Thalé Blanc’s Spring 2021 Dream Collection

Thalé Blanc was a bright example of which the film that introduced the collection actually added richness and a depth of understanding about the clothes shown. Better still, designer Deborah Sawaf appeared and narrated, explaining what inspired her. The film was shot in her home, making the collection all the more personal.

Prior to New York Fashion Week (NYFW), Sawaf spoke to Fashion Reverie about how she believes women are looking to add to their existing collections and want to be able to buy the pieces they see at a show right away, not six months from viewing them.  Now, she says, “is a time to dream a little … Don’t be afraid to dream, even though it might sound silly and naïve… and have some courage to take a leap.” 

Wardrobe wise, “dreaming a little bit” translates to a continuation of her best-selling Boston coat, which also comes in a shorter car-length. The spring version comes in a whimsical camouflage print with a chartreuse bottom. Certain to become wardrobe basics are a pair of khaki gaucho pants and an easy sleeveless dark denim dress both trimmed in white fringe. There’s also her signature open-sleeve top with grommet detailing that can be worn with shorts or longer pants, depending on the occasion and the temperature outside. The tops appeal to her LA-Euro customers who appreciate the Valentino “rock stud” vibe. The khaki drawstring top is an elegant take on the classic windbreaker and can be dressed up or down. Sawaf is not one to be dictated by trends, but she showed her spin on fuchsia, one of 2021’s colors. Her version was a jumpsuit with sexy slits up to the knee.

Sawaf started in the fashion business by designing luxury handbags for Gianfranco Ferré, and Roberto Cavalli. Today, her made in Italy bags continue to be an important part of the overall collection and are listed as individual looks. The designer continues to update her best-selling scalloped “Audrey” bag, that’s large enough for being out and about all-day, as we will be in the coming months. The new bags come in pretty shell pink and cream colors embellished with studs for a little rock n’ roll edge as well as in crocodile and flashy metallics. The Swarovski crystal and resin jewelry dress-up the core pieces she proposes for spring.

Images courtesy of VERY NEW YORK

Thalé Blanc continues to be available in season, following the lead of the Paris couture calendar.

—Vivian Kelly

“Bling Empire’s” Cherie Chan Talks About Life, Motherhood, and of course, Fashion

Image courtesy of Netflix

Netflix’s “Bling Empire” has quickly become one of the streaming platform’s most popular series. When the showed debuted last month, it was a welcome escape from politics upheaval and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bling Empire” is described as a real-life version of the box office hit film “Crazy Rich Asians,” following the lives of some of Los Angeles’ wealthiest Asian and Asian American socialites. One of the most endearing stars of the show is Cherie Chan, an heiress to a denim and textile company, who spent the series showing us the value of good dressing while pregnant. Chan was pregnant with her second child for most of the series filming, but that didn’t stop her from bedazzling herself with Louis Vuitton, Giambattista Valli, and Chanel. The businesswoman, who has her own tequila company, Religion Tequila, took a few moments out of her busy schedule to discuss one of her favorite topics with Fashion Reverie: clothes!

Fashion Reverie: When did you first find your love of fashion?

Cherie Chan: I discovered my love for Chanel when I was really young. I went on a trip to Paris with my whole family when I was 7 years old, and we shut down the Chanel boutique for 8 hours. We went in when the sun was out and left when it was nighttime. At first, I was complaining because I wanted to go outside, eat, and get roasted chestnuts. Then I started discovering what an amazing place the store was. There were all the Chanel dresses and handbags. The people who work at Chanel make it feel even more special. Even as a little girl, I loved the Chanel packaging with the camellia flowers and the ribbon.

FR: Did you love playing dress up as a little girl?

Cherie Chan: I did! I really loved dressing up. My mom never wanted me to dress up too much because she was from the generation where people wanted to make money, but they didn’t want to show their wealth. Back then, you only really dressed up for special events. People would buy things and that would live in the back of their closet. My mother had vintage Chanel handbags that look brand new that she barely used. To me, those are treasures meant to be passed on to my children.

FR: Your family comes from the denim and textile industry. What did that teach you about the value of good dressing?

Cherie Chan: It taught me a lot. When I was very young, I was in our factories trying to learn how to sew things by watching the factory workers and my parents. I used to help my parents’ compile the fabrics, and it was so much fun and a great bonding experience with them. I will always have those memories.

FR: How did you get cast on ”Bling Empire”?

Cherie Chan: It was through a friend referral, and I wasn’t even aware it was a casting. I thought we were just going to hang out.

FR: How did you curate your wardrobe specifically for the show?

Cherie Chan: I was just being myself. This is how I dress normally. I was pregnant most of the show, and then I had post-baby body, so I didn’t look exactly the way I wanted to during filming. I wore a lot of empire waistline pieces. I also wore a lot of baby doll dresses, and I had some Dior A-line skirts that went over my belly. It was all about being comfortable, but still fashionable. I was always wearing slides because they come off so easily.

