October 11, 2009 |
Over the years, we've noticed that fashion weeks are a lot like high school -- with cliques and hierarchies, where seemingly insignificant things (like where you sit) take on exaggerated importance. Because L.A.'s latest efforts to pull together a cohesive, organized week have turned into a fashion "month," rather than survey the mosaic of events, we're focusing on the star students instead: the assorted designers (established as well as the up-and-comers), retailers, muses and shutterbugs who reflect the true DNA of the City of Angels.
October 9, 2009 |
The reality television show "Project Runway" this season is putting the spotlight on Los Angeles, where designers toil in a loft downtown, competing to win $100,000 to start their own clothing line. The local industry could use the boost. L.A.'s once-flourishing garment design and manufacturing industry is shedding jobs as quickly as a mohair sweater loses its fur. Weak U.S. consumer spending is generating less demand for the services of the people who stitch, cut and sew clothing in Los Angeles County.
September 15, 2009 |
Many of the spring clothes designers are showing this week have a tactile appeal. Maybe it's a signal that we're searching for more depth in fashion, something to touch and feel, not just to look at and discard after one season. Of course, it also helps to justify a high price tag -- because you can actually see the work. The new summer suit as a trend came into focus at Carolina Herrera on Monday, where a sinewy rope-weave raffia vest was paired with linen shorts. Herrera's collection had an organic sensibility and was free of any strict theme.
September 14, 2009 |
The overarching sense of optimism that characterized the first few days of the Spring/Summer 2010 shows at New York Fashion Week here was evident in the men's collections as well as the women's, both in colors -- vivid pops of blue and rain-slicker yellows playing off a variety of gray suiting materials like sunlight peeking from behind the clouds -- and cheery prints and even polka dots. At Duckie Brown, which over the last few seasons seemed to be dressing its men for battle, designers Steven Cox and Daniel Silver sent a stripped-down collection of lightweight shorts and gauzy shirts down the catwalk.
September 13, 2009 |
The $300-billion fashion business is in the midst of an epic shake-up that is changing the way clothes are designed, marketed and purchased. The Internet -- the same force that has splintered the media and music industries -- is challenging the taste-making role of the fashion elite, a shift that is being accelerated by the rise of cheap chic and a recession that has blunted more-is-more spending. In turn, many retail businesses, confronted by changing spending patterns, are becoming less brand-centric and more consumer-centric.
July 1, 2009 |
Despite the poor economic times, the H1N1 virus and the advent of new austerity, buyers and press did indeed show up to see the spring-summer 2010 men's collections at the runway shows that wrapped up here Sunday. But the designers? They seemed to be thousands of miles away: tramping around the Egyptian desert (John Galliano), soaring above the clouds (Paul Smith) and even getting ready for a lunar landing (Alfred Dunhill).
June 24, 2009 |
By the time the spring-summer 2010 men's Fashion Week in Milan wrapped up Tuesday, the runway had showcased enough old-school macho archetypes to form its own (infinitely more stylish) version of the Village People. While several designers riffed generally on the concept of the nomad and the loner, others were more specific.
April 19, 2009 |
The cliche about "green clothing" is that it's one step removed from a burlap sack with armholes and a felt applique of a peace sign or a tree. There is a lot of that genre out there -- especially T-shirts that make their "green" statement by literally being green or brown and splashing a "recycle" icon across the front. But every day there are more stylish and subtle approaches.
April 3, 2009 |
"Valentino: The Last Emperor," the title of a new documentary about the icon of haute couture, may sound like canny hyperbole, but once you've seen this smart and incisive film, it will seem like a simple statement of fact. For one thing, Valentino Garavani, a fashion designer so celebrated only his first name is necessary, certainly lives like an emperor. When he travels, it's by private jet with his six pugs always in attendance, or on his 152-foot yacht with a full-time staff of 11.
March 3, 2009 |
Being a woman is a blood sport, according to Miuccia Prada, who on Sunday showed her own powerful vision of the tough chic that is emerging as one of the biggest fashion trends for fall. And it didn't involve the rocker wear we've seen from so many other Italian labels, including Gucci. The arena seating should have been a clue.