Monthly Archives: September 2015

Spotlight: Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou by Kevin Abosch

As with any other form of art, fashion is a reflection of the times, and as we continue to develop new technology that makes everything more convenient for us, so too do we use technology to innovate fashion. This was how the digital print trend in fashion grew, and now, it’s being hailed as “probably the greatest innovation of 21st-century fashion.” Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Christina Binkley has said that “vastly improved digital printing technologies allow designers to innovate while beefing up their brands.”

mary-katrantzou-resort-2014-engineered-panel-print

Among the many designers who have begun to use digital print technology to create their looks, there is one undisputed queen: Mary Katrantzou. Katrantzou is an Athens-born designer who grew up among the visual arts, with a mother who worked as an interior designer and a father involved with textile design. She moved to America to study for a BA in Architecture at the Rhode Island school of design, before transferring to Central Saint Martins to complete her BA degree in textile design, but it wasn’t until she graduated that she shifted her focus into womenswear, earning an MA Fashion from Central Saint Martins. Right off the bat, Katrantzou’s designs wowed audiences as she opened the 2008 graduating show. Themed around trompe l’oeil prints of oversized jewellery featured on jersey- bonded dresses, her designs were whimsical and showed off the illusions that digital prints could accomplish in fashion.

A year later, her first ready-to-wear collection debuted at Spring/Summer London Fashion Week 2009, and achieved show status the following season. In less than ten years, Katrantzou has gone from opening her graduating show to winning the Swiss Textiles Award in 2010 and signing exclusive deals with a renowned fashion aggregator to begin to sell her collections online in 2014. The success of this young designer is apparent, and as she has begun branching out into other different styles, she has even been chosen to design costumes for the New York City Ballet.

maryss12

When asked why she thought Katrantzou’s work was so successful, Ruth Chapman, CEO of fashion boutique Matches, told The Guardian, “Two main things: She cuts her dresses beautifully, so they fit and flatter the wearer, and secondly, her prints are extremely clever. They stand up as works of art in their own right, which makes her dresses highly collectable. Her designs always make me feel uplifted.”

While Katrantzou has begun experimenting with other styles, she maintains that prints will always be part of her collections. “Everyone wanted a change and was ready to move on from prints,” Katrantzou says. “We want to evolve into a bigger vocabulary and have a range of depth in the collection that we never had before.” However, she adds, “Prints are an entity, and they’re perfect. It’s crucial to keep the prints as well.”

mary-katrantzou-spring-2012_02

mk

Music Festival “Way Out West” Musician Amanda Bergman Talks Style and Fashion.

The Swedish Music Festival “Way Out West” held in Gothenburg equals Coachella for a place to scout fashion and style. Style Influencer Kristina Berg of Stockholm, Sweden had the chance to speak with musician Amanda Bergman.

She comes from a small town in the country, is the youngest of five siblings, and for most of her life has worn functional clothing. Amanda Bergman plays in one of today’s most hyped Swedish bands, Amason.

Read below as Amanda shares her sense of style and more.

1-Amanda Bergman 2 Kristina Berg

WHAT ARE YOU INSPIRED BY IN YOUR CLOTHING STYLE?

Since I grew up in the country, I’ve had lots of animals around me for most of my life. As a result, I’ve always had some form of cowboy romanticism as inspiration. The most important thing when I was growing up was to have functional clothes and to always remember to wear a good pair of jeans.

 



WHAT IS THE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING YOU USE THE MOST?

What I prefer to wear are suits. I’d really like to somehow represent the form of femininity. I’ve never been much for girly clothes, and I was 23 years old the first time I wore a dress. Same thing goes for shoes. I wore my first high heels a year ago. Usually I just wear boots.

 



WHERE DO YOU THINK YOUR MASCULINE SENSE OF STYLE COMES FROM?


Since I was the youngest of five sisters, I’ve always had this boy projection from my parents. I’ve had to represent the boy that they never had – much of it comes from that.

 

WHAT RANGE OF COLORS DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK IN YOUR CLOSET?

I’ve actually always loved color; my favorite color is wine red. Don’t know how long I’ve been looking for a wine red suit, but I’ve never been able to find one.

