OSCARS 2015 FASHION REVIEW

Jennifer Hudson's dress was my favorite from the Oscars Red Carpet; very classy!

       

 

 

 

REMINISCING ON MY FIRST FOOTWEAR DESIGN SEASON

Being around product design for some time, I had developed the desire to merge into that lane at some point.  Then, in 2004, I met someone who asked me to design a "collection" of footwear for kids.  This wasn't just one, or two shoes.  It was 30 some.  It also wasn't just the sketch that I could then pass on to a development team.  No, this was the whole kit and kaboodle.  This project meant I would be choosing the color palettes and picking materials at a factory in Brazil.  I also developed a spec sheet to fill out for each shoe and hand off to the factory.  Although, I did get a good base understanding of the core colors and materials from my client; I did some trend research on the high end Euro market, and then applied more of the detailing, colors and textured leather looks to some of the more trendy styles. One of the first little footwear designs from 2004 [ see below ].  It was called the Lickety Split. I was thrilled with how it turned out. The factory got the deco stitch on the toe, pebble grained leather + a little suede collar just right.  I designed the little outsole to have a star on one foot and a half moon on the other. It's always very rewarding to see the final product reach the market.

THE LICKETY SPLIT

THE LICKETY SPLIT

Another first was this boot - called the bon bon. Another thrill, as the supple leather [ called destroy ] gave the little boot a biker feel. I thought the top stitch added nice dimension.  

THE BON BON

THE BON BON

Below is another boot that I collaborated more closely on, with the factory owner - Sergio - from Brazil. I came up with the colors, material, pinked overlay and fur, and he provided inspiration for the wooden button closure system. The factory contacts from Brazil were fun, respectful, loyal, hard-working and team-oriented individuals.  I really enjoyed working with them.  They were originally from Germany and when I was on a visit - they would be sure to treat me to the best Italian, French or German cuisine in or near Novo Hamburgo. Miss that!

WOODEN BUTTON BOOT

WOODEN BUTTON BOOT

The mary jane below, called the Be Bop, I believe became what seemed like the style guide for the Umi brand for years to come. The x-stitch, tumbled leather, leather brand patch and custom printed lining are some of the unique details that were repeated in various ways and still are.

BE BOP

BE BOP

SADDLE SHOE

SADDLE SHOE

FALL 2014 NY RUNWAY FAVORITES

Because of the combination of textures, black leather and fine detailing, Balmain is a favorite of mine.

BALMAIN FROM THE SPRING 2014 NY FASHION WEEK FOR FALL 2014

BALMAIN FROM THE SPRING 2014 NY FASHION WEEK FOR FALL 2014

I like these ballerina styles from Valentino.

These styles caught my eye as well for the sophistication in design

JORDAN CP3

This style features one very cool material.  The color designer and I decided on the specialized color-shifting upper film for a story inspired colorway.  I worked with a vendor to develop a version of it for the kid's model.

JORDAN CP DRAGONFLY AVAILABLE ON FOOTLOCKER.COM

JORDAN CP DRAGONFLY AVAILABLE ON FOOTLOCKER.COM

JORDAN FLIGHT CLUB 90

I enjoyed working on this shoe with Giorgio, the footwear designer.  He had a vision to use a material that had a reflective layer, therefore I went to the vendor and developed the material with an updated elephant print and the original elephant print which is shown below. The strap overlay has an embossed texture that matched the top layer textile.   To take the shoe down to kids, we developed a different base material under the textile at a kid friendly price point.  This shoe is a good representation of the team coming together to bring a perspective from initial product brief, followed by design intent, material, color, and development input.

THE JORDAN FLIGHT CLUB 90 SHOWN IN MEN'S, GRADESCHOOL AND TODDLER VERSIONS, AVAILABLE ON FOOTLOCKER.COM.

THE JORDAN FLIGHT CLUB 90 SHOWN IN MEN'S, GRADESCHOOL AND TODDLER VERSIONS, AVAILABLE ON FOOTLOCKER.COM.

WALL TEXTURES

One of the things I've loved about working with footwear materials is the gorgeous texture of authentic leathers.  Sadesa, Prime Asia and Simona have some amazing specialty leathers and nubucks with various effects applied.  Recently I've taken on the task of adding texture and effects to some of my walls with the help of my designer friend, Michele Kler.  We decided on a plaster skip trowel technique in the kitchen-family area.  I love how the second glaze coat brings out the nuances of the "artistically applied" home made italian-looking plaster.  

The second effect is a tissue paper texture in the bathrooms with a copper metallic finish in one, and a gold finish in the other.  They resemble the look of a metallic, distressed leather.  Both of these processes are time-consuming, however, the elegant outcome is well worth the effort.

I still need to take some great pictures - to be posted later.

View some of Michele's work here:  

http://artanddesign.wix.com/transformedwalls


 

 

BOLD BLACK AND WHITE DESIGN INSPIRATION

Bold black and white stripes and patterns have dominated many back-to-school displays in local fashion retail shops.  Designers drew inspiration from 2013 runway fashions and retailers jumped on board. 

The image below is a collage of pictures from local Portland area shops, H&M, Express and the Gap.  Macy's also featured bold black and white on their mannequin group displays in the Junior's section.  This trend is carried down equally into the kid's fashions.

As you may have guessed from my website design, I too, was inspired to create my website graphics from the couture trend, and love the black and white combination with a hint of yellow.  

Bold black and white retail presentations.

Bold black and white retail presentations.

Black and white runway fashions.

Black and white runway fashions.

Yellow on the runway. 

Yellow on the runway.