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BEAUTY & FASHION

Herschel Supply Introduces the Roswell Collection

Emily Allen

herschel.jpg

On June 2nd, accessories brand Herschel Supply launched The Roswell Collection: a new line of Southwestern-inspired backpacks, duffles, and pouches.

The Vancouver based company has long been famous for their stylish, yet simple backpacks, but The Roswell Collection adds flair to the original staple pieces with unique geometric embroidery and stitched accents. The new monochromatic line features sleek travel bags in cool tones of navy, black and white. Each item has leather pulls and waterproof zippers to ensure versatility and weather protection. The collection arrives just in time for the summer season, and each piece was made for traveling. The Novel duffle’s side shoe compartment is easily accessible and makes it the ideal bag for a weekend of adventuring. Check out The Roswell Collection to find the perfect travel bag for heading off to the Hamptons on a long weekend or exploring the city for the day.

By Kim Chmura

Photos Courtesy of Herschel Supply

Q&A with Charlotte Cho, Co-founder of Soko Glam

Mable Yiu

The Klog Launch Party in Soho on June 1st

The Klog Launch Party in Soho on June 1st

You've probably heard of the 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine by now. While some people think it's a bit much, others swear by it. For me personally, I'm a bit too lazy to get all the products and then remember to use them all, but what I do like is the emphasis on taking care of your skin first.

Last week I went to an event hosted by Soko Glam, a beauty company based in NYC that helped popularize the 10-Step Korean skin care routine in the states. It was founded four years ago by wife and husband duo, Charlotte and David Cho, as a way to share their newfound knowledge of Korean skin care and make up products. Below is my interview with Charlotte, where we talk about their new digital content site, what it is like working with her husband, and what the most important steps of her skin care routine are. 

Co-founder Charlotte Cho

Co-founder Charlotte Cho

It is understood that you started Soko Glam in 2012 with your husband, after moving to Korea post-college and learning about their extensive beauty culture. Have you always been interested in beauty and skin care?

I wasn’t always so interested in Korean beauty. I grew up using American skin care products, and with the mindset that products were meant to treat problems as they came up, not realizing that they need to be prevented at the source. When I was living in Korea, I was really influenced by the Korean skin care philosophy and lifestyle. Korean women view skin care as an investment in both the current and future health of their skin. In Korea, I learned to truly appreciate the ritualistic aspect of caring for my skin and the benefits of using products that respect and balance the skin.

Congrats on officially launching a new website for The Klog! What makes The Klog different from other beauty sites?

The Klog is a digital content site for all things Korean - beauty trends, skin care tips and culture. Beauty is imbedded so deeply in culture, and we want to give Americans a window into the culture that the Korean skin care and beauty philosophy emanates from.

We’ve always believed that K-Beauty is bigger than Soko Glam and I’ve always been passionate about writing stories about the topic, so it made sense to not limit ourselves in what stories we wanted to write and separate the content from the commerce to an independent address. This will allow us to share the stories behind products and trends. Our team of editors will cover news about the cutting edge products, artist insights and product recommendations, makeup and skin care tutorials in an unbiased platform - whether Soko Glam curates it or not. 

What is it like working with your husband? Do you have any advice for couples looking to start a business together?

It's going well because we have a huge amount of respect for each other, and the way we divided our roles was to simply look at what we’re both really good at and start there. My advice for aspiring couple entrepreneurs is to make sure both of you have qualities that complement each other. It always boils down to respect and appreciation for each other. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but communicating and listening to each other (and working on the feedback that you get) is key.

Do you actually follow the 10-step Korean skin care routine every single day? What do you think are the most essential steps in this routine?

The 10-step routine is a framework for properly caring for your skin. However, everyone’s skin is different, and it’s about finding the best combination of products for you. Layering products, from lighter to richer in order to improve absorption, is a major part of what makes the 10-step routine so beneficial.

The most essential steps of the daily routine are the double cleanse and applying an essence and a moisturizer in the morning and at night. To double cleanse, you begin by massaging an oil-based cleanser onto dry skin to break-up and remove makeup, sunscreen, and oil-based impurities. Now that you have removed obstacles on the skin, follow up with a water-based cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin itself. The two-step process results in much cleaner, fresher skin than traditional single step cleansing, allowing products to be absorbed more easily.

Favorite product(s) of all time?

I am currently loving Son and Park Beauty Water and the Neogen Fresh Foam Cleanser in Green Tea!

However, Korea is at the forefront of technology and innovation when it comes to skin care. I am constantly discovering - and falling in love with - new products from both trusted and emerging Korean brands.

By Mable Yiu

Photos courtesy of Soko Glam.

Q&A with Lindsey Schwartz, Co-founder of Miscere

Mable Yiu

You describe the Miscere brand as the perfect balance between haute couture and fast fashion. Can you tell us what this means to you?

Miscere was born as a way to keep up with the ever-changing fashion trends without having to opt for fast fashion and compromise on quality, or purchase a new bag for every occasion. With our interchangeable collection, we've married the convenience of fast fashion and the quality and design integrity of Haute Couture. 

Where do you find inspiration for your unique designs?

A lot of design inspiration comes from our travels or architecture, but the majority is a solution to what we find missing in the industry. Both of us shop with something very specific in mind and when we realize we can't find it, we make it ourselves. 

We wanted to merge simplicity and minimalism with our love of statement pieces. We've removed the need to own 20 bags or 20 shoes; you can buy one of our products and have unlimited options and styles.

Can you describe the quintessential Miscere woman for us?

The Miscere woman is chic and savvy; a world traveller who appreciates the classics but always adds a twist. They have an aversion to limitation and a passion for design.

Your pieces have very interesting fabrics and silhouettes. How do you successfully achieve originality while maintaining versatility? 

