Author Archives: Garance

Spring Trends: Karate Belts

The Trend: Karate Belts

How I would wear it: I love this easy knotted belt, especially with a cool pair of trousers like at Loewe. I won’t be waiting for spring for this one…

The best looks: From left to right, Loewe, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Tome, Alexander Wang and Marni.

For more spring trends, click here!

Suits

There is a real difference between the jumpsuits I wear and have been showing you recently on the blog. Mine are a little used and oversize, sunday-at-the-farm vibe and the ones I’m showing you today, that are way more fitted.

Social Eyes

Last week we met Cècile Togni (maybe you remember her from our project with Whistles?! ) to check out Safilo’s new Parisian sunglasses showroom.

In celebration, Cècile invited a few of her friends to pick out their favorite singlasses, we caught Candela in some funky Fendi speckled cat-eyes, while Lou and Pauline went for more classic styles from Gucci.

Her showroom was a perfect place to run into some cool girls!

Click on the arrows to see more images.

Long Sleeved

It’s a bit refreshing to see some long sleeves when everyone is always rolling them up– of course, you still need use of your hands! I like how Pernille layered this shirt with a turtleneck and a pair of a shorts, it’s a really good way to deal with this fall weather!

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

City Greys

Taking inspiration from the city (Paris of course!)…

…and shopping for soft greys this weekend. See more on my Pinterest!


By admin

City Greys

Taking inspiration from the city (Paris of course!)…

…and shopping for soft greys this weekend. See more on my Pinterest!


By admin

Career / Marion Anais Forand

This is Marion, who is French, lives in New York and is the Designer of Accessories at Jason Wu. I’ve known her for a few years and I really admire her creativity and the way she goes about her career. I thought you might be interested to learn more about her dream job!

Where did you grow up?
In the South of France. My parents live in La Drome, it’s the countryside.
My father lives in a thousand year old church. It’s very special, my garden is very old century and the atmosphere is very hippie.

When you were growing up, what was your dream job?
To be a fashion designer.

Why? What made you so excited about fashion?
I was 4 years old, and when I didn’t know what to do, my mom would give me a piece of paper and a pen and would say “sketch something! Sketch what you have on your mind. If you don’t know what to do, just draw or write something.” She always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it. And we didn’t have clothes, so we would create them. We would design a print: my mom would design a skirt I wanted.

I think when you have a dream you may forget it for like 10 years, but it will always come back to you. I don’t know how, but it happens. I sometimes feel that I’m creating something that has a cartoon feeling. It’s all about proportion, how attractive it can be. I really love animation for that because you don’t fall in love with the story, you fall in love with how artistic it can be. So yeah, it was to work for Walt Disney as an illustrator or be a fashion designer and I always said that. I never changed my mind.

So did you go to school to study fashion?
I went to ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques) for two years and then the third year was in Paris and I had to have a specialization so I did haute couture and modelisme, so I can make clothes as well. I never thought about designing accessories – ever.

But the funny thing is that I come from La Drome near Romans which is a town known for having the best shoe factories. I used to go there when I was a kid, I was obsessed with the shoes and I forgot that.

She [my mom] always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it.

What did you do after ESMA?
So I went to ESMA and I was 21 years old. In France, you have to find a job when you’re 21 years old, but who wants to hire you? You have a general idea of who you are, but you’re not sure, your taste is not that perfect, it’s really hard to know yourself at 21. It was 10 years ago and the internet was not everywhere yet. I was always buying magazines. Now I feel like people can relate to fashion more easily when before it wasn’t that easy. It was more luxurious items, it was more a dream. It was different.

I felt that I had to continue my studies so I went to school and did a Master’s in Marketing and business development. Then I had a few jobs – I was obsessed with Yves Saint Laurent and especially Stefano Pilati, he did a wonderful job, the dresses, the cut was amazing. They were looking for an intern, but I became an assistant in accessories. I thought it was really weird to sketch shoes every day, it felt very weird and then one day I fell in love with it.

What do you think made you fall in love with it? What was the switch?
The day I understood that it was really architectural and that it was not all about the technique. There are always limits – shoes you cannot do everything you want, but you can always find a way to get something that is unexpected. I did the shoes for Calvin Klein Collection last year and they were rubber balls and the entire sole was flexible. They were high heels, like 110cm, but they were flexible. There were different layers, and one was soft.

When you were in school, was part of your studies about shoes?
Never!

That’s crazy, because I feel like it is so technical!
I went to the library like 5 days before my interview at Yves Saint Laurent and I was like “okay how does it work?” And well obviously we didn’t talk about that stuff, but I felt like I could understand the job.
It takes a long time to really feel comfortable designing shoes and to be sure that you don’t look ridiculous when you go to the factory because they know what they are doing and they are really good. You can’t go there and not know what you’re talking about. When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

When you got your first job at Saint Laurent, did you know someone, or did you just apply?
There was a website about fashion where they post jobs, it’s not big positions, but they were looking for an intern, I had no idea but I thought I was the only one applying for the position, but there were so many people because it’s so competitive at Saint Laurent. I’m really glad I did it.

What did you learn at Saint Laurent?
The good part about Saint Laurent is that I worked with 2 very different people and Francesco Russo is amazing. He is super creative and is good at extremely precise sketches. He sends a sketch and there are no explanations needed because it’s all perfect. And he asked me to sketch exactly like him so that nobody would recognize the sketches are mine and it was the same for the rest of the team, they all sketch really well. I know now that my sketches are really good, because I learned from one of the best.

Then I went to work with Alain Tondowski and his approach is very architectural, and his constructions are always very well thought out and he takes a lot of time. It’s all about balance. He stays in the factory and looks at everything, every little detail.

So what was next? How did you come to New York?
I was in love with New York, so I sent my resume to Proenza Schouler because that show they did with the fish collection, I thought “Oh my god, this is really cool. It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s new.” I met Darren Spaziani, the accessories design director at the time, first and it was so amazing. He’s so creative and he told me “Okay, I’m looking for a designer to work with me on bags and shoes and jewelry and I’m looking for a partner who can help me build something,” because when they launched the PS1 it was really a hit bag.

Then I was working on bags, just like that– it happened to be with this amazing guy. It was a great time because the company was growing and felt like a family and it was working well. It was so different from Paris – the way you work here, there are no rules. Like one day they’ll be “Do you want to work on jewelry?” and it’s like “Okay!” It doesn’t happen this way in Paris. There’s a guy I know who designs for scarves for a luxury brand and he cannot change jobs because he’s a scarf designer – but he can design other things too! That’s the thing, I felt that here, if you have an idea, you can do it.

I did that for 3 and a half years and then I got a great offer at Calvin Klein Collection to design the shoes for Francisco Costa. I felt it was such a good change, and I was really excited about the job. I did the shoes for the 10 year anniversary show, which was last year.

Then Jason Wu called me and wanted me to do bags and shoes, and his company, it felt like family. So here I am.

So what’s your official job title now?
Now I am the Designer of Accessories. I talk to Jason and I talked to Marie Charensol, the Design Director of Ready to Wear, and it feels really good to be sure that the bags are going to be great with the shoes because it’s all linked.

How big is an average accessories design team?
Saint Laurent design team was 2 people for the men’s shoes and 2 for the women’s shoes. At Proenza we did everything, Darren and me, and I had an assistant. At Calvin Collection it was me and my assistant.

What is the working relationship like when you’re doing the accessories with the people who are doing the clothes?
It’s very different from one company to another. Saint Laurent it’s like Calvin, at big companies it’s on another floor. You have meetings with Stefano or Francisco and then they provide you with a general idea for the theme of the show, but it’s a little more separated, so you work on your side and usually the company has a very strong identity – so you know when you’re good at designing a Calvin Klein collection and you know the looks, so you don’t have to define the woman – you know who it is. It’s more about saying something and working with the code and usually you design blindly because somebody is going to look at everything, but you don’t know how the collection is going to look.

When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

So in a smaller company, is it a lot different?
So different! Jack and Lazaro would see the sketches and they have an idea of what they want, but Jack would be like “Oh, I feel that, I like that” and then you would all talk together. It’s an open conversation.

Usually in very big companies you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not that easy. It’s pretty challenging because you have a general idea of what you want to do, and they’ll tell you, but it’s always too late, so it’s a bit complicated.

What typically comes first, the clothing and then the accessories, or do you feel that it happens at the same time?
No. Shoes you have a deadline because it takes time to make the mold and you have to make the form of the shoe, and the heel is last and it doesn’t take as much time, but they have to make the actual pieces in plastic. there’s a process for the heels and it takes different timing. So you can’t change your design a lot.

Is it the same with the bags?
With bags the limitation is the leather. But you can change a bag like 2 weeks before the show. But with shoes, if you want to change a heel from 110cm to 75cm, 3 weeks before the show, it’s going to be very difficult. You can make it happen, but it’s hard.

