Sunday, October 25, 2009

Luxe Laptops by Douglas Little

High-tech meets high-fashion in a new collaboration between Dell and D.L. & Co. creative director Douglas Little. The designer has created a limited-edition line of opulent Adamo laptop skins, which evoke various “Tales of Technology”—working with Bergdorf Goodman’s senior director of visual presentation, David Hoey, to enhance each computer’s concept with a dazzling display in the store’s famed Fifth Avenue windows. Little spoke with us about the project.

Ultimate Temptation

“This one’s obviously based on Eve, the apple, and the snake,” says Little about the biblically inspired Swarovski serpent. “Michael Schmidt, a costume designer who does Cher, Madonna, and Grace Jones, collaborated with me on this.”

Reshaping Technology

“This is caiman crocodile skin, which we pieced together,” says Little. “We just used its shape to make the corsetry. It’s all hand-stitched and embellished with black-diamond Swarovski crystals.”

Divine Design

“This laptop is about chemical symbolism and the idea of the beginning and the ending; it’s about creation,” says Little. “I wanted to use a primitive concept that had a lot of historical research as the basis but also that felt like a lush brooch and very relevant to what’s currently happening in fashion.” Its accompanying window includes a trio of hoop-skirted mannequins styled after Russian nesting dolls.

The Princess and the PC

“The story of the Princess and the Pea is that the princess is the only one who can feel the pea underneath her mattresses, so this speaks to the idea that this is the slimmest laptop available,” Little reveals about this laser-etched mother-of-pearl design.

Enter to win one of the limited edition Adamo's here

Photos: Dell

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Uniform Project:
Ingenious Fashion Philanthropy

The Uniform Project Trailer from The Uniform Project on Vimeo.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Than Just News

Maybe in response to mounting economic pressures or perhaps to delay the looming threat of paid content, some online publications have created partnerships with retailers and set up shop. Whatever the reason, this allows readers to shop instantly while browsing blog posts and editorial spreads. Hopefully, it will allow content to remain free, as well as provide a much-needed source of revenue for sites trying to make up for steep cuts in paid advertising. Here's a taste of where you can find your news and shopping in the same place.

telegraph online shop

Telegraph Online

There's a new FASHION SHOP in the fashion section of the Telegraph Online site which offers visitors a chance to shop as they browse through fashion news and events. The Fashion Shop includes products from sites like Net-a-Porter and farfetch and does not directly sell any of the merchandise. The best feature is the celebrity look, which are products suggested based on a photograph of a well-dressed celeb. These images are very current, updated often and feature relevant fashion trends. There are also scrolling products at the bottom of the page for the indecisive. Overall, this a good destination for the casual online shopper that enjoys product suggestions and celebrity fashion. Not recommended however, for the more savvy online shopper as the search feature leaves much to be desired. shopping


Like the Telegraph Fashion Shop, the shopping section of is full of stylish apparel, accessories and beauty products from a variety of online retailers. What sets the shopping section apart is the unbeatable editorial content. Whether browsing "Shop the Look," blog posts or shop by trend, that magazine feel is never lost: the benefit is that the content is now more valuable, because one can take advantage of the style advice buy purchasing products instantly. Also, the search feature is amazing, with every imaginable way to search through the sizable inventory of must-have items.

anothermag online shop
AnOther Magazine

The AnOther Mag online store features chic design products, especially the limited edition pieces done by Gareth Pugh and Raf Simmons. The site has large detailed images of each product, as well as a zoom feature, but the offering is extremely limited. Hopefully they will expand in the future,as the clean design makes it easy to use and the site has the potential to become more of an online store instead of a design bodega.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Eco Karl

"It’s Coco Ecolo, ecology can be chic. No? One can use natural fabrics and learn from nature."

