Monthly Archives: July 2012

A look back and ahead


After nearly a week of tented runway shows, poolside presentations and a massive trade show, the story of next year’s beach fashion has emerged. Tribal chic. Pops of neon. Animal and floral prints. And just about anything with a high waist hits the mark for the 2013 swim season.The Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim extravaganza is staged each year in perfectly pitched, air-conditioned white tents on the grounds of the Raleigh Hotel, with a trade show nearby at the Miami Beach Convention Center and a smattering of smaller satellite shows. Collectively, it’s a preview of next year’s looks for the beaches and pools. The outlook: Expect a smart pastiche of bikinis and one-pieces, breezy print sundresses, caftans and lounge pants, and the predictable assortment of deconstructed and off-the-shoulder cover-ups that also make a splash on dry land. Sarongs had a nice presence, sans the ties, instead attached at the hips with belts and sashes.

Designers continued their love affair with color, going for printed florals and fauna, neons and deep hues, some shown in color blocking. Off-the-beaten-path fabrics such as velvet, mesh and exotic skins showed up as well. And, after several dazzling seasons, the popularity of rompers (mostly replaced by separates), thongs, tunics, overly chunky hardware and the unfortunate use of bedroom lace faded. The runways, more than ever, felt a shade more elegant and practical without losing a sense of fashion and fun.“The 2013 collection had a strong sense of newness. The swimsuits were wearable and chic,’’ said Sharon Graubard, senior vice president, Trend Analysis of Stylesight. “And Miami is the perfect place to show the collections, it’s a place where swim and resort is a way of life.”

The swimsuit industry — fueled in part by bikini-friendly places like Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America — has exploded into a $4.2 billion business. Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim’s official lineup of 32 international designers, along with Salon Allure, based at the W Hotel, and Funkshion (which artfully erected its tent in Collins Park) drew thousands of brands and buyers, media, a few celebrities, those curious about how such tiny stretches of fabric can be made into beach couture and the fashionistas who knew better. Most every show generated long lines in the prevalent rain and merciless July heat. Thankfully, endless supplies of water and champagne were on hand. Each show was packed, with the occasional front-row celebrity, a throng of photographers and a booming soundtrack. Much like the electric crush of style that is Fashion Week in New York, other designers worked to capture the attention of the annual gathering, hosting events at equally stylish off-site haunts: Lila Nikole debuted her spring/summer 2013 collection at Bamboo Miami; the Brazilian Association of Fashion Designers delivered the latest looks from 17 labels poolside at the SLS Hotel South Beach.

Designer Tory Burch presented her 2013 resort collection at the Delano, the label’s first showing at Miami swim week. Inspired by a recent trip to the Amalfi Coast, where she was wowed by colorful tiles and bougainvillea, Burch turned to seafoam green, pink, purple and her signature navy. She also offered reversible styles.“We have been a lifestyle concept from day one, always including swim,” Burch said in an email. “We recently expanded our swim collection and felt it was the right time to show it in a more impactful way. Miami is an important market for us. It represents a younger group as well as international customers.”


New Fellowships Will Support Budding Fashion Executives


In an effort to support budding fashion executives, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and 92nd Street Y have launched the NYC Fashion Fellows program aimed at mentoring rising stars in fashion management. The program is just one of the many initiatives launched recently as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s Fashion.NYC.2020 plan, which kicked off in 2010 with the hope of growing New York City’s fashion industry, which accounts for 5.7 percent of the City’s workforce.Kristy Sundjaja, head of Industry Transformation Teams at NYCEDC, said the program will “enable us to develop the city’s fashion leaders of the future.”

An advisory committee including Diane von Furstenberg, Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren, Fern Mallis, Theory CEO Andrew Rosen, and LF USA CEO Richard Darling will select a group of 20 fellows to participate in the program. Each fellow will be paired with a top executive mentor for a year. The group will also participate in educational seminars, skill-building workshops on topics ranging from public speaking to work-life balance, and breakfasts with fashion industry CEOs.“This interaction will help New York City keep its edge, while providing a competitive advantage to the high-potential individuals who will lead the fashion industry in the future,” said Macy’s CEO Lundgren.

Theory’s CEO Rosen says, “By recognizing and supporting rising stars in fashion management, NYC Fashion Fellows ensures that the City’s fashion industry continues to be served by the best leadership talent in the decades to come, in turn preserving New York City’s position as the fashion capital of the world.”

While a variety of programs exist in New York City to support up-and-coming fashion designers—the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and the Dorchester Fashion Collection Prize among them—this program is unique in its support of rising stars on the business side of fashion. It also demonstrates just how crucial the fashion industry is to economic development in New York City. The industry is expected to generate $865 million for the city this year. Mayor Bloomberg has said, “Fashion is critical to New York City’s future.”To be considered for the fellowship, candidates must have at least five years of work experience and work at either a New York City-based company or an international company headquartered in New York City. The winning fellows will be announced in December.

Bumble and Bumble’s Zoe Wiepert


We are firm believers that to be a truly incredible colorist you have to be a bit mad. The great ones—our favorites ones—always are. And Bumble and Bumble’s lead university educator and all-around color wiz, Zoe Wiepert qualifies. Her Marilyn Monroe-swiped mantra? “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius, and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” Since swapping out her original childhood dreams of making it big on Broadway for the high-paced worth of hair, the Buffalo, N.Y.-born colorist has mastered blondes, brunettes, and everything in between and has spent the last six years dreaming up ideas for Bumble as part of their Creative Collective.

