Monday, February 26, 2018

Trimmed in Black

Hard to go wrong with anything in black and white but the tipping in these styles gives them a sportier edge, which always speaks to my athletic ambitions.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Interview with Asta Skocir, Co-Founder of AlgiKnit

Back in November, I shared a link to an article I wrote for Knitting IndustryInnovation in Textiles about a conference I attended at the United Nations called Fashion & Sustainability: Look Good, Feel Good, Do Good.

As a follow-up to my growing interest in sustainability, check out my latest article for Knitting Industry Creative, a sister site which recently launched, about new developments in bioyarns.

KIC will be a little less wonky and aims to reach the industry’s creatives; engaging with established designers, up-and-comers, students, and other creative professionals.  I'm very excited to be part of this new venture!

AligiKnit, the New York based biomaterials research group is on a mission to rescue the planet from the enormously harmful effects of the fashion industry. They have developed a compostable yarn from kelp, which can be knit into zero-waste, fully-fashioned garments or transformed into a textile for applications in footwear.
Among their many achievements, they’ve been keynote speakers at MAGIC, invited to exhibit at The Clinton Global Initiative, are winners of the National Geographic “Chasing Genius” award and are grant recipients from the London-based RebelBio Accelerator program.
I sat down with co-founder and F.I.T Professor Asta Skocir to learn more about AlgiKnit’s plans for becoming leaders in sustainable manufacturing...
p.s. you can follow Asta at KnitGrandeur and on Instagram and Twitter

Saturday, February 17, 2018

News | The Weekly Edit 2.17.18

No One Wants Your Used Clothes Anymore - Bloomberg

  • The Gist:  To assuage some of the guilt for compulsively buying cheap, trendy clothes consumers think they're being good stewards of the earth if they "donate" them.  Sadly, the secondhand or second-life apparel market is a ruse.  
  • Companies that once were able to take old clothes and turn them into items such as disaster relief blankets are being shut out of business by Chinese manufacturers who can produce new goods in better materials and for less money.
  • My thought bubble:  Touting sustainability isn't the answer. I'm not exactly sure what is but seems like we're approaching the tipping point of radical change in both the fashion industry specifically and the consumer goods market in totality.
It's 2018, Ralph Lauren. Why Do You Think This Look is Still Cool? - The Washington Post
  • My thought bubble:  OMG!!! and OUCH!
  • Seriously though, it would be silly for me to critique a critique especially one by Robin Givhan whom I have long admired.
  • Givhan has ALWAYS been a reality check on the fashion industry and she has a concise and precise way of talking about clothes but what makes her a journalist and not just someone who writes about fashion is that she foregoes the fluffy, flourishing descriptions of the clothes themselves and instead frames her critiques within a much larger cultural context.  She doesn't talk about "zeitgeist" in terms of trendy shoes or restaurants, she's much more cerebral and she nails it every time.
  • This one is DEFINITELY worth the 3 minutes it takes to read.
  • You be the judge:  Head over to VOGUE to check out all the looks for yourself.  (Remember he's in See-Now, Buy-Now mode so what he showed is Spring 2018 but during Fall 2018 Fashion week)


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ferragamo | Buttoned-Up

These Ferragamo button styles are from Fall 2016 but lately there's been a flood of them in my Pinterest feed.  They might be old but they still look quite fresh to me.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Ring Around

The first 2 images are student work from London College of Fashion created 3 years apart.
Extraordinary Pigeon by Ho Man Stephanie Wong
London College of Fashion circa 2012
Jacob Patterson
2015 BA (Hons) Student | London College of Fashion 
Alexander McQueen
Street Style London Fashion Week February 2017

