Thursday, September 13, 2012

Olivier Theysken´s Debuts Shorter Strands

Olivier Theyskens  just chopped his long luscious locks, just  in time for New York Fashion Week.

The designer got a friend to turn his medium-length hair to a messy Kurt Cobain-esque ‘do. When Theyskens was around nine-years-old, he imagined himself as a beautiful girl, which might explain the look he adopted during adulthood. 

His long strands have become very much a part of his personal style, just like how Karl Lagerfeld  ties his white hair into a neat ponytail. 

“There’s no real reason, but people always want to think there’s something more to it. I’ve been wanting to cut it for years, but it’s never been the right time—when I left Ricci and took a year off, I wanted to cut it, but then people would think, ‘Oh no, did he freak out?!’ And then when I took the job at Theory and moved to New York, people would have associated it with that change. So, I waited.” 

And now, the wait is over. But unlike everyone else who feels weird after cutting off a huge chunk of their hair, he admits the change feels natural:

“I mean, it felt strange to wash it at first and not have it there anymore… but other than that, no. I just feel like me. I think with the long hair, people took me more seriously…it was more of an intense look, I guess. It’s a bit more ‘normal’ now, though I still think not so many guys have hair this length.”

The Capsule Wardrobe

'Capsule wardrobe' is a term coined by Susie Faux, who was and is the owner of London boutique 'Wardrobe', in the 1970s. She considers that a capsule wardrobe is a collection of a few essential items of clothing that will not go out of fashion, such as skirts, trousers and coats, which can then be up-dated with seasonal pieces.

This idea was popularised by American designer Donna Karan, who, in 1985, released an influential capsule collection of seven interchangeable work-wear pieces.

Today, the term is widely used in the British and American fashion media, and has been the subject of several popular television series. The term has come to refer to a collection of clothing which is designed using only interchangeable items, in order to maximise the number of outfits which can be created. 

The aim is to have an outfit suitable for any occasion without owning excessive items of clothing. This is usually achieved by buying what are considered to be 'key' or 'staple' items in co-ordinating colours.

The term 'capsule wardrobe' was coined by Susie Faux  - owner of the West End boutique 'Wardrobe' - in the 1970s to refer to a collection of essential items of clothing which do not date, and could therefore be kept for several seasons. 

The aim was to up-date this collection with seasonal pieces, in order to have something to wear for any occasion without buying many new items of clothing.Typically, Faux suggests that a woman's capsule wardrobe contain at least "2 pairs of trousers, a dress or a skirt, a jacket, a coat, a knit, two pairs of shoes and two bags".

The concept of a capsule wardrobe was popularised by American designer Donna Karan  in 1985, when she released her collection entitled "7 Easy Pieces". Her aim was to fill what she referred to as "a void in the marketplace"  for a stylish and practical wardrobe designed with working women in mind. 

When the collection debuted, she showed eight models dressed only in bodysuits and black tights. The models then began to add items of clothing such as wrap-skirts, trousers, and dresses, to demonstrate her interchangeable style of dressing.

'Capsule wardrobe' is a term which is widely used in the fashion media; for instance, the fashion sections in British newspapers The Independent and The Telegraph have recently run dedicated capsule wardrobe features, as well as British Marie Claire and Elle magazines, among others.

The concept has been further popularised by several television programmes, includingTrinny and Susannah's 'What Not to Wear', which aired on the BBC 2001-2007, and Gok's Fashion Fix which aired on Channel Four from 2008 onwards. 

Presenter and stylist Gok Wan asserts that a capsule wardrobe is an especially important tool in a recession as it allows people to look good on a small budget. This is perhaps part of the reason that the idea has endured since its conception in the 1970s.

Creating a capsule wardrobe.

Below are some rules which are widely given for creating a capsule wardrobe.

Choose a colour scheme.

This would typically involve choosing one or two base colours which go with everything, such as black, white, brown, grey or navy. Items such as trousers, handbags or coats would be bought in shades of these colours, so that they can be put with anything else in the wardrobe. 

After choosing the base colours, choose one or two accent colours, which are brighter than the base colours, and co-ordinate with each other. These would typically be used for items such as tops, dresses or accessories; once a colour scheme is established, all the items in a wardrobe should be interchangeable, as the colour of the pieces will always complement each other.