 



DO YOU WEAR LOTS OF COLOR DURING A STAGE PERFORMANCE, TOO?


The thing is, I usually block out those kinds of thoughts, to do something extra on stage. Right before our show today, we decided on what clothes we’d wear, but I just pick out what feels right. To me, it feels unhealthy to be too planned. There are lots of people who really express themselves on stage with their clothes, and I think that’s just fine, but I haven’t really gotten there, it’s mostly a thought that stresses me out.

 



DOES YOUR MUSIC GO HAND IN HAND WITH YOUR CLOTHING STYLE?
Since I’m so much on the inside of my own music, it’s hard to make a fair assessment of that. Obviously it’s my performance, and what I’m wearing is another expression of my personality. The thing I think about most is my role as a woman on stage. I think all women do amazing things, but what I want to represent is an alternative to the usual image of femininity. So it would be hard for me to go out on stage in sheer material, even if I might wear something like that in private. It might also have something to do with the fact that I play in a band with four men, where I’m the singer, which still makes me feel like a stereotype, even though I try to blend in.

I think that your way of expressing yourself is a process, and that all the time you’re learning how to relate to it and what you actually think. Later in life, I think I’ll have an even more conscious way of dressing.

 



WHERE DO YOU USUALLY BUY CLOTHING?

Ultimately, the most important thing for me is to buy what I like. Mostly, I buy secondhand. As far as brands go, I’ve had a long relationship with the brand Hope. One Swedish designer I really like a lot is Rodebjer, and their suits. 

FINALLY,

 

AMANDA: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?

A sense of humor and an attitude that lets me jump on the next motorcycle!

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

1-amason_annika_berglund_6858 copy

#RoleModels: Fashion Designer Carrie Hammer Ditched #RunwayModels for #RoleModels this New York Fashion Week

Fashion designer Carrie Hammer of New York  stood out during New York Fashion Week, not only for her chic, elegant and well crafted designs, but also for her support of “real women”. Carrie Hammer puts women who are real role models on the runway – ones who other women can admired for their accomplishments, not only for their looks. Check out our interview with Carrie Hammer below:

 

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BE COME A DESIGNER?

I started to design my own clothes after my frustration with the lack of clothing available for professional business women. I was working in ad sales and had nothing to wear to work! At first it was just for myself, but after an overwhelming response to my dresses, I decided to become a full time designer.

 

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING A DESIGNER AND WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE?

I love the powerful women who inspire my designs. Every season, I design each dress specifically for the Role Model that will be wearing it on the runway, and then name the piece after her. This can also be challenging at times, because every woman is different.

 

WHO IS THE WOMAN WHO WEARS CARRIE HAMMER AND WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT YOUR COLLECTION?

The CARRIE HAMMER woman is powerful, influential, accomplished, inspiring, beautiful, and confident. She is a CEO, and entrepreneur, a philanthropist, an executive, a businesswoman. She is the modern day Superwoman.

What is special about my collection is that my dresses are designed to empower women both inside and outside of the workplace. Traditional “business wear” for women is boring. Our designs are feminine and fun, while still professional and powerful. We want the CARRIE HAMMER woman to feel confident and powerful at work, and then translate that confidence when they step out of the office and head to a happy hour.

 

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR #ROLEMODELS AS MODELS?

At my first New York Fashion Week show, I was going through the checklist of everything we needed with my stylist, and when we got down to model castings I though, “I can’t put underage models on the runway when all of my clients are such role models.” That was a lightning bolt moment for me, and its been Role Models Not Runway Models ever since.

 

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL?

My mother.

 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A ROLE MODEL?

One’s power, passion, and accomplishments.

 

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO YOUNG GIRLS LOOKING FOR THEIR ROLE MODELS?

Look up to women for their accomplishments, and not only their physical beauty.

 

HOW DO YOU TRY TO BE A ROLE MODEL?

