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DESIGNER OF THE MONTH: PHILLIP LIM

1 Sep

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Designer, Phillip Lim had no idea how big his name was going to be when he debuted his first fall collection in February 2005. Fast- forward to 2013 and 3.1 Phillip Lim is seen on the bodies of celebrities, in countless issues of Vogue, and on September 15, the clothing racks of Target.

Born in Thailand in 1973, Lim had no idea that designing was his calling. “I never equated the love of clothes with being a fashion designer. In fact, being a fashion designer was not in my universe, it was only about how clothes made me feel and the potential I saw in changing the clothes I owned. I can remember as early as 8 years old, picking out my own clothes, asking my mother to alter the clothes I had, and the passion I felt when I would have the perfect outfit.” That passion led him to become the creative genius that singlehandedly transformed the world of fashion by offering designer quality pieces at contemporary prices.

PhillipLim

Lim took on an internship at Katayone Adeli which, later, turned into a job as a design assistant. From there he went on to design for Paul Frank Industries before launching Development in 2000 with business partners Andy Crane and Stuart Gaddis. Development was a small label created for the girl in her twenties who appreciates a more simple design with easy shapes and basic colors. Lim spent his weekends working out of a garage to build the line he helped create, the first collection brought in six figures worth of orders, a definite premonition of the many successes to come.

4 years and some creative differences later, Lim had ended his tenure with Development. He was unemployed for a mere 24 hours when he received a call and plane ticket to New York from longtime friend, and CEO of a textile manufacturing company that worked with Development, Wen Zhou. 3 days, a taxi cab, and $750,000 later 3.1 Phillip Lim was born, the 3.1 symbolized their age at the time.

Wen Zhou and Phillip Lim

Wen Zhou and Phillip Lim

3.1 Phillip Lim debuted in February 2005, showcasing a fall collection that instantly won over journalists and buyers alike. After the success of the fall line, Lim created an accessories collection in September of the same year. From that point on the successes were one after another for the label, with Lim collecting countless awards. Buyers were filling up boutiques and department stores, within six months,sales reached $2.8 million, everyone wanted a piece of his “classic, but twisted” style. Along with the womenswear and accessories line, he also launched menswear, childrenswear, swimwear, lingerie, and even an organic clothing line aptly titled, Go Green Go.

3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer Childrenswear 2008

3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer Childrenswear 2008

A look at 3.1 Phillip Lim Resort 2010.

A look at 3.1 Phillip Lim Resort 2010.

Today, 3.1 Phillip Lim is one of the most celebrated and coveted labels of our time, known in over 45 countries and over 400 boutiques, the world is simply in love with Mr. Lim. Target has recently joined in on the fun, with a long awaited collaboration, 5 years in the making. 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target is set to debut September 15, and the line is already predicted to be a sell out. Which should come as no surprise for the modest, and stylish visionary that is Phillip Lim.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2013

3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2013

Some stylish offerings from Phillip Lim for Target, debuting September 15th.

Some stylish offerings from Phillip Lim for Target, debuting September 15th.

DESIGNER OF THE MONTH: BALMAIN

8 Aug

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One of my favorite fashion brands is BALMAIN, so it is only fitting that the Parisian fashion house be the first designer featured in the newest segment called Designer Of The Month

Pierre Balmain

Balmain wasn’t always the edgy, rocker chic fashion house that we have grown to love, long before the embellished blazers, Pierre Balmain, along with Christian Dior and Cristobal Balenciaga, had been credited with reinventing haute couture after World War II. The Parisian prodigy once said that “dressmaking is the architecture of movement”, which comes as no surprise being that his elegantly, feminine looks were fashion favorites among European royalty and Hollywood’s A-list.

pierre balmain designs

Taken in 1956. Model is seen wearing an embroidered French lace strapless sheath dress with taffeta sash. The lace lined mink stole adds a stylish touch to the elegant dress.

Taken in 1954, a model poses in double-breasted suit, tie, and wide brimmed hat by Balmain.

Taken in 1954, a model poses in double-breasted suit, tie, and wide brimmed hat by Balmain.

Opening his first fashion house was a no brainer for “The King of French Fashion”, Balmain started in 1945 showcasing long, bell shaped skirts with small waists. In the 1950’s Balmain became a brand people were familiar with and with good reason, the Parisian label started popping up in the U.S. with his ready to wear collections, and Mr. Balmain had singlehandedly transformed the stole into a trendy piece for day and evening wear. Balmain had gained a reputation that he could design anything from tailored suits and elegant evening gowns to perfumes.

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Looks from the Balmain Spring Summer 1983 collection.

Mr. Balmain at work.

Mr. Balmain at work.

Erik Mortenson took over the house in 1982 after the death of Mr. Balmain, and by the early nineties Oscar de la Renta lent his creative abilities, keeping the tradition of Balmain’s classic, luxuriously elegant designs alive. The start of the new millennium brought new changes to the legendary house, one was with a new creative director and the other was the new vision the director brought along. Christophe Decarnin led Balmain to the modern, edgier path we now know it for. Taking over in 2005, Decarnin reinvented the French fashion house, introducing it to a much younger audience that became infatuated with the designer’s chic futuristic vision. Even with the hefty price tags, $6,000 for select jeans and $2,000 for a t-shirt with holes, BALMAINIA had struck amongst young, rich fashionistas proving to be more than just a fashion fad.

Embellished jackets became a Balmain staple when Christophe Decarnin took over. Balmain jackets were a key player that made fashionistas catch  Balmainia fever!

Embellished jackets became a Balmain staple when Christophe Decarnin took over. These jackets were a key player that made fashionistas catch Balmainia fever!

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Christophe Decarnin for Balmain Fall 2010

Olivier Rousteing, after working with Decarnin, took over the ranks in 2011. There was much skepticism regarding Rousteing, people feared he wouldn’t be able to achieve the success that the label had with Decarnin. However, his first collection, Resort 2011, showed critics that Rousteing was no Decarnin, and by the spring that theory was further proven. In just the span of 2 collections, Rousteing had successfully managed to run a legendary label, putting his own spin on designs while never forgetting the history of the house.

Posing with one of his creations.

Mr. Rousteing posing with one of his creations.

Olivier Rousteing for Balmain Fall 2012. Mr. Rousteing has stated that he was inspired by a Faberge egg for the collection.

Olivier Rousteing for Balmain Fall 2012. Mr. Rousteing has stated that he was inspired by a Faberge egg for the collection.

Balmain Today. A look  from the Resort 2014 collection.

Balmain Today. A look from the Resort 2014 collection.

Rousteing has a magical of way of incorporating class and timelessness back into the brand, while at the same time still having an edgy look. He is a master at catering to the many characteristics of a woman. “I think “classic” is the right word. I want to go to something more timeless. Something that goes for the future. What I love from the old French house, it’s not seasonal. It’s something that stays. That’s my goal for Balmain. Keeping the sexiness but a bit dressier. For a woman who’s more chic, [to] expand from the woman who was before”. And that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Olivier Rousteing Quote: http://www.style.com/stylefile/2011/12/more-flash-than-trash-olivier-rousteing-at-balmain/