University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "Chanel"

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?

Haute Couture Renaissance: Spring 2024 Collections

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: Su Shan Leong)

In a world marked by fast fashion and fleeting trends, the magnificent realm of haute couture stands as a beacon of unwavering elegance and artisanal excellence. The term “haute couture” itself invokes images of meticulous craftsmanship, exquisite fabrics, and runway shows that transcend mere fashion, evolving into wearable art. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of style, one cannot help but ponder the relevance of haute couture today and acknowledge its enduring mark on the fashion industry.

Looks from Valentino’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: The Impression)

The  words “haute couture” translates to “high sewing” in French, and this meticulous craftsmanship is at the heart of what makes it so unique and relevant. Unlike ready-to-wear collections that cater to mass markets, haute couture is a celebration of bespoke tailoring, where garments are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans to fit the individual client’s body like a second skin. This dedication to perfection ensures that each piece is not merely clothing but a work of art, an embodiment of the designer’s vision, and a testament to the client’s personality.

One might argue that haute couture is an anachronism in our fast-paced, digitally driven world, but it is precisely this anachronism that makes it so significant. In an era dominated by immediacy, haute couture is a reminder that true artistry takes time. The months spent handcrafting a single gown, the attention to every minute detail, and the emphasis on quality over quantity are a stark departure from the disposable nature of contemporary fashion. Haute couture embodies a philosophy of mindful consumption and an appreciation for the art of slow fashion.

Looks from Fendi’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Beyond its intrinsic value, haute couture serves as the laboratory of innovation for the fashion industry. Designers who partake in this rarefied world push the boundaries of creativity, experimenting with avant-garde techniques, materials, and designs that often find their way into more accessible fashion later on. The runway shows become a visual symphony, where designers collaborate with skilled artisans, photographers, and makeup artists to create a mesmerizing experience that transcends the mere display of garments and produce some of THE most amazing social media images. Many of these posts are suitable for framing.

Looks from Robert Wun’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: People)

The allure of haute couture extends beyond its aesthetic splendor. It is a powerful storyteller, reflecting the spirit of its time. Designers often draw inspiration from cultural, historical, or social influences, using their collections to make powerful statements or challenge conventional norms. Haute couture is a canvas for self-expression, allowing designers to weave narratives that resonate with the collective consciousness.

Furthermore, haute couture plays a pivotal role in sustaining traditional craftsmanship. In an era where technology threatens to replace skilled artisans with machines, haute couture remains a sanctuary for the preservation of age-old techniques. The ateliers are a haven for master embroiderers, seamstresses, and tailors whose expertise has been honed through generations. By investing in these crafts, haute couture ensures the survival of skills that might otherwise be lost in the relentless march of progress.

Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are seen arriving at the Maison Margiela Fashion show. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

And while Haute couture was filled with celebrity sightings such as Zendaya, Jennifer Lopez, the Kardashian and Jenner clan, Rihanna, and Natalie Portman to name a few, the stars did not outshine the triumphant return of Haute Couture at its best.

Looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2024 haute couture fashion show. (Photo Credit: LVMH)

Of course, there were plenty of beautifully crafted pieces such as airy chiffon and tweed at Chanel, and Dior’s quiet luxury extravaganza. But there were a few shows that really broke the mold and pushed boundaries, that we are highlighting below:

MAISON MARGIELA

Video of Maison Margiela Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

John Galliano is a master at storytelling and for his Maison Margiela Couture Spring 2024 collection, the maestro turned out one of the most celebrated and emotional couture collections for the luxury fashion house to date. The show had it all, theatrical, rebellious, and oh so sexy. According to the house notes —it started with Brassai’s 1920s and ’30s portraits of the night-time underbelly of Paris’s clubs and streets.

This dark yet sexy inspiration turned into a dramatic work of art in Galliano’s hand. The extremely creative designer created a collection filled with extreme corsetry, padded hips, and erotically sheer lace dresses, paired with wildly imaginative hair, chiffon-masked makeup, and eerie doll-like body-modifications. “Galliano also created some scandalous hourglass dresses there was pubic hair to be seen through tulle and lace (they were merkins on underwear, but still bound to stir up a storm)” according to Vogue.

This certainly will be one show that will be praised for years to come as one of Galliano’s best and most theatrical for the House of Mason Margiela. And after years of Quiet Luxury fashion, we are all ready for dramatic fashion again.

SCHIAPARELLI

Video of Schiaparelli Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection.  Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

In a galaxy far, far away….. Daniel Roseberry had ignited the Schiaparelli house into one of the most sought out brands in only a few short seasons, and for his Spring 2024 Couture Collection, he did not disappoint his A-List fans. His Sci-Fi meets Western-inspired collection came complete with a robot baby and all.

Roseberry looked to both the future and the past for inspiration. The creative director for Schiaparelli melded retro technology, classic sci-fi movies and a nod to his Texan childhood. He created an exquisite exoskeleton dresses and an entire 3D spine inspired by both Elsa Schiaparelli’s radical 1938 skeleton dress and Giger aliens from the Alien movie series. “Dressage braids” inspired the knots on a cream leather suit that nearly looked like it could have been a space uniform from NASA and let’s not forget the nestling robot baby on a model’s hip – she was wearing a white singlet and conceptual couture cargo pants—Roseberry’s tribute to Sigourney Weaver as Ripley. “I’ve watched the Alien series, like, six times,” he said in a backstage interview with Vogue.

As for Roseberry Texas roots, there were silver-tipped Western belt buckles which formed a corset, an intricate embroidered jacket with fringe detail, and let’s not forget the horse-tail gown that Zendaya rocked at the show.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

Video of Gaultier by Simone Rocha Haute Couture Spring Summer 2024 Collection. Video Courtesy of YouTube FF Channel.

All eyes are on the Maison Jean Paul Gaultier as the illustrious designer, Simone Rocha takes the helm for the Haute Couture Spring 2024 show, a mesmerizing fusion of two visionary forces.

Simone Rocha, renowned for her poetic designs that seamlessly blend tradition and modernity, steps into the spotlight, bringing her signature ethereal touch to the hallowed halls of Gaultier.

