Francesca Miranda Bridal Spring 2018

Francesca_Miranda_Bridal_Spring_2017The awakening of spring and the abundance of pink foliage that for Francesca Miranda represents femininity, individuality, and romance inspired Colombian-based designer. This unapologetically “girly” bridal collection included 17 bridal styles in a wide range of silhouettes that featured handmade floral appliques, custom laces, Swarovski and Murano crystal embellishments, silk jacquard, and layers of tulle.

The “girly” and over-embellished design aesthetic in this collection in an organic response to bridal that many South American bridal designers easily employ. The “less is more” design aesthetic is a design motif that sits more comfortably with Northern European and some American bridal designers. Mediterranean and warmer climate designers tend to find their oeuvre in a bridal aesthetic that embraces more of an explosion of ideas.

Collages1308Interestingly, Miranda is kind of in the middle of the bridal design spectrum. Though there were the more classic, traditional silhouettes—trumpet, tea-length, mermaid, and empire—Miranda also pushed the bridal silhouette envelope to include a caftan silhouette, A-line silhouette, and a loose organza top with cropped pants.

Collages1309And these 17 bridal styles, though beautiful and are much needed, fashion-forward additions, for most bridal consumers will remain fantasy considerations, ending up mostly in bridal editorials. Still, the bridal market needs these bridal out-of-the-box inclusions in order to keep the bridal market from stagnating; something that unfortunately has happened in the ready-to-wear market.

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Images courtesy of Dan Lecca

Of the 17 bridal styles in Miranda’s spring 2018 bridal collection there were some standouts. These standouts included Miranda’s long sleeve A-line gown with lace bodice and silk organza skirt featuring hand-embroidered floral appliques, long sleeve Guipure lace V-neck caftan embellished with Murano crystals, pleated blush organza midi dress with illusion neckline and hand-embroidered organza flowers, tulle trumpet gown featuring hand-embroidered lace appliques and Swarovski crystals and organza cape, and strapless tea-length ball gown in unique silk jacquard win a Lurex metallic finish.

—William S. Gooch

THEIA Bridal Spring 2018

Theia_Spring_2018For THEIA Bridal’s spring 2018 collection, pearls were the focal point for creative director Don O’Neill.  “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.”

Pearls have a unique property, symbolizing strength of spirit, integrity and purity, along with the calming effect of balancing karma. This very sublime and spiritually focused inspiration very much correlates the design DNA of THEIA. THEIA in Greek mythology was the goddess of light and pearls reflect light in a unique way. With the variety of pearls that are found on the planet, from white sea pearls to grey, black, grey blue to blush pink pearls, this treasured gem has its own candescence that separates it from other gems.

Collages1258For the last couple of seasons, THEIA has moved away from the out-of-the box, avant-garde bridal designs that set the brand apart from other brands on the market. THEIA, in an attempt, to have more market viability in a very crowded market has gone back to its core DNA, creating bridal garments that are light, accessible and luminous. Some may not think this is a good thing; however, market dictates are forcing more bridal brands to readjust their creative projects to reflect a stagnating market.

 Collages1260Giving a nod to brides that want more options, for spring 2018 Don O’Neill is giving his bridal customer more options. Several of the gowns in this collection had interchangeable slip linings, allowing his customer to choose ivory, blush, cloud blue, or nude.


Standout looks in the collection included the alabaster crepe gown with cold shoulder sleeves, white Alencon lace off-the-shoulder gown with bell sleeves, ivory slip gown hand-embroidered with pearls and Swarovski crystals, and smoke crystal and pearl hand-embroidered V-neck gown.

—William S. Gooch

Uniqlo Fall 2017: Celebrating Everyday Life

Collages1245No longer brand that is solidly in the category of affordable wardrobe staples that can be mixed and matched with what is already in consumer’s wardrobe, for the past few seasons Uniqlo has put a strong emphasis on updated classics that employs new technology and has a fashion-forward sensibility. And this season, Uniqlo pushes it revamped aesthetic even further by expanding into territory, lifewear.

