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Category "Fashion Shows"

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: FINALLY CELEBRATING YOUNG DESIGNERS

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New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week is in full swing with the Spring 2019 collections and street style stars out in full force.  Just look on your Instagram feed and hundreds of runway images will pop up. From Tom Ford’s show, which kicked off the week to Jeremy Scott’s celebrity heavy front row.

Backstage at Jeremy Scott's spring 2019 show. Left to Right: Offset, Cardi B, Jeremy Scott, Hennessy Carolina and Tiffany Haddish. (Photo Courtesy of WWD.Com)

Backstage at Jeremy Scott’s spring 2019 show. Left to Right: Offset, Cardi B, Jeremy Scott, Hennessy Carolina and Tiffany Haddish. (Photo Courtesy of WWD.Com)

There are literally hundreds of shows that editors, buyers and the general public will get to see during the grueling Spring/Summer 2019 season in New York, London, Paris and Milan. And, while attendance is always high at established designers’ shows, with everyone traditionally looking to those brands for fashion trends and direction, at University of Fashion we feel that it is time to take note of the many new, young, up-and-comers… the future of the fashion industry… and we want to celebrate and promote these new design talents.

Justine Beiber and Hailey Baldwin attend John Elliott's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Hollywood Life)

Justine Beiber and Hailey Baldwin attend John Elliott’s spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Hollywood Life)

After all, here at UoF  know that breaking into the fashion industry is no easy feat. It not only takes incredible talent, but lots of hard work, time,  and the right team to help put the collection together, let alone the money to be able to show during fashion week.

Here are some of our favorite young designer collections so far:

PH5

Mija Zhang and Wei Lin are the design duo behind the hot, new knitwear label PH5. These young designers experiment with textile technologies in their collections to create effortless pieces with a cool edge. For their Spring 2019 collection, the designers looked to Miami’s Art Deco district for inspiration, which translated into graphic silhouettes in an array of colors. For those who shy away from color, there were plenty of neutral pieces that were both modern and chic.

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

 WARM

Winnie Beattie is the young designer behind the label Warm. The brand is quickly becoming known for its pretty print dresses with a laid back vibe. For spring, Beattie was inspired by summer vacation mode – but this beach inspired collection looks just as pretty in a beach town as it does in the city. There were plenty of bold pajama looks, romantic floral dresses, bohemian inspired frocks, and playful jumpsuits. While the collection is casual, it is balanced with a sophisticated twist giving the overall collection a charming je ne sais quoi.

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

MATTHEW ADAMS DOLAN

What do you get when you mix 90s ravers, 80s schoolgirls and 50s couture tailoring? A bold and youthful collection created by Matthew Adam Dolan. This young designer showed both his menswear and womenswear looks on the runway and they were packed with functional-meets-utilitarian references.  Adams Dolan showed plenty of neon bright colors, as well as a nod to Goth kids with all black denim looks. This is a 90s kid dream collection.

Matthew Adams Dolan's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Matthew Adams Dolan’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Matthew Adams Dolan's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Matthew Adams Dolan’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

AMBUSH

Yoon Ahn sure has her hands full. The designer started her label Ambush as a jewelry line, but for spring she expanded her brand to include a full ready-to-wear collection. This designer has also announced her appointment by Kim Jones as the lead jewelry designer for Dior Homme’s jewelry.

Ahn’s spring RTW collection was young and playful. Inspired by Hawaii, the collection had a laid back surfer vibe; she even created functioning wetsuits for both men and women. For girls, the collection included crochet tops, voluminous drawstring trousers, oversized knit sweaters and hoodies with palm tree motifs. Ahn’s menswear included tie-dye tops, boxy shirting, a puffer jacket vest and striped baja shirts. To complete the collection, Ahn also created two metallic surfboards, just perfect for riding her wave of newfound success.

Ambush's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of  Ambush)

Ambush’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

Ambush's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

Ambush’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

COLLINA STRADA

We all need a little zen in our lives and this season, Hillary Taymour, delivered a pure and thought-provoking collection for her label Collina Stada. The opening looks set the tone, a crisp white blouse tied just below the bust paired with a simple slip skirt – it was sophisticated, chic and yet effortless. Key looks ranged from a simple slipdress with a tied hem paired over a sheet mock-neck top, a pony hair skirt, and a muted checkered trouser. To add a pop of color to the collection, Taymour created some alluring tie-dye pieces that ‘tied’ the collection together perfectly.

Collina Strada's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Collina Strada’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Collina Strada's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Collina Strada’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

BANDE NOIR

Mayte Allende started her fashion career as a fashion editor for WWD viewing thousands of young designer collections through her 15 years with the publication. Today, Mayte Allende sits on the other side of editor previews as Creative Director for the label Bande Noir. It’s her second season with the contemporary brand and she is gaining a following within the fashion crowd.

Bande Noir started out as a luxury basics line that was known for its great shirts, but Allende is expanding the line into a well-rounded collection. New looks include floral print dresses, bustier tees, menswear-inspired trousers with ruffled detail, a sequin striped shirt, and an evening trench coat with a pleated back. Allende managed to perfectly balance what buyers are looking for but still managed to keep her clear and focused vision for the brand.

Bande Noir's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Band Noir)

Bande Noir’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Band Noir)

Bande Noir's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Bande Noir)

Bande Noir’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Bande Noir)

ECKHAUSE LATTA

This season, Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, the designers behind the label Echhause Latta presented one of their strongest collections to date with an emphasis on tailoring. The duo struck the perfect balance between whimsical and sales oriented pieces. For women, the designers created beautiful spider web crochet T-shirt dresses, plaid dresses, and a stellar knitted argyle dress that closed the show. Their menswear collection had plenty of terrific jackets, with oversized dropped shoulders and cinched waists. The designers also offered a range of dip-dyed denim and color-blocked knits – all in pretty pastel tones that were youthful yet chic.

