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Shoppers

Fashion Island shopper: ‘We were freaking out’ when shots fired.

Newport Beach police are setting up a command post near the intersection of Newport Center and Anacapa drives after shots were fired at the Fashion Island mall Saturday afternoon, authorities said. Police have taken one man into custody, and officers are searching the mall but have not found anyone who may have been injured.

Shopper Dena Nassef said she and another person were walking toward Macy’s when people started yelling and running.“With what happened in Connecticut, we were freaking out,” she said. “It was like crazy people leaving stores.”

Nassef said some people didn’t believe what was happening and started laughing. She said she and others were escorted into a Nordstrom sitting room to wait until authorities got the situation under control.The gunman was reported to be in one of the parking structures, KTLA reported.

The shopping mall was on lockdown, and many shoppers posted messages on Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside stores. When the reports of shots were first posted around 4:35 p.m., the mall was crowded with holiday shoppers.
Shoppers who weren’t locked in stores said they were getting to their cars to leave the mall.

Superb

Terence Donovan Fashion edited by Diana Donovan and David Hillman.

A superb Terence Donovan retrospective illustrates the late fashion photographer’s knack of capturing the zeitgeist.

Nova, March 1974, Deptford, London: ‘Donovan’s locations – pedestrian subways, industrial backdrops, East End streets – are fascinating in their own right.’ Photograph: Terence Dovovan/Art/Books

While today’s fashion revolution is being led by the street photography of the style blogger, back in the 1960s the seeds were already being sewn as a new generation of photographers came to the fore in London just as skirt hems were being chopped off, and youth celebrated.Three talents led the movement – David Bailey, Brian Duffy and Terence Donovan. They were all working class and brought the reality and nuances of contemporary life to their photography, knocking down the ivory tower – all couture ball gowns, aristocratic-looking models and ladylike manners – that had dominated fashion to date.

While David Bailey is still alive and highly active in his profession today (and has published many books), Terence Donovan died in 1996, leaving a huge archive of work to his widow, Diana, who has compiled this hefty monograph with art director David Hillman.

Just when you thought there could not possibly be space for another fashion book rooted in the 1960s, this one proves rather compelling. It makes you question and appreciate the craft of good fashion photography and indeed good fashion. On a simplistic note, Donovan was a “good” fashion photographer because he unfailingly managed to show off the fashion in a clear and crisp manner – his professionalism pleased Vogue editors for many years. “With Terry, one would spend one’s day laughing until your sides ached. But he always had such great command of the situation, no fussing about, always so direct,” writes Grace Coddington, then a fashion editor at British Vogue, in her foreword.

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  • December 8th, 2012 by admin

Society

But Donovan is also a “great” because he managed to capture the nuance and gesture of the time, bringing the energy of the London street (many shoots were on location), the naturalistic stance and “real moment” into the frame. It was a different universe from the mannered expressions and stances of the gentleman society photographers, such as Cecil Beaton, of the previous era: “Terence’s approach to photography was so different, often breaking the ‘expected rules’ of fashion photography with lots on unusual angles, dramatic lighting and often a grainy quality to the photographs.
It really was a totally new take on photography for its time,” as Sir Paul Smith put it.The heavy paper and high quality reproduction rewards the viewer. In a 1965 shoot for Elle, a gamine model in graphic patterned suit by Dior, leather gloves and fedora is caught in a dramatic arc of light against a mosaic wall. The model appears defiant, punching the air, glaring at the lens and delivering what is now known as “attitude”, but back then would have appeared threatening, radical. For Tatler there is the 1962 portrait of Jean Shrimpton in a wedding dress, sitting on a chair and looking forlorn, broken. The image skewed the promise of happy-ever-after bliss at a time of social upheaval.

It was in his menswear shoots that Donovan was really able to express his dark-humoured, sardonic view of life. An elegant, suited-and-booted male model and scowling schoolboy appear outside a modernist church in Bow Common bearing the inscription “This is the Gate of Heaven”. Donovan’s locations – pedestrian subways, industrial backdrops, East End streets – are fascinating in their own right.

Industry professionals

The book, frustratingly, reveals little about the man – anecdotes are garnered from industry professionals rather than personal friends. But what you do appreciate in Robin Muir’s sensitive text is context – the changing role of fashion, the role of media and how photographers collaborated with editors and art directors. Spreads from Man About Town and the Sunday Times magazine – bold graphics, dramatic framing, photo-reportage style, witty captions – are enthralling. In one taken from Man About Town, a model in a peacoat and tie is shot against the dark industrial landscape of the Midlands. The headline? “Man about the Black Country”. These shoots presage so much of what was to come with the revolution of the style press of the 1990s. The Face and i-D photographers took on the baton, moulding themselves as ciphers of contemporary culture, further blurring the boundaries of photo-reportage, portraiture and fashion.

Donovan, who was born in the East End to a lorry-driver father, and trained at Bethnal Green Camera Club before apprenticing at photographer John French’s studio, was apparently a larger-than-life character. Big in physical form, with piercing blue eyes and tremendous drive. “Fame,” he told one interviewer, “is suspect, dangerous material, all right for going through airports and things like that, but it’s not something to pay too much attention to. Life is ephemeral and quick. I’ll just play the show until the curtain comes down.”

He stuck to his words, mastering his craft (he was technically brilliant) and enjoying the fruits of his labour: a Rolls-Royce, a Piccadilly home, his wife Diana and children, and now a handsome posthumous monograph to boot.

Glamorous

Anne Hathaway shows us how to be free of fashion angst.

The film star’s dress sense is just plain weird. Plea to trendy vicars: don’t try to emulate it.

It seems unfair on women that the season in which we are most frequently exhorted to “Be Glamorous!” (above photographs of whichever mesh dresses, miniskirts and gold sandals have been deemed “vital for parties” over this year’s slap-up editorial lunch with their respective designers) should be the one in which it’s freezing.

I mean, it’s not as unfair as waiting centuries for the vote, being ripped apart by childbirth or getting paid less for doing the same job; but, watching men tuck a snug T-shirt under a smart shirt under a suit jacket, it feels close. When, precisely, is the thermal vest going to have its turn at the top of fashion’s spinning wheel?

Luckily, I have had a small epiphany about being fashionable, which is helping me through this year’s intimidating party season almost as much as the gin.

It started with photos, last week, of Anne Hathaway at the New York premiere of Les Miserables. She went as a sort of Batman villain. The dress was black and shiny – the kind of thing you make out of bin liners when you decide to go to a Halloween party at the last minute – with a giant parachute cape at the back.

This was teamed with a pair of intriguing boots formed from black leather strips and metal buckles, which would suggest bondage if they didn’t look quite so orthopaedic. Do you remember that traumatic scene in Downton Abbey when the toffs gasped as valet Bates removed his trousers to reveal primitive, mail-order leg braces biting through his damaged knee? Hathaway simply added heels. Perhaps she, too, was hoping to be helped to a chair to have her wounds sponged and her job downgraded to something easy in the scullery.