Her work has been featured in a slew of magazines, backstage at shows like Thakoon and Phillip Lim—and she’s picked up plenty of fans who swear by her precise painting abilities in the process. Here, the sprightly blonde shares some of her own local beauty favorites.

Jeremy Scott’s Lisa Frank Corset


We weren’t at all surprised by Jeremy Scott’s fall 2012 runway show: metallic techno fabrics, disco pants, rainbow fur, light-up bindi jewels were replete. It was nothing short of a sensory overload from one off-the-chain, eccentric designer. Though the looks are always outrageous, there’s no arguing with the fact that Scott puts on one hell of a fun show.

The most fun this season? A model came down the runway donning a molded corset decorated entirely with Lisa Frank stickers. So if you thought the days of sparkles and rainbow unicorns were over, think again. Scott’s piece brought us back to a time when trapper keepers were the latest “It” bags and pencil cases were worth their weight in gold. Though we’d never actually wear the look, it did make us want to dust off our old sticker book and start collecting again.

A fashion competition in Singapore


The top spots went to China’s Liang Wang, 27, Thailand’s Soravit Kaewkamon, 23 and South Korea’s Ko Youngji, 32. Indonesia’s Natalia Kiantoro, who garnered over 24,000 votes online for her sketches in the month leading up to the event, won The People’s Choice Awards.Liang Wang, a final-year student of Raffles Design and Institute (Shanghai), had developed his own fabric by infusing wool into poly silk via a laborious soaking technique. Run your hands along the fabric and the sensation is similar to the feel of one’s hand moving from bare human skin to patches of body hair.

Chairman of the designers and retailers group from the Textile and Fashion Federation (Taff), David Wang, opined that the Kaewkamon feather-themed menswear collection made a strong impact visually.“The entire collection really popped up on the runway, with details like the embroidered feathers, really standing out. It was very polished,” added Wang.For designer and owner of Hansel Productions, Jo Soh, it was Ko’s ability to make her sketches come to life and her take on merging the colours of the saekdong (traditional muti-coloured Korean costume) with Western fabrics that won her over. The result: a collection that is commercially viable.

Contest judge Douglas Benjamin, CEO of FJ Benjamin, thought that some of the contestants’ pieces were overdesigned as they tried to include too many details into a garment. He was speaking from experience as he has nurtured Singapore’s home-grown label, Raoul, which now has stores throughout Asia and is distributed through 80 stores in the United States and Europe.

Benjamin stressed that it is fashion that sells, not art. He added that production considerations like the economical use of fabrics have to be factored into the designing process. Where workmanship is concerned, clothes must not pucker or shrink after the first wash. So, an in-depth knowledge of fabric behaviour is crucial as well.

For Colin McDowell, creative director of Audi Fashion Festival, it’s a matter of keeping it simple.“One does not want to undo 25 buttons (when it comes to wearing a garment). In the excitement of the sculpting process, young designers often forget to be practical. Case in point are jackets with large holes at the back. Why make a jacket warm in front when you’re going to be chilly at the rear?” asked McDowell, who is also a designer and journalist who has 30 years in the fashion industry.He stressed that a successful piece has to evoke an immediate lust which will make the consumer say: “I must have it.” At the same time, it is important for ideas “to have legs”, that is, they must translate into high-street sales. So, the ultimate question a designer must answer is: “Who will buy this?”

Angelia Teoh, content director of WGS, Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong, has witnessed several changes in the regional fashion market. She said that knowledge of current trends is crucial.

Leather jackets are must-haves for this fall


Leather jackets are must-haves for this fall & the modern way to wear the leather jacket is to pair it with something unexpected, like a lace top or a cocktail dress. Find our favourite leather jackets — something for every budget & lifestyle — & prepare for fall fashion. Leather Jacket with Chains, in the event you ever need to splurge & treat yourself to something luxurious & expensive, the leather jacket is definitely the item to do it with because you’ll wear it for years. Take this Haute Hippie chain embellished jacket, for example. It’s a delicious nude leather color, but what sets it apart are the wonderful chains (in a nod to Coco Chanel who loved chains, no doubt) that are inset all over the jacket. A wonderful piece & something you could wear forever. Fake Leather Jacket,Who needs the actual thing when fake leather looks this wonderful? Save the animals & your pocketbook with this chilled fake leather safari jacket by Velvet. It features a foldover collar & comfortable, shearlinglike lining to keep you warm. The color is a rich, vintage-looking brown which is a pleasant change-up from the classic black leather jacket. Leather Blazer, Looking for a sophisticated leather jacket that is poished for the office? This blazer-style leather jacket from John Carlisle is ideal to substitute as a jacket for workdays; wear it with denims & a white tee on the weekends for a casual stylish look. Grey Leather Jacket, Need to add a tiny glam to a leather jacket? Start with grey (softer than black) & add a shearling collar (detachable, in case in you need to remove it.) This Gap leather jacket has a slim silhouette & hits at the waist.A historicallyin the past styled black leather motorbike jacket never goes out of style like this leather jacket from Calvin Klein.