In Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s designs there is a constant that is always kept intact. Since her first fashion show in 1980, contemporary art has been a basic reference, not only in the conceptualization of ideas, fundamental in all of her collections, but in the way in which she introduced it to the world of clothing through her choice of silhouettes, materials, colors and the use of the house’s classic icons, always falling back on a tug of war between lack/abundance of meaning. This reverts us directly to the use of graphic design, which in an almost omnipotent way is applied to all the branches of her design the first being, naturally, that of the textile printing.
For this season A-W 2014-15, prints are the inspiring force behind the collection. We have recovered classic prints from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s and developed new ones for the winter of 2014. Dots, stripes, hearts, flowers, stars, bows, logos, rainbows, clouds and tangled outlines of all sizes will flood the runway.
As always, color is the unmistakable protagonist. The palette is enormous. From primary colors to the secondary and tertiary ones. They all mix amongst themselves, creating a feeling of baroque minimalism, mixing this wide range of color with graphic elements of grand simplicity, captured on a varied range of fabrics, some of which include knitted wool, plush, neoprene, satin, poplin, waterproofs, crepe and even sequins.
Fuchsia, the fetish color of the house, remains the conductive thread of the whole collection. From the actual articles to the entertaining complements such as the transparent shoes that take on the color of the socks and contrast or fuse with the pink lacquer wedges that serve as its base. The transparent purses and amusing wigs have been created by hand by Free Style for Agatha Ruiz de la Prada.
Silhouettes that think of a comfortable and contemporary woman. Tightly fitted leggings contrast with big oversized coats. Straight lines on big curves and circles, evasés and layers play with articles of all possible sizes and lengths, transforming dressing up into a true game. A combination looks that will make sure Agatha’s women enjoy this year more than ever be it long, short, wide, tightly fitting or all at once.
“Color Prints” is a collection that encourages/stimulates games, fun, comfort, the recycling of articles, contemporary thought and, all in all, the classic ideology that Agatha Ruiz de la Prada presents us season after season since her very beginning, destined to an ABSOLUTELY FREE woman.
The director of the Men’s Fashion Cluster returned from Milano Unica, the international textile fair organized in Italy from 11th to 13th February 2014. At the fair were presented the finest quality products for Spring/Summer 2015 from both Italian and European textile manufacturers.
‘We have ordered the most attractive fabrics for men’s suits and they (more than 600 different items) will be available for the designers to choose and create their collections‘, said Dean Manev, director of the Men’s Fashion Cluster.
The ambition of Men’s Style is to show that the classic men’s business suit can be made more attractive and desired by men all over the world. All interested designers can join the project and create their own models, which will be sold online as made-to-measure suits.
3-D entrepreneur Michael Stouyiannos and fashion show producer and designer Andres Aquino have joined forces to produce future couture fashion shows in 3-D, as well as the first mini-series of 3-D films, launching these projects in the global entertainment marketplace. Attendees at Couture Fashion Week in New York, September 5-7, 2014, will be able to experience a special presentation in 3D. The event will be held at the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, 1605 Broadway.
“We are thrilled to make the Couture Fashion Week shows and other future events available to the global 3-D audience,” says Michael Stouyiannos. “Fashion shows are exceptional entertainment, with very high metrics and audience engagement. We are confident that Andres’ creativity in combination with our stereographic 3-D knowhow will create significant breakthroughs in the fashion entertainment industry worldwide.”
According to Mr. Stouyiannos, the 3-D visualization technology will increase the impact of the fashion shows and the overall entertainment experience. 3-D content has much higher awareness, recall and engagement than any other distributing and technology infrastructures. He believes that in the near future many fashion shows will be broadcast in stereoscopic 3-D and eventually in holographic 3-D. “We have the vision to produce the first holographic fashion shows worldwide,” he added.
Mr. Stouyiannos expects to publish the 3-D content to a cloud-based 3-D platform live globally in Spanish, Russian and Mandarin in addition to English. “The Spanish-speaking and Asian 3-D markets are growing very fast and we are excited to promote our entertainment productions to these huge consumer areas. We have plans to start begin marketing our productions to India also in late 2015.”
