The Philadelphia CollectionSeptember 28, 2010
Philadelphia is a city often noted for its arts scene, but not necessarily in the fashion realm. It is so close to New York, a lot of people in the industry question why a new (or established) designer would choose to show or set up shop in the smaller metro. An increasing number of Philadelphia organizations are seeking to answer that question with exciting events to help designers grow their businesses and fashion fans to get what they need right here at home.
Philadelphia already has two fashion week events. One is organized by FBH The Agency, a local modeling agency that is a very active player in the Philly fashion scene, and one organized by an independent Philadelphia Fashion Week organization to give local designers a venue to show their collections.
[The Philadelphia Collection is announced at The Piazza at Schmidt's.]
Now, there’s The Philadelphia Collection, a series of events much more focused on local retailers which aims to get the Philadelphia fashion community out shopping, much like Fashion’s Night Out does around the world. Philadelphia does participate in Fashion’s Night Out as well, at the King of Prussia Mall (read about this year’s event here), but The Philadelphia Collection is focused on the city and its boutiques and offers a lot of ways for the fashion community to get together and attract shoppers.
The events began September 22 with a Girl’s Night Out at Joan Shepp, a leader in local fashion retail, as well as a kick off party at luxury space 10 Rittenhouse for Philadelphia Collection organizers, participants and media. Great fashion shows, parties, and exhibits are happening throughout the city through October 2.
Tonight, Sept. 28, is Phashion Phest, where student designers will have displays, area salons will present a hair show and retailers will participate in a runway show. More information and tickets are available here. Tomorrow night, Macy’s Center City holds their Fall Fashion Show hosted by photographer and America’s Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker, and later on the Rittenhouse Row Fall Gathering will feature a fashion show from the retailers in this tony shopping district at the Comcast Center. On Saturday one of the culminating events will be FBH The Agency’s Fashion and Style Fashion Show Mixer at Banana Republic. Independent fashion designers will show their collections. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Other events are happening all over at retailers like Anthropologie and Nicole Miller and arts organizations like The Free Library of Philadelphia. The full listing can be found here.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
Why J. Crew’s The Romantics advertising campaign works better than Banana’s Mad Men campaignAugust 20, 2010
After watching the clip above, a certain demographic of shoppers is definitely going to want to dress like (live like?) these characters. They’re young, they’re affluent but bohemian, they look like they throw a good party. What better group of young A-listers to feature in a stylish ad campaign! And so the J. Crew The Romantics campaign was born.
It reminds me of Banana Republic’s Mad Men Casting Call Contest, which draws viewers to the Banana Republic Web site with spreads of Banana Republic fashions faux-styled to fit the Mad Men aesthetic. It’s a really good idea – Mad Men is huge in fashion. It seems like it would work because yes, you get twin sets and pencil skirts at Banana Republic. But that’s where the meager genius ends. These are simply the usual Banana Republic pencil skirts and twin sets styled in the usual Banana Republic way with pictures of Mad Men characters plastered on the page. The clothing is not particularly inventive or evocative of the 60s era fashions on the show.
The J. Crew campaign, though, features clothing that’s really, really cute. Even if I wouldn’t wear Katie Holmes’ dress with a military shirt, I might wear Katie Holmes’ dress. Ditto but double for the other two outfits, I love when J. Crew does sparkly in a not-necessarily-evening way. It helps that of course The Romantics isn’t as iconic as Mad Men, but you get the sense that the characters really would wear this clothing and certainly shop at J. Crew. By wearing these clothes or copying this styling, you could actually achieve a bit of the clothing style of the film. And so J. Crew succeeded where Banana Republic failed.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
Tribal Societe – Hot Spring Accessories, A Seasonless CauseMarch 23, 2010
Spring is in the air, and the urge to shop is blowing in on that lovely breeze! Give a quick jolt to your still transitioning wardrobe with many ladies’ favorite category – accessories. Tribal Societe just released their spring ’10 look book, and it’s full of fun, colorful pieces. We’ve selected some of our favorites – including a roundup of stunners in spring’s hottest hue – turquoise.
From the delicate and romantic, to the chunky and statement making, there’s a lot of variety to be had in the collection. And it’s not just jewelry, either. Unique and reasonably-priced footwear made by artisans of Thailand will keep you stylish by the pool or pounding the pavement.
But one of the biggest reasons you’ll want to shop Tribal Societe, either on their Web site or at boutiques across the country, is their commitment to selling quality items handcrafted by artisans of tribal villages around the world. No trust fund socialite strung these beads. A portion of all sales goes to the Global Fund for Women which grants money to women’s and humanitarian causes around the globe.
Each piece tells you where it was made, from Ecuador to Brazil to El Salvador. Given the distance many of the items have traveled, as well as the expense of charitable and fair trade initiatives, it’s remarkable the products remain so affordable, few items reach $100.
