Dear… (A Comprehensive Look At The Most Questionable Moments in Fashion)

As a lover of fashion, I’m well aware the often times, many designers veer into the cringe-worthy territory of problematic life choices. Recently, the Novella team sat down for a brainstorming session on some new weekly pieces we could all bring to the boardroom table. Among the friendly banter and ideas being thrown around, we came up with an interesting concept. Why not call out those within the fashion industry that need a little slap on the wrist. In the end, we came up with the concept of Dear… Where I have the wonderful privilege of being able to discuss (and tear apart) some of fashion’s most epic nose dives for all of our reader’s gossip needs. So without further adieu, here’s fashion’s Hot Goss.

Dear Marc Jacobs…

The question we’re all asking after New York fashion week isn’t whether or not you’re one of the most talented and influential designers in the world, instead, we’re all asking why you seem to focus all of your design talents on making collections that are essentially culturally appropriative marching parades. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve made some jaw-dropping collections in the past. Louis Vuitton Spring 2012, Spring 2003, and Louis Vuitton fall 2011 all come to mind. So I know he has the potential of creating collections that are beyond beautiful, so why is that Mr Jacobs has been insistent on creating collections that take vital aspects of minorities cultures, specifically black traditions and culture. There really is something inappropriate about placing women who aren’t women of colour in dreadlock wigs or 70’s and 80’s Harlem inspired clothing. This subtle borrowing of black cultural without having black designers assist in the design process is just careless in the fact that a designer, no matter how experienced the designer may be, will never know the personal experience of the culture they’re borrowing from unless they were born into that culture or grew up in that culture.

However, Mr Jacobs seems to look past the complaints of those around him and continues to push the boundary on what is acceptable as inspiration and what is full blown appropriation. Recently, for his last show in New York, Jacobs focused all of his design talents on creating a collection fit an elegant woman of colour. Sadly, the collection had only a handful of black women walk the show. Which wouldn’t seem out of the norm in the fashion industry, but it’s extremely unsettling to see so little black women walk a show where the models are dressed in African inspired prints and head wraps that resemble those worn by African and African-American women. Now to some, it may not seem like such a big deal, however, when a show includes models like Kendal Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Taylor Hill wearing traditionally styled Gele and Ankara headdresses worn by women from countries like Ghana and Nigeria, it becomes extremely problematic because those specific headdresses are seen as foreign and are often gawked at by westerners. But when white models sport them it then becomes fashionable and trendy. The same can be said for his collections that featured heavy hip-hop inspirations and dreadlocks. On one hand, “urban” clothing and dreadlocks are worn by black men and women every day and it’s seen as ghetto and lower class, but when people outside of a traditional black environment decide to grow their hair into dreadlocks or wear clothing heavily inspired by black culture. It then becomes extremely forward thinking and ambitious.

What the moral of this entire gong show is, is that Marc Jacobs should look into the social consequences caused by the appropriation of culture, especially that of black culture in the United States. And then look into the global repercussions of appropriating the cultures of minorities around the world are before creating collections that are culturally and socially insensitive.Remember Mr Jacobs,

Remember Mr Jacobs, black women were laughed at and made the butt of the joke for taking pride and wearing their Gele’s and headwraps in public for decades now. Making them feel as if they shouldn’t be wearing their traditional cultural dress outside of their own country and making them feel shame and embarrassment for doing so. So why make it harder for black women (and all POC who takes pride in dressing in their homeland’s traditional garb) by making them feel as if the one thing they have to take pride on, isn’t even their own anymore. Because someone else can buy and be praised for it, while they get shunned and mocked for it.

Sincerely,

Chris Zaghi

 

Fashion Trend Report: New York and London Spring 2018

After a grueling few seasons, it’s good to see how New York and London have finally started to batten down the hatches and weather the storm that’s been pummeling the industry for quite some time now. With so many of the world’s most talked about brands closing doors or downsizing dramatically, it’s reassuring to finally see these fashion capitals reinvent themselves to push forward. And luckily for the fashion loving crowds of the world, with innovation and change come new trends that will paint the market and influence what the everyday retail fashion will see for the rest of the year. Here are some of New York and Londons best trends for Spring!

Tomato Soup & Lemonade

Bright colours reigned this Spring season. But above all the jewel tones and pastel that walked the runway, it was tomato red and lemon yellow that reigned supreme. New York seemed to have started the trend, with more than a handful of designers sending bright tomato red pieces down the runway with a ton of success. Across the pond, Londoners were treated to a healthy dose of vitamin C, with designers opting for bright and tart lemon yellow instead of red as their statement colour. The great thing about having warm pop colours for this spring is that fashion can now move away from the pastel trend that’s taken hold of Spring the last few seasons. Giving fashion lovers a bright alternative to whispy delicate spring hues when the warmer weather arrives once again.

Peek-A-Boo

To no one’s surprise, last year’s biggest trend was carried over to this season. Sheer clothing managed to sweep the runways once again this season, with almost every designer incorporating sheer garments into their collections. Both London and New York had their fair share of sheer frocks and two pieces, with designers choosing either sheer fabric or lace to create an alluring silhouette that oozes sensuality and delicateness. Now what you can get away with on the runway v.s. what’s practical for everyday can sometimes be two very different things. Fortunately, wearing the sheer trend doesn’t have to mean wearing a head to toe sheer dress or a translucent jumpsuit. Instead, opt for a sheer lace blazer or sheer silk blouse to create the same effect for a more everyday look.

Power Shoulder, Power Sleeve

Call them what you want (puff sleeves are probably the easiest generalization) but the dramatic ’80s sleeve and shoulder are back and stronger than ever, and they graced the runways of New York and London’s runways this season. The choice to bring the puff sleeves back from the dead most likely stemmed from last year’s high and fast fashion industries’ obsession with bell sleeves and elongated sleeves. However, the addition of puff sleeves to the extravagant sleeve family adds a touch of vintage glamour, straight out of the mid-80s’s most popular girl’s wardrobe.

DenimDenimDenim

For the past two years, denim has been the be-all-end-all in popular fashion. During London and New York, denim took a more decorative turn with destroyed and reworked denim. In London, elongated denim jackets created a beautifully elegant silhouette with an alternative and modern twist; in New York, ripped denim was paired with elegant evening outfits, creating a new wave of eveningwear that’s sure to end up as the go-to night-out outfit for many of the fashion world’s social media elites.

Fairytale Eleganza

Every season has its fair share of over the top, highly stylized gowns. However, this season seemed to up the ruffle factor by creating fairytale gowns fit for any princess. Many of the gowns featured this season’s hottest colours, while others featured stunning floral patterns and beautifully sheer fabrics, which all fell in line with the season’s trends. The gowns recreate the old-world fairytale silhouettes that feel as though they’ve come straight out of the world’s greatest stories. In New York, designers opted for more romantic stylings, trading in modern flair for a more vintage and sheer alternative to evening gowns; London chose to feature more contemporary versions of old-world looks, featuring brighter colours and far more modern silhouettes, while still adhering to the aesthetics of the inspiration.

New York Fashion Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

New York seems to be in a peculiar place at the moment. On one hand, you have designers abandoning their spots in the city in exchange for spots in Europe, while other big-name designers have all together left behind the traditional runway shows and opted for lookbooks and presentations, leaving New York in quite the predicament. However, as newcomers flood into New York for a shot at international fame, the electricity that runs through the veins of the city ceases to die out. And in turn, that electricity gives the American fashion community the jolt it’s been needing for the past few seasons.

Cushnie Et Ochs

Cushnie Et Ochs has become a celebrity staple at this point. Every season, Cushnie Et Ochs’s band of loyal silver screen mavens storm red carpets around the globe, showcasing the brand’s body-conscious design. Very rarely will you find someone who can find a fault in the duo’s designs; it’s equal parts delicate and sensual while being headstrong and unapologetically confident. This season was no exception, taking inspiration from Mexican painter Frida Kahlo’s game changing use of gender defiance and self-expression, which fits perfectly with the brand’s narrative: Liberated.

Solace London

When it comes to making a great collection that’s equal parts wearable and artistic, designers should look no further than using texture and movement in their designs. This season, Solace London proved just that, creating multiple shapes out of the sheer movement of the fabric itself. But rather than just relying on soft fabrics to get a point across, Solace London used tougher materials like PVC, leather, and denim to contrast the fluidity of the silkier materials, creating a confident wardrobe that stays perfectly on trend with whats going on in the fashion world these days. Another pleasant aspect of the show was its colour scheme, which can best be described as a dessert lover’s dream with creamy browns and tart pinks and citrus hues catching the eye right away. The ball heeled mules are a fun little addition as well.

