Saturday, August 30, 2008

Streetwear fashion trends as seen at recent Fashion Trade Shows

Well I think we may have just set a new record for the number of Fashion Trade Shows we attended in a 3 1/2 day time frame. We headed off to Las Vegas last Sunday with appointments set at eight different fashion shows between Sunday - Wednesday. We managed to make it to seven of the shows over the course of a whirlwind three days. Among them were Magic, Project, Pool and the new Christian Audigier show.

With so many shows in town at the same time it did make it a bit easier to get around as the halls at any given show were not as packed as usual since attendees were spread out all over town at various fashion events. The exception was the Project Show which seems to get bigger every time we attend and the aisles there were clogged with attendees the afternoon we attended to keep our appointments with designers of DOCTRINE, Hause of Howe and Anti-Social.

The new show in town with lots of hype to live up to was Christian Audigier's event at Caesars Palace - called the When I Move You Move show. Rumors abound as to whether this show was Audigier's brainchild due to arrogance or whether he had been banned from Magic/Project for problems in the past. Whatever reason for the new separate show I have to say that Christian Audigier does indeed appear to be a marketing genius. Buses, Taxi Cabs and billboards all over town touted his event so that there was no way anyone could miss knowing about it. The show was held in two Ballrooms at Caesars and clothing lines shown included all of the Ed Hardy lines along with new lines that Christian Audigier has come out with in collaboration music celebrities. What better way to have big name celebrities appear at your event then to be in the process of coming out with new clothing labels in their name. Celebrity attendees included Macy Gray, Snoop Dog, Dave Stewart and several Rap stars who I must confess I had not heard of myself being a long time Classic Rock Gal. The other attendees seemed to adore the rappers though and the media was there in full force to film it all. Personally I loved seeing Dave Stewart - he looked great and was very charming. The line of clothing with his name on it had nice lines and great styling without too much bling which tells me that Mr. Stewart himself did indeed have a hand in the design process. We had an appointment with the good folks at Ed Hardy Knits to place orders for new items for this upcoming Holiday Season and next Spring. I like the Knits line as it utilizes beautiful knit fabrics that are far and beyond better than regular Ed Hardy T Shirts yet still have all the beautiful Ed Hardy designs. We will be stocking many new designs of the womens Ed Hardy knits line in the near future.

So what do we see in trends??? Tattoo Art continues to cross over into all styles and genres of fashion. We find this to be a positive influence as Tattoo Art is very versatile. It can be subtle with clean elegant lines or can go out and out in your face blinged out. For our money the smart fashions lines are incorporating Rocker Styling and Tattoo influenced designs into their products utilizing specialty fabrics, print processes, detailing and effects to create wearable art that will stand the test of time, becoming wardrobe favorites for todays savvy fashion consumers. For women we see the retro Pin Up Girl style designs crossing over and becoming mainstream cool for women of all walks of life. Walking the aisles at the event I could not help but see that everyone from long term mainstream brands to new up and coming fashion houses had pieces in their ladies lines with cut and style that was reminiscent of the Pin Up Girl fashions of old. Oh...and Corsets ladies...Corsets with beautiful lines and fabric details are not just lingerie anymore! Corsets are to be worn out paired with pencil skirts for a sultry, edgy look. I was pleased to meet with two corset companies who are making wonderful pieces utilizing cutting edge fabrics and prints. We already have the first couple of designs in stock in our Retail Store and will be adding them to our web site in mid September after our next large photo shoot with models for product shots. For the guys we did see one trend that I thought was funny - vests with shirts attached to them - one piece that looks like two. Now I love a Rocker Style vest on a guy and as a matter of fact we just got some into the store from Hause of Howe (they will be available online as soon as we do our photo shoot) and ordered more styles....I just don't get the attached shirt thing that some designers are doing - a vest is a great versatile wardrobe piece but to me part of the beauty of it is that it can be paired with lots of different shirt styles - why limit the piece to only being able to wear it with the shirt that it is sewn onto? I was disappointed in this - do designers think guys are stupid and cannot manage to choose themselves a shirt to wear under their vest? A guy that is savvy and self assured enough to wear a vest is going to know what to put under it and want to mix and match his shirts from long sleeve button fronts to slim fit t's underneath.

We met with the designers / representatives of lines we already carry and were very impressed with the new styles coming from Christopher Wick's for The Fender Custom shop and English Laundry. We have many new styles in the English Laundry Lennon/McCartney shirts on order for Holiday / Spring. We loved some of the new things coming out of DOCTRINE and Rebel Spirit. For the fashion forward guy that does not like any bling Hause of Howe continues to be the ticket as Jade Howe continues to keep to clean lines with European Rocker edgy effects without the bling. For every day working guy tattoo styles and Pin Up Girl fashions Lucky 13 and Sailor Jerry continue to be staples.

We met with many new lines that we are very excited about. I will talk more about them on future postings but some of our new favorites were: Gibson Apparel, Royal Testament, Anama, Bettie Page Dresses and Anti Social. We look forward to items from these lines arriving over the next several months.

All in all it was a very productive group of shows and we are excited about the new products that will be arriving here over the next several months.

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