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Friday, September 4, 2015

Francesca Liberatore's Superheroes - Fall 2015

francesca liberatore nyfw
francesca liberatore fw15

Do you kill it at your job, both in performance and in style? Are you a superheroine? Francesca Liberatore didn't outfit her models in capes, but they did have elements of your favorite comic-book characters.

There was a great print that contained graphic representation of star motifs. Zippers, metallic leather and silver pointed oxfords were a nod to edgier street wear. However, I love that this collection was mostly suitable for work, but pushing the fashion boundaries of office-appropriate just enough to be fun. The "Thor" like star symbol shields reminds everyone they are a superwoman .

Francesca Liberatore got her fashion chops studying at Central St. Martin. She made her mark across Europe working for Viktor & Rolf, Jean-Paul Gaultier in Paris then Brioni in Italy. You can see  the cheekiness of Gaultier and the Italian Craftmanship in her collection. 

So are you ready to run the world? In the air or at your desk, Francesca Liberatore fall 2015 makes it look good.

Photos by David TW Leung 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Upgrade Your Laundry With Tide Pods

This site reports on tons of fashion. I realized I never addressed the care of such fashion. I was introduced to Tide PODs with Febreze back in NY Fashion Week last February. The squishy little pouches were cute to look at but the pods seemed like a novelty to use.

I won’t lie, I hate laundry. As a Manhattanite, I don’t have a washer and dryer directly in my apartment and have to use commercial machines. Anything that makes this process easier is fabulous in my book. The pods are a 4-in-1 combo of detergent, softener, fabric freshener and agent to brighten colors. I have a cat and don’t do laundry nearly as much as most people should. Popping in the little pods into the machine with my clothes without worrying about multiple bottles, boxes and measuring does streamline the process.

I have sensitive skin, prone to allergies, so I was worried about a switch to a product with scent. I am happy to say that I felt absolutely no irritation from my laundered clothes. It was also a bonus that everything smelled fresh. While the advertising says the scent lasts 24 hours, I found that my linens and towels maintained the lovely notes for over a week in my closet.

As a fashion industry vet, I wash more clothes in the machine than recommended. Clothing labels err on the side of caution and asking customers to dry clean everything is just easier from a legal standpoint. While silk crepe and charmeuse tend to shrink after the wash (which is fine for my nightgowns), I wouldn’t bother with fitted blouses. Knits and even cashmere can be washed in the machines, just make sure you use cold water and lay them flat to drive (do NOT put them in the dryer). For cotton knits, many are treated to a silicone wash at retail to pop the colors, so no matter what, they will fade. Your best bet is always to turn any intense color or dark colored clothing inside out.

Between running around from show to show next week, Tide PODS with Febreze will be my MVP for NYFW. Save your clothes save the world. Follow them on Tide Facebook for discounts, coupons, tips.

Sponsored by InStyle on behalf of Tide

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Erin Fetherston From Wildwood Fall 2015

erin fetherston fall 2015
erin fetherston fall 2015

 A small-town girl grows up. Erin Fetherston's fall 2015 collection could have been her biography on the runway. The show was named "Wildwood" after the street she grew up on in a small California town. She left the West Coast to study fashion in Paris.

The looks on the catwalk had sweet floral prints, schoolgirl collars and simple dresses that evoked a naive, rural sensibility. The dresses quickly lengthened into more luxurious fabrics, longer sophisticated silhouettes and closely tailored ensembles. The floral prints graduated to embellished guipure lace. Was this the story of a wide-eyed girl who follows her dreams the City of Lights and succeeds as a top fashion designer in New York City?

Perhaps this was just a collection that mixes elegant options for the evening mixed with  relaxed chic for daytime. Perhaps Erin Fetherston just understands what a woman who has worked hard to make it to the top wants to wear when they know they haven't lost touch with their roots?

photos by David TW Leung
The designer has described her fall offerings as "She's a polished pixie with a downtown edge." The makeup was clean and classic. The hair was smoothed down and pulled back. This woman was showing her confidence without feeling like she has to be over-the-top.

