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Twenty years later, Paula Sweet’s website hits the refresh button

Filed by Lucire staff/April 18, 2020/12.53





Above, from top: Paula Sweet at work in Italy. Her mink design, 2019. Black T-shirts, 2020. The Muslin Mink as detailed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

‘Those were my ideas from the first, to create a fashion brand which made people feel happy, feel powerful, and—most importantly—which was accessible to all. My agenda hasn’t changed. Technology is tomorrow’s great enabler. It seems like the perfect moment in history to present my designs to the world once again.’—Paula Sweet

The era of on-demand personalization presents many more options than mass production ever did for a creative force of nature like Paula Sweet. All her original ideas are still abundantly present in new output, found in her watchwords for the 2019–20 season: Joy, Power and Mink. These appear on a limited-edition label and on her revamped website www.paulasweet.com.
   Today, at 71 years old and energy undiminished, Paula Sweet is ready to reintroduce her classic design sensibility to a young generation, as well as her loyal fans. The revamped website enables users to deploy new and vintage Paula Sweet images on T-shirts, tote bags, cups, cellphone covers and pillows. Hidden on the site are other pages devoted to bespoke fashions, illustration, photography, Instagram posts and books created by Paula. A separate zone called ‘The Works’ includes CV, biographical notes, historic photography and a digital catalogue raisonné showing the incredible range of output by the multitalented and multifaceted Paula.
   It’s been years since she last revamped her website, but the iconic American fashion designer Paula Sweet is poised for a relaunch. Today marks the go-live date of the newly-renovated www.paulasweet.com, revived and repackaged for today’s audiences, with interactive product-creation options which reflect the unique style of the woman who four decades ago first created the Muslin Mink.
   The ubiquitous Mink was a fashion phenomenon which took hold of the public imagination in the 1980s and catapulted Paula Sweet’s fashion house, home products and art into the international spotlight. For over two decades the brand was present in top-end department stores and magazine pages, not to mention in the wardrobes and on the backs of the fast and furious, the famous, the fantastic and the down-to-earth. Today a Muslin Mink can be found in the permanent collection at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, while vintage creations enjoy lively trading on Ebay by international collectors and fashionistas.
   What happened? ‘Parenthood, in a word,’ Sweet says. ‘I stopped to raise my daughter and led a more private life. I didn’t quit creating—I kept the old website going, just shuttered my shop in 2000. I never stopped being busy. I took photos, made ceramics, sewed my own clothes, did a lot of travelling and wrote books. These days I mostly live and work in the north of Italy, just outside Venice. What with the coronavirus I felt the time was right to reach out to a digitally-savvy group like my daughter’s.’



Above: Paula Sweet in the 1970s and the 1990s.

 


The lockdown continues: celebrity Instagram round-up, April 10

Filed by Lucire staff/April 10, 2020/10.00

As the COVID-19 lockdown continues in many parts of the world, many celebrities and models are keeping their spirits up, especially to their Instagram audiences.
   Winnie Harlow (@winnieharlow) showed photos of her on a New York rooftop with paints in the background, with a positive message: ‘If you can see the light over the horizon keep going’. It’s not too clear if these were taken during lockdown as they are particularly polished, and her captions do not suggest that they’re her present status.
   Clearer was Kaia Gerber (@kaiagerber), who kept things simple at home with a camisole and jeans, and earlier photos suggest she’s been indulging in books.
   Alexina Graham (@alexinagraham) has had immense fun during her self-quarantine in the UK, as she discovered with her sister that she can balance a glass on her head while wine is being poured into it. It’s her new party trick, and there’s a video on her Instagram.
   Lily-Rose Depp (@lilyrose_depp) wasn’t going to forget her little brother’s birthday: Jack Depp turned 18, and Lily-Rose posted strips of old photographs containing the siblings.
   In a sign of our times, actress and Lucire cover alumna Laura Vandervoort (@supervandie) posted a photograph of coloured rocks, each with a message of hope and positivity, saying that she added four to the row on a walk during her lockdown in Toronto.
   Showing that you can’t keep a good model down, Sara Sampaio (@sarasampaio) decided to dress up and put on her make-up for her at-home selfie during lockdown in Los Angeles.
   Meanwhile, Natalie Roser (@natalie_roser) offered a selfie in Rose & Bare nude underwear along with a coupon code for Easter.
   But it’s Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid) who takes the prize here for making the most of the situation. She still managed to pose for Vogue Italia while quarantined. The magazine sent her a Chanel look, and she donned the outfit, photographed ‘home on the farm’ by fellow model and friend Leah McCarthy, with whom she’s self-isolating. The image appears in Vogue Italia’s April 2020 issue. •

