Tom Ford's Spring/Summer 2016 Show Is A Dreamy Lady Gaga Video

Tom Ford
is busy with a new movie right now, so the question of where and when he would show his Spring 2016 women's collection has been in the air over the past few weeks. He announced that there would be no runway show this season, and teased a video that has finally hit the web this morning, and it looks like more fun than any runway show you'll stream this season.
Ford enlisted photographer Nick Knight, a gaggle of the hottest models on the runways including Mica Arganaraz, Lexi Boling, Kayla Scott, Xaio Wen Ju, Valery Kaufman, Aymeline Valade, Lida Fox, Lucky Blue Smith, Alex Dunstan, David Agbodji and Tarun Nijjer and, the real surprise, Lady Gaga, who recorded a special cover of Chic's "I Want Your Love" for a disco soaked 3 minutes and 36 seconds of pure fashion pleasure in the form of an old fashioned Soul Train-style runway party. On his website, Ford explains how it all came together,

Instead of having a traditional show this season, I wanted to think about how to present a collection in a cinematic way that was designed from its inception to be presented online. I have always loved "Soul Train" which used to be on TV in the 70's; as it was as much about the clothes the music. I asked Nile Rodgers to collaborate on a new version of one of his great hits from that time, "I Want Your Love," and worked with Gaga to record the vocals. I then staged a full show in Los Angeles and filmed it with Gaga on the runway, Nick Knight directing and Benoit Delhomme as our director of photography.

Now, why won't anyone let models move like this on the real runways anymore?
Watch and rewatch over and over again below.


The New Look Of NYFW Is All Business

When it was officially announced that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week would be leaving its most recent tent complex at Lincoln Center, nobody in New York's fashion community was particularly disappointed. Ultimately, the heavy presence of sponsors and increasingly irrelevant promotional events turned fashion folks against the concept of centralized shows that, at its inception as 7th on Sixth two decades earlier, had been hailed as New York Fashion Week's coming of age.
Well, if an absence of sponsors and promotional activity is what they wanted, then that is wha they got. Now unencumbered of its auto industry title sponsor, the newly renamed NYFW: The Shows is going back to basics in a dramatic way with a spare, bare bones set-up in the raw construction space of the future Moynihan Station and a clean, minimalist white space at Skylight Clarkson Square in SoHo.  Of course, the many sponsor booths that were so reviled are gone in the future train station, except for a single Tresemmé mini-salon discreetly off to the side, and, ever more incongruously, a small balcony studio for E!'s Fashion Police (pictured below), the show that will not die even after the only real reason to watch it did. If you used to look forward to grabbing a bottle of Vitamin Water from a handy bin or refrigerator, you will now have to line up at a single window in each location where an attendant will hand you a single bottle —so no more stocking up on free water on your way out, fashion folks. If you are feeling peckish and need a quick bite to eat, as far as we could tell, you will be out of luck at both locations where the standard overpriced cafe featuring sandwiches and other snacks that had come to be a standard fixture was nowhere to be seen. Even the rack of gratis fashion periodicals, always a popular feature, was hidden around a corner by the bathrooms.
It is a move from one extreme to another. Instead of the padded benches we once saw around the main lobby at Lincoln Center, there are now bleachers in midtown on the back wall for anyone who needs to wait around between shows or just wants to sit down (pictured above). A few press tables are hidden at the top, and the arrangement is indeed practical but could easily have been executed with a bit more comfort in mind. Still, it's better that the Skylight Clarkson Square arrangement. While the NYFW: Men's set up in July in the same location was practical but comfortable with little oppressive promotional activity, the current version is all optic white walls and empty space.
The effect of this stripped-down Fashion Week is that of a palate cleanser to say the least. Perhaps the strategy is to show designers who eschewed the tents over the years that WME-IMG's Fashion Week arrangement could be just as spartan as a raw space in the Financial District if that's the vibe they were looking for. But then, Fashion folks can be, dare we say, a bit fickle. After a few runway seasons without random makeup giveaways and other various free stuff, showgoers may be longing for the good old days of sponsor booths and swag. Be careful what you wish for.


