Learning fashion design just got easier, thanks to UoF founder and author, Francesca Sterlacci

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Helen Ronan & Anastasia Scott (Laurence King Publishing), Francesca Sterlacci (University of Fashion), Dr. Jennifer Harmon (winner) and Jane Hegland (ITAA President)

In the fashion industry, so many of us can get swept up in the shiny end result presented on the runway during fashion week or the most viewed Instagram story of the day or perhaps, the must-have It Bag of the season.

And sometimes, the work of the dedicated, behind-the-scenes professionals who make It Bags and Instagram-worthy content possible in the first place, can go unnoticed. In this post, I’m not talking about hard-working designers, pattern makers and sewers—I’m going one step further behind the scenes to feature someone who works tirelessly to support designers in every which way she can—University of Fashion founder, Francesca Sterlacci. Read More

THE CHANGING FACE OF GLOBAL MENSWEAR

- - Fashion History, Menswear
Courtesy of i-d.vice.com

Courtesy of i-d.vice.com

Menswear is in constant evolution. The end-consumer is dictating what they want, which tribe they choose to belong to, and the personality they want to project. This has made the menswear industry very competitive, and in response, men’s fashion houses have been obligated to change their game, to listen to their consumer and are appointing new designers who understand the new generation and, more particularly, who understand their subcultures and tribes. The main focus in today’s menswear industry is to appeal to the final consumer’s lifestyle. This challenge goes beyond offering a good product, it also needs to be a product that ‘speaks’ to men’s tribes and their individual personalities. So, let’s examine who these new players are, what they are offering and who they are speaking to, and how they are seismically changing the present and future of the global menswear industry.

Kim Jones creative director Dior Homme (Courtesy BoF)

Kim Jones creative director Dior Homme (Courtesy BoF)

Recent new appointments in the menswear fashion industry, such as Kim Jones at Dior Homme and Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton Men’s (both brands under the LVMH umbrella), indicate that the market has changed. Fashion houses are now taking risks because they have identified that they must go forward to remain relevant for the next generation and those to follow. What do these players have in common? Both represent a movement that had been growing the past year. Kim Jones formerly at Louis Vuitton men’s and who created a blockbuster collaboration with the hip brand Supreme is now creative director at heritage brand Dior Homme.

Virgil Abloh creative director Louis Vuitton Men’s (Courtesyhighsnobiety.com)

Virgil Abloh creative director Louis Vuitton Men’s (Courtesyhighsnobiety.com)

Virgil Abloh, from DJ, music producer, Fendi intern, Kanye West’s creative director, to artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection since March 2018, Abloh is also chief executive officer of the Milan-based label Off-White, a fashion house that he founded in 2013.

Both of these visionaries believe in ‘bottom-up’ fashion that is, bringing the street to high fashion, as well as the flexibility offered by social-media influenced athleisure, with its emphasis on T-shirts, and its reflection of a D-jin and music culture. The concept of ‘bottom-up’ is not new, Yves Saint Laurent made it his montra in the 70s and Marc Jacobs turned to the streets for his Grunge Collection in the 80s. But those were womenswear collections. Both Kim and Abloh have a history in designing streetwear for men and have each collaborated with Nike.

Although Jones studied design at Central Saint Martin’s and Abloh cut his teeth designing for Kanye West, both admit that they have gotten to know ‘fashion’ along the way. Their current collections speak to a new lifestyle, to a subculture of a younger generation and they are implementing street casual styles into their high fashion collections. To be clear, they are not abolishing suits or formalwear, they are just giving it a streetwear twist.

For example, presenting in their show a monochromatic suit with a t-shirt, technical sneakers and unique details around zippers, or presenting high quality functional bags with chain details. They are unifying two worlds we would not have imagined could speak to each other in the past. Formal and casual, function and decoration, these are no longer distinct categories, but ones that merge with each other. At the same time, these designers manage to speak to a tribe who is looking to be more individual while seeking to be included.

 

Dior Homme SS19 by Kim Jones (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Dior Homme SS19 by Kim Jones (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Louis Vuitton SS19 by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Louis Vuitton SS19 by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

This connects us to other players such as Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Hedi Slimane now at Celine. They address younger generations with a unique vision, one that is more eccentric with a retro vintage feel (Gucci), and another one, more focused on rock culture (the new Celine). Both address a very important trend of the moment: the androgynous phenomenon. The ungendered design is key for these designers. They created transversal collections and androgynous looks that dominate the conversation of their collections, influencing the menswear arena. This trend is not about men wearing skirts, it is about changing mindsets, showing that men have changed, both in, and the way they view fashion, and in how they exercise their masculinity. This is reflected in how they shop, and as a result designer brands are implementing these changes in their product strategy.

