University of Fashion Blog

Category "Trends"

Y2K FASHION COMES ROARING BACK

- - Trends

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT EXACTLY IS Y2K FASHION?

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

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

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

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

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

BIGGEST Y2K TRENDS

TRUCKER HAT

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

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

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

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

ED HARDY TEES

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

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

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

LOW-RISE JEANS

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

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

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

VELOUR TRACK SUITS

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

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

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

KITSCH ACCESSORIES

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

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

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

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

So tell us, what is your favorite Y2K trend?

HOLLYWOOD’S INFLUENCE ON FASHION

- - Trends

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And God Created Woman (1957)

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

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

Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

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

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

The Seven-Year Itch (1955)

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

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

Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961)

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

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

Annie Hall (1977)

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

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

Flashdance (1983)

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

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

Pretty In Pink (1986)

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

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

Clueless (1995)

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

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

The Matrix (1999)

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

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

The Great Gatsby (2013)

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

POST PANDEMIC DRESSING: TIME TO DITCH THE SWEATS AND GET DRESSED UP AGAIN

- - Trends

A spring 2021 look from Prada. (Photo Credit: Prada)

I don’t know about you, but has the past year and a half been mostly a blur? Or more accurately a time warp? You know, the phenomenon that changes the flow of time by speeding it up or making it run more slowly, that physicists have known about for over 100 years?

Well, thanks to the rollout of highly effective vaccines, things are finally starting to look up. As of the writing of this blog, 299 million vaccine doses have been given and 137 million people in the U.S. have been vaccinated, that’s roughly 41.9% of our population. As vaccines are slowly being distributed around the world, we have new hope that, in time, this global pandemic will be behind us.

Take a walk-through New York City and you will notice that the streets are beginning to get packed again. Museums are opening (with advanced ticket purchases), customers are onsite shopping, restaurants and bars (both indoor and outdoor) are drawing crowds and people are cautiously stepping out of their cocoons.

As we make our way back into the world and begin to live our lives again, some of us are asking…”is there a new dress code”? Well, judging from fashion influencers, designers, and celebrity Instagram feeds, summer 2021’s biggest trend is “joy dressing!” This translates into happy, boisterous, colorful, over-the-top looks that are the antithesis of what we’ve been wearing for the past year and a half…sweats and pjs.

A spring 2021 look from Halpern. (Photo Credit: Halpern)

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, a Washington, D.C clinical psychologist stated that we humans use clothing to mark significant events. Making it through a global pandemic is one of those events for sure. And as U.S. cities reopen, friends reunite and the world becomes a smidgen less terrifying, women are reaching for exuberant outfits. This year will represent rebirth, and our fashion choices will reflect that.

“We’ve spent the past year in sweatpants, consumed by uncertainty,” said Miami clinical psychologist Dr. Christina Ferrari to the Wall Street Journal. “You’re going to see a lot of people overcompensating for what they couldn’t wear” during lockdown.

According to Libby Page, senior fashion-market editor at luxury e-commerce platform Net-a-Porter, “During the pandemic’s darkest days, customers were buying a sea of very neutral tones and loungewear,” she said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. What she’s witnessing lately is the sale of spirited prints, swishy tiered skirts and jubilant ruffles, as well as very bright, bold, colorful dresses by brands like Zimmermann. Below is a video of Zimmerman’s spring 2021 show.

“With such unbridled style, women are responding to a traumatic year,” said Dr. Baumgartner. “When you face your mortality, it’s like you get a second chance. You’re able to take more risks.… You’re more willing to fully live.” Another factor: We’re craving human interaction. Dr. Baumgartner states, “Exciting fashion elates the wearer but also delights viewers. We see our joy reflected in their eyes, [which] reinforces our joy.”

JOYFUL FASHION HAS ALWAYS COME OUT OF HISTORIES DARKEST DAYS

A Life Magazine cover from the 1920s. (Photo Credit: Fashion History Timeline)

Historically, fashion has always progressed after a devastating, worldwide event. For example, the Roaring Twenties came after the destruction and despair of World War I. It was a decade of economic growth and prosperity with a unique cultural edge that swept major cities throughout the United States and Europe. During the decadence and opulence of the Roaring ‘20s, the ‘flapper’ look redefined the modern dress code for women. Fringe, beads, sequins, dropped waists, short dresses, uncovered shoulders, The Great Gatsby, the Charleston, all contributed to the spirit of the Roaring Twenties. It was a modern revolution that broke from tradition and was a sharp contrast to the conventional, fussy frills that woman once wore.

Christian Dior’s New Look 1947. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

Another great example of a fashion revolution came after World War II. Christian Dior, the rising star of the Parisian Haute Couture, introduced the “New Look” in 1947, featuring ultra-femininity and opulence in women’s fashion. Hour glass silhouettes, rounded shoulders, cinched waists, full skirts were all a sharp contrast after years of military looks, sartorial restrictions and life-essential shortages. Dior offered not merely a new look, but a new outlook.

POST-PANDEMIC FASHION

“People are reevaluating what they want to wear, maybe for the first time ever since they were kids,” states Fashion Psychology Institute founder Dr. Dawnn Karen, who also serves as a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Last March, Dr. Karen released a book, Dress Your Best Life. Referring to the pandemic, she writes, “They don’t have all these Draconian measures and rules to follow, except to wear a mask. People are thinking, ‘Okay, well, what do I want to wear, if I could wear anything I want?'”

Spring 2021 looks from Bottega Veneta. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Ms. Karen has established a theory what she calls ‘dresser-uppers’. These consumers search for ‘mood-enhancement dress’, that is to  say they dress to optimize a mood. Where dressing was once tied to overarching cultural norms (case in point, the exaggerated femininity of the New Look by Dior), we now dress for ‘mood-illustration’ and ‘mood-enhancement’ representing personal satisfaction — nothing more, nothing less.

With this in mind, and out of Covid’s post-traumatic stress effect, we are seeing a rise in individualized sartorial choices. Consumers are once again embracing the joy of fashion and are wearing the clothes they want to wear. And there’s plenty to choose from.

 

JOYFUL TRENDS FOR SUMMER 2021

GET STRAPPY

It’s time to do the floss this season. Strappy bands wrap around the midriff for a sexy update to the crop top.

A spring 2021 look from Stella Jean. (Photo Credit: Stella Jean)

 

A spring 2021 look from Christopher Esber. (Photo Credit: Chistopher Esber)

 

A Spring 2021 look from Michael Kors. (Photo Credit: Michael Kors)

 

A spring 2021 look from Jacquemus. (Photo Credit: Jacquemus)

 

A spring 2021 look from Altuzarra. (Photo Credit: Altuzarra)

IT’S A SWEEP

Romance is in the air as floor-sweeping gowns ruled the spring runways, whether sheer or printed, these floating maxi dresses are the perfect way to make a splash this summer.

A spring 2021 look from Valentino. (Photo Credit: Valentino)

 

A spring 2021 look from Dolce & Gabanna. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabanna)

 

A spring 2021 look from Alberta Ferretti. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

 

A spring 2021 look from Etro. (Photo Credit: Etro)

 

A spring 2021 look from Dior. (Photo Credit: Dior)

LOOSE-FIT

After so many (too many?) years of skinny jeans, it’s finally time to cut loose this spring. Designers are offering baggy trousers that are oversized and yet oh-so-chic.

A spring 2021 look from Louis Vuitton. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

 

A spring 2021 look from Schiaparelli. (Photo Credit: Schiaparelli)

 

A spring 2021 look from Chanel. (Photo Credit: Chanel)

 

A spring 2021 look from DSquared. (Photo Credit: DSquared)

 

A spring 2021 look from The Row. (Photo Credit: The Row)

GLAM-SQUAD

Just like when a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, we’re all eager to get out. Some of us will even want to dance the night away. Whether inspired by the Halston film, with so many scenes of Studio 54, this new crop of sparkly numbers is there for the taking.

