Image: Moda Operandi
designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy
have seen a lot of success over the past few years, but their most recent Spring 2014 collection was maybe not the most inspiring example of their much-lauded craftsmanship and taste level.
One Forum member called it "a mash-up of Daisy Duke, exotic dancers and urban wear." Another wondered whether the sisters might have sourced their collection from Rihanna for River Island rejected designs.
On NYMag.com, Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan praised the Mulleavy sisters for taking a risk, but thought their attempt to elevate the sexed-up bravado seen in L.A. street style hadn't succeeded: "On the runway, [the clothes] read as cheap," she wrote, "even though they most certainly are not."
No, they most certainly are not. The collection is now available for pre-order on luxury e-commerce site, Moda Operandi. How much does it cost?
The most striking item might be the leopard beaded bra top (pictured right). Although the Swarovski crystal embellishments surely justify its $6,440 price, its design is essentially indistinguishable from a run-of-the-mill tassel belly dance bra (here's one for $14.99). The full runway look (above) costs $13,479.
Obviously, not everything we see on the runways is intended for everyday life and Moda Operandi's approach to curation, in the case of post-fashion week trunk shows, is intentionally hands off. So a Swarovski bra top might not be a fair example of Rodarte Spring 2014 pricing, since the market for that particular piece probably begins and ends with Ke$ha.
A more realistic example: The asymmetrical zebra print dress, pictured below, is listed as one of the collection's "Most Wanted" items. It costs $6,555. Even though that's (remarkably) even higher than the price set for the aforementioned crystal-covered crop top, it would be a fool's errand to try to figure out the better deal.
Image: IMAXtree (left) / Moda Operandi (right)
It’s Target news all around this week as the big box chain has opened its first store in Montreal to a crowd of socialites and celebrities. Entering the Quebec market at its Place Vertu store in Montreal, Target fashion ambassador Mitsou Gélinas, vice President Livia Zufferli, president Tony Fisher and Bullseye, Target's beloved bull terrier mascot, welcomed Coco Rocha to the red carpet as they unveiled their latest pin on the Great White map.
The following day, two more stores were given the golden scissor treatment, while another nine stores are scheduled to open in mid-October, including three in the Greater Montreal area. Let’s just say that Bullseye is marking his territory across the country, but while Target originally hinted at expanding the Canadian workforce and giving jobs to the former Zellers employees, the reality is a different story.
While at TIFF I had the chance to check out Gia Milani’s prize-winning film, All the Wrong Reasons, starring Emily Hampshire and Karine Vanasse. The film was shot on location at a Zellers, just as it was being transformed into Target, and as both the gorgeous ladies explained, they were dumbstruck when they discovered that Target had flushed out all the Zellers employees. Rather than seamlessly transitioning them into a new job at Target, the Zellers crew were made to re-apply for their previous positions against hundreds of others. I was surprised by their comments and, with some figures sourced by Global, found that more than 5,000 former Zellers workers were promised employment opportunities with the U.S. retailer, but were largely ignored.
So there’s that. The other piece of Target news I wanted to mention is a little more light-hearted as it involves their upcoming collaborations. Firstly, and I must emphasize that this is more of an international scoop, striking British designer Peter Pilotto is creating a capsule collection that will hit store this February 9th (mark your moleskins and set your alarms)! You can read more about that little pairing right here.
Secondly, and this is a purely Canadian collab, the winner of the Target Emerging Designer Awards, Melissa Nepton, has unveiled her signature collection that will finally be in the retailer's 25 Quebec stores beginning on Dec. 8.
The 16-piece collection will range from $29.99 to $69.99 and Target Quebec spokesman Sebastien Bouchard said the designer drew inspiration from 60s-inspired silhouettes for the line. Can we say they’ve made good by supporting upcoming Canadian talent? Or is the whole Target takeover leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth? Sound off in the comment section located south!
Images via Target and MellisaNepton.com
A few days ago, Naomi Campbell was tasked with defending both herself and the growing campaign demanding more runway diversity in a bizarre, combative interview with UK broadcaster Channel 4 News.
Most of the time, it's refreshing to see a journalist at a major network challenge a big name subject, but in this case, the program's host seemed determined to get a rise out of Campbell.
It started with the opening question, which insinuated that the supermodel's success delegitimizes her claims that the fashion industry isn't racially inclusive:
Channel 4: Are you essentially accusing the industry you've done very well in, of being racist?
Naomi Campbell: No, I'm saying the act of not choosing models of color is racist. We're not calling them racist, we're saying the act is racist. And I'm also saying that they may not intentionally know, but they do choose. They hire casting directors, they hire stylists — now they are the ones that choose the models, not so much the designer anymore. So it's not necessarily the designer, but it does affect their house and their brand.
Then this exchange:
C4: You're a world famous supermodel. Why can't you go up to… Victoria Beckham —
NC: Who says I haven't?
C4: What does Victoria Beckham say?
