Fashion Week - Fall 09

Tuesday, December 29th 2009

Evolution of a Silhouette: Fashion’s Relaxed Approach

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“Get them tight. They stretch.” This oft-repeated tidbit of premium denim fit advice could go double-duty as the style directive of the past decade, an era that brought us not only painted-on, low-rise women’s jeans, but also a term coined to describe their downside: “muffin top.” And it wasn’t just designer denim that fit like a second skin. The early Aughts saw Juicy Couture velour hoodies, James Perse tees, and Theory sweaters downsized to the point where they appeared to have been filched from a fifth-grader’s closet. (It’s no coincidence Pilates also gained popularity during this time.)

But fashion is fueled by change, and the shift to more androgynous looks and unstructured silhouettes we’ve seen over the last few seasons (witness Current/Elliott's game-changing boyfriend jeans or celebrities snapping up KAIN Label slouchy tees) signaled that a more relaxed approach was taking hold, an offhand brand of sexiness was capturing our imaginations. It reached critical mass on the fall 2009 runways where ADAM by Adam Lippes showed a shoulder-baring sweatshirt over a sweeping gown, Thakoon paired a boyfriend blazer with sequined harem pants, and Alexander Wang put his modern femme fatale muse in an oversized button-down that brought to mind a man without a shirt.

But this isn’t to say the relaxed look owes everything to the runway. On the streets today girls are styling sweatpants with heels in a canny repurposing of a sporty classic. (I’m a huge fan.) What’s next? Spring 2010 promises a soft pant that I’m betting will be the heir apparent to the must-have harem.

--Maureen

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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

Friday, February 20th 2009

dress into the future

“Fashion forward” is an elusive concept for many, but with the proliferate effect the Internet has on fashion (along with everything else) we can all stay as close to the edge as ever. We no longer have to wait months to know what designers and buyers have been scheming about. In a few short clicks, we can jump into the fashion future!

Whether you consider yourself fashion forward, fashion now, or fashion backwards, now’s the time to get a running start on fall’s top trends spotted on the runways. Here’s how:

 

Channeling early Madonna, this look is so fun to accessorize with chains, belts, rosary necklaces, and punky glam earrings. Who wants to wait until fall to play with this? Not me! These six pieces let you do it now.

1. S.W.O.R.D Padua Leather Jacket
2. TOM BINNS Dumont Noir Fluorescent Earrings
3. L.A.M.B. Lolita Dress
4. Givenchy Crisscross Ankle Cuff Sandal Booties
5. Elegantly Waisted Eva Chain Belt
6. Falke Net Thigh High Tights


 

This trend has been emerging over the past two seasons or so, but this fall it seems designers are really getting comfortable with using nudes and flesh tones as passengers in the vehicle of bold colors and interesting silhouettes, or layering different shades of them for a rich, creamy effect. Get the look now with these three pieces.

1. Brian Reyes Shingle Skirt
2. Haute Hippie Jersey Tank with Necklace
3. Pour La Victoire Aaliyah Posted Strappy Sandals


 

Cutouts, they’re not just for shoes anymore! (Though they’re still there, too.) We’ve been seeing this all over the fall runways. Alexander Wang, VPL, Thakoon, Vena Cava—the list goes on.
Shredded leggings are big news for fall, but you can get them now.

1. Alexander Wang Silk Sweatshirt with Cutouts
2. Givenchy Cutout Open Toe Ankle Booties
3. Alexander Wang Cutout Dress

--Morgan

Friday, February 20th 2009

backstage at ny fashion week

Backstage Entrance Warning: “May spot Hooter’s girls & models eating cupcakes!”

I’m Joyann King, Backstage Correspondent for Elle.com, and I’ll be sharing my hairspray-covered Fashion Week musings right here, where, yes, models do eat and “No Smoking” signs are dispensable.

It’s day four of covering the backstage circuit and I have become part an eccentric family made of up of reporters, their notepads, accent-laden hair, makeup artists with cooler-than-thou names (Odile, Eugene, Orlando), and nerdy “Is that the new Nikon?” photographers and cameramen—where one goes we all go. My new scene is a much-needed reminder that Fashion Week is not just parades of pretty little things in chic dress, but a symphony of talent—designers, producers, beauty, press, photographers, and models all working to inspire us and bring fashion to life.