Eckhause Latta's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Eckhause Latta’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Eckhause Latta's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Eckhause Latta’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

CHISTIAN COWAN

It’s not often that you see celebrities sitting in the front row of a young designer’s fashion show, but at Christian Cowan’s presentation, his front row was filled with pop stars from Christina Aguilera to Kim Petras. So naturally, Cowen offered plenty of stylish options for these stars. For evening, there were over-the-top black tulle gowns with sheer tops, a sexy sequin zebra print mini dress and a showstopper lilac pantsuit with exaggerated feather trim. The collection had plenty of stage-worthy costumes, such as a checkerboard bodysuit with voluminous sleeves. Cowen also showed some day looks that were anything but basic. Case in point, a black logo hoodie with silver sequin embellishments – perfect for a pop star coffee run.

Christian Cowan's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Cowan’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Cowan's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Cowan’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

PYER MOSS

Jean-Raymond, the young designer behind the label Pyer Moss, has been known to use his platform to stand up to social and unjust causes during his runway shows. This season Raymond looked to the current landscape of African-American life in America. Through his research he found a copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book, published in the 1930’s, as a guidebook citing all of the restaurants and hotels that were safe for African-American travelers. This had Raymond thinking about the racial tension at the time and what life must have been like, and so his collection started to unfold.

Raymond commissioned 10 paintings from Derrick Adams (a rising star in the art world) and incorporated these paintings throughout his collection; portraying everyday life of African-Americans during the 1930’s. Raymond also payed tribute to African-American designers who came before him and this season he focused on the popular 90s streetwear brand FUBU with logo-driven tops. It was a beautiful and powerful tribute to the community as he continues, season after season, to blend social issues and fashion with a sophisticated hand.

Pyer Moss's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

GRETA CONSTANTINE

Studio 54 and all the decadence and glamour of the 80s was the inspiration behind Greta Constantine’s Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong. The designers delved deep into research and were influenced by the silhouettes of Christian Lacoix, Yves Saint Laurent and Halston. While the 80s seem to influence so many designer collections today, Pickersgill and Wong translated the era beautifully. The collection was filled with party looks: flirty puff sleeve minidresses, sultry animal print maxi dresses, a sexy lame jumpsuit, and even a pinstripe look with ruffle trimmed sleeves. Perfect looks for hitting the dance floor.

Greta Contantine's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Greta Constantine)

Greta Contantine’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Greta Constantine)

Greta Contantine's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Greta Constantine)

Greta Contantine’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Greta Constantine)

It’s wonderful to see New York Fashion Week embrace so many young and up-and-coming designers. Tell us, who are the young designer brands that you’re following?

The Magical & Technological World of Couture: Fall 2018

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of W Magazine)

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of W Magazine)

Need an escape from a world filled with political unrest, nuclear threats and terrorism? Enter…haute couture. Yeah, we know covering fashion, especially the world of couture, may seem frivolous to many, but couture is about dreaming, escapism and fantasy. Who wouldn’t want to live right now in a world of beautiful handmade gowns while running through a garden in Paris or engaging in a leisurely walk along the Seine?

But the truth is, couture is so much more than fantasy. Costume and fashion history would not be the same without it and let’s face it… couture is the ultimate marketing machine!

We need only look back in time to a publication written between 1751 and 1772 by Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert entitled Encyclopédie, ou dictionaire raisonné des sciences, des art et des métiers, to see how this pivotal tome gave instructions to the métiers (trades) in the art of dressmaking, forever placing this trade on equal footing with the arts and sciences of the time.

And of course we owe the ‘Father of Couture,’ Englishman Charles Frederick Worth (Paris circa 1856 ), the fashion genius who together with his wife as muse, transformed the world of dressmaking into ‘high fashion’. Over time, the House of Worth, along with other couturières (female) and couturiers (male) were able to take the craft to a whole other level by creating perfumes, shoes, millinery and diffusion lines. These spin-offs planted the seeds which would later become lifestyle branding with lots of marketing hype!

 

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of W Magazine)

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of W Magazine)

We know that these one-of-a kind haute creations come with a hefty price tag. On average, one couture gown can take over 800 hours to create and cost several hundred thousand dollars. Even couture daywear starts at around $10,000! It’s estimated that there are only approximately 2,000 couture clients, mostly from Russia, China, the United States and the Middle East, with fewer than 300 that buy regularly.

So, do the numbers. With only a handful of steady customers, you got it…haute couture is not a money maker. Couture houses spend millions of dollars twice a year, by selecting exquisite fabrics, hand-sewing each garment, employing top métiers for beading and embroideries and producing larger-than-life runway shows, using A list models, hair and make-up teams. The profits are negligible, amounting to less than ten per cent of gross profits for some houses, though most operate at a loss. However, their true value is in the selling of the house’s fragrance, make-up line and other less-expensive branded items like shoes and handbags.

Draping Technique (Photos courtesy of Pinterest)

Draping Technique (Photos courtesy of Pinterest)

So why do these houses still invest in their haute couture collections, other than pushing their ancillary products? They are selling a dream. Fashion shows attract huge media attention and gain enormous publicity for the couture houses. Think about how many actresses wear couture on the red carpet. These designers are selling a dream of chic cachet, beauty, desirability and exclusiveness, that the ordinary person can ‘buy into.’

Here are some highlights of the Haute Couture Fall 2018 Season:

VALENTINO

Pierpaolo Piccioli has been on a role and his Valentino Couture show closed out Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris with rave reviews. This season Piccioli offered a brilliant line-up of rich saturated hues and swaggering proportions. According to Vogue.com, Piccioli stated, “Couture involves a deeper and more intimate perspective, to go further into your own vision of beauty.”  His vision was a perfect blend of Greek Mythology, 17th- and 18th-century painting, the films of Pasolini and the photographs of Deborah Turbeville, medieval armor, and Ziggy Stardust. Whew, that’s quite a line-up of inspiration, eh?

This translated into intricate embroidered capes, a multiple brocade evening dress adorned with rhinestones, sequins and pearls, a red sculpted jersey gown and a trio of featherweight taffeta dresses that wrapped around the body.

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

FENDI

How does a house known for its use of fur adapt to the changing landscape of the anti-fur movement? After all, major fashion houses such as Gucci, Versace and Michael Kors have all announced they would go fur free and use only faux fur in their collections. Fendi on the other hand, made no such promise, but did abandon their Haute Fur Show in favor of a couture show.

