Category Archives: Fashion Review

UK’s new print “It” girl, Lisa King

 

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Lisa King London by Lisa King
  • What’s the inspiration:  In King’s own words, “Print is so personal.  Not everyone is going to like every print, but you might like the idea it came from and you might wear it in a different way”.  This personal and meticulous approach to print design where King first takes a deep dive into the study of specific topics that range from a very mixed cultural bag of influence is what makes her prints so special.  She almost takes a rigorous academic approach to analyzing and dissecting each topic of influence that will become the topics of her collection.  In her debut Fall/Winter 2014 collection, ‘A Study of Stars’, she translates her interpretations of astrology, film ratings, literature, and mathematics.  Each print was rendered in a stunningly bold palette through art techniques  such as line drawing, painting, collage work and digital manipulation.

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  • Why it’s relevant:  As a convert to the printastic influence of print and a strong believer that prints have segued their influence to being a staple in a sense that print is the new black.
  • Where to wear it:  Wear these stunning pieces as a statement topper to polish any ensemble or make it the focal point.  If scarves define you life like many I know, this is an absolute must add fashion accessory to your abundant collection.  Up the ante of your current collection here:  http://lisakinglondon.com/

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Hood By Air by Shayne Oliver

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air
  • What’s the inspiration:  The driving inspiration behind the design aesthetic for HBA is the way that Oliver is speaking a different fashion dialect than anyone else on the runways.  Yes, Rick Owens presented a collection where models were real women that performed a step show.  But what Oliver has done far surpasses and even rivals that of Owen’s genius in that his fashion dialect centers around elevating street wear into fashion, rather than only using it as inspiration.
  • Why it’s relevant:  Shayne Oliver’s out of the box approach to giving a voice to streetwear as a legitimate fashion style is revolutionary.  His thoughtful approach in his usage of fabrics and trims to still preserve the essence of the streets while marrying it beautifully through carefully crafted technique is brilliant.
  • Where to wear it:  Take a nod from a few of Oliver’s  most loyal patrons like Riri and Kanye West and wear it everywhere and anywhere.  This collection and HBA pieces in general are not for the faint of heart so if you can’t wear these pieces with the best of them then it’s best you leave it to a pro and not get hurt in the mean time. (But seriously, don’t sell yourself short before you try it! I have faith in you)

 

 

 

 

RKFJ: Salusalu Collection 2014

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Robert Kennedy 
  • What’s the inspiration:   Kennedy drew inspiration for his Salusalu 2014 collection from his recent visit to Samoa where he visited Louis Stevenson’s home and fell in love with the the home’s design style in marrying the idea of British sensibilities with Pacific culture and art.  This idea of giving a modern and fresh approach to traditional Pacific artifacts is the strong underlying theme to his work.  His work is truly a culmination of blending and blurring the line between disparate cultures and giving us a refreshingly new approach that allows these cultures to have a new point of view in which to tell their beautiful stories.
  • Why it’s relevant:  This collection is not only Fijian designed but is uniquely Fijian made.  The fashion industry is currently experiencing a shift where the idea of indigenous prints and designs are in extremely high demand.  This collection being designed and made in Fiji aides to giving more credibility to Pasifika Fashion and putting this great movement on the map.
  • Where to wear it:  This brimming full of stunning prints that give you a wide variety to fashion’s continued backing of the print trend.  Kennedy’s print color blocking allows you not only to be right on trend with the industry but his masterful print mixing allows  you to power print clash with the best of them.  The versatility in the collection allow you wear this while vacationing on the shores of Natadola Beach on Nadi in Fiji or lunching at Nomi in Chicago.

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Thomas Tait: Fall/Winter 2014

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Thomas Tait
  • What’s the inspiration:   Tait’s focus for this collection was to stay far away from designing anything that seemed familiar to what he’s showcased before.  Unlike many other young designers who tend to stay within the realm of what is familiar, Tait was intent on on exploring and challenging the current ideas of structure and femininity.  
  • Why it’s relevant:  Thomas Tait is clearly a design genius with impeccable workmanship that is reminiscent of the great American Courtier, Charles James.  This refreshing new talent is one to watch not only because of the amazing accolades he is his raking in (i.e. winning the LVMH Young Designer Prize, etc. ) but simply for his clean and understated aesthetic.
  • Where to wear it:  Thomas Tait’s 2014 Fall/Winter offers a variety of shapes that are very relevant to our current spring/summer season.  His bright use of color and juxtaposing streamlined structure don’t hesitate to buy now, wear now & more importantly wear later as well.

