An Australian designer has been initiated into fashion’s very top tier. Well, at least that’s what the Sun Herald reported over the weekend.
“Sydney’s Bowie Wong has been confirmed as the first Australian-based designer to join fashion’s most exclusive club: Paris haute couture,” gushed the Sunday paper’s Amy Cooper. “Speaking to S from Paris, Wong revealed he’ll be showing his collection, Immortality, at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in July, alongside great names such as Chanel, Dior, Valentino and Gaultier.”
To whet those notoriously picky Parisian appetites, the designer is held a curated “sneak peek” presentation on Tuesday night in advance of that upcoming runway show.
It all sounds like a fairytale for a designer with a proudly ‘Made in Australia’ label. But it seems it might be just that – at least, it’s worth taking the story with a grain of salt. As Patty Huntington of Frockwriter pointed out in response to the Sun piece, showing as part of haute couture week isn’t quite the same thing as showing a collection during haute couture week. First, you have to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale. And secondly, it’s actually illegal to slap the trademarked words “haute couture” on your label at will.
Evidently Wong is aware the restrictions are rigorous. “You can’t just suddenly appear as an overseas designer. You have to politely explain who you are,” he told the Sun. But that’s putting it rather simply.
Wong would be attending as an entry level “Membres Invités”, for which, as Huntington notes, the lengthy selection process likely won’t begin for months. And while Wong won’t be arrested for putting “haute couture” on his invitation, he should exercise a bit more caution. Particularly if, as he tells the Sun, he was warned about approaching the Paris fashion coterie by none other than Elie Saab.
We’re all for seeing local designers making waves overseas. But in order to do that you’ve got to keep the fashion gods happy – and they’re not partial to displays of hubris.
You know, I’ve been having some trouble tracking down where exactly in Canada rising model Danielle Knudson hails from — any help? — but what I have gathered is that she’s one smouldering blonde, as evidenced in her latest shoot for Guess’ Spring 2014 advertising campaign.
Shot at the beautiful Laguna Beach and overseen by creative director for Guess? Inc., Paul Marciano, and veteran Guess photographer Yu Tsai, the latest spread is a bona fide heat wave of sultry summertime stunners. Olivia Greenfield, Samantha Hoopes, Nicoleta Vaculov and Gui Fedrizzi all join 24-year-old Knudson as they pose in crisp white linens, neutral tones, lace and floral patterns.
In one photo Knudson models a polka-dot crop and white jeans, striking a very come-hither look that connotes memories of former Guess girl Kate Upton (the perfectly placed beauty spot helps matters). In another shot, Knudson shows off her tanned legs in a mini-dress and leather jacket, not exactly the best beach attire, but certainly hot enough to rival the blazing Cali sun.
Talking about her dream-come-true opportunity in booking a Guess gig, Knudson says, “Guess is a timeless and sexy fashion powerhouse that I have always admired growing up. It is so surreal to have the opportunity to work with Paul Marciano and Yu Tsai.”
With 2014 already starting out in a positive way for Danielle Knudson, we can only see her career flying high over the course of the year. Meanwhile, we’ll also continue to keep an eye on fellow Vancouver-based model Ashley Diana Morris, who was named the face of Guess Lingerie and Bikini in 2013. Wowzer! It goes without saying that it’s been a great few months for homegrown models in the Guess-o-sphere, so let’s all celebrate by breaking into a rendition of Dean Brody’s “Canadian Girls”…
Images via Guess
We love a kooky print as much as much as the next person, and Norwegian designer Fam Irvoll is by far amongst the best for infusing an element of fun into her wacky cartoon-influenced designs. Filled with pretty pastels and pops of bright colours, her Spring 2014 collection is an absolute must. And that’s without even mentioning all of her signature cartoon pops that decorate the range.
To celebrate Fam Irvoll’s covetable collection, high street giant Topshop has handpicked ten of its designs and created a cool little pop up shop over at the Oxford Circus flagship. If you’re in the area, you can pop over and snap up a piece of the runway for yourself!
Or if you can’t make it over to London, head over to her online shop instead, where you can find one-off catwalk or sample pieces (as above) to purchase. Perfect for those who like to own something a little different from the rest.
Images: Fam Irvoll
Known for its coveted, Bata Shoe Museum-worthy collaborations with offbeat designers like Karim Rashid, Toronto based footwear and accessories brand Sully Wong is the definitive name in stylish street wear, mixing North American and Asian culture inspiration. Founded by shoe designers George Sully and Henry Wong, the duo are sticklers for minor details, clean lines and timeless designs, which couldn’t be better evidenced than in one of the newest shoes coming out of the Sully Wong shop.
Introducing the new SWJ NYLO HI III, originally inspired by Jack Johnson — the first African American heavyweight champion of the world – and featuring 1680D ballistic nylon upper with premium leather detailing. The internal lining is leather and a Sully Wong logo label sits on the front tongue. The shoe is elegant, stylish and a wear-everywhere piece that, correct me if I’m wrong, would look as good on a discerning gent as it would on an urban-athletic inspired women’s ensemble. For once… I wish they made this in my size!
It’s clear that, since the original SWJ I release, Sully Wong has stepped up its game. As George Sully told Peace Magazine, “It’s a whole new ball game. We’ve been working extremely close with our overseas factories, giving us more freedom to think big, and in return deliver even bigger.”
With that, the cumulative effort of past projects and a futuristic vision collides in the SWJ NYLO HI III, available in three colours — black, T.O. blue, and cobalt grey — at a cost of $165. The shoes are set to launch on the brand's refreshed online shop on February 1, along with a new line of backpacks.
Joseph already wooed us back in November after announcing it would celebrating 25 years at flagship store 77 Fulham Road in London by showing its Fall 2014 collections on the runway at London Fashion Week. Now the stalwart British brand has invited all of its friends to join the party (and we could not be happier) with a truly exciting creative collaboration, launching on February 15, to coincide with the runway show.
The first look of Joseph’s new designer collaborations, courtesy of Joseph
Alongside Louise Trott, the brand’s creative director, Jil Sander, Rupert Sanderson, Jonathan Saunders, Giles and Balmain have all designed pieces for the celebration, taking their own signature styles and reimagining them in the traditional Joseph black and white palette. From Saunders' floral prints to Balmain’s roaring lion, each piece takes on a new form in the new monochrome collection.
It seems only fitting that the 25th anniversary of the store is celebrated, having done so much for British style and international designers in that time. The founder, Joseph Ettedgui, not only created a beautiful and inspiring hub for London fashion enthusiasts in his West London store but also gave us a gateway to the likes of Kenzo, Yohji Yamamoto, as well as being the first to sell Prada.
Joseph’s own brand is now as synonymous with British fashion as those who have been hanging on the rails of the store for many years, and we cannot wait to see the new collection and get our hands on these fantastic collaborations.
Image: Vogue Italy
It's almost impossible to believe that people at Vogue Italy actually thought creating a "Vogue Black" section was a good idea. That is just the case, however, as highlighted in an op-ed by Jason Campbell for Business of Fashion. Campbell points out that the section has been around since 2010 and is dedicated solely to covering people of color. "What recently attracted my attention was its coverage from Pitti Uomo in Florence for which the site’s editors thought it appropriate to segregate black street style images in a section of the site’s 'Black Blog' called 'Vogueista Black,'" writes Campbell. Separation doesn't always have to be bad; for example, women of color have different hair and beauty needs and addressing those is a positive thing. Unfortunately, segregation for the sake of segregation doesn't do anything but further the divide. Vogue Italy was also the one who, in 2008, published an “all black” issue. It was widely hailed as a triumph, but isn't that, too, just segregation for the sake of segregation (and PR buzz)? If a publication really cares about diversity, it should make a point to integrate models of color seamlessly and in proportion to other ethnicities in its everyday coverage.
The disturbing issues of race don't end there. Miroslava Duma published an image on her website of Garage magazine’s editor in chief Dasha Zhukova sitting on a chair/woman in bondage wear — again, hard to believe that someone thought this was acceptable. She has since issued an apology and has cropped the image so that you can only see the black woman's boots. Also on deck when it comes to apologies? Madonna, who has apologized after much criticism for her use of the N word. Let's hope Martin Luther King, Jr. isn't turning in his grave.