My Favorite Looks From Valentino Pre-Fall

It has been over a month(!?!?) since I've posted (yikes!). I've recently started working with Manufacture New York and am writing the blog posts there as well as tweeting @ManufactureNY -so come say hi! Anyways this has left me little time to write on here...so I thought I'd shift to just sharing things I love. Like these amazing looks by Mar.ia Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

Valentino Pre-Fall 2016

6 Great Made in NY Gifts I Would Love to Get

6 MadeInNY giftsI am a notorious last minute shopper, always trying to find the *perfect* present. Here are six items I would love to receive. Is this a directive, my friends? No, more of a suggestion... Seriously, maybe this is an ass-backwards way of doing things but if I'm not buying gifts that I would love to have myself I'm at a total loss. So here are a few fabulous Made in NY finds!

1. Valtameri Handwoven Scarf by Pirtti Handwoven $295

Piritti Handwoven ScarfI think a beautiful scarf is one of life's small luxuries and that Anne-Marie Kavulla's are really some of the best. Each blue/gray dégradé silk and cotton scarf in this limited edition series is handmade by Anne-Marie and is appropriate for men and women alike. This one is available at Whisper Editions. You can see other styles and learn more about Pirtti Handwoven here


2. Chick-a-Tea Pot with Tea Cups $110

blue-teapot_cupPW This stoneware teapot conveys the essence of a mother hen with her two little chicks—hence the name, Chick-a-Tea Pot. Unique in form, this teapot is very special, with a cascading handle that merges with the base and a cork topper. The teapot includes two teacups, and all pieces are handmade in Brooklyn. You can find it at HannahJune.com


3. Zero Waste Design Top $85

ZeroWasteDesignTopI love the minimalist vibe of this shirt and it's the perfect gift for your fashionable friend who lives in black. Using a unique zero waste design process, this one of a kind shirt is handmade in brooklyn exclusively with high quality cutting room fabric scraps so no two are exactly alike. And by purchasing a ZWD piece, you are supporting: a reduction in textile pollution local artisans and crafters made in america fair labor practices a sustainable fashion habit Oh and it comes in gray or white as well! You can buy them on Daniel Silverstein's Site


4.The Deity Tip Ring (set of four) $160

CHRISHABANA DeityTip RingsCHRISHABANA is known for taking gothic iconography and filtering it through a pop lens. A fashion cult favorite his work has been worn by iconclasts from Madonna to FKA Twig. The Deity Tip Ring is a delicate curved ring that sits on the finger tip. This piece highlights a manicured finger or hand. It can also be worn as a midi ring. The ring is adjustable - slightly bend the sides to the desired fit. Available in polished brass plated in 18K gold or gunmetal and custom made in New York City. You can buy them at CHRISHABANAJEWELRY


5. Tactile Keys $98

TactileKeysPW I spend alot of my time on my computer - so much that I shudder to think about it. Which is perhaps what drew me to the Engrain Tactile Keys which strike me as a little bit of genius. They are textural wooden keyboard modifiers that allow you to type on a natural surface. The 3D texture is derived from the natural growth patterns of the wood, giving each set its own look and feel. The variation from key to key invites the touch sense to finally become involved in typing and key recognition. This natural,textural wooden sticker set can be affixed to Apple external keyboards. Made of sassafras wood, each set is unique and meticulously handcrafted in Brooklyn and can be purchased on Michael Roopenian Design. Your friends might initially dismiss this as a Brooklyn Hipster accoutrement...but then you know they'll soon follow your lead.


6. Glitter Bunny Clutch $149

LoveBunny ClutchWhat's a holiday list without a touch of whimsy and sparkle? This dazzling bunny clutch is all you need on a night out. Each bag is individually hand crafted, 100% vegan and ethically made by GUNAS New York, a brand dedicated to High Fashion. Zero Cruelty. Buy your clutch here

Not Just A Label + Made in NY = 100 Emerging Fashion Visionaries

NotJustALabelTOpNot Just A Label has always been one of my favorite online resources to discover new designers and right now they have their first pop-up shop open in the Waldorf Astoria New York. I wasn't able to make their opening so I popped in yesterday to check out some of my favorite NYC labels like Chromat, Study NY and Mimi Prober as well as to discover new ones like NARCISS by Alise Trautmane who is currently at Parsons. As much as possible I try to support emerging designers and I look at shopping for them alot like shopping for artwork. I am creating my own carefully curated collection that I want to wear for a lifetime.Seriously, when I look for something new I ask myself "Will I wear this when I'm 80?" and if the answer is YES then I know it's good. (I plan to be a rad 80 year old).

NotJustALabel_KatyaMoorman-1

The problem is that alot of time I see things I want online but when you can't feel the fabric - never mind try it on it makes it harder to take the plunge. So this pop-up shop is a unique opportunity to see in person pieces that I have been coveting and the fact that there all New York based designers is great. So even though I didn't do a major shopping spree I was able to see the clothes in person and made a list on my i-phone of new-to-me designers to check out in the city. Let's face it: It's hard to live in New York. The cost of living is ridiculous and Manhattan is over-run by corporate interests and tourists. And despite all that thousands of brilliant and creative people live here so let's support one another as much as possible. The NJAL pop-up shop is a great place to start! The shop is only until December 13th so get there while you can!

NotJustALabelJewelry In addition to a shopping experience there's a series of conversations addressing the unique challenges of New York in the evenings this week at 6 PM and Daily fashion films from 5 pm on. Tuesday 8th December | 6PM MANUFACTURING INNOVATION IN NY An Introspective Lens on New York City’s Ecosystem of Makers

Tara St James, Founder & Creative Director of Study NY, leads an informative discussion with local producers on why New York City’s vibrant manufacturing sector is essential to an environmentally sustainable city, and how transparency, collaboration and disruptive innovation are the keys to growth.

