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30/12/2013

Style Check: how hi-tech innovations are driving fashion forward

As the new year is just around the corner, I thought I'd focus on the future of fashion.

With the internet having transformed how we view and buy fashion, the web is now likely to drive more sophisticated and functional developments for the industry.

Consumers who are bored by the unfiltered flood of information offered online will be happy to find technology providing more useful and targeted solutions.

One aspect to this increasing personalisation is offered by fashion apps. Apart from more common, information-based apps, also on the market are the likes of Fashion Kaleidoscope, a social media app that lets you scout and source other people's clothes by using their pictures.

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As companies rush to monetise mobile shopping for fashionistas on the go, this type of app is only a starting point for even more fruitful collaborations between technology and fashion.

3-D printing is another hot topic. This method of design and production has already yielded some glorious aesthetic wonders, including a striking articulated mesh gown for Dita Von Teese.

The dress was part of an eye-opening exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York called "Out of Hand: Materialising the Postdigitial", featuring 120 works of fashion, art, jewellery and furniture made possible by the latest digital technology.

The show included fantastical shoes sculpted from blocks of wood, sleek Nike football boots created with a 3-D printer, whimsical pattern-cut sweatshirts and stunningly complicated knits made from digital patterns.

One of my favourite pieces attracted a little less attention. The Julia necklace by Marc Newson is a diamond, sapphire and white gold objet d'art that mimics fractal art.

Crafted for French jeweller Boucheron, the design was named after Gaston Julia, a pioneering mathematician who researched what would later become known as fractals in the early 1900s. Two thousand stones and 1,500 hours later, a genius concept materialised into one of Boucheron's most expensive necklaces.

A renewed focus on material and technical innovation means that progress in fashion will be more functional and sophisticated than just incorporating digital prints - think full-body scanners used to calculate your exact measurements when getting fitted for a suit.

Sportswear brands such as Under Armour and Nike are forward thinking with their use of technology, using it to produce lighter, more durable "second skin" garments.

In terms of local innovators, LAByrinth is a brand that operates here and in New York that I've watched for years. Its founder - and my friend - Elaine Young, has developed a digital printing technique that uses microscopic patterns on silks and weatherproof bags. Newer prototypes use aerial views of geographical landscapes.

The crowning glory of her young label is the DNA necklace that incorporates a piece of DNA (sampled from you, your partner, friend, family or pet) suspended in a vial and set in a stainless steel decorative case. The pieces are unique, and combine elegance with science.

 

Fashion labels often harp on about "brand DNA", but LAByrinth gives new meaning to the word.

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06:46 Publié dans News | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

27/12/2013

How to buy and care for cashmere

People Style Watch offers tips on how to buy a cashmere sweater.

Choose two-ply cashmere: “It's lightweight but warm enough for the colder weather. Plus, the stronger weave means it's less likely to pill or get a hole,” says Alison Guglielmo, a Chicago-based personal shopper and wardrobe stylist.

Go for a simple color & style: “A timeless shade like gray, beige or black is always suitable, whether for work or weekend. Steer clear of embellishments or trendy patterns for a sweater that you can wear for years,” she says.

Consider the length: “A sweater that hits at or just above your hips looks best. One that's too short will break up the line of your body, and anything at the thigh can add weight to your bottom half,” she says.

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Pick the right neckline: “A V-neck flatters almost anyone — no matter your body type. Look for one that hits mid-chest: If it's very low, it'll be too revealing, and if it's too high, it may cut you off,” Guglielmo says.

Think about fit: “You want it to be fitted but not tight. Because cashmere can shrink, don't go too small, and avoid baggy silhouettes, which tend to look outdated,” she says.

MAKE CASHMERE LAST

Store correctly: Never hang your sweater or it'll lose its shape. Instead, fold it in a breathable, sealed cotton bag to keep moths away.

Wash & dry gently: Hand wash cashmere with a special shampoo (Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo, then lay it out flat to air-dry.

Prevent pills: Use a cashmere comb or pumice designed to remove pilling in between wears.

GET YOUR LEGS READY

If you are going to show off your bare legs for that New Year's Eve party, here are some tips from People Style Watch:

Exfoliate: Soften skin with a multitasking scrub that cleanses and smooths. Apply it in circular motions from your feet up. For even better results, try using it with a loofah or body brush.

Bronze: Get an instant glow with a temporary bronzing gel. A matte formula minimizes imperfections in a natural way. Make sure to apply it in front of a full-length mirror to avoid streaks. If you want a more-subdued color, mix it with moisturizer.

Luminize: For added sparkle, finish with a shimmery powder or cream. To make legs look extra-long and lean, apply it just down the center of your thighs and calves.

PARTY PAIRING

Here are some perfect party pairs from InStyle magazine:

Snazzy coat and A-line little black dress: It's an age-old question: How do you freshen up a beloved-but-basic-black dress? Answer: With an exquisite topper featuring intriguing patterns, hues and textures.

Ooh la la heels and pencil skirt: It's easy to wear stilettos with a floaty cocktail dress, but putting them with a sleek pencil skirt feels really modern. Choose a solid skirt so your shoes get lots of attention.

Eye-catching pants and simple top: It's a look with enough luxe for a casual holiday event: a silky T-shirt or a velvet sweatshirt with sparkly or lacy bottoms (So comfortable, too!).

Jazzy top and basic jeans: Short of time but still want to dress things up? Slip on your favorite denims and opt for soft and glittery or bright and airy for your top.

 

Intricate cuff and fancy clutch: Accessories don't need to match but should complement one another. So, pick up on a color or metallic hardware to make it work.

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07:55 Publié dans News | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

25/12/2013

Coach Most Googled Fashion Brand In The UK, Americans Prefer Versace

Google has unveiled its 2013 Google Zeitgeist, which lists data on the most searched for people, places and moments that captured attention throughout the year.

In the U.K., American brand Coach unexpectedly took the top spot for most searched fashion label followed by French fashion house Chanel in third, and Italian labelGucci in fourth. The rest of the top ten includesMichael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Vivienne Westwood, Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger.

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According to Fashion United, Coach has a new flagship on New Bond Street in London, as well as outposts on Regent Street and in Westfield London, which most likely lead to its increase in popularity overseas. Also helping capture the attention of the UK Googlers could be appointment of British designer Stuart Vevers as Coach's creative director, after designing at Loewe. Last year's top spotter Stella McCartney did not even make the list and neither did Alice Temperley, Mulberry and Burberry, who were all in the top ten in 2012.

Back in the States, Versace was the top searched brand amongst American internet viewers perhaps thanks to a popular Drake song of the same name and the Lifetime movie based on the true story of Donatella Versace. Michael Kors took second place, ahead of Diesel Black Gold,Gucci and Kate Spade. The rest of the top 10 featured Rachel Zoe, Prabal Gurung, Givenchy,Mulberry and Luca Luca. The youngest designer on the list is Gurung, who peaked Googlers' interest around the time of his Target collaboration launch.

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07:13 Publié dans News | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)