Nevertheless

Nevertheless, we don’t feel sympathetic to Anne Hathaway because she doesn’t need our sympathy; she’s a beautiful young woman, dressed so weirdly that we assume she must also be a very fashionable one.

The nexus of style and sympathy is the key, I realise, to being released from clothing angst.

When looking at a fashionable stranger, the most positive emotion you would ever feel is admiration. Many wouldn’t feel even that – they’d be neutral, or dismissive – but admiration is as warm as it gets. You’d never actually like someone more for looking chic, would you?

This is the mistake that’s made by the Rev Sally Hitchiner, the trendy vicar. She came to the nation’s attention a few weeks ago when she was photographed in cool clothes, crossing her fingers, outside the vote on female bishops. In that picture, Hitchiner was wearing her dog collar atop a black leather biker jacket which proved that, yeah, the church can be relevant to the 1970s.

I wouldn’t have read anything into the jacket other than a quest for warmth, had it not been hotly followed by a fashion shoot in a colour supplement. For this, Hitchiner teamed the dog collar with a cocktail ring, scarlet lipstick and leopard-print Louboutins, which looked uncannily as though she was going to a vicars and tarts party as both.

I couldn’t resist that joke, but I also feel bad about it. In the accompanying interview, Hitchiner came across as smart and nice. But that’s the problem: in those clothes, the niceness is counter-intuitive. A kindly, welcoming, pastoral personality is not what you expect when someone’s kitted out in crimson lipstick, black leather and stiletto heels. She looks like she’s ready to the flay the hide off a dalmatian.

New Testament

The image doesn’t say: “Come to me with your shy hopes for marriage, your fears of death and your quest for spiritual guidance.” It says: “I like the look of those kittens. Have them boiled into a soup and served in the churchyard at midnight.”

That’s a good look for Anne Hathaway – but I wouldn’t turn to Anne Hathaway for a sympathetic ear to my timid questions about the New Testament.

The likability is not a gender issue; if a male priest posed in a lads’ mag suit with an asymmetric haircut, I wouldn’t think, “That’s who I want holding my hand on my deathbed” either. It felt like a gender issue only because it coincided so precisely with the no vote on female bishops.

For those who still, unfortunately, regrettably, exasperatingly, fear that women bishops would damage the essential spirit of the church, the image of one such mooted bishop in £995 peep-toe designer boots and a fake fur trilby pulled over her eye seems… un-reassuring.

That’s because there’s something scary about a fashionable person. If you’re trendy yourself, they look like competition. If you’re not, they are visitors from a daunting and rarefied planet.

There is a bizarre idea currently afoot that Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of American Vogue, is going to be appointed US ambassador to London. I can’t imagine why anyone would think that a woman who permanently masks her face with giant designer sunglasses is the perfect symbol of friendly international relations.

I am not saying it’s bad to be fashionable. Dressing stylishly is a skill; it’s just an intimidating one, like being able to pull a truck with your earlobe. In the ubiquitous celebration of fashionability, perhaps we have forgotten there are different sorts of “good”. Is aesthetic admiration something you really want to inspire? It is a positive but cold feeling.

You may not be a vicar or a diplomat, but I bet you still want to look approachable. A film star, crucially, does not. When you turn up at that party in a dated skirt (or, if you’re a man, jacket) (or skirt! I never assume), with the wrong colour scheme and a jumper on top, you will not look stylish. You will not look cool. You will not look admirable. But you might look lovable.

The busy shopping

More than 50 shots fired at Fashion Island mall; suspect held.

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove is suspected of firing a handgun in the mall parking lot in Newport Beach. No one was hit.
A gunman at Fashion Island in Newport Beach apparently fired more than 50 rounds in a parking lot at the busy shopping mall Saturday before he was apprehended by police, authorities said.

Marcos Gurrola, 42, of Garden Grove, was arrested in the parking lot near the Macy’s department store shortly after allegedly firing the shots about 4:30 p.m., said Kathy Lowe, a spokeswoman for the Newport Beach Police Department. Officers on bike patrol apprehended Gurrola as he was standing by a white Honda.

Police searched the mall but did not find anyone who had been injured by the shots, which were apparently fired either into the air or at the ground.

More than 50 rounds from a handgun were recovered at the scene, said Deputy Chief David McGill. A handgun was also recovered at the scene, but police did not reveal any more details about the weapon. The state’s landmark assault-weapons law, which went into effect in 2000, banned the use of handgun magazines with more than 19 bullets.

The mall was crowded with holiday shoppers at the time of the shooting. Some stores were immediately locked down, and many shoppers posted messages on Facebook and Twitter saying they were locked inside.

Shopper Dena Nassef said she and another person were walking toward Macy’s when people started yelling and running.”With what happened in Connecticut, we were freaking out,” she said. “It was like crazy, people leaving stores.”

Ann Butcher, an employee at Macy’s, said she was on the patio at Whole Foods when people started running and screaming. She said some women left their purses and fled.”That was very scary,” she said.

Shopper Eric Widmer said he was at the Barnes & Noble bookstore when he saw a mother and daughter rush in crying. He said he heard someone scream, “Shooter!”
He said he managed to leave the bookstore and go to Macy’s, which he could not leave.”I thought, ‘Great, I get to be scared twice,’” he said. “Lightning strikes twice.”
One person was hurt fleeing the scene, but the injury was not considered serious.

Runway

Retrofit Republic Adaptation fashion show.

In the back of SoMa’s sprawling Green Festival in the Concourse Exhibition Centerin November, behind booths of vegan protein powders and baked (never fried) kale, was a large and slightly creaky-looking runway where vintage clothing stylists Retrofit Republic put on a show. In the show, called Adaptation, the models – a refreshingly diverse mix of race and size – strutted in revamped thrift store threads.Most of the models were Retrofit clients, like Jason Jenkins, 29, a personal stylist at Nordstrom.

The clothes – from Jeanette Au, 31 Rax, SheWolf Nation, the Bellwether Project and Vintage Joy – ranged from folksy, leather and wool-heavy outfits to vampy burlesque negligees. Most of the items had been culled from local vintage stores but revamped with modern lines and higher hemlines. The show was organized by Retrofit founders Julia Rhee and Jenny Ton.Each of the designers emphasized the affordability of vintage clothes and low carbon footprint.

“Life’s competitive, and you need to dress well for opportunity,” says Dario Smith, a 24-year-old Oakland native who showed clothes from his Bellwether Project. “But, with a well-cut vintage suit, you can look good without spending too much.”

“I always thought fashion was kind of sexist, but when I shopped with Retrofit, they were asking like how I wanted to represent my gender,” says Carolyn Richardson, a 26-year-old bike mechanic at City Cycles. “Afterward, I felt like myself but more confident, which is what fashion should be about.”
gorgeous women

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  • November 29th, 2012 by admin

New anthology

Style to spare: Fashion books of 2012.

