I hate to admit this but until last season Maria Grachvogel was completely unknown to me. Having taken an eight year gap from London Fashion Week, the last time she showed her collection - which is often well known for Victoria Beckham's appearance on the runway - I was still dreaming about working in fashion whilst worrying about what was going on in the playground at high school. Last season was the first time I was introduced to her designs and was instantly taken by them and last month, when I was lucky enough to meet the woman herself, I left even more charmed than the first time we'd met.
Having interviewed my fair share of designers over the last few years, not many have been as charming as Grachvogel or quite frankly, appealed to me so much aesthetically. Arriving wearing one of her own printed dresses - one that I already had my eye on -, the designer completely embodied the essence of her brand and looked amazing doing it. "I focus on designing clothes that make women feel good," she said. "Clothes that appeal to the moods of a woman like feeling relaxed, or clothes that make you feel protected, sensual, womanly or dramatic."
Since watching her Autumn/Winter collection last season, I've always considered her as my best kept secret but considering the fact that only last month she appeared in British Harper's Bazaar's September issue and is often referred to as the go-to designer for a legion of fashion editors internationally, it's safe to say that what I once thought was a best kept secret is a pretty bad one.
A few years ago there was controversy about fashion week running over Labor Day and now fashion Jews aren't happy that New York Fashion Week will directly overlap with holiday, Rosh Hashanah. The religious event starts at sunset on September 8th and ends on September 10th - the day Fashion's Night Out begins.
As a result, Israeli designer Yigal Azrouël will only make a quick appearance at his boutique during the Fashion's Night Out festivities and Ivanka Trump (who is married to an Orthodox Jew) has refused to work on during the holiday. "No one would dare ask us to work on Christmas," a Jewish fashionista told The Cut.
With fashion week only days away, people have already began discussing what - or more interestingly who - we can expect to walk in the shows. Last season saw a movement away from the clone-look that we've been experiencing for the last few seasons and instead, gave way to curvy (but of course still thin) models taking to the runway.
At Louis Vuitton models like Elle Macpherson and Lara Stone appeared while Miuccia Prada booked Victoria's Secret models Miranda Kerr and Alessandra Ambriosio to walk for Prada. British designer Maria Grachovgel also revealed in an interview with us that she too has been considering using plus size models alongside conventional models in her shows to show a more representative view of women. The biggest question on everyone's minds is whether this was merely a fad that worked with this season's 50s trend or whether this was a move set to stay. Recently, top casting agents spoke to Cathy Horyn and make it clear that we can still expect to see curvier girls on the runway this season but the blank-faced androgynous girls aren't going anywhere.
'Ms. Brokaw and Ms. Gregori-Boina say that clients want models with sensuality plus personality. “I think people are looking for muses, for more than a face and a body,” Ms. Brokaw said. Recalling a meeting recently with the Proenza designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, she said they told her they wanted to see girls with some life experience; maybe they’ve had a boyfriend or traveled a bit. “Things are steering away from the army casting we’ve seen in recent years.”'
We couldn't be more excited for the start of Fashion Month, and it seems we're not alone. SHOWstudio.com has just snagged a new intern especially for show season: Barbie. Today marks the start of Barbie's 20-day placement assisting Nick Knight - so expect to see live video updates on the SHOWstudio blog detailing the doll's behind-the-scenes experiences at London Fashion Week. Yes, she'll be chasing down show tickets, attending brainstorming sessions, assisting on shoots, making studio visits and even going out for Starbucks runs.
One of Barbie's first jobs? Helping install the SHOWstudio.com Shop's latest exhibition, 'In Wolves Clothing: Re-Imagining the Doll', which launches as part of Fashion's Night Out and features the new Barbie Video Girl. The video girl is a new reinvention of Barbara Millicent Roberts, and this time, the doll is a video camera with a camera lens in her necklace and a screen on her back. Perhaps the perfect arrangement for behind-the-scenes recording...