University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Burberry"

MARCH MADNESS: THE FUSION OF SPORTS & FASHION = ATHLUXURY

Mannequins wearing sports-inspired designs by luxury designers – part of the exhibition Fashion and Sports From One Podium to Another opening this summer at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. (Photo Credit: Christophe Delliere)

March Madness isn’t just about basketball, it’s a celebration of athleticism, passion and the unbreakable bond between sports and fashion. This annual collegiate basketball extravaganza not only attracts fans with its intense matchups and Cinderella stories, but also serves as a catalyst for designers and is a vast source of inspiration. Throughout history, sports have influenced fashion, shaping trends and inspiring designers to push the boundaries of creativity. From the iconic designs of Nike’s iconic Air Jordan sneakers, to the elegance of Chanel nautical stripes, the influence of sports on fashion has been profound, shaping trends and styles. In fact, it is now a new fashion category known as  ATHLUXURY. A licensing deal with a big sneaker brand like Nike or Adidas, or a collaboration with a sports apparel company is every designer’s dream come true, just ask Ralph Lauren, Dolce & Gabanna, Moschino, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Stella McCartney, Gucci and Balenciaga, to name just a few.

A look from Dolce & Gabanna at the Fashion and Sports From one Podium to Another exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Let’s take a look at how a few iconic brands have perfectly blended fashion and sports:

NIKE: THE POWER OF ATHLETIC INNOVATION

Nike’s designer collaborations. (Photo Credit: Re-Hub)

Nike, the titan of  sport footwear, has continuously revolutionized the fashion landscape with its cutting-edge designs and unwavering commitment to athletic performance. When Michael Jordan burst onto the basketball scene in the 1980s, he not only changed the way the game was played but also revolutionized athletic footwear forever. The release of the first Air Jordan sneakers in 1985 marked the beginning of a cultural phenomenon. With their innovative design and endorsement from the greatest basketball player of all time, Air Jordans became more than just shoes; they became a symbol of urban culture and athletic luxury. Hence the term athluxury. Today, Air Jordans remain a staple in sneaker culture, influencing streetwear and high fashion alike.

Dior’s Nike Air Jordan Sneakers were created in 2020. (Photo Credit: Designboom)

Nike’s emphasis on innovation and style has not only elevated athletic footwear but has also shaped streetwear culture, cementing its status as a global fashion powerhouse. Luxury fashion houses such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Off-White, have all collaborated with Nike sneakers to great success.

ADIDAS: WHERE SPORTS MEETS STREET STYLE

Looks from the Adidas x Gucci Collaboration. (Photo Credit: Adidas)

With its iconic three stripes logo, Adidas has become synonymous with sporty sophistication and urban cool. The brand’s collaborations with designers like Stella McCartney, Gucci, Balenciaga, and the defunct Kanye West, have blurred the lines between sports and high fashion, introducing a new era of athleisure chic. From classic sneakers to statement tracksuits, Adidas effortlessly combines performance and style, making it a favorite among athletes and fashion enthusiasts alike.

LACOSTE: BRINGING ELEGANCE TO SPORTSWEAR

Venus Williams modeling her Lacoste x EleVen by Venus Williams collection. (Photo Credit: Lacoste)

Notorious for its iconic crocodile logo, Lacoste has been synonymous with elegance and athleticism since its inception in 1933. Founded by tennis legend René Lacoste, the brand introduced the polo shirt to the world of sports, combining style with functionality. Lacoste’s influence extends beyond the tennis court, with its classic designs inspiring countless iterations in both casual and high-end fashion.

RALPH LAUREN: FROM POLO FIELDS TO RUNWAYS

Ralph Lauren’s Team USA closing ceremony outfits for the 2022 Olympics. (Photo Credit: ABC News)

Ralph Lauren’s equestrian-inspired designs have left an indelible mark on the world of fashion, seamlessly blending the elegance of sports with the sophistication of luxury. From his iconic Polo Ralph Lauren line to the sporty-chic aesthetic of Polo Sport, the designer has redefined American style, capturing the essence of athleticism in every collection. With its timeless silhouettes and flawless craftsmanship, Ralph Lauren’s influence on sports-inspired fashion is as enduring as it is iconic. Ralph Lauren has also designed the Team USA uniforms for the Olympics and has been the official sponsor since 2014, providing the U.S. team with uniforms, outerwear, and tailored clothing that were worn during the Opening Ceremony, Welcome Dinner and during play.

STELLA MCCARTNEY: CHAMPIONING SUSTAINABLE SPORTSWEAR

A look from Adidas by Stella McCartney. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

As the demand for sustainable fashion continues to grow, designers like Stella McCartney are leading the charge by reimagining sports-inspired apparel with an eco-conscious twist. From her partnership with Adidas to her own eponymous label, McCartney’s commitment to ethical fashion has garnered widespread acclaim. With her innovative use of organic materials and cruelty-free practices, McCartney proves that style and sustainability can go hand in hand, inspiring a new generation of designers to prioritize the planet without compromising on performance.

LOUIS VUITTON: ELEVATING ATHLETIC LUXURY

Looks from Louis Vuitton ski collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

French luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton has long been synonymous with opulence and sophistication, but in recent years the brand has embraced the world of sports with open arms. From its collaboration with Supreme to its partnership with the NBA, Louis Vuitton has redefined athletic luxury, infusing its signature style with a sporty edge. Whether it’s the iconic LV monogram on basketballs or the sleek designs of its sportswear collections, Louis Vuitton proves that sports-inspired fashion knows no bounds when it comes to luxury.

A collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme at the The Fashion and SportsFrom one Podium to Another exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Louis Vuitton has also returned as the official Title Partner for the 37th edition of the America’s Cup. The luxury house will back the prestigious sailing yacht competition, which will begin in Barcelona in August 2024.

LVMH HAS BECOME A PREMIUM PARTNER OF THE OLYMPIC & PARALYMPIC GAMES PARIS 2024

LVMH will sponsor the upcoming Paris Olympics, making the games more fashion-heavy than ever. (Photo Credit: LVMH)

“This unprecedented partnership with the Olympic & Paralympic Games Paris 2024 will contribute to heightening the appeal of France around the world. It was only natural that LVMH and its Maisons be part of this exceptional international event. The values of passion, excellence and inclusion championed by high-level sports are cultivated each day by our teams, motivated by an unwavering desire to surpass limits. Sports is a tremendous source of inspiration for our Maisons, which will unite creative excellence and athletic performance by contributing their savoir-faire and bold innovation to this extraordinary celebration.” – Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of LVMH.

