University of Fashion Blog

Posts by: Antonia Sardone

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Antonia Sardone is a new contributor to the University of Fashion. She is also a freelance fashion consultant, stylist and writer. Antonia Sardone graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a degree in Advertising Communications, Marketing and Fashion Journalism. She is an industry veteran having worked for WWD for over fifteen years and has strong relationships with designers worldwide. Today, Antonia Sardone continues to write reviews for WWD as well as work with many contemporary designers on a variety of projects from helping to re-launch their websites to writing their brand books. She enjoys raising her children to be creative individuals, as well as styling, writing and traveling.

FASHION BRANDS UNITE FOR MAUI

The hall of the historic Waiola Church is engulfed in flames in Lahaina on Aug. 8 (Photo Credit: Associated Press)

This past summer, Hawaii faced an unprecedented crisis as raging wildfires consumed its lush landscapes and threatened its communities. The picturesque landscapes that had long captured the world’s imagination became the backdrop of a nightmare that began on August 8, 2023. Raging wildfires, fueled by a confluence of unfortunate events, put the very essence of this tropical paradise to the test.

The story of Hawaii’s 2023 wildfires is one of tragedy, borne from a series of unfortunate events. Unusually hot and dry conditions, exacerbated by climate change, set the stage for an inferno. Strong winds fanned the flames, spreading the destruction far and wide. Hawaii’s unique ecosystems, teeming with life, were under siege as fires raged across multiple islands, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. The Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai were all affected. In a cruel twist of fate, some of the most iconic and beloved spots, such as the Haleakalā National Park and the lush forests of the Hamakua Coast, bore the brunt of the blaze.

As the islands grappled with the devastating aftermath, a surprising source of support emerged – the fashion industry. In the face of Hawaii’s catastrophe, several prominent brands and designers stepped up to make a difference. They recognized that fashion isn’t just about clothes but also about the communities and environments that inspire their creativity.

PATAGONIA

The interior of a Patagonia Store. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Known for their commitment to environmental causes, Patagonia was among the first fashion brands to respond to the Maui wildfires. The company pledged a substantial donation to the relief efforts and encouraged their customers to contribute as well. Patagonia’s dedication to preserving our planet goes hand in hand with their commitment to aiding communities affected by natural disasters.

Kate Williams, CEO of 1% for the Planet, Patagonia’s global movement, issued a statement on August 11, urging the fashion industry to see the wildfires as a wakeup call. “This has been a summer full of signals that climate change is not a future threat, it’s now; it’s heart wrenching as we see the devastation of ecosystems and communities all around us. We are leaning into our community of action as a way to both support each other and keep working toward a healthier future.”

TOMMY BAHAMA

Tommy Bahama’s Hawaii Shirt. (Photo Credit: Tommy Bahama)

Tommy Bahama, a brand synonymous with island living, took a more commercial approach with their special “Aloha for Hawaii” collection and a percentage of the proceeds donated to wildfire relief organizations. This initiative raised funds and spread a message support, however, one can’t help but think that the brand was also capitalizing on the tragedy.

ALO YOGA

Alo Yoga classes in Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Alo Yoga)

Alo Yoga, a brand recognized for its stylish activewear, launched a unique campaign to contribute to the cause. They organized outdoor yoga events in Hawaii, with all proceeds from ticket sales and merchandise going directly to wildfire relief. This initiative blended fitness, mindfulness, and philanthropy.

PRANA

PrAna athlete-ambassador, Anna Ehrgott on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Photo Credit: PrAna)

PrAna, an eco-conscious fashion brand, partnered with local artisans in Hawaii to create a limited edition “Hawaii Strong” collection. The collection featured clothing and accessories inspired by Hawaiian culture, and like Tommy Bahama, a portion of the profits were donated to wildfire relief.

TORI RICHARD

Tori Richard is the leading brand for men’s and women’s resort and aloha apparel and is based in Honolulu Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Lahaia News)

Tori Richard, a brand known for its vibrant Hawaiian prints, designed a special collection titled “Island Vibes for Hawaii.” Proceeds from this collection were used to support local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation efforts in addition to wildfire relief. Tori Richard’s dedication to preserving Hawaii’s unique flora and fauna was evident in this thoughtful initiative.

BILLABONG

Billabong is part of the surf culture in Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Billabong)

Billabong, a brand deeply rooted in surf culture, organized “Surf for Hawaii” events at popular Hawaiian beaches. These events brought together surf enthusiasts and raised funds for wildfire relief through sponsorships and donations. Billabong’s dedication to their oceanic roots resonated with the Hawaiian community.

PLAE

Ryan Ringholz, founder and CEO of Honolulu-based footwear brand Plae, received personal requests for help in providing slippers or shoes to survivors of the Maui fires. Through a neighbor he was told that “busloads of people are coming in with nothing on their feet,” at Maui hospitals and shelters. Not only did Plae provide shoes for survivors who lost everything, but on Aug. 11, the brand announced in Footwear News that it would match any customer donations of Plae Rewards points with all proceeds going directly to the Hawaiian Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund.

Plae’s commitment to Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Plae)

OLUKAI

Olukai gives back to Hawaii. (Photo Credit: Olukai)

Footwear brand OluKai also focused on the crisis by donating 100 percent of their August 9th website and store sales to emergency and relief efforts. The brand’s charity, the Ama OluKai Foundation, is now focusing its donations on Maui (OluKai matched the first $200,000 in gifts to the foundation).

SKECHERS

Sketcher’s store located in Ohana helped donate shoes and clothing to survivors. (Photo Credit: Sketchers)

Skechers lost their Maui store due to the wildfires. On August 12th, the brand announced that it donated $250,000 to the Maui Strong Fund to support the recovery of affected communities. They also distributed approximately 20,000 pairs of footwear and 20,000 pieces of apparel, in addition to backpacks and socks.

As part of the global fashion community, UoF is proud to announce their donation to Hawaii Community Foundation’s Maui Strong Fund . If you haven’t done so already, please consider making a donation. Other organizations to consider donating to include:  Americares, Maui United Way, ‘Āina Momona and/or visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

 

 

VIBRANT THREADS OF CULTURE

Looks from the African Fashion exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo Credit; The New York Times)

In the heart of one of New York City’s bustling boroughs, a kaleidoscope of colors, patterns, and history is unfurling at the renowned Brooklyn Museum in an exhibition entitled, Africa Fashion. The show is the largest-ever presentation on the subject, with more than 180 works, including standout pieces from the Museum’s collections.

The exhibition is a breathtaking celebration of style and heritage and has captured the attention of art enthusiasts, fashionistas, and cultural explorers alike. As you step into this immersive journey through time and tradition, you are transported to the vibrant tapestry of Africa’s diverse fashion narrative. The exhibit will run until October 22, 2023, so if you’re planning to attend New York Fashion Week, the Brooklyn Museum is only a quick train ride away.

