New trends in online fashion shopping – Part 3

Paris: April 30th, 2015

by: Yana Blumenthal

Like the idea of getting dressed by the independent, emerging designers? Well, you are in luck once more, because there is a website for that! notjustalabel.com

NJAL brings collections from over 18,000 emerging designers around the world, available to buy before they are seen anywhere else. This is really artsy approach and in the process you may feel empowered too, because nothing is going to be cleverly marketed to you by the Big Brands.

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Choose for yourself and the product will be dispatched to you directly form the artist’s studio. You may receive an item within 48 hours or customize it and get it within three weeks. Designers guarantee the highest quality of materials, free worldwide delivery and outstanding personal customer service, thanks to NJAL’s curation.

The result is a win-win situation, you get an original item of clothing and the emerging designers will be able to master their craft. The NJAL shop puts the power — and the profits — back into the hands of young designers.

This unique concept cuts out the middle-men, creating a direct link between shopper and designer. 70% of your spending directly funds the designers’ progress and businesses worldwide.

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“It’s not your usual online shop, but a real up-to-date guide to discovering talent.”

NJAL in the Press — Vogue Italia

If you like this, please read more blogs about cool online shops, next!

à bientôt

Yanainparis

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New trends in online fashion shopping – Part 2

Paris: April 30th, 2015

by: Yana Blumenthal

Calling themselves a revolutionary e-commerce concept shop, farfetch.com is yet another innovative method of shopping – nicely done!

Farfetch brings the world’s best independent fashion boutiques to an International audience. Launched in 2008 in LA, the business has grown into a global company, with offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Porto and São Paulo, the last one is impressive, because of the hight importation taxes in Brazil.

How it works – Farfetch has a global community of over 300 visionary fashion boutiques. Visionary, meaning, conceptual and generally cool.  If you are not an International jet-setter, but fashion-forward individual with a soft spot for something new and unreachable, you are in luck. These are carefully selected independent boutiques with forward-thinking attitude and unique brands that were selected just for you.

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The network of boutiques are located everywhere from Paris, New York and Milan to Bucharest, Riyadh and Seattle, but united in one e-commerce website. When you order through Farfetch, your order is delivered directly from the boutique to your door.

If you like this, please read more blogs about cool online shops, next!

à bientôt

Yanainparis

New trends in online fashion shopping – Part 1

By Yana Blumenthal

Fashion is a $1 trillion global industry. Thanks to globalization and digital innovations, it is now moving online and has become the driving force for many luxury brands.

Migration to cyberspace has started, the territory is vast and is up for grabs. Let’s have a look at some innovative ways to spend on fashion and how retailers are finding their niche in cyberspace.

New trend alert! Get luxury items before they arrive to the stores. Lets have look at two websites that offer this service:  ModaOperandi.com and PreCouture.com

These luxury e-commerce sites offer hundred of designers straight from the fashions shows and available for pre-order. Basically, before the collection hits the stores you can be a happy owner of a haute couture item. It is, of course, for serious fashionistas, confident women, who are not afraid to drop several thousand of dollars on an item they haven’t even tried on.

Well this is the future of fashion and the proof to that are millions of dollars raised to service these sites. They already show an enormous growth and the expansion is just an inevitable fact.

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Moda Operandi, for example, offers a personal stylists services, VIP loyalty program, and Vintage pieces from an iconic fashion houses. Aiming higher — to the highest-end retail experience out there.

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PreCouture.com claims that they have an expert eye on the fashion and emerging trends, as they focus on the cult designers, such as Alexander Wang, Matthew Williamson and Carven. Buying things you see on the catwalk before anybody else can be exiting and expensive, but if you want to be noticed, staying ahead of the trends is a must.

Both sites operate in the principle of a trunk show, the sales are for limited time, usually for ten days. The focus is on impeccable customer service and that’s no-brainer, as an average order  ranges between $5,000 and $7,000.

As the business continues to expand, it spills over to mobile and all of the above is now available on your very-smart phones, just download the apps!

If you like this, please read more blogs about cool online shops, next!

à bientôt

Yanainparis

Eyeliner and Cigarettes

Born and raised in Paris – and in the true French tradition – I started smoking at the age of 14. Four years later, when I moved to England for my studies, I had to kick the habit. This wasn’t out of sheer willpower, mind you, but because of my scarce student budget: a pack of fags cost approximately £8 (around 12 euros) and the choice between food and tobacco seemed fairly obvious at the time. Now that I have relocated to the French capital, I am forced to admit that old habits do indeed die hard.

So what is it about Paris that encourages its inhabitants to light up? And how is the tendency intrinsically linked to fashion?

Before the First World War, smoking was largely regarded as a masculine behaviour and regarded as taboo for women. Just like wearing trousers, smoking would be seen as a transvestite performance during the course of the 19th century. The only social crowd that would dare to engage in this type of gender-crossing activity, so as to titillate, were the sexually promiscuous: desirable courtisanes. Therefore, to a great degree, puffing has always been sexy – and linked to fashion as a culture.

By the 1920s, the tobacco industry saw an opportunity in the ever-increasing emancipation of women to market cigarettes as a commodity. This led to one of the most controversial campaigns in the history of advertising: “Reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet”, which effectively marked the foundation of the relationship between cigarettes and feminine beauty.

Image courtesy: tobacco.stanford.edu

Image courtesy: tobacco.stanford.edu

The use of cigarettes as appetite suppressants is also inherently related to the pressure French girls endure to stay slim starting at a very young age. Think the Lucky Strike ad was shocking? A couple of years ago, the French diet guru Pierre Dukan (who sold 4 million copies of his method, by the way) suggested that teenagers who managed to maintain their BMI between 18 and 25 during high school should be rewarded with extra points on their baccalauréat diploma. He didn’t advertise cigarettes as such, of course, but it just goes to show that the diktat of slenderness is still extremely relevant, nearly a century after the Lucky Strike campaign. And why do we want to stay slim? Well, that links us right back to the theme of fashion.

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, said famously Kate Moss, who lit up a cigarette as she strolled down the catwalk during Paris Fashion Week 2011. This also shows that there is more to smoking than numbers on the scales: cigarettes look cool. The glamour and poise of smoke-exhaling lips on camera are undeniable, and the French stylist and ex-model Valentine Fillol Cordier conveyed this impression perfectly:

“Fashion loves to go back, to reference itself. And smoking helps: it says history, and style, and it works well for what it says in two dimensions. It’s a bit dreamy, a bit intellectual, it gets smoky and it fills the screen. But it’s in films, in stills, in photos, in something that happened before. It’s in two dimensions. That’s what we love. In all dimensions, in real life, well… you know, it actually stinks. It smells. And it kills. I was a smoker, hell yes. When I was a model – and the people who have a go at models who smoke, well, it kept our weight down. But it has always been far more cool on the screen than in real life. It just works better there.”

Image courtesy: parlourmagazine.com

Image courtesy: parlourmagazine.com

Back to 2015. Almost half of the French population aged between 18 and 34 smoke – and 37% of 11 to 15 year olds say they can’t cope without a cigarette. Our parents smoked. Our grandparents smoked. Our idols smoked (and some of them still do). A few weeks ago, French MPs voted for the neutralization of cigarette packaging starting next year and I wonder how effective this strategy will prove to be, compared to a drastic price rise for example. Besides, cigarettes are associated with so many facets of our culture, the war would have to take effect on a variety of fronts – from the thinness concern to the on-screen visual appeal.

Why haven’t we done more, yet? Is it because we don’t reaaaally want to quit? E-cigarette shops in France are biting the dust and progressively closing down, one by one. They just don’t look as good as the real deal. But there’s also some kind of national pride in the image of the French smoker; the picture of the slender-looking and charismatic smoking Parisian isn’t the worst stereotype we could have been stuck with, to be honest.

— Olivia Kutxi

Visualizing Happiness

 

Paris, March 31, 2015

By: Yana Blumenthal

For those who travel to Paris in April, one of the site seeing spots must be visual display at Printemps!

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One the oldest building in Paris the façade of Printemps Haussmann created theme of roses and flowers in its windows.

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To highlight its 150th birthday, Printemps, that also means Spring in English, has invited 11 artists from France and abroad for this special visual treat. Its emotional and beautiful! If just looking in the windows can evoke happy feelings, than the trip to Paris was worth it.

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Images courtesy: http://departmentstoreparis.printemps.com

So come and experience the creativity and imagination, of talented visual displays artists – free on the streets of Paris.

Thank you Printemps for sharing this very special occasion with all of us and a happy Spring!

à bientôt

Yanainparis

Fabulous and for Goodwill, What More Do You Want from a Bag?

By Fatmé Fahda – Spring 2015 Lebanese designer Sarah Beydoun founded Sarah’s Bag in 2000. Sarah, among other Lebanese designers who came of age during the country’s seventeen-year civil war and are now rebuilding their country’s cultural life through their work in fashion, design, art and music is what inspired Sarah’s Bag to come to life.

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Image Courtesy of businessoffashion.com – Sarah’s Bag Showroom in Lebanon

During her studies, Sarah worked with a local NGO, House of Hope, which helps rehabilitate former prostitutes and ex-prisoners. Sarah was then moved to combine her work with underprivileged women with her love of fashion. Sarah’s Bag employs over 200 female prisoners and ex-prisoners in Lebanon and trains them as skilled artisans – its aesthetic gets more intricate and stronger with each collection. The women loved the plan, especially the upfront payment they received regardless of whether Beydoun sold the item. But everything sold.

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com

 “The trick Sarah’s Bag pulled off was evolving from cause to legitimate fashion brand, and that was only ultimately possible by putting the story second and the fashion first.” – Business of Fashion

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Image Courtesy of thebrander.com – Iconic Sarah’s Bag clutch

Sarah’s bag proved that social entrepreneurship can be stylish and women across the Arab world acquired a taste for accessories that are unique, handmade and a celebration of Arab culture. The company’s success has reached Dubai, Kuwait, Amman, Jeddah, Cairo, and Riyadh. Through the long reach of Lebanese Diaspora, every year new points of sale for Sarah’s Bag sprung up in cities such as Los Angeles, London, Paris, and Marrakech.

Image Courtesy of: @Sarahsbag Instagram

Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Amal Clooney

As a brand renowned for its unique structure, every season, Sarah’s Bag seems to outdo itself. The spring designs feature vibrantly colored clutches and leather bags made with exquisite beadwork and woodwork, some of them adorned with tropical birds, fruits, and landscapes.

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

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Image Courtesy of @SarahsBag Instagram – Spring Summer 2015 Collection

Sarah’s Bag is available online at http://shop.sarahsbag.com. Prices range from $15 to $950, though most items are between $100 and $300.

The Modern Muse: Celebrity Culture?

Kendall Jenner D&G Runway SS15

Kendall Jenner walking for Dolce & Gabbana, SS15

Stephanie Christofferson, Spring 2015

While the rare supermodel may still exist, increasingly she is becoming irrelevant. Brands today are finding more success with using celebrities not only in their ad campaigns, but on the runway. To much acclaim, a couple of notorious characters from the Hollywood hit film Zoolander strutted the runway at the Valentino show this March at Paris Fashion Week; to a bit more mixed acclaim, Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian clan has begun to steal the spotlight in shows such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Oscar de la Renta (to name a few). And celebrities aren’t just walking the runway; many are attempting to dominate it with lines of their own – from Victoria Beckham’s successful line to Kanye West’s decidedly more controversial one. We are living in the age of the actor slash singer slash model slash designer. While advertising has long been taken over by celebrity culture, now some of the tabloid’s most notorious faces are not only taking front row seats at fashion shows, but jumping out of their chairs onto the runway and behind the scenes.

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Original Fall 2015 RTW

Fashion, or hype? A look from Kanye West x Adidas Originals Fall 2015 RTW

This marriage of celebrity culture and the fashion world is controversial, to say the least. While some fear it to be a dangerous mix that may dilute the authenticity of fashion, others believe it to be a collaborative meeting of great artistic minds. Whether it is good or bad for the quality and integrity of fashion, one thing is for sure, it’s marketing genius. Slapping a celebrity’s image onto your brand was always a lucrative move, but now PR agencies are getting more creative. Having the next viral video revolve around your line seems possible only with the help of some very well-known faces, as the Valentino house seemed to know before anyone else.

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe's Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

Miley Cyrus & mom Trish sitting front row at Rachel Zoe’s Fall 2013 runway show (image via MyDaily)

Miss Dior, the (Relatively) Empowered Woman

by Stephanie Christofferson


Dior’s latest Miss Dior commercial writes a revision of the fairytale wedding, casting Natalie Portman in the role of runaway bride. Apologizing to her father and rejecting her groom, Portman runs off into the sunset, stripping off her handmade couture gown (Dior, of course) to reveal a tight black minidress beneath it. A blatant rejection of the patriarchy, the ad calls into question the institution of marriage as well as the feminine role implicated in it. The ad is set to Janis Joplin’s “Piece of My Heart,” a clear feminist reference to the sexual freedom and social revolution characteristic of the 1960’s.

Natalie Portman Miss Dior

Natalie Portman wearing the Dior couture bridal gown (which took 600 hours to create) before fleeing the altar in the latest Miss Dior ad

But just as Dior rejects contemporary gender constructs, it perpetuates them. After all, this ad is for a perfume; perfumes are inherently tied to sex and sexuality, often marketed to depict the wearer as an object of lust. The fact that this particular ad breaks the syntax does not disrupt the entire structure, but paints Dior as modern and empowering. In the end of the commercial, Portman flies off in a helicopter with a hot new copilot. She may have rejected the traditional marriage on land below her, but she does not fly away into the sunset alone.

Miss Dior ditches her groom for a sexy copilot

Miss Dior ditches her groom for a sexy copilot

Is Dior starting a modern feminist revolution that rejects the contemporary institution of marriage? Maybe. More likely, the brand is capitalizing on a current trend of independence, power, individuality and redefinition found throughout popular culture. To underscore this trend, contrast the Dior ad (for women’s perfume) with the latest Chanel ad (for Bleu De Chanel, a men’s cologne) – which shows a man rejecting various forms of celebrity and female attention with the tagline “you are finally becoming who you are.”

Like the Miss Dior ad, the Bleu De Chanel commercial is set to a 1960s soundtrack (this time, a symbol of anti-stereotypical male power and sexuality – Jimi Hendrix). Also like the Dior ad, there are sexual undertones woven throughout. Both ads have found a way to break the syntax without really destroying it, presenting consumers with the feeling of rebellion without the true social consequences. Leave the man at the altar, but find another one; flee the hordes of desperate women, but chase the elusive beauty. It’s not rejection – it’s choice. For Dior, a brand founded on a true celebration of the female figure and female sexuality in the “new look,” the move to keep up with modern incarnations of the empowered woman is a smart one.

Pharrell Collaborations : Fashion Take Over or End of an Era ?

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Image via Adidas

 

Everyone has their own preferences, like never wearing white socks or putting extra sugar in their latte. Sometimes, there is too much, other times there is not enough.

Either if the glass if half full or half empty, one stylistic debate keeps shifting me to one side and back again.

At the cusp of 2015, Pharrell has shown us that he is still attempting a style take over with Chanel’s ‘CC the World’ campaign with Cara Delevingne, Comme des Garçons ‘Girl’ perfume, and a second run with Adidas’s iconic Stan Smith shoe after his explosive popularity with Daft Punk in 2013.

Image via Comme des Garçons x Pharrell

Image via Comme des Garçons x Pharrell

The argument really goes both ways: have the fashion collaborations gone a little too far, or is he still in the game ?

Looking back to 2013 with Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, where the song dominated every global radio station, popularity chart, and club, is where his new-age comeback was born. Immediately bouncing off of this, we saw collaborations at the end of 2013 with artist Takashi Murakami during Art Basel at Silencio, a Paris based club that hosted a pop-up event in Miami, that I was excited to attend. This was one of the first times he was able to legally perform ‘Get Lucky’ without the direct presence of Daft Punk, and he was also in the presence of his Japanese artistic collaborator Takashi Murakami, which introduced art and fashion into the ‘new’ scene.

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Image via Adidas

 

Soon after, Adidas’s iconic shoe line, Stan Smith, was relaunching a campaign and suggested a limited edition designed by Pharrell. These were sold at Colette in Paris and in special boutiques, and were hand painted by the artist. A second campaign has recently been launched in early 2015 by Adidas and Pharrell, which is focused on a uniform pattern of polka dots (a design not similar to artist Kusama, recently featured by Louis Vuitton in 2013).

Image via Colette

Image via Colette

 

From phones, clothes, shoes, and contemporary art, there is even a collaboration with macaroon
company Ladurée in Paris, which was featured during ‘Pharrell’ week at Colette in 2014, when the ‘Girl’ perfume by Comme des Garçons was released in avant-premiere, and he designed the window displays on rue Saint Honoré in the Paris 1st district.

Too much? Planed move? Or strategic way to re-enter the market on both a music and fashion level? I think it’s a mix of all.

Pharrell clearly made his way back into the picture, and established his name in the style industry as well. Other artists have not even made it this far. In 2013 Kanye West attempted to have meetings with Louis Vuitton and was denied a meeting (suspected for a potential collaboration pitch).

It seems that his collaborations have passionate value for the artist as well. Clearly he enjoys street wear, a nice phone, and macaroons to snack on.

2015 will be an opportunistic year to see how Pharrell continues. Maybe it is time for a world tour? I know it would smell good, sound great, and look edgy.

 

William Dorn

Spring 2015