Thursday, May 5, 2011

7 Top Designers On What Rocks Their World

This month ELLE enlisted seven music-savvy designers—from Stella McCartney and Alexander Wang to Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld—and asked them which artists and albums inspire their work and, of course, which tunes they’re currently obsessed with. (Like us, Hilfiger can’t get enough of “Rolling in the Deep” by this month’s Women in Music honoree Adele.) We’re also highlighting 10 rock-star-worthy items from each designer, including one totally-worth-it signature piece from their latest collections. Talk about making sweet music!

Chanel’s Bohemian Rhapsody 
Gilded Byzantine romance gets a swingy ’60s update courtesy of designer Karl Lagerfeld

“I listen to music when I work, read, and sleep,” says Lagerfeld. “I’ve been playing James Blake and Florence and the Machine.” At left: Talitha Getty, queen of the boho-riche look, in Marrakech, 1970; a Chanel runway look.
Chanel’s Bohemian Rhapsody 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Tweed dress, jeweled silk belt, Chanel, prices on request,  Glass stone earrings, Chanel, $920, Calfskin bag, Chanel, price on request,Embellished sandal, Chanel, price on request, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide

Chanel’s Bohemian Rhapsody 
Greatest Hit: The Status Jacket

Sequin-embellished muslin jacket, Chanel, price on request, at select Chanel boutiques nationwide

Chanel’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Lagerfeld’s Playlist

“Leonora,” Hercules & Love Affair
“I know Places,” Lykke Li
“Measurements,” James Blake
“Odessa,” Caribou
“Bigger Than Us,” White Lies

At left: Karl Lagerfeld; the designer transports his numerous MP3 players and speakers in custom-made trunks.

Stella McCartney’s British Invasion 
Fashion’s reigning rock progeny tips her hat to her father’s globe-trotting ’60s heyday

“My whole life is filled with musical memories,” McCartney says. At left: a look from the Stella McCartney collection; Beatlemania outside Buckingham Palace, 1965; a young Stella with parents Paul and Linda, 1976

Stella McCartney’s British Invasion 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Cotton stretch dress with lace sleeves, Stella McCartney, price on request, call 310-858-1023; Brass studded bracelet, Stella McCartney, $1,365, at Stella McCartney, NYC; Recycled shell and brass clutch, Stella McCartney, $2,085, at Stella McCartney, West Hollywood; Satin pump with grommet-encrusted heel, Stella McCartney, $1,295

Stella McCartney’s British Invasion 
Greatest Hit: Razor-Sharp Tailoring

Wool jacket, Stella McCartney, $1,855

Stella McCartney’s British Invasion 
McCartney’s Playlist

“Girls and Boys,” Blur
“XXX0,” M.I.A.
“I’m Fly,” Donaeo
“Katy on a Mission,” Katy B. 
“I Eat Donuts,” Sibley

At left: Stella McCartney; silk knickers by Stella McCartney

Alexander Wang Paints It Black 
The ultimate fashion party boy drafts the dress code for downtown’s coolest nights out

At left: A look from Alexander Wang’s collection; Barcelona’s pulsating Sonar music festival, “the best party I’ve ever gone to,” the designer says; Nicki Minaj, who Wang says is on “heavy rotation” at his studio.

Alexander Wang Paints It Black 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Suede vest, Alexander Wang, $995, at Alexander Wang, NYC; Jeans with knee-slit detail, Alexander Wang, $345, at Opening Ceremony, L.A.; Calfskin belt with rhodium hardware, Alexander Wang, $225, collection at Neiman Marcus stores nationwide; Lambskin bag with rhodium hardware, Alexander Wang, $650, visit; Calfskin slingbacks, Alexander Wang, $525, visit

Alexander Wang Paints It Black 
Greatest Hit: Covetable Knits

Cotton funnel sweatshirt, Alexander Wang, $145, visit

Alexander Wang Paints It Black 
Wang’s Playlist

“Black and Yellow,” Wiz Khalifa
“Toot It and Boot It,” YG
“Light Day (Remix),” Ninjasonik
“Don’t Dream It’s Over,” Crowded House
“Silver Lining,” Hurts

At left: Alexander Wang; Lasonic T-931 high-performance portable music system, $150, visit