Why the Brooklyn Museum’s African Fashion Exhibit is Important

We all know that fashion inspiration comes from many different sources. Designers are inspired by things like music, architecture, books, history and/or from the design and textiles of other countries and cultures. However, when cultural appreciation turns into cultural appropriation, that’s a no-no; like when Ralph Lauren got into hot water for selling  copies of designs from Indigenous communities in Contla and Saltillo, Mexico. And, when Anthropologie and Flaherty were also called out for their culturally appropriative fashion from Mexico. And, that is why this exhibit on African fashion is so important. By learning about African textiles and fashion, from the source, it helps to educate designers and hopefully will keep them from directly stealing from that culture.

The Evolution of African Fashion

The Africa Fashion exhibition was curated with meticulous attention to detail, and offers a sartorial time machine that whisks you through centuries of Africa’s fashion evolution. From the rich textiles of ancient civilizations to the contemporary haute couture donned by African designers today, each piece unveils a chapter in the narrative of African identity and self-expression.

Looks from the African Fashion exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

One of the exhibit’s most captivating sections is “Threads of Identity,” where garments and accessories are displayed as living testaments to the power of fashion, in shaping individual and communal identity. It invites visitors to explore the symbolism behind each thread, bead, and stitch, discovering how clothing has long served as a canvas for expressing one’s tribe, status, and beliefs.

The Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition goes beyond mere aesthetics, embracing the rich cultural diversity that has woven the fabric of Africa. Traditional garments from different regions highlight the nuances of style that have evolved over time, while modern interpretations showcase how today’s designers are reimagining and reinvigorating these age-old traditions.

Strolling through the exhibit, it becomes evident that African fashion is more than just a visual spectacle – it’s a cultural ambassador that transcends borders and preconceptions. The exhibit’s organizers have ingeniously juxtaposed historical pieces with contemporary ones, illustrating how cultural heritage remains a wellspring of inspiration for modern designers seeking to blend tradition with innovation, without making cultural appropation mistakes.

Looks from the African Fashion exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo Credit: The Cut)

A focal point of the exhibit is the spotlight on the rise of African designers onto the global fashion stage. Names that were once whispered are now being heralded as trailblazers, with their creations gracing international runways and red carpets. The exhibit showcases a curated selection of garments and accessories that reflect the ingenious fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics.

Beyond the visual feast, the Brooklyn Museum has curated a series of interactive workshops and events that invite visitors to experience African fashion in a hands-on way. From beadwork and fabric dyeing workshops to talks by contemporary designers, the exhibit fosters a dynamic dialogue about the past, present, and future of African fashion.

Lagos’s Acclaimed Concept Store Alára Pops Up at the Brooklyn Museum. (Photo Credit; Vogue)

As the final room of the exhibit comes into view, you are met with a stunning visual tableau that encapsulates the essence of the journey they’ve embarked upon. The room presents a dynamic collage of photographs, sketches, and quotes, revealing the profound impact of African fashion on global culture and consciousness.

The African Fashion exhibit stands as a triumph, weaving together threads of history, identity, and innovation into a rich tapestry that captures the essence of Africa’s diverse fashion landscape. This celebration of style and culture not only dazzles the eyes but also touches the heart, reminding us that fashion is an art form that transcends time, borders, and expectations.

Be sure to catch our video lecture series to learn more about the history of West African textiles:

poster frame of lesson West African Textiles_ Manjak Cloth of Senegal

UoF lesson- West African Textiles: Senegal-Manjak Cloth

AFRICAN TEXTILES LESSON POSTER FRAME

So, tell us, which fashion exhibits have you visited this summer?

A CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA: INDIA COUTURE FASHION 2023

India Couture Fashion Week 2023 Looks from Left to Right: Gaurav Gupta, Rimzin Dady, Isha J’s, and Rahul Mishra. (Photo Credit: Euronews)

The spotlight has once again turned toward the enchanting world of fashion, as the India Couture Fashion Week (ICFW) 2023, unfolded in a resplendent celebration of creativity, luxury, and cultural heritage. A fusion of tradition and innovation, the event left fashion aficionados and industry insiders awestruck with its breathtaking displays of opulence and craftsmanship.

Held at predominantly at the prestigious Taj Palace Hotel in in New Delhi, from July 25th to August 2, 2023, India Couture Fashion Week transported attendees into a realm where imagination met reality. As the curtains rose, the runway was set ablaze with designs that spoke volumes about India’s rich history and contemporary flair. A harmonious amalgamation of hand-woven textiles, intricate embroideries, and innovative silhouettes took center stage, demonstrating the seamless fusion of traditional Indian craftsmanship and modern design sensibilities.

One of the standout features of ICFW 2023 was its emphasis on celebrating India’s cultural diversity. Designers drew inspiration from various regions and states, giving rise to a myriad of collections that showcased the vibrant tapestry of Indian heritage.

A look from Isha J’s India Couture Week 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Xinhua)

The runway itself became a canvas where designers painted their dreams. Extravagant sets, innovative lighting, and carefully curated music elevated each showcase into a mesmerizing spectacle. Models glided down the runway like ethereal beings, breathing life into the designs they adorned. The fusion of music, movement, and couture left the audience spellbound, creating an immersive experience that transcended the mere presentation of clothing.

India Couture Fashion Week 2023 proved that innovation and tradition need not be at odds. Designers seamlessly integrated cutting-edge techniques, sustainable practices, and futuristic fabrics into their creations, while still paying homage to age-old crafts. From 3D-printed embellishments to upcycled textiles, the event showcased a commitment to pushing the boundaries of creativity without compromising on authenticity.

A look from Rahul Mishra’s India Couture Week 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Euronews)

The fashion extravaganza was graced by the presence of renowned celebrities, fashion icons, and industry moguls. The front rows were adorned with A-listers, showcasing their support for the Indian fashion scene. Many stars also walked the runways, such as, actress Kiara Advani For Falguni Shane Peacock, actress Aditi Rao Hydari For Ritu Kumar, and actors Sara Ali Khan and Aditya Roy Kapur For Shantnu & Nikhil, to name a few. Their presence not only added to the glitz and glamour of the event but also demonstrated the cultural significance of fashion in India.

In a world where fashion is constantly evolving, India Couture Fashion Week 2023 16th annual edition, served as a reminder that tradition can be a wellspring of innovation, and that the spirit of creativity knows no bounds. As the lights dimmed and the applause echoed, one thing was certain: the India Couture Fashion Week had once again etched its mark on the global fashion landscape, leaving us eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this mesmerizing saga of style and substance.

Here are a few highlights from ICFW 2023 that proudly showcased India’s craftsmanship:

RAHUL MISHRA

Shraddha Kapoor Steals the Show in Rahul Mishra’s Show at India Couture Week 2023. (Photo Credit: Tribune India)

Rahul Mishra is a popular designer in India. This season he created plenty of buzz as he had the stunning actress Shraddha Kapoor walk the runway. His Couture 2023 collection included an array of contemporary silhouettes with traditional craftsmanship, perfectly blending the countries customary embroideries with a modern twist.

FALGUNI SHANE PEACOCK

Actress Kiara Advani walks for Falguni Shane Peacock’s Couture 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Republic World)

It’s a Barbie world and Barbiecore continues to permeate the fashion industry. So, it’s no surprise that renowned fashion brand Falguni Shane Peacock was inspired by the famous doll and blockbuster movie (as of writing, the movie has earned over $1.18 billion). The design duo featured plenty of showstopping pink creations, most notably the closing look that was worn by actress Kiara Advani, a pink embellished bra top and skirt, that was Barbie to the core.

