Fashion Reverie’s 2018 Father’s Day Gift Guide

                                        Image courtesy of heavy.com

May is for mothers, and June is for fathers. Last month, we showered the premier women in our lives with gifts that showed them just how much they are loved. This month, let’s do the same for dads. Skip the typical handkerchiefs and slippers, and let’s make sure we get dad something to let him know how much he we appreciate him.To help ease your search for the perfect present, Fashion Reverie has created a fashion-forward gift guide for dads. And don’t forget to enter our #FashionableFather contest. To enter, (1) post a picture to Instagram of a dad and his child (or children), (2) tag @FashionReverieMag, and (3) hashtag #FashionableFather. The picture with the most likes will receive a gift package from two brands on our 2018 Father’s Day Gift Guide—Beau Brummell for Men and The Little Dapper Collection.

The Little Dapper Collection bowties ($20–$30)

The Little Dapper Collection (TLDC) handcrafts bowties for infants and toddlers, and also offers father-and-son sets. The company was originally launched as a children’s brand when founder Genesis Emery became pregnant with her son, Noah. However, when Noah was born, he spent the first two months of his life in the NICU due to post-birth complications. Turning those months into motivation, Genesis decided to add a philanthropic component to her company. TLDC donates part of their monthly profits to charities and non-profits that focus on children in need. Their work is two-fold: they make the world more stylish, one toddler at a time, and they give back to children with special needs. This year, skip the typical slippers and handkerchiefs for dad, and get him and his son a bowtie that makes a difference!

Beau Brummell for Men skincare kit ($25–$99.95)

Beau Brummell for Men is the go-to shop for small-batch, expertly formulated men’s skincare products. Named after an 18th century confidante of King George IV, the company focuses on the first steps of a gentleman’s style and elegance—his skin. Creators Zack and Daniel have smartly curated concoctions that elevate a gentleman’s grooming regimen without overwhelming him. With a pointed assortment of products, Beau Brummell walks you through the entire face care process, from washing and scrubbing to shaving and moisturizing. They even have products to tame your beard, hands and feet. From top to bottom, Beau Brummell prepares you put your best face forward with one idea in mind— “so you can stay handsome.”

Wine Enthusiast decanter set ($69.95)

For the traveling man who loves his libations, the Wine Enthusiast Decanter Set would be a welcome addition to his man cave. Made of lead-free glass, and sitting on a mahogany base, this decanter is detailed with an etching of the world map. Ideal for storing and displaying 40 oz. of his favorite cognac, rum, or wine, the decanter rotates to show off its detail, but also aerates the liquid inside, releasing its flavors and aromas. But no decanter is truly complete without accompanying glassware, and this set comes with two double Old Fashioned glasses, similarly etched with world maps. Glasses for two—because a man may drink alone, but a wise man never has to.

Leatherology Passport Cover and Luggage Tag ($55)

Just because he’s a father doesn’t mean he has to be stationary. Whether he’s on a business trip or a weekend getaway with the guys, Dad should look stylish when dealing with TSA. Leatherology has created a matching passport cover and luggage tag set that subtly lets everyone know that Dad is no ordinary Joe. Available in over 10 color options, with monogramming options, this gift set keeps your most important travel document at hand, and quickly identifies your luggage from everyone else. And to make it even easier to present this gift to Dad, the items come pre-wrapped in a gift box. There is no easier gift than this set for the jet-setting dad in your life. 

Wahl Deluxe Chrome Pro Haircutting Kit with Trimmer ($49.99)

All men need an at-home haircutting kit. All men. Whether he wants to simply trim his mustache, or if he wants to nix the barber and do it himself, Wahl has the tool (or toolset) for him. The Deluxe Chrome Pro kit comes with everything he needs to begin cutting his own hair. The kit comes with a corded electric clipper. Your guy also gets a battery-operated trimmer for light touch-ups.

Some men may need more tools to keep their hair in check, so you can purchase additional accessories, from nose hair trimmers to electric shavers, to expand his set. Wahl has been around for almost a century, and is used by barbers across the globe. So if there is one brand to trust for cutting his mane at home, it’s Wahl.