“From the very outset of our project we have wanted the Olympic & Paralympic Games Paris 2024 to contribute to promoting the image of our country and France’s many remarkable talents. Today, with the LVMH Group, Paris 2024 has taken a decisive step forward. LVMH already supported us during our bid for the Summer Olympics and we are thrilled to have the Group with us 100% for this exciting adventure. With its exceptional know-how, the LVMH Group will bring its immensely creative talent to this project and enable us to benefit from its extensive experience. This partnership also sends a powerful signal that France’s leading businesses are behind the Paris 2024 Games, which will let our country shine brightly around the entire world. We want to thank the LVMH Group and its artisans for their confidence and their active engagement. Together we are going to make the Paris 2024 Games a truly exceptional experience.” – Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Olympic Committee.

THE BIRTH OF SPORTSWEAR: CHANEL AND THE NAUTICAL TREND

Coco Chanel wearing her nautical striped top. (Photo Credit: CNN)

No discussion of sports-inspired fashion would be complete without mentioning Chanel. In the early 20th century, Coco Chanel revolutionized women’s fashion by introducing elements of comfort and functionality borrowed from men’s attire. Inspired by the leisurely activities of the elite, Chanel popularized the nautical trend, incorporating sailor stripes and relaxed silhouettes into her designs. This infusion of sportswear aesthetics laid the groundwork for the modern concept of athleisure, blurring the lines between sports and high fashion.

A look from Chanel’s Cruise 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chanel)

The French luxury house continues to draw inspiration from the world of sports, infusing its collections with elements of athleticism and leisure. Examples include the iconic Chanel tweed suit, reminiscent of traditional equestrian attire, the brand’s signature quilted handbags inspired by the jackets worn by English polo players, and the sporty-chic ensembles inspired by tennis and golf; Chanel’s sporting heritage is woven into the fabric of its DNA. With a nod to the past and an eye toward the future, Chanel continues to redefine the boundaries of luxury fashion, proving that style and athleticism are truly inseparable.

BURBERRY’S HERITAGE OF EXPLORATION: FROM THE TRENCHES TO THE TERRAIN

Luxury brands like Burberry are stepping into the sports arena. (Photo Credit: ModernRetail)

For Burberry, a brand steeped in heritage and tradition, the spirit of adventure has always been at the heart of its designs. Inspired by the rugged terrain of the British countryside and the adrenaline of outdoor sports, Burberry’s iconic trench coats and weatherproof jackets exude a sense of timeless elegance and rugged functionality. Whether braving the elements or navigating the urban jungle, Burberry effortlessly combines style with substance, embodying the essence of modern-day explorers.

PRADA’S SPORTY CHIC: EMBRACING URBAN CULTURE

Prada sneakers dedicated to the America’s Cup, launched in the Nineties. (Photo Credit: Prada)

Prada, synonymous with innovation and avant-garde style, has long embraced the fusion of sports and fashion. From its nylon backpacks inspired by utilitarian gear to its futuristic sneakers adorned with bright accents, Prada effortlessly blends athleticism with urban chic. With a finger on the pulse of street culture, the brand consistently pushes the boundaries of traditional sportswear, infusing its collections with a sense of rebellious energy that resonates with fashion-forward consumers worldwide.

Miu Miu’s Playful Aesthetic: Blending Sport and Surrealism

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Miu Miu, the whimsical sister brand of Prada, embraces a playful aesthetic that seamlessly integrates elements of sport and surrealism. From retro-inspired tracksuits to embellished sneakers adorned with whimsical motifs, Miu Miu injects a sense of youthful exuberance into every collection. With its bold colors and unexpected juxtapositions, the brand challenges conventional notions of athleticism, inviting wearers to embrace their inner child and revel in the joy of self-expression.

So, tell us, can you name how many other sports that have influenced fashion?

A RIOT OF EXPERIMENTAL ELEGANCE: LONDON FASHION WEEK SS/2024

- - Fashion Shows

Backstage at Susan Fang’s Spring 2024 Show. This dress was made from 600 handcrafted bead trees. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

While quiet luxury ruled the New York runways, London Fashion Week offered the exact opposite – eccentric elegance and avant-garde fun. London Fashion Week has always been a playground for designers who dare to defy convention and LFW Spring 2024 was no exception. In fact, we witnessed a sensational surge in experimental fashion that pushed the limits of imagination. The London shows took place from September 15th to the 19th and it was clear from the start that this season was going to be all about taking risks, celebrating the bizarre, and embracing the unconventional. Runways came alive with avant-garde designs, pushing the boundaries of what’s considered fashion. Leading the charge were some of the industry’s most iconic names. Let’s dive in:

BREAKING THE MOLD

The genesis of JW Anderson’s Spring 2024 collection was inspired by the humble yet powerful medium of clay. Yes, I said clay. Jonathan Anderson, found himself captivated by the malleability of clay, its capacity for transformation, and the inherent connection it bears to the human touch. In his collection, Anderson endeavored to capture the essence of clay, showcasing its versatility, sensuousness, and raw beauty through every piece. Case in point, a variety of looks that looked as though they were molded from Play-Doh — and they sort of were. Created out of plasticine, a British label of modelling clay, Anderson’s creations were stiff, lumpy, and totally camp. Almost like looking at a model wearing a cartoon.

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ETHEREAL ROMANCE MEETS THE AVANT-GARDE

Simone Rocha’s Spring 2024 collection was a triumph of ethereal romanticism intertwined with experimental fashion. The runway was a dreamscape of whimsical silhouettes and intricate detailing. Rocha merged bold fabrics and textures, combining lace, tulle, and leather in unexpected ways.

One unforgettable piece was a voluminous tulle gown adorned with cascading floral appliqués. It was as if the models had stepped out of a fairytale and onto the runway. Simone Rocha reminded us that experimental fashion can be soft, romantic, and utterly enchanting – embellished Crocs and all.

A look from Simone Rocha’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

THE CLASH OF HERITAGE AND FUTURISM

At Burberry, Creative Director Daniel Lee (this is his sophomore collection for the heritage brand) took the concept of experimental fashion to a new level. The collection was a vibrant blend of heritage and futurism, as models walked down the runway in reimagined trench coats. Models strutted tailored coats with low slung belts and Lee’s updated Burberry Prorsum ‘knight on horseback’ logo, one that is deconstructed and taken apart – the pattern consists of images of metal carabiner clips in the shape of the knight’s horse and heavy-duty silver chains. The Spring 2024 collection was a perfect balance of elevated grunge and classic Brit appeal that is the signature of Burberry.

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ELEGANCE REDFINED

Richard Quinn’s Spring 2024 collection was an extravaganza of excess and opulence. The show, held at the Grand London Ballroom, was an ode to the designer’s late father and stayed true to Quinn’s signature creations, as models walked the runway draped in lush fabrics, feathers, and sequins, creating an atmosphere of grandeur. The collection took a pensive tone with regal opera gloves, exaggerated collars, and cage dresses in both mourning blacks and angelic off-whites. Supermodel Jessica Stam closed the show in an embellished bridal jumpsuit, signaling that even in grief, there is love. Quinn’s collection proved that experimental fashion can be a celebration of the extraordinary.

