Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Chanel Launches Perfume Pencils

It's official and your obsession for the day! These four Chanel Chance Perfume Pencils are everything you need to make sure you're on top of the fashion game. Perfect for a discreet top-up at any time of the day, these new versions of the Chanel's iconic perfume, Chance, now come in the form of Perfume Pencils and have everything to make us fall in love.

It's all thanks to, one, their retractable nib allowing for a very soft application on the skin, two, their adorable travel case in which they are alighted like pens in a pencil box and finally, three, the four amazing scents inside each perfect for a different mood during the day. From a dose of optimism with Chance, the energizing effect of Eau Fraîche, the softness of Eau Tendre or the boost of Eau Vive, we now have everything to bring us good luck with just one stroke of the pencil.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Meet Roma Uvarov - The Forefront Of Russian Fashion

No one complained that it took two days to be rid of Roma Uvarov's confetti. Mere moments after a pistol-brandishing bride closed the Russian designer's runway in wedding-wear that would put "Like a Virgin"-era Madonna to shame, the show had become folklore. "Did you go to Roma?" quickly became Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia in Moscow's most pressing question. As for the glitter jubilantly flung onto unsuspecting audience members by models as they left the runway, well, that was a badge of honor that read: I sat front row at Roma Uvarov's show.

"I'm only 22," shares Uvarov in the show's aftermath. Our translator sputters upon the revelation, even he imagined the designer older. Uvarov offers his age as half-explanation, half-apology in response to why Russian culture is so clearly communicated in his clothes: He's a 22-year-old who has never left his homeland, and so, it's all he knows. As such, each of his collections is closer-to-home than the last. The latest, his favorite, is both dedicated to and narrativizes the time he spent living in a Romani community, known colloquially throughout the country as 'gypsies' (a term which, depending on the context, can cause offense). As such, Roma Uvarov attendees would be participating in a 'gypsy wedding.'

"The gypsy woman is the Roma Uvarov woman," claims Uvarov. "She's major, she stands out from the crowd. The gypsy community is the star of this collection, and I wanted people to feel like they were at an actual Romani wedding."

It's perhaps because Uvarov has no formal fashion training, he can't even sew, that his output feels so free. For our interview, Uvarov sits in the lobby of Moscow's Metropol in a secondhand suit jacket (he's a thrifting devotee). With one ear decorated with the type of vintage clip-on traditionally favored by wealthy older women, it's easy to see him finding his feet as a 17-year-old fashion aficionado with a dream. The designer is adamant that every element of himself he inserts into his work, be it cultural or habitual, feel absolutely authentic. And he's not afraid to speak his mind. The rise of the Cyrillic alphabet in street style, ushered in by Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia for Vetements, doesn't feel "modern" to the newcomer, so don't expect to see it in his collections. "I don't like it," he adds simply. 

"Any collection I create connects with some elements of what actually happened in my life," he explains. "It needs to have a connection to me. I always want to do something unique, something epic."

"Epic" is right. Fall 2020 saw models in wide-brim hats made entirely of hair extensions. Lace gloves were paired with patchwork. There were bubble-skirted gowns, riotous prints, beaded helmets and flower-embellished suits. As a final flourish, Uvarov joined his bride on the catwalk in a cream, rose-adorned suit, in perfect harmony with the off-the-shoulder top-skirt set constructed from thousands of white petals. The accompanying revolver, shooting blanks into the air, served as citation to Uvarov's favorite films with powerful women at the helm. Models stood mere inches away from onlookers, playing accordions and dousing the duo with celebratory rice as they made their way down the runway. It was, without question, the standout moment of MBFW: Russia in Moscow.

"This brand is not just about fashion shows or collections," Uvarov says. "I don't know how it works in other countries, but us designers have to work together here, we have to be close, and we all are, because we're building this industry. We're changing Russian fashion." But that has proven to be an uphill battle. After securing stockists around Europe as well as shows in Paris, Uvarov has been forced to acknowledge his designs are probably better suited to an international audience. 

"Russia isn't yet ready to experiment so much in wearing my clothes; they're too dramatic," he explains. "It's easier for the Russian customer to buy from Zara than find something of higher quality from a young designer, but it didn't matter to me whether the clothes sold here or not. I needed to do it for me. When I started, Russian fashion looked all the same; I wanted to present what we don't get to see in real life."

As such, each of the designer's decisions has proved riskier than the last when it comes to maintaining commercial viability in the local market. Still, there was nowhere else he would want to create a label. Whether he shows in Paris, Milan or never leaves Moscow, Uvarov's primary motivation comes from motivating others, and it's working. "I want to help people through my art," he says. "I want other designers to feel empowered, and then Russia will open up."

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Up And Coming Model Haatepah Is Using Fashion As A Platform To Advocate For Indigenous Rights

At first glance, 21-year-old model Haatepah seems to be living a fairy tale of the digital age. After getting discovered on Instagram as a teenager, the Bay Area local moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of modeling and has since posed for the likes of Nike, Uniqlo and fashion photographer Damon Baker — not to mention signed a contract with Storm Management, the modeling agency where Kate Moss got her start.

But even the briefest survey of Haatepah's online presence makes clear that the young model is intent on being known for more than his striking features. As the descendent of Kumeyaay, Cahuilla, Apache, Yaqui and Chichimeca-Guamares peoples, Haatepah has long prioritized advocating for Native communities.

"A lot of people have been taught for hundreds of years to kind of hate themselves for being Indigenous," he says on the phone. "I feel like it's important that people reclaim who they are."

For Haatepah, the issue is both systemic and personal. Adopted alongside his twin brother at age five by two non-Native dads into a largely non-Native community, Haatepah remembers being bullied as a kid for looking different than his peers.  "It was hard growing up in a place that wasn't very diverse," he says.

But the issue went beyond the school cafeteria. Though one of his fathers was supportive of Haatepah and his brother seeking out more knowledge and connection to their Native roots, the other wasn't — and when the more supportive parent died while the twins where just 17, their other dad began to make life at home increasingly difficult for them.

"He would say racist things at the dinner table, like 'don't become a drunken Indian,'" Haatepah explains. "Me and my brother didn't stick up for ourselves until we reached a boiling point. And then we told him, 'We're not going to take this kind of verbal abuse anymore,' and we left for Los Angeles. We didn't have much of a plan but to stay with our friend. We were homeless for a good bit."

As painful as some parts of his personal history have been, Haatepah takes pride in the resilience that's helped him survive tough circumstances — and sees that resilience as part of his heritage. As an adult, he's has gotten involved with a host of organizations aimed at championing Native voices, from the Native American Club at his college to the Student Council of Indian Tribal Nations, the International Indigenous Youth Council and the American Indian Movement. Haatepah and his brother also started an organization of their own, called the Indigenous Alliance Movement.

We chatted on the phone about the complexities of mixing activism with the need to earn a paycheck, how fashion brands can avoid cultural appropriation and more. Read on for the highlights from our conversation.

What role did social media play in you getting discovered?

My brother and I would take pictures because I thought it was fun. I've always had my own style. I'm into Western wear — like boots, a belt buckle and Indigenous jewelry. That caught the attention of my mother agent, Daniel Peddle. I got signed to Look Model Agency. I started to get a bunch of jobs. Then I got signed to Storm LA. Now my brother's gotten signed too.

I decided to take the gamble to come to Los Angeles with nothing and pursue this dream of modeling because I was making good money [doing it] in San Francisco. I went out on a limb, and here I am today. I've been self sufficient. My Instagram has been growing. I've been able to do all the activism that I love to do. I love to be an advocate for my people and use the platform that I have to spread awareness about issues like Indigenous children at the border in concentration camps, missing and murdered Indigenous women, things like that.

Was it hard to learn about your heritage since you were adopted out of the foster care system?

I didn't have the connections at all at first. I just knew I was Native. But I began to seek. I went to powwows. I got involved with the Native community in the Bay Area. I started to seek out my elders and go to sweat lodge and a bunch of different ceremonies and learn and reclaim who I was. I have to thank my dad because he's the one who really pushed that.

When I was 18 years old, I met my biological family. Then I was able to pinpoint the tribal backgrounds that I have. It was a lot to handle. It's a really sad history, but that history is also part of our resilience, cause we're still here. A lot of people are like, "Natives are all gone. They're all extinct." But no, we're here to stay.