In the new anthology “W: The First 40 Years,” the critic Vince Aletti compares high fashion photographs to animals: Outside their natural environment, they can look freakish or foolish. “Inside, they rule.”

The tigresses and peacocks who reign over the world’s fashion capitals get their due this holiday season, with a wealth of coffee-table books, biographies and memoirs that flesh out the creative, often quixotic forces behind the provocative layouts and visionary runway shows.

You would never call W the Bible of the fashion industry, but the magazine, which began life as a high-toned spin-off of the rag-trade newspaper Women’s Wear Daily, has carved its a niche as one of the most daring and decadent glossies. If you’re going to spend $75 (gulp!) on a fashion book this year, let it be “W: The First 40 Years,” edited by its current chief Stefano Tonchi (Abrams).

The book is split into three sections. The first two celebrate the who (Jackie O, Madonna, a naked Bruce Willis, straddled by a dominatrix in a face mask made of hair) and the where (Elizabethan estates, Italian islands, post-Katrina New Orleans).The third is the wow — quite simply, the most arresting spreads the magazine has produced: A close-up portrait of an un-retouched Kate Moss (who knew she had pores?). A fashion spread in which Amber Valletta ages from 29 to 120, sporting bondage gear in her dotage. A series of Victoria and David Beckham, scorchingly hot in their unmentionables. And that infamous photo narrative of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, before their romance went public, as a disturbingly sexual Stepford family in ’60s surburbia.

“Vogue: The Editor’s Eye,” edited by Eve McSweeney (Abrams, $70) explores the personal style and creative processes of eight top Vogue stylists past and present, including creative director Grace Coddington, fashion director Tonne Goodman and 99-year-old former fashion editor Babs Simpson.

The book, chock-full of photo spreads from the last 60 years and weighing in at a little more than Moss herself, is a bit too self-congratulatory. No one actually says, “Aren’t we fabulous, dahling?” but that’s the subtext. But you know what? They are pretty fabulous. Simpson, who worked with Irving Penn and Richard Avedon and styled Marilyn Monroe’s last sitting, recalls tracking down Ernest Hemingway in Cuba in 1950 for a photo shoot.

“Isn’t he revolting?” she asks, looking at the photo of a shirtless writer lounging with the elegant Jean Patchett, the leading model of the day. Hemingway turned up with a Basque priest, and they two got drunker and drunker as the day wore on. “They wanted us to go and see the pelota or something or other with them afterward. They wanted to spend their lives with us. So we got the first plane we could out of there.” The photo spreads, many iconic, are breathtaking (and some unintentionally funny; how can you not laugh at acid wash jeans paired with a jacket with a giant bejeweled crucifix, even when it’s Christian Lacroix?).

Special

Which brings us to perhaps the most talked-out fashion book of the year, Coddington’s “Grace: A Memoir” (Random House, $35). Through the 2009 documentary “The September Issue,” we came to know the flame-haired editor as a passionate creator of complex visual narratives, but her book is breezy, down-to-earth and unsentimental (“English girls have so much individuality. I can’t stand all the sappy blondes, or athletic girls with too much of a tan”).

It skips from her childhood on the bleak, fogbound shores of Anglesey, Wales, to mod London, where she modeled in the 1960s, to her relationships with Vogue editor Anna Wintour, editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, photographer Bruce Weber and others, with plenty of dishy anecdotes — but not as much insight as we’d like into what makes Coddington herself tick.

It’s a fast read, with charming illustrations by Coddington and a handful of layouts, although some can be seen, and to greater advantage, in “Vogue: The Editor’s Eye.”
It’s hard not to love Diane von Furstenberg, the champion of all that is chic and yet comfortable, but it’s quite easy to dislike the quasi-biography “Diane Von Furstenberg and the Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes” (Harper Design, $21.99). In the third of her “Fashion Fairy Tale Memoir” series, Camilla Morton clumsily casts the former real-life princess as the rescuer of a fashion-obsessed empress. The saccharine prose and silly conceit is not worthy of the subject.

Speaking of empresses, celebrated editor Diana Vreeland, who presided over American fashion for half a century, the latest 14 years as special consultant to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gets a more traditional bio treatment from Amanda MacKenzie Stuart. “Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland” (HarperCollins, $35) delves headfirst in the woman described by Truman Capote as “some extraordinary parrot — a wild thing that’s flung itself out of the jungle,” and by Coco Chanel as the most affected woman she had never met. (And in the fashion world, that’s saying something.) It’s scholarly but never dry — how can it be, with drop-ins by Josephine Baker, a young Lauren Bacall, Veruschka and Andy Warhol? — and an insightful, inspiring look at a complicated woman.

British designer

When British designer Alexander McQueen committed suicide in 2010, he left a gaping hole in the fashion landscape — one that publishers have been trying their best to plug. A major exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art produced the spectacular catalog “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” last year, and this year brings two new lavish coffee-table books.

“Alexander McQueen: Evolution,” by Katherine Gleason (Race Point, $35) focuses on the outlandish, exquisitely conceived runway shows for which he was notorious — “Highland Rape,” which put its blood-smeared models in tattered frocks, and “Scanners,” in which model Shalom Harlow rotated on a turntable while paint-spraying robotic arms graffiti’d her white dress.

For more insight into the development of his collections — which arose from his initial concepts for his runway shows, not the other way around — consider “Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy,” by British fashion historian Judith Watt (Harper Design, $35).

“Love Looks Not With Your Eyes” (Abrams, $75) takes us behind the scenes at those runway shows with photographer Anne Deniau. The only photographer McQueen permitted backstage, Deniau throws back the curtain and finds, surprisingly, a meditative quality there — silent, sculptural figures clad in McQueen’s feathers or flowers, or even flocks of birds; models en deshabillé, unaware of the lens, and all the more arresting for it; and McQueen’s blissful smile as his moving tableau matches his dreams.

Fixture

Teen fashion blogger branches out with book.

Tavi Gevinson has accomplished more in her 16 years than most people double her age.
The style blogger, writer and darling of the fashion set launched a fashion blog from her suburban Chicago home before she turned 12. Two years later it was getting 50,000 hits a day and she was a fixture in the front row of fashion shows in New York, Paris and Tokyo.

Profiles of the young fashionista followed in the New York Times and the New Yorker, along with stories in French Vogue and in teen magazines.

Gevinson has added editor to her credits with the publication of Rookie Yearbook One, a compilation of articles, photographs and drawings from her Rookie Web site, which she started about 15 months ago.

“I always had it in the back of my mind that I wanted to do a print component. Each month on the site is a different theme. I eventually realized that to do a yearly book, and call it a yearbook, would be the best format,” she said.

The second book, due next September, is already in the works.

Despite its young audience, the yearbook claims it is not a guide to being a teenager. But with topics ranging from family, friends, relationships, to fashion and school its appeal is obvious.

And Gevinson admits she started the Web site, which focuses less on fashion and more on teen life, because there wasn’t an online magazine for adolescent girls that respected its readers’ intelligence.

“I decided to make a Web site and now a book that didn’t talk down to teenagers and had beautiful art, fine articles about TV and all of that.”

With more than 300 pages, 80 contributors, and articles ranging from “How to Bitchface” to “Breakup Breakdown” and “How to Approach the Person You Like Without Throwing Up,” the book navigates teenage angst and a range of other topics and includes photos and graphics.

“Rookie is a place to make the best of the beautiful pain and cringe-worthy awkwardness of being an adolescent girl,” is how Gevinson described it.

It has also attracted some star power, namely online interviews with Mad Men’s Jon Hamm giving advice about love and guys, and wise words from actor Paul Rudd and producer/director Judd Apatow.

When Gevinson started her blog at 11 she saw it as an outlet that helped her get through middle school. She never expected it to mushroom into a Web site and the business it is today with a huge fan base.

The youngest of three children, Gevinson recently completed a tour to Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Toronto and other cities to promote the book and still manages to keep up with her school work.

Her father, a retired English teacher, oversees the business side of Rookie, and there is a staff of paid adult editors, photographers and designers who work on the Web site and manage its contributors.

Despite it all, Gevinson seems unfazed by her success and the celebrity status that has come with it.

“I’ve enjoyed feeling I make something and people understand it, and that there are other people going through the things that I go through,” she said. “That to me is the most valuable thing — being heard by people who understand it.”

The best

Atal serves music instead of fashion show.

They say the best is saved for last, and with a fashion industry starved of real talent, Club Silk chose industry veteran Stella Atal to wind up their monthly fashion shows.

The 34-year-old was on top of her game last year, showcasing at international fashion weeks, plus scooping the Best African Designer award in the Africa Collection awards held in Cameroon in 2010. And last Thursday, fashion enthusiasts awaited her return to Club Silk’s monthly fashion shows 20 months since she last showcased there.

The last time she brought the house down and so the patrons expected the same; unfortunately, it was not to be. Instead of having a fashion show, it turned out to be more of a musical concert.

MC Persie kicked off the show by calling out a singer called Nem-say who did a song, Neighbour, before Persie called up Carol, who apart from having a good body and being able to wriggle it, could not sing even if her life depended on it. After their boring stint, it was time for the real show but Atal served us byoya bya nswa; it was like watching a repeat of her last year’s show.

She started with recycled wear like she used last year and it being a little bit Afrocentric, there was nothing to it. And just when we were getting into the mood of fashion, another unknown singer, Jamie Hoods, jumped on stage. After him, Fusion band’s Shamim also had the chance to suck the life out of the patrons.At least the next collection, Sunshine, lit up people’s minds. The dresses could really be a hit for someone stepping out on those casual nights. But the smiles were wiped off our faces again, with another musical interlude, this time with Chosen. And going by his performance, he had better patch things up with Walden, because she clearly left with the magic their single, Pressure Ya Love, unleashed.

Mr Woods at least tried to pump some life back into the audience with his Akaama. Atal wound up with her old school collection and that was the bomb. But Atal had very few designs and the models were not top-notch.

Then Oscar Muwonge came on stage and reminded the patrons why he should stick to songwriting other than singing. Lyrical G came on to finish the show and yes, dude still raps; I thought he had been knocked off the musical radar.

And that is how Stella Atal closed Silk’s fashion year; with a musical concert punctuated with fashion show interludes. Yawn.

Retro

Fall fashion holds a peplum rally.

The retro look is back bigger this year with variations that won’t add heft to your hips.
Scan the pages of this fall’s fashion magazines: They’re peppered with peplums, those flounces of fabric on a top, dress, skirt, coat or jacket that accentuate the curve of the waist and hips.
The retro look hit haute runways last fall, and now stores like H&M, Nordstrom, Lucky Brand and Target are bringing them to a wider audience. Many more are predicted by spring.
“I’ve noticed that this time, they’re showing some with a lot of different proportions,” said Laura Boyes, a seamstress, costume history archivist and curator of films for the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. “Some are ruffles on the hip. Others are fitted at the waist and they really nip in at the waist; some are even attached to the backs of skirts.
“They are really stretching the definition very, very far.”
That stretching has made some folks reconsider the resilient look. When they first popped back up last fall, Adam Glassman, creative director of O, The Oprah Magazine, scoffed at the trend.
“I think that a peplum is beautiful in a Hollywood glamour sort of way, but it’s a tough one,” he wrote. “No one needs that much fabric on their hips.”
But in this year’s October issue, he’s eating crow.
“I know, I know, I was telling you to avoid this trend last season. I’ve since had a change of heart because the right peplum can actually make you look thinner.”
Peplums, along with loud prints and bright colors, seem to be the latest trend in a long thread of ’80s revival wear, Erika Stalder, author of “Fashion 101: A Crash Course in Clothing,” said in an email. The style can be traced to ancient Greece, when it was a draped gown sometimes fastened at the shoulder with brooches, she said.

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  • September 16th, 2012 by admin

Wartime

A design for wartime.
Peplums helped rescue fashion during World War II. Fabric shortages led to restrictions on how much clothing makers could use – for instance, 1 yard to make a skirt or 1.5 yards for a dress, Boyes said. “That wasn’t very much, so they had to be creative.”
Designers added peplums to give garments a feminine flourish without using a lot of fabric.
“This let them get around some of the restrictions,” Boyes said. “I think those ’40s peplums were very flattering.”
The modern peplum is an exaggerated take on Christian Dior’s seminal New Look design: a jacket nipped at the waist and padded over the hips to create a flare, Stalder said. Dior’s design gave the illusion of a tiny waist, even if a woman wasn’t wearing a clunky old corset.
Peplums aren’t clunky or old in the latest interpretations shown in Vogue, Marie Claire, In Style and Real Simple magazines. And the range is impressive, including burgundy and black leather peplum tops, khaki trench jackets with contrasting peplums, a cheerleader-inspired tweed mini with a kicky peplum, and a sheer blouse with a lace peplum hem.
North Carolina style.
Still, not everyone is jumping on the peplum train.
So far at Scott & Molly’s boutique, which has stores in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cary and Charlotte, owner Lisa Kornstein has stocked only a few pieces, including a printed peplum in burgundy and purples, two of fall’s big colors.
“We’re just dabbling in it a little bit,” she said. “North Carolina isn’t the edgiest place when it comes to a trend. We’re not going to be the first ones to jump on something that’s new.
“Right now, people aren’t used to (peplums) yet, and they think: ‘That’s retro, like something from the ’80s.’”
For spring, Kornstein has ordered peplums in coral, hot pink and other on-trend bright colors, figuring her customers will be ready.
“By then, we will have warmed up to the trend.”

