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Posts Tagged: "Off-White"

WILL FASHION SHOWS EVER LOOK THE SAME AGAIN?

- - Fashion Shows

Erdem’s resort collection draws on the juxtaposition of Regency dress and the 1960s. (Photo Credit: Erdem)

COVID-19 has changed the world, no doubt about it. This deadly pandemic took many innocent lives and toppled global economies in just months. It is unfathomable how every industry has been affected and how each is racing to adapt to a new way of doing business. The fashion industry is no exception. As our industry grapples with millions of dollars in losses, stockpiles of unsold merchandise, and store closures and bankruptcies that resulted in thousands of people being furloughed, the industry is also grappling with the future of the fashion show.

You may remember our blogpost back on November 18, 2019, we covered the topic of whether fashion shows are still relevant. Well, who knew back then that a deadly pandemic would help make the decision for us.

As we wait for scientists and doctors to advise us on when it will become safe enough to gather in large groups, the idea of presenting and attending live fashion shows seems far off. Though LVMH just announced that their brands will produce a live show this fall, most designers are getting creative with new ways to showcase their collections. Here is a rundown of what the new fashion calendar will look like.

RESORT/CRUISE 2021

On March 27th, the CFDA announced the cancellation of the official New York Fashion Week Resort 2021 schedule of presentations, which had been planned for the week of June 6. According to a statement by the CFDA, “The decision was based on the current global situation, the ongoing uncertainty regarding its impact on retailers and their open-to-buys, and designers’ challenges in producing collections at this moment,” the statement read. “We strongly recommend and urge designers not to show their resort spring 2021 collections. The news followed similar announcements by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana in Milan and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode in Paris to postpone or cancel their respective spring 2021 men’s collections, as well as the fall 2020 haute couture shows.”

The resort 2021 season would have been in full swing by now with many of the bigger brands holding mega-shows in exotic locations, while the majority would hold intimate shows or appointments in New York City. As a result of Covid, many designers chose to skip the season altogether citing worldwide factory lockdowns, huge sales losses on spring merchandise and the inability to receive the fabrics and trimmings needed to create a collection. However, a few designers did opt to present their collections, through videos and lookbook images. Here are a few ways designers became creative with presenting their latest collections.

CHANEL

A look from Chanel’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Chanel).

Click link to Chanel’s video presentation:

The Chanel cruise 2021 collection was originally intended to be shown onto Isle of Capri, the mythically beautiful Italian island a ferry ride from Naples, a place that Chanel’s creative director Virginie Viard still has yet to visit. But while on lockdown, Viard traveled there ‘in her mind’ and created a collection labeled Balade en Méditerranée (A Mediterranean Jaunt). Viard, along with photographer Karim Sadli, created the illusion of a Caprese sunset in Chanel’s Paris photo studio.

As for the clothes, Viard created a destination wardrobe of effortless pieces, which were sophisticated yet oh so cool. The designer focused on swimsuits that were worn – every which way – as under-pieces to cardigan jackets to tops paired with wide-legged trousers. Viard also updated the classic Chanel suit, opting for vibrant little jackets and miniskirts – all in cotton tweed. The collection was injected with a youthful appeal with a maxi cardigan paired with micro shorts, a collarless jacket paired with denim pants with tweed insets, and a bandeau top paired with a handkerchief skirt. Overall the collection was the ultimate vacation wardrobe.

BALMAIN

A look from Balmain’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Balmain)

The Eighties made a major comeback at Balmain, as creative director Olivier Rousteing created a fun and cheeky collection for both his woman’s resort collection and his menswear spring 2021 line up. The designer invited a handful of his “Balmain army” friends to style themselves in his latest looks. Clearly Rousteing has spent his quarantine time watching 80s films and television shows; the collections were filled with Miami Vice inspired jackets, polka dot dresses inspired by Pretty Woman, graphic t-shirt mash-ups with a nod to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, while heavily encrusted bustiers and exaggerated shoulder pads were straight out of Dynasty’s wardrobe. With all the turmoil in the world today, Rousteing’s collections were a throwback to happier times.

TANYA TAYLOR

A look from Tanya Taylor’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Tanya Taylor)

Being on lockdown brought out many innovative ideas and designer Tanya Taylor came up with a very creative way to showcase her resort line-up. Taylor sent her latest collection to a handful of artists, stylists, and friends, with instructions that each one was to style themselves in one of here looks and then photograph themselves. The results were a lookbook come to life. In an interview with Vogue, Taylor stated, “I’ve never loved styling our customer. I prefer seeing what they do with our clothes and how they add their own personal twist. That’s where the lookbook came to life. It felt like these women were telling us how they want to feel in their clothes.

As for the clothes, they were infused with Taylor’s signature feminine charm. There was a vibrant fuchsia jumpsuit, ruffled trim wrap skirts, playful print dresses, flirty dot motifs and for evening, a pleated lame one-shoulder dress..

GANNI

A look from Ganni’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: Ganni)

The husband and wife team behind Danish brand Ganni, Ditte and Nicolaj Reffstrup, literally designed their resort collection in their home kitchen, so it felt only natural for the duo to shoot their lookbook in the kitchen. The collection focused on the foundation pieces that have made Ganni such a coveted brand among the “It-Girl” set. There were pilgrim collars, bubble sleeve mini dresses, striped tops and party dresses to dance the night away once a coronavirus vaccine is found.

RAG & BONE

A look from Rag & Bone’s men’s resort collection. (Photo Credit: Rag & Bone)

A look from Rag & Bone’s woman’s resort collection. (Photo Credit: Rag & Bone)

Marcus Wainwright of Rag & Bone, focused on pieces that make their customers feel good. The collection was filled with classics with a modern twist. These are pieces that you can live in and wear all winter long.

DAVID KOMA

A look from David Koma’s Resort 2021 Collection. (Photo Credit: David Koma)

David Koma is known for his glamourous collections and for resort he did not shy away from his campy aesthetic. The collection was filled with sexy crystal embellished dresses, body-con neon dresses, patent leather biker shorts and plenty of corsets. Koma’s girls are ready to step out into the world of cocktails and celebration.

LONDON MEN’S SHOWS

Natasha Zinko x Duo Spring 2021 Menswear Collection in London. (Photo Credit: Natasha Zinko x Duo)

Right around  now, Europe would have held their menswear fashion shows in London, Milan, and Paris. In lieu of traditional shows, Industry leaders came up with creative solutions. The British Fashion Council hosted a three-day coed digital week, which took place from June 12-14. This event brought together British brands that shared creative content that varied from podcasts to photo diaries. “By creating a cultural fashion week platform, we are adapting digital innovation to best fit our needs today and something to build on as a global showcase for the future,” Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said in a press release.

