Pre-Fall 2018: What Does the Season Really Mean?

- - Fashion Shows
Erdem Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Erdem Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

In the world of fashion, pre-fall is many things.

It’s the longest-running season, opening to buyers and press in November and wrapping up on the heels of spring couture in January. Generally, pre-fall collections offer more commercial looks than the main runway seasons, giving retailers the opportunity to present new merchandise to their customers between the fall and spring collections. It has also become the most important sales season with merchandise sitting on the sales floor for up to six months. But in today’s world, it is also becoming increasingly difficult to define the season, as designers show various interpretations of what exactly “pre-fall” means.

Tory Burch Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Tory Burch Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

The name (pre-fall) alludes to autumn, but the deliveries hit stores in the beginning of summer. Designers present everything from fur coats to cotton eyelet dresses and everything in between. So the terminology is confusing 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 a variety of weights and styles to satisfy both a customer looking for a summer outfit in July that they can transition into fall, as well as someone buying a coat or knit that they can wear through the colder months?

In additional to addressing transitional weather, pre-fall can also be a prelude to the next runway collection; an opportunity to test what works and doesn’t work with clients. For many designers, pre-fall can help lay-out the groundwork for many of the shapes and ideas that appear in the following season.

On an ethical note, there are just too many clothes out there; designers are producing too much instead of considering the outcome. So many designers are churning out ‘bestsellers’ and collections that have no point or value to the system; stores are buying them to keep up with the never-ending seasonal trends. It leads to the same clothes in all the stores with less than stellar sales.

So while many in the industry ponder on what the season means to them and how the pre-fall model varies for every designer, here are some of the highlights from the Pre-Fall 2018 season so far:

YARN IT ALL

Miles beyond the plain –Jane sweater, a wonderful tactile world of cozy knits await from chic sweater dresses to feminine sweaters.

Canel Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Chanel Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Pringle of Scotland Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Pringle of Scotland Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Prabal Gurung Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Victoria Beckham Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Victoria Beckham Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

PRINTS CHARMING

Designers are making a case for head to toe prints this season as patterns are mixed in fun and playful ways.

Gucci Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Gucci Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Altuzarra Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Altuzarra Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Fendi Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Fendi Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Versace Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Versace Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

SHIRT CIRCUIT

In a nod to the classics, the white button down shirt gets a fresh make-over this season.

Milly Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Milly Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Brock Collection Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Brock Collection Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Rag & Bone Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Rag & Bone Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

A.L.C. Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

A.L.C. Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

TOTALLY EIGHTIES

Designers dug deep into the archives and pulled out bright colors and body-conscious silhouettes.

Jonathan Simkhai Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Jonathan Simkhai Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Balmain Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Balmain Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Naeem Khan Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Naeem Khan Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Koché Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Koché Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

BEASTIE GIRLS

Things got plenty hairy this season in the form of oh-so-cozy yet beastly furs (in both real and faux).

Givenchy Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Givenchy Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Sonia Ryliel Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Sonia Ryliel Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Gucci

Gucci Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Gucci Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Carolina Herrera Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Carolina Herrera Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

SUMMER LOVIN

Then there are the designers who want to hold on to summer offering sweat little dresses to keep cool and look fresh.

La Vie Rebecca Taylor Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

La Vie Rebecca Taylor Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

See By Chloe Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

See By Chloe Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Sea Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

Sea Pre-Fall 2018 (Photo Courtesy of the Designer)

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE PRE-FALL SEASON AND HOW SHOULD YOUNG DESIGNERS APPROACH THE SEASON?

 

And the Winners Are……

- - Fashion Events
Adwoa Aboah, Model of the Year (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Adwoa Aboah, Model of the Year (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

On Monday, December 4th, the biggest names in the fashion industry – from Donatella Versace to Stella McCartney – partied it up with lovely Hollywood entertainers – like Selina Gomez and Pink – as well as fashion-loving socialites – Lady Amelia Windsor was one of the best dressed of the evening – for England’s biggest fashion event of the year, the British Fashion Council’s annual Fashion Awards (formerly known as the British Fashion Awards).  In partnership with Swarovksi, the 2017 British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards ceremony took place at London’s famous Royal Albert Hall and the crowd looked fabulous.

Karlie Kloss in Vivienne Westwood Couture (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Karlie Kloss in Vivienne Westwood Couture (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Rita Ora in Versace (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Rita Ora in Versace (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

 

Kaia Gerber in Ralph & Russo (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Kaia Gerber in Ralph & Russo (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Selena Gomez in Coach (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Selena Gomez in Coach (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

The star-studded red carpet commanded much attention with fashion royalty and A-listers such as Naomi Campbell, Alexa Chung, Karlie Kloss, Kaia Gerber, Rita Ora, Zendaya and many more beauties; but not even such star-power wattage took away from the event’s purpose, to honor the best and brightest in fashion.

Nominees for the 2017 Fashion Awards were “chosen from hundreds of international names and they represent the most creative talent and innovative businesses of the year” said Natalie Massenet, the British Fashion Council Chairman, in a statement she released to the press this past October (2017).

Natalie Massenet (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Natalie Massenet (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

The evening was filled with plenty of emotional and touching moments as fashion’s finest paid tribute to industry veterans as well as the stars of the future. Christian Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri acknowledged the late Editor-In-Chief of Italian Vogue Franca Sozzani, while Naomi Campbell and a gaggle of models presented a powerful message that while Azzedine Alaïa might have passed away, his legacy will live on.

The British Fashion Council has a history of helping and supporting talented designers. According to Francesca Sterlacci, the Founder and CEO of University of Fashion and the author of The Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry, the British Fashion Council (BFC) was founded in 1983 and was borne out of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers which was disbanded in the 1970s. The BFC is a nonprofit limited company that is financed by industry sponsors. In 1989 the BFC created the British Fashion Awards, to honor those who have made a major contribution to fashion industry throughout the year. The BFC also created New Generation (NEWGEN) in 1993, one of the most internationally recognized talent identification initiatives that continue to showcase and promote new designer businesses. Since 2001, the initiative has been sponsored by retailer Topshop and has been pivotal in nurturing emerging London talent. Designers that have been promoted as part of NEWGEN are, Alexander McQueen, Boudicca, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald and more recently Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Richard Nicoll, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson and Christopher Raeburn. Also initiated in 1993 was the Colleges Council, which provides opportunities for students to become involved in the industry through various activities including events, seminars and competitions.

In 2008, the London Fashion Showcasing Fund was created to support London Fashion Week. The BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund (The Fund) was launched by BFC Chairman Harold Tillman in September 2008 as part of the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations. The Fund is supported by Burberry, Debenhams, Harrods, Paul Smith, Topshop and Vogue.

Today, ( in 2017) the British Fashion Council has been focusing on its Positive Fashion initiative, which is a platform designed to create positive change in the industry through Sustainability: Origins & Ethics, Going Green, Fairtrade & Environmental Health; Model Health & Diversity: Education, Communication & Equality; and Local Manufacturing & Craftsmanship.

Here are the winners of the fashion industry’s biggest achievers according to the British Fashion Council:

Model of the Year: Adwoa Aboah

Urban Luxe Brand: Virgil Abloh for Off-White

Business Leader: Marco Bizzarri for Gucci

British Emerging Talent — Menswear: Charles Jeffrey for Charles Jeffrey Loverboy

British Emerging Talent — Womenswear: Michael Halpern for Halpern

British Designer of the Year — Menswear: Craig Green for Craig Green

British Designer of the Year — Womenswear: Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson

Accessories Designer of the Year: Jonathan Anderson for Loewe

Designer of the Year: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Swarovski Award for Positive Change: Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Pat McGrath

Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion Award: Christopher Bailey

Special Recognition Award for Innovation: Stella McCartney

Fashion Icon Award: Donatella Versace & House of Versace

British Designer of the Year - Womenswear Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

British Designer of the Year – Womenswear Jonathan Anderson for JW Anderson
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Special Recognition Award for Innovation: Stella McCartney (Photo courtesy of  Getty Images)

Special Recognition Award for Innovation: Stella McCartney (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Fashion Icon Award: Donatella Versace & House of Versace (Photo courtesy of  Getty Images)

Fashion Icon Award: Donatella Versace & House of Versace (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

 

Do you agree with the winners nominated by The British Fashion Council? Let us know your choices.