PowerUp Remote Control Paper Airplane ($16.99-$199.99)

Sometimes Dad just wants to be a kid again. Help him put a modern spin on his childhood, and get him a remote controlled paper airplane from PowerUp Toys. PowerUp sells a variety of kits and bundles. There are basic kits that add an electric propeller to your paper airplane 30 seconds of flight (great for teaching the principles of physics and aerodynamics). There are advanced kits that connect your airplane to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and allow you to control and direct your plane via a free smartphone app. And then there are the high-tech kits that not only add the Bluetooth-controlled app, but also feature a nose-mounted camera so you can fly your plane and see what the plane sees in real time. You can even use Google cardboard to watch your flight “from the cockpit.” If Dad is very competitive, you can Dogfight bundle for head-to-head competition; again you, the kid, or the neighbor. May the best man win!

Louis Vuitton x FIFA World Cup bag ($325–$4,300)

Just in time for the FIFA World Cup in Moscow, Louis Vuitton (LV) has released a collection of bags and accessories to commemorate the event. Since 2010, Louis Vuitton has made the carry case for the FIFA World Cup trophy. Now, soccer dads can have an LV FIFA token to call their own.

Made of the brands Epi leather, the bags, cases, and leather goods feature a hexagonal pattern design, inspired by the 1970 World Cup match ball. The limited edition collection features the Apollo and Keepall bags, as well as smaller products, available in three colorways (black, red, and blue). For those wanting a more personal bag, the Keepall can be customized using eight colors, which can be combined with five additional trimming options, which can replicate almost any nation’s flag.

You can also add a luggage tag embossed with the flag of one of 35 countries. This is definitely for the serious football fan. If you call it soccer, this may not be for you.

Dagne Dover Hunter Toiletry Bag ($35–$55)

Every man needs a dopp kit. If he’s traveling, he needs one. If he’s going to the gym, he needs one. If his items are scattered around the bathroom sink, he needs one. Dagne Dover’s Hunter Toiletry Bag comes in two sizes and nine colorways. The large version comes with a zippered interior pouch, a sideslip pocket, and a detachable air mesh pouch. Made completely of high-tech neoprene, this durable dopp kit is hand washable and quick drying. The air mesh pouches are tear resistant, breathable, and nearly weightless. This bag is made for the man who likes the ease of organization but doesn’t like to be weighed down.

Sony VPL VW285ES 4K SXRD Projector ($4,999.98)

Sony has taken television projectors to the next level. No longer are they big, noisy machines that need total darkness to adequately project films. The new Sony VPL VW285ES 4K SXRD Projector has 1,500 lumens of light, so you get a clear picture even in direct sunlight. It has motion flow technology that lets you watch action movies and sports without distortion or lag time. With 4K technology, 8.8 million pixels, and a projection range of up to 200 inches, this projector turns any living room (or man cave) into a home theater.

—Carl Ayers

Breaking News: Kate Spade Found Dead

                                           Images courtesy of harpersbazaar.com

Famed fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her apartment on Tuesday. The apparent cause of death was suicide by hanging. Kate Spade’s body was found in her bedroom with a note that was intended for her 13-year old daughter.“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy,” the Spade family said in a statement in a New York Times article. “ We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time.”

Kate Spade, beginning in the mid-1990s, built a fashion empire, appealing to middle income, cosmopolitan women. Having a Kate Spade bag became a status symbol for career-driven young women, similar to the status of having a Chanel bag for women of a certain financial ilk.

“ Everyone thought that the definition of a handbag was strictly European, all decades-old-serious status and wealth. Then along came this thoroughly American young woman who changed everything. There was a moment when you couldn’t walk a block in New York without seeing one of her bags, which were just like her; colorful and unpretentious,” explained Anna Wintour in a New York Times article.

                     Image courtesy of Takaaki Iwabu/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Kate Spade’s fashion empire included apparel, accessories, and home goods, all products at a mostly accessible price point. In 2006, Kate Spade sold her lifestyle brand to Liz Claiborne, Inc. And the company was later sold to Coach in 2017.The 55-year old designer was supposedly suffering from depression and was going through a separation from her husband of 23-years. Her husband and 13-year old daughter, Frances Beatrix, survive Kate Spade.

—Staff

Fashion Reverie’s 2018 Father’s Day Giveaway

                                Image courtesy of Beau Brummel

Father’s Day is less than two weeks away, and we want you to know that we
see you and we salute you! To show you how much you are appreciated,
Fashion Reverie is having a Fashionable Fathers contest. To participate,
(1) post a picture on Instagram of a dad and his child (or children), (2)
tag @FashionReverieMag, and (3) use the hashtag #FashionableFather. The
picture with the most likes will receive a gift package from two great
brands on our 2018 Father’s Day Gift Guide—Beau Brummell for Men and The
Little Dapper Collection.

                                Image courtesy of The Little Dapper Collection

Men, don’t be shy. Show off with your beautiful kids! Ladies, you can post
pics of the fellas, too. Show them they are loved! There’s no age limit,
and you can enter as many times as you want. Let’s shout out all the great
dads out there!

Fashion Tea with Kristopher: May 2018

 

                                          Image courtesy of pinterest.com

In the worlds of fashion and entertainment, there is plenty of gossip, wagging tongues, and venomous versions of what goes on in the industry’s inner circles. Fashion Reverie has decided that our viewers should be invited to fashion’s inner sanctum to get a hot cup of what’s happening. Fashion Reverie takes you from the sidelines and on the streets to the front row. And, now Fashion Reverie will be taking you behind the scenes of what’s hot, what’s not, who’s in, who’s out, and who would be great material for an episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful” or “Queen Sugar.” (How about some sugar in your tea?)

Item 1

Have you heard? A former top editor at an iconic fashion magazine has very empty pockets. Since leaving his job a few years where he got to live like a king—extensive expense account, limousine service, first-class accomodations—he’s been budgeting like he a character on “Roseanne” or “Two Broke Girls.”

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!! Like Heidi Klum says on “Project Runway,” “one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” In his case, out of ducketts!! Ka-ching!

                                                Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Item 2Some of fashion brands are trying to get away with being cheapskates with their social media influencers. A top fashion blogger often spotted in the front row at notable runway shows was offered to promote a product in product exchange for exposure instead of green backs. Oh, the shade of it all!!

Needless to say she was furious, and that deal was a no-go. She certainly hasn’t hesitated to wag her tongue about it, either.

Item 3

Marchesa could be making a red-carpet comeback. After Scarlett Johansson wore one of their dresses on the red carpet to the 2018 Met Gala, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour came out in support of co-designer Georgina Chapman who has been facing backlash due to her husband Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault crimes. Wintour has not so quietly been working behind the scenes to help the brand return to its glory days when Marchesa was known for dressing A-list actresses—thanks hubby. Yes, you can call it a comeback of sorts thanks to Anna. Ugh!!

                          Image courtesy of dreamtime.com

Item 4Reliable sources say a top Manhattan department store is currently looking to pull a Lord & Taylor style move, ridding themselves of some of the floors at their iconic Manhattan flagship. Negotiations are currently under way, and though they don’t intend to shut this gem of a store down, customers could have a lot less escalators to climb come 2019. Can someone say, “brick and mortar devastation!”

—Kristopher Fraser

 

 

Religion Seen through the Eyes of Fashion

Images courtesy of modernarchitecturaljournal.com, models.com, vanityfair.com, and szmag.com, respectively

It often goes ignored the ways in which fashion has been shaped by religious beliefs. Throughout the course of history, religion has dictated everything from the ecclesiastical robes in church to the length of women’s skirts. Religious influence in fashion hasn’t crossed many minds until this year’s Met Gala with is theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.”While fashion is considered frivolous and superficial to some, it is often a window into society. It can give insight into a culture’s rules, customs, conventions, and rituals. Clothing can also be an important symbol of religious identification. From the hijab to the holy cross, religious apparel and accessories are heavily ingrained is society’s consciousness and have shaped the course of fashion throughout time. Designers, whether they intend to or not, respond to religion in some way.