Gucci by Alessandro Michele (Courtesy Vogue Runway)

Gucci by Alessandro Michele (Courtesy Vogue Runway)

 

Celine by Hedi Slimane (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

Celine by Hedi Slimane (Courtesy of Vogue Runway)

 

There has also been a change in formal menswear. New players such as Thom Browne, Musika Frère, or recognized designers such as Ozwald Boateng have brought new product strategies to this category. Ozwald Boateng has mixed traditional classic British tailoring with color and new cuts targeting elite consumers who have unique personalities and are not part of the status quo.

Thom Browne, with his wild creativity, his fantastic tailoring and commercial core product pieces, with a clear brand identity such as the tricolor web, has won a fan base among millennials who were looking for an alternative from traditional formalwear.

And then we get to Musika Frère, a brand that was born in social media, created by Aleks Musika and Davidson Petit- Frère. This brand has a “neoclassic tailoring” style, as the creators themselves call it, specializing in custom suits that often come in unusual colors, patterns and details. This brand’s style has drawn famous celebrities in the African American community.

Ozwald Boateng (Courtesy of OzwaldBoateng.com)

Ozwald Boateng (Courtesy of OzwaldBoateng.com)

Thom Browne (Courtesy The New York Times)

Thom Browne (Courtesy The New York Times)

 

Musika Frere (Courtesy of Instagram)

Musika Frere (Courtesy of Instagram)

So, what do all these brands have in common? Their product strategies have successfully attracted a specific tribe that still wants the elegance of a suit but in a unique and special way, something that truly represents them and their personalities and that makes them stand out.

As menswear evolves, brands in the industry have realized that the fundamental formula to attract new and younger consumers is to truly represent them. The key for fashion houses now is to adopt this bottom-up approach, understand their consumers, their tribe and subcultures, in order to cater to them in a genuine way. All of the above-mentioned brands have used different menswear strategies to be relevant to the market and its future generations. They have taken risks because they know that nowadays, men are freer and use fashion to show who they truly are.

To learn more about menswear design, be sure to check out the new menswear discipline on our  University of Fashion website.

FALL 2019 BRIDAL – BREAKING THE RULES

- - Fashion Shows
Marchesa Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Marchesa Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

 Here comes the bride…and lucky for her, she has so many options to choose from. While Bridal Fashion Week took place earlier this month in New York City, designers offered plenty of show-stopping looks.

For most women around the world, their wedding dress is the most important and most expensive dress they will ever purchase. While following fashion fads may not always be ideal in the bridal market, following the top bridal designers around the world is a great way to interpret what trends to incorporate into your future bridal designs.

Nliss by Monique Lhuillier (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Bliss by Monique Lhuillier (Photo courtesy of the designer)

During Fall 2019 New York Bridal Fashion Week, many designers played it safe with frothy tulle skirts, intricate lace details, romantic 3D floral applique’s and of course, plenty of sleek, minimal dresses courtesy of the Meghan Markle effect. All were beautiful and perfect for the traditional bride.

Viktor & Rolf Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Viktor & Rolf Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Sareh Nouri (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Sareh Nouri (Photo courtesy of the designer)

What was refreshing this season was to see so many bridal designers step out of their comfort zone and offer their brides a variety of options. The runways were filled with chic power suits, youthful crop tops, seductive jumpsuits, romantic capes and even a effortless tracksuit. While these options may be daring for the ceremony itself, they are great options for all the events leading up to the wedding and even the reception.

Ready to take on the fall 2019 bridal trends? Here are the latest wedding dress trends future bridal designers need to know about now.

THE RETURN OF THE CROP TOP

It’s time to tone up those abs as crop tops were all the rage this season. Bridal designers are showing plenty of separates on the runway, such as cropped tops with sleek skirts. The look is a modern and fresh take on traditional bridal.

Laure de Sagazan (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Laure de Sagazan (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Cushnie Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Cushnie Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Rime Arodaky Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Rime Arodaky Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Willowby by Watters (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Willowby by Watters (Photo courtesy of the designer)

BHLDN  (Photo courtesy of the designer)

BHLDN (Photo courtesy of the designer)

JUMP RIGHT IN

Jumpsuits are here to stay as brides chose to change into seductive jumpsuits to let loose and dance the night away.

Ines di Santo  (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Ines di Santo (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Pronovias  (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Pronovias (Photo courtesy of the designer)

DB Studio by Davis's Bridal (Photo courtesy of Davis's Bridal)

DB Studio by Davis’s Bridal (Photo courtesy of Davis’s Bridal)

Savannah Miller Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Savannah Miller Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

SHORT AND SWEET

Thanks to social media, a bride’s wedding dress is just not the be-all-end-all. Today, brides are wearing looks for each event leading up to her big day. One perfect alternative is the bridal mini. Here are some of our favorites this season.

Vera Wang Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Vera Wang Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Idan Cohen (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Idan Cohen (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Justine Alexander (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Justine Alexander (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Viktor & Rolf Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Viktor & Rolf Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Cape Town

With so many sexy and transparent wedding gowns, a dramatic cape is the perfect cover up, especially for religious ceremonies. The added layers are equally exquisite from stunning embroideries to dramatic ruffles.

