No one dresses for date night quite like Beyoncé, and for a night out at West Hollywood foodie destination Sushi Park with husband Jay-Z, the new mother of twins brought a bit of runway chic to a strip-mall setting. Beyoncé arrived dressed in a striped wrap dress by contemporary label Alexis with a plunging neckline, puffed sleeves, and seersucker print―and made it her own thanks to the use of several statement accessories. Layering on gold necklaces, a pair of white cat-eye sunglasses, and a logo-covered Louis Vuitton x Supreme clutch, Beyoncé added swagger to a summer style that could have seemed standard.
Knowing how to spice up a look is a skill, but sharing an ensemble creatively on social media takes talent. And in addition to posting a pair of sultry snaps taken from across the table that night, Beyoncé gave fans an all-angles video of her outfit set to Yo Gotti’s “Rake It Up,” taking her selfie game to the next level. Her biggest accomplishment with the look, though, might have been wearing the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration in a way that feels fresh. By avoiding the monogram jackets and hoodies that have been embraced by seemingly every influencer the last few weeks in favor of the stark, graphic bag, she proved that the most important accessory isn’t a must-have designer piece―it’s a fresh point of view.
Azzedine Alaïa obituary
Azzedine Alaïa was couture’s rebellious outsider even as he became one of its institutions over 60 years of creativity. He was self-taught, originally from outside Europe, a hands-on craftsman uninterested in fame, wealth and, especially, branding. In a business in which casual cruelty is the norm, he was kind; he helped newcomers, kept open house to a diverse, elective family at his Paris workshop, and ran a salon in the old French sense, as a meeting place for culture and cultures.
Alaïa, who has died aged 82 (although he often gave his date of birth as 1940, which would have made him five years younger), created clothes to match that profile: classical goddess-wear, body-fitting yet flattering, dramatic but not theatrical. His clingy 1980s dresses looked better in, and on, the flesh than in photographs. Anyone who handled his work sympathised with Alicia Silverstone’s spoilt little madam in the film Clueless, wailing at an armed mugger “You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa” as she refuses to fall to the dirty ground. Though Alaïa’s garments were so soundly constructed that the outfit’s feathers would hardly have been ruffled anyway
Alaïa had learned his skills the slow way. He was the son of a Tunisian wheat farmer; he and his twin sister, Hafida, spent summers at the farm (his first perfume recreated the scent of its sun-heated brick splashed with water) and the rest of the year with their maternal grandparents in Tunis and at the seaside town of Sidi Bou Said. His grandmother and aunts formed his tastes, along with his family’s midwife, who also worked as a dressmaker, in whose house he read fashion magazines and catalogues from Paris department stores.
This is what it's really like to be a Victoria's Secret wing-maker
If you haven’t witnessed a Victoria’s Secret show before, the clue is in the name of the honed, toned and beautified brand ambassadors: the Angels, who walk the runway in wings. Not elasticated, glitter-strewn pairs shrugged on for childhood parties, but works of art that take some 500 hours to make. Ahead of the 2017 Shanghai spectacular, Vogue UK spoke to wing-maker Marian Hose, also known as "Killer", about finding inspiration in tattoos, making each pair as light as an empty backpack and why fit models are the the most important part of the creative process.
How do you make a pair of Victoria’s Secret wings?
"I flat pattern my wings off of a blown-up sketch that has been projected over a fit model. We make a sturdy backpack base and then I attach wires, foam, fabric or whatever the design requires. As the brand don’t assign the wings to a model until the last two weeks of production, we try to make the wings adjustable through removable straps and padding. Outfits can change at the last minute, and so can the wings. The whole process takes between 30-500 hours."
How many fittings are required?
"Once a model gets assigned her wings, which happens one-to-two weeks before the show, they may be fit up to three times. Before this, we have fit models who may try a pair of wings on as many as eight times. Fit models are a very important part of the process because they help us solve balance and construction problems before the final model gets assigned her wings. A fit model can eventually get her own wings, I have been privileged to make wings for two of our fit models, who work very hard to help make all the models look their best."
How do you work out scale and weight of the wings in relation to each individual model?
"We don’t know who will wear the wings, so we try to scale each pair to a model that is 5’10 to 5’11 plus heels, but some wings are just meant to be bigger and some are meant to be smaller. The design team usually sets the scale with us, so that we can talk about weight or material considerations during the creative process. My wings can weigh between one and 10 kilograms. There are heavier wings in the show, but I take pride in keeping mine light, so they fit like a tight backpack and only take one person to help put them on."