the Insiders


On Monday night, Marc Jacobs sat down with Patricia Mears, the deputy director for The Museum at FIT, for a Q&A session at the French Institute Alliance Français. Here, excerpts from that session.

On his early interest in fashion:
I [always] had a love for fashion. I recognized it when my grandmother took me shopping for back-to-school clothes. I mean, I didn't know I wanted to be a fashion designer at that point, but I knew I was interested in clothing. I loved the idea of getting dressed and putting together clothes at a very early age. And then, I guess maybe when I was 12 or 13, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer. I just really loved fashion. I had no real dreams of anything else. I think once I wanted to be a veterinarian [because] my cat was sick. I was, like, eight and that was a passing moment.

BASEL, Switzerland -- After the annus horribilis of 2009, the luxury watch industry is celebrating what it does best at the Baselworld trade fair. The talk has been all about heritage, know-how and vintage designs, with brands showcasing updated versions of archive pieces ranging from stopwatches to Kennedy-era wristwatches -- evoking the stylish "Mad Men" era.
PARIS -- Racing from venue to venue to report on hair and makeup during Paris Fashion Week is a rich experience. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at what's happening beauty-wise and also entrée into some of the city's out-of-the-way cultural gems.

Take the Dries Van Noten show. It was held in the Hÿtel de Ville (City Hall) in central Paris, which has been municipally vital to the city since the mid-14th century. Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has his office there these days. But on March 3, a couple of the building's lusciously ornate rooms, accessed by an imposing stone stairwell, were a flurry of fashion-related activity. Hairstylists and makeup artists camped out in two of the vast salons.

To get backstage at some other shows (for brands like Rochas and Nina Ricci) taking place at 7 Place Vendÿme in the 1st arrondissement involved entering the building's side door...
Alexander McQueen seems to be on everyone's mind in Paris. Roland Mouret had "Goodbye Lee" tucked into the corner of his runway program.

Stella McCartney dedicated her show to him. "You're missed!" she wrote.

Hussein Chalayan, meanwhile, began his show with a rather poignant voice-over tribute to the designer. WWD got a hold of the transcript, which we've printed here:
Champions of the Wife-Carry Event.
photo by Steve Eichner
Attending a black-tie gala is about as close as I get to competing in a sports event. There's the training (not eating, the better to fit into dresses sized for eight-year-olds). The pregame ritual (copious amounts of concealer, applied in the fluorescent lighting of the office bathroom). And the event itself (hours in heels; more smiling and waving than a beauty pageant; small talk as stimulating as a Miley Cyrus movie). Those Olympic athletes think they had it rough?

Well, one thing they didn't have -- at least in its natural state -- was snow. I, on the other hand, was fortunate enough to have the annual Frick Collection's Young Fellows Ball coincide with a full-on blizzard last Thursday night. There are few greater pleasures in life than tackling six inches of freezing precipitation in open-toed stilettos and bare legs.

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