Wednesday, December 13, 2017

GUCCI pre fall 2018



And you thought the only laugh of the day was that Omarosa got the boot and that the only clown car was parked in front of 1600 …. Well that would be wrong as you will soon see!
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Not long ago, one of the big suits at Gucci was carrying on to WWD about how they really don’t sell logos and that it wasn’t a core of their business … and now you thought that the only one whose pants were on fire was that excuse for a leader in the oval office. Apparently the memo about logos never reached the so called designer who has assembled a souk of almost laughable looks that defy even a design school student’s imagination. 
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If I really had to sum it up quickly I think best said would be that the horse has been dead for a few seasons now and why are you still beating it? This is some excuse for a collection that uses the logo for everything except wallpaper and toilet paper which might be far better than a box pleated skirt or those ghastly funneled drawstring boots. One of my favorite looks was the Shirley Temple, you figure it out, and then the one with saggy tights and 3d glasses ala someone’s demented granny from the old country circa 1930. 
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Yes I actually did like something … there was one oversized quilted bag/tote in a sort of trapezoid shape that I found to be very tasty if you want big ass Gs’ emblazoned on your bag. After that, I must say I find nothing redeeming about this farce other than I guess accessories rule the day since the clothes are what thrift stores are made of.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Chanel Metiers d’Art .... Hamburg 2018



Grüße aus Hamburg
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 Let the fawning begin and bring out the smelling salts and the depends. The accolades are streaming in and yet I can’t seem to see the supposed fabulousness of this presentation. Yes the purpose is to display the work produced by the Chanel-owned luxury artisan-specialist companies, Maison Michel (millinery), Barrie (Scottish cashmere), Goossens (jewelry), and Lesage (embroidery). Yes, mission accomplished, but the clothes certainly left a lot to be desired. This was commercial Karl just a more expensive version …. Well at least for the most part.
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The real star here was the tailoring which seemed uncharacteristically sharp/cleaner and offering a more defined silhouette to the suits, jackets and coats. Yes, this was Karl coming home to Hamburg and much has been made of the fact that Hamburg is a coastal /seafaring city hence the nautical influences. Even the fisherman (aran) sweaters took on a Chanel touch when paired with leggings, opaques and captain’s hats. I know, I know the cropped full legged sailor pant is an iffy situation at best but oh the jackets and the coats.
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The overall effect was sort of this Night Porter meets Coco meets Greenwich Village beatnik cool meets motorcycle mama meets "hey sailor.". The shoes were divine; the accessories bountiful, the bags ranged from the Chanel standard fare to the rather amusing accordion (concertina) but let’s go back to the hats which were part of every total look. As is always the case with any Chanel collection , there were the de rigeur Karl Klunkers and this collection was possibly more rife with them than usual. The dresses seemed oddly out of synch with the tone of the collection despite their over the top embellishments. They ranged from downright “you must be kidding me” to “well, if I must.” Don’t get me wrong there were a few looks that might even register as amazing.
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One of the things that struck me was there was an almost exact duplication of a suit from the 60s which was photographed on Romy Schneider and being fitted by Coco herself. Seemed odd since Karl has always massaged and manipulated the DNA but rarely if ever practically copied line for line let alone in  the same coloration. All in all, to me, this was really not much to write home about but then again it is still better than most of the flock’s best efforts. 
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Monday, December 4, 2017

meet Sean McNanney and get SAVED



Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have gleefully passed, let’s move on to the kind of items that never make it to the sale rack and scream I’m worth it!
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We are firmly entrenched in the season of giving which for some is a joy and others dread. Each year this seasonal ritual seems to arrive earlier and earlier and each year so many of us try to always “one up” last year’s gifting activities.  With that in mind, this year,  why not just skip all the in between gifts race directly to the top ... after all cream does rise to the top ... n’est-ce pas?
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All of us know that there are few “giftables” that can be considered luxurious, utilitarian and even possibly covetable. Most have realized that with the cold weather upon us that there is very little that can protect us or keep us warm once these winter temperatures have dropped. Now, I’m not talking about Heattech from Uniqlo or a down jacket from Canada Goose or even a Moncler puffer; I am talking about the ultimate luxury indulgence against the frosty climes … a cashmere throw to wrap yourself in whether indoors or out depending on your fashion savvy and skills. Well, actually not just cashmere but also alpaca and YAK………….. Yes YAK! (www.saved-ny.com )
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Enter Sean McNanney and SAVED. He brings a lot “to the table” that has previously only been dominated by the likes of Hermès and Pendleton and only one of them would be considered luxurious or the last word in living well.  Not only does SAVED NY offer a variety of luxe fabrications but they also offer you unique and rare patterns especially within this category.  Pendleton may offer you Navajo patterns or stripes and Hermès, well ... they throw an H at you but SAVED NY offers an incredible assortment of visual delights to choose from. Think of this brand as an ever changing smorgasbord rather than just a fixed menu of a meal.
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Take your pick; yes the de rigeur solids and the bordered styles, but also the maddening lushness of malachite and exotic maddered paisleys in addition to animal prints and classic menswear patternings.  If you do your homework you will realize there are few other brands,  if any,  who can offer this kind of spectacular and original assortment of designs.
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Jeffrey Felner: Can you give us a brief self-history? … Personal and professional, up until this point?

