Fashion Reverie Exclusive: Kendall Miles Puts her Fiery Stamp on Footwear

Image courtesy of chicago

Image courtesy of chicago

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. — Alan Alda

In this volatile fashion market, bravery and perseverance is necessary for any designer to maintain their brand. But, it has always been that way.

Whether the market is up or down, it takes confidence and a winner-take-all attitude to survive the vicissitudes of the fashion industry. Fashion is risk adverse, so the weak-minded better take flight.

Taking flight is not in Kendall Miles vocabulary. This young designer embraces it all; all the risk in the fashion industry and all the triumphs. And in her short career, Kendall Miles has experienced both.

Kendall Miles’ shoe designs demonstrate that she has lots of great ideas, craftsmanship skills and a fashion-forward sensibility. But Miles also has great business acumen and determination.

Never one to mince words, Kendall Miles knows her own mind and has a clear idea of who her customer is. And above all, she is very, very brave.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Fashion Reverie: You have this passion for shoes. Where does this passion come from?

Kendall Miles: My mom has always loved shoes. She has this fabulous collection of shoes, from Manolo Blahniks to Prada and Gucci. Through my mom, I was first introduced to luxury shoes, superior in quality and designer. When I was younger, I can remember playing in her closet all day, wearing her pumps. I wore my moms shoes out to parties in high school. I was the only one wearing high heels at that age, by the way.

Shoes have always been my passion and then it became this thing between my mom and I. We have this secret language around shoes. If I did well in school, my mom bribed me with shoes.

FR: You launched your eponymous shoe line while you were a senior in college. How did that all come about?

Kendall Miles: That was really hard. I was in college in Los Angeles. I am originally from Chicago, but I was studying at the University of Southern California (USC). I’d had a bad breakup in LA and after the breakup I realized I had very few friends. So, to get over the breakup and with the extra time on my hands, I decided to launch a shoe line. Crazy right!!

FR: That said; how did you source leather, get finances, and mentorship for your first collection?

Kendall Miles: I was majoring in international relations, so footwear design was definitely off the beaten path. First, I had real ideas around shoes that women would want to wear and that lead me to sketching my ideas. The first person I took my sketches to was my mom and she loved them. That was my first stamp of validation. My mom had a friend who worked in fashion consulting. She’d worked for Nordstrom, and had a lot of fashion connections in LA. This friend sent my sketches out to people in her network and from there opportunities fell in my path.

The companies that were interested in me as a footwear designer set up a series of interviews with me to work for their brands. I thought working for someone else would be a good path for me, so I interviewed at global brands and nothing seemed to fit. I decided that I really should work for myself and have complete freedom over everything I was doing.

During that time, I met someone from Thomas Wylde—a company I interviewed with—we clicked, and this gentleman connected me with an agent in Italy. So all the challenges a designer can have working with Italian tanneries and factories was kind of smoothed out for me. An agent can facilitate factories and material sources.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: What was it like studying at the Arts Sutoria, and why the choice to study there?

Kendall Miles: It was actually really tough. They had a cookie cutter design method of how someone should design shoes. My sketches didn’t seem to meet what they were required. That made everything more difficult. But, my challenges there fueled me to work hard and I was getting validation from the other editors. Studying in Italy was an eye opening experience because there was so much to learn.

FR: What was the course concentration at Arts Sutoria?

Kendall Miles: We learned the process and principles around making different types of shoes. So, there were lots of construction courses. There were also sketch classes and pattern-making classes.

FR: How did you get your shoe line financed?

Kendall Miles: I did a round of angel investing.

FR: Who is your customer?

Kendall Miles: My customer base is anywhere from 18 to 55 years of age  She is strong, opinionated, well researched, and passionate about everything she does. And, she likes to make a statement.

FR: What is your design aesthetic?

Kendall Miles: My design aesthetic is very sexy, elegant, timeless; and there is an edge with a refined sexuality.

FR: Lets talk about your spring/summer 2017 shoes. What was the inspiration?

Kendall Miles: Cleopatra, and her relationship with Julius Caesar inspired the spring/summer 2017 collection. I played with the design motif of the breastplate that Cleopatra made from Cesar’s coins when he was murdered. I am an academic, so I do a lot of research.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: Let’s talk about your pistol-packing, James Bond-like shoes, where did that come from?

Kendall Miles: That particular shoe design motif came from spats that men wore on their shoes, dating back to the Gilded Age. I took that idea of having a component that you can attach to the shoe and remove at will, and I modernized this accessory.

FR: What are the price points?

Kendall Miles: My price points are $500 to $1600.

FR: Which celebrities are wearing your shoes?

Kendall Miles: Hailey Baldwin, Tinashe, Andra Day, Regina King, Naturi Naughton, and several others.

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

Images courtesy of Seventh House PR

FR: What can consumers expect from you next?

Kendall Miles: They can expect more fire designs. Designs that  light up your feet and are amazing.

