Dressed in Yves Saint Laurent, Marrakech becomes Africa’s first Capital of Culture With its colourful markets and ancient walled city packed with labyrinthine streets, it’s no wonder Marrakech endlessly inspired Yves Saint Laurent. In 1980, the designer and his partner, Pierre Bergé, purchased the Jardin Majorelle, created by French painter Jacques Majorelle, for their part-time home. Now, the garden and vibrant periwinkle-blue and yellow villa sit next door to the 4,000-square-metre Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech. Opened in 2017, the building houses more than 5,000 haute couture garments and hosts temporary exhibitions, like Desert Design, a showcase of Berber weavers (on through October 8). The museum is just one reason the city, more and more a muse for the high-fashion world, was recently designated Africa’s first-ever Capital of Culture, for 2020.
These are the fashionable people, places and things on our radar this September.
Meet the most far-out fabric made on Earth Space tourism hasn’t lifted off yet, but what to wear for that next frontier is already sorted. Shirts fashioned from made-in-Canada Astroskin – a smart fabric with sensors for real-time biomonitoring – is being tested by astronauts. Created by Montreal startup Hexoskin, the technology tracks blood pressure, breathing, skin temperature and other vital signs. For the impatient, the next-level garments are shoppable now and work just as well down on Earth.
L.A. style gets its turn in the spotlight Despite its celebrity influence, Los Angeles hasn’t been ranked a fashion capital rivalling New York – until recently. This gorgeous coffee-table book ($100, Phaidon) by Tania Fares and Krista Smith, launching late October, tracks L.A.’s ascension through the talents who put it on the map, from stylist turned boho-womenswear designer Rachel Zoe to luxury T-shirt purveyor James Perse to the sisters behind the dreamy Rodarte label, Kate and Laura Mulleavy.
An eccentric label serves up a deep dish for thought A coat emblazoned with tacos. Pink cherry-print overalls. A lemon-patterned shirt and shorts. Toronto fashion designer Hayley Elsaesser has long found inspiration in food, often pairing bright visuals with a darker message. The lemons, for example, surround hubcaps – her nod to how consumerism might ruin an archetypal beach town. With food and fashion, “both industries can be so environmentally degradative if we are not careful,” says Elsaesser.
DJ Mimi Xu sets a chic tone Mimi Xu – the DJ of choice for runway shows from Prada to Marni – will have the world’s most stylish toes tapping this month. “I’m into tracks that are either very ahead of their time – unreleased or white-labelled – or very nostalgic. But I’m not into what’s ‘now.’ What’s ‘now’ is already over,” says Xu, who splits her time between the fashion capitals of Paris and London. If you can’t be runway-side, there’s another way to listen: Xu created the immersive, motion-activated sound installation at Âme Jewelry’s L.A. boutique, which opened in April.
This Parisian hotel gives new meaning to “fashion house” For four decades, 22 rue de Berri in Paris was the address of visionary couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, famous for her flamboyant esthetic (“shocking pink” was her signature shade) and love of surrealism (Salvador Dalí was a dear friend). Today, where her residence once stood, you can book into one of Hôtel de Berri’s 75 individually decorated rooms. You’ll find a serious trove of art and antiques, and decor in a riot of patterns and colours: animal-print chairs, graphic striped wallpaper and marble bathrooms. Schiaparelli would approve.
An athletic-wear label reshapes notions of fit Not every yogi, runner or gym buff has the same body – a reality now being recognized by the world’s top athletic brands. At NikeTown London, the just-revamped women’s floor features plus-size and parasport mannequins – a first for the company. The full-figured forms are clad in the plus line (sizes 1X to 3X), which launched in 2017, but couldn’t be displayed properly until now. A great stride toward inclusivity indeed.
No-regret tattoos make their mark with a Panamanian plant Fashion trends come and go, and so do tattoos from Toronto-based Inkbox. The ink looks so real, it has made cameos on shows like Stranger Things, but it lasts only one to two weeks. The semi-permanent dye comes from the berry of the Genipa americana plant, native to Panama, where Indigenous peoples have long used it for body art. Choose from Inkbox’s 4,000 artist-designed tats, or customize your own.