Modern

Lady Gaga Defends Oscar De La Renta From New York Times Fashion Critic Cathy Horyn.

The singer squares off again with the style scribe over her controversial review of the designer’s recent Spring 2013 fashion show. Oscar de la Renta took out a full-page ad in Women’s Wear Daily late last week that was an “open letter” to fashion writer Cathy Horyn, chiding her for calling him a hot dog and implying that he copied Raf Simons’ styles at Dior in her review of his Spring 2013 runway collection held during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.But Horyn doesn’t think her review was negative. “The term [hot dog] was used in a professional context, as in someone showing off his tricks, like an athlete,” Horyn clarified to WWD.
But de la Renta has not backed off from his statements in the ad, in which he called her “a stale 3-day old hamburger.”
The designer says he received numerous calls of support and one big bouquet of flowers. And one supporter was none other than Lady Gaga, who tweeted her opinion to her 29.5 million followers, writing “Bravo Oscar. Only you would be so chic as to purchase an entire page in WWD, making statements like a good fashion citizen.”
This isn’t Gaga’s first smackdown with Horyn. In her column in the September 2011 issue of V magazine, Gaga, decrying about “extreme critic fundamentalism,” said: “In the age of the Internet, when collections and performances are so accessible to the public and anyone can post a review on Facebook or Twitter, shouldn’t columnists and reviewers, such as Cathy Horyn, employ a more modern and forward approach to criticism, one that separates them from the average individual at home on their laptop?”
She also asked: “Why do we harp on the predictability of the infamous fashion critic? The predictability of the most notoriously harsh critics who continue writing their notoriously harsh reviews?”
She continued, “To be fair, Ms. Horyn, the more critical question to ask is: when did the pretense of fashion become more important than its influence on a generation? Why have we decided that one person’s opinion matters more than anyone else’s?”
De la Renta says he has no issue with negative criticism. “I don’t care that Cathy gave me a bad review,” he said. “Journalists — either you like it or you don’t like it, and you have to do your job as a professional. But you have to behave like a professional.”
De la Renta says he has no plans to ban Horn from his upcoming shows.
What do you think of fashion critics? Do you take their opinions seriously?

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  • September 12th, 2012 by admin

Designers

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City’s inaugural class of designers-in-residence (DIRs) will proudly debut their collections tomorrow. The 5 emerging designers will debut the fashions they’ve been crafting since class began on March 1, 2012 for the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. After nearly 50 workshops and retail critiques, meetings with designers and countless hours of production DIRs (Designers in Residence) will present their spring 2012 collections on their biggest stage yet: the runway in Macy’s Center City Grand Court.

The Macy’s Fashion Show will happen at the Grand Court of Macy’s Center City at 1300 Market Street tomorrow from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Here are the profiles of the designers participating in the program:Autumn Kietponglert, Heartless Revival
Autumn Kietponglert is an award-winning Philadelphia-based independent fashion designer whose work has been shown across the world. Her hard work and commitment to her craft are just some of the reasons why Kietponglert was selected as Designer-In-Residence for the 2012 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator.
Throughout the years Kietponglert has shown her work at major fashion events around the world, including Philadelphia Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week (NYC), Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (NYC) and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She has also shown in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago and has had art exhibitions in Florence and Philadelphia. Editorials featuring her designs, styling and writing have been published internationally in France, Germany and the UK. Kietponglert has a Bachelors Degree in Fibers from The University of the Arts and a Masters Degree from Drexel University in Fashion Design. In addition, she has studied in Florence, New York and Paris.
Kietponglert currently runs two design houses, Autumnlin Atelier and Heartless Revival. Autumnlin Atelier creates one-of-a-kind and limited edition haute couture using hand-pleated silk, sculpted exotic leather and undulating zipper-tooth panels. The gowns are hand-pleated and draped making each individual garment much like a fingerprint. Dreams serve as the primary inspiration, creating a story that becomes the visual prose for all collections. The Heartless Revival design house is also inspired by dreams, the inherent dark nature of the label: pale, beautiful, cold and quiet, with shades of darkness and light while incorporating a historic silhouette and a desire to connect with the Victorian era.

Ideal

Kaitlyn Doherty, Kaitlyn Elizabeth.
Kaitlyn Doherty has always been inspired by the world around her. Her advanced education and extensive European travels make her an ideal fit as Designer-In-Residence for the 2012 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City.
Doherty graduated from Philadelphia University in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design. While at school she wasted no time making her mark on the fashion scene in Philadelphia. Several honors include the Young Spirit Award for Excellence in Childrenswear, Best Student Made Handbag Inspired by the Colors of Vitaminwater for the 2011 Independents Handbag Designer Awards (IHDA) and her Springtime in Paris dress was featured in the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts fashion show as well as included at the Philadelphia International Flower Show in March 2011. Doherty was also chosen to represent Philadelphia University in Project OR in Salt Lake City, UT earning the People’s Choice Award and 1st Runner Up for her Easy Rider jacket which she constructed in just 48 hours.
Doherty launched her company “Kaitlyn Doherty” in her hometown of Horsham, PA, shortly after her graduation debuting her collection inspired by the architecture she came to love during her time spent in Europe. Studying abroad in Rome, Italy gave her the opportunity to travel throughout the country from Capri and Florence to Milan and Venice, as well as to other countries including Greece and the Czech Republic. Doherty is often inspired by the architecture of each place she travels, which is reflected in the aesthetic she infuses into each of her designs.

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  • September 8th, 2012 by admin

Social

Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson, Aso Damisi.
Taking a cue from their Nigerian roots, this sister team is ready to make a splash in the fashion industry incorporating the tradition of their past and the passion of their future. Latifat Obajinmi and Moriamo Johnson are the creators of Aso Damisi (ah-SHAW DAH-me-see) and are the perfect team for the 2012 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City.
Both sisters were born in Nigeria and relocated to the United States at a very young age. Moriamo and Latifat originated from the Yoruba- speaking tribe in the West African nation where “Aso” means cloth or clothing and “Damisi” means prosperity. The colors, vibrancy, and styles of the clothing worn hold significance as they represent social standing, age, tribal orientation and marital status.
The talented duo are self-taught designers. Moriamo, a wife and mother having earned two degrees in Chemistry from Rutgers University, has always had a great passion for the fashion industry. Her sister, Latifat is earning a degree in Human Resource Management and has an eye for fashion. Latifat took notice of new trends and styles through her work in fashion retail and envisioned different fashions in her head, sketching them whenever she had a chance.
The sisters hope that the Aso Damisi clothing line will increase the popularity of African-inspired wear in the US apparel market. In recent years, the sisters began creating different outfits out of traditional wax print fabrics, with an influence of American designer labels. The line is designed for women who are not afraid to step out in something vibrant, colorful and fresh.

