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30/03/2018

Fashion show without catwalks promotes modest wear in Dubai

Fashion show without catwalks promotes modest wear in Dubai
(Photo:formal dress shops brisbane)

A weeklong fashion event in Dubai is being held without catwalks, models or skin-baring designs.

Instead, around 30 designers of fashionable modest wear— some Muslim and others not— from nearly two dozen countries showcased their long-sleeved and floor-length pieces on large screens. Buyers could see and touch the collections up close in one of Dubai's newest shopping districts, a shimmering maze of walkways and fountains. At the start of the event, a handful of designs were paraded around the plaza.

"We did away with the catwalk. We thought that was one of the most antiquated things," Alia Khan, chairwoman of the Islamic Fashion and Design Council (IFDC), said, explaining the decision to nix the most common elements of fashion shows around the world.

Khan spoke Wednesday, the opening night of the event dubbed "A Modest Revolution." It showcases the latest creations by designers hoping to capitalize on a growing desire by Muslim shoppers to wear modest clothing that is also fashionable.

Italian designer Isabella Caposanno's long-sleeved evening-wear dresses can take months to make by hand, and some cost upward of 30,000 euros ($37,000). Her clients include Arab royalty.

Under-Rapt offers modest sportswear, with longer, looser tops. Its leggings include flaps that fall just below the hips to give extra cover to the rear and front.

Another line, called Blue Meets Blue, employs refugees who have resettled in the Chicago area to make dressy and formal wear.

"We're trying to change the stereotypes of refugees in the U.S., as well. We want people to know that they're very hardworking, they're very excited to be in their new country and they want an opportunity to show that," said Shahd Alasaly, designer and founder of the American-made brand.

Alasaly says her customers aren't just Muslims, but also Orthodox Jewish women who want to wear something that's "classy, timeless and elegant."

How women choose to dress modestly varies around the world. Often, Muslim women who cover their hair with a hijab, or headscarf, in public do so in ways that reflect the local culture and their interpretation of Islamic guidelines.

But even women who dress modestly and cover their hair can find themselves at odds with conservatives who say the hijab should not be eye-catching and should conceal a woman's beauty from strangers.

"Modest fashion comes in so many different ways and I think people tend to pigeon-hole it and stereotype it," Khan said. "Designers are coming from all walks of life. All have their own interpretation."

Malaysia has been a trailblazer in the so-called halal industry, an estimated $2.6 trillion global Muslim lifestyle market that includes everything from halal food products that adhere to Islamic principles on how to slaughter animals, to halal tourism, where hotels cater to Muslim visitors by offering prayer rugs, halal food options and even gender-segregated beaches and pools.

On the opening night of the event, Vivy Yusof, a designer and businesswoman from Malaysia, wore a cream-colored headscarf by her brand, "dUCk," paired with a Petite Malle Louis Vuitton bag and a bejeweled black blazer and black slacks made by South Asian designers.

"I think it's really funny that now modest fashion is booming so much, because that's how we've been dressing for ages," she said. "Layering, covering, long sleeves, long pants, you know, wearing the hijab or not, that's how we've been dressing as Muslim women."

The 30-year-old and her husband co-founded Fashion Valet, an e-commerce website in Malaysia that features more than 400 South Asian designers, many of them selling modest wear collections. She selected six South Asian designers to showcase their pieces at her stall.

Yusof declined to disclose specifics on the company's annual revenue, but said that since launching the site eight years ago, business has grown by 100 percent annually.

Mainstream designers and retailers are also trying to tap into the niche market for modest clothing.

Just last month, U.S. retailer Macy's launched a modest clothing line targeting Muslim fashionistas. The new line, available online for now, includes ruffled high-neck tunics, flowy jumpsuits and bell-sleeve ankle-length cardigans.

Nike has debuted a hijab designed for female Muslim athletes. U.S. fashion house DKNY in 2014 launched a modest wear collection for Ramadan, the holy month when Muslims fast from sun-up to sundown. High-end label Dolce & Gabbana has also released a collection of headscarves and coordinated abayas, the loose robes worn by women in Arab Gulf countries.

The IFDC says Muslims are expected to spend as much as $322 billion on fashion this year. That figure is projected to grow as the Muslim population expands to 2.2 billion by 2030.

For the first time this year, more than half of all apparel and footwear sales will originate outside Europe and North America, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co.'s "The State of Fashion" report.

The main areas of growth will be in emerging markets in Asia where fashion sales are expected to grow by 6.5 to 7.5 percent this year. In the Middle East, fashion sales are expected to grow by 6 percent, compared to 2 to 3 percent growth in Europe and 1 to 2 percent in North America.

Syrian sisters Nazek and Rama Jandali searched the fashion stalls for unique and modest pieces to wear this Ramadan, set to begin mid-May. Nazek was dressed in an off-the-shoulder cream embroidered top. Her younger sister Rama wore a colorful Fendi top and Chanel shoes. Neither covered their hair.

"I really like this event because it supports all these new designers and it's something you don't see in the market, or you don't see it in shopping malls. It's something new — not many people (have) worn it," said Rama of the collections on display.

Nazek agreed.

"It's not like the usual exhibitions or usual fashion shows. I found it really interesting that it inspires the conservative woman who would like to really be trendy in a very modest way," she said.Read more at:formal dress shops

 

11:07 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

22/03/2018

Will Diet Prada Save Fashion From Itself?

Fashion is in a state of emergency and, like with many major conflicts throughout history, there's a radical whistleblower demanding the industry right its wrongs.

Diet Prada, Instagram's unofficial authority on "ppl knocking each other off," has recently risen to the forefront of fashion as a relentless watchdog calling out copycat culture — something they argue is needed now more than ever. "I think the industry has been lacking in a voice that doesn't fear speaking the truth," DP says. To that end, the anonymous founders (there are thought to be two of them) use their account to call out imitations or appropriations in order to push fashion through this bleak era they describe as "peak sameness."

Before creating DP, the handle's co-creators had worked together for 5 years in the business. During this time, they began to take notice of striking similarities between new collections they'd see on the catwalks and older collections they recalled from previous seasons or more recent lines made by younger, more obscure designers who did not have the same platforms. "We started making side-by-side collages to see how accurate we really were with the 'inspirations' we remembered," DP says via Google Hangouts, their preferred channel for communicating and maintaining anonymity. The earliest iteration of their "pet project" was on a private Pinterest, where the two would chronicle various fashion copycats and circulate the boards throughout their office at work. "Some of them were so spot-on that we shared them around. The reaction was always really positive, so we decided to put it on Insta."

When their Instagram account launched in late 2014, the format was critical to its success. By being anonymous, the Instagram had no relationships to maintain, regardless of how powerful the person being targeted was. "Anonymity can definitely help for those who fear repercussions," DP says. "Because a lot of what we post is based on visual evidence, we don't have too much fear in tackling most of the subjects we post about." No one's safe. Not Alexander Wang. Not Dior. Not even Gucci, who's become seemingly untouchable under creative director Alessandro Michele. Despite their ferocity, DP's still managed to garner a serious industry audience, from The Business of Fashion founder Imran Amed to Instagram's head of fashion partnerships Eva Chen and even Michele himself. Celebrities like Gigi Hadid, Dua Lipa and Pharrell Williams are also among DP's followers.

An increasing emphasis on transparency online, DP's own continued anonymity notwithstanding, has made it easier to hold industry gatekeepers accountable. Though as of late, the pair has been accepting fashion show invites, but attending completely undercover and documenting — or policing — the catwalk for their hundreds of thousands of followers. While this risks their anonymity (and, potentially when they're accepting invitations from the fashion brands directly, their impartiality), it's vital to being involved in the fashion conversation real time. "Fashion has its merits," DP says, "but it's also an extremely self-protective industry that's built on exploitation of all sorts, not just design and IP theft, but also unfair labor, model abuse, [and] environmental impacts."

Many of these types of exploitation can be found at fast-fashion companies, which have experienced a massive surge within the last decade, including a 21 percent growth in the past three years alone. This shift has coincided with the spread of social media, which trains users to think in shorter cycles. Social media has also had a big effect on the fashion media industry, previously the gatekeepers of trendcasting and telling readers what to wear. Nowadays, the world of magazines photographing runway looks and publishing them for their readers to see six months later has basically become irrelevant, replaced first by digital fashion show photo hubs like style and Vogue Runway to now, of course, Instagram. With more and more people able to go on social media and see collections as soon as models walk off the catwalk, the demand to buy these runway looks immediately has only grown. While certain luxury labels have been playing with the 'see now, buy now' model, where their collections become instantly available, there is a far bigger market for affordable knock-offs that hit stores weeks after the fashion shows end (if not sooner). With less time to create original outfits, fast fashion must seek inspiration from the source, and oftentimes lift full outfits from designer runways. "Everyone has to ramp up the pace to try [and] keep up," DP says. "It's causing a huge toll to the environment, to the people who make the clothes, to the consumer who feels like they have to keep up."

It's often difficult to differentiate between two racks of fast-fashion retailers, because they're both pulling from the same ideas and ultimately feeding the same customer. Today's restless fashion clock has destroyed personal style and eradicated subcultures, according to DP. "I've heard theories that emo was the last true subculture before most styles got pretty homogenized," they say. "You see the same images of Kim, Kendall and Bella circulating to everyone around the world, and that affects retail in a huge way. Before you know it, you're seeing all the same things in the stores and on your friends' Instas."

But the problem doesn't stop at fast fashion. DP argues the contemporary market has also fallen victim to a similar cycle. "Now the runway looks at the street, fast fashion and contemporary look at the runway, and everything just churns," they say, citing LPA's version of a designer Gucci jacket as a prime example. "I saw a group of friends in the city yesterday and two of them had it on," DP says, making sure to clarify that they were not DP's friends, but a group of NYC tourists. They also reference Tibi, "and other 'tribute brands'" that completely overhaul their look each season, as copycat criminals. "Tibi was literally Céline for a few years, and is now suddenly Balenciaga." And even luxury brands can occasionally find themselves in Diet Prada's crosshairs, especially when they're accused of ripping off younger, less-established designers.

The decision to call anything out on DP's page is a careful, educated process. The two admit there's a line line between a blatant copy and a tactful reference, which they consider long before posting anything onto Instagram. "A lot of it has to do with intent," DP says, referencing when Jacquemus name-checked Christian Lacroix as chief inspiration behind the shawl collars and raised-waist matador pants throughout his Fall 2017 collection. "But when you see someone that has identified a design or a formula that works, and they're trying to ride that success for commercial gain, that deserves to be called out."

Fashion has always been referential, but it's where the references are taken "that make or break it as a new original interpretation," DP says. Marc Jacobs has notably been a designer that leans into his references, and yet he's rarely criticized for making a direct copy of something else. "You can tell he loves fashion history, and finding new context for and reinterpreting historical styles," DP says. For his last collection, Jacobs brought together an exaggerated mix of inspiration, from '80s haute couture houses like Mugler and Ungaro to Vidal Sassoon's architectural cropped hairstyles of the '60s. While Jacobs' allusions were clear, they were also balanced and redefined for a new generation.

"There's a difference between being inspired and trying to pass something off as your own," Jacobs says, recognizing that he's been "very unapologetic" about his own inspirations. Still, the designer says it's tricky in today's industry, where "everyone is crying appropriation and culture vulture," to fully understand the intentions behind a brand's work before labeling it a blatant copy. Jacobs says he always returns to a Chanel quote — "He who insists on his own creativity has no memory" — and uses that motto to create referential fashion without it being counterfeit. "I'm inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli and Perry Ellis," he says. "Saint Laurent has been the biggest influence to me, but it's never a life-for-life copy — it's the designers' codes, characteristics or hallmarks inspiring me in the moment."

For every Jacobs, who uses his position of power to breathe new life into fashion, there's an industry gatekeeper keeping things stagnant, feeding today's cycle and ultimately taking up space. DP says if more young designers were given proper support to elevate their original ideas, this could help alleviate the pervasiveness of copycat culture. "The industry needs to figure out how to support better new talent," DP says. "A lot of the resistance probably stems from the risks again. They want someone they know is marketable and commercial, and so you end up with a lot of the same design references year after year." They cite the industry's extreme barriers to entry and the significant funds required to successfully launch a brand. "The powers that be with the money to help make these new designers viable sometimes look too hard at whether they think the merch would sell."

