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

Michelle_Obamas_White_House_Style1

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

Images of Hillary Clinton courtesy of thedailybeast.com. 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 smithsonian.com and Lasell College

Frances Cleveland images clockwise courtesy of smithsonian.com. 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 vogue.com

Michelle Obama’s Vogue Covers. Images courtesy of vogue.com

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 smithsonian.com, Leo Narducci gown in the style of Arnold Scasi's inaugural gown courtesy of Lasell College

Nancy Reagan 1981 inaugural gown image courtesy of smithsonian.com.  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 thefashionfoot.com

Jackie Kennedy Onassis images courtesy of thefashionfoot.com

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 celebuzz.com

Melania Trump images courtesy of celebuzz.com

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leather through the Design Prism of PRITCH London

Pritch_London_FeatureAre you a rocker chick? No, well maybe you are that downtown fashionista type that has adopted an urban warrior aesthetic. That doesn’t describe you, either? Let’s see, hmm, well you love leather, of course you do!!

Whether you are an urban warrior, a rocker chick or a confirmed style maven, all fashion signals point to a love of leather. Leather is that one timeless, fashion must-have that defines your style, your mood, and your fashion point of view. It is a staple in your wardrobe, a go-to item to complete your look, and your daily fashion fix.

Now, that your love of leather has been established, the next challenge is finding leather garments that are fashion forward but still timeless. Enter PRITCH London.

 Collages1062PRITCH London could be deemed an unusual brand because it’s brand name could be a combination of two polar opposites, princess and b**ch, dark and light, or maybe not. Based in London and officially launched in 2012, PRITCH London conjures up non-conformist luxury inspired by the energy and vigor of London. This energy and zest is made evident in innovative leather garments that reflect a fashion-forward and rebellious style projection.

“Leather is a very complicated material to work with and it is very challenging and I love challenges,” explains PRITCH London founder Arina Pritch. “You cannot stitch leather more than one time, so the uniqueness of leather as a material is unbelievable. Most people look at leather as the material you design leather jackets with, but you can make anything out of leather. And that is what I am trying to show in my collections. Leather can be an accessory piece; it can be anything. It all depends on your imagination.”

Arina Pritch

The force behind PRITCH London, designer Arina Pritch

 Giving a nod to her penchant for edgy, dark, mood-evoking images, the logo for PRITCH London is the raven. “The raven is a very mystical bird. It is a bird that can survive among other species or fine on its own. The raven is a reflection of my own persona. It is a bird that represents duality and contrast,” explains Arina Pritch. “I attempt that contrast in PRITCH London collections.  The majority of the pieces you can wear to any occasion, easily transitioning from day to night.  One of the slogans of the brand is “a rebel in a conservative society,” which speaks to the duality of the brand. Leather can be feminine or masculine, rebellious of conservative, sexy with hints of modesty.”

With the success of the brand’s primary line, PRITCH London, Arina has developed her bespoke line, which is taking special pieces from PRITCH London and customizing those items for select customers. “PRITCH Bespoke is a full design experience for our special clients in which that client becomes their own designer. We will develop everything from sketch to completed garment, depending on what those special clients want.”

Images courtesy of Supreme Publicity

Images courtesy of Supreme Publicity

PRITCH London has also expanded the brand to include hybrids, going beyond solely leather garments. “For the brand I am beginning to mix fabrics with leather or mixing different kinds of leather in one garment. One jacket could have a variety of skins. It takes a lot of craftsmanship to be able to pull this off. It very difficult to mix leather with other materials because different machinery is required to accomplish this task; that is why you don’t see these hybrids often in the market and it very expensive to produce.” This aesthetic is aptly realized in hybrid garments that are a combination of organza, denim, and of course, leather. Add to that PRITCH London’s new collection of loungewear.

Although PRITCH London is not mass-produced, the brand is tapping into the growing market of consumers who want special garments and have the deep pockets to afford it. And for if you can afford to purchase PRITCH London’s tan and leather trench from the spring 2017 collection, buy it!!

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Reverie’s 2017 Fashion Predictions

As unpredictable as 2017 might be, Fashion Reverie is going out on a limb and predict what fashion industry professionals and consumers might expect for the new year. Who would’ve have predicted that Donald Trump would become the leader of the free world, so our predictions cannot be more of a stretch than the presidential election.

Fashion Reverie looks into its Swarovski crystal ball and predicts:

Rebecca Minkoff spring 2017 image courtesy of fashionisers.com

Rebecca Minkoff spring 2017 image courtesy of fashionisers.com

1)   With all the designers/brands defecting from New York Fashion Week: The Shows—Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger, Rachel Zoe, Rachel Comey, and Tom Ford—to Los Angeles for their fall 2017 collections, and with Jeremy Scott and Hedi Slimane setting up shop in LA, Fashion Reverie predicts that LA Fashion Week will get a lot of momentum in 2017.  Though IMG sponsored LA Fashion Week for several years, LA Fashion Week really was a disgruntled stepchild to New York Fashion Week. After IMG pulled out of LA Fashion Week, not much was left, just a handful of credible designers who showed consistently among a wide array of jean and tee shirt lines. That will all change in 2017.

