London, Sept 14 (AP/UNB) — London is starting its stint at the center of the fashion universe as industry leaders express concerns about the potential impact of Brexit.
Top designers including Burberry, Christopher Kane, Victoria Beckham, Erdem and others will be showing new collections in a series of shows that start on Friday.
Anticipation is high, especially with a new creative director at Burberry and a rare London catwalk show by Beckham, the former Spice Girl who has won plaudits for her designs.
But British Fashion Council chairwoman Stephanie Phair told the BBC Friday there are wide concerns about the impact of Britain leaving the European Union.
She says the uncertainty of Brexit plans is making it difficult for the fashion industry to develop a strategy. Britain is scheduled to leave the EU in March.
New York, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — After two seasons in Paris, Proenza Schouler designers Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are back at New York Fashion Week— and emphatically so.
With their new collection they've gone all-American in spirit: denim, denim and more denim, with almost no embellishment — no embroidery, feathers or sequins. And though the fabric came from Japan, the collection was entirely made in the United States.
"In Paris you kind of get into all the embroideries and the feather work, and you're relying on all that technique," Hernandez said. "And going back to New York (we thought), 'Why don't we do the whole collection in one fabric, and what if that fabric was denim? What could we do with that? So we really limited the scope of material in a major way."
The collection featured voluminous denim dresses, jackets and skirts, with the latter often covering thigh-high boots. In the place of embellishment techniques, there was tie-dying and acid washing. As for accessories, there were Western-style, bandanna-like scarves across the neck, and tote bags so large it seemed one could fit another human inside them.
This season, the duo also collaborated with Berlin-based sculptor Isa Genzken — "one of our idols," Hernandez said — for inspiration for their designs. When guests entered Monday's show in downtown Manhattan, they were confronted with a large installation by the German artist of mannequins dressed in bits of Proenza garments.
"We sent her some pieces, she ended up making an installation, with the clothes, and we started riffing off the installation and putting it into the collection," McCollough said. "So it was two separate bodies of work, riffing off of each other, in a way."
While the duo was happy to be back in New York, the designers weren't ruling out showing again in Paris one day — or somewhere else.
"I think the beauty of the world we live in today is that things are just more fluid," McCollough said. "Especially a company like ours. We're an independent company. We don't have to be told what calendar to follow, we can bounce around, try things out. We learned a lot in Paris both good and bad, and you kind of build off that and evolve it, you leave the stuff that didn't work behind and keep the new stuff."
"I think what's cool is bouncing around, trying different things out and seeing where it lands."
An advantage of the new pared-down style is that some items are now more affordable than some of Proenza Schouler's more elaborately embellished garments.
McCollough noted that one of the biggest sellers of a recent Paris collection was a long-sleeved, tie-dyed dress priced lower than many bigger-ticket items — which also turned out to be the most attention-getting and most photographed look.
"It got us thinking about clothes in a different way," he said. "Maybe everything doesn't need to be so embellished. Maybe everything doesn't need to be $12,000.
New York, Sep 10 (AP/UNB) — A rosy hue washed over a room at the New York Public Library as models wearing vibrant pinks, greens and blues followed a winding silver line of glitter on a pink carpet. The shimmering line was an homage to late designer Kate Spade at the New York Fashion Week show of her former brand.
Spade, the creator of iconic handbags that became popular for their bright, playful style, killed herself in June after suffering from depression and anxiety for years. Though she and her husband, Andy Spade, had sold the company they co-founded, it still carries her name and wanted to honor its icon Friday as it presented its spring collection.
When guests arrived, there was a note on their seats saying "she left a little sparkle everywhere she went. in loving memory 1962-2018."
Spade, 55, walked away from the company in 2007 and its new owners — Coach, now known as Tapestry — tapped Nicola Glass as its new creative director. Glass' first collection is a modern twist on Spade classics with cheerful patterns of hearts, flowers and, of course, spades. Knee-high boots in unexpected colors that included lavender and sunny yellow popped against silk dresses and high collared blouses.
"So the inspiration really started by going back to looking at the core DNA of the brand. ... To me there was a purity of their design approach, the use of color but also there was always this kind of fun and fun joyfulness, very optimistic. ... I was trying to get the essence of that and interpret it in a new way," Glass said.
The brand known for accessories paired oversized sunglasses with glamorous silk headscarves that channeled Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Signature handbags included pink and purple clutches with bright red hearts, slouchy gingham totes, and yellow and green bucket bags with cutout leather shapes. Unconventional trench coats were sheer pink and flower-spotted. Platform shoes were aimed at style as well as comfort.
Several celebrities came out in support, including actresses Elizabeth Olsen, Suki Waterhouse and Kate Bosworth. Bosworth said she "absolutely loved" the designs.
