FASHION INDUSTRY CHARTER FOR CLIMATE CHANGE: HERE’S WHAT’S NEW

- - Sustainability

Vivienne Westwood has been addresing her concerns over climate change for years. (Photo Credit: Common Objective)

The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly referred to as COP26 or ‘Conference of the Parties’, was the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, and was held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow, Scotland from October 31 to November 13. The president of the conference was UK  cabinet minister, Alok Sharma. The United Nations has been bringing together a majority of countries for almost thirty years now to help battle the effects of climate change and many believe that this year’s event has come up with some strategic solutions. Climate change has gone from

Leading up to COP26, the UK worked with every nation to reach an agreement on how to tackle climate change, taking it from being a fringe issue to a global priority. World leaders arrived in Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens, for twelve days of talks. To do its part, the fashion industry is ramping up its climate efforts. This post covers what’s new in the Fashion Industry Charter For Climate Change initiative.

Over the past few years, the conversation on fashion sustainability has become a hot topic as brands race to reveal various eco-minded strategies ranging from committing to reach net zero or the initiative to become carbon positive (meaning that businesses are drawing more carbon from the atmosphere than is emitted). While these strategies are promising, the fashion industry still has a lot of work ahead of them to help in the fight against climate change.

(A video of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action at COP24. Video courtesy of the The Fashion Industry Charter on YouTube)

In 2020, a report by the Global Fashion Agenda found the fashion industry’s emissions are in fact set to rise to around 2.7 billion tons a year by 2030 if existing measures stay the same. Based on the current trajectory, fashion’s emissions would in fact double the maximum level required to be in line with the Paris Agreement’s goal to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

Mission of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Change. (Source: United Nations Climate Change)

“This is an important milestone for the Fashion Charter, as it increases the ambition level in an effort to align the industry with 1.5 degrees,” said Stefan Seidel of Puma, a co-chair of the Fashion Industry Charter steering committee. “It is a signal that we need to work closely together with our peers, our supply chain, policymakers and consumers to get on the track to net-zero.”

This is why the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter For Climate Action – which launched in 2018 and was signed by 130 brands, including Burberry, Chanel and Gucci-owner Kering—is ramping up its efforts to diminish fashion’s environmental impacts, with brands committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 (compared to the prior target of 30%) or setting Science Based Targets, an initiative that sets out a roadmap to cut emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.

“We realised [the 2018 Fashion Charter] isn’t enough any longer,” Niclas Svenningsen, manager of Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change, said at the Fashion Charter event in Glasgow. “We need to make it stronger, more concrete, more ambitious.”

LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton, Dior and Givenchy, has signed up to the Fashion Charter for the first time—an important move considering the power that the firm holds in the fashion industry.

The Fashion Industry Charter For Climate Change initiative is going beyond the commitments to cut emissions more swiftly, the Charter has also set a new goal for 100% of “priority” materials – such as cotton, viscose, polyester, wool and leather – to be low climate impact by 2030. The agreement particularly points to materials that can be recycled in a closed loop, and are deforestation-free, conversion-free (meaning natural ecosystems are not destroyed during the process) and produced using regenerative methods.

Textile Exchange and Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action 2025. Recycled Polyester Challenge. (Photo Credit: Textile Exchange)

 

“It really sets the picture for where the industry needs to be heading when it comes to sourcing materials,” stated Claire Bergkamp, chief operating officer at Textile Exchange, one of the signatories of the Fashion Charter, told Vogue, adding that financial incentives for brands is crucial in order to reach the target set (more than 50 companies, including the likes of Kering, Stella McCartney and Chloé, have now called on governments to implement policy change on this).

As additional change under the new agreement which will have a substantial impact is the emphasis on labels needing to work with their suppliers to decrease emissions – especially considering that the greater part of emissions come from the supply chain. The new version of the Charter pledges to phasing out coal from tier one and tier two suppliers by 2030, as well as no new coal power by 2023, in addition to assisting suppliers to implement science-based targets by the end of 2025.

“The suppliers depend on the brands,” Rubana Huq, former president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, highlighted during a panel discussion. “Unless we’re all in it together, unless we have a collaborative strategy, nothing’s really going to work.”

The commitments are undeniably a huge step forward for the fashion industry, some campaigners still believe that the plans did not go far enough. “[The] Charter misses the mark by not committing the industry to transition to 100% renewable energy in its supply chain by 2030, which would be critical to achieving its goal,” Muhannad Malas, senior climate campaigner at Stand.earth, said in a statement to Vogue M, while noting there are signs of “encouraging progress”.

Scientific experts and politicians also argue that enforcement is required to guarantee that the Fashion Industry Charter goals aren’t simply aspirational. “What’s good is that it sets science-based targets – this is the gold standard for emissions reductions, so that is very meaningful,” Maxine Bedat, founder of the New Standards Institute, commented. “[But] what is the penalty if these targets are not achieved?”

Given the magnitude of the climate crisis the earth is facing, we understand that fashion urgently needs to do its part. Will these new commitments from fashion companies mark a real turning point for the industry? “[The] science is clear: we have to do this,” Svenningsen said. “We don’t have a choice.”

H&M’s Eco-Friendly Holiday 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: H&M)

In an industry where individuality is prized and conformity is shunned, this list of fashion companies who have gotten onboard for one goal, saving the planet, is quite impressive. Here are the current signatories to the Fashion Industry Charter For Climate Action commitment:

Signatories

ALDO Group, Adidas AG, AGI Denim, Aigle, AKKUS, American & Efird (HK) Ltd., American Eagle Outfitters, A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S, Anko, Anya Hindmarch, Aquitex, Arc’teryx, Artistic Milliners, Asia Pacific Rayon, ASICS, Berbrand Srl, Bottletop, Burberry, Capranea Sports AG, CCC Capital Group, CHANEL, Chenfeng Group Co., Ltd, Circular Systems S.P.C., Clover Global Limited, CODOGIRL, Craghoppers, Crystal International Group, Dai, DBL Group, Decathlon, Denim Expert Limitedqq, Dare2b, Elevate Textiles, El Corte Ingles, Esprit,  Etam Group, Evea Eco Fashion, Farfetch, Fast Retailing, Fenix Outdoor International AG, Fossil Group, GANNI, GANT AB, Gap Inc., G-Star RAW, Good Fabric, Groupe Rossignol, Grupo SOMA, Guess? Inc., HAGLÖFS AB,  Hakro GmbH, Hanbo Enterprises Ltd., Hansoll Textile Ltd., Hermes International, House of Baukjen, H&M Group, Hong Kong Non-Woven Fabric Ind. Co. Ltd., Hop Lun Ltd, Hugo Boss AG, HWASEUNG Enterprise, Inditex, Interloop Limited, John Smedley Ltd, K-Boxing, Kering Group, KiK Textilien und Non-Food GmbH, Kmart Australia Limited, Kmart Group, Lacoste, Lenzing AG, Lever Style Inc., Levi Strauss & Co, LIMY Inc dba Reformation, Liverpool LA, Lojas Renner,  Loomstate, L SAHA, lululemon athletica, LVMH, Mammut Sports Group AG, Mango, Mantis World,             Mulberry Group plc, Nanushka, New Balance Athletics Inc, Nike, Inc., NOABRANDS, Otto Group, Paris Good Fashion, Pattern SpA, Peak Performance Production AB, Pinneco Research Ltd., PVH Corp, PIDIGI S.P.A, Primark, Princess Polly, PUMA S.E., Ralph Lauren, Regatta Group, Reserva, Re:newcell AB, RT Knits Ltd, Salomon, Sateri, Schoeller Texti AG, Shokay, Simple Chic Women, SKFK-Skunkfunk, SLN Tekstil ve Moda San. Tic. A.S, Stella McCartney, SunRise Group, Sympatex Technologies GmbH, Superdry plc, Taiga Apparel (Pvt) Ltd., TAL Apparel Ltd.,Target Corporation,  Target Australia, Tendam Global Fashion Retail, Textil Santanderina, S.A., The Forest Trust, The R Collective, The RealReal, The Schneider Group, Tchibo, Tintex Textiles, S.A.,  TOM TAILOR, Tropic Knits Ltd, VASI Group Companies, VF Corporation, Vivida Lifestyle Ltd., YKK Corporation and Worn Again.

(SOURCE: United Nations for Climate Change)

 

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HOUSE OF GUCCI: A TRUE STORY OF MURDER, MADNESS, GLAMOUR, AND GREED

House of Gucci Cast hits the Red Carpet for UK Premiere. Left to right: Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Adam Driver, and Lady Gaga. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

How does a poor Italian bellhop become the genius behind one of the biggest luxury brands in the world? Meet Guccio  Giovanbattista Giacinto Dario Maria Gucci.  The rest is history! Read on….

Guccio Gucci – Fashion Elite

Guccio Gucci (Image credit: Wikipedia)

In the ’70s, the House of Gucci was all about high fashion, intrigue and murder- the fashion industry’s crime of the century (until the unfortunate murder of Gianni Versace). On November 24th (Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S.), the highly anticipated film “House of Gucci” will be released in theaters. The film stars Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, (as they play Mauricio and Patrizia Gucci) and details the rise of Gucci and the real-life murder of Maurizio Gucci at the hand of a hitman – hired by the fashion heir’s ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani. While fashionistas and Gucci fans eagerly await the Ridley Scott film, members of the Gucci family have expressed disgust over the film. Sorpresa?

Left: A photo of Maurizio Gucci and his ex-wife Patrizia. Right: a photo from the House of Gucci film starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga. (Photo Credit: The New York Post)

“They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system,” Patrizia Gucci’s, Maurizio’s cousin, complained to Associated Press of director Ridley Scott and his collaborators. She is particularly piqued at Al Pacino playing her grandfather Aldo, son of the fashion house’s founder, Guccio. She claimed that “House of Gucci” based on Sara Forden’s 2000 book “The House of Gucci” — portrays her grandfather as “fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly. Shameful … ”

A poster for the House of Gucci. (Poster art copyright belongs to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bron Creative, and Scott Free Productions)

But nothing is as shameful as the actual events that inspired the film. A story so wild that not even Hollywood could have imagined. On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci was excited to marry his girlfriend of four years, Paola Franchi, a beautiful artist with whom he shared a luxurious apartment on Milan’s exclusive Corso Venezia. That day was like any other as the fashion heir walked to his office in a designer suit and camel coat. He nodded to his doorman, and then bam, the first bullet hit Maurizio in the back. Another silenced bullet struck him below the waist and a third bullet glanced his arm. He fell to the ground and took the final hit, a fatal shot to the skull by an unseen shooter.

The doorman sat dazed on a step as he had also been hit by a bullet in the arm. Police rushed to the scene, but the killer got away.

“Never before do I remember a murder like that, right in the center of Milan,” Maurizio Manca, owner of the city’s Bozart Jewelry, told The Post. “It would be like seeing the president of Tiffany killed in front of his store on Fifth Avenue.”

THE HISTORY OF THE GUCCI FAMILY

As a young man Guccio Gucci worked as a bellhop at London’s Savoy Hotel. It was there that he was inspired by the elegant suitcases of affluent travelers and so in 1921 he unveiled his own luggage company in Florence. Gucci expanded to handbags and other accessories in the ’30s, followed by clothing with the 1968 opening of his Beverly Hills boutique. By then, Gucci’s infamous double-G logo counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren and Princess Grace of Monaco as devotees. A true rags-to-riches story.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis wearing a black dress, sunglasses, and the Gucci “Jackie” handbag in New York on September 18, 1968. (Photo Credit: Fairchild Archives)

Although Guccio Gucci built himself a fashion empire, throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s family drama would fracture the business. Two of Guccio Gucci’s grandsons tried to introduce spinoff brands to capitalize on the Gucci name. A third grandson, Maurizio, the only child of Rodolfo Gucci (one of Guccio’s five sons), inherited his father’s majority stake in the Gucci company. Naturally, this led to family infighting, resulting in Maurizio’s public legal battle against his uncle, Aldo Gucci, contesting for full control of the company. Then, in the early Eighties, Maurizio gained full control of the Gucci brand.

Maurizio Gucci greets guest during a party for the opening of Gucci’s Worth Ave boutique in Palm Beach on December 5, 1975. (Photo Credit: WWD)

“Maurizio was not a businessman; he was a playboy,” Karen Homer, author of Little Book of Gucci, told The Post. He became known for his excessive spending — buying homes around the world and a wooden yacht once owned by shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos.

In 1972, Mauricio Gucci married Patrizia Reggiani, who came from a “humble background,” according to Luisa Zargani, the Women’s Wear Daily bureau chief in Milan.

Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani married in 1972, had two daughters and divorced in 1985. (Photo Credit: MEGA)

Maurizio’s new bride loved spending as much as he did. Patrizia quickly became known as “Lady Gucci,” embracing her new life and embodied the brand. She became most eccentric as she swanned around in mink coats, dripping with diamonds, and traveling with the jet-set. “She loved jewelry and big furs. You could call her a social climber,” said Zargani. “She attended the big parties but was not sophisticated or refined. It was all about appearances.”

The lavish couple had two daughters together, Alessandra and Allegra. But in 1985, Maurizio left on a business trip, and never came home. He had left Reggiani for a younger woman named Paola Franchi. His ex-wife Patrizia reportedly received a half a million dollars a year in alimony as part of their divorce settlement.

But Maurizio Gucci was not a businessman and soon the Gucci brand was in major financial trouble. In 1988, the Gucci heir sold 48.8% of the company to Bahrain-based Investcorp, which also owned Tiffany & Co. But Mauricio kept up his lavish lifestyle and continued to spend freely on Gucci headquarters in Florence and Milan. By 1993, Maurizio sold the remaining shares to Investcorp — netting himself a payout of $170 million and severing family ties with the company his grandfather founded.

After Maurizio’s assassination on March 27, 1995, gossip circulated around Milan’s high society that perhaps his murder was tied to his financial troubles. “There were thoughts that he had borrowed money from the wrong people,” said Zargani. “They thought that maybe it was a vendetta.”

The murder scene of Maurizio Gucci in 1995. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Two years later and the search for Maurizio’s killer had hit a dead end. But in 1997, a man named Gabriele Carpanese reached out to detectives with information— and a tale of jealousy, money and murder began to unwind.

Gabriele Carpanese claimed that Patrizia Reggiani wanted revenge on her ex-husband; the man who had catapulted her into Milan’s high society, lavished her with over-the-top gifts and then broke her down through their divorce. The final insult to Patrizia’s ego was when Maurizio sold the Gucci brand. “She was livid when he sold out to Investcorp,” author Homer told The Post. Even as his ex, “it took her crown away. She was not the Gucci Princess anymore.”

Reggiani did not hide her anger towards Maurizio. According to The House of Gucci, she told her maid: “If it’s the last thing I do, I want to see him dead.” She stated similar emotions to an attorney and even blamed her ex for a brain tumor she’d been diagnosed with, which caused crippling headaches and left her afflicted with seizures. She allegedly asked a butcher about killing Maurizio.

According to Carpanese, Reggiani had confided in psychic Pina Auriemma, who was staying at Hotel Adry, the two-star Milan hotel where Carpanese lived.

He claimed the women planned to kill Maurizio and that Auriemma enlisted the help of the building’s doorkeeper, Ivano Savioni, who, in turn, introduced them to a getaway driver (Orazio Cicala, a restaurant manager) and a hitman Benedetto Ceraulo, a cash-strapped pizzeria owner. According to The House of Gucci,  Carpanese claimed that Reggiani put up $375,000 for the assassination of Maurizio.

In court, Reggiani admitted to paying Auriemma the money, but contended that it was not for murder; she claimed that Auriemma set up the hit independently and threatened to frame Reggiani if she didn’t pay them. But, Reggiani inconsistently added: “It was worth every lira.”

Even after the murder on her ex-husband, Reggiani resumed living the life of Lady Gucci, and her co-conspirators felt short-changed. When they asked for more money she refused and so a frustrated Savioni complained to Carpanese, who immediately went to the cops.

Carpanese was now involved and offered to introduce the gang to a Medellín drug cartel enforcer who could apply pressure to Reggiani about extra money, the team jumped at the chance. But there was just one problem, the enforcer Capanese introduced them to was really an undercover cop and secretly recorded their confessions.

Thanks to Carpanse, all five collaborators in the Gucci murder were arrested. But Lady Gucci — now nicknamed “Black Widow ” by the Italian dailies — made the biggest splash at police headquarters. According to The House of Gucci, she wore a floor-length mink and glittering diamonds as police escorted her from her home.

Patrizia Reggiani was arrested in 1997. (Photo Credit: Associated Press)

All were found guilty. Reggiani and Cicala were sentenced to 29 years in prison each, while hitman Ceraulo was sentenced to life in prison. Auriemma got 24 years and Savioni received 26.

Patrizia Reggiani served 16 years of her term. Her attorney Danilo Buongiorno attributed the early release in 2014 to “good conduct” and health reasons. Remorse, evidently, had nothing to do with it.

When an Italian televison crew asked Reggiani why she hired a hit man instead of killing Maurizio herself, the feisty Black Widow replied: “My eyesight is not so good. I didn’t want to miss.”

To this day Patrizia Reggiani claims that she is innocent and was set up by the psychic. She even told Buongiorno, “I’m not guilty, but I’m not innocent.”

Buongiorno told The Post: “She thought she had made some mistakes in her life. But she always said she did not kill her husband … She always said she did not pay anyone to commit the murder.”

After prison, Patrizia Reggiani became a design consultant for the jewelry company Bozart. “She was like a queen before she entered jail and she was like a queen when she came out,” Bozart Jewelry owner Manca said of Reggiani. “When we met [in 2014], it was like a flashback to the ’80s.”

Reggiani worked for the jewelry brand until 2017 when she had a falling-out with Manca. “She lives in Milan, in her mother’s house and does not work anymore,” Manca said of Patrizia Reggiani who is now 72 years old. “I miss her a little bit.”

Reggiani told the Guardian that she is estranged from children, Alessandra and Allegra, both now married. In 2017 an Italian court ruled that Reggiani is entitled to some $1 million per year, which Maurizio agreed to provide her in 1993, from his estate.

“She lost everything when she had her husband killed,” Women’s Wear Daily’s Zargani said. “She did everything she could to be part of the jet-set world, and through the killing of her husband, she lost that.”

After all that has transpired between Patrizia Reggiani and the Gucci family and brand, Reggiani had the nerve to say she should be hired by the Gucci brand. “They need me,” she told La Republica. “I still feel like a Gucci — in fact, the most Gucci of them all.”

Want more Gucci drama? Check out the Wondery podcast, Even the Rich. Their three-part series, Murder in the House of Gucci, is lots of fun!

 

So tell us, which designer house would you like to see Hollywood bring to life next?

CFDA FASHION AWARDS: FASHION’S OTHER BIG NIGHT

- - Fashion Events

Designer/Stylist Law Roach and Zendaya in Vera Wang, winner of the Fashion Icon Award. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Fashion’s second biggest fashion event (the MET Gala being the first) happened on Wednesday November 10th, the CFDA Awards. Some of the biggest names in fashion attended an in-person extravaganza for industry insiders at the Pool + the Grill, located in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue in Manhattan. The mezzanine, in the back of The Grill, proved the perfect perch from which to ogle the guests. The energy of the night was filled with excitement and awe. All of fashion’s heavy hitters were in attendance, as well as some very well-dressed celebrities.

CFDA Chairman and designer Tom Ford and Dapper Dan, winner of the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award . (Photo Credit: Vogue)

“I’m so happy to be back at a fashion gathering,” said Tom Ford to Vogue Magazine as he stepped away from cocktails for a moment to reflect on the evening. “I’ve been Chairman of the CFDA for almost three years and this is the first CFDA Awards I’ve been able to host. We wanted it to be much more intimate, but still very chic.”

Hostess Emily Blunt in Christopher John Rogers. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

The award ceremony, hosted by British actress Emily Blunt (of Devil Wears Prada fame), was held in front of a live audience and a troupe of celebrity presenters (last year’s ceremony was all digital due to the COVID-19 Pandemic). Some of the honorees were announced ahead of the awards ceremony, such as Zendaya winning the Fashion Icon Award, as well as Anya Taylor-Joy winning the first ever Face of the Year Award.

But, let’s face it, if it weren’t for their fashion stylists, would these gals have won these awards? Case in point, this year’s The Hollywood Reporter Top Stylist of the Year Award went to Law Roach (who also works with Anya Taylor-Joy, Kerry Washington, Tiffany Haddish, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Aldis Hodge, Tom Holland and Hunter Schafer). Read about the 12 stylists that you should be following on Instagram: https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a36632100/12-stylists-you-should-be-following-on-instagram/

 

Anya Taylor-Joy in Oscar de la Renta and Gigi Burris hat. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Tom Ford’s mission for the 2021 CFDA Awards was to promote the talent that America has to offer. “I’m excited to show how American fashion has impacted the rest of the world, whether the rest of the world is ready to acknowledge that or not,” he said to Vogue Magazine. “That is my goal, to help the rest of the world understand how much they have taken and how much America has given to fashion globally.”