MATTHEW BURNETT and TANYA MENENDEZ, Co-Founders, Maker’s Row JOANN KIM, President, JK Fashion Studio ROY CAMPOS, Founder, Justin Paul DION SMITH, Founder, AJC Jewelry JOEL WEISS, Co-Founder, Carrera Casting JR MORRISSEY, Founder, The Factory ALEXANDER DABAGH, President, Park Avenue International Moderator: TARA ST JAMES, Creative Director, Study NY/ Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator


Wednesday 9th December | 6PM THE FUTURE OF NYC FASHION EDUCATION Nurturing the Next Generation of Creative Catalysts in New York

The CFDA’s Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education & Professional Development at the CFDA will be joined by a panel of esteemed educators from New York City’s most iconic fashion institutions, to investigate why a cohesive commitment towards nurturing tomorrow’s thought leaders, through an integrative approach to design, will catalyze creativity in fashion.

SHELLEY FOX, Donna Karan Professor of Fashion, Parsons School of Design SASS BROWN, Acting Associate Dean for the School of Art and Design, Fashion Institute of Technology KIM JENKINS, Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute JONATHAN KYLE FARMER, Professor and Chair, MFA Fashion Design School of Graduate Studies, Fashion Institute of Technology DEB JOHNSON, Executive Director at Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator Moderator: SARA KOZLOWSKI, Director of Education, CFDA


Thursday 10th December | 6PM THE FASHION FORCE OF NEW YORK CITY The Realities of Designing Inside the Five Boroughs

NJAL Designer Bliss Lau leads an illustrious panel of New York City’s fashion iconoclasts to discuss the reality of practicing fashion today, and how the local industry can welcome and benefit from diverse design backgrounds from all five boroughs of New York City.

ADAM SELMAN, Designer, Adam Selman BECCA MCCHAREN, Designer & CEO, Chromat JASON ROSS, Designer, Artemas Quibble MARCIA PATMOS, Designer, M.Patmos GABI ASFOUR, Designer, ThreeAsFour JES WADE, Designer, Jes Wade Moderator: BLISS LAU, Founder, Bliss Lau


December 7th – 10th | from 5PM FASHION AND FANTASY NJAL’s Daily Fashion Film Festival

Join NJAL for a carefully curated selection of fashion film screenings from its diverse array of New York City design talent, all united by a common thread of visualizing fashion with passion and intensity. NJAL’s visual shorts will be on view everyday from 5pm at our dedicated screening area. A selection of fashion films have been put forward by 100 participating designers in NOT JUST A LABEL | Made in NY, and will be split into a series of four screenings, each running for 60 minutes.

5 Painless Ways To Dip Your Toe Into Sustainable Fashion (aka I Love the idea of being eco-friendly but...

supima cotton nyfw Hey you! I'm talking to you! You with the stash of t-shirts bought at Forever 21 and the cute jacket from Urban Outfitters. And also to you with that fabulous namebrand handbag that was made...where? You don't know?

Lately it feels like sustainable fashion has gone from something out in left field to a topic that can't be ignored. There was even a massive discussion on one of my favorite sites, The Business of Fashion. But all this discussion and information can leave a person feeling... a little overwhelmed. As a person who loves fashion and the earth how can you find things that are both fabulous and environmentally friendly - oh and not break the bank? As the creator of StyleDefinedNYC and now of PixieWarhol I’ve been writing about fashion for the past seven years and moving into sustainability is admittedly a challenge but I have found two articles that make dipping your toe into a more sustainable lifestyle a little less overwhelming.

In a recent interview excerpt on Sierra Club, “Q+A With Kate Black, America’s Ethical Fashion Expert” she spoke about the fashion industry, its impact on the environment and ways we can create change on an individual level. One idea she mentioned was the idea of sharing clothes. Remember how you did that with your best friend when you were fourteen? Well the grown up idea is to use a service like Rent The Runway to rent a dress for a formal occasion when it’s unlikely you’ll ever need it again.

NYFW Supima Cotton Challenge

On the British Council site Fashion Programme Manager Kendall Robbins wrote an article called “How can you shop for fashion sustainability" that lists several ways you can begin to be more sustainable. She writes that remembering that there is a story behind your clothing – how it was made, how it traveled to get into the shop where you bought it – is a great first step. She also shares Lucy Siegle’s idea of a “curated wardrobe” aka being more conscious of what you buy and where it fits in with what you already own.

After doing my own research I’ve come up with five easy things you can do to move your dial further from fast fashion and more towards sustainable.

Play Dress Up – You know the 80/20 rule. We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. Unlike de-clutter blogs I'm not going to ask you to get rid of that 80% (yet) Instead spend a day going through your closet and find new clothing combinations. i.e. take a skirt that you love but for whatever reason never seem to wear and see if you can find different ways to wear it. I did this and was amazed with some results. Be sure to take photos on your phone to easily remember them. • Stop Washing Your Jeans – washing consumes the largest amount of resources and the largest carbon footprint in the life of the garment so be like Tommy Hilfiger and don't wash them! Think of all the extra games of Ms.PacMan you can play at your local bar with the laundry quarters (or maybe that's just me) Afraid of germs? Throw them into your freezer next to the bottle of Absolut. In 72 hours all bacteria will be gone. • Visit Skin Deep Cosmetics Database to check the safety of your beauty products – So far I've been talking about clothes but many many popular products are toxic for the environment and for your health as well. You need to check this site to find which are safe and which are not so you can shop smartly. • Watch The True Cost documentary. - It's on Netflix. And Amazon. And Apple. Seriously, I should take away your plastic until you watch it. That's how major it is. • Buy Magnifeco - Kate Black's shopping guide is a straightforward way to learn where you can find sustainable options.

These are the things I've started with and well...it's a beginning. But I'd love to hear from you: what are ways that you've started changing your habits around shopping and fashion?

