It's always exciting to discover great fashion finds. Here, another handful of newbies -from one designer who has mastered the perfect extra-long T to another whose signature is quickly becoming the sexy siren gown.
WHISTLE AND FLUTE Designer: Yoon Chang Backstory: Chang went through all the design rites of passage before she started Whistle and Flute. She graduated from Parsons The New School for Design, and, in 2000, joined Cynthia Steffe, watching it grow from a tiny label to an established contemporary brand. In December 2006, Chang, then Steffe's head designer, and Je-Wan Hwang, her head merchandiser, left the studio and whipped up their own contemporary collection in time for fall 2007. Hwang is now Chang's business partner.
Collection: The 11 styles are inspired by "gender-bending and a mix of masculine and feminine," says Chang. Flirty, silk crepe tops, high-wasted tailored
trousers and trim jackets illustrate her point.
Stats: Wholesale prices range from $69 to $200. The line has been picked up by Hejfina in Chicago. — Jessica Iredale
TUCKER BY GABY BASORA Backstory: It all began with a full-sleeved blouse, one that Chicago-born Basora cut for herself a few years ago while working as a stylist in New York. "I loved it so much, I decided to make, like, 50 in different fabrics. I was wearing a different one every day," she recalls. Then, one fortuitous evening out, a friend, wearing one of said tops, met a friend who worked at Barneys New York. The store eventually placed an order — prompting Basora to formally launch Tucker by Gaby Basora, now in its second season.
Collection: Easy dressing is how Basora describes her line. Take the collection's signature blouse, for example, with its roomy sleeves: "The shape is easy to wear, but sophisticated. It can take on many lives," she says. Plus, it comes in a variety of prints, from the whimsical to the romantic. But Tucker's not just a one-garment wonder; the collection includes everything from tunics to dresses to high-waisted trousers.
Stats: Henri Bendel, Intermix, Fred Segal, Ron Herman, Scoop and Barneys New York are just a few of the retailers who bought the line, which wholesales from $80 for a camisole to $215 fora trench. — Venessa Lau
ANDREA S. Designer: Andrea Styranka Backstory: While working retail at Planet Blue in Malibu, Calif., in 2002, Styranka, a Los Angeles native who studied fashion design at the local American InterContinental University, decided to make and sell a few extra-long, marbleized cotton T-shirts. Within two years, she launched Andrea S., eventually expanding the line to include adorable little dresses and high-waisted pants, as well as those best-selling Ts. In a roundabout way, this fledgling label has received plenty of high-profile press: One of those hush-hush faves of celebs, its long tanks have been worn — and thus photographed by paparazzi — by the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Lindsay Lohan when they're tooling around L.A.
Collection: Laid-back, everyday wearability with touches of detail: cheerful, colorful stripes; subtle, sexy key-hole cutouts, and delicate pleats. "I try to keep it simple," Styranka says. "I try to be a little fashion-forward, but I want people to still want to wear the pieces a year from now."
Stats: Simple tanks wholesale for $24 while silk dresses top $120. Andrea S. is carried at stores including Diana Kane in Brooklyn, Shop Girl in Chicago, Fred Segal Trend and Madison in Los Angeles and Planet Blue in Malibu, Venice and Santa Monica, Calif. — Nandini D'Souza
CESAR GALINDO Backstory: Galindo's mother got him hooked on sewing and he went on to design corsets and period costumes for the Houston Grand Opera in his hometown. After that, he was Seventh Avenue-bound with a job at Carmelo Pomodoro. He's since had design stints at Tse, Dolce & Gabbana and most recently Calvin Klein, where he continues to work with Francisco Costa on the women's collection. Galindo launched his signature line for fall 2006.
Collection: Mexican cinema star María Félix is the inspiration behind Galindo's sexy siren gowns. And chances are, you've already seen one example: He designed the crimson dress Courteney Cox wears in the ads for her F/X series, "Dirt." Such a stunner is typical for Galindo, who's partial to bold colors, duchesse satin, sequined tulle, matte jersey lace, chiffon and charmeuse for his gowns, which range from long to short and structured to floaty. "I grew up with five sisters who were not all small girls," says Galindo. "So I understand the importance of making clothes for different body shapes."Stats: Wholesale prices range from $600 to $1,590. In addition
to many boutiques, Saks Fifth Avenue has picked up the collection for fall, and Galindo has a series of trunk shows lined up with Neiman Marcus. — Jessica Iredale
DOROTHY LEE Backstory: After spending a summer studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London, Lee knew she wanted to pursue that — not statistics, her major at the time. Alas, the Los Angeles native earned a degree in the latter from the University of California at Berkeley, and then began a postgraduate fashion program at Parsons The New School for Design, interning at Peter Som and Chanel along the way. She then held design assistant stints at William Beranek and Leon Maxx, and left it all behind to create her own line, which launches for fall.
The Collection: "I'm really attracted to garments that don't pop immediately, but become more interesting the longer you look at them," says Lee. Case in point: a long-sleeved jersey top with a slight slash at the neckline and a draped cowlneck in the back. The collection also includes lots of knitwear and silk dresses, but her fabric of choice is Lyocell jersey because, Lee says, "It's eco-friendly and feels like silk."
Stats: About 90 boutiques, including Tracey Ross in Los Angeles and Big Drop in New York, will carry the collection, which wholesales from $44 for a Lyocell jersey turtleneck to $249 for a wool cashmere jacket with rabbit-fur trim. — Sarah Taylor
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast