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30/06/2017

Peter Dundas, the Man Behind Beyoncé’s Unforgettable Grammys Dress, Is Launching His Eponymous Collection in Paris

After 10 years in the creative director chair at Emanuel Ungaro, Emilio Pucci, and Roberto Cavalli, Peter Dundas is launching his eponymous label with a collection for Moda Operandi at the Paris haute couture shows. But he isn’t going solo. As Yves Saint Laurent had Pierre Bergé and Valentino had Giancarlo Giammetti, Dundas has Evangelo Bousis, his partner in life turned partner in business. You’ve seen them on the red carpet together with Kim and Kanye, EmRata, and model pals like Natasha Poly. Dundas has designed the line he’s presenting on Sunday with those glamorous types in mind. “It’s quite a few dresses, he says, “that’s what my girls want.”

But if the cut-up-to-there, with a train out-to-there silhouette of the gown pictured here is pure Dundas, the way he’s gone about producing this collection—with his hands in every aspect of development, and stacking up more air miles than he knows what to do with—is something new. “I’ve worked at relaunching three established brands now and I’ve enjoyed doing that, but at this moment, doing something completely new seems fresher to me, and in many ways seems easier,” he says. “I’m learning a lot.”

We’ll learn what the Dundas collection looks like on Sunday evening. Here, he talked about the pros and cons of starting over (it’s mostly pros) and the Beyoncé Grammys dress that got the ball rolling.

I saw on Instagram you were in Mumbai a few days ago. For embroideries?

Yes, I’ve been every place and seen every person connected with this project. I haven’t been to India for work ever, though I’ve been for holidays. It was great to connect with the handcrafters. I really want to take the opportunity this first time around to see how things are done, to connect with people, and to make sure they understand what I want, and I understand their process, too. And I’m learning, as well. I don’t usually go to shoe factories, and this time I’ve been several times. I want to make sure the shoes are right, and I want the suppliers to know who I am.

So, what do you want? This is the first time you’re designing under your own name.

I’ve been trying to be intuitive and follow my instincts. That’s probably the biggest way that this feels different: because I’m trying to do something that follows my language 100 percent. The beginning for me was Beyoncé [Dundas designed her Grammys performance dress], that was the first drop. This is an organic continuation of what we started, having drops every few months [he also designed Emily Ratajkowski’s Cannes gown]. This Moda Operandi capsule is part of the whole. Afterward, I’m doing something else with Farfetch. So little by little, we’re gathering layers.

Is the Beyoncé dress a good indicator of the sensibility of Dundas? Is it evening-focused? Because you’re also a great tailor, so I’m wondering what the mix will be.

This is an image moment, so yes, it’s going to be things my girls will be really into: for sure some special occasion things that make you feel like you’re the only girl in the room, but also tailoring. This process has been about connecting with my girls. We’re starting on Moda. A lot of my girlfriends shop there, and Lauren [Santo Domingo, Moda’s founder] is a friend of our as well. We’re starting with that, but I want to reach other places as well. I’ve had amazing support from department stores and multi-brand stores; that will be the next step.

I like that image, feeling like you’re the only girl in the room. Can you elaborate on the Dundas aesthetic?

There’s definitely a sensuality to it, a joy of life. Hopefully there’s an element of glamour, an element of freedom, of rebelliousness. Confidence. A little of a bohemian hippie girl. I like to make women feel seductive. That’s why I love cut and embellishments that make you shine.

How has it been getting a company off the ground on your own? Have you enjoyed it? Has it been challenging?

I’ve enjoyed it very much. But I’m not doing it alone, I’m doing it with my partner, Evangelo. We started talking about it because a friend proposed investing in it. We thought, maybe down the line. Then he moved to Milan to be with me when I took the Cavalli job, and we realized we complement each other very well, not just personally, but also professionally. This time around, it was essential to me to do it with somebody who has my back, and whose back I have as well. Of course, it’s been challenging, but we’ve also had a lot of fun with it. It requires a lot of work to turn an established company and make it a modern one. In a way, having a blank sheet but having the experience I’ve been lucky enough to have so far in my career is a nice combination. Today, there’s so many established companies that are struggling to adapt to the times in terms of agility and versatility that I really don’t think a new company is at more of a disadvantage than an established company.

It’s so refreshing to see a living designer’s name on a label!

