If there's anyone that I look forward to spot at the shows, it's Nickelson Wooster. Earlier on this year he was sadly sacked from his role as men's fashion director at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus but today there's good news. After doing some freelance work for Thom Browne and Gilt Group, Wooster has landed himself a full-time gig as the new creative director at the menswear division of JCPenney.
While most are happy to see Wooster in another big role, his appointment at JCPenny has been met with a mixed response. I must say, the move does come as quite the surprise. Some say that the hiring was tactical on the company's part to make sure that they remain in the headlines for hiring openly gay Wooster, especially after the controversy that ensued with Ellen DeGeneres appointment as their spokesperson. More likely is the theory that the company hired him to help with their credibility. After all, Wooster is as well known for having a great eye in his professional capacity as he is with his own sartorial choices.
Many were left disappointed when Thom Browne decided to jump ship and move from New York to Paris to show his menswear line this year, but I come bearing good news. Last week, the designer announced that he'll be back showing in New York with his first complete womenswear collection. The bad news? We'll have to wait until February to see it.
That aside, things are looking good for the designer. The Cut reports that the womenswear leg of his business is growing and will be sold in Dover Street Market London and Harrods. "I’m ready now, I know what to do. The show will be very much like my men’s wear ones — not traditional," he said. "It all starts with a tailored point of view." Excited?
It's a sad moment for New York Fashion Week, as Thom Browne has announced that he'll be showing in Paris next season. Taking his runway show to the French capital has long been a dream of Browne's, so yes, it's good news for the designer...but perhaps not for the scads of editors who clamor to see his tight-fitting suits and ankle-baring trousers each year.
Browne is set to show on the last day of Paris menswear week in June, which means he's joined the day that Lanvin and Paul Smith usually occupy. Not bad company for his first time showing in the French city. While New York's fashion elite surely will miss the witty designer, the US crowd should wish him well - and perhaps secretly hope he'll change his mind soon.
As the Wall Street Journal quite rightly points out, Band of Outsiders - the label created by Scott Sternberg after he left his job as a talent agent at Creative Arts Agency - isn't that unusual in comparison with other men's collections available, but there is just something about it that makes it worthy of its somewhat pricey place in the market. Sternberg's women's range, Boy, which he launched in 2007 follows suit to Band of Outsiders, with a price to match - and so it could be asked what the key to the L.A. designer's success really is.
The answer, it seems, is right there in the description - Sternberg credits his residence in Los Angeles as opposed to New York for two successful collections, even for his CFDA award for Best Menswear Designer of the Year 2009, despite having little design experience under his belt. "If I was here in New York in this mix influenced by the same thing all these people are influenced by, the edge would be gone," he told the Wall Street Journal, "this L.A. bubble is vital to being able to do something that is not informed by fashion." Aiming to expand his L.A. influenced brand into a fashion empire, it seems Sternberg isn't doing too badly, with the menswear range currently sitting in Barney's, New York with labels like Gucci, Lanvin, Thom Browne and Bottega Veneta as its neighbours.
I loved Thom Browne, especially the groovy new eyewear, but the shows this season were full of teen/tween bloggers. I feel like they are trying to nudge me out of my front-row seat. Luckily, I have a plan for next season. Since they are all about my height, I am going to impersonate one of them. I am going to wear a doily on my head (Tavi!) and tell everyone I am a teen blogger. If they ask why I am so wrinkled, I will tell them that I have progeria.
Famous for designing Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s dress for her wedding to John F. Kennedy, Jr., American fashion designer, Narciso Rodriguez, looks as though he may be following in the footsteps of Jil Sander, Thom Browne, Thakoon, Comme des Garçons and Rag & Bone - that is, to create a lower-priced clothing line. As a way of saving high-end brands in the midst of the luxury fashion downturn, it’s something that we’ve understandably seen a lot of lately.
It has been revealed that Rodriguez is in talks with eBay to design an eight-piece collection with prices ranging from $75 to $350, which he expects will allow a wider audience to buy his designs. Although an improvement on the average $2000 Narciso dress we’re used to, we expect these prices may still be a little out of most women’s price range. It is also a little hard to picture a high-end designer’s collection under the brassy eBay logo, even if it is lower-priced; better suited to ShopStyle we think!
Thom Browne; Marcus Wainwright and David Neville of rag & bone
Thom Browne, best known for his shrunken suits, is expanding his brand with two lower-priced lines. Perhaps that's more economical, since his normal slim-cut trousers retail for about $2,000. Changes really are in the wind for Browne, who has sold a minority stake in his company and hired Josh Sparks to replace his former CEO, who left in May without much notice.
Expect prices to be 30 to 40 percent cheaper than Browne's normal rates with the new lines, informally called "classics" and "red/white/blue". (Real line names haven't been released.) Browne tells WWD his lower-priced clothes "will still be for that Thom Browne guy, but now that guy will have things to wear every day for every occasion".
On a similar note, rag & bone's Marcus Wainwright and David Neville are branching out. They've opened a new store - their biggest - in New York's Mercer Street, and insiders reveal the line drew in $20 million wholesale for women's wear, compared to an expected $10 million, for the past year. A new rag & bone/JEAN line and rag & bone/SHIRT line will launch for spring, with prices set at $70 to $80.
The American Vogue Editor-in-Chief, wearing a Carolina Herrera dress and her trademark sunglasses, coolly strutted onto David Letterman's stage on last Monday night's The Late Show. Once sat, Wintour joked with Letterman over his socks, suggesting that he visit Thom Browne, famous for focusing on socks with high trouser hemlines.
It seemed Letterman had no comprehension of just how big a deal it was to be talking to the queen of fashion, as he openly admitted not knowing much about Vogue and casually flicked through the September issue on his desk. Although, he did go on to ask: "You are bigger than what you do for a living. Is that a fair assessment?" showing at least some recognition of her reputation. Wintour replied: "I read in The New York Times this week that I'm an ice queen, I'm the Sun King, I'm an alien fleeing from District 9 and I'm a dominatrix. So I reckon that makes me a lukewarm royalty with a whip from outer space. What do you think?"
When we do post-event wrap-ups, it's easy to focus on the ladies. They have the gowns, the chiffon, the elaborate hair and makeup routines ... but this time, we're looking at the guys. Check out some of the industry's leading designers (from Marc Jacobs to Ralph Lauren to Zac Posen), and let us know what you think.
And just for good measure, we'll give you a look at their leading ladies and gents.
Who are today's most fashionable ladies? According to Men.Style.com's third-annual Women of Fashion event, the list includes Leigh Lezark (nice choice) and a couple of our personal favourite it girls. Care to see who last night event's chose to honour? Kanye West did.
By the way, we're interested to see that Thom Browne is still going for the ankle-baring trousers. We wonder what the Women of Fashion had to say about that.