LEBRAHC: Muted Elegance of Tasteful Women

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If you have a paper in front of you, you want to put down the name of this brand “LEBRAHC” in a reversed order, and see what do you get? —-“Charbel”. What is this? It is the name of the designer! It is fun, isn’t it? Kind of get a hint of creativity of the designer from how he picked his brand’s name.

Entirely made in Belgium, LEBRAHC plays on simplicity and exactness to reveal the muted elegance of a tasteful woman. Graduated from interior architecture at Beirut’s Fine Arts University, Charbel follows strict geometrical principles and cuts. Therefore, what we can see from its collections are seamless architecture cut and simplicity with focal design and color contrasts. Collars and sleeves are sawn in such a way they can easily be removed, hence allowing for attitudes and looks to evolve during the day and over the seasons.

Chosen with care, materials range from wool blends, raw silks and structured cotton; together, they create a timeless style enhanced here and there with a twist of technical materials that freshens a look.

The designer, Charbel, is a creative talent at heart who is always drawing, sketching, painting and photographing. After working 7 years in close collaboration with Haute Couture genius Elie Saab, Charbel launched Lebrahc early 2013 in Kortrijk: a 100% Belgian fashion line. During his Elie Saab years, Charbel rapidly grew into one of his trusted head designer: from researching themes for upcoming collections, to sketching prints, choosing materials, cuts and colours, not only did Charbel work in close touch with ateliers but he also shot backstage photo series.

Experience accumulates and pave Charbel’s road to a fashion designer after he acted as a studio photographer for film director Nadine Labaki and as Dita Van Teese’s personal photographer.

With 488 followers on Instagram, 449 likes on Facebook. We believe that LEBRAHC has a large potential market to explore in the U.S.

Laison By Aurelia Santoso: Time for Indonesian Flowers to Blossom

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LAISON was established in 2014 based on the belief that clothing should be effortless, elegant, empowering and versatile. Each of LAISON’s collections are a play on the intricate complexities of the modern woman; structured yet gentle, detailed yet effortless, subtle but distinct. The brand has built its own aesthetic through inspired use of elongated silhouettes, relaxed tailoring, quality fabrics and innovative designs. The ready to wear brand marry high standard techniques with elegance, and this is apparent in both LAISON’s designs and constructions. Donning an urban personality, the carefully crafted garments are created with philosophies and processes that run deeper than just following trends. Inspired by qualities beyond fashion; references on books, music, fine arts and the nonchalance of the sunny Californian coast can be found embedded within LAISON’s narratives.

 

When you think of LAISON, you immediately think of Aurelia and Sharonne. Without the other, it just doesn’t make sense, and stepping into the office, we can feel the dependency and mutual respect between these two important figures. We hear it all the time: friends starting a business together because they know each other so well. And it’s a tale as old as time that businesses started by friends have high risks of breaking up. Like peas in a pod, they gave us identical answers on balancing between friendship and business.

Aurelias and Sharonne are also stern in cutting losses. “When it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. You can’t be too attached with what you make”. There are designs which looks good on paper but don’t quite cut it after production and rather than being attached to these artwork, she knows when to call it quits. At this, Aurelia admits that she has thrown away dozens of designs because, “it just didn’t work”

Their social media does not have a staggering hundred thousand followers, but celebrities on an international level are wearing their clothes, and influencers are asking for endorsements left and right. They don’t approach people, Sharonne stresses. It’s always stockists and influencers who come to them for collaborations.

Lavendar Xu: Made in China, Inspired By the World

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My eyes were first of all caught by Lavendar’s unique styling of design. Inspired by wood, her collection “木Mu” is distinguished by the architecture, geometric and 3-dimesional cut put on display. Presented in her fashion film, models and clothing are robotically exhibited, which are full of mystery and contemporary elements. Her collection was included in the top 100 young designers supported by the Council of Fashion Design of America. Vice President and Creative Director of Calvin Klein/Bergdorf Goodman Andy Basile highlighted this work on his fashion blog, “putting small but tough triangle pieces together into the great unit…because of the constant movement of light and garments, the smaller wood pieces commute from brightness to shadow.”