Accessories can make up a big part of the company’s business, because it’s a lot easier to sell a bag or a pair of shoes than it is to sell a dress or a skirt, so do you take into account sales and what you think is going to sell well?
Yes. What I do, I have in mind one bag for the pre-collections, it’s more of a casual bag, and then show bags are for the shows. But this season, I did the Diane Bag and the Charlotte bag. It’s an easy bag and very easy to wear, so I would say I do one bag for the show and one classic bag.

Is it the same for the shoes too?
Shoes are different. It depends on the company. The best is a company like Saint Laurent where you have different lines. It’s extremely organized and you find a way to sell the shoes very well. Then small companies you if you go for fashion shoes, it can be a risk, but if you want to sell shoes it’s such a specific business, you have to compromise the style. It’s really hard to sell super fashion shoes.

Do you feel like you’re able to express your creativity in your job and not be limited by what needs to sell or what needs to go in the collection?
I think so. It really depends. 5 years ago I was disappointed because I felt like I couldn’t go more crazy, but these last few years, people have gone more minimalist and everyone wants that, so I feel like especially for shoes right now, we don’t want to go crazy and it actually sells, so that’s a good thing.

Aside from the sketching and design portion, what else does your job entail? Can you talk more about the production part of it and what it is to actually be an accessories designer?
If you think about a bag in a collection, and it’s a timeless bag, you design that, and then you have to think about the practicality. If it’s a big bag, it is just going to be for tall girls, because a big bag is never going to be for petite girls.
You have to think about it for production, those details. How heavy the bag can be, the price, the hardware, how the suede can last, the colors, how the leather is going to wear, you have to test the leather, try all the bags and wear them. You have to consider if the bag is going to collapse or if it’s going to stay. If you want it so rigid that it looks vintage, it’s a long process because you’re still working on it after it’s done. You have to look at the bag for 6 months to see how it reacts in real life. This bag, I like it, but I feel like the hardware is annoying when I walk – it catches my jacket, things like that.
For shoes, if you have a good factory, usually the shoes will last; you just have to be careful that they are comfortable. Then the design is just the design.

How do you test all of the products?
For testing a bag there’s only one way: using it! I carry the bag and I don’t try to treat it nicely! After few weeks, I know if we need to change the leather, or if there is technical issues that we didn’t notice before.

For the shoes, usually I test with a shoe model. We can see after 10 minutes if something is wrong with the shoe.

Do you travel often to the factories, how do you work with production in that sense?
I used to travel every month, going to Italy every month, but it depends. There are some seasons you have to travel more than others, for example if the construction of the bag is very complicated you have to go see them at the factory and talk to them and try different things.

So what do you do with them when you’re there at the factories?
For shoes the first trip is to make the new lasts: I go to the factory that makes the lasts with very detailed sketches. Shoe design is really about being very picky and a millimeter can make a big difference visually and for the fit!

Then I work with the technicians to make them. It’s like a sculpture: you sculpt the last with the shape you want.
I do the same process for the heel; accurate sketches and then “sculpting” the heel with the technicians.

Then for the 2 next trips I look all the prototypes on a foot model and I change the lines to make it look exactly like what I have in mind. And if there are any technical issues–a stitching placement hurts the foot, or a strap position doesn’t hold the foot enough–I improve it with my technicians.
I also look at all the materials that I ordered to double check that the color is right, that the thickness is good for the styles I am going to use it for.

For the bags and belts, I go to Italy to pass the modifications on the prototypes. I concentrate a lot on the lines–it has to be visually attractive–and on the practicability–Is it too big? Is the length of the strap right? Is the bag too heavy? Do we need another pocket? –and on the structure and reinforcement of the leather. And I double-check all the materials again.

Why do you work with Italian factories?
Italy has amazing factories and passionate artisans and technicians.
It’s been centuries of knowledge that generations transmit from one to the next.
In this world of consumerism, it is very important to preserve that kind of treasure. When you buy a luxurious item: a bag, shoes, belts, gloves, that are made in Italy, they are made with great attention by people who do their best to create something unique.

How much do your sketches and the final differ from one another?
They don’t differ.

Is that why the technicality of the sketches is so important?
The technical sketches always get you to where you need to go. It’s the same for Ready To Wear – you have to think about how it has to be crafted.

How do you make a shoe comfortable?
There are some placements where we know that we cannot have a cut or stitching because that hurts. Some leathers are not easy to use either because they are too stiff.

There are some measurements to know, when you make a pointy toe, so it won’t be too narrow but still visually interesting.

Then, the technicians can tell you if they are concerned about a detail.
I personally think that the height doesn’t matter if the instep is well made, which depends on the factory, but 115 mm height (talking about the last, not the heel) is the maximum for me.

How far in advance do you work on the pieces for a collection?
Four months.

Where do you find inspiration?
It depends. Usually people get inspired by artists, you see a painting and then it makes you feel this way – this is more for the original vibe, for the show.
For a bag, I feel like it’s a mix of something I would love to have and that’s missing. It could be also finding a handle I love, and then figuring out, like a puzzle. Sometimes it’s something like the function – like this kind of bag, this kind of girl. Sometimes it’s a little less dreamy, you kind of have to get real with bags. With shoes you can design shoes more dreamy. With bags you know who is going to be the client and the muse.

How about for jewelry?
I did jewelry for Proenza one season when they used ropes, they told me that we should have some jewelry for the lookbook, not to sell it, just to have something interesting to add. And so just by hand I did something super crafty with beads and stones and I showed them and they thought it was really cool and they decided to use them.

How do you produce something like that in mass?
Well then it was a long process to get things looking crafty but also usable. This season the jewelry for Jason, it’s all brass so it’s not crafty. I did sketches and went to the factory and showed them exactly what I wanted it to be done. It was such a short time, to really get it done. The inspiration is all coming from the bag.

How closely do you follow trends and how do you know if there’s a trend that the industry is feeling?
For bags there are trends for sure, you know Mansur Gavriel, Floriana is a friend of mine and she told me about the bucket bag a long time ago and then she launched it and now everyone is doing a bucket bag. And then the Trapeze tote from Céline and now there are trapeze totes everywhere. I try to really not follow that and do the opposite, so if it’s a bucket bag, I am not going to design a bucket bag. Or if the trend is soft totes, I am really not going to try soft totes.

What’s an average day like for you?
Morning is always about emailing Italy because of timing. Then I always try to keep an hour to just chill and look at different products, and a few blogs and always on the Internet you find cool stuff, just what’s happening. I look at bags, I try to go to some museums and watch some movies, but I like to try to focus on one thing, like today is going to be a bag day, tomorrow is going to be a jewelry day and shoe day. I really don’t find it interesting to jump from one thing to another. I get confused.

Do you spend the rest of the day doing a lot of sketching?
Yeah.

What do you like the most about your work as a designer?
I think I like when I sketch something and you know when you’ve sketched something there’s something there. That moment when it clicks and you stop and you’re like “okay, I know this is a good one” and there’s like 20 bags but this one you know is the one you want. That’s my favorite moment.

What’s the most challenging?
When it doesn’t click, when it doesn’t happen. The worst is when you sketch something and you’re like “that reminds me of something” or you do something and the following day you see a bag in the street and it’s already been done. I’m not crazy about shows either.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from anyone?
I would tell you some things that my mom tells me. When you work in fashion you forget sometimes, because you can panic for the silliest things. Sometimes I will wake up at 4am worrying about the stitching. My mom will always say, “I’m going to tell you something and don’t get mad at me, but it’s only a shoe.” So I would say don’t get so serious about it. There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
A nice person that anticipates everything. It’s hard to find someone that’s going to be professional and anticipate the problems we’re going to have. It’s really about that, and a lot about timing and being creative and taking the time to be creative.

What would your advice be to an aspiring designer?
Work hard when you’re young because then you can really have fun. But you have to work very hard and don’t expect people to love you. Try to find different ways to make it happen. If you want to have a good bag, you can make it happen in 4 prototypes or 1. If you’re clear and can explain things very well, you’re a good manager. You have to work on the way you communicate ideas. You have to be aware that it’s about it’s about expressing your enthusiasm.

There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

What is an average salary for someone who works on a design team?
You can make a lot of money. But when you start, you get nothing for like 5 years. But when you do get it, you can have a very good life. You really have to prove yourself.

What’s your dream for your career?
I think I would be happy working with a team with nice people and have every day be exciting. Just continue what I have with Marie, it’s great. I don’t believe in crazy hours. You don’t get a better result working 10 hours a day. It’s nice to come in and just do it.

Do you ever dream about having your own brand or are you happy working with other brands?
It sounds great on paper, but when you have your own company, half of your brain is crazy with numbers. So not for right now.

Career / Marion Anais Forand

This is Marion, who is French, lives in New York and is the Designer of Accessories at Jason Wu. I’ve known her for a few years and I really admire her creativity and the way she goes about her career. I thought you might be interested to learn more about her dream job!

