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.

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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.

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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, Magic, Bright Lights Big City, My Black Wedding Dress

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

My Fashion Week Favorites

My favorite look from each and every show at New York Fashion Week! Hover over the images to see the brands.

 

 

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

“Feline-Inspired Fashion Show at Fashion Week, NYC.” Santa Monica Observer. 12 September 2016. http://www.smobserved.com/story/2016/09/12/lifestyle/feline-inspired-fashion-show-at-fashion-week-nyc/1932.html 

“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.

tommy-hilfiger-2

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.

tommy-hilfiger-23

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.

20160910_132542

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. 

20160910_125848

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. 

20160910_132619

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.

tommy-10

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

At Fashion Week, Hillary Clinton Was the Clear Winner

hillary-15

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.

hillary-3

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

hillary-7

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.

hillary-11

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

hillary

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.

hillary-4

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.

hillary-13

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

hillary-2

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

A Year in Creative Directors

Bold Fashion Exit

Starting with Donna Karan leaving DKNY in June 2015, and most recently with Raf Simons joining Calvin Klein, there has been an incredible amount of turnover of creative directors in high-end fashion. In many ways this is a response to trouble in the luxury sector. As new leadership tries to solve these problems, the industry is being remade in the process. Let’s take a look back.

June 2015 – Donna Karan Leaves Donna Karan International

Donna Karan stepped down as chief designer of Donna Karan International to focus more on her Urban Zen brand, a line of seasonless basics, jewelry, accessories, and home décor handmade by artisans in Haiti, Thailand, and Bali. Following her departure, DKI discontinued the Donna Karan Collection, DKNY C, and DKNY Jeans lines in favor of a stronger DKNY brand with a broader range of price points.

July 2015 – Alexander Wang Leaves Balenciaga

Alexander Wang left his role as creative director of Balenciaga after three years at the post. The move was a “joint decision”; Wang wanted to devote his focus on his namesake brand and bring on a new investor, and Balenciaga sales growth under Wang had been slower than that of similar brands.

October 2015 – Raf Simons Leaves Dior

Raf Simons, the artistic director of women’s haute couture, ready-to-wear, and accessories collections, left Dior after a three-and-a-half-year tenure. His decision had several components, including a chance to work more on his namesake menswear brand, the desire for a personal life in balance with his work life, a sense that Dior’s advertising image did not closely reflect his collections, and slowing retail sales.

Alber Elbaz Leaves Lanvin

Alber Elbaz left Lanvin after fourteen years as creative director, based on “the decision of the company’s majority shareholder”. The majority shareholder, publishing magnate Shaw-Lan Wang, had been the one to recruit Elbaz all those years ago. Yet last year they found themselves at odds over whether Lanvin should increase direct retail investment (Elbaz yes, Wang no), whether Lanvin should increase handbags investment (Elbaz yes, Wang no), and whether Wang should sell her shares to someone who might better develop the brand (Elbaz yes, Wang no). Elbaz departed with a letter of thanks, concluding with “I wish the house of Lanvin the future it deserves among the best French luxury brands” and signing with a heart.

Demna Gvasalia Joins Balenciaga

Demna Gvasalia, the cofounder and creative director of new streetwear label Vetements, was chosen to replace Alexander Wang as artistic director of Balenciaga. CEO Isabelle Guichot saw the renegade spirit of the brand’s founder, Cristóbal Balenciaga, in Gvasalia, a designer best known for marketing a plain t-shirt with the DHL logo and staging runway shows in a gay club and a Chinese restaurant. She also said that he would “definitely not” turn Balenciaga into a streetwear brand.

February 2016 – Stefano Pilati Leaves Ermenegildo Zegna

Stefano Pilati stepped down as the head of design at Ermenegildo Zegna Couture, stating only “I now wish to focus on other projects that I had put aside in order to achieve our common goals with Zegna Couture.” Founder Gildo Zegna praised the designer for making Ermenegildo Zegna “a show not to be missed in Milan”.

Alessandro Sartori Joins Ermenegildo Zegna

Alessandro Sartori was chosen to fill the new position of artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna Group, a role with responsibility across all Zegna brands and creative functions. Sartori started a ready-to-wear division at Berluti and raised the brand’s revenue from €30 million in 2011, when he joined the company, up to €100 million. Yet before that, he spent eight years as the creative director of Z Zegna, the Ermenegildo Zegna diffusion line.

