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    Fashion History: The Haute Couture Era

    Mai 11th, 2017

    By the end of the 19th century the horizons of the fashion industry had generally broadened. The more mobile and independent lifestyle causes many well-off women to begin to adopt and to wear the practical clothes they demanded.

    Fashion History from 1900 – 1910

    Throughout the early 20th century Paris dictated high-end fashion. Parisian designers set the fashion tone for the rest of the Western world, and their designs were highly sought for women of the upper classes. Although the two most important fashion terms and their division haute couture and pret-a-porter wasn’t sharply defined, nevertheless both fashion magazines and department stores all over the world sent their editors and buyers to the exclusive Paris Fashion Shows to follow the newest high-end fashion trends and styles. At this time fashion style magazines started to include photographs in their article and became even more influential than in the future.

    Remarkable wastes defined the fashion of the decade. And the couturiers of that time created incredibe extravagant outfits which were meticulously made. Worn by the fashionable women of the Belle Époque the outfits highlighted the S-Bend silhouette of the full-figured body. The S-Bend corset was very tightly laced at the waist which forced the hips back and the drooping mono bosom was thrust forward in a pouter pigeon effect creating a S shape. Toward the end of the decade the fashionable silhouette gradually became somewhat more straight and slim, due to Paul Poiret’s high-waisted, shorter-skirted Directoire line of clothes. Curvy hips were also flaunted by the dress styles of the era. In the early years of the first decade, skirts were only long and full. No fashionable lady could (or would) dress or undress herself without the assistance of a third party. Unlike today, the constant radical changes of the fashion trends were still literally unthinkable. The use of different trimmings were all that distinguished the styles season after season.

    This video shows Fashion in the early 1900′s:

    Fashion History from 1910 – 1918

    From 1910 until the start of the First World War in 1914, skirts gradually grew shorter and began to reveal tantalizing glimpses of the ankle. The overall silhouette of dresses also changed slightly, moving toward a slimmer, narrower and straighter line that emphasized the hips and busts. As the war began in 1914, attention and materials were drawn away from fashion design, and no significant fashion developments occurred again until peace was declared at the end of 1918.

    The most influential fashion designers of the time were Paul Poiret, Jacques Doucet and Mariano Fortuny. Paul Poiret has evolved the first outfit which women could put on without the help of a maid. He was one of the first who translated his vogue into the fashion world with his exotic kimonos and vivid colors. While the French designer Jacques Doucet excelled in superimposing pastel colors and his elaborate gossamery dresses suggested the Impressionist shimmers of reflected light, Mariano Fortuny was a curious figure with very few parallels in any age. For his dress designs he conceived a special pleating process and new dyeing techniques. Each garment was made of the finest silk.

    Fashion History from 1918 – 1920

    World War I changed the fashion world for ever. Women chose to dress like men and borrowed their clothes from the male, corsets were refused and both bustless, waistless silhouette and the flapper style became very popular among yound women. The sporty and athletic look for both women and men were popularized equally as well.

    The menswear emphasized youthfulness and relaxation in the 1920s. Unlike before the young men were no longer afraid to show their growing mood of informality, especially not the Americans. What was very tradional in the past, wearing a special outfit for every event in the well-dressed gentleman’s day, wasn’t popular any longer. Men began to wear the same soft wool suit all day long and felt confident. Short suit jackets replaced the old long jackets of the past which were now only worn for formal occasions. Men prefered more the sport clothes, including sweaters and short pants and the London cut, with its slim lines, loose-fitting sleeves, and padded shoulders were very popular.

    At that time the couturière Coco Chanel was a major figure in fashion for her chic and progressive designs. Chanel evolved the little black dress, the Chanel-Costume and the use of jersey knit for women’s clothing.

    Watch how Fashion changed after WWI due to Coco Chanel’s influence:

    Related article: Couture isn’t dead. It’s an article about how haute couture is demand than ever after the economic crise in the 21st century.
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    Streetstyle New York: Dress of the week #8 – Denise

    Mai 1st, 2017

    Throwback Thursday

    (We met Denise in September 2010 in New York)

    Denise approaches another level of top boots. We call them “over the top boots” without being negative or sarcastic. This boots are just an amazing, artsy piece of Versace and Denise certainly knows how to combine it with a vivid red Chanel handbag and catchy Marc Jacobs glasses. We don’t know about you but in our mind Denise is just Manhattan-Style at its best.

