October 27, 2011

Haute Halloween Trends

It goes without saying that everything from movies to news to celebrity scandals from the past year inspires an onset of new, unconventional Halloween costumes. The latest newsflash you ask? Well, this year your typical cowgirl or vampire just won’t do! Get creative and push the limits because this is your chance to play pretend for just one night!

Still in need of a last minute costume revelation? Well we here at MBF Trend Consulting have some tips on the trendiest and most innovative costumes out there this Halloween.

photo via partycity.com

Lady Gaga
Not only the queen of the airwaves but the perfect costume goddess, Lady Gaga is an easy fix to any last minute Halloween crisis. Time to go platinum with a bleached blonde wig and sky-high shoes! Don’t forget the glitter and avant-garde mask and you’re ready to perform! Check out full costume ideas or create your own version of Gaga herself with accessories galore here!

Score some major points and dress up in one of the hottest costumes this year has to offer, Angry Birds. Be a colorful, flightless bird and slingshot your way into costume. Choose from birds in red, yellow, or black! Hurry and play the game soon before time runs out!

While last year it was all about the vampire, this year thanks to the comic book turned television series, Walking Dead, zombies have resurrected. Not only is it easy to play dead, but super affordable too! Get in the ghoul spirit and haunt the night away for some fresh flesh.

photo via partycity.com

A very steam punk Halloween seems to be all the rage this season as the past and the future unite!  Think a savvy Sherlock Holmes and combine Victorian fashion with some charming gadgets and dash of attitude. Get original and invent your own gadgets and gimmicks by pairing a lace up corset with goggles and a top hat for a bit of feminine flair!

Get ready to feel like royalty! What better way to play pretend than as a prince and princess? The top couples costume of 2011 is by no surprise, William and Kate! Recreate the wedding of the century and celebrate yourself first hand. 

photo via buycostumes.com

Pan Am Flight Attendant
With a new television series in flight, the hit show, Pan Am is definitely drawing some inspiration from up in the clouds. With the legendary stewardess uniform, Pan Am bag, and little white gloves, it’s a fun take on the 1960’s with a hint of espionage. Click here to chose from a few different styles of stewardess chic!

photo via amazon.com

Wild Things
Go wild and DIY by creating an animalistic inspired costume! Take your everyday dog and cat and transform into a fierce tiger or ferocious wolf! Or, go a bit lighthearted and dress up as a plush kangaroo, wobbly penguin, or foxy fox!

With less than a few days away, don’t let this spooky day creep up on you! We’d love to see what great costume ideas you’ve put together! Feel free to send us photos and comments!

October 20, 2011

Fashion's Cutting-Edge Talent

The one constant in fashion is change and that’s a fact. While the fashion industry thrives on innovation, there’s nothing like some cutting-edge talent! Today we would like to highlight the best up and coming international designers that are about to take the stage or should we say catwalk?

photo via style.com

Stealing some of the spotlight is a Russian designer, Alexandre Plokhov. Plokhov, a former menswear designer for Versace, recently launched a womenswear line at Barney’s this past September. His gothic inspired menswear line, Cloak, was discontinued in 2007 but his fine tailoring and deconstructed style has gained much attention and now is branching into the women's market.

photo via Shang Xia

Since we’ve discussed Chinese models in a past post, “All Eyes on China,” today, we’d like to also draw attention to an upcoming Chinese fashion designer, Zhang Da. Not only is he the designer behind Hermes’ label Shang Xia, but also his own independent label, Boundless. While both lines embody two very different approaches, Da draws much of his inspiration from Japanese design as well as his own traditional Chinese heritage. The buzz about China’s style will continue as the industry further develops and stimulates an onset of new innovation in design and we’re excited to see what’s to come!