Alexander Wang/H&M image courtesy of magazinehorse.com

Alexander Wang/H&M image courtesy of magazinehorse.com

2)   Fashion Reverie predicts that luxury designers will incorporate more athlesisure wear into their high-end collections. As more millenials move away from designer brands to brands that fit their daily lives—work, gym, a night out on the town—this destination-obsessed demographic will look for brands that reflect their lifestyle and passions. Being adorned in overly embellished, glam garments doesn’t vibe with this eco-friendly crowd. And unlike the generation before them, millenials don’t really care about labels. Luxury brands will have to get in step.

Target advertisement image courtesy of tvcommercialspots.com

Target advertisement image courtesy of tvcommercialspots.com

3)   The fashion industry in 2017 will move away from celebrities endorsing or being the face of campaigns and bring fashion models back to the forefront. In 2016 we saw Gigi Hadid as the face of Tommy Hilfiger, as well as collaborating with Hilfiger on a diffusion line. Target, Old Navy, Estee Lauder, Amazon Fashion, Vera Wang, Celine, Versace, Dior, Stuart Weitzman, Diesel, La Perla, any many other brands are using top models in their campaigns. And while most of these iconic brands always used fashion models in the past decade celebrities were outpacing fashion models in their acquisition of fashion campaigns.

Why this turn around? Perhaps, the answer lies in the reality that the music industry is in decline and there are so few film celebrities that appeal to millenials. Supermodels like Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid, Grace Bol, and Lucky Blue Smith, Sean O’Pry, and Michael Shockley appeal to young consumers more than celebrities at this present time.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Delpozo spring 2017 images courtesy of vogue.com

4)   Everyone loves accessories, whether it is that great Kate Spade bag, a pair of Yeezy Boost, or red-bottom Louboutins. And if you cannot afford Ferragamo, the Ferragamo belt might be within your budget.

That said: one of the biggest accessories of 2017 will be statement earrings. You know the big oversized earrings that will make any woman stand out and be noticed. Delpozo, Altuzarra, Anniesa Hasibuan, and Proenza Schouler incorporated big earrings in their spring 2017 collections.

Dior spring 2017 images courtesy of fashionisers.com

Dior spring 2017 images courtesy of fashionisers.com

5)   The worlds of politics and fashion are not as diametrically opposed as some people might think. Remember, fashion is always influenced by what is going on socially, culturally and politically. For 2017 expect fashion that reflects the global cultural divide with a call for tolerance, respect and social consciousness. (Remember Vivienne Tam’s Obama and Mao Tse-Tung iconography in her spring 2013 collection.) We witnessed the lean toward this call for unity in spring 2017 collections that used digitals slogans in their collections. Dior rallied the call for feminist solidarity with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s phrase, “we shall be feminists” in its spring 2017 collection.

Images of Patrick Kelly, Eric Gaskins, Mimi Plange, and Stephens Burrows garments, respectively courtesy of fitnyc.edu

Images of Patrick Kelly, Eric Gaskins, Mimi Plange, and Stephens Burrows garments, respectively courtesy of fitnyc.edu

6)   In December 2016 the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)  launched an exhibit dedicated to black designers. The exhibit includes great looks from Willi Smith, Stephen Burrows, Patrick Kelly, Cushnie et Ochs, Public School, Tracy Reese, Charles Harbison, Mimi Plange, Zelda Wynn Valdes, Eric Gaskins, Scott Barrie, Epperson, Duro Olowu, and many others.

Fashion Reverie predicts that this incredible exhibit will inspire emerging designers of color and 2017 will be a break year for black designers. The industry is already embracing more black models; black designers are next in line.

Image courtesy of Wireimage/dailymai.co.uk

Image courtesy of Wireimage/dailymai.co.uk

7)   Fashion Reverie predicts that there will be a major expose of fashion model pay. This national expose will shock consumers and rock the fashion industry. Fashion industry professionals are aware that many models walk in top shows for no pay and that very few models are making huge sums of money. But this industry fact is a widely coveted secret, and most fashion models are terrified of speaking out because of retaliation from the industry. 2017 will be the year of shouting the truth from the rooftops.

—Staff

 

 

 

Fashion Reverie’s Top Stories of 2016

While 2015 was a year of shifts and controversy, 2016 topped the charts as a year of surprises and unexpected developments. Change is always the order of the day in the fashion industry; however, who would have expected Peter Topping to leave his creative post at Oscar de la Renta less than a year after or Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow would exit DKNY. And even more surprising was the election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the US.

