Tag - Fashion Week

1
NOLA Fashion Week- Day 3
2
Austin Fashion Week at the Driskill- Day 1
3
BoxEight Presents, Li Cari Fashion Show

NOLA Fashion Week- Day 3

New Orleans Fashion Week day three brought out another league of designers, this time there were four that evening: Iacono, Kallen Forster, Jolie & Elizabeth and The Dope. Game.

Iacono was the first line to grace the runway that evening. Designer Lisa Iacono’s Holiday ’12/Spring ’13 collection was inspired by fabrics, particularly from the 70s and 80s, when the ‘Disco Era’ and Studio 54 dominated the music scenes that were mainly prominent in New York City and Philadelphia. “Something about those slinky fabrics [and sexy silhouettes] on the dance floor gives me goosebumps!” Iacono states. To me, the line told the story of a ‘day in the life’ of a woman in the late 70s that went backwards- going from party attire to work/casual-play attire. I loved the floral halter dress, the white mini skirt with a rosette draped at the waist, the off-shoulder embroidered flutter dress and the breezy high-neck blouse. The Iacono brand is made locally, in collaboration with Nola Sewn…after all, Lisa helped to found this New Orleans staple, along with Tam Huynh. She explains her story, “When I moved to New Orleans, I could not source local manufacturing. Through serendipitous googling, I was able to connect with Tam Huynh, who managed a large scale menswear factory in New Orleans for 25 years until it shut down post-Katrina. She had moved on to manage a defense contract factory (producing tanks, ammo, etc), but she was willing to help me get the sewing contracted, as she still had connections with many of her sewing employees from the menswear factory…Together with two sewers, Tam and I produced the Iacono Holiday 2011 collection from a rented space in her brother’s auto repair shop. As my friends in the fashion industry noticed the quality of the work, they wanted to have their lines produced as well. At the same time, more sewers were catching wind of the work, and were beginning to seek Tam out for sewing contracts. Tam and I knew there was a reason to start a factory together, and so Nola Sewn was born. We currently have contracts with thirty different designers, including myself.” As you can obviously see, after only two years (the line was launched in October 2011) it’s no wonder that Iacono is blossoming. I’m excited to see what the future holds for Iacono and Nola Sewn! She also included divine beaded clutches from Madâm Sara and jewelry from Saint Claude. More on them in my “day four” coverage!

The next collection to hit the runway consisted of five pieces. The collection was indeed small, but I was very happy that the models stood for a few moments in front of the media pit…just enough time to get the perfect shot and details of the gorgeous looks. This collection belonged to Kallen Forster and was her Masters Thesis Collection for LSU. Forster teamed up with three womens cooperatives in Kenya, Peru and Bolivia to create simple, yet impeccably detailed garments for her S/S13 collection. These garments were hand-beaded, loom-woven and knitted with socially responsible materials such as: 100% organic hemp, silk and cotton twills. This contemporary-casual collection merges classic, fun yet wearable silhouettes with iconic ‘tribal’ prints that were pre-specified by Kallen. Not only does this collection help to empower the women in those three cooperatives, but it is also inspired by The Design Lab- a local New Orleans socially responsible design cooperative that Kallen herself had founded; to train, empower and employ the local women in various design techniques. She also featured jewelry and handbags from Rural Revolution-a New Orleans based company that is dedicated to also empowering and employing women artisans in impoverished countries. Please check out kallenforster.com for more details and to place a bid on the collection that was shown during Fashion Week. 100% of the proceeds from the auction go to benefit Toto Knits, Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco and The Design Lab.

Jolie & Elizabeth was the next company that presented their collection of fun and girly dresses for their S/S13 collection. The brand was launched in April 2010 by Sarah Dewey and Jolie Benson and was and is still inspired by their southern roots. For this collection, they kept with their traditional seersucker, but also incorporated pretty pastels and some darker hues in high-quality fabrics. Their designs are the classic silhouettes that are traded up to be feminine, fun yet functional for work or play. Jolie & Elizabeth is proudly made in New Orleans and also strives to give back to the community. Ladies, why not get yourselves ready for Spring and stock up on pretty dresses by Jolie & Elizabeth- go to jolieandelizabeth.com to shop, book a showroom appointment or get further details on the brand.

The last designer of the evening was The Dope. Game, based in Baton Rouge, LA and was launched in 2008 by Courtney Howells and Tyrus Thomas (who later joined the team in 2010). The brand showcased ‘dope’ tees and hats that are inspired by the 90s hip-hop and sneaker cultures. The Dope. Game’s one mission is “to be an example of doing things your own way.” Check out thedopegame.com for additional information and to shop the collection.

Stay tuned for day four!

Austin Fashion Week at the Driskill- Day 1

I relocated to the Capital of Texas- Austin, just in time for their annual Austin Fashion Week. It was held at the historic (and haunted) Driskill Hotel. Determined to include Austin as a legitimate fashion city, founder Matt Swinney launched AFW in July of 2009, but didn’t add the Driskill events until 2011. This year’s fashion extravaganza promised to bring out fresh local talent, as well as designers from around the world. The first evening of AFW, we were introduced to five designers: Isabella Rose, Bobby K., Ashley Zaba, Tess Designs and Lisa Kaminski. There were two intermissions and during those intermissions, guests were able to browse the ‘marketplace,’ which included: Valentina Shoes, Over the Moon, Jahanna Martinez and booths which featured an interactive survey and little goodies from Google +/Zagat and Fiat USA.