RITU KUMAR

Aditi Rao Hydari walks the runway at Ritu Kumar’s India Couture Week 2023. (Photo Credit: ANI News)

Ritu Kumar is known for her regal weddingwear creations, most notably her articulate hand embroideries, as well as the remarkable attention to detail that is incorporated in every piece she creates. Kumar also had a notable celebrity in her show, actress Aditi Rao Hydari who wore a show-stopping look that was absolutely royal in a white and gold two piece that was created out of zardosi (a type of heavy and elaborate metal embroidery) and hints of Kashmiri embroidery.

VARUN BAHL

Bhumi Pednekar walks Varun Bahl’s Couture 2023 show. (Photo Credit: Tribune India)

Actress Bhumi Pednekar looked stunning in an intricate, floral look made of hand embroidered flowers. Varun Bahl’s collection titled Inner Bloom 2023, was a whimsical dream.

RIMZIM DADU

Ananya Panday walks Rimzin Dadu’s India Couture 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: India TV News)

Rimzim Dadu’s 2023 masterpiece captures the meaning of life through the concept of ebb and flow, showcased through abstract designs. Actress Ananya Panday shines bright in a gold bra and skirt look.

SHANTNU & NIKHIL

Actors Sara Ali Khan and Aditya Roy Kapur walk for Shantnu & Nikhil’s Couture 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: India Today)

Shantnu & Nikhil create the perfect blend of Italian heritage and Indian craft. Shantanu and Nikhil’s Etheria drew inspiration from the West, yet they embraced their cultural roots. The designers stated in their show notes, “A timeless journey through the opulence where Italian allure meets Indian splendor, indulging in the magic of the Gatsby Era and the grandeur of Roman palaces.”

So tell us, which designers from India Couture Fashion Week have inspired you?

 

The Vital Role of Back-to-School Fashion in the Ever-Evolving Fashion Industry

Gen Z is embracing the Y2K trend. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for the NY Post)

As the sun-kissed days of summer begin to fade, a palpable excitement fills the air. It’s that time of year again – the season of fresh starts, eager minds and boundless possibilities. Back-to-school, a tradition as old as academia itself, has transformed into a runway for the fashion industry, a crucial showcase of innovation, style, and adaptability. In this era of constant change, where trends emerge and dissipate at the speed of a mouse click, back-to-school fashion stands as a testament to the fashion industry’s vitality and enduring relevance.

Back-to-school fashion acts as a playground where designers, retailers, and consumers alike come to play. It’s a symphony of colors, fabrics, and silhouettes, a canvas where creativity knows no bounds. The industry seizes this opportunity to flex its design muscles, concocting garments that mirror the hopes and aspirations of a new academic year. And has traditionally been a major marketing season for the industry. This year is no exception.

Olivia Rodrigo is a punk rock cutie. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

For the 2023/24 back-to-school season, designers have reimagined classic staples – from plaid skirts and varsity jackets to crisp button-down shirts – infusing them with a modern twist that reflects the evolving tastes of  Generation Z (1995 to 2009) and Generation Alpha (2010 to 2024). These reimagined classics become more than just clothing; they become statements of individuality and belonging. This fusion of timelessness and innovation is a reminder that fashion is, at its core, a celebration of the present, while embracing echoes of the past.

Bella Hadid’s preppy with a twist vibe will surely be a back-to-school hit. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The back-to-school rush serves as a microcosm of the industry’s intricate dance with trends. It’s not merely about forecasting the next big thing; it’s about deciphering the intricate tapestry of consumer preferences. As students head back to their classrooms, they’re not just armed with textbooks – they’re equipped with an arsenal of trends, ready to express themselves in the ever-evolving language of style.

Industry leaders meticulously study the back-to-school market to identify patterns that offer insights into the future. The colors that capture attention, the fabrics that evoke emotion, and the styles that foster confidence all act as signposts, guiding the fashion world towards the next chapter of its narrative.

NUTURING BRAND LOYALTY AND IDENTITY

Nike back-to-school promotional looks. (Photo Credit: Nike)

Back-to-school fashion transcends the realm of aesthetics; it’s an exercise in identity formation. As students walk through the school gates clad in their carefully curated ensembles, they’re broadcasting more than just fashion choices – they’re showcasing their identities, their aspirations, and their stories. This emotional connection fosters brand loyalty that can last a lifetime.

For the industry, this loyalty isn’t just a fleeting affair; it’s an investment in a lifelong relationship. The brands that succeed in capturing the hearts of back-to-school shoppers often become woven into their stories, becoming trusted companions on their journey through life.

SUSTAINABILTY AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS

Levi’s sustainable denim looks. (Photo Credit: Levi’s)

In recent years, the fashion industry has faced increasing scrutiny over its environmental and ethical practices. Back-to-school fashion serves as an opportunity for the industry to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and responsible production. Brands that prioritize eco-friendly materials, ethical labor practices, and conscious consumption are not only shaping their own narratives but also contributing to a broader movement of positive change.

THE ECONOMIC BOOST OF BACK-TO-SCHOOL SHOPPING

Back-to-school fashion is an important sales and marketing tool for industry. (Photo Credit: SmartAsset)

The impact of back-to-school shopping on the economy is profound. In 2022, the back-to-school shopping season injected a surge of vitality into various sectors. From retail giants to local boutiques, the cash registers chimed in unison, contributing billions to the GDP. The ripple effect extends beyond traditional school supplies; it’s a time when electronics, clothing, accessories, and even home furnishing experience a surge in demand. The financial heartbeat of countless businesses races as they gear up to cater to the influx of eager shoppers.

According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, “back-to-school spending is expected to reach an unparalleled $41.5 billion, up from $36.9 billion last year and the previous high of $37.1 billion in 2021. Back-to-college spending is expected to hit $94 billion, about $20 billion more than last year’s record.”

Air Jordan’s and straight leg denim is a back-to-school favorite. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“Back-to-class shopping is one of the most important consumer shopping occasions of the year. Our research for 2023 shows American consumers are eager to jumpstart their back-to-school and college purchases early,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers have been preparing for months to ensure they are well stocked with essential items that families and students need for the school year.”

Since 2003, the National Retail Federation has conducted a thorough survey on back-to-class shopping trends. This year’s research included 7,843 consumers and was fielded June 30-July 6 with a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

Back-to-school shopping is well underway. According to the National Retail Federation, “as of early July, more than half (55%) of consumers who are buying for back-to-class said they have already started shopping. This is on par with last year, but is up from 44% in 2019, and is in line with the trend of consumers shopping earlier for major spending events. While consumers have started shopping early, as of early July, 85% said they still have at least half of their shopping left to do.”

Planned back to school Source NRF’s Annual 2023 Back to School Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics

Families with children in elementary through high school plan to spend an average of $890.07 on back-to-school items this year, approximately $25 more than last year’s record of $864.35, and a new high. College students and their families are expected to spend an average of $1,366.95 per person, up from $1,199.43 last year, and a new record from the previous record of $1,200.32 in 2021. Since 2019, back-to-college spending has nearly doubled.

