Richard Chai chose those colors, brightened with dark purple, and drudged out a uniform look, with olive-drab pencil skirts, trousers and boyish tweed coats. This isn’t a new idea in any tone. Two-piece dresses with sleeveless tailored tops offered some relief, but again, the fresh shape winds up looking muddy.
Rachel Comey’s colors can also put you in a funk, but at least she puts some solid design in her clothes. Everyone always says her clothes are “quirky,” and I suppose a leather popover top and soupy men’s trousers qualify. But are they really so quirky, or is Ms. Comey just using her feminine instincts to propose something surprising? Women love odd pieces to mix into their wardrobe, like those pants or a denim work shirt with an orange and black leather bomber.
Like Lyn Devon, whose collection of tweeds, chunky knits and paper-bagged trousers in wool or cotton velvet was a woman’s version of her favorite guy pieces, Ms. Comey remains one of the girls. She knows what masculine bits she needs, and leaves the rest. Also, she can make a sexy dress in a silk print that doesn’t look tacky or retro. This was one of her stronger collections for those hard-to-find pieces. Call me quirky.
New York Fashion: Prabal Gurung takes cue from military.
Next-big-thing designer Prabal Gurung is in the army — and the navy — now. The Nepalese designer found inspiration in a surprising source this season: servicewomen.
“I just read the Time magazine article that one of the best inventions of 2012 was this invention of body armor for women in the military,” he explained backstage before trotting out his 36 military-inspired creations. “That kind of set me thinking, then I started reading more about it and I found out that all these women have been wearing men’s uniforms for the longest period of time, so now they’re redesigning them for women, and even the small-statured men are wearing that.”
The structured, but feminine looks featured bold peplums, sexy harnesses, asymmetrical evening gowns ans stick thin stilettos that came in black and shiny metallic gold. Some of the heels were even to-the-thigh sexy boot styles with rows of gold buckles.
Gurung said the word that summed up the collection is “empowerment,” which he defined in his own way.”The whole idea means not just being forceful, but embracing your femininity and being a woman in a man’s world and ruling it. You no longer need to look like a man to compete like a man. That’s the power and tool that women have that men don’t have: femininity.”
Saturday’s show is just the beginning of a busy 72 hours for Gurung that will see him launch his capsule collection at Target stores nationwide tomorrow and put on another show Monday for his lower-priced line ICB.
“I’m grateful that I’m busy,” he said humbly pre-show. “I feel good that I have a platform like Target that I can reach out to all these people. Even if they’re not able to buy (the more expensive designer line), they understand the passion and my story, and hopefully they’ll explore that and be inspired themselves.”
CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Holds First Fashion Week Presentation.
The CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, an annual competition that aims to bring funding, mentorship, and exposure to emerging fashion design talent, hosted its very first New York Fashion Week presentation on Friday evening at Milk Studios. Over the last ten years the fund, spearheaded by Vogue’s Anna Wintour and the CFDA, has nurtured designers as acclaimed as Proenza Schouler, Derek Lam, and Alexander Wang. And last evening was the 2012’s finalists’ turn to ramp up the heat.
Winner Gregory Chait of knitwear brand The Elder Statesman, and runners-up Jennifer Meyer of Jennifer Meyer jewelry and shoe designer Tabitha Simmons all showed their fall 2013 collections to swarms of eager buyers, editors, and executives from Milk’s 8th floor. “It’s ten years this year that the fashion fund has been going on and in the beginning the designer would win the money and a mentor and that was it,” the CFDA’s CEO Steven Kolb explained, “but what we’ve realized is that the value of fashion fund isn’t just the year that you are in it… it’s kind of like winning an award for a movie when all of the sudden all of this stuff starts coming your way. It’s raised the bar for New York fashion and added a whole new group of innovative designers. It’s a game changer for American fashion.”
Teen dating violence.
Advocacy groups say one third of teenagers are or have been in a violent or abusive relationship.
For just the third time, the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence is marking February as teen dating violence awareness month, hoping to draw attention to the problem. The group says sometimes teens are unwilling to seek help or report it. The coalition says one in three teens in the US is a victim of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. It says 57-percent of teens know someone who has been abusive. That’s why the group is trying to raise awareness. The group says it’s trying to provide support to current victims and is encouraging healthy relationships among teens.
When we told viewers on Facebook we were looking into the issue of dating violence the stories slowly started coming in.
“My son’s father wanted my son killed while I was pregnant. I was only 16 then,” wrote one woman.
“The neighbor boy thought he owned me. Looking back, I could never understand why people didn’t step in,” said another.
“He hit me so hard one day that it chipped my tooth. He once hit me with a bat…” “He would always tell me how sorry he was and it wouldn’t happen again,” explained another victim.
Then we heard from Greg Schreiner. The 19 year old man in Eau Claire says he was to blame for verbal abuse in his teen relationship a few years ago.
“I always went on her Facebook and email just looking thought her personal stuff and harassing her about people she was talking to just to get information,” says Schreiner.
He says looking back he knows it was wrong and says he knows people can change, that’s why he wants to share his story. He says he changed his ways and regrets the choices he made while in high school.
“If you know someone who is being abused you should speak up because you could save somebody’s life,” says Schreiner.
The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence says teen dating violence is higher than all other forms of youth violence but the group says it’s under reported. Local officers say they don’t hear much about it.
“This is always a topic where it’s hard for people to come forward. They might be embarrassed or they don’t want to get anyone else in trouble but as we look at domestic violence little things lead to bigger things and this is where we encourage the kids to seek out a teacher, find a parent, seek out the school officers or their councilors and tell them what’s going on,” says Lt. Chad Hoyord with the Eau Claire Police Department.
The coalition says if the abuse goes unchecked it will likely continue as teens grow up. That’s why it wants to address the issue.