Naeem Khan Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Naeem Khan Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Berta (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Berta (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Allison Webb (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Allison Webb (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Tadashi Shoji Bridal (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Tadashi Shoji Bridal (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Zuhair Murad (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Zuhair Murad (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Breaking Traditions

Not every bride wants to wear a gown on her wedding day. Chic power suits and even athleisure looks are also on the menu. In addition, these relaxed options are perfect alternatives to all of the pre-wedding day events: bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and the après wedding brunch with family and friends.

Gracy Accad (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Gracy Accad (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Theia Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Theia Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Savannah Miller (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Savannah Miller (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Elizabeth Fillmore  (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Elizabeth Fillmore (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Randi Rahm (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Randi Rahm (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Rime Arodaky (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Rime Arodaky (Photo courtesy of the designer)

IN LIVING COLOR

Not every girl wants to wear white on her wedding day. It’s refreshing to see more and more bridal designers incorporate color into their collections and still remain true to the romantic bridal aesthetic.

Reem Acra (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Reem Acra (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Vera Wang Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Vera Wang Bridal Look (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Dalaarna (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Dalaarna (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Lazaro (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Lazaro (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Ines di Santo (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Ines di Santo (Photo courtesy of the designer)

L. Wells Bridal (Photo courtesy of the designer)

L. Wells Bridal (Photo courtesy of the designer)

Got a fav?  Tell us, what’s your favorite bridal trend this season.

Menswear: A Trip Down Memory Lane

- - Fashion History, Menswear

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In fashion, we tend to overlook the menswear industry. It doesn’t change as much with the seasons and is all about the details, the fit and the fabrics. For some, it is not as interesting as the womenswear… until now. Menswear has been growing faster than womenswear and is expected to reach $33 billion by 2020. That’s why it is extremely important, as a designer or retailer, to learn about this segment of the industry.

The University of Fashion has recently launched its menswear discipline, so before checking out our lessons, how about taking a trip down memory lane to understand how the menswear industry has evolved?

Men’s fashion was initially functional in purpose. Paleolithic nomads used animal skins as protection from environmental conditions. The Ancient Egyptians provided the first signs that men’s clothing could made the leap from function to fashion. In this period, clothing and accessories began to serve as key symbols of rank and fortune.

Later on, the wealthiest men adopted tunics, and this trend continued with the toga in Ancient Greece and Rome, as well in the Middle Ages. During these periods, the essential item was the fabric, made of the finest materials.

Courtesy of Flickr and Chatirygirl

Courtesy of Flickr and Chatirygirl

Menswear Revolution

A big shift in menswear followed the American (1775-1783) and French (1789-1799) Revolutions, when fashion became understated and “undress” was the popular opposition to the abundant adornments that defined aristocracy. While men continued to wear the waistcoat, coat and breeches of the previous period for both full dress and undress, they were now made of the same fabric, signaling the birth of the three-piece suit. The early 1800s saw the final abandonment of lace, embroidery and other embellishment from serious men’s clothing and it became gauche to dress like an aristocrat.

In Britain, Beau Brummell, a trendsetter of the time, was credited with introducing and making the modern man’s suit and necktie fashionable. Savile Row, or “The Row” as it is commonly-termed, became the center of traditional bespoke tailoring. This trend led to trousers that are popular in menswear today and have been for the past 200 years. What Paris was to women’s fashion, London was to men’s. After the American Civil War (1861-1865), standardized sizing in men’s clothing introduced the concept of mass-production, with less individual tailoring, and the necktie was introduced by 1880.

Frock Coat (Courtesy of He spoke style)

Frock Coat (Courtesy of He spoke style)

Bea Brummel (Courtesy of He Spoke Style)

Bea Brummel (Courtesy of He Spoke Style)

 

The 1900s

During the 1900s, the United States took an even less formal approach to fashion when they introduced the ‘sportswear’ trend. With the invention of the automobile, American fashion landed in England and the dinner jacket, a more leisurely attire, became popular among the younger generations.

Another big American fashion influence at the time was jazz music. A new generation of men were rebelling against the traditions of their fathers and clothing inspired by the Jazz Age was born, consisting of tight-fitting suits. America became the center of the men’s fashion world and modern fashion was here to stay. Blazers became popular for summer wear, the tuxedo was the jacket of the night, and the Zoot suit was popular in the nightclubs of Harlem. The “gangster influence” in suits was also an important trend. Fashion for men became a display of their personality and environment.

 

Zoot Suits (Courtesy of Vintage dancer)

Zoot Suits (Courtesy of Vintage dancer)

Casual Menswear Emerges

By the late 1940s and early 1950s, beginning with the introduction of the Hawaiian shirt, California surfer culture emerged and is ever present in men’s fashion even today. Another 50s trend was the “preppy look,” consisting of clothes worn by men at prep and Ivy League schools, such as button-down shirts, golf shirts, chino pants, and loafers. Other trendsetters in the 1950s included Elvis Presley and the British Teddy Boys. The key to these new fashion trends was comfort with personality, each trend helping to define the ‘tribe’ or subcultures to which a man chose to belong.