I was in between being pregnant and taking care of my mom, so I did have a few maternity pants that I could pair with a sweater on days I was visiting my mother in the hospital. I still remember going to the hospital and the nurses telling me how cute my outfits and shoes were, which really brightened up both my day and my mom’s. Even though my mother was very sick, she still loved her favorite Chanel No. 5 perfume, and we would spray her hospital room with it, so it smelled like Chanel No. 5 when people walked in. She was going through so much with the cancer and she went through so much before she died. It was amazing and crazy to say how fashion still helped her toward the end.

FR: Everyone on the show had different approaches to fashion. Was there a process with “Bling Empire’s” production team to make sure all the cast members had their own unique style?

Cherie Chan: No, the team just trusted that we had great style. The only things we got told were nothing too sparkly, so there were no sequins allowed, which was tough for me because I love things that sparkle. One of my favorite looks of the season was by one of my favorite designers, Magda Butrym, that I paired with a pearl tiara.

FR: Were you nervous about getting portrayed in a negative light given the way reality television shows are sometimes edited?

Cherie Chan: Not at all, I was just being myself. Some of my parties didn’t make the cut. but that’s OK.

FR: As a former musician, how did that help you learn to market your image in terms of style and presentation?

Cherie Chan: I think my experience in Japan definitely affected my fashion sense. I choose stuff that’s more feminine, elegant, and classy. Prior to Japan, I was more laid back with my style. I used to wear Chrome Hearts. I’ve always like dressing up and being a princess, but after Japan, I fell more in love with elegant and classic styles. After being pregnant, I fell in love with empire waistlines and baby doll dresses because they fit my body the best.

FR: How would say your image has changed from your days doing music in Japan to your current days on “Bling Empire”?

Cherie Chan: I think it’s changed so much. Back when I was a musician, I was very simple with what I wore, even though I had designer things. Back then in Japan, people did not wear designer things with logos on them. You saw Chanel buttons and tweeds, but no logos. It wasn’t until recently that you started seeing logoed merchandise from Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel being worn in Japan. Back in those days, people would have Dior tee shirts, but they wouldn’t even say Dior on them.

FR: Do you have any style inspirations or icons you look up to?

Cherie Chan: I’m a huge fan of fashion blogger Nicole Warne, formerly @garypeppergirl on Instagram. Her style is so nice. I’m also a huge fan of model Irene Kim, known as @ireneisgood on Instagram.

FR: Who are some of your favorite designers?

Cherie Chan: I absolutely love Chanel ever since I had my daughter because they have great mommy and me styles, because we love to match.

FR: Are there any current designers that excite you that you haven’t added to your wardrobe yet?

Cherie Chan: I love seeing what new designers are on H. Lorenzo’s website. I recently got some Marine Serre shirts. I think she’s such a talented designer, and I love her jackets. I love Simone Rocha. Her pieces are so elegant, and she had this Moncler collaboration with this skirt I am dying to get my hands on. I also love this New York-based brand called Area.

FR: What are you hopes for season 2 of the show, and what other projects are you and your husband, Jessey, working on?


Cherie Chan:
We are not sure about doing season 2, yet. Jessey and I are so busy with the babies. And my husband and I are extremely focused with our company Religion Tequila and our IT company BresaTech, which we founded 2017.

Religion Tequila originally started as a hobby project for Jessey because of his passion for tequila. BresaTech is more of a legacy company which we see as something we leave for our kids. Jessey’s interest in the technology space also came at a young age. He sees the sustainability of this industry in the foreseeable future.

Images courtesy of Cherie Chan

FR: A good outfit isn’t complete without … ? Fill in the blank.

Cherie Chan: A good pair of shoes and a good handbag. In terms of shoes, I’ve really been loving Mach & Mach and Amina Muaddi. I’m a huge fan of Sophia Webster. When I was younger, my mother always told me for a classic shoe, go to Roger Vivier. Aside from the classic flats and heels, Roger Vivier also has amazing sneakers. They are comfortable, they sparkle, and they slide on and off just like a pair of slides.

“Bling Empire” premiered on January 15 on Netflix. The first season is now streaming.

 —Kristopher Fraser

“Fashion Reverie Talks” Episode 11

In this “Fashion Reverie Talks” episode 11, the first episode of 2021, we look at fashion designers/brands to look for in 2021, the controversy around Vogue US’ February cover of Vice President Kamala Harris, fashion models’ sexual allegations against Alexander Wang, Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy’s divorce proceedings and very thought-provoking interview with “Project Runway” alum SUEDE. Additionally, we have an intriguing interview, conducted by Cicily Daniels, with Fashion Reverie Associate Editor Cameron Grey Rose’s “2021 Oscar Predictions.”

As in previous episodes, this episode is co-hosted by Carl Ayers, Cicily Daniels, and Tijana Ibrahimovic. As a team, they bring great wit, charm and lots of details of what is going on in the fashion industry. Pay close attention to Tijana’s interview with SUEDE. She unveils some interesting, perhaps, never heard stories about “Project Runway” in this outstanding interview!!

Staff

Fashion News Alert: Kamala Harris Vogue Cover Controversy, Alexander Wang Scandal Continues, Simone Rocha x H&M Collaboration, and Mary-Kate Olsen Reached Divorce Settlement

Image courtesy of the philadelphiainquirer.com

You would think just getting on the cover of Vogue magazine would be enough. Well, apparently it was not enough for some critics when Vice-President elect Kamala Harris appeared on the 2021 February issue of Vogue US.

When the 2021 February issue of Vogue US leaked out before newsstand date, there was much wagging of tongues and wringing of hands of the image VP elect Harris in her signature Converse sneaks, a white tee shirt, black stretch pants and distressed leather jacket. Many pundits felt this look was way too casual and relaxed for the in-coming Vice President of United States. Harris’ victory as the first African American and South Asian woman to be elected to the esteemed office of Vice President of the US is groundbreaking and history making.

That said; many folks felt this leaked cover was way beneath the office of the Vice President. Harris’ team confirmed that they thought Vogue would feature a different cover image—Harris posing in a light blue suit against a gold background, which they had approved—for some reason Vogue went with a different cover image.

In defense of the leaked cover image Vogue Editor-in-chief Anna Wintour explained to The New York Times, “When the two images arrived at Vogue, all of us felt very, very strongly that the less formal portrait of the Vice President-elect really reflected the moment that we were living in.”  Wintour continued, “We are in the midst … of the most appalling pandemic that is taking lives by the minute, and we felt to reflect this tragic moment in global history, a much less formal picture, something that was very, very accessible, and approachable, and really reflected the hallmark of the Biden-Harris campaign …”

Wintour further explained that Harris chose the clothing in the leaked cover image and felt that the selection reflected the Harris felt that the cover image was “joyful and optimistic.” Wintour added that “[she could not] imagine that there’s anyone that really is going to find this cover anything but that, and positive,” she said. “(It’s) an image of a woman in control of her life who’s going to bring us … the leadership, that we so need. And to me, it’s just a very important, but positive, statement about women, and women in power.”

Former American Vogue Editor-at-Large Andre Leon Talley agreed with Wintour’s choice to use the more relaxed image of Kamala Harris for the cover. “(Harris’) work uniform with her ubiquitous Converse sneakers is aspirational. I predict it’s going to set a trend for all young women all over the world, are going to dress like Kamala Harris,” he wrote. “Knitting controversy is utterly ridiculous.”

Image courtesy of H&M

Simone Rocha x H&M

While COVID-19 have slowed down many fashion collaborations, one such scheduled fashion collaboration is forging right ahead. Simone Rocha, a London Fashion Week regular presenter, and mega retail brand H&M are going ahead with their planned collaboration.

The Simone Rocha x H&M collection is scheduled to launch on March 11. The pieces in the collaboration will include signature womenswear, alongside menswear and kids’ wear. According to H&M’s Creative Advisor Anne-Sofie Johansson, as reported in fashionnetwork.com, “It will be “the first time that Rocha has offered a wardrobe for the entire family.”

Each clothing category will include a full wardrobe including special occasion wear, such as tulle dresses and tailoring, alongside knits, shirting, outerwear and casual tee shirts. There are also accessories, including Rocha’s signature sparkling jewelry and pearl-embellished footwear. Johansson reveals that in this collaboration “[Rocha] celebrates her personal inter-ethnic heritage and the myriad inspirations which have defined the growth of her label, from the traditions and crafts of Hong Kong through to the greats of art history.”

Image courtesy of dailymail.couk

More sexual assault allegations for Alexander Wang

Fashion Reverie first reported on the Alexander Wang alleged sexual assault story two weeks ago. Well, since that time more sexual assault victims have come forward.

In addition to the original sexual assault claims by male model Owen Mooney which out in mid-December, it has recently been revealed that Wang allegedly sexually molested other male victims, women and trans women at New York City nightclubs and afterhours spots.

There are also allegations that Wang groped the genitals of some victims after giving them MDMA, a date rape drug, without their knowledge. Wang is a known intense partier, using party lingo, “WANGOVER” and “PARTY ANIMAL” on headbands in his spring 2018 collection.

The model advocacy group, Model Alliance is standing in solidarity with Wang’s alleged victims. And famed attorney Lisa Bloom has offered her services to Wang’s alleged victims.

Alexander Wang has denied the allegations and could not be reached for comment.

Image courtesy of people.com

Mary-Kate retains wealth

Mary-Kate Olsen, part of the design duo with sister Ashley behind fashion brand The Row, has reached a divorce deal with husband Olivier Sarkozy. It has been reported that because of Olsen’s ironclad prenuptial agreement, Olsen’s $250 million net worth is safe.

Mary-Kate Olsen is 34 and Olivier Sarkozy, who is the half-brother of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is 51 years of age. French banker Olivier Sarkozy is worth $60 million.

Mary-Kate Olsen and her twin sister Ashley came to fame as child actors on the hit sitcom “Full House.” Their fashion empire which is comprised The Row is valued at $1 billion dollars.

