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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Byron Lars Spring 2015 Look Book Shoot

byron lars ss15
byron lars spring 2015

The Ms. Fabulous team hung out behind the scenes of the Byron Lars Spring 2015 look book shoots to drool over his latest collection.  The designer has had a notable 2014. He presented his spring 2015 collection at Harlem Fashion Row while also receiving the Fashion Designer of the Year award.  Earlier in May, he was also honored with the Pratt Institute’s Fashion Visionary Award.    In chatting with Byron though, he is too humble to let it affect his ego or approach to work (he was even reluctant to let his proud team congratulate him online).

For spring 2015, Byron Lars made a conscientious decision to create a collection with more casual, easy pieces.  He actually cites his recent work with HSN in helping him understand how he could design more every day clothes for all shapes that are still interesting.  That certainly doesn’t mean you should expect shapeless blocks on a hanger from him.  Even more relaxed items, like tunics and shirts have exquisite details and textured fabrics.  He certainly knows how to create a structured diva outfit for a posh luncheon or red carpet.  Now he dresses the diva who can lounge on her couch as well.

The color palette for much of the collection was a season less black, white and neutral pumice.  There were accent colors like cantaloupe and amethyst purple.  There were embellished pieces like the Guatemalan inspired lace blouses embroidered with tiny worry dolls or the intricately textured jacket in native textiles.  I am honored to hear that Byron was inspired by some of my travel photos for those pieces (which were my favorites).   Lace appliques on lace were a pretty combination along with layered laser-cut details on everything from georgette to vegan leather.  A beautiful nature art print and fabrics like multi-colored confetti on black allow those of us who stick to our Gotham wardrobe colors to add some ‘pop’.

I am so excited for spring to come around so I can start working these Byron Lars pieces into my wardrobe.  Yay 2015!  
Photos by Mariana Leung
harlem fashion row
Byron Lars Spring 2015 - Harlem Fashion Row

Sunday, September 28, 2014

DC Fashion Week: Corjor International at the National Archives

Were you aware of D.C. Fashion Week?  September has been flooded with the runway reports from New York, Paris, London and Milan that the designers from our nation’s capital are largely ignored.
I had the fortune of stopping by Washington D.C. and checking out the kickoff event at the National Archives where participating designers mingled over cocktails and enjoyed Corjor International’s runway show.

D.C. Fashion Week may not have a lot of well-known brands, but it represents emerging designers from all over the globe.  It also spotlights modest fashion that complies with religious standards of certain cultures, but can be seriously stylish, even if mainstream fashion media doesn’t cover it.
In the United States, there are not many venues more impressive than the grand rotunda housing the Constitution as a backdrop to the models.  Corjor International’s designer Ean Williams named his label with a combination of his children’s names.  His fashion show was a combination of all the different lines he works on, from bridal, to menswear to evening wear.  He also acts as the ambassador for D.C. Fashion Week by sending out information and communicating personally to press inquiries. 
Unfortunately, the dramatic venue was not built for fashion event photography.  The dome and polished stone room resulted in too much feedback from all audio announcements, so the press pit had no idea what was said during the presentation.  The theatrical lighting forced less experienced photographers to use their flash and ruin most of everyone else’s images.  I barely had anything usable to show you from what was otherwise a beautiful show.  Ean Williams clearly has a love of textured fabrics and is glamorous silhouettes. His menswear was offered tailoring in unusual palettes. 

If you are not too fatigued from the labels you know at the major fashion week offerings, take a chance to discover the ones you don’t know at D.C. Fashion Week.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wearables at Maker Faire NYC

light up shoes
Maker Faire is that giant science fair you dreamed of as a child.  The sprawling festival of crafts, DIY, science and geekery took place at the New York Hall of Science this past weekend.  Wearable tech had a major presence at New York Fashion week and many of the original concepts got their start from places like Maker Faire.

iLuminate is a dance troupe whose signature look is the light up costumes the performers wear
onstage.  Guests could try on helmets and shoes tricked out with the glowing El-wires stitched to the base pieces.  A few cast members were on hand to demonstrate the effect in close-up.

ezgi ucar

Ezgi Ucar is a graduate student at Parsons School of Design in technology.  Her focus is on multi-sensory experience design.  Her necklace and jewelry pieces double as a musical instrument.  The contrast "beads" are actually keys for different musical notes.  For someone like me who loves to play with her accessories, being able to play my favorite tune with my idle fingers could be a blessing (or curse) to whoever gets to stand next to me on the subway...

pearlie mae mermaid

Do you want to be a mermaid? Pearlie Mae took mermaid culture to new heights with her beautiful hand-crafted costumes.  She created molds for different sized scales and hand-poured the glitter rich silicone individually.  The end result is as close to a real mermaid tail as can exist in our realm.  The tails are functional and Pearlie Mae goes swimming in them.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Badgley Mischka's Silver Anniversary - Spring 2015

A quarter century together!  Designers Mark Badgley and James Mischka may have tied the knot last year but their life and label have been official for 25 years.   My former draping teacher at Parsons had fond memories of watching the two of them work together at a corner table in the classroom in the years before I attended the school myself.

