Archive for ‘Fashion’

October 1, 2013

A Real Cost of Participating in a Fashion Week

fashionWeekFashion weeks is a multi-million dollar business. Thousands of jobs got created because of this 20th century entertainment phenomena. These days every large city wants to host their own Fashion week. Paris, Milan and New York hold the largest fashion weeks twice a year. Other big cities that have a fashion week are Toronto, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin Los Angeles and dozen others.

Have you ever wondered how expensive is to participate in a fashion week? Do they charge fees? Do they pay any labels to participate? What is a real cost of presenting a collection at a international fashion week? Here is what we found out:

To participate well established labels don’t have to pay entry fee, nor they need to pay for the venue since tickets are sold to attend that cover these costs. They however have to pay for decoration and operations of the show they are putting. A fashion show revealing the new collection can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars according to Forbes. Cost is broken down between setting up the venue decor, furniture, building the runway and backstage room, hosting a reception, hiring models, stylists and make-up artists and so forth. According to Forbes interview with a famous fashion show producer Thomas Onorato, certain costs may appear surprising. Large labels can shell $20,000-50,000 just to hire a celebrity stylist or makeup artist, which in turn will pay off in increased sales if presentation goes well. Some models request a special suite, that of course, has to be built at participating label’s cost, this on the top of paying the model. A famous phrase by Linda Evangelista “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000” which was said back in 90’s gives us a rough idea how much just a few minute appearance can cost designers.

A newly emerging label has to pay differently. While it is up to them how much operating expenses they want to spend, they have to pay for venue rental on top of that. As venues compete for business, some offer value-add participation by providing services such as lighting and stage organization such as MAC and Milk in New York. But even to those, to get in, a designer has to be invited. So, you can’t be just completely new label.

As shows get larger, with close to 300 labels showcasing collections a few minutes apart during the week, scheduling of events is becoming more challenging. Paris fashion week has a reputation of a very good organization with not more than one large label showing the collection per hour. This gives media time to switch between the viewings. New York fashion week in contrary, has a bad reputation of scheduling that affects labels in the long term. If media and photographers didn’t get a chance to make good pictures there will be no publicizing later. Perhaps this is the reason why so many grand labels, such as Versace or Dior for example did not participate in the New York fashion week this year. In a slow economy labels have a choice where to put their money.

September 16, 2013

Roberto Cavalli – A Designer Who Is Inspired By Women

Roberto Cavalli is one of the makers of what we call Italian fashion. Excessive decorations with stones, prints, feathers and colorful patches is what makes Italian style. Roberto Cavalli spent over 50 years proving the world that a style should be consistent, but it does not have to be monotone.

When asked what inspires him, he gladly says “I am inspired by women”. Woman lover, woman mother or woman wife – he had them all and says that studied their psychology and body needs as if he studied science. This helped to develop ultra feminine style with accent on sexiness and aggressiveness. Hence is the animal prints that became signature for every collection.

In one of his interviews for NewStyle, Roberto elaborates that the best compliment he received for his designs was from a woman who said “I tried everything from Ives Saint Laurent to Chanel, but when put on your clothing realized that suddenly all men are looking at me. You changed my life”. He is inspired by women who are desired. While press and media is picking on minimalism and architectural designs in women fashion, Cavalli is not getting much appraisal from big Vogue and Elle. In fact there was only one interview with the designer for the past 10 years! He however is getting enough attention from such women, who keep coming back for clothes that make them sexy and beautiful.

When asked what makes his designs so true to his style he said “The secret lies in deep knowledge of women body proportions and fearless attitude to their femininity. I don’t change my designs in favor of monochrome, I use chic silks, reptile skins and furs. Anything that makes woman look like Goddess.” Goddess will not only wear dresses, but also accessorize to the max, Roberto Cavalli sunglasses became an attribute of a true fashionista.

His Goddess of two decades is Eva Cavalli, his wife who was able to tame the gypsy soul and create a family with playful designer. Roberto admires his wife. He says that the secret to their long marriage is that she is not just beautiful, she is a strong personality with similar life values and ideas. According to maestro, to keep a good men on a short leash for many years, beauty is not enough. Woman has to carry a mystery. So in styles, he does not like anything too short or too open. Super mini skirt or very open shirt will not make a woman sexy. What will is a mystery that she hides behind her leopard coat or snake skinny pants.

