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August 30 2014

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56 posts tagged "Zac Posen"

Decoding Fashion in the Digital Age

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As New York fashion week drew to a close yesterday, the digital world descended upon Lincoln Center for the first-ever Decoded Fashion Forum to discuss innovation in fashion and technology. Featuring tech and fashion titans alike, the panel included designer Zac Posen, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, and Rebecca Minkoff CEO Uri Minkoff, each of whom discussed the benefits and challenges of business in a digital age. Among the topics: redefining e-commerce, forecasting trends online, and the power of social media. “We live in a voyeuristic culture where communication is king,” said Posen, who counts over 130,000 followers on Instagram. “The ability to get a visceral reaction from the customer during the creative process is thrilling and satisfying.” Model and panelist Coco Rocha, who has amassed over one million followers on Google+, waxed poetic over the importance of staying genuine. “I don’t have some PR company posting my photos,” she told moderator and Glamour editor in chief Cindi Leive. “It’s very personal.” (The star of The Face also admitted to her new e-obsession: Vine, an app that allows users to share personal videos. “I’m practically the only model on there, so you all have no choice but to follow me,” she instructed the audience of bloggers and digital-media types.)

The CFDA’s Steven Kolb, Gilt Groupe’s chairman Susan Lyne, and our own editor in chief, Dirk Standen, were also on hand to judge the forum’s first annual Hackathon. (Launched earlier this month, the competition challenged five hundred applicants to create an original app that supports the global growth of American fashion). After the five finalists debuted brief presentations to master of ceremonies Candy Pratts Price, the judges awarded first prize to SWATCHit, a peer-to-peer platform connecting global designers with emerging-market artisans and overseas producers. The winnings? A $10,000 prize and an opportunity to have the app launched by the CFDA. “Everyone is looking for the next best answer in closing the loophole between fashion and technology,” said Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who co-founded the forum with Liz Bacelar. “To anchor fashion week with an event that brings together all these talented people from different worlds is critical to the industry. This is the wave of the future.”

Decoded Fashion Forum: Live Stream

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NYFW just got techy. Last week, the world’s first Fashion Hackathon united developers, designers and entrepreneurs with insider knowledge of the fashion industry. The intent was for these individuals in the know to come up with an app that could support the global growth of American fashion. Today at the Decoded Fashion Forum, the five best teams of fash-app innovators will be judged on their work by leaders like the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, designer Zac Posen, Gilt Groupe’s Chairman Susan Lyne, Rebecca Minkoff’S CEO Uri Minkoff, and Style.com’s own Dirk Standen. Tune in to today’s live panel from 10 through 2 p.m. to learn how we can tackle challenges in the fashion industry through technology, and, of course, to see who wins the Hackathon.

Wine for Breakfast with Ecco Domani

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Nine thirty may seem a little early for a wine tasting. But winemaker Ecco Domani had to serve a little something (specifically, its new Blue Moscato) to toast the winners of its 2013 Fashion Foundation awards. Yesterday morning, the likes of fashion consultant Julie Gilhart, Neiman Marcus’ Ken Downing, and Paper‘s Kim Hastreiter (all of whom helped select this year’s honorees) gathered at the Museum of Arts and Design to fete TOME (designed by Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin), Ian Velardi, Deborah Pagani, and Susan Woo. Each of the emerging brands and designers took home a $25,000 grant to fund their upcoming Fall presentations at New York fashion week. “There was an exceptional group this year,” said judge Sally Singer, who cited women’s wear label TOME as particularly impressive. “These prizes are intended to support and reward emerging talent, and this really was a new-wave kind of year.”

This year’s designers join the ranks of previous winners like Proenza Schouler, Alexander Wang, Zac Posen, and Prabal Gurung. The latter attended today’s breakfast as a guest speaker. “When you look at the people who have won in the past, it’s not only a huge boost of confidence, it confirms working this hard has been worth it,” said Woo, winner of the Sustainable Design category. Menswear winner Ian Velardi, who will show his collection for the first time at New York fashion week, echoed the sentiment, saying, “This is probably one of the greatest accomplishments in my life, let alone my career.” How does Gurung feel the award affected his career trajectory? “It changed the landscape of my business early on by simply getting people to notice who I was,” the designer told Style.com. The EDFF alum, who debuts his capsule collection for Target next week, did not leave without offering the rookies some sage advice: “Have the vision of where you want to go but don’t lose sight of where you are. Be present and dare to dream.”

Photos: Andy Kropa/ Getty Images

New York Is Burning

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Anyone who has seen the seminal documentary Paris Is Burning or tried to “strike a pose” like Madonna is familiar with voguing—the gender-bending posing that flourished during the late eighties and early nineties with New York’s “ball culture.” Last night, W Hotels paid tribute to the “legendary” underground movement by putting on its own Love Hangover Ball—a voguing competition—in support of amfAR and World AIDS Day on December 1. Hosted by Kelly Osbourne, the walk-off drew a crowd of club kids and fashion fixtures, including models Karlie Kloss, Anja Rubik, Anne Vyalitsyna, and Lily Donaldson, and designers like Richard Chai, Zac Posen, and Prabal Gurung.

“I used to go to all the voguing balls back in the day,” said Simon Doonan, who judged the event alongside a panel that included Fergie, Mickey Boardman, and Jason Wu. Wearing a fur coat and a necklace constructed out of Liberace charm bracelets, Doonan reminisced about the old days. “I knew all those people and houses: the Xtravaganzas, the House of Dorian Corey, the Mizrahis. The level of style and preparation that went into the balls is beyond description. Drag queens would still be painting on their lashes at 10 p.m., and the balls would take hours and hours, going until 3 or 4 in the morning. Hopefully that won’t be the case tonight.” W‘s style director Edward Enninful was also a judge and voguing veteran. “I’m a huge fan of voguing. Growing up, it was a very important part of all our lives,” he said. “It’s a great art form. It’s glamorous. It’s fashion. I think the new generation is really inspired by what it represents.”

Speaking of the new generation, Donaldson and Kloss were just babies during the fad’s heyday, but were quickly swept up. By the end of the performance, both girls were pounding their fists on the makeshift runway, finger-wagging, and yelling, “Work!” When asked to compare her posing abilities to the divas onstage, Donaldson enthused, “These girls are on a completely different level. I wouldn’t stand a chance against them.” Perhaps Pat McGrath summed up the evening best: “Drama, drama, drama. Fierce, fierce, fierce. Realness.” Amen.

Model Slash: Entrepreneur Erin O’Connor

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Erin O’Connor needs no introduction. After a nearly two-year-long hiatus, the supermodel (pictured), who first came on the scene in the mid-nineties and has been a muse to countless industry influencers, from designers like Jean Paul Gaultier and Karl Lagerfeld to photographers Richard Avedon and Nick Knight, is ready to make her runway return at the Spring shows in September. “I’ve been in and out of fashion for 15 years and I’m re-carving my career yet again, because aside from missing the people I’ve built relationships with in fashion, I miss posing the most,” O’Connor told Style.com. “I love the physicality of my job and how my mind and body are most happy when I’m expressing and moving. My face was always secondary to body alignment and the dynamism of making a moment come alive.” O’Connor’s first job back on the scene was shooting Zac Posen’s latest Resort lookbook (she’s also done editorials for Rankin’s The Hunger and the forthcoming TWELV magazine). “It’s funny because I did Zac’s first show about ten years ago. My fitting back then was in his parents’ kitchen, so I really felt like I got the measure of the man when I came back like a decade later and he’s now a full-on phenomenon,” she said. For the occasion, O’Connor asked Posen’s photographer to set up a mirror next to his camera so she could adjust her poses—just like Richard Avedon used to do with her when she first started out. “He was very instrumental in teaching me how to use my body because I grew up as a ballerina, which is all about continuous movement, while photography is static and about capturing a moment.” Given her rekindling with Posen, we wouldn’t be surprised to see O’Connor turn up on the designer’s catwalk in September.

While O’Connor may have shortly stepped away from the limelight (“By the time I hit 30, I finally realized I’d been independent and working non-stop since I was 19,” she said), she’s had her hands full steadily juggling plenty of side acts. For starters, O’Connor founded the Model Sanctuary to address new health initiatives the British Fashion Council had set out for models back in 2007. Each season, O’Connor and her colleagues offer a comfortable, educational surrounding for models to unwind between the shows during London fashion week. Up to 300 models stop by the house each day and have access to a team of professionals including therapists, nutritionists, trainers, and life coaches. “There was so much aggression fueling the whole debate about thin models that it became counterproductive,” O’Connor explained. “I wanted to move away from the hard-hitting scrutiny and create something that was reassuring and non-alienating. I think we’ve made positive, sustainable, and much needed change.”

In the same vein, O’Connor co-founded All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, which is an organization that promotes celebrating women of all ages, shapes, and sizes as beautiful through a variety of public campaigns. But that’s not all. Along with stylist Kate Halfpenny, O’Connor started up a line of ethically sourced graphic T-shirts and bags called She Died of Beauty. The idea came to her after a lively night out. She and a friend were recovering the next morning and Emily Dickinson came up in conversation. Referring to the poet, O’Connor’s pal said, “Don’t worry. She died of beauty.” According to O’Connor, “there was something quite genius in that simple token statement, so we decided to develop those fresh words into a full concept, which has a kind of dark humor to it. In general, I think we should impose as much humor as possible on fashion because people in the industry are known to take themselves so seriously. ” In addition to shirts that read “She Died of Beauty,” there are also ones like “She Died of Perfection” and “She Died of Love.” They employ a group of women based in India to hand-make each of the items and are planning a new range involving intricate embroidery, which plays up their artisans’ strong suits. Putting all of these effervescent enterprises on the back burner, O’Connor currently has a laser-sharp focus on returning to modeling in a big way. She says, “I feel like I still have so much to give this industry.” Apparently others agree. O’Connor told us that backstage before Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest Couture show, the designer assigned each model a different siren, from Monroe to Hepburn, to embody on the runway. When he came to O’Connor, Gaultier stopped and said, “You—you’re just going to play yourself. You are already an absolute diva.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo