University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Carolina Herrera"

QUIET LUXURY STOLE THE SHOW AT NY FASHION WEEK SPRING 2024

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Michael Kors’ Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In the dazzling whirlwind that is the fashion world, where fantastical runway creations often seem more suited for the pages of a sci-fi novel than our daily lives, New York Fashion Week Spring 2024, which ran from September 7th to September 13, 2023, came as a breath of fresh air. This Spring 2024 season, designers decided to take a step back from the avant-garde and embrace a much-needed return to the realm of “real clothes for the real world.” The result? Runway shows that felt more relatable, relevant, and refreshing than ever before. Are we all ready for some reality?

Fashion enthusiasts worldwide seemed to have been yearning for authenticity in recent years. Haven’t we all  grown tired of feeling like mere spectators of fashion, unable to find any common ground between the eccentric runway fantasies and our everyday wardrobes? Well, finally, New York’s designers are offering a solution to this dilemma by delivering collections that spoke to the modern woman, the urban man, and the fashion-conscious non-binary individual. The collections presented us with pieces that felt not only wearable but desirable.

Backstage at Altuzarra’s Spring 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Hunter Abrams)

This season wasn’t about who could make the biggest statement; it was about the designers who showcased the art of quiet luxury, proving that sometimes, less truly is more.

THE HISTORY OF MINIMALISM

If you Google “minimalist fashion designers”, up pops Coco Chanel, Halston, Helmut Lang, Calvin Klein and Martin Margiela. Clothes known in the 90s as sleek, elegant and understated, would go on to become one of design’s most enduring ‘less is more’ trends and not just in the fashion world, but also in art, architecture and furniture design,  One could argue that American designer Michael Kors has always been a minimalist.

Fast forward to 2018 and the 5 season hit TV series Succession, which gave us Shiv Roy. Her wardrobe perfected the “Art of Quiet Luxury”, with its elite high-end aesthetic comprised of toned-down, tailored designer pieces in color codes of gray, black, brown and beige, over noisy opulence full of obvious branding and loud logos.

By 2022, the trend-setting powers of social media and growing pressure on the fashion industry to create collections that could stand the test of time, saw the list of brands embracing a more stripped-back approach continue to grow. Brands like The Row, Cos, Totême, Peter Do, Jim Sander and Khaite are some examples that brought minimalist dressing back.

And now, for Spring 2024, designers Proenza Schouler and Tory Burch brought minimalism back, with clean lines, simple silhouettes and muted color palettes. Their respective collections spoke volumes, without the need for excessive embellishments or flashy prints. The focus was on impeccable tailoring, high-quality materials, and timeless pieces that transcended seasons. What was once called “Investment Dressing”, now goes by the name “Minimalistic Quiet Luxury”.

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)

A look from Tory Burch’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

MONOCHROMATIC MASTERY

Another piece of the Minimalistic Quiet Luxury trend is monochromatic looks. The collections of Gabriela Hearst and Willy Chavarria showcased the power of a single color. These designers demonstrated that dressing in one color from head to toe can be incredibly chic and sophisticated. It’s a testament to the idea that true luxury doesn’t need to scream; it can whisper.

Looks from Willy Chavarria’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

RETURN OF TAILORING

Tailoring made a triumphant comeback at NYFW Spring 2024. Designers like Helmut Lang and Ralph Lauren displayed a mastery of the art of tailoring, by creating perfectly fitted suits, blazers, and trousers that exuded sophistication and confidence. The attention to detail was unparalleled, with impeccable stitching and precise cuts.

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

A look from Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)

SUBTLE DETAILS THAT SPEAK VOLUMES

Quiet luxury is all about the little things that make a big impact. Designers like Jason Wu and Catherine Holstein of Khaite incorporated subtle details like delicate embroidery, discreet logos, and elegant draping to elevate their pieces. These subtle touches added an air of exclusivity without resorting to ostentation.

Looks from Jason Wu’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

A look from Khaite’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Khaite)

SUSTAINABLE ELEGANCE

A significant component of quiet luxury in 2024 was its commitment to sustainability. Designers such as Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher were in the forefront of the environmental movement and for Spring 2024, designers Gabriela Hearst and Collina Strada demonstrated that luxury and eco-consciousness can coexist. They used eco-friendly materials and production processes, showcasing that a responsible approach to fashion can be a luxury in itself.

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Collina Strada’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

TIMELESSNESS

Perhaps the most captivating aspect of quiet luxury is its timelessness. Designers like Carolina Herrera and Ralph Lauren created pieces that will remain relevant and stylish for years to come. These collections weren’t about chasing fleeting trends but rather celebrating enduring elegance.

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Supermodel Christy Turlington walks in Ralph Lauren’s Spring-Summer 2024 show at an artfully-transformed warehouse in the Brooklyn Naval Yard. (Photo Credit: AP Press)

In a world that often values excess and extravagance, NYFW Spring 2024 reminded us of the beauty of restraint. Quiet luxury is a celebration of craftsmanship, quality, minimalism, and the subtle art of making a statement without shouting. It’s about embracing the idea that true luxury is in the details, in the craftsmanship, and in the enduring appeal of a well-made garment.

As we step into this new era of understated elegance, we applaud the designers who have embraced quiet luxury and redefined the standards of opulence. NYFW Spring 2024 has given us a fresh perspective on what it means to be truly luxurious in an increasingly noisy world. In the end, it’s not about how loudly you proclaim your status; it’s about the quiet confidence that comes from knowing you’re wearing the best.

So tell us, do you believe quiet luxury is just a trend or is the understated movement here to stay?

 

 

 

 

Fashion’s Resort 2024 Collections: A Gateway to Style

- - Trends

Looks from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Hollywood Reporter)

The world of fashion never rests. It’s constantly evolving and embracing new trends to captivate the hearts of fashionistas worldwide. Amidst this perpetual cycle, the Resort season emerges as a crucial milestone in the industry, providing designers with a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity and unlock significant sales potential. As we delve into Fashion’s Resort 2024 collections, we will embark on a journey through enchanting designs while exploring the undeniable importance of the resort season in driving fashion sales.

Unlike the more widely known fashion seasons like Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, Resort collections offer a refreshing break from the traditional fashion calendar. Launched between seasons, typically during the winter months, Resort collections cater to jet-setters seeking stylish ensembles for their warm-weather getaways. Resort collections epitomize the essence of escapism, transporting us to sun-soaked destinations and inspiring dreams of far-off shores.

Liberated from the constraints of thematic consistency, they can explore innovative silhouettes, patterns, and fabrics, resulting often in breathtaking creations. Designers often draw inspiration from diverse sources, such as exotic locales, art movements and cultural heritage, infusing their collections with a captivating mix of tradition and contemporary flair.

Looks from Roberto Cavalli’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue).   

A look from Phillip Plein’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: The Impression)

One of the key reasons why the resort season is essential to fashion sales lies in the extended retail window it creates. Unlike other collections that quickly give way to seasonal discounts, Resort collections maintain their relevance for an extended period. This longevity is particularly advantageous for retailers, allowing them to stock and sell these exclusive pieces for an extended period, thus maximizing their profitability.

The resort season caters to a broad range of consumer needs, making it a lucrative segment for fashion sales. From tropical beachgoers and urban vacationers to those living in climates that enjoy year-round warmth, the resort collections offer versatile designs suitable for various occasions. This inclusivity ensures that designers and retailers can tap into a diverse customer base, expanding their market reach and ultimately boosting sales.

