Roberta Einer spring 2017
This designer's clothes aren't for shrinking violets.
Estonian-born, London-based designer Roberta Einer's frenetic and playful vibe is infectious. Since launching her label in 2015, Einer has become known for her bold use of couture-level embellishment and hand embroidery. It's no surprise that prior to launching her label, Einer worked with Olivier Rousteing as a print and embroidery assistant at Balmain.
We chatted to Einer about her spring collection, which is a mix of mad prints and reworked silhouettes inspired by pastel-hued South Beach circa 1980.
A look from Roberta Einer's spring 2017 collection
What's the mood and feeling of this collection?
"I drew main inspiration from Miami and South beach – 1980’s poolside poster art was translated into embellishment, highly worked fabrics featured botanicals and tropical birds. For the colours I was inspired by illustrators like Jiro Bevis and Yoko Honda who [featured] Miami a lot in their work. I wanted to recreate what all those strong Studio 54 characters like Bianca Jagger, Janice Dickinson and Debbie Harry would be wearing if they went to Miami. The pastel hues of the city’s architecture lead to using rainbow palette of greens, blues, pinks and fluorescents that were set by monochrome. It’s a very fun and sexy collection – just like Miami! – with lots of high shine and big contrasts in textures and cuts."
In terms of textures, what was the process in selecting or creating then?
"Fabric and material sourcing is one of the most important parts when designing collection. We get custom tweeds done in Linton mill, which is the same mill that develops Chanel tweeds. We get jacquards from Paris and leather from Italy. All embroidery is manufactured in one of the best hand embroidery factories, that also produces for Balmain, Ralph & Russo and Lanvin. We [experiment] in-house for the most creative techniques and finishes and then give the production to the industry’s best."
Who's the Roberta Einer customer?
"I don’t really believe that there is a certain age or image that most of our customers have, because for me it has always been about designing every kind of woman – all ages, all ethnicities, all body types and characters. I started selling from the very first season globally, so it became vital to design for all types of women.
One thing that unites all customers is that they wish to stand out and have this playful way of dressing and living. For me, it’s really important that the customer wears clothes and not the other way around. And with designs like mine, you will really need a quite a character to pull it off!"
An exclusive interview with the makeup maestro.
Whenever I interview people I admire, I tend to ramble. A lot. See: my recent conversation with makeup artist Kabuki about Kabuki Magic Collection, his upcoming collabo with M.A.C Cosmetics. During our chat, I was in full-on first-date mode, stumbling over my words and talking over him.
Lucky for me, not only does the New York-based Brit have the patience of a kindergarten teacher, he thoughtfully answered all my questions, even checking in with me if they were “good enough” answers. (They were.)
Kabuki Magic is his first official collection with M.A.C. – even though he's worked on their campaigns and has been using their products backstage at fashion week for ages – and he’s in good company. The iconic makeup brand also enlisted best-of-the-best makeup artists James Kaliardos and Diane Kendal to design their own must-have products as part of the Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection, available online Jan. 19 and in stores January 26.
Kabuki’s roster of lipsticks, shadows and blushes is super playful – think richly pigmented lip colour and vivid eye paints – but also super practical. Here, he talks about his vision and how Kendall Jenner inspired a VIS – very important shade.
Kabuki backstage with Gigi Hadid at Jeremy Scott's Spring/Summer 2016.
What inspired the Kabuki Magic collection? These are products I wanted that didn't exist – either the colours or the formula. Like Fallen Angel Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (below, left). It’s a deep berry. I have to do that colour all the time when I’m on a shoot. It’s such a pain because I have to combine three different colours to get something to look the way I want it. So now it’s just a one-step thing. I also wanted a natural matte pink that was like a real lip colour rather than something that looked “lipstick-y.” I was working with Kendall Jenner and I created this colour by mixing [a few] pinky nude shades together. I brought that sample from the shoot to M.A.C and that's how we created Sweet Thing Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (below, right). I wanted these products to be very practical—things that people would really need, and not just more stuff.
M.A.C. Cosmetics Fallen Angle Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour and Sweet Thing Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour ($25, at maccosmetics.com).
The names of the products are so fun – “Johnny Guitar” and “Sense Of Doubt” (both eyeshadow palettes) and “Ice Follies” (a gloss). How did you come up with them? I made three categories. One was made-up names, the other was Joan Crawford movies and the other was David Bowie references. So I suppose in my subconscious, maybe there are elements of Bowie and Crawford’s careers? Just because I’m a fan so maybe there is something to distil from that into my approach to self-creation.
Do you remember the first time you used a M.A.C product? My first break was in production, [I did makeup for] Sex and the City and then movies afterwards and M.A.C was always very generous in helping with the makeup. Plus, they have real makeup artists working for them and the artists are people I’d be friends with. There is always the feeling of community and sharing tips and, “oh what’s that product?” so it was always like Aladdin’s cave of beauty items.