The 60s & 70s

The 1960s brought Italian fashion to the forefront. Brands emerged that were able to compete with the bespoke tailors of Saville Row. Still relevant among that group initial group are Brioni, Nino Cerutti and Ermenegildo Zegna.

With the ‘British Invasion’ of the 60s came another important influence, Collarless, cylindrical suits created for the Beatles by Pierre Cardin and Douglas Millings were all the rage and helped usher in the ‘mod look’ and later the ‘psychedelic look.’

By the 1970s, ‘disco style,’ popularized by the movie “Saturday Night Fever” and ‘punk style’ from London, brought a new generation of menswear consumers into the marketplace. The concept of individuality and personality was fundamental to this period and continues today.

 

Princeton 1950’s (Courtesy of Google Life archives)

Princeton 1950’s (Courtesy of Google Life archives)

10 years of Beatles style (Courtesy of Mauro Amaral)

10 years of Beatles style (Courtesy of Mauro Amaral)

The 80s Impact

The 1980s became known as the ‘decade of excess,’ as Baby Boomers and Yuppies placed importance on ‘status’ and ‘luxury.’ In the movie American Gigolo, Giorgio Armani designed relaxed, yet elegant, deconstructed suits that epitomized the sexy, wealthy young man (played by Richard Gere), as the “playboy” of the time. This trend was in contrast to the emergence of streetwear looks associated with the ‘breakdance’ movement, which consisted of sneakers, shoes with thick, elaborately patterned laces and colorful nylon tracksuits.

 

The 90s Clean & Classic

As a backlash to 80s ‘bad taste,’ the 1990s represented the clean, pared down era, a time when menswear returned to beautifully tailored suits in classic colors, especially those from Helmut Lang, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss, Nino Cerutti, Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren. The term “metrosexual” was coined by British journalist Mark Simpson as the trait of an urban male of any sexual orientation (usually heterosexual) who has a strong aesthetic sense and spends a great amount of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. Italian suits were the basis for luxury and high-quality dressing. The Armani suit dressed the businessman throughout the decade until “business casual” took over in the mid-to-late 1990s. Other trends went in and out of fashion during this decade including the grunge look and a return to punk style, although this time known as ‘cyber punk’ and ‘hip-hop style,’ inspired by street culture. In an ironic move, the preppy look made a comeback in the late 90s, closely associated with the Tommy Hilfiger clothing line, which emulated the more expensive preppy look pioneered a decade earlier by Ralph Lauren.

Richard Gere in Armani from the movie American Gigolo (Courtesy of Classiq me)

Richard Gere in Armani from the movie American Gigolo (Courtesy of Classiq me)

 

Break Dancing (Courtesy Getty images)

Break Dancing (Courtesy Getty images)

New Millennium – A Look Back & Forward

The new millennium began with a retro influence, a mixture of the best elements of all previous fashion eras. Once the first major American corporation Alcoa sanctioned casual office attire in 1991, it wasn’t long before “casual Friday” was replaced with “casual everyday” as most companies loosened their dress code restrictions, with the exception of the legal and financial professions and those requiring uniforms.

In 2000, designer Hedi Slimane introduced the ‘ultra-skinny silhouette’ at Dior and mainstreamed them later at Saint Laurent – ushering in a seismic shift in the menswear industry.

In 2006, American designer Thom Browne burst onto the menswear stage with his ‘short length suits.’ Sports, performance apparel and the new athleisurewear category, continue to play a major role in men’s clothing.

As designers attempt to blur the lines between men and women’s fashion, such as J.W. Anderson and his ‘shared closet’ concept, the androgynous fashion movement continues to be explored.

With a booming economy bespoke tailoring is enjoying a comeback. New bespoke tailors are gaining popularity, with brands such as Ozwald Boateng (British-Ghanian descent) and Musika Frère (American), whose suits are offered in unusual colors and patterns, and whose client list includes, Jay Z, Michael B. Jordan, Stephen Curry, Kevin Hart and even Beyoncé.

In 2018, John Galiano introduced the world to ‘men’s couture’ with his Artisanal bias cut suits for Maison Margiela.

 

Hedi Slimane – Skinny jeans (Courtesy Dior Homme)

Hedi Slimane – Skinny jeans (Courtesy Dior Homme)

Today, the top designer menswear brands are truly an international set. Among the top 10 are:  Tom Ford (American), Gucci (Italian-Alessandro Michele), Neil Barrett (British), Thom Browne (American), DSquared2 (Canadians -Dean and Dan Caten), Dolce & Gabbana (Italian), Moncler (French), Louis Vuitton (French house-American designer Virgil Abloh), Prada (Italian) and Balmain (French-Olivier Rousteing).