E. Tautz’s spring 2021 menswear collection in London. (Photo Credit: E. Tautz)

However, many British coed brands like Burberry are holding off on showcasing their spring collections until September. It will be a runway show, outdoors with no audience, following social distancing guidelines. The only people in attendance will be the models and members of the Burberry team.

PARIS’ NEW SCHEDULE

Hermès will be livestreaming a digital experience tied to its spring 2021 collection, slated to go live on July 5th at 8 a.m. ET.

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) will host the first-ever virtual couture fashion week. The three day event will take place from July 6-8th and accredited couture maisons will present videos and complementary content that will go live on a preset show schedule, replicating the format of a physical couture fashion week. Although Giorgio Armani will skip out of showing his couture collection this season, the Italian designer will host a seasonless Privé show at the Palazzo Orsini in January. Joining Armani, Chitose Abe of Sacai will debut her couture collection for Jean Paul Gaultier as his first guest designer in the New Year. Meanwhile, Balenciaga has not yet officially confirmed a new date, but the French house has likely postponed Demna Gvasalia’s couture debut until 2021.

The FHCM has also announced that the men’s spring 2021 collections would evolve into a video-only format this season and will be held from July 9-13th. The digital week schedule will run like a live fashion week with organized time slots, allowing for back-to-back streams on one central platform. “Digital is clearly part of the shape of fashion to come and we will take it as an opportunity for innovation to complement tradition,” Ralph Toledano, the president of the FHCM, told Vogue. “This being said, [in the] last weeks behind our screens, we all felt that a dimension was missing: the sensorial one. This has tremendously reinforced our position that nothing will ever replace the unity of time and place. Shows are a major component of the fashion industry, and this will remain…. Physical events will always have our preference, but as long as there is uncertainty, there should be flexibility.”

A portrait of Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director of Saint Laurent. )Photo Credit: W Magazine)

Anthony Vaccarello, the creative director for Saint Laurent, announced the brand’s departure from this year’s preset schedules and beyond. “Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” Vaccarello, wrote in an Instagram post published in April. “Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm.”

Meanwhile, German-based streetwear blog, media brand and production agency Highsnobiety hosted a digital fashion event known as “Not in Paris,” which brought together luxury, streetwear, art, music, architecture and even fine wine, under one digital roof. The online exhibition project —which debuted on June 24 and will run through July 2nd — is a direct response to the Highsnobiety audience’s continued zest for fashion storytelling.

“Not In Paris” presented by Highsnobiety. (Photo Credit: Highsnobiety)

So many of the events we write about have been canceled, so we’ve had to think of ourselves as cultural producers in our own right,” said Thom Bettridge, the publication’s editor in chief, in an interview with WWD. “We basically thought, let’s set our own calendar and become this project-based media brand. If there isn’t anything going on in the world, let’s just make it happen.’”

According to an article published in WWD, Highsnobiety is bringing together everyone from Berlin-based company GmbH, which is shooting a film in Berlin exclusively for the online event, to up-and-coming stars like Wales Bonner and Marine Serre, as well as luxury megabrands including Bottega Veneta, Dior, Fendi and Hermès. The latter let the Highsnobiety team loose into its archives to narrate the history of its famous silk scarf.

MILAN’S NEW SCHEDULE

Italy’s Camera della Moda team also announced a cyber-focused men’s and women’s fashion show format which will take place from July 14–17th. The four day event will be known as Milano Fashion Week Digital and consist of panel discussions on social media to virtual showroom appointments, giving designers a chance to showcase their latest collections in a new and innovative way. “Everybody can decide their own message. The advantage is that in a digital world, you are completely free. You find your way of expression. We said to everybody, you have from one minute to 15 minutes, and you decide what you want to show,’” Carlo Capasa, the president of the Camera della Moda, told Vogue.

Ermenegildo Zegna will stage an innovative-slash-intimate hybrid event that will feature the brand’s spring 2021 collection and will also celebrate the label’s 110th anniversary.

A portrait of Alessandro Michele, the creative director for Gucci. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Gucci is confirmed to premiere its men’s and women’s resort 2021 collection in the form of a digital fashion show on the final day of Milano Digital fashion Week.  This will be Gucci’s last pre-collection; on May 25th, Creative Director Alessandro Michele announced that the house will only hold two coed shows a year (one in the spring and one in the fall) instead of the five seasonal runway spectacles a year.  “I’m passionate about fashion shows, but maybe we can be open to seeing them in a different way,” Michele said.

SEPTEMBER SHOWS

September’s Spring 2021 NY Fashion Week also has plenty of shakeups. Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss is staging a full-fledged drive-in fashion experience tour to showcase his new film American, Also. Jean-Raymond is slowing down the speed of how much he produces and is focusing on improving the quality of what he produces. This may be a popular mindset for many designers moving forward – quality over quantity.

A portrait of Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss. (Photo Credit: Hyperbeast)

Jean-Raymond is not the only New York–based designer planning something big in September. While many designers had to cancel their resort seasons due to factory closures and shelter-in-place orders, some labels, such as Proenza Schouler and Collina Strada, have refocused their efforts on New York Fashion Week, a strategy that is gaining momentum in Milan and Paris too.

A portrait of Virgil Abloh, the creative director for Off-White. (Photo Credit: High Museum of Art)

While the majority of designers are set on staging something in September, there are a few who are altering the fashion calendar to fit their needs. Virgil Abloh is holding out until 2021 to present his own women’s and men’s spring collections for his label Off-White. Abloh’s decision to wait until January means Off-White is officially experimenting with the see-now-buy-now calendar.

A portrait of Alexander Wang. (Photo Credit: W Magazine)

For the past few years Alexander Wang has been presenting two seasonless collections a year, one in June and one in December, that were in sync with the fashion calendar’s pre-collections.  However, Wang opted out of showing last December and instead planned a bigger event for 2020 to celebrate his labels 15 year anniversary.

Michael Kors on the runway. (Photo Credit: Vogue)

Michael Kors announced he would be stepping back from New York Fashion Week for the Spring 2021 season due to unsold inventory and Fall 2020 production delays due to Covid-19. Instead, the designer will present his Michael Kors Collection line sometime between mid-October and mid-November. “I have for a long time thought that the fashion calendar needs to change. It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar — from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe — about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work,” he said in a statement. “We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era.”

PARIS WILL GO LIVE IN SEPTEMBER

The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode announced on June 24th that the spring 2021 ready-to-wear shows will resume in Paris from September 28 through October 6. Although few details were shared, the FHCM announced that they “will comply [with] the recommendations of public authorities.” Designers will have to limit their guest lists and venue choices, perhaps shows will occur in outdoor spaces, only time will tell how the future of runway shows will takes shape.

So the question remains, will the glamour of fashion shows ever return to its glorious heyday?

