The Karl Crew

It’s no secret that where Karl Lagerfeld goes, fashion follows. At last night’s dinner celebrating the launch of his plastic shoe capsule for the Brazilian brand Melissa, the in-crowd was out in force. Carine Roitfeld, Olivier Zahm, André Leon Talley, Lady Amanda Harlech, and Arianna Huffington descended upon En Sushi in the West Village to toast the kaiser’s tooty-fruity-scented kicks, some of which feature glittery ice-cream cone heels. “It was a very basic choice,” said Lagerfeld of his accessories’ scrumptious details.

“I met Karl a decade ago when we were shooting for V Man. We’re like family,” said model Brad Koenig during a cocktail fête at Melissa’s Soho store earlier in the evening. (He’s not exaggerating—Lagerfeld is his catwalking son Hudson’s godfather). Indeed, the dinner had a “family” vibe— Michelle Harper and Jenny Shimizu demonstrated their workout routine at the table while munching on sashimi, guests like Karlie Kloss, Constance Jablonski, and Karolina Kurkova (who was pretty thrilled about winning The Face) giggled and struck silly poses for the camera, and Lagerfeld, who sat at the head table with the star of his Melissa campaign, Cara Delevingne, felt so at ease that he took off his famed sunglasses. (For those who are wondering, yes, there are eyes under there).

Speaking of the campaign, the bondage-tinged Karl-lensed photos lined the Melissa boutique, as well as the dimly lit sushi joint. “I loved it,” said Delevingne of her provocative shoot. “I walked in and they were like, ‘We got all the clothes from a sex shop,’ and I was like, ‘Perfect! Love it. Exactly what I want on a Monday afternoon!'” Karl’s explanation of the theme? “I think people are frustrated,” he said with a grin, suggesting that the increasingly popular “bondage look” was a vehicle to let loose. “And Cara took to it very well. I think she likes to play around.”

—Katharine K. Zarrella

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Margaritas All Around

It seems there’s nothing like an Ayurvedic cleanse to sharpen an appetite for tequila. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough landed in London direct from a three-day retreat in Mexico, and, if they managed to curb their desire for a cigarette, they definitely couldn’t say no to the margaritas that were flowing like wine at the dinner Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Massenet hosted for them last night. McCollough insisted tequila was the kick he needed to counter exhaustion, not just from all the cleansing and traveling, but also after an expedition earlier in the day to take in the Bowie exhibition mob scene.

The venue for the evening was the fancy steak house 34. Hernandez and McCollough, CFDA-nominated yet again, are also just 34, though Massenet insisted in her pre-dinner remarks that was pure coincidence. Not remotely random, however, has been Proenza Schouler’s success on Net-a-Porter. Massenet indicated her own outfit and the dress worn by Freida Pinto as reasons why. She also said that was why the guest list was so heavily oriented toward women—Jonathan Newhouse, Juergen Teller, Dinos Chapman, Derek Blasberg, Imran Amed, Anthony Miles, and Daniel Marks notwithstanding. The ladies love Lazaro and Jack. But, last night, so did the guys.

—Tim Blanks

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Purple Haze

Walking through the halls of Saturday night’s Purple magazine party at Milk Studios Los Angeles, it was hard not to get the impression that everybody was somebody. At a minimum, they dressed the part. And with good reason, according to actor Paz de la Huerta. “I feel like Olivier doesn’t follow trends. He doesn’t follow people everybody already knows about. He picks out real artists—the rare gems and diamonds,” she told In the current issue, which features cover girl Miranda Kerr (well, OK, everybody already knows her), those gems include fashion designer J.W. Anderson and the Bronx-born artist Steve DiBenedetto.

Purple founder Olivier Zahm spent the night jumping from one downtown notable to the next. In between air-kisses for the likes of Pom Klementieff and Chloë Sevigny, he paused long enough to relay his thoughts on the current Zeitgeist. “It’s the Instagram decade,” he said. “And, in a way, people don’t need magazines because of it. But what’s interesting is that this permanent connection is also transitory and amnesia-inducing, so you lose the sense of time, which turns magazines into record-keepers. That’s why I only do biannual issues. I would be lost in the moment doing monthly ones.” MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch was among the revelers. “I’ve followed the magazine since the beginning,” Deitch said. “Purple doesn’t isolate art as a separate discipline. The magazine successfully folds it into design, and, of course, sex.”

