Lifestyle brand

Saturday February 2nd, 2013

Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio to launch fashion and lifestyle brand.

Victoria’s Secret stunner Alessandra Ambrosio’s new lifestyle and fashion brand, ‘Alé by Alessandra,’ will launch in Spring 2014. The model mom is collaborating with Cherokee. The womenswear will hit Latin America first.
A new fashion and lifestyle label ‘Alé by Alessandra’ is set to launch in Spring 2014 in collaboration with US-based Cherokee.

Alessandra Ambrosio, Victoria’s Secret model and star of campaigns for Christian Dior, Giorgio Armani, and Ralph Lauren, is set to launch her new brand in Latin America and hopes to later expand around the world.
The Brazilian supermodel is the sixth biggest earner in the modelling world, with her 2012 income estimated at $6.6 million by Forbes magazine. This latest move comes as something of a surprise to the fashion world, but according to the model it was a natural progression: “this is not a hobby for me. I’ve been a fashion model for 15 years and designing is just an extension of my career,” she told WWD.

The 31-year-old model and mother will partner with US-based retailer Cherokee to work on production and distribution. “Alessandra is an international icon, a confident, active professional and is known around the world for her amazing fashion sense,” said Henry Stupp Cherokee’s Chief Executive Officer.

So what can we expect? The label will be “representative of my life, experiences and style,” said Ambrosio in a statement. Sketch images released by the brand reveal summery, light womenswear with a colorful palette. After the international roll-out, plans for the future also include new jewelry, swimwear and fragrance lines as well as accessories.

Pregame festivities

Friday February 1st, 2013

New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Wednesday night, is the big game for style magazines and fashion critics. As part of pregame festivities, here’s a peek into the latest issue of Fashion Projects, a magazine that covers the discipline, accessibly, from an academic perspective. The issue, “On Fashion Criticism,” features thoughtful interviews with today’s most prominent fashion writers, including Robin Givhan, Suzy Menkes, and Judith Thurman. Interviewees speak of what draws them to fashion coverage, their thoughts on its evolution within journalism from trivial to respected, and the idea of fashion writing as a gendered pursuit.

This edition’s focus on fashion criticism stemmed from conversations between editor Francesca Granata and her husband, humor writer Jay Ruttenberg, about how some pop-culture criticism has long been respected but coverage of fashion wasn’t recognized as “criticism” in The New York Times until the 1990s, she said.

“It seemed to me that, in the last decade, fashion criticism has been going through a phase of legitimization that other realms of popular culture criticism, such as rock and film criticism, had undergone decades earlier,” Granata wrote in the issue introduction.

Perusing the issue’s spare, bright pages (designed by a student at Parson’s, where Granata teaches) serves as an interesting peek into the psyches behind the bylines that will proliferate during Fashion Week. Here’s one excerpt I enjoyed, by The New York Times’s Guy Trebay:


Monday January 28th, 2013

Student’s designs shown in Prince Harry charities fashion show.

A Washington State University student was one of the featured designers at the Feb. 2 Royal Fashion Show benefit for two charities of England’s Prince Harry of Wales.

Gordon Stumpo of Denver joined nearly 40 fashion students from around the world who had submitted entries for a design competition preceding the show, which was hosted by charities Pink Ribbons Crusade and Sentebale. The competition was judged by all-star designers and popular contestants from the TV series “Project Runway.” Winning designs were showcased at the Bella Collina Towne and Golf Club in San Clemente, Calif.

“Competitions like this one stretch students and allow them an entrance into a formal public arena,” said Patricia Fischer, senior instructor in WSU’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She worked closely with Stumpo and Marissa Dawson of Seattle, who also entered the competition.

“Both Gordon and Marissa had to learn new and more complex patterning skills beyond those covered in the course content to draft the base patterns for their garments,” Fischer said. “They have both put in a great deal of work outside of class.”
Pink Ribbons Crusade raises funds to fight breast cancer through a traveling exhibit of a multimillion-dollar collection of British royal historical memorabilia, including eight dresses owned and worn by the late Princess Diana, Harry’s mother. Sentebale is a charity for at-risk African children founded by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso of the Lesotho royal family to honor their mothers.

Stumpo, a junior, submitted two dress designs for the competition, both of which were accepted. A major reward during the project was “taking something that was in my mind, using the tools we learned in the classroom and making it physical, tangible,” he said.

The competition also motivated Stumpo’s honors thesis, due this spring, on the evolution of Princess Diana’s clothing styles over time. Part of the thesis will involve creating three to five half-scale garments that interpret Diana’s garment tradition.

Fashion professionals

Thursday January 26th, 2012

Colourama: Pantone has declared tangerine tango, a vivacious juicy orange, the colour of 2012. True enough, last year’s love affair with all things orange is carrying on. But a quick look at the runways reveals a zap of electric yellow – Pantone’s Solar Power – to be the brightener of the season. Paula Patton sported it at the Golden Globes in a gown by Monique Lhuillier, and Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta and Sonia Rykiel all dared to blare. Even H&M coloured its women’s lookbook a dazzling yellow. (The men’s lookbook is orange.)

But the fashion pendulum swings. By the time spring is here, pastels will take their place – moss, baby blue, pink and yellow and soothing neutrals dominated the spring catwalk palette. Think Chanel, with its waterworld set, lacy Louis Vuitton and flapperish Ralph Lauren.

Flipping for flappers: Roaring ’20s style, with the dropped waist, asymmetrical hem, geometric sequin embellishment and a sense of freedom, is back – again. Credit The Artist, with the fetching Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller (loved all her shoes in the flick!), and Baz Luhrmann’s coming remake of The Great Gatsby. Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli and Etro were among the designers putting on the glitz.

Erogenous zone: Fab abs were bared on skinny models at Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Nina Ricci and many more. Not a trend to take universally.

Waterworld: Blue from aqua to turquoise, flowed freely on the catwalks, and is landing in a Winners near you soon, along with water motifs: coral and underwater prints at Mary Katzantrou, clamshell couture at Armani, strange, mermaid-like creatures at Alexander McQueen, and from Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, a show set in an underworld fantasyland.

Couture revival: Fifties classic couture inspired Dries Van Noten, Jil Sander, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta and Theyskens Theory – worn by Piper Perabo at the Golden Globes. The age of elegance is revived for the 21st century.

Fit chic: Beyond Lululemons, athletic designs and high-tech fabrics hit the runway at Alexander Wang, always one to watch.

Here is what three fashion professionals have to say about spring.