The Duchess of Cambridge used to work for one of the brands involved in her sister-in-law's charity initiative.
LONDON - Emirati designer Ahmed Khyeli presented his Spring Summer 2020 collection, ‘The Age of Innocence’ to crowds at London Fashion Week on Friday (13 September).
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Pre-tax figure far exceeds £3.8m of losses recorded in previous year. Philip Green’s Topshop and Topman chains slumped to a £505m loss last year as sales fell and the retail tycoon wrote down the value of two of his flagship brands. Sales at the fashion brands fell 9% to £846.8m in the year to 1 September as they struggled to compete with the likes of Asos, H&M and Primark. In the UK sales fell by 9.8%. Write-offs relating to loss-making stores and the unwinding of the Ivy Park athleisure joint venture with Beyoncé combined with the £161.3m write-off of inter-company debts to plunge Topshop/Topman to a £505m pre-tax loss, far ahead of the £3.8m loss the year before. Topshop is the main business in Phillip Green’s Arcadia retail empire, which last week revealed dire figures. The revelation of poor performance at Arcadia’s biggest brand comes after Green’s holding company admitted there was “material uncertainty” about its ability to continue trading without new funds, after slumping to a £177.3m loss last year – including Topshop’s poor performance.. Taveta Investments, the owner of Arcadia Group, which is the parent of high street brands including Miss Selfridge, Wallis and Evans, said difficulties refinancing a £310m loan on Topshop’s Oxford Street store, due to expire in December, could mean it would have to raise new funds. Green’s retail empire staved off collapse in June after winning backing from creditors for a rescue plan that involved the closure of about 50 stores, 1,000 redundancies and rent cuts of up to 50%. Accounts filed at Companies House on Thursday show the scale of the problems for Topshop and Topman. Sales fell by early 16% in the US, where Topshop’s stores are now closed after being put into administration. Even before those closures, the accounts reveal that the chains employed about 900 fewer staff.
American-pie inspired collection served up via blazers, wicker handbags and gingham bralets. Photograph: Richard Drew/APMichael Kors, a designer often cited as the beating heart of New York’s fashion scene, enticed guests out to Brooklyn on Wednesday morning for his spring/summer 2020 collection.A choir of young New Yorkers chimed in with the opening bars of Don McLean’s American Pie as models including Adesuwa Aighewi, Mica Argañaraz, Kaia Gerber and the Hadids walked wearing an anthemic collection of navy knitwear and red sweetheart-necklined dresses embellished with golden stars, white double-breasted blazers with shiny gold buttons and boxy blue and white striped bags and shirts.Guests, including the Roma star Yalitza Aparicio, the first indigenous person to appear on the cover of Vogue Mexico, filled the cavernous space, empty apart from benches and potted trees.Argyle-knit jumpers were married with punk. Photograph: Richard Drew/APThis latest collection started with Kors’s first trip to Ellis Island, he explained at a press preview the day before. His great-grandmother had though. She arrived there aged 14, with $10 and a spot in steerage, and started a new life, first on the Lower East Side, and then in Brooklyn – hence the show’s location. The clothes nodded to her journey via uncomplicated references to the nautical: sailors hats, anchors and deck shoes. In one particularly seaworthy ensemble, a jumper was emblazoned with the word Hate crossed out.It was this discovery of his family heritage that catalysed thoughts of New York, its “newness, revival and optimism”, which manifested in the collection. Kors described it as probably the most patriotic he’s ever done. The show notes began with two words: American pie, an idea baked into the clothes via frocks decorated with crystals made to look like glistening cherries and lemons, served up alongside gingham bralets, blazers and wicker handbags that spoke of afternoon picnics in the Hamptons.Patriotic is an interesting word in these charged times. Kors is known to be a Hillary Clinton supporter, and described dressing Michele Obama as one of the proudest moments of his life, but he is tight-lipped on the subject of Melania Trump wearing his clothes.The show went hard on an undemanding, wholesome vision of America, with Kors unafraid to double down on a theme. The choir moved from McLean to Simon and Garfunkel’s America and Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land.In one nautically-themed ensemble, a jumper was emblazoned with the word Hate crossed out. Photograph: Richard Drew/APPreppyness, via blazers, regatta jackets and Argyle-knit jumpers, was married with punk, via leather, tartans and silver studs on handbags and creeper-style shoes. Kors described the clash as New England versus the Lower East side. Uptown/downtown America, he says, “is the two sides of the same coin, mixed”. There was a focus on sportswear, an area of fashion, Kors says, the US can claim as its own.The designer sees the collection’s tailored jackets and trousers as being in line with the shift away from binaries in gender with its role in fashion becoming, in his eyes, obsolete. “Is it men’s, is it women’s? Truly,” he says, “it doesn’t matter”. He looks to “rule-breakers”, from Katherine Hepburn to David Bowie. “Is gender so specific? No – Katherine Hepburn knew that.”Kors’ designs are known for being popular with shiny-haired Upper East Siders, but his is also an accessible aesthetic that, when translated into relatively affordable, but still luxury, handbags, has garnered him mass market appeal. The company currently has over 400 stores in 89 countries.
