If you haven’t yet laid your eyes upon Erdem’s Pre-Spring/Summer 2014 collection, you’re missing out. The inspiration behind the latest collection stems from the sense of escapism mixed with that feeling of excitement triggered when you venture somewhere new, which was initially instigated upon the designer seeing old photographs of his own mother on holiday.
The collection swings between dainty dark floral day dresses and light elegant lace separates, with the fabrics of choice being a mix of sheers, tweeds and leather pieces. There’s a clear battle between the perceptions of the female form too, as the collection opts for clearly feminine attire in the form of flowing dresses and flared skirts, versus a more androgynous vibe portrayed via sharp tailored suit numbers. The collection definitely caters to both kinds of style tribes.
Erdem Pre-Spring 2014
The floral detailing comes in the form of delicate prints or bead embellishment (below left), appearing on both sheer and leather pieces, which makes for the perfect summer trend. Check out the floral leather jacket (below right) for instance, it’s got the aesthetics of a cool biker jacket but then it’s beautifully decorated with a floral print.
The overriding colour palette of choice varies between black and white with the obvious addition of colourful floral detail. Perhaps, the choice of black and white for a Pre-Spring collection was somewhat influenced by the dreary British weather! Darker pieces are perfect for those gloomy weather days, whereas whites always fit in well when the sun decides to come out.
To sum up, it’s one collection that fits all, be it feminine or masculine styles for both sunny and not so sunny days.
Successful runway models often face a difficult transition into prestigious print work. Booking high profile campaigns and top magazine covers is probably the dream of nearly every unknown catwalker, but when opportunities finally begin to present themselves, models find that the already excessive scrutiny of their appearance heightens.
As Ashley Mears, a former model who's now a sociology professor at Boston University, detailed in her book Pricing Beauty, bookers and agents often prefer a challenging, unconventional look. With so many models competing for the top jobs, it's natural that uncommon beauty is so highly valued — but the problem with uncommon beauty is … well, not everyone agrees that it's beautiful. Cara Delevingne is an example of a model whose newfound print success has opened her to criticism most of us couldn't bear. As Paulina Porizkova put it in the HBO documentary About Face: Supermodels Then and Now, "What I didn't know [when I was getting into modeling as a teenager], is that when they tell you you're beautiful, they can also say you're ugly."
This is all to say, I don't know what happens in Bette Franke's private casting meetings, but at least on the Internet, the rising model's beauty is as uncontested as it gets. The 23-year-old Dutch model has a look that's both alien and classic — no surprise that her career's climbing steadily. After a couple outstanding runway seasons, Franke started booking more and more print jobs, recently appearing in Miu Miu's well-received Spring 2013 campaign. She's also covered Vogue Netherlands, Vogue Japan, a Vogue Japan beauty supplement — and now Vogue Turkey.
Not all Vogues are created equal (the American, French, British and Italian editions are arguably the ones to lead the pack), but a Vogue is still a Vogue and models strive to appear on one of its covers or in editorials as it often leads to more high profile editorial gigs and lucrative commercial work. So there's something seriously disturbing about the raw deal Franke's getting from the Vogue family.
Surprise, everyone! Cara Delevingne is fronting yet another fashion ad campaign – this time for Mulberry. Inspired by the English countryside (a recurring theme for this British brand) the ads are shot in photographer Tim Walker’s signature whimsical style. Somewhat reminiscent of the Fall 2012 campaign featuring Lindsey Wixson among Wild Things-esque creatures, this set of images was shot at the 18th century Shotover House in Oxfordshire, where set designer Shona Heath created a dark, moody, owl-filled indoor forest. This Brothers Grimm-like campaign was art directed by Ronnie Cooke Newhouse.
Once the full campaign emerged in the forums, forum members were completely smitten. Elfinkova in particular had some high praise. “Wow Cara actually looks great here,” she shared. “Like Karlie [Kloss], I think she's at her best when she isn't doing over-the-top 'fierce' poses. She's stunning in print with soft, natural posing. I'm sure this will sell like hotcakes due to her presence, but regardless the sheer loveliness of this campaign would leave anyone reaching for their checkbook.”
Kanna was also pleasantly surprised. “This is unexpectedly great, because I am neither a fan of Cara's nor have I been impressed by Tim Walker for Mulberry yet, but this is going to be the first campaign to be my favorite. The owls are cute,” she laughed, “and Cara looks to be well-suited for this.”
