FALL 2023/24 MENSWEAR SHOWS: FLORENCE – MILAN – PARIS

- - Fashion Shows

A look from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

It’s showtime! Men’s Fall 2023/24 fashion shows were back to pre-pandemic levels as the menswear pack reunited, first in Florence to kick off  Pitti Uomo (Jan. 10-13), then Milan (Jan. 13-17) and then Paris Jan. 17 – 21).  For over 50 years, Pitti Uomo has become the beating pulse of  men’s fashion and dubbed the “menswear mecca”. In 1972, the first edition of Pitti Uomo took place, showcasing Italian tailoring and style to foreign markets. The biannual event has since become a global stage for the international menswear industry and the largest menswear trade show of its kind. Pitti Uomo is considered pivotal for launching new projects in men’s fashion and in determining future menswear trends.

According to Highsnobiety, “Another strategy that is key to the success of the fair, albeit a serendipitous one, is the prolific street style photography that occurs each season. As the ground zero for menswear style, Pitti is the gathering spot for the most stylish men in the world. It’s basically the Olympics of street style, so it’s no wonder that the elite of menswear, along with the who’s who of street style photographers and wannabe posers flock to the Fortezza da Basso each season to take part in the action.

FLORENCE

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

 

A look from Martine Rose’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Each season a guest designer is chosen to show at Pitti Uomo. Highsnobiety reports, “Organizers travel the world to scout out the best upcoming talent and thought leaders in menswear. A look back across Pitti Uomo’s guest designer list from the past 30 years is like reading who’s who of the most influential names in menswear. Yohji Yamamoto, whose first monographic show also incidentally took place at the festival; Raf Simons has shown twice as has Undercover’s Jun Takahashi“. This season they chose British designer Martine Rose, in her first runway show outside of England. Rose examined the potential crossover of British youth and cultural refinement, as she aimed for the sweet spot, where sharp tailoring cohabitates with beach-to-club seductiveness. “It’s a collection rooted to the soundwave of Italo house music,” Rose stated in her collection notes for the show.

MILAN

Looks from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

After the Pitti show in Florence, the fashion set hopped to Milan for more men’s fashion. This season there was no holding back as several young designers from across the Channel, and major brands returned to the Milanese calendar such as Gucci, Zegna and K-Way. Here are a few major show moments:

A look from Gucci’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Gucci opened Milan Fashion Week with much anticipation as it was the first season without the brand’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele who served as the creative director for the luxury house since 2002 and who was responsible for the revitalization of the brand. The fall 2023/24 collection was created by the brand’s in-house design team, and was an ode to the luxury house’s greatest hits, from Tom Ford’s Y2K era to ‘80s sportswear, as well as a nod to the ‘70s, with an interpretation of the brand’s coated monogram canvas. It was an uplifting stroll down memory lane.

A look from Prada’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Meanwhile at Prada,  creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons presented a collection entitled “Let’s Talk About Clothes”.  The show was an ode to the ’60s with a heavy focus on boxy tailoring, as well as pieces such as suede jackets and bomber jackets. The collection opened to much fanfare as tailored suits strolled down the runway with contrasting disco collars over blazer lapels and eventually over various outerwear pieces and open-chested cardigans. The design duo also touched on the streetwear trend with their billowing bomber jackets – in cropped and oversized versions –all with a sophisticated hand.

Looks from Fendi’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Some of the best outerwear of the season was courtesy of Fendi. Designed by Silvia Venturini Fendi, the collection explored asymmetrical silhouettes with sharp layering that will surely be a hit with the street style influencers. Fendi continued to celebrate the 25 year anniversary of their baguette bag by featuring mens’ versions throughout the show.

A look from JW Anderson’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

JW Anderson had one of the most playful shows during the Men’s Milan Fashion Week as models paraded down the runway carrying pillows, wearing frog sandals, graphic-printed knit underwear, and fluffy long dress tops.

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Giorgio Armani, who is almost 90, showed on the last day of Milan Fashion Week. The elegant designer’s collection revisited a style of dress that is rich, quiet, and evocative of a metropolis as somber as it is elegant.

PARIS

Looks from Dior Men’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Paris Men’s Fashion Week was in top form with a dynamic season of shows from Dior to Loewe. Here are a few major show moments:

A look from Givenchy’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A tale of two Givenchys as designer Matthew M. Williams played with the juxtaposition between exquisite minimalistic tailoring and intriguing mis-matched garments that were a tad too garish.

The suits sported sharp lines, neatly pointed shoulders, and nipped waists that turned the silhouette into an elongated hourglass. They were – the house said – “defiantly unhemmed at the seams.” Black gloves gave these looks a playful yet sinister quality.

“The world has a lot of options for everybody,” Williams said in his collection notes. “That’s what’s so beautiful about Givenchy: a brand that makes T-shirts for young people and then there’s people that want to buy couture tailoring jackets. It hits the whole gamut.”

While Givenchy’s show had mixed reviews, Saint Laurent had an incredible moment during Paris Fashion Week. Designer Anthony Vaccarello presented 46 looks that where both cohesive and struck a chord with the fashion crowd. Vaccarello brought the dark, elongated silhouettes of Saint Laurent’s women’s wardrobe to a gender-fluid and aesthetically precise fall men’s display.

Key looks included floor-sweeping Matrix-style leather coats, chic tuxedo coats, and dramatic bow neckties evoking a New Romantics era.

A look from LGN’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

From dark romance to American Psycho horror (novel by Bret Easton Ellis), this was the inspiration behind Louis Gabriel Nouchi’s collection for his label LGN. A number of looks were styled with shiny black plastic gloves and blood (fake) splattered faces.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: AFP)

Singer Rosalía stunned guests at Louis Vuitton’s dramatic, digital age-themed menswear show with a surprise set atop a vintage 1980s yellow sedan, in shades and a hooded jacket.

Following the devastating death of former artistic director Virgil Abloh in 2021, the Louis Vuitton Men’s Studio has taken over the brand’s creative control. For the luxury house’s fall 2023 show, the set replicated a vintage childhood home recreated inside the Louvre’s oldest courtyard – which showed a continuity with the coming-of-age style that defined Abloh’s aesthetic for the brand.

This season, the youthful studio team and guest designer Colm Dillane, the founder of KidSuper, channeled growing up as members of the first generation raised in the digital age. Patterns conjured encrypted computer coding, while handwritten notes – relics in today’s world – were upcycled to produce a surreal white suit and top hat look constructed entirely of note paper.

At times the collection depended on gimmicks, such as pixelated apples on an otherwise beautiful round-shouldered wool coat, but the best looks were minimalist, such as a light grey suit jacket that sported one large childlike button showcasing masterful construction with interlocking layers of fabric.

A look from Rick Owens’ Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: AP)

Rick Owens stayed true to his gothic, artistic approach to fashion for his fall menswear collection in Paris which was inspired by ancient Egypt – specifically the former pharaonic stronghold of Luxor. Think high pharaonic priest meets high-octane 70s rock star. Throw in some dramatic alien-like spiked shoulders that are now an Owens staple, and you have a devilishly good show.

So tell us, do you have a fav look from the menswear fall 2023/24 collections?

PRE-FALL TRENDS & CELEBRATING MLK DAY

- - Trends

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Happy 2023! As we all look with cautious optimism toward to a post pandemic world, fashion designers seemed to be conflicted when creating their Pre-Fall 2023 collection: practicality vs drama. For non-followers of fashion, most clothes seen on the runway seem frivolous, unwearable and created solely to shock ‘n awe. For the most part, that’s absolutely the truth. Do you ever  watch a runaway show and say, “who’d ever wear that?” Well, you’re not alone. Most runway fashion are created for social media click bait. However, there are moments of wearable/salable fashion and those are featured in a fashion season called ‘Pre-Fall’.

Before we talk about some of the 2023 pre-fall trends, let’s discuss what this ‘season’ actually means.  For starters, it’s the longest-running of all the fashion seasons (Spring, Summer, Resort Fall, Pre-Fall and Couture). It’s open to buyers and press in November and wraps up on the heels of spring couture in January. Usually, pre-fall collections offer more commercial looks, thus giving retailers the opportunity to introduce new merchandise to their customers between the fall and spring collections. Pre-fall, like resort, is an extremely important selling season with merchandise available on the sales floor and on e-commerce sites for up to six months.

A look from Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Today it has become increasingly difficult to define a particular season as designers show various interpretations of what exactly “pre-fall” means. The name (pre-fall) refers to autumn, but the deliveries hit stores and shopping sites in the beginning of summer. Confused yet? Designers present everything from fur coats to crochet dresses and everything in between. So, the terminology is perhaps a misnomer to many designers, retailers, and consumers. So shouldn’t the season be looked at as a transitional one? As designers address the needs of clients worldwide, where temperatures vary dramatically, especially as we experience climate change, and depending on what continent you live.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2023 is the first European fashion house to show in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo Credit: ID Magazine)Pre-fall can also be looked at as a prelude to the next runway collection; an opportunity to test what works and doesn’t work with clients. For many designers, pre-fall can help lay-out the groundwork for many of the silhouettes , colors, and ideas that appear in the following season.

So, as we continue to contemplate the churning out of merch that leads to more clothes in stores with less than stellar sales and their affect on our planet, here are the key Pre-Fall ‘practicality vs drama’ trends:

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

 

DARK ROMANCE

Netflix’s series Wednesday is breaking records for the streaming service, so it’s no surprise that Wednesday Adams has become a fashion muse. For pre-fall designers are showcasing a number of black lace looks.

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

A look from Chanel Métiers d’art’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

A look from Batsheva’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Batsheva)

IN TRENCHES

This Pre-Fall season the iconic trench coat is back in a major way, but these variations are anything but basic.

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Lafayette 148’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lafayette 148)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Victoria Beckham)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

POCKET CHANGE

One of the biggest Y2K micro trends has been the return of oversized cargo pockets. From safari-inspired jackets to elegant sequin eveningwear. It looks like the cargo trend is here to stay thanks to its practically and ease.

Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brandon Maxwell)

A look from Ser.o.ya’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ser.o.ya)

A look from Et Ochs’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Et Ochs)

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Diesel’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

KNIT WIT

Sultry knits take center stage this season from effortless dresses to cropped cardigans.

A look from Givenchy’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Givenchy)

A look from Ferragamo’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ferragamo)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Shouler)

A look from Thom Browne’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thom Browne)

IN FRINGE

Designers are getting frisky this season with a variety of fringe looks from dramatic capes to sexy skirts.

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)

A look from LaPointe’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: LaPoint)

A look from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)

COLLAR UP

Dramatic collars are back this season with a fresh take on the prim and proper motif.

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)Balmain

GETTING READY TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

As the Pre-Fall season wraps on January 16th, the Martin Luther King holiday, and as we prepare to celebrate Black History Month in February, UOF wants to highlight a few of our favorite pre-fall looks created by people of color:

A look from Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A video about Rihanna’s X Fenty upcoming collection. Video Credit Fashion Today on YouTube

 

WHY NOT HAVE YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION BE ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY?

- - Sustainability

Climate activists. (Photo Credit:Prakati India.in)

Happy New Year! As we kick off 2023 in style, let your New Year’s Resolution count. Why not look to become more sustainable this new year, both personally, as well as in your work as a fashion professional or as an aspiring one?

The start of a new year is often a time of reflection. A time to learn from past mistakes. Were you as eco-minded as you would have liked last year? Did you compost? Did you make fashion purchases with landfills in mind? Was sustainability top of mind when you chose fabrics for your designs? Well then, maybe it’s time you do.

Climate change has been one of the biggest topics of conversation this decade, with activists like Greta Thunberg emphasizing the damning scientific facts about the future of Mother Earth. It’s the voices of our younger generation that are crying for help, and they are within their rights. If we all don’t get onboard and make changes, they will inherit a very unlivable earth.

Unfortunately, the fashion industry is known as one of the biggest and most damaging pollutants to our planet and although some strides have been made over the years, we have a long way to go in becoming carbon-neutral. It’s almost ironic that the fashion industry, who is extremely vital in implementing trends and can influence the buying habits of a majority of consumers, is not doing more.

Regulation, circularity, greenwashing and climate resilience will be hot topics in the year ahead. (Photo Credit: Getty Images, Renewcell, and Shutterstock. Collage by BoF)

Consumers buy what they are offered. And if fashion brands don’t offer sustainable products, then consumers don’t get to buy them. Simple. In a survey conducted by McKinsey during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, “67 percent [of respondents] consider the use of sustainable materials to be an important purchasing factor, and 63 percent consider a brand’s promotion of sustainability in the same way.”

Therefore, consumers could BE the solution if only they were being offered sustainably-made products. The pressure for sustainability high. Data provided by Launchmetrics’ proprietary algorithm that measures Media Impact Value (MIV is a monetary representation my company uses for brand performance), reveals that the MIV for sustainability grew by 54% during the first semester of 2022 compared to the first semester of 2021, accounting for $2 billion and $1.3 billion in value, respectively.  The data revealed just how much discussion ‘sustainability’ generated in the media, as well as how many placements the word generated across sectors. When comparing the growing MIV to the placements that the industry generates, it is clear that consumers are beginning to make changes towards going green. This shift indicates that brands need to reevaluate their operations to project the right brand image. In order to achieve this, fashion companies need to take more concrete steps to incorporate sustainability, a process which goes further than just brand images and campaigns.

True sustainability should guarantee that the creation of each garment is environmentally and socially sound, from textiles to manufacturing all the way to fair pay and workers’ conditions. This is a massive change for an industry that has struggled with wasteful operations and negative environmental consequences for years. The fashion industry is responsible for the production of up to 10% of the global carbon dioxide output and accounts for one-fifth of the 300 million tons of plastic produced globally each year, according to the United Nations Environment Program (via Bloomberg). So obviously, incorporating sustainable practices is a challenge for the fashion industry. Nevertheless, many designers, brands, and manufacturers are open to embracing climate change.

The need for fashion to go green. (Photo Credit Getty Images)

There is some hope. In fact, fashion accounted for $618 million in MIV when it came to sustainability during the first semester of 2022, according to Launchmetrics’ sustainability report, “Making Sense of Sustainability,” which was produced in partnership with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana. The report analyzed data from multiple platforms between January 2021 and October 2022. The fashion industry accounted for one-third of the overall sustainability conversations, indicating how open it is to committing to a greener future. Very encouraging.

Vivienne Westwood in February, 2018 in London. (Photo By Getty Images)

Dame Vivienne Westwood, known as the Queen of Punk was a true climate activist. Sadly, the groundbreaking designer passed away on December 29, 2022 at the age of 81. As one of the last independent brands in the UK, Westwood used her voice to educate the industry on climate change and sustainability. She was as notorious for her Kings Road Sex shop, as she was for her activism and ecological crusading. For the past 20 years Westwood supported hundreds of causes, NGOs, grass root charities and campaigns including Amnesty International, War Child and Liberty, as well as launching her own campaigning movement – Climate Revolution. She is was an ambassador for Greenpeace and in 2013 designed their official ‘Save the Arctic’ logo. In 2015, Westwood launched a global campaign to stop drilling and industrial fishing in the Arctic region.

Stella McCartney, pictured here with Vivienne Westwood in Paris in 2019, said: ‘fur is immoral, cruel and barbaric’. (Photo Credit: Getty Images_

Following in Westwood’s activism footsteps is Stella McCartney. She has been a true pioneer in the climate change movement for decades and always works with innovative sustainable textiles. The fashion industry grapples with the pressure of continuous growth, while still publicly pledging to slash greenhouse gas emissions. According to an interview with Vogue magazine, McCartney believes a balance can be struck between the two. “I do believe if we can continue to progress, and if we truly want it, then we can replace bad business with clean business,” she says.

This is just one of the reasons McCartney continues to team up with innovators that are developing more sustainable materials such as Econyl, a regenerated nylon created from discarded fishing nets and other plastic waste. In early 2023, the brand will launch its first commercially available, fully circular garment: a parka made from Econyl that is 100 percent recycled and recyclable. McCartney previously launched an Infinite Hoodie in collaboration with Adidas in 2019, made using NuCyl, a fiber designed to be broken down and reused into endless future garments. Only 50 were available at the time.

Stella McCartney is launching a new fully circular parka made from Econyl that is 100 percent recycled and recyclable. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

“The parka fully closes the loop—it’s taking 100 percent waste and then [when you’re finished with it] you can either bring it back to a Stella McCartney store or you can use the QR code on there and post it, and we can then recycle it back into fiber and make it into another garment,” McCartney explains. “It’s really cool—for me it’s cooler than just going, ‘Oh, I really love neon green fuzzy boots this season.’ It’s the most fashionable thing you can do if you’re working in the world of fashion right now.”

Along with Econyl, McCartney has partnered with Bolt Threads on its Mylo “un-leather,” made from mushroom roots (the designer was part of an early “consortium” of brands backing the company) and a “wine leather” made by the Italian company Vegea made from grape waste. Meanwhile, McCartney has also helped set up a new $200 million fund called Collab SOS, which invests in companies including Bolt Threads. Other projects the fund has supported are: Natural Fiber Welding, which has created a plastic-free leather alternative called Mirum, and Protein Evolution, a start-up that has developed a process designed to allow plastic waste (including nylon and polyester) to be infinitely recycled.

“It’s important for me personally to put investment into those new start-ups and into the future of fashion because I’m in fashion,” McCartney says of her involvement in the fund in an interview with Vogue. “I’m working every day alongside so many incredible tech brands. We’re working on developing materials together and solutions, and then I’m bringing them into a business model. For me to use my partners [and] my contacts to upscale everything [via the fund]—then you can truly see a meaningful change.”

McCartney has been advocating for these textile changes within the designer community for several years now, however, she states that legislation is what is really needed for significant progress to be made. This is why she attended the G7 Summit in Cornwall in 2020 and is among a number of designers to have backed The Fashion Act in New York—a proposed bill that would require any fashion brand that does business in New York and has an annual global revenue of over $100 million to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, as well as their energy, water, material and plastic usage, and chemical management.

McCartney makes it clear that government policies need to change around the issues of climate change. “I just thought I’d go to [Central] Saint Martins and be a fashion designer,” McCartney jokes in a Vogue interview. “But there’s a lot of work to be done. I have my political hat on or my fashion hat on; I’m a bit confused as to which one to wear half the time.”

Stella McCartney is not the only fashion designer to tirelessly work as a climate advocate. There are countless others ranging from young designers to more established brands such as, Gabriela Hearst, Mara Hoffman, Eileen Fisher, Katie Jones, Alejandra Alonso Rojas, Morgane Sézalory of Sézane, Alexandra Sipa, Emma Hill of Damson Madder, Teodora And Pavel Lozanov of Bogdar, Kevin Germanier of Germanier, Roopa Pemmaraju, Conner Ives, Misha Nonoo, Christy Dawn, Jonathan Cohen, Zero + Maria Cornejo, Katharine Hamnett, Christopher Raeburn, and Sandra Sandor to name a few.

MATERIAL EXCHANGE

If you are looking for ways to become more sustainable in your designs, you can join the Material Exchange organization. They are offering a workshop on Thursday, January 12th from 9 AM to 3 PM EST. It will be a remote impact-reduction workshop and will offer insights into sustainable sourcing solutions, as well as the know-how to adopt these solutions into your brand’s sourcing workflows. Topics covered will include: implementing sustainable design strategies; calculating transportation, material, and product impacts; assessing hotspots; shifting to responsible sourcing methods; adopting a circular business model; and creating engaging take-back plans. Participants will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course!

Workshop details

What: Fashion Assessment and Impact-Reduction Workshop co-hosted by the USFIA and Material Exchange

Where: online

When: Thursday, January 12th from 9 AM to 3 PM EST

Who: any and all fashion professionals trying to reduce the environmental impacts of their products and work toward circularity at their companies

Fee: $165

Here is the link to register:

https://www.usfashionindustry.com/index.php?option=com_civicrm&task=civicrm/event/register&id=413&reset=1

UOF LESSONS ON SUSTAINABILITY

Be sure to catch UoF’s lessons on sustainable design and sourcing:

Introduction to Sustainable Fashion Design

 

Meet Sustainable Designer Parron Allen

 

 

Sustainable Materials For Fashion Design

 

Designing, Producing & Marketing a Sustainable Collection

So tell us, what will you do to create or purchase more sustainable fashion?

UNIVERSITY OF FASHION COMING ATTRACTIONS 2023

 

fashion illustration of pants

UoF’s upcoming pant-drafting lessons  (Illustration credit: Steven Broadway)

You asked and we’re delivering. For the past two years we have been collecting your requests for certain new lessons. We’ve heard from teachers, students, schools, libraries, associations and individual subscribers. We compiled a list of the most requested lessons and set out to film them, specifically, drafting pants, jumpsuits, cut & sew knits, coats and cape, 3D design and of course, draping. We’ve been hard at work – planning, scripting, filming and are in the process of editing over 50 new lessons to be added to our existing library of over 500 fashion educational videos.

We’d like to give you a sneak of what you can expect in 2023, but before we do…remember…you only have 3 more days to take advantage of our once-yearly discount offer of $40 off a yearly subscription (was $189/now $149 – using promo code WIN1 ) and/or $5 off the first month of a monthly subscription (was $19.95/now $14.95 – using  promo code WIN2). Sign yourself up (you’re worth it!) OR how about a unique gift for that special fashionista in your life?

To get in on the the discount click this link to get started: https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/ Remember this offer expires 1/1/23 and doesn’t happen again until next year. Really!

 

PANT & TROUSER LESSONS

Among the many requests we received from our fans were for more trouser and pants lessons, so we filmed: how to draft bell bottoms, palazzo pants (both gathered and flat waisted), a culotte, a pleated trouser and a jumpsuit.

 

UoF’s upcoming pant drafting series-Gathered Waist Palazzo Pant & Culotte (Illustration credit: Steven Broadway)

 

CUT & SEW KNIT LESSONS

Included in the new batch of lessons that we’ll be rolling out throughout 2023 are a series of cut & sew knit-drafting lessons, starting with learning how to draft a fitted T-shirt from measurements. This knit sloper will become the foundation for many of your future knit designs. We also added a lesson on how to turn the sloper into a unitard/catsuit.

