Tagged: dealman

Kasuri: Upstate’s Punk Epicenter

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Punk fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, who designed for the Sex Pistols and clothed the unruly London youth of the late ‘70s, once said, “I didn’t consider myself a fashion designer at all at the time of punk. I was just using fashion as a way to express my resistance and to be rebellious.”

 

KASURI in Hudson embodies this dual essence at the heart of Punk—the rejection of the status quo and the acceptance of fashion as a powerful mode of self-expression—a way of being in the world. “People talk a lot about the connection between fashion and art—and a lot of bullshit is spun around that—but fashion is most interesting because of the way it relates to art, comes so close to it, and yet is also always something else. At the very least, it is an applied art; one that people are forced to engage with every time they put clothing on their body,” says Jonathan Osofsky, creative director at the luxury clothing boutique.

 

“For many fashion is about wanting to look richer or be skinnier than everyone else. For some it’s about belonging to a group and disappearing into it. For us, it’s more about appreciating how beautiful a garment is, how incredible the architecture and construction of the piece might be, but also more importantly how it makes you feel. Isn’t it fascinating and exciting how this piece makes you move differently? Isn’t it brilliant how this piece makes you feel powerful or heroic or dangerous? Or how this piece makes you feel sexy or strange, or both?’”

Anti-Fashion Fashion

KASURI, which opened in 2014, is a road map of avant-garde fashion through the years. Heavily inspired by heavy-hitting Japanese designers like Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, and Yohji Yamamoto, the careful selection of garments traces a path through the evolution of groundbreaking designers, from Westwood (whom Osofsky calls “the mother of the physical expression of punk”) all the way to contemporary designers like Rick Owens whose “gothic, kinky, conceptual take on revolt can collide with the playful Gesamtkunstwerk of Danish designer Henrik Vibskov.”

 

Throughout decades, across collections, these “visionary designers,” as Osofsky describes them, are often in dialogue, riffing off one another even while they create something truly distinctive. And Osofsky has the knowledge and the chops to trace these connections and share them when he is talking with visitors and customers.

 

“The designers we carry have been profoundly influential on fashion design but they transcend it. In fact, they really represent an kind of Anti-Fashion, uninterested in the trend cycles or commerce or luxury for luxury’s sake,” Osofsky says. “It is very important to them to explore what clothes are, what they have been, or can be, in ways that are always exciting and unexpected.”

The Road to KASURI

Osofsky discovered fashion (in particular the work of Westwood, Kawakubo, Yamamoto and Walter Van Bierendonck) as a shy, strange, queer teenager growing up on dairy farm in Columbia County, through hard-to-come-by magazines that he cherished like Interview, i-D, and The Face. “There was nothing like KASURI around when I was growing up. New York City and London were far away. I wore my parents’ clothes from when they were young, pieces from the army navy stores, and the Salvation Army, and put together looks inspired by bands that I loved and what I saw in the pages of the magazines.”

 

KASURI’s owner, Layla Kalin grew up between Arizona and New York, where her father and mother had their respective homes. Transitioning regularly between these two very different cultures and climates, she never felt completely at ease in either place. Even as a young girl, Kalin was acutely aware of the power of fashion—to make you feel part of something or separated from it. Rather than shying away from that apartness, she embraced it, and found in it bravery.

As a young girl, Kalin’s grandmother sewed clothing for her, introducing her to the magic of pattern-making. In her 20s, Kalin attended Los Angeles Trade and Technical College, and set up dressmaker’s equipment in her garage and experimented with building a small clothing label.

 

At some point along the way, she was introduced to the work of Yohji Yamamoto. “I can’t remember when I first discovered him, but I feel like he’s always been with me,” she says with a smile. In 2007, Kalin moved to the East Coast, began a family, and eventually wended her way up from Brooklyn to the Hudson Valley.

 

Observing the commitment to design that belied the culture in Hudson, Kalin came up with the idea to open KASURI, spurred by curiosity about whether a store that unlikely and experimental could survive upstate.

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  • Kasuri owner Layla Kalin and creative director Jonathan Osofsky.

