Yves Saint Laurent museum opens in Marrakech Today

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In 1966 designer Yves Saint Laurent and his lifetime partner, Pierre Bergé, discovered Marrakech. They were mesmerized by its charm that on their flight back from their first trip there, they already had the paperwork for a house they wanted to buy. They went back regularly, and it was in Marrakech that Saint Laurent imagined his collections.  Now a museum dedicated to the fashion house is opening in the city that had such a strong influence on him. In the words of Pierre Bergé, who had passed away on 8 September (just a month before the opening) “It feels perfectly natural, 50 years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”

Yves Saint Laurent started archiving his work since his first couture show in 1962. Thanks to this early vision, his collections consists of 5,000 haute couture garments, including the famous Mondrian dress and Van Gogh-embroidered jackets, 15,000 accessories, such as hats, jewelry, and shoes, as well as thousands of sketches, collection boards, photographs, and objects.

Located on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, the museum will open its doors to the public today! The opening actually coincides with the inauguration of another museum dedicated to the designer in Paris. The one in Paris will be housed in the historical couture house at 5 avenue Marceau, a hôtel particulier where the designer worked for almost 30 years.

The museum in Marrakech is designed by Studio KO, an architectural firm established by Olivier Marty and Karl Fournier. The outside of the building is intended to evoke the “weft and warp of fabric” while the interior is designed to evoke the lining of a couture jacket, “velvety, smooth and radiant.”

The museum which is 4,000 square meters, will provide a storage space for around 4,000 pieces. The permanent exhibition space will be 400 square meters.

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It’s actually far more than just a museum, it has a research library with more than 6,000 books, a bookshop, an auditorium, and a cafe which will offer a fusion of traditional Moroccan and French dishes. The 150-seat auditorium, named after Pierre Berge, will be used for performances and recitals, as well as conferences, film screenings, and lectures. Below is a picture of the beautifully designed auditorium.

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For more info visit the museum’s page.

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Movie Wardrobe: The Thomas Crown Affair

There are many movies out there that inspire us in terms of fashion and/or interior design…. So I thought I’d start a new segment on my blog about movie wardrobes that I love and that have influenced my taste and style throughout the years…

I’ll start this segment with one of my favorite movie wardrobes from the 1999 version of The Thomas Crown Affair which was designed by Kate Harrington. I loved Rene Russo ’s lead character, Catherine Banning’s wardrobe. The wardrobe was so impeccable and still relevant today, despite the fact that it was done 17 years ago.

 Harrington was hired with only two months “to pull the clothes together,” which left no room for her to create anything from scratch: not a sketch, a pattern, or garment. She settled on a wardrobe for Russo’s character from the 1997 Celine F/W collection by Michael Kors (one of Russo’s suggestions) and a few Halston creations.

Harrington’s approach was like doing a magazine spread. “That’s how I saw it. I’d just act like I was doing an entire Vanity Fair issue, cover to cover, only with Pierce and Rene.”  I’ve learned many lessons from Kate Harrington’s approach for this movie. Here are a few “lessons” worth thinking about:

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1. You don’t have to have a colorful wardrobe to make a variety of looks. Rene’s character in this movie rarely wore the same thing twice even though she wore a lot of the same neutral colors like cream, camel, grey and black. She never looked boring because she mixed and matched her neutrals all the time.

2. You must play with textures and materials. For example, Rene wore a cashmere turtleneck with a leather skirt…. and I love the look above where she stayed within a colour scheme but added interest by mixing 3 textures cashmere, fur, and leather.

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3. Invest in classic cuts because they will never go out of style.  All her clothes are in classic silhouettes – that sequenced black dress, the turtleneck sweaters, the mandarin collar on her gown, that stunning biker cut leather jacket and the list can go on! Her wardrobe was full of items that are a must in every wardrobe and that have stood the test of time.

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4. Always add a touch of “cool” to your look!. Rene’s character always looked cool even though she always wore very classic clothes…  Like those cool aviator sunglasses with her conservative turtleneck and skirt, those unexpected earrings with a traditional gown, and that bustier over a classic white shirt (above).

