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4 LIFE & ARTS ★ FINANCIAL TIMES MAY 14/MAY 15 2011

Style

T
he Cannes Film Festival has had made about whether or not Bruni-Sarkozy Just consider Samantha Cameron in gained 10lb, but you don’t actually look

The clues in
its first few star-studded days yet it will join Samantha Cameron and Cherie numerous high-waisted dresses post- pregnant. This is when people stare at you
seems to me that the most pressing Blair as First Mothers, we will have to arrival at 10 Downing Street (indeed, the but won’t say anything in case they are
question thrown up thus far is not search for clues where we find them and, purple number she wore on moving day wrong and expose themselves as thinking
which movie will win the Palme d’Or. Nor as far as I’m concerned, that means was a rather eye-catching example of the you are just fat, which is embarrassing.

Carla’s clothes
is it what fabulous series of dresses jury cherchez les vêtements. style). As a look, however, said garments Victoria Beckham has been a notable tent
member Uma Thurman is wearing on the (Although if it wasn’t true, wouldn’t the tend to come later in a pregnancy, when mini-dress model, as demonstrated by her
red carpet or even how the restored couple just deny it? What’s the point of there’s no hiding it, partly because they outfit at the royal wedding.
version of A Clockwork Orange is stringing this out? I can’t imagine the also scream, “Hey, check it out – my If Bruni-Sarkozy is pregnant, I would
received, but rather: is Carla Bruni- anticipation would do that much to help waistline has moved!” Empire waists are rather expect her to take the same
Sarkozy, first lady of France, pregnant? Sarkozy’s standing in the polls, especially not really Bruni-Sarkozy’s style, however, sartorial path, as Jackie Kennedy also
Unfortunately, she did not appear on if it turns out to be a false alarm. Sorry, either for day or evening, so if she went through a tent dress phase; her
the red carpet for the première of Woody there I go again.) suddenly started channelling the Empress modern heir could segue neatly from the
Allen’s Midnight in Paris, the film in After all, Bruni-Sarkozy’s style up until Josephine, it might be a bit of a red flag. current styles to another Jackie look
which she appears and which opened the now has been fairly consistent: neat But my guess is that’s not likely to without causing too many raised brows.
extravaganza on Wednesday. So there was Jackie-O sheath dresses or trim trousers happen; certainly not until a state dinner Then there’s the kaftan, currently
no new fuel for the fire begun by her and tucked-in blouses for day and bikinis at the very end of her term, if at all. having a major fashion renaissance as
strategic use of shawls a few weeks ago on vacation, all designed to suggest, Besides, though I know maternity wear summer vacation-wear. It’s naturally
and her refusal, when pressed, to confirm without over-emphasising, her model past has become a nice little niche business voluminous enough to hide pretty much
or deny that she is pregnant. and enduring model-figure present. Hence, recently, the truth is that most women anything that goes on underneath (just
Of course, the mere fact that the wife of the high alert when the shawls came out. don’t need to go there until about the check out old photos of Elizabeth Taylor).
the French president is actually in a There are certain signs that set people off. third trimester, so I wouldn’t rely on Kaftans could see Bruni-Sarkozy through
feature film (and a foreign feature film at Personally, for example, I have always waist-related maternity fashion to give the the August shutdown. Also, oversize
that – which movie industry, exactly, is assumed that when a woman folds her game away. Rather, there are subtler men’s shirts, such as the kind the First
she supporting?) is surprising. I mean, hands on top of her stomach, as opposed hints of what may be going on under a Lady models in Woody Allen’s film, will
can you imagine Samantha Cameron to over it, for example, that was a sign of belt, if you know where to find them. provide subterfuge for a while.
suddenly popping up in a Richard Curtis pregnancy. I mean, the gesture tends to Tent dresses, for example, of the All of which is to say: the upcoming

Vanessa flick? Michelle Obama in a Spike Lee


joint? Thought not. A Berlusconi babe, of
call attention to the curve of the abdomen
and most non-pregnant women are not
swinging sixties kind, are often a mother-
to-be’s best early friend. I have a Pierre
costume display may not be film-related
but, as far as reality viewing goes, it’s

Friedman course, is a different story . . .


But I digress. The point is, when it
that interested in drawing attention to
their curving abdomen. The sartorial
Cardin number shaped like a triangle that
served me very well in my first five
really something to watch.

Fashion comes to pregnancy and France’s First


Lady, until an official announcement is
equivalent of the hand-thing is, of course,
the empire waist.
months. That’s when you go from having
a normal stomach to looking like you’ve
vanessa.friedman@ft.com
More columns at www.ft.com/friedman

Power dressing
London, Paris, New York, Lima? Dr Patricia
Wexler
Peru and Iceland are the latest countries to pursue the ‘fashion week’ effect. By Vincent Bevins
Dr Patricia Wexler is a Manhattan­
based cosmetic dermatologist. She is
also an associate clinical professor for

T
hese days it seems every coun- important Peru Moda, the Mount Sinai School of Medicine
try has a fashion week and a trade show in the
often, when it comes to emerg- city’s Hippo- Shrug by Carolina Herrera
ing markets, not just one but drome where I don’t like jackets or suits because I use
two, as in Russia, India and Bra- Peruvian com- my arm and shoulders all day long:
zil. A fashion extravaganza is, apparently, panies make instead I need something free and fluid.
seen as an announcement that a nation has deals to sell quality www.carolinaherrera.com
arrived on the global scene. cotton and alpaca to com-
This is certainly true for two of the latest panies such as Monoprix, Dress by The Row
entrants to the field: Iceland and Peru, Le Bon Marché and The Row is young and very classic but
both of which hosted new fashion weeks Kenzo. with a twist. I will frequently wear Donna
last month. Though the clothes on display Designer Sumy Kujon Karan or Vera Wang separates, but I
were (not surprisingly) very different, and says: “Our challenge is to use never wear an entire matching outfit by
the hoopla surrounding each was idiosyn- our access to great local one designer. My colour palette is usually
cratic to say the least, together they materials and manufacturing grey, black or navy.
revealed the geo-political reasoning capacity to create a Peru- www.therow.com
behind the sudden rash of national vian design industry as
style events, and the ways fashion well.” So the runway Shoes by Azzedine Alaïa
can be used to serve economic shows for Peruvian Alaïa makes the most comfortable shoes.
ends. designers are the first There’s a curve to the bottom of the sole
Things have not been going too step on a long and and always a platform, so it’s comfortable
well for Iceland since its spectacu- uncertain road. for when I’m on my feet 10 hours a day.
lar financial meltdown in 2008 “It might take The chairs in the exam room are really
– hence the use of the coun- 10-15 [years] to made for a man’s height; if I wear a flat I
try’s famously eccentric crea- develop a proper com- can’t reach the patient. I’m only 5ft 3in.
tive culture to help power a munity and a world- Tel: +33 1 4272 3069
national comeback. The class fashion show,” says
Reykjavik Fashion Festi- Sergio Corvacho, a Peru- Watch by Cartier
val, which replaced the vian photographer and make-up I love watches. Before I got this piece,
previous fashion week, artist based in Paris. “But it’s great which is a Ballon Bleu in rose gold, I was
took place over two this is starting.” Still, “starting” a De Grisogono girl. This was a gift from
nights at the Reykjavik was the operative word, as the my husband and it’s become my favourite
Art Museum after “week” consisted of four days of everyday watch. The numbers are big, it’s
being opened by the shows featuring only 10 local design- really comfortable and I don’t have to
mayor Jón Gnarr, ers and one international guest, Span- worry about the strap getting wet.
who wore a three- ish designer Custo Barcelona, which www.cartier.com
piece suit and bright drew by far the biggest crowds.
red lipstick. At the “Our biggest advantages are our pre- Necklace by Vera Wang
opening, he said: “We Columbian geometrics and our materi- I love it because it can take a day outfit
are prisoners of time als,” says Kujon, and these were on dis- into the evening. I love great costume
and space. We are prison- play in her show, comprised of pretty, sen- jewellery. My rule is, however, that it
ers of the body . . . sible sweaters and dresses that mix Chi- can’t hang over the patient or jingle.
Through fashion we outerwear and the runway, nese and Peruvian design heritages and www.verawang.com
take over the prison, and which last year brought in blend baby alpaca with silk. Like many of
we take over the world.” $35m in worldwide sales. the designers at Lima’s fashion week, her Eyewear by Balenciaga
The take-over, sponsored by Recht says: “After 2008, pieces reflect her country’s history as a from Robert Marc
companies such as Icelandair and Icelanders stopped going supplier of product. Meanwhile, Sergio Usually I don’t wear
Icelandic Glacial, occurred in front to mainland Europe Davila mixed men’s and women’s wear glasses. I consider this
of 800 attendees and was powered with empty suitcases inspired by both the Incas and the Ameri- pair an accessory.
by more than 20 men’s and and returning with them can discoverer of Machu Picchu, Hiram www.balenciaga.com
women’s wear designers including full of designer clothes. People Bingham III, as seen in dark suits, top hats,
Israeli-born Sruli Recht, perhaps the interested in fashion and product design and light brown indigenous-style sweaters Bag by Louis
country’s most internationally started looking locally.” Following the and dresses. Many of the other collections Vuitton
respected designer. impact of the financial crisis on Icelandic were tailored to the local market: elaborate This Fleur de Jais
Recht is known for his use of indige- high street chains, he says, “lots of spaces evening gowns for Lima’s elite or a line Speedy has got a
nous materials. Since not much grows became available for designers to open attributed in name to Kate Moss but exhib- little bit of
in Iceland, this means a seal skin and Showcase From left: Two shops, almost for free.” Downtown Reykja- ited and sold by a local high-end mall. personality.
fox fur dress, shoes made from whale, of Sumy Kujon’s designs on vik does indeed now showcase a range of Ultimately, however, despite the runway www.louis
and a jacket made from blackbirds, the runway in Lima; Rain Icelandic offerings and many in the crowd gloss, it was hard to ignore the stark vuitton.com
feathers intact, sewn on to hunted rein- Dear and Mundi in Iceland were surprised by flashes of uniquely Ice- political realities of Peru: fast economic
deer hide. landic creativity – but it was hard not to growth has not brought an end to poverty Hosiery by
Elsewhere, Mundi took a more whimsical Carlos Alberto feel Iceland was playing the role of a mid- or social divisions, and in the second round Wolford
approach, with a set of black-and-white pat- sized European country rather than that of of the presidential elections next month I never wear
terned knitwear inspired by ski and snow, a tiny Arctic one. citizens will be given the choice between a tights, because
and Rain Dear showed a quirky line of By contrast, Peru was less interested in potentially radical leftwing military stockings just
coats made from transparent or brightly- spinning itself as an international cultural candidate and the daughter of a former feel good. The
coloured plastic. The most commercially centre than in getting a larger chunk of the president currently in jail for crimes Wolford quality is
successful brand in the festival was Nikita, apparel business it already partially sup- against humanity carried out by death wonderful and they never
a snowboard/skate streetwear label for plies. Local press called the inaugural Lima squads – a difficult choice, no matter how wear out.
girls that has only recently expanded to fashion week an “appetiser” for the more you dress it up. www.wolfordshop.com

Men on show
From Philadelphia to Stockholm, curators of men’s wear exhibitions are promising much more than suits and shirts. By Melanie Abrams

N
o one blinked when the Met- Increasingly, curators beg to differ, Amanda Creutzer, curator of the ing, for example, with content and recreated in the Fashion and Textile
ropolitan Museum of Art in including Haugland, whose current recent Dandy show at the Nordiska context, especially around everyday Museum, with the original shop front, Details
New York announced it was exhibition, The Peacock Male, looks at Museet, says: “We had to work very clothing.” This is true even if, as fixtures, fittings and even a tailor
dedicating its 2011 Costume men’s fashion since the 18th century. hard to make the show more interest- Haugland says, “There are more working live in the replicate cutting ‘Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row’ is
Institute show to Alexander McQueen. The Nordiska Museet in Stockholm is changes in men’s silhouettes than room; Nutter’s rock ’n’ roll connec- at The Fashion and Textile Museum,
“Of course,” went the thinking; “he touting a show of men’s swimwear, people realise, as in the 1950s when tions are also being emphasised. As May 20 to October 22,
was a design genius.” And since the complete with leopard Tarzan trunks, the classic suit tightened up, pleats Dennis Nothdruft, curator of the www.ftmlondon.org,
show opened, it has been the subject wrestler-inspired models, Björn Borg appeared, jackets and trousers museum, explains: “Stage costumes
of many wildly enthusiatic reviews. boxer shorts and more; London’s Vic- shrunk, cuts narrowed and pockets give a framework that is more than ‘Walter Van Beirendonck: Dream the
Yet there is a glaring omission at its toria and Albert museum is home to a were bound.” Hence the Nordiska’s just suits.” World Awake’ is at MoMu – Fashion
heart: it’s 99 per cent women’s wear – Yohji Yamamoto retrospective that introduction of an interactive element Nutter’s glittering costumes for Museum Antwerp, September 14 to
but McQueen also made, and makes, includes, for the first time, his men’s to the Dandy show, with touchscreens Elton John, Neil Sedaka and others February 19 2012, www.momu.be
men’s wear. Does that not belong in wear; next week in London the dotted around the space for visitors to are much more flamboyant than Wal-
the museum too? Fashion and Textile Museum will vote for their favourite outfit. ter Van Beirendonck’s costumes for ‘Dandy’ is at the Nordiska Museet until
Most people’s first reaction would feature the work of Tommy Nutter, Similarly, location of items can play U2’s PopMart tour, which will be on the end of May; ‘Men in Bathing Suits’
be no: it’s too boring. With dark suits the 1970s Savile Row tailor with a a part in how viewers experience the view at MoMu and include black suits is also at the Nordiska Museet until
and coats as standard uniform, or the client list including Mick Jagger, clothes. “[Yohji] Yamamoto’s outland- and khakis. Indeed, their very accessi- September 18, www.nordiskamuseet.se
odd bold print shirt, what could there Elton John and Andrew Lloyd Web- ish designs are in the main space to bility may be the surprise. To further
be to sustain interest, room after ber; and this autumn MoMu (the fash- show off the textures and fabrics,” bring Van Beirendonck’s designs ‘The Peacock Male’ is at the
room? And the alternative – avant- ion museum in Antwerp) will show- says Victoria and Albert curator down to earth, says Kaat Debo, the Philadelphia Museum of Art until
garde S&M and cyber aesthetics – is, case a retrospective of Walter Van Ligaya Salazar. “The less outlandish director of MoMu, “We’re using July; Tailoring Philadelphia is also on at
as Kristina Haugland, associate cura- Beirendonck, the Belgian avant- pieces [such as his signature business objects such as African masks, Hopi the Philadelphia Museum of Art until
tor of costumes and textiles at the garde superstar. suits and utility wear] are in the satel- Kachina dolls [from the Native Ameri- end of Summer,
Philadelphia Museum of Art, says, Which is not to say that creating a lite spaces to emphasise their story, can tribe], his workbooks and other www.philamuseum.org
“weird for men to look at”. A men’s visually arresting, conceptually con- which would have been overlooked in sources of inspiration to
wear show just wouldn’t pull in the vincing, men’s wear museum show is the main space.” help people understand his work, ‘Yohji Yamamoto’ is at the V&A until
punters. Or so conventional wisdom necessarily an easy sell, either to the For the Tommy Nutter exhibit, his such as why he uses latex and July 10, www.vam.ac.uk
might think. public or the instution itself. Sharp Tailor Tommy Nutter David Nutter famous shop is being meticulously crochet masks.”