WHAT WAS BEHIND THIS SEASON'S DEFECTION TO LOS ANGELES?

Fashion

Rachel Zoe had wanted to stage a fashion show in her hometown of Los Angeles for a long time, she explained at a glamorous dinner-runway show hybrid at the chic Sunset Tower hotel last week. Wearing a floor-length gold sequined gown of her own design, she began the event by addressing the crowd — largely made up of her celebrity and influencer friends like Nicole Richie, Poppy Delevingne, Selma Blair and Jaime King — with a heartfelt speech. "I've been here 13 years; my family's here and all of you are here and I kept sort of fighting it because New York is New York, but I thought last year at this exact time... I need to take a step back and think about who I am, who I'm speaking to, who I'm selling to, who I'm inspired by," she began. "Showing here tonight feels like home, and a lot of that is because you guys are here." Then, she literally broke down into tears, and repeatedly thanked us for being there. The evening was much more personal and memorable than a basic runway show in New York would have been; and the fact that everyone hadn't just come from a day of back-to-back events and didn't have five other parties to go to that night meant that we were more relaxed and present.

Rachel Zoe at her Sunset Tower presentation. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Rachel Zoe at her Sunset Tower presentation. 

Those covering New York Fashion Week this season have found themselves with a slightly lighter schedule than usual. Several designers, if they didn't abstain from showing altogether, opted to stage events elsewhere; and along with Paris, Los Angeles ended up being a popular destination. In the days leading up to NYFW, LA residents, along with a few traveling New Yorkers, were treated to events by Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Comey, Zoe, Raquel Allegra, Tommy Hilfiger, Vetements and Kenzo — making my first week in the city a busy one. 

It seems like every so often, people start talking and writing about the legitimacy or credibility of LA as a fashion capital. While the city does have its own fashion week, it's never been taken seriously, but big-name designers like Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane and (sometimes) Jeremy Scott call it home; Ford showed here two years ago (and might do something here this year) Moschino showed its last resort collection here; and Dior's Maria Grazia Chiuri will show her first cruise collection for the house here in May. The city is also home to a slew of talented designers with decidedly smaller-scale businesses; companies like Revolve, Nasty Galand Reformation; as well as a growing apparel and accessory manufacturing hub in and around Downtown Los Angeles (or DtLA, as the locals call it).

Tommy Hilfiger's Venice Beach presentation. Photo: Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images

Tommy Hilfiger's Venice Beach presentation. 

Last week marked the first time LA truly felt like an extension of the fashion month travel circuit, and it's hard to deny that Hilfiger's Venice Beach blowout anchored the whole thing. For LA-based designer Allegra, who has shown in New York in the past, the decision to stage an event here boiled down to logistics and ROI. At her short film screening-slash-presentation in her West Hollywood store, she explained that there's a discussion about doing an LA event every season. "My partner and I say, 'Is it time yet?' It's a practical business decision, and weighing whether or not there will be enough editors to get the interest that we need to get, and the expense." After asking her PR team, once again, if it might be possible, she got the response she was hoping for. "They were like, 'actually, I think you can.'" Showing in LA obviously has added benefits for a designer who is based there. "It's expensive for an LA designer to bring a team to New York and all of the logistical elements that go into that." The event was also an opportunity for her to promote her first physical retail location, which opened last summer.

Raquel Allegra greets a guest in her West Hollywood store. Photo: courtesy of Raquel Allegra

Raquel Allegra greets a guest in her West Hollywood store.

For Comey, who is based in New York and typically shows there, the decision was about supporting her team and business in LA, where she has a store and where her denim is produced — and maybe also the weather. "We just opened the store here six months ago and supposedly there's always really sunny, lovely weather here and so that seemed like a good idea, like let's get out of New York Fashion Week in February; it can be so brutal," she explained at her lovely Melrose Place boutique the afternoon after her own celebrity-filled, dinner-runway show combo. "If we’re going to have a big portion of our business here, even to have my design team here so that we really understand the dressing needs of the people here." But for an out-of-town brand, the logistics can be prohibitive. "Probably we'll be in New York next season just because I don't think we could travel like this every season because this is a lot of people to take out of their homes for a while," she said. (Imagine how much travel costs added to Tommy Hilfiger's show.) "But I definitely feel like there's an opportunity to do more events here."

