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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Parsons Fashion Show 2016: The Dreamers

jackson wiederhoeft

Congratulations to the fashion design graduates of Parsons School of Design. I'll be bringing you my favorite looks from the Parsons Fashion Show 2016. I love seeing how fashion and new designers evolve every year at my alma mater. Today I am showcasing the sculpted wearable art of the fashion dreamers (and my three favorites).
 Jackson Wiederhoeft opened his show with a fantasy video showcasing his "Dollies". The looks were a mix of fairy-tale, Baroque and club kid glam. He loves to explore and blur gender lines, as long as his muse has the right attitude. While his personal collection is closer to costume design, he already has a job lined up developing collections with Thom Browne.
parsons fashion 2016

Annie Li designs through emotions and the transformative power of clothing in the realm of art. Her collection played with style lines, silhouette, unusual ways to cover the body and odd proportions. The quirky collection mixes the whimsy of childhood with adult sophistication in the clothing execution. She had some of the prettiest embellishments with embroidery in her applique flowers. She had already won multiple design awards before her graduation and launched her eyewear collection. 
Sijun Guo Parsons

When I first saw the all-ivory knit collection of JZ (aka Sijun Guo), I was impressed at the beautiful silhouettes and mastery of textile. Then, when I saw the back of these dresses I almost fell off my chair. These were walking sculptures of animal heads roaring right off the body. As fantastic as each look was, I can still see many people wearing them. The single neutral color was an apt choice as it made you appreciate the fully dimensional quality of her work. The collection of soft chains and animals had a narrative that expressed her emotion and fine art background in an antidote to the typical "fashion portfolio".

A major difference between when I graduated from Parsons Fashion and now is how savvy designers are in creating their brand. Many of the designers had multi-media presentations and a following on social media already. Many have already been slick about getting press for themselves for their work. This is all before they even graduate. In my time, there was a strong emphasis on designing for "7th avenue". These designers here are following their art and emotion to create their collection.

Stayed tuned for more designers from the Parsons Fashion Show 2016!
All photos by Mariana Leung

Monday, May 23, 2016

Blogger Love: Style for All

Hello fellow bloggers! This week's round-up of posts features styling tips and fashion spotlight for those slightly off the beaten path. There is a review of the documentary Advanced Style. This is a film that celebrates stylish seniors. There is a guide to shopping away from the big fast fashion chain stores. There is steampunk fashion, Jacobean Era fashion and Grace Kelly style guide for more vintage inspiration. If you want to see the up-and-coming styles from the other end of the planet, there is a review of Australia's new designers. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Futura x G-Shock - Street Art Legend Meets Time

Street artists and fashion designers collaborating on a capsule collection are the vogue trend right now. Usually, it is an up-and-coming artist or an icon of the past licensed out to a brand.

Futura (2000) is one of the few living legends who is a contemporary of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, and Fab-5 Freddy. He hit the East Village gallery scene hard in the 1970s and rose to fame. In the present decade, he dropped the "2000" from his name and is collaborating with brands like Levi's, Vans and Agnes B. to bring some old-school NYC culture to commercialism. His latest project is a small collection of watches with G-Shock. The band and collectible tin feature his signature orbs.

He is well-known for many of his music collaboration that includes a special Beats by Dre headphones design and work with The Clash. He even works with sports figures like LeBron James and a project designing graphics for Lance Armstrong's bicycle for the Tour de France (Futura was an ex-bike messenger and loves France).

When I was in design school, the fine artists and the fashion design students were worlds apart. Now, the two disciplines have a co-dependent relationship to give each other credibility. Marc Jacobs constantly works with edgy artists, even heritage brands like Louis Vuitton consistently seek out the most innovative artists to re-interpret their label.

I like that Futura is a home-grown, New York City artist still working downtown (the Q&A session above was right around some of his original galleries). He talked about his work, how it evolved and how "graffiti" now seemed to describe young artists and "street art" was attributed to established artists when it was really the same. He hinted at his next collaboration with a Canadian musical artist. His chill attitude was one of someone who had seen decades of culture change but still wasn't done with being creative. It will be interesting to see where his next body of work takes him.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Steampunk Fashion Show from The World's Faire

Are you hungry for more corsets? In addition to the fabulous Steampunk fashion street style of the event, the Steampunk World's Faire hosted a formal fashion show with models showcasing the work of seven designers.

Redfield design organized the event and led the charge with vintage and period-piece inspired costume designs. Rachel Belladonna had a sweet collection of Lolita dresses. As They Sew In France (love the name) displayed Victorian and Edwardian fashion for men and women. My favorite was the collection from Midnight Orchid Designs. Designer Ginger Seibert specializes in costume design, Steampunk and belly dance garb. Her collection had some terrific silhouettes and witty fabrications. That blue dress on the right had a dramatic bustle and a corset that looked like it was pieced together with tiles on one side.

The fierce man in the top hat is "Professor Adam Smasher" of the performing duo Eternal Frontier. He and his partner Baron Von Zipple MC'd the event with humor and admiration. Just so you know, all Steampunk men are either "Professor", "Captain" or a "Baron".

Enjoy more looks from the Steampunk fashion show at our video below:


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Steampunk Street Style at The Steampunk World's Faire

steampunk fashion
steampunk worlds faire

Are you tired of typical street style? Do you not want to see another infinity scarf or long vest on your Instagram feed? Let's take a gander at the alternative fashion of The Steampunk World's Faire: Wonders Untold that ran over the weekend in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Steampunk started as a literary subculture until fashion enthusiasts took over. The overall aesthetic is a mix of period piece and vintage with a sci-fi twist. For women, corsets are a given. Lots of leatherwork and metalsmithing factor into the look as well. The movement prizes ornate workmanship. Air travel and seafaring themes are popular (lots of goggles and brass).

I was excited to see the percentage of guests who took the time to put together a head-to-toe look. You will see a lot of the same Steampunk Fashion fans at comic-con events. Some of the wittiest outfits also paid tribute to pop culture but re-interpreted into Steampunk. One of my favorites was the duo of Steampunk "Ghostbusters" and Batman's Scarecrow here:
steampunk scarecrow

For those who wanted to put together their first Steampunk look, the two hotels that hosted the convention housed pop-up shops of makers, artisans, and designers of all types selling clothing, hand-crafted gear, and accessories. There was a runway show of the top fashion designers which I will in write about in the next post.

Both my husband and I spent some cash at Da Vinci Scientifica. They make fantastic functional leather gear for events such as this. I love the wearable leather tea pouches that hold a china teacup and dainty spoon. I purchased a leather carrier containing a parasol and fan for my next event. Hubby acquired a holster for his Steampunk pistol with suspenders that were inspired by the Civil War to accommodate the weight of his gun. The makers there were terrific in helping you choose an item for your needs and confident to recommend others if they couldn't help you (rare).

Steampunk Fashion has its seasonal trends like mainstream fashion. Goggles and corsets are only the starting point. Alice in Wonderland was a huge influence this year. I saw pocket watches, rabbits, Alice and Kings and Queens of Hearts as characters. The makeovers of superheroes and villains as Steampunk characters continued to be popular. I saw historical Asian cultures influence the fashion as well, from kimonos to military armor.

Here is Hubby and me dressed up for the event:
msfabulous steampunk
photos by Mariana Leung


Blogger Love: Insider Style & Lovely Moms

Hello! This week's round-up of independent fashion blogger's best posts is a celebration of mothers and deep exploration into the professionals that make style happen. There is fashion blogger advice from and to fellow fashion bloggers and tutorials for spring fashion. Enjoy!

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