 


March 28: an Instagram round-up during COVID-19

Filed by Lucire staff/March 28, 2020/11.44

It’s actually refreshing that we haven’t heard much from celebrities and influencers during the pandemic; instead, press coverage has been on doctors, nurses, other frontline health care personnel, and essential workers who are keeping our countries moving.
   Out of interest, we thought we’d take a look at a selection of Instagram accounts—something we haven’t done for years here at Lucire—to see just what a cross-section of “names” are sharing.
   New York model Imani (@champagnemani) shows that you can be stylish and comfortable while working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, tagging the Working from Home Fits account (@wfhfits). Imani’s wearing items from NewTop Jewelry (@janes8103), Eckhaus Latta, and Ugg boots.
   Model Bree Kleintop (@breekleintop) is out dog-walking in Alo Yoga, though there’s no telling when the photo was actually taken. We know that Kleintop is self-isolating from an earlier post—don’t we all have several thousand photos on our phones?
   Actress Franziska Knuppe (@franziskaknuppe) reminds us not to lose our positive vibes during the pandemic, and for those who are at home, she has a new shoot and interview in the latest German edition of Gala. The magazine photo was taken by Frauke Fischer, with make-up by Melanie Schoene, using Shiseido.
   We couldn’t ignore one politician: New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern), possibly the only PM who has an infant at home toilet-training. New Zealand is in a four-week lockdown in the fight against COVID-19, and the PM is no exception: while still showing up for press conferences, she’s observing the 2 m physical distancing rule, while at Premier House in Wellington, she has a “bubble” with her fiancé and daughter. Ardern shared a Lego Duplo tower and reminded people they can get official information on the country’s COVID-19 fight at the government website, www.covid19.govt.nz. After all, no one wants to wind up like Boris.
   Rising model Tehya Elam (@precioustehya) wished a friend happy birthday with artwork of a sunflower, sending out a personal wish during these uncertain times. Earlier in her account she shared Psalm 91 in a call to others to have faith.
   Parisian model Mika Schneider (@mikaschndr) is staying at home, too, but managed to do a shoot. Considering the limited circumstances we’re all facing, the four shots are excellent, and shows that models are keeping themselves entertained—not to mention adding to their portfolios.
   Russian model Viki Odintcova (@viki_odintcova) used an earlier photo shot by Aleksander Mavrin while relaying a more personal message in Russian, lamenting the fact her diary is less packed during the pandemic. She had managed to get herself organized with a new system, before things came to a halt, her meetings now on Skype, and filming on hold. She’s looking forward to getting back into the swing of things again and travelling. Till then, it looks like Odintcova’s staying put, too.
   Finally, Emily Ratajkowski (@emrata) says she misses being outside in her city and also walking her dog, sharing an older photo with her wearing Inamorata, her own label.

 


TAG Heuer launches new Connected smartwatches, with Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Paulina Vega

