From first glance of the glitter, facial embellishments, cutoffs paired with crop tops and fringe, it might be hard to tell if you’ve arrived at Coachella in year 2018 or at Burning Man. Read More
New York Bridal Fashion Week has come to a close and what an exciting season it was! From the romantic runway proposal of Chad Stapleton to model girlfriend Nicole Kaspar at the Watters show, to a touching tribute at the Amsale show for Aberra Amsale, founder and creative director of the bridal and ready-to-wear line who passed away at the age of 64, two weeks before her show. Per Aberra’s request, the show must go on.
The Meghan Markle Effect
Royal fever was at an all-time high! Designers, buyers and editors alike, all had Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their minds as the countdown to the royal nuptials begins. The world will be watching as the Prince takes the beautiful American actress to be his bride on May 19, 2018. All are wondering… will Markle dress in a traditional regal gown or will she break the rules? In a recent Glamour magazine interview, Markle said, “I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style—wedding or not—is very pared down and relaxed.” And so, who and what will she be wearing? Erdem, Mouret, Saab, Beckham or a wedding dress designed by the house of McQueen?
Aside from all the touching moments, the Spring 2019 bridal collections were full of great moments – from the splendid to the surprising. Here is a peek at what bride’s will be wearing next spring:
A Royal Affair
Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be married almost a year before the Spring 2019 bridal collections are available, the regal affair was one of the biggest inspirations of the season. Designers have looked to royal brides for decades. What bride doesn’t want to look and feel like a princess on her wedding day? These delicate yet voluminous gowns were the perfect balance between traditional and fashionable.
Pretty In Pink
Pink frothy confections stood out in a sea of white and ivory gowns. These sweet pastels were a fresh and modern approach to bridal.
Calling all brides… it’s your time to shine! Literally. The disco days of Studio 54 became a surprising trend this bridal season as designers played with silver metallic detailing, from full-on fringe party dresses to mirror-embellished gowns.
With so many bare and sexy and wedding gowns on the runway, a dramatic cape became the perfect cover-up, especially for religious ceremonies. The added layers were equally exquisite, with stunning embroideries and dramatic godet inserts.
Norman Norell popularized the bow in the 60s and they have been a bridal staple ever since. For Spring 2019, bows got super-sized. These sculptural versions added a dramatic flair to the simplest of gowns.
For the non-traditional bride of the twenty-first century, a gown on her wedding day is just not going to happen! Designers are now offering plenty of options – chic tuxedos, bedazzled jumpsuits, and even sequined tracksuits! These style alternatives are also perfect for pre and post wedding day events – bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and après wedding day brunch.
Feathers were a huge RTW trend for the past few seasons and now the bridal market has followed suit. Check out these spectacular plume-trimmed gowns.
So tell us…who do you think is the lucky designer of Meghan’s dress?
Great News! The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest, largest and most prestigious library association in the world, through their publication Choice Reviews, has just given the UoF a thumbs up! Read More
In today’s digital age where news and trends are delivered at lightning speed, it is important for fashion designers to remember to stay true to their brand’s vision. With a plethora of influences out there, like Instagram, Pinterest, fashion vlogs and blogs, it’s hard for them not to succumb to current trends and create a plat du jour collection that may ultimately compromise their brand. Successful designers realize the importance of maintaining brand identity and staying connected with their customers’ expectations as trends shift.
But what should a designer do when their brand signature is not the trend of the moment?
Answer: Designers must adapt their signature style to the changing market, while not confusing their customer.
Here are a few designers who, throughout their successful career, have stayed true to themselves and their brand, while adapting to the ever-changing trend churn:
Miuccia Prada surprises her clients season after season and yet one thing remains consistent; Prada always delivers a unique style that skillfully mixes intellectual purity, art, eccentric elegance and futuristic minimalism. Here are two examples of Prada’s love of art through the years.
Although never one to follow trends, Ralph Lauren has built an empire on updating American classics that reflect elegance and sophistication. Here is a preppy nod to nautical chicness.
While his ‘shrunken’ grey suits put him on the map, Thom Browne is known for his avant-garde fashion and conceptual fashion shows. In an interview with BoF, designer Thom Browne told of his brand’s ‘conceptual-meets-commercial’ balancing act. Browne stated, “I just knew I needed to stay in business. I’m stubborn, but I’m not foolish. Fashion is a business. As conceptual as you want to be, you do have to make sure that you approach it as a business. There has to be a commercial element to what you do.” Here are some examples of his quirky take on men’s suits through the years.
Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have never abandoned their cool, artsy girl customer. At a Fashion at FIAF festival talk, moderated by Vogue’s Sally Singer, the duo stated, “If you do think you have the vision to set out on your own, confidence is key, especially since your designs or ideas might seem crazy and impractical to some. It’s always good to piss some people off. Our teachers at [Parsons] hated us,” Hernandez laughed. “They were like, you guys have to stop making clothes for art girls. Make some easy separates. We were like, What? No!” That spirit has stayed with us to this day. You can’t cater to every single person. You have to do what makes you feel happy.” Here are Proenza Schoular’s fashion-forward girls.
No one has captured the M.O.D. (Model-off-Duty) look better than Alexander Wang. The eponymous label embodies a cool, slightly disheveled, utilitarian chic, downtown style that is favored by hipsters, rappers, ‘It girls’ and critics alike. Here are some Alexander Wang cool, downtown girls.
Tweed, pearls and quilted bags have been among the ‘codes of the house’ at Chanel for decades. And yet, season after season, Karl Lagerfeld adds a youthful and fashion-forward twist to these iconic classics. Here are some signature Chanel looks through the years.
So tell us, which designers do you think have best adapted their ‘signature’ to current fashion trends while still maintaining their brand’s identity?
Millennials have become the generation of social media. Life doesn’t happen unless it’s on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and the many other digital platforms embraced by today’s society. So naturally, fashion and beauty brands have been shelling out big bucks to engage influencers with the expectation that their followers buy the products that they’re peddling.
But now, in an era that created ‘Fake News’, the fashion and beauty world have come to a realization….that many of these so called influencers are not influencers at all, that is, they have ‘fake followers.’
Greats, the premiere sneaker brand, was about to pay an Influencer marketing agency with 10.5 million followers a mid, six-figure sum for a long-term partnership. The influencer, who Gates declined to name, was set to design a capsule collection of woman’s footwear, but the deal never went through. According to a WWD article published on Feb. 13, 2018, Ryan Babenzien, founder and chief executive officer of Greats, discovered that the majority of the influencer’s followers were fake. “In doing due diligence, to get a better understanding of this person’s metrics — largely to make sure her followers aligned with the brand’s target audience — Babenzien was supplied with screenshots containing details about her Facebook and Instagram followings. When we mapped that over the world, we found that it was mathematically impossible for her to be as popular as she was and not have any of the 10 major cities in the 10 major countries be in her top 10 follower cities. It was impossible, Babenzien said. I don’t know if they paid for followers or if they are bots, but there wasn’t the alignment she had in followers from the cities that she was allegedly popular in.”
Fashion, beauty and retail brands around the globe have been allotting sizeable portions of their advertising budgets to influencers to create content for them. But as the industry studies influencers and their followers, they are beginning to understand that many of these numbers are fake. In many cases, inflated follower counts that result in campaigns that generate little return on investment.
According to a WWD article published on Feb. 13, 1018, “The fashion and beauty industries — as well marketing firms, public relations agencies and influencers who have come by their followings honestly — are up in arms about the matter, which they claim is tantamount to stealing from the brands paying them based on false information. Unfortunately, many firms discover this too late and only after shelling out tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Or even worse, many are worried that dishonest content creators and bloggers will ruin it for the rest of the group by giving influencer marketing a bad rap. This means that brands, disappointed when campaigns underperform because influencers fail to generate the traction that someone with a following of their size is expected to, will begin to tighten their belts.”
Brands must be savvy and investigate the influencers they chose to work with. For example, there may be some people who are really good at creating brand awareness, and maybe they have a ton of followers, but the exchange isn’t high, but then there may be smaller influencers who are able to push a lot of sales. So, it is important for brands to know who they are collaborating with and who their followers are. For example, Benefit Cosmetics has made some of the most significant investments in influencers across the entire beauty industry — including spending a reported $10 million on influencer initiatives to support its BadGal Bang Volumizing Mascara launch this month, according to a WWD article published on Feb. 13, 1018. “If Benefit gets credible info on an influencer with a lot of fake followers, we simply stop working with them, Toto Haba, senior vice president global digital at Benefit, told WWD.”
So, how can a fashion, beauty or retail brand identify fake followers? Well there are a few paid tools that can estimate the percentage of fake followers on an account, including InfluencerDB, SocialBakers, Social Audit Pro and SocialBlade. Therefore, before you shell out a vast amount of your advertising budget on an influencer, don’t forget to do your homework and work with these tools to help identify fake followers.
