THE DESIGNER: Lynne Hiriak, designer of Cardigan knitwear
VISITED: January 2012
WHERE: Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lauren David Peden drops in to get the scoop on what it takes to live and breathe cardigans, and what turned the designer on to the staple.

“One of the items that I always noticed was a number-one seller or sold out or they didn’t have enough of [while working at Michael Kors, Derek Lam, and Lela Rose] was either a cardigan or cover-up,” says Lynne, at home in her airy live/work duplex studio, with twin desks and a tableful of spring merch being organized for a lookbook shoot the following day. “So I had this lofty idea of ‘Oh, I could do a line of all cardigans, and it’s 12 different versions of how to wear cardigans of different weights, different patterns – and then Cardigan took on a life of its own.’”

Today, Cardigan – which Lynne describes as being “happy, clean, light, and perky with some tongue-in-cheek humor” – is going strong, and is best known for its borrowed-from-the-boys sweatshirt knits and its casual-cool sequin striped sweater dresses. “It starts with silhouette” she explained of her creative process. “Lately I’ve really been feeling the sweatshirt, and I’m usually influenced by particular themes, so for spring it was the colors of Capri and the coast of Italy.” (Think: candy-colored cardis, some of which button up the back.) She also launched men’s sweaters last season, which are selling like gangbusters.
Continue reading “At Work With Lynne Hiriak Of Cardigan” »

March 2, 2012

W Hotels Fashion Next Celebrates New Designers

The fashion world may look glamorous from the outside, but as anyone who’s watched Project Runway or All on the Line knows, being a designer is far from easy. In addition to creating the actual collection, you also need the resources to show it, produce it, publicize it, and deliver it to stores – and then do it all over again (and again…and again) every three to six months. Whew.

The fashion cycle is tough enough for big-name designers with major corporate backing – it’s even harder for emerging talents who are working on a shoestring budget with little to no outside help.

Which is where W Hotels’ Fashion Next comes in. Launched three years ago, the Fashion Next program was created to discover and support young designers by sponsoring their New York Fashion Week presentations.
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September 22, 2011

NYFW Beauty: Runway, Backstage and Beyond

The Spring 2012 New York Fashion Week shows may be over, but the trend spotting continues. On the beauty front, the looks ranged from the don’t-try-this-at-home to the perfectly poised and polished.

Erickson Beamon heightened the drama of its jewelry by way of false-eyelashed, rainbow-hued glitter lids accompanied by matching multi-hued nails. Bright pink, red, and turquoise eyeshadow turned up at Richard Chai Love, Katie Gallagher, Pink by Douglas Hannant, and Faster by Mark Fast, among others (Fast, Chai, and Gant by Michael Bastian even did blue lips, making it look as though the models were very chilly, indeed). And several shows, including Marchesa, Fast, and Jeremy Scott, featured models with bright pink hair.
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September 19, 2011

Fluro bags

If three’s a trend (as they say in fashion), I guess five or six is a phenomenon. Such is the case with this structured bookbag from The Cambridge Satchel Company, a UK-based bag maker whose retro-inspired cross-body has become all the rage among fashion insiders.

While the company makes its most popular style in a range of classic colors – from basic black to saddle tan to brick red – it’s the fluoroscent green and yellow hues that are being carried by in-the-know fashionistas. Modeled after a classic school bag, this boxy unisex carryall was given a thoroughly modern makeover in shades so bold they almost glow in the dark (making them really pop against the all-black ensembles worn by most New York showgoers).
Continue reading “NYFW Front-Row Trend: Fluro Satchels” »

September 13, 2011

9/11 Tribute

Presidents Obama and Bush weren’t the only ones paying tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11. On the tenth anniversary of that fateful day, several designers also paused during their shows to remember the terrorist attacks.

Lela Rose was one of the first designers to show in Lincoln Center on Sunday morning, and before her event began, the house lights dimmed and John Lennon’s “Imagine” played in its entirety. When the lights came back on and the first model hit the runway, there was barely a dry eye in the house.