In today’s digital age, the resort season’s impact extends far beyond traditional runways. Influencers and fashion enthusiasts flock to picturesque resort locations where collections are unveiled, generating a powerful synergy of style and social media. The visual splendor of these backdrops combined with the inherent allure of new fashion trends generates considerable online buzz, catapulting resort collections into the spotlight and increasing their desirability. This Resort 2024 season was no exception as Chanel showcased their collection in sunny Los Angeles, as a Santa Monica airplane hangar was used as a runway. Gucci showed in Seoul, the capital of South Korea while hundreds of labor union protested in the city’s streets. Dior’s creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Resort 2024 collection was an ode to Mexico, so it was only natural that the French luxury house showed in Mexico City. Meanwhile, Wes Gordon took his Resort 2024 Carolina Herrera show to Rio, Brazil. Not to be outdone by exotic locations, Nicolas Ghesquière’s Louis Vuitton show was held in the terraced gardens of Isola Bella, a tiny private island in Lake Maggiore, Italy.

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2024 Show. (Photo Credit: Town & Country)

The resort season acts as a bridge between the more substantial Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections, ensuring a smooth transition for fashion aficionados. By offering a taste of upcoming trends and introducing transitional pieces, designers create anticipation for the next season, enabling customers to plan their wardrobes ahead of time. This strategy not only keeps consumers engaged but also bolsters brand loyalty, driving sales throughout the year.

A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Here are some of Resort’s hottest trends so far:

Barbiecore

Barbiecore, inspired by the iconic Barbie doll, as well as the release of the Barbie Movie on July 21, is a major trend characterized by its playful and feminine aesthetic.

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Anna Sui’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Givenchy’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Floral Fantasies

Florals continue to reign supreme, with an array of exquisite botanical prints and patterns. From oversized blooms to delicate blossoms, these vibrant and romantic motifs grace dresses, skirts and blouses, adding a touch of femininity to every ensemble.

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Artisanal Craftsmanship

Resort 2024 pays homage to artisanal craftsmanship, celebrating traditional techniques and intricate details. Expect to see beautifully handcrafted embroidery, delicate lacework, and intricate beadwork adorning garments.

A look from The Row’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Sophisticated Crochet

Crochet takes center stage for Resort 2024, with designers embracing this versatile and timeless technique. From dresses and tops to swimwear and accessories, crochet pieces evoke a sense of bohemian elegance and laid-back charm.

A look from Chloé’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Etro’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Frederick Anderson’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Playful Ruffles

Ruffles make a spirited comeback, infusing Resort 2024 collections with a sense of whimsy and movement. Cascading down skirts, sleeves, and necklines, ruffles create a romantic and playful aesthetic.

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Diesel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Earthy Tones

Resort 2024 embraces the beauty of the natural world through earthy tones and natural textures. From sandy neutrals to mossy greens, these colors evoke a sense of serenity and connection to nature. Designers incorporate natural textures, such as linen, jute, and woven fabrics, bringing a tactile and organic element to the collections. Expect to see relaxed silhouettes and flowy garments that exude a sense of effortless elegance.

A look from Christian Dior’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Tory Burch’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Chloé’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Abstract Prints

Abstract prints make a bold statement in Resort 2024, injecting a burst of energy and creativity into the collections. Geometric shapes, bold strokes, and unexpected color combinations create eye-catching designs that demand attention.

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Givenchy’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Tailoring with a Twist

Resort 2024 redefines traditional tailoring with modern twists and unexpected details. Blazers feature oversized shoulders and nipped-in waists, offering a feminine take on structured silhouettes. Pants are cropped and wide-legged, providing comfort and sophistication. Look out for asymmetrical cuts, unique button placements, and unexpected fabric combinations that breathe new life into classic tailoring.

A look from Balenciaga’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Givenchy’s Resort 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Gucci’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

A look from Louis Vuitton’s Resort 2024 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, what is your favorite trend for Resort 2024?

PRE-FALL TRENDS & CELEBRATING MLK DAY

- - Trends

Looks from Dior’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Dior)

Happy 2023! As we all look with cautious optimism toward to a post pandemic world, fashion designers seemed to be conflicted when creating their Pre-Fall 2023 collection: practicality vs drama. For non-followers of fashion, most clothes seen on the runway seem frivolous, unwearable and created solely to shock ‘n awe. For the most part, that’s absolutely the truth. Do you ever  watch a runaway show and say, “who’d ever wear that?” Well, you’re not alone. Most runway fashion are created for social media click bait. However, there are moments of wearable/salable fashion and those are featured in a fashion season called ‘Pre-Fall’.

Before we talk about some of the 2023 pre-fall trends, let’s discuss what this ‘season’ actually means.  For starters, it’s the longest-running of all the fashion seasons (Spring, Summer, Resort Fall, Pre-Fall and Couture). It’s open to buyers and press in November and wraps up on the heels of spring couture in January. Usually, pre-fall collections offer more commercial looks, thus giving retailers the opportunity to introduce new merchandise to their customers between the fall and spring collections. Pre-fall, like resort, is an extremely important selling season with merchandise available on the sales floor and on e-commerce sites for up to six months.

A look from Balmain’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

Today it has become increasingly difficult to define a particular season as designers show various interpretations of what exactly “pre-fall” means. The name (pre-fall) refers to autumn, but the deliveries hit stores and shopping sites in the beginning of summer. Confused yet? Designers present everything from fur coats to crochet dresses and everything in between. So, the terminology is perhaps a misnomer to many designers, retailers, and consumers. So shouldn’t the season be looked at as a transitional one? As designers address the needs of clients worldwide, where temperatures vary dramatically, especially as we experience climate change, and depending on what continent you live.

Chanel Pre-Fall 2023 is the first European fashion house to show in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Photo Credit: ID Magazine)Pre-fall can also be looked at as a prelude to the next runway collection; an opportunity to test what works and doesn’t work with clients. For many designers, pre-fall can help lay-out the groundwork for many of the silhouettes , colors, and ideas that appear in the following season.

So, as we continue to contemplate the churning out of merch that leads to more clothes in stores with less than stellar sales and their affect on our planet, here are the key Pre-Fall ‘practicality vs drama’ trends:

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

 

DARK ROMANCE

Netflix’s series Wednesday is breaking records for the streaming service, so it’s no surprise that Wednesday Adams has become a fashion muse. For pre-fall designers are showcasing a number of black lace looks.

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini)

A look from Chanel Métiers d’art’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

A look from Batsheva’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Batsheva)

IN TRENCHES

This Pre-Fall season the iconic trench coat is back in a major way, but these variations are anything but basic.

Looks from Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Lafayette 148’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Lafayette 148)

A look from Victoria Beckham’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Victoria Beckham)

A look from Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Stella McCartney)

POCKET CHANGE

One of the biggest Y2K micro trends has been the return of oversized cargo pockets. From safari-inspired jackets to elegant sequin eveningwear. It looks like the cargo trend is here to stay thanks to its practically and ease.

Looks from Brandon Maxwell’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Brandon Maxwell)

A look from Ser.o.ya’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ser.o.ya)

A look from Et Ochs’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Et Ochs)

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

A look from Diesel’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Diesel)

KNIT WIT

Sultry knits take center stage this season from effortless dresses to cropped cardigans.