Roberto admits that his muse is Jennifer Lopez. A true Italian does not hide the fact that he was once madly in love with Latino legend. She inspired him on many new designs. Her love of her own body led him to create more designs for women of similar proportions.

Roberto Cavalli also has a men line. American Aerosmith lead singer Steve Tyler is one of the biggest admirers of Cavalli style. However there is not much for men other than a small selection of jeans and shirts. Roberto admits that it’s not his goal to create competitors among men by dressing them well.

July 28, 2013

Evolution and Revolution by Dior. How Dior Style Became Iconic.

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Dior is one of the mega brands of modern age. Over the past 50 years brand went through smooth evolution, created revolution in fashion and even got itself covered in scandals, boosting the media attention to the brand to a new level.

Christian Dior, the originator of the brand, worked very hard entire life. Only in the past decade of his life he was able to show off his talent and create a blueprint in a fashion industry. He was known to be a humble boy from a noble family. His mother was of very strong character and made his career choice difficult. His family owned a fertilizer factory and was quite wealthy until business failed and they went to near poverty. Whoever thinks that making a career is hard today, didn’t really thought how it was for people then. But these stubborn, old fashion times actually allowed Christian Dior create an iconic “New Look”.

Dior 1Christian Dior truly revolutionized fashion and actually created the phenomenon of fashion. He became very famous when he cut the skirt making it just a right length to show off the shoes and beautiful woman ankle. This move in itself gave boost to shoes fashion, as shoes became much more visible under such skirt.

Christian Dior adored working with silhouettes. Fabric during World War 2 was scare and given little choices, Christian Dior creatively made new silhouettes to emphasize woman fragility and femininity. He once said “I created a flower woman”, meaning that the entire look from head to toe resembled a flower. He was big on accessories, and specifically preferred to use real jewelry and gemstones as oppose the replicas. Accessorizing the simple silhouette was another way to make a woman more attractive and her look finished. He was also a big fan of glasses. In fact Dior glasses were the first fashion eyewear accessories. He experimented with materials and shapes and bought out rights on Optyl – specially created plastic material that is widely used today in glasses manufacturing.

Just before Christian Dior passed away, Yves Saint Laurent was hired by then well established fashion house. He came just in time to work with the iconic designer side by side. Since Yves Saint Laurent was only 18 years old when he started, he embraced Dior fashion and continued perfecting the New Look. He kept working with silhouettes, shaping woman’s body line and designing new accessories before leaving to create his own brand.

Among the most recent and most memorable designers at Dior was John Galliano. He spent close to 20 years perfecting the brand and bringing it to the modern age. Galliano’s biggest contribution to the brand was that he kept it very famine. Despite new trends of trousers, jeans and minimalism, Dior brand kept it’s mark high concentrating on florals, details, beautiful female figure and colorful accessories. It was very unfortunate that John Galliano was fired a few years ago for a verbal fight in a bar. Since the Dior brand is a business where public image is everything, there was no place for a lead designer accused of antisemitism and alcohol dependence.

Today, Raf Simons is a lead designer of Dior house. His first collection gained negative reviews as he tried to divert the Dior style towards manly and simplistic making all figures grey and dull. He quickly corrected himself this year creating a hit collection based on Flower Woman idea and putting more emphasis on accessories.

June 4, 2013

You Don’t Need to Wait for Extreme Heat to Wear Fashionable Sunglasses

If you live in Canada or Northern United States you probably got tired of complaining about the weather. It has not been warm enough to wear shorts or open top to show off your beautiful summer body. But there are certain wardrobe elements that are weather proof. Well… almost weather proof. Shoes, purses and jewelry are just some. Sunglasses, of course are too.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Don’t wait for the heat. Get a new pair of sunglasses and heat will come. Here are few mood raisers:

Dior sunglasses MYmissdior fs Dior sunglasses Dior SOIE 2S Dior sunglasses Dior SAUVAGE 1S
Dior Mymissdior Dior SOIE 2S Dior SAUVAGE 1S

2. Whatever sunglasses you get, you will not regret. If you feel that bright color would be appropriate for +10 degrees, then no one will stop you. You can get as crazy as this:

Roberto Cavalli sunglasses RC737S Roberto Cavalli sunglasses RC736S Roberto Cavalli Sunglasses RC731S
Roberto Cavalli RC737S Roberto Cavalli R736S Roberto Cavalli RC731S

