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Ugly Models, an agency of extraordinary 'characters'

Long necks, large chins, flapping ears, crooked noses: welcome to Ugly Models, a London modelling agency of a different stripe, where imperfections are celebrated.

Style Week opens in the British capital Friday, and among the legions of models strutting down the catwalk, several will come from Ugly. They make eye-catching additions to the perfectly honed or androgynous models that typically feature at fashion's annual showcase in London. "It's celebrating diversity really and it's bringing a bit more light to fashion instead of just using the bog-standard models," agency owner Marc French told AFP. He describes it as a "character" model agency -- "from fat, thin, to large to small: you name it, we've got it". He cited the example of French actor Gerard Depardieu. "I mean look at him: he's so full of character and charisma. "He becomes sexy because he's so cool and he's so different."

'Imperfection is beauty'

Founded a half century ago, Ugly occupies trendy open-plan space in west London featuring a baroque sofa, brushed aluminium computers and walls studded with photos of models. A portrait of late rock superstar David Bowie adorns the wall, alongside the quote "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius," which reads like a company motto. Like any such agency, it manages the careers of its models, putting them in touch with employers of all stripes, from Burberry to Mercedes to Jack Daniel's.

On a recent weekday, Ugly was organising a casting to complete its catalogue and those in attendance were atypical models. Among them were some tough-looking guys. Chris, for example, a former soldier with arms as thick as logs, posed shirtless with a 50-year-old brunette in a two-piece suit. Kris Chesney, an ex-rugby player with Toulon and Saracens, is a man mountain at nearly two metres (over six feet) tall and weighing 135 kilogrammes (almost 300 pounds). With his shaved head, tattooed arms, rugged face, and body bearing the marks of countless scrums, he is perhaps an unlikely male model. "It's a new journey, something interesting, like a challenge," he said. Others are on more of a personal mission.

Sheerah Ravindren, a petite 22-year-old model just 1.61 metres tall, comes from Sri Lanka and proclaims herself a "militant immigrant model". Sporting a bare belly between baggy jeans and black top, she has a right nostril piercing and plenty of positive attitude. "I'm a woman of colour. Growing up, I've never seen people that look like me in media, in fashion." Frances, a disabled model who gets around using a pair of eye-catchingly futuristic crutches, revealed proudly that her disability "didn't stop me from doing what I want".

'Not here to exploit'

For French, "what makes a good ugly models is someone who is comfortable in his own skin". "We don't want retouching, we dont want people to change the way they look. "If someone comes to us a certain way, we'd never say it'd be better if he was smaller. "It's really important. There's so much pressure on young kids," he said. The agency is also eager to counter any perception that it cynically exploits its models for their peculiarities.

"Sometimes we've had companies ring up and said: we want a small person that will kick themselves in the head. Woo... like no -- that's wrong," said Lulu Palmer, a booker who is head of new faces. "We're not here to exploit people, to take the mickey out of people." Always on the lookout for new talent, the team admitted the company name can elicit less than enthusiastic responses from would-be models. But, said French, "the minute they understand what Ugly is all about then they want to be a model." (AFP)

Photo: BEN STANSALL / AFP
Christopher Bailey bids farewell to Burberry in London

Christopher Bailey unveils his final collection for Burberry at London Style Week starting on Friday -- a turning point for the British luxury brand which gained a global reputation under the designer's tenure.

Burberry's star-studded show on Saturday will be one of the most high-profile events at Style Week, which runs from Friday to Tuesday. After 17 years, Bailey will say farewell with a final overhaul of the fashion house's signature beige, black and red check pattern. Drawing inspiration from the internationally recognised gay pride flag, a new rainbow check will feature heavily in London as the 46-year-old Bailey dedicates Saturday's show to gay rights campaigns and models. "There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity," said Bailey, who was the first openly gay head of a company on London's benchmark FTSE 100 index when he was named chief executive in 2014.

The appointment saw him replace Angela Ahrendts, who moved to Apple, and came a decade after Bailey joined Burberry as creative director. He has since propelled Burberry into the 21st century, incorporating new technologies such as social media into his shows. Twice named Designer of the Year at the British Style Awards, he has also combined men's and women's collections and adopted the "see now, buy now" model becoming popular among high-end fashion brands. He has also attracted some of the world's most famous muses, including Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Cara Delevingne.

An 'incredible' designer

His last catwalk for Burberry will be a testament to years spent experimenting with different colour palettes and materials, during which he reinvented Burberry's signature trench coat with a touch of lace. "Under his watch, a company formerly known as little more than an unexciting British producer of raincoats and checked scarves has exploded into the vast empire it is today," said British Vogue. The designer, who trained at London's prestigious Royal College of Art, was described as "incredible" and "super smart" by Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Style Council. "Christopher has played a significant role in the British fashion industry, putting innovation at the heart of Burberry and ensuring that it is an exciting, relevant, forward-thinking global fashion brand," she said in a statement to AFP.

But Bailey's appointment as chief executive at age 42 raised some eyebrows because of his lack of experience running a company of such stature. He held on to the dual role for just three years, until Marco Gobbetti, former chief executive of French luxury brand Celine, was brought in to take over the business side. Bailey will formally step down from his two roles on March 31 but will work with Burberry on the transition until the end of this year. A replacement to fill the creative post held by Bailey, who previously worked for Donna Karan and Gucci, is yet to be announced. Rumours on the fashion circuit put British designer Phoebe Philo, who recently left Celine, in pole position.

Young British talent

The broader London Style Week, organised by the British Style Council, will see some 80 shows across the city as designers parade their 2018/19 autumn-winter womenswear collections. Saturday's Burberry show will undoubtedly be closely watched, while the same day sees British heavyweight Jonathan Anderson showcase his latest collection. Also artistic director of luxury leather brand Loewe, the designer will be unveiling pieces from his own J. W. Anderson label. He will also be reducing the number of shows from four to two, which J. W. Anderson said will help "reduce the traditional gap between the catwalk shows and the pieces being available for sale".

Such an approach is being followed in the wider fashion world, as brands adjust their business models to fit new consumer trends. Other highlights of the London fashion bonanza include the Sunday show of Delpozo, a Spanish brand which has transferred from New York Style Week with the promise of refined elegance. Post-modern champion Christopher Kane is one of a number of young British talents whose designs will hit the catwalk, as well as David Koma, known for his geometric pieces, and provocateur Gareth Pugh. (AFP)

Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

LFW: The future of the British Style Council

As the British Style Council says goodbye to exiting Chairman Dame Natalie Massenet, it will face a new series of challenges in 2018.

Massenet was known for her strong relationships with UK-based designers and was able to offer mentoring in a way the previous chairmen did not. Massenet, unlike many others, understood the importance of branding and marketing, of the challenges facing young designers at retail level, and of bucking the system in order to get things done.

Of the BFC rules she changed, Massenet told the Business of Style: “First thing, we focused on the governance of the BFC, bringing in some non-execs who could add value. I immediately set out to define the five areas of focus that needed to be divided and conquered, and I appointed presidents to each of these five pillars: reputation, business, investment, digital and education, equally important and each needing to be addressed. We had Google, investment banks, the London School of Economics, the mayor’s office, not just the fashion industry get behind these initiatives, so we managed to get more done.”

But London, like New York, has lost some of its footing. Despite British designers creatively helming some of the world's best-known brands and companies, London Style Week is still at number three on the list of importance, after Paris and Milan. Many a formidable business still prefers to show in Paris, where the majority of orders are written. One of the goals of the BFC is to write as many orders and generate as much sterling at home as possible, but it must look beyond the parameters of London and think of what British fashion companies need to succeed in a global marketplace.

The BFC monetised the British Style Awards

During Massenet's tenure the BFC monetised the British Style Awards and solidified the importance of celebrating and honouring British brands and designers, in the same way the Americans have done with the CFDA Awards. Putting British fashion on the map of not just consumers but also communicating the importance of an industry is vital to its success.

The challenges that lie ahead for the British Style Council are in tandem with the developments in other industries, such as harnessing new technologies, how to survive in a crowded marketplace, and how to nurture young talent. One of the roles of the organisation is to provide e a platform for new designers that allows them to experiment, to be creative - even naive - and then to start new businesses from all they have learnt and seen.

As for the next chairman, Massenet told the Business of Style she has some advice: "a candidate who won’t replicate what I did, just as I didn’t replicate what came before me. I’d tell them to take the baton and run, not necessarily in the same direction, just keep running. But I hope the next chairman of the BFC is thinking about the impact of Alexa, of artificial intelligence, of last mile delivery. There are so many exciting things that are going to drive the future of the fashion industry.”

