Friday, February 27th 2009

get to know

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For Reed Evins, design is truly a family affair. The Evins shoe brand was created by his father and uncle, and after 30 years designing for Calvin Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, and Ralph Lauren, Reed Evins began work on the evolution of the family business. We talked to Reed Evins about his irreverent, modern, and luxe Spring ’09 collection, and how ’70s fashion and downtown-chic style has inspired it.

shopbop: You come from a pretty renowned family of shoemakers. Would you say the Reed Evins label is an evolution from the original Evins line or something altogether different?
Reed Evins: For generations now the Evins name has become synonymous with sophistication, quality, and a strong American spirit, all qualities that the current Reed Evins collection has in common with the old. Our high-quality shoes are made in Italy, and we cater to a very hip downtown-chic kind of girl.

SB: Your family’s line shoed the stylish feet of Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Ava Gardner. Who is today’s Reed Evins woman?
RE: Our customer is the hip downtown girl who’s wearing fast, cool shoes. Not uptown, not classic or stuffy. We have made shoes for many celebrities over the years including Oprah, Sharon Stone, and Beyonce, as well as runway shoes for Calvin Klein, Bill Blass, Anne Klein, and Halston.

SB: SB: Tell us a little bit about your spring 2009 collection. What was the inspiration?
RE: The inspiration was rich hippie: Cher and Janis Joplin made modern and updated. Think Woodstock but richer, in textures of hand-dyed suede combined with chocolate nappa. Electric greens, fuchsias, orange and yellow, flat hippie sandals and toe thongs. The entire collection is also unlined, giving the shoes a great sense of ease and comfort.

SB: When it comes to choosing footwear, what do you think is the most important thing a woman should look for?
RE: Whatever the woman’s taste is. But when it comes to choosing footwear, the most important factor should be fit.

Friday, February 27th 2009

fashion week: a buyer’s perspective

Shopbop apparel buyer Jane Albiter gives a re-cap of Fashion Week trends and a preview of what we’ll see on shopbop this fall.

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A lace-edged look from Anna Sui.

Another fashion week, another season: where does the time go? This year’s fashion week was definitely DARK. Black is back in a big way!

I saw leather trim, leather jackets and dresses; I loved Rag & Bone’s black knit leggings with leather detail and Helmut Lang’s great leather leggings and dresses with leather detail. Other fabrics that designers represented were velvet and lace. Lace is such a chic detail; Anna Sui and Jill Stuart both showed dresses and blouses with lace trim.

Another fall trend is the oversized shaggy-knit vests and sweaters, so cozy and so chic. Some standout shaggy knits were by Alexander Wang, Elizabeth and James, and Haute Hippie. All I want these days is an oversized shaggy sweater vest…I can’t believe I have to wait until August!

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A shaggy knit stands out on the Alexander Wang runway.

Last but not least, every girl should have a black blazer for fall in her closet, whether it’s a boyfriend blazer, an exaggerated shoulder blazer, or a cropped tux blazer. It’s a must-have and looks great with everything, from a pair of leggings, skinny jeans, or over a dress.

We’ll see a lot of these trends within many collections for fall on shopbop, with different brands translating these trends in their own way.

--Jane Albiter

Thursday, February 26th 2009

it’s evolutionary

 
Not so long ago, the fashion world was struck with the arrival of low-rise boot-cut jeans, then it transitioned into skinny denim, then high rise, then wide-leg. But this season, there’s something different altogether. What we’ve dubbed the new pant, spring’s sweetheart silhouette takes a page from the style book of MC Hammer with a decidedly chic and modern update.

There are dramatic iterations, like Free People’s Pocket Harem Pants, and some more subtle options, like Vince’s Suave Crop. The trend has even managed to tiptoe into the denim world with the arrival of a slouchy version of the skinny jeans we love.

Does this mean the harem pant is the only pant for spring ’09? Not in the least. The season is embracing all the silhouettes that have evolved over the last five years, just as InStyle.com’s Fashion Director Joe Berean predicted when I spoke to him after the spring runway shows. “[Spring] is a melting pot of pants styles,” he said, “and that’s going to be good for everyone.” Amen, Joe!

As for me? I’m working my way up to the harem look. I was a skinny jeans resistor in the beginning, and they’ve managed to wear me down, so I know it’s really only a matter of time.

