Everything You Need to See at Frieze, According to Cynthia Rowley

Photo: Cynthia Rowley by Sam Deitch/BFAnyc.com

We sent designer Cynthia Rowley into the madness of Frieze to do a little reconnaissance, and she came back with these gems. Here’s everything you need to see at Frieze, according to Cynthia Rowley.

If you want to get your hands dirty, stop by Gavin Brown’s DIY make-the-painting-yourself art booth, created by Jonathan Horowitz. It is totally genius.

If you need to recharge a bit, visit Korakrit Arunandchai’s massage chair at Frieze Project space.

Martin Creed’s ginormous wall paintings at Hauser and Wirth are positively exuberant. Please come paint the outside of my whole house, Martin!

The Democratization of Fashion Week, Or How To Sit Front Row at #NYFW From Anywhere In The World

Cynthia Rowley’s FW ’15 Inspiration, Photo Courtesy of Cynthia Rowley

Welcome to the digital age. We’ve only been living in it for at least ten fashion seasons by now. It’s hard to even remember #NYFW before the age of the internet, let alone Instagram. If the show starts at 11, and the hashtag isn’t trending by 11:02–latest, did it even happen!?!

So, given the increasingly public domain that a designer’s work becomes, instantly, some are choosing to do away with the exclusivity that creates poorly lit-grams-as-commodity entirely and making the presentation of their latest creations a public affair…or, at least expanding the invitation. Hello, livestreams…

So if you live for fashion and just don’t live in NYC, welcome to #NYFW, the democracy. It’s a good time to be alive.


The LiveStreaming Revolution

Virtually every show at #NYFW is livestreaming over on http://newyorkfashionweeklive.com/ so there’s no need to leave your laptop to feel like you’re in the front row. A handful of designers are even opting to give you more access, curatiing live video direct from their sites:

  • Rag&Bone Livestream onFebruary 16 at 8pm EST. Keep your eyes on twitter and instagram @rag_bone #rbfw

UPDATE: Watch it right here


Videos Instead of Runways

This season Cynthia Rowley will forgo the runway altogether in favor of a video presentation. We talked with the designer on Monday about the reasoning behind her choice to go exclusively digital this coming Friday.

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“There’s a million reasons,” she said, “but, I’ve been trying to evolve the runway show for a few years now. First of all, we’re in fashion, so we should always be trying to do something fresh and present the work in a fresh new way, instead of just like straight runway.”

“The end product are the photos,” she noted,“Stills, video, slow-mo, GIFs…it’s a digital world and we shop online–people are used to looking at clothes to buy. Editors are used to looking at it to pull samples. Bill [her husband] has his gallery and people are buying important works of art on an iPad.” Technology can serve fashion in much the same way. Through video, Rowley explains, “everyone can see it and see details–you can watch it 10 times if you want…it’s like instant replay.”

Going Global

Kanye’s in on it too. Just this morning, he told Ryan Seacrest, “we’re not only gonna show the presentation to buyers and press the way they do at fashion shows we’re going to show the presentation 10 times over the next 2 days.” And he wants to make the unveiling a world-wide affair: “We’re going to stream the presentation to 40 locations across the globe: Johannesburg, Melbourne, Sydney, London, Atlanta, Chicago.” Kanye (of all people!) wants to take a more democratic route to showcasing his new wares as well: “I want everybody. This isn’t about elitism, this isn’t about separatism, this is about as many people being involved with this vision as possible.”

Yeezy Season

A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

More To Come

Expect more high-tech collabs this season. Last season, Rag & Bone partnered with GoPro, mounting the tiny camera in various spots along the runway. The result was a series of mesmerizing runway videos which were then promptly posted on the brand’s very own YouTube channel for millions to see.

5 High Fashion Athleisure Collabs to Drool Over and Shop This Season

Photo courtesy of Nike

High fashion sportswear is going nowhere. In preparation for her upcoming athleisure line (see below), Rebecca Minkoff discussed the trend with her staff. As WWD reported:

During an informal office survey, most of Minkoff’s female staffers told her that on weekends they wanted to look as if they’d worked out, even if they hadn’t.

It’s a sign of the times. While some feel more staunchly than others that these lines shouldn’t be so blurred, the newest batch of designer sportswear suggests that voice is in the minority. When it comes to sales especially, the mantra must remain: give the people what they want!

These are the best of the fashion inspired athletic lines out there right now. Get shopping and get moving!


