Johnny Talbot and Adrian Runhof met in a bar in 1991. A year later, the duo from Nashville (Johnny) and Mainz (Adrian) released their fashion label Talbot Runhof in Munich, and since then they've made their mark on fashion in Germany and abroad. Retailing now at high-end stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, the brand offers luxurious eveningwear with special touches designed to make each wearer memorable.
This week, we go into the Tablot Runhof studio - which, as we learned, is sometimes hard to find.
When we think of frothy, sweet dresses made for real women, one name pops to mind first: Tracy Reese. The Detroit-born designer (who trained with Martine Sitbon and previously worked at Perry Ellis) has made bright, playful prints her specialty, and clients like Alicia Keys and Eva Longoria-Parker can't get enough. Reese's eponymous label now has two offshoots - the bohemian line plenty by Tracy Reese and the occasion-dresses collection frock! - and Reese has added her name to everything from footwear to homewares to candles.
This week, we talk to the designer about what it's really like to keep her studio in line.
Press in British Vogue, WWD, Harper's Bazaar and Elle: you know, all the things you usually get within less than a year after entering the fashion-week circuit. ButNonoo Lyons designers Misha Nonoo and Deborah Lyons are sitting exactly where they deserve to be for two knockout collections of high-minded outerwear. Both one-time Londoners (Misha by way of Bahrain), the duo offer European luxury with all the artistry expected by gallerinas or models off duty.
Who cares that the label has just come out with its second collection? The patron saints of pin-up girls, who inspired Nonoo Lyons' spring range, probably yearned for styles this good back in the Forties and Fifties. Too bad for them, because it took this long to find perfection.
If Corinne Grassini could have a design motto, then it probably should be "no more drama." The California-born founder of Society for Rational Dress believes, as did London's Rational Dress Society in the 19th century, that women should have the freedom to choose what they wear. Simple and attractive, no? Grassini, who studied sociology in Seattle before honing her patternmaking skills at Central St Martins, finds personal taste more important than celebrity trendsetting. That means functional beauty with influences from architecture. We bet the original Rational Dress Society, which stood up against Victorian constriction, would be proud.
This week, Grassini invites us in her studio for a cup of coffee and a little Beyonce. We think that's pretty rational, indeed.
What do Lindsay Lohan, Ciara, Fergie and Lauren Conrad have in common? They're all in love with Candela NYC, the wistful-meets-city-edge collection concocted by South American designers Natalia Kuks-Jacobs and Gabriela Perezutti-Isacson. Founded in 2004, Candela found its vibe from the bohemian style pervasive in the designers' ranching background in Argentina and Uruguay. With leathers and knits manufactured in Argentina and silk and embroidery work done in India, the collection today is even more diverse.
We know you'll be rushing off to find your new favourites from Candela (the label found more than 200 stockists within its first year and soon will open a boutique), but until then, let's take a look at how the designers work.
Chilean-born fashion designer Maria Cornejo knows full well what a difference a few years can make. She describes herself as a former fashion victim - though we say she's got it now - and today she finds herself dressing Michelle Obama, Tilda Swinton and Sofia Coppola. Her collection Zero + Maria Cornejo, which started as a retail concept, quickly became a insider top pick for its in-tune-with-reality architecture and uncomplicated sophistication.
Next spring will give Cornejo a chance to capitalize on her appeal; she'll launch menswear, swimwear and accessories all in one season. The menswear pieces were previewed at the Zero + Maria Cornejo Spring/Summer 2010 runway show, and judging on that selection of pieces (most of which could have gone unisex) we can expect comfortable chic for the guys, too.
This week, Cornejo invites The Fash Pack into her New York studio, on Bleeker and Bowery for you locals.
In the last few years Malaysian designer Bernard Chandran has become a firm favourite amongst celebrities ranging from Estelle to Lady Gaga. Even the fashion industry are putty in his hands. "This creativity is exactly what we come to London to see," gushed editors at his Spring/Summer 2010 show recently.
In our quick interview, Chandran talks about listening to rock music to relate to his son and about his neat-freak tendencies.
Yohji Yamamoto's protegee has done pretty well for himself. Ennio Capasa spent three years in Japan assisting the designer, who shared his vision of exposing design at its purest roots. When Capasa returned to his home country of Italy in 1986, he founded the acclaimed label Costume National with his brother, Carlo. As designer of a label credited with helping to ditch '80s shoulderpads, we owe him thanks in no small order.
Today, Capasa produces three ranges, including Costume National, the menswear line Costume National Homme, and the younger-focused line C'N'C Costume National. With Milla Jovovich, Katie Holmes and Hilary Swank stuck on his style, we're sure he'll keep impressing us for years to come.
This week, Capasa invites us into his Milan office for a taste of his daily life.
At times, it's easy to see the direction Christian Cota's life took him before he launched his own fashion line in February 2007. The Mexican-born designer graduated from the Parsons School of Design with a fine-arts degree in 2005, and in carefully placed pops of colour on day dresses or relaxed jackets with every hue from a painter's palette, Cota's other interests show through.
Cota met quick recognition after breaking into the design business, with accolades from Style.com and recognition at Fashion Group International's Women's Ready-to-Wear Rising Star. After gaining a following with celebrities including Blake Lively, Leighton Meester and Rose Byrne, Cota expanded into resort wear with a collection called Agua Cota.
This week, the designer takes a break from his schedule to show The Fash Pack what it's like inside his workspace.
Hey, Tavi: we have someone else who wants to dress you. Need a few clothes from Disaya? Sorted.
Ready-to-wear and jewellery designer Disaya Sorakraikitikul, a graduate of Central St Martins, works from her home country of Thailand but draws her creativity from your favourite city and ours, London. She found quick success in the Spring/Summer '07 season, when her first internationally presented collection was picked up by 70 stockists. With sleek lines and tons of whimsy, we can see why.
Now, Disaya dresses the likes of Agyness Deyn, Kelly Osbourne and Jennifer Lopez. But it's a teenage style-blogging wunderkind who's her next target.