FACE MASKS: FASHION STATEMENT VS SURVIVAL STATEMENT

Fashion vs Survival. (Photo credit: The New York Times)

Express yourself. Protect yourself. And look fashionable while you’re at it!

As states across America and countries around the world slowly begin to re-open after being closed for months due to COVID-19, we all still need to be reminded to follow safety guidelines. One of the easiest ways we can protect ourselves, besides washing our hands constantly is to wear a face mask, especially when we are closer than 6 feet from another person. Show respect to others…wear a mask!

Living in an apocalyptic world that more resembles a sci-fi thriller than real life, we need to protect each other. Right now, the best way to do that is to wear a face mask and social distance. And, if you are lucky enough to have Covid & antibody testing in your area, then you should also get tested!

By now, everyone that owns a sewing machine has watched YouTube mask tutorials, including the one the UoF produced on Facebook. However, since March 15th, there have been many changes to non-surgical mask-making and we thought we’d start this blog post by sharing what we’ve learned so far. After all, we are a fashion education website!

It didn’t take long for fashion designers across the globe to get into the face mask act, after all, it’s an accessory, right? But are designer face masks really safe? Will these designer masks really protect from COVID-19?

We all know that the coveted N95 is the gold standard, however, we still need to reserve those for hospitals. 

Here’s a handy graphic that compares the N95 with the common surgical mask used in hospitals. The latest buzz about that little valve button on the N95 illustration below left, is that it is not ideal. The valve will protect YOU, but does not protect the people around you from YOUR breath. Some cities have actually banned them, like California’s Bay Area. One way around the valve issue is to wear a cloth mask over this mask, but then it makes it harder to breathe. Not ideal.

The blue and white surgical masks on the right are currently the most accessible personal protective equipment and available in most pharmacies. Inexpensive, effective and disposable.

Face mask protection efficiency infographic. (Photo credit: Vector illustration)

If you are making your own non-surgical masks, here are some tips to consider:

  • 100% cotton  is preferred
  • 2 or 3 ply, dense weave is best so you can’t blow out a candle while wearing the mask
  • pre-wash your fabric
  • you could add a pocket or opening on the bottom to insert a removable coffee filter, AC filter or paper towel for added protection
  • you could sew a layer of chiffon for added protection
  • it’s best to hand wash your mask in antibacterial soap & let air dry

Mask History

In East Asia, citizens have been wearing surgical masks outdoors for years. In a recent article in Slate magazine, journalist Jeff Yang explained that following the influenza bout in the 1900s, “[T]he predilection toward using face-coverings to prevent exposure to bad air is something that predates the germ theory of disease, and extends into the very foundations of East Asian culture.” Yang predicted the multiple rationalizations for using them could lead to global “face mask fashion.” And, now they are!

The New York Post knighted masks, the “must-have accessory” in February at London Fashion Week, where some ‘early-adopters’ wore creatively decorated surgical masks. It will of course be the biggest fashion trend for 2020/2021.

Fashion to the Rescue

Marc Jacobs and Richard Princes Nurse series for Louis Vuitton’s spring 2008 collection. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

In early April, brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Brooks Brothers announced that they would be re-purposing parts of their factories to make masks and hospital gowns. Instantly the memes and comments went wild.

One Twitter user joked and sent out the following tweet:  “Breaking News from the world of haute couture: Since humans on Earth will be wearing face protection masks against Covid-19 pretty much EVERYWHERE over the next year, they’re bound to become the hottest new fashion accessory. Ready for the Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Armani and ….”?

Miley Cyrus in a Gucci face mask. (Photo credit: Page Six)

Katie May disco ball mask. (Photo credit: Katie May)

And, now brands at every price point are offering non-surgical masks to the public; even Vogue posted a story on their website “Masks To Shop Now.” People are choosing masks based on their outfit and whether they are suitable for day or evening, casual or dressy. They have definitely become a personal style item!

One of the best retail deals out there are 3-ply 100% cotton masks sold by Old Navy at 5 for $12.50 available in kids & adult sizing. As part of its efforts, Old Navy will donate 50,000 masks to the Boys & Girls Club of America.

While many brands are now selling their masks, many are  donating a portion of their mask sales to various charities dedicated to helping those effected by COVID-19.

A mask created by designer Collina Strada. (Photo Credit: Collina Strada)

According to Edited, the digital retail tracking service, there has been an almost 40 percent increase in the number of masks offered by companies in the first quarter of 2020, compared to the end of 2019. In a blog post earlier this month, Josh Silverman, chief executive of Etsy, reported that in a single weekend, buyers searched for face masks on the site an average of nine times per second and the number of face mask sellers had grown five times, to almost 20,000.

Experts are increasingly suggesting that masks may need to be worn for at least a year, until a vaccine is developed. And trend forecasters are predicting that, as a result, they may become a fact of daily life, donned by all of us with the same unthinking passivity as a coat and sunglasses when we leave the house, according to an article in  The New York Times, published on April 22, 2020.

Flames face mask by Guy Fieri flames. (Photo credit: Claudio Lavenia for Getty Images)

Off-White face masks. (Photo credit: Hyperbeast)

In a recent WWD article, Christian Siriano, (one of the first designers to start making masks when Governor Cuomo asked for help), told the publication that he made “this fully encrusted pearl mask because I just needed a breakIt’s actually pretty fabulous.”

Christian Siriano’s pearl encrusted mask (Photo credit: Christian Siriano)

Maskies, Selfie Masks & the Reactivated PPE Portrait Project

The Maskie

Selfies are now passé. The new hot Instagram trend is the #maskie. Posting pics of yourself wearing your mask ‘du jour.’

Photo credit: Olsonmask

Check out #Olsonmask to see how many people are getting in on the action. Whether you choose the pleated or the molded version, who says you can’t still be fashionable?

The  Selfie Mask

OR….How about a ‘selfie mask,’ a mask that shows the part of your face that is usually covered by a mask? Since one of the negatives of  wearing a traditional mask is that you can’t tell if someone is smiling or frowning, you can now create your own selfie mask (click to find out how) by taking a selfie of the lower portion of your face, printing it on computer printable fabric and sewing it into a mask. Viola!

Rachel Maddow showing her selfie mask (Photo credit MSNBC)

PPE Portrait Project

Face coverings can be intimidating and downright scary, especially if you are being treated in a hospital. But, Mary Beth Heffernan’s PPE Portrait Project, initiated during the Ebola crisis, whereby the face of that particular doctor or nurse is affixed to their hospital gown, is offering some relief. Accordingly to Heffernan, “At a moment when patients are already experiencing abject physical suffering, the isolation, facelessness, and lack of touch make them feel abandoned by humanity.”

Stanford research scientist Dr. Cati Brown-Johnson was moved to replicate the project for the Covid-19 pandemic and is expanding to non-COVID wards, including inpatient palliative care.

