Max Studio Blog

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


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

Trends from the Runway Fall 2013 MFW - Wear it Now

Fresh off the Runway from Milan Fashion Week we give you the hottest trends for Autumn 2013 and how to get them now. Purple tops and cocktail dresses, structured skirt suits, white out day looks and evening dresses and statement paillettes ruled the runways. Get the looks now


Skirt Suits

White Out


Photo Credit: Getty Images

Look at Me, I’m Cara D

2/26/2013 7:16:00 AM

Look at Me, I’m Cara D

It’s week 3 of fashion month and Cara Delevingne, this month’s British Vogue cover girl, has clocked 30 shows. During London she went to 8 parties in 72 hours. There is no stopping the 20 year old nymph who the press and industry are hailing as the ‘Next Kate Moss.’ It seems she’s what everyone has been waiting for - The Anointed One. Whether it’s partying till the small hours with best gal pal, the pop singer, Rita Ora or hanging East (London, that is) with flat mate Georgia May Jagger or walking for Burberry, Rag and Bone, Oscar, Marc Jacobs, Sibling…you name it, she was there. In fashion week terms ubiquitous doesn’t even begin to describe it. Full of character, it’s the sort of artless, graceful, kooky, unmanufactured charm of this babe from the mean streets of Belgravia - she’s the granddaughter of the publisher and former English Heritage chairman, Sir Jocelyn Stevens -  that is bowling the front rows over. 

And this week it was reported she’s made one more enticing move - trademarking her name against perfume, handbags, nail files, umbrellas and…..walking sticks. Clever girl. What next?

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Cara Delevingne is pictured here in a designer evening dress with Leon Max at the 2012 Serpentine summer party. 

Photo Credit: Dave Benett

Oscar Night 2013

2/25/2013 3:45:00 AM

Oscar Night 2013

Last night the entire city of Los Angeles came to a stand still for the 85th Academy Awards. The camera flashes could be seen a block away, which was as close as you could get as most of Hollywood was barricaded, cordoned and policed like the Pall Mall during the Royal Wedding. 

On the Red Carpet The Oscar nominees and veterans shined and shimmered in designer dresses.  While the blush pinks seem to be at the top of the trends list, my personal red carpet favorites were the strong liquid metallics worn by Naomi Watts in Armani, Nicole Kidman in L’wren Scott, Halle Barry in Versace and my top pick, Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan. 

Inside at the awards the show itself was yet again, reminiscent of Hollywood’s golden age of the silver screen.  Seth Macfarlane hosted with Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve got you under my skin” and tap dancing and pop corn girls in form fitting sea foam green silk uniforms topped with side caps and legs long enough to make a Rocket blush rushed through the aisles during the commercial breaks. 

The most stand out moments of the speeches were the acceptance speeches of the most anticipated Best Actor and Best Actress awards.  Daniel Day-Lewis picked up his 3rd Best Actor Oscar with a charming speech thanking his wife for putting up with him, making reference to his “method” style of acting and making jokes with Meryl Streep, making the usually somewhat reclusive and serious actor come off completely endearing.  Jennifer Lawrence, somewhat overwhelmed with her win for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook took a small spill on the steps while walking up to accept the award, but managed to recover quickly enough to make a joke at the microphone about her standing ovation.  “You’re all just standing up because I fell down aren’t you?”

After the awards were divvied out the crowd from The Chinese Theatre fanned out across Hollywood to the three main events of the evening- Elton John’s annual fundraising event which raised money for his AIDS Foundation, Vanity Fair which was held at the Sunset Towers and a 1000 person after party with no expense spared at Seth MacFarlane’s house in the hills. 

Elton’s party was littered with black tie dresses and musical glitterati like Britney Spears, Bono and of course Sir Elton himself, while the stars of the big screen partied until after midnight at Vanity Fair, but the two combined at Macfarlanes house where the party raged until morning.  The entire expanse of his garden was set up with his, now famous orchestra and guests were treated to specialty 30 year old whiskeys and Cuban cigars. 

View all the 85th Academy Award winners at . 

Contributing Editor: Margo Stilley

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Tales from LFW: Parties not Shows

While the fashion editors and celebrities crowd into the shows the rest of us go to the parties. For me, they’re the best bit. I’m always short of a smart, evening jacket and this season my Leon Max was just the thing.