Demna Gvasalia, the creative director behind Balenciaga, and winner of the International Womenswear Designer of the Year Award couldn’t have agreed more with Ford. “American fashion has had the biggest impact it could have on someone like me. I was a Soviet kid who grew up in a country where people didn’t even know that fashion designer was a profession,” he said, holding his CFDA statuette. “The first time I discovered that you could be a fashion designer was when I discovered Tom Ford, when I was 10 or 11 years old. My dream of fashion actually began with discovering Tom Ford.”

Paloma Elsesser and Demna Gvasalia, winner of the International Womenswear Designer of the Year Award . (Photo Credit: Vogue)

“It’s not something I ever could have dreamt of to be here tonight and to have this kind of award,” Gvasalia continued. “I feel like I’ve been fighting for my place in fashion and to receive this award today, it’s like three years worth of therapy in some way. It’s the most amazing feeling, to feel heard, seen, and understood, and that’s what this award represents to me. It’s amazing. I don’t feel alone anymore.”

Feeling seen and accepted was a common theme throughout the night. Emerging Designer of the Year winner Edvin Thompson of Theophilio stated after his win, “It represents my community, Jamaica, and really carving out a space in the fashion industry to tell our stories.”

Sara Ziff, founder of The Model Alliance, and winner of the Positive Social Influence Award. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Sara Ziff, the founder of The Model Alliance, received the Positive Social Influence Award. The award gave the former model the opportunity to continue the discussion around models’ rights. “It’ll be a decade [since I started the Model Alliance] in February so it’s been quite a long road. Of course it’s nice to be recognized, but I wanted it to be meaningful and that’s why I used the opportunity to ask the industry to step up and do better,” she said of the decision to ask Carré Otis and Beverly Johnson to share their stories of abuse in the modeling industry before presenting Ziff with her CFDA trophy. “What keeps me going is I know that we’re on the right side of history,” Ziff stated.

Aurora James received the Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert .(Photo Credit: Vogue)

Aurora James, the Creative Director and Founder of luxury accessories brand Brother Vellies, as well as the founder of the Fifteen Percent Pledge (James became an advocate for Black businesses). After receiving the Founders Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert from Vogue’s Anna Wintour, James reflected on her award. “I am over the moon to receive this award; it means so much. The amount of emotional capital that I spent over the past 18 months working on the Fifteen Percent Pledge and that my whole organization spent relentlessly day in and day out fighting for economic equality—it just feels so incredible to be acknowledged in this way for all the hard work that we’ve done,” she said.

Iman and Zendaya, the winner of the Fashion Icon Award. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

The winner on the Fashion Icon Award, Zendaya, was nearly speechless after receiving her award from Iman, listing the model, Cher, Diana Ross, and her grandmothers among her own fashion icons. “I’m speechless,” Zendaya said with a stunned smile. “I just got an award and Iman gave it to me! I’m still not over that.”

Emily Bode Aujla is the winner of the Menswear Designer of the Year Award. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

The final two awards of the night went to Emily Bode Aujla who won for Menswear Designer of the Year and Christopher John Rogers for Womenswear Designer of the Year. “It’s so inspiring to see all of the change that all of the people in this room have created,” said Bode Aujla as she revealed that she will be opening a west coast store. “Something that I’ve bet on is retail. Our New York store is surpassing our online right now by 30%,” she added.

Womenswear Designer of the Year winner Christopher John Rogers. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Rogers is also focusing on the future of his brand, “The sky’s the limit. We’re really about intentionality at CJR and about moving with purpose. Whatever it is next will hopefully be as impactful and full as what we’re doing now.”

Below is a list of all the winners of the most fashionable awards show:

American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Christopher John Rogers for Christopher John Rogers.

American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode.

American Accessories Designer of the Year: Telfar Clemens for Telfar.

American Emerging Designer of the Year: Edvin Thompson for Theophilio.

International Women’s Designer of the Year: Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga.

International Men’s Designer of the Year: Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner.

Fashion Icon: Zendaya.

Face of the Year: Anya Taylor-Joy.

Positive Social Influence Award: Model Alliance.

Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert: Aurora James for the 15 Percent Pledge.

Environmental Sustainability Award: Patagonia.

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Dapper Dan.

Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard: Nina Garcia.

Emily Ratajkowski and Nina Garcia, winner of the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Board of Directors’ Tribute: Yeohlee Teng.

Yeohlee Teng winner of the Board of Directors’ Tribute. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, do you agree with the CFDA’s choice winners? And do you think there should be a Best Stylist Award?

MORE THAN JUST “THE NEW LOOK”- CHRISTIAN DIOR: DESIGNER OF DREAMS EXHIBIT

- - Fashion Art

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: AFP)

The Brooklyn Museum is giving every museum with a fashion wing a run for its money!

Pre-Covid, the Brooklyn Museum hosted Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, which was on exhibit from July 20, 2019 to Jan 5, 2020. And now, NYC’s third largest museum is showcasing another masterful exhibit, Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams. Like most fashionistas, when we think of the House of Dior, the ‘New Look’ comes to mind, well, get ready…it’s way more than just another heritage house!

In a Time Out magazine interview with Matthew Yokobosky, Senior Curator of Fashion and Culture, “The Brooklyn Museum has a long record of recognizing important contributions in the history of fashion design, from ‘The Story of Silk (1934)’ to the groundbreaking ‘Of Men Only (1976)’ to the recent ‘Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion (2019’) and now ‘Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams.’ Each exemplifies the power of fashion to influence and shift visual culture at large.”

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams opened to the public on September 10, 2021, and will be on display until Saturday, February 19, 2022. The exhibit, co-curated by Dior scholar Florence Müller of the Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum, fully explores the high fashion history of the House of Dior that dates back to the turn of the 20th century, when the French designer Christian Dior founded the label.

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Time Out)

The multi-gallery exhibition transports guests to the mystical world of the House of Dior with objects that mostly hail from the vast Dior archives of some 200 haute couture garments, as well as photographs, archival videos, sketches, vintage perfume elements and accessories.

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

Upon entering the circular-shaped exhibit, guests are captivated with a bold video of models strutting down the runway in a variety of Dior looks. Visitors are then thrust into mid-20th century fashions looks that were once worn by starlets like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

The exhibition is set up within two rings — an outer ring featuring distinct sections that detail the history, the legacy and the inspiration of Christian Dior, while and the inner ring is where ‘The Enchanted Garden’ exists.

The majority of looks are modeled on mannequins along the walls, but a few exceptional looks are pulled out to give guests a 360-degree view of the garments. Once you enter the inner circle, the climax of the exhibition reaches new heights as it transforms into a whimsical space where Dior’s creations become part of the landscape that seemingly float up to the ballroom’s ceiling with projections of clouds and birds that move across the walls.

The exhibit’s creative design lets you to dig right into the subject matter at hand – fashion at it’s best. Each Dior look is a masterpiece in and of itself. The timeless ball gowns, the elegant suits, and the form-fitting jackets are all highlighted in the exhibit. The haute couture on view exemplifies many of the French couturier’s fabled silhouettes, including the “New Look”, which debuted in 1947. Guests have the opportunity to get a close-up view of these  incredible garments, actually getting to see the intricate embroidery, trim, lace and construction of almost every piece (with the exception of the looks that are near the actual ceiling).

Christian Dior’s Bar Suit from his Haute Couture Spring 1947 collection. Dior Héritage collection, Paris. (Photo Credit: Brooklyn Museum)

Aside from the breathtaking creations in the installation, the exhibition also features a section of Dior fashion photographed by some of the world’s most superb fashion photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Gordon Parks and Richard Rutledge. These awe-inspiring images are inspirational – not only because of the Dior looks featured in the pictures, but of the sheer beauty of the photos themselves, black and white and some in dramatic color.

Throughout the decades, celebrities across the globe have worn Dior for a variety of events, from red-carpet appearances to the Oscars. These particular looks are featured in a section identified as “Stars in Dior”, which is covered with literal projected stars. In this segment guests get to view the exact looks worn by celebrities over time, from Jennifer Lawrence and Nicole Kidman to Princess Diana and Grace Kelly. Each outfit corresponds back to the photo of the celebrity who wore it.

A portrait of Christian Dior. (Photo Credit: Vogue UK)

For those museum-goers interested in fashion history, you’re in luck! You will learn about the history and legacy of the House of Dior’s founder Christian Dior, as well as the creative artistic directors who succeeded him—Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons, and Maria Grazia Chiuri, each of which have exquisite haute couture on display.

Looks from the Brooklyn Museum’s Christian Dior Designer of Dreams Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

“Today, the work of Maria Grazia Chiuri has reshaped the Dior dream for a new generation, with a worldview that brings with it inclusivity and respect as key philosophical directives. We couldn’t be more excited to present these innovative, beguiling—and technically outstanding—designs to our audiences,” Yokobosky says.

If you can’t make it to the Brooklyn Museum to see the exhibit, here is a virtual tour:

A video on the Christian Dior Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Video Courtesy of Fox 5 New York on YouTube.

As you all know, here at University of Fashion, our mission is to preserve the art and craft of fashion design. Therefore couldn’t agree more with this quote:

I wanted to be considered a good craftsman. I wanted my dresses to be constructed like buildings, molded to the curves of the female form, stylizing its shape.” ~Christian Dior

So tell us, which great craftsperson would you like to see exhibited next?

Welcome to the Metaverse: How Fashion and Cartoon Avatars Can Build Your Brand

(Image from the Balenciaga-themed episode of The Simpsons released by the brand during Paris Fashion Week Spring 2022)

In a previous UoF blog, we covered how Balenciaga’s creative director, Demna Gvasalia, co-created a bespoke 10-minute episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer tries to learn the correct pronunciation of the brand name, “buh-len-see-aa-guh” and seeks to find the perfect birthday gift for his wife Marge. The episode premiered during Paris Fashion Week 2022 at a red carpet event held at Théâtre de Chatelet, with a star power assist from Isabelle Huppert, Eliot Page, Cardi B and Naomi Campbell. It was a huge success, and the fashion industry took note. Another marketing avenue was paved.

Can I create my own DIY Cartoon Character?

The answer is YES! With computer gaming on the rise, especially among Millennial and Gen Zers, some famous fashion brands have already gotten in on the act, creating fashion outfits for computer game characters. Not only does fashion created for characters add prestige to the games themselves, but they help bring brand awareness to a new cohort of potential customers who wouldn’t ordinarily shop heritage fashion houses, such as Vuitton, Balenciaga and Ralph Lauren.

Today, cartoon generator websites like turnmeyellow.com and getcartoonizer.com instruct you on how to take your photo (2D only) and then create a downloadable digital file of yourself, for example, a Simpson’s “yellow” character, or a character from Comedy Central’s hit series, South Park. However, while these apps will transform your photo to have the “same look” as a Simpson’s or a South Park character, obviously you are not actually a copyrighted character from these shows and therefore they cannot be used for commercial purposes. In the case of Balenciaga, their team worked closely with The Simpsons’ creators directly, and received permission to use their characters (and created new ones) to promote the Balenciaga brand.

Are personalized fashion avatars the next wave?

(Image credits: Ready Player Me)

Yes. The next wave is to create your own personalized fashion avatar and the marketing possibilities are endless. Either way, these new marketing tools have designers jumping for joy.

If you are familiar with 3D design software, such as CLO3D, Browzwear, Optitex, Gerber, and Tukatech, then you know how realistic-looking fashion avatars have become. And so, it comes as no surprise that apps for gaming and fashion-generation are now available to the general public.

One avatar creation app is Ready Player Me by Wolf3D, where you can create an avatar with or without a picture, specify gender (or not), and specify skin tone and hair. By generating a personal avatar from a selfie image, you’re able to use it in different gaming and virtual applications. In a newly announced partnership with metaverse fashion leader RTFKT, you’re able to use their shoes and jackets to customize your avatar and you have access to hundreds of hairstyles, eyebrows, glasses and other options. All of these assets are free for Ready Player Me users. In addition, their avatars can be used with gaming platforms such as, Unity and Unreal Engine and have web and IOS integration.

By the way, the personal plans and/or student plans from the two main game engines are free.

Platform Link
Unity https://store.unity.com/compare-plans
UnReal Engine https://www.unrealengine.com/en-US/download

 

(Image credits: Ready Player Me)

How early 2D fashion toys helped build brands, thus paving the way for today’s digital fashion cartoons & avatars

(Image credit: Bunty’s cut-out paper dolls from Pinterest)

If you are of a certain age, then you might just remember a time when ‘cut-out dolls’ were all the rage. Girls would spend hours folding clothes with paper tabs over figures made of paper or thin cardboard (in fact, some of us even designed our own paper clothes!). Paper dolls, dating back to the mid 1600s, were mostly used as children’s toys. However, eventually they found their way into advertising. with movie stars and celebrities as the focus.

Fast forward to the 21st century. Now you can create your own fashion ‘doll’ (avatar) to use for AR experiences on your phone and to bring your own personalized avatar into your favorite computer games.

With some entrepreneurial spirit, some mad computer & design skills, why not create your own computer game or cartoon character to promote your brand?

(Image credit: House of Math)

Let’s take a look at House of Math for inspiration. It’s a good example of using avatars to promote personalized learning. According to House of Math: This gamified platform offers games, the whole curriculum for K12, math drills, boot camps, study techniques and problem solving. You can also create your own 3D-avatar which takes your through all your activities. In addition, we have Mentor-on-Demand: a teaching service where you can either chat, video chat or have a one of our over 140 mentors come and teach at your home.“

(Image credit: Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow on YouTube)

And let’s not forget Demna Gvasalia’s bespoke video game in 2020 entitled, “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow”. 

How would I get my designs to games?

As you may have guessed, creating your own good computer game can cost thousands, and unless you or someone you know has some serious gaming chops, your best bet is to explore existing gaming platforms that allow you to design clothes for a particular game so that you can market your designs through your own social media channels. While there are services and software to make this easier, those may come with a fee.

To all our aspiring tech-savvy designers out there who are interested in promoting their own designs through computer games, let’s look at some popular garment design software and how to get your designs to games.

Remember, for games, you will need to export the garments and the avatar on whom you design the garments. CLO3D and Browzwear will allow you to export certain avatars. Marvelous Designer is similar to CLO3D and is focused on Animation and Gaming, but if you are using CLO3D for clothing design, there may be a different workflow.

Where to get started?

Let’s start with Browzwear and CLO3D. Since in any game, your avatar will want to move, both platforms have avatars that are already rigged and ready to export as FBX file types.

Tutorials on Automation Source
https://browzwear.com/watch-your-designs-come-to-life-with-the-vstitcher-animation-workspace/ Browzwear
https://support.browzwear.com/VStitcher/Export/settings.htm#ExportFBX Browzwear
https://support.clo3d.com/hc/en-us/articles/360055227373-Automatic-Rigging-Converter-ver-6-0- CLO3D
https://support.clo3d.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000526908-3D-File-FBX-Import-Export CLO3D

 

And if you want to use other poses or use other avatars, Mixamo works with Browzwear and this workflow is explained by Browzwear.

https://www.mixamo.com/#/ Mixamo Adobe

 

If your game allows import of your own avatar, they will give detailed instructions.

Game/ Platform Link
VRChat https://www.gameskinny.com/9c6x1/vrchat-guide-how-to-create-custom-avatars
Animaze https://www.animaze.us/manual/gettingstarted3d/animaze3d
Valheimians https://www.valheimians.com/article/how-to-import-custom-avatars-in-valheim-multiplayer-with-valheimvrm-mod/
Roblox https://developer.roblox.com/en-us/articles/using-avatar-importer

 

But what if I want to get my designs into video format instead?

Good news, Browzwear can save to an MP4 and CLO3D can save to an MP4 or MOV file. You can also download garments with movement without the avatars. If you know how to edit MP4 files, this is another method to get your designs visible.

Tutorials on MP4 / MOV files Source
https://browzwear.com/watch-your-designs-come-to-life-with-the-vstitcher-animation-workspace/ Browzwear
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adx8WPVA92o&t=380s Browzwear
https://support.clo3d.com/hc/en-us/articles/115004522187-Animation-Video-Capture CLO3D
https://invideo.io/blog/how-to-merge-videos-in-windows-10/ Invideo.io

 

If you are less tech-savvy but love to draw, why not create your own cartoon character?

(Image credits: Sew Sketchy)

Sew Sketchy

Sew Sketchy is the brainchild of fashion illustrator/influencer/Parsons graduate, Romy Schreiber. Followers of Schreiber’s Sew Sketchy character have a ball as they watch Sew Sketchy explore life as a fashionista. In Schreiber’s own words, “she is a sartirical personification of the fashion girl stereotypes yet what you read is 100% inspired by her real life.”

Image credits: Sew Sketchy

The Most Stylish Cartoon Characters Best Dressed Lists

(Image credit: Cosmopolitan magazine, 2014)

Oh, and did you know? There are several ‘Best Dressed Lists’ when it comes to rating the most stylish cartoon characters (spoiler alert…Olive Oil from Popeye is not one of them). For example, there is Anime Motivation’s “The Best Anime Character Outfits”, 3Dtotal’s “15 Stylized Characters of Spring 2021”, Sara Scoop’s, “The 10 Most Stylish Disney Characters”, Cosmopolitan magazine’s “The Most Stylist Cartoon Characters of All Time”, Attire Club’s “The Most Stylish Male Cartoons Characters on TV”, MsMojo’s “Top 10 Cartoon Characters Who are Totally Fashion Goals”, and Elle magazine’s “Fashionable Cartoon Characters”.

But, in my book, the best of all is Pixar’s character Edna “E” Mode, the half-Japanese, half-German fashion designer from the animated cartoon, The Incredibles. Why? Not only does she have her own personal style, but she also knows how to design for all of the characters in the show.

Design wise, Edna Mode from the start was all about shape and size inclusivity, even before it was popular. She designed to the ‘person’s strengths’ and made personalized clothes just for them.

“I never look back, dahling. It distracts from the now.”

—Edna Mode

Too bad I can’t hire her for any of my own future products!

(Image credit: Pixar)

So, tell us, do you have a fav cartoon or game character and how motivated are you to use gaming to market your brand?

TRICK OR TREAT: HALLOWEEN-INSPIRED RUNWAY LOOKS

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Richard Quinn’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Children of all ages love the traditions of Halloween, from wearing scary costumes to carving out pumpkins, the holiday is a magical time of year filled with fun festivities. This year, Halloween will be extra special considering the bewitching holiday was pretty much cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So, if you are still searching for your epic Halloween costume, just look to the runways for inspiration.

A look from Off-White’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

While Halloween-inspired looks have always been an inspiration on the runways. Here are a few blasts-from-the-past costume looks:

Who could ever forget Prada’s creepy 2019 Frankenstein collection with images of the monster himself and his equally spooky bride?

A look from Prada’s Fall 2019 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

And what about the infamous 1997 Comme des Garçon collection that had distorted body lumps reminiscent of Quasimodo from the classic tale, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 1997 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Dark magic and enchantresses have always been an inspiration on the runway, one of the best witchy looks was from Martin Sitbon’s 1993 collection.

A look from Martine Sitbon’s Spring 1993 Show. (Photo Credit: Daniel Simon)

Clowns are always a favorite, here are some of our favorite clown looks through the years.

From left, Maison Margiela, fall 2015; Dior haute couture, fall 2007; Alexander McQueen, fall 2001. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

But not all Halloween costumes need to be terrifying. There were plenty of sweet, girlie looks, ranging from princess to Barbie, case in point, Moschino’s 2015 Barbie-inspired collection.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2015 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

As we get closer to Halloween, fashionistas will be showing off their designer costume-inspired looks ranging from crafty witches to NASA astronauts. So, take a look below, and see the most artistic styles from the 2021 and 2022 runways that’ll have you covered when it comes to costume innovation, while giving you major fashion cred. And the best part? These are all looks that are available in time for your costume parties.

THE GHOST OF ELIZA DOOLITTLE

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

One of the most theatrical designers of our time is Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. The avant-garde designer never disappoints. For fall 2021, Kawakubo created a tight line-up of magnificently Edwardian & Victorian-inspired looks consisting of black cloaks with puffy white linings, ballooning crinolines, and frothy layers of whipped white cotton and black tulle. Stovepipe hats completed the look. The collection echoed a modern variation of Cecil Beaton’s My Fair Lady (1964) Ascot scene.

LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD

A look from Christian Dior’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

We have all been told countless fairytales throughout our lives. For fall 2022, Christian Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri layered the collection with fairytale themes centered around the idea of appearance vs. character: Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty and the stories re-recorded by Charles Perrault in Versailles in the 18th century. The tales inspired a whimsical collection suspended between the idea of classic and timeless pieces, juxtaposed against the alluringly dangerous fairytale world.