With the nature of most of our products, the wearer can change out our intricate fabrics allowing for a truly versatile product and the ability to wear more unique textures or textiles without feeling limited. For example, The Flat (our interchangeable clutch) can be worn with a plain leather strap for a classic look, with shearling for winter and then a custom chenille letter patch band to make a statement.

Our pieces make traveling easier, small closet space more manageable and gives the freedom to try out a new style.

Can you tell us about your distinctly Miscere collection of shoe accessories?

We're very excited about the launch of our new shoe accessories, the next step in accessorizing your accessory. The collection is a mix of shoe charms, shoe clips & interchangeable sneaker tongues. We've always created our own bags as blank canvases for our textiles & embellishments. This time, we've decided to use everyone's white or monochrome sneakers as the canvas to our collection of accoutrements.  

We've fallen in love with the concept that with just a dash of a textile or charm, you can create an entirely new look. Our leather tassels can be stacked for a boho feel, while our leather tongues can be added in to any sneaker for a high-fashion street look.

In an age of the bespoke, we've created a way for everyone to create their own shoes with designer quality embellishments. 

What are some of your personal favorite pieces from the upcoming collection?

We're introducing a fanny pack with interchangeable features into the collection, as well as more exciting shoe accessories. I can't say more.

Where can we buy Miscere products? 

WWW.SHOPMISCERE.COM

We can also be found at specialty & luxury boutiques like Satine in Los Angeles.

By Emily Allen

Photos courtesy of Miscere.

Q&A with Kathy Formby, Creative Director at Ghurka

Mable Yiu

By Meena Lee

How did you end up at Ghurka?

I have watched and admired Ghurka over the years and I always thought it would be a great brand to design for. I know it had changed hands a few times, but when I saw that Arnie Cohen was on the board, I contacted him to express my interest, and joined shortly after! 

You were brought to Ghurka to modernize the brand. How would you describe the brand’s current identity? From a creative perspective, where do you envision it going?

The current brand's identity is one of strong American heritage and top quality, with mostly mens and gift products. I envision growing the brand comprehensively by adding handbag categories for women and continuing to update the travel and unisex collections. All products will have the signature codes that meld military influence and utility of product, with a simple yet bold American statement as the prevailing aesthetic.

Where do you see the brand going in terms of its target clients?

Ghurka's current client can always buy the classics... Our original collection is revered and will remain as our foundation. It serves as the inspiration and core to launch the future collections that will target more women than in the past and also millennials (both sexes). It is interesting to note that we have seen a lot of our vintage products on young men in their 20's. This is a testament to the timelessness of Ghurka.

How would you describe the Women’s Spring 2016 Collection? What was the inspiration behind the collection?

The Spring '16 Women's collection was inspired by the Ghurka’s roots in military and travel. The subtle military "shields" and snaps add a sense of utility. Part of the collection uses a softer French bull skin and the other part uses the classic French calf skin that Ghurka has used in the past.

Do you have a favorite item in this collection?

My favorite bag is the Dali backpack. It is a single shoulder sling with military pockets and is a great everyday bag.

You’ve brought a lot of experience into this role, having designed and consulted for many iconic American brands, including Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Abercrombie & Fitch, Donna Karan, and J. Mendel. How does Ghurka’s unique brand identity—catering to the “quiet confidence and adventurous spirit” of its clients—interact with the experience you bring in from these other brands in your designs? 

Every brand has their unique "house codes" or core elements. This is no different... The creative challenge and the part I find most exhilarating about designing for any company is to research and understand the "soul" of the brand. Once you have that knowledge, the creative options become about distilling the brand identity down to its core and building it with new creative energy, while having reverence for its heritage. There must alway be that link. Whether I design for American or European firms, it has been the same discipline.

Is designing for a brand known mostly for its high quality materials different than designing for a fashion house known for its design? If so, in what ways?

The approach is no different. Good design is the work of research and understanding of a brand, whether it's “fashion," industrial, architectural, or environmental. I am trained as a fine artist and I find that the creative process is the same for me regardless of the project. Ghurka has the highest quality materials to work with, so this makes the process much easier to execute!

Where do you get your inspiration from, when designing handbags and accessories?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. I am constantly traveling and I try to absorb everything like art, architecture, craft, and the everyday simple details in a city. I love the simple craft of the American Indians, Amish quilt makers, Indian embroideries, hand tooled hardware, the painting studios and communities in Los Angeles, the golden light in Amagansett, Taliesin by Frank Lloyd Wright, Marrakech, Italian architecture and light.... The list could go on and on.

Are there any particular movements or trends in the fashion industry that you’re excited about?

Right now in fashion I find it exhilarating that each brand is quite unique to its own self- that everyone is inspired by whatever feels right for their own brand. Gucci is ethereal, colorful, energetic, and androgynous. The Row and Calvin [Klein] stay true to the beautiful minimalist approach. There are no rules right now. 

Photos courtesy of Ghurka.

#HottieTottieHour with #DStudio

Mable Yiu

Daniel Silverstain, the young design star for all things avant-garde, teamed up with Hottie Tottie this past Friday for a gorgeous event. The event took place in his downtown studio, an industrial space beautifully decorated to match his beautiful collection. The white walls offer a blank canvas on which the colorful Spring/Summer pieces popped. The racks holding his pieces hung from the ceiling, mimicking the interesting structural architecture of Silverstain's work. 

The event was intimate, but nonetheless lively. As music played, party goers shopped his collection and enjoyed the night’s drink of choice: Hottie Tottie. The organic drink was served both on its own and mixed with a variety of other drinks, all of which guests received with enthusiasm. Proving its versatility, Hottie Tottie earned its role as guest of honor. Attendees loved Daniel Silverstain's collection and loved the variety of Hottie Tottie mixes, trying on his collection with drinks in hand. 