 

 

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes”

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  • What’s the inspiration:   Dominique was inspired by producing an archeological timeline of her own wardrobe and how each piece of clothing displayed directly correlates to her own personal history and evolution.  This is such a monumental exhibit because I completely agree with Dominique’s assertion that we all experience a personal evolution in our lifetime and the most concrete and sentimental remnant of those experiences are our clothing and style.  This exhibit 100% embodies CSM’s mantra of, Using Fashion as Armour to walk Life’s Runway.

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  • Why it’s relevant:  The premise of style evolution is such a real and true account that to have someone present in such a thoughtful and conceptual format for all of us to visualize the notion that one, experiences are the guiding arrows to not only our personal growth but has direct link to moulding our fashion and style choices and second that the idea of ‘Fashion is Art & Art is Fashion’ is very much a factual truth.

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  • Where to see it:  Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: “Euqinimod & Costumes” will be showing at  303 Gallery (507 West 24th Street, New York, NY) until May 31st, so don’t miss out if you have the opportunity to check it out!

 

 

PRIN Spring/Summer 2015

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  • Who’s the Designer:  PRIN is designed by Prina Bagia
  • What’s the inspiration:  Downtown electic meets high fashion glamour was the inspiration for Bagia’s third collection she has debuted this year.  
  • Why it’s relevant:  Bagia’s color palette of choice in utilizing soft beige and cream to juxtapose the rich and luxe colors of deep reds and vibrant pinks aide in cementing the transition of pinks and reds as being a key color for spring next year.  While many viewed the emergence of pink on the street style scene as a micro trend Bagia along with the rest of the fashion industry are seeing a very permanent seat at the table for soft pink and pastel pink.
  • Where to wear it:  This collection showcased 30 different looks ranging from stunning evening wear gowns to great ready-to-wear pieces.  Bagia’s vision of marrying downtown electic chic with high fashion glamour allows you to have so much versatility in being day time ready at work and easily transition into a fabulous night out on the town.   So gear up and shop local and get ready to be ushering in Spring wearing PRIN Sp/Su 2015!

 

 

#CSMStyleTips: Wild, Wild West-ern

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Junya Watanabe for Juyna Watanabe, and Ralph Lauren for Polo Ralph Lauren. 
  • What’s the inspiration:  Americana everything!  Maybe it’s the fact that I’m in the Wild Wild West for the week for work but it’s hard not to jump on the Americana bandwagon and join in the celebration of our most defining style movement: Western Wear.
  • Why it’s relevant:  Once Karl Lagerfeld showed this distinct Western wear influence on his Pre-Fall ’14 runways everyone else followed suit.  Everyone from Alexander Wang to Dontaella Versace sent Western wear inspired pieces down their runways.  The look I most appreciated was Junya Watanabe’s stunningly breathtaking collection featuring fringe in a refreshing and new way.
  • Where to wear it:  Whether you want to have a literal interpretation or a nod to the Western wear trend you will not go wrong wearing these pieces any and everywhere.  Play around with the influence but definitely, definitely wear this trend this summer to fit all of your festival needs because if any place is approps for this trend it deserves to worn at Lollapalooza or Milwaukee Art Festival.

 

 

Resort 2015

Resort 2015

  • Who’s the Designer:  Tomas Maier for Bottega Veneta; Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel; Yigal Azrouël for Cut25; Christian Dior for Dior.
  • What’s the inspiration:  Resort wear is one of the most misunderstood clothing references.  The term is actually a reference to clothing that you may wear on vacation.  The item really can be worn anytime but often the styles are brightly colored, light weight, have relaxed styling, and are easy to travel with.  The name refers to almost anything that may fit into that category.  Shirts, pants, shoes, hats, bags, swimsuits, swim cover ups are just a few of the items that can be considered resort wear.  It is a catch phrase for casual relaxed style and can be found both ladies and men’s apparel.  It can also be known as cruise wear but is essentially the same category of clothing.  Resort wear is also a term used to a fashion season by luxury designers.  Often times stores will start to carry this type of sportswear in November.  The thought process is that many will travel to warm climates over the holidays and need more lightweight clothing options.  You certainly won’t need gloves while vacationing in Belize!
  • Why it’s relevant:  Resort is a sneak peek into what we can expect to see on the Spring/Summer for the upcoming season’s runways.  While we will still see glimpses of a Fall/Winter influence we get a preview to what trends we should plan to carry into the new year.  For example, Chanel served up in a major way the push for the relevance of wearing a dress with pants.  Cut25 reminds us that the sneaker is still relevant and is not the short lived micro-trend that everyone anticipated it would be- and on the same note don’t put away crop tops just yet as well!  For Dior the idea of a structured and clean lines coupled with a refreshing palette of white gives new meaning to “Winter Whites” that will transition nicely to Spring’s sunny disposition.
  • Where to wear it:  Naturally wear these pieces on vacation but don’t hesitate to stock up on these trends now and into Fall/Winter because they will prove to be a smart investment when Spring/Summer 2015 rolls around!

