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Fashion with a vengeance since 2009. Today is Friday, February 12, 2016
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Tracking Down Toni


You are a clever one, Mr. Toni Maticevski, but did you really think you'd slip under the DL radar?

Maticevski made a strong first impression one muggy Sunday back in September 2009. At the time, we were running back and forth so frantically from off-site shows to Bryant Park, that we almost didn’t make our last stop to the Altman Building. Fortunately, our sixth sense is style, so a subtle force lured us back to 18th street and into our first Toni Maticevski show.

Three years later, I found myself seated at Fashion Palette, a showcase for Australian designers, only to discover that our beloved and long-lost Maticevski is back. Returning with strong shoulders, polished lines, and rich fabrics, Toni marked his arrival as the closing designer for Wednesday’s event.

Post by Amanda LaMela

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Calvin Klein Misses the Bandwagon?


Creative Director Kevin Carrigan had the following choice statements to make about the CK Fall 2009 Collection on FWD.com...on March 27th?

“Subtly sexy"- the theme for Fall 2009. Okay, and we have heard this before....where? Oh, right. Every season from about 80 different designers.

“There’s a return to dressing up again...we’re calling it ‘refined eighties,’ with good fabrics that are softly sculptured, rather than linear and hard.”- How is he honestly parroting what every other designer has said about their collection this season?

“I wanted to launch a sexy jean for Calvin"- um, launch a sexy jean? Brooke Shields called- she said that nothing comes between you and your trite fashion one-liners.

I've always been a tad impatient with Calvin Klein as a brand, but honestly when their creative director can't come up with anything unique to say about their collection- especially almost two months after NY Fashion Week- it just looks bad.

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Yes, we know: we're excited too.


Topshop Heartschallenger Van Gives Out Free Topshop Goody-bags


District L is just as excited as every other twittering, line standing, fashion obsessed New Yorker about the grand opening of TopShop in Soho today; we spent a considerable amount of time in the UK last year and came to love them for providing clothing that went above and beyond the commonly held conception about "fast fashion" quality (think of any H&M thing you bought last year- what happened to it? Exactly.)

One of the advantages that fast clothing chains have over other retailers is that they receive something in the neighborood of 10 shipments annually. Plain old vanilla wonder bread locales like J. Crew and Gap still get the regular 3 or 4, making it rather difficult to keep up. And when someone like Kate Moss swoops in and designs a diffusion line, like she did for TopShop, you've got a lot of stepping up to do.

So sounds great right? It would seem though that the introduction of TopShop to the states is a double edged sword. Yes, you're introducing a new wellspring of fabulous, well designed and affordable fashion to the United States. But you're also introducing a new wellspring fabulous, well designed and affordable fashion to everyone in the United States. It makes me shudder, some of the sundry fashion faux pas that I can forsee innocent TopShop clothing playing unwittingly into.

Also- do we really want places like American Eagle and Abercrombie stepping up their game and infiltrating the collection American fashion conscience even more than necessary with their tacky clobber?

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Bill Blass to return from dead.


After Peter Som famously stepped down from his position as creative director at Bill Blass, which was owned by NexCen Brands at the time, we've heard nary a pindrop from the great American sportswear house.

Well apparently, the Bill Blass name has now come under the control of Korean company Peacock International Holdings L.C.C. who, according to WWD, are currently on the hunt for a new creative director to spearhead the re-launch of the Bill Blass brand.

How refreshing! Let's hope Peacock's management doesn't butt heads with whomever they decide to bring on board as much as NexCen did with Peter Som.


Saks Fifth Avenue Previews Bill Blass Fall 2008 Collection

Saks Fifth Avenue Previews Bill Blass Fall 2008 Collection

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He Said No Already


Karl Lagerfeld is, well, Karl Lagerfeld and his opinion is one of the few that matters. During his fat days in the 80's and early 90's, Karl was seldom seen in public and when he was it was always behind his infamous hand fan.

But ever since Karl magically discovered his own diet and lost a whopping 2000 pounds, he's since ditched the fan in favor of ostentatiously high collars and Hedi Slimane suits by Dior Homme. Presumably, the entire fashion industry took it, fans were dead and buried.

So District L poses a question to you, dear reader: does the fact that Louis Vuitton just...went ahead and unveiled their own line of hand fans at an event in Madrid last Wednesday evening anyway make them okay again?

Spanish actress Rossy de Palma, who was in attendance en force at the event seems to think so.

District L thinks: no.


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"In these times, it is nice to be reminded that the essence of couture is the pure joy of craftsmanship wedded to creativity"- Sally Singer, VOGUE, on the white paper headdresses in the Chanel S/S 2009 RTW.

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Nicolas' Pick: Top 5 Collections for Autumn/Winter 2009


The A/W 2009 shows will stand out as particularly memorable for years to come, as they really put many designers' integrity and ability to the test given the current climate. We saw some extremely impressive collections, and a lot of experimentation with new concepts and trends. Here are my top 5 picks from among the A/W 2009 runways:


1. Lanvin

Several designers this season, especially in Paris and Milan, experimented with creating tensions between country and urban, nature and industry. Lanvin's Alber Elbaz really stunned us with a compelling story of shape, color, and detail and a polished, dystopian edge.


