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Mount Street has teamed up with Frieze Art Fair and is set to host its inaugural event this month. The event, taking place on the famous Mayfair Street, aims to celebrate the fusion of fashion and art.

From October 5 to 9 a number of brands on Mount Street will host in-store events, unveiling exclusive collaborations and installations designed to entertain the global visitors which come to London for Frieze. Participating brands include Balenciaga, Roland Mouret, Erdem, Jenny Packham and Christopher Kane, who will hold bespoke experiences in their stores.

For example, Christopher Kane will host an installation of works by Outsider artist Ionel Talpazan in store, Nicolas Kirkwood will display a bespoke piece of art with the Lorcan O’Neill gallery and Balenciaga will offer guests vintage champagne while they browse through the AW17 collection.

Frieze London 2017 is set to begin this Thursday, with the launch of the Frieze Talks Series at the Connaught, which is exclusive to Frieze VIP ticket holders. The event will see celebrated feminist, New York artist Marilyn Minter ‘In conversation’ with the Editor of Frieze magazine, Jennifer Higgie. Afterwards, guests are invited to experience the series of events taking place at Mount Street.

Phoebe English has been named as the next featured designer to take part in the V&A’s Style in Motion showcase, which has previously featured Alexander McQueen, Erdem, Roksanda Ilincic, and Vivienne Westwood.

The British fashion designer will stage four free shows in the museum’s Raphael Gallery on October 20 featuring highlights from her collections over the last six years. In addition, a pop-up shop will also feature on the day and comprise of selected Phoebe English archive designs, which have been crafted especially for the V&A.

English said: “Taking part in Style in Motion has a particular significance to me, as the V&A was the museum in which I decided to follow my interest in fashion. It is the building where my love for clothing and design were contextualised into a tangible practice and pathway.

“The V&A is a temple to all the endless creative possibilities of the human mind. To have the opportunity to be involved with both such an historic and contemporary space is a very special thing indeed.”

The Central Saint Martins graduate is known for her entirely ‘Made in England’ luxury label for women and men and has been part of the British Style Council’s NewGen award for her menswear line Phoebe English Man since 2006. Other awards and accolades have included winning the L'Oreal ‘Professional Creative Award’, the ‘Ungaro’ Bursary and the ‘Chloe’ Award.

Oriole Cullen, fashion curator at the V&A, added: “Phoebe English is a designer for whom the presentation of her work is an integral part of her design process. For each of her collections she creates intriguing and beautiful scenarios in which to showcase her designs.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Phoebe as part of the V&A Style in Motion programme, particularly as she has previously used the Museum as a source of inspiration for her collections.”

The V&A’s Style in Motion series brings catwalk shows by leading international designers to the public, with the aim of showing fashion as it is meant to be seen – in movement. Other designers to have been featured in the series include Christian Lacroix, Christopher Raeburn, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon, Grace Wales Bonner, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jenny Packham, Meadham Kirchhoff, Missoni, Molly Goddard, and Yohji Yamamoto.

Exhibit at New York's MoMA looks at iconic garments

The Museum of Modern Art is staging an exhibit of iconic clothing and accessories to examine the relationship between fashion and society.

On display are 111 high-impact items like Levi's 501 jeans, the little black dress, the sari, the pearl necklace and even tattoos -- all part of the cultural heritage of the West and elsewhere in this century and the 20th. In MoMA's first exhibit on fashion since 1944, the show features garments that seem timeless, like the Panama hat.

But it also includes items from everyday life or those denoting religious affiliation, such as the yarmulke for Jewish men and the headscarf for Muslim women. The exhibit is called "Is Style Modern?" It opens Sunday and runs through January 28.

It provides a chance to recall how certain garments symbolized what was considered modern in a given period of history. Although curators say the show is about objects, rather than their designers, the influence of Yves Saint Laurent permeates. His "Le Smoking" -- the first tuxedo for women, introduced in Paris in 1966 -- crystallized the evolution of women's status and their aspirations in life. Saint Laurent's signature black boots and espadrilles are also on display. Modernity was also the very 1960s futuristic aspiration of Paco Rabanne and his aluminum dress, and that of Pierre Cardin as seen in his bold Cosmos dress.