I want to be a Role Model by giving women and young women alike, a new definition of beauty. I work really hard to hopefully show women than beauty lies in our differences, and that everyone is beautiful; every race, color, age, and ability.

fashion-designer-carrie-hammer-nyfw-real-women-1

fashion-designer-carrie-hammer-nyfw-real-women-2

fashion-designer-carrie-hammer-nyfw-real-women-3

Fashion Blogger to Know – Piece, Love and Sole.

Brittany Wilson is the Fashion Force behind the blog Piece, Love and Sole which is about fashion, accessories and New York.

fashion-blogger-interview-piece-love-sole-2

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BLOG?

When I relocated to New York from the DC area a dear friend suggested that I start a blog to stay connected to fashion. It originally started as a blog about affordable accessories but then I noticed that I was experiencing so many fun things in New York that I wanted to share those too. So the purpose of the blog morphed from just accessories to fashion and New York.

 

WHAT IS THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BLOG NAME?

It’s a different spin on the phrase “Peace, Love and Sole” Piece = as in a piece of clothing or a piece of me, Love = the blog is about things I love, Sole = Shoes…because who doesn’t love shoes.

 

WHAT MAKES YOUR BLOG STAND OUT?

I blog from my view and with my voice. That’s the best part about blogging, you can be an individual.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL/SIGNATURE STYLE?

I like to be comfortable and chic. If you aren’t comfy it shows…and that’s not cute. Dresses are the easiest thing to wear but I love a good graphic tee too. I like to play around with fashion. So one day I’m in boyfriend jeans, a tee and sneakers, the next I could be in a fitted dress and stilettos and then the next day I could be in leather pants and a blouse.

 

WHO IS YOUR #1 FASHION ICON?
Diane Von Furstenberg

 

FAVORITE LOCAL DESIGNERS?

A friend of mine has a clothing line Yunes Swathe, they’ve really grown into something beautiful. I don’t really have any favorites but I definitely love to explore. I think my favorites are usually unique designers that I come across in flea markets.

 

FAVORITE ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET NOW?

My printed sets. I love that you can wear them as one outfit or break the separates apart and make a completely new look

fashion-blogger-interview-piece-love-sole-1

IF YOU WERE TO HAVE LUNCH WITH ANNA WINTOUR AND CARINE ROITFELD WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR? Oh! Probably a black sheath dress, a statement necklace and some killer, strappy shoes

 

SONG YOU HAVE BEEN LISTENING TO THE MOST/ON REPEAT?

Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd and IV. Sweatpants by Childish Gambino

 

ANY OTHER BLOGS YOU LOVE?

The Style and Beauty Doctor

 

BIGGEST FASHION MISTAKE YOU EVER MADE?

Ugh, I’m sure there isn’t just one. Years ago I wore a blazer, button down shirt, jean skirt and flat moccasin boots to the club. I just can’t…

 

3 FASHION TIPS?

1) If it’s not comfortable before you leave the house, change.
2) If you have no idea what you want to wear, start with your shoes.
3) Lipstick fixes everything

fashion-blogger-interview-piece-love-sole-3

WHAT IS THE STYLE OF THE CITY YOU LIVE IN AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR CITIES STYLE?

New York is such a fashion mecca but I also love that there are people that live here that aren’t caught up in fashion and do their own thing. To me, that’s the best type of style.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB?

To organize celebrity closets.

 

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?

I worked in a dental office in high school

 

WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE?

During the week it’s fairly uneventful and I’m ok with that. Work and working out. I may host or attend an event during the evening once a week (with the other company I run with my business partner: Dolls of the City). But I spend a lot of time thinking about what’s next and writing that down in my notebook.

 

GUILTY PLEASURE?

Scrolling through Instagram forever lol

New Brand to Watch – Coming Soon to Runway Passport is Jia Wertz’ Very Chic Studio 15

We are so excited to share Jia Wertz of Studio 15 with all of you fashion obsessed ladies. We definitely know you will love her, her collection and the amazing charity Kleos that she is collaborating with. Please check out her interview below to learn more:

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START STUDIO 15?

I spent 15 years working for major brands such as bebe, Aldo, and Guess and loved not only the fashion aspect of it, but the business side as well. I knew long term I wanted to spend my time doing something I love day in and day out, and that’s why decided to create Studio 15. It allowed me to bring together my two passions: fashion and philanthropy.

Jia Wertz-emerging-fashion-designer-studio15

 

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INSPIRATION FROM?

First and foremost from the streets of New York City. Much of the inspiration behind our collections comes from the impeccable style of the women in New York. And secondly, from traveling the world. Anytime I have the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, I’m inspired.

 

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM DESTINATION FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION?

Well, I just returned from Trinidad and that was pretty amazing, I had been wanting to visit Trinidad for over a decade and finally did it. We also shot our next campaign shoot for Studio 15 while we were there, which was a blast! My next dream destination is definitely Maldives. If I could just stay in one of those water bungalows, it would really be a dream come true.

 

WHO IS THE WOMAN WHO WOULD WEAR STUDIO 15?

She’s bold, young, in style, and stands out in a crowd.

Bespoke Collection Floor Length Skirt Studio 15

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB EVER?

My first job ever was working a hot dog stand when I was 14 years old (not many people know that).

 

TELL US ABOUT THE CHARITY YOU PAIR WITH?

Kleos Microfinance Group is an organization aimed towards improving the living conditions for people around the globe that are in the greatest need of economic assistance. Simply put, Kleos gives small manageable loans to people who may otherwise not be able to get funding to start their own small businesses.

 

WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN BEING A DESIGNER?

The costs of production. Studio 15’s Bespoke Collection is produced right here in New York City, so it can get quite expensive, and we aim to keep our prices as low as possible for our customers, so it can be a challenge. But that is something we will not change. We are very focused on providing high quality pieces at affordable prices for our customer.

 

BIGGEST SUCCESS?

We dressed Liz Hernandez on Access Hollywood last week, that was a pretty big deal for a small startup. Liz wore our Midi Skirt & Crop Top Two-Piece Set and she looked incredible in it.

 

HOW AND WHEN DID YOU REALIZE YOU WANTED TO BE A DESIGNER?

I have been making my own clothes since I was a teenager. I’ve always been petite and when I was young, store bought clothes often wouldn’t fit me right, so my mom would alter them for me. And then she taught me how to sew so I could do it myself. I immediately started to sew my own clothes, and loved the freedom to create whatever I wanted.

 

ANY ADVICE FOR STARTING OUT DESIGNERS?

In order to create designs that will sell and are marketable, it is always crucial to ask yourself two very important questions, and if you have a really good, clear answer to these questions, you will have much better sell through rates. If you don’t have a clear answer to these questions, chances are that people may love it, but still won’t buy it because they won’t have an occasion to wear it to.

i. Who will wear this piece?

ii. Where will she wear it to?

 

IF YOU WERE HAVING LUNCH WITH ANNA WINTOUR AND CARINE ROITFELD WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR?

Something sleek and in style. I don’t think I would change the way I select my outfit every other day, except that I’d be sure to take a dose of confidence with me.

Jia Wertz-emerging-fashion-designer-studio15-a

Buildings in New York and Your New Favorite Fashion Designers by Fashion Photographer Charles Warren

Join Runway Passport on a fashion adventure and come discover your favorite new designers. In this shoot, one of our favorite photographers, Charles Warren, shoots model Sarah English in New York.

Photography: Charles Warren | Styling: Gabrielle Swan | Beauty: Stephanie Rose | Model: Sarah English of Marilyn Agency NY

fashion-model-photo-shoot-photographer-charles-warren-01 fashion-model-photo-shoot-photographer-charles-warren-03

fashion-model-photo-shoot-photographer-charles-warren-04

fashion-model-photo-shoot-photographer-charles-warren-05

fashion-model-photo-shoot-photographer-charles-warren-06

 

Credits:

Image 1: Bra – Skin , Lingerie – Skin, Blazer – Veronica Beard, Ring – Hadria

Image 2: Jacket – Sally LaPointe,  Pants – Ellery, Rings – Hadria

Image 3 + 4: Bodysuit – Skin, Dress – Geova Atelier

Image 5: Dress – Sally LaPointe, Necklaces – Robert Lee Morris