Tag Archives: opinion

The Row Pre-Fall 2013

21 Aug

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Modesty seems to have made its way back into the fashion set this season (which is ironic, given the recent influx of midriff bearing crop tops – I’m sorry, I didn’t realize we were living in 1995. My mistake.). Tastemakers seem to be looking ahead to quieter sartorial statements with their Pre-Fall 2013 collections by way of conservative hemlines, minuscule heel height and nary a décolletage in sight. Case in point: the Olsens’ high-end line, The Row.

 The once tween-conscious sisters have certainly made a name for themselves in the luxury market with this line – which employs high-end furs, luscious fabrics and esteemed tailoring – and their Pre-Fall collection certainly does their reputation justice.

 Not only was the standard attention to detail and affinity for affluence present this season, a tendency toward propriety also made its way to center stage. Trousers were relaxed, skirts were long and the boxy silhouettes of tops and dresses certainly left much to the imagination (perhaps a bit too much?).

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 Without fail, the design team focused on construction and precision, delivering, yet again, a lineup that didn’t skip a beat. From the obviously autumnal plaid patterns to the earthy color palette, this collection will easily take The Row’s customer into the cooler months ahead.

 All photos from Style.com. Hop on over there to see the full collection and their take on the lineup.

Chloé Pre-Fall 2013

15 Aug

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Remember when Hannah MacGibbon left the helm of Chloé and a new face took the reins (that new face being Clare Waight Keller – ok, so she’s not entirely new to the fashion set, having worked for Ralph Lauren, Gucci and Pringle of Scottland, to name a few)?

I’ll admit, I was a tad disgruntled at the shake-up – weren’t you? I’d fallen in love with the youthful femininity of MacGibbon’s Chloé (this is the collection that did it), and was afraid this new leader wouldn’t stay true to the reinstated girly appeal.

But time has proven me wrong (yes, I’ll admit it), and I’ve grown to not only appreciate, but truly enjoy, Keller’s designs. Different? Yes. Bad? Not in the least.

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Although not quite as bubblegum pink and bow heavy as MacGibbon (hey, I like bows, don’t judge), Keller certainly maintains Chloe’s habit of pronouncing the appeal of the fairer sex. Instead of ruffles, Keller prefers lace; instead of empire, Keller leans on a cinched waist; instead of punchy color palettes, Keller skews toward the more classic.

Case in point: her Pre-Fall 2013 collection presented in Paris earlier this year. While a 60s mod influence obviously motivated the designs this season, it was more of the put-together feel of Keller’s buttoned up looks that took center stage. A-line skirts, modest necklines and covered shoulders gave the collection a feel of propriety, while disheveled coifs sported by doe-eyed models let us know that Keller’s muse – in true Chloé girl form – doesn’t take herself too seriously.

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It seems as if the Chloé girl has grown up in the wake of Keller’s reign, and I have to say that I’m (gasp!) actually starting to prefer her aesthetic to that of MacGibbon. Maybe I’m growing up a little too.

All photos from Style.com. Hop on over there to see the full collection and their take on the lineup.

from where i sit: content vs. commerce generation

27 Nov

while scouring the web this morning, i came across an article on the integration of content generation and ecommerce. it’s an interesting idea – one that i’m intrigued by but don’t have a solid opinion on yet.

from my business pov, i applaud the out-of-box sales innovation – it seems genius, and intuitive to create easy access pathways for consumers to buy products while they’re comfortably sifting through their favorite blogs, ezines, web sites, etc.

on the flip side – as a consumer – i’m not sure how i feel. my blog-hopping each saturday morning is reserved for leisurely browsing and unviolated inspiration. i originally veered toward blog reading for the personal, uninfluenced opinions of the authors. this is what made the blogosphere unique, intriguing and influential.

