Production Pitfalls – Confessions of a Fashion Star Winner

I’ve never told this story publicly before.

Partly because I didn’t want to disappoint all of the fans that were inspired by my story on Fashion Star with the dirty production details following the excitement of the show.

And partly because I was embarrassed for a long time about how naive I was with regards to production in the actual world of fashion—which is nothing like the glitz and glamor of the finished products you see on TV. Read More

The New Influencers: Welcome to Revolve’s First Awards Ceremony

Janice Joostema, Rocky Barnes, Marianna Hewitt, Camila Coelho and Aimee Song. (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

Janice Joostema, Rocky Barnes, Marianna Hewitt, Camila Coelho and Aimee Song. (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

What is an ‘Influencer’  you ask?

Digital natives, who post, snap and tweet to their hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers — who then rush out and buy the products that these Influencers recommend. Women (and men) no longer look to fashion and beauty magazines for inspiration and ideas. In today’s digital age, those titles — and their editors — are quickly becoming a thing of the past, not only to consumers (latest casualty, Teen Vogue) but to brands themselves, who are now relying on these ‘brand ambassadors’ who are disrupting and replacing advertising and marketing ‘agencies’.

So why not celebrate these fashion and beauty influencers!

Well on Nov. 2, Revolve, the trendy mega-retailer who collaborates and works with Influencers daily, has hosted its first ever Revolve Awards Show. Revolve has successfully built its business on influencer marketing and are now celebrating and awarding their partners. It was a fun-filled and fashionably bold night.

The glamourous evening took place at Hollywood’s Dream Hotel and was hosted by E!’s Terrence Jenkins. Attendees ranged from Chrissy Teigen, and Nicole Richie to Hailey Baldwin and plenty of Instagram stars. The ceremony focused on influencer-centric categories – such as, YouTube Channel of the Year, Best Influencer Brand, BFFs of the Year, Best Beauty Influencer, Brand of the Year, #COUPLEGOALS of the Year and Influencer of the Year.  Half of the winners were chosen by a trusted panel of industry experts and fans had the opportunity to cast their votes as well.

Chrissy Teigen  (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Chrissy Teigen (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Revolve, a multi-brand online shopping retailer based in Los Angeles, was one of the first to identify bloggers as the new voice of fashion. Bloggers, Vloggers, Influencers and Insta-stars, have the ability to catapult a fashion or beauty label to the masses. These fashion crusaders have gained the trust of their audience base because they speak and dress in a way that most young women aspire and can relate and to, in contrast to traditional global fashion scene which is often perceived as intimidating and snobby. “We’ve been blogger -believers since 2009,” Revolve Chief Brand Officer, Raissa Gerona, said at the brunch. “They speak to our customers in a really authentic way that’s really meaningful,” co-founder and co-CEO Michael Mente told Fashionista.Com.

“We’re millennials too, so we automatically got it,” Gerona told Fashionista.com of the blogger boom. “Instead of being like, why are you writing about your outfit? It’s like, cool, you’re telling me what you’re wearing on your blog! I feel like I can get someone else’s perspective that I can trust. It’s not like Anna Wintour, who I’m never ever going to meet, you know?” It’s the difference between being talked down to – and talking with your friends.

On an earlier Instagram post (prior to the event), Revolve stated “We are nominating and honoring the best in the biz, our Influencers, our top selling brands and our ambassadors, for whom we wouldn’t be here without. And you, our followers and customers, are the core of everything we’ve achieved and hustle for. Thank you everyone who’s ever believed in us and supported us from the beginning.”

And the investment in Influencers is paying off. According to an article published by WWD in October, Revolve in on track to do over $1 billion in sales this year, attributing 70 percent of that sum to the might of the e-tailer’s influencers, a global network of 5,000 content creators.

Revolve’s Influencer of the Year, was the biggest award of the night and of course, the catagorie was filled with a talented and beautiful range of eight nominees: Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni, Camila Coelho, Negin Mirsalehi, Rocky Barnes, Julie Sariñana, Tash Oakley, and Arielle Charnas.  But of course, there can only be one winner. So the ultra-stylish Negin Mirsalehi took home the prize.  The trend-setter called her boyfriend Maurits Stibbe to the stage to help her accept the award, and they were adorable. According to Negin Mirsalehi in an interview with Fashionista.Com, “They were the first ones to understand from the Influencer’s perspective. They see that Influencers are more than just people who take pictures all the time,”noting the company’s willingness to collaborate and brainstorm with Influencers to create maximum benefit for both parties. Currently Mirsalehi has 206K views on YouTube and 4.3M followers on Instagram. Now that’s a massive ‘influence’, don’t you think?