Though Fendi did include some fur pieces, what they also did was produce something much more creative than fur and faux fur (which by the way is also a major earth pollutant). They ingeniously manipulated textiles in such a way as to resemble real fur; case in point, a coat created with fine strips of chiffon that were frayed and stitched together so closely that it could have been easily mistaken for an intarsia’d mink. While there were plenty of real fur looks in the line-up, it was refreshing for a house like Fendi show alternatives. And oh, what a great upcycling concept!

Fendi Haute Couture faux fur Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fendi Haute Couture faux fur Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fendi Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fendi Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

Always known to break with tradition, Jean Paul Gaultier showed his haute couture collection on both male and female models as the versatility of the collection was genderless. With a strong emphasis on tailoring, his suits were oh so chic! Gaultier was able to take the iconic “Le Smoking” and update it for the 21st century.

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

MAISON MARGIELA

John Galliano has now taken to podcasting and for Margiela couture he stated that this is collection is “the raw, raw, undiluted essence, the parfum of the house.” Following in the footsteps of his Artisanal collection for men, Galliano presented a highly innovative, high-concept collection exposing the craftsmanship of haute couture –  literally – by revealing the exquisite stitching that goes into the construction of a hand-tailored jacket. The true genius of Galliano came through by layering garments between tubes of filmy nylon, thus creating what Vogue called “translucent fabric sandwiches.”

“We’re all nomads today,” added Galliano, “. . . we do move in tribes.” Galliano calls it “nomadic glamour.” Reminds us a bit of Yeohlee and her “Urban Nomads” collection, only this time, on steroids!

Maison Margiela Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

ARMANI PRIVE

Ahhhh, and then there was Armani. Known for his master tailoring and Red Carpet artistry, the fall Armani Privé collection didn’t disappoint.  Armani’s press notes noted “A sculptural, almost regal style.”  The first half of the show (there were almost 100 looks in all), was a sea of black and champagne-colored pantsuits and evening looks, all that captured the chic essence of Armani beautifully. However, in an attempt to keep up with the times, half-way through the show Armani switched gears and sent out electric hues in everything from an ostrich feather cape to a hot pink and turquoise pantsuit that was a complete disconnect to the first half of the show. Go Armani!

Armani Prive Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Armani Prive Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Armani Prive Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Armani Prive Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

CHANEL

We fashionistas can always count on Karl Lagerfeld to create a wonderful backdrop for his Chanel collection. And for this collection he did not disappoint by sending his models for stroll along the Seine with its wide sidewalks and low stone walls framing the magnificent Institut de France, built by Louis le Vau for Cardinal Mazarin in the 1660s (and where the Academie Française is housed). Perhaps with age, Lagerfeld is feeling a bit reflective about his first days in Paris as an 18-year old. In an interview with Vogue before the show, Lagerfeld remembered a city still suffering from postwar neglect, with dirty streets and dark, unrestored buildings. “People said to my parents, ‘but he can get lost,’” he added. “My mother knew better: I had a strong survivor instinct!”

The collection was filled with the House’s signature tweeds all in shades of grey. There were plenty of long skirts that unzipped to reveal sexy miniskirts adorned with magnificent embroideries. Lagerfeld also showed a silver foil ball gown skirt, a bevy of chic jackets and plenty of transparent chiffon pleated eveningwear.

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

CHRISTIAN DIOR

After years of over the top glamour and in your face sex appeal at Dior, at the hands of Raf Simons and John Galliano, the tide seems to be turning toward a more minimalistic approach to fashion. At the forefront of this evolutionary change is Maria Grazia Chiuri. Her couture 2018 collection involved some feminist research.  She read up on Leonor Fini, one of the avant-garde artists Christian Dior chose to exhibit in the gallery he was involved with before becoming a couturier. The results were beautiful, somber, sculpted and pleated pieces that were way more complex than what met the eye. These were serious clothes. Only a seasoned designer like Chiuri knows how to design clothes, utilizing the talents of finest ‘hands’ in the business, that will attract the most discerning couture clients. Chiuri showed cashmere suits, simple strapless gowns that grazed the ankle, effortless pleated dresses and demure eveningwear.  This collection is timeless and elegant yet modern and refreshing. A hit!

Christian Dior Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Dior Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

SONIA RYKIEL

For the past 50 years, the name Sonia Rykiel has been associated with fun, lighthearted knitwear. This season, designer Julie de Libran presented the first Sonia Rykiel couture collection. And, staying true to the Rykiel code, presented a collection with the same joie de vivre that the house’s founder was known for.

Gone from this collection were the traditional evening gowns that epitomize the world of couture. Instead, de Libran presented a youthful and edgy line-up. Looks ranged from a striped hand-beaded off the shoulder Marinière sweater to a black sweater dress with a trompe l’oeil bikini embroidery and a bridal corset look with front-lacing, a feathered knit veil and blue jeans. Surely de Libran is a couture disruptor but is this collection really worthy of being called couture?

Sonia Rykiel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Sonia Rykiel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Sonia Rykiel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Sonia Rykiel Haute Couture Runway Look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

IRIS VAN HERPEN

Always a fashion renegade, Iris van Herpen decided to show her couture collection at the Galerie de Minérologie et de Géologie, a fitting choice, since the name of this collection was “Ludi Naturae,” translated from Latin, “nature play.”

However, Van Herpen’s idea of nature flirts with synthetic biology through her iconic laser-cutting techniques and 3-D printed illusion fabric innovations, which she has taken to new heights and labels it “syntopia.” To quote van Herpen: “I think we as humans don’t even come close to the intelligence within nature. It’s funny how people think that nature is simple and technology is complex—it’s the opposite; technology is simple and nature is complex.”

Known for her artist collaborations, this time it was Amsterdam-based artist duo Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta of Studio Drift who created the backdrop her runway ‘science fantasy. She also partnered with Dutch sculptor Peter Gentenaar who is known for capturing ‘organic memory’ and motion through his delicate, large-scale cellulose sculptures,  and together they created a show that was ‘other-worldly.’

Considered fashion’s ‘futurist-in-residence,’ couture season would be incomplete without Iris van Herpen and her vision.

Iris van Herpen's Fall 2018 Couture Show (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2018 Couture Show (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Iris van Herpen's Fall 2018 Couture Show (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2018 Couture Show (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

DO YOU THINK THE SONIA RYKIEL COLLECTION MERITS COUTURE STATUS? IF SO, WHY?

