- FashionUnited |
Torrid just announced that it will be participating in New York Fashion Week this year. The plus-size retailer will showcase its new collection this fall on September 12.
The fashion show will coincide with the brand's Model Search Competition as well. As the third year of the competition, this year's catwalk will show off some of the finalists. These models will be showing off a preview of Torrid's spring 208 collection including 40 looks. The collection will infuse edgy styles mixed in with a romantic touch. With embroidery detailing, the clothing will show off a intricate, urban style to its clothing. The company will have the collection available in sizes 10 to 30.
The body positivity brand will showcase at NYFW this fall. According to Refinery 29, only 27 plus-sized models walked last year at the fashion event.Torrid be featuring various plus-sized models to show off its 40 looks for this upcoming season. This makes Torrid the first plus-size brand to show at the prestigious fashion show. Highlighting women of all sizes this September, this may be the brand's first step into breaking through plus-size brands to the fashion industry.
- FashionUnited |
Toronto Fashion Week is attempting to increase its notoriety. This year internationally renowned fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier will be leading an "In Conversation" panel discussion with special guest host, Derek Blasberg, deputy editor of Vanity Fair and host of CNN Style on CNN International.
Toronto Fashion Week will be taking place on September 5, 6 and 7 in the city's Yorkville neighborhood.
In addition, Toronto Fashion Week will also be hosting a screening of Franca: Chaos and Creation that will be attended by the film's director, Francesco Carrozzini. Carrozzini provides viewers with an intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpse of his mother, Franca Sozzani, the former editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia in the film, delving into her creative process as well as her vulnerabilities both past and present. Sozzani passed away earlier this year after a yearlong illness.
With major headliners coming into play, Toronto Fashion Week's designers are looking to get more attention from press and buyers than before.
Designers that have already been announced for the three day event include Pink Tartan, UNTTLD, Lucian Matis and Bustle, with more designers to be announced in the coming weeks.
This season, some designers are opting to experiment with see-now-buy-now.
- Vivian Hendriksz |
IN-DEPTH Amsterdam - "We especially wanted to focus on the concept of circular economy at this edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week," said Iris Ruisch, Creative Director of Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week to FashionUnited. "I am really proud to say that at least 80 percent of the designs shown on schedule this edition are sustainable." Although the interpretation of sustainable fashion certainly varied per designer, the 27th edition of Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week explored what it means to be green in one of the world's most polluting industries.
“The designers [at Amsterdam Fashion Week] wanted to make a statement,” said Hans Ubbink, Dutch designer, and consultant to FashionUnited backstage. “We’ve had Hacked By van Slobbe van Benthum, which shows the public what you can do with old clothes and still be able to wear it. Cut it short, or make it longer, add new applications, change the sleeves and so on.” Other designers such as Bas Kosters and Ajbilou | Rosdorff, incorporated different sustainable design techniques in their collections, such as zero-waste and upcycling, while a new local initiative, 'Amsterdam maakt er wat van,' translated as ‘Amsterdam makes something of it,’ saw the city council teamed up with six recent graduates from two leading fashion schools to raise awareness for garment recycling.
“Reusing is the best thing you can do. Buy good, durable clothing and reuse and recycle”
"I’m also proud that a lot of our designers are looking to break the rules within the fashion system," added Ruisch. "I think this is something that has been happening around the globe for a number of years already and within our schedule, you can see that we are really giving our response to this sustainable movement with our group of Dutch designers." Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week officially started Thursday evening with a show from Hacked By Van Slobbe en Van Benthum, the new label from Dutch designers Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum. Together the duo developed a new concept which features new garments constructed from the deadstock of fast-fashion retailers. By 'hacking' excess stock from other brands and using it to make new collections, the design duo aims to show the industry the fashion system current issues and encourage designers to rethink how their products are made.
Amsterdam Fashion Week showcases sustainable fashion
"We are breaking the system in a very cynical, but satirical and comical way," noted Ruisch. "We are trying to encourage people to rethink their definition of fashion, how they dress, how they treat their clothing and how they should treat it." Dutch designer Bas Kosters took things a step further for his show for his collection ‘My Paper Crown,’ by encouraging people to rethink how they perceive each other, as well as how they perceive fashion. Kosters sought to highlight the importance of inclusiveness in individuals daily lives, as he believes ‘everyone deserves an equal chance in life.’ Which is partly why he used hundreds of old cotton flags from around the world to make his new collection, "because this idea was not just born out of the will to do good, but also out of love for the material," said Kosters to newspaper Trouw. “Sustainability means to me showing people how they can do things differently,” added the eccentric Dutch designer. “I think it’s important that people realize what the consequences of their choices are. Cheap clothing also comes with a price tag.”
