My Trip to Fashion Week — Yuna Yang

yuna-yang-stage

I keep getting closer. Last year, as a Michael Kors intern, I worked at Market Week for their Fall 2016 collection. This season, I was invited to Yuna Yang as a blogger. So last Saturday afternoon, I put on my coat and boots, crunched through the snow, and took the 30-minute train ride into Manhattan, cold and excited.

The show was at the Gotham Comedy Club in Chelsea, so guests sat at tables for two partitioned along the wall. I was pleased because I could hang my coat on a chair and place my purse on a table, two things you can’t do with the traditional rows of benches. I could also get to know my table-mate, who, as it happens, went to NYU like me! As the guests poured in, I noticed colorful faux-fur jackets, lace-up booties, and box clutches.

yuna-yang-arrival

Guests arrive and take their seats. 

yuna-yang-audience

Two guests before the show. 

Every Yuna Yang collection has a name, and this season was called “Lights in the Shadow”. I appreciate this about Yuna Yang because attending the show felt like seeing a performance, like a play or a dance recital. The collection was inspired by the people’s protests against American president Donald Trump, especially the Women’s March, and South Korean president Park Geun-hye, who was impeached last December. The show notes said, “Yuna Yang’s F/W17 collection pays homage to people who hold on to hope and belief in shadowed times.”

The models included Marina Albino, Phillipa Steele, Nastya Choo, Rachel Thomas, Alyona Subbotina, Liga Liepina, Val Debeuf, Jini Lee, Akua Williams, and Lisa Tomaschewsky.

Here are some of the looks:

FLOWER BOMBER PRINT

yuna-yang-flower-bomber-print-dress     yuna-yang-flower-bomber-pajama-with-yy-signature-beaded-camisole

WATERFALL PRINT

yuna-yang-yy-signature-beaded-camisole-with-waterfall-skirt    yuna-yang-waterfall-leather-trench-coat-with-flower-bomber-jeans

AUSTRIAN LACE

yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-dress    yuna-yang-yy-signature-austrian-lace-trench-coat-with-lace-pants

LIGHTING CANDLE PRINT

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-dress   yuna-yang-twinkle-sweatshirt-with-lightning-candle-print-skirt    yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-tunic-with-sky-blue-fur-coat

yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trenchcoat-with-twinkle-long-sweatshirt   yuna-yang-lighting-candle-print-trench-coat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-and-wide-pants

AND MORE

yuna-yang-royal-purple-overcoat-with-twinkle-sweatshirt-2   yuna-yang-grey-shadow-leather-trench-coat-with-twinkle-slip-dress-2

yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress-3   yuna-yang-burgundy-slip-dress

My favorite look of all was the closing look, the burgundy slip dress. The collection was bright and full of energy, with gold, yellow, orange, lavender, green, and sky blue. Velvet dresses, sweatshirts, and skirts provided the durability one needs to get through fall and winter.

yuna-yang-row
yuna-yang-me-2

Me before the show started. D-Face leather dress. Hue cross-hatch leggings. Merona boots. Vintage dragonfly necklace. 

As this was my first time attending Fashion Week, I was so excited to see up close that which I have looked at from afar for the past decade (yes, since I was in middle school). When I was 12, I wrote a story about an island of witches who wore only haute couture, every day, at every occasion. After seeing the beautiful Yuna Yang outfits, I was left wishing that everyone out on the street  looked as put-together as runway models. That may not be the case, but this week Manhattan came pretty close.

yuna-yang

Yuna Yang is from Seoul. Before starting her own brand, she thoroughly learned her craft; she earned a degree in Fine Arts from Ewha Women’s University, a degree in Design from Instituto Marangoni, and a degree in Womenswear Design from Central Saint Martins. She also gained valuable work experience, working with Alviero Martini in Milan and Ann-Sofie Beck and Clements Ribeiro in London. She debuted her New York based line, Yuna Yang, at NYFW Fall 2010, and has shown every season since. She has also dressed many a celebrity: Carrie Underwood, Jessica Loundes, Danai Gurira, Darby Stanchfield, Nicole Murphy, Dascha Polanco, Maye Musk, and Irene Kim to name a few!

yuna-yang-carrie-underwood

Carrie Underwood in the music video for “See You Again”

yuna-yang-nicole-murphy    yuna-yang-irene-kim

Nicole Murphy; Irene Kim

yuna-yang-jessica-lowndes   yuna-yang-danai-gurira

Jessica Loundes; Danai Gurira

yuna-yang-darby-stanchfield   yuna-yang-maye-musk

Darby Stanchfield; Maye Musk 

2016 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 28: Actress Dascha Polanco attends the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Garden on August 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Yuna Yang can be found at Foravi in Manhattan; Cami in Roslyn, NY; Deborah Gilbert Smith in Millburn, NJ; Joe Brand in Laredo, TX; Joe Brand in McAllen, TX; A&A in Taipei; La Scala in Taipei; Art to Wear in Taipei; Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Taipei; Avenuel in Seoul; Galleria in Seoul; Lotte in Busan, South Korea; Isetan in Tokyo; and Arabian Apparel in Riyadh.

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Yuna Yang hats and headbands at Isetan. 

Past concepts: The New Woman, No Borders, The 100% Perfect Girl, Hunting Without Guns, The Butterfly Mother, 1920s Shapes Meet Modern Art, Che Bella, Civil Twilight, Bright Lights Big City, My Black Wedding Dress

TBT — Senior Year

rules-of-etiquette

Emily, Kalpana, and me. Rules of Etiquette jumpsuit. Jessica Simpson pumps. Apt. 9 belt. Photo by Travis W. Keyes

I cannot believe that almost a year has passed since I graduated. Here I am with my friends Emily and Kalpana at an event for the Epson Digital Couture Project. It was a Tuesday night, at 5:30 or 6:30, when I received a text from Kalpana asking if I would like to go to a party she had been invited to. I love surprises, so I said yes right away. The party was at a huge industrial space in the Meatpacking District, walking distance from my dorm. Kalpana introduced me to her friend Emily, whom she had met through modeling. It was a great night, and we have all had fun together since.

That jumpsuit is one I had looked at day after day in the Savvy department when I worked at Nordstrom, and finally bought when it dropped to half price. What drew me to it was that while it’s attention-grabbing with a bold tribal pattern, the fit is relaxed and extremely comfortable. It’s like a onesie that you can do more than sleep in. I also love the duality of the print with its colors reversed — seeing two versions of the same lines reminds me of looking at a photo and its negative. I placed a belt between the two sections to accentuate this and paired it with matching pumps.

When I look back at my past, it feels a bit charmed. It’s funny, how one can go through the present without seeing the good, and go through the past without seeing the bad.

 

 

 

The Golden Globes — Runway to Reality

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I love fashion…but there are so many collections and shows! Let’s think about it – if you read WWD, for example, then in the course of a year you will see Resort, Bridal Spring, Spring, Spring Couture, Pre-Fall, Bridal Fall, Fall, and Fall Couture for women’s fashion, presented in New York, London, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. I’m feeling a little dizzy.

This past year, we have seen 1,577 brand presentations on WWD (see appendix). And some brands, like Maria Lucia Hohan and Rani Zakhem, aren’t even covered by WWD (mind-blowing). I love seeing all the collections, which is why my posts center on them, but one can be left wondering what to pay attention to and, if you’re like me, worried over all the looks you’ve forgotten without even realizing you’ve forgotten them.

So it’s really fun to see the looks revisited. That’s what celebrities are for! The red carpet is a chance to see the best dresses — across brands, cities, and seasons — come to life. Some stars have their gowns custom-made, but more of them use runway looks than you realize. Here are the beautiful gowns of the Golden Globes, and where they came from.

