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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Erin Fetherston From Wildwood 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.

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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.
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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.
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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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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Thierry Mugler's Stars, Angels & The Source

perfume fountain
star shaped bottle
It was a star-filled night. Thierry Mugler unveiled The Source at Tuesday’s InStyle Magazine summer social. It was an impressive space-age looking fountain dispensing the company’s top fragrances.

When Thierry Mugler’s Angel perfume debuted, it was the must-have fragrance that every one of my fashion school friends and I had to have. The fashion designer was already a constant source of inspiration to us in our design sketches.  We were in love with the innovative star-shaped cut glass bottle that was so innovative at the time. It is still one of my favorite bottle designs.

In the 1990’s, it seemed to be a decade of “clean” fragrances and androgyny. There were a lot of watery scents that were chic for its time, but not sexy. Then Angel came along. It was described as the first “gourmand” fragrance. This was a term in the beauty industry that would become very important as countless brands followed Mugler’s lead in the years to come. The “gourmand” aspect of this perfume referred to the notes of vanilla, caramel, berries and bergamot. These were aromas associated with food rather than things like flowers. The perfumers figured out these flavors were already aphrodisiacs in food, why not the body?

At the summer social, representatives treated guests to mini versions of the Alien and Angel perfumes filled from the fountain. The futuristic look of the bottle and fountain takes its inspiration from 18th Century luxuries. Wealthy aristocrats would collect intricately carved crystal bottles filled with their favorite scent. Marie Antoinette even indulged in her personal perfume fountain. Now super-fans of Thierry Mugler can enjoy a version of that by refilling their bottles at The Source fountain. It’s an eco-friendly way to prolong your time with your favorite bottle.

Reach for the stars and you might find your Angel.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Single Edition Media on behalf of Thierry Mugler
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Instyle Magazine's Summer Social

single edition media
gardein review
 After a hot, humid summer, the InStyle magazine brought together bloggers for an influencer event of treats and pampering. How nice is it to cool down with stylish peeps you haven’t seen in ages? The party had everything that a heat-exhausted lifestyle writer could need to refresh.

 The summer social was hosted at 404 NYC, a loft-like event space west of Moynihan Station where the new NYFW shows will take place. The main floor hosted a range of cool white wines that I (and clearly everyone else) sampled from Brancott Estate. It was no surprise they were a hit. The Estate also provided sparkling bling for bloggers to enhance their phones. 

essie nail polish

Essie nail polish, one of my favorite brands, introduce their new color palette for fall by providing manicures. I particularly liked the copper shade to match the foliage. Next to Essie was a small fashion presentation by Peony, a stylish new athleisure collection. They rocked some easy, flattering tops paired with graphic prints. I like the comfortable but fashion forward look of this collection. I can imagine it being the go-to label soon for every fashionista I know every weekend.

The second-floor lounge was for spa and nibbles. You could get your spray tan on from Sally Hansen or massage from the Think Thin team.  The main attraction, however, was the nibbles from Gardein. I had the opportunity to sample their fall and winter menu at the Single Edition Media blogger event last year. I was happily enjoying their fish and chips and mini-tacos before ever realizing they were vegetarian. I sampled their “chicken” satay and crab cakes this time around. I can honestly say that I was fooled again. I don’t know what kind of chefs or wizards transform the combo of soy and quinoa into these tasty bites, but it works. I am going to try and hunt some down for my party tomorrow night.

The top floor was for hair. The styling gurus from Jose Eber were on hand to consult on your next great look or assess your scalp condition. The handsome team was also on hand to dole out samples of their top products. Meanwhile, the stylists of Sarah Potempa had a station to curl and style the guests to glam perfection. The complex hair creations were quicker than I expected, aided by their signature range of curling irons and tools.

At the end of the summer, the Single Edition Media and InStyle Magazine Summer Social was exactly what was needed! Now onward to fall.

Disclosure: This post was presented by Single Edition Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Single Edition Media.

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