FASHION NOW: ANATOMY OF A FASHION SHOW

imageWho says you can’t go home again…….I’m back…..yes, you heard correctly, I have been asked to work on fashion shows for Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago and I am thrilled to do so.  My first return show was for a private client at a luncheon at the newely redone Ritz Carlton Chicago (I’ll post about the hotel another time!)  I thought it might be amusing to walk you through the steps in fashion show prep or Fashion Show 101, the way I do it!

First of all this was a pull from stock not an all one designer show so I could have a bit of fun with it.  The first thing you must think about is who you are showing to, fashion shows, after all, are presented to sell.  That might not be an immediate reaction of the audience but you want to intice your guests into the store to see what else is on offer.

I really can’t give you my thoughts on exactly what I pull or my thoughts behind why I select one look over another I guess it is gut reaction.  I most often go with a color theme and, of course, feature the trends of the season we are in, not an easy thing this time of the year since so much is on sale (lucky consumers….you get major deals!) but I found wonderful late fall and cruise looks.

My first step was working with Bridget Halanski, Director of Runway at FactorChosen, Chicago to select the ten models and make arrangemenets for the 5 dressers.  Having done that and gotten their comps I was off and running.  I met with catering at the hotel to see where we would be dressing and the room where the show would be held.

Next step was to pull the show, I made arrangements with my assistant for the week, the delightful Executive Office Manager, Bryant Woodson, Jr., who served as my right hand for prep and the show and who, by the way, had been one of my students at Columbia College Chicago in my Fashion Show Production class….a very small world! We met at 8:00 the Monday before the show…I got to the staff entrance and stood at the door in disbelief….there is a security keypad and guess what I didn’t have the code!  I also didn’t have the phone number for the AP office so I stood there for a couple of minutes and finally got to my senses and knocked and called out “Hello”….I was, obviously, let in by TaJ’ae Robinson and proceeded to the Designer Collections on the Second Floor to begin the fun part…The Pull!!!!  I do pull quickly and did so this time as well.  The garments were placed on rolling racks and taken to my office (don’t you love it I have an office!!!!)  I decided on four exits (don’t ask me why they are called exits but that is “fashionese”) forty outfits in all.

imageHere is some of the pull.  I wanted to do day into evening in color groupings and start and end with black, white and red.  Several trends I included were trench coats, moto jacket, shearing, some pink (see above), blue, glitz, etc.  All themes we saw in the extensive posts I did on the four major fashion markets a few weeks ago.  At the moment clothes are easy to understand not too much gimmick but very wearable, elegant looks. After the pull I met with the Beauty Collections Manager, Kristina Gutierrez to discuss the look I wanted for the models….bold red lip and smoky eye.  She arranged for several artists to do the models at the Store (they did their own low bun) and I must say they did a perfect job, exactly as I had envisioned!

imageI do the run of show (which is tranlated into a list for the attendees of the show and was printed in house) and then break it down by model to make it easy when the clothes are bagged and taken to the site.  I then went to 10022 Shoes to choose from the unbelievable selection, my oh my oh my, what a collection of shoes at SFA Chicago!  My new thing (and by the way I have been doing shows since I “retired” 8 years ago) is having the models carry one shoe that I have selected for that particular outfit.  It is much easier for the audience to see the shoe and easy to do, works well, in my opinion. The models wear their own shoes.

I was done…I left the next morning for my Thanksgiving feast marathon and returned the night before the show….loved that I didn’t have to scan (list the merchandise) change the hangers, remove the sensors, put everything in garment bags nor accompany the truck to the Ritz…I felt like a princess…..The truck came on time to the hotel and the garments were brought to the dressing room area where I had prepped the racks.  All that was left to do was unpack and place the exits on each models rack (two to a rack), easy.  My long time assistant, Alberta Dean, arrived and started steaming the garments…I really can’t do a show without her she has been with me for a zillion years (35!) and I don’t have to tell her what to do she just does it!  Yay, Alberta!