A look from Givenchy’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Givenchy)

A look from Ferragamo’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ferragamo)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Shouler)

A look from Thom Browne’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Thom Browne)

IN FRINGE

Designers are getting frisky this season with a variety of fringe looks from dramatic capes to sexy skirts.

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)

A look from LaPointe’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: LaPoint)

A look from Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Oscar de la Renta)

A look from Hervé Leger’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Hervé Leger)

A look from Proenza Schouler’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Proenza Schouler)

COLLAR UP

Dramatic collars are back this season with a fresh take on the prim and proper motif.

A look from Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

A look from Etro’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Etro)

A look from Alberta Ferretti’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Alberta Ferretti)

A look from Roberto Cavalli’s Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Roberto Cavalli)Balmain

GETTING READY TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH

As the Pre-Fall season wraps on January 16th, the Martin Luther King holiday, and as we prepare to celebrate Black History Month in February, UOF wants to highlight a few of our favorite pre-fall looks created by people of color:

A look from Olivier Rousteing’s Balmain Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Pre-Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Christopher John Rogers)

 

A video about Rihanna’s X Fenty upcoming collection. Video Credit Fashion Today on YouTube

 

EQUALITY: HOW THE FASHION INDUSTRY IS SUPPORTING THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY & WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Looks from Pink by Victoria’s Secret Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Pink by Victoria’s Secret)

As we process the overturning of Roe v Wade and what it means for women’s rights, we know one thing, the fashion industry will not take this lying down. There are many organizations mobilizing in defense of women’s equality, one of the newest is Don’t Ban Equality. The list of companies that support women’s reproductive rights is growing and you can bet that the impact of this decision will have have far-reaching consequences, both on and off the runway.

And, as we near the end of Pride Month, we’d like to dedicate this blog to women’s and gender equality. This year, the fashion community has stepped up and given back to the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month, which commemorates the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City where spontaneous demonstrations by the gay community in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, was a tipping point in the Gay Liberation Movement. The community originally observed the Stonewall Riots for a day at the end of June, but it has since evolved into a month-long tribute.

Over the last two years, due to Covid-19, the parades and parties celebrating Pride Month were cancelled, but this year, the month-long festivities were in full swing. Fashion brands also did their part in supporting the LGBTQ+ community with their “Pride-themed” collaborations and merchandise.

H&M’s video titled My Chosen Family Pride Month 2022 at H&M. Video Courtesy of H&M

Fashion brands working with the LGBTQ+ community isn’t new: H&M has been a longtime collaborator with LGBTQIA+ actors and activists, and their “My chosen family” initiative donated $100,000 this year to the UN Free & Equal campaign, a global fight for equality led by United Nations Human Rights.

Still, LGBTQ+ leaders have accused brands of pushing “pinkwashed” merchandise—basically using Pride Month as a marketing tool and profiting off the LGBTQ+ community without offering anything back. This is particularly distasteful after two years that’ve hit the community especially hard, financially-speaking.

The Rainbow Flag. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In prior Pride months, companies released everything from sneakers to that notorious mouthwash with Pride-themed packaging and not much else, not a single donation to support the community. Is an identifiable, color palette enough to persuade the LGBTQ community and supporters, to spend their hard-earned money after two long years of pandemic fatigue, inflation, and record-breaking gas prices?

According to YouGov, a quarter of Americans say that they are more likely to shop from LGBTQ+ friendly brands, and over 80% are likely to try new products from brands who actively support LGBTQ+ communities as opposed to ones that don’t. Authenticity is the key, although retailers have taken a financial hit the past few years due to the global pandemic, we’re seeing more companies putting their money where their mouth is and donating to worthy causes.

So here are a few of the Pride Month collaborations, from brands that are using their platform to support the LGBTQ+ community.

CHER X VERSACE

Cher and fashion house Versace are teaming up to celebrate Pride Month. (Photo Credit: Versace)

The music legend Cher and luxury Italian fashion house Versace have teamed up to create “Chersace,” a limited-edition capsule collection with all proceeds benefiting Gender Spectrum, a charity that works with LGBTQ children and youth.

The “Chersace” collection includes T-shirts, socks and a baseball cap designed with Versace’s iconic Medusa motif and the Versace logo reimagined to read “Chersace.” A portion of all the proceeds will benefit Gender Spectrum, a nonprofit organization chosen by both Donatella Versace and Cher for their advocate work supporting LGBTQ community, especially youths and families.

CONVERSE

Sneakers from Converse’s 2-22 Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Converse)

Converse’s Pride 2022 Collection puts a twist on the iconic Chuck Taylors, as each shoe from the collection is united by a vibrant patchwork representing diversity, belonging and unity. Alongside the Pride collection, Converse released a digital campaign, “Found Family,” which presents stories from the brand’s LGBTQ+ community. Converse also gives annual grants to seven organization partners that work to create safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.

COACH

Coach’s Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Coach)

Coach didn’t just slap a rainbow on some purses, the fashion house has been a longtime supporter of LGBTQ+ causes. The brand releases annual Pride collections, partners with nonprofits and donates to community funds around the world through the Coach Foundation.

This year, the Coach Foundation’s “Go All Out For Pride” campaign will make donations to the brand’s longstanding LGBTQ+ partners, including the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Point Foundation and CenterLink to support their work connecting young LGBTQ+ folks with supportive communities. Coach’s Pride collection includes the labels iconic canvas bags, sneakers, and slides – all with the brands classic logo remixed with pride flag-inspired colors.

LEVI’S

A look from Levi’s Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Levi’s)

Sure, there are a number of brands brandishing gender-neutral fashion lines this summer, but the Levi’s Pride collection celebrates the spectrum of identities in the LGBTQ+ community. Levi’s latest line of tees, denim and accessories are designed to be worn by anyone, but feature pronouns across the pieces as a call to respect everyone’s lived experiences.

The denim company says that they will donate $100,000 to OutRight Action International, a nonprofit working year-round to defend and advance human rights for LGBTQ+ people around the globe. For this year’s collection, the brand also photographed the fashion line on five social justice advocates from within the LGBTQ+ community.

RALPH LAUREN

Ralph Lauren’s pride collection. (Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren)

For over 30+ years, Ralph Lauren has committed to the LGBTQ+ community. The fashion houses recent Pride campaign explores the complex and intersectional history of Pride. In the video, the former editor in chief of Out magazine, Phillip Picardi interviewed luminaries like Ariel Nicholson, Keith Boykin and Staceyann Chin as they provided insight on the community, the history of Pride and the New American Dream.

In addition, Ralph Lauren will merchandise a rainbow assortment of merchandise throughout the month, including rainbow cashmere sweaters, Polo shirts and canvas sneakers. The company has also partnered with the Stonewall Community Foundation once more, providing a donation to support the LGBTQ community.

VINYARD VINES

Looks from Vinyard Vines’ Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Vineyard Vines)

Perfect for this month’s beach life, and more, Vineyard Vines’s 2022 Pride Collection is here for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate and toast to the good life. A portion of all proceeds from their Pride collection will be donated to GLSEN, a non-profit whose mission is to ensure that every school-aged youth is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

UGG

Ugg’s Rainbow Sandals. (Photo Credit: Ugg)

This year Ugg has collaborated with The Trevor Project for its “Feel Heard” campaign, starring advocate and writer Alok, model Chloe Vero, yoga teacher and artist Isa’ah, science teacher and model Sarina Moralez and vintage collectors Robert and Orren. Ugg has also donated $125,000 to the nonprofit organization.