I’d like to introduce you to Austin-based designer Isabella Rose, who was the first designer of the evening. The cute resort collection was chic and simple…though with two cool attributes: one, it’s for tweens (girls) and the designer is only ELEVEN! Young Isabella as always been an artist at heart, which began with painting at age three. That love of art, as well as color and texture, eventually progressed into fashion when she started experimenting with sewing. She launched her label Isabella Rose (named after her of course) just two years ago and from then on, has been designing, manufacturing and fabric sourcing so she could learn as much as she can. Her collection in the show was inspired by her art. She had just completed “Color Stories” that was a series of paintings where she tried to capture the spirit and personality of each portrait through color. That color palette was the inspiration behind her resort collection and she wanted girls her age to be able to mix ‘n match the colors to express themselves. The Fall collection was inspired by Isabella’s experimentation with figurative drawing using charcoal. Trying to emphasize how form can be contained within harder boundaries, she had a mix of flowy blouson tops with edgy faux leather pieces. We saw what we thought was a plain white shrug paired with a black dress with lacy neckline, but when the model turned, we saw a self-portrait of the designer on the back of the shrug. The original painting was done when Isabella was ten and stands around five feet tall. ” I wanted to incorporate my art into my fashion in a more direct way other than just inspiration,” Isabella explained. She also had one of her paintings printed on the silk chiffon scarves that the models were wearing on the runway. Isabella herself even proudly walked the runway, clad in a faux leather shift dress and statement necklace. She looked amazing and for an eleven year old, she has incredible talent. You can expect to see more a ready-to-wear and dress collection in the future. As Isabella adds, “I feel like my friends and I always have trouble finding dresses we like – they are either too grown up or too childish.” She will be participating in Dallas Fashions Night Out and having an installation of her current line and some artwork at Kristy Stubbs Gallery. She will also be having trunk shows in select cities throughout the rest of this year. For more information, check out isabellarosefashion.com.

Next up is eclectic designer-BOBBY K. From skull cut-out back detailing on a tee to a spicy color blocked body-con dress, BOBBY K. made a statement on the runway. The Gainesville, FL based brand was launched in 2005 by Bobby Kelley and just focused on accessories. In 2006, the brand then transitioned into mens and womens apparel. The collection we viewed during AFW was from his Fall 2012 collection. It is inspired by a newly found independence he had personally experienced and was guided by the latest Sleigh Bells album, “Reign of Terror.” Lots of spandex, mesh, color blocking, chiffon and knit indeed ‘reigned’ in this collection. I love the muted navy and plaids paired with bright accessories. According to Bobby, “I design for someone who is ‘downtown,’ they live a lot of life, they work, party and do it all over again. Very much so the ‘work hard, play hard’ mentality. I make a garment and the expectation is that whoever wears it will walk into a room, and everyone is like ‘bitch’….” Such is that with this edgy collection. I could imagine myself bursting into a room in the multi-colored body-con dress, the hand crocheted dress or the chiffon jumpsuit. To add more SHAZAM to your wardrobe, check out BOBBYK.com!

After the first intermission, we viewed a chic swimwear line by Ontario, Canada-based Ashley Zaba. I absolutely adore this swimwear collection, which had sort of a retro vibe to it. I loved the mixing of prints and colors and the fitted construction of the tops. The brand launched in 2008 with emphasis on contemporary womens wear, but also a strong awareness on swimwear. Ashley’s love of adventure, travel and photography has helped inspire the unique print mixing, colors and cuts that has ultimately become the label’s signature. This year at AFW was Zaba’s debut collection of swimwear and was influenced by the ocean in general, along with white sands and sun tans, as well as old world charm that flows into the streets of Cuba (where she plans to travel this winter). While she mixed the prints of the suites for the runway, each style comes with its coordinating color top and bottom. She just styled them separately on the runway to show the line’s versatility, but personally, I love (and would prefer to wear) the mix of color and prints. So along with a stand out customizable approach, Zaba’s label focuses on quality and fit, making sure the inner construction of padding delivers flattering silhouettes for all body types. Each swim item is sold separately, with tops ranging from $90-140 and bottoms ranging from $60-80. One pieces run around $180. She also has a small selection of cover-ups available for an average of $115. Ashley Zaba Swim will soon be available for purchase online beginning March 2013, with pre-orders on her website starting November/December 2012. Find out more information on Zaba at ashleyzaba.com!

