Sunday, May 22, 2016

Designers Costa, Zucchelli out at Calvin Klein! Part 2

Designers Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli are leaving Calvin Klein as part of what the company describes as a global creative strategy to unify all of its brands under one vision.
Costa has been at the New York fashion house for more than a decade and became the women's creative director in 2003. Zucchelli became the men's creative director a year later.
In a company release Tuesday, Calvin Klein, owned by PVH Corp., said the new strategy "comes as part of a global revolution in the direction of the Calvin Klein brand." That began with the reacquisition of its jeans and underwear business in 2013 with its purchase of Warnaco Group. The parent company aims to develop a $10 billion global retail sales business.
There was no immediate word on how the designers will be replaced.
"This creative strategy marks the beginning of another significant chapter in Calvin Klein's brand legacy since Mr. Klein's retirement," Steve Shiffman, CEO of Calvin Klein, said in a statement.

Ciao, Italo: Alexander Fury Considers Italo Zucchelli’s Legacy as He Exits Calvin Klein!

Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli leave Calvin Klein!

Wishing to now focus on “a global creative strategy that will regroup all the Calvin Klein labels behind one sole vision”, the American brand’s CEO, Steve Schiffman, justified the departure of the two designers by the brands recent evolution, which began with the company’s reacquisition of its jeans and underwear business in 2013.
Tom Ford’s former assistant at Gucci, the Brazilian designer Francisco Costa entered Calvin Klein in 2001 and has been directing its women’s line since 2003. He equally won the designer of the year award by the CFDA in 2006 and 2008.
The Italian designer Italo Zucchelli, who previously worked at Jil Sander's, has been running the men’s line at Calvin Klein since 2004.
For months it has been speculated that Raf Simons, who left Dior last October, will be the next to enter as head of the women’s and men’s collections. The house will announce its new creative director “in due course,” says Steve Schiffman.

Project Runway is no longer filmed at Parsons!

Why Project Runway is no longer filmed at Parsons, and where it is now?!

Since 2004, Project Runway‘s home and filming location has been the Parsons School of Design in New York City. It’s where the workroom and the runway were located, and it was a five-minutes, 0.2 mile walk from Mood.

Parsons also gave us Tim Gunn, who taught there and was supposed to just be an off-camera adviser when the show started. For years, he stayed at the school even after the show took off. (Despite being the show’s accidental, break-out star, he was paid nothing at first, and as late as the fourth season, Tim relied on his Parsons salary to pay his bills.)

But Parsons hasn’t been shown at all during Project Runway 14, and there has been just one trip to Mood; most challenges have used pre-selected fabrics or unconventional materials.

That’s because the building that hosted the school and the show is being demolished so a 29-story hotel can be built there. The building, located at 7th Avenue and 40th Street W, had a synagogue on its first floor. The New York Times reported that, “[b]y the end of the year, demolition will begin.”

While the synagogue will remain the same location, as part of the new building, Parsons has moved on. Parsons School of Design is now located at 66 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village.

Why did the show not move along with Parsons? A representative from the school told me:

“For a number of years, the show had been filmed at Parsons’ former fashion building in Midtown Manhattan. However, when Parsons moved its fashion school to Greenwich Village to join the rest of The New School campus, the university no longer had the facilities to accommodate the program.”

In other words, it was not the show’s choice to move.

Where Project Runway is filmed now

On Project Runway 14, the workroom and runway spaces seems so similar to previous seasons, I didn’t notice the lack of Parsons establishing shots at first, until the designers and Tim Gunn finally went to Mood and I realized what had been missing. As it turns out, those interiors were created on a soundstage about two miles to the east of the old location.

Project Runway executive producer Sara Rea told me that the show moved to GUM Studios in Long Island City, which is near the Queens Midtown Tunnel. It’s a new facility that opened earlier this year, having relocated from South Williamsburg.