Mr. Aquino and Mr. Stouyiannos are currently collaborating in the production of a series of 3D short movies written and directed by Andres Aquino. The first episode of an initial series of 5 mini drama episodes in 3-D is entitled “Journey in Red” and is already in the post-production phase and will soon l be available to the global 3-D audience.
In terms of monetization, the majority of the 3-D content will be available at no charge. “We focus our monetization policy through 3-D commercials and sponsors promoting their products through our productions,” says Mr. Stouyiannos.
Mr. Stouyiannos is confident there will be increasing consumption and demand for 3-D entertainment content worldwide in upcoming years. “The strong and growing supply of 3-D devices is creating very strong fundamentals to the global 3-D market,” says Mr. Stouyiannos. Most new smart TVs are now 3-D enabled, at no additional cost to the buyer. It is estimated that by 2018 there will be more than 800 million 3-D TV households worldwide, with a ratio of 2 viewers per device. This is a very rapid growth rate considering that today the global user base is around 150 million households and in 2010 it was only 20 million. “This exponentially growing global 3-D audience is hungry for quality 3-D entertainment,” adds Mr. Stouyiannos.
Mr. Aquino believes the collaboration on this 3-D initiative with Michael Stouyiannos will have a broader impact in the fashion and entertainment industry. “Michael is a recognized expert in 3-D technologies worldwide. He has long delivered unique 3-D technologies to the global entertainment industry, and I am excited to work with him in the innovative field of 3-D productions. In our busy lives, where everyone has limited personal time, we believe the quality of our 3-D content will satisfy and engage an increasingly growing 3-D audience worldwide, creating a unique global entertainment market,” says Mr. Aquino.
A month ago, the supermodel Cara Delevingne, who just turned 22, announced an exciting collaboration with the DKNY brand and we are eager to see her line, which consists of 15 gorgeous models that reflect the sporty tomboy. After starring in four campaigns of the famous brand in the last two years, it was so natural that the supermodel is going to design her own line for this chic brand.
Pure in its pursuit of escape and athleticism, surf subculture inspired a bold direction for Y-3 Spring/Summer 2015. Shown once again during Paris Men’s Fashion Week at the Couvent des Cordeliers on Sunday, June 29, 2014, the collection explored an energetic fusion of surf and punk
Louis Vuitton Ready-To-Wear collection for Fall 2014
At Paris Fashion Week Louis Vuitton presented Fall/Winter 2014 collection. What I loved in the collection was the abundance of wearable separates in many different colours: burgundy, white, black, ochra, navy blue, beige and brown.
Rising Middle East-based design star Martha Fadel will present her latest inspired collection at Couture Fashion Week New York at 6:00 pm on Saturday September 6, 2014 in the Broadway Ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Times Square Manhattan, 1605 Broadway, in the heart of the Big Apple. In addition to the runway show, Ms. Fadel will also have an exhibit of her designs for all three days of the event, September 5-7, 2014.
In 2007, Martha Fadel launched a fashion concept for the young, active and trendsetting woman. She first started with knitwear and accessories, which incorporated touches ofMartha Fadel fashion show at Couture Fashion Week NY vintage Swarovski crystal glamour. Due to popular demand, Ms. Fadel soon began custom making unique pieces upon request until her brand evolved into a full clothing line, offering everything from high-end everyday clothing to evening wear, as well as beachwear and accessories.
What naturally followed is the creation of more exclusive haute couture pieces for the glamorous, elegant, chic and trendy woman. From bridal wear to evening gowns, every season Martha Fadel will showcase unique and inspiring fashion looks which will make silhouettes shine and heads turn.
With an eye for trends and a style steeped in originality, Martha Fadel has firmly established her name on the fashion scene. With keen attention to detail, each piece from her collection is crafted to perfection. Every step of the creative process is key and so, Ms. Fadel’s vision is to create unique pieces based on quality of design, the usage of finest materials and a refined finishing.
If anyone knows London’s beauty secrets, it’s Lou Teasdale. The makeup and hair guru began her career grooming pop stars on Britain’s original X Factor, and now tours the world with One Direction (because five famous mop tops require a lot of blow drying). In her spare time (ha), Teasdale is the model and brand ambassador for Fudge Urban hair products and the author of The Craft: DIY Hair and Beauty. (Full disclosure: I illustrated the book. You should get it – it comes with stickers.)