Below is a list of the Revolve Award Winners:

Influencer of the Year: Negin Mirsalehi

Best Beauty Influencer: Jenn Im

YouTube Channel of the Year: Camila Coelho

BFFs of the Year: Aimee Song & Camila Coelho

#CoupleGoals of the Year: Negin Mirsalehi & Maurits Stibbe

Best Influencer Brand: Shop Sincerely Jules by Julie Sariñana

Brand of the Year: For Love & Lemons

Best Activewear Brand: Alo Yoga

Best Beauty Brand: Ouai

Best Swimwear Brand: Beach Riot

Innovator of the Year: Eva Chen

Artist of the Year: Rae Sremmurd

Icon of the Year: Nicole Richie

Woman of the Year: Chrissy Teigen

Muse of the Year: Shay Mitchell

Whether you follow these influencers religiously, or you find them to be self-promoting, label-whoring, fame-seeking pretty young things, it is undeniable that Revolve has distinguished itself with a powerful marketing tactic that is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the fashion industry. Many Influencers even have their own hashtags, such as Chiara Ferragni’s famous #TheBlondSaladGoesTo….   Love it or hate it, the fashion industry needs to pay attention to these teens and young adults, for the rise of social media is just the beginning.

So tell us, who is your favorite fashion or beauty influencer?

Nicole Richie (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

Nicole Richie (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

 

Raissa Gerona and Negin Mirshalehi (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Raissa Gerona and Negin Mirshalehi (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Jasmine Sanders and Rachel Zoe (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Jasmine Sanders and Rachel Zoe (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Shay Mitchell (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Shay Mitchell (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Michael Mente, Elsa Hosk and Mike Karanikolas (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Michael Mente, Elsa Hosk and Mike Karanikolas
(Photo courtesy of Revolve)

 

 

 

Designing for the Future: Process Instead of Product

- - Fashion Innovation

As a fashion designer, have you ever hit a serious creative roadblock?

You know the drill. Tasked with designing the “next big thing,” you sit down with your sketchbook and draw a complete blank—literally.

“Everything’s been done before,” you mutter to yourself and head back to the inspiration drawing board.

We’ve been there, and to an extent, you’re right. The A-line dress has been designed in countless fabrics and prints. T-shirts have been taken apart, put back together, ripped, washed, distressed, embellished, frayed, short, long, oversized, cropped…you name it. And unfortunately, many of those clothes have ended up in landfills. Maybe there is a more viable (and valuable) way to come up with the next big thing in fashion.

Today’s designers, and those who will stand out from the pack in the future, must also be innovators. So instead of using our creative energy to determine how can we design a pair of jeans no one has ever seen before, maybe we should be considering how can we better the jeans that are already on the market.

Instead of researching for inspiration, research a current problem in the fashion industry.

Instead of producing more fashion industry waste, use waste from the fashion industry to produce.

Instead of using extensive (and often toxic) processing to achieve a new finish, explore a new process to reduce the fashion industry’s footprint on the environment.

Recently featured in an issue of Hue, a magazine published by FIT, Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev are a dynamic duo who have set out to change how clothes are made, in effect proving the “everything’s been done before” argument dead wrong. Formerly with DuPont, Target and Eddie Bauer, Flynn had sourced millions of yards of fabric and seen first hand the pollution produced by textile factories—in particular those factories using recycling technology.

While using plastic from bottles to create polar fleece may sound like a move in the more sustainable direction, unfortunately, the process necessary to transform plastic into fleece is almost as detrimental as creating polar fleece sans recycled plastic bottles. And those retailers who have started recycling programs in which consumers bring in clothes they will no longer wear are only making a small dent in the current landfill crisis in the US. Of the 16 million tons of textiles Americans dispose of each year, on 16 percent is reused or recycled.

And so, Flynn and textile chemist, Stanev began to research how they could create a virgin fiber by dissolving and purifying donated clothes, then extruding the results for use in creating new garments. The pair did not find answers overnight—Flynn started asking questions in 2010, partnered with Stanev and together they invested their savings and retirement accounts to discover a way to liquefy fabric, extract the raw cellulose (which makes up 98 percent of cotton) and turn it into a reusable sturdy fiber.