—William S. Gooch

Sophy Holland’s “The Illustrated Man”

Illustrated_Man_PhotosGone are the days when tattoos were an indication of a seedy lifestyle, criminal background or a lack of sophistication. Nowadays, tattoos are seen on a wide group of folks that expands across the depth and wide of global populations. And that evolution and expansion now even includes women. Unfortunately, a highly illustrated, cornucopia of tattooed symbols and images are not as accepted on women as it is on the male population. Still, women are forging ahead, decorating their bodies with tattoo art in numbers unheard of in previous decades and generations.

In celebration of tattoo illustration, tattoo connoisseur, advocate, photographer/film documentarian Sophy Holland presented a collection of photographs of heavily tattooed, well-known men, “The Illustrated Man,” in and out of the fashion industry at the Agora Gallery in New York City. From  fashion director Nick Wooster to fencer Miles Watson and a slew of male models—Don Benjamin, Josh Mario John, Ricki Hall, Ian Elkins, and Kevin Creekman—Holland demonstrates that tattoos in a bounty of color, size, and variation can have a distinctive kind of beauty and power on the male physique.

Collages1262“The male subjects that I chose straddle the world of tattoo culture and fashion. They were either influencers, fashion models or icons in fashion. Over a six-month period I reached out to all the heavily tattooed male models, some had as many as 2 million followers on social media and a lot of them wanted to shoot with me. In turn their enthusiasm turned into the documentary that we shot with Dave Navarro. The documentary is a social commentary on how reality television—”Miami Ink” and “Black Ink”—has played a part in the rise of the tattoo culture. And also how advertising, entertainment and fashion in general has helped normalize tattoos,” detailed Holland.

This photographic series captures the reinvigorated tattoo culture that goes beyond, sailors, criminals and underground characters to the current mainstream tattoo culture that has been embraced by mainstream pop culture, fashion trends, and product branding. This exhibition also demonstrates that the cross-pollination of tattoo culture and fashion is being heavily fueled by Generation Y.

Sophy Holland. All images courtesy of Mao PR

Sophy Holland. All images courtesy of Mao PR

“I was very interested in the rise of the tattooed male and the rise of that aesthetic in advertising and fashion. I was also interested in the change of perception of tattoos from being seedy and something that was a part of the underworld to the dream boyfriend and the male pinup of today. Millenials and Generation Y are really looking to tattooed men as a dream guy and the tattooed male model is really hot and which is a big shift in advertising. I wanted to document on the tattooed man is being used in advertising to sell things,” explained Sophy Holland.

Holland also documents in her documentary of tattoo culture has become normalized, not only in the US, but globally. “When Zombie Boy was discovered by Nicola Formichetti of Mugler brand, he was the trailblazer for paving the way for men who are heavily tattooed. He blazed a trail to having tattoo culture to been as normalized, sexy and palatable for advertisers. Forty percent of people in the US are now tattooed, so we are just a five to ten years away from tattooed people being the majority in the US.”

Though this large-scale collection of photographs showed only one day at a special exhibit in NYC, the collection will continue to tour throughout the US.

—William S. Gooch


New York Bridal Week Spring 2018 Sketches

Is New York International Bridal Week all about white bridal gowns? Not entirely. And Fashion Reverie has the sketches to prove it.

Every season Fashion Reverie publishes the spring 2018 sketches of from the collections of the season’s top bridal designers. And every season, the Fashion Reverie staff is amazed at home bridal designers ingeniously detail the brand’s inspiration into bridal collection that not only go beyond white bridal gowns, but also push the bridal market in a forward projection.

Image courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Image courtesy of Kelly Faetanini

Inspired by Shakespeare and innocent feelings of seduction, Kelly Faetanini’s “dark romance” reference is evidenced in a spring 2018 collection that balances hints of black against shades of barely-there blush.

Images courtesy of THEIA

Images courtesy of THEIA

“[For spring 2018,] we are mixing cotton Guipures over nude silk charmeuse linings and adding in hints of color, a whisper of blush and breath of blue,” says Theia’s creative director Don O’Neill. “Our elegant beaded gowns continue to be a focus, featuring lots of pearl details.”

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Mira Zwillinger sketch images courtesy of Atelier PR

“Some where over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” Mira Zwillinger



Fashion Reverie Spotlight: Joan Juliet Buck’s “The Price of Illusion”

Downloads364“All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts … –“As You Like It” William Shakespeare

Joan Juliet Buck’s stage for almost her entire lifetime has been her ability to eloquently express her emotions through words. From being an actor, an essayist, a novelist, and an editor-in-chief, Buck has proven time and time again that she is one of those rare individuals that can use many platforms and stages to demonstrate her talent.

In her new memoir “The Price of Illusion: A Memoir,” Buck brilliantly details the circuitous and uncanny incidents in her life. And this fully realized life, though its wanderings, resettlements, and final denouement is played against the backdrop of fashion, film, theatre and eccentric characters. Joan Juliet Buck herself being the most vivid and unpredictable character of any in the memoir.