A world away from the jostling bloggers crowding in to see the latest in women’s designer clothing, my favourite boutique in Chelsea , Austique, threw a pop-up party for Tallulah Rufus Isaacs’ Paris, Space. Then it was on to Belgraves Hotel, where Tallulah’s cousin, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs was hosting the preview of her Beulah label. My sister Davina looked smoking dolled up in the new season, and James Middleton was showing off his post-Mustique tan. Made in Chelsea’s Ollie Proudlock was bubbling about his plans for the rest of the week, he’s got a style blog he’s very proud of.

Meanwhile TV presenter Natalie Pinkham and I decided to hit Guy Pelly’s Tonteria for margaritas. The perfect way to sound in the early hours of Valentine’s Day.

Monday night is meant to be staying in night but that doesn’t seem to apply to our crew. Off we went to 5 Herford Street, Robin Birley’s chic new-ish club. I went with Tatler Hong Kong’s fashion editor, Olivia Buckingham, for the Moncler/Vistajet party, although any excuse would’ve done. Its desperately glam there. We ran excitedly around LouLou’s, the basement nightclub there, bumping into (literally!) Otis Ferry and Edie Campbell, the shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood and man-about-town, Zafar Rushdie, the son of the great writer, Salman. He admired by black Leon Max cape - well, when its this cold who wouldn’t be jealous?

Written By: Astrid Harbord

Astrid Harbord is a fashionista and London girl-about-town.

Trends from the Runway Fall 2013 LFW - Wear it Now

Fresh off the Runway from LFW we give you the hottest trends for Autumn 2013 and how to get them now. Bold red in every shape, dark romantic black tie dresses, fun and flirty heart prints and cotton candy pink day dresses were the highlights. Shop the trends now

Bold Red

Dark Romance

Heart Prints

Cotton Candy Pink

photo credit: getty images

Costume Designer’s Guild Awards

The Designers Guild hosted the 15th annual Awards Ceremony to celebrate the combination of the two things that keep Hollywood afloat, Drama and Fashion. 

In a run-up to The Oscars, the year’s most anticipated Red Carpet this weekend, The Designers Guild award was a coveted sneak peak into what some of Hollywood’s A-listers will be wearing. 

Anne Hathaway- who wore a beautifully textured gold Gucci dress with matching mirrored handbag in the shape of a crocodile picked up the “Spotlight Award” to honor actors and directors for the collaborations with designers for their films.  Also making a statement on the red carpet was Lily Collins, daughter to Phil Collins who wore a black gown with a huge white bow on the back showing off her porcelain shoulders and just the right amount of back. 

Aside from the glitterati and celebrities, the amazing style of the designers themselves is notable.  Jacqueline Durran, the British costume designer who has received academy award nominations for Pride and Prejudice and Atonement picked up the “Exellence in Period Film” award for her work on Anna Karenina, where she made Keira Knightley look flawless yet again.  While her designs on set are sometimes over the top, or immensely romantic, she opted for  a more modest wide legged cropped trousers and nude chunky shoe. 

Then came a particularly teary moment as Eiko Ishioka won the “Excellence in Fantasy Film” for Mirror Mirror.  The designer known for her work in stage, screen, advertising and print and who has been called Japan’s leading art director received her award.  Sadly the designer received the award posthumously after losing a battle with Pancreatic Cancer just a few weeks before the ceremony.  She is also nominated for an Academy Award for the same film. 

Contributing Editor: Margo Stilley

Photo Credit: Getty Images 

Trends from the Runway Fall 2013 NYFW - Wear it Now

Fresh off the Runway from NYFW we give you the hottest trends for Fall 2013 and how to get them now. Military inspired jackets, fur in any way you could want it, leather jackets and detailing, statement turtlenecks, and houndstooth were the most popular looks of the week. Shop the trends now

Military Inspired





photo credit: getty images

London Fashion Week: A Model’s City Guide

I love fashion week in London. It’s when my friends from all over the world come to town, and it’s my chance to be the ultimate host in my favourite city!

To kick of LFW in style - the place to be seen is the IMG party! It’s the great opportunity to ‘dress to impress’ and the perfect place to rock a cool Leon Max evening look. No one wants to be overlooked in the company of Lara Stone.