Karl Lagerfeld

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Ok...So This Isn't Exactly About Fashion

Photographer Matthew Sandager has created this photo-roman (animated still photographs) with text from French poet Jacques Prévert and featuring Paul Marlow, designer of the menswear label Loden-Dager. It's a lovely little video and the clothes are Loden-Dager (of course!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Valentino Spring/Summer 2010

The Emperor's Creed

"I always say I am here to make women look beautiful and not like fools or crazy fashion victims."

(in Time Magazine)

Valentino Spring/Summer 1989

Photos of the Moment | Alexander McQueen

By Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello, from The Moment blog

Alexander McQueen’s Primordial Reveries

AFP /Getty Images

Fashion is all about renewal, Alexander McQueen reminded us at his fashion show Tuesday night. But it is all about spectacle as well, lest anyone take the collection – with its reptilian encrustations – at face value.

Titled “Plato’s Atlantis”, the performance opened with a video of a naked woman writhing in the sand with snakes. Two robotic arms with video cameras glided up and down the runway, gyrating like snakes, streaming the show live on the designer’s website.

The opening styles were silk dresses with reptilian patterns in shades of green, brown and gold. Large flaps folded over the shoulders and around the hips. Turquoise jewels embroidered on waists and turtlenecks resembled scales. The models’ feet were encased in ankle boots with the most extreme platforms of Paris fashion week. The result didn’t look anything like a shoe.

As the video screen played images of a nude woman floating in water, the show shifted into aquatic looks. Blues and greens replaced the desert tones. A sensible gray dress was cut away across the chest and back to reveal swirls of turquoise.

Gray and black leather dresses looked like rubber – more futuristic than the vintage-looking leather on many other runways during the past week. Models wore masks plastered on to the bridge of their noses and their temples, giving them angular and alien-like profiles. . .

Alexander McQueen

Photos of the Moment | Karl Lagerfeld

By Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello, from The Moment blog

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

More of the Sapeurs

Voilà Les Sapeurs

Check out photographer Daniele Tamagni's book, Gentlemen of Bacongo, which features photographs of men part of a subculture devoted to stylish dressing in Congo. The Sapeurs, as they call themselves, is derived from SAPE, an acronym for the movement itself, Société des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants. The word sape, perhaps not accidentally, also means “to dress with elegance and style” in French.

Putting African Style on the Page

A fashion layout in Arise, one of Africa's new style magazines. The publication strives for the same quality standards as other international titles.
Published: October 1, 2009

Sub-Saharan Africa doesn’t bring to mind the image of a woman with perfectly manicured nails flipping through glossy magazines in search of the latest handbag or celebrity haircut. Yet such women are there, and in far greater numbers than the media’s portrayal of Africa might suggest.

In wealthy neighborhoods of Lagos; Nairobi; Luanda, Angola; Dakar, Senegal, and the like, ladies of leisure, successful businesswomen and aspirational middle-income housewives make up an attractive demographic that, in the past, relied on international fashion magazines for style and beauty information.

But in the past few years, while Condé Nast, Hearst and Hachette Filipacchi were expanding throughout Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, a handful of African publishers was busy staking claims to this publishing territory. The result has been a wave of new glossies, like Arise, Haute, Helm and True Love, that put an African spin on fashion.

“Honestly, upwardly mobile African readers are crying out for this magazine,” says Helen Jennings, editor of Arise, a monthly style title started late last year by the Nigerian media tycoon Nduka Obaigbena, who also owns the country’s leading newspaper, This Day. “Because the local magazines aren’t as high end or progressive, and no other international titles speak directly to an African readership, Arise has really caused a stir.”

Arise occupies a unique position among magazines in English-speaking Africa as it alone packages both pan-African and global content, producing a provocative blend that Ms. Jennings calls “afropolitan.”

With a reported circulation of about 60,000 and averaging about 140 pages a month, the magazine is distributed to seven other African countries and around Europe and North America. In its no-expense-spared fashion shoots, clothes by African designers are paired with global brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Loewe and Ralph Lauren using popular black international models like Oluchi Onweagba and Rahma Mohamed.