INTERGALACTIC

A look from Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Marc Jacobs made a bold statement for fall 2021 as he played with dramatic mid-century looks, and yes, Space Age proportions, all filtered through an American sportswear extremism that caught the attention of the Gen Z shopper.

POP PRINCESS

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Throughout the ‘90s designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the geniuses behind the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, dressed a multitude of musicians for various award shows and music videos. Their sexy looks are still rocking the runway today and for their fall 2021 collection, the duo threw-it-back to their nineties heyday.

TRAGIC BEAUTY

A look from Alexander McQueen’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Alexander McQueen’s creative director, Sarah Burton, has kept true to the houses DNA. The talented designer even managed to capture the founders dramatic flare for storytelling in a dramatically beautiful yet haunting way. For fall 2021 she didn’t disappoint. Channeling the healing powers of nature, Burton was inspired by anemones and water as recurring motifs in that collection. Crushing up photographs of anemones, Burton photographed them again, and transferred the images onto gigot-sleeved poly faille gowns, worthy of Empress Sisi ( The Tragic Austrian Empress Who Was Murdered by Anarchists).

INSPECTOR GADGET

A look from Sacai’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The beloved cartoon Inspector Gadget came to life for fall 2021 as Sacai’s creative director, Chitose Abe, reinterpreted the classic trench coat into a cool, must have staple.

LET’S GET PHYSICAL

A look from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

It’s time to throw on your leotard and start your aerobics class, as Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello sent out dazzling eighties-inspired looks for fall 2021.

TO INFINITY AND BEYOND

A look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Never one to go the traditional route, Demna Gvasalia, creative director at Balenciaga, presented his fall 2021 as a working video game. The fashion-turned-game-designer created the electronic game Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, an allegorical adventure that showcased his latest creations, including NASA-inspired outerwear.

LITTLE DEVIL

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Rock on! Junya Watanabe’s “Immortal Rock Spirit” fall 2021 show was inspired by true rock bands including Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, the Rolling Stones, Queen and the Who. His classic concert tees were wrapped up, patchworked, and reconstructed into draped shapes, challenging the standard fashion vocabulary. Watanabe was quite brilliant at rocking that aesthetic.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

A look from Moschino’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Jeremy Scott, creative director at Moschino, really knew how to have fun with fashion; case in point, a giraffe-inspired dress with headpiece and all.

UNITED NATIONS

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Guram Gvasalia, Demna’s younger brother and creative director behind the cultish label Vetements, is always courting controversy.  For fall 2021, the differences between observing, commenting on, and simply mocking real political events for profit has become a dangerously blurred line. Guram exhibited flashes of idealism in passing, case in point, the United Nations flag print suit.

WEDNESDAY ADDAMS

A look from Valentino’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

For fall 2021, Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, added a punk touch to his otherwise chic collection. It was the perfect collection for a modern-day, grown-up Wednesday Addams (circa ’60s TV show The Addams Family and recent animated cartoon movie, The AddamsFamily2) .

WITCHCRAFT

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Yohji Yamamoto is known for his hauntingly beautiful collections. His artistic creations for fall 2021 were rendered entirely in black, with the exception of stitching, piping and a single print. The dark yet romantic looks had a witchy aesthetic that was spellbinding.

BOY MEETS GIRL

A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Thom Browne, the designer behind his namesake collection, created his fall 2021 collection based on extreme scales that were overwhelmingly delightful. Browne fused black-tie clothing with sport apparel and in one look even added a gigantic couture bow. Beneath all those bubble helmets and big-time bows were models of all genders, but Browne insisted that gender really doesn’t matter. His creatively beautiful clothes are for everyone.

ALIEN NATION

A look from Rick Owens’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The global pandemic has undoubtedly affected everyone’s mental health. So it’s no surprise that Rick Owens’ fall 2021 collection had post-apocalyptic vibes. His girls were otherworldly, like a fashionable parade of aliens who came to earth to party.

So tell us, what will you wear for Halloween?

HERE COMES THE BRIDE: FALL 2022 BRIDAL SHOW TRENDS

- - Fashion Shows

A look from Reem Acra’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Reem Acra)

And that’s a wrap! The excitement of New York Bridal Fashion Week came to an end as the condensed three-day event took place between October 6th to the 8th and there was so much to see. From over-the-top whimsical gowns to minimalistic slip dresses. The event was a hybrid of live runway shows, private appointments, and of course, digital presentations . With many brides having to postpone their wedding due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, all eyes are on the latest bridal trends for 2022.

“With COVID-19, everyone wanted to come together and have an in-person market, but once we took a look at retailers and bridal designers around the globe, we realized so many people couldn’t travel because of the restrictions. So, we decided to offer a hybrid market this season — the last two were virtual,” Michelle Iacovelli, executive director of the council, stated in an interview with WWD. “We’ll have the Bridal Council x PullQuest platform; there are a handful of designers showing in person, with mostly market appointments. Those showing have showrooms in New York City or are closer by and can easily travel. Those options will be available but a majority of the designers will be on PullQuest.”

“With the hybrid model, whether you’re going to be in-person or not, you’re able to see everything online as well. If you can’t go in person, all of the designers are showing their collections right here on the homepage; if you’re going in person, it’s helpful afterward,” echoed Natalie Meyer, founder of PullQuest.

The October 2021 bridal market marks the third season for The Bridal Council x PullQuest, a digital platform selected by The Bridal Council to virtually bring the bridal market to its global audience and marketplace. According to WWD, PullQuest will continue to serve as a one-stop-shop for designers, offering a unified sales and media hub for the industry. It featured a presentation schedule, downloadable press kits, digital showrooms with collection imagery and videos, and more, as well as a continuation of prior seasons’ streamlined tools for sales (the ability to place wholesale orders), media, influencers and stylists.

The Bridal Council x PullQuest went live on October 6th and will live on the site for six months after market week. This will allow designers in the bridal market to update their content, and for retailers to place reorders. The platform will also be used by media, stylists, and influencers to access and pull looks.

A look from Vera Wang Bride’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vera Wang Bride)

Many CFDA members in the bridal market returned this season including Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, Naeem Khan, Reem Acra and Vera Wang, as well as designer brands Alexandra Grecco, Amsale, David’s Bridal, Kosibah, Odylyne the Ceremony, PatBO, Verdin New York and Zuhair Murad.

While the season offered plenty of beautiful, traditional gowns, some of the emerging trends for fall 2022 bridal were a bit more unconventional, reflecting a new consumer market…Millennials! Here is a round-up of some of our favorite trends.

BOUDOIR

Lingerie-inspired looks ruled the ready-to-wear runways and the bridal market took notice as corseted gowns were one of the biggest trends for fall 2022. These seductive gowns are the perfect balance of naughty and nice.

A look from Lihi Hod’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Lihi Hod)

A look from Galia Lahav’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Galia Lahav)

A look from Ines By Ines Di Santo’s Fall 2022 collection. Photo Credit Ines Di Santo

A look from Marchesa Bridal Couture Collection’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Marchesa Bridal Couture Collection)

A look from Francesca Miranda’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Francesca Miranda)

THE COLD SHOULDER

Off-the-shoulder gowns were one of the most flattering bridal looks. The neckline shows off just a bit of skin. And, think of all the fabulous jewelry that will complement the gown!

A look from Andrew Kwon’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Andrew Kwon)

A look from Galia Lahav’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Galia Lahav)

A look from Verdin Bridal New York’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Verdin Bridal New York)

A look from Grace Loves Lace’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Grace Loves Lace)

A look from Reem Acra’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Reem Acra)

NINETIES MINIMALISM

The Nineties are back and so is the iconic slip dress. For fall 2022, designers in the bridal market offered their own take on the minimalistic classic.

A look from Vera Wang Bride’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vera Wang Bride)

A look from Theia’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Theia)

A look from Alexandra Grecco’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Alexandra Grecco)

A look from Grace Loves Lace’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Grace Loves Lace)

ALL ABOUT SLEEVE

Brides will be sure to make a powerful entrance as they walk down the aisle in these dramatic puff sleeve gowns.

A look from Halfpenny London ‘s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Halfpenny London)

A look from Ines Di Santo’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Ines Di Santo)

A look from Verdin Bridal New York’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Verdin Bridal New York)

A look from Vera Wang Bride’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vera Wang Bride)

A look from Reem Acra’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Reem Acra)

TROUSER BAR

More and more brides are opting for untraditional wedding looks and so designers are creating chic pantsuits, sexy jumpsuits, and a plethora of effortless trouser looks.

A look from Ines Di Santo’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Ines Di Santo)

A look from Kaviar Gauche’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Kaviar Gauche)

A look from Rita Vinieris Rivini’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Rita Vinieris Rivini)

A look from Nadia Manjarrez’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Nadia Manjarrez)

A look from Andrew Kwon’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Andrew Kwon)

GET SHORTY

What bride wouldn’t want to dance the night away in these short bridal dress variations that will bring down the house?

A look from Nadia Manjarrez’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Nadia Manjarrez)

A look by Ines By Ines Di Santo’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Ines Di Santo)

A look from Anne Barge’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Anne Barge)

A look from Houghton’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Houghton)

A look from Vera Wang Bride’s Fall 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vera Wang Bride)

Want to learn how to draft, drape & construct a slip dress, a boned bustier, cascade ruffles. extreme puffed sleeves, tailored pant suits and how to sew lace & sheer fabrics? Let our professionals teach you at UniversityofFashion.com

 

 

 

Gaming & Fashion: Two Aspirational Worlds of Experiences Combine

- - Fashion Innovation

(Image credit: Skinvaders blog post)

To those of you out there who aren’t into computer gaming, listen up, it won’t be long now before that could change.

According to two recent blog posts on Skinvaders (a platform for in-game branded skins and digital clothing) entitled, “How the new gamer generation is driving fashion in gaming” and “Why are people spending money on the branded clothing in-game?” Janne Souza stated that the growing popularity of life simulation and casual games has increased the number of women gamers, in fact, women account for 46% of global gamers! Souza also claims that gaming is now the biggest entertainment industry with $180 billion in revenue, and, that Gen Z and Millennials are the most active gamers (Gen Zers representing almost 40% of all global consumers).

Why now? What is driving fashion brands to work with gaming companies?

Souza posits that fashion is seeing gaming as a crucial marketing channel and a way for brands to sell digital or phygital (both digital and physical) collections, as their consumers do not see a border between the digital and physical worlds. Additionally, people are the same in the physical and digital worlds – they want branded clothing or skins in both environments – for their personal and exclusive identity and that gamers are willing to spend on tools for self-expression. Souza also states that the psychology of brands (the brands’ image that is transferred to us) is the same in the digital world as the physical. We want to be fashionable and 70% of young gamers are interested in branded ‘skins’ (fashion).

BALENCIAGA 

So, it’s no surprise that on September 20, 2021, Balenciaga announced their partnership with Unreal Engine’s game Fortnite to further blur reality. 

Do you want the fashion to be real in your game or real in your physical world?  Alas…now you can have both!

Players in Fortnite can now have Balenciaga fashions (or skins) for their characters. Players can also purchase Fortnite branded items on the Balenciaga store, Tees, caps, leather jackets, shirts, and hoodies (hoodies – are already sold out), sizing in French unisex XS – L.

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

In the blending of the real world and gaming, the same models can now be used for both digital world and real-world interactions.

If you are a follower of the University of Fashion blog, then you know that for the past two years we have been covering technology’s impact on the industry: the rise of fashion video games, our 2019 post covering Riot Games’ collaboration with Louis Vuitton x League of Legends, how the fashion industry is moving into the world of Augmented Reality (AR) retailing, Artificial Intelligence for fashion and the use of 3D design software in the design process and in 3D textiles.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the fashion industry is focused on the buying power of the biggest gaming aficionados, Millennials (born between1981-1996) and Gen Zers (born after 1996), since according to McKinsey & Co, these combined generations wield around $350 billion of spending power in the U.S. alone; around $150 billion by Gen Z and around $200 billion millennials. In 2020, Gen Z accounted for 40% of global consumers. What better way to broaden a brand’s generational reach (especially among heritage brands like Vuitton and Balenciaga) than to meet them in their ‘world’?

RALPH LAUREN

Balenciaga is not alone in their attempt to reach and to recruit new gamers to their brand. Other fashion brands are also bringing fashion to gaming. Late August 2021, Ralph Lauren formed a partnership with Zepeto to create a 50-piece digital apparel collection and virtual world. For those unfamiliar with Zepeto, it is a free social media app that lets you create a 3D digital character (called a Zepeto) from a picture of yourself and then share it on social media. We all have friends who have created a personal Zepeto, right?

The 3D avatars in Zepeto can now have an exclusive Ralph Lauren x Zepeto wardrobe. The Ralph Lauren flagship store, along with two other locations in New York City, form the digital spaces to interact with the Lauren collection. You can get a glimpse of this virtual world on YouTube: in a virtual Central Park and picking out a classic sweater at the Ralph Lauren flagship store.

(Image credit: YouTube)

(Image credit: YouTube)

HOW ARE VIRTUAL OUTFITS CREATED? 

For all the ‘on-the-table’ designers out there, you know, those of you who prefer to actually touch the fabric, and draft, drape and actually sew your designs – you will be happy to know that some of the workflow in creating virtual outfits is somewhat the same.  

Workflow

First, the virtual garments are modeled based on real garments, then the physical materials and textures are matched with a virtual equivalent. Using 3D scans (for already physical items, such as sneakers) and Unreal shaders (algorithms that literally add shading to the skins) for the virtual world are created.

Just like in the real-world, from sketch to final product, there are many steps in the workflow.  The key points are:

  • The artist brings the vision and concept and even for all of the 3D technology – artistry is still the heart of design.
  • Just like in the real world, the digital environment is an important consideration to the final product.
  • Fabrics and grains were not exactly the same as in the real world, but virtual equivalents can be found.
  • Different CAD programs have different strengths. Multiple CAD packages will be used to create the final product, such as Zbrush, Maya, Marmoset Toolbag, Substance Painter, 3D scans, CAD data, and Unreal Shader system.
  • There are 3rd party companies that help with getting 2D/3D assets between fashion and gaming. So, you are not alone in this new metaverse.

(Image credit: Skinvaders.io)

THE NEXT WAVE

A scene from the bespoke Balenciaga episode of The Simpsons (Image credit YouTube)

All eyes in the fashion industry are on another new PR/marketing ploy, namely collaborations with iconic TV cartoon characters. During Balenciaga’s recent spring 2022 collection show, the audience was treated to a bespoke 10-minute episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer treats Marge to a Balenciaga birthday gift that ends with the town of Springfield being flown to Paris by creative director, Demna Gvasalia, to model in his show. Since The Simpsons first aired in 1989 and is the long-running animated comedy on TV, its reach includes Baby Boomers (born between 1946–1964) and Generation X (born between 1965–1980), as well as Millennials.  Between cartoons and computer games, it looks like Balenciaga has nailed every generation from Boomer to Gen Z.

Stay tuned to our blog for more info on how you can create your own DIY avatar fashion and avatars from cartoon characters.

Does anyone out there want to comment on how the fashion industry will reach Gen Alpha (born after 2010)?

JE NE SAIS QUOI – PARIS FASHION WEEK 2022 TRENDS

- - Fashion Shows

Models strut the runway at Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Masks may be an au courant trend (not without controversy), but thanks to masks, social distancing and vax cards Paris Fashion Week roared back to life. The festivities that began on Monday, September 27th wind down on Tuesday, October 5th with major fashion houses opting for live shows such as Dior, Chanel, Hermes, and Vuitton.

Looks from Dior’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

“We are overjoyed at their return and the presence of the other big brands,” Pascal Morand, head of France’s Federation for Haute Couture and Fashion, told AFP, a news network in France. “We feel this appetite for the physical, for the show,” he added.

But we cannot forget that COVID-19 is not yet over and so just like in New York, London, and Milan, face coverings were compulsory at all the shows this week in the City of Lights.

Of the 97 fashion brands showing at PFW, about two-thirds are continuing with online presentations.

A look from Kenneth Ize’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Nigerian designer, Kenneth Ize, a favorite of supermodel Naomi Campbell, kicked off Paris Fashion Week with a show at the Palais de Tokyo.

Then on Sunday evening, Givenchy held its first IRL catwalk presentation by its new American artistic director Matthew Williams, who brought an element of street style to the historic French brand.

Saint Laurent was also back with a live show on Tuesday evening, despite being the first major house to quit the Paris Fashion official calendar when the deadly pandemic hit in 2020. Today it’s obvious that the brand and it’s creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, made the right choice. The historic French house has been protesting the chaotic pace of the fashion calendar, which has led several major brands to rethink their strategies even before the pandemic.

A video of Saint Laurent’s spring 2022 show. (Video courtesy of Saint Laurent on YouTube)

Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala Balanciaga Look rewrote the Red Carpet’s Rules. (Photo Credit: Elle)

On Saturday night the much-anticipated Balenciaga show took place. All eyes were on the brand’s creative director Demna Gvasalia, especially after making waves at the Met Gala when he dressed Kim Kardashian in a controversial all-black, head-to-toe covering (talk about the ultimate Covid mask!).

Balenciaga, which is under the umbrella of the French global luxury group Kering (Saint Laurent, Gucci, and Bottega Veneta to name a few) proved that they are totally committed to the future of fashion. Prior to Paris Fashion Week they announced at their brands would be going entirely fur-free. Balenciaga announced that they had teamed up with the hit cartoon comedy show The Simpsons, and they announced a partnership with Unreal Engine’s popular computer game Fortnite. Keep your eyes on this space and watch for our upcoming blog topic on how the fashion industry is entering the gaming space.

Video about Kering going fur-free. (Video Courtesy of France24 on YouTube)

Although there was plenty of excitement and so many live shows to attend, there were still a few who have opted out of showing during the Paris Fashion Week calendar. Most noteworthy absent brands were Celine, whose artistic director Hedi Slimane has argued that the traditional calendar was “obsolete” in the age of social media. Off-White, the brand of the popular streetwear designer Virgil Abloh, has not appeared for several seasons now, as well as Stella McCartney, although she has not given a reason for skipping out of the fashion calendar.

PFW will end with an homage to Israeli-American designer Alber Elbaz, who died from Covid-related complications in April 2020. The late Elbaz’s company, AZ Factory, planned a tribute show with 44 of the world’s most talented designers, each of whom have created a piece in Elber’s honor. Among the designers participating: Rei Kawakubo, Alessandro Michele, Donatella Versace, and Nicolas Ghesquière, and from the U.S., Ralph Lauren, Virgil Abloh and Daniel Roseberry of Schiaparelli.  The company is calling the event, which will be live streamed on October 5 at 8 pm CET, “Love Brings Love.” I am sure the event will bring many to tears as Alber Elbaz was one of the most beloved and charismatic designers of our time.

While the final stretch of the Spring 2022 shows is still going strong, here are some key trends coming out of Paris so far:

POSH SPLICE

This season, designers in Paris played mix masters with a mélange of luxe and alluring combinations.

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sarawong’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Thebe Magugu’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lutz Huelle’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TWISTER

Twisted halter tops take center stage this season as the sexy neckline can be found on everything from body-con dresses and jumpsuits to barely there tops.

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JUMP STARTS

No longer the sole domain for dancers and gymnasts, the jumpsuit takes on a racy twist in skintight versions that are oh-so-sexy.

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SPORTS CENTER

Getting in shape never looked better. Designers are inspired by the sporty life with chic riffs on everything from cool basketball-style shorts to a full-on boxing looks.

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Meryll Rogge’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE BELT WAY

Cinch it in! Designers are opting for belting looks this season to accentuate the waist.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Patou’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Andrew Gn’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BARING CONDITIONS

The French have a flare for sexiness and this spring designers are adding an extra dose of seduction with strategically placed  cut-outs leaving very little to the imagination.

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gauchere’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Coperni’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

YOU’RE A GEM

The collections in Paris were filled with brilliant jewel tone colors – rich magentas, emeralds, and blues – enough to make you sparkle like a gem.

A look from Andrew Gn’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Kenneth Ize’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Patou’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHINE LANGUAGE

Metallic hues take a playful turn for spring 2022 as designers show an array of shiny looks from a gold fringe dress to a silver futuristic topper, one things for sure, it’s time to shine on.

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lutz Huelle’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Now that we’ve covered each of the major fashion week capitals, which city do you believe has the most creative talent?

 

 

LA BELLA VITA: MILAN SPRING 2022 SHOWS

- - Fashion Shows

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Fashion month has been a whirlwind of excitement as Milan Fashion Week wraps up before it heads over to its final stretch in Paris. While New York and London had a good balance between live shows and digital presentations, the runways in Milan were almost back to pre-pandemic levels. MFW, which kicked off on September 24th and ended on the 27th, was a jam-packed calendar consisting 173 shows that were a combination of physical event presentations, parties and 42 that were IRL shows.

