Fashion has a way of being transportive. Sunday we were on an adventurous trek around the globe with Jill Stuart, earlier today Prabal took us to Nepal, and now, Tadashi Shoji has us lost in the romance of Venice. Traveling is so important to open our minds and hearts. I know for me, traveling has changed my life and way of thinking. It’s no wonder so many designers take inspiration from places beyond our own everyday boundaries and then reinterpret these sights, smells, colors, experiences and emotions in their work so that we may all experience it with them. So here we are, sitting on the Grand Canal in Venice with Mr. Shoji, watching the magnificent Ca’ d’Oro reflecting off the water like the brush stokes of a Monet…
I always love Prabal Gurung’s showmanship. There is a beauty beyond the clothing, a psychology to his army of women marching toward the light. His spring collection continues into those depths through layers and folds, textures and patterns that lead your eye endlessly in a dance inspired by the natural beauty of the Nepalese sky and spirituality of the Himalayas. Through his designs may at first glance look very feminine with the flick of ostrich feathers or sweep of chiffon, at closer examination there is a strength to the Gurung girl, seen through her razor backs, belting details or harness like bodices. According to Prabal, this is how he plays on the juxtaposition of traditional Nepalese dressing from childhood memories and androgynous American sportswear that lives outside his New York City studio walls today.
I loved the earthy vibe of Jill Stuart‘s spring collection- it’s the kind of look I imagine wandering around dusty old souks or adventuring around South America in. There is something more elevated and intelligent about the woman who will wear these pieces – she wants to be put together but remain effortless, chic but comfortable. She doesn’t need to show you every curve of her figure because her beauty is within. Swept away in the sandy color palette I could forever travel the world in these five pieces…
I recently discovered Sally LaPointe on a fashion shoot a couple of weeks ago out in Amagansett. New to me, I decided to check out her show this NYFW and needless to say, I fell in love with her simple palette (you know how I feel about black and white) and interesting silhouettes paired with menswear-inspired shoes (CHECK). The idea behind this season’s minimalism from Sally herself:
“Inspired by the idea of spring cleaning, this collection is about streamlining and stripping away. The joy of less creating confidence and certainty.”
New York, New York…
~From the New York Fashion Week Archive~
The city pulsed in every beat at the 30th anniversary Donna Karan show. And why shouldn’t it? New York City has always been the heart of Donna Karan’s work, and this season it serves as the main inspiration. Set in a building along the New York Stock Exchange, the city’s ceaseless motion, glistening lights, and sleek skyline were all captured in the simply luxurious pieces that came down the runway.
These pieces only further served what we all already know – that Donna Karan may be inspired by the city, but she designs for the women in it. “Thirty years later, I see style as an evolution, a unique reflection of who you are, where you’ve been and where you are going,” she said.
In New York City or out of it, we’ll be going with you, Donna…congratulations on 30 wonderful years…
I never paid much attention to the songs designers chose to play as they sent their seasonal creations down the runway on the world’s stage until we started making our Instagram recap videos (#fw15s) of our favorite designer’s shows. The sounds of the room reflect the mood, the muse, the feeling the designer is trying to create these garments for. As I think back to these videos, I really loved the song choices this season from Michael Kors using Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” to Ralph Lauren using Chris Botti’s “La Belle Dame Sans Regrets”. We put together a play list of all our favorite designer’s this season songs of choice for their fall / winter 2014 collections. I hope you enjoy them as I have.
Jason Wu – Lessons
Carolina Herrera – In the Crew of Tea Time
Delpozo – Disgrace Note // Baby Girl // Autobiographies // L’amour naissant III
Oscar de la Renta – Carmen Suite No. 2, part I // Carmen Suit No. 2, part IV
Michael Kors – Harvest Moon // California Dreamin’ // Ventura Highway
Ralph Lauren – Waves // Quatre nuages // La Belle Dame Sans Regrets
Peter Som – On ne meurt plus d’amour
Nonoo – Fall in Love // Under Your Spell // The Fire // Golden Hour // Of the Night
Jenny Packham – Oh What A World // Beauty Queen // Sister Europe // I’m The Man, That Will Find You // Third Stone From the Sun // Strict Machine
tibi – Blue Moon // Red Eyes
Marc Jacobs – First Sleep
Rodarte – Wild Mountain Honey // Video Life // Superstar
Vera Wang – Beat and the Pulse // The Call // Gloop
Timo Weiland – Sun // Ghettos & Gardens
Marchesa – Nightcall
Shooting backstage is quite the interesting experience. I mostly try to stay out of the way of the photographers with their large flashes, cords and assistants who are always reaching for the models, calling them by name, fighting other photographers over space. Instead I look for quiet moments, beautiful moments, something in-between. I try to see what is intimate… a thought, a glance, a gaze. I always hope to see the beauty not only in the clothing, especially when you are talking about Ralph Lauren, but also the beauty in the person I’m photographing. This collection in its simplicity and understated color palette was a true look at luxury textiles and in confidence, which made it wonderfully amazing to study the collection up close and with more ease than in the brief shining moment we get on the runway.
This week, we’ve been talking to the three winning designers of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, exploring various fashion ideas from just hanging out with friends with Timo Weiland to the extremes of nature and knitwear with DEGEN.
All of these designers have been wonderful, but one of them captured our hearts right off the bat with her traditional silhouettes and re-interpreted vintage prints: Jordana Warmflash of NOVIS.