Maria Callas The Exhibition

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The Exhibition is the first major exhibition dedicated to the greatest soprano of all time Maria Callas. Curated by Massimiliano Capella, the presentation marks the 40th anniversary of the death La Divina. It includes costumes and props jewelry, Private clothes, especially those by Biki, the Milanese stylist who fashioned the ‘Callas look’ during the Milan years, as well as several opera costumes; there are personal treasures and stage jewellery; hats, wigs and glasses; telegrams, letters, newspaper articles and photographs illustrating the successes, the scandals, and her loves.

The exhibition is on display until September 18, 2016, in Verona and will soon begin its international tour, from Athens to New York, from Paris to Mexico City…. I don’t have information about the international tour yet but I’ll add it at the bottom of this post as soon as I find some!

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The Curator Massimiliano Capella has used 2200 mannequins and has divided the exhibition into fourteen sections starting with America and Greece and ends in a small dark room with a video of Callas’s ashes being scattered on the Aegean Sea.

Here’s a quick background of her life for those of you who are interested:

I’m going to start from her “Milan years” because to me that’s where she rose and gave her greatest performances and, of course, it was at La Scala where she recorded many of the EMI recordings. On 17 September 1947 Callas had auditioned for La Scala with Casta Diva and O Patria mia, but the Artistic Director, Mario Labroca, didn’t think she was suitable. However, a substitution for Renata Tebaldi on 12 April 1950 in Aida launched a relationship that would continue for more than a decade. Between 1950 and 1962 she would sing 23 different operas, appearing on the Milanese stage 181 times.

Although critics and public were mostly enthusiastic about her vocal performances between 1947 and 1953, comments about her physical aspect were less favourable. Although she was quite tall at 1.73 meters (5’ 8”) she weighed almost 100 kilos (220 lbs); quite a large girl. In 1952 a tactless critic wrote, “It was impossible to distinguish between the elephants’ feet and those of Aida.”

So between the summer of 1952 and the spring of 1954, she lost 35 kilos, and in doing so – with the help of Biki – transformed herself into a style icon. Many of her outfits are reunited for the Callas exhibition. (The iconic portrait by Jerry Tiffany in New York for EMI in 1958 demonstrates how the transformation was complete).

In 1952 she made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London as Norma. London would later be the place of her last appearance in a complete opera, in 1965, and one of the dates of her final concert tour with Giuseppe di Stefano in 1973. But London was to also be the setting for a famous… infamous encounter.

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In 1959, when Callas was one of the core members of the international jet set, a party was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was held at London’s Dorchester Hotel after the opening of Medea at Covent Garden on 17 June 1959. The event was hosted by Aristotle Onassis. the picture above was taken at the event!!!! The next month Callas and her husband were already guests aboard his yacht Christina and the fatal relationship began.

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Her relationship with Onassis ended in 1968 when he left her for Jacqueline Kennedy.

In 1969 she did interpret one of her opera characters again for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film of Medea; though on this occasion she wasn’t required to sing. Piero Tosi’s magnificent costume for the film is part of the exhibition, so is the favourite black leather jacket that Callas wore during this period. Various documents on show illustrate the intimate nature of the friendship between the director and his leading lady.

The final rooms contain some of her hats, bags, shoes, turbans and other accessories which Biki so carefully labelled in the early years to help her young protégé coordinate the right hat with the right gown. Biki continued to dress her when she lived in Paris, as well as Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Hérmes and Alexander for her wigs.

In the early ‘70s she appeared at Juilliard for the legendary workshops, directed I Vespri Siciliani together with Di Stefano in Turin, and Di Stefano convinced her to join him on an around-the-world concert tour which finished in 1974.

27 November 1973: Maria Callas gives a farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

In 1975, Onassis died in a Paris hospital, a few months later Pasolini’s murdered body was found on the beach at Ostia near Rome, and the following year saw the death of another friend and mentor Luchino Visconti, who once said that he’d only started directing opera because of Callas.

She died of a heart attack on 16 September 1977. She was 53.

Style Icon: Dame Zaha Hadid

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It’s been almost 2 weeks since the Dame Zaha Hadid has passed away and I still am in shock!!!