The show was flat on the floor with a white runner and I had at least 2 models out at a time worked well.  The music had already been selected.

imageI place the comps at the top of the racks so the models can easily find their spaces.  I line up left to right and let the dresses undo the clothes so they are familiar with them. shoes go underneath the garments and handbags were placed on the hangersimageThe item you see on the top right of the rack is a model hood, which I always have in my bag of tricks, it is a huge necessity when pulling clothes over your head (get one for yourself at Sally’s or on line!)  I put the moto jacket over the gold sequin dress, funky fun!

The models arrived show ready and early, I reviewed the garments with each model and we decided on shoes from their model bags. They had plenty of time to relax, text, chat, whatever, before showtime.  Of course, all goes in reverse after the show…clothes are zipped, buttoned, rebagged, picked up, and returned to the store.

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imageThe Crew….Nena, Alberta, Katie Stickles, Stylist Manager, Megan Henry, Assistant Stylist Manager, Bryant and TaJ’ae they were all amazing, I don’t know when I have had so much support doing a show…kudos to all!

imageFirst exits in show order I have already posted this on Instagram and Facebook and the finale photo as well, but didn’t take any more shots of the show, difficult with you are in the middle of senidng models.  Bryant sent them to me, he has the run of show in his hand in the photo.

imageThe finale.

imageI thought it would be amusing to show you a photo from a show’s finale, probably early 1960’s, at the Hilton (I have done more shows at the Hilton than any other venue, I also did the first show at the Ritz Carlton when it first opened!)  You will notice the politically incorrect item the models are holding in their hands….packages of cigarettes!  The show was for a tobacco convention!  Wow have times changed but we still want to see wonderful clothes on lovely models and Saks Fifth Avenue continues to be on the cutting edge of style….fun to be back doing what I love to do!  Stay tuned……..there maybe more…….

 

 

 

 

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: FASHION FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Rather than doing a review this week, I wanted to give you some recommendations on outstanding fashion books that have come out this year along with a couple other book thoughts for gift giving for your fashion friends and, of course, for yourself.  2017 has been an extremely good year for fashion titles and I am listing them in no particular order….here goes…..

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imageimageThe first three volumes in the series of designers for the House of Dior, the first, of course, Christian Dior.  Absolutely magnificent and our very own Costume Collection at the Chicago History Museum is represented!

imageI have been an admirer of Siriano’s work since he appeared on Project Runway!  His “fierce” style has just gotten better and better.  It was my pleasure to welcome him to Saks Fifth Avenue Chicago on November 13, 2009, with one of his first Collections and I interviewed him later for a President’s Club event at Columbia College Chicago.  He was my last personal appearance at Saks, that is the day I retired!  When I have seen him over the years, he always says, “I was your last designer!”

imageBy now you probably know I am obsessed with anything Dries Van Noten…here a two-volume set of his collections, it must be brilliant! Can’t wait to add them to my library.

imageOne of several books that accompanied museum exhibitions…this one at the Met, as always exquisitely done!

imageThe book that accompanies the exhibition that is currently at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Several of my friends have seen it and say it is a superb exhibition.  I can’t find it on Amazon, only on the Museum’s website if you are interested in it.

imageFrom the Museum of Modern Art in New York featuring their first fashion exhibition (I swear I have seen fashion exhibits there in years gone by, I guess not!)

imageA wonderful anthology on the long-running Bazaar.

imageThis looks amazing…a must add to your fashion library….

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And speaking of fashion photography…one of the first was Cecil Beaton and this book accompanies the film by Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who gave us The Eye Has To Travel about her grandmother-in-law, Diana Vreeland.  You know that I am mad for anything Beaton does…anxious to read this and see the documentary.

imageimageAnd speaking of DV, the man who worked with her at Bazaar and Vogue and who we immediately think of when we think fashion photography…Richard Avedon, he, of course, did much more than fashion (as did most of the “fashion” photographers) and the second book, Avedon Something Personal, goes deep into his life.  There was a fascinating review in last week’s weekend Wall Street Journal…does not paint a pretty picture, well let’s judge for ourselves, shall we!

imageThere has been so much type re this scathing “diary” that it has put it on the New York Times Best Seller List and every other book list out there. Brown, known for not pulling punches, has done it again and it is another I can’t wait to get my hands on.  Probably shouldn’t be on my fashion book list, but most certainly a book that chronicles social mores.

imageAnother one out in left field but sounds fascinating….