The marriage between the Silverstain originals and Hottie Tottie was a perfect match. High fashion came together seamlessly with the organic teas and juices, highlighting the luxury and simultaneous accessibility of both Daniel Silverstain and Hottie Tottie. As Hottie Tottie debuts on store and cafe shelves, this event was a perfect showcase of its place in the world of fashion and beauty. 

By Emily Allen

Sunkissed in Solkissed

Mable Yiu

Celeste Top (White) and Cusco Bottom (Olive)

Celeste Top (White) and Cusco Bottom (Olive)

Solkissed, the up-and-coming brand for all things beachy, finds its roots in both Latin and Californian influences. Its founder and designer, Alejandra Boggiano, was born in Peru and raised in Chile and California. Her sunny upbringing undoubtedly inspired her love of swimwear and her commitment to beach style. She took a brief hiatus from the ocean lifestyle after graduating college, but only to pursue fashion design in the concrete landscape of New York City. 

Along with her mother, Ana Maria Quintana-Gurt, she began Solkissed. Aside from the fabulous designs and cultural influences of the brand, they uphold a unique business model. Solkissed swimsuits are produced in Lima, Peru by a team of women micro-entrepreneurs. These women hand-sew each Solkissed piece in their own homes so that they are able to maintain the household and take care of their families. 

The hand-sewn pieces look as original in design as they are in creation. The pieces feature a range of colors and patterns, as well as fun silhouettes. The line has an array of bikinis and one-pieces, including string designs and off-the-shoulder designs. Other unique designs feature high-waisted bikini bottoms and fabric designs reminiscent of South America. Each piece is fully functional for the beach, but Solkissed’s commitment to fashion design allows for multiple-purpose use. With festivals like Coachella and other summer parties on the horizon, we are looking no further than Solkissed for our sunny wardrobe needs. 

By Emily Allen

Photo courtesy of Solkissed.

Review and Q&A with Too Cool For School’s Creative Director, Young Kim

Mable Yiu

I recently heard about Too Cool For School (TCFS), a New York City-based beauty brand, around the time they were featured as the exclusive skincare and makeup brand for Libertine’s Fall/Winter 2016 fashion show. Makeup artist Robert Greene was behind the beauty look, which focused on bold graphic eyes and natural lips (seen above).

What caught my attention about TCFS was first, the fun design and packaging of the “Dinoplatz” line, and second, how easy and multi-purpose their products were. For example, the tinted Lip Balm, made with rosehip, argan, and evening primrose oils, doubles as a jelly cheek stain; while the CC concealer contains both CC cream (includes SPF protection!) and concealer in one convenient tube. Another favorite would be the Escalator Mascara, with which you are able to adjust the brush wand size depending on your preference for longer or fuller lashes.

To learn more about the line, see my interview with TCFS's Creative Director Young Kim, where I asked about the inspiration behind the line and the question we were all thinking: Why dinosaurs?

How did you end up at TCFS? What is the story behind it?

I was just a junior designer at Crosspoint - a branding and design studio in Seoul when the founders of TCFS approached us to work on their cosmetic retail brand ‘Todacosa’ in 1997. It was a very successful collaboration and Todacosa did very well. By the time the owners decided to change direction, I had moved to New York to start Crosspoint New York, Inc, and TCFS was my first major project with my new company. Naturally our long relationship greatly benefitted the collaboration, and being in New York helped us to build the brand in a creative way. Ever since TCFS launched in Korea in 2009, my studio has been in charge of its creative branding direction and packaging design.

The Dinoplatz line is my absolute favorite in terms of packaging - there's nothing like it! Why dinosaurs taking over the city? Can you tell me about the process you went through and where you drew inspiration from?

Haha, thank you so much! Dinoplatz has been a terrible amount of fun.

Each packaging is designed to relate to the product it contains. The 'Escalator Mascara' inside the Empire State Building has a telescoping function, it lengthens and shortens for different cosmetic effects, so we designed the packaging with that function in mind. 'Shadow on Flatiron' eye shadow is placed inside a shadowed Flatiron building. Sometimes the product’s unique feature came first, and sometimes the packaging ideas came first and then I would pick the product to fit in it. For example, I wanted to have the Flatiron building in Dinoplatz, so I picked the smallest product - a cream eye shadow tube - and named it ‘(eye) shadow on flatiron’ and the illustration depicted a dino drawing his shadow on the Flatiron building. More artwork becomes uncovered as the package is opened. This further enhances the user experience, as they can discover more little bits of each story.

People have been asking me ‘why dinos?’ and my answer is ‘why not?’ The dinosaurs could represent several things… outsiders, escapists, saunterers, pacifists, hooligans, artists. [Perhaps] New Yorkers who are suffering from high rent! The untold backstory of the dinos is they somehow escaped earth millions of years ago, and have now returned as vegetarians and are simply and peaceably rediscovering the urban environment of New York City, and maybe causing a little trouble, too. Users/viewers might see other stories at play, so we didn't share much of the backstory, but just let each package tell its own little story through the person holding it. Also the artist’s architecture background influenced a lot of the theme of the Dinoplatz collection.

Speaking of the artist that you worked with on this line, I heard that you were friends with him (Hatori Sando) beforehand. How did you two meet, and how did that collaboration come about? 

We met in Seoul in 2007 through a common friend. At the time was residing in Korea, having just returned from a personal Hawaii stay and Germany residency. I moved to New York in 2008 and he also came back to New York, where he used to work as an architect.

TCFS always looks for something new and different, so I always had to look out for cool inspirations. The urban dino motif was chosen after I saw a white dinosaur figurine at Jee Hoon Stark’s (aka Hatori Sando) studio. It was in a basement studio in the East Village. I had also recently watched a documentary about dinosaurs which, long ago, lived in the area now known as New Jersey. The dinosaurs seemed to be just that, as nothing quite like it had been done before in cosmetics. It also had a kind of unisex appeal, not so girl-centered, which we liked. So I invited the artist and the dinos when I was asked to develop a new makeup range by the owners of the brand.

Are there any other upcoming collaborations TCFS is working on that we should be on the lookout for?

Yes, we’re really excited about a new collaboration we’re doing with Danny Scales, a Brooklyn based musician and photographer. I used his skull illustrations for the ZA collection which is TCFS’s cleansing line. We’re hoping to surprise everyone once again!

 

For next time, I’m eyeing their popular egg cream mask, from their “Egg” line… 

TCFS is now available at Sephora

By Mable Yiu

 

Photos courtesy of Too Cool For School.

The Art of the Advertising Fashion Film

Mable Yiu

The fashion industry does not live in isolation. In fact, every trend and individual garment ever produced is influenced in some way by outside sources- be they social, cultural, historic, or artistic. Currently the top fashion houses of the world have been using these sources and advertising in a truly unique way: the fashion film. Encompassing so many art forms, these ads are truly mesmerizing in both their visual aesthetics as well as their influence on viewers. By targeting the internet audience - where these films are primarily published- fashion brands quickly cultivate a younger demographic. As fashion tries to stay relevant and fresh, these films prove to be vital for success.

In 2008, several short films began to circulate on the internet and since then, the major houses of haute couture are producing these films as frequently as though they were collections themselves. The films have been as short as a couple minutes and as long as half an hour. Brands such as Christian Dior and Prada have used famous directors while others, most notably Karl Lagerfeld of Chanel, have chosen to write and direct themselves. These films are numerous as they are varied, with each house producing truly unique visual representations of themselves.

 Last year, an outstanding group of “shorts” were produced by Prada in order to promote their Galleria bag. Called “Postman Dreams”, these films were a composition of both cinematic and fashionable flair. Directed by Autumne de Wilde, these three short films are meant to evoke dream-like states and whimsy as they follow the bag in various “wacky” situations. While this particular series lacks major star power (besides the Galleria bag, of course), other designers have chosen to work with big-name actors such as Anna Kendrick, Marion Cotillard, Kristen Stewart, and Keira Knightley. These films are so artfully done that the viewers don’t even notice that they are being sold a product, but rather watching an exciting story unfold.

Recently, these short films have begun to move into the realm of a purer cinematic experience that are merely punctuated by fashion. In the case of Lagerfeld and Chanel, the films are shot in such a way that one would expect to see them shown at the Sundance or Cannes festivals. One of his latest films features Kristen Stewart and Geraldine Chaplin playing the young and old Coco Chanel in a “film within a film”. Lagerfeld has said time and again that he wishes people to know Coco Chanel as more than just the old woman with pearls. He wants to present to the world a fresh image of the founder, ultimately projecting a fresh image of the brand, thus drawing in new customers. 

The tactics used by these brands are first and foremost to generate revenue, but the films that these strategies produce are certainly stand-alone art. The accessibility of the internet fashion film, in particular, allows any person to become a member in the ever-exclusive world of art, and in becoming more tangible to an everyday audience, these films have helped to keep many of these houses relevant and exciting. 

By Kat Jones

Q&A with Arianna Reagan, Arcana NYC

Mable Yiu

Fashion’s #1 commodity has always been newness, whether that be a new technique, silhouette, or in this case, a fresh face. Though we crave the unique, the fashion world often looks to the designers who keep one foot firmly planted in the confines of the tried and true as an anchor, while always looking ahead and experimenting. We search for the fresh face who understands the importance adding edge and modernity to keep fashion moving forward. To truly be someone worthwhile, a designer must have not only mere talent, but also absolute passion. In the case of Arianna Reagan of the Arcana NYC, that passion exists for both the art of fashion as well as the health of our planet. 

By Kat Jones

 I understand that you recently graduated from Parsons School of Design. Before coming to NY, where did your creative journey begin, and why did you want to pursue fashion? 

   “I grew up in San Francisco, born to an eclectic (and somewhat eccentric) family of creative people. Art was so entrenched in my upbringing that I couldn’t say when my creative journey began. I was very introverted as a child, and spent much of my time wrapped up in the internal landscape of my imagination. I felt like I belonged to another time and place, and… costume allowed me to express a part of myself I had no words for, to reach something I could sense but couldn’t see.

   Later, as a Religion student in college, I read about shamans donning ritual garb when they wanted to commune with the gods. It was the physical act of dressing oneself that allowed one to transcend the mundane world and connect with something greater, something sacred. There is an almost magical quality of fashion that allows us to transform ourselves, express ourselves, and connect with each other, our heritages and our communities.

   I never intended to become a fashion designer. Looking back, I know I had to take the route I did to really understand how to approach fashion design in a way that felt authentic to me. I majored in Religion and Gender and Sexuality Studies as an undergraduate, which allowed me to explore iconographic lexica, mythologies, and the complex role of women and their bodies in society, art and spiritual landscapes.

    When I woke up at three in the morning a few months after dropping out of grad school and realized I would never be happy unless I devoted my life to a creative pursuit, it was fashion that was calling me. I applied to Parsons that night. It was the beginning of the realization that fashion can be what you make it—that, if approached mindfully, it can be a powerful artistic medium that is more than just pretty clothes. That fashion has the potential to transform, to transcend, to connect, and perhaps even change the world. “

arcana.jpg

The ethos of your brand, Arcana NYC, is to produce garments in a way that is ethical and sustainable for both our planet and the traditional textile industries you work with. What was your inspiration for such a brand? Has this been your goal from the onset of your fashion career?

   “There is a real ugly side to the fashion industry, which was what initially dissuaded me from pursuing my lifelong passion. When I finally made the decision to do fashion, it was going to be on my own terms—with integrity, with honor, with heart, with respect. Sustainability wasn’t a specific goal, more the product of always trying to make the right choice. For instance, there are two kinds of cotton in front of you. One is mass-produced by machine in China, dyed with toxic chemicals, and processed by underpaid and undervalued laborers. The other is organic, eco-dyed, handspun and handwoven by a collective of female entrepreneurs in rural India, working together to raise themselves and their communities out of poverty. I believe the choice is an obvious one.”

Two of the most interesting fabrics you utilize in the fall 2016 collection are salmon leather and kimono silk. How did you discover these materials? 

  “Fashion consumers are savvy these days, but they can’t buy smart unless we—the designers—buy smart. As a designer, I am Consumer Zero, and it is my responsibility to invest in companies that I want to see succeed. I chose to source from companies who sustainably produce traditional textiles in a way that honors artisans and their heritage, or who represent the cutting edge of sustainable textile innovation.

   There are online sourcing databases out there for sustainable textiles that provide a great entry point. Two of my favorites are the Ethical Fashion Forum’s database and Le Souk. They allow designers to explore the vast array of approaches to sustainable textile manufacturing that are out there, and they make it easier to discover and connect with mills and collectives all over the world—even in far-flung rural areas. They’re a tremendous resource.”

 What does the salmon leather look like in terms of sustainability? 

    “Generally, animal products are not sustainable materials. However, this salmon leather comes from fish that are caught for food. The skins would normally go to the landfill, but some brilliant Icelandic entrepreneurs found a way to repurpose the skins and reduce waste. The salvaged skins are tanned using Iceland’s natural geothermal energy, so the manufacturing of the leather leaves a zero carbon footprint. Best of all, they treated the skins to be machine-washable, allowing you to avoid toxic and expensive leather cleaning services.”

What is the importance of using kimono silk and supporting a textile industry which is so close to being forgotten?

  “In a rapidly globalizing world, the sorts of boundaries that defined us are fading fast. We each experience it in different ways, but it boils down to clinging to cultural identity with one hand and reaching for the economic opportunity of development and progress with the other. I believe it leaves my generation in particular feeling like we’ve lost something, like the world we see around us isn’t quite the one we belong to in our hearts. I want to provide the vessel to carry these emblems with us into the future by using traditional textiles in my designs. Our distinct identities are blending together, but our global identity should be enriched by our varied individual pasts, because those distinct heritages reflect our humanity.

   Japan is a great example of this friction between heritage and globalization. On the one hand, they are at the forefront of progress and innovation in fields from textiles to astrophysics. But on the other hand, they are a nation whose interaction with the rest of the world is relatively new. For centuries, Japan has been an island in every sense, and its isolation forged an aesthetic, philosophic and practical sense that places value on thoughtful production. The manufacturing of kimono silk is incredibly labor-intensive and requires the skilled touch of master craftsmen. In the past, kimono houses were esteemed and renowned for their works, but their numbers have severely dwindled today. The fact is, their art form is too labor intensive to fit today’s model of producing quickly and cheaply.

   Kimono silk, therefore, is a symbol of the art that we’re in danger of leaving buried in the sands of time. By showcasing this colorful chapter of Japanese history, we can pay homage to textiles as art, and by doing so remember the mentality that allows us to slow down and appreciate the details of handcrafted masterpieces.”

Since Fall 2016 is your brand's first collection, what are your plans for the future? What other textiles or styles are you looking to explore?

    “I recently spent a month on a motorcycle riding through Bali, diving into tiny little villages weaving traditional Indonesian textiles on homemade looms. Bali is a prime example of a deeply spiritual, highly creative heritage with a truly exceptional textile tradition. I found atenun, or weaving collective, still practicing traditional double-ikat back strap weaving. I fell in love with the place. However, this tradition is also threatened by globalization. As more and more sarongs are mass-produced (and even outsourced to Java where labor is cheaper), the preservation of this technique is now more important than ever. It’s quite the logistical challenge figuring out how to get the fabric to New York, but certainly worth the effort. 

   I hope that future seasons bring more opportunities to travel, to discover new textiles and to learn more about sustainable manufacturing. I plan to visit my alpaca suppliers in Peru, to see the spinning of the yarn first hand, and to explore the traditional motifs of Andean weavings. I plan to visit my denim suppliers in India and take their classes on Ayurvedic dyeing techniques. I will return to Iceland and watch the tanning of salmon skins, and venture to Japan for the first time to hunt down more beautiful vintage kimono silks.

   Along the way, I intend to strengthen my design and business practices. I will always look for ways of streamlining, cutting down waste, and producing fashion more efficiently and sustainably because there is always room to improve. My hope is that Arcana changes the way people consider and consume fashion by showing that luxury and sustainability aren’t two concepts that sometimes overlap, but that the extra care and human touch that goes into sustainable fashion is, in itself, the very definition of luxury.”

 

Photos courtesy of Max Gordon.

Q&A with Daniel Silverstain

Mable Yiu

Photo courtesy of Nir Ariel

Photo courtesy of Nir Ariel

by Mira Dayal

Named one of the "10 Most Promising Designers" by Vogue Italy in 2012, Daniel Silverstain has since become an innovative fashion icon.

What experiences led to your interest in fashion? What have been some of your most exciting experiences (shows abroad, partnerships, breakthroughs) so far?

To tell the truth, even though I grew up surrounded by fashion and manufacturing (having both of my parents running a fashion company back in Israel), I was the one in the family always trying to avoid it. I have studied music since I was 7 years old, and that's all I was concentrating on. I clearly remember always saying to my parents that I am musician and I am not interested in fashion. Later I became a record artist, releasing albums and performing across the country. After my army service, I felt like I needed to be away for awhile, and decided to travel to Nepal and India for 6 months. Asia was a game changer for me, as I started exploring textiles with knitting, screen printing, and even jewelry making. On my last day in India, I decided I wanted to continue studying these worlds of design, and 3 months later I applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City. 

Since I was a young kid I loved New Yorkthe energy, rhythm, possibilitiesand always dreamt about living here one day. At the time I was sure it would be for my music career. I couldn't imagine I would be follow the footsteps of my family and launch my own label as a fashion designer. I would say moving to the city all the way from Israel was the most important step I have done. Many exciting opportunities followed this move. I began studying fashion, winning "10 Most Promising Designers" by Vogue Italy two years later. Showing in New York Fashion Week with ELLE Magazine while still being a student, working for amazing international brands brands such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Calving Klein, Elie Tahari, launching my own brand, dressing up Lady Gaga for her birthday, and the list keep going..

Where do you see your brand heading in the future, both physically and in terms of design? How do you think your brand sets itself apart from other young designer brands?

DANIEL SILVERSTAIN collection gained organic exposure even before I launched the brand. The most repetitive comment I received from day one was that the product is different from what's out there, and yet it's very wearable and comfortable. This is our main goal - to create unique designs that make women feel special and stand out in the crowd yet remain comfortable. Today's market is extremely saturated and full of talent. I believe that we hold on to a very important balance of luxury materials with unique aesthetic, and comfort. At the end of the day, individuals who buy luxury products want to feel their purchase was price worthy and makes them stand out. It can be translated with amazing textiles, great craftsmanship and fit, but most importantly they need to be able to live in these great designs and not feel as if they are wearing a costume. 

I love being part of fitting with private clients coming to our studio. There is an immediate transformation in the way they stand and carry themselves once they are dressed up in our collection. The look on their face is priceless. Many times they don't even expect to look like they do, or think they can't pull it off. But once they are in this dress, their mindset changes about themselves and they look confident and powerful. Fashion has a lot of influence on the way we behave, and great design can lift us up immediately. My dream is to dress more and more women and make each of them stand out in their individual way. 

I am very intrigued by the accessories market and looking forward to start develop that niche to complete a total look of DS woman.

Why womenswear? Do you see yourself widening the brand into menswear in the future? 

There is no direct answer to that to be honest. I simply chose fashion design back in school, and felt very natural in this environment. Womenswear categories are a bit larger than men's, with dresses, skirts, and non ending materials to use. There is not a single material you can't use and translate into womenswear, while menswear is a bit more strict and functional. Most men are very straightforward with their fashion, and usually it is more about the styling than a single unique item. With that being said, I did explore once with a small capsule collection for men which received great response, and I am sure I will get back to it soon enough. It is definitely an interesting, fast-growing market, which in a way has much more to evolve to compare to women.

In contemporary culture, gender fluidity is increasingly brought into discussions across all aspects of life. How do you see this playing out in fashion and design?

I see it all the time. I mean, I myself wear some of the items I design even though they were made for women. As I said, menswear has a lot of room to grow still as far as categories. I am sure we will see in the future men wearing skirts and dresses (it's not like it never happened in our history). I feel like today women are very open in terms of wearing anything, even menswear, and society is more and more accepting of it. Men are still exploring it but there is definitely an evolution happening.

You cite 20th century art and architecture as sources of inspiration for your work-- who are some of your favorite artists and architects? What shows, performances, or projects have you enjoyed recently?

The BAUHAUS Movement. My family is from Tel Aviv, Israel, which is home to more Bauhaus buildings than anywhere in the world and recognized by UNESCO as a "Heritage Treasure." I always adored architecture (and almost decided to study it instead of fashion), so I feel big part of me is still designing as if I design for a building. I find the Bauhaus has a timeless futuristic aesthetic. It represents functionalism, minimalism, and geometry. One main principle of the Bauhaus is the reunion of the arts and the crafts in order to achieve total works of art. According to this principle, all arts, as well as new technologies, should be combined in the art of building. It is interesting since I never explored or learned about this movement directly until much later, and yet my designs and overall aesthetic have been influenced by it from beginning.

Q&A with Mimi Prober

Mable Yiu

Mimi Prober is not only a proponent of the zero-waste fashion movement, but also one if its strongest leaders. In her collection the designer repurposes vintage lace and fabric remnants from the 1920s and earlier — with stunning results. 

By Mira Dayal

Fairweather Magazine: As I'm sure most people wonder, where do you find your materials? How do you ensure that you have context for their creation (the stories you refer to)? Did you consider using other types of vintage materials?

Mimi Prober: You are right! It is a question I receive often. It is a constant search for something special, almost like a treasure hunt. My main sources of materials are museum deaccessions and private collections. I have been lucky from very early on, as I’ve continued to develop this concept, to have people reach out to me interested in sharing their own family stories from materials that they have received that have been passed down from generation to generation. Not all pieces, though, have such a direct history; many come with names and locations that then I’ve personally done research on to learn more about where and whom they came from. Even content as minimal as the origin of creation, type of lace technique and date of piece is information that should be cherished and preserved.

I remain close to my philosophy of utilizing material fragments that are dated to the 1920’s and earlier (the materials that I use typically range in date from the 18th century-early 20th century). There is a closeness and connection that I feel to the handmade quality of these pieces –most of the materials that I select to use in the collection were handmade by artisans and makers of their previous era, which honors the story of the artists who came before us and continues a modern vision of these ‘lost’ artistic forms.

As far as utilizing other materials, I have created a sustainable fine jewelry collection as an extension of the atelier collection. ‘Metamorphosed Art’ is a collection in which antique sterling silver (from the same time period as the materials used within the garments, that have
also been deteriorated from their original intended forms) is developed organically into modern sculptural forms.

FM: What is your working process like? Do you start out by sorting antique pieces into groups that would work well together, or is it a more accumulative process?

MP: I begin with the antique materials that are uncovered; the individual textiles dictate the process and development of the piece. Each piece from the atelier collection is hand draped directly on the form. Through this signature draping technique I am able to individually evaluate and apply the antique textiles and their placement, similar to creating a sculptural
composition.

FM: Do you work from special orders? How do you communicate with clients to understand their visions while maintaining creative freedom throughout the process?

MP: I can create custom orders based upon the collection concept. Each piece is essentially one of a kind due to the antique nature of the materials, but silhouettes can be repeated and similar materials utilized to create multiple pieces from the collection. This also lends the ability to custom fit or create a new piece based upon the client’s unique measurements.

I have also worked alongside clients in creating special gowns for their weddings; the process is a beautifully intimate conversation concerning what about my work inspired them to commission a piece and how it incorporated into their own vision. One process that was particularly inspiring was creating a gown for a bride who wanted to integrate textiles from her own mother’s wedding gown. She was also getting married in Spain, so I utilized a selection of textiles from her mother’s wedding dress (which was a beautifully simple pleated cotton) and combined it with antique Spanish silk lace from the 1800’s. The result was an heirloom dress that is uniquely hers, but it still utilized all of the signature elements from
my own design philosophy.

FM: Have you ever collaborated with other designers, or are you hoping to in the future? What would that collaboration look like?

MP: I am in the process of an exciting collaboration with a textile artist on some very special and unique textile development for a ready to wear collection which includes signature Mimi Prober atelier elements and the continued philosophy of integrating antique textiles.

FM: What other models for zero waste fashion do you see working best in the future? Why have more designers not changed their practices?

MP: I believe sustainability in design, including zero waste fashion, is the future. There are many ways to utilize the concept--from pattern to draping to the recycling of textiles. From both an environmental and economic standpoint, there is no reason why materials should ever be wasted. Big change always starts small, and the designers of this generation are increasingly becoming aware of the need for industry change.

FM: Can you tell me more about your integrated production process and Manufacture New York?

MP: The integrated production process is very unique as it provides great opportunities for business acceleration. At Manufacture New York, I have access to my studio base alongside the facilities for the production process (which has proven well for the creation stage for our ready to wear line development), as all of the product development, sample making, and small run production can be produced in house in the same environment where my studio/atelier is based.

The educational offerings at MNY are also an essential addition for a designer or business that is interested in expanding their knowledge base with hands on workshops. Businesses can learn how to integrate sustainable practices including textile creation and zero waste production methods into their own brand ethos through these industry led classes and
training.

FM: Would you please share any traditions or events you are looking forward to, or any items on your wish list?

MP: What I find most inspiring about the holidays in NYC is the sharing of traditions from all around the world and the true sense of community celebrating from all walks of life. We all may celebrate the holidays differently, but we all share the same basic purpose, and New York is a great city that brings it all together.

As a great and unique gift to give for the holidays, I would recommend the one of a kind sustainable antique sterling sculptural pieces from the 'Metamorphosed Art' fine jewelry collection. My favorite is the draped hand ring and minimal band.

Photos courtesy of Mimi Prober Studio.

Q&A with Rose-Marie Swift, RMS Beauty

Mable Yiu

Founder of an organic cosmetic line used by models and celebrities around the world, Rose-Marie Swift discusses the inspiration for RMS Beauty and why it is so important to check the ingredients list in both your food and make-up products.

By Mable Yiu

Mable Yiu: The whole glowy and dewy no-makeup makeup look has really blown up over the past few years. Did you predict this when you first started RMS, or was it something you had always been a fan of yourself?   

Rose-Marie Swift: To me the idea of glowing and dewy no-make-up skin always went hand in hand with my beauty philosophy, so the trend was really there the whole time. Timing just wasn’t right  for it to blow up.  The whole trend in clean eating for health stemming from the uproar over our chemical laden food and environment led the ground work for it becoming mainstream.

MY: I love how your products incorporate organic and moisturizing ingredients such as raw coconut oil and cocoa butter. What was the process like creating your own cosmetic line, utilizing specific oils and minerals?

RMS: It all started on my journey through my own body cleansing after I found out I had health issues stemming from a great abundance of heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides found within my system. I started a whole regime to purge my system and self-heal. One of the catalyst was changing my diet to a raw food diet. Through that I learned about raw oils, butters and their many healing properties, etc. I started slowly using that knowledge to mix my own products. With the help of a chemist friend in Canada whom helped me with the actual formula percentages, I was able to actually go into the labs with my own formulas that are now what we know as RMS Beauty.  It took many years and just as much time on research and experimentation but I am happy with the results.

MY: You have mentioned that you started an organic, healthy and pure beauty line due to some health issues you experienced in the past that were related to toxic chemicals found in every day cosmetic products. Where can people find more information about which ingredients are good or bad for their skin?  

RMS: The internet is full of great information as long as you know who to trust.  Also there is a site called www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and an app THINKDIRTY (to name one) which helps you to navigate the confusing world of cosmetic ingredients and grades the toxicity of some of these products on the market.

MY: If you had to choose one product to get you through these upcoming dry, winter months, which one would it be?  

RMS: My beauty oil for all of its skin balancing and antioxidants that protect the skin. I also have to add in my lip and skin balm for easy application and mobility (it just can be thrown in your purse).

MY: Where do you see RMS Beauty heading in the future?

RMS: Hopefully on its continuous travel upwards.

MY: What are your plans for this Holiday season, and what are you giving this Holiday season? 

RMS: I am going to spend my holiday in my hometown of North Vancouver Canada with my family.

 

Photos courtesy of RMS Beauty.

Gen Art

fairweather enterprises

In its 20th year, Gen Art presented another promising debut of Fresh Faces, this time featuring finalists House of Cannon, Ada + Nik, and Daniel Silverstain. The Runway is only phase four of their incubator platform; after the runway, the winner is selected and begins work with Gen Art staff. On the jury were such fashion greats as Betsey Johnson. 

House of Cannon broke the runway first with a focus on silhouettes and digital prints of helicopters, prehistoric jowls, and koi fish. Our favorite element was an open-backed sleeveless top fixed at the shoulderblades with a silky blue bow. 

Delving into a more elemental repertoire, Ada + Nik began their show with a somewhat intimidating video meant to set the stage for a leather-clad cast of strong-jawed male models. Flowing necklines, sheer tunics, and asymmetrical shorts broke with the otherwise hyper-masculine materials. 

Last to show was our personal favorite, Daniel Silverstain. With a purported focus on "Retro Futurism," the looks ranged from exposed bandeau slips and full dresses with netted forearms to satin-trimmed culottes with space age silver vests. And, of course, it would have been impossible to ignore the deliciously colorful eyeshadow adorning each model's visage. Silverstain is indeed a fresh face who lives up to his brand's aspirations.

By Mira Dayal

Freedom Ladder

fairweather enterprises

For those who are dreading winter, the Set NYC Fashion Week event was just what we needed to get a sneak peak into Spring 2016 fashion! The main event began with Xi Haute Couture taking the runway with bold colors and styles. Later, the pure pieces of designer Sherry Tsang captivated the audience.

The fashion show financially supported and spread awareness of Freedom Ladder, an organization focused on educating and empowering children on the dangers of child sex trafficking through comic books. Vendors presented at the event donated items to the raffle, where 100 percent of the raffle ticket proceeds benefitted the Freedom Ladder. It was a unique experience to shop during the intermission between shows and talk with the artists selling their work. The vendors at the event included artists of jewelry, clothing, and natural aromas and goods.

Set NYC is an entertainment event and production company to showcase New York’s dynamic talent. Pim Shih, company CEO, describes the unique mission of Set NYC; a mission to serve. Partnering with a charity for Set NYC’s Fashion Week event from September 12th is an external display of the company’s foundational character. 

By Rachel Lipski

Joseph Singh

fairweather enterprises

On Thursday, September 10th, the Fairweather team ventured to the Lower East Side to see the preview of Joseph Singh’s newest collection.  Held in CO-OP Food and Drink, on the first floor of the ever-trendy Hotel on Rivington, the preview showcased his upcoming Spring/Summer 2016 collection.  In a Madame Tussaud’s inspired set-up, models wearing Singh’s clothing were frozen in poses around the bar while the guests, comprised of fashion elites involved in media, wandered around to admire the clothes up-close.  Cameras flashes were reflected in the mirrors all over CO-OP as photographers strove to get their perfect shot of Singh’s great collection.    

One of our favorite aspects of Singh’s new collection was his juxtaposition of hard and soft both in terms of color and fabric choice.  The pieces ranged in color from pastels and more muted tones all the way to fuchsia pink.  In addition, Singh paired more delicate, airy fabrics with thicker, metallic fabrics for a dramatic flair.  Overall, seeing this show was definitely a highlight of New York Fashion Week 2015.

By Allison Lavine

The Art of Living: Yesim Philip

Mable Yiu

By Alexandra Fairweather & Lisa Graham

As real estate experts, we regularly visit the beautiful homes of tastemakers and movers and shakers. We have learned that there is truly an "Art of Living" that should be explored, studied, and ultimately mastered. Recently, we spoke with the beautiful Yesim Philip, former professional Turkish basketball player and founder of the luxury sport clothing line, L'Etoile Sport, at her gorgeous Upper East Side home to discuss how her lifestyle is a direct expression of who she is.

How did L’Etoile Sport come about?

Sports have been part of my life since I was six years old. I started playing tennis actively about five years ago and I couldn’t find clothes that were stylish enough to wear on and off the court. So L’Etoile Sport was born in November of 2011 before fitness apparel had become the new “sportswear.” Now sports are having a huge influence on women’s fashion.

Do you find that your experiences as a professional basketball player in Turkey have influenced your line?

I guess, playing basketball professionally made me aware of athletic clothing and what I need to perform better. I lived in these clothes 24/7, so it was important to create something feminine, functional, yet still elegant and classic.

What are the inspirations for your line?

I take things that are basic, integral parts of everyday life, then mix and mold them together so they are simple but at the same time completely different. So everyday clothes inspire me.

What are you most looking forward to with your new line?

Every season is exciting but I am most ex- cited completing a collection and finding perfection. I design for tennis, golf, launching activewear and cashmeres to complete the collection. Having all the parts of the collection in sync with one another is the fun part of it. My ultimate goal is to continue creative work and build a collection that stays true to my brand identity.

How do you define “The Art of Living ” and how have you expressed it in your home?

I believe in simplicity, timeless elegance, and perfection. I try to create that in my apartment with simple decor but jazz it up with my art. I want my art to pop out, not to disappear in a jungle of furniture. I try to balance the values of innovation and tradition, if that makes sense.

Do you have a favorite feature of your apartment?

Benches under Jenny Holzer photographs. My husband thought at first they were mismatched, but he loves them now.

How would you define your style?

I think my style represents simplicity with timeless elegance.

Do you find that your line, L’Etoile Sport, influences your design at home?

I feel like they are the same. I like simplicity with a modern twist yet still classic.

Do you have a favorite piece of art in your apartment?

I love a Louisa Fishman painting in our living room and Jenny Holzer photographs.

Do you have advice for people who are designing their home?

It is important to have your own touch in every aspect of the design of your home. Even though you may get help from a designer, make sure that designer shares the same point of view as you.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood in New York City?

It will sound like a cliché and not cool, but I love my current neighborhood and love being close to Central Park.

Why did you decide to live on the Upper East Side?

We used to live in the West Village, but when I got pregnant with our second child and found out it was going to be boy, we decided to move closer to the park so he can enjoy the free space it offers.

What are your favorite spots on the Upper East Side?

Central Park, Central Park, Central Park. I am heavily involved with the Central Park Conservancy and without the park I'm not sure if many of us would still be living in the city.