 

 

 

 

Charles James: Beyond Fashion #MetBall2014

Charles James Board 1The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball is literally around the corner and the biggest night of the year for the fashion industry.  One red carpet night a year the fashion elite showcase their stylistic interpretations of each year’s themes.  Last year’s theme was dedicated to the great impact that punk has contributed to the fashion industry and I could not have been more excited.  This year’s theme is a complete dichotomy of punk but the influence and insurmountable contributions is bar none.  The theme of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” is in dedication to the life and work of courtier Charles James.  The name and significance of Charles James is not well known outside of the fashion community so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Charles James and his legendary work.

  • Who’s the Designer:  Charles James, otherwise known as the “Great American Courtier”.  James started his design career in London, and then Paris, and arrived in New York City in 1940 (fun fact is that before he officially settled in New York City he spent time here in Chicago).  While he had no formal training, he is regarded as one of the greatest designers in America to have worked in the tradition of the Haute Couture.   His fascination with complex cut and seaming led to the creation of key design elements that he updated throughout his career: wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes & dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs.   In addition to these design elements he also has a long list of iconic ball gowns from the late 1940s and early 1950s which are the Four-Leaf Clover, Butterfly, Tree, Swan, and Diamond.
  • What’s the inspiration & relevance:  The exhibit is a focus on exploring James’s design process, his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.  Approximately seventy-five of James’s most notable designs will be on display.   
  • Who’s wearing what? :    That is the big question but here are a few predictions so tune in to see if they happen to be right-Prada will be represented by brand face Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery; Prabal Gurung by Zoe Saldana; Givenchy by Amanda Seyfried; J. Mendel by Taylor Swift; Diane von Furstenberg by Margot Robbie and Olivia Munn; Tommy Hilfiger by Zooey Deschanel; with Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Naomi Watts, Jessica Pare and Allison Williamsalso attending. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz will be there with a mystery celeb, but not usual house model Emma Stone.

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Tres Bien Spring/Summer 2014

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  • Who’s the Designer:  Brothers Hannes and Simon Hogeman debut their Tres Bien Spring/Summer 2014.
  • What’s the inspiration:  Since opening their successful Swedish online shop, Tres Bien, the Hogeman brothers had created a perfect niche for themselves the chaos of online purveyors as THE defining destination shop where the marriage of high fashion and streetwear said their vows.  This collection is a direct reflection of their taste and their shop and is best summed up in their own words as, “It all comes down to our taste which stems from growing up in Sweden with a general interest in fashion, style, and culture.  We were brought up in the nineties with Helmut Lang and Ice Cube.”  
  • Why it’s relevant:  The taste level of these two is only have of the genius the other half is the sensibility for how to create conflicting juxtapositions  such as Carthartt & Comme des Garcons or Stussy & Rick Owens jive and intermix but taking it a step further and presenting the ultimate high low pairing that is absolute genius.  These two have mastered this formula and need to teach an international Dabble course-no seriously I would sign up in a nano second. 
  • Where to wear it:  Fellas, Guys, Gents, everyone of the male sex this are you listening to me?  First save the site on your browser of choice.  Second make your calendar with the date of Friday, May 2nd when collection goes live on their site (psst, tomorrow is Friday, May 2nd).  And last but certainly not least: Shop, shop, shop!  These silhouettes are great basics for your wardrobe  and present a great versatility in color that you will be able to wear each piece for timeless seasons to come.  So what are you waiting for?  Hop to it!

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