Our subscribers have also asked us for a lesson on how to draft an easy T-shirt from measurements and so we filmed: Drafting a Relaxed Fit T-shirt (with 2 different necklines: a crew neck and a cross-over V-neck).

KNIT NECKLINE LESSONS

What started out as a request for a lesson on how to draft a hoodie, turned into an entire knit neckline series e’ve also created a series on how to draft a variety knit necklines, using the fitted T-shirt sloper as the foundation. We’ve created 17 neckline lessons all together. Here’s a sample:

(Three of 17 upcoming neckline-drafting lesson series: Off Shoulder Gathered Cuff  – Hoodie – Surplice Wrap)

 

COAT & CAPE LESSONS 

We’ve had many requests for lined coats, so we filmed: how to draft a wrap coat and a hooded cape.

(UoF’s upcoming wrap coat & cape lessons – Illustrations by Steven Broadway)

 

ADVANCED DRAPING LESSONS

Our subscribers absolutely love our draping lessons. And so, we’ve combined several new details, such as how to draft multi-tiered flounces, fit and flare princess-seamed dresses and how to create a handkerchief hem. We hope you enjoy these lessons. They can work for day or evening depending on the fabric you choose.

UoF’s Multi-tiered Flounce Dress (Illustrated by Steven Broadway & Handkerchief Hem Dress – (Illustrated by  Miguel Angel Reyes)

 

3D DESIGN SOFTWARE LESSONS: BROWZWEAR & CLO 3D

We’ll continue to add additional Browzwear 3D design lessons and will introduce a new CLO 3D series.

Stay tuned for these and other lessons throughout 2023. Hope you’re as excited as we are!

CELEBRATING KWANZAA: FASHIONABLY

 

A lit kinara – celebrating each day of the 7 guiding principles during Kwanzaa Dec 26-January 1

 

KWANZAA –  is a weeklong celebration held in the United States that honors African heritage in African-American culture and is observed from December 26th to January 1st, culminating in gift giving and a big feast. We’d like to take this opportunity not only to celebrate it and discuss its history and its cultural significance, but also what to wear while celebrating the week long event. We’d also like to remind everyone that our once-yearly subscription discount expires on 1/1/23 and is a subscription to UoF is  great gift for yourself or for that fashionista in your life.

Get $40 off a yearly, was $189/now $149. Use discount code WIN1. Click on this link to sign-up https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

Kwanzaa History 

The holiday is relatively new, compared to other holidays celebrated in the U.S. Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chairman of Africana Studies at California State University, first created Kwanzaa in 1966. He created this holiday in response to the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965 as a way to bring African-Americans together as a community.

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase matunda ya kwanza, which means first fruits, or harvest in Swahili. Celebrations often include singing and dancing, storytelling, poetry reading, African drumming, and of course, feasting.

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa

Dr. Karenga created seven guiding principles to be discussed during the week of Kwanzaa. The seven principles represent seven values of African culture that help build and reinforce community among African-Americans. Each day a different principle is discussed, and each day a candle is lit on the kinara (candleholder). On the first night, the center black candle is lit, and the principle of umoja, or unity is discussed. On the final day of Kwanzaa, families enjoy an African feast, called karamu.

image od 7 Kwanzaa Principles

7 Kwanzaa Guiding Principles

 

What to Wear to Karamu

image of Tongoro's Spring 2022 Collection.

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

 

Looks from Ahluwalia’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

image of Naomi Campbell at Kenneth Ike's fashion show 2019

Naomi Campbell walks Kenneth Ize’s fashion show at Arise Fashion Week in 2019. (Photo Credit: Kenneth Ize)

 

 

Have you Watched our African Textiles Series? 

In early 2022 we announced our new 5-part lecture series on West African textiles created by Mina Dia-Stevens. We are thrilled to announce the launch of part three,West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth. Stay tuned in 2023 for parts 4 and 5: WestAfricanTextiles-Ivory Coast and WestAfricanTextiles-Ghana.


UoF lesson preview- West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth

 


UoF lesson preview – West African Textiles: Bogolanfini of Mali

 


UoF lesson preview –  West African Textiles: Faso Dani Cloth of Burkina Faso

For more information on Africa’s burgeoning fashion industry, view our blog post OUT OF AFRICA: AFRICAN DESIGNERS ARE FINALLY ON THE FASHION MAP.

GOT THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT? LOOKING FOR THAT LAST MINUTE GIFT?

Five days until Christmas, the clock is ticking and suddenly you remember that you forgot someone on your Christmas gift list. OMG!

It’s too late now to order from Amazon, so what are you going to do? Solution…give a unique gift certificate to the world’s largest fashion education video library!

Our once-yearly sale expires 1/1/23 and so there’s still time to get in on our discount.

Get a yearly subscription for $40 off (was $189/now$149) or $5 off the first month of a monthly subscription (was $19.95/now$14.95). Click here to made it happen: https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

If you are already a University of Fashion monthly subscriber or free member, just log in as usual and look on your left for one or more “Upgrade” offers equivalent to the above! Remember, all subscriptions gives unlimited access to every lesson on our entire website, that’s 500+ lessons!

 

WHY UNIVERSITY OF FASHION?

University of Fashion Home Page

University of Fashion has over 500 fashion education video tutorials, taught by fashion profs and industry pros, that both educate and entertain. We have 13 different disciplines to learn from: draping, pattern making, sewing, fashion art, CAD fashion art, CAD pattern making, menswear, knits, childrenswear, accessories, product development, and a fashion business section that encompasses retailing, merchandising, visual merchandising, branding & licensing,  as well as a lecture series that encompasses textiles, color theory, trend forecasting and lots more. Whether you’re interested in a fashion career, or perfecting your existing skills, or just ‘fashion curious’ – a gift certificate to UoF is THE most unique gift you can give.

Need some convincing? Read some of our testimonials:

“The University of Fashion Online is the most valuable tool that I found in relation to Fashion. It is a complement to my education. It is well structured and very complete. I am grateful to Francesa Sterlacci for having created it. I am also grateful to her Team for their contributions and great effort to put it all together. I love it! it is fascinating. I highly recommend it.” Espie Egger – UoF Subscriber – Switzerland

I was lagging behind in class and didn’t remember all the lessons my professor taught, so I went to the demos on University of Fashion for help. Thanks to the great demos I received a really good grade on the project! ” Chanica Pitaksakorn – Fashion Institute of Technology, Student

Everyone in the fashion industry, whether a student, a hobby aficionado or a professional should have a great resource for reference and support. University of Fashion provides the “how to” at every level for the first timers or just a refresher for the experts. A must have asset.”  Saul Kapilivsky Miami International University of Art & Design, Professor

“I have been teaching middle and high school for over 30 years and today I stand in awe of this amazing fashion tool. The University of Fashion video series is simply too good to be true. Every video is factual and correct. As I watch each video, I say; this is exactly how I teach this. The plus for me is that I do not need to do a demo over and over again before students get it. They can just watch these videos and also broaden their skills even beyond my knowledge. I am so grateful to be introduced to the University of Fashion.”  Callie Melton – Fashion Design Services Instructor/A.P.P.S Chair/FCCLA Advisor/Fort Lauderdale High School

 

DID YOU KNOW THAT WE ALSO HAVE COMPANION BOOKS AVAILABLE?

University of Fashion Book Series: Techniques for Beginners: Draping, Pattern Making & Sewing (Available everywhere)

Our book series was designed to complement our beginner draping, pattern making and sewing video lessons. Each book contains additional information to help with the learning process and they are another a great gift idea! Read some of our Amazon ratings:

DRAPING BOOK TESTIMONIALS 

 

draping book testimonial

draping book testimonialDRAPING BOOK TESTIMONIAL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PATTERN MAKING BOOK TESTIMONIALS 

Patternmaking book testimonial

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEWING BOOK TESTIMONIALS 

 

 

And for that fashion history buff on your Christmas list, why not get them our founder’s book, Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry?

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry book

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry Second Edition

OTHER UOF PERKS

In addition to our 500+ video lesson library you will also be able to access our Resources library consisting of a fashion terminology A-Z, design tools, a marketplace, fashion books, magazines & blog info and a list of fashion schools and fashion museums. You will also gain access to our free croquis templates:

So treat yourself to a UoF subscription or give it as a gift OR why not do both?

JACKETS REQUIRED: BIGGER THE BETTER

- - Fashion Education

A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Go big or go home. The jacket is back even as many offices are still operating within the ‘work-from-home’ format. And, as Covid restrictions ease worldwide, thanks in part to vaccines, people are starting to dress up again. One of the biggest trends of 2022 was the return (circa 1980) of the oversized blazer, which was seen on plenty of designer runways, celebrities, influencers, and street style stars. Case in point Hailey Bieber.

There’s just something about the structured silhouette that gives off a powerful and chic vibe and continues to be a breakout trend of 2022.

Hailey Bieber rocks the oversized blazer trend. (Photo Credit: Paige Six)

The sized-up tailored jackets are anything but sloppy. Whether ‘borrowed-from-the-boys’,  or new off-the-rack, these blazers come with power shoulders that mean business, even if you don’t work in a corporate office.  Oversized blazers can be worn with bike shorts, leggings, short skirts or…to cement the ‘I raided my boyfriend’s closet’ look, wear it with his trousers for that super oversized look. And to fem it up, team it up with a satin slip dress to add a cool-girl edge to your night out.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Fashion stylist Laura Pritchard spoke on the morning television program Good Morning America and stated, “Tailoring has earned its place on every runway during every season. Last fall, we saw the popular pantsuit, but it’s since been replaced with plaid, houndstooth and tweed miniskirt suits — ruling the runways and streets.” Pritchard also added, “Designers have brought back the oversized tailored blazer but revamped the trend with extreme bold shoulders.”

While many may think the oversized blazer trend is tricky to wear, Pritchard stated that it’s actually more versatile than one might think. The stylist offered some tips such as pair this look with slim underpinnings to balance out the extreme proportions. Another basic rule to follow, if an oversized garment is taking up half of your body, keep it slim on the other half.

Another idea is to head over to the men’s section for a huge assortment of oversized blazers rather than spending an exuberant amount of money on some of this season’s latest women’s designer picks. Another recommendation would be to add additional shoulder pads to give the shoulder some extra height.

If you are into designing, drafting and sewing your own oversized blazer, then check out University of Fashion’s blazer videos. If you’re a UoF subscriber, then you already know how to upcycle a men’s consignment shop blazer by shortening the sleeves or adding embellishment touches!

Here are some oversized fall blazers to inspire you:

TOTALLY EIGHTIES

A look from Gucci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

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

GRAPHIC DESIGN

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

MINIMALISM

A look from Khaite’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CHECK-MATE

A look from Miu Miu’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

HIP-PARADE

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Check out our instructional video previews below to inspire you to create your own one-of-a-kind perfectly tailored jacket and stand out from the crowd.

 

Not yet a UoF subscriber? Well, take advantage of our once-a-year discount subscription offers: https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

Yearly subscription was $189/now $149

First month off our Monthly subscription of $19.95/now $14.95

Offers expire 1/2/23

DRAFTING A WOMEN’S JACKET

JACKET: INTERFACING AND LINING

WOMEN’S JACKET PAD-STITCHING & INNER CONSTRUCTION

MOUNTING & FITTING A SUIT JACKET SLEEVE

So tell us, will you be creating your own one-of-a-kind oversized jacket this holiday season?

 

KNIT MANIA: KNITTING HISTORY, TRENDS, INSPIRATION AND HOW-TO KNIT

Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

It’s the holiday season and what better way to stay warm and toasty than to knit your own sweater? Or better yet, give the unique gift of a ‘handmade’ knitted sweater or poncho scarf?

In the spirit of giving, UoF is offering their once-yearly subscription discount so that you can learn how to knit (plus 500+ other videos to learn from). A UoF yearly subscription was $189 is now $149, or take advantage of our $5 off the first month of our monthly subscription (was $19.95). But the offer expires on Jan 1, 2023, so get a move on!

Here’s how to sign up: https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

If you are looking for inspiration, we’ve compiled some knit looks to whet your appetite, followed by links to our lessons that will teach you knitting techniques. Have a ball!

 

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Knit History & Fun Facts

The craft of hand knitting has been practiced for thousands of years. Where and how this art was originated is still a mystery but many believe that Arabian nomads carried the craft into Europe. Still others think knitting originated in Persia, but regardless of where the craft began knitting is one of the original ‘textiles’.

Knitting is the practice of using two or more needles to pull and loop yarn into a series of interconnected loops. The word is derived from the Dutch verb ‘knutten’ or ‘knot’,  which is similar to the Old English ‘cnyttan’, “to knot”. Originally, knitting, like woven textiles, fulfilled the basic human need for protection against the elements, but as we all know, hand knitting has become less a necessary skill and more of a hobby.

The oldest knitted artifact are socks that date back to the 11th century Egypt. They are a very fine gauge, done with intricate color work and some have a short row heel, which requires the purl stitch.

1,700-Year-Old Sock –  Ancient Egyptian Fashion. (Photo Credit: British Museum)

The predecessor to knitting and crocheting was a process known as Nålebinding, a technique of making textiles by creating multiple loops with a single needle and thread, much like sewing. Some artifacts, for example 3rd-5th century CE Romano-Egyptian toe-socks, used the “Coptic stitch” of nalbinding.

During Medieval times, knitting was controlled by guilds. Knitted garments were worn only by the wealthy class. But by the 16th century knitting had advanced into a craft. During the Elizabethan era, knitting schools were established in Britain. Knitted stockings provided a revenue for the poor. These stockings were exported to Germany, Holland and Spain. During this time period men wore short trousers, so fitted stockings were a fashion necessity. A knitting technique, known as Dales knitting, began at the end of the 16th century. Items from this cottage knitting industry are preserved in the Museum of Hawes in Wensleydale.

Knitting is also significant in Scottish history. During the 17th and 18th centuries entire families were involved in knitting garments, especially sweaters, which were important to the fisherman of the Scottish Isles. Fair isle and cable patterns were used to knit sweaters. In addition, during the French-Napoleonic wars, woman gathered together to knit socks and mittens for the soldiers. This practice continued through both World War I and World War II.

Fair Isle knitting, named after one of the Shetland Islands north of Britain, is an intricate pattern believed to be knitted around 1850, yet some historians believe that fair isle knitting was inspired in 1588 when a Spanish ship was destroyed off Fair Isle and the crew encouraged native knitters to create new knitting patterns. The Prince of Wales wore a fair isle sweater in 1921.

The famous image of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VIII, wearing a Fair Isle sweater in 1921. (Photo Credit: Fraserknitwear)

Machine Knitting

The invention of the knitting machine, during the Industrial Revolution, over took the craft of hand knitting, as hand knitting was unable to compete with the speed of these knitting machines. As a result, knitting as an art and craft fell to the wayside and was mainly kept alive as a hobby.

A look from Marni’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Today, however, there is a renaissance of hand knitting. Various techniques from around the world are being combined and specialty yarns have been created from various fibers. The results have been quite impressive. Knitting has become fashionable, even celebrities including Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, Dakota Fanning, and Cameron Diaz have been seen knitting, which has helped popularize the revival of the art of knitting.

So, why not cozy up with a cup of tea and watch our instructional videos on how to hand knit and crochet. Each lesson lists the yarn amounts and the tools you’ll need. Oh, by the way, Marcie, our instructor is a knit/crochet pro. Let these resort 2023 looks inspire your next creation.

BOLD STRIPES

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CRAFTY CROCHET

A look from Moschino’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

COLORBLOCK

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

NAUTICAL STRIPES

A look from Sacai’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

MARBLED KNITS

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

EMBELLISHED SWEATERS

A look from Max Mara’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Check out these UoF lesson previews to inspire you!

KNITTING A PONCHO SCARF

 

KNITTING A RAISED RIB STITCH

KNITTING A SWEATER

KNITTING A TRELLIS LACE STITCH

So tell us, what would you like to hand-knit this holiday season?

 

 

IT’S HERE! OUR ONCE-YEARLY LIMITED TIME DISCOUNT OFFER

UoF Holiday Sale

UoF’s once-yearly Holiday Sale is here in time for celebrating Bergdorf Goodman’s 2022 holiday dressmaking window (Photo credit: Carol Bernheim)

Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday 2022 store window theme is a Celebration of Crafts! And, we love it!

What better way to kick off UoF’s once-yearly limited time subscription offer than to get an assist from Bergdorf Goodman? If you happen to find yourself in NYC, then you must visit the windows of Bergdorf Goodman whose theme this year is in celebration of crafts: scrapbooking, paper sculpture, metal craft, paper mache, dressmaking, wood craft and mosaic-making.

We especially love the window that is dedicated to art & craft of dressmaking. This window is filled with tape measures, buttons, irons, pincushions, mannequins and blinged-out sewing machines and scissors. It reinforces what we already know…that fashion is still made with ‘hands’.

Bergdorf’s holiday windows premiered on Nov 17th at 6pm. They are the most anticipated windows of the 5th avenue retailers. Hollywood and Broadway set designers, together with Bergdorf’s own visual merchandisers, plan the windows a full year in advance. For those of you who love the art of visual merchandising, check out this behind the scenes video of how these windows were assembled.

And, to explore how you can become a visual merchandiser yourself – subscribe to UoF and learn from our expert instructor Marcie Cooperman in her 9-part visual merchandising series.

Bergdorf Goodman 2022 Holiday windows behind the scenes video (Video credit: You Tube )

 

All of the Bergdorf Goodman 2022 Holiday Windows (Video credit: You Tube The Megan Daily)

According to the National Retail Federation – online shoppers outnumbered in-store shoppers 88 million to 67 million on Black Friday 2021 and that number is expected rise exponentially for 2022.

So, why not give the gift of fashion education to both yourself and that fashionista in your life? Full access, 24/7 to more than 500 videos in fashion design and business. Learn from fashion college professors and industry pros in 13 different disciplines.

Our video subscription discount happens ONLY ONCE A YEAR so get going!

Offers expire 1/1/23

$40 off our yearly subscription (was $189 now $149)

https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

Promo Code: WIN1

$5 off the first month of our Monthly subscription (was $19.95 now $14.95)

https://www.universityoffashion.com/holiday-offer/

 Promo Code: WIN2

And remember, you can now earn a certificate for each lesson that you complete at UoF – FREE!

 

Move now, these offers expire 1/1/23

HOW TO SHOP YOUR CLOSET & BRUSH UP ON YOUR EMBELLISHMENT SKILLS IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

The holiday season is around the corner, and while designers are offering plenty of fabulous festive looks in their holiday/resort collections, here at UOF, we want to teach you how to embroider, embellish and bead your own pieces. It’s no surprise that the art of embroidery is taking the fashion industry by storm. With COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide, many fashion creatives looked to crafty techniques to help pass the time and to revitalize and customize their wardrobes.

Of course, in the world of fashion insiders, customized clothing is widely embraced by celebrities, street-style stars, and influencers. And nothing shouts personalization more than peacocking embroidered and embellished items.

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

While embroidery dates back to 30,000 B.C., the intricate technique has become popular again and proves to be a mainstay in fashion settings. Embroidery is the craft of decorating textiles using a needle to apply thread or yarn. The word embroidery is derived from the French word broderie, meaning embellishment. In a variety of forms, embroidery has existed since the creation of fabric. The technique is practiced around the globe, but its origin stems from China and the Near East. The earliest embroidery can actually be traced back to Cro-Magnon days or 30,000 B.C. Archeological finds from this time period uncoveref fossilized remains of heavily hand-stitched and decorated apparel.

According to the encyclopedia source britannica.com, further examples of embroidery are found in China dating to the Warring States period between 5th and 3rd century B.C. In Sweden, the earliest finds of embroidery are from a period known as the Viking Age, around the 9th and 10th centuries. Around the year 1000, the technique of embroidery began to rise in Europe with the expansion of the Christian church and royalty gaining power. Richly decorated garments and ornaments in the form of wall hangings and tablecloths were commissioned to display power and wealth.

Embroidery was also important in the Medieval Islamic world because it was a symbol of high social status in Muslim societies. In cities such as Damascus, Istanbul, and Cairo, embroidery could be found on items such as handkerchiefs, flags, uniforms, robes, horse trappings, pouches, and covers.

However, by the 18th century England and its colonies, embroidery became a skill marking a girl’s passage into womanhood, as well as expressing rank and social standing. Soon after, however, the advancement of the embroidery machine and mass production came about in stages during the Industrial Revolution. The earliest machine embroidery, discovered in France in the mid-1800s, utilized a combination of machine looms and hand embroidery.

By the early 1900s, mail order catalogs and pattern papers helped embroidery become more widespread. The intricate craft was no longer just a hobby of the upper class, as it could now be done on less expensive fabrics.

A look from Valentino’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Present-day embroidery looks quite different from the delicate needlework of the past. Most contemporary embroidery is stitched with a computerized embroidery machine using patterns that are “digitized” with computer software. While the style and technique of modern embroidery may be different from its earliest roots, the main purpose of embroidery remains the same. Embroidery was, and will always be, a fashionable way for people to adorn their homes and themselves. We’re here to tell you that you can learn it at UoF. So…get into your closet, find an item that you think would benefit from an embellishment then crank up your computer and let us teach you how to bead and embroider. Upcycle, recycle and turn that garment into WOW!

Here are a few pieces to inspire you:

GLITZ UP YOUR FAVORITE DENIM JACKET

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ADD FRINGE TO THAT LITTLE BLACK DRESS

A look from Jason Wu’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

EMBROIDER A SIMPLE PANT

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

EMBELLISH A KNIT SWEATER

A look from Max Mara’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ADD APPLIQUÉ TO A SIMPLE SHEATH

A look from Oscar de la Renta’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

EMBROIDER A SHAWL

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

BEAD & APPLIQUÉ YOUR FAVORITE SKIRT

A look from Alexander McQueen’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Check out our lesson previews to learn how to add embellishments of all types:

SILK RIBBON EMBROIDERY

TAMBOUR EMBROIDERY

TAMBOUR BEADING

BEADING NEEDLE EMBROIDERY

INTRO TO HAND EMBROIDERY

 

So, tell us, how excited are you to try these embroidery techniques?

