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Fashion, Runway Review

Volume 2: Pre-Fall 2016 Fashion Favorites

December 10, 2015

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

I’ve already shared my favorite looks from the Pre-Fall 2016 fashion shows and presentations here. Those presentations continue, and so here is Volume 2 of my favorite looks forecasting all that is chic, elegant, and fierce for that season.

Public School

PS-PreFall16

photo credit: Public School

PS-PreFall16-3

PS-PreFall16-2

 

Tomas Maier

TomasMaier-PreFall16

photo credit: Tomas Maier

TomasMaier-PreFall16-2

 

Tory Burch

photo credit: Tory Burch

photo credit: Tory Burch

ToryBurch-PreFall16

ToryBurch-Prefall16-3

ToryBurch-PreFall16-4

 

Zac Posen

ZacPosen-PreFall16

photo credit: Zac Posen

ZacPosen-PreFall16-2

ZacPosen-PreFall16-3

ZacPosen-PreFall16-4

 

 

What are your thoughts on these looks? Any items among these looks that are at the top of your Pre-Fall 2016 shopping list? Leave a comment below or share your opinion with me on Twitter and Instagram too. You can find me @glamourtunist.

 

 

Fashion, Runway Review

Pre-Fall 2016 Fashion Favorites: Volume 1

December 7, 2015

by Eric Darnell Pritchard

Sure, we are close to a year away from Fall-ish 2016, however all the recent Pre-Fall 2016 runway shows and look books from designers has us on a fierce fashion fast forward. Today I present Volume 1 of three installments of my favorite Pre-Fall 2016 looks thus far.

Altuzarra 

Altuzarra-PreFall16-2

credit: Bruno Staub via Altuzarra Altuzarra-PreFall-16

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry-PreFall16

credit: Burberry Prorsum

Burberry-PreFall16-2

Diane von Furstenberg

DVF-PreFall16-2

photo credit: DVF

DVF-PreFall16

Fendi

Fendi-PreFall-16

photo credit: Fendi

Fendi-PreFall16-2

Fendi-PreFall16-3

Michael Kors

MichaelKors-PreFall16

photo credit: Michael Kors Collection

MichaelKors-PreFall16-2

MichaelKors-PreFall16-3

MichaelKors-PreFall16-4

What are your thoughts? Any items among these looks that are at the  top of your Pre-Fall 2016 shopping list? Leave a comment below or share your opinion with me on Twitter and Instagram too. You can find me @glamourtunist.

Fashion, Runway Review

Chicago Fashion Week: Alexander Swain (Review)

November 9, 2015

by Dominique Michelle Davis (photo credit: Dominique Michelle Davis)

The 2015 Chicago Fashion Week presented a runway showcase called “Fashion Focus: Style Bias, Street Style.” The event was held downtown at Block 37. This was my first year attending this particular event for Fashion Focus Chicago. What intrigued me about this event was the platform to highlight and promote Chicago street style, local designers and boutique owners. In addition to presentation of collections there were performances by Huey Gang.

Artist Alexander Swain designed what I found to be the most intriguing collection. The collection included the repetition of multicolored patchwork as a detail in many of the garments, paint splatters on vests and pants, and really wonderful accessorizing on men’s and women’s looks, including some really chic hats and a unique make-up looks on many of the models, some of whom appeared to have face jewelry and other make-up looks that gave texture to the face. Among my favorite looks was the long patchwork shirt dress (pictured above).

A-Swain 8

A-Swain 5

What I found most provocative was a garment with an illustration of a caricature in black face. Initially this detail gave me pause, and I wondered about the inspiration behind this collection given this reference of what is racist iconography. The look was a shirt with the face of a person that accessorized with bandanas and handkerchiefs put you in the mind frame of the antebellum south and the ways gingham bandanas and head scarves were often depicted as being worn by the Mammy figure, a representation of enslaved Black women and free domestics as popularized in films like “Gone With the Wind” wherein Hattie McDaniel played a character named Mammy, a role for which she became the first African American to win an Oscar in 1940.

A-Swain 1

Hattie McDaniel, Actress

Hattie McDaniel, Actress

My awareness of Swain’s artistic commitment to fashion being seen as on par with other visual arts, and the other ways in which race and diversity were so deliberate in this runway presentation, made it clear to me that this reference of a painful racist iconography was not a haphazard reference, but deliberately trying to evoke a  conversation about the complex relations between race, art, and retail or commerce.