—Azadeh Ensha

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Aladdin Insane

The queue that snaked out of the Victoria and Albert Museum, down Cromwell Road, round the corner, and all the way up Exhibition Road was reminiscent of the lines at the Met for the McQueen show. Once you’d made it through the door, you were handed a card guaranteeing you entry to the actual exhibition in two hours. And this was for the alleged “private view” of David Bowie Is. It’s not even open to the general public yet. So that’s one indication of the hysterical interest the show has already stirred up. Another? A lot of the merchandising is already sold out.

Faces in Wednesday night’s crowd included recruits from Bowie’s small army of collaborators over the years. Geoff MacCormack, Bowie’s best friend from school days and some-time co-songwriter, lined up patiently with everyone else. Steve Strange, scouted at his Blitz Club by Bowie as local color for the “Ashes to Ashes” video, did his best to recapture past glories in a spiffy suit that designer Antony Price had run up the day before (so insisted arch style commentator Peter York). Tilda Swinton, Bowie’s current video co-star, looked suitably star-kissed in a shimmering Haider Ackermann ensemble. And Celia Philo, the art director responsible for the Aladdin Sane cover—which has so far been the exhibition’s most indelible image—shared the untold story behind the image’s genesis. No grand design, no hidden occult significance, no Elvis TCB reference. Nope, that lightning bolt was lifted from the electricity symbol on the stove in photographer Brian Duffy’s studio. After makeup artist Pierre La Roche had applied it to Bowie’s naked torso, it looked so good that La Roche suggested painting his face as well. From such tiny implausible acorns of inspiration are the mighty oaks of pop immortality grown.

The show itself is so overwhelming, peaking in a final soaring space wrapped in mile-high videos like Blade Runner‘s cityscape, that the assembled throng was understandably mute before it. (Sennheiser—co-sponsor with Gucci—has also engineered a very artful headphone accompaniment, which tended to still conversation.) Still, there were some grumbles. Ackermann and Dinos Chapman agreed on an erosion of the mystique that has wrapped Bowie for four decades. (“It’s a bit like finally getting to see someone’s tits,” super-producer Stuart Price observed with typical directness.) I beg to differ. Many of the 300 artifacts that the curators have borrowed from Bowie’s own archives are quite fabulous in themselves, but you can’t string them together to explain how he got from There to Here…or Anywhere, for that matter. In fact, if the camera crew stationed outside the museum had asked me to complete the sentence “David Bowie is” one more time (on the way in, my tongue tangled in fandom and I gagged, “God”), I’d probably have said something arch like “reassuringly unknowable.” And the best thing is that the legend is still alive to see the world at his feet once more.

—Tim Blanks

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Flowers for Zoë

Zoë Kravitz‘s turquoise, crystal, and antique silver jewelry capsule for Swarovski Crystallized has been in the works for nearly two years. So, naturally, its debut was occasion for revelry. “It’s earthy meets glam,” said Kravitz last night before her dinner at the Gramercy Park Hotel’s rooftop garden, where the actress was joined by pals Alexander Wang, Pamela Love, Natasha Lyonne, Sarah Sophie Flicker, and her mother, Lisa Bonet. Questlove, one of Kravitz’s oldest friends, was at the decks. “I’ve known her since she was eight,” said the musician. Apparently, he met Kravitz while sitting next to her at the Grammys back in 2000. “I just kept saying, ‘We’re not gonna win,’ and then she kicked me in the frickin’ shin and was like, ‘Will you shut up!‘” The Roots did win, and he and Kravitz have been chums ever since. So what does he think of her new collection? “I love it. I will wear all of her crystals!” he said. Kravitz gave him a hug and slipped a shimmering ring on his pinky.

Uptown at the MoMA, director Henry Alex Rubin screened his new film Disconnect, which features a cameo from none other than Marc Jacobs. “This was my acting career. Done. Nope. Never again,” Jacobs said. “This isn’t my world. I have enough discomfort in my comfort zone. And this was definitely out of my comfort zone.” The designer doth protest too much. Rubin told, “Marc was so sweet to work with,” and Olivier Theyskens was impressed enough that he admitted he’s open to following in Jacobs’ actorly footsteps. “Marc handled it very well. I’d love to act, actually…you never know!”

Meanwhile, on Mercer Street in Soho, British Airways took over a 15,000-square-foot space to celebrate all things British. A mini retrospective on punk fashion had guests talking about the forthcoming Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibit at the Met this spring. “I think British people bring a bit more style to New York,” Tali Lennox said. Bold words at a party in our Soho, not London’s. Her Louis Vuitton checkered dress was a nice throwback to the days of Carnaby Street, but let’s not forget it was designed by Marc Jacobs, an American through and through.