Gwen Stefani dedicated her L.A.M.B. presentation to the victims of 9/11, as did Bono and Ali Hewson at EDUN. The program notes for the Bespoken menswear presentation, which is designed by two sets of brothers, read: “Amidst the hectic schedules around New York Fashion Week, we would like to take a moment to honor and respect the men and women whose lives were lost on 9/11. Our lives will be forever impacted.”
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September 13, 2011

Imitation of Christ Spring Show

I knew something was afoot when I arrived early to the Imitation of Christ show Thursday and saw interns scurrying around scattering rose petals on the stage (which was decorated with a garland-strewn canopy) and down the center aisle of the ballroom at the W Hotel in Union Square. As if that wasn’t enough of a tip-off, standing in the corner was a dude dressed as a priest. Turns out Father Andrew O’Connor is a real ordained Diocesan priest, and had agreed to officiate at the fanciful wedding dreamed up by IOC designer Tara Subkoff to showcase her Spring 2012 collection.

As the It Girl wedding guests (including Susie Bubble, Natasha Lyonne, Cory Kennedy, Byrdie Bell, Arden Wohl, and photographer Ellen von Unwerth) looked on, singer Natalie Rose LeBrecht sang a lovely a cappella version of Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” and out came a tuxedoed groom and best man, followed by a flower girl in a pretty embroidered dress, who tossed more petals as she strode toward the altar. Several dozen bridesmaids followed, all dressed in beautifully ethereal IOC confections that recalled garden party frocks from the Thirties and Forties (think: floaty feminine dresses with delicate beading, lace, and lingerie-inspired details in dusty shades of blue, cream, and blush). Best of all, the models were actually smiling – a rarity at most fashion shows.
Continue reading “A Fashionable Wedding at IOC” »

September 9, 2011

Lauren David Peden, Rue La La Contributing Editor and the voice behind The Fashion Informer, stopped by our photo studio to chat with our very own D. Graham Kostic. The New York insider is beyond busy as she gears up for fashion’s biggest few weeks, when Lauren will be zipping around NYC covering show upon show. Here, she dishes on her fashion week uniform, her curated Boutique, and even how she de-stresses between shows (hint: it involves paddle ball).

Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.

September 7, 2011

Jules KimDesigner Jules Kim (of Bijules jewelry and Nycked swimwear fame) put a fun spin on half-day Fridays by hosting a weekly — and very stylish — afternoon party at the rooftop of the uber-hip Standard hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District this summer. Read on to see how (and why) she got this party started.

So, how did the Select Summer Fridays come to be?
I started Bijules jewelry in the club. I have always organized events and parties. Living in the moment is part of why Bijules can claim nearly eight years of sales innovation in style and fun. I used to wear two of everything because I knew my peers and fellow partygoers would appreciate the look — but also the moment that we were sharing — and [want to] buy one. The “single-finger fit, multi-finger look” bar ring was born from this idea that I am not alone in my interests, and sharing them builds community and friendships.

Continue reading “Summer Fridays with Jules Kim” »

August 25, 2011

Dinner with Nima

I’ve known designer Nima Taherzadeh since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, as they like to say. OK, slight exaggeration. But the first time we met was back in 2006, when Nima was a senior at Parsons and I was on the senior thesis panel (an annual event during which industry experts come in to review and critique the work of Parsons’ graduating class).

I was instantly struck by the maturity of his designs – Nima specializes in feminine, elegant cuts with a decidedly modern twist – and by the fact that he produced a full range of shoes and bags (really, really good shoes and bags) to accessorize his thesis collection. And I wasn’t the only one impressed. Within months of graduating, Nima’s collection was hanging on the racks at Saks Fifth Avenue. Not bad for a fashion world newbie.
Continue reading “Dinner with Nima T.” »

August 8, 2011

Camilla Staerk

Forget about fashion trends. The latest trend in the industry isn’t sartorial, it’s celluloid. Seriously. There have been enough designer short films screening around town the last few weeks to fill a multiplex.

But while Camilla Staerk got in on the action last week, she’s no Camilla-come-lately. In fact, the Danish-born designer, who debuted her film, “Vanitas,” at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, is married to well-known avant-garde filmmaker, Barnaby Roper, who routinely screens his work on SHOWstudio and NOWNESS (where you can watch the video). Camilla also put a new twist on the fashion film by using it to launch her Spring 2012 collection, about eight weeks before the rest of the fashion flock will be showing their spring wares at NYFW. Way to get a jump on things!
Continue reading “Camilla Staerk’s Cinematic Vanitas” »

July 20, 2011