A glance through Axelle Migé’s SS18 collection for Coppélia Pique has us praying for spring to arrive quickly. The couture line continues to be one of our top favorites. Her ability to create wearable structured pieces is superior. We’ve tried our fair share of avant-garde lines that have minimal movement, so to find a designer who understands that functionality shouldn’t be ignored with intricate designs is unparalleled.
What we love most is Migé’s ability to surprise us. Each collection she releases comes with a stunning presentation from contemporary dancers to curated art exhibitions, and nothing is ever repeated. We’ve become too accustomed to the madness of a quick runway show, so being able to watch Coppélia Pique’s story unfold every season is a rare treat.
From our standpoint, it’s extremely smart of Migé to present her clothing this way. You see the movement and the solid construction of each piece. From clean stitches to creating distinct lines and shapes with layers of fabric, she takes great care with every single detail. Even if the process is challenging, we know Coppélia Pique will never, absolutely never, disappoint.
Here’s a look through their SS18 HUMANO collection and art exhibition:
From the label:
“La collection Humano prend naissance au travers de la vie de l’artiste peintre et danseuse Anne-Kennory Kim et du film éponyme réalisé par Alan Stivelman. Axelle exprime le parcours de vie de cet artiste passionnée d’Asie, et se plonge réellement dans sa psyché et son art.
Un dialogue entre les deux femmes artistes qui se tissent déjà depuis plus de dix ans, Anne ayant organisé la première exposition d’Axelle lorsque celle-ci était jeune artiste. Les mots clés de sa genèse sont attachés au mystérieux prénom Kennory, déité protectrice de la foret et des montages, parfois éthérée, mélancolique, ou espiègle et joyeuse qu’Anne incarne merveilleusement.
La soie, et les tissus issus de fibres naturelles se déclinent dans l‘absolu du blanc. Une invitation faite à Anne d’expérimenter à son tour sur le vêtement et de reproduire ses toiles à la demande du public.
Poésie et raffinement embrassent la modernité des pièces flou et tailleur dans un parcours intimiste.”
“The Humano collection is born through the life of painter and dancer Anne-Kennory Kim and the eponymous film directed by Alan Stivelman. Axelle expresses the life course of this passionate artist from Asia, and really immerses herself in her psyche and her art.
A dialogue between the two women artists who have been weaving for more than ten years, Anne having organized the first exhibition of Axelle when she was a young artist. The key words of her genesis are attached to the mysterious name Kennory, a protective deity of the forest, and montages of something ethereal, melancholy, mischievous and joyful that Anne embodies marvelously.
Silk and fabrics made from natural fibers are available in the absolute white. An invitation to Anne to experiment with clothing and to reproduce her paintings at the request of the public.
Poetry and refinement embrace the modernity of the pieces, and blur and tailor in an intimate journey.”
Inside The Trade Shows With Vice President and Show Director Roy Turner
Story by Min A. Lee
We, as editors and writers, all flock to the major Fashion Weeks every season, but there are two fast-growing areas of the industry consumers love: swim and activewear/athleisure. Normally, we think of swim and athletics for summer, but a push for positive lifestyle changes have us looking at these labels year-round, and two trade shows have the best of the best: Swim Collective and Active Collective.
Both have been met with positive reviews from both brands and buyers. Currently held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa bi-annually, we got an inside peek with Vice President and Show Director Roy Turner.
THE SWIM COLLECTIVE
“Swim Collective debuted in 2010 as the first swim-focused trade event on the West Coast,” explains Turner. “The response from both the manufacturers and buyer side has been strong, and we continue to build on this momentum.” With the ever-evolving marketing strategies taken by brands and social media craze, we ask how the Expos continue to be the best option for retailers. “Although social media has become a great extension of the show and promotional platform extending to consumers,” Turner notes, “retailers still have the need to physically see, feel and test product, which is something social media doesn’t provide.” We agree heavily with him on this point. While we see hundreds, thousands of photos promoting a single brand on digital platforms, we can only estimate the quality at best.
Walking through the hundreds of booths, we are able to see a great mix of emerging and mainstream labels. Though we gravitate towards the independent ones, it’s always good to feel the materials of both and look at the upcoming trends. “It’s a careful balance of known brands and new up and comers,” Turner explains. “The buyers want to see both, so we are always challenged with curating the right buyers with the right brands.”
