Browsing Tag

Runway

Fashion

Uniform Madness? (Fashion Conscious: A Column)

May 2, 2016

(above: Eco-conscious haute couture look by Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel.) 

by Dominique Michelle Davis

Over the past few weeks I’ve begun to read Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul by Dr. Tanisha Ford, and reading Glamourtunist editor Dr. Eric D. Pritchard’s recent post of “Dissonance, Denim and Social Change,” I began to wonder about the origins of uniformed apparel as a sense of belonging to an outfit or organization demonstrating solidarity among its members. This brought my thoughts back to my very first “Fashion Conscious” column, when I learned and wrote about the first known fashion designer to create his own fashion label which was a break from societal norms placing him on the vanguard within the fashion industry.

In thinking about what keeps fashion current and moving forward are the artists that are willing to take risks and break from the traditional molds to present a different view for consumers. This could include incorporating political messages or an affront to societal rules by redefining hemlines, incorporating traditional and cultural ethnic inspired prints, color contrasts and mirroring nature. The Gucci spring/summer 2016 show perfectly exemplified breaking out of the mold and uniformity along multiple lines, especially mixing colors and prints on clothes and accessories in gloriously wacky ways.

gucci_spring_summer_2016_collection_milan_fashion_week1

Gucci, Spring/Summer 2016.

I also think about the cliché term that history and fashion repeats itself which brings me to one of the current fashion trends forecast for this spring and summer which is 70s inspired suede and fringe garments. We’ve seen the look presented in the 2016 collections of designers Jonathan Sanders, Alberta Ferretti, Rebecca Minkoff and Olivier Rouesteing. Historic recurrence is thought to be the repetition of similar events in history.

Rebecca_Minkoff_spring_summer_2016_collection_New_York_Fashion_Week1

Rebecca Minkoff, Spring/Summer 2016

Staying in line with what was happening in the 1970s we could draw a few parallels to the current state of affairs in the decade of 2010. In the 1970s films like “Rocky” and “Star Wars” were released and the rise of technological advances saw of the first commercially available game being released. In 2015-2016, “Creed” and “Star Wars VII” were released and we see the advancement of social media networks such as Instagram, Snapchat and Kik.

Reviewing the political climate of the 1970s in comparison to the current state of affairs it is interesting and noteworthy to mention how the people continue to use threads as a method of communication to advance social change.In politics, the second wave of the feminist movement grew celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the 19th amendment to the United Stated Constitution which also saw the Women’s Strike for Equality and other protests as well as Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister in the United Kingdom in 1979, and of course in 1972 Shirley Chisholm became the first major-party black candidate for President of the United States and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination.

shirleychisholm-fashionEBONY

In 2009 the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was passed and in 2016 Hilary Rodham Clinton is running for the Democratic Party’s Presidential nomination for President of United States. With this in mind I think of Karl Lagerfeld’s recent eco-conscious haute couture collection for Chanel to be mindful to use repurposed materials and bringing an environmentally conscious collection to the forefront for consumers and fashion elite alike.

chanel-ecofashion

Karl Lagerfield’s recent eco-fashion collection for Chanel.

Dr. Ford and Dr. Pritchard shed light on how apparel was used to help bridge the advancement of blacks across the African diaspora and promote social change. Apparel has long been used to show solidarity in wardrobe uniformity across political structures to showcase party allegiance. The use of colors, and structure and likeness of uniforms creates and promotes cohesion and at the very least the appearance of harmony and conformity. Individual breaks and/or the use of uniformed apparel to break from rigid or traditional norms attempts to cause a disturbance to what has been understood to be acceptable. The ability to have free will and choice of how to appear clothed in public can be liberating and maybe evening therapeutic for a sense self expression. The use of apparel throughout history can be viewed as having multidimensional in its approach to represent a structure, a movement or a creative vision to spark a conversation for change.

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW: Derek Lam is Totally My Valentine and…

February 14, 2016

… YES, I confess that I am totally just saying that because I want one of these gorgeous coats he showed in his Fall 2016 collection for New York Fashion Week, I already got a man. As for those extraordinary coats, here are the receipts:

DerekLam9-Fall16

DerekLam2-Fall16

DerekLam3-Fall16

DerekLam1-Fall16

DerekLam8-Fall16

On the strength of these looks alone Lam’s show was, by far, among my favorite of today (being edged out just a teeny, weeny bit by Public School because their clothes make me think a lot and I’m a fashion nerd).  But to top off these already phenomenal looks, he also gave us this, and this, and that!:

DerekLam7-Fall16

DerekLam6-Fall16

DerekLam5-Fall16

Slayed. Annnnnd, scene.

