What an intense summer I’ve had thus far. This summer has been such an experience both social and professionally. I think my life has been lacking on the social side, I’ve been missing all the summer movies but that’s okay I guess. I’ve been networking and working, met some interesting people and hopefully get this job opportunity at a magazine. Crossing my fingers for that to happen.
No matter how much work has consumed me, I still make time to get my news briefs in, especially when it comes to fashion. So, it was no surprise to hear that Alexander Wang will be leaving lé Maison Balenciaga this September after only three short years at the helm of it. If I can be honest, I never really liked the idea of Wang taking over Balenciaga when Nicolas Ghesquiere abruptly left in 2012. To me, Cristóbal’s legacy was ahead of it’s time. He is after all called, The King of Couture. Under Ghesquiere each collection made you wonder, made you process what you just observed. I have always been a fan of Ghesquire, and just like my love for all other designers there is three things I look for in a designer collection to they have right amount of idea, creativity and accessibility. Although, at times Ghesquire went over those boundaries it was okay because you at least understood his point of view for the collection. And after all runway shows have to have some sort of fantasy, some sort dream and Ghesquiere without a doubt always delivered a capital F fashion show.
Alexander Wang seemed like an odd choice to take the helm of such a Maison. I am not doubting his talent, Wang has done great things with his own label and T brand. I still gave me a chance with each collection the references were obvious. Some new ideas were introduced but nothing that made me jump from joy. And I know it was not made for me but like I said, I am a big Cristóbal Balenciaga fan. Wang’s fall 2015 collection was the most that captured the essence of the brand. The cocoon coats, the ballon skirts, the fancy silhouettes and a very bejeweled collection. I did love the leather belt straps as the accents, the big B pins, very regal. Yet, at the same time the shows seemed to be more New York, more street style than a Parisian elegance.
I think that was Alexander’s fall. Maybe or maybe not. Maybe he wants to concentrate on his brands 10 years anniversary. Or perhaps the travel was too much to handle. It is all speculation from here on since the news broke about both parties broke ties. I can assume that both parties realized that they were not working good together anymore. Coming back and forth from New York to Paris takes a toll on people. Look at Tom Ford when he was designing for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, Alexander McQueen for his own label and Givenchy, Oscar de la Renta and Balmain, Michael Kors and Céline. If anything, the one who has mastered doing many collections in a season is Karl Lagerfeld. Lagerfeld designed for Chanel, Chloé, Lagerfeld Gallery and Fendi. I alone go crazy by just looking at this months calendar.
Maybe Kering Group saw something that we Balenciaga devotees didn’t. Perhaps Wang was a good fit for the Maison. Perhaps it was just bad timing. And if there’s something I still keep learning, is that “timing means everything.”
I have been busy and enjoying every project I have attached myself to, that I do not have time for anything but besides daily routines. It has been a roller coaster of a job but I am loving every second of it. Men’s Fashion Week came and went yet again, and if you are following my Instagram, I have been keeping up with it. Enjoy the posts you guys!
Meanwhile, I am over here brainstorming and starting the wheels on my first ever fashion show production. My boss and I were asked to help produce a fashion show for the Chicago Fashion Week organization. We came in as production and we did everything between the two of us and an intern. It was stressful but so much fun. It just meant that I needed to stay focused, organized and on top of everything. Of course, we had good reliable sources that made our work 100x’s easier yet the struggle was real. I sought out the designers, keeping in mind our Chicago philosophy of keeping everything local, the whole point of this show is to highlight Chicago talent.
I have blogged about Borris in past posts. Not for nothing but this man has made a name for himself as a Chicago designer. He is self-taught with an amazing fashion vision. Borris won the Oscar’s Designer Challenge back in 2011. Since then Borris has added a few more things to his resume, he has introduced a men’s collection and recently has started doing a makeup line. I am sure Borris is going places after this show. So, why not feature him?
To describe Anna Hovet’s designs is to really appreciate street wear, even ready to wear. From jersey dresses to crop tops, fitted yoga pants and a cape to die for. Anna ventured into menswear, with the same idea, capitalizing on the crotch drop pants and reinvented hoodies. The best part of her designs is that they can be taken from day to night. Something her adoring clientele loves about her designs; ready to wear done quick but still giving you edgy designs.
