I AM WOMAN: CUSHNIE ET OCHS

By Linda Nuamah

‘I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.’ This beautiful written lyrics by Helen Reddy in the 70’s is a song for female empowerment, but not the kind that makes you feel like you have to disguise your womanhood to be noticed in this male dominated world that we live in. I am woman, is the song that plays in my mind when I see the collection of Cushnie et Ochs.

Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs

Carly Cushnie & Michelle Ochs

Cushnie et Ochs is an emerging designer label, founded in 2008 by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. Carly was born and raised in London, and Michelle born in Calgary, Canada and raised in Maryland, US. They both attended Parsons, The New School for Design, in New York and quickly became friends. After successful internships at Donna Karan, Proenza Schouler, Marc Jacobs, Isaac Mizrahi, and Oscar de la Renta, they attracted public attention when their senior collection was covered in Women’s Wear Daily.  Cushnie et Ochs won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award in 2009, and was named finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. The Cushnie et Ochs label is based in New York.

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

Since the label started, various celebrities such as Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Karlie Kloss and many others have been seen wearing Cushnie et Ochs. The best surprise came when the first lady of the US, Michelle Obama, who is known for supporting emerging fashion designers (Jason Wu designed her inaugural gown in 2009, and Doo-Ri Chung adapted her catwalk dress to fit the First Lady’s need for a  state dinner dress in 2011), wore a custom-made silk-crepe Cushnie et Ochs dress in 2011. Since then it has opened doors to prominent retailers, who found the young label too risky at first.

Michelle Obama in Cushnie et Ochs

Michelle Obama in Cushnie et Ochs

The Cushnie et Ochs collection is made of sexy classic silhouettes with modern details and timeless elegance. It’s made to shape and sculpt the female form. With strategically placed sharp cuts, these clothes are not made to be worn without confidence. It’s made to feel sexy and elegant, and own that you are a woman. What makes the label so successful, season after season, is that Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs have themselves in mind when designing a collection; they design collections that they would love to wear. With this in mind, it’s just a matter of time before the public catches up.

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Cushnie et Ochs Resort 2014

Karlie Kloss in Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

Karlie Kloss in Cushnie et Ochs SS 2014

One thing is for sure; my wish for this Christmas is the Cushnie et Ochs dress that even supermodel, Karlie Kloss, can’t stop wearing.

 

 

 

 

 

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LONDON FASHION WEEK 2013 – PART 1

By Linda Nuamah

When thinking of fashion week, you would expect a place full of fashion designers, buyers and press. But with the outburst of fashion bloggers, fashionistas and wannabes, the scene has changed for the benefit of the game. What better way to put it than to call it a ‘Game’? Fashion week is about being spotted, the more extreme your outfits are, the higher the chances are, that you will get spotted. London wouldn’t be London without the dictators of contemporary fashion. After all fashion starts in the street.

London Fashion Week marked its territory on Friday the 13th. The show kicks off twice a year, and host designers, buyers, celebrities, bloggers, press and the beautiful people in the fashion industry. Although the catwalk shows should be the highlight of fashion week, it’s the people that wear the fashion, that are the most important element of the whole happening. Outrageous ensembles, ‘I need sunglasses to look at you’ fluorescent colours, mismatch, nudity, big hairdo, name it; you can find it all at London Fashion Week.

Of all these bold and extravagant people that strut the streets of London Fashion Week, here are some of those that know how to do it in style. For the first time in my life I feel ordinary!

Spotted! Polka Dot Boy

Spotted! Polka Dot Boy

Future Designer Ansella Post

Future Designer Ansella Post

Old Skool Hipster

Old Skool Hipster

The Classical

The Classical

The Beautiful

The Beautiful

The Best Friend

The Best Friend

The New Grace Jones

The New Grace Jones

The New Grace Jones

The New Grace Jones

Another Side of Me

Another Side of Me

The Promo Girls

The Promo Girls

Sista's With Attitude

Sista’s With Attitude

The Strutter

The Strutter

The New Age Hipster

The New Age Hipster

The Bold

The Bold

Meet the Pairs

Meet the Pairs

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ONE TO WATCH: GIORGIO CHIUSSI

By Linda Nuamah

Although Janet + George is about Womenswear and Menswear, I haven’t paid a lot of attention to what is happening in the menswear industry.