The show opens with a flourish of cascading ruffles, paying homage to Gaultier’s bold and irreverent spirit. The juxtaposition of Rocha’s signature pearl embellishments against Gaultier’s iconic Breton stripes creates a visual symphony that resonates with both innovation and tradition. As each model glides down the runway, the fusion of these two design philosophies becomes a harmonious celebration of fashion’s ever-evolving tapestry.

The collection was filled with Gaultier-inspired pink cross-laced satin corsetry, and paid tribute to the house classics, turning his Breton stripes into a t-shirt made entirely of ribbons and bows.

Rocha also created exquisite haute couture ballgown—romantic-ballerina shapes made from layers and layers of tulle. It was a magnificent show that won the audience over—and according to Vogue, Rocha received a giant hug from Monsieur Gaultier himself.

So, tell us, what was your favorite haute couture show this season?

Fashion Unites Against Terrorism

A woman lights candles in honor of victims of the Hamas attacks during a vigil. The sign reads Out of Words. (Photo Credit: AP)

October 7th was a grim reminder for those of us who witnessed the terror and horror of 9/11 first hand and its impact, not only on New York City’s fashion industry, but the world at large. The recent attack on Israeli civilians by Hamas that involved rockets, drones, ground infiltrations and the taking of hostages, was an act of pure evil. Retaliation was swift and continues to result in pain and sorrow for both Israelis and Palestinians.

Depending on a country’s political interests, historical ties and moral values, they have responded to Hamas’ October attack on Israel – and Israel’s response –  in different ways. Some countries stand with Israel, some stand with Palestine, while some try to mediate or remain neutral. Most though are in agreement that a release of the hostages, a ceasefire and humanitarian aid to Gaza are critical. As we process the complexity of the situation with empathy, we are reminded how fashion, as a form of self-expression, has always tried to unite. Past runway shows are evidence of this and the perfect vehicle to support or condemn social issues, whether it be animal rights, gay rights, women’s rights, size inclusivity, political oppression or other causes. So, you can be sure that the upcoming Fall 2025 shows will feature a combination of condemnation and/or support for one side or the other, but most probably there will be a rallying cry for “give peace a chance”. Let’s all hope it works. We want to see a just and lasting agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that will bring an end to the occupation, and peace, security and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

The Global Fashion Industry Takes a Stand Against Terrorism

The fashion industry is a global enterprise and therefore a majority of fashion houses, rather than take sides, have taken a stand by denouncing terrorism and calling for an end to violence and hatred. Brands have expressed solidarity and support for the victims of the conflict, on both sides. For example, Stella McCartney posted a message on her Instagram saying: “My heart breaks for the people and families who are being senselessly killed and brutalised right now. This is terrorism. You do not need to be Israeli or Palestinian to see that this is wrong. I stand with those around the world who seek peace and justice for all.” She also shared a link to a petition by Avaaz, a global civic movement, that urges world leaders to intervene and stop the bloodshed.

British fashion designer Victoria Beckham also took to social media to share her thoughts on the situation at hand. Her statement read: “In this time of crisis, my thoughts are with the innocent victims of the recent unjust and barbaric attacks. These acts of brutal terrorism have left both Israeli and Palestinian civilians suffering. As human beings, we can’t help but be deeply affected by these harrowing acts. As a mother and as a woman, seeing the pain, suffering and loss of life on both sides is truly horrific. I stand with those around the world who seek an end to the violence and hatred. I stand for peace.”

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) issued its own statement, noting that it “stands with those determined to fight terrorism”. The organization added: “We mourn the loss of life and pray for the cycle of violence to end for a lasting peace.”

Zara store in Jerusalem. (Photo Credit: AFP)

One of the most immediate actions taken by some global fashion and beauty brands was to close their stores in Israel temporarily, to protect their employees and customers. For instance, Inditex, the owner of Zara, announced the closing of its 84 stores in Israel until further notice. Other brands that followed suit included H&M, Mango, Sephora, and L’Oréal. These brands have also expressed their hope for a swift end to the conflict and a return to normalcy.

American Eagle’s billboard in Times Square supporting Israel. (Photo Credit: American Eagle)

Other brands decided to take a stand with Israel. American Eagle made a bold statement of its own, replacing its flagship billboard in New York City’s Times Square with an image of the Israeli flag. A picture of the billboard was shared by the company’s chief marketing officer Craig Brommers in a post on LinkedIn.

One of many posts from Shoshanna Gruss. (Photo Credit: @Shoshanna via Instagram)

Shoshanna Gruss, the designer behind her contemporary namesake label Shoshanna, posted her support to Israel and condemned the brutal attacks. On October 12th, Shoshanna donated 100% of her online sales to Magen David Adom, Israel’s national medical emergency, disaster, ambulance and blood service. The designer also posted, “The silence from the fashion industry is deafening, We stand with Israel now & forever”.

Tory Burch, the executive chairman and chief creative officer of the eponymous brand, and Pierre-Yves Roussel, the brand’s CEO, addressed employees in an internal letter last week. “We condemn terrorism and hatred in all their forms. The heart-wrenching reports and brutal images of the terrorist attack in Israel last weekend have deeply affected us,” they wrote. The Tory Buch brand will support those affected through two organizations: the International Committee of the Red Cross, dedicated to humanitarian aid, and the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), an organization focused on promoting peace in the region. “We will make a personal donation of $100,000 and a $150,000 donation on behalf of the company. Additionally, Tory Burch LLC will match any employee donations to ALLMEP.”

Chanel’s executive chairman, Alain Wertheimer, and CEO Leena Nair shared an internal note that was circulated on social media last week. “We have all been horrified and deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. The war and resulting humanitarian crisis are a tragedy.” The internal note also stated that Chanel was donating $4 million to organizations engaged in providing humanitarian assistance.

A spokesperson for Capri Holdings Ltd., the parent company of Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, and Versace, said, “We are deeply saddened by the recent attacks in Israel. Capri Holdings is currently exploring various organizations to which we can contribute to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected.”

Hearst, the parent company of Harper’s Bazaar, pledged $300,000 to various organizations, including UNICEF, Save the Children, and Doctors Without Borders. These organizations are working on the ground to deliver essential supplies and services, such as food, water, medicine, shelter, and education, to the people in need.