Next, I would like to introduce another Austin-based brand, Tess Designs. I had the chance to briefly meet designer Theresa Kopecky after the event and her sweet and bubbly personality coincides with her collection of vintage-inspired girly printed dresses and tops and feminine separates. Kopecky’s Spring/Summer 2013 line was inspired by a road trip she had recently made through the Southern states-from New Orleans to Jacksonville. She re-imagined old world Southern charm and infused a little bit of modern silhouettes and voila, we saw her vision come alive during AFW! The silk cotton and linen separates, playful seersucker suits and handpainted silk dresses were simple, yet… had us envision the days of classic Americana, optimism and a longing for days of a monthly book club party with mint julep, sweet tea, scones and finger sandwiches. For example, actress Jaime King’s character in Hart of Dixie- Lemon Breeland would eat this collection up and fabulously pair a dainty floral print dress with one of her signature fascinators. Theresa also shared cocktail dresses from her Holiday 2012 collection, inspired by the lavish jewel-tones of the Arabian Nights. The collection was styled by Leonardo D’Almagro, with jewelry by Personal Adornments and sweet little fascinators by Austin-based Milli Starr. What’s also great about Tess Designs, is that it is manufactured here in Texas. The Spring/Summer 2013 collection will be available for purchase beginning February 2013. Prices for separates range from $65-90, $130-250 for the day dresses and $220-260 for the cocktail line. Check out tessdress.com for more information!

After the second and last intermission, we viewed the final collection- an eco-conscious swimwear line by Jacksonville, FL based Lisa Kaminski. This self-taught designer was born and raised on the sandy beaches on North Florida and made her first bikini at age fifteen. As I had mentioned before, her line is eco-friendly, having only using reclaimed hardware and found materials, while utilizing superb craftsmanship; as each suit is constructed with double fabric durability. Her 2012 collection that she showcased during AFW was inspired by a trip to Italy. According to Kaminski, ” I wanted to express that with my dramatic opera music intro of Pavarotti’s “Nessum Dorma” with looks: The colors Tangerine and Coral is very on trend! As well as Blue (Cobalt or Royal), Aquamarine, Pinks, Purple and White, colored animal prints, color blocking, and retro florals.” We also previewed eight designs from the 2013 collection, which included two mono-kinis in “Happiness” and “Shining Star” and a one-of-a-kind swimsuit inspired by a reclaimed Radiohead concert tee. The finale bikini, called “The Beagle” was designed for canine lovers and a portion of the proceeds go to the ASPCA. The model wearing the bikini walked the runway with ‘Nipper’ the beagle, who is a local hound that needs a loving home. Please email info@houndrescue.com for more information. The Lisa Kaminski brand is quite unique in that they are made in small quantities, artisan-inspired and made in Florida using only the best reclaimed fabrics, hardware and vintage pins. Her prices vary depending on how limited the design is or it’s an original one-of-a-kind: $79-359. Her suits are available online and at Red Boutique in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. For more information, check out lisakaminski.com!

Huge Thanks to Matt Swinney, the designers, models, volunteers, Kristen of PomPR, hair and make-up by: Bella Salon and FaceKandy.

And that’s a wrap for day one of Austin Fashion Week. Stay tuned for day two….

BoxEight Presents, Li Cari Fashion Show

It seems that 20 year old designer Jazmine Whitley has done it again! The Li Cari show ended the BoxEight Fashion Week on the 15th at the famous Los Angeles Theatre on Broadway with not an empty seat in the house and not to mention the media frenzy. Before the show, my friend Hannah and I mingled with friends and met new ones in the imacculate six-story lobby of the theatre. A few minutes before the show was to start, we made out way into the theatre to scope out seats. Due to the seats being so far back, I had to move up to the center aisle and stand with the rest of the media. Ok, I mentioned that I had to STAND…well in five inch heels that is… and the show went for fifteen minutes…YOU do the math. 

Promptly at 10pm, BoxEight founder Peter Gurnz came onstage and gave a brief history on BoxEight’s influence at Fashion Week and then he introduced his team. Then, the show began.

Jazmine’s inspiration for her collection was back-to-basics. The silhouettes were classic and had a ‘Jackie-O’ look. She “wanted to convey a sense of the basics and nature.” She is also aware of our country’s tough times and wants people who wear Li Cari to have a peaceful mindset, which starts when they go to their closets to pick out something to wear in the morning. There was another designer that shared the spotlight that night.  She is Lynn Curtin, founder of men’s and women’s Cuff Luvv Collections. You also may have recognized her in the last season of Real Housewives of Orange County fame. Her rocker inspired cuffs for the show worked well with Li Cari’s classic style.

           Lynn started the company a little over three years ago, however she’s been designing most of her life. She was tired of giving her friends the same gifts over and over again, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. Now, her cuffs are sold at Fred Segal and other small boutiques around the OC area, including Duo, in Laguna Beach which on every first Thursday of the month, they host a small party. Even Stephan Tyler was given one of her cuffs. She has a new cuff coming out, which is more economical and is about an inch wide, but still with the iron cross and studs  and will sell for $99.  It takes around an hour from design to finish, though depending on the leathers. She is in the process of getting a manufacturer, due to getting more involved with the higher-end retail shops.  You can currently read about Cuff Luvv in this month’s issue of Orange Coast Magazine on page 26 and shop her collections at www.shoplynncurtindesigns.com.

Special thanks to: Hannah David,  Jose’s “Luxury Taxi Service”, and Susan Costa of WCM.

Copyright © 2013. Created by Meks. Powered by WordPress.