"This is such a happy brand and she has breathed such beautiful life into the brand while respecting the heritage of it. It's fun, it's happy, it's playful, it's whimsical, and yet also it's high-end and thoughtful," Bosworth said.
Actress and fashion maven Priyanka Chopra said she loved the "spring vibe" of the show and the glittery tribute to Spade.
"I loved that the models were walking on the sparkle. It was so much fun. It was like fairy dust. Amazing," she said.
New York, Sep 9 (AP/UNB) — Marian Avila, a 21-year-old Spanish model with Down syndrome, fulfilled her dream to walk at New York Fashion Week thanks to an Atlanta designer she met through the magic of social media.
And she did it with flair Saturday in the ballroom of a Midtown hotel in evening looks of red and gold, her parents and siblings in the audience and other models who have challenges by her side.
"I felt really happy and I really loved the runway," Avila said through a translator after the Saturday show. "I wanted to show the world that there are no barriers."
No barriers for women of all kinds is Talisha White's mission, as a designer focused on prom, pageant and special occasion outfits and as an active pageant contestant as well.
A model White knew had stumbled on a story about Avila's fashion week dream online. She told White of Avila's quest and they reached out to Avila on Facebook.
"She's been a busy supermodel, meeting with all types of people," White said of the attention Avila and her dream have received in the United States, her home country and across Europe. "I'm very glad for her. She's been meeting with Vogue. She's been meeting with Harper's Bazaar. She's been meeting in different showrooms, different modeling agencies."
Avila is from the Benidorm area, in the province of Alicante in eastern Spain on the Mediterranean coast. She was accompanied by her parents and siblings. At home, she said, "I practice every day," referring to her love of modeling.
"I'm studying modeling and to become an actress," Avila said.
She walked the runway with models young and old, including one in a wheelchair, Tae McKenzie of Charlotte, North Carolina, and a young girl who also has Down syndrome. White's 43 looks were shown like a rainbow with glimmering beaded embellishments on some in red, pink, gold, white, black and rose. Some pageant queens walked the runway, too, with a few in the audience, their sashes and crowns in place.
White, 25, thought of a rainbow to represent "women's empowerment and beauty from the inside out," she said.
"I wanted to show not just one type of girl is beautiful. I like to showcase all types of girls, from pageant girls to models in wheelchairs, models with Down syndrome, models who are 4 feet and told they can never be a model. They are my 'it' girl," she explained.
This isn't White's first time showing at fashion week. Her first show was in September 2016, in a church.
"The pastor was mad because we came early and church was still going on and we were loud," she laughed. "You have to start somewhere."
As for Avila, White "loves giving girls opportunities to blossom and fulfill their dreams."
How will she do that?
"The mission of my business is to change the world one stitch at a time, but I know I'm not going to do that just by making pretty dresses. It's going to be the women who wear those pretty dresses," White said. "People like Marian Avila and Tae McKenzie, who are breaking boundaries in the fashion industry."
Atlantic city, Sept 8 (AP/UNB) — A contestant in the Miss America pageant says President Trump "has caused a lot of division" in the nation.
Madeline Collins, Miss West Virginia, was asked an onstage question Friday night about what she feels is the most serious issue facing the nation.
She replied "Donald Trump is the biggest issue our country faces. Unfortunately he has caused a lot of division in our country."
The interview responses were limited to 20 seconds and Collins did not go into additional detail. The Miss America Organization rejected a request from The Associated Press to make Collins available for an interview after Friday night's competition had ended.
She did not win the interview contest. That honor went to Miss Massachusetts Gabriela Taveras, whose question dealt with how Americans traveling abroad should interact with people in other countries.
She said it is important to let people in other nations know that, "We as Americans are supporting them and that we are there to help them."
The onstage interview has replaced the swimsuit competition in this year's pageant, a change that has created controversy among those who feel the pageant needed to be modernized, and those who feel an integral part of the pageant is being sacrificed.
Friday marked the third and final night of preliminary competition in the Miss America competition.
Also on Friday night, Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine won the talent portion for singing Frank Sinatra's "That's Life."
The next Miss America will be crowned Sunday night in the nationally televised finale from Atlantic City.
During the first two nights of competition, some of the onstage interview questions have touched on hot button issues, including NFL national anthem protests.
A question on the propriety of those protests helped propel Miss Virginia Emili McPhail to a preliminary win Thursday night.
She told judges players have the right to protest by kneeling, noting that the real issue is police brutality.
In the talent competition, Miss Louisiana Holli' Conway won for a vocal performance, singing "I Believe."
On Wednesday , Miss Florida Taylor Tyson won the talent competition for a piano performance, and Miss Wisconsin Tianna Vanderhei won the interview competition for her comments on education.