Still, Fashion Reverie has been front and center throughout all the vicissitudes of change and fashion shifts, bringing its viewers all the fashion news, exclusive interviews, trend reports and coverage that makes the site one of the go-to online publications for all things fashion.  And in its upcoming fifth year, expect more in-depth coverage, more exclusive interviews and a wider array and fashion and cultural features.

Image courtesy of Atria Books

Image courtesy of Atria Books

1)   Is the golden age of fashion photography over? Well, that depends on the industry professionals you talk to. In  “Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers” Michael Gross chronicles the exodus of fashion photography in the 20th Century and where the art form is the age of digital manipulation. Fashion Reverie was given the unique opportunity to be one of the first fashion publications to interview Michael Gross about his compendium on fashion photography. Though somewhat encyclopedic in scope, “Focus” is injected with lots of humor and scandal, and Gross was a joy to an interview and of the great fashion sages of the industry. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16510

Images courtesy of Think PR

Images courtesy of Think PR

2)   Fashion Reverie was fortunate to interview Bibhu Mohapatra a week before his spring 2017 runway showing for New York Fashion Week: The Shows. In this interview Mohapatra revealed his passion for Belle Epoque style that he so deliciously fused into his spring 2017 collection. With Mohapatra being one of the hottest collections in the current pantheon of luxury brands, acquiring this interview as a real boon for Fashion Reverie. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16922

Images courtesy of Simon and Schuster

Images courtesy of Simon and Schuster

3)   2016 was the year for fashion books. And in a year where book sales are down and many book retailers have shuttered operations; surprisingly, there were a lot of new fashion books on the market. Fashion Reverie was primed and eager to present and review these books for its viewers.

One of the most anticipated fashion books of 2016 was supermodel Pat Cleveland’s “Walking with the Muses.” Fashion Reverie’s interview with Cleveland is injected with the supermodel’s own special brand of nuance, wit and humor; traits that are such an indelible part of Cleveland’s charm. “Walking with the Muses’” rag-to-fame story is in the tradition of America’s version of the rising phoenix cultural mythology. But for Cleveland her story goes beyond the stuff of fairy tales; it is her life. And she so eloquently communicated her journey to Fashion Reverie. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16845

Image courtesy of tinypic.com

Image courtesy of tinypic.com

4)   IMG has been criticized for not maintaining and attracting luxury designers to show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS). While that particular criticism may have some relevance, what is obvious about the evolution of NYFWS is the wealth of new designers from outside that US that show at NYFWS. One such designer that garnered a lot of press during NYFWS: spring 2017 was Anniesa Hasibuan. This Indonesian designer showed an entire collection of models completely attired in beautifully embellished in Muslim dress. Hasibuan demonstrated that there a women can be completed covered and be chic, sophisticated and regal. Now if only mainstream media showed these kinds of Muslim women!! View article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=17210

Image courtesy of casamastudios.com

Image courtesy of casamastudios.com

5)   Natasha Nyanin was new to Fashion Reverie when she penned her spring 2017 trend prediction article. That said; first time out she hit the ball out of the court. With her spring 2017 trend prediction article, “Spiritual Awakenings,” Natasha tapped into the upcoming Zen-inspired designs and “Raw Coast” aesthetic that centers on references to minimalism rooted in environmental and coastal classics. Fashion Reverie expects much more from Natasha. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16891

Patricia_Gucci_image

6)   One of the most exciting Fashion Reverie interviews of 2016 is when we got to conduct an interview with Patricia Gucci about her memoir “In the Name of Gucci: A Memoir.” In this seminal book about her father, Patricia Gucci from love letters between her father and mother Bruna Palumbo, Patricia Gucci brings readers into the inner life of Aldo Gucci and what it was like to be a part of the Gucci brand during its heyday. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16024

Image courtesy of Miles Ladin

Image courtesy of Miles Ladin

7)   In this year of fashion books, another tabletop fashion book that came to the attention of Fashion Reverie was Miles Ladin’s “Supermodels at the End of Time.” Miles Ladin graciously spoke with Fashion Reverie about what it was like to photographer some of the world’s top models during the age of the supermodels. His film noir–like photos are iconic, particularly his photo of Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista sitting at a table at the end of the evening looking jaded and weary. View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=17365

Images courtesy of Cadillac House

Images courtesy of Cadillac House

8)   Andy Warhol’s legacy lives on. And Cadillac House and the fashion industry celebrated that legacy with the “Letters to Andy Warhol” exhibit. The “Letters to Andy Warhol” exhibition features rarely seen material from the museum’s archive, including artwork and Warhol’s personal correspondence, plus artistic contributions from several modern-day cultural creators including Brian Atwood, Sienna Miller, Sean Lennon, JJ Martin, Zac Posen, Chiara Clemente, Aimee Mullins, David LaChapelle, Francesco Clemente, Nick Rhodes and more. View the article http://fashionreverie.com/?p=17554

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

Images courtesy of Atelier PR

9)   Finding innovative brands is one of the core features of Fashion Reverie. When we were invited to attend YolanCris’ debut bridal collection during New York International Bridal Week, we jumped at the chance.