 

University of Fashion Face Mask Contest

Calling all Mask Makers! Are you making masks to donate, or making and selling them with a portion of the proceeds donated to charity? Or, are you just crazy bored and are making outrageous masks just to keep up your creative edge?

At UoF, we’re still making non-surgical face masks for our local nursing homes and are so happy to apply are sewing skills to a good cause.

If you are in mask production, we want to hear from you. Send images of your masks to CS@UniversityofFashion.com. Tell us what they’re made of and where you’re from. We’re offering 5, full access one-year subscriptions to the UoF website. With over 500 fashion educational videos all taught by fashion profs and industry pros, it’s worth $189! Offer ends July 1, 2020

 

Introducing our 1st Face Mask Winner: Jennifer Coffman 

                                                                           
Jennifer Coffman and her daughters (Photo credit Jennifer Coffman)

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are proud to award our 1st face mask prize to Jennifer Coffman.

“My name is Jennifer. Ive been making masks since March and donating them my local organizations in Pulaski, TN, and Huntsville AL. I’ve donated to local  nursing homes, hospitals, health care facilities, shopping centers and friends. I’ve donated 225 mask between March and April. I’ve used cotton fabrics from my own collection of fabric and I’ve purchased some cotton from a local quilting shop to help support her business. I would love  to win the contest to work towards perfecting my dressmaking skills and my goals of being a professional dress maker. I’m really excited to study the classes. I can sew from patterns but I’m  excited to learn to drape and draft my own designs and learn to draw my ideas on the croquis! Huge Thank you!! I will be happy to share the skills I’ve learned from the courses and promote University of Fashion!!” – Jennifer Coffman

Face masks made by Emily Coffman and donated to Huntesville Hospital, Huntsville, Alabama and therapists at BenchMark Physical Therapy, Pulaski, Tennessee

 

Be sure to send your face mask images and your story to us at CS@universityoffashion.com !

STAYING SILENT IS OUT – FASHION ACTIVISM IS IN

Prabal Gurung created political statement T-shirts that were worn by social media influencers and street style stars during NY Fashion Week 2017.  From Left to right: Shea Marie, Caroline Vreeland , Bryanboy, Tina Craig, Irene Kim,  Aimee Song  and Chriselle Lim . (Photo Courtesy of Forbes.com)

The Men’s Spring 2020 shows have just wrapped up, and while the runways were filled with plenty of notable trends, such as soft suiting at Givenchy, gender bending at Comme des Garçons, nautical looks at Prada, and romantic prints at Louis Vuitton  – the one trend that has been gaining momentum is the “designer as activist.” Fashion activism is nothing new. In the 1930s the Keffiyeh became a symbol of political uprising and rebellion. In the 1960s, designers gave us peace symbol T-shirts in protest of the Vietnam war,  and mini-skirts, which became the symbol for women’s rights and sexual liberation. In 2017, Cosmopolitan listed 22 designers who used their runway shows to promote a particular cause or in protest of global injustice. From pussy hats to white bandanas with the hashtag #TiedTogether (a symbol of inclusivity and acceptance), according to designer Talbot Runhof, “If you have a platform to say something and you don’t, then shame on you.” In the age of social media and the internet, where opinions and messages are delivered in lightning speed, designers, actors and other influencers feel duty-bound and a certain responsibility to bring attention to the relationship between fashion, politics and social change.

Here are a few noteworthy designers who have shown more than just clothes on their runways, past & present.

OFF-WHITE

Virgil Abloh has developed a cult following with his collections for Off-White and the brand is worn by street style stars around the globe. For his men’s Spring 2020 show, Abloh focused on the negative effects of plastic and saving the environment. According to Abloh, “Plastic: once hailed as a miracle material, now condemned as a major pollutant — and possibly about to be considered a work of art.” The show’s invite was a clear plastic invitation with the words “plastic” printed on it.  Abloh believes plastic can be recycled and used to create something beautiful, such as art. Plastic even made its way in the collection with plastic rain gear and a hazmat suit.

As for the clothes, Abloh looks to street art for inspiration and tapped Futura, a contemporary of Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, for the prints in this collection, case in point, a hand-painted white coat, top and pant look.To address his environmental concerns, Abloh featured an aquatic theme throughout the collection with shades of blue tie dye prints and amoeba-shaped appliqué motifs on knits.

The show ended with the models stomping through a beautiful field of white carnations that was created for the show. Abloh’s message was load and clear, we must protect our environment.

Virgil Abloh at his men’s Fall 2020 Off-White Collection. (Photo courtesy of theguardian.com)

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney has been one of the biggest advocates of the environment, a pioneer of sustainable fashion and an animal rights activist, since the creation of her namesake label in 2001.  McCartney Men’s 2020 collection was presented in a lush garden in Milan’s city center. According to Vogue.com, McCartney stated, “Let’s just forget fashion for a moment and savor all the natural beauty around us and talk about flowers!”

McCartney focused on playful tailoring, hand-printed silk shirts, ties and shorts with horse motifs, lightweight dusters and loose-fitting jumpsuits with satellite Earth prints and of course a collection that was fur free. McCartney kept the collection light and humorous, but her fight to save the earth is a serious one.

Stella McCartney’s Fall 2020 Men’s Collection. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Pyer Moss

Herby Jean-Raymond launched his menswear label Pyer Moss in 2013 and followed up with a women’s collection shortly thereafter. In the few seasons Jean-Raymond has been presenting, the designer has quickly become known for his social activist stands. Most notably, he is inspired by the heritage of African-Americans, as well as social issues that this community faces today.

Pyer Moss Spring 2019. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dior

In July 2016 Dior announced that Maria Grazia Chiuri would be the first female creative director at Dior. Chiuri has been making political statements ever since.  T-shirts screen printed with “We Should All Be Feminists” and “Dio(R)evolution” were sold with proceeds going to Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which fights against injustice, inequality & poverty and promotes access to education.

Christian Dior Spring 2017 Collection. (Photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Women’s Rights

Fall 2017 was a big season for designers to speak out about social injustice. Attendees at Missoni’s Fall show each received pink pussy hats (madefamous by the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017). Guests proudly wore the hats, as did the models during the finale.

According to Angela Missoni, creative director for the label, their message for Fall 2017 was all about “femininity in our times, prepared to confront the conflicts and dilemmas of our contemporary society: the conditions, needs, and rights of all women and minorities.”

Missoni’s Fall 2017 Show. (Photo courtesy of DailyNation.com)

Rio Uribe, the designer behind Gypsy Sport, gave a passionate speech before his show which focused on homelessness and refugee tent cities. “I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about my show,” he said from a mic backstage. “The Fall/Winter ’17 collection was inspired honestly by people who live on the street and just don’t have much fashion in their life or any of the luxuries that we take for granted. … I don’t want anyone who is gay, or Muslim, or disabled, or mentally ill, or a veteran, or a drug addict, or a runaway to have to live on the street just because someone’s not willing to give them a chance.”

Gypsy Sport Fall 2017 Show. (Photo courtesy of cosmopolitan.com)

Prabal Gurung created “The Future is Female” T-shirt for his Fall 2017 show. According to Gurung, “So to me feminism is not just a trending topic. It’s the only way I’ve known, even before I knew what [feminism] was.”

Bella Hadid sporting Prabal Gurung’s feminist T-shirt at his Spring 2017 show. (Photo courtesy of Forbes.com)

“All-inclusive” hit an all-time high in Fall 2017 as Christian Siriano enlisted models of all sizes to walk his runway show, from plus-size & petite to curvy, as well as plenty of racially diverse women. The 2008 Project Runway winner consistently speaks out against fashion magazines’ unrealistic body standards that are set by the modeling industry. He believes designers have the power to change this by adjusting their hiring process and sizing.

A plus sized model walks Christian Siriano’s show during his 2017 fashion show. (Photo courtesy of cosmopolitan.com)

During Tommy Hilfiger’s 2017 extravaganza in Venice Beach, models strutted down the runway wearing white bandanas as part of Business of Fashion’s #TiedTogether initiative. According to Business of Fashion founder and CEO Imran Amed, this campaign encouraged people to wear the colorless handkerchief “to make a clear statement in support of human unity and inclusiveness amidst growing uncertainty and a dangerous narrative peddling division.”

#TiedTogether Bandanas Hit Runway for First Time at Tommy Hilfiger. (Photo courtesy of Hollywoodreporter.com)

Also in 2017,  The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) partnered with Planned Parenthood to launch the “Fashion Stands With Planned Parenthood” campaign to raise awareness about women’s health care during New York Fashion Week.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour sporting a Planned Parenthood badge. (Photo courtesy of 14urban.com)

At the New York Spring 2018 shows, a “Get out and Vote” message dominated in advance of the U.S. mid term elections.

Prabal Gurung walks the runway in a Vote T-shirt show during New York Fashion Week Spring 2018. (Photo courtesy of Glamour.com)

Going Fur Free

While Stella McCartney has been creating fur-free and leather-free clothes for years, many designers have now jumped on the bandwagon.

As of September 2018, Burberry announced that it would also be going fur-free, a big move ever since Riccardo Tisci became the creative director for the label. The brand will no longer be using rabbit, fox, mink, and Asiatic raccoon fur, though they will still feature angora, shearling, and leather.

Burberry goes fur free as of Sept. 2018. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

Shockingly, in March 2018, Donatella Versace announced that she would no longer be using fur in her collections. “Fur? I am out of that. I don’t want to kill animals to make fashion. It doesn’t feel right,” she told 1843 magazine.

Versace goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

In June 2017, protesters interrupted a live interview with Michael Kors at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, with signs that read “Michael Kors has blood on his hands.” This prompted Michael Kors to announce that his company would be going fur free as of December 2018.

Michael Kors goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

In October 2017, Gucci announced it would be going fur-free as well. Alessandro Michele is opting for sustainable alternatives to create his “grandma-chic” vibe. Prada also added their name to the fur-free list as of 2020.

Gucci goes fur free. (Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com)

Following in the footsteps of San Francisco and Los Angeles, New York is now considering a ban on fur as well, however, there is a lot of push back. One of the oldest industries in New York City dating back to when Henry Hudson explored the region in 1609 and found French traders bartering for furs with Native Americans. New York became a thriving trading post of beaver and other skins that traveled through New York Harbor and to Europe. In fact, the official New York crest includes beavers, whose valuable pelts helped fuel the early fur trade. Stay tuned!

Designers with a History of Rocking the Boat

English fashion designer Katherine Hamnett is best known for her political T-shirts and ethical business philosophy. In 1983 she stated, “If you want to get the message out there, you should print it in giant letters on a T-shirt.” Celebrities such as George Michael (who was part of Wham at the time) wore one of her “Choose Life” tees in a music video for “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.” Roger Taylor of Queen, wore her “WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR BAN NOW” T-shirt during Queen’s historic appearance at the first edition of the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro.

Political T-shirts by Katharine Hamnett. (Photo courtesy of lovewildlivefree.com)

Vivienne Westwood is another British fashion designer and businesswoman, who was largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream. Westwood has retail shops worldwide and sells a variety of merchandise; some of it linked to her many political causes, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label SS14 fashion show. (Photo courtesy of Alan Davidson/The Picture Library LTD.)

In 2000, John Galliano created one of the most controversial fashion shows ever. For his Christian Dior Haute Couture collection, Galliano was inspired by the Paris homeless. As a master of shock value, his message rang loud and clear in a city of beauty and glamour. The show created such controversy that homeless activists picketed outside the Dior headquarters and riot police had to be called in to deal with the protesters. As a result, Dior’s flagship was closed for two hours and Galliano had to issue an apology statement,  “I never wanted to make a spectacle of misery.”

Christian Dior by John Galliano, spring/summer 2000 haute couture show. (Photo courtesy of newyorktimes.com)

Alexander McQueen’s inspiring showmanship is greatly missed, ever since his suicide on February 11, 2010. For the late designer’s Fall 2009 collection, McQueen took an environmental stance on the runway as his models dressed in fiercely tailored coats, boxy jackets and airy gazar dresses walked around a heap of trash. McQueen even referenced trash in some of his looks such as aluminum can accessories.  It was all so hauntingly beautiful.

Alexander McQueen’s  Fall 2009 ready-to-wear women’s collection during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

Karl Lagerfeld is another designer who is greatly missed for his theatrics. The late designer passed away on February 19, 2019 in Paris. For his Spring 2015 collection, Lagerfeld took a feminist stance and created a playful protest for woman’s equality. According to Vogue.com, “ Cara Delevingne and Caroline de Maigret had megaphones in hand as a parade of models including Kendall Jenner, Georgia May Jagger, Edie Campbell, Joan Smalls, and even Gisele Bündchen, brandished signs that read “History is Her Story,” “Feminism Not Masochism,” “We Can Match the Machos” and “Ladies First.” Even male model Baptiste Giabiconi waved a “He For She” banner, which just might be our favorite nod to Emma Watson’s global UN campaign yet. Perhaps the “Free Freedom” sign was a winking nod to Free the Nipple, the cause du jour for models like Delevingne, who opened the show and Kendall Jenner, who Instagrammed about it post show. “I’m Every Woman” blared from the speakers, and everyone danced in their seats.”

Chanel spring 2015 collection. (Photo courtesy of elle.com)

While some fashion critics predicted a worldwide boycott of Nike products after their controversial “Just Do It” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, they were proven wrong when the company reported a 10 percent jump in income. It turns out that millennials expect companies to take a position on social and political issues.

TELL US, HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU THAT BRANDS TAKE A STAND ON SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ?

Spring’s Most Surprising Hot Trend: The Bike Short

- - Trends

Left to right: Nina Ricci and Dion Lee spring 2018 looks (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Left to right: Nina Ricci and Dion Lee’s spring 2018 looks (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

“Ugly-pretty” fashion trends have been making a mark on the runway over the past few seasons, from Balenciaga’s platform Crocs to Miu Miu’s socks with sandals look. Another surprising trend of the spring season was the return of the spandex bike short, and we’re not talking for cycling.

From New York to Paris the bike short took center stage and somehow it looked new again, especially when paired with a tailored jacket, a chunky sweater or… are you ready… for eveningwear!

 

Dolce & Gabbana spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

This trend has already been spotted on models, celebrities and influencers, who have been pairing their bike shorts with mini-skirts and stilettos. Celebrity stylist Elizabeth Sulcer told Vogue, “bike shorts are flattering because they show off your legs in a different, more discreetly sexy way, and they look great with heels.”

Saint Laurent spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Saint Laurent’s spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

But at UoF, we think the trend has more to do with the industry’s fascination with streetwear, youth culture and ‘looking fit’ (even if you haven’t hit the gym in years)! Just look at the buzz surrounding labels like Supreme and Off White and streetwear newcomers:  LA-based brand BornxRaised, the Japanese brand Doublet, Metropolitan US, MISBHV and Supreme’s ex-Creative Director Brendon Barbenzien’s brand, NOAH. They sell ‘cool’. And who doesn’t want to look cool?

Either way, it’s the latest trend and we’re predicting that it will make its way to the mainstream fashion-loving consumer by the summer. And oh, let’s face it, in our sustainability-conscious world, some of us still have our 80s bike shorts in our closet! What a great way to give them a face lift?

Fenty X Puma spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fenty X Puma’s spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Here are some bike short pairings from MSGM, Nina Ricci and Saint Laurent worn under oversized jackets, dresses, and skirts, which definitely added an extra layer of interest.

MSGM spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

MSGM’s spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Virgil Abloh, the creative director for Off-White, was inspired by Princess Diana’s daily trips to the gym, and interpreted some of her most iconic looks for his spring 2018 collection, most notably, her biker shorts.  So, how did Abloh interpret Diana’s biker short look? Well, it was the show’s finale. Supermodel Naomi Campbell (who once participated in a prank orchestrated by Diana) brought down the house in a pair of white bike shorts under a white double-breasted blazer. Could this look qualify as a runway wedding outfit finale, 21st century style?

 

Princess Diana in biker shorts (Photo courtesy of wellandgood.com)

Princess Diana in biker shorts (Photo courtesy of wellandgood.com)

 

 

Off-White spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

Off-White’s spring 2018 look (photo courtesy of Vogue.com)

So tell us, will you give the biker short a test run this summer? Send us pics of your own bike short pairing!

The Fashion Circus Begins: Men’s Fall 2018 Collections Kick Off

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

 

Loewe Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Loewe)

Loewe Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Loewe)

The New Year has just begun and the fashion show hamster wheel is spinning faster than ever.  The Men’s Fall/Winter 2018 season kicked off in London where a number of New York editors missed the shows due to blizzard conditions. Then in was off to Florence for Pitti Uomo, a chic affair showcasing some of the most dandy and chicest menswear collections in Europe; meanwhile, Milan offered plenty of bold, cutting edge trends. Although both London and Milan have shortened their show schedules, there was still plenty of great fashion to see, including all the co-ed shows, which just may become runway’s future.

Paris is winding down, but the biggest news out of the fashion capital was the announcement that Kim Jones, the Men’s Artistic Director for Louis Vuitton since 2011, is leaving the company. Jones presented his final show for Louis Vuitton on Thursday and received a standing ovation as he walked side by side with supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Now that’s making an exit!

But now the guessing game begins, who will replace Jones and where will Jones end up next?

Naomi Campbell, Kim Jones and Kate Moss (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Naomi Campbell, Kim Jones and Kate Moss (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Although the season is still going strong, here are a few key menswear trends so far:

LOGOMANIA

Logo’s are back and better than ever. The logo craze was first reserved for accessories, but today, companies are branding their names on everything from intarsia knits to fur coats (hello Fendi).

Fendi Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Fendi Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Louis Vuitton Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Iceberg Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Iceberg)

Iceberg Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Iceberg)

Dolce & Gabbana Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

UTALITARIAN

It’s a throwback to the nineties, as utilitarian inspired looks ruled the runways from London to Paris.

Rick Owens Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Rick Owens Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Haider Ackermann Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Haider Ackermann Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Belstaff Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Belstaff)

Belstaff Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Belstaff)

Craig Green Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Craig Green Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gosha Rubchinskiy Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Gosha Rubchinskiy Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Prada Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

TAILOR MADE

Suit-Up. Sharp, tailored suits made their mark on the runway as the classic looks take a modern turn, complete with ties and all.

Giorgio Armani Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Giorgio Armani Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ermenegildo Zegna Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Ermenegildo Zegna Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brooks Brothers Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brooks Brothers Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Kiton Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Kiton Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Neil Barrett Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Neil Barrett Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

GOOD SPORT

The athleisure trend is still going strong as streetwear inspired looks continue to take center stage.

Off-White Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Off-White Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

MSGM Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

MSGM Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Valentino Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Facetasm Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Facetasm Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Stella McCartney Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Stella McCartney)

Stella McCartney Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Stella McCartney)

 

FIT TO PRINT

Designers are playing mix-and-match this season as head to toe prints are making a splash.

Versace Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Versace Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dolce & Gabbana Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Missoni Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Missoni)

Missoni Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Missoni)

Vivienne Westwood Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

Vivienne Westwood Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vivienne Westwood)

Pringle of Scotland Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Pringle of Scotland)

Pringle of Scotland Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Pringle of Scotland)

 

BRAVE THE COLD

Terrific outerwear was all over the runway, but one of the key outerwear trends were shearling jackets that were effortless yet cozy.

Brunello Cucinelli Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli)

Brunello Cucinelli Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Brunello Cucinelli)

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Ralph Lauren)

Dsquared2 Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Dsquared2 Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.com)

Tods Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Tods)

Tods Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Tods)

Band of Outsiders Men's 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Band of Outsiders)

Band of Outsiders Men’s 2018 Fall Collection (Photo Courtesy of Band of Outsiders)

 

 TELL US, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MENSWEAR TREND THIS SEASON?

