Ralph Lauren always takes us on a journey, be it the rolling green estate of an English manor, the perfectly fitted and delicately embellished world of Jay Gatsby or lost on the shining streets of Paris at night. This season we find ourselves embarking on the greatest journey of all- Safari. With a slight military embellishment and topped off with colorful crystals that take my mind deep into wilds of India, Ralph Lauren takes on trekking in the chicest way possible. The closing dress to the show gave me goosebumps and a rush of a thousands visions of photographic moments: running through the tall grass on a vast savannah, riding on the back of an elephant enveloped in clouds of red dust or climbing on to a prop plane under a setting sun in the most ‘Out of Africa‘ romantic way possible…
Jenny Packham‘s collection this season was inspired by the most famous woman in the world. While waiting for the show to start I read an open letter Packham wrote to Marilyn Monroe on the depth of research and inspiration she based these designs on. I found it quite beautiful and thought I’d share so you can hear the designers thoughts directly on this collection that makes me so glad to be a woman:
I’ve read the book and listened to the recordings, visted your bungalow at the Beverly Hills and sat in your chair at the Max Factor building where you became a blonde, all the while challenging why you are still so relevant in this brace new world. I’ve held your ‘some like it hot’ LBD, looked inside your corsets and collected your images. I’ve tried to decipher whether your attraction is familiarity or something else.
A self-made woman and a brilliant actress who sewed buttons into her bra and affcted a walk and a giggle, enough to make armies of men fall at her feet. You were media savvy, a photographic phenomenon and the first woman to have her own production company. However, for me it’s that smile that makes you ever relevant and time enduring.
As a muse you’ve been inspiring: your style is definitive and your images have, with their technicolor intensity, created this season’s colour palette.
At first I was nervous, I tried to be clever with the way you influenced me but you handed me inspiration on a plate and I decided just to eat it up!
Oh my darling, cling to me
For we’re creatures of the wind
And wild is the wind, the wind
Wild is my love for you
“Music is a huge influence for us,” explains Shane Gabier during their fashion workshop. “It lends a cinematic quality to life,” adds his partner, Christopher Peters. It makes sense that music drives the designers – the lines above, from the song “Wild Is the Wind”, are where they got the name for their line, Creatures of the Wind.
Gabier and Peters started their quirky and stylish line in 2007 in Chicago, where Gabier worked as a fashion design professor. Their first collection, Spring 2011, caught the attention of Barney’s, and from there the line grew in size and esteem, receiving such esteemed fashion design awards as the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund in 2011 and the CFDA Swarovski Award for Womenswear. Now based in New York City, Shane and Christopher continue to bring their unique vision to the fashion industry.
One of the many amazing features of SCAD Lacoste are the three day intense workshops they create for the students, bringing in industry talent to interact one-on-one with students and give them a taste of what it’s like to make your passion into a real living with practical, hands on advice. The fashion students’ task, set up by The Creatures (as we call them), was to pair up and create a collection based on abstract expressions, which they had to show via various sketches and inspiration boards. As seniors, each of these students will spend the entire year working up to a final collection of their creation. This workshop acted as a boot camp on getting inspiration, figuring the individual stories they want to tell, and learning to express their ideas in physical pieces. The girls worked hard for several days in the brightly lit studio of Maison Basse, and after receiving tips and encouragement from Gabiers and Peters, presented their final sketches, taking the next step toward becoming designers themselves.
We were able to stop by the workshop and hear the sage advice of the wonderfully creative Creatures boys…
“It’s important to work with other people – to react to what they show you, to react to their reactions of what you bring, to explore every tangent and every path to see where you go and what connects with you…that will ultimately help you make your work.”
As you know, we love working with the CFDA. They work to support up-and-coming designers with the CFDA Incubator program, and this latest class of incredible designers happened to include two we’ve worked with before – the lovely Misha Nonoo and Katie Ermilio (Katie even designed my wedding dress!). So when we were asked to take the official portraits of the 2014 class of designers, we couldn’t wait. We created an entire portrait set up in our studio and the designers came in and out throughout the day (which you can see in the time lapse video above!).
It was so wonderful to meet all of you, CFDA Incubator class of 2014! Now tell us…
“What is fashion to you?”
Misha Nonoo, NONOO
“Fashion is transformative.”
Dana Arbib, Farah Mailk, Jesse Meighan, A PEACE TREATY
“Fashion is a universal language of self-expression.”
Lucio Castro, LUCIO CASTRO
“Fashion is clothes plus feelings.” Continue reading “A New Class of Designers”