 

Pre-Fall 2017 – November 9, 2016 to Present

J. Mendel  Pre-Fall 2017  j-mendel-keri-red-carpet

Keri Russell in J. Mendel (Courtesy Photo; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

   delpozo-caitriona-source    delpozo-caitriona-red-carpet

Caitriona Balfe in Delpozo (Courtesy Photo; Venturelli/WireImage)

pamella-roland-annette-source     pamella-roland-annette-red-carpet

Annette Bening in Pamella Roland (www.pamellaroland.com; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Bridal Fall 2017 – October 2, 2016 to November 9, 2016

Idan Cohen Bridal Fall 2017    idan-cohen-kristin-red-carpet

Kristin Cavallari in Idan Cohen (Andrew Walker; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Spring 2017 – June 8, 2016 to November 2, 2016

Alexander McQueen RTW Spring 2017   alexander-mcqueen-nicole-red-carpet

Nicole Kidman in Alexander McQueen (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage)

Vera Wang Bridal Fall 2017   vera-wang-sarah-jessica-red-carpet

Sarah Jessica Parker in Vera Wang (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Vionnet RTW Spring 2017   vionnet-anna-red-carpet

Anna Kendrick in Vionnet (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Andrew GN RTW Spring 2017    andrew-gn-lola-red-carpet

Lola Kirke in Andrew Gn (Dominique Maitre/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

Monique Lhuillier RTW Spring 2017   monique-lhuillier-drew-red-carpet

Drew Barrymore in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Monique Lhuillier RTW Spring 2017   monique-lhuillier-louise-red-carpet

Louise Roe in Monique Lhuillier (Aurora Rose/WWD; AFP/Getty Images)

Louis Vuitton RTW Spring 2017   louis-vuitton-sophie-red-carpet

Sophie Turner in Louis Vuitton (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Bottega Veneta RTW Spring 2017   bottega-veneta-amanda-red-carpet

Amanda Peet in Bottega Veneta (Davide Maestri/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Mugler RTW Spring 2017   74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Jan 2017

Gal Gadot in Mugler (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; REX/Shutterstock) 

Marchesa RTW Spring 2017    marchesa-georgina-red-carpet

Georgina Chapman of Marchesa in Marchesa (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Michael Costello RTW Spring 2017   michael-costello-diana-red-carpet

Diana Madison in Michael Costello (Rodni Banica/WWD; Steve Granitz/WireImage)

tony-ward-amy-source    tony-ward-amy-red-carpet

Amy Landecker in Tony Ward (http://tonyward.net; Venturelli/WireImage) 

 

Fall Couture 2016 – June 24, 2016 to July 6, 2016

Atelier Versace Couture Fall 2016    versace-naomi-red-carpet

Naomi Campbell in Atelier Versace (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016    zuhair-murad-lily-red-carpet

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016   74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 08 Jan 2017

Sofia Vergara in Zuhair Murad (Gionvanni Giannoni/WWD; Rob Latour/REX/Shutterstock)

Zuhair Murad show, Runway, Autumn Winter 2016, Haute Couture Fashion Week, Paris, France - 06 Jul 2016    zuhair-murad-olivia-red-carpet

Olivia Culpo in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; BEI/Shutterstock)

J.Mendel Couture Fall 2016    j-mendel-heidi-red-carpet

Heidi Klum in J. Mendel (Giovanni Giannoni; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Elie Saab Couture Fall 2016   elie-saab-jessica-red-carpet

Jessica Biel in Elie Saab (Giovanni Giannoni; Getty Images)

Chanel Couture Fall 2016    chanel-riley-red-carpet

Riley Keough in Chanel (Giovanni Giannoni; Steve Granitz/WireImage) 

rani-zakhem-giuliana-source    rani-zakhem-giuliana-red-carpet

Giuliana Rancic in Rani Zakhem (www.ranizakhem.com; Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock) 

Resort 2017 – May 17, 2016 to November 11, 2016

Christian Siriano Resort 2017   christian-siriano-angela-red-carpet

Angela Bassett in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Kevark Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty) 

rachel-gilbert-source   rachel-gilbert-renee-red-carpet

Renee Borgh in Rachel Gilbert (www.rachelgilbert.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Fall 2016 – February 1, 2016 to October 20, 2016

Marchesa RTW Fall 2016   marchesa-chrissy-red-carpet

Chrissy Teigen in Marchesa (Rodni Banica/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Reem Acra RTW Fall 2016   reem-acra-emily-red-carpet

Emily Ratajkowski in Reem Acra (George Chinsee/WWD; Venturelli/WireImage) 

