Designs of the Year 2013 fashion shortlist announced.

The Design Museum has shortlisted collections by Prada, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Proenza Schouler for its Designs of the Year 2013 fashion finalists.
The London Design Museum today announced the contenders for its sixth annual Designs of the Year awards.
Yayoi Kusama for Louis Vuitton: the full collection in pictures

Autumn/winter 2012 catwalk collections by Giles, Craig Green, Commes des Garçons, Prada and Proenza Schouler will go head-to-head alongside the costumes designed by Jacqueline Durran for director Joe Wright’s remake of Anna Karenina . Louis Vuitton’s spot-filled capsule collection created by abstract artist Yayoi Kusama is also in the running, as is Dior’s first mainline collection for spring/summer 2013 by new creative director Raf Simons. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel , Lisa Immordino’s frockumentary about the former US Vogue editor is also mentioned, and Elisha Smith-Leverock’s film I Want Muscle .

Last year, Issey Miyake topped the fashion category with his mathematical-inspired designs, which were created by computer programme with the help of an origami inventor and computer scientist to produce ready-to-wear patterns.Examples from the fashion shortlist will be exhibited at the Design Museum from March 20 to July 7, and feature alongside finalists from six other categories including architecture, digital, furniture, graphics, product and transport.

One overall winner will be announced in April; last year it was claimed by design studio BarberOsgerby for the London 2012 Olympic Torch.


Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Announces 2013 Award Winners.

Italian Wine Brand Celebrates Style with Support of Emerging Fashion Designers.
Ecco Domani® Wines of Italy announces today the recipients of the 2013 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards: TOME in the women’s design category; Ian Velardi in the men’s design category; Deborah Pagani in the accessories design category; and SUSAN WOO in the sustainable design category. Each winner, selected from a pool of up-and-coming designers, receives a $25,000 grant to help showcase their style on the most sought after runway: New York’s Fall 2013 Fashion Week.

Now in its 12th season, the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation has awarded more than $1.7 million in support of emerging designers, and helped to launch the careers of many of today’s best and brightest fashion stars, including: Zac Posen , Derek Lam , Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Alexander Wang , and Prabal Gurung .

Embodying the idea that good taste is always in vogue, Ecco Domani wines are crafted to add a special touch to the everyday. With bright fruit flavors and a fresh, approachable style, Ecco Domani wines are at once a perfect food pairing and an effortless complement to any occasion. To celebrate this fusion of good taste in wine and style, Ecco Domani created the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation.

“Through the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation, we are able to support talented fashion designers who are committed to celebrating style every day,” said Molly Davis , Vice President of Marketing for Ecco Domani Wines of Italy. “Today, we are proud to raise a glass to this year’s award recipients and welcome them into the exclusive group of Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation alumni.”

Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation judge Marylou Luther , editor at the International Fashion Syndicate, furthered Davis’ sentiments, saying, “By supporting emerging design talent for more than a decade, Ecco Domani has expanded the definition of style and extended its reach from the wine glass to the runway and beyond.”

More about the 2013 designers:

Women’s Design Category Winner: TOME
The foundation of TOME started in 1988 while Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin were studying a Bachelor of Design, Fashion at the University of Technology Sydney. Their careers took very different paths, Ramon into fashion design and Ryan as buyer for two of Australia’s leading luxury multi brand stores, yet both knew that if they were ever to start a label, it would be together.

Developing his design aesthetic at Alberta Ferretti and Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Atelier, Ramon was most recently design director for Derek Lam . Ryan edited pioneering online magazine as well as shooting for OYSTER, Marie Claire and The Sunday Times.

2011 saw the birth of both Ryan and Ramon’s Opus – TOME. Based in New York, TOME sees the pair’s collective experience expressed in a range that is practical and straightforward – clear cut, essential dressing. Purity is the cornerstone of this ‘every woman’ brand. Form follows function and every piece in the collection is infinitely.


Men’s Design Category Winner: Ian Velardi
Ian Velardi began his career in a training program at luxury menswear brand Hickey Freeman—then part of Hartmarx Corporation (HMX)—which allowed Ian to learn all aspects of the clothing business, from manufacturing and import/export nuances to design and marketing strategies. Ian was a founding member of the brand extension Hickey, and acted as the Brand Manager, overseeing sales, marketing, branding, and design. Ian also designed sportswear for Hart Schaffner Marx, oversaw the rise of Maine based sportswear company Rogues Gallery and launched his own luxury hat line, Hattan, which was sold in Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, Isetan Tokyo and Ships Tokyo.

This focused menswear path created a clear understanding in the way men look at fashion and approach style, in addition to the knowhow to take a design from concept to production to retail. In his experience at Hickey, Ian forged deep connections with Italian mills and manufacturers. All of the production for the first four seasons of Ian Velardi has taken place in Italy. The fabrics and materials are from top-notch mills and suppliers unavailable to most new brands, and all garments are made in top-tier factories. The result is clothing that looks, wears and feels luxurious.

Ian Velardi launched his namesake men’s clothing line ( Ian Velardi ) for Fall 2011. The collection consists of luxury sportswear, tailored clothing and accessories, and was exclusively launched at Barneys New York for the first season. The business has since expanded to select Bloomingdale’s stores, select Saks Fifth Avenue stores, and select specialty stores.

Ian was recently nominated by GQ as a Best New Menswear Designer in America for 2012. Through this nomination Ian created a capsule collection for GAP with nationwide and international distribution. Ian Velardi grew up in New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan. He does not have any formal education in fashion design. Ian graduated from Indiana University in 2004, with a degree in marketing. Clothing has always been a lifelong passion that Ian has nurtured on his own, through years of dedication and hands on work experience. Ian lives in Manhattan where he scours the streets constantly in search of inspiration. His unique aesthetic is equal parts classic American sportswear, sartorial influenced tailored clothing, and street style.

The fashion capital of the world

Sustainable Design Category Winner: SUSAN WOO
Susan Woo was born and raised in New York, the fashion capital of the world. Growing up surrounded by the creativity and pulse of the fashion industry, Woo cultivated her strong opinions and style from an early age. She aims to create beautiful clothing that reflects a woman’s lifestyle in addition to her personal style. SUSAN WOO offers a full range of ready-to-wear for the modern, chic and professional woman, with options for both day and evening.

Continuing her passion to start her own company one day, Woo studied at Cornell University where she received her BS in Fashion Design and Business. Her luxury background was developed with companies such as Louis Vuitton , Derek Lam and Chanel, thus influencing her taste for quality and design. Coupling her style with her love and support of the environment, Woo offers a unique perspective to the fashion market.

Woo’s environmental and social support is reflected throughout the company. Having always been passionate about environmental causes, she wanted to start a brand that reflected a modern woman’s version of environmental fashion. “The future of fashion relies on both the ingenuity of design and the sustainability of the environment,” states Woo.