Photo credit: Natalie Massenet and Jose Neves, courtesy of Farfetch

8 key moments not to miss this London Style Week

The fashion pack have left New York and are heading to London for a jam-packed schedule featuring more than 90 catwalk shows and presentations, and while Topshop, Julien Macdonald, Antonio Berardi, and Anya Hindmarch might be taking a break this season there are still a lot of highlights you won’t want to miss. We have the last collection from Christopher Bailey at Burberry, the debut of Josep Font’s Delpozo in London, and Richard Quinn will be showing on-schedule for the first time.

1. Christopher Bailey’s last Burberry show

Burberry has been a highlight fixture of London Style Week for a number of seasons, and that’s down to chief creative officer and president Christopher Bailey. The February 2018 collection marks the designer’s last collection for the luxury fashion house and it will be dedicated to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Queer (LGBTQ+) communities, as part of Burberry’s commitment to promoting diversity around the world.

Commenting ahead of Saturday’s catwalk show, Bailey said: “My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to - and in support of - some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world. There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity.”

This will be showcased with the introduction of a new Rainbow check, the latest iteration of Burberry’s most iconic symbol, based on the LGBTQ+ rainbow, an emblem for optimism and inclusiveness.

The Rainbow check pieces in the collection will be available for purchase immediately after the show in London on Saturday, February 17.

8 key moments not to miss this London Style Week

Image: courtesy of Burberry

2. Delpozo makes LFW debut

Demi-couture fashion house Delpozo is showing for the first time in London, following five years of showing at New York Style Week. The Spanish label helmed by Josep Font has been gaining acclaim for its unique and feminine pieces that embrace time-honoured couture traditions and the brand has been leaving hints of what we can expect from its autumn/winter 2018 collection.

The Instagram countdown at 10-days to go showcased an inky blue colour palette, which was followed by bright pink swatches and lily pads, and with five-days to go it unveiled more pink hues alongside yellow, as well as florals.

Delpozo will showcase on February 18.

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3. JW Anderson to merge womenswear and menswear

The fashion trend of merging women’s and men’s for fashion week continues with Jonathan Anderson’s JW Anderson, which this season will see both its womenswear and menswear showcased for the first time together at London Style Week.

The JW Anderson show is always a hot ticket, the Northern Irish designer has been named the wunderkind of the London fashion scene for a number of years for his unique aesthetic that offers a modern interpretation of masculinity and femininity by creating thought-provoking silhouettes through a cross-pollination between menswear and womenswear elements.

JW Anderson catwalk show will take place on February 17.

4. Richard Quinn will be showing on schedule for the first time

If you haven’t heard of Richard Quinn yet, get ready, he is one of the hottest new talents on the official London Style Week schedule. The Central Saint Martens graduate wowed the fashion pack last season with his dark and subversive take on Liberty’s floral prints.

This may only be Quinn’s second season at London Style Week but his name is already getting out there due to work placements at Richard James on Savile Row and Christian Dior Couture in Paris, as well as winning the H&M Design Award, which helped his launch his own label after graduation, and being awarded ‘one to watch’ support from NewGen.

Richard Quinn will showcase his AW18 collection on February 20.

5. Lulu Guinness to make LFW debut

One of Britain’s best known accessory designer’s Lulu Guinness, known for her lip clutches, will be hosting her first ever London Style Week presentation this season to showcase her autumn/winter 2018 collection, ‘Love One Another’. The invite doesn’t give much away except stating, ‘have fun and make your mark’ with hand illustrations scattered across it.

Lulu Guinness said: “I don’t want to give too much away at this point, but I’ve created something which is fun, interactive and shareable on social media. What people like about my brand is the playful witty nature, so it will be a larger than life version of that.”

The presentations will include the brand's accessories collection, as well as footwear and ready-to-wear, which launched last summer.

Lulu Guinness will host her presentation on February 17.

6. Sophia Webster

One of the highlights every season has to be Sophia Webster and her highly creative presentations, over the season’s we’ve had a jungle rave, a winter wonderland, mermaids, and even a botanical garden, and for autumn/winter 2018 the invite teases ‘I Don’t Need A Mango To Tango’ with lots of red sequins. Yankeemagazines can’t wait to see what her presentation this season brings.

Sophia Webster will showcase her latest theatrical presentation on February 19.

7. Mulberry ‘Beyond Heritage’

Taking a step out of Burberry’s playbook, Mulberry is hosting its own consumer-focus event following its London Style Week show with ‘Beyond Heritage’. The British fashion house will be taking over eighteenth-century Spencer House in London and hosting a pop-up for its spring/summer 2018 collection, as well as a series of workshops and talks including a demonstration from its skilled leather artisans on how to make the brand’s most iconic bags and an in-conversation with creative director Johnny Coca.