Zoe Lister-Jones, Rachel Comey and Busy Phillips at Rachel Comey's LA dinner presentation. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

Zoe Lister-Jones, Rachel Comey and Busy Phillips at Rachel Comey's LA dinner presentation. 

Minkoff, Hilfiger and Zoe also all incorporated "see now, buy now" pieces into their shows and took advantage of LA's bountiful supply of celebrities and influencers to help sell them. And there's no doubt that Hollywood, and maybe the weather will keep designers coming back to the city of angels. Though when it comes to basing a business there permanently, there are other benefits. "I think there's something happening where people are realizing there's magic here in LA," said Allegra. "I think there’s something to the fact that we're all kinda spread out; there's individuality here and I don't feel like there's as much competition here... we're not aware of each other so much and we're not all on top of each other." Comey echoed that sentiment. "I think the relationship between New York and LA is very strong and has obviously been growing for a lot of years, and I know I personally have had five to six staff people from New York move to LA just for lifestyle choices, and I think as New York gets so crowded and expensive to be a creative person, I think LA offers a better quality of life."

"People seem to be happy that the fashion events have come to them instead of them going to New York or Paris," added Comey. Indeed, several locals I chatted with were thrilled to have more legitimate fashion events on the West Coast; some even hoped last week's events might fuel the development of a real LA Fashion Week as a precursor to New York's. While something like that could certainly benefit the many promising designers who are based here but lack the resources to travel to, and stage events in, New York each season, it seems more likely that last week was just another example of designers feeling less confined by the traditional fashion month schedule and making decisions based on their own business and creative priorities. Carol Lim of Kenzo and Opening Ceremony chose LA to debut their latest Kenzo film because the director and cast are based here, but she and Humberto Leon also pulled Opening Ceremony out of NYFW this season, instead costuming a ballet with Justin Peck and inviting editors to the premiere last month. "It was more that was the ballet schedule and we wanted to be part of it; it's not because we wanted to leave fashion week; it depends," she explained. "We're not confined to that when we think it’s the right time 

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LAURA JARAMINAITE & JOANNA STACHNIAK ARE TWO OF A KIND IN L’OFFICIEL SINGAPORE

Fashion

Sister Act in L'Officiel Singapore February 2017 issue
Sister Act in L’Officiel Singapore February 2017 issue

Laura Jaraminaite and Joanna Stachniak team up for the February 2017 issue of L’Officiel Singapore. Photographed by Oliver Beckmann, the models pose in ladylike looks from the resort and spring collections. From floral prints to lace details, Laura and Joanna shine in the glossy spread. Stylist Elke Dostal dresses the pair in the designs of Michael Kors Collection, Tory Burch, Dior and more. 

EDITORIAL: LAURA JARAMINAITE & JOANNA STACHNIAK BY OLIVER BECKMANN IN L’OFFICIEL SINGAPORE

Photographed by Oliver Beckmann, models wear Self-Portrait dress (left) and Burberry Prorsum blouse (right)
Photographed by Oliver Beckmann, models wear Self-Portrait dress (left) and Burberry Prorsum blouse (right)
Photographed in black and white, the model wears Salvatore Ferragamo cotton dress
Photographed in black and white, the model wears Salvatore Ferragamo cotton dress
Laura Jaraminaite and Joanna Stachniak pose in Dior for L’Officiel Singapore
Laura Jaraminaite and Joanna Stachniak pose in Dior for L’Officiel Singapore
Laura Jaraminaite wears Christian Dior top and sweater. Joanna Stachniak models Dior embellished dress.
Laura Jaraminaite wears Christian Dior top and sweater. Joanna Stachniak models Dior embellished dress.
Joanna Stachniak lounges in Michael Kors Collection floral print silk dress
Joanna Stachniak lounges in Michael Kors Collection floral print silk dress
Laura Jaraminaite models Tory Burch floral print silk dress
Laura Jaraminaite models Tory Burch floral print silk dress
Joanna Stachniak models Isabel Marant Etoile linen dress. Laura Jaraminaite poses in Celine viscose jersey dress.
Joanna Stachniak models Isabel Marant Etoile linen dress. Laura Jaraminaite poses in Celine viscose jersey dress.
(Left) Model wears Self-Portrait dress (Right) Model poses in Givenchy dress
(Left) Model wears Self-Portrait dress (Right) Model poses in Givenchy dress