--Amie

Wednesday, February 25th 2009

and the winners are

Our blog’s still buzzing about Fashion Week, but let’s not forget another esteemed runway making headlines this week: the Oscars Red Carpet. The biggest sartorial story on this year’s carpet? The drapes! Floor-grazing, strapless, and gorgeous draping were the gown accoutrements of choice for starlets Amy Adams, Jessica Biel, Evan Rachel Wood, and Angelina Jolie. The drape trend is a great thing to happen to dresses because:
EJ When it comes to a formal fete, a sequined frock can often look far too “pageant girl.” Draping, on the other hand, adds sophisticated interest. Elizabeth and James - Kimono Dress
Alice2048412415_94x185 There’s no hiding even a panty line in a skintight number. Strategically placed draping helps play up certain features while concealing others. Alice + Olivia – Draped V Neck Dress
Cbenz2009525918_94x185 Fluid drape detail naturally adds an ethereal goddess aura. Who can’t use more of that? Chris Benz – Coral Dress
Rrodr2010410212_94x185 But that’s not to say goddesses don’t want to get down at the club street-chic style. This Robert Rodriguez style gives the best of both worlds. Robert Rodriguez – Draped Asymmetrical Dress


--Suzanne

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

in the trenches

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This spring, one wardrobe staple that deserves the term “investment piece” is the classic trench coat. A WWD Fashion slideshow pays homage to this springtime favorite, pointing out its versatility and ability to transcend trends. The trench will always be an inspired way to anchor bright colors, bold accessories, or patterned frocks, all while cinching a flattering hourglass silhouette and making us look like a modern-day version of the sophisticated Isla in Casablanca or Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

For the classic double-breasted trench in shades of khaki and sand, I’m partial to the flirty Juicy Couture 3/4 Sleeve Trench Coat, the sleek silhouette of Gryphon’s aptly-named Timeless Jacket, and the signature feminine details of Nanette Lepore’s Victoria Fall Coat.

Marc by Marc Jacobs, as usual, puts his own stamp on the classic style with the bold magenta Flat Twill Coat, while Robert Rodriguez’s Slouch Trench Coat is polished enough for an evening out.

--Tonya

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

backstage entrance: no shorts or cynicism allowed!

I am writing this post at my desk in slippers and sweatpants (my favorite Nightcap Clothing ones!), with my dog in my lap—a much-needed dose of cozy comfort after a high-strung week in painful platforms. But the good news is after the whirlwind of shows, late-night after parties, and exclusive interviews with New York’s top designers, I am happy to report that this fall the focus is back on fashion and optimism is definitely in style.

Marc by Marc Jacobs
Oh Marc by Marc, how I love thee and still cherish my first pair of your red Minnie Mouse round-toed pumps! Please just let my crew backstage! Marc runs a tight ship and I was a little anxious when I arrived at the side entrance of the New York State Armory. As I approached the check-in desk, my good friend from KCD who runs the show, Matthew, walked past and yelled, “Let Elle in!” Thanks, Matthew, and I promise to forever return your samples when they are due! I swear!

 
Backstage at the Marc by Marc Jacobs show. Photographed by Kevin Keiser for ELLE.com

Backstage at the Armory is seriously freezing and models are standing under heating lamps while smoking cigarettes. (Fire hazard, anyone?) I grab a slice of pizza with Mark Leibowitz, my photog friend from my days at Glamour, and we both get a kick out of the pizza boxes advertising the Ab Rocket and promising rock-hard abs in just five minutes a day. Come to find out the pizza joint is really called Ab Rocket—leave it to Marc to incorporate humor in the catering. Orlando Pita, lead hair, tells me this season is just another super-cool take on the classic Marc by Marc girl, messy undone ponytail prepped for bowler hats. Love it. Need it. Also need the mad mix of sweaters, jackets, and mountaineer accessories this Marc girl was rockin’.

 
“Ab Rocket” pizza boxes. Photographed by Kevin Keiser for ELLE.com

My incredibly brave cameraman, Kevin, tried to get a shot for you guys of Marc watching the run-through but got kicked out by two huge security guards. (I had no idea and was watching it while salivating over all the “great shots” Kevin was surely getting of Marc.) I will try to create a mental image for you: Picture a bronzed, buff, and tattooed Marc sitting cross-legged in his uniform (white button-down, black kilt, black combat boots), picking his teeth with at least four to five toothpicks, all carried in a chic toothpick holder he pulled from his eggplant leather Birkin bag. Either Marc has an oral fixation or just had popcorn for lunch. Either way, his face showed no emotion, but all the models (even the confident Jessica Stam) got a little nervous when they sauntered past him. Wouldn’t you if you had to strut your stuff in front of fashion’s leading man?

P.S. Kevin, sorry for leaving you out in the cold for so long. You are a trouper!

Derek Lam
 
A patchwork of fur—signature Derek Lam luxe. Photographed by Kelly Stuart for ELLE.com

Derek Lam, my favorite luxe sportswear designer, knows chic. Head backstage where an all-white maze of corridors and staircases makes Derek a shoo-in for the Most Confusing Backstage Ever award. Once I squeeze into the teeny tiny hair and makeup room, I’m given a quick lesson from lead makeup, Tom Pecheux of MAC, on how to make a purple shadow rock star-worthy with a creamy liner of orange shadow. The trick is to wet your brush so the shadow paints on linear. I know it sounds a little Boy George, but it is très chic and besides, Derek Lam would never promote clown eyes!

