It has been a crazy couple of months. I hope this message finds you in good health and spirits. I wanted to take a quick break from fashion critiques and just level with you all.
Sickness, quarantine, protests across America. There’s so much devastating news everyday. If you’re like me, at home most days, trying to figure out a way to make a positive impact, consider donating if you are able. There are several reliable organizations that are helping people and communities affected by Covid19 and groups pushing further for equal rights.
Feeding America, founded in 1979, takes action against hunger and providing health programs in the US. They provide food for 46 million people across the country through 60,000 food banks and meal programs. 93% of every dollar goes directly to programs.
The Hunger Project was founded in 1977 in hopes of finding sustainable methods to end world hunger. Encouraging people to lead self sufficient lives, they are involved and committed to mobilizing village clusters at the grassroots level to build self-reliance, empowering women as key change agents, and forging effective partnerships with local government. 80.5% of expenses goes directly to programs, plus another 8% towards fundraising costs.
Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, an acclaimed public interest lawyer and bestselling author of Just Mercy, the Equal Justice Initiative works to end mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States. EJI provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in state jails and prisons. They challenge excessive punishment provide re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people. 91% of expenses go to services and 2% is used for fundraising.
Center for Law and Social Policy, CLASP, was founded in 1968. It has been a trusted resource for system change. They advocate for policies at the federal, state and local levels that improve the lives of low income people. 89% of the charity’s expenses go towards services and another 7% goes towards fundraisers.
Friends, please continue to educate yourselves on how to be an ally of anti-racism. Stateside, exercise the power of your voice by voting at local and national levels, so we can continue to move forward as a society with leaders who keep all of us safe.
These are simply a few suggestions. A place to start. I’m sure any organization that resonates with you with be appreciative to your contribution.
charitynavigator.org can be a resource in helping you find a comprehensive list of where you can be of assistance! There is so much we can do to help others back up after such trying times.🖤
Fashionightmares is listing the above organizations as suggestions, not endorsements.
February 14-18 was London Fashion Week and Milan followed right on its heels, showing Feb 19-24. As we discuss European fashions, where genuine voice and authentic skill reigns, there is sure to be something awe inspiring. Or perhaps a bit mystifying…let’s take a look! And don’t forget to tune back in for full length show videos.
When was the last time you saw a muff? Have you ever seen a muff? They dotted the Shrimps runway, and I didn’t hate it. Inspirations came from 40s styles and regality, particularly Princess Margaret. It seemed to fall a little on the bourgeoisie side, but it’s worth noting that the company worked with an Italian mill that created environmentally conscious fabrics. Coats are made of a short sable fur that gives you the look without the guilt.
Make and entrance and have an out of body experience, says Matty Bovan. He hoped to challenge silhouettes as he experimented with collage, layering, draping and knitting with upcycled denim, crystals and zealous prints. It was an intriguing point of view, but I won’t be holding my breath to see it on the mean streets of… well, anywhere. What a shame.
Ashley Williams cats and clowns and Mona Lisa’s, oh my! These odd sources of inspiration were haphazard in presentation. Acid washed, bow adorned, denim dress wasn’t cool while the money printed babydoll dress was kitschy, but unimpressive. Brand loyalist can relax knowing her signature fringe hems were incorporated.
A well thought out presentation is just as strong as a runway in my opinion. Temperley London exceed once again, sharing relaxed and crisp styles. Models meandered about in a Georgian townhouse on Breton Street wearing jazz and flapper inspired creations. Quilting, pearl buttons, even tasteful sheer made dresses indulged in romance as much as they did strength. It made me very happy to see such pretty and practical day wear options. 6 handbags are available for the first time from the company. I think I might try a 3 piece suit this fall for myself.
Now onto Milan, it’s always a treat to see inspiring ways that brands we love put styles through a new approach or from a different viewpoint that are totally innovative. Fashion after all, is the second largest business sector in Italy after industrial fabrication!
Vivetta used upcycled and certified recycled fabrics in 30% of its show. It was calmer than before, but still very unique, using countryside landscapes on jackets, dresses and skirts. 10 black and white pieces closed out the show of 40 ensembles, but the pops of colorful items gave off a cheerful vibe. Charismatic and sustainable, there isn’t a single reason not to adore these styles.
Giorgio Armani actually cancelled the show and live streamed it, because of the Corona virus breaking out in Italy. Archived couture pieces from the past 10 years of Asian influence were shown in solidarity and sympathy of the spreading disease.
The runway was a very rich, almost entirely in black and full of velvety attire. Proportional and gorgeously tailored, the beauty exuded despite the chaos around it. Standouts included double breasted jackets that paired well with soft shades of neon green and pink.
One more note worth mentioning, to protect industry stakeholders employees and guests, his Dubai event in April has also been cancelled. Hopefully we will get the strong arm over this disease soon
Gucci runways often remind me of shopping thrift. Yes, there are treasures all around, but its up to us to find them. And that can be a daunting task at times, even a fruitless endeavor. I fully planned on ripping the collection to its thread for sport, but I have to admit I was impressed with it’s spirit. Leather harnesses were the odd accessory of the season, especially paired with a childlike school uniform or pinafore.