Like Greenway said, “Mulberry has beautiful campaigns time and time again and this doesn’t disappoint.”
Between the clothes, set, and talented team who put it all together, it almost doesn’t matter who the model is. Almost. We all know Cara’s having her moment. We might as well enjoy it with her.
Images via Mulberry.
With Men’s Fashion Week underway and models hitting the runways once again, discussion has flared back up in the forums regarding diversity (or the lack thereof) in the fashion industry. What most notably struck up the conversation was the casting of the female models at Prada’s Spring 2014 Menswear show. Casting Director Ashley Brokaw picked four women of color (out of the twelve who were cast) to walk the show: Leona “Binx” Walton, Marina Nery, Tamila Naser, and Malaika Firth. Considering Prada’s not-so-hot track record with racially diverse casting, the runway selections for this show were notable.
Clockwise from top left: Leona “Binx” Walton, Marina Nery, Tamila Naser, and Malaika Firth. Images via IMAXtree.
Forum members were pleased, but not fully convinced that this casting is a sign of consistent change for future collections.
“Cast at Prada was really top notch, four female models of color (!!!) pretty amazing if you ask me," teaars commented. "Would hope to see the same kind of casting for the womenswear RTW show.”
Marc10 wrote, “Prada was indeed great… but I can’t help but wonder if it was only because of the collection’s mood or if they’re really embracing diversity.”
“Is Prada finally feeling the heat after all those articles sprung up about the lack of diversity on the runways?” HeatherAnne asked. “I'll save my praises for them and Brokaw until after I see their Spring 2014 show,” she added.
Cold is also adopting a wait-and-see attitude. “I'm cautiously optimistic,” she shared. “I hope this isn't just one of those instances where they felt more daring since casting for menswear isn't as amplified as womenswear.”
Another concern with Prada was the racial ambiguity of the selected models. Since the women featured are so light-skinned, Seaj didn’t really find the casting to be cause for celebration. Intern22 disagreed, arguing that non-white models come in many shades, and that this is still something of a victory.
What do you think? Are casting directors taking a step in the right direction? Or could this all just be a one-off to placate the recent outcries against fashion’s lack of diversity? The debate rages on in the forums: read more here.
Everything in fashion is a matter of opinion, but Kate Upton's fourth Vogue cover, for the Brazilian edition's July 2013 issue, is surely her best yet.
The cover above appeared in the tFS Forums as a snapshot preview yesterday afternoon; shortly after, Vogue Brazil posted an authorized version to their website. Upton was photographed by Henrique Gendre and styled in Miu Miu by Luis Fiod.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover girl has previously appeared on the cover of Vogue's American, British and Italian editions. Though her trajectory from men's magazine model to fashion darling has attracted a number of detractors (the "bombshell" look can be unpopular among many model junkies, who tend to prefer the more unusual beauty of runway models), her consistently strong editorial work is making it increasingly difficult to dismiss her.
Remember a few weeks ago when I posted a story about retailers that ship to Canada (for free or cheap)? No? Well go here a moment to read it… You're back? Good. Because I now have another fashion focused website to add to that list: Boohoo.
Originating across the pond, Boohoo showcases trend-led and affordable fashions taken directly from the streets and runways in the UK and made available for purchase within a matter of weeks internationally. They've now launched in Canada and, to get the party started, invited media fashionistas to preview the collection at a pretty in pink soiree.
Since summer is officially upon us, I was particularly interested in the Pure White collection, which is all about light and whimsical fabrics and styles helping shoppers get that perfect summer weekend-away look at an unbeatable price. The May Pocket High Rise Short, the Eden Mesh Detailed Neck & Hem Top and the Louise Tie Low V-Back Netted Prom Dress. All of these items retail for less than $50, but in case you're looking for something with that little added je ne sais quoi, the Boohoo Boutique is an exclusive, limited-edition line that when it's gone, it's really gone.
But aside from the clothing, do you know what the best part of the event was? I got to grill the Boohoo sales and marketing team on their shipping and customs costs to Canada. Here's what I learned: As of July 1 there will be free shipping and no duty taxes on all orders over $25 to Canada. This is because, as I was told, the company is willing to take the hit and leverage the loss against other destinations (like Australia). I'm patriotically convelling for both Britain and good ol' Down Under right now!