The divorce deal between Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy was reached in the Manhattan supreme court this past Wednesday. Their next hearing is on January 25, 2021.

—William S. Gooch

Fashion Flashback: Kenzo Takada

Image courtesy of rochebobois.com

Before Kenzo Takada, luxury fashion was mostly about French, Italian, British, and a few American luxury brands. Kenzo Takada changes all that, bringing a much-needed exuberance to Paris fashion, evidenced in his bold prints and floral designs. Kenzo’s East meets West design aesthetic set a standard for fashion brands looking to the Far East for inspiration and helped stimulate European designers’ taste for Asian design fusion aesthetics.

KENZO campaigns

Born in Himeji, near the city of Osaka, Japan, Kenzo came to Paris in 1965 to have a career in fashion, hardly speaking a word of English. In order to survive in this brave new world, Kenzo sold sketches to fashion houses. He later struck out on his own and opened a small boutique, Jungle Jap, with garments that were inspired by his Japanese heritage.

“I decorated the shop myself with little money,” Takada told the South China Morning Post newspaper recently, in what was one of his last media interviews. “One of the first paintings I saw in Paris and fell in love with was a jungle painting … and that was the inspiration for the shop.”

Images courtesy of pinterest.com, wwd.com, and wallstreetjournal.com

“His native Japan remained [the] source of inspiration for every collection he did. He kept the use of vibrant colours and volumes present at all times,” said Circe Henestrosa, head of the school of fashion at Singapore’s Lasalle College of the Arts.

“I think he was ahead of his time and was one of the first designers to experiment with the idea of genderless fashion. He would never conform to the stereotypical idea of masculine and feminine fashion,” said  Henestrosa.

Referring to his initial fashion line as Jungle Jap, was as a pejorative and later Kenzo gave his fashion line the eponymous first name KENZO. “I knew it had a pejorative meaning, “Kenzo told the New York Times in a 1972 interview. “But I thought if I did something good, I would change the meaning.”

KENZO in the 1980s

Kenzo later became a very popular ready-to-wear line in Paris with a menswear spinoff in 1983, and later fragrances, eyewear, and a jeans line. At the height the brand’s popularity, Kenzo sold the company to LVMH in the 1990s. “The hardest year of my life was 1990, when my life partner Xavier died and my business partner had a stroke,” he told SCMP. “That’s why I sold the company to LVMH [in 1993]. I felt I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Kenzo retired from his company in 1999; however, he continued to design costumes for operas. His clothing brand Kenzo had a terrific collaboration with fast fashion mega clothing company H&M in 2016, selling out the entire KENZO x H&M collection within days.

Image courtesy of japanforward.com

“What I am most proud of is I opened the roads for much younger people from around the world,” Kenzo said in a WWD article, “who probably think they can be a hit in fashion in Paris or London. They can come and try to do that.”

Kenzo died from complications due to COVID-19 on October 4, five days after his eponymous brand showed in Paris. Kenzo Takada was 81 years old.

—William S. Gooch

A Significant Operational Shift Comes to New York Fashion Week

Image of Dior Haute Couture Fall 2020 courtesy of eveningstandard.com

New York Fashion Week (NYFW)  is one of the crown jewels of fashion events, and the kickoff to the grand tour for runway shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris. However, for the past few years, NYFW has lost its luster. The days of the glamour and star-studded moments of Bryant Park and Lincoln Center is a thing of the past. Still, the passing of the old guard and the traditional way of having fashion shows facilitates room for  a new generation of editors, designers, stylists, and fashion industry professionals.

With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, it is imperative that  the fashion industry completely rethinks its way of doing business. The efficiency and constant motion of the fashion calendar has been one of the things called into question. And with the recent financial toll enacted on the fashion and retail industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this upcoming NYFW is expected to be shadow of what it once was.

NYFW has been shortened to just three days from September 14 to September 16, with most participating designers showing their collections digitally. A number of major fashion brands have already pulled out–Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tory Burch, and Ralph Lauren, just to name a few. While this reduction is reason for concern, independent designers might finally have their chance to shine.

Image courtesy of meikmagazine.com

Fern Mallis, the founder of 7th on Six Productions, which put New York Fashion Week on the map for consumers, explains, “People are getting a little oversaturated with digital shows and presentations, but there’s certainly an interest level, and people are still anxious to see what will be coming next season. Digital fashion shows are an easy way to equalize the playing field between new and independent designers and big-name brands. Independent designers now have more opportunities to stand out.”

Mallis also believes that this is the time for independent designers to “grab the brass ring.” Independent designers also need to analyze their sales strategy.  “Independent designers can’t wait for Barneys to come in and buy the clothes anymore,” Mallis said. “Neiman Marcus is bankrupt, and the other department stores including Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Saks all have low foot traffic. Right now stores can’t be counted on for buys like they used to.”