70s hippies and 90s grunge, even Catholicism inspired this runway to the fullest maximalist ability. Attendees even were allowed backstage to witness hair and makeup before models went out for the show. Alessandro Michele’s wanted the unseen work in a fashion show to be apart of the spectacle. “I have always considered the fashion show as an event bursting with enchantment”. He added that he feels a fashion show is a ritual for him. It’s intense and out of the ordinary. Epiphanies and expanded thoughts can divide what seems sensible. Where fashion can go beyond clothing and be art, Gucci will make sure that art is one of a kind. Even if it might be reaching for the moon.
The truest fashionightmare moment was Phillip Plein’s ill considered runway; a tribute to the late Kobe Bryant. Limited edition, rhinestone jerseys, sneakers and sweaters upset fans for good reason. It felt like a cheap attention grab. But wait, there’s more! He lined the runway with gold helicopters. Then Plein claimed the show had been planned months before the unexpected incident and the helicopters couldn’t be omitted, it was just “bad timing”. He told Page Six that he will donate profits of the capsule collection to Bryant’s foundation, but he could have just owned up to poor execution. Maybe next time don’t try to capitalize on a tragedy!
What was your favorite show from London or Milan Fashion Week?
Photos courtesy of Vogue and Elle
Quote from Alessandro Michele, Fashionista.com, Tyler Mccall, Feb 20, 2020
Hollywood’s biggest night, February 9, had many a noteworthy garb. And the Oscars After Party arrivals were better than the event itself! And of course, we immediately turn to fashion events all around the world, with celebrities front row at favorites in New York City and Paris Fashion Week. See some of the stunning styles below, and share which is your favorite in comments!
Sandra Oh killed it both at the Oscars, in Elie Saab and the After Party, in Cong Tri!
Selma Hayek in Gucci
Keanu Reeves (L) in Dolce and Gabbana and Brad Pitt (R)
Natalie Portman in Christian Dior
Olivia Coleman in Stella McCartney. I always enjoy a multicolor gown, and as a velvet number? That’s a winner, for sure.
Usher in Balmain
Kerry Washington in Zuhair Murad. This Egyptian hieroglyphic, sequined 2 piece set was amazing.
Regina King in Prada. I really liked the frosty blue color in contrast to black, studded detailing on the straps and hem.
Tracee Ellis Ross wowed in a gold pleated and caped Zuhair Murad gown. It was a bold choice in dress, but perfectly accessorized with those delicate earrings and orange lipstick. Kudos!
Leslie Jones, Heidi Klum and Rachel Bilson front row at Christian Siriano show in New York City.
Zendaya and Ashley Benson brought stunning style to New York Fashion Week!
Janelle Monae attends Balmain(L) and Kate Bosworth at Chloe in Paris, France.
Joe Keery attends Harper’s Bazaar Exhibition at Paris Fashion Week with Maika Monroe.
Guess what time it is? That’s right fashionistas, its fashion month! Time to brave the world of fashion as we take a look at shows from all over the globe. So many styles had my heart skipping a beat and plenty left me shaking my head. We start, as always, in New York City. From February 3 through 12, designers hosted parties and models sauntered down runways. Celebrities sat front row while photographers snapped photos of incredible street style. See some of the highlights from the swift moving event.
At the Natural History Museum, Brandon Maxwell shared everyday pieces. It was a show where the materials were the focal point, and fitted well against a rugged American backdrop. Expressive shapes created a confident, coherent voice in men’s and women’s wear. Liquid like silk, Canadian Tuxedos and cinched waists elevated classic pairings. Meanwhile, halter bias cut dresses and sporty ideas, like a satin gown paired with a fanny pack, offered a more mischievous approach to evening wear. Sheer capes (for lack of a better word), offered a breezy note to a number of denser fabrics like tortoise shell suede, alpaca, cashmere and leather. Though some felt it was out of place, I found it refreshing.
The red finale gown will be part of the museum’s upcoming exhibition, “The Nature of Color,” opening March 9, which explores the role and power of color in the natural world and in human cultures.
Grounded, but still free to roam, Tory Burch offered one of her most romantic collections yet. Artist Francesca DiMattio designed the floral prints seen throughout the collection. Those floral printed boots are on my must-have-immediately list! Edwardian concepts were featured as well, free flowing pleated skirts and high necklines. Ruching details and cross-body bags also contributed to the nonconformist energy of the runway. One of the prettiest pieces was a chunky knit sweater vest paired with a sheer blouse. It’s bold turquoise color and unique style came across as an outfit for all season, the most charming idea of them all.
A CFDA finalist last year now has Alejandra Alonso Rojas on the catwalk. Knits, suede, leather and natural dyeing made for a cozy and personal collection. A little too much sheer didn’t fit the traditional angle we’ve come to know and love from this brand. The collection palette, however, was warm and inviting. It was easy to imagine many of the styles peppered amongst a cafe, as people relaxed on a crisp October afternoon, relishing every drop of their pumpkin spice latte.
Gabriela Hearst wants to eliminate plastic and the carbon footprint of her fashion shows. Shredded paper bales along the runway were a metaphor to her ambition. It seemed like a clever way to incorporate company resources, but was it used paper, or specifically made for the show? And we hope it was still recycled afterwards!