 

 

Men’s Spring 2019 Shows: Major Fashion Moments in Menswear

Dior Homme set (Photo courtesy if Footwear News)

Dior Homme set (Photo courtesy if Footwear News)

The whirlwind of Men’s fashion week is coming to a close as its last stretch will be in New York, but there were plenty of dramatic moments.

 Virgil Abloh presented his first collection for Louis Vuitton

Virgil Abloh is an American designer, D.J. and stylist who gained recognition as Kanye West’s creative director. Today he is the designer behind the cult label Off-White and has become the newly minted creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear collection. This is a major moment for Abloh. Not only is he the artistic director of men’s to one of the most powerful houses in history, but he is also the first African-American designer ever appointed as the artistic director to a heritage brand.

This was the most anticipated show of the season and his front row was a star-studded event with everyone from Kanye West to Rihanna supporting the young designer. Once his first look exited, the world new Abloh was the perfect fit for the job and elevated streetwear to the highest level of lux.

According to Vogue.com, Abloh was inspired by “the idea of white light hitting a prism, and dividing into its component colors,” which translated into an assortment of tailored white suits, most noteworthy was the double breasted blazer paired with pleated trousers. Then Abloh moved to bright, bold colors and plenty of 90’s Helmut Lang references. There were harnesses and a finale with lots of “Wizard of Oz” inspired prints. This collection was truly a magical, over the rainbow moment for Abloh and the giant hug he received from Kanye at the end was a testament to what a milestone moment this was for African-American designers.

 

Louis Vuitton Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Louis Vuitton Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Kanye West and Virgil Abloh cried at the end of his Louis Vuitton show (Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar)

Kanye West and Virgil Abloh cried at the end of his Louis Vuitton show (Photo courtesy of Harpers Bazaar)

Kim Jones makes his debut at Dior Homme

Another menswear designer debut was British designer Kim Jones at Dior Homme.  Jones, the former menswear artistic director for Vuitton since 2011, pre-Abloh, helped revitalize the house for a younger generation. His show was also one of the most anticipated of the season with a front row filled with celebrities ranging from Kate Moss to Victoria Beckham. For his Dior Homme collection, Jones announced that is was time for couture values to be imported into menswear, and dubbed his collection “romantic, rather than feminine,” according to Vogue.com. He opened his show in ‘royal fashion’ with Prince Nikolai of Denmark wearing a classic shirting-stripe, turned inside out, and paired the look with sneakers. Looking to the  past with a futuristic eye, Jones recreated many prints that referenced the late Monsieur Dior. For example: beautiful jackets with tiny feathered flower motifs made to replicate the pattern on Dior porcelain dinner plates, toile prints that imitated the walls on the Dior Boutique in 1947 and the bee motif Dior used in 1955. Jones even gave a shout out to John Galliano with his inclusion of tiny saddle bags. Among the sea of toile prints and florals, there were beautifully tailored suits, effortless trousers and terrific outerwear. Jones mastered the balance between fashion fantasy and commercial hits.

Dior Homme Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dior Homme Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Dior Homme Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dior Homme Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela

John Galliano, known for his Vionnet -inspired bias cut gowns (among other things) brought couture references to his  Maison Margiela collection that he called ‘Artisanal’ menswear.  An absolute first for menswear! In a category where tailoring is the usual mainstay, Galliano told Vogue.com, “It’s the highest form of dressmaking, but for men . . . I hope it’s going to define a new sensuality, a new sexuality.” In a podcast released to the press, Galliano explained why he decided to  elevate his men’s collection to couture level. Part of it was an epiphany about the shifting codes of formalwear that he had seen at the Met Gala. “Seeing the youth present, and their interpretation of black-tie . . . a seismic change from the last time,” he said. Another part of the decision stemmed from his daily dialogues with interns at the Maison Margiela studio. But possibly the biggest reason was, he was just raring to exercise his dressmaking skills and bring imagination to menswear.

Galliano’s mixed British bespoke tailoring and couture techniques and the end result was a sexy and glamourous menswear collection. There were plenty of iconic Galliano moments, such as his use of corsetry as well as flamenco and bullfighting references from his Gibraltar roots.

Maison Margiela's spring 2019 collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela’s spring 2019 collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela's spring 2019 collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com

Maison Margiela’s spring 2019 collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Raf Simons left New York for Paris

After presenting three collections during New York Fashion Week, Raf Simons decided to return to where it all started for him as a designer, Paris, to show his menswear collection.

After many years of streetwear-inspired looks ruling the menswear runway (think Supreme, Off White, Kim Jones for Vuitton, etc.) and with every fashion-forward boy and girl owning a plethora of designer hoodies and sneakers, Raf Simons is looking to change that. The cult favorite menswear designer showed a highly energized collection of tailored looks with New Wave club references. His collection was a consistent parade of beautifully tailored jackets and coats, mostly in satin, all in bold colors. It was New Wave at its best with references to Stephen Sprouse and elevated glamour that he was responsible for bringing to New York downtown 80s club scene. Simons was quoted as saying: “There are all these references to punk, like  safety pins and studs and black leather, but I was thinking of how to do them in a way that was not that—so you don’t recognize them.”  That’s where it got interesting. There were glimpses of tiny knots of diamanté jewelry and silver D-rings embedded here and there, suggestive of piercings and fetish. And, wittily, a twisted translation of plastic six-pack holders, made into a version of a punk string vest. “Like when kids hang out, carrying their beers,” as Simons put it. “But also, like Paco Rabanne.”

 

Raf Simons Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Raf Simons Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Raf Simons Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Raf Simons Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent takes on New York

Italian-Belgian fashion designer Anthony Vaccarello took us back to 1978 for his spring Saint Laurent collection. How inspiration was a party Yves Saint Laurent hosted to launch his Opium fragrance, which was held on a ship docked at New York’s South Street Seaport and featured a giant bronze Buddha with thousands of orchids flown in from Hawaii. Forty years later, Vaccarello hosted an equally impressive, ultra-modernized version of that event across the Hudson at New Jersey’s Liberty State Park.