2. Doo.Ri

District L has followed Doo.Ri Chung for awhile. I really have to say how utterly sublime her Fall 2009 showing was. It really and truly encapsulated the mood and trends of the season in a totally cohesive and fluid collection of looks.


3. Missoni

Like other designers this season, Angela Missoni decided to take the label back to it's roots- knitwear. However, she sculpted a collection that strongly resembled current menswear trends, including bulky silhouettes and rich, full knits. Many collections this season were centered on analyzing dichotomies; Missoni not only effectively and flawlessly communicated this but did so with an air of traditional luxury and opulence.



Truly wearable sportswear is an absolute cornerstone of fashion, and ADAM designer Adam Lippes really knows how to craft separates that are special but still workable into almost any wardrobe. Versatility and function, balanced with a classically feminine edge, were truly evident in the ADAM A/W 2009 Collection.


5. Karl Lagerfeld

Karl Lagerfeld's superstar status in the fashion industry translates easily into his clothing; like the elite soldiers of his supreme army, Lagerfeld models strut down the runway like towering, broad shouldered titans. His namesake collection this season combined provocative motorcycle chic with military sensibility- again playing with contrasts between soft fabrics and intense sartorial elements.


Photos from Style.com


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As of yesterday, Marc Jacobs and boyfriend of one year- sexy manpanion Lorenzo Matone- are officially engaged according to WWD, People magazine, and several other reputable sources.

Said Matone of the impending union in a statement to Fashion Week Daily-"We experienced a really great vacation in St. Barth's recently. It was during the winter in December. It was super warm, people were relaxed, tanned, and we were having an amazing time with our friends. So why not? Maybe a New Year's Eve wedding in St. Barth's would be really fun."

The couple is currently in Matone's native Brazil in Sao Paulo, breaking the news to friends and family and also opening Jacob's new store in the city.

We have one word: hot.

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District L Interviews ADAM Designer Adam Lippes.


District L got an eyeful of ADAM at New York Fashion Week from the front row- now, we take an even closer look at the mind behind the line, designer Adam Lippes. We sat down with (well, Skyped with) Adam and really found out why he's being hailed as the next savant of American sportswear.


District L : Thanks so much for agreeing to do this; my colleague Amanda and I have been following you for awhile now and we really love your work. We were at your last show, it was just fantastic and we were really floored by it.

Adam Lippes: Oh, thank you so much, it's always so nice to hear you know?

DL: So you must be so busy right now.

AL: It's been crazy- we've been traveling alot, alot, alot.

DL: Yeah, what have you been up to these past couple weeks?

AL: Well, we've launched a line for Mango so I was in Spain right after the show which was really fun and we did a lot of work, and then I came back here for the New York launch. Then I went to Paris for some fabric and for some interviews...

DL: Oh, were you at Premiere Vision?

AL: You know, Premiere Vision this season happened before the fashion show, it happened early.

DL: Oh man, did that throw you off at all?

AL: Well yeah, it threw me off a little because I couldn't go! We usually head over there, but this season we couldn't go so now we're just figuring out how to do fabric in New York which we usually do, half New York and half Paris.

DL: That must have made sourcing really difficult.

AL: Exactly, I mean most of the fabric mills have offices in New York but not all- its nice to dedicate at least three full days to fabric when you're over in Europe.

DL: I can imagine. So, it sound like you've been up to...alot then!

AL: Yeah, and then after that I was in London, and now I'm back here!

DL: Wow, so this was all the in course of two and a half weeks?

AL: It was an incredible amount of travel, really exhausting.

DL: So on the subject of the show, what was the inspiration behind the Fall 2009 collection anyway?

AL: You know, I went to see an exhibit in Boston at the Peabody Museum, it was an exhibition of these hand-tinted postcards from the mid-1800's in Japan. What they were were these typical scenes of Japan, from your Samurai swordsman to your Geisha girl to Mount Fuji, and they were all hand colored. The 1850's was when Japan first opened up to tourism, so they were tourist souvenirs, and they were also meant to excite people to come to see Japan. I was really inspired by the images, and the colors, and the whole idea; a lot of the collection came from that. The embroideries, the colors, and the textures.

DL: We could definitely see that with the colors in the collection.

AL: The textures too, one of our embroideries was inspired the Samurai uniform, with a metal sweatshirt, and we had some embroideries that were inspired by cherry blossoms, and we also did a sequined dress based on the shape of Mt. Fuji.

DL: The concentric circle print skirt with the asymmetrical silver sequined top?

AL: That's the one.

DL: That was definitely one of our favorites. Your inspiration is really amazing.

AL: Well you know, my inspiration usually comes from some kind of art source for me.

DL: Well like for Spring 2009 you did the collection inspired by the exhibit at the MOMA.

AL: Yeah exactly, the Color Field exhibit. It always starts there but the styles come more from what I'm feeling and what I see on the street. I'm not a super, super downtown designer in the New York sense; my aim is not to be the "coolest kid on the block". I see people being on trend, I think that being on trend is important, feeling modern, but not being trendy. There was a really, really great quote by...I can't remember who, but he said "if you're never trendy, you're never not trendy." It's true, you know, and I think that's my unique take on fashion.

DL: Well that makes sense, you did start out as a basics designer. Would you say that's impacted your current work?

AL: You know, I went to Cornell for Psychology and I knew I always wanted to be a fashion designer. Then I moved to New York and worked for Ralph Lauren but then within a year moved to Oscar de la Renta. I grew up at Oscar; I spent eight years there, became the creative director, and sort of learned fashion on the job from arguably one of the best teachers. He's from a classic background, he's a very classic designer and that really had an impact on me with making things that were beautiful, wearable, and made people look good. I want people to be able to wear clothes and I hate it when the clothing wears the person.

DL: That's a really interesting dichotomy you present. Speaking of your experience, how did you react to style.com's statement that you were the next "torchbearer for new generation in American sportswear"?

AL: I saw the writer about a week later at one those things and I was like "Oh my God, what a lie!" and she said 'Well, you know, we feel it's true" and it's a very big honor I think, because you know everyone has different images of American sportswear. I have to say though that I agree with her because that's what I'm trying to do- it's sometimes hard to stand out when you're not trying to be the trendiest, coolest designer in the world. In the fashion world we get obsessed with cool and new, and I think that there is room for other things besides that.

DL: You definitely have a more timeless aesthetic it seems. So speaking of that, what pieces from the Fall collection do you think are going to emerge as hits? What's been getting orders, what have people been calling after, what have you been experiencing so far with that?

AL: Anything with color. All the strong color pieces, the sequin embroideries, the sweatshirts, the outerwear, anything that is special whether its color, cut ,or embroidery. Embroidery has been really strong.

DL: I can imagine, especially with the emphasis on texture, I feel that people respond really positively to that.

AL: Totally, and I think people are looking for things that are special. Then comes price and value.

DL: Any plans for a resort collection?

AL: We're doing Holiday now, and Resort, and then we do Spring. Right now though we're doing Holiday and Resort.

DL: Well hopefully we get to see that too.

AL: Well, it's more of a presentation for our resort show. Sort of a style.com presentation.

DL: You know, it really seemed like there were a lot more presentations this time around.

AL: Yeah, there were. I really noticed that too, you know it was the first time we showed in the tents.

DL: Well yeah, last year you showed at the church in the seminary garden in Chelsea. We really thought that was fantastic.

AL: It was really cool, but I love the idea of coming to the Tents because it's like arriving at the center point for American fashion and it's an honor to be able to show there.

DL: Have you been following the shows in Milan, Paris, and London at all?

AL: I've been traveling a lot, so a little bit I have. I've seen some that I thought were really beautiful- I thought that was Lanvin was incredible, Raff Simmons, I thought the colors in Balenciaga were amazing.

DL: Are there any trends you've seen emerging as you've followed the shows in New York and the other cities that you've reacted positively to?

AL: No doubt 80's is a big, big trend. Those who can do it the best, it's not so much strong shoulders but more about the silhouette. I think it's the biggest trend to come out of this. Cutouts, another big trend, but I think it's more the 80's vibe. People are depressed, they want something fun; the 80's were really fun!

DL: It's no surprise people would hark back to that...it also falls within the spectrum of the 20 year rule right now too.

AL: Oh yeah, the 20 year spin.

DL: So just to wrap up, I have a couple brief questions for you. Favorite hangout?

AL: The Waverly.

DL: Clothing store?

AL: My own, of course!

DL: Place for inspiration?

AL: The street.

DL: Muse?

AL: Coco Brandolini.

DL: Well we'd really like to thank you for your time today, Adam. We really appreciate it, and we're really excited to see what you come out with next!

AL: Well thanks and your welcome, we really appreciate your support!


District L would like to thank Adam Lippes of ADAM and TJ Allers at Paul Wilmot Communications for making this interview possible.

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Pinto Places on Vogue Top 10.


Vogue's best dressed list for this week was a usual buffet of everyone's favorite fashion plates- Kate Moss, Karen Elson, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Poppy Delevigne all placed within the top 5, much to no surprise.

However, celebrity greenhorn Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire fame took the cake on the list at number 7, photographed at the Chanel 2009 Fall RTW show in Paris looking stunning in none other than, of course, Chanel.

It looks like everyone, including Vogue, is under the spell of the sexy Indian ingenue.

Pinto is slated to star in the next Woody Allen movie to be filmed in London (of the Matchpoint, Scoop, and Cassandra's Dream ilk) and is rumored to be auditioning for a role as the next Bond girl.

Could this be just beginning of the road to becoming one in that elite eschelon of celebrity that can actually shift merchandise? Designers are going to love her...that is if they don't already.


District L is Amanda LaMela & Nicolas Sera-Leyva



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