When the catwalk pavilions shoot up next to the Saatchi Gallery, taking some time out to enjoy Kings Road is a must between shows. It’s one of London’s best shopping areas, and with beautiful boutiques, squares, and restaurants. Grab lunch in Colbert if you are on a budget, or Le Colombier if you are looking for something more refined. Keep your look sophisticated and you’ll fit right in!
Chelsea is my home and I can’t talk about fashion week in London without mentioning a hot new spot to hit after the sun goes down. Guy Pelly’s Tonteria is the place to be, if you enjoy decadent dress with a tequila slammer on the side. This place is edgy with a hint of glitz - perfect for a little black dress with big bold statement accessory.
Another hot spot this LFW will be Burberry’s pavilion in Hyde park. If you make it out there and the weather holds out - head to the Serpentine for some tea and scones. Overlooking the lake with a tea cup in the afternoon will make you feel right at home in London. Just be sure to wear something very British, and you’ll fit right in.
Of course if the weather is too English for your liking - and you hanker for somewhere warm and welcoming - just round the corner from Hyde Park you can find yourself in the welcoming arms of a Russian babushka. Visiting Mari Vanna, arguably London’s most cozy restaurant will lighten and warm your mood. Comforting food; amazing atmosphere; and best of all - it’s a stone’s throw from Harrods.

When you have run yourself ragged flitting from show to show, and you are desperate to escape, then new health sanctuary Grace is your must have recovery treat. Designed for the better half of the human race - just us girls. Seriously, no men allowed! Grace is situated in the heart of Chelsea, where the belles of Sloane street and Belgravia are attended to by the best beauticians.

By: Katia Elizarova

Trending: The Leon Max Flared Coat

Due to extreme temperatures this February everyone needs a go-to winter coat to keep warm. Celebrities including Olivia Wilde opt for the Leon Max Flared Coat for its unique combination of a military inspired double breasted structured top and a feminine flared skirted bottom. The coat creates an edgy yet ladylike silhouette ideal for urban city life. 

Shop the Coat

New York Fashion Week: City Guide

New York Fashion Week has officially begun! In order to ensure you visit all the go-to spots during the fashion event of the season we put together a NYC city guide for dining, nightlife and where to get your beauty sleep after a long day of fashion mayhem! Whether you are uptown seeing shows at the Lincoln center or Downtown at Milk Studios we have you covered! We even included some fashion inspiration from our Spring 2013 collection styled for uptown vs. downtown.

Uptown:  Lincoln Center


Mandarin Oriental, Empire Hotel

Dining & Drinks

The Smith (1900 Broadway)

Ed’s Chowder House (44 West 63rd Street)

Valentine’s Must Visit:

Momofuku Milk Bar (561 Columbus Avenue)

Downtown: Milk Studios


Soho House, Dream Hotel


Cole’s (118 Greenwich Avenue)

El Toro Blanco (257 6th Avenue between Bleecker & Houston)


Electric Room(355 West 16th Street)

Beatrice Inn (285 W. 12th Street at West 4th)

Valentine’s Day Dress Guide

Putting together the perfect heart melting ensemble is a challenge you don’t have to face alone. Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day snuggling up with the person of your dreams or searching for love at a party for singles, Maxstudio has the look to ensure at the very least your style has a successful evening. For a first date of dinner and cocktails go formal in a beaded cap-sleeved red dress topped with a metallic jacquard cape. The sophisticated shape and romantic detailing is sure to charm. If attending a couples cocktail party a little black dress with back detail is the look that will remind the party how lucky your date is! A candle light dinner becomes a bit more modern with a double breasted military inspired jacket and a braided open back dress. For a singles mixer choose the flirty heart print halter dress and ditch the overcoat, it is an evening to show some skin. Lastly, if you plan to keep it low-key a rom-com movie going date night need not be casual. Dress it up with an Audrey Hepburn inspired A-Line dress and a pair of booties. 

Wherever this Valentine’s brings you, remember, feeling chic and sexy may cause intensified romance!   

Shop Dresses 

Los Angeles: It’s Oscar Time!

