Max Studio Blog

All The Fun Of The Frieze

10/27/2014 9:52:00 AM




By Oscar Humphries


Frieze and the fairs and events that surround it continue to evolve and this last week saw the worlds of fashion, design and art collide. Gucci came on board as a sponsor for Frieze Masters - adding Italian glamour to this art fair which makes its focus art made before the year 2000. It’s talented young director, Victoria Sidall, encouraged the participating galleries to bring their very best material to London. The result was triumphant with Marlborough Gallery presenting a Francis Bacon solo-stand and Dickinson Gallery doing a stellar wall of ‘rose period’ Picassos… It added a gravitas to a schedule that largely celebrated the new.

It was impossible to see everything but everyone I spoke to was raving about the Sigmar Polke show at the Tate Modern (which you may have seen at MOMA) and Glenn Ligon’s superb exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre. What’s unique about Frieze week is that you can see work by artists - living and dead - in these museum shows and then go to Phillips (their monolithic new building on Berkeley Square opened to much fanfare this week), Christies, or Sothebys to buy work by these artists at Auction. Indeed the collectors and dealers that rule the art world were a presence in both sale rooms and VIP rooms at PAD, Frieze, and Frieze Masters. The new art world is one in which the public, the private, and the commercial co-exist in near (and sometimes far from near) harmony.

It’s impossible to see everything although I know ambitious collectors who were going to seven events per night. The best way to see everyone if not everything was to go to Chiltern Fire House where Larry Gagosian gave one of several dinner and where, on Thursday night, the artist Marc Quinn and Apple’s new hire Mark Newson sat encamped.

I launched my new magazine with PAD’s wonderful and generous fair director Patrick Perrin on the Wednesday night. And whist I lost hordes of people to the Frieze Masters / Gucci party at the Italian Embassy, to the ICA dinner, to the White Cube dinner and the super cool Sothebys contemporary party we were 92 for baked potatoes and caviar. In a week of air kissing and record prices my dinner felt distinctly friends and family, thank God.

Oscar Humphries is the Editor and Publisher of The Art Book.

Hollywood Costume

10/24/2014 10:51:00 AM


Leon and Yana Max recently attended a private view of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ ‘Hollywood Costume’ exhibition, held -appropriately - at the historic Wilshire May Company Building, Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles - designated the future, shining, mothership for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.   The show, originally held at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum is a rollercoaster ride through 150 of the most famous costumes to be seen on the silver screen; star attractions include Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones, Kate Winslet’s Titanic glamour as well as vintage glories such as Dorothy’s Wizard of Oz. Well worth a visit.


"Certainly no overcast English sky was going to dampen proceedings at the IWC Schaffhausen and BFI London Film Festival opening gala dinner - it was the big event of the week, here in London.

And so the celebrity set descended on Battersea Park; Emily Blunt, Douglas Booth, Stephen Fry, Julie Walters, Mick Jagger, and Erin O’Connor, a former face of Leon Max were all there. They dined on grass-fed beef and truffle tagliatelle, they laughed as British comic legends Walters and Stephen Fry were presented with the ‘Honorary Award in Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to Comedy’ - and they gave them a standing ovation too.

I saw Marc Jacobs model Eliza Cummings cozying up to Topshop heiress Chloe Green while Stephen Fry was embarrassed to admit that he had worn the wrong brand of watch (rather than a piece from IWC) he was sporting an expensive Patek Phillipe design which he hid when I enquired about his timepiece…

And, of course, they partied into the early hours  - let’s hope they aren’t too tired for the next 12-days that is the movie marathon of the London Film Festival.  I’ve already seen Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley taking to the West End streets to promote their films - I wonder who we’ll spot next?”

Paris By Night

10/10/2014 10:43:00 AM

Paris by Night

Love it, or hate it, the Kardashian Wests took Paris this Fashion Week. There was the Big Moment as they arrived at the Balmain show and sat with baby North on knee on the Front Row. There was Carine Roitfeld’s party for the new issue of her mag and there the Big Moment was when Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci arrived with Kim Kardashian on one arm (Kanye had already performed earlier in the week at shoe designer Pierre Hardy’s 15th anniversary,) and Ciara on the other. Justin Bieber came too. And Paris Hilton…

But there are some who still opt for a more low-key, non-Kardashian approach it seems. There was Stella McCartney who went a bit London (if that’s possible in Paris) with a concert at Silencio filled with the Brit Pack, Edie Campbell et al. There was the Chloé party which was paired down French cool and Marianne Faithful sang huskily and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, a former face of Leon Max, shimmered luxuriously.