As usual, do let me know what you have read, your thoughts on which, if any, appeal to you and then we can compare notes.  Happy reading!

 

 

WEDNESDAY MUSINGS: A POLL

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I have been asked why I’m not doing HOW TO DRESS posts (I’m not even going to put an age here, find it unnecessary!)….when I began nenasnotes a year ago it was my intention not to do make-overs, street fashion, and most certainly no selfies!!!!  By now you know my background is retail and dressing clients on a regular basis, which I still do along with closet cleansing, personal shopping and general “how to pull yourself together” physically, not emotionally, but don’t they go hand in hand, I tend to think so.  Dressing well is not an age, size, gender nor need it be economically challenging.

Since this question is coming up more often I thought it might be interesting to take a poll and see what you would like me to do.  I would do make-overs or suggested ways to dress and do make-up, hair, etc. once or twice a month.  I have a couple of thoughts on how to do these posts with a twist.  I would be most appreciative of your comments….yay or nay….use the comment area below to let me know your thoughts or you can answer me on Facebook or Linkedin.   I am most appreciative of your support, thank you!

imageI think I have posted this wonderful Norman Rockwell drawing before but it is one of my favorites, so much so it is the screen saver on my iPad!

Both images from Pinterest, credit unknown.

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: THE PARIS SPY

imageI have been a fan of Susan Elia MacNeal since her first novel featuring our heroine, Maggie Hope, Mr. Churchill’s SecretaryThe Paris Spy was a bit heavier than her previous books and perhaps this wasn’t the time for me to read it.  It has been very gloomy in Chicago the past couple of weeks and this did not lift my mood.  That being said, it is well written, the research extensive and I greatly appreciated the addition of the books MacNeal consulted and has listed for us, for my TBR list.

We find Maggie in Paris waiting to start her assignment, as an undercover agent, from the British.  We are in the midst of the Nazi occupation of France.  Maggie has gone to France to find an operative, who hasn’t been heard from, and her half-sister, having bought her way out of a concentration camp, has gone missing.  She, of course, is on assignment to gather as much intelligence as possible and report back to London.  Her cover is that of an Irish socialite (Ireland was neutral during WWII) in Paris for her trousseau for her upcoming wedding and when “her” Louis Vuitton trunk arrives, at her safe house, she changes into her Chanel Couture (of course she does!) and goes to the Ritz, which, as we all know, is a Nazi stronghold. As she is registering at the Hotel she encounters none other than Gabrielle, Coco, Chanel who takes her under her wing.  (It seems that the last few books I have read and reviewed have referenced either Christian Dior or Chanel.)  Chanel takes Maggie, aka Paige Kelly, under her wing and actually to the ballet that evening where two of Maggie’s friends, Hugh, a former lover and his new amour, Sabine, are performing.  After the performance, they go to Maxim’s and the plot thickens. During the evening Chanel discusses her feeling for the Nazis among other things, quite shocking (read Sleeping with The Enemy: Coco Chanel, Nazi Agent by Hal Vaughan and come to your own conclusions!)  I am making it sound very glamorous, it is anything but.  The story is brutal not only in the devastating occupation of France and the humiliation of the Parisians but in the actual brutality of the captors with their “guests” thankfully we are spared the worst of it, but still hard to read.

Will Maggie/Paige find who she is looking for, will we learn who the double agent is (he sides with the Germans because he “prefers Fascism to Communism” what a choice, who would want either!!!!)  The heroes of the story are the women who see things are not what they seem in transcriptions and report them only to be ignored…seriously…and they are very strong women to be sure, some things don’t change do they!.