Fashion Reverie was graced with the incredible opportunity to interview Joan Juliet Buck a few weeks after the release of “The Price of Illusion: A Memoir.” And as in her memoir , this interview is revelatory.

Fashion Reverie: Why title your memoir “The Price of Illusion”?

Joan Juliet Buck: It was the title that fit the story. I didn’t know what the story would be until I finished every single draft of the book. When I finished every single draft—and there must have been about 15 drafts—I had an idea that there had been a lot of illusion in my life, and thus the title.

FR: What prompted you to write this memoir at this point in your life?

Joan Juliet Buck: Well, I’m getting on in age. When I reached the age of 62, I started looking back on my life and what I’ve accomplished. And when I looked back at my life, nothing added up. A lot of things that happened in my life if I tried to tell those things in a work of fiction it would seem like a round of hallucinations. So, I realized, first of all, I am only thinking clearly when I am typing or writing in my diary. I needed to think about every thing that had happened, and make sense of it.

When I started my book I started with some incidents that had happened much later in my life. I stared with a terrible incident that happened while I was on holiday with this guy I thought would be my Prince Charming. That was first thing I had to write about because I had to examine what was going on with me at the time.  I had to figure out that story, living in a house with people I didn’t know with a man I didn’t like, holding the corpse of a man who was my host on my knees. That was something I needed to figure out.

After that, I decided to go back to the beginning because the one book that everyone wanted me to write about was my time as editor-in-chief at French Vogue and funnel that knowledge into a book about French couture. Which is something I have never been interested in writing about. (I had written two novels in the 1980s that didn’t sell that well.)

I had to figure out how I ended up at French Vogue in a job in which I was miscast. And when I started writing about that experience, I began to understand that if it had not been for an illusion in Hollywood that began before I was born and continued after I was born—that Communists were running the movie industry, an illusion held by Senator Joseph McCarthy—my parents would not have moved to Paris when I was a young child. Not that my parents were Communists, but it was a ridiculous situation in Hollywood at that time. Everything that happened to me, good, bad or indifferent, all that comes from that fact that I grew up in Paris and the delusion that my parents were Communists and had to become expatriates.

And that is the big price of illusion and things you have to give up for that. And all the other illusions including being very happy to create the illusion for my father after my mother’s death, and making him feel that everything he lost, he had not lost, bringing him to live with me in Paris, and doting on him and making him feel as though he had never lost anything, when in fact, he had.

Joan_Juliet_BuckFR: As a child you moved around a lot from Los Angeles, to Paris, London, and Milan. And from what I’ve read in this book, there were some poignant celebratory times and some times that were isolating and lonely. Through all this meandering what stands out most was your attempt at finding your place in the world, finding out who you are and finding your truth as home. Why do feel that you have that sense of instability as a child, always searching for home. And have you found that now?

Joan Juliet Buck: My home is this book. I made my home out of writing this book. I realized in doing this book what degree I am a wanderer. My parents were wanderers and I’m a wanderer. Wanderers have a lot of textiles they can fold up and stick on the walls and floors of the next place they are going to be and call it home.

FR: You have worked as an actor, an essayist, a novelist, a fashion editor-in-chief, and a film critic. Which role or job do you like best, and why?

Joan Juliet Buck: I like acting because I get to play with others. I like being a movie critic because I liked explaining what I saw to other people. I love writing the essays I do for Harper’s Bazaar because they are improvisations and I never know what I am going to write, so it’s a form of acting. The one job that was kind of painful was being editor-in-chief. There were so many things to deal with in one day. I remember worrying about people wanting other peoples’ parking spaces.

FR: You had written for several American and international publications before you became editor-in-chief at French Vogue or Paris Vogue. You did solicit the position, but why do you think Jonathan Newhouse hired you for the position?

Joan Juliet Buck: Probably, because I had been associated with one Vogue or another for over twenty years. I was reliable, a hard worker, also French is my first language. I was one of them, but also one of the other guys


FR: You detail in the book that Americans were elated with you being awarded editor-in-chief at French Vogue, but the French were perplexed. Why?

Joan Juliet Buck: My friend Clara called up and said, “I am speechless.” That was like screaming what the f**k on the phone. The people who knew me knew that I was not an executive, I was not career minded, I was not someone who worked in an office. I was this dreamy, slightly eccentric person who walked barefoot every day and read a lot of books. That is not the profile of someone is the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine.

FR: While at French Vogue from 1994–2000, you changed the look of the magazine with weightier content and a different approach to editorial content, as well as significantly increasing circulation, yet Newhouse dismissed you, why?

Joan Juliet Buck: The first few years were glorious and the circulation went up forty percent; that was my triumph, triumph, triumph!! At that time, I was magic and could do no wrong. But, those types of runs end for everyone. Then, later the circulation of French Vogue dipped.

Essentially, someone told Jonathan Newhouse something about me. He was told I was drug addict. I don’t know who told him that. I don’t even know what type of drug I was supposed to be addicted to!! When there is a rumor about you, you don’t actually know what the rumor is because people are talking about you behind your back.