Tommy Hilfiger’s Honky Tonk Woman 
The prince of prep pays homage to the woman who seduced the hottest rockers of the ’70s

At left: A runway look; the designer’s fall muse: Italian-born model-actress Anita Pallenberg, who romanced not one but two Rolling Stones (Brian Jones and Keith Richards). Above right: Hilfiger jamming with his brother, Andy, 1994

Tommy Hilfiger’s Honky Tonk Woman 

Tommy Hilfiger’s Honky Tonk Woman 
Greatest Hit: Twisted Classics

Velvet blazer, $498, silk pocket square, $98, both, Tommy Hilfiger

Tommy Hilfiger’s Honky Tonk Woman 
Hilfiger’s Playlist

“Unknown Brother,” The Black Keys
“Dog Days Are Over,” Florence + the Machine
“Crazy for You,” Best Coast
“Whirring,” The Joy Formidable
“Rolling in the Deep,” Adele

Balmain’s Haute Rock ‘N’ Roll 

Balmain creative director Christophe Decarnin fans the guitar-idol flame with studs, denim, and leather
At left: A Balmain runway look; Decarnin riffs on American pop-rock standbys, such as Springsteen’s shredded jeans and Michael Jackson’s “Bad” red leather jacket.

Balmain’s Haute Rock ‘N’ Roll 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Silk top, Balmain,  Sequin-embellished silk dress, Balmain, price on request, visit; Calfskin belt, Balmain, $510, collection at Maxfield, L.A.; Calfskin jeans, Balmain, $3,800, visit; Stud-embellished calfskin vest, Balmain, price on request,Leather sandal, Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain, $1,282, collection at Maxfield, L.A.

Balmain’s Haute Rock ‘N’ Roll 
Heard on the Balmain Runway

“Third Uncle,” Brian Eno
“Lady Grinning Soul,” David Bowie
“My Way,” Sid Vicious
“Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang
“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” Michael Jackson

Mulberry’s Festival Spirit 
Creative director Emma Hill puts a quirky spin on the quintessential English schoolgirl

“Every girl needs a bag that she can throw essentials in and out of but will still look fabulous,” says Hill. At left: A runway look; Hill draws inspiration from music fests such as Glastonbury and Coachella.

Mulberry’s Festival Spirit 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Stretch denim jacket, Mulberry, $1,250, at Mulberry, NYC; Metal bracelet, Mulberry, $272, at Mulberry, NYC; Silk dress, Mulberry, $700, Polyester skirt, Mulberry, $750, at Mulberry, NYC; Leather boot, Mulberry, $850, at Mulberry, NYC.

Mulberry’s Festival Spirit 
Greatest Hit: The Polished Satchel

Leather bag, Mulberry, $1,000, collection

Mulberry’s Festival Spirit 
Hill’s Playlist

“Tenderoni” Kele
“Animal” Miike Snow
“I’m Not Calling You a Liar” Florence + the Machine
“Ask” The Smiths
“Sound and Vision” David Bowie

Emilio Pucci’s Band-Aid Chic 
Pucci designer Peter Dundas reimagines the gypset lives of rock-star girlfriends

At left: A Pucci runway look; Van Halen, here in 1978, was Dundas’ first concert (“David Lee Roth was awesome”); former Jagger galpal Marianne Faithfull, 1967; Dundas owns the original poster for Grace Jones’ A One Man Show.

Emilio Pucci’s Band-Aid Chic 
Some top-of-the-charts pieces:

Tie-dye chiffon caftan, Emilio Pucci, $2,650, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide; Felt floppy hat, Emilio Pucci, $355, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide; Sequin-embellished stretch tulle turtleneck, $4,290, braided belt with tassel and chain detail, $470, both, Emilio Pucci, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide; Wool pants, Emilio Pucci, $1,490,; Leather bag, Emilio Pucci, $1,395, visit

Emilio Pucci’s Band-Aid Chic 
Greatest Hit: Reinvented Prints

Charmeuse dress, Emilio Pucci, $2,150, at Emilio Pucci boutiques nationwide

Emilio Pucci’s Band-Aid Chic 
Dundas’ Playlist

“Born This Way” Lady Gaga
“Only Girl (in the World)” Rihanna
“Memories” David Guetta 
“Kashmir” Led Zeppelin
“Moment 4 Life” Nicki Minaj


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