Max Studio Blog

Coachella 2014

4/11/2014 7:54:00 AM


Coachella 2014

Coachella is all about stripes and pastels and light and airy dresses or white denim cut-offs accessorised with high heels or boots and floppy hats, full make-up and a gorgeous Californian tan - no Glastonbury style mud and gurning over in Indio, please, thank you - and the parties.

Each year the lead party crown seems to be snapped up by the poolside brunch hosted by Mulberry. That’s the invite to kill for. Here is prime queen of the desert territory where you’ll spot the likes of Emma Watson, Lily Collins, Arizona Muse, Dree Hemingway and Cara Delevingne all in their natural habitat.

But which style tribe will you pick?  Will it be the Rihanna school of spiky Daisy Duke shorts or low-key Kirsten Stewart in tiny shorts, a grey vest and a dirty baseball cap? Did anyone say Coachella was about the music?

Shop the Coachella festival style guide

Fashionable Selby

4/9/2014 3:41:00 AM


Fashionable Selby

I am an unabashedly addicted fan of the very talented interiors and fashion photographer, and illustrator, ‘The Selby.’ His work and scrawlingly witty picture captions populate the pages of Vogue, Le Monde and the Guardian. On my daily quest for humor and inspiration I was delighted to find him - full name: Todd Selby - and his ‘gurus of grub’ book, “Edible Selby.” It was this that lead me to follow the man who brings whimsy to the world with his books, the second one was “The Selby is in Your Place,” and now his latest, “Fashionable Selby.” Here, through his signature photographs and watercolours he investigates fashion with the most interesting designers, stylists, models and tastemakers. Whether it’s underground style stars or the established grandees of fashion, the Selby is your man!

By Ame Austin









The Glamour of Italian Fashion

The glam squad were out in London last night for the opening of the V&A’s latest blockbuster fashion event: ‘The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014.’

And whether it was the bold and black Cavallis on Hurley (long with a cut out flash of skin around the midriff) and Campbell (beaded with a flash of red feather on the hem) or the swagger of Rita Ora, Erin O’Connor and Eva Herzigova, this was all about one thing: the glamour and sex appeal of a fashion industry that burst out of 1950s Florence.  

The exhibition itself charts the rise of post-war Italian luxury from the first ever fashion shows organised by Giovanni Battista Giorgini in the Sala Bianca, the show-stopping chandelier’d gallery of the Medici’s Pitti Palace, through the Hollywood film sets of ’60s Rome to the rise of Valentino and the cult of the grand Italian maestro of fashion.

The fashion event of the season; la Dolce Vita, indeed.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Fashion Flashback

3/28/2014 10:07:00 AM


Fashion Flashback

Gorgeous Lydia Hearst, heiress and supermodel, was Max Studio’s autumn/winter 2008 cover girl in a gothically glam shoot held in the grounds of Easton Neston. She was having a moment then - the great-granddaughter of mogul William Randolph Hearst - winning Best International Supermodel in November of that year. She was high-profile from birth, the daughter of kidnapping victim Patricia Campbell Hearst and Bernard Shaw, her mother’s bodyguard, who would go on to run security for the Hearst Corporation. She in turn would cover Vogue’s across the world as well as pose for Vuitton, Moschino, Prada and DKNY. She’s having another moment now in the US, as one of the team coach’s on Naomi Campbell’s model search show, The Face. It’s all about Team Hearst.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Yves Saint Laurent

3/19/2014 5:54:00 AM




Yves Saint Laurent

'Yves Saint Laurent' is the fashion film of the season and tells the gripping story of the great designers rise from 22-year-old creative director of the house of Dior to the inspirational genius who founded one of the most iconic fashion brands in history.

It doesn’t hold back from showing YSL’s darker moments either, a manic depressive whose rock bottom moments were kept from imploding by his long-term partner (and business partner) Pierre Berge, who gave his backing to this movie.

