Thoughts on Today’s Fashionistas: Online and Off

Do you love fashion? Do you see fashion as an art form? Do you view clothes as a way to express yourself? Do you scour the best boutique clothing sites out there to see what the top forms of elegance are in today’s society? If that’s the case then you might just be a fashionista.

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Style, expressionism and art surround us, particularly in the form of what we wear. This is fashion at its core. You can add to this by learning more about the different styles of blouses and pants designs. You can read into the history of dress patterns and talk with your friends about their likes and dislikes in clothing styles to see what can potentially be done to make fashion better. If this is your passion, then you’re a fashionista at heart.

The best of the best; that is what you strive for. In style and fashion and in art. The best comes from the best of brick-and-mortar clothing stores and the best boutique clothing sites. Huge chains can contribute to a fashionista’s online selection but these giants will never have the level of understanding and classiness that a small online boutique does for the customer.  A true fashionista in today’s mixed world of digital glamour and physical sophistication is one that integrates the intangible and tangible forms of fashionable art into one but knows the differences between quality and want-to-be quality.

It is a simple mix of both that give away to a true persona of style. But what exact characteristics go into donning the lifestyle of a fashionable person? The archetype of a fashionista can go by the following traits and behaviors:

  1. You own the wearing of your clothing, not the other way around.
  2. You view fashion as one of the most elite forms of art.
  3. Your friends, family and admirers appreciate your sense of fashion and come to you for advice on what to where and when.
  4. Fashion to you is a way to develop your self and personality.
  5. Shopping is not simply fun time but study time, whether it be at downtown shops or on one of the best boutique clothing sites that you recommend consistently to the people of your life.
  6. Seeing the beauty of strangers and friends alike is one of your strong suits, particularly when those people do not see their own beauty.
  7. You are not a slave to the latest trends or hottest fads. You own who you are, in personality, style and attire.

Being a fashion-forward lady does not mean you need to read Vogue every day or check for sales at the most popular shop in town. It means that you know how to identify and build out the most becoming traits in a person’s wardrobe and lifestyle. Shopping at the best boutique clothing sites can truly contribute to this process because the internet is where some of the most unique and amazing styles and ideas come from. One single find from a unique website can make all the difference in brightening up a lady’s personal style and get heads turning. A fashionista knows how to do this through and through.

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Paris Men’s Fashion Week 2016

Though many have grown to expect the darkness of the avant-garde style normally displayed during Paris Fashion Week, recent years have turned away from this, focusing on lighter themes and colors. This year has continued moving away from the edginess of tight blacks and whites, instead looking to colors and flowing silhouettes. These are two of my favorite shows from over the past week.

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten was the only member of the famed Antwerp Six to present a collection this week in Paris (Ann Demeulemeester’s eponymous label did have a show, but the label is currently headed by Sebastien Meunier). Unlike his colleagues, Van Noten’s energy has not shown any sign of slowing down since his graduation from the Antwerp Academy in 1980, and certainly shows none this year, as he presented a Men’s’ Fall/Winter 2016 collection full of eye-popping eccentricities and flair. Patterns and embroideries snaked and crept across coats, jackets, pants, and shirts, drawing attention with their variety of colors and shapes.

Interestingly, military patches were sewn on sleeves chests, but were turned and mirrored to create new patterns, giving a playful twist to what is normally a symbol of serious authority. Most notably, something closely resembling a bulletproof vest was adorned with a number of colorful patches, giving it the appearance of a majestic knight’s armor. Slim and loose trousers alike found their way on to the runway, sporting a variety of silky, starched, gleaming, smooth textures. While the show seemed like a mixing pot of colors, details, intricacies, and ideas, it seemed to boil down to a wearable fantasy. The beautiful uniqueness and details Van Noten adds fit with the standard format of pea coats, bomber jackets, trench coats, and button-down shirts to create something amazing and new.  
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Swedish brand Acne Studios has always ridden the fine line between contemporary wear and high end fashion, with their minimalistic and highly wearable basic pieces next to their more innovative and runway-esque designs. This season continues with a blending of the two styles, showcasing simple coats, suede button-downs, wool cardigans, and pants decorated with oversized buttons, extra buttons, and buttons as seams. On top of what seems to be a button motif, there were stitched on strips of fabric and a few intentionally undone extra long cuffs on the wrists of shirts.

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Boho chic inspirations were obvious here with the loose and relaxed vibes of each silhouette. Large sections of uninterrupted fabric showed off the rich textures on each garment: the visible fuzziness of a navy oversized wool coat, the softness of a casually unbuttoned suede vest, the shining smoothness of bright green pair of leather pants. Long hair, often covering eyes, and bandannas adorned heads and necks, following the hint of 80’s resurgence set by the high-waisted and loose pants many looks featured. One thing that may surprise those familiar with Acne Studios is the lack of a heavy androgyny focus the brand displayed in other recent collections. Regardless, the show stayed true to the core characteristics of the brand, with its minimalistic but unique focus.

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Marketing your fashion brand online

If you want to get by in the highly competitive modern fashion world, you have to be online. If you want to be successful, you have to give your all to online marketing. This is the key to getting noticed by the big name critics, buyers, fashion houses and customers alike. How you market your brand will depend on your individual style and the particular people you’re most keen to reach, but there are certain basics that everybody needs to get right.

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The basics of online marketing

Online marketing starts with your website: it’s your front office, the center of your online activities and the point towards which all your activity elsewhere should point. Make sure it looks good and functions well, regardless of the device people are using to access it.

Alongside your website, you’ll need a Facebook page, which you should update at least daily – three to four times a day for maximum impact. You’ll also need to be active on other social media. Twitter is good for reach, but in order to show off your designs, you should be using visual media outlets such as Instagram and Pinterest.

Building up your online presence

Once you’ve got the basics down, you can look at ways to beef up your online presence. One very effective way to show off your work is to make short videos – catwalk shows, for instance, films of your team at work or mini adverts – which you can distribute via YouTube and Vimeo. You can also try promoting your work through apps. The trick is to provide a useful, fashion-relevant facility for users so that they’ll check these often and think of your brand when they do.

What the professionals say

If you check out Bob Parsons Godaddy on WSJ, you’ll see that he sets a lot of stock in measuring the productivity of your different activities and learning from this. As someone who has made billions trading online, he knows what he’s talking about, and when it comes to marketing your fashion brand, you should be collecting information wherever you can so that you can determine which approaches are connecting most effectively with your customers. There’s no one size fits all solution to this kind of marketing, so it’s up to you to design your own based on this kind of feedback.

Mixing sales and marketing

If you’re selling clothes, bags, footwear or accessories online, you can combine this with your marketing.  Even if you have your own online store, placing some items on eBay can do a lot to get your brand name out there, especially as you can associate it directly with other keywords and categories, helping you to target it at the right demographic. Invest in professional quality photography and get your best work out there. Don’t forget to tell the story of your brand alongside your designs, helping people to identify with who you are and what you’re doing.

Using these techniques, you can do a lot to boost your online presence and give your brand worldwide visibility.

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maharishi Displays Militaristic Fall/Winter 2015 collection

Recently, British label maharishi displayed its Fall/Winter 2015 collection. The brand, founded in 1994, is unlike most because of its ideals, as well as the stories and unique processes behind the materials it uses. In Sanskrit, “maharishi” means great spiritual leader or Hindu sage. Founder Hardy Blechman started the label with the goal to create environmentally-friendly and reusable clothing, as well as to integrate pacifist Hindu ideals in the way his clothes were made.

Maharishi collection

 

Much of the materials used in these autumnal maharishi pieces come from disposed military garments, which are sent to India to be washed in saffron water, smudged in herb, and blessed to remove military association. This gives a sense of purity to the wearer, knowing the clothing was made with the environment in mind and with the idea of peace in mind.

The collection itself is rugged, dark, and earthy due to the nature of the former military garments primarily featured. Despite the pacifist ethos, the styling and utilitarian clothing sends off a very intimidating and militant feel. A heavy utilization of facial coverings and ski masks give an insurgent or covert operations vibe on top. Technical fleece, camouflage, black combat boots, and gleaming black leathers, matched with intimidating stares from the models did good to conceal the peaceful ideals behind the collection.

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The show did follow the current trend of flowing and looseness in its sweaters, jackets, and parkas, which were often open and left to billow behind. A huge, long, flowing, knit vest that looked almost like a blanket and a high-collar reflective windbreaker were the largest standout pieces of the collection, with a fur-lined parka carrying a generous amount of fur following close behind. Although the collection was cleansed of all combat-ready association, it still showed heavy military influence in its presentation on the runway, utilizing the “upcycled” former military garments to do what they do best.

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How the ’70s Ruled the Runways

After seasons of skinny jeans and slim silhouettes, the funky prints and bell cuts are back, bringing with them the look of the 1970s. With super straight hair and sultry eyes, this season took an old school approach to beauty.

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Lead stylist Anthony Turner for Bumble and Bumble, wanted the hair to mimic the feel of Creatures of the Wind’s Fall 2015 ’70s inspired collection, but still keep the hair fresh and relevant. “It’s almost ’70s hair through a very modern lens,”  Turner explains. “We’re taking nuances from ’70s hair and applying it to a very modern texture.”  Using Bumble and Bumble Thickening Spray all throughout the hair with a little bit of water mixed in, He then dries the hair using his fingers rather than a brush. The whole time he’s pushing the hair down in the front and bending the corners of the hairline to create a “curtain effect through the front.” Turner shares, “Whenever I think of ’70s hair I think of this  being very closed in [referring to how straight the hair falls, covering part of the face.]”  He then brushes the hair giving it that soft ’70s feel and then completely destroys it. “Ultimately what I’m doing is taking this 1970s girl and then I’m deglamourizing [the hair] which is fun. It just feels really great.” “Using the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray all throughout saturating it and pushing it in with my fingers, keeping this little bend in the front but really mushing it in,” he’s able to get this modern nod to the past. “It feels very cool, very modern and downtown. It’s super skinny hair. One of the references was Sissy Spacek, but we’re making it feel a lot dirtier and modern.”

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The 1970s in Paris were Pamella Roland’s inspiration. She complemented messy waves with dramatic eyes by Rick Dicecca for Artistry. DiCecca  created the look using Artistry Signature Color Eye Shadow Quad in Smoky (launching Fall 2015)  He used all four colors to make grey eyes that really popped. DiCecca first applied “Eye Shadow #1” over the entire eye area blending from the lash line up over the lid to the eyebrow. Next he took “Eye Shadow #3” and applied it from the lashline to just below the crease. He then took “Eye Shadow #2” and added it just below the crease and along the upper and lower lashes (joining them at the corner) using a small brush. Lastly, DiCecca lightly blended “Eye Shadow #4” over the outer corners of the eyes “sweeping toward the inner corner to create an ombre effect, then pulling shadow towards the outer corner of the eye to soften the wing.”  He completed the look with black liner smudged into the lower lash line and two coats of mascara for fullness. If you can’t wait for next fall to get runway worthy eyes, try Burberry’s Complete Eye Palette in “Smokey Grey.”  By numbering the colors (starting with the lightest color as 1) you can get a 1970’s Parisian eye today.

Dennis Basso also opted for a disco feel with winged eyes and stand out glossy lips.   Lauren Andersen created the perfect pout by dabbing Avon’s Ultra Color Indulgence Lipstick in “Chocolate Rose” for a hint of color. Then to get them super glossy, Andersen generously applied Avon’s Ultra Glazewear Lip Gloss in “Clear.”

Keep the 1970’s alive with these modern takes on classic beauty techniques.

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Women Knitwear Trends at AW14/ 15

Knitwear is a huge trend every single year and here at CEFashion; we’ve compiled all the trend reports from New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, London Fashion Week and all the AW14 catwalk shows around the world to bring you this winter’s most wanted knitwear trends. From the ever growing trend of folksy fashion to the return to one of the world’s most iconic knitting styles, we bring you the must-have looks for your winter wardrobe.

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Chunky Knits

Chunky knits are really making a big impact this year. Think oversized cardigans, chunky cable knitted jumpers and huge polo necks which add drama to any winter outfit. Designers such as Prabal Gurung and Marc Jacobs have hit the runways with their chunky knit creations, displaying everything from knitted dresses to huge floor length scarves. Following on from the major designers at London Fashion Week, some high street leaders have also shared their chunky knitted designs on the runway, according to this report by LurchHoundLoves.com.

Cable Knits

Stemming from the chunky knits trend, the cable knitting style is by far the most talked about of the moment. It can be seen in high street stores everywhere and was first influenced by big LFW and PFW designers, such as Mark Fast who brought together loud colours like cobalt blue and pillar box red with huge textures. This knitting style is one of the most iconic styles of the 70s and 80s and now the catwalk brings us back to a time-honoured winter wardrobe look.

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Homemade Knits

Believe it or not, creating your own homemade knitting could be bang on trend for AW14/15. This fall trend was inspired by catwalk legends such as Diane Von Furtensberg and Rebecca Taylor at New York Fashion Week earlier this year. Think vibrant colours, folksy patterns, cute beading and vintage-inspired crochet. Grabbing a vintage knit and customising it or knitting your own kitsch design from scratch will give your winter wardrobe the complete edge. And if you’re an upcycling fan, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s now 100% chic to revive old, unwanted sweaters from your grandmother’s cupboard thanks to genius designers at NYFW.

Tonal Knitwear

Primary colours and vibrant colours are hot this season according to catwalk reports. But another colour trend that’s just as prevalent is the subtle use of soft, muted shades such as soft peachy pinks or simple nudes. Keep it tonal like Hugo Boss and Marc Jacobs at NYFW by bringing together a variety of cream and nudes to create a one-shade outfit that’s both subtle and elegant. To really give your all-nude look the ultimate edge, invest in high quality wools such as cashmere or 100% lambswool. Shop lambswool knits for men and women at Edinburgh Woollen Mill.

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