Style is also modern simply because it reflects the spirit of the times. This show looks at fashion's relationship to everyday street life and all that it inspires. The best illustration, however, is the powerful world of sportswear, born far from the catwalks of New York and Paris but now nestled intimately in every layer of society.

To wit: Converse All Star sneakers, sports jerseys, Lacoste polo shirts and track suits are all part of the show, and basics of many people's wardrobes. To accompany the exhibit, MoMA commissioned the manufacture and marketing of several garments based on beloved clothing from the past, such as a Breton sailor-style shirt by Armor-Lux of France and a seamless sweater by Issey Miyake. (AFP)

Photo: Jackie Mallon for Yankeemagazines

Key Dates in Yves Saint Laurent Life

Ahead of the opening of museums in Paris and Marrakesh dedicated to the work of Yves Saint Laurent, here are some milestones in the life of the fashion icon.

Starting out

  • He is born on August 1, 1936 in Algeria's Mediterranean city of Oran and named Yves Mathieu-Saint-Laurent.
  • In his late teens, he moves to Paris in 1954 to study design and wins three of the four first prizes in the prestigious International Wool Secretariat competition for rising fashion talent.
  • In 1955 Saint Laurent is hired as a design assistant by Christian Dior. Two years later, when Dior dies unexpectedly, he is appointed chief designer.
  • Making a name

  • His first solo collection for Dior, in 1958, is the Trapeze Line of narrow shoulders and wide skirts that receives rave reviews, launching his name. The same year he meets future lover and business partner, Pierre Berge.
  • He and Berge start living together in 1961 and found the Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) luxury couture house.
  • His 1966 spring show features the first tuxedo for women, upending the rules at a time when most women did not wear pants. The first Saint Laurent ready-to-wear shop opens on Paris' Left Bank the same year.
  • The "safari look" and first see-through dress cause a sensation at his spring collection of 1968.
  • 1971, in his mid-thirties, he poses naked for an advert for his first fragrance for men, "YSL pour Homme".
  • His perfume for women, "Opium", is launched in 1977, to become an enduring worldwide success.
  • In 1983 Saint Laurent becomes the first designer to have a retrospective dedicated to his work in his own lifetime. The exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York is visited by a million people.
  • Towards retirement

  • YSL is sold to French industrial group Elf-Sanofi in 1993 for $650 million.
  • Gucci completes a takeover of Sanofi, parent company of YSL, in 1999 and appoints Tom Ford as creative director.
  • Saint Laurent marks the 40th anniversary of his fashion house on January 22, 2002, and formally announces his retirement, bringing down the curtain on an unparallelled career.
  • He dies on June 1, 2008 at his home in Paris, aged 71, suffering a brain tumour. His funeral is attended by celebrities and some of the biggest names in fashion.

(AFP) ​

Photo: Musee Yves Saint Laurent ​

Museums give peek into secret world of Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent was one of greatest yet most private fashion designers of the 20th century. Now only weeks after the death of his partner and lover Pierre Berge, the hard-nosed business brain behind the legend and the keeper of the flame, some of the creator's innermost secrets are coming to light.

The first of two new museums dedicated to his memory opens in Paris on Monday as a raft of new books and documentaries -- including one on his erotic drawings -- attempt to decode the mysteries of the painfully shy man who revolutionised women's fashion.

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The Paris mansion where Saint Laurent shook up the dress codes for more than three decades has been turned into a museum for his haute couture creations. A much larger museum, also paid for by the foundation set up by Berge to safeguard his partner's legacy, opens next month in Marrakesh, the Moroccan city the couple loved and where Saint Laurent would often first sketch out his collections.