When the plastic bags came off and I got a sneak peak at his collection, I spied some fall essentials in the making—skinny black leather pants, tailored jackets, draped dresses, and not for the faint of heart, coyote patchwork furs! Derek shuddered when I mentioned the word luxe (guessing the economy has made it a dirty word in fashion?) but it is clear he didn’t sacrifice richness just to make the sell.

Derek describes his years designing under Michael Kors as “American Classics 101,” and his deliverance of this aesthetic has top editors packed tight at his shows, and this season was no exception. The street style of the editors arriving was some of the most inspiring I have seen this week—a montage of harem pants, fur chubbys, sky-high platforms, bold jewelry, and black, black, and more black. Check out Elle.com for my Fashion Week Street Style video to see what I am talking about. Don’t miss the appearance by one of my most fashionable friends, shopbop’s own Fashion Director Kate Ciepluch!

 
Photographed by Kevin Keiser for ELLE.com
BEAUTY TIP: Channel rocker chic in purple eyeshadow offset with orange liner.

Michael Kors
Mr. American Classic and lover of all things publicity, backstage at Michael Kors is a circus of fun—more cameras than a movie set, gorgeous Upper East Siders air kissing, and Coco Rocha and yours truly reporting live on all the action. Michael dubbed his collection “neo classics” and said he thinks “Americans are eating too much pizza!” Fashion interpretation—don’t buy something just ’cause it is cheap, that doesn’t make it good for you. Enter boardroom-worthy tailoring, neon furs, and matte sequined dresses—not a $2 slice in sight on these racks! As Michael says, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets tougher!”

 
Neon is here to stay. Photographed by Kelly Stuart for ELLE.com

You can imagine why Michael is my favorite interview. I always save a silly answer-provoking question for the self-described loudmouth. This year I asked Michael what fall trend he simply could not wait to be rid of. His answer? “Shorts in the winter have to go. I see too many girls with fat legs wearing these with tights and boots, and they really need to get a three-way mirror!” Was obviously said with a grin, but point taken, Michael!

As everyone filed in for the show, I found myself front row, in between celeb stalking Molly Sims and Jane Krakowski, chatting with this incredibly friendly white-haired women in circular frames. She was giving Kevin and me tips on what other celebs were confirmed for the show and where we should stand so we could grab the interview. I glanced down to see the name of this fashion angel, and her seat said “Joan Kors.” It was Michael’s mother! Now we know where he gets his gorgeous personality!

 
Photographed by Kelly Stuart for ELLE.com
BEAUTY TIP: Smudge grey shadow around eyes for a tough look like model Carmen Kass.

I am headed to the tents to shoot my final wrap-up video featuring trends, designer interviews, and beauty tips from New York Fashion Week, so be sure to check out ELLE.com!

xoxo
--Joyann King, Elle.com

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

first fashion

Our Favorites from What's New
Just like in movie climaxes, I prefer my fashion stories to have a twist. I love that our designers go the extra mile to not just give us shirt-on-our-back sustenance, but instead offer up unexpected élan.
Tbins2001125609_94x185 TOM BINNS knows ravenous film noir sirens do like highlighter neon, in moderation. TOM BINNS – Dumont Noir Fluorescent Necklace
Cbenz2010425924_94x185 I’ll reveal a different character entirely, just by turning around. Chris Benz – Summer Cardigan
Jkagn2003712397_94x185 Quirky, dramatic, yet a wicked sense of humor—like something I snatched from a Tim Burton set. Jessica Kagan Cushman – Skull Necklace
Surprise sartorial endings await in What’s New.

--Suzanne

Monday, February 23rd 2009

what I learned at Fashion Week

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I'm down a cashmere glove and about four nights sleep, but it was totally worth it. Somewhere during the whirlwind of anxious cab rides and swag bags, I witnessed some beautiful moments (DVF doing a victory dance at the end of her show), some beautifully surreal moments (Bill Cunningham giving what looked to be a homemade valentine to the woman seated two people down from me at the Alexander Wang show), and saw some beautiful people (SJP, Erin Wasson, and Carine Roitfeld among them).
 
A few useful take-away points from my Fashion Week experience include how to wear the slouchy new pant (with a predatory shoe and relatively plain top), that black is back with a vengeance for fall (for some of us it never left), and that once you've lost feeling in your feet, you can wear heels for days on end (Was this my grandmother's secret?).