SUSAN WOO ‘s brand philosophy represents the modern way of living and dressing: blending high design with both environmental and social consciousness. Growing up in a family “obsessed with health,” she was raised to believe that organic simply meant better, and applies that philosophy to her clothing. Woo also believes that being a socially responsible company means more than just using organic fabrics. While all of the fabrics used are 100% all-natural and sustainable (and includes organic wool, cottons and cashmeres), they are also sourced from companies that have a strong environmental commitment. Extra steps are taken to ensure that her everyday operations are environmentally conscious and energy-efficient as possible. Finally, she ensures that all of her garments are produced using fair labor practices. Woo’s mission is to show the most discerning fashionista that being “environmental” means creating the highest quality product.

Modern luxury

Accessories Design Category Winner: Deborah Pagani
Deborah Pagani founded her eponymous line of ‘Deco Rock’ inspired fine jewelry in 2008. Inspired by New York City, her home, the culture of Rock’n'roll and the glamour of classic Art Deco style, she has already left her mark on the fine jewelry world and has been recognized for her unprecedented approach to fine jewelry.

Modern luxury, art, and fashion are the main passions that surround both her personal and professional life. Prior success as a top Manhattan beauty expert exposed her to a variety of women, from whom she found a common thread; the desire to feel beautiful and sexy. “I encountered different kinds of women from all walks of life with different tastes for fashion, art and jewelry. But what I discovered to be within every woman was an innate desire to feel beautiful… I design with these women in mind,” says Deborah.

Deborah’s main line includes three collections, with an additional line of lower priced items, still fine jewelry, that were inspired by motifs from existing pieces. “I love being able to mix large and small pieces together but without having to wear costume jewelry,” she says. Her main collections comprise pieces that have been inspired by her many muses, including Joan Crawford , Grace Joans , Cleopatra and many more. She explains, “I am and have always been inspired by confident and fearless women.” The collection is sold around the globe and is consistently featured in top fashion and editorial publications.

The Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation selection committee includes: Marylou Luther (Editor of the International Fashion Syndicate); Sally Singer (Creative Director for Digital at Vogue); Kim Hastreiter (Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Paper); Nicole Fischelis (Group Vice President/Director of Fashion and Global Forecasting at Macy’s); Julie Gilhart (Fashion Industry Consultant); Ruth Finley (Publisher of Fashion Calendar); Ken Downing (Senior Vice President/Fashion Director at Neiman Marcus); Jay Bell (Vice President, Men’s Designer Collections & Men’s Contemporary Sportswear at Barneys); Alex Badia (Men’s Fashion Director of Women’s Wear Daily); and Josh Peskowitz (Men’s Fashion Director at Bloomingdales).

Nearly 200 designers from across the U.S. submitted applications for the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation awards. To be eligible, entrants must be in the design business for no longer than five years and have a minimum of one retail account. In addition to references, applicants are required to submit look books and/or photographs of their work, as well as a short video explaining why they deserve the award. From the initial pool of applicants, up to 25 semi-finalists were chosen in each category. Judges then chose winners by evaluating samples from the semi-finalists’ most recent collections.


Kingston home to creative fashion designer.

When it comes to fashion capitals, the tiny settlement of Kingston is unlikely to feature alongside the likes of Paris or Milan.But fashion designer Jane Sutherland has grown to love the lifestyle that came with living in the village, with a population of about 250, on the southern shore of Lake Wakatipu.

Established in 2004, the eponymous Jane Sutherland label had dealt with many challenges, including its location.
But with a lot of hard work and determination, there was no other option than to make it work, Ms Sutherland said.She was brought up in Invercargill, her childhood surrounded by creativity, and she recalled watching her father, a self-taught jeweller, tinkering away in the garage, making anything from a Sunburst sailboat to metalwork creations that later evolved into jewellery.

She had an interest in many areas of design, including a strong passion for photography – ”to this day, I find it hard to put the camera down on a daily basis, leaving me with huge files of images waiting to be edited” – but never envisaged she would end up as a fashion designer.She spent a year training in Dunedin under Georg Beer at the Fluxus contemporary jewellery gallery.

It was while she was at Fluxus that her partner, Duane Hibbs, who was in Invercargill, saw the garage in Kingston was for sale and decided he would like a lifestyle change and asked if she wanted to accompany him.

While it was ”a bit of a shock” initially and it took about six months to settle in, she now loved it and would not leave, she said.Kingston was a ”wonderful” place to raise son Victor (3) and, combined with trips to the city, a nice balance had developed.

Creative people

While it could feel a little isolated at times, particularly not being surrounded by other like-minded creative people, technology meant she could work from anywhere.

There was also the advantage of being able to go down to the lake in the morning for a swim or kayak, or hopping in the boat at night and going fishing.

Initially, it was rings and other pieces of jewellery that began to evolve from the Kingston workshop and were sold in select New Zealand galleries.
Metal designs were bolted to T-shirts – painstaking hours were spent making the nuts and bolts – and Plume in Dunedin and Angel Divine in Queenstown were the first to stock them. It was those T-shirts and a love of fashion that led Ms Sutherland to create a clothing label. With a love of history, time spent studying the legend of King Arthur, among other mediaeval tales, led to the placing of the Excalibur sword in her logo.

Now stocking eight stores nationally, Ms Sutherland felt the time was right to create an online store that would eventually showcase unique designs incorporating metalwork. Those designs would not be for the mass market and were ”something a little special”.

Russell Sutherland, from Company of Strangers, and Sara Muntz, from Gaia Jewellery, were on board with ”some amazing jewellery” and a collaboration with an ”exciting artist or two” would be forthcoming, she said.
Ms Sutherland’s inspiration came from many sources, including shapes, sculptures, architecture, characters in literature, history, film, music, nature or ”anything I find interesting”.
”I save all these thoughts and ideas into a confused folder and then find the right time to translate its contents in the right way.”


When it came to other fashion labels, she loved the likes of Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Vivienne Westwood, Rick Owens and Nom*D.
Ms Sutherland admitted she found it hard at times to create garments that were creative with a point of difference, yet commercial enough to sell.

”It can be a fine line on whether or not you like creating commercial clothes or living a more complicated life,” she said.
While she understood the main focus was on wearability, the art aspect should not be lost in the process.

She acknowledged there had been times when she thought she would ”pack it in” and there had been plenty of ups and downs.
She did not know a lot about the fashion industry when she first entered it, and had to learn everything along the way. But she loved her work and wanted to ”keep doing what I’m doing”.
She wanted to focus on having her online store going well and building it into a ”real shopping experience”, while also wholesaling to selected stores, building on the brand and ”keeping things growing”.