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Milan always delivers: craftsmanship, modern sophistication and polished elegance. Italian designers have a unique point of view and a refined hand that sets them apart from the rest.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE BIG DESIGNER SWAP

The two most anticipated shows during Milan Fashion Week had to be Fendi and Prada. It was the first time a new project was unveiled: A Designer Swap!

Donatella Versace designed a Fendi collection and Kim Jones (Fendi’s artistic director) created a Versace collection. A PR stunt for sure, but one that worked!

At Prada, the brand presented two simultaneous shows, one at home in Milan and the other at Shanghai’s Bund One. At the Fondazione Prada in Milan, large LED screens surrounded the runway, and streamed the live feeds so guests could see different models marching by in the same looks.

A video of Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. Video courtesy of Prada on YouTube.

Rihanna also hosted her third volume for Savage x Fenty, her fierce lingerie line, and was one of the most hyped shows of the season. Fun fact: did you know Rihanna’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty?

Other noteworthy shows were TOD’S, Max Mara, Jil Sander, MM6 Maison Margiela and Versace. However, powerhouses Bottega Veneta and Gucci were notably missing. Gucci will head to Los Angeles to present its next collection on Nov. 2, coinciding with the LACMA Art+Film Gala taking place on Nov. 6, for which the fashion house is the founding and presenting sponsor.

In conjunction with the runway shows, the MFW calendar included a succession of not-to-be-missed events. For starters, “The Way We Are”, an exhibition devoted to Emporio Armani in celebration of brand’s 40-year anniversary. The exhibit opened on September 23rd at Armani/Silos, a fashion art space in Milan dedicated to Armani style. The jewelry brand Pomellato, held an exclusive cocktail party that kicked off Milan Fashion Week, and Versace closed out the week with a private dinner at Mysterious Baths to celebrate Italian designer Chiara Boni’s 50-year career, of course this was by invitation only. And there were plenty of festivities in between, case in point, Gucci’s day-long celebration (on September 25th) of its new Gucci Vault (online concept store featuring refurbished vintage Gucci pieces and collections by young designers), which was a far from a low-key return to MFW. Long envisioned by Alessandro Michele, Vault is the new online concept store created by Gucci, dedicated to the endless pursuit of wonders and beautiful things. Part time machine, part archive, part library, part laboratory – the identity of Vault is in continuous evolution.

Here is a link to the site: Edition 01 – VAULT Gucci

Milan Fashion Week also embraced emerging talent as the city hosted The World of Vogue Talents and the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana’s CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards, both events celebrated promising, new designers and those who have taken extra steps to curb their impact on the planet.

A look from Del Core’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Here are a few of the hottest trends to come out of Milan Fashion Week:

FRINGE BENEFITS

Life is full of many splendored ‘strings’ as the spring 2022 runways were filled with a myriad of fabulous fringe. From crafty crochet fringe tops to latter day flappers, one thing’s for sure, fringe is in!

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from No. 21’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway.)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

EASY STREET

Ciao, sculptured structure. Tailoring took a more relaxed turn, with a focus on effortless suits in an array of colors. Perfect transitional looks to go back to the office in.

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

OAT COUTURE

The world has been shut down for over 18 months now, and now that vaccinations are underway, it’s time to start your adventure. Designers are showing safari-inspired looks in neutral shades that would look just as good on a desert getaway as they would on city streets.

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loro Piana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zanini’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

PALE FIRE

Will dainty hues ever go out of style for spring? Not this season, thanks to an Easter basket’s worth of pretty pastels.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Emporio Armani’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Max Mara’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Vivetta’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sportmax’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

CALL OF THE WILD

Animal prints ruled the runways as Italian designers worked the mammal motif in everything from statement-making toppers to effortless maxi skirts.

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Antonio Marras’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TOUGH GIRL

Leather ruled the Italian runways as designers worked the material into everything from sexy dresses to cool outerwear and everything in between.

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GEOMETRY CLASS

Designers are getting graphic as geometric patterns and prints are making a splash this spring season.

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Colville’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JEANOLOGY

Y2K fashion has made a major comeback thanks to TikTok. For spring 2022, Italian designers are keeping the trend alive with sexy, low-slung denim. It’s time to start working those abs again.

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GET SHORTY

Legs for days! Mini skirts and dresses have made a comeback as designers are baring it all on the runways for spring 2022.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what trends are inspiring you? And if you didn’t know that Versace and Fendi swapped designers this season, would you have been able to see a difference?

 

HOTTEST TRENDS: LONDON FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines have affected every type of business across the globe, and the fashion industry was no exception. As the Delta and new variants continue to spread, governments, scientists, and doctors are constantly changing guidelines to help keep us all safe and healthy. New York Fashion Week wrapped with the Met Gala and the VMA Awards and all of these events followed New York City’s strict COVID guidelines. The dress code at these events included a vaccine card!

London Fashion Week is no exception. Those attending LFW, will need to carry the NHS Covid pass to show their vaccination status, proof of full vaccination with a UK-approved vaccine program or a recognized vaccine in the EU or USA. They will also need a proof of a “negative lateral flow test taken within the past 48 hours”, as per an official document by British Fashion Council. The shows began September 16th and will end Sept. 21st. The last two seasons of London Fashion Week (LFW) were almost entirely digital, but this season, there will be a partial return to physical, in-real-life (IRL) shows.

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue RunwayS

British designers are well known for pushing the boundaries in fashion and beyond, so it’s no surprise that London Fashion Week has become an entirely gender-neutral season. Looking at the LFW calendar, there will be approximately 130 designers presenting their Spring 2022 collections. Some of the all time favs are Erdem, Margaret Howell, Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, Tiger Of Sweden, Saul Nash, Stefan Cooke, Labrum London and Steven Stokey-Daley, who will all host live runway shows, while Molly Goddard, Edward Crutchley, and Vivienne Westwood have opted for digital presentations.

In addition to fashion shows, London Fashion Week will also host a number of parties, so throw on your favorite party look as Matches Fashion, Onitsuka Tiger, Dazed, designer Kaushik Velendra and Richard Quinn will each host festive evening events.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) will also host a fashion celebration in partnership with Clearpay. BFC’s CEO, Caroline Rush, said, “The initiative aims to drive footfall back into the capital while reminding consumers of the vibrancy and excitement of London. With involvement from over 100 brands, stores, hospitality venues, and cultural institutions we are looking forward to seeing the whole city come to life.”

Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, reiterated Rush’s statement in saying that LFW would be “vital in helping to drive [London’s] social and economic recovery.” The return of fashion shows and industry events around the world will help provide essential business to a market that has suffered immensely during the ongoing global pandemic. Another initiative that the mayor put forth with the BFC is a City-Wide Celebration program that is working with Limited Edition London to stimulate tourism; this program will run until the end of November.

While England is counting on London Fashion Week to generate money for the city, many fashion insiders are disappointed that some of London’s most prominent names are not on the fashion calendar and will not be staging IRL fashion shows, including Burberry, JW Anderson, Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou. One must ask, without these powerhouses, can London Fashion Week still generate buzz like its neighbors in Milan and Paris?

But we shouldn’t count London out so quickly. The city nurtures great young talent and this season, there was plenty. Case in point, Nensi Dojaka, the Albanian-born, London-based talent who made her catwalk debut just weeks after being named winner of the LVMH Prize. Her new collection was unveiled to guests through a TikTok show space. Dojaka, a graduate Central Saint Martins, is known for her body-con mesh designs. Her creations have been worn by a variety of fashion ‘it-girls’, including Bella Hadid, Dua Lipa, and Kaia Gerber.

A look from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Other buzz-worthy newcomers included Supriya Lele, Knwls, and Harris Reed (who attended the Met Gala with Iman) and who plans to host his first physical show, off-schedule, at the Serpentine Gallery on September 21st.

(Left) Designer Harris Reed and (Right) Iman Had One Of The Most Memorable Met Gala Moments. (Photo Credit: Grazia)

While London Fashion Week is still going strong, here are some of the emerging trends coming out of LFW so far:

PRETTY IN PINK

Pink ruled the runway, but for spring 2022, the soft shade was anything but sweet. Designers played with the juxtaposition of the child-like hue in sexy, form-fitting silhouettes. Suddenly, pink is not so innocent.

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Mark Fast’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TRUE ROMANCE

Channeling the music composed by Richard Rogers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart, Isn’t It Romantic?, romance takes center stage during London Fashion Week as designer’s turn up the frill and thrills. Whether they opt for Victorian charm or feminine flounce, one thing’s for sure, these whimsical looks will brighten up any day.

A look from Yuhan Wang’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Edward-Crutchley’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

PREP SCHOOL

It’s time to break out the “Preppy Handbook” as designers reinterpret the preppy look for spring with cool varsity sweaters, playful gingham suits, color-block trench coats, and oh-so-sweet pastel tweeds.

Looks from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Margaret Howell’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Temperley London’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Tiger of Sweden’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Palmer Harding’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

LITTLE BLACK DRESS

Thanks to Audrey Hepburn, the LBD has become a fashion staple in every women’s wardrobe. But for Spring 2022, designers are reinterpreting the iconic dress into sexy body con numbers that every PYT (pretty young thing) will want to wear when hitting the dance floor.

A look from Mark Fast’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Knwls’ Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

MIX MASTERS

As we’ve all known for ages, the Brits love to have fun with fashion. For Spring 2022, designers are mixing prints in the most delightfully charming way.

A look from Matty Bovan’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Edward Crutchley’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Knwls’ Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

FEELING TANGY

Lime-green, bold tangerine, and lemon-yellow are some of the bold colors that came to life this season as designers opted for citrus hues that were mouthwateringly delightful.

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Kiko Kostadinov’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Eudon Choi’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

What looks have inspired you?

 

IT’S SHOWTIME: NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022

- - Fashion Shows

Designer Wes Gordon with a look from the Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2022 collection celebrating the brand’s 40th year anniversary. (Photo Credit: Lexie Moreland for WWD)

New York Fashion Week is back and bigger than ever! It has been 18 months since New York hosted it’s last in-person fashion week, pre-COVID, and in an attempt to get back to a new normal, we will certainly be complying with mask mandates and vaccination cards to attend all of the live events.

So, what will be different THIS season you may ask? Well for starters, many American designers who have shown in Europe in the past, will be coming home to show in New York City. A few European imports, such as Moschino, have also opted to show their collection in NYC, adding an exciting energy to the week. And another treat to look forward to…over a dozen emerging Black designers were added  to the fashion calendar, thanks to the Black In Fashion Council.

And another first…NYFW will go out with a bang as the Met will host their annual Met Gala on September 13th. Read our blog from last week to learn more about the Costume Institute’s new exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and their youngest-ever crew of co-chairs: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman. Add in the U.S. Open (tennis championship games) and the VMA Awards (Video Music Awards) to the mix and New York City will be bustling with excitement. Just like pre-Covid days. Almost.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the fashion label Rodarte, surrounded by models during their spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

In true NYC fashion, and with the Mario Coumo scandal finally behind us, New York’s newest and first female governor, Kathy Hochul, announced a partnership with NYFW’s IMG, giving designers free access to two show venues, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (downtown) and Moynihan Train Hall (in the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building). According to Vogue Runway, Gurung’s show was the first to take the governor up on her offer. Later in the week, Cynthia Rowley will host her show in the same downtown location and Victor Glemaud will present in Moynihan Train Hall. More firsts.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Prabal Gurung. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

“We are grateful to Governor Hochul and New York State for their continued partnership,” said IMG’s president of fashion events and properties Leslie Russo. “Through this unique partnership, we are proud to showcase iconic New York City locations as the backdrop to this season’s collections.” 

Although the city will feel alive and energized, there will certainly be somber moments too, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. New York City will have to downsize their ceremonies due to COVID and the Delta variant,  which is circulating both locally and across the country.  It’s so hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the day that not only halted New York Fashion Week, but all of New York City. However, out of the ashes of death and destruction, NYC rebuilt itself stronger than ever. The fashion industry came together and started what has now become the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an incubator in support of young designers and the program has nurtured numerous talents, from Proenza Schouler to Telfar.

In 2021, the industry had to pivot once again to address the tragedy of COVID-19. Due to the worldwide pandemic, many fashion companies shuttered such as retailer Century 21 and well-established designers such as Carly Cushnie (who created her namesake label Cushnie). In April of this year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) announced that as an alternative to their usual competition, they would also award grants to 10 independent American brands. It’s a diverse group that ranges from Eckhaus Latta to Batsheva, as well as a few upstart labels.

A look from Batsheva’s spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Another silver lining to emerge from the pandemic was a heightened awareness amongst consumers who are now becoming more discerning shoppers in search of more sustainable brands and individualized pieces. After spending over a year and a half indoors, working from home, we all want to make our grand entrance when entering the workplace but in a more thoughtful way.

Imitation of Christ, Spring 2022 ready-to-wear presentation. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Here are some of our favorite tends from the first few days of the NYFW Spring 2022 season.

READY TO BARE

In keeping with the runways’ newfound desire for nudity, designers are daring consumers to bare just a bit more for Spring 2022 with a multitude of bra tops. Interpretations ran the gamut, from a chic interpretation at Michael Kors to a sportier vibe at Jason Wu.

A look from Michael Kors Collection ‘s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Coach’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jason Wu’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jonathan Simkhai’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bevza’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BLOOMS DAY

Welcome to spring’s splashy garden party, an oh-so-optimistic celebration with bold colors and masses of floral prints. These delicate florals made their way onto everything from sweet mini dresses to edgy one-shoulder frocks.

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Natasha Zinko’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks form Libertine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Libertine)

A look from Monique Lhuillier’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Collina Strada’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Markarian’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHORT STORIES

Bottoms up! Shorts rocked the runways this season, from tiny briefs to Bermuda styles. These looks are a youthful and relaxed alternative to the summer dress.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Adam Lippes’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from St. John’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Adeam’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Adeam)

A look from Alejandra Alonso Rojas’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

HUE SAID IT

Designers lit up the spring 2022 season with rich and vibrant shades for day and night.

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Badgley Mischka’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from CDLM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Naeem Khan’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

NEUTRAL TERRITORY

Neutral shades are anything but boring. For spring, designers mix it up with a palette that ranges from pale ivory to lovely nudes.

A look from Peter Do’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bronx and Banco’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from The Row’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fredrick Anderson’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BARE CONDITIONING

Seduction is the name of the game as designers add interesting, skin baring, cut-outs to their favorite frocks.

A look from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Threeasfour’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nicole Miller’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bronx and Banco’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from LaQuan Smith’s spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Do you have a  favorite Spring 2022 trend so far?

THE MET GALA: A LEXICON OF FASHION

- - Fashion Events

Andrew Bolton discusses the underlying themes and importance of the upcoming exhibition. (Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum Of Art)

It’s not the first Monday of May, but the Met Gala is back on. And, for the first time in its history, it coincides with New York Fashion Week. and will be presented in two parts, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and In America: An Anthology of Fashion. The first glamorous event will take place on Monday, September 13th, however, this time it will be a smaller and more intimate soirée. (The fashion extravaganza was cancelled last year and postponed due to COVID-19.) While the highly anticipated affair will look a little different this year, there will still be a red carpet filled with magnificent fashion and celebrity sightings. The second part, In America: An Anthology of Fashion will have its red carpet moment on May 2, 2022.

Here is everything you need to know about fashion’s biggest night.

(Watch a video about the exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion. Film by Sterling Ruby for The Met).

WHAT IS THE MET GALA?

The Met gala is the fashion world’s equivalent of the Oscars. Designers, models, brand ambassadors and Hollywood stars assemble for one night out of the year to wear the most fantastical looks in celebration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute latest show. Most guests dress to fit the theme of the exhibit and the Met Red Carpet is something like the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade.

Katy Perry in Atelier Versace in 2018 for the Catholic Imagination theme at the Met Gala. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

 

MET THEME 2021

“Veil Flag” by S.R. STUDIO. LA. CA., 2020, courtesy of Sterling Ruby Studio. (Photo Credit: Melanie Schiff)

This year’s Met gala theme celebrates American fashion. Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu Curator-in-Charge of the Costume Institute, felt it was time to reexamine American identity and fashion, especially as it has changed over the last several years due to both political and social justice movements. “I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective,” Andrew Bolton told Vogue. “I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a renaissance. I think young designers in particular are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion, as well as sustainability and transparency, much more so than their European counterparts, maybe with the exception of the English designers.”

THIS YEAR’S CO-CHAIRS

Left to Right: Met Gala co-chairs Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, Timothée Chalamet, and Amanda Gorman. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Met gala traditionally has a number of co-chairs that help host the event every year. For this year’s 2021 Met gala it’s a list of the current Who’s Who: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, and Naomi Osaka, while Tom Ford, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri, and Anna Wintour (who has chaired the event since 1995) will serve as honorary chairs.

WILL THERE BE A RED CARPET?

Yes! There will be a red carpet, although the affair will be intimate and will follow New York City’s COVID-19 safety protocols. On the iconic Met steps will be a cast of celebrities and guests in their outré ensembles.

DRESS CODE

Yes, the Met gala will have a formal dress code. On the 2021 invitation, the dress code is listed as American Independence. We are sure there will be many over-the-top variations on the theme, from bedazzled American flag inspired looks, to classic gowns created by American designers. We can guarantee that looks will be anything but boring.

ATTENDING GUESTS

Kim Kardashian in Mugler with Kanye West in 2019 regularly attend the Met Gala . (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Part of the excitement of the Met gala is not knowing who will show up! Designers typically invite, as their guests, the hottest celebrities of the moment.

The exclusive invite list is always kept closely guarded until right before the event, but rumored guests include TikTok dancer Addison Rae, YouTube vlogger Emma Chamberlain, singer Camila Cabello, sprinter Allyson Felix, and British Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton.

Met Gala regulars Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian will reportedly be in attendance, but a New York Post Page Six article suggested that some big stars won’t be showing up this year. For example, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen due to Brady’s Buccaneers training schedule. Other Met gala regulars that will have to miss this year’s festivities are Sarah Jessica Parker, who has a scheduling conflict with her filming of the Sex And The City reboot. And Kate Moss and Saoirse Ronan who live overseas and might be unable to attend due to COVID travel restrictions. Some European designers may miss it since they will be prepping for their own fashion shows.

One celebrity agent told the Post: “I think the big actors and the big fashionistas will come next year, when it returns in May. I also don’t think a lot of people feel like dressing up in ridiculously expensive outfits and putting on a mask for this.”

We will wait and see which celebrities make their dramatic red carpet reveal on September 13th.

THE EXHIBITS: Parts 1 & 2

A look from Prabal Gurung’s spring 2020 collection. Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo Credit: Paolo Lanzi for IMAXTREE)

PART 1

The Met gala event on September 13th, A Lexicon of Fashion, will open to the public on September 18th at the Anna Wintour Costume Center at the Met, marking the Costume Institute’s 75th anniversary. The exhibition will be staged to resemble a home, with intersecting walls and rooms that will establish what Bolton calls “a new vocabulary that’s more relevant and more reflective of the times in which we’re living.” Part one of the exhibit will feature looks from Christopher John Rogers, Sterling Ruby, Conner Ives, Prabal Gurung, and Andre Walker, to name a few.

PART 2

The second exhibit, An Anthology of Fashion, will open to the public on May 5, 2022, and will be located in the period rooms of the museum’s American Wing. According to an interview with Vogue, Bolton and the museum’s curatorial team will work with American film directors to create cinematic scenes within each room that depict a different history of American fashion. (On May 2, 2022, a second Met gala will take place to celebrate the opening of An Anthology of Fashion.)

This two-part exhibition is one of the most ambitious that the Costume Institute has ever attempted to date. The exhibitions will explore the  question: Who gets to be an American? A red, white, and blue silk sash from the grand finale of Prabal Gurung’s 2020 10th-anniversary collection featured the phrase, and it will greet visitors from the entrance of the Anna Wintour Costume Center. It’s a question every immigrant considers—but wrapped in golden light at the onset of a fashion retrospective, it takes on a new spirit. “It was important to open with that,” says Andrew Bolton, in an interview with Vogue. “It tackles this notion of acceptance and belonging, which recent events have brought to the fore. Of course, these are questions that have always been present—but there are moments in history when they’re more resonant and resounding.”

Ensemble by Christopher John Rogers from his fall 2020 collection. Courtesy Christopher John Rogers. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo Credit: Christina Fragkou)

In America, the museum’s two-part exploration of all things Made in the U.S.A., is a yearlong celebration spanning three centuries of fashion. The first part, which includes pieces from such American iconic designers such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Calvin Klein alongside the current vanguard of millennial talent, such as Christopher John Rogers, opens to the public on September 18, with part two opening on May 5, 2022.

According to Vogue, In America, echoes the work Bolton has done expanding the Met’s archives to include more contributions from designers of color and marginalized groups—and though it serves as a retrospective, the show’s observations about national identity are rooted in current concerns. “It was almost impossible to do this show without looking at it through the lens of politics,” says Bolton. “There’s no art form that addresses the politics of identity more than fashion.”