Vaccarello said he wanted to represent “the idea of New York, the idea of the icons of New York, in the ’70s.” Parts of that were Studio 54 in verve: a diamanté shirt placket and  a double-breasted blazer with a gold-trimmed peak lapel. But more so, it was the New York’s dive-ier Max’s Kansas City that sprung to mind— the sort of dirty glamour that has proven itself an immortal style, with distressed denim hoodies, patchworked boots, and show-stealing high-waisted, boot-cut trousers with just a slightly amplified flare at the kick. Vaccarello noted that these were new.

The highlight of the spectacle was the finale, when every model made their final walk in silver disco ball body paint – the moment was pure Studio 54 glamour.

 

Saint Laurent Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Saint Laurent Men's Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Men’s Spring 2019 Show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 So tell us, what where your favorite moments from Men’s Spring 2019 shows so far?

RESORT 2019 – What is Resort and Why?

Chanel Resort 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Accessories Magazine)

Chanel Resort 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Accessories Magazine)

Over the past several years, the fashion industry calendar has twisted into something beyond recognition. In today’s era of rampant consumption, social media and the internet, designers and brands can no longer rely on two show-seasons a year (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections) to stay relevant. This has placed a tremendous burden on designers who have become increasingly stressed with the workload. Burn out and, in some cases, death (think Alexander McQueen and L’Wren Scott) can play a role.

Earlier this year, designer Alexander Wang announced that would not be showing his main Spring 2019 collection during Fashion Week (in  September) and instead, is choosing to show that collection during pre-collection season. Maybe Mr. Wang is on to something?

Ten plus years ago, Resort and Pre-fall collections were only shown to buyers and were basically a brand’s best-selling items, used as store fillers between seasons. Once brands decided to open the season to the press (WWD and Style.com were the first publications to fully cover pre-collections) the flood gates were opened!  Today, Resort shows start in early May and continue through the second week of June. Some designers and retailers think that the resort season has become almost as important as the Spring & Winter collection seasons.

Valentino (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

For Resort 2019, designers have made it a lot easier for the press, celebrities and buyers by choosing to show in fashion capitals. Chanel, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Gucci decided to show in France, while Valentino and Prada chose New York.

Gucci (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

LET’S LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF RESORT SEASON

While many fashion lovers enjoy the visual stimulation of Resort shows, many are in the dark about what this fashion season truly means and why it exists. So, here’s a brief history:

A Cruise or Resort collection (also referred to as a Holiday or Travel collection) is an inter-season or pre-season line of ready-to-wear clothing produced by a brand, in addition to their recurrent twice-yearly seasonal collections – Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, shown during major fashion weeks in New York, London, Paris and Milan.

Cruise collections were originally targeted to wealthy customers or  seasoned jet-setters, cruising or vacationing in the warm Mediterranean sun during the winter months. Cruise collections usually consist of light spring or summer clothing, when weather at the points of sale actually calls for winter apparel. However, today, Resort/Cruise collections are targeted to consumers who have finished buying their fall wardrobes (ideally) and are looking ahead for something new. Resort collections range from warm weather looks, such as pretty sundresses and swimsuits, to winter looks, like fur coats and cozy sweaters (perfect for that Aspen getaway).

In the past, only high end houses like Chanel, Christian Dior, Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs produced resort collections. But thanks to consumers who are always looking for something new, now almost every brand creates a resort delivery (November delivery), from Michelle Smith for her label Milly to Tory Burch.

Tory Burch (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tory Burch (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Resort is also an opportunity to satisfy the generation of consumers who travel all the time. It also answers the climate change dilemma where these days, in many parts of the world, there is little to no winter. Additionally, thanks to online shopping, brands at every price-point have global customers. Some of the biggest spenders are in the ever-important Asian, Arab, and Russian markets. For major brands, the resort delivery is a commercial necessity.

Resort collections are available for consumer purchase in November and perfect timing for Holiday shopping. While Resort is an extra opportunity for brands to make money, it has become an incredibly important season for those brick & mortar retailers who are struggling with how to lure customers back to shopping in stores. Unlike Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections, Resort remains on the sales floor the longest (Spring merchandise arrives February) before hitting the sale rack, which makes it the most profitable season for most brands. Not  a lot of mark downs.

So, let’s take a look at some Resort collections from the start of this season:

Gucci (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Roberto Cavalli (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Roberto Cavalli (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jil Sander (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jil Sander (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Chanel (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chanel (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Dior (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Dior (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

DO YOU BELIEVE DESIGNERS ARE BURNING OUT BY CREATING FOUR COLLECTIONS A YEAR?

Wedding Fever – Runway Proposal – Tribute – Meghan Markle Effect

- - Fashion Shows
Chad Stapleton proposes to model girlfriend Nicole Kaspar on the runway of the Watters Show (Photo courtesy of The Knot)

Chad Stapleton proposes to model girlfriend Nicole Kaspar on the runway of the Watters Show (Photo courtesy of The Knot)

New York Bridal Fashion Week has come to a close and what an exciting season it was! From the romantic runway proposal of Chad Stapleton to model girlfriend Nicole Kaspar at the Watters show, to a touching tribute at the Amsale show for Aberra Amsale, founder and creative director of the bridal and ready-to-wear line who passed away at the age of 64, two weeks before her show. Per Aberra’s request, the show must go on.

The first bridal dress Amsale created (Photo courtesy of the designer)

The first bridal dress Amsale created (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Amsale Aberra (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Amsale Aberra
(Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

The Meghan Markle Effect

Royal fever was at an all-time high! Designers, buyers and editors alike, all had Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their minds as the countdown to the royal nuptials begins. The world will be watching as the Prince takes the beautiful American actress to be his bride on May 19, 2018. All are wondering… will Markle dress in a traditional regal gown or will she break the rules?  In a recent Glamour magazine interview, Markle said, “I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style—wedding or not—is very pared down and relaxed.” And so, who and what will she be wearing? Erdem, Mouret, Saab, Beckham or a wedding dress designed by the house of McQueen?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their engagement photos

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in their engagement photos

Aside from all the touching moments, the Spring 2019 bridal collections were full of great moments – from the splendid to the surprising. Here is a peek at what bride’s will be wearing next spring:

A Royal Affair

Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be married almost a year before the Spring 2019 bridal collections are available, the regal affair was one of the biggest inspirations of the season. Designers have looked to royal brides for decades. What bride doesn’t want to look and feel like a princess on her wedding day? These delicate yet voluminous gowns were the perfect balance between traditional and fashionable.

