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Chloé: Attitudes
By Sarah Mower

 

Jane & Serge
By Andrew Birkin

 

Loulou de la Falaise
By Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni

 

Halston: Inventing American Fashion
By Lesley Frowick

 

Dries van Noten
By Pamela Golbin

 

A Denim Story
By Emily Current, Meritt Elliott, Hilary Walsh 

 

Veruschka: From Vera to Veruschka
By Johnny Moncada

 

Draw Blood for Proof
By Mario Sorrenti

 

Diana Vreeland Memos:
The Vogue Years

By Alexander Vreeland

vendredi
oct.212011

Wolford Stockings

During the 1990s, the magazine 20 Ans queried Emmanuelle Alt, “What are your top 10 fashion favorites?” We all wanted to know. At number two on her list of favorites: "Des collants noirs en microfibre Wolford (à cause d'une sublime campagne de Newton)" or in English, “Black stockings by Wolford (because of the sublime campaign by Newton).” And by Newton, Ms. Alt meant Helmut Newton, of course, the famed photographer whose fashion work is ironically best known for the nudity. Helmut Newton’s photographs dramatically cast long-legged Amazonian models in black and white. They titillate us with provocative poses — they wear their sexuality on their sleeves. Or maybe "sleeves" is not the right place...

We all know that sex sells and when it came time to sell luxury pantyhose, Newton was the perfect photographer for the job. The Wolford campaign features leggy blond beauties dressed in nothing more than black bras, Wolford stockings, and shiny black pumps. Their faces were hidden, their perky posteriors were not. Who could forget the image of a pair of leggy beauties embracing by the sea? Or the one of the blond bobbed femme fatale clad in a Wolford bodysuit, thigh-highs, and those now familiar black pumps, face hidden once again, holding a gun behind her back...

No matter how erotic an ad campaign is, $45 is still a lot of money to spend on a pair of stockings but Wolford has legions of devoted fans who readily buy in bulk for the season. The sex brings them into the store and the quality keeps them coming. Wolford pantyhose are insanely comfortable and at the same time iron-clad, justifying the steep price tag.

Wolford stockings are so iron-clad that women who never even noticed the Newton campaign in the 90s proudly proclaim, “I wore Wolford before anyone knew about Wolford.” Legions of women proclaim this, in fact, which translates as, “I wore Wolford before my friends knew about it and at the time they thought I was nuts to spend $45 on a pair of pantyhose... but now they do it too.”

And so does Emmanuelle Alt.

Wolford advertising campaign by Helmut Newton images © Wolford. All Rights Reserved.

dimanche
juil.312011

Mixte

alternative - al·ter·na·tive adj \o l-ˈtər-nə-tiv, al-\
Existing outside traditional or established institutions or systems: an alternative lifestyle. Espousing or reflecting values that are different from those of the establishment or mainstream: Different from the usual or conventional, as existing or functioning outside the established cultural, social, or economic system.

Whether applying the term "alternative" to music, magazines, or style, an image of Emmanuelle Alt’s approach comes to mind. With her edgy cool, rock yet chic look, it’s no surprise that from 1998 to 2000, Madame Alt served as the editor-in-chief of the now (sadly) defunct alternative French magazine Mixte. From its première issue in 1996, Mixte paved the way for an emerging generation of models, artists, and photographers who were obsessed with the cultlike following of the magazine. Equally interesting to both men and women, the alternative audience of the well-traveled in-crowd with a passion for life, art, fashion, decorating, and even sports, all fixated on Mixte and its contents. Covers brought vivid eye catching colors and notable models included the androgynous Tilda Swinton, the now iconic Naomi Campbell, the Icelandic genius Björk, and the eternally fabulous Monica Belucci. It was bold, edgy, and took liberties in the styling of innovative spreads in a fashion that no other magazine dared up until the last issue, published June 2009. The demise of Mixte was tragic for many, and now Madame Alt has another opportunity to let the memory live on to some degree for the gone but not forgotten Mixte. After all, you can take the girl out of the alternative magazine, but can you ever really take the alternative out of the girl? Emmanuelle's time at Mixte and the work she accomplished are some of her favorite memories and this foundation is likely a strong influence for her now as she transitions to editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris. As Giambattista Valli notes: “It’s a very logical continuation for French Vogue. She’s really somebody who’s going to make it. She has a point of view, a lot of vision. I remember when she was editor-in-chief of Mixte she did some amazing stories. She worked a lot with Corinne Day at the time. She’s French, but she’s extremely international as well." Let's hope Emmanuelle applies that Alt-ernative je ne sais quoi to her new magazine...

Mixte cover images © 2009 Mixte. All Rights Reserved.

mercredi
juin222011

Martine De Menthon

Martine de Menthon worked as a stylist for Vogue Paris for more than 15 years, collaborating with renowned photographers such as Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton and eventually being promoted to fashion director. She fondly remembers Emmanuelle Alt just as the editor-in-chief's career at Vogue Paris was beginning: "My first memory of Emmanuelle Alt in the mid-90s is the one of a mischievous visitor coming regularly in the Vogue Paris office... observing, joking, becoming a member of the group. Un belle carrière bien menée." The talented de Menthon has also left her mark as a freelance stylist for various projects including advertising campaigns for Chanel and The Pirelli Calendar for 2009. She is responsible for styling so many iconic fashion images that I found it difficult to narrow my selection. I think my favorites are the evocative photographs that she created with Guy Bourdin. Most recently de Menthon worked with art director Zoran Bosanac and photographer Paolo Roversi on the campaign for Cerruti men's collection for Fall/Winter 2011. She resides in Paris with her family.

