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The Spring 2016 Trend Report

· Trend Reports · , , , ,

We’re still catching up on all the latest from the world’s top designers, and spring 2016 is looking bright. And although many labels opted for pieces that transcend seasonal limitations, there’s no denying certain trends that always emerge. From sleepwear to ruffles, tie dye to pink, check out what’s hot for spring 2016.

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CR Fashion Book

The Faces of the Season

· Models · , , , , ,

The spring 2016 ready-to-wear shows have just concluded, and with each season comes a brand new crop of fresh faces. Sure, the industry is still a bit behind in terms of diversity, making for less than interesting castings across the board. However, there were a few positives that stood out. On one hand, newcomers who debuted last season, at the resort 2016 shows, and at the fall 2015 haute couture shows really shined; Lineisy Montero walked more shows than anyone else, while girls like Karly Loyce, Amilna Estevão, Pooja Mor, and Aamito Lagum also racked up some seriously impressive résumés this season. With the exciting success of these fascinating models transcending more than just one season, they’ve paved the way for even more captivating beauty during the latest show circuit. Cue the latest group that really broke through this season, some with previous modeling experience, others who took their first steps on the runway at the start of Fashion Month.

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Photo Courtesy BoF

A Problem Worth Solving

· Runway, Thoughts · , , , , ,

Fashion Month just concluded, and according to Business of Fashion, out of the 3,875 model bookings only 797 were models of color. This means about 79.4% of the models who walked in the recent shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris were white. Only 10.2% were black, 6.5% were Asian, 2.3% were of South Asian, Indian, and/or Middle Eastern descent, and just 1.6% were Hispanic or Latina. Though technically an improvement, there is only a three percentage point difference from the spring 2015 ready-to-wear shows a year ago. And whitewashed runways lead to whitewashed editorials and ad campaigns; out of the 611 covers published by the 44 biggest magazines in fashion in 2014, just 18% featured people of color, while about 90% of advertisements featured white models.

We’re going to drop the objective journalistic act for a second and say that this is bullshit.

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Photo Courtesy Vogue

Spring/Summer 2016

· Runway · , , , , , , ,

Yet another Fashion Month has flown by, leaving us with a lot to think about. Sure, there were tons of shows between New York, London, Milan, and Paris. But only a few truly stood out, and even less were exceptionally spellbinding; in some respects, this season feels a bit more commercial and sales-driven than ever before. However, there is always the necessary creativity and artistry that sparks our passion and keeps our interest in fashion alive. So, let’s break it down by city, highlighting the most impressive, noteworthy, and interesting moments of the spring 2016 runway season.

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Photo Courtesy Vogue

The Top Moments of the Fall 2014 Season

· Events, Runway · , , , , , ,
Photo Courtesy Vogue

Photo Courtesy Vogue

And that’s a wrap! In the blink of an eye, New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks have all flown by, while January’s fall 2014 menswear shows are already a thing of the past. Yeah, the fashion industry seems like it’s moving faster than ever, leaving us all in some sort of disoriented blur. However, there are still some moments from both the men’s and women’s shows that took place over the past couple of months that really stood out. Whether fashion shows spectacles or simply stunning pieces and collections, here are the top 20 best moments, items, collections and more from the fall 2014 season (in no particular order).

  1. Underrated Talents
    Photo by me

    Photo by Scott Shapiro

    The fall 2014 menswear shows brought a lot of impressive work from the world’s top designers. But some of the best looks came from relatively lesser-known labels. In Paris, 22/04 and Y Project‘s shows of both menswear and womenswear presented some wearable yet totally unique styles. The two labels shared urban aesthetics in ultra-luxurious materials and construction, making them noteworthy ones to watch.

  2. Givenchy menswear
    Photo by Boutayna Fartale

    Photo by Boutayna Fartale

    Though underrated masters showed their skills, the big names were still on top of the game. For Givenchy, that game was basketball, which went surprisingly well with Riccardo Tisci’s Bauhaus inspiration. The master of street chic, Tisci created a to-die-for range of printed sweatshirts, sleek sneakers and awesome outerwear that will surely be on our wish lists this fall.