So, there was rumor, there was a plot and I was really unaware of what was going on. I was particularly venerable because at the time I had spent the summer with a man I thought was my Prince Charming and his best friend had ended up dead in my arms through a totally random chance.  That had put me in a traumatic state. I came back to work stammering and people started to suspect drug use. All those incidents and situations happened around the same time, so I was let go.

FR: Is the character Jacqueline Follet in “The Devil Wears Prada” a composite of you or based on you?

Joan Juliet Buck: I have no idea because I have no memory of Lauren Weisberger.  I wasn’t at American Vogue when she was Anna Wintour’s assistant. When I saw the movie I thought, “Huh, that’s weird, it’s the editor-in-chief of French Vogue who wanted Anna Wintour’s character’s job. But is it me or Carrie Roitfeld, I don’t know?


Images courtesy of JB Communications

Images courtesy of JB Communications

FR: What do you want readers to get from this phenomenal memoir?

Joan Juliet Buck: I readers to laugh, cry, recognize themselves and the people they love and the people they haven’t loved. I want them to see their whole lives in this book. I am hearing from people that they are seeing themselves in this book and that makes me really happy.

FR: What’s next for you?

Joan Juliet Buck: I have started something that I am very excited about that I cannot talk about quite yet. I have a simple life, I live in the country, I write and every once in a while I act. I performed in two plays this past winter. So, what’s next is more writing, more acting and springtime.

“The Price of Illusion: A Memoir” is published by Atria Books.

—William S. Gooch



Fashion Reverie Brand Spotlight: Michelle Helene

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

In a retail environment that is incredibly unstable and peripatetic, one ponders why anyone would enter a fashion terrain littered with some many landmines. (Just consider the list of young brands—Nasty Gal, Reed Krakoff, Pac Sun, and American Apparel—which had market value that have already disappeared or will soon exit the market.)

Taking all the naysayers and discouraging data into consideration, Michelle Helene heartily takes up the challenge and after six collections is still going strong, constantly evolving her design aesthetic. Intuitively understanding that mass consumption is not her market, Michelle Helene has positioned her brand to appeal to that consumer that wants very unique product.

By creating garments that employ artisanal techniques, Michelle Helene is setting her brand apart from a lot of new fashion brands on the market. Fashion Reverie was very fortunate to secure an interview with Michelle Helene after being blown away by her fall 2017 collection. 

Michelle Helene

Michelle Helene

Fashion Reverie: How did you come with the name of the company and how long has Michelle Helene been on the market?

Michelle Helene: The company name is my first and middle name. And this is my sixth season over a total of four years.

FR: How did you come to work in the fashion industry?

Michelle Helene: I studied fashion at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  After college I went into the contemporary market. I started Michelle Helene about eight years after graduation.

Michelle Helene spring 2017 images courtesy of

Michelle Helene spring 2017 images courtesy of

FR: In your collections you tend to use a lot of artisanal techniques and craftsmanship, appealing more to a customer that is not interested in mass-market apparel, why that direction?

Michelle Helene: I always wanted to create garments that reflected knitting techniques I learned while at the Academy of the Art University. So, it was kind of weird when my brother moved to New Mexico and starting getting into knitting techniques. I remember when I moved from Los Angeles to NYC, I took some time off to figure out exactly what I wanted to do, so I traveled to Asia and I honed my craftsmanship skills.

I talked to my brother and we decided that we really wanted to start something that would express my craftsmanship. I wanted to produce something that was special and not necessarily mass produced. And that was how my fashion band, Michelle Helene was birthed.

FR: You use a lot of hand knitted details in your garments, can consumers expect that design aesthetic in all your collections?

Michelle Helene: You can expect knit and hand woven details in all my collections, particularly fall/winter collections. It is trickier to use knitting, hand weaving and crocheting details in spring/summer because the fabrications are so light. Those hand woven details are a critical signature of this collection that consumers will always find in fall/winter garments combined with fabrications I am now sourcing in Japan and Italy.

FR: There are a lot of cultural influences in all your collections and they are all cohesive, never looking out of place, which is a hard thing to do.  Why bring in all these influences when it would be easier to keep it simple?

Michelle Helene: My first collection was neutral tones, either black and white. The reason I did that is because I felt that if I could design a collection in one color and keep consumers excited because each garment had something different or a small detail that set it apart, I was really accomplishing something.

My inspirations don’t just come from one thing. I stand firmly behind that idea because my design concepts each season keep evolving.  For instance, one season I was at this tropical location and I was very happy. So, I decided to create a collection inspired by the tropics using a bold color palette. The initial inspiration kept evolving during the design process. I was also traveling a lot at the time between NYC and LA, so some West Coast Baja motifs crept in. And some other happy references entered into the picture. I think I would get bored if I only used one reference point. You have to keep evolving.

Michelle Helene fall 2016 images courtesy of

Michelle Helene fall 2016 images courtesy of

FR: Your collections go beyond current trends, why that direction and how does that pan out for your consumer?

