DANCER ON FASHION: Shen Wei, China’s extraordinary choreographer and the man behind the epic opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics, is in the midst of a whirlwind around-the-world tour that is centered on him and his process of creativity. His work is nonstop and prolific. For example, he is presently choreographing Rossini’s “Moise et Pharaoh” Opera in Rome, and has a dance performance scheduled at the Berliner Festival in December, among other things.
As part of the tour, the many facets of the choreographer, from his dance works to his paintings, and photography, are being filmed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his dance company.
In a rare discussion about his works, Shen Wei talked not just about dance, but about fashion – understandably, since he designs all the costumes for his dancers himself. “I’m a painter, a photographer. It is easier,” he says.
“I do everything myself. I love fashion, especially designers who have really clear visions and make designs not simply to sell. Fashion,” he asserts, “should be leading the culture, and not just trying to fit in with what people like.”
Wei adds that he personally favors fashion that is related to what’s going on in the moment, the current culture, how humans feel. Wei says he shops in a boutique called If, in SoHo, which is known for its constructionist luxury. The store also carries such off-beat brands as Martin Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester. What he likes are outfits that are devoid of pretension.
“I tend to avoid much color,” he says. “I think I’m, too old (he is 43). I don’t want to be the spotlight outside my work. I wear black, navy, brown and gray, which is my favorite. It fits Asian people’s skin.”
QUIETLY RICH. YOU CAN CAPTURE THIS WEI AESTHETE BY CAREFULLY CHOOSING YOUR JEWELRY ITEMS. TRY SOME OF THESE:
- Large CZ necklace set. Classy.
- Artistic butterfly brooch. A rare find!
ACE AWARDS PROMOTE CREATIVITY, INNOVATION
The 2010 Accessories Council Excellence Awards are in and the big winner for Designer of the Year is Alber Elbaz, creative director for Lanvin. Elbaz is known for putting accessories in the prime spotlight with all of his fashion collections. The couture collection he heads up isn’t cheap, but it is always wearable. His accessories run from wild baubles to handbags with chain details, and shoes to match light-colored stocking hues.
Elbaz will introduce his new diffusion line for Target later this month, and it will include jewelry, hats, sunglasses, handbags and footwear. “It is very much our aesthetic,” Elbaz declared. “It is very much Lanvin.”
Tiffany & Co. took the ACE Hall of Fame award for 173 years of outstanding accessories designs. The firm presently operates 200 stores globally and plans to press on with its international expansion in 2011, emphasizing its new high jewelry salon, and new iPad app, among other things. One of Tiffany’s big recent jewelry offerings is its key collection, including old fashioned gold and silver keys to be worn as a pendant. The look became a major winner for Tiffany, as well as all those firms (which are many) that copied the key theme.
Henri Bendel was named ACE Retailer of the Year, a major kudo for the company which has specialized exclusively in accessories and beauty products since 2009. Prior to that, Bendel offered the public a variety of high fashion products and became a haven for independent designers.
The store also forged a number of innovative retailing ideas within its main store space in Manhattan, such as its “Street of Shops,” where it housed separate fashion categories such as handbags and jewelry, each in their own enclaves on the same floor.
IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR A BENDEL LUXURY LOOK, DON’T THINK IT HAS TO COST YOU A FORTUNE. HERE ARE SOME IDEAL BENDEL-LIKE ITEMS:
- Lavish chandelier earrings. Incredible!
The French say Americans are “Crude” because they always have to match things perfectly. Well, those days seem to be rapidly fading, as a new global approach to design brings forward all sorts of mismatched items and teams them up as unsuspected pairs. Among the latest offerings on this scene are earrings from the Swiss designer, Suzanne Syz, on display in New York recently in the Marianne Boesky Gallery on East 64th Street.
Syz might not be American to start with, but she readily admits her design consciousness was formed in no small part by America’s famed pop artist, Andy Warhol. Well, OK, by Europe’s Jean-Michel Basquiat, too. The earrings we refer to are made of titanium, pearl, topaz and kunzite.