Tag Archives: fashion week

Trend Dressing Update

27 Sep

As the director and commentator for the fashion show production company, Fashions with Flair, I am often asked by friends and family, “how can I update my look?” Well, I am also the single mother of four kids, so my answer combines my fashion background with my practical lifestyle. I include a trend dressing segment in all of our fashion show productions. This fall I took wardrobe staples every woman has in her closet and showed how effortless it is to add a little flair to your everyday routine.

If you’re anything like me, you’re in Target almost every day. Milk, toiletries, prescriptions …..and you pass the latest fashion staples on the way! I recently heard that if Target had a bar it would be the perfect place! I took four looks that I routinely wear and added the best of fashion accessories to make it fresh and new.

1. Jeans and a white tee shirt:

  •  bright plaid shirt tied at the waist which gives you a slimming effect
  • an army green flack jacket
  • a fur charm hooked to your belt loop


2. Black pants and a black sweater

  • off white sweater duster with black woven leather belt at the waist-Black and white unite!


3. LBD

  • denim shirt tied at the waist (you know why)
  • camel vest
  • blue fur infinity scarf


4. Black leather pencil skirt (yes Target is selling this!) and white blouse

  • lots of pearls around your neck
  • white curly lamb car coat (no, Target doesn’t have this LOL…..York Furrier)

Happy fall and happy fashion!





Game On! Cheers to American Sportswear

29 Apr

Ladies, take your marks. We’re here to give your fashion routine a workout that inspires you to get fit, get active, and get going with winning All American sportswear looks. Undisputed leaders in patriotic playwear include Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Tory Burch and never before have they made us so proud to be an American. Soccer moms, boardroom bad asses, and weekend warriors, together we salute our designer heroes and their creative inspirations that keep us in the game. Ready, set, shop!

American sportswear is a look that you know it when you see it…..effortless, daytime chic that is classic, ladylike, and innovative. Michael Kors is the undefeated champion in modern day activewear for die-hard enthusiasts and shows the rules of the game have changed in his 2016 RTW collection. The juxtaposition of a track suit made from fine  cashmere accessorized with a powder blue curly lamb fur shrug is a fly in the face message to the refined leather loafer and sport coat wearing crowd, “score one for Team Casual!” Women who understand that luxury can be approachable and wearable now gravitate to American sportswear designers and their carefree sense of style for blue ribbon winning looks.

Tory Burch is the newest draft pick to take a place in the American sportswear branding game. She appeals to young professionals who go from work to weekend with just a small carry on and a lip gloss. Mixing and matching color combinations made from primary colors, her pieces pair with everything from jeans to mini skirts. In her fall 2016 RTW collection, Burch put forth two short, box jackets made with wool and curly lamb. These key coats were youthful yet sophisticated. Fashion made for the girl who likes to show off her hard-earned money with investment dressing, Burch combines casual with collectible.

Leading the pack in our race to be the best dressed in modern-day sportswear, Tommy Hilfiger is our team captain. Nautical looks have never looked so new. In his RTW 2016 show, Hilfiger mixed leather and lamb to make the most powerful, seafaring pea coat. A key piece that shows you’re in control no matter the occasion. He coordinated his looks with flirty skirts in floral patterns and school girl blouses and sweaters. A charming rendition of youthful exuberance that make you cheer!

We you look good, you play great and today’s American designers have sportswear covered game, set, match! Designers put forth country club chic that puts you on the winning team of today’s modern fashion victories.

Pinterest gives it to you in pictures…..https://www.pinterest.com/niemannnichole/game-on-cheers-for-american-sportswear/


The Nature in Spring Fashion ’16

5 Apr

A Secret Garden flourishes with new life this spring fashion season 2016. Designers are inspired by Mother Nature and her bustling kingdom of flora and fauna. A vibrant kaleidoscope of color is a welcome reprieve from the dull grey color of winter and opens our eyes to a view of rich fields of fashion options.

An enchanted wilderness of vines, flowers, birds, rainbows, and blue skies, spring’s collections were entwined with the beauty of the season. Gucci’s spring RTW 2016 collection featured mythical designs and exaggerated landscapes. Forbidden forests laid grounds of oversized flowers that adorned leather, silk, and chiffon. A leather moto jacket and mini skirt ensemble was embroidered with brightly colored peonies, honeycomb, and ivy as butterflies danced in and about the inlaid garden. A serpentine winds sinuously up the pant leg of an outfit or, more obscurely, hiding in an intricate pattern of vines. A brown mink intarsia coat creeps up with sprouts from Jack’s bean stalk.