Where did you grow up?
In the South of France. My parents live in La Drome, it’s the countryside.
My father lives in a thousand year old church. It’s very special, my garden is very old century and the atmosphere is very hippie.

When you were growing up, what was your dream job?
To be a fashion designer.

Why? What made you so excited about fashion?
I was 4 years old, and when I didn’t know what to do, my mom would give me a piece of paper and a pen and would say “sketch something! Sketch what you have on your mind. If you don’t know what to do, just draw or write something.” She always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it. And we didn’t have clothes, so we would create them. We would design a print: my mom would design a skirt I wanted.

I think when you have a dream you may forget it for like 10 years, but it will always come back to you. I don’t know how, but it happens. I sometimes feel that I’m creating something that has a cartoon feeling. It’s all about proportion, how attractive it can be. I really love animation for that because you don’t fall in love with the story, you fall in love with how artistic it can be. So yeah, it was to work for Walt Disney as an illustrator or be a fashion designer and I always said that. I never changed my mind.

So did you go to school to study fashion?
I went to ESMA (Ecole Supérieure des Métiers Artistiques) for two years and then the third year was in Paris and I had to have a specialization so I did haute couture and modelisme, so I can make clothes as well. I never thought about designing accessories – ever.

But the funny thing is that I come from La Drome near Romans which is a town known for having the best shoe factories. I used to go there when I was a kid, I was obsessed with the shoes and I forgot that.

She [my mom] always told me that if I didn’t know what to do with my life, to just be creative, don’t wait for the world to provide you with something. Just create it.

What did you do after ESMA?
So I went to ESMA and I was 21 years old. In France, you have to find a job when you’re 21 years old, but who wants to hire you? You have a general idea of who you are, but you’re not sure, your taste is not that perfect, it’s really hard to know yourself at 21. It was 10 years ago and the internet was not everywhere yet. I was always buying magazines. Now I feel like people can relate to fashion more easily when before it wasn’t that easy. It was more luxurious items, it was more a dream. It was different.

I felt that I had to continue my studies so I went to school and did a Master’s in Marketing and business development. Then I had a few jobs – I was obsessed with Yves Saint Laurent and especially Stefano Pilati, he did a wonderful job, the dresses, the cut was amazing. They were looking for an intern, but I became an assistant in accessories. I thought it was really weird to sketch shoes every day, it felt very weird and then one day I fell in love with it.

What do you think made you fall in love with it? What was the switch?
The day I understood that it was really architectural and that it was not all about the technique. There are always limits – shoes you cannot do everything you want, but you can always find a way to get something that is unexpected. I did the shoes for Calvin Klein Collection last year and they were rubber balls and the entire sole was flexible. They were high heels, like 110cm, but they were flexible. There were different layers, and one was soft.

When you were in school, was part of your studies about shoes?
Never!

That’s crazy, because I feel like it is so technical!
I went to the library like 5 days before my interview at Yves Saint Laurent and I was like “okay how does it work?” And well obviously we didn’t talk about that stuff, but I felt like I could understand the job.
It takes a long time to really feel comfortable designing shoes and to be sure that you don’t look ridiculous when you go to the factory because they know what they are doing and they are really good. You can’t go there and not know what you’re talking about. When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

When you got your first job at Saint Laurent, did you know someone, or did you just apply?
There was a website about fashion where they post jobs, it’s not big positions, but they were looking for an intern, I had no idea but I thought I was the only one applying for the position, but there were so many people because it’s so competitive at Saint Laurent. I’m really glad I did it.

What did you learn at Saint Laurent?
The good part about Saint Laurent is that I worked with 2 very different people and Francesco Russo is amazing. He is super creative and is good at extremely precise sketches. He sends a sketch and there are no explanations needed because it’s all perfect. And he asked me to sketch exactly like him so that nobody would recognize the sketches are mine and it was the same for the rest of the team, they all sketch really well. I know now that my sketches are really good, because I learned from one of the best.

Then I went to work with Alain Tondowski and his approach is very architectural, and his constructions are always very well thought out and he takes a lot of time. It’s all about balance. He stays in the factory and looks at everything, every little detail.

So what was next? How did you come to New York?
I was in love with New York, so I sent my resume to Proenza Schouler because that show they did with the fish collection, I thought “Oh my god, this is really cool. It’s fun, it’s fresh, it’s new.” I met Darren Spaziani, the accessories design director at the time, first and it was so amazing. He’s so creative and he told me “Okay, I’m looking for a designer to work with me on bags and shoes and jewelry and I’m looking for a partner who can help me build something,” because when they launched the PS1 it was really a hit bag.

Then I was working on bags, just like that– it happened to be with this amazing guy. It was a great time because the company was growing and felt like a family and it was working well. It was so different from Paris – the way you work here, there are no rules. Like one day they’ll be “Do you want to work on jewelry?” and it’s like “Okay!” It doesn’t happen this way in Paris. There’s a guy I know who designs for scarves for a luxury brand and he cannot change jobs because he’s a scarf designer – but he can design other things too! That’s the thing, I felt that here, if you have an idea, you can do it.

I did that for 3 and a half years and then I got a great offer at Calvin Klein Collection to design the shoes for Francisco Costa. I felt it was such a good change, and I was really excited about the job. I did the shoes for the 10 year anniversary show, which was last year.

Then Jason Wu called me and wanted me to do bags and shoes, and his company, it felt like family. So here I am.

So what’s your official job title now?
Now I am the Designer of Accessories. I talk to Jason and I talked to Marie Charensol, the Design Director of Ready to Wear, and it feels really good to be sure that the bags are going to be great with the shoes because it’s all linked.

How big is an average accessories design team?
Saint Laurent design team was 2 people for the men’s shoes and 2 for the women’s shoes. At Proenza we did everything, Darren and me, and I had an assistant. At Calvin Collection it was me and my assistant.

What is the working relationship like when you’re doing the accessories with the people who are doing the clothes?
It’s very different from one company to another. Saint Laurent it’s like Calvin, at big companies it’s on another floor. You have meetings with Stefano or Francisco and then they provide you with a general idea for the theme of the show, but it’s a little more separated, so you work on your side and usually the company has a very strong identity – so you know when you’re good at designing a Calvin Klein collection and you know the looks, so you don’t have to define the woman – you know who it is. It’s more about saying something and working with the code and usually you design blindly because somebody is going to look at everything, but you don’t know how the collection is going to look.

When you go to Italy, you walk in with the real people and those are the real artists.

So in a smaller company, is it a lot different?
So different! Jack and Lazaro would see the sketches and they have an idea of what they want, but Jack would be like “Oh, I feel that, I like that” and then you would all talk together. It’s an open conversation.

Usually in very big companies you don’t know what’s happening. It’s not that easy. It’s pretty challenging because you have a general idea of what you want to do, and they’ll tell you, but it’s always too late, so it’s a bit complicated.

What typically comes first, the clothing and then the accessories, or do you feel that it happens at the same time?
No. Shoes you have a deadline because it takes time to make the mold and you have to make the form of the shoe, and the heel is last and it doesn’t take as much time, but they have to make the actual pieces in plastic. there’s a process for the heels and it takes different timing. So you can’t change your design a lot.

Is it the same with the bags?
With bags the limitation is the leather. But you can change a bag like 2 weeks before the show. But with shoes, if you want to change a heel from 110cm to 75cm, 3 weeks before the show, it’s going to be very difficult. You can make it happen, but it’s hard.

Accessories can make up a big part of the company’s business, because it’s a lot easier to sell a bag or a pair of shoes than it is to sell a dress or a skirt, so do you take into account sales and what you think is going to sell well?
Yes. What I do, I have in mind one bag for the pre-collections, it’s more of a casual bag, and then show bags are for the shows. But this season, I did the Diane Bag and the Charlotte bag. It’s an easy bag and very easy to wear, so I would say I do one bag for the show and one classic bag.

Is it the same for the shoes too?
Shoes are different. It depends on the company. The best is a company like Saint Laurent where you have different lines. It’s extremely organized and you find a way to sell the shoes very well. Then small companies you if you go for fashion shoes, it can be a risk, but if you want to sell shoes it’s such a specific business, you have to compromise the style. It’s really hard to sell super fashion shoes.

Do you feel like you’re able to express your creativity in your job and not be limited by what needs to sell or what needs to go in the collection?
I think so. It really depends. 5 years ago I was disappointed because I felt like I couldn’t go more crazy, but these last few years, people have gone more minimalist and everyone wants that, so I feel like especially for shoes right now, we don’t want to go crazy and it actually sells, so that’s a good thing.

