Monday, April 29, 2013

Uniform Union Fall 2013 Los Angeles collections

California fashion as it is called and classified has never exactly elicited any sort of excitement from me.  I have read books on the subject and reviewed dozens of shows and yet, except for very rare occasion, can I ever say that there is a designer/brand that brings me to “the keyboard.”  So, in the spirit of all things new and fresh, if that’s even possible in today’s world of fashion, I offer up to you Uniform Union which is a collaboration of two extraordinarily talented young designers who have a distinct and original point of view.

Franck Ford and Seven Loy have been honing their design skills for over 25 years and doing successfully and internationally.  It is with their latest incarnation, Uniform Union, that they reach a culmination of their combined talents.  This crescendo results in a collection that is at all times modern, impeccably made (inside and out) , possibly reminiscent of some of the greats and yet never in  a “me too” sort of  way .

What needs to be pointed out is that the tailoring is crisp, edgy and modern.  The innovative design riffs,  on many fashion staples,  render the viewer/buyer somewhat awed.  The modernity of pieces/styles that we have all seen time after time for years are suddenly looking new and have been totally reinterpreted to suit the design ethos of this design duo and their label.  The “take” they have on dresses is a point of view that is a combination of the tried and true combined with the most inventive of techniques that one might call “artsy” or better termed a specific design signature.  Imagine that there are many pieces, both of hard and soft construction, that evoke strong emotion, all in a most positive and compelling way.

What upsets this reviewer or chronicler of fashion is that collections/designers of this ilk and caliber rarely get the “ink” they so richly deserve.  Being eclipsed by those who are far less talented can taint or infect the ambition of many a designer and has been their nemesis. 

What gratifies me is that there are still some top tier retailers, Maxfield, Ikram and A’maree’s in the United States as well as Montaigne Market in Paris to name a few,   that still appreciate and recognize what is new, original and modern in this miasma we know as the world of fashion. How uplifting and refreshing is it to know that there are still designers who wish to stand out from the flock and can achieve it by using their god given talents.  Have a look and let me know if you agree ….

P.S… the photos don’t come close to showing the exquisite detail of each piece

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

SPRING /SUMMER reading....

With the advent of Spring comes a new crop of very fashionable reading material from all over the world.  The thread of commonality is of course fashion and all of its contiguous aspects.  Be it fashion in the purest sense … clothes, or the adjuncts of the subject, such as photography, scent, history of fabulous jewelry; the literary world has it covered!  So, here are my 10 recommendations for your enlightenment and for additions to your fashion library … learn something today, buy a book and read it!

Power and Style is not the usual photo heavy fashion volume but a serious study of what one can call an encyclopedia of “silent signals” that pertain to how a person presents themselves in matters of style.

Jewels from Imperial St. Petersburg reminded me that there is no greater pleasure than to hold and savor a volume of such high caliber… it is more than just a sumptuously and exquisitely illustrated book about “Russian jewelry.”

Cult Perfumes is an extraordinarily engaging treat about an aspect of fashion sensed but not seen “The creation of fragrance is one of the highest art forms . . . the equivalent of painting for sight and music for hearing . . . The art of perfume does indeed involve a love and appreciation of something higher than mere scent in a bottle.”.

The writers of Valentino Master of Couture: A Private View have bestowed upon us what can only be described as “a catwalk of history, stretching through the golden age of couture and continuing into the present.” These few words sum up the content and context of this mini treasure of a book.

Little Black Dress is described as an evolution of the little black dress, and yet the arrangement of the garments is nowhere near chronological, which makes it merely an inventory catalog.

Looking for a reason why books should still exist as printed matter? Here is an outstanding one: World Without Men is a prime example of a book that shines. Of course, this is all predicated on your being a Helmut Newton fan or having a great love of photography and fashion during a golden era.

Roger Vivier is a treasure trove of shoe design reminding us that in a time of Bally, Delman, Beth Levine, David Evins, and the Julianellis, the master of them all was Roger Vivier.

New Icons of Fashion Illustration exposes the reader to a new generation of those artists who might have at one time been considered the only true “artists” representing fashion. Boomers might recall that fashion illustration was once the primary method of advertising in magazines and newspapers.

C. Z. Guest: American Style Icon lives up to its name on every imaginable level and then goes on to deliver a genuinely endearing and personal portrait depicting a woman who is legendary and remains unforgettable. As one is reminded over and over in the book, “We’ll never see the likes of her again.” In the contemporary vernacular: True Dat!

Audrey in Rome is undoubtedly a love letter from an adoring son to his mother. This is a celebration of a woman who must have been a wonderful and loving mother as the book remembers her in the most endearing, iconic, and somewhat melancholy way, though the book never descends to the maudlin or schmaltzy.

There will be lots of rainy days and there might even be some space on your coffee table but most of all make some time to get lost in fashion and “take a trip” into some worlds that you never really knew much about… full reviews are available at

Monday, April 1, 2013

Azzedine Alaia Paris Collections Fall 2013

I would be remiss if I excluded Azzedine Alaia from the roster of designers who showed for Fall 2013; not to mention I would be one lousy critic as well as a shortsighted one.  Mr. Alaia, as is his wont, shows when he wants and to whom he wants.  He is a master of his craft and thusly follows no rules other than his own. 
This is not a collection about trend or the latest and the greatest.  Every Alaia collection is about the evolvement of the m├ętier of fashion; this is about his personal evolution and possibly just about what HE feels like showing for any given season.

Anyone who has an understanding of what Mr. Alais does with his eponymous brand knows that he is all about shape, silhouette, construction, innovation, creativity, self-expression and most of all his personal individuality  that reigns supreme within the fashion community.  While so many us in the Fashion Flock are worried about what Raf is doing at Dior or what absurdity Hedi has heaped upon the house of  Saint Laurent, Mr. alaia just travels his own path, the path that has been paved in the glory of HIS fashion, HIS way.

This season, he is all about knits… short, long, slim. Shaped or any way he sees them.  Each piece is a deception of simplicity.  Each piece is a demonstration of masterful and signature design.  I feel that Mr. Alaia is an acquired taste for fashionphiles as either you get it or you don’t!  He is, what I consider to be, a 21st century Balenciaga; maybe not as cerebral and as expansive but nonetheless a master of the art of fashion.