 

-edp

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW Fall ’16: Public School Resists Fashion’s Gender Gazing Problem

February 14, 2016

Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne of Public School have a lot on there plate these days. In addition to designing for the label they have successfully built into a must-see, award winning fashion and style brand, the two also now occupy the helm of the legendary DKNY. In a time when many are lamenting the death of creativity in fashion as a result of designer’s being tasked with too much to do, these two clearly still have steam as we saw in their recent Fall 2016 Menswear collection that slayed the runway, and now their Fall 2016 ready-to-wear collection for NYFW.

What I love about Public School is that, even when fashion sticks to basic notions of gender identity and expression in terms of clothes, and the fashion house does play by those old rules in terms of having a separate menswear and womenswear show (which, to be fair, is actually somewhat recent for their company), the fashion house and the clothes they produce do emerge from an aesthetic that is agender. The payoff of this, besides the obvious gender radicalness of it all, is that they can play with color and texture in their garments, but above all with silhouette’s as the form and function of their designs don’t appear to constrain on the basis of rigid rules of gender identity and expression we find in most mainstream fashion houses and others operating at the top levels as Public School. For this show we see large ponchos, oversized trousers and jeans, and layers that work to conceal rather than convey particular attention to any of the markers much of fashion draws the eye to in an effort to distinguish those features that denote men’s clothes and women’s clothes and rigid notions of what femininity and masculinity are and could be in and through fashion and style. In sum, I appreciate the cerebral nature of what Public School does each season and this collection keeps that going.

Here are some of my favorites from the Fall 2016 ready-to-wear line:

 

PublicSchool2-Fall16

PublicSchool3-Fall16

PublicSchool4-Fall16

PublicSchool5-Fall16

PublicSchool6-Fall16

-edp

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW: Christian Siriano Made us a Believer in Yellow.

February 14, 2016

I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again. Christian Siriano is one of the best in the evening wear game. The risks he takes with fabrics for evening, his use of color, his imagination that what one could wear for evening could be something more than just a gown but something more edgy and fun are among his strengths and what make his collections one to watch for me.

For Fall 2016, I am most transformed by his use of yellow. Yellow has never been a color I love, but in both his Spring 2016 collection and this latest Fall show, Siriano used yellow in ways that have made be a believer in this “Big Bird” couture. And I mean that in a REALLY< REALLY good way. The yellow wasn’t all the same, some verged on a more pale side, others vibrant, and at least one leaned very chartreuse. All of them, in my eyes, were by far my favorites from the collection and are among my favorite for NYFW so far, and I don’t know what to make of that as yellow usually calls up my shade button. Here are my favorites from among them:

CSiriano5-Fall16

CSiriano6-Fall16

CSiriano7-Fall16

CSiriano8-Fall16

I also enjoyed what Siriano did with so much knitwear for evening, and some that could also work for day. In addition to the yellow knit pieces above, there was other that really caught my eye:

CSiriano4-Fall16

Staying true to his strength and signature, Christian Siriano’s gave us so many dresses that gave so much life. Among my favorites and most “RCR” (red carpet ready) were these:

CSiriano3-Fall16

CSiriano1-Fall16

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW Fall ’16: Alexander Wang Redefines “Beauty and Taste”

February 14, 2016

The only thing that says f*** the fashion establishment better than sex worker chic, is sex worker chic done through fabrics, separates, and styling that are the status symbols of said establishment. This was the Fall 2016 show of Alexander Wang, unarguably himself part of the fashion establishment, after a meteoric rise from his eponymous label to the head of legendary French house Balenciaga, and back. And so it was fitting that in his first show since leaving his Parisian perch, that Wang would give a collection that remixes those establishment symbols with his own signatures – especially that hardware – to make a clear statement that there was life before and after Balenciaga for him, and that fashion and style has a life that is bigger than the establishment and its symbols.

With this intention, Wang’s collection outfits a couture street fight in which the models looks prepare them for battle with the establishment: studded boots to kick its ass, stockings already ruined with labels emblazoned on them so one doesn’t have to worry about the running while they “fight the power.” Wang did struck me as the kind of thing Hedi Slimane has attempted to do at Yves Saint Laurent since he took over that house, much to the chagrin of many fashion critics, though the YSL customer seems to love it as Slimane’s work brings in lots of coins. Somehow, however, Wang’s approach went down a bit easier than Slimane’s grunge girls and Hollywood pilgrim looks at Saint Laurent. Maybe this supports the overall takeaway from Wang’s Fall 2016 collection: the taste and beauty standards of the industry that the establishment desires is no sustenance for the 21st century fashionista who insists on being and dressing free.