Filed by Lucire staff/March 13, 2020/16.07




TAG Heuer has launched the third generation of its Connected timepieces, five years after it launched into the luxury smartwatch segment.
   The launch event took place in New York on Thursday, hosted by Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer’s chief strategy and digital officer, with celebrity guests Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and Paulina Vega.
   The new range blurs the line between traditional timepieces and digital devices with its elegant exterior, and an up-to-the-minute OLED touchscreen that displays a choice of dials, with the mechanically inspired ones looking so sharp they are almost indistinguishable from a traditional offering’s. Digital designs show a dynamism and originality, making it a tough choice for a TAG Heuer wearer.
   There is a 45 mm case in stainless-steel titanium, ceramic or sapphire crystal, polishes, mechanical pushers, and a rotating crown. There are also interchangeable straps.
   TAG Heuer says the highlight this time is the in-house-developed Sport app, which can track golf, running, cycling, walking and fitness sessions through, inter alia, GPS and a heart-rate monitor. There is also a new mobile app complementing the one in the watch.
   A series of Google Wear OS apps are built in.
   Arnault said in a release, ‘The TAG Heuer Connected watch was designed and engineered with the same passion and attention to detail as our mechanical watches. The Connected watch is not only a beautiful timepiece, it’s a truly immersive experience, as it now sits within a complete TAG Heuer digital ecosystem geared towards performance and sports. It expresses the brand in a completely new way and offers limitless possibilities in terms of innovation for the future and will lead the way into a new era for TAG Heuer.’
   The watches hit the market on Friday, March 13.


 


Johanna Ortiz × H&M: full collection to drop on March 12

Filed by Lucire staff/March 3, 2020/17.42




Matt Jones

Recognizing the power of the Latin American market, H&M’s full collection with Colombian designer Johanna Ortiz—who has both a following in her home market as well as the US—will launch in March with 19 pieces.
   This follows the four pre-drop dresses. Like the initial pieces, the collaboration features an exotic colour palette, tropical florals, and the energetic design that Ortiz is known for.
   Key pieces include a red floral maxi-dress, a magenta midi-dress in broderie anglaise, a black patterned floor-length column dress in viscose crèpe, and a ruffled wrap skirt in black-and-white cotton-poplin.
   Ortiz’s designs have already been seen on Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Alexa Chung, Jessica Biel, Olivia Palermo, and Sienna Miller.
   Trained at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Ortiz headed back to her native Colombia to create her eponymous label. She also gives back to the community with an educational programme for local women.
   H&M headed to Cali to understand the designer’s construction and to work on the collaboration.
   ‘The imprint of Colombia—the rhythm of the salsa dance, the beauty of the elegant orchids and the effortless palm trees dancing in a balmy pink sunset—can be felt in every Johanna Ortiz design,’ says Ortiz. ‘I’m thrilled to be able to infuse this H&M collection with effortless glamour and introduce some Latin American festivity to the H&M customer’s wardrobe. I hope customers wear the pieces barefoot and with a beautiful flower in their hair.’
   H&M head of womenswear design Maria Östblom said, ‘Johanna Ortiz has a gift for creating confident, colourful designs that make you want to dance. This collection is both a celebration of Colombia’s creative history and craftsmanship and an opportunity to bring Johanna’s signature feminine styles to our customers. The reaction to the pre-drop was very positive, and now the wait is over, we can’t wait to see how our customers will style this exciting collection.’
   The main collection will appear in selected H&M stores and at hm.com on March 12.



Matt Jones

 


Basquiat items at accessible prices

Filed by Lucire staff/February 25, 2020/12.54



If you’re a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat, but can’t touch his unique work, here’s a wallet-friendly group of alternatives for you. Lucire’s travel editor, Stanley Moss, has just released a reissue of his privately printed 1980 limited edition The New Wave Cookbook in book form. It’s a chance to get a collectible 33 pp. booklet based on a rare item (only 200 were originally printed), one which is included in the permanent collection of the MoMA NYC, and occasionally comes up at auction for over US$1,000 a copy. The unconventional and irreverent cookbook contains Basquiat’s recipe scribbled on a card, along with eleven others, and a photo album of snapshots from the nightlife which includes pictures of Basquiat, Deborah Harry, Fab 5 Freddy, Robert Mapplethorpe and other habitués of the punk nightlife. Basquiat’s recipe card features a photo of the artist taken by Stanley in 1980. The collectible reprint, available on Amazon, goes for US$25 plus shipping.
   If you like the recipe you can also visit Stanley’s Espace DiGanZi printables’ website, and order a replica of Basquiat’s card printed on a mug, T-shirt, tote bag or pillow. Visit diganzi.wixsite.com/espacediganzi/objets to view the possibilities.
   Basquiat produced a limited number of works in his short career. He did not do a lot of multiples. You may not be able to hang an original on your wall today, but here’s a chance to at least live with a replica of one of his rare early works.




 


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