In 2009 FIDM Museum in Los Angeles, exhibited Betsy Bloomingdale’s vast collection of haute couture, donated to the museum over some forty years. The wardrobe, amassed between 1961 and 1996, includes pieces from Marc Bohan for Dior, Oscar De La Renta, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and André Courrèges, among others. For Vestoj’s inaugural issue, On Material Memories, the collector is interviewed by Kevin Jones, Curator and Christina Johnson, Collections Manager at the museum.
Dries Van Noten speaks with care and reserve, like someone well aware of his privileged position in the fashion industry. In Dries’ case this is a standing that has been deftly and meticulously carved over the years, a feat which, in the eyes of many, makes it even more well deserved. Today he is one of the few remaining independent designers, an accomplishment that makes his brand somewhat of an anomaly in the contemporary fashion industry. Nevertheless, Dries, as the designer himself coyly intimates, has to start thinking about his future. Could it be that another of the enduring bastions of fashion sovereignty is about to end up in the hands of a business conglomerate?
‘Idealistically power should lie in the origins of creativity. A true and clear vision is ultimately a source of power. Realistically however, we’re dealing with a much more complicated organism. Fashion has its own ecology, built on a hierarchy of psychological and cultural relationships, with a bit of internal politics thrown in for good measure.’
Mary Ping from Slow And Steady Wins the Race on power politics in fashion.
‘I wear blue most days; I keep falling back into this colour. I must be a blue kind of person, though not necessarily in the melancholic sense. My eyeballs are blue and they fry out in the sun, because of their lightness.’
Surfer Ryder Jones talks to Shana Chandra about the blue-lensed sunglasses he wears daily.
The clothes we wear and the items we carry represent us so fully, they can speak of who we are even in our absence. As such they become talismans of our presence, helping to calibrate our selves with our environment.
As well as a harbour for stories and memories; dress has a protective force, guarding us as we present ourselves to the world each day. There is comfort in this, the act of dressing each day connects us with the social world.
Spending time with Nigel Cabourn is a little like being carried along by a minor tornado. He talks a mile a minute, makes friends with just about everybody, and is, by his own admission, ‘like the fucking Pied Piper’.
The items we possess and clothes we wear have unspoken power in our lives; in function, but as anchors to our stories, memories and identities.
When I first met Jean Touitou he was giving a presentation in the A.P.C. showroom about the latest collection to a room full of press and buyers. He was cracking jokes and treating his audience as if they were just a bunch of old friends.
Irene is one of the fashion industry’s many éminence grises. In the late 1980s she became the fashion editor of Vogue Paris where she pioneered the work of photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber and Paolo Roversi, at the time all young and looking for a break.
In many ways Susan Cianciolo’s work evades a formal category. For the most part she is a designer, but also maker, artist, director, among other roles that allow her to create her exhibitions and performances.
Most people know the Big Suit, but there were a lot of others. On one tour I wore a body suit that was painted to look like musculature. You could literally disappear in it — it covered my head and face and only my eyes and mouth were visible. You felt completely transformed in a costume like that, which is lot of fun… and it looks a little frightening.