“Bigger, Better, and More Leather!” for Zana Bayne

Models backstage at Zana Bayne. Photo by Sonny Vandevelde. 

Maybe it’s because it’s impossible to resist a cute baby, but more likely the romantic mood and beautiful styling of Zana Bayne’s spring 2015 collection did me in. However I got hooked, I am, and I had the pleasure of speaking with the designer about real life moments on the runway and what’s next for her brand. 

The collection felt like a growth and departure from the strict leather of previous seasons; there’s a lot of depth with the inclusion of the clean white pieces.

I have a totally romantic point of view when it comes to design. A lot of the initial inspiration, with the shirting and shirt dresses [a collaboration with Norisol Ferrari], was this idea of easiness and lightness, being able to bring something softer to leather. Which sometimes can come off really hard. So I wanted to bring something beach-y to the collection. One of the biggest inspirations was moonlit water on the beach at night. What would somebody be wearing in that setting? How would they be feeling?

Look 2

When I watched the show and saw these beautiful looks, it made me want to pack up the collection, move to a house by the water and fall in love… and then the baby at the end felt so perfect for that! I mean, that’s how it works in real life, right? How did the baby come to be in the show?

The model is Mollie Gondi, and that was her baby. I just thought it’d be a really beautiful way to end this romantic, fantastical show. I wasn’t really thinking so much about the symbolism as I was about the visual of just how impactful that would be. I like for people to draw their own narrative from having them [Mollie and baby Phoenix] in there. But I wanted it to be a really pretty, spring summer collection! I didn’t really realize how much having baby Phoenix at the end would really resonate with people. And it’s unexpected for a leather collection.

Look 25

There have been a few moments like that this season, where it’s not strictly models on the runway. Dustin Yellin walked at Nonoo giving his best white girl impression. That obviously had more humor and was less about symbolism… Travi$ Scott basically roughhoused down the runway at Mark McNairy. At your show, when cooed at the same time it was so funny.

I saw it over the monitor!

It was a nice connecting moment, everyone laughed at themselves after.

Yeah I think people are trying to find a way to bring more life to runway, and hearken back to the ‘90s runway where there was personality and a story. We’re all kind of trying to find a way to escape the fast walk and the same pacing. For me I love a little bit of attitude and sassiness… but even with the Gareth Pugh presentation, that’s another person trying to take something off the runway.

Opening Ceremony put on a play.

It’s something really special for people at the show. It’s a moment you’re experiencing.

What’s next, what do you hope happens for your brand?

After this we go into sales, bring everything to Paris…. Checking out the tannery over in Amsterdam, hopefully working on some leather innovations there. Visiting my friend who just had a baby — another reason why I had Phoenix in the show. I think in October we’re back in New York and starting on the new collection! I’m making pieces for a film this next week. I did a special installation for a fitness studio called Monster Cycle.

I’m really interested in focusing on the collection of handbags. There were five new styles for the show. We’re working on those. I’m trying to secure myself in as a luxury accessories label.

It does not stop from here. I’m glad it doesn’t stop. Bigger, better, and more leather!

Spring’s New Erogenous Zone

According to spring 2011 runways next season will welcome a new erogenous zone in women’s wear. While FW10 catwalks showcased plunging neckline after plunging neckline, with quite a few bustiers and corset tops thrown in for good measure, this fashion week the industry’s gaze is moving beyond the bust. Take Marc Jacobs’ recently debuted new collection for Louis Vuitton, for instance. The designer (who Style.com says credits his influences for the collection as “Art Deco, Art Nouveau, orientalism”), sent all eyes to the thighs of his highly-stylized mannequins. There were slits rising up to quite a few model’s waists, as well as completely pant-less looks: all of which put a large emphasis on legs.

Stefano Pilati over at Yves Saint Laurent had the same idea. The second look that Pilati sent down his SS11 runway featured a model looking the definition of reserved minimalism in a white blazer and skirt (a slicked-back bun to boot), minus a crotch-grazing slit that cut into her otherwise knee-length skirt. Back at New York Fashion Week, Joseph Altuzarra had championed the same thigh-heavy silhouette with quite a few asymmetrical skirts. Point being: you might want to place pretty undergarments high up on your SS11 wish list as well.

Men’s SS11: Tattoos, Chokers & Gold Lips

If you thought crop-tops and jeggings for men were a mistake on the recent SS11 runways, just wait until you get a load of the accessories. Marc Jacobs covered his Louis Vuitton models in temporary tattoos, which were a staple at the women’s Gaultier and Chanel show last season. Jacobs enlisted his own tattoo artist, NYC-based Scott Campbell, to spray LV logos across the necks of his mannequins. The tattoo trend continued over at YSL, where Stefano Pilati “portrayed the tattoo artist Mark Mahoney of the Los Angeles Shamrock Social Club in a short film, directed by Ari Marcopoulos, which debuted at its men’s show last week,” says the Independent. Also fixated on the male neck was Alber Elbaz at Lanvin.

Elbaz introduced thick chain chokers (some equipped with over-sized gems, some with tiger teeth) and charms fit for a decidedly fierce Indiana Jones. And while luxury neck ink and statement jewelry isn’t for every man, Thom Browne took men’s accessories to a whole new level of weird this past week. In addition to slim tailored short suits, Browne introduced school girl knee-socks and lips that looked as though they’d been plated in gold. Never one to play it safe, Browne’s latest collection pushes menswear’s boundaries yet again.

The Season of the Boob

Following bust-centric catwalk presentations this FW2010 Fashion Week from Prada to Marc Jacobs, fashion critics have proclaimed it the season of the boob. Perhaps it’s a reaction to breasts generally getting larger? Or, at least according to sales in the bra department at Selfridge’s recently. Regardless, a slew of Victoria Secret models on high-fashion runways this past season proved that above the waist it’s fashionable to have a bit more bulk. And, according to Cathy Horyn in the New York Times today, that goes for below the waist as well.

“The female behind is again in the fore of fashion, though skinny models hardly exercise the imagination,” says Horyn. So, while plump posteriors were scarce on runways, styles that highlight that section of the body were everywhere one looked. Sound familiar? It is. Selling sex is as old as fashion itself. So is Horyn’s other takeaway from the industry’s most recent shows: the prototypical woman is “either good or she’s bad.”

For more evidence that this is the “season of the boob” check out these recent looks.

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