AKNVAS Fall 2024

For this New York Fashion Week (NYFW), AKNVAS has again shown a testament to artistic inspiration and timeless elegance. From tactile knitwear infused with playful Pom Pom details, honoring Richard Artschwager’s enigmatic art, to faux fur pieces mirroring the ethereal charm of John Currin’s paintings, even the finest detail of the threads tells a story of creativity and culture. Under the vision of Christian Juul Nielsen, AKNVAS unveiled a compelling portrayal inspired by a recent journey to Rome.

AKNVAS founder, Christian Jull Neilsen, says this collection represents “A voyage between La Galleria Nazionale in Rome and John Currin’s emotional portraits.”

Nielsen’s vision extends further to the vibrant atmosphere of the Chelsea galleries in New York City, drawing inspiration from the emotive portraits by John Currin. Adding another layer of architectural homage, column shapes emerge throughout the collection, mirroring the grandeur of Roman columns. These structural elements adorn garments, offering a sculptural dimension that echoes the iconic architecture of the ancient city. Textures include stone-washed denim flowers inspired by Hellenistic statues, gold details echoing the palazzos of Rome, and new faux furs that bring the portraits of John Currin to life. This artistic reference adds depth to the collection, juxtaposing the historical richness of Rome with contemporary notions of femininity and desire.

Textures are always key to the soul of AKNVAS, this season the textures are experienced in elongated cable knit pencil skirts, wool pon pons, and fringe decorating knit styles on both oversized sweaters and body-con rib dresses. This collection seamlessly incorporates minimal tailoring in pinstripe fabrics and stone-washed denim, echoing the AKNVAS signature of clean lines and subtle details. On top of that, 3D flowers bloom in stone-washed denim and crochet, capturing the essence of an enchanted Roman garden.

Images courtesy of AKNVAS

Finally, draped sequin dresses pay tribute to Rome and Currin’s artistry, embodying the grandeur of Roman architecture and the emotive brushstrokes of Currin’s masterpieces. These concepts evoke a meaningful narrative of beauty, craftsmanship, and timeless appeal.

Lauren Pierre Louis

Libertine Fall 2024

Day One of New York Fashion Week (NYFW) kicked off with a bang! Libertine, a luxury ready- to-wear brand unveiled their fall 2024 collections for men and women. With lines stretching down the block full of industry professionals and influencers trying to get into the Starrett-Lehigh, Fashion Reverie expected an exciting show!!

 Libertine creative designer Johnson Hartig did not disappoint. The collection was filled with luxurious details. The runway was awash in sequins, colorful flowers, black and white checkered pants, and veiled headbands. Also incorporated into this collection is one of Fashion Reverie’s favorites, the embellishment trend. Vibrant colors, lively prints and crystal embroidery reigned supreme.

Hartig drew inspiration, through deep hypnosis sessions, from the lives of creatives Jean Cocteau, Mary Quant, Peggy Guggenheim, and Lord Bryon emerged! The designer says, “Peggy Guggenheim emerged three times, suggesting a strong kinship between them while expressing a desire to wear Libertine and jazz it up a bit.”

Embellished blazers and graphic prints are what the brand is known for, and the DNA aesthetic of Libertine allows consumers to go from daytime to nighttime in the same look!  And there are lots of buttons on garments in this fall 2024 as is true to the brand DNA of Libertine. However, this season the decorative buttons have a historical reference. These buttons heavily adorn coats and sunglasses, and in some cases, reference the iconic Peggy Guggenheim who always wore signature sunglasses.

In addition to historically referenced buttons, Hartig took lines from Byron’s 1816 poem “Darkness,” placing those lines on black on ivory and ivory on black suits and coats. These prints, so to speak, also contain images of Hartig, friends, dogs and the personal belongings of the Libertine staff.

Images courtesy of Libertine

True to form this fall 2024 collection is an assemblage of several reference points, but it all miraculously comes to gather in a cohesiveness that is unique to Hartig. Bravo Johnson!!

Renessta Olds

Givenchy Men’s Fall 2024

Like many fashion brands this season, Givenchy looks to redefine and reinvent masculinity.  Givenchy Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli wants to reinterpret masculine silhouettes as a tool in dismantling machoism and toxic masculinity. And his fall 2024 men’s collection reflects this sentiment.