For their Pride 2022 Collection, Ugg featured rainbow Pride-inspired detailing on its signature slides as well as apparel, including a T-shirt, hoodie, socks and more.

PUMA

Cara Delevingne launches pride collection with Puma. (Photo Credit: Puma)

Puma has teamed up with model and actress Cara Delevingne and illustrator Carra Sykes, to create a collection called “Together Forever,” which encourages wearers to raise their voices and celebrate their strength. The collaboration includes T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, a patterned bralette, and matching leggings, all of which feature vibrant logos and graphics.

Puma has also pledged to donate 20 percent of the proceeds from the collection, with a minimum of $250,000, to GLAAD.

KATE SPADE NEW YORK

Items from Kate Spade’s Pride Collection. (Photo Credit: Kate Spade)

Kate Spade New York is celebrating Pride Month with their latest campaign, “Celebrate with Pride”. The fashion and accessories brand also announced a year-long partnership with The Trevor Project for the third year. As part of their partnership together, Kate Spade has pledged to donate $150,000 to the organization.

Additionally, the company will also release a series of videos on its website and social media channels, inviting members of the LGBTQ+ community to share their stories.

SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

Christian Cowan for Saks’ “Show Your Pride” campaign. (Photo Credit: Saks)

Luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue launched their Pride campaign called “Show Your Pride,” which celebrated notables from the LGBTQ+ community and their stories. Additionally, the retailer is continuing its support for the community by partnering with the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative (the official charitable giving organization of the historic landmark site of the 1969 riots) for the fourth consecutive year, with a cumulative donation of $245,000.

Throughout June, Saks Fifth Avenue will be featuring names like singer and drag performer Adore Delano, designer Christian Cowan, actress Dominique Jackson and comedians Jes Tom and Sam Jay on social media, the Saks website, and its editorial hub, The Edit. On its TikTok channel, influencer Emira D’Spain will host a “get ready with me” style video, while Jackson will be featured in a Reels video on Instagram.

Additionally, the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship windows in New York City will be transformed to create a deconstructed Pride flag.

NORDSTROM

Nordstrom’s Pride 2022 Campaign. (Photo Credit: Nordstrom)

Throughout Pride Month, the luxury department store will highlight labels that are launching initiatives in support of the LGBTQ+ community. The brands include BP., who released a Be Proud collection, Bombas, Converse, Dr. Martens, Happy Socks, Vans, The Phluid Project and Toms.

The retailer’s Pride Month initiatives will also include celebrating and supporting their LGBTQ+ employees and corporate donations to and partnerships with nonprofit organizations who work to support the LGBTQ+ community. Nordstrom will donate $200,000 to The Hetrick-Martin Institute, $100,000 to Trans Lifeline and $135,000 to Human Rights Campaign, among other charity programs.

CAROLINA HERRERA

A closer look at Carolina Herrera’s jewelry capsule celebrating Pride. (Photo Credit: Carolina Herrera)

The luxury house Carolina Herrera launched an exclusive jewelry capsule inspired by the rainbow colors of the official Pride flag, featuring a crystal necklace and earrings. Carolina Herrera will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of the collection to Callen-Lorde, a community health center providing healthcare and other related services for New York’s LGBTQ+ communities.

According to Don’t Ban Equality, “77% of consumers consider reproductive health care (i.e., access to contraception and abortion) an important issue; 91% of Gen Z and 86% of Millennials say it is important“. Who knew that we would still be fighting for women’s rights in today’s day and age?

So, tell us, how important it is for fashion brands to include equality in their brand identity?

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

- - Fashion Shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BRINGING SEXY BACK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DAYTIME GLAM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LEATHER CHANNEL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOTHIC GLAM

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

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

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

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

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

BLACK AND WHITE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

METALLICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ORANGE ALERT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNIT WHIT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IT’S SHOWTIME: NEW YORK FASHION WEEK SPRING 2022

- - Fashion Shows

Designer Wes Gordon with a look from the Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2022 collection celebrating the brand’s 40th year anniversary. (Photo Credit: Lexie Moreland for WWD)

New York Fashion Week is back and bigger than ever! It has been 18 months since New York hosted it’s last in-person fashion week, pre-COVID, and in an attempt to get back to a new normal, we will certainly be complying with mask mandates and vaccination cards to attend all of the live events.

So, what will be different THIS season you may ask? Well for starters, many American designers who have shown in Europe in the past, will be coming home to show in New York City. A few European imports, such as Moschino, have also opted to show their collection in NYC, adding an exciting energy to the week. And another treat to look forward to…over a dozen emerging Black designers were added  to the fashion calendar, thanks to the Black In Fashion Council.

And another first…NYFW will go out with a bang as the Met will host their annual Met Gala on September 13th. Read our blog from last week to learn more about the Costume Institute’s new exhibition, In America: A Lexicon of Fashion and their youngest-ever crew of co-chairs: Timothée Chalamet, Billie Eilish, Naomi Osaka, and Amanda Gorman. Add in the U.S. Open (tennis championship games) and the VMA Awards (Video Music Awards) to the mix and New York City will be bustling with excitement. Just like pre-Covid days. Almost.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the sisters behind the fashion label Rodarte, surrounded by models during their spring 2022 show. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

In true NYC fashion, and with the Mario Coumo scandal finally behind us, New York’s newest and first female governor, Kathy Hochul, announced a partnership with NYFW’s IMG, giving designers free access to two show venues, Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park (downtown) and Moynihan Train Hall (in the historic James A. Farley Post Office Building). According to Vogue Runway, Gurung’s show was the first to take the governor up on her offer. Later in the week, Cynthia Rowley will host her show in the same downtown location and Victor Glemaud will present in Moynihan Train Hall. More firsts.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Prabal Gurung. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

“We are grateful to Governor Hochul and New York State for their continued partnership,” said IMG’s president of fashion events and properties Leslie Russo. “Through this unique partnership, we are proud to showcase iconic New York City locations as the backdrop to this season’s collections.” 

Although the city will feel alive and energized, there will certainly be somber moments too, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11. New York City will have to downsize their ceremonies due to COVID and the Delta variant,  which is circulating both locally and across the country.  It’s so hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the day that not only halted New York Fashion Week, but all of New York City. However, out of the ashes of death and destruction, NYC rebuilt itself stronger than ever. The fashion industry came together and started what has now become the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an incubator in support of young designers and the program has nurtured numerous talents, from Proenza Schouler to Telfar.

In 2021, the industry had to pivot once again to address the tragedy of COVID-19. Due to the worldwide pandemic, many fashion companies shuttered such as retailer Century 21 and well-established designers such as Carly Cushnie (who created her namesake label Cushnie). In April of this year, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) announced that as an alternative to their usual competition, they would also award grants to 10 independent American brands. It’s a diverse group that ranges from Eckhaus Latta to Batsheva, as well as a few upstart labels.

A look from Batsheva’s spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

Another silver lining to emerge from the pandemic was a heightened awareness amongst consumers who are now becoming more discerning shoppers in search of more sustainable brands and individualized pieces. After spending over a year and a half indoors, working from home, we all want to make our grand entrance when entering the workplace but in a more thoughtful way.

