Archive for August, 2011

Karl Lagerfeld designs for Macy’s arrive

August 30th, 2011

Macy’s video still

Karl Lagerfeld poses with his model in one of his creations for Macy’s Impulse department. The outfit she’s wearing looks as if it comprises three separates, but is actually a one-piece dress ($139).

Karl Lagerfeld‘s capsule collection for Macy’s has arrived and I got a sneak preview at Macy’s Ala Moana Center store this morning. Don’t rush in yet, as sales nationwide won’t begin until tomorrow, Aug. 31.

The store and the Waikiki store, home to the Impulse department, will be carrying 30 pieces of the 45-piece collection. The looks feature the designer’s signature black-and-white suiting, high collars, “tweedy” poly-wool separates and dresses, romantic dresses and tees and tanks emblazoned with his image, recalling similar tees created for H&M a few years ago.

It’s a great collaboration for those who have admired the designer’s work, but could never afford his creations for Chanel, Fendi or his own eponymous line. The quality of the pieces is much better than designer collaborations I’ve seen at other mass retailers, with more detail and substantial fabric. I’m tempted by some of his fall shorts and white shirts that will go with a black waistcoat I’m picking up from All Saints.

Prices start at $49 for the tees, with dress prices ranging from about $119 to $139.

Video: Lagerfeld working on illustrations for Macy’s. Click on the photo to see the designer at work.

Nadine Kam photos

At Macy’s Ala Moana store this morning, Tani Lynn wears the dress ($139) modeled in the top photo, featuring Karl Lagerfeld’s signature black-and-white, high-collared look. Morgan Clark wears a LBD ($128) version of the look.

Morgan shows a more casual look of a T-shirt ($49) bearing Lagerfeld’s image, worn with leggings.

Tani Lynn shows a more romantic aspect of the collection. This dress is $119. More detail is show below.

Katie Min models separates of poly-wool belted vest ($79) and city short ($89).

Designer bootcamp put hopefuls on path to fame

August 29th, 2011

iPhone photo
David Tyreman and Theo Garcia hold designers’ attention at the “Launch Your Line Bootcamp” Aug. 27 at The Venue.

Designers got a practical earful during the “Launch Your Line Bootcamp” presented by Hawaii Red magazine and Hawaii Fashion Incubator Aug. 27 at The Venue on Bethel Street.

Fashion and branding experts Theo Garcia and David Tyreman of The World Famous Company where the speakers for the day. Although I had to leave midday for a prior appointment, I saw how the workshop’s exercises, in which designers had to articulate their ideas to a partner, put the process of clarifying their ideas in motion. In trying to get the other person to understand their lines, they really had to focus on fleshing out ideas that often started out generic and nebulous, like “I design T-shirts.”

One person said she wanted to start the next Crazy Shirts, but how does a person get there when there hasn’t been a local T-shirt brand that has topped that name in more than 40 years? Another well-known local brand is Cane Haul Road, and more recently, Organik is making its name with its eco wear.

From a editor’s point of view, there are hundreds of T-shirt companies out there, so you really have to differentiate yourself to stand out. Garcia said key to effective branding is honing in on your brand DNA. That is, your story and your values that go into painting a vivid picture of who you are as a designer and what your brand stands for. His belief, for instance, is that men should be peacocks and he brings processes he learned in childhood to his designs.

Designers also tend to live inside their own heads but it helps to read and know what’s going on in the world. Garcia talked about trend spotting and it’s really hard to spot trends if you’re creating in a vacuum, without considering what’s going on in media, film, music and the way people live in general. Companies like DKNY hire directors of inspiration to spot trends years in advance of various seasons.

About two years ago, I started predicting that a Hawaii moment in fashion was coming based on Hawaii’s high profile in the long-running series “Lost,” to the number of Hawaii designers who have turned up on “Project Runway,” to the then-pending reboot of “Hawaii Five-O.” In journalistic calculus, two events are coincidence, three mark the start of a trend. Then, when John Galliano sent tropical colors and hibiscus prints down the Dior Paris runway in fall 2010, it became literal.