Other fashion companies that have made donations include PVH Corp., the owner of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger; Tapestry Inc., the owner of Coach and Kate Spade; Ralph Lauren Corp.; Levi Strauss & Co.; Gap Inc.; and VF Corp., the owner of Vans and The North Face. These companies have also encouraged their employees and customers to join them in supporting these causes.

(Left to Right) Galia Lahav and Pnina Tornai both announced they are not showing their collections amid the harrowing attacks in Israel. (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Some Israeli designers have been active in raising awareness and funds for their country. For example, Galia Lahav, a bridal and eveningwear designer, launched a campaign called #StandWithIsrael, and donated 10 percent of her online sales to Magen David Adom. Pnina Tornai, another bridal designer, also donated 10 percent of her sales to Magen David Adom, and posted a video on Instagram urging her followers to do the same. Both designers canceled their Bridal Fashion Week Runway Shows in New York as a sign of solidarity with their country. “Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this devastating conflict,” said Lahav. “We hope for a future where we can come together to celebrate the beauty and creativity that define our brand.”

Other Israeli designers who have also shown their support include Alon Livne, Nili Lotan, Ronen Chen, Dorit Bar Or, Maya Reik, Shani Zimmerman, Yael Sonia, Kobi Halperin, Nili Ben Simon, Shai Shalom, Maya Bash, Yael Cohen Arissohn. Some of them have shared their personal stories and experiences of living under rocket fire and sirens.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, speaks at the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize Gala in 2021. (Photo Credit: WWD)

A number of fashion-related events have been canceled or postponed throughout the Middle East. Vogue Arabia, Chopard, and Italian jeweler Pomellato have canceled upcoming events in the Middle East. We Design Beirut, a four-day design festival scheduled for late October in Lebanon, has been postponed for the safety of all participants.

The Fashion Trust of Arabia Awards 2023, which was originally planned for October 25 in Dubai, has also been postponed. “At FTA, our goal has always been to support the talents of designers in the MENA region,” the organization stated in a release. “However, given the current situation in the region, it would be ill-considered to continue with our event.”

designer Nirmeen Hourani

Nirmeen Hourani – the first female owner of a fashion house in Gaza (Photo credit: middleeasteye.com)

Lebanese designers Elie Saab, Tony Ward, Georges Hobeika, Zuhair Murad, Emirati-Palestinian designer Reema Al Banna, as well as Syrian couturier Rami Al Ali and French-Moroccan designer Charaf Tajer, all Arab designers who show their collections during Paris Fashion Week, are all highly regarded on the world stage. Instagram has been the vehicle for designers to show their support, solidarity or opposition to the Israel/Hamas conflict. Sadly, with the exception of @Reema Al Banna, none of these designers have taken a stand publicly against the atrocities of this war.

For Gazan designers, it has been much harder to make it onto the global fashion stage due to geo-political circumstances that began in 2006 with the terrorist group Hamas winning the parliamentary election and then the subsequent blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Nirmeen Hourani, the first female owner of a fashion house in Gaza, has had to overcome many challenges to make her dreams come true. According to MiddleEastEye.com, “her journey in fashion has not always been straightforward, mainly due to the 15-year-old Israeli blockade on Gaza and the fact that there are no fashion schools to attend.” 

 

This shirt / jacket / dress plays on the dishdasheh silhouette worn traditionally by men in the Middle East.

A shirt by Taita Leila based on the dishdasheh silhouette worn traditionally by men in the Middle East. (Photo credit: Taita Leila)

Taita Leila, a Palestinian brand inspired by the tradition of Palestinian embroidery, or tatreez, reinterprets the techniques “in a way that would make your grandmother proud”. According to their website: “Since last year’s uprising [2022], we have been having difficulty in reaching our audience via social media, and especially Instagram. We are tired of being shadowbanned simply because we’re Palestinian. What’s it like being shadowbanned?  Your exposure on a given social media platform is restricted and your direct followers infrequently see your posts. Even supermodel Bella Hadid has called out the platform for silencing her whenever she posts anything about Palestine, her stories drop by over 1 MILLION views! ”  Recently however, in response to the Israel/Hamas War, Taita Leila has raised over $1.8 million on Instagram to help ensure that hospitals and emergency responders have the supplies they need in Gaza.

Nol Collective works with family owned businesses, artisan workshops, and women’s cooperatives from villages in the hills of Jerusalam to Gaza, Ramallah, and Bethlehem, producing traditional Palestinian crafts such as tatreez (hand embroidery) and weaving touched by a history of political struggle and resistance. They too have been raising funds on their Instagram channel to help the innocent victims of the war.

Nol Collective (Photo credit: NolCollective.com)

Other Palestinian brands and determined to keep fashion alive as a form of cultural pride, self expression and resistance to oppression. Neel (which means generation in Arabic), is another multidisciplinary design house that specializes in old Palestinian embroidery with a 1970s aesthetic. “We preserve and repurpose so Palestine is never forgotten and passed on to generations that follow,” reads its bio on Instagram.

WISHING FOR PEACE

John Lennon's Give Peace a Chance poster

John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance

The fashion industry must continue to do its part to help the victims of this war. Whether it is by closing stores for safety, speaking out for peace, taking the time to understand the complexities of this conflict or by donating to charities, we must all work toward seeking a just and lasting agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. John Lennon said it best in 1969, “Give Peace a Chance”.

THE ENDURING MAGIC OF HAUTE COUTURE: FALL 2023

Backstage at the Iris Van Herpen Fall 2023 Couture Collection Runway Show. (Photo Credit: WWD)

Despite the backdrop of Paris protests, as a result of the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk, fashion’s elite indulged in the finer things of life and high tailoring during Haute Couture’s Fall 2023 season. Couture took center stage last week as fashion insiders and celebrities sashayed throughout the most fashionable city in the world. The Paris Couture season, which ran from July 3rd to the 6th, was jam packed with whimsical and fanciful creations and blew up every fashionista’s social media channel.

