatic tsunami in Scott’s ever imaginative brain—his Fall collection was a rainbow in druggy, rave-y neon, right up to fluorescent-painted earlobes and coifs. (The chapel surroundings called to mind the Limelight, a ’90s Manhattan nightclub which was also located in a church, and some of whose denizens Scott dressed.) Denim had a spray-paint treatment, with folds and seams appliquéd on (think trompe l’oeil worn by nineties clubkids). Awesome Dr. Martens–style boots, cutouts of which functioned as the show invite, received the same graffiti. Collegiate stripes were also worked in early, either in scarf or shirt form, lending a grotesquely preppy element.

In a way—and this is relative considering Scott’s outrageousness—there was also an elemental bloodline in the clothes. “A lot of the shapes are quite simple, and I did a lot of collaging,” he said. “Almost like garments put together—like a knit sweater with MA-1 sleeves.” Collage can also be attributed to Gilbert & George: Jourdan Dunn—who walked as part of Moschino’s women’s Pre-Fall, which was shown concurrently—wore a hooded aviator jacket with a knit panel inset down the back and slogan-stamped sleeves. (Elsewhere, one notable example of that wasSPUNK, which flanked the shins of jeans). Lucky Blue Smith opened and closed the show in Lisa Frank brights, but the silhouette and many other pieces were forthright: a suit up front, and a trench to round it out.

With Neneh Cherry, Noomi Rapace, Lucky, Jourdan, and even Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas on hand, Scott, typically, brought a bit of fame and flashbulbs to the otherwise lowish-profile London Collections: Men. And like it or not, that's a huge part of his package, a sort of superficial Pop curation, and extravagance for the sake of fun. As the finale stomped, Michel Gaubert’s remix of “Like A Prayer” by Madonna came thudding in—and at the line, “everyone must stand alone,” you couldn't help but grin. Scott is a lone wolf for sure, but his magnetism means he’ll always have a pack in tow.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here.

W: Diesel and Nicola Formichetti Take Tokyo by Nick Remsen

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Diesel is currently celebrating 30 years of business in Japan, and in Tokyo today, creative director Nicola Formichetti threw one hell of runway show-turned-rager to display his love for the city and country. (As it happens, Tokyo is also Formichetti's birthplace—he is half Japanese, half-Italian.) It was Diesel’s first foray into the “see now, buy now” trend sweeping the industry. Everything on the futuristic runway, which took place in an elevated warehouse along Tokyo’s waterfront beneath electronic billboards and brand new posters photographed by Terry Richardson, is available for purchase now. Within the mega-event, too, Diesel launched two new denim capsule collections: a bias-cut jean and a “Jogg” model, which is essentially a faux-denim cotton pant that is - in theory, anyway - workout worthy. (Just don't call them jeggings.) And lastly, the brand unveiled three new collaborations: with the menswear brand N. HOOLYWOOD, knitwear specialist Yuko Koike and accessories line Porter-Yoshida & Co. Whew.

“You walk around here and there’s an incredible feeling. Tokyo will continue to define the future,” said Formichetti after the show. The night before, during dinner at the clubby Park Hyatt hotel (recognizable as the backdrop for Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray’s dalliances in 2003’s Lost In Translation), Diesel founder Renzo Rosso admitted his love of exploring the metropolis with Formichetti for inspiration. “We have two sets of eyes, we see this city differently. Because of that, it’s exciting,” he said. As Formichetti would add later: “I think Renzo started Diesel because of his love of Japan."

Exciting is a fitting word to describe the sprawling, kinetic and sometimes intimidating megalopolis. Tokyo is overwhelmingly modern, alive with neon and energy, yet it’s quiet—you don’t hear the cacophony of Manhattan or the cars of Los Angeles. The city literally and audibly hums with efficiency. From the Park Hyatt’s New York Bar, 52 stories up, Tokyo extends to the horizon in every direction. At night, red warning lights for helicopters blink on and off in an arhythmic sequence. Yet alongside the clinical there’s the colorful—seedy dive bars in Roppongi, ridiculous robot shows in Shinjuku, electronics warehouses and owl cafes side by side in Akihabara. In that, Diesel complements Tokyo fluidly; the brand is also massive, productive and varied, but, thanks to Formichetti, it’s also provocative and polyglot. It feels right at home in the city.

As the night bore on, so did the revelry. Front and center were a mob of androgynous Tokyo scenesters; one performed a suggestive lap dance to Kanye West’s “Famous.” “This is meant to be how people live now, not overdone. The styling, designs, the idea. Like, these are my friends in Tokyo,” said Formichetti. “Being oneself is what matters now—not being a projection.” Given the relaxed mood and the no-inhibitions dancing that would continue, we’d say Formichetti did his hometown very, very proud.

