New York Fashion Week

NYFW coverage

New York Fashion Week Fall 2014: Lacoste

1Having achieved household name status thanks to the polo shirt that quickly became the clothing choice of the upper class, Lacoste is a brand that is recognized globally today not only among those who are fashion forward but anyone who’s ever shopped for a polo shirt or golf wear.

So, is it tennis or golf, you may ask. The fact is, while René Lacoste was a tennis legend, his family, as well as Baptista’s (who is the current Creative Director of the brand) have been devout golfers, hence the obvious references in the current collection.

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Designers are inspired by all kinds of things, but it is most intriguing when the initial idea comes from nature.

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Lacoste’s F/W ’14 collection was inspired by the hundreds of shades of green found in the lawn and trees, and the Art-Deco club house located at the famous gold course named Chantaco in the Basque region of France.

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Apparent in the pieces are the outdoors and nature-focused sportswear references yet Batista handles the process in a manner so smooth that it feels as if they were born that way. What a way to prove that it is indeed possible to make sportswear-inspired urban casual cool enough to be considered ultra high fashion while maintaining its exclusive trait i.e. comfort and functionality.

5Monochromes of blue and red were highlights; the colors so rich and luxurious that their true identity (i.e. casual wear) became concealed albeit momentarily.

6Who draws the line anymore, anyway. Casual wear or not, anything that’s this nice shall be worn anytime, everywhere.

8 9 10Olive and burgundy were meant to be together especially in a relaxed fit, with Nylon adding the direly needed athletic elegance.

11 12 13Monochrome has never been so chic, sporty sophistication should be declared a new category.

14This red is just a perfect representation of a Lacoste girl: a balanced mix of casual and sensuality.

15 17 18 19 20This look almost seemed out of place but I must admit it was one of personal favorites: casual ensemble redefined.

21Throughout the show, I found myself strangely caught off guard by the presence of these beanies that kept popping up. I blame it on my past growing up in Los Angeles.

22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29Mark Rothko’s abstract art pieces come to mind… but then again, how unusual is it to draw two horizontal lines?

30 31 32Something about this color… makes this look surprisingly appealing. Perhaps it’s her hair and the shoes being in a matching state that’s almost so precise it’s scary.

33 34That almost looks Neoprene but I’m probably wrong. Must be all the Neoprenes I almost drowned in yesterday while shop-hopping. If you haven’t heard, Seoul is experiencing a major Neoprene flood. This is a warning.

35 36 37 38 39It’s all about toned-down, effortlessly cool comfort; I mean, who needs a body-con dress when you’ve got THIS?

40 41 4243 44Yikes. Beige/navy blue combo is always a yes.

45 46 47 48Hey, hey, hey- Sporty sophistication at its finest.

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New York Fashion Week Fall 2014: Custo Barcelona

 

1It felt like I was back in Barcelona. Seeing Custo Barcelona’s F/W ’14 collection brought back pleasant memories from a recent trip to Spain, which turned out to be life-changing. A country known for rich culture and fascinating history that has influenced many for generations in various fields, Spanish fashion wouldn’t be complete without vivid colors and bold prints to portray a culture that loves people and celebrates life on a daily basis. A picture is worth a thousand words, people say; take a peek for yourself:2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 36  38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74More about Custo Barcelona here.

New York Fashion Week Fall 2014: Lee Jean Youn

Many of us live every day doing things we don’t necessarily enjoy doing while hoping for the day when we will finally be able to live our dreams doing what we truly enjoy and feel passionate about… when we are old and possibly immobile, that is. Unfortunately but extremely likely is that we may never even live long enough to see the day, however, it is a different world we live in compared to one our parents or grandparents lived, and it’s become quite apparent that lately, many of us started ruminating on this very idea at an earlier stage of life: What was I born to do? What is my passion?

One way to answer this ultimate question of life is to fully devote yourself to observing your interests and natural inclinations. One example is going to college- not for the sake of going as many of us have mistakenly done so already, but doing it with pure love and anticipation for learning while using the time to explore and discover one’s favorite disciplines, those we actually get excited about, in which one finds him/herself experiencing flow. While some may find this process difficult, some may find it easier than others as artistic or athletic talent is much more visibly noticeable. This is because such is one whose success is evaluated based solely upon aesthetics and visual presentation, rather than say, someone with superior mathematical ability, which is not published unless the person is asked to be placed in a situation or circumstances to do so. In that sense, fashion designers are quite a blessed bunch, as design is where art and business meet… and for many of them, they always pretty much knew what they wanted in life, what they wanted to do for the rest of their lives. Of course, there will be a downtime, a slump of sort but that’s same with everyone else. No matter what field or industry you are in, it’s never guaranteed that life will always be great… Well, if that’s the case, I’d rather be doing what I love while making a living out of it, which is exactly why a field that marries art and business is a personal favorite of mine.

As one of those who always knew what he wanted to do, Lee Jean Youn’s passion for Fashion Design was once again proven when he decided to continue his studies and pursued a doctorate degree in the field before going abroad with his label. Following years of showing at Paris Haute Couture Collection and winning the Grand Prix prize at the 2nd Edition of El Boton-MANGO Fashion Awards in 2009, he decided that it was time to venture into new territory, and just as he had done before when he left Seoul for Paris, he took the risk of moving his collection to New York in hopes of a successful launch and establishment in one of the largest fashion capitals of the world. On February 7th, his years of hard work was finally revealed, each piece presented as what looked like a walking art piece. This was his time to shine, to show the world what he’s truly capable of- and wow, did he make an impression.

1His signature accessory pieces added drama to every look, creating a mysterious, powerful, yet elegant ambiance.

2Inspired by modern women on the streets of New York City, Lee’s F/W ’14 collection embraces classics in a manner that is both adventurous and rebellious.

3Being an expert milliner obviously has its benefits, adding artistic as well as entertainment value to the already strikingly captivating collection.

4 5 6 7 8Coexistence of contrasting elements offered basis for the collection; with seemingly endless combinations of polar opposite materials and superior tailoring techniques resulting in unexpectedly punkish mood.

99-110The question is, just how “wearable” these pieces actually are for average women; to which the designer answered, “While the collection may initially seem a bit couture for everyday wear, when you consider each piece/item individually, you will realize that every single one, including accessories, are completely wearable and desirable.”

11Now, go through the collection again.

I mean, that leather harness bra thing that looks like a belt… and those hats that look like ‘feelings’… as in depicting different emotions. Fresh enough?

1212-11313-11414-115 16 17 1818-119 20 21 2222-123 24 25 26 27 28 29It is obvious that Lee was able to deliver what he intended: his strengths as a designer, artist, and researcher who is capable of turning dreams and fantasy into reality, proving that he’s one to watch, one to be admired and respected for his passion, relentless hard work, persistence, and determination to succeed in an industry that is fiercely competitive, dynamic, and incredibly fast-moving.

30To learn more about Lee Jean Youn:

http://leejeanyoun.com/