I'm Kumeyaay, Cahuilla, and some Apache and Yaqui, and other tribes. But I also have Chichimeca-Guamares blood, and I feel that's very important to represent. Since the Spanish conquistadors, there's been a lot of people telling Indigenous Mexicans that it's bad to be Indigenous.

What are your long term career goals?

I'm taking a break from school now, but I'm thinking about going to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I want to learn silversmithing and make jewelry.

Eventually, when the time comes after I'm done with modeling, I want to try acting. It doesn't have to be a major role. I'm okay with being a background actor. I just want to give it a shot. Another smaller goal is that I want to open my own martial arts gym because I'm into Brazilian jiu jitsu and wrestling. I'd like to do that for the youth, have it more like a free club. It would just be like, I'm doing this for fun and to give back to my community.

What role do you think fashion can play in activism or advocacy?

I feel like it's huge because the way you dress says who you are and what you represent. It's the first thing when you walk into a room, especially when you're public speaking — how you have your hair, how you're dressed, your clothes — that all leaves a statement. It reflects how you want to express yourself.

Is the environmental impact of making clothing something you're thinking about as you enter the world of modeling?

I just modeled for this company that makes clothing for people who are defending Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline. It was talking about land rights, and defending our earth. Because when these companies come in and drill, it's destroying the lands and the ecosystems around it. And it doesn't just effect Native communities. It effects all communities. Water is life.

At the end of the day there's only so much I can do, though. I try to mostly model for clothing that I know is eco-friendly. But I was borderline homeless coming here. So sometimes I have to do a job in order to make ends meet. That doesn't mean I buy the clothes that I model for.

The two factors that I really take into consideration are first, how bad they're damaging the earth, because I don't want to support a brand that's basically destroying the Amazon. And then second — recently there was this Dior campaign that was like cultural appropriation times a million. I could never do something like that. I would never sell out my people like that.

If there are fashion projects or brands that want to hire Native models but aren't Native-led, what should they keep in mind in order to do that in a way that doesn't fetishize or exoticize those involved?

I think they should hire cultural consultants to make sure everything is authentic and legit. And they have to be careful about how much of a spin they put on what models are wearing. If it's kind of a mix, say they're wearing like a [traditional] necklace but with some more modern clothing, I think that's okay. But if they're copying someone's full-on regalia, that's kind of crossing the line because it's taking what's traditional and sacred to a lot of Native communities. They just need to have that conversation with the model and with some sort of cultural consultant.

Tell me a little bit more about the different forms that advocacy has taken for you.

I'm part of like three or four different organizations. Basically we go protest different things. It's always peaceful protesting with Natives. We're pretty quiet.

For example, we went to the Washington Redskins to protest their mascot. It's disrespectful. We had signs that said, "We are not your mascot. We're not a joke. We're not a caricature." It's just very stereotypical and paints a bad picture. I don't think that's a good example to set for our kids.

I [participated] in the climate march, and I spoke there and I offered the water song. And in March we went to a detention center in Los Angeles. We were talking about the kids in detention centers, honoring them and spreading awareness.

You weren't born Haatepah — at what point did you start going by that name?

I got the name Haatepah from my auntie and uncle. They gave these names to me and my brother. It's important to reclaim those names because back in the mission era, we would be given names that were Spanish or that weren't Native. I feel like it's important to reclaim those names to honor our ancestors.

What are you hoping that you can accomplish through your modeling?

I hope I can give our people their pride back. A lot of people have been taught to hate themselves when they look in the mirror. I hope I can make a little boy or a little girl feel happy in their own skin and proud to be Indigenous.

Why The 2020´s Will Be About Making New Clothes Out Of Old

Liu Wen and Guinevere Van Seenus were photographed for Vogue’s September issue at a recycling facility wearing upcycled and regenerated clothing by Marine Serre, Stella McCartney, CDLM, and Everlane.Photographed by Tierney Gearson, Vogue, September 2019

The key word for Vogue’s January 2020 issue is values. Interpret that as you may: monetary, ethical, sentimental. Every definition relates to the big picture: that fashion needs to reassess its value system, and quickly. We have to change the way money is invested and spent; we have to shop with brands whose values reflect our own; and we have to change the way we assign value to what we buy and wear.

Let’s start by working backward, because I think that last part is actually the most important. In fashion, the inverse of value might be disposability: If your T-shirt costs less than your Starbucks latte, you probably won’t think twice about throwing it out when it rips. Value isn’t just about price, of course; you might cherish a $50 vintage dress more than a designer bag. But therein lies the difference: You value the dress because it’s rare, or because it’s by a certain designer, or simply because it has a story. It may even be more valuable now than it was 30 years ago. Your old T-shirt, on the other hand, is hardly a treasure—and who would want it, anyway? It’s stained, it’s got holes, it’s no longer bright white.

T-shirts are among several “high-frequency basics” that tend to have a single, very short life; underwear, athletic clothes, and shoes fall into the category too. They’re items you wear through quickly, can’t be resold, and are too dingy to be donated, so they inevitably end up in the trash. An estimated 50 million tons of clothing is discarded every year, and most of it will not biodegrade in a landfill. (Synthetic materials like polyester or nylon can also leach chemicals into the earth, and if they’re incinerated, they may become carcinogenic.) The amount of time, energy, and resources that go into those trashed items is usually disproportionate to their quick turnaround; a single cotton T-shirt may require up to 700 gallons of water and may travel across several countries during production. But even if it’s stained or damaged at the end of its life, it could likely be recycled into something else, like housing insulation or even another T-shirt.

Making that clear to consumers will be key to making fashion more sustainable in the future. We’re phasing out single-use plastic and paper bags from our lives, and we should think about our clothes the same way. What will happen to this T-shirt, handbag, or sneaker when I’m done with it? In the long term, it should ultimately change the way we shop, because we’ll only buy things with legitimate value and a feasible end use.

“We need to get used to looking at things and understanding that nothing actually goes ‘away’ [when we throw it out]—there is no ‘away,’” explains Stacy Flynn, the CEO of Evrnu. She came to that realization nearly a decade ago on a sourcing trip in China, where she found herself in a factory town so polluted she couldn’t see her colleague standing next to her through the smog. “I realized how impactful and damaging our industry is to the environment, and began adding up all the millions of yards of fabric I’d made over the course of my career…. I was contributing to the problem,” she says. She launched Evrnu in 2015 and recently unveiled a groundbreaking technology that breaks cotton waste down into a liquid, then remakes it into stronger, higher-performing fibers. A recent Adidas x Stella McCartney collaboration included a hoodie made from Evrnu’s regenerated cotton. “Cotton and polyester make up 90% of all clothing, and both fibers require tremendous amounts of resources,” Flynn says. “Consumers throw away about 80% of their textiles directly in the garbage. We knew if there was a way to take that waste, break it down into a polymer, and build it back up to a new fiber, that would be the lynchpin of reducing our industry’s impact.”

Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen were photographed for Vogue’s September 2019 issue at the Eagle Street Rooftop Garden in Brooklyn wearing organic and upcycled clothing by Bite, CDLM, Stella McCartney, and Lindsey Berns.Photographed by Tierney Gearson, Vogue, September 2019

For all of the benefits of natural and organic cotton, hemp, linen, rayon, and so on, it’s almost always better to use what already exists. A key point in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s A New Textiles Economy is that fashion must phase out nonrenewable resources and move toward renewable, regenerative inputs. It’s only recently that regenerated fibers have been commercially available, though; Evrnu’s regenerated cotton is still in its prototype stage. Flynn said it will be commercialized next year and in the market by 2021. Next, her team is working on breaking down and rebuilding polyester, followed by recoverable stretch (e.g., athletic gear), then bio-based and engineered fibers (like rayon and Tencel).

“As I start to future-cast for 2025, I think this will be the new normal,” she says. “All of the products we create today will have value in the future and will naturally come back into the system. I can see a world in which consumers don’t even own the things they wear—it will be almost like a lease, where they keep it as long as they want, then return it to the owner, and it’s either regenerated or leased out again. And there’s value in the product when it comes back into the system. I think that’s the biggest catchphrase—that the product has value when it’s being designed. If there is value in the product I’m wearing today, and it will be recreated as a high-quality product tomorrow, that has an incredibly powerful business effect,” she continues. “I actually think it’s one of the greatest design challenges of our century—how we take things from one form to another, with no loss of value.”

