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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Newport International Runway Group Tokyo Fashion Week Unveils Schedule

SMALL IN JAPAN: While all eyes are still on Europe, Japan’s capital is gearing up for its own fashion week, scheduled to take place during the third week of October.

At a press conference on Thursday, organizers released the official show schedule, as well as details on some related events. This season, there will be few newcomers participating in the shows, and even fewer international brands.

The week is to open with Hanae Mori, a Japanese brand steeped in history that will be re-launching with a new designer. As reported, Henry Holland will also be in town to show his spring House of Holland collection.

A handful of brands that are normally on the top of editors’ lists to see are downsizing from a runway show to an installation this season. These include Somarta, Yasutoshi Ezumi and Motonari Ono.

Versus Tokyo, a related event that is open to the public and consists of both fashion shows and music events lasting through the night, will also be returning this season. Brands that will show during Versus include Mr. Gentleman, Facetasm and Toga Virilis, the men’s line of Toga.

Buyers whose trips to Japan Fashion Week will be sponsored by the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, include representatives from Galeries Lafayette, Surrender and Front Row in Singapore, Heavy Selection in Thailand, and Brooklyn-based Bird. For the second season in a row, Nick Wooster will also be in town for the week’s festivities.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fashion Festival off to Exciting Start by Newport International Runway Group Tokyo Fashion

For Ae'lkemi designer Alvin Fernandez, it was "an honour" to open the 2014 Telstra Perth Fashion Festival last night along with two of Asia's most respected couturiers, Michael Cinco and Sebastian Gunawan.

Ae'lkemi showed 25 exquisite outfits as part of a new couture collection created especially for the opening night, International Runway - Beyond Imagination.

"The collection is partly inspired by Venetian Gothic architecture," Fernandez explained after the show, the first to be held at the festival's new Fashion Paramount venue at the Perth Concert Hall.

"I liked the idea of the contrast between structure and fluidity and also having a lot of different textures in an all-white dress, for example."

Many dresses featured intricate hand-finished French beading and experiments with laser-cut leather, a first for the Ae'lkemi brand.

"We still wanted to stay pretty true to our signature, which is elegant, nipped in at the waist, skimming the hips," Fernandez said.

"There's a lot of detail in there, but we also wanted some palate-cleansers, some simpler pieces before you go into the more in-your-face red carpet pieces of the finale."

Fernandez said the presence of delegates from the Asian Couture Federation and Singapore's FIDe Fashion Weeks was a valuable opportunity to showcase his work to a wider international audience.

"This is a valuable market that we really want to tap into," he said.

"For us to show the rest of the world what we can do is always a plus, and being given opening honours was huge for us."

Watching all the glamour from the front row were celebrities Dannii Minogue - flying the flag for WA design in an Aurelio Costarella outfit - Kate Waterhouse, Matthew and Lauren Pavlich, Coterie group member Emma Milner and international fashion blogger Diane Pernet.

Premier Colin Barnett, Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi and Asian Couture Federation chairman Frank Cintamani were among the dignitaries welcoming guests to the week-long festival.

Michael Cinco, who is based in Dubai but was born in the Philippines, has dressed the likes of Sofia Vergara, Beyonce and Rihanna, while Indonesian designer Sebastian Gunawan has built up a loyal fashion following throughout south-east Asia.

Both designers featured detailed beading, embroidery, sequins and lace-work.

Tonight Flannel designer Kristy Lawrence will premiere her summer collection in Perth for the first time, while Morrison and One Fell Swoop will share the runway with cult New Zealand labels Zambesi and Nom*D at the 3300 Miles Apart show.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Newport International Runway Group Tokyo Fashion on Menswear around the World

(FACEBOOK and PINTEREST) - IT'S RARE THAT Giuseppe Santamaria will stop a well-dressed man on the street to take his picture. Instead, the photographer and art director—a Sydney, Australia-based Canadian expat—tends to capture subjects as they stroll on by, often when they're freshly dressed and en route to work. Mr. Santamaria, 28, who cites photographers like '60s-era Magnum lensman Ernst Haas as inspiration, said, "It's about freezing that moment, seizing what that guy's life is like." As a result, authentic energy infuses the images he shoots for his four-year-old street-style blog, Men in This Town, which he has turned into a book of the same name, available Sept. 2.

Mr. Santamaria traces his menswear fascination to his Toronto childhood and a dapper Italian father partial to polos, short shorts and wicker shoes. "I thought his was an older way of dressing," he said. "But now I wear the same shoes and shirts. It's this influence I never realized I had."

Today, Mr. Santamaria's appreciation for menswear is global. His new book documents five cities he's deemed menswear capitals—New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Milan and London. His hometown didn't make the cut. He explained, diplomatically: "Toronto is one of those cities trying to find itself." Here, five images from "Men in This Town" and Mr. Santamaria's take on the unique sartorial charms of each locale.


"Milanese men are born with taste, and not much changes," Mr. Santamaria said. Still, he sees a difference between the generations. Younger men wear sportier clothes, he explained, while more-tailored looks seem to be reserved for older men. "There's almost a rite of passage," he added. "You have to earn the right to pull off that suit." Having clocked a little time on planet Earth can make a man more photogenic, added Mr. Santamaria: "[I like] that you can see the experience and tradition in their faces." Many of Mr. Santamaria's Milanese photos focus on these older gentlemen like fashion showroom owner Alessandro Squarzi. Mr. Squarzi's √©lan comes via spezzato—artfully mismatched jackets and trousers. Try it with a plaid blazer, vest and khaki pants.


The Japanese city is hands-down Mr. Santamaria's favorite to shoot. "[Tokyo residents] pay so much attention to what they wear," he said. "They execute a look to the very last detail." And that's true whether a guy is working an old-school dandy flourish or parsing the finer points of high-quality raw denim. Regarding the latter, few people do cool Americana better than the Japanese, who worship selvage denim, chambray shirts and limited-edition sneakers. "It's the most amazing place I've been to," he said. "You feel like you're engulfed in this other universe."


Mr. Santamaria pronounced men in London as high-fashion-obsessed: "When you see something on the runway, you see it on the streets a few weeks later." But it's not all about the fashion-forward. London style mixes the new with the old. It's a look perfectly captured by Dan Rookwood, the U.S. editor for e-commerce site Mr Porter, whom Mr. Santamaria interviewed for his book. "He has this heritage look about him but is always on top of whatever is new," said the photographer. "It's not about wearing vintage, it's about wearing modern clothing but sort of following the traditions of his dad's wardrobe." Note the slimmed-down, contemporary cut of Mr. Rookwood's camel coat and his soft-frame briefcase. For a similar effect, try AMI's camel coat, a classic Dunhill pinstripe suit and the dandy-like flourish of a floral silk tie.


"New York is the most fun when it comes to fashion," said Mr. Santamaria. "You have everything, from big-box to luxury stores. This is where fashion is most accessible, and there's so much opportunity to do things with your clothes." And not just clothes. About the picture here, he commented in his book, "Nowhere but New York does a mode of transportation become a fashion statement." To underline the city's sense of fashion freedom, "Men in This Town" features an interview with womenswear designers Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra, well known for their twinned uniforms of plaid shirts, suspenders and lumberjack beards. "They've been doing it since the '90s," Mr. Santamaria said. "They anticipated the hipster movement. They're pioneers." Key elements of Gotham style: a subtly refined version of that sportswear classic, a fisherman's knit, and a basic backpack recast in striped wool and leather. The final touch is footwear that earned its street cred decades ago, Converse's Chuck Taylors.


Perhaps because he lives there, Mr. Santamaria is a vocal proponent of Sydney's burgeoning menswear scene. "Especially in the last five years or so, it's started to boom," he said. Men dress appropriately for the mostly warm climate, but that doesn't mean flip-flops and shorts. "You're starting to see looks done in a Neapolitan way, but it's lighter and more free," Mr. Santamaria said. "It's a mix between sartorial and beachy." Certainly a sharp-shouldered jacket worn with a T-shirt and dashingly looped bohemian scarf strikes the right balance. As does an unlined Boglioli jacket and smartly casual, moccasin-like boots.


Newport International Group Runway

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