Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

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Category: Designers

Roberto Cavalli designs a sexy exercise bike

Roberto Cavalli for Ciclotte - Black
Roberto Cavalli has managed to put his signature leopard print and heavily gilded stamp on an exercise bike. That’s right. The Roberto Cavalli for Cicolette collection features 6 styles of stationary bikes featuring a minimal shape consisting of a wheel, seat, handlebar (which look more like animal horns) and comes in a variety of flashy colors and metal combos that Lady Gaga can appreciate.  In fact, this bike is just about as wacky and over-the-top as Gaga's Hussein Chalayan egg. It would be no suprise to see her and her back up dancers spinning on the Cavalli bikes during her next performance.

There’s black carbon fiber with jaguar or zebra print or gold steel with jaguar print which while being a Roberto Cavalli Ciclotte-mod.Jaguar Leather slightly ostentatious is a sleek alternative to planting a traditional, clunky stationary bike in your living room.

It’s sure to be a conversation piece when guests come over. Especially if you also have the exercise gear to go with it; Cavalli has an active wear range called Cavalli Gym hitting stores this month along with the bikes (think more leopard found on leggings and skin tight zip up jackets)

Roberto Cavalli for Ciclotte bikes are available exclusively in Roberto Cavalli boutiques. The Cavalli gym collection is in Roberto Cavalli boutiques and other select stores.

Melissa Magsaysay

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Photos:

Top - A mannequin with a Roberto Cavalli for Ciclotte bike/Roberto Cavalli

Right - A Roberto Cavalli for Ciclotte bike/Roberto Cavalli

Giorgio Armani to outfit Italian national team for the 2012 Olympics

Armani 2012 olympics
Giorgio Armani has been tapped to design the Italian Olympic team's complete wardrobe for the 2012 London games, the company announced Wednesday.

The deal with the Italian National Olympic Committee will have Armani designing the team's official opening ceremony outfits as well as equip members with a range of clothes and accessories from the brand's sports-focused EA7 line.

It's the most recent -- and certainly not the last -- manifestation of the fashion world's Olympic fever that started to show up on the men's runways in Milan last month. Other designers who've been tapped for Olympic duty include Stella McCartney, who the U.K. Telegraph reports will serve as creative director for Great Britain's team (which will include performance wear and village wear but not the opening ceremony wardrobe), and Cedella Marley (daughter of the late reggae legend Bob Marley), who has been hired by Puma to design what the Jamaican team will be wearing at the opening ceremony, in competition and on the podium.

Marley told the Associated Press she took inspiration for the uniforms from "music, various cultures and Jamaica from the 1970s and '80s."

"I want to bring the old and the new Jamaica together," she said."It should be Grace Jones meets Bob Marley on the track, and we're going to have fire on the field."

One year out and we're already stoked.

--- Adam Tschorn

Photo: Giorgio Armani, pictured at the finale of his spring and summer 2012 Emporio Armani runway show in Milan in June, has been tapped to design the Italian team's outfits for the 2012 Olympics. Credit: Matteo Bazzi / EPA.

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Givenchy's Tisci teams up with Jay-Z and Kanye West

Throne 
While Kanye West is rumored to be putting the finishing touches on his first runway collection to show during New York Fashion Week, his pal Riccardo Tisci, creative director of Givenchy, is taking his skills to the music arena.

Tisci designed the album artwork, above, for "Watch the Throne," the upcoming collaborative album by West and Jay-Z debuting Aug. 1.

Givenchy 

Tisci has been exhibiting quite the artist's touch lately, designing the fierce-looking, repeating panther prints in the women's fall-winter 2011 collection, above right, and the slightly sinister-looking birds of paradise prints in the men's spring-summer 2012 collection, above left, shown in June. 

--Booth Moore

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Top photo of Riccardo Tisci's album artwork for "Watch the Throne." Courtesy of Givenchy. Middle photos: A look from Givenchy's men's spring-summer 2012 show. Credit: Francois Guillot/AFP/Getty Images. A look from the Givenchy women's autumn-winter 2011 show. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter/For The Times.