—Katharine K. Zarrella (Kravitz) and Todd Plummer

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Fashion History | fashion city store


is a general term for a popular style or practice, especially in clothing, footwear, accessories, makeup, body piercing, or furniture. Fashion refers to a distinctive and often habitual trend in the style with which a person dresses, as well as to prevailing styles in behaviour. Fashion also refers to the newest creations of textile designers.The more technical term, costume, has become so linked to the term “fashion” that the use of the former has been relegated to special senses like fancy dress or masquerade wear, while “fashion” means clothing more generally and the study of it. Although aspects of fashion can be feminine or masculine, some trends are androgynous.

Clothing fashions

Early Western travelers, whether to Persia, Turkey, India, or China frequently remark on the absence of changes in fashion there, and observers from these other cultures comment on the unseemly pace of Western fashion,which many felt suggested an instability and lack of order in Western culture. The Japanese Shogun’s secretary boasted (not completely accurately) to a Spanish visitor in 1609 that Japanese clothing had not changed in over a thousand years. However in Ming China, for example, there is considerable evidence for rapidly changing fashions in Chinese clothing.Changes in costume often took place at times of economic or social change (such as in ancient Rome and the medieval Caliphate), but then a long period without major changes followed. This occurred in Moorish Spain from the 8th century, when the famous musician Ziryab introduced sophisticated clothing-styles based on seasonal and daily fashion from his native Baghdad and his own inspiration to Córdoba in Al-Andalus.Similar changes in fashion occurred in the Middle East from the 11th century, following the arrival of the Turks, who introduced clothing styles from Central Asia and the Far East.

The beginnings of the habit in Europe of continual and increasingly rapid change in clothing styles can be fairly reliably dated to the middle of the 14th century, to which historians including James Laver and Fernand Braudel date the start of Western fashion in clothing. The most dramatic manifestation was a sudden drastic shortening and tightening of the male over-garment, from calf-length to barely covering the buttocks, sometimes accompanied with stuffing on the chest to look bigger. This created the distinctive Western male outline of a tailored top worn over leggings or trousers.

The pace of change accelerated considerably in the following century, and women and men’s fashion, especially in the dressing and adorning of the hair, became equally complex and changing. Art historians are therefore able to use fashion in dating images with increasing confidence and precision, often within five years in the case of 15th century images. Initially changes in fashion led to a fragmentation of what had previously been very similar styles of dressing across the upper classes of Europe, and the development of distinctive national styles. These remained very different until a counter-movement in the 17th to 18th centuries imposed similar styles once again, mostly originating from Ancien Régime France. Though the rich usually led fashion, the increasing affluence of early modern Europe led to the bourgeoisie and even peasants following trends at a distance sometimes uncomfortably close for the elites—a factor Braudel regards as one of the main motors of changing fashion.

Ten 16th century portraits of German or Italian gentlemen may show ten entirely different hats, and at this period national differences were at their most pronounced, as Albrecht Dürer recorded in his actual or compositecontrast of Nuremberg and Venetian fashions at the close of the 15th century (illustration, right). The “Spanish style” of the end of the century began the move back to synchronicity among upper-class Europeans, and after a struggle in the mid 17th century, French styles decisively took over leadership, a process completed in the 18th century.

Though colors and patterns of textiles changed from year to year, the cut of a gentleman’s coat and the length of his waistcoat, or the pattern to which a lady’s dress was cut changed more slowly. Men’s fashions largelyderived from military models, and changes in a European male silhouette are galvanized in theatres of European war, where gentleman officers had opportunities to make notes of foreign styles: an example is the “Steinkirk” cravat or necktie.

The pace of change picked up in the 1780s with the increased publication of French engravings that showed the latest Paris styles; though there had been distribution of dressed dolls from France as patterns since the 16th century, and Abraham Bosse had produced engravings of fashion from the 1620s. By 1800, all Western Europeans were dressing alike (or thought they were): local variation became first a sign of provincial culture, and then a badge of the conservative peasant.

