How do you take a 70-year-old brand and make it relevant to a modern girl? That's been the top priority for Carven creative director Guillaume Henry, who's been helming the Parisian label for three years. We sat down with the designer — who just opened the label's very first US store in New York City — to talk about trends and what really makes American shoppers different from their French counterparts (hint: it's all about the shoes).
To some, fashion is just about pretty clothes. But to those who live and breathe it, they know far better. And they've inspired us not just with their immaculate creations but also with their words. From the likes of such style heavyweights as Coco Chanel, Alexander McQueen, and Kate Moss (and even a fictional fashionista with some sage advice), we've hand-selected the industry's finest fashion quotes.
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Starting today, you can buy a piece of fashion history. The digital high-fashion retailer has partnered with London-based boutique House of Liza to sell 50 never-before-worn pieces from Gaultier's archives. The vintage items, mostly from his early runways, include the cone bra knit dress (a version of which was infamously worn by Madonna) from his Fall 1985 collection, shirts from his very first menswear show, and his iconic sailor stripes. Peruse the merchandise, but don't hesitate: these one-of-a-kind pieces won't be up for grabs for long.
At Zadig & Voltaire's second-ever runway show, creative director Cecilia Bonstrom delivered a Spring 2014 collection that — much like the hard-meets-soft DNA of a brand epitomized by Erin Wasson, a muse to founder Thierry Gillier — was both assertive and delicate. It was also, for a French label, very American. Cowboy-style belts punched with studded eagles, biker jackets with black fringe, and overstitched ranger boots in cracked leather stood out most, especially when paired with contradictory pieces like silk undershirts and lace shawls. And, of course, for a brand that has its own indie music label, the soundtrack to the runway was perfectly crafted (MS MR's "Hurricane" got showgoers swaying in their seats, for instance) to fit this lineups rock 'n' roll vibe, but with some rounded edges.
Although the show notes for the Elie Saab Spring 2014 collection billed it as a lace garden, it was actually a treasure trove for red carpet-ready dresses for this coming awards season. Like his couture dresses, this ready-to-wear line — a mix of cocktail party frocks and strict eveningwear — wasn't lacking in brightly colored silks, embroidered lace, and sparkly appliqués. The high-slit peachy rose gown, with its sheer bodice and 3D floral embellishments, might be most enticing for the A-list set, but the series of sprinkled-on glitter dresses was even more eye-catching. Then there were the painterly floral prints that truly brought the designer's vision of a blooming garden home.
For Spring 2014, Maiyet founders Paul van Zyl and Kristy Caylor designed a collection inspired by the spirit of a Hemingway novel: a woman who is whimsical yet willful, sensitive yet adventurous. And the pieces — all ethically produced, as part of the luxury brand's mission, by artisans from the emerging world — fit that heroine beautifully. Collaborating with craftspeople in Indonesia, Varanasi, and Bolivia, they re-created a playful bird print on sun-faded silk dresses, incorporated basket-weaving techniques into knitwear, and used handmade metallic embroideries on ultrasheer fabric. With this offering, it's official: Maiyet no longer needs to shout its good deeds from the rooftops. The clothes — like the women who'll wear them — sell themselves.
Ever heard of Maison Irfé? Well, if you hadn't, that's about to change. After an 80-year absence, one of France's oldest couture houses has returned to Paris Fashion Week and aims to leave an impression on Spring 2014 and beyond.
Here's a quick history lesson: the label was founded in Paris in 1924 by a well-aligned Russian couple, Prince Felix Yusupov and his wife, Princess Irina Romanov (they may have very well coined the couple nickname phenomenon when they combined the first letters of their names to form Irfé). After quick success, including new branches across Europe and a line of perfumes, the original atelier closed its doors in the early 1930s.
Fast-forward to 2008, when model-turned-designer Olga Sorokina took the reigns and got to work reviving the brand. And on Thursday, her first Maison Irfé runway show took place at Paris's Place Vendome, the same location that the fashion house was inaugurated back in the '20s.
After the show, which featured a roster of high-end models like Hanne Gaby Odiele and Lindsey Wixson, we talked to Olga about making what's old new again.