Ulla Johnson

There’s beauty in the ethereal, and designer Ulla Johnson knows that. Fashion these days has branched out into a do anything and be anything industry, which is something to celebrate. But sometimes it’s simplicity and light-as-air design that creates a truly beautiful collection. Think of it as a breather from the sensory overload that often accompanies fashion in this day and age. However, delicateness doesn’t mean weakness for the designer. Instead, the lightness and transparency of the ensembles create a strong sense of self-empowerment and self-aware sensuality that gives a modern twist to the traditional notions of femininity.

The Row

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have solidified their brand The Row as one of New York city’s most on trend and important fashion houses of the 21st century. Season after season the twins have pumped out collections that carve out niche spot within the fashion community. Now, clothing from The Row may not be for everyone, and that a good thing. Because The Row was never meant to be a brand that appealed to the mass market. Instead, the brand focuses on amplifying one’s physical beauty with simplicity. Very rarely do you find brands that focus solely on minimalist designs that’s beautiful without the bells and whistles. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at The Row (this season’s collection is no exception) where fluid frocks and coats float across the floor in light and neutral shades, while comfortable silhouettes round out the collection by creating an effortlessness.

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5 Lessons to Learn from New York Street Style

There’s no question about it, New York is the epicentre of fashion in the United States. But unlike other fashion capitals around the world, New York doesn’t get its fashion inspirations from the select few at the very top of the fashion industry. Instead, the very lifeblood of the City’s fashion comes from the people, from the everyday fashion lovers that walk the streets of the bustling city. Which is exactly why the fashion community should look towards not only the City itself but the people within it to mould and create their own personal styles. Because when it comes to style, New York’s got it going on!

A little bit of Rock & Roll

New York has always been a rebel city at heart. And the same goes for its citizens. Here, fashion blogger Sirin adds the perfect amount of punk rock to an everyday look by adding a simple black motorcycle jacket and a pair of black ankle boots to a pinstripe blue dress. It’s a look that balances rock glam and everyday wearability into one easy to digest package.

Be As Eccentric As You’d Like

The beauty of New York is that you can be whoever you want to be and no one will love you any less for it. Unlike other places in the United States, New York is a dizzying melting pot of sights, sounds, lights, and people. Where everyone can come together and share a little bit about themselves without fear of prejudice. And Farfetch style and creative VP Yasmin Sewell understands just that. Pair prints, colours, and wild accessories together to create a cacophonic fashion moment. You just might inspire someone else to come out of their fashion shell!

Hip Hop Never Dies

To say that New York lives and breathes Hip Hop would be an understatement. Hip Hop has been part of the cultural fibre that makes up New York City since rhymes were first spit back in the early days of the genre. So it comes as no surprise to see that same influence walking the streets of the Big Apple during fashion week. Now Hip Hop based fashion has evolved from the days of wearing Karl Kani jeans and Baby Phat hoodies, and Rapper Dej Loaf is showcasing just that by adding elements of old school Hip Hop and R & B (the elastic waistband sweats and subtle nod to Queen Mary J. Blige) and pairing them with modern fashion staples like the metallic puffer and sneaker boot.

The Wolf of 5th Avenue

If there’s one thing New York has taught business world well (apart from good business itself) is how to pick and wear the perfect suit. It comes as no surprise that those who live in the arguably the largest business trading centre in the world are going to pick up a little something here and there about dressing in dapper duds. Here, author Aimee Song takes the regular everyday suit and injects a whole lot of New York attitude in it by opting for a velvet jewel tone blazer and high waisted short — making the suit look less like Goldman Sachs and more like a Vogue after party ensemble.

Upper East Side Classic

Model Irene Kim perfectly encompasses what it’s like to dress like New York’s most affluent half in this all-black private school number. However, preppy Upper East Side dressing can sometimes be tricky, and teetering into the realm of comical school girl costume may be something that most people fall into. But Kim pulls it off beautifully. When aiming for a preppier look, try to think less “Lunch on the steps of the Met” à la Gossip Girl and more squeaky clean and pristine debutant with an edge.