While we appreciate the runway presentations of Miami Swim Week, Swim Collective offers a better chance to speak with brand owners to really get to know their stories, their production and have that hands-on look at their entire collections. We are able to test fabrics, fits and get an idea of the coming plans each have. From the reversible styles of Maaji to new sustainable brands like Jeux De Vagues, the expo is much more accessible.
We stop to speak with Katherine Terrell, the founder of Jeux De Vagues, on how Swim Collective has helped the line, “Swim Collective was a great experience. I’m so glad we went!” she exclaims. “As an emerging brand, it was important for us to get out there and meet people. We saw how varied the marketplace is from the swimwear category, and how there is a place for everyone at the table.” Even though meeting buyers is the main goal for most, Terrell spoke on how it brought brands together “who were interested in collaboration” for the future.
The response for Jeux De Vagues is proving successful. “Eyes lit up when we introduced ourselves as a sustainable brand,” says Terrell. “There were people who were downright sustainability advocates, those who have heard about it, but not exactly sure what it means, and then there were people who had no idea what it’s about. For the latter two, it was a great opportunity to bring their awareness to why it’s important. For every person who went home with our organic cotton tote bag silk screened with our tagline, Hot Bikinis For A Hot Planet, we hope they continue the conversation about what this means.”
Terrell’s words are exactly what we want to hear. Knowing Swim Collective is aiding both buyer and brand while creating collaborations, we hope to see the show come up in other major cities as the popularity continues to climb. The need for swimwear will never disappear. We took a chance to ask Turner if expansion is possible, “Our show is a reflection of the market, and if there is a need we will consider it. We never say never!”
THE ACTIVE COLLECTIVE
On the other hand, activewear is reaching new heights, as the athleisure trend continues to dominate. This upward swing has resulted in the launch of Emerald Exposition’s Active Collective in 2015, with its first showing in New York City this year. Being one of the main fashion capitals, we wonder how receptive New York was to the expo. “From the buyer’s side, the California show sees more attendees from within the United States, while New York has more international reach, partly due to proximity,” says Turner. “The buyers attending the New York show tend to come from more department stores and are looking for more luxury brands. California sees more boutiques, resorts, gyms and studios.” The differences coast-to-coast also affects the exhibitors at each show. “California features a wide range of products from activewear, active performance, lifestyle, accessories and yoga, while New York is a bit more curated,” says Turner. “Mostly activewear specific lines at higher price-points.”
Looking at ready-to-wear shows, even some couture ones, there are hints of athletic wear consistently on the runways for men and women. While there was an early mix of some men’s active pieces, we ask Turner if there will be more men’s brands in the upcoming shows, “Although men’s market isn’t huge within the Active Collective, there are a few currently showing,” he shares. “While Vuori is the only men’s-only line, a few additional lines have added men’s to their collections: Onzie Men’s, MPG, Hero Sport, Soybu and Virus to name a few.”
After spending the first half hour combing the aisles, we were pleasantly surprised to see how fashion forward the lines are. The range of colors and fabrics from Beyond Yoga, Z Supply and Shape Active attracted us right away. There are several appealing options that could transition easily from the gym to errands, yet suitable for the office. Comfort is first and foremost, but we appreciate the shift for style in these active brands. With fall around the corner, we loved seeing all the dark grays and oxblood styles from Puppies Make Me Happy. The name alone had us stopping in our tracks to take a look at the brand’s logo. Another label that stood out to us was Naked Princess for their mix of flowing dresses, elegant lingerie and athletic knits.
Ultimately, we aim for functionality in our active wear choices and Pointe Studio won us over. Their grip collection socks have zero slippage—zero. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than having a sock slip down in your shoes while working out. It becomes an endless battle of pulling them back up over and over, so feeling the thick grip of Pointe Studio’s line and the high-end knits—heaven. Speaking with Julia Calles from the brand regarding their product, she explains “the varying sizes, and the fabric contents are ideal for active lifestyles. They hold their shape beautifully and maintaining this high level of quality are extremely important to us, from the fit to the overall design.”
As for being part of the Swim Collective show, “we find more inbound leads sitting along with other market brands,” Calles says. “Having accounts swing by that we might not normally see has been really great. The response here and internationally, so far, is very positive for Pointe Studio, and we continue to grow. Overall, Swim Collective is providing an increased reach with key players in the active and athleisure industry, and the experience is going really well.”
Fabrics are everything if a fabric can’t hold up against the constant movement the piece will fail. For an expert opinion on the best materials in active wear, and also the ones we can wear throughout the whole day, we return to Roy Turner. “Micro-mesh has been a popular fabric for adding details and is definitely trending among most lines,” he tells us. “High-performance polyester and spandex blends are being used to create form-fitting pieces that can be seen all over, including gyms, studios and out into the streets.”
