Archive for David Livingstone


Fashion Exhibitionism: The style-centric exhibits taking over the world’s greatest galleries, museums and art spaces

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Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Judged either by the vulgar mathematics of marketing or by higher, more refined artistic standards, fashion exhibitions are flourishing. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, a show that ran at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, attracted 661,509 visitors, making it one of the 10 most popular attractions in the Met’s 143-year history, right up there with the Treasures of Tutankhamun and the Mona Lisa.

Besides scoring big numbers, the show also ranked high on a scale of aesthetic satisfaction. “It was really about an artist who spoke very emotionally through his work,” says Valerie Steele, director of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, who saw it three times and speaks of it as “the most extraordinary fashion exhibition I’ve seen.”

In 2013, the exhibition boom continues. Steele and her curatorial team tackle an explosive subject with Queer Style, opening at FIT next September. The first major show to explore the gay influence on fashion, it’s been a long time coming, but its arrival this year seems thrillingly on-trend, 2013 having got rolling with an inaugural address in which U.S. President Obama gave a shout-out to Stonewall and a showing of Chanel haute couture that concluded with lesbian brides.

And transgressive seems to be trending. Costumes worn by rock music’s great gender bender are featured in David Bowie is, an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (March 23 to July 28).
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MEN’S FASHION Spring 2013 cover: Thom Browne, the most important man in menswear now

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Mens FASHION Spring 2013 Cover Thom Browne

Photography by Peter Stigter

Thom Browne designs clothes that have been thought to be comical and ill-fitting. They are also redefining modern menswear.

Menswear designer Thom Browne has used the runway to float some strange ideas. His provocative and characteristically wacky proposals have included a Big Bird suit of feathers in banker’s grey; punky makeup paired with papal-like capes; matronly skirts topped by jackets with the Hulk’s shoulders; see-through pants; square pants; and pants with three legs.

You might wonder, “Who but a clown is going to wear this stuff?” But all the theatrical pieces serve to put into relief the Thom Browne suit. Consisting of a short, snug jacket and trousers cropped to shin-revealing heights, it has been the basis of everything Browne has done since he launched his business a dozen years ago. In the beginning, it seemed extreme, was mocked and incited comparisons to Pee-wee Herman, but it has turned out to be a defining shape of men’s clothing today.

If you want to see something really freaky, take a look at an average suit from just six years ago. I’ve got one. Both jacket and pants are slightly too long, and the whole thing is made from the kind of lightweight, ultrafine wool that drapes like silk. Put it on, and it feels like a kimono.
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Linda Evangelista: Our 35th Anniversary issue cover star talks family and fashion in this excerpt

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Linda Evangelista Fashion Magazine Cover, November 2012

Photography by Pamela Hanson. Styled by Tammy Eckenswiller.
Hair by Brent Lavett for Art Department/Lavett & Chin. Makeup by Sam Addington for Kramer + Kramer. Manicure by Julie Kandalec for Bernstein & Andriulli/Chanel. Fashion assistant, Melaney Oldenhof.

Off-duty, she’s into family, fashion and fitness. But it’s Linda Evangelista’s gift for bringing clothes to life that makes her the most super model of all.

See our Linda Evangelista cover shoot images »

First and foremost, there is that face—a transcendent convergence of flesh and bone that you can’t take your eyes off. But beauty alone does not explain what makes Linda Evangelista the greatest fashion model alive, or, quite possibly, who has ever lived.

Evangelista also has taste and pluck. They inform her work and the pride she takes in that work. As she, less gushily, puts it, “I like what I do.” What is it that she does, exactly? It’s fair to wonder. Watching her in Pamela Hanson’s New York studio shooting FASHION’s 35th anniversary cover, I get to see.

Since I first met Linda Evangelista, backstage at Chanel in the autumn of 1987, I’ve seen her do lots of shows. She’s done them all. But it’s her record of print jobs, her performances in front of a camera—her preferred audience—that test her skills and give her the bigger kicks. Years ago, she told me, “My book kills.” That’s still true. In the past year, Evangelista has appeared in some of the most memorable images, both charming and daring, of her career. On the cover of Italian Vogue, she was a mambo queen, ruling the beat with a pair of maracas. Inside the September issue of W, she was a super-freak, naked under a latex cape and transparent catsuit. As a mannequin, Evangelista is more than willing; she’s also capable. She doesn’t just put on a garment; she populates it. Watching her, I realize what she meant when she long ago told me, “Once I’ve worn an outfit, I feel I’ve really worn it.”
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MEN’S FASHION: Our exclusive interview with Alexander Skarsgard

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Photo by Steven Klein

A pop phenomenon and a heartthrob, the Swedish actor can also be serious and low-key. Men’s FASHION editor-in-chief David Livingstone sits down with Alexander Skarsgard in New York.