 
Model street style where a leather jacket is a staple.

Rag & Bone
The ultimate in cool, David Neville and Marcus Wainwright (my heart be still!) by far have the chillest backstage—no drama, no headsets, and an endless supply of Peroni. Proving that boys will be boys, David told me their urban warrior-esque collection was inspired by a recent trip to Japan and their love for samurai swords, while Marcus multitasked by posing for pictures while talking on his Blackberry. David’s beautiful wife and talented makeup artist, Gucci Westman, taught me how to “stain” lips for the coveted I’m-not-wearing-lipstick-this-is-just-my-natural-color effect. We were interrupted every so often by Gucci and David’s little boy Dash who was sporting a top hat and looking oh-so-very Rag & Bone. After a quick pan down the chairs in hair for a Sasha, Stam, Coco, Lili, Isabeli sandwich, I am sure I will never need to eat supermodel again! Transport me to the front row where Jimmy Fallon put the words in my mouth when he described these guys as “Bone-y, but never Rag-y.” Well said.

BEAUTY TIP: For dewy runway skin try a moisturizing mask and instead of going to bed after, go out!

 
Last minute instructions from Mr. Wang. I heart his jeans.

Alexander Wang
Arriving backstage at Roseland Ballroom eager to catch a first glimpse at what I will surely be blowing the budget on come fall, I am greeted with the all-too-familiar smell of wings (I am from Texas!). I follow my nose and find Hooter’s girls working the catering corner. It seems Hooter’s was so thrilled that Alexander Wang chose their joint to celebrate at last season that they decided to sponsor his next show. The poor Hooter’s girls weren’t used to being ignored for slews of Icelandic models, but Fashion Week is no place to flaunt a great set of you-know-whats. Bypassing the wings, I grab a quick lesson from makeup artist extraordinaire, Dick Page, on how to use black eyeliner as a shadow around the lips. I personally think this could be a disaster waiting to happen, but Dick’s steady hand and convincing finished pout had me mentally sharpening my eye pencil.

During the walk-through (where models are still in their street clothes) I felt like I got a secret fashion show. These ladies make leggings, leather, flannel, even a paper sack look cool! I asked Alex if “Welcome to the Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses, which was blaring backstage on repeat, foreshadowed what we were going to be seeing and he said he wants his girl to feel “strong, carnivorous, and savage!” I’m working on it, Alex.

Beauty Tip: Use black eyeliner on your lips to add depth—be subtle and blend!

Check back soon for backstage scoop at DVF and Thakoon!

--Joyann King, Elle.com

Thursday, February 19th 2009

kate, the sartorialist & style.com

Our very own fashion director, Kate, was snapped on the streets of NYC by the Sartorialist! Check her out (fifth picture down) here.

Thursday, February 19th 2009

erin wasson x rvca


Looks from Erin Wasson's collection for RVCA.

Let me be blunt: I am obsessed with Erin Wasson. She's not only beautiful (a model who has appeared in Balenciaga and Revlon campaigns), but her tomboy/sexy/rocker style is insanely cool and she’s Alexander Wang's buddy/muse. Well, now Wasson is offering up her fashion skills to us, launching both a jewelry line, LowLuv, which accessorized Wang's shows in the past, and a new clothing line, a collaboration with skate and surf label, RVCA. And guess what? Shopbop is getting both!

Last night Morgan, Pa (SB assistant stylist), Joyann (watch for her guest post tomorrow!), and I went over to Milk Studios for the presentation of the Erin Wasson x RVCA collection, which was, in Wasson style, a full-on party. The entrance looked like a club with a long line, rather than an art gallery space. Once we got in we enjoyed seeing Erin running around looking gorgeous in all black and leopard shoes. Alex Wang was there, smiley as always, and the models were rocking the looks. The pieces are those perfect updated basics that make your look instantly cool. My favorite is the oversized white T-shirt that says “IF YOU AIN'T COWBOY, YOU AINT SH-T,” which seems to speak to the vibe of the whole collection.

We captured some photos while sipping on 100-proof vodka (one sip was plenty), tried to meet Erin (she was preoccupied), and went home for some sleep before another day of running around in heels.

Erin Wasson x RVCA and LowLuv will hit the site this September, so make sure you're doing the What's New check around that time!

--Kate

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