SPACE at Fashion Week

We’ve had the pleasure of standing in a Paris Fashion Week showroom twice now with the lauded and awarded-young SPACE designer Vejas Kruszewski (no really, though; he’s just barely two decades old), and we are here to tell you that he’s one of the most easygoing yet intellectual designers we know.

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Vejas; image by Jessa Carter

If you live in Toronto and you like talking fashion, please note this date and time: March 15 from 5 to 7pm.  

Vejas and his right-hand, Saam Emme, will be at Nordstrom Toronto Eaton Centre to chat through inspiration and innovation—and your personal style and the spring ’17 collection. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 416.552.2900, ext. 1350. 

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EXPLORE: current-season emerging designers

—Laura Cassidy

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Rolling around Paris for a week or so with Olivia Kim and SPACE buyer Raul Becerra is kind of like an advanced fashion version of National Lampoon’s European Vacation. Especially the part where the Griswold family circles the Eiffel Tower and Clark (played in our version by Olivia) tries passionately to squeeze all the relevant points of interest into that one lap.

You can’t go to Paris without making your own Griswold joke at some point, but Fashion Week really is about making the most of every moment you get with each and every icon you get near—whether it’s a national monument, Grace Coddington or Simon Jacquemus.

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Olivia in the Jacquemus showroom; all images by Jessa Carter unless otherwise noted

On the last day of the fall shows, we look back at ten things that mattered most to us, from Comme des Garçons to Y/Project—complete with theme song and more.

CHECK OUT OUR WEEK IN PARIS

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Every once in a while you end up in a weird situation where you’re ahead of schedule for an appointment or a meeting, and you can’t decide whether to just show up all awkward and early or try to kill a little time somewhere. But every once in a great while, something magical happens: a third option emerges. Maybe you run into a friend you haven’t seen in ages or you pass a bookstore that’s perfect for getting lost in.

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Today, in the middle of our Paris Fashion Week showroom rounds, we realized we were headed for the Roksanda showroom with a fairly decent amount of time to spare. Should we just pop in early? Should we call ahead and see if popping in early would be OK? How did we manage to get that far ahead of schedule anyway, when 97% of Fashion Week is spent racing the clock and being almost-late everywhere we go?

Just as we were pondering all that, Olivia Kim looked out the window and noticed where we were.

“Hey! My favorite vintage store is on this street.” Problem solved.

COME INSIDE WITH US AND CHECK IT OUT

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With that other awards show behind us, it’s time to turn our eyes toward this year’s LVMH Prize. Kicked off in 2013 by the Louis Vuitton Foundation as the global fashion world’s blue ribbon tournament, the prize is chosen by a jury featuring some of our favorite designers—Marc Jacobs, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, Phoebe Philo of Céline—and the list of past finalists and winners includes SPACE designers Vejas Kruszewski, Marques’Almeida, and Simon Jacquemus.

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Gloves by nominee Marine Serre; all images by Jessa Carter

Each March, just as everyone in the entire industry is in Paris for Fashion Week, the semifinalists are announced and an open house with the short-listed designers is held at Louis Vuitton’s main digs. We visited today to meet the crew and congratulate two SPACE designers for getting at least this close to the grand prize.

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VISIT THE LOUIS VUITTON HQ

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SPACE designer Daniela Villegas is in Paris often, and she loves staying in the Saint-Germain neighborhood and having breakfast at the iconic Cafe de Flore. But today breakfast is at 11am (jet lag, thank you), and, following the most recent advice of her naturopath, breakfast means tea and a glass of orange juice. Every six months she has her blood tested back home in Los Angeles and follows special dietary guidelines from there. There will be no croissants in Paris this season. Wheat is OK, but yeast is not.

“Cane sugar, that’s one of the things,” she says, showing us her list. “And fruit!” The maker of fine insect-inspired jewelry didn’t sleep well last night, and she thinks the doctor-recommended kick of sugar from the OJ will be key to keeping her going and going with all the preparations she has to take care of today.

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All images by Jessa Carter

Tomorrow at 9am, inside a stylish rented apartment nearby, she’ll begin seeing editors and buyers and showing them her latest wildlife-and-gemstone creations. So today she will put out the flowers she ordered from her favorite shop on Rue Saint Honoré, and her twin sister—who came from Mexico to help her—will begin baking. Annapaula even brought ingredients from home, all the better for whipping up homemade matcha bread and other treats that will help make Daniela’s visitors feel welcome.