Shernett Swaby, was the third designer that I sought out. Shernett’s boutique is located in the Humboldt Park area on Chicago’s Westside. It is really hard to describe Shernett’s aesthetic without trying to mention any well know designer. Yet, her work, her brand can be put along the likes as Donna Karan, Calvin Klein, Zac Posen and even Balenciaga. Those names alone are a tour de force. Shernett’s is all about simple, clean lines but with a drape, a fold here and there. All done in gorgeous jersey, chiffon, organza. Wether you are from Chicago or not, Swaby is a place worth going out of your way to shop at.
Agnes Hamerlik was recommended to me by Shelby Steiner, a designer that turned down my offer but said Agnes will give me what I was looking for. And so Agnes delivered. Her aesthetic is in the rage of Rick Owens meets Ann Demeulemeester yet a bit more of a feminine touch. A collection done in black and white with a hints of red, it was a collection that made your eyes scan each garment that came down the runway. Garments adorned with feathers, built in jewels and a 3d graphic, this runway segment was the show stopper of the night. I am still in awed that Agnes agreed to be apart of this show. Agnes is going places.
In conclusions I am proud of the work I did for this show. I have been part of many fashion production teams before, it is not my forte but yet I knew that I can handle the task at hand. The day of the show I was nervous. I kept running things over in my head, looking through my notes to see is I have missed something. The moment I saw the first collection lined up and ready to go, seeing the name “Swaby by Shernett Swaby” come up on the screen, her show song The Killers “The Things That I’ve Done” start playing over the speakers, it was a surreal moment. Everything finally came together. I took a deep breath and the first model stepped out to the runway. Then Shernett leaned in and said, “Relax. Don’t be nervous. You are here and the show is happening. This was your goal and you made it happen. Enjoy the moment.” I turned and said, “I am. I am proud of myself.” Then I walked a few steps back, to help and get the next collection ready.
Hello again. I know that with every entry I start to write I promise to make time and write something once a week. Truth is, marketing life keeps taking over my social life and work never ends. As I saw my schedule for this week and next two weeks, I wonder when will I have time for ME?!! They thing I’ve learned is that time management is your bff. Let’s see how that works out for me.
It is time for fashion. Collection season, model mayhem and behind the scene shots. It is London Collections: Men time. More specifically Men’s Spring/Summer 2016 collections. We’ve been seeing some amazing work so far, it is only day 2, and we still have the big brand heavy hitters still left to be showcased. I am going to around up two days of fashions in this post.
Lou Dalton has been one of my favorites, a brand I always look forward to see what her Man will evolve too next. After an amazing Fall/Winter 2015 collection I expected the bar to be even higher and did Dalton delivered. It was a collection that reminisced 90’s fashions. It was an hommage to windbreakers and nylon but done in Madras and Prince of Wales that made it look fresh and modern, no other way to explain it. It was a utilitarian with pockets on tops nicely paired with short and tailored pants. It was a cool collection with color, idea and accessibility.
Hardy Amies is a hit or miss for me. Although, Hardy Amies is a well established and well-tailored brand sometimes they bore me. For spring/summer 2016 head designer Mehmet Ali looked at 2001: Space Odyssey and for what you wear to travel or go on a journey as inspiration. There were hints or aviation, astronaut wear done in subtle colors and in cuts that are classic modern. It was styled nice, it was wearable and it is chic.
Coach did a full length fashion show for their menswear. A chic 60’s inspired collection that celebrated a decade full of boy bands and amazing fashion. Stuart Vevers celebrated the young 60’s kids growing up and showcased a young and modern collection. Amazing outerwear, sealing sandals and patchwork messenger bags played nicely with psychedelic prints in bright orange, greens and hints or violet. Great first collection from many more to come.
YMC is a brand that I usually just skim through. Only worthy of a Pin or two. Yet, for SS2016 they happen to be themselves but refined. It was the separates, the bomber jackets, the gemstone color jades and blues that made me take a second look at this collection. It was simple without being overly designed. It was wearable in away that everything that came down the runway can be imagined in your closet. This is not an over the top brand, it showed today and it showed that they should be taken serious.
London Collections: Men is the first stop of what is Men’s Fashion Spring Summer 2016. Many more posts to come. Make sure to check out the Instagram @morethanabowtie for more coverage of runway collections.
Hello, my fellow readers. Finally, had some downtime to relax and soak up the sun. I know this post is a bit late, three days to be exact, but alas it is something that needed to get done.
Let’s dive right in.
Monday’s night Met Gala, an annual fundraiser that benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute in New York. It is known as a fashion mecca where designers are paired with celebrities, models and are dressed to that annuals fashion exhibit themes. Now this year’s theme was China: Through The Looking Glass, which exhibited China’s art through fashion, art and China ware. Personally, I think it was a brilliant theme and was looking forward for the fashion. As the photos came in through VOGUE, Style.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I was a bit appalled that these “celebrities” are considered the fashion innovators, the ones that are pushing fashion forward. I know that as a blogger, not nearly making a six-figure income like they are, they are the ones exposed to fashion first and it trickles down to street wear.
Like has fashion really sold out to the Kardashians, the Beyonces, the Rhiannas, the Cyrus’ and all the in-between? Who are to blame, the designers, the magazines editors or us the bloggers that look at them for the latest fashion trends? I can honestly say that I am not a followers of the formers but I acknowledge whenever they do seem to be covered up.
My blog is dedicated to mostly mens fashion but I think I had to make an exemption from all the horrific fashion I saw at the Met Gala. It took me this long to look through photographs from all types of sources. I blog about what I think and who I think is pushing fashion forward, after all fashion must be going in that direction. I like to share new designers and explore other markets that is sometimes shadowed by the big brands in the 4 major markets of the world. What I blog about may not be what you like but it is my opinion.
In this review about the Met Gala, you will not find any of the top celebrities or any sheer by that matter. Well, the only exception is Zoe Kravitz’s Alexander Wang dress. She wore it in a tasteful manner and was covered in all the right places. I AM DONE WITH SHEER DRESSES ON THE RED CARPET!! GIVE ME SOMETHING ELSE! “WOW” ME!! After all you (designer) is the creative one. you are the one making the garment at the end. So let’s begin.
Fan Bingbing looks amazing in Christopher Bu. The gold, copper strapless gown is amazingly paired with that gem tone colored cape. It reminded me a lot of the movie “Curse of the Golden Flower.” The capes were so rich and ravishing. So colorful and costume like. Totally fit the nights theme.
What an amazing dress and so Rihanna to wear. It is like her to go full-out, remember her next to nothing “gown” for last year CFDA Awards? This dress was made to be worn by her. The dress weighted about 50 lbs. and in an interview with the pop artists she is quoted to have said that “it was difficult to move around”. The designer said it took about 2 years to complete and has a mixture of fabrics and furs all dyed to one color. I love this!
Now this is how someone should wear sheer, mesh and the see through fabrics ever made. It is an elegant Alexander Wang dress nonetheless. It is fashion forward and edgy without it being vulgar. This beauty does not need to expose herself to be considered beautiful, her parents are hot as hell!! It fit the theme in the way that Chinese fashion is going in a rock/punk sense of way. It’s good to me.
Bee Shaffer daughter of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief and Met Gala head honcho, look ravishing in Alexander McQueen. Bee has always looked amazing for the Met Galas, I believe it was the same designer that dressed her for the James Charles last year exhibit and Erdem for the Prada and Schiaperelli the year before. This Late Night with Seth Meyers staff member knows her fashion. I mean why wouldn’t she, right? I love how this dress is all about the details from cut to embroidery.
I adore Zang Ziyi and this beautiful Carolina Herrera gown. It is in white yes, and no it’s not bridal. The details of this dress are magnificent and those red petals are a nice touch. It is an elegant gown for such an elegant actress. It fits the theme perfectly and I loved it the minute I saw it. It is chic and a Carolina Herrera gown indeed.
I really liked Erdem’s Fall 15/16 women’s collection. I think I wrote about it in my blog. I remember saying that the collection was inspired by home furnishings but done in a luxuries ways in the worlds best silk fabrics. I had to look back at Erdem’s collection to get a feel of it again. It was a collection about prints and embroideries, very up the Met Gala’s night theme alley. Seeing Alexa Chung wear this dress was amazing. Alexa is a fashion icon that she is pushing the fashion boundaries and exploring her fashion tastes. She is confident in everything she wears and it shows.
Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Mick Jagger and Geri Hall looked ravishing in a kimono style gown by Gucci. The gown had all the details about the night themes. From the silhouette to the embroidered motifs. It was styled amazing with strap heels and that amazing hairstyle. Jagger was in my eyes one of the best dressed.