Cardi B rocks Couture Fashion Week. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Haute couture is the epitome of high fashion, it carries with it a rich history spanning over a century. From its origins in the late 19th century to its evolution into the modern era, haute couture has remained a symbol of creativity, craftsmanship, and timeless elegance. In today’s society, where trends come and go in the blink of an eye, it is worth exploring the roots of haute couture and examining its enduring relevance in shaping the fashion landscape.

THE HISTORY OF HAUTE COUTURE

A gown from House of Worth dated 1882. (Photo Credit: Met Museum)

The story of haute couture begins in Paris during the mid-19th century. It was Charles Frederick Worth, an Englishman residing in Paris, who is credited as the ‘father of haute couture’. Worth’s innovative approach involved creating custom-made garments for individual clients, departing from the prevailing practice of mass-produced attire. By infusing creativity, impeccable craftsmanship, and luxurious materials, Worth elevated fashion to an art form and set the stage for the birth of haute couture.

The early 20th century witnessed the rise of prestigious fashion houses that defined the golden era of haute couture. Designers such as Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent became synonymous with unparalleled elegance and sophistication. These designers crafted exquisite garments that reflected the spirit of their time, capturing the essence of societal shifts and women’s evolving roles. The allure of haute couture grew as these visionaries introduced iconic silhouettes, such as the “New Look,” and groundbreaking techniques that transformed the fashion landscape.

In today’s fast-paced world driven by fast fashion, mass production and rapid fashion trends, the artistry and enchantment of haute couture continues to shine as a beacon of beauty and craftsmanship. Those of us who value the talent of the petit mains who create these masterpieces in every designer’s atelier, know and respect the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating these exquisite garments that transcend time. In today’s society, where individuality is cherished, the magic of haute couture remains an essential and awe-inspiring force.

THE RELEVANCE OF HAUTE COUTURE IN TODAY’S SOCIETY

Looks from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

As another season of haute couture has come to an end and the debate over whether or not couture is still revenant, no one can deny that the artistic expression and innovation was well worth it (not to mention the big marketing opportunities brands gain from  showing a couture collection). Haute couture serves as a canvas for designers to unleash their creative expertise and push the boundaries of fashion. It is a playground of innovation, where new techniques, materials, and silhouettes are explored. The avant-garde creations showcased in haute couture collections often serve as a source of inspiration for ready-to-wear lines, influencing trends and shaping the future of fashion.

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

A hallmark of haute couture lies in its impeccable craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail. Each garment is meticulously constructed by skilled artisans, employing traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. The use of luxurious fabrics, intricate hand-sewn embellishments, and delicate embroideries creates garments of unparalleled quality and splendor. Haute couture reminds us of the enduring value of artisanal work and the irreplaceable beauty of true craftsmanship.

In a world of mass production, where conformity often reigns, haute couture celebrates individuality and offers exclusivity. Just like a Savile Row suit, each haute couture garment is custom-made for a specific client, ensuring a perfect fit and reflecting their unique personality and style. It provides a luxurious experience that fosters a sense of identity and self-expression, allowing individuals to embrace their distinctiveness in a world of uniformity.

Haute couture plays a pivotal role in preserving cultural heritage and traditional craftsmanship. Collaborations between designers and skilled artisans ensure the continuity of time-honored techniques, from intricate embroidery to hand weaving. By intertwining contemporary design with cultural traditions, haute couture showcases the richness of global heritage, paying homage to diverse craft traditions and sustaining their legacy.

HAUTE COUTURE FALL 2023 SHOWS

Looks from Chanel’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

The Fall 2023 Haute Couture season transported us to a realm of unparalleled creativity, innovation, and artistry. From the breathtaking designs that grace the runway to the meticulous craftsmanship that brings them to life, haute couture continues to enchant and inspire. As we witness the magic unfold in Paris, we are reminded of the enduring power of fashion as an art form and its ability to captivate and transport us into a world of imagination. The Fall 2023 haute couture shows leave us in awe, eagerly awaiting the next chapter of fashion’s captivating tale. Here are some showstopping looks from each show that captured the essence of the season.

SCHIAPARELLI

A look from Schiaparelli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Looks From Christian Dior’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Christian Dior)

THOM BROWNE

A look from Thom Browne’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

ARMANI PRIVE

Looks from Armani Privé’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Acielle)

BALENCIAGA

A look from Balenciaga’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

VALENTINO

Looks From Valentino’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

FENDI

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

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

IRIS VAN HERPEN

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

VIKTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

A look from Giambattista Valli’s Fall 2023 Couture Show. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So tell us, which couture show inspired you the most?

 

 

 

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?

FLOWER POWER: THE HOTTEST SUMMER TREND

From left to right: Prada, Chanel, and Acne Studios. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Whether it was the 1700s author Jonathan Swift, Winston Churchill, Mark Twain or Steven King who is credited with saying “everything old is new again“, the quote perfectly sums up the fashion trend cycle. For the past few seasons Y2K fashion has been ruling the runway and blowing up our Instagram and TikTok feeds, specifically, the flower embellishment trend. For summer 2023, the Y2K handmade flower, popularized in the early aughts by Carrie Bradshaw (of Sex and the City fame) is back. This trend is growing (no pun intended) and taking the fashion world by storm.

Carrie Bradshaw had a love for oversized flowers. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

From delicate lace and chiffon to bold leather and paper, handmade flowers are the rage. Rosettes, camellias, carnations and abstract versions thereof, are all timeless motifs that can be incorporated into any outfit. At UOF, we provide lessons on how to create these handmade embellishments to liven up any garment or accessory. We’re seeing them on everything…from basic t-shirts to little black dresses. Here’s some inspiration:

ROMANTIC AND ELEGANT

A look from Dries Van Noten’s Spring 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Whether you choose to adorn a little summer dress or a blouse with delicate flower details, this flower power trend is perfect for adding a touch of sophistication and grace to your wardrobe.

VERSATILE AND ADAPTABLE

A look from Sandy Liang’s Fall 2023 Show. (Photo Credit: Imaxtree)

Another great thing about adding flowers is that they are incredibly versatile and adaptable. Whether you prefer bold, statement-making flowers or more subtle and understated versions, there’s a style and size for every taste. Use them as a simple accent, or go all-out with an outfit that’s covered in them.

PLAYFUL AND FUN

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

Add flowers strategically to certain areas of a garment, or on sandals, shoes, handbags and hats. Handmade flowers are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and will add a touch of whimsy to any outfit.

AN ARRAY OF COLORS

Rocking Prada’s Spring 2023 Collection on the streets. (Photo: Credit Imaxtree)

Another idea is to use flowers in multi-colors or in different fabrics and other materials, like plastic, faux leather, patent leather or paper. Whether you prefer soft pastels or bold jewel tones, or, how about some psychedelic-colored flowers?

SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY

Roomshop Rosette Scrunchies. (Photo Credit: Anthropology)

How about making flowers with upcycled materials? Or for the eco-friendly designer, out of sustainable and natural fibers? It’s a great way to support these efforts.

CELEBRITIES EMBRACE FLOWER POWER

Celebs around the globe have been rocking the flower embellishment trend. Here are some samples:

Actress Zendaya at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

A slew of actresses wearing assorted flowers on the red carpet. (Photo Credit: Getty Images. Collage Credit: InStyle)

Harry Styles jumped on the flower trend for the 2023 Brit Awards. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

As the flower embellishment trend continues to gain momentum, why not get in on the action by learning how to make your own handmade versions? Watch these lessons:



SO, TELL US, WILL YOU BE JUMPING ON THE FLOWER POWER TREND?

CELEBRATING KARL LAGERFELD: AS BOTH ILLUSTRATOR & DESIGNER

 

Karl Lagerfeld Sketches His Life video (Video Link:  You Tube)

In honor of the upcoming MET exhibit entitled “Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty,”  we would like to celebrate Lagerfeld’s work as an accomplished fashion illustrator, as well as a prolific fashion designer. It is a common myth that all fashion designers are able to conceptualize their fashion designs via fashion illustration. The truth is that very few designers know how to ‘illustrate‘. It is much more common for designers to execute a quick fashion ‘sketch‘ to get their design idea across.

Another misconception is that all fashion illustrators can ‘design’. Well, just because one can illustrate fashion doesn’t mean that they can also design fashion. In fact, it is quite rare when a fashion designer can do both. As many of our subscribers know, there are other skills including draping, pattern making and sewing that should be honed to become a successful designer.

Therefore, in lieu of the upcoming MET show, this week’s blog post will highlight Lagerfeld’s work as both a designer and illustrator. And, since we just celebrated World Creativity Day on April 20th, we will also be highlighting other famous designers/illustrators whose illustrations are fast becoming collector’s items, that are either sold at auction houses or on their websites for thousands of dollars.

KARL LAGERFELD: THE ILLUSTRATOR

The upcoming Lagerfeld MET exhibit, which runs from May 5 to July 16, is expected to draw fashion enthusiasts and industry insiders from around the world eager to experience the life and work of one of fashion’s most influential designers. It will feature Lagerfeld’s most iconic designs, including his re-imagined Chanel jackets, Fendi fur pieces and his signature accessories. The exhibit will also include a variety of personal items belonging to Lagerfeld, such as his sketchbooks, personal correspondence and photographs. This is definitely a designers’s dream show come true!

Karl Lagerfeld and his treasured cat Choupette in Paris 2018. (Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz for Vogue)

Throughout his career, Lagerfeld created a wealth of fashion illustrations that captured the essence of his designs and his unique creative vision. His illustrations were often used to promote his collections and even today, they continue to inspire and captivate fashion enthusiasts.

In Lagerfeld’s early illustration work, you can see that he had a much tighter hand as shown in the images below that he did for the House of Tiziani before he joined Chanel in 1983.  His illustrations were characterized by their bold, graphic style and attention to detail. Over time however, Lagerfeld’s hand became looser and less rigid and therefore was able to capture the movement and flow of fabrics, often highly stylized, with exaggerated proportions and abstracted shapes. Despite their abstract nature, Lagerfeld’s illustrations always conveyed a sense of elegance and sophistication.

Four of the fashion illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld auctioned on April 18, 2019 (Image Credit wwd.com)

Whether Lagerfeld was illustrating a Chanel jacket or a Fendi gown, he always managed to convey the unique character and style of each piece. Used as promotional materials, Lagerfeld’s illustrations helped build anticipation and excitement for each of his upcoming shows.

Illustration of Chanel coat, fall 2017. (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Lagerfeld’s work was also a reflection of his larger creative vision. He was known for his love of art, literature and culture, and his illustrations often incorporated elements from these fields. For example, he frequently incorporated references to classical art, such as Greek statues, Renaissance paintings or iconic monuments such as the Statue of Liberty. These references added an extra layer of depth and meaning to his work and helped to establish Lagerfeld as a true visionary in the fashion industry.

Lagerfeld’s illustration – Anna Piaggi for Liberty of Fashion, Barney’s New York
1986 (Image Credit: 1stDibs.com)

The work of some fashion designers and fashion illustrators are now highly collectable and are sold on websites like 1stDibs.com, iCanvas.com and Artsy.net or in auction houses around the world.

Lagerfeld illustration

A Karl Lagerfeld illustration circa 1960-1970: original yellow and white coat colored pencil fashion sketch – 10k Appraisal 
Includes a Certificate of Authenticity – sold for US$6,950 (Photo Credit: artsy.net)

In addition to illustrating his collections, Lagerfeld also created a number of illustrations for other purposes, such as books, magazines and even a calendar, showcasing his diverse talents and his ability to adapt his style to different contexts. Lagerfeld’s illustrations were always imbued with his signature style and creativity, making them instantly recognizable as his own.

A Chanel illustration for Lady Gaga created by Karl Lagerfeld. (Photo Credit: Facebook.com)

KARL LAGERFELD: THE DESIGNER

The MET’s Lagerfeld exhibit will consist of approximately 150 designs and according to the MET, it will “explore the artistic methodology and stylistic vocabulary of Karl Lagerfeld’s designs through recurring themes across more than 65 years, from the 1950s to his final collection in 2019”. The Costume Institute Benefit (also known as The Met Gala) will take place on Monday, May 1, 2023.