  3. Lanvin menswear
    Photo by Boutayna Fartale

    Photo by Boutayna Fartale

    Like Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy, Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver got a little urban for Lanvin’s fall 2014 menswear collection. Featuring sneakers that will probably sell like crazy, amazingly sleek outerwear and graphic tops, all worn by an army of models with the coolest haircuts around, the collection was easily one of the best of the season.

  4. Spectacular Sportswear
    Photo by me

    Photo by Scott Shapiro

    In case the already-mentioned menswear collections – and a bunch of this season’s womenswear collections – didn’t get the message across, let’s put it simply: sportswear has been huge lately. From the shoes to the outerwear to the fabric and more, it seems like everyone’s getting ready to run for fall 2014. But what’s more important is the practicality and usefulness of this trend. Yes, finally, an explosive trend that actually mixes style with comfort.

  5. Vogueing at HBA
    Photo Courtesy NY Mag

    Photo Courtesy NY Mag

    While few things could ever top the step dancing routine Rick Owens used in place of a traditional fashion show last season, designer Shayne Oliver came pretty close this season. At the conclusion of his extremely urban Hood By Air fall 2014 ready-to-wear show during New York Fashion Week, a series of dancers from different houses and teams fiercely vogued down the runway. A dramatic show finale at the beginning of Fashion Month, it was definitely a refreshing and unique way to show clothes.

  6. Off to Brooklyn
    Photo Courtesy AP

    Photo Courtesy AP

    Plenty of designers chose to step away from the typical New York Fashion Week venues at Lincoln Center, but no one would ever think to head over to Brooklyn. That is, until Alexander Wang decided to do so. Wang felt that Brooklyn’s Navy Yard reflected the mood of his collection, forcing industry insiders to trek over to the spot by water taxi (though it’s likely that a lot came by water taxi). For those who attended, the trip was worth it, as they got to witness one of the most impressive shows of the season.

  7. Team Simkhai
    Photo Courtesy Jonathan Simkhai

    Photo Courtesy Jonathan Simkhai

    One of the best moments during NYFW came from a single look, that being the logo sweatshirt shown in Jonathan Simkhai’s fall 2014 lookbook. Simply reading “Simkhai,” the oversized pinstriped top perfectly embodied his sporty-luxe aesthetic. We’re sure a lot of people will be team Simkhai this season.

  8. Diversity at Burberry
    Photos Courtesy WWD

    Photos Courtesy WWD

    This season unfortunately saw a substantial amount of shows with mostly white casts. While this lack of diversity is extremely upsetting, we do have to acknowledge those who saw the globe as the multifaceted place that it truly is. Cue Burberry Prorsum, where Christopher Bailey and co. cast a diverse cast that not only adequately reflected London’s multiethnic population, but that of the entire world. There are still several improvements that need to be made, but at least some people are finally living up to the truly global nature of the fashion industry.

  9. Moschino Madness
    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Tom + Lorenzo

    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Tom + Lorenzo

    It’s safe to say that Jeremy Scott’s first collection for Moschino was a little over-the-top. From a manipulated McDonald’s logo to Cheetos and nutrition facts printed onto eveningwear, things went a little crazy. To many, the collection was so ridiculous that it couldn’t be taken seriously, while others proposed that this was the type of fun that fashion desperately needs. Regardless, one thing’s for sure: the kitschy gear will likely sell like wildfire.

  10. Iceberg
    Photos Courtesy Style.com

    Photos Courtesy Style.com

    Dreamlike knitwear, perfectly tailored neoprene suits and pops of color? Yes, please. The fall 2014 Iceberg collection might have gotten lost in the midst of the Milan Fashion Week highlights, but this space-age fantasy was definitely one of the best ranges we’ve seen all season.

  11. Keeping Up with Kendall
    Photo Courtesy Raannt

    Photo Courtesy Raannt

    We just talked about Kendall Jenner‘s rise to fame and the polarizing effect it’s had on many people in the fashion industry. But with the Kardashian-by-association walking for A-list shows like Marc Jacobs, Giles, Givenchy and Chanel, it’s safe to say we’ve got a new face to watch. If her latest bookings didn’t convince you, her support from LOVE Magazine’s Katie Grand will probably work up something to do the trick.