March 2016 – Hedi Slimane Leaves Saint Laurent

During his nearly four years as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane revolutionized the brand. For one thing, its name was changed to “Saint Laurent” under his leadership. This move, ostensibly a mere replacement of “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche” for the ready-to-wear division, left many taken aback. For another thing, revenue rose from $385 million to $1.05 billion under Slimane’s tenure. The reasons for his departure are unknown, only that he and Kering failed to reach an agreement over his long-term contract. Many were left wondering how Saint Laurent, having become so transformed under Slimane, would move forward. Said Business of Fashion editor Tim Blanks, “I don’t think whoever goes into Saint Laurent will pick up where he left off…I think Hedi Slimane is such an obsessive, and I don’t think there are many other people with that degree of obsession.”

Ennio and Carlo Capasa Leave Costume National

The brothers who founded Costume National in 1986, Ennio and Carlo Capasa, departed at the same time. The brand, owned by investment bank Sequedge, had seen slow sales since November 2014, when the lower-priced C’N’C line was discontinued. It was with great sadness that the two left. Creative director Ennio said, “I was hoping this would not happen. I fought with passion…People say fashion is over, that marketing wins and that everything is an illusion. Definitely not for me.”

Justin O’Shea Joins Brioni

Justin O’Shea, the global fashion director of multi-brand ecommerce hub MyTheresa, was appointed creative director of Brioni following the departure of Brendan Mullane. Though O’Shea’s background was in buying and not design, he was seen as a promising creative director for his potential to create a strong image for Brioni across all of their channels. O’Shea is known for his sharp-edged, heavily tattooed appearance, and he started to move the traditional suiting brand in a rock direction by casting Metallica in his first ad campaign.

Bouchra Jarrar Joins Lanvin

Bouchra Jarrar, whose couture background includes Christian Lacroix and her own namesake label, was chosen as the new artistic director of women’s collections at Lanvin. Her position differs from that of Alber Elbaz in that she will focus only on womenswear. Jarrar, who has likened herself to founder Jeanne Lanvin, described her target customer as “Très real. The Lanvin woman has a real life,” and said she aims to “bring to Lanvin the harmony and consistency of a fashion designed for women, a fashion of our time.”

April 2016 – Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli Leave Calvin Klein Collection

Francisco Costa, the creative director of Calvin Klein Collection women’s, and Italo Zucchelli, creative director of men’s, stepped down, becoming the last to occupy those positions. “Collection is not a money maker,” said former CEO Tom Murry. “It’s a marketing expense and we generate an incredible amount of editorial that is based on being in that business.” Going forward, Calvin Klein, Calvin Klein Collection, ck Calvin Klein, and Calvin Klein Jeans would be managed by one creative director with one Calvin Klein vision.

Anthony Vaccarello Joins Saint Laurent

Anthony Vaccarello, creative director of both a namesake line and Versus Versace, withdrew from both brands completely to become creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. The name Saint Laurent, associated with Hedi Slimane’s tenure as creative director, was to stay. Yet in terms of imagery, the brand started with a clean slate. All photos from Slimane’s time were removed from Instagram, and in the interim before his first collection, Vaccarello released an ad campaign with no clothing at all.

May 2016 – Alessandra Facchinetti Leaves Tod’s

Creative director Alessandra Facchinetti left Tod’s after three years, saying only that she would “focus on other projects…put aside in order to be able to achieve Tod’s’ strategies.” A relatively short tenure was something she had in common with Alexander Wang, Raf Simons, and Hedi Slimane.

Danielle Sherman Leaves Edun

Danielle Sherman stepped down as creative director of Edun, also after three years. She was known for giving a high-fashion image to the socially conscious, artisanal brand founded by Bono and Ali Hewson.

Jonathan Saunders Joins Diane von Furstenberg

Jonathan Saunders closed his namesake brand and joined Diane von Furstenberg as chief creative officer. Diane von Furstenberg herself said, “I could not have found a cooler, more intelligent designer and I cannot wait to watch him shine as our chief creative officer”. Von Furstenberg did not retire, but Saunders’ appointment would give her more time for philanthropy and mentorship, especially as chairman of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

June 2016 – Hedi Slimane Sues Kering

And the plot thickens. Three months after his exit from Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane sued the brand’s parent company, Kering, over the terms of his contract. Kering had removed the non-competition clause, meaning that Slimane could continue to design anything he wanted. However, Slimane wanted to have the non-competition obligation, and the financial compensation it would entail, reinstated.

July 2016 – Peter Copping Leaves Oscar de la Renta

Peter Copping left his position as creative director of Oscar de la Renta after less than two years at the company, stating that “personal circumstances require me to return to Europe.”