She was delighted to be selected for the 2013 iD Dunedin Fashion Show in March, saying it was always a pleasure to be involved. She first showed at the event in 2009.

The event continued to grow and it had helped designers build their brand and brand awareness. She looked forward to it each year and enjoyed showing alongside other labels, like Nom*D.

This year, she will be showcasing six outfits in the capsule collection comprising a vibrant purple ”Ziggy Stardust” jacket – ”something David Bowie would not have looked out of place wearing on ”The Spiders From Mars” tour – mixed with a palette of blues, a little handcrafted metalwork and a hint of black.

Online retail

Role reversal? Online fashion goes offline.

Some fashion e-tailers such as eBay and Net-A-Porter are testing offline presences, but where does this leave their e-commerce?
The benefits of online retail models are well documented. With a classic bootstrapping startup, low overheads and global reach were essential to my partner and I when we set up our online fashion business, LUX FIX. In fact, we probably would have had very little chance of making our mark in the highly competitive fashion retail sector were we not internet-based. So it has been particularly intriguing for us to see an apparent full circle occur in online retail, as e-tailers such as Net-A-Porter, Ebay and Etsy start to test offline presences in the form of showrooms and pop-up shops.

This might at first seem a counter-intuitive development, given that online retail is often accused of killing the high street. Why would pure online players want an offline presence, particularly businesses held up as poster children of the new digital world? But the way we see it is that these players are not backtracking to a traditional offline model but rather are using offline to enhance the online customer journey.

The traditional offline retail customer journey, of course, includes real-world interaction in the form of store visits, seeing, touching and trying. The online customer journey offers the key advantage of shopping the globe from home to office, tablet to smartphone – real-world contact is delayed until the purchase has been delivered. Using a bricks-and-mortar showroom or pop-up store allows e-tailers to enhance the online customer journey through increased real world interaction with customers.

Natural progression

Planning our first offline foray was a natural progression for us. We have a close relationship with our designer partners, who provide our customers with edits of their new collections each season, and we wanted to find a way to allow customers to benefit from these exclusive relationships offline, as well as online. As a result, we will be launching a pop-up showroom next week at our friend’s venue in central London where customers will be able to discover new brands and collections in the flesh. have enjoyed huge increased conversion since opening their showroom. Ning Li, the site’s co-founder & CEO, told us that, “While there is a market for purely online selling, we know that there is an emerging trend for e-tailers to display their goods and provide an extension to their website. Our showroom provides customers with the chance to experience the quality of the products; something that’s harder to assess online. Not only is the conversion rate extremely high, it’s a great place for us to get feedback from customers.”

It will be very interesting for us to see the results of our online to offline exploration but also, in any case, a great opportunity to have a glass of wine and chat to some of our customers, something vital in ensuring good customer relations.


Prada opens ‘imaginary wardrobe’ of men’s fashions in Milan.

Miuccia Prada collaborates with furniture design company Knoll.
The highlight of Milan fashion week on Sunday came courtesy of one of fashion’s most influential hands, Miuccia Prada, who presented her latest men’s collection in a specially created giant house.

As guests arrived, they encountered a series of interior room sets, featuring a mix of modern-retro, 60s-style furniture, with brightly hued everyday props including irons and telephones.

Trompe l’oeil windows featured large images, reminiscent of pop art paintings hanging on a wall, which during the show featured moving images.
Created as part of a one-off collaboration with furniture design company Knoll, the overall effect was like a mash-up of an art gallery, a design museum and a shoot in World of Interiors magazine.

Models wove among the decor in what was easily Prada’s most appealing menswear collection in a while – it was somehow both brilliantly straightforward and yet thoroughly “fashion” too. The first outfit of a blue knit over a red shirt with narrow, short check trousers – ankles are still very much in next season – with chunky lace-ups worn with no socks, had an air of the cool nerd, which is very much part of the brand’s aesthetic.

Collars were artfully askew, poking out of jumper necklines, while shirt bottoms were mainly left untucked. Fun gingham ruffle-front shirts and check Crombie coats had a whiff of a 50s teddy boy, though the collection was never obviously about one particular period.

“A still life of an imaginary wardrobe,” said Prada backstage. “The imaginary set of the home, for the clothes.” This collection, she, explained was designed to be all about clothes that are right for now, from fabrics to shapes and details.

“Fashion is basically about what you want to wear. It is not some strange thing,” she scoffed. “The blouson [jacket] has a high border in knit for example. The knit was out of fashion but now the knit is again in fashion.”

The mainly red, blue and yellow palette, which Prada called “banal, classic, illustrative”, provided a refreshing jolt. Poppy-hued leather blazer-jackets with three buttons (shaping up as the new two buttons on suit jackets) were worn with bright tops. Tailored jackets and trousers came in colour block combinations, such as turquoise blue with burgundy. “There is a specific inspiration [for the palette] that I will never tell,” said Prada.

The Golden Globes

There’s chilly fashion chatter at Globes.

The Golden Globes boasted some red-hot arrivals to kick off the Hollywood awards season even as the fashion chatter among top movie and TV stars was largely about an unusually chilly night.

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture, Claire Danes in Versace and Zooey Deschanel in Oscar de la Renta were among those in red at Sunday’s show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif.

With all the pressure to strike the right style note, Lawrence, in a strapless gown with gold metal belt, broke the ice: “I don’t really know what ‘haute’ means,” she told E!

Megan Fox in Dolce & Gabbana, Amy Adams in Marchesa and Hayden Panettiere in Roberto Cavalli fueled their own trend in delicate blush-colored gowns. Amanda Seyfried struck a vintage vibe in the same palette in a high-neck gown covered in lace by Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Vera Wang sweetheart gown was delicate blush covered with black lace and a floral Chantilly lace overlay.

“I’d rather be nippy than boiling hot. No, I’m not wearing any leggings or long underwear,” she said.

She also said she purposely picked simple jewelry — including 11-carat diamond drop earrings and a diamond, onyx-and-ruby ring by Fred Leighton — because she wanted to honor the craftsmanship of the dress.

Jessica Chastain’s Calvin Klein sea foam-blue halter gown was custom-made for her by designer Francisco Costa, and Julianne Moore said she sent an email request to friend Tom Ford to make her gown. She wore a black gown with an open cowl back and contrasting white around the waistline. Debra Messing said it was the New York setting of her show, “Smash,” that influenced her selection of a black Donna Karan strapless gown.

Katharine McPhee wore anything but boring black. She made a huge fashion statement in a modern black high-slit gown with a plunging V-neck by Olivier Theyskens for Theory.

News reached

First look at relaunched Ossie Clark label.

