We're stunned at the appearance of Fall and Pre-Fall merchandise, but alas, thus is the pattern of fashion. Every season, like every one else, we scratch our heads and look at our watches, like, 'Hmm...already?'. The answer is always, 'Yes, already'. That said, these flannel pumps by Louboutin feel appropriately timed. If we're going to wrap our minds around shopping for anything remotely cold weather-appropriate in the middle of a New York City heat wave, it's going to be the basics. What we mean when we say basic, especially when it costs near a thousand dollars, is classic. These pumps are surely not the sort of shoes you bring home and regret having acquired. They would smashing with skinny denim, with pencil skirts, with those colored tights we saw from Proenza and the like. They would, in other words, be a wise investment and one that can surely sit in your closet for a few months without making you all sore that you can't wear them just yet. Some things are worth buying now and, at the same time, worth the wait.
Walking by the Prada store in Soho yesterday we noticed the lace frocks from the Fall 08 collection in the window. We turned to our companion, "But...it's June". Delivery dates aside, when clothing reaches a certain price, it's just, you know, available and it's not that we forgot that this was the way things roll out in fashion, but poised right across from Uniqlo and H&M, it was a hard pill to swallow. The mass-market retailers thrive on delivery dates that beg their consumers to anticipate every capsule collection and collaboration to hit stores. Nothing is just casually put in the window, nothing worth hype is released without a full-on parade by way of advertising and the press. And, yet, there are the lace frocks, just sitting there. We suppose the point is that to have them in the window is the same as having them in a magazine. It's still something most fashion consumers can't afford, it's still something aspirational. That street, we postulated after walking further West, is like the Bermuda Triangle of fashion. Serious economic downturn or no, the retailers know how to dangle the bait.
YSL is on our list for two reasons. First, that we can't deny our love for the traditional YSL aesthetic. It is, above everything else, classic. Fall 08 gave us just what we asked for which was suiting, suiting, suiting, office-appropriate frocks, and the occasional overtly sexual garment. Secondly, because somewhere along the line the whole Fall 08 show became decidedly Brooklyn hipster. First off, Someone Great by LCD Soundsystem was the soundtrack to the show. The song, eponymous about six months earlier in Brooklyn, was almost as shocking to hear in Paris as was seeing the mop haircuts the models were sporting. Now matter how many people now attribute the haircut to YSL, we'd like to say, for the record, that it was already all over the place in Brooklyn and downtown. In fact, it was Mandy Coon, wife of LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy, whom we first saw sporting the haircut and, in the song's video, so does the main character (one of your editors is also in this video though regrettably sans mop top). The energy of this collection, the way it hit home without remotely departing what we know and love about YSL, made this collection a really special one. Months later, when couturier Yves Saint Laurent passed away, it was solidifed in our minds that this would be a show and collection we would never forget.
Can you tell us a little bit about your inspiration for the Fall 08 collection? My inspiration always comes from Iceland, this season it is the texture of the lava, the orange colour of the magna, the floating lava and the misty silver, grey colour from the steam of the hot springs.
The details of each garment really stand out. This was part of the reason why we chose to shoot the collection with photographer Wayne Liu, in black and white film. Does detail come before, say, color or silhouette in your designs? I always start with texture, that is the most important part of the collection, it is the reason behind the collection. I didn't know that you choose to shoot in black and white, it must look amazing.
What did your experiences working as Design Director for La Perla and Senior Designer for Tom Ford teach you about what it takes to run your own label? Mr. Ford made me independent, to stand and work on my own and make my own decisions, He gave me an insight in to sex appeal and rock and roll. La Perla gave my the first oppertunity to prove my independence.
Is there anything you miss about working for another designer? What I do miss about working with the big fashion houses is the professionalism that surrounds them. Their names stands for crafmanship, pure design and standard that is very high. Everyday I think of this craftmanship.
If Seinunn could go anywhere, be anything--what would be in store for the label? The most amazing pieces of clothing with crafmanship that can withstand decades...timeless elegance. 6. Outside of Steinunn, what is your everyday life like? My Reykjavík life is very simple: family, friends, dog, house, summerhouse, gardening and being part of the Reykjavík creative melting pot.
Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week caught us a little off guard. We must admit that we were largely ignorant of South Asian fashion prior to seeing these collections, but walked away enlightened and truly impressed. Unlike other Fashion Weeks, celebrities featured prominently in many of these collections, as Bollywood actors and actresses, as well as cricket players, worked the runway for some of the heavyweight designers. Not every collection featured the saturated, vivid color palette we’ve come to expect from Indian designers, and there was a conspicuous absence of traditional saris and shalwaars, as Indian fashion has been evolving towards a style that is informed by an increasingly global perspective. That’s not to say that Indian designers have veered away from the handiwork techniques for which they’ve been revered. From these collections, it’s evident that they’ve chosen to build upon those centuries-old techniques, such as beautifully intricate beadwork and fluid draping, and apply them to contemporary designs that would be at home just about anywhere in the world. The collectons ranged from floor-sweeping Oscar-style evening gowns, party dresses befitting the hotspots of South Beach, and Japanese influenced avant garde numbers. Here's a quick primer on some of the Fall 2008 collections.