Mallis also believes that independent designers aren’t losing anything by not having a physical show. The recent Louis Vuitton spring 2021 Men’s show in Shanghai proved that shows with a strong digital presence can sell clothes. After showing the collection to a small in-person audience in China, Louis Vuitton also gained major traction by promoting and broadcasting the runway show on China’s various social media channels, which led to an uptick in sales across East Asian countries . “Designers have a chance to do something digital or go home,” Mallis said. “Digital now allows the opportunity for people to be very creative, and designers can really show you who they are and talk about their collections.”

(Image courtesy of Tolga Akmen / AFP

Many of Mallis’ colleagues share the sentiment that it’s time for fashion shows to evolve. Aliza Licht, a fashion industry veteran and host of the “Leave Your Mark” podcast, said, “I really don’t believe in the traditional runway format anymore. What really impressed me last year was the lookbook Rodarte produced for their collection featuring the actresses from “Mad Men,” like January Jones. It was so beautifully produced, and the casting was so smart and press worthy. You needed nothing but to run those images on Instagram for a successful campaign. I found the Rodarte approach much more effective than the digital runway format. Featuring noteworthy campaign stars, beautiful sets, and making it shareable on social media is better for trying to go viral.”

In the past, independent fashion designers have often struggled with fashion show attendance as the major members of the press and buyers, especially from Europe, would come to NYFW for just a three-day cluster of the top-tier American designers. Digital fashion weeks can help even out the playing field now that smaller designers/brands don’t have to compete for Fashion Week attendees.

Licht believes that even in a post-pandemic world, shows will by mostly digital and physical shows will return to the old school days where the industry took a more salon-style approach to collections. “We’ve been in lockdown a long time, and retail has suffered,” Licht said. “Shows in a post-pandemic world could potentially be a lot more intimate and showroom-style where things will have a more couture mentality. [Physical] shows need to be made for actual industry people who need to see them, and they can be for a widespread and more general audience thanks to digital options. [It is] likely people will make fashion shows more like what they used to be back in the day.”

Fashion industry professionals who work on the production of runway shows have also been reevaluating the current fashion cycle. Gloria Johnson, a fashion stylist who has styled runway shows during NYFW, says that while she thinks that digital fashion weeks won’t be the same, it’s important to keep people safe. “Shows are going to be a lot smaller, and [designers] are going to be a lot more selective and over the top,” Johnson said. She also says that stylists will become more necessary for independent designers because, “They will need to hire stylists to add a different perspective of their collection. [Shows] will look and feel more like digital lookbooks.”

Image courtesy of Reuters UK

Despite the need to adapt, Johnson also says that by not having physical shows designers are losing out on seeing the genuine reactions of audiences. The models, and seeing the clothes in person will be lost with much of the creative energy dissipating.

While the world continues to adjust to this new normal, the fashion industry must continue to find ways to be forward thinking, its survival is on the table.  For the independent designers who have been able to weather the economic COVID-19 storm, a digital version of New York Fashion Week could be their chance to shine. Fashion’s new world order is coming, and everyone will have to get on board, or get left behind.

Kristopher Fraser

Fashion News Alert: Andrew Cuomo Comments of NYFW, Jennifer Lopez’s New Beauty Brand, and Under Armour Delays Sneaker Launch

Image courtesy of Instagram

Jennifer Lopez’s empire continues to expand. J Lo recently hinted on her social media that her own beauty line is in the works and will soon be unveiled.

J Lo is no stranger to the world of beauty, having had several fragrances in the past—her fragrance ‘Glow” launched in 2002. J Lo is now primed to take on the beauty market. In 2018 Lopez collaborated Inglot Cosmetics for a 70-piece makeup collection.

On her Instagram account, Lopez announced, “Sunset glow…#JLoBeauty coming soon.” No other details about the beauty line is known at this time.

Image courtesy of therealdeal.com

Cuomo gives nod to NYFW

Unless you are living under rock, you must be aware that the COVID-19 pandemic is changing life as we know it, even the fashion industry. The upcoming New York Fashion Week (NYFW) spring 2021 season will be a digital fashion week. And though many fashion pundits expressed the need to cancel the upcoming NYFW, IMG and the CFDA has decided to go on with the event.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently commented on the upcoming NYFW in The Cut. “New York City is the fashion capital of the world and New York Fashion Week celebrates the ingenuity of this city, and our unmatched creative talent. The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support event organizer IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance.”

That said, though NYFW will be a digital fashion week, there will be a few outdoor fashion presentations. However, these outdoor presentations must follow COVID-19 guidelines. There can be no more than 50 people gathered at these presentations at any one time, face coverings are mandatory, social distancing is non-negotiable, and tests and health screenings, such as temperature checks, will also be required for attendees, models, and staff. 

Image courtesy of footwearnews.com

Police shooting delays Under Armour sneaker launch

Under Armour has delayed the launch of its new sneaker collaboration with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The cause of the delay is the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin. 

“Out of respect for Jacob Blake & his family we’ll postpone our @projectrock @underarmour PR3 launch today,” Johnson tweeted. “Unbelievable we’re here again. Shot 7xs. In the back. In front of his kids. There’s no progress without humanity.”

Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin police while his three children watched from inside Blake’s car. He is now paralyzed from the waist down.

Blake’s shooting has caused widespread protests in Kenosha and around the US. In protest of Blake’s shooting, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Major League Soccer refused to play their respective sports on Wednesday. “We support all of those in sport who are currently demanding societal change across the United States and the globe,” Under Armour said in a statement, as reported on fashionnetwork.com.

Johnson has been collaborating with Under Armour since 2016.

—William S. Gooch

The Resurgence of Minimalism in Fashion

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

All trends come and go, and some are more cyclical than others. The1950s ushered in poodle skirts, the 1980s reintroduced big shoulder pads, and capri pants had another big moment in the early 2000s. Some trends become wardrobe staples (remember, denim was a trend once), and some are just here for a momentdoes anyone miss twin set cardigan sweaters?

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, an economic downturn, and consumers dramatically cutting back on spending, minimalism is expected to make a comeback. In the context of fashion, minimalism focuses on the form and fabric of the clothing, stripping garments down to their most necessary elements. A minimalist aesthetic features clean lines and silhouettes and is very approachable. Merchandise can include anything from a classic midi skirt to a traditional loafer.

The fashion runways from this past February were filled with plenty of prints, patterns, and colors, but minimalism is still expected to have its moment. During periods of economic decline, designers tend to be conservative with what they create as they are driven to produce pieces that will sell easily and keep their businesses afloat.

Image courtesy of WWD

Less risks are taken, more neutral colors, and monochromatic schemes are used, and design silhouettes are less experimental. In 2007, with the US economy stalling, the runways of New York became more conventional and provided a sea of neutrals. Everywhere you turned, there was a variation on the little black dress.

But that was 2007, the current trend of minimalism began well before the COVID-19 pandemic. At Milan and Paris Fashion Week, street style stars opted for understated shapes and muted colors, choosing a classic expression of fashion rather than creating statement looks. Since 2019, global economies appeared to be heading toward recession, so rather than splurge on pieces that would only be worn once or for a special occasion, fashionistas are taking a more timeless approach to fashion and purchasing things that will outlast trends.

Minimalist designers are also becoming the talk of the town. Brooklyn-based designer Peter Do, who is known for his use of neutral colors and clean profiles, has found himself among top retail stockists at Bergdorf Goodman, Net-a-Porter, and Moda Operandi. Square-toed shoes, silhouetted sweaters, and jumpsuits are poised to shine. With many people still taking the stay-at-home approach to life and work, sweatpants, tank tops, loose-fitting hoodies, and understated athleisure pieces are becoming go-to fashion items.

Image courtesy of peterdo.net

The era of camping it up has been put aside, but minimalism is taking a different turn than before. Lauren Milligan, senior fashion features editor of e-commerce site matchesfashion.com, saw this coming in a world pre-quarantine. In a 2019 blog post on the website, Milligan said that, “We are firmly in the grip of a renewed fervor for the clean, crisp comfort of minimalism — but not as we know it.”

Minimalistic pieces have become more elevated. This isn’t your grandmother’s slim fit turtleneck and matchstick pant. During Phoebe Philo’s tenure as creative director of Celine, she furthered the concept of luxury minimalism with her black trousers and roll-neck shirts. Philo became the voice that would define minimalism for an entire generation of fashion lovers.

In 2010, Philo created a collection for Celine that would define the minimalist aesthetic for the entire decade. The collection was characterized by her super-clean approach to neutrals, the advent of wooden platform shoes, and she did what some thought impossible: made the bodysuit fashionable. You have Phoebe Philo to thank for an entire generation of girls who made a bodysuit and jeans their club uniform.

One of Philo’s most notable collections was her spring 2014 collection, which put the spotlight on asymmetrical plissé skirts, proving that minimalism is about more than just approachable color and fit, it’s about fabrication too. This skirt could be characterized as “the skirt that launched 1000 imitations”, because it would quickly trickle down to the fast-fashion brands like Zara. It was the must-have piece for every fashion girl with an office job in New York City.

Image courtesy of a-cold-wall.com

It is important to understand that minimalistic fashion goes beyond being a trend; it is an entire aesthetic that can be adopted at any time. Whether it’s an important meeting at the office or dressing for a homegoing, consumers regularly take the minimalist approach to their attire. “I never think of minimalism as a trend,” British Vogue deputy editor Sarah Harris was quoted saying to MatchesFashion. “If anything, it’s anti-trend, because it’s an approach to dressing that will forever be in style. Personally, I’ve long favored a more minimal approach to dressing. Partly because I’m so surrounded by fashion at work that I like to have a blank canvas when it comes to what I wear, but also largely due to the way I shop and view clothes; when I buy something, I want it to last longer than a season, whereas prints are so specific to a single season.”

Many industry professionals debunk the idea that minimalism is trending at all. Janna Jatyri, founder of trend forecasting agency Trendstop, contends that, “Minimalism isn’t trending any more at the moment than it was previously. There are a lot of what we call ‘fake trends’ touted as real trends, but the problem with following them is that consumers won’t buy them.”

