Archive for September, 2010

A new modesty swept the catwalks on Wednesday’s Day Two of the marathon Paris spring-summer 2011 ready-to-wear displays, with designers shunning sizzling sex appeal in favor of oversized, grandma-friendly looks that left nearly everything to the imagination.

A model displays a creation for the Rochas spring/summer 2011 collection

Swedish rigor ruled the catwalk at Rochas, as the label’s half-Italian, half Swedish creative director looked to his roots for a wholesome Scandinavian collection that took a step back from today’s frenetic fray.

Long-sleeve button-down blouses in naive prints depicting Swedish villages were paired with matching skirts that hit at mid-calf. Plain-fronted dresses in navy were cut wide and left nearly everything to the imagination. Printed doo-rags and black knee socks topped off the show’s “un-sexy is the new sexy” spirit.

Rocha's collection piece

Belgium’s Dries Van Noten was at the top of his game with a collection that combined menswear staples like wide-legged boyfriend jeans and white button-down shirts with sophisticated pieces with a sumptuous Asian touch.

Kimono shirts in flower-printed silk were paired with wide-legged trousers, and the classic men’s button-down shirt — ever a cool-girl staple — morphed into skirts.

The collection managed a perfect melange of ladylike sensuousness and relaxed chill, and the fabrics reflected that — with a magpie’s mix of sequins and high-sheen Lurex-shot knits and workaday cotton canvas in white and khaki.

By Noten @ PFW

Anne Hash collection @ PFW

France’s Anne Valerie Hash pumped up the sex factor — without uncovering too much skin — with delicately draped shirtdresses and wrap trousers that were shorn of their fussy closures for easier access.

Pierre Cardin, the veteran Paris designer who fields a collection not once a season but only every few years, was having none of this new modesty. The father of the Space Age look, whose futuristic cat suits and zany sheath dresses shot him into fame more than half a century ago, stayed true to his intergalactic style, sending out an endless parade of spandex and sequin-covered gear that was ready for take off.

“What was young and fresh 40 years ago is still young and fresh today,” he told The Associated Press in a backstage interview. “I’m like a painter, a writer, a musician, I have my own style. I don’t copy anyone, and really it’s more the others who copy me.”

Pierre Cardin collection @ PFW 2010

Point taken. Even if fashion iniders were often hard-pressed to suppress their laughter during Cardin’s heartfelt display, it’s hard to deny the vastness of his influence.

Cardin again

There was more than a hint of it on display at Felipe Oliveira Baptista, a young Portuguese designer who was recently tapped by French sportswear giant Lacoste. Baptista’s retro-futuristic silhouettes — second-skin leotards with lozenge-shaped cutouts and sheath dresses with scythe-shaped appliques — looked like cool, self-aware takes on Cardin’s staples.


Chicago eco-designer Lara Miller makes news with this couture gown, which boasted headlines from Chicago's top newspapers

First-of-Its Kind Green Catwalk and Workshop Event Features Eco-Friendly Fashions Made From Recycled Newspaper.

Four leading green fashion designers made news today – “yesterday’s news’’ that is – by turning recycled newspaper into eco-friendly fashions. The unique, trend-setting designs were unveiled at the Yesterday’s News® Green Catwalk Event and Workshop in New York City. Made with recycled newspaper, Yesterday’s News® brand cat litter served as inspiration for eco-friendly designers Anthony Lilore of RESTORE CLOTHING™, Bahar Shahpar, Lara Miller and Samantha Pleet, who debuted their original fashions made from newspaper at the New York City event.

The fashion show and green workshop event was part of the Yesterday’s News Do-Gooder Design Challenge, a campaign to celebrate the millions of cat owners across the country who make good green choices for their cats, home and environment. The campaign is also helping to spread the word that going green is in fashion all year-round.

Anthony Lilore's newspaper swing coat, made with headlines from recycled editions of The New York Times

“Today’s event demonstrates that good, green choices should be a part of every aspect of our lives – from the way we dress to the food we eat to the way we care for our cats,” said Renee Loux, green living expert, author and spokesperson for the Yesterday’s News® Do-Gooder Design Challenge. “It was a thrill to see the amazing and stylish newspaper fashions created by these leading eco-friendly designers. Now, cat owners everywhere can do their part by bidding on their favorite designs to benefit green charities.”

The event, which was free and open to the public, also marked the conclusion of the Yesterday’s News® Handbag Design Contest that challenged cat owners to design the “it” handbag of the season using assets from the cat litter brand’s new recyclable packaging.

Eco-friendly designer Samantha Pleet unveiled a fun and flirty cocktail dress made of recycled newspaper at the Yesterday’s News® Green Catwalk Event

Eco-friendly fashionistas and other “do-gooders” can bid on the newspaper designs and the three handbags – all collector’s items from this first-of-its-kind Green Catwalk event — during the Yesterday’s News Do-Gooder Charity Auction. The charity auction, hosted by eBay, will run from September 22-29. Consumers can visit for charity auction information.

“It was exciting to see our designers embrace the Do-Gooder Design Challenge and transform newspaper into fashion-forward designs that looked fabulous on the runway and will benefit good green causes,” said Vanessa Hutt, Assistant Brand Manager, Yesterday’s News. “We know that millions of cat owners share our commitment to ‘do good’ all year round and we encourage everyone to start taking small steps to live green in their daily lives.”

Paris fashion week kicks off today as Milan handed over the platform after showing up wearable luxury.

Young designers raised the curtains for Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday. Paris’ Karim Bonnet – who started out reworking second-hand clothes into what he called a “post-punk” look – sent his models down an open-air catwalk outside the capital’s Gare de l’Est, to the wailing sound of the pipes.

One model wore a bodice of edible-looking white pearls across her back, her breasts naked under a draped shirt of sheer lace, and tufts of shocking pink tulle adorning the toes of her balance-defying shoes.

There was a bricolage, pick-and-mix feel to Bonnet’s dresses made of thick, rug-like, multicoloured wraps, cut from old jute sacks or brown paper bags, or the utilitarian-looking chains used for shoulder straps.

Brooke Taylor – who with his real-life partner Nana Aganovich forms the London-based duo Aganovich – told AFP their spring/summer 2011 look is “a puzzle, which lets you combine and accessorise clothes, collars and sleeves.”

But here the tone was sober, austere even, with clean black-and-white lines, only broken up by the occasional oil-stain like red print, inspired by poppies by the US photographer Irving Penn.

The designer duo set up a rusty anchor and piled-up ship chains in the centre of a typical Marais courtyard to showcase their latest look.

Sober-cut dresses of ivory silk were paired with asymetrical boleros or capes, while skin-tight trousers in tiny black-and-white polka dots was paired with a sheer black half jacket that left one shoulder naked.

After stops in New York, London and Milan, 91 catwalk shows in the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week are to keep the fashion crowd on its toes for nine days to October 6.

In Milan, italian fashion designers created shimmering, fluid looks for their 2011 spring/summer collections, mixing fringes and lengths to seduce women as conscious of their bodies as of their money.

Crystal embroideries, golden belts and mirror heels shone at the Milan shows ended on Tuesday. A longer calendar and a new central location attracted more buyers than last year, confirming signs of recovery for luxury good brands.

Dolce& Gabbana Creation at Milan

A relaxed, sensual elegance inspired Dolce&Gabbana. Crystals were sewn on long-slung robes, like those seen at Armani, whose blue collection was inspired by desert nomads.

Robert Cavalli Creation at Milan, 2010

Roberto Cavalli celebrated his 40th anniversary in the fashion world with a sexy, glitzy-rock collection, which featured free-flowing fringes on pants, necklaces and bags.

Prada proved again that not all women are made equal with a “minimal Baroque” collection, with simple forms in vivid colors and round-shouldered striped dresses.

Versace explored a sophisticated, sexy look, with short jackets revealing a line of skin and the house’s Greek fret on clothes and bags, some of which mixed metal with crystals.  Gucci showed off tuxedo one-pieces or totem dresses with crystals or feathers. Woven python strips and crystal-embroidered gowns took center stage at Gianfranco Ferre’s show.

Prada @ Milan, 2010

Finally, Milan gave the stage for Paris show off.

Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey, based in Montreal, Canada, announced that its’ unique line of cut-resistant skate socks has received clearance for use in NHL games, by the National Hockey League.

The specialty protective equipment company has continued to grow, since launching an innovative line of high-performance, cut-resistant garments in 2009, that provide key protection for hockey players, that traditional equipment does not.

Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey protective hockey socks are already being used by a number of NHL hockey players, including Travis Moen of the Montreal Canadians, who was protected from sustaining a potential career-ending injury last season.

Key benefits of Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey skate socks include:

  • * The products essentially look, feel and stretch like athletic socks, while offering prevention of potential career-threatening injuries.
  • * Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey skate socks use Tuff-N-Lite Cool™ patented technology, that
  • * Tuff-N-Lite Hockey: Protection- Reinvented
  • conducts heat away from players, keeping them comfortable and dry throughout the game.
  • * Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey garments use light, breathable fabrics, which are not woven, so they stretch in all directions, increasing player comfort.
  • * Tuff-N-Lite™ Hockey is the first supplier in the industry to use Micro-Texpur® technology, which is an eco-green antimicrobial agent.

The innovative technologies and patents created and used to-date, for the first generation of protective gear are also currently being utilized to develop other leading protection for professional and amateur hockey players and hockey enthusiasts alike, including: wrist guards, goalie leg tubes and slash guards, among others.

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It fell to two multimillionaire, permatanned, denim and navy clad designers to lower the curtain on Milan fashion week on Monday.

La Femme Bleue - blue men of the desert collection by G. Armani

Giorgio Armani, the godfather of Italian fashion, and Roberto Cavalli, who was celebrating his label’s 40th anniversary, presented collections that celebrated their own brands of Milanese style.

Showcasing tunics over tapered trousers

Armani presented a show entitled “La Femme Bleue”, claimed to have been inspired by the Tuareg – the nomadic people of the Sahara, often referred to as the “blue men of the desert” because their robes are dyed indigo.

Turbans and chiffon navy robes dominated the show

Consequently, models wearing tunics over tapered trousers, tailored jackets, turbans and chiffon navy robes dominated the show. This modest look never deviated from its dark blue palette.

To hammer home his Tuareg inspiration, Armani sent a barefoot male model wearing a blue chiffon robe to escort his last model down the catwalk.

It wasn’t exactly subtle, but it was one of Armani’s more successful shows.

The collection included layers of transparent fabric, crystal-embellished evening gowns and tapered trousers, which were all meticulously tailored.

The midnight and crystal silk dresses, minus the Sahara-ready silk turbans, are sure to find favour on the red carpet.

Meanwhile, the expertly cut leather or satin jackets – an Armani speciality – may not change the course of fashion but they will certainly keep the international cash tills ringing. A fact Mr Armani is presumably only too aware of: his brand is now so successful that he was reportedly able to splash out £124m on his own private Greek island recently.

Earlier in the day Cavalli – who recently referred to himself without irony as a “fashion artist” – had erected a tented greenhouse, complete with triffid-like plants and a faux-suede covered catwalk, under Napoleon’s Arco della Pace in central Milan. It was a show that celebrated Cavalli’s interpretation of style, which can be summed up simply as “unrelenting excess”.

Many of the outfits were barebacked, but the real sex appeal came in the intricate workmanship.

The entire collection could be broken down roughly into two looks: shredded suede waistcoats and  flares with lacing up the side; and floor-length, reptile-printed chiffon gowns with heavy suede fringing.

There was real snakeskin — a Cavalli favorite — in the collection, especially for the fringed shoulder bags, but the novelty came in the intricate embroidery that matched tiny silk leaves with pearls, sequins and fringes to create a snakeskin pattern.

This was not a collection that will translate well from Italian and is unlikely to leak on to the British high street next summer.

But the label is worth an estimated £160m and has survived four decades in the most capricious of industries, which suggests that Cavalli’s high-voltage fringing and his dedication to animal prints do still sate those with a gluttonous appetite for glamour.

With Milan’s designers removing the hard edges in fashion, and dropping hemlines, shoes have taken on proportions and tones to suit. Handbags, too, are not sprouting as much ornament as in the past or demanding their own place on the sidewalk. A sneak peak on shoes, handbags and glasses form the Gucci, Prada, Fendi and Verace spring 2011 shows.

Tassels were a theme at Gucci’s spring 2011 show.

Gucci Spring 2011

Gucci Spring 2011

Spiral eyewear from the Prada spring 2011 show.

Prada Spring 2011

A boxy canvas bag at Prada spring 2011 show

The platforms at Fendi had cork and wood in the mix.

Fendi show spring 2011

Belts and bags at Fendi spring show 2011

Also at Fendi, belts and bags (modest in size and softly structured, with handles) also told a color-blocking story. Linked bracelets, worn in sets of different colors and size, supported the lighter attitude.

Versace spring 2011

Following five years of research and development, Dreamskin Health Ltd is proud to have launched the world’s first range of hydrating, medical-grade silk garments designed to relieve the itching and irritation of eczema and dermatitis.

Dreamskin® Health garments protect the skin from external irritants, helping to reduce irritation.

The secret to the new garments is a proprietary biomimetic copolymer matrix which is firmly bound to the surface of the silk and assists the water and temperature regulation functions of the skin. “The Dreamskin polymer is a major benefit for patients”, said Technical Director, Howard Cairns. “We were inspired by looking at how the hydration of modern contact lenses is achieved and realised we could use our fabric engineering knowledge to produce a similar effect in fabric.”

Dreamskin garments are currently available in bodysuits for babies and face masks, tops, leggings and pyjamas for children up to 12 years old and are designed with wearer comfort as the top consideration. Seams are kept away from identified irritation areas – underarm, inside elbow and knee, finger and toe webbing; flat seam technology is used in all garments to ensure minimal irritation.

“We have combined our new polymer technology with 20 years experience of garment manufacturing expertise to produce comfortable, discreet garments for patients”, commented founder, George Costa. “We ensure all aspects of our products are the best they can be.”

Dreamskin garments offer the following benefits:

– Improve skin hydration and moisture regulation
– Aid reduction of skin itching and irritation
– Assist with regulation and maintenance of body temperature
– Support the recovery of normal skin function
– Decrease contact between skin and irritants such as washing powder

Early patient feedback has been extremely positive – improved sleep, reduced scratching and a marked improvement in the condition of the skin.

Tony Wilson, CEO of Dreamskin Health Ltd, said: “We are extremely excited about the patient feedback we have been receiving. In 20 years of working in dermatology, I have never received so many letters of thanks from patients and their parents in such a short period of time. We are looking forward to being able to help many more eczema sufferers in future.”

Dyneema® ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene fibers can now be used in cut resistant gloves  for the food processing industry in Europe.

Gloves made with Dyneema® are ideal for use in the food industry, thanks to a combination of the very high level of protection they provide together with enhanced comfort and durability. Wearer comfort is equally as important as protection performance for safety managers and company’s employees, since it is a crucial factor in ensuring that gloves are actually worn. Durability is also important for the buyer. Gloves made with Dyneema® have very long service lives and withstand multiple laundering cycles, delivering cost savings without compromising on performance.

Within the European Union, materials and articles used in food contact applications need to comply with very strict requirements laid out in the Framework Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 governing materials used in contact with food, as well as the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Regulation (EC) No 2023/2006. UHMWPE fiber of DSM Dyneema, has now been granted approval under these EU regulations.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted approval for UHMWPE fiber of DSM Dyneema in 2006 for use in food contact applications.

DSM actively pursues food contact approval status for high performance polyethylene fibers.

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Dolce & Gabbana were all innocence and lace on Sunday as Byblos explored the jungle and Missoni went multi-colour ethnic for next spring/summer at Milan Fashion Week.

Sensuality was implicit in Dolce & Gabbana’s Mediterranean-themed collection, nearly entirely in white worn by porcelain-faced models looking frightfully in need of escorts.

Staged on a white stucco catwalk after a black and white slideshow of scenes from a romanticised southern Europe, the show was a sirocco of virginal white satin, cotton and lace.

Ensembles that were easy to imagine at an art opening, such as a sophisticated short jacket over a long pencil skirt, rubbed shoulders with babydoll creations, all pinafores and bloomers, crying out to be read a bedtime story.

Footage of design duo Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce fussing backstage over the performance was shown on video screens above the catwalk during the show.

Byblos was savagely opposite, coming out to a jungle beat, with colours to match — greens, browns and the occasional flash of orange.

Byblos’s Jane ties or wraps on her outfits, set off with ropes — vines? — in steel, silver or gold trim around the neckline, waist or armholes or encircling the neck, while prints are emblazoned with reptiles or demons.

Mini-sarongs came in two lengths, one of many asymmetries to mark the collection, while trousers were long and straight except those with jodhpur thighs.

Thousands of fine slits turned into shimmering scallops in a couple of beige, copper or chocolate brown ensembles.

For Missoni, unsurprisingly, things were even more colourful.

The collection purportedly “celebrates the world’s different cultures” but the main inspiration appears to be pre-Columbian and the American Southwest, with a palette rich in turquoise, green and orange unified by black trim.

Beadwork, square necklines, poncho-like caftans, front and black flaps for skirts or trousers evoking a squaw’s attire or a cowboy’s chaps reinforced the impression.

Charging down one side of an ancient cloisters at Milan’s old university wearing floppy square-brimmed hats, the models sported busy colour combinations that saw the hats competing with the frocks, while shoes joined in the enthusiasm, tied on around the ankles and propped up by rounded heels in fluorescent hues.

Elsewhere on Sunday, the hush of luxury whispered down Brioni’s catwalk, even if new stylist Alessandro Dell?Acqua injected a fresher, lighter air to the women’s line of a label best known for its bespoke men’s apparel.

Transparent silk poplin shirts leant a new sensuality to the Brioni woman, for whom jackets were noticeably more contemporary in cut, worn either with short shorts or loose trousers, while other novelties include bright red ensembles and Moroccan tunics.

In the same vein, Salvatore Ferragamo drew a portrait of relaxed elegance relying on luxury standbys silk and suede.

Head scarves and knits softened the look as well as peasant blouses gathered at the neckline.

Marni’s Consuelo Castiglioni meanwhile stayed true to her sporty look, this time having her models don a two-tone leather motoring cap over mussed hair.

Leather smocks featured egg-sized cutaway ovals, while cycling shorts made the gamine, appearing under skirts and dresses teamed with oversized T-shirts, stripes competing with large-gauge prints.

When the colours weren’t outdoorsy greens and mauves they were psychedelic pinks and oranges with large floral patterns.

The six-day week wraps up Monday with shows by Dsquared2, Giorgio Armani and Roberto Cavalli, who is celebrating 40 years in the business as well as his 70th birthday this year.

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Versace showed a spring 2011 women’s collection Friday, Sept. 24, doing what the brand is supposed to do – presenting loud and proud fashion.

Cut to the figure in a smart new mix of modernist mass-market colors and finished with lots of mini references to the house’s iconic symbols, this was a sizzling collection that earned Donatella Versace her loudest applause in many seasons.

Staged in Versace’s own theatre in south Milan, the show opened with lots of crisp white suits and cocktails, all edged with transparent strips, giving a cool geometric attitude. Gradually the designer injected more and more color, especially a semi-erratic vertical stripe print in cartoon shades of canary yellow, peppery red and faded blue.

Also adding to the sense of occasion was a remarkable remix soundtrack, with added deep pulses, of Malcolm McLaren’s classic hip hop sampler of Bizet’s Carmen.

“I’m an operatic Italian woman, so I need emotion in my collections and my shows,” said Versace backstage post-show.

As the show progressed, Versace’s classic symbols of the architectural Greek key trim or medusa head wafted across the clothes, though in careful doses, always neatly edited. Above all, the cutting was impeccable, taut and strict, and with hyper precise use of shoulder straps and bands across the back.

The mood did slightly falter at the end with too many Chinese fringes that looked a bit cheap in such an otherwise assured show. But it was a minor quibble in a smooth statement of modernist design and dash in a very of-the-moment and devilish Versace display.

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