Let’s talk about spring makeup. Are there any trends you are totally over? I kind of have immediate responses to trends. The ones that I’m over I was never into in the first place. I don't like it when there are a lot of people all doing the same thing. For example, I don't really like when they put that white in the inner corner of their eyes to create a glow. Because we know it’s a trick. I guess I’d rather be challenged and see something new. This surprise is always more exciting than seeing something you’ve seen a million times.
“I use the paints as an eye primer. There is nothing worse than a perfectly blended, precise eye that melts. I wanted these in very bright colours and in white so you could mix them together and created different colours. I tend to use a flat brush to put them on and if I need to blend them out I use like a fluffy brush. But if you’re doing it on yourself, it would be easier to use your finger.” M.A.C. Cosmetics Paints in Cracked Emerald, Holy Holy Overnight Sensation and Win and ($26 each, at maccosmetics.com).
What about "Instagram makeup"? Are you for or against? Mediums create their own style so in a way it’s almost like it works in the medium. I wouldn't say anything bad about it because they’re having fun. It’s like self-publishing. And you can learn from things that are exaggerated. I like going the whole distance [into a look] because it’s easy to pull back and just take an element from that. You can always make something more mild, so to me it’s more interesting to see somebody do all the tricks because it’s more information on one face.
And finally, I’ve always wondered how long it actually takes to make a makeup collection? I think it was about a year and a half! There were a lot of meetings, but they were spaced apart. But it was very enjoyable and I would do it all over again if I could.
Editor's note: We can only hope.
Kabuki created the Precision Brush – in his words “ a really small soft eye shadow brush” – because he found “that a lot of the brushes when they get smaller, they are also firmer so they weren’t good for blending.” M.A.C. Cosmetics Precision Brush ($30, at maccosmetics.com).
Source: Getty Images
Remember paper-bag pants?
Stylish star Sienna Miller was spotted out in London in a somewhat forgotten trend, the paper-bag waist.
While a trend inspired by a paper bag may not sound like one you'd ever want to bring back, when styled with the right ensemble they make for a major street style moment. Before getting Sienna's stamp of approval, the pant was notably revived on the runway at Stella McCartney, who paired the pant with fitted, corset-like tops. It's the first time in several seasons that the cinched silhouette has entered the fashion conversation.
Pants like these can't help but take the spotlight, so we love how Sienna rocked her dusty rose pair with a simple sweater and matching peep-toe shoes.
Here are some options to get the tapered trouser look:
Ann Demeulemeester Cortez Trousers ($661), at farfetch.com.
Source: Getty Images
Never one for following trends, beauty-brand founder Linda Rodin reflects on a lifetime of staying true to her instincts.
There’s an old image I love of my mother riding a bicycle. She’s young and smiling, and she’s wearing a simple cream turtleneck and a pair of inky denim dungarees. It’s a slice of an old 16 mm home movie, so the colours have a hazy, bluish filter. There’s no sound, but I know my father was the one behind the lens. He was the family photographer. A doctor by day, he was a Gregory Peck-type character. I can’t ever remember him not being smartly dressed under a trilby hat. All the men wore hats in the ’50s. He was passionately in love with my mother, and my earliest memories involve them piling my sister, my brother and me into the car on weekends and heading to the beach, a half-hour drive from our postwar home in the tightly knit community of Roslyn, Long Island. We didn’t have a lot of money, but appearance was always important to my parents: Our hair was always brushed, our shoes were always polished.
My mother, Beatrice, a.k.a. Billie, was incredibly stylish and obsessively collected objects of beauty. She had an antiques shop, she was an interior decorator, she was a sculptress. She had wonderful taste, as did my grandmother and my aunt, so I think it was just by osmosis that I grew up with an appreciation for beautiful things and a keen eye for clothing. Style was always present in our house. The Warholian-style wallpaper (before his famous flower paintings) in our modest kitchen—bold and flowered in black and bright blue—wasn’t like anything in the homes of my childhood school friends. But it was unique and, like the impeccably tailored clothes I’d see my mother wearing, understated in a way that felt independent, confident and always special. She made the trends of the day totally her own.
I lived at home until I was 18, going back and forth into New York City on the train, jumping off at Penn Station and exploring the immediate area around 34th Street, not wanting to stray too far. And then I made the move to Manhattan. I studied liberal arts at NYU, heading home on weekends. My roommate and I shared an apartment on the Upper West Side. The bathroom was royal purple, while the rest was painted a beautiful lavender. It was a funny first apartment. I remember the pride I felt for my olive-green vintage dresser, with its white marble top and beautiful mirror, and my big, roomy bed. It was just charming. When I moved to Italy a year later to follow a boyfriend, I felt liberated and open to anything, like most 20-year-olds at the close of the ’60s.