I liked Lorde’s gem stone Calvin Klein gown. The color popped beautifully on the red carpet as well as the white curtains in the museum. Lorde has been exploring her fashion senses and she looked amazing.
I was waiting for someone to wear this Christopher Kane dress. FKA twigs has been on the fashion radar lately. She has been photographed with her fiancé Robert Pattinson looking stylish on and off the stage. She is definitely not afraid of pushing the boundaries either. This dress was the talk of the town for Kane’s Fall 15 collection. Where else would you wear it if not to a museum!?
Hannah has been a fashion favorite this past award season. Yet, again she shined in a Valentino Haute Couture gown for the night. I love the flower detail running from top to bottom. The look seems to have three parts to is, the white top half, with a skirt and what may look like bustier underneath. Nonetheless, Hannah looks amazing in it.
Liya can not do no wrong. She has such amazing taste that everything looks good on her. Well, from what I have seen on her. She can dress up or down and look like a million bucks. Here they styled perfectly layered clothes making her look chic.
I like the simplicity of this Chanel ensemble. It is tasteful without looking cheap amongst the other gowns in the crowd. I bet she was the most comfortable amongst the bunch. The details of the skirt fits the theme in a non-literal way.
Talk about pushing the boundaries. Zendaya in Fausto Puglisi, really nailed the theme of the night. This was elegant yet youthful without being offensive. After all, it is for a costume benefit cause. I liked this.
If I have not bored you to death by now. Let me just say that I love fashion. It is an industry that has fascinated me since I was a teenager. I am up for fashion to evolve. I want it to move forward and in this forever changing market. Yet, that doesn’t mean wear something that leaves little to the imagination. At that point just paste some leaves and walk out of the house. And if you can rock that look. Then Kudos to you!!
Hello Everyone. What an amazing night to write this post. Smelling my coffee from my mug, the sounds of the keyboard being stroked and the rain hitting the window is all soothing to end a hectic week. I mean, I am not complaining but working for this firm has been fun and exhausting at the same time.
What I like about this job is that the days are never the same. Aside from all the emails I get to answer, and boy do people love to type emails, it is all interesting to me. Marketing is a cut-throat business. I’m just learning to survive it.
I can share 2 things I did the other day. We had a meeting with Sarar, which is an upscale men’s suiting and furnishing store at a outlet price. I’ve never been to a store that is very posh, trendy and caters all your suits and daily sports jackets wear. This store has it all. I’m sure what ever you need to look sharp when you wear a suit, they most certainly have it. What I liked about Sarar is the quality and luxurious fabrics they use for their suits, ties and the quality of leather goods. It’s expensive looking but affordable. You be the judge.
To end the our work night we got invited to a store launch for SuitSupply, located on Chicago’s prestigious Rush Street. It’s the Street where Prada, Marc Jacobs, Barney’s New York and the likes are located. This is a place that caters, again, to all your suits needs. Here you can get your everyday suits to your weekend getaway wardrobe. The layout and visual merchandising done in this boutique is top notch. I love how the mannequins fill the clothes not make the clothes look lifeless. The Tie Wall, was amazingly done and a major focal point in the space. It was ties rolled and placed in this cubed wall from dark to bright in hues and chromes. That wall looked like a piece of art.
They are stores opening around Chicago that caters to men’s fashion. Wether grooming, accessories, suits and apparel is your thing, I’m sure we have it. I am yet to find a store/boutique/department store that is current, trendy and ahead of the curve. Maybe we are almost there. I want to see a store that pushes the boundaries that showcases some Rick Owens, Yoji Yamamoto, Thom Browne, Kitsune, Margiela. You know, someone that has the courage to say it’s okay to wear tunics, a skirt, jeggins and stand out from the boring crowd. To all say that fashion comes within and not what society thinks what menswear suppose to be.
Hello Everyone. It is a fantastic Spring Day in Chicago. Finally, the rain has stopped and the sun is shining and the flowers and trees are starting to blossom. It feels like a new day, like that first fresh of breath air. It is appropriate metaphor for what is next in my life. My days as a retail worker are coming to an end. After more that 15 years of face to face customer service I’m hanging that up for an office job. I mean, I’m going to be interacting with people but it will be more friendlier and less hectic. Customer service either retail, restaurant or grocery is a tough business. You need a thick skin to take on the daily struggles of people.
