Sophomore Aces Another Video Lookbook with ‘Truth or Dare’

We’ve been fans of NYC clothing label Sophomore for quite some time. And while we definitely fawn over the designs by Chrissie Miller and Madeleine von Froomer, we’re also pretty obsessed with their documentary-style video lookbooks, shot by photographer Cass Bird each season. The latest film to roll out is for their SS11 collection, and we’re loving the concept. This is Truth or Dare.

Shot at the Bowery Hotel, the film reads like a who’s-who of downtown cool, featuring actress-designer extraordinaire Chloë Sevigny, author Lesley Arfin, actress Drea de Matteo, agent/style icon Jen Brill, and tattoo artist Scott Campbell, among others. While we’re not sure if they all really do hang out and dare one another to do things like chop onions until they cry (Brill’s dare) or kiss Chloë Sevigny (Arfin’s dare), but it’s fun to watch. Although Truth or Dare is inspired by Madonna’s doc that followed her controversial Blond Ambition tour in 1990, it’s definitely not as racy. But the point here is to sell clothes—and they do it well.

In addition to Sophomore’s designs, the stars can also be seen sporting shoes by Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, and jewelry by Anne Sheffield and another BlackBook regular, Pamela Love. See the video below and shop here.

Sophomore Truth or Dare from SophomoreNYC on Vimeo.

First Look: Sophomore Spring 2011 Lookbook

Sophomore designs clothes for the cool girls. You know, the girls who hang with the band, watch sports, eat carbs, collect vinyl, and aren’t afraid to leave the house without any makeup on. And cool girls want unfussy clothing that’s focused more on comfort and less on trend, and designed with a modern quality but still has a vintage feel. Sophomore’s spring 2011 collection gets it just right. When I spoke to Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller earlier this year, she mentioned that her label is all about producing “fancy basics”—clothing you can wear uptown, but still always feel downtown. See a few of our favorite fancy basics after the jump.

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Pieces like the printed drawstring pants and geo-print maxi dress can be dressed up with heels and accessories for a fashion event or worn with sandals to run to Whole Foods.

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The white henley dress is just right for Montauk weekends, and the black jersey bustier paired with the drawstring skirt is perfect for just about any party on your radar.

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The shorts and tie-dye pieces are cool-girl-worthy too, especially for the ones who ride their sweet vintage cruisers around the city, looking all cute and stuff. Damn them!

Fashion Films From Proenza, Wang, & More

Fashion’s love affair with film looks like it’s only gathering steam. While Chrissie Miller has promised a narrative short for her FW10 collection (a cinematic installment has become a seasonal signature of her brand, Sophomore), a few designers are getting into the pictures game for the first time this coming fashion week. Proenza Schouler is entering the medium with a bang, having enlisted cult adored director Harmony Korine to capture the essence of their collection on film. “[Lazaro] Hernandez and [Jack] McCullough armed Korine with one of [Christopher] Wool’s photographs and a batch of their designs, which Korine took to Nashville, Tennessee, or as he puts it, ‘the greatest place on earth’,” says Nowness. “The resulting film (turned around in just one and a half days) is classic Korine: jagged, poignant, beautiful. Its protagonists are anxious teen girls on the threshold of adulthood—’part of the system, yet still outsiders,’ explains McCollough.” Stills from the film and a Q&A about with the duo is on Nowness as of today; the film in question won’t debut until September, when you can find it on Proenza Schouler’s site.

Alexander Wang is following suit with a short film that will premiere on his site as well as outlets like French Vogue, LOVE, and Style.com, among others. “The short video features model Abbey Lee (‘dancing and moving along’) and works the subtle Wall Street vibe that inspired Wang’s fall collection,” says WWD. “Abbey’s not walking down Wall Street past buildings, but there’s wind and newspapers flying all over the place. It’s very moody and seductive—like looking at a perfume ad where you feel for the girl a lot more. Rather than saying, ‘here’s the product,’ this is more about expressing ourselves,” says Wang (who doesn’t deny a Wang-certified fragrance could also launch at some point in the future).

And over in Italy, Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce are taking their filmic interest one step further by forming their very own production company, Dolce & Gabbana Motion Pictures. Their first creation is a short called ‘Quando Quando Quando,’ which will be released on September 7th, and looks a lot like a perfume ad meets anything by Michelangelo Antonioni circa the 60s. That said, don’t expect any of these designers to be pulling a full-on Tom Ford just yet.