Here is a sneak preview of the relaunched Ossie Clark label, Ossie Clark London, before it lands in Debenhams stores nationwide.
News reached us in November that Ossie Clark owner Alison Mansell Ltd had struck an exclusive deal with Debenhams that would mean the high-street department store would stock the collection in shop-in-shops across 45 stores nationwide – and now we have a glimpse of the spring/summer 2013 collection.
Headed by creative director and Central Saint Martins graduate Nicholas Georgiou, the 95-piece collection ranges from £49 to £189 and aims to echo founder Clark’s intuitive understanding of the female form. The range also includes a limited run of unreleased vintage designs, remastered for 2013.The ‘Dorchester’ dress, ‘Ivy’ dress and ‘Iconic’ dress.
“Ossie Clark was one of the most influential and talented designers, not just in the UK but worldwide. Ossie Clark London looks to the present and beyond, benefitting from modern materials and new printing techniques but still retaining the flavour of Ossie’s original designs,” said Georgiou.
The brand was started by its eponymous founder in the mid-Sixties, and went on to become one of the defining labels of the decade, with fans such as Marianne Faithfull, Mick Jagger and the Stones, Bianca Jagger and Twiggy. It stalled in the Eighties with the arrival of Punk, but was later relaunched in 2008 by Marc Worth on the London Fashion Week stage with Avsh Alom Gur as head of design, only to be shut down just a year later.

Bridal dress

Blake Lively is rumoured to have wed boyfriend Ryan Reynolds over the weekend, but the question that remains on our lips is which designer wedding dress did she opt for?
Blake is known for styling and creating looks herself, both for her laidback style and the red carpet, and very very rarely gets it wrong.

But who did she wear for her big day?
We have a couple of options: Chanel – she’s long been a fan of the brand, and Karl Lagerfeld has become a close friend of the actresses; she even accompanied him to the 2011 MET Ball. Let’s not forget the fact that she is the first non-European face of Chanel fronting the Madmoiselle handbag campaign. Blake has also chosen Chanel on a number of occasions, my favourite being the white Chanel Couture piece she wore to the Green Lantern LA premiere, pictured above.

A Chanel bridal dress would be classic and beautiful.
Gucci – Blake is fronting the latest fragrance campaign, Gucci Premiere, so this again would be a natural choice for her.
A Gucci bridal dress would be elegant and edgy. Marchesa – The Gossip Girl actress is often spotted wearing Marchesa designs, so I think with something like this brand she would have had a lot of input into the design process.
She often choses their shorter designs, so maybe they could have designed the dress she may have changed into for later in the evening.
A Marchesa bridal gown would be stylish and on-trend.
We can all put bets on that she most likely chose Christian Louboutin to design her shoes, she’s rarely seen without them and the pair get on so well he even designed a ‘Blake’ shoe.

With rumours circulating that both Florence Welch and Bette Midler both performed at the reception I can’t wait to see some images surface from the supposed wedding.

Who do you think she wore?


Wedding bells for fashion in New York and Karachi

Carolina Herrera is giving next year’s spring brides no fewer than 22 options for virtually every type of wedding.
Her show in New York was inspired by a recent Cecil Beaton exhibition in London and her dresses included silky satin and detailed embroidery.
The veteran designer said wedding-wear has never been about fads and fashions, saying each bride should be true to her personal style.
“I think they should be sure what they want to wear. It’s not what they are told to wear because they are the ones who have to feel well and they have to look radiant, and they have to feel confident about themselves,” she said.
The Pakistan fashion world has also been focusing on tying the know with a Bridal Couture Week in the eastern style.
The grand finale in Karachi featured collections by five designers including Tabassum Mughal who presented a fusion of East and West and of Victorian and Mughal style.
She said: “Basically my collection was really royal and very maharani type this time. Initially I showed the mixture of Eastern and Western, then we also had mix of Victorian and Mughal Empire together, then motives from Islamic architecture, from different Mughal eras we took out a lot of things.”
Nineteen designers and labels from Pakistan and India took part in the three day event in Karachi, a reflection of the importance of bridal-wear in the region. Wedding dresses are believed to be the largest single market in Pakistani fashion.


Victoria Beckham takes a surprised bow to passionate applause for fashion show.

She may have risen to fame as one of the singers with the all-female pop group Spice Girls as Posh Spice but her fashion sense and latest clothing line she designed for spring/summer 2013 is also making headlines after getting the seal of approval from fashion experts in the front row during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at the New York Public Library, Astor Hall over the weekend.
Sitting in the front row included Editor-in-Chief for Vogue, Anna Wintour and Vogue’s Fashion Director for Japan, Anna Dello Russo. Also front and center was Victoria’s ever so handsome soccer star husband David Beckham who also has his own clothing lines and Maria Sharapova, the beautiful Russian professional tennis star.
View slideshow: Victoria Beckham takes a surprised bow to passionate applause for fashion show
Fashon experts in the front row including Victoria Beckham’s proud husband David Beckham looking on at her latest 2013 fashion show for Spring/Summer 2013.
Fashon experts in the front row including Victoria Beckham’s proud husband David Beckham looking on at her latest 2013 fashion show for Spring/Summer 2013.
Delighted with the exhuberant applause from the audience, Victoria looked happy and even a little surprised as she took a bow at the end of her show.
Models were seen wearing a tailored look of sharp and structured separates, shirtdresses, short skirts and trousers with crisp shirts and pointed collars yet with a touch of feminine delicacy that Victoria said she wanted to add in her very latest collection. Instead of the towering heels that most models wear as they try to keep their balance on the runway, Victoria uses flat broques and boots keeping comfort in mind.

Passionate about the fashions she designs Victoria explained how her clothes work.”The collection is versatile, modern, and there is an ease about it,” Victoria said after the show. “There isn’t a thing out there that I wouldn’t wear myself. I want women to feel good, to feel empowered and confident.”
Victoria said she needs to make sure the texture of the materials she uses in her collection is just right to create the sharp tailored look she loves. It is the texture Victoria said that is even more important than the colors she selects for each design to pull off what is becoming an iconic fashion look.
Somehow through each design Victoria creates its easy to imagine her wearing them. “I want to design what I want to wear,” she said.


High street ‘goes boutique’ to compete with malls and supermarkets.

The British High Street has gone through many reinventions, with the hope of attracting more customers – this time it’s gone more ’boutique’.

In a bid to gain more customers and sales the high street is once again changing it’s look.

A study of the UK’s independent shops by Simply Business has revealed that the traditional high street stalwarts of cafes, pubs and takeaways are gradually being replaced by more specialist and boutique outlets such as health food shops, tea rooms, arts & crafts stores, wine bars and old fashioned sweet shops.