“"We are trying to encourage people to rethink their definition of fashion”
Kosters is not alone on his view that sustainability needs to be taught to the masses, as raising public awareness concerning what consumers can do with their unwanted garments was one of the key driving factors behind Amsterdam's new initiative. The city council teamed up with Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and Gerrit Rietveld Academy and challenged 6 recent graduates to create 3 upcycled outfits from unwanted textiles and garments collected during King’s Day. The students, who were coached by Dutch designer Hans Ubbink, Niels Klaver (Rietveld) and Peter Leferink (AMFI), were given 3 months time to design and create their collections. “We thought how nice would it be to make new collections from the leftovers and unwanted clothing and share it with the public,” said Ruisch.
Ubbink, a fashion veteran, and green-advocate was “pleasantly surprised” when asked to participate in the initiative, as he strongly believes people should take more care with what they buy, how they wear it and what they do afterward with it. “When they approached me for this project I thought it would be good to show what you can do with clothes after you’re bored with them and create awareness,” he said to FashionUnited. “People should take more care with what they buy, where they buy it and what they wear, especially once they’ve become bored with it. Because clothes that are thrown out are hardly ever worn out, it' just that the wearer is bored with it.”
A fan of the rise of the shared economy, which sees more young people, in particular women sharing services, is another way the fashion industry could tap into more to help fight against this notion of throw-away fashion, added Ubbink. In addition, sharing a wardrobe can also offer wearers the chance to further customize their look and take style inspiration from their friends. “Reusing clothes is so much better for the environment and also for the personality of the clothes.” Yasmina Ajbilou and Lynn Kate Rosdorff, the duo behind young label Ajbilou | Rosdorff also believe in reusing old garments and unwanted textiles, which is why their brand focuses on offering one of a kind garments made using zero-waste policy.
“The industry needs to stop producing more than we need, people need to stop buying more than they need”
“We are showing the industry and the public that fashion can be different,” said Ajbilou to FashionUnited following their show on Sunday. The young designers enjoy ‘hunting’ for leftover fabrics to make their clothing, which they find from a wide range of sources, including textile manufacturers, garbage dumps, and designer fashion houses. To ensure their collections really are zero-waste they are currently working with a fabric manufacturing to make new fabrics from the tiny leftovers they have gathered from previous collections to use in their next collection.
However, even though sustainable design remains at the core of the brand, both designers are adamant that Ajbilou | Rosdorff is not labeled a ‘green fashion brand. “We want to be seen as a regular label and be more accessible to the public, rather than a niche brand,” said Rosdorff. “At the same time, we also think that sustainable fashion should be the norm and not viewed as anything special.” Both Rosdorff and Ajbilou believe real change within the fashion industry can begin with what is shown on the catwalks and support AFW sustainable focus.
“Sustainable [design] from start will drive real change in the industry”
Ubbink also hopes the initiative will make the inhabitants of Amsterdam, as well as the fashion industry more aware as the solutions to the issues faced by the industry. “If a fashion week, or company, can help us and the public become more aware because, in the end, the public is the one who dictates the market by buying or not buying, then that’s great,” he continued. “But it’s hard. Will this initiative change public awareness world wide? No. Will it pave the way for change with a group of frontrunners? Yes, I think so, and I hope so. We cannot change the past, we can only change the future we can only do it bit by bit.”
Ruisch is aware that change within the industry will not happen overnight, but is optimistic for the future and expects sustainability to continue growing within Amsterdam Fashion Week, “This is not merely a trend, this is fulfilling a need to do things differently to make a difference,” she stressed. “I think that all the buyers within the industry will also focus more and more on these aspects and they are less interested in other [non-sustainable] ideas. You cannot simplify it and you cannot develop a new collection which is not sustainable.”
Photo credits: Team Peter Stigter
- FashionUnited |
Tailoring is dead they say. Not so fast, EFM – Engineered for Motion – was there at New York Fashion Week: Men's to refute that statement. For their spring/summer 2018 collection took tailored looks and found ways to infuse athleisure influences.
This task is actually easier than it sounds. To create the aesthetic, designer Donrad Duncan used several new fabrics including tropical wool engineered with Coolmax for comfort in suits, and mesh in products like bomber jackets and blazers.