I asked if the move affected the production in any way, and Rea said, via Lifetime:

“The move did not affect production. Most of the time spent on the show is in the workroom and that never changed.
We go to Mood various times through the season as it warrants for the challenge. If its an unconventional challenge (as they have already been multiple thus far this season) there is no reason for the designers to go to Mood.  You will definitely see them there as the season continues.”
 Project Runway Tim Gunn mentor

Pratt Institute Annual Runway Show Honors Harold Koda

Models with the designers walk the runway at the Finale of  2016 Pratt Institute Fashion Show at Spring Studios on May 5, 2016 in New York City. CREDIT: John Nacion Imaging
For someone due to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in a matter of moments, Harold Koda was the essence of calm at Pratt Institute’s 117th annual graduate runway show at Spring Studios on Thursday night. “It’s so mind-boggling,” said Koda, who stepped down from his position as curator in charge at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art back in January.
 “Because, why me? I keep thinking that most people who have really great careers have done it with intention and focus. But [my path] was so wishy-washy…I thought I was going to become a civil liberties lawyer.”

As it turned out, Koda’s self-described “hippie, leftist” heart kept him from the “dispassionate way of thinking about the law” required to be a lawyer — he found himself getting too attached to the human stories in each of his cases — and he retreated into the world of aesthetics instead, going on to curate renowned exhibitions such as “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” and “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” during his 15-year tenure at the Met.

Simon Doonan, Barneys New York creative ambassador at large!
 Mr. Doonan had the honor of presenting his longtime friend Koda with the award. “Harold has always been a deliciously humble dude,” Doonan told the crowd. “Harold once said to me, ‘When I sit with friends in New York and listen to their banter, I always feel like an eunuch because I don’t have the edge that they have. I was raised in Hawaii, where there are no threats and no natural predators.'”

During his thank-you speech, Koda offered some advice to the budding fashion designers in the room. “The one thing that every student should know or feel at this moment — when the whole fashion industry is undergoing some extraordinary seismic shifts…is that if you look back, you should be able to say that at every moment in your career, you were doing something you loved — or if you weren’t doing something you loved, you were doing something that you didn’t love, but that was positioning you to do the thing you love,” he said. “
Fame, fortune are very nice. A really glamorous Instagram account is really nice. But what you’re going to find satisfying is that your career has been based on passion. Surprisingly, when you get that, you might get fame, you might get fortune and you might get a selfie with Kanye…but that’s all gravy.”

At about 6:30, the guests — including Adam Selman, Mel Ottenberg, Fern Mallis, Lynn Yaeger, Alina Cho and Andrew Bolton, the Met’s new curator in charge — 
took to their seats as the lights dimmed. And though it ran somewhat longer than the average five-minute fashion show, the thumping music and progressive styles kept the crowd energized throughout the 40-minute presentation.
Titled “Amazin,'” the 2016 edition of the annual show displayed the designs of 18 fashion department seniors: Francesca Longo, Victoria Aguilar, Nicholas Andreadis, Camerin Stoldt, Terese McCoy, Lauren Moseley, Maydelle Li, Dajung Lee, Youngeun Won, Moon Jung Chang, Lizanne Brown, Sylvan Shan, Isabel Hall, Isabella Spataro, Kristin Mallison, James Palmisano, Jihyun Kim and Margaret Burton. Sporty looks prevailed, styled with platform sandals and kicks.

Kim walked off with the grand prize. Jennifer Minniti, chairperson of the school’s fashion department, called the young graduate up to the podium to present her with the “Liz Claiborne Award — Concept to Product,” a gift of $25,000 funded by the Liz Claiborne & Art Ortenberg Foundation, which should help cover the costs of developing a collection after graduation.

Kim and her fellow seniors already have their fans, though. “I just appreciate all the work that goes into [the show],” said Thom Browne, who had a front-row seat. “It’s so refreshing and it’s so charming to see.”

FIT’s Graduating Seniors Strut Their Stuff on the Runway!

The Fashion Institute of Technology presented its “Future of Fashion” runway show Thursday night, which brought out such heavyweights as Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa, Dennis Basso, Larry Leeds, Stacey Bendet, Elie Tahari and Ken Downing.

Hosted by Leandra Medine, founder of Man Repeller, the show featured 91 looks created by FIT’s top graduating Fashion Design students, including the Critic Awards and People’s Choice award-winning looks in sportswear, special occasion, knitwear, intimate apparel and children’s wear.

The runway was chock-full of highly innovative and well-constructed garments from day to nighttime ranging from boudoir ensembles, baby-doll bodysuits and lace and black chiffon jumpsuits to a brown/white trimmed patent leather coat and snakeskin bustier gown with tulle skirt and organza drape.

Naturally, the children on the runway — a few dressed in a “moto” jacket or vest, white neoprene cape and green fur bomber jacket — stole the show with their determined struts down the catwalk. Two carried lunch boxes with Prince and David Bowie images.