"Coco Chanel liberated women, but Yves Saint Laurent gave them power," Berge once said, by appropriating the symbols of power from the male wardrobe -- dinner jackets, safari suits and jumpsuits -- and remaking them for women.

Inner sanctum

"I had noticed men were much more confident in their clothes," Saint Laurent once said in a rare interview. "So I sought through trouser suits, trenchcoats, tuxedos and pea coats to give women the same confidence." His black tuxedo for women, known as "Le Smoking" -- often wore over bare flesh -- caused a scandal in 1966, with the New York socialite Nan Kempner dropping her pants when she was told by a Manhattan restaurant that women in trousers would not be admitted.

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Saint Laurent would later design a jacket as a thigh-skimming mini dress just as Kempner, one of his best customers, had worn it. The heart of the new Paris museum is Saint Laurent's studio, the inner sanctum where he would work night and day in the run-up to his shows. It remains just as he left it in 2002, his desk festooned with photos of his inner circle of glamorous female friends which included Catherine Deneuve, Bianca Jagger and Paloma Picasso.

Pride of place, however, goes to a New Year's card he made from a painting his friend Andy Warhol did of his French bulldog Moujik. One wall of the room is completely mirrored, which allowed Saint Laurent to work directly on his live models so he could see his creation from all angles as it progressed.

The museum also gives revealing insight into Saint Laurent's creative process, developing his clothes from very basic sketches into complex designs that, in the case of some of his haute couture creations, could take thousands of hours to make.

Berge's enduring devotion

"Unlike many other designers Saint Laurent began systematically archiving his work in the early 1960s -- encouraged by Berge -- and so we can follow the evolution of each item," said a spokesman for the museum, which holds a treasury of 5,000 prototypes for his creations. Other rooms in the museum are given over to Saint Laurent's inspiration and the "imaginary voyages" his collections often took to Asia, Africa and most famously Russia.

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But other than his sojourns in Morocco -- which reminded him of his native Algeria where he was born in 1936 while it was still French -- the designer was not much of a traveller. With Berge he built up a considerable art collection and he borrowed liberally from artists like Picasso, Matisse and Van Gogh, most famously with his Mondrian dress, which became an instant pop icon when it hit the catwalk in 1965.

Berge always believed that Saint Laurent -- who had begun his career by stepping into the shoes of Christian Dior when he was just 21 -- was nothing less than an exceptional artist, calling him "the greatest designer of the second half of the 20th century". Having "spent all my life helping Yves Saint Laurent build his work, which I want to last", Berge died earlier this month, just weeks before the museums opened.

His husband, the American landscape artist Madison Cox -- whom he married this summer -- told AFP that "10 days before he died he told me that 'I am going to die totally at peace', and I think that was true. He was a very determined man and he had put everything in place." Cox said the museums were also a tribute to Berge's work supporting and protecting the fragile Saint Laurent, who was haunted by drug and drink addictions.

"Of course I and the whole team are profoundly sad that he will not be here," added Cox, who now heads the pair's charitable foundation. "But he would have wanted that we go on." (AFP)

Image: Studio KO, Musee Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakesh

Brazil's Candomble religion pushes back against intolerance

Rio de Janeiro - When Brazilian fashion designer Rogeria Ferreira was told to remove the turban she wears as a member of the African-inspired Candomble religion for an ID picture, she decided to fight back: the turban was her identity.

"For many people, it's just a piece of cloth, or fashion," said Ferreira, 36. "But this turban represents my ancestors. If I go outside without one, I feel naked. I feel humiliated." She had no choice last year when she was told to remove the headgear, since she urgently needed a new Rio de Janeiro identity card. But in Candomble, the turban serves to protect the "ori," which is the head but also the person's sacred force.

So she took legal action, claiming "racial and religious prejudice," and in March had her prayers answered when the Rio state prosecutor general said that any headgear "worn for reasons of religion conviction" will now be allowed in official photographs. That victory was just a small battle in what Candomble faithful say is growing oppression against a religion based on traditions brought by African slaves that incorporates aspects of Catholicism.