Floral patterns were pervasive in the spring collections but the way they were done was anything but expected. Brock’s RTW 2016 collection featured a black and white silhouette of flowers and vines. It was modern and clean-a departure from the usual brightly colored floral presentations. Giorgio Armani did a maxi dress of silk chiffon decorated with ivory peonies against a salmon background-powerful and feminine at the same time. The more usual florid designs included a brightly colored car wash ensemble from Chanel. The motif and movement of the dress pulsated with pure excitement and anticipation of the warm weather ahead.

Fashion took flight with bird and butterfly motifs. What could be more synonymous with the advent of spring? Alberta Ferretti created the most magical gowns that mimic monarch butterflies in her spring 2016 collection. Diane Von Furstenberg for spring RTW 2016 used gold thread to weave frolicking butterflies which danced all along cream chiffon dresses. Marc Jacobs embellished a blue pantsuit with two kissing swans-everlasting love for sure! Sonia Rykiel’s spring collection used brightly colored birds flying in a midnight sky with a sunshine colored fur boa to pull the whole look together. Snow White and her song couldn’t romance the feathered friends more effectively if she tried.

Accessories became a fun way to bring in the outside. Dolce and Gabbana’s spring RTW 2016 was themed off of a Roman holiday. Oversized flowers pinned on hems and in the hair, it was a key accessory to be worn with just the right amount of whimsy and attitude. A colorful fur clutch, dangling oranges made up earrings, sandals decorated with roses and fur pon poms, and big, bright sunglasses completed the romantic notion and dreams of a warm weather vacation come true. Starfish, crabs, stripped umbrellas, and pineapple appliqués were reminiscent of a sea side vacation. All you needed was the fruity drink with an umbrella in it.

After the wind and the rain, a Technicolor view is within our reach. Spring 2016 is on the horizon and promises to breath fresh air into our fashion routine.

Paris Spring Couture 2016 Wrap Up

10 Feb


Whether you were inspired by the styles, moved by the colors, or entertained by the Hollywood like productions that fashion shows have become, we are reminded that ultimately Paris couture fashion week is all about quality in custom creations. This kind of old world craftsmanship, painstaking attention to details, keen selection of fabric, and threads spun of real gold, couture is the pinnacle of luxury.

Quite the contrary, “fast fashion” should be considered the red headed step child hidden under the stairs to it’s relative “couture.”  “Fashion fashion” defines clothing collections which are based on the most current trends.  Cheap and affordable clothes are mass produced in rapid pace and distributed to stores in the fastest way possible.  The consumer eats, digests, and regurgitates these pieces like the #1 value meal at McDonald’s.  It looks good in the pictures and seems like a guiltless pleasure but in the end it leaves us dissatisfied and empty. Retailers flood the stores with racks upon racks of gotta-have-it now colorful tees, jeans, and paper thin sweaters and jackets. This is a problem for the fine art of couture fashion.

After watching a full week of shows in Paris, I feel like I’ve been to every museum and cultural event in town. Each piece comes to life on the runway like art in motion. Every elegant outfit is a wearable work of art that must be revered and admired as if were as precious as a master’s painting hanging in the Louvre.

_VAL1164 _VAL1137 _VAL0383Viktor & Rolf Spring 2016 CoutureViktor & Rolf Spring 2016 Couture

Speaking of masters, the couture house Valentino and its spring collection and over all brand are just that- master works of art. This spring, Valentino wistfully recalls the romanic medieval times. Juliet style silhouettes of fine silk and brocade which frame the feminine figure in a soft, elegant line as if she were stepping out of a Mid Summer Night’s Dream.

The theme of fashion as works of art continued with Viktor and Rolf’s couture spring collection. Statuesque models moved as if almost petrified in cubist art designs. Picasso himself would have been moved by such an interpretation. To make fabric crease, cut, fold, mold, and lay at such attention shows how the hands of a genius can create given the space.Zuhair Murad Spring 2016 Couture

Zuhair Murad’s collection titled “Amour-en-Cage”-love in cage- was exactly that. Boning in corsets and skirts was skillfully used in the construction to frame and shape the fabric. Lace overlays and floral appliqués looked like a garden of flowers and butterflies under glass.

