Monday, February 7, 2011

Behold, the Eyes of Barneys New York

You know the phrase, "eyes are the windows to the soul." We'll our favorite department store, Barneys, just launched "The Window," an up close and personal, witty Website designed to let us all into the soul of the shopping mecca's glamorous, chic, and cutting-edge universe.

It's an intimate way to get acquainted with the season's new Louboutins and a device for peering into the mind of, wait for it, Simon Doonan. I already feel a stronger connection to overpriced couture mecca o' wonder, which is now even more of a happy thought for me. If Peter Pan were a true story, I would definitely being flying now.

In the form of worship, here are Simon's reflections on Lanvin's eponymous genius, Alber Elbaz:

Alber Elbaz is not just the genius designer for Maison Lanvin, he is also a part of the Barneys family. We go way back. We love him because he designs the chic-est, most wantable clothes and accessories on the planet — but there is something else. We dig him because he is a great person.
He is, in fact, a total MENSCH.
(For those of you who don’t know what “mensch” means, here’s some help:
Mensch [men-ch]:  a decent, upright, mature, and responsible person.)
… is for Magic.  Alber’s personal journey via Morocco, Israel, NYC and now Paris, gives his designs eclectic electricity. He has the multi-culti magic of Yves, as in Saint Laurent.
 … is for Exuberance. A typical Lanvin show juxtaposes moments of somber drama with bursts of colorful joie de vivre.  Isn’t that what life is all about?
 … is for Noir. Nobody does black like Alber. He gets the nuances of noir, and the subtle naughtiness of noir.
 … is for Self-deprecation. After his last show Alber told WWD, “I’m not a cool designer, and Lanvin is not a cool brand.” ( By which he meant, Lanvin is not relentlessly trendy and insider-ish. ) He’s right: Lanvin is not a “cool” brand. It’s a timeless brand.
 … is for Chandeliers. Alber loves them. In 2004 we restaged Alber’s Paris Fall show in our Beverly Hills store. When Alber arrived and saw the runway, he felt we needed more chandeliers. We ransacked the movie studio prop-rental houses to get him what he wanted. We were so anxious to please Alber that we seriously contemplated stealing some chandeliers from Candy Spelling’s Bel Air living room.
 … is for Humor. Alber is rigorous about his seams and his designs, but knows when to turn up the laugh track: Check out his playful Frenchy foofy window displays, to mention nothing of his drag-queen-filled NYC Halloween party last year.
Vive Alber! Vive le Mensch!
(Photo and Content from The Window/Barneys New York) 

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