SlowFashion

This week’s Earth Day got industry people and consumers alike thinking about the true meaning of eco-friendly fashion. Ever since sustainable materials and practices inundated clothing markets, the lesser known slow-fashion movement has taken matters of manufacturing literally into its own hands. The movement began in the '90s and aims to limit the wasteful disposal of garments by resisting light-speed trends that can render last month’s hot commodity as totally out the next. 

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Some movement participants consider its philosophy a general push for conscious shopping. Others,  like designer Natalie Chanin, do away with  industrial production altogether in place of old fashioned artistry. Chanin and her team hand sew every single stitch of her brand Alabama Chanin's beautifully embroidered clothes made from Southern hand spun, knit and dyed cotton. Quality and durability are key qualities of slow fashion designers that seek to create cherished items that last. These are not your grandma’s frumpy knits either. Slow-fashion designers like John Patrick offer timeless staples like high-waisted shorts and gorgeous minimal blouses that could never really go out of style.

Because of its meticulously handcrafted nature and locally sourced materials, it may not be an affordable option for everybody.  Alabama Chanin balances their steep prices by open-sourcing their patterns for anyone to recreate and hosting workshops. Those who make clothing know it demands long processes and hard work. Whether you make garments from scratch or simply feel appreciation for the work it entails, the slow clothing movement opens the seams for consumers and designers to examine the processes their garments undergo from spool to hanger and the environmental and human costs taken along the way.

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L.A experienced a British invasion over the weekend when not, one but two UK fashion moguls came to town, and brought the party along with them. Burberry held a runway show in front of the Griffith Observatory on April 16th and the stars really did shine. Among the 700 guests were fashion royalty Anna Wintour , the Beckhams, Elton John and Rosie Huntington-Whitely,  who nibbled very Brit cucumber crab sandwiches before the followup fall 2015 presentation. Though British flags flanked the drive up to the parking lot, the collection was perfect for L.A.  The paisley prints, patchwork, peasant dresses and suede coats shrouded in fringe were a fond reflection of Cali’s never dying love for the 70’s.

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In addition to the collection originally seen this February in London, Burberry debuted an exclusive L.A evening wear line for men and women that will be sold at the new Rodeo drive store. This L.A- only collection is all about theatrical statement pieces like a cinderella-style tulle ball gown and a gold sequined trench coat. 

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At the same time, beloved Londoners Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos of the Pilotto brand came into town. In addition to city-wide trunk shows, Pilotto brightened the MTV Music Awards when Bella Thorne and Anna Camp both donned funky printed minidresses from its Spring’15 collection. Pilotto’s womenswear line is more familiar to Brits than Americans, but after this L.A sprint, may become a brand in-demand.

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Spring is an season of re-birth, both conceptually and for the birds and the bees, literally. And at a time when millennials are taking huge strides for LGBTQ rights, it seems an apt time for founders of Butchbaby & Co to announce their new genderqueer maternity line.  The importance of androgynous clothing has recently struck a nerve for designers and major retailers world wide like Selfridges, who launched their gender-neutral fashion experience in London at the start of this year. Design student Michelle Janayea and Vanessa Newman, a digital strategist, recognized that queer, trans, and masculine parents-to-be had little-to- none choices when it came to the feminine frills of maternity wear. Based on comfort and accessibility, the new line features outfits for each possible stage of the day; button down shirt and stretchy jeans for work, nursing T-shirt and jogging pants for play and nursing bra and boxer briefs for rest. At its conception, Butchbaby is currently an online store but with an outpouring of warm support from the LGBTQ community, this baby could make its first steps into in-store retail sometime soon.

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The fashion docs just keep coming! As if Iris (in theaters April 29) wasn't enough, new documentaries about two ingenious designers should make your summer viewing list. The short documentary The Artist Is Absent, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, illuminates the progressive art of Maison Martin Margiela and the mystique he created through his deference for the spotlight.  The film will premiere on April 27 on www.yoox.com.  Dior and I captures the inner mad workings of the Christian Dior fashion house. The film is out now at independent and Arclight theaters across the city.