Stanev’s team of researchers developed safe, reusable solvents to break down fabric and in 2015, Patrice George (Flynn’s former weaving teacher) began to weave what Stanev and Flynn called Evrnu yarn into denim. At first the yarn was very weak. George described it as “a cross between cotton candy and peanut brittle.” Stanev worked to make each new skein of Evrnu he sent George stronger and she created 4.5 yards of denim with Evrnu as the weft and cotton as the warp.

Evernu-project_32-860x645

Evrnu Denim Image: Hue Magazine

Flynn then met with Levi’s head of global product innovation and secured an early-adopter agreement for Evrnu use after having George’s handwoven denim made into two pairs of 511 jeans. Target then signed on to redevelop one of their core items, such as socks or underwear, using Evrnu technology for debut in stores in 2018.

The real beauty and innovation of Evrnu?

• It can be enhanced. It it’s liquid state, moisture-wicking or antimicrobial properties can be added. Evrnu also takes dye efficiently (and with a 30 percent reduction in impact compared to the dying of cotton or polyester).

• It’s strong. Using Evrnu technology, the cellulose can be stripped down to a pure carbon chain which is three times stronger than steel and 1/5 as heavy.

• It’s good for the environment. Production of Evrnu takes 98 percent less water than cotton production and gives off 90 percent less carbon dioxide than the process used to create polyester.

And get this…Evrnu can be recycled again and again and again—literally three times before it breaks down into sugar.

Whew. As designers, many of us dream of never-before-used construction techniques, never-before-seen prints and textiles or incorporating cutting edge technology into garments to make consumers lives easier.

However, just imagine the larger impact of creating an A-line dress in Evrnu. While the A-line dress has certainly “been done before,” a garment that can be recycled and worn for generations to come with minimal impact on the environment? Well, we think that counts as “the next big thing” in fashion. Congrats, Flynn and Stanev—you inspire us to rethink the type of contributions emerging designers can make in the fashion industry.

So now…we must ask you, our readers, what will your contribution be?

 

Halloween Inspired Looks Right Off The Runway

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

In Need of a Costume……..

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

We look to Fashion Week for the latest trends and style inspirations, as well as celebrity sightings, street-style stars, and drop-dead gorgeous models, but at times, runway looks can be a great source of originality for Halloween costumes. Forget the creepy, zombie  motifs. The spring/summer 2018 collections offer more feminine and sexy variations to play dress up in. Themes ranged from Disney princess’ to Andy Warhol pop art prints.  So take a look below, and see the most creative styles that’ll have you covered when it comes to costume originality and give you major high-fashion cred.

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Swan Lake

Every little girl dreams of being a ballerina and for spring, Thom Browne created an alternate universe at the Hôtel de Ville with magic wands and pouches full of glittery fairy dust. The possibility of magic and mischief filled the air. This whimsical show was an ode to childhood fantasies – think mermaids, unicorns and ballerinas. Browne’s vision of a ballerina was am encrusted pearl studded bodysuit as they danced down the runway, now that’s what you’d call a fairy-tale beginning.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Scott was also inspired by the ballet, but his version was a tougher girl, for his Moschino show – think biker ballerina. Scott showed a variety of leather jackets, satin bustiers, tulle tutus, and fishnets in a couple dozen variations on the runway.

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Moschino Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Moschino Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fairy-Tale

Fairy Tales do come true – and no one was able to capture the joy of fairytales and princesses better then Walt Disney. For spring, Philipp Plein’s theme was “Good Gone Bad.” His recurrent logo was a ball-gagged and bonded Alice in Wonderland character (or was it Cinderella?). Plein anlo showed a handful of T-shirts that read “Plein Fairytale Crew”. Was it a fairy tale? No. But wouldn’t it make a great costume?

Meanwhile, Alessandro Michele showed an intense, contradictory, and literally dark experience, for his spring 2018 Gucci show. It was full of glitter and glam, ’80s shoulders, English tweeds, Disney and Sega references, with all his recognizable eclectic mix of reworked vintage chic. Who wouldn’t love a Snow White sequin sweatshirt?