THE COUNCIL OF FASHION DESIGNERS TURNS 60

- - Fashion Events

Ezra J. William, Tina Leung, Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Eva Chen and Phillip Lim won the the Positive Social Influence Award. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

American fashion’s second ‘biggest’ night took place on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 (the first being the MET Gala), when the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), in partnership with Amazon Fashion, held its 2022 Fashion Awards extravaganza at Cipriani South Street in New York City.  An orange-haired and comical Natasha Lyonne, the evening’s host, was joined by designers Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Aurora James and Proenza Schouler’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. What was so special about the 2022 CFDA awards was it marked the CFDA’s 60th anniversary.

Natasha Lyonne in Proenza Schouler hosted the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

If you are a true blue follower of all things fashion, like us, then you were most likely streaming the show real time. But you just have to wonder whether there is a course on how to pose on the Red Carpet. Don’t know about you, but we had endless fun watching as each of the designers and celebs lined up in cue against the CFDA backdrop, and to quote Madonna, “struck a pose”.

As usual, this year CFDA Fashion Award honorees were chosen in advance of the show but the award winners were announced at the awards ceremony. Winners were voted on ahead of time by the CFDA Awards Guild, which is comprised of CFDA members, leading fashion journalists, stylists, and top retail executives.

The most coveted awards are always American Womenswear Designer of the Year and American Menswear Designer of the Year. Actress Christina Ricci presented the American Womenswear Designer of the Year award to Catherine Holstein of KHAITE (takes its name from the Greek word (χαίτη) meaning “long, flowing hair.”). Holstein’s label beat out nominees Christopher John Rogers, Gabriela Hearst, LaQuan Smith, and Peter Do.

Christina Ricci and Womenswear Designer of the Year Catherine Holstein of KHAITE. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Daily Show’s late night television host Trevor Noah was on hand to give the American Menswear Designer of the Year to Emily Adams Bode Aujla of Bode. Actor Joel Kim Booster presented Raul Lopez of LUAR with the American Accessory Designer of the Year. And actress Keke Palmer presented the American Emerging Designer award to Elena Velez.

Trevor Noah and Menswear Designer of the Year Emily Bode Aujla. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Cher in Chrome Hearts and Patti Wilson in Schiaparelli at the CFDA Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And of course, the event was filled with the most fashionable celebrities. Cher (can you believe she is 76?) opened the ceremony by presenting stylist Patti Wilson the Media Award in honor of Eugenia Sheppard. Later that night Cher presented another award alongside her goddaughter Jesse Jo Stark to give The Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award to Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts; and of course, Cher rocked a Chrome Hearts look.

Kerry Washington and Stylist Award winner Law Roach. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A major addition to the CFDA awards is the “Stylist Award”. Those in the know, know that without stylists, a runway show or a photoshoot would be meh. Stylists work with designers, celebs  and photographers to put the “wow factor” into a designer’s designs or create a celebrity’s ‘look’. We can’t believe it took this long for the CFDA to recognize these change makers.

Stylist Law Roach received the inaugural Stylist Award from Kerry Washington. Roach gave one of the most memorable speeches of the night. The stylist extraordinaire shared that in 2016 Zendaya was invited by Michael Kors to attend the CFDA Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom. He watched the show from the kitchen. “I sat and watched from the kitchen with the waiters who served your food and drinks,” Roach said. “I said to myself that one day I’m going to be on that stage! I’m an example that anything and everything is possible.”

Natasha Lyonne and Fashion Icon Lenny Kravitz. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The night was filled with plenty of additional highlights as well. Actor Bradley Cooper presented rock star Lenny Kravitz with the very fittingly Fashion Icon award. Meanwhile, American Businesswoman and television personality Martha Stewart presented the inaugural Innovation Award presented by Amazon Fashion to SKIMS, which was accepted by Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede, and Jens Grede. The entire Kardashian/Jenner crew (with the exception of Kourtney) attended the CFDA Awards and cheered Kim on for her big achievement.

Khloé Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner

There were plenty of additional wins for the evening including Andrew Bolton receiving the The Founder’s Award in honor of Eleanor Lambert from non-other than Anna Wintour, Jeffrey Banks receiving the Special Anniversary Award from Stan Herman,  The United Nations receiving the Environmental Sustainability Award from Amber Valletta, and The House of Slay—aka Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung, and Ezra William—receiving the Positive Social Influence Award from Eva Chen. During one of the a tearful moments of the night, Shannon Abloh accepted the posthumous Board of Trustee’s Award on behalf of her late husband, Virgil Abloh.

AND THE WINNERS ARE……

American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Catherine Holstein for Khaite

American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Bode Aujla for Bode

American Accessory Designer of the Year: Raul Lopez for Luar

American Emerging Designer of the Year: Elena Velez

Fashion Icon: Lenny Kravitz

Positive Social Influence Award: Slaysians from The House of Slay featuring Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim, Phillip Lim, Tina Leung and Ezra William

Founder’s Award in Honor of Eleanor Lambert: Andrew Bolton

Amazon Innovation Award: Kim Kardashian, Emma Grede and Jens Grede of Skims

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award: Laurie Lynn Stark and Richard Stark of Chrome Hearts

Media Award in Honore of Eugenia Sheppard: Patti Wilson

Environmental Sustainability Award: The United Nations (to be accepted by Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General)

Stylist Award: Law Roach

Special Anniversary Award: Jeffrey Banks

Gigi Hadid, Thom Browne and Anna Wintour at the CFDA Awards Dinner. (Photo Credit: FashionWeekDaily)

So tell us, do you have a fav designer?

WILL THE METAVERSE & PHYGITAL BECOME THE CENTER OF YOUR FASHION UNIVERSE?

- - Technology

British Fashion Council launched a Metaverse Fashion Award red carpet on Roblox. (Photo Credit: Hypebae)

Fashion week in any major city if often described as a sensory explosion, with vibrations of bass-heavy music as models sashay down the runway in an elaborate display of a designer’s latest collection. While established labels often dominate the various Fashion Weeks, this year was a bit different. The new kids in town not only showcased their work as physical designs, but also digitally, or better known as “phygitally” (physical and digital)

So much buzz is generated around New York Fashion Week for traditional designers, but are you familiar with the Nolcha Shows? These shows, also held during NYFW, are where independent fashion designers showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the past eleven years the Nolcha Shows have become an established platform of discovery; promoting cutting edge innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions. The real Future of Fashion?

This past September, during NYFW Nolcha Shows, blockchain gaming ecosystem Chain Guardians took up space next to traditional designers, presenting their phygital take on classic designs. Their collection included a colorful, anime-style bodysuit, which included an NFC chip that, when scanned, was linked to a non-fungible token (NFT) that is wearable in the Chain Guardians metaverse. With a virtual reality (VR) headset, a user can physically try on garments, as well as interact with the brand’s virtual storefront.

Megan Kaspar is the managing director of Web3 venture capital firm Firstlight, and founding member of digital fashion house Red DAO. By the way, in tech lingo, a DAO is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) – a system developed to distribute decision-making, management, and entity ownership dictated by code on a blockchain. Kaspar has been a pioneer in blockchain-based digital wearables Web3 styling. In October 2021, she “wore” three pieces from DRESSX – a multi-brand retailer of digital-only clothing, NFT fashion items and augmented reality (AR) looks – on a Yahoo! Finance news segment using AR filters. In January, she had nine digital Fendi pieces tailored and transposed onto a photo of herself for the cover of Haute Living.

Megan Kaspar’s Haute Living Magazine cover. (Photo Credit: Haute Living)

“As we move to a reality where device disruption keeps occurring in the near term…that will come with the use of more digital fashion,” Kaspar told CoinDesk.

Kaspar describes digital fashion as having four major use cases at present in her interview with CoinDesk.

One of Dolce & Gabbana’s debut NFTs. (Photo Credit: Wired)

For starters, there are digital-only garments sold as NFTs, which are intended to be worn in the metaverse. This form of digital fashion was embraced by Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana, Forever 21 and dozens more designers who released full collections on the metaverse platform Decentraland during the launch of Metaverse Fashion Week in March 2022.

The second is AR photo filters, which Kaspar used in her appearance on Yahoo! Finance. These filters are often used to create overlays on social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok, and can easily be integrated into live videos or photos.

The next example is digital tailoring, meaning that after a real-life photo is taken, digital garments can be placed onto a user’s photo, which is how Kaspar rocked Fendi on her Haute Living magazine cover.

NFT Nike Sneaker. (Photo Credit: Nike)

Last but not least, Kaspar mentions that people can also view digital fashion as investable assets – such as buying NFT garments as speculative assets, such as a pair of NFT sneakers to resell for a profit. Alternatively, consumers who purchase a rare digital designer handbag can prove their ownership over the asset on the blockchain.

Mason Rothschild’s 100 MetaBirkins NFTs honoring Hermes. (Photo Credit: Medium)

Kaspar states that while many people view digital fashion as speculative investments for now, she believes that a “pretty viable solution” for mass adoption of these technologies will be created within the next five years.

Many emerging brands are looking to digital fashion and technology to help solve many of the problems plaguing the fashion industry, such as sustainability.

One of the biggest issues the fashion industry faces is the production of fast fashion, which has practically doubled within the last twenty years. Present fashion consumption trends result in enormous amounts of textile waste, most of which is sent to landfills, burned, or sent to developing countries. Additionally, it was estimated in 2019, that textile production creates over 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gasses per year, larger than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

Of course, there are still concerns about evolving technologies like NFTs and their environmental impact due to energy consumption, but some emerging designers have found ways to use NFTs to tackle issues of overproduction and overconsumption of apparel. Notably, the Merge, Ethereum’s transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms has reduced the network’s energy use by over 99% to help make most NFT transactions more efficient.

KRWN Studio NFT. (Photo Credit: KRWN Studio)

KRWN Studio, a small fashion brand that sells virtual streetwear as NFTs, aims to make fashion greener by manufacturing garments on the blockchain.

Digitally native brands that adopt a phygital model take on some of the environmental responsibility related to manufacturing, including the physical production of garments alongside minting digital replicas as NFTs. Although, many recognize that they can scale operations and mindfully release products in small batches to avoid mass production.

Digital wearables present users with tools for self-expression and are often used to adorn an avatar or another form of a digital identity. Metaverse Fashion Week, for example, was fueled by a desire for self-expression and individuality online.

Digital fashion also makes the fashion industry more accessible for both producers and consumers. NFTs make it easier for a designer to get their pieces out to the public and provide a wider range of prices for consumers.

Web3 wearables marketplace The Dematerialised (DMAT) prides itself on using blockchain technology to fix the mistakes of other retail giants. Co-founder Karinna Nobbs told CoinDesk that DMAT prioritizes accessibility and hopes to set a standard for future digital fashion houses.

“Whether crypto native or non-crypto native, people should be able to access digital fashion and NFTs. For us to have a luxury and an aspirational aesthetic, but to be able to have accessibility at different economic points, is really important,” Nobbs told CoinDesk.

For designers and creators in digital spaces, the limitations of what fashion is and who is invited into the exclusive world continue to grow. The digital fashion landscape is now infinite and spans various platforms and mediums. Digital images are finally moving  away from blocky 8-bit creations (an 8-bit image is a method of storing image information in a computer’s memory or in an image file, so that each pixel is represented by 8 bits (1 byte) to more life-like images.

Fortnite X Polo Ralph Lauren. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)

Even video games have collaborated with fashion designers. Fortnite has had ‘digital skins’ from Balenciaga, and Ralph Lauren. Nintendo Switch also got into the fashion world with their game Animal Crossings with designers like Marc Jacobs and Valentino creating looks for avatars.

Tommy Hilfiger’s virtual collection with Roblox. (Photo Credit: The Fashion Starter)

If you still think that digital fashion is a thing of the future, well, we’re here to tell you the future is NOW.  According to Business of Fashion, Roblox says it has over 11.5 million users designing over 63 million virtual clothing and accessories for its virtual worlds, and millions more are willing to pay for these items to dress their avatars, according to a new study released by Roblox and Parsons School of Design. Most of these items were created by users rather than established brands, so we are pretty sure we can soon expect to see designer Roblox-specific items. Business of Fashion also reported that Alice Delahunt left her role as Ralph Lauren’s chief digital and content officer to strike out on her own and to start a new web3 company in the belief that digital fashion is reaching a turning point.

All this is our way of telling you to subscribe to UoF and start learning all about 3D design software. Check out our 3 new lessons in Browzwear:

image of 3D design software lesson

UoF lesson: Intro to 3D Design

 

Iris Hopkins - first lesson in 3D for

UoF lesson in 3D stitching

Iris Hopkins - second lesson in 3D for UoF

UoF 3D lesson in creating a pant

So, tell us, are you as excited as we are about 3D designing in the metaverse?

INTRODUCING OUR NEW 3D DESIGN INSTRUCTORS

From our first lesson – Browzwear: Introduction to 3D Design & VStitcher

If you have been reading the University of Fashion blog for the past 4 years, then you know how bullish we are about 3D design technology as yet another tool in the arsenal of fashion designers and retailers. If you haven’t then you may want to read our past posts: Augmented Reality (AR) for Fashion Retailing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Fashion, and The 3D Revolution Parts 1, 2 and 3  from 2019.

As fashion companies are now expanding their workspaces to include true-to-life 3D in the areas of design, product development, sales & marketing, we are thrilled to announce the addition of 3D design as a new learning category to our existing 500+ video lesson library.

Those already working in the world of 3D digital fashion design all agree, that without a solid hands-on foundation in the other 3Ds – draping, digital drawing, drafting, plus sewing, you are just an imposter. According to Amy Sperber, a 3D-user and Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology:

Foundational knowledge of grain, fabric behavior and construction variations are essential at being a competent 3D fashion design software user. The challenge for fashion designers with little digital background is that the interfaces may be intimidating at first. Those with a working knowledge of Illustrator will find familiar tool experiences in the 2D pattern making portions of 3D software. The next generation of fashion designers will need to be technically creative and digitally fluid.”

For our 3D design series, we recruited two top instructors, Brittany Gray and Iris Hopkins, who are both currently working in the industry using Browzwear 3D software. We will also be adding lessons in CLO 3D in the future so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we thought that you would be interested in hearing from Brittany and Iris about their journey into 3D design and get a sneak peek at their first lessons for us. They are both working on a series of lessons that we will be rolling out this year.

 

MEET BRITTANY GRAY

Brittany Gray instructor

Brittany Gray – 3D design instructor at UoF (photo credit: Brittany Gray)

I was first introduced to 3D/virtual prototyping in my junior year of college. I went to the University of North Carolina Greensboro, who was partnered with VF corporation. VF heavily used 3D so we adapted it into our curriculum. At the time, I only knew the basics, but was on the hunt for an internship that was required for me to graduate. Walmart corporation reached out to my university, eager to hear that students were learning 3D and were looking for a student to intern as a 3D Technical Designer. Though I was reluctant to apply due to my very basic knowledge at the time, with the support of my instructor Anne Woods, I applied. I promised them that if they accepted me for the internship, by the time I needed to relocate to Bentonville Arkansas, I would have mastered the program. Two weeks went by and I received the offer as the very first 3D Technical Design Intern for Walmart Corporate. I worked in the software everyday leading up to my internship. Once I arrived in Arkansas, I fell in love with the flexibility of the 3D workflow, so much so that I decided to stay in 3D and later relocated to New York to be a 3D designer at The Moret Group to jumpstart their 3D journey. Now I am currently working at Under Armour and love the ability to assist my teammates in their 3D journey’s as well.”

To learn more about Brittany, click these links:

https://browzwear.com/indie-designer-spotlight-brittney-gray/

https://www.universityoffashion.com/instructor/brittney-grey/

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/brittneygray3d

Brittany Gray’s first lesson for UoF

MEET IRIS HOPKINS

Iris Hopkins – 3D instructor at UoF

Iris Hopkins – 3D instructor at UoF (Photo credit: Iris Hopkins)

I have always had an interest in bridging the gap between the traditional way of pattern making and innovation and 3D seems so fitting in my efforts. As a professional in this business, our goals are to get quality product to market faster with a focus on waste management through less sampling, eco-friendly materials, and upcycling. I want to be a part of a new generation of pattern makers who understands these points while remaining true to the craft through technology and innovation. In 3D, I have the ability to utilize all of this knowledge and skillsets in one place. My keen interest in 3D has led me down a path of exploration for about a year, teaching myself Browzwear VStitcher, followed by an enrollment in a five-week extensive learning program. Through my experience, I have found that the worlds of traditional pattern making and innovation do meet and connect in 3D and it is a great skill to have.

 For more about Iris and her 10+ years in the fashion industry click this link: https://www.universityoffashion.com/instructor/iris-hopkins/ and check out her work on IG @imhswim

Iris Hopkins – first lesson in 3D for UoF

Iris Hopkins – second lesson in 3D for UoF

Our new lessons require access to Browzwear VStitcher software. Software Licenses, BW support and access to the BW community of experts are available through this link: https://go.browzwear.com/indies-applicationIn the “I was referred by” field, type University of Fashion.

So, tell us, how interested are you in learning 3D design?

MEET PARRON ALLEN

- - Sustainability

THE BROOKLYN-BASED SUSTAINABLE DESIGNER WHO IS

SAVING THE WORLD – ONE GARMENT AT A TIME

Parron Allen (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

From Mississippi to Brooklyn…you’ve come a long way baby!!

Parron Allen Edwards-Stimola is a Brooklyn-based apparel designer and founder of the eponymous brand, Parron Allen. Parron’s design vision is inspired by his childhood in Lexington, Mississippi. His grandmother, Momma Ruth, expressed her spirit, love, and faith by sewing dresses for the women in her family. Parron witnessed these women shed some of Jim Crow’s burden in the simple yet thoughtful dresses that Momma Ruth made for them – smiling, twirling, and bantering about good things on days of rest. Momma Ruth made dresses as so many Black women did—with whatever materials were available—creating beauty from remnants long before upcycling began its march toward the mainstream.

Upcycled vest/shirt by Parron Allen (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

Parron’s designs echo this joyous harmony of whimsy and practicality in a voice for the present moment, reclaiming the art of upcycling for his ancestors and creating inventive collections using fabric remnants, discarded textiles, and thrifted garments. Prior to founding his brand in 2021, Parron Allen studied design in the US and UK and honed his skills at Vera Wang, Ellen Tracy, and Rebecca Taylor.

Here’s a preview of the interview, but to watch the full 30-minute version, subscribe to University of Fashion (unless you are already a subscriber). Parron shares his journey: his design process; inspirational and rag resources; his connections and mentors; and the ups and downs of working for himself. You are going to absolutely fall in love with this guy!!!

If you are thinking of creating your own sustainable design brand, then you MUST watch this video interview. The interview is conducted by Noor Bchara of Upcycle Design School, a sustainable designer and former FIT student of UoF’s founder, Francesca Sterlacci. Noor has also contributed three lessons on sustainable design for University of Fashion.

Upcycled trench by Parron Allen (image courtesy Parron Allen)

Parron and one of his mentors – designer Rebecca Taylor (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

In the interview, Parron answers the questions that all upstart sustainable designers want to know:

  • What inspired you to become a sustainable designer?
  • How did you get started?
  • Do you have a mentor?
  • Where do you get your materials?
  • Do you have funding?
  • What are your production resources?
  • How do you cost your designs?
  • How do you market your work?
  • Where do you sell your collection?
  • What are the challenges of being a sustainable designer?

Parron Allen in his design studio (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

When asked about his production capabilities, Parron responded that he loves his ‘little sewing machine’, which he uses to do a lot of upcycling with garments that already exist. But when it comes to production, especially his newest pieces, he uses his friend Anita and her small-scale production facility. Parron’s knowledge of draping, pattern making and sewing, is one of his most important assets.

Parron Allen at his famous ‘little sewing machine’ (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

Parron credits his sharp Instagram marketing skills, @parron.allen, and his sales acumen for the success he’s had in getting his collection into stores such as Art to Ware and Granru. He will also be announcing his own pop-up shop soon.

Art to Ware – one of Parron Allen’s retailers (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

Granru – one of Parron Allen’s retailers (Image courtesy: Parron Allen)

Once you watch our interview with Parron Allen, you will see how not only is he a very talented designer but that his personality, passion and drive are the key to his success.

For more about Parron Allen:

Instagram: @parron.allen

Website: www.parronallen.com

L.A. FASHION WEEK: The West Coast Capital of Fashion

- - Fashion Shows

The Lighthouse ArtSpace previously housed immersive Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo exhibitions. (Photo Credit: LAFW)

What was once  considered the step-child of New York Fashion Week, L.A. Fashion Week is back on the map and fast becoming the Capital of West Coast fashion. On Thursday, Oct. 6th – Sunday, Oct. 9th the LAFW Spring 2023 shows were presented by N4XT Experiences in Hollywood.  With a reimagined version of itself, the four-day extravaganza was filled with traditional runway shows alongside more immersive experiences, including pop-ups, fireside chats, activations and master classes from designers and artists including Maxwell Osborne of AnOnlyChild, Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport, Issa Rae, and Sami Miró of Sami Miro Vintage with Levi’s (for those in the know, the Sami Miró brand is the “It” vintage sustainable label with jeans going for $425).

The new addition of L.A. Fashion Week is now driven by the event agency N4XT Experiences, and its co-founder Ciarra Pardo, also president of Los Angeles Fashion Week Enterprises and former Creative Director of Fenty. Ciarra Pardo, stated in an interview with Fashion Network, “We really want to attract the younger crowd.”

LAFW has been undergoing a rebranding following its purchase by N4XT Experiences in January 2022. This October marks the second LAFW since the acquisition from Arthur Chipman, who trademarked the name in 2015. Historically, the LAFW has struggled to gain attention — as well as attendance — compared to the major fashion weeks. Smashbox Cosmetics and IMG attempted to remedy this for five years (without much success) and dissolved the partnership in 2008. In the past, LAFW lacked a clear organizer, and was notoriously disorganized with multiple organizations hosting different events. For the Spring 2023 season, N4XT Experiences was a clear showrunner, and sponsors included Mercedes Benz, Bolt and Delta Airlines.

Ciarra Pardo, co-founder of N4XT Experiences and President of LA Fashion Week Enterprises. (Photo Credit: Fashion Network)

Ciarra Pardo changed the LAFW narrative, citing learnings from her previous role as Fenty’s chief creative officer as key to informing her approach. It helps that eyes have been on LA as a fashion destination for global luxury brands. This past May, Dior showcased its menswear collection at Venice Beach in collaboration with Erl (an LA brand notably absent from the LAFW lineup). Also in May, Louis Vuitton took to La Jolla for its resort 2023 show. But Gucci arguably started the trend with its November 2021 “Love Parade” on Hollywood Boulevard.

“There is an energy in LA that was always looked over by the serious fashion calendar,” Pardo stated in an interview with Vogue. The city is a clean slate, Pardo explains on the draw of LA, in that it isn’t limited by tradition as key fashion month destinations might be in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. Pardo expects more LA mainstays to appear on LAFW lineups moving forward. “My hope is that this will become a destination for a lot of those brands who have sat out from the traditional way of doing things.”

Padro succeeded in her mission as lines stretched down the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard outside the Lighthouse ArtSpace, where a majority of fashion events took place. The new venue had a large, vast room where images could be projected on the wall showing starry nights or fireworks at the finale of a show.

Many West Coast fashion insiders were pleased with the Hollywood spot and the assortment of events organized around L.A. Fashion Week. One event was a “Live Art Meets Luxury” talk with Donald Robertson, an artist who is also Senior Vice President and Creative Director for the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. The talk was moderated by Danielle Lauder, the great-granddaughter of Estée Lauder and a beauty adviser to N4XT Experiences. Robertson drew smudged images of models on a large canvas while answering questions from Lauder about his artistic process and being a creative disruptor.

Donald Robertson explains his creative process to Danielle Lauder and the audience. (Photo Credit: WWD)

The fashion shows were also inclusive of various communities. Rio Uribe, the designer and founder of Gypsy Sport, presented an edgy, gender-bending show with male models wearing dresses, voluptuous female models wearing skimpy dresses and Zoot suits that reminded the L.A. designer of his Latino heritage.

A Look from Gypsy Sport’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gypsy Sport)

“We’re all about celebrating community. In Los Angeles, there is so much Latino and queer community, and I just wanted to give them a chance,” Uribe said in an interview with WWD. The designer moved his company back to Los Angeles from New York in 2019. Uribe said this L.A. Fashion Week felt different from others. He said there was more buzz about it. “Maybe it is the venue, but I felt more people were talking about it,” he said.

A look from the Gypsy Sport spring 2023 collection. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Revice Denim was awarded the annual MAFI Award (Moss Adams Fashion Innovation Award) for being an outstanding L.A. brand who epitomizes innovation. The sustainable denim brand uses deadstock, upcycled and organic cotton fabrics and its commitment to diversity in the workplace and domestic production is done primarily in downtown Los Angeles. “They produce beautiful vintage, iconic pieces, use sustainable fabrics and have a big commitment to a diverse workforce, which checked all the boxes for us,” said Martin Hughes, the apparel national practice leader for Moss Adams, a global accounting and consulting firm.

Revice Denim showed its spring 2023 collection using vintage looks seen over the years. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Maxwell Osborne, one of the former designers of the fashion brand Public School, created a new line known as AnOnlyChild. In his spring collection at LAFW he pushed out sustainable fashion with his chic and elegant designs.

A Look from Maxwell Osborne’s AnOnlyChild’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: AnOnlyChild)

Sami Miro Vintage presented her sustainable fashion collection in an intimate yet lively atmosphere during LAFW.

A Look from Sami Miro Vintage’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nadja Sayej)

Jennifer Zuccarini, the founder and designer behind the intimate label Fleur du Mal, celebrated the brands ten-year anniversary during LAFW.

Fleur Du Mal celebrated their 10 year anniversary at LAFW. (Photo Credit: Sansho)

Overall, the four-day festivities were a strong demonstration of LA’s diverse fashion culture. Many up-and-coming designers and brands were featured, sustainable design was front and center and the fact that California still has domestic production manufacturing capabilities, primarily in downtown Los Angeles (unlike the East coast), it is definitely a place where upstart designers can flourish. Keep your eyes open for the West Coast to give NYFW a run for its money.

So tell us, are you considering your own fashion show? Maybe you should check out LAFW as an option?

PARIS FASHION WEEK SPRING 2023: THE THEATRICS OF IT ALL

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Looks from Dior’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Au revoir fashion month! Fashion’s grand finale, Paris Fashion Week, wrapped up Tuesday, Oct. 4th and it was a full 9 days of back-to-back shows, parties, and events. The IRL runway shows were packed with guests and celebrities, and the week was back to pre-pandemic levels. The fashion was magnificent as the French have a flare for the theatrical, ranging from pannier looks (Panniers or side hoops are women’s undergarments worn in the 17th and 18th centuries to extend the width of the skirts at the side while leaving the front and back relatively flat), to asymmetrical hemlines, bra tops, and catsuits.

Paris Fashion Week was filled with just as much excitement on the runways and off.

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

At Loewe, guests were sent a red anthurium flower as the invitation as the bold flower appeared on dresses, modelled as bra cups and breastplates made from metal covered in ceramic paint.

A look from Ester Manas’ Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Ester Manas celebrated ALL women. Her Spring 2023 show notes stated that ‘Everyone is welcome’, this was clear with the collection’s size-inclusive cast.

Stella McCartney and her models celebrate her Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

Stella McCartney is one of the biggest designers championing sustainable clothing and this season was her most sustainable collection to date, using 87% conscious materials.

A look from Junya Watababe’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Junya Watanabe returned to Paris with a bang. The models sported fantastic New Romantic wigs and strutted to a soundtrack of Duran Duran.

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

The set at Balenciaga was an immense dimly lit mud pit that stank of damp soil as the poor models trudged around the perimeter. The show opened with Ye dressed in a multi-pocketed security guard jacket. Demna Gvasalia, the creative director for the brand, described the set as a ‘metaphor for digging for truth’.

Maria Grazia Chiuri on the runway of her Christian Dior Show with Dutch choreographers Imre and Marne van Opstal and their troupe who performed during the event. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Inspired by Catherine de Medici, who is recognized for bringing high heels, corsets, and Burano lace to the French court, Maria Grazia Chiuri riffed on the wide-skirt silhouette from that era for Dior’s Spring 2023. At the center of the runway was a grotto set by French artist Eva Jospin and a performance by dancers and choreographers Marne and Imre Van Opstal and their troupe.

Cher closes Balmain Spring 2023 Runway Show in a custom jumpsuit with designer Olivier Rousteing. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Cher made a cameo appearance at Balmain’s festival at Stade Jean-Bouin. She is the new face of Balmain’s handbag campaign, and the star joined creative director Olivier Rousteing for his bow.

The French artist Philippe Parreno began planning the Louis Vuitton set in June and construction began in August. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

A huge ‘monster flower’ installation designed by artist Philippe Parreno pulsated at the heart of the Louis Vuitton show, complete with lightbulb chandeliers whizzing about over ahead.

Victoria Beckham poses with family members Cruz, Harper, husband David, Romeo, Brooklyn and Brooklyn’s wife, Nicola Peltz, at her runway show. (Photo Credit: WireImage)

Victoria Beckham’s Paris runway debut brought a sexier edge to the brand, set against the backdrop of the cloisters of Val-de-Grâce. The Beckham family were all in attendance to cheer her on.

Issey Miyake’s runway show. (Photo Credit: Issey Miyake)

The first Issey Miyake show since the founder’s death in August, opened with a portrait of the late designer on big screens displaying one of his quotes, ‘I believe there is hope in design. Design evokes surprise and joy in people.’

Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino Spring 2023 Show in a sheer crystal embellished bodysuit from the brand. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Zendaya made a stunning appearance at the Valentino’s show during Paris Fashion Week and took a front seat to the runway. The actress wore a sheer bodysuit covered in tiny crystals covering a pair of black short-shorts, all from Valentino’s Spring 2022 collection.

Blackpink’s Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress. (Photo Credit: WWD)

K-Pop sensation Blackpink took over Paris Fashion Week as bandmembers made various appearances. Rosé attended Saint Laurent in a black minidress, Jisoo paired a black mini with fishnets at Dior and Jennie Kim looked absolutely delightful in a colorful, knit look at Chanel.

Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian heading to Baleciaga’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Kylie Jenner also made a splash at Paris Fashion Week as the reality star popped up in multiple front rows and events. She definitely went out of her comfort zone as she wore bold fashion looks.

Bella Hadid Closing Show at Coperni’s Spring 2023 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube The Front Row

In a runway moment that evoked the iconic Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999 show, in which Shalom Harlow’s white dress was live-painted on the runway by two robots as she stood on a rotating platform, Coperni designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant sprayed a dress onto Bella Hadid before the audience’s eyes. It was a moment very clearly engineered to go viral, but in that respect, it was a massive success: The brand gained hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers in the days after the show, and a post depicting the moment garnered over 2 million likes in just 48 hours, according to Nylon Magazine.

Doja Cat took Paris Fashion Week by storm. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Doja Cat was a front row fixture all month long, sometimes putting the collections on the runways to shame. The entertainer is definitely having fun with fashion.

Off-White’s tribute to founder Virgil Abloh during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Off-White)

Spring 2023 marked Ib Kamara’s first, as the art and image director at Off-White in the wake of founder Virgil Abloh’s passing, and the show — complete with a live musical performance and a dancers — was a lovely celebration of the Abloh’s life, work, and legacy.

Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Runway Cadillac. (Photo Credit: HighSnobSociety)

It doesn’t matter where Thom Browne shows, his runway extravaganzas are nothing short of magic. This season, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez shut down the runway by climbing into a pink Cadillac as Aretha Franklin song of the same name blasted from the speakers.

BIZZAREST MOMENT OF PARIS FASHION WEEK

Candace Owens and Kanye West at his Yeezy Season 9 sow in their controversial shirts. (Photo Credit: Candace Owens/ Twitter)

Kanye West — who legally changed his name to Ye — sparked controversy in his black long-sleeve tee with its statement, “White Lives Matter” which is considered a “hate slogan” by the Anti-Defamation League, during his Yeezy Season 9 event at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, October 10th. His look was on full display as the designer gave a speech during the opening of the presentation. It was also featured in an image uploaded to Twitter by conservative commentator Candace Owens — who wore the same shirt in white to the show.

The fashion industry has collectively deemed Ye’s YZY show as dangerous and irresponsible, and they have also rallied around Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson after the artist bullied her in response to her critique on the show.

PARIS FASHION WEEK TRENDS

Aside from Ye’s disastrous show, there was plenty of great fashion in Paris and here are a few breakout trends:

HIP PARADE

Everything old is new again, even the pannier – an under-structure used in eighteenth-century fashion that created a shape wide at the sides and flat at the front and back – designers ranging from Dior to Loewe all created modernized versions of the hip-accentuating silhouette.

A look from Christian Dior’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rochas’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Lanvin’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HOOD NEWS

Hooded evening-looks were all over the runways in Milan, and in Paris the trend is going strong.  But in France, the capuche (French for hood) looks more like a cowl or an already-attached headscarf than what you’d see on a sweatshirt. These hooded ensembles can be found on anything from a cropped top to a slinky gown.

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Mônot’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

BRIEF ENCOUNTER

This spring the French Runways were filled with the tiniest of shorts, so go ahead and show off your legs.

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alessandra Rich’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

LEATHER ALERT

Bra tops have been going strong and for Spring 2023, the French Runways were filled with leather variations of the controversial top.

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Monot’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Saint Sernin’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Koche’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Vaquera’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

CATSUITS

Designers are favoring the one-and-done style of the catsuit this Spring season. From Sheer and sparkling numbers to printed versions, one things for sure, none of these looks are a bore.

A look from Balmain’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HELLO MOTO

The moto-bike trend trickled up from the streets to the Paris Runways. For spring 2023, there were plenty of moto jackets that ranged from graphic motifs to minimalistic leather versions.

A look from Chloé’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ottolinger’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO

It was a disco inferno on the Paris runways as designers presented sparkling dresses that are perfect for dancing the night away.

A look from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sacai’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE CANADIAN TUXEDO

The Y2K trend is still going strong as designers are inspired by Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake matching denim looks from the 2001 American Music Awards. An update to the Canadian Tuxedo definitely made its mark on the Paris runways this season.

A look from Chloé’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balenciaga’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from AZ Factory’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SIDE HUSTLE

Another popular Y2K trend is back for Spring 2023, the asymmetrical hemline. In Paris, designers opted to shift mullet hems from to side-to-side for a modern version of the handkerchief dresses.

A look from Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Issey Miyake’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Rick Owens’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Sacai’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

HIPS DON’T LIE

And the Y2K continues with low-rise bottoms. Designers in Paris presented low-rise everything: skirts, jeans, trousers, cargo pants and shorts. This trend is here to stay.

A look from Stella McCartney’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Thom Browne’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Off-White’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Givenchy’s Spring 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

So tell us, after New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks, which city do you think has the strongest trends?

MILAN SPRING 2023 SHOWS HAD PLENTY OF VIRAL MOMENTS

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Seeing Double at Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show called Twinburg. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Ciao bella! Milan Fashion week wrapped up on September 26th, and the events were back to pre-pandemic levels with plenty of IRL runway shows, parties and oh so many celebrities. The fashion was spectacular as Italians have a flare for the dramatic, ranging from exquisite embroideries to bold clashing prints, perhaps as a reaction to looming uncertainty around the world. MFW was also the backdrop of Italy’s general elections which provoked a tense social and political debate in the country as far-right leader Giorgia Meloni claimed victory in Italy’s election and is on course to become the country’s first female prime minister. “Italians have sent a clear message in favor of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy,” she told reporters in Rome, holding up a sign saying, “Thank you Italy”.

Leader of Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni is Italy’s first female prime minister. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Milan Fashion Week has an official tagline for their Spring 2023 season: When things get tough, sometimes all you need is a good distraction. And there were plenty of great distractions from doppelgänger styling at Gucci to chaotic collapsing models at Avavav, shock-factor fashion was in full effect.

Avavav’s Beate Karlsson had her models fall down the runway. (Photo Credit: Paper Magazine)

From head-turning stunts to more-is-more troupes, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2023 set a standard for meme-worthy material. For starters, there was Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show titled Twinsburg. Creative director Alessandro Michele sent 68 sets of identical twins down the runway with clashing patterns, flashy sequins, low-slung skirts and other-worldly accessories, the maximalist collection was an unrestricted exploration of identity.

Seeing Double at Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show called Twinburg. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

Donatella Versace embraced the Y2K trend as she had Paris Hilton strut down the runway in a hot pink sparkling dress. Quoting Paris Hilton’s catchphrase, “That’s hot”.

Paris Hilton walks the runway during Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

Versace was not the only designer to embrace a reality star, Dolce & Gabbana had Kim Kardashian curate their spring 2023 show. The collection titled “Ciao Kim” was filled with corsets, gauzy dresses and leopard prints pulled from the 1987 to 2007 archives as they reissued past hits. “It was a dream come true to see all the originals being made, after all these years it’s stuff we would wear today,” Kim Kardashian said in an interview with The Guardian.

Kim Kardashian takes a bow after her collaboration Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Boss’ creative director Marco Falcioni was also feeling nostalgic this season as he had nineties supermodel Naomi Campbell open his show, which was filled with a softer take on the power suit.

Naomi Campbell opened the BOSS’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Boss)

Campbell was not the only Nineties supermodel to strut down the runway in Milan. Her dear friend Kate Moss walked Bottega Veneta’s show in a leather lumberjack shirt and delivered leather chinos in ultra-light supremely soft nubuck that had to be touched to be believed.

Kate Moss walks Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

He may be 88 years old, but Giorgio Armani can still produce a fashion moment. With Armani muses Cate Blanchett and Lauren Hutton praising him from the front row, his show finale transformed into something of a salon show, as nine models in embellished evening gowns stopped so the exquisiteness of construction could be rightfully admired.

Designer Giorgio Armani flanked by his models at his Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

On the last day of Milan Fashion Week, Burberry hosted its anticipated collection at a warehouse in London, inviting a star-studded list of attendees both on (Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Mariacarla Boscono) and off (Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Normani) the runway.

Bella Hadid at Burberry’s Spring 2023 Show. Riccardo Tisci’s last collection for the house. (Photo Credit: Getty Image

This was Ricardo Tisci’s swan song as it was announced on Sept. 28th that Tisci is stepping down from his role as creative director for Burberry and Daniel Lee will take the reign on Oct. 3rd.

According to Tisci, Burberry’s Spring 2023 collection was inspired by the beach, which Tisci explained in a press release as “as a place where humanity meets, a point where different worlds collide.”

“In summer, in Britain, the beach is a place of democracy, of community. It’s where people from all cultures can in simple pleasures. I wanted to translate that ideology — that emotion — to an entire collection. I wanted to express that spirit of togetherness and joy, that reality,” Tisci stated. “That tension between dressing and undressing, between revelation and protection, underwear and outerwear, all feels relevant to now and part of Burberry’s modern DNA… I was inspired by the liberation and openness of youth, of people embracing their bodies and revealing them – a pride in themselves, who they are, their identities. Their freedom. This feels modern, this feels right, and this feels Burberry.”

While there were so many show-stopping moments during Milan Fashion Week, here are a few of the season’s breakout trends.

POOLSIDE PARTY

Designers are diving headfirst into poolside style this spring 2023 season. With plenty of swimsuits, cover-ups, and sunhats, these pieces are brimming with aquatic flavor. Moschino took the trend a step further with children’s swim floats wrapped over evening gowns.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Ferragamo’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Max Mara’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Luisa Beccaria’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

THE BLING RING

No-one does sparkle and embellishments like the Italians and this season was full of shiny new promises.

A look from Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Del Core’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

FLOWER POWER

Florals for spring….groundbreaking. Well, this season designers added flare to floral motifs with bold dimensional flowers on everything from evening gowns to pencil skirts.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from GCDS’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

GOTHIC DIVINE

Channeling all high priestesses, designers in Milan have heard your prayers and delivered wickedly goth inspired looks. From Versace’s goddesses gone grunge looks to Blumarine’s denim crosses, these dark, romantic looks are a fresh take for spring.

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Antonio Marras’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

SHEER FACTOR

The transparency trend is still going strong, and the Milan runways offered plenty of variations from sheer skirts to peak-a-boo dresses.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue.)

FRINGE WATCH

Playful fringe looks took center stage on the Milan runways. From Jil Sander’s knit and sequence fringe skirts to Diesel’s denim trucker jacket, one things for sure, loose threads never looked so good.

A look from Bottega Venetta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Sportmax’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

FIT TO PRINT

Opposites attract as clashing prints made their mark on plenty of designer runways.

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Matty Bovan’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Looks from Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show. )Photo Credit: Vogue)

IN THE HOOD

This season, there was a fine line between sci-fi and streetwear when it came to evening wear as hooded gowns made their mark on the runway.

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Ferragamo’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, what are your favorite trends so far?

SPRING 2023 SHOWS: LONDON MOURNS THEIR QUEEN BUT THE SHOWS MUST GO ON

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

 

Erdem’s show finale felt like a page being inscribed in the annals of British fashion history. This was a tribute to the Queen. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

London Fashion Week’s Spring 2023 season was like no other. England’s longest reigning monarch passed away on Sept. 8, at Balmoral Castle, plunging the nation into 10 days of official mourning. Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old when she passed and ruled Britain 70 years. As per the Queen’s wishes, Prince Charles became King Charles III, as he promises to walk in his mother’s footsteps.

The Final Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo Credit: Ranald Mackechnie, Courtesy of Buckingham Palace)

Shows were scheduled to begin September 15th and end on September20th, but major brands like Burberry chose to cancel their show altogether, and some wondered if fashion week would — or should — happen at all. But of course, the shows forged on as many designers paid their respects to her Royal Majesty.

On Sunday night, Sept. 18th — the eve of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II — the line of people waiting to pay their last respects to the late monarch stretched so far through the heart of the British capital that it could be seen from space, according to The New York Times. The following morning, September 19, the queen’s state funeral took place at Westminster Abbey; then a legion of military officers towed her casket through the streets of London in a processional to Windsor Castle. Naturally, it was all very touching — from the little tantrums to the unbelievable crowds to the mournful bongs of Big Ben that backdropped the funeral march. Queen Elizabeth II is now at her final resting place which is marked with a new ledger stone in the King George VI Memorial chapel, Buckingham Palace has said. The stone slab bears the name of the late Queen, her husband Prince Philip, and her parents, with the two generations separated by a metal garter star.

While Britain is also a country with a national identity forged in times of heartache and trouble — of which there recently has been plenty for designers: the continuing fallout from Brexit, the pandemic, and the likelihood of recession. Out of respect for the Queen, all of the parties this season had been canceled, but many young designers rallied for their shows to go on. And thankfully they did, because London Fashion Week always serves up such inspirational fashion moments.

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ayesha Kazim for The New York Times)

“It has been a challenging two years,” Harris Reed said in an interview with The New York Times. “Speaking with my fellow young designers, most of whom have put their entire brand budgets into shows to bring in sales and brand awareness, it is so important, now more than ever, to support the small brands in London.”

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

London has a reputation for embracing and nurturing young fashion talent, and this season there were a number of breakthrough emerging designers, such as Chopova Lowena and Karoline Vitto; but the fashion old guard also reminded us of why the capital’s fashion reputation also rests on the rich depth of its storytelling. And while London Fashion Week was filled with emotion, fashion designers proudly honored their Queen.

Looks from SimoneRocha’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

A look from Chopova Lowena’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Here are a few of the biggest trends that came out of London Fashion Week:

PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE QUEEN (ELIZABETH NOT ALEXANDER)

A number of British designers paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in their collections. Case in point, designer JW Anderson, whose finale was a black T-shirt with the words “Her Majesty The Queen 1926-2022 Thank you” on the front.