Charlene Wittstock wears Armani to wed Monaco's Prince Albert in religious ceremony

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Day three of Monaco's wedding extravaganza Saturday was the kind of lovely, pomp-and-festivity-filled event we love to fawn over. Charlene Wittstock wore an off-white silk Duchesse Giorgio Armani Privé dress with a long train and long veil made from silk tulle. The train is seen to full advantage in the photo below of the bride being escorted to the service by her dad, Michael Kenneth Wittstock. The dress was embellished with flowery embroidery, crafted with stones in gold shades, along with Swarovski crystals and mother of pearl teardrops in white and gold hues. 

Prince Albert II wore the cream-colored summer uniform of the palace guards, along with medals including the French Legion of Honor and the Order of the Grimaldi. The service was conducted in French, which the bride, who was born in Zimbabwe and was on the South African Olympic swim team, has studied for months. 

Amichaelkenneth
The religious ceremony (capped by a gourmet dinner, light show and fireworks) followed a civil ceremony on Friday in the prince's throne room and an Eagles concert on Thursday. [People] [Zimbio]

-- Susan Denley

Photos, from top: Princess Charlene and Prince Albert II of Monaco are cheered on by well-wishers (credit: Andreas Rentz / Getty Images); Charlene is escorted to the service by her father Michael Kenneth Wittstock. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images). 

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Paris Fashion Week: It's win, place and show at Dries Van Noten

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Many of the spring and summer 2012 men's collections that hit the runways of Milan and Paris over the last two weeks have referenced the sporting life, from leisure-time pursuits (such as Prada's golf moment) and the upcoming London Olympics (Vivienne Westwood Man, Missoni) to competitive sports of the upper class (Moncler Gamme Bleu's fencing-themed collection).

But according to Dries Van Noten, he didn't start out with the notion of creating a collection that drew inspiration from horse racing and the equestrian arts; that's just where he ended up. "We were doing all these technical things -- garment bonding and taping -- to these light silks and satins and I started thinking about circumstances in which a man might find them appropriate to wear, which lead to the idea of jockey's silks."

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That result was a collection that included skinny-legged trousers with an extra-narrow ankle, Color-blocked blousons with deep V-shapes angling in from shoulders to navel, and barley-colored tweed jackets with leather detailing.

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There was also a touch of nautical-preppy flair: navy blue blazers; a red-white-and-blue horizontal stripe pattern appearing on trousers, shirts and generously cut Bermuda shorts; parkas and windbreakers in a crumpled blue nylon so lightweight it billowed with every step as if buffeted by a sea breeze; and a narrow, vertical version of the tricolor stripe that was vaguely reminiscent of semaphore signals.

The collection was heavy on the outerwear pieces -- and heavy-handed on the technical details: Thick, black hot-melt adhesive tape (usually used on a garment's interior for waterproofing purposes) framed the exteriors of pockets, accented zippers and appeared as patches; even sandals could be seen sporting strips of the tape across the top of the foot; and garment bonding was used extensively. But it was all balanced out by the simple, crisp, white dress shirts, the one-piece jumpsuits in washed silk and the open-weave knit sweaters.

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The result was a collection that managed to meld the elegance of nearly diaphanous luxury fabrics with the advances of technical outerwear, and it puts Van Noten squarely in Paris Fashion Week's winner's circle.

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-- Adam Tschorn in Paris

Photos: Looks from the Dries Van Noten spring-summer 2012 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Michel Euler / Associated Press

Paris Fashion Week: Lanvin takes it from solid as steel to soft as silk

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The Lanvin spring and summer 2012 collection was shown under the impressive, soaring iron and glass dome of the Bourse de Commerce and accompanied by music from the soaring score to "The Dark Knight."

The range of the collection from creative director Alber Elbaz and menswear designer Lucas Ossendrijver was equally as awe-inspiring.

Lan2

The show opened with strong-shouldered military-inspired pieces, high-end riffs on the kind of clothes the night watchmen or SWAT officer might feel comfortable in -- on or off the job, including solid-looking pieces of bonded leather, utilitarian webbed belts and trousers bloused into boots.

It ended with soft, almost drooping shoulders, blousy patterned pants and shirts that wouldn't look out of place at a music festival, and more swaths of fabric wrapped diagonally at the waist. 