But the great glamour moments are there too, fittingly for one of the greatest names in fashion history, a designer who helped re-invigorate the Couture as well as making ready-to-wear chic. He invented ‘Le Smoking’ giving women the tuxedo suit. He was ’70s rock n’ roll. He was king of the great fashion quote too: “Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.” And there you have it.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Cheltenham Festival 2014

3/13/2014 4:59:00 AM


Cheltenham Festival 2014

The Duchess of Cornwall was at Cheltenham Races yesterday; always the early springtime fling for the British society set. Equestrian fashion is always something that jumps back in the saddle. There’s the Middletons and Royals wafting past the finishing line track side in their sharply cut tweeds crowned with glossy furs hats. There’s Monaco royal Charlotte Casiraghi who wears kit designed by Gucci on an eventing circuit where she rubs shoulders with other chic, jodhpur clad fillies like Jessica Springsteen. It’s here, on horse back, that the clothes look so smart, tight-fitting and practical - no wonder that Hermes and Ralph Lauren took the trend to its logical conclusion in the ’90s. And no wonder the MaxStudio polo team looks so cool in its uniform. The secret to perfecting that pose? The six essentials according to Gucci designer Frida Giannini are: “Tailored jackets, riding boots, white shirts, stretch-slim trousers, a great leather belt - and perfect posture”.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Last night in Los Angeles:

2/27/2014 8:53:00 AM












Last night in Los Angeles:

Vanity Fair and designer Leon Max hosted a party for two hundred of Hollywood’s finest at the legendary Chateau Marmont to toast the great Annie Leibovitz’s release of her new, limited edition mega-sized book as the town went into pre-Oscar lock-down. Lily Cole, photographer Terry Richardson, Melanie Griffith and Sylvester Stallone were some of the crowd who turned out for drinks in the gardens of the Chateau as well as Mario Testino, Lauren Hutton and Molly Sims. Photographs from the book - Leonardo, Kate, Meryl et al - were on display in the famed penthouse suite; the pictures are from Leibovitz’s early career right through to her celebrated stylized portraits featured in Vanity Fair and Vogue and never before seen work. All strong red-carpet practice for Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Click here to view the video from the event

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Fashion Flashback

2/27/2014 2:40:00 AM






Fashion Flashback

This week is the grand finale, the orgasmic crescendo, of the Awards Season, that month or so when the red carpets of Hollywood are an A-list battle ground. Tomorrow night designer Leon Max co-hosts with Vanity Fair the launch of Annie Leibovitz’s sumo-size new tome at the Chateau Marmont, on Saturday there is the Chanel pre-awards dinner and on Sunday the big guns are out for the Academy Awards themselves.

Our favourite moment of the Season so far? That was a couple of weeks back when Los Angeles hosted the Grammy’s ‘Salute to the Beatles’ and we spied three of our campaign stars sparkling amongst the A-list audience.

Model/musician Charlotte Kemp Muhl was sitting with boyfriend Sean Lennon - she was the face of MaxStudio for Autumn/Winter 2004-5 - while Spring 2006’s Behati Prinsloo, the Namibian supermodel, was on the arm of Adam Levine and Suki Waterhouse (MaxStudio Class of 2012) was looking stunning hanging with Bradley Cooper.

All in a night’s work.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Fashion Week Fall 2014

2/19/2014 8:03:00 AM


Fashion Week Fall 2014

Not even the gloomy weather could dampen this year’s London Fashion week, which has always proved to be an eclectic mix of quirky and cool. Designers showcased their fall collections in true Brit-style, with celebrity fans in attendance complementing the cool and stylish clothes. Guests at the shows included Kate Moss, Anna Wintour and Bradley Cooper to name just a few.

The week started off with a bang, debuting twin designers Felder Felder’s sexy and fun collection. Incorporating colourful statement pieces with feathers and bold prints, the show proved to be a success and got things off to a great start.

