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Size Inclusive Lines Are Becoming Standard, But Finding Them Remains Challenging

Body positivity and size inclusivity are movements that go hand-in-hand. As women come to accept and embrace their bodies, many are no longer willing to be confined to what society (and, specifically, fashion brands) feel to be the “ideal.” Given that 68% of American women wear a size 14 or larger, many companies are finally starting to listen with size inclusive options — and are making a whole lot of money as a result.

Despite all the progress that’s been made, there’s at least one glaring omission in the way that size inclusive clothing is presented to the modern consumer: while a straight-sized woman can potentially walk into just about any store and find something in her size, women who fall into the “extended sizes” category often have no other choice but to shop online. Seeing that businesses are losing $62 billion per year due to bad customer service, like not catering to the needs of the clientele, this oversight is helping to fuel an e-commerce boom.

Given the steadily growing popularity of e-commerce, that might not sound like much of an issue. As of August 2017, women’s apparel was the number one top-selling item on the internet. With so many shoppers preferring to shop online than go to their local mall, it might seem like brands are smart to focus their efforts on their websites rather than in their retail locations.

But that doesn’t mean that plus-sized women don’t want to shop in stores. When finding their size in person isn’t an option, it makes sense that they’ll turn to brands that will actually cater to them. But some women feel it’s an issue that brands want to claim the inclusive label without making all sizes accessible to all women. Despite the fact that well-known companies like Madewell, Anthropologie, Ann Taylor LOFT, J.Crew, and others have made concerted efforts to expand their size range during the last year, none of these brands carry those expanded sizes in their brick-and-mortar locations; customers have to go online and order them, which completely eliminates the store try-on experience.

As reported in GARAGE, “…Neglecting to offer [size] 14+ options in-store seems at odds with logic, as well as with the values of inclusivity and diversity that so many brands like to espouse for woke points. What appears to be happening, then, is that brands … want to have it both ways; they want the good press that comes with body inclusivity, without having to make the financial commitment of offering inclusive sizes in-store at all their locations.”

Although there may be some practical concerns like floor space and the fact that many physical retail locations struggle to stay afloat already, there are other inclusive brands that don’t see those as valid excuses.

As Brooke Cundiff, founder of a popular plus-sized clothing site, told GARAGE: “This is exactly why we started CoEdition — to give these women access to great style, in the sizes they want. Traditional retailers ignore or take these women for granted. If they do carry their sizes, they hide the clothes on a rack in the corner. That’s insulting.”

That said, CoEdition doesn’t have a physical location, either. Neither does Universal Standard, other than pop-ups and limited stock showrooms. Lines like Savage x Fenty and GabiFresh’s lines with Playful Promises and Swimsuits for All are online-only, as well. And although Eloquii has now opened its sixth retail location and Torrid stores can be found across the U.S., these brands cater specifically to plus-sized customers (or those who fall right on the cusp between straight and plus sizes); the brands that carry the entire gamut of sizes typically exclude larger sizes from their retail locations, choosing to stock only smaller sizes instead.

Ultimately, it illustrates that fashion still has a long ways to go before it’s truly size inclusive. Nearly one in four adults will eat at least one piece of candy every day — while many brands have superficially stopped shaming women for what they eat or what their body looks like, there’s a big difference between creating garments available for purchase and ensuring that all women are able to share the same experience when shopping for clothes.

Style Doesn’t Stop: Nic+Zoe Spring 2019 Collection

Although the spring season hasn’t been the amazing weather experience we’ve been wanting, we know it will get better. We’re a bit late on highlighting this collection but we have lots of time left to wear these amazing pieces. As stated, style doesn’t stop, for anything, including bad weather. Today we’re sharing some of our favorite pieces from the Nic+Zoe Spring 2019 Collection.

There’s so much to love about the Nic+Zoe Spring 2019 Collection. Every item is effortlessly chic and flattering, with pieces that are essential to your wardrobe. This season’s collection brings wonderful textures, wardrobe staples, statement basics that coordinate very well with each other and what’s already in your closet.

