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Versace Spring 2011

06/19/2010

Last year’s spring women’s presentation was called a triumphant return of Versace’s former glory. I would have to agree with the critics for the most part; the quality of work and salability has been quite consistent for the past few seasons. And for today’s spring 2011 men’s presentation in Milan this year, she has continued on this path of taste.  

The most obvious influence of this season is Art Deco. The geometric patterns seemed to run off the models right onto the runway itself. The motif (which can easily go awry) was executed pretty tastefully for the most part and was especially chic in shirting and the high-stanced tailored suiting. There were touches of 1980s in the color story and silhouette and western flourishes like fringe and short collars were actually refreshing instead of corny. The novelty fabrications are definitely not for most men, but it certainly still has relevance to today’s market.  

  

I loved the long blazers as key fashion items. The a garment like this has great movement and is a quirky take on the blend between formal and outerwear:  

  

  

This leather cropped trench is going to be a big seller:  

  

Some of the collection, however, is kind of questionable. I understand the purpose of making a statement, but I find sifting through the crap (contrast tuxedo shirts, leather vests, and sleeveless dressshirts) to be tiresome. And it is a shame that the casting missed its mark. The finale of swimwear and robes would have been much more compelling on the right bodies.  

Check out the full collection here.

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Horyn Horny for Gaga

06/12/2010

When I heard that Steven Klein would be collaborating with Lady Gaga on her Alejandro video, I was super excited to see the end product. And I am glad to say that I am not disappointed. And neither is Cathy Horyn, according to a recent article in WSJ.

And the fact that she hired model titan Evandro Soldati to sit on the corner of her mattress for 5 seconds definitely ups the fashion factor.

Evandro Soldati, via models.com

It’s all about Mickey

06/12/2010

WSJ Magazine did a long expose this week about Mickey Drexler, the CEO who has been credited with the turnaround of GAP, Ann Taylor, and now J. Crew. There is no question that this man is a retail guru (although I would definitely question GAP’s “successful” turnaround). But my favorite part of the article was how the writer really delved into Mickey the man. I especially loved this little tidbit:

“Before embarking on this story, I was invited by Margot Fooshee, senior vice president of marketing and public relations, to a meeting with her and Drexler. Fooshee, a wiry, attractive brunette who fearlessly sports daytime sequins, wanted to be sure WSJ. would describe J. Crew properly, because “there are often mistakes in the media.”

In the industry, Mickey is someone whose professionalism has been a constant call out in the work place. Sources say that yelling, outbursts, and emotional tirades are no stranger to the somewhat eccentric (as some politely put it) CEO.  A contact at BlueFly.com remembers being asked “Who the fuck are you?” by Drexler during a walk around the office when she was free lancing at J. Crew a few years ago. I am all for leadership getting to know their teams, but not if he is stumbling around terrorizing his employees.

CEO Mickey Drexler, J. Crew Group

This consistently emotional state had definitely permeated J. Crew as an organization. Those who have been with the company have said that merchandising is done on a more love-it-hate-it level rather than a proper balance of design and financials. But, with the great success and recent elevation of the brand, it is clear that the technique has been working thus far. J. Crew has opened its first wedding boutique and continues to expand its business.

As for the CEO, he claims, “I’m a lot easier than I was.” Yet, it is clear that the journalist does not believe it to be so.

And I don’t believe him either.

And we’re back.

06/12/2010

Hi All–

Sorry to have been so MIA. With finals, graduation, and the job search now over, I can really devote some more time to Sumptuary.

As for the full-time employer? Hint: $3 billion leather goods company.

–Andrew

VMAN

04/11/2010
tags: ,

VMAN is far the best American men’s fashion publication out there. Amazing editorials, quality writing, good understanding of digital vs. print, and PLENTY of beef. Yum.

VMAN Cover, via vman.com

Work It Out Editorial, via vman.com

Daren Kagasoff Editorial, via vman.com

Fashion Stake

04/11/2010

HBS student will be starting up Fashion Stake, putting quite a spin on the recent interest in the democratization of fashion. NYMag’s The Cut pulled a quote from WWD:

By buying a $50 stake in a company, “supporters” will be given credits to put toward clothing purchases, as well as special offers like exclusive previews, showroom visits and fashion show invitations. Interestingly, case studies have indicated shoppers value having personal experiences with designers more than getting discounts, Weng said. Supporters will also vote for the styles they would like to see produced.

Fashion Stake is going to start with only 5 designers and apparently some established labels plan to create capsule collections especially for the site.

Fashion Stake Homepage, via The Cut

I am personally not sold on the idea as Fashion Stake as an investment tool. With the launch, each label may get many first time investments without establishing real loyalty and subsequent repeat donations. And with only 5 designers to begin with, Fashion Stake will have to quickly grow its portfolio in order to have any real leverage. Fashion Stake’s most likely success will be as a marketing research tool. Labels will have the opportunity to conduct their own research and really see what the consumer has in mind (something that consulting firms are paid big bucks to do).

However, aspiring luxury brands will want to be wary of this site. The entire point of luxury is about scarcity and exclusivity. By letting consumers essentially vote on your brand, you pretty much destroy any chances of that type of elevation. Could a label really become the next Rodarte or YSL when consumers so blatantly have input on the specs of a garment? My guess would be not at all.

Danny Roberts

04/11/2010

I last brought up the topic of fashion illustration with Richard Haines. Models.com has published a wonderful interview with Danny Roberts, an illustrator known for his witty and beautiful portraits of fashion shakers and movers. I really want to commission some fashion illustrations for my apartment. So sophisticated, no?

Gaggle of Models by Danny Roberts, via models.com