 

 

“Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Fall 2013 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Every year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City hosts a fashion inspired exhibit, and its 2018 theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” could be their most controversial yet. The juxtaposition of fashion and religious artwork masterpieces will be designed to study fashion’s continuous fascination with the traditional practices of the Catholic Church. The Met has arranged to showcase a group of papal robes and accessories from the Vatican, highlighting the ongoing influence liturgical vestments have on designers.

The exhibition, which in turn prompts the theme for the annual, Vogue-associated Met Gala and its spectacular red carpet parade, will take place on the first Monday of May and the exhibit will open to the public on May 10th.  The Met Gala will be hosted by a trio of fashionable women: Donatella Versace, Rihanna and Amal Clooney. The exhibition will go beyond the usual confines of the Anna Wintour Costume Center, expanding to The Met’s medieval galleries and the Cloisters outpost in northern Manhattan.  According to The New York Times, the exhibition will be the Costume Institute’s largest exhibition to date; depending on how it’s executed, it may also be the most polarizing.

Christopher Kane spring 2017 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Christopher Kane spring 2017 Collection (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

“We know it could be controversial for right wing or conservative Catholics and for liberal Catholics,” curator Andrew Bolton told the Times. But president and chief executive of the Met Daniel H. Weiss noted that he has “confidence that the exhibition will inspire understanding, creativity and, along the way, constructive dialogue, which is precisely a museum’s role in our civil society.” Bolton also consulted local Catholic leadership in New York, not to mention partnered with the Vatican for parts of the exhibition, hoping that this may help ease tensions felt by the faithful.

“The Roman Catholic Church has been producing and promoting beautiful works of art for centuries,” director of the Holy See press office Greg Burke told the Times. “Most people have experienced that through religious paintings and architecture. This is another way of sharing some of that beauty that rarely gets seen.”

Left: Manuscript Leaf With Scenes From the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian, c. 1320–42, tempera and gold on parchment; right, Evening Dress, Madame Grès, 1969 (Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Left: Manuscript Leaf With Scenes From the Life of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italian, c. 1320–42, tempera and gold on parchment; right, Evening Dress, Madame Grès, 1969 (Image courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The exhibition will not only present The Met’s own religious art collection but will also feature religious garments borrowed from the Vatican, attendees will be able to view 50 ecclesiastical masterworks from the Sistine Chapel sacristy, many of which were never shown outside of the Vatican. These works will be showcased along with papal vestments, rings, tiaras and accessories from more than 15 papacies in the Anna Wintour Costume Center galleries. That area alone will highlight work from the 18th to the early 21st century. The Vatican has not made a loan of this scope to The Met since its exhibition in 1982 entitled, The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art, which ranked third as The Met’s most-visited show.

Clothing from 150 designer collections that pay homage to Catholicism, will have their work on display. Designers included are: Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Cristóbal Balenciaga, Thom Browne, Azzedine Alaïa, Christopher Kane, John Galliano for the House of Dior, Claire McCardell, Madeleine Vionnet, Isabel Toledo, Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino, Elsa Schiaparelli, Raf Simons for his own label and the House of Dior.

Jeremy Scott Fall 2017 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Jeremy Scott Fall 2017 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

The fashion component will be mostly woman’s wear from the early 20th century to present. The exhibit is meant to provide an interpretative context for fashion’s engagement with Catholicism. The designs are meant to be considered within the broader context of religious artistic production to analyze their connection to the historiography of material, Christianity and their contribution to the perceptual construction of the Catholic imagination, according to press material provided by The Met.

Chanel on the cover of Vogue, November 1988 (photo by Peter Lindbergh)

Chanel on the cover of Vogue, November 1988 (photo by Peter Lindbergh)

As you can see, fashion has long borrowed from the Catholic Church’s rich visual history; From Dolce & Gabbana sending religious imagery down the runway to pop stars like Madonna and Lady Gaga, using clothing to set themselves up as new ‘spiritual icons’. Fashion’s relationship with the Catholic Church and churches in general, have  always been somewhat provocative. During London Fashion Week 2017, a bitter row  erupted with leading clerics after Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu used an historic church to showcase her collection, with models dressed as devils and vampires sashaying in front of the altar. And who can forget Madonna’s controversy by inappropriately using Christian imagery in her songs, videos and concerts with songs like “Like a Virgin” (1984) to “Like a Prayer” (1989) and her Confessions Tour in 2005 ?