The leading business insurance provider analysed over 30,000 independent retail outlets it insures across the UK, revealing that the proportion of pubs is down by 20 per cent in the last year, cafes are down by 11 per cent, sandwich bars are down by 16 per cent and takeaways down by three per cent.Meanwhile, wine bars are up 13 per cent, tea rooms up nine per cent, traditional sweet shops up by 15 per cent and health food shops increased by a significant 42 per cent – revealing a new-look high street aimed at a more discerning customer. Local butchers and bakeries have also seen a revival, rising 21 and 17 per cent respectively, suggesting shoppers are happy to go to specialist outlets rather than supermarkets for certain purchases.


The high street has been struggling, with latest figures from the British Retail Consortium showing a 5.5 per cent decline on last year’s footfall. However, these findings suggest that retailers have taken heed of the advice from Government’s appointed ‘High Street Tsar’ Mary Portas to ‘create experiences different to the ones consumers can get online or in shopping malls.’

The findings show further evidence that independent retailers are catering to the needs recession-conscious Brits, with a noticeable increase in the number of shops dedicated to ‘make it yourself’ purchases. For example, fabric shops are up 44 per cent, home baking shops by 50 per cent, while art and craft shops have seen a 29 per cent rise in the last year. There is also a trend for vintage and customisable goods, with second hand shops seeing a six per cent rise and charity shops up 27 per cent.

“It is encouraging to see that the high street is adapting to the new retail landscape, where savvy shoppers have numerous alternatives including online, out of town shopping malls and supermarkets,” comments Jason Stockwood, CEO, Simply Business. “Our findings show that independent retailers are increasingly looking to specialise or offer something different to alternative outlets, tempting shoppers with a more quirky, unique experience.

“We can also see fascinating evidence that while today’s shoppers still like the finer things in life, they are putting effort into making their own treats and also shopping around for bargains. The rise in fabric shops, bakers produce and second hand shops suggests that Brits are becoming more creative and resourceful with how they spend their money.”


Suzanne makes it a double as she wins best dressed for second time.

A 20 dollar vintage cameo brooch turned into a €25,000 windfall for racing fashion queen Suzanne McGarry in the Curragh yesterday.
Suzanne took inspiration from the blue brooch and designed her dress of cream scalloped lace over cornflower blue silk worn with a disc hat by Galway milliner Edel Ramberg .
“I put my heart into this outfit and it took a few months to get it just right after I bought the brooch on,” said Suzanne. She teared up emotionally after being presented with her prize by Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner whose late father Walter founded the Moyglare Stud in Maynooth 50 years ago.
Her prize takes Suzanne to the White Turf races held on the snow in St Moritz in February and the sales consultant also won €5,000 of Newbridge Silverware presented to her by Gay Byrne.
An experienced fashion competitor on the racing circuit, Suzanne won Best Dressed at the Galway Races in 2011 and she confessed how she ‘road tested’ the outfit earlier in the summer but aimed to have it right for yesterday and the free admission to the course attracted a big crowd.
Many of the fashion hopefuls looked to the Newbridge Silverware ‘Style Icon ‘ museum down the road for inspiration for their outfits and there were lots of family heirlooms rolled out from handbags to shoes , umbrellas to hats.
“I’m the only Galway woman here today” declared Rita Melia from Athenry who was one of the five Best Dressed finalists wearing the Mother-of-bride outfit from her daughter Ruth’s vintage-themed wedding at the Meyrick hotel in June.


Maria Osborne from Naas wore a red vintage jumpsuit she bought for €30 online, an Aisling Ahern bought hat bought for her as a birthday present plus the cream shoes from her wedding this summer. “The red is typical of a primary school teacher going for primary colours, ” she laughed.
Doncaster -native Pam Lynch , now living in Kildare looked the epitome of Grace Kelly elegance in a vintage Escada dress with a narrow fur collar and a pearl encrusted hat by Tralee milliner Carol Kennelly.
Gay Byrne recalled his Late Late interview Audrey Hepburn, the most legendary style icon of all.
“She was everything I expected her to be and more and at the end, she stood up, put her arms around my neck and kissed me on the lips. I wasn’t right for three weeks afterwards,” said Gay who revealed he has recorded three of six programmes for the next series of his RTE show The Meaning of Life due to screen in October.
“I interviewed Niall Quinn, Noel Gallagher (of Oasis fame) and also Mary McAleese who was so interesting, we are extending the McAleese show from half an hour to 60 minutes.
“She has done a licentiate in Canon law in Rome and is going back to do a two year doctorate ,” said Gay.
The Irish racing scene is full of the so-called ‘professionals’ who make a hobby, for some a career, of competiting in the Best Dressed competitions and yesterday’s prize at €25,000 was the richest single win this year so it’s little wonder Suzanne put in so much work and effort into her €500 outfit and later cried alittle as she contemplated the prospect of heading off to glamorous racing in the snow in Switzerland.


The fact that Suzanne won yesterday 14 months after her high profile win at Ballybrit with a black and red outfit is testimony to the Sligo’s her eye for getting it right on the day.
She has acquired a skill at balancing an outfit and achieving an original look – the kind of stand-out-in-the-crowd look that gets you noticed by both photographers and judges.
She clearly has an ability to balance the whole big hat/ great dress conundrum. Call it yin and yang if you like, but on Suzanne, they are never opposing forces, almost complementary.
In this case, she designed the dress and had it made by Verona Doherty . She also liased with milliner Edel Ramberg on the hat which featured stiffened lace similar to that used in her dress. If the scalloped lace was easy, finding the cornflower blue fabric for the underdress was not but when it came together, she accessorised with simple nude accessories including a clutch from high street store Barratts.
Earlier, I mingled with contestants in the Newbridge Style Lounge where there was everything from hair grooming to last minute make-up application and a tarot card reader. It was clear from my detective work that the eager contestants hadn’t just gone out and bought an accessories and outfit for the day. These outfits had been planned with almost military precision and eager contestants took the opportunity to pre-register their intent to be considered.
I went away with a handful of business cards from young women who approached and told me they had started their own hat making business. What is it about hats that has sparked such a reincarnation in millinery skills.
I also went home delighted that I hadn’t encountered a single ball gall at the Curragh race course. Allelieu.
Cynics will guffaw about a racing regular winning yet anothe prize but the reality is, these ‘professionals’ as they are known on the race course circuit, put a lot of work into evolving their look and editing their frocks to suit the occasion.
The Style Icon title of the Newbridge sponsored gig gave plenty of clues as to the vibe of the gig and with Moyglare Stud involved, it was always going to be a very classy line up.

Women collection

New York Fashion: Hilfiger and von Furstenberg.

Tommy Hilfiger embraced the sailing life in his 2013 women collection at New York Fashion Week, continuing his theme of stripes and infusing a relaxed look into his favourite tailored shapes.