Like the many women and muses that inspired El Greco, Van Dyck, and Rubens, YolanCris’ Bridal Studio Collection 2017 pays homage to the many aspects of feminine charm, beauty and sophistication. And boy did the brand pay tribute!! View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=17295

Image courtesy of Starworks Group

Image courtesy of Starworks Group

10)   Can you think of a better to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday than a limited edition shoe inspired by PEZ dispenser. Huh, yes you heard me right!! British shoe designer Camilla Elphick has tapped into a cultural landmark and historic occasion by introducing the latest addition to her infamous Pez collection for the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday — her spring 2016 patriotic nod to the queen, The Corgi Princess PEZ.  View the article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16205

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Images courtesy of vogue.com

11) For several seasons Fashion Reverie has pined for an invitation to attend Delpozo’s runway shows. Not until, Natasha Nyanin came on staff did the wish become a reality. This very talented young editor did an excellent job reviewing Delpozo’s spring 2017 collection. View article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=16993

Image courtesy of timeinc

Image courtesy of timeinc

12) There were many deaths across the cultural landscape in 2016, But, perhaps no one will be missed more than Franca Sozzani. Editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia for over 26 years, Sozzani with the help of photographers she personally mentored—Herb Ritts, Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, and Bruce Weber—elevated Vogue Italia from a fashion publications that focused on Italian fashion to a global compendium of style, innovation, and fashion-forward sophistication. View article at http://fashionreverie.com/?p=17870

—William S. Gooch

Bye, Bye Franca

Collages1052 The fashion industry mourns the death of Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia. Sozzani transitioned on December 22 after a long illness. Sozzani severed as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia for 28 years, starting in 1988, the same year as Anna Wintour took the helm at American Vogue.

In her 28 years at Vogue Italia, Sozzani took the magazine beyond a publication that celebrated Italian couture styles and embraced fashion as seen through the lens of culture, politics, and evolving attitudes. Sozzani conceded, “Fashion isn’t really about clothes,” [  ]“it’s about life.”

Italia_Vogue_Black_IssueSozzani shocked the fashion industry by producing fashion editorials that highlighted plastic surgery, domestic violence and a 2010 editorial that mocked the BP oil spill. In 2008, Sozzani spearheaded the 2008 groundbreaking “Black Issue,” an issue totally devoted to black models, black beauty, and black social issues.

After starting studying philosophy and architecture in Milan, Franca Sozzani spent a short time in ‘Swinging London’ soon marrying, but just as quickly divorcing. After returning to Italy she secured an assistant position at Vogue Bambino. An editor position followed at Lei in 1980 and in 1982 she moved on to Per Lei. While at both publications Sozzani nurtured the young talents of Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh, Mario Testino, Bruce Weber, and Herb Ritts. Understanding the power of imagery, Sozzani gave many of these young photographers free rein, helping to forward the careers of these burgeoning photographic geniuses.

Bye_bye_FrancaWhen Sozzani arrived at Vogue Italia, she already had a coterie of brilliant photographers who could realize her vision for the magazine as well as photographers Sozzani could farm out to the many Italian fashion houses to shoot campaigns that would later appear in Vogue Italia. In just under a decade Sozzani has become a major powerbroker with Italian fashion houses, manufacturers, and industrialists.

In 1994 Sozzani became the Creative Direction of Italian Conde Nast. With that appointment, Sozzani became one of the most powerful women in global fashion, facilitating Vogue Italia’s transition to a fashion publication that celebrated the confluence of fashion, music, politics, and world culture  and reaching a global audience.

 Collages1051

With all these accomplishments in the late 90’s, Sozzani began to be involved in more philanthropic pursuits such as Gianni Versace, AIDS initiative, Convivo, as well as being appointed global ambassador against hunger by the United Nations World Food Programme, and a goodwill ambassador for Fashion4Development. Sozzani co-founded Child Priority with Jonathan Newhouse to provide work opportunities for underprivileged children.

Franca Sozzani is survived by her son Francesco who produced a documentary, “Franca: Chaos and Creation,” in 2016 that premiered at the Venice Film Festival.

—Staff

Fashion Reverie Holiday Giveaway: Inlight Skincare

Inlight_01With 2017 less than two weeks ago, the time is ripe to start working on obtaining beautiful skin. Don’t get left behind!

There are so many skincare products on the market that is hard to know which product is right for your skin. And of course, the best skincare products are expensive.