Kendeall Jenner’s chill Ninties Vibe. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

For many back-to-school consumers, the leading destinations are online, department stores and discount stores with the more creative and sustainably-minded, hitting up resale clothing shops or are making or upcycling their own clothes.  “Even though consumers plan to spend more on school and college-related items this year, they are still looking to find the best value and deals,” Prosper Executive Vice President of Strategy Phil Rist said. “Consumers are stretching their dollars by comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and are more likely to shop at discount stores than last year.”

So tell us, what are your back-to-school wardrobe plans? Will you be making or upcycling your own clothes? Thrift shop hunting? Or going traditional: online, department store or mass merchant store?

MENSWEAR FASHION MONTH: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SPRING 2024 SHOWS

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Dior Men’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Dior)

The Menswear Spring 2024 season has set the stage for a groundbreaking revolution in men’s fashion. Embracing fluidity, inclusivity, sustainability, and innovation, designers have created a mesmerizing symphony of sartorial liberation. The runway serves as a canvas where traditional notions of masculinity are reimagined and reshaped. As the seasons change and fashion evolves, these groundbreaking trends remind us that menswear is not just clothing; it’s an ever-evolving expression of identity, freedom, and creativity.

Throughout Europe, the runways were a playground of limitless possibilities. The season kicked off in London with shows running from June 10 -12th. Then the dapper set were off to Italy, first stop, Pitti Uomo in Florence from June 13-16th and then the excitement of Milan revved up from June 16-20th. Paris of course closed out the season with a bang from June 20-25th. What about New York? The city that never sleeps will show menswear along with Woman’s Fashion Week in early September.

Jacquemus’ Spring 2024 showcase at the Lake Versailles was a sight to behold. (Photo Credit: Lifestyle Asia)

Many designers at Men’s Fashion Week Spring 2024 pulled out all the stops for their show creating over-the-top viral moments that left industry insiders in awe, which is no easy fete. From closed down bridges (Louis Vuitton, Kenzo) to moving floors (Dior Men), and palace-side boat rides (Jacquemus), this season was a spectacle and display of power, wealth, and access reached new heights. So it’s no surprise that according to a tally of the most-viewed men’s shows of SS24 on Vogue Runway, Louis Vuitton came in first place. The show was a star-studded event as everyone anxiously awaited to see Pharrell Williams’s debut for Louis Vuitton. The show was an instant hit and Williams featured “Damoflage” which in Pharrell’s show notes was a fusion between Louis Vuitton’s iconic checkered Damier pattern and traditional camouflage fabric. “Damoflage” appeared across the collection, and truly capsulates Pharrell’s personal avant garde style.

A video of Pharell William’s debut Louis Vuitton Spring 2024 Show. (Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Chanel)

Before we delve into the trends for the Spring 2024 season, here is a brief history on Menswear Fashion Week.

HISTORY

In the realm of fashion, one event stands as a bastion of style and innovation – Men’s Fashion Week. Spanning across four fashion capitals – Milan, Paris, London, and New York – this bi-annual celebration of masculinity has a rich history that weaves together creativity, culture, and couture. Join UoF on a journey through time, as we explore the origins and evolution of Men’s Fashion Week in these iconic cities.

Milan – The Birth of Dapper Debonair

The year was 1971 when Milan hosted its first-ever Men’s Fashion Week, a pioneering moment that brought Italian elegance to the forefront. Spearheaded by visionaries like Giorgio Armani and Nino Cerruti, the Milanese runway showcased sharp tailoring, luxurious fabrics, and a newfound emphasis on minimalistic sophistication. Men’s fashion was no longer relegated to the shadows; it was a statement of confidence and poise.

Paris – The Haute Heritage

Stepping into the elegant city of Paris, we travel back to the origins of Haute Couture. In 1973, Paris welcomed its inaugural Men’s Fashion Week, further solidifying the city’s reputation as a timeless fashion capital. Designers like Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, and Jean-Paul Gaultier infused traditional French savoir-faire with a contemporary flair. Paris became synonymous with avant-garde and artistic expressions that transcended the ordinary.

London – Punks to Peacocks

Across the Channel, London’s Men’s Fashion Week story took a different turn. Emerging in 1984, it began as an edgy, rebellious movement with punk influences, thanks to designers like Vivienne Westwood. Over time, it evolved into a melting pot of diverse styles, from tailored Savile Row classics to eccentric, bold streetwear. London became a playground for experimentation, paving the way for a new generation of men’s fashion designers.

New York – American Dreams and Diversity

Crossing the Atlantic, we find ourselves in the bustling streets of New York. In 1995, the Big Apple hosted its inaugural Men’s Fashion Week, showcasing American dreams and diversity. Designers like Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, and Calvin Klein celebrated masculinity in all its forms – from rugged to refined. New York’s fashion week spotlighted the fusion of traditional American sportswear with cutting-edge contemporary designs.

As the years passed, Men’s Fashion Week in Milan, Paris, London, and New York transformed into a global phenomenon. The event expanded its reach beyond the fashion elite, with social media turning every spectator into a front-row participant. This democratization of fashion allowed designers to connect directly with their audience and opened doors for emerging talents from diverse backgrounds.

In recent years, a profound shift occurred in men’s fashion. Sustainability and ethical practices took center stage. Designers increasingly embraced eco-friendly materials, responsible manufacturing, and gender-neutral designs. Men’s Fashion Week became a platform to promote conscious consumption, making a positive impact on both the planet and society.

TRENDS

SCHOOL DAZE

Designers are feeling nostalgic this season as the schoolboy uniform trend makes its mark on the runway where you will find plenty of oversized blazers paired with tiny shorts.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Neil Barrett’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Paul Smith’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

VARSITY BLUES

Athletic inspired looks have come back this spring with a collegiate twist.

A look from Kenzo’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Wales Bonner’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Vetements’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Saul Mash’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Fashionista)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FLORAL DELIGHT

“Florals for spring? Groundbreaking” is one of the most famous quotes from Miranda Priestly, the notoriously difficult boss in The Devil Wears Prada, but this season the motif is truly fashion forward as 3-D floral appliques made there way onto the menswear runways from a quirky hat to a tailored shirt.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2024 Show. )(Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DEEP POCKETS

It’s time to get to work. Cargo pockets and utilitarian looks are making a splash both on the runway and off.

A look from Études’ Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Li-Ning’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Fashionista)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

THE GOING OUT TOP

The halter top gets a refresh as the androgynous look gives a 70s meets Y2K vibe.

A look from Saint Laurent’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studio’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Egonlab’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

So tell us, what is your favorite menswear trend for the spring 2024 season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

BARBIE’S WORLD: A COSTUME DESIGNER’S DREAM COME TRUE

Barbie movie’s main trailer.( Video Courtesy of YouTube·Warner Bros. Pictures)

If you asked some of today’s fashion designers what inspired them to pursue a career in fashion, odds are that they would tell you it was their Barbie doll. UoF’s founder, Francesca Sterlacci, is definitely one of them. Many young girls (and boys) often started out playing with baby dolls (or, if you grew up in the 1950s a Patty Play Pal), but once they got a look at Barbie, with her 11.5 inch human figure, 39″ bust, nipped-in waist, waterfall blonde ponytail, zebra-print swimsuit and kitten heels (known to collectors as “Ponytail Number One”)…they never went back! Launched by Mattel in 1959, Barbie took the world by storm with sales of 300,000 dolls in its first year of production. According to Mattel, there are in excess of 100,000 collectors of Barbie dolls worldwide today, with Düsseldorf collector, Bettina Dorfman (age 61) the Guinness Book of Records record-holder for her 18,500-strong Barbie collection that is currently worth $307,500.