A spring 2021 look from Elie Saab. (Photo Credit: Elie Saab)

A spring 2021 look from Gucci. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

 

A spring 2021 look from Loewe. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

 

A spring 2021 look from Balmain. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

 

A spring 2021 look from Celine. (Photo Credit: Celine)

 

CUT-IT-OUT

This season’s strategic cut-outs worked their way into gowns, sheath dresses and slippery silks, spicing up conservative looks thanks to peekaboo glimpses of skin.

A spring 2021 look from Givenchy. (Photo Credit: Givenchy)

 

A spring 2021 look from Maximilian. (Photo Credit: Maximilian)

 

A spring 2021 look from Kenzo. (Photo Credit: Kenzo)

 

A spring 2021 look from Gabriela Hearst. (Photo Credit: Gabriela Hearst)

 

A spring 2021 look from Roksanda. (Photo Credit: Roksanda)

 

INNERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR

While we all lived in loungewear this past year, designers are embracing the innerwear as outerwear trend with body sculpting corsets that can be dressed up or paired down.

A spring 2021 look from Moschino . (Photo Credit: Moschino)

 

Spring 2021 looks from Bethany Williams. (Photo Credit: Bethany Williams)

 

A spring 2021 look from David Koma. (Photo Credit: David Koma)

 

A spring 2021 look from Christopher John Rogers. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A spring 2021 look from Alexander McQueen. (Photo Credit: Alexander McQueen)

So tell us, are you ready to embrace the joyful aesthetic of spring 2021?

MILAN & PARIS: FALL 2021 COLLECTIONS PART 2

MILAN

Gigi Hadid is officially back on the runway. Here she is backstage at the Versace show with her sister Bella. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Ciao! Milan Fashion Week ended on a high note as designers looked to the promise of la vita bella (a beautiful life) as COVID-19 vaccines were being distributed throughout Europe as well as the world.

With the possibility of ‘back-to-normal’ in the not too distant future, Italian and French designers created energetically charged pieces at MFW and PFW with the hope that we will all be making a big splash when we return to a life of  normalcy.

(Video credit: Valentino’s live show)

Like New York and London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week shows were digitally-focused with one exception, namely, Valentino’s intimate runway show. The Milan schedule was packed with established designers such as Missoni, Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Max Mara, Marni, and Dolce & Gabbana but the highlight of MFW was Kim Jones’ highly anticipated ready-to-wear debut for Fendi, which definitely delivered. Another show of note was Team Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada, who presented their second Prada collab women’s collection to raves. In addition to the traditional line-up of veteran designers, there were a few new names in the mix (finally), such as former Gucci designer Daniel Del Core.

(Video credit: Daniel Del Core’s debut collection)

Daniel Del Core’s debut collection was a socially distance IRL (in real life) show. It’s definitely every aspiring designer’s dream to climb the ladder, gathering experience on someone else’s dime and then ultimately launch their own brand. The proof of the pudding comes when you finally get to ‘strut-your-stuff’ with a runway show. This designer not only succeeded but did it during a pandemic! Check out Daniel’s show video. So, what do you think? Definitely rocking the 80s shoulder, right?

Covid is still wreaking havoc on the fashion show schedule and a few designers presented their digital collections after Milan Fashion Week, such as Versace’s Donatella Versace and Luke and Lucie Meier at Jil Sander. Dates for Bottega Veneta and Gucci are still up in the air.

A look from Prada’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Prada)

Nonetheless, MFW was full of bold trends, thanks to Italian designers’ flare for dramatics. For them, life after lockdown will be anything but boring. Here are our top five trends:

ALL BUNDLED UP

Baby it’s cold outside! For Fall 2021, designers in Milan showed plenty of terrific outerwear to keep you warm, yet oh so fashionable. Brands such as Fendi and Prada featured fabulous big, furry coats, while Valentino focused on charming capes that offer effortless glamour to any look. Meanwhile, the basic puffer got a makeover with unique shapes and bold colors, case in point, Marni.

A look from Marni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

 

A look from Prada’s Fall 2021 Collection and the accessory of the season, the zip pouch glove. (Photo Credit: Prada)

 

A look from Valentino’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Dragone)

 

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

METALLICA

Glitz and glamour ruled the runways from futuristic silver suits at Annakiki to chainmail gowns at Salvatore Ferragamo, these glistening looks will rule the return of the red carpet.

A look from Annakiki’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

 

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

 

A look from Salvatore Ferragamo’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Salvatore Ferragamo)

THE PREPPY HANDBOOK

Leave it to the Italians to give the classic Preppy look a much-needed update. For fall, designers like Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini and Etro are giving the otherwise conservative styles a cool makeover. Relaxed shapes, vibrant hues and edgy styling take preppy away from the country club to and onto the backs of our favorite fashion influencers.

A look from Etro’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

 

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

 

A look from Andrea Pompilio’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Andrea Pompilio)

BRIGHT OF WAY

Italian designers lit up the season with fantastically bright hues — pink, lavender, yellow, and teal were particularly popular on the runways. Brands like MSGM and Emilio Pucci clashed hues in the most creative and vibrant ways.

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

 

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

 

A look from Emilio Pucci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Emilio Pucci)

GREEN DAY

Olive has become the new neutral, giving the nod to military-inspired looks that marched down runways by the legion and received uniform salutes. From Ports 1961’s belted coat to Sportmax’s utility shirt, today’s military trend is chic and polished.

A look from Sportmax’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Sportmax)

 

A look from Max Mara’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Max Mara)

 

A look from Ports 1961’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ports 1961)

PARIS

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Casper Sejersen)

As of the writing of this blog, Paris Fashion Week is still going strong. The fashion show season officially ends on March 10th, but in the City of Lights, the Fall 2021 collections started out with a bang! PFW never disappoints by offering collections that reflect the climate of today, but also gives us the possibilities of dreams and fantasies. Even during the turmoil we are all facing due to the global pandemic, the tremendous loss of life, economic uncertainty and political and social upheaval – designers are still pushing forward creating beautiful collections that offer an escape from the real world and that envision better days ahead.

The most anticipated show of the season was Gabriela Hearst’s debut collection for Chloé. It was an IRL outdoor fashion show and Hearst lived up to the hype.

(Video Credit: Chloé’s Fall 2021 Show)

Gabriela Hearst stayed true to the heritage of Chloé as she offered a collection filled with rich bohemian inspired looks. Hearst, a designer known to incorporate sustainable practices in her own collection, brought that sensibility to Chloé. She integrated lower-impact raw materials and put a plan in place to lower carbon emissions by 2025.  The collection was filled with Boho pieces that you will want to hold on to forever, such as a series of ponchos in stripes and solids, along with knit maxi dresses. Heart showed terrific outerwear from spliced trench coats to a cut-away shearling coat, as well as plenty of patchwork looks, including a leather patchwork jacket and skirt set. In a fashion season dominated by 80s shoulders, Hearst’s bohemian vibe had a ‘70s aesthetic that was fresh and modern.

OTHER TRENDS

SPACE AGE

Futuristic fashion was all over the runways of Paris, from Rick Owens’ sharp shoulders and shimmering bodysuits, to Courrèges’ mod high neck jacket. These looks will have you standing out in any crowd.

A look from Rick Owens’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Carlo Scarpato)

 

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alexandre Vauthier)

 

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Gio Staiano)

 

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Thomas de Cruz Media)

PRETTY IN PINK

Pink has been a favorite among the millennial set, so for fall, designers showed a range of pretty pink looks from Patou’s belted jacket with feathered trim to Coperni’s zippered dress. Pink is here to stay.

A look from Patou’s Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Patou)

 

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fillippo Fior)

 

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acne Studios)

 

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nina Ricci)

 

THE COLD SHOULDER

Designers adopted a chic asymmetry with interesting bare shoulder effects.

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fillippo Fior)

 

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acne Studios)

 

A look from Ellery’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Kym Ellery)

 

A look from Alaïa’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Piere-Ange Carlotti)

 

HERELD SQUARES

Check this out: windowpane, tartan, houndstooth and more. This fall, designers have gone mad for plaid.

