Alice + Olivia Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW – NYFW

Fashion

When fashion meets literature, only good things are about to happen. Stacey Bendet, Alice + Olivia’s creative director and self-proclaimed vintage lover knows that and isn’t afraid to let herself get carried away by a good book whenever she finds one. For her Alice + Olivia fall/winter 2016-17 ready-to-wear collection, unveiled at New York Fashion Week, Bendet couldn’t help getting viscerally inspired by Garth Risk Hallberg’s debut novel City On Fire.

Alice + Olivia Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW - NYFW

“I was reading that book City on Fire, and I just became really fascinated with that moment. New York City was financially bankrupt, but culturally, it was exploding,” she later declared, revealing the collection’s main protagonists – New York and the Seventies.

Bendet’s choice to celebrate New York isn’t, however, only linked to Hallberg’s book, as the fashion designer is feeling a significant and worrisome change of direction within the city’s cultural life, and is determined to bring it back: “Right now, we’re watching so much creativity leave New York—every artist or musician is moving to L.A. was craving that moment when it was all right here.”

Besides its New Yorker settings, City of Fire whisks its readers back to the Seventies, catapulting them in a city literally divided between the good and the bad, as on the one hand bankruptcy and gritty criminal gangs were taking over a city, where never-seen-before artistic and music movements were relentlessly flourishing. Among them, punk rockers, hippies and hip hop artists were surely helping many suburban kids and young adults escape from New York’s criminal, yet quite magnetic side, making the Big Apple one of the world’s most influential cultural centers.

Bendet perfectly managed to merge her desire to let New York thrive again with her passion for vintage clothes, serving a strong lineup that is destined to overwhelm us with its bright colors and fancy silhouettes. Both the hippie and the punk rock movements got involved in this FW 2016-17 rtw collection, as the fashion designer particularly enjoyed intertwining the two main themes together mainly utilizing a well-tailored mishmash of different patterns.

“When I started Alice + Olivia, all of my inspiration photos were of my mom in these amazing bell-bottom pants. I wanted to go back to that era…of rock ‘n’ roll, of empowered women,” she told WWD, emphasizing even more her willingness to celebrate women. “If that’s not a girl power moment, I don’t know what is.”

And her lineup is indeed for a strong independent woman, who has fun playing with different styles, cuts and even color-blocking motifs. From bold green to blue, from yellow to red and of course black, the lineups really has it all, and isn’t afraid to use it.

As for the lines and cuts, Bendet made sure both boho-chic and the glam rock styles had their time to shine, meaning that she managed to treat us us both to layered maxi gowns and mannish suits, alternating flared-sleeve coats with asymmetrical curve-hugging mini dresses and even studded jackets.

Paisley motif, animal prints and floral patterns adorn most of the retro proposals, taking advantage of Bendet’s colorful mind. Thanks to her great attention to details, the collection also delivers unique accessories that are just the icing on the cake, as they better define and emphasize each look with an even stronger boho-chic or punk rock allure. With all the sinuous cuissardes boots, animal-printed handbags and big hats we could rightly state less is more was definitely out of her wheelhouse here.

It doesn’t however mean she doesn’t enjoy minimalistic forms of art from time to time: one of the collection’s key pieces is a long-sleeve geometric-print gown inspired by American minimalistic painter and printmaker Frank Stella, whose works were greatly influenced by Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline.

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Rag & Bone Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW – NYFW

Fashion

This week Rag & Bone showed their new menswear and womenswear collections at NYFW. The new Rag & Bone fall/winter 2016-2017 RTW collections are truly in harmony with the designers’ styles and their concept because they were literally ready-to-wear, right off the runway. You can perhaps say the show was a cumulative result of everything we’ve seen by this brand so far. Marcus Wainwright confirmed this, saying, “It’s all of the Rag & Bone influences that we’ve used over the years, now in one show.”