 

Lavendar was born Beijing, China, as the daughter of a clothing manufacturer. As many other international student, the original goal of Lavendar for studying abroad was just to open her eyes. With the strong foundation of sketching, she chose the path of fashion design after the two years’ general study in the United States, and eventually she ended up with the London College of Fashion with the University of the Arts. She was trained in design as well as PR, editing and photographing during the school. The experience placed her later into work with Diane Von Furstenberg Studio J.Crew, and the House of Tommy Hilfiger.

From the research, I infer that more of Lavender’s efforts are put in the market in China currently. But I also believe as a soul inspired by the world, she will expand her market overseas. Probably the first stop will be the United States.

 

Black Blessed: Embrace the Mystery

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Floriana Serani, founder of Italian fashion label BlackBlessed, has some unique inspirations; chief among them are 20th century Italian Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, black minimalism, and a huge interest in American Horror Stories. Floriana’s work is synonymous with clean cut, monochromatic aesthetics, and it is through her inspirations and style that she gave birth to her brand, channeling dark imagery mixed with minimalist designs, revisiting Italian tailoring classics in a modern avantgarde way.

Educated by her Mother, a typical Italian women who always dressed in a very elegantly, Floriana was made to pay close attention to the quality of fabric when sewing details. This inherited concept is eventually reflected in Floriana’s pickiness about fabric and tailoring.  During this age where religious iconography has been a bit overused, the designer tries to avoid certain kinds of images or symbols, but as her city and culture have so many interesting references, she totally keep the “inspiration” focusing on different points.

She believes that people who choose to wear mostly or totally black outfits choose to embrace a certain aesthetic that makes them feel like part of a cult. BlackBlessed is dedicated to these people who feel blessed by black colour and believe in this aesthetic as a life philosophy. Talking about the marketing and distribution of BlackBlessed, I should say what it has accomplished is very impressive for an emerging brand that was only just established in 2013. They have a sophisticated e-commerce platform on their official website and other online shopping stores such as nylon.com. They also have a corner at Topshop Oxford Circus. This is all thanks to Floriana, due in part to her intellectual and economic skills. Her past as a buyer helps her in knowing the market and understanding what will be affected the most. Also thanks to the young creatives in her company, BlackBlessed’s social media platforms are also well-built and maintained. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr and Pinterest are all covered. The Instagram account is now at 13.9k followers and Facebook with 17751 likes. These are very impressive marketing results.

With their intelligence of design and talents in marketing, we will have much more to expect from BlackBlessed, a total-look-made in Italy brand, channeling a dark imagery with a minimal design, revisiting italian tailoring classics in a contemporary key.

Paris Fashion Week: The Final Stop

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That’s right, Fashion Month is unfortunately almost over as we come to the final participating city, Paris! Known as France’s heart and soul, that of course crosses over into its fashion industry as well. Starting today, March 1st, and running to the 9th, the fashion world has moved it’s focus to one of the cities with the most fashion per capita in the world.

One can for sure expect to see some of the best French fashion designers putting on a clinic on their home turf.

Today looks to be a nice way to kick off the event, featuring presentations and showcases from both emerging as well as established talents in the fashion industry. Names scheduled for today include: Anthony Vacarello, Jacquemus, and Kunihiko Morinaga.

So far it looks like it will be a packed show, so check back soon for more news as it happens!

Is the Fashion Industry Changing?

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It is something we are all used to: nothing stays the same, it always has to change. We may be apprehensive about it, but ultimately, we have to go with the flow, and we may just have to go with the flow of the fashion industry as it changes.

Over the last few seasons, and especially this season, we are seeing designers go towards selling directly towards consumers at their shows. Be it having a stock available for purchase at the store, or an online shop, designers are making their collections available to the public in a much easier fashion. The times are changing.