As usual, the graphic design background of Issey Miyake was the driving force of this Spring 2014 collection. First there was the live performance by Ei Wada, who created music using light-up TV screens at the start of the runway. Then, there were the clothes. At first glance, one might see a leaning toward minimalism in designer Yoshiyuki Miyamae's silhouettes, but upon closer inspection, you can see each piece featured the types of textile manipulation at the very core of the brand. A series of pants had a three-dimensional grid effect and leather skirts punched with tiny holes seemed to radiate, all thanks to — according to show notes — a "stream stretch" technique. And where other clothes might feel overwrought by this level of innovation, the pieces looked truly effortless. And downright comfortable. Even the models, who meandered the runway in groups, looked positively happy to be wearing them.
As the first model walked onto the runway of the Nina Ricci Spring 2014 show in Paris, a sheer white curtain began unraveling, following her around the bend. The gauzy backdrop was perfect for Peter Copping's latest collection, which was nearly all white (though in many assembled shades like alabaster, chalk, plaster, and porcelain, to name a few). With an ultrafeminine take on suiting, glittering tweed jackets, and refined accessories — we have our eye on the new signature bag, an envelope clutch with a metal at-the-palm handle, and heels with carved moldings — this offering was modern yet romantic as ever.
For Alexander Wang's second collection for Balenciaga, which was presented at the Paris Observatory, it was clear right out of the gate that he was ready to take on a new challenge. Filled with crisp white and pretty pastels, the colors were a whisper, which left the real noise to the construction. The first series of looks, all hand-braided leather, was of couture-level construction, and the set of floral pieces provided a master class in layering materials — molded leather embroidered with thread, then printed with a swirling motif, then finished off with white appliqués. But it was a pair of high-waisted tulip petal pants that really illustrated a melding of the minds between Cristobal Balenciaga and Wang: expert tailoring but completely wearable . . . and effortless even.
According to Anthony Vaccarello, who showed his Spring 2014 collection the first day of Paris Fashion Week, skin is definitely in. Aside from the omnipresent crop top and several mesh tanks, the most innovative provocation was on a series of dresses and skirts that featured a triangle-shaped hemline — it covered just what it needed to and nothing more. Other dresses with waist-high slits were held in place by leather bands and giant metal studs, which were repeated in larger quantity on loose-knit metallic sweaters. Making up for the square-inches of clothes was a deep palette rich in texture. Even the ankle-strap heels had a velvety look that you don't often find in the less-is-more months of Spring and Summer.
After the high-drama runway show for his eponymous label earlier in the week, it was refreshing to get a decidedly pared-down offering with the Spring 2014 collection of ICB by Prabal Gurung. This season's lineup was relaxed from head to toe (literally — the models wore mesh footies inside their silver metallic platforms). From slouchy-yet-sculpted crop tops to boxy jackets and tent dresses, basic staples and wardrobe-maximizing separates were aplenty. Vinyl paillettes stitched onto organza dresses was as done-up as it got, and that's fine by us.
See all the photos and video of the collection here.
It's not really a surprise for Coco Rocha to walk a Zac Posen runway, but as usual, when she kicked off the Spring 2014 collection in an immaculate hand-plisséd silk chiffon dress, a collective gasp took hold of those gathered. Perhaps, this time, it had less to do with her celebrity and more to do with the fact that she seemed to have stepped out of an impressionist painting. With pale florals and ethereal fabrics, Posen — who, according to show notes, sought to evoke a modern-day Sarah Bernhardt — provided the requisite romanticism we've come to expect. (The shoes, all Manolo Blahnik, didn't hurt his cause.) For his famous fans — like Christina Hendricks and Molly Sims, both of whom took front row — he provided red-carpet-worthy drama in the form of an expertly draped gray jacquard evening gown and a corseted frock engulfed in the prettiest of peach ruffles.
See all the photos and video of the collection here.
For Spring 2014, her fourth ready-to-wear collection yet first runway show, Misha Nonoo found inspiration not in a far-off locale as she has previously (Russia, Havana, and France have all been strongly referenced in past presentations), but in the abstract. Artist Gerhard Richter and his iconic squeegee paintings inspired the designer, who placed a similarly crafted "looking glass" pastel print on pleated skirts and tailored trousers. As for the rest of the collection, it was pitch-perfect Nonoo — well-tailored, delightfully feminine, and lusciously textured (we wanted to reach out and touch the georgettes and organzas) with just a wee bit of edge. Just saying, there was nothing abstract about those sheer track pants.