Two passages I wanted to comment on…the first is Chanel’s remarks on page 204 Maggie has attended the Nina Ricci Couture show and encounters Chanel as both are coming back to the Ritz.  Chanel asks Maggie how she enjoyed the presentation to which Maggie responds: “I liked the red especially, but someone with my coloring (she is a redhead) really can’t wear that color.”  Chanel: “Yes, I heard there was a lot of red—and sable.  And the wedding dress?”  Maggie:  “Beautiful.  But it might be a bit much for me.  Perhaps an ivory silk suit might be better for these times.”  Chanel:  “Nonsense! We must embrace excess—especially these days!  We’re dancing on the edge of a volcano, after all…..”   Interesting ñ’est pas!

The second refers to using actors, decorators, and designer, all in the US Army, to build “fake” tanks and other equipment to fool the Nazis into thinking the Allies were where they weren’t…see pages 206-207.  This is what Bill Blass did during the war. He told me about it and said it was a great pleasure to be able to divert the German army by creating “stage sets”.  See his autobiography Bare Blass for further details on this operation.

This book gave me more information on the British spy system used during WWII than I knew or suspected and I must say I definitely didn’t expect the ending…obviously there is more to Maggie’s story to be told!  Let’s see what MacNeal has in store in book 8, I for one will be eagerly awaiting it.

 

 

FASHION FLASHBACK/FASHION NOW: CAROLINA HERRERA

imageAs you know I have had the incredible pleasure of working with many, many designers and lifestyle personalities over my many years at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago.  Among my favorites was (and is!) Carolina Herrera.  Not only an extremely talented designer but probably, even more importantly, one off the nicest people you can meet in or out of the world of fashion!  I had the privilege of working with her on several occasions over the 36 years of her career (the House of Herrera celebrated their 35th Anniversary in 2016). The photos above were a part of my desinger wall in my office they are now housed in the Nena Ivon Collection in the Archives and Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago.  Two weren’t glazed so you see a vintage look to them which I find charming.  I have never seen a bad photo of Carolina.  She would sign a new one each time she visited. She is a photographers dream and has been shot by the best including our own genius Victor Skrebneski, the remarkable Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol to name a few.  Every artist has used her as their muse and one of my personal favorites is David Downton’s piece he did for her SCAD exhibition. I really want a portrait by him…follow his Instagram posts… I would show them to you but I would probably be sued for copyright violations so please go online and enjoy them for yourself.

imageHad to do this…the truly exquisite Carolina Herrera in front of the iconic Warhol piece.

Carolina was “discovered” by Diana Vreeland who admired her personal style (Carolina was on the Best Dressed List long before she started her business and she and her husband, Reinaldo, were/are in the heart of the International social scene)  and encouraged her to start designing, again Diana was correct with her discriminating eye and we all have been able to enjoy and wear the glamour and excitement of Carolina Herrera since 1981.

imageimageimageDiana Vreeland and Carolina in the top photo and two pieces from her first collection…I was there and it was amazingly beautiful.  Her evening gowns were and are the elegant way to look at any formal occasion and her day pieces are timeless as well.

imageimageTwo Monographs, you know me and books especially on fashion….the top title published in 2016 to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Carolina Herrera. 

imageAt her perfume launch

imageI know I have posted this photo before but why not again….four of our visiting designers at the Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago Place opening party September 1990.  Left to right, Adolfo, Carolina, Pauline Trigère and Bob Mackie.  I’m on the left and Beverly Blettner, the event chair, is pictured on the right. I have another version of this photo (which I can’t locate, sorry) that has Adolfo and Carolina laughing…the photographer had asked if they were married, don’t know why the question was asked but it broke up all the designers!

imageAt the Fashion Group International Chicago www.chicago.fgi.org Gala when Carolina was presented with their Night of Stars Designer of the Year Award 2004.  It was at the Ritz Carlton Chicago.  At that event, she asked me how long have we worked together, both our responses were, “since the beginning”!  Her latest award from all her Chicago admirers was this Spring when she received the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum’s www.chicagohistory.org Designer of Excellence Award.  I must add we have lovely representation of the House of Herrera in the Costume Collection. The above three photos are from the Nena Ivon Collection in the College Archives and Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago  wwwdigitalcommons@colum.edu