The Critic Award Winners were Stephanie Ali; Emily Jung; Cemile Simsek; Rosemary Paone; Namibia Viera Martinez (who won a Critic Award and Best Use of Color Award sponsored by Siempre Mujer magazine); Kuanling Ko; Samju Seo; Alexis Chung and Jenny Seo. Merry Wu won the People’s Choice Award for her white and sky blue hand-ruched flowers on chiffon and organza with high-low train wedding dress.

Calvin Klein Inc., together with the Calvin Klein Family Foundation, was the presenting sponsor of the runway show.

“I always love the lingerie,” said Calvin Klein, who was seated across the runway from Francisco Costa. “It was done extraordinarily well. It was a pleasure to be a part of it.”

“I love emerging talent,” said Basso, who served as a judge and  been honored by FIT Monday night at their annual awards gala. “To see the creativity, to see the knitted garments, where the students knitted each and every piece, they are couture pieces. That’s the part that’s so exciting to see. You know you will see them in the future.”

Bendet, chief executive officer and creative director of Alice + Olivia, also served as a judge. “It was great. The kids were adorable. I walked through their projects and gave them pointers on fit. It was my first time judging it,” she said before the show.

“I thought there was a lot of talent there, and there were a lot of great ideas. They were expressing the current fashion mood,” said Tahari.

Leeds, too, was impressed with the level of talent. “I thought it was creative, colorful and quite different, obviously there’s enormous amount of talent at FIT,” he said.

Meantime, Downing, senior vice president and fashion director of Neiman Marcus, can literally picture these clothes in his stores. “I thought the show was fantastic. There’s an understanding and relevance of what fashion means today. You can see those clothes hanging at retail or walking down the runway. It’s a testament to FIT and the education they give them. The students’ love of craft continues and kudos to their instructors.”

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Met Gala 2016: Fashion veers into tech on the Red Carpet

Met Gala 2016:

Fashion veers into tech on the Red Carpet

Featuring a flurry of silver, lustrous and futuristic looks, the fashion elite gathered Monday evening for the Met Museum's annual black-tie extravaganza.
This year, the Costume Institute ball was centered around the idea of "Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology," exploring the relationship between clothes created by hand (or "manus") versus the machine.
As expected with a technology-tied theme, metallic accents paired with sleek, slick-backed hairstyles featured prominently on the night.
Models Alessandra Ambrosio and Cindy Crawford, and the Kardashians' youngest Kylie Jenner were among those who opted for sterling-hued looks.
Singer Rita Ora donned a metallic grey, feathered Hunger Games-like get up while actress Kate Hudson's white dress was more of a sculptural and deconstructed take.
Much of what was paraded out could be described as a sort of artificial intelligence chic.  
'Homeland' star Claire Danes was glowing, quite literally, with a dress that could light up designed for her by Zac Posen.
Even the famously stern 'Vogue' editor-in-chief Anna Wintour took on a futuristic vibe.
The exhibition itself charts the evolution of fashion from the invention of the sewing machine to the onset of mass production that's enabled fast fashion juggernauts like Zara and H&M to thrive.
In fact, H&M outfits made it onto the night's red carpet via actresses Hailee Steinfeld and Amber Valletta.
Hallowed haute couture -- painstakingly crafted by teams of artisans -- is pitted against the "gotta-have-it" now mentality of ready-to-wear and the high street.
Apple's chief design officer Jonathan Ive joined Wintour as co-chair of the event.
Although the company's most fashion-oriented venture -- Apple Watch, along with other wearables like Google Glass have failed to impress so far -- it was the high profile departure two years ago of Angela Ahrendts, who ditched her role as CEO at historic British fashion house Burberry for Apple that alerted the world to the increasing collaboration between the two arenas.
Driven by the advent of 3D printing, computer modeling and laser cutting techniques, fashion and technology are moving closer than ever.
Met Museum Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton said the exhibition will hopefully "debunk some of the mythologies of the handmade and machine."
"Traditionally the handmade has been seen as being about luxury, about superiority and it's also been seen as something that's elitist," Bolton explained. "Whereas the machine has been about progress and the future. On the other side, it's been about mediocrity and dehumanization."
"I'm finding those values don't really hold up," Bolton continued. "Sometimes a garment that's been machine-made actually has more hours spent on it, is more luxurious than doing it by hand."