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July 23 2014

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2 posts tagged "womenswear"

Au Jour Le Jour Goes Back to School

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BLOG_dyptich_1Yesterday afternoon, emerging Milan-based brand Au Jour Le Jour transformed Florence’s old customs office on Via Valfonda into a club-age iteration of a primary school classroom. Showgoers sat at red, yellow, blue, or green desks instead of perching on benches (which made it incredibly easy to take notes, for the record) and the back staircase was lined with glowing neon lights. It was the perfect backdrop for designers Mirko Fontana and Diego Marquez’s debut menswear collection, dubbed #backtoschool. The duo, who last season won the support of Armani and presented their womenswear lineup at Milan’s Armani Teatro, turned out a Spring ’15 range imbued with playful, kooky kitsch.
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“I found my old notebook from primary school, and we decided to give this mood to the collection with embroidery and prints,” explained Marquez backstage. “But we also tried to show strong tailoring. It was really important for us to make something fun but sophisticated.” Prints comprising rhinoceroses, red apples, yellow school buses, pencils, glue bottles, and lions were scattered across cotton shorts, short-sleeve button-downs, skirts, and dresses. (The designers showed a smattering of womenswear, too.) These motifs, along with pink unicorns and orange lions, were repeated elsewhere in sequins. Also on offer were preppy pastel knits paired with the shortest of short shorts for him and high-waisted boy shorts for her, as well as leather handbags that took the form of the abovementioned animals. Striped soccer socks and bright-hued sandals completed each irreverent look. The clothes were a good bit of fun—and well-made fun, at that, incorporating double cotton, paillette, quilted nylon, and a selection of couture fabrics for suits. That being said, those cheeky short shorts, or the women’s cropped sweaters, would surely be a recipe for detention.

Photos: Courtesy of Au Jour Le Jour

Tim Hamilton’s Womenswear Debut: No Boys Allowed

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Disregard the name. According to Tim Hamilton, it’s giving people the wrong impression. “People hear ‘Tim Hamilton,’ and they immediately think all-American, they think casual, they think sportswear,” muses the designer, restraining a sigh. “You can’t really control how you’re perceived, but honestly, that’s really not who I am.” Indeed, Hamilton has come a long way from his days in the trenches at Ralph Lauren and J.Crew: Not only has he steered his eponymous menswear brand on an ever more directional path since launching it in 2006, but now, as he debuts womenswear, Hamilton finds himself beating back those all-American sportswear expectations yet again. Fashion is, after all, riding a wave of interest in the unisex—witness Chloë Sevigny‘s new line for Opening Ceremony, or Stefano Pilati’s Edition Unisex designs for YSL—and Hamilton’s female fans may have anticipated, and perhaps even hoped, that the designer would jump on that bandwagon. But instead of riffing on his duds for men, or for that matter, conceding to the recession economy’s utilitarian mood, the womenswear he’s unveiling for Fall ’09 is both unapologetically luxe and exultantly feminine. “That’s one reason I wanted to show in Paris,” Hamilton explains. “My reputation doesn’t precede me here, quite so much. Although obviously,” he adds, “there’s still that whole name thing to contend with.” This evening, Hamilton will present his first womenswear collection at Galerie Ghislaine Hussenot in Le Marais; here, he tells Style.com about fashion fantasy, Iowan fabulosity, and the fastest way to a fashion editor’s heart.

Can I be frank? Your menswear is something I already like to shop, and it seems so adaptable to a womenswear aesthetic—I was a little disappointed when I found out you were going in a completely new direction with this line.
I get that whole thing, of going to the boy’s department, shopping men’s vintage, borrowing from your boyfriend’s closet. I really do. But I also feel like that’s more interesting than just, you know, buying something from a designer who does womenswear versions of his men’s stuff. It’s like, you want the cuts to be a little off.

You didn’t even toy with the idea of doing something unisex-y? That’s having such a moment.
It honestly never even occurred to me to do a woman’s collection that way. Not to sound like a snob or anything, but that wouldn’t have been a challenge. I wanted to think about women on their own terms—they shop differently, the trends move at a different pace, you have more freedom to be experimental. Designing a woman’s collection is like creating a world. Whereas with the men’s stuff, you know, I’ve kind of hit my mark, and so each new season comes down to establishing a few key shapes and then polishing up the details. There’s more of a premium on consistency. And I was ready for fantasy. Continue Reading “Tim Hamilton’s Womenswear Debut: No Boys Allowed” »