Only 0.3 percent of Brazilians identify with Candomble, according to state statistics, but it holds a rich place in Afro-Brazilian culture. With their white clothes, music and special dances in which worshippers traditionally believe they are possessed by Candomble gods called "orixas," Candomble faithful are part of the popular imagination. At New Year's, huge crowds of Brazilians dress in Candomble white and perform a ritual on beaches, while another Candomble festival honoring the queen of the sea Iemanja is also widely attended.

Evangelical backlash

But there's been a series of ugly incidents that illustrate rising intolerance against the minority religion. In late August, a 65-year-old woman from an African-inspired faith had stones thrown at her in the Rio suburb of Nova Iguacu. More recently, two videos emerged on social media showing apparently evangelical men forcing Candomble worshippers in Rio to destroy their sacred objects.

In early September, thousands of people from different faiths protested next to Rio's Copacabana beach against the attacks, which some blame on Brazil's ever-growing evangelical Christian community. The Roman Catholic archbishop of Rio, Cardinal Orani, supported the Sunday march, as did representatives of Jewish, Muslim and other faiths. "We are all equal before the law and in the eyes of the Creator," said a big placard at the protest. Some link the darkening mood to the new mayor of Rio, Marcelo Crivella, who is also a bishop in the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, an evangelical megachurch founded by his uncle. In the past, he has spoken harshly about gays and Catholics, and since taking office he has been seen as unfriendly to both Candomble and the city's annual carnival.

"Our country is secular, but we are returning to a time of the Inquisition," Adriano, a Candomble priest, said at the protest. Evangelicals also took part in the march to support religious tolerance. Attacks are done by "minorities," said Edson Garces, 30, who belongs to a Baptist church in Baixada Fluminense, a strongly evangelical area outside Rio. But Garces said the mayor, who was elected last year, needs to show leadership. "Although he doesn't appear as promoting this absurd intolerance, he creates a favorable atmosphere for the ignorance behind it," Garces said. (By Carola Solé / AFP)

Photo: YASUYOSHI CHIBA / AFP

The US model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has called out a French magazine for reducing her lips and breasts in a photograph for an interview which deals with the discrimination she says she has faced for "being too sexy".

"I was extremely disappointed to see my lips and breasts altered in Photoshop on this cover," the 26-year-old star of "Gone Girl" told her near 15 million followers on Instagram. "Everyone is uniquely beautiful in their own ways. We all have insecurities about the things that make us different from a typical ideal of beauty," she added.

"I hope the fashion industry will finally learn to stop trying to stifle the things that make us unique and instead begin to celebrate individuality." The interview with the model, who shot to fame with her appearance in Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams's controversial video for "Blurred Lines", in the Madame Figaro magazine Saturday concentrated on how she had faced discrimination from directors for her smouldering looks.

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"There's this thing that happens to me: 'Oh, she's too sexy'," Ratajkowski was quoted as saying in an earlier interview with Harper's Bazaar. "It's like an anti-woman thing, that people don't want to work with me because my boobs are too big. What's wrong with boobs? They're a beautiful feminine thing that needs to be celebrated," she said. "Like, who cares? They are great big, they are great small. Why should that be an issue?"

Madame Figaro's cover image of Ratajkowski wearing a black leather beret and an open coat appeared to have been altered to thin her lips and lift and reduce the size of her breasts. Ratajkowski posted the original photo on Instagram to show the differences, and her withering reaction was "liked" nearly half a million times by other users Monday, with many praising her for protesting.

The row comes within days of a new French law coming into force which will oblige advertising agencies and media companies to indicate if an image has been retouched. Madame Figaro did not reply to AFP requests from comment. (AFP)

Mini-fashion statements raise awareness for fashion ethics during London Style Week

With London Style Week well underway, the capital city is filled with fashion aficionados vying for a front-row seat to Tommy Hilfiger’s ‘See Now, Buy Show’ catwalk show, backstage passes to Hill & Friends presentation while squeezing in some very important last minute shopping in between rushing to shows. But those who make a purchase during the bi-annual fashion week may find themselves face to face with the darker side of fashion by the means of a handcrafted note.