And the Winners Are……

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

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

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

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

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

Rita Ora in Versace (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Rita Ora in Versace (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

 

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

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

Selena Gomez in Coach (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Selena Gomez in Coach (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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

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

Natalie Massenet (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Natalie Massenet (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

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

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

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

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

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

Model of the Year: Adwoa Aboah

Urban Luxe Brand: Virgil Abloh for Off-White

Business Leader: Marco Bizzarri for Gucci

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

British Emerging Talent — Womenswear: Michael Halpern for Halpern

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

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

Accessories Designer of the Year: Jonathan Anderson for Loewe

Designer of the Year: Raf Simons for Calvin Klein

Swarovski Award for Positive Change: Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior

Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Pat McGrath

Outstanding Contribution to British Fashion Award: Christopher Bailey

Special Recognition Award for Innovation: Stella McCartney

Fashion Icon Award: Donatella Versace & House of Versace

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

Paris Fashion Week: From Glam and Glitz to Avant-Garde

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

PARIS FASHION WEEK

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent Runway : The Eiffel Tower (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

The spring 2018 fashion shows have been a long haul, but there were so many inspiring moments from Ralph Lauren’s show in his exotic car garage in Bedford, N.Y. to Donatella Versace’s tribute to Gianni; who can ever forget the images all over Instagram with his supermodels (Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni) all on stage in golden gowns – it was an emotional moment for many in the industry. Now we reach the final stretch, Paris, the fashion capital of the world. Paris shows are not over yet, but here are some of the highlights of the week so far, from political messages to over-the-top glamour.

EMPOWERING WOMEN

It’s clear that Maria Grazia Chiuri, the first female Creative Director for Christian Dior, is using the label as a platform to empower women. Who can forget her “We Should All Be Feminists” t-shirts. Every Instagram and street style star wore them. For spring, Chiuri uses the runway to let us ponder another thought “Why Have There Been No Great Woman Artists?” This question was emblazoned on a striped marinière sweater. The question is the title of art historian Linda Nochlin’s 1971 essay that explores the topic of feminist art history; historically, woman have had a difficult time achieving success in the arts. Chiuri’s Dior is a new Dior. Gone are the pastel colored, ladies-who-lunch suits. It’s clear that Chiuri is focusing on the millennials with looks that ranged from 70’s patchwork jeans to leather jumpsuits. For evening, she showed an assortment of sheer, sparkly, glitter mini dresses in every color under the rainbow – all complete with low block heeled mesh knee high boots. It’s refreshing to see a designer put out a positive message that she really does believe in.

Christian Dior  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Christian Dior (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE NEW CHLOE-GIRL

There’s a new Chloe Girl in town…..Natacha Ramsay-Levi just presented her first collectionas the creative director for Chloé  to rave reviews. Although this is her first moment in the spotlight, Ramsay-Levi is well-known within French fashion circles; she worked at both Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton under Nicolas Ghesquière. Ramsay-Levi looked to the entire history of the house and gave a nod to each of her predecessors. The hand-painted cotton dresses were inspired by Lagerfeld’s time at the House. McCartney and Philo both liked horses, and Ramsay-Levi embroidered the motif on trim velvet tailoring. A floaty micro-floral dress was inspired by Waight. But there was a lot of Ramsay-Levi infused as well, such as the tailored leather outerwear and skinny cropped jeans.

Chloe  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Chloe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

GLITZ AND GLAMOUR

Anthony Vaccarello is paying tribute to the city of lights and to Mr. Yves Saint Laurent himself. The epic show was held outdoors, on a balmy night, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. Hundreds of spectators—the public and professionals—looked on, held in the awestruck moment. Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent girl wants to have fun, there were fanciful feathers, flirty glitter, and plenty of jaw-dropping boots. But the night was bittersweet for the house of Saint Laurent as Pierre Bergé passed away earlier this month. Vacarello started the show with hippie inspired looks that had a Moroccan feel,  it was a throwback to Yves Saint Laurant  and his love of Marrakech. There were floating, billowy-sleeved silk blouses, gold-coin–dot printed tulle tops, sparkling sequined dresses, bubbled frocks and fanciful ostrich feathers, all of it paired with the shortest of shorts and miniskirts and let’s not forget the over-the-top boots. This bold collection was sexy and confident!

Although the world is on edge today, with politics, threats of terrorists attacks and war, that didn’t reflect in many collections in Paris, there was a refreshing air of glitz and glamour; lighting the way for hopefulness and fun. Such collections included Balmain, Maison Margiela, Altuzarra and Dries Van Noten.

Saint Laurent  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Saint Laurent (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Balmain  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Balmain (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Dries Van Noten (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Maison Margiela (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Altuzarra (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

EIGHTIES ARE BACK

A throwback to the Eighties was a continuing theme that made its way to Paris. Virgil Abloh, the designer behind the cult label Off-White, was inspired by Princess Diana as “the people’s princess.” Marking the 20-year anniversary of her tragic death, Abloh payed homage to the fashion icon, most notably with his farewell to streetwear and opted for a feminine collection filled with tulle and flounce. But Naomi Campbell stole the show – with her regal strut – wearing an asymmetrically flounced white jacket and cycle shorts quite the twist on eveningwear.

Isabel Marant and Mugler also gave a nod to the Eighties this season.

Off-White  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Off-White (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Isabel Marant (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Mugler  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Mugler (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

THE INDIVIDUALISTS

Sure they may not be mainstream designers, but you have to give credit to those designers who season after season march to their own beat. Such avante-garde designers include Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Jun Takahashi for Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Yohji Yamamoto and Rick Owens.

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Comme des Garçons (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Undercover  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Undercover (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Junya Watanabe (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Yohji Yamamoto (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens  (Photo Courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Rick Owens (Photo Courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

 

 

 

Designers: Ones To Watch

Designers: Ones To Watch

Starting your own fashion label has never been easy, but today, thanks to social media platforms such as Instagram, Fashion Blog Sites and The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, getting your name out there has become easier. Here are ten young labels that we should all be watching.

Ruben Toledo Sketch (courtesy of Ruben Toledo)

Ruben Toledo Sketch (courtesy of Ruben Toledo)

 

 

 

Brock Collection

Husband and Wife design team Kristopher Brock and Laura Vassar Brock were the 2017 winners of the CFDA Fashion Fund and have quickly become fashion darlings. The duo met at Parsons School of Design where they both studied fashion. Kristopher Brock trained as a tailor and pattern maker. At 18, he opened a surf and skate shop and was also a production assistant for photo producer Larry McCrudden. Soon after he began to work as a runway show tailor for brands ranging from Calvin Klein to Diane von Furstenberg.  Meanwhile, Laura Vassar Brock began her career training with celebrity stylist Petra Flannery. She followed her design dreams and interned for Olivier Theyskens at Theyskens’ Theory, which quickly turned into a full-time position. She also worked at Moda Operandi as an editorial and collection stylist.  In 2015 the duo launched their label Brock Collection which offers beautifully tailored staples with a couture sensibility. Their craftsmanship is impeccable.  The collection is feminine, sophisticated and oh so chic, but all with a youthful hand.