Jatyri continues explaining that, “Comfort and ease will be important factors to consumers going forward.” In regard to logomania, which was a trend that re-emerged along with the era of maximalism in the past decade, Jatyri explains, “Following events like the climate change and Black Lives Matter protests, consumers will care more about the values and meaning brands provide. Logos without meaning will not be interesting to them.”

While Jatyri doesn’t think aesthetics will be getting any more minimalist than they have in the past, she does see designers scaling down their collections. “Designers and brands will need incredibly strong validation of future consumer wants and needs to create products consumers will continue to buy,” she stated. “[Trends will be defined by] less but better fashion—items that are better for the planet and more profitable because they are hyper curated to offer exactly what consumers will want.”

Image courtesy of thebusinessoffashion.com

Fashion forecasting agency Ftrend also sees consumer tastes moving in a different direction entirely. “Minimalism will not be back into market for now and next season, instead there will be a huge demand for home based, hand-made intricate design direction,” a spokesperson for Ftrend noted.

Despite the comments from trend forecasting agencies, some designers have already gone the minimalist route. Jacquemus recently released a very minimalist collection exclusive with Ssense that was all neutral-colored athleisure and loungewear with very clean silhouettes. 1017 Alyx 9SM also delivered their anti-racist action tee shirt, in black and white colorways, with a small “Anti-Racist Action” flag logo. Phoebe Philo is expected to launch her own sustainability focused line, and if its DNA is anything like that of her tenure at Celine, chic minimalism is to be expected.

While there’s argument as to whether or not minimalism is trending, the maximalist approach to fashion that characterized the last decade appears to be on pause . In a post-pandemic world, designers will be reassessing their approach to both business and design. With more people working from home, and making a statement that is political rather than sartorial, expect designers to scale back on the size of collections and how much they are willing to push the envelope with their creations. It’s a different horizon for fashion, one that might involve more head-to-toe neutrals, simple silhouettes, and monochrome color schemes.

Kristopher Fraser

Fashion News Alert: Paris Fashion Week Is On, Kanye West Partners with The Gap, Lisa Rinna and the ‘Karens,’ and Macy’s Cuts Jobs

Image courtesy of theindependent.co.uk

It was announced on Wednesday that Paris Fashion Week’s spring 2021 season will go ahead as planned. This announcement by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode makes Paris the first European fashion capital to hold its fashion week as planned since the COVID-19 pandemic.

As many fashion weeks around the world are turning to virtual presentations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a surprise that Paris has decided to go along with their spring 2021 fashion week. That said; the French Haute Couture and Fashion Federation has planned Paris Fashion Week for September 26 through October 6 and “comply with the recommendations of the authorities” when it comes to the novel coronavirus.

This upcoming Paris Fashion Week will be a welcomed retreat for those fashionistas who have been starved of fashion for the last four months. However, it is doubtful that many fashionistas and industry professionals will be attending the Paris Fashion Week spring 2021 season. The European Union is looking put a ban and all US travelers because of the high COVID-19 infections in the US.

Image courtesy of qvc.com

‘Karens’ threaten Lisa Rinna

In these times of social injustice and police brutality protest in which people of color—African Americans in particular—are demanding justice and equity, if you are not familiar with the term ‘Karen,” perhaps, you should be. This pejorative term refers to a middle-aged white woman who has a sense of entitlement and uses her white privilege to get what she wants.

The term became more well known when African American birdwatcher/activist journalist Christian Cooper was reported to NYC police for allegedly harassing Amy Cooper, a Canadian-born white woman, for not having her dog on a lease in a lease-required part of Central Park. Though this incident happened over a month ago, ‘Karen’ incidents continue to make front-page news.

Recently, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Rinna called out ‘Karens’ who she alleges are calling for his dismissal from “QVC” for her political views on social media. Lisa Rinna sells her fashion line, The Lisa Rinna Collection, on “QVC.”

“I am sad to report It would now seem I can’t use my platform to inform or question or say how I feel politically because the Karen’s have bombarded QVC begging them to fire me and saying they will no longer buy my clothes. It is a shame that I must be muzzled in order to support my family but that is just what it is. Remember you know how I feel. Use your voice and Vote,” she wrote on her Instagram Story.

Rinna has been outspoken of several political issue on her social media platforms. In recent social posts, Rinna has backed the recent Supreme Court ruling prohibiting discrimination against LGBT workers in the workplace and has called for mothers to support police brutality and social injustice protests.

Image courtesy of yahoo.finance.com

Macy’s Layoffs

Macy’s Inc. announced today that there will be a layoff of 3,900 employees in corporate and management positions in the US. Macy’s expects to save about $365 million in fiscal 2020 and about $630 million every year as a result of the layoffs. In the first quarter of 2020, Macy’s has experienced nearly 1 billion dollars in operating losses.

“Expect more layoffs akin to Macy’s to be announced in the coming months,” said Matt Fox, founder of Ithaca Wealth Management in New York, as reported in fashionnetwork.com. “Retailers that were struggling before the pandemic hit will re-evaluate their operations and cut jobs out of necessity to stay afloat until the economy recovers.”

