A fashion and lifestyle magazine and blog produced by Students in the Design and Merchandising program at Drexel University

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Runway Music

Music is often essential to runway shows. When done well it complements the collection and its mood or theme. The soundtracks we hear on the runway can be mixes of pop songs, songs we haven’t heard on the radio before, and possibly just atmospheric sound that we would consider ‘music’ in the least. Regardless, as the Drexel Fashion show approaches we need to look out for a few things.
Picking music for a collection may be different than picking music for a runway show performance. If you are only showing garments, make sure that flowing satin or chiffon is accompanied by either ethereal music or upbeat energetically pure music. You want sounds that linger and fill the air with its presence in a delicate but unmistakable way.

However, if your collection is a little more on edgy with the sass of a strong, independent and seductive woman…you’ll want to refer to runway music choices like that featured in Balmain or Alexander Wang shows. 

Or perhaps you are creating a whole new world for your audience to experience. Enlisting them to separate their minds from expected prints and shapes to those they have not yet experienced. With the help of one of the most famous Alexander McQueen collections as inspiration, you’ll be able to wow the crowd.

It’s possible you’d like to mix a little bit of disorienting spoken word into your collection, because it has a quirky style about it. Reminiscent with love poems and current dissatisfaction of societies enchanted or close-minded views. Take a tip from Prada and let them know what they want, before they ever wanted it.

Always remember, your music should have a beat consistent to the pace you want your models to walk. Music can be slowed down or sped up. Mix a few inspiring songs together in a runway playlist to show the change in segments or occasions in your collection. Your runway playlist can also just be pure sound effects, with no defined tune or melody. Such a track works for conceptual and minimalist collections, which emphasize its most important elements of form, or color, experimentation of new or reworked grounds. This is your art, music should not subtract from the audience experience of your pieces, but add to it.

That being said I will leave you with this:
Your music can be distracting, but still consistent with your clothes:
....OR make your collection a hit that is talked about for seasons after:


It's Fashion...Fashion Film

Fashion film often plays a large role in cultivating the image of a brand. It is most useful today when social media is a huge component of selling merchandise and reaching customers on a global scale. It has become a more cost effective marketing tool for many brands large and small. And has also become another creative outlet for many. The creative films are worth paying attention to, as well.

Fashion film can be very direct or quite abstract. More direct fashion films may be short and appear commercial-like.While others are truly short films designed with an in-house set, wardrobes, accessories and products. The highly regarded brand of Chanel often releases fashion films. They are typically written, directed, and/or shot by Karl Lagerfeld himself. The films are effective in depicting what a Chanel world of luxury looks like. It brings the brand’s fantasy characters to life. A film might show various Chanel girls and demonstrate the standards of the brand and its aspired lifestyle. Fashion films help customers and enthusiast be a part of the brand and its world and ideals. One film I often enjoy watching from Chanel, due to its ornate and lavish depictions is the following:
Fashion films often have the power and purpose to make people buy into their brand and its products. I will never forget my first experience with fashion film. It was the designer shoe house, Tod’s. (Not a bad first time partner, right?) It was a film which featured ballet dancers interpreting the process of creating a hand crafted Tod’s shoe. I was stunned by the sheer beauty of the performance. I was also entranced by the intensity of the music. And not only that I was learning and embracing the Italian pride deeply embedded in both the film and the company. After watching it, I quickly ran to my father’s closet and claimed all his Tod’s shoes, or at least a few pairs he was willing to relinquish! I wanted to be apart of the brand. I was proud of the brand!
The most recent brand I am proud of is Miu Miu. I loved that their fashion film contained social commentary along within its artistically abstract performance. The first, being that it used a made up language. The second, being that the content included the issue of class warfare on a palatable level. And third, IT GAVE LIFE TO IT’S DRESS! I wanted the dress to be my friend as well. I mean, I prefer to relish in my most awesome clothes within the privacy of those who understand it and give it the same appreciation as I do (not just for a flash and space in a tabloid). Check out the video and comment on my post with your reaction to the film.
In our technologically savvy society, it is now time to not only pay attention to the clothes and how the clothes are responding to or disengaging from society, but also what the brand as a whole has to say via its fashion films. The films serve as art and are just as purposeful to the brand as it’s runway shows and campaigns.  