Despite the ways Swain’s historical reference transported one to the past, the music kept one consciously anchored within and aware of the present. To that point, in 2015, in light of the culture of frustration, distrust, and anger many people (including African American Chicagoans) feel for Chicago’s political scene, and with Chicago widely known to be one of the most segregated cities in the United States, this collection was timely in its provocative commentary. Alexander Swain’s collection spoke volumes and created the appropriate context for intersecting conscious art and fashion. I would definitely rock his collection and add a piece from his collection to my wardrobe.

A-Swain 6

In addition to Swain, other collections presented in the showcase include the following fashion labels: Ameerah Vania, The Albert Ray Collection, Royal Apparel, Bornmade, House of Lerenn, Daniel Jacob, Urban Threads Studio, Stefan Meier and Aqua Vita.

Beauty, Fashion, Runway Review

“The Art of Fabric”: African Fashion Week, Chicago (Review)

October 30, 2015

by Dominique Michelle Davis / Photo Credit: @ChicagoFashionDiva

The 2nd African Fashion Week of Chicago hosted at Victor Hall proved to be another great success. For the second year running, founder and CEO, Christianah Ajanaku, has managed to pull talented designers together to create a runway show inspired by the art of fabric. Designers in the show included the brands 828 Collection, Cocushubi, St. Frimpong, Akese Stylelines, Abayadake, Anzhelika Crochet, Binta Sagale, Maryam Garba, Slice by Cake, Simply Cecily and Tiffney Deo Allure.

This was a unique experience in comparison to the standard runway show. What separates this fashion event from others is the way its producers incorporate the arts (visual, music and textiles) in a way that is inclusive to all artists, including the broad and diverse range of the models for the runway show.

Photo Oct 29, 8 33 44 PM

The theme of this year’s event, The Art of Fabric, inspired designers to use a variety of textiles, prints and colors with a range of motifs. The theme also invited designers to challenge the traditional structural design of garments. Vibrant earth tone hues of green, blue, orange and yellow were consistent among all the collections, and what what is currently on trend for the 2015-2016 in fashion generally. Of all the designers, Simply Cecily, Maryam Garba and St. Frimpong were among my favorite collection pieces.

The production of the event was a definite progression from last year’s event, which was held at Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago. However, with a theme this broad, and with the ability to work with other art form incorporated into the show’s production, I would have liked to see the art of fabric imbedded in more than just the designer’s collections. For example, the “art of fabric” as a theme give the opportunity for the interior design of the location to be incorporated into the runway show, as well as the integrating of the theme with the wonderfully venturous hairstyles and accessories could have been amplified to create a cohesive beauty look for the shows that used hairstyle to showcase fabric. This would also exhibit the diversity of hair textures and hairstyles among the broad range of wonderful models for the show, as well as among the event coordinators for African Fashion Week – Chicago.

Despite this minor critique of those very few details, and even in the absence of what my thoughts on what would have been additional compliments to the show, I applaud Christianah Ajanaku for her leadership, creativity, inspiration and ability to be a trailblazer. Ajanaku has created a platform for artists to debut and present their creations in a great way. I look forward to African Fashion Week – Chicago 2016 and to following Christianah Ajanaku and the designers to see their creative visions flourish for what will undoubtedly be many years to come.

Fashion, Runway Review

Valentino: Paris Fashion Week, Spring 2016

October 19, 2015

Valentino followed very impressive Fall’15 collection with equally gorgeous one for Paris Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2016. I liked the cornrow hair look selected for the show, and want to especially highlight the Black models for the show given this cultural origin, though the show did feature it on all models as well.

Fashion, Runway Review

Elie Saab: Paris Fashion Week, Spring 2016

October 19, 2015

A loosely tied ribbon at the neckline was a reoccurring detail on looks by Eli Saab for Paris Fashion Week. And Kendall Jenner slaying this entire runway situation, and I live! All looks are gorgeous and deserve it have a red carpet moment as Elie Saab frocks are prone to deliver! Paging all you celeb stylists!
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Fashion, Runway Review

Jil Sander: Milan Fashion Week, Spring 2016

October 19, 2015

The jackets/vests were star at Jil Sander show for Milan Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 2016. Placement of cutouts among favorite details. I also love the hats used throughout the show, reminiscent of Pharrell Williams’ famous hats of recent memory.