Call it the Gaga Effect if you need a reason to buy into Victoria Bartlett's Fall '10 collection, a large part of which lacked any significant bottom-half covering. That's not so shocking, perhaps, considering Bartlett named her collection VPL. Beyond the revealing styles - which continued with bandeau tops and cut-outs - models showed off the designer's traditional colour blocking, serious asymmetry and accessories we'll need immediately.
Bartlett sent out a fair share of patchwork bodysuits, some with fringe, and cosy sweaters, some playfully baring patches of skin. We were drawn to the label's one-sleeved "Scapula" dresses in loose jersey, plus dreamweaver necklaces by Lizzie Fortunato. With jewellery aficionado Waris Ahluwalia sitting front-row, there was a professional eye to give those judgment. We're sure he didn't have too many complaints.
Last year, the Bloomberg administration, alongside the CDFA, set up the Fashion Incubator initiative. In order to be eligible, entrants had to be "working designers" with orders from retailers, to have been in business for more than a year and a half, have a member of staff to support, have been in receipt of "substantive editorial coverage" and to submit a business plan, detailing this. As a reward for jumping through all those hoops, a chosen 12 would win the main prize of moving into one of the design spaces in the Fashion Incubator space. Aside from being situated in the heart of the Garment District, the spaces (800 to 1000 square feet) would be rentable at subsidized rates ranging from $1,500 to $2,000, knocked down from $2,900.
So who are the lucky 12? That would be Prabal Gurung, Sophie Theallet, Jolibe's Joel Diaz, Alice Ritter, Gemma Redux's Rachel Dooley, Bibhu Mohapatra, Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi of Public School, Justin Giunta of Subversive Jewelry, Ruby Kobo's Yuvi Alpert and Danna Kobo, Grey Ant's Grant Krajecki and Lewis's Alison Lewis. They'll soon take up residence in the spaces, which each come with a two-year lease. We look forward to seeing what fashion-forward creations come out of what will clearly be such a creative hub.
Flora Gill and Alexa Adams of Ohne Titel; Waris Ahluwali of House of Waris
It's a pretty huge pat on the back for designers to receive the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Past winners of the cash award and mentorship include Proenza Schouler, Doo-Ri Chung and Alexander Wang - without argument, some of fashion's (freshest) big names. And the Fashion Fund has just been tipping us off to great designers for six years.
This year's 10 finalists have been announced, so now you'll know who to keep on your style radar. Try Flora Gill and Alexa Adams of Ohne Titel; Waris Ahluwalia of House of Waris; Monique Pean; Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin; Patrik Ervell; Wayne Lee of Wayne; Sophie Theallet; Gary Graham; George Esquivel of Esquivel Shoes; and Simon Spurr of Spurr.
A big congrats to all of them, and we'll keep our fingers crossed for Nov. 16, when the winner is announced.