Looking back on that time, stepping out of the blissful suburban bubble where I had grown up, I suppose my thoughts and views on the world were radically changing. What wasn’t radically changing was my personal style: simple, straightforward and clean. Aside from a brief hippie moment of long, centre-parted hair and dangly earrings and ponchos (we all wanted to look like folk singer Joan Baez) and a fun stage where I channeled ’30s Parisians, I was essentially a shirt-and-jeans girl. What other people were doing, culturally and sartorially, was always interesting to me. I would adopt bits and pieces but remained true to my rather simple style, although my inherited and hopeless need to surround myself with things of unique beauty was an affliction I continued to fully embrace.
By 1979, I was back in New York and opened Linda Hopp, a clothing store that was the first of its kind in SoHo. I was designing clothes, and I was buying Calvin Klein and Todd Oldham early on, before both designers were propelled into fashion’s super league. I had hats and bags—it was an original “concept” store, albeit short-lived. For a time, people would come by to uncover new and different pieces, experimenting and playing dress-up, until the homogenized power uniform of ’80s Manhattan set in.
I left the exaggerated shoulder pads and gratuitous excess to New York’s movers and shakers and channeled my own brand of maximalism into the downtown apartment in the funky pre-war building I moved into 35 years ago (and still remain in today). When I say “funky,” what I really mean is a bit shabby, but in this city’s rental market, once you find a place, it’s wise to never leave. And I love my one-bedroom apartment with windows on three sides. I’ve made it totally mine, surrounding myself with pieces that give me joy. I collect anything and everything: vases, shells, bowls, glasses—whatever strikes my fancy. I don’t have anything that’s contemporary. I don’t look to interiors magazines or shop according to the hottest designer or store. I’m a loner, and I love what I love. If I see a beautiful dish from the ’70s or a faded mirror from 1930, I’ll get it. It’s eclectic, a hodgepodge, things I like to wake up and see.
My choices are mine alone to make. I never did meet the right guy and settle down, and now I live with the love of my life, my miniature poodle, Winky. He weighs nine kilograms, he’s silver, he’s got really long legs and he’s much smarter than I could ever be! As someone said: “Poodles aren’t dogs; they’re people.” I love to have friends over, a few at a time, for a glass of wine and a chat. I’m not a big entertainer. No dinner parties. No space for that. I travel, but I always love to come home to my turquoise velvet sofa and my gorgeous plants and flowers. I’m a true homebody.
I find it hysterical that a 68-year-old, someone who’s wrinkly and worn, has been noticed by the fashion set and they have decided to embrace me. It’s wonderful to be called a “style icon.” First came the Karen Walker sunglasses campaign, then a lookbook for The Row. It’s flattering to think they find my style “cool.”
I don’t have a lot of dresses. I don’t like frilly things. I like being tailored; it suits my physique. While I’d happily saunter around my living room in floor-length ’30s bias dresses, I don’t own an evening gown and I never have. Nor have I ever dyed my hair. It was never an issue when I started turning grey at 35. That didn’t bother me at all. It never has. I guess you could say it’s become my signature—that and the glasses. Everyone says, “Oh, you wear the greatest glasses.” Well, I can’t see! They are, admittedly, a nice, quirky addition and a super-easy way to add flair to my look.
I also collect vintage jewellery, but I only wear a few personal pieces designed by Soraya Silchenstedt. She made long chain necklaces for me and my sister about seven years ago. Mine has a small round diamond charm and a heart on it, and my sister’s just has the tiny heart. When she passed away, I buried her in my necklace and now I wear hers. I’ve never taken it off. On my wrist I have her name, Christine, tattooed in turquoise. I was 62 and didn’t have to think twice. My first and only other tattoo (which I got at 60) says “Nick”—my nephew who was serving in Iraq. I needed him close. (He’s back home and safe now.)
I operate on instinct—I’ve got a lifetime of experience to draw on. I don’t shop by label. If something looks good on me, I’m on board. And I keep some pieces forever. I still have a denim shirt that’s 30 years old and a denim jacket that I’ve had forever. I’m fortunate in that I’ve kept the same silhouette so I can still wear the same jeans—I’m a real denim fanatic. I wear vintage Levi’s 501s almost every day. I have lovely designer jeans as well. I’ve got a pair from Chloé, but it doesn’t matter where they came from or who designed them—I just love denim in any shape or form. I’m waiting for my Ellery jeans to arrive from Australia. I love Ellery and got her wonderful flare pants while visiting Sydney.
Style does not have to rely on money or resources. For me, it’s about personal taste and a sense of oneself. And I don’t think that just because you get older you have to dress older, or younger, or anything. I was never a provocative dresser anyway. I did wear hot pants and miniskirts when I was 18. I guess we all did. But since then, I’ve always been pretty covered up; that’s just the way I feel most comfortable. It has to feel right for me in order to look right. And now when I look at footage of my mother, it strikes me how similar my tastes have become to hers. That simple turtleneck, those great dungarees—there was a simplicity about the way she dressed that allowed her personality to shine through. That and the slick of raspberry lipstick that frames that beaming smile. It’s a shade I’ve recreated today in my own beauty line, Rodin Olio Lusso. It still feels modern, even 60 years on.
I called it Billie on the Bike.