It’s a philosophy Chloe Songer and Stuart Ahlum share for their new sneaker company, Thousand Fell. They’re tackling a similarly immense problem: 99% of all footwear ends up in a landfill, for the same reasons as those cotton T-shirts. Shoes get worn down, they get dirty, they smell, they lose their support. And in addition to their single-use nature, most sneakers are made of at least a dozen plastic parts. In a landfill, they could take up to 1,000 years to break down, eventually degrading into tiny plastic particles that make their way into the soil and ocean (and eventually our bodies). Thousand Fell’s solution is to offer vegan sneakers on a closed-loop model: Wear them out, send them back, and they’ll be recycled into other sneakers—and you’ll get a credit for a new pair.

Songer and Ahlum had deep industry experience prior to launching Thousand Fell. Songer worked in business development for Alexander Wang and in merchandising at Gap, and Ahlum ran another men’s sneaker brand. For Thousand Fell, they zeroed in on white, low-top sneakers in particular because they’ve become such a foundational item in our wardrobes. (Think: Adidas Stan Smiths, Vans slip-ons, Greats Royales.) We wear them to work, on the weekend, and even out at night, and because they’re nicely priced, we don’t hesitate to buy them often. “People are replacing their white sneakers every four to six months,” Ahlum says. “They don’t know what to do with them [when they’re dirty], so they throw them in the trash chute. There isn’t a secondary market for those kinds of basic sneakers, so it falls on the brand to recycle them and have an end-of-life solution.”

Designing the sneakers for recyclability was a two-year process, and the final results feel like leather, but aren’t. (Songer pointed out that leather is commonly mistaken as natural or biodegradable, and it isn’t; most leather is treated with chromium or plastic.) The uppers are made of post-consumer plastic that’s coated with quartz for durability, and the rest is a mixture of recycled and natural rubber, aloe vera, and food waste native to Brazil, like sugar cane, coconut, palm tree leaves, and corn. The duo also insist the sneakers are built to last for eight months, not three; they aren’t encouraging you to send your sneakers back prematurely. “It shouldn’t be on the user to drastically change their behavior,” Ahlum says. “There are always going to be products people wear through quickly. There just needs to be a turnkey solution so you can continue wearing what you love every day.”

Eleanor Turner is bringing years of ready-to-wear design experience (most recently at Argent, Tory Burch, and J.Crew) and a passion for creative problem-solving to the Big Favorite, a new line of circular “first layer garments” (i.e., T-shirts, underwear, and leggings) launching in spring 2020. It’s a reprisal of a workwear brand of the same name her grandfather founded in the 1940s: “I always dreamed of reviving the brand by rethinking the idea of American legacy in a meaningful, modern way,” Turner explains. “I believe our new legacy [will be] a brand-led ecosystem where everyone can participate in doing better for themselves and the planet. One garbage truck of textiles is sent to the landfill every second, and most fashion brands stop short when thinking about the planet. I spent a decade in fashion creating what will eventually end up as trash, and used to throw out boxes of plastic hangers and samples. When I started realizing the implications of those choices, I saw them everywhere—in chemical dyes, in polyester or plastic fibers, in polybags, in shipping.” Alternatively, the Big Favorite’s model is similar to Thousand Fell’s: Order a few organic cotton basics, wear them out, and send them back to be responsibly recycled into new garments.

“Future generations will have to deal with a scarcity of resources and the consequences of consumerism in a way that we never have,” Turner continues. “Both pre- and post-consumer textiles will become an incredibly valuable commodity, and the Big Favorite is here to prove that we can build successful businesses that do better for both consumers and the planet.”

If I had to make one prediction for 2020 and the years to follow, it would be that we’ll see more closed-loop companies like Thousand Fell and the Big Favorite (and more designers linking up with Evrnu). A more sustainable fashion industry depends on using what exists, eliminating the problem of clothing in landfills, and reframing the way we value our garments. It seems entirely feasible to me that one day, all of my “high frequency” items—for me, that’s T-shirts, cashmere sweaters, camisoles, flat sandals, leather boots, and jeans—will exist on a closed loop. When they’re worn out, I’ll send them to be recycled or upcycled, with nothing wasted in the process. Everything else in my closet would be an item I really love, something I’ve purchased with the intention of keeping for a long time, be it a classic blazer or vivid floral skirt. Longevity means different things to different people, and even if I fall out of love with something, it will be high-quality enough to resell on the RealReal or Vestiaire Collective. Again, nothing wasted.

What won’t make sense in the next decade? Spending $300 on a designer T-shirt or indulging in a cheap fast-fashion thrill. Neither has resale potential—that T-shirt will suffer the same fate as a $10 Hanes tee, with pit stains, holes, and faded colors—so they’re destined for the garbage or a pile of unwanted donations in East Africa or India. Plus, the idea of owning something cheap that you only wear a few times feels pretty horrible in light of the climate crisis; once you know precisely what goes into a garment—the good and the bad—it’s impossible to shop so carelessly again.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Olena Mynenko Illustrations

Olena Mynenko is an artist and illustrator with time-served experience as a fashion designer. She was born and studied Fine Art in Kiev, before completing her final studies in fashion design at Barcelona. ¨I have experience of working with film production companies as well as several years as an in-house designer for Spanish designer Antonio Miro.¨ It was during this time that the creative decided to set up her namesake brand ´Olena Mynenko´. Several years later, she relocated to the more rural climes of Southern Spain with her family, and it was here that she dedicated her time and studies to interior design and tourism.


¨In 2014 my family and I moved to Brussels and it was here that I actually decided that I would dedicate all of my time to drawing and illustration. I opened up my Instagram account and from then on, was able to attract followers and clients on a regular basis.¨ Her early initiation into the illustration scene saw her work with clients such as French luxury brand Hermes and Napolese designer Luigi Borrelli in addition to undertaking a full succession of  private portraits and custom illustrations.
¨In 2018 we moved again to Cape Town, where I was heavily influenced by the beauty of African Nature and created a collection of pencil sketched landscapes. After some time though, I started missing a lot ´the place where I came from.´I realised that I like to work most within the fashion field; it´s where I feel the most comfortable and can achieve immediate feedback.¨ - Olena Mynenko
Mynenko has a proven track-record of working with different techniques and mixed medias; ranging from the more traditional watercolour on paper, through to digital illustration. Her most successful projects have been from fashion brands such as Hermes where she felt ¨very proud to have had the experience to work with them in Brussels, Amsterdam and Luxembourg - creating fashion and portrait illustration sketchbooks for their events.¨

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Her most passionate projects saw her affiliate with perfume and jewellery brands that were ´seeking a classic, sophisticated style but with a contemporary interpretation.´Olena is currently studying a complimentary course in social media marketing after realising the importance of this for a professional approach to her on-line business. The Instagram account is her main source of self promotion and also affords easy communication with international colleagues from the fashion side of business.
¨Instagram is where most of my clients come from. I have to learn something new every day and be flexible enough to feel connected to my Instagram audience. Right now, I am re-interpreting themes that I am interested in and finding a way to deliver them in my own, personal way. The key features that I identify with artistically are ´Classic´, ´Sophisticated´ and ´Effortless.´¨- Olena Mynenko
¨One of the projects that I am currently developing is how to get a classically elegant sketchbook on paper to another, more contemporary level. I would like to use my strong drawing skills in sketching and my fashion experience to create visual material for various types of events. This could be from a fashion show, a backstage event, brand celebration, wedding or an event where the location and visual aspect of its participants is one of the main criteria. Thanks to the digital world, I don't need to travel anymore to specific locations to witness this. I can stay anywhere in the world (with a good WiFi connection) and follow my colleagues on social media, live-streaming directly from an event. These opportunities are ´my eyes´ and I can take as many screenshots as I need. In my case, the quality of these photos is not that important - it´s the content I see that interests me the most.¨


The first stage of Mynenko´s ´Instant Sketchbook Project´ is to create very quick sketches and then edit them with different applications to make content more engaging for the followers. In some cases, her content can even be completed and sent back to the client within the timescale of the actual event. During this process, her clients can start posting her material and promoting the event on social media ´real-time´, using the more exclusive content to engage with their fans. After this comes the second stage - the creation of a sketchbook; so that by the end of the event, all visual material is collected and can be developed into more detailed sketches which feature additional creative and artistic inputs for a premium and bespoke final result.

