Thursday, March 31, 2016

News | The Weekly Edit 4.2.16



This is longer piece but it is riveting and interesting on so many levels for those interested in the fashion business at the highest level,  the mystique of Rei Kawakubo, corporate BS, and journalistic integrity.

If you have time for one thing to read this weekend, make it this.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!



Monday, March 28, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Best Knitting Blogs!

Anyone notice a cool badge on the right sidebar of The Darker Horse?  Check it out over there!

I am honored to be included on the list of the Top Knitting Blogs!

If you can't see the badge, it means you have not clicked through to The Darker Horse website and are reading posts on your phone or blog reader app.  Please make sure to always click on the title of the post to be taken directly to The Darker Horse website.

You can view the full list HERE

Many thanks for your support!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Louis Vuitton | Fall 2016

One word for the knits in this show: IN-F**KING-CREDIBLE!  Actually make that for the whole show.  Go to and make sure to click on the zoom lens icon at the top right corner of each picture.  These pieces need to be seen up close.  The details are amazing.


All other photos courtesy of

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trend Watch | Monochrome Head-to-Toe

As a blog focused largely on knitwear, I may propose a trend that really only we knit-centric people notice.  A micro-trend if you will which, conveniently satisfies my need to organize and filter through all a season's fashion moments to present you with some solidly good sweaters.

Non-fashion friends always ask me how it is that trends emerge.  Is there a trend-whisperer who selflessly anoints designers like Miuccia Prada and Phoebe Philo our fashion prophets?  Well, there are men and women behind the men and women who, like bees spreading pollen from flower to flower, sprinkle ideas around the industry.  It's not a difficult leap to make when you realize that big deal stylists become big deal stylists because they work with more than one brand.  Or, how models who bounce from one casting call to another, adorned in a mix of odd freebies and offline samples, influence the subconscious of a designer whose brain is built to detect frequencies unbeknownst to most.  

The macro trends that emerge for the consumer-at-large are made globally obvious by the likes of Zara and H&M but also in the kinds of smaller, tasteful brands consumers and retailers rely on to both ring the register and wear.  In the fast pace of retail these days it seems like a consumer can instantly scratch her itch to buy something new the moment the curtain comes down but really the seeds of that trend have been planted by those prophets a season or two ahead of Zara's rollout.

I can't say that the pale grey, mock neck, almost tunic length sweater over matching skirt is a verifiable movement but, it's interesting how variations on the theme emerged at three major fashion powerhouses.  Removed from the context of each designer's vision, it's a wearable look and I can see it getting a small acknowledgment of gratitude from brands like Ann Taylor and Theory alike.

Sorry Demna, I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear....

Balenciaga Fall 2016
Hermes Fall 2016
Stella McCartney Fall 2016

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Isabel Marant | Fall 2016

When you're in fashion and you talk to other fashion people (say, on an interview) they always want to know who are some of your favorite designers.  For me, the line-up usually includes (in no particular order) Chloe, Marni, Stella McCartney, Junya Wantanabe, Comme Des Garcons, Yohji Yamamoto, Dries Van Noten, Zero Maria Cornejo, Rachel Comey, Thakoon, Valentino, The Row, Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, Acne, Sacai, and Celine.  Some are there because they're simply wearable; some because I respect the craft and body of work over time.  Other houses will pop on and off the list depending on my mood or what's happening in the world of fashion. For example: Alessandro Michele's amazing transformation of Gucci in just two seasons makes it impossible to exclude the label from my current favs although I wouldn't say I've been a lifelong Gucci fan.  On the flip side, Lanvin under Elber Albaz was probably always on my radar but the epically atrocious Fall Collection shown by a nameless design team left in his wake purged Lanvin from my list immediately.  We must forget it exists right now.  Both of these examples also signal that we are now following designers themselves rather than a brand name, even a legacy one at that.  To me, this is a refreshing realization.

Isabel Marant has always been one of those designers I found shoppable for my own personal tastes and body type.  I have two tops from her I bought in Paris in 2002 that I patch and repair every year because I haven't found anything since to replace their prime positioning in my whittled-down wardrobe.

I've not been her biggest fan as of late; the drive to be seen as a more high-end designer rather than a contemporary wardrobe staple has made her a little less reliable for me.  Still, Marant always has great sweaters and she employs them well in her collections by making them not only interesting and salable but completely relevant to her message.  My hunch is her knitwear is by far her best-selling category.

All runway images courtesy of
All Backstage images courtesy of 10magazine

Saturday, March 5, 2016

News | The Weekly Edit 3.5.16

I decided to flex some dusty journalistic curiosity so I'm trying something new out here on The Darker Horse.  Fashion is a big industry which crosses different political, cultural, and economic boundaries.  There are almost 7.5 billion people in the world spending more than 2.5 trillion dollars annually on textiles and apparel according to the World Economic Forum. That also translates to a lot of jobs beyond what you may typically ascribe to the so-called "glamorous" world of fashion. Over 4 million of those people work in the US alone.  Approximately 60 million work in the industry globally.  Fashion is major.  It's not only relevant, it's critical to the way our world functions.


FOR WONKY TYPES:  (old publications but statistically very interesting)



TDH Editors' Note:  Cornell is my alma mater and these are the kinds of things to which some of my professors would dedicate their life's research.  If you read through the article you will note that this innovation could be a harbinger of what's to come in the world of wearables.

I'm traveling to China on business in a week so there may be a gap in postings.  Until then...let me know what you think of this new idea in the comments section below as well as what topics you might like to read about.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini | Fall 2016

Darker Horse devotees know this blog pretty much features knitwear exclusively.  Yet, I have to admit it's the rare collection or designer who can shift the tides of fashion with sweaters alone.

You might need to wet your thumb and stick it in the air to feel which way the current of fashion is coming from, but I think we are on the precipice of understanding where we are going.  With his Fall, 2016 Philosophy Collection, Lorenzo Serafini offers perhaps a more easily relatable interpretation of what Alessandro Michele at Gucci has been coaxing us to experience.  That's not to say the collection is derivative; femininity and flounce are long established codes of the brand. And while I don't love these sweaters as sweaters alone, I appreciate them within the broader fashion landscape as of late.  A little toughness and edge with a healthy dose of quirk seems to be what Milan, especially, is all about these days.

A few pieces on a rail do not a shift in trends make, which is why it's important to look not only at a designer's show in its entirety, but also other shows of the season to understand fashion's loftier expression.

I encourage you to check out Philosophy's full Fall 2016 collection.  Then go study Gucci's under Michele; which is the real game-charger in fashion right now.  Could this signal an even more subtle shift from the Paris houses to the Italians? Maybe...but we'll have to wait another season or two to let that one play out.

All photos courtesy of