Fashion Reverie to the rescue!! Everyone needs some help and in this holiday season Fashion Reverie is giving away a skincare trial kit. To enter the contest, go to Fashion Reverie’s Instagram account at #FashionReverieMag and follow the instructions. Good Contest open only those in the US.  Luck and Happy Holiday!!

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Inlight_Skincare_03Organic Skincare addresses acne, anti aging, wrinkles, cellulite, cracked heels, dark circles, eye area, hands, joint muscles, oily, sensitive, or dry skin, sun damage, rosacea, rashes, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, peeling, skin issues during pregnancy, stretch marks, scarring and shaving irritation, Inlight Skincare is the real deal.

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Cleanse, tone and moisturize with this essential Inlight trio, offering your skin just the right nutrients to keep it well nourished and silky soft and smooth. Make Inlight part of your essential daily regime and see the difference for yourself.

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Images courtesy of KMPR

Images courtesy of KMPR

Indulgence Collection ($39.00)

The cleanser and reviving tonic will delicately cleanse away impurities, whilst the Face Oil soothes and moisturizes and the sumptuous Line Softener, combining 20 different bio-actives, works to plump and hydrate with extra concentrated care.

o   Face Cleanser 0.17 fl. oz.

o   Floral Face Tonic 0.17 fl. oz.

o   Daily Face Oil 0.17 fl. oz.

o   Line Softener 0.17 fl. oz.

100% organic* (100% of the agricultural ingredients in our Floral Face Tonic are organically produced; however water cannot be certified organic.)

—Staff

 

Happy Holidays 2016

Happy-Winter-Holidays-Happy-new-year-2016-wishesFashion Reverie would like to wish happy holidays to all our online viewers, and fashion PR firms, designers, brands, model management companies and other industry professionals that have worked so diligently with us in 2016.

2016 has been an incredible year of change in the fashion industry and the world at large. From Dao Yi-Chow and Maxwell Osborne stepping down from the helm DKNY to Hedi Slimane leaving Saint Laurent to the unexpected election of Donald Trump as US president to the industry’s embrace of “Seen Now, Buy Now” to the shuttering of Complex and Self magazines, everything seems to be upside down. But remember, revolutionary change does not come easy and what currently seems catastrophic in the long-term can be the catalyst for evolution and momentum.

Though nothing in fashion stays the same for long, Fashion Reverie continues to bring its readers detailed coverage of all the happenings in the fashion industry. Fashion Reverie wishes that your dreams came true in 2016 and that 2017 will be a prosperous year for you.  Again, Happy Holidays!!

—William S. Gooch, editor-in-chief

 

Fashion Reverie’s 2016 Black Friday/Cyber Monday Selects

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

Image courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

OK, the Black Friday/Cyber Monday commercials have flooded the Internet and television ad nauseam. Every retailer or online brand is attempting to lure shoppers to brick and mortar stores or online sites with great deals that at times seem unreal.

Are these Black Friday deals as good as they seem or just another ploy to get consumers to buy product they don’t really want or need? You could take the risks and be the judge!! Or, you could let Fashion Reverie do some of the hard work for you.

And more to the point, Black Friday/Cyber Monday is no longer an American phenomenon. As the enthusiasm around Black Friday is waning in the US, elsewhere this sale day extravaganza is gathering steam.

Image courtesy of csmonitor.com

Image courtesy of csmonitor.com

Consumers in the UK expect to spend between 1.27 billion pounds and 1.69 billion pounds on November 25, according to IMRG and Conlumino. And E-commerce powerhouse Alibaba is promoting Black Friday in China, or their version of Black Friday, Singles Day, which takes place on November 11 instead of November 25. Launched in 2003, Singles Day has grown to become the Asian shopping event of the year, complete, live stream See-Now Buy-Now fashion catwalk shows, an appearance from the Beckhams as well as a VR shopping experience.

That said; Fashion Reverie has compiled a list of tried-and-true products that will not only satisfy your holiday wish list, but are sure to the meet Fashion Reverie’s standard of quality, fashion-forward goods.One Fashion Reverie tip; don’t vacillate over your choices. These great deals may be gone before you know it.

Image courtesy of orchardmile.com

Image courtesy of orchardmile.com

1)   With online shopping beginning to outpace brick and mortar shopping, Fashion Reverie has decided to start our list with Orchard Mile. As one of the most exciting, go-to sites on the digital platform, Orchard Mile offers products from Oscar de la Renta, Roland Mouret, and Lela Rose to Temperley of London, Novis, and Adam Lippes with discounts from 40% to 80%. For more information, go to orchardmile.com.

Image courtesy of fashiongonerogue.com

Image courtesy of fashiongonerogue.com

2)   Who does not love an Andrew Marc jacket? Well, don’t just love it; own it!! Site wide, Andrew Marc has 80% off sale, with free shipping, starting today!!