To view on W, click here. 

Vogue.com: The Atomics—The Band Featuring Lucky Blue Smith and His Sisters—Take Los Angeles by Nick Remsen

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You’d likely recognize Lucky Blue Smith—the model, actor, author, musician, and general millennial multihyphenate—as the blue-eyed, blond-haired Adonis from a high-profile assortment of fashion campaigns (Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Philipp Plein). Nowadays, though, Smith is picking up fans in other sectors. His first book, Stay Golden, is out today in the U.K. and in the States on November 1. He has a movie called Love Everlasting, too. And last night, at the famous Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Smith and his sisters Starlie (vocals), Daisy Clementine (guitar), and Pyper America (bass)—who make up the pop-surf-rock band called The Atomics—played their first big California set. Yes, he’s a headlining musical act, too (drums).

While the evening’s other marquee event—debate number three—saw Donald Trump rather unpatriotically not admitting to accepting the outcome of the election if it doesn’t go his way, the Smith kids are as all-American as they come (Pyper has the country, literally, as part of her name). These Utahans are close-knit, confident, and aurally raised on everything from the Beach Boys to The Notorious B.I.G. The Atomics (a clever throwback name) pull inspiration from four points of the compass—that is, the four siblings—and their sound is groovy yet current. For example: “Voulez Vous,” their new single released earlier this month, has the steady snare drum beats and twangy guitar strums of a Hawaii Five-0vignette—yet its urgency and tempo is all contemporary pop. It’s fantastically catchy.

Here, the family Smith talks hard work, Hollywood, and a huge love for Kendrick Lamar, just hours before their show. Lucky submitted a bonus photo diary from the big night, too (see the slideshow above).

Congrats, guys, on the show! What does it mean to you to perform in L.A., especially somewhere as legendary as the Roxy?
Pyper: It’s kind of been a little bit of a time coming. The cool thing is, right now, we’re in our manager’s office, and it’s right across the street from the Roxy, so it’s weird how it has all worked out. We’ve been working for a while for this. We moved here a little over three years ago—and we’ve been writing, meeting people, and building it ever since. And now we’re finally doing our first show in L.A.!

Lucky: Woo-woo!

Pyper: So it’s really exciting; it’s kind of a magical moment. We’ve always told people we’re in a band, we play music, and now we will finally have this show happen.

What do you do to calm your nerves beforehand? Do you have a group routine?
Starlie: I kind of go into my own world. It’s hard for me to communicate with other people before a show, because I am so in my own head. Together, we do a little huddle and say a little prayer before, and then we get one another riled up. We jump up and down.

Who is the most nervous? Who is the most relaxed?
Pyper: I think I am good at hyping the band up.

Lucky: I think I am pretty relaxed.

Pyper: Lucky is really low-key; he’s chill. Starlie is serious—she’s in her mode, her world, on point. And Daisy is pretty chill, too. She makes sure everyone is feeling good.

You recently performed new material back in Utah, your home state. What was that like? Was there a memorable moment?
Lucky: Yeah, we did some in Salt Lake City, and a couple in our hometown, Spanish Fork. One thing that I thought was awesome was that some people came to all of the shows—we did five in total. By the last show, I saw them singing along! And these were new songs. It was really cool and crazy. They knew the songs already. It was a really awesome thing to see.

Who are your shared musical idols?
Daisy: It kind of varies depending on who you ask. Obviously there are different influences for Lucky’s drums or Pyper’s bass or my guitar or Starlie’s vocals. But, together, we all love The Black Keys, and we listened to a lot of Tom Petty growing up. Starlie and Lucky are really into hip-hop; Pyper loves disco. We have so much inspiration, and we’re putting all of ourselves into the songs. It sort of creates this new genre.

I am one of four siblings, also, and when I was little, our family car-ride songs were always Shania Twain. Did you guys have something similar?
Daisy: The first band that comes to mind is the Beach Boys—Pyper just said it, too. My mom would play them every single day, wherever we were going. We know all the words.

What has been the most encouraging thing you’ve heard about your music?
Starlie: It’s so nice when people tell us that our music is different but that they really like it. We get a lot of compliments—that there’s nothing like our sound out there, but that people are into it. It’s cool to be doing your own thing and have it resonate.

Tell us a dream musical collaborator or collaborators.
Lucky: Dead or alive?

Starlie laughs.

Lucky: Starlie! This is a serious question. I might not be the best to ask.

Daisy: I think we would want to work with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys.

Starlie: Kendrick Lamar! A million thousand percent! I am in love!

