Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Meet & Greet George Zaharoff

In honor of the opening of the George Zaharoff store at 110 East Oak Street in Chicago, I would like to reintroduce the eponymous designer to all.  The first of its kind to open in the United States, the George Zaharoff flagship store will house the “world of Zaharoff” all under one roof.  The product range and brand extensions will complement and enhance the already celebrated collections that are available elsewhere.  The shop will feature accessories exclusive to his collection as well as bespoke services as well as products never before offered anywhere that have been exclusively executed for the eponymous brand.  Look for George starting on October 27 and say hi from me!

Meeting George Zaharoff is like running into your long lost friend from times gone by. George is warm and open, spiritual and very “intimate” when he speaks of his life and his business. He is a rarefied person who loves what he does and draws you into his world during that encounter. His notoriety has been achieved via his men’s tailored clothing collection which offers men fashion without going over the top; as they say the devil is in the details. The clothing, at lack of a better word, has nuance, just a little something that makes it very au courant without looking foolish in any way. His latest venture is on the web with the addition of a capsule ladies collection which in time will grow to equal that of the menswear. If you are not into clothes, you might just love the scent…..learn the name …know the name…get used to it!

1. What trait do you most treasure in yourself?
I am very empathetic
2. What’s your bliss?
On an airplane, over an ocean, 40,000 ft. – in first class.
3. Who or what is your inspiration?
The world around me, anything or anyone can inspire me.
4. Who is your favorite designer?
My mother is my biggest influence, but in terms of internationally known designers, Gianni Versace & Valentino are tied.
5. What’s your most treasured possession?
My little Piccolo, a three-year old Italian Greyhound, is my little heart.
6. If you couldn’t do your present job, what would you be?
There’s nothing else I would want to be.
7. Where is your ideal home?
I’m the multiple residence type. I could have a place in the Hollywood hills a loft in Manhattan and an apartment in London.
8. What do you wear to bed?
A pair of light blue-striped Hanro boxers. I own ten of them.
9. In a word, what do you think about fashion?
10. How important is the truth with regard to your work?
Very important, without truth, who am I as a person?
11. What’s your advice to an aspiring designer?
Never give up. Never, ever, ever, ever (ever) give up.
12. Do you pay attention to other designers’ work?
Unfortunately I do not.
13. If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?
Dead - Jesus, to teach me the speed and power of thought, He knew how to control the physical world. Alive? Oprah.
14. Do you read your own reviews?
You know, I think listening to reviews is much easier than the weekly retail sales reports.
15. How important is the link between the music business and fashion?
The music business changed with MTV. No matter how talented or talentless one is vocally, it’s all about presentation. It’s all theatre.
16. Do you think the music business influences fashion?
Yes and no. Once in a generation you have a Madonna or Lady Gaga that will influence and create a trend. But I would like to think designers create trends.
17. What is your approach to a new season?
I meditate about it, put it out into the Universe and wait for direction. It just happens naturally.
18. What stimulates your creative process?
The world around me through my travels. It could be coming out of a local Starbucks or in the Gobi desert looking at the material of a ger.
19. Do you wish to convey any message from your designs?
Yes, love and oneness – my wish is to show the customer how they are inspired in the process.
20. Would you wear your own designs?
I already do. I would not put it out into the market if I would not wear it.
21. Are your designs purely esthetic for the ideal or do you take into account different body types and personalities?
A fashion house cannot cater to every body type and personality.
You can’t stand for everything and everyone.
22. Who is the one opinion that you trust?
My team.
23. Does politics hold any influence over your creative process?
24. If you could collaborate with any other createur, who would it be?
I love collaborating with people in general. I love teams. I would love to work on a project with Karl Lagerfeld.
25. If elected president, what is the first thing you would do?
Bring all our troops home and focus on the US. Very isolationist in thought for being a worldly gent, but I think we need to get our house in order first before helping others.
26. Who is your perfect customer?
I have a few of them, someone who says to me, “I need four suits, four sports jackets, five trousers, shirts and neckwear” and gives me an unlimited budget. I love working with magnificent fabrics that end up costing $20,000 when made into a suit

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dress Camp & Motonari Ono..Tokyo Collections Spring 2013