Fashion brand Paul Smith launched a new boutique at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands last Thursday (5 September) in time for their autumn/winter 2019 collection. Celebrities graced the grand opening, including Jay Park, James Seah, Zong Zijie and Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw.
SINGAPORE — Finally it’s here; Hermès reveals their new Apple Watch Hermès Series 5 watch straps as part of their partnership with Apple.
Cara Delevigne poses onstage for Savage X Fenty Show in Brooklyn, New York Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime VideoRaised cameraphones have become a ubiquitous part of cultural events over the last decade, but for her Savage x Fenty lingerie show, one of the most hyped of this fashion season, Rihanna made sure that couldn’t be the case.Guests arriving at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn on Tuesday night were required to deposit devices into sealed pouches at the door – in large part to make sure the show remains under wraps until 20 September, when it will be exclusively streamed by Amazon Prime across 200 countries and territories, giving it a reach well beyond that of a traditional catwalk.The show opened with Rihanna and a small group of women standing stock-still on top of podiums before breaking into dance. There were performances by Halsey, A$AP Ferg and DJ Khaled, as well as appearances from models including Alek Wek, Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Laverne Cox and the Hadid sisters. A view of the stage during Savage X Fenty Show Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime VideoBut it was the diverse troupe of women in their underwear – made for different shapes, sizes and skin tones – who took centre stage, with their bodies doing the talking. They danced and stomped across the set; routines saw them melt, like a scene from Patrick Suskind’s Perfume, into a mass of bodies, or stand in the individual segments of a set made to mimic the architecture of the Colosseum – sometimes one would light up and one woman would dance her turn, at other times they would move as one.Camera operators scrambled to capture the action, with performers occasionally working the camera ahead of the room – a reminder that first and foremost this was made for the screen. But the live audience, which included Anna Wintour, Orange is the New Black star Dascha Polanco, as well as an excited Halima Aden, didn’t seem to mind.Rihanna performs onstage during Savage X Fenty Show Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Savage X Fenty Show Presented by Amazon Prime VideoIn a press release, Rihanna explained the thinking behind the line, with bras available from 32A to 42H and sleepwear from XS to 3X: “We want to make people look good and feel good. We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it.”The underwear on show spoke to the traditional tropes of lingerie – often sheer, sometimes skimpy. But in other ways, the line is designed not to fit the usual mould, with much of the build-up around the show focusing on what it is not.Rihanna herself has positioned her underwear extravaganza as stepping into the vacuum being left behind by the Victoria’s Secret show. Usually a big event in the fashion calendar, this year it is absent as the brand battles with its associations with influential financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, as well as ongoing but increasingly loud criticisms about its archaic take on women’s underwear.Where Victoria’s Secret, which had its spot on network TV cancelled after last year, has historically designed lingerie with the male gaze in mind, Rihanna launched her line in 2018 with the words: “Women should be wearing lingerie for their damn selves”. Comfort is queen in the current underwear market, and athleisure-styles have been on the rise – skimpy sets that are all about “sexiness” and nothing about support are falling out of favour.As many brands will attest, empowerment sells. The Savage x Fenty underwear is already proving popular. A few days ago superstar Lizzo, who was recently described as synonymous with pop culture in 2019, posed in one of its strapless bras. The first year of sales were strong, leading, recently, to the announcement that Rihanna had secured an additional $50m in venture.The line, which is being sold through Amazon Fashion, remains separate from the rest of Rihanna’s fashion offerings, which fall under the umbrella of the luxury conglomerate LMVH, speaking to the clout she has in the industry.
