Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jason Wu Pre-Fall 2011

I suppose it's gonna be hard for Jason Wu to break out of cocktail dresses and red-carpet gowns having dressed the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama. In any case, Fall is party and award season, so for designers like Wu, that's big business.
That aside, the collection was excellent. Colours were muted and moody without being sombre, with trousers tailored and oh-so-chic. A few pieces here too, were minimalistic and under-stated, somewhat of a first for Wu, a designer who is known for embellishing his frocks with everything from sequins to feathers. Having looked at this collection more than once, i'm somewhat convinced now that maybe Wu is more than a one-trick pony. And as his second pre-Fall collection, it seems like he's only getting better.

Narciso Rodriguez Pre-Fall 2011

The thing that i've always admired with the Narciso Rodriguez line, is its balance of soft, feminine silhouettes with tough cuts and structure. The pre-Fall collection was no different- skirts and dresses were paired with boy-ish peacoats and black leather trenches lined with fur. But it was a decolorizing, a sort of bleaching of fabrics that added a very subtle touch of lingerie-like effects that made this collection a winning one.

Friday, December 3, 2010

British Fashion Fund Nominees

Launched by British Fashion Council Chairman Harold Tillman in September 2008 as a legacy project for the BFC’s 25th anniversary celebrations, the Fund provides one British based designer with £200,000 and access to high level mentoring support- additional awards of mentoring and business support may be allocated to finalists at the judging panel’s discretion.

The aim of The Fund is to assist talented British designers with the potential for commercial growth to start making the transition from a developing creative business to a global fashion brand. In order to be eligible for this scheme, designers must have an established business based within the UK.

Here are the nominees for 2011:

Christopher Kane

Nicholas Kirkwood

E. Tautz

Richard Nicoll

Peter Pilotto


Charlotte Olympia

Jonathan Saunders

Rag & Bone Pre-Fall 2011

There's something to be said about how sexy and effortless David Neville and Marcus Wainwright, designers for Rag & Bone, make the downtown aesthetic look. Maxi skirts, leather jackets, t-shirt dresses, sweat pants, cardigans- there's really nothing particularly ground-breaking about any of these pieces, but with some really impressive editing and styling, the two make the clothes fresh and, dare I say, chic.

Michael Kors Pre-Fall 2011

With bold stripes, bolder colour and an emphasis on coats, the Pre-fall collection from Michael Kors was casual and electric. I had a few issues where the shoes were concerned, and nitpicked over the styling, but through-out the collection's 30 looks, some very strong pieces stood out. (See: striped cashmere t-shirts, and a red red-carpet chiffon number gathered, bodiced with a leather harness.)

Jeneil and Karl!

Just when we thought Jeneil Williams couldn't possibly get any bigger, homegirl just did! Now on tour with fashion LEGEND Karl Lagerfeld, Jeneil was hand-picked by Mr. Lagerfeld to be shot for the annual Pirelli calendar.

Pirelli is an Italian tiremaker and every year, they unveil a calendar, which is basically a collector's item for the world's elite. This year, Karl Lagerfeld was tapped to create the 38th edition of the limited-edition calendar, and he opted to create a Greek-themed "Mythology" calendar with some 36 photos all depicting Greek gods, heroes and myths. Appearing are an international group of models: 15 women, five men and Academy-award nominated and actress Julianne Moore as Hera, the wife of god of gods Zeus.

Pirelli gives pretty much complete freedom to the artists it picks to create its calendars, and for 2011, Lagerfeld did all photos in black and white, making the figures look like Grecian sculptures. I'm ecstatic that Lagerfeld hand-picked Jeneil; as someone familiar with her, she's a gorgeous, down-to-earth, humble girl who deserves all the success she's been achieving lately. Other models chosen include, Erin Wasson, Freja Beha Erichsen, Anja Rubik, Daria Werbowy, and Lagerfeld muse, Baptiste Giabiconi. Writing on her Facebook wall that the press conference in Russia was amazing, it seems she's having the time of her life, too. Way to go Jeneil! Check out some more images from the calendar here and a behind-the-scenes look  of its making here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fyuuzhan Kalekshan

You ever heard the saying "two heads are better than one"? Well, on Thursday, November 25th, 2010, I witnessed, first-hand, that three heads are even better than two. Invited to the University of Technology by a friend for the launch of his new fashion line, was I in for a treat!
Dubbed the Fyuuzhan Kalekshan (that's Jamaican for "Fusion Collection") the fashion line is the brainchild of friends Damien Williams, R. Anthony Lewis and Anna Kasafi Perkins, and like the name suggests, is the hybrid of Jamaican and African elements. But, wait, before you roll your eyes- there's a twist, a refreshing one, too. The line is unique in that it interweaves other elements, too.