  12. Rick’s Ladies
    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Fashionista

    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Fashionista

    Rick Owens’ latest presentation wasn’t as inspirational as last season’s dance show, but his appreciation for various types of beauty was just as great. Featuring young and old models of multiple sizes and ethnicities, the designer proved that there’s more than one look that fits into his edgy ensembles.

  13. Kenzo x David Lynch
    Photo Courtesy Kenzo

    Photo Courtesy Kenzo

    For their Opening Ceremony show in New York, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon literally made chocolate drip from the walls. So how did the team top their spectacle for the Kenzo show in Paris? By teaming up with legendary filmmaker, David Lynch, of course. Lynch is no stranger to designing settings, as his conception of Paris’ Silencio club truly showed his creative genius. The “Mysterioso” theme was conveyed through a maze-like runway surrounded by mirrors, while a large, distorted clay head stood in the center of it all. “He really designed the entire thing,” said Leon, mentioning that Lynch even contributed to directing the way the models walked. The director also created a 16-minute soundtrack for the show, adding the cherry on top of the surreal masterpiece that meshed fashion with a totally different form of creativity.

  14. The Chanel Shopping Center
    Photo Courtesy Style Anywhere

    Photo Courtesy Style Anywhere

    Though not a surrealist invention like that of the Kenzo show, Karl Lagerfeld’s “Chanel Shopping Center” set was definitely a highlight of Fashion Month. The designer transformed the Grand Palais into a supermarket decked out entirely with Chanel products, including Chanel spaghetti, produce and much more. Meanwhile, editors, models, Rihanna and others played around with the elaborate layout, making it a necessary fun time in the midst of the Fashion Week chaos.

  15. Chanel Sneaks

    Photo Courtesy T Magazine

    Photo Courtesy T Magazine

    In case anyone forgot, there were clothes that went along with the Chanel spectacle. And there were shoes, too, specifically some noteworthy sneakers. The sporty kicks showed up in Chanel’s latest couture show, and Kaiser Karl didn’t ditch them when it came time for ready-to-wear. Though there are plenty more designers who’ve mastered this style of footwear on a higher level, there’s no doubt that the Chanel sneakers are going to own the fall 2014 season.

  16. Vacuum-Packed
    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Fashionista

    Photo Courtesy Imaxtree via Fashionista

    Back on the topic of sets, Iris Van Herpen got in on the elaborate action, too. The ambiance featured fully dressed models like Iekeliene Stange and Soo Joo Park shrink-wrapped in giant plastic bags, hoisted in the air in fetal position…yeah. Don’t worry, the girls were given oxygen through tubes, though their petrified facial expressions didn’t make things any less shocking. The feminine yet futuristic collection supported the antics, including the crazy footwear. A far cry from sneakers, heel-less seven-inch platforms with shin guards that wrapped around the backs of the models’ knees were designed in collaboration with United Nude. Who do you think had a harder time, the models in the plastic wrap or the ones navigating the runway?

  17. The Comeback Kid
    Photo Courtesy New York Times

    Photo Courtesy New York Times

    To put it simply, Nicolas Ghesquière won Fashion Month. The iconic designer’s long-awaited comeback as the creative director at Louis Vuitton was phenomenal, displaying an ultra-modern, hyper-luxurious collection of understated strength. There’s not much to be said, other than thank goodness Nicolas and his immeasurable skills are back in the design arena.

  18. Super
    Photos Courtesy Imaxtree

    Photos Courtesy Imaxtree

    One of the highlights of Nicolas Ghesquière’s comeback collection was the top model cast; the show opened with another comeback, that of Freja Beha Erichsen, and the stunning Liya Kebede and Maggie Rizer added to the lineup. Season after season, we’re exposed to new crops of nameless, essentially faceless models who dominate the runways. But for the fall 2014 ready-to-wear shows, we got a fair dose of old supermodels, too. As Natasha Poly opened Prada, Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk, Anne Vyalitsyna, Izabel Goulart and Lindsay Ellingson joined the cast at Philipp Plein’s Milan show. Meanwhile, Balenciaga brought out ladies like Caroline Trentini and Mariacarla Boscono, who also appeared at Givenchy (alongside Karen Elson, nonetheless). Oh, and Gisele Bündchen closed Balenciaga, too…casual.

