To Clarify on Odd Runway Designs

You question it and I question it. Why do designers create such crazy clothing for the runway if its not meant for everyday wear? 

 Alexander McQueen - Paris Fashion Week 2009

Alexander McQueen - Paris Fashion Week 2009

The answer comes in several layers:

1) Publicity

High end designers want the shock value that makes the public pay attention. The collections that are presented on the runway are made to elicit a response. The most talked about designers showcase the most outrageous designs and shows. For example, Alexander McQueen's famous hologram of Kate Moss in his 2006 Fall/Winter Fashion Show (below video). Rather than just having models walk down the runway with his clothing (how boring!), he decided to try something new and that is what made him stand out.

2) Concept

Designers make it a point to put emphasis on beauty, art and ideals. Each collection is part of a particular concept for the upcoming season and has a theme prevalent whether it is nautical, floral or Victorian. What is usually seen on the runway isn't seen in retail stores. Mass production happens after the debut of the collections. The colors, fabrics and overall aesthetic remains true to the collection, but it is a translated version of the outrageous outfits to every day wear. That means we don't have to be wearing that big box with legs we saw walk down the runway in the past season, just something similar to it!

 Alexander McQueen - "It's Only a Game" Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2005

Alexander McQueen - "It's Only a Game" Fashion Show Spring/Summer 2005

3) Innovation - Architecture, Art, Design

Historically, fashion started out with handmade material for different designs. Since technology had progressed, designers were able to make use of sewing machines, leading to new ideas and new designs. Nowadays, designers are incorporating new strategies for design, such as 3-D print designs which might even be seen in retail stores in the near future. 

 Iris Van Herpen (who also interned for Alexander McQueen) - Amsterdam Fashion Week 2010 

Iris Van Herpen (who also interned for Alexander McQueen) - Amsterdam Fashion Week 2010 

Sensing a theme here? It's safe to say the late Alexander McQueen was one of my favorite designers, mainly because of his high attention to detail and his ability to put on quite a show.

This brings me to my last point… September is coming up soon and you know what that means…NEW YORK FASHION WEEK!

Ciao. 

Who Shops at the Mall Anymore?

Back in my teenage years, I lived at the mall. I diagnosed myself as a crazed shopaholic. Then I grew up and something changed. Was it bills? Was it my priorities? Oh no. I still prioritize in looking decent, but the difference now is that I don't have time to go to a brick and mortar store, look around, try on clothing and make small talk with the employees that work there. Nope. WAY TOO MUCH EFFORT. 

I'd much rather shop online. It cuts my gas costs significantly and I don't have to physically move if I don't want to. (Well, maybe to the door to grab my package.) Most people I know would rather browse for outfits online rather than wander around the mall for five hours. Why is that? Convenience is the word of the century. 

Retail stores have gotten creative on incorporating technology to update the consumer shopping experience. The other day I heard that Burberry was making significant efforts in using technology to mimic the experience of online shopping in store since they were finding that less and less people were coming in to their stores. 

Check it out here: 

Pretty cool right? I mean LOOK at that. Imagine walking into a retail store with multiple TV screens that use RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to trigger multimedia content that relates to the store's products. Mirrors are able to transform into screens with real time runway footage. Sales associates can use iPads to keep record of past purchase history and refer the customer to similar items. I guess seeing what that experience is like would make me get off the couch.

Okay, maybe Burberry is a bit of an extreme example, but the point is, retailers are going to more extremes to 1) Keep up with technology and 2) Keep shoppers interested in physically coming in to the stores. Change is in the works, but is it effective?

So what do you think? Would you rather shop online or go to the store for the personal experience?

Being on the Other Side of the Camera

A brilliant idea popped into my head. Why not try fashion photography on the other side of the camera? My friend Andrea agreed to model for me and we collaborated a few shoot ideas to try in the future. This would also showcase my makeup, hair, photography and editing skills (quadruple threat!) We wanted to go with a more natural look to test shoot first before trying more daring/avant-garde looks. Fortunately, it turned out pretty well. Here are a few details of the products I used on her:

Makeup:

  • Foundation: Make Up For Ever in 125
  • Concealer: Clinique Eye Smoothing Concealer in Light
  • Eyeshadow Primer: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Original
  • Eyeshadow Colors: Urban Decay Naked  Palette in Gin, Toasted and Creep.
  • Eyeliner: Kat Von D Ink Liner in Ultra Black
  • Eyebrows: Benefit Brow Zings in Deep
  • Contour Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit in Light to Medium
  • Blush: NARS in Torrid
  • Lipstick: Cinique Longlast Glosswear in Guavagold
  • Eyelashes: Andrea Strip Lashes

Hair:

  • Heat Protectant Spray: Tresemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray
  • Tools: Hot Tools Gold Curling Iron 1-1/2 inch
  • Hair Spray: TIGI Bed Head Masterpiece Shine Hairspray

Naturally she was pretty nervous. I coached her through a few frames and with a bit of time, she was able to relax in front of the camera. 

End result:

Note: Having a DSLR camera helps tremendously.

Additional note: Having a ring light also aids in giving the subject dimension. I would highly recommend for anyone who posts photos on their blog or records a video of themselves on their vlog. 

I only slightly retouched the photo by using Adobe Lightroom to add a little more depth and edit a few blemishes. Stay tuned for more crazy makeup. I usually gravitate toward the more artistic side of fashion anyway.

Ciao.

What is the Future of New York Fashion Week?

It's time to get serious. This past New York Fashion Week was the first time the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and a few designers experimented with see-now-buy-now fashion to keep up with the demand of the consumers. What do the people want? Instant gratification. 

The history of the fashion show includes the showcase of designer collections usually about four to six months before it hits the retail stores. Originally it was only seen by exclusive insiders: buyers/editors/the media/celebrities. They were the key people that determined what styles were "in" and what styles were "outdated" for each new season. Now that social media is used as another form of influence, there is a larger audience.

The attention span of viewers seem to have decreased over time. The only way to make an impact is to keep up with the fast pace. Social media has played a large part in the changing fashion industry. Snapchat. Twitter. Instagram. These strategies are used more and more to adapt to these changes. For the fashion show, the idea of see-now-buy-now is to keep the excitement of new product and drive sales.

What is see-now-buy-now? As soon as the designers showcase their collections on the runway, it is available to purchase directly.

PROS: 

  • It will cover our culture's insatiable need for instant gratification.
  • It will boost full price selling.
  • It will increase perceived newness.
  • BIGGER BUSINESS.

CONS: 

  • It becomes too commercial.
  • The timing of retail deliveries will be out of sync with the seasons.
  • It is not realistic for some designers to create in-season shows. Some designers spend a lot of time on concept and fabric development. 

I'm curious to see how the next New York Fashion Week will pan out. The CFDA announced that fashion designers are free to choose their own strategy moving forward. It is going to be a messy next few seasons. Ladies and gentlemen we are witnessing a revolution. 

Bonsoir. 

Every Little Girl's Fantasy

Most little girls dream about becoming a Disney princess and living a fairy tale…oh wait, I was one of them! The good news is that I was able to re-live this fantasy a few months back while visiting my cousin in New York City. During my downtime, I decided to venture out to explore an exhibit held at the Fashion Institute of Technology. 

The theme of it was "Fairy Tale Fashion" which depicted fifteen different fables in the lens of high-end fashion designers such as Marchesa, Alexander McQueen and Rodarte. Not only did these designers create pieces to represent each fairy tale, but they were also successful in including specific concepts (i.e.  Cinderella's glass slipper) and captured a period-appropriate look. 

It was all so beautiful…I think I almost shed a tear. 

Here are a few of my favorite photos, not in any particular order:

Sleeping Beauty

 The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid

 The Swan Maidens

The Swan Maidens

 The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

 Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood

 The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

 Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

 Cinderella

Cinderella

 Snow White and Rose Red

Snow White and Rose Red

 Cinderella

Cinderella

 The Snow Queen

The Snow Queen

 Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland

 Cinderella's Glass Slipper

Cinderella's Glass Slipper

 Cinderella

Cinderella

Want to see it as well? Well you can't, sorry. The exhibit ended April 16, 2016. HOWEVER, this brings me to my next point. The MET Museum in NYC is having a really exciting exhibit which I also hope to experience. This is going to be on display May 5 through August 14. 

This exhibit is about the history of traditional, hand-sewn haute couture all the way to fashion technology now which incorporates 3-D printing and ultrasonic welding. How awesome is that?

Find more about it here: Manus x Machina

Au revoir.