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“I love when they look at their watch and they’re like, ‘Oh, I have 30 more minutes until my next appointment, I would love to just hang out here,'” Daniela says of her fashion industry clients, whom she always encourages to stay for as long as they’d like.

YOU SHOULD COME IN AND HANG OUT, TOO

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Not everyone conducting fashion business this week in Paris is a Parisian. Designers and brands from European and Asian cities make Paris their home base during Fashion Week; it’s a simple matter of critical mass—everyone’s here.

Tokyo-based designers Miki Aizawa and Aimi Fukumoto of the embellished-denim and killer trench coat line Tu es mon TRÉSOR visit the City of Light this time of year, although they don’t hold a runway show or even a formal presentation. They meet with buyers and editors, and they hang out and catch inspiration in cafés and city streets.

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The Flower Bijou parka from Tu es mon TRÉSOR’s look book; courtesy Tu es mon TRÉSOR

And they eat beautiful meals. It’s Paris; that’s part of what you do here, after all. We asked if they had any favorite Japanese spots here, and they do—they also mentioned a few fun French/English joints and an upscale Thai restaurant, too. But it was the special of the house at Nodaiwa that we were most interested in.

WHERE TO EAT EEL IN PARIS? HERE …

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“A lot of times what I feel when I’m here watching the shows is that I’m so honored to be in the company of these women—women like Simone, Molly, Ashley,” says Olivia, after we duck into a Mexican restaurant out in the East End. It’s the last day of London Fashion Week, and we’re between appointments, so now’s the time to take stock.

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Olivia Kim with buyer Raul Becerra at lunch.

Each season, in every city, there are one or two collections—and a few key pieces and a few key moments—that stand out among the rest. Here are Olivia and Raul’s favorites from London.

GET THE GORGEOUS DOWNLOAD

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The SPACE team‘s fashion week spreadsheet had five new names on it this season: Eric Schlösberg, Eckhaus Latta, Dilara Findikoglu, A.W.A.K.E, and Vejas. Together, they represent our new shop-in-shop, SPACE LAB.

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Details from Dilara Findikoglu’s London Fashion Week presentation.

Debuting today in Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Toronto and online, SPACE LAB is a fashion incubator; it’s a way for Olivia and her team to pay special attention to brands that are operating just a little bit outside the lines, and also just breaking their stride. It’s a way to nurture them and stand by them as their careers make important pivots.

And we do mean stand by them: Even though SPACE LAB is set up to stock and mentor five designers at a time for just one season starting this spring, we met with designers during New York and London Fashion Weeks (we’ll catch up with Vejas in Paris in about a week) to see what they’re presenting for next fall.

MEET THE DESIGNERS AND SEE WHAT THEY’RE SHOWING

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Every season Ashley Williams sends out a small poster in lieu of a more typical show invite, and every season it has something to do with being in a slightly sour state of mind. The poster we unwrapped upon arriving for the first show of London Fashion Week, however, went to new heights—or would that be new lows? In Ashley’s world, they’re sort of the same. The poster said “Genuine Misery”; the image was a teeth-baring guard dog.

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“My business partner and I, we have this thing, ‘Optimistic emo,'” the designer told me backstage. It’s like an unofficial rule that keeps them in line, she explained; they can be real about their bad moods, but they have to be good-natured about them, too. And while misery is definitely next season’s key word—emblazoned as it is on a killer sweatsuit or two—it’s evened out by a British cowgirl thing and a backstory about sneaking out of parties to go sit by yourself in the woods.

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You’ll see it in our slideshow: together those elements—on an urban/outdoor runway—make misery look like good company.

CLICK IN TO SEE THE RUNWAY SHOW AND GO BACKSTAGE

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Where does a girl in ruffles, gingham and tulle go? Anywhere she wants to, of course.

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Molly Goddard spring 2017; this collection will be online and in stores very soon. 

Image by Portia Hunt.

SPACE designer Molly Goddard is one of the biggest names in London right now—in no small part because she’s helped define a look that’s part party girl, part everyday sport-romance, and part remembered fever dream from your very first ballet class. But the bottom line is that you can take anything from her spring collection, add sneakers and a T-shirt, and you’re good for a night of soccer matches, sushi rolls or late-night club tunes.

If you ever wanted to try any of the above in the designer’s hometown, now you can. Just let Molly and her boyfriend/business partner, Tom Shickle, tell you where to go.

CLICK IN FOR MOLLY’S LIST

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