Getting back to the clothing, suiting got a fresh update and there were plenty of snug knits to curl up in. Coats and handbags were re-purposed from Turkish kilim remnants. Colorblock coats were even made from existing outerwear that were deconstructed and reassembled! The collection’s chunky knit scarves were hand-knit by the Manos del Uruguay collective, from the designers home country. The belted rainbow cardigan and collared eyelet button down sweater were standout pieces. Every look was paired with boots, which I also found to be a smart way to avoid waste. A few pairs of sturdy seasonal footwear are not just a smart investment for customers, but a relief to the environment as well.
Longchamp’s, a family owned business, founded in Paris, now run out of New York City and seeing a growing Asian market, is staying on its toes. It is really great to see global fashion fused together on one runway. Things can feel very divisive these days, but the art of fashion transcends beyond that. How we dress, whatever corner of the world we live in, has a powerful ability to help us find some common ground. And that is a relief to my soul.
A sweater + flowing skirts + boots formula was used prominently as our fall go-to recipe. Cinched waists added an extra nod to femininity. Fall’s favorite color, oxblood, was incorporated with a 70’s mode in cute embroidered dresses. Outerwear came in a variety, from ponchos to a single breasted, over sized leopard print fur. Cropped sweaters brought in a youthful, trendy element. As they are a staple of the brand, a range of accessories ranging from small to large, accompanied the attire for fully composed ensembles. Ready when you are.
70s horror films, including Daughters of Darkness and Black lace, as well as Morticia Addams were named as sources of inspiration for Anna Sui. A little bit of magic, possibly even witchcraft is coming our way this fall. Custom prints, sequin details and embroideries were featured prominently under mood shifting light. Prairie dresses and Victorian elements paired divinely next to neighboring ensembles made up of leather. Bell sleeves, patchwork and luxe outerwear paired with flamboyant makeup and hairstyles elevated the spellbinding fantasy. One outfit was even paired with devil horns! This collection will leave you feeling mystical all season long.
Just don’t forget to energize your crystals by moonlight, my pretties.
In Michael Kors we trust, because this collection was timeless. While some might prefer something more vociferous, there is power in elegance. The designer himself said, “The best clothes feel like a security blanket -when you put them on you feel like you are ready to face the world…luxury is longevity. The dress you dispose of after buying it for $12 to wear on Instagram, it’s time to move on.”
From furs to quilted parkas, wool melton cape jackets to shearling coats, you will have your choice in outerwear. Fall staples like plaid and paisley dotted the runway. A leather weave mixed with Aran cotton was a standout. It even has a matching scarf! Equestrian attire, paired with flawless riding boots, was brought in for easy going day wear, but not quite leaning into ideas of athleisure. It’s perfect for days when you must brave the chill and still plan to look good. Thank you for thinking of that, MK! Cozy and chic over sized cashmere gave the line it’s signature strength.
If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, eco-friendly pieces were made too! A black turtleneck smock dress is made from a recycled polyester viscose blend. It’s sequins are made from recycled plastic bottles.
I love the pattern play on the look from the left. While I like that polka dots on the one from the right, the wide shape has made my enthusiasm for mini tulle dresses short lived. Which Outfit of the Day do you prefer?
A few other amazing styles right from the runway. What was your favorite collection from NYFW?
Images courtesy of Vogue, Elle, Fashionista and WWD
Awards season has kicked off and the styles have been as spectacular as they have questionable. But for this post, which I plan on making a monthly addition to fashionightmares, is to share event fashions that I enjoyed. A few red carpet outings this month included the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and the Grammy’s. Take a look below at favorites from each show. And don’t forget to check back in for the worst dressed picks on Style!
Golden Globe Awards, January 5, 2020 in Los Angeles
Cate Blanchett in Mary Katrantzou
I loved the soft pleated fabric and double hem tier on the skirt!
Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
A great color combination on this Grecian style gown!
Charlize Theron in Dior Couture
I am so enthralled by layered sheer materials. It is so airy and graceful. Although this gown did remind me of Shego from Kim Possible, haha!
The best suiting of the Golden Globes definitely went to Milo Ventimiglia and Arsenio Hall! Good choice with the bow ties, gentlemen.
Critics Choice Awards, January 12,2020 in Los Angeles
Chrissy Metz in a stunning Honore Private Label dress.
Kate Beckinsale really brought the glam in this unique Julien x Gabriela ensemble.
Lupita Nyong’o in an ethereal custom Michael Kors gown. The mixed materials elevated simplicity of the gowns cut for quiet, gorgeous drama.
Grammy’s, January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles
Lana del Rey bought her Aidan Mattox gown last minute at a shopping mall! SHe absolutely dazzled, and it was so cool her album, Norman F***ing Rockwell was nominated, it was my favorite for album of the Year.
Jameela Jamil in Georges Chakra. This flirty, textured gown was a really fun number.
Quavo in custom Prada. The double breasted jacket was very posh, especially with those sparkling details that matched the brash coloring of his suit!
London fashion week was held September 14 to 17, all over the greater London area. Change is the theme of the season as the UK deals with Brexit delays and a possible no deal outcome in late October. But as the pound’s value fluctuates, therefore influencing shopping habits, on a positive note, there’s a push from designers to open more factories and make clothing in the UK, which would benefit the industry. SS20 promoted inclusiveness and very, very wild creativity. See some of the top runway styles, and of course, a couple where you may need to shield your eyes (I warned you here). Don’t forget to tune back in for full length show videos.