That’s right, you were correct the first time, lifewear. Understanding that the modern consumer has an extremely busy lifestyle, juggling several things at one day with very little downtime throughout their day, Uniqlo for fall 2017 in incorporating clothing that casual and employ effortless ease of movement combined with sharp silhouettes and a fashion sensibility.

You may ask how these two polar opposites compliment each other? In the Uniqlo world, they do. From the brand’s downtown aesthetic to urban casual to updated classics to its sportswear aesthetic, Uniqlo is poised to reinvent the fashion industry’s take on modern dressing.

Uniqlo_Fall_2017Uniqlo’s downtown aesthetic is a mix of gritty sophistication with an updated monochrome palette of black, white and dark olive. These are pieces that break out of the niche and offer loose proportions with slim, sharp silhouettes. It’s a deeply considered, polished approach without being too stuffy. Here, size and scale is cropped or oversized—an unexpected sense of artistic playfulness. Utilizing advanced “3-D U Knit” technologies take on a sculptural quality that is comfortable. The assortment’s mix of synthetic and natural fabrics—faux leather and wool, nylon mixed with cottons and velvet—ormulate textures that feel classic, but look totally anew.

A more casual take on city-life dressing rooted in the benchmark of modern style: denim. Variations on classic denim jeans and relaxed denim button-down shirts are paired with other iconic wardrobe staples, including iconic khaki pants and cool hooded sweatshirts. Easy parka down jackets are meant to be slung over reimagined fleece zip-ups and buttery flannels. In keeping with the infectious energy of the city, this assortment includes recurring collaborations with Keith Haring and Mickey Mouse.

Collages1244Uniqlo’s updated classis is a worldly blend of luxury and function. Think an earth-based palette of camels, whites and rich creams paired with high-end fabrics like faux sheepskin, corduroy, and a darker more-structured unwashed denim. Wardrobe classics with bold risks: elegant trenches, blended wool chester overcoats, and structured denim pants are given a fresh spin without losing their timeless appeal.

Uniqlo’s sportswear this season is a seamless blend of advanced technical capabilities and sleek sports styles. A mix-and-match multi-functional sense of dressing that is effortless and practical. Go on an evening run or to the office in the new ultra light-down seamless jacket paired with new warm easy skirts or block tech warm-lined pants.

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

Images courtesy of Uniqlo

For those consumers who have loved Ines de la Fressange’s collaboration with Uniqlo, Fressange is back with an expanded collaboration with the brand that includes menswear. “Fressange’s aesthetic downtown chic meets Parisian sophistication works well for the direction that Uniqlo is heading. Her fabric choices also work well for the brand, and now her branch off into creating menswear and other androgynous points of view fits into the model of Uniqlo’s take on life wear collections, explained Natalie Harewood, Market Manager, Uniqlo USA. “Uniqlo has a strong menswear base and for Ines a lot of her looks are quite androgynous in a positive way, so why not expand that into menswear.”

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Bibhu Mohapatra Fall 2017

Bibhu_Mohapatra_Fall_2017The character Vanda from the David Ives’ play “Venus in Fur” was inspiration for Bibhu Mohapatra’s fall 2017 collection. In the play, Vanda, an actress, gains dominance of the director of the play she is starring in. Though she seemed wrong in the part initially, after much introspection and rehearsal not only triumphs in the role, she also triumphs over her critics and the play’s director.

“The play was written in a time where there was vast inequality between men and women. I am celebrating the power of women and their individuality, and a woman’s power of not being defined by men,” explains Bibhu Mohapatra.  “This collection is also dedicated to all the women who have shaped me in my life. These women come from all parts of the world in different shapes and sizes. Each look in the collection represents all the women who have had an influence on my life.”

Collages1161This very empowered woman is a central character in many of Bibhu Mohapatra’s collections. For over a decade Mohapatra has created collections that appeal to self-assured women, and in this outing Mohapatra reflects that empowered woman, even reaching back to India and the powerful women who fought side by side with Indian men for India’s independence from the British Empire.