Duncan's collection carried us through all variations of the season from those first days of spring when it's still nippy and outerwear pieces are needed, to the days of summer when we just want a t-shirt and a pair of cropped pants.
The collection was heavy on the neutral colors, obviously trying to play it safe for the sporty guys who don't want to wear anything too bright. But it had some colorful injections that stood out from the other offerings. Camouflage jacquard was used on a statement making cardigan and there was a blazer in metallic blue that is sure to make you the life of the party.
The collection danced the line between the cool, casual guy and the slightly edgier, bold one with a taste for tailored pieces. It was something for every customer.photo: courtesy of Kyle Adams Photography
- FashionUnited |
MBFWA July 2017 saw a plethora of sustainable designers, showcasing alternative production techniques in order to continue the push towards a more sustainable fashion industry, currently one of the most polluting industries in the world.
Ajbilou | Rosdorff
Design duo Yasmina Ajbilou and Lynn Kate Rosdorff, the designers behind Ajbilou Rosdorff showcased their second zero-waste collection named ‘Overview-Previous-NEXT’ on Sunday, the final day of MBFWA. The designers first presented their collection during Mercedes-Benz Amsterdam Fashion Week 26th edition in February, and returned to present their latest collection this July, which consisted of seven new designs.
“The art is in us”
The designers, who describe their designs as “works of art”, are inspired by society and how people are “screaming for attention by the way [they] look, not only on social media but also in real life.” “It’s about showcasing yourself...trying to make an identity for ourselves that is maybe not who we really are” Ajbilou explained in an interview with FashionUnited. “We see it as a sort of game about who is showcasing themselves the best,” Ajbilou continued. The designs are “a reflection on how we live in today’s world”.
Ajbilou | Rosdorff source their materials from various places - sometimes finding materials in the street, or cut-offs from designers as well as unsold collections which are donated to the duo. Overview-Previous-NEXT is made from materials donated by Nooteboom fabrics, a certified sustainable fabric supplier, as well as Indigo People, a company using traditional techniques to make sustainable fabrics with natural indigo dyes. Describing the search for material as “a hunt”, the two designers chose to solely follow a zero-waste design principle in order to challenge themselves. The fact that most of their materials are donated, proves that a zero-waste approach to design benefits both the brand financially as well as the planet.
One way the design duo ensure their collection is zero-waste is during production. For example, the pattern jumpsuit from the collection will only be produced upon request and only three of each of the other designs will be available for sale to begin with. Ajbilou added that their customers will not mind the unique designs will not be 100 percent identical to the catwalk pieces, since they will be familiar with the brand and its design ethos before purchasing.
The young designers think that Amsterdam Fashion Week’s focus on sustainability is a positive start, as they believe the public coming to see the show is “the best way to make a bigger impact”. Speaking on the of the future of their label - the designers reveal that they are working with a supplier “[who] is going to make new fabric from the tiny, leftover cutoffs, which will be used in the new collection,” thereby continuing their zero-waste principle.
‘Amsterdam Maakt er van wat’ brings six designers together to make something of Amsterdam’s textile waste
Six graduate designers came together on Sunday evening to debut their ‘circular fashion’ collection as part of the Amsterdam Maakt er van wat initiative.
The six graduates, from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI) and Gerrit Rietveld Academy were chosen to create three outfits each, using wasted garments collected from the remnants of the King’s Day markets. The design process was coached by three industry specialists; Peter Leterink, a tutor from AMFI, also on the fashion week’s board of directors, Niels Klavers a Dutch designer and tutor at Rietveld and Dutch designer Hans Ubbink. The designs are part of a wider initiative launched by the local city council, which seeks to raise awareness concerning recycling unwanted textiles and apparel. The campaign was backed by a short film, which depicted the lifecycle of a paid of jeans used in one of the designer’s looks, set to officially launch on Tuesday at the X Bank concept store.
The six individual collections, which consisted of vastly different designs included collaged leather, reworked businessware, the use of labels, the transformation of menswear into womenswear, the restoration of beauty and the reuse of perfectly good garments.
“Trying to get people to think and possibly change their perspective”
One designer, Vita Stasiukynaite took wasted business wear and deconstructed the pieces to create something new by adding in printed silk scarves. Stasiukynaite hoped that by taking business wear design to an extreme, it will make people think differently about what business wear should look like, perhaps thinking “I am going to look even more expensive now that the suit has scarves coming out of it” the designer told FashionUnited.
“I actually thought that the campaign was really cool, I was really excited - it’s so much fun” said Stasiukynaite on the initiative.” It’s really interesting, I like working with second hand clothing because somebody has already put so much effort into making it, and it’s all there wasted.”