French Fashion Designer Emanuel Ungaro Dies At 86

Designer Emanuel Ungaro, who trained with Spanish maestro Cristobal Balenciaga before becoming a fixture of the Paris fashion scene for four decades, has died at the age of 86, French media reported on Sunday. Ungaro, who retired from his eponymous fashion house in 2004, had been in poor health for the past two years, his family told AFP.

Born in southern France in 1933 to Italian parents, Ungaro moved in the 1950´s to Paris where he trained with Balenciaga. He launched his own label in 1965 and two years later moved the firm to the fashion heartland of Avenue Montaigne.

His women's haute couture and ready to wear collections were renowned for flamboyant colours and elegant silhouettes. Like other designers, he expanded into fragrances and accessories, before stepping back from the business in the early 2000´s.

The Ungaro label has since been through a succession of managers and designers, including a stint in 2009 by Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan.

Why Womenswear Brands Are Getting Into Menswear

As if men don't have enough already, one of fashion's biggest trends as of late involves a burgeoning market of womenswear designers entering the menswear fold. There's heavy-hitters like Celine, which in January released its first men's collection in the brand's 74-year history under creative director Hedi Slimane, and Prabal Gurung, which debuted its first men's collection in September 2018 after nearly a decade in business.

A month later, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's the Row debuted their very first men's collection. Simon Porte Jacquemus unveiled his first menswear collection in a seaside cove along the outskirts of Marseille four months ago, and it's quickly become an industry favorite; "In Paris, Men Are Invited into the Couture Dream," GQ's Rachel Tashjian wrote in July. And these designers are just a few on a growing list: Stella McCartney, Gabriela Hearst and Sies Marjan have all added menswear in recent seasons as well. Arguably, much of this can be traced back to Alessandro Michele's debut as creative director of Gucci: From that Fall 2015 men's range on, his quirky, retro vision whetted the public's appetite for more expressive, creative menswear while also driving sales for the Italian house.

"One of the main reasons why those designers and brands are expanding into menswear is because the market is there, the market is growing and there is demand," Pierre A. M’pelé, editor-in-chief of SCRNSHT (aka @pamboy on Twitter) tells Fashionista of this ongoing recent trend.

Coincidentally or not, there's also a growing market for male celebs engaging with stylists for risk-taking red carpet looks. Take Ilaria Urbinati, for instance, who has a client list including Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Donald Glover, Chris Evans and Bradley Cooper, or Samantha McMillen, whose clients include Ryan Gosling, Chris Rock and Chris Hemsworth — just two examples of stylists helping to elevate leading men as formidable style contemporaries to their female peers. These stylists, along with their clients, have given menswear a pop cultural legitimacy and exposure to a demographic outside of the fashion week runway continuum.

Look no further than recent red carpets — still one of the biggest forms of publicity for fashion brands — from Lil Nas X in custom baby blue Pyer Moss at the BET Awards to Jay Z's expertly exaggerated lapels at the London premiere of The Lion King or the masterful tailoring on Tom Holland in Zegna at the LA premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home premiere. And it's not just the suiting: There's Maluma walking the street in a multi-colored JW Anderson pullover, Post Malone in Dolly Parton-print pajamas or Justin Theroux biking the streets of New York City with the image of Britney Spears's third album screen-printed on his tank top.

Another potential impetus for this moment: social media. Womenswear-only brands and designers might see the limitations of only catering to one gender for an app as influential Instagram. Things like IG "fit pics," for instance, have helped to give rise not just to the popularity of menswear, but to the sense of pride (and clout) many are associating with it. With an uptick in the male prioritization of sartorial statements comes a healthy influx of supply. Two more designers getting in on the action are Marco de Vincenzo and Gherardo Felloni, both of whom felt a shift in and out of the industry and decided to react as a result. "Now is the moment," de Vincenzo thought to himself in February when he finally entered the menswear foray, a desire he'd been marinating on for several seasons.

"I think that many designers, including myself, consider women's fashion a creatively freer possibility," he tells Fashionista. "In reality, it is a changeable point of view because more and more men are choosing fashion to get rid of certain stereotypes, [bulking up] their wardrobe with special pieces."

Felloni, the creative director at Maison Roger Vivier, which in 2018 released the first men's shoe in the house's 70-plus year history, says he was inspired by what he calls this historical moment in fashion. "Now, there are less and less differences between men's and women's fashion," he tells Fashionista. "Many women wear masculine shoes, and this led me to design men's styles for women. Then, as soon as I saw the collection, I thought it would also be perfect for men, and so I designed the masculine equivalent."

It's not just the delineation between traditional menswear and womenswear which is shifting, but the business of menswear itself, which has grown greatly. From the not-yet-plateaued popularity of streetwear, to luxury brands adopting the "drop" distribution model in which limited amounts of product are released in regular spurts, to expanding size ranges, menswear isn't just having a moment; it's a full blown movement, and one that shows no signs of slowing down. In 2018, market analyst Euromonitor International forecasted to Business of Fashion that menswear will outpace womenswear in growth by no later than 2022.

And with this consumer expansion, comes the possibility of widening the lens (or loosening the restrictions, depending on your perspective) on what menswear typically looks like. Questions that have long been asked of womenswear designers — like "Who is the woman wearing this? Where is she going?" — can now be ruminated over for guys. 

"I think the male consumer is now looking for more seasonal and exciting products, compared to the traditional men's offering of dress shoes or trainers," Mary Alice Malone, founder and creative director of Malone Souliers, tells Fashionista. "Our collection offers something in between that allows for our man to explore spaces beyond functionality and to accessorize as an expression of identity."

There's also practicality. Take, for instance, the enduring problem of men not having something equivalent to a purse that has everyday functionality. "I think Kim Jones introducing the saddle bag for men has me seeing quite a few of those on the high end, but also seeing more crossbody bags in general on men; kind of like evolved fanny packs worn crossbody style," designer Chris Gelinas says. It's not entirely aesthetic, he explains. "The tighter and shorter the shorts in summer makes carrying the essentials tricky and these seem to be the of the moment solution."

So the demand is up, and the supply seems to be following suit — that's all good news, right? It depends on how you look at it.  "The current industry is structured in a way that there is always a need for growth in order to continue making profit and continue to develop, so instead of decelerating, everyone is accelerating and opening new doors to reach those financial goals or economic goals as companies," M’pelé explains, adding that this raises a bigger question for him around the need to grow.

"Do we need to foray into beauty and cosmetics and menswear when this is not at the core of one's identity? I think this is probably the most important question we need to ask ourselves as an industry."

This Turkish Designer Takes Game Of Thrones Style To The Street

The Istanbul-based Koral Sagular has a regal look, almost as if he was plucked out of some medieval painting. In fact, the strikingly handsome 24-year-old looks like a carbon copy of the portrait of Don Juan de Austria by Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, a painting that dates back to the second-half of the 16th century. It’s an image that Sagular has posted on Instagram. His caption for it reads, “Would swipe right,” a cheeky reference to 21st-century dating apps. Also on his Instagram are photographs of the Turkish designer himself, posing in baroque garb while wearing ornate breastplates, which he decorates with very modern—and often erotic—imagery. One incarnation is affixed with O-rings, miniature clay faces and crawfish, and embellished with chandelier crystals, all of which are found at secondhand stores in Istanbul. In another image, he wears a breastplate embellished with what looks like a prayer candle with the bust of Amy Winehouse at the throat. So far, Sagular counts Violet Chachki as a fan.

Sagular was exposed to art history from a young age, thanks to his mother who was a painter and an antiques collector. “I remember working with her in the atelier and listening to Henry Purcell and Bach for hours,” he says. “I think my baroque obsession comes from there.” He also reminisces about his grandfather, who served as a brigadier in the Turkish army and became a large inspiration for Sagular’s armor. “He always enjoyed telling me his military memories and showing me his old uniforms and medallions.” (The mood board for his spring 2020 collection includes two vintage photos of his grandfather in uniform.) Eventually, for a project at his fine arts high school, Sagular started creating armor using recycled materials. While many other designers find muses, Sagular models everything himself. “I’m the one who makes them and knows all the stories behind them. Because of this, I think I can get into the right mood in the shoots,” he says. His poses are often dramatic, and he takes inspiration from the twisted, limb-jutting drawings of Egon Schiele.