This very empowered woman is reflected in own choice of style and taste. Mohapatra’s woman is not dressing for a man, but is dressing for herself. Based on that premise there are very few form-fitting silhouettes in this collection. Still, the Mohapatra women is sensual and eye-catching, (Remember, nothing is sexier than self confidence.)

Collages1162This season Mohapatra chose to take the length of his skirts and cocktail dresses, for the most part, right below the knee. Shoulders are very defined with restrained volume and padding, and the silhouettes, though essentially feminine, denote power and authority. And Mohapatra’s one-shoulder reveal in several of the looks is absolutely ingenious and divine, revealing just enough to keep onlookers intrigued.

The surge of Indian nationalism at that historic moment is reflected in the color palette in this collection. “The colors of green and burnt orang which is used in this collection have a huge meaning for me. Orange, green and white were the colors of the India flag when India got its independence from Great Britain. I remember as a kid going on the August 15 Independence Day March, so those colors really spoke to me,” detailed Mohapatra.

Collages1164Believing that fashion is a microcosm of everyday life, Mohapatra in this collection is creating garments that go beyond fantasy, giving a nod to how the elegant, assured woman lives and wants to dress. “Artists have always been known to be on the cutting edge of a revolution with their artistry and craft. Sometimes, they get reprimanded for their artistic rebellion; however, artists always raise their voices. That is what I am trying to do with my fashion art. Many are taking to the streets in revolt and I am doing the same thing through my craft.”

Images courtesy of IndigitalTV/

Images courtesy of IndigitalTV/

Standout looks in the collection, and there are many, include the brand’s mosaic jacquard top with peak sleeves under asymmetrical satin and silk velvet dress, mosaic jacquard and crepe dress with exposed shoulders, smoke pink gold flake embroidery top with mosaic pleated skirt and black mink, and pale gold cosmic embroidered ivory tulle gown.

—William S. Gooch

Vivienne Tam Fall 2017

Vivienne_Tam_Fall_2017Vivienne Tam’s fall 2017 collection was off the beaten path for Tam’s penchant for layering unisex looks with mild colors. Though Tam’s oeuvre for layering and mixing and matching was still in place, Tam employed more sophistication and panache this season.

This season Vivienne’s imagination took her to Hong Kong nightlife. Hong Kong has a very active nightlife, a nightlife that for three decades has been a go-to destination for night revelers. With its many bright lights and Western influences, Hong Kong  has long been a melting pot of the confluences of Far East and Western cultures. With that in mind, Tam’s fall 2017 collection aptly expressed that East meets West blend of cultures seen through the lens of Hong Kong’s nightlife.

Collages1169Tam’s line consisted of fashion forward, disco-inspired clothes with amazing embellishments of sequins and metallic fabrics. Unfortunately, Tam’s mixture of bright color combinations and with sequin overlays, almost like a 3D moving part didn’t always work; however, for a night out on the town Tam’s sequined silver bomber jacket with a sheer elongated top and jeans—Tam loves a bomber jacket—can offer a modern, fresh look compared to the usual skintight, form-hugging dresses normally seen at nightclubs.

Collages1170Tam should be credited for risk taking, always combining sheers with heavy textures and somehow it usually works. Even Tam’s mixture of colored sequins on one dress seemed to present a more contemporary look than 1970s looks from those who were habitués at discos every weekend. Additionally, Tam’s use of ruching and draping, ever present in this collections pants, skirts and dresses, was a gentle nod to Madame Gres. Instead of giving the collection a vintage look, Tam ingeniously found a modern take of draping and ruching that would appeal to a younger audience.