Jean Paul Gaultier has often looked to religion to inspire his collections. His spring/summer 2007 couture collection was considered an ode to Catholicism, but the first notable occasion of his religious inspiration was his fall/winter 1993 “Chic Rabbis” collection. The collection was inspired by a group of Hasidic Jewish rabbis leaving the New York Public Library. The runway show featured models in long coats, big hats, and curls down the side of their heads. The collection was so controversial at the time that supermodel Christy Turlington later revealed that some audience members booed the collection.

                            Images courtesy of thecut.com and vogue.com, respectively

Often, the influence of religion on fashion is left to interpretation. For his spring/summer 2000 show, Alexander McQueen was inspired by religious conflicts between Christianity and Islam. Models walked the show in a pool of water that represented the Middle East’s oil reserves. Burkas were featured with sequined windows. A model even floated cross-legged with her hands on her knees, referencing both Buddhism and Hinduism. However, no one has influenced fashion, as much s the Catholic Church. (Perhaps, that is because most European designers came from countries where Catholicism is the main Christian faith of that country.) One of John Galliano’s most memorable couture shows was his fall 2000 Dior “Freud or Fetish” collection, which featured a menacing priest who opened the show in what could be the most ostentatious interpretation of a priest’s religious attire to date.

                 Images courtesy of emiunicorn.com and vogue.com, respectively

It was during the second decade of the 21st century that the power of Catholicism began to infuse the collections of many European couture and ready-to-wear collections. Ricardo Tisci’s Madonna-print sweatshirt for Givenchy became one of the brand’s top selling pieces from the spring/summer 2013 collection. References to the Italian Renaissance also began to appear in fashion collections, as well. Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, and Moschino over the past decade have incorporated religious symbolism, often blatantly, into their collections.For its fall 2015 collection, Dolce and Gabbana created a gold corset with a bejeweled sacred heart encrusted in the center. That same season, the collection also featured a floral print dress with images of the Virgin Mary holding an infant Jesus. Their ride on the religion train didn’t end in 2015. In 2017, they created a t-shirt and floral pants suit, with the t-shirt baring the image of a crowned Virgin Mary and an infant Jesus.

           Images courtesy of vogue.com and thebestfashionblog.com, respectively

Versace’s history of using religious iconography dates back to when the legendary Gianni Versace was helming the eponymous brand. In 1997, for his final couture show, just a week before his death, Versace presented a collection of cross-embellished pieces that received rave reviews from critics. It was the collection that Versace would forever be remembered for after his untimely death.In 2012, Gianni’s sister, Donatella, would create a collection that was remarkably similar to Gianni Versace’s 1997 collection. Many of the pieces in this collection, featuring crosses and crucifixes, were left unfinished by Gianni Versace before his death. As fashion journalist Tim Blanks said, “Donatella felt she finally could, as she put it, face her demons.” With her brother’s death almost fifteen years in the past, this was one of Donatella’s biggest homage to her brother.

Unexpectedly, Jeremy Scott, the acclaimed enfant terrible of fashion, also adopted religious iconography for Moschino. In January of 2016 at London Fashion Week Men’s season, Scott held his show inside a church in Mayfair, and was inspired by the work of East London English-Austrian art duo Gilbert and George. The artists are known for their trademark religious cross motifs. Scott interpreted this with bright colors and intricate patterns and incorporated them into his collection.

              Images courtesy of eonline.com, celebmafia.com, and popsugar.com, respectively

Scott didn’t stop there. At the 2018 Met Gala, Scott dressed model Stella Maxwell in a column gown adorned with relief icons of the Virgin Mary. Rapper Cardi B showed up as Scott’s date wearing a beaded, bejeweled floor-length gown custom-made for her baby bump. The dress had long sleeves, a slit up to her left hip, and a scoop neckline, along with a cream-colored train attached by a matching beaded belt. According to E!’s Live coverage of the red carpet, the Moschino look took four weeks to craft. The literal crown jewel of this ensemble was a tri-point hat covered in pearls, rhinestones, and jewels that took three days to make.Don’t think Italians have a monopoly on religious-inspired fashion. Rihanna showed up to this year’s Met Gala literally dressed like the Pope in ecclesiastical-like garments designed by Maison Margiela’s John Galliano. Pop sensation Ariana Grande attended the Met Gala wearing a Vera Wang dress whose pattern was an exact replica of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel masterpiece.

While the influence of religion on society may be an arguable point of view, what is not up for debate is religion’s influence on fashion. Les voies de Dieu sont impenetrables. ( Translated: God works in mysterious ways.)

—Kristopher Fraser

 

For Stephen Belieni Necessity Breeds Innovation

Necessity is the Mother of Invention, or so the old adage goes. Many great innovations develop out of lack in the market or out of some great need. And while this school of thought applies aptly to many great commercial products, rarely do people associate innovations in the fashion industry the result of need. This perspective could be further from the truth.

Coco Chanel’s initial claim to fame came from her unique understanding of the changing role of women and making corset-less garments that appealed to women, providing more freedom of movement. Christian Dior realized that the post-war woman was tired of boxy, dour clothes and wanted more glamour that flattered the feminine silhouette. And the founders of FUBU understood that as hip-hop culture was gaining popularity worldwide there was a need for clothes that reflected that culture on a mass scale.

Footwear designer Stephen Belieni is meeting such a demand in the fashion industry. “What attracted me to start my own brand, Belieni, was that I have large feet and I was frustrated with the lack of a nice sneaker that was in my size. Most of the more stylish sneakers that are for men with larger feet are from Europe, and more specifically from Spain, but they stop at about a size 13. With that in mind, the consumer is stuck with one, maybe two, of the major footwear brands, and most of those are more upscale and dressy, not casual street style sneaks. If you go outside of those limited options, you are going to pay upward of $1000,” explained Belieni.

That said; style at an affordable price is a tag line that lots of brands proffer; however, for Stephen Belieni’s Calibre V1 sneakers style and affordable are dead on with the truth being in the product. “Our price points are $450 for our smaller sized high tops that are for women and $575 for high tops for men. I want to stay competitive. Our consumer is looking quality materials and detailed stitching at a price point that is under a luxury price,” details Belieni.And when it comes to style, the Calibre V1 has a unique signature stamp that sets it a part from other sneaker brands. CalibreV1 is handcrafted in Italy by master artisans and features fine, hand-tanned Napa leather, sheep’s leather, and ethically sourced natural materials. “One thing that sets us a part is that we offer larger sizes. Also, we are staying with a clean classy look, very little embellishment or jewels and rhinestones that are trending right now, but may not have a lasting appeal. Our sneakers are timeless. We are not knocking off another footwear designers aesthetics, our design aesthetic is uniquely our own. Our DNA will be unique and not what everyone else is doing,” comments Belieni.

Additionally, you cannot go wrong when you name your sneaker brand after a Cartier watch. “I got the name from a type of Cartier watch. Some of the watches have a social and cultural movement around them. I love the details on those watches and I was inspired by those details that you will find evidenced in some of details of my Calibre V1 shoes, particularly the straps.”

Still, to survive in an over-saturated footwear market, a shoe brands needs something special. “What makes us unique from other shoe brands is the quilted aesthetic that is a part of our design DNA. It is an elegant look with the quilted, stitched patterns on the shoe that embodies luxury and excellence that can be noticed at a distance. If you have ever been in a luxury European sports car, you will find that some stitched, quilted accents can be found on the seat panels and dashboard. We want that same kind of elegance for the Calibre V1 sneaker,” continues Belieni.

                                            Images courtesy of The Anderson Group

And survive Belieni footwear will!! And the futuristic, paint-splashed, bespeckled design aesthetic on the soles of the sneaks demonstrates that Stephen Belieni is projecting market traction into the future. May the force be with you!!For more information, go to belieni.com.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Blake Patterson Has Found a Winner in 90s Street Style, Logos and Political Satire

                                          Images courtesy of TRC Associates

Fashion can make a political statement. There is no debate there. However, the verdict is still out whether fashion can start a political movement or give rise to a cultural phenomenon. But, that is not what Blake Patterson is trying to do.

Since his appearance on “Project Runway: Season 14, Blake Patterson has been very busy. Patterson launched his eponymous fashion line in 2016,focusing on luxury custom-made garments for both men and women. He was also the wardrobe stylist for the upcoming Kim Bass independent film “HeadShop.” I am very excited for “HeadShop” to come out.”[Headshop]” It is a very interesting, funny, thought-provoking film that deals with gentrification, ethnicity and self- awareness … I had to design and make seven couture African-themed outfits for Arden Myrin’s character in a small amount of time. But I pulled it off, and Kim Bass was so great to work with. I also designed the wardrobe for Evan Ross’ character in “HeadShop,” explains Patterson.

                   Blake Patterson “Project Runway” image courtesy of heavy.com

But “HeadShop” is not the only project that has captured Blake Patterson’s attention. Understanding that fashion can enhance and promote cultural and political conversations, Patterson has put his creative genius to work, creating a capsule collection—The Putin Capsule Collection—that is both controversial, consumer-friendly with a satirical edge.“With this capsule collection, I wanted to take something that is very controversial— right now Vladimir Putin—that would spark conversation and make people think. And in addition to the controversial nature of this capsule collection, the garments are very wearable.” We are talking about a fully rounded capsule collection that includes hoodies, luxurious seasonal tees, a cotton unisex sweatshirt, and a phone case for I-Phone 6/7.

Though the satirical nature of this capsule collection might be lost on dyed-in-the-wool, stodgy conservatives, one thing speaks loud and clear, Blake Patterson is not afraid of taking risks. “I kind of like that people would have a negative and positive reaction. I think it makes the capsule collection more interesting by making people think and feel a little uncomfortable,” details Patterson. “If you are going to start a wave, I think it is my responsibility as a fashion designer to spark conversation, make people think and reconsider things.”

                                  Images courtesy of TRC Associates

In this ‘East meets West’ capsule collection, Patterson is also incorporating the current trend of logo embellishment with a 90s street wear sensibility. Interestingly, these trends are front and center in the spring 2018 collections of Versace, Missoni, Balenciaga, Gucci, Burberry, and a host of other luxury brands. “Street wear is a lot more mainstream now as compared to 20 years ago, and the kind of controversial risk I am taking by using Vladimir Putin as a logo image and reference choice would not have happened in the 90s. The 90s trends are definitely experiencing a resurgence; however, millennial designers are taking more risk and not being so focused on what has worked in the past, coming up with new directions and business models. In a saturated market, it is so important to set your brand apart from other brands,” concedes Patterson.

Keeping a fashion line relevant in an over-saturated retail market is the challenge, and Blake Patterson appears to be equipped to survive the vicissitudes of the fashion industry, no matter how rough and unpredictable the waters are. “You have to keep hustling. I really love what I do, so I am going, going, fueled by my passion for fashion.” Now, that’s a plan that works!! Not bad from a kid from Ohio.

The Putin Capsule Collection is now available on TeeSpring.

—William S. Gooch

New York International Bridal Week Spring 2019 Pre-Coverage

                                 Image courtesy of pronovias.com

As of 2015, the bridal market globally is estimated to be valued at 300 billion dollars with the US share of that market valued at $55 billion dollars. And according to strategy.com, “the global market for [bridal wear] is projected to exceed US$73 billion by 2024, sustained by the continued faith in the religious sanctity of marriage even amid the rapidly emerging divide in cultural values, changing patterns in family life and altering ideas of love, intimacy and contemporary marital practices.”That said; change is fashion’s constant bedfellow, and where that change is felt so strongly in a shrinking retail climate, adversely affecting ready-to-wear collections and fashion brands with brick and mortar stores closing at a record pace, change is fueling the bridal wear market’s growth and innovation. The bridal wear market is not only surviving the chameleon-like nature and whimsical tastes of modern consumers, but is finding ways to excel, evolve, and grow.