Michelle Helene: I have always wanted to stand apart from other designers. And it is very important to me that my garments are timeless. I know that I am not reinventing the wheel, but I do attempt to create garments that will be in someone’s wardrobe five years from now or more. I also want to appeal to a wide demographic in terms of style, age, size, and price points.

My collections always start with color and from there we start dyeing the fabric. I don’t always try to look at the trends that are in market, I just create collections based on what I am feeling and seeing.

FR: What is your design aesthetic?

Michelle Helene: My aesthetic is hard to define because it is constantly evolving.

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

FR: Well, if your design aesthetic is constantly evolving, then who is your consumer?

Michelle Helene: My consumer varies. The person who invests in garments from my collection are buying clothes that are really unique because there is so much work that goes into each garment, particularly our handcrafted pieces. They usually want to wear something that tells a story. They are usually not following trends and are more interested in pieces that express their personality.

FR: Where can consumers purchase your clothes?

Michelle Helene: They can shop my garments online at the brand website, and I also do custom orders by inquiring within my website. I have been approaching a certain kind of consumer and often those consumers are met doing my travels.  With retail having such a tough time, I am coming up with new ways of selling my clothes.

FR: How do feel about the business model “See Now, Buy Now,” and how does that business model affect your company?

Michelle Helene: “See Now, Buy Now” doesn’t really fit my company at this time. Because of the dyeing and craftsmanship that goes into many of my garments, it could take up to two weeks to create one garment. “See Now, Buy Now” works better for collections that are available for mass consumption; that is not my brand.

Because “See Now, Buy Now” is more relative to mass-consumed products and fashion collections created for mass consumption, the clothes are made mostly in countries with unregulated, cheap labor and unknown working conditions. Consumers should be aware of that. That said; I have been thinking about the business model “See Now, Buy Now,” but in a different format than currently exists.

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

Fall 2017 images courtesy of Michelle Helene

FR: What’s next for Michelle Helene?

Michelle Helene: My goals are to continue doing what I am doing and honing in on the processes of dyeing, weaving, crocheting and all the craftsmanship that is used in my collection, as well as mixing that process more with other fabrications. Hopefully, we would like to be doing all those craftsmanship tools ourselves. And working in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

—William S. Gooch


Fashion Reverie Celebrates its Fifth-Year Anniversary

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Times goes by so quickly. And in an industry where change is the order of the day, the passage of time is even more accelerated.

When Fashion Reverie Publications, LLC launched five years, we had no idea that would become a significant source of fashion news and fashion content for so many viewers around the world.  Since our launch we have given voice to a significant number of   fashion designers, fashion industry professionals, authors, and artists. The number is too overwhelming to calculate. And the Fashion Reverie’s staff is so thankful to all the fashion public relations firms, model management companies, and freelance journalists that have helped facilitate the creation of the many features, editorials, and posts.

Though this is a dark time for freedom and democracy around the world, Fashion Reverie will not be deterred in bringing our audience timely and relevant fashion news and features. A priestly writer once extolled, “without a vision the people perish.” In agreement with this very wise proclamation, there will be no drought at Fashion Reverie because our continued vision is presenting the factual truth about the ever-expanding fashion universe.

Join us in the celebration of this five-year landmark.

—William S. Gooch, editor-in-chief

New York Fashion Week: The Shows Fall 2017 Sketches

Fall 2017 promises to be a season of great change. Remember, the fashion industry is a microcosm of what is going on politically and culturally in the world at large. That said; it is yet to be determined how the fashion industry will interpret the winds of change. If New York Fashion Week: Men’s is any indication of what to expect from New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) this season portends to be one of looking back to a more gentler time, as well as conjuring up images of protest, resistance and anarchy.

Whatever the reference points or archival nods and inspiration, the creative process for most designers start with sketches and mood boards. Fashion Reverie revers the creative process of the designer/brand, which later translates from the runway to amazing creations, spawned from smaller inspirations. That said; Fashion Reverie has collected illustrations and mood boards from some of the top brands showing at NYFWS who have an interesting story to tell for fall/winter 2017.

Nicole Miller fall 2017 sketch courtesy of Think PR

Nicole Miller fall 2017 sketch courtesy of Think PR

For Nicole Miller’s pre-fall 2017 collection, Nicole Miller reinterpreted punk fashion funneled through of prims of modernity and youthful sophistication. Her fall 2017 collection expands upon themes seen in the pre-fall 2017 collection. “My Fall 2017 collection is an exploration of New York’s darker street edge. I wanted to move from St. Mark’s Place presented in Pre-Fall to dig deeper into the underground scene of the city. The collection looks to the future, mixing influences of mysticism and symbols with a modern take on grunge.”

Dan Liu fall 2017 sketches courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Dan Liu fall 2017 sketches courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Dan Liu’s fall 2017collection will invite his audience to join the fall fairytale theme that will be presented with his fall 2017 collection. As always, he will transport guests to another world of whimsy and delight.

Bibhu Mohapatra fall 2017 sketch courtesy of Think PR

Bibhu Mohapatra fall 2017 sketch courtesy of Think PR

Though Bibhu Mohapatra is in the process of restructuring his company, for fall 2017 his woman is still strong, evoking the strong power woman of the 1980s. All this is evidenced in exaggerated shoulders, a cinched waist, and always, always glamour and elegance extraordinaire!!


Anniesa Hasibuan fall 2017 sketches courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Anniesa Hasibuan fall 2017 sketches courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Anniesa Hasibuan’s debut collection at NYFW: The Shows last season was a critical success with her hijab-centered show. She has been featured in ELLECosmopolitanRefinery29, and more. This year, her line is all about drama. She is ready to make another huge impression with dramatic silhouettes, embellished fabrics and embroidered detail and as always “bling-bling.”

Leanne Marshall fall 2017 mood board images  courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Leanne Marshall fall 2017 mood board images courtesy of The Riviere Agency

Leanne Marshall’s fall 2017 collection is centered on finding new life and new beginnings from the old. The earthy colors of the collection symbolize the cycle of life and pops of red in the collection portray a source of power and strength. The designer is weaving an eco-centric theme into this collection revitalizing remnant and excess fabrics into a new fashion story.


New York Fashion Week: The Shows Fall 2017 Pre-Coverage

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

There has been a lot of change since New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) spring 2017. We have a new, very unpopular president. Public School’s Dao Yi-Chow and Maxwell Osborne has exited DKNY, Peter Topping has left his creative post at Oscar de la Renta, Bibhu Mohapatra is restructuring his fashion brand and several designers, Sophie Theallet, Tom Ford, and Marc Jacobs have vowed to never dress FLOTUS Melania Trump.

Although all these somewhat tumultuous changes may cause consternation and unrest in the hearts of many, the fashion industry embraces change better than any other industry. In the words of Heidi Klum, “one day you are in, the next day you are out.” All so true in the mercurial world of fashion!!


Phillip Lim fall 2016 image courtesy of

Phillip Lim fall 2016 image courtesy of

For fall 2017, if New York Fashion Week: Men’s is any indication, expect some political fashion, Trump beware!! Also expect more vintage fashion and homages, a glance back at gentler times. And don’t forget the absence of Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger, and Vera Wang, as we have already covered at Fashion Reverie on our weekly Fashion News Alerts.

Another, for some, happy absence is the departure of Moynihan Station as a NYFWS approved venue. That said; additional venues this season include Industria Superstudios and the Highline Hotel, as well as the return of Skylight Clarkson, Pier 59 and Spring Studios.

Ralph Lauren fall 2016 image courtesy of

Ralph Lauren fall 2016 image courtesy of

There will be a few returns to the NYFWS roster this season including the much- anticipated return of Richie Rich, Philip Plein, and Club Monaco. Newcomers to the NYFWS roster is the Brock Collection, RtA, Theatre Products, Hakan, Akkaya, Laurence & Chico, Romeo Hunt, Beaufile, Christoper Esber, Nina Tiari, Mimi Prober, and Rookie USA.

Happy New York Fashion Week!!


New York Fashion Week: Men’s Fall 2017 Pre-Coverage

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Will 2017 be a pivotal year for change in men’s fashion? The verdict is not out yet. 2017 has already been a year of significant change in politics. And whether this new political direction causes fear and consternation or gives momentum for retraction and tribalism, change is here!!

In this age of change many designers are opting this season to combine their men’s and women’s shows as way to cut down on the expense of runway presentations. That said; many mainstream brands such as Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and John Varvatos have opted out of showing during men’s fashion weeks in London, Paris, Milan, and New York.

Bespoke fall 2016 image courtesy of

Bespoke fall 2016 image courtesy of

This absence of mainstream brands has forced London Fashion Week’s fall 2017 season to go back to its original oeuvre of presenting emerging designers. And while major menswear brands did not exit Paris Fashion Week, the woodsmen and a country, rural aesthetic demonstrates that a new menswear movement is afoot with many menswear designers choosing to move away from the urban warrior aesthetic that has been a constant in fall/winter menswear fashion for several seasons.

Things move more slowly in the US, so we can expect NYFW to embrace the trend of woodsmen style while still staying true to some street style and an urban aesthetic. New York Men’s Day that is co-sponsored by Cadillac will feature Jahnkoy, You As by Tony Liu, Bode by Emily Adams Bode, Willy Chavarria, and Matthew Adams Dolan, as well as returning labels Matiere, Garciavelez, Landlord, Woodhouse, and N-p-Elliott.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

Though New York Fashion Week: Men’s (NYFWM) has successfully presented emerging talent, it has not attracted established luxury European brands. Missing from the NYFWM’s fall 2017 roster will be Public School, Siki Im, Michael Bastian, Greg Lauren, Malan Breton, Artistix, Edmund Ooi, Concept Korea, Asaf Ganot, and many others.

New York Fashion Week Men’s fall 2017 starts on Monday, January 30 and runs through February 2.