Katya Moorman is the Director of Digital & Social Media Marketing for Manufacture New York and a Creative Consultant|Image Maker with a focus on socially responsible brands. You can connect with her on twitter @PixieWarhol

9 Ethical Fashion Brands That Are Equally Chic

9EthicalEcoDesigners
9EthicalEcoDesigners

Today is Black Friday and it's the beginning of the holiday fashion season. I'd like to challenge you not to buy anything if you can't answer #WhoMadeMyClothes? There are some brands that you might already be familiar with like Patagonia, Eileen Fisher, Stella McCartney and Barbour but here are nine others that I really love. Some I've known for awhile while others are relatively new discoveries and all of them are ethical fashion brands that are equally - and utterly - chic! [ezcol_1third]

STUDIO 189

Fashion Line Studio189 Ethical Fashion
Fashion Line Studio189 Ethical Fashion

I received an invite to Studio 189's NYFW presentation this past September and was disappointed that I couldn't work it into my schedule.
What's the GOODness: Studio 189 is a social enterprise created by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah that consists of creatives that seeks to provide a platform to help promote and curate African and African-inspired content through an e-commerce shopping site, a supporting agency and an artisan produced fashion collection, called FASHION RISING COLLECTION, launched in support of V-Day's One Billion Rising. What's Chic:They've collaborate with Vogue Italia (my favorite of all Vogue) and Yoox.com so you know they have fashion street cred. And an example of what they carry is this beautiful tailored cape made from tweed and indigo. Studio One Eighty Nine collaborates with artisans in Accra & Cape Coast Ghana to make men’s and women’s suits, coats, trousers and similar garments, with fabrics such as wool, linen or silk. the tailor is met locally and the garment produced locally. They work with 2nd and 3rd generation tailors that have apprenticed in workshops of older experienced tailors and learned the craft.

BEHNO

Behno Ethical Fashion
Behno Ethical Fashion

What's the GOODness:Behnos mission is to redefine and bring sharp awareness to the craft and character of “made in India” and to set a new standard for manufacturing for India’s garment trade that revolutionizes the way garment workers are treated, viewed, and employed. Further, behno aims to become a part of a global mission to inspire change and improve factory conditions to augment the quality of life and safety of individuals in the garmenting spaces of developing countries by working in partnership with factories that adhere to rigid factory compliances. behno has also partnered with a large nonprofit and a successful industrialist of the garmenting industry to build an ethical garmenting factory in India called MSA Ethos. MSA Ethos implements The behno Standard, which is broken down into six categories:health, garment worker mobility, family planning, womens rights, worker satisfaction and benefits, eco-consciousness.
What's Chic: Their clothes are high-quality, luxurious and tailored - like the wool blend coat shown here. Clean lines with a timeless quality these are pieces I can see buying now and still wearing when I'm 80. Which, by the way is often my litmus test as to whether or not I find something truly fabulous because I intend to be a beyond fabulous 80 year old!

ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO

Zero_MariaCornejo Ethical Fashion
Zero_MariaCornejo Ethical Fashion

What's the GOODness: Since the beginning, and as a result of the company’s commitment to the local economy, the Zero + Maria Cornejo collection has been largely produced (70%) in the heart of New York City’s Garment District with the exception of a few categories, including shoes and handbags, which are made by small, independently owned factories in Italy. Dedicated to fostering a company ethos that is just as committed to its social impact as its environmental, Zero uses ecological and sustainable fabrics wherever possible. And as a company owned and run by women, the team continuously looks to develop special collaborations with women artisans around the world.
What's Chic: When it comes to this label the question might well be what isn't chic? For Spring 2016 all the fabrics were created in-house: from the softest cottons to leathers treated to appear like crumpled paper. Fabrics were printed with brushstrokes and transformed into beautifully sculptural and highly wearable pieces.

SUZANNE RAE

Suzanne Rae Ethical Fashion
Suzanne Rae Ethical Fashion

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] What's the GOODness: The clothes are made in NYC and incorporate luxurious yet socially- and environmentally-friendly materials, including new innovative fibers such as European and American made recycled polyesters and nylons. Suzanne Rae also collaborates with expert artisans in Peru that keep their tradition of knitting alive, and works with women's cooperatives on the outskirts of Lima, promoting work that gives them the means to support their families.

What's Chic: Simple cuts and a slight androgynous vibe. Her collection could easily be the basis of your dream wardrobe.[/ezcol_2third_end]

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TITANIA INGLIS

Titania Inglis Ethical Fashion
Titania Inglis Ethical Fashion

What's the GOODness: Each garment is sewn in a small, family-owned factory in New York from high-quality, low-impact fabrics including Japanese organic cotton, Italian vegetable-tanned leather, and dead stock wool from the local garment industry. She utilizes a range of eco-friendly, sustainable production techniques – from rust dyeing, bias cutting and zero-waste pattern making, to dip dyeing with natural dyes. What's Chic: full disclosure: I have always been slightly obsessed with Titania Inglis's outerwear. Unfortunately for me the Arctic Reindeer Jacket is slightly out of my budget. Her website describes her aesthetic perfectly. Evoking the quietly devastating beauty of the wilderness and the dark bravado of rock 'n' roll. It's tailor made for urban warriors and rock goddesses everywhere.

 

SVILU

Svilu Ethical Fashion
Svilu Ethical Fashion

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]What's the GOODness: SVILU seeks to re-address the fundamentals of a woman's wardrobe by offering environmentally sustainable and socially sensitive staples for modern dressing. Mindfully sourced and locally produced pieces are based on styles that endure the ebb and flow of trends. What's Chic:A sophisticated take on "borrowed from the boys". Basic button ups with beautiful prints, camel coats and draped t-shirt dresses are easy picks for your personal wish list.[/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]

DOLORES HAZE

Dolores Haze Ethical Fashion
Dolores Haze Ethical Fashion

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] What's the GOODness:On the Dolores Haze website they list three areas of goodness: Girl Power, Social Responsibility and Sustainability. You can read it all online (and should) but the short version is it's made in NYC at a female owned factory with environmentally conscious methods of productions.

What's Chic:This line by designer Samantha Giordano has a uniquely youthful vibe. Because of the higher price points of ethically made goods there is often a sophistication in the styles that seems targeted to a 29 and over audience. Dolores Haze has the flirty dresses and bomber jackets of a mod queen bee -Great pieces that remind you that sustainable fashion can be fun too![/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]

STUDY NY

study ny Ethical Fashion
study ny Ethical Fashion

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]What's the GOODness:Tara St. James of Study NY is one of the leaders in the sustainable fashion community in New York. She believes the fashion calendar has it all wrong and has created the anti-(fashion) calendar. The concept is to release one capsule collection of 3-4 styles per month EVERY month of the year with each capsule being independent of the others, but cohesive in nature, creating a seamless “collection” at the end of the year. She has a complete sustainability strategy that includes a Zero Waste philosophy and a commitment to using sustainable fibers and textiles.