DVF (Diane Von Furstenberg) even eschewed a traditional catwalk presentation of it’s collection in favor of something more like a party. Lovable chaos was the theme of those in attendance, but not everyone. There are those on the press side that just want to see the collection, do some interviews and move on to the next, but are these the kind of people that should be catered to?

The fashion industry needs to grow, and to grow does that mean shaking up the very foundation that everyone has grown used to? Many outside of the industry find the runway presentations to be old and boring, is it worth it to change to potentially bring in new eyes at the expense of the stubborn die-hards?

Hugo Boss Takes a Tumble, CEO Resigns

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Times are not very good for the German fashion house. After announcing that Hugo Boss AG will experience a profit decline of at least 10 percent, it’s stocks took a big hit. Hugo Boss has put the blame for the plunge on weaker-than-expected sales in the United States and Chinese markets.

The shares fell 20 percent, bringing their worth to 55.55 Euro (or $61.39 for the given exchange rate), their lowest levels in five years. In response to this, Hugo Boss Chief Executive Claus-Dietrich Lahrs is leaving his position, one he performed for eight years.

At the moment Hugo Boss will have the responsibilities of Lahrs filled by other board members until a suitable replacement is found. The company will have more in depth financials available on March 10, look back for more information when that becomes available.

Spotlight on Designer: Ashley Williams

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On this edition of spotlight, we are putting the focus on London based designer Ashley Williams. With it being London Fashion Week, it only seems appropriate to highlight a designer calling London home. Ashley Williams is an emerging fashion designer

What makes Ashley’s designs stand out to us is the very different tone she works into every piece. All one has to do is visit her website (where the loading bar is a constantly burning down cigarette, or a jar labeled “boy tears”) and look at the clothing available in her shop. Her available pieces are emblazoned with phrases such as: “plastic surgery” and “last chance to escape planet Earth”, quite different from what most designers put on sale. It is almost possible to tell she is British without even knowing she was born there, from her tone and outlook put on display.

 

Her designs are delightfully inspired from the 80s and 90s, giving some of her work a throwback feel, but almost lampooning them at the same time. Her line has been described as being for “gutsy girls”, and flies in the face of overly feminine designs showcased by a great number of other designers. She brings a refreshing dash of youth and cynicism to the fashion industry, and it is greatly appreciated.

 

Her designs and webshop can be found at: ashleywilliamslondon.com

Milan Fashion Week Starts Today!

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It has been a whirlwind of a month and it is nowhere near being over yet, as the fashion world continues it’s journey to Milan, Italy in the next leg of the fashion week circuit. Starting today, February 24th, and running until March 1st, the fashion world has its eyes trained on Milan, fashion capital of Italy.

You can be sure to see some big name luxury Italian fashion brands present during the Fashion Week, including Moschino and Emporio Armani. Many luxury Italian brands are going to pull out all the stops to impress on their home turf. Dolce & Gabbana are also sure to thrill with their iconic displays.

One thing to note is that unlike the New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week is unlikely to feature many “buy-it-now” fashion collections. While it is seemingly becoming a growing trend in the fashion world, fashion leaders in Italy don’t believe it is the future for the industry, and think the lag between seeing a collection and having the ability to buy it creates desire and demand.

Next up, Paris! Starting March 2nd, right on the heels of Milan Fashion Week, Paris will close out the wave of fashion weeks, and it is always a great finish.

London Fashion Week Wraps Up Another Season

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We are sad to see it go, but London Fashion Week officially ended today, but not to worry! There is still plenty of fashion left for Fashion Month.

London, being the hip, always trendy place it is known for being, certainly maintained that for its Fashion Week. Alexander McQueen returned to London Fashion Week for the first time in fifteen years, and put on display a collection featuring sparkly jewelry, lace, gowns and cosmic references; a standout showing for sure. Mulberry also returned after being gone for two years, and showed a new collection while also marking the first showing for new creative director Johnny Coca.

An interesting note is that like New York Fashion Week, there was an increase in the number of collections available for purchase after showings. It will be interesting to see if this continues for the other fashion weeks as well. Direct-to-consumer definitely seems to be growing into perhaps the next trend.