‘Next In Fashion’ Reality Competition Will Bow On Netflix, Offering Designers $250K And Showcase

Tan France (Queer Eye) and designer/model Alexa Chung will host Netflix’s “Next In Fashion,” a competition that pits designers in a battle to become the next big thing. No date has been set for the launch, but season one will have ten episodes.

“Next in Fashion” begins with eighteen designers who face challenges centering on a different trend or design style that has influenced the way the entire world dresses. Judges, including stylist Elizabeth Stewart and Instagram fashion guru Eva Chen are among judges who will evaluate their creations. More guest judges will be announced.

The winner will receive a $250,000 prize and an opportunity to debut their collection with luxury fashion retailer Net-a-Porter.

Next in Fashion is created and produced by theoldschool and is executive produced by Robin Ashbrook and Yasmin Shackleton with co-executive producer Adam Cooper.


Will Karl Lagerfeld’s Cat Choupette Inherit the Late Designer’s Fortune?

French fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has died, and his beloved cat Choupette could inherit his fortune.

The Chanel creative director adopted Choupette in 2011. The Birman cat quickly became a celebrity in her own right, with nearly 250,000 people following her luxurious, pampered lifestyle on Instagram. Now, the fashionable feline could become the richest cat in the world, according to CNBC, depending on how much money Lagerfeld left to her.

Lagerfeld previously said Choupette was a “heiress”

Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld poses next to a photo of himself and his cat Choupette. | Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Lagerfeld doted on Choupette, who came into his life as a kitten. Model Baptiste Giabiconi asked the iconic designer to cat-sit the 3-month-old kitten in 2011, and he fell in love with her.

“[W]hen she came back 2 weeks later I said ‘I am sorry Choupette will stay,” Lagerfeld told People in 2013. Under Lagerfeld’s care, Choupette ate off fine china and traveled with him around the world.

In 2015, Lagerfeld explained that his cat would continue her life of luxury even after he died. “Choupette is a rich girl,” he said, according to French newspaper Le Figaro.

“If something happens to me, the person who will take care of her will not be in misery,” he added.

Last year, Lagerfeld described his Instafamous cat as a “heiress,” but added that she wasn’t his sole heir. “Among others, yes. Don’t worry, there is enough for everyone,” he told Numero. Lagerfeld was worth an estimated $200 million at the time of his death.

Can Choupette really inherit?

Happy #FathersDay Daddy @karllagerfeld. Thank you for bringing me into the (fashion) world.

A post shared by Choupette Lagerfeld (@choupettesdiary) on Jun 18, 2017 at 10:10am PDT

Some people might think it strange to leave a multi-million-dollar fortune to a pet, but it’s hardly unheard of. In 1991, a German countess left $80 million to her dog, Gunther. His descendant, Gunther IV, is now worth an estimated $370 million, according to Vanity Fair. Maria Assunta left $13 million to her cat when she died in 2011. By leaving money to Choupette, Lagerfeld would be joining a long line of wealthy people who wanted to ensure that their pets would be well taken care after their death.

When he revealed his plans to name Choupette his heir to Numero last year, Lagerfeld was told that under French law, animals could not inherit. The German-born Lagerfeld replied that it was “lucky” he wasn’t French.

Money left to pets is usually placed in a trust, according to Vanity Fair. A trustee oversees the money, while a caretaker receives money from the trust to provide for the pet. A third person – an enforcer – might also be involved to make sure funds aren’t misappropriated.

Whatever money Choupette receives from Lagerfeld’s estate will be added to her own fortune. She’s reportedly already worth about $3.4 million, according to France 24, money that she made by starring in ads for a German car company and a Japanese cosmetics brand.

What will happen to Choupette?

Thank you everyone for your words of condolence. With a once cold but now simply broken heart, I am going into mourning. I pray that your kind words and well-wishes will help me to put my best paw forward in my future without Daddy @KarlLagerfeld & as my own woman.