Bay dolls and Patty Play Pal Doll

Kissy Dolls and a Patty Play Pal doll by Ideal (Image credit: Etsy.com)

 

Barbie dolls circa 1960s

Barbie dolls circa 1960s (Image credit: Etsy.com)

As the highly anticipated Barbie movie hits the big screen on July 21, 2023, it’s impossible not to reflect back at the doll that captured the imagination of so many. To learn more about Barbie’s evolution, representing 150 careers and more than 40 nationalities in the 64 years of her existence, read our blog post from July 2022 entitled, Barbiecore & Why Barbie is Not Just Some Dumb Blonde.

Today, over 90 percent of American girls between the ages of 3 to 12 have owned a Barbie doll. And even though, throughout the years, Barbie has assumed many professions, from doctor and archeologist, to rock star and computer engineer, for many she remains a stereotype. It therefore took incredible guts and vision for Margot Robbie to accept the iconic role of Barbie and for Greta Gerwig to direct it, especially in the #MeToo era. Thier decision carried a profound significance, as Robbie’s portrayal breaks stereotypes and challenges traditional gender norms.

The plot hinges on Margot Robbie Barbie (apparently there are other characters also named Barbie and Ken), being expelled from Barbie Land for being a less-than-perfect-looking doll. She somehow snaps out of her dollhouse mentality, suddenly gets flat feet and starts thinking about dying. She then embarks on a journey to the human world “to find true happiness” where she meets a range of differently abled and raced Barbies along the way, thereby conveying an empowering message.

Barbie’s fashion choices play a pivotal role in showcasing diversity and inclusivity through the work of a very talented costume designer (Jacqueline Durran) and her selective network of fashion industry designers that include, Stella McCartney, Christian Siriano and Iris van Herpen. Let’s dive into the fashion-forward world of Barbie and explore how these incredible designers brought Barbie’s glamorous big screen looks to life.

JACQUELINE DURRAN CREATES FASHION MAGIC

Margot Robbie as Barbie in the new Barbie film. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Margot Robbie as Barbie in the new Barbie film. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Barbie has always been renowned for her impeccable fashion sense, setting trends and inspiring millions of fans worldwide. In the movie, Barbie’s wardrobe undergoes a remarkable evolution, reflecting the diverse and ever-changing world we live in. The fashion choices presented on-screen celebrate body positivity, inclusivity and the importance of self-expression. Summer 2022, when the movie was being filmed, became the summer of Barbiecore, as every celebrity, It-Girl, and social-media darling dressed in head-to-toe pink in anticipation of the Barbie movie. The trend continued into 2023.

Fun Fact: Barbie’s home was inspired by the midcentury modernism designs found in Palm Springs, California and the iconic Barbie Dreamhouses. And, that the making of Barbie Land caused an international shortage of pink paint?

Barbie’s disco look. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Barbie and Ken’s western looks. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Before delving into the collaborative efforts, it is important to acknowledge Jacqueline Durran’s incredible talent as a costume designer. With a portfolio that includes award-winning work in films like “Anna Karenina” and “Little Women,” Durran has established herself as a visionary in the industry. Her keen eye for detail, historical accuracy, and her ability to craft characters through costume, make her a sought-after collaborator for directors and fashion houses alike.

Speaking of costume designers, we’d like to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to costume designer Ruth E. Carter and the launch of her new book “The Art of Ruth E. Carter: Costuming Black History and the Afrofuture, from Do the Right Thing to Black Panther.” Carter is the first Black woman to win an Oscar for costume design, the first Black woman to win two Oscars in any category and the second costume designer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It’s time for Hollywood and the fashion industry to pay attention to pay inequity, specifically between costume designers and their peers; production designers and fashion designers.

COLLABORATING WITH FASHION DESIGNERS

Barbie’s classic swimsuit look. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

For the 2023 Barbie movie, Jacqueline Durran decided to collaborate with fashion industry designers, recognizing the significance of Barbie as a style icon.  Together, they created a seamless fusion of high fashion and cinematic storytelling. Here are a few designers who brought Barbie’s looks to life.

Renowned for her commitment to sustainable fashion, Stella McCartney joined forces with Jacqueline Durran to bring eco-conscious design to the Barbie movie. McCartney’s signature elegance and ethical sensibilities perfectly complement Barbie’s message of empowerment and environmental responsibility. Expect to see stunning ensembles crafted from innovative sustainable fabrics and adorned with McCartney’s distinctive touch.

Known for his bold and inclusive designs, Christian Siriano’s collaboration with Jacqueline Durran injects a vibrant and diverse energy into the Barbie movie. Siriano’s mastery of draping, impeccable craftsmanship, and his celebration of different body types make him an ideal partner for dressing Barbie and her friends. Anticipate a range of show-stopping couture gowns and fierce yet playful ensembles that showcase Siriano’s unique flair.

Pushing the boundaries of fashion and technology, Iris van Herpen brings her avant-garde sensibilities to the Barbie movie in collaboration with Jacqueline Durran. Van Herpen’s mesmerizing designs, often inspired by nature and science, add a touch of otherworldly magic to the film. Expect breathtakingly intricate and ethereal costumes, blending traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge techniques, such as 3D printing and laser cutting.

The collaborative efforts between Jacqueline Durran and her chosen team of renowned fashion designers, promises a fashion spectacle like no other. Through their unique creative vision, Stella McCartney, Christian Siriano, and Iris van Herpen contribute their artistry and distinct design perspectives to Barbie’s world.  As audiences await the release of the Barbie movie, they can look forward to a dazzling display of fashion magic borne from the synergy between Jacqueline Durran and these esteemed designers.

Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling) rollerblade looks. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

So, tell us, how excited are you to see the Barbie Movie?

 

 

 

 

THE ENDURING MAGIC OF HAUTE COUTURE: FALL 2023

Backstage at the Iris Van Herpen Fall 2023 Couture Collection Runway Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Despite the backdrop of Paris protests, as a result of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, fashion’s elite indulged in the finer things of life and high tailoring during Haute Couture’s Fall 2023 season. Couture took center stage last week as fashion insiders and celebrities sashayed throughout the most fashionable city in the world. The Paris Couture season, which ran from July 3rd to the 6th, was jam packed with whimsical and fanciful creations and blew up every fashionista’s social media channel.

Cardi B rocks Couture Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Haute couture is the epitome of high fashion, it carries with it a rich history spanning over a century. From its origins in the late 19th century to its evolution into the modern era, haute couture has remained a symbol of creativity, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance. In today’s society, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, it is worth exploring the roots of haute couture and examining its enduring relevance in shaping the fashion landscape.