 

Philipp Plein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Philipp Plein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 Pop-Art

The fashion and art world go hand in hand as many designers look to artists for inspiration. For Spring, both Raf Simons for Calvin Klein and Donatella Versace where influenced by the works of Andy Warhol and his iconic Pop-Art prints. For Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein, he experimented with American classics but in a subversive way. His new motifs for spring included Andy Warhol prints of Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider and a 1971 Sandra Brant (is there an art movement more American than Pop?), cheerleaders, and horror movies.

Meanwhile, Donatella Versace gave a tribute to her brother Gianni,  founder of the Versace label, as the 20 year anniversary of his murder just past. It was a tribute celebrating Gianni’s inspirations and creations, and  “a genius . . . an icon . . . my brother” stated Donatella Versace.  She wanted the focus to be on his life, not his violent end, but also his feminist leanings and the eternal relevance of his designs. So of course, among the medusa and baroque motifs, there were plenty of Andy Warhol prints.

Miuccia Prada was also inspired by pop art, but of the comic book variety. Prada presented an empowering show, set among the work of women cartoonists and manga artists whose drawings dominated the company’s huge headquarters. The collection was based on putting her stamp on a blank canvas. Coats, jackets, and cropped pants were screen-printed in the various artists’ works. The result was a strong and feisty collection, with a nod to the early 80’s clubkid; but all with Prada’s sophisticated and chic hand.

Versace Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Groovy

One of the easiest Halloween costume trends to pull off are the Sixties, think peace, love and happiness. Think Woodstock. And no-one does it better than Anna Sui. She laser-cuts through the past, pulling references together for a beautiful collage that is at once nostalgic, modern, and a bit kooky.

Marc Jacobs showed a happy and upbeat spring collection with giant daisies and other overscale flowers; the collection was filled with Crayola colors, tinsel trimmings, and sequins, sequins, sequins. Jacobs’s idea here was to return to the archives, passing old ideas and former hits through “exaggerated, decadent, and exotic” filters. This is hippy chic in the most lux sense.

Stacey Bendet, the quirky designer behind the Alice + Olivia label, also gave a nod to the sixties with a re-imagined version of the hippy-chic with floral peasant dresses and bohemian inspired tops with bell-bottom denim.

Anna Sui Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alice + Olivia Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Alice + Olivia)

Alice + Olivia Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Alice + Olivia)

 

 

Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dynasty

With the remake of the 80’s television series Dynasty, Eighties inspired costumes will be a sure fire hit. Anthony Vaccarello, the young designer behind Saint Laurent had plenty of dresses to choose from – from ostrich feather knee high boots to bubble hem dresses. Vaccarello’s collection was bold and cohesive, a real tribute to the founder Yves Saint Laurent. The show, held under the Eiffel Tower, was a bright and brilliant shot of sexuality, provocation, and the promise of all kinds of fun for a new generation. It was the Eighties in the most fabulous way.

Meanwhile, Waight Keller debut her first collection under the Givenchy label. Keller looked back and was inspired by the founder of the house, Hubert de Givenchy. She looked to his dynamic sketches, and zeroed in on how he started everything with the ‘shoulder;’ also, that he was a fan of graphic prints. So naturally, her runway looks were filled with strong shoulder looks, graphic prints and bold colors – just perfect for an Eighties revival costume theme party.

 

Saint Laurent Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Saint Laurent Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

So with all these easy to interpret runway looks, what will you be this Halloween?

Breaking Traditions: Fall 2018 Bridal Round Up

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Bridal Fall 2018 

Vera Wang Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Vera Wang Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Here comes the bride….. and she wore anything but your traditional, classic wedding gown.  Bridal Fashion Week just ended in New York City and there were plenty of show-stopping looks that will set brides apart from the cookie-cutter world of Wedding gowns.

AND THE BRIDE WORE……..

Who said you have to wear a dress on your wedding day. For fall, designers are offering chic jumpsuits, cropped tops, tailored jackets and slim trousers for a modern take on bridal. Take for example Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia, the husband and wife duo of the label Sachin & Babi, this season, they reinterpreted a few of their ready-to-wear styles as bridal. Case in point, a jacquard bomber jacket paired with a sequin wide-leg trouser. This investment would be worth wearing more than once. Here are some great separates options.