NC: I haven't gone up to Victoria Beckham. But I have gone up to designers I am friendly with and said, "Hey, why are you not using more models of color?"
C4: And what do they say? Your friends?
NC: "We want to, you're right, you're right." But it doesn't happen.
Asked whether she is particularly invested in how London Fashion Week handles diversity, given her own background as a Brit, Cambell deflects: "I'm not pointing at one country, we're pointing at the fashion industry as whole."
The exchange continues:
C4: But you're naming Alexander McQueen, you're naming Mulberry. You've named Victoria Beckham.
NC: Yes, because they haven't used any models of color!
The interviewer doesn't back off, asking the supermodel whether being involved with the "blood diamonds" controversy might discredit her current campaign:
NC: I don't care what people think about me, they're allowed to have their opinion about me. But what they cannot fault me on is my job. And this is my business — fashion — this is what I'm in, and this is what I see.
C4: You have a reputation, rightly or wrongly, for being quite an angry person.
NC: I'm not here to talk about me, I'm here to talk about Balance Diversity. So I think I will finish here as I need to get to my set and finish my TV show.
C4: Let me finish my question. I just wondered if there's a good anger and a bad anger, and if this is actually a good anger to have.
NC: I'm not angry. And I don't like the thing of "the angry black woman" either. This is not what this is about. You asked to interview me because we've done very nice interviews in America. And you want to know what it's all about. We are passionate. And feeling passionate about something doesn't mean you have to be angry.
The full interview:
Related: André Leon Talley: ‘It’s Not the Designer That’s Racist, It’s the System That’s Racist’
Kate Moss will appear on the cover of Playboy's June 2014 Issue, commemorating the publication's 60th anniversary — topless or not topless, only time will tell. [Fashionologie]
Blake Lively looked phenomenal at the Gucci show, which is presumably a requirement of sitting front row next to Anna Wintour. [FabSugar]
London Fashion Week beauty trends. Don't you want to want to want to? [BellaSugar]
"11 Cult Nail Polish Shades To Try Before You Die." Or, how to live life to the fullest. [SheFinds]
The latest New York Fashion Week runway diversity count does not show much improvement over last season: "The problem is that while there might have been nominally more models of color this season than last, all of the same models were booking the shows." [Jezebel]
Find out how Bentley (yes, the car company) may have finneagled its way into your social streams this fashion week. [BoF]
Like many other little girls, I went through a Barbie phase. My two ladies (and their generically attractive shared beau, Ken) lived, loved and lost their hair in an elaborately decorated house fashioned out of a cabinet shelf in my bedroom. I don't remember their names or how they occupied their time (with clothes or work or boys?), but I doubt they lived anything but a relatively modest life of egg breakfasts and romantic walks on the carpeting. For sure, their existence would have had little in common with the high-shine glamour afforded to the newest member of the Barbie family, who fills her nights with red carpet premieres and little jaunts down the runway, all while dressed in custom-designed Hervé Léger by Max Azria bandage dresses, gladiator boots and harness belts.
Set to retail for $150 at Hervé Léger boutiques, select Neiman Marcus stores and online at BarbieCollector.com (the website also features dolls wearing outfits designed by The Blonds, Stephen Burrows, Coach and Trina Turk), the Hervé Léger doll is available with two looks, both constructed of the same materials (and manufactured in the same factory) used to produce the main collection. Conceived for the so-called "Adult Collector," life-sized versions of each one of Barbie's fashion item will also be available through the Hervé Léger by Max Azria collection.
All images courtesy BCBGMAXAZRIAGROUP
Dion Lee might just be responsible for changing the landscape of Australian fashion. His daringly futuristic designs render him incongruous with words like ‘floaty’ and ‘feminine’ that are often thought to be an intrinsic part of local design’s DNA. They’ve also made Lee our most valuable export, both financially and in terms of things to brag about at happy hour.
Accordingly, Dion Lee’s New York Fashion Week debut last week was probably watched with a sort of nervous smugness on the part of most Australians present. Just how awesome would New York find our beloved fashion wunderkind? How thrilled would they be to shake his hand and offer him a seat at the already crowded table of local talent?
Perhaps as a way of making himself more approachable (Lee’s experimental approach to textiles and silhouettes can often mark him as an outsider), the designer’s collection was relatively pared back for a show that began with a laser light performance.
The first looks were monochromatic – sleek trousers and pencil skirts paired with tailored blazers and leather bustiers. But after that quick introduction, he ventured into a sci-fi cross-hatching pattern and clothes that were more like wearable art. The emphasis still, though, being on ‘wearable.’ The most impressive were tops made from strips of fabric that snaked bondage-like around the model’s body and neck, and a skirt that fused panels of the neoprene (there’s that glamourised wetsuit fabric again) backing. Gauzy fabrics kept things well clear of Blade Runner territory.
First impressions count at fashion week, and Dion Lee could hardly have made a better one. Australia is probably justified in feeling a little smug.
Image: Dion Lee's Facebook