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Oscar de la Renta

The Loss of a Legend

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Oscar de la Renta at his fashion show at Neiman Marcus-  Chevy C

One of the brightest stars of not just New York, but the global fashion scene, designer Oscar de la Renta has died at 82-years-old.

The prolific creator of some of the most iconic fashion ensembles, Mr. de la Renta was born July 22, 1932 in the Dominican Republic. He studied at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, where his sketches gained the attention of the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, who subsequently commissioned him to design her daughter’s wedding dress. Said gown appeared on the cover of Life magazine, putting de la Renta on everyone’s radar. He landed an apprenticeship with Cristobal Balenciaga before heading to Paris, where he was immediately offered a job at Lanvin. Two years later, Oscar de la Renta found himself designing for Elizabeth Arden in New York. And it wasn’t long before the designer made the city his empire; in 1965, Oscar de la Renta’s namesake brand was launched.

The news of Oscar de la Renta’s death comes just after the announcement of Peter Copping taking the reigns as creative director of the house, following his tenure at Nina Ricci. Though there were rumors that de la Renta had been battling cancer for years, his passing was an unexpected – and utterly devastating – shock for the entire fashion community.

We can remember Oscar de la Renta for his undeniable vitality and relentless passion for his work. A true magician and a modern-day couturier, the designer never put anything above his primary goal of making women look and feel truly remarkable. It’s no wonder that his pieces were go-to’s for everything from red carpet events to daytime attire. And although he worked through the New York fashion market growing more chaotic, even more aggressive at times, he still never sacrificed vibrance, glamor, and undeniable elegance. Always a highlight of New York Fashion Week, de la Renta’s shows would be a parade of stunning women from all different racial, cultural, and physical makeups, exuding beauty and grace in his classically luxurious designs.

Oscar de la Renta’s necessary jolt of life into the fashion scene in New York and the rest of the world made him one of the most valuable and influential designers of all time. He will be missed dearly by the fashion community and people around the globe, but his legacy could never be forgotten.

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Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Let’s Talk About the Met Gala

· Celebrities, Events · , , , , , , , ,
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

This year’s Met exhibit, “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” celebrates the designs of one of America’s most coveted couturiers. His undeniably elegant and glamorous work was to be reflected in an ultra-formal, “white tie” dress-code at this year’s Met Gala, arguably the biggest event in fashion.

Of course, not everyone went by the dress code. You’d think that the theme of elaborate ball gowns would be pretty easy to get into, but just like last year’s Punk-themed fête, a lot of guests somehow managed to completely miss the mark. For many, this actually resulted in some pretty great looks. Take Rihanna for example. The singer – who will be honored with a style icon award at the June 2 CFDA awards – definitely proved her credentials. In a so-not-Charles-James custom Stella McCartney ensemble, Riri showed her immaculate midriff via a white long-sleeve crop top with structured shoulders and a matching long skirt. Honorable mention goes to her curly up-do and “stoner eyes.” McCartney also dressed Kate Bosworth, Reese Witherspoon and Cara Delevingne, whose casual outfit comprised of a revealing black crop top with white trousers. Charles James, who?

We need to talk about Jay Z and Beyoncé for a second, too, or as some like to call them, the king and queen of the universe. The majestic couple, who recently made headlines with the announcement of their joint summer tour, looked nothing short of incredible. Both wore custom Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, with Hov donning a pristine white jacket, and Bey wearing a mostly sheer, black embellished number. Her beaded fishnet veil completed the already divine look, as if the duo could be any more perfect. Frank Ocean, Naomi Watts, Laetitia Casta, and Riccardo Tisci’s date, Naomi Campbell also stunned in Givenchy, though few looked even nearly as breathtaking as Adriana Lima did in her brown sequined gown with a matching leather bustier. Oh, and let’s not forget Erykah Badu, who also slaughtered it. The current face of the label and muse to Riccardo Tisci essentially shitted on everyone with her voluminous, embellished suit and matching over-the-top hat that put Pharrell’s famous Vivienne Westwood cap to shame.

Keeping things in theme, a handful of ladies wore Zac Posen, one of the most similar designers of our time to Charles James. Liu Wen really turned heads in a ginormous ball gown by the New York-based designer and makeup that looked as if it could’ve been personally applied by God. Sarah Silverman went with a similar burgundy number, joking, “it’s like a fucking second skin!” Even though the comedian might have been a little bit of an uncoordinated mess on the red carpet, she looked surprisingly stunning, as did Dita Von Teese (minus the surprising part), who wore a form-fitting Posen-designed version of Charles James’ Clover Leaf gown in nude and red. And what about Karen Elson, who looked like she stepped directly out of the 1950s? Would it be appropriate to say, “yaaaaass?”