Read more about Alexander Skarsgard »

From the flow of his voice coming from behind the door, it’s evident that Alexander Skarsgard has taken to the role of spokesmodel with guileless good cheer.

As I sit outside a New York hotel suite, waiting in line to go face to face with the face of Encounter Calvin Klein ($87, thebay.com), this fall’s major new men’s fragrance, I can’t help hearing the interview before mine and thinking that the guy is not nearly as taciturn or inscrutable as he has been in the parts that have shaped his fame.

Born in Sweden in 1976, Skarsgard rose to North American stardom in 2008 with a one-two punch. On Generation Kill, an Emmy-winning HBO miniseries about the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he played a tight-lipped Marine nicknamed Iceman. After that came True Blood, the enthusiastically received HBO series (recently renewed for a sixth season) on which he plays an enigmatic vampire called Eric Northman. Read more »


MEN’S FASHION: Editor’s letter Fall 2012

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MEN'S FASHION FALL 2012

Photographed by Seiji Fujimori and styled by Mark Holmes, Michael Shannon wears a jacket, $1,295, by Burberry London, shirt, $295, by Dolce & Gabbana, and tie, $125, by BOSS Black. Grooming by Kumi Craig.

It must be that everyman sees himself in James Bond. That’s what happened to me in the course of researching the subject, which arose by way of Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style, the exhibition coming from the Barbican Centre in London to the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto in October.

The more I looked into Bond, the more I saw the secret agent as magnificent lifestyle editor, a material boy engaged with all the things—cars, drink, food, travel, toys—that are covered in a men’s magazine. And so caught up with appearances that, as author Jay McInerney once observed, he was “the only movie hero we had ever seen whose first impulse, after killing a man, was to straighten his tie.”

Of course, Bond came to film from fiction already infatuated with brand names. That was part of the character given to him by his creator, Ian Fleming, who in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service not only specifies Bond’s champagne but also what he uses to wash his hair: Pinaud Elixir, “that prince among shampoos.”
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MEN’S FASHION: Design director Max Wolff is overseeing the rebirth of the Lincoln

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MEN'S FASHION: RenaissanceMan

Photography by Jess Baumung

The interior features leather in a perforated pattern that suggests bubbles rising in a glass of champagne. The exterior is the colour of cognac, with a base coat covered in multiple clear layers that impart an intoxicating shine. And the front is spanned by a grille that’s like the wings of an eagle in flight.

Looking at this new Lincoln MKZ Concept—unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January and presented at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto in February—it’s clear that Lincoln is aiming high.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford Motor Company group vice-president for global product development, acknowledged in a January press release, “With the Lincoln MKZ Concept, we are not introducing a new car. We are essentially introducing a new brand.” Read more »


MEN’S FASHION: André 3000 on hair moods, ugly hands and a mythical Outkast album

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MEN’S FASHION: André 3000

André 3000, real name André Benjamin, along with actors Adrien Brody and Gael García Bernal, is featured in the Masters of Style campaign, created by Gillette to promote its recently introduced Fusion ProGlide Styler, a tool that combines the functions of shaver, trimmer and edger. Benjamin, too, is a triple-threat talent. As half of Outkast, the Atlanta-based duo, he became one of hip hop’s most acclaimed musicians. He has also won praise as a menswear designer since launching his label, Benjamin Bixby, in 2008. And as a dresser, he’s known for being one of the best. He’s been celebrated in fashion magazines, and in Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, an academic work of groundbreaking cultural history, his name shows up on the very first page.

Let’s catch up on the musical action. Last year, you earned a Grammy nomination for a track with Beyoncé. In February, Converse presented “Do Ya Thang,” your collaboration with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, and Gorillaz. Is an Outkast album due to come out in 2012?
“To be honest, no, there is not an Outkast album in the works. I know there’s been a lot of talk in the internet world. I don’t have Twitter or Facebook or any of those kinds of things, so I haven’t had a chance to address it.” Read more »


MEN’S FASHION: J.Crew’s Frank Muytjens is moving menswear into the future with his cool understanding of the past

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Frank Muytunes

Frank Muytunes

Last summer, when J.Crew opened a store in Toronto—its first store in Canada, or anywhere outside the U.S. of A.—the guys in town were left boo-hooing when they learned that that shop is only for women. But Canadian men can dry their eyes: J.Crew is opening three more stores in Canada—Vancouver in April, Edmonton in May and Toronto in September—where the offerings will include menswear.

So, OK, maybe big boys don’t cry. But they do care about clothes, and they let it show. They’re no longer bashful or embarrassed about matters of style.

“Men’s fashion has moved more quickly in the last 10 years than it has over the last 40,” Millard “Mickey” Drexler, J.Crew’s CEO, told The Wall Street Journal last fall. Read more »


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