In addition to showcasing Lagerfeld’s designs, the exhibit will explore the designer’s life and legacy. Lagerfeld was known for his larger-than-life personality, his love of art and literature, and his tireless work ethic. The exhibit will delve into Lagerfeld’s background, including his early life in Germany and his rise to fame in the fashion industry. Visitors will gain insight into Lagerfeld’s creative process, his inspirations, and his collaborations with other artists and designers.

One of the most exciting aspects of the exhibit is the opportunity to see Lagerfeld’s designs up close and personal. Visitors will be able to study the intricate details and craftsmanship that went into creating each piece. From the impeccable tailoring of his jackets to the intricate embroidery on his gowns, Lagerfeld’s designs are a testament to his skill as a designer. Here’s a sample of what will be featured in the exhibition:

Wedding dress by Chanel Haute Couture from the Fall 2005 Collection. (Photo Credit: Julia Hetta. Courtesy of the MET)

A Fendi coat from the fall 2000 Collection. (Photo Credit: Julia Hetta for the MET)

The exhibit will also feature interactive elements, including virtual reality experiences and interactive displays. Visitors will be able to explore Lagerfeld’s designs in a variety of ways, from 3D projections to virtual runway shows. The exhibit will provide a truly immersive experience, giving visitors a chance to step into Lagerfeld’s world and see the fashion industry through his eyes.

KARL LAGERFELD’S INFLUENCE IS STILL FELT TODAY

A vintage photo of Karl Lagerfeld. (Photo Credit Getty Images)

Lagerfeld served as the creative director for Chanel for over three decades, before his passing on February 19, 2019.

Perhaps one of Lagerfeld’s greatest contributions to fashion was his ability to keep Chanel relevant. When he took over as creative director in 1983, the brand was struggling to remain fresh. However, Lagerfeld breathed new life into the heritage brand, infusing it with his own unique style and vision. He was unafraid to take risks and experiment with new ideas, while still remaining true to the brand’s classic aesthetic.

Lagerfeld’s re-invention of the Chanel jacket, which he introduced in the 1980s, was a modern update of the classic silhouette. The jacket became an instant classic and remains a staple of the Chanel collection, in various iterations, today. Although he is no longer with us, Lagerfeld’s influence on fashion will continue to be felt for years to come.

Some of Karl Lagerfeld’s best moments at Chanel. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

OTHER GREAT FASHION DESIGNERS/ILLUSTRATORS

Most designers working in the fashion industry today have little time to sit down and illustrate their ideas. Most execute quick, rough sketches that they hand off to their assistant or to their pattern maker. But there are fashion designers who prefer to  illustrate their creations and who possess a special talent that enables them to better communicate their vision in a unique and creative way. Most designers will hire a professional fashion illustrator to showcase their work for press purposes, for example, the illustration below is by fashion illustrator Janka Letková for Marc Jacobs. See the illustrator’s signature in small script along the vertical sash.

 

Janka Letková fashion illustration

Fashion illustrator Janka Letková for Marc Jacobs (Image Credit: iCanvas.com)

Other designers are more inclined to promote their work using their own unique style of illustration. Here a a few of the talented fashion designers who illustrate their own creations.

DIOR’S MARIA GRAZIA CHIURI

Maria Grazia Chiuri, the creative director for Dior, creates exquisite illustrations that are characterized by their romantic, ethereal quality. Her illustrations showcase the details and exquisite craftsmanship of her designs which adds an extra layer of depth and meaning to her work.

 

Maria Grazia Chiuri fashion illustration for Dior for Georgia tour

Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri fashion illustration for recording artist Georgia  for her 2019 tour (Image Credit: fashion press.it.com)

CHRISTIAN LACROIX

French fashion designer Christian Lacroix is also known for his illustration skills, which are characterized by their whimsical, and fantastical style. Lacroix’s illustrations often incorporate elements from art history, such as Rococo motifs and Baroque ornamentation. His illustrations showcase his unique creative vision and his ability to blend different styles and influences into his designs.

Fashion Illustrations by Christian Lacroix (Image Credit: Pinterest.com)

ALBER ELBAZ

Alber Elbaz, the former creative director of Lanvin who sadly passed away on April 24, 2021, was known for his playful and  cartoonish style. His illustrations often featured exaggerated proportions with bright, bold colors and were used to promote his collections. His illustrations were considered artwork in their own right.

A fashion illustration by Alber Elbaz for Lanvin (Image Credit: Pinterest.com) 

CHRISTIAN SIRANO

Christian Siriano is a designer who has built a successful career by creating clothing that celebrates diversity and inclusivity. He is also an accomplished illustrator whose illustrations are playful, yet with a sense of drama and impact. Siriano is one of the designers who sells his limited-edition illustrations, ranging from $75-$1,200, on his website ChristianSiriano.com.

Christian Siriano showing his limited edition fashion illustrations

Christian Siriano showing his limited edition fashion illustrations (Photo Credit: ChristianSiriano.com)

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER

Jean-Paul Gaultier is a designer known for his daring, unconventional designs. He is also an accomplished illustrator. Gaultier’s illustrations often feature precise, graphic lines, like the one below that he did for Madonna’s MDNA 2012 tour.

fashion illustration by Jean Paul Gaultier 2012

Fashion illustration by Jean Paul Gaultier for Madonna’s MDNA Tour 2012

Looking for more info on fashion illustration as collectable items, view our blog from March 14, 21, entitled Looking For a Hot Investment Tip? Try Collectioning Fashion Illustrations.

With the advent of computer-assisted design, fashion illustration has become a luxury for most fashion designers these days. However, at UoF we still promote hand drawn fashion through our Fashion Art discipline consisting of 27 Beginner, 39 Intermediate and 17 Advanced lessons. We teach how to draw, render and illustrate fashion design and accessories and so it’s no wonder that we are head-over-heels excited to see the Lagerfeld show at the MET. Viva La Fashion Illustration!  Viva Lagerfeld!

SO TELL US, DO YOU KNOW OF OTHER FASHION DESIGNERS THAT CAN ILLUSTRATE?