“It felt important to keep going, because this is a time when London needs to stick together, and right now some of this city’s young designers are at risk of losing their businesses,” JW Anderson said to New York Times reporters backstage, as revelers outside drank the night away. “That is an extremely British attitude.”

Here are a few other designers who honored the Queen this season.

JW Anderson, who fought to keep London Fashion Week alive in the midst of unprecedented “royal mourning,” ended his London Fashion Week show with six lovely words. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A silent catwalk with the Union Jack wrapped tight around the heart at Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)Traditional lace collars and black netted crowns took the spotlight at Richard Quinn, whose 2018 fashion show was attended by Queen Elizabeth II herself. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Tiny crochet corgi dolls became a key accessory at RuiRui’s show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The speakers went silent at the show for Halpern’s opening look, which paid homage to the 1957 ballgown the Queen wore to greet French president Charles de Gaulle. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Great Britain, ultra tiny dress. The Union Jack rises at Poster Girl’s Spring Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Bora Aksu’s show opened with a military drum salute before turning into a parade of looks inspired partly by the Queen’s military service in World War II. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DOT ON

We will all be seeing spots this season as designers offered the playful graphic print on everything from dramatic suits to frothy frocks.

A look from Richard Quinn’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

CUT-IT-OUT

The sexy cut-out trend is going strong for spring especially in sultry gowns that will surly get you noticed at your next bash.

A look from Nensi Dojaka’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A-ROUND-WE-GO

Bubble shapes are all the rage this spring 2023 season. From futuristic spear-shaped hemlines to rounded peplum shapes, these dramatic objects add a playful flare to your wardrobe.

A look from Richard Quinn’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

YOUR NOT SO BASIC TEE

Everyone’s favorite basic gets a quirky make-over this spring. And what timing! Just as UoF is about to launch an entire series on drafting cut & sew T-shirts and 4-way stretch knits!

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dilara Findikoglu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

TRAINING DAY

Add some drama to your next affair with floor-sweeping trains. Whether you opt for the minimal slip dress version or a maximalist feathered skirt, these dramatic hemlines are oh so sexy.

A look from Harris Reed’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdem’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from David Koma’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FEELING FROU

Frothy, romantic ruffles were all over the runways during London Fashion Week.

A look from Molly Goddard’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Halpern’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Erdem’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bora Aksu’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Simone Rocha’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what is your favorite spring 2023 trend so far?

 

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK RECAP : ANNIVERSARIES AND COLLABORATIONS GALORE

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SPRING 2023

Looks from Tom Ford’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Hunter Abrams)

New York Fashion Week just wrapped up and it was so exciting to finally see shows back in IRL. And the schedule was packed with back-to-back shows, presentations, and parties. One of the most notable gatherings was the NYFW cocktail reception  kick-off  held at Gracie Mansion hosted by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Anna Wintour (chief content officer and global editorial director of Vogue) and Steven Kolb (chief executive officer of the Council of Fashion Designers of America).

Show dates ran from Friday, Sept. 9 – Wednesday September 14th. Proenza Schouler opened fashion week with their 20th anniversary show and Tom Ford closed the week with his runway extravaganza. Participants ranged from heavy hitters like Tory Burch and Michael Kors to emerging designers like ASHLYN, One/Of by Patricia Voto, and Tia Adeola who joined the fashion week calendar for the first time. Additionally, 2022 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists: Fe Noel, Sukeina, No Sesso, Elena Velez, Judy Turner, Wiederhoeft, and Black Boy Knits, presented for the first time as well.

Backstage looks at Tommy Hilfiger’s Fall 2022 Show. )Photo Credit: Hunter Abrams)

Tommy Hilfiger returned to NYFW with a homecoming celebration. He teamed up with British designer Richard Quinn for a modern take on classic Americana presented on the Brooklyn waterfront against the New York skyline backdrop. Following in the footsteps of Jeremy Scott, with his Scott x Viramontes Buffalo Boys spring 2023 menswear collection, which paid homage to the late artist Tony Viramontes, Hilfiger paid tribute to former NYC icon Andy Warhol and his famous creative studio known as the Factory.

 

fendi baguette handbag

25th Anniversary of the Fendi Baguette Bag (Image credit: Fendi.com)

A few international labels joined NYFW for the first time, such as the Milan-based label Marni and Swedish brand COS. Meanwhile, Fendi held a special show to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their iconic Baguette Bag, made famous by non other than Carrie Bradshaw of Sex in the City fame. And, in what seems to be another fashion trend- designer collaborations – Fendi’s creative director Kim Jones teamed up with Marc Jacobs for a capsule collection known as ‘Marjendi’, and Tiffany & Co. also got in on the act with diamond-encrusted white gold buckles on  baguettes.

Plenty of A-list celebrities were in attendance at the Fendi show and the show closed with 90s supermodel Linda Evangelista in her first runway appearance in 15 years (post cool sculpting fat freezing trauma).

Fendi celebrates it’s 25-Year Anniversary of the Baguette Bag. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

NYFW also had a special meaning this year as the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) celebrated its 60th anniversary. “As the organizer of the official NYFW schedule, we are incredibly proud to release a lineup that reflects our founding principle: to promote American fashion on a global scale,” the council’s CEO Steven Kolb said in a statement. “We celebrate the collective excellence, diversity, and resilience of our industry and look forward to a strong American collections season alongside our esteemed international guests.”

Kim Kardashian sits with Sarah Jessica Parket at Fendi’s 25th Baguette anniversary. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

It was so exciting to see New York Fashion Week return with so many exciting moments. Celebrities were out in full force as they graced the front row and a few even walked the runway. Kourtney Kardashian, Travis Barker and Alabama Barker attended Tommy Hilfiger; Kim Kardashian sat next to Sarah Jessica Parker at Fendi; Regina Hall attended the Jason Wu fashion show; and Janet Jackson attended Christian Siriano’s show. As for strutting the runway, Lil Nas X took the stage during Coach’s 1941 fashion show; Martha Stewart walked the runway with designer and good friend Dennis Basso; and Serena Williams opened Vogue World Runway in custom Balenciaga.

Lil Nas X made his runway debut during Coach’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Here are a few of the breakout trends of the spring 2023 season:

MIDAS TOUCH

Designers are going for gold this season as the metallic hue can be found on everything from dramatic eveningwear to striking tops and everything in between.

A look from Jason Wu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tom Ford’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

JEAN SPIRIT

Denim is a staple in everyone’s wardrobe, but for spring 2023, designers are feeling nostalgic as they bring back the classic long denim skirt trend. The recycled trend did not only appear on the runways, but they made their mark on streetstyle stars as well.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Marni’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hellessy’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Hellessy)

A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alice + Olivia’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

INSIDE-OUT

Designers are showing off their construction techniques this season with exposed seams, boning details and dramatic draping.

A look from Monse’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ashlyn’s Spring 2023 SHow. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Elena Velez’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Marine Serre’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jason Wu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BUBBLELICIOUS

The Eighties are back as the bubble hem makes a splash on the spring 2023 New York runways. The flirty silhouette can be found on everything from dramatic evening gowns to effortlessly cool skirts.

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bibhu Mohapatra’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Christian Siriano’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Khaite’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FRINGE WATCH

The fringe trend is still going strong and for spring 2023, designers are offering an array of fringe dresses and skirts that are perfect festive looks.

A look from Michael Kors’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Paco Rabanne’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bronx and Banco’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

POCKET CHANGE

Retro utility pockets are all the rave this spring 2023 season as designers are thinking practically and making sure your favorite look comes with plenty of storage for all your essentials.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Monse’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dion Lee’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from LaQuan Smith’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Brandon Maxwell’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from No Sesso’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FEELING FRUITY

Stand out this spring season as citrus inspired tones are all the rage.

A look from Marni’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tia Adeola’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dion Lee’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tory Burch’.s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE HIGH-LOW

Show off your favorite party shoes because the high-low hem is back and these dresses look better than ever.

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Batsheva’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Aliette’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Peter Do’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what was your favorite trend that came out of New York Fashion Week?

INDIA COUTURE WEEK CELEBRATES ITS 15-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

- - Fashion Shows

Looks by Falguni Shane Peacock’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Did you know that Mumbai, India is listed among the top 10 Fashion Capitals of the World and one of the fastest-growing fashion capitals globally? You would also be interested to know that India ranks in the top 3 countries of University of Fashion subscribers. list of Fashion Capitals (Image credit: thevou.com)

INDIA ON THE GLOBAL FASHION STAGE

In 1999, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), India’s equivalent of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America), ignited Indian ready-to-wear fashion with FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week, followed by India Couture Week in 2008, thus placing Indian designers on the global fashion map.

In fact, the sustainable designs of Indian couturiers Vaishali Shadangule and Rahul Mishra were exhibited at Paris Haute Couture Week (PHCW) Spring/Summer 2021 – a first!

In another proud moment for India, several Indian designers, models and influencers were invited to showcase at prestigious global events like Paris and Milan 2022 Fashion Week. Masoom Minawala became the first Indian influencer to walk the ramp as part of her ‘Face of Indian Fashion’ campaign. Her style consists of  ‘desi’ (refers to people, cultures and products of a specific region) and ‘fusion’.

Indian designer Binal Patel showcased his ‘TheRealB’ collection and Kamal Haasan’s fashion line ‘KH House of Khaddar’ made their debut at Paris Fashion Week in 2022, while Dhruv Kapoor, for the seventh time, showed his collection during Milan Fashion Week. Vaishali S became the first female Indian designer to showcase in Milan and model Avanti Nagrath went down in history as the first Indian to open the show for global fashion powerhouse Versace.

Indian model Avant Nagrath

Indian model Avanti Nagrath opening the Versace show 2022

INDIA’S TOP FASHION DESIGNERS

If you Google, ‘ Top 10 Indian Fashion Designers 2022’, up pops a list that includes: Ritu Kumar, Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal, Masaba Gupta, Neeta Lulla, Anita Dongre, Anamika Khanna and Manish Arora. Google ‘Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop’ and you will find hundreds of Indian designers and their collections. One thing that you’ll notice right away is the use of magnificent embroideries and hand loomed textiles. India is every designer’s paradise. You will also realize that you’ll need educate yourself on Indian fashion styles so that you can tell the difference between different kinds of sarees: Traditional, Fusion, Dhoti, Lehanga, Jacket and Pant sarees, and the various types of ‘sets’: Lehenga Anarkali, Kurta, Gharara and Sharara. And that’s just womenswear fashion terminology, men’s have their own long list. Explore Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, it’s a lot of fun, educational and VERY inspirational!

So, why is India a designer’s paradise? The richness of their hand loomed textiles, the wonderful master craftsmen who keep the art and craft of embroidery flourishing and the country itself is a wonderful source of inspiration. India even has an entirely ‘Pink City’ – Jaipur!

If you want to know how much fun it is to design in India, just ask our founder, Francesca Sterlacci. She spent seven years working there and traveling extensively throughout the country. Francesca explored various regions famous for a particular textile or craft, such as hand loomed sheer fabrics made on handlooms in Coimbature, cotton plaids from Madras, rayon textiles made in Surat, Bandini cloth of Jodphur and, of course, India’s wonderful tambour embroideries. Francesca’s fav embroidery is called ‘badla work’, which uses thread made from slabs of metal that are melted and pierced through steel sheets.

indian embroidery badla work

Badla work embroidery (www.pinterest.com)

INDIA COUTURE WEEK

After two years of digital shows due to Covid 19, India Couture Week (also known as ICW) was finally back in physical runway form, from July 22nd – July 31st, in New Delhi. The shows were a true celebration of homegrown talent, craftsmanship and handlooms, commemorating the 15th anniversary of India Couture Week.

India is home to the largest film producing industry in the world, Bollywood and stars like Priyanka Chopra Jones and Deepika Pakudone are frequent celeb A-listers at most Indian fashion shows.

THE WORLD’S LARGEST WEDDING MARKET

The UN now predicts that by 2023, China will lose its top spot to India as the world’s largest population. With India’s population now at 1.412 billion that’s a lot of weddings. It’s no wonder that India is fast becoming the world’s largest bridal market, according to CNN.

It should also come as no surprise that leading Indian designers showcased their bridal creations at India Couture Week (ICW). All 13 of the participating couturiers of ICW used the platform to celebrate the rich heritage of Indian crafts and handwoven textiles in both Western and traditional South Asian silhouettes.

“In India, wearing couture is part of bridal traditions, and many brides look to (India Couture Week) for cues as to what to wear,” said Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FCDI).

While Paris’ couture sets the tone for the exclusive world of luxury fashion, in India, couture has a noticeable impact on people’s spending behavior. This is particularly evident in the country’s wedding industry, which, pre-pandemic was worth around $50 billion a year, second only to the United States, according to a 2017 report by consultancy KPMG.

“In Paris, couture drives editorials and red-carpet dressing,” said designer Rahul Mishra, an ICW regular who has presented three collections at the prestigious Paris Haute Couture Week. “In India, couture week drives real consumption.”

Looks by Rahul Mishra’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“Weddings in India have always been about grandeur and showmanship,” said wedding planner Devika Narain in an interview with CNN. “Post-pandemic there has been a shift, (whereby) weddings have become more intimate — and people want to create an experience. It is quality over quantity, and they are looking for something unique.”

This includes clothing. Narain said many Indian brides are happy to spend between 600,000 and 10 million rupees ($7,600 to $126,000) on wedding attire alone. “Don’t forget: Indian weddings involve more than one function,” she said. “So multiple ensembles are needed.”

COUTURE DESIGNER INSPIRATION

Here are some of the looks that made news at ICW:

AMIT AGGARWAL 

A Look by Amit Aggarwal’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

 

FALGUNI SHANE PEACOCK

A Look by Falguni Shane Peacock’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: Vogue India)

Inspired by French tapestries and the Renaissance, Falguni Shane Peacock’s collection, Love Forever, marries the aesthetics of Art Nouveau and French and Indian architecture. According to the design duo Falguni Peacock and Shane Peacock, the ensembles serve a traditional yet contemporary design for the new-age bride.

ROHIT GANDHI + RAHUL KHANNA

A Look by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: LifestyleAsia)

Titled ‘Fibonacci’, the Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna collection of eveningwear, combines the aesthetics of architecture with Fibonacci wave theory (measures a wave’s ratio/structure). Dramatic fabrics are combined with precise techniques to create looks that are built on mathematical clarity, but remain at the brink of chaos. According to the design duo, this collection is made up of nude tulles, breezy organzas, and opulent velvets.

JJ VALAYA

Looks by JJ Valaya’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: LifestyleAsia)

J J Valaya’s fall/winter 2022-23 collection is inspired by the historic aesthetics of Spain. Titled, ‘Alma’ the collection blends luxurious fabrics, elegant details with the rich embroidery known to the label. “The history of this season’s inspiration, Spain, goes back to over a million years back and this is not the first time that I’ve been inspired by this magical country. But how can one fully and creatively explore any things that has such a vibrant past in just one collection! Therefore, I present to you ALMA (Meaning ‘Soul’ in Spanish), my all-new collection for the Couture seasons of 2022-23, ” says the designer on this inspired collection.

ANJU MODI

Looks by Anju Modi’s Couture 2022 Collection in New Delhi, India. (Photo Credit: RetroPopStyle)

Titled ‘The Road Less Traveled’, Anju Modi’s collection is an insight into the designer’s travels around  the world. Modi says this is her most personal collection so far.

INDIA and SUSTAINABLE FASHION

According to the Business of Fashion-McKinsey State of Fashion 2022 report, “the Indian fashion industry accounts for approximately 2.1 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions per year—that’s 4 per cent of annual global emissions. More than 70 per cent of these emissions come from production processes, with the remainder coming from retail, logistics and product use. Some 125 companies—including brands like Levi’s and H&M—have committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action launched in 2018“, the report stated. Hopefully these measures will help drive India to more sustainable practices.

In 2019, the central government launched Project SU.RE—short for sustainability resolution—to push the textile industry towards fashion that contributes to a clean environment. Around 16 of India’s top fashion retailers including Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Future Group, and Aditya Birla Retail pledged to source and utilize a substantial portion of their total output using sustainable raw materials and processes by 2025 under the SU.RE initiative. Industry players, meanwhile, say a more concerted effort from the government is required for ethical clothing however, bootstrapped start-ups from India are leading the transformation from environmentally degrading fast fashion to a slower fashion cycle.

STAY TUNED

While ICW took place in the Indian capital this summer, the next joint edition of FDCI x Lakmé Fashion Week will take place in Mumbai from October 12 to 16, 2022, so stay tuned.

If you’d like to learn more about intricate embroideries like they create in India, view our embroidery series by Sylvia Perramon- who is Lesage and Indian trained.

 

CALLING ALL TEACHERS  STUDENTS & SCHOOLS

school' out

Welcome Back! We hope you had a fun summer and are excited about your new school term. It’s time to buckle down, crack the books, and meet those project deadlines. If you’re a high school or college aspiring fashion design or fashion business student or teacher, we ARE your NEW best friend.

We have has over 500 lessons in 13 different disciplines from beginner to advanced to help you get through your academic term. As a UoF subscriber, you can access all of our lessons morning, noon and night, and as many times as you want. Now that’s what I call a tutor!

To help get you started, we’re offering $5 off the first month of an individual recurring monthly subscription (was $19.95 – now $14.95). Use promo code: NEW. And for $20 off an individual yearly subscription (was $189 now $169) use promo code: SCHOOL. Move fast, these offers expire on Oct 30, 2022.

HOW WE HELP FACULTY

Just this week we heard from two fashion college faculty members, at a top New York fashion school, whose teaching schedules changed at the last minute. University of Fashion to the rescue. One needed to brush up on her draping skills, the other on her drafting skills, so…they became UoF subscribers and called to thank us. Whew, that was close.

girl costing a garment

 

Another teacher at an LA fashion school needed to brush up on her retail math, merchandising and marketing skills and she too became a subscriber. Our business videos, in fact all of our videos, are taught by fashion college professors and industry professionals, so the information is top notch and current.

A teacher who teaches visual merchandising at a fashion college in Florida told us that he’ll be using our visual merchandising series as a supplement to the current curriculum in his hybrid classroom. Ever since COVID, many more teachers have embraced online learning and are including us in their lesson plans. Wohoo!

HOW WE HELP STUDENTS

student measuring neckline

We especially love helping design students. For many it’s the first time they’ve had to calculate inches and centimeters, which is why our lesson entitled How to Read a Ruler is SO popular. When frustration sets in, because an instructor moves too fast during a demo causing the student to fall behind, we are here for them. In the privacy of their own home, students (and teachers) can watch and rewind a lesson until it sinks in. Whether it’s a sewing, draping, drawing or drafting lesson, we’ve got you covered. Oh, and did you know that we also answer any and all of your questions within 24 hours via our Customer Service link? At UoF, our teachers want you to succeed.

HOW SCHOOLS CAN SUBSCRIBE

If you are a teacher at a high school or college and would like your school to have a free 30-day all access trial, reach out to us via CS@universityoffashion.com. Once your first time 30-day free trial is up, your school will be able to take  advantage of our school/group subscription discount. It’s always cheaper by the dozen, right?

OUR NEW CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Alas! All University of Fashion paid subscribers can now receive a Certificate of Completion for any and all completed lessons and lectures. You can track your individual progress toward earning a certificate by clicking on the ‘My Learning’ tab on the left side of your ‘Account Page’ and then you can print them out.

Why is earning a certificate important? In addition to learning something new and having proof of your hard work, you can also impress you employer, your teacher and your clients. You can also add your certificates to your portfolio, alongside images of your work. And, by the way, the certificates are FREE!

 

ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF FASHION & IT’S FOUNDER

University of Fashion founder: Francesca Sterlacci

University of Fashion was founded in 2008 by Francesca Sterlacci, a former professor and chairperson at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a graduate level instructor at the Academy of Art University San Francisco. She spent 18 years in academe and 10 years as a designer in her high-end eponymous fashion brand. Francesca has written three certificate programs while at FIT and is the author of several books: Leather Fashion Design, Draping Techniques for Beginners, Pattern making Techniques for Beginners, Sewing Techniques for Beginners and co-author of the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry.

University of Fashion provides professionally produced fashion educational video content to schools, libraries, groups & associations, as well as individual subscription memberships. UoF offers 500 beginner, intermediate and advanced lessons in 13 different disciplines; draping, pattern making, sewing, fashion art, CAD fashion art, digital pattern making, 3D design, menswear, childrenswear, knitwear, accessories, production development and fashion business, in addition to lectures on color theory, textile design, costume history, trend forecasting, sustainable design, influencer marketing, fashion law, and other industry relevant topics. Teachers use UoF to upgrade their skills and as supplemental materials in their hybrid classrooms.

UoF has a robust social media presence. Are you looking to get your name out there? Hoping to land that dream job? Why not post your work on Instagram to #uofprojects. We’ll reward the best projects with a free one year subscription to UoF. So get going!

 

OUT OF AFRICA: AFRICAN DESIGNERS ARE FINALLY ON THE FASHION MAP

Models holding hands, Lagos, Nigeria, 2019 by Stephen Tayo. Courtesy Lagos Fashion Week Africa. (Photo Credit: Forbes)

African fashion, along with the continent’s music and art, is having an huge impact on the world stage — and at UoF, we’re here to support it.

Did you know that Nigeria ranks in the top 5 countries of UoF subscribers! 

International superstars like Naomi Campbell, Zendaya, Tracee Ellis Ross, Angela Bassett, and Beyoncé have helped catapult some of Africa’s talented fashion designers into the limelight. In fact, Queen B wore a number of African designers in the 2020 American musical film and visual album, Black Is King, directed, written, and executive produced by the recording artist. But the African fashion industry has had to jump lots of hurdles to get here.