In previous collections Piccioli was heavily influenced by youth culture, resulting in a more casual and ease of movement collection. That point of view was evident in the brand’s fall 2024 collection with Piccioli looking to reinvent the traditional men’s suit.

Instead of the ‘Brooks Brother-like’ suit in neutral tones with a skinny tie and white dress shirt, Piccioli redefined men’s suiting by taking streetwear/urban looks—hoodies, denim, oversized pants, and tracksuits—and creating those urban-inspired garments in luxury, soft fabrics, with chiffon linings and more feminine, rounded shapes. And Piccioli’s perspective on a softer masculinity works!!

This fall 2024 men’s collection proves that Piccioli has his fingers on the pulse of what young consumers want, even if some consumers don’t know that they want to go in this direction. No longer do young male consumers seek to affirm their masculine swagger with looks that are overtly masculine. As demographics shift and change, and cultures adapt and redefine themselves, so have male consumers.

And while some menswear brands and collections are struggling to keep up with this expansion of masculinity, other brands, like Givenchy, are already ahead of the curve. Piccioli sensitivity to changing perceptions is evidenced in a much more global approach to masculinity, taking this fall 2024 collection out of the limitations of how the Western world experience a menswear aesthetic.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Though this collection is heavy on neutral tones—dark blues, black, greys, and white—there are some pops of color. And Piccioli keeps the clean, sleek lines that his design aesthetic is known for while pushing this collection into the next iteration of menswear. His customers will be very pleased.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

Balmain Men’s Fall 2024

Change is inevitable, it is a constant that is very dependable. And no industry reflects more than the fashion industry.

Still, change in the fashion industry usually appears in the form of new models, fashion brands that go in and out of style, or design silhouettes or styles that are no longer trending. Rarely does change in the fashion industry reflect a change in demographics or a beauty evolution.

Olivier Rousteing’s fall 2024 men’s collection for Balmain reflects that type of readjustment. And the change or readjustment in fashion is already here, not projection toward what future holds.

 The most obvious expression of this change is Rousteing’s expansion of masculinity for the Balmain male consumer. Rousteing has always provided his male customer with beaded leather jackets, bold color, binary silhouettes, and glitz and glam. Consider his fall 2017 collection inspired by Queen with a medley of Queen’s greatest hits as the backdrop for the fall 2017 runway show.

In this outing, Rousteing expands his penchant for reimagining masculinity as seen through the lens of modernity and what some adventurous male consumers want to present in the world. That male consumer does not have a retiring presence or seeks to blend in. This consumer is bold, risk-taking, and extremely confident.

For that type of male consumer, this loud—but not ostentatious—collection more than fits the prescription. Yet, Rousteing, following the directive of iconic fashion editor Diana Vreeland, had a lot of next in this collection. In fact, at times, there is more next than now. Still, we need that right now in fashion. Collections that push the proverbial fashion envelope more than making consumers comfortable with their ideas of how they want to dress, giving them something to aim for.

What also stands out in this fall 2024 collection is how Rousteing realized several African themes in this outing. In the middle of the runway show there was a homage to Congo’s sartorial cult, the sapeurs.

There was also a print collaboration with Accra based Prince Gyasi. The Prince Gyasi image was screen printed on clothing, making for an interesting mix of pop art and expanded masculine silhouettes. Additionally, Rousteing used Cameroonian Ibby Njoya collaborative art on suitcases and other travel luggage.

Still, these infusions were not the only things that pushed this fall 2024 collection into the stratosphere. There was huge African and Asian model presence in this runway show. While in the past five years we have experienced a much larger model of color presence on runways and in fashion campaigns, Rousteing pushed that presence even further.

Images courtesy of Daniele Oberrauch/gorunway.com

Add to this expanded model of color experience, Rousteing employed wonderful high-waisted pants and padded shoulders married with an explosions color. And with Naomi Campbell closing the show in a padded beige cashmere coat with a surrealist belt whose fastening was two hands clasped to hold a golden bouquet of golden flowers, we assured that change and a new era is already here!!

—William S. Gooch

Louis Vuitton Men’s Fall 2024

For his second men’s fall 2024 collection for Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams looked to American indigenous cultures and the American cowboy for inspiration. Similar to Williams’ debut collection, Williams’ is diligently putting his own personal stamp on the historic French luxury house.