THE HISTORY OF HAUTE COUTURE

A gown from House of Worth dated 1882. (Photo Credit: Met Museum)

The story of haute couture begins in Paris during the mid-19th century. It was Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman residing in Paris, who is credited as the ‘father of haute couture’. Worth’s innovative approach involved creating custom-made garments for individual clients, departing from the prevailing practice of mass-produced attire. By infusing creativity, impeccable craftsmanship, and luxurious materials, Worth elevated fashion to an art form and set the stage for the birth of haute couture.

The early 20th century witnessed the rise of prestigious fashion houses that defined the golden era of haute couture. Designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent became synonymous with unparalleled elegance and sophistication. These designers crafted exquisite garments that reflected the spirit of their time, capturing the essence of societal shifts and women’s evolving roles. The allure of haute couture grew as these visionaries introduced iconic silhouettes, such as the “New Look,” and groundbreaking techniques that transformed the fashion landscape.

In today’s fast-paced world driven by fast fashion, mass production and rapid fashion trends, the artistry and enchantment of haute couture continues to shine as a beacon of beauty and craftsmanship. Those of us who value the talent of the petit mains who create these masterpieces in every designer’s atelier, know and respect the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating these exquisite garments that transcend time. In today’s society, where individuality is cherished, the magic of haute couture remains an essential and awe-inspiring force.

THE RELEVANCE OF HAUTE COUTURE IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

Looks from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

As another season of haute couture has come to an end and the debate over whether or not couture is still revenant, no one can deny that the artistic expression and innovation was well worth it (not to mention the big marketing opportunities brands gain from  showing a couture collection). Haute couture serves as a canvas for designers to unleash their creative expertise and push the boundaries of fashion. It is a playground of innovation, where new techniques, materials, and silhouettes are explored. The avant-garde creations showcased in haute couture collections often serve as a source of inspiration for ready-to-wear lines, influencing trends and shaping the future of fashion.

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

A hallmark of haute couture lies in its impeccable craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Each garment is meticulously constructed by skilled artisans, employing traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. The use of luxurious fabrics, intricate hand-sewn embellishments, and delicate embroideries creates garments of unparalleled quality and splendor. Haute couture reminds us of the enduring value of artisanal work and the irreplaceable beauty of true craftsmanship.

In a world of mass production, where conformity often reigns, haute couture celebrates individuality and offers exclusivity. Just like a Savile Row suit, each haute couture garment is custom-made for a specific client, ensuring a perfect fit and reflecting their unique personality and style. It provides a luxurious experience that fosters a sense of identity and self-expression, allowing individuals to embrace their distinctiveness in a world of uniformity.

Haute couture plays a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship. Collaborations between designers and skilled artisans ensure the continuity of time-honored techniques, from intricate embroidery to hand weaving. By intertwining contemporary design with cultural traditions, haute couture showcases the richness of global heritage, paying homage to diverse craft traditions and sustaining their legacy.

HAUTE COUTURE FALL 2023 SHOWS

Looks from Chanel’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

The Fall 2023 Haute Couture season transported us to a realm of unparalleled creativity, innovation, and artistry. From the breathtaking designs that grace the runway to the meticulous craftsmanship that brings them to life, haute couture continues to enchant and inspire. As we witness the magic unfold in Paris, we are reminded of the enduring power of fashion as an art form and its ability to captivate and transport us into a world of imagination. The Fall 2023 haute couture shows leave us in awe, eagerly awaiting the next chapter of fashion’s captivating tale. Here are some showstopping looks from each show that captured the essence of the season.

SCHIAPARELLI

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

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Looks From Christian Dior’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

THOM BROWNE

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

CHANEL

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

ARMANI PRIVE

Looks from Armani Privé’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

BALENCIAGA

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

VALENTINO

Looks From Valentino’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

FENDI

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

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

IRIS VAN HERPEN

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

VIKTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, which couture show inspired you the most?

 

 

 

Fashion’s Resort 2024 Collections: A Gateway to Style

- - Trends

Looks from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Hollywood Reporter)

The world of fashion never rests. It’s constantly evolving and embracing new trends to captivate the hearts of fashionistas worldwide. Amidst this perpetual cycle, the Resort season emerges as a crucial milestone in the industry, providing designers with a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity and unlock significant sales potential. As we delve into Fashion’s Resort 2024 collections, we will embark on a journey through enchanting designs while exploring the undeniable importance of the resort season in driving fashion sales.

Unlike the more widely known fashion seasons like Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, Resort collections offer a refreshing break from the traditional fashion calendar. Launched between seasons, typically during the winter months, Resort collections cater to jet-setters seeking stylish ensembles for their warm-weather getaways. Resort collections epitomize the essence of escapism, transporting us to sun-soaked destinations and inspiring dreams of far-off shores.

Liberated from the constraints of thematic consistency, they can explore innovative silhouettes, patterns, and fabrics, resulting often in breathtaking creations. Designers often draw inspiration from diverse sources, such as exotic locales, art movements and cultural heritage, infusing their collections with a captivating mix of tradition and contemporary flair.

Looks from Roberto Cavalli’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue).   

A look from Phillip Plein’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: The Impression)

One of the key reasons why the resort season is essential to fashion sales lies in the extended retail window it creates. Unlike other collections that quickly give way to seasonal discounts, Resort collections maintain their relevance for an extended period. This longevity is particularly advantageous for retailers, allowing them to stock and sell these exclusive pieces for an extended period, thus maximizing their profitability.

The resort season caters to a broad range of consumer needs, making it a lucrative segment for fashion sales. From tropical beachgoers and urban vacationers to those living in climates that enjoy year-round warmth, the resort collections offer versatile designs suitable for various occasions. This inclusivity ensures that designers and retailers can tap into a diverse customer base, expanding their market reach and ultimately boosting sales.

In today’s digital age, the resort season’s impact extends far beyond traditional runways. Influencers and fashion enthusiasts flock to picturesque resort locations where collections are unveiled, generating a powerful synergy of style and social media. The visual splendor of these backdrops combined with the inherent allure of new fashion trends generates considerable online buzz, catapulting resort collections into the spotlight and increasing their desirability. This Resort 2024 season was no exception as Chanel showcased their collection in sunny Los Angeles, as a Santa Monica airplane hangar was used as a runway. Gucci showed in Seoul, the capital of South Korea while hundreds of labor union protested in the city’s streets. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Resort 2024 collection was an ode to Mexico, so it was only natural that the French luxury house showed in Mexico City. Meanwhile, Wes Gordon took his Resort 2024 Carolina Herrera show to Rio, Brazil. Not to be outdone by exotic locations, Nicolas Ghesquière’s Louis Vuitton show was held in the terraced gardens of Isola Bella, a tiny private island in Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Town & Country)

The resort season acts as a bridge between the more substantial Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections, ensuring a smooth transition for fashion aficionados. By offering a taste of upcoming trends and introducing transitional pieces, designers create anticipation for the next season, enabling customers to plan their wardrobes ahead of time. This strategy not only keeps consumers engaged but also bolsters brand loyalty, driving sales throughout the year.

A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Here are some of Resort’s hottest trends so far:

Barbiecore

Barbiecore, inspired by the iconic Barbie doll, as well as the release of the Barbie Movie on July 21, is a major trend characterized by its playful and feminine aesthetic.