Aside from the sketching and design portion, what else does your job entail? Can you talk more about the production part of it and what it is to actually be an accessories designer?
If you think about a bag in a collection, and it’s a timeless bag, you design that, and then you have to think about the practicality. If it’s a big bag, it is just going to be for tall girls, because a big bag is never going to be for petite girls.
You have to think about it for production, those details. How heavy the bag can be, the price, the hardware, how the suede can last, the colors, how the leather is going to wear, you have to test the leather, try all the bags and wear them. You have to consider if the bag is going to collapse or if it’s going to stay. If you want it so rigid that it looks vintage, it’s a long process because you’re still working on it after it’s done. You have to look at the bag for 6 months to see how it reacts in real life. This bag, I like it, but I feel like the hardware is annoying when I walk – it catches my jacket, things like that.
For shoes, if you have a good factory, usually the shoes will last; you just have to be careful that they are comfortable. Then the design is just the design.

How do you test all of the products?
For testing a bag there’s only one way: using it! I carry the bag and I don’t try to treat it nicely! After few weeks, I know if we need to change the leather, or if there is technical issues that we didn’t notice before.

For the shoes, usually I test with a shoe model. We can see after 10 minutes if something is wrong with the shoe.

Do you travel often to the factories, how do you work with production in that sense?
I used to travel every month, going to Italy every month, but it depends. There are some seasons you have to travel more than others, for example if the construction of the bag is very complicated you have to go see them at the factory and talk to them and try different things.

So what do you do with them when you’re there at the factories?
For shoes the first trip is to make the new lasts: I go to the factory that makes the lasts with very detailed sketches. Shoe design is really about being very picky and a millimeter can make a big difference visually and for the fit!

Then I work with the technicians to make them. It’s like a sculpture: you sculpt the last with the shape you want.
I do the same process for the heel; accurate sketches and then “sculpting” the heel with the technicians.

Then for the 2 next trips I look all the prototypes on a foot model and I change the lines to make it look exactly like what I have in mind. And if there are any technical issues–a stitching placement hurts the foot, or a strap position doesn’t hold the foot enough–I improve it with my technicians.
I also look at all the materials that I ordered to double check that the color is right, that the thickness is good for the styles I am going to use it for.

For the bags and belts, I go to Italy to pass the modifications on the prototypes. I concentrate a lot on the lines–it has to be visually attractive–and on the practicability–Is it too big? Is the length of the strap right? Is the bag too heavy? Do we need another pocket? –and on the structure and reinforcement of the leather. And I double-check all the materials again.

Why do you work with Italian factories?
Italy has amazing factories and passionate artisans and technicians.
It’s been centuries of knowledge that generations transmit from one to the next.
In this world of consumerism, it is very important to preserve that kind of treasure. When you buy a luxurious item: a bag, shoes, belts, gloves, that are made in Italy, they are made with great attention by people who do their best to create something unique.

How much do your sketches and the final differ from one another?
They don’t differ.

Is that why the technicality of the sketches is so important?
The technical sketches always get you to where you need to go. It’s the same for Ready To Wear – you have to think about how it has to be crafted.

How do you make a shoe comfortable?
There are some placements where we know that we cannot have a cut or stitching because that hurts. Some leathers are not easy to use either because they are too stiff.

There are some measurements to know, when you make a pointy toe, so it won’t be too narrow but still visually interesting.

Then, the technicians can tell you if they are concerned about a detail.
I personally think that the height doesn’t matter if the instep is well made, which depends on the factory, but 115 mm height (talking about the last, not the heel) is the maximum for me.

How far in advance do you work on the pieces for a collection?
Four months.

Where do you find inspiration?
It depends. Usually people get inspired by artists, you see a painting and then it makes you feel this way – this is more for the original vibe, for the show.
For a bag, I feel like it’s a mix of something I would love to have and that’s missing. It could be also finding a handle I love, and then figuring out, like a puzzle. Sometimes it’s something like the function – like this kind of bag, this kind of girl. Sometimes it’s a little less dreamy, you kind of have to get real with bags. With shoes you can design shoes more dreamy. With bags you know who is going to be the client and the muse.

How about for jewelry?
I did jewelry for Proenza one season when they used ropes, they told me that we should have some jewelry for the lookbook, not to sell it, just to have something interesting to add. And so just by hand I did something super crafty with beads and stones and I showed them and they thought it was really cool and they decided to use them.

How do you produce something like that in mass?
Well then it was a long process to get things looking crafty but also usable. This season the jewelry for Jason, it’s all brass so it’s not crafty. I did sketches and went to the factory and showed them exactly what I wanted it to be done. It was such a short time, to really get it done. The inspiration is all coming from the bag.

How closely do you follow trends and how do you know if there’s a trend that the industry is feeling?
For bags there are trends for sure, you know Mansur Gavriel, Floriana is a friend of mine and she told me about the bucket bag a long time ago and then she launched it and now everyone is doing a bucket bag. And then the Trapeze tote from Céline and now there are trapeze totes everywhere. I try to really not follow that and do the opposite, so if it’s a bucket bag, I am not going to design a bucket bag. Or if the trend is soft totes, I am really not going to try soft totes.

What’s an average day like for you?
Morning is always about emailing Italy because of timing. Then I always try to keep an hour to just chill and look at different products, and a few blogs and always on the Internet you find cool stuff, just what’s happening. I look at bags, I try to go to some museums and watch some movies, but I like to try to focus on one thing, like today is going to be a bag day, tomorrow is going to be a jewelry day and shoe day. I really don’t find it interesting to jump from one thing to another. I get confused.

Do you spend the rest of the day doing a lot of sketching?
Yeah.

What do you like the most about your work as a designer?
I think I like when I sketch something and you know when you’ve sketched something there’s something there. That moment when it clicks and you stop and you’re like “okay, I know this is a good one” and there’s like 20 bags but this one you know is the one you want. That’s my favorite moment.

What’s the most challenging?
When it doesn’t click, when it doesn’t happen. The worst is when you sketch something and you’re like “that reminds me of something” or you do something and the following day you see a bag in the street and it’s already been done. I’m not crazy about shows either.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten from anyone?
I would tell you some things that my mom tells me. When you work in fashion you forget sometimes, because you can panic for the silliest things. Sometimes I will wake up at 4am worrying about the stitching. My mom will always say, “I’m going to tell you something and don’t get mad at me, but it’s only a shoe.” So I would say don’t get so serious about it. There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

When you have an assistant working for you, what do you look for in someone that you would hire?
A nice person that anticipates everything. It’s hard to find someone that’s going to be professional and anticipate the problems we’re going to have. It’s really about that, and a lot about timing and being creative and taking the time to be creative.

What would your advice be to an aspiring designer?
Work hard when you’re young because then you can really have fun. But you have to work very hard and don’t expect people to love you. Try to find different ways to make it happen. If you want to have a good bag, you can make it happen in 4 prototypes or 1. If you’re clear and can explain things very well, you’re a good manager. You have to work on the way you communicate ideas. You have to be aware that it’s about it’s about expressing your enthusiasm.

There are going to be many shoes, many bags, and as long as you’re happy about what you just did, it’s good.

What is an average salary for someone who works on a design team?
You can make a lot of money. But when you start, you get nothing for like 5 years. But when you do get it, you can have a very good life. You really have to prove yourself.

What’s your dream for your career?
I think I would be happy working with a team with nice people and have every day be exciting. Just continue what I have with Marie, it’s great. I don’t believe in crazy hours. You don’t get a better result working 10 hours a day. It’s nice to come in and just do it.

Do you ever dream about having your own brand or are you happy working with other brands?
It sounds great on paper, but when you have your own company, half of your brain is crazy with numbers. So not for right now.

The Flower Market, Part 2

As promised!! A few more photos from the beautiful Marni pop-up!

The Flower Market, Part 1

At the end of Milan Fashion Week, Marni hosted a one day pop-up flower market at Rotonda della Besana in honor of their 20th anniversary…

Veronika

I’ve been a fan of Veronika’s style for a long time. You probably recognize her, she’s the fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in Berlin.

She has such a cool approach to mixing pieces and accessorizing– I feel like she might be able to teach me a few things ;)
I love how she is wearing this really feminine dress with a tough pair of Nike sneakers (you probably recognize them, they are Riccardo Tisci for Nike). I’ve been wearing a lot of sneakers this fashion week, they’ve become a real staple (but of course, I only packed one pair for Paris!).

I hope to show you more of Veronika’s style soon!

Photo par Sandra Semburg.

My Carry-On

Ahhhh my carry-on…

I already told you I was able to minimize my packing for this fashion week, but my carry-on is the same every season. It’s the most important bag I pack every trip, because inside I have my camera, my computer, and all of the essentials for getting me through a long flight…. So, here are a few of them!

Eye mask: So I can get a little bit of rest– this one is extra comfy on the eyes!

Headphones: They are noise cancelling, so when I am sleeping (or watching a movie) it’s perfect.

Cashmere scarf & socks: I always get SO cold on planes (which I hate) so I always pack a big cozy wrap. And a pair of socks to go with it!

Beauty products: I try to keep this pretty minimal. In here I keep some lipbalm, face lotion, hand cream, an eye serum, hand sanitizer and a red lipstick for when I get to my destination.