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I featured a couple of pieces from the Carolina Herrera Spring 2018 Collection in my posts on New York Fashion Week….let’s look at a couple more that were my favorites.  The Collection was shown in the Museum of Modern Art’s Garden a first for MOMA and for Herrera and it won’t be the last they plan on showing there for the next few seasons, the Collections have been shown at The Frick Museum the past few seasons.

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And here is your personal invitation to see the Resort and Spring 2018 Collections…I would suggest you take advantage of this opportunity to see these treasures in person and find something special to add to your wardrobe.image

imageCarolina today in her signature white shirt, let’s look forward to many more years with this creator’s truly glorious garments!

In closing I want to direct you to the Carolina Herrera website, www.carolinaherrera.com it is extraordinary and you will learn much more about this unique talent that I have had the great privileged to have had in my fashion life!

ALL PHOTOS UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED ARE FROM PINTEREST PHOTO CREDIT UNKNOWN

TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS, AS ALWAYS ALL THOUGHTS ARE MINE AND I AM NOT COMPENSATED BY THE BRANDS I AM CURRENTLY DISCUSSING.

IN YESTERDAY’S HALLOWEEN POST STEPHANIE LAKE’S WEBSITE WAS NOT CLEAR THE CORRECT INFORMATION IS www.stephanielakedesign.com MY APOLOGIES TO STEPHANIE!!

 

SPRING 2018 FASHION ROUND UP

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After critiquing a month of the four major Fashion Markets and over 500 shows (!) let’s look at what I saw as the trends….I love reading all the experts views…it seems everyone is looking at the same shows but seeing different trends, I must admit Spring 2018 was filled with great variety. Variety of new designers of established Brands, emerging creators, new faces and sizes on the catwalks, extreme diversity of venues and on and on.  I’ll try to break it all down to my point of view after all that is that this blog is all about….

THE NEWS STORIES:

  • Interesting venues, such as in front of the Eiffel Tower, in the lower level of the Louvre, on the Streets of New York, next to a major waterfall, and on and on
  • Many designers featured both their Women’s and Men’s Collections together a trend we are seeing more and more of
  • Designers showing in cities other than their own such as Tommy Hilfiger
  • Several designers acknowledged that not all women are a size 0, one of the best at this, in my opinion, is Christian Siriano
  • The new model in all the markets…Kaia Gerber, whose professionalism for someone so young is to be admired.  Loved when Mom, Cindy, was in the Versace show as well as in many of the audiences
  • Many, many changes of designers with major Brands, some worked others didn’t
  • Fascinating finales, again, in my opinion, more than in past seasons.  A recap of some of my favorites are pictured below Saint Laurent, Thom Browne, Dolce & Gabbana  and, of course, Versace

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imageThe finale to end all finales…..brilliant!

WHAT I FOLLOWED AS TRENDS:

  • Trench coats
  • Vinyl, patent leather, leather
  • Stripes
  • Denim
  • Shorts teamed with blazers
  • Bold color especially Chrome yellow, red and vibrant blue
  • The black dress
  • All shades of pink
  • Bold prints, especially at Comme des Garçons
  • Flowery prints
  • Embellishment
  • Feathers and fringes
  • Bold shoulders
  • Gloves
  • Shoes, shoes, shoes of all shapes and sizes from stilettos to sneakers with everything from daywear to elaborate evening gowns and thongs with everything as well, but the stand out to me were sandals and socks (light in weight!) and high boots for Springimageimageimage

 

The Trench…

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The Black Dress…

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The Pinks…

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The Bold Prints…

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I could go on and on but you will need to review the past posts to find more of my picks.  You are going to ask what my favorite Collections were…hard to single out just a few but here goes and not in any order other than my most favorite was…

  • Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, I felt she has finally done her own thing
  • Fenty + Puma for its happiness
  • Alexander Wang for it’s staging on the streets of New York
  • Ralph Lauren because for me it’s always Ralph Lauren’s classic look and shown with his vintage cars what could be bad
  • I pretty much liked most of London, but would single out Burberry
  • Versace, of course, for it’s ode to Gianni
  • Armani and Fendi, always
  • Ferretti for feminity
  • A turn for the Brands that we all know…Ferragamo, Missoni, Etro let’s watch them
  • Ah Paris…a brilliant start with Saint Laurent in front of a glittering Eiffel Tower
  • Chanel, Karl does it again by dramatically chasing waterfalls
  • Dries Van Noten just because…love his designs in clothing, his home and his gardens
  • Loved Thom Browne’s aesthetic
  • I want to keep my eye on Off-White, let’s see where that goes
  • Andrew Gn amazes me every time with his creativity
  • Of course, Comme des Garçons
  • Many more….you know, I do love fashion….

What I will say is that I felt it was one of the strongest spring seasons trendwise in many years.  Lots and lots of new looks to get consumers into the stores, and yes, I’ll even say on line….I just want them to shop.  But that is in the months ahead.  Perhaps this month long journey has whetted your appetite to go shopping, looking at Fall 2017 it is a very exciting trend and classic filled time to treat yourselves… I didn’t mean to leave the gentlemen out, I promise to review the next wave of men’s wear collections…there is just as much news out there for you.

And now back to my regularly scheduled blogs…..please give me your thoughts on what you would like me to cover in the coming months….this coming Friday will be the 1 year anniversary of nenasnotes, I have some new directions to share with you as well as continuing most of my daily posts perhaps with a new twist or two!

 

 

 

 

 

FASHION NOW: SPRING 2018 PART 9 PARIS

imageI have always been a huge fan of Comme Des Garçons and the Spring 2018 Collection, shown in the Russian Embassy in Paris, does not disappoint.  Filled with the creative imagination of Rei Kawakubo the prints take one’s breath away.  I have been talking about shoes throughout all the Collections, again, they are an important element in this collection.  Perhaps something in a new hairdo….yes, I know, outrageous, but they got us talking!  Thought-provoking as always yet elements that break down to be visionary and in the end, wearable!  See below for a couple more of the looks.  No one combines print like CDG!

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Another designer who always pushes the limits is Thom Browne, here is his take on the season and why not lead off your finale with a unicorn…….imageimageimageSome of my trends…chrome yellow, black and white along with an illusion of stripes.

One of my favorites is Andrew Gn, a creative genius, that I have had the pleasure of working with.  His Collections are always filled with his own prints, brilliant color and color combinations, charming must have handbags and jewelry all from his brilliant imagination.  A designer who knows exactly what his client wants and gives it to her. Here are a couple I chose as favorites and that fit into my trend themes for these posts.

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A couple of looks from Miu Miu…do notice the shoes and socks….a major trend…who knew!!!

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Of course Chanel, this time the staging is mammoth waterfalls.  Lots of vinyl/plastic shoes, bags., trench coats and capes, but always you know it is without question Chanel!!!!imageimageimageimageDenim a la LagerfeldimageimageimageBlack shiny trenchimagePale yellow

imagePetal pink.

imageChanel finale on the raised wooden bridge.

One of my most favorite collections….Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen.  Sarah finally coming into her own, a stunning presentation.  Hard-edged feminity with a floral bower for the staging.  Loved it!imageimageimageimageimageimage

imageimageI’m mad for the hair and other accessories and note the beautiful combination of prints, texture, and subtlety of color, divine.image

And to end not only Paris Fashion week but all four of the major markets….Louis Vuitton‘s, Nicolas Ghesquière chose the temple like “catacombs” of the Louve!  Spectacular to say the least!  Viva la mode!!!!

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You can go to YouTube to view many of the full shows from all four markets.