I am moving forward and focusing more on what college was about. Working in an office that will let me be my own boss yet be creative daily and have some fun doing the things I love. I got a feel of this luxury back a few weeks when working the Black Women’s Expo in March. I was producing two fashion shows for two established designers in Chicago. Both catering that powerful, confident woman but with two different woman in mind. One was Plus Size the other your average slender woman. Designs both modern, elegant and chic.
Jessica Blair, Blair Fashions, has a store in Wicker Park. Selling Plus size fashion to women who are sometimes shun from the fashion industry. Her collection was a little punk, a little glam but sophisticated. Showing that size doesn’t matter, it is all about confidence.
Borris Powell, has made a name for himself in Chicago and rightfully so. Designing everything from apparel, accessories and now make up. He is building on that empire of his. This Fall 2015 collection was elegant, chic and for that sophisticated woman. Fur trims, elegant cocoon-esque silhouettes and amazing floor length gowns. It was a collection to die for.
As I am ready to hang my apron and say good-bye to retail work at the same time I am sadden. I have made amazing work friends, connected with people on a personal level and love the interaction of it all. It has also taught me to speak my mind, to take a step back and analyze the situation and to not take things personal. Most importantly that “Tomorrow Is Another Day” and indeed it is.
I am ready to contribute time, sweat and tears for this new career path I am taking. I am excited to see the outcome of it. I am ready to be challenged. Ready to share all the events, the fashion and the hard work it takes to bring such events to life. I am excited to experience life outside a time clock. I AM READY FOR THIS!!
Hello again. What a wonderful fourth day of spring it is in Chicago. Guess what? Storm (my favorite mutant) decided to give us some 4 inches of snow. Mind you, it’s been a little over a month since the last time it snowed, giving us about 9 inches. Nonetheless, life continues and is Mondays are a drag to get out of bed, today was no different. I had to hit the snooze about 4 times to finally get up.
I am a night owl. I love staying up late. Watching TV or on the laptop looking at fashion or searching for my next blog post topic. So, I had a friend who recently went to Tokyo. She was amazed with all the fashions it has to offer. Being a designer herself, she’s actually really good and fabulous on top of that, she left Tokyo with the mentality of moving there. With Tokyo Fashion Week Wrapped up, I can honestly see what she means. Speaking of menswear alone it is some of the best fashions I have seen. And trust me I like Bottega Venetta, Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Tim Coppens and E.Tautz just to name a few.
Not for nothing though, Tokyo is and should be a top contender in menswear along Milan, London and Paris. I like New York but let’s be honest its been slacking a bit. Speaking of course Menswear wise but we shall see what happens this July when New York hosts its first Men’s Fashion Week.
Tokyo has been showing some great promise, showing amazing designer talent. For instance, Nior Fr which is a minimalist brand yet is all about the details, cuts and styling that made this collection successful. Designed by Syota Masuda it was a collection of all in black with a hint of grey and some lamé printed on the pants. Detailed zippers on sweaters gave the collection a hard edgy look without losing focus. It was slim, it was fit, it was amazing.
I was really impressed with Discovered. It was grunge meets American-Indian with a touch of Asian flare. It was impressive in the sense that it was laid back, grunge it was polished and luxurious. This brand is known for mixing things up and styling it in a chic way. You can not argue the talented designers for this brand. You get the touches of Asian and American sense, you also see the great details on the Native American influences on the printed ponchos. It was a superb collection and I really want some of these pieces shown.
Yoshio Kubo is known to be influenced by street wear. To be honest Tokyo’s natives were the main street style trend setters. Yoshio knows his stuff, the street wear influences are very remote, these men are trend setters but in a more upscale luxury way. They are polished, they are groomed and they have impeccable fashion sense. I liked the patchwork blazer, the printed bomber paired with fitted sweat pants. There was a color blocked coat with an amazing oversized hood. My personal favorite a Chanel-esque tweed jacket. It was simply magnificent.
Facetasm might just be a brand that may replace one of dear favorite menswear brands. Focusing on tailoring and construction this show was great. Showing tunics in colorful prints yet masculine at the same time. A black pullover that seemed torn but stitched together raw like gave it an amazing detail to it. An outerwear jacket that seemed simple yet complicated and origami like shaped on the sleeves. The collection had a great balance of idea and wearability, some thing that is sometimes lost from these other well-known brands and designers.
Thanks again! I have a busy weekend ahead of me. So please make sure you are going to my twitter and instagram for a fashionable weekend.