Monique Lhuillier's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Monique Lhuillier’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Legends by Romona Keveza's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Legends by Romona Keveza’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Marchesa's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Marchesa’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Pretty In Pink

Pink frothy confections stood out in a sea of white and ivory gowns. These sweet pastels were a fresh and modern approach to bridal.

Vera Wang's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Vera Wang’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Gustavo Gadile's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Gustavo Gadile’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Dancing Queen

Calling all brides… it’s your time to shine! Literally. The disco days of Studio 54 became a surprising trend this bridal season as designers played with silver metallic detailing, from full-on fringe party dresses to mirror-embellished gowns.

Jenny Packham's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Jenny Packham’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Galia Lahav's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Galia Lahav’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Mira Zwillinger's spring show (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Mira Zwillinger’s spring show (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Cape Town

With so many bare and sexy and wedding gowns on the runway, a dramatic cape became the perfect cover-up, especially for religious ceremonies. The added layers were equally exquisite, with stunning embroideries and dramatic godet inserts.

Tadashi Shoji's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Tadashi Shoji’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Theia's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Theia’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Elie Saab's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Elie Saab’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Dramatic Bows

Norman Norell popularized the bow in the 60s and they have been a bridal staple ever since. For Spring 2019, bows got super-sized. These sculptural versions added a dramatic flair to the simplest of gowns.

Carolina Herrera's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Carolina Herrera’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Gala by Galia Lahav's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Gala by Galia Lahav’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Reem Acra's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Reem Acra’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Breaking Traditions

For the non-traditional bride of the twenty-first century, a gown on her wedding day is just not going to happen! Designers are now offering plenty of options – chic tuxedos, bedazzled jumpsuits, and even sequined tracksuits! These style alternatives are also perfect for pre and post wedding day events – bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and après wedding day brunch.

Danielle Frankel's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Danielle Frankel’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Naeem Khan's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Naeem Khan’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Lela Rose's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Lela Rose’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

In Plume

Feathers were a huge RTW trend for the past few seasons and now the bridal market has followed suit. Check out these spectacular plume-trimmed gowns.

Naeem Khan's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Naeem Khan’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Inbal Dror's spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Inbal Dror’s spring collection (Photo courtesy of the designer)

 So tell us…who do you think is the lucky designer of Meghan’s dress?

 

 

 

 

 

The Final Stretch – Paris Fall 2018 Fashion Week- Part 1

- - Fashion Shows

 

Eiffel Tower (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Eiffel Tower (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

After a long fashion show season, fashionistas can breathe, we are now in the final stretch of the fall 2018 collections. As editors, models, buyers and fashion insiders arrived in the City of Light on Tuesday morning, they were greeted with extremely cold temperatures and a little snow, but everyone was happy because the shows were on fire!

While Paris Fashion Week is still going strong, here is a look at the excitement of the first half of the week:

Christian Dior

Christian Dior Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Are you up for a protest? Well Maria Grazia Chiuri sure is, as her fall runway collection was inspired by France’s student protest of 1968. Chiuri has become French fashion’s voice of female empowerment and a champion for women everywhere. For her latest collection, Chiuri struck a chord! She filled her runway venue with protest art from the 60s, which seemed quite relevant given the ongoing protests against NRA-beholden politicians in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and student-led anti-gun movement. Let’s give a shout-out to these young people who are making their voices heard and who are planning a nationwide ‘March For Our Lives’ gun-control rally scheduled for March 24th.

Christian Dior Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Inspired by the late Sixties, Chiuri played with crochets, embroideries and plenty of patchwork – but all with a refined hand; after all, this is the House Of Dior.

 

Saint Laurent

Saint Laurent  Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Sex sells, and no one does it sexy better than Anthony Vaccarello. The young designer’s Saint Laurent show was full of energy and excitement, as he built a stadium-size box, slap-bang opposite the Eiffel Tower.  The venue was a spectacle with dazzling lights filling the space. The clothes were just as wonderful – a full-on Eighties spectacle with big-shouldered dresses and barely there shorts. The Saint Laurent girl better get her legs in shape this season!

 

Maison Margiela

Maison Msrgiela Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Leave it to John Galliano to imagine the apocalypse and have his girls dressed for it in the coolest of ways. For his  collection at Maison Margiela, the designer piled on layers of every type of protective device. Case in point, techy plastics and shields over just about everything. Is this his reaction (solution?) to North Korea and Russia’s ramp-up of weapons of mass destruction and sarin gas that was used on the Syrian people? Maybe.

 

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

On a lighter note, Dries Van Noten, known for his beautiful and creative mix of prints and color, did not disappoint for his fall collection. While American designers were preoccupied with the 80s, Van Noten served up plenty of Seventies-inspired psychedelic references. Makes you want to contemplate the Bob Dylan song, My Back Pages (make famous by the Byrds in the late 60s) with the lyric: “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

 Chloé

Chloe Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chloe Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

It may only be her second season designing under the Chloé label, but Natacha Ramsay-Levi has already established a cult following. Inspired by the 1970’s and actresses of that time-period, such as Anjelica Huston, Sissy Spacek, Isabelle Huppert, and Stéphane Audran, Levi showed plenty of skin-baring openings, open V-neck blouses and sexy cut-out dresses, showing just the right amount of flesh.

 

Hi And Bye

Riccardo Tisci (Courtesy Photo)

Riccardo Tisci (Courtesy Photo)

In other news, Burberry has tapped Riccardo Tisci as Chief Creative Officer, replacing 17-year Burberry veteran Christopher Bailey , one of the founders of the ‘see-now-buy-now’ and ‘direct-to-consumer’ movements and the creator of the newly revised iconic Burberry plaid, adding rainbow stripes for LGBTQ. Congratulations to Tisci as he begins his new role on March 12th.

Tell us, which shows were your favs and why and what role you think designers should play (as have athletes and actors) in making the world a better place?

Cyborgs, Drones and the Queen, Oh My: London and Milan Wrap Up

- - Fashion Shows

Tasked with reviewing both London and Milan fashion weeks, I suffered a slight panic attack before settling in to write this week.

