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Rave Night at the Armory

Donatella Versace clearly wants to make some noise with Versus. Last night, her collaboration with J.W. Anderson came down the runway at the Lexington Avenue Armory between bursts of live music from hip-hop artist Angel Haze, hard-rock band Dead Sara, and electro-pop sensation (and latest Versace darling) Grimes. The glitziest musical talent in the house didn’t get anywhere near a stage—or a camera, for that matter—but Lady Gaga was, several sources confirmed, somewhere on the gigantic premises.

Admittedly, the clothes had a bit of atmosphere to compete with. But Brian Atwood, for one, left looking satisfied. “Very Donatella, very Versus,” he declared—and, presumably, he would know, having served as the label’s designer in the nineties. “I did feel some vibe from the old archives, which was very nice to see,” he said.

Here, more of the show was on display than usual. The models did their final prep inside a transparent cube, making very much a spectacle of Anderson as he appraised each one of them with a deeply furrowed brow. “I’m usually screaming backstage,” Anderson said later, in the actual backstage area, but then he caught himself. “And I was here, too!” Call it, to borrow a phrase, a glass case of emotion. When Versace herself plopped down inside of the fishbowl to take in the Grimes set, a sea of camera phones spun around to greet her.

Maxwell took over as singing DJ, and The Misshapes came over to hang out with Grimes. Models—Maryna Linchuk, Alana Zimmer, Eniko Mihalik—danced, and the party was still going when the clock struck one. No one had another fashion show to dash off to, after all. When it comes to showing, not many labels out there take this radically different approach to the how and when. But as Anderson put it, “This is the house of Versace. Everything is possible.”

Tianyi Xie

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“The bright colors, whimsical cartoons, and bold shapes of Asian pop culture can be seen throughout my thesis collection. I was inspired by Asian youth who boldly accessorize their fashions. I was also influenced by American movies. Growing up in Virginia, I learned English from watching American movies, and I absorbed their images and stories at a very young age.”

f938c page1 image1 Tianyi Xie

Tianyi Xie was born in northern China and raised in Virginia and knew she wanted to be a fashion designer from the time she was 6 years old. As a very active person (she was a dancer in high school and swam or ran almost every day), she always appreciated comfortable fashion, yet as a classically trained pianist who wore high heels almost every day, she also appreciated dressing up. These two mind-sets influenced her approach to design. During her studies at Parsons, Xie chose to focus on accessories. She designs for comfort and practicality, as well as beauty and luxury—the same way she lives her life.

“My thesis collection is full of playful details. I concoct new shapes for accessories while keeping their functionality. I believe that a striking exterior and a thoughtful interior makes the perfect accessory. The bright colors, whimsical cartoons, and bold shapes of Asian pop culture can be seen throughout my thesis collection. I was inspired by Asian youth who boldly accessorize their fashions. I was also influenced by American movies. Growing up in Virginia, I learned English from watching American movies, and I absorbed their images and stories at a very young age. Stories inspire me. I channel them through my collection to make them powerful and full of wit and cleverness.

“When you walk into any Chinese family’s pantry, it’s like a cartoon. There is such an explosion of color when you open that pantry door. My collection came from my kitchen back home. In my house, the kitchen is where all the love, energy, and creativity are located. I take that same energy and channel it through my collection. The colorful shapes are inspired by the personalities of my family members. They also come from the packaging of the ingredients we use in our cooking. This collection shows a modern Asia that is fun and sophisticated.”

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On the Rocks

Plenty of New York designers take time to raise a glass with the pretty people, but few are as devoted to the fashion world’s after-dark circuit as Johan Lindeberg. Whether it’s in the name of finding inspiration for his denim label, BLK DNM, or having a plain old good time, the sought-after Swede tends to turn up at all the right open bars and soft-opened downtown clubs.

Logical, then, that an enterprising booze label like Absolut—which was, after all, partnering with Keith Haring and Andy Warhol way back before Lindeberg was even in the fashion game—would tap this branding maestro and ardent party pilgrim. Recently, the liquor giant named Lindeberg creative director of Absolut Elyx, its high-end new vodka. Lindeberg shot the campaign—a first for him—with Chloë Sevigny as the face of it. Both were on hand last night at a launch party in the Meatpacking District.

For Sevigny, the gig seemed to have been a breeze. “I got to put my iPod on, we drank some vodka, and took some photos—it was very casual,” she told Style.com. “It didn’t feel as pressured as a [regular] photo shoot, which is weird, because usually in advertising there are so many people involved and putting their two cents in.”

Eight-foot images of Sevigny served as the primary decoration inside the venue, which was chockablock with rusty beams and exposed brick. Complementing the raw space was a raw bar, which lured the likes of Mario Sorrenti and DJ Tiesto with oysters and osetra caviar—and, naturally, the drink of the evening in various forms.

No floating gold flakes or talk of diamond filtering for this crowd, though. “I wanted Elyx to be the opposite of all these bling-bling cultures being created around vodka brands,” Lindeberg explained. And in a way, his no-nonsense approach to drinking the stuff lends credence to the cause. “I like it either straight, or with soda,” he said. “I’m not a sweet guy.”