Saturday, February 3, 2018

News | The Weekly Edit 2.3.18

#MeToo Drives National Uptick of Sales in Black Dresses - Glossy

AFP/Getty Images via BBC

  • My thought bubble:  I'm a political news junky so it's been quite delightful in the Trump era to be able to marry 3 of my main interests: fashion, journalism, and politics without feeling like I'm reaching too much to intellectualize the industry. The "Semiotics of Dress" (yes, an actual academic field of study) highlights the interdependent relationship between the designer, the wearer, and the context in which clothing is created. Whether intentional or not, designers often reflect the political environment of their times. From Coco Chanel boldly proposing pants for women to bra burning in the 60's to the slogan T's of Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett to the ousting of John Galliano from his namesake company for his anti-Semitic rant (although also forgiven and now at the helm of Margiela) to Hillary Clinton's white pantsuit in honor of the Women's Suffrage Movement to today's LBD #MeToo moment. In its capitalistic, commercial incarnation a piece of clothing is just a scrap of fabric but in its purest form, can also be a vehicle for expression and dare I say, even change.

  • Quote to remember:  “We now live in a culture with increased demand for products that identify with wearers’ beliefs and interests,” said Katie Smith, retail analysis and insights director at Edited.

  • Politics or not you really can't go wrong with another Little Black Dress in your closet.

What's a Rip-Off When Everything Looks the Same - Racked
  • My thought bubble:  No one really owns color blocking as a general concept but we're in the age of "Storytelling" and there's something very specific about Outdoor Voices and their brand message. In addition to the silhouettes themselves, Bandier chose the name Me/We (Me Over We) which seems like a pretty obvious riff on OV's message of encouraging group activity rather than competitive sport.
  • If you've ever walked into a Bandier store you know that they carry a lot of brands. The store environment has tightened-up since it first launched but as a multi-brand shop, they have an arsenal of "references" from which to draw upon. OV is known for their kits; essentially a clean crop top and color block leggings which seem to have a distinct identity despite their simplicity. We/Me has their own very similar version of this concept and it seems like a shameless ploy to attract the OV customer and take some of their market share.
  • EVERY company copies. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.  It's disheartening to realize that most ideas are just recycled, watered-down versions of something else. It's less a result that designers don't have an original idea, rather more so that they work for a big machine and have little creative control. It never ceases to amaze me how so many companies fall prey to the same uninspired decision-making process.
  • Perhaps if there was a way to successfully litigate the rampant knock-offs, there would also be less crap in our landfills. 
  • I truly wish the terms of the settlement between Aquazzura and Ivanka Trump for her blatant copy of his very successful "Wild Thing" sandal was made public. I hope the compensation was gratifying for Aquazurra but publicly shaming these companies may be the best way to thwart this problem going forward
  • You decide:  Ultimately, I think it comes down to copying their ethos vs. individual items which in my opinion is the real crime.
Outdoor Voices - Slashback Crop
Outdoor Voices
(note the side panel color block is referenced in Bandier version above)

Bandier's Me/We legging
photo via Racked
Outdoor Voices 7/8 Springs Legging

  • I think Ty Haney founder of Outdoor Voices said it best on her Instagram


    Thursday, February 1, 2018

    Balenciaga Jumbo Logo Scarf

    I've never been a big fan of logos or blatant branding. I even get turned-off from buying something when a zipper pull or a button has a name on it. Probably the only obvious logo item I covet is the Hermes Evelyn bag.  It's so Upper East Side-y but it's also so utilitarian and practical.

    These scarves were all over the place and kind of started the trend because jumbo logos are showing up on everyone's collections. Admittedly, street-style stars make them look pretty good but street-style stars make everything look good.

    Paris Fashion Week S/S 2017 photo by Sandra Semberg
    Collage Vintage
    InStyle Germany January 2018

    Is this just gratuitous advertising or simply part of Demna Gvasalia's Anti-Fashion Fashion thing?  All I know is I love Balenciaga's Ugly-Cool "Dad" trainers, more formally known as "The Triple S." They're about $850 and completely sold out. I want the green/yellow/camel ones.  And yeah, I see "Balenciaga" on the side so maybe some branding is OK.

    Who What Wear UK
    Who What Wear UK
    Sneaker Boy on Instagram
    CVSHED on Instagram
    CVSHED on Instagram