While the armor from his spring 2020 collection has an eerie yesteryear feel, reminiscent of decadent, warped portraiture, they hold a very current meaning for Sagular. This past collection was a dedication to the murder of Turkish trans woman and activist Hande Kader and comes complete with LGBTQI+ references. “I use my armor corsets as a tool to tell my stories through collages, so printed and painted pieces have an important role in my designs,” he says. Much of the forms are inspired by traditional masculine imagery, such as the Mehter costumes of the Ottoman military band. Sagular adds his own point of view to the pieces: On one body plate, he added a collage that includes the image of the Mexican wrestler Lucha Libre, smiling men holding swords, and the lyrics of a Turkish Tango song, “Mazi Kalbimde bir yaradır” (which means, “The past left a pain in my heart”). 

Each of the images represented are symbolic. “The men holding swords with a weird smiling face represent the indifference to the murders of LGBTI+ people in Turkey,” says Sagular. “The two monsters and creatures ironically show how the majority of society [view] queer people in Turkey.” And given that each piece carries such a significant meaning, it is all the more reason for Sagular to wear them out in the world. “Sometimes people stare at me, but l don’t care and ignore them,“ he says. “This is who l am, and I’m not afraid to serve my baroque-macho looks.“

Rebag´s Designer Resale Value App

In 2016, a study by Baghunter found that the best option for long-term investors is to buy a Hermès Birkin handbag. Then the fashion resale market took off, and big players like Rebag, LePrix, The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective, along with Hermès-specific sellers like Jane Finds, made it easier than ever for consumers to find what were once almost mythical accessories. Now that were faced with a bonanza of Birkins, is the bag still a worthwhile investment?

This is precisely the question that Rebag hopes to answer with Clair, an easy-to-use mobile app launching Thursday that instantly determines the value of any handbag across a list of more than 50 brands and 10,000 bags. In an industry where pricing is notoriously shrouded in mystery, Clair aims to give consumers an exact and fully automated price that the resale company is currently willing to pay to acquire that item, while also serving as a common pricing reference for resellers worldwide.

"With more and more consumers contemplating the resale value of their luxury purchases, we've created a taxonomy that provides a more transparent way for consumers to shop more wisely," says Charles Gorra, Founder and CEO of Rebag. "We've spent years gathering data and analyzing the luxury handbag market. Clair is our way of sharing that knowledge with the world."

The concept of Clair, which stands for "Comprehensive Luxury Appraisal Index for Resale," was born when Rebag launched online in 2014. Since then, the company has dedicated a technology team of 25 people to building out this powerful proprietary software. 

The tool makes it possible to instantly check the value of luxury handbags in three easy steps: first, by going through the Rebag website or directly to the app; once on the Clair portal, you can select the handbag's brand, model, style and size; then, you give the platform more information about the color and condition of your bag, and finally, it will generate the accessory's resale value. Think of it as the Kelley Blue Book of the used bag world, but instead of simply providing a recommendation, Clair goes a step further and puts real money on the table. If the app tells you your bag is worth $900, the company is willing to write you a check for that amount right away.

Receiving an appraisal from Clair doesn't lock consumers in to buy or sell through Rebag; in fact, it only opens more possibilities. Once customers have seen the future of their handbag, they can decide to hold onto the investment for posterity, consign it, trade it or even buy more of them. It allows consumers to make smart decisions on their purchases, know the value of their purchase upfront and view handbags as a new investment category.

"The more bags you quote, the more people will start forming insights," Gorra says. "Some of these insights will be positive, some may be disappointments, but they will start shaping shopping behaviors."

Adidas And Beyoncé To Launch Gender-Neutral Collection

Adidas will start selling a new collection designed with singer Beyoncé on January 18th in a relaunch of her Ivy Park brand that includes shoes, clothes and accessories, mostly in maroon, orange and cream. Adidas described the collection, which features on the cover of January's Elle magazine, as gender-neutral. It includes jumpsuits, cargo pants, hoodies and cycling shorts, mostly featuring signature Adidas triple-stripes.

The German sportswear brand announced it was teaming up with the singer in April to relaunch the Ivy Park brand Beyoncé started in 2016 together with British fashion chain Topshop. The company did not give financial details. The partnership comes as Adidas seeks to attract more female customers, an area where it has lagged behind bigger rival Nike and German competitor Puma, which saw its sales boosted by a collaboration with singer Rihanna that ended last year.

Adidas does not expect much of an immediate help to sales from the initial Beyoncé collection, but it will ramp up over time, Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted told analysts in November. "You're going to see several launches coming up, but they have no substantial revenue impact and this has been part of the plan all the time. You will see that change throughout next year," the chief executive said.

Adidas has eroded Nike's dominance of the US market in recent years, helped by partnerships with celebrities like Kanye West and Pharrell Williams, but Nike has been growing faster in China and Europe, a trend that continued in the latest results.

Harry Styles And Marc Jacobs Have A Cheeky Antidote To The Ugly Holiday Sweater

On paper, Harry Styles and Marc Jacobs have very different personal styles. Jacobs loves outfits that incorporate clashing prints, glitzy materials, and sky-high Rick Owens platforms. Styles, meanwhile, has more of a retro sensibility: he rocks bellbottoms, disco blouses, and Gucci statement suits. Yet even though they have their own fashion flavours, the two swirled their style this week when the singer and the designer wore the exact same item just a few days apart. The piece in question? Call it the fashion guy’s anti-holiday sweater.

Designed by Jacobs and the artist Magda Archer, the sweater reads “Stay away from toxic people.” A dog on the front also holds up a sign reading, “You’ve got issues.” Styles was the first to wear the sweater during an appearance on Ellen, pairing it with brown corduroy trousers and sneakers. Jacobs followed suit today, styling it with a leopard Balenciaga coat (he loves animal prints). The sweater is not your average ugly Christmas party fare, though the cheeky messaging – all about surrounding yourself with positivity in 2020 – makes a festive statement.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Can Fashion Therapy Help You Live Your Best Life?

The act of spilling one's problems to a highly-compensated professional has historically been stigmatized as an activity reserved exclusively for the traumatized or as a hobby for the neurotic New York creative class — but as with most stereotypes, this is hardly the case. Therapy is a way to check in with oneself in a non-judgmental space, to work out private thoughts and better understand one's motivations, and is rightly considered an important part of many mental health regimens. The opportunity for regular self-reflection can be crucial for living a healthy, examined life.

So no doubt I was intrigued when one day, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I came across a post from one of the many quirkily-dressed ex-bloggers I follow, offering sessions of something she called "fashion therapy."

"I would like more people to start thinking of personal style as self-care," says Stella Rose Saint Clair, an NYC-based artist, fashion designer and influencer, who is dressed in a jaunty hat and a lime-green 1960s two-piece skirt suit for our 15-minute consultation session via a choppy Skype connection. Saint Clair, whose style is best described as retro glamour with a dash of Pebbles Flintstone, decided to start offering "fashion therapy" sessions after years of her outfits receiving enthusiastic compliments from strangers, followed up by the common refrain, "I could never pull that off."

"If you like fashion but are not having fun with it, what are you doing with your life?" she deadpans.

"Fashion therapy" purports to offer something that, though not coming from a trained mental health professional, parallels real therapy in at least one way. It's meant to be a safe space in which one can spill their ugliest thoughts and feelings and work through them to find healthy emotional coping mechanisms.

The name "fashion therapy" was a fluke. Saint Clair did test consultations with two clients that began as garden variety wardrobe consults but ended up going to a place that was far deeper and more interesting. "I think [the client] said something like, 'This is like fashion therapy.' Then I realized that's what it should be called."

As a teen, Saint Clair dressed to blend in, in combat boots and hoodies. But at 16, she decided to "embrace the unusual," after realizing that the bullying she was subject to had little to do with the way she looked. She put on an outfit consisting of fairy wings, glitter makeup and a lingerie slip and headed out to Seattle's Pride parade, feeling confident in her looks for the first time. Soon enough, she found people began treating her differently and her newfound confidence kept her from retreating into the background of her own life. "Fashion was kind of my therapy, so I'm approaching it from that angle," she says.