If you looking for everyday style, foundation pieces, or stylishly comfortable clothing, you will find those in the Nic+Zoe Spring 2019 Collection. The majority of the collection boasts neutral colors. Expect lots of black and white, light sage, pale blues, soft pinks, and greys with pops of colors like red here and there. There are several pieces we have our eye on. The white On Board Denim Jacket is the perfect Spring topper; you’ll love the fluffy texture of the sleeveless Clip it Up Shift Dress and the coordinating long-sleeved Clip it Up Blouse with split sleeves with ties; the lightweight Plush Party Cardigan (available in white and black) that’s perfect for the office.

We also love the multitasking Dusk Dress Jacket, a modern shape that can be a topper or belted to be worn as a dress. Speaking of dresses, we must note the feminine silhouettes in the collection, available in both woven and knitwear options. The fashion options from Nic+Zoe are perfect for those who want to stay away from the overly structured style in both their work and personal lives.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the looks from the Nic+Zoe Spring 2019 Collection. Do you have any favorite looks from this season’s collection?

The Top Fall 2019 Trends From New York Fashion Week

Mid-February saw the streets of New York City even fuller than usual as the Fall 2019 New York Fashion Week rolled into town. The timing was perfect, as style-minded people everywhere began to feel bogged down by the bleak winter landscape and needed a fashion boost. This year’s fashion week was certainly not short in inspiration for dull closets. Let’s take a look at the top Fall 2019 trends spotted on the New York runways to look forward to this fall.

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Brown Leather

This year, designers have been embracing the rugged look in their clothing. The models on the runway were clad in soft brown leather moto jackets, trench coats, and jumpsuits.

This look not only communicates a more down-to-earth vibe, but it attracts an audience who needs to work but wants to look fashionable doing it. As a neutral shade, brown is also simple to pair with almost any other garment or accessory, giving it a versatility many other colors don’t have. The nod to the construction industry and lovable earth tones was seen on the runways of several designers, including Veronica Beard, Jonathan Cohen, and Maryam Nassir Zadeh.

Loafers With Everything

A major trend in the footwear department is loafers. Yes, the classic menswear shoe that would clad the foot of a businessman or engineer. But you don’t have to earn the average engineer’s salary of between $50,000 and $150,000 or wear the stuffy suit of a businessman to get in on the loafer look. This year’s runways saw female models wearing the classic loafer with anything from elegant gowns to modern dresses.

This trend was on the runways of designers like Carolina Herrera, Ryan Roche, and Oscar de la Renta. Not only does it offer an alternative to the classic dress-and-heel pairing, but it points to a bigger trend of prioritizing comfort in footwear. This year’s runways also saw ergonomic sandals, stylish mules, and block-heeled boots.

Blurring Gender Lines

Many designers this year threw the gender binary out of the window and instead asserted that people of any gender can wear their clothes. While the runways have been tending towards androgyny for years now, this year saw more male models in feminine looks, female models in masculine looks, and people who don’t identify with either gender in looks that were just fashionable.

Collections from Alessandro Trincone and Bode took on the challenge of reframing typical masculinity. They styled their male-presenting models in soft hues, detailed makeup, and even ballet flats. On the other end of the spectrum, emerging labels such as Batsheva and Vaquera put their female models in high-necked dresses and oversized silhouettes that engulfed their figures to challenge the idea of femininity for the male gaze.

What’s the ultimate takeaway from this year’s New York Fashion Week? This autumn, drape yourself whatever way fulfills your sense of identity, adorn yourself in comfort, dress for utility. Just do you, but make it fashion. What are your thoughts on these top Fall 2019 trends?

ACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

Nolcha Fashion Week: Acid NYC Fall-Winter 2019 Collection

For our second Nolcha Show, we attended the Acid NYC Fall-Winter 2019 Collection runway show. The label, co-founded by Evelyn Luna and Scott Chester, presented a men’s and women’s collection, called “Architectura”. The collection was inspired by the beauty and structure of urban architecture, with prints and fabric choices that are a nod to modern metal, glass facades, and neoclassical buildings. We are going to concentrate on the women’s ready-to-wear looks but we will be highlighting one men’s look – you’ll see why.

ACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha ShowsACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

We must admit, we think this collection absolutely honors the chicness, fashion edge, skyline, and “no effs given” attitude that is New York. The prints and fabric choices from the Acid NYC Fall-Winter 2019 Collection were a study of modern metal and glass facades and neoclassical buildings with carved cornices of chiseled marble and cast cement. They analyze various building methods, how they reflect and emit light, and highlight the transformation that takes place from day to evening. There a lot to love from this collection. Their silhouettes are superb, the colors are striking, and the details and embellishments distinct. We also die for their accessories – turn your attention to those must-have bags.

ACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha ShowsACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

The collection used a mix of richly colored fabrics that reflect and react to light; like shimmering lame, silk charmeuse, stamped patent leather, and metallic lace. For contrast matte textures of organza, wool double knit, brocade, velvet, and heavy wool felt were used. Speaking of heavy wool felt, Acid NYC brought a bit of the avant-garde to their ready-to-wear collection with their oversized jackets.

ACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha ShowsACID NYC Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

For this season’s event, the Nolcha Shows partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for the second time. This season they grant the wishes of two young girls who shared a dream of being fashion models in NYC.  Together, they received a life-changing, behind-the-scenes experience at NYFW which included backstage hair and makeup treatment, being styled and dressed by this season’s designers including ACID NYC, sitting front row at the shows, and enjoying a personal photo shoot with a professional fashion photographer.

The Acid NYC collection is designed and made in New York. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Acid NYC Fall-Winter 2019 Collection.

 

Photos by Paul Newland/fashionstock.com

Remembering The Creative Influence Of Fashion Icon Karl Lagerfeld

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Days ago, the world lost fashion and design icon, Karl Lagerfeld. You’d be hard pressed not to know who he was, even if the world of haute couture is lost on you. As of 2017, there were more than 3.74 billion internet users in the world. Days following Karl Lagerfeld’s death, millions of those internet users who would’ve otherwise not know his name are learning about him. His presence, appearance, voice, and influence have rippled through the fashion world for decades. Now his death has left a void where once stood a Titan.

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In an extremely private battle with pancreatic cancer, the longtime creative director at Chanel passed away at age 85. His dazzling creative life changed the face and attitude of fashion as we know it and we’ll still — often unknowingly — be feeling the impact of his influential creative genius as it subtly flows down from luxury fashion houses to mass marketed apparel. While 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search results, they’ll be seeing hundreds of Lagerfeld memorials over the next few weeks. And it isn’t difficult to see why.

Starting Out With Karl

“When I was four, I asked my mother for a valet for my birthday,” Lagerfeld told Vogue.

From his earliest life, it was pretty clear that Karl Lagerfeld wasn’t like everybody else. At an early age, Karl went to Paris where he began his life-long journey in the fashion industry. From Balmain to Chloe to Fendi, Lagerfeld made his mark on some of the most famed fashion houses on earth through the 1950s and 1960s. Then, he found his throne as the creative director for Chanel.

“My job is not to do what she did, but what she would have done. The good thing about Chanel is it is an idea you can adapt to many things,” he said in reference to founding designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel.

He proceeded to bring Chanel back to life after the fashion house had been long dormant. Chanel CEO Alain Wertheimer said that when Lagerfeld took the creative reigns, he told him to do whatever he wanted. Free creative reign. As it turns out, this would be one of the best decisions he could’ve made as Lagerfeld proceeded to revive and modernize the former glory of Chanel.

When you make a name for yourself that large, all eyes are on you. A fact which he relished, regardless of the reactions he received.

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Controversial Karl

Lagerfeld was, while widely revered, not without a swath of controversy surrounding him. His quick wit, sharp tongue, and flippant attitude toward his own manner of self-idolatry were certainly central to his character. With him front and center upon the throne of a world revolving around image, he was unabashed to make sure that people heard what he had to say on things. And where many famous people in the spotlight choose their words carefully, Lagerfeld believed the exact opposite.

“Be politically correct, but please don’t bother other people with conversation about being politically correct, because that’s the end of everything. You want to create boredom? Be politically correct in your conversation,” he said to Vogue.

Reflected in a comment he made about abandoning his German citizenship when German Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to welcome a million migrants into Germany, whispers of xenophobia weren’t uncommon. Where the immigrants make up 13% of the U.S. population, Germany’s immigrant population is much lower, a fact that isn’t lost in the political sphere there. Also, a fact Lagerfeld felt the need to offer his opinions on.

From the political sphere to every and any aspect of the fashion world, Lagerfeld didn’t censor himself. Something that many didn’t like, others feared, and masses respected. Who fell into which category among those who had opinions about Karl didn’t matter. Why? He simply couldn’t be bothered.