What's Chic:Her designs are insanely clever, often allowing a garment to be worn more than one way-even turning a dress upside down- to give us more style options. They also seem to reflect a particularly Brooklyn aesthetic and I'm not sure which came first - the Brooklyn style or girls in my neighborhood (Park Slope) who love Study NY.[/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]

VOZ

Voz Ethical Fashion
Voz Ethical Fashion

[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]What's the GOODness: VOZ is a  luxury ready-to-wear line inspired by the beauty of ancient cultures and ceremonial crafts that was founded by Creative Director Jasmine Aarons in 2012. VOZ honors and empowers artisans creatively, economically and culturally by providing education, sustainable fair-trade employment and a platform designed to preserve and support traditional art forms. Aarons collaborates with artisans in communities in Southern Chile and Peru to design, prototype and produce the defining elements of each collection. Focusing on textile creation, print and embellishments, artisans receive authorship credit and royalties for their design contributions.

What's Chic: Hand woven alpaca coats or a delicate sweater from luxuriously soft baby alpaca are just a few examples of the artistry and craft of the women that collaborate with VOZ.[/ezcol_2third_end]

A chat with designer Daniel Silverstein

Zero Waste Sustainable Designer Daniel Silverstein I am all about supporting local design talent and when I saw Daniel Silverstein’s Zero Waste top in my instagram feed it immediately caught my attention. And then when I learned about the concept behind it…let’s just say it’s going on my Christmas list of what I will be giving as gifts.

And being the slightly obsessive type that I am I decided to interview him to learn more. Daniel’s one of the talented designers whose studio is at Manufacture New York, an industrial space in Brooklyn where designers and manufacturers work side-by-side allowing the designer’s to make small runs of products and keep the whole process in New York.

Katya: So Daniel, how did you come up with this shirt?

Daniel: I'm super excited about this shirt because I've been dreaming of this kind of a thing for years. It’s literally all re-purposed cutting room scraps. New fabrics that have never been used or warn. Factories just don't use them. They cut out what they want and throw the rest away! So it's really pre-consumer waste. fabric and it’s taking the textile remnants and piecing them together to make something new.

Katya: Instead of deconstructing it’s like reconstructing. And it has that modernist feel I always associate with deconstructed clothes…the point of deconstructed fashion was to show that fashion wasn’t flawless and your pieces are kind of like taking a flaw in fashion – the wastefulness and using that to create something new and unique.

Daniel: Thank you! I've seen people take textile remnants and piece them together to make things to wear and they always look like they belong in like an eco-fashion category and that’s really been bothering me because I think everybody needs to stop thinking about it in a craft way of doing things and more of the future.

Katya: Yeah, let’s talk about the concept of eco-fashion and I'll just be straight up: I'm coming slightly late to the dance with the whole sustainable thing but now that I’m aware of it, in part by articles online and then by my designer friends changing their focus, I still see that a lot of people still associate it with a “hippie dippie” aesthetic and an assumption of lower quality. Where do you see yourself in association with “eco-fashion” or do you wish that was just something that would just go away as a term?

Daniel: Well eco-fashion has a connotation like punk has a connotation… punk can be super high fashion –look at Vivienne Westwood- so I understand it in a sense because we're all victims of that exact same thing where you hear a term and you think you know what it means and what I have come to realize and what I hope to see more of is that as people start businesses and large companies that have a huge market share right now grow everyone is seeing a need and a demand to make things in a more conscious way and so I don't necessarily think it's about being eco because I don't really know what that means but I think that conscious design and conscious consumption are incredibly important trends for the next generation of designers both as employees and entrepreneurs.

My focus is on how to reduce consumption, consume responsibly and consume better materials. I don't do any development on actual materials and I wouldn't say I'm ignorant but I'm not as well versed in some of the materiality as I would like to be because I'm just one person and I'm a team of one. But a common thread seems to be incredibly clear to me which is that less waste is better so I'm focused on that piece of it and as the people who focus on materials hone in on what the best things to use are I hope to incorporate those materials into my designs but right now I'm focused on how to use all of it or use less of it. And still keep up with the Joneses in fashion! Zero Waste Sustainable Designer Daniel Silverstein

Katya: So you’re a team of one. How on earth do you make these shirts?

Daniel: I actually came up with a model around the time I moved into Manufacture New York and I came up with this new idea just making sweatshirts –blogging about it, talking about it, doing different things. But to do something like this, one at a time, by myself.

Katya: Cray cray

Daniel: Exactly! I’d have to charge like 300-500 dollars for one of these just to make it worth my time. But I was able to produce it right here and can sell them at $85 a piece which is quite reasonable.

Katya: What’s it like working from here?

Daniel: I heard Bob (Bland, the Founder) say that every single time someone comes in here with her their reaction is so strong. Like oh my god, you can tell this is something really super special. And it takes so much time and so many hands to make something with this scale succeed. And one of the reasons is it’s an accelerator more than an incubator

It's a community building because everyone in here is brilliant, incredible designers, brilliant thinkers, motivated interesting people and you've just got so much energy in one place and you start seeing incredible stuff.

Katya: What do mean it's more an accelerator than an incubator?

Daniel: I feel like they offer services, like you can have your products developed here, you can have your things manufactured here but it's not like I'm going through a program as a designer here that says “this is how you become successful”, it's more like we have all these incredible resources and all these people and there are literally no walls between you. And it’s like “Go!”

Katya: Just listening to you I find it exciting. After all the depressing news about fast fashion and everything is made overseas this feels like a real little revolution…

Daniel: Totally!

Katya: So, you’re teaching a class this weekend as well?

Daniel: Right! I focus a lot on two different things: One is actually having an impact on reducing waste and the other is educating young designers and other professionals so that they can incorporate these practices into their designs as well. And the thing about zero waste is it's not an aesthetic it's a way of thinking. It’s just a process of design and manufacturing so with that being said, I always tell everyone you can sub in your own priorities where I use the word zero waste.

That's my priority, that's what I'm trying to do but if you care about made in your home country or you want things to be fair trade, or whatever, then that's your number one priority and that's how you can be actionable.

I've gotten a lot of feedback in the last couple of years that I seem like I’m working on too many things but I'm not. I'm only working on zero waste. There's a lot of different things going on whether it's a custom wedding gown or it's my zero waste shirt or I'm teaching a workshop, but it's always focused on zero waste. So I recently saw “The True Cost" documentary, it's amazing you have to watch it if you haven’t seen it, but I think that one of the things that it does for the viewer is that it really shocks them into feeling guilty about their purchases and at the end of the film I felt kind of good because I hadn't been a part of any of that for like five years. I was like wow! I'm still shopping, I'm still trendy I'm still making stuff and you just don't have to be a part of this system!

NOTE: Learn more and register for Daniel's workshop on Saturday November 21st here (At least 2 years of design, sewing knowledge and pattern making experienced required). 

Bicoastal Beauty: Origins Charcoal Body Wash & Detox Body Scrub

Origins-Clear-ImprovementIn the interest of finding and sharing fabulous beauty products I’ve teamed up with my cousin Amy to test items and write reviews. She lives in LA and tends to have a more low maintenance beauty regime while I live in Brooklyn and tend to believe more is…well, more!

Our first products, courtesy of Origins, was from their Clear Improvement line. First we have to say we’re huge fans of Origins and their commitment to natural ingredients and earth-friendly practices. The products we tried were the Purifying Charcoal Body Wash and Detoxifying Charcoal Body Scrub.

This unique line is created with Bamboo Charcoal that draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion… and who doesn’t want that?

Amy says Although I wasn't crazy about the color or texture of the body wash it turned into a nice creamy lather which I did enjoy. My skin felt noticeably softer after use and although the scent was somewhat invigorating it also reminded me of black licorice . . . which I hate :(

I liked the consistency of the scrub. It was effective without being abrasive and left my skin feeling softer than before. The color is a bit off putting and not exactly pleasing to the eye.

I know it's strange because I love skincare products, but generally speaking I spend my money on facial products and not "all over" products like body washes/scrubs. Maybe that's because I use such generous amounts of product that I would finish off a tube in a single week.

A minor note is that the print on the back of the body wash is illegible because they used dark ink while the print on the scrub is white and much easier to read.

Katya says That’s funny – black licorice? I got more of a Eucalyptus - of being in a Dutch sauna – you know, that cooling effect that is indolent and luxurious. The scent did overwhelm yet as the day went by it faded, lingered, left me feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

I am still using the body wash – from a “not so sure”, I’ve become utterly addicted. It sloughs away that dead skin and leaves me baby soft. However…the scrub is a no-go. I found it abrasive and for me, way too masculine. Origins say it’s deep clean comes from a combo of Sea Salts and Brown Sugar while the Bamboo Charcoal helps get rid of dirt and debris. It’s now in the capable hands of one of my “besties” and he swears by it! He finds his skin dirt-free,smooth and refreshed.

The confusing bit about this product is again the scent. The combo of Clove and Wintergreen had us both fooled. I’m sticking to a Dutch Sauna (for the record, I hate cloves ☺)

Yet…after using the body wash every day for a month, I find it my much looked forward to dose of aroma therapy – a relaxing gift that rids me of the daily grime and grit of NYC.

In summary: We both were fans of the body wash and Amy also enjoyed the scrub while I ended up giving mine away to a male friend who loves it. The strong scent will probably divide people (you’ll love it or hate it) but the quality of the product line is very good and it is indeed invigorating!

File under Brilliant: Angela Donhauser's postal jacket

A brilliant bit of recycling Last night I meant to go to the party at Club Monaco where Sean Lennon performed but somehow ended up in the Bronx instead. While I'm sorry to have missed seeing Sean and Charlotte, the party in a large warehouse space was quite extraordinary. It was Lucien Smith's Macabre Suite and you can Google it to see more about it. Sorry I'm being a bit lazy but what I want to share with you now is this jacket I'm utterly obsessed with. It's made of those impossible-to-rip mailing envelopes from the Post Office and after seeing it a few times over the course of the evening I went up to the woman wearing it and complimented her on it. She introduced herself to me and said she was one of the designer's of threeASFOUR which happens to be a line I've always loved as well. Anyways it's a very cool jacket that almost inspires me to try it myself!

My New Classic: The Barbour Beadnell Waxed Jacket

Barbour JacketskeetInstaI have recently made a personal commitment to being more considered in what I buy. I try to buy from places that are both ethical and sustainable in their production practices and/or from consignment stores. (The latter I've found to be a great place to find barely worn designer jeans!) Barbour totally fits into this ethos. If you're an urban dweller like me you might not be as familiar with this brand. Barbour is a family owned business that espouses the unique values of the British Countryside and brings the qualities of wit, grit and glamour to its beautifully functional clothing. And as way of introduction they invited me for a day of fly-fishing and skeet shooting at the Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook NY. Wait. What?!? I am known for the quote "I like nature through a window" so there was much amusement when friends found out that I accepted their invitation. But I'm up for any adventure. That day they took a group of us to the Orvis Sandanona Shooting Grounds in Millbrook NY where we had lunch before a fly-fishing lesson followed by skeet shooting. (which if like me, you have no idea what that is, involves shooting clay pigeons). It was like a live video game to me and I actually hit 4 out of 5 targets! BarbourWanderInstaMy friends the lovely Wanderlust Girls, Abigail and Emily also happened to be there so we made a trio of blondes. It was a fun event and a great introduction to this classic waxed jacket. #BarbourExperience

From Fashion Week 2016: File Under Highly Questionable

For some reason blogs never seem to saying anything less than glowing about fashion week. But isn't that kind of like giving every kid a trophy just for trying? I mean, we can't all be winners right? To that end here are a few things that struck a wrong chord this past season.