He said: “This is the American voyage.She’s travelling the world and it’s about sea and land. It’s about nautical and safari. So she’s going on a yacht and she’s dressing comfy and casual and she’s wearing menswear-influenced pyjamas. Lot of stripes.”

Vertical and horizontal lines played a big part in his clothes along with flowing loose-fitting trousers and blazers.

Also in Manhattan, Diane Von Furstenberg’s collection was luxury wanderlust – outfits with what she described as “the polish of a princess and the heart of gypsy”.

Women line

Tommy Hilfiger showed his women line on Sunday night in the Chelsea Market passage on the Highline, and it was so windy that we were concerned the hundreds of hurricane lanterns he’d hung over our heads might actually have to live up to their names. Or, at the very least, that the gale force winds might blow someone’s hair off.
Luckily, no one was crushed by a falling lighting rig, and everyone’s top knot stayed top-knotted, which was surely a relief to all the celebs in the house. The first boldfaced name we spotted was Kimora Lee Simmons (accompanied by Russell), who raced across the runway to embrace Olympian Sanya Richards-Ross. “I’ve never seen someone make Sanya look so short in all my life,” we overheard one of SRR’s friends say, as the women posed for pictures together. It’s true that KLS was looking particularly leggy, although Sanya was doing her best to elongate her look by sporting black-and-white-striped trousers and a huge and fabulous hat. Sanya wasn’t the only Olympian in the house, nor even the only sprinter: We also got to ogle Allyson Felix, who is as pretty in person as she was racing around the track on our TV .

On the non-athlete front, there was Britt Robertson, whom you probably don’t remember from the CW’s canceled show Life Unexpected, nor from the CW’s canceled show The Secret Circle (unless you watch as much of the CW as we evidently do), but who nevertheless looked cute in a pair of paisley shorts. You surely do, however, remember the other actress present: Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld. “I’m easing into it,” she told a reporter who asked her how her Fashion Week was going. She did look stylishly comfortable in a refreshingly age-appropriate sweater-dress, paired with penny loafers and bare legs. She may be easing into it, but cute flats at a Sunday show? The kid is obviously a natural.


Naomi Wolf pens paean to good sex

We have a pinched nerve to thank for the latest book from Naomi Wolf, author of the best-selling “The Beauty Myth,” about the fashion industry’s oppression of women.
At 46, Wolf began to suffer from a spinal nerve compression that diminished her pleasure during sexual intercourse, draining it of its “poetic dimension.”
X-rays revealed that damaged vertebrae were exerting pressure on her pelvic nerve, which branches out from the base of the spine to the clitoris, vagina and cervix.
After going over anatomical illustrations, she has a “eureka” moment in which she realizes “that there is a profound brain-vagina connection” and that the female pelvic nerve is in some ways “the secret to everything related to femininity.”
This sends her on a two-year quest to investigate female arousal and orgasm in female lab rats, world literature and New Age therapies like “sacred spot massage.”
The result is “Vagina: A New Biography,” in which Wolf not very convincingly argues that vaginal orgasms of the “full melting” kind, powerful enough to flood the brain with pleasure-inducing chemicals, stimulating to the clitoris and cervix as well as the vagina and soul, are the key to liberation and happiness for women, men and all the planet.
There isn’t much here for readers interested in a thoughtful discussion of feminism at a time when the v-word is uttered unbleeped on network television. Instead, Wolf offers up a stew of scientific-sounding statements about women’s neurochemistry and astonishing generalizations like “the vagina is a gateway to a woman’s happiness and to her creative life.”
Along the way, she offers advice to men on the best way to help their partners “reclaim the Goddess,” defined as “a mediator and protector of women’s highest, most joyful and most unbroken sense of self.” Some tips: “Bring home a rose. Make the restaurant reservation. Tidy the bedroom. Light the candle.”
In case you were wondering, Wolf recovers from her malaise. Surgery relieves the nerve compression, and in a matter of months, her orgasms are like “that transition in `The Wizard of Oz’ in which Dorothy goes from black-and-white Kansas to colorful, magical Oz.”


Fashion Week Stargazing: Days 3 and 4.

On a sticky Saturday morning, with heavy rain and humidity that turned ponytails into pom poms, the Lacoste show kicked off a long weekend of celebrity sightings.

Kris Humphries, the Nets player and famous Kim Kardashian ex, made it to Lincoln Center just before the downpour started. He was dressed in a red plaid button-down, worn open, a gray T-shirt and slim jeans. The Nets’ move to Brooklyn from New Jersey seemed to have rubbed off. “You know, it’s kind of the whole hipster thing,” Mr. Humphries said of his outfit.Rather than cool things off, the rain turned the runway venues into steam rooms. At Prabal Gurung, held at Pier 57, the heat had influenced wardrobe choices. Bravo’s Andy Cohen showed up in a T-shirt, jeans and brown flip-flops. “It’s humid, so the most important thing is to let my dogs breathe,” he said, nodding to his exposed toes. “I woke up this morning and actually was debating the flip-flops.”

“No one cares what I’m wearing,” he added. His front-row mates might disagree. They included Brad Goreski, Barbara Bush, Kate Bosworth, Hailee Steinfeld and Allison Williams.

The humidity was also challenging at Edun, which took place at 1 p.m. at the Skylight at Moynihan Station. Alicia Keys, with short slicked-back hair and big Jackie O sunglasses, had the right idea: she wore white after Labor Day in the form of a white button-down and white and black jeans.Temperatures didn’t get any better later in the day. At Alexander Wang’s show at Pier 94, the Knicks center Tyson Chandler, who said the heat had taken him by surprise, towered above the rest. Beside him, his wife, Kimberly, remarked, “Each show is hotter and hotter inside.”

Despite the heat, Mr. Chandler was dressed in a black felt hat, black Rick Owens slouchy tunic top, black lambskin cropped pants with drop-crotch and high Esquivel boots. “I own a lot of Rick Owens. He knows how to cut for a tall guy,” Mr. Chandler said, adding, “I love the avant-garde.”

Front row was only part of the draw. Liberty Ross didn’t just step out after the Kristen Stewart scandal. She stomped down the runway modeling a cool white ensemble by the designer. Other light-colored pieces were literally glow-in-the-dark.