Craftivist Collective, a group of gentle activists, aims to highlight the numerous issues the British fashion industry faces by hiding handwritten messages for consumers to find in high street fashion stores around LFW base near Somerset House. Also known as “shop-dropping”, this form of non-confrontational protests sees members of the collective writing out fashion statements which encourage shoppers to think more deeply about how and where their clothing is made and hiding them in the pockets of clothing for sale.

“The shops have no idea we’re doing it at all, but I can’t imagine they’d be happy if they knew,” said Sarah Corbett, the founder of Craftivist Collective, to The Guardian. “We’re targeting fast fashion shops that put profit over people and the planet, so I don’t think they’d be keen on us encouraging their customers to ask questions about how their clothes were made.” The messages are written out by hand onto miniature scrolls which are tied with a ribbon and read phrases such as “Please open me” on the outside to encourage shoppers to open them.

“We want people to discover the scrolls later on so that it’s intriguing. We hope that it might create genuine curiosity about how their clothes have been made,” she added. Corbett has been organizing workshops on how to make these fashion statements for the past three years, as she aims to ensure the fashion industry is beautiful inside and out. The Craftivist Collective first began “shop-dropping” during fashion back in Stockholm in 2014, after teaming up with Style Revolution, a global organization raising awareness for garment worker exploitation following the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster.

Photo: Courtesy of Craftivisit Collective

Paul Smith x House of Finn Juhl

Paul Smith is set to celebrate his latest collaboration with Danish furniture maker Finn Juhl by hosting an exhibition at his London flagship store this weekend. Entitled ‘The Paul Smith x House of Finn Juhl’ the exhibition will showcase some iconic Finn Juhl pieces made with Paul Smith’s Maharam fabrics.

“Some countries are known for their food, others for their sporting prowess, Danes are known for their design abilities”, said Smith in a statement. “It’s just in their blood and Finn Juhl is one of the best examples of this.” Juhl is best known for his famous sculptural furniture designs which carefully accommodate the human form. The Danish architect and designer was one of the leading figures in the modernist design movement throughout the 1940s and 1950s, and his legacy has only continued to grow following his passing in 1989.

“Juhl combined an understanding of how things should work with how things should look to such beautiful effect”, added Smith. “With his background in architecture, he knew how to solve a problem with design and always did it with such amazing lines and such elegant simplicity.” The new exhibition is will include a range of Finn Juhl designs, with a number of exclusive collaboration pieces made together with Paul Smith.

The exhibition, which celebrates the collaboration of two designers who share similar values, is set to run from September 16 to October 14, 2017, at Paul Smith’s flagship store on Albemarle Street, London. Prices for the piece are on request.

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Smith

The Life & Career of Manolo Blahnik:'The Boy who made Shoes for Lizards'

INTERACTIVE London - Women around the world all recognize the one of kind feeling you get when you put on a pair of Manolo's.

Manolo Blahnik, for those less familiar with the footwear designer, has been hailed as the 'King of Shoes' for the past four decades, as everyone ranging from editor-in-chief at American Vogue Anna Wintour to supermodel Naomi Campbell and singer Rihanna swear by his designs, and his designs alone. "I can't even remember the last time I wore anyone else's shoes - I don't even look at them," proclaims Wintour in the trailer for the new documentary 'Manolo: The Boy who made Shoes for Lizards.'

Directed by British fashion writer, artist, and life-long friend Michael Roberts, the biopic is set to premiere on September 15. The film features archival footage, intimate interviews with Manolo himself as well as interviews with fashion insiders, such as Anna Wintour. photographer David Bailey and designer John Galliano. To mark the launch of the documentary, Yankeemagazines's shares some of the high points from Manolo Blahnik life and career.

Homepage photo: Manolo Blahnik in Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards. Courtesy of Music Box Films