Mara Hoffman wanted to be a maker at the age of 9. After she moved from upstate New York to Manhattan and attended Parsons School of Design, she then launched her eponymous label in 2000. She told BURU, “The fabrics were all hand-dyed batik and I did everything myself from start to finish. Some of my favorite memories are from when I was first getting started. I had to be industrious and make things out of nothing – I was forced to be more creative. That youthful tenacity and fearlessness is what ultimately gave me the drive to build my business.” She made custom pieces for stylist friends. Patricia Field, stylist for Sex & the City bought some of her pieces at a consignment store and she sent assistants back for more. Expressive, bold and inspired by Mara’s travels, her clothing line includes ready to wear, Swimwear, Kids, Bridal and activewear. It is an eco-friendly company, using organic and sustainable materials, like Tencel Modal. Her patterns are printed digitally, reducing water water waste. And packaging is all compostable.
“I feel constantly in conflict,” she says to Coveteur magazine. “No matter how much effort we put into every aspect of our process, we’re still manufacturing new, and we’re still creating more things when our earth is begging for no more things because there’s no more room. But the way I can sleep and continue to show up at my office and employ the incredible people we employ, is that there’s such a web of human beings who depend on this.” Plus, as a lifelong lover of fashion in the position that she’s in, she doesn’t take her job lightly. “I have a huge responsibility,” she says, “a responsibility to make people feel good, feel their greatest, feel beautiful.”
I really love the strides she has made in producing a fashion label with sustainable habits. And it isn’t at the cost of great fashion! Her bohemian designs are beautiful. She was even the first recipient of Unifi’s “Leading the Change” award in March 2019. Mara sells online and in boutiques like Saks Fifth Ave, Nordstrom and Anthropologie. She opened her first store late last year in downtown NYC.
She has to have coffee & green juice from Gregory’s near her studio. Mara lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, with their dog Gypsy.
Photos courtesy of Anderson Hopkins, Haute Living and Vogue
I had been looking for new titles and authors to read when The New York Times posted their selection of the 100 best novels of 2020 in December. I was excited to peruse the list to make a few selections. With covid still playing a big role in all our lives, exploring another place and time in the world seems ideal. If anyone has been looking for a good book to curl up with, I definitely recommend checking the list out for yourself. And below I have included a brief review of a few I have read so far. Leave a comment below if you have other suggestions or thoughts on these titles!
Beheld is a historical fiction novel told from the women’s point of view. It was interesting, since the places and characters were all real. I think the author overused the word, “betwixt”. Like the first 3 times it was clever and then after that it was annoying. And after growing up being told the pilgrims were peaceful and in search of religious freedom, it’s a little disheartening to learn how violent and discriminatory they actually were. However, I would miss turkey if we stopped celebrating Thanksgiving. And legend has it there was no turkey at the first thanksgiving, so I’m taking the win. This was a quick read, I finished it in just over two days.
The Mercies is another historical fiction novel set in Sweden in the 1600s around the time when witch trials were gaining popularity. A big storm killed all the men, who went out to fish, leaving the women to fend for themselves on small island in the northernmost part of the country. They are able to survive, thanks to a couple of women who stepped into leadership roles and made sure people could eat and go about their tasks. But the king ended up sending an officer to check things out essentially, because there were whispers. You can feel the drama build as the chapters progress and it comes to a disturbing climax, but spoiler, the protagonist is ok in the end, though it’s not really a happy ending.
The Third Rainbow Girl was part cold case investigation, part memoir, of the author living in West Virginia and learning about a double murder in 1980 that basically destroyed the people of a town for generations. It had high points and low points for me. I agree with the authors final thoughts about what happened, but I felt that the third rainbow girl didn’t really factor in. She was just more of an example of what Nancy and Vicki were like before they died, and perhaps what they could have been had they lived. Maybe it was supposed to represent the human spirit, but after a whole wild goose chase over whodunnit, whydunnit and with multiple trials, only to still be unresolved to this day erred on the side of pointless.
A review of Everywhere You Don’t Belong said it crackled off the page, and I really believe it did. Actually, I realized when I uploaded the cover art that it was the review right on the cover, haha. It carried a fast pace thanks to the author using dialogue to carry the novel. It had high energy through sad, funny and terrifying moments. Its main character was a young boy growing up in Chicago’s South Shore and the people he knew and experiences he had. But his history followed him to college and more conflict ensued. This was probably my favorite novel of the bunch I picked out.