Bolton credits 2020’s social ­justice movements as the prompt for him to reexamine the topic of terminology—​particularly when tackling such important issues—since, in the 20 years since the museum’s last overview of American fashion, discussions around style have changed. “American designers are at the forefront of conversations around diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, gender fluidity, and body positivity,” Bolton says in an interview with Vogue, “and the framework of the show enables us to focus on the younger designers who are engaging thoughtfully and deeply with those ideas.”

Cape by Andre Walker using Pendleton Woolen Mills, spring 2018 colection. Courtesy Andre Walker Studio. Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo Credit: Shoji Fujii)

During the height of the pandemic, when New York City was in complete lockdown, Bolton played with the idea of organizing the exhibition as a kind of high-tech house inspired by Witold Rybczynski’s Home: A Short History of an Idea—but wedging designers into categories in different rooms of the house. Bolton’s final inspiration, Reverend Jesse Jackson’s speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention. “America is not like a blanket, one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size,” he told the audience at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. “America is more like a quilt: many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread.”

“The act of making a quilt celebrates the notion of community that is so strong in America,” says Bolton, who adds that quilts also connect ideas about family and about repurposing and recycling. “Each square is a different designer, who represents a specific quality of American fashion.”

“Traditionally American fashion has been described in terms of the American tenets of simplicity, practicality, and functionality. Fashion’s more emotional qualities have tended to be reserved for more European fashion,” Bolton says. “In part one we’ll be reconsidering this perception by reestablishing a modern lexicon of fashion based on the emotional qualities of dress.” The many rooms in this part of the exhibit will be titled to reflect the personal and emotional relationship we have to fashion: “Well-Being for the kitchen galleries, Aspiration for the office, and Trust, the living room, for example.”

Bolton is writing a new history of American fashion that focuses less on sportswear and Seventh Avenue dressmakers, and instead presenting American designers as creators, innovators, and artists. “Taken together these qualities will compromise a modern vocabulary of American fashion that prioritizes values, emotions, and sentiments over the sportswear principles of realism, rationalism, and pragmatism,” he says.

The exhibit will feature approximately 100 pieces from about 80 labels, and designers and will range from delightful 1994 Anna Sui dresses to Christian Francis Roth’s 1990 “Rothola” dress. Obviously, the show will feature a number of quilted and handcraft looks, case in point, Hollywood costumer turned designer Adrian’s 1947 dress which references the floral designs found on traditional hand-sewn American quilts. Other noteworthy patchwork pieces include a custom piece from Emily Adams Bode made from a vintage quilt. Sweet floral looks are also part of the exhibit with looks ranging from Adolfo’s silk evening­wear from the early ’70s, to Marc Jacobs’s spring 2020 botanical theme collection.

Florals might be subversively romantic. Two good examples on the Nice Corridor Balcony at left, Adolfo 1973, proper, Marc Jacobs, spring 2020. (Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Part two of the exhibition, An Anthology of Fashion, will be shown in the museum’s period rooms. Themes such as 2004’s Dangerous Liaisons: Fashion and Furniture in the 18th Century will be shown in the French period rooms. And, 2006’s AngloMania: Tradition and Transgression in British Fashion will be set in the English period rooms. “In its conceptualization, part two actually preceded part one and actually inspired and informed it. For many years now we’ve been examining our collection to uncover hidden or untold stories with a view to complicating or problematizing monolithic interpretations of fashion. Our intention for part two is to bring these stories together in an anthology that challenges perceived histories and offers alternative readings of American fashion,” Bolton explains.

By engaging American film directors to create cinematic scenes within each room, Bolton and the museum’s curatorial team will illustrate a different history of American fashion, such as pieces from the midcentury couturier Ann Lowe and the work of African American designer Stephen Burrows. “Key themes will include the emergence of an identifiable American style and the rise of the named designer with an individual aesthetic vision,” says Bolton.  The exhibit will run through September 5, 2022 and is made possible by Instagram and with support from Condé Nast.

Anna Wintour and Andrew Bolton in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“For me, this past year confirmed what I’ve been thinking already—that American fashion is undergoing another renaissance,” Bolton says. As a fashion industry veteran, I thrilled to have the opportunity to witness fashion’s rebirth at the Met later this month.

SOME OF OUR FAVORITE MET GALA CELEBRITY LOOKS

Cher in Bob Mackie in 1974. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Bianca Jagger and Mick Jagger in 1974. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Iman in Calvin Klein, with the designer in 1981. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Naomi Campbell in Versace 1990. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana in Dior in 1995. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Donatella Versace in her own design, with Gianni Versace in 1996. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Demi Moore in Donna Karan with the designer in 2000. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Sarah Jessica Parker in Alexander McQueen with the late designer in 2006. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs in 2009. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Rihanna in Guo Pei Couture in 2015. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Beyoncé in Givenchy in 2015. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kylie Jenner Balmain in 2016. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Zendaya in Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda in 2017. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell in 2019. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

So tell us, which celebrities would you like to see on the red carpet?

 

 

 

 

Y2K FASHION COMES ROARING BACK

- - Trends

The 2002 film Hot Chick served up plenty of Y2K fashion inspiration. (Photo Credit: Unpublishedzine)

Stephen King, the famed American author of horror novels, once stated that “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” And this quote couldn’t be more true when it comes to fashion trends. Fashionistas all know that fashion is cyclical, and, that if you hold onto your favorite fashion piece long enough, it will eventually come back in style. For the most part, these fashion cycles can take decades to come full circle, but in less than 20 years, Y2K fashion has hit the mainstream and is quickly emerging as one of the biggest trends in 2021, thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Gen Zers can’t get enough. Videos tagged “#Y2KAesthetic” and “#Y2Kfashion” on TikTok have a collective 405 million views and counting.

Gen Zers, those born between 1997 and 2012, were just babies when Y2K fashion was popular the first time around, so they are fully embracing the midriff-baring, butt-skimming looks favored in the early 2000s. This period, in fashion, was known for excess and driven by pop culture and ultra-consumerism. Paris Hilton became the face of fashion and trends and “that’s hot” became her trademark catchphrase. Pop culture celebrities like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Cameron Diaz, Beyoncé, and Nicole Richie quickly became fashion trendsetters with their velour Juicy Couture tracksuits, bedazzled Ed Hardy t-shirts, super low-cut denim pants, low slung belts, cropped tops, and Von Dutch trucker hats. Celebrities had lots of fun with fashion. And isn’t a little fun what we all need right now?

Looks from Blumarine Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Blumarine)

Currently, fashion designers around the world are embracing the Y2K fashion trend. Blumarine’s creative director, Nicola Brognano, looked to the early aughts for inspiration. For resort 2022, Brognano debuted his ruffled minidresses, bedazzled belts, and low-slung denim. In an interview with Vogue, the creative director stated, “My Blumarine is more dirty, bitchy, sexier.” And now, the fad is gaining momentum and hitting the streets. Currently, stars like Rihanna, Dua Lipa, Bella Hadid, and others have been sporting their best Y2K looks and giving them a new, modern twist.

WHAT EXACTLY IS Y2K FASHION?

Pop sensation Destiny’s Child proudly wearing cropped tops and low-slung jeans in the early aughts. (Photo Credit: Pintrest)

Over the past few years, ‘90s minimalism was one of the biggest trends that social media influencers gravitated towards. But today, there is an upsurge in Y2K-inspired looks. Y2K fashion is all about making a statement, it’s the “look at me” mentality that contributed to the rise of reality TV stars. Officially, Y2K covers the early-to-mid 2000s and so for Millennials it captures the energy (and shopping habits) of their childhoods and early teens, while for Gen Zers it reminds them of happier and simpler times.

Paris Hilton wearing low-rise jeans in 2002. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The early aughts were undeniably defined by women who ruled pop culture in both music and film. Destiny’s Child, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Missy Elliot topped the music billboard charts. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie were socialite royalty and film characters such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and Regina George of Mean Girls became iconic fashion legends with their hot pink everything, bedazzled logos, teeny-tiny bags, denim on denim, and yes, their Juicy Couture.

While this over-the-top fashion movement is hitting the mainstream, today’s “It” girls and boys are styling these trends in a more modern way.

BIGGEST Y2K TRENDS

TRUCKER HAT

Celebrities loved their trucker hats in the early aughts. From top Left, clockwise: Justin Timberlake, Ashton Kutcher, Rihanna and Lindsay Lohan. (Photo Credit: Today News)

In the early aughts, everyone rocked a trucker hat. It was one of the most popular tacky-chic accessories of that era and one that has made the biggest comeback so far. A trucker hat is much like a baseball cap, except that it has a graphic front and a mesh back. Justin Timberlake helped launch the trend in 2003 when he wore a Von Dutch hat to a Grammy afterparty. Soon thereafter everyone was sporting the trucker hat, from Ashton Kutcher to Lindsay Lohan—especially the Von Dutch version, which was the “It” label of the time.

Rihanna in an Esso trucker hat in the spring of 2021. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Today, celebrities and fashion influencers ranging from Rihanna to Hailey Bieber have all been photographed wearing the beloved cap.

ED HARDY TEES

Britney Spears wearing Ed Hardy in the early aughts. (Photo Credit: Popsugar)

Fashion lovers were obsessed with Ed Hardy tees in the early 2000s. The overpriced tees with printed skulls and tigers, and bedazzled tattoo motifs, were spotted on just about every celebrity. On the fashion marketplace app, Depop, vintage styles are now going for upwards of $200. In fact Ed Hardy merch was in such demand that they even launched an offshoot streetwear line, called By Appointment Only. The idea that these tacky tees would make a comeback was pretty unthinkable until recently when Bella Hadid and Addison Rae both rocked the tops. Rae actually wore her pink Hardy tee as a dress with platform flip-flops for the full Y2K effect.

Bella Hadid in an Ed Hardy tee summer 2021. (Photo Credit: The Image Direct)

LOW-RISE JEANS

Keira Knightley wearing low-rise jeans on the red carpet in 2003. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

One of the sexiest Y2K looks making a splash at the moment is the tricky low-rise styles that were all the rage in the early 2000s. Every young girl rocked the style, even though the denim jean barely covered their butt-cracks). Fashionistas today are ditching their high-rise denim pants for these low-rise looks, which back then were red-carpet staples with celebrities such as Keira Knightly, Lindsay Lohan and Destiny’s Child.

Bella Hadid rocking low slung jeans in 2021. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

VELOUR TRACK SUITS

A few of Paris Hilton’s many Juicy Couture tracksuits. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie, screen queens of the early aughts, made the velour track suit the ‘must have’  Y2K fashion item. But not ‘any’ velour track suit would do, celebrities proudly wore their Juicy Couture track suits to everything from shopping sprees to lunch meetings. And of course, the Juicy Couture track suit came in a plethora of colors, as well as in bejeweled logo versions for a more maximalist aesthetic.

Kylie Jenner is bringing back the Juicy Couture tracksuit. (Photo Credit: CelebSecrets)

KITSCH ACCESSORIES

Another early aught trend was Butterfly Clips. Left to Right: Melissa Joan Hart, Sarah Michelle Geller, and Britney Spears. (Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan Magazine)

Fun and amusing accessories complimented any early aught look, so naturally these child-like nostalgic pieces can be found all over TikTok and Instagram now. Fashion designers, such as Roxanne Assoulin’s Fruit Stripe Enamel Bracelets, Gucci’s Logo Resin Hair Clip, and Ganni’s Scrunchie, have embraced the youthful trend.

Gigi Hadid rocking Y2K hair clips in 2021. (Photo Credit: Buro247)

Sure, these over-the-top statement looks may be a boring rehash for some of us who lived through them the first time around, but when done right and creatively updated these Y2K trends can be new and fresh. This trend will never be a fav of the minimalist, but for the maximalist at heart, a new Y2K fashion mash-up will definitely let the inner 2000s teen in you go wild!

So tell us, what is your favorite Y2K trend?

CELEBRITY FASHION BRANDS – THEN & NOW

Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow 1960, Revolve Team on New Collection. (Photo Credit: House of Harlow 1960 x Revolve)

For decades, citizens of the world have looked up to their favorite celebrities and tried to emulate their sartorial choices. With the rise of the internet and social media it has only amplified the public’s celebrity obsession. Celebs are not only praised for their talent as musicians and/or actors, but also as tastemakers, which, more often than not, involves finding the right stylist. These stylist/celeb collaborations even have the power to make or break a trend, as we learned in last week’s blog post about Clark Gable’s ditching of his undershirt in the movie It happened One Night that sent the men’s underwear industry into chaos. And so, it’s no surprise that many celebrities decided to add ‘designer’ to their resume by creating brands that reflect their (and their stylist’s) personal style.

But alas! Celebrity fashion branding is nothing new, in fact, it actually dates back to the 1800s when renowned opera singers and dancers helped set the trends. One of the first celebrity fashion lines was created by Jenny Lind, a Swedish opera singer, who in 1850, became a cultural phenomenon in the United States. As a result of positive reviews and off the chart ticket sales generated from her first American tour with P.T. Barnum, Lind began to produce a range of Jenny Lind-branded merchandise that consisted of gloves, shawls, bonnets, and other fashionable pieces. While no one could confirm if Lind had any actual design input on the products baring her name, it became apparent that celebrity idolization and branding were here to stay.

Pamphlet advertising Irene Castle Corticelli Fashions, 1925. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library)

With the introduction of cinema in the early 1920s, celebrity infatuation really began to soar. Ballroom dancer and silent film star Irene Castle, started the first true celebrity fashion brand circa 1917. Thie starlet was named the “Best-dressed Woman in America” at the time and was credited with designing her own collection in partnership with textile manufacturer, Corticelli Silks under the label, Irene Castle Corticelli Fashions. The high-end ready-to-wear collection was filled with glamorous gowns that Castle not only helped design, but also promote. Her role as designer/model/promoter helped create the rubric for celebrity driven brands of the future. Fun fact: Castle is also credited with popularizing the ‘bob’ haircut.

Earhart, putting finishing touches on a sleeve. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Amelia Earhart became a household name in 1934 as the first woman pilot to successfully complete a trans-Atlantic flight. Married to George Putnam, whose family ran the successful publishing firm, G.P. Putnam & Sons Inc., her husband helped pay for her flying by coordinating Earhart’s press tours and endorsements, including lending her name to a luggage collection under the Baltimore Luggage Company. The Amelia Earhart luggage collection was produced from 1933 up until the 1970s. In addition, Earhart lent her name to a clothing collection in 1934 that was launched in 30 major cities, consisting of affordable clothes for active women. While it is recorded that Earhart’s designs themselves did not stand out from others at the time, it is believed that hers was the first collection sold as separates, meaning, women were able to buy a differently sized top to accompany their skirts.

For decades, the concept of celebrity fashion lines only increased and prospered with brands by socialite Gloria Vanderbilt, tennis star René Lacoste, super-model Twiggy, and Charlie’s Angels actress Jaclyn Smith  who found success with her women’s fashion collection for Kmart. Countless others would follow list is dizzying.

By the 2000s, celebrity fashion exploded, mostly due to the effect of influencer marketing and the internet. An insatiable public just couldn’t get enough of what their fav celebs were wearing or promoting on the red carpet, on their social media channels, or on TV. In the early 2000s, you weren’t a big star unless you launched a fashion line.

Jennifer Lopez Center with her models all dressed in her brand Sweetface which launced in 2001 but shuttered in 2009. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Early adopters of the celebrity fashion brand craze were celebs with mega star power such as Jennifer Lopez, Eve, Beyoncé’s House of Deréon, Gwen Stefani, and Lindsay Lohan’s short-lived stint for Emanuel Ungaro, which was a total disaster. While many celebrity fashion lines have come and gone, there are a number of them that have stood the test of time.

Here are a few of the most successful celebrity lines:

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards. (Photo Credit: Angela Weiss/ Getty Images)

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been in the spotlight since they were babies. The twins made their acting debut as infants (they were only 9 months old when they began filming) on the television series Full House. By the time they were six, Mary-Kate and Ashley were starring together in TV, film, and video projects, which they continued throughout their teenage years. Thanks to their company Dualstar, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are ranked as two of the wealthiest women in the entertainment industry at a young age.

A Spring 2022 look from The Row. (Photo Credit: The Row)

As the Olsen twins became young adults, their effortless, cool-girl style began evolving and they became fashion icons. The Olsen’s quietly launched The Row in 2006, and insisted on not giving any interviews about the label for three years, as they wanted to be taken seriously as luxury designers and not be seen as a ‘celebrity brand’. The collection is filled with luxurious, chic, minimalistic pieces, all at a high-end designer price-point. The Row can be found at Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter, Saks Fifth Avenue, as well as in their own boutiques. By 2012, they won their first CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year award, strengthening their status in the American fashion scene.

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham channels a chic, minimalistic style. (Photo Credit: Karim Jaafar/AFP)

Who would have ever believed that pop star Victoria Beckham (of the British band Spice Girls) would turn out to be one of the most well-known fashion designers worldwide? Married to soccer star David Beckham, the singer-turned-designer was determined to shed her pop star image and be taken seriously as a luxury designer.

A Resort 2022 look from Victoria Beckham. (Photo Credit: Victoria Beckham)

Victoria Beckham launched her namesake label in 2008 with a low-key presentation but soon became a fixture at New York Fashion Week. Beckham’s collection is always filled with elegant and sophisticated ready-to-wear looks focusing on clothes that real women want to wear, all in luxurious fabrics. Beckham also offers lavish leather bags that are handmade in Italy as well as shoes and sunglasses. Her collection can be purchased on Net-A-Porter, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and a number of other high-end boutiques.

In 2011, Victoria Beckham launched a diffusion line, Victoria By Victoria Beckham. By 2014, she opened her first brick and mortar store on Dover Street and in 2017, designed an affordable Victoria Beckham range for the American retailer Target.

Beckham was awarded an OBE for her services to fashion and was honored by Prince William at an awards ceremony in Buckingham Palace. When she received her award from the Duke of Cambridge, she naturally wore her own creation.

Jessica Simpson

Jessica Simpson in her namesake label’s spring 2021 campaign. (Photo Credit: Jessica Simpson)

In terms of dollars and cents, one of the most successful fashion brands is The Jessica Simpson Collection. The singer and reality television star may not be as fashion forward and stylish as her counterparts, but her name and personality resonate with many consumers. Love her or hate her, Simpson is laughing her way to the bank.

Launched in 2006 as a shoe collection with business partner Vince Camuto,  Simpson rapidly expanded her brand to include clothing, sunglasses, handbags, accessories, and jewelry. Every year since 2010, the Jessica Simpson label has reportedly pulled in about $1 billion in annual sales and is the first clothing company owned by a celebrity ever to break this figure. The label now sells pieces in 30 different product categories in major department stores across America.

“I want to make every woman feel confident in what they’re wearing,” Simpson said in 2014, in an interview with Forbes. “I do feel like we’re very fashion-forward, but we also listen to the consumer.”

Fenty

Rihanna in center surrounded by her models for her 2020 Savage X Fenty show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Everything Rihanna touches turns to gold. Not only has the pop queen received 9 Grammy Awards, 8 Billboard Awards, and 13 American Music Awards throughout her career, but she also has a number of successful designer collaborations under her belt. In 2014, she collaborated with Puma. Her Fenty X Puma collection not only had cool sneakers with ribbon laces, but Rihanna also had several fashion shows with cool athletic-inspired pieces under the Puma label.

In 2017, Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, which helped to revolutionize the beauty industry. A year later she expanded her Fenty label to include a lingerie line Savage X Fenty and made waves as she presented her first size-inclusive lingerie collection. Her star-studded Savage X Fenty fashion show has become a must-watch pop culture event —even earning an Emmy nod.

“Before she was BadGalRiRi: music, fashion and beauty icon, Robyn Rihanna Fenty was a little girl in Barbados transfixed by her mother’s lipstick,” Fenty Beauty’s About page reads.

In 2019, Rihanna became the first black female designer at LVMH, the parent company of luxury design houses Dior, Givenchy, and Louis Vuitton. However, in February of 2021, LVMH announced that their partnership with Rihanna was put on hold.

 

Ivy Park

Beyoncé in her ADIDAS X IVY PARK collection. (Photo Credit: Ivy Park)

Pop diva Beyoncé is no stranger to the world of business ventures. Her first shot out of the box was the House of Deréon that she ran with her mom. In 2016 the singer launched an activewear line with Topshop. The popular activewear line labeled Ivy Park was a huge success. On November 14, 2018, Beyoncé and Parkwood Entertainment acquired total ownership of the Ivy Park brand away from co-founder Sir Phillip Green following allegations of sexual harassment and racial abuse.

The recording artist has been expanding her Ivy Park line and subsequently entered into a partnership with Adidas in 2019. In a statement released on the official Ivy Park website, Beyoncé stated, “This is the partnership of a lifetime for me… Adidas has had tremendous success in pushing creative boundaries. We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business. I look forward to re-launching and expanding Ivy Park on a truly global scale with a proven, dynamic leader.”