What's Your Staple Collection?

Have you ever had a collection that just spoke to your personal style or has seemingly almost wholly altered your style there after? It’s amazing what references we hold and allow to influence our sense of style. I personally have one collection which really serves as a reference for my current style.

So what’s your staple collection? My staple collection would be Burberry’s Spring 2009. I know, I know…it’s not the most exclusive brand and certainly not the most ornate and deeply exciting (in its newer collections). However, Burberry and Prada were two houses that sobered my eyes to the fashion scene. I had always known brands from Rodeo Drive…and Caesar’s…and Harrod’s, as my mom was a shopper. She always shopped for my dad and me. I had a shallow understanding of fashion and had never before developed my own style stemming from a catalogue, let alone a runway.

Either way, I found my way out a cave and to the world of fashion as I was prepping for a trip to France. You see, I was told France was a stylish place and I would already be judged as an American. So, if I wanted to enjoy myself I had to learn a few French phrases beside, “voulez vous coucher avec moi.” So, I finally started paying attention when my mom and I went into a boutique or department store. I quickly realized the significance of fashion week, and the celebrity behind the fashion world. Long story short, I discovered Burberry’s campaign ads at the time. They featured this cool dude, named George Craig, who later was featured on their musically infused “Art of the Trench” campaign in the Fall that year, and Alex Pettyfer, a teen movie star at the time. 
The Spring collection blew my mind, because I had always believed the world of fashion was so strict and “done-up”. That year the collection was smoothly rugged and infused with nature. I loved everything about it, being that I loved safari and wanted to be the male Jane Goodall during those days. What I loved most were the relaxed silhouettes, and the elongated and slimming shirts. It’s lightweight look was enticing to the free-spirited feel I looked for among people who always dressed preppy or dripping in diamonds just to go to the grocer (if that wasn't the assistant or chief’s job)! Nonetheless, I started to surround myself with the subdued palette, including of bold colors or metallics in my layers when needed.

Yet it was not just the clothes that sealed my love for Burberry at the time, but their addition of Emma Watson in their ad campaigns the next few seasons. I could not get enough of Burberry, to the point that’s all I wanted my mom to buy me. Don’t worry before I made any tragic over branding mistakes, I didn’t care for the Nova Check pattern. Rather I just wanted anything with the label, and so I started to recognize the difference between the runway collections and department store merchandise. I soon developed the simple taste for the Brit collection, then the London collection, and then the granddaddy Prorsum. 
(This collection is one reason I love dusters and long proportions.)
While I am inspired by more exciting things when I dress up these days, the 2009 spring collection is my daily inspiration for everyday wear. I’m a lot more relax in my style after developing a taste for minimalist aesthetic based on unique quality, longevity and wear ability. Being that I spend most time on a college campus, I put a good effort in my clothing decisions when I go out for dinners and events. But even going out for a dinner or ceremony, I’ll loosen my Band of Outsiders tie from around my hybrid Alexander Wang button down as it drapes over my rag and bone denim, which is wrinkled at my leg due to my trusty 7 for all mankind leather boots. It’s just enough and not too much, and mostly because I’m not wearing anything from my favorite all black section of my wardrobe. But that’s a whole separate story!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Style of an Icon

Betty White has graced the entertainment industry since 1939 and has continued to capture the hearts of audiences ever since.  Most famous for The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Golden Girls, she has been a part of the most iconic films and television shows for over sixty years. In that time, she has worn the many fashion trends of her decades including princess gowns, suits, platform shoes, and tunics.

She is the perfect example of aging in an industry that demands style and evolution. She has always dressed for her age and kept personality in each of her ensembles. Her go-to look of trousers and suit jackets never seems over done: the textures, patterns, and details of each outfit are always different. Her accessories include gorgeous broaches, pearls, bejeweled earrings and dainty purses.  At 93 years old, she always manages to be a favorite of the red carpet and of entertainment audiences alike. Below is some of her most beautiful ensembles.

NYFW Impact Report: Uplifting and Defending Our Industry

At my age, probably the most common people you have just met will ask is, "Are you in school? What are you studying?" And as I prepare to graduate college with a fashion business focused major, I have of course gone through this routine many times, and while usually the response is positive, every now and again I have encountered people who ask "Is this really a worthwhile major? Why not just major in Business or Communications?" It seems many people do not understand what a monster of a business the fashion industry really is, as its own entity that combines art, style, and personal image with business, marketing, promotion, and sales.