A snack: Sometimes that airplane food is well…not the best… so I try to have a healthy snack with me (okay and I also bring some chocolate…)

What are some of your carry-on essentials?

Suitcase, Rimowa; Eye mask, Muji; Scarf and socks, White + Warren; Pouch, Comme de Garçons; Passport cover, Smythson; Headphones, Monster; Avène Eau Thermale; Face Lotion, Kahina Giving Beauty; All About Eyes Serum, Clinique.


By admin

My Carry-On

Ahhhh my carry-on…

I already told you I was able to minimize my packing for this fashion week, but my carry-on is the same every season. It’s the most important bag I pack every trip, because inside I have my camera, my computer, and all of the essentials for getting me through a long flight…. So, here are a few of them!

Eye mask: So I can get a little bit of rest– this one is extra comfy on the eyes!

Headphones: They are noise cancelling, so when I am sleeping (or watching a movie) it’s perfect.

Cashmere scarf & socks: I always get SO cold on planes (which I hate) so I always pack a big cozy wrap. And a pair of socks to go with it!

Beauty products: I try to keep this pretty minimal. In here I keep some lipbalm, face lotion, hand cream, an eye serum, hand sanitizer and a red lipstick for when I get to my destination.

A snack: Sometimes that airplane food is well…not the best… so I try to have a healthy snack with me (okay and I also bring some chocolate…)

What are some of your carry-on essentials?

Suitcase, Rimowa; Eye mask, Muji; Scarf and socks, White + Warren; Pouch, Comme de Garçons; Passport cover, Smythson; Headphones, Monster; Avène Eau Thermale; Face Lotion, Kahina Giving Beauty; All About Eyes Serum, Clinique.


By admin

The Edit

So, I don’t have a dressing room in my new apartment*. It’s a challenge every day, since I love being able to spread out (“Hey, it’s been awhile since I’ve baked any cakes, why not store my sweaters in the oven!”) and I love to accumulate lots of things (“Yes, I’m sure this perforated raincoat will work perfectly on some rainy day without rain! I’m keeping it!”)
So now I’ve got to make it work with two small closets and a dresser.

I’ve had to totally retrain myself and it’s been happening in three phases…

Good riddance!

Dumbfounded when I saw everything that had piled up in my old apartment (I had just dedicated a tiny room to all my shoes and bags) (two more years and I would have ended up turning the elevator into my “belt cabinet”) (the neighbors would have understood what it’s like to be a poor little fashion girl, right?) I had to come to terms with the facts – I could either rent a storage space or I’d have to get rid of 70% of my clothes.

Since I was in the mood to lighten up, I decided to get rid of everything.

So I started by setting aside everything I wanted to keep.

Then I made a pile of everything I wanted to sell.
Then I made a pile of everything I wanted to give to friends.
Then a pile of everything I wanted to donate to the Red Cross.

Then I took the pile of everything I wanted to keep and started the process all over again.
Three or four times.
Until what was left over would actually fit into my new apartment.
Honestly, it was a big deal and pretty emotional. You get attached to your clothes, it’s crazy!!!

I loved having my friends over for long sessions of trying on clothes. My mom and her friend came to visit just at the right time, and both of them ended up leaving with three extra suitcases.
I even gave them the suitcases, in fact.

I had accumulated about a dozen of them.

Organizing

Once I had totally skimmed off all the excess (it took about two weeks, you know – it’s a huge job) my wardrobe had taken on a new color. Literally. I had pretty much only kept neutral colors (gray, white, beige, black) (which have always been my favorite), a few colors (red, pink, green, blue), a few prints, and finally, very few super fashion pieces.

I realized that everything I’d bought in fashion monster time, I had only worn maybe two times. Considering the price I paid for them and all the traveling I could have done instead, I think I’m cured now, thank you very much.

I also saw I’d made some amazing investments too. My Saint Laurent bag that I’ve worn every day since I bought it. My beige Stella coat, my Valentino ballerinas, my Céline blouse. And a bunch of things I love from Zara that have stood the test of time.

I had to make a winter pile and a summer pile (I never used to do that before, I used to say “But there are no seasons anymore!!! I wear my tee-shirts in the winter anyway!”) and that also helped me to figure out what I actually needed right away, and what I could store in boxes under my bed for later and take out as soon as it got chilly.

So now I sleep ON my clothes. And I sleep well ;)

Putting it all together

I have to say, I’m totally into decorating my new place right now.

It’s kind of taking the place of clothes – searching for a couch is definitely my new life goal – especially since I had to adjust really quickly this summer and think about what I actually wear compared to what I buy. And now I have zero desire to go back to how I was before – completely buried in clothes.

So now that I have to think about every square inch of storage space, every time I’m about to buy something, I ask myself what I’ll have to get rid of to make room for it.
And that’s really, really changed the way I dress and the way I buy things.
I buy less, and I get rid of things I don’t wear without even blinking.

And this weekend, I realized how much I’d changed without even realizing it. When I was packing for fashion week (I’ve only got two suitcases now – I gave away five of them), I organized my trip outfit by outfit.
I hadn’t really ever done that before – I always preferred to stuff as many things as possible in my suitcase, telling myself I’d figure it out when I got there and that “I dress according to my mood, so how could I possibly plan outfits in advance!” but that’s exactly what I did this time**.

I took photos of each outfit and only brought what I really needed.

The result? Two super light suitcases (I didn’t even have to sit on them to get them to close!!! No overweight baggage fee!!! No need to buy another suitcase to bring back all the stuff I bought!!!) (Yeah – that’s why I had accumulated so many suitcases and $20 duffel bags) And that’s when I started to wonder…

Was I going to end up naked by the end of Fashion Week?

Ahahahah. We’ll see.

So what about you? How do you deal with limited space at home? Do you have any tips? Do you sleep with all your clothes under your bed too? Is it easy for you to get rid of things?

—————————

* Which is kind of a transition apartment, if you know what I mean, but really super nice anyway.
** How do the “personal style” bloggers do it? That’s the question I’ll never find the answer to.

Translated by Andrea Perdue

Edit No. 1 / Part 3… The Earring

I talked to you already about my love of the mix and match earring, and along with that comes a love of the statement earring. This one is from Céline and it’s definitely the strongest one from this season. I love it worn alone and with a super simple top so it really makes a statement. Just be prepared for that inevitable, “Hey miss, I think you lost an earring!”

Styled by Dianna Lunt / Model: Alana Bunte / Makeup by Tatyana Makarova / Hair by Eloise Cheung

For more from this series, click here!

Spring Trends: Stripes

The Trend: Stripes

How I would wear it: Stripes are so classic, it’s no surprise to see them for spring. I like wearing my stripes on blouses, but the runways have me thinking that I’ll go for a striped skirt!

The best looks: From left to right, Marni, Altuzarra, Victoria Beckham, Tibi and Suno.

For more spring trends, click here!

Shadows

I love wearing eye makeup!

I was lucky enough to take photos of Joan Smalls for Estée Lauder recently – it was a photo shoot for eyeshadow, which is my new obsession (as you may remember from here) now that I’ve left my red red lipstick behind.

It’s funny how eyeshadow has changed the whole way I see my face – it’s almost like it’s changed my personality!

Focusing on my eyes makes me feel much more mysterious and sexier than red lipstick, which made me feel strong and feminine. It’s totally different!!!

joan-smalls_estee-lauder_garance-dore_5

So when I saw how beautiful it looked on Joan, even in her daytime look, I wondered if I should let myself play with eyeshadow a bit more. Until now, I’d been sticking to a very sensible smoky taupe, and I think it might be time to step out of the shadows (hahah, excuse the pun) and really go for it. I think I should take a hint from Joan, who always makes eye shadow a part of her look (she talks about it more over at The Estée Edit and Sir John, her cool make up artist, also shares his super pro tips)…

joan-smalls_estee-lauder_garance-dore_2

My favorite look is the khaki (photo n°2, the eye shadow is called Fiery Saffron) but since I (apparently) have green flecks in my eyes, the color that’s supposed to work best for me is dark violet. A whole world of colors to explore…

What about you? Do you like to experiment with eye shadow?

joan-smalls_estee-lauder_garance-dore_3

joan-smalls_estee-lauder_garance-dore_4

Stories

New York meet & Other Stories.

& Other Stories meet New York. I was so happy when the brand came to me to work with them as they get ready to open their first store in New York (mark your calendar for October 17!) and it was fun to do this type of project for them! For the first part of the series, I ran all around the city taking photos of things that reminded me of their new pleat bag. You can also see all the photos when you visit the site!

I hope you like it!

other-stories-2_

other-stories-1_


By admin

Stories

New York meet & Other Stories.

& Other Stories meet New York. I was so happy when the brand came to me to work with them as they get ready to open their first store in New York (mark your calendar for October 17!) and it was fun to do this type of project for them! For the first part of the series, I ran all around the city taking photos of things that reminded me of their new pleat bag. You can also see all the photos when you visit the site!