On January 17, 2020 the collaboration between Ivy Park and Adidas launched. In only six minutes the collection sold out on Adidas’s website. The line is available in select Adidas stores worldwide, as well as at Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Foot Locker, and Finish Line locations in the United States. The collaboration also plans to debut a children’s line soon.

So…it looks like celebrity brands are still the rage, even in a pandemic.

So tell us, who is your favorite celebrity fashion brand?

HOLLYWOOD’S INFLUENCE ON FASHION

- - Trends

The 1970s tragic film Love Story became a cult classic for its fashionable take on Ivy League preppy fashion. (Photo Credit: Classiq.me)

In last week’s blog, I talked about the music industry’s influence on fashion. So, this week I decided to explore the role the film industry plays in our industy. Let’s face it, films have always been a great escape for people around the globe. We can all get lost in the amazing characters, the scenery, the music, and, of course, the fashion. No matter what genre of movies you prefer, each cinematic experience can have an impact on our every day lives.

For decades, films have given us that “I must have it” fashion moment. Who can ever forget Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” (1990) as she radiates onscreen in her glamorous off-the-shoulder red gown created by Marilyn Vance. Shortly afterwards, every teenage girl wanted the knock-off version to wear to her prom.

The necklace scene from Pretty Woman. (Video courtesy of YouTube)

While not every film is able to create a trend, occasionally a movie or a particular character will come along and trigger a fashion trend or movement.

Since the early 1920s, when Hollywood first began producing films, society became obsessed with movie stars, especially their sartorial choices both on screen and off. In the early days of the film industry, costumes were chosen to recreate what people were sporting at the time. However, the ‘big 5′ film studios, RKO Radio Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon recognized the importance hiring fashion and costume designers to create their stars’ costumes. By the 1920s and 1930s, screen idols became public role models, largely due to the the right ‘package’: fashion, hairstyle and make up.

Today, movies and celebrities continue to influence fashion, some even becoming designers themselves. As every fashion designer knows, it is crucial to keep an eye on trends, especially in film. Think the movie Annie Hall and the Boho look, for example. What celebrities wear, both on and off screen, can either increase sales of a specific item or destroy an entire market. Case in point, in the film It Happened One Night, Clark Gable was seen without an undershirt and as a result, sales of undershirts plunged almost overnight.

Clark Gable in It Happened One Night. (Photo Credit: Immortalephemera.com)

Between 1928 and 1941, Hollywood costume designers played a critical role in shaping fashion trends. Gilbert Adrian (1903–1959) headed the costume department at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM Studios). Adrian was responsible for creating the signature styles of many of MGM Studio’s top actresses, and somewhat unknowingly, launched a variety of fashion crazes. Adriene was responsible for the popularity of gingham after he dressed Judy Garland in the pattern for the film The Wizard of Oz in 1939.

Another prominent Hollywood designer was Hubert de Givenchy (1927–2018), a favorite of influential actress Audrey Hepburn. He dressed her in such movies as Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Sabrina (1954), and Funny Face (1957). Chanel may have been credited as the originator of the Little Black Dress (LBD), but it was Givenchy and Hepburn who reinvented it in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The LBD continues to be an essential part of every woman’s wardrobe in every price point from couture to mass market.

The iconic black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening of the 1961 romantic comedy film Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Photo Credit: PurpleClover.com

In the 1930s, movie stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich pioneered the wearing of trousers, at a time when women were expected to express their womanliness by wearing dresses and skirts. These Hollywood legends proved to society that women could be just as sexy and feminine in pants as they were in dresses and skirts.

Katharine Hepburn was one of the first actresses to frequently wear pants. (Photo Credit: The Life Picture Collection/Getty images)

Here are some additional cinematic masterpieces that have influenced our fashion choices through the years.

And God Created Woman (1957)

Brigitte Bardot wowed in a bikini- from And God Created Woman. (Photo Credit: capitalpictures.com)

In the French romantic drama,  And God Created Woman, Brigitte Bardot made every woman run out and buy a bikini.

Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

James Dean, with fellow actor Sal Mineo, in a scene from Rebel Without a Cause. (Photo Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Thanks to James Dean’s character Jim Stark, in Rebel Without A Cause, it became oh-so-cool to become a high school rebel, as teens across the United States began to wear leather jackets over white t-shirts and jeans.

The Seven-Year Itch (1955)

Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell in The Seven Year Itch. (Photo Credit: Rex Features)

Marilyn Monroe, one of the sexiest and most popular Hollywood platinum blonde starlets, made this white dress famous. In the film, The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn stands over a subway grate and as her dress billows up, she seductively tries to hold it down. The dress launched a thousand variations and became one of the most iconic images of Marilyn Monroe.

Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

Audrey Hepburns in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. (Photo Credit: Classiq.me)

Breakfast At Tiffany’s, another iconic classic, stars the ever-fashionable Audrey Hepburn. Almost every sartorial aspect of Audrey Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, guided by the sharp eyes of fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy and legendary costume designer Edith Head, launched a trend. Case in point: Hepburn’s blonde streaked hair, the oversized white men’s shirt, her effortless denim and sweater look, the way she paired her oversized sunglasses and trench coat, and let’s not forget the little black dress – all looks that women across the globe still embrace today.

Annie Hall (1977)

Diane Keaton and Woody Allen in Annie Hall. (Photo Credit: Sportsphoto Ltd Allstar)

The sartorial choices in the film Annie Hall broke down the barriers between feminine and masculine dressing. Believe it or not, main character Diane Keaton wore all her own clothes for the iconic Woody Allen flick. Her wardrobe consisted largely of men’s clothing, such as slacks, suspenders, vests, ties and business shirts – a fashion phenomenon which is still being imitated today.

Flashdance (1983)

Jennifer Beals cut up her sweater in Flashdance. (Photo Credit: Paramount)

Jennifer Beals danced her way into everyone’s heart in Flashdance, resulting in every teenage girl reaching for their scissors to cut up their sweatshirts to achieve her look.

Pretty In Pink (1986)

Andi’s new wave style in Pretty In Pink. (Photo Credit: Collegefashion.net)

Molly Ringwald was the eighties teen queen whose effortless style, both on and off the screen, inspired a generation of American girls. As the character Andie Walsh in Pretty In Pink, her flair for changing thrift store clothes into cool fashion helped launch the DIY movement.

Clueless (1995)

The plaid suits in the cult favorite film Clueless. (Photo Credit: Popsugar.com)

Cher (played by Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (played by Stacey Dash) rocked schoolgirl looks in the film Clueless. They were so trendy then, and are still making headlines today. This nineties cult classic brought us crop tops layered over floaty shirts, flirty plaid skirts, and over-the-knee socks. All looks that trendy teens are still wearing today.

The Matrix (1999)

The fashion forward looks in The Matrix. (Photo Credit: Warner Brothers)

The sci-fi thriller The Matrix was a real trendsetter. Keaanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne’s black nylon trench coats, tactical belts, and tiny sunglasses are still the inspiration behind many designer collections.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Prada and Brooks Brothers create the fashion in The Great Gatsby. (Photo Credit: Warner Brothers)

Director Baz Luhrmann brought the classic novel The Great Gatsby to life. Luhrmann enlisted Miuccia Prada to collaborate with costume designer Catherine Martin on a whopping 40 costumes. While Prada insisted “it was not about glamour for me”, her designs epitomize opulence. The 1920s fashion was decadent and whimsical and just like that, woman were opting for art deco-inspired dresses and men began wearing dapper suits again.

So tell us, do you know of other films that started a trend?

 

 

 

 

A TIMELINE OF MUSIC’S INFLUENCE OVER FASHION

- - Fashion History

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performing at the Hella Mega Tour. (Photo Credit: AP)

It’s almost impossible to envision a world where music and fashion do not go hand in hand. Music affects our lives greatly and speaks volumes to the times we are living in. On August 4th, I attended my first concert post-pandemic, and it was one of the most exhilarating and liberating experiences that I’ve had in years. My teenage daughter and I went to see Green Day and Weezer at the “Hella Mega Tour”, sadly Fall Out Boy had to cancel due to one of its members testing positive for Covid. As soon as I walked into the stadium, I noticed that the punk movement is alive and well in NYC and Green Day fans at every age were rocking their leather jackets, colorful hair, corsets and plaid. It was thrilling to see all these teens and adults rocking out and having the best time. So naturally, it inspired this post on how music influences fashion.

The influence music has on fashion has been evident throughout history. Music, much like fashion, has always been used as a way of self-expression and both are also emotional and obtainable forms of art that the masses can enjoy and partake in. Fashion, like music, is one of the clearest signs of the times, and it says more about our culture than we give it credit for. We can easily distinguish the difference between the bell-bottom jean’s hippies wore in 1969 versus the skin-tight denim worn by emo teens in 2005.

Sean Diddy Combs, the Hip-Hop Legend and fashion designer was featured in an Vogue editorial with Kate Moss in the October, 1999 issue of Vogue Magazine. (Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz)

The reason why fashion and music became so intricately linked is because music became a method of demonstrating individuality, political beliefs, and ideas rather than just homogenized entertainment. The way music influenced fashion (and vice versa) can be witnessed in almost every decade of last century. The following decades demonstrated how music trends truly affected fashion.

1920’s FLAPPERS

Benny Krueger’s band plays at Brooklyn’s Brighton Beach as a flapper girl dances on the piano. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In today’s day and age jazz music may seem squeaky clean and innocent, but it was extremely scandalous during its early years because it was the first form of music that was played almost exclusively at nightclubs and speakeasies that hosted people of all races. Jazz music also tended to have strong feminist undertones, which changed the way women behaved and dressed.

A flapper in London models an evening frock of lilac tulle with a beaded tunic in 1922. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Many women who were fans of jazz music dressed in flapper fashion. These feminists broke out of the traditional roles that society had placed on them and opted instead for short dresses, no bras, and loose clothing that gave them movement and freedom to dance the night away.

1950’s TEEN POP

Rock musician Elvis Presley enthralled teens and scandalized adults with his suggestive lyrics and dance moves. (Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite the impact the Roaring Twenties had on flapper fashion, most fashion houses ignored teens and only catered to adult tastes. Thankfully, this all changed in the 1950s, with advent of  television and movies, and of course, as music became more widely available to the public. With the rising visibility of movie stars and rock and roll artists, such as Elvis Presley, a new demand began to arise. Teenagers craved clothes that bore a resemblance to the fashion that their favorite idols wore. The teen market grew to the point that designers no longer could ignore it, and so, the teen fashion industry was born.

1960’s MODS

Photographed in London in February of 1964, just days before their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show which would set off a global wave of Beatlemania. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The ‘60s were a swinging time in London as a more modern version of jazz began to evolve and the “modernists” movement was born. This ‘60s subculture also embraced the musical styles of ska, R&B, and soul.

The “modernists” embraced the bohemian lifestyle of the ‘50s Beatnik generation, so it came as no surprise that many chose to mimic that look as part of their lifestyle. Eventually, this extremely fashion-conscious clique of clubkids became known as Mods.

Models in Mod British designer Mary Quant looks as the designer launches her footwear collection in 1967. (Photo Credit: Instagram Dress Historians)

By the middle of the ‘60s, the Mod subculture’s brand of beatnik-meets-modern fashion became one of the biggest trends in high fashion history. Even today, both the music and the stylistic aesthetic of Mod fashion continues to be a joyful and youthful source of inspiration for top designers.

1960’s HIPPIES

Singer Janis Joplin embodied psychedelic in an entirely tie-dyed outfit. (Photo Credit: Pintrest)

While London teens embraced the Mod movement, teens in America had a very different fashion revolution. During the Sixties, many American teenage boys were being drafted to fight during the Vietnam War, and as a result, musicians began to write music that reflected those anti-establishment times.

Flared jeans and fringe, iconic hippies trends. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

During this period, many musicians and fans began to experiment with psychedelic drugs like LSD and peyote. As a result, both music and fashion turned trippy, in the form of tie-dye motifs, bold floral prints, crafty accessories, crochet, fringe, and bell bottom jeans among the biggest trends of the time.

1970’s PUNK

SEX PISTOLS; Group photo on the set of the Pretty Vacant video shoot L-R Sid Vicious, Paul Cook, Johnny Rotten (John Lydon) and Steve Jones (Photo Credit: Virginia Turbett/Redferns)

Much like Mods, many early punks also enjoyed the musical genre of ska, reggae, and soul. However, this music Punk scene quickly became known for aggressive rock music with just very light ska elements tossed into the mix.

The punk movement quickly evolved to become a social one. Due to punk music’s deep focus on individuality and freedom, many people joined the punk scene as a way to raise their middle finger to the establishment. So their sartorial choices were always been geared towards hand made items like leather jackets, brightly colored hair, piercings and anything that looked different from typical mainstream.

Punks sitting on the floor of London’s Roxy club in Covent Garden, one of the key venues in 1976. (Photo Credit: Derek Ridgers)

In the early seventies, Vivienne Westwood, along with then partner Malcolm McLaren, orchestrated the stylistic revolution of Punk. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Punk is generally considered to be the first real music subculture out there, with Glam Rock being a close second.

1970’s GLAM ROCK

Jan. 1, 1970 – DAVID BOWIE LIVE IN CONCERT IN 1970 (Credit Image: © UPPA/ZUMAPRESS.com)

As special effects during the Seventies were being used in television and films, and Star Wars became one of the first movies to involve so many of these effects, it made sense for musicians to sign on. The ‘70s were one of the first decades that truly embraced science fiction as it became a major focal point in pop culture.

Musicians such as David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and bands like Kiss, began to draw inspiration from sci-fi as they ramped up their showmanship by adding sci-fi “backstories” to their performances, resulting in the birth of Glam Rock.

Rocker Marc Bolan in London in the mid 70s. (Photo Credit: Alamy)

So, it should come as no surprise that many underground shops began to carry items that fit the Glam Rock aesthetic, although, many people loved the music but didn’t buy into the glam rock fashion movement. As a result, many consider glam rock to be one of the first actual pop subcultures out there.

1980’s GOTH

Members of the Goth Eighties band The Cure. (Photo Credit: Rolling Stones)

One of the most eminent spinoffs of glam rock was goth music. Originally, goth music started off as death rock, which is just about as dark and gloomy as one would expect it to be. Death rock progressed into synthpop, new wave, and several other similar genres.

Goth kids. (Photo Credit: Museum of Youth Culture Rebecca Lewis)

Most of these sullen music genres became tied to quite a few other habits, such as wearing all black, a love of  horror movies, pale make-up, dark burgundy lipstick, and just enjoying the darker side of life. Gothic fashion’s beginnings often mimicked the spookier elements with ‘witch-like’ fashion, much like many of Tim Burton’s characters.

1990’s GRUNGE

Seattle band Nirvana was one of the biggest influential grunge style of music. (Photo Credit: Rolling Stones)

In the nineties, a new sound was born out of teenage angst, known as Grunge music. These young, garage band musicians rebelled against their very commercialized way that life of living in suburbia, and the anger they had against the world. Artists like Kurt Cobain ended up venting it via music…and it resonated with a whole generation of teens.

Naomi Campbell and Kristen McMenamy in a Vogue editorial. (Photo Credit: Steven Meisel, Vogue, December 1992)

The gritty, unkept look of those style clothing quickly attracted those who liked the music’s edgy appeal. Marc Jacobs was an early adopter of this look. Today, the 90s grunge movement still remains a identifiable fashion trend.

1990’s HIP-HOP

TLC’s Tionne T-Boz Watkins, Lisa Left Eye Lopes, and Rozonda Chilli Thomas owned the 90s as the best selling American girl group of all time. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

By the late eighties and early nineties, hip-hop exploded and became one of the most popular forms of music. Hip-hop culture was born on the streets of urban neighborhoods like New York, Los Angeles, and Detroit, where rap battles, breakdancing, and turntablism became a way of life for teens.

Aaliyah’s famed ’90s Hilfiger ad. (Photo Credit: Tommy Hilfiger Archives)

It was just a matter of time that the influence of hip hop began to spread outside of urban areas and embraced by teens all across America. People began to emulate the fashion of rappers, and by the time that hip hop became mainstream, it became synonymous with a specific style of clothing. Some of the most popular hip hop trends were baggy pants with your underwear logo peaking through, Adidas tracksuits, oversized sports jerseys, bucket hats, bold colors, and plenty of gold chain necklaces.

2010’s EDM: ELECTRIC DANCE MUSIC

Marshmellow is one of the most famous EDM artists. (Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

During the nineties, the underground world of electronica boomed, as warehouses hosted Radical Audio-Visual Experiences, which would eventually be known as raves. These parties were about promoting Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect through heavy beats, turntable matches, and of course, heavy drug usage.

Ravers at an EDM Festival. (Photo Credit: IEDM.com)

This underground Electric Dance Music (EDM) movement never really left but in the early 2000’s the rave culture had a resurgence that morphed to include tiny bikinis, glowing wings, UFO pants, and of course, leg fuzzies,

2020’s GENDER-BENDING FASHION

Harry Styles-gender-bending fashionista

As we have now entered a new decade, the 2020s, pop music artists like Dua Lipa, Arianna Grande, Lil Nas and Harry Styles mix music with gender-bending fashion, So stay tuned…….

Pop culture influences music, and music influences fashion. So what type of music and fashion influences you?

 

 

The Future of Textiles – Digital Realm

Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon

Textiles are the most essential element in the making of garments. Whether they’re made of silk or cotton, wool or linen, poly or some other man-made fiber, the future of textiles is headed in the digital direction. The subject of this post will explore the digital realm of textiles and other materials and where they’re headed.

If you’ve been following our blog, then you will remember that I first covered this topic in a September 2020 post entitled,  TECHNOLOGY: Big News in 3D Design & Fabrics. And, recently, at the July 2021 PI Apparel conference (Product Innovators), I am happy to report that the world of digital textiles is still on the move!

Just how important are digital materials?

Image credit: PI Apparel

PI Apparel is a membership community for apparel and footwear professionals. Their July 15, 2021 Spotlight session, focused on Digitalizing Materials, and was the most attended Spotlight to date. Panelists for the session included representatives from Browzwear, CLO, Optitex, Vizoo, Substance by Adobe, Seddi, swatchbook, Studio Lupas and Tong Hong Tannery. Brands such as Nike, Ralph Lauren, Old Navy, Perry Ellis, New Balance and Target, as well as research organizations, such as AMFI (Amsterdam University of Apparel Science) were also represented.

Image credit: PI Apparel

The fact, that Browzwear, CLO and Optitex were together in a session on How & Why to Make the Most of Existing Digital Libraries, shows a willingness to work with competitors to foster the goal of using 3D, at scale, to accurately represent materials virtually.

The two aspects of both visual and physical must be combined in a way for the virtual material to reflect the physical material. For suppliers who are providing virtual materials, they are now able to compare the physical material by draping a particular textile over a ball in a controlled lightbox with the virtual material modeled in the same lighting conditions so that it can compare to the quality of the visual model. The physical aspects need the raw data for stretching, bending and other physical properties of the material to model the proper soft physics. This technique helps the designer get a feeling for how a textile will drape, bend and react to a particular design when using 3D design software.

Goals Versus Scanning

Image credit: Susan Wilkinson

One of the issues with scanning materials is the level of detail that is needed for each requirement. As part of  Web 3D Nov 2020 Conference Workshop #3, these challenges were discussed between me (co-owner of Gneiss Concept) and Dejan Zvekic – CPO of Geng Geng (3D Expert of Material Exchange). Scan requirements can vary from good-enough-for-artists to use, as a base for their designs – to accurate, very time-consuming scans that are obtained in multiple file formats.

The type of information stored from the scans can include textures, e.g., color (base or diffuse), roughness, metalness, transparency, specular, normal, and displacement. Scanners or scanning software will define these terms per their device. So far, inroads have been made in digitizing materials, but there are still some materials that present challenges.

Note that there are many materials that remain difficult to scan as stated below:

Image credit: Material Exchange

Another challenge is that material properties also need to be stored for proper modeling in 3D digital software. Sharing data in the commercial environment requires common attributes such as: name, price, country of origin, description, lead times, minimum order quantity (MOQ), perhaps collection/season, and color family. Each material type will then have its specific attributes. In addition, certifications for the materials, such as a Restricted Substances list, Zero Discharge Harmful Chemicals and other data may be required.

Permission granted by Material Exchange.

Digital Realm – An interview with Jason Eric Brown

Image credit: Tong Hong Tannery

In an interview with Jason Eric Brown of Tong Hong Tannery, a self-described CMF (color, material, finish) nerd, he described material scanning and what is required. Since the apparel and footwear industries would like their suppliers to generate digital materials, my interview with Jason shed light on the process of material scanning and digital materials, which was helpful in understanding the scope of work. I learned that Tong Hong Tannery uses Vizoo scanners and X-Rite Tac7 scanners, Substance by Adobe and swatchbook.

