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Inside the V&A Museum’s ‘Club to Catwalk’ Exhibition

jacket

(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

We finally had a chance to check out the Club to Catwalk exhibition at London’s V&A museum this weekend, and boy, were we in awe.

During the 80s, London based designers came to be known as the most experimental in the world, and to prove their quirky design credentials, the exhibition featured a special collection of Levi Strauss denim jackets that had been decorated by designers commissioned by the innovative Blitz magazine. One of our favourites had to be the jacket that had been totally transformed with hair grips (right). The most innovative use of them that we’ve ever seen.

The exhibition explores how fashion exploded in Britain during the 1980s — where customization and self-made clothing were key and youths competed against each other in the trendiest of nightclubs with their outfits. Trends bubbled up from the clubs in this way and even made it upon some of the leading runways. Looks in the clubs spread rapidly and everything from exaggerated exotic styles to eclectic mixing could be seen. Just look at the guys below (left), it's impossible to imagine these kinds of styles ever becoming the norm again at our favourite clubs. 

Did you know that it was actually the economic conditions of Thatcherite Britain that led towards a hardening of attitudes in fashion and music? And that’s exactly when we saw an arrival of holes in clothing, edgy leathers, and massive boots. 

If you do get to see the exhibition, there’s a little submersion room that you have to test out. It’s pitch black like a nightclub, playing 80s style music with its walls filled with videos streaming club scenes. It most definitely makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time and are part of the era. 

Tickets to the exhibition cost just  5 pounds and you can find out more at vam.ac.uk

(c) Derek Ridgers

(c) Derek Ridgers

Images: V&A 

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Lucky Magazine’s December Cover Stars Kerry Washington … and It’s Really Bad

Image: tFS Forums

Image: tFS Forums

Lucky Magazine's new editor-in-chief Eva Chen has been under a lot of pressure since taking the helm at the shopping glossy, and to a large extent, she's delivered. Even before she relaunched the Condé Nast publication with a stunning September Issue cover, featuring Blake Lively — one of the most striking commercial images I've seen all year — Chen has seemed infallible (that's what happens to your reputation when you are cherrypicked for a major job by Anna Wintour). As some in the forums noted, Chen's version of Lucky was more diverse and had a higher taste level than its predecessor; its point of view simply seemed more relevant to the tech-savvy younger audience that's so crucial to the future of the magazine industry. 

So, we've arrived at the December 2013 issue cover above. I will say only nice things about it: The cover features Kerry Washington and she is borderline recognizable. The styling is not worse than what you'd see at a standard wedding. There's a lot of room for improvement. 

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Lululemon’s Bad PR is Great for Competitors

Image: Facebook/Wearcoryvines

Image: Facebook/Wearcoryvines

In the past week and a half, Lululemon has been facing an avalanche of negative press, related to reports of "pilling" in newly-purchased yoga pants. The activewear company's CEO Chip Wilson didn't help matters when he said, in a video interview with Bloomberg TV, that Lululemon might not be responsible for the quality issues.

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies actually just don't work for [the pants]. They don't work for some women's bodies," said Wilson. "It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there, and over a period of time how much they use it."

We're not surprised that some women are taking their business elsewhere. 

And that's where startup Cory Vines comes in. A relative newcomer to the athletics apparel space (earlier this year, Forbes called it "the Warby Parker of activewear"), the e-commerce site is reporting a staggering sales boost in the wake of Lululemon's recent batch of controversies. 

A Cory Vines representative told me that the company has seen a 400% increase in leggings sales (compared to the weekly average) since November 1, when the "pilling" issues were first being reported. The company's leggings retail for about $45, which is less than half the price of a pair from Lululemon. 

I asked CEO Daniel Lieberman why he thinks Lululemon is facing all these quality control issues and what Cory Vines was doing differently, in terms of production and sourcing. 

“I have no firsthand knowledge of what’s causing Lululemon’s issues, but I can make a few guesses. The original see-through problem may have happened because of a break in their supply chain in Taiwan, and the pilling problem may have happened because they tried to fix the see-through issue by using a heavier fabric,” Lieberman said over email. “We source our leggings in Canada and do all of the manufacturing here, so we have exceptional control over the whole process. So far, that has paid off for us with a return rate of less than 1% and – thankfully – compliments about our quality rather than complaints.”

Related: An Open Letter from Canada: We’re Sorry for Lululemon’s Body Discrimination

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Jessica Chastain Finally Gets a US Vogue Cover (Forum Buzz)

image credit: fashionscansremastered via the tfs forums

image credit: fashionscansremastered via the tfs forums

It’s about time actress Jessica Chastain got her Vogue cover. But as much as her appearance on the cover was anticipated, the result takes some getting used to. Inspired by the painting ‘Flaming June’ (by Sir Frederic Leighton), photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the two-time Oscar-nominee in a yellow THEORY by Olivier Theyskens gown. Although the iconic painting was successfully simulated, members of the tFS forum were not in agreement about the image making a good cover for this December issue.