Matty Bovan, a rising British designer, has managed to captivate industry attention while still thrusting new ideas onto the catwalk — a rarity DP says is supported by him having "that desirable element, but with a fresh vision behind it." However, not all young designers have Bovan's same creativity. DP has frequently gone after CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund-nominated Vaquera and the ways the New York collective lifts from vintage looks. They've accused the underground darlings of stealing Yohji Yamamoto's 2003 houndstooth suit, as well as the Japanese designer's iconic purse dress. After calling Vaquera out on Instagram and sparking a debate in the comments, DP says they've seen a shift in their design approach. "I think this most recent season, they did break away from the replicas," DP says, before adding a bit of inevitable criticism. "The homage portion was a little on the nose with the designer portraits. Hopefully they will nd a way that works for them because they obviously have a lot of enthusiasm, which is more than a lot of people can say."

DP reiterates that "no one is safe" in their tireless quest to call out the fakes — but it's not to be a bully, it's simply because they love fashion and "want to be able to love it without feeling guilty," they say. "We're giving a voice to a lot of people who don't have the platform or fear speaking up about important issues."Read more at:cocktail dresses | bridesmaid dresses

 

03:19 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

09/03/2018

Barneys Wants to Tell a Memorable Story With VR, Fashion and Dance

Luxury retailer Barneys New York seeks to tell a story shoppers will remember in its new VR experience.

In partnership with electronics company Samsung and contemporary dance troupe the Martha Graham Dance Company, Barneys released its 11-minute movie, Mantle, which was filmed with 360-degree camera technology. The film incorporates four principal dancers, whom Barneys says “embody character archetypes representing parts of the human psyche: Power, Ethereal, Possessed and The Cleaner.”

According to a blog post on Barney’s content hub, The Window, the film is the result of more than a year of work and intends to put the viewer at the center as dancers look inward toward a central focus point where the camera was placed.

“Every aspect was specifically designed as an interaction between the performers and ‘an audience of one,’” Barneys said in the post. (The brand did not respond to a request for comment.)

The cast wears—and, Barneys says, “bring[s] movement to”—clothing from designers like Prabal Gurung, The Row, Rick Owens, Loewe and Craig Green. The apparel, which ranges in price from a $330 T-shirt to a $4,000 dress, is also highlighted on the blog post in a section called Shop the Story.

The experience can be viewed on Samsung headsets at Barneys’ Madison Avenue, Downtown and Beverly Hills flagships, as well as via the Samsung VR app and on Barneys.com.

“Barneys’ mission is to allow people to interact with our creative content in as many ways as possible, and technology can bring this dance piece to life in an unprecedented way,” said Barneys creative director Matthew Mazzucca in the post. “Within VR and 360 environments, as well as through the variety of formats we’ve created, no two viewers will have the same experience of the dance, and that’s exciting.”

It’s also an experience Mazzuca hopes viewers will remember, the post said—and it’s certainly possible, according to Dario Raciti, director of Zero Code, the interactive entertainment division of media company OMD. Raciti, who is not a part of this activation, said VR has become a platform that deliver memorable experiences, if done well.

“What they’re trying to do here is deliver something memorable and presented in a different way than what they’ve perhaps done in the past on a rectangular TV screen,” he said. “VR is such a flexible platform. … Looking at that dance on 2D screen would have been less memorable to a user than seeing it in a VR headset. That’s the element VR brings to the table, whether interactive or linear: the level of memorability of an experience that is higher.”

There are a range of potentially memorable applications for VR in retail. Walmart, for example, has not disclosed specific plans, but called out enhanced product testing, interactive ecommerce experiences and the ability to anticipate consumer needs and establish trust as potential uses for VR.

Meanwhile, research from mobile retail app developer GPShopper found that 46 percent of respondents want to use VR to try on clothing and accessories without going into a store. About 42 percent want to use VR to see where and how a product was made, while 23 percent want access to a personal shopper in a virtual environment.

That said, consumers have high expectations for both VR and AR, said Joey Camire, principal at consultancy Sylvain Labs.

“Obviously, you can add value in myriad ways,” he said. “If the experience is truly unique and special, but only providing entertainment value, that can still be worth doing. But the expectations will be high. One of the things that has plagued VR is that based on portrayals in popular culture, expectations are just so high. Even when something is an incredible feat of production and technical expertise, it can still fall flat to someone who doesn’t have an eye or background for that.”Read more at:marieaustralia.com | evening dresses

03:36 Publié dans fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)