Gender bending, logo presenting, fake head carrying, pattern mixing and matching, balaclava wearing, houndstooth-plaid-sequin donning—all descriptors that don’t even begin to cover the Gucci show in Milan. As a fashion student, I would have savored every detail of the Gucci extravaganza and devoured every look, head-to-toe. Read More

Fall 2018 New York Fashion Week Round Up: The Eighties Are Back!

- - Fashion Shows
New York Fashion Week 2018 has ended and what a newsworthy season it was!

Prabal Gurung's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prabal Gurung’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

It seemed only fitting that the ’80s’ were ‘in the air’ this season as many of America’s designer icons who rose to fame in that era, have either sadly passed away (Oscar de la Renta, Geoffrey Beene), or are retiring (Calvin Klein, Donna Karan). On Monday, February 12th, it was Carolina Herrera who gave her final runway bow, lovingly surrounded by her atelier team. Venezuelan-born Herrera launched her fashion brand 37 years ago, catering to the ‘uptown ladies who lunch’ crowd. In true Herrera fashion, her final show was a colorful rendition of her signature looks – crisp white shirts paired with wide belted-ballgown skirts in a rainbow of colors. Just as her clientele has aged, so has that look. It will now be up to designer Wes Gordon (raised in Atlanta- graduated Central St. Martins 2009 – interned at Oscar de la Renta and Tom Ford) to breathe new life into the label. It was a very touching moment at the show when Gordon presented Herrera with a bouquet of red roses.

Carolina Herrera's final bow at her Fall 2018 show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera’s final bow at her Fall 2018 show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Carolina Herrera’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Oscar de la Renta's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Technology, of course played a roll at NYFW, with models and everyone else using the KiraKira app to add eye-catching effects to their Insta and snaps. Thank goodness there was plenty of 80s sparkle and shine on the runway, as everyone played with the app, enhancing those Studio 54 disco ball looks!

 

The dramatic runway at Calvin Klein  (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

The dramatic runway at Calvin Klein (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Forget the classic fashion show venue and white runner format, this fall some designers put just as much thought and originality ‘on’ the runway, as they did ‘in’ the clothes that walked it. Raf Simons served up a masterful interpretation of Americana for Calvin Klein (his 3rd show for the brand) at the American Stock Exchange building, where 50,000 gallons of popcorn, yes…popcorn… lined the runway and sloped up the sides of barn wall facades that were erected inside the venue. Looks like Simons has upped the ante when it comes to the  ‘fashion show extravaganza.’

Stuart Vevers, the executive creative director at Coach 1941, constructed a hauntingly beautiful forest to present his wares, while Tory Burch forged a beautiful pink floral garden. These witty designers set the mood, creating a whimsical atmosphere even before the show started! Do you think designers need to go to such extremes to sell their clothes, or is this the new ‘norm’ in a world where social media buzz is a necessity?

Christian Siriano's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christian Siriano’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

For years the fashion world has talked about diversity. Well, this season… finally… NY designers gave center stage to a beautifully diverse cast of models, including plus size models. Let’s give props and a major round of applause to Christian Siriano, Michael Kors, Prabal Gurung, Chromat, and Anna Sui who understand that not everyone is a size zero and six feet tall. This season marked the most number of full-figured models ever to walk the runway. With the average American woman wearing a size 14 and thus representing 19 percent of all retail sales, one wonders why it took brands so long? We hope that more designers become enlightened and get on board.

"METOO Movement

“METOO” Movement

Absent from NYFW was Georgina Chapman (the estranged wife of Harvey Weinstein and designer of the Marchesa label). A one-time favorite of Hollywood starlets, Chapman laid low this season, in fact, her clothes haven’t been worn by a celeb since the scandalous news broke that sparked the #MeToo movement (the day of Chapman’s bridal presentation in October). Will Hollywood and the fashion industry look past Chapman’s connection to Weinstein and give her another chance, just like they did with John Galliano (now thriving at Maison Margiela)?

Photographers Terry Richardson, Bruce Webber and Mario Testino have all been accused of sexual assault and harassment by both male and female models. All three photographers have denied any wrongdoing but in a rare show of solidarity many fashion brands and magazines have either ended, or are putting their relationships with these photographers on hold. Do you think the fashion industry breeds a culture of abuse? Is the long-overdue inclusion of plus size and ethnic models on the runway, as well as body-shaming practices, also forms of abuse? Don’t be afraid to share your story.

 

Drag kid Desmond modeling in Gypsy Sport's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Drag kid Desmond modeling in Gypsy Sport’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Other news on the runway included  gender diversity and fashion disruption. Desmond Nepoles, a 10-year old self-proclaimed ‘drag kid’ from Brooklyn, made his runway debut and stole the show at Gypsy Sport, Rio Uribe’s brand geared to forward-thinking, disenfranchised millennials. Nepoles, an advocate for LGBTQ youth, is launching the first ever drag house for individuals 20 and under, called Haus of Amazing. Alas… is there an Alexander McQueen in the making?

 

Ralph Lauren's spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ralph Lauren’s spring 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

On the totally other side of the spectrum, was the down-to-earth, classic ‘sail away’ show at Ralph Lauren, as he presented his spring 2018 buy-now-wear-now collection. Tradition is still alive and well!

Tom Ford's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

NYFW opened with a star-studded front row at Tom Ford, showing both men’s and woman’s looks – and let’s not forget those animal-printed boxers! The shows ended with an over-the-top visual feast at Marc Jacobs as he paid tribute to Yves Saint Laurent in all his fashion glory.

Marc Jacobs' fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs’ fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Here is a round-up of some of the biggest trends of the season:

CALL OF THE WILD

Animal prints have always been a fashion favorite, but for fall, designers added a nostalgic 80s twist with neon-colored animal motifs.

 

Tom Fors's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tom Ford’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Adam Selman's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Adam Selman’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Zadig & Voltaire's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Zadig & Voltaire’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jeremy Scott's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jeremy Scott’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

PRETTY IN PINK

Designers opted for a new shade of pink in a throwback to the Eighties, but this time, it’s all about magenta.

Oscar de la Renta's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Oscar de la Renta’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jason Wu’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Milly's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Milly’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 OFFICE PARTY

Business meets pleasure as designers offered sexy alternatives to the basic suit, adding asymmetrical necklines, under-cut boobs and super short hemlines. Provocative alternatives to a night out. These suits were  especially empowering for a new #TimesUp generation. Anyone remember the power-suits of the 1980s (Gaultier, Montana)?