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

A look from Anna Sui’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

Floral Fantasies

Florals continue to reign supreme, with an array of exquisite botanical prints and patterns. From oversized blooms to delicate blossoms, these vibrant and romantic motifs grace dresses, skirts and blouses, adding a touch of femininity to every ensemble.

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Artisanal Craftsmanship

Resort 2024 pays homage to artisanal craftsmanship, celebrating traditional techniques and intricate details. Expect to see beautifully handcrafted embroidery, delicate lacework, and intricate beadwork adorning garments.

A look from The Row’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Sophisticated Crochet

Crochet takes center stage for Resort 2024, with designers embracing this versatile and timeless technique. From dresses and tops to swimwear and accessories, crochet pieces evoke a sense of bohemian elegance and laid-back charm.

A look from Chloé’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Frederick Anderson’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Playful Ruffles

Ruffles make a spirited comeback, infusing Resort 2024 collections with a sense of whimsy and movement. Cascading down skirts, sleeves, and necklines, ruffles create a romantic and playful aesthetic.

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

A look from Diesel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Earthy Tones

Resort 2024 embraces the beauty of the natural world through earthy tones and natural textures. From sandy neutrals to mossy greens, these colors evoke a sense of serenity and connection to nature. Designers incorporate natural textures, such as linen, jute, and woven fabrics, bringing a tactile and organic element to the collections. Expect to see relaxed silhouettes and flowy garments that exude a sense of effortless elegance.

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Chloé’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Abstract Prints

Abstract prints make a bold statement in Resort 2024, injecting a burst of energy and creativity into the collections. Geometric shapes, bold strokes, and unexpected color combinations create eye-catching designs that demand attention.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Tailoring with a Twist

Resort 2024 redefines traditional tailoring with modern twists and unexpected details. Blazers feature oversized shoulders and nipped-in waists, offering a feminine take on structured silhouettes. Pants are cropped and wide-legged, providing comfort and sophistication. Look out for asymmetrical cuts, unique button placements, and unexpected fabric combinations that breathe new life into classic tailoring.

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

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

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

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, what is your favorite trend for Resort 2024?

Celebrating LGBTQ+ Inclusivity: Fashion’s Everlasting Ally

Jean Paul Gaultier’s fragrance in limited-edition Pride bottles. (Photo Credit: WWD)

June is Gay Pride month, a time to celebrate the diverse tapestry of sexual orientations and gender identities that make our world more beautiful. And, when it comes to embodying acceptance, self-expression, and the breaking of societal barriers, few industries have championed the cause as fervently as the fashion industry. This week’s blog post is dedicated to how fashion has been an unwavering ally to the LGBTQ+ community. We will shed light on some of the remarkable fashion designers who are activists for the gay and transgender community and how, through their efforts, are changing the world.

FASHION: A PLATFORM FOR INCLUSIVITY

American Eagle collaborates with Olivia Ponton for its 2023 Pride collection. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Fashion has long been a powerful vehicle for self-expression, acting as a mirror reflecting the collective spirit of society. Throughout history, fashion has played a pivotal role in dismantling gender norms and challenging societal conventions. From the legendary queer icons of the past, to the contemporary LGBTQ+ trailblazers, fashion has provided a canvas for diverse identities to express themselves boldly.

Many fashion designers have embraced their own LGBTQ+ identities and utilized their platforms to foster inclusivity. They do this by designing gender-neutral collections, featuring diverse models, and advocating for LGBTQ+ rights. Collectively, these designers have transformed the runway into a sanctuary of self-acceptance and celebration as well as in the media.

FASHION DESIGNERS LEADING THE WAY

LGBTQ+ Quotes for Pride Month. (Photo Credit: Hallmark Ideas)

As we honor the progress made during Gay Pride Month and beyond, we would like to celebrate these fashion warriors who have fearlessly used their art to uplift marginalized communities. Their efforts remind us that fashion is not just about clothing; it is a medium through which we can challenge social norms, spark conversations, and advocate for a world where everyone is embraced for who they are. Together, we can create a future where love and acceptance shine through every stitch and every design.

The world of fashion is renowned for its ability to push boundaries, challenge norms, and celebrate individuality. Within this vibrant landscape, there is a group of talented individuals who not only bring their innovative designs to life but also break barriers of gender and identity. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of LGBTQ+ fashion designers, whose creativity and resilience inspire us all. Here are a handful of designers that are bringing social change and activism the runway and beyond.

Marc Jacobs

Portrait of Marc Jacobs. (Photo Credit: Oyster Magazine)

Recognized for his distinctive style and unwavering commitment to inclusivity, Marc Jacobs stands as a prominent figure in the fashion industry. As a gay designer, he has continuously advocated for LGBTQ+ rights and used his platform to uplift queer voices. Jacobs’ designs exude an unapologetic individuality and celebrate the diversity of human experiences, breaking down barriers with each stitch.

Gogo Graham

Portrait of Gogo Graham. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Gogo Graham is a rising transgender fashion designer who has been instrumental in challenging the fashion industry’s gender norms. Through her label, she creates stunning garments that embrace trans bodies and explore the beauty of gender identity. Graham’s designs serve as a visual manifesto, proving that fashion has the power to empower and uplift marginalized communities.

Palomo Spain

Portrait of Alejandro Palomo. (Photo Credit: Ssense Magazine)

Palomo Spain, helmed by Alejandro Gómez Palomo, is celebrated for its extravagant and gender-defying creations. With a focus on fluidity, Palomo Spain’s designs blur the lines between masculine and feminine, giving birth to a new era of androgynous fashion. As a gay designer, Palomo breaks free from societal expectations, embracing the limitless possibilities of self-expression.

Christian Siriano

Portrait of Christian Siriano. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Christian Siriano, widely recognized for his exquisite designs and his time on Project Runway, has consistently championed inclusivity in the fashion industry. He defies size, gender, and racial norms by featuring a diverse range of models in his runway shows. Siriano has also been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, using his influence to support organizations like the Human Rights Campaign. By actively engaging in social issues, he has proven that fashion can be a powerful force for positive change.

Prabal Gurung

Prabal Gurung makes a statement during his Fall 2017 runway show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Prabal Gurung is not only known for his stunning creations, but also for his unwavering commitment to social justice and inclusivity. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Gurung has used his brand to amplify the voices of marginalized groups. He launched a collection titled “Love Is Love” to support the LGBTQ+ community and has collaborated with organizations like The Trevor Project. Gurung’s advocacy extends beyond the runway, making him a true ally for equality.

Jeremy Scott

Portrait of Jeremy Scott. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Jeremy Scott, the former creative director of Moschino, is celebrated for his bold, unconventional designs. He fearlessly challenges societal boundaries and norms through his work. Scott, who identifies as gay, has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, leveraging his platform to promote inclusivity. His designs often incorporate LGBTQ+ symbols and messages, sending a powerful message of acceptance and love. Scott’s unapologetic approach to self-expression has made him an inspiration for queer individuals around the world.