Imitation of Christ, Spring 2022 ready-to-wear presentation. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Here are some of our favorite tends from the first few days of the NYFW Spring 2022 season.

READY TO BARE

In keeping with the runways’ newfound desire for nudity, designers are daring consumers to bare just a bit more for Spring 2022 with a multitude of bra tops. Interpretations ran the gamut, from a chic interpretation at Michael Kors to a sportier vibe at Jason Wu.

A look from Michael Kors Collection ‘s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Coach’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

A look from Jonathan Simkhai’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

A look from Bevza’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BLOOMS DAY

Welcome to spring’s splashy garden party, an oh-so-optimistic celebration with bold colors and masses of floral prints. These delicate florals made their way onto everything from sweet mini dresses to edgy one-shoulder frocks.

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

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

Looks form Libertine’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Libertine)

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

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

A look from Markarian’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

SHORT STORIES

Bottoms up! Shorts rocked the runways this season, from tiny briefs to Bermuda styles. These looks are a youthful and relaxed alternative to the summer dress.

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

A look from Adam Lippes’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

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

A look from Alejandra Alonso Rojas’ Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

HUE SAID IT

Designers lit up the spring 2022 season with rich and vibrant shades for day and night.

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

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

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

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

A look from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Spring 2022 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

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

NEUTRAL TERRITORY

Neutral shades are anything but boring. For spring, designers mix it up with a palette that ranges from pale ivory to lovely nudes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A look from Fredrick Anderson’s Spring 2022 collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue Runway)

BARE CONDITIONING

Seduction is the name of the game as designers add interesting, skin baring, cut-outs to their favorite frocks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you have a  favorite Spring 2022 trend so far?

A FRESH START TO THE YEAR: PRE-FALL 2021

- - Fashion Shows

Versace’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Theo Sion for Versace)

As we begin 2021, many of us are looking forward with hope to a vaccine that will help get us back to our pre-Covid lives. It can’t come a minute too soon. But what started out as a year of hope, took a discouraging turn here in the U.S. when only 6 days into 2021, we witnessed an insurrection in a failed attempt to bring down our government. As we write this, we still can’t believe it! It was a very sad day for our democracy.

 

Erdem’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection. (Image Credit: Erdem)

So, who doesn’t need a little fashion in their life right about now? Thank goodness for Pre-Fall. Fashion designers are celebrating the new year by promoting a return to ‘dressing up.’ They want us to ditch our sweats and leisurewear and put some fashion effort into our lives. Sounds good to me! And once again, due to Covid restrictions, these designers came up with creative ways to present their collections.

GUCCI

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     (Video Credit: Gucci)

Leave it to Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, to present his Pre-Fall 2021 collection in a manner that is just as eclectic and creative as his clothes. Michele collaborated with American filmmaker Gus Van Sant, and the two creative geniuses came up with the project known as “GucciFest.” A digital project of 90 minutes shot throughout Rome over a 20-day period. The outcome, a seven-episode miniseries of visual delight.

The miniseries features plenty of familiar faces. In episode three, Ouverture of Something That Never Ended, the film starred Harry Styles. Styles, is not only known his music but also for his gender-fluid approach to fashion. The pop star made a cameo wearing a pink Gucci tee tucked into eco denim washed shorts. “When it comes to making art it’s about finding the thing you’ve always wanted to see that has never been made,” Styles says in the film while talking on a phone call. “It’s always an uncomfortable moment, I think, when you find the thing. You don’t know if you love it or hate it because you don’t really know what it is yet. But I think that’s the most exciting place to work in.”

The fashionable miniseries also includes stars such as Florence Welch (of the band, Florence and the Machine) in a vintage shop setting, as well as Billie Eilish (needs no explanation) walking her pet robot dog. The star of the miniseries, Italian actress Silvia Calderoni, is filmed throughout the empty ancient streets of Rome, all decked out in Gucci from head-to-toe.

As for the looks, they were Michele’s maximist aesthetic to the max. The collection had plenty of vibrant festive looks that ranged from a sequin pink and green zig-zag pattern pant paired with a purple sequin top and green bed-jacket; a purple pantsuit with gold embroidery; sheer lace lingerie inspired pieces; and plenty of beastly fur outerwear. For day, Michele featured a capsule of casual looks such as a blue athletic suit with the Gucci stripe running down the side; logo athletic t-shirts; flared denim pants; and plenty of denim shorts. The creative director also showed plenty of his vintage, ‘70s inspired looks with floral dresses; bow blouses; and geometric print coats.

Kudos to Michele for presenting his collection in such a creative, attention grabbing way.

CHANEL

(Video credit: Chanel)

As the old saying goes, “The show must go on!” And so Chanel filmed it’s pre-fall 2021 show at the Château de Chenonceau with a cast and crew of 300 and precisely one VIP guest: Kristen Stewart.

The Château de Chenonceau, is one of the jewels of France’s Loire Valley. The castle belonged to Catherine de’ Medici, the Italian-born, former queen of France, and throughout the grand estate you can find interlocking Cs, which were the Queen’s initials, but today, they look incredibly similar to the Chanel logo. The grand estate is also known as the Ladies’ Château, according to WWD, “Chenonceau has a history marked by a succession of powerful women, of which the Renaissance rulers, in particular, inspired the label’s founder, Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel. That the French fashion house chose to stage its Métiers d’Art collection there is therefore something of a full-circle moment.”

The iconic house had hoped to invite approximately 200 guests to creative director Virginie Viard’s first fashion show outside of Paris, but due to a second lockdown in France, the brand was forced to revise its plans. So aside from the cast and crew, the show had only one guest, Kristen Stuart who will be featured in ads for the collection photographed by Juergen Teller.

As for Viard’s pre-fall collection for Chanel, she was inspired by many aspects of the 16th century castle. Lining the infamous chateau are beautiful gardens created by King Henry II’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Viard channeled the parterre designs of the garden and the delicate flowers as she reinterpreted the feminine motifs into rich embroideries. It was “a sophisticated take on a “Disney” Viard stated in an interview with WWD.

The creative director was also mesmerized by the chateau’s black and white checkerboard floors, which was a reoccurring print theme throughout the collection as Viard applied the motif to chessboard sequin miniskirts to fringe tweed maxi skirts. Overall, the collection had a Goth princess aesthetic with dramatic capes, poet blouses, and plenty of transparent black dresses.

Viard also played tribute to Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld with her own playful interpretation of trompe l’oeil looks, with reimagines of the castle in Lego-like sequin bricks, used as cummerbund sashes that cinch the waists of full satin ball skirts and strapless gowns. The chateau’s tapestries also inspired Viard’s intarsia knit and embroidered sweaters. While the collection at times veered towards costume, there were still plenty of signature tweed jackets that the Chanel customers crave.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

(Video credit: Christian Dior)

 

Living in lockdown has been hard on all of us. Even the most fashionable influencers have photographed themselves in sweats and furry slippers. The spring collections were even filled with leisure-inspired looks that we all craved while many of us work from home, but Maria Grazia Chiuri, the creative director of Christian Dior, has had enough. For her pre-fall collection, Chiuri created her most animated collection to date. In an interview with Vogue Runway, the creative director states, “Now, we desire something that gives us energy. Something completely different.”

“After this year—so intense, so depressing—I would like to come back to the fashion that started my career: the playfulness that attracted me and my generation to fashion, and transform the Dior codes through this attitude,” she said. For Chiuri, a child of the 1970s, those roads had to lead to Elio Fiorucci. “My generation was super influenced by pop culture,” Chiuri recalled in the Vogue Runway interview. “At Fiorucci we saw another way of fashion. It was probably the moment that fashion was born in Italy, because we left our traditional clothes to go to this toy store and discover clothes we’d never seen in our life: different materials, and clothes from around the world.”

Inspired by Pop Art, Chiuri created an uncharacteristically colorful collection that was lighthearted and fun. The cheeky collection was filled with unapologetically fun pieces: a leopard coat; a silver jumpsuit; mirrored sequined party dresses; logo transparent raincoats; bold check mini skirt suits; and a humorous T Rex print that was found on everything from dresses to tote bags. In her atelier, Chiuri said, “We decided that when this is all over, we’re each going to choose a different color dress and have a big party. That’s the dream: to dance together.”

Let the festivities begin!

CAROLINA HERRERA

Carolina Herrera’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection. (Image credit: Carolina Herrera)

It was only two months ago that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wore a white pantsuit from Carolina Herrera for her acceptance speech. Harris chose white as a tribute to the woman’s suffrage movement and her Carolina Herrera suit will be forever be synonymous with Harris’ ceiling-shattering moment.

For pre-fall, Carolina Herrera’s creative director, Wes Gordon, emphasized the more playful side of the brand’s aesthetic. Gordon hopes that by the time the collection hits stores (between May and June) the world will be on a clear path to vaccination.

Inspired by Mia Farrow, circa Rosemary’s Baby, there was a nod to the swinging sixties with black and white zebra prints, polka dot patterns. in an assortment of sizes and colors, as well as the houses signature bow motifs. The collection was joyful and energetic with looks that ran the gamut from brightly hued ballgown skirts to multi-colored dotted shirtdresses.

Gordon struck the perfect balance between youthful and sophistication.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA

Oscar de la Renta’s Pre-Fall 2021 Collection. (Image credit: Oscar de la Renta)

Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia’s collection for Oscar de la Renta was a joie de vivre celebration. The optimistic collection was filled with vibrant colors, fruity prints, and plenty of skin.

The design duo dug into the house’s archives and were inspired by a pineapple motif worn by Linda Evangelista in a 1992 Oscar collection; they were looking for something happy and light after this dark pandemic year we’re all living through. The pineapple pattern was found on several looks ranging from a block print on a simple green shift to a life-like color on a bandeau top with pouf sleeves. Other key looks included an array of brightly colored shorts, short day dresses, playful striped rompers, and a few strapless cocktail confections.

Garcia joked in an interview with Vogue Runway, “Piña coladas all day long.”

So tell us, how optimistic are you feeling in your fashion choices for 2021?

A NEW ERA FILLED WITH HOPE, UNITY, AND OF COURSE FASHION

From left, Doug Emhoff, husband of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Harris, President-elect Joe Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden on stage together, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (Photo Credit: AP)

Saturday, November 7th was an historical day in the United States. Not only did the country elect former Vice President Joe Biden to be our 46th President, but we also elected our first female, first Black and first South Asian Veep, Kamala Harris.

President-elect Joe Biden, delivered a message of hope, unity and possibility, during his victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe wore a navy suit and light blue tie, assuring that he will be a president who, in his own words, “seeks not to divide but to unify.” He told the crowd of supporters, “Let us be the nation we know we can be. A nation united, a nation strengthened, a nation healed. There’s never anything we’ve tried we’ve not been able to do.”

Kam & Joe rocking pantsuits and Joe’s signature ‘American flag’ socks. (Credit: People Instagram)

HERE COMES THE FASHION

Although this blogpost will mainly focus on Dr. Jill Biden and Kamala Harris, we thought we’d provide a teaser on Joe Biden’s sartorial choices (stay tuned for our next post on Biden Style in depth).

According to L.A. bespoke tailor Fresh (tailor to music icon, Weekend and other celebs), when asked about the difference between a Trump suit (Brioni, $3,000 loose and oversized) and Biden’s suits (Delaware’s Wright & Simon custom made ($795) and Hickey Freeman’s ($1500) Rich Fresh said, “The first thing to look at is the shoulder. Biden’s suit sits right on the shoulder, which allows the chest to sit right, the sleeve to fall beautifully. Biden’s pant break sits right at the top of his shoe. Even though he’s moving and walking, you can still see it hits right at the top. He’s not showing his whole sock off, he’s not trying to look super cool or like a teen, the whole leg fits great.” Oh, and speaking of socks…let’s not forget Joe’s signature ‘American flag’ socks and his cool pocket squares! The new men’s trend?

DR. JILL STYLE

Harris was not the only one who made a bold sartorial statement that night. Our incoming First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, chose a chic navy floral vine dress with an asymmetric hemline, created by Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, the designer duo behind the Oscar de la Renta label. Dr. Jill  paired her dress with coral kitten heels, minimal jewelry, and the accessory of 2020, a simple face mask. On Instagram, the Oscar de la Renta company posted a picture of the first couple-elect to their 4.8 million followers. “Today we congratulate our President-elect Joe Biden and the [future] first lady Jill Biden.”

President-elect Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

In an interview with WWD, Oscar de la Renta’s chief executive officer Alex Bolen said, “We’ve been fans of Dr. Jill Biden’s for many years and have had the privilege of working with her in the past. Oscar adored the opportunity to work with accomplished women, finding role models such as [former] Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton, Mrs. [Laura] Bush and Dr. Biden particularly inspiring.”

“Like Oscar, Laura [Kim] and Fernando [Garcia] relish the challenge of helping women lead their lives — especially if those lives take place on the world stage — with a tremendous sense of confidence,“ said Bolen. He also congratulated the Bidens’ and Senator Harris, on behalf of the design duo, himself and his wife Eliza, the company’s executive vice president. “We wish them every success.” 

The late Oscar de la Renta, who passed away in 2014, dressed many first ladies (from both parties) in his lifetime, from Laura Bush to Hillary Clinton.

To see more of Dr. Jill’s fashion choices while Second Lady, follow this link https://www.huffpost.com/entry/jill-biden-style_l_5f7c91c7c5b6e5aba0d0b135

Designers are betting that the first lady-elect will help rev-up the American fashion industry, when she steps out and onto the international stage. Rumors are already circulating as to ‘who’ will she choose to wear for the inauguration ceremony? And those of us in the industry know how much of a BIG DEAL that is for the lucky designer!

Like her husband, Dr. Biden is known to support local shops. She asks about prices and considers her purchases in her home city of Wilmington, Delaware. But like many first ladies before her, Dr. Biden’s style decisions have begun to change (her Oscar de la Renta dress was a hefty $5,690). Mostly known for choosing classic looks from smaller, contemporary labels, within the past few months she has shifted to wearing powerhouse designers, such as Ralph Lauren, Christian Siriano and Brandon Maxwell.

Organizations like the National Retail Federation are also optimistic about the future under the Biden administration. According to WWD, the group issued a statement on Saturday, congratulating Biden and Harris and pledging to work with the new administration: “As the largest private-sector employer in the country, the retail industry looks forward to continuing our tradition of working with presidents and their administrations of both major political parties to advance the industry’s priorities in job creation, economic development and career opportunities for millions of Americans. We congratulate president-elect Biden and vice president-elect Harris on a hard-fought victory,” said National Retail Federation president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay.

