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Designer Collections

It’s not every day you get a window on the path of a rising star. While British shoe designer Rupert Sanderson has been on the ascendancy since his 2001 launch (he was named the British Fashion Council’s Accessory Designer of the Year in 2008 and, in 2009, the year’s Accessory Designer at the Elle Style Awards), the past few seasons have been a star-studded, wicked-heel-wearing golden arrow. We caught the London-based stylemaker via phone on a recent Friday as he, his wife and their three boys motored off to the “wilds of the Suffolk Coast.” Sounds like the perfect place to tromp around in some Crescent riding boots if you ask us.

THE THREAD: Your collection includes both strappy, cut-out sandals with four-inch heels and borrowed-from-the-boys booties. Tell us about the modern mix, and the modern woman you design for.
Sanderson: Because I have my own retail business bang in the middle of Mayfair on Bruton Place, I can think about these real women who come into my shop and design with them in mind. I can put myself in the mind of these women and see them dressing up in the evening and wearing something very light and almost frivolous, and then kicking about in biker boots at the week’s end. I can see a woman throughout her week wearing all of my shoes. I enjoy having a flight of fancy with the really glamorous styles, but I enjoy making shoes that women can wear again and again as well. I really enjoy the definitions between seasons. We’re in the middle of designing for fall/winter 2015, and I find myself still going for incredibly light sandals, but I love designing boots as well.

Yes, that flight of fancy. Your shoes do so well in fashion storytelling, and they’re super-popular with celebrities and in editorials.
The Estelles are always popular with stylists; there’s really very little of them there. They’re a great party shoe. Italian Vogue used the biker boots in a really interesting way quite recently. There was this very high-gothic look—white and witchy with snowy cobwebs. The outfit they conjured wasn’t for everyday wear, but it was that fantasy thing. Very fun.

Rupert Sanderson ‘Malory’ pump | Rupert Sanderson ‘Estelle’ sandal | Rupert Sanderson ‘Diva’ Pointy Toe Pump

What are the guiding principals that ground your collection? The notion of “less is more” is often cited as a Rupert Sanderson ethos, but the average customer probably wouldn’t see minimalism as a foundation of your work.
The collection itself is really small—I want it to be small. The idea of less being more personally holds me in good stead. I c
onstantly have to edit everything; I’m constantly taking away, sharpening. I take elements and styles out of a collection in order to keep it focused, to give it a sense of identity. So often things just sprawl. We’re so bombarded with stuff—there’s a wall of news around us. Everyone can have their own Instagram, everyone can self-publish. There’s no check on creativity. In many ways, the most creative people are the editors, because they’re shaping what’s out there. Putting out less and making sure that it’s as good and as strong and powerful as you can make it: I believe that’s a good practice.

Now, just for fun, tell us what three women in all of history you’d like to see in your shoes. 
From Cleopatra to Kristin Scott Thomas, it’s almost impossible to choose. Kristin is a client, but she’s more than that. I met her in Paris about ten years ago and she’s been very supportive ever since. I did see a really great old image of Charlotte Rampling the other day. The focus with her is her face, it’s so interesting. She was wearing a Halston column dress and I thought of designing a pair of shoes to go with it.

SHOP ALL: Rupert Sanderson shoes

 

 

Like a lot of memories, some of the details are foggy. These images are from sometime around 2000, when Oscar de la Renta visited our Seattle flagship upon the launch of one of his fragrance collections. The snapshots of the designer and our employees were taken at a luncheon that preceded an in-store appearance.

And while the date of this particular moment is lost, what remains—what will always remain—is how the designer made us feel.

“Mr. de la Renta was the consummate gentleman in the industry; he understood how to make women look and feel beautiful. His work created a visual fantasy of sorts, but always with a nod to realism so you could be confident and enjoy the moment. His work was never confused with any other designer as it had a true signature: subtle but always recognizable in shape, pattern, color and construction. He also was one of the first brave American couturiers to explore beyond evening into sportswear, although he was always known for his beautiful evening pieces. The definition of couture was in transition in the ’80s; the French previously owned the category, but Mr. de la Renta gave credibility to American couture and elevated it, not just in terms of the quality of his collections and his construction, but also because he was so charismatic and charming.” —Sue Patneaude, Executive Vice President, Designer Women’s Apparel (retired)

“What I remember about meeting Oscar de la Renta in 2002 is his smile and quiet elegance.” —Kylie Allensworth, Internal Communications Director

“Mr. de la Renta was the first guest designer to come into the Jeffrey Fashion Cares fund-raiser in Atlanta. He was amazing that night with all of his fans; he was such a gentleman in every way.” —Jeffrey Kalinsky, Vice President, Designer Fashion Director

“What’s amazing about Oscar is that his reach went beyond his own collection. He had such influence on and was such a positive role model for American designers. Not that they ever tried to be him, but he was so well thought of. The biggest compliment to him, and to the business he built, is that women wear his clothes because they make them feel beautiful and feminine; his brand can continue because there is such a strong sense of what Oscar de la Renta stands for. We just had a big luncheon for Oscar de la Renta clients here in Seattle. He was not here for that, but his business has never been bigger or better. Even though the brand has been around since the late ’60s, it remains relevant, and I think that says something.” —Jennifer Wheeler, Vice President, Corporate Merchandise Manager, Women’s Designer Apparel

Image via New York Times

Frame Denim and Nordstrom joined up to make a big splash back in January, when leggy women everywhere scissored into the Pop-In for the Karlie Kloss-designed capsule collection as well as an expanded selection of Frame goods that included white denim overalls and rad shirts and jackets. Suffice it to say the whole denim-on-denim look went next-level.

The Los Angeles-based, Los Angeles-made line continues to chicly assert itself as a go-to for the kind of girl who fancies a pointy flat and a simple black t-shirt with her slim-fits. The kind of girl, that is, who fancies Hanneli Mustaparta as the ultimate style icon.

The model, blogger and street style frequent flier kicks off Frame’s #GIRLSINFRAME video campaign. To see the rest of the series—for barefoot dance party grooves, low-key/high-style outfit tips and general mood-boosting—plug in your earphones and …

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Now that Fashion Week has come to an end, our final Fashion Week story this season highlights all the got-to-have-them shoes on the feet of the industry’s most stylish ladies. It’s a thing we like to do. Click a pair to shop these showstoppers right now.

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Photos by Crystal Nicodemus.
Jeff Powell

As Paris Fashion Week wraps up, we’re looking back on a packed show schedule and busily assessing the looks we’ve fallen head over heels in love with. Here is our definitive guide to the key trends and major ideas we think will be influencing the way you’ll want to dress next spring.

1. ’60s / ’70s

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And so we bid a fond adieu to the S/S ’15 runways, as Paris Fashion Week wraps up with some Female Trouble at Miu Miu.

HERO
Vixen-vision: Miu Miu’s shady ladies.

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October 1, 2014

Trend Recap: Denim Redux

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A new proposition is emerging for everyone’s favorite fabric. Patched, washed and offered in fresh silhouettes and proportions: denim sportswear is shaping up to be one of next spring’s key trends. Think beyond your fail-safe jeans and consider jackets, skirts, jumpsuits and tunics as an alternative for your newest cool-girl look.

Shop below for your instant denim refresh:

Shop more: Denim.

The Fashion Office

October 1, 2014

Trend Recap: Flower Power

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Fashion’s love affair with feminine, floral prints continues as designers in Paris offer a new take for next spring. Choose a dark or light romance, with vintage-inspired color-pop blooms or petals spliced, diced and patched for a new spin on spring’s freshest print.

Some eye-catching flowers to try right now:

Shop More: Florals

The Fashion Office

Yesterday’s runways took us from Italian holiday to historical Japanese fiction with classic prints from Valentino and startlingly bold lines by Alexander McQueen.

Valentino SS15 Paris Fashion Week navy gown.

Valentino’s Grand Tour-inspired collection was as beautifully varied as Italy itself. Creative directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, aimed to transport us to an era of Italian esteem, when Europeans flocked to Italy for a lesson in culture and aesthetics.

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Designers are so good at making cold, unsexy winter (hello, long underwear!) seem hot. Case in point: the exclusive clip below that our friends at Akris punto were kind enough to share with us, which chronicles their campaign shoot for Albert Kriemler’s snowboarding-inspired collection for Fall/Winter 14/15. Starring Russian-born Swiss snowboarder Iouri Podladtchikov—he of the cute nickname (“iPod”) and Olympic Gold Medal (at Sochi 2014) fame—the video plays like an ad for Switzerland’s soaring Alps and sleek winter style. Prepare for cheekbone envy.