According to Jason, one of the challenges of having a large database of materials is searching for a specific material in the library. For example, if you want a 28-gauge cotton material of a certain color, how do you to set up the database so that it is easy to find?

In his opinion, the Vizoo and X-Rite Tac7 scanners both have their purposes depending on your goals and the materials themselves. The Vizoo is a quick scanner but not able to scan everything and the X-Rite Tac7 can handle more complex materials, but it can take a up to a day to scan. If one has a large collection of materials, one will need to use both types of scanners, depending on the material and the business needs.

Tong Hong Tannery starts with scanning the physical materials on a flatbed or roll printer (depending on material) to find the normal, height, and mask, while adjusting for the gloss of the material. It is important to start with a physical item. He uses Substance by Adobe to assemble the “packages”. The scans consist of layers – 1) textures 2) pigments and 3) processes. Jason finds scanning in black and white helpful to build the layers. This way, the color of the material can be added easier for different colorways and will not be impacted by the physical scanning.  These are also rendered using Octane Render or Modo software for the final product presentation.

As Jason’s materials are mostly used for footwear, he is focused more on the appearance of the material rather than having to include the soft physics. Garments are more dependent on the soft physics.

Future Skill Sets

Image credit: swatchbook

Understanding the creation of digital materials will be important in the future, since the new fashion industry mantra is Less Samples, Less Waste, Less time. For the CMF nerds among us, the future is here and becoming scalable. Stay tuned…

So, tell us, are you a CMF nerd?

IS RENTING CLOTHING REALLY BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

Renting a pair of denim pants. (Photo Credit: wabeno/iStock, cumhurkaplan/iStock)

After decades of scientists and environmentalists warning us of the affects of global warming, we are sadly starting to see the result of our inaction. In North America, the northwestern region is literally on fire as Oregon and parts of California are battling blazing flames that are contributed to record breaking heat waves and extreme drought. This past week devastating floods hit West Germany and over 150 people have died due to the rapid flooding. And in many countries, June hit record high temperatures, which is a great cause of concern as the arctic is slowly melting and sea levels are rising. So, as governments from around the world continue to try and find solutions, such as electric cars and recycling programs, we can all try to do our part.

The fashion industry is a big contributor to global warming A report by the World Economic Forum this year indicated that our industry generates 5 percent of global emissions. It has taken decades to convince its major industry players to look for ways to go greener by using sustainable materials. But the high cost of using these types of fabrics and limitations on how to scale production presented challenges. So, in 2009, Rent The Runway was born, a concept that seemed like the perfect answer for fashionistas who wanted to replenish their wardrobes daily but still wanted to be environmentally responsible. Soon, renting designer looks became the craze and rental platforms were popping up around the world. Brands got in the act too, by launching their own rental services. According to GlobalData, the clothing rental business is predicted to be worth nearly $3.2 billion by 2029, and is being hyped as a possible solution to fashion’s environmental crisis. Not so fast…

An image of Rent The Runway. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Rent the Runway)

Some in the industry believe that by renting clothes they were doing something positive for the environment; brands were creating less and therefore, less waste was being produced. But today, research has found that renting clothes could actually be worse for the environment. According to a scientific study recently released by Lahti University of Technology (LUT) in Finland, which was published in the scientific journal Environmental Research Letters and reported on in The Guardian, renting clothes produces higher greenhouse gas emissions generated by shipping items back and forth from consumers to warehouses. And let’s not forget about the constant dry cleaning of the clothing.  The study found that in terms of environmental impact, the fashion rental process could actually be worse than buying and throwing away new pieces of clothing.

According to the Finnish study, researchers analyzed the environmental impact of five different scenarios for textile “ownership” and “end-of-life,” including clothing rental, recycling, re-selling, or wearing items for more or less time before throwing them away. This was something that had not previously been considered.

The results were surprising. Renting clothes was found to have the highest climate impact (specifically higher greenhouse gas emissions). Researchers concluded that this could be even worse than throwing out clothes after one wear. These findings are especially shocking as many of these fashion rental services present themselves as an eco-conscious alternative to conventional shopping.

According to research, renting clothes was found to have higher climate impact compared to throwing them away. (Photo Credit: Angela Bailey/Unsplash)

Specifically, the study implies that the numerous round trips between renters and warehouses, and therefore the substantial amount of transportation involved, play a key role in driving up greenhouse gas emissions. Correspondingly, the excessive dry cleaning of these rented articles of clothing also have a significant impact on the environment.

Ultimately, fashion rental companies would have to transform their logistics to make their services eco-friendlier. If they can achieve this, then the environmental impact of renting apparel would be on par with clothing resale, although this does not appear to be the most eco-friendly option either, according to the findings in the Finnish study. However, rather than trying to solve fashion’s environmental crisis, renting should be recategorized. “We should think of renting like second-hand shopping,” said Dana Thomas, author of Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes. “It’s not something we do all the time, instead of buying our clothes and swapping out outfits nonstop, but on occasion, when the need arises, like proms or weddings.”

This new study also found many fashion rental brands misuse the phrase “circular economy” (the system of sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible), as a form of greenwashing. “No executive wants to overhaul their business, and that’s what ‘going green’ will require, not tweaks but an entire overhaul,” said Thomas. “They are too focused on short-term gains to invest in long-term benefits. Only regulation will solve that problem. No company, in any industry, will volunteer to take a loss for the sake of the planet. They’ll do so when it’s the law. The biggest obstacle is greed.”

The Recycling Logo. (Photo Credit: Elle Magazine)

In the end, the Finnish researchers concluded that the greatest solution is to purchase fewer articles of clothing and to wear them as much as possible before reselling or donating them. And. according to Dana Thomas, “You want to be sustainable? Buy less, buy better.”

So tell us, as an aspiring designer, how are you reducing your carbon footprint to become a more sustainable brand?

MEN’S FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022 – THE BIGGEST TRENDS FROM MILAN AND PARIS

A look from Walter Van Beirendonck’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Walter Van Beirendonck)

After a very tough year and a half, life is starting to get back to normal as more and more countries are distributing the various vaccines which have been proven to work. And so, the Euro Cup Championships had soccer enthusiasts in their stadiums (Italy one after a very tough game against England), Wimbledon had tennis fanatics in the stands, singers are performing live in stadiums packed with fans, Broadway shows are back on, and everything is starting to open-up at full capacity.

This is extremely exciting news for fashion insiders, as more and more shows can go live for the spring season. Milan and Paris just wrapped up the Men’s Spring 2022 collections, and there were plenty of in-real-life runway shows and presentations and let us not forget that with IRL shows comes great street style opportunities.

Riccardo Tisci finds himself at Burberry. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

The spring 2022 men’s collections were optimistic and joyful, the designers behind the labels demonstrated a renewed creative energy that was exciting to see. In Milan, designers approached the season with unrestrained enthusiasm fueled by dreams of happier days ahead. They struck the perfect balance between nostalgic and cutting edge. Designers in Paris also embraced a playful side in their collections, as they welcomed summer 2022 with lighthearted and cheeky collections. These joyful collections are the perfect way to re-enter the world post covid and bring some delight back into our lives.

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF MILAN

HOW TO WEAR A CARDIGAN

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood” and so Mr. Rogers sang in his beloved cardigan sweater. And the popular knit style is still going strong. For Spring 2022, the cardigan gains traction as they could be found all over the Milan runways, from Moschino’s varsity style to Missoni’s signature zig-zag motif. The cardigan is the perfect layering piece for all year round.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Bruno Cucinelli)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

TAILOR MADE

After a year and a half of working from home, the suit is making a major comeback this season. But forget the traditional business suit, for spring designers are offering the tailored classic in an array of bold colors to brighten your day.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo: Credit Etro)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

SHORT STORIES

Short shorts are not only for women, for spring designers offered heaps of micro shorts to show of those tone legs. There’s no limit to how short you can go.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Prada)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ermenegildo Zegna)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

BLUE JEAN BABY

Double up on your denim, as the Canadian tuxedo trend has hit the pinnacle of fashion.

A look from Brioni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brioni)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tod’s)

MAXIMIST REVIVAL

The Milan runways were filled with humor. Designers had fun mixing and matching prints and patterns in an array of colors. The outcome, delightfully fun collection that will be sure to lift our spirits post-pandemic.

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Giorgio Armani)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana.)

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF PARIS

SKIRTING THE ISSUE

Parisian designers are pushing the boundaries of gender norms by showing an abundance of men in skirts on the runway. These gender bending looks ranged from Kurt Cobain-inspired grunge vibes at Dries Van Noten to cool goth boy vibes at Yohji Yamamoto.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

RAIN ON ME

Rain, rain, go away…. Designers are fighting away the spring shower blues with these terrific raincoats. These practical outerwear looks are cool yet classic.

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dries Van Noten)

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior Men)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hermès)

A look from Undercover’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Undercover)

HOLY FASHION

Cut-it-out. Sexy, skin baring looks are a big trend in woman’s wear and now the creative cut-out pieces have hit the men’s runways in Paris.

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Y Project’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Y Project)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

IN-VEST

The vest is making a major comeback for spring 2022 and they are anything but traditional, from Rick Owens’ galactic version to Isabel Marant’s bohemian floral motif, these trendy vests are a great way to add a dramatic flair to any look.

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Isabel Marant)

A look from Acne Studio’s Spring 2022 Collection. (hoto Credit: Acne Studio)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

PRINTS CHARMING

Joie de vie filled the runways in Paris as designers opted for bold, head-to-toe printed ensembles.  From Louis Vuitton’s landscape motif suit to JW Anderson’s quirky strawberry leisure-look, these show-stopping outfits are the perfect way to re-enter the world post-pandemic.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Lanvin’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lanvin)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: JW Anderson)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

Did you know our menswear lessons will give you a solid foundation so that you can draft any of these looks?

GOING LIVE IN PARIS: HAUTE COUTURE FALL 2021 SHOWS

- - Fashion Shows

The grand finale of Chanel’s fall 2021 couture show, featuring the actress Margaret Qualley. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Exciting news for fashion insiders, most of the Haute Couture 2021 shows in Paris were IRL (in real life) this season, as runway events began on Monday, July 5th. Haute couture shows are where the most whimsical and fanciful looks are to be found. They are the experimental breeding ground for designers to try out new ideas and design concepts.

These one-of-a-kind custom looks are constructed mostly by hand from start to finish. Each piece is made from high-quality, expensive and often unique fabric and then sewn together with extreme attention to detail, and then finished by THE most experienced and capable of artisans—often using hand-executed techniques.

An haute couture garment is a garment created for an individual client, tailored specifically to that customer’s measurements and will compensate for any body challenges (for example, one shoulder higher than the other, a rounded back, etc.). Considering the amount of time, money and skill allocated to each completed creation, these one-of-a-kind garments have an out-of-sight price tag. If you need to ask the price, you are considered tres gauche.

Haute couture in France, is a protected name that may not be used except by firms that meet certain well-defined standards. Only a select handful of labels can join the French couture calendar and enjoy the privilege of being considered an haute couture house.

A model walks the runway during the Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall 2021. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

For the first time since the global pandemic began, brands were able to host their shows in real life. As a result there was plenty of excitement, beginning with Jean Paul Gaultier’s special collaboration with Chitose Abe, the Artistic Director of the Japanese brand Sacai. These type of designer collabs aren’t new and you can’t help wonder if they weren’t inspired by the music industry who have been engaging in this type of  ‘talent/co-marketing’ for years, such as Micheal Jackson + Paul McCartney, Nelly + Tim McGraw, Rihanna + Eminem and Lil NAS X + Billy Ray. It’s a great way to broaden the fan base.

Models appear on a balcony at Jean-Paul Gaultier’s fashion house after the presentation of his Haute Couture Fall 2021 collection. (Photo Credit: Lewis Joly for AP)

Another anticipated show of this couture season was the welcoming of Pyer Moss to the calendar. The brand’s creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond, is the first Black American fashion designer to be welcomed into the couture fold. Jean-Raymond was officially invited by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (sadly, the outdoor show was postponed due to the Hurricane Elsa), but the runway extravaganza took place on Saturday in Flatbush, Brooklyn. The show was a fabulous lesson in black invention, black joy and black revolution.

A look from Pyer Moss’ first couture show. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Fashionistas were also anxiously waiting the return of Balenciaga Couture under the helm of Demna Gvasalia. Gvasalia surprised his audience when he chose Ella Emhoff, 21-year-old daughter of U.S.’s Second Gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and budding Bushwick fashion designer and model, to walk his runway.

Ella Emhoff modeling for the fall 2021 Balenciaga Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Balenciaga)

Below, are some of the highlights of most anticipated collections from the haute couture fall 2021 season:

BALENCIAGA

Balenciaga’s Couture Fall 2021 show. Courtesy of Balenciaga on YouTube.

It has been 53 years since the house of Balenciaga presented an haute couture collection, so the anticipation was at an all-time high for followers of the fashion-forward label. Demna Gvasalia showcased his first couture collection at Cristóbal Balenciaga’s original couture salon, which today is fully restored to the original version. Aside from press and couture clients, Kanye West and Bella Hadid were seated in the much sought-after front row.

The collection was a balanced combination of men’s and women’s made-to-measure pieces, and paid tribute to Balenciaga’s respected couture history with a slew of direct references to the house’s founder, case-in-point, the initials ‘C.B.’ were hand-embroidered on silk ties, poplin shirts, and leather gloves. Another heritage look was included in the grand finale; a veiled bridal look which was inspired by one of Cristóbal Balenciaga’s creations, last shown 54 years ago.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER BY SACAI

Jean Paul Gaultier by Sacai’s Couture Fall 2021 Video. Courtesy of Fashion Feed on YouTube.

Right before COVID-19 brought the world to a halt, the elusive designer Jean Paul Gaultier announced that he would be collaborating with Chitose Abe of Sacai for his fall 2021 couture collection. This genius collaboration will be part of a new and exciting tactic where Jean Paul Gaultier will team-up with a different designer each season. The outcome was met with great success.

This was Chitose Abe’s first time working in the world of couture and she brought her unique and avant garde aesthetic into Gaultier’s archives, breathing new life into some of his most iconic looks. Case-in-point, a corseted trench coat-inspired dress.

FENDI

 

Fendi’s Couture Fall 2021 film. Courtesy of Fendi on YouTube.

Kim Jones’ second couture collection for Fendi was presented through a beautiful fashion film directed by Luca Guadagnino. The film starred supermodel Kate Moss and was a celebration of “the eternal beauty of Rome”. The designer described the collection as “a contemporary connection between eras, cultures and aesthetics“.

Connecting eras, a meeting of the old with the new, the past with the present. The eternal beauty of Rome and its composite history are the protagonists of this haute couture show,” Fendi said.” A collection where nothing is quite as it seems.

ALAIA

Azzedine Alaïa’s Couture Fall 2021 and 2022 Show. Courtesy of Bayoucool2 on YouTube.

For his debut collection for Alaïa, Pieter Mulier – who is known for being Raf Simons’ right-hand man for years – presented a hybrid of couture and ready-to-wear. The collection paid homage to the house’s namesake designer and his original creations, but with a modern twist, turning the houses signature staples into something new and exciting.

The homage to the founder was a roll out of the houses signature pieces including body-sculpting knitwear, multi-strap corset belts, and hooded silhouettes. Mulier also transformed Alaïa staples like the white poplin shirt paired with his showstopping corsets, into his own translation of flowing tops cut away to reveal a triangle of solar plexus and were paired with bubble-hem maxi skirts or pleated minis.

Nine of the looks — including the cutaway tops — were couture, while most of the collection was ready to wear. Although Mulier presented during couture fashion week, the newly minted creative director prefers the two collections co-exist side by side as women might wear it, “without rules or boundaries“.

SCHIAPARELLI

Schiaparelli’s Couture fall 2021 show. Courtesy of FF Channel on YouTube.

For two years, I’ve been saying that I didn’t care about nostalgia,” creative director Daniel Roseberry said ahead of the reveal of Schiaparelli’s new couture collection in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “This season, though, it’s where it all started. I found myself wondering, again and again: What if you combined a little Manet; a little Lacroix; a little 1980s; a little 1880s; a little matador; a little space alien; a little Ingres; a little shimmer; a lot of colour? Could I do it? And what would it look like? The answer is this, my fourth couture collection, ‘The Matador’.”

With his haute couture collection – which was presented in a video and lookbook format– Roseberry wanted to pay tribute to the house’s founder, and to celebrate the history, the beauty and the joy of fashion.

The young American couturier for Schiaparelli is the first American designer to hold the helm at a French couture house and is known for creating Surrealist fashion for the modern era.

Here’s what I want: No more cookie-cutter fashion,” he added in his show notes. “No more pieces that look like they could have been made by anyone. No more cynicism. No more irony. No more timidity. No more coolness. Give me more beauty, more earnestness, more romance, more effort. I hope this collection reminds everyone who encounters it of the sheer delight that fashion can bring us in hard times, and with it, the promise of more joy when the clouds part. Give me more fashion. Give me more hope.”

So tell us, what was your favorite couture collection?

ICONIC FASHION DESIGNERS ON THE SILVER SCREEN

An image from the film Saint Laurent. (Photo Courtesy of Mandarin Films/ EuropaCorp)

Let’s face it, it’s been a tough year and a half, between the global pandemic, and all the political and social unjust in the world today, we can all use a break from reality and escape into the magical world of film. So here at UoF, we compiled a list of some of our favorite films based on, you guessed it, fashion designers.  Whether it’s a biopic on Yves Saint Laurent’s life, Gabrielle Chanel’s first steps into the fashion, or a brush up on some fashion history with documentaries covering the glamorous life of Valentino, the rebellious escapades of Vivienne Westwood, or the agony and the ecstasy of Alexander McQueen, one thing is for sure, we LOVE to peer into the secret lives of fashion designers. Just check out the 82% Rotten Tomatoes audience score that the latest Halston biopic series on Netflix got and the 88% score that the 2019 Halston documentary received.

Whether it’s a documentary or a scrumptious little slice of fiction, these films transport us to another world with eccentric stories and extravagant anecdotes that make up the theatrical, glittering and whimsical world of fashion.

START THE POPCORN

Without further ado, here are a few of our favorite films and documentaries based on some of the most innovative designers. I guess you can all them the University of Fashion Oscars!

SAINT LAURENT (2014)

Saint Laurent official trailer. (Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Saint Laurent is a 2014 French biographical drama film about Yves Saint Laurent. The film was co-written and directed by Bertrand Bonello;  the film stars Gaspard Ulliel as Yves Saint Laurent, Jérémie Renier as Pierre Bergé, and Louis Garrel as Jacques de Bascher. The film centers on Yves Saint Laurent’s life from 1967 to 1976, which was the peak of his career, as he becomes one of the most iconic designers in the history of fashion.

The film examines the mythical and sometime scandalous life of the late Yves Saint Laurent. The director transports the audience into the 1970s, to a time where the designer was known for sporting both innovative and elegant outfits. In a divine journey into Yves Saint Laurent’s mind, the director examines this era, filled with folly and changing tides. Gaspard Ulliel offers an intense portrayal of the designer, who dives into a world of drugs and partying to silence his inner demons and his chronic, acute depression.

Saint Laurent was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated.  In January 2015, Saint Laurent received ten César Award nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. It also received five nominations at the 20th Lumières Awards, winning Best Actor for Gaspard Ulliel.

COCO BEFORE CHANEL (2009)

A preview of Coco Before Chanel. (Courtesy of YouTubeMovies)

Coco Before Chanel is a biographical film based on the start of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s extraordinary career.  The French film was directed by Anne Fontaine and stars Audrey Tautou as she plays a young Coco Chanel. The story of Coco Chanel’s journey from obscure, headstrong orphan to the legendary couturier who represented the modern woman and became an eternal symbol of success, freedom and style.

The French director decided to focus on the designer before her time of glory, to better understand the woman behind the fashion icon, and portrays a wounded woman, bruised by her neglected childhood and her tragic love stories.

By day, young Coco works as a seamstress, but at night, she performs as a cabaret entertainer.  Coco then meets a wealthy heir (Benoît Poelvoorde) and becomes not only his lover, but also his fashion consultant. Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel throws herself as passionately into her work as she does into her love life. Audrey Tautou gracefully embodies this great Mademoiselle who liberated women with her sleek, straightforward clothes. Tired of the flowery hats, tight corsets and yards of lace that define women’s fashion, Coco infused her lover’s clothing as a starting point to refine an elegant and sophisticated line of women’s clothing that propels her to the top of Parisian haute couture.

DIOR AND I (2014)

Dior And I official trailer. (Courtesy of Madman Films)

Dior and I (French: Dior et moi) is a 2014 French documentary film written and directed by Frédéric Tcheng. The film captures the artistic genius of designer Raf Simons as he creates his first haute couture collection as the new artistic director of Christian Dior.