A look from Richard Quinn’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

HERITAGE MEETS SUBVERSION

Chopova Lowena’s Spring 2024 collection was a masterful blend of heritage and subversion. Models wore garments that juxtaposed traditional textiles with unconventional design elements. The design duo, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons, merged tough skate culture with frilly folkloric dreams creating a gothic girlie look that was superb. Case in point, a delicate lace collared jacket paired with a black lace dress and leather studded accessories, symbolizing the collision of old-world charm and modern edge. Chopova Lowena’s collection was a testament to the beauty of contrasts in fashion.

A look from Chopova Lowena’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

THAT’S A WRAP

As the curtain fell on London Fashion Week Spring 2024, these British designers left an indelible mark on the fashion world. Their experimental creations challenged norms, pushed boundaries, and celebrated the art of self-expression through clothing. In the grand tapestry of fashion, they remind us that it’s the rule-breakers and innovators who propel the industry into exciting new territories, ensuring that fashion remains a vibrant, ever-evolving art form. Oh, and it looked like they were having lots of fun doing it!

Looks from KWK by Kay Kwok’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

So tell us, are you embracing the NY quiet luxury trend or London’s experimental fashion?

INNERWEAR AS OUTERWEAR: THE SIZZLING TREND OF SUMMER 2023

Left To Right: Looks from Vera Wang, Dion Lee, Gucci, and Ermanno Scervino. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree. Collage Courtesy of Fashionista)

From the boudoir to the street, lingerie-inspired fashion is creating a mini-revolution, blurring the lines between intimate apparel and outerwear. Lacey lingerie looks celebrate extreme femininity while evoking the tantalizing allure of self-confidence. It takes a strong woman to pull off these looks and designers are having a blast using innerwear fabrics like laces and sheers, to create bralettes, blouses, slip dresses and trousers…all worn out not in.

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

THE RISE OF THE SLIPDRESS

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

Slip dresses, once confined to the realm of intimate wear, have emerged as the epitome of contemporary elegance. Crafted from satins, charmeuse and sheers, these ethereal garments are adorned with lace trims and effortlessly skim the body, exuding an air of romance and femininity. Versatile in nature, slip dresses can seamlessly transition from daytime chic to evening allure with the addition of accessories and layers.

YOU’RE SO TRANSPARENT

A look from Miu Miu’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Sheer fabrics take center stage in the lingerie-inspired fashion trend of 2023, enticing fashion enthusiasts with their sheer audacity. Gossamer chiffon, delicate tulle, and diaphanous organza, create an alluring veil that leaves just enough to the imagination. From blouses with sheer sleeves to skirts with peek-a-boo panels, these transparent elements add a touch of mystique to any ensemble. Why not dare to bare?

BRALETTES AS TOPS

A look from Christopher Kane’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Once hidden beneath layers of clothing, bralettes have broken free from their intimate confines and are taking their rightful place as statement tops. These delicate, lace-adorned wonders now stand proudly on their own, lending a touch of sensuality to any outfit. Paired with high-waisted bottoms or layered under blazers, these bralettes exude confidence, empowering the wearer to embrace their body and celebrate their individuality. Unleash your inner vixen and make a bold statement with a bralette as a top.

SENSUOUS TEXTILES

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

In any lingerie-inspired fashion trend, you don’t have to look far to see tulle! This fabric always plays a pivotal role in creating an ambiance of sensuality. Embrace a touch of opulence as you envelop yourself in tulle and feel the luxurious caress of silk, satin, chiffon and lace. Let your senses revel in the sheer pleasure of delicate fabrics that speak to your inner goddess.

CORSET REVIVAL

A look from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

In a nod to history, corsets have resurfaced as a symbol of empowerment and self-expression. A modern interpretation of the corset combines the classic hourglass silhouette with contemporary aesthetics. These structured pieces, often adorned with delicate lace and intricate details, sculpt the body while allowing freedom of movement. Corset-inspired tops and dresses redefine femininity, celebrating the beauty of every curve and reminding us that fashion can be both captivating and comfortable.

CELEBRITIES EMBRACING THE LINGERIE-INSPIRED TREND

Kate Moss and Lila Moss embrace the innerwear as outerwear trend. (Photo Credit: Popsugar)

Gigi Hadid rocks the innerwear as outerwear trend. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Kerry Washington goes full-on innerwear as outerwear in this look. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Margot Robbie (Barbie) wear a new twist on the corset dress. (Photo Credit: Glamour)

Yara Shahidi wears a corset/shorts/skirt look. (Photo Credit: The Kit)

Kendall Jenner- A mish mash -is it a tank, a bustier/romper and a thong? (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Emily Ratajakowski – gotta love the mesh opera gloves, the bustier, and the over-the-top pearl and chain necklace and bracelet look. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

A corset-ish look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

ARE YOU READY TO CREATE YOUR OWN LINGERIE-INSPIRED LOOKS?

To create these and other innerwear as outerwear looks, you’ll need to know your way around cutting, sewing and finishing sheers and laces, and how to drape and sew corsets and bras. What better place than University of Fashion to learn it. We’ll teach you the correct sheer seam and hem finishes, the proper way to sew lace, the tools and supplies used in the intimate apparel market, how to drape bias charmeuse and the correct needles, threads, pins and stitch lengths for these delicate materials. Check out our video lessons below and get smarter.

So tell us, will you be making you own innerwear as outwear collection?

 

VIRAL MOMENTS AT LONDON FASHION WEEK FALL 2023

- - Fashion Shows

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

It’s a wrap. London Fashion Week had one of its strongest seasons in years. In pure British style, the 5-day world-wind (Feb 17 – 21) combined a funeral, an awards show, the ‘coming out’ of Kate and William, designer debuts and some really great fashion shows. Held twice a year, London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the most prestigious events in the fashion industry, showcasing the latest creations of some of the world’s most talented designers. LFW has been a major part of the global fashion calendar for over three decades and this year it became a British lollapalooza!

But first some history: London Fashion Week was first established in 1984, organized by the British Fashion Council (BFC) as a response to the dominance of Paris and Milan in the fashion world. The event was initially held in a West London car park, and featured just a handful of British designers, such as Jasper Conran and Betty Jackson. Over the years, London Fashion Week grew in popularity and stature, attracting a wider range of designers and international attention. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, it became a platform for emerging talent, with designers like Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney making their debuts. In 2009, London Fashion Week was merged with the London Fashion Weekender, a consumer-focused event that allowed members of the public to see fashion shows and buy clothes directly from designers. This move aimed to make fashion more accessible and inclusive to a wider audience.

In recent years, London Fashion Week has continued to evolve and innovate. It has embraced new technologies, such as live-streaming and social media, to reach a global audience (which was extremely useful during COVID-19 lockdowns). It has also become a major platform for sustainable and ethical fashion, with many designers using environmentally-friendly materials and production processes.

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

LFW now attracts thousands of visitors from around the world, including industry professionals, journalists, celebrities, and fashion enthusiasts. It remains an important event in the global fashion calendar, showcasing the creativity and diversity of British fashion.

A FUNERAL

Left To Right: Kate Moss, Helen Bonham Carter, Victoria Beckham, and Will Young all attended the late Vivienne Westwood’s memorial service. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)London Fashion Week kicked off in a somber mood as prominent guests in the fashion world gathered to pay their final respects at the funeral of the late Dame Vivienne Westwood which took place on Thursday 16 February at Southwark Cathedral in London. The funeral was a star-studded event where actress Helena Bonham Carter delivered the eulogy and Chrissie Hynde performed. The Cathedral was packed with Westwood’s family and friends as well as plenty of fashion industry guests included Marc Jacobs, Kate Moss, Tracey Emin, Victoria Beckham, Paul Smith, Zandra Rhodes, Bella Freud, Stephen Jones, Matty Bovan, and Ellen von Unwerth. Many guests paid tribute to the late Westwood as they followed one of Westwood’s many mottos, “When in doubt, dress up!” And dressed up they were, as they streamed into the Gothic cathedral in their finery to pay their final respects to the pioneering designer and activist, who died Dec. 29 at age 81.

AN AWARDS SHOW & A ROYAL PDA MOMENT 

Kate Middleton’s cheeky gesture to Prince William as they walk the BAFTAs red carpet. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The Prince and Princess of Wales had a rare PDA Moment (public display of affection) at the BAFTAs (British Academy of Film & Television Award), which took place on Sunday, February 19th. The royals made sure to hold hands while walking down the red carpet and at one point the Princess playfully tapped William’s lower back as the paparazzi went wild. Princess Kate, who is a master at high-low dressing, looked stunning in a reworked Grecian Alexander McQueen gown (which she first debuted at the 2019 BAFTAs), paired with black gloves, and a pair of Zara earrings.

DESIGNER DEBUTS & HIGH BROW FASHION SHOWS 

A look from Burberry’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Daniel Lee debuted his Burberry collection by sailing into uncharted territory with more terrific color (case in point, cobalt blue) and faux fur than the heritage brand has seen in its 167-year history. Lee’s new vision for the iconic British house came laced with an appropriately cheeky duck motif. “The ducks I just found very British,” he explained backstage after the show to Vogue Magazine. “It made me think of the outdoors, and Burberry is an outdoors brand. It reminded me of rain, and protection.” After all, raincoats are in the brand’s DNA.

Looks from S.S.Daley’s Fall 2022 Collection, Right, Sir Ian McKellen. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

S.S. Daley’s collection for Steven Stokey-Daley was pure theatre. For Daley’s menswear show, he enlisted British actor Sir Ian McKellen (Shakespeare, popular fantasy and science fiction), who opened the show reading a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (of Ulysses and The Charge of the Light Brigade fame), a wildly unexpected surprise. AND OH SO HIGH-BROW!

A look from Simone Rocha’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Inspired by Lughnasadh, an Irish harvest festival with pagan origins, designer Simone Rocha turned her presentation into a ritual. The designer created beautiful lace gowns and crinolines that were stuffed with raffia.

A look from Dilara Findikoglu’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: GoRunway)

Turkish designer Dilara Findikoglu staged a fashion show entitled “Not a Man’s Territory,” which she stated came together after the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini in Iran late last year. The finale creation was Joan of Arc reincarnated, she told Vogue in an interview, “She’s coming back for revenge, dresses as she wants. And she has her knives.”

Looks from JW Anderson’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Acielle StyleDuMonde)

This season Jonathan Anderson was inspired by the Scottish dancer/choreographer Michael Clark. Looking through Clark’s archive, Anderson decided he needed to look through his own archives as well. The result, a collection that brings together costume details from Clark’s performances mixed with details from early JW Anderson collections. Overall, it was a cosmic dancer delight.

Looks from Christopher Kane’s Fall 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Glamsquad)

Christopher Kane sent out a series of slinky jersey dresses, printed with hyperrealistic images of piglets, rats, and chicks – talk about animal magnetism.

Florence Pugh modeling a look from Harris Reed’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Launchmetrics)

Florence Pugh knows how to make an entrance. So, who better than the bona fide red carpet star herself to open Harris Reed’s theatrical Fall 2023 show? The actress wore a harlequin sequin skirt with a thigh-high slit, a black corset top and a massive halo headpiece. Pugh set the tone for the event with a speech written by Reed about the transformative power of clothes. “In a sometimes judgmental world, our costumes can change who we want to be seen as, and who we are destined to be,” she said. “I invite you to embrace the lamé and sequins of life, because all the world’s a stage.” Reed offered ten beautifully detailed looks dripping in sartorial theatrics.

So tell us, what was your favorite moment from London Fashion Week?

MILAN SPRING 2023 SHOWS HAD PLENTY OF VIRAL MOMENTS

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Seeing Double at Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show called Twinburg. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Ciao bella! Milan Fashion week wrapped up on September 26th, and the events were back to pre-pandemic levels with plenty of IRL runway shows, parties and oh so many celebrities. The fashion was spectacular as Italians have a flare for the dramatic, ranging from exquisite embroideries to bold clashing prints, perhaps as a reaction to looming uncertainty around the world. MFW was also the backdrop of Italy’s general elections which provoked a tense social and political debate in the country as far-right leader Giorgia Meloni claimed victory in Italy’s election and is on course to become the country’s first female prime minister. “Italians have sent a clear message in favor of a right-wing government led by Brothers of Italy,” she told reporters in Rome, holding up a sign saying, “Thank you Italy”.

Leader of Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni is Italy’s first female prime minister. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Milan Fashion Week has an official tagline for their Spring 2023 season: When things get tough, sometimes all you need is a good distraction. And there were plenty of great distractions from doppelgänger styling at Gucci to chaotic collapsing models at Avavav, shock-factor fashion was in full effect.

Avavav’s Beate Karlsson had her models fall down the runway. (Photo Credit: Paper Magazine)

From head-turning stunts to more-is-more troupes, Milan Fashion Week Spring 2023 set a standard for meme-worthy material. For starters, there was Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show titled Twinsburg. Creative director Alessandro Michele sent 68 sets of identical twins down the runway with clashing patterns, flashy sequins, low-slung skirts and other-worldly accessories, the maximalist collection was an unrestricted exploration of identity.

Seeing Double at Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show called Twinburg. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

Donatella Versace embraced the Y2K trend as she had Paris Hilton strut down the runway in a hot pink sparkling dress. Quoting Paris Hilton’s catchphrase, “That’s hot”.