Haider Ackermann Joins Berluti

Haider Ackermann, who has his own line, was hired to replace Alessandro Sartori after Sartori replaced Stefano Pilati at Ermenegildo Zegna.

Maria Grazia Chiuri Joins Dior

Maria Grazia Chiuri, co-creative director of Valentino alongside Pierpaolo Piccioli, left the brand to become artistic director of Dior, the first female to hold that position. Chiuri and Piccioli were very successful in reinvigorating Valentino, expanding the accessories business and increasing profits. But Dior has a greater scale, with €5 billion in revenue last year to Valentino’s €256 million.

LVMH Sells Donna Karan International

A year after Donna Karan’s departure, Donna Karan International experienced another seismic change. LVMH Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton, the parent company of DKI and some 70 other brands, sold the brand to G-III Apparel Group, a manufacturing and licensing company. The sale was initiated by G-III, who offered a valuation of $650 million – much higher than the $243 million LVMH had spent to purchase the brand from Donna Karan in 2001. “We had moved the pieces in the right direction and I think we were starting to move forward,” said LVMH fashion group CEO Pierre-Yves Roussel, “But [G-III] came with a very high price.” Still, Roussel genuinely feels that DKNY will be better off with G-III. In LVMH’s portfolio of luxury and contemporary brands, DKNY stuck out as a diffusion brand that required a different business model, one of wide wholesale reach as opposed to selective distribution and an emphasis on runway and editorial.

August 2016 – Raf Simons Joins Calvin Klein

Raf Simons joined Calvin Klein as chief creative officer. Simons’ minimalist aesthetics align with the Calvin Klein look, but his move is a bit surprising considering how he had spoken about the pressure placed on him at Dior and his desire for a better work-life balance. Regarding his position at Calvin Klein, Simons said, “Technically speaking, it works. Does it work for me emotionally? No, because I’m not the kind of person who likes to do things so fast.” Nevertheless, he is up to the challenge, conceding that spending more time on something does not always make it better. “Sometimes you can work things to death when you take too much time,” he said.

This frequent movement of creative directors is a sign of change across the luxury fashion sector. The omnipresence of social media, especially Instagram and Snapchat, demands that more news be shared at a faster rate to attract the same amount of attention. This has made staging new runway shows with eye-catching set design ever more important, fueling the need for more collections per year (pre-fall, fall, fall couture, men’s spring, spring, spring couture, resort, men’s fall…) The creative director cannot be simply a designer of garments, but a creator of a distinctive brand image, one that must constantly be maintained, and some, like Raf Simons and Ennio Capasa, seem to have caved under this pressure. As Simons has said, “Fashion became pop. I can’t make up my mind if that’s a good or a bad thing. The only thing I know is that it used to be elitist. And I don’t know if one should be ashamed or not to admit that maybe it was nicer when it was more elitist, not for everybody.” When brand building relies on visual stunts for Instagram, people like Demna Gvasalia and Justin O’Shea become the ideal type of creative director. Vetements always had superbly constructed clothing, but it was the satirical collections that put the brand on the map. Justin O’Shea has no formal design training, but he clearly has a strong visual instinct and has become a street style star on Instagram with 79,000 followers.

Another issue is that when many brands are controlled by one conglomerate, like LVMH or Kering, each brand is expected to be able to prove itself as a financial asset relative to the others. Donna Karan has said “I’m married to my company,” but LVMH is not married to DKNY. Alber Elbaz may have been an iconic designer, he may have been most responsible for making Lanvin the exquisite brand that it is today, but he was not the one who owned Lanvin. And of course in the financial world, it is not enough to be consistent – a brand must grow. Sustained growth as a luxury brand has become difficult in our time. Shoppers can easily look online and find the lowest prices available for a brand, and then wait for them to go lower. Many people choose to spend on experiences, from vacations to more restaurants, over fashion or any other material goods. The movement of creative directors, which has often been compared to a game of musical chairs, gives the signal that a brand is trying to update and improve.

The standard contract for a creative director is three years, and clearly these contracts are not always renewed. What this means is that a brand is not defined by its creative director; creative director is becoming more like just a job. Nicolas Ghesquière was the creative director of Balenciaga for 15 years. John Galliano was the creative director of Dior for 14 years. Tom Ford was the creative director of Gucci for 10 years, Frida Giannini for 9. Stefano Pilati was the creative director of Yves Saint Laurent for 8 years. And of course Alber Elbaz was the creative director of Lanvin for 14 years. Relationships like these are becoming few and far between, with brands less attached to a specific designer, and designers less allegiant to a specific brand, in an era where it might not make sense for anything to remain consistent for ten years anymore.