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Exclusive: Inside the making of Ostwald Helgason for Aldo Rise


Ostwald Helgason Aldo

Photography by Greg Kesser

See the Ostwald Helgason Aldo Rise collection »

Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason are staring intently at a swatch of woven raffia. Ostwald thumbs its subtle texture and pauses. “It’s missing emotion,” she says. Helgason nods. “It’s missing that fuzzy, fun, happiness…,” he trails off. “We need something warm, something unexpected.” Aldo women’s footwear designer Jackie Yermus produces a rougher weave of white with natural-toned raffia. Ostwald’s eyes widen. “This one is very emotional,” she says, laying it beside a pebbled orange, a grainy sky-blue and a shiny nude, also under consideration. “Yes,” she says, “they are very happy together!” She and Helgason exchange high-fives.

It’s hard not to fall in love with Ostwald and Helgason—the charming duo behind breakout fashion label Ostwald Helgason. For one thing, high-fives and happy talk are de rigueur when they’re around, as are discussions about balloon animals (the inspiration behind their spring collection) and Little Shop of Horrors (a previous jumping-off point). If there were such a thing as a fashion prom, they’d be a shoe-in for Cutest Couple (sorry, Kimye).

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Snapped by Tommy Ton: “We’re entering a new era of fashion”


Tommy Ton Kate Davidson Hudson

Kate Davidson Hudson shot by Tommy Ton outside New York Fashion Week

“This was the very first photo I took from the spring season. Sometimes it takes a couple of days to feel like you’re seeing something new that inspires you, but when I saw Kate coming up the steps, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I need to take this picture right away.’ I love how polished and pared-back she looks. The simple crop top, the subtle LV bag, the Céline sandals—they whisper, they don’t shout, which is what most people do at fashion week. The whole fashion logo thing is very dated, I think. It’s just so contrived at this point. With Marc Jacobs leaving Louis Vuitton, I think we’ll see a shift in Paris. We’re entering a new era of fashion, moving toward this different way of dressing that goes back to being comfortable and real and at ease. Amanda Brooks, the former fashion director of Barneys, wrote something on her blog recently that I think is very important: ‘Simple clothes don’t cover things up, they reveal who you are. It’s better to be seen than to be noticed.’ It’s all about being who you are, liking simpler things and not being caught up in the whole circus of everything.”

Final fantasy: The hair and makeup artists behind spring’s boldest beauty looks


final fantasy

Photography by Peter Stigter

See the Spring 2014 beauty looks »

As bare-bones beauty dominates the runways, a few holdouts are making sure fantasy lives on.

It was a casual remark, meant to highlight the exceptional craftsmanship behind the Old Hollywood-inspired, ultra-glamorous sets he devised for the Armani Privé Fall 2013 Couture show. But hairstylist Orlando Pita’s words backstage in Paris last summer offered an astute commentary on the state of runway beauty as a whole: “Now that John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are gone from the business, a new guard has created a kind of couture that relates to the street,” he said. “It was always about fantasy; that’s gone for now.”

The role of the backstage beauty team is to complete the full translation from the designer’s mind; it helps refine the woman, or the character, who would wear the clothes. Certain designers stuck to their fantasy-driven existence for spring, with all the over-the-top beauty fanfare that goes with it (Gareth Pugh’s alien-inspired eyebrow discs; Thom Browne’s frizzy-haired, smudged-makeup insane asylum patients; Vivienne Westwood’s similarly unnerved walking dead iteration). However, if you take a look at some of the most anticipated shows of the past few seasons, the resonance of Pita’s statement becomes much louder. From Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang and The Row to Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Balmain and Isabel Marant, there has been an overwhelming reliance on minimal makeup and easy, undone hair that was most certainly not in the phrasebooks of Galliano or McQueen—or Thierry Mugler and Azzedine Alaïa, for that matter.
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Spring 2014 Report: 3 trends, 24 must-have accessories


Spring 2014 Must Have Accessories

For those of you who ain’t the type to completely trend-ify your wardrobe, let your extras do the talking with this list of 24 accessories for the foolproof freshen up.

View by trend The ’90s | Athlete | World
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Spring nail trends: 5 fresh, minimalist approaches to nail art


nail trends spring 2014

Photography: Product by Bryan Lockyer (Styling by Sandy Harris for; Model by Elizabeth Lippman

Nail art’s not quite dead, but the baroque period is definitely over, as these five fresh-from-the-runways trends show. We’re in a minimalist phase, embracing subtle detailing, a more subdued palette and considerably less sparkle.


From the April 2014 issue: Herieth Paul stars in our ultimate spring statement photo shoot


April 2014 Spring Statement Photo Shoot

Photographed by Gabor Jurina . Styled by George Antonopoulos. Hair by Justin German for Makeup by David Allan Jones for Cosmetics. Manicure by Melissa Forrest for Hansen. Body painting by Patrick Rahmé for Prop styling by Jason MacIsaac for Fashion assistant, Eliza Grossman

See the spring statement photo shoot »

Whether it’s a wordy print, an arty pattern or an accessory that will get them talking, make a heartfelt statement this spring. Nude male model: optional.
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JOMO is the new FOMO: Why we need to stop being so busy


JOMO is new FOMO

Photographed by Gabor Jurina. Styled by George Antonopoulos.

In an age when it is socially unacceptable to have loads of free time, Olivia Stren wonders why being busy has become the ultimate symbol of success.

“How are you?” a barista asked me recently. “Super busy?” He was presumably too busy frothing almond milk for another customer to wait for my answer.

“Yeah. SO busy. Crazed!” I replied. And lied. I wasn’t crazed that day (at least not from busyness). Granted, I was busy feeling guilty, a low-grade panic about not being busy enough. But I was hardly going to shame myself by revealing the vacancy of my calendar to my barista (especially as he was clearly too busy to care). I fetched my latte and proceeded to check my iPhone with a socially acceptable sigh of tension and frustration. (See George Costanza in Seinfeld: “When you look annoyed all the time, people think that you’re busy.”) Today, being busy is code for being important, successful and valid, and admitting to not being busy is admitting to hopeless loserdom. Read more »

Proenza Schouler for M.A.C: An exclusive chat with Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez about the beauty collab


Proenza Schouler MAC

Photography by Carlo Mendoza

See the entire Proenza Schouler for M.A.C collection »

They say that youth is wasted on the young, but Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez haven’t frittered theirs away. In 2002, at only 23, they launched Proenza Schouler, which has gone global. But in spite of running one of the most coveted labels in the world, they retain an air of boyish charm.

Seated in a suite in London’s Claridge’s hotel, both are in rumpled clothes and sneakers: Hernandez’s are New Balance, McCollough’s are Adidas. They’re here to discuss their partnership with M.A.C, a brand that has paved the way for designer makeup collaborations—Alexander McQueen, Rodarte and Gareth Pugh are a few it’s teamed with. “We don’t even think of them as collaborations,” says James Gager, senior vice-president and group creative director. “My attitude is these are just people who are part of our brand.” Given that M.A.C has been the beauty sponsor for Proenza’s shows since 2008, it’s a wonder it didn’t happen sooner. Read more »

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