Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gothic Lolita

My new obsession..... Japanese street fashion. To be even more specific..... Lolita. Take this look, let Karl Lagerfeld work his magic, and you have a great Spring 2010 runway show for Chanel (picture top right).

The Lolita style was born out of a reaction to current fashion in search of modesty sometime in the 1970's and is still a sub culture today in Japan. The genre looks to Victorian and Rococo clothing styles for inspiration. The idea is to be sweet, demure, and pure rather than sexy, although the name may suggest otherwise. Some common elements to the style are the headdress, blouse, petticoats, knee highs, Mary Jane platform shoes, ringlet curls, doll-like makeup, bell shaped skirt, and vintage hats. The Lolita look is then divided into subdivisions such as sweet, classic, punk and goth (picture bottom right). There are so many variations of the style that they cross over to suit the wearer's personality.

To get an even better understanding, watch Gossip Girl for a
Western interpretation of this increasingly popular
look. Blair Waldorf's style is a mix between sweet and classic Lolita and Little J's
went from classic to punk throughout the second season. It's becoming so common that the style popped up on Chanel's Spring 2010 runway as shown in the picture above.

If you want to get the look here is an informative web sites to get you on your way:

Fall 2009 Trend Recap

Style | 80's Bondage Vegas Baroque Biker Babe Flemish Masculine Toy Story Art Deco Oriental New York Boudoir Mongolia | Color | Silver Electric Blue Avian Blue Purple Red Cantaloupe Plastic Pop Powdery Faint Tones Emerald Petrol Ochre Brown Brick Red Brushwood Smoky Grey Black Square Shiny | Details | Reptile Jewelry Animal Print Retro Provocative Velvet Sequins Knits Lace Rhinestones Crystals Diamonds Fringe

The more decorative, romantic, mysterious and daring the better for Fall/Winter 2009. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Public Face of Fashion

This latest fashion season, like no other before, truly opened its arms to the public and broke down the walls of the pristine and mystical world of fashion.  There was no other way to move forward for the fashion crowd partly because of the great recession and partly because of the advancement of social media.  Elite brands can no longer ignore the use of social media such as twitter and facebook as a means to market their brand.  Forbes Magazine points out that if the brands don't do it, other people will and they won't be in control to manage their own public image.  With so many people pretending to be famous fashion designers or editors on-line, the once allusive personalities had to come forward and take control of what is being said and shown to their fans and customers over the internet.  

This change in how consumers communicate doubled with a sour economy gave us a spectacular 6 weeks of parties and fashion shows that we could all participate in.  Fashion's Night Out, organized by Vogue as a means to entice customers to spend, kicked off the fashion season with stores open until 11 p.m. all over the world and places like Bergdorf Goodman, where the Olsen twins were serving drinks, had lines twisting around the block to get in.  What made it successful is that people who are not in the small circle of fashion could get a glimpse at the fabulous parties that go on in this world.  As for the actual fashion shows, many streamed the runway shows live such as Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen.  Once you had to have a personal invitation, now everyone can watch in real time as long as you have an Internet connection and computer available.  

Although bloggers and tweeters are heavily influencing consumer's purchasing decisions, I believe the traditional gatekeepers are still in charge as long as they are in step with the times.  Transparency keeps these companies relevant in today's world.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Were They Thinking?

While most trend research these days points to sustainable fashion, Ungaro went in another direction and appointed Lindsay Lohen as artistic director.  Most designers endure years of schooling, interning, sweat and tears to follow their passion.  It is difficult for any fashion designer to accept that a Hollywood starlet can go to a beautiful Parisian atelier and claim such a position.  Clearly Ungaro is trying a commercial angle to revive a brand in these very troubled times.  The most disturbing aspect to LiLo as artistic director is what this says about our society.  Are we as a culture so caught up in fame for fame's sake that it takes a celebrity without any outstanding qualities besides her scandals to revive one of the finest fashion labels in history?  Only time will tell and the measure will be Ungaro's success in sales.  

On a positive note, Ungaro made a fabulous choice in hiring the emerging designer Estrella Archs.  Her work is beautiful, she is a graduate from the most prestigious school in fashion and has worked for some of the top brands.  I look forward to seeing how she evolves with the brand and am confident that she can lead the Ungaro team to fine fashion.

P.S. I'm guessing that the heart shaped pasties under the blazers on the runway was a LiLo choice.