Motonari Ono is a collection that deserves an A+ for presentation.  The first half of the show had the collection being shown on dress forms that were carried down the catwalk by models and then the second half was the conventional model as mannequin method of showing.  That kind of originality is what makes the fashion world take notice no matter what else happens on the runway and it kept my interest thorough out.  The clothes have a decidedly Japanese tone but not in the Rei, Junya, Yohji kind of way; the clothes exude an Asian kind of sweetness that you see many Asian women wearing  especially in Hong Kong and Tokyo.  There is a school girl charm about them which might make them a bit cringe worthy on a woman of a certain age.  A little color might have upped the sophistication level and elevated that saccharine look to something a bit more urbane.

Dress Camp can only be described it he simplest of terms and comparisons.  Here is my take away from this definitely street wear savvy collection aimed at both young men and women.  I would like you to think the following; what if Addidas and Donatella and Gianni Versace collaborated with YSL (the original one) who then met Roberto cavalla Cavalli and then jointly designed a collection with Ricardo Tisci of Givenchy who then meets and teams up with Jeremy Scott.  Take a look and see if you don’t agree!  And you may want to add a dash of Jean Paul Gaultier into the mix.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ne-Net & Degree Fahrenheit Tokyo Collections Spring 2013

Again these are 2 collections that are polar opposites of each other; one of them is more traditionally “Japanese” inspired while the other is decidedly more European inspired.

Degree Fahrenheit is most definitely inspired from the current school of European designers.  References might be found from Lanvin, Pucci, Jil Sander and maybe even Elie Saab.  The collection was presented in all white which certainly becomes an issue but the clothes are definitely more classically designed and for European and North American consumption.  What can be gleaned from the grouping is that there is a possibility that some Japanese designers are suffering from what I call “NY Syndrome” which is when the collections showed after Europe, the designers were often said to be using the Europeans as immediate inspiration.  All this being said, the take away is simply that there are some good clothes here but they need to have a bit more originality and some better “fitting” when doing runway.

Ne-Net is most definitely of the Yohji, Rei and Junya  school of design and just in case that isn’t enough, toss in Marc  Jacobs, Thom Browne  and Marni as design inspirations.  The end result is very “emperor’s new clothes”  and certainly greatly influenced by the great and original Japanese designers of the 20th century.  This time I am not sure I can say that the collection needs to be dissected as there are so many distractions going that it is hard to know for sure if this is the case.  The head gear alone can fill an exhibition and the incessant layering that is so prevalent in Marc Jacobs’ collections surely takes away from what might be hidden within the strata of clothes.  I believe that there are those who do it better and within this category there is no need to increase the stable of designers who offer apparel that looks like this.

Facetasm ... Adeam .. Tokyo Collections Spring 2013

 こんにちTokyo .. Facetasm .. Adeam

Fashion week Tokyo is in full swing. If one is so inclined to endure the fashion week that goes on endlessly, then Tokyo is the next logical destination.  Traditionally Tokyo designers have echoed the likes of “Comme, Yohji and Junya” but there seems to be a trend or perhaps it is an evolution that brings Tokyo fashion to a new level.  There are European influences to be seen as well as those of the most favored American designers who have built huge followings in Japan to the point of iconographic status.

Adeam is a collection I am not familiar with but am impressed with its “western” approach to fashion.  The collection is commercial, in a good way without being boring, very wearable in a fashionable way and very pretty but not in a prissy way.  The collection slews on the younger side but with plenty of options for women of any age.  My take away is that the offering for Spring 2013 was far more inventive and creative than may shows that took place during NY collections. 

Facetasm has certainly brought to the light the “western” influence of one or two very high profile American designers and they would be Marc Jacobs and Thom Browne.  Unquestionably their influences are felt here and to some degree quite effectively even though this reviewer is equally flummoxed by the Japanese vision as I am with the orginals!  I am sure that one must dissect this collection in order to wear it in the real word and I do believe that there are pieces of great merit buried within the overly layered turnouts on the runway.  The most evident attribute of the collection is the designer’s sense of humor which goes a long way during the seriousness that occurs during the fashion cycle of seasons.