What is your favorite piece that you’ve designed?
There are different aspects to each piece that I love. Right now I’m really into this blue coat that’s going to come out in fall 2014. It’s fairly simple but the fit is amazing…it’s a great piece.
Yesterday we had the chance to hang out with the designers behind Timo Weiland, and today we venture further into the world of knits with fellow Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award winner, Lindsay Degen of DEGEN.
Lindsay admitted to us that she was thrilled and surprised by the call that she had won, as her aesthetic is “kind of crazy”…working solely in knitwear, her past collections have explored and delved into various topics surrounding the body, ranging from cultural anxieties to microscopic views of DNA and bacteria.
Her presentation this season featured live knitters in addition to male and female models, Crocs, and LED lights as well as various new materials knitted into the funky pieces she is known for.
To start off…how excited are you to be a winner of the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award?
I’m super excited about it. I thought there was no way I would ever get it, because – if you look at the list of designers, they’re all incredible well-known designers, and none of them really have a really crazy, out-there aesthetic. They all look different, but my line aesthetically doesn’t really fit in with the bunch. So I was super excited that they chose me, because it’s a real honor to be lumped in with those other designers. Additionally there’s only one other knitwear designer – Tom Scott – who has won it, and while he has mostly knitwear he also has some woven, so I was really glad to hold down the knitwear niche.
[The grant money] is allowing me to make a 20-foot interactive LED rainbow for my presentation. I really wanted to do it this season anyway, but it allowed me to do it in a less makeshift way. It looks so good, I can’t wait.
A 20 foot rainbow??
This collection, I’m introducing some bizarre things, including fishing line and reflective yarn…because I was inspired by all these materials I’d never used before, I was having all these moments of “Wow, I’ve never had these moments before, I never knew knitting could be like this.” I wanted the viewers to have a similar experience, but they wouldn’t have that by watching someone knit. I thought, “What makes people go wow, what are we amazed by as children?” And the answer was rainbows. It’s the craziest thing nature does.
Good taste never goes out of style…
I’m all about having a great drink, and as you all know, I live for a beautiful fashion moment. So I was thrilled to hear about the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation, a marriage of great taste between Italian wines and awards for emerging fashion designers.
The EDFF and their elite panel of judges works hard to select the best of the best, and their choice of three emerging designers receive a grant to go toward their presentations at New York Fashion Week. In their 13 seasons, the EDFF has given $1.8 million to designers, many of whom now have flourishing careers such as Joseph Altuzarra and Derek Lam.
This week, we’re featuring the three winners of the EDFF award. Being able to talk to up and coming designers about all aspects of their work – personal style, inspiration, and dreams for the future – is so wonderful and eye-opening for me. As a photographer I love beautiful moments and being able to tell stories, so hearing the tales behind stunning collections makes the experience even better.
For our first interview, we got to talk to the three designers behind menswear winner Timo Weiland – Timo, Alan Eckstein, and Donna Kang. They were so lovely to talk to, it felt like friends just hanging out…which is exactly what their collection is about.
Who ideally wears Timo Weiland?
Alan: For menswear, it’s classic with a twist. It’s a very wearable collection but it has signs of care, great tailoring, and personality to it.
Timo: Everything we do is classic with a twist, I think. There’s definitely a New York feel and inspiration. And we’re constantly inspired by our circle of friends and their personalities.
How do you think winning the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award will affect your business?
A: It’s incredible. It’s pretty much our greatest honor to date. Every designer needs some sort of validation, and this is definitely a really great thing for us. It’s a great community, it’s a great award. We respect so many past winners – we look up to people like Proenza, Alexander Wang, Rag+Bone. And it’s a really good year – we love Degen and NOVIS too!
It also gives us the chance to show. We may not have been able to show men’s this year for budgetary reasons, but now we’re able to.
Not even a blizzard could keep us away from the luxury and modern glamour of Ralph Lauren‘s Fall 2014 collection show. Beautiful ivories, soft grays dancing into lilacs and blushes so delicate in tonality you would believe our muse is a flower whispering a soft breath of life into the season. I loved the elegant simplicity leaving your mind’s eye free study all the textures of fur, leather, cashmere and silk. Free to appreciate the true beauty of being a Ralph Lauren women…
Here we are, sitting in the New York Public Library, the lights of the room dim to darkness and I stare up at the glass ceiling glowing blue in the early evening light. In this 30 secs of darkness I wonder what creations Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig of Marchesa are about to bestow on to us. What dreams and fantasies we were about to see. For me, when I go to these shows and photograph all these amazing gowns, it is about where the pieces take me in my imagination. Are we going to be princesses or Oscar winners? Will we be midnight kisses in secret gardens or attending balls at the white house? I think about fashion, what it means, and for me it is that dream, the escape, the fantasy. It’s like watching a movie and if you let your mind be free enough there is a whole world of adventure to be had in the lace of a bodice or ripple of satin. When the designers talk about their visions for this collection they reference billowing bonfires sweeping through the Scottish Highlands… now that is a dream I can get into.
Jenny Packham‘s Fall 2014 collection was inspired by Bianca Jagger, the dark-haired beauty and 1970s fashion muse. The show was full of sleek silhouettes, full-length skirts, and intricate beading all with a laid back attitude and hands-in-your-gown-pockets-ease. If last season Jenny took us frolicking through the countryside fields, this time our muse has gone to the city and she is looking for a great night out on the town…