Do you think the Met’s exhibit is a marketing ploy to increase the number of museum-goers or one that hopes to bring the fashion world and the Catholic Church together?

Versace Spring 2018 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Spring 2018 (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Production Pitfalls – Confessions of a Fashion Star Winner

I’ve never told this story publicly before.

Partly because I didn’t want to disappoint all of the fans that were inspired by my story on Fashion Star with the dirty production details following the excitement of the show.

And partly because I was embarrassed for a long time about how naive I was with regards to production in the actual world of fashion—which is nothing like the glitz and glamor of the finished products you see on TV. Read More

The New Influencers: Welcome to Revolve’s First Awards Ceremony

Janice Joostema, Rocky Barnes, Marianna Hewitt, Camila Coelho and Aimee Song. (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

Janice Joostema, Rocky Barnes, Marianna Hewitt, Camila Coelho and Aimee Song. (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

What is an ‘Influencer’  you ask?

Digital natives, who post, snap and tweet to their hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers — who then rush out and buy the products that these Influencers recommend. Women (and men) no longer look to fashion and beauty magazines for inspiration and ideas. In today’s digital age, those titles — and their editors — are quickly becoming a thing of the past, not only to consumers (latest casualty, Teen Vogue) but to brands themselves, who are now relying on these ‘brand ambassadors’ who are disrupting and replacing advertising and marketing ‘agencies’.

So why not celebrate these fashion and beauty influencers!

Well on Nov. 2, Revolve, the trendy mega-retailer who collaborates and works with Influencers daily, has hosted its first ever Revolve Awards Show. Revolve has successfully built its business on influencer marketing and are now celebrating and awarding their partners. It was a fun-filled and fashionably bold night.

The glamourous evening took place at Hollywood’s Dream Hotel and was hosted by E!’s Terrence Jenkins. Attendees ranged from Chrissy Teigen, and Nicole Richie to Hailey Baldwin and plenty of Instagram stars. The ceremony focused on influencer-centric categories – such as, YouTube Channel of the Year, Best Influencer Brand, BFFs of the Year, Best Beauty Influencer, Brand of the Year, #COUPLEGOALS of the Year and Influencer of the Year.  Half of the winners were chosen by a trusted panel of industry experts and fans had the opportunity to cast their votes as well.

Chrissy Teigen  (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Chrissy Teigen (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Revolve, a multi-brand online shopping retailer based in Los Angeles, was one of the first to identify bloggers as the new voice of fashion. Bloggers, Vloggers, Influencers and Insta-stars, have the ability to catapult a fashion or beauty label to the masses. These fashion crusaders have gained the trust of their audience base because they speak and dress in a way that most young women aspire and can relate and to, in contrast to traditional global fashion scene which is often perceived as intimidating and snobby. “We’ve been blogger -believers since 2009,” Revolve Chief Brand Officer, Raissa Gerona, said at the brunch. “They speak to our customers in a really authentic way that’s really meaningful,” co-founder and co-CEO Michael Mente told Fashionista.Com.

“We’re millennials too, so we automatically got it,” Gerona told Fashionista.com of the blogger boom. “Instead of being like, why are you writing about your outfit? It’s like, cool, you’re telling me what you’re wearing on your blog! I feel like I can get someone else’s perspective that I can trust. It’s not like Anna Wintour, who I’m never ever going to meet, you know?” It’s the difference between being talked down to – and talking with your friends.

On an earlier Instagram post (prior to the event), Revolve stated “We are nominating and honoring the best in the biz, our Influencers, our top selling brands and our ambassadors, for whom we wouldn’t be here without. And you, our followers and customers, are the core of everything we’ve achieved and hustle for. Thank you everyone who’s ever believed in us and supported us from the beginning.”

And the investment in Influencers is paying off. According to an article published by WWD in October, Revolve in on track to do over $1 billion in sales this year, attributing 70 percent of that sum to the might of the e-tailer’s influencers, a global network of 5,000 content creators.