We asked Lou where she unwinds in her hometown of London–when she gets a chance, that is.
To make your eyes stand out from behind your glasses, follow these easy tips. They’re especially helpful if you wear strong frames.
Eyeliner is Key I love gel liner for girls who wear glasses because it adds serious definition that other liners can’t quite achieve. The line should be thick enough that you can see it when you open your eyes. Draw it all the way across the eye. In the photo above, I drew out the line a teeny bit beyond the outside corner for a playful, mini cat eye.
Define Your Brows To ensure that your glasses don’t overpower your face, you should apply a shadow the same shade as your hair color to your brows with an angled brow brush.
Go With Waterproof Mascara Regular mascara can smudge against your lenses, a waterproof version is the fix.
Don’t Forget Concealer Lenses can highlight and enhance any undereye darkness or redness, so concealer helps keep the attention on your eyes—not on your circles.
Jacket, £375, trousers, £265, and T-shirt, £95; MiH Jeans
We’re coveting this gorgeous crushed-velvet suit by MiH Jeans. It’s the most comfortable eveningwear we’ve come across. Wear with a grey-marl T-shirt, of course. Jacket, £375, trousers, £265, and T-shirt, £95
Club Monaco goes large Sloane Square’s American invasion continues (there’s already a Rag & Bone and Kate Spade, with J.Crew landing in September) with a beautiful new Club Monaco flagship. The Ralph Lauren-owned brand is the place for luxurious cashmeres and winter coats that the rest of the world won’t be wearing. The cosy store is also peppered with antique homewares that you can take to the checkout, too. 33 Sloane Square, SW1W 8AQ
Marc Jacobs invites you to socialise Proving that he’s got his finger firmly on the social media pulse, Marc Jacobs has transformed the currency of his Covent Garden shop into a Twitter friendly one. To buy the in-store treats customers must simply Tweet a message with the hashtag ‘MJDaisyChain’. The designer is even throwing in a DJ, manicure bar and drinks to get the socialising going. August 15 – 16; 4 East Piazza, WC2E 8HD
Monica Vinader gets personal Head down to Monica Vinader’s brand new space in Harrods where personalisation is a priority. The swish new area features an engraving workshop, with a consultation area and style inspiration points to help customers get creative and individualise their favourite Monica Vinader pieces. Names, dates and messages can be engraved same day, free of charge, in a range of the brand’s signature fonts. Customers can also turn their hand drawn sketches into an engraving using the MV doodle pads, with a master engraver available six days a week to help realise their design. Harrods, Lower Ground Floor, 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1
The new palette in town One to treasure in your make-up bag, this limited-edition Chantecaille trio palette features a deep-aubergine and a soft-copper eyeshadow with a vanilla highlighter. You’ll need to be quick: it hits shelves on August 18. £63; Harrods
Dover Street welcomes Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton is setting up shop on Dover Street for a brief stint selling its much sought after debut autumn/winter 2014 collection under the creative direction of Nicolas Ghesquière. Keep your eyes on the shopping centre’s corner window display from September 1 too, as the design team will unveil a unique creative concept to fete London Fashion Week. August 14 – October 15; 17-18 Dover Street, W1S 4LT; doverstreetmarket.com
A heaven in Devon Hidden away at the end of a prettily winding Devon lane, Gidleigh Park is a glorious Never-Neverland of a hotel. It’s a place where everything is perfect – the relaxed country-house atmosphere, the view across a rushing river towards Dartmoor and, above all, Michael Caines’ superlative Michelin-starred food. You won’t want to leave. £350 per night
Flea market fun We’ll admit we started to yawn at the announcement of another East London flea market, but then we heard that there would be peach tea and mojito flavoured marshmallows on sale. Alongside the other vintage finds and independent creative gems, of course. Abney Hall, this weekend’s home for the Hackney Flea Market, will even host an on-site cafe while providing suitable browsing tunes. August 15 – 16; 11am-6pm; 73a Church Street, N16 OAS; facebook.com/HackneyFleaMarket