 Sean McNanney: I am a Brooklyn based artist and designer who most recently worked with Ralph Lauren Home. Drawing upon my background in textiles, and inspired by the traditions of Mongolian nomadic culture, I  created a collection of quality throws, pillows and blankets dedicated to providing luxurious warmth to the curated home. The SAVED collection brings old world traditions into the new with unique designs influenced by Victorian ephemera, French ironwork and early 20th century textiles. Each item is hand-crafted in fine, sustainably sourced Mongolian Yak Down, Cashmere and Camelhair. Designed to be loyal and lasting - A Warm Friend
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JF: What is your MO (modus operandi) when it comes to home fashion and why did you opt for luxe throws/coverlets/home accessories as the conveyance of “sending out your message?”

SM:  I wanted to create a line of quality home accessories, something that will be saved an heirloom in a day of throw away culture.  While working with craftsmen and herder working in traditional ways.
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JF; If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?

SM: Hamish Bowles, would look forward to what he is wearing -Oprah Winfrey Just have to! -Amy Sedaris for the humor -Cathy Lee again for the humor -Jonathan Anderson (designer at Loewe) I really admire what he is doing in fashion 
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JF: What begs to be asked here is can you offer some insight into how you achieve what so few have been able to offer and that is the exquisite patternings?  Most popular?

SM: I’m a collector and constantly inspired by pattern, I enjoy telling a story that the viewer can feel they are a part of it or feel it’s familiar to them.   It’s hard to tell what is the most popular; people love the designs as much as the workmanship on the simpler pieces.
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JF: What is the big picture here; where to you see yourself as designer and brand in 5 years? Who is the SAVED client? Brand extensions?

SM: I do plan to continue with home accessories, down the road a line of fashion accessories (scarves, hats, gloves, etc.) and do home to have another store one day.
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JF: Lastly, let’s discuss how you wish to sell your product?

SM: We sell online at our site www.saved-ny.com along with several stores such as Barneys, KRB in NYC as well as Garde and Obsolete in LA
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Friday, December 1, 2017

meet Debora Gomes .. the Brazilian beauty by way of Paris



One could never say that I write about politics or for that matter any hot button current events but as luck would have it or maybe fate, today is all about Debora Gomes. As you will read she is the voice of young women in a business that has long been associated and riddled with sexual innuendo as well as diversity or lack thereof. This will not be a rallying cry against pro or con but rather an opportunity to read about those 2 topics that were addressed by Debora in the course of this interview. 
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Okay … with that said and out of the way let’s talk about the aspiring model by the name of Debora Gomes. She is of the exotic rare bird species that once was glorified by the likes of Vreeland and Avedon for the pages of Vogue. Today with fashion being stuck in this sort of cookie cutter mode, both clothes and models, she will hopefully break the malaise and become a shining star as did those who preceded her … think Donyale Luna, China Machado, Peggy Dillard and Naomi Sims…. Not Campbell.
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As I have stated here before, the internet has surely made my world so much smaller in ways I could never have imagined growing up in the business of fashion. It is through my, as one dear friend says, my “tentacles” that I was able to cross paths with this young beauty. 
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What strikes me after having read the replies to my questions is that here is a young woman from another generation who sees fashion from such a distinctly different perspective than I; she cites those of her generation as role models and inspirations and it is rare for me to encounter such an individual. Her vision and words may be of the moment but her career aspirations and dreams speak to the roots of the business.


So with no more blah blah blah on my part ... here is Debora in her own words……
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Jeffrey Felner: Let’s talk about your life/career up to this point or in other words can you give us a brief history of you?

Deborah Gomes: I was born in a small state named Paraiba in Brazil, in nordeste and at the age of 16 years old I received an invitation from a headhunter to go to a model competition in São Paulo. I traveled there by myself and that started my model career. I did a few jobs, the competition in Brazil is hard and I was still really young to handle this market. My career really started when I was selected  for the Elle fashion preview in Rio de Janeiro. It’s one of the most famous shows in Brazil and i was competing with some top models like Lais Ribeiro and Isabel Fontana.  After that my agency decided that China would be my first international trip to gain more experience before a move to Europe and USA. There, I did the Shanghai Fashion Week and few campaigns but to be honest, my skin color was a big problem for Chinese market. During a fashion week casting I met my boyfriend who’s from France, and he advised me to move to Paris because he was sure that I could do great work in Paris and that my career blow up fast. I went back to Brazil for 3 weeks to tell my family that I will move to Paris and get ready for this new exciting challenge. By June I traveled to Paris and did the PFW “Haute Couture” right away after arriving, then PFW “ready to wear” and I had the chance to snag amazing shows like Issey Miyake at the Grand Palais. After this show my photos from the show were seen in Vogue Paris which is totally amazing.
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JF: What is your most prized possession and why?

DG: My Brain, because knowledge is power, and by using my brain in a good way I can have everything I want and reach all my goals.
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JF: The hot button topics these days are sexual harassment and diversity especially within the modeling business. Can we speak to either or both of these topics and if you could share any experiences?

DG:We know that models are judged by their appearance all the time, and lately the media is emphasizing more and more the sensuality… several photographers like to shoot models naked and the power of Instagram nowadays to get more followers which pushes models to shoot naked. Also a lot of supermodels do it and show their bodies like a trophy.  When I arrived in Paris I received lot of proposal to shoot naked. It surprised me because in a city of fashion I was expecting more editorial type shoots rather than Playboy type shoots. I just accepted once, for the book project of a famous photographer François Berthier. About diversity…  it’s good that the media is starting to  care a little bit to make all the types of woman feel beautiful and confident about themselves.  Coming from Nordeste in Brazil, my skin color is “café” color so I arrive to the market at the right time. But there is still controversy about skin color and diversity. A black model was rejected after she was booked for a show in past London fashion week because the designer said that the “quota” of black model was filled!! We all know that deep inside too many people still prefer “Barbie girl” type.
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 JF: If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would they be and why?
DG: Gisele Bündchen … because she is an amazing woman and she gives 100% of herself in what she does. She is an example for all models and it would be my pleasure to share a dinner with her as friend to experience her truly personality and energy when there is no camera.

Jared Leto ... Since I was really young I was his fan, he is the full  package,  great voice, great actor and also did really good as model for Gucci campaign. The best is that he's built career, he wasn't born rich like the Kardashians, and for sure he would be good dinner company.

Antoine, my boyfriend, my love … He is not that famous, but he is the biggest support that I have in my career and in my personal life. When you really love somebody you want to give your best in everything and he is a huge piece of my motivation.  Of course, I already had lot of dinners with him but for sure he will be invited to this table.

Michael Jackson: The biggest pop star and most famous singer ever. He created things never seen before, unique songs and dance moves, he was unique, a one of a kind artist, the proof that you can be successful even when you’re black, such an inspiration to me also.

Paulo Coelho … I would invite him for sure and I really hope to meet someday. He is a literary phenomenon. I love to travel in my imagination while reading a really good book like the ones he writes but I also want to write my own books …. He inspires me to do it.
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JF: Let’s talk about Debora in 5 years; what’s the plan for the big picture? Your future? Your dreams?

DG: Unfortunately because of my career I'm living far away from my family and sometimes I'm sad about it. My dream is to do what I love and surrounded with the persons I love. I have a strong desire to succeed in my model career and I want to reach top 10 models ranking. By succeeding, I could help my family; invite them to Paris or NYC to visit me, as well as sometimes traveling back to Brazil for some holidays because I miss being there with them. Also, literature is one of my passions so I want to publish my books and do movies based on them. I have already written a full book in Portuguese so I need to translate in English and then find a publisher to make this happen.

Anyway I have many projects in mind but my main focus is my career as a model… at least for now.