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Holy Mountains : A Journey Through Peru
Inspired by their sourcing trip in the Puno region last year, Nicholas K partnered with the trade commission of Peru in New York to return and capture the rich surroundings of the sacred valley, the highlands and Lake Titicaca.  Tranquil stays Ateco hotels, el Albergue and Colca lodge, and a visit to Pacomarca, a sustainable alpaca farm, delivered a soulful and fervent journey. 

Since moving to a new visceral format for fashion week, the brand creates their visuals with destinations aligned with their focus on sustainability. 

“Creativity should be an elevating force. Peru is rich with artisanal traditions, beautiful cottons and the world’s leading luxury fiber, alpaca del Peru. This trip is a journal of the land, people and our pursuit of conscious design. It’s fulfilling to share this journey with partners that strive for development that pachamama would bless- prosperity of people, culture, and environment. Nods to the film holy mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky intertwine a modern edge and rebellious turn from destructive commercialism. 

“The rising stone facades and sprawling grass fields of the Peruvian highlands deliver a palette of clay,sage, totora, coca leaf, sienna, stone. The traditional qorillazos, morochucos and chalans of Peru fused with the surreal visuals of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s the holy mountain inspired layered silhouettes of mantas and ponchos, flared and skirted pants, short and long tops and oversized dresses meant to be layered with pants that could fasten to a slimmer silhouette; all complimented with the traditional elongated Andean Bowler style hats. 

“Our quest to craft products that nurture our customers, our partners and the environment led us to undyed natural colored alpaca fiber. We were able to visit Pacomarca, whose mission is to increase genetic diversity and save the naturally colored animals, and secure access and continued development of this scarce resource. Due to commercial pressures for dye-able yarn the colored stocks dwindled as local herders focused on breeding white alpacas.” 

Nicholas K will be working on an exclusive project to produce the now rare natural black alpaca fiber to highlight its superior qualities and ultimately to ensure balanced demand.

This FW18’ Ready-To-Wear collection brought a revised and an amped array of styles to the table. This collection is definitely one for a power woman on the go, who is seeking out signature coats with transformable details and exquisite furs; shawls with textured material, raincoats that are reversible and trimmed with fox, sleek styles inspired by Aspen meets Street Lux. Romeo Hunte’s signature styles have been seen worn by celebrities like Halle Berry, Zendaya, Beyoncé, and Victor Cruz, who appreciate high-quality craftsmanship that is produced locally.

ROMEO HUNTE NEW YORK the brand is a definitive street luxury brand created for all women. It is a line that is cool, conservative and intricate with a balance of feminine and masculine. Powerful and impeccable outerwear such as the signature buffalo check shawl, which is transformed in PVC and wool materials, is representative of the core elements of the Romeo Hunte brand. The vision is to create modern classic apparel that is luxurious, transitional and transformable at a contemporary price point.

Concept Korea is a collaborative project to promote Korean fashion designers and assist them in their attempts to break into the U.S. fashion market. Concept Korea is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Concept Korea began in the spring of 2010, and this F/W 2018 season marks the organization’s seventeenth time showing at New York Fashion Week. I have been attending Concept Korea shows since 2012 and I'm still full of excitement each season to see the creative and unique designers chosen to showcase their collections.

Since 2009, designer Younhee Park has captured the authenticity of haute couture but with an eye on sustainability. Describing the look as ‘futuristic modernity’, Park creates a feminine look with masculine undertones that manages to be both classic and directional. GREEDILOUS has grown into a global brand loved by celebrities and influencers worldwide. The brand has participated in Paris’s Who’s Next, Seoul’s Generation Next and NYC’s Capsule and Coterie tradeshows. Most notably, the designer was nominated for the 2014/2015 International Woolmark Prize.

Lee Chung Chung was born and raised in Seoul to renowned designer parents who founded the legendary Korean fashion house LIE SANGBONG. Commencing his design career in menswear on the famed Savile Row under the guidance of the celebrated menswear designer Oswald Boateng, Chung solidified his tailoring skills, which eventually led to launching his own line. Upon the introduction of his first collection, Chung received critical acclaim by notable fashion magazines such as Vogue UK and GQ UK followed by multiple awards including two consecutive “Winner of Ones to Watch” awards in 2010 and 2011 by Vauxhall Fashion Scout, “Bright Young Things” by Selfridges, and “Menswear Designer” award given by Fashion’s Finest Awards in 2011. Since its launch, LIE has grown to include two free standing stores in Korea, multiple pop-up shops throughout Asia and a permanent section in the flagship LIE SANGBONG Concept store in New York’s Meatpacking District. The line is distributed across the globe including select boutiques, specialty shops and department stores.

Fashion, feminism, and politics have always been heated territory. This year, amidst political upheaval, social strife, and natural devastation (globally, but also locally on the sunny Island of Puerto Rico) perhaps we can say that Mother Nature and Women have had it. For 2018, Stella wishes to highlight the one positive movement which has been gaining much strength: the new wave of women's rights. Stella's Fall/Winter 2018 collection aims to give power to the phrase "FEMINIST BUT FEMININE."
Stella imagines a confident woman who is not afraid to embrace her sexuality and who claims the respect she deserves. "Clothing is a way of expression, but you should not have to sacrifice your feminine essence for the world. Girly and feminine can be strong." Sheerness, lace, feathers, and soft silhouettes can be embraced by the woman of the 21st century who knows her rights and her capacities. Maybe we must seek to effect change not by challenging contemporary fashion ideals of femininity, but by conforming to them.
"There is some black in this fall/winter collection, however, colors predominate. That is how life should be..." says Stella Nolasco. "When my home was flooded, all of the plants in my garden died. One plant survived, however - the "Red Kiss Rex Begonia," whose leaves are red and heart shaped. This inspired the last group of the collection, which is composed of richly textured pieces in red tones."
Stella was working on her S/S 2018 collection before the hurricane hit the island, and her Spring fashion show was scheduled for the third week of October. Not only was Stella's home flooded, many of her seamstresses lost everything and her studio in San Juan still to this day must run a power generator as they have no electricity. From what she was able to rescue, Stella has created a F/W 2018 collection which was presented during the runway show at NYFW. 
Stella is collaborating with Foundation for Puerto Rico to spread the message of awareness as well as donating a significant part of the collection shown on Feb.8th, to be auctioned off at a later date benefiting the cause.

See full collection >> Here --- Photos by Zimbio
The second showcase of Global Fashion Collective at New York Fashion Week presented the work of progressive cutting-edge designers. Their experimental F/W 18 collections create powerful messages by the influence of personal and artistic expression. 'Conceptual Artistry' is an avant-garde selection of conceptual work with an haute couture feel.

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To begin the show with a bang, the sound of military drums blasted through the space. NiuNiu Chou of Chinese brand MRHUA MRSHUA presented a feast for the eyes with the 'Vintage Soldier' collection, a Military styled colour collision with Pop Art fabric dyeing. Fitted tailored pieces adorned with lace, tassels, and embroidery, featured unique patterns and vibrant clashing colours. Gold buckles, plaited aguiliette rope, and toy soldier hats invoked feelings of playfulness. A salute to psychedelic soldiers, a strong collection with brilliant visual appeal.

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Canadian designer Kirsten Ley's eponymous label features designs carefully crafted with a deep consciousness embracing the natural female form. The artistic collection NERŌ explores the concept of abandoning the fear of death and yearning for the afterlife. NERŌ highlights the exquisite and undeniable dichotomy of beauty and destruction with hard and soft surfaces in the collection's textiles. A dark feminine energy was expressed with deep greens and inky blacks. The interplay between sculptured leather pieces and ruffled textile manipulations was balanced with fitted midi skirts and straight leg pants. A long length jacket with fitted leather bodice and sizeable fur sleeves made a bold statement.

Kim Tiziana Rottmülle

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German designer Kim Tiziana Rottmüller's signature is provocation in a feminine but playful way. The collection BITTERSWEET is a fusion of the concepts 'Prison' and 'Barbie'. The designs are an artistic interpretation of a person wishing to break free from mental constriction, looking to the invisible prisons that exist only in people's minds. Volume and shape have influenced the designs, with oversized cylinders adorning the sleeves and an iron skirt representing the cage. A collection with impact, there was dramatic contrast in the large solid shapes and soft knitted textures. A minimal colour combination of black and pale pink symbolizes the aspects bitter and sweet.

An eclectic mix of emerging designers from across the globe were brought together to form a collective with real impact. Global Fashion Collective (GFC) a project by Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW), presented two creative and stimulating showcases at Industria NYC, 775 Washington Street, a large whitewashed studio filled with light nestled in the Meatpacking District.
GFC began proceedings with the 'Prêt-à-porter' show, a refined ready-to-wear presentation with trendsetting new collections for the F/W 18 season, highlighting wearable and high-end takes on shape, fabric, and colour.

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Caroline Ann, a U.S designer from Atlanta, who draws inspiration from fond childhood memories. The concepts of time and nostalgia have informed the clothes, exploring summer days spent at the beach. A collection geared towards the mild winters of the southern US with a fun touch of summer, we saw a vibrant palette of jewel pink, bold blue, and orange in light loose dresses and two pieces. Clever cutting and layering allows for pops of bright colour meshed with muted greys and an accent of print. Soft ruffles are inspired by the natural texture of sand dunes after being blown in the wind, and embellishments to suggest the sparkle of crushed up seashells are strategically placed throughout.

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FICTION TOKYO, a brand by Japanese designer Monaca Nishi. A seductive saxophone medley played out as models clad in black bunny-ear masks strided down the runway. Monaca took a retro spin for her collection 'Favorite Heroine' drawing inspiration from the lead of a childhood movie. A fun and feminine feel took prominence with high-waisted ensembles; leather shorts, flared sleeves, and silky fabrics. A subtle colour palette with soft pinks, khaki, burgundy, and yellow were mixed. Soft knitted flared pants paired with a cropped fluffy sweater in pale pink was a stand out look.


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Vancouver designer Melissa Yin showcased flattering cuts with her leather-based brand, presenting 'Nine to Five'- a collection of fashion forward pieces to take you from day to night. Bright lipstick red leather was contrasted with cream and black shades in fitted silhouettes. An elegant full-length black dress with short-capped sleeves and a cinched-in waist formed a striking look. An inspiring attention to detail was shown with silver star-shaped zippers and rhinestone trim which beautifully caught the light.

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Japanese brand WILDFRÄULEIN71 put forward a unisex collection inspired by the strong but transient beauty of a woman with a courageous man by her side. Designer Roop Shimura brought a more artisanal feel to the collective show, looking into the conceptual relationship between energy and form. An eclectic mix of colour and texture, layered outfits were pieced together with matte and shiny textures in autumnal shades. A highlight was a yellow knitted button up dress paired under a belted red check jacket, with a green pageboy hat to complete the look. In an artistic manner, painted glass art pieces were carried by the models, who at the end of the runway, pointed to the sky, and announced their names and where they are from. An expressive presentation to close the show.

Last season I had the ultimate pleasure of attending Ziad Nakad's breathtaking collection at the Hôtel Westin Paris Vendôme and the best show I've ever been too. The spring summer 2018 line is no different; it's simply stunning, elegant and full of beauty that embodies Paris chic at its best. I urge you to take the time to watch the runway show below to marvel at these glimmering gowns!

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For his Spring Summer 2018 collection, Ziad Nakad decided to celebrate the « Goddess of wheat" and "Mother of the Earth". Goddess who gathers the fruits of the earth and offers them to humanity; its cult is particularly flourishing in the countries where this wheat is found in abundance, in Sicily, in the region of Eleusis, in Crete, in Thrace and in the Peloponnese.

Like a bird flying over the harvests, perfectly free, crossing a colorful sky, resplendent and singularly geometric: the pale blue of the firmament mixes with the yellow and gold of the wheat, the green of the earth, the coral of the ocean and the  bronze trees at sunset. Wheat ears dot the dresses, a tribute to the most iconic representation of the goddess Demeter. Dress after dress, Ziad Nakad plays a subtle game that celebrates life in a precise mastered know-how and silk embroidery sublimated tulles.

Ziad Nakad created this collection for a strong woman, assumed, voluntary but also and especially generous, inspired by one of the most favorable deities to humans, as a symbol of accomplishment and peace.

Laskaris is another brand I have fond memories of from attending last season! I remember rushing to the show, finding my seat and surprisingly making a few friends despite my struggling French. Laskaris hss more of a whimsical, less fussy style that provides dimension to Paris Couture Fashion Week. The inspiration of Greece runs strong throughout the line persuading me to plan a vacay donning a golden flower crown...

More about the collection:
'Olympias, the woman behind Alexander the Great'

The inspiration of collection is based on the travelogue of a strong woman. It begins with the birth of Olympias in Pasaronas, an ancient city of Epirus. The domesticated snakes are made of skins, embroidered with handmade enamels or depicted on clothes with dazzled Swarovski. The sandals of the collection are traditionally handmade, manufactured by Laskaris.  The emblem of Epirus, an oak, gives its green colour to mark the collection which is composed of ivory, pastel and bright green in Grecian style. 

The collection is influenced by the columns of the Temple of Samothrace, where the charismatic Great Alexander was conceived, during the ritual. The clothes are crafted by handmade meanders, destructurized columns, draped worked with real stones, beams of light, nervir and copper. 

The last phase of the collection identifies Olympias as the wife of Phillip II in Pella and in Aigia – today’s Vergina -, where the leather, embossed flowers in the wreaths of the collection have been influenced. 

Rani Zakhem's Couture Spring Summer 2018 'Ode To A Volcanic Woman' captures exactly that theme. Using glistening materials dripping with drama and confidence each model struts down the runway demanding every eye on her. Bold colors, accents and patterns are also showcased in this stunning collection1 Make sure you watch the video of the full line to feel as if you were right there in the beauty of Paris.

More about the collection
Fury, fervor, effervescence! For his first couture fashion show in Paris, Rani Zakhem celebrates life and joy in incandescent metaphors. Fire is the essential element of this sumptuous yet relaxed collection, dedicated to a volcanic woman.
As devouring as ethereal, the sacred element comes in pyrotechnic explosions and cascades of gold, drawn by embroideries of arachnoid crystals of lava on the black of a sheath whose draped top splits into a deep "V” neckline.
Some creations seem to be sculpted in the light, like this pearl-beige silk dress, where red, orange and gold gems glow with a myriad of sequins that bring precious reflections back to the surface. Here the image of the volcano is spun to the neck, columned and entirely gilded, a recurring element of the collection and keystone of an architecture that favors ease, movement and, one would be tempted to add, the dancing flames that seem to devour the fabric barely touch the floor.

In the labyrinth of the modern world, the Master of Art, Ariane Chaumeil, follows the spiritual thread that connects her to Ariadne of the Greek legend...

Thrown into the labyrinth to perish in sacrifice with 13 other young men and women, Theseus was saved by Ariane who fell in love with him, giving him the thread that allowed him to escape the Labyrinth after defeating the Minotaur.

14 sacrifices ... 14 adornments created by Ariane Chaumeil for her latest jewelery art collection.
Alloys of metals (brass, fine gold), sublimate natural materials such as coral collected from authorized fishing zones in Spain, worked shells, reconstructed turquoises, red agate, leather as well as faceted crystals. Austrian beads showcase the technical work of Venetian crystal. With original patterns, as well as a precision work, including gold leaf, pure silver worked with the vaporized oxidation of silver oxide torches that are fixed in the glass.  Therefore, conferring iridescent colors ranging from a pearly white, with the gold until deep blue appearing only in contact with the light. Finally a lack treatment is applied in order for the ornaments can cross the time.

Ariane has drawn her inspiration from Greek antiquity armors such as shoulder pads and bracelets-rings... By projecting us into this fantasized past, Ariane reels the thread that connects us to the modern world, including in her timeless creations Naxos eyes with unique designs, conjuring all the bad spells, real pearls of joy.

The thread has led us to happiness…

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