In case you missed the entire extravaganza that happened during the #STLFW Emerging Designer Competition at Union Station (read: everything) here is what you need to know to talk about these 6 collections like a fashion connoisseur.
It takes an artist’s virtuosity to dress up the #girlgang models with the sobriety and nonchalance of boys. Against the music backdrop of throbbing drum rolls that reminds us of Stravinsky’s modern masterpiece Rite of Spring, Daniella Kallmeyer showed us how she collapsed the planes of primitive aesthetics and modern minimalism into this winning collection.
Emily Koplar’s celebration of romance flourishes through coral pink marble prints, draping silhouettes and hemlines that swirl around the ankles while her models sashay with the uttermost poise of a baroness. The Wai Ming SS15 collection brought onto stage an exodus of feminine finesse, one that exudes an air of effortless elegance her brand has long been famous for. Browse through her other collections at WaiMingStudio.com.
The collection drips youthful exuberance, each look mesmerizes the audience with a mosaic of bold colors and natural forms that are distorted and looked at through a kaleidoscope. Jessie Liu’s looks burst forth with psychedelic dispositions, featuring vivaciously colorful, va va voom striped pants and raglan sleeve coats, all the while maintaining an almost perfect, Rorschach-inkblot symmetry. See more of her SS15 collections here or on Vogue UK here.
Started out designing the chic-est handbags you could ever spot at Coachella, Hillary Taymour a.k.a THE It-girl of Williamsburg won the hearts of all show-goers this year (I clapped fanatically for Hillary and her dog Pow Wow). Collina Strada’s collection blurs all borders between structured, sportswear-inspired outfits and bohemian chic dresses, combining leather with sheer, psychedelic print with minimal monotone while giving the collection a little luxe edge (think black leather bralette and sheer-back T-shirt dress). Get your cool-girl leather fix and shop her collection here.
Just when we were all in awe at landscape prints, bold brushstrokes with various shades of blue and ornate embroidery, the collection brought forth clean, monotone outfits that are imbued with subtle innuendos in their sheer illusion details, bare midriff and bold cuts. Drop-dead gorgeous with her turquoise cat-eye makeup, the Remi Canarie woman lured us all with her seductive demureness. Click here to see more.
Harbison took the runway by STORM, evoking the most applause from the audience and eventually won the surprise Runner-up Award from STLFW. Twelve looks from his collection exude the aristocratic extravaganza that makes us all sentimental about the 60s (can we talk about the oh-so-tilted hats? And those red pairs of lips? And...). This Parsons graduate designer has gone a long way from his collection at STLFW last year, surprising us all by lacing the women’s structured suits with metallic zipper, crystals on floral 3D details and (gasp) oversized fur clutches...Indulge yourself.
All images courtesy of Brown Shoe Company.
A version of this article appears on GEMINIJUNEMOON on October 26, 2014.
1. Chanel's Staged Feminist Protest:
In his second groundbreaking show of the year, Karl Lagerfeld morphed his SS15 Chanel girls into an army of rioting feminists who chanted their way down a runway reimagined as a Parisian boulevard. 2014 has undoubtedly been a statement year for girl power, with #freethenipple movement and Emma Watson’s UN campaign (which the show referenced with a “He for She” banner). Critics claimed the spectacle was merely a publicity stunt, to which King Karl responded, “it was right for the moment.” There’s no doubting Lagerfeld is the master of capturing the zeitgeist and, like the show or not, it affirmed that strong, independent girls are in fashion.
2. We lost Oscar de la Renta
The American fashion legend passed away this year, though his house is making a bold bid for the future in the hands of newly appointed creative director Peter Copping. As Glenda Bailey, Bazaar’s Editor in Chief, puts it: “Fashion, at its best, is about grace. In this way, Oscar de la Renta was fashion.”
To this note, it must be added: The fashion industry lost another major figure this year, Louise Wilson. Less famous than De la Renta, Wilson was at least as influential, as the course director of the fashion MA program at London's Central Saint Martins. Her students included, among many others, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, and Simone Rocha.
3. Enter Kendall Jenner
Since making her runway debut at Marc Jacobs AW14, Kendall has been elevated into the echelons of fashion’s most in-demand muses. Choosing Chanel’s Métiers d'Art show over Victoria’s Secret, the 19-year-old breakout star is determined to earn her stardom in the high fashion world.
4. Barneys Launch All-Transgender Campaign
Barneys New York’s casting of 17 transgender models for a SS14 campaign spoke volumes about how the fashion world is embracing gender fluidity. 2014 has been a big year for transgender models – thanks to the likes of Andreja Pejic, Hari Nef and Lea T – and for a major, mainstream department store to offer their nod of support was groundbreaking. Shot by Bruce Weber, the “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters” campaign featured models from across the trans-spectrum.
5. Fashion’s Game of Musical Chairs Went Around and Around
Nicolas Ghesquière took the reins at Louis Vuitton. At Loewe, J.W. Anderson replaced Stuart Vevers, who’d left last year to head up Coach. As mentioned already, After the Spring '15 shows in Paris, Peter Copping left Nina Ricci for Oscar de la Renta, news that was quickly overshadowed by the announcement that John Galliano (!) would return to fashion as Creative Director at Maison Martin Margiela (!!) and indeed had already been issued his de rigueur white lab coat.
6. Alexander Wang Legitimizes Athleisure
Much like its cousins, health goth and normcore, athleisure is the buzzword on everyone’s lips this year. One of the very best things to happen this year was the Alexander Wang x H&M show, because Missy Elliott performed at the after-party and the model parade was preceded by a parkour performance that pretty much defied physics. The sportif streetwear debuted in stores and online in early November and crashed the e-tailers sites, before selling out almost immediately.
7. Fashion goes POP
For his eagerly-anticipated Moschino debut, Jeremy Scott brought fast fashion to the runway, Americana-style: Spongebob and chocolate bars, a model channeling a McDonald’s employee, and sweaters embossed with “Cash Cow” and “Fur Real.” And it had more than just golden arches in common with McDonald’s: in a bold precedent that scorned the industry’s usual six-month delay, the clothes were available for consumption as soon as the show ended. Vver at the house of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld was making haute tracksuits for models to wear as they shopped the Chanel supermarché. Fast food: Check. Supermarket sweep: Check. Tony the Tiger: Check, courtesy of Anya Hindmarch's Fall '14 breakfast-cereal-inspired handbags, a major favorite among fashion bloggers.
Two years since Lauren Bander was crowned as Winner of Project: Design! during STLFW 2012 with her LBSS13 collection, the St. Louis-native designer has been celebrating her outré aesthetics from Kansas City Fashion Week to New York Fashion Week.
Throwing back to FW2013, LB all-black couture collection features regal evening gowns so ornate that they remind us of the Dior femme relique - the woman mummified by her opulence. There was plenty of cerebral whimsy to offset the noirish femme fatale appeal. The LB woman is the baroness who disdains the familiarity of inferiors, flaunts her diamonds but never her discretions.
Bander’s most favorite designer is, conceivably, Christian Dior, whose brushstrokes very heavily influenced LB early collections. Bander’s couture has hit the runway in waves of staggering beauty and a little perverse extravagance. The designer’s talent lies in her ability to purge tulle and lace of the materials’ fussy, bourgeois gestures, creating a mermaid nonchalance that is touchingly glamorous. “I wanted to try and turn something ugly into something beautiful,” she explains. “So while the color story is very dark, the designs are beautiful and feminine,” answered Bander in an interview with ALIVE Magazine.
Having studied at The Paris American Academy and lived in the haute couture capital of the world, Bander forever holds Paris dear in her heart. The globe-trotting young designer has certainly paid homage to the Parisian scenes: art, elegance, snobbery, nostalgia, and vice distilled with purity make an eau-de-vie that goes straight to the head.
All images courtesy of Lauren Bander at www.laurenbander.com
A version of this article appears on GEMINIJUNEMOON.com on November 14, 2014.
Without a doubt, Cashmere Cat has quickly become one of the most exciting faces in experimental music, and mostly notably, collaborated with Ludacris, Wiz Khalifa, Banks and Ariana Grande early this year. Having come off a long stretch of remixes, radio shows and club sets, Norwegian producer Magnus Høiberg has polarized the critical community with his latest EP Wedding Bells, with pseudo-tastemaker Pitchfork notably calling it a failed effort to evolve on his genre-bending debut Mirror Maru. However, these criticisms couldn’t be more off point. The whole EP is terrifyingly accomplished, with genius at work in every nanosecond of detail. To anyone weary of all the fanfare given to the chart-topping DJs, this might just be your lifeboat.
While experimenting with the lifelike timbres, he stretches his wordless vocal samples to breaking point. The effect is disorienting and queasy - on "Pearls," the layered high-and-low voices sound like something from a horror movie, in complete contrast to the fanfare of flutes and brass around it.
In spite of these eccentric touches, Wedding Bells has an air of opulence. It is refreshing to see an artist, especially who has achieved EDM stardom, to be more about delaying pleasure rather than instant gratification. Right down to the choice of his stage name, Cashmere Cat seems to be invested in making music that is luxurious yet accessible, original yet unafraid of its cutesy pop inclinations and all the while confident in its own idiosyncrasies. How long this approach will remain fresh or whether Hoiberg can maintain the quality of his productions after the novelty wears off are questions for later records.
looking at fashion as fine arts, architecture, anthropology, an extreme form of human performance.