    Related Articles:
    1_Balenciaga boots worn by Michelle, Streetstyle New York #23
    2_Versace in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Latest Fashion News: Versace for H&M


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis

    April 12th, 2017

    Interview blast from the past, October 2011, New York.

    speak fashion, fashion backstage, Ruthie Davis, Shoe Designer Ruthie Davis, Ruthie Davis Shoes, Shoedesigner, Shoe Designer, Ruthie Davis Interview

    Thumb through the Ruthie Davis video

    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize Ruthie Davis’ most remarkable quotes.

    ‘Well, if a Manolo Blahnik and a Nike had a Baby, what would it look like? The answer to this question was my original brand concept.’ [01:54]

    ‘What I am attracted to in a shoe is actually its construction and therefore the heel.’ [03:28]

    ‘I am usually inspired by buildings, sidewalks, fences – things that are sort of industrial looking.’ [04:23]

    ‘No, I do not think that men are better Shoe Designers.’ [08:37]

    ‘I have a new quote which is: Entrepreneurship equals Design’. [09:01]

    ‘I think it’s starting to happen that Designers now realize that they need to have the business skills.’ [09:25]

    ‘A new Fashion Designer first and foremost needs one basic skill: experience.’ [10:29]

    ‘What’s the bigger picture? A lot of people tend to have this one idea and don’t think about the overall concept.’ [13:46]

    ‘I do think there is a need for great men’s shoes.’ [14:15]

    Catch up with Ruthie Davis

    Ruthie Davis in the digital cloud:
    Like or tweet with Ruthie Davis’ on Facebook or Twitter
    Read from Ruthie Davis with Love on Tumblr
    Find more Ruthie Davis Shoe Designs on Blogger
    Visit the Corporate Site of Ruthie Davis Shoes

    Related Articles:
    1_Versage boots worn by Denise, Streetstyle New York #8
    2_Ruthie Davis in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Ed Hardy’s beauty heel in speakfashion’s fashion style tip


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    Fashion History Classics: Who invented the Cloche Hat?

    Februar 27th, 2017

    The well known cloche hat was invented by the Parisian milliner and French fashion designer Caroline Reboux (1837-1927) in 1908. Due to the fitted, bell-shaped form of her invention, she named her hat – “cloche” hat, a French translation of the English word “bell”. The hat even shaped hairstyles and became especially popular during the 1920s, and continued to be commonly seen until about 1933.

    Read the rest of this entry
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    Streetstyle New York: Dress of the week #7 – Lana Belasco

    Februar 9th, 2017

    Throwback Thursday

    (We met Lana in August 2010 in New York)

    Isn’t she a dream in red? We encountered Lana a couple of days ago on her way to a cocktail party. Unfortunately she didn’t remember where she got her adorable red costume, including the very fancy handbag.

    The dress might be Barami. The retailer currently offers a dress that looks very similar to Lana’s. Regrettably you can’t order it online. But if you are in the mood, stop by at the store at 57th and Lexington Ave. It’s still there. We checked it out yesterday afternoon.

    Related Articles:
    1_Red dress worn by Nelia, Streetstyle New York #25
    2_Fashion Style Tip: Catherine Malandrino’s red jumpsuit
    3_Fashion Style Tip: ASOS red zip dress


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Toni Francesc

    Januar 26th, 2017

    Interview blast from the past, March 2011, New York

    speak fashion, fashion designer interview, Toni Francesc, New York Fashion Week, Ready to wear

    Speaking Fashion with Toni Francesc was brought to you byspeakfashion.us.

    Thumb through the Video
    Don’t have the time to see the entire interview? Just browse through. Below we emphasize the most remarkable quotes.

    ‘Before I create a new collection I have to feel its spirit from the bottom of my heart.’ [02:30]

    ‘I consider my style made for being worn on the street.’ [03:01]

    ‘I’m convinced that simplicity is in the beauty and therefore I look for the beauty in the simple.’ [04:43]

    ‘I was looking for a concept that would provide me with a smaller and more localized idea of the European Phoenix.’ [06:04]

    ‘In my mind everybody is able to change his own nature and state of mind at any given time.’ [07:00]

    ‘For any stage Garuda goes through I created a counterpart within my collection.’ [08:00]

    ‘Fashion design and therefore fashion designers are already somehow universal.’ [09:36]

    ‘Being a designer means to suffer and a global competition makes it even tougher.’ [11:38]

    ‘Therefore I think the only way to become successful is to work hard every day.’ [13:26]

    Catch up with Toni Francesc
    Toni Francesc – Barcelona Headquater

    Juli Galvé i Brusson, 9-11 // 08918 Barcelona, Spain

    P: +34 93 460 56 68 // Email to Isabel Muñoz

    W: www.tonifrancesc.com/ // View it on google maps.