The Mulberry LFW catwalk show takes place on February 16, followed by a two-day pop-up at Spencer House from February 17-18.

8. Fortie London named Merit Award winner

Style Scout is renowned for promoting the very best in emerging talent and this season it is championing Fortie London, the London-based label founded by Central St Martins graduate Essie Buckman, who they named as their Merit Award winner.

Fortie Label, which has been inspired by the Forty thieves, an all-female London crime syndicate who were infamously known for their antics from 19th to mid 20th century, has been gaining attention as an urban-luxe womenswear to watch for its attention to detail regarding textile development, where they often revert to traditional techniques in hand embroidery and hand painted prints on its pieces.

Style Scout’s founder and creative director Martyn Roberts said: “The brand was an easy decision for the judging panel to award Merit to, due to the intriguing fabric combinations and pattern cutting skills, mixed with strong cultural inspiration. Style Scout are excited to give Essie the opportunity to continue building the Fortie Label brand and profile here in London.”

Fortie Label will showcase its autumn/winter 2018 collection at Style Scout on February 16.

8 key moments not to miss this London Style Week

Image: courtesy of Style Scout

London Style Week runs from February 16 to February 20.

Main image: JW Anderson courtesy of London Style Week/British Style Council

Britain’s men aged 16-34 are lifting sales of ‘manbags’, according to new research from Mintel, while total UK sales of fashion accessories reached 2.9 billion pounds in 2017.

The research reveals that the ‘manbag’s’ popularity has grown significantly in recent years, as Britain’s young men join the likes of David Beckham, Kanye West and Ryan Gosling, with 24 percent of UK men buying one in 2017, up from 16 percent in 2016.

But while young males have boosted the popularity of the ‘manbag’, it seems they are not alone as overall one in seven (15 percent) British men bought a ‘manbag’ in 2017.

Meanwhile, more than half (54 percent) of British women bought a bag last year, with the handbag market now accounting for 50 percent of fashion accessory sales, outperforming all other fashion accessory categories. The market grew by 5.5 percent during 2017 to reach 1.45 billion pounds, up from 1.37 billion pounds in 2016.

Tamara Sender, Mintel senior fashion analyst, said:“Manbags have become increasingly accepted by Britain’s men. There has been a growing trend for backpack-style bags, many of which are unisex in style and, therefore, appeal to young men. The popularity of manbags among young men has also benefited the premium end of the market, as our research finds men favour buying designer brands for themselves over own-brand bags.

“We’re also seeing more designer brands investing in their menswear offering, with Stella McCartney adding menswear for the first time in late 2016, which includes different styles of manbags. Designer handbag sales as a whole have benefited from an increase in inbound tourism spend as more overseas consumers visited the UK in 2017, taking advantage of the more favourable exchange rate following the EU referendum.”

The report also notes that the boost in accessories is good for the British fashion industry as many as 40 percent of fashion accessory purchasers say that they would be willing to pay more for these items if they’re made in Britain.

Last year, Brits spent 2.9 billion pounds on fashion accessories, with the market growing by 3.6 percent between 2016-17, up from 2.8 billion pounds in 2016. Over the past five years, sales of fashion accessories have increased 21 percent when the market was valued at 2.4 billion pounds in 2012.

The top five accessories bought by Brits in 2017 were: handbags/manbags with 34 percent, belts (27 percent), scarves (23 percent), gloves (21 percent) and hats (21 percent).

Meanwhile, just three in 10 (31 percent) Brits say they didn’t purchase a fashion accessory in 2017.

Sender, added: “British fashion accessory producers have a great opportunity to make the most of the patriotic trend, with four in 10 shoppers willing to pay more to support home-grown talent, particularly those in the more affluent AB socio-economic group. This forms part of a larger trend for consumers placing greater importance on provenance and expecting more transparency from the fashion industry.”

Marcel Ostertag keeps it 70s style for New York Style Week

German-based fashion designer Marcel Ostertag has returned to New York Style Week again with his aesthetic fit for the Berlin party girls and his penchant for sequins. Ostertag's fall/winter 2018 collection was called Opium, and was about the idea of being addicted to fashion, as the designer is a self confessed "addict of fashion" himself. As a result, fabric choice played a more important part in this collection than ever.

Ostertag really focused on the luxe when it came to materials. Silk, cashmere, faux furs, sequins and pearl beaded chiffons were trademarks of his collection. The designer also went a bit more adventurous than he already does by combining different color sequins in a patchwork. "My end customer is a bit eccentric, but she loves fashion," Ostertag said.

Marcel Ostertag keeps it 70s style for New York Style Week

Marcel Ostertag inspired by fashion addiction and Yves Saint Laurent for fall/winter 2018

The design process was no easy task for him either. Ostertag sketched close to 60 looks before he edited down to less than half for this season's collection. After that, he ordered 2000 fabric swatches to choose from before selecting the twenty best qualities. According to Ostertag, his greatest challenge was finding the right sequins.

"The sequins have to last, because my collection stands for sustainability," Ostertag said. "It also has to still be modern, young and fresh. I'm still inspired by 70s, so that vibe is still going too."

Marcel Ostertag keeps it 70s style for New York Style Week

Fall/Winter 2018 originally began as an exploration of Yves Saint Laurent ) in the ‘70’s, as Ostertag came across an editorial in a vintage magazine store. This season, the designer also brought on new elements to his collection like ribbons and workwear detailing.

The one thing Ostertag prides himself in above all else is sustainability, and it was never just a trend for him. "I've been working sustainably since I did my first line in 2006," Ostertag said. "I know all my tailors, and I do my own quality controls."

Sustainability, blissful partying and celebratory indulgence came together for the party girl mixed with workwear collection. The fashion addicts are sure to get their fix with this line.

photos: Frazer Harrison for Getty Images
Hugo Boss presents final Jason Wu collection at New York Style Week

Jason Wu is saying farewell to Hugo Boss. As the brand shifts its focus away from its womenswear business and more on its core men's, Wu will be departing the company as their womenswear artistic director. However, Wu gave his Hugo Boss ladies one last presentation at New York Style Week.

It might be a maximalist era, but Hugo Boss is not a maximalist brand. Instead, Wu built the fall/winter 2018 collection around minimalism and inspiration from New York-based artist Robert Morris.

Hugo Boss presents final Jason Wu collection at New York Style Week

Jason Wu departs Hugo Boss

Wu reimagined the Boss suit with a new feminine silhouette with more pronounced shoulders and a contoured waist for a very tailored look that still flattered the body. Long gone are the days of the boxy women's business suits that was overly borrowed from the boys, now business women are allowed to fashion. True to heritage and tradition, the half-canvassed interior featured detailed workmanship.

To avoid the collection looking too mundane, Wu played with exaggeration of proportions with shirts made from cotton and silk satin. Dropped shoulders and voluminous sleeves added just a hint of drama to a very approachable collection. There were great touches for those who sometimes play it safe when it comes to fashion, but still want something about their outfit to set them apart from the crowd.

Hugo Boss presents final Jason Wu collection at New York Style Week

The inspiration from Robert Morris also came through with tailoring fabrics like wool flannel and felt, which were updated with inventive cuts and drapes, or sliced into stripes and patched with satin and chiffon. Contrast color accentuated raw-cut edges, and mohair fabric softened fine, windowpane checks.

In alignment with the minimalist approach, the color palette featured neutrals of charcoal, dark navy and black. Electric blue and pale yellow were thrown in for pops of color.

Hugo Boss presents final Jason Wu collection at New York Style Week

Overall, it was a fine collection that was a successful rebellion against the maximalist trend, and ideal for the Hugo Boss customer who is typically more understated. It Jason Wu's final adieu, and a captivating one to behold.

photos: courtesy of the brand
Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

As athleisure continues its stronghold on the retail market, people have wondered what's happening to evening wear aside from the red carpets. By the looks of New York Style Week shows from Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan, evening wear is here to stay, and it's transcended beyond ball gowns. Although there are still those customers who want the Disney Princess style gowns with floral prints, lace and jewel embellishments, they also want more options from their evening wear offerings.

Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

Inspired by Italian painter Caravaggio, Badgley Mischka's fall/winter 2018 collection featured a full breadth of women's formal choices, from the ball gown to a sequin trench coat with black pants and a sweater. Caravaggio was known for his realistic observation of the human state, and the human state of evening wear today came through with Badgley Mischka's line. While there were a few of the dramatic ball gowns, silhouettes were more tailored and form fitting. The evening wear customer in America wants to make a statement, but she's interested in a bit less drama.

Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

She still loves a good dress, but she's more in the realm of something sleeking and sexy now. Please give her the embellishment and bedazzling she is used to though, because she still wants to feel feminine and pretty.

Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

The need for new ways to do femininity were also evident at Naeem Khan. Jumpsuits were big for the designer this season, as they were several of his first looks. Sequin details gave full Hollywood actress effect, as Khan is known for being a red carpet favorite. He didn't shy away from his signature details, however. He was still big on embellishments, fringe and patterns inspired by his Indian heritage.

Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

The finale look was a black velvet jumpsuit embellished with the face of the statue of liberty on the back in sequin crystal. It was an homage to the new liberty in fashion, and, just like America, Khan's collection was a melting pot of different ideas.

Evening wear is not dead according to Badgley Mischka and Naeem Khan

It's a new era for evening wear, but no, the market for it isn't dead. Rather, it has adapted to fit today's woman who can wear a jumpsuit for many occasions, who wants something more tame than a ball gown.

Badlgey Mischka photos courtesy of Full Pic Naeem Khan photos courtesy of the brand
Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

Sometimes it is safe to stick to what you know. This approach has always served Anna Sui well as she's designed her collections with two signature approaches in mind: bold, brightly colored patterns and eclectic mixed fabrics. However, people often get caught up in Sui's vibrant colors and diverse pattern choices, and often forget about her technical ability as a designer.

Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

Sui has the ability to do everything from brocade vests to jacquard. Although most designers tend to go more minimalist for fall/winter, Sui has always been a maximalist when it comes to colors, patterns and details. Her show, which was opened by It girls Gigi and Bella Hadid, set the tone for a collection that was inspired by old school cool and an era of liberation.

Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

Gigi opened the show in a rouge multi scattered flowers metallic brocade vest and rouge multi paisley blooms metallic dress. Bella followed her in a rouge multi gradient floral jacquard coat, rouge multi flowers from a fan lace and jacquard dress and a pair of rogue multi festive sequin pants.

Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

No matter what season it is, life is supposed to be a celebration. Our approach to color and patterns shouldn't be dictated by a time of the year, we are all individuals.

Individualism and fearless colors were also a big theme at Rosie Assoulin's presentation. Assoulin has long been known for her floor length skirts and dresses, as well as her love for color, and this season was no different.

Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

Assoulin also took an eclectic approach to things. In contrast to many of her contemporaries who build a collection off of one cohesive theme, she lets her creativity run free to provide something for every woman. Assoulin's collections are chaos in color in the best way possible. It was only fitting that her presentation featured a candy and dessert buffet, as her collection was truly candyland.

The fabrics included cotton poplin, satin silk, wool, velvets and corduroy are versatile and wearable through various occasions and seasons. The prints were inspired by marble patterns and marbling techniques from various countries. The color palette included bright orange, turquoise, red, navy blue, hot pink and yellow.

Anna Sui and Rosie Assoulin prove bold colors and patterns are for fall/winter

Assoulin took us around the world with this collection. Both her and Sui proved the versatility of today's fashion woman. No longer do we have women who are strictly formal or casual, and gone are the days when people are afraid to approach color. Style is in brighter days, so why not have a little fun.

photos: courtesy of KCD Worldwide
Zadig & Voltaire explores contradictions at New York Style Week

When fashion designers and brands experiment with contrast it's usually something in the realm of color or silhouette. At their fall/winter 2018 fashion show, Zadig & Voltaire explored the concept on contradictions to create confident looks. Black was mixed with white, the shrunken with oversized, and the feminine with the masculine to create androgyny.

Zadig & Voltaire explores contradictions at New York Style Week

This collection was about the ability to turn opposites into style. The Zadig girl would pair a lace tunic with a studded leather biker jacket and call it an outfit. It's not the conventional pairing that someone that would wear a lace tunic or a leather jacket would expect, but that's what is unique about the Zadig girl, she is versatile.

Zadig & Voltaire explores contradictions at New York Style Week

This season's collection was particularly eclectic. Pieces went from rompers to blazers paired with sweaters in the blink of an eye, almost causing the audience to question who is this collection for. The answer was simply everybody.

This season's collection also had two subliminal messages about sustainability and gender non-conformity. Mohair jumpers were patched together and mended with stapes, and while it seemed like just another deconstructed look, Zadig & Voltaire was showing us how fashion can last. Boyfriend cut jackets slipped over dresses and Prince of Wales check three-piece suits were here to remind us that fashion has no gender. Gone are the days of "man" and "woman", now it's just clothes.

Zadig & Voltaire explores contradictions at New York Style Week

The collection was fearless, and dared to go there with it's new age rock sensibilities of women no longer having to follow traditional rules of dress. The Zadig girl breaks all the rules, and does so in a good outfit.

photos: courtesy of Catherine Miran