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mercoledì
giu152011

Tabitha Simmons

Shoes are a typically a fashionista’s main consideration when assembling a look and in Giovanna Battaglia's style league, heels are the primary choice with an occasional flat as the outfit dictates, of course. It is no surprise that one of the favorites of our lovely Gio is Tabitha Simmons, the very beautiful shoe designer and contributing editor for Vogue now dwelling in New York City. (I can attest to Tabitha's beauty, having seen her in person at the Balenciaga store on FNO.) A film major, model, stylist, and also British by birth, Simmons is married to photographer and collaborator Craig McDean, a veritable fashion powerhouse couple.

Simmons' shoe collection is uber-sexy and strappy — flattering and feminine even in wedge form hence the attraction by Gio. While pricey at approximately $600-$2,200, the Tabitha Simmons shoe is to be missed neither on the runway nor on the streets of New York, London, Paris, and Milan. Her designs are crafted in fantastic materials such as snakeskin, color blocked leather, and beaded satin, all made for the well-heeled but none as well put together as Giovanna. Not surprisingly, she adores Simmons' sexy calf length stiletto boots in leather patchwork.

Callouses be damned! Simmons has also designed the arches to be comfortable even for the most flat-footed style icons. Another plus for those who might be doubtful: Simmons is charitably minded. She recently created a design for Project Ocean, a partnership between Selfridges and the Zoological Society of London, with all profits from the sale of the sandals designated for charity. The shoes, which cost $1,500 US based on the current exchange rate, can be purchased on Selfridges.com.

[Editor's note: Tabitha Simmons was featured in the "Une Fille Un Style" section of the October 2004 issue of Vogue Paris so I have translated it from French to English as an added bonus.]

UNE FILLE: En plaisant exil à New York, Tabitha est une rédactrice très mode pour Vogue US, V et Another Magazine. Elle travaille aussi en étroite collaboration avecAlexander McQueen. Ce qui lui permet de revenir plus souvent à Londres, ville de coeur qu'elle fait découvrir à son fils Elliott (9 mois) qu'elle et son mari, le photographe de mode Craig McDean, ont mis au monde un jour de blizzard new-yorkais.  

UN STYLE: ‹‹Éclectique? Varié?›› Un jamais fini fait exprès, un savant contrôle du dérapage, une décadence élégante. Tabitha s'habille à l'instinct. ‹‹Parfois ça me prend trois minutes, parfois je change jusqu'à ce que je trouve la bonne formule. Comme l'important, c'est de se sentir bien, le tas de vêtements peut être impressionnant.›› En ce moment, elle a envie de pièces sexy et féminines, comme cette jupe en denim noire archi-structurée Alexander McQueen, la petite robe bustier toute droite années 40 qu'elle vient de trouver dans un vintage shop de l'East Village ou une cape brodée, chinée chez Virginia's à Londres.

SA BRITISH TOUCH: ‹‹Je n'ai pas peur de m'amuser en m'habillant.›› Jamais de total look, mais un grand sens du mélange. Excentrique jusqu'à un certain point, Tabitha garde toujours le sens du chic. Veste victorienne élimée aux épaules portée sur une jolie petite robe, pyjama une pièce en soie des années 20 ou formule jean/chaussures insensées, elle jongle avec les vêtements hautement siglés, bien chinés ou repérés dans les vitrines géantes genre Top Shop.

LE JOUR: ‹‹ Quand j'étais enceinte, je vivais dans mon Earl Jeans, la chemise de Craig et mes boots noires AF Vandevorst ou celles à grosses boucles Ann Demeulemeester.›› Mais, là encore, elle jouait avec la mode en retaillant des robes de l'Armée du Salut (dont une, sa fierté, entièrement imprimée Elvis) pour s'en faire des tops. ‹‹Maintenant que j'ai retrouvé ma silhouette, attention, je suis de retour!›› Premier acte de ce come-back : une paire de platform shoes John Galliano, en python rouge glossy et talon Plexi.

LE SOIRE: ‹‹J'adore m'habiller.›› Mais avec le bébé et son nouveau style de vie, elle joue la partition de la variation, en changeant juste de top ou de chaussures. Pour une soirée à l'opéra de Londres, elle enfile un long pantalon en satin Louis Vuitton et une petite camisole vintage. ‹‹Je fais toujours attention à la silhouette et aux proportions. Si le pantalon est très ample, je choisis un haut plus ajusté.››

CHAUSSURES: Sa passion ultime, surtout si elles sont hors du commun. ‹‹Je choisis d'abord les chaussures. Ensuite, je m'habille en fonction.›› Sa préférée : une paire lacée en cuir marron Alexander McQueen issue de la collection Robot. ‹‹ J'en ai deux paires. S'il arrive quelque chose à l'une, il me reste l'autre.›› Elle les a portées avec une mini-robe de mousseline rouge Ann Demeulemeester lors d'une fête mode; un jean pour aller au concert de Marilyn Manson; un robe vintage 40 pendant la journée.