By injecting American themes into his Louis Vuitton men’s collections, Williams is making a dramatic statement of his intention of redefining Louis Vuitton’s men’s collection as a luxury menswear line that is reinterpretation luxury for the modern consumer and as a brand that is establishing deep roots in urban culture.

While some fashion purists may be outraged at this direction—though Virgil Abloh set the brand on this path under his auspice with less vitriolic discomfort—all luxury fashion brands are struggling to attract younger consumers as their previous consumer base is purchasing far less merchandise or is dying off. Williams, aware of changing demographics, understands that urban culture is a central motivating force among young consumers. Williams is also uniquely aware that Asian and black consumers have outpaced white buyers when it to comes purchasing luxury goods. With those two facts in mind, his creative overhaul of Louis Vuitton is necessary.

Creatively and politically this collection is noteworthy. By conjuring up images of American indigenous cultures, Williams is making a statement on the lack of American indigenous aesthetics in luxury fashion. But this political statement doesn’t just stop there. Williams includes American indigenous craftsmen and indigenous models in this fall 2024 collection.

While this collection was heavily inspired by American themes, this sophomoric collection contained more creative expansiveness than Williams’ debut collection. Williams’ first collection for Louis Vuitton men was more about William making a signature statement about his arrival at the iconic luxury house and injecting his personal aesthetic onto Louis Vuitton. And while this collection was heavy on Williams’ design aesthetic, Williams found an ingenious way of injecting indigenous cultures without pandering and appropriating American indigenous cultures the way some have in the past.

Williams used American indigenous cultures as a starting point to bring in the influences of an expansive masculinity, streetwear culture, and redesigned denim. Additionally, Williams helps consumers see indigenous cultures in a more modern and innovative way.

Williams overtly drew inspiration from not only native cultures, but all the appropriated visions of native cultures found in cinema evidenced in the fancifully imprinted denim chaps and wide-legged pants, Country Western jackets, duster coats, and fringed leather jackets. He also found a very interesting way to incorporate the ‘Damoflage’ Louis Vuitton signature print in a way that evokes Western cowboy culture.

Image courtesy of Filippo Fior/gorunway.com

With this collection Pharrell Williams is proving that he is not a one-hit wonder for Louis Vuitton, but that he is continuing to expand the brand to a more global audience with fresh, innovative ideas. Williams brings so much of what consumers desire in present time, next for Williams is injecting a bit more luxury into this luxury behemoth and creating what consumers want before they know they want it. The best is yet to come!!

—William S. Gooch

Love, Kelly by Kelly Butts-Spirito Fall 2023

Every fashion week, the industry tries to give a portrayal of what it believes is “what’s next” in high-end, futuristic fashion and luxury streetwear. But too often, they don’t provide the story behind the clothing itself. In just two years, Kelly Butts-Spirito, in his debut at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), gave everyone who was fortunate to spectate firsthand a great representation of forward-thinking and futuristic fashion,as well as his story and what brought him there.

 Butts-Spirito’s collections are from core moments and awakenings in his life. The Love, Kelly by Kelly Butts-Spirito runway show took attendees on a journey via a documentary film that helped share the true story behind each collection while also helping everyone connect and understand his creative vision and direction.

Butts-Spirito NYFW show came on the heels of an impressive festival he put on in Burlington, VT, last month. Despite the time crunch, Butts-Spirito and his designer and partner, Milo Rubin, were able to make 43 pieces in 40 days. “The garments were a mix of everything, from French cotton terry and an 80/20 cotton/poly blend for hoodies to a bunch of different types of denim; the only piece with stretch denim was the denim hoodie. We had a duck canvas jacket and leather patches on suede pants. We also incorporated reworked jeans into the looks, often adding flares on the inside or outside of the leg,” explained Butts-Spirito.

Butts-Spirito understands that creating a brand image through social media and any other innovative ideas, like when you meshed a documentary to fit into this recent runway show is a current innovative way to bring attention to your brand. “I think the most important thing in fashion design is perspective and feeling. I think the best designers have an interesting perspective on the world and they share that through dope clothing. The clothing that I think has the best design are the ones that make you feel something impactful when you wear it and look at it,” details Butts-Spirito.

