HOW THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SUPPORTING UKRAINE AS WAR RAGES ON

ALL WE ARE SAYING IS GIVE PEACE A CHANCE…….

It was 1969, in room #1742 of Montreal’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel, that John Lennon wrote “Give Peace a Chance“.  The anti-war song, originally meant to be a “revolutionary” song for workers, has once again become the battlecry for our times. When on March 9th, a Ukrainian maternity and children’s hospital in Mariupol, southern Ukraine, was bombed we were all shocked to our core. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said the bombing was “proof of a genocide.” No one could disagree. As the world watches, in horror, the atrocities being inflicted by Putin on innocent civilians in Ukraine, the fashion industry is stepping up, not only by banding together in solidarity, but doing much more. Read on.

An injured pregnant woman leaves the damaged hospital with her belongings. (Photo Credit: AP)

President Zelenskyy and his people are fighting back, a true David & Goliath story come to life. Most of the world is rooting for Ukraine to win, but in war, no one ever truly wins as the death toll is growing daily. As of this writing, over two million people have fled Ukraine and families are being ripped apart as women, children, and the elderly are leaving their loved ones, homes, and all their possessions behind to find refugee throughout Europe and the U.S. Men and many women are staying behind to fight for their land, many untrained, as civilians are given guns and quickly trained to aim and shoot to protect themselves.

For now, the West is aiding Ukraine with weapons, money, and medical necessities. As of March 9th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted with a wide bipartisan majority to pass a ban on importing Russian oil, natural gas and coal into the United States. A move that can further cripple the Russian economy. The bill will also take steps to revisit Russia’s role in the World Trade Organization and reauthorize the Magnitsky Act to strengthen sanctions on Russia for human rights violations.

Protests against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being held throughout Europe and the United States. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Fashion Industry Responds

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 in the middle of Milan Fashion Week, many designers and brands immediately began donating to various charities, as well as temporarily closing their stores throughout Russia.

Protest pictures during Milan Fall 2022 Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Acielle Tanbetova)

Designers from Giorgio Armani to Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia (who was a child refugee himself as he fled his homeland of Georgia in 1993 at the age of twelve) have been speaking up against the conflict; and numerous international brands and luxury fashion groups, from LVMH and Kering to Prada, Hermès and H&M, announced they were temporarily stopping their commercial activities and shuttering their stores in Russia as a sign of protest against the war on Ukraine.

A man walks past a closed H&M store in a St. Petersburg, Russia, shopping center. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

“We are currently living through a war in the heart of Europe. We strongly condemn it and we are close to the population involved in this tremendous situation,” said Italy’s Camera della Moda in a statement to WWD on the fashion retail situation in Russia. They went on to say that “the temporary closure of the retail stores in Russia is not contemplated by the regulations on sanctions currently in force in Europe, it is a voluntary decision that has been made by many national and international brands that have a direct retail distribution organization. However, we recall that many brands sell their collections in Russia through distributors or dealers and therefore cannot, including from a contractual point of view, close the sales areas in the season, as they already delivered the spring/summer collection in the past few months.”

The statement underscored that the Camera’s “commitment today is aimed at being close to all those who are suffering and this is why we have joined the UNHCR at its side in fund-raising to support the refugees with concrete aid for the people and families forced to flee within the national boundaries or to neighboring countries.”

Protests in Milan against the Russian attack on Ukraine. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Global and wide-ranging sanctions on Russia are bound to drastically impact those brands and businesses with a retail footprint in in the country, but in the humanitarian aspect of the crisis it is vital to take a stand. To that end, the fashion industry has united and is stepping up its efforts during this time of crisis.

Here’s a roundup of the initiatives taken by the fashion industry thus far:

LVMH

LVMH, the world’s largest luxury conglomerate (owning brands such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, and Stella McCartney to name a few) donated €5 million ($5.4 million USD) to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) “to help the direct and indirect victims of this conflict.”

In addition, the company stands in solidarity with Ukraine and closed 124 of its stores in Russia. LVMH will still continue to pay its 3,500 employees in Russia.

LOUIS VUITTON

The French luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton, made an immediate donation of €1 million ($1.09 million USD) to UNICEF, to provide aid for Ukrainian children and families.

“As millions of children and their families are facing immediate danger, the Maison, through the Louis Vuitton for UNICEF partnership, pledges to support UNICEF’s emergency response on the ground, responding swiftly to any emergencies by providing children and families in Ukraine with humanitarian aid including access to clean water, healthcare and education supplies, child protection services and psychosocial care,” the brand shared in a statement.

KERING

Kering, owner of Gucci and Saint Laurent among other brands, said on Instagram that it was making a “significant donation to the UNHCR, the United Nations Refugees Agency,” though it did not specify the amount.

GUCCI

Gucci enacted its global charity campaign Chime for Change and donated $500,000 to the UNHCR.

BALENCIAGA

The French label Balenciaga donated an undisclosed amount to the World Food Program (WFP), which launched an emergency operation to provide food assistance for people fleeing Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

CHANEL

The iconic French fashion house closed its stores in Russia and halted all e-commerce in the country. The brand also donated €2 million (about $2.18 million) to two relief organizations, CARE and UNHCR-UN Refugee Agency, which is “recognized for refugee support at the borders and for the specific care of families and children.”

In an Instagram post, the fashion house also announced that “Foundation Chanel will be working closely with its local partners to provide future critical support over the medium and long term to women and children impacted by this evolving situation.”

GIORGIO ARMANI

After showing its latest collection in Milan in silence, out of respect for the war in Ukraine, the Armani Group announced a donation of €500,000 (about $543,000) to UNHCR “for the assistance and protection of those who have been forced to flee the war in Ukraine.”

The company is also donating clothing essentials to refugees through the Italian nonprofit organization Comunità di Sant’Egidio, which already has a presence on the borders of Ukraine.

FASHION MODELS

Argentine model Mica Argañaraz, a regular presence on almost every major runway, posted on her Instagram story, “I have to say it feels very weird walking fashion shows knowing there’s a war happening in the same continent.” She noted that she would “be donating part of my earnings of this fashion week to help Ukrainian organizations” and called on fellow models to do the same. Supermodel sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid, Kaia Gerber, Vittoria Ceretti, Kiki Willems, Francesca Summers, and Aylah Peterson have also joined the movement and will donate part of their earnings to Ukraine.

L’OREAL PARIS

The cosmetic giant L’Oréal Paris, has teamed up with a number of local and international nonprofits (including UNHCR, Red Cross and UNICEF) to support the growing number of refugees, and people on the ground in Ukraine with a donation of €1 million ($1.09 million) through its L’Oréal Fund for Women.

“We have already made a donation of one million euros and have started to deliver hygiene products to NGOs in Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania and in Ukraine itself,” a statement reads on the company’s corporate website. “We will donate 300,000 products over the coming weeks.”

The beauty brand continues: “We strongly condemn the invasion and war in Ukraine, which is causing so much suffering to the Ukrainian people. Our thoughts go out to our 326 Ukrainian employees, their families and the people of Ukraine whose lives have been changed so dramatically in the last eight days. Although some have managed to cross the border, the majority of our employees remain in the country in increasingly harsh circumstances. We are concerned about them and fear for their safety.”

HERMES

Hèrmes announced that it would “temporarily close our stores in Russia and pause all our commercial activities,” where they have three stores and 60 employees.

BURBERRY

Burberry has shut down its three stores in Russia. The British luxury house brand also donated an undisclosed amount to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. It also said it would match any employee donations to charities supporting humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.

VALENTINO

Italian luxury house Valentino donated €500,000 (about $543,000) to the UNHCR to provide immediate help to the Ukrainian refugees.

RALPH LAUREN

Given the urgency of the situation, the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has made an immediate donation to @CARE.org, an organization working with partners to provide critical support and aid to Ukrainian families and is double-matching employee donations to CARE. In addition, it is partnering with its network of international charities to donate essential clothing that will be distributed throughout Ukraine as well as in bordering countries to reach refugees. The company has paused operations in Russia.

TORY BURCH

Tory Burch is supporting World Central Kitchen, which is on the ground in Poland feeding hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees. The company has made a donation and pledged to match any employee donations throughout the month of March.

COACH

Coach’s parent company’s Tapestry Foundation has donated to the United Nations Refugee Agency to provide safety and shelter to those who have been displaced.

MINIMALIST

Tamara Davydova is the fashion designer behind the brand MINIMALIST and was born, raised, and married in Kyiv, Ukraine. She founded the circular fashion brand MINIMALIST last year and is devastated by what’s currently happening in her homeland and affecting friends and family. She’s pledging 30% of the proceeds from sales of her collection to the Red Cross and UNICEF in Ukraine plus offering 10% off to customers using the code TOGETHER at checkout. The collection is available at minimalist.nyc.

ADIDAS

Athletic brand Adidas has suspended its long-term partnership with the Russian Football Union (RFU), the German sportswear company also announced it would be is donating €100,000 (about $108,700) as well as footwear and apparel to organizations helping children and refugees.

H&M

The fast-fashion retailer H&M has currently paused all sales in Russia and closed its 170 stores located throughout the country.

ASOS

Fast-fashion company ASOS said on Twitter that it would no longer be doing any retail out of Russia.

“We’ve been watching the shocking events in Ukraine in horror and disbelief. We’ve concluded it’s neither practical nor right to continue to trade in Russia & today have suspended sales there,” the brand wrote. “We’re supporting the humanitarian effort and our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine.”

MANGO

Mango has halted sales in Russia and donated €100,000 (about $108,700) to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

GANNI

Ganni, the Danish contemporary ready-to-wear fashion brand, donated 100.000 DKK (approx. $14,700) to the Danish Refugee Council, a nonprofit currently on the ground helping the crisis in Ukraine.

 

As governments around the world grapple with how to stop Putin’s war and the needless suffering, we will continue to keep an eye on how the fashion industry, and hopefully soon the music industry, is doing its part. At UoF we are donating to Ukrainian children through UNICEF USA.

Here’s a list of the organizations that the fashion industry is donating to:

International Committee of the Red Cross

United Nations Refugees Agency

Direct Relief

Mercy Corps

International Medical Corps

Save the Children

Unicef USA

So tell us, how are you helping to support Ukraine in these troubling times?

IT’S SHOWTIME PART 2: PARIS FASHION WEEK FALL 2022

- - Fashion Shows

 Maria Grazia Chiuri’s ‘beauty & protection’ collection for Dior fall 2022  (Photo credit: The Economic Times)

As war rages in Ukraine (since February 24th) and the fashion industry unites by donating to relief orgs and closing retail stores in Russia, sometimes fantasy is what we all need to escape the harsh realities of the world around us. The month-long fall 2022 runway extravaganza is in its final stretch. Paris Fashion Week, which began on Monday, February 28th ends on Tuesday March 8th. At the risk of seeming insensitive to the tragedies that continue to unfold in real-time in Ukraine, we are looking forward to the end of the conflict with hope and in solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

At the start of Paris Fashion Week, Ukrainian fashion journalists, now refugees, and Ukrainian designers, used their social platforms to support and strengthen the Ukrainian people. French designer Olivier Rousteing wrote to his 7.6 million Instagram followers, “It’s hard to feel right about focusing on runways and clothes, as we listen with a heavy heart to the latest news.” He added, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainians. We are inspired by their dignity, resilience and devotion to freedom.” Rousteing’s collection consisted of looks that strongly resembled futuristic body armour, as did Maria Grazia Chiuri’s collection for Dior, which consisted of strong shoulder pads and airbag corsets. These designers conceived their collections long before the war in Ukraine began, so are they fashion’s soothsayers? Is protective clothing for a wartime atmosphere going to be fashion’s latest trend?

As volunteer Ukrainian hackers help their country by going after targets such as Russian state-owned bank Sberbank, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has become an international icon and yes, an unlikely sex symbol, for his fierce resistance to Putin’s unprovoked war on his country.

 

                                                         President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine – a fierce resistance leader (Photo credit: Vox.com)

Although fashion has always provided us with fantasy and an escape from reality, it also offers a socio-political reflection of the world around us. Giorgio Armani was one of the first designers to react to the war when on February 27th he chose to present his collection at Milan Fashion Week in total silence as a tribute to the suffering in Ukraine. In Paris, Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode released a statement advising people to “experience the shows of the coming days with solemnity, and in reflection of these dark hours.

Designers around the world are showing their support for Ukraine as they post images of the Ukrainian Flag on their social media pages and the CFDA has just created a list of charities and relief organizations to donate to https://cfda.com/news/how-cfda-members-help-ukraine.

At UoF we have chosen to help the children of Ukraine by donating to Unicef USA https://www.unicefusa.org  and are consistently spreading the word on our social media channels.

     

UoF’s Children of Ukraine initiative on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn

 

As the old saying goes “the show must go on”, and yet Paris Fashion Week opened on a somber note with a tribute show to Off-White founder Virgil Abloh, who passed away of cancer on November 2021. Celebs walked the runway in his honor, Cindy Crawford, Kaia Gerber, Serena Williams and Bella Hadid and touchingly, a male model held a white flag reading ‘Question Everything’.

Looks from Off-White’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

So, while Paris Fashion Week is still going strong at the writing of this post, here are a few of the breakout trends thus far:

SPACE ODYSSEY

Designers set their sights on the future, delivering on some pretty and provocative cosmically (and sometimes comically) chic looks, with nods to Sixties icons Paco Rabanne and Andre Courrèges.

.

Backstage at Rick Owens’ Fall 2022 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Malitta Baumeister’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Courrèges’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DARKNESS FALLS

Glamour took a turn toward the dark side in intricate lace dresses and delicate tulle frocks.

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

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

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LADY IN RED

Make a grand entrance at your next soiree in eye-catching red gowns that will surely bring on the drama.

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from VAlexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from Zuhair Murad’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BEASTIE GIRLS

Designers turned a savage eye on fur (both real and faux) offering a playful and modern take on the lavish material.

A look from Rick Owens’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Sandy Liang’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Tom Ford’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Malitta Baumeister’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

FORMAL AFFAIR

Le Smoking is back as designers in Paris paid tribute to the tuxedo look that Yves Saint Laurent popularized for women in 1966. Here are some fresh takes on the classic tuxedo.

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

A look from Tom Ford’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Off-White’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

WHITE NOISE

Designers wiped the slate clean this fall season with an all-white palette that offered plenty of alluring details.

A look from Cecilie Bahnsen’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

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

LET’S GET PHYSICAL

Thanks to Kim Kardashian’s love of the unitard, the sexy, one-piece, body-con look was all over the runways in the fashion capital of the world.

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

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

Y2K

The 2000’s trend is going strong, and for fall, designers brought back the confusing dress or skirt over pant look. Although today’s version is a study on layering to perfection.

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

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Cecilie Bahnsen’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

And that’s a wrap! As the fall 2022 runway season comes to an end, please join us in hoping that by next fashion season the Russian dictator will come to his senses and Give Peace a Chance!

Backstage at Balmain’s Fall 2022 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Now that UOF covered the shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, which city do you think had the best fashion?

IT’S SHOWTIME: LONDON AND MILAN FALL 2022 TRENDS

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Looks from Richard Quinn’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Just as Covid cases in some parts of the world are declining and restrictions are loosening, Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. The world watched in horror, as his deadly attack began in the early morning hours of February 24th. NATO has issued sanctions on Russia, but will they be enough to stop this escalating war? The world hopes so. Because if the last few years have taught humanity anything, it’s that in the grand scheme of things, we are nothing without health and peace.

As we try and navigate these troubling times, we can look to fashion as an escape from reality and to transform us into a world of fantasy. Last week UoF covered New York Fashion Week and this time we’ve crossed the pond to the London and Milan shows. Though our eyes may be focused on fashion…our hearts are definitely with the Ukrainian people.

SWINGING LONDON

Looks from Erdem’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

London Fashion week was a jam packed 5-day event that took place from Friday, February 18th to Tuesday, February 22nd. As we have come to accept, the fall 2022 season was a hybrid of physical shows as well as digital presentations, but thanks to England’s ease on Covid restrictions, the buzz around fashion week was the return of the IRL fashion show and events throughout the city. There were 86 physical womenswear and menswear shows and 61 digital presentations, which ranged from the well-established labels such as Vivienne Westwood, to emerging brands such as the breakout star of the week Nensi Dojaka.

Looks from Nensi Dojaka’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Here are a few of the hottest trends that emerged from London Fashion Week:

SHEER FACTOR

London based designers had nothing to hide this fall 2022 season as they played up the transparency theme – from the utterly see-through to the subtly sheer.

A look from Supriya Lele’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Simone Rocha’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

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

VELVET UNDERGROUND

Opulence filled the fall 2022 runways this season with luscious velvets in simple cocktail dresses, dramatic coats, and dramatic gowns.

A look from Simone Rocha’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from Paul & Joe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from 16Arlington’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

THE EIGHTIES SHOW

This season, designers dug deep into the archives and pulled out bright colors and body-conscious silhouettes. Even the ‘pouf’, circa 80s Christian Lacroix, made a comeback!

A look from Emilia Wickstead’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Richard Quinn’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Molly Goddard’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Simone Rocha’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Huishan Zhang’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

MANY SPLENDORED STRINGS

The collections were awash in a myriad of fabulous fringe motifs, perfect for the latter-day flapper ready to dance the night away.

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

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

A look from Conner Ives’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

Looks from Ozwald Boateng’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

IN FULL PLUME

Birds of a feather flock together, but if you want to break out as the next street style star, then bring on the feathers. The fall 2022 runways in London were filled with feathery looks that can be worn from day to night.

A look from Huishan Zhang’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from 16Arlington’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Paul & Joe’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Poster Girl’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Aadnevik’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Richard Quinn’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

CIAO MILANO

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

Although London lifted many of its Covid restrictions, Italy still has many restrictions in place, and will remain so until at least March 31. Only those who are fully vaccinated will be able to attend Milan Fashion Week, which began on Tuesday, February 22nd and ends Monday, February 28th.

The good news, Milan had a jam-packed schedule with plenty of physical runway shows and events. There were also plenty of fun events throughout the week such as Gucci’s all-day celebration of its new Gucci Vault, The World of Vogue Talents and the CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards, both celebrated emerging designers and those who have taken extra steps to curb their impact on the planet.

So while Milan Fashion Week is still going strong, here are some of the emerging trends from the first half of the week:

BOUDOIR FLAIRE

Innerwear as outerwear continues to intrigue designers in Milan who showed a variety of lingerie inspired looks on the runway.

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

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

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

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

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

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

VISUAL EFFECTS

Fall’s graphic content turned towards eye-popping geometrics with a hint of op art.

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

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

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

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

CAPE CRUSADERS

Remarkable outerwear stole the show during Milan Fashion Week, but the true breakout style were all the terrific capes that ran the gamut from dainty evening versions to cozy yet chic toppers.

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

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

A look from Raf Simons’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

YARN IT ALL

Miles beyond your basic sweater, a wonderful tactile world of dresses, cardigans and coats await. Perfect for braving the cold.

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

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

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

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

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

SHORT STORIES

No one does seductive as well as the Italians and for fall, designers showed barely there mini dresses and skirts all over the runway.

A look from Dundas’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

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

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

POINT OF HUE

Designers tempered their dark, wintery palette with a celebration of pastel colors, making the fall 2022 season a joyful rhapsody of hue.

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

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

A look from MM6 Maison Margiela’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from Blumarine’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway

So tell us, what are your favorite runway trends so far for the fall 2022 season?

 

 

 

 

FASHION SHOWS ARE COMING BACK STRONGER THAN EVER: NY FASHION WEEK FALL 2022

- - Fashion Shows

A Backstage look at Collina Strada’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hunter Abrams for Vogue Runway)

The fashion industry was hit hard by the global Covid-19 pandemic, but designers have pulled through and found creative ways to present their latest collections. In New York City, thanks to high vaccination rates, the city lifted its indoor mask mandate on February 9th just in time for New York Fashion Week, which kicked off on February 11th and ended on the 16th. Although the season was far from pre-covid days, social distancing and smaller audiences were still being implemented to keep everyone safe, but there were definitely plenty of IRL shows to get fashion insiders excited– six jam packed days of back-to-back appointments, screenings, and of course, live fashion shows that took take place all over Manhattan, as well as a few that opted to cross the river into Brooklyn, such as Gabriela Hearst and Dion Lee.

While a few of the established designers opted out of showing during New York Fashion Week, such as Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Ralph Lauren, there were plenty of emerging designer labels that made a splash this season, such as Shayne Oliver. He is the designer of the gender-fluid label Hood by Air (which was put on pause in 2017), but this season the designer launched ShayneOliver. Oliver’s new namesake collection is a high-concept luxury womenswear and menswear fashion brand offering seasonal collections and he staged a three-night residency at The Shed’s Griffin Theater in the fashionista hot spot, Hudson Yards.

A look from Shayne Oliver’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Last week at UoF, we spoke about fashion in the Metaverse and this season, the young and clever designer Maisie Wilen, took a digital approach to presenting her collection. Wilen partnered with Yahoo on a virtual installation that debuted on February 15th. The designer’s fall 2022 collection was presented on 7-foot-tall holograms, bringing the digital into a physical space in a new way.

Maisie Wilen presented her Fall 2022 Collection on 7 foot tall holographic models. (Photo Credit: Maisie Wilen)

Also on Feb. 15th, The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a press event for Part Two of their fashion exhibit, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion.” The show itself will open to the public from May 7 – September 5, 2022, and be housed in the museum’s period rooms, merging fashion’s past and present in vignettes that reflect the shifts in American taste.

Ball gown by Marguery Bolhagen circa 1961. (Photo Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

A literal social media frenzy was created when actress Julia Fox, making her runway debut, opened the show for LaQuan Smith. The designer dressed Fox in the ultimate revenge dress after her very publicized month-long relationship with Kanye West ended earlier this month.

Julia Fox opens the show for LaQuan Smith’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Tory Burch delivered a heartwarming New York moment as the designer’s fall collection was a Valentine’s love letter to New York City. Burch used the city as her canvas and literally lit up the night when she held her nighttime show on the 25th floor of the trendy Hudson Commons building at Hudson Yards with floor to ceiling windows and the historic New Yorker Hotel sign lighting the runway background.  Burch helped fund the restoration of the iconic sign on the Art Deco landmark, which opened its doors in 1930 as the city’s largest hotel. “It’s such an iconic building,” said the designer in an interview with WWD, who upped her profile around the city in other ways, too, teasing the runway show with light installations at the Frick Museum, Union Square and seven other landmarks and live-streaming the show in four other locations.

A look from Tory Burch’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: WWD)

And let’s not forget about the fabulous street style looks that were back in full force and the celebrities that flocked the front rows again!

Blake Lively Plays the Bombshell at Michael Kors. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

While Tory Burch celebrated her beloved city, here are some of the hottest trends coming out of New York Fashion Week for Fall 2022:

BRINGING SEXY BACK

Now that we’ve turned a corner on the pandemic (hopefully) and the world is beginning to open up again, designers showcased plenty of sexy looks for fall 2022 with a focus on strategic cut-outs reminiscent of 1980s Jean Paul Gautier (for all you fashion history buffs out there).

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

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

A look from Eckhaus Latta’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from Michael Kors’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

DAYTIME GLAM

As we head back into the world of IRL, designers are offering plenty of glamorous daytime looks that can carry you from the office to cocktails with friends. From sequin knits to feather cardigan coats, these looks will brighten any fall day.

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

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

A look from Alice & Olivia’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

LEATHER CHANNEL

Leather is a staple in every fall wardrobe, but for fall, designers are softening up the textile in a variety of dresses, from sleek, form fitting styles to feminine, corset variations.

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

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

A look from Michael Kors’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

GOTHIC GLAM

Goth kids take a walk on the glam side with ruffled neck blouses paired with plenty of pearls, and corset evening gowns – all in moody hues of inky blues and black.

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

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

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

A look from R13’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BLACK AND WHITE

There is nothing simple about fall’s graphic black and white looks. From Carolina Herrera’s bow motif evening gown to The Row’s colorblock coat, these looks offer plenty of impact.

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

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

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

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

A look from Oscar De La Renta’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

METALLICA

Shine on! Designers are offering plenty of sparkle this season with sequin dresses in metallic tones. From Altuzarra’s gold oversized paillette dress to Bronx and Banco’s silver sequin minidress, one things for sure, party season is back.

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

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

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

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

A look from Jonathan Simkhai’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway_

Looks from Naeem Khan’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

ORANGE ALERT

Designer’s are offering plenty of bold colors for fall 2022, but one color really stood out this season – orange. The hue stood out in a variety of shades from bright to muted. The color was found in everything from evening dresses to a belted leather coat.

A look from Victor Glemaud’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Michael Kors’ Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Anna Sui’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

KNIT WHIT

Knits were all over the fall runways from crafty crochet dresses to fisherman cable knit tops. Now you can look cozy and chic.

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

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

A look from Frederick Anderson’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dion Lee’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

So tell us, what is your favorite trend from New York Fashion Week?

WELCOME TO THE FASHIONVERSE – METAVERSE

- - Technology

Gucci in the virtual game Roblox. Photo (Credit: Vogue Business)

Faithful followers of our blog know that at University of Fashion we love, love. love the history of things. In fact, our founder, Francesca Sterlacci, co-wrote the book, Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. So we thought before we talk about how the Metaverse is poised to revolutionize the fashion industry, we’d take a look back at the thing we love to hate and yet can’t do without…the Internet.

Did you know that January 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet, and that it wasn’t until August 6, 1991 that the World Wide Web went live to the world?

Now, more than ever, we rely on technology. With the click of a button, we order our groceries, hold business meetings, learn fashion design online (thanks UoF) and purchase everything from underwear to luxury clothes…even cars! We are so completely hooked on our electronic devices that to be without them even for a day, it’s like the world has come to an end! And now, thanks to the pandemic, we have become even more reliant. Is that even possible?

Through the internet, we maintain social relationships, communicate with family and friends and interact via Facebook®, Instagram® and all of the other social media platforms, incessantly. The Internet has also expanded our vocabulary. We all ‘surf’ the web, use google as a verb, and learned a slew of new acronyms like HTTP, HTTPS HTML, FTP, WWW, and more.

Well buckle your seat belts folks….here comes the metaverse, (with it the fashionverse) and a new set of vocab terms like avatar, blockchain, cryptocurrency, NFTs, burning NFTs, AR, VR, and Web 3.0.

What is the Metaverse, you ask?

When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook’s name change to ‘Meta’ in October 2021, tech giants like Google and Microsoft started investing heavily in it, portending the next big tech revolution. The metaverse, now in its beginning stages, is a digital experience that will evolve into something that blurs the lines between the digital and physical world.

According to Michelle Cortese, a virtual and augmented reality designer, artist and author, the metaverse is essentially, “a spectral layer on top of our existence. It is represented by avatar interactions, and constructed experiences, ultimately altering how we interact online, how crypto is adopted, how brands advertise, all while offering a hyper-real alternative world for people to coexist in. The concept that was beloved by tech enthusiasts, a desire for a decentralized virtual world and a place that is aligned with the physical world, has now penetrated the mainstream landscape. Virtual experiences have spiked dramatically with millions of people indulging hours upon hours as digital avatars into virtual social spaces such as Fortnite and Roblox or digital NFTs and cryptocurrencies.”

Michelle Cortese depicts the stages of the Web and the advancements we have endured to reach Web 3.0 more clearly. “When we say ‘Web 3.0’ we refer to the three stages of the Internet: [1] the desktop computer dial-up of the 1990s; [2] the socially-driven mobile Internet of the 2000s and 2010s; and [3] the “Embodied Internet” or Metaverse – this next generation of the Internet anticipates that people will interface with the web in a more embodied, virtual way.”

All sounds like a sci-fi movie right? But advanced technology is making this possible. Using a combination of technologies and incorporating virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), users can actually “live” inside a digital universe. In the metaverse, users are part of the action.

What does this mean for the fashion industry?

Think of the possibilities for brands to reach potential customers in the metaverse. The fashion industry is already evolving in this advanced digital world and the pandemic offered many in lockdown mode the opportunity to explore the gaming world, a perfect intro into the ‘virtual world’. In the metaverse, the user can shop in digital stores and there is even a “try before you buy” feature where the user can take a 360-degree look at an item. They can zoom in and examine all the details of that piece of clothing before they make a purchase.

Consumers now have the ability to virtually try on products by dragging one or more items onto photos of themselves. So the metaverse is literally bringing the fitting room into your home and can offer the consumer the same experience as walking into a brick-and-mortar store.

The metaverse is therefore quickly transforming the fashion industry. Luxury house Balenciaga is at the forefront of the shift into the digital world. The house (known to embrace virtual apparel) announced plans to introduce a business unit specifically committed to exploring opportunities in the metaverse.

Fortnite x Balenciaga, 2021. (Photo Credit: Epic Games)

Balenciaga presented its Fall 2021 collection through a gaming app and famously partnered with the video game Fortnite to create a number of “skins” for the game’s characters. At this point, most of the fashion world’s investments in the metaverse have been through video game skins (cosmetics that customize characters), reports Business of Fashion. These developments provide a peek of what fashion in the metaverse could look like.

According to Business of Fashion, digital environments are increasingly transforming from transaction-focused consumer spaces, to multi-dimensional worlds that foster collaboration and creativity. Naturally, fashion is expected to be key player in this coming era.

The metaverse is a virtual reality that redefines how we use technology, integrating both digital and physical worlds. And it’s not some faraway reality, we’re already there. Nowhere is the crossroads of fashion and metaverse more evident than in the current explosion of fashion related NFTs.

Adidas Originals is jumping into the metaverse. The brand’s entry arrives as part of a partnership with Bored Ape Yacht Club. (Photo Credit: Adidas)

So, what exactly are NFTs?

The simplest way to explain NFTs or “non-fungible tokens” are that they are cryptographic tokens which are stored in a blockchain. These cryptographic tokens allow someone to buy, sell, or trade, ‘real’ items such as artwork or real estate. NFTs are especially suitable when they tokenize items that are collectible and unique. In the fashion industry, NFTs now bring a new level of exclusiveness and an opportunity to turn digital designs and collections into an extremely limited, valuable, luxurious, and unique collector pieces. And labels from luxury to activewear are getting into NFTs.

Burberry releases NFT collection in Mythical Games’ Blanks Block Party. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

Burberry, for example, partnered with Mythical Games to launch an NFT collection in their flagship title, Blankos Block Party. Working with Mythical Games’ Blankos Block Party, Blanko the shark, can be purchased, upgraded, and sold in-game, the brand moved into the digital space after the success of its own game, B Bounce, which launched in 2019.

Dolce & Gabbana, the Italian fashion luxury house, launched its own collection of NFTs on the Polygon (CRYPTO: MATIC) blockchain last August of 2021. Named Collezione Genesi. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana personally designed a 9-piece, one-of-a-kind collection exclusively for UNXD. Collezione Genesi³ that featured hand-made, museum-grade items across Alta Moda (women), Alta Sartoria (men), and Alta Gioielleria (high jewelry). It is digital couture!

UK department store Selfridges has begun selling NFTs and digital fashion in its Oxford Street store in London, bringing digital goods to real-life shopping and broadening their accessibility in fashion. Combining the virtual and physical worlds, Selfridges has a pop-up that will showcase artwork by Victor Vasarely and new physical pieces from the designer label Paco Rabanne inspired by Vasarely’s work. The NFTs, can be purchased via an in-store digital screen using a traditional credit card, and will include digital versions of the first dresses designed by Paco Rabanne.

The Sefridge’s NFT project ca;;ed Universe. (Photo Credit: Vogue Business)

Approximately 1,800 NFTs are dropping between 28 January and 12 March, with prices ranging between £2,000 ($2,709.27) to over £100,000 ($135,456.30); select Paco Rabanne NFTs will be sold with their physical counterparts, and the digital versions can be worn in several virtual platforms. Some items will be adaptations of 1960s archival designs that were never produced. Funds raised will go to the Fondation Vasarely Museum in Aix-en-Provence, the artist’s archive that houses and restores works.

Even Barbie is getting in on the act! Barbie is making a splash into the digital art world as everyone’s favorite doll, dressed in head-to-toe Balmain. The two brands are collaborating with a ready-to-wear collection, an accessories line and a series of NFTs. Executives from both companies say the NFT launch is a historic moment for fashion, tech and toys.

From a nostalgic 1990s Barbie logo to a Barbie pink Pantone, Barbie’s signature color dominates the clothing collection and NFT trio. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Txampi Diz, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Balmain, is betting on the future of NFTs as a powerful customer engagement tool for high-fashion brands. “I believe it is going to completely change the fashion industry, and it will have the same impact as when social media first started or when the internet first launched,” he says in an interview with Forbes.

“It’s a milestone, it’s the first NFT presentation that the Barbie brand has ever made,” says Richard Dickson, Mattel president and Chief Operating Officer (COO) in an interview with Forbes.

Three one-of-a-kind Balmain x Barbie NFTs are currently up for auction via mintNFT, a new marketplace for NFTs that focus on creative collaborations. James Sun, founder and CEO of mintNFT, says such NFT partnerships redefine the meaning of brand ownership for customers, as it symbolizes a purchase into the company’s ethos. “What’s so beautiful is they’re not just purchasing an NFT, they’re saying, I want to be part of this brand on the blockchain . . . It’s very philosophical.”

Looks from Nigo’s first limited-edition capsule collection for Kenzo.(Photo Credit: Kenzo)

Kenzo just dropped its first limited-edition capsule collection under the house’s new artistic director Nigo, and will feature floral graphic sweatshirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, a jersey cardigan, and nylon jacket. Along with the limited-edition collection, Kenzo released a limited edition of 100 NFTs, each drop will be complemented by a collection of NFTs that unlock exclusive access into the world of Kenzo.

Gucci and Superplastic introduce a three part NFT drop Supergucci. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

Each day, more and more labels are joining the metaverse and offering NFTs. Supergucci is a collaboration between the Italian fashion house Gucci and Superplastic. The “ultra-limited” series, Supergucci consists of a multi-pronged approach to be released in three parts. The first drop was on February 1st, and included ten different limited NFTs that paid homage to Gucci’s storied archives with signature prints, icons, and motifs, all revamped to to incorporate the imagination of Superplastic’s synthetic celebrities and artists. In this instance, they are Janky & Guggimon; virtual “humans” created by Superplastic that have already gained a strong social media following. The launch is also accompanied by ceramic sculptures handmade in Italy and co-designed by Gucci and Superplastic.

“Our collaboration with Superplastic dates back to 2020 when we launched the Gucci Sneaker Garage project in occasion of which we dressed Superplastic’s virtual characters with the Gucci Virtual 25 sneakers,” the brand states. “This project therefore represents the natural development of our relationship with this partner that allows us to experiment with Gucci’s codes through new forms of creativity.”

Supergucci allows the metaverse to come into play, too, where users will accompany Janky & Guggimon to the Gucci Vault, an online concept store created from the vision of Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele. The Vault will also be releasing restored, reconditioned vintage Gucci pieces in tribute of their latest juncture; works hand-picked by Michele and archivists of the House. There will be two more surprise drops coming soon.

Artist Mason Rothschild created the MetaBirkin. (Photo Credit: MetaBirkin)

A “Baby Birkin” NFT, which was an animation of a baby growing in a Hermès Birkin bag, just sold in a Basic.Space auction for the equivalent amount of $23,500. Although this is where it can get tricky, Hermés, who owns the trademark for the Birkin bag, was not involved in the issue of the NFT and has send out a cease-and-desist letter to the creator of the NFT. Recently, Hermès filed the lawsuit in New York’s Southern District Court claiming trademark infringement and dilution. Hermès claims the artist, Mason Rothchild, was ripping off Hermès’ famous Birkin trademark by adding the generic prefix “meta” and calling the NFT “Metabirkin.”

The psychology of NFTs 

Fashion houses are creating a new world of engagement with a digital experience for its users in the metaverse. Unforgettable items can boost customer loyalty. Consumers may capture, exchange, and appreciate one-off experiences and exclusive moments in time, which is something that all these corporations could use to establish a permanent connection with their clients.

We are living through and witnessing another digital revolution. NFTs and the metaverse are opening up new worlds of economic opportunity and risk. The fashion industry is at the forefront of many of these new developments. As we embark on these exciting new possibilities, some companies are a bit hesitant to rush into the metaverse.

Louis Vuitton gets into gaming with Louis The Game Video Game. (Photo Credit: LVMH)

For example, Bernard Arnault, the chairman and CEO of luxury conglomerate LVMH, has stated that is in no rush to charge into the metaverse. The brands under the LVMH label are performing well in the real world as the company reported record full-year revenues and profits for 2021. Arnault stated to WWD, that while he was curious to explore the opportunities of the hotly hyped digital environment, he was also wary of a repeat of the dot-com bubble (LVMH was, after all, a major investor in the ill-fated Boo.com in the late ’90s).

“Let me start by saying that it’s a purely virtual world and until now, we are in the real world and we sell real products. To be sure, it’s compelling, it’s interesting, it can even be quite fun. We have to see what are the applications of this metaverse and these NFTs,” Aunault said in a videoconference with analysts and reporters. “If it’s well done, it can probably have a positive impact on brands’ activities. But we’re not interested in selling virtual sneakers for 10 euros,” the LVMH chairman and chief executive officer added. “In conclusion, I would just say, beware of bubbles. I remember this from the early days of the internet, at the beginning of the 2000s,” Arnault continued, noting there are a multitude of companies building the metaverse. “There were a bunch of would-be Facebooks back then, and in the end, only one of them worked out. So let’s be cautious.”

Buyer beware – what it means that some brands are ‘burning’ NFTs

To give you an idea of just how complex the NFT world is and why you must really study the particular NFT before you buy it (says our founder’s son who has been investing in NFTs), here’s what you need to know about “burning” NFTs and “creating scarcity”.  According to Maghan McDowell of Vogue Business, “A key feature of blockchains and NFTs is that they can’t be changed, replicated or deleted, allowing for authenticity, ownership and scarcity. So, what happens if a luxury brand — many of whom are now experimenting with NFTs — wants to change or eliminate an NFT they’ve put on the market? They can burn it. Burning NFTs, which are tokens stored on a blockchain, is the process of permanently removing a token from circulation. This can be done to eliminate unsold or problematic inventory from an NFT drop, or it can be used to engage collectors and fans through “upgrades” that replace an original NFT with something else.”

According to Vogue Business, “For fashion and beauty brands, burning NFTs could offer a way to manipulate scarcity, and therefore price. It could also lead to more intriguing NFT projects, in which consumers must weigh risk and reward by burning an NFT in exchange for something else. These scenarios, among others, are already playing out among artists and gaming startups, paving the way for fashion. Already, Adidas is using a burn mechanism to change the state of its NFTs when NFT owners make a purchase. Apparel brand Champion recently partnered with Daz 3D’s NFT collection, Non-Fungible People, and will use burning to enable peoples’ profile picture NFTs to digitally dress in Champion gear, while Unisocks invites NFT owners to burn them in exchange for physical products.

As we all watch and explore the metaverse/fashionverse, the possibilities are endless and so are the pitfalls, so ‘buyer beware’.  

Did you know that UoF has been covering the digital revolution for years? Check out our past blog posts on the topic:

The Future of Textiles – Digital Realm

Gaming & Fashion: Two Aspirational Worlds of Experiences Combine

If you’re interested in exploring a career in this new age technology, check out University of the Creative Arts digital fashion MA program

 

So tell us, is your head spinning right about now? Will you promote your brand in the metaverse?

Custom Collaborative’s Designer-preuners Strut Their Stuff

- - Fashion School

Founded in 2015, Custom Collaborative is a New York City-based entrepreneurship and workforce development program that trains and empowers low-income and immigrant women of color to start careers in sustainable fashion.

In February 2020, University of Fashion partnered with Custom Collaborative by gifting full access to the UoF fashion education content library. Since then, Custom Collaborative’s fashion-preneurs have expressed their appreciation to us in both words and deeds.

Thank you for giving me the chance of membership and scholarship to increase my skill and to take a step forward in my life to support myself.”  ~ Kulwant Kaur

I would personally like to thank you for this amazing opportunity to participate in the University of Fashion.  I’m so excited and grateful for your generous gift.  I’ll give a 💯 and the best of abilities. Thank you for the beautiful blessings” ~ Regina Madison

It is an honor to be chosen for the University of Fashion scholarship. 

 I am truly grateful for this opportunity. This scholarship allows me to focus on my studies and additional work opportunities. Thank you for your support.” ~ María Isabel Espinoza

I never knew about this amazing opportunity until Custom Collaborative a few Wednesdays ago. I have been so hungry to learn more about garment construction and I am thankful to you for founding University of Fashion so I can learn and be exposed to much more. Thank You.” ~ Analisa Charles

University of Fashion’s mission, since its inception in 2008, has been ‘to preserve the art & craft of fashion design’. We have since added to that mission: ‘to support a return to domestic production, the fair and ethical treatment of workers and the promotion of sustainable design practices’. Therefore, in 2020, a perfect match was made between UoF and Custom Collaborative. According to Executive Director Ngozi Okaro, much of the fashion industry’s production in the U.S. is done by immigrants for low wages. According to the California Bureau of Labor Statistics, 71% of Los Angeles’ ‘cut & cut’ labor force are immigrants – many undocumented, with limited options for work. Knowing the benefits of our video library and how it could impact the economic status of immigrants, we felt compelled to get involved with Custom Collaborative and assist them in their co-op training program.

Ngozi Okaro – Executive Director Custom Collaborative (Photo: Heather Sten)

I started Custom Collaborative because I wanted to connect women who could create great clothes, to people who wanted quality sustainable fashions that were affirming and attractive. As my idea developed, I discovered that there were many good people who wanted to volunteer with and invest in enterprising women who were creating fashion careers and businesses. Many participants have told the CC staff how they never were paid for fashion work before they got an internship through us, but had worked at unpaid internships; they’ve shared how they no longer feel isolated because they have a new community in CC; and others have talked about how they discovered and unlocked skills and talents that they never knew they had before joining our community. We hope for more funding so we can accept all of the worthy applicants who come to our doors.”

If you are interested in helping support Custom Collaborative, here’s their donation link: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/custom-collaborative

We at UoF are very proud of this collaboration and we always get a rush when we hear from CC’s students.

Meet Some of Custom Collaborative’s Aspiring Entrepreneurs 

Shemoy Simpson designer at Custom Collaborative

Attending the University of Fashion was a great experience for me, I was able to obtain more sewing technical skills and the support I received was well appreciated. The lesson I learned and used this summer was, working with knits and inserting waist bands in different ways, I also learned about the different types of needles and thread that goes with different types of fabric.

During the time of creating my garment I’ve learned to used ballpoint needled, because it’s best for sewing with knit fabric, I used polyester/cotton thread as well. The garment was created with my personal design and measured to fit my body type. I decided to be a little more creative with the waistband by surging it to the neckline, the top waist, the back to create a crisscross look and the pant waist and ankles. The beautiful lavender design is sporty and best for occasions like going to the gym or jogging or just wanting to be comfortable on a sunny day.

My aspirations? Becoming the best version of myself as a designer, being happy and creative is where I thrive. The University of fashion has taught me to be more knowledgeable about the way I construct a garment and with the confidence and consistency to deliver in the real world. Thank you to Francesca for giving me this wonderful opportunity.” ~ Shemoy Simpson

As we begin this new year, let us all try and design more sustainably, advocate for fair wages and help others reach their dreams by giving of ourselves and our talents.

If you are interested in helping support Custom Collaborative, here’s their donation link: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/custom-collaborative. If you are interested in providing paid internships for their students write to us at CS@UniversityofFashion.com

SPRING 2022 COUTURE: JANUARY SHOWS ARE FILLED WITH BEAUTY AND HEARTBREAK

- - Fashion Shows

Monaco’s Princess Charlotte rides in on horseback wearing Chanel for their Spring-Summer 2022 Couture  collection. (Photo Credit: AP Photo)

We are only a month in and already 2021 has started off as a challenge. Omicron and its new iteration BA.2  is still on the move, infecting even those who are triple-vaccinated. Vladimir Putin is on the brink of invading Ukraine and a number of celebrities unexpectedly passed away, from comedian Bob Saget to legendary singer Meat Loaf. Last week UoF announced the passing of André Leon Talley, the larger-than-life former Vogue editor who died on January 18th at the age of 73. And then 5 days later on January 23, also at the age of 73, the fashion world lost another industry legend, Manfred Thierry Mugler, the visionary French designer who was responsible for having created some of the most avant-garde and iconic looks of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

A photo of the late Manfred Thierry Mugler. (Photo Credit: Stephane Reugere for Mugler)

Mugler’s theatrical designs put him on the map as one of the most creative designers of his generation. He was also one of the first designers to showcase diversity in his runway shows, often challenging racism and ageism, and including non-traditional models such as drag queens, pornstars, and transgender women.

Mugler’s signature looks were worn by some of the greatest music artists, such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and David Bowie, to name a few. There has also been a resurgence of celebrities wearing vintage Mugler, such as Lady Gaga in her music video for “Telephone” and Cardi B, who had a friendship with Mugler, often wearing his vintage designs on red carpets and in her music videos, as well as mentioning the brand in her song “Wild Side”. In 2019, Mugler created a one-of-a-kind dress for Kim Kardashian to wear to the Met Gala.

Looks throughout the years from Thierry Mugler. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Those who followed Mugler throughout his career couldn’t help but notice his ever changing ‘personal look’. The late designer had been involved in several accidents, one of which was a jeep crash which destroyed his nose. He also had his chin reconstructed using his hipbone. The designer-turned-bodybuiler, was once quoted as saying, “I wanted my face to represent progress, because after years of being a thin, charming dancer, I wanted to be a warrior. I’ve done so much in my life. I’ve fought so much. I’m a superhero, so it’s normal to have the face of one.”

Mugler may have left his namesake brand far too early, but he will continue to have an empowering impact on fashion will into the future.

COUTURE SHOWS BRING FANTASY AND HOPE TO US ALL

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Giambattista Valli)

Paris Couture is back and it was spectacular. The couture season began on Monday January 24th and ran through Thursday the 27th. While many couture houses held IRT runway shows, there were a few that opted to present their collections digitally, such as Azzaro and Giambattista Valli. Meanwhile, Giorgio Armani canceled his Privé show altogether.

One of the highlights of any fashion week is the constant parade of street style looks and influencers. Paris couture week did not disappoint. Kanye West (Ye) introduced his new girlfriend Julia Fox to the fashion scene wearing a black leather Schiaparelli outfit  (reminiscent of vintage Thierry Mugler), and he in  trademark moon boots and padded gloves, plus a Schiaparelli black balaclava, a nod to his ex (Kim Kardasian), who worn head-to-toe Schiaparelli to the Met Gala. Oh, and to complete their outfits they adopted a new couple name…’Juliye’.

Julia Fox and Kanye West at the Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring 2022 show in Paris. (Photo Credit: Jacopo Raule for Getty Images)

Here’s a few of our favorites from Paris Couture 2022

ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

High-octane glamour was all over Alexandre Vauthier’s Spring 2022 couture collection, as he presented velvet power suits, sequin gowns and plenty of slinky frocks.

CHANEL

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

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

“The idea for the show’s décor came from a longstanding desire to work with Xavier Veilhan,” Virginie Viard, Chanel’s creative director, explained the setting of the SS22 couture show to Harper’s Bazaar, “His references to constructivism remind me of those of Karl Lagerfeld. I like this similarity of spirit between us, now and across time. In addition to creating the show décor with its references to the avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1930s, Xavier wanted to work with Charlotte Casiraghi. His artistic universe is full of horses and Charlotte is a skilled rider.”

The Chanel show opened with Monaco’s Princess Charlotte dressed in a Chanel jacket, riding a beautiful eight-year old Spanish bay horse Kuskus (that would explain the sand runway), first in an elegant “collected walk,” then a trot. A perfect opening that paid homage to the creative director’s ’20s and ’30s Gatsby-inspired modern take on the classic Chanel tweed suit. There were also filmy chiffon and organza dresses with uneven hems, slithering satin evening dresses, and tiny beaded gilets to add an extra dose of glamour.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Backstage, looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

This season’s Christian Dior couture collection was a celebration of embroidery: “A symbol of the atelier’s original excellence, embroidery is not just a decorative detail. It gives fabric its structure, its architecture.” According to the house’s show notes. “An inspiring creative dialogue, collective, exalting virtuoso skills, where embroidery is transformed into a collaborative mode of expression, at the crossroads of art and craft“. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, collaborated with Indian artists Madhvi and Manu Parekh, the Chanakya Atelier and the Chanakya School of Craft, in creating exquisite embroideries and embellishments for her couture collection.

SCHIAPARELLI

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

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

A recent red-carpet favorite, Daniel Roseberry presented his latest couture collection for Schiaparelli in a show entitled “An Age of Discipline”. Roseberry took the season as a chance to explore what design really means to him, especially after these chaotic few years. “Designing this collection also made me realize something else,” he explained in his show notes. “There are designers who design because they love clothes. There are designers who make clothes because they love the craft, because they love people. There are designers whose work is indebted to fashion as a concept, or to glamour as a business.”

“But I design in order to make people feel something. When clothes and craft and hair and music and the wearer are in harmony together, when they are all trying to communicate something, we can be reminded why we love fashion— why I love fashion. It isn’t for the celebrities. It isn’t for the likes. It isn’t for the reviews. It’s because, when it’s done right, when it has something to tell us, it can help us feel the inarticulable. It’s because it still has the power to move us.”

And moved us he did, as his collection pushed the boundaries of fashion as art.

VALENTINO

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

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

‘The Anatomy of Couture’ was the title of Valentino’s Spring 2022 Couture Collection. As creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli explained in his show notes, he imagined his collection not on one single and idealized house model, but on a variety of women with different body types and ages. He states in his collection notes, “Soft and welcoming in the democratic spirit, and at the same time radical in the approach that rewrites known processes, Piccioli builds the collection as a composite harmony of physical types and the clothes that dress them, studied through a long process, both scientific and poetic. The message does not change in its purpose, which is to convey beauty, but in the welcoming expression.”

Did you have a favorite couture collection?

MENSWEAR FALL 2022 COLLECTIONS: FLORENCE – MILAN – PARIS

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Looks from Dries Van Noten’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Two years later and our lives are still topsy-turvy as we all try to navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic. New Year’s Eve festivities were put on hold as the Omicron variant spread so quickly throughout the world. The new variant also had a major impact on menswear fashion week for the fall 2022 season, from Pitti Uomo in Florence to Paris.

Pitti Uomo/Florence 

Pitti Uomo kicked off the fall 2022 menswear season January 11th through the 13th. The menswear extravaganza took place in Florence, Italy, which this season’s theme was centered around ‘Reflections’. Unfortunately, due to the rise in Omicron-positive cases, many brands cancelled their presentations, including Brunello Cucinelli and guest brand Ann Demeulemeester. However, Italian luxury brand Kiton, known for hand-made Neapolitan tailored suits,  presented their casual line KTN for the first time at Pitti Uomo. Also, high-end sportswear line Paul & Shark presented and re-enforced their commitment to sustainability.

Milan

The fashion set comprised of buyers, editors, and influencers then hopped from Florence to the Milan for that city’s fashion week, which ran from January 15th to the 17th. Once again, due to Omnicron, a number of designers and brands cancelled their physical presentations and events, including Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Gucci and MSGM. JW Anderson, who was scheduled to present its first menswear show in Italy, also cancelled. But the city still had plenty of excitement with labels such as Fendi, Prada, Ermenegildo Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana, throwing caution to the wind, opted for live runway shows.

Jeff Goldblum in a look from Prada’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit; Vogue Runway)

Although Milan Fashion Week was short, it was still inspiring and impactful. Some of the highlights included Prada’s runway which was packed with some of Hollywood’s legendary stars, including Twin Peaks’ Kyle MacLachlan, Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum, Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders and Sex Education’s Otis Butterfield. While Prada focused on the dapper gentleman, Dolce & Gabbana appealed to Gen-Z fans, with a lively performance from Machine Gun Kelly, dressed fittingly in a sequin suit from the label.

At Fendi, Silvia Fenturini Fendi was fascinated by notions of classicism. The Roman house presented a ‘treasure trove of future heirlooms’ that riffed on the elegance and sophistication of old-world silhouettes. The label is also dabbling on gender-bending looks as the luxury house featured boundary-defying feminine silhouettes to its fall 2022 show. Love the idea of sharing your wardrobe with your boyfriend/husband? This is the brand for you!

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Paris

France eased their Covid restrictions just days before Paris Fashion Week’s Menswear shows, which ran from January 18th to the 23rd. Only a handful of designers (approximately 17) staged live runway presentation – including Rick Owens, Dior Homme, and Loewe. The remaining brands were a mix of digital streams and physical presentations.

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

The highlight of the week?  Thursday Jan. 20th, when Louis Vuitton presented the late Virgil Abloh’s final collection for the house; Virgil Abloh passed away on November 28, 2021, at the age of 41, after a private two-year battle with cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare cancer. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. It was the best tribute EVER.

Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. Courtesy of FF Channel on YouTube.

A portrait of Nigo, the newly appointed artistic director of Maison Kenzo. (Photo Credit: Kenzo)

Menswear buyers, press, and influencers were over-the-moon about streetwear visionary Nigo’s first collection as artistic director for the Japanese label Kenzo. It was a star-studded event that had more Instagram followers than you could imagine.

Meanwhile, at Dior Men, Creative Director Kim Jones paid tribute to the founder of the house in celebration of Christian Dior’s 75th anniversary.

Dior’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. Courtesy of Dior Channel on YouTube.

Here’s a round-up of some of the biggest trends in Menswear for Fall 2022:

FLOWER POWER

It’s a garden party delight as designers opted for pretty floral motifs for fall 2022. From Louis Vuitton’s tapestry-inspired coat and pants to Erdem’s slim-cut pantsuit. These delicate prints add joie de vivre to the cold winter ahead.

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

A look from Erdems’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Acne Studios’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dior Men’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GENDER NEUTRAL

Designers continue to break thru the confines of gender norms this season as they offer plenty of skirts and dresses that can be worn no matter your gender.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from JW Anderson’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rick Owns’ Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

LEATHER REPORT & THE BOLD SHOULDER

Chic leather coats were all over the fall 2022 runways as they ran the gamut from a Matrix-esque version at Dolce & Gabbana to a belted, Seventies-inspired style at Prada. And the focus was on the big and bold shoulder.

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

A look from Dior Men’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Rhude’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Y Project’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

IN LIVING COLOR

Bright neon hues ruled the runways as the oversaturated tones made there way on everything from cozy knits to terrific outerwear.

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from JW Anderson’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Hermès’ Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SUPER SIZE ME

Baggy looks are still going strong in the menswear market, and for fall 2022, designers are opting for oversized looks that still maintain remarkable tailoring guaranteeing that proportions are still sharp and clean.

A look from Zegna’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Vetements’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bianca Saunders’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Jil Sander’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

GET SHORTY

Often a summertime staple, shorts made a splash on the runways this fall 2022 season. From MSMG’s sporty quilted version to Fendi’s dapper suit look, one things for sure, next winter men will be showcasing their legs more than ever.

A look from Fendi’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from MSGM’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Isabel Marant’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Loewe’s Fall 2022 Menswear Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

WELL SUITED

We may all be heading back to the office soon, but rather than your typical menswear suit, designers are opting for tailored looks in a range of bold and happy colors.

A look from Etro’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Bianca Saunders’ Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Fall 2022 Menswear Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

LOSS OF A FASHION TRAILBLAZER

But the biggest fashion news that came out between the Milan and Paris shows was the passing of André Leon Talley on January 18, 2022. The larger-than-life former Vogue editor, who was only 73, passed away of a heart attack. Talley was a legend in the fashion world and broke down barriers for homosexual black men in the industry. Talley was a gentleman of grand pronouncements, over-the-top capes, and friends in design studios from New York to Paris—Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Diane von Furstenberg, Karl Lagerfeld, and many more. When the news of his death broke, many of his friends in fashion and beyond took to social media to express their grief, and a theme emerged. The “pharaoh of fabulosity,” as a Vogue staffer once dubbed Talley, was also the industry’s biggest champion and booster, the first editor backstage, quick with encouraging advice or a course correction. His enthusiasm was prodigious.

André Leon Talley at home in White Plains, N.Y., in 2017. (Photo Credit: Ike Edeani for The New York Times)

It was no secret within the fashion industry that Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley had a falling out. In his book, The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir, Tally wrote of Wintour, “She is not capable of simple human kindness. I would love for her to say something human and sincere.” When she replaced Talley with YouTube personality Lisa Zoshy as host at the 2018 Met Gala, he remarked “it felt like I was thrown under the bus. It hurt”. And yet in an industry where you can be ‘cast-out’ as quickly as you are ‘cast-in’, Wintour recently wrote:

The loss of André is felt by so many of us today: the designers he enthusiastically cheered on every season, and who loved him for it; the generations he inspired to work in the industry, seeing a figure who broke boundaries while never forgetting where he started from; those who knew fashion, and Vogue, simply because of him; and, not forgetting, the multitude of colleagues over the years who were consistently buoyed by every new discovery of André’s, which he would discuss loudly, and volubly—no one could make people more excited about the most seemingly insignificant fashion details than him. Even his stream of colorful faxes and emails were a highly anticipated event, something we all looked forward to.

“Yet it’s the loss of André as my colleague and friend that I think of now; it’s immeasurable. He was magnificent and erudite and wickedly funny—mercurial, too. Like many decades-long relationships, there were complicated moments, but all I want to remember today, all I care about, is the brilliant and compassionate man who was a generous and loving friend to me and to my family for many, many years, and who we will all miss so much.”

With news of the passing of yet another fashion icon, Thierry Mugler, tell us, who influences you the most as an aspiring fashion designer?

WE LOVE HEARING FROM OUR SUBSCRIBERS

- - Fashion School

As a pandemic was wreaking havoc around the world, at University of Fashion, we made the decision to offer schools free access to our content library so that they could finish out their term remotely. We were thrilled to be able to help. As a result, we not only met new schools and students, but were introduced to many new instructors who expressed an interest in teaching for us. A silver lining in an otherwise horrible pandemic.

Since 2020, we have added more than 30 new lessons and added 4 new design disciplines: SwimwearIntimate Apparel, Textile Design and Visual Merchandising. And, we’ll be adding more lessons in these disciplines going forward.

As we go back into the studio this year, we will be acting on suggestions made by you, our subscribers. We’ll be filming a knit pattern making series that’ll include a 20-part knit neckline series, lessons on how to draft a boxy and fitted T-shirt from measurements, how to draft a catsuit and many other advanced drafting lessons on trousers and coats.

Drafting an Off Shoulder Gathered Cuff Knit Neckline

Drafting a Surplice Under Bust Knit Neckline

We will also be adding additional advanced draping lessons, like how to drape a dress with a handkerchief hem and how to drape & draft a multi-tiered dress.

Draping a Princess Panel Sundress with a Handkerchief Hem

Draping & Drafting a Multi-tiered Dress

In addition, we will be adding more menswear drafting and drawing lessons, as well as lessons on how to design using 3D software.

 

BUT WE STILL WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

Let us know what additional lessons you’d like for us to consider. As you can imagine, the process of recruiting teachers, working with them on their lesson outlines, not to mention the filming and editing process, takes time. But…we’d love to know what you’d like to learn that you haven’t already learned by viewing our over 500 existing videos. We are hopeful that the pandemic will soon be a thing of the past and are eager to get back into the studio to start cranking out more lessons. Thanks to all of our subscribers, we are always interested in hearing from you!

 

Best wishes,
Francesca Sterlacci
Founder/CEO
University of Fashion

PRE-FALL 2022: FASHION IS BACK

- - Trends

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

Let’s face it, the last two years of living in a worldwide pandemic has been tough on everyone. As we rang in 2022, many countries put a stop to festivities as the Omicron variant infected so many and spread so easily, even among the triple vaccinated (myself included). Thankfully this variant seems to be mild and not as deadly as Delta. But as the world watches and waits for life to return to some sort of normal, like the saying goes…the show must go on!

Throughout these past 2 pandemic years, designers and fashion companies have re-evaluated their business strategies and have put a greater focus on sustainability and improving their carbon footprint. In November of 2021, many in the fashion industry ramped up their climate efforts at the COP26 summit. According to the United Nations Climate Change website, “Fashion Charter signatories collectively represent a significant proportion of the fashion industry. There are currently 130 companies and 41 supporting organizations that have signed the Fashion Charter including some of the well-known brands such as Burberry, H&M Group, VF Corporation, Adidas, Kering, Chanel, Nike, and PUMA as well as suppliers such as Crystal Group, TAL Apparel and others.”

However, as the fashion industry tries to come up with solutions to help protect the environment, one thing is for sure, they continue to produce an endless supply of clothes to generate sales (hello, pre-fall and resort collections). For the past 20 years, fashion’s nonstop production cycles have been driven by social media, retailers, the press, and of course celebrity influencers. Celebs sell-out designer looks in minutes. Case in point, Kim Kardashian, who recently elevated Balenciaga’s sales while serving Kanye West with divorce papers dressed in Balenciaga. And, according to Love the Sales (a fashion e-commerce aggregator), the search for Balenciaga dresses increased by 200 percent in less then 24 hours when Kardashian, dressed foot-to-finger in Balenciaga, announced that she had passed the ‘baby bar’ exam. For your info, Kardashian will still have to continue her studies and take a second bar exam. Another influencer opportunity? Stay tuned.

Can’t help but wonder what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wore when she passed her bar exam, LOL.

Kim Kardashian celebrates passing the baby bar exam in Balenciaga. (Photo Credit: MSN)

So, as the industry explores ways to make fashion more sustainable and ‘circular’, enter Pre-Fall. But what is Pre-Fall exactly? For starters, it is the longest-running season open to buyers and press in November and wrapping up on the heels of spring couture week in January. Usually, Pre-Fall collections offer more commercial looks than the major runway seasons, offering retailers the opportunity to showcase new merchandise to their clients in between the Fall and Spring collections. Pre-Fall has become one of the most essential selling seasons, with product sitting on the sales floor for up to six months (usually from June to December).

While the name (pre-fall) refers to autumn, the merchandise actually hits the sales floor in early summer, translating to a hodgepodge assortment of everything from breezy dresses to outerwear.

Looks from Versace by Fendi’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

If this all sounds confusing, join the club. The lingo is perplexing to everyone – designers, retailers, and consumers – so shouldn’t the season be looked at as a transitional one? Shouldn’t it be a season that offers seasonless dressing, pieces that can be layered and worn all year long?

Also, how should designers present their collections? Do they throw a full scale fashion extravaganza like Gucci, Dior, and Chanel, or do they hold private appointments for press and retailers and show their collection via Lookbook images like Prabal Gurung and  Christopher John Rogers?

As our industry continues to contemplate fashion’s impact on climate change, the use of influencers to promote product that will eventually will end up in landfills, and what the Pre-Fall season really means to them, the show must go on, right? Here are some of the trends we’re watching thus far:

VELVET CRUSH

The plush life – for both day and night.

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

A look from Proenza Schoular’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Jil Sander’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Look from Dsquared2’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

UoF subscribers can learn more about designing and working with velvet here: Introduction to Fibers & Fabrics,  Pattern Layout on Napped Fabrics, Rendering Velvet, Blind Stitch – Double Overcast Stitch, Pressing Tools & Techniques,

PLAID TIMES

Check mate! Designers are going mad for plaid from Oscar de la Renta’s mixed patchwork plaid numbers to Christian Dior’s logo-driven tartans. These ultra cool looks are anything but ‘elementary my dear’.

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

A look from R13’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Tory Burch’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

To learn more about working with plaid, view our lessons: Rendering Plaid, Pattern Layout of Plaid & Check Fabric, and Matching Plaid.

ROMANCING THE SWEATER

Comfy doesn’t always have to mean casual. For pre-fall, designers looked back to every Y2K girls favorite knit piece and brought back the beloved cardigan sweater. From Gucci’s strawberry motif to Erdem’s crystal button version, these sweaters are the perfect update to transition into cooler weather.

A look from Gucci’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Chanel’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Prabal Gurung’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Ganni’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter, have we got lessons for you! In fact, we have a whole Knit Series.

Start with Introduction to Knit Fabrics and move into our hand-knitting, crocheting and our lessons on cut and sew knits.

 FAIR LEATHER

Real or faux, leather outerwear is all the rage this pre-fall season. From Chloé’s crafty version to Balenciaga’s futuristic coat, this outerwear trend will surely set you apart from the crowd.

A look from Chloé’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Max Mara’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

If you know anything about sewing, you know that working with leather and faux leather requires a different set of skills. Let’s face it, the material is unforgiving! Not only did our UoF founder write the leading book on leather, Leather Fashion Design, but has produced a slew of video lessons covering the topic in detail, both faux and real. Start by learning about the different types of leather skins and how they are measured in our lesson, Leather: From Tanning to Types. Then check out: Leather Sewing Techniques, Leather: Sorting & Cutting, Leather: Interfacing & Stabilizing Seams, and then watch and learn how a leather jacket is actually produced (filmed at GIII, the world’s largest manufacturer of leather garments) in our 4-part series beginning with Leather Sewing Techniques-Part 1. Also, check out our lesson on Faux Leather, Suede & Patent Leather Sewing Tips.

To learn how to draw and illustrate leather or any shiny material, view our lesson Rendering Leather.

THE RETURN OF THE MINI

The leg-baring mini trend has made its triumphant return! The mini was first introduced in the ‘60s as a playful and even defiant garment representing a shift in societal dynamics (according to Vogue Magazine). For pre-fall, designers have created mini looks in a variety of ways, from Givenchy’s simple black mini skirt suit look to Balmain’s baroque inspired minidress, one things for sure, it’s time to hit the gym and work on those legs.

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

A look from Chanel’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

 

For more on the evolution of the mini watch our fashion lectures: 100 Years of Fashion Rebels & Revolutionaries Part 1, and Part 2.

SCARF-OUT

Vibrant scarf prints took over the pre-fall season, from Versace’s baroque inspired prints to Etro’s ‘70s inspired paisley motifs. These scarf inspired patterns will take you from vacation and beyond.

Looks from Versace’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Looks from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Gucci’s Pre-Fall Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

If the scarf trend has inspired you to re-purpose your old scarves into clothing, then you may need a refresher on how to sew sheer seams and hems. From learning how to sew a French Seam Finish to sewing a Hand-rolled Hem, we have a whole series on working with sheers.

If you are new to cutting sheer fabrics and handling bias, this is the lesson for you: The Art of Fluting. And if you would like to illustrate your sheers and prints, check out Rendering Sheer, Rendering Floral Print and Rendering Zebra.

So tell us, what Pre-Fall trend has most inspired you?