Sachin & Babi  Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Sachin & Babi)

Sachin & Babi Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Sachin & Babi)

Lela rose

Lela Rose Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Lela Rose)

Lela Rose Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Lela Rose)

Monique Lhuillier Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of VMonique Lhuillier)

Monique Lhuillier Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of VMonique Lhuillier)

 

TAKE A BOW

Bows have become a signature theme for avant-gard designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the feminine motif can be found on everything from their perfume bottles to their couture collection and especially their bridal collection.  Viktor & Rolf Mariage was filled with oversized exaggerated bows from a whimsical giant cascading bow gown to a chic jumpsuit topped with a sculptural bow at the bust. Here are some other great bow options.

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shogi)

Tadashi Shoji Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Tadashi Shogi)

Inbal Dror Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Inbal Dror)

Inbal Dror Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Inbal Dror)

 

NAUGHTY OR NICE

Sexy, lingerie-inspired looks are making a comeback in bridal and Vera Wang offered the sultry theme in the coolest way possible. In this collection, Wang pushed the envelope with grand yet easy silhouettes – playing with volume, lace and embroidery.  Wang offers a loosened corset reminiscent of last season’s Romeo and Juliet–inspired gowns, and the garter belts were a nod to Wang’s new Spring ’18 ready-to-wear lineup, while her signature sheer dresses were modern and fresh. Here are some more lingerie inspired gowns.

Vera Wang Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Vera Wang Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Vera Wang)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

 

 CAPE TOWN

No bride wants to cover up her wedding dress, but for fall, designers are offering beautiful and dramatic capes to keep brides looking elegant and oh so chic. These capes are just as special and ornate as the gowns themselves. Take for example Zuhair Murad, his shoulder-grazing capes and detachable skirts defined his collection. Murad is offering brides the flexibility of changing up their look from ceremony to reception; they also helped Murad’s gowns stand out from the  pack this week, as he showed the most showstopping dresses of the season.

Zuhair Murad Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Zuhair Murad)

Zuhair Murad Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Zuhair Murad)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Naeem Khan Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Naeem Khan)

Marchesa Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Martchesa)

Marchesa Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Martchesa)

FIT FOR A QUEEN

Sure there are many unconventional wedding dress choices, but there are also a number of designers who created whimsical gowns with a regal twist. These dresses will transform any bride into a modern day princess. Most noteworthy was Elie Saab’s fall 2018 bridal collection where he revisited classic silhouettes with a few modern twists. The gowns possessed his signature couture craftsmanship with intricately embellished dresses, veils, and metallic threads, for subtle shimmer. An arabesque motif was woven throughout, most notably, on a silver beaded collar floating above the décolletage.  Here are some more regal gowns.

Elie Saab Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Elie Saab)

Elie Saab Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Elie Saab)

Reem Acra Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Reem Acra)

Reem Acra Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Reem Acra)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018  Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Viktor & Rolf Mariage Fall 2018 Bridal (Photo courtesy of Viktor & Rolf)

Tell us which of the wedding looks would you choose if you were getting married, and of course, money was no object?

Making the Mundane Meaningful at MoMA

T-shirts. Jeans. A little black dress. Underwear.

Not exactly garments you might think worthy of the MoMA’s first fashion exhibit in 73 years, and only second fashion exhibit—ever.

However, items many of us have had as staples in our own closets over the years are exactly the garments sparking current conversation in the fashion and art world since this collection of seemingly mundane clothes and accessories opened to the public on October 1, 2018. Read More

Paris Fashion Week: From Glam and Glitz to Avant-Garde

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

PARIS FASHION WEEK

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

The spring 2018 fashion shows have been a long haul, but there were so many inspiring moments from Ralph Lauren’s show in his exotic car garage in Bedford, N.Y. to Donatella Versace’s tribute to Gianni; who can ever forget the images all over Instagram with his supermodels (Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni) all on stage in golden gowns – it was an emotional moment for many in the industry. Now we reach the final stretch, Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Paris shows are not over yet, but here are some of the highlights of the week so far, from political messages to over-the-top glamour.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

It’s clear that Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female Creative Director for Christian Dior, is using the label as a platform to empower women. Who can forget her “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts. Every Instagram and street style star wore them. For spring, Chiuri uses the runway to let us ponder another thought “Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists?” This question was emblazoned on a striped marinière sweater. The question is the title of art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay that explores the topic of feminist art history; historically, woman have had a difficult time achieving success in the arts. Chiuri’s Dior is a new Dior. Gone are the pastel colored, ladies-who-lunch suits. It’s clear that Chiuri is focusing on the millennials with looks that ranged from 70’s patchwork jeans to leather jumpsuits. For evening, she showed an assortment of sheer, sparkly, glitter mini dresses in every color under the rainbow – all complete with low block heeled mesh knee high boots. It’s refreshing to see a designer put out a positive message that she really does believe in.

Christian Dior  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE NEW CHLOE-GIRL

There’s a new Chloe Girl in town…..Natacha Ramsay-Levi just presented her first collectionas the creative director for Chloé  to rave reviews. Although this is her first moment in the spotlight, Ramsay-Levi is well-known within French fashion circles; she worked at both Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton under Nicolas Ghesquière. Ramsay-Levi looked to the entire history of the house and gave a nod to each of her predecessors. The hand-painted cotton dresses were inspired by Lagerfeld’s time at the House. McCartney and Philo both liked horses, and Ramsay-Levi embroidered the motif on trim velvet tailoring. A floaty micro-floral dress was inspired by Waight. But there was a lot of Ramsay-Levi infused as well, such as the tailored leather outerwear and skinny cropped jeans.

Chloe  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Chloe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

Anthony Vaccarello is paying tribute to the city of lights and to Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself. The epic show was held outdoors, on a balmy night, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. Hundreds of spectators—the public and professionals—looked on, held in the awestruck moment. Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent girl wants to have fun, there were fanciful feathers, flirty glitter, and plenty of jaw-dropping boots. But the night was bittersweet for the house of Saint Laurent as Pierre Bergé passed away earlier this month. Vacarello started the show with hippie inspired looks that had a Moroccan feel,  it was a throwback to Yves Saint Laurant  and his love of Marrakech. There were floating, billowy-sleeved silk blouses, gold-coin–dot printed tulle tops, sparkling sequined dresses, bubbled frocks and fanciful ostrich feathers, all of it paired with the shortest of shorts and miniskirts and let’s not forget the over-the-top boots. This bold collection was sexy and confident!

Although the world is on edge today, with politics, threats of terrorists attacks and war, that didn’t reflect in many collections in Paris, there was a refreshing air of glitz and glamour; lighting the way for hopefulness and fun. Such collections included Balmain, Maison Margiela, Altuzarra and Dries Van Noten.

Saint Laurent  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Balmain  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Balmain (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

EIGHTIES ARE BACK

A throwback to the Eighties was a continuing theme that made its way to Paris. Virgil Abloh, the designer behind the cult label Off-White, was inspired by Princess Diana as “the people’s princess.” Marking the 20-year anniversary of her tragic death, Abloh payed homage to the fashion icon, most notably with his farewell to streetwear and opted for a feminine collection filled with tulle and flounce. But Naomi Campbell stole the show – with her regal strut – wearing an asymmetrically flounced white jacket and cycle shorts quite the twist on eveningwear.

Isabel Marant and Mugler also gave a nod to the Eighties this season.

Off-White  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Off-White (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Mugler  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Mugler (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE INDIVIDUALISTS

Sure they may not be mainstream designers, but you have to give credit to those designers who season after season march to their own beat. Such avante-garde designers include Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Jun Takahashi for Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens.

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Undercover  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Undercover (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

 

 

 

Milan’s Mix and London’s Lot – Spring 2018 Fashion Weeks Continue

- - Fashion Shows

With so much unease in the world today, we can’t help but cover fashion weeks around the world with a different lens.

Sure, we will always have our eyes peeled for trends, cut and construction. But this season, the motivation behind designers’ offerings seems to take center stage. From resistance to nostalgia, ignorant bliss to clothes built for battle, designers in Milan have made their messages known.

For Spring 2018, fashion’s heavy hitters (read: well-known names, save a few like Emporio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger (who decided to show in London this season) landed in Milan, while lesser-known designers made London their home base. As we review fashion week in Milan, allow us to introduce you to London’s up-and-comers as well. Read More

NYFW Wrap-Up – Sex, American Pop Culture, Transparency & Annie Hall Revisited

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

New York Fashion Week 

Front Row at New York Fashion Week (Courtesy of AOL.Com)

Front Row at New York Fashion Week (Courtesy of AOL.Com)

Fashion Month is in full swing as New York kicked off the Spring 2018 show season with a bang. Of course, there was plenty of buzz before shows even started such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) cutting the NY calendar by a day, New York based designers showing in other cities, and the stress of where to show. Then lets add on the celebrity circus and street style stars in the mix and it’s been a entertaining week.

One of the biggest trends among the fashion crowd before shows even began was the blue ribbon. Fashionistas are pinning themselves to protest racism and hatred in the wake of this summer’s white power rally in Charlottesville, Va. The ribbons were created by the CFDA and the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement released, Steven Kolb, president and CEO of CFDA, said “We want to be on the front line, not the sidelines, to boldly fight to protect our precious rights and freedoms, which has taken on a renewed urgency after the heart-wrenching events of Charlottesville.”

ACLU Fashion Week Pin (Courtesy of New York Post.com)

ACLU Fashion Week Pin (Courtesy of New York Post.com)

Bringing Sexy Back

 

Tom Ford's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford kicked off fashion week and it was the buzz of the season before it even started. His invitation was all the rage and was Instagramed by the fashion set – a bottle of his latest fragrance, Fucking Fabulous—as if we needed a reminder. Much of Tom Ford’s namesake label’s success has been with his menswear collections, so for spring, Ford took a nod from his menswear collection and showed impeccably tailored suits. His jackets were sexy and confident, with sharp lines and broad shoulders. In a throwback to his signature Gucci 90’s glam, Ford showed plenty of ruched net dresses that where oh so seductive – it’s clear, Tom Ford is back!

Helmut Lang's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Helmut Lang’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

The Helmut Lang collection label is being revised again and the timing couldn’t be better, with so many young designers referencing the designer’s minimalistic aesthetic as a point of reference. The label’s designer in residence is none other than Hood By Air’s Shayne Oliver, so now Helmet Lang is sexier than it’s ever been. Oliver showed some streamline tailoring that was true to the houses’ heritage, but all with a fetish streak. The collection felt more like a Hood By Air show than a Helmut Lang collection. Oliver showed plenty of kink with asymmetric bras, daring peekaboo harnesses, rearless pants suspended from the waistband like garters, leather codpieces, and strappy BDSM gear. The collection left many Helmut Lang fans (all who remember his collections vividly) divided.

Narciso Rodriguez's Spring 2018 Collection (Courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez)

Narciso Rodriguez’s Spring 2018 Collection (Courtesy of Narciso Rodriguez)

This season Narciso Rodriguez opted out of a formal show and the celebrity circus it has become, instead he held private appointments to present his spring collection. Season after season Rodriguez is consistent chic yet sexy clothes that real women want to wear. His workmanship is impeccable and so important to see upclose rather than a runway. Sticking to his signature looks, Rodriguez showed slinky knit dresses in black and white with openwork stitches that show flashes of skin, a harness-top sheath with a sliver cutout, and an attenuated jumpsuit with a deep U-front.

Sporty Spice

Alexander Wang's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Athleisure and streetwear have been going strong now, but for spring the trend takes a more feminine twist. At Alexander Wang’s #WANGFEST, models rode around a party bus Saturday night around New York City’s busy streets. The first stop was Lafayette and Center Streets in Manhattan, the second was at Astor Place; both were open to the public. The press and retailers were invited to the last stop – a dead end in Bushwick, Brooklyn; which then led to #WANGFEST, his jumping after-party in a literal jumpy castle. Models were literally pouring off the bus in a runway format that was fun and energetic. As for the clothes, it’s what Wang does best, sporty with a sexy twist. These are real clothes for all the cool kids. Wang layered denim cut-offs over leather leggings and there were a lot of extra sleeves and jackets that were cut in half and worn as skirts. Wang is also continuing his collaboration with Adidas, with a zip-front jacket with the extra sleeves cinching the waist.

Rihanna at her Fenty x Puma's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Rihanna at her Fenty x Puma’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Wang isn’t the only one to break the ties from traditional fashion shows, Rihanna gave her audience an adrenalin rush as she presented her Fenty x Puma show. The set was designed with pink sand mountains and a trio of motocross stuntmen performed mouth-dropping stunts. As for the clothes, they were sporty, fun, colorful and sexy all in one. Inspired by the X Games, there were a number of classic surf references thrown in for good measure – think biker shorts and scuba onesies. Rihanna showed modern interpretations of cheeky 1980s swim trends, case in point, the French-cut swimsuit. The entertainer also showed off her tomboy style with oversize motocross-inspired nylon track pants and anoraks that were a modern riff off the 90’s hip-hop trend.