Revolve’s Influencer of the Year, was the biggest award of the night and of course, the catagorie was filled with a talented and beautiful range of eight nominees: Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni, Camila Coelho, Negin Mirsalehi, Rocky Barnes, Julie Sariñana, Tash Oakley, and Arielle Charnas.  But of course, there can only be one winner. So the ultra-stylish Negin Mirsalehi took home the prize.  The trend-setter called her boyfriend Maurits Stibbe to the stage to help her accept the award, and they were adorable. According to Negin Mirsalehi in an interview with Fashionista.Com, “They were the first ones to understand from the Influencer’s perspective. They see that Influencers are more than just people who take pictures all the time,”noting the company’s willingness to collaborate and brainstorm with Influencers to create maximum benefit for both parties. Currently Mirsalehi has 206K views on YouTube and 4.3M followers on Instagram. Now that’s a massive ‘influence’, don’t you think?

Below is a list of the Revolve Award Winners:

Influencer of the Year: Negin Mirsalehi

Best Beauty Influencer: Jenn Im

YouTube Channel of the Year: Camila Coelho

BFFs of the Year: Aimee Song & Camila Coelho

#CoupleGoals of the Year: Negin Mirsalehi & Maurits Stibbe

Best Influencer Brand: Shop Sincerely Jules by Julie Sariñana

Brand of the Year: For Love & Lemons

Best Activewear Brand: Alo Yoga

Best Beauty Brand: Ouai

Best Swimwear Brand: Beach Riot

Innovator of the Year: Eva Chen

Artist of the Year: Rae Sremmurd

Icon of the Year: Nicole Richie

Woman of the Year: Chrissy Teigen

Muse of the Year: Shay Mitchell

Whether you follow these influencers religiously, or you find them to be self-promoting, label-whoring, fame-seeking pretty young things, it is undeniable that Revolve has distinguished itself with a powerful marketing tactic that is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the fashion industry. Many Influencers even have their own hashtags, such as Chiara Ferragni’s famous #TheBlondSaladGoesTo….   Love it or hate it, the fashion industry needs to pay attention to these teens and young adults, for the rise of social media is just the beginning.

So tell us, who is your favorite fashion or beauty influencer?

Nicole Richie (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

Nicole Richie (Photo Courtesy of Revolve)

 

Raissa Gerona and Negin Mirshalehi (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Raissa Gerona and Negin Mirshalehi (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Jasmine Sanders and Rachel Zoe (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Jasmine Sanders and Rachel Zoe (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Shay Mitchell (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Shay Mitchell (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Michael Mente, Elsa Hosk and Mike Karanikolas (Photo courtesy of Revolve)

Michael Mente, Elsa Hosk and Mike Karanikolas
(Photo courtesy of Revolve)

 

 

 

Designing for the Future: Process Instead of Product

- - Fashion Innovation

As a fashion designer, have you ever hit a serious creative roadblock?

You know the drill. Tasked with designing the “next big thing,” you sit down with your sketchbook and draw a complete blank—literally.

“Everything’s been done before,” you mutter to yourself and head back to the inspiration drawing board.

We’ve been there, and to an extent, you’re right. The A-line dress has been designed in countless fabrics and prints. T-shirts have been taken apart, put back together, ripped, washed, distressed, embellished, frayed, short, long, oversized, cropped…you name it. And unfortunately, many of those clothes have ended up in landfills. Maybe there is a more viable (and valuable) way to come up with the next big thing in fashion.

Today’s designers, and those who will stand out from the pack in the future, must also be innovators. So instead of using our creative energy to determine how can we design a pair of jeans no one has ever seen before, maybe we should be considering how can we better the jeans that are already on the market.

Instead of researching for inspiration, research a current problem in the fashion industry.

Instead of producing more fashion industry waste, use waste from the fashion industry to produce.

Instead of using extensive (and often toxic) processing to achieve a new finish, explore a new process to reduce the fashion industry’s footprint on the environment.

Recently featured in an issue of Hue, a magazine published by FIT, Stacy Flynn and Christopher Stanev are a dynamic duo who have set out to change how clothes are made, in effect proving the “everything’s been done before” argument dead wrong. Formerly with DuPont, Target and Eddie Bauer, Flynn had sourced millions of yards of fabric and seen first hand the pollution produced by textile factories—in particular those factories using recycling technology.

