Showing posts with label Fashion news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion news. Show all posts

Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama to host an exhibition on April 20 – May 10

8:55 PM
Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama (born 1991) is an Indian Gorkha fashion designer from Darjeeling based in Bangalore. She launched her debut Prêt collection under the label "P.E.L.L.A" - also an acronym for her name, at Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2015 as a Gen Next Designer.

For many years, there was a clear boundary between fashion designers and visual artists.However designer Priyanka Ella Lorena has made her young emerging fashion journey an artistic experience. Her designs, her fabric, her photographs and her sets are forming a practice that floats somewhere between art and artisanat. This April she will host a promising exhibition where she will be showcasing miniature versions of her creations which would be mounted into frames as a 3D installation as part of Alliance Française’s Young Talent Program.

“My designs are a form of visual arts to me. I love my designs and I got an opportunity where garments can be showcased as art. I proposed the idea though I have not done anything like this before,” says 25-year-old Lorena further adding that the show will be like a fashion diary which will showcase the process of bringing out a single garment. “For most of my garments I use single block of fabric, and this exhibition will have installations that will seem like a learning diary. I will be covering my past two collections called Utopia and Abstinence,” she says.

A student of fashion from Bengaluru’s National Institute of Fashion Technology, Lorena has established her own label, P.E.L.L.A., an acronym of her name. When asked to describe, Utopia, the collection she conceived while at the fashion school and will now be showing its miniature version, Lorena says, “It’s an existence of an ideal state of mind through enlightenment.”

And, that’s when you know she’s different. A believer in the Wabi-Sabi outlook towards art, Lorena’s collection transcends the present. “Much of my work brings together what I stand for. I am sure people will be quite intrigued with this exhibition as they would not have seen anything like this before,” she concludes.

April 20 – May 10. At Alliance Française Atrium. Entry free.

— NK


Via indianexpress


Indian Gorkha Fashion Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama Invited to Lakme India Fashion Week

9:05 AM
A daughter of the hills, Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama dreamt big and now she is getting closer to where she wants to be. Priyanka is one of the fashion designers to look out for in the upcoming Lakme Fashion Week Mumbai in March this year. She is also donning the hat of a young (under 25 years) woman entrepreneur who has started her own label p.e.l.l.a and she is doing this with much élan.
Indian Gorkha Fashion Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama from Darjeeling
Indian Gorkha Fashion Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama from Darjeeling 
Her label P.E.L.L.A is a start-up that she hopes will help her synchronize her core beliefs in design.

The younger daughter of Mrs. Anjali Lama and Mr. Latshering Lama, Priyanka completed her primary schooling from Bethany School before becoming a part of the Loreto family. While imbibing designing as part of her life right from her school days, her passion took a professional turn when she decided to join National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bangalore.
Indian Gorkha Fashion Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama from Darjeeling Invited to Lakme India Fashion Week
Indian Gorkha Fashion Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama from Darjeeling Invited to Lakme India Fashion Week
Name: Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama
Mom: Mrs. Anjali Lama
Dad: Mr. Latshering Lama
School(s) Primary + Higher school(s): Bethany School (Primary) and Loreto Convent, Darjeeling (High School)
College(s): National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore

What got her interested in Fashion Designing?

Growing up, I used to watch my sister paint and it fascinated me. She introduced me to the world of the creative arts at a very early age – from learning to draw and shade eyes to dabbing colors that brought nature alive. Back then, during weekends our house used to be in a riot of colors! Later, I also represented my school in various art competitions. What started as an interest soon became a passion and I used to draw with fervor – still life, portrait of my grandmother, costumes for my dolls and so on. Even now it stays close to my heart – I create all my fashion illustrations from scratch and develop and paint motifs on the fabrics myself.

When and how did she actually decide that she wanted to be a Fashion Designer?
It was in middle school – Class 8 to be precise, that I found out about NIFT from the internet. The more I researched about it, the more convinced I became that Design was an area where I could use my strengths. The next few years were spent focusing on submitting close resemblances of skirts and coats for my S.U.P.W assignments! I experimented with whatever inch of fabric my hands could find – from old scarves to pullovers, to jeans and school skirts, often to the disapproving glances of my parents. On a positive note, this was how I learnt to resize clothes for friends and family members. This was also the time when I conceptualized “P.E.L.L.A” – an acronym for my name which eventually became my Label. In the final year of school, I sat for the All India NIFT Entrance Exams and cleared the two rounds to finally get a seat in NIFT, Bangalore.

Challenges she faced in her journey
Convincing my parents about my decision was difficult at first but eventually they supported me in this quest. The big challenge came along when I decided to opt out of placements in the final year. I craved for creative freedom which would be limited if you got into a corporate career. But I knew I had to start somewhere, so I did freelancing for a year in Fashion Design, Styling and Illustration. This came with its own set of problems – some businesses who hired me got their job done for free or for nominal amounts. Since I was just out of college, I was not much aware of the value that I was creating for them and often got paid less. But eventually I got to learn the art of negotiating and putting things across the table in a professional manner. Also, freelancing work was often erratic – there were days when I would have no work and days when I would race against the clock.

How did she overcome them?
There were times when people questioned my dreams – gave me advice on how I should find a secure job, or did not understand why I would not want to work. Often during conversations, I had difficulty in explaining what I really did for a living. I do admit that things were not always rosy and such times, you start doubting your capabilities. But I held onto my dreams like the light at the end of a tunnel. I worked hard, stayed focused and surrounded myself with positive people who inspired and motivated me.

I started my own design studio with support from my family, then Lakme happened and there was no looking back. Also, the entrepreneurial spirit in Bangalore is phenomenal – be it technology, services, hospitality, retail or fashion – there is always a startup to offer something new and exciting. In fact, my studio is surrounded by quite a number of startups and when we are putting in long hours, we look outside the window and there will always be a lighted glass pane with a friendly smile and the thumbs up sign. The environment is very encouraging and pushes you to strive towards your goals.

Did coming from the hills help or hinder her journey?
Coming from the lap of nature, where I remember waking up to the sound of birds singing and the golden view of the majestic Kanchenjunga outside my windows, Darjeeling has always been pushing me towards creativity. It has made me revere natural and authentic beauty. Growing up around fashion where people are unafraid of experimentation helped me develop an individual sense of style. Apart from that, we are also fortunate to have such good schools here with teachers who mentor us to follow our passion beyond what is taught in class. I plan to open my studio there as well – when the right time comes. I believe there is an abundance of talent and creativity in Darjeeling.

Did she have to face racism in the fashion industry for being from the NE or due to her Gorkha/Nepali heritage?
No, I have always felt welcome – people love Darjeeling and in fact this was an icebreaker for conversations. In NIFT, we had students coming from all the nooks and corners of India and abroad, we were all away from home and so we connected well. I have made lifelong friends along my journey. Since, fashion is rooted in culture; the fashion community is open to learning from different cultures and traditions, food and costumes – you never know where the next big inspiration is going to come from.

Is it easier or more difficult for a woman designer to make a mark in the fashion industry, why?
I would not categorize it as easy or difficult based on gender. The product should speak for itself; it should reflect your thought process, your creativity rather than the way you look or your background. Fashion is a very competitive place so you have to carve a niche for your brand in order to make a mark.

What inspires her?
Being a keen observer, be it observing the environment, people around me or introspecting within me, inspiration to me has always been on an emotional level. Things which I have experienced until now or things which are happening in the present have been my food for thought. It can be as simple as breathing or something as complex as meditation. Experiences are a key source of my inspiration and I express them through the designs I create, which I hope would inspire someone somewhere.

When I joined Art of Living at the International Ashram here in Bangalore – an experience I was introduced to during my school days – it became a significant milestone in my life and that is what made me create this collection which I call "Utopia" which is derived from the utopian existence of the mind. A state of mind emancipated through meditation. It is a tribute to the life – one which is happy and content.

The Wabi-sabi way of life is another influence which inspires me and to a certain extent, my way of life. This has become a key foundation for my brand. Wabi-sabi is the beauty of things humble and simple in nature, slow and uncluttered, pure and unadulterated. Imperfections make us appreciate the beauty of natural objects and processes. Inspiration to me goes beyond fashion; it becomes a core value which I want to keep close to me, close to my heart.

Any thoughts on including Gorkha ethnic theme/motifs etc in her designing:
My debut collection is the interpretation of an emotional experience. There is an indirect influence of Zen Buddhism and arises from the meditation that I started in school and still continue to do. For one of my forthcoming collections, I do intend to incorporate elements of the Gorkha way of life.

Where does she see herself in the next 10 years:
Right now I have just set up my studio and I want to concentrate on establishing my brand name for the next few years. For the long run, I would like to integrate the social value chain into Fashion – help revive art and culture from the hills and work with the local cottage industries to bring our heritage to the rest of the world.

Word of advice for those who want to follow her footsteps:
To all the bright young minds – I would say discover what your passion is, don’t limit yourself to said norms. Make full use of the tools available to you, start reading and researching about it now, groom yourself for that role instead of waiting until you finish your board exams. Being just 23, I think a push in that direction in an early age certainly helped me reach where I am today. Also, if you start young, you have time on your side; the opportunities and learning you can get is immense. Dream big but start now by taking the first step towards what you want.

Like someone once said to me – “When you wake up in the morning, if the work you do does not excite you or put a smile on your face, you have to do something to change it.”

Other passions:
I have been making short amateur videos on my doodling of late and eating up my friends’ internet bandwidth when I share them! It is fun to combine music and art along a story line and I am fascinated by the whole process of developing the videos. Apart from that, I love cycling – I used to cycle quite often here until I lost my bike. I haven’t got a replacement since.

To complete this interview, we wanted to know about her from her best friend of many years, Ms. Prashanti Choiden Moktan a few things about Priyanka and posed her these questions to Prashanti

Do you believe in Priyanka? 
Priyanka has been one of my best friends for more years than I can recall. My faith in her remains unshaken and grows stronger still because I know of the way she has persevered to get where she is today.

Why? 
From school days itself, she was always the creative one. Be it her sketches, her SUPW projects (which I sucked at) and her way of dressing up, she stood out. Many thought of her as too eccentric for our ‘everyone knows everyone’ small Nepali community, but I knew she was a diamond in the rough. Now she is shining bright and bringing glory to our very own Darjeeling. She dared to be herself, different from the others and never let negative criticism break her. This has resulted in her refining her passion into a beautiful worthwhile profession.

What sets her apart from other fashion designers?
Her minimalistic designs and her love for monochrome and subtle colours add a very international flavor to her collection. She is also a hard taskmaster on herself as she takes a lot of pain in creating her designs. Painstakingly hand painting her designs, her attention to details makes her designs definitely stand out yet blend it. So it is like being on two ends of a scale at once. It seems like harmony is serenading beautiful chaos. Besides her garments are very wearable and add layers to your own personality.
.....
We are hopeful that our readers, especially the youngsters read the interview and enjoyed it… Follow your dreams and believe in yourself… others will always try to tell you otherwise… but if you believe in your dreams… do follow them.

We thank Priyanka for her time and wish her luck for the upcoming event… we are hopeful that in 5 years time, we will be reporting about your show from the ramps of Paris.

This interview would not have been possible with the help and support from Ms. Prashanti Choiden Moktan… THANK YOU

Source: The Darjeeling Chronicle

Alka Adhikari mixing up Indian, Nepali and western trends in her design

10:51 AM
While the European fashion designing industry has emerged dominant over the Indian traditional deigns, designer Alka Adhikari from Bagdogra has gained worldwide popularity by mixing up Indian and Nepali traditional outfits with western costumes in her designs. With this unique concept Adhikari’s efforts to add colours to the fading Indian and Nepali traditional dresses have become successful to attract the young fashion lovers.

Models flaunting Alka's treditional creations.
Models flaunting Alka's treditional creations.
Conceding that the fashion industry growing tremendously she said the youths tend to overlook the richness of their traditional fashion, Alka has started her own production centers at various places in India and Nepal. Adhikari, who has a diploma in fashion designing said, since the Indian and Nepali tradition are dying under the dominion of western fashion, she decided to do something to bring these traditional fashion into life again.

She uses ‘Nepali Dhaka’ to prepare Sarees, Lehenga, Churidhars and other outfits and interestingly these products not only have a domestic market but are also demanded by Indians living aboard. Earlier people used to take trouble of traveling to Nepal to get Nepali attires but now many people from Sikkim, Darjeeling and North eastern states put their orders at Adhikari’s production centre for clothes like ‘Daura Suruwal’, 'Chaubandi Choli', ‘Fariya’, and many more
.
 Fashion Designer Alka Adhikari.
 Fashion Designer Alka Adhikari.
Adhikari has already been in fashion business for about10 years. She has also worked with several celebrities and has organized fashion shows in Siliguri, Gangtok, Guwahati, Kathmandu and Kolkata. “Our youths have become increasingly attracted towards fashion in this modern age and also because of the impact of the film industry” Adhikari stated. “However, they are reluctant to wear their own traditional outfits. So in order to make them aware about their culture and tradition, I began designing in such a way that the same dresses become eye-catching to them,” she added.




Source:EOI

London Fashion Week Spring 2014

3:31 PM
While Milan plumps for purpose-built showrooms and Paris for sports stadiums, in London the latest show venue trend is the office building. It increases the disconnect between the real world and fashion. Imagine if you’re going about your daily business in the darkest depths of the city when all of a sudden a few hundred overdressed strangers march in, hog your lifts, blast thumping techno for ten minutes and then jam the lifts again to escape, as if fleeing the Towering Inferno. It must be odd.


Although the practicality profoundly annoys me (the simple mathematics of several hundred people trying to ram into four elevators at the same time should discourage designers from the get-go), I like the allusions. Namely, that fashion is a business. We’re going to our place of work – although our place of work in the catwalk, rather than the office block. Unless the two collide. It’s quite fitting. It raises a wry if weary smile from me, in any case.

London Fashion Week Spring 2014
The nice thing about the London leg of the round-the-world fashion jaunt, however, is that the clothes didn’t feel motivated by pure commerce. There was even a delicacy and hidden depth to Burberry Prorsum, London Fashion Week’s cash-cow juggernaut. The spindle-slim line and macaroon colour palette of pistachio, flushed strawberry, cognac and peach were succulent, the clothes themselves light and soft. If the womenswear is often overwrought and this season’s menswear under thought, somehow for spring everything met perfectly in the middle.

But London designers are, of course, doing tidy business. It’s easy to picture the woman buying Roksanda Illincic’s citrus-flushed clothes, for instance. This season she presented in one of those ubiquitous office blocks rather than her usual gilded salons, and the change did her good. The clothes stood out against the grey city skyscape, as did the tangerine and chartreuse installation created by the set designer Gary Card that resembled brightly-coloured building blocks. Illincic’s collection was brightly coloured too, indeed colour was one of its building blocks, brilliant orange contrasting with lime, black banded against vibrant turmeric yellow. Some of the clothes were reminiscent of Raf Simons’ experiments with colour and free-falling fabric at Dior, such as the tumbling pane of fabric fluttering from a sleeveless shell top, or the strapless dress in flycatcher strips of fabrics. But that’s been a trend across the season.

It was there too in Emilia Wickstead’s collection – the bandbox-striped voluminous dresses in cerise and more satsuma-orange, and the slender numbers contrasting that shade with a minty jade, put you in mind of Dior, and also Simons’ 2011 neon floral collection for Jil Sander. There were similar patterns, and shapes. But a second outing here was welcome. Wickstead is a designer who creates resolutely polite, well-behaved clothes. She isn’t trying to revolutionise anything. She dressed the Duchess of Cambridge with dignity and propriety, but that’s hardly likely to get anyone’s blood boiling with got-to-have-it sartorial lust. Nevertheless, there was something in the refinement of Wickstead’s current offering that felt compelling.

Contrasting her with Illincic is interesting: the latter has always dressed her clothes up with a polish they sometimes lacked (she’s let a raw hem unravel her collections quite literally in the past), which occasionally seemed like pretension, or just playing dress-up. Wickstead’s clothes, by contrast, put you in mind of the likes of Oscar de la Renta or early Givenchy. They’re not radical, but they’re beautifully made. They’re not fashion, to be honest, but the beauty of their fashioning gives them a validity, even if the ideas originated with another hand.

Source : independent.co.uk

Washed, looser fit and a higher waist dad jeans - may be in fashion again

8:02 PM
Don't donate those Jerry Seinfeld jeans to the Salvation Army just yet.

Lighter-blue "washed" denims, often with a looser fit and a higher waist - call them "dad jeans" - may be in fashion again. They have been popping up in street-style blogs like Tommy Ton and the Sartorialist, as well as at fashion-forward retailers like Acne, Supreme, J. Press York Street, Baldwin, Billy Reid and A.P.C.

Some of those high-fade models would not look out of place on President Barack Obama out biking.

It may be premature to declare an end to the era of skinny jeans, the low-slung, raw-denim crotch tourniquets that have ruled the streets of Brooklyn lately. But designers who cater to selvage-denim snobs are detecting a shift in tastes and a step toward lighter washes and fuller pant legs.

"We're definitely seeing more of a washed look, a longer rise, a little fuller thigh," said Tyler Thoreson, the vice president for men's editorial and creative at Gilt, the flash-sale site. "The edgier guys are going with a drop-crotch taper look."

Part of the shift might be attributed to the cyclical nature of fashion.

"It's a backlash against the now-ailing Americana-urban woodsman trend," said Brad Bennett, who runs Well Spent, an influential men's style blog. "Dad jeans are pretty much the total opposite, and thus, a quick and easy way for people who don't want to be associated with the lumberjack look to distance themselves."

There is also a practical aspect.

"People want to be more comfortable," said Benjamin Talley Smith, the creative director of Earnest Sewn, the cult-favorite jeans label, which has unveiled the Dexter, a straight-leg

jean with a "full thigh." Even fashion bloggers admit that skinny jeans are not exactly comfy.

"I don't really find myself ever reaching for my pair of far more expensive raw denim that I have hanging in my closet," said Jake Gallagher, who runs the menswear blog Wax Wane. "Probably, at least three or four days a week, I'm wearing what would be called 'dad jeans,'" which he defines as faded washed-out denim (he prefers Levis 501s).

Indeed, some jeans snobs are just "finding that the time investment and work that goes into breaking in a pair - six months without washing, the initial discomfort - isn't always worth it," said Jian DeLeon, who writes for Complex, a style magazine.

But before you raid your father's closet, it should be noted that this denim fetish is confined to certain hyper-stylized urban pockets and that most American men never stopped wearing dad jeans. At the same time, there is a big difference between the dad jeans bought at a Wal-Mart in Texas, and the ones now being peddled on menswear blogs. No self-respecting bearded mixologist is going to be caught dead in the loosefitting, pancake-rump jeans favored by over-50 suburbanites.

Meanwhile, early adopters risk ridicule. Kanye West got whacked on BuzzFeed for wearing what some saw as dad jeans during fashion weeks in New York and Paris.

But for those willing to push the envelope, dad jeans are one way to stand out at a Bushwick loft party. Besides, roomier washed jeans provide a flourish of '90s retro, which is making a comeback for Generation Y in the form of Doc Martens, flannel shirts and wallet chains. Some fashion-forward types even go so far as to add pin rolls at the cuffs, Thoreson said.

"I'm having flashbacks," he said, "to eighth grade and my Girbaud jeans."

Rapper-designer Kanye West is to make a comeback

9:16 PM
Rapper-designer Kanye West is reportedly ready to make a comeback with a clothing brand, Unisex's Spring-Summer 2014 collection to be unveiled in September.

Kayne West - Getty Images
Kayne West - Getty Images

Rapper-designer Kanye West is reportedly ready to make a comeback with a clothing brand, Unisex's Spring-Summer 2014 collection to be unveiled in September. The New Slaves hitmaker released his debut womenswear collection, DW by Kanye West, in 2011 and also showed it at Paris Fashion Week for two seasons.

West reportedly spent a week in Milan working on a new collection comprising 100 pieces with the help of Diesel's artistic director, Nicola Formichetti. The 36-year-old also said that his first collection was better and artful. "The first collection was way better than the second, it was more artful. It was 30 collections in one," femalefirst.co.uk quoted West as saying.

"It just takes time for me to slow down and think like a normal person. I have to somehow put out something that says, 'I look sensible,'" he added. West recently collaborated with French label APC for menswear collection, which sold out within hours of being made available online.

3D printing, why it will work in fashion?

9:18 AM
In case you haven’t heard, 3D printing has entered the mainstream, and it will disrupt every industry’s manufacturing processes slightly differently. Let’s talk about why it will work in fashion.

3D printing, why it will work in fashion?

3D printing is not entirely new to the fashion industry, as jewelry designers have for years outsourced quick modeling jobs to printing companies. But as 3D-printed pieces begin to pop up on the runway and in presentations outside of fashion week as the finished product, it’s worth asking why the method stands a chance of proliferating among designers.

It looks damn good.

Catherine Wales, a designer trained in classic garment cutting at Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro, is currently exhibiting a collection of masks, corsets and helmets at the Arnhem Mode Biennale in the Netherlands. Designers Frances Bitonti and Michael Schmidt collaborated with Shapeways to produce a 3D-printed gown modeled by the burlesque icon Dita Von Teese at a presentation in February.

The results are beautiful. Comprising 3,000 articulated joints and dotted with 12,000 Swarovski crystals, Dita’s gown fits her curves like a glittering Chinese finger trap. Wales’s feathered shoulder piece fluffs and falls like the real thing.

This is art. It isn’t wearable, but it suggests that 3D printing has the finesse necessary to break into an industry known for its attention to quality craft.

It is becoming more and more wearable. 

front

Printers are getting closer to producing good fabric-like materials, using interlocking structures to create weaves and stitches. Duann Scott, Shapeways‘ “Designer Evangelist,” said that once more fashion designers start using 3D printing, it will make a case for 3D manufacturers to develop more breathable, wearable materials. This is, of course, a chicken and egg situation, as designers aren’t going to want to migrate to 3D printing until they know it’s as good if not better than their current methods.

At the moment, 3D printing may be most compelling to designers when used in conjunction with organic materials. Bitonti told me that he’s currently working on 3D-printed handbags finished with stingray leather, an idea that has a lot of potential. Designers and consumers have a strong historical and emotional affinity to non-synthetic materials like leather, silk and cotton, and they aren’t going anywhere. It wouldn’t be surprising to see designers incorporating complex printed elements with traditional materials in the near future.

It could save young designers.0050

If 3D printing disrupts mass fashion production, it will do so because it will have become cheaper and more efficient than current manufacturing methods. Ready-to-wear, however, with its smaller production runs, financial insecurity and impulse toward the artistic, is the ideal space for 3D printing to take root now.

The designer Kimberly Ovitz, who showed a small range of Shapeways-printed nylon jewelry with her ready-to-wear collection at New York Fashion Week in February, said that 3D printing revolutionized her production timetable. Consumers could buy the jewelry immediately after her show and receive the product in two weeks.

“I found that there are so many benefits for small designers. You don’t have to deal with minimum or volume issues. You can design as many prototypes as you want as intricately as you want, and it doesn’t affect anything the way it does with clothes.”

For small, young brands, which have a failure rate not unlike tech startups, 3D printing offers the previously unheard-of option to manufacture exactly to order. In a world where botched manufacturing runs and over-estimated interest in an item leads to unusable and unsold stock, printing minimizes risk in a way that never existed before for fashion designers.

It can find a happy medium with handmade.

One of the obvious challenges facing mainstream adoption of 3D printing in the clothing industry is a longstanding appreciation for handcrafted pieces. Would a Birkin bag cost as much as it does if it were not stitched by human hands?

Scott argues that the traditional idea of handcraft is romanticized. Manipulating code to make a dress flow and fall over the human form is the new craft, he said.

But Scott is a Shapeways guy, and not all classically trained designers would agree. Anna Sheffield, a New York-based jewelry designer who experimented with printing finished products for an event sponsored by Shapeways at the Ace Hotel in February, told me that while she sees the advantages of using 3D printing to create a finished product, it’s not right for her brand. She likes the slivers of imperfections that can result from casting.

“In some ways it can be used to enhance the design,” she said. “But in other ways I think it leaves a generic motif on all of the goods, and to me it would be better to make the product and make a mold and cast it and finish or change it in some way. Hammer it. Something that gives it a more sensory feel. I’m a bit of a purist.”


3D printing is, however, part of Sheffield’s arsenal. While she often hand-makes wax models, Sheffield will go digital for repeating patterns, as on a ring of overlapping wheat sheaths. Scaling and altering designs on a CAD file reduces her workload by hours. For designers with an interest in preserving the uniqueness of handcrafted pieces, 3D printing could simply be a standard design tool to be used as needed.

If 3D printing is making moves on manufacturing in general, you can bet fashion won’t be exempt, even if it is initially treated by the press as a futuristic conceit. It’s dubious that the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons will start training their students as coders just yet, but printing could easily make inroads in accessories, shoes and non-fabric elements of clothing in the near future. It isn’t hard to imagine that some of fashion’s more avant-garde talents would be willing to experiment with printing in a more substantial way soon.

Countdown to Fashion Week, designer Jonathan Simkhai

10:33 AM
Jonathan Simkhai spends most of his waking hours chasing cool, an ineffable quality he might spy in a random pileup of deck chairs, their stripes meandering every which way, or in the image of a skateboard gang surfing the pavements of Venice Beach. Nothing is too crazy or far-fetched to escape his roving eye.

Countdown to Fashion Week, designer Jonathan Simkhai
Countdown to Fashion Week, designer Jonathan Simkhai 

During a recent road trip in upstate New York, he came across a crumbling barn, its whitewash peeling to reveal a layer of slate paint underneath. “Its weathered look felt very elegant,” said Mr. Simkhai, who promptly reproduced the effect on a fabric in the resort line he unveiled last month.

Will its grainy look re-emerge for spring? Hard to say. The collection Mr. Simkhai plans to show in September, at the start of New York Fashion Week, is only now beginning to take shape in his head. Some seven weeks before showtime, the line was in its gestational phase, Mr. Simkhai gathering with magpie energy the sights, sounds and tactile impressions that inspire him. “Inspiration,” he mused, “that’s really just a reference point, a way of keeping the collection concise.”

As he talked, he perched on an ash-blond wooden table in one of the incubator offices provided by the Council of Fashion Designers of America as part of its initiative to support emerging fashion businesses.

His two previous collections, athletically breezy and sassed up with techno detailing, trained a spotlight on Mr. Simkhai, who was singled out at Style.com, Women’s Wear Daily and Barneys New York, among others, as a talent to watch. Just the same, Mr. Simkhai, who showed his fall collection at Milk Studios in February, found himself vying for attention with industry stars like Joseph Altuzarra, who was presenting elsewhere at roughly the same time.

The competition was formidable, but he held his own, parading checkerboard-printed T-shirts, patchwork leather sweaters and twisted tomboy basketball jerseys and baseball jackets to an enthusiastic crowd that included Tomoko Ogura, the Barneys fashion director, and April Hennig, a merchandise manager for Bergdorf Goodman.

These days, his office doubles as his studio, a space that was hectically animated by fabric swatches pinned to one wall, and a pair of mood boards. One outsize sheet of fiberboard was covered in magazine tear sheets showing casually posed models in loosefitting jackets, baggy striped shorts and pencil skirts; another was plastered with photographs of adolescents in the natty clothes and challenging attitudes of the 1960s London youth quake.

Those oddly assorted images can help kick-start a collection. “They are almost like a diary,” Mr. Simkhai said, “even if nothing in the collection ends up actually looking this way.” For the designer, such photo references serve as talking points, providing his line with a unifying narrative thread, a story that, in his phrase, “the salespeople can latch on to.”

Spoken like a merchant. But then the designer, who is 28, got his start in retail, assigned at 14 to create window displays and act as a buyer for Habana Jeans in Scarsdale, N.Y., near his home. That brief apprenticeship taught him to anticipate his customers’ wishes or, as he put it, sounding a bit like Steve Jobs pitching a product release, “to give the clients what they want before they know they want it.”

His first designs, conceived about four years ago, were improvised, whipped up for a handful of friends needing beach cover-ups that would see them into town. Snatching shirts from his own closet, he repurposed them as minidresses, a breezy button-down look that became the foundation of his borrowed-from-the-boys aesthetic.

That fusion of male-female themes can’t help but seep into his work. “I can’t get into the head of a girl,” he said candidly, “so I spend a lot of time thinking about what I would want to wear. Naturally it gets masculine.”

Inevitably the boxy shapes, leather T-shirts and track pants that are his roguish signature will find their way into his spring line. “As much as I like femininity,” he said, “there will always be a button-down shirt.”

Still, he is always testing ideas. Lately his outlook has grown more refined. “I’m thinking of adding longer skirts,” he said. “They just feel right.” And he is giving increased weight to practical matters. Sure, a backless dress is charming and will probably have a place in the line, he said, adding with a wink, “but I’m finally catching on that women wear bras.”

He is quick to mine his archives. “Maybe there was something slightly rushed in the last collection that I want to revisit,” he said. As often as not, seeds of future designs are embedded in his current work. “The day before a show,” he said, “I tell myself, ‘I definitely want to explore this look next season, or I definitely don’t.’ ”

The fall 2013 collection was in part a product of his fascination with ska, the Jamaican precursor to reggae embraced by young Brits in the 1960s, their look an amalgam of skinny dark suits and ties, graphic checks, porkpie hats and, for girls, tight shirts and minis.

Spring 2014 will expand on that motif. “Coming off ska, I thought: ‘Who was listening to that music? What did it inspire?’ ”

The answer, of course, was mod. “ ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘there is definitely a lot of material here.’ ”

An illustrative sampling is pinned to a black-and-white mood board on a far wall, dominated by images of clashing teenagers and those overturned awning-striped beach chairs. The photographs document the Battle of Brighton Beach, a hostile 1964 encounter between mods and rockers engaged in a turf war at the storied British resort.

Those images coexist with snapshots culled from libraries or lifted from the Internet, spied in passing through the window of a vintage store, ripped from yellowing tabloids or reproduced from Instagram screen grabs. The board is always morphing.

“Sometimes I take pictures down because they’re no longer relevant,” Mr. Simkhai said. Others remain, functioning as “place-holders,” helping him return, when necessary, to his original themes.

On the wall behind him was a cacophony of fabrics in sunbaked colors or alternating shades of indigo and aquamarine. “This all is very provisional,” he said. “I pull fabrics that maybe don’t make sense. I can be all over the place. I haven’t figured it out yet.”

He doesn’t doubt, though, that in time that zany collage-in-progress will form a cohesive vision. For now those swatches serve as place-holders, too, pointing the way, he said, to the next stop on the road.

This is the first in a series of reports on young, under-the-radar fashion designers as they prepare for New York Fashion Week in September. We will visit five up-and-comers, each at a different stage in the process. Each feature in the series will include a behind-the-scenes video.

nytimes.com
 
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