In the future, Stasiukynaite says she would like to find a way to use natural materials in her designs. Along with the other designers, who expressed their enjoyment working on the project, each considering using wasted or old materials within their future collections.
Bas Kosters’ My Paper Crown
Bas Koster presented his collection ‘My Paper Crown’ last Thursday on the first day of MBFWA. The show celebrated ‘the unmeasurable importance of creativity and craft,’ according to Koster, who outlined his design ethos in his ‘Journal’ handed out to guests of the show.
The colourful, eccentric designs were created out of hundreds of recycled, cotton flags, as the designer aimed to do his part when it comes to sustainability in the fashion industry. Kosters showcased his designs within an imaginary village created right on the catwalk, which included ‘villagers’ portrayed by actors from Dead Horse Theatre Company. The village people were celebrating a fictitious ‘carrot day’ with a carnivalesque theme to the show. Koster himself was also part of the village scene, sat peeling potatoes atop a pile of them acting as a ‘village elder’.
Koster’s colourful ‘My Paper Crown’ followed on from his previous show in 2015, and sees the designer focusing once more on reusing old fabrics. In addition to reusing old flags, the designer collaborated with World Wildlife Fund to help raise awareness for the plight of the tiger. As there are only 3900 tigers left in the wild, the designer created 3900 t shirts featuring his first tiger print in order to help raise funds for WWF to double the population of tigers currently living in the wild. Kosters also showcased seven unique prints made by local artisans in India, which were produced as part of his exchange project with the Textile Factory.
HACKED by_ Van Slobbe Van Benthum
Hacked by Van Slobbe Van Benthum presented their first collection at MBFWA on Thursday, which featured designs for both men and women. Their debut collection marks a change in strategy for Hacked by designers Alexander van Slobbe and Francisco van Benthum, who previously focused their efforts within the back end of the industry.
Focusing on making positive change within the industry, the design duo used their show as a platform for educating audiences within and outside of the fashion industry of the benefits of sustainable design, in particular upcycling. “[We are] acknowledging the system is not functioning correctly anymore, and the fact brands can no longer produce for a crumbling market, calls for new approaches and unusual coalitions,” said the design duo in an interview with MBFWA.
The garments in the debut collection were made out of excess materials and fast fashion overstock, which underlines the duo’s aim to change the “wasteful system in fashion from within in the industry.” The collection includes very wearable designs, such as jackets, trousers and blouses with accessories including fluorescent green soles on white trainers.
Photo Credits for Ajbilou | Rosdorff: Maryn Haertel
All other Photos credits: Team Peter Stigter
- FashionUnited |
Coming to us all the way from Los Angeles, C2H4 took us to the future for New York Fashion Week: Men's. The collection, titled "Zero Gravity," had outer space, neo-futuristic influences from astronauts and space travel and the idea of what chemists would wear in the year 2082.
One orange jumpsuit was worthy of NASA itself. While designers often find inspiration in the super-utilitarian, it has traditionally including military or blue-collar professions. Designer Yixi Chen decided to push the envelope and think outside of the box and go for a very unique profession. While other designers have used neo-futurism and outer space for inspiration (see Nick Graham fall/winter 2017), this was a very literal interpretation.
Of course it wasn't all just astronaut style jumpsuits. She took it sporty with hoodies and sweatpants, and was heavy on the monochromatic colors including blue and grey.
In addition to her own offerings, Chen also debuted her capsule collection with Kappa, taking the sportswear brand's side stripes and doing a larger more dramatic version on athleisure pieces.
She is going to have a specific kind of customer. Think of the kind of guy who reads Hypebeast and stalks Ssense.com during their end of season sales. Of course, she has a clear vision for what she wants in that regard.
- FashionUnited |
For New York Fashion Week: Men's, Luar decided to put an L in avant garde for their name. The line, which is the brainchild of Raul Lopez, a former designer for Hood by Air, was something out of this world.
While he was known for creating hip-hop inspired, high-fashion street style pieces when he was designing alongside Shayne Oliver at Hood by Air, for his solo venture, he has gone completely outside of the box seeing just how far he can take deconstruction. It was surprising to learn that Lopez's inspiration was corporate America; not exactly the first place a designer would draw inspiration from if they are going avant garde.
However, it was bankers ties, suits and formal dress codes that led Lopez to create looks such as pinstripe shirt with oversize sleeves and a neckline of multiple neckties and feminized, bustier style pinstripe suits for men. A recurring theme among many designers during men's was also present, completely ignoring gender and gender norms. It was simply clothes, not men's or women's clothing.
While Lopez has remained under the radar since his departure from Hood by Air, this collection was his true return to the fashion scene after leaving his fans wanting something incredible from him again after so long. Were the clothes functional? No. But avant garde is the mother of invention, and the point was these aren't banker clothes. This collection is for the ladies and gentleman who want to be seen and rebel against societal conventions, that is his customer, and they love him.
- FashionUnited |
Two words: wide awake. This was the theme for U.K. luxury streetwear brand Represent's spring/summer 2018 show. While the brand prides themselves on pushing the boundaries, this collection had a lot of subtlety, which left the audience wanting a bit more.
The show opened with a track jacket with the words "We Are The" emblazoned across it, paired with track pants that said the same thing. This fill in the blank moment certainly got the audience's attention. It was proceeded by a hoodie and t-shirt that was an ode to the brand's British heritage, simply saying "England" on them.
The collection began to get a bit mundane with basics like grey t-shirts and hoodies though. Basics aren't the best place for New York Fashion Week: Men's, the fashion pieces are what people come to see.
Accessories were still strong though, and helped elevate some of the more understated offerings. Alpha boots in black and white were a nice contrast to a head-to-toe black number. Other shoe pieces like the zip strapped boots and lion creepers were also notable in the collection.
Next season, it would be great to see the brand to continue to push the envelope a little further. There is more room now than ever for the kind of customer who want basics with a twist. It would've served them well to perhaps do the grey t-shirts in materials like velour or dye them to compliment the denim in some way.
The brand certainly has the potential, and they are usually at a more affordable price point than their competitors, so there is opportunity for them to really go places. It's just a matter of not being afraid to be a little more daring.
- FashionUnited |
Matiere decided to get things moving for NYFW: Men's. Literally moving. The brand, whose name translates into the French word materials, took an eco-friendly approach for this season that also included a movement style presentation.
While the brand mixed eco-friendly fabrics with more tech friendly fabrics, what really stood out was how freely the clothes could move. A trio of models walked down the runway and performed a modern dance style act where the female model jumped in the air like she was lunging towards something and were caught by two male models.
While the concept was a bit avant garde, the clothes, in an aim for functionality, were very minimalistic. The color palette was heavy on neutrals including black, grey and white.
Matiere is known for wanting to continue more technical innovation in fashion, but they are also interested in preserving our planet. Their efforts towards minimalism makes the statement that less is more, and needs to be for our planet.
While their political statement wasn't spelled out, it came through their approach to design by doing simple eco-friendly black jeans and shirts. Fashion needs to think more about longevity, not just the need to buy. The message was subtle, but it was heard loud and clear.
- FashionUnited |
Men's swimwear is no easy market. Especially when you are trying to compete against an entire slate of more established brand's offering men's swimwear, like Tommy Hilfiger and Diesel.
Model Garrett Neff, who has proven to be quite the businessman, knows what he wants for the brand and is going after it. The entrepreneur presented his spring/summer 2018 collection on a boat on Pier 25 in New York City. The setting was perfect for the collection which was inspired by his childhood years on Chesapeake Bay and his quest for the perfect East Coast getaway.
Between last season and this season, Neff spent time thinking about the kind of places that represent him and the Katama guy.
"He's not just an Earth tone, subdued kind of guy," Neff said. "He's sort of a bright, fruit punch colored guy at the yacht club. He's subtle, he likes to get in touch with nature, it's not flashy, but it's still confident."
Katama creative director Garrett Neff talks growing business and childhood inspiration
The brand is targeted towards men ages 25 to 55, and Neff prides himself on having the kind of product that speaks to everybody. This was apparent through more statement making offerings like the Fred sail print trunk, which were a contrast to more toned down pieces like ribstop shorts.
In terms of expanding beyond their swim trunks, Katama presented more knitwear pieces including t-shirts and lightweight cardigans. Neff is a big fan of capsule collections, and is working on doing a few with brands like Lizzie Fortunato Jewelry for necklaces and Greats for shoes. He is also hoping to do sunglasses in the near future.
The "deck hands," a.k.a. models, wore pieces from the just launched exclusive collaboration with The Surf Lodge, located in Long Island's Montauk, introducing for the first time a "see now, buy now experience" for Katama.
A new ship is setting sail for the brand, and Neff appears to be guiding it well.photo: courtesy of Launch Metrics