 

 

Around the same time, Osofsky was toying with a similar business idea, though unsure of how to actualize it. “I certainly didn’t have the resources—I was a frustrated artist,” he says. After many years nomadically wandering from New York to London to Providence and San Francisco, and a lot of places in between, he had found himself back in the Hudson Valley. He was just diving back into the art world, with some hesitation, when he was introduced to Kalin. “Quickly and unintentionally, but thankfully, it became clear that KASURI was a brilliant opportunity for me to apply my areas of expertise—art, anti-fashion, retail, and the history of boutiques that did something more than just sell things—to Layla’s vision.”

 

Together the unlikely pair have taken on the challenge of building something, a business that is both about the art and commerce of fashion.

Challenge Accepted

The brands carried in KASURI rip open the contemporary, mainstream notion of fashion. Anti-establishment, avant-garde—these terms come close to describing the undercurrent, but with the baggage of overuse, they don’t suffice. “Our designers work within the fashion system, but they operate more as antagonists to it than champions or apologists for it,” Osofsky says. “They shred the lines between categories. They are intense and challenging. Maybe they are interested in interrogating ideas of beauty and ugliness, or exploring how historical dress can be integrated into modern day. Perhaps they like to take clothes apart and see what you get when when you put them back together.” The design impetus ranges from conceptual to formal, but Osofsky is adamant that not everything has to be overly-intellectual—it can also be playful. He says, “It’s usually both super serious and really light.”

 

The garments are so intensely idiosyncratic to the designer—works of creativity and vision, of guarded integrity—that they transcend much of the mainstream fashion worlds ideas of “relevance.” They are relevant for the designer who created them—and they become relevant for the customer that falls in love with them.

 

“The (thankfully collapsing) binary of city-versus-country has always been really tedious to me,” Osofsky says. “The idea that people from the country are somehow ‘less cultured’ or creatively literate than their urban counterparts is a false narrative. There are a lot of ‘local’ people who are really interested in this. The idea that you can only dress up in ‘appropriate’ environments is irksome. People often say, ’But I can’t wear this up here.’ I try not to validate that.”

 

While KASURI does carry many pieces that are essentially sculpture for the body, it is also important to Kalin and Osofsky that people actually wear the clothes the carry. “Some pieces are like billboards for the ideas of the designer—pieces that might distort the body, encasing it architecture and patterns, perhaps with no holes for the arms, because, who needs arms!” Osofsky says with a laugh. “However, equally important are the pieces that show their brilliance discreetly. Those same designers translate the ideas of their show pieces into subtler versions, which are nevertheless just as strong as the more intense pieces, but made for everyday.”

A Community Platform

A self-described post-punk, anti-elitist, anarchist, Osofsky strives to create a welcoming, egalitarian environment in the store. “The most unlikely and eclectic people tumble in here. We engage with everyone like actual human beings,” he says. “This isn’t always the case—there is this perverse logic of ‘luxury spaces’ where sales people act studiously ambivalent or even hostile to their customers. People feel bullied to shop in these spaces, made to feel inadequate with the only solution being to spend a lot of money, which is deeply alienating. We want everyone—the neighborhood kids, the local farmers, the artists, the brilliantly dressed ladies coming from church across the street, the random millionaire—to get same treatment.” Osofsky encourages walk-ins to interact with the garments——to look at them, talk about them, ask questions, try them on. “Obviously we want and need to sell clothes,” he says. “But they are more than just clothes and we want to share them with people.”

 

In April, KASURI collaborated with the Hudson Area Library and a small circle of people interested in the intersection of design, education, art, youth empowerment, politics, to run a free, three-day Spring Fashion Workshop for teens and tweens. Leading the workshop were writer, poet, programmer and Youth Services and Programs Coordinator Shanekia McIntosh; artist and writer Brandon Acton-Bond; local designer Enky Baryarsaikan (ENKYU); KASURI team member, fashion designer, and musician Dylan Widjiono; and photographer and fashion entrepreneur Tom Roeschlein (CMYLOOK).

 

Kasuri

 

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10 TIMES LADY KITTY SPENCER CHANNELED PRINCESS DIANA’S STYLE

As one of the most stylish women in history, it’s not surprise that Diana, Princess of Wales, continues to offer fashion inspiration for other royals the world over.

In fact, we’ve lost count of how many times Diana’s daughters-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, and The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, have paid sartorial tribute to the fashion icon.

Now it appears another young royal has chosen Diana as their style muse: her niece, Lady Kitty Spencer.

In case you haven’t heard of Kitty, she’s rapidly becoming fashion’s new darling after landing campaigns with brands like Dolce & Gabbana and Bvlgari.

Here we chart every time Kitty Spencer channeled her late aunt, Princess Diana’s style.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hemline styles for your next dress, from asymmetrical to tea length

Typically you will see the asymmetrical cut on skirts and fitted dresses in solid colours for both daytime and formal affairs.

 

With people getting more experimental with their attires, a number of individuals are trying different hemlines to add glamour to their simple dress or kurta. Try out cuts like wrap, a feminine-sensual hemline like the trumpet or asymmetrical. Bhavya Chawla, chief stylist at Voonik, Siddhant Gupta, founder at Chique, and fashion designer Reynu Taandon, have listed ways on how different hemlines can be explored.

* Wrap: From the plain Jane wrap to the sexy twist wrap, the market holds multiple styles to suit each one of you.

* Trumpet: A feminine-sensual style that skims your hips and thighs and flares out slightly at the hemline which reminds you of the musical instrument after which it is named. With this ultra dainty hemline, wear delicate or strappy feminine or sensual shoes that show a lot of your feet. Boots and shoes with thick ankle straps defeat the purpose of wearing this feminine or sensual hemline.

* Handkerchief: This hemline is all flirty and free. Its whimsical vibes makes it the perfect wear for spring season. Being a versatile hemline it can be worn to work or even a party.

* Asymmetrical: Typically you will see this cut on skirts and fitted dresses in solid colours for both daytime and formal affairs. When worn with a casual skirt, a slouchy boyfriend tee loosely tucked in will balance out the fitted nature of the skirt. Let your shoes shine through a little more with this dress with an embellished sandal.

* Tea length: Starting to differentiate a little more, this cut falls at mid calf, and you’ll find it in a multitude of dresses from cocktail to wedding. Depending on the cut of the dress, it will draw attention to the calf and ankles, so be aware of your strong points.

* Mini: Used properly, it can lend an amazing dimension to a dress. Unfortunately, it is most often used improperly and ends up making the wearer look trashy.

* Floor length: This hemline falls just above the floor, and is one of the longer hems in the range of practical cuts. Unless you’re getting married, chances are you don’t want to wear a dress that is dragging on the floor all day.

* Ballet: This is the next highest, and should brush the ankles when fit properly. We are not talking a big difference from the floor length, but depending on the dress it can make or break the design. Used improperly, it will make the dress look like it doesn’t fit rather than enhance the overall silhouette.

* Ballerina: This cut should clear the ankles so the dress hangs above the ankle but below the calf. It’s very difficult to classify hemlines unless they are cut properly. A ballerina hem may be a ballet hem on someone who is two inches shorter.

Pippa Middleton’s royal wedding dress draws Arizona iced tea comparisons

Pippa Middleton’s royal wedding dress draws Arizona iced tea comparisons

Pippa Middleton arrived at St. George’s Chapel for Saturday’s royal wedding in a $695 green-and-pink floral dress by British brand The Fold.

But while her look fit right in with the ceremony’s unofficial color palette —  both Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, also wore shades of green — Middleton, 34, is drawing some rather uncanny comparisons on social media, due to her dress’s striking resemblance to a container of Arizona iced tea.

View image on Twitter

Sarah Rogers

@sarahnrogers

Pippa’s dress looks like the Arizona iced tea can #RoyalWedding

View image on Twitter

Spooky Island@dimiginger_mars

Pippa Middleton sponsored by Arizona #RoyalWedding (credit to my father)

Kate Middleton’s younger sister is pregnant with her first child, and will celebrate her first anniversary with husband James Matthews on Sunday.

The Best Fashion Looks You Can’t Afford From The V. Rich Royal Wedding Guests

The Best Fashion Looks You Can’t Afford From The V. Rich Royal Wedding Guests

Sure, you might say the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was entirely about “love” and “bringing the nation together”. NO. WRONG. It was entirely about who wore what (and which of Harry’s ex girlfriends would show up, and will anyone make a supreme, global embarrassment of themselves by sitting in the wrong seat).

How Meghan’s reception dress compared to Kate’s

After a wedding speech by Harry that guests said moved people to tears, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex travelled to their evening reception at Frogmore House.

Meghan changed from her Clare Waight Keller ceremony gown into a soft white bespoke halter neck dress by Stella McCartney, made of silk crepe. Harry swapped his military uniform for a black tuxedo.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

Kensington Palace said: ‘The Bride is wearing shoes from Aquazzura made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue.’

George Northwood styled her hair, into an updo again, but this time more relaxed.

The second dress was a hit on Twitter, with some saying it was even better than Meghan’s first gown.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA
There was a lot of speculation as to whether the ceremony dress would be by Stella McCartney.

Meghan is known to be a fan of the ethical British designer, she wore one of the designers dresses last month.

The dress was in line with Meghan’s simple, sleek style of her first dress, with a completely different neckline.

Enormous trains make cutting shapes on the dance floor pretty difficult so it’s standard for royal brides to change into a second dress later in the day.

Kate swapped her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen wedding gown for a simpler dress for her evening reception in 2011.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

But while Kate went for ivory satin for her second gown of the day, also by Sarah Burton, Meghan stuck with white, ‘lily white’ according to Kensington Palace.

Kate’s neckline was sweetheart, a classic in bridal wear, while Meghan’s high halter neckline is a bit more edgy and modern while still having a thoroughly regal feel to it.

Meghan kept it as plain as her first dress, but Kate’s Burton gown said ‘evening party’ in a different way, with a bit of sparkle in the embellished waistline.

How Meghan's reception dress compared to Kate's
PA

Kate’s style is pretty demure so it was no surprise that she covered her shoulders and arms with a white angora bolero cardigan.

Meghan’s second dress though was all about her shoulders and arms.

Harry drove his new wife in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero with the number plate E190518, the date of their wedding.

Better Late Than Never? The Fashion Industry Is Finally Embracing The Plus-Size Woman

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The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

One of the more cringe-worthy moments in the 2006 movie, The Devil Wears Prada, about the struggles of aspiring-journalist Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, working for Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), editor of fictional Runway magazine, happens in the office cafeteria.

Andy observes to art director Nigel, played by the amazing Stanley Tucci, that all the other girls at the magazine don’t eat anything. He says, “Not since two became the new four and zero became the new two.” Andy answers that she is a size six, to which he quips, “Which is the new fourteen.”

Shame on the fat-shaming industry

That in a nutshell is all anyone needs to know about how the fashion industry views its plus-size customers: She simply doesn’t fit. The average American woman wears between a size 16-18, according to research from assistant professor Deborah Christel, at Washington State University’s Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles. She has made it her mission to wake the industry up to its inherent fat biases by teaching a class to expose “weight discrimination as a social justice issue.”

Tim Gunn, long-time chair of fashion design at Parsons The New School of Design, who went on to Liz Claiborne as chief creative officer and then gained famed as mentor on Project Runway, took the industry to task back in 2016 in a Washington Post op-ed. “Designers refuse to make clothes to fit American women. It’s a disgrace,” he wrote.

Demand for all-inclusive sizing

The industry has been slow to learn the lesson, but finally it is taking Gunn’s message to heart. Nordstrom is now expanding its plus-size selections to include 100 brands and integrating them in with its core size range, rather than segregating it into a separate “Woman’s” department, where the shopper is reminded that she doesn’t belong where the real fashion is.

The company, however, said it will still maintain a separate plus-size department for convenience, but its “size-inclusive” initiative will give size 14 shoppers access to the same styles as her size 2 shopping companion. “In our opinion, petite and plus sizes shouldn’t be considered special categories. They’re just sizes,” a company statement said. Now Nordstrom shoppers can select from extended size offerings from inclusive brands like Topshop, Rag & Bone, Theory and J. Crew’s Madewell on the same rack.

Specialty fashion retailer Express is also broadening its range of sizes from 00 to 18, but only in 130 stores out of its total base of 600 full-priced and factory stores. “What we hear constantly from consumers is the lack of fashion styles in the sizes they need. We are excited to make this first step in the journey toward a more inclusive shopping experience,” the company said in a statement.

And none too soon, with women’s fashion retail sales on a steady decline since 2012. From its zenith of $41.8 billion, it has dropped 5.6% to $39.4 billion in 2017, according to the Census Dept. Monthly Retail Trade Survey.

By contrast, the women’s plus size fashion market is on a roll: up 38% from two years ago, reports Katie Smith, retail analysis & insights director at EDITED, which provides real-time data analytics to the fashion industry. “The plus size market is the fastest-growing segment in the U.S., but it still accounts for 1.6% of the market, which is baffling when you consider 67% of women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or larger,” she says.

Women know how they want to dress; they don’t need designers to tell them

It is sad that the fashion industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the revolutionary idea of size inclusiveness. But the overwhelming majority of women–plus size women–are demanding it. This is a kind of disruption that the industry can actually respond to proactively, if it only is willing to embrace the new image of the modern woman.

“For too long, the industry has been entirely blinded to the fact that a consumer can be plus size and passionate about high-quality clothing and have the money to shop for it,” Smith says. “Social media has helped fuel discussion around inclusivity, acceptance and is challenging old stereotypes. The Gen Y and Z consumers are far more open-minded and inclusive than any other consumer before them. And their impact on luxury, advertising and beauty has been, and will continue to be, enormous. The increased body-positivity these consumers are creating is finally hooking the fashion industry.”

The fashion industry is now in the unfamiliar, and for many the uncomfortable position of following rather than leading the consumer. “No longer is the fashion industry able to push its agenda onto consumers, instead consumers are pulling the industry forward.”

Plus puts new demands on designers

Besides the fact that plus-size women don’t look like the women many fashion designers want to dress, designing plus-sized clothing requires greater expertise and awareness of how to dress the real woman’s body, not designers’ favorite 6-foot-tall, size-00 model.

“This is a design failure and not a customer issue,” Gunn wrote in his 2016 op-ed. “There is no reason larger women 1can’t look just as fabulous as all other women. The key is the harmonious balance of silhouette, proportion and fit, regardless of size or shape.”

Speaking to the design challenges, and opportunities, of dressing the plus-size woman, Kim Camarella-Khanbeigi, founder of Kiyonna and an early pioneer in plus-size fashion, says, “The fit is science,” she says. “You can’t just grade up and expect the style to flatter and fit the same.” She started Kiyonna in 1996 to serve the specialty retail market and moved online in 1999.  Today her brand is carried by 250 stores nationwide, as well as being available on its own website, Amazon and Zappos. Kiyonna also operates a flagship store called the Upstairs Boutique in Anaheim.

Kiyonna

Mademoiselle Sapphire dress

“What’s ready for disruption is the stereotypes about the curvy customer. Styled right and wearing something that fits, she exudes attractiveness,” Camarella-Khanbeigi says, as she notes the business opportunity to dress the curvy woman is great and growing. “There is a beautiful, curvy customer counting on it.”

The look of luxury in plus size

To date, luxury brands and retailers have been the most resistant to embracing the plus-size woman. Smith reports EDITED data shows that only about 0.1% of the luxury and premium market is plus sized. “What luxury brands don’t seem to pay attention to is that plus-size shoppers are already their customers, be it of their beauty, perfume, footwear, accessories or leather goods lines, rather than apparel,” Smith says.

While it is true that affluent women are less likely than lower-income women to be plus sized, it is safe to assume that at least 25-33% or more of the nation’s affluent women don’t fit into the luxury industry’s standard 0-12 size range.  The latest available data from the CDC on women’s obesity levels by income confirms this, with its finding that over one-fourth of the highest-income women (specifically women with household incomes 350% above poverty level) are classified as obese (BMI of 30 or higher) and that isn’t even counting women who are simply overweight.

Gucci for one has paid attention and offers an increasing range of styles in large and XL sizes. It will also help Nordstrom fill its racks as it broadens its plus-size offerings. Smith advises the rest of the luxury industry to wake up. The plus-size luxury fashion market is growing and these women have the means and desires to dress as fashionably as her size 0 counterpart.

“Plus-size celebrities and influencers now have very visible global platforms for voicing their frustrations with an industry that can’t dress them. With social attitudes towards inclusivity shifting rapidly, luxury brands don’t want to lag in this opportunity,” Smith declares.