Temperley London offered a posh but sweet collection of day wear celebrating decoration. Deep earth tones and soft pastels played well in classy prints. I loved the cardigan/dress knitwear combinations most. Romantic notes were hit with Victorian style ruffles along the necklines, cuffs and various ruching. Silk and poplin dresses, jersey kimonos shared from a helping of Venetian influence and tarot cards. Delicate embroideries, a dash of glitter and tulle juxtaposed against a play on the Canadian tuxedo and utilitarian outerwear.
This mix of pragmatism and piquant ideals made for a great variety of options. I mentioned in the NYFW post that I’ve really enjoyed those hodge podge collections. They’re optimistic and can co-mingle with other great pieces, sort of playing on the idea of a capsule.
Making it in fashion is one thing, and having the power to stay is another. Victoria Beckham isn’t bothered by either in this graceful 70’s infused spring collection. Vivid colors and volume don’t overwhelm when expertly layered and paired with neutrals. It was a confident and composed, and visually stunning. Plunging necklines were left bare or paired with a contrasting top or worn over a turtleneck for that fashionable boost. (A great idea, for temperamental spring weather, too). A mix of business and leisure, this line included the likes of caftan and languid dresses, but never forget your power suit. Thanks for the reminder that a woman can be strong and like pretty things VB!
Sportswear and ideas of leisure came to be bloviated and sloppy at Natasha Zinko. A pocketed, front zip-up mini dress and similar colored boiler jumpsuit were saviour’s amongst a bandana frenzy. Unfortunately, the bandana idea only got worse as the collection filled out featured as tie tops, duster jackets, even bermuda style shorts. The collection was made from recycled and upcycled material, so I’ll give them a thumbs up, but there has to be a better way than ill assorted patchwork. Also, socks and flip flops are absolutely 100% never ever allowed, ever.
Molly Goddard is being featured in the British Academy of Film and TV Arts exhibit in London. Although the frilly pink dress featured on Killing Eve was one of my least favorites, it was made for Villanelle. And though that frilly, voluminous tulle isn’t so much my speed, it was tolerable as a featured part of this runway in a more streamlined silhouette. Even a large circle skirt pared with a billowy crop top was vociferous, even if it might be reaching for the moon. Paneled jackets and ribbon embellished sweaters were much more up my alley, while pin tucked tops and skirts and ruffled taffeta frocks weren’t so palatable. Crossbody bags and denim were new featured pieces this season, so maybe there is a shift in the winds for future seasons. Or we’re just privileged to see some depth from this brand.
Erdem was inspired by Tina Modotti, a silent movie actress who joined the communist party in Mexico. Due to her political ideology, she seemed like an odd choice for a muse. Erdem Moralioglu said he chose her because she was a romantic, revolutionary woman of principle. The clothing had exaggerated shape with tasteful fringe, heritage and strength. All these elements combined to make a very beautiful collection. The beaded earrings and brooches gave it all an extra special touch.
Bucket List item:
Mixed media jackets from Ports 1961
My least favorite runway from London was from Simone Rocha. Despite a red sequined gown, it was a folklore storytelling of Celtic wren boys. Outfits that ballooned out were very, very vintage. Rounded out shapes were physically meant to represent a bird. Crocheted pieces and rafia straw bags further fit into the theme. It may have made for an interesting play for cultural profoundness, but would have been better in smaller doses, perhaps.
While Thornton by Preen’s composition was of sustainably sourced viscose and Georgette made from recycled bottles, it felt mostly vacuous. However, the flutter-y blue dress was a standout. 16 Arlington went overboard with the feathers and fringe. On the bright side, I kind of like the feathered cuffs against a plain hem and collar, and feathers are usually nonnegotiable for me. Western elements from Shrimps felt a bit too kitschy for me as well.
Chalayan’s odd avant garde attire just lost me completely while Richard Quinn went heavy handed on the volume. Christopher Kane’s overall aesthetic wasn’t horrific, but it definitely got weird. Finally, JW Andersen was another story telling collection with folklore elements of goddesses; crystal belts, rope bras and hooded cotton tunics. Creative, but not so viable. Though upon a second look, if some of the runway bravado is stripped away, it seems pretty wearable. I guess it’s just up to the individual. What did you think about London fashion week?
I can’t believe its already September! Summer flew right on by, but I can’t complain, since its that time of year for fresh fashion notions. September 6-14 in New York City kicked off our beloved fashion month, and below are just a handful of the presentations from the week. Stay tuned as we cover spring […]
I can’t believe its already September! Summer flew right on by, but I can’t complain, since its that time of year for fresh fashion notions. September 6-14 in New York City kicked off our beloved fashion month, and below are just a handful of the presentations from the week. Stay tuned as we cover spring and summer styles from around the globe.
Sharing contemporary takes on modern and traditional style, Concept Korea is a brand bringing emerging Korean designers to the major markets. Korean style is something I always have my eye on. There’s so much depth and variations of dress that make it super trendy. Because Seoul has a small, it has challenges reaching press and buyers in NYC and Paris. So the South Korean government has created this program to help further growth as Seoul becomes a fashion capital. The brands featured were feminine Leyii, creative and bright LIE by Lee Chung Chung and sportswear by IISE Corp.
The collections are distributed worldwide in boutiques, popups, free standing stores in Seoul, and LIE Sangbong has a store open in the meatpacking district in New York. Additionally, IISE is available online
It was big news that Rebecca Minkoff partnered with Stitch fix, creating an adjustable capsule wardrobe with sizing ranging from xxs to 3xx. High waists, cutout boots, bejeweled slingbacks and swishy dresses were all the pieces to love this season. The mix between neutrals and bold colors presented together, and by color for the show, made for an alluring presentation. Working women inspired this collection and the pragmatism was definitely noticed. The “normal” pieces were elevated, sweater with studded detailing and crisp blazer over a metallic dress. A utility jumpsuit paired with a leopard print heart shape bag, shearling offered in vegan and non vegan options, even a woman breastfeeding during the showcase, all embraced the actuality of a woman’s day to day and made it comfortable.
Christian Siriano said, “we need to have a little fun in our lives,” and that’s what he did for the spring/summer season. The pantsuit dominated in lush materials and a soft green palette, with gorgeous motifs, inspired by New Orleans artist, Ashley Longshore. It was a more is more runway, but personally, I could have used a low key clothing option here or there. This collection ran particularly heavy on evening wear options, a plisse lettuce edge sleeve gown, a stunning iridescent trench and more cocktail dresses than one person could wear in an entire year, let alone a season. But you know I love a good rainbow piece, and there were about 4 lame looks towards the end of the show that really wowed, only to be left with big, messy tulle gowns that closed out the show.
You expect what you see at fashion week to be beautiful, but Sies Marjan left me floored. From the first navy blazer set to cascade down the staircase (which also came in red later on), this show was a monochrome lovers dream. The teal pieces might have been my favorite. It seemed to have a little European influence in its quite power. If I have to force a critique on you, it’s that there were a few elongated shirts left unbuttoned and un-tucked, and with the rest of the runway being so structured and refined, that styling seemed out of place.
Ulla Johnson’s runway was crafted, so obviously it dazzled. This soulful presentation included elements from all around the world. Dresses were loomed in India and bags hand beaded in Africa. There was recycled glass jewelry, Japanese shibori dye prints, Afghani embroidery and Dutch wax print dresses. This globally inspired collection was a winner for me. I can’t wait until it’s available!
Bohemia’s never been so good at Anna Sui. She stated spring was a challenge, but you wouldn’t know that from such a flawless presentation. Using the likes of chiffon and Victoriana, for lighter, romantic elements. There was some tougher notes by way of khaki jackets and combat boots, given a sugar sweet update in neon and paired against sheer bomber jackets. Tiered, embroidered dresses in lilac to daffodil were a standout, but long layered cardigans and eyelet ponchos over even longer, sweeping floor length dresses were inspirational high notes as well. And what’s spring without floral’s and chambray? Pair them with the trending bucket hat and you’re an It-girl.
Wes Gordon is keeping Carolina Herrera’s crisp, cutting edge style mixed with all the fun one could wish for alive and well. Everything was perfectly constructed. He played with larger shapes this season, especially in the sleeves. But puffy sleeves are all the rage right now and added flair when it wasn’t necessarily expected. My favorite was that black and white plaid skirt, styled three ways. I loved that practicality, right there to be visualized. I know I want to wear my seasonal favorites all the time, and it was so smart to showcase what else in the collection pairs with another piece for more unique ensembles.
Alejandra Alonso Rojas shared serious but relaxed ensembles in timeless silhouettes. Suede belts, pearl accents, silk suits and dip dyed sweaters were made for ambling down quiet cobblestone streets on a Eruopean getaway or enjoying a sunset at the beach. A linen silk blend will be perfect for hot days or opt for a crocheted dress with fringe when you run out for (another) scoop of gelato. Bermuda shorts seem like a much better alternative to bike shorts, wouldn’t you agree? Whatever is calling to you from this collection, there isn’t a wrong choice.
The Row showed at their Greenwich studio, always stating a call back to basics. I loved the play with proportions, especially using a maxi skirt. I was just thinking about when I last wore one, and I loved the idea of simply pairing it with a crisp button down, untucked and paired with Tevas. Polished but placid, but if you need top off your look, match it with an impeccably tailored blazer or jacket. Don’t worry about any embellishments either, let the power of this clothing speak for itself.
Vera Wang’s first runway in 2 years was to celebrate 30 years in the business. She called it California Dreaming, but this isn’t the easy going in paradise vibe that may have jumped to mind. This was a runway Lana Del Rey could croon her sad Hollywood song to. Some may still be confused, but if you picked up on the cynicism, you have to smirk. Backstage, Wang shared that the collection is a tension between extreme structure and the softness and delicacy of lingerie. It’s layering to reveal.
Mini to maxi styles had a backdrop of sturdier materials like wool and herringbone mixed with sheer, chain mail and lace. One of the best element was elbow high leather gloves. The mix of materials was very chic, but not all the layers worked. Some crop tops were unusual choices and disheveled varieties seemed oddly paired to sleeker looks. Where it hoped to loosen the structure here and there, it fell flat. However, there were only a handful of these instances, the construction of the whole runway stayed fairly consistent.