 

Brock (courtesy of Vogue.com)

Brock Collection (courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

 

Sies Marjan

Sander Lak launched his collection Sies Marjan in Fall 2016 during New York Fashion Week to rave reviews. Lak is the creative director for the label which is taken from his father and mother’s given names.  He was born in Brunei and raised in Holland. In 2008 he graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London with a Master’s degree. Lak has worked in various design houses in New York, Antwerp and Paris. His collection is cool and effortless, think silk cargo pants and dresses over pants in a nineties throwback of the chicest kind. There are some characteristics that reference his former boss, Dries Van Noten, but Lak put his own youthful spin on the runway. These are real clothes that real woman can wear; he’s sure to be a favorite among the Street Style set.

 

Sies Marjan (courtesy of  Vogue.com)

Sies Marjan (courtesy of Vogue.com)

 

Off-White

Virgil Aboh is a true Renaissance man, he is an architect, creative director and designer. He was born in Rockford, Illinois and earned a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Madison, he also completed a Master´s degree in Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Soon after graduating, Aboh became the creative director for Kanye West and West´s creative think tank “Donda“. Over the years, he has collaborated with multiple artists such as Nick Knight, Riccardo Tisci, Kim Jones, Takashi Murakami, Olivier Rousteing, Giuseppe Zanotti, and worked with Silvia Venturini at Fendi.  Aboh’s career has been filled with great success and awards, such as a Grammy Award in 2011 for his Album Packaging creative direction with Riccardo Tisci for “Watch The Throne”. In 2015, Off-White was nominated as one of the top eight finalists for the LVMH Prize in Paris. His collection Off-White has exploded for both menswear and womenswear and has been worn by multiple celebrities and street style stars. The cult favorite brand is the perfect hybrid of urban cool and high fashion luxury.

Off-White (courtesy of  Vogue.Com)

Off-White (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

Ji Oh

Ji Oh may have been born in Korea, but New York is now her home. The internationally traveled designer studied art and design in London’s Central Saint Martins in 2004. Oh was always inspired by architectural construction in her garments and spent plenty of time at the Tate Modern. In 2005, she completed her studies at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Oh launched her namesake label in 2014. Her aesthetic focuses on uncontrived proportions, effortless shapes and rich texture. Oh balances minimalistic tones with a contrast in great detail and design. In 2015 and 2016, Oh was nominated for the FGI Rising Star Awards.

 

Ji Oh (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Ji Oh (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

JN by JN LLOVETT

If you’re looking for a cool novelty jacket, then look no further than JN by JN LLOVET. The label was founded by Jacqueline Llovet Garcia; specializing in leather that is inspired by her world travels, adventure and beauty. Garcia is half German, half Spanish and graduated with a Master’s degree from the renowned fashion college Mod`Art International in Paris. The label came to life after her travels through South America as she created her dream jacket in a leather market in La Paz by a Bolivian tailor. This was the spark that created her label. She creates each unique piece in her studio in Germany and uses only the softest, highest quality Nappa leather.

 

JN by JN LLOVETT (courtesy of JN by JN LLOVETT

JN by JN LLOVETT (courtesy of JN by JN LLOVETT

 

Chloe Gosselin

It’s no surprise that the stunningly beautiful shoe designer Chloe Gosselin was a model for nearly ten years. The beauty is an international “It Girl”.  Chloe Gosselin was born in France; graduated from the La Cambre Fine Arts Program in Belgium in 2007; pursued her passion for shoe design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC and in Ars Sutoria in Milan. In 2014, Gosselin fulfilled her dream and started her own namesake label. She divides her time between New York City and Nevada (she’s linked to celebrity magician David Copperfield). Gosselin’s shoes are timeless with a sexy edge.

 

 

Chloe Gosselin (courtesy of Chloe Gosselin

Chloe Gosselin (courtesy of Chloe Gosselin

 

Morgan Lane

Morgan Curtis, the Native New York designer behind the luxury lingerie, sleepwear and swimwear line Morgan Lane, has fashion in her blood; her mother is non-other than the talented and lovely Jill Stuart. Curtis grew up in the fashion world and has always expressed creativity through paining and illustrations. Curtis graduated from Cornell University and attended Central Saint Martins in London; she quickly began designing for the Jill Stuart brand. She launched Morgan Lane in 2014 during the resort season, after several years, her lingerie line is gaining attention and Curtis was one of the 2017 finalists for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Curtis’ collection is inspired by one of her illustrations, a doll named Lanie. The collection has a playful yet seductive vibe as Curtis uses modern fabrics and hardware in her unique collection.

Morgan Lane (courtesy of Morgan Lane)

Morgan Lane (courtesy of Morgan Lane)

 

 

Pyer Moss

Never one to shy away from controversy, Kerby Jean-Raymond uses his runway shows to speak his mind on political matters – from the “Black Lives Matter Movement” to “Bernie vs Bernie”.  Jean-Raymond is a young Haitian-American designer from East Flatbush, Brooklyn. He launched his Menswear collection Pyer Moss in 2013, but to show the versatility of his menswear collection, he uses both male and female models; he is planning on launching a woman’s collection shortly. The luxury sportswear label has everything from street inspired tracksuits to oversized suits.

Pyer Moss (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

Pyer Moss (courtesy of Vogue.Com)

 

 

Sabrina Zeng

Sabrina Zeng is a true fashion veteran with 10+ years at Versace, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Natori before launching her own line in 2013. Her contemporary handbags are feminine yet edgy; the made-in-NY label is known for its use of hand-pleating technique, meant to be the perfect fusion of conceptual and wearable art. It all started when Zeng, a free-spirited traveler, found herself in need of a fashionable DSLR camera bag. So she took it upon herself to launch her own line. Each bag is named after a zip code, and carries its own story – her collections are inspired by Zeng’s journeys:  starting with her home in New York, Bali, Tibet and Hawaii to name a few. Zeng brings her travels, spirituality and passion to life in her collection of modern handbags.

Sabrina Zeng (courtesy of Sabrina Zeng)

Sabrina Zeng (courtesy of Sabrina Zeng)

 

Berta Cabestany

 

Wearable couture is how Berta Cabestany describes her namesake label as the emerging designer creates a beautiful and distinctive collection. She is a Spanish designer based in Barcelona. She studied at FDMODA in Barcelona and has taken several courses in Parson’s School of Design in New York and Paris and Central Saint Martins London. In her collection, Cabestany combines traditional techniques with a modern and feminine flare. Playing with intricate embellishments, she perused her passion for embroideries by taking courses at Ecole Lesage in Paris and The London Embroidery School, and now wants to preserve the art of handmade, artisan techniques. Her collection is whimsical yet chic.

Berta Cabestany (courtesy of Berta Cabestany)

Berta Cabestany (courtesy of Berta Cabestany)