Photo via Nowness.com

Top 3: Chrissie Miller of Sophomore

There’s something game-changing about Chrissie Miller’s Sophomore line that has boutiques around the world buzzing with interest. Not your everyday basics line, each collection holds true to the “timeless simplicity of downtown New York” (well-put by the brand website), but also incorporates contemporary fabrics, fits, and silhouettes. What was once a simple a t-shirt line revered by NYC cool kids, Sophomore has expanded into a full-on collection of leggings, jackets, dresses, and outerwear, with the help of Proenza Schoulder designer Madeline von Froomer. And while the designs are growing up a bit, one thing that hasn’t been sacrificed is comfort. “I love to be comfortable—who doesn’t? Which is why Sophomore is what I like to call ‘fancy basics.’ You can get dressed up without feeling uncomfortable,” says Chrissie.

Maintaining that easy, breezy lifestyle vibe of the brand, Sophomore’s lookbooks shot by acclaimed photographer Cass Bird are just as talked about as the clothing itself. “We come up with some of the craziest ideas! Cass will call me and be so excited about something and vice versa. I just love working with her—she is magical,” notes Chrissie. “Anyone who has met her knows that just being around her makes you smile. The ideas for each lookbook usually have a lot to do with the mood of the clothes, so we pick the location and cast based on that.” Earlier this year, the longtime friends and collaborators went viral by creating a Sophomore spring/summer 2010 lookbook short film (a must-see), followed by a premiere party at The Box. Up next for the Sophomore takeover: a collaboration with Urban Outfitters.

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1. Madison HardingCanvas Espadrille Heels – “Why doesn’t every girl own these for spring?! I just think they are genius, because I love espadrilles but am not a fan of the wedge. I love all three colors!”

2. SophomoreButton Pullover – “Ok, so I made this…but it’s amazing and I can’t imagine summer without it! It’s the perfect beach pullover.”

3. Bona DragLighter Necklace – “So I just saw The Runaways movie and I kept noticing the lighter necklaces on the girls. I had been looking for them for a while after seeing the movie Foxes, but never had any luck! Sure enough, here they are on Bona Drag! Sick!!!”

Chrissie Miller on the Future of Sophomore

In a recent interview with Chrissie Miller — Sophomore’s super cool designer (and scion of famed astrologer Susan Miller) — Missbehave magazine’s editor Lesley Arfin uncovers a number of gems regarding the designer’s burgeoning label and downtown NYC youth culture, of which Miller and Arfin have long been bona fide card-carrying members. First, Arfin divulges how the pair met: “I introduced myself to Chrissie because I liked her T-shirt. That’s how cool kids used to meet back in the day. They complimented each other’s gear because American Apparel didn’t exist yet and 50/50 poly-cotton blends were scarce.” While in the conversation Miller touches on which tees (the lifeblood of her label) have been the most successful (surprisingly, the peace sign), she also muses quite a bit on designs not yet executed and where she foresees the brand moving in the future.

“The one shirt that I really want to make that I never made, another one that I don’t know if people would get … You know the “Listen to Bob Marley” shirt? I want to make one that says, “Listen to the War Report,” Miller says. As for her long-term plans: “I kind of have this fantasy about doing a big band and doing all their merch, like their leather jackets and their pins … I’d love to do new Rolling Stones stuff, because their stuff sucks right now. Kings of Leon, The Strokes, yeah there are tons of bands I would totally — I would even do it for free because it’s so much fun.” Either way, the secret, she says, is sticking to what comes easy. “Those are the ones that work the best, the one’s that come together that quickly. If I’m struggling with it I try to just move on.”

Sophomore Debuts New Look with Cory Kennedy & Pals

imageChrissie Miller, designer to the downtown it-girl set and scion of celebrated astrologer Susan Miller, has released images from her latest look book. Photographed by Cass Bird (a seasoned Miller collaborator), the book showcases Sophomore’s SS09 collection sported by a slew of Miller’s friends, who often double as models for the line. Included in the mix are Cobrasnake protégé Cory Kennedy, musicians Lissy Trullie and Harley Viera Newton, and rock offspring Alexandra Richards.

The photos showcase Bird’s inimitable Kids-meets-The Virgin Suicides aesthetic. The clothes are classic Sophomore — cute tanks and tees and a signature black miniskirt, most of which are adorned with zippers or buttons. Altogether, the look book epitomizes the kind of lackadaisical hot, summer afternoon of which I am in feverish (literally, I’ve had the flu all week) anticipation.