I agree. My brother-in-law has a tech company in America, and he and his friends have been really inspiring to us. You have so many companies who are thinking outside of the box and creating successes, and it just feels like fashion is lagging behind, even at the basic level in terms of launching new brands. Up until now there’s been a fear of that. [At an established brand] when you want to change deliveries and seasons . . . first of all, even convincing people to do it is very challenging. And the possible economic implications scare people as well, whereas with this we can basically set the clock ourselves. And move step by step so we can grow organically.

What comes next?

I want to see how this goes. Right now it’s been nice to own everything that we do. It’s something I was missing from what I was doing before. So, you understand every cost, every investment on a project. It teaches you a lot, and I probably should have done it years ago. We want to own the project, so therefore, we’re taking our time.

You seem quite e-commerce focused? Why is that?

It’s definitely part of the strategy. We’ll have an online store way before we have a bricks-and-mortar store. With people’s busy lives, e-commerce is only going to get more important. Pop up stores, that I do like. That is something that we are working on. All this technology that’s part of the modern approach, for me, the main objective of all of it is to make a closer relationship with me and this girl. That’s why I want to do this. I want to make sure that she hears my language. That the message reaches home. I learned years ago that it was important to spend time with my girls, understand the life they lead, and why they’re into certain things or not into them anymore. We would like to consider ourselves a lifestyle brand as much as a fashion brand, and part of the way to do that is to live that dream, to share that dream, as well.Read more at:yellow prom dresses | orange prom dresses

13:24 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

29/06/2017

Why not baring all is suddenly stylish

Maria Alia shows off her superior modest city style wearing Peter Pilotto in New York City.
(Photo:prom dresses uk)

I'd found it: the ideal dress for a black-tie summer wedding. This particular dress was long but lightweight, just embellished enough, with a neckline that wouldn't scandalise the grandmother of the bride. Except - I realised as I clicked ahead to the rear-view photo - that this otherwise perfect chapel-to-dance floor gown was backless.

"That's incredibly frustrating," says Ghizlan Guenez, founder and chief executive of The Modist, a new e-commerce site focused on the more decorous side of high fashion. Guenez, an elegant 38-year-old who grew up in Algiers, Beirut and London before settling into a private-equity career in Dubai, has a lifetime of experience with let-downs like these. She and many women in her circle choose to dress modestly, making every shopping expedition into a series of elimination rounds for nonconforming features. "If they find something they like, either it has a slit, or it's sleeveless or it's sheer... There are millions of women who dress this way and they've been completely underserved."

Until now, that is: Guenez launched The Modist in March 2017. With the tag-line "luxury modest fashion for extraordinary women", the online store is primed to reach a worldwide audience of women who prefer their fashion a bit more covered-up.

You won't find any crop tops, shorts, spaghetti straps or (ahem) backless gowns. What you will find is flattering dresses, midi skirts, interesting shirting and other assorted ready-to-wear that leaves a little something to the imagination. The site is a boon to any woman who's ever felt a dress would be perfect if only it had sleeves.

Guenez and her team leave defining what constitutes modesty to their shopper. "Really it's 'little-m' modest," Sasha Sarokin, the site's buying and fashion director and a 10-year alumna of Net-a-Porter, says with a smile. "It's more understated and a bit more refined. I enjoy buying for a woman who doesn't necessarily identify as modest or not; she just likes the look." To wit: her dress the day we meet is a high-necked, long-sleeved, mid-calf, tiger-printed number by Ukrainian designer Petar Petrov (which I know because I heard at least five women gasp over it and ask about the designer).

The site launched with a stable of 75 brands ranging from the established (Marni, Alberta Ferretti, Robert Clergerie) to the emerging (London-based Rejina Pyo and Racil; Turkish brand Mimya). The pitching process involved a good deal of visual-assisted education about modesty. But over and over again, Guenez and Sarokin would arrive at meetings to find that the women on the other side of the table were modestly dressed, whether they were conscious of that as a style choice or not.

For fashion undoubtedly is in the midst of a modest moment. The covered-up vision of beauty that Valentino pioneered has infiltrated every corner of the industry, prevailing at Gucci, Celine and Balenciaga. The breakout star of the autumn/winter runways was Halima Aden, a 19-year-old Somali-American model who wore her hijab on the MaxMara runway and on the covers of CR Fashion Book, Vogue Arabia and Allure.