The conception that fashion has the power to transform a person's outlook is not new – in fact, it is an entire academic field pioneered by the Columbia University-educated professor Dawnn Karen, who currently teaches at FIT. Fashion psychology is "the study and treatment of color, beauty, style, image and shape and its effect on human behavior while addressing cultural sensitivities and cultural norms."

Karen is a trained therapist whose main focus is styling from the inside out. "Clothing can be used as a therapeutic modality," she says. "Just like a psychiatrist would give a patient a prescription for depression, I can prescribe someone colors to wear." Karen's goal is to counsel her clients and create a positive alignment between the way they look and the way they feel.

The main difference between Saint Clair's "fashion therapy" and the broader field of fashion psychology — aside from credentials — is that the approaches begin from opposite ends of the spectrum. Karen's fashion psychology begins with discussing day-to-day problems and using the information gleaned to dissect how it may be affecting a patient's approach to clothing. As Karen says, "We actually do therapy, there's just a fashion component." Meanwhile, Saint Clair's approach begins with discussing personal style then determining which life circumstances may be functioning as roadblocks.

When I initially contacted Saint Clair about participating in fashion therapy, I wasn't so sure I had any issues to work out. I had finally nabbed my dream job as an editor in fashion, and style-wise, I'd refined my aesthetic over the course of my twenties down to a science (two words: gothic grandma). Still, I tried to enter the process with an open mind. In our 15-minute Skype consultation session, I identified feelings of self-consciousness and inferiority that stemmed from having to spend my professional life around impeccably groomed people, as well as a weird compulsion to change whatever shoes I'm wearing from a pair that completed the outfit to a crappy, beat-up pair every time I leave the house.

The next day, via Skype, Saint Clair came back to me offering her own interpretation of my issues: "I believe your low-self esteem comes from assuming that those who look more put together are potentially getting better opportunities than you. That's sometimes true, but it takes away your own value and you forget to remember what is special about you." She also suggested that my feelings of inferiority and habit of wearing beat-up shoes were related, rather than two separate issues. "By dressing down, you are subconsciously telling yourself that your day isn't good enough to dress up for and undervaluing your day-to-day worth." Saint Clair offered up concrete suggestions on how I might adopt healthier habits and prescribed me to wear my jazziest outfits for a week and see how I felt.

The next week, I planned out all of my outfits in advance and made a point of sticking to the script rather than making any last-minute improvisations. I did my makeup, carefully applied lipstick and generally made an effort. The longer I followed Saint Clair's advice, the more I realized she had completely nailed it. I may never be a person with perfectly coiffed tendrils of hair or a preternatural elegance that draws people into my orbit, but I did begin to accept that some of the clothing-related habits I foist upon myself are a minor form of self-sabotage. In the grand scheme of life, this is a small and perhaps ineffectual revelation, but a revelation nonetheless — and one I would never have come to on my own without the help of fashion therapy.

9 New Fashion Books To Gift The Most Stylish Person On Your List

The holidays are fast approaching, and if you’re still in search of a thoughtful—but easy to find!—gift, guide yourself toward some brand-new literature. Even better if the person on your list is particularly well-dressed: A number of fashion books released in 2019 are sure to impress any fashion connoisseur. From large-scale coffee-table books (calling all Bad Gal RiRi fans) to designer retrospectives, there’s surely something that every fashion fan will enjoy this season. Below, here are nine fashion reads that are worth instantly gift wrapping.

The Rihanna Book

Rihanna fans will feast upon this visual tome, which follows the pop singer’s rise to superstardom (especially since we’re all waiting for that new album to drop). In this large coffee-table book, take in a wide variety of photos, from her early days in Barbados to backstage at her arena tours. Her presence would—and should—light up every coffee table.

Bill Cunningham: On The Street

This new read is dedicated to Bill Cunningham, the legendary New York Times street-style photographer with an iconic style of his own (that blue workwear jacket was identifiable from blocks away). The book includes a collection of photographs by Cunningham, including many never-before-seen images that span more than five decades.

Tonne Goodman: Point Of View

Longtime Vogue fashion director and contributor Tonne Goodman’s illustrious career has produced some of the magazine’s most iconic covers and shoots to date. The book follows Goodman’s career in chronological order, exploring her roots in the modeling world as well as her rising career in fashion reporting, styling, and, of course, her days spent at Vogue.

The New Black Vanguard

Curator and critic Antwaun Sargent examines the diverse work of black artists in both the art and fashion worlds. Along with an essay, the book includes powerful images that have been produced by a growing community of black photographers, fashion directors, stylists, and more. The images are not to be missed, including those by Tyler Mitchell, who was the first black photographer to shoot a cover story for Vogue (Beyoncé, no less).

Fashionopolis: The Price Of Fast Fashion And The Future Of Clothes

Authored by Dana Thomas, this book investigates the shifting nature of the clothing industry: how fast fashion has affected it and what grassroots movements are fighting to reform it. It also touches on key topics surrounding fashion, such as labor exploitation, environmental issues, and technology innovations like 3D printing.

Supreme Models: Iconic Black Women Who Revolutionized Fashion

This coffee-table book is the first-ever collection of works devoted to celebrating black models. Fashion devotees will find glorious images of supers such as Iman, Tyra Banks, Naomi Campbell, Joan Smalls, and Adwoa Aboah alongside interviews and personal essays.

John Galliano For Dior 

John Galliano’s tenure at the house of Christian Dior produced many memorable collections (particularly his theatrical haute couture ones). This new retrospective book follows his many creations for Dior, documenting his wild, elaborate runway shows while allowing readers into more intimate, behind-the-scenes moments, which showcase various collaborations with photographers, models, stylists, hair and makeup artists, and more.

Avedon: Behind The Scenes 1964–1980

Richard Avedon was one of the most well-known fashion photographers in the world. This new work by Gideon Lewin, a master printer and former assistant to Avedon, reveals his personal moments working for the famed creative from the years 1964 to 1980 (including a few tales from some of the photographer’s most beloved Vogue editorials). There’s also a bounty of celebrity portraits to take in: Avedon shot the likes of Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Cher, and Twiggy. 

Zandra Rhodes: 50 Fabulous Years In Fashion

Including a preface from Iris Apfel and foreword from Suzy Menkes, this new book from Dennis Nothdruft examines the life and achievements of the British designer Zandra Rhodes, who founded her label back in 1969. It covers over 50 years of her excellence in fashion and textile design—with loads of pink, her signature color, of course.

CFDA Releases February Show Schedule: Where’s Ralph?

The Council of Fashion Designers of America has released its official schedule for New York Fashion Week, and there are some key omissions among big-name designers: Ralph Lauren is not on the schedule, nor is Tommy Hilfiger. A spokesman for Ralph Lauren Corp. said the company hasn’t released its plans yet for its spring 2020 show. A Tommy Hilfiger spokeswoman said the company would be releasing its show location in the new year. Hilfiger has been moving from city to city for its shows in recent years, touching down in such cities as Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, New York and London.

Meantime, Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA, is listed on the New York Fashion Week schedule on Feb. 7 — but his show is in L.A. Other L.A.-based designers, such as Jonathan Simkhai and Rodarte, plan to show in New York on February 10th at 11 a.m., and February 11th at 6 p.m., respectively.

NYFW kicks off the evening of February 7th with a 6 p.m. show by Monse, and ends on February 12th with a 6 p.m. show by Marc Jacobs. The schedule has many of the regulars such as Nicole Miller, Jason Wu, Brandon Maxwell, Proenza Schouler, Anna Sui, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone, The Row, Alice + Olivia, Gabriela Hearst, Tibi, Dennis Basso and Michael Kors. Some of the later shows are Laquan Smith on February 8th at 9 p.m., Palm Angels on February 9th at 9 p.m., Oscar de la Renta on February 10th at 9 p.m. and Christian Cowan on February 11th at 9 p.m.

A few designers are sharing time slots, such as Badgley Mischka and Self-Portrait on February 8th at 10 a.m.; Area and Jeffrey Dodd on February 9th at 11 a.m.; Nicole Miller and Romeo Hunte on February 9th at 4 p.m.; Collina Strada and Dennis Basso on February 9th at 5 p.m.; Libertine and Veronica Beard on February 10th at 4 p.m., and Aliette and Marina Moscone on February 12th at 11 a.m.