Fashion is its own entity because of its sheer size and differentiation across markets, but more so because their is commercial fashion, but it can also be more of an art form. So when I see any opportunity to share the magic and impact I believe the fashion industry brings, I think I have to jump at the chance. Fashion Week is a prime example of how business and art are brought together to serve this unique blend of art and promotion. But its not just this "artistic dream" I think some people see fashion as. Fashion shows have been presented to the public primarily as promotion tools, and many of thee shows are extremely dramatic, beautiful, and artistic productions, but the bottom line is, it is still a business, and it does make money.

On February 6, Women's Wear Daily published a report, headlined "NYFW Economic Impact Close to $900M a Year." The study shows that the Fashion Weeks held in September and February generate $887 million in total economic impact annually, including $547 million in direct visitor spending. These are the results of a study Rep. Carolyn Maloney, newly appointed ranking member of the House Joint Economic Committee, conducted. Comparatively, some our states biggest events of the year clock in significantly behind this New York Fashion Week figure, with the New York City Marathon earning $340M, last year's Super Bowl earning $500M, and last year's US Tennis Open taking in $700M. This may be surprising to many people, those who doubt the impact of our industry and even those who don't, but the numbers speak for themselves. These findings are important to support the integrity of not just the fashion industry in its entirety, but of its importance to the US and New York City, as the only official American fashion capital among a sea of Europeans.

“More broadly, the fashion industry is an important segment of the city’s economy, employing over 180,000 people, including 16,000 manufacturing jobs, paying $11 million in wages and generating almost $2 billion in tax revenue each year,” said Maloney about New York City. With the anticipation and normal anxiety of moving to NYC after graduation in the spring to look for a job, I say to the doubters, the fashion industry is not just a dream. It may start with a highly artistic inspiration, but people connect to it, they buy into, and it makes money. It's just a little bit more fun.

Fabric Paint at NINObrand

   During my time co-oping for NINObrand; a Philadelphia-based, modern women's clothing line by Bela Shehu, I had the opportunity to use my creativity in a much more literal way than I had thought I would when I first started working here. Bela had the idea to take a dress that had not been selling well, (due to the fact that it was the winter season and the dress was bubble gum pink) and spruce it up a bit with black fabric paint. She decided to give this to me as a project and I couldn't be more excited or nervous because this was a couple-hundred dollar dress to begin with and I was about to paint majority of it with black fabric paint...

I set myself up a station and realized that I really liked the environment of being "behind-the-scenes" with the Designer, Production Manager and Pattern Maker. It took about a week to fully complete this project as it consisted of painting in sections and waiting for it to dry, rinsing the dress and again waiting for it to dry. This process was followed by ironing the sections many times to allow the paint to really set into the fabric.  

I had a method to how I used the paint brush to create the pattern you can see on the dress. There was definitely some trial, error and accidental splatters, but I think that is what makes the finished garment so special! You can see the personality to it; nothing is perfect and it shows that maybe I got a little too excited while working on it :). 

This dress ended up being given to a high school student for her prom and I was able to talk to her and tell her how I really enjoyed working on it. I think it is important for designers or anyone who has their own brand to be personable and truly create a relationship with their customers to ensure long-lasting cliental. 

The Final Product! 

2015 Grammys: All Black Everything

The 2015 Grammy's didn't fall short of anything but spectacular. This year's red carpet, stars dazzled in a variety of beautiful black garments. Some may argue that they took the recently installed black-tie dress code a bit too seriously. However, these stars proved that black was far from boring and safe. These celebrities were bold in their choices, showing off a variety of trends including sheer panels, intricate lace, daring cutouts, and sparkles that stole the show.

(From Top Left: Gwen Stafani (Altelier Versace), Miley Cyrus (Alexandre Vauthier), Giuliana Rancic (Steven Khalil) (, Sia and Maddie Ziegler(Armani Prive), Anna Kendrick(Band of Outsiders), Beyonce (Proenza Schouler), Nicki Minaj (Tom Ford), Jessie J (Ralph and Russo), Meghan Trainor (Gailia Lahav), Nicole Kidman(Prabal Gurung)