  19. Riri’s Reign
    Photo Courtesy The Citizens of Fashion

    Photo Courtesy The Citizens of Fashion

    Street style and celebrity fascination are two inevitable yet obnoxious elements of Fashion Month. Yet somehow, Rihanna mixed those two things perfectly during her time in Paris, and everyone was all about it. Whether doing menswear chic at Lanvin or baring it all at Balmain, @badgalriri really killed it in the style game this season.

  20. Lovely Lupita
    Photo Courtesy Getty Images

    Photo Courtesy Getty Images

    It’s the little things that count. Lupita Nyong’o sat front row at the Miu Miu show fresh off her Oscar win for best supporting actress. On the last day of Fashion Month, it’s likely that everyone else in room was feeling substantially more exhausted than Hollywood’s it-girl. Yet the gorgeous budding fashion icon and face of the label’s spring 2014 ads was as charming as ever, taking selfies with fellow attendees and politely introducing herself to everyone in her row. After a hectic month of fashion shows, this type of positive attitude is the best thing you could ask for.

Well, that’s all for now. Here’s to looking forward to more spectacular moments during next season’s shows!

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Fashion Week Essentials

· Men's, Shopping Guides · , , , , , , , , , , ,

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New York and London flew by, Milan is in full swing and the grand finale, Paris is just around the corner. Yet there’s never any harm in prioritizing the essentials when it comes to a hectic, nonstop month of long, exhausting days. While the forecast at NYFW called for parkas and snow boots, there are still negotiable options for staying stylish even in a freakish polar vortex. Seeing some shows is never bad, but the experience is even better when prepared with the right items.

While this is definitely coming from a bit more of a menswear slant (sorry, ladies), there’s still plenty of versatility in this selection. No matter what city you’re in, whether you’re doing ready-to-wear, menswear or couture, here are a few suggested Fashion Week essentials.

  1. Dior Homme Black Tie Sunglasses, $354.59 at FarFetch: A little shade is always necessary in maintaining personal style, and these sunnies are chic enough to get you noticed without entering the ridiculous Fashion Week eyewear category.
  2. “Heartbreak” Raglan Sleeve Coat, $274 at Sandro: You probably didn’t forget that it’s still winter; the stinging cold is pretty inevitable. But there’s no need to torture yourself when running from show to show, as this sleek navy coat with a minimalistic concealed button placket will automatically make you one of the warmest and most stylish Fashion Week participants. And it’s on sale!
  3. Leica X2 Digital Compact Camera, $1,995 at Leica: Sure, your iPhone is still necessary for snapping some sweet Instagrams, but let’s face it, your images will be far from perfect. Meanwhile, a DSLR camera is often a burden to carry around and to figure out how to use. If you want high-quality photos of all the Fashion Week action with the convenience of a point-and-shoot, this is definitely your match.
  4. The 31 Hour Backpack, $1,250 at 3.1 Phillip Lim: It seems like most guys are only carrying around totes and those portfolio/document case bags during Fashion Week. While both are undeniably stylish, who wants to carry that around all day? Gift bags, personal items and other essentials would fit perfectly in a backpack, particularly this one from 3.1 Phillip Lim. With the sporty streetwear trend so huge at the moment, you’ll look just as good and feel 31 times better.
  5. Eau Thermale Face Spray, $12.99 at La Roche Posay: Okay, this might seem a little questionable, but really, it’s amazing. Soothing your skin in the midst of chaos is even better than you’d think, and you’ll be instantly addicted to this product.
  6. Maison Martin Margiela Eau de Toilette Replica “Jazz Club,” $113.74 at Colette: Seriously, this smells exactly like Silencio (if you haven’t been to the Parisian hotspot yet, you’ll know what this means eventually). Nevertheless, you’ll need something strong yet alluring to get you through long days, and this definitely fits the bill.
  7. Snacks, Price and retailer vary: “Fashion people” have to eat, too, and no one wants to encounter a hungry, pissed off editor/stylist/buyer/blogger/etc. Often times, gift bags at shows come with no grub whatsoever, so you’ve got to BYOF. Whether the healthiness of fruits and veggies or the convenience of potato chips, everyone’s got to fuel up somehow.
  8. Acne Studios Black Leather Trousers, $1,350 at SSense: Yes, leather pants are essential. Don’t question it anymore, just enjoy the sleek edge they bring to any and every ensemble.
  9. Rick Owens Black Leather Jacket, $4,614 at The Corner: Even more necessary than leather pants is a leather jacket, particularly a Rick Owens leather jacket.
  10. Transportation, Price and retailer may vary: You have to get around somehow, right? While plenty of editors have personal drivers and certain cities have top-notch taxi services, it never hurts to invest in a MetroCard to navigate New York or a NaviGo to make the rounds in Paris.
  11. Black Stingray Embossed Notebook, $69 at Alexander Wang: Even if you’re not a journalist, Fashion Week is an explosion of inspiration. Don’t let the thoughts and ideas that all of those shows provoke go to waste.
  12. Maison Martin Margiela Patent High Top, $890 at Barneys: Following the resourcefulness of a backpack, running around from show to show is exponentially easier with the right footwear. While some might advise against white sneakers, these Maison Martin Margiela kicks are some of the best imaginable.
  13. Neil Barrett Color-Block Neoprene Sweatshirt, $490 at Lane Crawford: A good statement piece is a must for Fashion Week, even for the most dressed-down attendees. Add some lively color to an outfit with this sweatshirt made in the new best fabric ever, neoprene.