A look fromVivienne Westwood’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alice Dellal)

 

Looks from Marine Serre’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Marine Serre)

 

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2021Collection. (Photo Credit: Thomas de Cruz Media)

 

WELL SUITED

Pantsuits were all over the runways, but in Paris, they were anything but business-like. Designers took the office staple to new heights by injecting them with the boldest of hues.

A look from Thebe Magugu’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thebe Magugu)

 

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

 

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nina Ricci)

 

A look from Isabel Marant’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Isabel Marant)

So tell us, do you have a favorite trend?

 

WEDDING BELLS: THE FALL 2021 BRIDAL COLLECTIONS GET SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

A look from Julie Vino’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Vino)

While the spring 2021 Woman’s RTW shows were a hybrid mix that has become coined as “Phygital Fashion Week”, bridal designers opted to present their collections digitally on the CFDA’s new ‘ Runway 360’. It seems that the designers have made the right decision as New York COVID numbers are steadily beginning to rise again.

The season kicked off with bridal designers – Justin Alexander, Savannah Miller, Viktor & Rolf, and a number of others – joining forces through Vow Pro, a new initiative that unites wedding professionals to help put an end to child marriage.

Looks from Victor & Rolf’s Mariage collection. (Photo Credit: Victor & Rolf Mariage)

On Oct. 9, the Justin Alexander Luxury Group held a roundtable discussion to raise money for Vow to End Child Marriage, the organization in charge of the Vow Pro initiative. Vow ambassador, Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands, led the discussion and was joined by Justin Alexander’s CEO and creative director Justin Warshaw, partner and development manager Joshua Grimes, and Viktor & Rolf’s CEO Andrea Collesei.

The virtual townhall brought awareness to Vow and the astonishing facts that surround child marriage. According to Vow, more than 12 million girls all over the world are married before the age of 18, some being as young as 8 years old. Child brides are often married to an older man they do not choose themselves and experience abuse throughout the marriage.

All involved in the Vow initiative are not only spreading awareness through social media, but many of the designers involved have also pledged to donate a percentage of sales from their bridal collections, as well as dresses, to the organization. One of Vow’s partners, Reem Acra, will even donate a fixed 10 percent of their sales from her iconic “Paradise” dress. So now brides can shop for a dress and know that a portion of the sale will go to a worthy cause.

The Vow organization will donate 100 percent of the donations made to the organization and distribute it to projects in countries where these underage weddings are taking place. The money is distributed by Girls First Fund, a donor collaborative that encourages community-led efforts to stop child marriage around the world.

As van Oranje reflected on her own wedding as “an absolutely wonderful day,” she continued saying that sadly not every woman has that same experience. “This is across continents, cultures, and religions,” she said. “For them, their wedding day is the day they have to leave school if they were ever allowed to go to school. It is a day when they have to go live with a man, whom they very often haven’t chosen themselves, and in many cases is older than they are. It is the day that they might get pregnant even though their bodies are not ready to give birth and they are really still children.”

In the socially-conscience world we live in, now, brides-to-be can easily get involved in a cause…the fight to end child marriage. Here are some of the strongest trends of the Fall 2021 Bridal season.

FIT FOR A PRINCESS

For fall 2021, bridal designers have created plenty of modern fairy tale gowns, from off-the-shoulder frothy confections to fully covered lace frocks. One thing is for sure, these traditional dresses are a dream come true.

A look from Ines di Santo’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Ines di Santo)

A look from Marchesa’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Marchesa)

Looks from Mira Zwillinger’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Mira Zwillinger)

A look from Alyne by Rita Vinieris’ Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Rita Vinieris)

A look from Gracy Accad’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Gracy Accad)

MINIMALISTIC CHIC

Simplicity rules as architectural-inspired gowns offer a modern and fresh take on bridalwear.

A look from Vivienne Westwood’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

A look from Amsale’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Amsale)

A look from Anne Barge’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Anne Barge)

A look from Alyne by Rita Vinieris’ Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Rita Vinieris)

A look from Willow’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Willow)

ALTERNATIVE BRIDE

Calling all fashionistas! These edgy bridal looks are effortlessly chic. From flights of fancy feathers to Sixties Mod space age, these looks are anything but traditional.

A look from Kaviar Gauche’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Kavier Gauche)

A look from Vivienne Westwood’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

A look from Halfpenny London’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Halfpenny London)

A look from Wild Wings’ Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Wild Wings)

THE COLD SHOULDER

The one-shoulder look has long been a favorite among the fashionable set and now the trend is hitting bridal in full force.

A look from Eisen Stein’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Eisen Stein)

A look from Wona Concept’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Wona Concept)

A look from Pronovias’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Pronovias)

A look from Amsale’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Amsale)

A look from Romona New York’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Romona New York)

CAPES OF GLORY

For fall 2021 designers created a variety of gorgeous capes; from airy floor sweeping versions to embellished capelets, these are the perfect toppers to complete your dream wedding look.

A look from Naeem Khan’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Naeem Khan)

A look from Julie Vino’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Julie Vino)

A look from Verdin’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Verdin)

A look from Edem’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Edem)

A look from Legends by Romona Keveza’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Legends by Romona Keveza)

AND THE BRIDE WORE PANTS…..

Let’s face it, due to the pandemic, who knows when brides can have over-the-top weddings again. So for the less formal affair, why not opt for a chic pant look! These range from sleek jumpsuits to high-waisted trousers that pair with delicate lace camisoles.

A look from Elizabeth Fillmore’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Fillmore)

A look from Savannah Miller’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Savannah Miller)

A look from Alexandra Grecco’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco)

A look from Morilee by Madeline Garder’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Morilee)

A look from Kosibah Asheyori’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Kosibah Asheyori)

ALL ABOUT SLEEVE

Let’s face it, in today’s uncertain times – global pandemic, economic crisis, and political upheaval – Zoom weddings may become more common. To stand out for your digital ceremony, why not make a bold sleeve/shoulder or both, statement?

A look from Lihi Hod’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Lihi Hod)

A look from Marchesa’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Marchesa)

A look from Francesca Miranda’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Francesca Miranda)

A look from Ines di Santo’s Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Ines di Santo)

A look from Elizabeth Fillmore’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Elizabeth Fillmore)

RISING HEMLINES

Today more than ever, brides have so many options. One of the most popular untraditional bridal trends is the mini dress. Many brides will get to choose from these contemporary silhouettes for their ‘change-into party dress’ après ceremony to dance the night away in fashionable comfort.

A look from Gracy Accad’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Gracy Accad)

A look from Francesca Miranda’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Francesca Miranda)

A look from Edem’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Edem)

A look from Ines di Santo’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Ines de Santo)

A look from Naeem Khan’s Fall 2021 Bridal Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of Naeem Khan)

So tell us, which bridal trend is your fav?

INNOVATIVE SUSTAINABILITY IN TEXTILES

Fashion and Substainability. (Photo Credit: Miss Owl)

DO YOU HAVE A CLEAR FASHION CONSCIENCE?

If you’re like us, you probably spent some of your Covid lockdown time cleaning out your closets (and if you didn’t you should). How many of you have a clear fashion conscience? Was every purchase justified? Or, did you discover that some of the clothes and shoes in your closet you never wore, not even once? Or maybe you wore them only twice? Well, it’s time to take stock of your buying habits and your carbon footprint. To get a clear fashion conscience, next time you’re thinking of making purchase, ask yourself, “am I doing all I could to help”?

 

THE POLLUTION INDUSTRY

The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits in causing pollution and damage ing our earth. By 2030, it is predicted that the industry’s water consumption will increase by 50 percent to 118 billion cubic meters (or 31.17 trillion gallons). Its carbon footprint will increase to 2,791 million tons and the amount of waste it creates will hit 148 million tons, according to The Fashion Law website (TFL).

Today more than ever, designers, brands and retailers are looking for ways to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Brands are embracing sustainable cotton initiatives to: reduce water, energy and chemical use; new dyeing technology to reduce water consumption by up to 50 percent; as well as numerous energy and chemical saving schemes throughout the supply chain. In the UK, the result of this work is percolating through to retailers, with a reduction in the carbon and water footprints per ton of clothing of 8 percent and 7 percent respectively since 2012, according to TFL.

Eco Conscious Meets Fashion Conscious. (Photo Credit: Carrygreen)

The movement towards eco fashion is growing quickly. Followers of the movement believe that the fashion industry has an obligation to place environmental, social, and ethical improvements in their practices at every level of the supply chain. One of the goals of sustainable fashion is to create a thriving ecosystem and enriched communities through its activity. Some examples of this include: prolonging the lifecycle of materials; increasing the value of timeless garments; reducing the amount of waste; and reducing the harm to the environment created as a result of producing clothing.

Why Sustainable in Fashion Matters. (Photo Credit: Sustainable Fashion Academy)

Textile designers around the world are looking for innovative techniques to produce fabrics in a sustainable manner. There are a few pioneering companies that are creating innovative textiles, such as biodegradable glitter and fabrics created from seaweed. Here are a few companies that are making a big difference.

ALGIKNIT

The company Algiknit produces textile fibres extracted from kelp, a variety of seaweed. The extrusion process turns the biopolymer mixture into kelp-based thread that can be knitted or 3D printed to minimize waste. The final knitwear is biodegradable and can be dyed with natural pigments in a closed loop cycle.

BIOGLITZ

BioGlitz produces the world’s first biodegradable glitter. Based on a unique biodegradable formula made from eucalyptus tree extract, the eco-glitter is fully biodegradable, compostable and allows for the sustainable consumption of glitter without the environmental damage associated with micro plastics.

FLOCUS

Flocus produces natural yarns, fillings and fabrics made from kapok fibers. The kapok tree can be naturally grown without the use of pesticides and insecticide in arid soil not suitable for agricultural farming, offering a sustainable alternative to high water consumption natural fiber crops such as cotton.

FRUMAT

Frumat uses apples to create a leather-like material. Apple pectin is an industrial waste product which can be used to create sustainable materials that are completely compostable, while still being durable enough to create luxurious accessories. The leathers can be dyed naturally and tanned without chemically intensive techniques.

DRITAN

DriTan is taking sustainable steps towards water-free leather manufacturing. The technology was developed by ECCO Leather and uses the moisture present in the hides as a key step in their tanning process. This innovative technology will change the leather industry and save 25 million liters of water a year. This technique also minimizes the discharge of waste water and the use of chemicals.

MYLO

Mylo is a sustainable leather grown from mycelium, which has its root structure in mushrooms. In nature, mycelium grows underground in soil, forming networks of threads that help recycle organic matter on the forest floor, while providing nutrients to plants and trees. The threads interweave and self-assemble themselves into a 3D matrix that can spread for miles. Bolt Threads Mylo material looks like hand-crafted leather and shares leather’s warm touch and suppleness. Mylo can be produced in days, without the need for animal hides or the toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic leathers.

RECYCROM

Recycrom is turning waste into colors by building on its “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” mission. Recycrom is a patented, sustainable range of synthetic colored dyestuff powders made from 100% recycled textile cotton waste and textile scraps from used clothing and manufacturing waste. The dyes utilize eco-sustainable inputs without using chemical dyes and harming the environment. When dyed using Recycrom colors, the fabrics have a washed-out and natural look that complements today’s current fashion trends. Brands can collaborate with the inventors at Officina+39 to make Recycrom custom dyes using a manufacturers’ own scraps/textile waste.

THE ECO MOVEMENT IS GROWING

While creating sustainable textiles is only one step to creating an eco-friendly brand, it’s refreshing to see so many fashion companies looking for ways to make a global impact on the environment. Stella McCartney has been ahead of the movement and has always produced her collections in an ethical manner. Today fashion brands have plenty of choices to reduce their carbon footprint.

Stella McCartney’s Spring 2020 Ad Campaign. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

So tell us, what are you doing to reduce your carbon footprint?

Let’s Play:” Name That Dress”

- - Trends

Judy Garland’s iconic blue and white gingham dress in  The Wizard of Oz. (Photo credit: Good Housekeeping)

Films, whether on the big screen or small, have always been a vehicle for escapism. And let’s face it, today, more than ever, we all need an escape. Whether we are binge-watching the next highly rated Rotten Tomatoes series while quarantining, or dipping back into movie history to watch Casablanca, Pretty Woman, or Sunset Boulevard, we thought it would be a hoot to focus on some of the most iconic film frocks (and their designers), some actually more popular than the films themselves!

Here now are our top 13 iconic dresses of all time, either in film, television, worn by our favorite royal, or, that hold a special place in history.

Let’s begin with Judy Garland’s dress in the Wizard of Oz. Designer: Adrian

 

MARILYN MONROE

Marilyn Monroe poses over the updraft of a New York subway grating while in character for the filming of The Seven Year Itch in New York. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Matty Zimmerman)

To this day, Marilyn Monroe is still considered one of the sexiest starlets of all time. Who can ever forget the iconic image of her standing over a NYC subway grate in a white pleated halter-dress blowing in the wind created by William Travilla for the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch?

However, according to according to the 1976 book entitled, Hollywood Costume: Glamour! Glitter! Romance! by Dale McConathy and Diana Vreeland, it was reported that Travilla did not actually design the dress but bought it off the rack (though Travilla denied this).

After the tragic death of Marilyn Monroe in 1962, Travilla kept the iconic dress locked away along with many other costumes he created for the late actress. Upon Travilla’s death in 1990, all of his creations were put on display by Bill Sarris, a colleague of Travilla. Shortly thereafter, the dress joined the private collection owned by Debbie Reynolds at the Hollywood Motion Picture Museum. In 2011, Reynolds put the dress up for auction where it sold for more than $5.6 million.

AUDREY HEPBURN

Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. (Photo credit: Yahoo)

Thanks to Coco Chanel, just about every woman has a little black dress hanging in their closet. However, the most iconic ‘little black dress’ of all time was worn by Audrey Hepburn in the opening screen of the 1961 romantic comedy film,  Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and designed by Hubert de Givenchy.

Rumor has it that Givenchy first designed a shorter version of the dress, but Paramount Pictures thought that it revealed too much of the actresses’s legs and therefore called upon costume designer Edith Head to redesign the lower half of the dress; hence the floor length version that appears in the movie. In 2006, the dress was given by Givenchy to French author Dominic Lapierre, who had it auctioned at Christie’s where it sold for a whopping $920, 909. Dominic Lapierre, who was selling the dress on behalf of his charity City of Joy Aid, said: “There are tears in my eyes. I am absolutely dumbfounded to believe that a piece of cloth which belonged to such a magical actress will now enable me to buy bricks and cement to put the most destitute children in the world into schools.” Sarah Hodgson, a film specialist at Christie’s said, “This is one of the most famous black dresses in the world—an iconic piece of cinematic history—and we are glad it fetched a historic price.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra in 1963. (Photo credit: The Film Experience)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film Cleopatra made its debut in 1963 and The New York Times called it, “one of the great epic films of our day.”  It is the tragic triangular love story between the ancient Egyptian Queen (Elizabeth Taylor) and Roman generals Julius Caesar (Rex Harrison) and Mark Antony (Richard Burton).

Elizabeth Taylor’s costumes were spectacular and held a record-breaking costume budget of $194,800 (about $1.4 million today). American costume designer Renié Conley won the 1963 Academy Award for Best Costume Design (along with Irene Sharaff and Vittorio Nino Novarese), for her creation of Taylor’s stunning gowns, which placed emphasis on the actress’ beauty and sexuality over historical accuracy.

Taylor wore four costumes that were ceremonial, but the most iconic was the golden “Phoenix” ensemble worn for Cleopatra’s triumphal procession into Rome atop a huge black sphinx. It consisted of a cape made of gold-painted strips of leather embroidered with gold bugle and seed beads over a gold fitted embroidered dress and a crown, making Cleopatra look like a golden bird-goddess. It is the only costume that appeared twice in the film, the second time at the very end.

JACKIE KENNEDY

Jackie Kennedy in India. (Photo credit: JFK Library)

As we all know, First Lady Jackie Kennedy was a true style icon. Her impeccable taste never disappointed. When the Kennedys moved into the White House in 1961, Jackie appointed Oleg Cassini as her exclusive couturier. Cassini immediately went to work, creating her inaugural dress and many of the iconic looks that would make her the most fashionable First Lady in the history of the White House.

The clean lines, beautiful fabrics, and timeless silhouettes of Oleg Cassini’ created the “Jackie Look,” that still transcends fashion trends today. One of the most iconic dresses that Jacqueline Kennedy wore was an apricot silk zibeline dress with a simple bow at the waist; she wore this dress to tour the Palace of the Maharajah in Udaipur, during a state visit to India in 1962.

MADONNA

Madonnas scandalous dress at the 1984 MTV Music Video Awards. (Photo credit: Harpers Bazaar)

Celebrities today are always trying to “be different” and “shock” their fans. However, we really owe “shock & awe” to women like Cher and Madonna both of who paved the way!

In 1984, Madonna had her first award show performance at the MTV VMA’s, and left a lasting impression with her white sheer “Like a Virgin” look. Complete with the now iconic “Boy Toy” belt, lace gloves, and cross necklaces, it kicked off her knack for creating buzzy looks.

For children of the ’80s, Madonna’s racy, underwear-flashing, floor-rolling “Like a Virgin” performance was their defining televised music moment, and so a rebellious fashion icon was born. So, who was responsible for this groundbreaking look? Madonna’s stylist Maripol, who is credited for creating the early Madonna  look.

Maripol told Yahoo Entertainment, “Madonna had to break through; I knew she was going to make it big, because I could see how ambitious she was, in a very genuine and sweet way. The wedding outfit did help. I knew that [VMAs] day that she had made it,” adds Maripol. “Every journalist was rushing, running, going, ‘Oh my God, who is this girl with the white outfit rolling and crawling on the floor, with crosses in her ears and her name is Madonna?

JULIA ROBERTS

Pretty Woman (1990) catapulted Julia Roberts to stardom. Here she is in the iconic red dress. (Photo credit: Harpers Bazaar)

Can you believe it’s already been 30 years since Julia Roberts became America’s sweetheart when she starred as Vivian in Pretty Woman ? In the era of #MeToo, the plot of Pretty Woman might be problematic—but you just can’t deny the clothes. Watching a West Hollywood sex worker find love with the dapper businessman who hired her off a street corner, I mean really? But we all forgave the plot because the fashion was spectacular. Even the Armani suits worn by Richard Gere were great eye candy!

Through the film Vivian is transformed from a prostitute to an elegant woman (Cinderella redux?) with an array of sophisticated and fashionable clothes. Costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker and her team created an array of stylish and contemporary outfits, but the most famous costume of all? Her floor-sweeping red ball gown worn for the opera sequence. The gown was inspired by Valentino’s romantic gowns in his signature red.

But did you know that this iconic red dress was almost not red? There ended up being a dispute between the studio, the producers and the costume designer as they wanted Julia Roberts’ character to wear a black dress. Luckily costume designer Marilyn Vance-Straker won the argument after plenty of screen testing and the red dress became an iconic moment not only in the film but also in fashion.

SHARON STONE

Sharon Stone’s iconic white turtleneck dress in Basic Instinct. (Photo credit: Costume Rocket)

Fast forward to 1992. Forget the little black or red dress. Sharon Stone wore a simple white turtleneck dress as she stared in the erotic thriller Basic Instinct. The ‘interrogation scene’ is one of the sexiest moments in film history.  A turtleneck may not be traditionally thought of as sexy, but this one lends polish. It’s a look of absolute control. Plus there is far more going on here than the absence of underwear.

So who was responsible for this contemporary yet timeless look? Costume designer Ellen Mirojnick. “I thought the costumes and the look of the film were extremely classic” insists Mirojnick talking exclusively to Clothes on Film. “The contemporary feel of the film is even more contemporary today. It is a timeless piece.

PRINCESS DIANA

Princess Diana in the ‘revenge’ dress. (Photo credit: Hello Magazine)

Princess Diana, like Jackie, is another true fashion icon. Diana’s style became so emulated and loved around the world that we’re still celebrating her outfits two decades after her death.

On June 29, 1994, Princess Dianna shocked the world when she attended Vanity Fair’s annual fundraising event for the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park, wearing a look that was anything but ‘princess-y.’ A rather short, off-the-shoulder, tight-fitting black silk dress designed by Christina Stambolian.

It also happened to be the night that an ITV ‘tell-all’ documentary featuring Prince Charles aired. In the interview, Prince Charles said he had tried to be “faithful and honorable” when marrying Diana. The interviewer asked if he had been, and Prince Charles answered, “Yes… Until it became irretrievably broken down, us both having tried.” This clearly became Prince Charles’ confession of his infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles, and suddenly, Princess Diana’s dress took on a whole new meaning. It was known thereafter as the “Revenge Dress.”

ALICIA SILVERSTONE

Alicia Silverstone in the cult classic film Clueless. (Photo credit: Glamour)

It’s 25 years ago that the film Clueless hit the big screen. The film’s starlet, Cher Horowitz (played by Alicia Silverstone) is still a fashion icon and defined a generation. Who can ever forget the iconic scene of Cher’s first date with the new guy from school. Cher selected a second-skin white mini dress, which elicited the question from her dad: “What the hell is that?” Cher: “A dress.” Dad: “Says who?” Cher: “Calvin Klein.”

In 2010, Ilaria Urbinati, the co-owner of  L.A. boutique Confederacy, met with Calvin Klein creative director Francisco Costa about stocking the Calvin Klein Collection. The stylist-turned-shopkeeper had one very specific request: Remake the little white dress from Clueless! Costa obliged and dug out the famous slim-fitting slipdress from the archives and recreated it for the Confederacy boutique for $915.00

JENNIFER LOPEZ

Jennifer Lopez backstage at the 42nd Annual Grammy Awards 2000.(Photo credit: Womens-Health)

Who can ever forget the 2000 Grammy Awards when Jennifer Lopez, accompanied by P. Diddy, showed up in a plunging, jungle green Versace dress, causing so many searches on Google that the company was inspired to create Google Image search. The dress went viral before viral was a thing.

Almost 20 years later, for her spring 2020 show, Donatella Versace re-created the iconic dress and had no other than Jennifer Lopez close out her show. The entertainer looked just as stunning today as she did when she originally wore the dress in 2000.

The new version is similar in style with its dramatic neckline, but has a few updates. Its sleeveless, has cutouts at the waist and also embellishments.

The original dress will always be remembered as one of Donatella Versace’s most iconic dresses. In an interview with Vogue, to mark the 20th anniversary of “The Dress,” Lopez recalled walking onto the stage at the Grammys and hearing murmurs in the crowd, followed by enthusiastic clapping. Lopez told Vogue, “It was one of those perfect moments. I walked out on stage and it kind of blew open and the dress was just provocative enough I guess to make people really interested.

SARAH JESSICA PARKER

Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie Bradshaw was a true fashionista. (Photo from Daily Mail)

Carrie Bradshaw, played by Sarah Jessica Parker, became a fashion icon on the hit series and movie Sex and the City. Carrie’s costume designer/stylist, Patricia Field, pushed the boundaries when it came to fashion on television. She effortlessly mixed high end designers with vintage finds.

One of Bradshaw’s signatures was the flower. In an interview with New York Post’s Page Six, Field points to the oversize flower from the first film as her private wink to the franchise’s biggest fans: ”In the series, the flower became a trend. Then, when I did the first movie, we first see Carrie outside of Tiffany and she’s wearing that dress with that huge flower. That was like saying to my audience, Hi! We’re back! It’s good to see you! This is my greeting to you: a flower, bigger than anything. I can make little jokes. I know how to speak to them in the language of the wardrobe.”

The iconic ‘white flower-adorned dress’ Parker wears in the 2008 movie’s opening scene was originally designed by Eugene Alexander for Whitney Houston. The late music sensation wore it in a 1987 promotional photoshoot that later wound up on the cover of Life Magazine.

Patricia Field tweaked the dress for the Sex and the City film, by chopping the gown into a mini and subtracting one of the super-size hibiscus blossoms, while Houston’s original had two.

