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NYFW Fall 2014: Calvin Klein Collection

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Cozy grunge blanketed the runway at the Calvin Klein Collection show.

Of course, it was done with the brand’s signature minimalist stamp. Layered casual knitwear is having a moment this season and Francisco Costa’s collection seemed to solidify the trend at the end of NYFW.

The Doc Martin-inspired utility boots worn with patchy knit sweater vest dresses layered over knit skirts evoked a sort early ’90s grunge meets a modern day Portland hippie vibe.

Nearly everything, including outerwear, looked like a sweater you’d want to curl up in while taking a nap next to a fireplace. It’s as if designers this season practically anticipated the polar vortex most of the U.S. has been suffering through this season.

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Costa’s knits came almost entirely in mohair, sometimes mixed in with cashmere.

Outwerwear came sans buttons, pinned with oversize safety pins for closure. Colors were mostly earth toned in woodsy hues of brown, leafy greens, and burnt oranges mixed with blacks and greys.

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Even what would be considered eveningwear at the end of the show could be worn casually from day to night, like a black embroidered gauze and nylon split-waist dress with a glass chain-link belt.

Normally words like “comfort”, “casual”, and “cozy” are the kiss of fashion death and best reserved for loungewear. But this season, they equate a chic simplicity that the busy modern woman has been longing for. Costa’s collection was a shining example.

London Fashion Week Arrives

London Fashion Week has arrived – a five-day extravaganza known for producing some of the world’s most exciting and dynamic fashion talents. Over recent seasons the city’s reputation has slowly changed from being home to creative, but often commercially unsavvy, designers, becoming a place that nurtures emerging talents and puts them on a global stage. The industry is now worth an impressive £26 billion to the British economy.

Two of the season’s big tickets will be Christopher Kane and JW Anderson, both of which have received investment from luxury conglomerates LVMH and Kering respectively. Burberry and Tom Ford will once again draw big crowds, as two of London’s best-known names. Mulberry has already got the fashion press talking with its Sunday photo call, at which campaign star Cara Delevingne will unveil a “creative project”, with whispers she could be the latest star to have a bag named after her. With no creative director yet appointed at the helm, the label will not hold a catwalk show this season – instead hosting an intimate dinner for friends of the brand.

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We look forward to seeing what the city’s creative mainstays – Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic and Henry Holland – have in store, a group who have progressed from being the new generation to lucrative businesses, embracing new chapters in their careers – with many opening standalone shops in the coming months. We’ll also be keeping a firm eye on the Peter Pilotto catwalk, this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner.

New to the schedule this season are Mother of Pearl, Whistles, Joseph and Marks & Spencer – the latter of which will unveil its autumn/winter 2014 Best of British collection with a series of presentations at Somerset House on Monday. Joseph celebrates the 25th anniversary of its famed Fulham Road store this season, launching a capsule collection created by labels including Giles, Balmain and Jonathan Saunders.

So which new names to take note of? Thomas Tait’s complex simplicity is still causing a stir in fashion circles, while Simone Rocha – who won Best Emerging Womenswear Designer at the 2014 British Fashion Awards – is expected to impress again with her strong, contemporary take on romance. For eveningwear, we’ll look to Barbara Casasola – whose floor-length dresses are truly lessons in modern elegance.

If London Fashion Week has already whet your shopping appetite, stop by at Hardlyeverwornit.com‘s pop-up store at 29 Duke Street, which will be selling pieces donated by fashion editors to raise money for charity.

Electric Blue Liner is Having a Moment

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For their fall ’14 show—a collection that ELLE’s fashion editor Danielle Prescod dubbed “city girl meets the rustic outdoors”—Creatures of The Wind wanted to achieve transcendence—a theme that inspired key makeup artist James Boehmer to create a sense of “purity and illumination” via luminous skin and a flash of aquamarine on the eyes.

Backstage, he pointed out how swiping a metallic blue liner along the lower inner lash creates a lit-from-within look. “Using blue puts light on the eyes and makes them look whiter,” he tells.

To apply: Look up and apply liner to the lower water line with short but gentle strokes. Do not apply on the top lid for a modern look that, according to Boehmer, “works with every girl’s eye shape.”

Case in point: Jessica Biel, who smudged a similar hue along her outer lash line at the MoMA 2013 Film Benefit last November. Whether worn as a whisper at Creatures, or more boldly à la Biel, teal liner is finding its niche.

Unlike the color’s brash turn back in the ’80s, this reinterpretation is as sophisticated as it is unexpected.

Transcendent, indeed.

Gucci Museum Celebrating Female Contemporary Artists

This year, the Florence-based Gucci Museum is to celebrate a series of international female contemporary artists with a number of exhibitions collecting pieces from the Pinault Collection.

The first exhibit, named “Femminilita’ Radicale,” will open to the public on Feb. 21 and will show the artwork of Belgian Evelyne Axell, American Lee Lozano and Polish-born Alina Szapocznikow.

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Curated by Martin Bethenod, director of Venice-based Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana, the exhibition aims to show how the aforementioned artists, between the Sixties and the Seventies, used the female body to express their critical point of view on their contemporary society.

Gucci will host a cocktail party on Feb. 20 at the museum to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, which will close on Sept. 7.

Sarah Jessica Parker To Curate New Jewelry Venture, WeTheAdorned

A new way to grow your jewelry collection will be hitting the web this spring: WeTheAdorned will be introducing their membership-based e-comm destination, with help from Sarah Jessica Parker.

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The actress-slash-shoe designer will be curating the jewelry offerings, which will feature pieces that have been specifically designed for the site, by the likes of Erickson Beamon, Lulu Frost, Paige Novick, Fenton Fallon and Pamela Love.

Each designer has been given artistic license to design whatever they like, using bronze, 24-karat gold, diamonds, emeralds, and any other precious or semiprecious stones.

Memberships will be offered at a premium and non-premium level, and the site is now open for early sign-up, although the annual fee for both levels has yet to be determined.

The founders of the site, Tim McElwee and Cyia Batten, are also the designers behind jewelry line, T. Cyia. The duo raised money for their latest venture via Kickstarter in June 2013.

WeTheAdorned will fill a niche that fits in somewhere between the sparkly baubles sold at places like Tiffany & Co., and the affordable gems offered at BaubleBar. Geographically speaking, all the designs be manufactured in America; on the business front, the company’s structure will allow most of the revenue from the sales to flow back to the designer.

Neelam Johal, Burberry’s First Indian Model

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It Girl Alert: Neelam Johal has arrived.

The Coventry, England native walked in Burberry’s September catwalk show, and now the psychology student is their latest campaign face, posing alongside actor Jamie Campbell Bower and teen aristocrat Lady Jean Campbell.

Besides being a striking model and a not-so-secret bookworm (her favorite author is Afghan-American novelist Khaled Hosseini), Johal is the first Indian model Burberry’s ever cast in a fashion campaign.

Shot by Mario Testino, the teen looks gorgeous in the label’s khaki jacket, and she’s giving us a serious case of tousled-hair-envy.

Plus, it seems Johal is a budding fashion blogger: Check out her backstage photos from Burberry Prorsum’s last fashion show, including a coveted picture with Harry Styles.

So as long as no rabid Directioners take fashion’s newest princess captive, we predict big things for her in 2014… starting with a new bespoke trench coat in her closet.

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