Quotable Karl

Lagerfeld was never shy about speaking his mind. Widely regarded as one of the most quotable people in the history of fashion, his nuggets of sharp-tongued “wisdom” still permeate. He was notably quotable in the way he spoke of (and lived in) absolute luxury.

He had a little obsession with 18th-century French decor and design. This was, of course, reflected in his homes. In the United States, the average home sold brought in about $249,000 in 2017. For a man who did not abide such words as average, Lagerfeld’s homes included: a villa and two apartments in Monaco, a home in Rome, one in Melun, one in Paris, and a chateau in Brittany. All of which were decoratively modeled after the splendor of Versailles. Packed with luxury, Lagerfeld reportedly got tired of things in his homes and, in the year 2000, auctioned items off grabbing a total of $21.7 million. He shrugged this off stating the following:

“Anything dusty, dirty, musty — forget about it here. I like my eighteenth-century fresh.”

If it did not sparkle, he would not have it. This attitude spanned his whole existence and contributed to his outlook, as well as his personal look. He himself dressed the part in an unmistakably Karl fashion. Dark sunglasses, silver ponytail, fingerless gloves, and suits with incredibly high collars.

The entire fashion world is still paying tribute to his legacy and his seat at Chanel’s creative helm will be taken by the director of Chanel’s Fashion Creative Studio, Virginie Viard, reportedly Lagerfeld’s closest collaborator of over 30 years.

In a few words, there’s little left to say that Karl himself couldn’t have said better, so we’ll leave you with one of his particularly smile-worthy sentiments:

“I am very much down to Earth. Just not this Earth.”

Rest in peace, Mr. Lagerfeld.

Christopher Lowman Fall/Winter 19 NYFW Presentation

NYFW THE SHOWS: Christopher Lowman Fall-Winter 2019 Collection

I had the pleasure of attending the Christopher Lowman Fall-Winter 2019 collection this year at Mdrn Dsgn, a lifestyle-focused interior design firm and retail space in the Flatiron District.

In this clever collaboration, Lowman’s theme, “Intelligent Life” is a well-developed branch from Mdrn Design’s Intelligent Living Collection – a luxury-focused furniture collection offering modern, transformable multi-function furnishings for the city dweller.

Christopher Lowman Fall/Winter 19 NYFW Presentation

Over 20 fresh-faced models, both men and women dressed in sporty statement pieces were placed throughout the retail space in an arresting, live mannequin spectacle. Softly tailored sports jackets and shirts are combined with athletic performance pieces within each look. Lowman ties together these contrasts with human comfort; a cozy, and comfy touch:  Tall white cotton socks and cashmere house slippers. The skin was fresh, and super glowy – thanks to skincare by Immunocologie and makeup from Aveda. The effect was a look into the Christopher Lowman customer at home after a busy of traveling.

NYFW has often occurred in two phases: Men’s Fashion Week then an explosion of women’s fashion collections. This separation slowly begins to blur as time marches on. More women are inclined to wear items that many fashion brands would call “the boyfriend” maybe for its edge,  maybe for its ease. Simultaneously, silhouettes for men have also slimmed down considerably in the last decade, resulting in easy, sporty clothing for any gender that is easily interchangeable between the traditional binary genders.

For intents and purposes, Christopher Lowman designs primarily under the Menswear category; but we found that many of his pieces transitional and wearable for women!

The collection aligned both the design aesthetic of Christopher Lowman and Intelligent Living’s Creative Director Warren Kay. This collaboration further uncovers similar sensibilities between both brands. Both lead by making forward-thinking statements with high–end materials, quality design, focusing on quality and craftsmanship. Warren Kay, a self-proclaimed futurist, and Lowman both tapping into the youthful spirit of their customer. Both design firms focus on raising the luxury standard in lifestyle design without forgetting comfort is king.

The Christopher Lowman collection is produced in New York City. Christopher began his career interning with Pyer Moss, working closely with the design team, eventually venturing out on his own. He has established celebrity clientele:  Chris Brown, Jake Miller, Aidan Alexander, Jr. Smith and others.