LADY GAGA

Lady Gaga wearing a dress made out of meat. (Photo credit: Glamour)

Lady Gaga is known not only for her musical genius, but also for her avant-garde fashion choices. At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, she wore the infamous raw beef dress, which was designed by Franc Fernandez and styled by Nicola Formichetti. Naturally the dress was condemned by animal rights groups, but it was also named by Time magazine as the top fashion statement of 2010.

On September 13, 2010, Lady Gaga appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show and explained why she chose to wear a dress made out of raw meat. The singer used the platform to respond to the controversy surrounding the dress saying, “… it has many interpretations. For me this evening, if we don’t stand up for what we believe in and if we don’t fight for our rights pretty soon, we’re going to have as much rights as the meat on our own bones. And, I am not a piece of meat.”  She explained further that she was also using the dress to highlight her distaste for the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

In 2011, the meat dress was put on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after being preserved by taxidermists as a type of jerky for the price of $6,000.

A HISTORY LESSON

If you guessed Ruby Bridges, then you are correct! Ruby Bridges was the first African-American child to attend an all-white school and wore this dress as she walked to her first day of school.

This history-changing walk, which integrated the William Frantz Public School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960, later inspired Norman Rockwell to create a bold illustration for the January 14, 1964 issue of Look magazine. Rockwell was a longtime supporter of the goals of equality and tolerance.

Rockwell’s 1964 painting entitled, The Problem We All Live With

Ruby Bridges’ historic walk took place six years after the 1954 United States Supreme Court Brown v. Board of Education ruling declared that state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students were unconstitutional, and represented a definite victory for the American Civil Rights Movement.

Ruby’s white dress and Rockwell’s painting entitled “The Problem We All Live With” was on display in 2019 at the New York Historical Society along with this quote:

“The  ‘problem’ Rockwell alludes to has been a part of our history since the first enslaved people were brought to the Americas over 400 years ago, and it is one that each of us must still confront today. For me, the painting…serves as an ever-present reminder of my purpose.” – Ruby Bridges 2010

Do you have a favorite dress to share with us?

 

Fashion Computer Game

Apparel Design and Gaming

Gaming is big business.  Fashion is big business. Is there any overlap?

Gaming has a global market value of $152 billion, as reported in the Global Games Market Report by the intelligence firm, Newzoo, of which 45 percent is spent on mobile games. In 2019, a staggering $2.4 billion people were estimated to have played a mobile game (close to one third of the global population).

 

How is Fashion Used in Games?

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Players are no longer just teenage boys. Victoria Tran, the Communications Director at Kitfox Games located in Montreal, Canada, presented a talk at the Full Indie Summit, November 20, 2019 entitled, Underdressed and Stressed, Why Fashion in Games Matters.  Kitfox produces games like Boyfriend Dungeon, Six Ages, Dwarf Fortress, Lucifer within Us and Mondo Museum.

Victoria pointed out to the assembled game designers at the conference how fashion can add synergy and fun to games. Game designers should think about this while designing games, i.e., style that add to the total gaming experience.

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Victoria explained how fashion expands the story through character development. “Fashion, like character design, is an answer to a question.  How do we express a fictional character in a real-world context?”

Her advice to game designers is the following: “Clothes are a story, know where your character will appear, and every piece has meaning. Don’t just add accessories unless they have a use or meaning to the story.  Fashion tells your players about the character without words. “

We were able to get a virtual interview with Victoria to ask the question of how a fashion designer could break into the world of game fashion. Victoria recommends having a knowledge of game engines (whether that’s Unity, Unreal, GameMaker, etc.), along with familiarizing yourself with games of different genres to see how fashion could intersect with them.

If you are interested in learning how to create games using the above game engines, like Unity, check out Udemy. A great way to fill your time while you are self-quarantined (for about $13.99, you can’t beat the price).

 

FASHION IS THE GAME ITSELF 

DREST

Dr. Evridiki Papahristou from whichPLM (a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) magazine dedicated to retail industry news & fashion industry news) writes about fashion-oriented games. Some of the games she has covered are Drest, the first interactive luxury styling game and Burberry’s first fashion game, B Bounce.

Drest was created by Lucy Yeomans, founding editor-in-chief of Net-a-Porter’s magazine Porter. The game invites users to dress photorealistic avatars each week with different styling challenges. Players adopt the role of fashion stylists utilizing new season collections. Full launch is scheduled for early 2020. Drest will be available for both Android and Apple with partnerships that already include Gucci, Prada, Stella McCarthy, Puma and many others.  Players will be able to purchase the clothes featured in the game on Farfetch.

(Permission granted from Drest)

(Permission granted from Drest)

 

BURBERRY

Burberry’s first game, B Bounce (launched October 2019) involves players competing for virtual and physical jackets. The goal is to entertain and connect with younger consumers around the world, as interactive digital content becomes another opportunity for consumers to connect with the Burberry community online. 

Building on the success of B Bounce, Burberry launched a second game in January 2020, The World of Ratberry, as part of its 2020 Lunar New Year campaign inspired by the Thomas Burberry Monogram motif and in honor of the Year of the Rat.

World of Ratberry

B Bounce (Photo credit: Burberry)

 

LOUIS VUITTON

Fashion brands are starting to put their stamp on characters within games. In 2019, Riot Games partnered with Louis Vuitton for that year’s League of Legends Championship Finals in Paris by creating a bespoke travel case for the Summer’s Cup trophy designed Nicolas Ghesquière.

Vuitton added other digital assets for the game Louis Vuitton x League of Legends, such as ‘skins’, which in gaming language means graphic/audio files used to change the appearance of the user interface to a program or for a game character. League of Legends has grown to become a global phenomenon as the most-played PC game in the world.

(Louis Vuitton Trophy Case for Legends Championship Finals)

(Louis Vuitton ‘skins’ – Photo credit: League of Legends)

 

UNIVERSITY OF FASHION SUGGESTS A FASHION GAME  

Many existing online multi-player role-playing games (MMPORG) seem to focus on the appearance of the avatar in terms of face, hair, and body type. And some games allow the player to add clothing or “skins.”

As Victoria Tran noted “A lot of games have found success by adding mod support, where players can actually create and import their own designs into games – and that extends beyond fashion too! But this depends on the player base being continually active.”

The game Drest allows users to practice their styling skills and then purchase the clothes, but styling isn’t designing, and this type of game doesn’t really excite aspiring fashion designers. In fact, if you were to ask a fashion designer to comment on existing game avatars, they would probably tell you that there is much room for improvement. That got us to thinking. What if we could create a game dedicated to the hands-on, creative aspect of fashion designing? What would that look like?

So, we asked Victoria Tran her opinion of a MMPORG based on a fashion theme like the fashion reality TV shows Project Runway, Next in Fashion or Making the Cut? Her response:

That’d be cool! So much of this boils down to having a team that’s willing to put in the work towards making it, marketing, the consumer base, and figuring out a fun mechanic to go alongside it.”

When we asked her about the cost of making a game from scratch, here’s what she said:

“Hmmm that’s a difficult question to answer since it depends on the scope of the project, e.g. a simple 2D platformer will cost more than a 3D MMO game, depending on team size and how deep you want the game to be. I’d put it in the upper range of 500k+”

 

If any game programmers are reading this and want to get a slice of the fashion design gaming pie, give us a call. Here are some ideas that we came up with:

A Fashion Design Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Create a theme/fabric/color story board

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Childrenswear (Photo credit: Seul Lee for University of Fashion)

 

Theme/Fabric/Color Storyboard (Photo credit: University of Fashion)

 

A Fashion Illustration Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your fashion illustrations on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Figure Drawing Challenge (Photo credit: Steven Broadway for University of Fashion)

 

Fashion Illustration Challenge (Photo credit: Roberto Calasanz for University of Fashion)

 

A Draping Challenge

Choose your design classification: Evening, Bridal, Intimate Apparel, Activewear, Sportswear

Choose your fabric

Sketch your design

Drape your design

Modify your design or let others mod your design

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Eveningwear Draping Challenge – Eveningwear (Photo credit: Kenneth McQueen for University of Fashion)

 

Activewear Draping Challenge (Photo credit: Shanna Cupples for University of Fashion)

Other Useful Links

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/oct/09/gamers-spend-hours-customising-characters-but-dont-you-dare-mention-fashion

https://www.whichplm.com/if-you-cant-work-with-3d-technology-then-play-with-it/

https://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/magazine/articles/louis-vuitton-x-league-of-legends#

https://ew.com/tv/tv-reviews/making-the-cut-on-amazon-review/

 

Share your thoughts on what type of fashion design computer game would most interest you!

The Future of Fashion: Power in Numbers

Year 2020 is upon us, and there’s no better time to take pause, reflect on the decade gone by and plot a bright new course forward.

In the past ten years, the fashion industry has seen some major shifts. In New York alone, the home of fashion week has bounced around from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center to the piers and beyond as designers have adjusted to a changing industry. Once extravagant runway shows have turned into presentations, private viewings for buyers in showrooms and studios, if not online iterations designed to showcase offerings. The power of social media and social media influencers have changed how designers market, brand and promote themselves. And the topics of sustainability, slow fashion and increased concern with how, where and by whom clothing is made have taken center stage.

Consumers have changed, too. In response to the fast and furious pace of social media, “I want it now!” mentality has driven designers to a see now, buy now cycle of production and selling in order to get their customers the clothes they want the day after they see them posted on Instagram. But consumers have also become more thoughtful with the fashion dollars they spend, taking into consideration the consequences of “fast fashion” on the environment and the humans behind the sewing machines making 9.99 trend-of-the-moment pieces.

All in all, the age old model of designing as an independent “head of house” designer, showing a collection, hoping buyers will bite, producing orders and delivering garments six months later to retailers has been turned upside down. Today designers are required to innovate, create, collaborate and develop a path in the fashion industry that will keep their design dreams alive.

The upside of this upheaval is that a bold new day in fashion is upon us—a future that is less about ego and more about educated decisions, less about opulence and more about open conversations about the real challenges our industry is facing. Running a profitable fashion business is a multifaceted operation, with more roles that need to be filled than any one human can possibly sustain.

In our opinion, the path forward will be paved with groups of designers and experts coming together for a common goal. Think of creative factories where there is no singular Marc Jacobs or Ralph Lauren, but instead a group of people, each with a particular talent, banding together as they work toward a common creative vision.

Consider for a moment the power of putting together a team of the following:

Sustainability Expert – Someone who can focus on making affordable and sustainable decisions in terms of materials and processes used. A sustainability expert may also focus on in house sustainable labor practices and options, think creating structure so that all involved enjoy a work/life balance and a healthy environment while at work.

Innovator – A designated innovator is one who can research new methods, ways of producing, materials, structures that support the efficacy of the the team’s common vision. An innovator is focused on the next step of the group’s progress.

Designer(s) – This individual or group of individuals set the aesthetic vision for the group. Imagine bringing together a team with specializations in womenswear, menswear, accessories, etc.

Pattern Maker(s) – Pattern maker(s) carry out the technical aspects of the groups vision, whether by traditional flat pattern or using 3D software, pattern makers create a library of patterns for the group.

Social Media Guru – Someone who thrives on the fast paced, changing world of social media and understands which channels appeal to the group’s customer as well as when and how frequently to release content plays a key role in any successful business today.

Influencer – An influencer who has a significant social media following and who aligns with the vision of the brand can truly alter the course of brand awareness and sales.

Brand Manager – Someone who acts as a liaison between photographers, a social media guru, designers, etc. and makes sure messaging is consistent. A brand manager may also seek out partnership opportunities that support the group.

Of course, this list is not exhaustive…there are models, photographers, and so on to consider. However, just imagine as an emerging designer, dedicating as much time to finding your tribe of like minded people with strengths different from yours as you do to learning how to draw a croquis.

Imagine pooling resources as you build a fashion business.

Imagine having emotional and professional support as you go through the typical ups and downs of any business venture.

And imagine not feeling the weight of an entire fashion brand on your shoulders as well as having a supportive team around you to celebrate the successes you will experience.

This notion of “better together” is already starting to take shape. In a recent WWD article, 7 New Designers to Watch for Spring 2020, you’ll notice only a couple of independent designers. The rest are brands made up of two, sometimes three designers under a common label.

The team at Colville Image: www.drapersonline.com

For example, in Milan, Colville is made up of Lucinda Chambers, Molly Molloy and Kristin Forss, three designers that met 15 years ago while working at Marni. Collectively, they share experience in styling, journalism (Chambers is the former British Vogue fashion director) as well as both menswear and womenswear. They speak to this idea of power in numbers when they say, “We are surrounded by amazing people who have become our mentors and influencers, friends, colleagues and each other. We involve friends to work and collaborate with us, we are building a Colville community, the collection isn’t just one voice and not even three but many, it’s an inspiring way to work.”

The team at Commission Image: @commissionnyc

In New York, Commission, a brand by designers Jin Kay, Dylan Cao and Huy Luong, is a great example of a tribe of designers with a common creative vision. All three designers are first-generation immigrants from Asia and inspired by their mothers’ style. They share an impressive collective resume of experience. Kay has designed for Gucci, Narciso Rodriguez and Prabal Gurung. Cao has taken turns at Alexander Wang, 3.1 Phillip Lim and R13, and Luong is a photographer with a background in visual communication design. Not only does this tribe of artists share an extensive list of strengths and a creative vision, they are also tied to a greater purpose of combatting the stereotypical and literal translation of “Asian” beauty and culture in the fashion industry.

It’s been a decade since I showed my graduate collection for the Academy of Art at NY Fashion Week (in Bryant Park!) and I never could have predicted how fashion would change. But now, ten years later, I am inspired by the thought of future designers banding together for the ride. Fashion is such a wonderful world of creativity, passion and excitement and it’s meant to be shared. In 2020, my wish for you is to honor and recognize your own strengths and seek out your tribe for the rest!

Are you inspired by other design teams? Please share below in the comments.

 

 

 

 

3D Revolution: Part 2

Alvanon Virtual Fit Form Avatar –Under Armour shirts

In our previous blogpost, 3D Revolution- Part 1– we explained how legacy processes ingrained in the fashion industry have been key factors in why the industry has been so reluctant to introduce new technologies. Some of their concerns center around whether they can trust what they see on-screen. Most have spent their entire career using old methods of design and pattern making, which ensures that they can touch, modify and fit garments before the approval and manufacturing processes. Other concerns are whether digital fabric libraries are accurate and robust enough, ROI (return on investment) i.e. the cost of integrating 3D vs the benefits and the learning curve involved in implementing 3D, are all factors.

Despite these concerns, we are seeing an increase in the number of brands who are integrating 3D technology into their workspace. According to Motif (an industry learning platform in partnership with Alvanon), “It’s not a matter of ‘if’ digital is going to be a part of your corporate strategy, but ‘when’.”

In this, the second part in our 3D series, we will:

  1. Explore types of avatars and their role in 3D fashion design software
  2. Identify key 3D software companies & industry groups that support the advancement of 3D
  3. Provide the ABCs of 3D

 

How & why are 3D avatars used in the fashion industry?

In Part 1, we learned that the first step in the process of integrating 3D technology into the workplace is to obtain customer data through body scans, to understand not only the ‘size’ of their customer but also their ‘shape.’

Avatars created from body scans in various sizes and shapes are then used in computer aided design (CAD) software. The fashion industry uses two types of avatars: Virtual Fit and Parametric. There is also an ISO standard for the digital fitting of clothing. According to ISO 18825-1:2016, Virtual fit is called a Virtual Clone and Parametric is called a Virtual Twin.  A scan from a person who is not moving is called a static scan. Adding motion to create a dynamic Virtual Clone requires a 4D scan (like 3dMD), since everyone moves slightly differently.

Virtual Fit Standard Range of Motion Avatar (Photo credit: Alvanon)

Parametric Range of Motion Avatar (Photo credit: Browzwear)

 

Virtual Fit avatars are used for design, fitting and pattern making, and are sometimes used for presentation, sales and marketing. Virtual Fit avatars are exact replicas of actual human bodies (though avatar customization options may be limited), but these Virtual Fit avatars do not have the capability for pre-programmed motion, as do parametric avatars.

Parametric avatars on the other hand, offer a better visualization of how the fabric flows and can also be used to identify certain fit issues. However, the software for parametric avatars is limited in that they may not have your consumer’s exact measurements, which makes fit somewhat unreliable. Parametric avatars are most used for presentations, sales and marketing, since their range of motion is very exciting.

For custom fitted clothing, it is important to know if a static virtual twin or a static virtual clone is to be used for garment pattern generation.  A virtual twin may not be sufficiently representative to make custom clothing if a person’s specific shape is significantly different from an avatar, which is representative of a certain population. Technologists currently generate patterns for custom clothing from static scans, not from dynamic scans. In addition, they are looking to automate pattern generation from static virtual clones, such that unique patterns can be generated from the same style to fit differently shaped people.  That is, each person gets their unique pattern for the same style of garment.

 

Mesh Modeling

Mesh modeling is a polygonal model that is used in 3D computer graphics. A mesh is a visualization of point cloud that basically connects the dots to form triangles or polygons.  More triangles or polygons improve resolution but also increases file size.

Photo credit: JoliCode

 

Photogrammetry

Photogrammetry is the process of taking precise measurements by using digital pictures typically used by smartphone apps.

Permission granted from Size Stream

 

ALVANON

Beginning in 2001, Alvanon (makers of the highest quality dress forms in the industry) scanned over 1.5 million bodies. They also collaborated with Under Armour, digitizing size ranges for the purpose of creating a fleet of 3D avatars from Infant size 0 to Men’s 5XL. This allows for the prototyping of all samples (all sizes within a product line) without having to create physical prototypes for every size. Consequently, customers can see how the garment will look, if the garment is set up for material personalization.  The Alvanon Body Platform (ABP) is a new, secure cloud-database offering 3D fit standards for the global apparel industry. Operating on all collaborating 3D software systems, it provides a fast, accurate, and simple way for brands and retailers to implement their 3D fit and core body standards with their supply chain.

“At Alvanon, we believe that the 3D journey begins with the avatar. Not just any avatar, but the fit standard that represents the brand’s target customers’ body shapes and sizes.” – Jason Wang, Chief Operating Officer, Alvanon.

 

TUKATECH

Tukatech, a concept to consumer digital platform, has recently opened their library of over 750 virtual fit models for global brands & retailers and to all 3D users in the fashion industry, regardless of which 3D fashion technology system they use. Their fleet consists of exact replicas of 3D fit models developed from leading brands’ live fit models. Each is a true representation of a real fit model who was body scanned or 3D sculpted using a proprietary measurement engine and digitized for the virtual world, including their measurements, shape, and posture.

The use of avatars in VR/AR can provide the customer with an understanding of how clothing and shoes will look prior to purchase. Or it can provide a personal getaway, anytime, to a virtual universe, as seen on their phone.

Photo credit: Wanna Kicks

Photo credit: Moosejaw

So far, the biggest users of 3D technologies have been brands within the activewear, accessories and footwear industries.  However, momentum is growing in other apparel classifications, as brands assess their own needs to obtain a competitive edge in the market.

 

Who are the key players in 3D CAD fashion software?

The first CAD software company to enter the fashion space was Gerber (1968). A succession of companies followed: Lectra (1973), OpiTex (1988), Tukatech (1997), Browzwear (1999), CLO (2009) and Marvelous Designer by CLO (2012).

CAD software used for design, costing, sampling, merchandising, quality and sourcing is known as Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software. Software that manages product data as it moves through a product’s lifecycle is called Product Data Management (PDM). Software that deals with pattern drafting and marker making is known as Pattern Design Software (PDM).  And 3D Fashion Design Software is used for design, altering patterns and to create visual assets for sales & marketing.

We will go into further detail about the types of 3D features and costs involved in the next segment of our three-part series, 3D Revolution – Part 3.

 

What industry groups are helping to advance 3D technologies?

There are several groups who are focused on interoperability standards (so data can be shared across platforms), updates to technology, innovation, and 3D education.

3D.RC: The 3D Retail Coalition (3DRC), is a collaborative group of global retailers and brands, working together to advance 3D technology. Their sub committees focus on Technology, Innovation and Education. Examples of the webinars on their site include custom avatars, and 3D business processes.

IEEE IC 3DBP: IEEE Industry Connections 3D Body Processing (3DBP) brings together diverse stakeholders from across technology, retail, research and standards development to build thought leadership around 3D body processing technology standards in areas such as 3D capture, processing, storage, sharing and (augmented) representation.      

Photo credit: 3DRC

Photo credit: IEEE

 

ABCs of 3D Technology

Sometimes, the hardest part of understanding a new technology are all the new terms. Here are a few key words for the beginning of the ABCs.

A

Algorithm – A process or set of rules to be followed in a problem-solving method or calculations

Avatar – A graphical representation of a person or target customer. Avatars used in the 3D fashion design are either Virtual Fit or Parametric.

B

Boolean – A system that expresses logical relationships between things.  Search functions use the Boolean operators, such as AND, NOT, OR.  For example, “dress” and “red.”

C

Circular Economy – Products designed with a focus on generating maximum value and one that extends its longevity through reuse at the end of a product’s lifecycle.

D

Digitizing – Process of converting information into a digital format typically used for patterns.

M

Mesh – A polygonal model that is used in 3D computer graphics. A mesh is a visualization of point cloud that basically connects the dots to form triangles or polygons.  More triangles or polygons improved resolution but increase file size. 

N

Noise – The existence of extraneous recorded data within a point cloud. It
can be caused by an object obstructing the sensor or ambient light and reflections into the sensor during the data capture process.

P

Parametric Avatar – A 3D modeling of a human body shape used to demonstrate motion and fabric flow. They are sometimes used for fitting purposes but mostly for presentation, sales and marketing purposes. 

Photogrammetry – the process of taking precise measurements by using digital pictures typically used by smartphone apps.

Point Cloud – The computer visualization of the XYZ coordinates that describe a physical object. Each point represents an actual point on the object and collectively describes its shape and measurements.

R

Rendering – The graphical representation of a computer model. Characteristics and effects can be added to its surfaces and features.

Resolution – The spacing of points in a grid. The higher the resolution, the more
data that will be captured. Likewise, the lower the resolution, the “flatter” the detail.

S

Spectrophotometers (can be multi angle) – A device that allow measurement of color, sparkle and coarseness to measure effect finishes.

Surfaces – Refers to the part being scanned or to the computer file from the scanner

T

Texture Mapping – is the graphic design process in which a two-dimensional surface is wrapped around a 3D object.  Texture maps can be used to add colors, displacement, normal (used to simulate details on the surface), specular (how light reflects) and other effects.

Technical Fit – Fit of a garment that determines how the garment is made which includes: balance, function, sizing and comfort.

Tech Packs – Details of a product: flat sketch, specification measurements, and other technical details that are issued to a vendor or supplier as a guideline for sample development.

V

Virtual Clone A virtual human body that is created from a 3D body scanned point cloud using surface modeling processesThe virtual clone is identical to the body shape of the customer. (Also called Virtual Fit).

Virtual Fit Avatar – A 3D model of a human body shape used to for design, fitting and pattern making, and are sometimes used for presentation, sales and marketing.

Virtual Twin – A morphed virtual human body that can be altered by entering parameters retrieved from a population database. The virtual twin is not identical to the body shape of the customer. (Also called Parametric).

MORE 3D TO COME…

This blogpost introduced you to 3D avatars, the key players & groups that are helping to advance 3D technology and the ABCs of 3D terminology. Our final segment, Part 3, will be devoted to key 3D software companies, the brands who have already adopted 3D technology, the costs of 3D, and how to assess your needs when choosing a 3D technology company.

Let us know if you have experimented with 3D design software and what you think of it?