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  • September 7th, 2012 by admin

Fashion Textile Design

Melissa D’Agostino, D’AGOSTINO Fashion Textile Design Melissa D’Agostino’s one of a kind designs showcase the hand-made touches that make her a perfect fit as Designer-In-Residence for the 2012 Philadelphia Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Center City.
Owner and Sole Designer of D’AGOSTINO Fashion Textile Design, D’Agostino possesses a BFA in Sculptural Fine Arts and a Minor in Textiles from Moore College of Art and Design, graduating in 2002. D’AGOSTINO Fashion Textile Design operates as a home-based business, which launched in 2009, where D’Agostino independently creates slow fashion collections working directly with clients, creating one garment at a time. The D’Agostino collection begins with her artistic skill developing hand-made, hand-dyed print designs and techniques that create the fabric for a dynamic clothing and accessory line.
D’Agostino’s vision has received recognition from Women’s Opportunity Resource Center winning first prize in a Business Plan Competition as well as the Community Impact Award for her custom design work in May 2011. A big influence for D’Agostino’s collection is the hand-made movement which she contributes to part-time as a hand block painter at Galbraith and Paul Textile and Lighting Studio. She raises awareness for the slow growth fashion movement through her membership in local groups and national organizations such as “3 by Three,” a design collective initiated in January 2010 while also serving as an active member of the Philadelphia Guild for Handweavers since 2005.

Zara

Fast-changing fashion ranges and a drive to win new customers online and in emerging markets helped Spain’s Inditex, the world’s biggest clothing retailer and owner of the Zara brand, to beat first-half profit forecasts on Wednesday.
Inditex, which runs eight brands including upmarket Massimo Dutti, youth label Bershka and underwear store Oysho, said net profit rose by a third as market share gains largely offset lower spending in its recession-hit home market.
Retailers across Europe are mostly struggling as shoppers’ disposable incomes are squeezed by rising prices, muted wage growth and austerity measures.
But those tapping into growth areas like online shopping, emerging markets and “fast fashion” – where affordable versions of new styles can be brought from the catwalk into stores in as little as a fortnight – are still able to thrive.
British online fashion retailer ASOS also posted a surge in quarterly sales on Wednesday.
“The drivers are certainly there – the rapid rollout of online sales and fast fashion – but even so it’s a spectacular performance,” said Societe Generale analyst Anne Critchlow of Inditex’s results.
At 1025 GMT, Inditex shares were up 1.9 percent at 93.84 euros. The stock has risen 45 percent this year, far outperforming the European retail sector which is up 6.6 percent and the Spanish blue-chip index, down 4.9 percent.
Inditex, whose founder Amancio Ortega is now Spain’s richest person and the world’s fifth-wealthiest according to the Forbes list of billionaires, was one of the pioneers of fast fashion. The model is now widely copied and things are still speeding up. On Tuesday British fashion chain Topshop streamed fashion models live from the catwalk via social media, allowing shoppers to make immediate purchases.
Zara’s Spanish website features 92 products that are new this week, including a black lace dress with long sleeves for 49.95 euros, a black fur coat for 399 euros and a box-shaped red and black clutch bag for 49.95 euros.

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  • September 5th, 2012 by admin

Inditex

ONLINE AND EMERGING MARKETS.
Inditex said it made a first-half net profit of 944 million euros ($1.2 billion), beating a forecast of 905 million in a Reuters poll of banks and brokerages.
Sales at stores open over a year were up 7 percent from the start of the third quarter through to September 17, it added.
Hennes & Mauritz, the world’s second largest fashion retailer, said earlier this week unusually warm weather in Europe dented demand for autumn clothes and led to an unexpected drop in sales in August.
With more than 5,600 stores across 85 countries, Inditex plans to open between 480 and 520 new retail outlets this year, many of them in the world’s second-largest economy China, where it launched a website at the start of this month.
Despite its global reach Inditex’s market penetration remains at low levels in most countries outside Spain and Portugal, with initial openings focused in key cities.
That has reduced the risk that its entry into online sales would simply drag existing customers out of its stores.
“Online is allowing Inditex to access customers that wouldn’t be near one of its concept stores,” said Critchlow.
Inditex has given no guidance on its online performance, but internet sales could be boosting growth to the tune of at least 2 percentage points, Societe Generale calculates.

Show start

After attending so many fashion shows in Kampala over the years, they have tended to get rather predictable. But not the Binti Africa Fashion show at Open House on Buganda Road. Not only did the show start on time, at 7, the eight designers that showcased on the night dazzled. Adela Muganga of M’Adeline, an established bridal brand opened the show with flirty strapless dresses with full skirts, and a halter neck gown with beaded detailing on the bodice. The setting was hardly glamorous, but the crop of new young designers that followed showed that they were looking to make their mark on the fashion scene.

Ozy Stylz and Twelliv fashion labels each showcased a line of jewellery, with Ozy stylz having bold statement pieces while Twelliv catered to the men.

Otakan had an African inspired yet totally modern collection of hip trendy designs in a tie & dye yellow and brown fabric. Perhaps, the biggest delight of the night was Gibbons Katule’s colourful collection of women’s trousers. The pleated, skinny-fit trousers were edgy, and Katule’s styling with simple vests and jewlery really hit the mark.

From Pank came a collection of one arm cocktail dresses and sparkly gowns in shades of green. Bambeera Couture was a fusion of African prints and draping. A velvet cut out dress opened this collection, followed by a series of draped gowns and black cocktail dresses. And the main event, the showstopper of the evening’s showcases was Clare Mullo of Billy Wings. Her passion of African textiles could be seen in her collection. From the bowtie and pocket hankies to the colourful fascinators and the micro miniskirts and shorts, the designs were youthful and trendy.

Another great aspect of the evening was the eclectic trio of Xabu band, three soulful ladies full of spank. The downside was perhaps the terrible sound system.

This was the first of many great events to come courtesy of Binti Africa, which means Daughter of Africa.

Fashion

I loved Priyanka Chopra in Fashion: Kareena Kapoor.
Kareena Kapoor seems to be having serious afterthoughts about a series of blunt comments she passed on rival Priyanka Chopra and her film Fashion.

When asked if her upcoming film Heroine was similar to Fashion, which shares the same director — Madhur Bhadarkar, she had told us, “Heroine is far bigger and better than Fashion.” Bebo, who had earlier also said that she does not care about a National Award — Priyanka got one for Fashion — now tells us that she ‘loved’ watching Priyanka Chopra in the movie.

“A lot is projected wrongly. We are very cordial with each other. I absolutely loved Priyanka in Fashion,” she said on a visit to Delhi on Tuesday.