As the shows progressed, London was in full swing, with certain designers generating much deserved praise. Among these were Christopher Kane who juxtaposed PVC with satin, Giles Deacon and his lavish creations and Julien Macdonald ethereal gowns. Very much worth mentioning is Tom Ford. Ford was clearly inspired by 1960s London sending knee-high boots, leather, and a lot of velvet down the runway. The show was even closed by British Icon Stella Tennant.

”Burberry being the quintessential British brand didn’t fail to amaze with Christopher Bailey’s Impressionistic inspired floral dresses, evoking a sense of Monet meets Aztec. Hand-painted accessories from the shoes to the bags made the collection even more impressive and with Paloma Faith closing the spectacle, this was a show not to miss.

Last but certainly not least was Simone Rocha who closed Fashion Week with her beautiful Elizabethan inspired catwalk. Rocha’s collection had no shortage of rich velvets, gold’s, and reds–picture Anne Boleyn meets teenage punk. All in all, the week was a royal success.

Contributing Editor Flynn Roddam



DOWN ON DOVER STREET

Last week Anh Duong debuted her latest set of self-portraits and sculptures at the Robilant and Voena gallery on Dover Street.  “These paintings show a side of me that was hidden behind an appearance,” she explained to guests who included the designer Leon Max and Yana Boyko. Meanwhile on a different floor of the gallery there was quite a different sort of work on show:  photographs from the new book featuring Agnelli-heir Lapo Elkann, dubbed one of the most Stylish Men in the World, and whose facial expressions dominate every page of this new tome from photographer Wayne Maser, ‘The Italian.’ As well as Leon Max, fashion was well-represented in the guises of models Laura Bailey and Lily Cole.

The Portrait Gala

2/13/2014 2:00:00 AM


The Portrait Gala

Last night was the night that London got its 2014 party groove on. The party? The Portrait Gala. The venue? The National Portrait Gallery. The star guest? The Duchess of Cambridge. And it was sponsored by the designer Leon Max who explained his interest in the Gallery: “I find portraiture as a genre with all its nuances of facial expressions, poses, clothes, backgrounds and symbolic details absolutely fascinating.” On the walls of the gallery are some of the most famous British faces who have populated history and last night here were a host of living names as the worlds of fashion and celebrity and art and the rich collided in the Regency Galleries and through the David Bailey ‘Stardust’ exhibition currently on show. Liz Hurley was there on the arm of Valentino right-hand man Giancarlo Giammetti, as well as Philip Treacy. On the art front there was Grayson Perry, Marc Quinn and Jonathan Yeo who were joined by Bryan Adams, Alan Rickman, Marc Quinn and Olympic Gold medallist Katherine Grainger.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Caped Crusader - Martha Freud

2/10/2014 7:39:00 AM


Caped Crusader - Martha Freud

Being British I feel it is my national duty to complain about the weather, but when you have a rain coat that makes you feel like a cross between a caped crusader and an undercover detective it is hard not to feel empowered.

Caped attire is a genius way of wearing clothes in maximum comfort, for they can feel as soothing as being swathed in a blanket, simultaneously cleverly highlighting some of the figure’s most flattering parts with well cut neck lines and high waisted belts. And whilst a superhero may wear his cloak to help disguise his identity, I have found it most useful to conceal upper arms that haven’t seen any exercise for a few months, and a waist that had a really good time this Christmas…

 Cloaked clothing is not only my weapon of choice when battling the elements outside, this season’s evening-wear includes dresses with a mono-wing, and even some cape-lets. The kind of frocks you would imagine on Mrs Bruce Wayne at the fabulous functions she has to go to as the wife of a billionaire philanthropist / superhero. Sophisticated, playful and high-flying.  

