Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

Abi Ferrin: One dress, five ways

November 18th, 2011
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Nadine Kam photos

Abi Ferrin shows one of her original styles in Nordstrom’s Individualist department.

Just got back from Nordstrom, where designer Abi Ferrin is showcasing her spring collection until 4 p.m. in the third-floor Individualist department. For those who can make it over there, it would be great to have the designer show you multiple ways to wear her original 5-Way Dress.

There was a communal spirit in the dressing rooms as women tried on the dresses and Abi showed them multiple ways to wear it and helped them find their best looks. Officially, she said, “There are 10 great ways to wear it,” but said that women come up with their own “unofficial” ways all the time, as we discovered when emerging from the dressing rooms after having been left to our own devices.

Her spring collection is inspired by the desert paintings of Salvador Dali and Georgia O’Keefe, and features new prints, dresses and clutch with handmade buttons. But the 5-Way has remained the mainstay of her collection for eight years, stopping women in their tracks as they figure out the single dress, at $258, can give them multiple wardrobe options.

Even though it looks like you’re draped in slinky, unforgiving jersey, causing one older woman to remark, “That’s not for me,” Ferrin uses a high-quality jersey with double layers so there’s no need for smoothing undergarments. It’s like you’ve got Spanx built in.

While I was there, I saw women in all sizes try on her tops and dresses, all achieving the most prized of looks: effortless chic.

Looking ahead to the holidays, one dress in various incarnations could easily take you through all the major occasions, and would work well in hiding that Thanksgiving turkey or any post-feast bulge.

Ferrin said, “They’re designed for eating. You can look fabulous and eat at the same time!”

Individualist and Savvy manager Michelle Simpson, left, and Monique Nou, show two ways of wearing Abi Ferrin’s 5-Way dress, one as a dress and one as a one-shoulder top, along with Abi Ferrin fabric clutches that are a gift with purchase today only.

Abi fits shopper Lara Holt in her animal-print 5-Way dress.

Ferrin’s appearance in Hawaii marked a family reunion, with her mother also in town, and her sister flying in from Okinawa to meet them in the middle of the Pacific. Inspired by her sister Kelly Bryant’s humanitarian work around the globe, Abi founded The Freedom Project which assists disenfranchised women from around the world in establishing micro-businesses.

Ferrin, center, with, from left, her sister Kelly Bryant, and Nordstrom’s Michelle Simpson, Eryn Fujita and Monique Nou.

The colors of Spring 2012

September 8th, 2011
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Pantone has released its Spring 2012 Fashion Color Trends Report, which offers a peek into what we’ll be seeing on the New York Fashion Week runways today through next Thursday.

You’ll find the standard spring pinks and lilacs, represented by Pantone colors “Cabaret,” “Sweet Lilac” and “Bellflower.”

There is also the return of one of my favorite colors, orange, reflected in “Tangerine Tango,” with a strong navy blue, dubbed “Socialite Blue.”

The green of “Margarita,” is a muted, 1950s sort of yellow-green that might prove somewhat difficult to wear, though designers might interpret that to embrace darker greens as well, another of my favorite neutrals.

What’s newest are the golden hue of “Solar Power,” and other nods to a retro 1970s palette, including “Driftwood,” a blend of beige and gray with a slightly weathered feel, and “Starfish,” a warm summer brown.

Browns tend to be mousy, so the only antidote is to pair them with bright colors, as Cynthia Steffe designer Shaun Kearney has done below. Elie Tahari also had the same idea.

You can view the report here: Pantone Spring 2012