This debut collection takes consumers through a cinematic journey of Butts-Spirito’s life, its complications, and everything in between. “The colors were intentional to match the themes of the emotions I was going through at the time. For the first collection, the feeling was very tan and nude color-based because the heartbreak emotion to me felt very naked. The film barely had any color correction on it as well because of how I wanted it to feel, which was raw. The second collection was all black and white because it represented going from darkness to light. The third collection is very colorful because it represents childhood, my home and the rebirth of me coming back to my hometown and redefining myself.”

Images courtesy of Owen Hammel

What can we expect next from Butts-Spirito’s brand, Love Kelly? “The fashion world can expect the unexpected from my brand. I want my brand to always continue to push boundaries while bringing new and unexpected shows and clothing collections to the world. A place where fans of the brand can always feel surprised by what I create next. I plan on bringing a winter collection to life and will be releasing it during the winter months.”

With bated breath, we can hardly wait. Fashion world, watch out!!

—Ryan Salfino

Albright College Fall 2023

The Albright College fashion now, now a regular feature during New York Fashion Week (NYFW) featured six graduates or students from the Pennsylvania college. The show presented what the future of fashion will look like. After being educated at the acclaimed college, the design students were ready to show their talent during NYFW.

Each of the young creatives held their own with unique designs and striking details. With each runway look, it was easy to see the hours of hard work that were put into the designs. The distinct looks of each designer made it easy to place the pieces into separate collections with an understanding of the story the designer was trying to share. By the end of the show, there was little doubt that the different styles and tastes of the up-and-coming young women and men dazzled the minds of their audience. Read a bit more about each designer below:

 

Alfredo Diaz

After graduating in 2016, Alfredo Diaz has now worked with industry insiders such as Anna Sui and Dzines Tex. You can see the impact that these companies had on his collection, as well as influences from his Dominican Republic heritage. These influences led to the colorful prints and details that gave the collection a tropical feeling. With a spotlight on floral patterns and loose fits that focus on comfort as well as fashion, the collection was a traveler’s dream. When Diaz creates his label, it will be sure to dominate the luxury resort-wear market.

Susan Benitez

Like something out of Sofia Coppola’s rock n’ roll biopic “Marie Antoinette,” the models flaunted garments made from jacquard and feathers. Using classic lines and delicate detailing, it was easy to see Benitez’s costuming background. After graduating in 2015, she went on to produce costumes for puppets that appeared on both Netflix and Apple TV, along with garments for special events.

Jasmin Burton

Using inspiration from iconic African American fashion designer Stephen Burrows of the ‘70s and an image of her grandmother in a yellow negligee, Burton created a collection filled with nostalgia. The opening two pieces were swimsuits in timeless cuts, with modern details. Think layered ruffles and color-blocked garments with trailing ties. As the collection continued, you could see the influence of past trends with modern takes continuing. Considering the resurgence of the love for the ‘70s after the release of Daisy Jones and the Six, we’re ecstatic to see Burton’s growth in the fashion industry and how she might influence this continuing trend.

Nicholas Kedge

Graduating in 2023, Nicholas Kedge made his fashion week debut last season and returned this year for what could only be called a grand finale. The garments hit every note with cutout details, asymmetrical elements, and cascading ruffles. Playing with this femininity, even for the menswear piece of the collection, Kedge proved himself to be a visionary who will easily capture the Gen Z market’s interest.

Victoria Aquino

With inspiration coming from Harajuku street fashion, couture runway shows, and experimental designs, Aquino brings a fantasy world to life. With draping details and asymmetrical designs as the centerfold of the collection and neutral colors in order to strike a balance, Aquino proves that everyday outfits should be fun.

All images courtesy of VERY New York

Zyaire Valentine

A senior at Albright College, Valentine’s creations look like they walked out of the new “Addams Family” show. This makes sense, given that his professors at Albright mentored him on costume construction and surface embellishments. This education was continuously brought to life on the runway through black hologram fabrics, striking textures, and extraordinary detailing. Netflix? We’d recommend adding a few pieces to Jenna Ortega’s next fitting!

—Sydney Yeager

 

A. Potts Spring 2024

Fashion industry professionals have come to love Aaron Potts gender neutral fashion collections. Potts is perhaps the most formidable fashion designer in the gender-neutral niche.

That’s said, A. Potts’ spring 2024 collection is again gender neutral; however, this collection is more wearable with some garments solidly created for one gender or the other. With this spring 2024 collection Aaron proves that he is very adept at creating garments for either the masculine or feminine physique.