Here are three of my favorite looks from Alexander Wang Fall 2016:

AlexanderWang1-Fall16

AlexanderWang2-Fall16

AlexanderWang3-Fall16

AlexanderWang4-Fall16

AlexanderWang5-Fall16

AlexanderWang6-Fall16

AlexanderWang7-Fall16

AlexanderWang8-Fall16

AlexanderWang9-Fall16

 

-edp

Glamourtunist

#NYFW Fall ’16: Cushnie et Ochs

February 13, 2016

by Dominique M. Davis

After seeing the Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs’s pre fall 2016 collection I was ready to be wowed by a ready-to-wear line inspired by culture of a reinvented sari, instead I was given couture cocktail, vibrant vixen, and sultry slayed from the fall 2016 collection. They went in a totally different direction, and it too wowed me just like their pre-Fall.

Lace, silk, fur and a fabric I could not quite discern gave the collection a cohesive after five, cocktail glam aesthetic. Traditional colors of elegance turned basic black, silver, ivory, red and gold into a collection of Avant-garde yet regal pieces into a cohesive line of grace and style.

Here are a few of my favorite looks for the Fall 2016 collection:

CushniEtOchs9-Fall16

CushniEtOchs7-Fall16

CushniEtOchs8-Fall16

CushniEtOchs6-Fall16

CushniEtOchs5-Fall16

CushniEtOchs4-Fall16

CushniEtOchs3-Fall16

CushniEtOchs2-Fall16

CushniEtOchs1-Fall16

 

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW16: Tadashi Shoji

February 13, 2016

by Dominique M. Davis

Ready-to-wear inspired by glorious tribal aesthetics, need I say more? Tadashi Shoji’s collection for Fall used triangular and geometric shapes to give way to the silhouette. The use of triangles throughout the collection added an intricate detail to each piece whether it was a part of the design pattern, placed strategically at the waistline to cinch the waist and added the appearance of an hourglass figure and/or used to accentuate the neckline; the use of shapes in this collection was well hewn. A scalloped neck and hemline with floral lace patterns added a creative and whimsical dimension to the structured and controlled design of the geometric clad collection.

Basic colors of ivory, black, pale gold, copper and violet with the use of velvet, lace, chiffon and embroidered sheer fabric brought tribal beautification to 21st century couture. Tadashi definitely slayed this collection and had the models giving me Vogue. Madonna was playing in my mind every time another garment graced the platform.

Here are my favorite pieces:

 

TadashiShoji2-Fall16

TadashiShoji6-Fall16

TadashiShoji4-Fall16

TadashiShoji5-Fall16

TadashiShoji3-Fall16

TadashiShoji1-Fall16

 

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW16: Dion Lee’s “Boyfriend Jacket Dress” and Other Obsessions

February 13, 2016

The overall feel I got from the Dion Lee collection for Fall 2016 New York Fashion Week is edgy sophistication in all of its interdependence. The best example of it is this look I am calling the “boyfriend jacket dress.”

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 10.58.06 AM

The cut, the color, the length of it, and the styling with these boots all merges edge and sophistication into one and requires the perfect measures of each to do so effective.

The same is true of this jacket and trousers ensemble. I am loving all the flounce in suits I am seeing on the runway this season.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 10.57.45 AM

And also the volume in outerwear, such as this for which I AM LIVING.

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 10.57.22 AM

Finally, I am on a mission to signal the best and most original looking’s takes on the “Little Black Dress” this season. I call it my Andre Leon Talley challenge following his wonderful exhibit and book about LBDS. Here is a Dion Lee dress I think aces the test!

Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 10.56.49 AM

 

-edp

 

 

 

 

Fashion, News, Runway Review

#NYFW16: KLS by Kimora Lee Simmons

February 13, 2016

It’s New York Fashion Week, folks. One of our early faves has been the latest collection from entrepreneur, model, and fashion designer, Kimora Lee Simmons. I am OBSESSED with this LBD (Little Black Dress) from the collection. I like it for work AND play. You can leave the office and go right to happy hour in this one.

Kimora2-FA16

And if and LBD is a little to simple for your taste, this frock gives the same effortless chic of an LBD but does so with a color that goes both conservative but still fun, and of course the shoulder cutouts!

Kimora-FA16

I also like the cut of suit jackets and pants by Kimora Lee Simmons. This one gave me a modern Yves Saint Laurent “Le Smoking” moment …

Kimora3-FA16

And then there was her elegant outwear. It looks gorgeous!

Kimora4-FA16

– edp

Fashion, News, Runway Review

Givenchy: Couture, Spring 2016

January 29, 2016

Riccardo Tisci has never truly disappointed me, but I do have my gripes about the latest haute couture presentation for the legendary fashion house. The first is that it is so few looks, and the second is that the connecting threads were so bare that it was difficult to discern the complete story. I understand that the way couture functions here is as a gesture of things we will likely see come full bloom in the upcoming ready-to-wear shows, but I still wanted just a bit more. That said, the garments are all beautiful and expertly crafted, as always. Here are the three that most slayed, and had me hollerin’ “Yaaaassss! WERRRRRK!”:

 

Givenchy2

 

Givenchy1

 

Givenchy3

– edp