Joseph Singh

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“I am fascinated by the interaction between people and their surroundings, body versus space, the order and arrangement of things around me, and the contrast of opposite ideas. My work focuses on surface, with fabric as a starting point, and is primarily characterized by dark and mysterious themes.”

f658c page1 image1 Joseph Singh

Joseph Singh was born and raised in San Francisco, California. While studying biology at San Francisco State University, he realized his true passion was fashion design. Consequently, he enrolled in San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and simultaneously completed degrees at both institutions. In 2010, he moved to New York City to further his pursuits in the fashion industry. While attending Parsons, he interned with Donna Karan.

“I am fascinated by the interaction between people and their surroundings, body versus space, the order and arrangement of things around me, and the contrast of opposite ideas. My work focuses on surface, with fabric as a starting point, and is primarily characterized by dark and mysterious themes. Seven years ago, I lost my grandfather—a man with whom I was incredibly close. Moving forward after my grandfather’s loss was not only painful but a struggle I have been dealing with for several years. In devising my senior thesis collection, I was inspired by his funeral, as well as my ensuing efforts of accepting his passing and allowing the hurt and pain of the loss to dissipate. Using advanced techniques such as laser-cutting, I was able to create a new way of pleating, and pushed that idea further throughout the process. As the collection evolved, it became this idea of dissipation and officially letting go. By symbolically letting traditional pleating go, I also was coming to terms with his being gone. Moving through the collection, the pieces become much softer and more delicate; eventually, it finishes with a full white gown. I know deep down that my grandfather is physically gone but his spirit remains. Always knowing that his spirit is guiding and protecting me, I will continue to move forward in life and in design.”

Photos: Zev Starr-Tambor / www.starr-tambor.com

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Yoonsun Choi

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“I applied lessons learned over six years of training as a painter to the aesthetic of my garments, which juxtapose delicate prints on a sportswear collection and combine ancient painting techniques and modern digital printing.”

5699d page1 image1 Yoonsun Choi

Yoonsun Choi is from South Korea, where she earned a BFA prior to enrolling at Parsons. During her studies at Parsons, her background in fine art helped her to achieve a unique aesthetic, which she applied in full in her thesis collection. “Inspired by my own Oriental painting, this collection represents a study in contrasts. I applied lessons learned over six years of training as a painter to the aesthetic of my garments, which juxtapose delicate prints on a sportswear collection and combine ancient painting techniques and modern digital printing.

“Floral prints complement the movement created by the oversize, simple shapes of the garments. Fragile yet vibrant, flowers epitomize the contradictions found in nature, providing the perfect visual foundation to build my collection. Modern digital printing techniques enabled me to transfer painted images onto organza, organdy, chiffon, stretch fabric, jersey, cotton, and leather. Accents to the prints were hand-painted on organza and organdy.

“The collection also pairs accessories associated with an active lifestyle, such as a skateboard and headphones, with elegant floral paintings. Although the uses for these items may at first seem to conflict with the way they have been adorned, flowers also embody vibrancy and movement. This collection is a study of such contradictions, blending ancient with modern, delicate with vibrant, sophisticated with the unrefined.”

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Frieze the Day

Fashion and art have a habit of finding each other, as they did on the third floor of Bergdorf Goodman’s men’s boutique on Friday night. Enlisting Dries Van Noten as its cohost, the retailer invited the likes of Nan Goldin and Elizabeth Peyton to dinner to fete Frieze New York, as well as Ethan Wagner and Thea Westreich Wagner‘s new book, Collecting Art for Love, Money, and More. Van Noten paid a visit to Frieze before heading to the party. “It was my first time here, and actually, I think I prefer it to London,” said the designer, noting that he appreciated the creativity and the ease of the fair. When guests nestled into their spots at the seemingly mile-long dinner table, Van Noten’s friend of more than twenty years, Maria Cornejo, slid into the spot next to him. “My favorite thing about Dries is that he’s a man, but he really knows how to make clothes for a woman,” she said.

On Saturday, friends of Paddle8 and Bulgari crammed into new Greenwich Village eatery Carbone to count down the final hours of the online auction Vanguard, which Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) curated to raise funds for upcoming public art projects in locations from New York to Shanghai. “The art world has been mostly resistant to the Internet, but no one can resist it forever,” said Simon de Pury, who had come to auction off a few pieces in the flesh. “It’s been very exciting to see companies like Paddle8 position themselves online—it’s going to completely transform the landscape of the market.”

Farther downtown, at the Clocktower Gallery, Visionaire threw a bash with G-Shock in honor of its sixty-third issue. “Forever,” as the new release is called, weighs in at eight pounds of stainless steel and consists of just ten plates, and it was no easy feat translating 2-D images into 3-D renderings to be made into molds. “There’s a reason why there aren’t all-metal publications out there,” editor Cecilia Dean told Style.com. “It’s a difficult process, especially if you’re doing a body or a face that’s supposed to be beautiful or recognizable.”

In keeping with the theme, the space was lined entirely with tinfoil, all of the cocktails were mixed with drinkable glitter, and the dress code read, “sparkle.” Dean wore a custom Ohne Titel dress with a mirrored mosaic skirt, Ladyfag made a Reynolds Wrap bandeau, and Sofia Sanchez de Barrenechea‘s embellished Chanel wedges set off the metal detectors at security.

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