Who doesn’t love when a fashion veteran reinvents herself? A former designer for both Valentino and Gucci, Alessandra Facchinetti returned to the runway this past fashion week. However, this time Facchinetti teams up with the Italian fast fashion brand, Pinko, to create her collection, Uniqueness. The 60-piece collection is both non-seasonal as well as available online exactly as it was presented on the catwalk. If that isn’t fashion savvy then we don’t know what is!

photo via Elle.com

From Russian to Chinese to Italian flair, where better to end but right here in the U.S.? Designer Yara Flinn is the name behind the label Nomia, which takes a sculptural approach to design by creating artistic, edgy, and sophisticated garments. While the brand first hit the fashion scene in 2007, it has had great success at New York Fashion week as well as continue to produce all pieces right here in New York City’s historic garment district.

photo via salt & studs

Who’s got talent? Giovanna Randall sure does! From opera singer to pre-med student to now up and coming luxury fashion designer, Randall’s vast experiences have inspired her to create the line, Honor. With only two seasons under her belt, she is already opening a shop up in the Meatpacking district and is dedicated to preserving New York City's garment district.

photo via ecouterre.com

Former Season 5 Project Runway winner, Leanne Marshall, combines eco-friendly fabrications with sophisticated, feminine design. Her most recent spring/summer 2012 collection inspired by a visit to the ocean, incorporated hemp silk, bamboo jersey, and organic cotton to evoke “the way the wind moves through the sand.” She’s sure a winner in our eyes!

From around the globe and back, a distinct array of talent is giving us a new perspective not only on the industry, but the world. This contemporary energy is leading us into a new era of ever-changing values and aesthetics. We love a fresh point of view, don’t you?

October 13, 2011

Survival of the "Creativists"

The times are craving for a change and new approaches to the way we do things. Everything is being challenged right now and with great challenge comes opportunity. Here at MBF Trend Consulting, we are exploring these trends and here to give you the rundown on what's going on in the world around us.

As the global economic crisis continues, people have to make the most of what they have and in this case, what they know. The return of bartering began with link exchanges on blogs and websites as well as with clothing and housing swaps, but from here it goes way beyond that. We first discussed bartering in our blog “No Rules” and now bartering has finally begun to infiltrate the world.

With the current economy and rising unemployment rates, bartering systems have been expanding internationally. Greece, a perfect example, has used these exchange networks in their farming industry for years and now has a growing community that swap everything from babysitting to home-cooked meals, classes, tech advice, and local discounts. In support of these initiatives, the Greek government recently passed a law that encourages “alternative forms of entrepreneurship and local development.” It’s about building a sense of community and breaking down barriers that monetary systems create.

photo via npr.org

Even here in the U.S. it is taking off as people exchange labor for health services. True North, an integrative medical practice based in Maine, not only focuses on enhancing quality healthcare and strengthening the relationship between patient and practictioner, but accepts "time dollars" as a form of payment. These "time dollars" can be paid in the form of yard work, cleaning, or anything else you can offer. Not only does this concept promote trust, but a better awareness and vigilance of personal health.

photo via psfk.com

From healthcare to the food industry, a Chicago based restaurant, Fireside, has adopted a bartering system that supports an exchange of kitchen appliances, vacations, and even dog grooming for meals. With its cash only no credit policy, it’s not uncommon that customers dine at the restaurant and instead of picking up the tab, are sent to work (or trade), literally. While many meals are still paid in full, it’s a very unique business strategy during times of economic distress.

photo via springwise.com

Another innovative company Panam, a Mexican streetwear sneaker brand, is revitalizing themselves by sharing a little free love. This concept promotes the idea of stimulating sales by offering free merchandise and promotions. By hosting sneaker swaps, Panam fans are invited to trade old pairs for new ones at no cost. While customers are only entitled to one swap, there are over 250 sneakers to choose from. This may simply be business strategy, but the brand is conserving it's resources and showing fans they still hold a place in their heart. So get out there and show some love!

photo via ourgoods.org

Moments like this call for a rise in creativity as people look for new ways to get by. What better place for revolutionary change than the internet? Not only are bartering sites like skills2barter.com, homeexchange.com and styleswap.com popping up, but entire digital trading communities as well. Ourgoods.org is a creative network that promotes an alternative method of exchange in the areas of art, design, and culture. This creative community combines their resources to produce independent projects and build relationships and trust among their members. It seems the starving artists have finally been fed!

Are our values finally becoming more mindful? We think so. This sharing or better said, trading of resources, is helping us break barriers and instead adding substance to our lives. With this sense of community evolves trust, unity, and a conservation of resources. By combining our capabilities, we are not only more powerful, but more aware of our actions. This new outlook gives hope for what’s to come next. We ask you to take some time and check out these animations that give four scenarios about what the future might hold for us. Let us know which outcome you predict!