Givenchy's New Madison Avenue Boutique Is Busy With Shoppers While Its NYFW Debut Invites The Public In

It has taken nearly two years for the folks at Givenchy to transform the space at the corner of Madison Avenue and 65th Street into it's new flagship store (pictured above), and in that time, the space's former resident, Valentino has renovated a new multi-level store on Fifth Avenue as well as created a slightly smaller store on Madison, and Alexander McQueen has taken over the space next door which was also part of Valentino's boutique. 
Why it took Givenchy so long to get what is a sleek but not architecturally complex store open remains a mystery, but who can ever fully explain Manhattan construction delays? In the time since the store was announced, the Givenchy brand, which was just hitting its stride as a revived Haute Couture maison, has grown in stature almost exponentially. That is probably why on a muggy Monday afternoon on the last day of August, while most of the other stores in New York City were enduring the week-before-Labor-Day doldrums, the new Givenchy store was hopping with customers —and not "just looking" customers, but serious, buying customers.
Clearly, there is some pent-up demand for the Riccardo Tisci designed version of Givenchy that has been anticipating the arrival of the new boutique. The store is cleanly designed with a graphic black and white interior that sets of Tisci's often dark and graphic collections. Inspired by an art gallery (which is, frankly not a novel idea for a designer boutique in this day and age) the store's notable focal point is a group of high counters for accessories in the center of the store, neatly arrayed with handbags with their breathtaking prices noted beside them on the plank. The arrangement oddly recalls the original Helmut Lang boutique in SoHo which greeted visitors with similarly blocky displays, but these days, highlighting profit-making accessories is nothing novel. Apparel is relegated to the sides, and the men's line, another area of strong growth, is in the mezzanine upstairs in the back and set off by white glass-tiled walls.
The store is getting off to a strong start, and despite the fact that Barneys appears to carry about three times as much Givenchy merchandise a few blocks away, there remains a clear desire among some shoppers to buy in designers' own stores.
To celebrate the long awaited store, Tisci will take the unusual step of debuting the Spring 2016 Givenchy collection during New York Fashion Week on September 11th. While not unprecedented for a Parisian house to show in New York —Nicolas Ghesquière showed his Fall 2003 Balenciaga collection here to help promote the label's first U.S. boutique in Chelsea— it is a pretty rare occurrence that, this year, will help fill the void left by the unexpected departure of the Donna Karan Collection from the schedule. Creating even more excitement, the house announced today that it will distribute hundreds of tickets to the show to the public, another unusual move that is likely to set off just a touch of Wonka-like frenzy to get in as the date approaches. If it seems like Givenchy is hijacking New York Fashion Week, then you can feel confident that this is probably a one-time thing, but this season's fragmented Fashion Week can probably use the extra excitement as it tests out a new arrangement that spreads official shows between Moynihan Station in midtown and Skylight Clarkson Square in western SoHo.