Paris Hilton walks the runway during Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

Versace was not the only designer to embrace a reality star, Dolce & Gabbana had Kim Kardashian curate their spring 2023 show. The collection titled “Ciao Kim” was filled with corsets, gauzy dresses and leopard prints pulled from the 1987 to 2007 archives as they reissued past hits. “It was a dream come true to see all the originals being made, after all these years it’s stuff we would wear today,” Kim Kardashian said in an interview with The Guardian.

Kim Kardashian takes a bow after her collaboration Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

Boss’ creative director Marco Falcioni was also feeling nostalgic this season as he had nineties supermodel Naomi Campbell open his show, which was filled with a softer take on the power suit.

Naomi Campbell opened the BOSS’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Boss)

Campbell was not the only Nineties supermodel to strut down the runway in Milan. Her dear friend Kate Moss walked Bottega Veneta’s show in a leather lumberjack shirt and delivered leather chinos in ultra-light supremely soft nubuck that had to be touched to be believed.

Kate Moss walks Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

He may be 88 years old, but Giorgio Armani can still produce a fashion moment. With Armani muses Cate Blanchett and Lauren Hutton praising him from the front row, his show finale transformed into something of a salon show, as nine models in embellished evening gowns stopped so the exquisiteness of construction could be rightfully admired.

Designer Giorgio Armani flanked by his models at his Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)

On the last day of Milan Fashion Week, Burberry hosted its anticipated collection at a warehouse in London, inviting a star-studded list of attendees both on (Naomi Campbell, Bella Hadid, Mariacarla Boscono) and off (Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Normani) the runway.

Bella Hadid at Burberry’s Spring 2023 Show. Riccardo Tisci’s last collection for the house. (Photo Credit: Getty Image

This was Ricardo Tisci’s swan song as it was announced on Sept. 28th that Tisci is stepping down from his role as creative director for Burberry and Daniel Lee will take the reign on Oct. 3rd.

According to Tisci, Burberry’s Spring 2023 collection was inspired by the beach, which Tisci explained in a press release as “as a place where humanity meets, a point where different worlds collide.”

“In summer, in Britain, the beach is a place of democracy, of community. It’s where people from all cultures can in simple pleasures. I wanted to translate that ideology — that emotion — to an entire collection. I wanted to express that spirit of togetherness and joy, that reality,” Tisci stated. “That tension between dressing and undressing, between revelation and protection, underwear and outerwear, all feels relevant to now and part of Burberry’s modern DNA… I was inspired by the liberation and openness of youth, of people embracing their bodies and revealing them – a pride in themselves, who they are, their identities. Their freedom. This feels modern, this feels right, and this feels Burberry.”

While there were so many show-stopping moments during Milan Fashion Week, here are a few of the season’s breakout trends.

POOLSIDE PARTY

Designers are diving headfirst into poolside style this spring 2023 season. With plenty of swimsuits, cover-ups, and sunhats, these pieces are brimming with aquatic flavor. Moschino took the trend a step further with children’s swim floats wrapped over evening gowns.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Ferragamo’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Max Mara’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Luisa Beccaria’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

THE BLING RING

No-one does sparkle and embellishments like the Italians and this season was full of shiny new promises.

A look from Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Del Core’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

FLOWER POWER

Florals for spring….groundbreaking. Well, this season designers added flare to floral motifs with bold dimensional flowers on everything from evening gowns to pencil skirts.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Bottega Veneta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from GCDS’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

GOTHIC DIVINE

Channeling all high priestesses, designers in Milan have heard your prayers and delivered wickedly goth inspired looks. From Versace’s goddesses gone grunge looks to Blumarine’s denim crosses, these dark, romantic looks are a fresh take for spring.

A look from Blumarine’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Antonio Marras’ Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

SHEER FACTOR

The transparency trend is still going strong, and the Milan runways offered plenty of variations from sheer skirts to peak-a-boo dresses.

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Prada’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue.)

FRINGE WATCH

Playful fringe looks took center stage on the Milan runways. From Jil Sander’s knit and sequence fringe skirts to Diesel’s denim trucker jacket, one things for sure, loose threads never looked so good.

A look from Bottega Venetta’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Sportmax’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

FIT TO PRINT

Opposites attract as clashing prints made their mark on plenty of designer runways.

A look from Dsquared2’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Matty Bovan’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Looks from Gucci’s Spring 2023 Show. )Photo Credit: Vogue)

IN THE HOOD

This season, there was a fine line between sci-fi and streetwear when it came to evening wear as hooded gowns made their mark on the runway.

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Versace’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Ferragamo’s Spring 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, what are your favorite trends so far?

THE HOTTEST FASHION COLLABORATIONS OF 2022

A look from Loewe x Studio Ghibli. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

Let’s face it, the past few years have been tough on everyone, from a global pandemic to a raging war between Russia and Ukraine, the world is emotionally and mentally drained. So, for spring/summer, designers are offering fun and playful collections to give customers a bit of joy and to hopefully break out of the rut many have been feeling.

A look from Dior Vibe and Technogym. (Photo Credit: Dior)

This year has been full of exciting collaborations. While some may view fashion collaborations as a cliché, let’s not forget that they are a profitable form of marketing that benefits both collaborating brands. Collaborations can bring luxury designs at a lower price point, reinvent a brand’s image, and offer “unattainable” fashion to the masses.

While the phenomenon began back in the ‘00s, most noteworthy was the Karl Lagerfeld x H&M collab in 2004, almost 20 years later we are noticing a peak in brand collaborations at all levels in the market. Here are a few collaborations that will be all the rage this summer:

GIVENCHY X DISNEY

The House of Givenchy is pleased to announce its collaboration with Disney on a limited-edition capsule collection celebrating the iconic legacy of the Walt Disney Animation Studios. (Video Courtesy of Givenchy’s YouTube Channel.)

In mid-May the house of Givenchy announced a collaboration with Disney,  introducing a limited-edition capsule collection of luxury ready-to-wear designed by creative director Matthew M. Williams.

Fittingly named, The Wonder Gallery, the collaboration will focus on t-shirts and hoodies, featuring graphics of Disney characters, iconography, and silhouettes, inspired by the most iconic and beloved Disney characters, such as Bambi; Pongo and Perdita, from the animated feature film, 101 Dalmatians, Oswald from Lucky Rabbit; and Elsa and Olaf from Frozen.

This is not the first time the French luxury house collaborated with Disney’s beloved Bambi. In fall 2013, Bambi made an appearance on a sweatshirt at Givenchy.

The celeb must-have Bambi sweatshirt from Givenchy’s fall 2013 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Williams also admits to being a big fan of Disney. The creative director stated on his website, “Disney has always held a special place in my heart, as it has for so many across generations, countries and cultures. As a boy from California and a father in Paris, Disney has always been a source of meaningful moments throughout my life. It’s a true honor to bring out two iconic brands together for this project.”

In the past Disney has collaborated with a number of luxury fashion houses such as: Coach, Gucci, and most recently, Stella McCartney, on a capsule collection inspired by the 1940s animated feature musical film, Fantasia.