The Suppression of Africa’s Fashion Industry

According to the Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, Africa, like many other developing countries, has been plagued with the importation of used clothes and shoes from outside the region. This practice created an unfair advantage in local communities and thus stifled industrial growth, especially in Africa’s design and manufacturing sector. Despite imposing high importation customs duty rates in some African countries, used products continued to flood local markets. The textile industry in South Africa all but collapsed as a result of imported second-hand clothing sales and eventually efforts got underway in other African states to prevent the same thing from happening. In 2015, the Zimbabwe government banned the importation of second-hand clothes and shoes and removed the general import license so that future importations were subject to seizure and destruction. In 2016, The East African Council (EAC) Council of Ministers, composed of six countries in the African Great Lakes region, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, voted to ban second-hand clothes, handbags and shoes, to promote the region’s textile and leather industries. These measures paved the way for Africa’s fashion industry to succeed.

Beyoncé wearing a look from Loza Maléombho in the singer’s Black Is King film. (Photo Credit: Disney Plus)

Historically, the relationship between the global fashion industry and Africa has been indisputably problematic, filled with disrespect, cultural exploitation, and appropriation. From the exploitation of Ankara textiles — West Africa’s most recognizable fabric — to western fashion houses profiting from the creations of local African artisans and designers, the line between inspiration and plagiarism has become blurred.

According to Dr. Shameem Black, from the Department of Gender, Media and Cultural studies at the Australian National University, “borrowing from other cultures becomes problematic when historical context and cultural sensitivities are ignored.” By calling out designers who exploit another culture’s traditions has enabled African designers to use their rich history, culture and textiles to gain world-wide attention.

Ankara Fabrics. (Photo Credit: Waa Fashion)

Africa’s Fashion Capital

In just the past few years Lagos, Nigeria has become Africa’s fashion capital. Recognized by some of the world’s most renowned fashion editors and industry insiders, Lagos Fashion Week, and Arise Fashion Week in particular, has earned supermodel Naomi Campbell’s seal of approval. The supermodel made her debut walking the Arise Fashion Week runway in 2018 and returned in 2019, taking on a curatorial role. Emerging designers across the continent have also made their way onto the global stage. Nigerian designers Adebayo Oke-Lawal and Kenneth Ize, were both finalists for the LVMH Prize in 2014 and 2019 respectively, as well as South African designer Thebe Magugu, who actually won the Prize in 2019. For those unfamiliar with the LVMH Prize, it is a prestigious award given to young fashion designers by reputable designers in the industry.

Naomi Campbell walks Kenneth Ize’s fashion show at Arise Fashion Week in 2019. (Photo Credit: Kenneth Ize)

African fashion no longer needs the ‘approval’ of the global industry, because they are now  a force to be reckoned with on their own. Sparking this evolution are trailblazing young African designers who have taken the initiative to create innovative work that tell stories and break stereotypes, while at the same time preserving age-old techniques, as they simultaneously build viable global fashion businesses.

These creatives not only deserve props for their spectacular work, but they are  changemakers in their own right, helping to uplift Africa’s developing economy, standing up for equality, climate action, and setting a new standard for all African designers, thus ensuring their place in the global fashion world.

How to describe African design? African design is audacious and revolutionary. Nigeria’s Adebayo Oke-Lawal and Fola Francis are designers who are pushing boundaries and challenging gender stereotypes. Meanwhile, Congolese designer Anifa Mvuemba is credited as being the first designer to curate a 3D virtual fashion show for her brand, Hanifa, which went viral in 2021.

According to Statista (a German company specializing in market and consumer data), the fashion industry is the fourth largest industry in the world with global revenue in 2021 worth $1.5 trillion. Therefore, the success of the African fashion industry could have a huge impact on that continent’s economy, especially since they have the highest rate of poverty in the world. A robust African fashion industry could exponentially alter their lives.

As the fashion industry thrives in Africa, there will be more employment opportunities, investments in development and increased global recognition, not only for fashion designers, but also for the local tailors, artisans and entrepreneurs. Many fashion brands in Africa are now creating programs to provide resources, support community growth, and empower citizens who want to work in the fashion industry.

UoF is playing a part in their success 

Here are just a few globally recognized African fashion brands that are making a difference:

AHLUWALIA

Looks from Ahluwalia’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Priye Ahluwalia, founder of the brand Ahluwalia, was born in London to a Nigerian father and an Indian mother. Drawing inspiration from both her Nigerian and Indian heritage, she designs award-winning ready-to-wear menswear.

Ahluwalia was one of the recipients of the prestigious LMVH prize in 2020 and the following year won the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. Ahluwalia’s label also focuses on being environmentally friendly using vintage and dead-stock (discontinued and vintage items that are no longer in stock) clothing for a number of her creations.

THEBE MAGUGU

Looks from Thebe Magugu’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Thebe Magugu founded his luxury namesake collection in 2016. Through fashion, the South African fashion designer tells the stories of his heritage and culture while bringing important issues into the limelight. In his past collections, he has made commentary on sexism in South Africa, South Africa’s apartheid past, and femicide — with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa describing gender-based violence as “the second pandemic we are confronting” in November 2020.

Magugu primarily designs exquisite ready-to-wear clothing for women.

In 2018, Magugu won the LVMH prize and has since been featured in a variety of magazines including Vogue.

ORANGE CULTURE

A look from Orange Culture’s Spring 2022 Show. (Photo Credit: Orange Culture)

Orange Culture was founded in 2011 by Adebayo Oke-Lawal, a Nigerian fashion designer. His beginnings are those of a true millennial, as Oke-Lawal has been designing clothes since he was only eleven years old and is self taught. Today, Oke-Lawal is one of the most prestigious designers in Africa.

The brand Orange Culture is best known for their innovative menswear, which has been worn by African celebrities like Global Citizen advocate Davido, Rita Dominic, and Ice Prince. It was also the first Nigerian brand to sell their clothing at the iconic UK department store, Selfridges.

Through the brand’s Orange Mentorship program, they provide mentorship and resources to young fashion designers throughout Africa to help them build their fashion empire.

HANIFA

Looks from Hanifa’s Spring 2022 Digital Show. (Photo Credit: Hanifa)

Anifa Mvuemba is a Congolese designer best known for her viral 3D fashion show that combined two passions, fashion and technology, in an epic presentation of her brand, Hanifa, during the height of COVID-19 in 2021.

Mvuemba founded Hanifa 10 years ago and the brand has since become known for its mesmerizing size inclusive ready-to-wear. Her debut show was held at the National Portrait Gallery on Nov. 16, 2021 Washington, D.C. with over 20,000 people streaming the show on YouTube.

This talented designer is also the founder of The Hanifa Dream, a program that empowers women-owned organizations that “elevate fashion through passion, purpose, and social impact.

CHRISTIE BROWN

Looks from Christie Brown’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christie Brown)

Aisha Ayensu is a Ghanaian fashion designer and the creative director for the label Christie Brown, which was founded in March 2008.

The luxury brand, named after Ayensu’s grandmother, creates innovative and exceptional women’s ready-to-wear apparel and accessories. Ayensu reimagines traditional clothing and gives them a modern twist.

TONGORO

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

Tongoro is a ready-to-wear womenswear brand that produces playful and unique apparel. The label was founded in 2016 by Sarah Diof, a woman of Senegalese, Central African, and Congolese heritage. The fashion company’s headquarters are in Dakar, Senegal. Tongoro sources their materials from artisans across Africa, and Diof primarily works with local tailors as a way of fostering the economic development of artisans throughout Africa.

IMANE AYISSI

A look from Imane Ayissi’s Couture Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Show Studio)

Imane Ayissi is not only a fashion designer but is also a model and a dancer. Pryor to starting his fashion label, Ayissi was a sought-after model who walked for luxury fashion houses like Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, YSL and Lanvin.

The Cameroonian designer draws inspiration from cultures all over the African continent. Ayissi not only creates luxurious ready-to-wear pieces, but he is also an advocate for environmentally friendly fashion and often uses natural and organic materials that make the least amount of impact to the environment.

AFRICA FASHION EXHIBITION

Africa Fashion exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. (Photo Credit: V&A Museum)

If you happen to be ion London between now and April 16, 2023, then be sure to catch the Africa Exhibit at the V & A Museum which spans iconic mid-20th century to contemporary creatives through photographs, textiles, music and the visual arts.

And…

Speaking of textiles, we recently launched two lessons in our 5-part series on West African textiles by Mina Dia-Stevens. Broaden your knowledge of Africa and learn about the Faso Dan Fani Cloth of Burkina Faso and the Bògòlanfini textiles of Mali. 

So, tell us, do you know of  other African designers you’d like to share with us?

UNIVERSITY OF FASHION’S CERTIFICATE PROGRAM GOES LIVE

UoF Certificate(Image credit: example of University of Fashion Certificate of Completion)
Our subscribers had been asking us about how they could earn a certificate upon completion of our lessons. We get it, who wants to invest hours of time and money and not get a reward? Well, at last, and after hours of computer programming (and money), we are proud to announce the launch our University of Fashion Certificate of Completion program, available to all our paid subscribers.
Sure you can attend fashion school and pay thousands (that is if you are lucky enough to get accepted), but for those in the ‘know’, why not take advantage of 500+ lessons all taught by top fashion college professors and industry pros, learn at your own pace any time of day or night, in the privacy of your own home, rewind and replay a lesson over and over until you get it, at a fraction of the cost of fashion school?
Ask any of our subscribers, UoF’s customer service is top notch! Have a question about one of our lessons? No problem, our teachers are ready, willing and able to answer them within 24 hours. We always love hearing from our students.

Now You Can Earn a UoF Certificate for Your Efforts


(Image credit: University of Fashion subscriber draping and sewing a dress)

How UoF’s Certificate of Completion Program Works

(Image credit: An example of a  student’s My Learning page – listing lessons ‘in-progress’ & 100% completed)

All University of Fashion paid subscribers can now receive a Certificate of Completion for any and all completed lessons and lectures. You can track your individual progress toward earning a certificate by clicking on the My Learning tab on the left side of your Account page. Here you can track all of your lessons and your lesson progress.

(Image credit: University of Fashion student calculating fabric consumption & costing a garment)

 

Is there a Cost for a UoF Certificate of Completion?

No. There is NO extra charge for a University of Fashion Certificate of Completion. If you are a paid monthly or yearly subscriber and completed one of our lessons, you are eligible to obtain a certificate. Our certificate program just launched and we have subscribers who have already earned 20+ certificates!

(Image credit:Example of a student’s My Learning page showing lesson discipline, certificate & date earned)

 

Benefits of a UoF Certificate of Completion

Beyond that feeling of accomplishment at having learned and mastered a new subject or technique, there are many other benefits to earning our Certificates:

  • Present your certificates to prospective employers, along with examples of your completed draped, drafted and sewn projects
  • Include UoF certificates to your portfolio for job application and college admission purposes
  • Frame your certificates as proof of your competence in multidisciplines to your clients
  • Export and email your certificates to your instructors for extra credit
  • Prove to your employer that you have up-skilled in a particular area
  • Demonstrate to a school administrator proof of your competence and proficiency in teaching additional subjects

Spread the word! Start completing lessons and printing out your UoF certificates. Let us know how many you’ve earned!

SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS PART 3: FUR – WOOL – DOWN ALTERNATIVES

 

Stella McCartney champions ethical fashion with fur-free collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

Design is not just about product. Design is about responsibility.”

If you haven’t already seen this quote by Dr. Carmen Hijosa of Piñatex, you will, it is ubiquitous on the web. Every eco-friendly brand uses it as its mantra. And, every fashion student in every school on the planet is making sure that they incorporate it into every single one of their classes. After all, if the design process starts at desk of the designer, well then, it’s up to us to be on top of alternative textile and material choices when designing a collection.

In 2021, Google launched a fashion supply chain platform called called Global Fibre Impact Explorer (GFIE) in partnership with Stella McCartney, The Textile Exchange and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), to help fashion brands understand the environmental risk of their raw material sourcing. The tool, which is built on Google Earth Engine and uses Google Cloud computing, assesses the environmental risk of different fibers across regions in terms of environmental factors such as air pollution, biodiversity, climate and greenhouse gases, forestry and water use. In 2022, Google and WWF transitioned GFIE to Textile Exchange, a global non-profit focused on positively impacting climate through accelerating the use of preferred fibers across the global textile industry. Their Friend Level Membership is reserved for small to medium-sized enterprises that generate under $5million in annual revenue, as well as universities, non-profits and NGOs.

Last week we educated our viewers on earth-friendly leather and silk alternatives, that are being created using a variety of materials made from pineapples to coffee grounds, sea shells, cactus, bamboo, mushrooms and spiders, just to name a few. This week we’d like to focus on fur and wool alternatives.

Cruelty-free Fur Alternatives

Last Chance for Animals – Global Ban on Fur (Image credit: lcanimals.com) 

The wearing of fur, just like leather and silk, has long been associated with luxury and wealth. However, beginning in the 1980s and after decades of massive pressure from PETA & activists, many designers and retailers announced that they would stop selling fur due to the cruel methods used in killing the animals. In 2019, California became the first state to make it illegal to sell, donate or manufacture new fur products and in 2021, Israel became the first country to ban the sale of fur clothing, although their are several carve-outs, including one for educational reasons and another that permits residents to buy skins and pelts for religious purposes.

Enter…Tencel® and Koba® faux fur

Faux fur was first introduced in 1929 but didn’t become popular until the 1950s. Due to fur’s growing unpopularity since the 1980s and the fact that many countries are now banning fur farms, the use of faux fur increased. Two reports issued by eco experts at Ce Delft, an independent research and consultancy company, found that five faux fur coats have significantly less impact on climate change than that of one mink fur coat.

Since most faux fur is manufactured with non-renewable petroleum-based products and synthetic fabrics it can be toxic to the environment unless it is recycled properly. Today, technologies and innovations offer new ways to design amazing and ethical alternatives to fur and fake fur as well. Popular kinds of faux fur include faux rabbit, faux fox, shearling, sheepskin, and sherpa and luxury faux fur fabrics include chinchilla, sable, beaver, ermine, marten, lynx, and leopard.

KOBA®  the first vegan faux fur (Image credit: Ecopel.com)

Ecopel, a leader in the development of high end faux fur, supplies more than 300 top fashion brands that have stopped using real fur. In partnership with Dupont, they launched KOBA® faux fur, integrating DuPont™ Sorona® fibers, creating the first faux fur made with vegetal ingredients.

UGG’s new faux fur shoe brand using Tencel®  fiber (Image credit: Tencel.com)  

Lenzing, a leader in the field of botanic cellulose fibers and famous for its flagship brand Tencel®, is providing solutions to faux fur production. Their fibers are derived from certified renewable wood sources using an eco-responsible production process that generates up to 50% lower emissions and water impact compared to generic viscose. In 2021, the company partnered with UGG and debuted Plant Power, a collection of shoes made with carbon-neutral, plant-based materials.

Wool Alternatives

Spinnova partners with the outdoor brand The North Face. (Photo Credit: The North Face)

As we have previously reported, controversies surrounding leather and fur are well-known, however there is a common misconception that wool is a ‘gentle’ fabric that simply implies a ‘haircut’ for sheep. Wrong. According to Plant Based News, “One little-known fact about wool production is its environmental impact: sheep, just like cows, emit large quantities of methane gas, which has several times the global warming potential of CO2. The 2017 Pulse of Fashion Industry Report put wool in the fourth place on its list of the fashion materials that had the highest cradle-to-gate environmental impact per kg of material.” And that doesn’t even touch on the undercover reports of the systemic cruelty involved and the abuse the animals suffer.

Enter…hemp, organic cotton, Tencel®, Spinnova®,  soybean fiber, linen, bamboo, woocoa and nullarbor

Wool had its peak in the 1990s and then continued to be replaced by synthetics and cotton blends. Today’s eco-conscious consumers are shunning animal-derived or petroleum-based fabrics and are searching for alternatives. Luckily, there are options. From cotton to wood to coconuts and soybeans, technology is helping drive the movement. As we have already discussed, Tencel is a great replacement and we covered the benefits of organic hemp, cotton, linen and bamboo in a previous blog. 

But did you know about Woocoa? This is a material created by a group of university students in Colombia made from a coconut and hemp fiber ‘wool’, treated with enzymes from the oyster mushroom. Keep you eye on this space. Another bio-tech creation is Nullarbor, developed by Australian material innovation company Nanolloose. This fabric is created by using bacteria to ferment liquid coconut waste from the food industry into cellulose. Spinnova

Spinnova® is a fiber made by Spinnova, a Finnish sustainable materials company. They are the only company in the world able to create textile fiber out of cellulose without involving any harmful chemicals, minimal water use and emissions, and zero waste.  The company has worked with a number of recognized brands, such as Bestseller, The North Face and Marimekko, in fact, Adidas is one of their investors.

A Pangaia fitted short puffer. (Photo Credit: Pangaia)

Down Alternatives

A little known fact about the use of down feathers in the production of down jackets, handbags, pillows and comforters is the level of cruelty involved in the extraction of the feathers. According to Gentle World, “while most down and other feathers are removed from ducks and geese during slaughter, birds in breeding flocks and those raised for meat may be plucked repeatedly while they are still alive. This process is repeated every 6-7 weeks before the bird’s eventual slaughter (or death from the trauma of the plucking process itself). For birds that have been killed for their flesh and/or internal organs (foie gras) the process usually involves scalding the birds’ bodies in hot water for one to three minutes so the feathers are easier to pull out. The body feathers can then be plucked (often by hand), after which the down is removed by hand or machine.”

Where using polyester microfiber was once considered a cruelty-free alternative to down comforters and clothing they use a mass-produced petroleum-based polyester, a nonrenewable resource. They are also known to contain chlorinated phenols, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carcinogenic dyes, allergens and irritants. The production of these materials require a lot of energy, are impossible to break down and eventually end up in landfills.

Enter…next-gen down

Rather than using a polyester microfiber, try a next-gen down, which uses plants, recycled PET, or other sustainable materials to create the pillowy feeling many brands and customers crave. While many, like H&M and Jack Wolfskin, have incorporated next-gen down into some of their products, Pangaia, a materials science company and Save the Duck are two companies that have set up a ‘business-to-business’ line selling their eco-friendly down alternatives to other brands.

Pangaia’s FLWRDWN™ is a bio-based down-fill material made using a combination of wildflowers, a biopolymer (made from maize (corn) and is fully compostable) and a patented biodegradable aerogel. This warm, breathable and animal-friendly innovation is the first of its kind and is used in their outerwear jackets, vests and accessories.

Save the Duck’s RECYCLED PLUMTECH® is a padding made by polyester fiber entirely coming from recycled materials, including plastic bottles. All the jackets from the RECYCLED collection are distinguished by the green and white logo.

A large part of unsustainable fashion is the result of poor fabric choice. Many materials that make it into our clothes harm humans, animals, and the environment. Not to mention, they release harmful chemicals and microplastics into our environment for hundreds of years. So, all of you designers out there, get onboard the eco-textile train. It starts with YOU!

Are you as excited as we are about material innovation and the exciting developments that are still to come?

 

A NEW ERA IN SUSTAINABLE FASHION PART 2: NEXT-GEN LEATHER & SILK ALTERNATIVES

- - Sustainability

H&M Conscious collection using Orange Fiber. (Photo Credit: H&M)

At UOF we are committed to the promotion and education of all things related to designing fashion sustainability. Our Zero Waste series, our lessons by Noor Bchara of Upcycle Design School and our upcoming interview series where working sustainable designers talk about how they started their brand, are all part of our commitment to designing with purpose.

As consumers continue to look for more sustainable alternatives to synthetics and animal-based materials, new ‘breeds’ of fabrics continue to make a mark on the industry. This blog post is part of our series on sustainable practices and how textile innovations are providing great alternatives for designers to make a difference in helping save the planet, one thread at a time.

In a report entitled Brand Engagement with Next-Gen Materials: 2022 Landscape released by the Material Innovation Initiative (MII), they covered the most significant and progressive materials that are making a mark on the fashion industry today.

Branded as ‘Next Generation’ or  Next-Gen, the products highlighted in the report offer replacements for animal-based materials such as leather, silk, wool, down (bird), and fur. Technical innovations in next-gen materials are not only present in the fashion industry, but also in automotive and home goods. In this blogpost we will cover leather and silk alternatives. Stay tuned for our coverage of other Next-Gen materials.

Frequently, producing Next-Gen materials utilize various biomimicry techniques to replicate animal-based textiles, which are then implemented into the supply chain of various industries. Next-Gen methods have risen in popularity due to consumer demand and the need for sustainably-sourced materials, with investors reportedly jumping on the trend in order to secure their place in this fast-growing industry.

In the State of the Industry report, published by the MII, interest in next generation materials is steadily growing. Fifty-five new next generation firms were formed since 2014, increasing the number of operating companies in the sector to 95. By 2015, investments in this sector rose to over $2.3 billion and the number of Next-Gen material producers rose to a total of 187 unique investors. All very encouraging news, right?

Genuine Non-Leather 

Genuine leather has long epitomized luxury in the fashion world, however a major shift has taken place with growing awareness about the cruelty of mass livestock-rearing, the number of resources consumed, carbon emitted and the slew of chemicals used in it’s production, such as formaldehyde, cyanide and chromium during the tanning and dyeing processes, which can be hazardous to both people and the environment. According to a poll by market research company Morning Consult, “more than a third of people in the UK and 23 per cent of people in the US think that leather is an inappropriate material to use in clothing.

Enter…genuine non-leather.

There are now over 67 companies working on alternative versions of the material. Some of the pioneers of genuine non-leather are Piñatex by Ananas Anam (made from pineapples), Tômtex by Uyen Tran (made from waste coffee grounds and discarded seafood shells), Palm leather by Tjeerd Veenhoven (from the leaves of the areca palm), Desserto’s Cactus Leather, the latest innovation in sustainable fashion, is a vegan leather made from the leaves of nopal cactus – a plant that grows abundantly in Mexico, without even needing any water (seems like a great option for those of us constantly killing our plants).

Bio-leather by Shahar Livne (from discarded animal fat and bones), Beyond Leather (Leap™ from upcycled apple waste) and Mylo by Bolt Threads, (created from mycelium, the branching filament structure that mushrooms and other fungi use to grow. The material reportedly consumes substantially less water than is needed to produce animal leather while emitting fewer greenhouse gases). In fact, Adidas, Stella McCartney Lululemon and Gucci’s parent company have all teamed up and invested in Mylo.