Brock collection’s play with proportions and easy silhouettes as they celebrated 5 years of creating high fashion. Jaquard, poplin and denim were all mixed on this runway for every stage of life. It’s been a lot of fun to see all kinds of styles blended together, forming a more cohesive picture of a person’s way to dress. How one can always be fashionable, whether its just to run to the grocery store or to attend the opera. Matching jacket/top separates offered up even more ways to extend a wardrobe, while billowing organza trains offered transitional options. Highlights for me personally, were a white empire waist dress with delicate puffy sleeves, dramatic corseted frocks and a stunning mauve dress with pearl encrusted straps and rounded skirt.
Inspired by fashion giants Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, this was unlike any Alexander Wang show you’ve seen before. Being it was the first ever fashion show held at Rockefeller Center, it was a show expected to wow. Of course, fundamentally it stayed true to his ethos, but the fusion-ed homage built up layers nicely nonetheless. Teeny tiny shorts, bold shoulders, corduroy and plaid were just a few elements woven into this runway. Closing the show were 10 all white logo pieces inspired by suffragettes who often wore the color, a remark about patriotism. Paired with a statue of liberty crown in the show and flags printed upside down, a symbol of distress, its apparent next year’s presidential election weighs on many minds.
The American Dream was forefront in the offering from Michael Kors Collection. Held at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he shared about learning of his great grandmother’s arrival to Ellis Island at just 14 with $10. Touching on historical significance of American design as well as his own experiences, especially on the tragic anniversary of 9/11, made for a unifying tribute. Spun against the classicism of the 1940s, inspired by the iconic sportswear created by US designers, the line was sprinkled with gold anchors and stars, studded skirts and double breasted jackets in a pinstripe. They all shared in making a statement of strength. But the line avoided any severe misconception by adding a dash of polka dots, gingham, lemon and cherry motifs, and relaxed even with flared out pants and preppy knit sweaters. Nautical styles were further brought about by way of fisherman jackets with rope clasps and sailor hats. The collection was finished off by sparkling gowns with nipped waists, a nod of romance from sea to shining sea.
Tory Burch showed at the Brooklyn museum and had a fresh spin on 80’s attire. I instantly fell for a parachute pant jumpsuit with elastic cuffed pants. Tops from Vivienne Hu and Jonathan Cohen were delightful, while Lela Rose has me wishing summer wasn’t over, so I could wear that crisp, eyelet voile dress. Pamella Roland’s black sparkling pant set was such a fun ensemble, I couldn’t help but share it!
Tom Ford surprised me this season with a funky, sport wear infused collection. Held in the subway, it was complete with basketball-esque shorts, maillots, bomber jackets and topped with baseball caps. It was a very luxurious fashion statement. But while it may have been inspired by the gym, its definitely too pretty to be worn it the gym!
19th century inspirations from Vivienne Hu were very interesting, but missed the mark a few times. Same for the half and half sweater from Jonathan Cohen. Would you wear that sweater? The voluminous tangerine gown from Christopher John Rogers and a gold corset inspired piece with birdcages and fringe seemed a tad obscene. The sheer suit set from Helmut Lang was very distracting and upsetting in their presentation. (There was one for women as well.)
There were actually a few ostrich feather decorated gowns in Pamella Roland’s collection that were very tasteful. However, the head to toe feather embellished dress that was one of the last to cascade down the runway left me with overwhelming ennui. The tight, feminine strapless jumpsuit, not only didn’t fit with the presentation, but on the model as well. At first Claudia Li’s collection threw me. The windbreaker material had a bold print with family photos and but I would have preferred the print in singular doses when it ran through the collection as a layering option.
What did you think of New York Fashion Week? Share your thoughts in comments.
Photos courtesy of Vogue, Elle, WWD, New York Times and New York Post
Fashion is so accessible these days, its crazy and concerning. The Council of Textile Recycling estimates 35 billion pounds of textiles will be wasted in 2019.
That is not ok.
Did you know the Effects of Fashion Waste?
1 in 5 people reported to throwing away clothing instead of recycling or donating.
It’s estimated that less than 1 percent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into something more. That’s about a loss of 100 billion USD worth of materials every year.
The apparel and footwear industries account for a combined estimate of 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and fashion is the third highest-polluting industry in the world, after oil and chemical manufacturing.
According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the fashion industry produces 20 percent of global wastewater.
Donations don’t always end up on someone back. That clothing can still end up in landfills. Due to flaws in the clothing, thrift or consignments, might not deem clothing sell-able. Those items are bailed and shipped to third world countries harming local textile workers, although it does help those in poverty. Only 25% of people donate and only 7% of people purchase secondhand items.
Some materials, like synthetic fibers, take a long time, almost 100 years to decompose, and add to our landfills. Many types of material, especially in organic form, are recyclable. Leather for instance, takes about 40 years to decompose. Plus, microfibers from fabrics wind up in the ocean and threaten aquatic life.
Making clothes can generate the push to be trendy and on style leads to quickly and poorly made clothing. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is approximately 3 years and consumer willingness seems to present a challenge, as sustainably made clothing comes at a higher price.
There has been increased use of toxins and pesticides, especially with plant based materials, like cotton. Dyes or bleached toxins used to treat clothing can be released into the air and damage the Ozone.
However, awareness and attitude is changing.
Sixty percent of millennial’s say they would like to shop more sustainably! And in more good news, fashion brands globally are working on better production methods. For example, Patagonia is the first company to make polyester fleece out of plastic bottles.