Weird Body Emphasis

weird Body Emphasis

Okay, I get wanting to place emphasis on certain body parts. Normally this is done with things like cut-outs which highlight cleavage or legs. Marco De Vincenzo's optical illusion makes it look like she has only one boob, while Alessandro's top for Gucci put bright red flowers that kind of function like over-sized pasties on a flat chested model which could inspire bad jokes about blossoming buds... Then there's Dolce & Gabbana's wheel that could double as target practice if you're targeting a pudendum. However that might be considered subtle in comparison to Moschino's arrow pointing to the same region that helpfully says "Entrance". (Actually Jeremy Scott gets points for not even pretending to be anything but obvious and campy in his approach)

PS women don't want to look like cows

ProenzaSchouler Proenza Schouler make great bags. Seriously their PS series have achieved near cult like status and if you go to their site bags are what you first see. And in their defense normally I think they make some pretty amazing clothes but I was struck by how awful these pieces were. Guys, no woman wants to look like a cow (and I did an unscientific test where I showed the black and white dress image to many people and without any coaching they all said "oh, that looks like a cow") and if a model looks bad the average woman is going to look...well I can't even think about it.

Inspired by Nasty Gal

SaintLaurent_Forever21_NastyGal The last of my ire goes to Hedi Slimane's latest Saint Laurent collection. Fast fashion is always accused of stealing looks from major designers because let's face it: it happens. (see this if you're clueless on the subject) But never have I seen the reverse and to such perfection. This collection looks like it's straight from the racks of Forever 21 and Nasty Gal. Seriously, if I wanted to waste time I would have found these same looks on those sites to prove it to you. But I don't have to because you know exactly what I'm talking about. And when I think of the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent I find this a very sad state of affairs. For realz, yo. I don't have any issues with slip dresses, denim overall shorts or graphic animal sweaters (though I prefer Kenzo's tiger from a few seasons back). But I do object to the idea that this is anything new or how much it costs when I can buy basically the same thing in the local mall if I want. Which, you know, I don't. However for the most part the fashion cognoscenti has completely sipped this particular kool-aid so I can't see the Saint Laurent's look changing anytime soon.

Fashion Week Trends -S/S 2016

Okay, let's see: there's the '70s, gender-free, fringe, new neutrals, new colors, new denim (especially wider and frayed)and an emphasis on fabrication like the use of laser cut or embroidery - both because the end product is more beautiful and more difficult for fast fashion to rip-off. But looking at the month of fashion weeks it struck me that there is an edginess right now in fashion that is reflecting the edginess in life. As the worldwide economic recovery seems to never fully recover (creating a legion of freelancers, air b-n-bers, UBER drivers and people in their 20s still living with Mom) and ISIS keeps growing and the refugee situation keeps worsening...it's no wonder it feels like the entire world of fashion lives on Xanax and champagne. With that in mind here are the trends that caught my eye.

Pattern Overload

patternOverload

Sure we've seen "print on print" for awhile now. But this season it's positively vibrating. I feel like I have ADD just looking at these.

Plaidness

Plaidness

Plaid for spring evokes neither coy schoolgirl nor Kurt Cobain. It's more of a "Go Big or Go Home" kind of statement.

My 3 Year Old Dressed Me

My3YrOldDressedMe

"Oh, I want to wear that. And that. And that too." Anyone who has ever had or  been a little girl knows this story. Apparently designers like this idea too! Seriously take the first three things in your closet and put them on and you could look completely on trend. I am not judging, just observing...although I will add that I do not even begin to understand the hype around Vetements and what Balenciaga is thinking!

Candy Girls

Alexander McQueen, Mary Katranzou, Louis Vuitton, Roberto Cavalli

I don't know if these looks are inspired by the Japanese Lolita girls or are simply their wet dreams but wearing these looks can give you a sugar high.

A Touch of '80s

ATouchof80s

Am I the only one hearing "Tainted Love" when looking at these images? The past few seasons have really had a '60s mod or '70s vibe but I am here to tell you that the '80s is coming back. So raid Grandma's closet and your local thrift store for toppers that make you look like a footballer (of the American variety)

Punk Princess

punkPrincess

Punk is never dead. 'nough said.

Next post: Fashion Week Hall of Shame!

NYFW Daniel Silverstain

Those of you who know me from StyleDefined NYC might remember that I have never been one to throw up bad phone photos minutes after a show was over. That always feels like a bid to inspire FOMO in others and that kind of "proof of life" feels dead on arrival IMHO. Or, maybe I'm just lazy. Either way if you want to see typical fashion week photos please look elsewhere. Here are two of my personal favorites from his show...which was very well done by the way so check it out for realz yo! (here)Daniel Silverstain S/S 16Daniel Silverstain S/S 16

The Verge Collective at NYFW

What is queer style?

There certainly has been plenty of chatter about "gender free" and "gender neutral" clothing but to me that sounds positively unsexy. D'ya know what's gender neutral? A strait jacket, for one thing... Seriously, the fact that challenging gender norms is even part of the conversations is encouraging. But there is more to this than a slideshow in the New York Times. Gender nonconformity is not gender free - it's refusing to play by the rules that society has laid out about how you should present yourself. It's about defining your own style.

Take a look BEHIND THE SCENES at all of the transcending talent that is bringing you the Largest Queer New York Fashion Week Event and Runway Show in Partnership with Brooklyn Museum on September 17th, VERGE NYFW

Video by ChronicallyLate

dapperQ, bklyn boihood, Posture Magazine, and Die Young, Die Happy Productions (D.Y.D.H)

have partnered to spotlight eight independent designers whose work is systemically rooted in notions of gender nonconformity and its intersections with race, ethnicity, and culture. The vision of Verge is to become a platform for the un-defined and the conceptually-minded, while maintaining a prominent level of accessibility to the greater community.