now with the inundation of “buy!” and “shop!” buttons on every blog under the sun, i’m not so sure about this realm of media anymore. it’s quite evident that bloggers are being compensated – in some way or another – for their promotions, and as a result, they’re becoming less credible. it’s sad to say that some of my once favorite blogs now almost exclusively consist of sponsored posts.

but at the same time, these are writers, business owners and entrepreneurs. they have to make money somehow – and that is a notion i wholeheartedly understand and support.

what do you think? is the rising trend of “organic” ecommerce a pro or a con? my verdict is still tbd.

photo from the business of fashion.

from where i sit: fast fashion

14 Nov

you’ve seen it. a myriad of respectable, well-known designers staking their claim in the mass market world via low-priced retailers. mr. lagerfeld kicked things off eight years ago, and soon an impressive lineup would follow. we had stella mccartney and comme des garçons for h&m (following in lagerfeld’s footsteps), christopher kane for topshop and a slew of notables for target.

sure, these for-the-masses collections seem exciting and fun with their “limited-edition” tags that compel even the most jaded fashion mavericks to urgently buy, but what does it really mean? what does it mean for the industry, for the reputation and prestige of “fashion,” and for society as a whole?

the notion of “fast fashion” is not totally unique. it’s one of many examples of the state of consumerism today. no longer do shoppers – for whatever product: clothing, furniture, appliances, cars – spend considerable amounts of time researching competing qualities of items. no longer do the masses study what goes into making a product and whether the process deems the outcome worthy of our dollars. no longer do we value quality. now the mark of a “good buy” is the lowest pricetag on the sales floor. we have become of society of disposables.

this is a scary concept that has many repercussions – at least as i see it. with the notion of “cheap” we’ve all become intoxicated with – meaning “low priced,” in modern day vernacular – how are we ever supposed to revamp this country’s manufacturing arm? bigger, faster, cheaper is not a goal accomplished here at home.

so while yes, it’s a nice thought that we can bring “designer” fashion to the masses, we have to take a step back and consider what that actually means. fashion was an exclusive industry for a reason. you have to work hard to be able to afford quality clothes. just like you have to work hard to buy a new oven, lease a new car, own a home, etc. but i fear our society has become too lazy for all that. because why would you make the extra effort when essentially the same labels (on the surface, anyway), are readily available at your corner convenience store?

on the flip side, one might argue that there’s no other choice – how are consumers supposed to buy quality items when the divide between price points is so steep? you have a $10 “designer” shirt on one end, and a $250 “designer” t-shirt on the other. doesn’t sound so democratic to me. sounds like another indication of the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.

and that, i would say, is the real problem here.

from where i sit: democratization of fashion?

2 Oct

as i was sifting through my regular blogroll and sipping my coffee this past saturday, i ran across this gem of an article on refinery29. while typically geared toward the more fun-loving, eye-catching content, the site made a sharp editorial turn with their blatant, unapologetic (and rightly so) opinion piece that brought into question the so-called democratization of the fashion industry.

the author puts the shift of the industry’s editorial arm to the online world smack dab in the middle of the piece’s focus, but wisely brings up the point that, while yes, it’s great that more people have more access – whether first-hand or a couple degrees removed – to the once closed-door shows of fashion week, perhaps all this distant viewing through the lens of someone else hasn’t really brought fashion to the masses at all. Perhaps it’s magnified the feeling of being left out and the fact that yes, still not everyone is allowed at fashion week.

i admit that i’ve felt a tinge of this “FOMO,” as refinery29 put it (read: fear of missing out), a couple of fashion weeks myself. every once in a while, i’ll sit a fashion week out, not attending or covering any shows at all. it’s during those seasons that i’d really rather not pay attention to the runways, because the fact becomes crystal clear that i’m not there enjoying them first-hand. and how could you not feel that you’re being left behind when all you see, hear and inadvertently tweet about is someone else’s experience at the tents?