Topshop whipped up a frock for it-girl Kendall Jenner, as well as Toni Garrn, Jourdan Dunn and Chanel Iman. But none of the ladies looked like they were in fast-fashion, especially not Jourdan Dunn, who served early 1990s Tyra Banks realness in a refreshing canary yellow gown, subtle jewels, and a sleek up-do. Sorry to play favorites, but homegirl was definitely on top of it. This would definitely be the right time for a “yaaaaass.” The other three looked great, too, and Chanel Iman looked even better next to her beau, A$AP Rocky. Let’s face it, the guys generally looked painfully boring in their one-note tuxedos, aside from the ridiculous circus outfits worn by Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka. But Chanel’s rapper boyf looked kind of really awesome, pairing his sophisticated tuxedo with sleek boots and his own natural style. Andrew Garfield, whose girlfriend Emma Stone looked vibrant yet super casual in a Thakoon ensemble, kept things relatively interesting with a metallic Band of Outsiders tux. But just about every other guy’s coat-tailed tuxedos looked like some type of costume. We know it’s the Costume Institute Gala, but for real, you guys look so lame it hurts. Even a little shade could be thrown Kanye’s way; what happened to the guy who used to be known for wearing red suits? Him and Kim didn’t look too bad, though, as the reality TV starlet cleaned up nicely in her Lanvin look.

Other highlights and lowlights included the usually incredible Lupita Nyong’o in a questionable custom beaded Prada number, Rita Ora ruining what could’ve been a beautiful Donna Karan gown by looking like she rolled around in a New Jersey dumpster, Anne Hathaway showing another example of a perfectly done crop top with her red Calvin Klein outfit, Taylor Swift looking like an Oscar de la Renta Barbie doll and Kylie Minogue looking insanely basic in what appears to be a prom gown by Marchesa. Other catastrophes included Katie Holmes dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Elizabeth Olsen running a few months late to the Winter Olympics in her Miu Miu ice skater outfit. In general, the 2014 Met Gala red carpet was kind of boring, sometimes stunning and occasionally disturbing. But instead of going into details about who, what and why things kind of sucked, we invite you to check out some of the most noteworthy looks from the event below and share your comments!

All photos courtesy Getty Images via Style.com

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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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The First Coach Collection

· Runway · , , , , , ,

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Sorry to all the lovers of those “C” logo bags, but that Coach is nowhere to be seen. After his recent appointment at the famed accessories brand, British designer Stuart Vevers decided to take the label into the ready-to-wear realm.

Not only was the clothing debut unexpected, but it was quite the pleasant surprise. Vevers’ Americana-envisioned premiere wasn’t only executed through a few cowboy hats, but it was also highlighted by some powerfully impressive outerwear. Shearling-collared denim jackets, leather-detailed pieces and statement oversized red and black houndstooth coats adorned the grade A cast of ladies like Sasha Luss and Malaika Firth. Oh, and the most expensive of these garments comes in at just under $3,000, a relatively affordable option in comparison to most luxury goods.

While the Vevers’ outerwear maintained Coach’s accessibility despite its transformation, flirty yet tough skirts appeared dangerously short in the best way possible. A company all about accessories, chunky, sneaker-like boots sturdy leather bags finalized the transition of this mall brand into a modern, urban New York retailer.

Photos courtesy of Coach

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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

The Year in Fashion: 2013

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That was fast, wasn’t it? Yeah, with the blink of an eye, 2013 came to a close. But in these short 12 months, there was no shortage of drama, spectacles, and undeniably iconic fashion moments. Let’s get a little nostalgic for a second and reflect on some of the most noteworthy fashion events in 2013.

And just like that, the year came to a close. Sure, maybe something groundbreaking could happen in the next few days before 2014, but otherwise, here’s to a happy New Year and plenty more exciting fashion moments!

Feature image via Getty

EZOO

Events to Get Excited About This Fall

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There’s a lot going on in the Northeast starting this weekend and going well into the next couple of months. Whether you’re looking for a music festival, fashion events, or simply some party plans, you’ve got a lot to choose from. Here are some awesome events in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia that will kick of this fall on an epic note.

HQ

HQ

Atlantic City, New Jersey probably has a less than positive reputation. However, HQ Beach Club and Nightclub in the recently opened Revel Resort are quickly turning that around with stellar partying experiences. But what else would you expect from the always optimal EMM Group? This year’s Labor Day Weekend is set to be an big one, and AC is ready for the festivities. EC Twins will be spinning at the Beach Club on August 31, while huge DJ’s like Danny Avila and Kaskade will be performing at the nightclub on August 30 and September 2, respectively. But the party doesn’t stop after Labor Day. Even more will be going on through September, including a couple events with Dirty South and R3HAB, and it all culminates in HQ Beach Club’s closing party on September 22. Find out more information on Revel Nightlife’s website.

Labor Day Weekend in the Hamptons

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If the jersey shore doesn’t float your boat, it’s never a bad idea to head off to the Hamptons for the weekend. Typically an invite-only type of situation, you’d better call up some of your most posh friends for this Empire State getaway.

