In the Dachshund ghost pumpkin halloween shirt and I love this past week, we’ve witnessed the great American department store Barneys be sold, and the New York original Zac Posen shutter his eponymous business. “It’s not an easy time in our industry,” Posen told Vogue Runway. It’s true, the old systems seem to be coming apart at the seams, but it’s not all dire headlines: New models are emerging. Consider Steven Cox and Daniel Silver of Duckie Brown; their last runway show was in 2016. In the interim, they unwound their wholesale relationships and converted their Meatpacking District studio into a salon of sorts, one part appointment-only store, and the other art gallery, where they host private clients and events that split the difference between art openings and pop-up markets. A visit to their charming, well-curated space is as energizing as a trip through a big-box store is depleting. The smaller-is-better approach feels right for all the familiar reasons: the winnowing of established names from Fashion Week, the glut of stuff not only in our closets but also in our landfills, and consumers’ growing distaste for giant corporations (see: the tech backlash) among them. It’s right for Cox and Silver in particular because they’re making non-flashy but still, special wardrobing pieces designed for real life, not the runway, like trenches, combines, drop-crotch pants, and drop-sleeve button-downs, plus the occasional one-off triathlon short in a kitschy silk print. If you want a fall piece or even an archival Duckie look in a fabric from the giant stack of rolls under their work table, they can make that for you for a surcharge. Conveniently for all involved, since there’s no longer a “middle man,” they’re able to charge less and still earn more than they did pre-restructure. On their spring 2020 racks are a pair of trenches: one is an almost weightless buff-colored silk and the other in a bright yellow stiff-waxed cotton, identically cut yet entirely different in effect. Ingenuity through practicality; it’s a simple recipe for complicated times, and it’s working for Duckie Brown. Velvet has a sheen to it, subtle, yes, which makes it an iffy fabric to wear if one doesn’t have a beautiful figure, but Catherine does, so it worked wonderfully. Velvet (in navy, how chic) is a favourite of mine for Christmastime and parties in winter. The Duchess smiled as she drove in with Prince William who wore white tie for the event. William looked dapper and happy, and the reception was for more than 1,000 guests. Impressive!
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We’re desperately in need of a scale against which to measure brands’ sustainability; in the Dachshund ghost pumpkin halloween shirt and I love this meantime, there’s always the test of time. “I think the comment I hear most,” said Norma Kamali, “is, ‘Oh, I still have your…[whatever].’ It really does make me feel great to think [that something I designed a long time ago] is still in their wardrobe.” Kamali’s catalog is so large and so adaptable, if she didn’t get bored easily, she could just rest on her laurels. Timing is an art, and of late, many of the designer’s rereleases are dictated by which of her vintage pieces are trending on Instagram; hence the reappearance of the Puli jumpsuit (Look 59) for Spring. Last Fall, Kamali revisited her “Modern Sculpture” dress—a tube separated from its connected sleeves by giant round cutouts sort of like a Henry Moore sculpture. Beyoncé and her team saw it and ordered customized versions for the “Spirit” video shot for The Lion King. It’s back for Spring as a dress, top, and jumpsuit, and in new fabrications. Speaking of art, Kamali has updated her parachute coat with metallic silver nylon that is almost as shiny as one of Jeff Koons’s reflective pieces. We talk a lot in the office about adapting swimwear for city life. Kamali, who is noted for her skills in this area, makes it easy with bra tops and other convertible pieces (another signature). For the daring, there are nude-illusion options; more covered but also chic are her “diaper” bottoms, first popularized by Claire McCardell in the 1940s. Kamali is still going strong with gender-fluid design “I think it’s becoming more and more real every season,” she noted and she photographed her Spring 2020 collection in two sessions, one on women, the other on men, some of whom are employees. The latter were invited to bring their own accessories and to choose and style any pieces they like. They selected their own poses as well. “They all chose this [wrap] dress,” Kamali noted, “and it’s very funny because it’s a dress I did in the ’70s, and it was the first dress that guys ever bought from me.” Good design, apparently, has no expiration date. “Clothes,” states Kamali, “have to function, but they also have to make you happy.” The empire didn’t exist when the English army started to wear red. The British army could be called the British army, and not the English army by the end of the 17th century. However red comes about due to the English civil war and the parliament’s “New Model Army” which was formed in 1645.