In total, there are 71 companies showing on the Fashion Calendar calendar, which is subject to change. To be considered for the official New York Fashion Week schedule, all designers go through an application process that takes into consideration domestic and international editorial coverage, years in business, retail accounts, and if designers have participated in fashion week before.

Christmas: The Incredible Installation Of The Dior Avenue Montaigne Storefront

With 2019 coming to a close, boutiques and departments stores get their thinking caps on and create some of the most colorful Christmas store windows. At the top of the list is the incredible optical illusion creation that covers the front of the ever changing Dior mansion, located at 30 Avenue Montaigne. 

A must-see for fashion lovers and Dior fans alike, the location's windows reveal the flagship pieces of the 2020 cruise collection, in blue and gold tones, contrasting with the sparkling silver facade.

Viva Valois Vintage

Valois Vintage Paris is a must-visit vintage boutique in Paris’ eighth arrondissement, which attracts famous faces such as Kim Kardashian, Penelope Cruz and Rihanna as well as Vogue stylists and impassioned vintage jewelry collectors. In this Aladdin’s cave of Chanel broaches, glittering earrings and designer jewels, the three founders spoke to Vogue.fr about finding rare gems.

Stylists, celebrities, collectors and those who are simply curious visit Valois Vintage Paris to search for pearl-laden broaches, golden cuffs and glittering necklaces. With three stores on one street - and jewels that fascinate with their individual stories – Valois Vintage Paris is a treasure trove of rare and coveted pieces from Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Christian Lacroix and even some from Marguerite de Valois, whose byzantine-inspired jewelry inspired the name (and founders) of the store.

How do you choose pieces?

As we are known as jewelry collectors, people visit us to see if we are interested in pieces from their personal collections, which we can then buy and sell on. More than just a piece of jewelry, we give people a little bit of history with each piece, passed on from the person we source it from to the person who buys it from us.

What is Valois Vintage in three words?

Love, glory and beauty! Or, more seriously, history, beauty and craftsmanship, because behind every piece here, there’s a story and a true level of artistry.

What’s the most in-demand label?

Chanel – without a doubt.

Which is the most difficult to find?

There is not so much one label in particular, so much as an era. More specifically, jewelry from the 1960s and 1970s, mostly Chanel, Goossens and Yves Saint Laurent. There wasn’t a lot of production back then so the pieces are quite rare.

What is your favorite image with a Valois Vintage piece in it?

The one of Saskia de Brauw, dressed up as Loulou de la Falaise, wearing YSL extra-large heart earrings and a Marguerite de Valois cross-shaped necklace.

How do celebrities find you?

Usually, the stylists call us to look for pieces for photoshoots. Then, some remember our address, and come into the store to see us in person. We get interest from all over the world and we are often approached by Chinese actors and bloggers, as well as English, Spanish and American stars. Recently, Penelope Cruz came to visit in Paris for some personal purchases. We worked together for the “Escobar” movie, directed by her husband, for which we lent them clothes, bags and jewelry – which appear in the film.

What piece from your boutique is a sure-fire Christmas gift?

This vintage Chanel broach.

What is your advice for finding a great gift at Valois Vintage?

Find a piece that matches the personality of the person you are buying for, rather than something covered in diamonds, or pearls. We always advise people to help them find THE piece which has its own beautiful story. Sometimes, people come in for a specific piece they have seen on the site. In that case, we have to be quick as each object is a one-off.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Chanel In Courchevel: The Chicest Store Of The Ski Season

For many years Courchevel has been the proud home of the Chanel house on the Place du Rocher, where they are lit up their name in big red neon lights outside their store. Just behind these enchanting lights, there is a 160 m2 store full of the house's signatures: from white to black, red to khaki all mixed in with a tweed that covers the flooring. What you find there? The season's flagship boasts accessories nestled in alcoves, a selection of pieces from the 2019-2020 cruise collection and the second drop of the 2019-2020 Coco Neige collection, which continues its redefinition of the winter outdoor wardrobe.

What's in store? Among the skiwear pieces, guests can find boots in woolen leather and patent leather upgraded with a chain with golden links, a jacket with a satin look and a quilted signature along with cashmere accessories with all-over logo. In short, it's enough to combine fashion and winter sports.

Find the Chanel Courchevel boutique on Place du Rocher, Courchevel 1850 and the Coco Neige collection at Chanel.com.

Ralph & Russo Rules Christmas Gifting With Money-Can’t-Buy Keys To Its Couture Atelier

How to delight a couture customer during Christmas party season, when every occasion in the calendar is an excuse to wear exquisitely-crafted eveningwear? It’s a conundrum Michael Russo and Tamara Ralph have been considering at Ralph & Russo HQ. This holiday, the Australia-born, Kensington-based couple is gifting clients who spend £50,000 or more one of 20 limited-edition rose-gold keys. “The key itself serves as a personal keepsake which our clients can hold onto forever – a way of marking their purchase and the moment they bought it for,” Ralph tells Vogue of the Key to Couture initiative.

“Simultaneously, the key serves as a way of, quite literally, unlocking the world of couture.” For clients who consider £50,000 a small sum to pay for a dress that has been laboured on by 10 artisans for over 1,000 hours, this is a money-can’t-buy trinket and, indeed, the first personal keepsake to come out of the maison. “It also integrates our clients, both current and new, to the Ralph & Russo world and our family,” Ralph, who is feeling reflective on the eve of the brand’s tenth anniversary, continues. “Our mission has always been for Ralph & Russo to be an accessible, approachable brand. Key to Couture allows couture to be a gift, while experiencing a personalised and exclusive service.”

The Ralph & Russo family is welcoming younger members into the fold each season, owing to the label’s expansion into ready-to-wear, leather goods, accessories, and, most recently, trainers. “We’ve not only diversified our identity as a brand, our clientele has grown to span a variety of backgrounds and ages,” explains Ralph, before sharing the characteristics of the new demographic. “The Ralph & Russo woman is both elegant and feminine; international and a leader in her field; and, most importantly, confident not only in herself, but also in her style choices.”

Are the same clients really sitting on the pre-order list for the Sneaker 4.0 and lusting after an elusive luxury key? Apparently so. “Younger generations are taking a real interest in couture, which I feel stems from a genuine appreciation for the craftsmanship behind it,” says Ralph. “They are also drawn to the sustainable nature of couture, which is meant to be worn and enjoyed for ostensibly a lifetime.” The difference is that 18-25 year olds tend to invest in couture separates to style up or down, rather than full looks. Red-carpet gown + trainers? Yessir. Painstakingly-beaded skirt + T-shirt? You bet. But they all hold the same keepsakes dear.

As the house prepares to celebrate a decade in the business – Ralph is keeping schtum on what the spring/summer 2020 couture show in January holds – the power couple still subscribes to the same belief that Ralph & Russo is about selling a lifestyle. The client list might now include the Duchess of Sussex, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow, but, Ralph says, “we pride ourselves on never leaving any relationship at the door of our maison”. Now, wherever they are in the world, they have a key, too.

The First Makeup Museum In The World Will Open In New York City In 2020

Because there’s basically a museum dedicated to everything these days, it makes sense that a museum dedicated to makeup should exist, too. And, frankly, it is sure to get some folks pretty excited.

In May 2020, the Makeup Museum is set to open in New York City. The museum is dedicated to telling the story of the impact that makeup has had on society, and the first exhibit will be called “Pink Jungle: 1950s Makeup in America.” This first installation will highlight the icons, entrepreneurs, and artifacts that defined that fascinating decade.

“The Makeup Museum is a critical institution for the cultural landscape in New York because makeup has a 10,000-year history. There is so much that the Makeup Museum wants and has to explore. The 1950s is a perfect time period for the Makeup Museum to start within the debut exhibition because the 1950s is the birth of the modern cosmetics industry.”

“The Makeup Museum is the world’s leading institution exploring the history of beauty and its ongoing impact on society. The Makeup Museum is dedicated to empowering all people to learn about and have fun with beauty. The Makeup Museum brings beauty to life through large-scale exhibits, events, and interactive and shoppable programming.” The museum will be located at 94 Gansevoort Street in New York City.