Lucky: I like old-school hip-hop. I’d say Biggie Smalls, because he’s just a beast.

What’s next for The Atomics?
Lucky: We’re pretty much going to take over the world.

Pyper: Yeah, true that.

Daisy: The plan is to get the music out there. And then start playing shows wherever we can.

To view on Vogue.com, click here.

Vogue Runway: Rag & Bone Fall/Winter 2016 Review by Nick Remsen

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There are some (rare) instances during the collections when, after the applause and the bows and the door-dashing, you think, simply: That was a good show. The clothes needn’t have raised the bar conceptually; they just had to adhere solidly to what their designers believe in, what those designers champion. And that’s why Rag & Bone’s Fall (-ish, more on this in a moment) men’s lineup, which was shown alongside womenswear tonight, was one such occasion.

“It’s all of the Rag & Bone influences that we’ve used over the years, now in one show,” said Marcus Wainwright backstage, as his co-designer, David Neville, fielded congratulations. “The English tailoring and classic English fabrics, sports, technical outerwear,” he continued. “There’s a lot of esoteric fashion out there and it’s not what we stand for.”

True to his word, there was nothing hard to understand about these clothes, at least on the men’s side (admittedly, it was a little taxing to dart one’s eyes back and forth between the women and the men, which is why there were two Vogue Runway reviewers present tonight). Put earnestly, the collection embodied a return to form for Wainwright and Neville, recalling as much the early days of Rag & Bone—the stuff that made them so big to begin with, like the aforementioned sartorial Britishisms—as the more recent Rag & Bone, with technical applications abundant. A black woolen hoodie was expertly cut and exceptionally strong, all refined street and confidence. Look 1 featured a parka that everyone in the room could have benefited from this past weekend (the technical) over a skinny-sliced wool suit (the tailoring). The guys were also smart to include some slogan play (which can actually go wrong fast, but it’s on trend). Their phrase, as seen blown out on sweatshirts: Rag & Bone Universal. Fitting. Combined with muted bombers (less Alpha Industries swag, more soft and layerable), some nice tapered jeans, and outerwear for everywhere, almost everything pleased (though some of the BMX nods and a certain shade of tangerine seen on a quilted jacket were less successful).

To the point above about the season: Neville and Wainwright deliberately omitted the label Fallbefore 2016 on their show notes, which might signify a move into a more fluid collections schedule, like so many others are trying. (In fact, some of the looks from tonight are on sale now—is everyone doing this?) Maybe they needed the hanging prospect of big time-change in the industry to re-center themselves. Whatever it was, it worked. What a good show.

To view on Vogue Runway, click here.

Vogue.com: Why the Provocative Art of Robert Mapplethorpe Is Resonating on the Runways Right Now by Nick Remsen

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For the late Robert Mapplethorpe—a pioneer in legitimizing photography as a contemporary art form and democratizing sex as something that pretty much everyone partakes in, whether rendered explicitly or not—more was always better, less was never acceptable, and up was always the only direction. Before his death of AIDS complications in 1989, Mapplethorpe had risen through the complex social labyrinth of golden age Gotham, photographing an unholy trinity of genitalia, flowers, and the who’s who of the gossip pages (including the world’s first female bodybuilding champion, Lisa Lyon, in 1982). Today he’s receiving a groundbreaking joint retrospective at L.A.’s LACMA and Getty Museums, along with an HBO documentary airing on April 4. His ruthless drive worked.

Less remarked upon, though, was Mapplethorpe’s appreciation of fashion and style. From the backroom of Max’s Kansas City—replete with Fran Lebowitz in her trademark men’s suits and Debbie Harry in her braless T-shirts—to the basement of the gay nightclub Mineshaft and its leather accoutrements, he chronicled the hedonistic sartorial evolution of New York City. His album cover for muse (and roommate) Patti Smith’s 1975 Horses is as arresting now as it was then—and an androgynous bellwether for someone like Hedi Slimane, who pulls off a similar genderless rock-waif air so well at Saint Laurent. And when Mapplethorpe befriended the permanently elegant Carolina Herrera on a private plane en route to Mustique, they stayed friends until he passed away, with Mapplethorpe often shooting the designer.

On the kinkier side, modern-era collections ranging from Shayne Oliver’s Hood By Air to Alexander Wang’s chains for Spring or David Koma’s Pre-Fall body-modification nods all owe something to Mapplethorpe’s pioneering and uncompromising spirit. “Anything goes” seemed to be his guiding credo. “Once I’ve taken a photograph, I’m not shocked anymore,” he once said. “I’d been through the experience.”

To view on Vogue.com, click here.