Claudia Schiffer photographed by Ellen von Unwerth for ELLEPhotographed by Dominique Isserman for Vogue ParisLara Stone photographed by Peter Beard for The Pirelli Calendar (2009)Photographed by Bettina Rheims for VoguePhotographed by Guy Bourdin for Vogue ParisIsabeli Fontana photographed by Peter Beard for The Pirelli Calendar (2009)Photographed by Ellen von Unwerth for Chanel ÉgoïstePhotographed by Guy Bourdin for Vogue ParisPhotographed by Paolo Roversi for Cerruti Fall/Winter 2011

Images styled by Martine de Menthon courtesy of martinedementhon.com.

vendredi
avr.082011

Isabel Marant

There has been a stylistic shift at the helm of Vogue Paris, at least when it comes to the personal style of its reigning editor-in-chief. The sexed up, vampy insouciance of Carine Roitfeld has been replaced with the boyish, casual insouciance of Emmanuelle Alt. It’s not a seismic shift though. Emmanuelle Alt’s style is an androgynous riff on what is considered Parisian chic now — which includes uncoiffed hair, sex appeal, and very high, very expensive footwear. The forced elegance reflected in a matched Chanel suit is considered staid. Instead legions of young ingenues follow the cult of Alt — namely, expensive clothes with an undone attitude à la Mom’s Chanel jacket thrown on with a pair of jeans. And a tshirt by Isabel Marant, bien sûr...

Take a peek at Ms. Alt’s wardrobe and on closer inspection one finds the designs of Isabel Marant being worn in heavy rotation. Isabel Marant is every cool girl’s secret fashion weapon. The designer has an uncanny gift for churning out exactly what the indie girls want, no, need every season. Marant's contemporary line of chic basics have rock and roll edge cleverly combined with flirty femininity. It is that perfect yin/yang balance that strikes a chord with not only Emmanuelle but also legions of fans. Isabel Marant fans are so devout, in fact, that when she opened a new store in New York in the Spring of 2010, she expressed just how hard it is to keep the store stocked, “As soon as a new shipment comes in, pfff, it’s gone.”

Isabel Marant started out with an accessories line in 1989. After a mere four years of success, she launched a full Ready-To-Wear collection. Her short casual dresses, loosely fitting knits, slouchy trousers, tailored jackets, and eye popping scarves took off — the best prescription for undone Parisian sex appeal. In 1999, Marant introduced a lower priced diffusion line, “Etoile,” and in 2004 she branched out by adding a line for children. Her Spring 2011 collection recalls surfing and the early days of skateboarding. The line features denim and courduroy cutoffs paired with a mix and match mish mosh of tops, including brightly checked button downs, shrunken fisherman sweaters, and lacy tops. The line looks like a Parisian exchange student’s take on California casual —totally cool, effortlessly sophisticated. No wonder she can’t keep the store stocked!

Note also that Emmanuelle Alt's husband, Franck Durand, consults creatively for Isabel Marant including campaigns such as this beauty featuring Kate Moss. When Russh asked about her working relationships, Marant responded: "It's funny because Emmanuelle and I kind of started out together a long time ago. I always admired her style and what she did for Vogue, but we lost contact for a while because she was overloaded with work. Four years ago her husband Franck Durand became my artistic director and I was always saying 'I love what your wife is doing, I would love to work together with her one day.' So it was little by little. Now we have done about five shows together. I love the vision she has for my clothes, she manages to put them together in a way that is a bit more sophisticated than what I did before.You see, I'm good at making clothes and dressing myself, but then dressing models, creating silhouettes, that's not my thing at all. I love it when she goes tac, tac, tac... puts the different pieces together, and I'm like 'oh yeah, that's exactly it!' I don't create the dressed girl like a lot of designers do. I'm interested in the separate pieces, but in the end I can't get the family back together again. Emmanuelle can take that step back. She has a very clear and precise vision and it's really great to work with her."

Emmanuelle Alt and Isabel Marant images courtesy of isabelmarant.tm.fr, PurseBlog, and fashioncoup.com

mardi
mars292011

Prada Infusion De Fleur D'Oranger

Among her essentials, Emmanuelle Alt lists Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger as her favorite perfume. This refreshing fragrance was created by perfumer Daniela Andrier as part of the limited edition "Ephemeral Infusion" collection produced by Prada. In terms of composition, Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger is a delightful mélange of orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, neroli, mandarin oil. What does this combination conjure? Many fragrance reviewers agree that the scent starts off lively, with the orange blossom and jasmine notes dominating. However, many also note that the fragrance smells the best at the very beginning, drying down to a nearly aldehydic ambience and losing the desirable orange blossom scent; of course each scent is unique on the individual, that is what makes perfume so intimate. One reviewer describes Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger as "a perfume for those who don’t like perfume" and perhaps this is why it is one of Emmanuelle's favorites. After all, she is far from a typical girly girl — she loves black, leather pants, and statement blazers — but her rock 'n' roll attitude does have a certain feminine quality to it. The cachet of the fragrance suits Emmanuelle perfectly, emphasizing her individual sense of style. Although this Prada scent was originally intended to be in stores for a mere four months, it seems many online retailers still sell the perfume so stock up while you can.

Prada Infusion de Fleur d'Oranger images © 2011 Prada. Seville orange blossom images via azahar-sevilla.com.