Although tailors and dressmakers were no doubt responsible for many innovations before, and the textile industry certainly led many trends, the history of fashion design is normally taken to date from 1858, when theEnglish-born Charles Frederick Worth opened the first true haute couture house in Paris. The Haute house was the name established by government for the fashion houses that met the standards of industry. They have to adhere to standards such as: keeping at least 20 employees engaged in making the clothes, showing two collections per year at fashion shows, and presenting a certain number of patterns to costumers.Since then the professional designer has become a progressively more dominant figure, despite the origins of many fashions in street fashion. For women the flapper styles of the 1920s marked the most major alteration in styles for several centuries, with a drastic shortening of skirt lengths and much looser-fitting clothes; with occasional revivals of long skirts, variations of the shorter length have remained dominant ever since. Flappers also wore cloches, which were snug fitting and covered the forehead. Her shoes had a heel and some sort of buckle. The most important part was the jewelry, such as: earrings and necklaces that had diamonds or gems. The flapper gave a particular image as being seductive due to her short length dress, which was form fitting, and the large amounts of rich jewelery around her neck.

The four major current fashion capitals are acknowledged to be Paris, Milan, New York City, and London, which are all headquarters to the greatest fashion companies and are renowned for their major influence on global fashion. Fashion weeks are held in these cities, where designers exhibit their new clothing collections to audiences. A succession of major designers such as Coco Chanel and Yves Saint-Laurent have kept Paris as the center most watched by the rest of the world, although haute couture is now subsidized by the sale of ready to wear collections and perfume using the same branding.

Modern Westerners have a wide number of choices available in the selection of their clothes. What a person chooses to wear can reflect that person’s personality or interests. When people who have cultural status start to wear new or different clothes, a fashion trend may start. People who like or respect them become influenced by their personal style, and begin wearing clothes of similar styling. Fashions may vary considerably within a society according to age, social class, generation, occupation, and geography as well as over time. If, for example, an older person dresses according to the fashion of young people, he or she may look ridiculous in the eyes of both young and older people. The terms fashionista and fashion victim refer to someone who slavishly follows current fashions.

One can regard the system of sporting various fashions as a fashion language incorporating various fashion statements using a grammar of fashion. (Compare some of the work of Roland Barthes.)

In recent years, Asian fashion has become increasingly significant in local and global markets. Countries such as China, Japan, India, and Pakistan have traditionally had large textile industries, which have often been drawn upon by Western designers, but now Asian clothing styles are also gaining influence based on their own ideas.

Fashion industry

The fashion industry is a product of the modern age. Prior to the mid-19th century, most clothing was custom made. It was handmade for individuals, either as home production or on order from dressmakers and tailors. Bythe beginning of the 20th century—with the rise of new technologies such as the sewing machine, the rise of global capitalism and the development of the factory system of production, and the proliferation of retail outlets such as department stores—clothing had increasingly come to be mass-produced in standard sizes and sold at fixed prices. Although the fashion industry developed first in Europe and America, today it is an internationaland highly globalized industry, with clothing often designed in one country, manufactured in another, and sold world-wide. For example, an American fashion company might source fabric in China and have the clothes manufactured in Vietnam,

Romantic fashion model.JPG

finished in Italy, and shipped to a warehouse in the United States for distribution to retail outlets internationally. The fashion industry has long been one of the largest employers in the United States, and it remains so in the 21st century. However, employment declined considerably as production increasingly moved overseas, especially to China. Because data on the fashion industry typically are reported for national economies and expressed in terms of the industry’s many separate sectors, aggregate figures for world production of textiles and clothing are difficult to obtain. However, by any measure, the industry accounts for a significant share of world economic output.

The fashion industry consists of four levels: the production of raw materials, principally fibres and textiles but also leather and fur; the production of fashion goods by designers, manufacturers, contractors, and others; retail sales; and various forms of advertising and promotion. These levels consist of many separate but interdependent sectors, all of which are devoted to the goal of satisfying consumer demand for apparel under conditions that enable participants in the industry to operate at a profit.


The media plays a very significant role when it comes to fashion. For instance, an important part of fashion is fashion journalism. Editorial critique, guidelines and commentary can be found in magazines, newspapers, on television, fashion websites, social networks and in fashion blogs. In the recent years, fashion blogging and YouTube videos have become a major outlet for spreading trends and fashion tips. Through these media outlets, readers and viewers all over the world can learn about fashion, making it very accessible.