As the company likes to say, the items where made around the world, but where will you take them?Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Custo BarcelonaFebruary 24, 2010
CLICK IMAGE ABOVE TO START PHOTO GALLERY
Oh, Custo Custo Custo. It was your usual explosion of color and pattern on the Custo Barcelona Fall 2010 runway. Silhouettes were either super tight and sexy, or over-sized and bulky. Fur was used … creatively, as part of everything from color blocking to oversized mufflers over military shirts and feathered plaid minis. (Yes, that’s right.) I can never quite ascertain who the Custo Barcelona customer is. But it certainly isn’t me.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Tony CohenFebruary 24, 2010
Tony Cohen proves my point that it was not the dark color palette that turned me off of Andy & Debb, because here the all black ensembles have interest and texture and everything to intrigue. Sheer sleeves, asymmetrical construction and a somewhat Gothic aesthetic combined for a beautiful collection. Really great coats, too, which you always love to see for Fall. The trends Cohen ascribed to for fall 2010 include the use of sheer panels (mostly sleeves), above-the-elbow leather gloves, and belted natural waists. The pants in this collection weren’t my favorite and the ruching/complicated artful gathering of fabric could get a little old. But all in all a very solid showing.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Leanne MarshallFebruary 17, 2010
With the ethereal romanticism we came to expect of Leanne Marshall on Project Runway, the designer presented her Fall 2010 Collection with the stunning attention to detail that made her a fan favorite. While her designs are very wearable and current, the folds and shapes Marshall crafts into her architectural accents evoke an artistry not seen very often in modern fashion. It feels truly special to view her collection up close and in person.
A color palette of soft ivory, black and rich jewel-tone teal and gray was rendered in satins, knits and wools that look luxe, expensive and decadent for the wearer. A variety of pieces from skirts and sweaters to coats and dresses shows Marshall’s eye towards the consumer, and an awareness that her arty aesthetic could seem museum quality and less than wearable if approached the wrong way. But Marshall’s approach is completely right. A beautiful collection.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Michael AngelFebruary 17, 2010
Michael Angel is another designer who opted to live stream his Fall 2010 show (catch the Ports 1961 video on our blog). But, as always a lot of details are lost on camera. The softness that made the angora wools so pretty and plush, for instance, as well as the complicated laser-cut bonded jersey details. These details worked best for me over the silk wools (some of my favorite looks of the collection), but looked a bit garish when combined with Angel’s digital prints on stretch silk charmeuse and stretch nylon jersey. The stretch looks were definitely only for the model physique, whereas the wood suiting and dresses as well as some other draped silks, would be more flattering on more shapes. It was interesting when fashioned into skirts and jacket bottoms that resembled cage skirts. He certainly explored the technique and used it to many different effects.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Academy of Art UniversityFebruary 16, 2010
The Academy of Art University show always brings fresh young talent to the tents. It’s a great showcase of several new and innovative designers in one presentation. The Fall 2010 collections gave the viewer many very different fashion aesthetics from Victorian lace to futuristic sculptural wool.
Marina Solomatnikova, a graduate of the MFA Fashion Design program, had one of the more understated, minimalist collection of silk and suede pieces. Geometric shapes and lines were softened by big bouncy chiffon collars.
MFA Fashion and Knitwear graduate Bethany Meuleners was my favorite of the group, though that could be because of her collection’s resemblance to Rodarte. Leather, rough metallic knits woven with chiffon pieces intertwined gave lots of texture and interest to the mostly black and navy dresses and bodysuits. It was lovely and romantic dressing for an edgy, a bit gothic aesthetic.
Intricate embroidery and delicate lace gave MFA Fashion and Textile Design student Naomi Sutton’s collection the feel of period-piece costumery, if that can be said without negative connotations. Because it was very beautiful and obviously painstakingly crafted. Victorian influences and long, loose A-line silhouettes would be perfect for the eccentric, hippie-chic consumer.
Hyo sun (Nicky) An’s collection at the culmination of his MFA Fashion Design studies was very beautifully made and very modern, though it may not have been my personal taste. What An did with Jersey and wool is quite impressive and editorial.
Big, thick, sculptural knits defined MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design student Steven Oo’s collection. Again, very impressive, possibly not very wearable. I can’t imagine Oo would care. The architectural influence is evident, as is the hand and hand-machine knitting technique involved.
Another strong knitwear collection from Sabah Mansoor Husain, an MFA Fashion and Knitwear Design graduate, finished off the show. The lasting impression of these pieces was made by Husain’s method of embroidering jewel-shaped crystals into her merino wool, alpaca wool and mohair armor. The effect, while interesting, was kind of shticky and rather one note.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Charlotte RonsonFebruary 15, 2010
While I love a tough chick and a leather jacket, as usual Charlotte Ronson’s Fall 2010 Collection fell rather flat for me. Especially without the celebrity luster that was added to the event when sister Sam Ronson was dating La Lohan. Ronson’s brand of hippie dippie style came this season in the form of long, pleated bohemian skirts and super wide-leg pants. Her design is reaching a higher level of sophistication than it once did, but unfortunately without much interesting design. Jackets were varying degrees of oversized, slouchy or belted at a natural waist – which we’re seeing on a lot of runways this season. Most things were cut to varying degrees of oversized, really, which just isn’t an aesthetic to raise the bar, in my book.Andrea Kiliany Thatcher
New York Fashion Week Fall 2010: Alexander BerardiFebruary 13, 2010
Sweet and simple shirt dresses and cocktail pieces were the standouts in a somewhat uneven collection at Alexander Berardi for Fall 2010. Tuxedo shirts and velvet weren’t really doing it for me and the collection felt a little stilted. The 30 looks probably could have been paired down for a more cohesive, stronger show. The shirt dresses were really expertly fitted shirts, with menswear detailing like French cuffs, that looked very pretty on the lithe models but were pretty short for every day wear. Really wearable and lust-worthy were evening pieces like a sequin blazer that moved beautifully, a red ribbon dress and a floor-length beaded halter dress Bee Shaffer was eying from the front row.
The show was presented at out-of-the-way fashion week outpost The Altman Building, keeping attendees waiting outside in the cold to be checked in, and then starting so late that many of us missed Costello Tagliapietra over at Milk Studios. Bad form!Andrea Kiliany Thatcher