Image courtesy of pinterest.com

Kanye’s Kingdom

Kanye West never strays too far away from the fashion fold. It was recently announced that West will be a part of the biggest fashion collaboration of 2021, if not the decade. West will be collaborated with Gap to produce a special Yeezy line. This upcoming collaboration with Gap will contain “elevated, modern basics” for women, men, and kids at an accessible price point.

“We are excited to welcome Kanye back to the Gap family as a creative visionary, building on the aesthetic and success of his YEEZY brand and together defining a next-level retail partnership,” said Mark Breitbard, global head of Gap Brand in a recent statement, as reported in fashionweekdaily.com.

This Gap collaboration will prove to a big boon for Gap Inc. In recent years, Gap Inc. has struggled financially, recently laying off 10% of its corporate work staff.

—William S. Gooch

Club Quarantine, The Hottest Summer 2020 Party

Image courtesy of dribble.com

As the globe adjusts to a new reality, the summer music festival season is officially canceled. In its place, the world has been invited to the biggest party on the planet, virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to a new type of party, born on social media. “A new temporary way to bond with fans until a return to normal,” says Billboard Magazine. Who knew the power of music and dance could bring people together in times of need? It brings hope as an expressive relief to change the world. With venues and bars shut down from coast to coast, Fashion Reverie helps you jam out to all the hottest live streams and virtual parties during the coronavirus crisis. Without a cover charge, dress code, or drink minimum, feel free to tune in to the ultimate social-distancing dance party.

“I’m excited to see what artists will do following this pandemic,” stated Khyran Shank, a Los Angeles-based artist. It’s safe to say this current pandemic is pushing for not only change in society, but pushing our creativity as well. Integration is nothing new to the fashion world, constantly blurring lines with industry crossovers and brand collaborations. As fashion presentations have started to take place on digital platforms, we recall past fashion shows that utilized influencers, social media, and celebrity guest appearances to their advantage for promoting their seasonal collections. One might ask, how can the fashion industry continue to push the status quo while paving the way for new beginnings during trying times?

Image courtesy of bt.com

Increasing popularity by breaking the internet, social media platforms give brands access to millions of active users worldwide. Finding creative ways to engage their fan base, fashion brands are prioritizing engagement over sales as an extension of their brand personality and voice. In a branded opportunity for retailers, fashion houses are partnering with music streaming services as a way to remind listeners of in-store experiences. Companies, such as H&M, Forever 21, and Starbucks are shifting social media strategies, using musical platforms to offer more of a lifestyle approach to their marketing.

As one of the favorite music streaming platforms and social networks, Spotify is slowly becoming the music hub for fashion accounts. “People don’t just listen to Spotify, they live it,” says Spotify. As brands have become more receptive to the growing influence of social media, technology, and digital apps, the fashion industry has become hyper-connected with new audiences. Dominated by millennial consumers, Spotify speaks to a magnitude of the fashion-conscious target audience. In collaboration with brands such as H&M, Pull&Bear, and Victoria Secret, companies identify Spotify as a promotional tool for a content strategy to reach and engage with their community.

Image courtesy of wnycstudios.com

Other platforms have gotten in on the action as well. Making stay-at-home a little more bearable, Mashable notes “Instagram has announced a series of features. Co-watching allows users to view Instagram posts together with their friends over video chat. Yes, a watch party for Instagram posts.” Whether you’re working from home, seeking daily motivation, or taking a mental break, many creatives such as designer Timo Weiland, Louis Vuitton menswear artistic director Virgil Abloh, entrepreneur Hannah Bronfman, and even Ellen DeGeneres are hosting weekly breakout sessions on Instagram Live. Stuck indoors, live-streaming digital parties promotes social distancing while eliminating the risk of spreading the COVID-19 virus and endangering anyone’s health. Described by Refinery 29 as “the creative genius responsible for the international experience that is Club Quarantine,” DJ D-Nice told The New York Times,“Musically we found a way to use tech to unite people, that’s a beautiful thing.”

Be sure to head to The Roots’ YouTube channel on Saturday, June 27 for The Roots Picnic 2020. In its 13th year, the concert is partnering with Michelle Obama to urge voters to use their voices at the ballots this year. Performers include The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, G Herbo and many others. The event will also feature appearances by the former first lady, Janelle Monae, Kerry Washington, Tom Hanks, and more. The Picnic will be streamed here

Also, tune in on July 4th, as PBS will livestream “A Capitol Fourth” at 8 p.m EST, hosted by John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, and featuring performances by Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Renée Fleming, The Temptations, Yolanda Adams, and more.

Fashion Reverie’s Curated List of Who’s Who to Follow on Spotify:

Chanel

Marc Jacobs Mixtape Mondays

Alexander McQueen

Reebok

Victoria’s Secret

Glossier

Prada

Kenzo

D-Nice’s Homeschool Playlist on Spotify

Questlove

Jean Touitou

Telfar

Pyer Moss

Paris Fashion Week

—Courtney Wilkins

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