 

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS: THE DESIGNER

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I thought The Designer would be a perfect read for the end of Paris Fashion Week(s) and I wasn’t wrong.  The designer in the title is Christian Dior before he became “Christian Dior”!  Our protagonist is Copper Reilly, an American newlywed, who arrives in Paris just after the liberation.  Realizing she has made a mistake in her marriage she immediately demands a separation, alone she finds a new friend in a designer who is working with a well-established couturier, Lucien Lelong, that gentle man is Christian Dior.  Copper begins to photograph and write about what she sees happening to the female collaborators, takes photos of them and sends her story off to Harper’s Bazaar and the then editor, Carmel Snow, accepts it and prints it.  This illustrious editor has her French contact, a Russian Count, get in touch with Copper to sign a contract, Copper would rather freelance and so begins her journey.  They (Copper and the older Count) meet each week for dinner at the Ritz and Copper becomes independent as well as a respected photojournalist.  Of course, there is a romance or two, many interesting characters, all rather bohemian, and perhaps a bit predictable but fun. As she progresses so does Dior and the book takes us to the monumental fashion world changing 1947 debut of the House of Dior!

What I particularly liked was our author’s authenticity about the rise of Dior and the other characters of the fashion world immediately following WW II.  I really loved all the detail about one of my favorite pieces of fashion history the Théâtre de la Mode.  I did a nenasnotes post on it several months ago, on March 31, 2017, to be exact. Other than the film that was made about it (you can view it on YouTube) and the book on it I haven’t seen any other documentation and was thrilled to see it incorporated into a novel.

By now you know I love a novel that combines fact with fiction and this one does it extremely well.  Is it major literature, most certainly not but an enjoyable read none the less.  I haven’t read any of Marius Gabriel’s other works (and he writes under several pseudonyms) but I plan on doing so.  Would I recommend it, indeed I would, especially if you are into fashion, what was happening in the industry after the War, and the beginnings of one of the most important of all the fashion houses, Christian Dior!

 

FASHION NOW: SPRING 2018 PART 8 PARIS

imageHow appropriate that Off-White‘s Founder and Creative Director, Virgil Abloh, will be making a special personal appearance at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago on Thursday, October 5th with his Fall 2017 Men’s and Women’s Collections. He has just shown his Spring 2018 Collection, an ode to Princess Diana, in Paris.  Be among the first to shop the exclusive capsule collection, “SHOCK WAVES” and experience “LAST DANCE” the new visual installation designed by Virgil Abloh himself.  This is the first-ever PA with Virgil Abloh among Saks Fifth Avenue’s fleet of locations.  The event will be from 6 to 7 and is open to the public!!!!  WOW!! Be sure this is on your calendar for a special go-to event.

Now let’s take a look at what Off-White looks like for Spring 2018.

imageContinuing a theme we are seeing. particularly in the Paris shows, the emphasis on the shoulder.  And, of course, black and white.

imageMore bold shoulder and denim, of course.

imageOne of the colors for Spring 2018, bold pink paired with silvery tulle.

imageThe glamour of black with two of the hot accessories we are seeing in all collections, gloves and interesting shoes….

imageObviously black and white but more importantly another trend the romantic “prom dress”.

imageThe Finale

imageVirgil Abloh with Naomi Campbell who ended the show.

Two designers who are always on the cutting edge of fashion….Rick Owens and John Galliano for Maison Margiela.  Both always intrigue us with their vision and forward-thinking creativity.  To me, it is like art you either like it or you don’t that is the challenge of interpreting fashion and the question, to my mind’s eye, remains do we need to demystify it at all!  In my opinion, and that is the only one I can give you, is there are ideas to take away from each of the collections we see each season.

Rick Owens has a very special aesthetic, for Spring 2018 you will see a continuing of his manipulation of fabric to form the garments, truly ingenious.

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In John Galliano’s hands, Maison Margiela has become even more modern and for spring 2018 he showed many variations on the trench coat along with other trends.

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imageimageimageA fantastically creative collection with so much to inspire us.