Amidst the recent Facebook scandal, where millions of people’s identity and privacy were compromised and used to turn several global political elections, and with talk now of government regulation, how long will it take for more transparency on social media when it comes to fake influencers? We are truly living in the 21st century’s version of the Wild West. Bring on the sheriff and the cavalry!
So tell us, who is your favorite influencer? Do you think that social media should be regulated?
How does an industry that produces some of the sexiest clothes and creates the most provocative ads (think Calvin Klein) deal with the #MeTooMovement without seeming hypocritical? Good question!
Our industry revolves around desirability and seduction. Models are asked to pose provocatively (often times naked), young girls are continually used in ad campaigns and laws had to be passed to keep models with BMI’s under 8.5 from walking the runway. As a result, the industry is struggling with their stand on the MeToo Movement.
Last October, a few courageous actresses shared their stories of sexual abuse at the hands of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, forcing him out of his company and into rehabilitation. The news hit home for the fashion industry, since Weinstein was a former owner of Halston (2007-2011) and married to Georgina Chapman, designer and co-owner of the brand Marchesa. Amidst the scandal and to save her company, she divorced Weinstein. The flood gates opened!
Fashion models, who previously felt victimized, were empowered to speak out – both male and female – about sexual assault and harassment that they suffered at the hands of some of the most famous fashion photographers in the business: Terry Richardson, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier and Bruce Webber. These photographers worked with just about every top model, every fashion publication and countless designer ad campaigns. Of course, all are denying any wrong doing and are vowing to clear their names.
But you really do have to stop and think…why has it taken our industry so long to pull the plug on this type of behavior? Should modeling agencies take blame for not protecting these young women and men who they represent and knowingly throw them to the wolves? How could this behavior been kept a secret for so long? Is their a ‘bad-boy’ code that makes this acceptable?
So far, there have been no embarrassing resignations, no contrite statements. Some in the industry seem to be defending these photographers. An article in the February 5, 2018 issue of New York Magazine stated that Condé Nast agreed to institute a “Code of Conduct” that sounded suspiciously like workplace norms (“Recreational drugs are not permitted”). Vogue editor and Condé Nast artistic director Anna Wintour put the company’s relationship with these photographers “on hold.” Not exactly a firm stand on the issue. And unlike their counterparts in the entertainment industry, who came out in defense of their victims, some of fashion’s celebrities actually leaped to the defense of the accused. People charged with a sex crime are presumed guilty in the public eye from the beginning, so one would need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help cut through the noise that surrounds such an accusation. Visit this website for more details. Kelly Klein (former wife of Calvin) posted on Weber’s Instagram “#istandbyhim,” and where his denial received 4,692 likes to his main accuser’s of only 846. Donna Karan added “Thank you for being the man friend partner artist photographer u are.” “Bruce is an incredible artist and inspiration,” said model Elaine Irwin. “In my experience he has always been absolutely professional, kind and respectful to everyone on his set.” “For me, working with Bruce has always been a joy,” Isabella Rossellini chimed in. “Bruce Weber is an artist thru and thru,” said Christie Brinkley. When Weber posted a picture of his dog the day after the Times article went up online, former CFDA executive director Fern Mallis responded with “paws,” “heart,” and “thank-you hands” emoji. Vogue editor Lisa Love sent him an “xx.” “It’s getting out of control this going after people saying they have been sexually harassed,” one model scout wrote on Instagram. “What a load of crap. I would be more than happy to send models for Bruce to shoot! Makes me nervous that I’ll get sued next! Ha ha.” Makes you wonder whether industry power-players are helping to cover-up these allegations due to their long-standing friendships or they disbelieve the victims?
In any other industry, heads would roll, but in fashion, people just look the other way. These young models (male and female) are thrown into a world of partying, drugs and sex. Many of them are in their early teen years. So who is there to watch over and protect models from such predators?
“It’s been well known for decades that sexual abuse of models is a pervasive problem,” says Sarah Ziff, a model, filmmaker, activist, and executive director of the Model Alliance. “It was always accompanied by this sneering sense of : “‘oh, models, beautiful people, they have it so hard,” she says. “The issue is not just the individuals who’ve abused their power, but also the industry’s enabling culture and lack of accountability, and the sense that this kind of predatory behavior just comes with the territory.” This one, they expected, would just as easily blow over. “No one’s nervous,” one agent at a top firm told me. “Everyone thinks they’re untouchable. Because it has been going on so long.” – According to the New York Magazine February 5, 2018 issue.