 

 

 

 

 

VIRAL MOMENTS AT PARIS FASHION WEEK FALL 2023

- - Fashion Shows

Nicolas Ghesquière presents the women’s Louis Vuitton Fall 2023 Collection inspired by French style. (Photo Credit: Rain Magazine)

Au Revoir! Paris Fashion Week wrapped up this week but not before the controversy over whether designers saw fashion shows as an opportunity to stage theatrical spectacles, while others chose to focus on craftsmanship and the clothing itself. In a recent UoF social media post, we asked our followers what they thought and it came as no surprise that all but one commented that the art & craft wins over hype. With over 500 UoF lessons on ‘how-to’ create fashion, our social media followers and subscribers have a mature respect for how clothes are created and the skill, technique and talent involved in doing so, which is why ‘we’ (the collective we) loved to see Balenciaga and Saint Laurent strip back the theatrics to focus on craftsmanship. Not that we don’t love a bit of whimsy, techno fashion and sustainability thrown in, but for us purists, we like to know that someone cares about the craft.

Paris Fashion Week Fall 2023 was the longest running Fashion Week out of all the cities. The 8-day extravaganza (shows began on Monday, February 27th to Tuesday, March 7) was yet another fashion viral sensation with everyone’s social media feeds blowing up.

A look from Comme des Garçons’ Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Before we dive into Paris’ most viral moments, let’s take a look back at Paris Fashion Week, one of the most important events in the fashion industry. And, of all the global fashion weeks, has the longest and richest history that spans over a century:

  • The first Paris Fashion Week took place in 1910 and was organized by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne, the governing body for the French fashion industry. At that time the event was known as the “Fashion Show” and held in the salons of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
  • The event grew in popularity over the years and in the 1950s it became known as the “Paris Collections.” During this time, it was the only fashion event in the world that featured the latest collections of the most prestigious fashion houses.
  • In the 1970s, the event underwent a major transformation when ready-to-wear collections were added to the lineup. This brought a new audience to the event and helped to democratize fashion.
  • Since then, Paris Fashion Week has continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. It now showcases both haute couture and ready-to-wear collections, and has expanded to include menswear and accessories. The event is now held twice a year and it attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.
  • In February 2020, when the pandemic hit, Chinese buyers and journalists were unable to attend due to travel restrictions. However, the event continued as planned, however, later that year fashion brands got creative. Some presented their collections digitally, through films or lookbooks, held shows without audiences or to a limited audience and some shows were held outdoors.
  • Because the French and the fashion show are synonymous, it didn’t take long before live Paris shows were back. In 2022, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Off-White, Stella McCartney, Miu Miu, Chloe, Givenchy, Valentino, Balmain, Vivienne Westwood and The Row were among the 45 houses set to host in-person runway shows.

Looks from Loewe’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: L’Officiel)

Today, Paris Fashion Week is back to pre-pandemic levels with a full-on schedule, packed venues, and street style stars peacocking throughout the streets of Paris. Paris Fashion Week is considered one of the most important events in the fashion industry and it continues to set the standard for creativity and innovation in design. Yes, fashion is all about being noticed, we get it, and and stand-out moments in a designer’s shows gets them lots of social media buzz. But, hey designers, remember those of us who value craftsmanship and who actually buy and wear your clothes. It’s what keeps you in business!

VIRAL MOMENTS DURING PARIS FASHION WEEK

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

For the past few seasons, Maria Grazia Chiuri looked to various forms of art for inspiration. In her Fall 2023 Dior Collection, Chiuri enlisted Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos to create a larger-than-life fabric installation that served as a contrasting backdrop to her sober collection.

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

The camellia is the signature flower at Chanel, and this season, creative director Virginie Viard focused on the flower literally, in prints, embroideries and as a massive sculpture at the start of the runway.

Looks from Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Re-Edition)

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’s Fall 2023 collection was a tribute to the great Dame. Westwood’s widower and collaborator, Kronthaler, paid tribute to the late designer by recreating some of Westwood’s signature looks: Crinoline skirts, corsets, towering platforms, buckles, chokers, vintage fabrics, and plenty of plaids. The result, a beautiful love letter to the woman who shook up the fashion world.

Looks from Anrealage’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Imagine having a dress that can change colors. Using a moving UV light, Anrealage’s Fall 2023 collection transformed from basic to breathtaking, revealing vibrant colors and patterns hidden under plain white looks.

Looks from Acne Studio’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Acne Studios transported its runway into a fantastical forest, as the brands creative director Jonny Johansson showcased form-fitting dresses with crocheted flowers sprouting from the fabric and a patchwork of leaf cutouts. “I’ve always enjoyed the contrast between urban life and nature, the idea that an infinite forest is just around the corner,” explained Johansson on Instagram.

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

Balenciaga’s Fall 2023 show was Demna Gvasalia’s return to the runway after the fallout that followed a series of controversial campaigns involving children. Gvasalia revealed that the new direction of Balenciaga isn’t one that will rely on shock and spectacle, but rather one that goes back to Balenciaga’s roots – craftsmanship above everything else.

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

Stella McCartney took fashion insiders to the rodeo. The designer has been at the forefront of vegan alternatives to animal materials, and so it was in a Paris horse stable that Stella made her latest political statement about the place of animals in the fashion industry.

Looks from Miu Miu’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Harper’s Bazaar)

No pants required at Miu Miu. Miuccia Prada sent out jeweled encrusted briefs that stole the show. Start getting those legs in shape everyone!

Looks from Nina Ricci’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Nina Ricci)

Twenty-six year old Harris Reed debuted his highly anticipated Nina Ricci collection to rave reviews. The collection was dramatic and included oversized hats, bows and silhouettes in an assortment that was clearly made for the Red Carpet.

A look from Saint Laurent’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Speaking of oversized, working 9-5 never looked so chic as Saint Laurent’s creative director ,Anthony Vaccarello, looked to the Eighties for inspiration through the viewpoint of the glitzy, dolled-up corporate women of the decade. Think Sigourney Weaver and Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

But the real pièce de résistance came with Vaccarello’s ability deliver a playful element to this otherwise serious collection.