The spring 2015 collection of Badgley Mischka was a parade of elegant day looks and dream gowns.  Fluid silk pants and flirty skirts were paired with tweed jackets with motorcycle styling or luxe cardigans for daytime.  Evening wear had a gorgeous palette of light purple, pale blue, different shades of grey and caramel. 

Many of the bodices or skirts were lavishly embellished with jewels, moonstones and satin flowers.  The embroidery was layered on top of lace and tulle.  Rich beading was also used to accent the key print of an elaborate cherry blossom pattern.

Accessories were almost as impressive.  There was a very sophisticated backpack that upgrades the entire category.  There was a giant jeweled bow on a shoulder.  Big clear Lucite cuff bracelets were made luxurious with shining stones.  Small box clutch handbags had a subtle, holographic finish and decorated with rhinestone motifs.  Shoes had delicate straps, often two-toned with python finish leather and embellished with jewels or shiny hardware. 

The show’s finale included a shower of balloons and a surprise appearance of Naomi Campbell who walked in Badgley Mischka’s first runway show.  Now I can’t wait to see their golden anniversary show!
photos by Mariana Leung

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cruba by Mira Becker

cruba fashion

What a treat NY Fashion Week can be when it reunites you with old-time school chums.  Mira Backer was in my class at Parsons School of Design.  I always remembered her wicked sense of humor and cool design sense.

Her label CRUBA hails from Berlin, Germany.  She proudly manufactures her collection within the country as well as in Poland.  She uses beautiful silks and cashmere, along with innovative closures like transparent and rubber zippers.  Her signature look then and now has been her use of drape.  Mira likes the juxtaposition of a slender fitted knit on one side of the body and an artistic drape of silk on the other.

Her key prints for spring 2015 was a quilted floral, which was quite a departure from her comfort zone.  The other print that was executed on silk and textured cotton was one that initially looked like pretty colors in an abstract pattern on white ground.  It was actually based on a photograph of garbage blown across snow, a way of making something beautiful from something discarded.  Of course, Mira jokingly referred to it as her “White Trash” print privately. 

cruba fashion germanyOther key pieces in her collection were the hand knit sweater top made from multiple strands of cords in different sizes.  Tomato red was a hot color next to some of the neutrals and navy.  Mira Becker explained that the German fashion customer was all about impeccably finished clothing.  The irony is that the many of her customers are New Yorkers who have wandered their way into her boutique in Berlin’s gallery district.

Bravo and come visit often Mira!
photos by Mariana Leung

Monday, September 22, 2014

Angel Sanchez Spring 2015

angel sanchez fashion
angel sanchez ss15
Angel Sanchez is best known for his knock- out evening dresses and beautiful bridal gown collections.  His collection was light and colorful, filled with stylish dresses and separates perfect for day to evening social occasions and balmy summer nights. 

The inspiration and color palette of the collection was light and the colors in the sky. Light blue, pink, yellow, and white were the dominant colors in the collection, along with exotic floral prints. Sanchez chose a gorgeous double-faced canvas in pink that resembled Radiant Orchid, the 2014 color of the year from Pantone. Bright yellow piping on seams and unusual closures accentuated solid color garments. Unexpected cutouts, piping, and embroidery added texture and versatility to the garments and the collection.

With so many standouts in this collection, I found it challenging to choose my favorites. There was the three piece outfit of pink Faille coat, bandeau top, and double faced canvas shorts. I loved the crepe gown, in a bright citron color, with cutouts and high front slits. One of Sanchez's signature evening gowns; an embroidered organza gown with piping in citron yellow was stunning.

angel sanchez
photos by Mariana Leung
There was a lot of wearable tech at NY Fashion Week this season, with technology disguised in accessories.  At this show, the fashion accessories looked like tech components.  The bright neon citron color was seen in sculptured necklaces and bracelet cuffs.  The tech fabric of neoprene was also integrated into more classically tailored evening wear.

Angel Sanchez does it again and delivers a wearable collection of feminine & elegant clothes...perfect for the modern woman.

Gracias por la increíble colección de Sr. Sanchez!
Elaine Fioravanti of Best Dressed Ginger
Reporting for Ms. FABulous.