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Every season trends change, colors go out of style,  people grow tired of past fads and move on to new ones. However, one item has truly passed the test of time, every season sense any of us can remember a form of this piece has always been considered in style. This timeless piece is the 'LBD' or the Little Black Dress. Almost every designer has had a version of it featured in their collections because buyers always feel safe buying them sense a customer can dress it UP or DOWN anyway they want to make it match what is 'in' in the industry. This particular A/W 2009-2010 season the little black dress has taken on a much more dramatic and darker (yes, the black dress just got darker)  take showing that fashion really does reflect the times and can be a primary source for history. The LBD was first seen by masses when Audrey Hepburn wore one designed by Hurbert De Givenchy accessorized perfectly with a simple string of pearls in Breakfast at Tiffanys. However, even before that Gabrielle Coco Chanel introduced it in 1926 as a chic-est dress you could wear anywhere from cocktail parties to a day at work. In the '20s this was groundbreaking because not only could it be worn by all women but also it was the first time for a while black had been used for anything but mourning. Throughout the years the little black dress has be shortened, lengthened, cutout, accessorized, poufed, sashed, ripped, strapped, and so much more (even the color black has 42 different variations).  My personal favorite LBD of the season is Lodices silk jersey dress which can be worn with almost everything.

Pradas new A/W 2009-2010 ad campaign

Ever sense Prada opened their doors in Milan,Italy-1913 their ads have always been able to give something different and new to the fashion industry. This year the Italian fashion house has gone even farther with their recently launced A/W 2009-2010 ad for the accessory collection. This unique darker ad was shot by famed fashion photographer Steven Meisel, who  in addition to working with American and Italian Vogue, has done all of the brand's ad campaigns sense 2004. This new accessory collection includes many trendy items such as luxe cutout boots as well as seemingly timeless quaint clutches and smart glasses. The ad features four models: Katlin Aas (who opens and closes for this seasons Prada shows), Julia Hafstrom, Kendra Spears (20-year who is supposed to be the main focus of the ad), and Ymre Stiekema. This ad is edgier than others including other ones previously shot by Steven Meisel for Prada because of its edgier take on the collection. It is shot with the girls posing as fisher women in  'black waters'. The black waters and boats as well as heavy dark makeup create a backdrop for the clothing and accessories so that they are able to stand out and look as dramatic as possible to the consumers. The ad also stands for the darker times of the economy right now featuring the products as a light in the dark. All in all the A/W 2009-2010 is a bit of everything we need for this coming season's in.

H&M Fall '09 Collection

H&M may be best  known for its low budget knockoffs, but he Swedish company has finally turned towards high fashion for their upcoming collections. These pieces will be making their debut in select stores for the Fall '09 collection. hundreds of  as-yet-undisclosed pieces will be featuring bold shapes, '80s inspired layering, leather, and even lace. The collection is modeled by the french born internationaly rising star Sigrid Agren. Recently H&M has also been reaching out to a broader client base in the fashion world.  H&M does this by  teaming up with well known designers to create limited time only lines at the prices their current customers are able to afford, even in times when the economy is as awful as it is right now. Previous collaborations H&M had with designers have included: Matthew Wiliamson, Karl Lagerfeld (designer of Chanel, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld), Roberto Cavalli, Voktor &Rolf, Madonna, Stella McCartney, and Comme Des Garcons. Their most recent and exciting collaboration is with famed shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Jimmy Choo (real name: Jimmy Chow) got his start in 1988 when VOGUE did an eight-page spread on the designer and his high-quality shoes. Jimmy Choo shoes are normally $500-$1000 and up, but the designers H&M line (which is not actually designed by Choo -he is now retired but he still represents the brand) will feature 12 different styles of shoes with prices ranging from $55- $138 and bags who's average price is $276. The line is described to be "a fun accessible flash for a moment in time". I am already looking forward to shopping for my fall pieces even we are still is summer.

My favorite: (the one on the right)


Random notes from British Fashion Magazine:

*In our modern world, white is a luxury we should indulge in
"paper is my favorite material right now, it is both luxurious and fragile"- Karl Lagerfeld
"I want to raise the bar by creating a charity T-shirt that you WANT to buy and just happens to be for a great cause"- Stella McCartney

Top 6 Trends RIGHT now:

  1. Safari (with swatches of silk and satin with animal prints)
  2. Cowgirl (not my favorite Im not going to lie...)
  3. Strong (should pads, blazers and such - pretty much all Balmain this season)
  4. Denim
  5. Laundered (Devine crumpled fabrics, washed out, dip-dyed ect.)
  6. Slouchy (soft tailoring, silky pieces, pyjama style, soft, easy)
What to do with last seasons Trends today:

Boyfriend Blazer:
  then: with skinnies / leggings
now: rolled boyfriend jeans and sandals (as long as the blazer isn't denim)

Long Scarf:
then: around your neck
now: cinched around your waist, kimono style

Super Brights:
then: head to toe 
now: 2-3 items, then taking it down a notch with blah colors like black and neutral

Visual Merchandising

Why is Visual Merchandising important for a store?
-overstimulates customer (easier to shop when product is presented in unified ways)
-first impressions (Must support the brand and what you want to be as a retailer)
-Competition (give them something to talk about)
-Educate the Customer (Show them what's hot now)
-Make shopping easier (Gets the customer to see more merchandise)

The Essentials of Visual Merchandising:
-The Product (the clothes)
-The Display area (how much product can you put in your space without over cluttering making it look sloppy)
-Props & Display tools
-Signs (please no neon)

The Product:
-right product for the right time (no fur coats in July)
-Avoid looking sloppy by not OVER stocking 
-If its been in the store a long time and still not selling, get rid of it
-Know your customer (if your customers are mostly older men don't sell headbands)
-Train your staff to be able to answer questions well
-Create an image, a look

Display Area:
-Change the window display every two weeks (reflect holidays and special events)
-Make it around eye level (no one wants to buy something they can't reach or is on the floor)
-Platforms (To make the product seem more important and therefor a better seller)

Props & Display Tools:
-Furniture (don't get to artsy with this, people will actually want to sit on these)
-Need a focal point (our eyes are always drawn to bright colors and shiny objects first.)

-Lighting is the #1 sales influencer (get bright white ones)
-Wall display lighting (adds drama)(as if we didn't get enough from the hills)

To do list: (if you have a store or work at one)
  • develop a theme for the display
  • Create a visual rhythm (to guide the eye through the display easily)
  • Make a few items in the display repeat 
  • Keep things high in the back and low in the front (of display)
  • Less Merchandise creates a higher priced image
  • Create a calender for window themes
  • If there is a carpet, clean it. (Or even better get rid of it, there gross and hard to walk on in heels)
  • Go Green! (make sure a sign makes customer aware of this)
  • Paint the walls with upbeat color
  • Play Music (MAKE SURE it fits with the product  - no Hannah Montana with sophisticated dresses and no Heavy metal with pretty pink dresses)
  • Add color to your display

The CFDA (council of fashion designers of America)

The CFDA is a group of fashion designers who are in charge of many things in the fashion industry such as - voting for and putting on the CFDA Fashion Awards every year(this year was in June). To be in the CFDA you have to be invited to join which can take up to 2 years to finalize. Right now there are only about 300 members- there is a list of all the members on the CFDA website. For most of the designers they have email addressed for the hiring departments of the company/designer which is a great source to send resumes in for internship (thats how I got my first one!) If your graduating high school or above you can apply for all types of scholarships and funds to help you further your fashion career/education. The CFDA also has presidents- to be a president you much be voted for and be a top designer in the industry for quite a while. 

List of Past and Present Presidents: (toung twister right there)

Diane Von Furstenburg ( 2006-now)
vice president: Reed Krakoff
Treasurer: Richard Lambertson
General Secretary: Yeohlee Teng

Stan Herman (1991-2006)
Carolyne Roehm  (1989-1991)
Oscar de la Renta (1987-1989)
Perry Ellis (1984-1986)
Mary McFadden (1982-1983)
Bill Blass (1980-1981)
Herbert Kasper (1977-1979)
Oscar de la Renta (1973-1976)
Norman Norell (1965-1973)
Sydney Wragge  (1963-1965)

at the awards ceremony they have many different awards given out to designers who work very hard and are succssesful at what they do. (I would put a list up here but they tend to change the awards a lot - just another too confusing part of fashion) If you want to see the winers of this years show just check out :


My photo
Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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