Article designed and written at Composure Magazine. See the full link here.
A look at our favorite emerging fashion label with Creative Director Georg Weissacher.
Story by Min A. Lee
We love finding those hidden gems within all the Paris Fashion Week shows. This time, we were captivated by the designs from the label Peoples Of All Nations. This London-based line is flourishing under the creative direction of designer Georg Weissacher, the former Vice Head of menswear at Vivienne Westwood. In his latest collection ‘The Phenomenon of Man,’ named for the Pierre Teilhard de Chardin book that inspired him, you’ll see the talented abilities of Weissacher as he skillfully weaves a story with clothes. Taking an academic and intelligent approach to design, he doesn’t let expected trends ever dictate any of his work. “My collections are stories which are communicated through the short films we produce, as previously Der Hund, Paradise, Challenge, and now Phenomenon of Man, this is what it all ties together in an attempt to create a Gesamtkunstwerk,” Weissacher shared. “Gesamtkunstwerk is a term coined by Wagner, in his approach to making opera—as all is composed and made to work together to create a whole piece of art.”
The Phenomenon of Man, for POAN, is an artistic view of humanity, and yes, humanity is quite complicated. If we were to quickly generalize, there’s a combination of history, psychology, social concerns, modern-day technology and its future, plus that lingering question of whether life after death exists. All these elements and their opposites were perfectly translated by Weissacher into a fluid collection of attire. Rich, earthy tones mixed into transparent materials, statements such as “Harmony Through Diversity” splashed across tops, and religiously influenced prints and cuts all work together to share this view with the audience. Gesamtkunstwerk is truly how to describe the runway presentation.
Speaking more on the influences, Weissacher explained the religious components as a reference to the HBO series The Young Pope directed by Paolo Sorrentino. If you aren’t sure, in short, the show follows actor Jude Law who portrays Lenny Belardo, the first-ever American elected to the papacy. “I just love the aesthetics of Italian film making of the school of Visconti, Pasolini, Fellini, which comes to life again with Sorrentino,” Weissacher noted. “I took inspiration from the clerical silhouettes for my coats, and of course, the Saturno hat.” We were eyeing the Saturno hats especially. They looked smart on both the men and women and pulled outfits together seamlessly. Admittedly, it was also our favorite style worn by Jude Law throughout the television series.
Mixing tailored pieces with athleisure, we were curious if Weissacher had a favorite piece from the S/S18 collection. “From a storytelling perspective, it must be the transparent space suits,” he said. “I have ended the show with them because they embody ‘the new missing link’ for me. We are on the verge of a new evolution step!” The way these suits were created and how they layered with other pieces fit Weissacher’s words, as if we were looking into the future, and back at our past—from beginning to beyond. Reviewing the looks over and over, the story pulls at us more intensely, both visually and emotionally. This pull was felt by Weissacher as well. “I hope that it (the collection) brings joy and happiness to the spectator who gives us a moment of their precious time to reflect upon it,” he explained. “Peoples Of All Nations wants to communicate this simple truth—that high morals and never ending curiosity is an antidote to fear, and will get us fast to where we want to be as humans. Remember ‘good’ is the new sexy!”
I’ve been meaning to do this piece for awhile now, especially for those first-time shoppers that are just diving into the designer shoe world! All are beautiful, but not equal. Sizing, leather, comfort—it varies from fashion house to fashion house. While this is my humble opinion, I’ve definitely gained an idea of what shoes work for what situations and what ones are worth wearing daily. Because it will take me forever, I narrowed it down to the main five I see the most and also wear the most.
Let’s Talk About Sizing
**To note, in contemporary and mid-level brands I’m a size 7, a solid size 7. Generally in designer shoes a 37 = 6.5 in US sizing (37.5 = 7 US Sizing).
Christian Louboutin: The hard thing with CL is they vary so much, you really do have to try them on, BUT generally I need to go a half size up. I need a 37.5 and with So Kate’s a 38.
Jimmy Choo: I always go a half size up, and I always, without fail, buy size 37.5.
Gucci: These have always been true to size for me, 37 fits like a 7 in this case. I always buy 37.
Yves Saint Laurent: Same as Jimmy Choo, I need to go a half size up. I buy 37.5 in their more classic pump styles.
Manolo Blahnik: MB can be a bit tricky for me, at times I feel like they run true to size for a 7, while others I need to go up a half size and buy 37.5.
Prada/Miu Miu: I’ve also tried a few of their heels as well and I’ve gone up a half size. I shop for 37.5 with Prada.
*Keep in mind with leather, you will find the leather stretches over time as you break in your shoes.
Christian Louboutin comfort concerns: CL makes some of the most stunning shoes. Their sky high 120 mm heels look stunning and they make your legs look insanely long, but they are NOT easy to walk in. I honestly had to practice walking in the So Kates. Comfort was a huge problem. The vamp is cut shallow and so if you have wider feet, you might find several CL styles don’t work well.
I feel like for first-time Christian Louboutin wearers going with a 100mm heel is ideal, especially when a pair is going to cost around $695 retail. Also, Pigalle has a shorter toe box than the So Kate style, which you might find isn’t as comfortable.
Here’s a photo of how I get mine to not be so painful. I use designer insoles and add in an extra to help cushion more, and I can actually walk normally and for a longer period of time. Honestly, CL are the shoes I just wear when I know I’ll be sitting more. I bought these Dr. Scholl’s insoles and they’ve worked wonders.
Protecting Your Designer Shoes
Preventing Wear & Tear on the soles: This is always a concern for designer heels. You spend at least $400 on a pair of shoes and that first knick to the tip of the toe is killer! Rubber sole protectors and heel taps add longevity and also prevent you from slipping, especially with Gucci soles. A cobbler will be able to add these for you and prolong the life of your designer shoes, even flats!
Example below: I’ve been wearing these Gucci heels almost daily at times, and the rubber sole protector has kept them looking new. You can see in the photo with the toes it has helped with protecting the points. This is something worth spending money on to have done with all your designer pairs.
Best Heels For Every Day Wear
This is likely more subjective, because some people swear by their Louboutins, while others swear by their Manolos. For me it comes down to heel shape and height. As most know, block heels are extremely comfortable, and luckily almost all design houses have a block heel version.
I tend to go for classic pump styles because they are timeless and easy to pair with everything—casual and dressy. I do find Manolo Blahnik has a wider vamp that is easy on the feet and also their heel heights provide comfort too. I find myself wearing these lately because I can walk forever without limping at the end.
This specific pair is their Alba Pump. It was sold exclusively at Neiman Marcus at the time, but keep reading and I’ll share with you websites to find them still!
Another contender for me is Jimmy Choo. I’ve wore them for weddings and danced the night away, and they aways go to conventions and events with me when I have to be on my feet for hours. My toes never feel squished, and even the 4-inch heel height didn’t give me any problems. They make a quite comfortable insole.
I was in Las Vegas for a 2-day event and I wore the pair below for 8 hours straight. Wearing heels that long is never the best for our foot and ankle anatomy, but if you’re looking for something that you can survive long periods of time in—go for Jimmy Choo.
Yves Saint Laurent has proven to be decent as well, I do prefer Jimmy Choo and Manolo Blahnik over comfort by YSL has been solid for office meetings. The vamp was a little more narrow for me at times, but it’s also because I always go for classic pump styles and don’t really deviate from this.
Because the vamp is a bit more narrow on my feet, I opted for a 3-inch heel and it’s been really good so far. I know most go for 4 inches and up for a sexier look, but I feel that even shorter heels and kitten heels look just as beautiful.
Designer On A Budget
Spending hundreds on a pair of shoes is frightening. It’s a lot of money to fork out for something that will get beat up on the pavement, but I’ve found resale sites make it much more bearable.
Most of the time you can find NWOT (New Without Tag) or some new pairs with the box (NIB = New In Box) around 50% to 80% if you keep hunting and checking consistently.
Favorite Resale sites:
The Real Real – they authenticate everything, but even so it does help to research out brands and double check the shoes. I’ve found some really amazing steals, Manolos for $70, Jimmy Choo for $100 on here that were new condition. Also they have a larger inventory.
Poshmark – do your homework, because even though Poshmark authenticates for $500 and up, the best deals and steals fall under this mark. There’s A LOT of shoes to sift through as well.
Fashionphile – another solid website to shop, their prices aren’t as low as The Real Real, but they do authenticate and they get some hard to find classics.
Yoogis Closet – a bit like Fashionphile, but the prices seem to be a bit better. Free shipping and easy returns have me looking here quite a bit.
Vestiaire Collective – this site is solid for European based consumers. The caveat is shipping is expensive for stateside. You’re looking at $40 for shipping.