This triple whammy of a collaboration, which came out on Monday, features three up-and-coming lines’ take on the trend. While sporty–the basketball aesthetic inspiration is apparent–the line is more mesh dresses, satin bombers, and tailored sweats than wicking spandex.


craig greenChampion Select lookbook image courtesy of Urban Outfitters

The Craig Green oversized mens’ sweatshirt is available here. 

[Ed Note: This men’s sweatshirt can also work as a women’s minidress…]


wood woodChampion Select lookbook image courtesy of Urban Outfitters

The Wood Wood sports bra and shorts are available here. 


timo weilandChampion Select lookbook image courtesy of Urban Outfitters.

Timo Weiland’s mesh v-neck dress is available here. 


rebecca minkoffPhoto courtesy of Rebecca Minkoff

The bag-turned-everything designer’s entrée into the world of casual gym-to-work-to-dinner clothes makes sense. Minkoff’s brand is ever expanding and already straddles a daytime/nighttime look. Keep this one in the back of your mind, since the official launch won’t be until April…but then you can stock up on neoprene (the fitness fashion fabric du jour) pieces, vests with leather trim, and more on the designer’s site and Shopbop.


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Photos courtesy of Cynthia Rowley

Cynthia Rowley’s impending athleisure debut is perhaps even more par for the course than Minkoff’s. Rowley, after all, has been designing wet suits for what feels like forever, and is a star athlete/surfer/trampoliner herself. Her new line, which she told Well & Good came about from the realization that “more and more, being active really is the way people dress and live their lives,” launches February.


Sneakers with a fashion spin are downright commonplace and the newest iteration is this futuristic collaboration (for men and women) between French brand Sandro, and Reebok.


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js nike 3Photos courtesy of Nike

I’m genuinely excited about each and every item on this list. In fact, in a perfect world I would buy all of them. That’s the extent of my commitment to athleisure fashion. But can we take a second to truly geek out over Nike’s latest collab with German designer, Johanna Schneider? Schneider’s collaboration with Nike drops on February 26. The collection is tailor-made to cater to every part of your fitness journey–the to, the from, and everything in between. The drape-y layers are reminiscent of current fashion, but drop a layer and you’ll still be ready for spin class.

Let’s hope the new goods will have a positive correlation with the bettering of our health.

Britney Spears Does Fashion, Maserati for a Cause, and Athleticwear: #NYFW Day 6

Sara: I officially can barely remember what day it is!

Alyssa: It’s Wednesday, remember (just keep swimming).

Sara: Swimming! That sounds fun actually. Emily and I would have been down to swim when we stopped by Le Bain tonight.


Emily: Yup that would’ve made my night.

Alyssa: It probably would have made everyone’s night who was there, too. Unless you splashed them, of course. Chlorine ruins couture.

Emily: Probably would’ve ruined my Topshop as well.

Alyssa: So glad we found a few minutes to get together tonight at the 1 of 100 Maserati event with Zegna. That much needed glass of champagne was my first of the week. Horrors! But also that car is super chic. And if you buy one, the money goes to restoring a fountain in Italy. It is basically like charity, so who wants to buy (me) a Mas for a cause?

Sara: Mmm, petite foods!

Alyssa: (Followed by normal sized foods at Gitane.)

Sara: Mmm, avocado toast. My doorman is so cute. He always asks me if I’m surviving and then tells me how many days I have left.

Alyssa: How many is it?

Sara: Two!

Emily: Homestretch!

Sara: So today I saw BRITNEY guys. Definitely my top moment of the day. OTHER than dinner with you ladies which was the first time I’ve been social in days and so wonderful.

Emily: And you got a picture with Anna Dello Russo!

Sara: Guys, I have very few filters, but I will not share that terrifying picture taken in the elevator of The Standard.

Alyssa: Hold up. No offense to ADR, she’s cool and all, but CAN WE TALK ABOUT BRITNEY JEAN.

Sara: Okay so Britney’s line is HOT.

Alyssa: She’s doing lingerie, right?

Sara: Yeah, it was actually really funny, because during the presentation, one model would come out in a straight up thong and bra but then the next would be wearing conservative pajamas. What a contrast. And then, at the end, we were graced with about 30 seconds of Britney looking really, really good in a red jumpsuit who thanked us for coming. I didn’t get to speak with her or selfie (which would have completed my life) but I was in the front row! I’m not sure where the lingerie is sold, but I would definitely buy it. In fact, I’m gonna check out the website right now.

OMG–there’s a video.