Made in America

MIA

Offering more of a mélange than most music festivals, Jay Z’s Made in America is going to bring lots of high energy and superb performances to Philadelphia this Labor Day Weekend. The two-day event (August 31 and September 1) features a variety of genres; EDM from the likes of Porter Robinson and Wolfgang Gartner will be heard next to hip hop from A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar, while artists like Emeli Sandé and Miguel will also take the stage. On the 1st, Calvin Harris and Queens of the Stone Age get the crowd warmed up for the iconic Nine Inch Nails, but the day before could be potentially more enticing. After buzzworthy sets from Deadmau5 and Phoenix, the night will belong to Beyoncé, and it’s likely that all of Philly will shut down in awe.

Find out more info here!

Electric Zoo

EZOO

If the DJ’s at Made in America aren’t giving your necessary dose of EDM, then head up to New York for Electric Zoo (aka EZOO) this Labor Day Weekend. From August 30 through September 1, crowds will be sent into a frenzy of dance and celebration, as artists like Alesso, Avicii, Above & Beyond, Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi, and Knife Party take over NYC. And that’s just the first day! The rest of the weekend includes performances by Tiësto, David Guetta, Armin van Buuren, Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Zedd, and our favorite, Diplo. It’s more than likely that tickets to this event got snatched up right away, but it never hurts to look into the details a little more.

New York Fashion Week

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You thought it was just about partying? We’d never forget about fashion. The spring 2014 ready-to-wear collections are coming, and it all starts at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. From September 5 through 12, our favorite American designers will show us what they’ve got for the upcoming season. Of course, there will be plenty of events surrounding all the NYFW shows, so don’t miss out on all the activity that will start off this Fashion Month.

Boston Calling Music Festival

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Beantown is going to get the music festival it deserves on September 7 and 8. Kendrick Lamar, Wolfgang Gartner, and Solange will all be at Boston Calling, right off the heels of Made in America. Meanwhile, artists like Flume, Flosstradamus, Passion Pit, Vampire Weekend, and Major Lazer will put together another varied event like that in Philly. Check out more info here!

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Barneys Warehouse

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One of the biggest events every year is the epic warehouse sale from Barneys New York. The high-end department store’s discounts mark down typically pricey pieces to far more affordable standards. Yes, it’s hard to believe anything from Barneys could come at a reasonable price, but according to the website set up exclusively for the sale, dreams do come true. And this isn’t just some half-assed attempt at getting rid of last season’s items; from Givenchy to Lanvin, from womenswear to men’s leather goods, anything and everything has been significantly marked down.

In the rare case that you can’t find anything on the expansive Barneys Warehouse site, don’t fret. The actual sale itself will take place in just a couple of days on Thursday, August 22 at New York’s Metropolitan Pavilion, and if anything is left afterwards, it will run through Labor Day weekend. Of course, the retailer got in on some social media action, too, keeping consumers updated via the main Barneys New York Twitter page and the Barneys Warehouse Twitter. Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to stop by Barneys Warehouse sale! Oh, and don’t forget to save us some goods!

Feature image via Dappered

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H&M Online Shop Finally Comes to U.S.

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It’s safe to say that H&M’s American customers have been anxiously awaiting the opening of their online shop to the U.S. market. It seems like the Swedish fashion giant has been putting off the e-commerce move for years, placing a heavier emphasis on opening more stores and expanding their already globally dominating presence. However, we can all rejoice now that we can get our favorite reasonably priced essentials without even having to put on pants. The site will include additional sizes and variations on their in-store items, as well as exclusive online-only pieces. Meanwhile, the highly anticipated Isabel Marant collection will be available on H&M’s website, too, as will all future coveted designer collaborations. That’s right, no more waking up at the crack of dawn to wait in line at H&M and face a stampede of crazed consumers. But that’s not all the brand has to offer.

As if H&M would ever have an issue getting traffic to their e-store, they’ve come up with a variety of fun and interactive promotional ideas. One of those is the “50 States of Fashion” contest, in which bloggers and other social media aficionados Instagram themselves in their favorite HM.com purchases for a chance to win a huge prize. Tagged with “HMShopOnlineXX” (the “XX” being the abbreviation for their respective state), applicants’ photos will be sent to a 50 States of Fashion adjunct page, where viewers can vote for their favorite looks. After two weeks, the most “liked” photos will be reviewed by a panel of judges, ultimately deciding who will win a $1,000 H&M shopping spree and a trip to an H&M New York Fashion Week event. Remember, this isn’t Barney’s we’re talking about; $1,000 at H&M can go pretty damn far. If that doesn’t show a fashion company taking advantage of the omnipresence of social media, we don’t know what does.

But of course, H&M won’t stop there. Adding to the always bustling events going on in New York’s meatpacking district, H&M will host their own party in the posh neighborhood on August 22. Featuring exclusive items from their recent Paris Show Collection, a Try-On-Lab, and a modern check-out system where customers will make purchases via iPads, H&M is truly taking futuristic fashion to the next level. Can’t make it to the August 22 event? No worries. All of the Paris Show Collection items will also be available on H&M’s website, because just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, H&M proved you wrong.

For all of the excited American H&M customers, be sure to go to HM.com to learn more about these awesome promotional activities and to check out (literally) some always-appealing pieces. Oh, and don’t forget about H&M’s home collection and mobile app! Yes, it just keeps improving.

 

Feature image courtesy of Babble