But it was the last night of the week which was the most discreet and yet seemingly the most cool and fun; Louis Vuitton, and its dinner and dance for its design team and and their close circle of friends at the newly re-furbed and legendary club, Castel. There were actresses Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve, a pop star Robyn, and they dined with designer Nicolas Ghesquiere and toasted his second Vuitton collection. And - quelle horreur - there wasn’t a bodyguard or a VIP room in sight.

Caped Crusaders

9/22/2014 7:56:00 AM

Caped Crusaders

The Cape is the hottest piece of the season. It’s a bit military and therefore cool. It’s the ultimate cover-up that you can wear with everything, be it long skirt, short skirt and boots. Leg-slimming capes covered ’60s dresses at Yves St Laurent, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been seen out in her Burberry blanket cape - Cara, Suki and the other Burberry girls all have their personalized blanket capes too - and Dolce and Gabbana and Valentino both had capes with hoods straight out of the fairy tales. With a simple, crisp silhouette it’s time to be a fashion super-hero.

Killer Heels

9/15/2014 12:39:00 PM


A sweltering late summer night didn’t stop the downtown denizens and Brooklyn hipsters from making a fabulous showing at the Killer Heels opening party at the Brooklyn Museum.  Champagne served from crystal glasses shaped like pumps?  Check.  Tattoos and tiaras?  Check. Not to mention countless mile high stilettos and the wildest creations from the likes of Gaultier, Ferragamo, Prada and the most fabulous and influential designers of the 20th Century, interspersed with amazing video installations from the likes of Marilyn Minter and  Rashaad Newsome. Wanna get the same experience that party go-ers like China Chow and Stefano Tonchi of W experienced? The show’s open to all at the Brooklyn Museum of Art through February 15th. Run.. or walk depending on your heel height.

Contributing Editor:  Robert Rowe, International Fashion Director, W magazine

Editor’s Picks: Venice Film Festival 2014

Venice, the oldest festival on the motion picture calendar - now in its 71st year - opened, perhaps appropriately, this week with ‘Birdman,’ a movie about an over-the-hill actor chasing art-house over mainstream success. The irony was not lost on festival-watchers some of whom have wondered where the big star names and big title movies have gone from this hyper-chic European festival. Despite said mutterings actress Emma Stone has already unleashed a chic Proenza Schouler for the film’s press conference, swiftly followed by a glam Valentino for its premiere, neither of which looked too shabby. Feeling that Venice mood? Here’s a style guide to guarantee you always make the best-dressed list.


Printed Silk Devore Slip DressBeaded & Embroidered Silk Shift DressPrinted Silk Mesh Chiffon Halter DressPrinted Silk Chiffon Halter Dress

Textured Snakeskin HeelsStrappy High Heeled Leather SandalsMatte Snakeskin SandalsGenuine Snakeskin Booties

Scotland The Brave

8/27/2014 1:28:00 AM


Scotland the Brave

Scotland is always on trend. Whether it’s collections covered with Caledonian-inspired plaids - take the Isle of Skye-influenced red check of ‘McQueen Modern,’ for example - or the new, young British crop of IT-models, Idina Moncrieffe and Jean Campbell, coming from North of the Border, or Scottish supermodel Stella Tennant’s local Lovat Mill producing trendy tweeds for Tom Ford and Ralph Lauren, Scotland is always on the fashion map. The fact that there is the small matter of a vote on independence from the United Kingdom next month adds a bit of political spice into the mix. So where better to debut the new line from Max Studio Country than on a Scottish grouse moor? You’ve got the rich browns and moss greens on a smart line in tweeds, crisp cotton shirts criss-crossed with countryside-appropriate stripes and cozy cashmere turtlenecks to layer. This, you see, is the moment to rep Lady-Mary-from-Downton in quilted jackets, thigh-skimming boots with leather uppers, all given a darn cool twist with heavy weight knitted leggings. Och aye the now! (As they might say in Scotland.)

Images: Leon Max Maxstudio Fall 2014 Campaign, Yana Max wears Max Studio Country in Scotland, Models Zinta & Laura G (Photogenics) in Leon Max/Maxstudio Fall 2014

Leon Max | Maxstudio Sport Collection

This season’s Max Studio Sport Collection from Leon Max maintains its clean and basic lines, with a raw and bold twist for that urban goddess. This collection is all about street-wise for techno city girls; lots of leather and rubber trims, tied in with tight fitting, sporty cuts with a laser-cut edge. There’s the textured jacket with rubberized edging, boots straight up for the badass girl not to mention the matte leggings with rubberized side tuxedo stripes.