ADIDAS X GUCCI

A look from Gucci x Adidas. (Photo Credit: Gucci)

Adidas x Gucci is one of the most hyped and praised collaborations of the season. The collection launches on Tuesday, June 7th, and is anticipated to fly off the shelves as soon as it launches. The partnership offers a unique take on super-luxe sportswear, offering glamorous retro inspired looks straight out of Wes Anderson’s cult hit The Royal Tenenbaums. The collection comes complete with sweatbands, micro-mini running shorts and a sweatshirt emblazoned with a hybrid Gucci logo mixed with the instantly recognizable Adidas Trefoil. The collection offers a variety of ready-to-wear pieces and accessories that perfectly merge the two brands’ aesthetic, from chic canvas bucket hats and Gazelle sneakers to chic knit dresses and an updated version of Gucci’s iconic Horsebit 1955 crossbody bag.

ADIDAS X PRADA

The Adidas x Prada Re-Nylon Collection is a mixture of minimalism and functionality. (Photo Credit: Prada)

Adidas has had multiple designer collaborations throughout the years, one of the most popular has been the Adidas x Prada collab. Following the sell-out successes of their first two collaborations, the powerhouses of sportswear and Italian high fashion are back with a third instalment of their unique partnership. The past capsule collections relied solely on sneakers, but with the 3rd installment, the duo introduced their first capsule collection of co-branded apparel and obviously accessories. But what makes this collaboration truly unique is that it is centered firmly around sustainability. Adidas x Prada has reimagined luxury sportswear through a more eco-friendly lens, all nylon will be switched out for Prada’s signature Re-Nylon fabric, which is made from recycled plastic waste collected from oceans. The 21-piece capsule featured sportswear staples including tracksuits and anoraks, as well as bucket hats, backpacks, bags and a reinvented, and Prada-branded version of Adidas’s Forum trainers.

FENDACE

Looks from Fendace. A collaboration between Fendi and Versace. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

What is Fendace you may ask? Well, it is the brilliant collaboration between two Italian luxury powerhouses – Versace and Fendi. The collection was shown in September during Milan Fashion Week to great fanfare. Fendace Is the creation of Donatella Versace, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Kim Jones, Fendi’s artistic director of women’s collections. The capsule collection sees the designers creatively swap, fusing the brands’ signature aesthetic and DNA into two collections – Versace by Fendi and Fendi by Versace – encompassing everything such as ready-to-wear, handbags, footwear and other accessories. The campaign was shot by photographer Steven Meisel and features a string of supermodels including Naomi Campbell and Kristen McMenamy, it’s a match made in fashion heaven.

KENZO X NIGO

The Kenzo x Nigo Collection Jacket embroidered with a signature flower. (Photo Credit: Esquire)

Kenzo x Nigo is a collaboration between the creative Japanese fashion designer Nigo and French luxury fashion house, Kenzo. This collab makes Nigo one of only two Asian creative directors at European luxury houses, as well as the first Japanese director to take the lead of the brand since Kenzo Takada launched it in 1970.

Nigo infused his signature style into the brand and gave the collection a breath of fresh air. The men’s fall 2022 collection featured denim jackets, pageboy caps and work attire; button-up shirts, pants and jeans. Functionality was ubiquitous in this capsule collection, with a whimsical touch of flowers embroidered onto the clothes.

BIRKENSTOCK X MANOLO BLAHNIK

Manolo Blahnik for Birkenstock. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Manolo Blahnik is known for his beautiful and elegant shoes. He became a household name when Carrie Bradshaw, the fictional character of Sex and the City, wore his creations frequently and the shoes were written into a number of episodes. But did you know that Manolo Blahnik is known to be a Birkenstock fan?

So for Spring, the distinguished Spanish designer reinvented the classic birk as you’ve never seen them before, morphing it into a shoe with unparalleled glamour, charm, and chicness. The reputation of the beloved “ugly” sandal is challenged in this collab, with Birkenstocks adorning a vibrant color palette and sparkling buckle.

BURBERRY X SUPREME

A look from Supreme x Burberry. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

When you think of the label Burberry, streetwear is the farthest description that comes to mind, however, the latest collaboration between Burberry x Supreme is a successful ode to each of the brand’s established identities.

The Supreme led collaboration includes a variety of pieces including a collar puffer jacket, hoodie, jeans, t-shirt, silk pajamas, and of course, a skateboard.

BARBIE X BALMAIN

A look from Barbe x Balmain. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Barbie x Balmain is a fusion of two of iconic labels in fashion. Reimagining childhoods around the world, Balmain’s creative director Oliver Rousteing stated that the unisex collaboration of Barbie and Balmain was designed to challenge gender limitations and celebrate diversity. Barbie’s iconic pink meets the bold spirit of Balmain in a limited-edition collection of t-shirts, hoodies and badges.

“Barbie and Balmain are embarking upon a distinctly multicultural, inclusive and always joy-filled adventure”, Rousteing said in a press release.

The Barbie x Balmain collaboration created a new chapter in the legacy of the toy and fashion industries.

Speaking of all things fashion, did anyone catch the launch of the series Follow the Thread, that premiered June 4th on TCM? If not you can catch it June 17th on HBO MAX? It’s inspired by The Met Exhibition, In America, An Anthology of Fashion. Let us know what you think.

So tell us, as an aspiring designer, what would be your dream collaboration?

HOW THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SUPPORTING UKRAINE AS WAR RAGES ON

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fashion Industry Responds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LVMH

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

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

LOUIS VUITTON

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

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

KERING

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

GUCCI

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

BALENCIAGA

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

CHANEL

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

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

GIORGIO ARMANI

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

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

FASHION MODELS

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

L’OREAL PARIS

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

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

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

HERMES

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

BURBERRY

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

VALENTINO

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

RALPH LAUREN

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

TORY BURCH

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

COACH

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

MINIMALIST

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

ADIDAS

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

H&M

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

ASOS

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

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

MANGO

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

GANNI

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

 

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

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

International Committee of the Red Cross

United Nations Refugees Agency

Direct Relief

Mercy Corps

International Medical Corps

Save the Children

Unicef USA

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

WELCOME TO THE FASHIONVERSE – METAVERSE

- - Technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is the Metaverse, you ask?

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

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

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

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

What does this mean for the fashion industry?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what exactly are NFTs?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The psychology of NFTs 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Future of Textiles – Digital Realm

Gaming & Fashion: Two Aspirational Worlds of Experiences Combine

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

 

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

MEN’S FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022 – THE BIGGEST TRENDS FROM MILAN AND PARIS

A look from Walter Van Beirendonck’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Walter Van Beirendonck)

After a very tough year and a half, life is starting to get back to normal as more and more countries are distributing the various vaccines which have been proven to work. And so, the Euro Cup Championships had soccer enthusiasts in their stadiums (Italy one after a very tough game against England), Wimbledon had tennis fanatics in the stands, singers are performing live in stadiums packed with fans, Broadway shows are back on, and everything is starting to open-up at full capacity.