Bright leather and bold knitwear dominate the runway as Stuart Vevers unveils designs for the new decade. Fashion brand Coach took over the newest section of New York’s High Line on Tuesday afternoon to present its spring/summer 2020 collection – it was an apt backdrop for a collection which took the city as its starting point. Guests included actors and influencers such as Girls star Jemima Kirke, Coach’s global menswear ambassador Michael B Jordan and Veronika Heilbrunner, who watched from under the shadow of skyscrapers and the eye of a drone. Colourful leather dominated – berry-red trenches, buttercup-yellow skirts and model Kaia Gerber in metallic silver leather trousers. There were fashion staples in the form of trench coats and sensible sandals. Knitwear was decorated with martini and cigarette prints. Speaking at Coach headquarters the previous day, Coach designer Stuart Vevers explained that he wanted to “celebrate the city, the daylight … with our gang stomping the High Line.” New York, he explained, “has always been part of my references but it’s always been juxtaposed with the prairie or the American mid-west or a road trip”. Vevers, Originally from the South Yorkshire town of Doncaster, famously uses his perspective as an outsider to feed into his take on Americana. Past collections have been inspired by all-American classics from Minnie Mouse to hip-hop. Where last season Vevers looked to the artwork of designer Kaffe Fassett, the “magician of colour”, for inspiration, this season he continued his colour-exploration via the art of Richard Bernstein. Bernstein’s influence appears in a vivid print of a pill on a jumper and a jelly heart on a bag. Some familiar faces – Michael J Fox, Rob Lowe and Barbra Streisand – also crop up, depicted in pop art-style by Bernstein, on T-shirts and tank-tops. Coach didn’t do clothing until Vevers joined, but as a thought-experiment he pondered what they might have looked like at Coach’s first store when it opened in 1981. “You’re playing with your heritage but you can invent it.” This is what led to the leather, which had what Vevers described as a deliberately “found, vintage feeling” – and no doubt to the Human League soundtrack. But it wasn’t all about nostalgia. Vevers is designing a collection for a new decade; the 20s. As such, he says, “it’s important to be optimistic … but that doesn’t “mean a blind optimism … not being aware of the things that are happening around us.” His take on optimism was nodded to in turquoise jumpers with pink shrimp designs and a triptych of Wine Gum-bright dresses to close the show. Staging the show at the High Line was a fitting nod to the visually stimulated Gen Z-ers, over half of whom reportedly spend more than 6 hours on their devices daily and who are an important target for Coach. With its relatively low price, for luxury, the brand has a knack for designs that grab attention on social media feeds and collaborations. Jordan’s new role was announced in January, with Selena Gomez (who currently has 156m followers on Instagram) also an ambassador. Home for Coach and its parent company Tapestry is Hudson Yards, which sits right next to the High Line. It is the most expensive real estate development in US history – and one of the more controversial. The venue’s cultural centre, The Shed, was going to be the site of various New York fashion week shows. But when it transpired that developer Stephen Ross had recently held a Trump fundraiser in the Hamptons, first Nepalese-American designer Prabal Garang, then Rag and Bone decided to take their shows elsewhere. Vevers says that while he understands their actions – “every brand and designer has to do the things they think are right and I support that” – Coach has been in that location for some time: “It wouldn’t be possible for us to move our whole headquarters.”