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Maybe it’s part of the intense wave of '90s nostalgia trends, or America’s love for comfy, un-pretty novelties  (like Uggs or Crocks) but these babies are back and selling. This time it’s hipsters, not campers, who are buying.  A current overall love of chunk, led by the comeback of puffy platform shoes and  Adidas  must have signaled an ideal time for Teva’s re-branding.  The U.S born sports shoe company has successfully turned its trademark ‘dad sandals’ to ‘ party/poolside comfort shoes’. Contemporary colors and metallics paired with big buckles and straps accentuate the revamped sandals’ dorky/ cool silhouette and newly heightened wedges resemble raver-kid-shoes. Collaborations with NastyGal and Opening Ceremony ensued and Teva’s seem to be the summer sandal at Urban Outfitters. Teva’s have made recent runway appearances via Christopher Raeburn's SS15 collection,  and  Style bloggers and festival goers like Jamie Chung are making it known that it’s cool to be comfortable.

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Gladiator sandals are also back in the ring for summer footwear and this round, they more dramatic than ever.  The ancient Roman inspired shoes with its criss-cross laces, which saw it’s original revival in the '60s and then again in 2004, now wrap much higher up the calf to just below the knee for a fiercer, boho-warrior look. Unlike the low ankle wrapping, jewel embellished gladiators hit the streets with gusto a few years back , the new incarnations kick it up a notch in more elegant, thinner designs in black, authentic browns and disco golds so folks can really feel their inner Xena. 

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The sunglasses of Coachella can tell us a few things about the current staples of summer eye-wear. We have  moved away from squarish Ray-Ban type frames and in exchange for rounder, thicker and groovier deigns.  Mirrored lenses have taken over and hues of green, red and blue, add a stylish splash of mystery for the eye-hidden wearer. But, nowhere, nowhere, in those rainbow reflective lenses is a glimpse into the true and bizarre history of sunglasses. You’ve got to read it to believe it: The first ever sunglasses were created by Chinese judges in the 12th century who used the early contraption to shield their eyes in order to appear emotionless and objective in court.  The tinted glasses made their way across oceans to Europe, where they gained a vision-improving reputation, often colored green and mostly marketed for the elderly.  Then in the 19th century,  young people, especially those afflicted with syphilis made light-sensitive by the STD, began to sport small round framed sunglasses along with attachable metal nose coverings that hid their symptoms of nose deterioration. From then on, 1920’s movies stars began the true glamorization of sunglasses while protecting their eyes from the magnesium filled flashbulbs of the cameras of the time and hiding from the paparazzi. All this, so that California’s could get their most important accessory!

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Links We Love: Slow Fashion, The Strange History of Sunglasses And More

This week’s Earth Day got industry people and consumers alike thinking about the true meaning of eco-friendly fashion. Ever since sustainable materials and practices inundated clothing markets, the lesser known...

read more

ArtAlive

From April 24 to April 26, the San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed into a vision of art and flowers as more than 100 floral designers bring the Museum's renowned Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual Art Alive fundraiser. In addition to the floral exhibition and other special events, fashion designer, San Diego native, and FIDM Graduate Paul Hernandez will create one-of-a-kind, draped dress forms inspired by four works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. 

This year’s floral exhibition will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations. 

Featured Story

Paul Hernandez to Create Dress Forms Inspired by Works From San Diego Museum of Art

From April 24 to April 26, the San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed into a vision of art and flowers as more than 100 floral designers bring the...

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Brook

Mixed Business invites you to meet Textile Design Graduate Brook Peridgon at Saturday's Meet the Maker Event in Los Angeles. The artist and textile designer will be on hand from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and showcasing two textile collections. 

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Featured Story

Meet Textile Designer Brook Perdigon On Saturday, April 25 in Los Angeles

Mixed Business invites you to meet Textile Design Graduate Brook Peridgon at Saturday's Meet the Maker Event in Los Angeles. The artist and textile designer will be on hand from...