                                             Images courtesy of fashionisers.com

From April 12-April 16, New York International Bridal Week will take place in New York City. Fashion Reverie is primed and ready to bring its viewers complete bridal coverage. For the spring 2019 bridal season, which will be highlighted during New York International Bridal Week, Fashion Reverie will be reviewing some bridal brands for the first time—Watters, Morilee, Claire Pettibone, and Alon Livine White. This coverage will include bridal beauty and accessories. And new this season Fashion Reverie will be co-sponsoring a bridal beauty event with Radiance Aesthetics and Wellness Spa at Panache NY Bridal Showroom on April 11 as a run-up to New York International Bridal Week.—Staff

In Memoriam: Amsale Aberra

                                        Image courtesy of vogue.com

The fashion industry mourns the loss of bridal designer Amsale Aberra. Just a week before New York International Bridal Week, Amsale Aberra passed away from uterine cancer.A native of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Amsale Aberra was educated at Boston State College earning a degree in Political Science. Later Amsale received an Associate Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology, launching her signature bridal collection in 1985. As a woman of color whose bridal collections grew into a major international bridal brand, Amsale Aberra was one the first bridal designers that stripped away the over-embellished frills from bridal gowns, abandoning layers and layers of tulle, lace and beading and opting for a minimalistic ‘less is more’ aesthetic that reflected the individual mood of the bride.

beach wedding dresses

                     Images courtesy of hitchedsalon.com and beautyandthedirt.com

Prior to Amsale’s bridal collections, most bridal collections leaned toward ball gown-like costumes, sweet ingénue silhouettes, or modern Disney royalty. Amsale offered modern brides silhouettes that were centered on restraint, fashion-forward sensibility and individual charm.Located in New York’s Garment District, Amsale’s bridal silhouettes soon garnered traction in the bridal industry and later expanded her collections to include bridesmaids’ garments and ready-to-wear evening clothes. Later in her career, Amsale became the creative director of bridal brands Christos, spinning off a more youthful line that included more embellishment and luxurious fabrications of her Amsale namesake, Kenneth Pool, while maintaining her eponymous line Amsale.

                                                    Images courtesy of fashionreverie.com

Margo Lafontaine, who served as senior studio director for Vera Wang for 12 years will take over design responsibilities at Amsale. “Working side by side, we spent 360 degrees of our time together, I know only too well both her creative genius and infinite goodness,” said Lafontaine in a washingtonpost.com article.Amsale Aberra dressed celebrities Halle Berry and Salma Hayek for their weddings and Julia Roberts in the film “Runway Bride.” She is also the recipient of the 2012 Legacy Award at Black Enterprise’s Women of Power Summit.

                              Image courtesy of Groupdress.com

The Amsale brand will continue to maintain her bridal store on Madison Avenue and will present its fall 2019 bridal collection during New York International Bridal Week on April 13. Amsale Aberra transitioned on April 1 and was 64 years of age.—William S. Gooch

Swarovski Lights up the 90th Academy Awards

                                          MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

Whenever Swarovski hits the red carpet, everyone stands up and takes notice. For the 90th Academy Awards Swarovski light up the proscenium arch of the stage of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with 45 million crystals. This marks the 11th time that Swarovski has illuminated the stage of the Academy Awards with this being the 6th year production designer Derek Lane has incorporated Swarovski crystals throughout the Academy Awards’ show.

“We are proud to collaborate with Oscars production designer Derek McLane to help execute his vision for this momentous 90th anniversary. For generations, Swarovski has demonstrated a dedication to the arts, film, costume designers, architecture and fashion. We strive for symbiotic partnerships and our 11 years illuminating the Oscars stage has been extraordinarily meaningful,” explained Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Swarovski Executive Board.

Key features of this year’s Oscars set design included: a brand-new proscenium; the return of the beloved floating Oscars; and a signature back.  The most intricate and bold proscenium created by Swarovski to-date, this year’s design required 45 million crystals, which is 40 times more crystals than the past 10 years combined. From concept to completion, the elaborate set design required more than 3,250 hours to fabricate over four weeks, with 32 people working across different facets of the project. The impressive design weighs 15,500 pounds. Swarovski crystals also adorned the floating Oscars, the stage curtain and box seats to create a shimmery atmosphere throughout the space.

                                   Images courtesy of Getty Images/Frazer Harrison

In addition to decorating the proscenium arch at the Dolby Theatre, Swarovski lit up the red carpet with Laura Dern donning earrings and a ring from the Atelier Swarovski Fine Jewelry Collection. Founded in 1895 by Daniel Swarovski and financier Armand Kosman and Franz Weis, the company established a crystal-cutting factory in Wattens, Austria. The goal of Daniel Swarovski was to make “a diamond for everyone” by making crystals affordable.—Staff

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