Williams, designer (left) with model, both wearing loose-fitting, dashiki-detailed shirts

Model wearing contemporary halter dress with African-esque print

As Perkins puts it, "we wanted to take all the different cultural influences that inform the Caribbean  identity, add a few contemporary, trendy touches and turn them into sophisticated, wearable, edgy pieces."

To cement her point, one needs to look no further than the piece pictured directly above, one they've coined the "sarini"; the print is distinctly African, so too the off-the-shoulder wrap silhouette, but look further and a distinct Asian element is apparent too- the sari. It's these interesting elements that I suspect will allow the line to be able to cater to the many different tastes of the fashion-minded Jamaican consumer.
So how exactly did this "fusion" come about? Well, for one Lewis is a studied linguist, specializing in Jamaican creole, while Williams has done his studies in psychology and theology, an area Perkins herself has studied as well. So to say the three have mutual interests would be an under-statement. The idea came about late September, and by late October, the trio started to work on finishing pieces. What's even more remarkable, though, is how new these guys are to the world of fashion. Knowing Williams personally, i'd never call him particularly fashion-savvy, which is not to say that he can't put himself nicely together. His interests lie more along the lines of academia, so for him to have revealed to me his interest in starting a fashion line struck me as odd. But that's just the thing with the creative process, isn't it? It's the oddness, the singular odd moments that come together to form an outcome of beauty. Naturally, though, they've already started to educate themselves on key areas of the business like fabric identification, and are looking forward to lessons on sewing and such forth in the near future.

I suppose knowing each other and being in constant daily communication help the process along, too; who better to collaborate with than someone you know well? So what's next for the terrific trio? (Hey, don't smirk at my attempt at alliteration!) As Perkins puts it, "failure is not an option." An accessory line is in the works, as well as mass-production of the pieces themselves, after all, what's the purpose of making clothes if no one wears them? Mass-production, though, won't equate itself with a dip in quality, as the group believes that quality trumps quantity. Prices will run the gamut from say $2,500 (that's app. US$30) to about J$9,000. In other words, there should be something for everybody. Right now, however, they're more focused on a niche market, citing Monsignor Michael Lewis as the perfect customer.

Williams (left) in a very casual striped mens shirt with female model donning Asian-inspired "sarini"

The trio of friends, all smiles after their well-received launch. From left to right: R. Anthony Lewis, Anna Perkins and Damien Williams. (All in pieces from the collection)

Let me add, before ending this post, that I am so pleasantly surprised and so inspired by what I saw. Their new line really is testament to the fact that in life there exists no real limitations, creative or otherwise, except the ones we assign to our individual selves. The sky is indeed the limit, and with that kind of attitude, I suspect Fyuuzhan Kalekshan will go quite far. Here's to more great fashion from you guys! Kudos!

For more info on Fyuuzhan Kalekshan, bookings and sales, feel free to email Consultant Manager, Anna Perkins at or call at (876) 250- 2299

Monday, October 4, 2010

Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2011

Inspired by her own personal statement, it's no surprise that with the many body-conscious dresses on display at the Victoria Beckham show, one needs a flawless body to wear one; just look at her.

Still dresses-only, the collection was comprised of smart, approachable shapes that tastefully showcase a woman’s sensuality. Languid parachute silk was effortlessly wrapped and knotted into a purple day dress (that stated the collection), and cut long and lean on a glamorous black evening gown, draped to perfection and secured with an invisible interior belt. Everything had a distinct femininity, even when the look was structured, as in the stiff lacquered jacquard dresses that were fitted up top with short, full skirts.