But this is not a one sided attempt to mend fences. Kareena’s praise comes soon after Priyanka, who had earlier told us that she is ‘not friends’ with Kareena and that they are only ‘co-actors’, congratulated her publicly on her upcoming wedding with actor Saif Ali Khan. “They make a beautiful couple and I wish them all the best. It’s a new beginning for any girl and I can’t wait to see her as a bride,” PC said recently.Before this, she had reacted sharply to Bebo’s National Awards dig at her. “I guess if you don’t have it (a National Award), then sour grapes,” Chopra had said in a TV interview.

Meanwhile, Kareena is still not ready to discuss the ‘M’ word even as the invites are out for the world to see. “Whenever we decide it is the right time, we will tell the world about it.”

Boutique

Designer Maria Pinto creates chic fashion boutique in Field Museum collection.

There’s even a pair of (very) hot pants on display that look like they could be worn Saturday night at (fill in the name of whatever Chicago club is “happening” these days).

Here’s the catch to the shorts, though. They’re made of sealskin. They’re adorned, just so, with beads. They were constructed in Greenland, by an artisan of the Inuit Angmagssalik culture, for a woman who would likely never come within 1,200 miles of Studio 54.

And they’re on display at the museum because Chicago fashion designer Maria Pinto plucked them from the Field’s vast backstage area, where something over a million anthropological artifacts wait patiently for a chance in the light, however dim it may end up being.”There are a lot of fur pants that are actually in the (Field) collection,” said Pinto, who is best known as a favorite designer of first lady Michelle Obama. “But I saw the shorts and thought, ‘People need to see this.’ Every generation of designers think we’re cutting edge, and we invented it. The reality is, if you cut through history, sad to say, everything’s been done.”Well, maybe not quite everything. “Fashion and the Field Museum Collection: Maria Pinto” is an innovative response to a couple of provocative questions: How do you do something new with a museum exhibition? How do you find coherent ways to showcase artifacts across time and place, instead of in the usual, mono-cultural manner?

Another question at the root of the show: “How do you bring the collections out and stay true to what anthropology is today?” asked Alaka Wali, the Field’s curator of North American anthropology, who co-curated the show with Pinto.

“It was a great opportunity to break a lot of boundaries,” Pinto said this week, after the exhibit officially began its nine-month run. “I really wanted those pieces to be viewed. I wanted the viewer to think about the pieces, as opposed to being told what the piece was all about.”

So, yes, the exhibit is cross-cultural, reaching into Paraguay for a fringed leather waistband and West Africa for a crocodile-skin shirt, and then juxtaposing those and 23 other Field pieces with eight outfits designed by Pinto — one, a pants-and-jacket ensemble, designed especially for the show.

But the show also breaks rules by having almost no signage. So if you must know the provenance of that simply amazing translucent raincoat, made of seal intestine stitched for more than utilitarian reasons with red thread, then you can look at a key on the wall, or the video screen at the entrance that presents a slideshow of the pieces.

Newly

There, you would learn, for instance, that Pinto’s newly designed slender shearling pants “nod to the fur shorts” and that her ensemble’s color scheme derives from the exhibit’s Chinese “male actor’s headdress for theatrical opera,” with its bright red, Seussian pompoms rimming a bejeweled crown.
Or, as Pinto and Wali intended, you can just think about the clothes as objects of art, evaluating them without names.
“In a great work of art, the artist isn’t telling you what to look at,” said Pinto. “It’s there, and the artist isn’t telling you what to take away from it.”
Only the broadest of labels exist in the gallery: “Banding. Intestines. Structure,” for instance, and the call-and-response of “Sequins? Armor!”
“To us this is an art installation,” said Janet Hong, the Field’s project manager for exhibitions. “We wanted people to be a little unsure of what they were looking at.”
And to be pleased with the price, apparently: There’s no upcharge for this one. It’s part of the regular Field admission. If you’d like to see a version of the show for even less money and effort, you can view the same slideshow that’s part of the exhibit.
“Fashion and the Field Museum Collection” began in Pinto’s presentation of something similar, but in miniature, to the museum’s Women’s Board in 2010. That talk, by all accounts, went well, and it was decided to try it on a public scale.
Beginning last fall, she remembered, Pinto visited Field archives 10 or more times, selecting some 100 objects for possible inclusion.
Some were cut because, as sacred objects to their creators, the fashion-show context would be disrespectful. Some were just too obvious.
Pinto ended up with, arguably, only one piece of clothing, a Mongolian “deel,” or brocaded tunic, that subscribes to traditional Western notions of pretty garmentry.
Yet even this one has a twist that might make it, too, appropriate to a nightclub. Although the look is what we would think of as feminine, it could be worn, the slideshow tells us, by women or men.

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  • August 29th, 2012 by admin

Sunlight

Gucci by Sunlight.

The spring 2013 women’s ready-to-wear shows opened on one of those dreary gray mornings for which Milan is famous. A steady rain poured onto drab concrete streets and a thick fog hung low over a skyline dominated by aggressively stolid office buildings. What little light there was only seemed to highlight just how bleak the day promised to be.The rain matters, not simply because it portended disaster for all the editors with their fancy new shoes that would be broken in and broken down by cobblestones and puddles, but because when viewing a fashion show, context matters. There is already such a disconnect between when collections are debuted and the six months that pass before those clothes actually reach stores—a few buy-it-from-the-runway websites notwithstanding—that designers quietly strive to transport their audiences to an environment in which the clothes make sense. In subtle ways, audiences are influenced by sets, lighting, geography, time and temperature. Rule-breaking silhouettes are presented against raw and untamed backgrounds. Clothes meant to evoke nobility or traditional elegance are shown in gilded salons. The subtle grays and taupes of Giorgio Armani are perfectly suited to his austere Tadao Ando- designed theater. And Gucci, as defined by the exuberant aesthetic of Frida Giannini, needs sunlight. It is not a rainy-day collection.And so, as if by fervent prayer, the clouds dissipated in time for the Gucci presentation of long lean trousers and clean-lined tunics in shades of fuchsia, coral, cobalt blue, and teal. The collection, according to program notes, was inspired by the portraiture of photographers Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri. But those who are not students of the history of photography would more likely see allusions to the 1970s with the collection’s boldly colored leisure suits, Nehru collars, oversize prints, and breezy caftans for entertaining at home.

Feminine flourishes included chunky necklaces in not-quite primary hues and fluttering ruffles that decorated the collars, torsos, and keyhole backs of most every dress.

It was not a collection with a host of ideas, but rather one with a strong and emphatic point of view. Giannini’s colors were not bashful. Whether intense teal or mustard yellow, they were love-them or hate-them shades. A single print of an enlarged sea anemone came across as a declaration rather than a suggestion.

Line

As one model strutted down the runway in chartreuse suede shorts with a matching tunic, one tried to imagine where such an ensemble would be at home. Palm Beach? Palm Springs? These were clothes that were all about life in an effusive environment, a place where the clear light makes everything seem bigger, louder and more gregarious.They were not ostentatious as much as they were happy—in a grownup, made-peace-with-it-all way. For a designer who has spent so much time indulging the rock-and-roll infatuation of a fan girl, this was a collection that distills the flamboyance of rock-star style down to graceful enthusiasm.