Christian Siriano RTW Fall 2016   christian-siriano-kelly-red-carpet

Kelly Preston in Christian Siriano (Courtesy Photo; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

Naeem Kahn RTW Fall 2016   naeem-khan-mandy-red-carpet

Mandy Moore in Naeem Khan (Tommy Iannaccone/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

tom-ford-amy-source   tom-ford-amy-red-carpet

Amy Adams in Tom Ford (Courtesy Photo; Neilson Barnard/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty) 

Spring Couture 2016 – January 24, 2016 to July 4, 2016

zuhair-murad-tracee-source   zuhair-murad-tracee-red-carpet

Tracee Ellis Ross in Zuhair Murad (Giovanni Giannoni/WWD; Frazer Harrison/Getty) 

Pre-Fall 2016 – November 17, 2015 to May 11, 2016

maria-lucia-hohan-charissa-source   maria-lucia-hohan-charissa-red-carpet

Charissa Thompson in Maria Lucia Hohan (http://mlh-shop.com; Frazer Harrison/Getty)

 

And now I’ll leave you with my favorite look of the night!

olivia-culpo-cropped

Credits: Golden Globes trophies = cbsnews.com

Appendix:

*so far

Column1 PF ’17 BF ’17 FC ’16 S ’17 R ’17 F ’16 SC ’16 BS ’17 Column2
New York 113 48 253 144 124 47 729
London 11* 70 21 71 173
Milan 23* 94 34 87 238
Paris 9* 31 135 32 124 26 357
Tokyo 21 33 54
Los Angeles 1* 25 26
157 48 31 598 231 439 26 47 1,577

Love This Brand — T. Tandon NY

hamptons-16-tina

I met Tina at a Member of Tribe dinner party in the Hamptons. She wore a yellow backless gown, and when I told her I loved her dress, she said it was of her own design. We quickly bonded over fashion, and when I asked her about her clothing line, T. Tandon NY,  she invited me to her Spring trunk show. The event was held at the Waldorf Astoria in an intimate suite, where guests drank champagne, lounged on the couches, tried things on in the walk-in closet, and received henna tattoos. A photographer shot two models in full looks throughout the night. The Spring preview featured one rack for day and another for evening. The day offering was cheerful and delicate, with soft silk charmeuse blouses, bow and eyelet details, and incredible embellishments of fringe, feathers, beading, and embroidery. Part of me wanted to wear the poet collar blouse with a midi skirt, and part of me wanted to wear the cut-out dress and stop everyone in their tracks. The evening section was even more distinctive. Everything was leather, in its most feminine iterations. The classic black biker jacket stood out with gold flowers and chains. A dress  that was asymmetrical and peplum in front revealed itself to be backless. My favorite thing of all was a black dress with an abbreviated cowl neck and flower embroidery. It was in the evening/party section, but I could see myself wearing it anywhere! The trunk show also featured her other brand, Posh Pari Couture. Designed for the Indian market, the Posh Pari rack was filled with beautiful saris, scarves and suits.

t-tandon-2

Tops and dresses for day. 

t-tandon

Leather and sequins for night.

Tina Tandon was born in the United States, but spent her early childhood in India (ages 2-12) and her teen years in North Carolina before moving to New York for college. Her earliest memories of knowing she was interested in fashion were in India, going with her mother to the tailor for custom-made outfits. She had the desire to start her own line since “eight or nine”, saying that she has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In high school, she was teased for her background and her clothes. Now she focuses on the value of that experience. “It has given me a wide understanding of fashion, and how it relates to culture and the social dialogue in each region. In some regions, the lifestyle is more relaxed and casual, and so is their dressing choices, and in big cities like NYC, the ladies like to dress to the nines, representing their polished and ambitious outlook. In India, fashion has now become an amalgamation of traditional heritage and the western modernity.” She went to college at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), earning the Faculty Scholarship, Presidential Scholar honor, and the Jay Baker Scholarship,  which is awarded to only ten students each year. It was during these years that she developed an interest in American vintage, which continues to influence her designs. Tina started the FIT South Asian Club, interned in public relations at Escada, and worked in showroom sales at Christian Lacroix before graduating summa cum laude. She embarked on her full-time career in design and product development at West Elm, then moved on to product development at Kenneth Cole and Liz Claiborne. In 2006 she went out on her own as a freelance fashion consultant, writer, and celebrity stylist before starting her own brands, Posh Pari Couture and T. Tandon NY.

t-tandon-5t-tandon-7

Tina’s take on the Aztec trend, with daring black fringe.     An ombré coverup.

Posh Pari came first, in 2006. Tina calls it “an ethnic fusion line”, designed for the Indian market. Posh Pari has shown at Indian Fashion Week and the Cannes Fashion Festival. Tina started her primary focus, T. Tandon NY, in 2007. She describes her namesake brand as “modern with a hint of vintage”. Based in Manhattan, T. Tandon shows Tina’s American side. “I think it would be very cliché for me to design an Indian-inspired collection for the American market, being of Indian origins. And I am anything but a cliché!” Tina says. “This line is designed for the contemporary young, hip, jet-setting fashion savvy girls all over the U.S. and internationally,” she explains, inadvertently describing herself. Every piece stands out for its details: a graceful drape, a smooth texture, an eye-catching embellishment, a dramatic cut. All of her pieces feature embellishment or asymmetry, sometimes both.  “I like the contrast of the fluid and the static in my collections. Silk crêpes, chiffons and georgettes are often paired with structured leather pieces,” she says. She is also eager to point out that the details, like a pattern of beaded flowers on a violet blouse, are always done by hand. T. Tandon NY has a practical orientation, offering dresses, tops, skirts, pants, and outerwear for Day, Career, and Party. But of all the categories, Tina considers her signature to be “the very unique leather jackets”. Half of new businesses fail  within the first five years, but T. Tandon NY is approaching its tenth anniversary, in part due to public relations success. T. Tandon showed at New York Fashion Week, sponsored the New York Indian Film Festival (held at my school, NYU!), and has been worn by many celebrities, including Brooke Shields and Padma Lakshmi. The brand is currently sold in 38 boutiques nationwide, including L.A.’s Kitson, and has also spread to Québec, London, Jeddah, Riyadh, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Tokyo. As a resident of Bushwick, Brooklyn, my source of choice would be Sunday Brunch  in Fort Greene.

t-tandon-9

A signature moto jacket with chains and exquisite beading.

The brand makes a point of being environmentally and socially conscious. “Giving to children and women’s causes is an integral part of our company’s modus operandi,” says Tina. The fabrics, from silks to wools, are natural and biodegradable. Manufacturing takes place in factories owned by Indian women, and the brand supports the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).  A portion of the profits is regularly donated to help underprivileged children in India so they will not be forced into child labor.  Tina recalls, “Visiting India often and seeing the poor kids on the streets and seeing them skip school to work always broke my heart.” In the U.S., T. Tandon NY has sold product for donations at Super Saturday, an annual fundraiser started by Donna Karan to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).

t-tandon-3

The Keira party dress.

Inspiration for a collection is an organic process. “It can be anything from a button to architecture in a city I visited,” Tina says. That said, the process often starts with the fabrics. “Images of various possibilities usually dance in my mind, when I see fabrics that inspire me.” Her consistent sources of inspiration are “my travels, American vintage, nature, the current trends and demands of the market, and the future where the fashion is heading.” Her muse is her mother. “Looking through her pics from the ‘60s and ‘70s really gets me excited and inspired.”

t-tandon-8

As if a rounded collar wasn’t cute enough, this blouse is embroidered with tiny bows.

t-tandon-6

Sexy and sweet—this backless blouse has two large bows to bridge the gap.

Tina has her pulse on the Indian market and how it is changing. Indian fashion is “extremely wedding-driven,” she says, with bridal lines getting the most attention. But she is excited by the increasing global travel and purchasing power of the young generation in India. “India used to be focused on local tailors, custom wear. Now American and European brands have penetrated the Indian market, and Indian women keep up with them,” she explains. Indeed, T. Tandon NY is carried by India’s Samsaara chain. Of course, Indian fashion carries its own influence.  “Nothing can compete with the intricate embroideries, beadwork, and embellishment techniques of India,” Tina says. She appreciates chikankari  work in particular, sometimes incorporating the technique in her spring collections. Tina has been selected as a Roshni Honoree, an award given to top South Asian professionals in America.

t-tandon-4

My favorite thing! Note the dangling sleeve straps. When on, they create the coolest cold-shoulder shape.

t-tandon-10

Me at the trunk show. Halston Heritage dress and Style Paris handbag.

Having worked in so many different parts of the fashion industry, Tina is seen as an industry authority, full of insight and advice for those seeking to join the fashion world. “Fashion is so saturated these days that you not only have to know the people you want to cater to, but also fine-tune your unique selling point and aesthetic as well,” she says. She gained ten years of experience in the industry before starting her own business, and she recommends that aspiring designers take time to work in the industry and learn their craft. “It can get discouraging sometimes, but it’s important to stay passionate and believe in what you have to offer.”

tina-tandon

Tina Tandon stands proudly before her collection.

 

 

NYFW “Feline Fashion Lounge” Celebrates Cats

hot-to-adopt-kitty-pops

Kitty pops. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Cats have it made. They get to stay up all night and sleep all day. The Aristocats said that everybody wants to be a cat. Grumpy Cat got her own movie and consequently earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Twitter has started celebrating #Caturday every single week. Everything is awesome for cats…right?

hot-to-adopt-kizu

Kizu the kitty. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Unfortunately this is not the case. Every year, 1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats are euthanized because they were not adopted soon enough. That’s 200,000 more cats than dogs. According to a survey, 27 percent of people looking for a new pet say they would not consider a cat.

hot-to-adopt-katie-cassidy

Kizu and her human, Katie Cassidy. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

What, exactly, is their problem? According to a survey by Pet Smart Charities, 43 percent of pet owners would describe a cat owner as “weird or quirky”, and 49 percent of pet owners believe in the “crazy cat lady” stereotype. Just to reiterate how stupid this is…a Crazy Cat Lady is an unmarried woman, especially an elderly woman who has never married, who lives alone with at least three cats. She probably has never married because she is unattractive, has an odd personality, and has no sense of style. Her house will smell like cat litter and be covered in cat hair.

hot-to-adopt-kitten

Katie Cassidy with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt and a cat. (www.facebook.com/OfficialKatieCassidy)

My chief issue with this stereotype is that pets are supposed to make people less lonely. There are plenty of singletons out there who get a dog for the same reason a “cat lady” gets a cat. I think the root of the problem is that, since cats are lower-maintenance than dogs (usually smaller, know how to take a walk by themselves), a given household would be able to support a greater quantity of cats than dogs. And the quantity thing freaks people out. Of course, the average number of cats in a cat household is only 2.1, versus 1.6 for dogs in a dog household. And again, two cats might be easier to take care of than one dog. The cat lady stereotype might sound silly, but it has a terrible consequence for the little kitties who don’t get adopted.

hot-to-adopt-poster

A poster for the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. (Fresh Step)

hot-to-adopt-making-cats-cool-again

 Cat-eye sunglasses, a cat-ear headband, and a cat-faced clutch. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy)

Fashion Week to the rescue! Actress, blogger, and cat owner Katie Cassidy partnered with Fresh Step litter to host the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge. Held at the Lori Bookstein Fine Art Gallery in Chelsea, the feline lounge was open to the public and free to attend, provided that everyone registered and RSVPed. There was a runway show “for the modern cat lady”, with looks that celebrated cats’ huge artistic and sartorial influence. Said Cassidy, “From cat eye glasses and leopard prints to kitten heels and cat-faced flats, feline-inspired fashions have infiltrated runways for many years.” Guests could leave with a Hot to Adopt t-shirt. And a cat, of course. The Humane Society of New York, Zani’s Furry Friends, and The Little Shelter all brought sweet little kitty-bits who were ready to be adopted.

hot-to-adopt-with-a-litter-box hot-to-adopt-katie-cassidy-and-erin-cebula

Katie Cassidy with a cat who can’t wait to get adopted. Erin Cebula and Katie in their best cat ears. (www.instagram.com/katiecassidy) 

My view on this is that if a cat is not adopted it should be released into the wild. In Turkey it is less conventional to consider the cat a companion animal, so you see cats out on the street the way you see pigeons in New York. Not everybody wants a new pet. Pets are loving and rewarding, but they are a lot of work. That said, if someone is in the market for a new pet, they should give cats and dogs the same level of consideration.

black-cat-lulu luna-blue-steel-2

Lulu the kitty. Luna the kitty. Divided leopard-print coat. 