The designers/labels include:

[ezcol_1third]Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.42.48 PM[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] KQK by Karen Quirion Founded in 2012 by designer Karen Quirion, KQK is a fashion label offering sophisticated and easy-to-wear apparel for the modern, urban fashionist@ who embraces a masculine aesthetic. Sober, minimalist and marked with an androgynous look, the collections blend deconstructed urban style with tailored cuts inspired by the masculine wardrobe. The structure of the garments and interplay of fabrics also represent the strong elements of KQK’s bold and nonconformist collections. An avid traveler with a thirst for discovering different cultures, Quirion has studied in Italy, Argentina, and the United States, becoming multilingual in the process. She obtained a master’s degree in Fashion Communication and Public Relations from the prestigious Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy. A music and photography enthusiast, Karen Quirion draws her creative inspiration from her travels and the diversity that surrounds her.[/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.42.57 PM[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end] Not Equal by Fabio Costa NotEqual explores creative innovation through fashion and art. Rooted in the golden ratio, its artisanal garments challenge traditional tailoring with genderless form; each piece is conceived and detailed to bring out the unique and the beautiful. NotEqual’s ambition is to push boundaries by promoting individuality, while offering rational fashion. [/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.43.07 PM[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]SUNSUN Toronto-based SUNSUN custom unisex clothing is a queer-owned brand offering casual custom pieces in bright, Kente cloth, geometric, and graphic prints. SUNSUN made their U.S. runway debut at Queer Fashion Week in Oakland last April to much fanfare. [/ezcol_2third_end] [ezcol_1third]Jag&Co[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]Jag & Co. Jag & Co. offers pieces for LGBTQ trans men, masculine identified women, the fashion forward and the fashion novice. Jag’s innovative designs are inclusive to all. Jag & Co. is the producer of New York’s famous Rainbow Fashion Week. Jag has an unmatched passion for “green” fashion. She designs, cuts, re-designs, using and re-using metal parts, buttons, zippers, cutting pieces, constructing and re-constructing into new “green forward” products. This concept of recycling is part of their “Corporate Social Responsibility”, which every team member and strategic partner is committed to. Prior Events Include: Harlem Fashion Week, NY Fashion Week Purple Carpet Event, dapperQ Unheeled at the Brooklyn Museum, Steeler’s “Alvin Ace Bowens” Magazine Cover Release Party. Press: Crain’s Gotham feat, Huffington Post Interview on Queer Fashion with Kathie Lee and Hoda, Steven Spielberg’s Red Carpet feat Luis Antonio Ramos, 50.com with Richard Pryor Jr. [/ezcol_2third_end] [ezcol_1third]Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.43.25 PM[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]SAGA NYC SAGA NYC was launched in 2011 as a word-of-mouth brand, offering specialty pieces individually made by the designer, Sandra Gagalo. After several years of being sought after by nightlife personalities, musicians, and private clientele it was natural for the line to expand. The first ready-to-wear collection Universal Androgyne was launched in Spring 2014. The collection was noticed immediately and landed a spot in the boutique Allan & Suzi. At its essence SAGA NYC offers androgynous, progressive high-end sportswear. The collections are known for their otherworldly inspired designs, versatile-wear and clean modern aesthetic. The brand does not follow seasons, trends, or traditional viewpoints and instead focuses on the conception of timeless pieces made to evolve a current wardrobe into a statement. All clothing is made in NYC. [/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]Lactic[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]LACTIC Lactic is the fashion venture of Randi Shandroski, a Canadian born visual artist currently based in Boston. Now in its third collection, Lactic recontextualizes corporate imagery into custom gender-defying structural silhouettes. Through ongoing collaborations with emerging artists, Randi Shandroski deconstructs and reshapes the borders of art, sculpture, and fashion, creating a visual language which embraces subversion and gender fluidity. [/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 7.43.45 PM[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]FONY FONY has elevated the standards for utilitarian, versatile fashion, with designs equally at home on the street, workplace, gym, club, ski resort or beach. Utilizing outerwear fabrics for their intended purpose, the newest collection, Phase_1 Tantric Elementalism, is lifestyle apparel, for a lifestyle without boundaries... FONY embraces the literal and functional, the concept can be perceived in the brand’s name. FONY embarks on articulating a new future, establishing a new vocabulary and foundation. Fony translates as such: Fashion Origins (for) New York. Built for the climate and pace of the NYC Lifestyle, the bodies are modular, postgender and eminently wearable. [/ezcol_2third_end]

[ezcol_1third]MARKANTOINE[/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]MARKANTOINE Mark Antoine is a graduate of the Management and Fashion design program at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and has acquired many experiences in the fashion industry over the years. He has participated in two designer collectives, in collaboration with the students of fashion merchandising of the LaSalle College, for the presentations Are We You & Quick Perception. His studies at UQaM led to an internship in Paris as Aline Ochoa’s assistant. During this time, he worked on developing outsourced branding for the prestigious LVMH group. This year marks the launch of his namesake brand MARKANTOINE. The brand belongs to a movement of young Montreal underground designers who break down geographical barriers with their creativity. MARKANTOINE has an aesthetic that is greatly inspired by the strange and the dualities that are ever-present in our lives. His creative process first starts in the form of a dream-like chronicle that is defined by Gothic and exotic aesthetics. [/ezcol_2third_end]

CHECK OUT ALL THE DETAILS OF THE NIGHT WHICH INCLUDES A PANEL DISCUSSION AND OTHER PROGRAMMING -AND AN AFTER PARTY LATE!

3 picks for New York Fashion Week

A few fashion week picks Note: this post starts with some personal rambling, to get to my picks skip to below. This Wednesday starts fashion week –what I have referred to at times as camp for fashion lovers: meaning twice a year you see people you haven’t seen for 6 months but will continue to see with regularity for the next 6 days. The exchanges begin with recognition of mutual fabulosity followed by “So...which shows are you going to?” The answer to this question is often evasive as though sharing your hand at a poker table and range from a listing of every show and presentation available – translation: I am at fashion week solely for my Instagram account and to humble brag to “Oh, I am so over fashion week.” Translation: you are seeing me at perhaps the only show I was invited to this season.

In between these two is pretty much everyone else: the young style bloggers who are favorites with Kate Spade and Rebecca Minkoff, to the staffs of new publications more interested in recent Parsons grads and fashion editors of large publications who go to the most important - and covetable shows. Of course photographers are a different story as they’re assigned shows by their publications and are going non-stop the entire time without a lot of breaks for the requisite champagne.

When I started StyleDefined NYC in 2009 I was interested in shooting street style so I hovered at Bryant Park and followed the fashion pack. Soon after I was able to get a press credential and could never decide whether to do it as “press” or “photographer” and tried both. As “Press” I was allowed inside the tents but into shows only with an invitation...but I'd also get an amazing bag of swag (a practice sadly discontinued). In many ways this worked for me because I could take photos of the people coming to the shows and occasionally would be able to see a show as well. However at Lincoln Center I couldn't shoot at the entrance which was arguably the best place.

A friend convinced me to get a Photographer pass the next season because I could get into every show. Amazing, right?!? Try a nightmare! I was in the photographer’s pit at the end of the runway. It is crowded and highly competitive for the best vantage point. Major outlets have assigned spaces but for everyone else you have to fend for yourself and pit photographers hate bloggers. And I don’t blame them. In retrospect, I had no business being in the pit: if I wanted runway shots after the fact I could pull them from a website. I learned how to take great runway shots and how to stand my ground but it only took two times before I started skipping the pit. The biggest disadvantage for me was how much time it took. Sure I might be able to shoot say, the Oscar de la Renta show but to do this I’d have to wait for up to 30 minutes to get into the space and then stand in the pit holding my ground for another 30 minutes to even an hour before the show starts...missing all of the great style shots and feeling like cattle in a holding pen. Umm thanks but no thanks. As StyleDefined NYC evolved we began covering young designers and I began receiving more of my own invites – enough that I would have a small team work with me every fashion week to cover them. This will be my first season covering fashion week not under the umbrella of StyleDefined NYC. I’ve decided to see only what I’m really interested in, not just anything I’m invited to (remember: you are not a dancing monkey!) and as much as possible I’m going to presentations because the atmosphere is so much more relaxed than the shows. Of course I will be going to The Blonds runway show which is the ultimate in flamboyant fun and where I can see all my favorite nightlife friends. Here are a few *new shows for me this season that I’m really excited about. NathalieTrad

Nathalie Trad

I’ll admit I never heard of Nathalie Trad before receiving an invitation to her presentation but hers is one of the collections I’m most looking forward to seeing – and it’s clutches, not clothes. The past few years have seen a resurgence of hard clutches, acrylic or resin, that were first popular in the 50s and the new ones often have an aesthetic that mimics their predecessors. Nathalie’s take on the structured bag seems to me to be a complete re-invention. Working with precise geometries her pieces are both architectural and organic, effortlessly combining materials like copper, resin, wood and mother of pearl to make pieces that are as much art as they are fashion. –And would never be mistaken for a clutch from the ‘50s as they are uniquely modern as well.

mathieuMirano

Mathieu Mirano

Each season young designers come on the scene and make a splash only to disappear a few seasons later. Often because their clothes don’t live up to the hype – behind the shiny press package is an over reliance on stretchy material or shapeless t-shirts instead of a knowledge of how to structure clothes. Mathieu Mirano was a 20 year old Parsons drop out when he had his first NYFW show in 2011 but his work had a sophistication beyond his age. He’s still here in 2015 creating beautiful, polished and worldly designs. The craftsmanship of his work and it’s tactile nature intrigue me and I look forward to seeing it in person.

verge

Verge: The Largest Queer New York Fashion Week Event & Runway Show in partnership with Brooklyn Museum

For me, a major highlight of the season is this show (in fact my next post will be all about it). There has been little representation of fashion that doesn’t fit perfectly with gender norms -beyond being seen as a passing fad. This show proves that an expanded view of fashion goes beyond media hype and trends. On the last night of fashion week DapperQ, Bklyn Boihood, D.Y.D.H. and Posture Magazine will host an event like no other along with -and at- the Brooklyn Museum. Starting at 6pm with a panel discussion and interactive programming followed by a fashion show featuring the works of 8 designers: KQK, Not Equal, Sun Sun, Jag & Co, Fony, Markantoine, Lactic, Saga NYC. This one is not to be missed and in its spirit of inclusivity no invite is necessary – just the entry fee to the museum!

This Tuesday: Refinery29 panel: fashion*gender=??

  refineryThis post is a bit late –my apologies- but I'm very excited to share this upcoming panel by Refinery29 that will look at the shifts in gender identity and how this is shifting fashion as well. Personally there's a lot of talk lately about "gender free" and "gender neutral" which to me takes all the sex appeal out of it. I think the idea of gender identity is fluid not neutral so in my opinion defining your own fashion/gender/identity should be Gender FABULOUS (I mean we're talking fashion here people) Anyways!

The official name is

Peopleswear: Discussing Fashion's Evolving Relationship With Gender

and the key players are:

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Grace Dunham

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Grace Dunham

: Actress and sister of Lena Dunham - she'll be in GIRLS next season too.[/ezcol_2third_end]

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JennyShimizu

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Jenny Shimizu:

she rocked our world as the hot lesbian in the CKone campaign back in the day and has been modeling ever since. She and her wife Michelle Harper are like the Wonder Twins with the power of style.

MA-14-01-MI-02_8_303200

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Anita Dolce Vita

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Anita Dolce Vita:

Anita's online publication, dapperQ is the premier style and empowerment website for masculine presenting women, gender queers, and trans-identified individuals. Dubbed GQ for the "unconventionally masculine," dapperQ is a queer fashion revolution, one of the most stylish forms of protest of our generation. Anita has created a community with this site and a platform that allows a strong vision of fashion to flourish.

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[ezcol_1third]kristiinaWilson [/ezcol_1third] [ezcol_2third_end]

Kristiina Wilson:

A fashion photographer who has worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years, and in the creative business field for over 20 and is now also the Editor in Chief of website You Do You whose tagline is Fashion and Lifestyle for Everybody and sees itself a new web portal for Agender fashion, accessories and lifestyle.

[/ezcol_2third_end][ezcol_1third]

katherineBernard

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Katherine Bernard

The whole thing is being moderated by Katherine Bernard whose writing for Vogue includes this piece on Post-Gender fashion and (totally unrelated to this post but I happen to find it fucking hysterical) the short film for Kate Spade featuring Anna Kendrick and Lily Tomlin[/ezcol_2third_end]

Unfortunately for me, I can't make it but if YOU are in the city this Tuesday I think it's worth checking out. RSVP: milana.baker@refinery29.com & #EFFTHERULES

All photos taken from their social media accounts except Anita Dolce Vita which was literally taken by me.