Post-show, the rapper ASAP Rocky, who was seated in the same row as Justin Theroux and the rap duo Die Antwoord, liked the luminescent pieces. “If I had a girlfriend, that’s exactly how I would want her to dress,” ASAP Rocky said. “Glow-in-the-dark is back.”
Luckily, the weather turned on Sunday and the fashion flock woke up to gentle breezes and crisp autumn sunshine. Athletes, who were scattered at shows all day, certainly weren’t sweating it. At Victoria Beckham, held at the New York Public Library, David Beckham looked sharp in a natty blazer and tie. And Maria Sharapova, who said it was the only show she would be attending all week, looked cool and collected, seated next to Anna Wintour.
At Derek Lam’s show in SoHo, the Swedish blogger Elin Kling was feeling nostalgic. “The light reminds me of Scandinavia,” Ms. Kling, 29, said. She had relocated to New York a year and a half ago, and in that time, had designed a collection for H&M, sold a company she helped start to Condé Nast, and was working on a collaboration with Guess. “I’m not a baby anymore,” Ms. Kling said.
Over at the men’s shows, athletic ability meshed well with tailoring. At Michael Bastian, the Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse, the hockey star (and part-time fashionista) Sean Avery and the polo player Nic Roldan were front row. “I loved it,” Mr. Morehouse said after the show, handsomely attired in a Bastian blazer and two-toned shoes. “It was fantastic.”
In women’s wear, the day picked up speed at Lincoln Center. At Tracy Reese – whose brocade dress Michelle Obama wore her for the Democratic National Convention speech last week – there were lots of girl-next-door types: Lauren Conrad, Katie Lee and Shenae Grimes.


A couple of hours later, the turnout at Diane von Furstenberg really wowed. There was Sarah Jessica Parker in teal (flanked by Andy Cohen in shiny shoes, by the way), Wendi Murdoch in pink, and Valentino Garavani in orange. O.K., so maybe Mr. Garavani was actually in blue and khaki, but his retirement tan nearly glowed.
Was this Ms. Parker’s idea of a relaxing Sunday? “It’s less frequent these days,” she said. “But for DVF, anything.”
Ms. Murdoch, who brought her daughter Grace, had shiny strands in her hair. “That’s colored tinsel,” she said. “I cut my hair recently, so you know, I’m playing with it,” she said, shrugging.
The full day wrapped up with the Tommy Hilfiger women’s wear show, which went off beautifully (flickering candle lanterns lighting up the High Line) right before a nighttime drizzle.
Allyson Felix was nearly unrecognizable in a maxi skirt and silk printed top with smoky, bedroom eyes. “I know, people only recognize me in athletic gear,” the Olympic gold medalist said. “It’s actually nice to put clothes on.” She had also swung by the United States Open earlier in the day to watch Serena Williams, a fellow Olympian, in the women’s final. (Ms. Wintour had the same idea.)
“We don’t really talk about fashion together,” Ms. Felix said. “Although, we do share a passion for Hello Kitty.”


‘It’s a dream’: From orphanage to runway, model walks at Fashion Week.
Just two months ago, Fior Mendez lived in an orphanage in the Dominican Republic, keeping close watch over her surrogate brothers and sisters. Despite her hardships, she always told friends that one day she would be a runway model, just like the young women on television whom they admired.
Now, she’s made that dream a reality, having walked the runway on Friday night at Lincoln Center for New York Fashion Week.
With a translator’s help, Mendez choked up with tears when she described the astonishing changes her life has undergone in just a few short weeks.
“I’m overwhelmed emotionally, it’s a dream,” said the 22-year-old, who is surprisingly well-versed in fashion lingo and hopes to one day walk for Chanel. “I couldn’t imagine that a person like me would be doing this in New York City.”
At 21, Mendez became too old to remain at the orphanage any longer, but a good friend of the organization’s founder, Sonia Hane, invited the aspiring model to come live with her in New York City to learn English. That led to a meeting with a casting agent, and an opportunity to walk the runway during New York Fashion Week for Nzinga Knight, an American Muslim designer with a Caribbean background.Knight didn’t even know about Mendez’s unusual history when she hired her to wear her designs at the fifth annual Harlem’s Fashion Row show.
“Just as my third casting session was about to be over, Fior Mendez walked in the room and did her walk and had this wonderful expression on her face, plus natural beauty,” Knight told “I was sold.”
Knight later learned that the early years of Mendez’s life were fraught with homelessness and uncertainty. Mendez moved often with her mother and four siblings, and they rarely knew where the next meal would come from.
When Mendez was 13, her mother decided she could no longer take care of all her children. She left the girl at Orfanato Niños de Cristo orphanage in the town of La Romana. Since then, Mendez has had no contact with her family.
But she says she found a family of a different kind in the orphanage, where she spent eight years of her life. There she became part of a community and established herself as a “quiet leader,” quickly becoming the right-hand woman of Hane, the orphanage’s founder. “I was very scared before,” Mendez said. “I had no one place to live, so every night I went to sleep scared and didn’t know if I would get a meal.”
Female orphans in Latin America often fall into prostitution or remain in poverty, but she started going to school at the orphanage and received computer training, said Andy Stein, who got to know Mendez when his nonprofit, The Orphaned Starfish Foundation, built a computer center for Orfanato Niños de Cristo.
“She is an incredibly kind soul,” Stein told “What you’ll always see on her face is a massive smile.”
Before her slender 5-foot-10-inch build became an asset on the catwalk, she used it to her benefit to play volleyball at the orphanage. But modeling was an early — and enduring — obsession, one she picked up from the many modeling shows broadcast in the Dominican Republic. As a lanky teenager, Mendez would practice poses in the mirror. With a support system, including Stein and his foundation, the transition wasn’t as difficult as it could have been for an orphan heading to the big city without a command of English. Stein’s girlfriend introduced Mendez to Prince Riley, the founder of boutique modeling firm Signature Talent Agency. Riley immediately signed the “natural poser” and sent her out on casting calls.
“Every casting I’ve sent her on she’s booked,” he told “The fashion industry is definitely embracing her.”
Though she plans to continue sashaying down the runway, she also hopes to inspire orphaned and homeless children back in the Dominican Republic. In the future she’d like to study communications and become a newscaster or spokesperson.
“I want to help homeless children have a voice,” she said.
For now, Mendez is soaking in the scene of Fashion Week, keeping up with her English classes and learning how to navigate New York City. Her thoughts, however, are never far from the orphanage she called home for many years, and the children who made up her surrogate family.
“I want to be a light for those kids,” she said. “I want to show them that if you are dedicated, you can do something, and that even if you’re sad, you always have hope.”


90′s Fashion Trends.