Rag & Bone Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW - NYFW

The designs are for the foggy rainy days, which is everyday in England (some British styles were a part of the inspiration). Most of the looks from the menswear collection would be a first choice for the chilly days, when you just don’t want to exit the blanket area, a collection everyone can relate to. “There’s a lot of esoteric fashion out there and it’s not what we stand for,” said Rag & Bone co-designer David Neville.

The concept was visible in details like the motto printed on two sweatshirts, reading “Rag & Bone Universal.” The promise was kept throughout the show. Even if you like to dress in a particular style, any of the displayed pieces could go to your wardrobe and be combined with your outfit.

Wool was one of the major fabrics used, present in suits and pants. Apart from the leather suits and buttoned-up shirts, you should also remember the muted bomber jackets and tapered jeans.

True, there was very little excitement in the show, which is probably why the collection didn’t receive the intense appraisals or discussions afterwards, but we feel the designs will speak to the loyal Rag & Bone buyer anyway.

Moving on, the same runway carried also the womenswear, as designers released both lines together. This collection, however, seemed to have far more diversity. We loved the elongated shirts over loose-fitting jeans, some patchwork on the coats, the single-button navy blazer, and the highlights of both male and women’s collections – the parkas.

The color palette for both collections was twirling around the khaki green shades, navy, and black. This choice did create nostalgia a few seasons back, when military styles were the inspiration on the runway. There were also some underlying and vibrant shades of yellow, orange and the hottest color at the moment, red.

One of the most shocking things we found out is that some of the pieces are already available for sale! While many designers plan their shippings in spring, and some of them even in summer, Rag & Bone’s bold move to put it out there while the fire is burning can be very smart or distrustful… the air is filled with fashion competition these days.

After this unique presentation of their real image and style, the designers were very happy with the outcome. David Neville even mentioned, “I think it’s a really strong brand moment for us.” Yes it is! And we hope to see more of those moments, but maybe… let’s make it a little stronger next time.

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Tadashi Shoji Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW – NYFW

Fashion

Sexy is what sexy does… Tadashi Shoji is probably our very favorite when it comes to the fall and winter season pieces shown off on the New York Fashion Week runway and we are having trouble keeping our jaws in place. There is just too much beauty to be found in this lacy, seductive, positively perfect ready-to-wear collection. There is a whole lot of skin being shown off, through pieces that have nude undertones.

Tadashi Shoji Fall/Winter 2016-2017 RTW - NYFW

The show notes suggested that the Tadashi Shoji fall 2016 collection presented a remix of body orientation, a tattoo reimagined into a dressmaking atelier. That is exactly what we do see in the 40-piece-long line-up that was shown off on the simple runway, with all eyes on the incredible designs themselves, which rendered us speechless from the get go. We see everything from body-cons to lacy creations, long skirts and midi heights, plunging necklines and off-the-shoulder looks, which really accentuated height and girth or lack thereof.

We especially fell in love with the final dresses that featured strategically placed cutouts and flowing skirts, the gauzy materials all the more sensual with the perfection of the nips and threading. There is so much in this particular collection that can work for nearly every occasion, from the simple but beautifully put together dresses to the more Gala-worthy looks, the black and lace party little black dress and use of bodysuits, which resemble interesting tattoos placed on every last inch of the bodies.

There are furry coats and strappy sandals, lots of slits and a focus on truly making a woman look and feel beautiful. There is something primal, tribal about it all, from the wet hair to the piercings and even the chokers that hint at a modern lifestyle that deviates from what has until now been considered the norm. Embroidered inserts at the waists make things more definitive, jewel tones appear in spades among the black and the odd white, with periwinkle, fir green and copper, while there are pale gold spins and even a blush beaded suit that is a dead ringer for Britney Spears’ infamous bedazzled body stocking.

One of the main things we notice is that Shoji captures the power of the woman through his designs, creating a goddess that is unconventional and bringing her to the modern forefront, while dressing her in something more stereotypical and what we deem worthy of a heavenly creature. Sophistication is the name of the game here, and the use of black only adds to the appeal of the collection as a whole.

