Archive for the ‘Modern’ Category

First business

Wearing the right dress can be the first business flirtation between an actress and designer, too. A bit like a wink across the room. In 2011, 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for an Oscar for True Grit. Seizing a style moment, she wore a striking fuchsia-, tangerine-, and black-striped Prada dress with a flounced hem from the spring collection to the SAG Awards that year. The chic choice paid off. Within two months, Steinfeld became the new face of Miu Miu, Prada’s edgier little-sister label. Steinfeld was just spotted front row at the Chanel couture show in Paris, so stay tuned.

Jewelers, of course, must deliver never-before-seen sparklers too. Many stylists plunder the archives of a house like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels for statement pieces with heritage and vintage caché. “Finding the new unseen look and style in a piece of jewelry is also in top demand”, says Beverly Hills jeweler Martin Katz, who outfitted Jodie Foster, Sally Field, and Helen Hunt with lush diamond bracelets and bold earrings at this year’s Globes. “When I come up with unusual rings or bracelets that have not been seen on the red carpet before, stylists grab them immediately”.

Devotees

Decoded Fashion and CFDA Host Fashion Hackathon.

On Super Bowl Sunday, when most New Yorkers were prepping for the big game, hundreds of fashion and technology devotees were going head to head.

Decoded Fashion, a company aiming to connect the fashion and technology worlds, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America hosted something called a “fashion hackathon,” at the Alley, an event space on Seventh Avenue. An assembly of programmers, developers and graphic designers were given 24 hours to create an app or start-up idea to be pitched to a cast of judges (this reporter included). Five semifinalists were chosen to complete their pitch by the last day of New York Fashion Week, Feb. 14. Judges were instructed to identify apps or solutions that could be useful to the fashion industry and support the CFDA mission of considering the future. Originality of ideas, user interface and design, and overall technical achievement during a day of coding were also weighed.

Fashion may be an unlikely subject for tech geeks, but the event drew a large number of participants, as well as the support of the CFDA (including the designer Zac Posen); Condé Nast; and new-media fixtures like Dennis Crowley of Foursquare, Dirk Standen, editor-in-chief of Style.com, and Valentine Uhovski of Tumblr.

“I’ve been to a lot of hackathons, two to three hundred people, but this is the first hackathon I’ve been to that attracted 600 people, half of them women,” said Drew Schutte, the manager for emerging technologies at Condé Nast.

Objection

Ms. Bacelar said she hoped the event would help bridge a communications gap. “I think that everyone in fashion is used to hearing the statement that they need to play catch-up, and they need to innovate,“ she said. “But let me tell you that from the tech side, and I work with the tech guys all the time; they are building products to pitch to the fashion vertical and they are getting it wrong all the time. So we are talking about an education that needs to happen on both fronts.”Ms. Winston Wolkoff said: “People on the tech side think very differently about fashion. It’s not just about brands, it’s about publishing and distribution and manufacturing. And when you say fashion people think clothing, but it’s more than that. It’s the business of clothing.”

On Feb. 14, Decoded Fashion announced SWATCHit, an app connecting designers with fabric creators and other artisans, as the hackathon winner. The team received $10,000 from the CFDA.

“What I loved about SWATCHit was the B to B aspect,” said Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the CFDA. “Sourcing is a difficult aspect for all designers big and small, and more efficiency in sourcing will streamline production processes. And it has the potential to expand into even more than the way they presented it.”

Speaking of presentation, many hackers paid as much attention to their own style as they did to their code. They “looked very dapper after not sleeping for 36 hours,” Mr. Uhovski said.

Typically

Prada Goes With Her Feelings.

A fashion show typically lasts about 10 minutes, and that’s just enough time to either be suicidal from boredom or convinced you haven’t even begun to live, since you never thought of wearing a black party dress over the gray cardigan you leave at the office because you, Ms. Mouse, are always cold.
Miuccia Prada, like Rei Kawakubo and Phoebe Philo, established that there is a world of difference between men and women as designers. One difference is that a woman will readily use her feelings to build a collection instead of an outside source, like the work of an artist.

Karl Lagerfeld might be clever at loading up the pop cultural references at Fendi, and obscuring the evidence in a dizzy pile of fun furs, but you can’t imagine him trying to give a shape and texture to female repression. He’d rather stick a pen in his eye, but that’s just a guess.

More than 20 years after the sex fantasies of Gianni Versace and Jean Paul Gaultier, studded leather looks like an adolescent rash, it’s so commonplace and down-market.

No wonder Donatella Versace, in her show on Friday, made the spikes in collars and dresses four inches long. There’s no edge left to the fantasy. But male designers have never been good at the kind of fashion known as “ugly chic.” That emotional territory belongs to female designers. Actually, the territory belongs to just one.

“It’s everything I like,” said Ms. Prada before her show, referring to the done-undone quality of the outfits, with tweed or beaded chiffon dresses worn carelessly over drab cardigans, the garments left partly unbuttoned so they fell off shoulders. The midcentury silhouette, with deep fur cuffs on hard leather jackets and gray flannel suits, was another Prada favorite. The gloomy set and the wet “Les Miserables” hair seemed mostly a Prada ploy, and didn’t really add anything.

As the models lined up for the show, Ms. Prada said: “I’m obsessed with this problem — that everything is forbidden. There is so much control that you can’t abandon yourself to anything.” If Ms. Prada, who turns 64 this year, is frustrated, she shouldn’t be too concerned. A generation of women has been peculiarly susceptible to her fashion: they feel exactly what she feels. So, even if this was not the most challenging Prada collection, its naïve, almost do-it-yourself glamour still got under your skin.

Modern

Modern architecture and technique met in an inspired MaxMara show. This collection is worth checking out; pictures don’t adequately convey the textures of fabrics — which include camel’s hair, cashmere and a spun alpaca that resembles fur — or how well the volumes of the coats were worked out. The Bauhaus was apparently the inspiration for the everyday stylishness, as well as the soft browns and slate grays. The underpinnings were duly up-to-date: ribbed knits and a pajama-like separates, with sneakers.

Somehow, the many mutations of prints at Etro had a dulling effect. It was unclear what Veronica Etro wanted to do. There were the exploding line patterns and then some rather hard-looking sportswear with much trimming, but it all seemed like just clothes.

Ms. Versace whipped out a terrific show. Sure, there is now an adolescent quality to sex-shop leather (down to the studded stiletto cowboy boots). But after last season’s insubstantial clothes, she has maneuvered Versace toward a more youthful customer without losing sophistication and brand identity.

Plus, her take on styles like kilts (with a front flap of black patent leather) and classic overcoats, in Vegas-bright wool and animal-print fur, looked fresh. Along with those ear spears (about the size of a meat thermometer) and spiked collars, the collection made a big statement.