A post shared by Choupette Lagerfeld (@choupettesdiary) on Feb 20, 2019 at 3:28pm PST

Right now, Choupette is mourning the loss of her “Daddy,” according to a post on her Instagram, which was accompanied by a photo of the cat wearing a black veil. (Ashley Tschudin runs Choupette’s social media accounts.)

“He was a true icon who touched the lives of everyone he came in contact with, especially moi,” Choupette wrote in a post on her blog. “He will forever live in my now broken heart and the hearts of all his supporters around the world.”

There’s been no announcement about where Choupette will live in the future, but with two maids attending to her every need, she surely being well taken care of.

Lagerfeld, who was known for his prickly personality, said that Choupette changed his life for the better.

“Perhaps, she helped me to become a nicer person,” he told People. “Because there is something very touching about her you see.”


How Australian theatre is failing its sound designers and composers

A white middle-aged man in a theatre, with a guitar and headphones, frowning

“In the last couple of years, I’ve seen a lot of my colleagues drop out of the industry; a lot of them burn out and suffer serious mental health crises,” Edmondson told the ABC.

“David White’s letter resonated with me. We’re not far off that situation happening in Australia and I’ve seen people come uncomfortably close to that kind of point in their life because of the pressure in the job, and lack of understanding and support.”

Two jobs for the price of one

“Sound and composition … has the ability to truly creep its way into the back of the minds of the audience and help shape their engagement with the play, without being particularly overt. I think that’s a lot of the reason why it’s often overlooked,” Edmondson says.

Sound designers are responsible for all the sound elements in a production, from sound effects and mic-ing up performers to setting up speaker systems.

Edmondson, whose recent credits include Sydney Theatre Company’s award-winning six-hour epic The Harp In The South (sound designer, working with composer The Sweats) and Blackie Blackie Brown(assistant sound designer, to designer/composer Steve Toulmin), says sound designers often resort to unexpected sounds to achieve the desired effect.

In Blackie Blackie Brown, for example, Edmondson had to ask himself: “What is the sound of a giant pair of testicles exploding? … You’ve got to get creative.”

One solution? The “mating cry of foxes” — which when slowed-down sounds “low and haunting”.

A grey-haired middle-aged man with headphones around his neck gazes moodily into the cameraPHOTO: Stefan Gregory is a composer and sound designer who has been working in Australian theatre for 15 years. (ABC Arts: Teresa Tan)

Composers, meanwhile, write and arrange music for a production — but in today’s theatre, the roles of composer and sound designer are often combined.

Stefan Gregory, who won Best Sound Design at this year’s Sydney Theatre Awards for his work on The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (STC), is a composer and sound designer who has been working in Australian theatre for 15 years.

Gregory says the trend towards combining the two roles emerged within the last 10 years, as composers increasingly began to work electronically.

To hear this story and all the latest stories from stages across the country and beyond, subscribe to The Stage Show.

“The composition/sound design is expected to be fed actively into the room right through the rehearsal process,” Edmondson says.

After the day’s rehearsal, the sound designer/composer writes and mixes the music before programming it into the software. Then (hopefully) the director approves — or they’re forced to go back to the drawing board.

“Once you hit the theatre [for tech week] … you tend to come in for a 9am start and you’ll tend to work through till the theatre closes, which is generally 11pm. But larger productions you might not be out the door until midnight,” says Edmondson.

“If you’re a composer, you go home and sometimes rewrite a whole piece of music and you might be up to 3 or 4am and then back into the theatre early again.”

Gregory concurs, saying that in the final weeks of rehearsals he often works between 90 to 100-hour weeks.

And it’s not just the hours that are taxing.

“You’ve got to put your soul into this music — with the knowledge that someone’s going to listen to it for about three seconds and go ‘Nup, that’s not right’,” he says.

He estimates the ratio of music abandoned as opposed to used in the production as 10:1.

“The sound designers and composers I know all work extraordinarily hard and kill themselves, pretty much.”

Living ‘hand-to-mouth’

J David Franzke is a Melbourne-based Green Room Award-winning sound designer and composer who has worked in the industry for 25 years. Last year, he worked on Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of The Architect; currently he is working on Malthouse’s forthcoming production of Cloudstreet.

“If you’re working as a sound designer in live theatre you’re doing it as a passion. It’s not a sensible career choice,” Franzke says.

A middle-aged white man sits at a desk working on his computer, a dog in his lapPHOTO: Franzke describes his financial circumstances as “hand-to-mouth”. (ABC RN: Hannah Reich)

“I feel like I’ve spent the best part of 25 years with my nose down, tail up, just boring along working. I’ve popped out the other side and gone: ‘Oh! Where are all the things you’re meant to have when you’re almost 50?’ Like a house or a car, I don’t have any of that.”

Franzke works for 6-week blocks at a time on shows.

He describes his financial circumstances as “hand-to-mouth”.

Edmondson says he’s able to make a living wage but that he puts his “hourly rate for theatre work at between $15 and $18 per hour”. In his Facebook post, he said: “The janitors make more money out of my shows than I do (no shade to janitors, of course).”

Gregory says the hourly rate for being both composer and sound designer is “not good”, and says he chooses to work for companies that pay on the higher end of the industry’s spectrum.

“I will be going back to finding work as computer programmer this year — despite being one of the most in-demand in my field and having plenty of shows offered to me in Australia and overseas — because I want more free time to work on projects that are meaningful to me.”

The changing scope of sound design

A hand with wedding ring and watch adjusting knobs on a sound deskPHOTO: Sound design has changed significantly in the last 10 years. (ABC Arts: Teresa Tan)

“Sound designers/composers are paid a flat fee and that hasn’t really changed much at all in the last 10 years,” Edmonson says.

“It’s been fairly static — as have most of the fees of other creative departments — but unlike other departments, sound design has changed a lot in its scope in that time.”

With the rise of prestige TV, theatre audiences have come to expect more complex and immersive sound design, and technology has emerged that can realise that.

These developments have meant that delivery time for work has been cut down while tech costs have gone up. Edmondson says sound professionals need between $10-20,000 worth of equipment to start out in the industry.

Inequity in the industry

In order to remedy “the significant gender inequity” in the industry, Theatre Networks Australia has compiled a list of female, non-binary, and trans designers.

But one woman who has been working regularly in Australian theatre as a sound designer and composer is Kim “Busty Beatz” Bowers, with recent credits including cabaret show Hot Brown Honey and The Longest Minute (a co-production by Queensland Theatre and JUTE Theatre Company).

A black woman with a mic singing in front of a laptop on stage.PHOTO: Sound designer and composer Kim “Busty Beatz” Bowers says the theatre industry is not conducive to being a mother. (Supplied: Sean Young)

“I’m a mother and the theatre is not very conducive to that — especially [the role] of a sound artist. It’s a lot of late nights, and I wouldn’t say that I’m treated that great,” Bowers says.

“The last project I did seven drafts … a lot of that is hours that aren’t paid for,” she adds.

And it’s not just late nights that Bowers has to contend with.

“[I deal with] attitudes, ideas that because you’re a black woman, a woman of colour, that you’re only going to have a certain skill base, that you only work in a certain way … insidious stuff that is full-on.”

Better pay, recognition and education

While other designers in theatre are represented by the Australian Production Design Guild, Edmondson says sound designers are lacking specific union representation to advocate for change.

Yet, the time might be ripe for change.

“With all the cultural shift that we’re seeing in theatre at the moment surrounding safe spaces, mental health, appropriate behaviour and inclusion … I think that’s really opened the door for more honest, frank conversations,” says Edmonson.

“I’m seeing people really suffering from being overwhelmed and burnt out by this workload and … there’s such a small pool already in the industry to begin with, we just can’t afford to lose these people.”

The answer for Edmondson is better pay, improved mental health support, and bringing composers and sound designers on board earlier in the production process.

All of the practitioners interviewed for this piece feel that raising awareness is a crucial part of effecting change.

“It is about actually recognising the workload and recognising the number of hours [involved],” says Bowers.

Gregory says: “I think what’s really happening for the role is that it’s just become a lot more work than it used to be 10 years ago, and I think theatre companies haven’t really caught up … I find that I have to explain my role to pretty much every theatre company I work for.”




Designer’s historic restoration project featured in 34th Annual Holiday Home Tour

Todd Yoggy is an interior designer who has designed and owned homes across the U.S. – from Los Angeles to Richmond.

He grew up in Big Flats before moving to California, where his office is now located. In December 2017, Yoggy purchased a historic Tudor home on Hoffman Street, in Elmira’s Near Westside neighborhood. That home will be featured in the 34th Annual “Homes for the Holidays” holiday house tour.

His goal of restoring the home aligns with the goal of the Near Westside Neighborhood Association (NWNA), a non-profit organization based in Elmira which aims to revitalize the area and preserve its history.

Yoggy and some of his childhood friends, who also have houses in the area, approached the NWNA to ask if they could all participate in the holiday tour.

The designer’s hope is that not only does the tour of his home inspire residents to “do something different” with their own homes, but also raises awareness of the NWNA’s goals.

“Hopefully people will get involved and be inspired to save more houses like this and bring them back.  I hope when I’m done with this project that it’s good for the next 100 years, and then somebody else will have to come and do it again. It’s an ongoing process,” Yoggy said.

Also featured in his home is a 13-foot Christmas tree, with a 40-year collection of ornaments. Yoggy purchased the tree from Maple Ave. Tree Farms, which has over 800 trees in its lot.

“I knew if I was going to do the tour, I wanted to go all out[…]I’m a total traditionalist when it comes to Christmas. I want my Christmas tree to be as traditional as possible,” Yoggy said.

Atelier NL and Envisions named designers of the year at Dezeen Awards

Atelier NL and Envisions named designers of the year at Dezeen Awards

Amy Frearson | 13 hours ago Leave a comment

Dutch design duo Atelier NL has been named Designer of the Year while fellow Dutch studio Envisions has won Emerging Designer of the Year at Dezeen Awards.

Atelier NL founders Nadine Sterk and Lonny van Ryswyck won the Designer of the Year prize, which is given for “all-round design excellence over a body of work by an designer or design studio that has been in business for more than 10 years”.

The Eindhoven-based pair have built up a body of work exploring the potential of locally sourced raw materials, including sand, soil and clay.

Atelier NL and Envisions named designers of the year at Dezeen Awards
The studio has recently been collecting samples of wild sand from around the world

Their Clay Service project has produced a range of ceramics that showcase clay varieties from different locations around the Netherlands.

Meanwhile their recent project ZandGlass – for which they won the Homeware Design of the Year prize – saw them draw from their research into wild sand around the world to create a range of regionally specific glassware.

Atelier NL and Envisions named designers of the year at Dezeen Awards
Atelier NL use this material to create their regionally specific ZandGlass glassware

The jury praised the designers for the “consistent sensitivity throughout their work” and they way they concentrate on “local materials and responsible production practices whilst also maintaining a very high level of aesthetics throughout all their projects.”

“They tackle ideas such as sense of place and geographic specificity successfully, making the conversation about sustainable practices a richer one,” said the judges.

“Using impressively rigorous and interesting design thinking, they create beautiful objects with good craftsmanship.”

The prize sees the pair presented with a Dezeen Awards trophy that they designed themselves. Made from London clay, they were produced by hand from craftspeople at brick manufacturer Wienerberger.

Atelier NL and Envisions named designers of the year at Dezeen Awards