3. Love your face, love your body and love yourself. Buying yourself a nice gift of sun eyewear is a treat you deserve.

Tiffany sunglasses TF4068B Tiffany sunglasses TF4071B Tiffany TF4070B
Tiffany TF4068B Tiffany TF4071B Tiffany TF4070B
September 26, 2011

A Real Reason Behind D&G Brand Shutdown

Breaking news about D&G line shutdown has certainly left many fashion critics wondering about a real reason behind sanity of this business decision. D&G, a youth line has been announced to live it’s last season during the Spring/Summer 2012 collection demonstration after which D&G will be history. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana explained the decision saying that the line was always meant to be a sibling to the main brand Dolce & Gabbana. Over the past few years D&G however outshined the father brand thus turning the consumer away from the main line.  Hm… so you guys are cutting the most profitable line in your company? Does it even make sense?

It is normal that during recession discounted luxury brands did better than luxury or mid-market. Companies such as Coach even capitalized on the idea by opening factory stores that are selling more than their flagship stores. Roberto Cavalli put more efforts on developing Just Cavalli line opening first JC flagship stores in Italy and the US. Nothing personal, it’s just business.

It is not a secret that both D&G founders are not friends with finances and the tax man. In 2009 Domenico and Stefano were charged for tax evasion for having moved the head office from Italy to Luxembourg thus hiding over $200 in taxes. But no one would think that guys would make such a daring move to kill one of the most successful brands in fashion history.

I think, a real reason is counterfeit. It is clear that D&G brand was either not trademarked on time nor is just too simple to double trademark. Some Donna and Garry can came out and argue that they also deserve D&G name to be used for trades. Acronyms in US are not even allowed to be trademarked.

Over the years of travelling across the word I have never seen more of any other brand name than D&G. One time I visited excursion to Turkey’s famous Salt Pools and on the way was brought to the cotton factory. In the factory shop along with famous Turkish towels and linens there was a huge section of pants and shirts with D&G label on it. Now, that was 10 years ago. Just this year I went to Paris and saw a huge D&G store on one of the central touristic streets. Happily, I went in there and was instantly disappointed. Not only I saw over 500 items on display, which is impossible as each D&G collection is not more than 40 items, but also all items were made in China. It is widely known that D&G is one of the few lines that is still made in Italy under rigorous control of both founders.  Ok, no one is even surprised by Turkey, but Paris! This is over the board. To conclude, in Toronto, in Yorkville (one block away of Bay & Bloor) which is the most touristic area of the city there is a store called Gabbana. It used to face another store called Dolce. I asked the store personnel a few years ago whether there is any affiliation with the famous brand and was told, that Dolce & Gabbana are simply two stores carrying same name.

Anti-counterfeit policy is the only solid reason that comes to my mind that logically explains why D&G brand has been shut down. One can’t blame Gominico and Stafano for not willing to share their success with thousands of other counterfeit shops. Dolce & Gabbana company is still privately owned. Unlike LVMH or much larger Armani Corporation Dolce & Gabbana has simply no resources to protect their Intellectual Property.

We can only hope that genius designers will quickly come up with a better lower luxury brand name and do all proper steps to protect the identity without leaving out the dedicated fans from the pleasure of buying their fashion creations for a rather reasonable price. For now D&G glasses and D&G sunglasses are becoming collectibles and are definitely worth checking out. At Eyeinform, you can be assured, glasses are authentic.

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August 24, 2011

Gucci Fall/Winter 2011 Sunglasses and Glasses Collection

Gucci Fall/Winter 2011 Glasses are made to please people of all styles and career levels. You can call fall Gucci glasses classics or you can call them trendy. They are actually both …

This fall geeky style continues to develop, evolving in more shape variations and colors. After fashion movers of our time – celebrities and models have been wearing oversized glasses shapes for a few seasons, we see more people of more conservative taste putting similar glasses on.

Gucci 1643 GUCCI 1654 Gucci 3202
Gucci 1643 Gucci 1654 Gucci 3202
Gucci 2906 Gucci 2902
Gucci 2906 Gucci 2902

Gucci fall sunglasses also introduce a new, so called butterfly shape. A bit cat eye inspired, but more so a hybrid of oversized and cat eye. These are new and if you consider yourself among fashion movers – get them and you won’t be disappointed. Butterfly sunglasses that agreeably look a bit over the top on the pictures, actually look very beautiful on many face shapes. If you have a round face, these Winter/Fall 2011 Gucci sunglasses will make it look visually longer. If your face is long, they will balance it out adding more angles to the overall silhouette. Enjoy!

