International fashion icon Sue Wong presented “Edwardian Romance,” her Fall 2014 collection, last week in the cozy environs of her art deco K-town atelier.
An opening blessing was made by Sue’s great friend, the spiritual artist, and personal portraitist to the Dalai Lama, Romio Shrestha. Mr. Shrestha told the chic crowd, consisting of actors, starlets, stylists, fashion press, fashion buyers, and other influencers: “Sue Wong’s clothes have the power to awaken the divine Goddess.” While not overtly spiritual in symbolism, it would be hard not to believe that Ms. Wong’s designs are in deed divinely inspired.
“Clothing empowers and transforms a woman into the Goddess of her choice,” says Sue Wong.
King Edward V11
Sue Wong’s fashion events are also history lessons. According to Wikipedia: “The Edwardian era or Edwardian period in the United Kingdom is the period covering the reign of King Edward VII, 1901 to 1910, and is sometimes extended beyond Edward's death to include years leading up to World War I.
The death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 and the succession of her son Edward marked the end of the Victorian era. While Victoria had shunned society, Edward was the leader of a fashionable elite that set a style influenced by the art and fashions of Continental Europe—perhaps because of the King's fondness for travel.”
The best way to imagine Edwardian fashion is to watch Downton Abbey. Technically, this is post-Edwardian, as the Edwardian era ends with the death of King Edward V11 in 1910, and Downton Abbey begins in 1912, around the time of the sinking of the legendary Titanic. However, the style of dress of the ladies in early Downtown Abbey, leading up to WW1, is very Edwardian.
It was a genteel time of gracious living, as the upper classes indulged elaborate fashions, garden parties, and high teas yet free from the stresses of war that was soon to come.
Sue Wong perfectly channels this romantic spirit in her Fall 2014 collection, presenting runway shows in the following segments: Downton Abbey, A Room with a View, Wings of the Dove, The Secret Garden, Moulin Rouge and The Edwardian Bride.
We loved the drama of this entire collection, particularly the elaborate headgear and huge feathers. The regal hues of violet, purple, sapphire, cobalt and magenta added to the allure of the finery presented. Custom jewellery designed by Vilaiwan completed and perfected the Edwardian romance look.
Fresh from behind the scenes at LA Fashion Week is a list of tips and tricks that wardrobe stylists use to ensure models always look their best.
Firstly it’s essential that you are not intimidated by shape wear. Spanx or any other body sculpting product is your friend and every stylist knows that even the most seemingly perfect bodies sometimes need a little bit of help in accentuating their figure.
Secondly it’s essential that you dress for your shape. The waifs that walk the catwalk look good in everything, but as that’s their job they have the time and inclination to work hard at it. Stylists choose clothes that flatter and create shape, not disguise it, so you need to know what styles to wear to minimise wide hips, short legs or broad shoulders.
It’s essential that you only follow trends to a point, and not embrace styles that are really unflattering. Fashion is a bit like playing at a casino online, sometimes you hit the jackpot and everything in one season is perfectly suited to your figure, and other times its best to just stick to what you know and save your money for the next collection.
If you have a favourite designer don’t assume everything they create is a masterpiece. Stylists know that not every creation from a designer is a masterpiece and some designs and fashions are hit and miss. If dressing only in a certain label you need to make sure that you’re not slavishly following a trend just because “your” brand says so.
Every stylist will tell you that personality and confidence are always in fashion. Don’t replicate an exact catwalk look or editorial, make fashion your own and put your stamp on the way you dress. Carbon copies of exact looks are boring and being boring or unoriginal is a huge fashion crime.
Lastly, top stylists always recommend that you spend on the basics, splurge on the special occasions and scrimp on the items that won’t last, or are a trend that’s sure to pass by fast. Great shoes, bags and basics are essential in every wardrobe and quality trumps quantity every time. Stick to clothes that are well fitting and flattering, dress to suit your figure and remember that perfect hair and makeup can cover a multitude of other sins.
The 2nd L.A. Fashion Awards took place last week at Sunset Gower Studios, produced by Mikey Koffman and Endless Road Entertainment, Inc. The awards honored the Best Of from L.A. Fashion Weekend's shows last year.
The Los Angeles Fashion Council’s Fall 2014 PRESS WEEK offered an outstanding opportunity for journalists to preview the latest creations of some of our city’s best emerging, and established, designers. We caught up with a few of the designers during their rooftop presentations.