TABOUS: ‹‹Jamais est un mot que je ne dis plus, car mes grandes sentences m'ont trop souvent rattrapée !›› En insistant : les pantalons plissés devant. ‹‹En tout cas, aujourd'hui, je n'en porterai pas...››

ELLIOTT: Lui aussi a son style éclectique, un cocktail cool à base de Bonpoint, Petit Bateau et pièces vintage, chinées chez What comes around goes around (New York) ou Sheila Cook (Londres). ‹‹Je découvre le plaisir d'habiller un garçon. En fait, l'allure est plus relax que pour une petite fille. Même s'il porte des vêtements de créateur, j'essaie de ne pas lui en donner l'air.›› Son look favori : un treillis, une veste japonaise, un T-shirt brodé d'une Camaro, la voiture de son papa, et son éléphant rose.

ACCESSOIRES: ‹‹Beaucoup !›› Elle collectionne les ceintures, les écharpes années 20, les sacs du soir anciens. Le jour, elle aime changer de sac régulièrement, mais, en ce moment, elle a du mal à séparer de sa grande besace en cuir marron Balenciaga.

BIJOUX: Très peu et toujours très fins. Deux bagues de fiançailles : un petit camée que Craig lui a offert à Venise et une autre, plus officielle, en diamants et saphir XIXe******* (Fred Leighton). ‹‹L'alliance, en revanche, doit toujours être neuve.›› La sienne est signée Tiffany.

A GIRL: In pleasant exile in New York, Tabitha is a fashion editor for Vogue US, V, and Another Magazine. She also works in close collaboration with Alexander McQueen. This allows her to return more often to London, the city of her heart which she introduced to her son Elliott (9 months) whom she and her husband, the fashion photographer Craig McDean, gave birth to on the day of a New York blizzard.

A STYLE: "Eclectic? Varied?" One never does it on purpose, a learned skid control, an elegant decadence. Tabitha dresses with instinct. "Sometimes it takes me three minutes, sometimes I change until I find the right formula. As important, is to feel good, the pile of clothes can be impressive." Right now, she wants sexy, feminine pieces, like this black denim skirt arch-structured by Alexander McQueen, the small strapless dress straight from the 40s she has found in a vintage shop in the East Village or an embroidered cape, mottled from Virginia's in London.

HER BRITISH TOUCH: "I'm not afraid to have fun dressing myself." Never a total look, but a grand sense of mixing. Eccentric to some degree, Tabitha always keeps the sense of chic. A Victorian jacket with threadbare shoulders worn over a pretty dress, silk one piece pajamas from the 20s, or formula denim/shoe crazy, she juggles with highly branded apparel clothing, although mottled or spotted in the giant windows of Top Shop.

FOR DAY: "When I was pregnant, I lived in my Earl jeans, Craig's shirt, and my black boots by AF Vandevorst or those with big buckles by Ann Demeulemeester." But again, she played with fashion by cropping dresses from the Salvation Army (one of which, her pride, entirely imprinted with Elvis) to make them into tops. "Now that I have regained my silhouette, look out, I'm back!" The first act of her comeback: a pair of platform shoes by John Galliano, in glossy red python and Plexi heels.

FOR EVENING: "I adore dressing myself." But with the baby and his new lifestyle, she plays the partition of the variation, by changing just the top or the shoes. For an evening at the opera in London, she dons long satin trousers by Louis Vuitton and a small vintage camisole. "I always pay attention to the silhouette and the proportions. If the pants are very wide, I choose a more fitted top."

SHOES: Her ultimate passion, especially if they are unusual. "First I select the shoes. Then I dress accordingly." Her favorite: a pair laced in brown leather by Alexander McQueen from the Robot collection. "I have two pairs. If something happens to one, I have another." She has worn them with a mini-dress of red chiffon by Ann Demeulemeester at a fashion party; with jeans for going to the concert of Marilyn Manson; with a 1940s vintage dress during the day.

TABOOS: "Never is a word that I do not say because my great phrases often catch me!" By insisting: pleated front pants. "Anyway, today, I do not wear them..."

ELLIOTT: He too has his eclectic style, a cool cocktail based on Bonpoint, Petit Bateau, and vintage pieces, mottling at What Comes Around Goes Around (New York) or Sheila Cook (London). "I discovered the pleasure of dressing a boy. In fact, the pace is more relaxed than for a girl. Even if he wears designer clothes, I try not to give him air." Her favorite look: a lattice, a Japanese jacket, a tshirt embroidered with a Camaro, the car of his dad, and his pink elephant.

ACCESSORIES: "Many!" She collects belts, scarves from the 1920s, old evening bags. For day, she likes to change her bag regularly, but right now it's hard to separate from her large brown leather bag by Balenciaga.

JEWELRY: Very little and still very fine. Two engagement rings: a small cameo that Craig offered her in Venice and another, more formal, 19th century diamond and sapphire (Fred Leighton). "The alliance, however, must always be new." It is signed Tiffany.

 

Tabitha Simmons photographs courtesy of bfanyc.com, garancedore.fr, hanneli.com, and models.com.
"Une Fille Un Style" images of Tabitha Simmons © 2004 Condé Nast. All Rights Reserved.

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