Would he or his environmental creations be considered the ‘Worlds Largest Single Artwork?’ Jim Denevan, a culinary enthusiast whose vision expands to textural mind-blowing ubër scale sand or ice drawings, is one inspired man. “ Situated somewhere between art and performance,” writes Margherita Dessanay,  as his installations are set in a natural environment and effected by all elements to last as long as nature or man allows. Art and Fashion live parallel and harmoniously; there is an organized and planned repeat of lines, both in his work and the beaded and embroidered dresses new to the Pre-Fall Leon Max Collection.  

Shop The Story > Beaded & Embroidered Silk Shift Dress, Beaded & Embroidered Silk 3/4 Sleeve Dress

Holy Cowes

8/12/2014 5:12:00 AM

Holy Cowes

Into the Wilderness

8/12/2014 3:07:00 AM

Into the Wilderness

Even gale force winds and lashing rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the Wilderness Festival last weekend. It has been four years since Lord and Lady Rotherwick first opened their home and the festival has now grown in size and reputation, quickly becoming one of the most fashionable events of the Summer. Sprawled across the idyllic grounds of Cornbury Park, this festival is unlike any other. Forget suffering in your wellies all weekend, Wilderness is about accommodating your every need and desire. As well as the joys of live music including the legendary Burt Bacharach, there were a number of amazing attractions to keep everyone happy; this year they included a mini-roller disco, a pop up tent by the infamous Box nightclub and for the lucky few an outdoor tea party in honour of Cara Delevingne’s upcoming birthday. Her guests included the actor Douglas Booth,  Jamie Winstone, Holliday Grainger, the Treadaway twins, and Bonnie Wright. We enjoyed summer cocktails and hampers full of deliciousness. Like any festival there were some seriously O.T.T outfits, but in the case of my friends it was all about being cool, comfortable, and casual —- a gold spandex leotard is not exactly a good look when there’s a rainstorm. Luckily I achieved my outfit goals by picking up some adorable Max Studio crotchet shorts, and pairing them with peter pan collared shirts. Until next time….

By: Flynn Roddam

Image: “Flynn Roddam wears Max Studio at the Wilderness Festival, Gloucestershire, England.”

Gabriella de Givenchy

8/8/2014 7:09:00 AM

Gabriella de Givenchy

One of my favorite things about Los Angeles is that it is able to accommodate any style. This is great news for someone like me as I am just as comfortable wearing a loose blouse with a pair of jean shorts, as I am in my favorite little black dress. Some of my most coveted hangouts include the Malibu Farm Market (to satisfy your inner surfer girl), the colorful street art of Abbot Kinney, The Santa Monica Third Street Promenade (for great shopping!) and Melrose Avenue in Beverly Hills. Between all these great locations you have the opportunity to switch into any summer style you love as long as you have a great pair of sunglasses and a beach tote to match!

1.Dark Tortoise w/ Brown Lens Sunglasses (MaileC1)2.Silk Beaded Shell (4101K35)3.Woven Tote (3604A43) 4.Fringed Hem Shorts (4201G01)5.Woven Leather Flat Sandals (Verde).
On Gabriella: Silk & Cotton Embroidered Tunic (4205D35), Linen Embroidered Shorts (4205E01), Hand Burnished Grecian Sandals (Vita)

Cruise Control

8/4/2014 7:53:00 AM

Cruise Control

Glorious Goodwood, the Sussex race meeting that begins to draw the English summer social season towards its grand finale is always a class act. And yesterday, Ladies Day, the ladies’ day was certainly made when Hollywood actor Tom Cruise arrived as a guest of host Lord March, the Duke of Richmond’s heir - and an extra frisson of excitement swept the course and followed him into the Richmond’s Box - along with the strains of the theme tune to Mission: Impossible being played by the Band of the Yorkshire Regiment. As the man of the day it fell to Cruise to present the Magnolia Cup - the ladies race - this year won by a returning victor, the supermodel Edie Campbell.

Images from left to right. Yana Max wearing Leon Max, Tom Cruise and Edie Campbell, Yana Max in-between the Earl of March and Viscount Astor.

Design For Life

7/18/2014 8:02:00 AM

Design For Life 

The design process at ‘Leon Max’ begins in the company’s Wren Wing Design Studio at the eponymous designer’s English country house, Easton Neston. It’s here that a design team, working out of a state of the art fashion hub built into an 18th century Real Tennis court, fuse modern fabric innovation with the traditional influences surrounding them.
It’s from here to that, in conjunction with a Leon Max and MaxStudio design team based in Los Angeles, a continuous flow of ideas is produced, in turn creating an ongoing flow of high-end design pieces dispatched to stores world-wide.
At Leon Max we feel it’s an interesting time to be in fashion: when a design studio in England can influence a collection sold across the world.