There were two major fashion moments on the red carpet: Gwyneth Paltrow’s cape and Angelina Jolie’s leg. Neither won a statuette but it’s about getting the arrivals right. Paltrow stood out as an elegantly caped crusader. Also in white was Rooney Mara who is usually gothic in black, but looked completely chic in Givenchy Couture. Jolie’s leg meanwhile (which by the end of the night had it’s own Twitter account and 8,000 followers) was poking out of inky black velvet Atelier Versace. Best Actress Meryl Streep gets more than just a gold accolade – she gets the green one too for wearing Lanvin’s first eco-friendly dress having accepted Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge. But she wasn’t the only green thing slinking down that carpet, The Help’s Viola Davis sported very short hair and wowed in an extravagantly green Vera Wang. Also representing the trend of bold and brights, Natalie Portman looked romantic in sweeping red Vintage Dior. Jennifer Lopez turned heads in a sparkling stripped sheer gown with a plunging neckline leading to rumors of a wardrobe malfunction. Without fail the stars once again provided an evening filled with undeniable fashion moments on the biggest night in Hollywood.  

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Photo Credit:

Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

A Model’s Diary of London Fashion Week: Katia Elizarova

London Fashion Week is a great time to renew your wardrobe and impress friends  - especially those who gather here to rock the catwalk. It’s a busy time of shows, parties, after parties and after after parties. To keep up with all those chances to show off new looks I picked up my favourites from Leon Max’s new store on Westbourne Grove.

Matthew Williamson After Party at Nobu

Elegance and femininity are key to Matthew’s look and his party is always one of the most decadent of fashion week so I thought this purple silk draped dress I found at Max Studio fit in just perfectly. Its very simple but elegant cut in the front is balanced by the most beautiful draping at the back. I paired it with sheer black tights and a small black clutch. This dress was a winner. Sorry Matthew, but it’s not one of yours….

Mark Fast After Party at Mahiki

Second evening was cold and grey like I never left Moscow. We really could have done with a little more sun for fashion week. Hence my dress choice was a flaming red silk dress with a tangerine slip. To make things hotter, I splashed even more colour: orange-pink sheer tights and silk peachy heels. And since you really need to make a mark, even if it’s just on everyones cheeks, some red lips!

Rodnik Tea Party

No one made me laugh more than this eccentric young designer. Dresses in a shape of boiled eggs and phone boxes, with busses for bags - it was all very British! Time to be an extrovert too! I chose a grey sequin embellished knee-length dress which has a great little twist to it in the way it lies, bunched beautifully at the waist. But to mix it up a little how about some knitted gloves and grey wool tights with some open toed summer shoes?


New York Nights

2/24/2012 5:24:00 AM

New York Nights

It was all in a week’s fashion week work for Kate Winslet, Georgina Chapman, Mary Charteris and Alexa Chung as the week in New York kicked off.

The first few days of New York fashion week were rock n roll. The kick-off was atop the Standard Hotel when The Kills - Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince aka Mr Kate Moss - played to an adoring fashion-plate crowd. Alexa Chung hugged Poppy Delevingne while jewelry designer Eddie Borgo pushed to the front in his fedora and model Erin Wasson looked laid-back and calm amidst this crowd of crazy. But that was just a glittery taste of what was to come. As night rolled round after a day of shows it was to the CFDA as it celebrated 50 years; here the girls embraced looks that didnt veer far from sleek and black. That was pretty much the stock-in-trade uniform for these raven fashion mavens who included Georgina Chapman, Kate Winslet and Vera Wang. Perhaps it was so the bold and brights of the vintage looks on display could be seen to the best effect? Or maybe it was just because its the tried and tested fashion week formula. Either way at the Jason Wu after party at Double Seven model Coco Rocha sat back and looked pale and interesting while Austrian-born London-based social stalwart and fabulous stylist-about-town Caroline Sieber sensibly rocked a lavish fur coat which she made cute, not old, in the freezing cold. Another night out and it was art meets fashion at new hot spot Super Linda when nightlife impresario and street artist Andre Saraiva, hosted - along with Purple’s Olivier Zahm and Johan Lindeberg - a bash for BLK DNM that drew in some of the citys finest socials, as well as some non-Manhattanites. Amongst the out-of-towners were the two top European party people (and co-hostesses of Leon Max’s party last summer at Easton Neston) flown in from the Old World. First up the model and muse Lady Mary Charteris in from London, swiftly followed by a sultry and red be-lipped Josephine de la Baume fresh from Paris. After their dinner it was back to the Top of the Standard for an apres-soiree Euro-style because - as every good fashion girl knows - what goes around, comes around. Even if it’s in the first 48 hours of fashion week.

Contributing Editor: Richard Dennen

Photo Credit:

© WWD/Condé Nast/Corbis

Rob Loud/WireImage/Getty Images

Bennett Raglin/WireImage/Getty Images