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FASHION MAR/APR 2012

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THE MEET-PACKING DISTRICT

The oft-heard refrain of “it’s impossible to meet somebody in this city” has one less reason for traction in the wake of the official U.S. launch of the site Badoo.com, which describes itself (so far apocryphally) as “the world’s largest social network for meeting new people.” In any case, the March 22 event featured a fashion shoot that grabbed portraits of more than 1,000 New Yorkers over the course of three days. Those who participated were able to keep this enviable bull online picture and 24 will be selected to appear on taxis and billboards around the city.

 

BLUE PERIOD

To honor World Water Day on March 22, a number of fashion labels have launched innovative projects to bring awareness to the growing scarcity of potable water and water ecosystems. Levis asked its employees—and as many wearers as they could reach—to don their jeans for at least five days without washing them. Shoemaker Teva has the aim of preserving one linear foot of shoreline for every pair of sandals it sells, and Philadelphia’s own United By Blue T-shirt and bag company dispatched its employees to collect trash from the coastline of the Delaware River, and is also launching a campaign wherein its staff will give up plastic bags and bottles. Who says that couture is all about backstabbing and cattiness?

 

POST-FUKUSHIMA FASHION

One of the industry’s most unexpected and improvisational fashion shows returned this year to Tokyo, after last year’s Japan Fashion Week event was canceled in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami. Some 15,000 attended the Mercedes-Benz sponsored event, and celebrities such as Lady Gaga turned out to see the offerings. Designer Masanori Morikawa very nearly stole the show with her “Green” theme, inspired by environmental worries in the wake of the nuclear crisis at Fukushima nuclear crisis.

MIXED BLESSINGS

The wildly early arrival of warm weather to the city has meant an unexpected boon to retailers. National sales of warm weather clothing—which accounts for a greater percentage of revenue then winter apparel—was and is up considerably (nearly 4%). Combined with significantly better restaurant sales for spring—also in part owing to the early arrival of warm weather—it’s difficult for worrywarts around here to regard the developments without at least a few mixed feelings.

 

RETURN OF THE FLAPPER

TV has long had an indirect role in influencing fashion design, from a slight saucying of cougar fashion in the wake of ABC’s Desperate Housewives to the frightening sex-ification of a late-teen wear after a few seasons of MTV’s Skins, but rarely has a TV series brought inspiration to designers as immediately and indelibly as HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. The show’s combination of danger and carnal appeal has inspired designers from Ralph Lauren to Tory Burch, and both unveiled spring designs that seem perfectly at home on the body of a roaring 20s era flapper. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen experimentation with such designs, but this season’s homage seems decidedly more feminine, and less inclined to depict women as tomboyish, equipped as it is with shorter hemlines and higher heels. This example from Tory Burch is perfectly representative of the trend. It embraces simplicity but not at the expense of creativity or femininity. If we can just avoid a recreation of the financial turmoil after the 20s, the home movement has our vote wholeheartedly.

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