Parke and Ronen image courtesy of fashionisto.com

Parke and Ronen image courtesy of fashionisto.com

3)   Who says male shoppers are not anticipating Black Friday/Cyber Monday? Fashion Reverie knows that they are, and leaves no stones unturned by including male consumers. Parke and Ronen is known for all-American sportswear men’s wear. And if you are in great shape, nothing looks better on a sculpted physique than Parke and Ronen. For Cyber Monday, Parke and Ronen has 25% off of merchandise, plus 2-day free shipping, from November 27–28.

Image courtesy of nyracked.com

Image courtesy of nyracked.com

4)   Now a lot of brands are giving money back if you spend a certain amount. Good marketing plan, right!! Well, no brand does this better the Acustom Apparel. Acustom Apparel has forged their place in men’s apparel with their exact digital sizing process. For Black Friday weekend (Friday to Monday), you get a $250 gift card for every $1,000 you spend. That means you can get something for yourself AND check someone off of your holiday list.

Image courtesy of HEIKE

Image courtesy of HEIKE

5)   If you are in NYC and in the market for cutting-edge, fashion-forward clothes, HEIKE is the brand for you. Launched in 2001, HEIKE NY focuses on experimental use of drape, layering and tailoring, creatively contrasting structure and fluidity in innovative fabrics. Purchase selected items of HEIKE NY’s Fall/Winter 2016-2017 collection and different emerging designers with up to 70% off retail!

Hawke_Company_Outfitters

Image courtesy of Hawke & Co. Outfitters

 6)   If you live on the East Coast, the fall/winter chill has set in. Time for a new winter coat!! Don’t fret; Hawke & Co. Outfitter has 50% on coats for everyone in the household. For more information, go to hawkeandco.com.

Image courtesy of shopify.com

Pink Sheep Heritage image courtesy of shopify.com

7)   Lastly, let’s consider at a play on words!! We’ve all heard about Black Friday, but how about Pink Friday? Pink Sheep Heiress, is calling their holiday shopping bonanza, Pink Friday, in homage to their brand’s moniker. If rock n’ roll style gets your motor going, then Pink Sheep Heiress has some great product for you. From November 24-28, Pink Heiress is offering 40% off site wide and additional 40% off of sale product. Use promo code PINKFRIDAY.

Happy Shopping!!

—Staff

 

 

Campaign Spotlight: La Perla’s Spring 2017 Campaign

 La_Perla_spring_2017_Campaign_KEndall_Jenner_04Liberation is a reoccurring theme for the La Perla spring 2017 campaign. Iconic photographer Steven Klein used shattered glass, an antiquated corset, and fire to conjure up images that reflect freedom. Think about it, breaking through the glass ceiling, restraint that can be loosened, and burning away the refuse. All these motifs can reference freedom in a variety of forms.

La Perla’s spring 2017 style revolution begins with the body—following its natural movements with luxurious materials, expertly crafted in comfortable stretch and crease-free finishes. Born from La Perla’s deep understanding of how to enhance and celebrate the female form, the spring 2017 collection accentuates with beautiful contours.

La_Perla_spring_2017_Campaign_Kendall_Jenner_02Steven Klein and La Perla went to the top of the model pantheon to manifest the liberation motif, Kendall Jenner, Liu Wen, and Isabeli Fontana. For this spring 2017 campaign, Kendall Jenner in the undisputed star. Kendall brings her youthful elegance and contemporary charm to this spring 2017 campaign. And also demonstrates that La Perla has gone beyond lingerie—this collection includes lingerie, ready-to-wear, and beach wear looks—particularly evidenced in some of the jackets with multi-colored lapels.

La_Perla_spring_2017_Campaign_Isabeli_FontanaIsabeli Fontana brings her hot and spicy charisma to this spring 2017 campaign. No one shows off curves better than Isabeli, which especially fitting in the campaign image of Isabeli in a matching black lace bra top and shorts.

Images courtesy of lesfacons.com

Images courtesy of lesfacons.com

Liu Wen continues her role as ambassador of the La Perla lifestyle in the Far East, revealing a more intense and sensual side in figure-framing silhouettes. Kendall, Isabeli and Liu demonstrate brilliantly in this campaign that the La Perla woman is modern, sensuous, sophisticated, and takes no prisoners. In other words the La Perla is kickass diva that does not apologize for her strength and sexiness.

—Staff

 

 

 

Fashion Reverie Interview Exclusive: Miles Ladin’s “Supermodels at the End of Time”

Supermodels_coverIs a picture worth a thousand words? That picture is if Miles Ladin photographed the subject. And the image might just get a few chuckles out of you.

Miles Ladin’s photography is never just about the beauty of the subject, his images evoke mood, stimulate conversation, and even shock. With Ladin’s new book “Supermodels at the End of Time,” Ladin documents that heady era in fashion history where supermodels not only ruled the runways and magazine covers, but suddenly had a huge presence in popular culture.