but more importantly – in my opinion anyway – the refinery29 editor brings up the point that this shift is also a reflection of the state of our nation today – the unpleasing and dangerous growing separation between the haves and the have-nots. while i see the point that there’s an inadvertent divide instituted by constant focus on who’s at the shows or even in the front rows and who’s not, i tend to think that the ever increasing elitist and superficially motivated invite lists and seating charts are more an indication of our country’s social, rather than economical, pitfalls. how have we become so egregiously obsessed with “celebrities”? how have society’s “chosen people,” who make mistake after glaring mistake, become a representation of the pinnacle we’re all supposed to lust after? it’s upsetting, and frankly, extremely off-putting to see an industry that once focused its attention on artists’ talent, and instituted processes (i.e. fashion week) for the purpose of business, flip a switch and now tout such superfluous things as “this person needs to sit front row because they’re famous” or “get that person because she caused such a scene the other day at x trendy restaurant, and it would create great buzz around our show.”

and yes, i get it – more buzz (superficial or not) creates more press, which creates more attention, which can ultimately trickle down and create more sales. but isn’t that the exact problem to begin with? why are we, as a people, so inclined to fall prey to, celebrate, and reward the salacious?

an industry that was once serious, is now moving toward being quite petty (ok, not all of it – there is still a very serious-minded side of fashion, thanks to real critics, real business men and women, and real artists who still possess real integrity), and to use refinery29’s words, verging on a spectacle.

photo is my own.

from where i sit: erin fetherston ss13

25 Sep

edgy and fetherston are two words not typically paired together in the world of fashion. known – and adored, might i add – for her unapologetically girly ensembles, erin fetherston went out on a limb this season with details, fabrics and silhouettes typically reserved for downtown darlings like wang, lim and the like.

but let’s be honest. ms. fetherston didn’t venture too far out on that limb. she sat at a safe distance from her comfort zone, inching cautiously toward something new without risking falling off into total what-were-you-thinking territory.

the bleach-blonde designer with those characteristic bangs surprised us with leather jackets and studded collars and many more pants than i think we’ve ever seen. a biker jacket with tough detailing was softened by a dusty blush hue while a black leather dress maintained that fetherston charm with a youthful hemline and prim cardigan.

but not to toss aside her aesthetic altogether, the designer did include an array of those distinctive dresses and skirts, like the aforementioned leather frock would indicate. while, perhaps, trying a bit too hard with some looks – the black sheath with white accent and zebra-print maxi – with sequins, no less – came off forced and unimpressive – all-in-all, fetherston presented a lovely collection with just the right amount of edge sprinkled throughout (yes, i said sprinkled). i wouldn’t mind adding that pale pink and black floor-length number to my closet, after all.

photos from style.com

bravo

17 Sep

i ran across this article over the weekend and found myself feeling inspired and proud. with the majority of fashion month still ahead of us, this nod toward interview‘s celebratory round-up of the industry’s most noteworthy critics comes at the perfect time and serves as the perfect reminder of what it takes to keep fashion moving forward.

as a burgeoning writer who dabbles in the occasional fashion review, i’ve experienced first-hand the notion of not shaking things up, or “ruffling feathers,” as style.com so lovingly put it. it’s easy to feel that you haven’t earned that editorial gold star that gives the go-ahead to speak frankly and critically about the latest and greatest on the runways. but, with some gentle pushing from my editor, i realized how important – necessary, even – it is to view your subjects through a discerning lens.

without constructive, valuable, and yes, sometimes tough opinions from industry veterans like cathy horyn, suzy menkes and style.com’s tim blanks, there wouldn’t be those constant pushes toward being better and better. why would designers strive to be on their a-game when everyone’s collections – both outstanding and not so – received the same sugar-coated praise?

i think it’s the unwavering stances of these fashion critics that keeps the industry at the top of its game. it’s the continual commentary that keeps designers striving for that killer review – and the snowball effect that undoubtedly ensues because of it. it’s the perpetual assessments that sets artists apart from each other. and not to mention, keeps the biannual fashion storms interesting.