Images courtesy of Umberto Fratini/

Images courtesy of Umberto Fratini/

With Tam’s ‘Hong Kong City of Lights’ design motif Tam transformed simple designs into special pieces that can be worn over street clothes. This dissimilar combination was a new way of presenting the current trend of shimmery, shiny metallics that was prevalent in other collections all season. And by mix and matching metallic with everyday staples, Tam continues to forge a fashion path in the ever-present, all consuming youth demographic.

—Rosemary Ponzo


The Blonds Fall 2017

The_Blonds_Fall_2017This season The Blonds moved beyond garments that primarily function as performance or stage garments for some of the decade’s most popular and stage artists. (Think Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Madonna, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, and Katy Perry.) Though the design duo has attempted to create collections that could be more red carpet or appeal to that fashionista party girl, they duo has never quite achieved this particular projection until the fall 2017collection. And The Blonds achieved their goal in a big way.

Inspired by Universal Pictures’ remake of “The Mummy,” The Blonds created a fashion narrative of a princess whose destiny is aborted by her untimely death and is brought back to life in modern times. We see this princess evolved from a fantasy figure into a real-time powerful woman. The Blonds also play special attention to the dual nature of the protagonist evidenced in diaphanous sheer fabrics embellished with crystals and sequins juxtaposed against The Blonds signature look of architectural, structured corsets.

Collages1131The Blonds’ re-imagined princess has both hard and soft aspects to her personality. She is powerful and fragile; sexy and sophisticated; bold and demure, all the qualities that the modern woman has successfully melded into her own persona.

Though this fall 2017 collection is still very MTV Awards and stage wardrobe–focused, there are several looks that could work on the red carpet or other special events. And the return of supermodel Stacey Mckenzie to the New York Fashion Week runway was an unexpected and welcome addition to the show. (If only some of younger models had her sass and pizazz on the runway!!)

Images courtesy of Lecca/EB Consults

Images courtesy of Lecca/EB Consults

Standout looks in the collection include, but are not limited to the brand’s cobalt corset with ombré ostrich feathers, distressed denim, and pearl detail, Dunes distressed denim jeans with ombré ostrich feather and pearl detail paired with crystal and pearl neck piece, blond flare crystal mesh with burnout lace and crystal detail with black velvet bomber with black ostrich feather hood, and black mesh bodysuit with crystal detail.

—William S. Gooch

Katty Xiomara Fall 2017

Collages1201Over 450 designers/brands show collections during New York Fashion Week. With so many brands showing new collections, it is a challenge for a small, boutique brand to distinguish itself from the over abundance of collections. Not only is it dizzying for industry professional, bustling from show to show, it is also a task for industry professionals to remember what they may have just witnessed unless a brand has found a way to set itself apart.

Some brands get around this by scheduling their fashion presentations a few days before fashion week, others try gimmicks, some fashion brands just present their best. Katty Xiomara did the latter!!

Katty_Xiomara_Fall_2017For a few seasons Katty Xiomara has established that it’s signature design DNA is fun, flirty, feminine looks with a bit of a twist. For fall 2017 Xiomara re-established this signature look and took it further.

For fall 2017 Xiomara’s fun, feminine looks were more sophisticated with garments that dressed her customer at her jointure of her day. In other words, Xiomara’s girl has grown into a full-fledged woman with a distinctive style.

Images courtesy of Mao PR

Images courtesy of Mao PR

At times there were too many ideas in certain pieces, but overall Katty Xiomara rendered a collection that was cohesive, consumer friendly and very accessible. And her polka-dot aesthetic was used in ways that polka dots have never been presented. There were polka dots combined with satin, organza, knits, and chiffon. And though polka dots are thought of as a spring/summer design choice, Xiomara made polka dots work for fall/winter. That is an accomplishment in itself.

Xiomara also employed some of the current trends from crush velvet to ruffles to shimmer and sparkle elements. And color palettes ranged from rust orange, rose pink, and ecru to deep ocean blue and tan.

Katty Xiomara should keep going in this direction. If so, there are more bright moments ahead!!