BRAND spanking new, Together merges the fanciful fashion instincts of Lily Chehrazi with the considerable photographic skills of her partner, Benedict Barrett. Their one-of-a kind prints are wearable art, according to the couple’s website, the realization of a cross-coastal explosion of culture and creativity. We were immediately magnetized by a stunningly vivid floral pattern, reminding us of a psychedelic lily pond. These looks would go over big at the Coachella music festival. TogetherCalifornia.com
The classy Katherine Kidd’s Fall collection was inspired by the aurora borealis (northern lights). Further, we were told that each season features a different type of rose print. We loved this concept, and suggested Ms. Kidd diffuse rose essential oils for added effect during her next presentation, a la Donna Karan. Katharine Kidd is a timeless brand, always a wise choice for women of taste and breeding. KatharineKidd.com
This collection seemed very different to our eye than past Bri Seeley offerings. Ms. Seeley confirmed our observations. With a conscious decision to shift more towards the luxury market, the Chrysalis collection was born. This metamorphosis took some of the best elements from Bri’s past work, refined them, elevated them, and transformed them into alluring designs more tailored to upmarket consumers. The “Bell Blouse” pictured here, is delicate and flattering. The “Clara” cotton short is casual California wear, but could also be dressed up with a more formal top. Bri told us her clothes are “for women to not just look like a woman, but to be a woman in the clothes.” BriSeeley.com
The name Stella Proseyn is an anagram of "personal style", as the designer, Debbie Talanian, believes “everyone feels their best when they've found theirs”.
The Fall 2014 collection is about attainable beauty and everyday luxury, Ms. Talanian tells us. “I fell in love with a lot of Japanese fabrics, and one Italian lace, and let them play a big role in the direction this season.” The pieces are sophisticated but relaxed, relevant without being overly trendy. Price points range from $140 to $330, retail. Pictured: a sporty bomber jacket and flat-front pedal-pusher length trousers made of ultra-soft brushed Japanese cotton. The top is Italian cut lace lined in 100% silk. StellaProseyn.com
Mr. Colton Dane Lasater was a creative and imaginative young theatre actor in Portland, OR., with an affinity for the costume department. His love of theatricality, and costume art, eventually inspired his decision to become a couturier. His first collection, together with partner Charles Christopher, offers classically beautiful, feminine designs, with more than a hint of sexy. Fabrics are especially important to the duo, with some of them coming from France, and others from a special denim mill in Taiwan.
Charles Christopher and Colton Dane
In their partnership, Colton handles the design work, and Charlie handles the business side of things. We see great promise in this dynamic team, they could one day be the new Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giametti. ColtonDane.com
Designer Jennifer Lynn went to the James Turrell exhibit at LACMA over the summer and found that she was very moved by being immersed in either light or dark.
Jennifer Lynn, commenting on the inspiration for her Fall 2014 collection, told us: “Some rooms brought immediate joy,” she says, “while other rooms led to feelings of solitude, whether I was alone in them or not.”
Turrell explored the idea of perception with regards to light as well as emotion and Ms. Lynn wanted to take that idea and work with it on a visual and emotional level a well.
“I thought about how Turrell worked with light and decided to select materials based on their interaction with light. Using fabrics with subtle metallic fibers, or different levels of opacity to reflect, absorb, or allow light to pass through was the basis of the collection. But I then began to think about fashion and how it allows us to become something, to become a visual statement, and how we can send a message with what we wear. At the same time, we send a message to ourselves with how we treat our bodies. Sometimes clothing can be empowering, and sometimes make us feel at ease because it is physically comfortable. My goal became to create a strong statement, that allows the wearer to feel immensely comfortable physically, while the visual is chic, strong, and put together - sacrificing neither comfort nor style. As a whole this became more about ‘perception of self’ than ‘visual perception’, and focuses more on the emotional strength fashion can give us inside by feeling at ease while presenting a powerful silhouette on the outside.”
On the left:
Emma wears the Lumens shirt dress in ivory. It is a silk crepe and chiffon shirt dress with sheer panels and a pintuck bib. She wears a cropped knit top - the "Patchwork Easy Tee", with fish leather panels atop a champagne color sweater knit with a lurex fiber knit through.
On the right:
Arianna wears the Lumens shirt in black, which is the same body as the dress but shorter. She has the basic "Easy Tee" draped over her shoulder and is wearing a pair of leggings, with silver contrast.
When shoes are meticulously handcrafted, they have the potential to be a work of art. Who wouldn’t want to wear a piece of art that champions individuality, style, and the quality of coolness? PS Kaufman, a modern day cobbler, states that when a shoe is being handcrafted “a combination of science and art is required to forge an innovative design. It’s a form of alchemy that comes from trusting your intuition.” He also adds that what motivates him the most is his unrelenting passion for “pushing the creative envelope along with the marriage of the industrial and handcrafted elements in shoe making.”
It’s his innovative approach that has attracted celebrities such as Chloe Sevigny, Jessica Lange, Johnny Depp and a host of others to seek his creations. His shoes are currently displayed the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.