Still, Ladin’s photographic book is not necessarily a beautiful, manicured photographic dissertation on that time, but a hardcore photographic memoir of the darker recesses and excesses of the fashion world of the 1990s. In his classic, film noir–photographic still, Ladin’ “Supermodels at the End of Time” is revealing, nuanced, and strangely poignant.

Miles Ladin Debuts 'Supermodels at the End of Time' Exhibition

Miles Ladin

From supermodels Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, and Claudia Mason to fashion personalities Diana Vreeland, Milla Jovovich, and Chloe Sevigny, “Supermodels at the End of Time” with text by Bret Easton Ellis informs, reveals and tickles the fashion funny bone. On the eve of Miles Ladin’s exhibit of images from the book at the Station Independent Project’s Gallery in New York City, Miles Ladin spoke with Fashion Reverie.

Fashion Reverie: Why did you call this book “Supermodels at the End of Time”?

Miles Ladin: There is a documentary aspect to the images. I was photographing supermodels and fashion celebrities at social events like the Met Gala, the CFDA Awards, documenting notable people and the fashion elite. I created a narrative with these images using Bret Easton Ellis’ text. So, I wanted this book to be a limited edition artist book.  The book has a certain quality; there is satire and I merged Ellison’s fiction with pictures that could be looked at as documentary.At these fashion social events my photography is very stylized, a kind of film noir quality for which I am known for. I manipulate the reality in a certain way with my photography. And we know, that is what photography really is; there is a truth, but also a fiction.

So, how I came up with this title, I wanted the new artist book to directly comment on our most recent fin de siècle. Most historians when they refer to fin de siècle they are referring to the 1890s and the Austrian-German Hapsburg Empire that lead up to World War I. However, I used a little artistic license and referred to the end of the 20th Century that for me culminated in the attacks of 9/11 in 2001.  The title also eludes to the end of fashion as we knew it at that time and the rise of fashion and entertainment evolved by social media and instant celebrity.

Up until recent times, in my mind, supermodels were more than just beautiful; they had personality and a certain charm. They had so much more to them than the current crop of supermodels—Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. “Supermodels at the End of Time” refers to the end of fashion as we knew it. And the way I like to play around with art meeting fiction meeting science fiction.

FR: Your style of photography is a film noir style. Could you elaborate on that?

Miles Ladin: Film noir refers to cinema. From the 1930s to the 1950s, film noir was at its peak in films like Orson Welles’ “Third Man.” Film noir is mostly in black and white and I shoot in mostly black and white using a handheld flash. I sculpture the reality with my flash and I would get in close to my subject, being short in stature helps in that respect.

I would often shoot these fashion celebrities because I was on assignment with W magazine or The New York Times. I didn’t have the regality and grandeur of Bill Cunningham who kind of did what I do or Patrick McMullen who really loves being a part of the scene. I was kind of a hired hand that was invisible which gave me the advantage or capturing some exquisite moments.

My role was not to flatter the fashion elite, but to capture a moment in time. I also used a short lens to get in really close and I intuitively knew how to use the handheld flash to evoke mood and manipulate my subjects. I would have to move the handheld flash around to capture the moments I wanted and simulate drama and suspense.

 Miles_Laden_02FR: How did you choose your subjects for the book?

Miles Ladin: I chose supermodels first and then I decided I wanted use images from around 2002 and before that time. I’ve been shooting New York Fashion Week until up to two years ago, so that access give me a lot of material. Still, I didn’t want to use runway images past 2002. I also wanted to include the best pictures that I had, signature pictures that had run in W magazine and images that were used in their anniversary issues. Then, there were pictures that were never published or reproduced that I also included in the book.

There are some supermodels that I would have liked to include just to expand the spectrum of models and model personalities, but often that particular image didn’t match Ellis’ text. Sometimes, I had a great image but the supermodel was in the background, not the foreground, so I couldn’t include the picture. And there were some other constraints. But, there are some great images of Iman, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, and many other supermodels. I also have images of model personalities, meaning actresses that modeled for specific brands but were not necessarily supermodels. I have an image of Chloe Sevigny, who was a muse for Imitation of Christ and walked the runway, as well. So, the image of Chloe Sevigny really fit in with the photo-narrative quality of this book because Chloe is the name of the character in Ellis’ “Glamorama.” Milla Jovovich is the other model personality in the book. So, a lot of my choices had to do with supermodels that fit Ellis’ text.

“Supermodels at the End of Time” is not like Michael Gross’ 1999 book “Model” which is the reality of supermodels. This tabletop book is more massaged and manipulated.

FR: Do you consider yourself a fashion photographer?

Miles Ladin: No.

FR: Well, have to do define yourself?

Miles LadinW magazine defined me as a paparazzi photographer. But, I don’t see myself that way because I don’t stalk celebrities like Rob Galella. However, I am always invited to events to shoot celebrities; I don’t scurry to shoot them unless they are coming out the back entrance for New York Fashion Week.