Consider your body shape.

Some cuts of clothing are more flattering than others; for instance, stylists often advise that women with wider hips wear cap sleeves, as they make the shoulders appear wider, and more proportionate to the hips. If the items of clothing chosen are flattering, the wearer is more likely to want to keep them in their wardrobe.

Consider your complexion. As with cuts of clothing, some colours are more flattering than others, to both skin tone and body shape. If the colours are well-chosen, then the items are more likely to remain in favour.

Choose classic shapes and patterns.

While some cuts and patterns of clothing go in and out of fashion, there are others which are considered 'classic' because they do not date. It is wise to choose classic pieces for a capsule wardrobe, as they are intended to be kept for a number of years.

Choose good quality fabrics. As the idea of a capsule wardrobe is to own a few items of clothing which can be worn in a number of different ways, individual pieces will get lots of wear. Therefore, it is a good idea to choose clothing that is well made, and will continue to look good despite the heavy wear.
A typical capsule wardrobe.

Below are examples of a typical capsule wardrobe.

One for women.

Sample women's wardrobe
A belted trench coat
Bootleg jeans
A white shirt
A black blazer
An LBD (little black dress)
A pair of tailored trousers
A pencil skirt
T-shirts and camisole tops
A cashmere sweater
A sundress
A pair of ballet flats
A pair of long boots
A tote bag
A clutch bag
A silk scarf
A pair of high heels

One for men.

Sample men's wardrobe
A suit
A pair of jeans
A pea coat
T shirts
Cotton shirts
A blazer
A pair of slacks
A pair of smart shoes
A pair of casual shoes
Various accessories
A jumper 
A jacket

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marc Jacobs Goes Optical

The show was eye-popping, madcap, 1960s Swinging London revisited and the years of Andy Warhol and his Factory reintroduced on the runway.

“All that!” a joyous Marc Jacobs said backstage after a presentation of super short and super long outfits, both playing with the idea of optical illusions.

The Jacobs theory is to take an opposing stand: Whatever he did last season — layered, textured outfits with romantic big fur hats — goes into reverse for the next collection.

So the message for summer 2013 was hard, young and graphic as opposed to sweet and dreamy. Some skirts were so short that as the models walked the raised triangular platform with a multitude of doors, matching underpants peeked out to protect their modesty. Other hemlines swept the floor, or, more accurately, the flat shoes with pointed toes that ran through the collection.

The geometric elements were everywhere: zigzag op-art patterns or harlequin effects; shoes with checkered heels. The show — from its Edie Sedgwick hair to its graphic handbags — was an eye-zinger and a blockbuster.

The Marc Jacobs look is always powerful and unique, creating a clear image for the brand, and deliberately out of synch with the prevailing trends.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Victoria Beckham : The Big Apple Calling

Dancing on top of a London taxicab, singing her heart out, Victoria Beckham reverted to her Spice Girl days in the rock and pop ending to the Summer Olympics.

But the next day, “Posh Spice,” as she was once dubbed, returned to her day job: building the brand Victoria Beckham as a credible and commercial fashion company.

On Sunday, Ms. Beckham is scheduled to show her new collection as a pillar — albeit a very slender one of New York Fashion Week.

And, as if that were not enough for a mother of four and wife of the international soccer star David Beckham, on Tuesday she is to show her fledging Victoria line of more accessibly priced clothes.

Why does New York’s fashion week, which Thursday began the spring/summer 2013 shows with the Fashion’s Night Out event, act as a magnet for international designers who, even if they do not stay, often jump-start their careers here?

Victoria Beckham is one of those many creative companies, which also include Carlos Miele of Brazil and Diesel Black Gold of Italy, that see New York as the ideal show spot.

“For me, I lived in America, although I am British-born and my aesthetic is British,” says Ms. Beckham. “But I admired U.S. brands, and I wanted to follow the U.S. model. It seemed like the right thing to do.”

“In a very humble way, I always had big dreams and ambitions for my brand,” she continues, stating her desire to take the brand “from America to the rest of the world and to see the international press and retailers.”