 

Cruelty-Free Silk Altermatives

For thousands of years silk, like leather, has been associated with luxury. Although silk is biodegradable, the process of creating silk involves boiling the silkworm alive to save the integrity of the silk. Finding this to be cruel, various designers to find alternative ways of making silk.

Enter…Spider Alternatives.

Did you know that those spider webs in your home are five times stronger than steel and more elastic than rubber bands? Bolt Threads makes a fabric molecularly equal to natural spider silk (since spider silk is not yet widely available) made from yeast, water, and sugar. The resulting raw, purely vegan silk is produced through fermentation, much like brewing beer, except instead of the yeast turning the sugar into alcohol, they turn it into the raw stuff of spider silk. Bolt Threads recently reported partnerships with the eco friendly outdoor brands Patagonia and The North Face.

Lotus silk is another silk alternative and made from the stems of lotus flowers. Although it eliminates the torture of silk worms, creating Lotus Silk is a highly laborious process, with some 6,500 lotus stems required to make a single length of hand woven fabric. Art silk is another silk-alternative, made from bamboo fibers that are crushed then combed and spun into yarn with a lecture more like raw silk. Ramie is another silk alternative that comes from a flowering plant in the nettle family. Orange silk, made from discarded husks of oranges squeezed from the juicing industry. Called  Orange Fiber Fabric, the material made its high fashion debut with Salvatore Ferragamo. And also in the Orange Fibre x H&M Conscious Collection, which launched worldwide in 2019.

Meanwhile, Next-Gen silk now has a total of 12 producers, wool and fur have seven, down materials have six, and exotic skins have one. In 2021, MII reported that 980 million dollars was raised in total, double the amount that was invested in 2020. The organization said in its report that we can expect to see larger deals within the industry as companies continue to develop and provide proof of concept.

Today, a growing number of brands are starting to incorporate Next-Gen materials. A very good sign. The MII report reports that 38 out of 40 leading fashion companies are actively seeking textile alternatives, with a wide variety of fashion labels already counted among the organization’s “First Mover” list. Labels such as Ganni, Pangaia, Karl Lagerfeld, and Adidas are among the 150 highlighted by the MII for their already prominent work in the industry. These selected companies are projected to increase revenue “by exemplifying their positive effect on the environment and animals” according to MII.

Consumer demand is one of the most important considerations to implement these innovative materials into collections, with most consumers willing to pay more for products made from materials that align with their values. In addition, each individual Next-Gen material holds a 50 percent potential market share when compared to conventional materials, according to MII.

Regardless of revenue being an obvious factor, the environmental positives cannot go unnoticed when it comes to Next-Gen materials. As documented in the MII report, much of a brand’s environmental impact comes down to raw materials, leading many to turn to plant-based products instead. It also states that independently certified materials from trusted companies can guarantee both environmental and ethical qualities of the product at hand. In fact, animal welfare has seen an increase in importance among consumers, making it MII’s third most prominent reason to utilize Next-Gen materials.

Investigations into supply chains have repeatedly uncovered troubling cases of animal cruelty within brands and many fashion companies have banned animal products altogether. As more guidelines and industry standards are put into place, fashion is starting to move towards a more animal-friendly future, in which consumers are increasingly demanding.

THE MATERIALS

LEATHER

Karl Lagerfeld’s vegan cactus leather bag. (Photo Credit: Karl Lagerfeld)

 

Hugo Boss’ Pineapple trainers for men. (Photo Credit: Hugo Boss)

 

SILK

Salvatore Ferragamo’s capsule collection for Orange Fiber. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Ferragamo)

As the fashion industry becomes more sustainable-minded, there is also the risk of greenwashing (the practice of making misleading statements or claims about the sustainability of a product or a service).  A recent exposé on fast-fashion retailer H&M in Forbes reported that “the company’s environmental promise is undermined by greenwashing. H&M was using a scorecard system to inform customers about the environmental soundness of each product, but a report by Quartz claims that more than half of the scorecards portrayed products as being better for the environment than they actually were. The report also found some instances in which H&M’s scorecards allegedly gave information about the sustainability of a product that was completely opposite from the truth.” Hopefully this will be a lesson to other brands who might try to fool customers with slick advertising and false claims.

Do you know of any other vegan leathers and silks we didn’t mention?

 

A NEW ERA IN SUSTAINABLE FASHION: THE RISE OF NATURAL & VEGAN MATERIALS

Stella McCartney Summer 2022 Substainability Campaign. (Photo Credit: Fashionography)

As temperatures soar, breaking records in one of the hottest summers to date, it’s only natural to think about climate change and what more can be done to reduce our collective carbon footprint. This week saw the U.S. Senate poised to approve the most significant climate bill, at a whopping $369 billion (yes ‘B’ as in billion), that will sharply reduce carbon pollution. If it passes, this landmark legislation promises to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent – below 2005 levels – by 2030. It’s at least a start. Our fingers are crossed.

The fashion industry is also committed to doing their part, with prominent leaders such as Stella McCartney being one of the strongest voices in sustainable fashion. But what really is sustainable fashion?  The answer is broad. Within the fashion industry it’s a combination different facets that include: ethical business practices, fair trade, supply chain transparency, minimal impact policies, give-back programs, upcycling, recycling, downcycling, circularity, and, arguably most important of all, sustainable materials that make up an ethical collection. The subject of this blogpost will focus on what’s new in sustainable materials which has become the newest and most high-tech approach to the future of fashion.

Sustainability in Fashion. (Photo Credit: Bibalex)

Designers know that one of the most effective ways to create an eco-friendly collection is by choosing sustainable fabrics. Thankfully today, sustainable fabrics have come a long way and technology is at the forefront of this change. Just think of the innovation that went into creating fabric made from a mushroom, an apple and a pineapple.

The type of fabric used to create a collection determines how much environmental degradation it ends up causing — or the practices that reverse it. Just keep in mind that the fabric choice directly affects the raw material sourcing (farming and petroleum drilling impact), water consumption and waste, material processing (chemicals needed to turn it into fiber), and end-of-life prospects (ways a garment can be disposed of) like can it be recycled or composted?

Luckily, environmentally friendly fabrics are pretty easy to find — if you know where to look. And the brands that use them are staking their claim for a better fashion future. And that, in turn, is good for people and the planet.

We are planning to cover advances in fashion sustainability for the next few months and will be featuring designers who are making a splash with their sustainable collections and what’s new in the world of natural, organic and vegan textiles.

ORGANIC COTTON

Organic Cotton Field. (Photo Credit: The New Fashion Norm)

Organic cotton is one of THE most natural fabrics you can find. It is grown without the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and is processed without chemicals. Organic cotton farming uses 62% less energy and 88% less water than conventional cotton (which is surprisingly one of the single dirtiest crops around).

There are several certifications used with sustainable and ethical cotton to authenticate that a particular cotton was grown without pesticides or machine harvesting and processed without chemicals, leaving the final garment chemical-free. Other certifications ensure fair pay and safe conditions for farmers. Certifications include: USDA-Certified Organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), Better Cotton Standard, Fair Trade, Bluesign, and Oeko-Tex 100.

RECYCLED COTTON

Recycled Cotton Denim. (Photo Credit: Cottonworks)

Recycled cotton is manufactured using either post-industrial or post-consumer waste. Plenty of slow fashion brands use recycled cotton and for good reason. This means that the fabric used is made from industry fabric scraps or other recycled cotton garments. Recycled cotton helps to prevent fashion waste from ending up in landfills. Be sure to watch our 3-part series on sustainable design by Noor Bchara, designer, CEO, founder of Upcycle Design School.

UoF’s 3-part series on sustainable design by Noor Bchara, designer, CEO and founder of Upcycle Design School

Recycled cotton certifications and regulation are difficult to determine, due to the inability of knowing the source of the materials used in the recycling process. However there are certain certifications and standards that exist and they include Global Recycle Standard (GRS), Recycled Content Standard (RCS) and Oeko-Tex 100.

It is also difficult to know whether recycled cotton is pure cotton (and therefore able to be composted) because a fabric can be recycled into recycled cotton even if it holds some synthetic blend (as long as the blend is less than 4%).

ORGANIC HEMP

The Complete Cycle of Hemp Clothing Manufacturing. (Photo Credit: Hemp Foundation)

Hemp is one of the most eco-friendly natural fabrics around. It’s high yielding and growing hemp is healthy for the soil, due to the process of phytoremediation. Another feature of hemp is that it requires much less water than growing cotton.

Organic hemp is considered a carbon negative raw material. What this means is that the material actually absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. Its certifications and standards include USDA-Certified Organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign.

While organic hemp has many benefits as mentioned above and is naturally sun protective and antimicrobial, the downside is that it more difficult to grow and therefore tends to be somewhat more expensive than other sustainable organic fabrics,. Despite this, we can expect to see more of it in the future.

ORGANIC LINEN

Organic linen dresses. (Photo Credit: The Filtery)

Linen is almost identical to hemp in terms of sustainability and it is extremely light and breathable. Derived from the flax plant, linen’s growth requires very little fertilizer, pesticide, and irrigation, but unlike hemp, linen isn’t as high yielding. Linen is a popular and reliable fiber and can be used to create everything from clothing to bedsheets.

Certifications and standards for Organic Linen include USDA-Certified Organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign.

ORGANIC BAMBOO (AKA BAMBOO LINEN)

Sustainable, Organic, And Antibacterial – The Benefits Of Using Bamboo in Fashion. (Photo Credit: Bamboodu)

Like hemp, bamboo consumes more CO2 than some trees. When bamboo is harvested, it can be done without destroying the plant itself. Translation, bamboo can renew itself at incredible speed (it’s one of the fastest growing plants on the planet) and can survive on rainfall alone. Bamboo’s certifications and standards include the Forest Stewardship Council, USDA-Certified Organic, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Organic Content Standard (OCS), Fair Trade,  Oeko-Tex 100, and Bluesign.

Organic bamboo is one of the most sustainable fabrics, but depending on how it is processed, it could involve chemically intensive processes — and all the harmful impacts that come with it.

Mechanically processed bamboo is a better-for-Earth way to utilize bamboo, but sadly it makes up just a tiny amount of what is found in the market. Make sure to look for organic bamboo fabrics in its raw form, as opposed to that which is plasticized into bamboo rayon/viscose blends.

CORK

Cork handbag by Eve Cork. (Photo Credit: Eve Cork)

Cork has left the bottle and is now used to create fashion! Made from Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak, a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree, cork is made by shaving the bark from the tree. In fact, the bark  can be harvested—and should be harvested—to extend then tree’s life. While the tree regrows its bark, it consumes more carbon dioxide than most types of trees (and therefore another carbon negative material). As a result, cork plantations can actually act as a carbon sink.

Once cork has been harvested (which can sustainably happen to a tree every 9 to 12 years), the cork can be laid out in the sun to dry, and only requires a bit of water to transform the cork into a fabric suitable for fashion. The material has become a fashionable choice for vegan bags and shoes… and for good reason.

A LIST OF SUSTAINABLE FABRICS

Fashion created by nature. (Photo Credit: Grailed)

Here is a list of highly recommended eco-fabrics for all you sustainable-minded designers out there:

Sustainable Semi-Synthetic Fabrics (mostly vegan)

Lyocell

Modal

Bamboo Lyocell

EcoVero

Pinatex

Scoby Leather

S.Cafe

Qmonos

Brewed Protein

Apple leather

Woocoa

Cupro

QMilk

Vegan, Synthetic Fabrics

ECONYL

Recycled polyester

Animal Derived Natural Fabrics (sustainable depending on source)

Sheep Wool

Merino Wool

Alpaca Wool

Cashmere

Camel

Yak Wool

Vegetable Tanned Leather

Down

Silk

Stay tuned to our blog to learn more about sustainable fabric choices that you should be considering for your projects! Also follow us on Instagram uoffashion, and on Facebook University of Fashion.

BARBIECORE & WHY BARBIE IS NOT JUST SOME DUMB BLONDE

Celebrities embracing the Barbiecore trend. NY Post Photo Illustration. (Photo Credit: NY Post)

As we all know, fashion is cyclical. Trends come and go, hemlines rise and fall and each season we await the ‘color’ of the season (last season it was periwinkle). Well, this summer the color is pink and has its roots in the style icon, the Barbie doll. Yes, Barbie is Back!  The last time Barbie made it into pop culture was in the ’90s when the Danish/Norwegian band Aqua released their hit song, Barbie Girl, with the ear worm refrain,  “I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world. Life in plastic, it’s fantastic. You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere. Imagination, life is your creation!”

The massive publicity push is on, a full year in advance, for the July 2023 release of the Barbie film directed by Greta Gerwig (Little Women and Lady Bird) starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. The trends surrounding the film are known as “Barbicore” (the word ‘core’ referring to the aesthetic associated with a film, for example ‘Regencycore’ for the series Bridgerton).  The new vibrant pink trend is getting a massive push in the fashion industry and actually began during the fall-winter 2022 shows when Valentino featured it for both their women’s and men’s styles and at Michael Kors, Versace, Act No. 1 and Dolce & Gabbana.

In a world where gender fluidity has been center stage (ex. Harry Styles), Barbicore is definitely bringing gender extremes back to the forefront of fashion. And if Barbicore is not the look for you, well then, grab your baggiest basketball shorts and oversized tees and try “Sandlercore“, a lazy man’s dressing trend made popular by actor Adam Sandler. Fashion has something for everyone, right?

Fashion marketers and influencers have jumped on the Barbicore trend as have celebs, from Megan Fox to Kim Kardashian. In an interview with the New York Post, Kim Culmone, Senior VP at Mattel, Inc. said “BarbieCore is the summer’s latest fashion trend influencing everything from clothing to home decor, and we are here for it. It’s been delightful seeing celebrities decked out in their best pink looks – Barbie would approve.”

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling filming the new Barbie film. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The iconic Mattel doll has always been an inspiration to young women, even if she has sometimes been given a ‘ dumb blond’ moniker. The original ‘Barbie look’, consists of sexy curves and hot pink, bright neons, feminine makeup, and sparkly accessories, and has taken over TikTok. In fact, the hashtag #Barbiecore has more than 7 million views on TikTok and, according to Google Trends data, interest in Barbie has spiked to new heights as fans await the live-action movie.

In today’s #MeToo environment, director Greta Gerwig has a bold new vision of the iconic doll’s story. She is both writing and directing the movie, with input from her partner Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story). The plot of the story will revolve around a doll leaving Barbieland due to her so-called ‘imperfections’, only to discover along the way, that perfection can truly be found within.

Robbie’s costumes are being designed by Gerwig’s Little Women collaborator Jacqueline Durran (for which she won an Oscar) and are already inspiring street style. The Barbie aesthetic has entered the fashion zeitgeist, inspiring A-listers and fashion lovers worldwide.

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly have embraced the Barbiecore trend head on. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

One of the most famous quotes from fashion legend Diana Vreeland was “Pink is the navy blue of India.” And for Fall 2022, Valentino designer Pierpaolo Piccioli showcased a pretty in pink collection in partnership with Pantone. The runway, backdrop, floors, and even the seats were the same shade of pink, which created a dazzling impact.

“Pinks are no doubt ‘having a moment.’ In fact, pink is having more than a moment,” Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told The Post in an interview. “It is a color family we have seen growing in popularity across the spectrum since 2013, one which sparked the intro of Millennial Pink and with the rise of the ‘gender blur’ became even more prominent. A time where we began doing away with all color rules and breaking down the boundaries.”

Left to Right: Hailey Beiber, Khloe Kardashian, and Kim Kardashian rocking the Barbiecore trend. (Photo Credit: Michigannewstimes)

“The bright pinks and fuchsias we are seeing today are exultant and empowering. They are stand-out statements being worn with confidence,” Pressman continued. “Vibrant and high-energy. they help us to feel uninhibited and free.”

Barbiecore, as a fashion movement, has been building for years. Remember in the early aughts when Tyra Banks took on the doll’s tailored aesthetic as Eve in the 2000 Disney film Life-Size? And, when Reese Witherspoon, as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, (circa 2001) was essentially a Barbie in a lawyer’s world?

Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the 2010s, we often saw Nicki Minaj sporting some serious Barbie-inspired looks after her own Barbie doll hit the market in 2011 (to this day the rapper still wears her signature diamond Barbie nameplate necklace). In 2015, Paris Hilton wore a hot pink Barbie one-piece by a pool in Ibiza, and footwear designer Sophia Webster collaborated with Barbie on a collection of limited-edition shoes the same year.

Kacey Musgraves at the Met Gala in 2019. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In 2019, Kacey Musgraves wore a Barbie-inspired outfit for her Met Gala appearance: A floor-length, hot pink motorcycle dress designed by Moschino (a very Barbiecore brand!), complete with a matching hairdryer clutch, sunglasses, chandelier teardrop diamond earrings, and shiny silver pumps. The look was almost an exact replica of the Barbie x Moschino doll, which was being sold in the museum’s gift shop at the time.

Moschino’s Spring 2015 Barbie inspired Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Kim Culmone told InStyle that, like the beloved doll, what constitutes Barbiecore is ever evolving. “Barbie is inspired by pop culture and fashion. And like many of us, her style evolves to be reflective of today’s trends and culture. For 2022, as we move past the pandemic and regain our social lives, it’s Barbie’s genuine playfulness and bright, bold color palette that people are trying to incorporate into their daily routines.

Anne Hathaway at the Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2022 fashion show. Right Lizzo. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

HISTORY OF BARBIE

Artist Reinhard Beuthien created Lilli in 1952 for the German tabloid Bild as a comic strip character (Image credit Hobbylark.com). 

The Stolen Legacy of Bild Lilli

Barbie was modeled after a comic strip character called Lilli, created by Reinhard Beutheien in 1952 for the German tabloid, Bild. She soon became known as Bild Lilli and was marketed as a racy gag gift doll that men could buy in tobacco shops. The Bild Lilli doll became extremely popular with women and children too and eventually there would plenty of knockoff dolls worldwide.
Ruth Handler (co-founder of Mattel) discovered the Lilli doll while on vacation in Hamburg, Germany, had her copied and named her Barbie (after her daughter Barbara). Handler’s version, which launched in 1959, was made of vinyl with rooted hair and curly bangs rather than a wig-cap, and included separate shoes and earrings, which were not molded on, as were Lilli’s.  Handler acquired the rights to Bild Lilli in 1964, and production of the German doll ceased. 

The original Barbie launched in March 1959. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The first Barbie doll came with a black and white striped swimsuit with cat-eye glasses, gold hoops, and her signature ponytail, mimicking the glamour of 1950s divas Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe. At the time, many toy buyers were uncertain of the doll’s sexy/curvy appearance as compared with traditional baby dolls, but Barbie took the world by storm with sales of 300,000 dolls in its first year of production. Today, over 90 percent of American girls between the ages of 3 to 12 have owned a Barbie doll.

It didn’t take long for Mattel to see Barbie as a voice for women’s rights. In 1962, before American women were even permitted to open their own bank accounts, Barbie bought her first Dreamhouse, becoming a symbol of independence and empowerment. In 1965, Astronaut Barbie made her debut, two years after Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space and four years before Neil Armstrong and his team landed on the moon. Barbie opened the eyes and imagination of young girls to imagine a future in any field they desired. So much for that dumb blonde moniker!

The Oscar de la Renta Barbie Series, 1985. (Photo Credit: Mattel)

Professional & Activist Barbie

In its 63-year history, the American mass-produced Barbie doll has been a colossal success, and over the decades she has assumed many professions, from doctor and archeologist, to rock star and computer engineer. The first Twiggy Barbie was distributed in 1967. Others celeb Barbies include, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Cher, and current young icons like Zendaya and Gigi Hadid.

This year, the Barbie Inspiring Women series added a Maya Angelou doll alongside figures like civil rights activist Rosa Parks, feminist leader Susan B. Anthony and tennis star Billie Jean King. Barbie has also enjoyed stints as a model for major fashion designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Maison Margiela, Ralph Lauren, Anna Sui, and Burberry, as well as a CEO, a presidential candidate, and a vlogger.

In 2022 Barbie teamed up with heritage house Balmain (Barbie x Balmain) featuring a clothing collection and an NFT! (Image credit: highsnobiety.com)

The Jane Goodall Barbie doll as part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women series (Image credit: Mattel.com) 

For decades Barbie has had Black friends – Christie and Francie, but in 1980 Mattel introduced the first Black Barbie. Today, Barbie is an advocate for body inclusivity and diversity on every level, as promoted in Mattel’s WE ARE Barbie video in 2020. The Barbie Fashionista series includes a Barbie in a wheelchair and in 2022 Barbie became a sustainability advocate through a partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute. The dolls are now made from recycled ocean-bound plastic.

Sales for Mattel’s Barbie brand in 2021 amounted to about 1.68 billion U.S. dollars, up from about 1.35 billion U.S. dollars the year before.

Today Barbie is truly a woke toy, in fact, she is more than just a toy.

 

Meet Ann Driskill – Barbie Designer

Ann Driskill (Barbie designer at Mattel ) 

 

Ann Driskill, a Parsons graduate, had a 20-year career designing for Barbie at Mattel in Pasadena, California. Recently, our founder Francesca Sterlacci had an opportunity to talk with Ann about her experience and what is was like to design for such a style icon.

Francesca: Can you talk about your experience as a Barbie designer for 20 years?

Ann: Mattel designers design the entire doll: the prints, all the accessories, her hair, her makeup – specifically for each doll, plus sometimes new and unique body parts and poses. Mattel has artists specializing in all of these departments.

Francesca: Where is Barbie manufactured?

Ann: The production of the doll and the clothes are done in China, using super narrow seam allowance sewing machine attachments to handle the tiny seam allowances on the clothes.

Francesca: What was the best part of working on Barbie at Mattel?

Ann: The most fun about working at Mattel was collaborating with so many creative people.

Francesca: What were some of the challenges you encountered in the 20 years that you designed for Barbie?