Clearly, some of this shift stems from brands' growing awareness of the importance of the Muslim fashion market - it's projected to increase to $672 billion by 2019, according to a report from Thomson Reuters. Dolce & Gabbana introduced a line of hijabs in 2016, and Mango has quietly built its special collection for Ramadan into an impressive offering over the past 10 years.

"Modest fashion is witnessing a revolution without precedent," a spokesman for the Spanish brand said. This revolution will be hashtagged, with more than 600,000 Instagram posts tagged as #modestfashion. It's a trend that cuts across religious lines, with Christian, Jewish and Muslim style bloggers all cheering over the same modest, fashionable pieces that The Modist specialises in.

Not that the trend for modest dressing is limited to certain religions or cultures. Guenez's brainwave may have come in Dubai, but half of the site's sales so far come from outside the Middle East: the US is the second largest market, followed by the UK.

Guenez knows the online shopping field is crowded and challenging. Earlier this month, Conde Nast closed Style after nine months and an estimated US$100 million ($136m) in investment. Brand executives tell Guenez the world doesn't need another e-commerce player.

"What makes them stop and think is that they can very clearly see how we are different. We're talking to a different population of women - women who have not been spoken to before, who are frustrated, who need this service."

TIPS FOR MODERN MODESTY

Just as there's a range of reasons to embrace modest style, from religious to aesthetic, there's also a spectrum of ways to wear it. If you're ready to try a more covered-up look, heed these tips from The Modist's Ghizlan Guenez and Sasha Sarokin.

THINK BEYOND THE OBVIOUS

A miniskirt that's just a tad too short for comfort can make a smart tunic when worn over a pair of tailored trousers. A corset that exposes too much skin looks sharp over a crisp cotton shirt. "We pick things that are not as squarely modest, but the way we style them makes them modest," Guenez says.

BALANCE VOLUME

If you've got a statement top, keep the trousers or skirt slim, and vice versa. "It adds drama in all the right ways," Sorokin says.

LAYER IT UP

A black polo neck bodysuit is a modest dresser's best friend. Wear it under camisoles, shirts and bustiers - but if you layer the top of your outfit, keep the bottom simple, with a long skirt or chic trousers.

ENLIST A FASHION MAGICIAN (AKA TAILOR)

Sometimes all it takes to make a piece modest is a little tinkering: closing a slit, adding a lining or lengthening the sleeves.

It pays to find a local, reliable tailor to help make your wardrobe work for you.

FABRIC QUALITY IS EVERYTHING

When you're wearing more clothing, the quality of the fabric becomes even more important. Look for substantial fabrics that sit beautifully and will wear well.

WHEN IN DOUBT, WEAR A DRESS

"The long-sleeved maxi-dress with a Victorian influence is the piece of the season - don't be afraid of some fabulous print," Sorokin says.Read more at:formal dresses

07:51 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

27/06/2017

Designing A Nation Through Fashion And Music

(Photo:formal dresses)

Building a lifestyle brand that embraces self-love and pride was the ultimate goal of multi-platinum recording artiste Fuse ODG, also known as Nana Richard Abiona. Born in London and raised in Ghana, Fuse ODG is not only a vocal creative but a talented designer with a stylish vision.

His brand, New Africa Nation (NANA), expresses beauty, fun and sophistication as it aims to build a nation of kings and queens by catering to the needs of its lifestyle. Through fashion, music, events, media and even children's toys, Fuse wants to reprogramme the world's mental image of Africa, its people and its diaspora.

INSPIRATIONAL AND EDGY

NANA's sound and clothing line is uplifting, inspirational and edgy as its colours, style, diversity and African prints influence happiness. During its debut a few weeks ago on the Caribbean Fashionweek runway in St Andrew, Fuse's pieces and performance sparked a celebration as attendees danced and enjoyed its fun culture.

According to Pulse Chairman Kingsley Cooper, Fuse ODG's fashion line is especially inspiring, not only for the talent it displays, but also for the philosophy of NANA, the New African Nation.

"He has set up a factory in Ghana, where he has roots, and has already employed Ghanaians to work there. He is therefore creating economic opportunities for the people of Ghana (and Britain, where he resides, and to which much of his product will be exported from Ghana), and we were very happy that he chose Caribbean Fashionweek to launch his collection," Cooper told Flair.

Fuse continues to work hard on his brand as out of its music and fashion comes a financial support for their 'Nana Needs A School' project. This project has already built a primary school in Ghana that educates more than 200 children.Read more at:cocktail dresses

08:18 Publié dans Fashion | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)