>> Hutson Skipping New York Fashion Week —Swaim and Christina Hutson, who cobbled together a new label, Hutson, and collection just in time for Fall 2009 New York Fashion Week after they had to abruptly shutter Obedient Sons & Daughters (due to an investor's insufficient funds), are not showing during Fashion Week next month. They will, however, have "a small series" available for Spring 2010 ready later in September. [Meenal Mistry Twitter]
>> Christina and Swaim Hutson had to abruptly close down tailored, suiting-anchored Obedient Sons & Daughters last month and restart with new label Hutson, which begs the question — will Hutson be any different? Christina says yes. "There are some similarities, since we're the same people, but we tried to stick with more of a formula with Obedient Sons. Now we have the freedom to experiment a little with silhouettes and fabrications and things like that."
In fact, the Hutsons sound almost relieved to be starting over — Swaim says they "kind of felt pigeonholed . . . We didn't want to stray from what was working." Hutson allows them "to grow it up. Because that's one thing we were fighting the whole time. The name evokes such a young thought, immediately."
For Hutson Fall 2009, Swaim explains, expect "a departure" from Obedient Sons & Daughters' standard skinny fit: "We were kind of moving in that direction anyway, and when everything hit the fan it just made more sense to push it a little bit further. We could step away from what we had to do for Obedient Sons." The new collection is "all still trailored," but Christina adds: "Now we're experimenting with more oversized and loose proportions. Bigger tops, bigger jackets, extremely oversized outerwear."
>> Designers may be pulling their belt tighter this Fashion Week, but hardly any are pulling out of the rat race altogether — the attention is too valuable. "You kill a thousand birds with one stone, because you get that many people there in an hour and you're getting one message across to them," says Scott Sternberg of Boy and Band of Outsiders. "They're writers and photographers and culturally indulgent people with loud mouths."
Instead, designers are saving by hosting presentations instead of runway shows (Monique Lhuillier, Temperley London, and Carmen Marc Valvo), inviting fewer guests (Marc Jacobs and DKNY, who's slicing her usual 1,000 down to 400), sending email invites instead of by mail (nearly everyone), or showing fewer looks to save on fabric and sample-making costs.
>> Although designer couple — and recent editorial favorite — Christina and Swaim Hutson were recently in the running for the 2008 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, all the attention couldn't save their menswear-based label, Obedient Sons & Daughters.
Their majority investor wasn't able to provide enough capital to support the necessary growth, so the Hutsons decided to shutter the brand and go a different route. “For the last year, we have continuously fought to maintain daily operations and have exhausted all alternatives and at this point we need to move on,” said Swaim Hutson.
Instead, they are currently designing an independently-owned venture for Fall 2009 — not the only new endeavor for the couple, who are expecting their second child — with a show during New York Fashion Week. The name will be revealed when invitations go out. “This is a huge risk for us, but we feel that it takes us in the right direction,” said Christina. “We are extremely passionate about what we do and truly look forward to our new focus.” The new label will feature men's and womenswear like Obedient Sons & Daughters, but is reportedly not a revision of their former collection.
>> Before the winner is announced Nov. 17, a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund nomination will get you a piece of the twenty-page spread with Caroline Trentini in the November 2008 issue of Vogue, plus an invite to last night's celebratory cocktail party, hosted by Anna Wintour, of course.
But it's not all fun and games — the party doubled as part of the judgment process. Each of the ten nominees were assigned a different species of butterfly, a L'Oreal eye-color palette, and an evocative word as inspiration for the custom creation they made for their assigned dates — sounds a little Project Runway, no? Or maybe that's where Project Runway got the idea . . .
Alexander Wang brought Zoe Kravitz in a "barely-there dress," the Vena Cava girls dressed Raquel Zimmermann in a gown, Jason Wu paired Leighton Meester with a ladylike frock, Richard Chai was on a double date with Coco Rocha and Jamie Johnson, Swaim and Christina Hutson created an Obedient Daughters look for Chiara Clemente, and Alejandro Ingelmo put Lake Bell in some serious gladiators.
>> The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has determined its ten finalists for 2008.
Last year's winner, Rogan Gregory, was announced in November and received a monetary award of $200,000, with two runners-up reiving $50,000 each. For the past couple of years, the nominees have worked with Gap as part of a limited Gap Design Edition collaboration to gain more exposure, and many have also gone on to work with Target in limited-edition runs.
This year's nominees are:
Swaim and Christina Hutson of Obedient Sons & Daughters