It’s not often an architect makes international headlines…But this Iraqi/British architect was often part of controversies. She was the first woman to win the Pritzker Award for architects. Some of her unforgettable works include the London Aquatics Centre (used in the 2012 Summer Olympics), the Vitra Fire Station in Weil am Rhein in Germany, China’s Guangzhou Opera House, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London, and the Riverside Museum in Glasgow.

In addition to her breathtaking buildings, she designed furniture, cutlery, shoes and jewelry with a similar modern aesthetic in mind, most recently she designed a beautiful cuff (that’s on my wishlist!) in partnership with the Danish firm Georg Jensen shown below.

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I must say that what I loved most about her was her style!! I thought (and still do think) that it was as unique as her designs and architecture … She was a fan of fashion designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, and Miuccia Prada…. She could be spotted in the front row of Christopher Kane shows during London Fashion Week .. she loved the fashion world and the fashion world loved her back!. Her many friends and fans included Stella McCartney, Donna Karan, and Karl Lagerfeld, who held his Chanel Resort 2016 show in her DDP building in Seoul.

“I like things that when you wear them, the form becomes very different from when it’s flat. I was fascinated first by Yohji Yamamoto and his asymmetry, or Comme des Garçons in the ’80s. There is a connection between architecture and fashion because of the way the body is placed within that space. I’m interested in fashion because it’s the immediate thing that shows you the temper of a particular moment”.

I personally loved seeing her in black capes, particularly ones by Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake…

What a great loss! May you RIP Zaha.

Style Icon: Daphne Guinness

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I love creative people, I love people who create their style and lifestyle rather than copy others! Daphne Guinness is one of those creative people whose style I have always admired. She has a truly unique and artistic expression when it comes to how she dresses and how she decorates her home….. It’s really true to who she is… no stylist no interior designers… it’s purely her!

Inside Tamara Mellon’s Closet

I have been looking through my old drafts and found this post of Tamara Mellon’s fabulous closet…. She gave Vogue an exclusive tour of her personal closet in 2013…. I know that its a bit old and a lot of you might have seen it already but I love love love it and just had to share …… I love how super organized it all is and that everything has its place….. There are rows and rows of choos, and lots of vintage furs. And I just can’t get over her 31 black jumpsuits!!! This is by far my favorite closet 😉

SJP at the 2013 BAFTA Awards

I am so glad that Sarah Jessica Parker was the presenter for the this year’s BAFTA ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London.

She was super super chic (as usual) in an Elie Saab jumpsuit, Jean-Michel Cazabat shoes, FL rings, earrings, and necklaceFenton bracelets, a Jaeger le Coultre watch, and VBH bag…. loved the whole mix.

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Playing Dress up!

NewYork-based photographer Tricia Messeroux takes the cutest pictures of kids…. Her style or should I say specialty lies in taking pictures of kids dressed as celebrities!!!…. This year she recreated shots from the Golden Globes red carpet…. Check out her website Toddle Wood for more cute pictures… But not before checking out my favorite pictures from the Golden Globes!!!

taylor-swift-golden-globesTaylor Swift  and mini me in a Donna Karan Atelier gown

george-clooney-stacy-keibler-golden-globesGeoanne-hathaway-golden-globesrge Clooney and Stacy Keibler in Armani

Anne Hathaway in Chanel

lucy-liu-golden-globesLast but not least Lucy Liu in a Carolina Herrera gown… This one is my favorite … I love the mini-me version of Lucy and think that she is just adorable… What about you? Who do you think looks better… the celebrities or the kids?

Fashion Police Hosts Dress Up For Halloween 2012

This year the Fashion Police hosts costumes were as colourful and funny as ever. From far left Kris Jenner was dressed as Psy, Kelly Osbourne dressed as Katy Perry, Joan Rivers dressed as Mariah Carey, George Kotsiopoulos as Brad Pitt from the Chanel No. 5 commercial, and Melissa Rivers as Nicki Minaj.

My favorite this year was Kelly Osbourne. She looked so much like Katy Perry…. Well done Kelly!