Men's Fashion Week Wraps Up With Orley, Lucio Castro, deTROIT & Edmund Ooi

New York's first properly organized Men's Fashion Week finished up yesterday in a calm, collected manner that contrasted pleasantly with the exhausted get-me-out-of-here feeling one often encountered at the end of the formerly combined New York Fashion Weeks of the past. Of course, NYFW: Women's will probably generate the same kind of frenzy anyway, bit for the menswear folks who had to endure it, the lack of drama was welcome. In fact, the only question was posed mostly by contrarian journalists who insisted on posing the question, "do we reeally neeeed another fashion week?" For the big names like Michael Kors and John Varvatos, it probably doesn't matter, but for emerging and independent designers, the answer is an emphatic yes.
These are the guys who get lost in crush of hundreds of shows when forced to share a schedule with women's designers. Take deTROIT, a new label from designer Robert Molnar (pictured above). Named after his hometown (where along with New York, the collection is entirely manufactured), Molnar's collection wouldn't be getting the same opportunity for attention before, and now it gets a proper chance to compete for the attention of buyers who aren't rushing from show to show in far flung venues because all of the central ones are booked up. They might have missed Molnar's thoughtful tweaks of classic shapes in fuller, softer more current silhouettes that fit in easily into menswear trends for spring with red-painted feet for an extra dash of kookiness.
Next, The Shophound slipped into Platform 2 to checkout ORLEY's offerings for next season. Designers are getting the hang of how to use these new spaces. The Orley's decided to forgo a traditional runway and set up vignettes around the perimeter of the room with mid-century furniture and oriental rugs. The models circled the room, posing at stations to be viewed and photographed by the standing audience, negating the need for seating arrangements and giving everyone a good view while taking full advantage of the entire space. The collection. It was a better way to show off the still evolving label's dedication to intricate knitting techniques than having a model swiftly stride by on a runway. These sweaters bear a lingering gaze, and while some of the styling seemed a bit more edgy than the brand's fresh-faced fashion image would have called for thus far (no more greasy hair please and thank you), you could see how some of the cropped sweaters will sell nicely at retail when they ship at a more classic length. The show also included more woven pieces to round out a full collection as well as some striking decorated sneakers made in collaboration with Greats, and though the finale-free format made the actual finish of the show somewhat unclear, the designers got a strong ovation when they made it out for a bow.
Toward the end of the day, LUCIO CASTRO staged his runway/presentation hybrid on platform 3. Castro is another of New York's striving up-and-comers in his first seasons with retailers like Bloomingdale's and Saks who stands to gain the most from a separate men's Fashion Week. This season it was a tribute to Nollywood, Nigerian Hollywood, said to be the world's second largest film industry. This brought out inspired prints and pattern combinations on a model cast that was appropriately but not gratuitously diverse.
Up on 14th Street, a more avant garde component of Fashion Week took it stage as Malaysian born, Belgium based designer EDMUND OOI presented his first New York show. Were the many pantsless looks and cut-out styles likely to make their way into Saks or Nordstrom? Probably not anytime soon, but Ooi's year-old company has already been invited to Pitti Imagine Uomo and his last collection's show was sponsored by Giorgio Armani in Milan. Each look was full of ideas —overflowing with them, in fact, but if you can look past the trailing lacing and skimpy briefs (and some really cool shoes), you might find a uncanny eye for innovative knit effects and graphic patterns that point to an inventive designer to emerge from under all the flashy details. Ooi rounds out the spectrum of designers that make a men's fashion week in New York not only worthwhile but necessary.
Have a look at the shows in the gallery below.

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New York Fashion Week Men's Is Unveiled With Shinola, Timo Weiland, Duckie Brown & Robert Geller

Yesterday The Shophound finally got a look at the long awaited New York Fashion Week: Men's at Skylight Clarkson Square on the northwestern edge of SoHo —and it looks good. Pretty much anything would be an improvement over cramming the American men's designer shows into the overstuffed women's schedule, but the new set-up seem to be working well, as far as we could tell, though some designers seemed to have growing pains in leaving their familiar showing spaces.
The good part is that the oppressive promotional atmosphere of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is gone, and on a day where scattered showers could make traveling around town problematic, a central location saved us and others from potential drenching.  Also, since the shows are in a real building, there are real bathrooms —an amenity whose importance is not to be underestimated. The sponsors are fewer and more relevant. Cadillac's show car is parked on the sidewalk where it belongs rather than in the middle of things leaving lots of room for showgoers to sit down, charge their devices and get to work without having to squeeze into some cramped press pen. Amazon has kept its promotional presence relevant, focusing on the fashion division it is dedicated to growing. Another major sponsor, SHINOLA (pictured above), used its space to present its Spring 2016 collection, giving the Shophound a chance to chat with our friend Richard Lambertson of Lambertson Truex who have transformed the Detroit-based brand's  artisanally styled leather line into a fully fledged accessories collection ready to compete at the top levels in quality and design with other luxury brands. No longer a charming side offering to the watches and bikes, the line boasts the same sumptuous leathers we are used to seeing from Shinola, now made into beautifully constructed duffels, backpacks, messenger bags and small leather goods featuring the thoughtful topstitching and details that erstwhile Lambertson Truex fans will recognize. Lambertson now shuttles between New York and Detroit where his design studio and sample workrooms are located, and like all of Shinola's products, the entire collection is manufactured in the U.S.A.