I hope you like it!

other-stories-2_

other-stories-1_


By admin

Anna on Howard Street

Surprise! Here is an all white look that I love ;)

I love how Anna is wearing the dress over a blouse, the mix of shades and textures is so nice. I also love her white nail polish, a subtle detail but one that is really cool. It’s a good look for the weather in New York right now, it’s starting to cool down but the sun is still shining. Of course, I’m going to take this idea with me in Paris!

On Anna: Dress, Calvin Klein; Top, Nili Lotan; Shoes, Dieppa Restrepo; Bag, Mansur Gavriel.

A Day With Lisa

This fashion week, we thought it would be fun to follow a some of our favorite people around to see what fashion week looks like through their eyes (you already know what it’s like for us!)– so here is Lisa, she is a buyer for Opening Ceremony here in New York. Here is what her fashion week looks like…

Tell us how you start your days during fashion week? Coffee? Tea? A favorite spot?

I start my days with a few emails before heading to The Smile To Go [Editor's Note: This is right around the corner from our office too, and we go all the time...] for coffee. It’s across the street from the store, and most days I’ll walk through the store to check on the new season deliveries before heading out to appointments and shows.

How do you plan your day with all the shows and buying appointments?

We have to ensure we have a well thought out schedule and have appointments next to each other rather than heading in too many different directions. During market it can get crazy with our appointments, as well as attending the shows for our current brands and the new brands on our radar, but I work within a great team and we divide and conquer.

I don’t think people are as trend driven in New York, everyone seems to have such a strong sense of style and individuality.

How do you make a selection for your buy? What are you looking for? Are there certain colors for next spring or specific styles?

I have the customer in my head and think about why they would buy it, where they would wear it to, if it would be accessible to them, etc. I try to trust my instincts and be decisive, stick with my initial thought process. It’s a business as well as a creative process, instead cherry picking the ‘best’ styles, I’m analyzing what has worked in the past and understanding the customer. There are so many different ways a collection can be edited, and sometimes it’s immediately obvious when I see the collection how I want the rail to look in store.

I don’t think people are as trend driven in New York, everyone seems to have such a strong sense of style and individuality. At least that is what I see amongst our customers and co-workers. When I think about trends, it’ll be about new shapes rather than big overriding themes.

Do you have a favorite part about being a buyer?

I love working with creative, passionate people. Working with young emerging designers is very inspiring, they are so passionate about what they do and often have a very strong individual viewpoint. It makes my job very fulfilling to give some direction to the young brands that are super creative but might need some advice in building their business and commerciality.

How do you find new designers? Is going to their shows or presentations important?

There’s a real mix of us going to every showroom, new presentations and then also getting emails from new brands. We get a ton of look books sent every season and open every one that’s sent, not wanting to miss out on anything. Sometimes there’s an instant feeling of knowing you’ve opened something special and unique and there’s excitement before even seeing the collection in person.

Working with young emerging designers is very inspiring, they are so passionate about what they do and often have a very strong individual viewpoint.

Is every day as crazy as the last or do you get a break? Where do you go to relax?

I do get a break in New York, it isn’t until Paris market when it gets really intense with no time to switch off. My new favorite place to relax in New York is Great Jones Spa – I’d spend every free moment I had in there if I could. This fashion week I was limited to a Sunday morning massage, rejuvenated for the week ahead and the month ahead of traveling!

What’s a the funniest/best/weirdest/coolest thing that’s happened so far this fashion week?

The OC play was the funniest/best/weirdest/coolest thing. It’s amazing to work for a company that is constantly reinventing and questioning the status quo.

A Day With Lisa

This fashion week, we thought it would be fun to follow a some of our favorite people around to see what fashion week looks like through their eyes (you already know what it’s like for us!)– so here is Lisa, she is a buyer for Opening Ceremony here in New York. Here is what her fashion week looks like…

Tell us how you start your days during fashion week? Coffee? Tea? A favorite spot?

I start my days with a few emails before heading to The Smile To Go [Editor's Note: This is right around the corner from our office too, and we go all the time...] for coffee. It’s across the street from the store, and most days I’ll walk through the store to check on the new season deliveries before heading out to appointments and shows.

How do you plan your day with all the shows and buying appointments?

We have to ensure we have a well thought out schedule and have appointments next to each other rather than heading in too many different directions. During market it can get crazy with our appointments, as well as attending the shows for our current brands and the new brands on our radar, but I work within a great team and we divide and conquer.

I don’t think people are as trend driven in New York, everyone seems to have such a strong sense of style and individuality.

How do you make a selection for your buy? What are you looking for? Are there certain colors for next spring or specific styles?

I have the customer in my head and think about why they would buy it, where they would wear it to, if it would be accessible to them, etc. I try to trust my instincts and be decisive, stick with my initial thought process. It’s a business as well as a creative process, instead cherry picking the ‘best’ styles, I’m analyzing what has worked in the past and understanding the customer. There are so many different ways a collection can be edited, and sometimes it’s immediately obvious when I see the collection how I want the rail to look in store.

I don’t think people are as trend driven in New York, everyone seems to have such a strong sense of style and individuality. At least that is what I see amongst our customers and co-workers. When I think about trends, it’ll be about new shapes rather than big overriding themes.

Do you have a favorite part about being a buyer?

I love working with creative, passionate people. Working with young emerging designers is very inspiring, they are so passionate about what they do and often have a very strong individual viewpoint. It makes my job very fulfilling to give some direction to the young brands that are super creative but might need some advice in building their business and commerciality.

How do you find new designers? Is going to their shows or presentations important?

There’s a real mix of us going to every showroom, new presentations and then also getting emails from new brands. We get a ton of look books sent every season and open every one that’s sent, not wanting to miss out on anything. Sometimes there’s an instant feeling of knowing you’ve opened something special and unique and there’s excitement before even seeing the collection in person.

Working with young emerging designers is very inspiring, they are so passionate about what they do and often have a very strong individual viewpoint.

Is every day as crazy as the last or do you get a break? Where do you go to relax?

I do get a break in New York, it isn’t until Paris market when it gets really intense with no time to switch off. My new favorite place to relax in New York is Great Jones Spa – I’d spend every free moment I had in there if I could. This fashion week I was limited to a Sunday morning massage, rejuvenated for the week ahead and the month ahead of traveling!

What’s a the funniest/best/weirdest/coolest thing that’s happened so far this fashion week?

The OC play was the funniest/best/weirdest/coolest thing. It’s amazing to work for a company that is constantly reinventing and questioning the status quo.

In Phillip Lim

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

Off to Paris!

And we’re off to Paris!

A few things I’m thinking of packing and more on Pinterest!


By admin

Off to Paris!

And we’re off to Paris!

A few things I’m thinking of packing and more on Pinterest!


By admin

Aurélie’s New Store

Aurélie has opened up shop in Soho!!!

As you know, I love her work and I totally fell in love with her gem of a boutique in Paris – we even made a video about it. So when she told me she would open in New York, I immediately asked her if it would be possible to document each step as she got set up.

There are so many details to consider when you open a store – I got an idea of what it was like when we set up our pop up shop. The location, the space, the colors, the sounds (at Aurélie’s, it’s a mix of Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley, and 80s French pop), the traffic, the scents (here, it’s Frédéric Malle Rosa Rugosa).

Aurélie was telling me that what she likes most is going out to look for things to decorate her space. That pineapple on the shelf? She found it in a vintage boutique. We also went along with her to one of her favorite stores – The Future Perfect.

She collaborated with David Mann, MR Architecture + Decor, and Atelier Franck Durand, who she’s been working with for a long time, to create a 60s and 70s ambiance, with a hint of California in New York.

One of my favorite things is the magnificent fresco in the entry by Remed (you remember, he made the cover of Holiday Magazine).

…And the jewelry, of course ;)

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Aurélie Bidermann, 265 Lafayette Street, New York / Translated by Andrea Perdue

PS: Here is the video!

Spring Trends: Suede

The Trend: Suede

How I would wear it: Designers have ruled it more than appropriate to sport suede in warmer temps. For me? I’m going for a suede jacket or skirt come spring.

The best looks: From left to right, Tibi, MM6, Gucci, Burberry and Derek Lam.

At the Farm

My friend Laura, who is an amazing stylist (we worked together with Joan Smalls for Estée Lauder, and she’s also Senior Editor at Large for Glamour) had been making me dream about her farm upstate for a little while.

“Come up and see us!!!” she kept saying.

So that’s what I did on Sunday and it was amazing.
Not only do Laura, her husband Fabio, and her son Matteo, have a real farm with chickens, vegetable fields, apple trees, honey bees, tractors, and well, pretty much everything – they are also making a little paradise out of it that people can go visit – even if you don’t know them.

What’s incredible is that the farm is kind of a project they fell into while they were looking for a house Upstate. They got really into it and started cleaning it up and planting, and today it’s become their passion project when they aren’t in New York working in fashion (Fabio is a photographer).