The Boy In The Field by Margot Livesey was a novel about 3 siblings who, you guessed it, discovered a boy in a field who was unconscious from an attack. Thanks to the siblings, he survived and the story follows their lives over the next year. It had extremely subtle prose, with rich descriptions and well crafted metaphors. Towards the end of the book, Matthew, the oldest sibling says, “since that afternoon in the field, everything’s been different.” The pages were full of joy and pain. I wondered why all the way to the final chapter, and appreciated the glimpse into their simple yet complicated lives. Reading this actually made me think of The Third Rainbow Girl, but I preferred the more nuanced approach from this novel, perhaps because I wasn’t expecting a result from the crime committed.
I still have some other titles I look forward to reading and posting about in the near future. Keep checking back in, if you are like me and always on the hunt for a good book!
Jade and rose quartz facial rollers are a pretty trendy product lately. And guess who got one from Santa? Yours truly! Jade is a symbol of harmony, peace and beauty. It is said to draw out negative energy and balance your chi. While this is a beauty ritual of Chinese royalty going back centuries, its the massaging effects more so then the stone composition that make it a good habit.
A roller provides a facial massage that can do a lot including:
Evenly distribute product over the entire face
Drain the lymphatic system
Increase blood flow
Reduce under eye circles
Soothe facial tension
For crystal enthusiasts, jade is said to stimulate the meridian points of the face, which are energy lines that connect to our internal systems. When you touch the jade gemstones to these points, it energizes them. It also connects these points on the face to earth energy, something we aren’t often able to do. Wow, talk about grounding/hj.
To use this product, moisturize with your favorite oil, serum or moisturizer. Then gently roll outwards towards your ears and jawbone on one side of your face and repeat on the other side. Directional movement helps counteract gravity and lift the skin. There are no clinical studies that prove benefits, but I do have to say it feels pretty good. This has been a great addition to my nighttime routine or when I use a sheet mask. Especially for this winter season, as we wait for a vaccine, the self care continues my friends!
More tips: Put it in the fridge if you want an effective cooling treatment to reduce puffiness. Away with slime-y cucumbers!
To clean a roller, wipe the stone with a cloth or wash the stones with warm soapy water. Do not submerge the roller entirely in water. Pat dry with a clean cloth.
I cannot believe 2020 is drawing to a close and the holidays are upon us. It has been a wild year, and I am so, so grateful this year for good health for myself and my family and friends.
However, as we get ready to celebrate in a holiday print face mask to match our ugly christmas sweaters, there’s another number to consider with holiday budgeting. From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, household waste increases 25%. Food, shopping bags, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows add up to almost 1 million tons of additional waste. When it comes to gift giving this year, I really hope to decrease holiday waste. There are plenty of easy ways to do this, I promise it won’t be a chore that turns you into a grinch.
Buying local or regional is one of the biggest ways to practice sustainability is to support your community businesses and shops. Butchers, breweries, co-ops and quirky boutiques all contain magically unique goods for you and your family to enjoy through the season. See if you can find a company that gives back as well to spread the kindness!
Do you love to deck the halls? Think about ordering greenery from local florists! Popular fall floral includes Dahlias, Mums and Pansies. December blooms include Poppies, Stargazer lilies and Peonies.
As you know, I love a festive garland. Add a vintage touch to your decor by making a popcorn, cranberry and dried orange strand to wrap around a pine garland or the tree, real or fake-both have redeeming qualities! Full disclosure, mine will also be mixed with some tinsel. Gotta have some sparkle!
Also consider coconut or soy candles around your home and at the dinner table. I also love to make stove top simmer pots. You can use the ingredients from the potpourri I made for the pumpkin sachets. Fill a pan with fruits, spices and water, then set the burner to low and refill the water when it starts to get low.
These are just a few simple decorating ideas you can put up after Halloween and leave up through January, even if you add other festive items later. I’ll still add lots of glittery pieces as the season goes along, but I love to bring nature indoors, foraging for branches and pine-cones when I want to get the celebrations started, but not ready for an all out scene.
In Arizona, trees can be recycled in bins put out in local library parking lots. Research in your area where you can recycle your tree once the holidays have concluded.
As much as I love gift wrap, its an area I can definitely improve upon. Cloth bags are a good gift wrap that can be saved and used for years to come. Try mason jars, wood boxes, and biodegradable or upcycled paper tied up with twine. Adorn gifts with my easy gift topper coming soon in diy!