A look from Coperni’s Fall 2023 Collection. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Always pushing the boundaries between fashion as art and fashion as performance art (who can forget when Coperni employed technicians to spray a fabric dress onto Bella Hadid for its spring 2023 back in September 2022?). This season designers Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant explored the relationship between fashion and technology through a theatrical show involving Spot robots from the American company Boston Dynamics.

So tell us, do you think designers should focus on great clothes and leave all the gimmicks behind?

 

WHAT’S ALL THE BUZZ BEHIND THIS YEAR’S SPRING 2023 COUTURE SEASON?

- - Fashion Shows

Looks from Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Victor & Rolf)

I don’t know about you, but my phone hasn’t stop blowing up ever since Paris couture season started Monday, January 23rd. Haute Couture week kicked off with an unrecognizable, red-crystal-covered Doja Cat attending the Schiaparelli in a head-to-toe 30,000 red Swarovski crystals outfit. The rapper later showed up at the Viktor and Rolf show with eyebrows, a mustache, and a soul patch made from lashes. Looks like the place to be and be seen is Paris Couture Week. So, if anyone thinks couture is dead…think again!

Doja Cat wearing a red Swarovski crystal outfit

Rapper Dojo Cat wearing a Swarovski crystal-encrusted outfit (Image Credit: Marc Piasecki for Getty Images)

Haute Couture, translated as “high sewing” or “high dressmaking,” is a term that is reserved for the most exclusive and expensive garments in the fashion industry. These garments are custom-made for individual clients and are crafted by the most skilled ‘petits mains’ in the business by some of the most renown fashion houses in the world. The question of whether Haute Couture is still relevant today is a complex one, as it touches on issues of craftsmanship, artistry, exclusivity, and luxury. On one hand, Haute Couture represents the highest level of craftsmanship and artistry in the fashion industry, using the finest materials and employing techniques that are nearly extinct. The level of attention to detail and the quality of the finished product is unmatched in the fashion world and yet, in today’s fashion world, where climate change, sustainability, and attempts at reducing landfills is front and center, what purpose does the couture really serve?  If you ask fashion pundits and the fashion flock, you’ll hear that “haute couture is seen as a celebration of the art of fashion and the skills of the people who create it”. And so, it’s no wonder that a brand like Victor & Rolf, whose couture show this season caused such a controversy with their topsy-turvy, upside down and sideways dresses was a huge hit that nearly broke the internet.

In celebration of the art & craft of haute couture, University of Fashion’s social media channels (Facebook  –  Instagram) is featuring some of its couture sewing techniques this week so that you can see just how special the ‘petits mains’ are (little hands) that create these fabulous clothes. Watch as we demo how to make handmade flowers as seen on the runway at Elie Saab, the hand-rolled sheer hems at Victor & Rolf, how to sew lace side seams from Chanel and the art of tambour beading from Valentino.

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Style Du Monde)

In addition to craft appreciation, Haute Couture is about fantasy. And in today’s topsy-turvy world, who doesn’t need an escape hatch? To those who can afford the price tag, Haute Couture is seen as a symbol of wealth and status, for the rest of us, it’s about fantasy and honoring the art, craft and amazing techniques that are used in their creation. Haute Couture collections inspire ready-to-wear fashion designers and although the materials and craftsmanship are well beyond reach for ready-to-wear brands, ideas often trickle down to the mass market, influencing trends within the broader fashion industry.

A look from Elie Saab’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

So, when you hear the buzz about whether the couture is relevant today, in a world where fast fashion and the pressure to consume less is front and center, think of Haute Couture as a living art museum where the most talented people in the world dedicate their lives to preserving a craft, creating art-to-wear pieces that are not mass-produced and sold to stores by the dozens. In sharp contrast to the fast-paced, consumerist culture of today, couture clothes are meant to last a lifetime, will never end up in a landfill – more likely in a museum – and are meant to be passed down to future generations. Viva la Haute Couture!

Here are a few of the most dramatic moments of the Spring 2023 Couture Season:

A look from Iris van Herpen’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

SCHIAPARELLI

Looks from Schiaparelli’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Hypebeast)

Daniel Roseberry blew up the internet with his fake Schiaparelli taxidermy pieces for his Spring 2023 Couture show.

CHRISTIAN DIOR

Looks from Christian Dior’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Grazia)

Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by archival pictures of Josephine Baker performing at Dior couture in 1951 New York. Baker was a leading light of the Jazz Age cabaret in Paris.

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI

Looks from Giambattisa Valli ‘s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Perfect Wedding Magazine)

Giambattisa Valli is living la vita dolce with a couture collection filled with beautiful colors and plenty of optimism for brighter days ahead.

CHANEL

Looks from Chanel’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Elle)

Virginie Viard played circus ringmaster for her charming Chanel Couture show with a menagerie of mobile animal sculptures and all.

ARMANI PRIVÉ

Looks from Armani Prive’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Style Du Monde)

Giorgio Armani can surely use a lesson in editing as the designer sent out 77 looks for his Armani Privé Couture collection that was inspired by harlequins.

RONALD VAN DER KEMP

A look from Ronald van der Kemp’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Ronald van der Kemp has taken sustainability to a new level as he turned repurposed deadstock into a glamourous and fun couture collection.

VICTOR & ROLF

A look from Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Rolf Snoeren and Viktor Horsting, the duo behind the label Viktor & Rolf sent out a delightfully topsy – turvy collection.

JEAN PAUL GAULTIER

A look from Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Haider Ackerman is the fourth designer to create a one-season collaboration for the house of Jean Paul Gaultier since Gaultier’s retirement. For his couture collaboration, Ackerman created a chic line-up filled with the body-sharp tailoring and scissored draping for which he has become known.

VALENTINO

A look from Valentino’s Spring 2023 Couture Collection. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Inspired by the 1980’s club scene, from Studio 54 to London’s New Romantic Blitz Club, Pierpaolo Piccioli, the designer behind Valentino, offered a youthful take by literally taking couture to the club.

FENDI

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

Kim Jones created a ravishingly delicate collection for his Fendi Couture runway show with plenty of lingerie-inspired pieces.

So tell us, when you look at couture do you appreciate the craft and consider it art?

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