Compared with those of most show-off celebrity lines, the Beckham trajectory has been impeccable. Working with the Spice Girl supporter Simon Fuller, now head of the XIX entertainment empire, and with her husband, David, Ms. Beckham determined to think big but start small.

While the famous usually introduce their lines with runway razzmatazz, filling the front row with Hollywood friends, the Beckham plan was the opposite. The first collection of just 10 pieces was shown at a series of appointments at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2008. A year later, the collection was offered as informal presentations in a gallery. Then came a slow buildup, with shows where the designer herself talked the audience through the collection.

“VB,” as she is known within her fashion company, presented a classic runway show only in September 2011, at the New York Public Library.

Zach Duane, chief executive of the London-based company, talks about “a desire for the launch to be about the product, rather than the spectacle.”

“The decision to launch the brand with a single collection of 10 dresses was based on the fact that the heart of the brand is product that Victoria has worked hard to conceive,” Mr. Duane said. “To simultaneously launch multiple categories as Victoria’s first step into the fashion world would have meant a totally different approach to design — one where Victoria just could not have been involved in every detail of every item within the collection. This wasn’t what she wanted the label to represent.”

Ms. Beckham calls the label’s growth “organic,” saying that “it just happened naturally” — although industry insiders say she works fiendishly to push the brand ahead, hence the speedy development of the younger, less expensive Victoria collection.

As for selecting New York as the location, “there were a number of factors,” Mr. Duane says. “David and Victoria having moved to the U.S. was part of it, as was the sense that, at the time, New York felt very international in terms of fashion.

“Also, by presenting in New York, we showcase the collections to an international audience, whilst building important relationships with U.S. retailers — many of whom at that time didn’t travel to London.”

This idea of building up a British company in the United States is not unique. Matthew Williamson took his colorful, hippie deluxe collection to New York in 2002 — and returned to New York’s fashion week for the next seven years.

Joseph Velosa, the company’s chief executive, notes that other British brands, like Roland Mouret, Preen and Jonathan Saunders, also have taken a bite out of the Big Apple.

For the Matthew Williamson brand, “it was a business decision which at the time made sense because London Fashion Week was not attracting the major editors and buyers that it does today,” says Mr. Velosa. “It certainly helped getting the name out there and showing to an audience that would otherwise not have seen the collections.”

The brand returned to London because of the complex logistic planning — and because British fashion picked up.

Other international brands have trod a similar path. ZZegna, the sportier, more fashion-forward part of the Ermenegildo Zegna group, presented in New York for a few seasons to raise awareness, according to Gildo Zegna, the brand’s chief executive, who has now brought the line back to its home in Milan.

Heidi Middleton, co-designer of the Australian brand Sass & Bide, shows just how peripatetic brand strategy can be.

In the brand’s embryonic stages, Ms. Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke chose to present in London although their base was Sydney. After three seasons, they were encouraged by the organizers to show in New York Fashion Week and did so for five years, seeing global and U.S. market growth.

Then in 2008, when U.S. sales softened and Australasian and British sales were escalating, they returned to London, where they now show. At the same time, they are planning a first store in New York, to complement their range of stores and in-store boutiques in Australia.

A Victoria Beckham store is being planned for London, but the brand strategy is to stay in New York — even if it requires the designer to hop between the West and East Coasts and London.

“At the moment, there is no reason to move,” says Ms. Beckham. “I get a great slot; the American industry is kind to me; I feel at home here; I like the atmosphere. I’ve got a good thing going — I don’t see any reason why I would move.”

Perhaps because the fashion week in New York is now one of the longest of the four-week season, designers can find a slot more easily than, for example, in Paris.

But Ms. Beckham has a more down-to-earth point of view.

“What I had in common with American brands is: Yes, I want to be creative — but also a business brand,” she says. “There are goals we had to reach. I’m very ambitious. I want each season to top the season before. This is my passion.

“But you have got to sell dresses at end of the day.”

Candice Swanepoel´s Sexy Shoe Ad´s

Stunning supermodel Candice Swanepoel is at the centre of a shoe storm.

A series of adverts showing the blonde bombshell in variety of seductive poses have been banned in New York for being too steamy

The sexy ads for show designer Brian Atwood’s latest collection feature Candice writhing around provocatively with naked men while wearing a black basque and hold-up stockings.