Sometimes the greatest gift doesn’t come in a box. It’s a yearlong membership to a museum or gym, theater tickets, movie passes, dinner at a local restaurant, a massage or spa treatment— even an e-book. Classes count too! Give the gift of a class on cooking, rock climbing, spinning or crafts. App subscriptions might be a great idea as well.
Consider your method of travel. While flying around by airplane is not quite in the cards this year, would you consider making a road trip out of your travel? Perhaps taking a train will give you a scenic route. For future reference, don’t feel bad about flying either. There are huge socio-economic benefits brought in by tourism that help local communities. I know this year, I am very excited to simply be home for the holidays.
Another good idea, just in general anyways, is to make sure electrical items are off or on the lowest setting before you leave for your trip. Save money and energy, its that simple.
Remember you don’t have to feel guilt ridden about a plastic purchase, cardboard boxes or pretty paper napkins (my kryptonite). Simply recycle those items instead of just tossing them out! Do what works for you as you incorporate sustainable, green practices. Wishing you an enjoyable, stress free holiday season! Xo.
There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, says a Swedish proverb. And I couldn’t agree more. Bundling up and staying stylish are actually pretty simple as the weather gets chilly, sometimes frightful when it snows. We need to keep in mind the most comfortable and weather proof fabrics for pumpkin spice season and beyond, and I have rounded up a few great options that your wardrobe will be thankful to have!
Ahh, a Pinterest autumn mood board’s most delightful character, and a girl’s best friend after diamonds, dogs, chocolate… well, a Top 5 choice definitely. From chunky to colorful, cropped or with signature logos, knitwear is a serious fashion game changer. It’s versatile and most importantly, a cold weather must. Go for a ribbed turtleneck or an androgynous oversize shape. Natural fibers like cotton and wool are good choices as well as synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester to keep warm.
Depending on the care instructions, you might want to consider using the delicate cycle and placing them in a mesh laundry bag to clean. Hand washing is another good idea to keep your knit cozy all season. Check the label if it needs to be flat or line dried.
One of fashion’s favorite materials, that you can also find vegan options in, plus leather jackets are so in vogue right now. Motorcycle jackets or trench coats in rich shades pair perfectly with classics like a pencil skirt or casual jeans. Leather is durable, comfortable and wrinkle resistant. It is not machine washable or to be dry cleaned. A specialty cleaner can maintain its form and protect against color fading and cracking. What you can do to prolong your leather items lifespan is simple spot cleaning (by blotting, not rubbing) with warm water and dish soap. Have a wet cloth for cleaning and a dry one to pat wet spots dry. A leather conditioner is also a good idea! Keep leather out of direct sunlight. Do not cover it in plastic either, as it can dry out the material. Leather should be hung on a hanger to maintain its shape.
Wrinkle resistant and machine washable, denim is an irresistible staple that is uncomplicated and there’s a style for everyone. The word jeans comes from the French word for Genoa, Italy, (Gênes) where the first denim trousers were made. The term is derived from the French, serge de nimes, a twilled fabric that was made in, you guessed it, Nimes, France.
Give an ode to the 90s with a denim jacket or give the Canadian tuxedo a try. Denim is a sturdy material, however try to avoid machine washing those items as they can shrink and fade over time. Hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent and hang dry instead. Some denim brands suggest dry cleaning and raw denim benefits from being unwashed entirely.
Back in the 17th century in the Scottish Highlands, farmers wore this warm garment to protect themselves from the harsh elements in the region. After gaining popularity in the US as a work wear garment for railroad construction, it has flourished into an icon. It’s been associated with everything from the outdoors to grunge. A classic flannel is a great transitional or layering piece for crisp fall days. Stay warm by donning a scarf, a plaid button down or your choice of outerwear. Enjoy it indoors by sporting a flannel bathrobe!
For optimal cleaning, check the care label. Flannel will shrink so hang dry if possible. Some items may need dry cleaning.