Menswear has certainly evolved, from a rigid, controlled look, to one that is more casual, more personal and more connected to today’s lifestyle. Yes, menswear doesn’t change radically, but its evolution definitely shows that men are using fashion to express who they are now. Men who are freer to be themselves, men who are more comfortable in their own skin, and who are using fashion for self-expression, makes the future of menswear an exciting proposition.

Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Louis Vuitton by Virgil Abloh (Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Care to share who are your favorite menswear designer/designers of all time?

PARIS FASHION WEEK: A MUCH NEEDED BEAUTIFUL ESCAPE FROM REALITY

- - Fashion Shows
Saint Laurent's spring 2019 Runway (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Saint Laurent’s spring 2019 Runway (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Political unrest, devastating natural disasters, fear of war, the economy, racism, the #me too movement, every day we are all bombarded with negative news, not only from our own backyard, but around the globe. At times, it feels as if we live in a mad, mad world.

So, when friends who are not in the fashion industry ask: “How can you think about fashion during these volatile times?” the answer… it’s not easy. The fashion industry is a Goliath worldwide business. According to Statista, revenue of  the U.S. Apparel Industry in 2018 was estimated at $102,820 million. Globally the retail value of luxury goods is estimated at $339.4 billion (according to Fashion United). But aside from the economic value of the fashion industry, there is also a psychological one – fashion is a great escape from the real world. And, this fashion season delivered!

Not only were the shows theatrical, but the craftsmanship and the use of bold, eye-popping color all contributed to an upbeat and happy escape from reality. Exactly what the doctor ordered.

Let’s take a look at what was happening at the Paris shows, which included debut and controversy at Celine, gender-diversity on the runway, avant-garde escapism and a space age look into a better future.

A NEW DAY AT CELINE

Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Celine was filled with mixed reviews. Even before his show, Slimane caused controversy by rebranding the company’s logo, removing the accent aigu (Céline). As editors, influencers, buyers and celebrities eagerly awaited Slimane’s collection, many were disappointed that he replicated exactly what he did at Saint Laurent (2012-2016) and his past collections for Dior Homme (2000-2007). Slimane fired back, targeting the American press and charging them with ‘homophobia.’ I mean, really?

For many, the re-branding at the hands of Slimane was the complete and utter destruction of Celine’s house codes and Phoebe Philo’s legacy, whose fan base expects smart, chic, and intellectual collections. Some even called Simane’s debut collection, ‘Saint Celine.’

And here’s why. The collection had a glam-grunge, rock n’ roll sensibility.  There was a nod to the Eighties, with big shoulder silhouettes, exaggerated pouf details, mini lengths and plenty of shine. Maybe perfect for dancing the night away at your favorite trendy hot spot but not what the house is generally known for. Just goes to show that taking over as creative director at a heritage house is no simple task!

Celine's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Celine’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Slimane also introduced menswear to Celine, showing perfectly tailored skinny pantsuits that have become his signature look. But, ladies don’t fret, these looks are unisex as well.

Celine's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Celine’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

On the retail front it will be interesting to see, whether Celine’s customers take to the ‘new vision’ or will Slimane’s consumer be his old Saint Laurent clientele. Only time will tell.

THE AGE OF ANDROGYNY

As the cultural discussion on gender identity keeps moving forward, designers are embracing the shift in acceptance and are positioning their brands to be all inclusive by showing their menswear and womenswear collections together, casting transgender models, and even launching entire unisex collections.

At Givenchy,  Clare Waight Keller took cues from 1930s gender-bending writer and adventurer Annemarie Schwarzenbach. Keller sent her models out with cropped boyish haircuts in leather Perfectos tucked into military pants – a direct homage to a photo of Schwarzenbach. For evening, she showed elegant bias cut asymmetrical gowns. But her daywear was what really stuck out.  There were plenty of chic army trousers paired with fitted jackets, smart suit alternatives and plenty of crisp shirts – all perfect looks for the fashion-forward working girl.

Givenchy's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Givenchy’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Haider Ackermann has been showing androgynist looks for years now, with Tilda Swinton as his muse. This season the designer decided to show both his womenswear and menswear collections on the runway together.  The collections were perfectly intertwined, sending out his models in pairs of three to clearly make his point that his collection is cross-gender.

Ackermann has mastered creative tailoring. For spring, there were plenty of sharp suits in bold colors, boxy shirts with intricate laser-cut details and pajama-inspired pieces. Although the unisex concept has been seen on a number of runways this season, Ackermann’s version was effortless and elegant.

Haider Ackermann's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Haider Ackermann’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE AVANT-GARDE

There are a handful of designers who are truly creative geniuses. Season after season these avant-garde designers take us on a breathtaking journey, their collections are thought provoking, witty and intellectual. Here’s a mash-up of the best!