All photos for this article via the items’ respective websites

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The Fall 2014 Trend Report: New York Fashion Week

· Trend Reports · , , , , , , ,

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After the fall 2014 menswear collections, it seemed like the industry almost forgot to mention the noteworthy trends that came out of it. However, that doesn’t mean things went unnoticed; the luxe sportswear, standout checks and plaids, playful furs and shearlings and unexpected pops of color for guys reappeared for their female counterparts throughout New York Fashion Week.

While many of us were a little distracted by incessant blizzards and borderline-apocalyptic winter weather, designers at New York Fashion Week didn’t let a little snow stop them from showing off their best work. Sure, London Fashion Week is just now wrapping up, and we’ve still got Milan and Paris after that. But let’s not forget to keep an eye on some of the biggest trends to emerge from New York Fashion Week when examining the rest of the fall 2014 ready-to-wear collections.

 

All photos via Style.com; Feature photo courtesy of Harper‘s Bazaar

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London Calling

· Travel & Culture · , , , , , , , ,

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After the flurry – and flurries – of New York Fashion Week, Fashion Month is moving forward. Next stop: London, the city known for harvesting some of the freshest and most captivating new talent. We have to start by addressing the pink elephant in the room, that being London’s slightly lower popularity level in comparison to New York, Milan and Paris in terms of big-name designers’ collections. But London’s fashion industry is definitely a force to be reckoned with, presenting work from established names like Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum alongside underrated experts like Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Ilincic.

While the continuation of this month-long fashion festival is sure to bring even more exciting trends and concepts, London’s skilled designers have the tendency to march to the beat of their own drummer, and we couldn’t be happier. British menswear is noted for the implementation and mastery of bespoke tailoring via Savile Row, but don’t think that’s limited to just the guys. With such an immense influence on the practice of creating garments, there’s a reason London is one of the “Big Four” fashion capitals of the world.

While the next few days are all about London’s best fall 2014 ready-to-wear collections, hosting a Fashion Week in one of the world’s most incredible cities opens the doors for limitless things to experience off the runway.

Left to Right: Courtesy Shoreditch House, Courtesy Scott's Restaurant

Left to Right: Courtesy Shoreditch House, Courtesy Scott’s Restaurant

A members-only lounge like Paris’ Silencio, The Shoreditch House is a perfect meeting place to gather with coworkers or friends. Though less clubby than its French counterpart, the upscale atmosphere provides a relaxing space for food and drinks in the midst of the Fashion Week madness. Meanwhile, Shoreditch is quickly becoming one of London’s hippest neighborhoods. But if you’re in the mood for a bigger meal, stop by Scott’s Restaurant over in the beautiful Mayfair district, where you can get a high-quality version of the classically English fish and chips. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with getting a little touristy.

Left to Right: Getty Images, Getty Images, Courtesy Hale Clinic

Left to Right: Getty Images, Getty Images, Courtesy Hale Clinic

Why not compliment your touristy meal with some more sightseeing? Though it’s impossible to go into detail about every single artistic and cultural element that London has to offer, it never hurts to start with a couple great museum visits. Tate Modern is a great option for those who prefer contemporary art, located across the river in Southeast London. Meanwhile, the Victoria & Albert Museum in the coveted Kensington neighborhood provides everything from a David Bowie retrospective to archaeologic exhibitions. And if your inevitably extensive time at the V&A leaves you feeling a little exhausted, you can stay on the west side of London when visiting the Hale Clinic, a great place for any holistic healthcare from detox to acupuncture.