—William S. Gooch






First Ladies’ Style as Interpreted by Lasell College’s Jill Carey


Michelle Obama at White House State Dinners and Kennedy Center Honors. Images courtesy of Getty Images

As the Obamas leave the White House and the Trumps settle in, the media will focus its attention on the style of Melania Trump and reflect back on the style of Michelle Obama. Interestingly, a century ago very little attention was paid to the fashion and style of the First Lady, exception being Frances Cleveland, wife of the 22nd President, Grover Cleveland.

That is not the case in 2017. Fashion pundits and the media consistently examine, comment, and criticize the style of the First Lady. Since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the fashion style of the First Lady has been an important aspect of the First Lady’s character. And though Rosalyn Carter and Barbara Bush were not distinguished for the fashion sense, with FLOUS-elect Melania Trump, a former fashion model, we can expect a parade of great American and European fashion design.

Fashion Reverie had the unique opportunity to speak with Jill Carey, associate professor of fashion at Lasell College. She is the curator of the Lasell Fashion Collection and an expert of the style of First Ladies.

Fashion Reverie: What is your position at Lasell College?

Jill Carey: I teach fashion history at Lasell College. I have also curated the Lasell Fashion Collection that I started in 1996.

FR: Is the Lasell Fashion Collection centered on First Ladies?

Jill Carey: Not entirely, the collection begins in the early 19th Century and we have pieces through the millennium. We have examples of European and American design, as well as 20th century designer fashion. It is a wide range of working and exhibition collection. Pieces from the working collection are used in the classroom.

Images of Hillary Clinton courtesy of Lasell College image of Leo Nabucci black pantsuit in the style of Hillary Clinton courtesy of Davis Parnes

Images of Hillary Clinton courtesy of Lasell College image of Leo Narducci original black pantsuit  courtesy of David Parnes

FR: How did you become interested in the fashion style of the First Ladies?

Jill Carey: Because I teach fashion history, I believe First Ladies are the face of the nation. And I believe their style identifies the style of the times and of their husband’s administration. I do believe their garments and dress demonstrates the social and political life of the nation. First Ladies’ appearance is extremely important, not only for American society, but also for global cultures as well.

FR: When did you decide to curate garments from the First Ladies past and present and what were some of the challenges collected these garments?

Jill Carey: Lasell College does not have a curation of First Ladies’ fashion as such, but what I have put together is research  particular to First Ladies. We have pieces in our collection that reflect and relate very closely to some of the First Ladies’ fashion choices. We have specific pieces that relate to First Ladies style in a particular way. We do have a wide selection of Arnold Scaasi garments that relate to what Barbara Bush wore to her husband’s inaugural ball.

Images courtesy of and Lasell College

Frances Cleveland images clockwise courtesy of Bodice with leg-of-mutton which is in the style of First Lady Frances Cleveland courtesy of Lasell College/Stephen Cicco

FR: Depending the era, which First Lady would you say brought the most style to the White House?

Jill Carey: There are three First Ladies that are pivotal when it comes to White House style. The first is Frances Cleveland, Grover Cleveland’s wife. What is interesting about her is that she was 20 years younger than her husband and when she came into the White House she embraced Parisian style. As she evolved as the First Lady, she became more interested in American dressmaking design. The most important American dressmaker for Mrs. Cleveland was Lottie Barton, who was from Baltimore, and she created wonderful garments for Mrs. Cleveland.

Jackie Kennedy is of course my obvious next choice. There is so much information to support that once Jackie Kennedy became a style icon then the expectation for the First Ladies’ style became more apparent. She really set the First Ladies’ style apart from other First Ladies. She wore Oleg Cassini in the White House, as well as Givenchy and Chanel. She also used American designers such as Norman Norrell. She also purchased pieces from Chez Ninon, which was located in NYC and had individual pieces made for Mrs. Kennedy.

Finally, we have Michelle Obama whose evolution as First Lady has been remarkable. She always referred to herself and Barack Obama as “part of the American story.” She enlisted Jason Wu to design the first inaugural outfit, as well as the second. She is stylish and practical and prefers lesser-known American designers—Bryan Lars, Charles Harbison, Duro Olowu, and Tracy Reese. She has been on the cover of American Vogue three times and voted one of the best-dressed women in the world. Michelle Obama also wears J. Crew, a brand and style that ties into Michelle Obama’s affection for casual elegance and simplicity.

Michelle Obama's Vogue Covers. Images courtesy of

Michelle Obama’s Vogue Covers. Images courtesy of

FR: How did  Michelle Obama’s style and her husband’s presidency find a symbiosis, reflecting the times we live in?

Jill Carey: Michelle Obama is a magnificent First Lady in every way. She is beautiful and intelligent. Obama’s presidency has been an intellectual presidency, and Michelle and Barack Obama, together, are a presidential couple of the people. She has embraced a style that really speaks to the American people. There are aspects of her wardrobe that every woman in the US could embrace.

FR: How has American interest in the style of the First Ladies evolved over the years?