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REFORMATION TO OPEN IN SAN FRANCISCO WITH TECH-ENABLED RETAIL CONCEPT

Fashion

Reformation's San Francisco store. Photo: Reformation

Reformation's San Francisco store. 

Reformation has announced its next U.S. location to open up shop later this month: San Francisco. According to founder Yael Aflalo, she decided on the Bay Area city because it was the brand's biggest market after Los Angeles and New York. "The community is so receptive to new ideas, especially involving technology and sustainability," says Aflalo. "So opening the new store there just felt like the right move."

The Los Angeles-based brand stuck to its eco-friendly roots by working with local companies to design the brick-and-mortar space: Walls were built with rammed earth (a raw, sustainable material), along with low VOC paints that release less toxins in the air over time, hangers made from recycled materials and reusable shopping totes. 

Reformation's San Francisco store. Photo: Reformation

Reformation's San Francisco store. 

To keep up with Silicon Valley's startup culture, the Reformation locale will include tech-enabled retail concepts for a more efficient shopping experience. Aflalo says that she and her team walked through each of the inconveniences usually found in traditional stores in order to come up with an intuitive system for its future customers. 

"Most [stores] are super messy, you can never find your size, you have to wait in line forever, the dressing room lighting is the worst," she explains. "I felt like a high-volume, high-end retail experience was basically nonexistent. So we wanted to blend internet and IRL to create a store we'd actually want to go to ourselves — that hopefully solves a lot of these problems."

As a result, the San Francisco shop will have touchscreen monitors and a "magic wardrobe," which happens to be Aflalo's favorite. Shoppers will discover this feature in the store's fitting room via an additional monitor that's home to a digital attendee. Rather than having to go back and forth between the fitting room and sales floor to try on different garments, you can simply request additional sizes, colors or styles from the monitor. Once you've added your request to your fitting room's monitor, open the magic wardrobe's doors and — voila! — your new piece is ready to be tried on. In addition, the fitting rooms will have customizable lighting and the ability to play your own music. You just might never leave.

Reformation's San Francisco store. Photo: Reformation

Reformation's San Francisco store.

Reformation's San Francisco store will open its doors on Tuesday, Feb. 21. And if the feedback is good, Aflalo hopes to implement these tech features within the brand's New York and Los Angeles stores as well. Until then, make a trip to Silicon Valley to experience everything firsthand yourself.

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MILLA JOVOVICH POSES IN ELEGANT STYLES FOR VOGUE PORTUGAL

Fashion

Milla Jovovich on Vogue Portugal December 2016 Cover
Milla Jovovich on Vogue Portugal December 2016 Cover

Actress Milla Jovovich graces the December 2016 cover of Vogue Portugal. Photographed by Ana Campos, the former model wears a pale ensemble. Inside the magazine, Milla poses in elegant nighttime-ready ensembles. Stylist Ana Camposselects a mix of tailored trousers, loose blouses and embellished jackets. Vasco Freitas worked on hair with Metha Gonthier on makeup.

MILLA JOVOVICH STARS IN VOGUE PORTUGAL DECEMBER 2016

Actress Milla Jovovich lounges in all white look
Actress Milla Jovovich lounges in all white look
Milla Jovovich wears sparkling tweed jacket with drop earrings
Milla Jovovich wears sparkling tweed jacket with drop earrings
 Milla Jovovich poses in lace top and trousers
Milla Jovovich poses in lace top and trousers
ctress Milla Jovovich wears geometric print jacket with statement earrings
Actress Milla Jovovich wears geometric print jacket with statement earrings
Milla Jovovich poses in green blouse with cropped trousers and embellished pumps
Milla Jovovich poses in green blouse with cropped trousers and embellished pumps
Actress Milla Jovovich gets wrapped up in embroidered coat
Actress Milla Jovovich gets wrapped up in embroidered coat

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LILY ALDRIDGE WOWS IN GLAMOROUS LOOKS FOR IO DONNA

Fashion

Lily Aldridge on Io Donna Cover
Lily Aldridge on Io Donna Cover

Lily Aldridge gets her closeup on the latest cover of Io Donna magazine. Photographed by Catherine Servel, the Victoria’s Secret Angel shines in a Bulgarinecklace and Giorgio Armani sequin-embroidered dress. For the accompanying spread, Lily models glamorous dresses and separates from fashion’s top brands. Stylist Gianna Greco selects the super luxe designs of Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Nina Ricci and more for Lily to wear.

EDITORIAL: LILY ALDRIDGE STARS IN IO DONNA COVER STORY

Turning up the shine factor, Lily Aldridge wears off-the-shoulder Valentino dress
Turning up the shine factor, Lily Aldridge wears off-the-shoulder Valentino dress
Model Lily Aldridge wears her hair in polished waves
Model Lily Aldridge wears her hair in polished waves
Model Lily Aldridge poses in Proenza Schouler dress with Gucci platform sandals
Model Lily Aldridge poses in Proenza Schouler dress with Gucci platform sandals
Getting her closeup, Lily Aldridge wears Bulgari jewelry with Giorgio Armani dress
Getting her closeup, Lily Aldridge wears Bulgari jewelry with Giorgio Armani dress
Model Lily Aldridge wears Calvin Klein jacket and pants
Model Lily Aldridge wears Calvin Klein jacket and pants
Embracing a bold red color, Lily Aldridge wears Alberta Ferretti dress and boots
Embracing a bold red color, Lily Aldridge wears Alberta Ferretti dress and boots
Lily Aldridge models Nina Ricci slip dress and heels
Lily Aldridge models Nina Ricci slip dress and heels
Flashing a smile, Lily Aldridge wears embellished Gucci dress and sandals
Flashing a smile, Lily Aldridge wears embellished Gucci dress and sandals

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JAEGER GETS WHIMSICAL WITH APRÈS SKI COLLECTION

Fashion

Jaeger unveils Après Ski collection
Jaeger unveils Après Ski collection

British fashion brand Jaeger brings a touch of vintage to the winter season with the launch of its Après Ski collection. Inspired by 1960’s ski wear, Jaeger designs bold outerwear separates with vibrant colors and patterns. From a striped tabard to a wool color-blocked sweater as well as pink cocoon coat, these designs are perfect for a day out on the slopes.

Creative director Sheila McKain-Waid says about the new line, “The Après Ski collection was inspired by vintage 1960s Jaeger editorial and advertorial images. One of my favorite shots was taken by Norman Parkinson and shown at t he recent100 Years of Vogue exhibition.” Additionally she says, “I loved the strong colors, bold graphics and subtle wit. Our collection was created with the same spirit of modernity and wit. From boldly striped knitwear to neon bright outerwear, these pieces are perfect for brightening grey winter skies.”

JAEGER – APRÈS SKI – WINTER 2016 COLLECTION

Inspired by the 1960's, Jaeger's Apres Ski collection features bold silhouettes
Inspired by the 1960’s, Jaeger’s Apres Ski collection features bold silhouettes
Jaeger Après Ski winter 2016 collection
Jaeger Après Ski winter 2016 collection
Jaeger features Block Stripe Hooded Tabard in Après Ski collection
British brand Jaeger features Block Stripe Hooded Tabard in Après Ski collection
Jaeger Après Ski collection spotlights the Block Stripe Hooded Tabard
Jaeger Après Ski collection spotlights the Block Stripe Hooded Tabard
Whimsical silhouettes are featured in Jaeger Après Ski collection
Whimsical silhouettes are featured in Jaeger Après Ski collection
For women and men, Jaeger's Après Ski features playful prints
For women and men, Jaeger’s Après Ski features playful prints
An image from Jaeger's Après Ski collection
An image from Jaeger’s Après Ski collection

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