Guo Pei Spring 2016 CoutureGuo Pei Spring 2016 Couture

What was equally exciting was Guo Pei’s Paris Couture debut. She was made famous by designing the gilded gold robe that Rihanna wore to the Met Gala last year. All eyes were on this custom designer who has gone viral and she didn’t disappoint. How befitting that her background  was in costume design which made creating a couture collection come as naturally to her as any gifted and inspired artist.  Use of fine details like feathers, crystals, tassels and touches of fur, Pei showed no restraint to adorn each piece as if were made for a diva herself.

Paris Spring Couture 2016 reminds me a renaissance waiting to happen.  Skillful artisans using age old techniques with fabric, thread, beads, and patterns. Sewing is an art. Designing fashion is a true talent. Using the finest material the trade has to offer is the standard. Combined, this is what couture is all about- an appreciation for the fine art of fashion which shouldn’t be rushed or reduced, rather it should be respected, preserved, and revered.

Evolution of Fashion Week

10 Feb

This year’s VIP list for Fashion Week 2016 includes Anna Wintour, Beyoncé, The Olsen Twins, Kim Kardashian, and YOU! These shows used to be “invite only” events but this year The British Fashion Council, BFC, launches an industry wide initiative in London to open the shows to the public.
“Fashion Weekend” will be held at the Saatchi Gallery, a 70,000 square foot building located in central London on the famous Kings Road. Featured in London’s Fashion Weekend will be designers Emilia Wickstead (http://emiliawickstead.com/welcome/), Holly Fulton (http://www.hollyfulton.com), Mary Katrantzou (www.marykatrantzou.com), and Temperley London (http://www.temperleylondon.com/). Each day, one designer produces a runway show that is repeated two to four times throughout the day.

Screen shot 2016-01-18 at 9.51.47 AM

This shift isn’t exclusive to London. Other fashion capitals of the world have taken notice, sparking conversation around making the shows of fashion week more accessible. CFDA, The Council of Fashion Designers of America, has hired Boston Consulting Group to assess the demand and the impact this change would have on the industry.

Historically, every city’s fashion week has been a closed event. Top magazine editors, photographers, celebrities, and the fashion elite go beyond the velvet rope leaving the general public behind. Hand delivered invitations and secret show locations were just a few of the elite marketing tactics used by designers to create buzz around their collection. But this exclusivity is being questioned.  Designers feel that reaching their customer directly will benefit the bottom line.  “Since I started showing in 1983, I have always had about 50 percent consumers at my shows. It gets the customers excited and gives them some incentive to buy,” said Dennis Basso, luxury designer.
Screen shot 2016-01-17 at 5.55.12 PM
An underlying problem of fashion week has been the time lag between the collection and the season.  February shows highlight next fall’s offerings which is a disconnect from the “buy now, wear now” demands of today’s consumer.  If the designers want to start to produce fashion shows for the customer and not the editors, the collection needs to be “in season”. Lisa Sugar, founder and president of PopSugar says the current set up is confusing to consumers.  “When our audience sees something they love on the runway or spectacular street style, they expect to be able to buy it right away. In fact, through our proprietary research PopSugar Insights, 71 percent of our audience have made a purchase immediately upon reading about a new product online,” says Sugar. If this is true of the majority of the public, having shows where consumers see the product, want the product, and then buy the product could mean a big pay day for designers.

Screen shot 2016-01-18 at 11.48.39 AM
Taking a page from the auto industry, Fashion Week can model their event to combine a large scale expo that attracts consumers and buyers alike. The Auto Show travels from city to city highlighting today’s car trends and tickling the imagination of future design. Similar to the what the fashion industry has done for years, the Auto Show hosts a “First Look” invite only event which reaches the elite crowd of dealers and media, maintaining the cache of an exclusive event. What sets the car industry apart is that later in the week, the doors open to the public. The showroom floods with consumers, successfully creating buzz and excitement. If designers modernize the fashion show model by making their customers part of the process, it can only translate into increased brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.