But it actually fits perfectly with Laura’s vision – to her, style goes beyond fashion – it’s how one lives their life and energy and the environment we create around us. I totally agree with her…

And because this is such a great project, people gather around it. Their friends Paola and Chicco make pizzas with vegetables from the farm on weekends. This weekend was so cool; Fabio’s mother baked, Laura’s mother was also visiting, everyone was speaking Italian – it was kind of paradise. You can have lunch there, eat an ice cream, pick raspberries and blackberries, meet lots of people, kids are running around everywhere, and you can take lots of organic goodies home with you.

If you’re in the area this season, go for it! It’s two hours away from New York, the drive is gorgeous, it’s the perfect season, everyone is so welcoming and the pizzas are to die for.

It’s exactly what I needed before taking off for Paris Fashion Week.

Translated by Andrea Perdue

Westwind Orchard, 215 Lower Whitfield Road, Accord, New York 12404 / 845.626.0659

The farm is open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-6pm. Pizza is served from 12pm-6pm.

Edit No. 1 / Part 2… The Suit

The suit!

As you know I love it, it even used to be my go-to for events. For fall it’s nice to dress it down a bit, make it a little more relaxed. Dianna and I thought a long shirt dress as a top would be the perfect piece. I like that even if you un-do a few buttons, it still looks dressed up and sexy.

How would you wear it?

On Alana: Shirt dress, Adam Lippes; Jacket and pants, Alexander Wang.

Styled by Dianna Lunt / Makeup by Tatyana Makarova / Hair by Eloise Cheung

For Part 1 of the fashion story, click here!

Tenue de Soiree

I never know what to wear out at night.

It always annoys me and I end up wasting way too much time. I lose confidence in myself and in my taste, I spend forever in front of the mirror, I take dumb selfies and send them to my friends, and since they can’t see anything anyway because I’m terrible at selfies, it’s even worse, so they stress me out by saying things like:

“Need another photo, I can’t even tell what you’re wearing”
“What’s that thing in front of your dress?” (my phone, obviously)
“What color is that? Cat pee yellow?” (bad lighting)
“How can someone who’s a photographer be so bad at selfies?” (shut up right now)

Yep, because obviously I always wait until the last minute.
So I stress everyone out.
Because I hate evening wear.

Usually when I want to dress up to go out at night, I always start out thinking I’ll wear a dress.
Yes. I have this idea in my head, like most girls, that “night” means “dress”.
Don’t try to figure it out, that’s just the way it is.

So then I start the useless and frantic search for the “perfect last minute dress” which:

1/ Doesn’t exist
2/ Is very, very expensive
3/ Can’t be found at the last minute. To be perfect, a dress always has to be altered, otherwise you’re a model, in which case, what are you doing reading this post?

By then, not only am I irritated, I’m also exhausted AND frustrated.

For a while, I had resolved my problem with a few really cool tuxes, but one mustn’t go overboard with the joys of wearing a suit, especially when you have short hair.
If you do, you’ll quickly turn into Ellen De Generes, and even though I ADORE Ellen, I really don’t want to have her look.

You know, because at night, I want to be super feminine, a bit femme fatale.

But the problem is – no dresses look good on me.
No dresses look good on anyone, actually, if you really want to know how I feel about it.

That’s always what I’m thinking to myself when I watch the awards.
I like them well enough, I play the game, I choose my favorites, I feel like I’m taking a trip to planet tralala – it’s fun for about two seconds.

But most of the time in those ceremonies, it’s like “cool” has left the building and been replaced by slightly awkward women forced into an obsolete definition of sexiness (with their breasts imprisoned in push up bras, their waists strangled) that doesn’t look anything at all like the free woman in motion that I love and want to be.

Oh hey, by the way. Since we were talking about Céline on Friday, and how Phoebe Philo redefined the way we dress and the kind of women we have the right to be (cool, sensual, comfortable) – just looking at her collections makes you realize.

Not a single evening gown.

The closest thing is a romper. Hands in pockets, high heels – her rompers totally borrow from the “woman in a tux” attitude.
So it’s back to the same idea.

There are exceptions, of course. Valentino dresses that make you want to cry they’re so beautiful. Dior by Raf Simmons. Cate Blanchett in Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy. But girls who have Cate Blanchett’s allure are very rare.

So when it comes to evening wear, there aren’t many places left for me to look for ideas.
I look at what Jenna Lyons does, what Emmanuelle Alt does, and what Phoebe Philo does, on the rare occasion she goes out.

So that’s the thing. It was when I went to a black tie event that I realized what my real problem was. I don’t like evening gowns.

I ended up in pants and a bustier, but honestly, I really would have liked to have something new and beautiful to wear. A new attitude, a new femininity – something truly modern.

But I think it’s clear now: for the time being, that doesn’t exist. Or it’s very, very rare.

I really think it’s time to redefine evening wear for women, don’t you think?

Translated by Andrea Perdue

In Transition

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

At the Studio with Mrs. Sewell

Photos of me again!!! (Just let me know when you get tired of it.)

The beautiful Yasmin Sewell has just launched a collection with Barneys.

She had told me about it in ultra secret mode back when she was working on it and of course, I immediately tweeted her secret to the world – uh, just kidding, but it was pretty difficult for me not to, given how I excited I was for the collection to come out.

You know, I’ve always loved her style – she’s been working in retail for years, she’s got a great eye and a sense for quality – so I knew it would be an exciting collection.

Exciting, but maybe not for me, I thought. Because, as you can see in the photos, Yasmin and I do not have the same body type. I mean, we’re pretty much opposites. And I was convinced that most of the things that make up her style wouldn’t be things I could ever wear.

(Oh, but now she’s pregnant, so our differences have balanced out a bit, huhuhuhu)

I told her that I would never in my life wear a crop top (there are two in her collection) and she promised me that she was going to prove me wrong.

So she came by the Studio in between shows and had me try on her collection.

See, she even made me wear a crop top.

“This was all about proportion, I wanted the skirt to sit high enough on the waist so it really elongated the leg, and the top was designed to pretty much sit perfectly at the high waistband. Again, I was thinking proportion and a slim fit skirt and oversized wide top I think is a great balance. I don’t believe in total body con, it’s gotta be balanced out.” – Yasmin

Ok, let’s not exaggerate. We all have our own body type. We definitely burst out laughing when she tried to have me put on the mini crop top with a tee-shirt underneath – one of her signature outfits, which I promise on the head of Anna Dello Russo, will never become mine.

But the rest of the collection is just as perfect as I imagined. The coats with subtle stripes, the super well-cut pants – everything is really lovely, very Yasmin, but also perfect for everyone.

“Seeing this [coat] on Garance made me very proud, she wears it exactly as I imagined it when I designed it. A lot of the collection was about classic items but I pushed a little with fabric and colour. This coat will hang off a lot of women, of any age or shape, but in aqua alpaca stripe it goes somewhere else. I think its still super effortless to wear.” – Yasmin

I love it when my friends do great work like that. I hope you’ll like it just as much as I do.

And tomorrow, a video of me riding a horse naked on the beach!!! IN SLO MO!!!
No, just joking.

Kisses!

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Translated by Andrea Perdue

At J.Crew

I loved the J.Crew collection this season. As always, the styling was so great (Jenna Lyons for President!) and is already inspiring my wardrobe!

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Chic Moms

Last week during fashion week, kids were also going back to school in New York, and on my way home from the Ralph Lauren show, I ran into Sari and Meghan.

In the middle of all the excitement of the week, I really liked getting back to the idea of a chic, everyday look. Chic, comfortable, elegant, and real. It’s nice to see, right?


Have a great start to your week. ;)

Translated by Andrea Perdue

Renata

Photo by Sandra Semburg.

What I’m Wearing #2

Okay, so this is technically a guest edition of What I’m Wearing because this bag belongs to Yasmin

She came over to shoot a story with me at the Studio in between shows (I’ll show you the photos soon!) and she was carrying this cool new Chloé bag. I keep finding myself drawn to red bags lately… I also really love the hardware on this one, it’s simple but still striking.

Do you like it?

Upstate

We made it – NYFW is done and now I need some things to wear upstate!

Find even more ideas on my Pinterest.


By admin

Upstate

We made it – NYFW is done and now I need some things to wear upstate!

Find even more ideas on my Pinterest.


By admin

Detail: Michael Kors Sandals

As you know, this week in NYC felt like it was still summer, so seeing all the sandals and light clothes on the runway really made me dream. I loved these sandals from Michael Kors, the ultimate gladiator platform!

Céline in Soho

If I had the time (but I’m at Starbucks in between two shows) I’d tell you the story of how Céline has been totally revamped ever since Phoebe Philo arrived, how the brand started over completely from scratch, how they perfectly orchestrated the way they would change their image, and the incredible impact Phoebe’s arrival had on the fashion world.

Nothing was left to chance, not even the things that take a long time to manage, like the redistribution and redesign of all their stores.

But anyway, you know all of that already, plus, I’m at Starbucks.

When Philo arrived, she basically tore down the wall papers of the existing stores – the blank walls gave the stores an unfinished look that worked so well, we all wondered if it was just Céline’s stores new signature style.

Then there was a wave of reopenings – and this store (which is right by our Studio, help!!!) is the first one I’ve seen with the new renovations.

The unfinished look is gone – everything has been carefully thought out down to the smallest details, from the (unbelievable) marble flooring to the natural furnishings, all the way up to the ceiling, which is made of layers and layers of flame retardant spray.

I love it, so I decided to go take some photos there the other day, and I think I’m going to copy the big plant idea (it’s the only thing I can actually copy, haha) for my new apartment.

So there you go – now I’m doomed to walk by this magnificence every morning and it’s going to be sweet torture.

Thanks to who? Thanks to Phoebe.

Céline, 67 Wooster Street, New York NY

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Translated by Andrea Perdue

My Hair

The more time goes by, the more I love my short hair.

One year (ONE YEAR!!!)(it’s the anniversary of when I cut it, I should celebrate, right?) after getting it cut, people still tell me how much they like it on me (so proud) and I still think it’s the easiest thing in the world to maintain (so lazy) and plus, little by little, my hair stylist Clyde and I have adjusted the cut to make it softer and more feminine.

We’ve been adding longer layers, softening the color and most of all, trying to keep it as natural as possible.

So the other day, I was thinking it would be cool to show you the different kinds of hair styles you can do with my type of cut. You can even braid it!!

I did all of these myself without any help, so it’s not pro (but I don’t know anyone who has a hair stylist available in her bathroom in the morning anyway) and Brie is the one who did the braid. (It’s easy, all I have to do now is get used to doing it myself). Other than that, I just used a bit of Elnett hairspray.

Super simple!!!

And now you have a little idea of the highlights I did this summer. I really like them because it really adds depth and movement.

Voilà!!! You have a photo of my hair, as promised!

Which style do you like best?

PS : Ohhhhh crap it feels so weird to publish photos of me like that!!

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Translated by Andrea Perdue / Photos by Taea Thale / Makeup by Tatyana Makarova, Haircut by Clyde at The Drawing Room

At Victoria Beckham

On Sunday, while I was sitting at the Victoria Beckham show, the team went backstage to take a look at what was happening. After they explored the buffet (and didn’t bring me anything at all) they were able to take some photos.

I always like the simple and warm atmosphere of the Victoria Beckham show.

Okay I have to admit, one of my favorite moments is (actually not spying on David sitting next to Anna Wintour at the front row, even though he’s pretty awesome and charming and all) to check the way Victoria herself is dressed when she takes her bow at the end of the show.

I have a soft spot for her style because she does “woman” so well. I think this collection reflected that very well.

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Spring Trends: Yellow

The Trend: Yellow

How I would wear it: I love a bold pop of yellow in an outfit, so I was excited to see it on the spring runways! I think a yellow coat is at the top of my spring shopping list!

The best looks: From left to right, Creatures of the Wind, Karen Walker, Michael Kors, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Lacoste.

Edit No. 1 / Part 1… Alana

I’ve always wanted to do a fashion series for the blog.

Since I’ve been doing them for magazines for so long, I felt a little bad for not taking the time do them in the place that matters to me the most.

I’ve always loved fashion stories – they are the first thing I look at in magazines and it’s a format that I think is missing online.

We see a lot of “streetstyle” online, a lot of “personal style” (blogs where girls dress themselves), but we rarely see fashion stories – it’s like people think it’s something that can’t be done on the Internet…

So we decided to go for it this fall. We organized a photo shoot at the Studio, and we will be showing it to you little by little. I hope you like it!
We did it with my friend Dianna, who is a stylist, and whose style I’ve always loved. The idea is to show you everything that inspired us this season.

One of my big inspirations right now is Alana – a gorgeous model I spotted a few months ago in a Diane Von Furstenberg show. Her presence was magnetic – completely different from the other models, and plus, I had been thinking about cutting my hair at the time, so I was totally captivated by her.

After that, I pretty much stalked her on Instagram (ah!!! the modern world where you can just invite yourself into anybody’s life as you please) and then finally, when Dianna and I decided to shoot this fashion series, we didn’t hesitate for a second: we were definitely going to ask Alana to do it.

Here is the first photo of the series that I’ll be presenting to you over the next few weeks.

For this outfit, Dianna and I wanted to show you one way to wear the big floral prints this season. A big wool sweater and socks help to calm it down a bit, and flats, because that’s how we spend most of our days!!!

Voilà!!! Let me know what you think! Big kisses!!!

—————

PS: We are going to work on developing a system so you’ll be able to see options at all different price ranges for the items you see here. Voilà!!! Kisses!

Sweater, Kim Haller; Dress, Dries Van Noten; Shoes, Peter Nappi; Socks, Falke; Earring, Céline.

Translated by Andrea Perdue

Lilli at The New Museum

Installation by GCC at New Museum, New York.

This is our new design!

WELCOME TO THE NEW BLOG!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!

!!!!

(Can you tell we are excited?!)

!!!

We’ve been working for months on this new designs with our wonderful friends at Colorz (the best people ever, amazing pros, amazing humans – we’ve been working together for years and they never ever disappoint me) and we’ve been holding our breath to present it to you like it’s our new baby!!!

I wanted to take some time to talk to you about the changes you are seeing here and of course, if you have any questions or any issues, please let us know!

The Layout

Bigger, bolder images. My love for full blown images is not new, I even remember the day I updated this blog to be able to have big horizontal images, how new it was and how I got a few funny reactions about it.

I love it, and I wanted to take it a step further to allow the navigation to stay as exciting from the top to the bottom of the blog. We totally removed the sidebar, but you can find all the elements of navigation along the blog.
Of course, we kept the chronological navigation as it is. To me it’s what a blog supposed to be, a flow of posts that’s easy to follow, like a diary.

Post Layouts

To me, the blog is about telling stories, be it of style, of beauty or lifestyle – and I was starting to feel the urge to be able to present our posts in a way that would be more flattering for our images and storytelling. I’ve always been a lover of magazines and beautiful layouts, and if there is one thing that I can find frustrating with inline publishing, it’s the fact that it’s so complicated to play with it.

We’ve come up with a few great ideas and changes, you’ll be able to see that very soon and I really really hope you like it.

Mobile

The new site is optimized for your phones, your iPad, your tablet, EVERYTHING! This is really cool because I know I look at the blog a lot from my phone and I’m always pinching all over my screen to see everything that is happening. No more pinching! It’s still just as easy to find everything and 100x easier to read!

The Menu

I wanted to make a menu that was simple, but still showed you all of our latest content. You’ll see that our categories have stayed the same, it’s just a bit easier to navigate!

Contributors

Finally, you can really meet the team! The new contributors page gives you a look at the people who make up the Studio and what they do. We are going to be featuring more of our contributors on this page, so keep checking back. Also, you can now click on the name at the end of a post to see more all the posts written by them.

The Minis

Our minis posts are fast and fun, and they are what we are really talking about at the Studio. Now you’ll see them as part of a new grouping, you can scroll across to see the latest and also click through to see everything.

Newsletter Sign Up

Signing up for the newsletter is easier now with a new banner at the top of the blog or by clicking the sign up link here. We really love doing the newsletter and being able to share with you everything going on at the studio!

Garance Doré Goods

It’s now easier to shop for my stationery, posters and favorite items in Garance Doré Goods. You can also find a full list of stores worldwide that carry the stationery collection.

Okay!!! That’s it for the moment, let me know what you think!!!

Audacious

We just launched a new creative!!!

I’m very happy to present you this video we created for NARS’ new Audacious lipstick collection at the Studio. I love it, I hope you do too!


By admin

The Row

What a great atmosphere this morning at The Row! I loved the play on neutrals and volumes. Here are three angles of one of my favorite looks!

Click on the arrows to see more images…

Crème de la Crème

I really like the style of this New York Fashion Week a lot.

A truly relaxed kind of chic is upon us, we’ve been seeing a lot of girls walking around with great ease (says the girl who only sees what she wants to see while 70% of the girls do happen to be wearing heels) and with flowing fabrics, which gives them a lovely relaxed look, and we’re also seeing a lot, I mean A LOT of light colors and cream.

Ok, obviously everyone copied me, starting with Carine, I could tell she had been checking out my style – but I forgive her. That’s just the price you pay when you’re the leader of the cream trend, right?
I don’t care, I’ve got her beat by a long shot. I’ve already bought a cream colored coat for this winter. Yep, nothing can stop me, I’m headed straight for a total cream look (help!)

Ok, enough nonsense. Here are a few photos of the crème de la crème. Click on the arrows to see more photos, and see you back here a little later for more news on trends that will make you turn pale they’re so radical.

Translated by Andrea Perdue.

Denim Vibes

Photo by Sandra Semburg.