The lifestyle concept, applied to clothing, makes for practical applications. Quite simply, it’s about clothes for function: what to travel in, what to work out in, and how to grab seven tops and three pairs of pants for a week’s trip with the ease of knowing that they all will work fabulously together. It’s about a sweater of incredible cashmere and Lycra that hugs and drapes the body and works with every single pant you own. So follows the lifestyle solutions offered by four-year-old New York-based label FAL (Fashion Active Lab) by Geoffrey Grubb. Multi-task luxe sportswear and activewear for men and women takes you from the squash court to a first class lounge then directly to your company meeting.
- ALL Fashion Features /
A year ago B has blessed Conduit Street in London with a shop based on an adventurous retail concept. B is essentially cult footwear label Buddhahood‘s flagship store that also houses a fresh crop of new design talents.
Continuing their obsession with women’s (and girl’s) panties, (remember the selling of the schoolgirls’ panties in vending machines?) the Japanese have come up with yet another ingenious invention — the faux see-thru skirt. Yes, regular skirts of all varieties — mini, A-line, apron-are silk screened with the image of a woman’s behind clad in only her panties. At first glance, you may feel that you have suddenly been given x-ray vision, but as your object of intrigue turns around with a solid-front skirt, you realize you’ve been duped. Leave it to the Japanese to come up with the bizarre invention of a titillating tidbit that almost doesn’t titillate in the end. Will these skirts find themselves on U.S. shores anytime soon?
There’s never a lack of new designer talent to check out during Paris fashion week. The challenge is in deciding which exotically named collection to fit into your schedule. At a Marais furniture showroom, JC Report had the privilege to discover Japanese designer Manoru Sekihara’s mistitled Naïve collection. Perfectly tailored 60′s silhouetted coats and jackets, chicly opposing fabric combinations including gauze, felt, wool, silk jersey, satin and muslin turned out in a thoughtful color palette of powdered pink, dove gray and soft blues marked a debut showing steeped in eastern and western influences. Contemporary art by way of the construction/deconstruction games from Italian designer Celori and polka dots in the work of artist Jayoi Kusama anchored Sekihara’s use of delicately architectural detailing.
JC Report issue 3 trumpeted the influx of protective gear as a major trend and while retail stores and fashion editorials subsequently turned out hordes of military and utility stories to support our forecast, the thesis continues to evolve. Designers are now applying details inspired by medieval armor to inspire some of the chicest collections for fall. Leather and metal, usually juxtaposed to convey a punk rock or biker feel, teamed up this season to deliver armorial accents nicely dosed in metallized glint.
Imagine this: when taking the beautifully designed hand tag off your newly purchased accessory, instead of throwing it into the trash you plug it right into the CD drive of your PC and automatically get information about the item you have purchased, a slideshow of the collection it belongs to, the season’s advertising campaign by the specific label, a link that takes you directly to the brand’s website as well as endless offers, competitions, sister brands, music clips, movie trailers and links to other relevant sites. This is the vision of a forward-minded, technology driven boutique consulting firm, Coltrane-Parker with their invention Tag CDs.
Or just Buddhist?
Green is said to be as agreeable to the eyes as the sight of a beautiful woman, yet the color has been underrepresented in recent times, unless you count the perennial green Wellington boot. We’ve seen frequent revivals of reds, grays and browns in the fashion color scheme, but finally change is afoot for green in every shade. In current and forthcoming collections, many designers included green, the color that has been known to symbolize paradise, fertility, calm and even desire and envy. Miuccia Prada injected splashes of glistening emerald green into her generally subdued color palette of white, chocolate brown and smoky blue at Prada. The effect was stunning, marking the little Prada emerald duchesse satin skirt, a must-have for this spring.
Five-star luxury is the coveted hotel endorsement for global navigators, but a new brand has quite literally appropriated that concept for clothing. *****L in shorthand and as it’s printed on a hip line of street wear is “CingetoileLuxe” when spelled out in French. The Paris-based company from Thierry Le Pin (former head of design and production at Joseph and sales executive at Yohji Yamamato) counters the industry strategy of tuning to the streets for luxury label inspiration, instead *****L(we like how it looks) searches the fantasy world of luxury hotels for design cues to inform scrumptious street wear. *****L’s iconic white velvet jersey track suits decorated with gold lettering take inspiration from the five-star hotel robe.
Women are lonely out there!
Pigeon shit, 28%!
Why Sweden, you ask?
The designer retail climate is in a dodgy state at the moment. Brands are scurrying to anticipate what women want to buy but are failing miserably to get those cash registers chi-chinging. What women want right now is money, but if they do have the cash and are willing to part with it, Roberto Cavalli and Plein Sud are two brands they’re happy to buy. What’s a better anecdote in a depressed economy compounded by political turmoil than to turn up the heat on your man-eating sex appeal?
Sneaking up in the pages of fashion magazines; previewed during the spring 2003 collections; and set to carry through into the fall is all things 60′s with a generous helping of Mod.
Uptown Manhattan’s hottest address is ready for its close-up. Glamorous, glorious Harlem has undergone many changes since its heyday in the 20′s, and new generations of trendsetters are rediscovering the area in 2003 as well, cherishing what Harlemade owner Murphy Heyliger calls “the creative energy of the street.” Catherine Malandrino lives there to the benefit of her collections (remember her afro-puff girls, cum church ladies a few seasons back?). The Sistahs Harlem NY label and showrooms like The Brownstone and Soul Brother are catering to clients seeking funky, soulful elegance in their clothing.
Who is the future in trends?
Encompassing the rise of the handmade journal and “style zines” and cementing the fact that Brooklyn is indeed the hotbed for talent when it comes to generating new art and literature, Andrew Coulter Wright has graced us with How to be Fashionable or Consume Like Me. All the rage in limited edition at Colette in Paris, and available at just a few other exclusive spots in NYC and LA, Enright takes the reader through a veritable handbook of how to be a cool stylista with a few key phrases and well-placed accessories.
One memorable feature in designer Martin Grant‘s namesake label is the label itself. With strict fire engine red lettering weaving through a royal blue background, it serves as a fitting juxtaposition for his darkly hued, heavily seamed leather coats and sharply proportioned jackets. If the primary colored label conjures up faint visions of his pieces hanging on the racks at Barneys — it’s likely — he’s been a Barneys discovery for more than four years.