Left to Right: Getty Images, Courtesy Celestine Eleven

Left to Right: Getty Images, Courtesy Celestine Eleven

Despite all of these suggestions, let’s not forget that we’re still in one of the world’s fashion capitals. And what would a fashion capital be without shopping? Selfridges is always a good idea, while the department store’s personal shopping suite makes the process of navigating through the dreamlike selection of fashion goods exponentially less hectic. You can always stop by the Hale Clinic again afterwards, but it’s probably a better idea to reduce your stress as much as possible during Fashion Week. Though a bit on the pricey side, a two-hour consultation with Selfridges’ specially trained personal shoppers will have you feeling like the best dressed at London Fashion Week. If the big bad department store doesn’t do the trick for you, try Celestine Eleven, a boutique that’s more manageable without sacrificing an extensive inventory. Sorry, guys, but this place only features womenswear. However, this womenswear comes from some of the best luxury designers, while Celestine Eleven also carries home goods and more holistic products within a peaceful environment.

There’s much, much more to be seen during a trip to London, but when negotiating with the madness of Fashion Week, this will surely be a start. Of course, all of the endless excitement throughout London does nothing but help to inform the stunning and inspirational designs we’ll be seeing over the course of London Fashion Week. Enjoy!

All information courtesy of #TheList at Harper‘s Bazaar by Yasmin Sewell

Feature photo by me

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Fashion Month is Here

· Events, Runway · , , , , , , , , , ,

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You blinked, and the fashion world is back in its usual frenzy. While all eyes are on New York at the moment, it doesn’t end there, as the fashion set will head from the Big – currently frozen – Apple to London, Milan and Paris in no time. It seems like it’s always Fashion Week somewhere, with street style photogs snapping away at the most ridiculous ensembles and esteemed editors taking notes on the biggest things of the season. But throughout the four “majors,” there’s a lot to be seen over the course of this month-long whirlwind.

What does this mean, you ask? Well, take away all of the chaos and hype that’s enveloped the events and brace yourselves for some serious styles, because this is a crucial time to see what’s next in the ever-changing industry. Everyone’s anticipating where stories like those of Marc Jacobs or Nicolas Ghesquière will go; how will Jacobs’ shifted focus entirely on his namesake label change things for the labels he used to helm? As Ghesquière takes over one of said labels, that being Louis Vuitton, we anxiously anticipate his long-awaited comeback after his departure from Balenciaga. Speaking of which, what will Alexander Wang stir up this season? Will it be a continuation of his safe yet sartorially friendly work at Nicolas’ old post, or will he take the neon-flared girl of the future from his own Brooklyn show this past weekend to the next level?

And the revolving door doesn’t stop spinning just yet. After the departure of trendsetters like Jil Sander and Ann Demeulemeester from their own houses, there’s something compelling about the possibility of new designer takeovers. Meanwhile, there’s always the possibility of random, unexpected exits and entrances in this crazy industry. Let’s not forget the constant interest and excitement that always surrounds some of the big players, as Riccardo Tisci’s cult following at Givenchy is stronger than ever, the world can’t wait to see how Rick Owens will follow up his spring 2014 ready-to-wear step dance show, and there’s always something influential brewing in the mind of Miuccia Prada.

It’s definitely all about the clothes, but it’s hard to ignore that undeniable popularity contest that consumes Fashion Month. And no, we’re not talking about which peacocking blogger attracted the most street style photographers or whose Instagram got the most likes (though these could still be entertaining things to watch). What’s really pressing is whose collections will stand out as some of the most inspiring of the season, or whose show will save us from monotony by taking us to a new sensory extreme. And we can’t forget the models. Which girls from last season will stick it out this time around, and who can we expect to see dominating the runways for the next few weeks (spoiler: some of the many girls from the latest Prada ads will surely show up somewhere)? And on a more serious model-related note, will designers and casting directors finally embrace some more diversity?