Ann: The hardest part about designing for Barbie was learning how to adjust to her small size. You have to choose thin fabrics that don’t add bulk to Barbie’s slim  figure. You also need to design very small prints and patterns that don’t overwhelm her. Otherwise, it’s a lot like designing for real people,  except she never complains!

Ann was kind enough to share some of her designs for Barbie over the years

Ann Driskill’s original Barbie sketches (Images courtesy Ann Driskill) 

 

So tell us, in what way has Barbie been an inspiration to you?

MUSEUMS ARE CRAZY FOR FASHION: FIND OUT WHY

The Met’s Costume Institute “In America An Anthology of Fashion” tells the untold stories of American Fashion. (Photo Credit: Fashionista)

Beat the heat this summer and head over to your local museum, you might just find a fascinating fashion exhibit to check out. After all, museums have discovered that fashion brings in “visitors/customers/patrons” and money. With museum closures during the pandemic, what better way to lure visitors back in than to host a fashion exhibition?  One only needs to look at the number of fashion exhibits that brought in the BIG bucks and that made the MET’s Top 10 Most Visited Exhibitions: Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018) attracted 1,659,647 visitors;  China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) with 815,992; Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016) with 752,995 and the Alexander McQueen Retrospective: Savage Beauty (2011) which brought in 661,509 visitors. Add up all of those ticket sales and there you have it, not to mention the number of new patrons that are drawn to shows like these.

Where once only big city museums staged fashion exhibitions, now pretty much any museum can mount one. For example, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) just announced a partnership with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in America’s heartland, Bentonville, Arkansas. Joining the celebration of its inaugural fashion exhibit, Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour, the exhibit will feature over 90 designers and iconic American labels from September 10, 2022 to January 30, 2023.

And, if you find yourself in San Diego, be sure to check out the Mengei International Museum, a museum founded in 1974 dedicated to preserving folk art, craft and design. Their current exhibition entitled Fold-Twist-Tie: Paper Bag Hats by moses, features the most incredible hats made from the ubiquitous brown paper bag.

Brown Paper Bag Hat called the Shangri-la,  by designer/artist moses, at the Mengei International Museum San Diego.

If you find yourself in Austin, Texas on August 14th, visit the Blanton Museum of Art to view their new show entitled, Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America. According to the museum, the exhibit “addresses the social roles of textiles and their visual representations in different media produced in Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela during the 1600s and 1700s. Beyond emphasizing how aesthetic traditions of European and Indigenous origin were woven together during this period, the exhibition showcases the production, use, and meaning of garments as well as the ways they were experienced both in civil and religious settings.” The show ends on January 8, 2023.

 Painted Cloth: Fashion and Ritual in Colonial Latin America at the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas (Image credit: BlantonMuseum.org) 

And if you can’t physically visit a museum, you can now take a 360° tour at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) to see the  Carl and Iris Barrel Apfel Gallery of Fashion and Design. Or go in person to see their Patrick Kelly: Runway of Love exhibit on view from June 25, 2022 to November 6, 2022. Sebastian Errazuriz, 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers (The Gold Digger, The Heartbreaker, The Boss), 2013. 3d-printed abs plastic, resin, acrylic. Museum purchase. © Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola.

We all know the importance of fashion in the broad context of our civilization. According to Lynda Roscoe Hartigan (PEM Executive Director /CEO):

Museums offer us an environment in which people, ideas, life experiences, and feelings can come together across time, place, and cultures. We seek out art and creative expression to feel grounded, to feel awe, and, yes, to question and understand who we are and who we can become through our shared humanity.”

In our rapidly changing world, museums use fashion exhibitions as a means of cultural expression and to stimulate conversation. From The Costume Institute’s “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” at the MET (May 5, 2022 – September 5, 2022), to the upcoming Gianni Versace Retrospective at the Groninger Museum (Netherlands December 3, 2022 – May 7, 2023), UoF has rounded up some of the major exhibitions you should check out now and into 2023. As every fashion designer knows, fashion exhibitions are a treasure trove of inspiration, so be sure to check out the UoF website for our free Fashion Museum Resource List.

VIRGIL ABLOH: “FIGURES OF SPEECH”

Abloh’s extensive fashion collaborations are also on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo Credit: Brooklyn Museum)

The Brooklyn Museum has curated some of the strongest fashion exhibitions over the past few years from Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, to Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, and now, the museum just opened its Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” exhibition on July 1, 2022 which runs until January 29, 2023.

Since the beginning of his career, the multidisciplinary work of late creative artist/designer Virgil Abloh (Rockford, Illinois, 1980–2021) has reshaped how we understand the role of fashion, art, design, and music in contemporary culture. Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” developed by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, is the first museum exhibition dedicated to Abloh’s work and spans two decades of his practice. The show includes his collaborations with artist Takashi Murakami; musician Kanye West and architect Rem Koolhaas. Designs from his fashion label, Off-White, and items from Louis Vuitton, where he served as the first Black menswear artistic director are also on  display.

Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speechvideo. Video Courtesy of The Brooklyn Museum for You Tube

Figures of Speech” traces the late designer’s exploration of the communicative power of design. His use of language and quotation marks turned his creations, and the people who engage with them, into literal figures of speech.

For the Brooklyn Museum exhibit, they just added never-before-seen objects from the artist’s archives, as well as a “social sculpture,” which draws upon Abloh’s background in architecture. The installation offers a space for gathering and performances, designed to counter the historical lack of space given to Black artists and Black people in cultural institutions.

FASHIONING MASCULINITIES: THE ART OF MENSWEAR

London’s V&A Fashioning Masculinities The Art of Menswear Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

The V&A Museum in London has opened its first major menswear exhibition, “Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear”, featuring looks by a multitude of designers such as Harris Reed, Gucci, Grace Wales Bonner, Rick Owens, JW Anderson, Comme des Garçons, Raf Simons, and Craig Green. The exhibit, which opened on March 19th and runs until November 6, 2022, celebrates the power, artistry and diversity of masculine attire and appearance. It features approximately 100 looks from fashion’s legendary designers and rising stars, alongside 100 historical treasures and acclaimed artworks. The presentation is displayed thematically across three galleries, outlining how menswear has been fashioned and re-fashioned over the centuries by designers, tailors and artists, and their clients.

With androgynous fashion ‘au courant’, the exhibit showcases masculinities across the centuries, from Renaissance to global contemporary, with looks worn by familiar faces such as Harry Styles, Billy Porter and Sam Smith to David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich, highlighting and celebrating the diversities of masculine sartorial self-expression.

Co-curators of ‘Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear,’ Claire Wilcox and Rosalind McKever, said in a statement, “Masculine fashion is enjoying a period of unprecedented creativity. It has long been a powerful mechanism for encouraging conformity or expressing individuality. Rather than a linear or definitive history, this is a journey across time and gender. The exhibition will bring together historical and contemporary looks with art that reveals how masculinity has been performed. This will be a celebration of the masculine wardrobe, and everyone is invited to join in.”

THE ROYAL COLLECTION TO CELEBRATE THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE

Royal Collection Trust; Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation Dress and Queen Elizabeth II on her Coronation Day by Cecil Beaton. (Photo Credit: The Royal Palace)

If you’re into all things “Royal” then here’s an exhibit for you! This year, the Queen celebrates her historic Platinum Jubilee with three special displays marking significant occasions in Her Majesty’s reign: the Accession, the Coronation and the Jubilees, held at the official royal residences at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Platinum Jubilee: The Queen’s Accession exhibition will be at the Summer Opening of the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, opening on July 22 and running until October 2, 2022. Here, portraits of The Queen taken by Dorothy Wilding, alongside items of Her Majesty’s personal jewelry worn for the portrait sittings will be on display. The exhibit will also include The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara, which was a wedding gift to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, later Queen Mary, on the occasion of her marriage to the future King George V in 1893.

The Queen’s Coronation exhibition is held at Windsor Castle. The exhibit opened on July 7 and will run until September 26, 2022, featuring the Coronation Dress and Robe of Estate designed by British couturier Sir Norman Hartnell and worn by The Queen for her Coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.

The final exhibition will be at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and will run from July to September, featuring looks worn by Her Majesty on occasions to celebrate the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees. This will include the pink silk crepe and chiffon dress, coat and stole by royal couturier Sir Hardy Amies for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, which will be displayed with the matching hat designed by Simone Mirman with flowerheads hanging from silk stems.

TIP: And if you haven’t read The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor- The Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown…get going. It’s the perfect summer read.

AFRICAN FASHION

Left A look by Chris Seydou. Right A look from Imane Ayissi’s Spring 2020. (Photo Credits: Fashion United)

Africa Fashion, an exhibition curated by Dr Christine Checinska, London’s V&M Museum’s new curator of African and African Diaspora fashion, celebrates the vitality and innovation of Africa’s vibrant fashion scene, as well as explores how music and the visual arts form a key part of Africa’s cultural renaissance. The exhibit, which runs from June 11, 2022 to April 16, 2023, brings together more than 250 objects, drawn from the personal archives of a selection of mid-twentieth century and influential contemporary African fashion creatives such as, Shade Thomas-Fahm, Chris Seydou, Kofi Ansah, and Alphadi, alongside textiles and photographs from the V&A’s collection.

Commenting on the exhibition, Dr Christine Checinska said in a statement, “The exhibit will present African fashions as a self-defining art form that reveals the richness and diversity of African histories and cultures. To showcase all fashions across such a vast region would be to attempt the impossible. Instead, Africa Fashion will celebrate the vitality and innovation of a selection of fashion creatives, exploring the work of the vanguard in the twentieth century and the creatives at the heart of this eclectic and cosmopolitan scene today. We hope this exhibition will spark a renegotiation of the geography of fashion and become a game-changer for the field.”

PART TWO –  IN AMERICA: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FASHION

A look by Marguery Bolhagen on display at the Met Museum Costume Institute exhibit, A Lexicon of Fashion. (Photo Credit: AP)

Yes, we had previously covered Part One of The Costume Institute at the MET when it opened on May 7th, but how can we cover some of the best fashion exhibits and not include Part Two? In America: An Anthology of Fashion explores the development of American fashion by presenting narratives that relate to the complex and layered histories of those spaces featuring women’s and men’s historical and contemporary dress dating from the 18th century to the present in vignettes. If you happen to be in New York and would like to see this exhibit, you better hurry because it runs until September 5, 2022.

GIANNI VERSACE RETROSPECTIVE

Groninger Museum  Gianni Versace Retrospective. (Photo Credit: Groninger Museum)

The Groninger Museum (Netherlands)  will showcase a retrospective on the late designer Gianni Versace and describes Gianni Versace as one of the “most influential couturiers” in fashion. The Gianni Versace Retrospective exhibit, which is scheduled December 2, 2022 to May 7, 2023, promises to be a colorful, daring, and emotional exhibit that will honor Gianni Versace and his trailblazing designs. It will feature his men’s and women’s collections, accessories, fabrics, drawings and interior design, plus footage of the legendary runway shows from the Italian designer’s glory days between 1989 and 1997.

Curated by Versace experts Karl von der Ahé and Saskia Lubnow, all items on display are original pieces sourced from international private collections. The exhibition will highlight how Versace linked fashion with music, photography and graphic design, and led the way in the transformation of fashion shows and advertising campaigns into works of art.

BARBIE: A CULTURAL ICON EXHIBITION

Barbie A Cultural Icon The Exhibition. (Photo Credit: The Shops at Crystals)

Barbie: A Cultural Icon Exhibition celebrates over sixty years of fashion and inspiration, proving that Barbie is more than just a doll, she is a cultural phenomenon. On display will be the very first Barbie doll produced in 1959 and will lead visitors through the decades, paying homage to Barbie and the world around her. The installation also features 150+ vintage dolls, artifacts, and life-sized fashion pieces that come to life through custom-themed displays. Video media and interviews with Barbie designers will expand the narrative. Plus, the Barbie Exhibition Gift Shop offers a select collection of the latest Barbie collector dolls, sets and accessories, exclusive merchandise, and a curated collection of high-end vintage Barbie dolls and accessories.

The exhibit is at The Shops at Crystals, in Las Vegas and runs through December 31, 2022.

LEE ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: MIND, MYTHOS, MUSE

Lee Alexander McQueen Mind, Mythos, Muse at LACMA. (Photo Credit: LACMA)

If you are a fan of Alexander McQueen and weren’t able to catch the Alexander McQueen Retrospective: Savage Beauty at the MET in 2011, well, he’s back! The first McQueen exhibition on the West Coast, Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse contextualizes the designer’s imaginative work within a canon of artmakers who drew upon analogous themes and visual references. The exhibit can be seen at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) until October 9, 2022.

One of the most significant contributors to fashion between 1990 and 2010, Lee Alexander McQueen (London, 1969–2010) was both a conceptual and technical genius. His critically acclaimed collections combined the designer’s proficiency in tailoring and dressmaking with both encyclopedic and autobiographical references that spanned time, geography, media, and technology. The exhibit explores his imagination, artistic process, and innovation in fashion and art, while examining the interdisciplinary impulse that defined McQueen’s career.

LACMA looks to the myriad of cultural inspirations behind more than 70 of Alexander McQueen’s conceptually and aesthetically imaginative dresses.

In conjunction with the exhibition Lee Alexander McQueen: Mind, Mythos, Muse, renowned scholars and artists explore imagination, artistic process, and innovation in fashion and art to further examine the interdisciplinary impulse that defined McQueen’s career, legacy, and sources of inspiration. Video Courtesy of YouTube.

SHOCKING! THE SURREAL WORLD OF ELSA SCHIAPARELLI

Elsa Schiaparelli’s exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. (Photo Credit: Luxferity)

Earlier this month, on July 6th, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris opened its much-anticipated exhibit Shocking! The surreal world of Elsa Schiaparelli. The installation runs until January 22, 2023 and celebrates the creations of Italian couturière Elsa Schiaparelli, bringing together 520 works including 272 silhouettes and accessories by Schiaparelli herself, alongside paintings, sculptures, jewelry, perfumes, ceramics, posters, and photographs by the likes of Schiaparelli’s dear friends and contemporaries, Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, Jean Cocteau, Meret Oppenheim, and Elsa Triolet. The retrospective will also feature creations designed in honor of Schiaparelli by fashion icons Yves Saint Laurent, Azzedine Alaïa, John Galliano and Christian Lacroix. Daniel Roseberry, artistic director of the House of Schiaparelli since 2019, also interprets the heritage of Elsa Schiaparelli with a design of his own.

“Shocking! The surreal world of Elsa Schiaparelli” (Video courtesy of Schiaparelli on Youtube)

The exhibit, displayed on two levels, guides visitors into thematically and chronologically significant points in Elsa Schiaparelli’s career that included various combinations of her collections through the years with the works of friends and contemporaries who inspired her. The installation addresses the artist’s awakening in fashion and modernity along with the critical role that designer Paul Poiret played as a mentor in Schiaparelli’s life beginning in 1922. Although it has been nearly 20 years since the last Schiaparelli retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, this time the focus is on how she drew inspiration from her close ties to the Parisian avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. “Schiap”, as she was known as, was a brilliant designer who exposed her sense of feminine style to the modern public. Her designs were powered by a tongue-in-cheek aesthetic while at the same time a sophistication that was new to the world of fashion.

GUO PEI: COUTURE FANTASY

Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy exhibition. (Photo Credit: Legion of Honor Museum)

Guo Pei, the couturier behind Rihanna‘s viral yellow gown at the 2015 Met Gala, received her very own exhibition at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor that opened on April 16th and will run through September 5th. The installation entitled, Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy, features over 80 of the designer’s creations, including those showcased on runways in Beijing and Paris. Pei spoke of the show, “As a creator and artist, there is no greater honor or privilege than to share my creativity with a wider audience. I am therefore honored and humbled that the prestigious Legion of Honor Museum will be presenting a retrospective of my work. In doing so, I hope that it will bring greater awareness and understanding of my life’s passion, and convey Chinese culture, traditions and show the new face of contemporary China.”

So tell us, did we miss any shows that you want to recommend?

THE MAGIC OF COUTURE: FALL 2022-2023 SHOWS

 

Looks from Valentino’s Fall 2022 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Tired of a world gone mad? Can’t watch the news or scroll down your phone for fear you’ll see one more upsetting thing? Well, get ready to enter the land of dreams, Haute Couture to the rescue! In one of the best couture seasons in recent memory, designers answered the call by delivering the very best in fantasy, feathers and the phantasmagorical.

For years, fashion followers have asked the question, “is Haute Couture still relevant in today’s day and age”? And, while many articles have been written about the ‘imminent death’ of couture, today, nothing could be further from the truth. Haute Couture is alive, well and thriving as it now appeals to a new generation of clients. The one-of-a-kind creations are no longer exclusively for the aristocratic old-moneyed doyennes, even if the cost of buying these clothes lies within reach of the extremely wealthy ‘one- percenters’.

Kim Kardashian, Nicole Kidman and Dua Lipa Walked The Runway At Balenciaga’s Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Balenciaga)

The Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (the regulating commission that determines which fashion houses are eligible to be true haute couture houses) sets strict criteria for its classifications of couture, counting just 14 members alongside a host of guest designers each season. As of 2022, there are only 14 fashion houses that are considered couture, such as Dior, Chanel, and Givenchy. Although a lot has changed in the fashion world since the establishment of the House of Worth and La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the qualifications of a couture fashion house have not changed. Despite the old rules, designers like Daniel Roseberry of Maison Schiaparelli and Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, who showed for the first-time last season, are bringing a fresh point of view to couture.

Looks from Chanel’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Chanel)

Truth is, there are only a handful of individuals around the world that could afford the couture level hyper-luxury price tag. And, it’s also a fact that most houses shy away from publishing their prices. For example, a gown from Valentino’s Haute Couture runway show can cost approximately $95,000, and that is one without intricate embroidery or beading. As the old saying goes…”“If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it” ~ U.S. financier J.P. Morgan (1837 – 1913).

While the cost may be out of reach for most of us, one can at least appreciate Haute Couture, which at its best, is fashion where true artistry and craft are allowed to shine without the restrictions of commercialism. Haute Couture is a celebration those rare skills that we at the University of Fashion LOVE so much. We hope that the couture will be preserved for generations to come, as the ateliers employ thousands of specialists, tailors and seamstresses, all of whom are master craftsmen and without the couture would be considered a dying art form.

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

For Jean-Noël Kapferer, a professor at the leading French business school HEC (Hautes Etudes Commerciales) and the author of several books about management in the luxury market, Haute Couture is definitely still relevant today. “It’s the sign of absolute luxury,” he explains. In a sector where differentiation is essential, it “offers luxury brands an additional means of influence. A Couture show is art. By extending the limits of what is and isn’t feasible, Couture gives Houses a way of creating emotion, and of reawakening desire and the ability to dream – which is essential, as the latter inevitably starts to fade in the face of commercial success.” The challenge is to transform desire into action, and want into purchases, particularly for the benefit of other product categories. “The aura of Haute Couture brings a glow to other activities and transforms the perception of a brand. If there is one area where the ‘trickle down’ effect actually works, it’s in Haute Couture! Its daring and creativity will benefit the ready-to-wear segment, as it allows Houses to set high prices and thereby increase their symbolic authority.”

Didier Grumbach, honorary president of France’s Haute Couture Federation (FHC) and a leading figure in the sector for over 50 years, recognizes this effect, having witnessed its impact from a close proximity. “Even if they never actually get worn, Haute Couture pieces increase the status of the House presenting them. In particular, Couture is a real help when it comes to launching a perfume offering.”

Couture’s ability to be in touch with its era is, of course, at the heart of its ability to create value. Claudia D’Arpizio, a luxury sector expert at consultants Bain & Co. points out, it is “in synch with today’s lifestyles. There is a desire for exquisite pieces that are no longer reserved for special occasions but can be worn for any occasion when that person wants to feel special, which might be in the daytime and not just the evening.” Moreover, Haute Couture embodies the very highest level of “the human touch, which can sometimes be lacking in the luxury sector.” Her point is shared by Jean-Noël Kapferer, who emphasizes how Haute Couture’s characteristics are modern, and a reflection of the aspirations of the younger generation: ultra-creative, ultra-personalized, sustainable, timeless, and experimental, with new forms, new materials, and new volumes.

Looks from Dior’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Laure Sciacovelli)

A BRIEF HISTORY OF HAUTE COUTURE

Haute Couture dates back to 1858, when designer Charles Frederick Worth, an English couturier based in Paris, created his “special House of new confections” at number 7, rue de la Paix. Worth was the first to create collections under his own signature, to see himself as a creator, and to present his collections by having the clothes worn by models who sauntered the floors of his luxurious salons. Worth was the first to offer new collections each season, he invented today’s fashion cycle: spring-summer and fall-winter. Within a few years, the foundations for Couture were laid, with the help of other pioneers such as Paul Poiret, the first to launch his own perfume House in 1911, Jeanne Lanvin, Jean Patou, Madeleine Vionnet and Gabrielle Chanel, who notably introduced the concepts of boutiques, accessories, and marketing. It was the start of a golden age of unprecedented creativity with exceptional know-how. However, the arrival of ‘ready-to-wear’ in the 1960s and 1970s challenged both the business model of Couture and its place in the world of fashion.

HAUTE COUTURE FALL 2022-2023 TRENDS

THE JEANPOOL

Haute Couture designers played with denim this season, as the “all American” favorite was found on everything from a feathered strapless dress to corseted suit.

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Maison Margiela’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ronald van der Kemp’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GREENDAY

Couture designers are seeing green this season as the hue made its mark all over the Paris runways. From emerald suits, to pistachio gowns, one thing is for sure, you’ll be going green this season.

A look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alexis Mabille’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chanel’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE ROMANTICS

Frothy confections made their way into the Haute Couture collections as these dreamy numbers will make us all feel like royalty.

A look from Armani Privé’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alexis Mabille’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Chanel’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHEER LEADERS

Designers had nothing to hide as they played up the transparency trend from utterly see-through to subtly sheer.

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rahul Mishra’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Threeasfour’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Maison Margiela’s Fall 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHIRT STORIES

The classic white button shirt gets a glamorous yet phantasmagorical make-over this season.

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2022-2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)