Friday, September 11, 2015

NYFW: The Shows Day 1 – Maximalism Is the Word, Says Jerome LaMaar (5:31 Jerome); Desigual’s Barcelona Woman Is An Inspiration to Us All; Observing Australia’s Fashion Palette; Why Didn’t Someone Think of the Flygrip Before; What Will Brother Think of Next?

From the 5:31 Jerome S/S 2016 collection. Photo by Yours Truly.

Some of the players on Day 1: Nicholas K, BCBG, Area, Erin Fetherston, Assembly NY, Creatures of the Wind, 5:31 Jerome, Tess Giberson, Brothers Vellies, Tadashi Shoji, M. Martin, Desigual, Marissa Webb, Creatures of Comfort, Natori, Tome, Malan Breton, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson, Rodebjer, Yuna Yang, Edie Parker, Ohne Titel, Gant, Alison Lou, Kempner, Adam Selman

arresting sight. A dress. Forest green. Embellished with … sequins, beads, floral appliques and all manner of fripperies.

It would become clear shortly that this is maximalism.

Here is a consequence of not quitting Pier 59 Studios for the Tess Giberson presentation after a quick visit to the necessary.

One imagines, though, that there can be far worse outcomes than a tête-à-tête on the Sundeck during a break in the rainfall with Jerome LaMaar, the creative force behind the emerging line, 5:31 Jerome, which for S/S 2016 is mainly about maximalism.

And what is maximalism? It is the opposite of minimalism, silly.

“Everyone says less is more but in this case more is more and it works,” asserts the F.I.T. grad. “I wanted to show it’s possible to mix more of your ideas to create something that is authentic and wearable, but also glamorous.”

One would be hardpressed to argue against the glam of the black sequined pencil skirt paired with a black boatneck blouse with massive jewel-toned beading and other accents. It works. Indeed, the whole extremely busy capsule collection works.

From the 5:31 Jerome S/S 2016 collection. Photo by Yours Truly.

“I think a lot of us have gotten really comfortable with normcore, that whole moment of ‘I’m just wearing basics all the time’, and we need things to give our wardrobes some life. The whole idea is to make everything as an accessory and make it work.”

JLM, who was taught to sew by his grandmother, found his calling around the age of 6 or 7.

“When I was a kid I wanted to be a designer for 'The Wiz.' I love that movie! That was my favorite, favorite movie. That’s what kind of opened my eyes,” he explains. “When they got to Emerald City, I remember saying, 'I wanna to do that'. I loved the energy."

Less than 10 years later, at the still tender age of 15, he landed an internship at Baby Phat. “And worked my way up the ladder and became the person I am today by mixing in all of my references."

His references caught the attention of Beyonce, the first celebrity, he says, to wear 5:31 Jerome (coat). But what of a more regular girl? "gIt’s interesting. I like girls who are intellectual and sexy,” the Bronx native says thoughtfully.

“I think the idea of being productive and sexy and smart is really attractive. Most people think you have to have one or the other, but I think you can do both. You can easily be both.”

Meanwhile, it has been established that maximalism works, even down to the shoes. Oh, the shoes, not for those afraid of heights.

From the 5:31 Jerome S/S 2016 collection. Photo by Yours Truly.

Himself discloses quite unapologetically: "After going so low to the ground with the pump that everybody has been loving and wearing, it’s time to go back up .. It’s a 70s reference there with the platform ... What goes with maximalism is height, drama, abundance, embellishment and that’s what that is."

But can this maximalism be reproduced within reason, for it has also been established that 5:31 Jerome S/S 2016 is rococo? Couturesque. This does not normally lend itself to easy replication?

What say you, JLM, should Bergdorf Goodman require dozens of the belted leather vest with the circular cutouts framed with silver hardware, or the jeans bearing up under a surfeit of embellishment? What say you?

“How many do you want?”


THE women of Barcelona are confident. They are comfortable in their own skin. They don’t follow the trends. They march to their own beat. If they wish to tie a T-shirt on their head in lieu of a scarf, then so be it.

The women of Barcelona are also bold, like Desigual S/S2016, which takes its cues from these iconoclasts. The most obvious manifestation of this boldness is the colors, not surprisingly.

But boldness is also evident in the particular pairings of the various and sundry prints (pink and white skirt check skirt and white top with multi-colored riptide print on bodice and sleeves, for instance) heretofore not part of the Desigual template. Frankly, the result is dazzling.

The Barcelona woman is to be emulated and imitated.

Fashion Palette

Hunt & Heart S/S 2016

Mauricio Alpizar S/S 2016, left, and Duskii S/S2016. Photos by Yours Truly.

IT was the Aussies in the house at Pier 59 Studios for Fashion Palette Australian Women’s Show. It’s a group show with a whopping 12 collections showing one after the other.

A good idea on paper, it taxes the attention span and the patience of those who must dash for another show. Too many scurried out like rats in the darkness between each show. Perhaps, six is enough.

Among the dozen, it was too much of nothing special, save for Antonella Ianni (fashion forward staples in b&w; see video directly above); Simmone Standing (mainly whites with impressive draping); Duskii (attractive, functional and seemingly high-tech swimwear).

Also Hunt & Heart ( eye-catching silhouettes, asymmetry and bandwork, some inferior fabrics [silk, satin] notwithstanding).

Honorable mention goes to Mauricio Alpizar (mainly too costumey, with a couple of exceptions and vibrant color palette).

Really, The Burning Question Is Why Hadn't Someone Created the Flygrip Sooner?

Michael Karmatz invented the Flygrip out of necessity. Photo by Yours Truly

It's' simple. You affix it directly to the back of your phone or phone case. Lift the lever. Slide your ring finger and middle finger underneath.

Now, cradle the phone against your fingers, without allowing it to slide into the palm. Turn it over. Your thumb is hovering over the screen. You are good to go. Start tapping without the fear of dropping your delicate device. Do note that your other hand is free to do something else.

The Flygrip has emancipated you, allowing you to get all kinds of things done. That was the intent of Flygrip creator Micheal Karmatz, a multi-tasker, like most in the developed world.

The Flygrip can be easily and securely affixed to the back of a phone or phone case. Photo by Yours Truly.

During a brief chat in the Nextpert Stylextech Lounge, where Brother products were also doing various tricks with the stitch, MK gave Yours Truly the backstory on the Flygrip. Stay tuned for the Q&A.

On deck today, Day 2: CG, Gabriela Hearst, Wes Gordon, Jonathan Cohen, Visvim, Jason Wu, Yigal Azrouel, Novis, Kate Spade, Ida Cohen, Custo Barcelona, Zimmermann, Tanya Taylor, Rosie Assoulin, Sally LaPointe, Betsey Johnson, Karigam,Polo, Cushnie et Ochs, Giulietta, Max Gengos, Pamella Roland, Kye, Ryan Roche, Nicole Miller, Givenchy, Zang Toi, Chromat, Academy of Art University

Visit to learn more about the Flygrip; visit to learn more about New York Fashion Week: The Shows, including show information, videos and installations.

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