Totes brilliant Cath Kidston is adding to the brand’s patterned repertoire with a selection of chic tote bags. Available in medium (£60) and large (£75) and in five of the popular prints, the August 21 launch is just in time for our bank holiday travels. The only issue is which pattern to choose… cathkidston.com
Make your mark on Prada Much to our excitement, Prada has launched a made-to-order service for its bestselling lace-up shoes. Choose your colour, sole and fabric – and you can even have your initials on the sole. A world of style at your feet. From £740; 020 7893 8105
Time to feel Chirpy The craft gurus at Chirpy, the Leeds independent design store, have invited jewellery designer Jaxynn Lee to teach Yorkshire folks the knack of ring-making. Accessories enthusiasts will learn how to use sterling silver and precious stones while slowly shaping their own unique piece. August 16; 2pm-5pm; £40; 48 Harrogate Road, LS7 4NZ; chirpystore.co.uk
Comfort corner The designer and illustrator Sophie Allport creates lovely homewares. Her latest collection includes this flying-pheasant-print cushion. £25
Net-a-Porter’s new loot The Holly Fulton woman visibly grew up in the Edinburgh-born designer’s autumn/winter 2014 collection. Taking inspiration from Dziga Vertovs’s 1929 film ‘Man With a Movie Camera’ the new season celebrates female entrepreneurship by incorporating a techy element to the garments. Keira Knightley first reminded us of the eye-catching dresses when choosing one (below right) for her stint on Graham Norton’s chat show and the good news is that now Net-a-Porter is stocking it. Snap up the edit fast. net-a-porter.com
The Bird Room Vintage aficionados could hardly pick a more apt spot to browse retro clothes and jewellery this weekend. The pop-up shop at The Bird Room in Edinburgh’s Duddingston House is as stately and grand as it was during its 1745 creation for the 8th Earl of Abercorn. A spot of history and shopping? Who could refuse? Open Thursday – Sunday only until August 31; free; 105 Milton Road West, EH15 1RB; duddingstonhouse.co.uk
Wedding planning saviour For all your wedding-planning needs, Knot & Pop has it covered. The stylish duo create stunning table decorations, stationery, invitations and centrepieces. Here’s one they did earlier…
Organic jewels The ceramicist Reiko Kaneko has just launched a jewellery collection. The bone-china, gold and platinum pendants are beautifully organic. From £35
Book club latest Sarah Waters’ latest novel is set in 1920s London, when the country was struggling to come to terms with the losses of the Great War. The Paying Guests follows a Camberwell widow and her spinster daughter who are forced to take in lodgers, with unexpected ramifications. Out 28 August; £20, Virago
The Cholas in my Wyoming high school had a very distinct style. This was the 90s, and the way a Chola styled her bangs – fringe to you Brits – was so key to the look that coiffing them was almost like a contest. Whichever girl could grow her bangs the longest and AquaNet her swoop to a peacocky height with a crest of curl up top was queen bee of the school. You might not be aware of what a chola is, and certainly not if you’re reading this in the UK, but in the US chola-style is very popular.
Traditionally, the elements of “chola style” relate to a specific subculture of first- and second-generation Mexican American girls influenced by hip-hop, enamoured with lowrider cars, and sometimes associated with gangs. The chola look itself is geared around the hair, but extends to the following: dark lipliner with a lighter lipstick, cat-eye glasses, baggy Dickies denim or khakis, oversized flannels buttoned up to the top, gold chains with crucifixes or St Christopher medals dangling at the end and the aforementioned skyscraper bangs. When my cousin Kath began growing out her own bangs and lining her lips in dark brown, I was totally impressed, although I had to hide it – she was a few years younger and far too much of the American high school experience is about trying to act cooler than you think you are.
This was 15 years ago, but the thing is, popular culture has since made me feel like even us genuine Wyoming cholas were never quite 100% authentic. While we were all Mexican American, I later learned that the concept of “chola” was more than a look. It was part of our inherited and ancestral culture. Historically the term was used by European colonisers to refer to full or mixed indigenous populations in South and Central America, but in the 1960s was reclaimed in the US by working-class Mexican Americans and the Chicano Power movement as a way to flip and empower a term that had historically been used to denigrate us.
To me, chola style blends glamour with an inherent toughness or feminine strength. It also refers to a very unique subculture both culturally and geographically (say, Wyoming, and parts of LA), so it’s been interesting to see the chola styles of my youth popping up all over the place in pop culture, whether writ large on high-fashion catwalks or in little hints. For instance, Kendall Jenner’s baby-curled fringe in the new issue of Love. Or the British singer FKA Twigs’ famous curls, which certainly alluded to a chola aesthetic, although Twigs has since admitted to phasing them out: “I used to really enjoy doing [my hair] every single day, even if I was late I’d squeeze in seven minutes to do [the curls]. But since I did the i-D cover [chola style] has really taken over in fashion and music … I think the way it’s taken now, I’m not really down with it.”
But these examples make it clear that there is a revived interest in chola style. As to whether this is homage, straight rip-off or a total ignorance that maybe, just maybe, someone is going to find your look a little bit offensive, I don’t know, but it’s still everywhere. I should add here that I don’t find Twigs offensive – she is more directly referencing the history of the Josephine Baker s-curls than anything else – but I can see how her baby hairs are an entry point into chola style.
While debate rightly rages on about whether Katy Perry and Brooke Candy should be sporting cornrows and box braids – traditionally black hairstyles that paint them as racial interlopers who may be trying on the “ghetto chic” look (not my words) – and festivals have started banning Native American headdresses from their grounds, pop culture barely blinks an eye when chola style is borrowed, plundered, caricatured and/or cartoonised for the benefit of “new” ideas and, of course, the same coolness that I was so enamoured of during my teens. Headdresses have a very specific cultural context within the tribes that use them; they are reserved for chiefs and warriors of the highest honour. Mimicking chola style is not tantamount to borrowing a sacred crown (or doing “blackface”), but it still echoes the fundamental appropriation that’s so rampant in style right now. Privileged people want to borrow the “cool” of disenfranchised people of colour, but don’t have to face any of the discrimination or marginalisation that accompanies it.
One of the first mass introductions to chola culture was the 1994 film Mi Vida Loca, which followed a clique of five chola “gangbangers” in Echo Park, Los Angeles. (It was no coincidence that Sad Girl, the alpha of the crew, had the highest bangs.) The Mi Vida Loca actors looked gorgeous and tough, with the sleekest of manicures, but even then the film was criticised for its outrageous, stereotypical plotline, full of pregnant, volatile homegirls and baby daddies being shot.
It didn’t help that writer-director Allison Anders was a white woman, but Mi Vida Loca remains probably the most visible depiction of young, impoverished Chicanas. The recent rise of “cholafied” style on catwalks and elsewhere seems to follow its lead.
Take Rodarte’s spring/summer 2014 collection– supposedly inspired by the Mulleavy sisters’ home of Los Angeles: its cheeky approximation of cheap animal prints, flannel shirts with white-tee crop tops, and ruffled skirts read like the runway edition of the “spicy Latina” stereotype. You half expected them to emerge from backstage to Ricky Martin’s La Vida Loca screaming “ay ay ay!”
Not long after Rodarte’s chola collection last autumn, Rihanna Instagrammed her Halloween costume: zombie chola in a bandana with a tiny teardrop painted below her eye – the tattoo that can symbolise how many people you’ve killed. Riri looks amazing in everything, of course, but what offended me was the way she painted herself to look deceased, which I thought made light of the real issue of gang violence (across many races) in Los Angeles.
More complex is Gwen Stefani, whose 2004 Luxurious video places her as the only (blonde, glimmering) white chola at a Mexican American barbecue, reflecting her upbringing in the majority-Latino city of Anaheim, California. But nothing can top Sandra Bullock getting a “chola makeover” on the George Lopez talk show in 2009 (racist, as far as I can tell), or even Selena Gomez dressing in chola style at the MTV awards in 2011. We are witnessing the mining of a subculture on a grand scale.
For me, the ignorant harvesting of chola style reached its nadir with a 2012 Steven Meisel editorial in Vogue Italia entitled “Haute Mess”, which starred Abbey Lee and Coco Rocha and seemed to pluck aspects of chola style – strong lipliner, teardrop tats and high-end styling inspired by “messy drag queens”. It caused quite a stir at the time. When I saw it, I got a distinct feeling of love-and-laughter, imitation is a form of flattery, but it can also feel like mockery too.
What Bullock said to George Lopez implies that flattery was her intention, of course: “If I could do anything to become more Latina, I would do it,” she said. “It hasn’t happened yet.” And it won’t.