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Pasadena

Interior Design Graduates Casey Mason and Ruben Marquez of Jennifer Bevan Interiors designed the library and an adjoining bath for this year's Pasadena Showcase House. "We used a combination of Dunn Edwards Muslin, Reclaimed Wood, and Barnwood Gray to create over-scaled Greek key panels as a play on wainscoting and to give the space a sense of history. There were bookcases and a faux fireplace on the south wall that were not original to the home, so we removed them to enhance the square footage of the library and allow us to create an intimate seating area," explains Casey. "The Kravet fabrics that we chose for the furniture and drapery are a perfect mix of textures and we fell in love with the abstract art piece over the sofa by Bryan Ricci, a local LA artist, and we felt that it perfectly juxtaposes the traditional elements in the room."

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The adjoining bathroom takes cues from a gentleman’s suit, starting with a Walker Zanger mosaic that seamlessly combines marble and porcelain. "The textured wall covering by Dillard Pierce is the perfect marriage of drama and dimension," she adds. "The gorgeous faucet, sink, and vanity legs from Sherle Wagner fell in line with the idea of a gentleman’s area, since stately architecture motivated the design of the fittings. The modern, cubic Christopher Guy mirror is definitely meant to be a statement piece. Polished nickel lighting add a flawless finish, creating a handsome-looking space."

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The 2015 Pasadena Showcase House of Design is open through May 17, 2015. Tickets are available for purchase here

Featured Story

Interior Design Grads Create Rooms for 2015 Pasadena Showcase House

Interior Design Graduates Casey Mason and Ruben Marquez of Jennifer Bevan Interiors designed the library and an adjoining bath for this year's Pasadena Showcase House. "We used a combination of...

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15074j Guest Speakers Nasty Gal_DSC_2573

FIDM Students on the Los Angeles campus were treated this week to a special visit from NastyGal technical designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak. They shared their insider experience on what it's like to be a technical designer in the world of fashion.

Sandy Novak, Senior Technical Designer at NastyGal and a graduate from FIDM, gave a presentation in the Student Lounge on the differences between a designer and a technical designer. She explained that essentially designers come up with original creations and sketch out their ideas, while technical designers create the blueprint for the garment, and are ultimately responsible for the fit—which translates into sales.

Sandy introduced Sara Goodman, the Director of Technical Designer at NastyGal. Sandy explained that Sara is her mentor. She's been in the industry for 18 years and has worked for companies including Adidas, Nordstrom, bebe, BCBG, and Guess. In fact, Sara's first job was as a pattern maker at Adidas working on pants for Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant.

Sara said that one of the advantages of pursuing a career in technical design is that you'll always have a job. Good technical designers are highly valued. The fit of a garment can make or break its salability, so accurate measurements are key to the merchandise product development process.

"I build garments from scratch—from numbers really," Sara said. "Being a technical designer is truly what I love to do."

This summer, FIDM will be launching a new Bachelor of Science Degree in Apparel Technical Design—open to students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree from FIDM in Merchandise Product Development. For more information, please call 213-624-1201.

Student Life

NastyGal Technical Designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak Visit FIDM

FIDM Students on the Los Angeles campus were treated this week to a special visit from NastyGal technical designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak. They shared their insider experience on...

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Trend skirt copy

Trend forecasting companies are about to get a reboot from tech behemoth Google. Data scientists will be delivering twice yearly predictions based on Google searches for fashion items, says a report in the New York Times. Predictions, broken into 3 categories (sustained growth, obsessions, and seasonal growth), should become valuable tools for e-commerce and apparel industry professionals since findings are based on real consumer searches. Today's hot trends according to Google? Tulle skirts, midi skirts, palazzo pants, and jogger pants.

The Latest Trends

Trendwatch: Google Data Pinpoints Top Fashion Trends

Trend forecasting companies are about to get a reboot from tech behemoth Google. Data scientists will be delivering twice yearly predictions based on Google searches for fashion items, says a...

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