Models, just like actors, take on a new role for each photo shot. Just because they are getting paid to take sexualized photos doesn’t mean that they should be treated as sex objects. In the face of the #MeToo movement, why are all the allegations of sexual misconduct in the modeling industry not being taken as serious as those in Hollywood? Let’s hope that our industry can step up to the plate and start protecting models from sexual predators and abuse. Nobody’s job should include abuse.
Have you accounted abuse of any kind in the fashion industry? Share your story and help protect others.
The two words we were left with at the conclusion of Frances McDormand’s 2018 Oscar acceptance speech. I don’t know about you, but my thought process went something like this…
“Inclusion writer? No, I would have heard of that. Inclusion rider. Hmmm. Alexa?” Read More
After a long fashion show season, fashionistas can breathe, we are now in the final stretch of the fall 2018 collections. As editors, models, buyers and fashion insiders arrived in the City of Light on Tuesday morning, they were greeted with extremely cold temperatures and a little snow, but everyone was happy because the shows were on fire!
While Paris Fashion Week is still going strong, here is a look at the excitement of the first half of the week:
Are you up for a protest? Well Maria Grazia Chiuri sure is, as her fall runway collection was inspired by France’s student protest of 1968. Chiuri has become French fashion’s voice of female empowerment and a champion for women everywhere. For her latest collection, Chiuri struck a chord! She filled her runway venue with protest art from the 60s, which seemed quite relevant given the ongoing protests against NRA-beholden politicians in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and student-led anti-gun movement. Let’s give a shout-out to these young people who are making their voices heard and who are planning a nationwide ‘March For Our Lives’ gun-control rally scheduled for March 24th.
Inspired by the late Sixties, Chiuri played with crochets, embroideries and plenty of patchwork – but all with a refined hand; after all, this is the House Of Dior.
Sex sells, and no one does it sexy better than Anthony Vaccarello. The young designer’s Saint Laurent show was full of energy and excitement, as he built a stadium-size box, slap-bang opposite the Eiffel Tower. The venue was a spectacle with dazzling lights filling the space. The clothes were just as wonderful – a full-on Eighties spectacle with big-shouldered dresses and barely there shorts. The Saint Laurent girl better get her legs in shape this season!
Leave it to John Galliano to imagine the apocalypse and have his girls dressed for it in the coolest of ways. For his collection at Maison Margiela, the designer piled on layers of every type of protective device. Case in point, techy plastics and shields over just about everything. Is this his reaction (solution?) to North Korea and Russia’s ramp-up of weapons of mass destruction and sarin gas that was used on the Syrian people? Maybe.
Dries Van Noten
On a lighter note, Dries Van Noten, known for his beautiful and creative mix of prints and color, did not disappoint for his fall collection. While American designers were preoccupied with the 80s, Van Noten served up plenty of Seventies-inspired psychedelic references. Makes you want to contemplate the Bob Dylan song, My Back Pages (make famous by the Byrds in the late 60s) with the lyric: “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
It may only be her second season designing under the Chloé label, but Natacha Ramsay-Levi has already established a cult following. Inspired by the 1970’s and actresses of that time-period, such as Anjelica Huston, Sissy Spacek, Isabelle Huppert, and Stéphane Audran, Levi showed plenty of skin-baring openings, open V-neck blouses and sexy cut-out dresses, showing just the right amount of flesh.
Hi And Bye
In other news, Burberry has tapped Riccardo Tisci as Chief Creative Officer, replacing 17-year Burberry veteran Christopher Bailey , one of the founders of the ‘see-now-buy-now’ and ‘direct-to-consumer’ movements and the creator of the newly revised iconic Burberry plaid, adding rainbow stripes for LGBTQ. Congratulations to Tisci as he begins his new role on March 12th.
Tell us, which shows were your favs and why and what role you think designers should play (as have athletes and actors) in making the world a better place?
Tasked with reviewing both London and Milan fashion weeks, I suffered a slight panic attack before settling in to write this week.
Gender bending, logo presenting, fake head carrying, pattern mixing and matching, balaclava wearing, houndstooth-plaid-sequin donning—all descriptors that don’t even begin to cover the Gucci show in Milan. As a fashion student, I would have savored every detail of the Gucci extravaganza and devoured every look, head-to-toe. Read More