Every style has a video…….one is called anemone…..okay wait they don’t all have videos but whaaaat.

New favorite website. It seems it will mostly be e-commerce–the most brick and mortar stores are in Belgium and Germany… strange. The girls had roses in their hair, it was very pretty. I weirdly feel like I need to order something to support Britney.

Emily: Speaking of pretty hairstyles, I was into the models’ hair at Cynthia Rowley. They had these gold/silver foil things in that looked kind of mermaid-y.

Sara: Emily is super into mermaids 🙂

Emily: Hope to one day attend classes here.

Sara: I would gladly join.

Alyssa: I’m more like Ariel when she’s on dry land and hanging out with Prince Eric.

Sara: So we all went to Karolyn Pho before our champagne+dinner excursion…

but before that I went to Diesel Black Gold in the morning at the 33rd street Post Office. I always wanted to see a show there. I remember last year dropping my boss off in front for the Rag & Bone show and thinking kinda: “wow.” So that was cool! I saw across the room from Giovanna Battaglia and ADR and after the show I really got what this uber driver meant when he said THIS:

Emily: Just Cynthia Rowley for me–lots of bright colors, florals, and interesting prints. I was into it.

Sara: I would like to give a quick shoutout to one of the nicest people in fashion: Peter Arnold has been the president of Cynthia Rowley for a bunch of years. He just always puts me in a great mood. I ZIPPED from Britney to Cynthia because a. I always love her collections–they’re whimsical, really and b. Peter is delightful. He also wears the coolest glasses.

Emily: Yeah whimsical perfectly described it. One outfit looked like something out of I Dream of Jeannie while the activewear clothes actually looked pretty sleek and modern.

Sara: Can we speak for a second about how, this season, the clothes either LOOK like activewear or ARE activewear? Cynthia debuted activewear?

Emily: It was pretty cute.  I could maybe get excited about exercising with some of those outfits.

Alyssa: As good of a reason to get a new outfit as any.


A Glittering Evening Exploring Africa With Waris Ahluwalia

An evening set at the Explorers Club on the Upper East Side already has a certain feel to it. Aside from being uptown, you’re surrounded by relics gathered from far-flung adventures, flags that have traveled both to the summit of Everest and the depths of the Mariana Trench (thanks to James Cameron’s deep ocean dive) and a roaring taxidermy polar bear, (the roar unfortunately disabled for cocktail hour). Members have traveled the globe and to the moon, so the headquarters were a helpfully dramatic setting to imagine the African travels of jewelry designer Waris Ahluwalia, who Forevermark took to Botswana and South Africa to see firsthand the sourcing of the diamonds used in their collaboration.

Waris’ glittering creations were displayed on the second floor while we looked on with champagne, ogling through glass as security loomed nearby. It’s not as if the guards had to worry much, guests like Vanessa Traina, Liya Kebede, Chelsea Leyland, Cynthia Rowley or Natasha Lyonne weren’t likely to stage a heist, though I’m sure we wouldn’t have objected to trying on a few pieces.

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Eventually the party moved on to dinner, Waris seated near designer Olivier Theyskens and Forevermark execs, the designer’s sweet mother hosting another table, seated close to heir Jamie Johnson and writer Glenn O’Brien. Before the meal began, Waris showed a short film of his African expedition, saying “This spring I went on a journey of discovery. To the origins of my materials… To see with my own eyes where diamonds come from and the impact Forevermark has on the people and the land. An experience that’s going to stay with me forever.”


After a dinner where the waiters continued to refill the wine glasses endlessly, the party moved downtown to Bar Naná (previously Double Seven)… post which the after after party took place at the just-opened Paul (Sevigny)’s Baby Grand at the back of the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Fortunately it was a Friday, as the celebration for Waris went all night.

Photos courtesy Julio Gamboa/BFA

Top Knots Going Strong

Top knots have come and gone in fashion, but these days they’re going strong. So, if you’re not taking to the turban or headscarf trend sweeping countless crowns this summer, step right up and get your very own sumo-approved top knot. All the top fashion bloggers are wearing them (ahem, Susie Bubble), or photographing women sporting them (ahem, Maya of Turned Out). Cynthia Rowley, too, is a fan: the designer outfitted all of the models for her recent Resort 2011 presentation with buns on top of their heads.

Monique Lhuiller embraced braided versions for her Fall 2010 runway show. Even Russel Brand is a fan. After all, it’s officially summer. And nothing beats the heat like channeling Sumo wrestlers’ style. And by that I mean top knots, not cloth diapers.