Though I enjoyed the spectacle of the shows themselves, I found as much inspiration in the lines outside or in the lobby beforehand as I did on the runway. It's kind of like the sartorial Olympics after all, so members of every fashion tribe bring their A-game: furs (both faux and not), sky-high S & M heels, booties, leggings, leather, boyfriend blazers, hats, distressed denim were a strong presence, as were those few true-blue avant-garde fashionistas in looks entirely of their own devising, all making up this gorgeous collision of just about every style subculture you can imagine.
 
Needless to say I was never at a loss for material. Indeed the sheer enormity of covering everything I wanted to (and doing it justice) seemed too much at times. But fueled by Luna Bars (next year I may approach them for sponsorship) and coffee both awful (the deli across from my hotel at 3AM) and sublime (Dean & Deluca), we managed to bring you quite a bit by way of both the blog and the feature that launched today. But we didn't say everything, and that's why you'll be hearing lots more about Fashion Week in the coming days as buyers, stylists, designers, and editors weigh in on the goings-on and what you'll likely be seeing on shopbop in a few months. Stay tuned!

--Maureen

Friday, February 20th 2009

notes from ny: anna sui

090220FW5_AnnaS_1
Agyness Deyn opened and closed the Anna Sui fall show. Here, she wears the finale look.

A collection with references that ran the gamut from Prohibition-era flappers and Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon, to cowgirls and ’80s Madonna wannabes might have spelled certain disaster in less deft design hands, but Anna Sui pulled it off with characteristic panache in her fall ’09 collection.

While it’s definitely not for the devout minimalist, Sui’s exquisitely executed more-is-more aesthetic is nothing if not fun to wear. Touched by the signature bohemian glamour this line is beloved for, the runway was awash in intricate paisleys in vibrant hues and delicate florals that provided the perfect complement to her sweetly sophisticated dresses, while tweeds, black watch plaid, and velvet kept things grounded.

090220FW5_AnnaS_2
In her signature style, Anna Sui’s fall prints are vibrant and varied.

090220FW5_AnnaS_3
Tweed, black and white plaid, and soft velvet tempered Sui’s fanciful designs.

090220FW5_AnnaS_4
At the end of the runway, more than one model showed a hint of a smile, some gave an all-out grin.


--Kate, Morgan, Maureen

Friday, February 20th 2009

backstage at ny fashion week

Backstage Correspondent for Elle.com, Joyann King, continues her coverage of the goings on behind the scenes at NY Fashion Week with the DVF and Thakoon shows.

 
Coco Rocha and her unmatchable Blue Steel. Photographed by Kelly Stuart for ELLE.com

Diane von Furstenberg
“Clothes should be your friend,” cooed Diane von Furstenberg when I asked her about the inspiration behind her Nomad collection for fall. They are, Diane, I just didn’t think I was allowed to admit it! Well, then I confess. I confess that Diane von Furstenberg is the chicest women on the planet and a shrewd businesswoman at that. I confess shamelessly taking a picture with her and immediately emailing it to my mother. I confess I am obsessed with the concept that a collection was designed for a traveling girl whose clothes are her friends and the adventure lies in her suitcase!

As for gossip, Olivia from The City “helped” me get in line for my interview with Diane in an attempt to feign work. MTV was smothering the place and I couldn’t help but feel a little bit a part of the set-up scene. Not to mention the faux fight I overheard between Whitney and Olivia, where moments before they were just dandy. Oh reality TV, leave my beloved fashion alone! I escaped un-reality to the front row where Diane Sawyer, looking gorgeous as ever, described her friend Diane’s impassioned aesthetic in the most eloquent way possible, and all that was left for me to do was smile and nod.

BEAUTY TIP: Love life and you will forever glow à la Ms. Furstenberg.

 
Tiny Thakoon fluffs the finale dress. Photographed by Kelly Stuart for ELLE.com

Thakoon
Backstage at Thakoon were three of my favorite things: feathers, sequins, and cupcakes. I know it appears that I talk a lot about the food at these things, but ask anyone on the backstage circuit and they all rate shows based on the catering. It becomes a conversation piece when everyone is sick of talking about fashion—the horror! Even the most die-hard fashionistas find themselves musing about “the best little sandwiches and those little candied things at Thakoon last year.” Once I remembered the real reason I was back there, I asked a stripe-clad and incredibly calm Thakoon to enlighten me on the inspiration behind his fall collection. His buzzwords were waist and texture, two exquisite fall fashion words in my book. I pressed further about the drool-worthy finale dress that was being fitted earlier and he said he wanted “a New Year’s Day dress, where she is coming home from the celebration the next morning and all the tulle and sequins from the night’s party have just stuck to her!” Now if only I can greet next year wearing that dress!

BEAUTY TIP: Press-on nails are back! Try risky color combos since they are easy to pop off.

Check back soon for the backstage scoop at Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors.

--Joyann King, Elle.com

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