This is extremely exciting news for fashion insiders, as more and more shows can go live for the spring season. Milan and Paris just wrapped up the Men’s Spring 2022 collections, and there were plenty of in-real-life runway shows and presentations and let us not forget that with IRL shows comes great street style opportunities.

Riccardo Tisci finds himself at Burberry. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

The spring 2022 men’s collections were optimistic and joyful, the designers behind the labels demonstrated a renewed creative energy that was exciting to see. In Milan, designers approached the season with unrestrained enthusiasm fueled by dreams of happier days ahead. They struck the perfect balance between nostalgic and cutting edge. Designers in Paris also embraced a playful side in their collections, as they welcomed summer 2022 with lighthearted and cheeky collections. These joyful collections are the perfect way to re-enter the world post covid and bring some delight back into our lives.

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF MILAN

HOW TO WEAR A CARDIGAN

“It’s a wonderful day in the neighborhood” and so Mr. Rogers sang in his beloved cardigan sweater. And the popular knit style is still going strong. For Spring 2022, the cardigan gains traction as they could be found all over the Milan runways, from Moschino’s varsity style to Missoni’s signature zig-zag motif. The cardigan is the perfect layering piece for all year round.

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

A look from Brunello Cucinelli’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Bruno Cucinelli)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

TAILOR MADE

After a year and a half of working from home, the suit is making a major comeback this season. But forget the traditional business suit, for spring designers are offering the tailored classic in an array of bold colors to brighten your day.

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo: Credit Etro)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Jil Sander’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Jil Sander)

A look from Moschino’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Moschino)

SHORT STORIES

Short shorts are not only for women, for spring designers offered heaps of micro shorts to show of those tone legs. There’s no limit to how short you can go.

A look from Prada’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Prada)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ermenegildo Zegna)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

BLUE JEAN BABY

Double up on your denim, as the Canadian tuxedo trend has hit the pinnacle of fashion.

A look from Brioni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brioni)

A look from Diesel’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

A look from Fendi’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Fendi)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana)

A look from Tod’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tod’s)

MAXIMIST REVIVAL

The Milan runways were filled with humor. Designers had fun mixing and matching prints and patterns in an array of colors. The outcome, delightfully fun collection that will be sure to lift our spirits post-pandemic.

A look from Etro’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Giorgio Armani’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Giorgio Armani)

A look from MSGM’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: MSGM)

look from Missoni’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Missoni)

A look from Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dolce & Gabbana.)

BIGGEST TRENDS OUT OF PARIS

SKIRTING THE ISSUE

Parisian designers are pushing the boundaries of gender norms by showing an abundance of men in skirts on the runway. These gender bending looks ranged from Kurt Cobain-inspired grunge vibes at Dries Van Noten to cool goth boy vibes at Yohji Yamamoto.

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

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

RAIN ON ME

Rain, rain, go away…. Designers are fighting away the spring shower blues with these terrific raincoats. These practical outerwear looks are cool yet classic.

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

A look from Dior Men’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior Men)

A look from Hermès’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hermès)

A look from Undercover’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Undercover)

HOLY FASHION

Cut-it-out. Sexy, skin baring looks are a big trend in woman’s wear and now the creative cut-out pieces have hit the men’s runways in Paris.

A look from Burberry’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Burberry)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Y Project’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Y Project)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

A look from Loewe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Loewe)

IN-VEST

The vest is making a major comeback for spring 2022 and they are anything but traditional, from Rick Owens’ galactic version to Isabel Marant’s bohemian floral motif, these trendy vests are a great way to add a dramatic flair to any look.

A look from Isabel Marant’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Isabel Marant)

A look from Acne Studio’s Spring 2022 Collection. (hoto Credit: Acne Studio)

A look from Rick Owens’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Rick Owens)

A look from Junya Watanabe’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Junya Watanabe)

A look from Courreges’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Courreges)

PRINTS CHARMING

Joie de vie filled the runways in Paris as designers opted for bold, head-to-toe printed ensembles.  From Louis Vuitton’s landscape motif suit to JW Anderson’s quirky strawberry leisure-look, these show-stopping outfits are the perfect way to re-enter the world post-pandemic.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton)

A look from Comme des Garcons Homme Plus’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Comme des Garcons Homme Plus)

A look from Lanvin’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lanvin)

A look from JW Anderson’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: JW Anderson)

A look from Yohji Yamamoto’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Yohji Yamamoto)

Did you know our menswear lessons will give you a solid foundation so that you can draft any of these looks?

GAMECHANGERS: THE RISE OF FASHION VIDEO GAMES

 

Ralph Lauren collaborates with Snapchat. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)

With the holidays just around the corner and our festivities limited to “home pod” celebrations and Zoom events, one thing is for certain, this was a year like no other. As we witnessed a global pandemic, an unprecedented number of deaths, a world in lockdown and a toppling of the world economy, we somehow managed to remain hopeful. With the rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine, we just need to have more patience. This year we learned to appreciate our families, health-care workers and first responders. We also learned that wearing a mask shows you care.

Face Masks have become the most popular accessory of 2020. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Despite the pandemic, this was a year of creativity. Fashion designers went into full scale production of masks and PPE, schools migrated to remote learning, parents threw drive-by celebrations for their kids’ birthdays, schools threw virtual proms and graduations for their seniors and families organized Thanksgiving  Zoom-ebrations.

The fashion industry, once a bastion of tradition, became exceptionally creative as a result of the pandemic, when it came to fashion week. Some brands held virtual audience-less fashion shows, some created short videos and others found artistic ways to shoot their lookbooks.

And now, one of the most inventive ways a designer can showcase their collection is the video game platform. If you are a fervent reader of the UoF blog, you will remember that on April 6th   we predicted this as an innovative way for brands to connect with their customers (Demna Gvasalia, were you listening?)  Here’s the link for reference:

https://www.universityoffashion.com/blog/fashion-computer-game/

BALENCIAGA

On Dec. 6th the video game “Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow” (set in the year 2031) was launched featuring Demna Gvasalia’s main collection for Balenciaga’s fall 2021 season. Enter the world of fashion-tainment!

According to WWD, the allegorical adventure features environments and characters using cutting-edge photogrammetry and the most advanced technology for game hosting, according to the Paris-based fashion house, noting that “Afterworld sets a record for the largest volumetric video project ever undertaken.” For those of us new to digital jargon, photogrammetry is “the science and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through the process of recording, measuring and interpreting photographic images and patterns of electromagnetic radiant imagery and other phenomena.