I have had 9 cats in my life: Scampi, McGonagall, Salud, Lulu, Double Tuft, Kit Kat, Scarlet, Princess, and Luna. (Don’t worry, not all at the same time.) Even I didn’t know that this was a problem. I had blissfully assumed, along with most others I’m sure, that everything was fine in the world of cats. That’s why it is so important to spread awareness of this issue through campaigns and events, and Fashion Week is the perfect place to do it.

See Also: 

Greenwood, Jennifer. “Study Reveals Public Opinions About Cats and Cat People.” Pet Smart Charities. 19 May 2015. http://www.petsmartcharities.org/blog/study-reveals-public-opinions-about-cats-and-cat-people

“Pet Statistics.” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” American Veterinary Medical Foundation. http://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx

My Trip to Tommy Pier

tommy-hilfiger

Two days after the Tommy Hilfiger Fashion Week show, Tommy Pier was open to the public. Located at the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan, Tommy Pier was a carnival first and a pop-up shop second. Upon stepping onto the dock and squinting in the bright sunlight, it actually took awhile to find the clothes. But you knew they were there. Having to look for them made it more exciting.

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As a neighborhood carnival, Tommy Pier matched its peers in every way. There were rides, there were games, there were fries, there were donuts, there were temporary tattoos, there were photo booths, and there were long lines of people twisting and overlapping in every direction.

Rides: the Tornado, a Ferris wheel, and another spinning ride (not pictured). 

Gigi’s Boxing Club, est. 2016. 

What are carnivals without prizes? I think I found Nemo…and his extended family.

The quintessential yummy, unhealthy food. 

A temporary tattoo parlor. The line for the nail salon.

The atmosphere was excited and a little surprised. “Do we have to pay to get in?” I heard one girl say. No, we did not. People slowly approached the games and food stands, as if they wanted to first make sure it was okay. After all, it’s rare to see a premium brand present itself in such an irreverent and accessible way. Yet once a few people stepped up to the booths, everyone else followed.

More food! Including lobster rolls, one of my favorites.

Nails by Valley and Hilfiger Records.

I found a little wooden house midway down the pier with a Tommy x Gigi sign and a rope chandelier. Inside the collection was neatly displayed, apparel on hanging rods and accessories, underwear, and perfume on shelves. The cash register was in the center so shoppers could walk in a full circle. This was useful because the little shop was packed. Tommy Pier opened at noon that day, I arrived at around 1:00, and already the displays were sparse. There were three sales associates wearing matching navy blue Tommy Pier t-shirts. Though there was little room to walk, the customers treated the merchandise with more respect than you would see at a typical crowded retail store. Customers picked their things up. Customers re-folded. Customers hung their hangers back on the racks. (I worked in clothing retail for five years. I notice these things.)

Inside the pop-up shop.

A band jacket and sailor’s cap from the collection. 

In addition to this shop, there was an identical little shop on the other side of the pier, as well as a Tommy Vintage Shop. This shop was smaller than the others and offered sweatshirts, jerseys, and other sporty logo apparel.

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At the far right corner of the pier was a little nook with three wooden benches painted like the American flag. People took selfies and pictures of their friends, asked strangers to take their picture, or simply sat down to rest in the heat, which had to be over 90 degrees. It was also the perfect place to look out at the other piers, the East River, Brooklyn, the helicopters in the sky, and the commanding buildings of the Financial District.

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Taking a break from the mayhem. Vintage star and moon earrings. Heart pendant from my mother. Chain from AJ’s Jewelry.

My sweet little purse on the American flag bench. If you look closely, it has anchors on the buttons. Vintage purse. Eton ring watch. 