Comme des Garçons' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Comme des Garçons’
spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Thom Browne's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Thom Browne’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rick Owen's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rick Owen’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Yohji Yamamoto's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Yohji Yamamoto’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Junya Watanabe's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Junya Watanabe’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balenciaga's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balenciaga’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Maison Margiela's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Maison Margiela’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE GREATEST SHOWMEN/WOMAN

Meanwhile, back to reality, well, almost. Karl Lagerfeld created a tropical beach for his Chanel spectacle. Yes, you heard me right. At the Paris Grand Palais, Lagerfeld recreated a beach that included an ocean with gentle waves, blue sky, wooden docks and lifeguards. He completed the scene with none other than former Baywatch actor Pamela Anderson seated in the front row.

Chanel's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Chanel’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Nicolas Ghesquière took us on a futuristic voyage for his Louis Vuitton collection. The perfect escape mechanism to avoid the reality of these times.

Louis Vuitton's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Modern dancers performed during Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Christian Dior Show. It was a nice break from traditional cat walking.

Christian Dior's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Christian Dior’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Anthony Vaccarello’s girls walked on water under the Eiffel Tower for his Saint Laurent show.

Saint Laurent's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Saint Laurent’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

For Miuccia Prada’s Miu Miu collection, the concept of  ‘deconstructing beauty’ continued by putting her spin on DIY, recycling, and upcycling under a backdrop modern art installations.

Miu Miu's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Miu Miu’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE ROMANTICS

Fashion week season wouldn’t be complete without a ‘romance-inspired’ collection. Beautifully feminine looks, from whimsical tulle confections to vintage floral charm, these saccharine-savy looks had just the right dose of spice.

Giambattista Valli's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Giambattista Valli’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Alexander McQueen's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Alexander McQueen’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ann Demeulemeester's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ann Demeulemeester’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

 

Altuzarra's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Altuzarra’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Valentino's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Valentino’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

 SPACE AGE

In a galaxy far, far away…..some designers looked ahead to the future, creating looks that were out of this world.

Balmain's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Balmain’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Louis Vuitton’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Gucci's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Gucci’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Isabel Marant's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Isabel Marant’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE REALISTS

Ok, all these fantasy looks are spectacular, but sometimes we need to see some real clothes on the runway, right? But always with a twist!

Sonia Rykiel's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Sonia Rykiel’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Stella McCartney's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Stella McCartney’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Loewe's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Loewe’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Dries Van Noten's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Dries Van Noten’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Hermès' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Hermès’ spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rochas' spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Rochas’ spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

THE NEW GUARD

Here at UoF, we love and support new, emerging designers. Here’s a fresh crop who are disrupting the establishment……

Off-White's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Off-White’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ellery's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Ellery’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Johanna Ortiz's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Johanna Ortiz’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Beautiful People's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Beautiful People’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Esteban Cortazar's spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Esteban Cortazar’s spring 2019 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue)

Tell us which collection took you out of reality, even if only for a moment?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONDON CALLING – THE BEST OF LONDON FASHION WEEK SS/2019

- - Fashion Shows
Queen Elizabeth watches Richard Quinn's show with Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week Fall 2018  CREDIT AFP

Queen Elizabeth watches Richard Quinn’s show with Anna Wintour at London Fashion Week Fall 2018 CREDIT AFP

London Fashion Week, founded by the British Fashion Council in 1983, has definitely established itself as one of the most creative and avant-garde fashion cities in the world. Known for showcasing a mixture of emerging designers and established brands – this season was no exception. Who could forget last season when Her Majesty The Queen sat front row at Richard Quinn? While that moment may be hard to top, there were plenty of exciting moments at LFW SS/2019. From Riccardo Tisci’s debut collection for Burberry to Victoria Beckham’s ten year anniversary show and everything in between. Oh, and let’s not forget that all of London’s runways are now fur free! Here are some outstanding moments and trends from the week.

A NEW ERA AT BURBERRY

Riccardo Tisci is ushering a new day at Burberry – his debut show was not only the most anticipated show of London Fashion Week, but possibly of the whole spring season in general. For the past 5 months, ever since Burberry announced Christopher Bailey’s departure and Tisci as his replacement, the fashion industry has been obsessed with how Tisci might put his mark on the brand. Well, just as Hedi Slimane changed the iconic YSL logo and the company name to Saint Laurent, Tisci began by changing the Burberry logo -it is now a “TB” monogram (the initials of founder Thomas Burberry.) And, for the first time ever, Burberry is now fur-free – thanks to Tisci.

Using the tried and true formula for revamping a heritage brand, by hiring new, young, hot talent, (Virgil Abloh and Nicolas Ghesquière/Louis Vuitton, Hedi Slimane/Dior/Saint Laurent/Celine, Raf Simons/Dior/Calvin Klein), Burberry is counting on Tisci to reinvigorate the label and give it the star-studded colt following that he successfully achieved at Givenchy. So, imagine everyone’s surprise when industry insiders took their seats at Monday evening’s show and discovered that there was not a single celebrity in sight (except for Kendall Jenner on the runway). When Samantha Conti of WWD asked Tisci why he opted for a ‘celebrity free zone,’ Tisci replied, “The [guests] are all people I know and they’re very good friends, so for this first season it was very important for me to really work with the people in the business: the fashion journalists, buyers, friends and family. Celebrities can sometimes give the wrong message and I don’t really like using them as windows.”