The Kenzo look has evolved over the years but it hasn’t lost its Asian tradition.

imagePrints…always!

imageimageKimono-inspired denim, love this!

Interesting article, The Design Companies Conquering New Ground, in last Sunday’s New York Times T Magazine.  One of the furniture companies featured was Roche Bobois, and the founder of Kenzo, Kenzo Takada, is designing a new collection for this established French line.  When he left his namesake company (and yes, I did work with him back in the day, actually I did a nenasnotes post on that experience) he became a super fine artist, his paintings are fabulous.  The next step for him was to do fabrics to cover some of the companies iconic furniture pieces.  He, of course, looked to the kimono for inspiration for the fabrics and a selection of pottery.

imageKenzo Takada in his Paris apartment T Magazine photo by Bea De Giacomo

imageBalmain Spring 2018 by Olivier Rousteing, the stage for the show at the baroque Opera Garnier.

A few of the 82-look collection worn by Rousteing’s supermodel friends and not a Kardashian or Jenner in sight!

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All photos from Pinterest credits unknown unless otherwise noted.

 

FASHION NOW: SPRING 2018 PART 7 PARIS

imageWe have come to our final destination for our Spring 2018 Fashion Weeks….Paris and so far it hasn’t disappointed!  Lots of trends, lots of new venues and designers with established Houses.  Let’s take a look at several of the Brands I always follow, no new ones here but the current designers are looking to the originators for their inspiration…

Saint Laurent chose to do their show in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower…wow, could anything be more French….having Dior and Saint Laurent on the same day to me is quite ironic since Yves Saint Laurent was Dior’s Assistant and the person M. Dior chose to succeed him.  We will look at Dior next.

imageThe catwalk and seating, amazing!

imageOne of the trends that has been in almost all collections from New York to Paris, the broad shoulder influenced by the 1980’s and to think Dynasty is being given a new life in a new TV series….interesting.  This looks very YSL with the twist of the feather boot.  I quite like them.

imageimageTwo more looks straight out of the Saint Laurent archives, the deep plunge neckline and tight accented waist and the bold pink “ruffle” bodice with black…note the shoe and the boot, as I have mentioned in the last 6 posts, footwear is what is happening, without question…lots and lots of new looks to add to our wardrobes.

imageimageimageThe Saint Laurent version of the LBD!

imageThe Saint Laurent finale.

The House of Christian Dior is celebrating its 70th year with major exhibitions, books by the score and a stunning new collection by its first female designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Spring 2018 kicked off the Paris Collections and her theme was women in art and saluted Niki de Saint Phalle’s art.  The show took place in the gardens of the Musée Rodin and the stage had 80,000 pieces of mirror 7.2 tons of concrete, a workforce of 80 and 20 days to complete….I’m sure it was spectacular…here is a partial view of the masterpiece.

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imageStripes, denim, messages on tees. First Exit!

imageDenim with wool fringe, love this look, fresh, on trend.

imageBlack and white leather with color accents with a tulle skirt, of course, to be worn with a lining but I really like the juxtaposition of hard chic with the tulle skirt.

imageThe 2018 version of the Bar jacket topping another tulle skirt with Niki’s art applique.

imageOne of the colors for Spring 2018, red here in leather and knits, two more of the trends we have seen in all the markets.

imageChrome and stripes.

imagePink spangles.

imageThis, to me, is very Christian Dior, classic yet modern, a forever dress and making it even more “now” worn with flats!

imageLanvin show at the Grand Palais the first collection by Artistic Director Olivier Lapidus who has plans to turn the oldest continuing House into “a French Michael Kors”.  The House has been in decline since the departure of the talented Elber Albaz.

imageOne of the colors of the Spring 2018 season.

imageAnd red….again note the footwear.

One of my favorite designers is Dries Van Noten, his combination of color and prints is always imaginative and thought-provoking.  Here are a couple of looks from his Collection.

imageimageimageStripes one of my major trends for Spring 2018 along with chrome yellow.

imageimageThe LBD Dries style.

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