Secret Santa Saint Laurent

This winter, Saint Laurent is making its mark on a series of exceptional gifts for a highly fashionable Secret Santa which doesn't break the bank. On the agenda? Stylish printed matchbox cases, a zebra print leather notebook cover and and classic badges. Secret Santa or just an extra-special gift? From Baccarat to Pierre Hermé, as well as Saint Laurent, French brands are no strangers to creating selections of ultra-luxury objects in limited edition. On the food side?

Pastry and chocolate expert Pierre Hermé designed a chocolate Christmas yule log covered with gold leaf, while Saint Laurent tackled the sporty sphere by joining forces with Zai, the ski-wear specialist whose pieces are both high performance and aesthetically pleasing, created using walnut and cedar wood, while the sticks are covered in leather. For the home? The signature Baccarat crystal heart is engraved with Saint Laurent and the Nordmann Christmas tree is decorated with neon decorations and comes in a pot to be replanted, and to gain a few more centimeters until next Christmas.

It’s Not You. Clothing Sizes Are Broken

Christopher Moore has a doctorate in physics from MIT and has worked on projects starting from tracking the world’s oil supply to looking for new cancer drugs. His newest gig is turning out to be the hardest: Helping shoppers discover their correct clothes size.

There are no standard clothes sizes, one thing that anybody who has stood in a dressing room trying on jeans, tops or clothes can attest. As shopping has shifted online, the issue has worsened. Size and fit are among the many top reasons for returning online orders, based on e-commerce software firm Narvar Inc.—adding an extra layer of costs that further erode retailers’ already thin profit margins.

“Sizing is poorly defined. What do you mean by a size 2?” stated Mr. Moore, the chief analytics officer at True Fit Corp., which uses specifications from totally different brands to help discover the proper size for customers who provide their body measurements.

True Fit is amongst a crop of companies that are attempting to solve the fit problem. Others include apps that take 3-D body scans, knitting machines that produce garments with lower than 1% variation and custom tailoring services.

None of them provide a perfect solution, based on industry executives. That’s because the problem is so difficult, particularly for women’s clothes, which vary in sizes from 00 to 18, with plus sizes typically beginning at 20. There is no such thing as a standard that requires an 8 in one brand to fit the same as an 8 in another. Men have it slightly easier. Their clothes are based mostly on verifiable chest, waist and inseam measurements.

Ed Gribbin, who developed one of the first body-scanning machines in 2001, stated clothes from different brands match differently on purpose. “The brands use the information to tailor their fit to who they think are their target customers,” stated Mr. Gribbin, who’s now chief engagement officer of Impactiva, which helps brands and retailers with quality and other production issues.

In September, Human Solutions of North America Inc. mapped the sizes of 18,000 folks in the U.S. and Canada, ages 6 to 75, utilizing its 3-D body scanners. The study, which was sponsored by main retailers including Gap Inc. and Target Corp. , also asked a series of questions, together with how hard it was to find clothes that fit. Seventy % of respondents stated it was very difficult.

The measurements underlying current size charts are so outdated that corporations are having trouble finding fit models who meet their specs, stated Andre Luebke, North American general manager for Human Solutions. The largest change is waist sizes have gotten bigger.

Some large retailers, including Walmart Inc., are taking steps to ensure their clothes fit better. A Walmart spokeswoman stated the corporate was working with industry specialists and utilizing technology to better understand and solve issues related to consistency in size and fit.

Inaccurate size tables are only a part of the issue. Oftentimes, those tables are generic and don’t reflect the measurements of actual items, stated Don Howard, executive director of Alvanon Inc., a consulting firm that helps brands and retailers with size and fit. They also don’t explain how fabrics fit. A stretchy fabric would possibly mean downsizing; a fabric with much less give might require sizing up.

Further complicating matters is the various body shapes of American customers. A research in the early 2000s sponsored by clothes retailers and producers known as SizeUSA measured more than 10,000 folks and found that the hip circumference of women with a 28-inch waist varied from 32 inches to 45 inches.

Brands have tried to solve for this problem by including new silhouettes such as curvy or straight, typically creating even more confusion for customers.

Madison Price stated she has stopped buying clothes on-line because she is bored with returning items that don’t fit. But, the 27-year-old musician doesn’t fare a lot better when she visits her local shops. On a latest trip to Target, she purchased a Wild Fable denim jumpsuit in an extra small, however when she tried on a turtle neck from the same brand in the same size, it was too tight.

“Sometimes, I’ll be an extra small, sometimes I’ll be a medium,” the St. Louis resident stated. “The sizing is all over the place.”

A Target spokeswoman stated generally items are designed to fit differently based on the style, and these details are sometimes included in the item description on its web site.

Some executives are predicting that sizes will turn into obsolete.

“Sizes will exit the window 10 years from now,” Levi Strauss & Co. CEO Chip Bergh stated last month. “All people will be capable of do their very own body scan on a camera.”

Body-scanning offers precision, however it might cause a different type of discomfort. A startup called My Size Inc. found that customers weren’t always proud of the size recommendation when it tested its body-scanning app in a New York pop-up store in July.

“They’d say, ’I’m not a large, I’m a medium,’” stated Ronen Luzon, My Size’s chief executive. To get around the issue, MySize ran a second test in which it replaced sizes with colors.

Most attire in preindustrial America was made-to-measure at house or by skilled dressmakers and tailors. That modified through the Civil Warfare, when factories churned out navy uniforms, in accordance with the Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Know-how.

Girls’s ready-to-wear clothes took off within the 1930s, and by the tip of that decade the U.S. Division of Agriculture carried out the primary large-scale examine of girls’s physique sizes. Technicians took 59 measurements from about 15,00zero girls. The information have been flawed, partly as a result of the examine solely included white girls, stated Lynn Boorady, a professor at Oklahoma State College, who has studied the topic.

Within the mid-1940s, the Mail Order Affiliation of America, which was grappling with excessive return charges, urged a predecessor of the Institute to reanalyze the Agriculture Division information. The end result turned the idea for clothes sizes in 1958.

As Individuals acquired greater, manufacturers adopted vanity sizing in the 1980s; clothes acquired bigger, however the sizes stayed the identical.

The SizeUSA study last decade decided there have been greater than 300 customary measurements, leading to 1000’s of dimension combos. Producers didn’t have to make all of them, however the information was despatched to them uncooked and decoding it could have required a statistician, Ms. Boorady stated.

Some manufacturers are sidestepping the dimensions challenge altogether. As an alternative of small, medium and enormous, athletic-wear maker Grrrl Clothes names its sizes after feminine athletes, together with Heidi Cordner, a 6-foot arm-wrestling champion, and Zhang Weili, a strawweight champion within the Final Combating Championship.

Consumers nonetheless should match their measurements to these posted on the web site for every athlete. “However they don’t should cope with the stigma of ordering a XXL,” Chief Government Kortney Olson stated.

The Next Chapter Of Victoria’s Secret Is All About Self-Empowerment

What does confidence mean to you? It’s a question that is central to photographer Greta Ilieva’s work, in particular the way she perceives nudity. “There is a realness between myself and my subject when capturing someone in an intimate setting,” Ilieva explains. “It’s the most honest and authentic way to view a person. It’s an emotional experience.”

Ilieva’s latest project saw her capture women wearing Victoria’s Secret lingerie. The minimal setting was designed to be as relaxed and natural as possible, in order to let their personalities speak and to divert attention directly from the underwear. The artist’s one instruction to the models was to “please yourself,” says Ilieva. “I told them to imagine shooting their own pictures, and to think about how they would like to be seen.” There was no element of being asked to look sexy, or to feel sexualised. It was all about self-empowerment: a woman seen through a woman’s gaze.

The relaxed, fluid nature of shooting translates into the final images, which have a rawness about them. “I see beauty in imperfections,” says Ilieva. “I get a similar emotional reaction from both, because when a subject shows me their insecurities it is incredibly intimate and ultimately beautiful.”

The style and fit of the Victoria’s Secret underwear in the pictures illustrate how it has been designed for real women: from the pretty-yet-robust lace to the functional cross-back straps and discreet sheer mesh panels. In each portrait, “you believe in the women wearing the underwear,” Ilieva – who grew up perceiving nudity as art owing to the inspiring work of her photographer mother – continues. “I’m interested in nudity from a point of view, not just a body shape.” This authenticity is central to the next chapter of Victoria’s Secret.