—William S. Gooch

Miguel Vieira Fall 2017

 Miguel_Vieira_Fall_20172Miguel Vieira does not invent the wheel with his fall 2017 collection. But what he does do is give consumers a more expanded way of looking at neutral, monochromatic garments for the urban dweller.

Miguel Vieira returned to New York Fashion Week: The Shows (NYFWS) after his welcomed debut season last September. For fall 2017, Vieira made some interesting changes. One of the most notable changes was Vieira inclusion of models of color in his lineup this season. Models of color were notably absent in Vieira’s spring 2017 collection that was surprising in that Vieira regularly uses models of color in most of the brand’s campaign. Someone must have tipped Vieira that in an international fashion capital like New York City an all-white model lineup is a no-go.

Miguel_Vieira_Fall_20171That said; this fall 2017 collection demonstrated that Vieira has his fingers on the pulse of how the sophisticated urban city dweller likes to dress. Though Vieira’s menswear was a bit more consumer friendly and accessible than the women’s wear, there were many women’s separates in the collection that could be paired and mixed and matched with garments already in female consumers’ wardrobes.

Collages1173When it comes to the menswear garments, practically each garment was chic, very well constructed and classically relevant enough to appeal to a wide range of male consumers. And his employ of black jackets and slacks with white stripes—a design motif that popped up in different forms throughout the collection—added a fashion-forward touch to many of the men’s garments that induced youthful vibrancy and viability without trying too hard.

Collages1174For the women’s garments, Vieira played with marrying soft and hard elements. In some ensembles the jacket might be architectural while the skirts or slacks might employ a light fabrication and flow easily against the body. Though the women’s garments had less of an impact on the runway, most pieces were elegant, modern with a wide appeal demographically. And the lacy black garments at the end of the show were interesting twist on the modern city woman might choose to dress for a night out on the town.

Images courtesy of Mao PR

Images courtesy of Mao PR

Vieira demonstrated in this collection that the urban dweller, regardless of the gender, should be sophisticated, current and incredibly chic—with little nod to street wear vibe thrown in—without appearing severe, hard and unapproachable.

—William S. Gooch

Son Jung Wan Fall 2017

Son_Jung_Wan_Fall_2017Song Jung Wan’s collections have always been part costume and part fashion-forward projections. And that is a good thing when it comes to Wan’s fall 2017 collection, well; for the most part. As a always there are a lot of ideas in Wan’s fall 2017 collection, but unlike some previous collections, there were a lot of more wearable pieces in this collection.

The oversized silhouettes of the 1980s were used as inspiration for Son Jung Wan’s fall 2017 collection. (Think the glitter and glam of the “greed is good” era.) All this over-exaggeration is seen through Wan’s kaleidoscope of color, mixed textures and fabrications.

Collages1211Interestingly, Wan’s reference to glitz and glam of the 1980s melds beautifully with this season’s metallic trend and trend of spark and shine. Still, Wan does not begin and stop there, Wan supplements the glitz and glam trend with the velvet trend, oversized furs, fur embellishments, oversized coats with padded shoulders and flared skinny pants.

Collages1212The color palette this season ranged from lipstick red, punch pink to gold white, fawn beige to turquoise blue green, and sepia. While some of the bold, handcrafted knit details—which the brand is known for—didn’t mix well with some of the other fabrications in this collection, Wan this season, as opposed to other season—did deliver some garments that had actual retail value and would appeal to consumers beyond its core base.

Collages1213Still, similar to previous outings, Son Jung Wan continues to be plagued by too many ideas in this fall 2017 outing. If Wan could adapt a ‘less is more’ design aesthetic, his garments would have a much wider appeal. Then again, perhaps Wan is not looking for more market viability, content with the brand’s current audience.

Images courtesy of

Images courtesy of

Standout looks in the collection include dark blue velvet jumpsuit, burgundy silk dress with burgundy pants, men’s grey stripe jacket, beige and gold wool jumpsuit, and men’s lamb white fur coat with beige wool vest and white cold jacquard pants.

—William S. Gooch

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