From left: Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane and Lacoste Image by: Imaxtree
The basic knit is reinvented and a new trend is born.
When was the last time you thought purposefully of a cardigan? The button-up knit with preppy roots emerged as a hero piece on the runways of New York and the message continued in London. Like denim and the white button-down before it, the cardigan was taken apart and reinvented by the likes of Christopher Kane, who presented holographic, slightly oversized versions. In New York, Alexander Wang sent model Stella Lucia down his party-ready runway in a loose, borrowed-from-dad knit that read as anything but precious. Lacoste, Ulla Johnson and Dion Lee took a fuzzier approach, while Tory Burch and Victoria Beckham represented the more sophisticated end of the spectrum.
The takeaway? Whether undone, artsy or preppy, the cardigan is infinitely versatile and, for the first time in many seasons, covetable.
Christopher Kane Image by: Imaxtree
Tory Burch Image by: Imaxtree
Victoria Beckham Image by: Imaxtree
...and he'll never reveal her name.
Over the course of our 15-minute conversation, New York-based designer Adam Lippes shifted positions seven times—sitting forward, leaning back with his legs crossed, tucking one leg under the other. For some, this might read as restless, but Lippes was energetic and present as he discussed his spring collection, his mentor (the late Oscar de la Renta) and the true meaning of luxury. We sat still and took it all in.
ON HIS SECRET MUSE
“She’s a friend of mine, but she doesn’t know she’s my muse. We have a secret mood board that gets hidden when she comes by the studio.”
ON LESSONS LEARNED
“My aesthetic is very different from Oscar de la Renta’s, but the core values are not. I want to make clothes that make women smile. And so did he. I learned everything about fashion from him.”
ON SLOW LUXURY
“If something took time to create, then chances are it’s luxurious. Like time spent with family or a dinner that took six hours to prepare—that’s a luxurious dinner.”
ON DRESSY CASUAL
“I’ve banned the word ‘gown’; I do long dresses. I think the word is ‘ease’; I try to do something that’s comfortable but also dressed up. Comfort doesn’t have to be sloppy.”
ON HIS SPRING COLLECTION
“There are lots of gathered asymmetrical hems and a play of stiff and soft. We make what we call an ‘opera coat,’ [made of] silk jacquard in 12 different colours. You can wear it with jeans and a T-shirt to the grocery store or out to black tie at night.”
New York fashion week went out with a bang, and naturally we saw it all go down on Insta.
For a conversation that’s ostensibly about her big TV show The Crown, Claire Foy and I spend an awful lot of time talking about cake. Part of it is a question of timing: It’s late on a Friday afternoon, a.k.a. sweet-craving o’clock. It’s also the day after I had tea with an ex-chef of Queen Elizabeth’s (relevant because Foy plays the Queen on the breakout Netflix hit about the early years of her reign) and was full of fun facts about her eating habits. (Side fact: The real Liz Windsor’s favourite treat is chocolate biscuit cake. When it’s served at tea, it’s the only one she eats more than a sliver of.)
Foy also has sugar (or a lack thereof) on the brain. She’s a self-described “addict” who recently got “back on the wagon” (all the better to fit into the wasp-waist fashions her character wears on the show, currently in production for its second season). “I was on, like, an eight-month bender where I just ate anything that had any sugar in it,” she confesses over the phone from London, where she lives with her husband and daughter. “I definitely live to eat, but giving up sugar just makes you feel so much better. I’ve become sort of evangelical about it.” In fact, “giving up sugar” is one of the things that Foy and her co-star Vanessa Kirby (who plays Princess Margaret) talk about between takes.
She also mentions that she really struggled to keep a straight face while filming scenes with John Lithgow (Winston Churchill). “You’ll notice that there are no lingering shots of the two of us,” she shares, pinning the blame on Lithgow. “They cut quite fast because I just can’t be in a room with that man without laughing. He’s got funny bones.”
Of course, not every scene could be taken quite so lightly, especially given that the series is high in interpersonal and political drama. I mean, in the 10 episodes of the first season alone, we see Elizabeth’s uncle abdicate, her father die, her husband’s attentions wander and her sister’s heart break—not to mention the symbolic weight of her taking on the changing British Empire at the age of 25.
“I remember when we shot the coronation,” recalls Foy, referring to the showstopper scene in the first season of the most expensive Netflix series ever. “I thought that Elizabeth would have been more nervous when it came to making her vows to God, but that moment actually gave her strength, as opposed to being a massive weight on her shoulders. She might have felt quite lonely before, but in that moment she felt a union and a reassurance. She suddenly got it and realized that that was what she was supposed to be doing.”
The series, for which Foy just won a Golden Globe, emphasizes the young queen’s strong sense of duty and how it is sort of a North Star that guides her life. Foy, well, not so much. “It did make me think, ‘Would I stick with something I didn’t want to do because I felt it was my duty?’” she says. “The answer is I don’t know. It’s day by day, isn’t it? You can’t look at the next 60 years of your life and say ‘I shall do this forever.’ You just have to live each day well and hopefully get to the end of it.”
And, yes, that includes going sugar-free.