Like many designers, Gvasalia must surely miss the excitement of a live runway show, but honestly, the pandemic didn’t stop him from presenting his fashion-forward collection in an avant-garde way. For Paris Fashion Week Spring 2021, Gvasalia was highly praised for his fashion film set to Corey Hart’s “I Wear My Sunglasses at Night,” which showcased Balenciaga’s summer pre-collection with models dashing through rain-slicked Paris streets after dark.

Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow

What better timing to launch a new computer game than the holidays, during a pandemic, with a stay-at-home order in place! Brilliant marketing, no?

So here’s how it works:

“A hero avatar advances throughout distinct zones, motivated by tasks and interactions,” the house said, sharing details of the online game first with WWD. “The narrative of ‘Afterworld’ is anchored to mythological pasts and projected futures with timeless archetypes and speculative imagery.”

Balenciaga’s pre-collection is futuristic and is inspired by what fashion might be like in 2031 in a conceptual way, and the idea carries over into what’s displayed in the video game.

“A theme of Balenciaga fall 2021 is human destiny, as seen by an interactive, gamified journey,” the house said. “The world may appear to be decaying at first, but it is far from a dystopian view, showing instead the slow return to a healthier balance of nature and industry.”

If you’re a true gamer with quick skills and can beat the game, the reward is “A real-life breathing exercise set in a virtual utopia. In the end, the hero has finally becomes (as it is referred to in Hero’s Journey analysis) a ‘Master of  Two Worlds’,” Balenciaga told WWD, apparently alluding to studies of archetypal heroes by the late American academic Joseph Campbell.

Gvasalia has been breaking the traditional fashion industry rules and they seem to be working to his advantage. Last September the designer revealed that he would show Balenciaga’s pre-collections during Paris Fashion Week, and his main collections for the house in June and December, reversing his previous show order.  The unconventional designer also stated in past interviews that he wishes to break away from the hamster wheel of doing runway shows every season; although he hasn’t ruled out runway shows in the future. Gvasalia is already planning to stage a show next July for Balenciaga’s much anticipated return to haute couture.

Demna Gvasalia, the Creative Director for Balenciaga. (Photo Credit: WWD)

“Fashion has become such a checklist. And I feel like I personally want to try to do it differently,” Gvasalia said in an interview with WWD.

 

OTHER FASHION COMPUTER GAMES

Balenciaga’s timing to release an online video game comes at a pinnacle time in the crossover between gaming and fashion, a relationship that has been progressively developing.

Animal Crossings designer collaborations. (Left) Looks from Valentino. (Right) Looks from Marc Jacobs. (Photo Credit: AllGamers HyperX)

Since lockdowns began, fashion lovers have been playing Animal Crossing, a Nintendo-created game (launched in 2001), but since May, designer brands such as Marc Jacobs and Valentino have created “New Horizons” looks and the game’s popularity took off.  Suddenly, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Light, the game system to play Animal Crossings on, were on everyone’s wish list and they became hard to find. Even Instagram accounts like Animal Crossing Fashion Archive, Nook street Market, and Animalcrossfits became a craze. 2020 has brought in a new area in fashion and gaming, and it’s so much more than just picking out your favorite color for a character’s t-shirt.

Across the board, luxury fashion houses are collaborating with the video game industry, as this promises to be the future of marketing and retail as Generation Z and Alpha are incredibly tech driven.

Gucci unveiled a series of new app features including the Arcade App, inviting customers to play with popular house motifs and characters, plus AR technology allowing them to virtually “try on” sneakers and watches. The Italian luxury brand also launched a collaboration with The Sims and a tennis-themed outfit game, Tennis Clash.

K slash DA in Louis Vuitton. (Photo Credit Louis Vuitton)

Louis Vuitton launched its League of Legends capsule collection last year, in partnership with Riot Games. Meanwhile, Burberry collaborated with Snapchat and created Animal Kingdom, an in-store gamified experience in which Snapcodes transport shoppers to a Burberry world. Snapchat also teamed up with Ralph Lauren to create virtual clothing for personal Bitmojis.

“With confinement, we started the year 2020 to wake up into 2025,” describes Christian Louboutin of such acceleration in an interview with Nylon magazine. “I’m not a gamer myself — I can barely switch on the TV — but I’ve observed in the last few years more and more people, especially at the airport or in planes, playing on their phones.” Just this past October, the footwear designer presented his Spring 2021 collection via the app Zepeto, enabling users to create personal avatars and discover his latest creations.

In an interview with Nylon magazine, “Our social lives are now predominantly playing out online. Therefore, our main channel to present ourselves and shape out identity is digital,” says Rachael Stott, futures analyst at strategic foresight consultancy the Future Laboratory, which estimates that when it comes to in-game spending, U.S. gamers each spend on average $229 on digital purchases. For comparison’s sake, the new stand alone XBox Series X and Sony PlayStation 5 both retail for $499, while the Oculus Quest 2 all-in-one virtual reality headset retails for $399.

According to the trend forecasting agency WGSN, gaming has an estimated global reach of 2.7 billion; and ‘skins’, virtual items that change the look of a character, accounted for 80% of the $120 billion spent on digital games in 2019.

“Fashion working with gaming is kind of the next obvious step in the evolution of fashion,” says Erin Wayne, head of community and creator marketing at Twitch (in an interview with Nylon magazine). The live-streaming platform launched in 2011, now boasts 26.5 million daily visitors. In September, Burberry became the first luxury fashion label to partner with the service and stream its Spring 2021 show, and in July, the UK-based university Ravensbourne streamed its graduating fashion students’ collections, which had been presented via a digital avatar project.

“Gen Zers are digital natives. They don’t want content pushed at them,” says Adam Harris, global head of brand partnership studio at Twitch. On Twitch, you can find anything from cats sleeping to ASMR to gaming to chatting. Teens today will seek out the content they are interested in, case in point, Fortnite’s Travis Scott spectacular in April: 12 million players logged into the concert. Meanwhile, Lil Nas X’s recent stint on gaming platform Roblox drew 33 million views.

“Fashion brands are primarily infiltrating gaming as a marketing tool,” points out Stott. With doors to physical stores shuttered, gaming devices have the potential to build communities. “Spending hours crafting a digital replica to show your peers currently makes sense,” she says.

The Puma X Tabitha Simmons Collection on Drest. (Photo Credit: Drest)

There are a handful of other fashion video games as well. “Drest” an interactive styling game, that was launched towards the end on 2019 now carries over 200 brands. The video game was founded by Lucy Yeomans, a former magazine editor-in-chief of Net-a-Porter and editor of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar in the UK. Another popular fashion game is DressX, which was founded by Daria Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova. They are a retail platform for digital fashion, carrying over 30 brands, mostly URL only, some IRL, too, sell between $25 and $200. It’s like digital couture.

“Gaming is starting to become such a cultural force. Our mission is to become one of those brands like the Dickies [of the world] or whoever was at the beginning of that culture,” Simon Brown, product director of Fnatic says in an interview with Nylon.

 

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