New head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America headed downtown and underground. Tom Ford eschewed his usual spot in the historic Park Avenue Armory building in New York, instead inviting guests downtown and underground, for his first show as head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). In the decommissioned Bowery Street subway station, MTA workers in hi-vis flanked the platform , which became a makeshift catwalk. In characteristically extensive show notes, Ford described key inspirations for the collection, including: “ Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick coming out of a manhole cover in NYC in 1965”, “images of Isabelle Adjani and Christophe Lambert in Luc Besson’s Subway set in the Paris Metro”, “the clean and sharp tailoring of the Beatles in their Berlin years” and Bond girls. He also talked of a newfound interest: “This season for me is about simplicity. Which is not to be confused with simple. I think that it is a time for ease, and in that way a return to the kind of luxurious sportswear that America has become known for all over the world.” If last season Tom Ford deemed it not the right time to be sexy, covering clavicles with polo necks and sacrums with cardies, this season he deemed it time to undo a few buttons and plunge a few necklines. The show might have opened with models in oversized full-length skirts that stood stiffly apart from their bodies, but there were flashes of the high-wattage sex appeal for which Ford has been known since his time as creative director of Gucci in the 1990s. Knee-high boots gave way to sheer tights with trompe l’oeil seams. Models including Gigi Hadid wore bras and tops made to look like breastplates – or solidified, lacquered nail polish moulded to skin. Ford explained his inspirations, which included, “The breathtakingly beautiful YSL Lalanne breastplates from 1969, and a photo of the Jeff Koons polished steel bunny.” The season’s omnipresent animal print found its grazing ground on men’s blazers in electric blue and lilac tiger, and pink and green cheetah print, going in for the kill on one skimpy leotard that looked like it had been slashed through with a big-cat’s claws. The broad-shouldered jackets Ford introduced from his menswear collections into womenswear a few years ago appeared in the colour of Parma Violets, tangerine-orange and, on Cindy Crawford’s daughter, model Kaia Gerber, the colour of milky tea with peaked lapels. They were worn with nylon basketball shorts of the kind, that, Ford wrote, “torture me. I’m always fascinated by things that ‘torture me’.” Ford has talked in the past about the immediacy of fashion compared to films – he has directed films including Nocturnal Animals and A Single Man – and the way it gives him a voice in popular culture. So far this fashion week he has been using his platform as CFDA head to talk about diversity, having recently announced the addition of Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond, Maria Cornejo, Carly Cushnie and Virgil Abloh to its board, rotating four existing members to “emeritus status”. It is early days – and long overdue – but there seems to be an air of optimism in New York when it comes to inclusion in the industry. With last season’s shows the most diverse yet, this season so far has seen what the Business of Fashion is calling “the most important thing to happen to American fashion in years, maybe even decades.” One of Ford’s new appointees, Jean-Raymond, used his Brooklyn show on Sunday night to reclaim black history, specifically to examine rock and roll through an African American lens – with the help of a 65-member gospel choir.
‘It’s important to feel like yourself.’ Cerys Matthews at the Asian Awards. Photograph: Tim P Whitby/Getty ImagesThis is the kind of outfit that I feel comfortable in, and comfort is up there for me. I’m not big into dresses and skirts, but I love a good suit. This was taken at the Asian awards a few years ago – I love saris and all the extraordinary silks in traditional clothes, but I think that, for my heritage, a suit and a panama hat suits me just fine. When it comes to clothes, I think it’s important to feel like yourself, more than anything. I have become a little bit attached to hats, but I don’t have that many. I had always been a big fan of Clint Eastwood, the suffragettes and Bob Dylan, and they all seem to have hats on in their best photos, so I just started wearing them, too. I find it cuts corners in terms of not having to worry too much about your hair. You don’t even have to worry too much about your outfit if you have a good hat on.I’m also wearing my driving gloves; they are ace. I’ve worn them so often I need to replace them. There are so many iconic films where actors wear driving gloves – I put them on just to drive round the corner to the shops and it makes it feel a bit more adventurous and exciting. The pearls were just next to the door, so I put them on, too.In the 90s, I used to wear clothes just for the ironic fun of it. It was often the most bizarre concoctions I could find. I had a gold cowboy hat and massive flares, with “Tommy” written down one leg and “Hilfiger” down the other, in three different colours, red white and blue. I’d wear it with a tiny silk top. My favourite quote is from Vivienne Westwood: “When in doubt, overdress.”At the time, the fashion was for understated looks, just one or two colours or cargo trousers, but I just liked to throw it all on: kaftans, turbans, just to have fun with the clothes, rather than wear anything sleek or serious. As a result, I do look back at loads of photos and go: “Oh my God, what in the heavens was I thinking?”Cerys Matthews is the co-founder of the Good Life Experience, 12-15 September 2019. Her book, Where the Wild Cooks Go is out now
Tommy Hilfiger at his runway show at the Apollo Theatre during New York Fashion Week. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/ReutersFashion’s love affair with the disco decade continued at the Tommy Hilfiger show at the Apollo theatre in Harlem, New York. The brand presented its second and final collaboration with the actor Zendaya and “image architect” Law Roach, the man behind Celine Dion’s recent style transformation.Seventies’ sparkle and classic cars on the runway Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/ReutersThe collection picked up where their last project left off – still in the 70s, still dancing. Pussybows and flares were in full swing, as were silver hoop earrings the circumference of saucers. There were black and white spots peppered over silk blouses, scarves and cowl-neck dresses with thigh-high slits. Hats appeared many guises, from the wide-brimmed one worn by the Ashley Graham to Winnie Harlow’s black and white houndstooth print baker boy-style cap.Velvet, leather, leopard print and faux snakeskin came in black, white and deep burgundies, choreographed into coordinated outfits. In the second part of the show, the clothes – and the moves – turned up the volume with metallic flares, dresses, halter-neck jumpsuits and suits.In notes that Hilfiger sent to guests before the show, the collaboration was described as putting “redefined power dressing at its core”. The designer explained further: “We wanted to celebrate and champion female empowerment through fashion.”A belted oversized coat with clashing prints. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/ReutersThe musical heritage of the Apollo, which has hosted shows by Billie Holiday, Lauryn Hill and Otis Redding, played into the brand’s long-term relationship with music. It was hip-hop culture that helped Hilfiger achieve international success.With their first collection, he and Zendaya made headlines with a Paris show in which 59 black models, aged 18 to 70, walked and Grace Jones performed. This show, with a roster of models that included Halima Aden, the 67-year-old Harlem native JoAni Johnson and Alek Wek, continued the theme of inclusion, chiming with the long overdue push for greater diversity in fashion in general, and this fashion week in particular.Tommy Hilfiger, Zendaya and Law Roach at the Apollo. Photograph: Vanessa Carvalho/REX/ShutterstockThe brand saw the show as a homecoming. For the past three years, since adopting the see-now, buy-now model, which cuts the time customers have to wait to buy clothes from six months to seconds, it has been on a TommyNow worldwide tour, Zendaya picking up the baton after the supermodel Gigi Hadid’s four-collection collaboration.The business model seems to be making sense commercially. Although cashing in on instant gratification, as many brands are now opting to do, could be seen as a controversial move at a time when consumers are being encouraged to make their fashion choices more conscious and sustainable.The show fits with the current emphasis on experience over the static catwalk mould: a cinematic set was made to look like a block party, complete with brownstone steps, parked classic cars and snatches of city life, from sirens to rattling trains, made into an opening soundtrack.Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya are flanked by models including Winnie Harlow, Halima Aden and Ebonee Davis outside the Apollo. Photograph: Vanessa Carvalho/REX/ShutterstockBut it was far from pedestrian – saxophonists, drummers and trumpeters were on hand to play live and models largely gave up on walking, instead dancing their way down the catwalk to tracks such as Aretha Franklin’s Respect, Bobby Womack’s Across 110th Street and Curtis Mayfield’s Move on Up.It was a spectacle made to appeal to media-savvy millennials for whom, research states, experience is valued over “stuff”. With Hadid, Hilfiger put on two mammoth fashion shows, one a “rock circus” at the Roundhouse performance space in north London, the other a fairground in Los Angeles.Collaborations with pop culture icons are also a smart move. “They have always been an important part of our heritage,” said Hilfiger. “Each collaborator sees our brand through a different lens which allows us to translate our values in new and exciting ways.”Smoky eyeshadow is applied backstage. Photograph: Caitlin Ochs/Reuters
Fashion may be getting political but here at least it was an escape to the Gatsby era. The rumours swirling around New York fashion week this season were that it would be the most political ever. It has been declared to have “a Trump problem”, with brands moving their shows from a venue at Hudson Yards after it emerged that the developer, Stephen Ross, recently held a fundraising event for the Trump 2020 campaign. At Ralph Lauren, however, fashion remained an escapist spectacle, at least on the surface. Hosted in a ballroom transformed for the evening into “Ralph’s Bar”. A live band provided the soundtrack by which bowtie-wearing waiters mixed rum-heavy cocktails to wash down corned beef sandwiches. It wasn’t a stretch to imagine a Gatsby-era reveller stumbling out, roaring drunk and racing back to West Egg. Gigi Hadid opened the show, sauntering her way through the tables to Cole Porter’s track Night and Day wearing a bowtie and sparkling oversized overcoat. Models including Taylor Hill wore satin tuxedos in bright red, yellow and blue, colours picked up in the more ramped-up second half for floor-length strapless satin gowns – vivid against the otherwise largely monochrome palette. Razor-sharp tailoring and sumptuous oversized velvet jackets were offset by flapper-esque frocks and a minidress erupting with unruly feathers. This was clubwear at its most swanky: less Hacienda, more Hamptonites in town to let their hair down. Lauren has come to represent aspiration and a very neatly tailored, very exclusive version of the American dream, whether via preppy polo shirts fit for Ivy League campuses or cashmere cardigans best accessorised with an Aspen tan. This latest collection was Lauren’s take on evening wear – tuxedos took centre stage. This collection, he explained in the press release, celebrates “that timeless style, more relevant than ever, for the modern woman who is both independent and glamorously contemporary”. Big-name attendees included Cate Blanchett, who wore a subtly scene-stealing custom-made Ralph Lauren black jumpsuit to sit next to Anna Wintour. Crazy Rich Asians star Henry Golding wore an aubergine-hued velvet Ralph Lauren tuxedo. Even Lauren himself, who earlier this summer became the first American designer to receive a knighthood, for services to fashion, ditched his signature cowboy boots. Janelle Monae, who took to the stage – and floor and tables and chairs and laps – after the show, upending crisps and drinks as she went, wore a beaded gown from the collection. While guests were asked, with a rigidity befitting the show’s spot just down the block from the New York stock exchange, to come wearing black and white eveningwear. Commercially, the past few years have been a rollercoaster for the brand. But in July it reported quarterly profits beyond what were expected. There are still challenges ahead, including the looming spectre of proposed Trump administration tariffs. It is seen as a knotty time to be as American, with heritage brands being forced into something of a reckoning. Lauren’s near-national treasure status no doubt played a role in seeing the Hillary-supporter become the designer of choice for Melania Trump at her husband’s inauguration. But key to the backstory of Lauren, which, as with so many others’, started with immigration. He might have made a career out of WASP-y style signifiers, but one of the most American aspects of the man and his brand is that Ralph Lifshitz was born in 1939 in the Bronx to Jewish parents who had fled Belarus.
SINGAPORE — To celebrate the re-opening of BOSS's official flagship store at Takashimaya, Olympian swimmer Joseph Schooling made a starring appearance.
At the official re-opening of BOSS flagship store at Takashimaya, Olympic champion Joseph Schooling made an appearance. In the Q&A, Joseph Schooling shared his thoughts on his preparation for SEA Games, Olympics, as well as books gifted by his father. Also, take a peek inside his cool duffel bag! Goal 2020: Joseph Schooling finds inspiration in book about Russian swimmer, old news articles