As a stylist, Kate Young has a particular affinity for well-designed things—that is, iconic items that stand the test of time. To her, Cartier is a paragon of this idea. “I think what’s so amazing about Cartier is there’s a very clear aesthetic that runs through everything,” Young says. “You know what Cartier is. It’s sexy. It’s French. It’s sort of, always, for me, rooted in the seventies.” To kick off Season 2 of Hello Fashion, her YouTube show created in collaboration with The Slowdown, the stylist walks through some of the famed French jewelry house’s most emblematic pieces.
The episode begins with Young’s favorite Cartier watch, the one, it just so happens, that she wears every day: an all-black vintage Cartier Must from the 1970s. Lacking numbers or frame—and pared down to a thin gold rectangle with a black face and strap—the watch is elegantly simple, a blue sapphire crown its only hint of opulence. Young explains that the conception of the watch’s simple design was catalyzed in part by the popularity of Seiko’s line of quartz watches, and in part by the success of the Must lighter, a sleek, ribbed, gold-plated apparatus. “The Must lighter, to me, is one of the greatest design pieces ever. It’s beautiful. It’s precious, but not too precious.” According to Young, the wide acclaim for both Seiko’s quartz watches and the Must lighter demonstrated to Cartier a need for “luxury at a more affordable and easier-to-wear price point.”
Next, she moves on to Cartier’s most renowned watch: the Tank. She explains how the design of the watch, modeled after its eponym in 1917, was directly rooted in the concurrent world war and its novel combat machinery. The timepiece has two thick parallel brancards, made to resemble the treads of a tank, and the face is meant to be the hull, where a driver would sit. The watch’s design also coincided with the inception of De Stijl, a Dutch art movement founded in 1917. Louis Cartier was inspired by the move away from Art Nouveau and toward art deco and Neoplasticism, especially by Mondrian squares and rectangles. This influence is evident in the watch face’s interior, which has a small checkerboard called a chemin de fer (French for “railway”), meant to evoke the idea of travel. The watch’s final signature element is its cabochon sapphire, a blue gemstone polished into a dome to serve as the watch’s crown.
In the video, Young stands in front of a wall with photos of famous Cartier Tank wearers—hardly a modest roster. Among them are Truman Capote, Duke Ellington, Andy Warhol, Rudolph Valentino, Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, Patti Smith, Jon Hamm, Jackie Kennedy, and Kim Kardashian. Young observes that, collectively, they don’t have much in common—a testament to the watch’s classicality and versatility.
After briefly mentioning the Tank Française, which debuted in 1996, Young then discusses Cartier’s Nouvelle Vague jewelry collection, which came out while she was an assistant for Tonne Goodman at Vogue, in the ’90s. The collection was inspired by the French New Wave and, according to Young, was used on practically every Vogue shoot for a year or two. Young herself has a piece from the collection: a white gold beaded bracelet encrusted with small diamonds.
For Young, Cartier is a brand that has truly stood the test of time as a result of both its simplicity and its abidance by its core identity—its “codes.” “[It’s] a brand I love because I find it sexy... [The Tank] is the absolute essential of a luxury watch.”
Watch new and previous episodes of Kate Young’s YouTube show Hello Fashion at youtube.com/kateyoung.
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A Fictional World Created by Toyin Ojih Odutola Calls Into Question Real-Life Systems of Power and Gender
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Bernie Krause and United Visual Artists Translate Nature’s Sonic Landscapes Into an Emotive Spectacle
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In 1983, French photographer Simon Chaput arrived in New York City for a weeklong trip, and ended up staying for nearly –1991) in California and Japan to “The Floating Piers” (2014–2016) in Italy. Along the way, in 1984, Chaput met the artist and sculptor Isamu Noguchi, who recognized Chaput’s love oNew York,” which he began in 1996, that chronicled the developing built environment of Lower Manhattan.
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Italian jewelry designer Elsa Peretti, who passed away on March 18, is a constant inspiration to stylist Kate Young’s lifourth episode of her YouTube show, Hello Fashion, created with The Slowdown, surveying some of the brilliant things Peretti made in her lifetime. Young begins by discu
The British-born, Brooklyn-based philosopher Simon Critchley has no shortage of interests. He’s written, in his refreshiThe New York Times, where he moderates its contemporary thinkers opinion forum, The Stone. For his forthcoming book, Bald (Yale University Press), out April 27, Critchley—who teaches philosophy at The New School for Social Research, and was tEp. 42 of our Time Sensitive podcast and Ep. 3 of our At a Distance podcast—compiled 35 of his favorite Times essays, forming an engaging series of short reads that suggest new ways of understanding the world. We recently spoke w
Isolating at home during the pandemic, New York–based stylist Kate Young longed for the hallmarks of awards season: fancthird episode of her new YouTube show, Hello Fashion, created with The Slowdown, she details three of her favorite awards looks: a saffron-colored Vera Wang dress, which MiBrokeback Mountain; a red Prada dress, which Selena Gomez wore to the American Music Awards on Nov. 20, 2016, when she won the Favorite FeI, Tonya.
When Goodnight Moon was first published, in 1947, the chief children’s librarian at the New York Public Library didn’t like that its story—Goodnight Moon’s honest presentation of sleep and solicitude still resonated with readers, who’ve since purchased more than 48 million