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Resort 2018 trends you’ll be itching to try

Resort season is one of the most overlooked seasons in the fashion world. While fashion lovers around the world pine for spring, pre-fall, and fall collections, resort seems to fall behind in the eyes of the fashion community year in and year out. Luckily, this season, it seems that designers around the globe were bitten by a creative bug and produced some of the most successful and innovative resort collections to date. And the best thing about fresh and innovative design is that it pushes new trends forward, giving fashion aficionados around the world new inspiration that breathes life into their cold weather wardrobes.

The Printed Knee-High

Photo: Vogue Runway – Prada, Thom Browne, Gucci

Now, to some (I’m talking to you private and Catholic school girls), knee-high socks are the bane of humanity. They’re fussy, tend to always fall or roll down. and generally come in either black, navy, grey, or whatever ridiculous hue of maroon or mustard your school colours were. But don’t dismiss this posh staple just yet. This season’s knee-high stocking was more than just an accessory. Unlike their academic sisters, the knee-highs at high fashion houses Prada, Thom Browne, and Gucci came in printed patterns and interesting hues. Marrying the traditional sock with blogger-it-girl street style, they transformed the good old scholastic knee-high sock into one of the most in-demand accessories of the season.

Shades of (Navy) Blue

Photos: Vogue Runway – Pringle of Scotland, Delpozo, Versace

Resort and cruise collections are created with the sole purpose of giving high-fashion clientele luxurious options for their jet-set vacations. Instead of throwing on a gauzy sarong, resort collections offer up the option of opting for luxe ensembles made especially for the warm summer months, the yacht, or the country estate. And it seems as if the designers visited the same luxurious and exotic locations as their clients when they designed their collections. No colour seems to have popped up during resort season more than deep ocean blue and nowhere else was it used better than at Pringle of ScotlandDelpozo, and Versace. Rich and luxurious shades of indigo and navy dominated the design landscape, creating daydreams of the deep blue oceans that surround the world’s most heavenly rivieras.

Mix and Match Rock & Roll

Photos: Mugler, I’M Isola Marras, Acne Studio

Back in the days before rock music began influencing fashion, one could be called out or even ousted from social circles if they chose to sport a particular rock clique attire for the sake of style. It was a rock & roll travesty to merely wear a studded leather jacket for the sake of looking punk or a Slayer t-shirt because you wanted to look like a metalhead. Fast forward a few decades and the walls of music (and fashion) have come down. It’s no longer a sin to want to mix and match styles from the various eras and genres of rock music around the world. Designers took that notion into full account this season. At MuglerI’M Isola Marras, and Acne Studio, rock saw its various style meshed with one another to create a perfect cacophony of textures, layers, and colours. Punk mesh was mixed with grungy florals, while oversized blazers were paired with pop rock hoodies and eyeliner, and goth trenches were paired with clean Bowie-esque slacks, giving a new look to the traditional rock ensemble.

Green With Envy

Photos: Vogue Runway – Vivetta, Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, Vionnet

Emerald, pea green, evergreen, mint, lime, avocado: It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour of green is because you don’t have to choose this season. From the look of it, green seems to be the next big trend in colour right after navy blue. At VivettaPhilosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, and Vionnet, green played a vital role and added a fresh and crisp summer look to many of the garments in the collections. Taking the designers’ resort wear from regular vacation attire to bright and exotic à la Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy’s in Versace. And what woman wouldn’t want to have her own JLo moment?

Rock & Roll Florals

Photos: Vogue Runway – Badgley Mischka, Preen by Thorton Bergazzi, MSGM

Resort 2018 seemed to be the season of turning tradition on its head. At Badgley MischkaPreen by Thorton Bergazzi, and MSGM, florals were placed front and centre. But these weren’t your average florals. This season’s floral called for something a little out of the box. Instead of having the same old soft and summery pastel florals, the designers opted for prints that brought a little edge into the mix. Dark background colours added to the pops of crimson, teal, and gold that wound around one another to create florals that were a little more ’80s glam rock than garden party pristine. Making these prints the perfect mould breaker for a fashion lover who wants to go somewhere a little darker and a little harder with their pretty petaled prints.

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