The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 17, 2014. The film focused upon Simons’ debut season at Dior and includes non-speaking cameo appearances by Marion Cotillard, Isabelle Huppert, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sharon Stone. The documentary received positive reviews by critics.

Dior and I brings the audience inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection -a true labor of love created by a loyal group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled elements of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic house’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.

VALENTINO: THE LAST EMPEROR (2008)

Valentino: The Last Emperor official trailer. (Courtesy of YouTube)

Valentino: The Last Emperor is a documentary film about the life of famed Italian fashion designer Valentino Garavani, the designer and founder of the legendary label Valentino. It was produced and directed by Matt Tyrnauer, Special Correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. The picture documents the dramatic final act of Valentino’s career, tells the story of his life, and delves into the heart of the fashion industry. The documentary also delves into the loving relationship between Valentino and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.

Valentino Garavani opened his first fashion house in 1959. In 2007, Valentino shocked the fashion world as he revealed his retirement plans and began preparing for his final fashion show. The documentary follows Valentino during the last two years of his time as a designer, as he gets ready to conclude his fashion career; as well as his worries about the intentions of the corporation buying his namesake label.

The filmmakers shot over 250 hours of footage with exclusive access to Valentino and his entourage. “We were let into the inner circle, but we had to stick it out for a long time, practically move in, to capture the truly great moments,” says Tyrnauer in an interview with Italian Living. “Valentino is surrounded by a tight-knit family of friends and employees, but, eventually, their guard came down and they forgot there was a camera crew in the room.”

“Valentino was one of the first designers to make himself the inspirational figure at the center of the story he was telling,” says Tyrnauer in an interview with Vanity Fair. “He is a born dreamer and the last true couturier, who let us in on his creative process and also let us in on the life he built around him to sustain this process,” adds Tyrnauer. “He lives as lavishly as his clients and set a standard for the industry. He shuts out all that is not beautiful, and we followed him around the world to capture that special world.”

WESTWOOD: PUNK. ICON. ACTIVIST. (2018)

Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist. official trailer. (Courtesy of Madman Films)

Vivienne Westwood has been disrupting British fashion for more than 40 years, using her fashion status fame as a platform for her political, social and environmental activism. In 2018, filmmaker Lorna Tucker releases a feature-length documentary about the designer, Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist. chronicling the incredible career of the designer.

Vivienne Westwood ignited the punk movement with ex-partner and Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren, and the iconic designer has been redefining British fashion since 1971. She is responsible for creating many of the most distinctive pieces of recent time. Blending archival footage and insightful interviews a portrait emerges of Vivienne’s fascinating network of collaborators, taking the audience on her journey — from a childhood in postwar Derbyshire to the runways of Paris and Milan.

Westwood: Punk. Icon. Activist. is the first film to embody the extraordinary story of one of the true icons of our time, as she fights to maintain her brand’s integrity, her principles – and her legacy. The documentary was screened at the Sundance film festival on January 20, 2018, in the World Cinema Documentary Competition.

MCQUEEN (2018)

A preview of the MCQUEEN trailer. Courtesy of YouTube.

McQueen is a 2018 biographical documentary film, directed by Ian Bonhôte, written and co-directed by Peter Ettedgui, and produced by Ian Bonhôte, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig, and Paul Van Carter under the banner of Misfits Entertainment, and Salon Pictures. The documentary looks into life and career of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

The life of Alexander McQueen is a rags-to-riches story, a modern-day fairy tale, laced with the gothic, tragic twist. The designer started his career in his teens before gaining notice as designer for Givenchy and launching his own label in 1992, which continues to this day under the creative direction of Sarah Jane Burton. Mirroring the savage beauty, boldness and exuberance of his creations, this documentary is an intimate exposé of McQueen’s own world, both tortured and inspired, which celebrates a radical and hypnotic brilliance of great influence. Sadly the brilliant designer took his life February 11, 2010

The film is a personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, McQueen is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary.

Let us know, which is your favorite film?

LEARN TO DRAFT CASCADING RUFFLES & LET YOUR CREATIVITY RUN WILD!

- - Draping

Draping a Cascade Ruffle Dress by Fiona Liu

Learning how to work with cascade ruffles opens up endless design possibilities that will let your imagination run wild. In this lesson, Fiona Liu demonstrates how to draft circular fabric pieces and then how to apply them onto a sheath dress foundation, which will be sure to inspire you. This design detail is great for creating dramatic eveningwear pieces that are quite easy to achieve.

Whether you choose to create your ruffles out of a crisp or stiff fabric like silk gazar, organdy, taffeta or voile, or you opt for soft cascading ruffles using a silk charmeuse, georgette, chiffon or crepe, you will have fun experimenting with this pattern making technique.

Image credit: Fiona Liu University of Fashion

Fiona has taught more than 13 lessons for the UoF that include pattern making, draping and zero-waste design. Here’s a sample of her many talents:

From UoF’s lesson Creative Draping—2D Draping

 

DRAWING CASCADE RUFFLES

AND…to learn how to draw cascade ruffles, be sure to view these lessons by our very own fashion illustrator extraordinaire, Roberto Calasanz.

From UoF’s lesson Drawing a Cascade Skirt Ruffle by Roberto Calasanz

From UoF’s lesson Drawing a Cascade Neck Ruffle by illustration by Roberto Calasanz

Send us pics of your cascade ruffles designs, we’d love to feature you on our social media platforms!

RESORT 2022 – THE JOY OF DRESSING CONTINUES

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Versace’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Versace)

As we celebrate Father’s Day and our newest U.S. federal holiday, Juneteenth (marking the end of slavery), and as the number of COVID cases continue to drop as vaccination numbers rise, we have a lot to look forward to post-pandemic.

After a year and a half of pandemic fashion, sales are soaring as people are starting to dress up again. What are they  gravitating to? The answer? Happy, colorful fashion. And judging by Resort 2022, the message is loud and clear.

Dior’s Cruise Show (Courtesy of YouTube).

Designers’ all got the memo and Resort 2022 collections were simply great. Just released images of the collections presented to buyers and the press included some fully staged spectacles in exotic locations that resulted in a desire to travel once again. Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her Dior Cruise collection in the birthplace of sports, the Panathenaic Stadium, where Ancient Greeks showed off their athletic capabilities circa 330 BC. Meanwhile, Virginie Viard took her graphic Chanel cruise collection to Provence, a beautiful region in the south of France, considered one of the area’s loveliest villages and the inspiration behind a few of Vincent van Gogh’s landscape masterpieces. Speaking of Van Gogh, have you reserved your tickets yet for the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit touring the country?

Chanel’s Cruise Show. Courtesy of YouTube.

WHAT IS A RESORT COLLECTION?

For those unfamiliar with resort collection or cruise collection, and sometimes referred to as holiday or travel collection (collection croisière, in French), is an inter-season or pre-season line of ready-to-wear clothing produced by a fashion house or fashion brand in addition to the recurrent twice-yearly seasonal collections – spring/summer and autumn (or fall)/winter – heralded at the fashion shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan.

Cruise collections were initially created for affluent customers or “more seasoned jet-setters” going on cruises or vacationing in the warm Mediterranean during the winter months,. Cruise collections are synonymous with light and airy summer clothing and shipped to stores in the middle of the cold winter months. While the idea of cruise wear sounds old fashion and elitist, today’s fashion savvy customers view the season as a chance to spruce up their winter wardrobes as they head into Spring.

A look from No. 21’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: No. 21)

Resort collections typically hit the stores in November, perfect timing for Holiday shopping; the season is an extra opportunity for brands to rack up some extra sales. Resort has become an incredibly important season for vendors, beyond the promise of clothes with mainstream appeal, Resort remains on sales floors longest without ever going on sale, approximately 6 months before hitting the sales rack, which makes it the most profitable season for most brands.

A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brandon Maxwell)

While the season is still in full swing, here are a few key trends of the season so far:

OUT OF CONTROL LOGOMANIA

Designer logos are everywhere this resort season from Gucci’s double G splattered all over suits, outerwear, and accessories, to a more subtle Versace Greek Key logo on dresses, tops and headscarves; one thing is for sure, you will definitely be noticed in these bold looks.

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

A look from Versace’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Versace)

 

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chanel)

A look from Balmain’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

MARCHING ORDERS

Legions of camouflage, utility pockets, and olive drab marched their way into the resort season, but this time with a chic and refined twist.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

 

A look from Balmain’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

 

A look from Norma Kamali’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Norma Kamali)

 

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)

 

A look from Tod’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tod’s)

YARN IT ALL

Miles beyond your basic knit sweater, Resort 2022 offers wonderfully tactile knit dresses that are as bold and beautiful as they are comfortable and effortless.

A look from Chloe’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chloe)

 

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gabriela Hearst)

 

A look from Missoni’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

WHITE NOISE

Designers wiped the slate clean with an all-white palette that offered plenty of visual intrigue in alluring textures such as lace, eyelet, and crochet details.

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

 

A look from Zimmermann’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Zimmermann)

 

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

 

A look from Ulla Johnson’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ulla Johnson)

SPORTS CENTER

Take to the sporty life with chic riffs on everything from bike shorts to track jackets.

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

 

A look from Hillier Bartley’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hillier Bartley)

 

A look from MM6 Maison Margiela’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MM6 Maison Margiela)

 

A look from MSGM’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

 

A look from Staud’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Staud)

POINT OF HUE

Designers softened their collections with pretty pastels that were a celebration of color, making the season a wonderful rhapsody in hue.

A look from Antonio Marras’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Antonio Marras)

 

A look from Emilio Pucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Emilio Pucci)

 

A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tory Burch)

 

A look from Preen by Thorton Bregazzi’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Preen By Thornton Bregazzi)

 

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta)

WELL SUITED

As the pandemic restrictions are lifted and a return to the office is in the near future, designers are offering plenty of pantsuits that are oh so chic yet effortlessly fabulous.

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit Gucci)

A look from Nehera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nehera)

 

A look from Khaite’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Khaite)

 

A look from St. John’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: St. John)

A look from Maria McManus’ Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Maria McManus)

MIX-N-MATCH

More is more. For resort 2022 designers are having fun mixing an array of prints and patterns, creating a visual feast for the eyes.

A look from Thom Browne’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thom Browne)

 

A look from Sandy Liang’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Sandy Liang)

 

A look from Anna Sui’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Anna Sui)

 

A look from Philosopy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

 

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

So tell us, what was your favorite trend for the Resort 2022 season?

MEET OUR NEWEST INSTRUCTOR: PABLO V. CAZARES

Pablo V. Cazares newest lesson for UoF

Pablo V. Cazares

As CEO of UoF, the best part of operating the world’s largest fashion education video library for me is meeting and recruiting our many talented instructors. With over 500 videos in 13 different disciplines and with 13 years in business under my belt, I have made a lot of new friends. The fact that these experts are so eager to share their passion makes them all-the-more special.

So, it’s with great pleasure that I introduce the newest addition to our family…Pablo V. Cazares.

Pablo is an apparel designer and visual artist based on the west coast. Splitting time between Portland Oregon and the American Southwest, Pablo has been constructing apparel and art pieces since childhood, following his dauntless curiosity wherever inspiration takes him.

With a background in fine art, he attended The Art Institute of Portland for apparel design. In his first month, one of his pieces was accepted to be shown on the runway at Portland Fashion Week.  He was the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry’s first costume intern, integrating dress-up clothes to augment and enhance children’s learning experiences. Pablo’s broad interests served him well in product development. As lead technical designer for the Boys and Unisex divisions at Hanna Andersson, he had the opportunity to tour factories abroad and delve into the manufacturing process. Inspired, he began pursuing small scale manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting. Technical illustration and the manufacturing process are a realm of play that is heavily explored in his conceptual work as well.An obsessive creator with atypical perspective, throughout his career he has also done art direction for independent films, thematic costuming, and works as a creative illustrator. He is always looking ahead to his next creative project and experimental design. Pablo’s objective in his work is to inspire a sense of wonder in the viewer. For the University of Fashion, Pablo will be creating lessons focused on CAD, illustration, technical design, hand-mending and experimental apparel repair techniques.

 

GETTING TO KNOW PABLO

With today’s launch of Pablo’s first lesson, Creating Custom Brushes in Illustrator, I sat down (virtually of course) to find out more about Pablo and his extraordinary background story.

Francesca: Can you tell me a bit about where you were brought up and how it continues to influence your creativity?

Pablo: I was born in agricultural central California (Salinas, near Monterey). My family has been in commercial agriculture all my life. I moved all over rural California and lived on nearly every type of farm, ranch, dairy, orchard you could think of. I would play in old, abandoned barns and rural junkyards, building forts and wearables and art from things forgotten or thrown away. I’ve been creating things for as long as I can remember.

Right now, I live out on some property in the middle of nowhere in Arizona, helping build what will be a future intentional community (a bit like Arcosanti). I am learning and building with concrete and stone and driving around tractors and gardening. I am definitely a farm boy at heart. I do that in the mornings, then the rest of the day I am in my big cave/office/studio where I draw and design all day. Quarterly, I go to Portland to work on art and film projects, everything from sci fi erotica films to pirate festival design. I drive there every time, visiting friends and ocean views and forests as often as I can along the way.

Francesca: What was behind your motivation to pursue fashion?
Pablo: When I lived in Portland full time and worked in technical design, getting to go to the factories in India and Peru was absolutely incredible. I love seeing the inner workings of things and understanding processes. Friends have told me I get a sort of electricity in my eyes when I have a new idea or am learning something I didn’t know before.

Examples of technical design work by Pablo Cazares for Hanna Andersson

One thing that going to the factories did is make me realize my love of engineering. I actually left Hanna Andersson, to pursue a mechanical engineering degree! I am convinced that my love of apparel combined with a knowledge of engineering could help streamline and create new sustainable processes in apparel manufacturing. But then COVID hit, so I put that on hold and have been re-focusing on my creative pursuits. There’s still time for engineering, and while I don’t have a date in mind, I do intend to go back to it in the next few years.

Experimental work – hand-forged and fiber wrapped primitive electrical circuit

Between my knowledge of agriculture, apparel product development, building construction techniques, and engineering, I have a decent idea of how our world is built. And I am absolutely convinced that we can build a better more sustainable world. I adore the potential of 3D printing and laser cutting, and I am always thinking of more sustainable ways to create new things. (Neri Oxman at the MIT Media Lab is my role model).

I especially have a passion for re-using and upcycling, I feel that repairing things is a virtue. Patching and darning and thrift shopping and hand-me-downs give garments a soul and honor the tremendous amount of design and sewing labor that goes into creating them.

Francesca: What do you like to do when you are not designing or helping build a future intentional community?

Examples of children’s illustration

Pablo: In my spare time I am always drawing or designing or building things. I am kind of a machine, haha. In this next month, I’ll be creating an installation art piece in this great big cave studio I work in. I am also creating a comic book (I find huge inspiration in Phillipe Druillet and Eyvind Earle). In the next couple years, I hope to get accepted into an artist residency somewhere. I love traveling and working on collaborative art pieces. I am always chasing the next project or inspiration, whatever lights that fire in my mind.

I’m delighted to be part of the University of Fashion community!

Learn more about Pablo and his work:

Website: PabloTheKatz.com

Instagram: unnavigableunmade

POST PANDEMIC DRESSING: TIME TO DITCH THE SWEATS AND GET DRESSED UP AGAIN

- - Trends

A spring 2021 look from Prada. (Photo Credit: Prada)

I don’t know about you, but has the past year and a half been mostly a blur? Or more accurately a time warp? You know, the phenomenon that changes the flow of time by speeding it up or making it run more slowly, that physicists have known about for over 100 years?

Well, thanks to the rollout of highly effective vaccines, things are finally starting to look up. As of the writing of this blog, 299 million vaccine doses have been given and 137 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated, that’s roughly 41.9% of our population. As vaccines are slowly being distributed around the world, we have new hope that, in time, this global pandemic will be behind us.

Take a walk-through New York City and you will notice that the streets are beginning to get packed again. Museums are opening (with advanced ticket purchases), customers are onsite shopping, restaurants and bars (both indoor and outdoor) are drawing crowds and people are cautiously stepping out of their cocoons.

As we make our way back into the world and begin to live our lives again, some of us are asking…”is there a new dress code”? Well, judging from fashion influencers, designers, and celebrity Instagram feeds, summer 2021’s biggest trend is “joy dressing!” This translates into happy, boisterous, colorful, over-the-top looks that are the antithesis of what we’ve been wearing for the past year and a half…sweats and pjs.

A spring 2021 look from Halpern. (Photo Credit: Halpern)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, a Washington, D.C clinical psychologist stated that we humans use clothing to mark significant events. Making it through a global pandemic is one of those events for sure. And as U.S. cities reopen, friends reunite and the world becomes a smidgen less terrifying, women are reaching for exuberant outfits. This year will represent rebirth, and our fashion choices will reflect that.

“We’ve spent the past year in sweatpants, consumed by uncertainty,” said Miami clinical psychologist Dr. Christina Ferrari to the Wall Street Journal. “You’re going to see a lot of people overcompensating for what they couldn’t wear” during lockdown.

According to Libby Page, senior fashion-market editor at luxury e-commerce platform Net-a-Porter, “During the pandemic’s darkest days, customers were buying a sea of very neutral tones and loungewear,” she said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. What she’s witnessing lately is the sale of spirited prints, swishy tiered skirts and jubilant ruffles, as well as very bright, bold, colorful dresses by brands like Zimmermann. Below is a video of Zimmerman’s spring 2021 show.

“With such unbridled style, women are responding to a traumatic year,” said Dr. Baumgartner. “When you face your mortality, it’s like you get a second chance. You’re able to take more risks.… You’re more willing to fully live.” Another factor: We’re craving human interaction. Dr. Baumgartner states, “Exciting fashion elates the wearer but also delights viewers. We see our joy reflected in their eyes, [which] reinforces our joy.”

JOYFUL FASHION HAS ALWAYS COME OUT OF HISTORIES DARKEST DAYS

A Life Magazine cover from the 1920s. (Photo Credit: Fashion History Timeline)

Historically, fashion has always progressed after a devastating, worldwide event. For example, the Roaring Twenties came after the destruction and despair of World War I. It was a decade of economic growth and prosperity with a unique cultural edge that swept major cities throughout the United States and Europe. During the decadence and opulence of the Roaring ‘20s, the ‘flapper’ look redefined the modern dress code for women. Fringe, beads, sequins, dropped waists, short dresses, uncovered shoulders, The Great Gatsby, the Charleston, all contributed to the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. It was a modern revolution that broke from tradition and was a sharp contrast to the conventional, fussy frills that woman once wore.

Christian Dior’s New Look 1947. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

Another great example of a fashion revolution came after World War II. Christian Dior, the rising star of the Parisian Haute Couture, introduced the “New Look” in 1947, featuring ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. Hour glass silhouettes, rounded shoulders, cinched waists, full skirts were all a sharp contrast after years of military looks, sartorial restrictions and life-essential shortages. Dior offered not merely a new look, but a new outlook.

POST-PANDEMIC FASHION

“People are reevaluating what they want to wear, maybe for the first time ever since they were kids,” states Fashion Psychology Institute founder Dr. Dawnn Karen, who also serves as a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Last March, Dr. Karen released a book, Dress Your Best Life. Referring to the pandemic, she writes, “They don’t have all these Draconian measures and rules to follow, except to wear a mask. People are thinking, ‘Okay, well, what do I want to wear, if I could wear anything I want?'”

Spring 2021 looks from Bottega Veneta. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Ms. Karen has established a theory what she calls ‘dresser-uppers’. These consumers search for ‘mood-enhancement dress’, that is to  say they dress to optimize a mood. Where dressing was once tied to overarching cultural norms (case in point, the exaggerated femininity of the New Look by Dior), we now dress for ‘mood-illustration’ and ‘mood-enhancement’ representing personal satisfaction — nothing more, nothing less.

With this in mind, and out of Covid’s post-traumatic stress effect, we are seeing a rise in individualized sartorial choices. Consumers are once again embracing the joy of fashion and are wearing the clothes they want to wear. And there’s plenty to choose from.

 

JOYFUL TRENDS FOR SUMMER 2021

GET STRAPPY

It’s time to do the floss this season. Strappy bands wrap around the midriff for a sexy update to the crop top.

A spring 2021 look from Stella Jean. (Photo Credit: Stella Jean)

 

A spring 2021 look from Christopher Esber. (Photo Credit: Chistopher Esber)

 

A Spring 2021 look from Michael Kors. (Photo Credit: Michael Kors)

 

A spring 2021 look from Jacquemus. (Photo Credit: Jacquemus)

 

A spring 2021 look from Altuzarra. (Photo Credit: Altuzarra)

IT’S A SWEEP

Romance is in the air as floor-sweeping gowns ruled the spring runways, whether sheer or printed, these floating maxi dresses are the perfect way to make a splash this summer.

A spring 2021 look from Valentino. (Photo Credit: Valentino)

 

A spring 2021 look from Dolce & Gabanna. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabanna)