John Elliott + Co’s Quest for the Legendary Fleece
Written By Sophia J. Gonzalez | December 2014
“Innovation is at its peak when you’re solving your own problems,” says John Elliott. A grandiose statement considering said problems are of the sartorial kind, but his latest John Elliot + Co capsule collection casts a modern perspective on Japan’s vintage fleece heritage. Elliott, who personally ventured to Wakayama’s loopwheel factories in search of the rare textile, convinced the local factory owners to produce the new pieces, shown exclusively here first.
Fresh from a Gap x GQ collaboration this past fall, Elliott has made serious headway since launching his line last year. This capsule collection marks the first time the Los Angeles designer has experimented on the textile front. In place of the label’s French terry and jersey, Elliott used the Japanese fleece, which is painstakingly knit on loopwheel machines that date back to the ’40s. The end result is a long-lasting knit with a weighted feel. Rendered in label favorites like the slim-fitting Escobar sweatpant and side-zip Hooded Villain hoodie, the six-piece collection adds a new layer of tactile quality to Elliott’s signature pieces.
And while Elliott is all for revisiting familiar styles when catering to his own wardrobe and to those of his loyal followers, he hopes to customize the fabric on a deeper level in the future. But for now, Elliott is satisfied with his new uniform. “It’s something that I’m personally going to live in,” he adds.
Marta Goldschmied Turns Denim Into Made Gold
Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | November 2014
Marta Goldschmied has denim in her genes. One need only look to her family tree to see that—her father, Adriano, is a denim legend, and rightfully so, having built up brands like Diesel, Replay, and AG. With this kind of designer DNA, it’s only natural that Goldschmied would launch Made Gold, a denim label of her own. Right? Wrong. “If my father had told me to go into denim, I would’ve run the opposite way,” Goldschmied tells Style.com from inside her newly minted Los Angeles studio.
Even at 27 years old, the Italian-born Goldschmied isn’t the type to follow familial convention. Instead, it was her connection to family friend and denim businessman Shane Markland, who, after viewing an earlier streetwear collection of Goldschmied’s, sparked their co-creation of Made Gold. “We started with two pairs of jeans,” Goldschmied says. “Then one day Shane said,”‘Well, Marta, you’ve made gold.’” The name stuck.
The collection that followed makes prime references to Goldschmied’s adopted city of Los Angeles, to its subcultures and the Gold Rush. Exaggerated skinny and cinched boyfriend jeans bear names like “Blaze” and “Karat.” One of Made Gold’s more striking pieces is a pair of shorts in a new denim fabrication that errs on the side of luxury activewear. It’s innovative, but it’s the kick of Goldschmied’s own bad-gal persona that gives the collection its character—a fact reinforced by Goldschmied’s “Miss Gold” tattoo stamped on her knuckles. Unlike straightforward denim brands that focus solely on fit and wash, hers include leather moto vests and cropped skinny jeans that call to mind beach treks in Venice and downtown romps at the Ace Hotel. “It’s less of the Hollywood girl,” she says. But seeing as Made Gold is to be stocked come January at Ron Herman, Scoop, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Selfridges, it’s a lifestyle that the Hollywood girl will want to get down with.
Palmer//Harding Strips Down
Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | June 2013
“It’s easy to go to extremes in fashion,” Palmer//Harding’s Matthew Harding told Style.com. This is especially true in London, where crazed creativity and over-the-top theatrics are to be expected. But, best known for their strict range of directional men’s and women’s shirts, Harding and his design partner, Levi Palmer, are proving that resisting the charms of London’s raucous avant-garde and favoring the middle ground needn’t be uninspiring. “For us, it’s about finding a balance between these two worlds—between what’s wearable and what’s interesting, explained Harding.
Yesterday, Palmer and Harding, who were recently awarded a NEWGEN scholarship, introduced their Spring ‘14 menswear collection at London’s Hospital Club with a new fashion film. Directed by the designers and lensed by Boys by Girls editor in chief Cecilie Harris, the film, which makes its online debut below, sees its protagonist plunge, fully clothed, into a copper bathtub. According to Palmer, the shirts moving in the water are representative of cleansing—a concept that’s integral to the pair’s design process. Stripped of all excess, Palmer//Harding’s latest menswear collection offers eleven shirts based off of the greatest hist from the last four seasons. There’s the trademark spiral pleating, the color-blocking, and Harding’s favorite—a crisp navy poplin with an overlay of crepe. If their womenswear is out to set the mood with its sweeping trains and voluminous tops, then surely menswear caters to craftsmanship. “London has a tendency to challenge menswear,” said Palmer. “Men don’t necessarily want to be challenged. Men want simplicity.”
On Our Radar: Zana Bayne’s High-Fashion Harnesses
Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | December 2013
Bondage seems to have widespread appeal these days—just ask leatherwear designer Zana Bayne. Based in New York, Bayne is known for her leather harnesses, corsets, and various other hard-edged accoutrements, and the likes of Prabal Gurung and singer Lorde both come to her for S&M-inspired accessories. “Whenever I work with Prabal, it’s really about the collection and how the harness can work as an accessory,” offered Bayne, who, having launched her line in 2010, just finished her fifth collaboration with Gurung—she was responsible for the layered PVC and leather harnesses that accentuate the cutout backs of Gurung’s white and pastel Spring dresses. Lorde, meanwhile, donned a leather halter piece in her recently released “Team” video.
For her own Spring ‘14 collection, the lookbook for which debuts exclusively here, Bayne crafted a range of wares inspired by the coiled, arching lines of nature’s flora. “I looked at the shapes made by crawling vines on trellises and trees, and wanted to bring the collection to a softer, more feminine place,” said Bayne. Rosettes add a final, romantic flourish to the intricate face coverings, bustiers, and skirts in nude, black, and aubergine.
Somewhat ironically, the designer avoids creating harnesses that might limit movement. “It’s one of the reasons I tend to stay away from pieces that go onto the legs,” said Bayne. “If you can’t move in it it, then I don’t think you should wear it.”
Around the World in Twenty Collections
Written by Sophia J. Gonzalez | June 2013
A heady mix of culture and inspiration in the form of futuristic samurai and Nirvana brides exploded onto the catwalk at yesterday’s International Show in London. The runway event was the first of its kind—an elite showcase, which, held during London’s annual Graduate Fashion Week, consisted of twenty student collections from sixteen different universities around the globe. “A United Nations of fashion,” was how Hilary Alexander—master of ceremonies—phrased it. “To see a global melting pot of current student thinking, on one catwalk, under one roof, it’s just fascinating,” she told Style.com.
Students whose final creations reflected their own countries’ backgrounds stood out in particular. Angus Chiang, of Taiwan’s Shih Chien University, won top honors for his kaleidoscopic carnation-covered astronauts (above). The 22-year-old designer explained (with the help of a friend who translated) how he had combined inspiration from the vibrant colors of Taiwan’s temples, flags, and theater costumes, with influences from Oskar Schlemmer’s abstract 1922 Triadic Ballet, which he developed while at the Bauhaus.
The panel of judges, which included Vogue Italia’s Sara Maino, Style Bubble’s Susie Lau, and Gitte Jonsdatter of Muuse, also bestowed Sasha Nassar, of Istituto Marangoni Paris, with an award for best womenswear. Her sheer veiling with “spirograph” prints will appear alongside Chiang’s wares at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week.
Nassar’s designs will also be produced through Muuse as a limited-edition capsule collection.