MERT ALAS: A FASHION ICON INTERVIEW by Navo

MERT ALAS: A FASHION ICON INTERVIEW by Navo

ARNALDO ANAYA-LUCCA: A LOVE STORY by Navo

ARNALDO ANAYA-LUCCA: A LOVE STORY by Navo

David Barton Talks: UnFashionable Drinks

David Barton Talks: UnFashionable Drinks

Models, A-list actors and the fashion forward all appear to kick start their day the same way…with a highly caffeinated drink to go. Here is the truth behind the drinks that have big status appeal but in the real world, lead to even bigger waistlines.

Don’t let the nutrition labels on diet sodas fool you. These drinks may have lower calories, but they are packed with artificial sweeteners that increase weight gain odds and over time are detrimental to your metabolism. Diet sodas give you the caffeine kick you need, but their secretly addicting sweet taste makes us crave more. Truly, the word “diet” isn’t a guilt-free pass to indulgence.

Let’s take a look at a Latte…iced, hot, chai, soy or skim, the Hollywood it-crowd can’t seem to get enough of this caffeinated carry-on. However, the bad news is, no matter what type of milk or artificial flavor you choose, most lattes contain more calories than an entire day’s worth of food. If these lattes weighed as much as the fat, sugar and dairy they include, stylish celebrities would inevitably choose a different, lighter accessory.

To keep up with a non-stop lifestyle, it’s all about the promise of non-stop energy through energy drinks. Although these cryptic potions may keep your energy on in the moment, the downside is that this high-caloric concoction is crammed with high fructose corn syrup and other equally unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients that go straight to your waistline.

While these drinks may make you look and feel cool today, they won’t help you LookBetterNaked tomorrow.

God did not save McQueen!

God did not save McQueen!
When I worked with Alexander McQueen… by Frédérique Renaut (Fashion & Beauty Director at www.benjaminkanarekblog.com)
After the passing away of Alexander McQueen, it seems that everyone in the industry are now recognizing his “undisputed” talent. However, it was not always the case. In the past, he was frequently misunderstood by the press. The troubled, disturbing, dark and oppressive atmosphere of certain shows was often too overwhelming for them to fathom.

I had the privilege of working with him when he was at Givenchy for the 1998 Fall-Winter ready-to-wear collection, in 1997. Before he created his Fashion House “Alexander McQueen” with the backing of the PPR Group. I then followed his career from a distance.

Lee (his first name, Alexander was his middle name) exemplified the no compromise, always reinventing, re-challenging himself kind of model that many other designers can only wish to accomplish if given free reign. None of his collections resemble the preceding ones. Constantly re-inventing himself, his new collections are born with an entirely new and unique personality or DNA. His themes and inspirations were always very powerful statements with amazing staging, decor, performances and scenery dramatizations (a remake of the Sydney Pollack film “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?”, stuffed animals, rapacious, projections of XXL dream images, rain, snow, water, painting projections…) and he expressed those themes with breathtaking romantic and tragic allegories that went far beyond what one is used to expect from your classically established fashion designer.

He had it all: A perfect technique of “the cut”, the tailoring which was the foundation and basis of his work learned while on Savile Row. Yet with this classic training, he was able to take his creations much further expressed with his own tragic poetry. Some people might have complained and stated, “Give me a break they are only clothing after all…” Perhaps, but the end product was more than “Just Clothing”.

At Givenchy, Lee was surrounded by a British team comprised of young and incredibly talented people amongst which included Katy England, his friend and muse and playing a central role. There was also the incredibly talented and brilliant Simon Costin Art Director and Set Designer for the shows.

Oddly enough (and I found this to be quite amusing), there existed two totally different and opposing dynamics at the Givenchy Studio. When Lee and his team needed to relax, it was a variation of raucously loud music and joking around. However, when he felt that it was time to get back to work, a very studious atmosphere would prevail going through books of National Geographic and other source materials. You could hear a pin drop…

Continue reading and videos on www.benjaminkanarekblog.com

Opening image: AlexanderMcQueen & Isabella Blow photographed by David LaChapelle in 1996

“The Worst and the Best of Haute Couture SS 2010″

The Worst and the Best of Haute Couture SS 2010
The last Spring-Summer Couture collections will not remain in the annals of the greats!

21 collections were presented to the press:

* from 10 Official Members (Adeline André, Anne Valérie Hash, Chanel, Christian Dior, Dominique Sirop, Franck Sorbier, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Maurizio Galante, Stéphane Rolland missing Christian Lacroix this season )

* from 4 Correspondents Members (Head Quarters based somewhere else than Paris: Elie Saab, Giorgio Armani, Maison Martin Margiela, Valentino)

* from 7 Guest Members (Adam Jones, Alexis Mabille, Atelier Gustavo Lins, Christophe Josse, Josephus Thimister, Lefrant.Ferrant, Maison Rabih Kayrouz, missing Alexandre Matthieu, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Jean-Paul Knott, Josep Font, Marc Le Bihan this season

Spring-Summer collections are generally less interesting in terms of creativity because of the nature of the season there is less layering to play with and less choice of materials.

The economic malaise resulting in a less than flamboyant, more conservative and less risqué collections:
Josephus Thimister inspired by the First World War and Anne Valérie Hash who created a hybrid mix of vintage clothing offered by celebrities and her own materials, stated “I had this idea to do something about personal clothing, memory, and identity, so I started writing to people I admire and asking them to send me something of theirs to transform”.
Keep reading after the jump…
(more…)

Snap Shot Fashion

Snap Shot Fashion

Get used to it…

You know, all of you out there including myself who think that what is happening is what IS happening are wrong.

The HOT item right now are images taken on the streets with real people wearing what ever they wear and being cataloged and highlighted in all of the major press. The press then try emulating that look with real people wearing fashion that the magazine stylists have chosen to give them a genuine on the street and caught by accident look. They get photographers to take “Snap Shots” to give them that “LOOK” and publish them.

Take for example the hottest Fashion blogs like The Sartorialist, Style Rookie and Garance Doré. These blogs are in the Top Ten of the most powerful fashion influences today. They are cited by Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Pop etc. as well as being syndicated throughout the world. Some of these bloggers have been picked up by major photo agents, as they represent the new wave. As a result they get to shoot and contribute to the major fashion magazines around the globe.

The scene is in constant flux and the old rules no longer apply as they never did in the first place. “The Scene” is dynamic and constantly changing as are the roles of those cataloging “The Scene”, i.e. the chroniclers or what used to be called fashion photographers.

To make it today as a “Fashion Photographer” you really have to see fashion to capture fashion and to see fashion you have to express your own views of what it means to you and capture it in your own way. The classic set up the image in the studio still works, but there is a new kid on the block. Better wake up to this reality and confront the fact that there will always be a “New Big Thing”.

As Bob Dylan so aptly sang, “The Times They are a Changing.”

Post via Benjamin Kanarek Blog

David Barton Talks: Gym Chic

David Barton Talks: Gym Chic

“It’s Not About Gym Clothes You Can Wear On the Street, but Street Clothes You Can Wear to the Gym”

You never know who you might run, squat or lunge into. Whether it’s Marc Jacobs, Gwen Stefani, Rihanna or your future husband/wife, be prepared in cool gym-wear in your quest to LookBetterNaked. Gym Chic is effortless and nonchalant, yet secretly contrived and deliberate. Here are my tips to pull it off…

For men, I have one rule: no high socks. Even worse? Work socks. If you forgot ankle socks, go for no socks. No excuses. If you’re the sneakers type, pair them with basketball shorts and throw on a cut-off shirt. Vintage tees are really cool and if you have the right body, a wife beater is even better. For the relaxed rugged gym look, and the look I wear best, throw on a vintage cut-off shirt and sweatpants, and slip on a pair of hiking boots with the laces loosely tied. If you’re the bandana type, rock a complete biker look or you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

For women, again, no high socks – show us your calves. The key to a truly sexy gym look is accessorizing. Pair tight rolled up sweatpants that show off your legs with amazing Chanel earrings. Take a casual off-the-shoulder sweater that covers up your “bad” parts but shows a peak of skin, pair it with your favorite leggings and add a cool headscarf. To be effortlessly gym chic, mix luxe and vintage, baggy and fitted. Finish the look with a funky pair of shoes, like converse sneakers.

Ultimately, the best gym look is a DavidBartonGym LookBetterNaked t-shirt. You should also love the way you look when the tee comes off.

Has Celebrity Branding Gone Too Far?

Has Celebrity Branding Gone Too Far?

Celebrity branding is a marketing strategy as old as Julius Caesar’s stamped coins. Masses recognizing superstars catapulted sales of their preferred brands. This interweaving between fashion houses and celebrities is something we grew up with but is it still working? No, not like it used to. Today sophisticated, role modeled celebrities are respected and sought after over the superficial, self-centered ones.

Our world believes in limited resources. Opulence and extravagance are no longer a sign of prestige but seen as insensitive and arrogant. Are we praising Victoria Beckham’s $800,000 Italian shopping spree?  What counts today is the intrinsic value, social and environmental sustainability of our fashion choices. We are becoming responsible and selective. I call this fashion wisdom.

This decade is shifting our focus towards an ethical consumption. Gone is the ‘bling-bling’ era that held its crown for the past 18 years. It has been replaced with a discreet fashion. The logo mania of these past trends is now seen as an eye sore. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, YSL are a few who understand this and carefully designed subdued pieces in their past few collections. Superficial and ostentatious designs are out!

People now care about the small details. Where it is made, how it is made. Fashion wisdom is oozing into the mainstream and it is no longer exclusively about the celebrity. Consumers are taking a more active approach with their purchases. Some fashion houses still try their luck with these types of pretentious and insubstantial celebrities only to have media disasters. Let’s see what Kate Moss will come up with at Longchamp. Lindsay Lohan’s gag reflex fashion show debut for Emanuel Ungaro…

Keep reading and watching videos from isa maïsa’s article on www.benjaminkanarekblog.com

The End of Haute Couture? Maybe not…

The End of Haute Couture? Maybe not...

above photo Irina Lazareanu by Benjamin Kanarek in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture

….  Here is a counter argument to my last post about “The End of Haute Couture” from my Fashion and Beauty Director, Frédérique Renaut, who worked in several Haute Couture Houses.

I am quoting Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar offering a compelling economic argument for the institution’s importance:

“When it comes to couture, in addition to the craftsmanship, which we are in danger of losing, we have to think of the sheer amount of jobs it sustains. People say we should be saving, but actually we should encourage the people who have the means to spend. Too many people think it’s frivolous, but couture generates huge amounts of income.”

I have worked many years in several Parisian Fashion Houses (Louis Féraud, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy who was designed by Alexander McQueen at the time) and I have to say that Couture is not dead…

Keep reading on www.benjaminkanarekblog.com


The End of “Haute Couture?”

The End of Haute Couture?

above photo Irina Lazareanu by Benjamin Kanarek in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture

In the good old days, the “Haute Couture” shows were the most anticipated of all of the collections. It was akin to the Formula 1 of the fashion world. It is unique to Paris and all of the greatest designers the likes of Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro, Christian Lacroix, Louis Féraud and others would show the epitome of what they were striving for. These were prototypes of sorts and unique pieces of art that were considered the barometer of where fashion was going in the future. These architects of fabric and exotic materials would go to great lengths to establish their identity through their designs.

The press would come in hordes to get a view of these collections, to be the first to show them in their glossy fashion magazines. Shoots would be set up immediately after the collections and given to those magazines with the greatest influence on the public. Only the finest of glossies were given these collections to shoot and in order of priority. It was usually Vogue that was in place number “1″ and the rest would have to wait their turn. The constant bickering between Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar was always omnipresent. You could sense an Arctic chill in the air when the major editors would appear in the same room with each other…

Keep reading on www.benjaminkanarekblog.com

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