What a breadth of fresh air! No distractions, just beautiful and wearable fashion. Check out the full show using the link below:

https://youtu.be/qWsz-tvXQXQ

Naming the collection “Kingdom,” Tisci told Vogue’s Sarah Mower, “It’s like a patchwork or a mix of the British lifestyle.” He wants to dress all generations, “The mother and the daughter, the father and the son.” It was Tisci’s vision of British culture from Punk to Establishment. Could he have been channeling Ralph Lauren a bit here?

Tisci opened his show with a Heritage Trench. This time, buttoned-up and cinched at the waist with a thick elasticized belt. He continued to send out versions of trench coats throughout the show, for both men and women. His menswear looks were  polished, with perfectly tailored suits, sleek knits and terrific outerwear. For women, Tisci introduced eveningwear – minimal, simple, long black jersey dresses, with just a hint of sparkle that were oh so chic and refined. For day, Tisci showed smart, sophisticated looks: bow blouses, printed silk dresses, tailored suits and polo shirts. And of course, there were plenty of Burberry’s signature plaid. Let’s not forget, Tisci was one of the first designers to make street-style – high fashion and he didn’t disappoint. In the mix were anoraks, biker-inspired leather skirt suits, rain ponchos, and utility shirts most notably a pop culture print—echoing a Sex Pistols song—that read,  “why did they kill Bambi?”

After all the hype and anticipation, Tisci delivered a smart collection that pushed the boundaries of Burberry just enough, while at the same time was commercially safe. After all, these are clothes that are meant to be worn in the real world, right?

Burberry's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Burberry’s spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.comS

VICTORIA BECKHAM’S 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Victoria Beckham Tenth Anniversary T-shirt image (Photo Courtesy of Victoria Beckham)

Victoria Beckham Tenth Anniversary T-shirt image (Photo Courtesy of Victoria Beckham)

Happy Anniversary Victoria Beckham!  To celebrate her 10 years in business, Beckham decided to celebrate in her native country. To kick off the celebration, she recreated the famous  T-shirt that Marc Jacobs masterminded a decade ago, featuring Beckham coming out of a shopping bag, a symbol of her journey as a fashion designer. Juergen Teller shot a brilliant ad campaign for the anniversary and limited edition tees can be found on Beckham’s website.

Beckham opened the show with non-other than 90s fashion icon Stella Tennant – wearing an effortless white pantsuit paired with a silk and lace lingerie-inspired top – the epitome of 90s cool. This look is the perfect example of why Beckham has transitioned so easily from a Spice Girl to a serious designer – her clothes are ageless, timeless, elegant, chic, and yet appeal to Millennials, Gen Zs and fashionable woman of every age.

The 90s theme rang throughout the collection but with a refined hand. There were plenty of ‘dresses-over-trouser’ looks that were polished and that had a posh edge. Beckham showed a variety of perfectly fitting slim trousers, tailored blazers, delicate lace tops and sexy knits with handkerchief hems. These were real clothes that real woman can wear. Beckham is a fashion force to be reckoned with and has definitely hit a chord with fashionable women around the globe.

Victoria Beckham's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Victoria Beckham's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Victoria Beckham’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

TOP TRENDS OF LONDON FASHION WEEK

VICTORIAN ERA

London is known for its over-the-top fashion and designers here like to have fun on the runway. One of the biggest trends of the week was a modern day take on Victorian-inspired looks. From Erdem’s tapestry floral dress with exaggerated puffed sleeves to Simone Rocha’s ornate collars. Here are some of our favorite interpretations of this trend.

Erdem's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Erdem’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Simone Rocha's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Simone Rocha’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Mary Katrantzo's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Mary Katrantzo’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

LET THERE BE NEON

LFW was a bright and colorful explosion of neon that will surely be insta-worthy hits.

Roksanda's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Roksanda’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Emilia Wickstead's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Emilia Wickstead’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pringle of Scotland's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pringle of Scotland’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ashish's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ashish’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jenny Packham's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jenny Packham’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Julien Macdonald's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Julien Macdonald’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

House of Holland's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

House of Holland’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

EARN YOUR STRIPES

Stripes are always a favorite on the runway for Spring, but this season designers infused them with a refreshingly bold new twist.

JW Anderson's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

JW Anderson’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Halpern's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Halpern’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Temperly London's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Temperly London’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chalayan's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Chalayan’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Duro Olowu's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Duro Olowu’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

RUFFLED UP

Romance was in the air as flirty ruffles were found on a variety of sexy dresses.

Molly Goddard's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Molly Goddard’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

David Koma's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

David Koma’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Peter Pilotto's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Peter Pilotto’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Richard Quinn's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Richard Quinn’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Delpozo's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Delpozo’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

COLD SHOULDER

Off-the-shoulder numbers are still going strong as designers show plenty of options on the runway.