Early evidence shows that people began making clothing from wool as long as 8,000 years ago. When its chilly out, nothing keeps you warm better than a wool sweater, hat or coat. While many think wool only comes sheep, there are a variety of animals that produce a fleece that we can make clothing from. Goats, rabbits, camels and alpacas produce a shed fleece good for creating sturdy garments. Because of its unique properties, like density and insulating properties, it is the top options for warm weather attire. It’s also flame resistant and will naturally decompose over time. This natural textile is environmentally friendly. As long as wool-producing animals are allowed to live free, happy lives and they aren’t crowded or subjected to inhumane practices, it’s possible to produce wool sustainably. Although there have been problems and concerns with the rearing of these animals, the wild animals they come into contact with and land use and damage. 25% of the world’s wool is produced in Australia, followed by China and the United States. Check the tag or website to see if a company has been certified by Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), Woolmark or International Wool Textile Organization (IWTO).
Wool should be hand soaked inside out in lukewarm water for 10 minutes. Squeeze out liquid, but do NOT wring out or it will stretch. Flat dry or a rack.
Mix up your fall wardrobe with a polished, preppy touch of corduroy. Its height of popularity came from the 1970s, the Chicago Tribune even called it a luxurious and functional fabric. It actually traces all the back to ancient Egypt from a heavy woven fabric called fustian.
It’s basically a rigid durable velvet, in a variety of choices from jackets to skirts. Brass details in zippers or buttons elevate this clothing choice. It’s a versatile fabric that’s easy to care for between wears. Machine wash warm for light hues and cold for darker hues. Just remember to turn it inside out to avoid a lint collection. Tumble dry on low.
Stay stylish all season long in these cozy, cold weather textures. What’s your favorite material to wear during the fall and winter seasons? Share them in comments!
Even before the pandemic, the fashion industry was said to be unraveling. The New York Times has asked a provoking question in quarantine. What happens now that no one has a reason to dress up?
Premium fabrics like silk and furs were mostly available to the royal courts and the wealthy through the 15th and 16th centuries, when class was most distinct. Peasants and commoners of the middle ages often wore cotton and wool, cheaper, natural materials farm owners could make themselves. Even colors of materials were an indication of class.
Thanks to urbanization, the breakdown of class and war, anyone could get their hands on whatever materials they fancied.
And then, because of World War 2, New York Fashion week rose to prominence with the intent of taking attention away from the likes of Paris Fashion Week as the hub of fashion culture. But over 75 years, technology has progressed. Even more relaxed attitudes in regards to fashion standards emerged with fast fashion in the 1990s. It introduced an incredibly fast production model that could bring clothing from design to stores in as little time as two weeks. This nonchalant ideology, as we now are starting to see, is unsustainable. Right now, they may be taking the biggest hit in the industry, because micro-trends are irrelevant.
The point is, fashion has changed several times over the course of history. While its been great that fashion has become accessible and reaches the masses, we still need to make sure we are familiar with the process, to see and cherish the value of our clothing. Who makes our clothing and how they do it are important things to understand. Fashion is a saturated market, and with so many options at various price points, it can be difficult for consumers to choose the best option, let alone find the information without company transparency.
In regard to our current quarantine, its simply a domino effect right now. Stores don’t have product from their manufacturers because they had to close. Take the airline industry for example. It’s down 84% this year because there is nowhere for people to travel right now, especially leisurely. Is it over? Not even close. Its just a matter of what’s most important, and without access or ability, its simply a pause for the cause. After extremely trying times like we face now, fashion has always been ready to lift people’s spirit. The glittering, easy going nature of the flapper era followed the dangerous Spanish Influenza.
While for now, we wait, its invigorating to think of what fashion’s next act will look like.
Hopefully as stores and brands reopen, we will get to see a redefined set of values and customers will be invested in the making of their clothing, as much as the grandeur of it. Its hopeful to think that we might see a more increased spark of interest in slow fashion. It’s sustainable, exquisite and unique. Even decently constructed garments will override weekly drops of micro-trends, knockoffs and overdone accessibility.
Fashion itself may have become the faux pas over the past couple years, but trends are cyclical. Even if it doesn’t seem as “cool” or important as before, a renaissance will be inevitable. People have to buy clothes. Whether you like it or not, having style is fun. Opposites like functional and frivolous can coexist on the fashion spectrum, and it can be long lasting when fashionistas, myself included, understand garment construction.
It’s always nice to be dressed well. How one chooses to style themselves, however is up to them. Today fashion reaches every corner, every race, every income in some way. It’s more than a marker of status. Fashion is a survivor of trying times. It always matters. Old ways might be dead, but its opened the door to evolving. Try that on for size in your next #outfitoftheday.
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