Gucci 2908 Gucci 2909 Gucci 1000
Gucci 2908 Gucci 2909 Gucci 1000
July 15, 2011

Why High Collar Shirts are So Hard to Find

Ever since Karl Lagerfeld reinvented himself and lost 90 pounds 10 years ago he started to wear high fashion clothing and with years progressing his style turned into a focal point of media and press. In fact Karl Lagerfeld is the most photographed designer in the world and the most known. He explained his weight loss “I suddenly wanted to dress differently, to wear clothes designed by Hedi Slimane”. Hedi Slimane is a French fashion designer who is currently working on releasing his own label. Among his notable employers are Dior (Dior Homme collection), Prada and Gucci. Perhaps Slimane was the one to come up with a high collar shirt design that Karl has been wearing over and over again.

But if you try to purchase a shirt like that you will run into trouble. Shockingly none of the big man labels are carrying them. Not even Harry Rosen, not even Chanel itself. Why? What is so hard about it?

Well, partially is that a true high collar, one that goes all the way to the chin, must be custom made. Historically all men shirts were custom made. Collars were detachable. Karl’s shirts are made that way too. There was an episode in the beginning of Private Confidential biographic documentary where it is shown that Karl has a massive drawer with probably couple of hundreds of such collars. When inquired from Chanel store manager in Toronto it was confirmed that shirts are indeed custom made for Karl. Just look at the variety? Collars and cuffs are often of a different color to create contrast. Sometimes they are of the same fabric as the shirt on the outside and have inner lining on the inside. Until Hedi Slimane or another men designer will start including these shirts into ready-to-wear collections all we got is to enjoy pictures of fashionable Karl.

June 21, 2011

Donatella Versace to Design a Collection for H&M

H&M lovers have been waiting for this moment way too long. And here it comes: H&M announced today a collaboration with the house of Versace.

H&M is a trendy Swedish company that caters to young people. Label made a name retailing low priced, high quality and trendy fashion. Currently 2200 stores worldwide offer a huge selection of clothing, shoes, lingerie and accessories. H&M earned reputation for showing off the low price, $19.99 for a pair of jeans or $49.99 for a trendy coat at their super model ads. While company has been growing organically since its foundation in 1947, collaborations with premium brand designers have brought the H&M label to a completely new level.

First collaboration was in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld. While it was a huge success with lineups stretching around the block and the collection selling within days, Karl criticized the organizers for underestimating the demand. His idea of the collaboration was that people would get a bit of Chanel experience when they can come to stores at the relaxed pace and try the clothing with no restrictions. He feared that H&M collection will cheapenize his lables’ luxurious image.

Since then H&M released close to 10 guest designer collections, most notable being Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf and most recent Lanvin. All designers have expressed appreciation to participate and were happy with PR outcomes. Many low priced retail companies followed the idea and launched their own partner collections. For example Target had collections done by Alexandr McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier and Milla Jovovich. Issac Mizrahi made collections for  Target in 2002 and Fairweather.

Versace collaboration news have already exploded the press. Bloggers and fashion journalists are very excited about an upcoming H&M – Versace release that is scheduled for late November, 2011. Donatella shared her vision for the collection: “The collection for H&M will be “quintessentially Versace,” inspired by the archives, and including clothing, shoes, accessories, and jewelry for men and for women.” Apart from clothing pieces collection will also include home pieces such as Versace for H&M pillows and a bedspread.

June 13, 2011

Princess Diana’s Dresses Auction Is Only A Week Away

Well promoted auction of Princess Diana dresses is approaching its historic date. And well on time. Just last week Michael Jackson’s Thriller leather jacket sold for over $400,000. Diana’s dresses are expected to raise over $5 million in Toronto next week.

14 evening dresses come with a story and hallmark photos – all nostalgic and recognizable. The dance with Travolta is perhaps the most memorable. The auction will take place in Toronto on June 23, 2011 at Waddington’s Auction House on Bathurst & King St.

According to the auction house appraisals dresses are estimated between $150,000 to $475,000. Experience shows that many times the estimated price is only to set approximate starting bid and most likely dresses will go for over $500,000 each.