Photo courtesy of Turned Out

Who Should Redesign JetBlue’s Uniforms?

JetBlue had better step up in terms of the frock department. With Delta/Northwest rocking Richard Tyler designs and Cynthia Rowley getting cozy with United, JetBlue is starting to look a little downmarket in the uniform department. Maybe they should go completely avant garde and get Alexander McQueen to design their next set of dress blues. The dresses could come with couture hoods and to-the-floor capes. I’m thinking yards and yards of lace and tulle with studded accents.

Maybe the stewardess could practice couture poses as they hand out drinks. Or maybe JetBlue could pick up on the current Mad Men craze and get Modcloth to help choose outfits for the flight crew. Think of the pencil skirts and cashmere sweaters! Or JetBlue could just hit it out of the park and get Marc Jacobs or Zac Posen to help them create drool-worthy uniforms. If they did it right, they could even start selling the uniforms on their websites as legit Halloween costumes, or for those who like a little “flight attendant” roleplay in the home boudoir.

One-Day Tour: Intro to New York’s West Village

Stay: A quaint neighborhood calls for an equally quaint hotel. Abingdon Guest House has the vibe of a small-town bed and breakfast — it’s not for everyone, but its location is ideal for the atypical visitor.

10 a.m. Regular patrons of ‘ino appreciate the dim, cozy bar for an evening glass of wine, but it’s also a perfect breakfast destination. Sit by the front window, read your paper, and order the famous truffled egg toast with a strong shot of espresso.

11 a.m. Set off on a walking tour. Stroll along Bleecker Street for a taste of the neighborhood ‘s eclectic vibe — Marc Jacobs boutiques (there are three of them), record shops, and antique dealers all peacefully coexist. Stop in at Cynthia Rowley for quirky tailored skirts and sweaters. Later, find your way onto Barrow and Morton for picturesque, tree-lined streets and brownstones.

1:30 p.m. For lunch with pretty scenery, head to neighborhood newcomer Kingswood. Aussie-inflected fare, like the Bronte burger, is served within view of blooming magnolias at the nearby Jefferson Market Garden. During the winter months, the interior is enough to keep the eyes pleased — butterflies and an ostentatious taxidermy peacock decorate the space. Or, for a local favorite, try Pearl Oyster Bar. Established by Rebecca Charles in 1997, it’s widely considered the best New England-style seafood shack in town. Sit at the counter for a skate sandwich and crisp glass of white wine.

3 p.m.. Move on over to Greenwich Avenue and get all of your shopping done on one street. Stop at the Christian Louboutin Boutique for a pair of decadent, bejeweled shoes, or Otte, for the latest from Loeffler Randall and 3.1. Phillip Lim. Jonathan Adler for whimsical home decor items like a playful giraffe-shaped sconce or ceramic squirrel ringbox. Finally, pop into travel shop Flight001 for the newest carry-on by Orla Kiely — you’ll need it to lug home all of your loot.

5 p.m. Skip the dreadful line at Magnolia and have sweets with a clean, green conscience. City Bakery’s Maury Rubin is also the owner of Birdbath — an organic bakeshop that‘s sustainable in every way, from its interior (the walls are made of wheat) to its food (organic and local, naturally). Portions are enormous, so share a chewy gingerbread cookie; or, if you’re vegan, go for the banana sesame agave cake.

5:30 p.m. Sports enthusiasts should check out the West 4th Street court, otherwise known as "The Cage", for some amateur basketball. Players can get aggro in such close confines — it just makes the games all the more interesting.

7 p.m. Have dinner at Mas, where acclaimed chef Galen Zamarra changes the menu daily based on what’s in season. Whatever is on the menu du jour is likely to be exquisite, as is the farmhouse meets townhouse vibe of the place.

9 p.m.. For something divey minus the stench of beer and puke, grab a brew after dinner at the Rusty Knot. The nautical-themed bar is a curious juxtaposition of high and low: an evening of 99-cent cans and tiki drinks command a surly doorman and long wait times, while a borderline trashy bar menu (pretzels, pigs in blankets) is cooked up by a talented, pedigreed chef.

Midnight Rev up your evening at the ultra-exclusive Socialista. Its breezy, tropical décor and sexy cocktail menu successfully evokes an evening in Havana. But be warned: Getting in can be a crapshoot.

Late Night Cap off your night with a late visit to Beatrice Inn, the speakeasy cool spot that keeps downtowners buzzing.