CommanderTMugler remarked, “I always love editorials with paintings as inspiration (Julianne Moore x Peter Lindbergh was fantastic) but this image specifically is not working as much for a December/Holiday cover.”

“Overall I think this is a striking cover, but there is something off about Jessica's face. She looks rather lifeless, as Annie seems to like her subjects,” wrote VogueDisciple93.

And valliaddict obtained a lot of approval for his comment. He posted, “Oh no. No no no no no. This is bad. That dress is wearing her, not the other way around. She looks like she has a cramp in her neck. The primary color scheme is wrong for any month, but especially for December. The ed preview looks a lot better than the cover.”

USVogueDec13_2

But not everyone was as critical with the cover. 

Catalytic gushed, “Beautiful. Jessica is one of the most deserving actresses to be on the cover of Vogue. Supremely talented and effortlessly elegant.”

“Definitely the BEST cover of Vogue US this year,” found Avogadro.

And jmrmartinho expressed similar feelings, “I’m so happy. This is my favorite Vogue US cover since…ever. The colors are beautiful, Jessica looks stunning, they took a risk with the angle. I couldn’t be more happy. This is one to remember.”

A lot of different opinions on this cover image. What is your verdict?

The Buzz Latest News

The Fashion Spot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week

10-best-c

  1. Vote for the tFS Style Awards 2013 - The ballot for the Forum-nominated Tiffies is live! Voting is open to everyone and comes highly recommended. 
     
  2. Jessica Paster: My 10 Favorite Celeb Looks Ever - Highlights include a candlelit meeting with John Galliano and Minnie Driver's iconic 1997 Halston Oscars look. 
     
  3. Ohne Titel’s Fall 2013 Classic Red Lip (With a Twist): A tFS Video How-To - Watch our how-to tutorial, with MAC Cosmetics Senior Artist Neil Young.
     
  4. 5 Designers Who Are Committed to Runway Diversity - Before you vote in the Honorary Award for Diversity category (part of the tFS Style Awards), here's a crash course on the nominees.
     
  5. Runway to Real Life: Karolina Kurkova in Cushnie et Ochs, Jessica Stam in Valentino and More (Forum Buzz) - Proving that Cushnie et Ochs cut-outs are totally wearable … if you look like Karolina Kurkova. 
     
  6. 21 Fitness Pros and Models Tell Us How They Fuel Their Workouts - 21 fitness pros & models tell us how they fuel their workouts.
     
  7. Ethical Fashion: 5 Labels That Are Doing Everything Right - As part of the first annual tFS Style Awards, forum members have selected a group of designers and brands making strides in producing ethically sourced apparel.
     
  8. Boutique of the Week: Kirna Zabête - "When I walk into a boutique and see a neon sign that says, 'Life is short, buy the shoes,' I know I’m in the right place!" 
     
  9. Before You Buy: We Rank the Best and Worst Eye Creams – Find out which eye creams actually work. 
  10. When Vogue Isn’t Enough: Get Your Fashion Fix With These Alt Fashion Magazines - Where fashion dreams are made. 

The Buzz Latest News

Watson x Watson Take Their Spring 2014 Collection Stateside

Watson x WatsonWatson x Watson are the latest Aussie brand to test the waters of the USA, embarking stateside with their Spring 2014 collection.

But unlike fellow Sydneysider Phoenix Keating, whose harsh materials and couture-like detailing might have failed to resonate on the sunny shores of Bondi, Watson x Watson have been quietly building up a loyal following during the last six seasons they’ve showed at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. The fan base they’re hoping to build here is probably more in tune with Zimmermann’s — Americans who want to inject a nonchalantly sexy Australian attitude into their downtown cool wardrobe.

Fittingly, for their latest range, sisters Somer and Liberty Watson explore between charismatic black tie and everyday casual wear. The collection’s signature print is a muted plaid featured on silk cotton jogger pants, draped dresses (the strangely named “Boyfriend” dress is all flowing silk and a feminine X front) and also a check long-tail shirt. At the other end of the spectrum is a sequined lace that winds up on camis and a glitzy formal maxi skirt, while other pieces dabble into the athleticism trend. A hand-stitched mesh tee and a pair of leather jogging pants (paging Kanye West) sit alongside the season’s unconventional fabric du jour — a fancy version of neoprene.

And don’t forget to check out the shoes. Those Jerome gladiator sandals are sure to strike a chord with any modern sartorial warrior. 

Watson x Watson

Image: The Collective PR

 

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