Product featured: CapeWool Draped SweaterWool Crepe PonchoPrinted Chiffon Dress

Couture 2014

1/31/2014 6:10:00 AM






Couture 2014

When it comes to Rome its fashion and its historical monuments are increasingly intertwined. Diego Della Valle and Tods are restoring the Colisseum. Fendi is funding the restoration of the Trevi Fountain. So no surprise then that this week Rome’s couture season, Alta Moda, seemed to revolve around some of the Eternal City’s most ancient monuments. There were retrospectives at the beautiful La Pinacoteca del Tesoriere palace, a fashion performance in ruins below the Piazza Navona and Bulgari staged its event in the Tempio di Adriano, a monument of Ancient Rome that is a mere 2000 years old.

If Rome was all about the old, then the Paris couture shows which came before it were all about the new. Versace gave glittering sheaths with hoods for Lady Gaga, its star guest, and for dark and beautiful party girls from Brazil to Saudi Arabia. Chanel and Dior meanwhile gave its princesses and First Ladies sneakers that they could rep with Karl’s boleros and Raf’s slashed lattice-work.

But the big story of the week was the couture celebrity turnover. Day 1 couture piece seen on Paris catwalk. Day 2 couture piece seen on Rita Ora, Rihanna or Beyonce at the Grammy’s in Los Angeles. Now that’s very 2k14.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

'Dahling'

1/27/2014 6:06:00 AM




'Dahling'

Gorgeous Sophie Dahl, that voluptuous bombshell who cut a glamorous swathe through the heroine chic waifs of the ’90s and early Noughties was the bespectacled MaxStudio campaign star for the Autumn/Winter 2007/8 season, photographed in London by Michelangelo di Battista. The granddaughter of ‘The BFG’ author Roald Dahl she was discovered weeping on a street corner in 1997 by the late, great Tatler Fashion Director Isabella Blow, then a fashion editor at Vogue, who catapulted her to catwalk fame and glory and in front of the lens’ of Richard Avedon, David Bailey, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, Steven Klein and Steven Meisel and into the campaigns of Pringle, Alexander McQueen and Versace. She is now married to the singer Jamie Cullum.

Contributing Editor Richard Dennen



Spotted: The Leon Max Doubleweave Coat

Two of Hollywood’s coolest fashionistas have picked your perfect winter coat; this chic, minimal, camel-colored soft double-weave wool piece with a menswear-inspired collar from Leon Max. This is the kind of coat that can lift and smarten an everyday school run-outfit whether perfectly balanced with casual flats or smartened up with thigh-grazing boots to give it some edge. Dress-down afternoon casual in a warm and chic turtleneck while styled with a plaid or crisp boyfriend shirt gives things a more modern and trendy twist, the perfect hip look as winter morphs into spring. Camel maybe the Hollywood pick but the Leon Max black coat is a firm contender in the style stakes too.

Recreate the look

Doubleweave Wool Coat Stretch Cotton Shirt Ponte Legging Pony Flats
Silk Cashmere Turtleneck Stretch Trousers Flat Boots

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Going For Gold

1/14/2014 8:23:00 AM


Going For Gold

Award Season in Hollywood is now well and truly underway and four clear fashion front-runners emerged on the red carpet at the Golden Globes; Cate Blanchett looked regal in the Gothic glamour of lace Armani, an old-school silver screen swan. Margot Robbie the new beauty who plays Leonardo DiCaprio’s wife in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ went for white sexy Gucci with an embellished trim and green shoe and just the right side of safe when it came to showing leg, a triumph of a Hollywood debut. Downton Abbey’s Lady Mary - Michelle Dockery - was dreamy in grey, strapless Oscar de la Renta with an embroidered trim (Carson the Butler would no doubt have approved) meanwhile Jennifer Lawrence unsurprisingly went for Dior, this time a gown of the palest pink chiffon. 

With the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Grammy’s and BAFTAS still to go it’s set to be another corker of a red carpet season. The question, though, poolside round at the Chateau Marmont is whether anyone will ever again top the 2012 Oscar glory fashion moment of Angelina Jolie’s leg appearing from beneath her black velvet Atelier Versace gown during the arrivals at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. That was the year that a leg spawned its’ own twitter feed with 15,000 followers.