One shows the leggy model holding biting the heel of a tiger-print shoe while two hot male models stroke her leg.

A scantily-clad female model can be seen in the background.

But it's all eyes on Candice, and in another she sits astride a model sporting thigh high boots and bright red lipstick.

One shows the South African stunner relaxing on a sofa as a model bends at her feet, carressing her shoe.

The campaign is thought to be so racy it won’t even appear on billboards outside Atwood’s new boutique at 655 Madison Avenue in Manhattan’s Midtown.

Candice – who defends the red-hot advertising campaign – admitted she understood why they were banned.

She said: “I respect that they banned it. Not everybody is comfortable with their sexuality and with showing your body.

“For me it’s not a problem. I’m proud of my body. I work hard for my body.

"As long as it’s always done in a tasteful way, which it was.”

Candice, 23, is one of the world’s ten highest-paid models.

She has been modelling for Victoria’s Secret since 2007 and has been dating male model Hermann Nicoli for six years.

A film version of the ad, which was due to air on screens in New York taxis, has also been banned.

The large-scale campaign is a first for the designer, whose shoes are loved by stars including Victoria Beckham, Kate Hudson and Rachel Weisz.

Shot by top fashion photography duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, it makes its debut this month in the September issues of Vogue, W, V Magazine and CR Fashion Book.

With all the fuss about the ads, you'd be forgiven for forgetting about the shoes themselves.

But designer Atwood is on hand to explain that with his footwear it’s all about the ankle.

“There is something so sexy about this part on a woman, and these shoes celebrate that,” he said.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

British Fashion Awards 2012 : The Nominees

The young creators are up against the designer behind Team GB’s Olympics kit for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards 2012. In an announcement made last night at The Savoy, Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Kane  face Stella McCartney for the annual ceremony’s top accolade, Designer of The Year. And whilst McCartney has had a standout year with her major involvement with London 2012, Kane and Katrantzou have both been responsible for turning the limelight back on London Fashion Week – from the onset of Kane’s neon lace bodycon dresses in 2007 to Katrantzou’s innovative prints since launching her label in 2009. "There’s always a point of difference to British fashion, it dares to be different to everyone else," Kane tells us.

Nothing is ever boring and British fashion is really establishing itself at the forefront of global fashion.

Also present at the reception was Jonathan Saunders, nominated for both the New Establishment Award and Emerging Talent for menswear, and Roksanda Ilincic, whose romantic, tumbling dresses loved by style icons from Carey Mulligan to the Duchess of Cambridge, is pitted against Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney and Alessandra Rich for the Red Carpet Award. Meanwhile, the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator sees Katie Grand nominated a second time, along with Edward Enninful and Professor Louise Wilson who is surely a strong contender – that a handful of nominees passed through her discipline on the Central Saint Martins MA course is but a small indication of her influence on the industry.

Winners will be announced at the British Fashion Awards 2012, taking place 27 November and hosted this year by Lauren Laverne and Nick Grimshaw. 

Full list of nominees and awards:

Emerging Talent Award – Ready-to-wear: Simone Rocha, Michael van der Ham and J.W. Anderson
Emerging Talent Award – Accessories: Dominic Jones, Jordan Askill, Sophie Hulme
Emerging Talent Award – Menswear: Agi & Sam, Jonathan Saunders, Lou Dalton
Model: Cara Delevingne, David Gandy, Jourdan Dunn
Designer Brand: Alexander McQueen, Burberry Mulberry,Stella McCartney
Menswear Designer: Kim Jones for Louis Vuitton  Oliver Spencer, Richard James
Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator: Edward Enninful, Katie Grand, Professor Louise Wilson OBE
Red Carpet Award: Alessandra Rich, Roksanda Ilincic, Stella McCartneyVictoria Beckham
Accessory Designer: Katie Hiller, Nicholas Kirkwood, Philip Treacy
New Establishment Award: Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Meadham Kirchhoff
Designer of the Year: Christopher Kane Mary Katrantzou, Stella McCartney 

The winner for the British Style Icon is chosen by public vote.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trending : From the Top

Sweaters aren’t the only thing we break out at the first sign of fall. Beyond their practicality, the proper hat can instantly adjust the mood of your outfit. Take the beret, as favored by Giorgio Armani, Donatella Versace, and brothers Dean and Dan Caten at Dsquared2, which lent their recent collections varying degrees of military staunchness. So make like revolutionary Che Guevara and opt for this season’s go-to chapeau.