While using plastic from bottles to create polar fleece may sound like a move in the more sustainable direction, unfortunately, the process necessary to transform plastic into fleece is almost as detrimental as creating polar fleece sans recycled plastic bottles. And those retailers who have started recycling programs in which consumers bring in clothes they will no longer wear are only making a small dent in the current landfill crisis in the US. Of the 16 million tons of textiles Americans dispose of each year, on 16 percent is reused or recycled.

And so, Flynn and textile chemist, Stanev began to research how they could create a virgin fiber by dissolving and purifying donated clothes, then extruding the results for use in creating new garments. The pair did not find answers overnight—Flynn started asking questions in 2010, partnered with Stanev and together they invested their savings and retirement accounts to discover a way to liquefy fabric, extract the raw cellulose (which makes up 98 percent of cotton) and turn it into a reusable sturdy fiber.

Stanev’s team of researchers developed safe, reusable solvents to break down fabric and in 2015, Patrice George (Flynn’s former weaving teacher) began to weave what Stanev and Flynn called Evrnu yarn into denim. At first the yarn was very weak. George described it as “a cross between cotton candy and peanut brittle.” Stanev worked to make each new skein of Evrnu he sent George stronger and she created 4.5 yards of denim with Evrnu as the weft and cotton as the warp.

Evernu-project_32-860x645

Evrnu Denim Image: Hue Magazine

Flynn then met with Levi’s head of global product innovation and secured an early-adopter agreement for Evrnu use after having George’s handwoven denim made into two pairs of 511 jeans. Target then signed on to redevelop one of their core items, such as socks or Underwear For Men UFM, using Evrnu technology for debut in stores in 2018.

The real beauty and innovation of Evrnu?

• It can be enhanced. It it’s liquid state, moisture-wicking or antimicrobial properties can be added. Evrnu also takes dye efficiently (and with a 30 percent reduction in impact compared to the dying of cotton or polyester).

• It’s strong. Using Evrnu technology, the cellulose can be stripped down to a pure carbon chain which is three times stronger than steel and 1/5 as heavy.

• It’s good for the environment. Production of Evrnu takes 98 percent less water than cotton production and gives off 90 percent less carbon dioxide than the process used to create polyester.

And get this…Evrnu can be recycled again and again and again—literally three times before it breaks down into sugar.

Whew. As designers, many of us dream of never-before-used construction techniques, never-before-seen prints and textiles or incorporating cutting edge technology into garments to make consumers lives easier.

However, just imagine the larger impact of creating an A-line dress in Evrnu. While the A-line dress has certainly “been done before,” a garment that can be recycled and worn for generations to come with minimal impact on the environment? Well, we think that counts as “the next big thing” in fashion. Congrats, Flynn and Stanev—you inspire us to rethink the type of contributions emerging designers can make in the fashion industry.

So now…we must ask you, our readers, what will your contribution be?

 

Halloween Inspired Looks Right Off The Runway

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

In Need of a Costume……..

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

We look to Fashion Week for the latest trends and style inspirations, as well as celebrity sightings, street-style stars, and drop-dead gorgeous models, but at times, runway looks can be a great source of originality for Halloween costumes. Forget the creepy, zombie  motifs. The spring/summer 2018 collections offer more feminine and sexy variations to play dress up in. Themes ranged from Disney princess’ to Andy Warhol pop art prints.  So take a look below, and see the most creative styles that’ll have you covered when it comes to costume originality and give you major high-fashion cred.

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Swan Lake

Every little girl dreams of being a ballerina and for spring, Thom Browne created an alternate universe at the Hôtel de Ville with magic wands and pouches full of glittery fairy dust. The possibility of magic and mischief filled the air. This whimsical show was an ode to childhood fantasies – think mermaids, unicorns and ballerinas. Browne’s vision of a ballerina was am encrusted pearl studded bodysuit as they danced down the runway, now that’s what you’d call a fairy-tale beginning.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Scott was also inspired by the ballet, but his version was a tougher girl, for his Moschino show – think biker ballerina. Scott showed a variety of leather jackets, satin bustiers, tulle tutus, and fishnets in a couple dozen variations on the runway.

