Royalty in the Front Row at London Fashion Week

Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire URN:35112178

At 91, Queen Elizabeth II, attended her very first London Fashion Week. Sitting in the front row and brushing shoulders with longtime Vogue editor Anna Wintour. The monarch, wearing a powder blue tweed dress and jacket could be seen speaking with Wintour and clapping her black-gloved hands as models walked in British designer Richard Quinn’s runway show.

The monarch was on hand to present the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, the first of its kind and meant to highlight the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy – to designer, Richard Quinn. The special award, initiated in recognition of the role the fashion industry plays in society and diplomacy, will be awarded annually to an emerging British fashion designer who shows exceptional talent and originality, while demonstrating value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies, according to the palace.

The style of clothing that Quinn favors is eccentric and structural. A former intern at Dior and Richard James on Savile Row, the 28-year-old Quinn mixes big prints as well as fabrics within one piece, which tend to be based on classic Dior New Look silhouettes. He’s known for covering models’ faces in fabric, a practice he expanded into headwear for fall 2018. Beyond his designs, Quinn is giving back to his community, an essential element to this particular Queen-approved recognition. Well done!!

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“But this is an Alaïa!” ~ Cher Horowitz

This is the scene from Clueless-Cher, wearing Alaïa; photo courtesy of Paramount

The first time I heard the name of famed fashion designer, Azzedine Alaïa, was in a movie.  I remember it well – the year was 1995, and I was sitting in a theater in Greenwich Village – watching a funny and charming movie called, Clueless. In one scene, Cher, was being held up at gunpoint in the seedier part of LA and asked to lay on the asphalt. Protested Cher, “But, this is an Alaïa,” and she began to cry. “He’s like a totally famous designer.”

Azzedine Alaïa was a famous, uncompromising designer – known for his sculpture and silhouettes, molding his dresses to women’s forms – but he was equally famous for his rejection of the fashion system and his insistence on going his own way. Last Saturday, Azzedine Alaïa passed away at 82.

Alaïa held intimate shows in his Paris headquarters off-schedule that had nothing to do with designated fashion weeks or with following what the press and retailers demanded. He rejected the official calendar, preferring to reveal his clothing as he deemed it ready. Vanessa Friedman of The New York Times, says Alaïa “dedicated his life to the belief that fashion was more than just garments; to him, they were as much an element in the empowerment of women and of a broader cultural conversation … He used leather and knits to shape and support the body, transforming it into the best version of itself. He eschewed external decoration for internal integrity, weaving pattern and adornment into the weft of the garment itself in ways that were almost undetectable to the outside eye.” Continue reading

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The Queen of Cashmere

Laura Biagiotti, center, with her daughter, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, right, after the presentation of her collection in Milan in September 2011: Credit Daniel Dal Zennaro/European Pressphoto Agency

“Being a fashion designer is like taking vows … It becomes your religion for life.” Laura Biagiotti

Italian fashion designer, Laura Biagiotti, died last Friday in Rome at 73 years old. I didn’t know her, I didn’t know about her business, I didn’t know that her elegant fashions made from fluffy goat’s wool defined her as the global queen of cashmere. But I love her story and it touched me to read it.

Biagiotti was born in 1943, and was envisioning an independent life for herself when she enrolled at a university in Rome to study literature and archaeology. But her life changed course when she was drawn to her family’s dressmaking studio where her mother, Delia Biagiotti, designed the uniforms for Alitalia employees. In 1972, she went into business for herself and presented her own collection by introducing a relatively new material at the time: cashmere. According to the New York Times: “Her original collection was so small, Biagiotti recalled, that at her first show, models wore the same white jacket three times, with two skirts and a dress. She developed a passion for linen and also for the color white, which many mourners wore to her funeral last week.” 

A woman in a profession dominated by men, Biagiotti told an interviewer in 1981 that “a woman designer faces the same odds as a woman trying to get a job as a 747 pilot.” But she did it and by the 1980s she was making her mark. In 1988 she became the first Italian designer to put on a fashion show in China presenting dresses and blouses in silk and cashmere, and in 1995 she was the first to have a show inside the Kremlin walls in Moscow. Today, The House of Biagiotti (based on Via dei Condotti in Rome) is listed among the largest fashion houses in Italy. Her daughter, Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna, is the creative director of the business and represents the third generation of Biagiotti clothiers.

 

 

 

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Daniel Silverstein Goes Bridal

2015-08-14+23.18.42-22015-08-15+23.01.45DSC_0057Fashion designer Daniel Silverstein (featured several times on TFIO) continues to grow and inspire! To bring you up to date on Daniel: he is now designing for love, launching his first bridal collection available exclusively at Schone Bride, Brooklyn, New York. Says Daniel: “My collection is best suited for modern love and the real couples of today and tomorrow. Classically romantic in feel, but pushing the fashion envelope, many of my pieces are gender fluid. I want all brides and grooms to have a chance to find something unique, ceremonial, ethical and special to wear as they share their vows and commit their lives and love their partners. This approach drives me forward in my design.”

In late May, Daniel moved his design studio from the garment district in midtown Manhattan to Manufacture New York in Brooklyn, where, says Daniel, “together we are navigating the vision for a new kind of fashion industry where anything is possible and zero goes to waste.” Daniel’s commitment to zero waste is what sets him apart as a fashion designer. None of his textile byproducts go to landfill. This commitment transcends every element of Daniel’s designs.

I love that Daniel Silverstein is going bridal. I’m buying it!

New bridal looks, courtesy of Daniel Silverstein

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A triumphant Isabella Rose Taylor!

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her collection: Nordstrom BP

Isabella Rose Taylor at the launch of her Collection: Nordstrom BP

What a week for Isabella Rose Taylor! Following her first-ever show at NY Fashion Week, 13-year old designer, Isabella Rose Taylor, came to New Jersey on Saturday, to launch her Collection at Nordstrom BP. I was lucky enough to catch her, where she practically sold out in one hour. The Collection obviously rings true for Isabella’s contemporaries, for whom she designs. That is the magic of Isabella Rose Taylor: she doesn’t have to imagine what young women want to wear … she just has to ask herself. Continue reading

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EILEEN FISHER loves the world

Courtesy: EILEEN FISHER, INC.

Photo Courtesy – EILEEN FISHER, INC. “When you see the ampersand symbol it means we have a story to tell about our sustainability efforts.” EILEEN FISHER, INC.

In the front section of today’s New York Times, there is a sleek advertisement for an EILEEN FISHER black jacket and white silk tunic that catches your eye. Not just because the outfit is quintessentially simple and stylish; it is also green. As part of the #THISISECO campaign, the jacket gets 38% of its fiber from recycled water bottles and the tunic is dyed without using hazardous chemicals.

Since its inception in 1984, EILEEN FISHER, INC. has taken a human interest in the design and production of its clothes. Eileen Fisher, the woman and founder, has made it her mission to support not only the environment through its holistic approach of honoring the earth, but also supporting women with its Business Grant Program for Women Entrepreneurs and Leadership Grant Program for Women and Girls. These are the reasons that the brand EILEEN FISHER loves the world and the world loves EILEEN FISHER right back!

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