Ashish Gupta

Portrait of Ashish Gupta. (Photo Credit: British Vogue)

Ashish Gupta, an Indian-born British designer, is renowned for his glittering, vibrant creations. Gupta, who identifies as gay, uses fashion as a medium to celebrate diversity and challenge stereotypes. His collections often showcase LGBTQ+ affirming messages and promote acceptance and love. Gupta’s designs remind us that fashion can be a vehicle for change, one that sparks conversations and encourages us to embrace our authentic selves.

Harris Reed

Portrait of Harris Reed. (Photo Credit: Telegraph)

Harris Reed, a British-American designer who is the creative director for Nina Ricci, has become a trailblazer in the fashion industry, challenging conventional notions of gender and beauty. Reed’s designs often feature elaborate and gender-fluid creations, blending elements of traditional menswear and womenswear. Their work has gained recognition on international runways and has been embraced by celebrities like Harry Styles. Reed’s daring and imaginative designs reflect a vision of fashion that transcends boundaries.

FASHION IS HELPING TO CREATE A MORE ACCEPTING SOCIETY

During Pride month, Reebok is introducing its first genderless line of footwear and apparel. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Fashion designers have a unique platform that can influence cultural conversations and promote inclusivity. Through their creativity and unwavering commitment to LGBTQ+ rights, designers like Christian Siriano, Prabal Gurung, Jeremy Scott, and Ashish Gupta have become powerful advocates for change. Their voices resonate beyond the runways, inspiring a more accepting and equal society.

As we celebrate Gay Pride Month 2023, let us remember that fashion is not just about clothes; it’s a medium through which we can express our true selves and challenge societal norms. By continuing to support LGBTQ+ designers and embracing diversity on and off the runway, we can foster an environment of acceptance and love that transcends borders, colors, and identities.

 

View our lesson entitled: Drawing Androgynous Men’s and Women’s Fashion Figures

So tell us, as aspiring fashion designers, how are you using your voice to advocate for change and acceptance?

WHY THE LAGERFELD MET SHOW IS CALLED “THE LINE OF BEAUTY”

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty—Exhibition tour with Andrew Bolton. Video Courtesy of the MET’s YouTube video.

Have you already been to the new MET exhibit, Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty, or are planning to attend? Lucky you. If not, then you must view Andrew Bolton’s tour of the exhibit on You Tube.

THE ‘S’ OR SERPENTINE CURVE

 

book Analysis of Beauty

The Analysis of Beauty by William Hogarth in 1753 . Hogarth considered line #4, the Line of Beauty”. (Image credit: ResearchGate.net)

The highly anticipated Karl Lagerfeld MET exhibit, which opened on May 5 and is on display until July 16, 2023, is a remarkable homage to the iconic designer and, for all you fashion illustrators nerds out there, a study in line, brushstroke and architectural principles. As the basis for the exhibition, the MET has focused on Lagerfeld’s interest in the work of William Hogarth (1697–1764), a British artist, printmaker and theorist, who published “The Analysis of Beauty” in 1753 and who is considered the initiator of line aesthetics, particularly the “S” or serpentine curve. Hogarth called waving lines, “lines of beauty” and serpentine-lines “lines of grace.”  He depicted seven waving lines, declaring line number 4 as the most beautiful and called it the “line of beauty.”

sculpture Venus de Milo- contrapposto pose

Venus de Milo sculpture – contrapposto pose (Image credit: Wikipedia)

Historically speaking however, the S-shaped concept actually dates back to the 4th century BC and is attributed to the famous Greek sculptor Praxiteles in the form of the contrapposto pose, whereby the figure is depicted as slouching, or placing the center of gravity to one side. Today it has become a very popular pose in fashion illustration.

THE LINE OF BEAUTY: AN ARTISTIC FOUNDATION

Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty. (Photo Credit: MET)

The MET used Hogarth’s principle to skillfully intertwine Lagerfeld’s love of the Serpentine or ‘S’ line (the line of beauty) and contrasting it with Lagerfeld’s love of the Modern Straight line. In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating connection between these concepts, highlighting Lagerfeld’s innovative vision and its impact on the world of fashion. We will also teach you more about the ‘S’ line and the Modern Straight line by referring you to our fashion drawing lessons on how to draw the “S’ and Straight line fashion poses and when to use each in your fashion illustrations. We will also point you to our lessons on  how to draft romantic sleeves and our beading and embroidery lessons so that you can achieve some of the looks featured in the Lagerfeld MET show. 

THE ROMANTIC SERPENTINE: EVOKING GRACE AND MOVEMENT

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The Romantic Serpentine or “S” line, represents a curvilinear aesthetic inspired by nature and organic forms. Lagerfeld skillfully infused this concept into his designs, allowing garments to embrace the natural contours of the body. The MET show did a great job of arranging Lagerfeld designs that in groups that demonstrated the Serpentine concept of flowing lines, delicate drapes, and soft textures that brought a sense of fluidity and movement to the exhibit.

THE MODERN STRAIGHT LINE: EMBRACIMG MINIMALISM AND PRECISION

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit. (Photo Credit: Invision)

In contrast, the Modern Straight Line gained prominence in the early 20th century with the advent of modernism. Characterized by clean lines, simplicity and precision, this style revolutionized the world of design with Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret among the the concept’s early-adopters. The MET show  masterfully showcases these sharp silhouettes, geometric patterns, and minimalist aesthetics, by juxtaposing Lagerfeld’s sleek designs against the backdrop of rectangular shadow boxes, creating a visually captivating experience for visitors.

LAGERFELD’S VISION: BLURRING BOUNDARIES AND REDEFINING FASHION

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty exhibit. (Photo Credit: The Met)

Karl Lagerfeld’s exhibit not only paid homage to the historical artistic concepts but also demonstrated his ability to push the boundaries of fashion. By intertwining the Line of Beauty with the Modern Straight Line and Romantic Serpentine, Lagerfeld challenged conventional ideas and redefined the way we perceive fashion and design. His innovative approach encouraged the fusion of diverse styles, allowing for endless possibilities and a new era of creativity.

VISITING THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

Karl Lagerfeld’s Line of Beauty Exhibit, Floral Lines. (Photo Credit: The Met)

The Karl Lagerfeld Met Exhibit stands as a testament to Lagerfeld’s exceptional talent and his ability to draw inspiration from various artistic movements. By channeling William Hogarth’s Line of Beauty and seamlessly blending the Modern Straight Line with the Romantic Serpentine, Lagerfeld created a mesmerizing display of fashion that showcased both precision and grace. The exhibit not only honored Lagerfeld’s legacy but also served as a catalyst for future designers to explore the intersections of art and fashion, challenging traditional norms and fostering innovation in the industry. To learn more about Lagerfeld’s fashion illustrations read our earlier blogpost, Celebrating Karl Lagerfeld: As Both Illustrator & Designer.

LEARN ABOUT LAGERFELD’S DESIGN CONCEPTS THROUGH THESE UOF LESSONS:

Learn more about LINE and how to draw the S curve and the Modern Straight line silhouette. Try your hand at some of Lagerfeld’s BIG sleeves like the Leg o’ Mutton and other decorative sleeves and learn how to bead and embroider by viewing these lessons:

SO TELL US, are you an ‘S’ curve or a Straight Modern line fan?