“Throughout this year’s extraordinary circumstances, retailers have shown their resilience and adaptability and will continue to ensure the safety and well-being of our customers, the communities we serve, and the 52 million working Americans supported by the retail industry as we enter a busy holiday season,” he added.

OUR INCOMING FIRST LADY’S SIGNATURE LOOK

Dr. Jill will be unlike any other first lady before her. For the first time in U.S. history, this first lady will hold a job outside of the White House and will continue her work as an English professor at Northern Virginia community college.

Jill Biden wearing a Dolce & Gabbana dress and matching mask for the final presidential debate. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

While President-elect Joe Biden talks about bringing the country back together in unity, his wife Jill’s sartorial choices back up that rhetoric. Her fashion choices reflect a softer, gentle tone that has been missing from the White House. Unlike Melania Trump who is known for wearing austere, minimalistic, utilitarian fashions (who can ever forget her “I really don’t care, do you”?  jacket and the Alexander McQueen army green military suit she wore to the Republican National Convention)? Dr. Jill dresses at the opposite end of the spectrum, as she prefers feminine silhouettes, bold patterns, and rich, deep jewel tones. The one thing she does share with Melania is a love of statement heels. Dr. Jill has rocked Valentino heels and Stuart Weitzman ‘Vote’ knee-high boots — but unlike Melania, Dr. Jill has worn them for state events, not for humanitarian relief efforts.

Also, unlike Melania Trump and Michelle Obama before her, Dr. Jill’s sartorial looks have been low key and much more representative of how American women actually dress. The incoming first lady’s aesthetic has been understated, elegant, and at times preppy. She tends to favor flattering shift dresses and wrap dresses in bold hues, and with just a quick change of her shoes, these looks are perfect transition pieces for a day in the classroom to an evening at a political event for her husband.

Jill Biden wearing Alexandra Posen’s VOTE mask while campaigning in Texas. (Photo Credit: AP)Only time will tell if Dr. Biden will continue playing it safe with her fashion choices once she is in the White House and whether Kamala will stick to wearing only suits, but one thing is for sure, American designers are lining up. Young designers especially are hoping that they’ll be given a chance to shine just as Michelle Obama did for so many during the 8 years she was in the White House. We are all hoping that both Dr. Jill will Kamala will throw their muscle behind sustainable brands. Something tells us they will. Keep your eye on this space.

We thought it would be fun to make some sartorial recommendations for Dr. Jill:

A look from Rodarte’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Rodarte)

A look from Lila Rose’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Lela Rose)

 

A look from Carolina Herrera’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Carolina Herrera)

 

A look from Ulla Johnson’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Ulla Johnson)

 

A look from Thakoon’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Thakoon)

 

A look from Brock Collection’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Brock Collection)

 

A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Altuzarra)

 

A look from Nili Lotan’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Nili Lotan)

KAM STYLE

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also took the stage on November 7th, and emphasized the promise of America in her speech. She wore an ivory-colored Carolina Herrera pantsuit and a silk bow blouse accessorized with an American flag lapel pin. Kamala, known as Momala by her step children, spoke positively about what the future may hold and encouraged children to imagine themselves in ways that others might not yet recognize as achievable. The VP-elect also credited all of the women who went before her, “I stand on their shoulders,” she said of those who fought for voting rights at the beginning of the 20th century, and of the “new generation” that had exercised those rights last week.

The color white has long been associated with the women’s suffrage movement, adopted as a symbol of moral purity alongside green for hope and purple for dignity. The hue also signified their ethos of nonviolence, an olive branch to those threatened by their then-radical calls for political equality.

While the ivory Carolina Herrera suit that Kamala Harris wore to address the nation on November 7th was one of her best sartorial choices to date, we are secretly hoping that Harris will take a more fashionable approach. As the first female to ever hold such an important role, it has to be hard for her when making fashion choices. That’s why the Power Suit is the safest way to go! Or is it?

On the campaign trail, Harris stuck to her uniform of polished pantsuits and her favorite accessory – pearls, but while the traditional attire for female politicians can be a bit bland (think Hillary and her pantsuits), we would love to see Harris take a bolder approach to power dressing.

The VP-elect hails from California, so her laid back sensibility comes through in her sartorial choices. When the Senator stepped off a plane to assess the damages of the wildfires in Fresno, California, she wore a simple olive jacket, jeans, a white t-shirt and Timberland boots – American women everywhere connected to her, because this is how American women dress!

Kamala Harris’s love of Converse sneakers. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Kamala’s sartorial choices so far have revolved around Converse sneakers and have gained plenty of traction with younger voters. For Harris, fashion does not define who she is, its her fearless approach to politics and policies that define her.

To help get Kamala out of her pantsuit rut, we are suggesting a few day looks from the spring 2021 collections that we think would look fabulous on her:

A look from Christopher John Rogers’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Christopher John Rogers)

 

A look from Michael Kors’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Michael Kors)

 

A look from Gabriela Hearst’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Gabriela Hearst)

 

A look from Altuzarra’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Altuzarra)

 

A look from St. John’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of St. John)

 

A look from Adam Lippes’ Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Adam Lippes)

 

A look from Khaite’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Khaite)

 

A look from Tory Burch’s Spring 2021 Collection. (Photo Courtesy of Tory Burch)

SO TELL US, WHAT LOOKS WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE ON OUR INCOMING FIRST LADY DR. JILL BIDEN AND VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT KAMALA HARRIS?

Here Comes the Bride…..Fall 2020 Bridal Shows

Monique Lhuillier’s fall 2020 bridal collection. (Photo courtesy of designer)

The whimsical Fall 2020Bridal season has come to an end. And while the runways were filled with gorgeous white gowns, here at University of Fashion, we decided to dig deeper and explore the history of the bridal dress and why ‘white’ would become the ‘go-to’ color for brides.

HISTORY OF THE WHITE WEDDING DRESS

Shocker! Brides did not always wear white. Throughout the 19th century white textiles were impossible to clean by hand, so only the very wealthy could afford such high-maintenance fabrics. Therefore, most women wore their best dress on their special day.

A wedding photo from the late 1800s. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Keys Studio; source BBC)

In many Asian countries, red is the color of choice for brides, as the vibrant hue is a symbol of  luck, sexuality and happiness.

The red Dior wedding dress Priyanka Chopra wore for her Indian wedding reception in Dec. 2018 (Photo courtesy of People.com)

Queen Victoria was a trend-setter when she broke from the status quo with her 1840 wedding dress, by wearing a lace, ivory-colored silk satin gown. Fashion magazines embraced the look, calling ‘white the most fitting hue’ for a bride. The trend caught on and brides to this day have embraced the white gown.

A painting of Queen Victoria in her wedding gown and veil, given to her husband Prince Albert in 1847 as an anniversary gift. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; source Time)

Today, a wedding dress is usually only worn once and is often the most treasured and expensive garment a women will ever purchase. But for centuries women, including Queen Elizabeth, wore their wedding dress on multiple occasions — making alterations to fit with the times or a changing figure.

Queen Victoria re-purposed lace from her wedding gown in the dress she wore to her Diamond Jubilee. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; source BBC)

In the Roaring Twenties, as hemlines became shorter, brides opted for wedding dresses that rose above the knee.