Interviews with high-profile black celebrities, like the singer-songwriters Akon and VV Brown, and others, appeal to global advertisers. Tommy Hilfiger, Juicy Couture, Graff, L’Oreal and Lacoste are all represented in the magazine’s pages — and their prestige has helped pull in ads from fashion brands based in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania.

But Arise’s embrace of glamour and celebrity is tempered by a nod to the underground and an appreciation of irreverent reportage. A recent issue included a saucy exposé of African WAGs (the British acronym for wives and girlfriends of soccer players) that appeared alongside quirky items about Ugandan skateboarders, a multimedia prodigy from Ivory Coast and the leather-wearing biker subculture that grew up in Soweto after apartheid.

Read the rest of the article at

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Did the Recession Kill the Runway Show?

"I mean I'm an 80's girl- I like a show to be a show."

Louise Wilson, Central Saint Martins

A post on "The Moment" New York Times' blog about Alexander de Betak, aka "Fellini of Fashion", reminded me that even though beautiful clothes are lovely to look at, the best part of any fashion week is the actual shows. In past seasons we enjoyed Hussein Chalayan's models making furniture into clothes, Galliano's Russian snow tunnel and just about any of the spectacular Dior runway shows. All of these are some of de Betak's masterpieces, and the list goes on.

My favorite of all time: Viktor & Rolf Spring 2005, Flowerbomb

Rick Owens Goes for Pretty

From Models to Magazines, Cataloguing the Fashion Industry

MyFDB’s Dior section, featuring Jessica Stam’s Spring 2007 campaign,

Do you remember that Dior campaign that featured Jessica Stam in a vibrant pink dress against an abstract background of the same color? What year was that? Answer: It was the Dior Spring/Summer 2007 campaign, which appeared in Vogue’s July 2007 issue.

Until recently, there have been few options for fashion obsessives to track down a memorable ad from seasons past. A new start-up, My Fashion Database, has stepped into the breach. In scope and ambition, its most similar comparison is film database Like IMDB, catalogs the fashion industry in multiple ways, from the personal (you can look up model Chanel Iman and find her recent covers as well as her campaign work) to the team effort (it compiles makeup artists, manicurists and hairstylist credits in addition to editors, photographers and brands). The publications section has full layouts of magazines, including ads and editorials, so you can confirm that Madonna’s Louis Vuitton ad ran in the October 2009 issue of Harper’s Bazaar, which also featured a Banana Republic ad and a quirky Halloween editorial.

For all the vicarious thrills of having Vogue, Allure and luxury brand images in one central place, the effort started out as way to help industry people connect, like a fashion industry LinkedIn. The idea came about two years ago when former male model, now CEO Keith Britton,tried to come up with an alternative to sending out his clips via messenger. The site is backed by private angel investors, but the company is not disclosing amounts invested or citing names. . .

Lanvin Isn't Giving Up on Modern Elegance

Saturday, October 3, 2009

For Australia’s Sosume Clothing, 4 Eco-Designers Are Better Than 1

by Jasmin Malik Chua, 10/03/09

Sosume Clothing

Not one but four designers man the helm of Sosume Clothing, a nascent Australian eco-fashion label that started with one Melbourne chap but grew to include another Aussie and a pair of New Yorkers. Designed with its native environment in mind, Sosume—a play on the phrase “so sue me”—comprises easy, tissue-thin basics made from Modal (derived from beechwood) and Tencel (eucalyptus pulp), both of which impart a breathability that is vital during Australia’s oppressive summer months.

Sosume Clothing


Having four opinionated voices isn’t the easiest of arrangements, admits Alex Trimmer, the brand’s director, who works with Paulina Petkoksi, Rachel Kozub, and Wil Fry. “It can be very difficult at times,” he says.

Eventually, however, it all comes together. “I outline how I think we could utilize the fabric through different forms and shapes,” says Trimmer. “The girls and Wil come in at this point with their knowledge of design and garment construction and together, the four of us sketch up many silhouettes as we desire, and we piece together the collection.”

Sosume Clothing


The decision to use manufactured cellulosic fibers over organic cotton was very deliberate, and considering Australia’s widespread water woes, incredibly apt. Modal requires only a tenth of the water used in cotton production, according to Trimmer.

Modal requires only a tenth of the water used in cotton production.

“Some people are skeptical of the chemicals used in producing these modern fibers and rightly so,” he says. “I was skeptical at first but soon realised that if you choose the right mills then you are free of burden. I use mills that have closed looped cycles and use naturally occurring chemicals in the process.” Another plus: 3 percent of proceeds go to donated to two Australian land-conservation organizations: The Bush Heritage Fund and The Wilderness Society.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nau Apparel’s Selling Strategy: ‘Pay Half Now, Pay The Rest Later’

By Elva Ramirez

Eco-friendly outdoorsy clothing company Nau has quietly rolled out Changing Room, an online-only payment option in which customers pay half of the full price upfront, then have 30 days to pay off the rest. You could call it a test drive, or, as the company prefers to call it, “premium layaway.”

Either way, it’s a way to get $350 jackets into customers’ hands.

The idea was first formed at the Portland-based company when executives tried to come up with a way to lure online customers into buying a new winter jacket. “It seemed like a great opportunity to convert customers that are looking at us or have heard about the brand but don’t have the ability to touch and feel [the products],” Nau CEO Gordon Seabury says. “There’s an extremely high level of confidence that they will be satisfied and never want to give the product back.”

At check out, customers are billed for half the price of selected Changing Room styles. After 30 days, if the customer has not returned the clothes, the rest is charged to their credit card. Returns within 30 days are credited for all costs incurred. The inaugural program, which is scheduled to end Oct. 31, includes four women’s and four men’s looks which range from $265 - $450. If customers respond well to the program, the company plans on turning it into a permanent feature, with a rotating set of styles available. The 50% offer doesn’t apply to in-store purchases; this is an outreach specifically to the online customer, who may be hesitating over buying a jacket they’ve haven’t tried on.

There are risks of fraud if someone decides to cancel their credit card before paying in full, but Seabury says that the company has several checks to monitor those who won’t pay. He also says the company’s sustainability and recycled material branding attract a socially-responsible customer base. “We’re hoping most people will be good and [fraud] won’t be a problem,” Seabury say.

But what about the idea of layaway tarnishing the brand’s high-end image (prices range from $100 cotton tops to $350 trench coats)? Nau’s CEO notes that before credit cards became ubiquitous, layaway programs were prestigious. “Whether it was a diamond ring or some other really special purchase that you truly wanted but couldn’t afford, you made a commitment to it,” Seabury says. ” The concept of this luxury layaway program was the foundation of our thinking.”

Readers, will “luxury layaway” entice you to buy high-end clothes online?

When the Recession Walks the Runway

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Classic Balenciaga, Subtle Innovation

Balenciaga Spring/Summer '10

For the Spring/Summer '10 Balenciaga collection, Nicolas Ghesquière harkened back to his past collections with trademarks like graphic shapes and skin tight pants, but the collection also featured some forward-thinking elements. One of the most innovative features was not necessarily visible: its use of sustainable materials. The inspiration for the clothes was to create something "very graphic...urban," Ghesquière explains, but also full of contradictions; using very bright and very dark colors, hard and soft materials, as well as a mix of industrial and organic fabrics. He combined synthetics such as nylon, pressure-printed jersey and 3-D ‘foam’ with more natural elements like hand-woven leather, ostrich-skin, and silk. The collection also included vegetable-dyed and organic fabrics but, Ghesquière points out, these organic ingredients are meant to be a part of his creative vision and not necessarily a commentary a on eco fashion.

Balenciaga Spring/Summer '03

Listen to Nicolas Ghesquière's thoughts on his latest collection here

Milan Fashion Week Re-cap