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The boating lifestyle that inspires the Tommy Hilfiger brand.

At one point a large commercial boat called the Zephyr docked at the pier, its passengers disembarked, and the crowd briefly doubled in size. A little “fashion week” isn’t about to disrupt business as usual!

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In front of an artifact of Pier 16 itself. Forever 21 peplum top. Tyte jeans. Foster Grant sunglasses. 

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Paloma shoes with what could very well be life preservers.

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A statue on a cobblestone street in the Seaport district. 

To give some context, here are the best looks from the actual fashion show:

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

(Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

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Anna Wintour attends the seaport extravaganza. (Getty Images)

Doutzen Kroes, Martha Hunt, and Taylor Swift check out the carnival. (Getty Images)

It was fun, and I was really happy I went. It felt good to see so many people enjoy the new Tommy Hilfiger collection. Premium, contemporary, and luxury brands worry about “overexposure”, when their brand is worn by so many people that it isn’t special anymore. This does happen. This happens with discounts and outlet stores, and certainly with counterfeit merchandise. But I do not think this will happen with public events like Tommy Pier. A brand can always decide its exclusivity with its price points. If anything, I think wider awareness of a brand by all people will confer even more recognition and prestige to those who buy and wear the clothes.

I think it’s important for the fashion industry to cater to consumers and stage fun events like this. There is a misconception out there that clothing, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and accessories are just “things”. The term “experience economy” has been used to describe the shift of consumer spending to experiences over things. Yet spectacles like Tommy Pier prove that not every consumer good falls neatly into one side of the binary. Fashion has always been about more than just things; it is beautiful images, it is icons, it is the spirit of a brand, it is the excitement of shopping, and it determines much of the way we present ourselves when we embark on any other kind of experience. Tommy Pier presents the possibility of finding new fashion, knowing its back story, and living in it — not just putting it in your closet.

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As seen from above! (blog.thestorefront.com) 

At Fashion Week, Hillary Clinton Was the Clear Winner

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Ballet dancers in Diane von Furstenberg. (Corey Tenold/Vogue)

With Election Day looming, Fashion Week was bound to get political. Thanks to Conde Nast art director and staunch Democrat Anna Wintour, the fashion world rallied around Hillary Clinton and only Hillary Clinton.

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Anna Wintour and HIllary Clinton. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

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Anna Wintour addresses the group in Jason Wu. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Cohosting with Chelsea Clinton and Huma Abedin, Wintour kicked off NYFW with a fundraiser for the candidate,enlisting fifteen designers to present runway looks in the “Made for History” collection. These were not your ordinary campaign t-shirts — they were the kind of clothes one might want to wear out and about even when the election has long passed.

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Designer Prabal Gurung and three models wear red, white, and blue with matching balloons. (Corey Tenold/Vogue)

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Diane von Furstenberg walks the runway beside two dancers wearing her designs. (Aurora Rose/REX/Shutterstock)

Red, white, and blue reached new frontiers with kilts, abstract prints, cursive scrawl, berets, dressy denim, tie-dye, paisley, ditzy florals, piled-on layering, and even a sequinned evening skirt.

Marc Jacobs (fashionbombdaily.com). Altuzarra (Corey Tenold/Vogue)

Thakoon and Monique Pean. (Corey Tenold/Vogue)

Not that the flag colors were a requirement. Marchesa honored Clinton with sweeping ball gowns and elbow-length gloves.

Marchesa’s feminine grandeur. (Corey Tenold/Vogue; Amber Jamieson/The Guardian)

Demi Lovato strutted down the runway singing her hit “Confident” like a battle cry.

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What’s wrong with being confident? (celebzz.com)

While the runway looks varied greatly from one another, the models did even more. Besides professional models, there were dancers, basketball players, a marching band, and even some children with their parents in tow. The audience was diverse as well, filled with everyday supporters who were neither famous nor employed by the fashion industry. It was truly a fashion show by the people, for the people.

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Basketball players in “Make Herstory” shirts by Public School. (Corey Tenold/Vogue)

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Ballet dancers in Jason Wu. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)