UNWONTED Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

Nolcha Fashion Week: Unwonted Fall-Winter 2019 Collection

Our first fashion show from the Nolcha Shows showcased a mix of men’s, women’s and children’s ready-to-wear but we’re concentrating on the womenswear. Founded by Lujin Zhang, Zampano Lin, Yokiri Qin and Yanting Zhao in 2018, Unwonted is affordable limited high-end clothing. We had the pleasure of attending the Unwonted Fall-Winter 2019 Collection, which was inspired by “Balance”.

UNWONTED Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

Inspired by the “Balance” shown in the intimate relationship between materials and cut, including wool, velvet, organza leather, silk, and corduroy. Fabrics were deconstructed and resembled in different ways resulting in designs that could be dressed in various ways. Unwonted’s designs embody balanced aspects of yin and yang in (inspired by) Taoism. This philosophy believes balance leads to beauty in harmony while imbalance leads to destruction in chaos. With Unwonted, the designers strive to create harmonious designs using the philosophy of balance.

UNWONTED Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

The color palette for the Unwonted Fall-Winter 2019 collection boasted earth tones with splashes of bold color including chocolate, greys, bean, dusty rose, black, blue, white, purple, celadon, and emerald green. Fabrics used include wool, organza, tulle, velvet, and corduroy. Design details include asymmetrical silhouette, topstitching, embroidery, beading, patchwork, and pleating.

UNWONTED Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

Apart from making their collection of affordable luxury, only 100 pieces are released per design. All of Unwonted’s pieces hold one-of-a-kind looks while embracing dresser’s unique personality and attitude. This allows a balance between the clothing and dresser themselves. Each with a unique number engraved to ensure quality and exclusivity.

UNWONTED Fall/Winter 2019 at Nolcha Shows

Some of our favorite pieces include a Dusty Rose dress in a double-layered yarn silhouette with sleeves with beaded patches; a Cave Pearl double layered tulle dress  with long sleeves; Dark Grey/Light Grey woolen jacket with contrasting light grey pockets and Dark Grey plaid close-fitting zippered pants; and a Blue/Silver/Grey short zippered velvet cardigan jacket with corduroy sleeves and asymmetrical patent leather pockets with plaid zippered pants with slanted pockets and silver embroidered pockets.

They usually say too many cooks spoil the broth but in the case of this multi-designer label, it only enhanced the collection. What are your thoughts on the looks from the Unwonted Fall-Winter 2019 Collection?

 

 

Photos by Paul Newland/fashionstock.com

NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show

NYFW THE SHOWS: Son Jung Wan Fall-Winter 2019 Collection

How appropriate that Valentine’s Day is mere days away and we’re reviewing an NYFW collection named “Romance Returns”. The Son Jung Wan Fall-Winter 2019 collection was inspired by the “romantic mood of retro art and culture. With this collection, Son celebrates her love of luxurious fabrics, softness and femininity, and unconventional use of color, silhouettes, and textures. All of which are key elements in this season’s collection.

NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show

The Son Jung Wan Fall-Winter 2019 collection featured mixed faux fur, bold prints, sequins, velvet, ruffles, and embroideries in the bold colors to create a romantic mood full of playfulness. The color palette boasted a combination of bold, dark, and pastel hues. Bold, striking colors included Orange Pepper, Placid Blue, Sulphur, and Spring Crocus; light pastel colors included Harbor Gray and Potpourri; the addition of dark colors such as Adobe, Windsor Wine, and Peacock created a uniqueness to the visual feast that was the collection.

NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show

For fall/winter Son Jung Wan fully embraces the idea of romance, with an emphasis on softness and a futuristic touch. A lot of emphases was placed on the mixing and matching of different fabrications and colors. The idea was to illustrate and perfectly capture the retro feel, which of course, the collection does.

NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show

For Son Jung Wan, the fabrics alone weren’t the only important factor. Placement and juxtaposition of the different fabrics to create unique pieces was a driving force the looks. Fabrications used in the collection include faux fur, checkered prints, flower prints, embroidered fabric, sequins, and velvet.

NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show NYFW: Son Jung Wan Fall/Winter 2019 Show

We applaud Son Jung Wan for bringing romance back to fashion and her use of exaggerated silhouettes and bold colors. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the inspiring Son Jung Wan Fall-Winter 2019 collection. What do you think of her bold color palette or her mixing and matching of materials? Share your thoughts in the comments below.