H&M has become synonymous with “fast fashion” over the years, but is also quickly becoming sustainable fashion’s most vocal supporters. Evidence of their commitment to the cause can be seen through their increasing use of recycled materials in their clothing production, which increased from 26% in 2016 to 35% in 2017. In total, and in partnership with San Francisco’s Zero Textile Waste initiative, they have collected almost 18,000 tons of textiles through its own garment collecting initiative in the past year, which is the equivalent of 89 million T-shirts.
Looking forward, H&M is also making strides for a more equitable workplace in addition to an environmentally friendly fashion industry. In 2018, 100 percent of their garment manufacturer units in Bangladesh conducted democratic elections of worker representatives, and out of the 2,882 persons were elected, 40% were women. Furthermore, H&M has pledged to use all recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030, setting an annual collection target of 25,000 tons of disposed clothes.
Adidas is another company working as a sustainable leader, publishing an annual Sustainable Report. They banned use of plastic bags in their stores in 2015 and are partnering Parley for Oceans project, making shoes out of plastic harvested from the ocean.
So what can you do to help?
You can take items to Levi, Northface, American Eagle and Madewell that will recycle clothing. You may even get a reward from a few, H&M offers 15% off and Madewell offers $20 off a purchase of denim.
Cities have drop off sites you can find by searching textile recycling in your area.
Take time to repair clothing, like a missing button or broken zipper.
Upcycling vintage pieces can extend life of your wardrobe and you’ll have one of a kind items.
Most importantly, research brands so you know about your purchase!
A thriving planet will always be most fashionable and if we can practice awareness and responsibility, then I think we’ll be taking the right steps into a better and still stylish future.
Information from Impakter and New York Post
Rewire: What to Do With Apparel Too Dirty To Donate, 20 dec 2017
Ellen MacArthur Fund: A New Textile Economy
Unece Forest & Timber: Fashion is in an Environmental and Social Emergency
We’re continuing to talk about how to best care for our wardrobes, and that comes with how we do laundry. It’s not one of my favorite chores, but it is important to keep my clothing looking it’s best! Below are just a handful of tips and tricks that could be helpful to you. Always, always, always remember to check the labels of clothing items for best care options. Do you have a favorite laundering tip? If so, share it in comments!
1- Heat from hot water can be just as damaging as heat in the dryer. Cotton and wool in particular are prone to shrinking in the wash. Make sure you use cool water to better protect shape of items!
2- Gravity can pull and stretch some of your favorite items like sweaters or shirts because they’re hung on a hanger instead of folded in a drawer. You can look at my previous post about hanging vs. folding to see how more items can best be stored.
3- Zipper’s metal teeth can snag and pull at delicate items, so remember to zip zippers shut before putting them in through the wash. Also, denim is a sturdier fabric, so when it comes to jeans, you can wear them a few times between washes. I actually just spot clean my denim pieces unless they have a stain or I’m putting them away for a season.
4- Never lose socks again and extend life of delicate’s by investing in a mesh bag to keep them separate from everything else in your laundry!
5- Fabric softener leaves a residue that basically renders moisture wicking materials useless. This material is often found in work out gear. This can create an odor in the clothing and cause you to sweat more in the gym. Ick! Keep your work out clothes soft by using white vinegar instead! Pour 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle or in the fabric softener dispenser on the washer.
6-My favorite laundering tip to save time and use less energy can be done by adding a dry towel to your laundry load when you put it in the dryer! A friend told me this in college and I have loved her for for it ever since! It cuts a little time off of the laundry process, so you can go about wearing your fabulous wardrobe!
Let’s talk about our clothes. Sustainability is becoming part of the discussion more and more in regards to fashion. I think many of us find it important, but applying it to our wardrobes isn’t always as easy as it seems. It can be challenging to know what materials incorporate sustainable practices and materials, especially with mixed material blends that might not be able to be recycled. Below I’ve included a few material options that are great choices and some you might want to reconsider! Being smart consumers will allow us to make better shopping choices and feel good about our purchases!
Polyester and Nylon
Nylon was first sold in 1938 as a toothbrush and mainly used in the military during World War II, this plastic material was an instant success. In clothing, its stretchy and easy to care for. However, the material is fragile, nonabsorbent, color can fade and bleach will harm the blend of both polyester and nylon. Nylon dropped in popularity soon after the war as new technology appeal wore off and consumers became concerned about environmental costs throughout the production cycle. Obtaining the raw materials (oil), energy use during production, waste produced during creation of the fiber, and eventual waste disposal of materials that were not biodegradable. (The fabric sheds microfibers as it decomposes.)
As of 2008, it represented 12% of the worlds synthetic materials. It has been noted that Nylon has about the same carbon footprint of wool and because of it durability, has a lower overall impact. It is better to look for a recycled option. Many fabrics are now being made from recycled soft drink bottles, which would cut down significantly on use of fossil fuels and diminishes solid waste sent to landfills.
The United States, China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Australia provide the world with 70% of its cotton. It’s crazy that this natural fiber, has become a bit of an issue. This fan favorite material can be tricky because typical cotton usually is drenched in chemicals and pesticides; and can be a genetically modified (GMO) product. Because it needs a lot of irrigation, it uses a large amount, lots and lots, of water.