The final gowns—white, ruffled and with well-placed displays of golden skin—recalled the much acclaimed white jersey gowns from the Tom Ford-Gucci era of the 1990s, which in turn gave a nod to the sleek 1970s of Halston. They are all distinctive, yet linked by their confidence, sensuality, and control. For Giannini, it was maturity made plain in the bright light of day.

Gucci sounded the opening bell of a week of runway presentations and showroom installations. This season marks the return of Jil Sander to her namesake label with a women’s ready-to-wear collection. Versus, the secondary line from Donatella Versace in collaboration with Christopher Kane, will be presented in the form of a concert with a performance by Beth Ditto. Miuccia Prada holds sway for her unpredictability. And Giorgio Armani remains the big dog to everyday Milanese. His show is Sunday night.

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  • August 26th, 2012 by admin

The models

Mulberry, Illincic wrap up London Fashion Week.

The models have packed up, the temporary runways are gone. London Fashion Week wrapped up Tuesday five hectic days of women’s wear shows, a whirlwind display of new colors and textures for next spring from big name designers and newcomers alike.

London hosts a more eclectic collection of designers and labels than fashion weeks in New York, Milan and Paris, and the latest crop of spring and summer designs seen this week has been a big mish-mash: Futuristic metallic leathers at Burberry, sweet ’50s pastels at Temperley, ’70s disco fever at Jonathan Saunders, and ’90s minimalism at quite a few other shows.

While there was no overriding theme, there were micro-trends set to make their way to high-street stores come spring. All-white and monochrome outfits were seen everywhere, as were pretty confectionery shades of mint and lemon.

Futuristic

Futuristic, shiny materials like plastic or fabrics with a foil-like, iridescent or even holographic sheen were popular, as was the use of sheer, feminine layers in organza, chiffon or mesh.
Things kicked off Tuesday with ’70s-inspired florals, wide-leg trousers and mannish suits at luxury label Mulberry, best-known for its leather handbags. The collection, delivered with a humorous British flair, nodded to several of the season’s popular trends: sleek trouser suits, all-season leather, metallic jacquard, and head-to-toe ice-cream pastel shades.
Model-turned-designer Roksanda Illincic followed with a collection of dresses with simple feminine shapes and minimal detailing, leaving her use of beautiful color combinations and glossy fabrics to do the talking.
Day Five also saw collections by a handful of younger and adventurous designers. Simone Rocha, the daughter of British fashion institution John Rocha, deftly combined schoolgirl innocence and tough attitude, while maverick duo Meadham Kirchoff sent the party home with a spectacularly whimsical show of Marie Antoinette fashion gone mad.
Tuesday’s shows ended a week that saw models and celebrities like Kate Moss and One Direction’s Harry Styles flocking to the catwalks’ front row. Lady Gaga stole the limelight Sunday with a starring turn at milliner Philip Treacy’s comeback show.
The fashion brigade moves on to Milan for more shows that begin Wednesday. Paris Fashion Week begins next Tuesday.

Luxury brand

Mulberry.

Luxury brand Mulberry has ditched most of the playfulness in its recent seasons, showcasing a spring collection that’s still quirky but definitely grown-up.
Mulberry’s show at London’s swanky Claridge’s hotel was decorated with dozens of garden gnomes and fake geckos crawling on rose bushes – a typically wacky atmosphere of pretty English garden meets exotic creatures.
But appearances were deceptive, and the clothes themselves were more sophisticated than the setting suggested.
Creative director Emma Hill sent models down the catwalk in oversized leather biker jackets and mannish tuxedos in navy, black and white.
The 1970s-inspired collection had floral embroidery, floor-length skirts, flower buttons and high-waisted wide legs, updated with metallic jacquard printed with mini-flowers and geckos.
Leather separates and trouser suits balanced flirty pleated skirts. There were muted brown ensembles along with head-to-toe sweet pastels in mint and peach – including pastel-colored shoes and handbags, the brand’s bestselling item.

Series

Roksanda Illincic.

Taking her inspiration from artists, Roksanda Illincic’s catwalk show had plenty of ensembles for the woman who wants to look stylish without trying too hard. Simple, streamlined shapes like tailored shifts and breezy A-line dresses came in high-impact color combinations that really popped: Tangerine with cobalt, mango, dirty pink or white.
Sometimes all the colors came together on one dress, like a modern abstract painting.
Models cradled oversized satin clutch bags and wore patent courts with multi-colored block heels.
The show, staged in the Savoy Hotel’s glamorous ballroom, ended with a series of ensembles made in a glossy, laminated organza.
Illincic counts U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Britain’s Kate Middleton among fans of her sleek style. Her show had many of her popular signature elements: beautiful colors, high-waisted silhouettes, feminine bell sleeves and modest mid-calf or ankle-grazing hemlines.
But this season the designer said she wanted to shake up the elegance with casual wear – like taking an evening dress shape and making it out of T-shirt or jersey materials.
“It gives an element of fun, something unexpected,” she said.

Models

Simone Rocha.
Budding talent Simone Rocha has her designer dad’s giant shoes to fill, but she seems to be taking it all in her stride.
The 26-year-old showcased her latest spring collection at London Fashion Week Tuesday, a collection of all-white outfits, sheer cut-out panels, neons and leather that mixed schoolgirl innocence with cool attitude.
The collection started with dazzling white button-up shirts and boyish shapes in Broderie Anglaise, but the prim look was soon undercut by thigh-revealing, irregular shaped sheer panels on the front or back of skirts.
High-collared, neat shapes in muted shades of butter and toffee followed, but soon things were shaken up with a pale sundress overlaid with a high-shine neon yellow PVC plastic, all-over metallic gold foil vests and skirts, and floral-crocheted skirts and oversized jackets in fluorescent yellow and neon coral.
Models wore mannish brogues with clear plastic soles and heels, a design that has been worn by celebrities including Rihanna and proved to be Rocha’s best-selling product.
Rocha debuted at London Fashion Week in 2010.
Meadham Kirchoff.
English-French design duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff are known for staging riotously fun and different shows, and this season they did not fail to meet expectations with a collection piled high with over-the-top, Marie Antoinette style corsets, bodices, bows and frills.
Although the invitation and the opening track told of a humorous “damsel in distress” theme, the models were more like fairy godmothers with an enchanted wardrobe.
Acting sleepy or deep in thought in their theatrical outfits, models drifted around stands set up on the catwalk and plucking roses and cupcakes from them.
There were puffy sleeves, thigh-high boots, feather gloves and big skirts layered over skinny trousers, all embellished with lashings of bows and jewels.
Not very practical, but certainly shows the fun and entertaining face of London fashion.