Even the handbags juxtapose the rural and the cosmopolitan. They were dainty, but made in a rustic polished wood, paired with an elegant chain detail that looked like jewelry.

Erin Fetherston is the woman she dresses. That's always a great thing to see in a fashion label. You trust the designer because you know she gets you.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Nautica Women's Swimwear Spring 2016

We are heading into the tail end of summer (boo). Nautica Women's Swimwear gave us a "City Meets Sea" themed evening at New York's Dream Hotel. Models wearing the label's bikinis and swimsuits posed on top of pedestals and giant inflatable swans in the hotel's tiny basin of a pool. The so-called beach club at the hotel was probably the best representation of an urban oasis NYC has to offer.

The swimwear was simple and sporty. The classic Nautica colors of navy, white and black were used. There was one print that was an abstract beach pattern. The City Meets Sea theme explains why the swimwear cuts look like sportswear. The one-shouldered suit could be worn under a skirt and jacket. Bikini separates could be layering pieces. While the V-necked one-piece suits had plunging necklines and high-cut legs, the swimwear looked like it was actually meant for swimming.

It is interesting to note that their male counterparts from New York Fashion Week Men's had a more flamboyant collection. Their swim shorts had a larger variety of graphics, prints and finishing details. Nautica's strength has always been menswear while their women's lines have been launched and re-launched multiple times.

Nautica Women's Swimwear gave my fellow writers and me a nice little escape from the concrete. If you need a momentary escape to the beach just for an hour, you know where to go.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Art Institutes Fall 2015

 Twelve student and alumni designers from The Art Institutes displayed their work on the NYFW runways. I find that each design school has a distinct look. For The Art Institutes, the silhouettes were easier, draped, more fabric focused than silhouette-focused than schools like FIT or Parsons.

Colors were muted. There were different shades of grey, neutral black and white, brown, mustard. Even their pop colors of red or orange were dark and muddied. The looks on the catwalk were shown to highlight the properties of the materials. Whether it was the sheen of laminated check fabric or the drape of a silk or the hefty texture of over-sized crochet sweaters.

Mentors for this collection of designers included Douglas Hannant, Thuy Diep, Calvin Klein Intimates designer David Siedlarczyk and Daniela Anastasio Bardazzi, creative director over Etienne Aigner. The designers themselves included representatives of different Art Institutes locations. Some of the designers included from Grace Ahn of Dallas, Daniela Ramirez of San Francisco, Parker Trumble of Miami to Jamaree Eimmanassakul of Vancouver.

The deeper theme of the collection looked to be that every look was more than meets the eye. Fabric was manipulated into shapes that would not naturally be achieved. Intricate sewing that had to be executed with surgical precision due to its sheer properties. 

Congratulations to The Art Institutes Fashion Design class of 2015 and good luck in whatever city you hail from.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Skingraft Fall 2015

The Cota brothers of Jonny and Christian brought their street savvy Skingraft collection back to New York Fashion Week. The West Coast brand was born from a community of artists and musicians. The biker chic cool reflects that. It's no surprise that everyone from Marilyn Manson, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige to Wiz Khalifa count themselves as fans.

Fall 2015 was about sleek black with ivory. There was a lot of moto styling in outerwear, vests and dresses. There were woolly striped ponchos paired with wide-brimmed hats that evoked a sophisticated gaucho from the South West. Designer Jonny Cota described his muse as Peruvian nomads and "survivalism".

My favorite looks were the multi-seamed dresses with handkerchief hems. I liked how the long, lean and flowing outfits were paired with shearling jackets or leathers with swagger. If you're a creative living the understated cool life, Skingraft fall 2015 is for you.  Rock on guys and gals, rock on.
photos by Mariana Leung 
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