This season the films which have been getting early momentum include ‘12 Years a Slave’ and ‘Gravity’. Over at Leon Max there’s particular excitement about ‘Rush’ which received BAFTA nominations including Outstanding British Film and Best Supporting Actor for Daniel Bruhl who played Niki Lauda to Chris Hemsworth’s James Hunt in the Formula 1 flick. Parts of the movie were filmed at the Leon Max HQ, Easton Neston; in the ’70s the stable block was the base for Hunt’s original team, Hesketh Racing.

On your marks!

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

My New Year’s Eve Look

1/8/2014 8:30:00 AM


My New Year’s Eve Look

by Martha Freud

"A good coat is the most important item in your winter wardrobe” – quite grandmotherly advice but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true! And with the New Year it was time for me to take a new look at my wardrobe. Not only because it was cold out there but with a night of party-hopping there was barely enough time to kiss beneath the mistletoe or take my coat off before it was time to move onto the next event. So a bold, fitted and unforgettable layer from Leon Max is what I went for.

My fail-safe party dress look is the classic little black dress; the perfect backdrop to some shimmering accessories. A particular favorite this year was the Leon Max keyhole neckline dress, the cape detail at the back cut with the softest silk chiffon gave it an ethereal look. And just as important was the pair of sparkly stilettos. They should be high and they should out-shine any Christmas tree still standing! And they have a practical side too, if it snows, the heel can hook into the ice to help you keep your grip.

Jacquard A-Line Coat

Silk Chiffon Keyhole Neckline Dress

Doubleweave Wool Cape

Fashion Flashback

12/18/2013 4:07:00 AM






Fashion Flashback

 For the Autumn/Winter Season of 1987/1988 the MaxStudio girl was the German-born, Sweden-raised model, Tatjana Patitz. Now perhaps no longer a household name Tatjana was in fact one of the ’90s ‘Big Six’ supermodels - a model who along with her compatriots Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss raised their model status to that of global icon. These were indeed the glory glamour days of “We don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000” and Tatjana spent those decades working with Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh and Herb Ritts and was shot for the cover of 200 magazines world-wide as well as for Gaultier and Chanel. The year she was being shot for MaxStudio she was also shot for the Duran Duran video for ‘Skin Trade’ and began to take some small roles in Hollywood.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Fashion Flashback

12/5/2013 8:34:00 AM


Fashion Flashback

Lily Cole’s big break came in 2003 when she was photographed by Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue and was dubbed one of the new faces of the year. Fast forward four years and she was being photographed in the park of Easton Neston for the MaxStudio Autumn/Winter 2006/2007 campaign by Michelangelo di Battista in a sharp country meets moody Gothic set of images that coincided with the year she was filming her role for a movie, in ‘St Trinian’s’. That British comedy was just a small part for the Cambridge student-slash-supermodel who would land her first major acting role in 2009 as Valentina in ‘The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.’ All just a little bit of work on the side for the model who had already worked with Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

The British Fashion Awards

12/4/2013 8:57:00 AM


The British Fashion Awards

The British Fashion Awards have become one of the set piece social events of the year so what better venue to take over than the plush reds and glittering golds of the Coliseum, a very appropriate place to peer from box to box with an imaginary 21st century lorgnette. Was that Rita Ora in Vivienne Westwood chatting to Kate Moss there to collect her Special Recognition Award, Poppy Delevingne in Emilia Wickstead and Suki Waterhouse in Burberry? That’s all the best of British isn’t it? I’d want them in my trench. Meanwhile Sam Cam mingled with Donatella Versace and Gwyneth Paltrow and Christopher Kane won Womenswear Designer of the Year and Mrs Bertelli won International Designer of the Year appropriately for a lady who has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the 20th century. “It provides the perfect climax to a truly momentous year of British fashion,” summed up Natalie Massent, the BFC’s chair.

Contributing Editor Richard Dennen

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