Calvin Klein's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Meanwhile, at Calvin Klein, Raf Simmons continued his experimentation on American classics. For Spring, Raf was inspired by the contrast of the American Dream and American horror by invoking the magic of the movies; horror movies to be more specific as he played with Andy Warhol pop prints (specifically, Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider and a 1971 Sandra Brant). His Hitchcock blondes wore rubber, and gauzy nightgowns reminiscent of Sissy Spacek in Carrie. Sticking to his American classics motif, Raf also showed plenty of cool denim, color blocked Western shirts, fringe dresses, 50’s inspired full skirted frocks and a nod to athletic with cool bungee cord details on nylon outerwear.

 

You’re So Transparent

Victoria Beckham's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

This season is turning out to be a sheer sensation as designers are leaving very little to the imagination, but not in a vulgar way. For spring, they are embracing the transparency trend with soft, wispy fabrics delicately draped and overlaid showing just hints of skin in a romantic and feminine way. Speaking of femininity, Victoria Beckham showed off her softer side this season with sheer fabrics in soft colors proving that delicacy can in fact be strong. Case in point, Beckham’s first look: a soft yellow check shirt, which was slightly oversized and boxy, tucked into a dusty rose organza pencil skirt. Pure perfection!

 

Jason Wu's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu is known for his polished and elegant sensibility, and for spring he kept true to his DNA but in a slightly more casual way. But casual for Wu means a midriff-baring cutout on a striped cotton dress and laces suspended from a crinkled silk coat. For evening, Wu was inspired by Madame Grès and reinterpreted her innovative pleating techniques.  Wu also worked pleats onto sheer gowns staying right on trend.

Oscar de la Renta's Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Meanwhile, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s sophomore collection for the Oscar de la Renta brand were met with mixed reviews. Inspired by Pop Art and letters Mr. De la Renta wrote, along with thank-you notes that the duo have received from today’s young starlets. Sure De la Renta’s name was all over the collection, but his aesthetic certainly was not. Can you image Mr. De la Rents putting frayed and faded denim, sheer dresses, bathing suits and logo print furs on the runway? There were a few breathtaking evening gowns that rang true to De la Renta’s style, such as the colorful dégradé tulle gowns. Still, Kim and Garcia are trying to find their footing in the house of Oscar de la Renta.

 

Annie Hall

Ralph Lauren's Fall 2017 Buy-Now-Wear-Now Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2017 Buy-Now-Wear-Now Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Traditional menswear has always been in fashion, but for spring designers are incorporating tailored suits in beautiful menswear fabrics for a look that is smart yet oh so chic. Of course no one does this better than Ralph Lauren. In one of the most anticipated shows of the season he transported the fashionable front row set to his garage in upstate Bedford, New York.  His vintage car collection is most impressive with Porsches, Ferraris, Jaguars, McLarens, and a Bugatti. The cars were innovative and sleek, but his clothes oozed timeless chic. For his Fall, buy-now-wear-now collection, Lauren worked mixed tweeds, checks and plaids on bustier tops paired with relaxed trousers. For evening, Lauren kept it casual with a puffer jacket over a sparkly minislip and over-the-knee boots as well as dapper tuxedos.

Good-Bye New York

Marc Jacobs' Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

No designer is better fitted to close out New York fashion week than Marc Jacobs – you just never know what you’re going to get at a Marc show. This season it was silence, there was no whimsical sets built, no music, just the sound of 56 models walking only to the sounds of their shoes on the old wood planks of the Park Avenue Armory. The clothes were full of wit and humor. After being in business for 25 years, Jacob’s looks to his past collections for inspiration; his program notes called it a “reimagining of seasons past somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City.”

No music was needed to set a mood, the clothes themselves set a happy and joyful tone. There were giant, overscaled flowers; Crayola colors, tinsel trimmings, exaggerated shapes, and sequins, sequins, sequins. Jacobs’s idea was to return to the archives, passing old ideas and former hits through “exaggerated, decadent, and exotic” filters. Although some looks were trippy, overall, Jacob’s did what he does best, delivering a young and exciting line-up.

Marc Jacobs' Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ Spring 2018 Show (Courtesy of Vogue.com)