October 6, 2011

October MBF Favorite Picks

Another season down, as fashion week Spring/Summer 2012 has come to a close. Fashion week may be over but the fashion chatter has just set into spring! We’ve been reviewing the runway shows for the freshest, most stylish looks and our fashion verdict is in!

Overall for spring, fashion goes sporty as designers shift from the lux dressed up looks of fall to everyday sportswear mixed with hints of neon, glossy pastels, and an array of peplums. The 50’s emerge as do inspirations from traditional Spanish heritage, the 1920’s Jazz Age, and intimate apparel. As nighttime details shift into the functionality of daywear, is our overall mentality feeling more relaxed as well? We say, fashion first! So here is this month’s MBF Favorite Picks straight from the catwalk!

photo via Style.com

1. Alexander Wang
In New York we saw a predominantly athletic inspired presence and when we say sporty we mean everything from tennis to motocross. At the lead is Alexander Wang with his off road sport utility driven collection. We love how the mesh cut zip ups, Hawaiian prints, and fitted geometric racing gear team up with leather minis and pockets galore. There surely isn’t any competition here!

photo via style.com

2. Ralph Lauren
The Jazz Age has a fever as it provokes a fashion frenzy. At Ralph Lauren, a major 1920’s influence transpired but in glossy pastel tones, sleepwear inspired silky fabrications, and soft vintage florals. Hemlines remain a bit elongated on bias cut dresses as do clean, sharp menswear inspirations in shades of white and light grey. We’re still fascinated with this feminine masculine play on silhouette and what better decade for it to shine through than the 20’s! Isn’t that snazzy?

photo via style.com

3. Marni
Marni had it all from 50’s florals to drop waists to oversized geometrics, and sheer hems. Most of all, we love the tinted candy colored shades in bubble gum pink, yellow sorbet, and dusty blue. While many of the looks remain polished with major accents on the hip, a bit of texture sneaked in with fringe trims, large sequins, and 3D flower embellishments.

photo via style.com

4. Moschino
At Moschino decadence is in the ring as it drew inspiration from one of the most historic customs of Spain, bullfighting. The traditional matador goes modern as it pairs with sunflower yellow, décolleté laces, and oversized florals. The entire collection grabs our attention as its spin on historic culture merges with elegant ultra-feminine looks and better yet, a Midwest cowboy. This collection does anything but play it safe and we are right there cheering in the crowd!

photo via style.com

5. Prada
This spring Prada has the getaway car and it’s a 1950’s hotrod. Classic ladylike shapes in satin sheens paired with leather skirts, sheers, and car conversationals. Atypical color blocking and fire prints flaming from hemlines give the collection a flare of lightheartedness, which makes us optimistic and keeps us on the move for what’s to come. Can we say varoom varoom?

photo via style.com

6. Givenchy
Probably one of the most innovative collections of the season (and possibly our personal favorite), Givenchy, reshaped the peplum by applying new textures and tailoring, unlike anything else from the entire season. Shades of olive paired with neutrals and monochromatic looks in pastel pink, white, and black combined skin tight fabrications, sheers, skins, sequins, and silk satins to create waves of layering. Overall, the collection produced a lively sense of modernism and we are super interested to see it’s metamorphosis into the mainstream.

photo via style.com

7. Dolce & Gabbana
While florals are everywhere for spring, Dolce & Gabanna took the garden to the market as large-scale vegetables freshened up the menu. From full-skirted dresses to short shorts, cropped tops, and ladylike suiting, this collection screamed 1950’s and we couldn’t be more excited! A touch of glam remained with overly decorative bejeweled dresses, sheer lace blouses, and again textured flower embellishments. We have to add, we love the kitschy pasta shaped earrings and picnic inspired bags!

photo via style.com

8. Custo Barcelona
From movies to fashion, a 3D design aesthetic and revolutionary concept hit the runway this spring and grabbed our eye at Custo Barcelona. The collection titled, “Tripolar” was broken into three segments each featuring a different theme. Dual focused on androgyny as two models both male and female strutted together down the catwalk wearing interchangeable looks. Inspired by the shapes and colors of a kaleidoscope, "Kaleidoscopio", combined brights, patchwork fabrics, and geometrics to create a truly graphic experience. Finally, "Mírame", took nighttime looks with neon pops and high tech printing techniques and brought us into a third dimension. Care to experience this experimental technology or better yet, wear it? Well, each garment comes with a pair of 3D specs so check it out and take your fashion to another level, literally!
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