Rachel Comey opted out of a traditional runway show this season and, for the first time in 11 years, gave a small presentation over dinner. If intimacy was what the designer craved (the meal was attended by such Comey cool-girls as Rashida Jones, Parker Posey, and Maggie Gyllenhaal), it translated perfectly through her collection, which included vintage-inspired shorts suits and slouchy trousers — the perfect laid-back options for a brunch among close friends or a Saturday shopping trip with your best pal. Most exciting might have been the denim, a textile yet somewhat new for Comey. She played with different washes and levels of distress as well as silhouettes: the light palazzo pants and v-neck frayed shift dress were favorites. And if we could get our hands on that off-the-shoulder printed velvet (yes, springtime velvet!) dress, we'd be set for our next evening out.
Surf's up downtown: that was the inspiration for Peter Som's Spring 2014 collection. Known for romantic prints, his wave pattern — in swirls of marine blue, black, and white — was the foundation of a very pool-party-ready lineup of bikinis, moto jackets, t-shirt dresses, and crop tops. Oh, the crop tops! If Som has anything to say about it, the bare midriff is here for another season. Youthfulness took a more ladylike turn in the show's final two all-white looks, a neoprene sweatshirt over a lacquered eyelet striped skirt and a voluminous satin bra-top dress, thus proving the designer can stay true to his classic sportswear roots but have fun doing it. Hang ten!
We have wanted to give bear hugs to Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra ever since they launched their line in 2004. But with a Spring 2014 collection that was as cozy as ever, we couldn't want to wrap our arms around them more. From muted tones to cardigans paired with below-the-knee skirts to the silkiest of pajama dressing (yes, it's clearly still happening!), this roundup felt effortless. But of course, they still gave us wow moments with blurred plaid prints, bright orange suits, and colorblocking that went from front to back instead of the traditional top to bottom. And if all that wasn't exciting enough, the duo debuted their own bags and shoes — wedges and flats that look as comfortable as the clothes. If that were possible.
Ever wonder what it's like inside the fashion industry's most coveted jobs? As part of Teen Vogue's brand-new digital channel, which launches today, "Fashion at Work" is a series that follows up-and-comers as they navigate the most stylish of workplaces.
The premiere episode features Bianca Harris, a 24-year-old studio assistant at Eddie Borgo.
"One of the things I've learned about Eddie is less is more," she says about the jewelry designer. "He can see little details in little things and really, really amplify them. And that's something that I've been trying to work into, not only in how I do things but also my personal style."
Stay tuned for future episodes, which go behind the scenes with those who truly know what it's like to be behind the scenes of fashion's biggest brands — including DVF senior manager of communications Elizabeth Luby, Moda Operandi's brand manager, Jana Hofheimer, and Teen Vogue's own assistant to the editor in chief, Alyssa Reeder.
You can take Humberto Leon and Carol Lim out of California, but you can't take the LA out of them. For the designers' latest resort collection, they return to their childhoods in the suburbs of Los Angeles for inspiration. And inspired it is. From bold coral-hued bubble jackets to a blue flower-print long-sleeved crop top to black-and-white graphic palm-tree separates, this lineup looks like the makings of a perfect Summer pool party. And not only are the prints themselves fresh, but so is the hand-drawn technique — a welcome reprieve from the digital printing trend. But Kenzo isn't Kenzo without a bit of that Parisian sensibility mixed in, and the brand's new structured colorblock handbags offer that "we're not in Cali anymore" edge.
At the moment, Rebecca Minkoff is heading into quite a bit of uncharted territory. This week, she launched her first-ever denim line, put her skills to work on a new beauty campaign, and is primed to open a flagship store in a 3,800-square-foot space in NYC's SoHo neighborhood by the Fall. And just last night, the fashion designer — decked out in denim, of course — hosted a launch party of her latest pop-up shop. We chatted with the designer on all things jeans, and learned one very important reason why you should buy a pair.POPSUGAR: It's a big deal when any designer moves into the denim market. What made you decide to do it?
Rebecca Minkoff: I love denim, and I wanted to give my customer another casual staple to add to her wardrobe. It was important to me that the jeans be a premium quality but also a great price for my customer. Our price range for the denim and t-shirts is $48 to $128.
PS: What is your absolute favorite piece from the new line?
For the rest of our interview, keep reading