When you look back it’s hard to believe how close the 90s actually were, the fashion trends look like ancient and dated. To celebrate the release of American Pie: Reunion we take a look through them.
‘90s Fashion: Exercise Wear.
Exercise Wear such as converse, dresses with tights, exercise shoes and leotards worn with jeans became increasingly popular during this period.
‘90s Fashion: Grunge Wear.
Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, was an inspiration for the grunge look that made its entrance into mainstream fashion in the ‘90s. Flannel shirts become popular, which lasted the majority of the decade as these were padded and loose, the style also incorporated acid wash denim jackets, wool jumpers, black leather jackets, sheepskin coats, Members Only Jackets, Corduroy and Anoraks.
Let’s not forget the fashion at festivals, take a look at the picture of All Saints (below) from the Virgin Media V Festival in 98. Grunge at its best.
‘90s Fashion: Cute Baby Wear
Cher and Clueless became part of our culture with baby doll dresses and thigh-high stockings becoming part of our day to day wear. This was enhanced by the arrival of the Spice Girls, with pink and baby blue taking dominance for baby spice, crop tops for Sporty, and Union Jack motifs most famously worn by Geri, which was inspired by the ‘Cool Britannia’ movement.‘90s Fashion: Hip-Hop Style.
Hip-Hop fashion inspired by the figures such as the Fresh Prince became mainstream and many wore loose and baggy clothing such as oversized baseball jackets, bomber jackets and tracksuits, yoga pants and cargo trousers.

‘90s Fashion: Platform Trainers.
Emma, Geri, Mel C, Mel B and Scary all wore them and so did we too! ‘90s Fashion: Denim, Denim, Denim!!!
The Beverly Hills: 90210 were wearing it which made it a staple in many people’s wardrobes, double denim and baggy denim shirts were also the order of the day. Denim overalls were also a big hit with teenagers in the ’90s and if you were really cool you only wore one strap and let the other hang loose down your back.
American Pie: Reunion out on the 10th September. Also available on 10th September is the 1-4 Boxset on DVD & Blu-ray containing American Pie, American Pie 2, American Pie The Wedding & American Pie Reunion.

New collection

‘I want women to feel good’: Beckham launches new collection.

Victoria Beckham has sent out a sumptuous spring-summer 2013 collection during New York fashion week, proving her designing career is no flash in the Spice Girl pan.
With her smiling and supportive football star husband David Beckham in the front row, Beckham eschewed the edginess of many of this season’s looks by sticking to the feminine lines that she does best.
“We focused on texture this year more than on colour,” she said backstage after her show at the New York Public Library on Sunday, pointing out the use of chiffon and graphic lace.
One of the surprises was the footwear: not just strappy high-heel boots, but also flat sandals, created by Manolo Blahnik.
Beckham, who first showed in New York in 2008 when her collection was made up of just 10 pieces, was especially proud of her more tailored looks and the daring yet smart lingerie under sheer silk.
“I pushed it a little bit further,” she said.
“I was also really excited to bring trousers this season, with seaming details … I want women to feel good, to feel empowered and confident,” she explained.
“The collection is versatile, modern, and there is an ease about it,” added Beckham, as her husband proudly cradled their year-old daughter Harper in his arms nearby. “There isn’t a thing out there that I wouldn’t wear myself.”
Beckham prudently chose to show in an early time slot on Sunday, getting a jump on a raft of big-name designers and labels including Diane von Furstenberg, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Thakoon Panichgul.
Also showing on Sunday was Tracy Reese, riding a wave of publicity after First Lady Michelle Obama picked one of her dresses to wear for her speech at the Democratic National Convention.


As women lighten up, men follow suit on New York’s runways.

Taking a cue from the women’s lines which command center stage at New York’s Fashion Week, looks for men waxed casual, hewing towards leisure and athletic wear, with an emphasis on colors and patterns.
The perennial poor relation of women’s high fashion, menswear is nonetheless gaining momentum, as well as market share, in the high-stakes retail business, analysts say. Men’s interest in clothing and personal style is growing and they continue to move toward shopping for themselves, they say.
Sales of menswear are projected to grow some 14 percent a year, or nearly double the pace of luxury womens wear, according to consulting firm Bain & Co.
And men are studying up as they spread their fashion wings.
“Men are spending more time online and learning about dressing,” said Tom Julian, author and retail trends expert. “As a result, look for lifestyle options – head-to-toe concepts and brands that are distinct and unique.”


Tim Bess, men’s fashion trend analyst for retail consultants, the Doneger Group, said menswear was gaining momentum “in a refined, casual, modern way.”
Such experts taking stock of the collections showing at New York’s Fashion Week, which runs through until Thursday, pointed to a wealth of prints, colors and unstructured tailoring as hallmarks of the spring 2013 looks.
“The athletic leisure look which has taken hold is now really taking off,” said Bess. Shorts are worn with blazers, and jackets no longer mandate a collared shirt.
Meanwhile, one of the biggest changes in menswear isn’t happening on the runways at all, but on city streets, as evidenced by the new store openings dedicated to menswear.

Julian pointed to “an explosion of labels that continue to reach modern men by marketing their collections in their own freestanding retails stores, of within department and specialty stores.”
Examples include Ted Baker, True Religion, Scotch & Soda and Vince, as well as Topman, which is being launched in the United States by Nordstrom.
Another trend is an increasing influence from swim and beachwear in sportswear. “Many designers and brands are extending the concept of swim trunks,” Julian said, citing “an emergence of retro surf” which is expected “to go nostalgic and West Coast.”
Accordingly, for his first collection for Joseph Abboud, designer Bernardo Rojo showed suits and separates befitting jaunts to the beach or tennis club, rendered in soft variations on white, ivory or gray, as well as bold reds, yellows and blues.
Neckties were absent and jackets unlined and deconstructed, while suits bordered on rumpled.
Unstructured looks dominated at Duckie Brown’s show, where square-cut jackets topped billowy pants and billowy tops were paired with red plaid trousers.

The collection

Nicholas K showed unstructured, oversized flowing separates noteworthy for oversized lapels, plunging shawl collars and bl ock-co lor to ps paired with shorts or rolled up trousers.
Tommy Hilfiger hewed toward schoolboy with a leisure-oriented bent, showing insignia-emblazoned blazers in solids and stripes paired with shorts and track-suit style trousers.
Stripes were everywhere. Hilfiger splashed vertical stripes in his trademark red, white and blue, from narrow to wide, on everything from casual to workout-inspired suits.
Lacoste, synonymous with leisure fashion, also showed bold colors, as well as unstructured jackets and voluminous parkas.
Richard Chai ventured into different territory, featuring lightweight, square cuts, color blocking and shirts that bordered on translucent. Soft, light fabrics with sheen in powder blues and off-whites mixed with jackets and shirts in black and charcoal.
The collection by General Idea didn’t miss a single menswear trend: deconstructed tailoring, color blocking, bright hues, prints and patterns and shorts were all in evidence — in some cases reflected in a single outfit.
In a mini-British invasion, a show later this week will feature four brands being introduced into the U.S. market: Pretty Green, designed by Liam Gallagher, former front man of rock band “Oasis;” the denim brand Fire Trap; Bolongaro Trevor from the original designers behind the cult retail store All Saints; and Richard Smith Prêt à Porter, featuring customizable tailored men’s suits.