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In between there were clingy knit pullover shirts with artistically folded necklines (maybe it was the music. but they seemed for all the world like they could fold out to accomodate a Batman-like cowled headpiece), technical outerwear pieces that included hooded jackets and a car coat with an extra piece that buttoned tight against the neck when the collar was in the folded-up position.

Overall there was an emphasis on the diagonal -- zippers on the bias, bags with straps from shoelace thin to guitar-strap thick were slung across the chest, the angle of the shoulder and even the cut of the several double-breasted jackets in the collection (one of my favorite formal looks was a purple, double-breasted suit with generously cut trousers).

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But there was a unifying element. From the martial to the mellow, everything that came down the catwalk seemed to have a certain strength and structure about it -- not unlike armor, a uniform or even a superhero costume.

So it wasn't surprising when I discovered that the building the show was held in, with its 19th century frescoes and glassed-in iron dome, was considered an architectural achievement for its use of iron and which the European Council of Civil Engineers describes as "one of the first buildings for which the architect and the engineer joined their respective skills." 

Likewise, Lanvin, has wrapped artistic beauty around an iron-strong framework for a collection that is built to last.

-- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Paris

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Top photo: Looks from the Lanvin spring/summer 2012 runway collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press.

Middle photos, from left: Credit: Francois Guillot/Associated Press; Jacques Brinon/Associated Press.

Lower middle photo, from left: Credit: Jacques Brinon/Associated Press. Francois Guillot/Associated Press.

Bottom photo: Francois Guillot/Associated Press.

Paris Fashion Week: Birds of paradise take flight at Givenchy

NewImage2 Riccardo Tisci wisely followed up last season's blackout-plagued dogfight of a collection by choosing to show his spring and summer 2012 collection in a glass-walled space at the Pompidou Center that was flooded with natural daylight.

The mood of the collection was considerably lighter as well. The aggressive, foreboding imagery of snarling Rottweilers, sharp-toothed clowns and leopard prints of the last two seasons had given way to a kinder, gentler Givenchy collection -- one with a bird of paradise floral motif.

The sharp, distinctive shape of the strelitzia, rendered in orange, purple, pink and green, appeared against backgrounds of ivory, pale green and white, on a range of garments including suits, shorts, T-shirts, kilts and baseball caps, accessorized with white lanyards hung around the neck and plastic sandals on the feet.  

But it didn't take long to realize these were no ordinary birds of paradise; there was something almost ominous about them and their scissorlike appendages, and some versions were so NewImage1 architectural and severe they looked like they could be used in a side-street knife fight -- and give you the edge.

And Tisci didn't just slap the same screenprinted images across the whole collection either, each piece of floral art was crafted specifically for the garment it appeared on -- some were screenprinted, others were hand-painted, and still others were enbroidered, beaded or created out of painted sequins.

Trouble in paradise? Maybe.

But it looks better than it has in a long time.

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 -- Adam Tschorn, reporting from Paris

Photos: Looks from the Givenchy spring / summer 2012 collection shown during Paris Fashion Week. Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images

 

Paris Fashion Week: John Galliano Homme takes to the runway, a new creative director takes the helm

Arunway

AgayttonJust two days after its founder stood trial in a Paris courtroom on charges of uttering anti-Semitic insults, the spring and summer 2012 John Galliano Homme collection took to the runway, with a new creative director taking the final bow.

Bill Gaytten, who spent the last 23 years working alongside Galliano at the label, briefly appeared at the top of the runway and gave a quick wave to the crowd before disappearing from view -- a stark contrast to Galliano's traditionally flamboyant post-show pose. According to a spokesman for the brand, the 51-year-old Gaytten, who holds a degree in architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, has been named to succeed Galliano -- who was fired by majority owner LVMH Louis Vuitton -- in the role of creative director.

Other than a new face at the far-end of the runway, the most noticeable difference this season was the absence of over-the-top styling, makeup and theatrical sets. (Last season's show, for example, involved pianos, candelabras, full-length dance mirrors and faux snow on the catwalk). The more subdued staging may have cut into the mood, but it made it a lot easier to envision the clothes as they'd most likely be worn.

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