Falguni and Shane Peacock recently showed at LA Fashion Week. Their luxury resortwear for the young, spirited jetsetter included bright zebra prints in sheer chiffons, which evoked the feel of glamorous, warm-weather vacation destinations.
Award winning graduates of NIFT Delhi, Alpana and Neeraj joined forces in 2004 and have since been creating contemporary looks that seem as if they’d be perfect for young starlets. Their Fall 2008 collection featured edgy yet feminine dresses with just the right dose of modern sex appeal.
The use of explosive color in Manav Gangwani's collection really tickled the senses. A fashion industry veteran, Gangwani’s lavishly embellished designs are sold in boutiques from London to Hong Kong. In recent years, he has branched out to include a menswear line. A standout from his Fall 2008 collection included a strapless gown concocted out of seemingly endless layers of chiffon that fell like an elegantly draped sari, paired with a bright orange jacket with ballooning sleeves.
It’s easy to see why Rina Dhaka’s modern designs are beloved by international celebrities (she counts Uma Thurman and Naomi Campbell as admirers). She’s been in the game since the late 80’s and has been a recipient of the prestigious Yuva Rattan award. For Fall 2008, she sent a delicate chiffon dress down the runway (or "ramp" as it's called in India) topped with a silver-grey shantung jacket embellished with colorful embroidery.
JJ Valaya's collection was pure haute couture. Highly regarded as one of India’s top talents, his designs have an unmistakably regal air about them. The Valaya umbrella has expanded to include multiple labels, including a diffusion line as well as a home collection. For Fall, he sculpted dramatic, voluminous shapes out of silk and tulle.
Manish Arora is a fashion icon in India. A real showman, his shows are truly an awe-inspiring spectacle reminiscent of Alexander McQueen. He’s the only Indian designer to show regularly at Paris Fashion week. He sent models down his Fall 2008 runway in cage-like masks that called to mind futuristic felines.
Ritu Kumar masterfully fuses ancient Indian techniques, such as block printing, with a contemporary aesthetic, paying sharp attention to silhouette and drape. She has a firm grasp of what it means to honor tradition while remaining relevant and interesting in today's ever-changing fashion scene.
Click here to see photos from day 1
Click here to see photos from Day 2
Click here to see photos from Day 3
Click here to see photos from Day 4
Click here to see photos from Day 5
Phillipe and David Blond launched the label just four years ago. Each piece in their collection is handmade and one of a kind. As wild as some of their pieces are, we aren't surprised that the collection gets snatched up quickly. The thing about people who like to wear outrageous garments with extra special details is that they aren't exactly the type to, well, share. Funnily enough, Phillipe Blond started his design career working for Los Angeles based label DDC Lab, known for a utility-based aesthetic that doesn't exactly involve bedazzled corsets (though he was an illustrator, so perhaps that was the, ahem, draw) or club-ready clothing. David Blonde was a windows man for ten years in New York City. Now, the two are wholeheartedly The Blonds and bring that persona from Fashion Week, to the drafting table, to the dance floor, and back.
The Blonds Fall 08 Fashion Show
Coutorture original editorial, backstage at The Blonds Fall 08 show
We also have impressive designer video interviews and original editorial spreads. May we cordially suggest perusing our selection? Enjoy New York Fashion Week Designer Video Interviews from Oscar De La Renta, Donna Karan for DKNY,Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi, Nicole Miller, Erin Fetherston, Ashleigh Verrier , Adam Lippes, James Coviello, John Varvatos , Monique Lhuillier, Joanna Mastroianni, Tory Burch, Neeam Khan
We brought you our picks from the first few days of L.A. Fashion Week, and now that the week has commenced, here's our roundup of the rest. From Wednesday through Friday a dozen or so designers showed their West Coast versions of Fall 08, and our favorites among them were DDC LAB and Ashleigh Paige. Los Angeles Fashion Week isn't something we have a whole lot to say about but there are a few designers who deserve a little extra recognition. This season, DDC LAB for innovation and Ashleigh Paige for costumery. Funnily enough, these designers showed Fall 08 from the two Los Angeles angles we actually can relate to, namely environmental awareness and old hollywood glamour.
DDC LAB: Designers Roberto Crivello and Savania Davies Keiller showed their DDC Lab Fall 08 collection during L.A. Fashion Week. The draw of their collection, given the basic aesthetic, is in their innovation with fabric and functionality. Blazers that block UV rays, charge your mobile phone, or are otherwise made from environmentally friendly textiles like cork, make for a simple but intelligent statement. The mens and womenswear line for Fall 08 was utility based with that sort of Diesel aesthetic that appeals to twenty somethings who like their fashion simple, modern, and heavy on charcoal and black. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
Ashleigh Paige: This Fall 08 season Ashleigh Paige showed her Fall 08 collection and convinced Los Angeles that what might be considered 'high end lingerie' is more accurately 'couture swimwear'. The delicate ensembles have questionable authority when it comes to actually submerging oneself in water but, as we know, not every bathing suit donning fashionista likes to swim in the first place. Some, that is, like to lounge under umbrellas with a good book. Swimsuits lined or not, Paige does an excellent job of vamping up your average underthings and giving them that old hollywood appeal that is highly classy however marketable. Click to see images from the Fall 08 collection.
A video and interview with Alber Elbaz