Gloria Swanson in a 1920s wedding dress. (Courtesy of 1920s- Fashion-and- Music.com)

During World War II, many brides could not afford to purchase a new wedding dress; so they borrowed gowns or wore their service uniform on their special day.

In 1944, it was common for women to get married in their service uniforms. (Photo courtesy of AP; source BBC)

Hollywood has always influenced fashion and when Audrey Hepburn wore a demure mid-calf length dress to her wedding in 1954, the dress length became the most popular style for several years.

Audrey Hepburn and actor Mel Ferrer walk the aisle following their wedding ceremony in 1954. (Photo courtesy of AP; Source BBC)

The sixties ushered in a new bridal style – mini dresses paired with knee-high boots. The style reflected the times and was worn by fashion icon Audrey Hepburn during her second marriage in 1969.

Audrey Hepburn and her new husband, Dr. Andrea Dotti, leave City Hall in Morges, Switzerland, following their wedding ceremony in 1969. (Photo courtesy of AP; Source BBC)

The bohemian bride became the trend of the Seventies, as brides wore loose, empire-waisted, velvet dresses with extravagant sleeves.

Princess Anne and her husband Captain Mark Phillips wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following their wedding ceremony in 1973. (Photo courtesy of AP; source BBC)

In 1981, Princess Diana married Prince Charles, and suddenly the princess gown became the most popular silhouette of the decade. Brides everywhere wore full skirts, poufy sleeves and a tiara on their head.

Prince Charles kisses the hand of his new bride, Princess Diana, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 1981. (Photo courtesy of AP)

After all the frou of the ’80s, the ’90s ushered in a clean, modern, minimalistic approach to bridal fashion. Brides opted for fitted sheath dresses that were chic and sophisticated.

Carolyn Bessette marries JFK Jr. in 1996, in a custom Narciso Rodriguez dress. (Courtesy of bostonherald.com)

Throughout the 20th century the majority of brides wore white on their wedding day. But, by the start of the 21st century, bridal designers started shaking up the bridal market by offering brides a range of pretty pastel gowns, tough only 4 to 5% of dresses sold at David’s Bridal  in 2014 were colored.

Gwen Stefani wore an ombre Galliano gown when she married Gavin Rossdale in 2002. (Courtesy of Observer)

BRIDAL FALL 2020

While every decade has had a signature bridal style, today’s bridal designers are offering up a wide variety of options for every type of bride. Here are a few of our favorite looks from the Fall 2020 bridal show season.

Pretty in pink in Monique Lhuillier. (Photo courtesy of designer)

Inbal Dror takes the transparency trend to new heights. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Wes Gordon exemplifies modern day chic as creative director for Carolina Herrera. (Photo courtesy of designer)

Anne Barge celebrates her 20 year anniversary. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Theia’s creative director Don O’Neill took inclusion one step further by including a disabled model in his fall 2020 show. (Photo courtesy of designer)

We’d love to hear from YOU, what is your favorite bridal decade and why?

The Americans have landed, or have they?

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For those of us New Yorkers who each day walk past the Lord & Taylor flagship on Fifth Avenue, we are already mourning the shuttering of this retail monument, scheduled for early 2019. While L & T may not have always been every fashionista’s ‘go-to’ destination for the most current fashion trends, this retailer has had a rich history of promoting American designers. Beginning in 1932, Dorothy Shaver (then L & T president), established a program known as the “American Look,” during a period in time when French fashion reigned supreme. This fashion visionary jumped at the chance to promote the work of American designers like Claire McCardell, Tina Lesser, Clare Potter, Vera Maxwell and Bonnie Cashin. It was a defining moment for American fashion designers and put American fashion on the world map. Oh, and by the way…Shaver was also one of the founders of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York!

Lord & Taylor                                                                                                                                                          (Courtesy University of Fashion)
Lord & Taylor (Courtesy University of Fashion)

Well, thankfully, another retailer has finally stepped up to the plate. As of this week and leading up to New York Fashion Week (Sept 6-14), Saks Fifth Avenue is showcasing the work of various American brands. Each of the American-based brands below were invited to create a window (and pay for their installation) that best represents that brand’s identity.

Although not all of the designers at these brands are American-born (Carolina Herrera, Philip Lim, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Derek Lam, Jason Wu, Diane von Furstenberg, Naeem Khan and Tanya Taylor), the spotlight is on American-based fashion labels.

Other designers included are: Rosie Assoulin, Alice & Olivia, Coach, Eileen Fisher, Lafayette 148, Leila Rose, Milly, Rag & Bone, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Jonathan Simkhai, Monse and Proenza Schouler). While the windows are intended to celebrate American style, some brands chose to focus on things such as their heritage, or social justice and sustainability. Here’s a sampling:

Carolina Herrera window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                       (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Carolina Herrera window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

Carolina Herrera’s window is a take on her iconic eveningwear (white shirt and ball skirt). Whether intentional or not, Herrera’s choice of rainbow-colored mannequins against a rainbow background could easily be interpreted as a nod to the LGBTQ community.

Coach window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                                                                         (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Coach window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

Coach’s window paid homage to their company roots. Inspired by the suppleness of an old baseball glove, Miles Cahn founded Coach in 1941, in a New York City loft. Artisans hired by the Cahn family handcrafted soft leather into handbags and in 1962, hired American designer Bonnie Cashin, who pioneered the use of brass toggles on handbags and clothing. Coach’s window included ubiquitous New York phone booths and a shout-out to Dreamers, with a decal of an 8-Ball (as in disadvantage) with the words, “Calling All Dreamers.”

Eileen Fisher window at Saks Fifth Ave   (Courtesy University of Fashion)
Eileen Fisher window at Saks Fifth Ave (Courtesy University of Fashion)

Eileen Fisher is known as a pioneer of cotton grown without pesticides and a promoter of California’s Central Valley organic cotton growers since the late 1990s. This brand’s window was less about ‘selling product’ and more about an education in recycling. In 2009, Fisher initiated GREEN EILEEN, a “buy-back policy” whereby customers turn in their gently used Eileen Fisher products, in return for a store gift card. The brand either resells that item or, through their “third lifecycle initiative,” artists get the chance to upcycle these clothes into new designs. Her Saks window featured a recycled garment, a video showing the upcycling process and cages filled with clothes ready for recycling. Thanks Eileen, for thinking responsibility about a circular fashion cycle and less about sell, sell, sell.

Tanya Taylor window for Saks Fifth Avenue                                                                                         (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)
Tanya Taylor window for Saks Fifth Avenue (Courtesy WWD August 17, 2018)

The newest (and youngest designer) brand to get a Saks window is Canadian-born designer Tanya Taylor. After having studied finance at McGill University, taken a course at Central Saint Martins and then attended Parsons School of Design, Taylor launched her brand in 2012. In 2014, she became a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund competition. Her quirky fashion is a bit H & M-ish (without the low price tag).

The inclusion of Tanya Taylor, just begs the question…why are aren’t stores like Saks and other major retailers getting behind and supporting more American start-up designers?

Hundreds of American fashion designer entrepreneurs who graduate from fashion schools, or those who learn online at University of Fashion, could greatly benefit from the support that these high-profile windows provide. So…Saks (and other retailers)… if you are listening… and you really want to take on the role of promoting American design talent that Lord & Taylor started in 1932, then do your homework and start showcasing home grown talent who need it the most!

Let us know what you think. Should American retailers start a movement to promote more American fashion design start-ups?