At the beginning of the 20th century, fashion magazines began to include photographs of various fashion designs and became even more influential on people than in the past. In cities throughout the world these magazines were greatly sought-after and had a profound effect on public clothing taste. Talented illustrators drew exquisite fashion plates for the publications which covered the most recent developments in fashion and beauty. Perhaps the most famous of these magazines was La Gazette du Bon Ton which was founded in 1912 by Lucien Vogel and regularly published until 1925 (with the exception of the war years).

Vogue, founded in the United States in 1892, has been the longest-lasting and most successful of the hundreds of fashion magazines that have come and gone. Increasing affluence after World War II and, most importantly, the advent of cheap color printing in the 1960s led to a huge boost in its sales, and heavy coverage of fashion in mainstream women’s magazines—followed by men’s magazines from the 1990s. One such example of Vogue’s popularity is the younger version, Teen Vogue, which provides clothing and trends that are more targeted toward the “fashionista on a budget”. Haute couture designers followed the trend by starting the ready-to-wear and perfume lines, heavily advertised in the magazines, that now dwarf their original couture businesses. Television coverage began in the 1950s with small fashion features. In the 1960s and 1970s, fashion segments on various entertainment shows became more frequent, and by the 1980s, dedicated fashion shows such as Fashion-television started to appear. FashionTV was the pioneer in this undertaking and has since grown to become the leader in both Fashion Television and New Media Channels compared to other Fashion Magazines. Despite television and increasing internet coverage, including fashion blogs, press coverage remains the most important form of publicity in the eyes of the fashion industry.

However, over the past several years, fashion websites have developed that merge traditional editorial writing with user-generated content. Online magazines like iFashion Network, and Runway Magazine, led by Nole Marin from America’s Next Top Model, have begun to dominate the market with digital copies for computers, iPhones, and iPads. Example platforms include Apple and Android for such applications.

A few days after the 2010 Fall Fashion Week in New York City came to a close, The New Islander’s Fashion Editor, Genevieve Tax, criticized the fashion industry for running on a seasonal schedule of its own, largely at the expense of real-world consumers. “Because designers release their fall collections in the spring and their spring collections in the fall, fashion magazines such as Vogue always and only look forward to the upcoming season, promoting parkas come September while issuing reviews on shorts in January”, she writes. “Savvy shoppers, consequently, have been conditioned to be extremely, perhaps impractically, farsighted with their buying.”

Ethnic Fashion is defined as the Fashion of Multicultural groups such as African-American, Hispanics, Asians, etc. Examples of ethnic designers are FUBU, Baby Phat, Phat Farm, Sean John, Etc. It is estimated that Ethnic Fashion has contributed over $25 billion in revenues, thus making them an important part of the fashion industry.

Intellectual property

Within the fashion industry, intellectual property is not enforced as it is within the film industry and music industry. Robert Glariston, intellectual property expert at Creative Business House ( organization specializing in fashion and trademarking), mentions in a fashion seminar held in LA that “Copyright law regarding clothing is a current hot-button issue in the industry. We often have to draw the line between designers being inspired by a design and those outright stealing it in different places.” To “take inspiration” from others’ designs contributes to the fashion industry’s ability to establish clothing trends. For the past few years, WGSN has been a dominant source of fashion news and forecasts in steering fashion brands worldwide to be “inspired” by one another. Enticing consumers to buy clothing by establishing new trends is, some have argued, a key component of the industry’s success. Intellectual property rules that interfere with the process of trend-making would, in this view, be counter-productive. On the other hand, it is often argued that the blatant theft of new ideas, unique designs, and design details by larger companies is what often contributes to the failure of many smaller or independent design companies.

Since fakes are distinguishable by their inherent poorer quality, there is still a demand for luxury goods. And as only a trademark or logo can be copyrighted for clothing and accessories, many fashion brands make this one of the most visible aspects of the garment or accessory. In handbags, especially, the designer’s brand may be woven into the fabric (or the lining fabric) from which the bag is made — this makes the brand an intrinsic element of the bag.

In 2005, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) held a conference calling for stricter intellectual property enforcement within the fashion industry to better protect small and medium businesses and promote competitiveness within the textile and clothing industries.

Fashion may be used to promote a cause, for example, to promote healthy behavior, to raise money for a cancer cure, to raise money for local charities, for example the Juvenile Protective Association, or to raise donations for a children’s hospice.

One up and coming fashion cause is trashion which is using trash to make clothes, jewelery, and other fashion items in order to promote awareness of pollution. There are any number of modern trashion artists such as Marina DeBris, Ann Wizer, and Nancy Judd.

courtesy of Wikipedia

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