My Style - Emily Penn

7/14/2014 7:58:00 AM

My Style - Emily Penn

I feel more at home on the water than I do on dry land. The way sunlight sparkles on the surface of the ocean, the infinite horizon, that all-consuming joy of plunging into the planet’s deepest waters for an evening swim; I can’t think of anything that gives me a greater sense freedom.

And it’s not just how it makes me feel. Every breath we take literally comes from the ocean; I think we feel so calm near water because it’s so crucial to our survival. In turn, I feel a duty to protect and preserve it.

After university a job arose in Australia and I decided to get there without taking an aeroplane. While looking for a way to hitch halfway around the planet I was offered a role on the world-record-breaking biofuelled vessel, Earthrace, and ended up not going home for three years. I’d found my passage.

It was during that first year at sea that my eyes were opened to the degrading state of our oceans and the challenges faced by small islands and their communities. I never made it to that job in Australia, there was more important work to be done.

I visited the remote low-lying islands of Tonga, which were dealing with a massive rubbish disposal problem. We organised one of the largest clean-up campaigns ever instigated, motivating 3,000 people to collect 56 tonnes of rubbish in a single day. A freighter was diverted to haul eight shipping containers full of rubbish away from the islands.

I then hitched a ride on another freighter to California to meet and learn from plastic pollution experts, and shortly afterwards Pangaea Explorations was born. I now spend my life at sea, taking scientists and film makers to the most remote parts of our planet to discover and document plastic pollution, via our sailing vessel Sea Dragon. We want to help people establish an understanding and a connection with the ocean - it’s much easier to care about something we love. And I get to spend every day doing it!

My entire life possessions pack into two dry bags – so I have to choose clothes very carefully. I absolutely adore the few items I have. The Leon Max clothes I chose are very versatile; you can dress them up or down, which is exactly why I love them. I feel great in them and most of all, they fit into my crazy lifestyle!

Get Emily’s Look:

Sleeveless Maxi Dress

Double-Knit Dress

Wide Leather Belt

Tortoise Cat Eye Sunglasses

Color My World

6/27/2014 5:42:00 AM

Color My World

Whether it’s the pill-popping profusion of brights of the Brazilian flag fluttering over the World Cup, or your own country’s national primary colors, what better season to embrace your favorite or most patriotic hues?

For both England (oh dear) and US (go get ‘em!) fans the red-bright-and-blue combo is a winning fashion formula -  though perhaps less so for England, perhaps. At Leon Max we’ve come over all Brazilian and are pruning our wardrobes to match the greens, yellows and blues of that riotous ensign.

Shop Now


6/24/2014 2:20:00 AM


I normally spend the day in the studio wearing a not very fetching overall (or whatever I have most recently ruined with paint) so dressing up to go out is something fun and I think fashion should be fun too. I guess I normally go for one or the other; either all black or the opposite - too much pattern and colour for that clash/circus look.  Thinking about colour and texture is something I do for my paintings - clothing in portraiture is a useful way of giving a hint to the viewer about the ‘inner life’ of the sitter and I love the way that Velasquez, Sargent, Paula Rego and other artists like Edouard Vuillard use pattern and textiles to enhance their narratives and composition.

Vanessa Garwood photographed in her Chelsea studio – Vanessa wears Origami Organza Shell. Model wears Silk Chiffon Long Dress

Vanessa Garwood is one of England’s young, talented emerging portrait artists. She studied at the Charles Cecil School in Florence and has recently been commissioned by Mayfair club 5 Hertford Street to paint a series of its club staff.

Ascot Rules

6/20/2014 4:24:00 AM

Ascot Rules

There are a number of vital rules that are strictly enforced upon any fashionista entering the Royal meeting at Ascot racecourse. 

- Dresses and skirts should be of modest length defined as falling just above the knee or longer.??

- Dresses and tops should have straps of one inch or greater.??

- Jackets and pashminas may be worn, but the dresses and tops underneath should still comply with the Royal Enclosure dress code.??

- Trouser suits are welcome. They should be full length and of matching material and color.??

- Hats should be worn; a headpiece which has a base of four inches (10cm) or more in diameter is acceptable as an alternative to a hat.

On Tuesday the Queen went for the palest of blues. Princess Eugenie looked chic in a beige trench coat and matching hat. And Yana Max showed the Royal Enclosure how a fashionista keeps things cool - in a black Leon Max cape