From left: beret by Louis Vuitton, $630; beret by Giorgio Armani, $425; beret by American Apparel, $20; turtlenecks by Prada, $595; button-down shirts by Bottega Veneta, $450–$510

GQ´s Designer of the Year : Dolce&Gabbana

The men behind the brand, Dolce&Gabbana received the Designer of the Year award at the 15th edition of GQ Men of the Year in London on Tuesday night.

Dolce&Gabbana’s forward looking, flattering and manly designs have been recognized and loved all over the world. In 2012, GQ have chosen to further honour the relationship and respect they hold for Dolce&Gabbana by awarding them the accolade of Designer of the Year.

The hall of fame lists some iconic previous winners such as Tom Ford, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Giorgio Armani.

The designers were presented the coveted award by their close friend Monica Bellucci, who wore a classic Dolce&Gabbana black lace gown for the occasion. Bianca Brandolini D’Adda, Kylie Minogue, David Gandy and Ashley Cole all turned up in force to celebrate with Domenico and Stefano.

The GQ Men of the Year awards are in their 15th year and celebrate the achievement of significant men in a vast choice of industries, from cinema to music, comedy and cooking.

Stefano Pilati for Ermenegildo Zegna

Former Yves Saint Laurent creative director Stefano Pilati finally has a new gig. Starting Jan. 1, the designer will head to Ermenegildo Zegna, where he will serve not just as head of design for the brand's menswear line, but also as creative director for Agnona, the house's secondary women's ready-to-wear and accessories line.

"With this appointment, we will be able to combine our tradition in tailoring and our leadership in innovative materials with a new vision for men’s fashion," said Gildo Zegna, CEO of Zegna Group. "We have ambitious plans for Agnona and we strongly believe that under his creative leadership we will be able to develop this little jewel into a global brand."

Pilati had been head designer at YSL since 2004; his Fall 2012 collection, shown in Paris last March, was his last for that label. His first collections for Ermenegildo Zegna and Agnona will be shown in June 2013.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lady Gaga : Cover Girl ?

This  behind-the-scenes shot from Lady Gaga´s new Vogue cover reveals how much airbrushing went on to give her that impossibly thin waist.

The September issue sees her wearing an electric purple Marc Jacobs number looking lean.

But a new video from the shoot exposes how she actually looked chunky and unflattering in reality.

Her skin has clearly been touched-up, her waist shrunk and the fishtail dress given a major airbrushing job.

And the stark differences have sparked an Internet furore among fans keen to share the contrasting shots.

Born This Way star Lady Gaga, 26, seemed proud of the altered snap when she leaked it to fans earlier this month, saying: “I’m a COVER GIRL, and it's FAB.”

She also poked fun at her hair, saying: “I’m totally channelling Fozzie Bear.”

The snaps were taken by photographers Mert and Marcus – and include another frame in which she appears nude, wearing a giant hat.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fashion Trend 1920´s : The Great Gatsby

Prada and Miu Miu have designed outfits for the upcoming movie; The Great Gatsby.

Baz Luhrmann's dazzling silver screen adaptation, starringLeonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, is creating a new buzz and this time, it is fashion-related. According to an interview of Miuccia Prada published in the September issue ofVogue, 40 dresses from past Prada and Miu Miu collections will be adapted for the movie.

While Gatsby's couture will be inspired by the elegant 1920s, Prada Spring / Summer 2013 menswear collection represents a very seductive first approach of this era's fashion interpretation.

This second collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Baz Lurhmann promises to be spectacular. ForRomeo + Juliet, in 1996, the director asked the Italian designer to create one of Leonardo DiCaprio's unusual outfits.

Carey Mulligan's outfits will also be styled with Tiffany & Co's sparkly creations.

Baz Lurhmann's adaptation of the famous novel published by Francis Scott Fitzgerald in 1925 will hit cinemas in July 2013.