Diana sold her collection of dresses just two years before her tragic death to raise funds for her charitable foundation. In reaction to Diana’s death entrepreneur Maureen Rorech Dunkel has created a People’s Princess Charitable Foundation to carry on Diana’s mission. They were used in the Dresses for Humanity Exhibition tour that over the years circulated the world delivering an illustrative story of Diana’s life. Kensington Palace also borrowed the dresses to be displayed as part of its Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection where the Princess lived from 1981 to 1997.

Dresses collection told a story of Diana’s journey as a “Peoples Princess” and described her personality and character to over a million of viewers who saw the exhibit. By looking at these particular 14 dresses one can draw a picture of Diana’s fun part of personality that was evolving over the time she was married to Prince Charles. From a 19 year old, newly wed princess Diana turned into an iconic figure of humanity in just one decade.

Mrs. Dunkel purchased dresses with a charitable purpose and now after undergoing bankruptcy is in need to sell. Proceeds from sale will go Canada’s National Ballet School.

diana travolta dress Diana Travolta Dance
Est. $800000 / 1000000 A famous Travolta Dance dress was worn in 1985 to a State Dinner at the White House hosted by President & Mrs. Reagan.
Diana's Voque Dress diana posting to voque
Est. $225000 / 275000 Also, Diana wore this dress to pose for Vanity Fair magazine in 1997. Same dress was also worn to the Palace de Versailles for “La Deuxieme Nuit International de L’enfrance” organized by UNESCO, 1994.
Diana's pink dress Diana in Pink dress
Est. $375000 / 425000 Diana wore this dress to a trip to India in 1992. It possesses the cultural elements of Indian traditional gowns – jewels, silky fabric, long sleeves.
Diana's blue dress
Est. $150000 / 200000 Diana was wearing this dress to a state occasion in Vienna in 1986 and to a film premiere in 1993
Est. $250000 / 300000 This dress is known from a Vanity Fair magazine cover in 1997. It was originally designed by Catherine Walker for Diana’s attendance at a royal banquet for the King and Queen of Malaysia in 1993.
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May 17, 2011

Eyewear – A Dive in History

Eyeglasses – lenses embedded into a frame to correct vision have a very long and interesting history.What started as an object to fill very important health function has evolved to the object of fashion. Since glasses were put onto a face from their inception lots of consideration was given to their look, lightweight and comfort.

It is beleived that first documented evidence of spectacles appears in Santa Maria Novella dating back to 1306 written by the Dominican friar. According to the documented fact invention is contributed to Allesandro Spina, a Dominican monk. Italy at the time was a glass making country of the world. Before 1300 magnifying glass was already widely used and it was made out of crystal. Traditional glasses lenses made out of glass, but because first models were made out of beryl or rock  they were known as beryls. Term “brillen” is still used in German to refer to glasses.

First surviving picture of glasses circa 1352 is currently displayed in the church of San Niccolo at Treviso.

It didn’t take long before spectacles reached mass use and by early fifteenth century were associated with literacy. This “image” item is common on painitings, frescas and engravings often depicting monks, cardinals and bible preachers of 1400-1900 era.

first glasses glasses history

The earliest spectacles were made with two lenses mounted in rims made out of metal, horn or leather. They were held by hand and worn only when needed. Later a bridge appeared that connected the lenses and pressed them onto the nose.

first glasses glasses history

As technology of lens production improved, so the desire to wear them continuously. Spectacles were prone to fall of the face or hurt the nose. This problem was solved by the arm that was added to the design of glasses at around 1723. Eighteenth century was also an era of widely developing fashion. Glasses were considered an important part of accessory and therefore many designs spurred. Handles were decorated with precious stones, various shapes were made and materials used for the frame. A lot of attention was given to the cases to hold glasses. Cases were engraved, incrustated, often made out or gold, silver and decorated with mother or pearl, colored stones and even diamonds.

An arm that curved under the wig holding spectacles firmly fixed on the head

Of course simplier materials were also widely used. Among them wood – the easiest to finish, industrialized steel, aluminium, and later optyl. Optyl is a light flexible plastic invented in Austria in 1967. Christian Dior was first to use this material in his collection of fashion eyeglasses and sunglasses. Other forms of plastic were used in combination with metal on glasses frames.

Today metal glasses and plastic glasses fragment the market. Silicone nosepads are part of all metal frames today. Glasses frames are further segmeted into full rim, semi-rimless and rimless that is possible to a very advanced technology of lens manufacturing and etching. Lenses technology development has its own chapter in parallel to sunglasses. We will be covering this in the future posts.