We are sure that come the fall months, we shall be investing in at least a few Tadashi Shoji pieces, simply because they are way too good to pass up. After all, who does not love to be dazzled by the likes of the Japanese designer, a man who knows exactly what a customer wants, even without the customer knowing it first. Without a doubt, Shoji is a fashion genius.

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Camille Rowe for Dior Poison Girl Fragrance 2016

Fashion

The iconic Dior House has a poisonous bounty to pay us that is first inviting, then strongly intoxicating and in the long run hypnotizing forever and ever. It’s enough to talk in riddles – Dior is launching a new bitter-sweet floral fragrance, Dior Poison Girl with French-American supermodel Camille Rowe as the protagonist of the perfume campaign, making a triumphant replenishment to its already tried-and-true epic Poison line.

Camille Rowe for Dior Poison Girl Fragrance 2016

The poisonous period kick-started back in 1985 with the release of the legendary fruity-woody Poison, followed by floral green Tendre Poison, 1994, the much-buzzed-about vanillaHypnotic Poison, 1998, jasmine-infused Pure Poison, 2004 and rose-patchouli Midnight Poison, 2007. And now in 2016, the brand is challenging us to add even more poisonous fuel to the flame and follow the new slogan: “I am not a girl, I am poison!”

This is how Dior itself describes the new sweet nothing: “Poison Girl is the fragrance of a modern-day girl, free and sexy. A delicious trap that instantly poisons and draws out the pleasure to the point of addiction. A bitter-sweet floral with mouthwatering Orange that is delightfully swathed in Venezuelan Tonka Bean and blossoms in the biting sensuality of Grasse Rose”.

The perfumer standing behind this danger zone is Francois Demachy, who has a series of magical scents under his belt and who is also the composer of that Hypnotic Poison that cut so wide a swath once. When asked about the new fragrance and the woman type he had in mind when creating the scent, Demachy answered: “It was more a question of character. I had an idea of youth, a woman who is very strong-willed, almost provocative, maybe even scandalous. My starting point was a combination of this woman and Poison, which had created a powerful shock in the perfume world when it came out.”

Camille Rowe for Dior Poison Girl Fragrance 2016

Maybe Demachy’s vision of such a scandalous woman wouldn’t have come to life if not the alluring blonde girl Camille Rowe, who is starring in the perfume’s campaign directed by talented So Me. Camille having appeared in many an applauded campaign, including Dior Homme alongside Robert Pattinson, serves as the best model of a modern femme fatale woman, who is always grabbing the wheel in any situation and is the incarnation of dangerous attraction.

The mini film captured in the crazy club Boom Boom Room in New York is exhibiting the blonde beauty dancing to Brodinski’s electro beats, meandering on New York roofs and teasing her victim all the while, in the end uttering daringly: “I am not a girl, I am poison”.

The affectionate poison is opening its charm with fresh bitter orange from Sicily, spiced up with the gentle aroma of May rose from Grasse and Damascus Rose. But magic does not end in here, instead frantically making its way through the base notes of Venezuelan Tonka bean, sandalwood from Sri Lanka, Tolu balsam, almond and vanilla.

Dior Poison Girl Fragrance 2016

The aromatic liquid housed in the line’s elegant roundish glass bottle this time around is bringing a tender salmon pink shade making an alluring foray into your handbags and on you console-mirrors. Dior Poison Girl will be available in 30, 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.

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Taylor Swift Launching a Mobile Game?

Fashion

There’s an app for just about anything, so app companies are looking to recreate their top growing products with slightly different means. For instance, Glu Mobile is the brand that created Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, an app that allows users to take the role of a celebrity and have fun with their new creative options and gigs, while constantly introducing new content, such as Balmain apparel and characters like Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel. Kardashian’s app brought in $74 million within 10 months. And next up on the roster for Glu is Taylor Swift, who is apparently launching her own mobile game too.

Taylor Swift Launching a Mobile Game?

Swift hopes to rise where others have failed, since Glu has also released apps for Katy Perry (Katy Perry Pop), Britney Spears, English action actor Jason Statham, and Kylie and Kendall Jenner. Perry’s app was released in December, and didn’t hold up well against Kardashian’s. The company also has Nicki Minaj signed on, so maybe it is hoping to find one new celebrity-app idea that can create as much revenue as their first big haul. Even though the company has brought in some great industry talents, the road to success isn’t as smooth as it might seem. You’d think each celebrity would have their own cult following creating popularity for each platform, but this doesn’t seem to have been the case.

But if anyone can attract a lot of attention, it’s going to be Taylor Swift. So far, there hasn’t been much announced, although Glu disclosed that the partnership with Swift will be a “multi-year” ordeal and will begin late in 2016. Maybe the company will try and recreate a similar platform as the Kardashian app in hopes of attracting those who would love a T-Swift app but are too used to the interface of the other.

The singing sensation has played a lot of roles in everyday media and the music industry, so there are a great many directions this app could go in terms of storyline, but if it follows anything about Swift’s life, maybe there will be a bit of competition to find out who can get the most money out of a lawsuit, or who can make the best chart-topping hit about their love life.

All joking aside, I know I’m not alone with my love for Taylor Swift. As someone who doesn’t generally become swept up in large app trends, this one might just make it onto my list of things to try out in 2016. But until the end of 2016 when it is released, we’ll be waiting for news to break from Glu about any details from Taylor Swift’s app – that will inevitably determine whether or not the app will be worth downloading!

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Phoebe Philo Leaving Celine?

Fashion

Did you feel your heart breaking when Raf Simons left Dior’s creative direction? Well, get ready to mend the pieces of your broken heart once again, as another fashion designer is reportedly leaving another French haute couture Maison. According to kind of insistent rumors at this point, Phoebe Philo is planning to step down from Céline’s creative direction once she completes showing and marketing the upcoming Céline fall/winter 2016 collection, as she is looking for leaving the LVHM company for good (speaking of déjà vù).

Phoebe Philo Leaving Celine?

At the helm of Céline’s creative direction since 2006, rumors of Philo’s possible departure have been actually circulating around since August last year, although this hasn’t been confirmed by Philo herself (nor by the LVHM headquarters). Given the fact that it was under Philo’s direction that Céline became once again one of the most copied, influential, talked-about and overall most successful labels of the past (almost) decade, her departure could really result in Céline’s landing in deep waters for a while.

She better defined what minimal (and profitable) luxe should be all about, and her latest collections particularly gained a big army of followers among the entertainment industry’s most fashionable personalities. Her it bags, such as the Luggage and the Trapeze Mini, will forever be honorary members in the Hall of Fashion, having basically revolutionized the entire label’s spirit.

There are at least two big questions at this point: why is Phoebe Philo (reportedly) thinking of leaving Céline? And what fashion house is she going to join?

Phoebe Philo, who quickly made a name for herself after she first started her designing career at Chloé alongside Stella McCartney in 1997, is said to be willing to depart from Céline for a reason similar to the one that made her step down from Chloé’s creative direction as well: spending more time with her beloved family (whose members live in England). That shouldn’t be surprising at all; Philo is well-known for always putting family first, as also proven by her decision to opt out of a fashion show, after delivering her third baby, in 2012. She even works from a townhouse near to her family home in London, instead of staying at Céline’s studios in Paris.

According to a Page Six, Philo was discussing similar roles at Azzedine Alaïa and Cartier, owned by luxury firm Richemont, in August 2015 (ironically, Richmont owns Chloé as well. What a homecoming that would be!). Sources however now confirm that she will most likely take the position at Alaïa (which is Paris-based too, so things apparently won’t stop being tricky in terms of relocations).

Although it won’t wholly solve Philo’s problem, Alaïa could result in letting her having way more relaxed schedules, as the label is notably less strict in terms of calendar (Azzedine Alaïa, founder of Alaïa, is known for being camera-shy and prone to following his own fashion rules, mainly ignoring fashion schedules). Sadly, this also means that those who were hoping for Philo to take over as Dior’s creative direction position should pin their hopes on someone else.

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