Sunday, February 20, 2011
Fashion is the "textile industry"--I think they give it that name so that men in suits don't feel like they're talking about "womens' concerns", but that discussion is for another day. The cost of your favorite new dress directly correlates to the price of raw materials around the world. In the last 12 months, prices have skyrocketed.
Cotton prices are the highest they've been since the US Civil War. In the 1860s, prices were so high due to war and blockade. Now, it is a combination of ruined crops in Pakistan and Australia, coupled with growing demand around the world. Higher demand plus lower supply equals higher prices. That means your dress is going to be more costly.
Its not just cotton that is pricier. Silk, leather, cashmere, fiber for synthetics, etc.... have all gotten more expensive. Much of it is due to higher demand, transportation costs and in the case of vegetable fibers, failed crops. One of the largest sources of the rising demand is China. With the Chinese economy growing, the demand for garments and other textiles rises and so does the price of such things around the world.
High-End designers are simply passing on the rise in costs to their consumers. So, if you want high-grade silk to line your blazer, you better be prepared to pay.
Information from Wall Street Journal and Luca Luca runway photo from Style
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Well, Narciss was named DESIGNER OF THE YEAR for Latvia by the Baltic Fashion Federation! I think it is a well-deserved honor for a designer that consistently does a great job.
To the left is a beautiful dress in her online store--its classic while being flattering and practical. Its something the average woman could actually wear and not feel ridiculous. It doesn't scream any particular season, instead it says "classic black dress". I love it!
I can't wait to see the new collection that Narciss is putting out in February 2011!
Picture from NARCISS
Monday, February 14, 2011
Ugh, she stepped out in public to the ASCAP Grammy Brunch wearing this horrible oneise jumpsuit thing by Filhas de Gaia. I'm sorry, but it looks like some sad saggy-crotch getup she stole from the reject wardrobe pile of DALLAS. I can't figure out why this is supposed to make her "aspirational" or an "IT Girl". It makes me wonder instead if she doesn't own a mirror. I'm so sad--the print is great and this designer does lots of great looks.
Filhas de Gaia is a great Brazilian designer that shows in Rio de Janeiro. The Spring 2011 collection was full of great looks--super cute cocktail dresses and wonderful clothes for a woman of Kat Graham's age. That's what makes me wonder so much at how she ended up in such an unflattering thing--she certainly had plenty to choose from. *SIGH* The world may never know.
Picture from WENN
Saturday, February 5, 2011
The back of this dress is just delicious!! I love it! I want it both on a dress and a blouse! The open back goes just low enough to be completely sexy and interesting but high enough to be able to find a bra to wear under it. Dries van Noten is one of the few designers who is consistently unafraid of prints and this season, I'm so happy to see it. I can just imagine wearing this on an early May day, out with friends.
I'm so done with winter. I want to wear a skirt and ballet flats and not regret doing so. I want color and print and beauty. I wish the world always looked like a Shoson print!
Runway pictures from Style and Shoson print from Ronin Gallery
Monday, January 31, 2011
Erdem is a London-based design house led by Erdem Moralioglu. He's of Turkish/English descent from Montreal, Canada and worked for a year under Diane von Furstenberg. In 2005 he moved to London and started his own line. Since then he won the British Vogue Fashion Award and is recognized as one of the top up-and-coming designers. And, boy is he good!
One of the things he does so well is use print. That's so rare! His prints remind me of re-edited antique floral prints. The yellow with the red and pink reminds me of this woodblock print by Kono Bairei from 1880. To me, his dresses from Spring Summer 2011 look like he took prints like this, cut them up and made a collage and then painted over them with watercolors. Lovely!
Another thing I like so much is the fact that the prints are strategically place to take your eye to the most flattering parts of the dress. This dress is cut to slim the wearer and then the print leads the eye to the smallest part of the waist, the bust and then the hem to see the model's legs. Its like a giant sign to "ignore my hips and admire the fact that I have a lovely shape!" I love it!
Hands down, my favorite dress is the one. It totally reminds me of antique Japanese woodblock prints of flowers, but in a modern, wearable way. Love it! Plus, you can wear this dress on your fattest day and never look like you've had too many cupcakes. Its classic, its comfortable and its friggin pretty! I don't know if you've ever played with these dresses in person, but the silk is to die for. Erdem doesn't scrimp when it comes to materials. Not at all. Sure, his stuff is expensive but you get what you pay for! In this case, its silk worth wearing for the rest of your life.
You may also be interested in my prior post about Peter Som
Saturday, January 29, 2011
There were some really cute dresses in the show. Feminine, but tough, like someone in their 20s could wear them out for a fun night and not feel like they're robbed their grandmother or that they're looking like an Italian divorcee. My favorite was this black & white number, looks totally Chanel but still young and fun. I like the contrasting trim over the major seams, it gives the dress a nice shape and really makes the wearer look trim. I hate the shoes, they look like clunky bricks. Oh well. Can't win them all.
The Chanel spring-summer 2011 show started out so nicely, with lovely tweed and ended with beautiful cocktail dresses. For some reason, the middle was filled with girls who looked like they were going to jump you for your hair clip. So sad! But, that doesn't take away from the fact that I needs to get me another tweedy jacket....
Pictures from Style
You may also be interested in a prior post about Chanel Accessories
Monday, January 24, 2011
Vicuna is a threatened species of camelid (camel!) native to Peru, Chile, Bolivia and other parts of South America, previously endangered. What has allowed this species to come back from the brink is its wool. The Peruvian government made it its national animal and came up with a scheme to bring both jobs to the locals and save the animal. Once a year, the locals hold a Chaccu, a traditional shearing ceremony where the vicuna are rounded up, shorn and then released. A vicuna can only be shorn every 3 years and there are specific standards for how long the hair can be in order to be shorn. This system of only allowing vicuna wool to be harvested in specific situations and the ending of vicuna hunting has allowed the species to bounce back and become a very valuable commodity to the community. The practices that are currently being followed are considered sustainable and vicuna is an eco-friendly textile.
There are some things to beware of. Despite the best efforts of the Peruvian officials and community, there is an illegal trade in vicuna. Because of this, several countries have outright banned it and many require an official certificate that it was legally harvested. Make sure that you purchase your vicuna from a legitimate source and try to stick to an established, reputable company like Loro Piano or Jacques Cartier yarns. Also, if you really look closely at most of the items that come up when you search "vicuna"--you'll notice that they're not ACTUALLY made of vicuna, instead vicuna is just the name of the color. Don't be fooled and get stuck with lamb's wool! The high price of vicuna is worth it!
Pictures from Livanti Alpacas and The Guardian
You may also be interested in my prior posts about Qiviut and Ramie