Next we were off to check out TIMO WEILAND's presentation. Platform 3, as the venue was called is a smaller room meant for static presentations. In recent seasons, the label has been showing its menswear at the Highline Hotel's cavernous space, and the move to a smaller room was not without its glitches. perhaps next season, they will avoid making a v-shaped presentation format that basically pushed the showers into a bottleneck against the narrower end of the room. Live and learn, but the collection looked fresh, a priority with the added attention a dedicated men's fashion week will bring. Known for a twisted take on preppy clothes, designers Weiland, Alan Eckstein and Donna Kang gave us more twist and less preppy for a more sophisticated feeling and a more international look. The line looked great. The presentation format needs rethinking.

Shophound Faves DUCKIE BROWN also had some relocation pains in moving from their longtime venue at Industria to the larger Platform 2 room at Clarkson Square. Menswear's current fascination with androgyny should put the veteran indie label right in its spotlight, as Steven Cox and Daniel Silver have been mixing masculine elements and traditionally feminine materials since day one. Their Spring 2016 collection found a way to continue their techniques without looking like their models stumbled through their mothers' closets or ransacked an overpriced thrift shop like a few high-profile European luxury brands have. Unfortunately, what was uncharacteristically awkward was the show staging which had half of the models walking the runway in shadow, frustrating the photographers who, as they will, made their displeasure known vocally. Having guest seated only on one side of the runway also left large portion of the room unused which seemed ill-advised. Again, with added attention to menswear this week, one would have liked such an accomplished collection to simply be seen better.

ROBERT GELLER, however, made the most of his new space. Used to showing in along, narrow, sometimes problematic space at Pier 59 Studios, the designer took to the spacious Platform 1 with apparent ease, constructing a northern European seaside-inspired set and a J-shaped runway format that made the most of the complex's largest room. Geller's sportswear beautifully reflected menswear's slow but steady move away from tight silhouettes toward looser fitting clothes with his rich color sense in full effect. Quirky hats and knitted cummerbunds pulled the looks together. Overall it was an upgrade in presentation for Geller along with a further evolution for his label.
Have a glimpse at the shows in the gallery below

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New York Men's Day Kicks Off The Newest Fashion Week

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The official Fashion Week that New York's menswear designers have been waiting for is finally here. While it won't rival the size and scope of the Women's seasonal event that it finally extricated itself from, It is already proving why it has been long overdue —even before it has technically started.
Yesterday, New York Men's Day gave the week its unofficial kick-start with a series of twelve presentations split into two shifts, morning and afternoon from some of America's emerging men's labels. Organized by Agentry PR, the event has previously taken place a part of the formerly merged New York Fashion Week, but as with most men's shows, got swallowed up in that overstuffed schedule. Now that it has room to breathe, all the designers should benefit from more focused attention, and they rose to the occasion. The twelve labels on the roster range from a few who are probably ready for their own full shows to newbies just starting to cause a stir. Standouts included David Hart's Bauhaus inspired suits and sportswear (pictured above), Cadet's continuously evolving take on military looks —including an appearance from cult model Chad White— and immaculately styled retro tinged tailoring from Eponymous. Have a glimpse at those collections as well as looks from Boyswear, CWST, Garciavelez, PLAC, Kenneth Ning, Matiere, Fingers Crossed, Chapter and Carlos Campos in the galleries above for the morning presentations and below for the afternoon shows.

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Fashion Week's New Homes Are Just Where We Thought They Would Be

There were no big surprises as IMG officially announced the new homes for its New York Fashion Week shows, and it will be just the pain in the ass we predicted. Next season's official shows will be taking place at two far flung locations as had been widely predicted. The schedule will be split between Skylight at Moynihan Station at 360 West 33rd Street and Skylight Clarkson Square at 550 Washington Street. In addition, IMG has full acquired Made at Milk which has been providing show space for designers at little or no rental cost, and it will continue to operate independent of the other locations. That means that This September's fashion week shows will have press and buyers shuttling between 33rd Street, the western end of 15th street and the far western edge of SoHo just below Houston street. That doesn't include other popular venues like Industria, Spring Studios in Tribeca, the various Armories and any other of the off-site locations that will be required to host the hundreds of shows that aren't officially on IMG's misleadingly tight schedule.
So it really won't be that much different, although Moynihan station shaves about 30 blocks off the span of territory now that Lincoln Center is off the map. One plus is that the men's shows will be consolidated at Skylight Clarkson Square in July, so they won't have to compete for venues and production teams, and that might ease the schedule just a bit. Moynihan Station, the Farley Post Office which will ultimately become a full train station has the advantage of being right on an express stop for the A, C and E trains, but the other two locations are at least a couple of crosstown blocks away from the subway, so expect Uber to be as busy and peak priced as ever. Eventually, Fashion Week is expected to consolidate itself at the fabled Culture Shed planned for Hudson Yards, but since that isn't really expected to be ready until 2019, it looks like this is what Fashion Week is going to look like for the foreseeable future.
Get your comfortable shoes ready, fashion folks.
Oh, who are we kidding, they're never going to wear comfortable shoes.

NYFW’s New Homes: Midtown and SoHo (WWD)


Q: Where Will Fashion Week Be Held Next Seaon?
A: Everywhere

Today's WWD has a lead article speculating on where WME-IMG will stage (the formerly titled Mercedes-Benz) New York Fashion Week this September. There are three leading candidates, all of which have major drawbacks.
First off is Moynihan Station in the old James Farley Post Office (pictured above) across Eighth Avenue from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden. They have the space, and fashion events have been held there before. It is also centrally located near subway lines, but the drawback is that this particular stretch of midtown is reliably home to Manhattan's worst traffic patterns which could affect the multitude of trucks required for loading and unloading the multiple shows that would be taking place.
Also, if the station is holding fashion shows, then when exactly is it going to turn into the train station that we have been hearing about for the past 20 years? That's an answer for a whole other article, but Moynihan Station is  not the only option.
Also highly touted is Skylight Clarkson Square, which will house this summer's Men's Fashion Week shows and is also a regular home to many runway shows. 70,000 square feet on Washington Street in Western SoHo makes it a cool downtown location, but, unlike Lincoln Center and Bryant Park, there is not exactly a subway stop at its doorstep. Not every Fashion Week attendee travels by Taxi or private car. The third likely option is tents on a Tribeca Pier on the Hudson River, possibly Pier 26? That creates its own transportation issues, but it would be near the newly resurgent Financial District shopping area as well as Condé Nast's new reportedly rodent-ridden WTC headquarters.
Then there's also the issue of how to integrate Made Fashion Week, which WME-IMG is in the process of acquiring, into the larger Fashion Week structure. Will that prompt a move to centralize at Chelsea Piers which is very close to Made's home at Milk Studios?
They will to have to think fast. Planning a mega-event in September requires more advanced planning that IMG may already have time for. WWD also notes that most people involved expect that Fashion Week will find a permanent home at the proposed Culture Shed in Hudson yards in the West 30s which has been projected for a 2017 opening. That may be an optimistic timetable, and complex may not be ready until 2019.
At the moment, it all seems to be up in the air without a real frontrunner location, so what will likely happen is a lot of shows exhaustingly scattered all over Manhattan just like we experienced this past week and in previous seasons. A decision will have to be made soon, however, so stay tuned. We may just get a manageable Fashion Week soon.

IMG Eyes New Fashion Week Venues (WWD)


What Does It Mean When The Best Swag Is Laundry Detergent?

We have already noted that the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week tents at Lincoln Center feel like they are phoning it in at this point. This is their last season. It is also the last season for Mercedes as the name sponsor, and nobody really knows exactly where IMG's New York Fashion Week will materialize next season. The latest rumor has it taking up in the still not fully constructed Moynihan Station in the old Post Office across the street form Penn Station which seems...plausible?
Anyway, as most of the designers of note have migrated away from the tents, this season, the usual crush of sponsor booths, on of designers' biggest complaints about the tents, has also diminished along with the endless supply of product being handed out.
The days of bringing an extra bag along to collect the day's swag haul during Fashion Week are long over, but you could still count on picking up some Tresemmé shampoo and conditioner in the Tents somewhere along the way. There is still a salon booth from the brand, but it seems a bit less welcoming this year, and they aren't handing out samples to everyone who passes by. There is an SK-II booth, which should have caused delight, but it requires a consultation and you have to log on to their website to have swag sent to your home, which is just a little to personal to The Shophound who is used to being handed a bag of occasionally bewildering beauty products that I can then distribute to my delighted female friends and family members.
You see, most of the beauty swag is of no use to The Shophound, although there were a few years there when we never had to actually bother buying shampoo and conditioner. We have dutifully collected all those beauty products and other miscellany because, it was always free, and it has allowed us to, on the odd occasion, become a fountain of free stuff for friends which has its own rewards. Who knew that a Maybelline mascara could produce such joy? Sadly, the bountiful bags of free product have become scarce.
And on to the less relevant sponsors. Papyrus is there again, and they gave us a free valentine card last week which gives them higher points for usefulness. We have already mentioned how pleased we were to see some free Yoplait yogurt distributed, but we haven't seen them reappear. Some of the tech sponsors of the past like Samsung and Logitech are now conspicuously absent, and while they didn't actually give much stuff away, they added to the trade show-like atmosphere. Their absence brings the E! Network's Fashion Police studio stage down to the floor level which, again, is a dubious development. 
Then there's Tide.
The laundry detergent brand has its own sponsor booth this season ostensibly to show visitors how easy it is to actually wash clothes which most of us naturally relegate to the ease but also the expense of the dry cleaner. On top of that, they had a generous supply of Tide pods with Febreze to hand out to pretty much anybody stepping in without having to endure too much of a hard-sell. Now, this is, admittedly a better bit of swag for people who do their own laundry —less common in New York than in most places— and have easy access to a washing machine —again, not always a given here. But drawbacks aside, we were happy to take that free Tide, and we might try to score some more. After all, it's a product we trust, and it's so much easier to carry a few pods to the laundromat (where, yes, we do wash our own clothes rather than handing them over to somebody else) rather than toting a heavy, sloshing, occasionally leaking bottle of liquid.
So there you have it. Maybe its a result of our going to far fewer shows this season, but Tide, you have won our blue ribbon for swag this season. Congratulations!


Naeem Khan Brings The Shiny

As many of you regular Shophounders out here may have noticed, we have toned down out Fashion Week coverage here  over the past few seasons. it's not that we don't love a great runway show.
We do.
We just don't want to waste our time running to and from the ones that aren't so great.
Having said that, it wouldn't seem like Fashion Week without at least one full-on parade of glam, and so we have NAEEM KHAN to thank very kindly for making sure we didn't miss out.
Fashion has become so fragmented that, at this point, most designers seem to just do their own thing without regard to trends as long as they know they have faithful customers who love what they do. Khan's thing is glamorous eveningwear with no holds barred. Sequins, palettes, bugle beads, feathers and lamé are all in welcome abundance on his runways and his Fall 2015 collection, his tenth runway show, was no exception.
There's a lot more to making sparkly gowns than throwing sequins at a bias cut dress, and Khan makes sure we can see that with intricately patterned beaded embroideries, and deceptively sleek shapes. There were some non-shiny looks in chiffon or other matte silks, but the standouts were, as always, the sparkly looks including a few beautifully engineered gowns in black with gunmetal beaded geometric or scalloped patterns that fell into tumbling palettes by the time they reached the hems. For the overstaters, there was minidress in bugle bead fringe or perhaps one in ostrich feathers? Maybe the giant white fox hunting hats were a bit much, but overall, it was, as expected, a rousing and particularly satisfying show that left his audience, clients and retailers, smiling.
Have a look at some runway highlights in the gallery below

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