Jill Carey: Jackie Kennedy solidly established the American public’s interest in the style of First Ladies. After Kennedy was assassinated, she coined the phrase ‘Camelot,’ referring to John F. Kennedy’s administration. From that point on the media focused heavily on the fashion and style of the First Lady. There is now a global interest in the style of the First Lady and that all began with Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

Nancy Reagan 1981 inaugural gown image courtesy of, Leo Narducci gown in the style of Arnold Scasi's inaugural gown courtesy of Lasell College

Nancy Reagan 1981 inaugural gown image courtesy of  Yolanda Cellucci gown from the Yolanda Boutique in the style of Arnold Scasi’s inaugural gown courtesy of Lasell College

FR: Which First Ladies have attached themselves to elite fashion houses and brand and their affiliation with said fashion houses have made those brands more well known and accessible to American consumers?

Jill Carey: Michelle Obama is the primary First Lady who comes to mind because she introduced the American consumer to emerging designers or designers that were not household names. Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush wore Arnold Scassi and Oscar de la Renta a lot; Nancy Reagan even wore John Galliano. However, Barbara Bush and Nancey Reagan’s choice of designers already had a lot of traction in the fashion industry when they started wearing those said designers/brands.

Still, Michelle Obama has catapulted the careers of the designers that were not so well known. Consider Jason Wu and Tracy Reese. Barbara Bush did help Scassi’s career because he did not have a fashion empire at the time.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis images courtesy of

Jackie Kennedy Onassis images courtesy of

FR: Michelle Obama has been criticized for the wardrobe budget that was bestowed upon her by Congress. Has the wardrobe budget for the First Lady grown over the years and have other First Ladies been duly criticized for the expense of their wardrobes?

Jill Carey: There was concern that Jackie Kennedy was spending too much on her wardrobe. But, it wasn’t openly criticized like the negative criticism Michelle Obama received. There was concern that Jackie was supporting European designers and not enough American fashion designers. There was also criticism that Jackie was spending too much money redecorating the White House, so the concern of the cost of her wardrobe was connected to the expense of redecorating the White House. Nancy Reagan was highly criticized for what she was spending on gowns during the Reagan administration.

There is a lot discrepancy on what is gifted to the First Lady and what garments are paid for out of the White House budget.  First Ladies travel a lot more internationally now, and they are hostesses to a huge array of events and receptions. And sometimes the First Lady  stands in for the President when he cannot attend special events. The expectation is that the First Lady will look sophisticated and well turned out for all of her duties, so of course this demands a substantial budget for wardrobe.

FR: What kind of style will Melania Trump bring to the White House and who will be her designers of choice?

Jill Carey: Her style is elegant minimalism. She also dresses in a monochromatic style and one of her signatures is her pairing of American style with  luxury accessories.

We know Ralph Lauren designed the white pantsuit she wore at the Republican Convention Acceptance Party. That said; we assume that Ralph Lauren will be one of the designers that she chooses while she is in the White House. With Trump’s very pro-American rhetoric and all the discussion of homegrown manufacturing, Ralph Lauren fits in with the coterie of American designers that Melania will probably wear. This  could also be a great opportunity for an American accessories designer to come to the forefront, designing Melania’s handbags, shoes, and jewelry.

Dressing Melania is very controversial right now. Many designers—Sophie Theallet, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, and others—have come forward expressing that they will not dress her because of the anti-Muslim, xenophobic, anti-LGBT, and the racist slant of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and speeches.

Melania Trump images courtesy of

Melania Trump images courtesy of

FR: Melania was a fashion model before she married Donald Trump. While modeling she has done a lot of fashion editorial that were quite revealing. How does Melania Trump’s current personal style elucidate her previous image as a fashion model?

Jill Carey: I have been thinking about First Ladies who come into the White House with young children. Melania has a ten year-old son with President Trump. He is on the threshold of his adolescence. What she done as model prior to her marriage was a part of her past life, and I hope that as First Lady she will evolve to an image and role model that is acceptable to the American public.

Melania’s spin doctors and advocates are already spinning and capitalizing on her role as a mother. This election has been so controversial and polarizing that media is focused on much more than what Melania has done in her previous career. Her role in the White House will be primarily as a hostess.

Lasell College Fashion Collection images and image of Jill Carey courtesy of Lasell College

Lasell College Fashion Collection images and image of Jill Carey courtesy of Lasell College

FR: How do presidential administrations and their policies affect fashion?

Jill Carey: The fashion industry really stands alone and set its own standards and trends. Perhaps, in the past conservative administrations may have had some influence of fashion and style, but today things are very different. The Obama administration did have a positive impact of J. Crew’s collections and market viability.

There is a lot of conversation on President Trump being a minimalist but I don’t believe that will direct affect on fashion. Trump’s cabinet is all multi-millionaires and billionaires and maybe we see advances in the luxury market that trickles down to consumers. Lastly, fashion does reflect what is going on in the world so maybe some protest fashion will emerge because of the Trump presidency.

—William S. Gooch







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