Must See: Lupita Nyong’o talks TRUE beauty and being really black at Essence Mag’s Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon this past weekend. Every little girl needs to see this
Paris Fashion Week: Balmain RTW Fall 2014
Rousteing goes native with a safari feel for Fall
Paris Fashion Week: Roland Mouret RTW Fall 2014
His most notable flirtation with masculine form…not sure how I feel about the shoes. Actually, I am…but love him way too much to say
Paris Fashion Week: Carven RTW Fall 2014
Paris Fashion Week: Balenciaga RTW Fall 2014
Paris Fashion Week: Dries Van Noten RTW Fall 2014
Trippy-chic! Op art on steroids
Jessica Lange named as the new face of Marc Jacobs Beauty
At 64 years old, the award winning actress is flying high on a second wind of success, ushered in with her return to us as the star of American Horror Story. With Oscar buzz already around her upcoming performance as Madame Raquin, she doesn’t seem to be landing anytime soon.
All fashed out from NY, London & Milan? Well before you collapse, check out what you missed at Christian Fashion Week *yes, I’m serious*
Check out the full BuzzFeed story here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/61-things-i-saw-at-christian-fashion-week
London Fashion Week: Julien Macdonald RTW Fall 2014
Milan Fashion Week: Angelo Marani RTW Fall 2014
Hitting all the notes - chic, sexy, & rich…this collection is glamour personified. Lush fabrics whipped into the most ornate tribal and geometric patterns on sleek jackets & sumptuous sweater dresses. Highlights for me were his use of layered-zips to create depth & texture and the unfathomable ability to mix fur, houndstooth and animal prints on bags without causing nausea. Fantastic!
London Fashion Week: Erdem
London Fashion Week: Mary Katrantzou RTW Fall 2014
Britain’s crowned Queen of Digital Prints ditched the trend this season and set off down her own path of mixing English heraldry, logos, chain detail, badges & crystal-laden road signs, for her most impressive showing yet. Who knew she had such a mastery of draping and cut?!?!
London Fashion Week: Antonio Berardi RTW Fall 2014
Dark & sexy, with a huge emphasis on the waistline & glints of color found in luscious jewel-tones…CLASSIC Antonio!
The Cut of Bias: How NYFW Fared in the Fight for Balanced Diversity
Back in September, @NaomiCampbell + @BethannHardison & @The_Real_Iman sent shockwaves through the fashion industry with an open letter to designers challenging the diversity of models cast in their shows. Since the 40s, beauties like Dorothea Towles, Carol LaBrie & Donyale Luna fled to Europe seeking work and the opportunity to be booked, not as the “black girl” or the “negro beauty”…but simply, as a model. While iconic models such as Naomi Sims, Beverly Johnson, Iman & Naomi Campbell have broken boundaries, garnering huge success and the ever-coveted American Vogue cover, the plight of blacks in fashion is still wrought with polite discrimination and smiling dismissal.
Addressed to the fashion councils of America, London, Milan & Paris…the letter not only called for the use of more black models, but pointed out that “not accepting another based on the color of their skin is clearly beyond “aesthetic”…whether it’s the decision of the designer, stylist or casting director, that decision to use basically all white models, reveals a trait that is unbecoming to modern society…no matter the intention, the result is racism”.
Hypothetically, a casting director may choose all white models because the beauty designer has opted for blonde chignons & fuchsia eye-shadow which “show better” on fair skin. This common excuse of aesthetic only magnifies the larger issue: if a designer is truly designing for ALL women, should not the image be marketed towards ALL women?
In a previous interview, Hardison identified an industry-wide lack of accountability, stating “no one in power slaps these designers around”. Doing just that, balancediversity ‘s September call to action drew a defiant line in the sand and called out some of the world’s most profitable designers “guilty of this racist act”.
When the NY shows began last week, I started counting and the findings are astounding. I calculated the amount of looks shown on black models in the shows of listed designers for Fall 2014 versus their Fall 2013 collections. I chose to count “looks shown on” as opposed to “black models used” because I believe that this conversation should be centered around a brand’s desired customer and how they market to them, rather than their use of black models.
With the exception of MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, Katie Gallagher and Honor, nearly everyone listed increased the number of looks shown on black models in their Fall 2014 presentations. Most notable were Karen Walker, (who increased to 9 in 2014, compared to 2 in 2013), Oscar de la Renta (increased to 7, after only showing 1 black model out of 50 cast for his Fall 2013 show), and Rag & Bone (increased from 0 to 6), while Proenza Schouler, Jenny Packham, Christian Siriano, Narciso Rodriguez and The Row all jumped from 0 to 4.
Social benefits and the standard of beauty aside, this is simply smarter business! Designers must realize the message they send to the customers of the future: the 11 year old little girl whose mother works two jobs to support her dream of becoming a doctor one day, opens the pages of Vogue to see that even once she has made it, there is still no one designing with her in mind or the 17 year old whose Father is an executive at Warner and can afford to buy her a couture gown for prom, but can’t find a single look from her favorite designer’s spring collection shown on her skin tone: YOU DON’T BELONG!
Despite the cited increase, NYFW’s runways were still Wonderbread white. Overall, 80% of the models were white, with roughly 9% of the 151 designers showing an all-white cast of models - a far cry from the reality of today’s society. Whether we are on the road to real progress or the usual political posturing, remains to be seen. But the ladies of balancediversity are watching and so am I.
NYFW: Mara Hoffman RTW Fall 2014
Those gold arm cuffs look a lot like the ones shown by @shanepeacock for SS 2014 - otherwise a great collection of Egyptian-inspired prints blended with subtle black & whites or bright pops, outlined in shimmering gold.