You’ll want to look for organic cotton, it is a safer choice for you and the environment.
Organic cotton means 80% of it is rain-fed and grown in crop rotation, so it naturally breaks the cycle of the pest. By growing cotton for one season, the pest that lives on the cotton plant doesn’t have a host anymore, so it will die. If season after season, you plant the same crop in the same location and have a monoculture, the pests will continue, so you’d eventually need pesticides. The soil becomes exhausted and then fertilizers and heavier irrigation systems become a requirement. Organic cotton is a great cash crop for smaller farms, because it can be sold among the food crop rotations. Cotton bolls are ready to harvest at 25 weeks.
Some of the most renowned clothing and textile companies have committed to the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, which is a campaign designed to move the textile industry closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As the name suggests, participants have committed to using 100% sustainable cotton by the year 2025. Look for or ask in the store if a company is involved with Organic Cotton, Fairtrade Cotton, Cotton made in Africa or the Better Cotton Initiative.
As many companies have vowed not to use fur based products, sadly, the alternative of faux fur isn’t great either. The synthetic material isn’t biodegradable. One of the main issues with it is consumption. The plastic based product can come in funky colors that are more likely to run their course in fashion quickly, operating as more of a fad than a staple. Think about it, if you buy a shearling coat every 20 years, that is far more environmentally friendly than the synthetic option. Remember, plastic takes at least 400+ years to decompose! It seems to currently be a moral question over a sustainable one. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to see a recycled material or better option to enjoy the look of a fur, knowing it is not causing any harm to animals or our planet!
Linen is becoming a very popular material lately, I see it more and more often when I’m shopping. I’ve been using it in my own sewing projects! Its one of the best sustainable options because of its super low impact. It doesn’t grow on fertile soil. It doesn’t need pesticides because it’s a hardy crop. It also doesn’t need to be irrigated, and it can be blended. Linen was even used as currency in ancient Egypt! It has high conductivity, making it cool to the touch. It absorbs water quickly, is lint free, and gets softer the more you wash it. This material has continued to rise in popularity, where it was only used about 5% of the time in the 1970’s, it skyrocketed to 70% in the 1990’s.
Linen wrinkles easily and should not be dried too much by tumble drying. It is much easier to iron when damp. Nevertheless, the tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of linen’s particular “charm”, and many modern linen garments are designed to be air-dried on a good clothes hanger and worn without the necessity of ironing.
Lyocell is made from wood pulp and recently, powdered seaweed has been considered in the production process. It is soft and makes good wearable garments, so it can be found frequently in anything from everyday wear and active wear.
One thing to look out for on clothing labels is the Tencel-branded Lyocell fibre, a more sustainable alternative to material like viscose. You can find it in lots of clothing brands and it could provide a template for potential improvement of production methods for other fibers! It is made from the pulp of trees, according to the Tencel website, which explains how it’s produced: “The fibres originate from the renewable raw material wood created by photosynthesis. The certified bio-based fibers are manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process. The fibers are certified as compost-able and biodegradable, and thus can fully revert back to nature.”
Wool is a great material choice! It’s biodegradable, strong, odor resistant and has insulating properties. New Zealand, Australia and China lead in providing the bulk of the world’s wool. Australia alone has over 72 million sheep! New Zealand is known to have very high animal welfare. Buying sourced wool can be important to the economy as well, as wool that comes from the Scottish Highlands is contributing to the whole area and the livelihoods of the people. Wool can come from many different animals, including camels, rabbits, goats and Llamas. They are shorn of their fleece (or coat) in a safe process to the animals. Depending on the time it takes for them to grow a fluffy fleece, they can be sheared between a few time a year to once every three years.
You might know wool to be itchy, but that actually just means it probably wasn’t made properly. When manufactured with care, wool should make for very comfortable clothing. Wool can be easily damaged by heat and chemicals. Exposure to hot water can weaken the fibers and ruin the garment. Always check the care label, but a rinse in cool water with mild detergent should do the trick. Let wool garments air dry on a flat surface, as hanging them will stretch fibers! Also keep in mind, pests like moths love to burrow in wool, but keeping an herb sachet of Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender and Mint will keep them at bay; however, air them out regularly because that will not stifle eggs. Larvae like dark places, not light and air.
Silk is made from silkworms and dates back to 1200 BC. China, India, Uzbekistan and Thailand are world leaders in silk production. Silk is a sustainable material because you are simply taking a waste product from an animal and silkworms need minimal space. A humane or ethical silk is where the silk is harvested when the worm has gone through metamorphosis and has left the silk ball behind. If you are looking for this specific type of silk, it is commonly called “peace silk.” Ask if a company doesn’t highlight it. A regular silk is still a great choice as well, as it is biodegradable, hypoallergenic and drapes well. The downside is that silk tends to be one of the more expensive materials on the market.
While moth caterpillars are most commonly used to produce bales of silk, there are other insects that produce silk like crickets, beetles and spiders. Who knew! There is currently ongoing research into the quality of silk that is produced by them.
While these are just a few options, there are plenty of other sustainable options from more creative methods available on the market. Fibers have been made from coffee grounds and sour milk, hard to believe right? It’s great to know we have plenty of environmentally friendly options!
Information gathered from Huffington Post, Ebatotes and CBC