If this unspoken popularity contest is truly present, then all the cool kids have got to go somewhere, right? Sure, there will be some badasses hanging in the bathroom à la Anna Ewers in Alexander Wang’s 90’s throwback ad campaign, but no one cares unless they’re sitting on the chicest toilets in the city. From Back Bar and the Boom Boom Room in New York to Silencio and Le Carmen in Paris, if we can’t directly get in on the Fashion Week action, we know where to find the “in crowd.” And if anything, we know whose Tweets and Instagrams to check out for some good ol’ vicarious living (we’re looking at you, Derek Blasberg).

Finally, while Des Phosphènes’ coverage of the fall 2014 ready-to-wear shows won’t be nearly as involved as that of the most recent menswear shows, stay tuned for some highlights from the current circuit.

Happy Fashion Month, and stay warm!

Feature photo via Fashionista.com

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Dress to Impress

· Street Style, Thoughts · , , , ,

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Not long ago, journalist Suzy Menkes formulated one of the most eloquent and accurate essays on the current state of the fashion industry. “The Circus of Fashion,” the infamous dose of truth that Menkes shared with the world couldn’t be more clear than during Paris Fashion Week. Street style has essentially dominated the once-hallowed occasion, as people put together show-stopping ensembles that diminish even the most creative designs. That’s fun and all, but what about the actual events?

A peaceful walk through the Tuileries gardens essentially turns into a mob scene. Elsewhere near Le Centorial, streets are clogged, traffic is exponentially magnified, and people run the risk of serious injury at the Vivienne Westwood show. What’s gotten into Paris, the silent and stoic city? Well, during Fashion Week, everyone wants to get in on the action, and the end result is disturbingly astonishing.

You can’t blame someone for wanting to get into a show or photograph his or her favorite model in elaborate makeup as she sneaks out of the backstage exit. But oddly enough, the fashion week paparazzi doesn’t even seem remotely focused on the shows, aside from a handful of industry hopefuls whose invitations never came about. Instead, it’s all about street style, a phrase which currently harbors a bevy of negative connotations. These street style stars are typically style bloggers, thriving on the popularity of their outfits.

“There is a genuine difference between the stylish and the showoffs — and that is the current dilemma,” Menkes says. Whether or not they were actually invited to any défilés, many people simply enjoy dressing for the occasion, and more importantly, for themselves. Playing dress-up during Fashion Week is actually a lot of fun (trust me), and if a stylish ensemble appeals to the likes of Tommy Ton or the Sartorialist, then that’s great. Unfortunately, those of us who simply enjoy the atmosphere in spite of not yet receiving our prospective press passes get categorized with the peacocks, those who get dressed simply to be seen. Men wear dresses, the most bizarre objects adorn high school girls’ heads, and Fashion Week essentially turns into a costume party.

In the age of technology, it’s all about speed and photos and what can get on your blog right away and all of that hype. The week becomes a race, the finish line being a massive portfolio of outlandish outfits. It goes without saying that bloggers are at the forefront of this borderline-catastrophic movement. Originally, fashion blogging was a way to get involved in the extremely exclusive fashion industry, but today, it seems to be all about “look at what I’m wearing!” Of course, out of the millions of fashion bloggers, several present genuine journalistic skills. However, those aren’t the ones who have stormed Fashion Week and completely changed the meaning of the event.

As a blogger myself, especially one who walked around Paris with my camera in hand, it seems a bit hypocritical to develop this argument. But as I’ve said before, one of my main goals through my work is to excel beyond the typical outfit posts in hopes of eventually achieving a professional position within the fashion industry (if you need more of an explanation, see the “about” page). I’m not an expert, nor am I any better than any other blogger, but I can’t deny my frustration when witnessing the freakshow that envelops the fashion capitals. As someone with deep appreciation for every aspect of the fashion industry, it’s difficult to watch the hard work that goes into creating and presenting a collection get overshadowed by a girl in a rainbow fur coat standing outside of a venue, literally pointing at Emmanuelle Alt while saying, “I don’t even know who that is.”

If the madness surrounding street style continues every season, then so be it. But whether or not they know it, these thirsty peacocks would have nowhere to go if it wasn’t for the real fashion shows. It’s time to get our priorities straight and remember what we gather for.

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Photos by me