Alexander Wang's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dion Lee's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dion Lee’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monse's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Monse’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Cushnie et Ochs's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Cushnie et Ochs’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

TIMELESS ROMANCE

Corsets and ruffles got a modern spin as designers were inspired by the Victorian era.

Brock Collection's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brock Collection’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jonathan Simkhai's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jonathan Simkhai’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Coach 1941's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Coach 1941’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

WARM UP

With climate change a reality and as drastic shifts in weather patterns continue, designers have you covered…literally. To keep you warm and toasty, an assortment of puffers, both long and short were featured, along with neon-colored, quilted and plaid versions. Bring on the cold!

 

Tory Burch's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tory Burch’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Juicy Couture's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Juicy Couture’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

3.1 Phillip Lim's fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

3.1 Phillip Lim’s fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

The world of fashion and many other industries have become extremely competitive. Only the ones who are ready to struggle and honestly work hard can make it to the top in their respective fields. Check out the following post if you need any form of assistance on how to make a midlife career change.

Now that New York Fashion Week has

come to close, tell us, did you have a

favorite show? Michael Kors' fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Michael Kors’ fall 2018 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IS COUTURE RELEVANT IN TODAY’S WORLD?

COUTURE SPRING 2018
Chanel's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chanel’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Fanciful, exquisite, luxurious, unique, all these adjectives come to mind when one thinks about the exclusive world of Haute Couture. While the spring 2018 couture shows in Paris have recently come to an end, we can all expect to see plenty of these dramatic, breathtaking creations on the Red Carpet on Oscar night. But the question remains, is couture relevant in today’s world?

By definition, Haute Couture is the French word for “high sewing,” “high dressmaking” or “high fashion”; it is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. These one-of-a-kind creations are constructed by hand from start to finish by the most experienced and talented sewers, known in the biz as les petite mains. Check out the movie Phantom Thread to get a sense of how hard and talented these ‘golden hands’ work to create  magic, often on the most severest of deadlines. The fabrics used are the most luxurious and expensive textiles created. All of the beading and embroidery in couture are not only sewn by hand but take weeks and months to execute.

One cannot walk into a store and purchase haute couture. These unique pieces are created for the client and specifically tailored to her body. Considering the amount of time, money, and skill needed to create one piece, haute couture can only be purchased by the wealthiest of clients. Generally, there is no price tag when it comes to couture and the saying goes…”that if you have to ask the price, well then…you can’t afford it.”

The pre-history of couture dates back to the 17th century, when Rose Bertin, the first known designer, dressed Queen Marie Antoinette. But it would be Englishman Charles Frederick Worth who would receive the honor as the  ‘Father of Couture.’ In 1856, Worth and his future wife, Marie Vernet, opened the House of Worth, in Paris. As his muse, Marie attracted the attention of the French aristocracy and in 1860, Worth became the official court couturier under Empress Eugénie. Up until that time, stylish women would visit Paris and bring back clothing that was then copied by their local dressmakers. Worth was the first designer who would not let his customers dictate design, which had been the practice until then. Rather, he was the first to design and display, via a “fashion show” on live models, his own creations for women to choose from, four times a year. He would only allow the client to select the style, fabrics and trim.

In 1868, La Chambre Syndicale de la confection et de la couture pour dames et fillettes was founded by Charles Frederick Worth to organize Parisian design houses. The name was changed in 1910 to Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne, to more accurately define the organization’s haute couture relevance and in 1973, the name was again changed to Fédération Française de la Couture.  Couture such as Callot Soeurs, Patou, Poiret, Vionnet, Fortuny, Lanvin, Chanel, Mainbocher, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, and Dior followed Worth. Some houses are still in existence today, in fact, Lanvin is the oldest!

Marie Antoinette (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine)

Marie Antoinette (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Magazine)

 

After World War II, rules were implemented to prevent misuse of the name Haute Couture, and to outline certain criteria with regard to creativity, design, quality, and reproduction.  The term Haute Couture is legally protected — and fashion houses are granted the designation by the French Ministry of Industry. Originally, the number of required looks per collection was 50, but in 1992, it was cut in half. Then, in 2001, the goalposts shifted again, to introduce a qualitative assessment from the Fédération.  Only designers who fit their strict requirements are invited to present during the couture shows in Paris in January and in July. To become accepted, you have to play by the rules, and there are many, including that a label needs to produce at least 25 outfits per season and maintain a workroom in Paris.

 

Christian Dior fitting a client in the 1950's

Christian Dior fitting a client in the 1950’s

By the late 20th century, designers such as Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Theirry Mugler started their own couture houses, but due to the high expense of producing these collections, Lacroix and Mugler dropped their couture collection.

In today’s fast-paced, fast-fashion oriented world, where such a small percentage of the population has the wealth to buy Haute Couture, how do these houses survive? The answer is….luxury shoes & handbags, fragrances and cosmetics! While it once was true that the couture was a way for designers to try out new ideas, today couture shows serve as a vehicle for brand marketing and publicity. Yes, it’s true, some of these clothes are ordered by a small number of wealthy women or loaned to celebs for a walk on the Red Carpet, but by and large, it’s about brand-building. Those who can’t afford the hefty price tag of a couture gown, can purchase ‘a piece of the dream’ via a couture houses’s perfume, lipstick, ready-to-wear, shoes and bags.

 

Let’s take a look of some of those ‘dreamy looks’

 

 Armani Privé

Armani Privé's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Armani Privé’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Armani Privé's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Armani Privé’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Chanel

Chanel's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chanel’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chanel's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chanel’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Christian Dior

Christian Dior's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Giambattista Valli

Giambattista Valli's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Giambattista Valli’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Giambattista Valli's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Giambattista Valli’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Givenchy

Givenchy's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Givenchy’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Givenchy's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Givenchy’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Jean Paul Gaultier

Jean Paul Gaultier's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Jean Paul Gaultier's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Jean Paul Gaultier’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Valentino

Valentino's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Valentino’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Valentino's spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Valentino’s spring couture collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

Let us know your thoughts, do you believe couture is relevant in modern day society?