Some people do consider me a fashion photographer, so I don’t correct them. Still, I don’t consider myself a fashion photographer because I am not interested in fashion as it relates to designers and what celebrities are wearing or chronicling fashion. I like to photograph parts of society that are not exposed to everyday folks. I shot New York Fashion Week for 15 years, but more to document that scene, not to promote the clothes.

I call myself a photographic artist. I started photography as a photographic expression, in addition to drawing and painting. My clients like The New York TimesW magazine and more recently WWD, gave me carte blanche to shoot in my photographic style.

FR: You photograph the dark recesses of beauty. Could you explain that?

Miles Ladin: The pictures have humor and there is a satiric element to them. I was never seduced by the glamour of celebrity or the fashion industry, so my perspective on those worlds is quite different. I never try to make my subjects look unattractive; I am just attempting to photograph something that goes beyond external beauty. There is this one photo in the book of Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell sitting at this table with an ashtray filled with cigarette butts, coffee cups and wine glasses, and all three of them looking very bored. There is a sense of ennui in that image. Of course, one would think who doesn’t want to be any one of those supermodels? But, again the image says something else, maybe. I don’t know if every moment of every day is so fabulous for them, and certainly in that moment in the picture, there is a moment of reality.

My images have a sardonic quality. You have the film noir quality of the pictures in black and white. There are shadows, and shadows visually make things look a certain way.

There is a photograph in the exhibit that did not make it into the book of Tyra Banks posing on the red carpet for Fashion Rocks. Tyra Banks is posing beautifully, but in my shot there is also the publicist telling us to stop taking pictures because the red carpet is over. A PR person might be pissed at that, but this image details how supermodels and celebrities are prodded and pushed, and it is not always so nice and polite.

We are now in this overdrive of celebrity culture, which existed in the 40s and 50s. However, with social media it is really insane now. And what precipitated this current celebrity extreme, in my opinion, were the supermodels of the 1990s. These women were so famous for being beautiful. But, there is a dark side to all of this.

Miles_Laden_feature

FR: What are some of your favorite photographs in the book?

Miles Ladin: There are some photographs in the book that have never been reproduced. But, my top three photographs are the image of the three supermodels—Kate, Naomi, and Linda—at the table at the movie premiere party at the end of the evening. That photograph had never been published until this book. The other one is of Claudia Mason being made up backstage and the women next to her is looking at this Vogue magazine, hoping she’ll be on the cover one day. The third one is of Lauren Hutton.

FR: Which models did you always hope to photograph at these events?

Miles Ladin: Well, I always had a tip sheet, so I knew who would be at the event. I knew my role at these events was to get the money shot. Obviously, getting an interesting shot of an A-Lister was more important than photographing someone on the C-list. Still, sometimes it was like a dog looking for a bone because occasionally A-Listers didn’t show up so you had to work with who was there. Unlike, everyone having their 15 minutes of fame due to social media, it took a while to get on the A-list, which back then was Linda Evangelista and other supermodels.

FR: What do you want readers to get out of the book and viewers to get from your exhibit?

Miles Ladin: I think the book is a fun ride. I believe my work, without being mean-spirited, holds a mirror up to society and in this case it is the world of supermodels in the 90s. The 90s was a narcissistic time; however, now the narcissism is beyond reason. It is very disturbing, particularly if you look at who’s running for president. The accepted notion of narcissism that feeds into our selfie culture and everyone having the own sense of self-importance was, perhaps, borne out the 1990s. And this book documents that in a time capsule kind of way. Have we evolved past that time, or not? Hopefully, this book will stimulate the conversation.

Images courtesy of Station Independent Projects

Images courtesy of Station Independent Projects

FR: What’s next for you?

Miles Ladin: I have another exhibition opening in December at an alternative space, and the theme of that exhibit is the idea of the American dream. This exhibit will have a much stronger polemic than “Supermodels at the End of Time” exhibit. It is very objective with installations to promote stream of consciousness while viewing the exhibit. Beyond these exhibits, I have been photographing and developing a multimedia piece on zombies. I have been shooting zombies for the past five years.

By zombies, I am referring to people who vote from an emotive headset or people  who are so entranced in their Smart phones that they have accidents, get hit by cars, etc. They are so entranced by these devices they hold in their hands that they don’t notice the world around them. They might as well be in the Matrix.

There is also humor in these zombie images, very much like my photographs of 90s supermodels. I am not trying to change the world, just show people things that are all around them that maybe they haven’t notice before. Maybe these images will cause people to elevate the future in a way they hadn’t considered. Or maybe, they will just have a good laugh!!

Miles Ladin’s fashion photography will be on exhibit at the Station Independent Gallery through October 30.

—William S. Gooch

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