This spring 2024 collection was inspired by the intersectionality of fashion and urban nature. Dubbed URBANEARTH, this collection embraces nature as it would be found in an urban landscape and the concept of organic growth.

With a color palette this is mostly monochromatic and centers on strong neutral colors with some bold oranges, dark mustards, with a dash of metallic gold thrown in, this collection reflects a chilled-out spring walk through an urban terrain. This collection also has a splash of floral prints which conjure up an image of florals pushing up through the urban concrete.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Standout looks in this collection, and there are several, includes the brand’s denim ensemble with wide legs and tuxedo-inspired jacket, the gold lame ensemble with kimono-like jacket and wide-legged shorts, navy leaf print shirt tied at the waist with wide-legged white pants, and the mesh and fringe black off-the-shoulder dress.

With this spring 2024 collection, Aaron Potts is priming his collections for a wider appeal. We hope that the fashion community and consumers will stand up and take notice. We have!!

William S. Gooch

Libertine Spring 2024

If you closely examine Libertine, one thing stands out above all other design elements. It’s mostly all about fabrics and textile choices.

Season after season, Libertine creative director Johnson Hartwig has made the brand stand out and excel based on his fabric choices. This season is no exception.

While in Morocco Hartig discovered some antique fabric books and was delighted in the polka-dotted fabrics and confetti fabrics from the 1930s and 40s he found in these books. Those fabric choices turned out to be the source of inspiration for this spring 2024 collection.

Accompanied by some style-appropriate spring tweeds, confetti-inspired and polka-dotted fabrics conjured images and styles you would find in nautical styles of films of the 1940s. And the ceramic tile-patterns reflect souvenirs one would garnish on an exotic vacation.

True to form, the brand has become an expert in tailoring and embellishment. Where some brands embellishments sometimes appear as something that was added on at the last minute, Johnson’s technical acumen produces garments with embellishments appearing as an almost natural augment of the garment.

Case in point, is the suit inspired by a photograph of Salvador Dali embellished with crystal-eating utensils. Also, to be considered is this season’s fringe and flower-embellished jacket.

Though inspiration for this collection are fabrics from the 1930s and 40s, Johnson manages to keep the collection fresh and current. And this collection with crazy patchwork of prints and patterns works just as well on male consumers and a female demographics.

Though there were some looks in this collection that are outside of what some consumers might ass to their wardrobe—Libertine has long been a fashion brand for the fashion risk taker—there were several garments that would appeal to wide demographic. And unlike of collections of yore, this spring 2024 collection was one of brands more retail-friendly collections.

Images courtesy of vogue.com

Bravo Johnson Hartwig. Keep up the good work!!

—William S. Gooch

Terry Singh Spring 2024

If you are not familiar with Terry Singh, you should be. Singh is giving American and international consumers a new way of looking a menswear. And that new way is pairing skirts with formal and informal wear.

A man in a skirt is not a new concept. Marc Jacobs has been the man skirt in his collections, and so has menswear superstar John Varvatos. Terry Singh is doing the same thing, but as the focus of the entire collection.

And that focus is the South Asian menswear skirt, the lungi or dhoti. The lungi and dhoti are traditional men’s skirt that can found as traditional wear in Indian. The lungi is a type of multicolored sarong, tied below the waist and can flow all the way to the ankles. The dhoti skirt is also a type of sarong but tied between the legs.

What Singh does so successfully is take these forms of South Asian traditional men’s skirts is take this aesthetic and mix it in with design menswear aesthetics from Scotland, Turkey and other countries married with a contemporary aesthetic.

For spring 2024 Singh was inspired by hockey jerseys and military uniforms, all seen through the lens of lungi and dhoti skirts.  And with that inspiration Singh adds in tuxedo jackets, a streetwear aesthetic, and a new way of looking a red-carpet attire for men.

Where in the past men in skirts was almost a rebellious affront to traditional menswear. Boy George and the punk aesthetic of the late 1970s and 80s gave the proverbial bird flip to Savile Row’s men’s suiting by donning skirt. That is not the case with Terry Singh. Singh is proposing a masculine alternative to traditional by reintroducing the skirt as menswear. And does so brilliantly.

Images courtesy of Agentry PR

From casual streetwear to formal and red-carpet attire, Singh expertly created an expansive perspective on how the modern male consumer can add to his wardrobe. And menswear consumers are taking up the clarion call.

—William S. Gooch

 

 

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