Menswear is a challenging industry, but gradually men are claiming their rightful place in the fashion industry. The social taboos of wearing a handbag or even a more colourful jacket, are slowly fading into the past. The fashionable gay men have paved the way for other key influencers such as entrepreneurs, and those with artistic and creative professions, in the age category 25 – 45 years.

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

So on the menswear side; there is a lot happening. One of the emerging fashion design talent that I was really impressed by is ‘Giorgio Chiussi’. Giorgio is an Italian designer who was born into a family of tailors, going back more than a century ago. His family became known for their bespoke tailoring for men in Italy. While working for the family run business, Chiussi, Giorgio created his first ready-to-wear collection in 2011. His creations are based on bohemian elegance. Giorgio Chiussi was one of the finalist of the fifth edition of the ‘Who is on next? Uomo 2013’ competition, sponsored by Pitti Immagine Uomo, Vogue, and Alta Roma. Although Giorgio did not win, he made my list of one to watch, due to his wearable clean cut collection.

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi’s spring/summer 2014 collection, is designed to dress men with elegance, and not snobbery, wanting to be and not appearing to be. The collection consists of shorts paired with tailored double breasted jackets, check prints, uniform shirts, vests and an edgy approach to traditional suits with a tailcoat. This is definitely a collection for the style-savvy trendsetters among us.

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

Giorgio Chiussi RTW SS2014

For all those that do not want to be mainstream, and dare to be bold, Giorgio Chiussi is the ONE to watch.

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FASHION BEYOND BORDERS

By Linda Nuamah

While Middle Eastern fashionistas are craving for Western designers, Lebanon has his own rising star that goes beyond borders.

Based in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Zuhair Murad has become a household name among celebrities. Shortly after obtaining a fashion degree in Paris, Zuhair Murad moved back to Beirut and opened his first store in the early 90’s. In 1999 Zuhair Murad entered the international stage and showed his collection on the catwalks of Rome, and in 2001 at the Paris fashion week.

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

Zuhair Murad Couture SS2013

With high emphasis on clean cut sophistication and an ode to old Hollywood glamour, Zuhair Murad was quickly noticed by celebrity stylists as the up-and-coming fashion designer. Celebrities like Beyoncé, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Blake Lively, and many others have been praised for their red carpet appearance in a Zuhair Murad creation.

Beyoncé in Zuhair Murad

Beyoncé in Zuhair Murad

Eva Longoria in Zuhair Murad

Eva Longoria in Zuhair Murad

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Blake Lively in Zuhair Murad

Blake Lively in Zuhair Murad

Zuhair Murad’s creations are inspired by the jewels and beauty of his hometown, Beirut, a city also known as the Paris of the Middle East. The rich history, the Mediterranean feel, and the cultural diversity are all embraced in the beautiful details in his designs.

Zuhair Murad RTW FW2013

Zuhair Murad RTW FW2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS 2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS 2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

Zuhair Murad RTW SS2013

To wear Zuhair Murad is to live the 1001 Arabian nights’ moment. The women of Beirut take pride in their day-to-day appearance of dressing up to perfection. With this in mind, I cannot wait to see more of this rising star of the Middle East.

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FUR: YOU LOVE IT OR HATE IT

By Linda Nuamah

Alberta Ferretti Fall 2012

Alberta Ferretti Fall 2012

One of my timeless fashion pieces has been fur. Wearing fur is quite a controversy. You either love it or hate the people wearing it. Before I bought my first real fur, I was in doubt and found that innocent animals were slaughtered just for fashion sake. But I convinced myself that my coat was made from a road kill. The truth is that 85 percent of fur sold today is farmed. On the other hand many communities depend on the fur trade. In Kastoria, Greece, 80 percent of the population is employed by the fur trade, followed by Russia, Canada, USA, Finland, Norway, Poland and Namibia. Although Europeans have taken a stand against the fur trade, demands are really high. The same goes for North America, Russia, and the Far East. China is currently the world’s largest importer of Fur.

