Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vlisco: Beautiful African Wax Fabrics

In case you've ever wondered where the distinct beautifully-patterned fabrics associated with Africa are produced, their origins can be found in a factory in the quiet suburbs of Holland. Vlisco has been designing and manufacturing the brightly-colored textiles for nearly two hundred years, but has recently decided to take a more modern approach to its fabrics. The company has become more daring with its textile designs and color palettes, and beginning this year is working with African tailors to develop a line of clothing. 

Take a look at Vlisco's fresh approach to African fashion:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chanel's Eco Fashion

In a bold move, Karl Lagerfeld based the Chanel Fall 2010 collection around the image of melting polar ice caps- even the show invites featured a drawing of an endangered polar bear done by Lagerfeld. The collection was teeming with fur: fur-covered boots, boleros and even head-to-toe fur suits made it confusing as to why a collection meant to draw attention to climate change featured copious amounts of fur. Lagerfeld explained after the show that the fur was not real and added that, "Fake is not chic — but fake fur is." This concern about the environment is not new for Karl Lagerfeld, who in the past has advocated incorporating more natural fabrics into fashion.

Runway shows are usually brief escapes into fanciful worlds filled with gorgeous clothes, but Lagerfeld has strayed from that this season and chosen instead to bring his audience face-to-face with an ugly reality which will have an impact on us all. This show really speaks to Karl Lagerfeld's status as an artist and visionary; that he can pair finely-crafted pieces of beautiful clothing with raising awareness about a controversial issue so seamlessly.

photo: Chanel
And if there was any doubt as to whether the massive glaciers on the runway were real, the  thermal video of the runway show confirms that the massive white structure in the middle of the runway was actually made of 240 tons ice and fits in nicely with the show's theme, "Hot and Cold."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wearable Technology

Designer Syuzi Pakhchyan is trying to get you to put some technology in your fashion

Maker Profile - Wearable Technology on Make: television from make magazine on Vimeo.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Return of the Muse: Shingai Shoniwa

There has been something missing from fashion for quite some time. I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I saw Shingai Shoniwa, lead singer of the Noisettes, in a photograph wearing a hot pink vintage bolero and a pair of orange jean shorts a few months ago, an odd combination and yet, she made it work. It was then that it occurred to me what fashion needs more of- individuality. If you look at photos of Shigai she is an absolute individual, and unafraid to take chances: she wears everything from established designers like Vivienne Westwood and Matthew Williamson, to newbies like David Koma, Ana Sekularac and Georgina Hardinge. She also mixes in vintage and afro-centric pieces into her wardrobe, and is unabashed about being photographed twice in the same piece- daring indeed.

I think back to great style mavens like Jackie O or Audrey Hepburn and wonder what this generation's equivalent might be. I know that it's not possible for everyone to create their own interesting style of dress, but with the availability of new trend information from street fashion blogs, and access to independent designers on site like Etsy, we certainly have the opportunity to express ourselves with our clothing.

What do you think- in an age of stylists who carefully curate celebrity images and a sea of trends has the sense of individuality in fashion been lost? 


 Vintage-inspired silhouettes made from African fabrics.

Well-edited selection of vintage clothing and accessories- think eBay without all the junk.

Unique costume jewelry.