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Toni Francesc’s Fall 2011 Runway Show
    2_Toni Francesc in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Backstage: Interview w/dress designer Elke Walter


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    Fashion Style Tip: Un-dress 2016

    Dezember 30th, 2016

    Let’s get the party started! We wish you a happy, successful New Year and all the best for 2017. Make it an unforgettable night to remember. We’re blessed to have such incredible fans all over the place and are very looking forward to seeing you all again next year! Vielen Dank!!!

    stephane-rolland-haute-couture-spring-2016

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Style Tip: Un-dress 2015
    2_Fashion Style Tip: Un-dress 2014
    3_Fashion Style Tip: Un-dress 2013


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    Fashion History: The Fashion Revolution Era

    Dezember 19th, 2016

    By the 1960s, the empire of fashion had begun to break up into various style tribes. The coming of age of the postwar baby boom generation, together with a strong economy, led to the rise of an international youth culture that completely revolutionized the fashion system. “Youth quake” styles were closely linked to popular music, especially in London, where young women first started wearing miniskirts, while men dressed like peacocks. Forth fashions were soon followed by stylish versions of hippie anti-fashion. Despite the rise of influential new designer and popular trends, the time had clearly passed when a single designer could dominate the look of a season or decade the way Dior once had with the “New Look” of 1947. Italy, Japan and New York became new centers of fashion.

    Fashion History from 1960 – 1970

    Until the 1960s Paris was supposed to be the center of fashion only. Prior to the 1960s fashion designers generally created styles for runway shows and clothing manufacturers mass produced the designers’ styles for the general public. At that time the youth generation with a power and culture that was all their own, now at an age to speak out, began to rebel against traditional clothing styles and created their own fashion trends. As a matter of fact, after trying to move forward with their traditional creations,  fashion designer couldn’t keep up with their specific trends and implement the youths’ popular creations into clothing for the masses. Even indomitable and matured women adopted a girlish, hip-style with short skirts and straightened curves in the 60s. Not to mention that at the start of the decade skirts were knee-length, but steadily became shorter and shorter until the mini-skirt emerged in 1965.

    A huge variety of clothing became popular beside the short miniskirts, including bell bottoms, hot pants and blue jeans. It was no longer shocking for women to wear pants on a daily basis. The basic shape and style of the time was simple, clean cut, neat and especially young. Synthetic fabrics were very widely-used during the 1960s. The colors of the styles were both clear and bright at the same time, very much mirroring the mood of the period. Hats weren’t worn anymore, only to special occasions and flat boots also became popular with very short dresses in 1965. Later on the boots even rose up the leg and reached the knee.

    Emilio Pucci and Paco Rabanne were two very influential fashion designers in the 1960s. Emilio Pucci’s sportswear designs and prints earned him a very high reputation of the high society. His sleek shift dresses, tunics, and beachwear, created a ‘Puccimania’ that liberated the female form in the 1960s. Paco Rabanne on the other hand produced resolutely modern designs, created garments from aluminum (Rhodoid) and pieces of scrap metal. His designs, as well as being experimental, were also closely in tune with what modern adventurous young women wanted to wear. Rabanne was also the first fashion designer to use black models in the conservative world of haute couture.

    The principal change in menswear in the 1960s was in the weight of the fabric used. The choice of materials and the method of manufacture produced a suit that, because it was lighter in weight, had a totally different look, with a line that was closer to the natural shape of the body, causing men to look at their figures more critically. The spread of jeans served to accelerate a radical change in the male wardrobe. Young men grew their hair down to their collars and added a touch of color, and even floral motifs, to their shirts. The polo neck never succeeded in replacing the tie, but the adoption of the workman’s jacket in rough corduroy, and especially the Mao jacket proved to be more than simply a political statement.

    The Swinging Sixties:

    Fashion History from 1970 – 1980

    The decade began with a continuation of the hippie look of the late 1960s, with afghans, Indian scarves and floral-print tunics. Jeans remained frayed and bell-bottomed, tie dye was still popular, and the fashion for unisex was mounting then ever.

    Due to the choices for available clothing that had become very diverse, it was nearly impossible to tell the do’s and don’ts in fashion by the 1970s. The “anything goes” in terms of fashion was increasing during these two decades of rapid social revolution and holds on until nowadays, at least for the freedom of choices.

    Jeans became an accepted part of the American fashion scene in the 1970s. Heading to the more casual sportswear, the American fashion designers adapted the best of what they learned from Europe to the massive American clothing industry. Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren became widely known in America after designing clothes for the men and women of a new world. It could be said two styles dominated fashion in the U.S.A. during the 1970s – the tailored, unisex look and the fluid, unstructured style with a strong feeling of the 1930s glamor and elegance.

    Kenzo Takada and Sonia Rykiel were the most influential fashion character to that time in France. Kenzo drew his inspiration from all over the world, mixing Western and Oriental folk influences with a fantastic ‘joie de vivre’ (joy of life) and an instinctive understanding of what his young customers wanted. He literally turned the fashion world upside down with his unusual prints, fluid lines and clever combined accessories. Sonia Rykiel, the so-called queen of knits in 1974, designed her first sweaters with reversed seams. She created a whole range of clothes that were extremely individual and yet could be worn almost anywhere.

    Men’s fashion changed more in the 1970s than it had done in a whole century. The typical male look was defined by narrow shoulders, tight-fitting lines, no tie, no interfacing, zip-up boiler suits, waisted jackets or tunics, sometimes even without shirt. Fashion designer of that time adopted the unisex look and transformed it even to the work clothes, like traditional suits and changed them to a more informal style therefore. Designers also introduced a revival of the 1930s elegance in men’s wear. The unearthing of old military clothing, preferably khaki and from the United States, English-style shoes, Oxford shirts, immaculate T-shirts, tweed jackets with padded shoulders, and brightly-colored V-neck sweaters.

    A huge change in fashion was also the influential increase of Italian’s fashion. Milan confirmed its status as the second center of international fashion after Paris. Capitalizing on the dominant trend of anti-fashion, Italy offered a glamor that had nothing to do with the dictates of Parisian haute couture. While profiting from a clearly defined style, Italian fashion was luxurious and easy to wear. The two most influential Italian fashion designers of the time were Giorgio Armani and Nino Cerruti. Armani’s first women collection in 1975, was dynamic, urban, and understated, androgynous in inspiration. Nino Cerruti presented his first women collection in 1976 while he was pursuing a menswear boutique in Milan for 19 years. A high-quality designer of taste and discernment, Cerruti occupied a unique position in Italian ready-to-wear.

    Haute couture is dead, welcome to the 1970′s fashion:


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    Streetstyle New York: Dress of the week #6 – Ivan

    Dezember 1st, 2016

    Throwback Thursday

    (We met Ivan back in New York in July 2010)

    Ivan didn’t tell us his last name. Maybe he couldn’t decide if he wants to be Ivan Gucci or Ivan Dolce. He could easily claim to be one of those designers, because he is wearing Dolce and Gucci from head to toe. Except his handbag. This piece is from Bottega . But we’ll categorize it certainly into the same high-end fashion level. Chapeau!

    Related Articles:
    1_Latest Fashion News: Dolce & Gabbana talk digital
    2_Dolce & Gabbana in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Gucci in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary


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    Fashion Backstage: Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter

    November 21st, 2016

    Interview blast from the past, February 2011, New York

    speakfashion: Elke, as far as the story goes did you step into the fashion business accidentally since you couldn’t find the right garment for yourself. Is that true?

    Elke Walter: Absolutely. It happened during the 90s while I lived in France, certainly the designated mother country of high fashion. Ironically I couldn’t find my dress of all dreams even there. So I decided to create one by myself. At this very first experience with fashion design I experienced the beauty of fabrics. This was the start for me as a fashion designer.

    speakfashion: Back then you didn’t have much experience either in design or in working with fabrics. How did you teach yourself into all that?

    Elke Walter: Honestly, I hate being taught. But I have a good taste and a very good feeling for high quality. And learning by doing is very often the best way to approach an unknown territory. So it took me some hard days and sleepless nights at the beginning before something wearable came out. But after all people started asking me where they could buy those dresses. At this time I knew I’m on the right track. I’m not very good in sketching but I know what I like and what makes women look beautiful. I’m a natural born designer.

    speakfashion: Sounds very dedicated. But since you don’t have all the typical skills fashion designers learn while studying, how do you create your designs then?

    Elke Walter: I choose the fabric I want to work with and have my mind go into it until I know what has to be done with. Then I start my creation as a courageous act: I take my scissors and I cut. I never draw. I never make sketches. I create sculptures. This is how I started and I’m still working within this unusual design process. Finally the cut will be made after my first sculptural prototype.

    speakfashion: Since you have lots of experience as a self-taught designer: What’s the most important skill for upcoming fashion designers?

    Elke Walter: In my mind the most important skill for a fashion designer is to work out his own design signature. A very unique handwriting combined with passion and diligence is probably a must have for future success.

    speakfashion: And what’s the biggest challenge designers have to struggle with when they start their own business?

    Elke Walter: All designers are challenged by the same uphill struggle which is to design a beautiful head-turner that is both comfortable and wearable at the same time. A great garment has to be stunning from all sides. It doesn’t make sense to work on a beautiful front and ignore the back for instance.

    speakfashion: Talking about stunning dresses. What’s your design all about?

    Elke Walter: All my Ready to Wear and Couture dresses are made out of a rectangular piece of fabric. That’s my individual design signature. I decided to work with this rectangular structure because the base of all things is simple. Why shouldn’t be the base of fashion design simple either? The simplicity keeps open all the possibilities to proceed later on. For me there is no other way of cutting. It has become sort of a personal dogma. It makes my designs very special, very comfortable and there is a new challenge in designing different items every day.

    speakfashion: A special design sounds very tempting. Are all your pieces still handmade too?

    Elke Walter: In the beginning I did everything myself. After a little while I got some helping hands working in my Hamburg based design studio. But 2011 will be the year where we have to outsource the production to specialized German production companies.

    speakfashion: That means you’d broaden up your fashion line in the past since you need more and more outside vendors to help you out?

    Elke Walter: Yes, definitely. Meanwhile I’m running four lines. My all-time bestselling line ‘TOKYO’ which is made of black Japanese polyester and sold by retailers worldwide. ‘ADAN’, an abbreviation for ‘All-Day-All-Night’, is a line where I design street wear. I also have a highly exclusive line which is what it says: ‘Elke-Walter-One-Of-A-Kinds’. All designs are custom-made for special occasions of special clients. To bridge the gap between the lines I’ll put on another one this year ranging from street wear to cocktail and evening dresses.
    As for the fabrics I love modern yarns that make fabrics better to wear and more beautiful. Oh and I have to confess: I am a polyester maniac.

    speakfashion: So it seems you found yourself a niche where customers are willing to pay for sophisticated designs rather than to go for widely known fashion brands?

    Elke Walter: That’s true, yes. But you have to be able to react really fast to market changes if you want to survive in this niche. Do what big companies can’t: React fast to changing demands of women and you can get decent prices for your designs. Speaking of the reproducible lines my designs start at 300 Euros and go up to 1,500 Euros. My unique pieces range between 2,500 and 10,000 Euros.

    speakfashion: Did you experience a distinctive taste in different countries since you market your clothes all over the world?

    Elke Walter: Today there is no difference between the countries. Fashion is international. It is the attitude of women that makes the difference. In general I would say that women everywhere have the same token: Dressing up to be beautiful.

    speakfashion: This statement pictures a bright future for fashion though. What’s your plan for the upcoming season?

    Elke Walter: Oh there is a lot going on in 2011. First of all I’d like to bring out my men’s line. To broaden up our sales promotion we’ll open up a showroom in Milan and get some promotion assistance from our US and Japanese agent. In March we will have a runway show in the German Embassy in Tokyo as well. So stay tuned and keep an eye up for Elke Walter designs.

    speakfashion: We will Elke. Thanks so much for sharing all these ideas with us. Enjoy your trip to Tokyo.

    Speaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke WalterSpeaking Fashion with Couture Designer Elke Walter
    Catch up with Elke Walter
    Elke Walter – Hamburg Headquater

    Eppendorfer Weg 235 // 20251 Hamburg, Germany

    P: +49 (40) 47.29.65 // Email to Elke Walter

    W: www.elkewalter.com // Visit Elke Walter on facebook

    Related Articles:
    1_Fashion Shows: Tibi’s Fall 2012 Runway Show
    2_Elke Walter in speakfashion’s fashion dictionary
    3_Fashion Shows: Nomia’s Fall 2012 Presentation


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