Jason Wu Fall 2012

Jason Wu Fall 2012

Although I’m not fond of mass production of fur, I do love the look and feel of fur. Combined with the right clothes and accessories, you feel elegant and luxurious.

Marni Fall 2012

Marni Fall 2012

If you really hate it you still have the option to go for faux fur, which is made out of synthetic fibres designed to look and feel like real fur. It’s not really my thing as it makes you look like a headless chicken. But hey, style is what you choose!

H&M Pink Faux Fur

H&M Pink Faux Fur

H&M Faux Fur

H&M Faux Fur

No matter what your feelings are about real fur; the fact is that it creates jobs and feeds world economies. On the other hand, the animals are treated horribly in these breeding farms. They are kept in tiny cages and electrocuted. But it’s not only fur that is a controversy in fashion, how about cotton or conditions factories in India, Bangladesh, Turkey, China, Vietnam etc. operates in? It goes hand in hand with child labour and exploiting of employees. The cheaper your clothes, shoes and accessories are, the more likely that you are supporting these kind of practises.

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2012

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2012

In my opinion wearing fur is not wrong. However I can choose where I buy it from, and make sure that trade standards is changed. Or should we ban it like in the UK and Austria?

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WHAT WERE YOU THINKING

BY Linda Nuamah

Whenever I tune in to Elle online I see horrifying outfits some of the celebrities are wearing. For over a month now I’ve been frustrated with some of the styles I’ve seen on Kristen Stewart. She obviously has this gothic thing going on, so why do her stylists keep putting her in outfits that don’t do her justice?

Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga

Just now the shock came when I saw one of my favourite singers of the moment, Rihanna, wearing this jailbird outfit. In my head I’m screaming: “WHAT were you thinking?” Obviously I blame Elle for spreading this picture, because I can’t imagine one of my favourite singers wearing something like that for real.

Rihanna in Raf Simons and ACNE

I want to forget about my shock this afternoon, and show you images of the celebrities at the 2012 AMA’s, in my opinion, that styled themselves really well.

Taylor Swift in Zuhair Murad

Gwen Stefani in Balmain

Heidi Klum in Alexandre Vauthier

Stacey Keibler in Collette Dinnigan

Kesha in a pink minimalistic dress

Minimalistic, feminine, sexy and elegant, golden glimmer and a dash of stunningness. Well done ladies!

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THE BEGINNING OF A PROMISE

By Linda Nuamah

 

 

Six days ago I started a crowd funding campaign to raise funding to set up Janet + George properly. The journey so far has been a challenge full with excitement. My days are filled with connecting with people on Twitter, Facebook and keeping track of my campaign progress. The more funding I raise the more amazed I am that there are actually people out there who believe in my vision. I spent a year working on the business model, coordinating the graphic designer to create a website that connects to my vision, coordinating the advertisement agency to create a video that embodies my vision for Janet + George, and writing all the text that goes with it. All of this with a minimum budget. So far I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished till now.

It fills my heart with joy to see that my closest friends and network believe in my dream. Together with them we have managed to raise 580 US Dollars, with the help of their donations, Facebook liking, and by forwarding my campaign to their network.

Still we are not there yet. Our funding goal is 30,000 US Dollars. I believe so much in Janet + George, that I will do almost anything for it (I will not sell my soul or eat poop), that I even contacted Will.I.Am, one of my favourite artist if he could share my campaign with his fans. Unfortunately I contacted him during election night, as a number one campaigner for Obama; I don’t think he was in the mood for Janet + George. But no fears I will contact him again!

In the mean time, until Will.I.Am responds to me, I would like you to have a look at my campaign on Indiegogo CHOOSE YOUR STYLE and do whatever you can, in terms of a small donation or just sharing my campaign among your contacts. Janet + George is the promise that will happen!

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