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Thom Browne Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Moschino Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Moschino Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fairy-Tale

Fairy Tales do come true – and no one was able to capture the joy of fairytales and princesses better then Walt Disney. For spring, Philipp Plein’s theme was “Good Gone Bad.” His recurrent logo was a ball-gagged and bonded Alice in Wonderland character (or was it Cinderella?). Plein anlo showed a handful of T-shirts that read “Plein Fairytale Crew”. Was it a fairy tale? No. But wouldn’t it make a great costume?

Meanwhile, Alessandro Michele showed an intense, contradictory, and literally dark experience, for his spring 2018 Gucci show. It was full of glitter and glam, ’80s shoulders, English tweeds, Disney and Sega references, with all his recognizable eclectic mix of reworked vintage chic. Who wouldn’t love a Snow White sequin sweatshirt?

 

Philipp Plein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Philipp Plein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gucci Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 Pop-Art

The fashion and art world go hand in hand as many designers look to artists for inspiration. For Spring, both Raf Simons for Calvin Klein and Donatella Versace where influenced by the works of Andy Warhol and his iconic Pop-Art prints. For Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein, he experimented with American classics but in a subversive way. His new motifs for spring included Andy Warhol prints of Dennis Hopper circa Easy Rider and a 1971 Sandra Brant (is there an art movement more American than Pop?), cheerleaders, and horror movies.

Meanwhile, Donatella Versace gave a tribute to her brother Gianni,  founder of the Versace label, as the 20 year anniversary of his murder just past. It was a tribute celebrating Gianni’s inspirations and creations, and  “a genius . . . an icon . . . my brother” stated Donatella Versace.  She wanted the focus to be on his life, not his violent end, but also his feminist leanings and the eternal relevance of his designs. So of course, among the medusa and baroque motifs, there were plenty of Andy Warhol prints.

Miuccia Prada was also inspired by pop art, but of the comic book variety. Prada presented an empowering show, set among the work of women cartoonists and manga artists whose drawings dominated the company’s huge headquarters. The collection was based on putting her stamp on a blank canvas. Coats, jackets, and cropped pants were screen-printed in the various artists’ works. The result was a strong and feisty collection, with a nod to the early 80’s clubkid; but all with Prada’s sophisticated and chic hand.

Versace Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Calvin Klein Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Groovy

One of the easiest Halloween costume trends to pull off are the Sixties, think peace, love and happiness. Think Woodstock. And no-one does it better than Anna Sui. She laser-cuts through the past, pulling references together for a beautiful collage that is at once nostalgic, modern, and a bit kooky.

Marc Jacobs showed a happy and upbeat spring collection with giant daisies and other overscale flowers; the collection was filled with Crayola colors, tinsel trimmings, and sequins, sequins, sequins. Jacobs’s idea here was to return to the archives, passing old ideas and former hits through “exaggerated, decadent, and exotic” filters. This is hippy chic in the most lux sense.

Stacey Bendet, the quirky designer behind the Alice + Olivia label, also gave a nod to the sixties with a re-imagined version of the hippy-chic with floral peasant dresses and bohemian inspired tops with bell-bottom denim.

Anna Sui Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Anna Sui Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Alice + Olivia Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Alice + Olivia)

Alice + Olivia Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Alice + Olivia)

 

 

Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dynasty

With the remake of the 80’s television series Dynasty, Eighties inspired costumes will be a sure fire hit. Anthony Vaccarello, the young designer behind Saint Laurent had plenty of dresses to choose from – from ostrich feather knee high boots to bubble hem dresses. Vaccarello’s collection was bold and cohesive, a real tribute to the founder Yves Saint Laurent. The show, held under the Eiffel Tower, was a bright and brilliant shot of sexuality, provocation, and the promise of all kinds of fun for a new generation. It was the Eighties in the most fabulous way.

Meanwhile, Waight Keller debut her first collection under the Givenchy label. Keller looked back and was inspired by the founder of the house, Hubert de Givenchy. She looked to his dynamic sketches, and zeroed in on how he started everything with the ‘shoulder;’ also, that he was a fan of graphic prints. So naturally, her runway looks were filled with strong shoulder looks, graphic prints and bold colors – just perfect for an Eighties revival costume theme party.

 

Saint Laurent Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Saint Laurent Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Givenchy Spring 2018 Show (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

So with all these easy to interpret runway looks, what will you be this Halloween?