Osman's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Osman’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christopher Kane's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christopher Kane’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Delpozo's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Delpozo’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Roland Mouret's spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Roland Mouret’s Spring 2019 show (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

GOTTA FAV LOOK FROM LFW? Let us know…..

Marc my words, Jacobs was the best NYFW had to offer

I know I am late to this party, but I finally had the chance to see the Alexander McQueen documentary. If you’ve been under the same rock I have, check out the trailer here. Then, make sure to stream the full length version.

The reason I bring up the McQueen documentary is that it reminds me of a time when fashion shows told tales, the viewer was taken on a visceral journey, and when fashion felt like art, not necessarily commerce. As I sat down to write yet another NYFW review, I realized that I have been covering fashion weeks for over a decade. Whether as a wanna-be fashion student, actual fashion student, designer or blogger, I’ve clicked through countless slides, attended umpteen shows and shown my own collection at NYFW.

While I identify most with the “little guy/gal,” I have big expectations from well-established designers with financial resources and substantial backing. With very few exceptions (especially since Thom Browne packed up for Paris), I rarely see the likes of a McQueen-worthy vision on New York runways. So with McQueen as my guide, I’ve selected the most exhilarating, tale-telling collection (in my humble opinion, of course) by an established player in the NY fashion scene to cover this NYFW. And the honor goes to…none other than Marc Jacobs.

This is not to say that Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary collection or Raf Simons showing for Calvin Klein shouldn’t receive a mention, but three elements push Marc Jacobs S/S 2019 collection to the top.

A response to the cultural/societal/political landscape

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Trans Model Finn Buchanan Image: Vogue.com

Much like movies were an escape during the Great Depression, I think Marc Jacobs’ confectionary creations for S/S 2019 offered us a bit of an escape from negative news, a growing division between people and an impending and intense political cycle.  But just because Jacobs’ larger-than-life ensembles were bright, well-crafted eye candy, doesn’t mean there wasn’t a serious stance embedded in the fluff. Models of all races graced the inclusive Jacobs’ runway, as did trans models, Finn Buchanan and Dara Allen.

_JAC0212

Trans Model Dara Allen Image: Vogue.com

An inspired story

Sometimes I play a little game with myself, just to keep things interesting. I do my best to study a collection, feel the feels and then give my best stab at the designer’s inspiration before reading a word of a review. Marc Jacobs sited a 1960s Barbara Streisand as inspiration for S/S 2019, but a more detailed story played out in my head. So whether my story has anything to do with Jacobs original inspiration or not, the fact that his collection inspired such a tale means it was a collection that sparked imagination—a “Marc” of an exquisite collection.

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Image: Vogue.com

The 60s reference was clear in hair and makeup, but the volume and silhouettes were a far cry from the mini dresses popularized in the 60s. I imagined vivid scenes from the 1967 cult classic Valley of the Dolls in which three girls found their way into showbiz, became famous and depended on “uppers,” sleeping pills, and diet pills (which they called “dolls”) to sustain a life in Hollywood.

vodcover_MediumWide

The top hats, the ruffled collars, the oversized bows and rosettes felt doll-like and the voluminous cloud confections felt like “doll”-induced hazes in which the models were floating down the runway. And then there’s the pastel heavy color palette…call me “on dolls,” but I couldn’t help draw a few parallels.

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Images: Vogue.com

Artistry fulfilling both fantasy and function

Yes, the Pierrot collars may have been over the top, but look underneath. Jackets with the kind of purpose and wearability any power player would be proud to don. Pleats and wide leg trousers gave new meaning to “power suit.”

_JAC0112

Image: Vogue.com

Take away some of the styling and take a look at the phenomenal cut of Jacobs’ garments. The drape on the jacket below alone…

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As Vogue’s Nicole Phelps claims, and this blogger seconds, Marc Jacobs “is New York’s keeper of the fashion flame.” Bravo. Again, bravo.

Your turn. Which S/S NYFW collections inspired you? And more importantly, why? Comment below!

NEW YORK FASHION WEEK: FINALLY CELEBRATING YOUNG DESIGNERS

- - Fashion Shows

New York Fashion Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PH5

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

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

PH5 Spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of PH5)

 WARM

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

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

Warm Spring 2019 (Photo courtesy of Warm)

MATTHEW ADAMS DOLAN

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

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

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

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

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

AMBUSH

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

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

Ambush's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of  Ambush)

Ambush’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

Ambush's spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

Ambush’s spring 2019 (Photo Courtesy of Ambush)

COLLINA STRADA

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

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

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

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

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

BANDE NOIR

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

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

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

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

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

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

ECKHAUSE LATTA

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

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

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

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

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

CHISTIAN COWAN

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

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

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

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

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

PYER MOSS

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRETA CONSTANTINE

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

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

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

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

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

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