Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ware house utility brand looks back to when it started three decades ago, and rolls out refreshed, practical pieces.

One brand looks back to when it started three decades ago, and rolls out refreshed, practical pieces.

After seasons of catering to arange of collections, British highstreet fashion label Warehouse is finally

revisiting its roots with Warehouse Utility.
Warehouse started operations in 1976 as Warehouse Utility Clothing, showcasing a range of khaki and

washed fabric pieces. For Spring Summer 2010, the brand goes back to its beginnings, but gives the pieces a

modem look.

Says Warehouse UK senior marketing manager Danielle Brown: "With new trends in casual dressing, we felt it
was time to go back to where we began and modemise this look.

"Our brand is particularly proud and excited about the launch of the Utility trend as. it has brought back
some of the brand's history for the new season," she adds in an interview after the preview of Warehouse's

Spring Summer 2010 collection in London recently.

Warehouse Utility is dominated by khaki, Warehouse's Spring Summer 2010 collection in London recently.
Warehouse Utility is dominated by khaki, greyand sandy tones, and the fabrics are washed and worn in.

Pieces inc!ude mililtary inspired jackets, shorts and trousers are layered with jersey, and oversized knits.

"This is a whole new utility branding. There is a host of combat trousers, jerseys shirts, bags and military
belts," says Warehouse UK buyer Holly Green, who gave Malaysian journalists a run-through of the latest

collection. The trend comprises camouflage prints, heavily embellished pieces, embroidery details and fringing,

she notes.
Decorative details add a rock 'n' roll edge, as well as glamour, with randomly-sprinkled sequins, studs,

embroidery and fringing.

This time round, Warehouse is zooming in on staples and "dressing with ease", taking inspiration from the

nostalgic elements of the 1990s when the music scene had a strong influence ion style.

Apart from the Utility range, there's also the "twisted" romantic grange look, which revives rock for daywear

as "pretty meets hard". Here, we're looking at floral dresses with ruffled trims worn with thermals, camisoles

and fringed leather.

Green says the collection also has a cutting edge touch, with oversized 1980s pieces moving towards a

much cleaner look and a more structured element as the trend promotes the "dress down" effect and softer


As high summer approaches, the Traveller trend takes centrestage with bright, loud and colourful pieces

inspired by the design team's visit to India, Mrica, South America and China, among other place.

"We have florals, stripes, fringing, embroidery, beach dressing and pleated details on such pieces, including

print maxi dresses. It's all about the colour palette. And the tribal look is cleaner and edgier," Green says,

adding that under the Traveller look, there are lots of lace details, embellishment and elements from different


"There are the Moroccan, Indian and Chinese motifs with English teapots and a washed edge in the pieces."

This is the carefree dressing that Warehouse is famous for; this time, it takes inspiration from specialist crafts like ikat, feather, palm and Aztec, woven into soft fluid fabrics.

Another of the trend's key looks for high summer are the essential white pieces whichcelebrate cotton laces,muted colour palettes, fringing and beading details in dresses. The look brings to mind lots of accessories, straws and baskets and layering.

White goes back to basics with cotton decorated with subtle ruffles, knitwear and striped-back jerseys, "echoing the human vertebrae".

Warehouse has not left out the cowboyinfluenced Easy Rider trend for this collection.'This comprises thedenims, shirts, leather and tan bags, and lots of studding and checks," Green says. One interesting piece is the washed all-in-one shorts with fringing ii details.

Also, this season, Warehouse will change its merchandising style - it will focus more on key looks instead of themes.

Previously, Green adds, the theme was the most important point: But now, it will feature as the backdrop.

"We will pull out our key pieces of the collection, for instance a jacket, and put four mannequins together wearing the same jacket but with different outfits to show how to wear the key pieces."

Either that, or four different jackets will be taken out, but each will be worn with the same outfit, either the lace or leather.

"Our customers will walk in and see what piece she needs to buy this season and how she can wear it."

Why the change?

Green says the brand understands that it needs to view its products through the eyes of the customer because of the global recession.

"People are naturally buying less. The idea is to help the customer buy the key pieces she needs to have. We'll put the spotlight on shorts and embellished dresses and help our customers make the right choices.'Customers, Brown adds, are more conscious about their spending and want to know they get good
value in the form of versatile wear and quality pieces.

As in the last several seasons, the brand which launched Warehouse Cares some seasons ago - offers the Fair Trade and Organic collection this season, in recognition of the importance of, and customer demand for, ethically-friendly products.

The brand has an organic range that uses fabrics manufactured without harming the environment and "safe" dyes. It's also an effort to help workers in the less developed countries."We want to ensure that we are
doing the fight thing," Green says.

The Warehouse Utility look is military inspired.

Hundon Rocks - The Former American idol contestant

The former American Idol contestant is voted the best among the celebrities who thronged the Oscar parties in Hollywood last Sunday.

US actress Debi Mazar
Agent GoaSS: Debi Mazar, the Drape Queen from Queens, New York.
Special Agent Flip-Hops: Debi couldn't decide between the grandma look and funky feather style.
Major Vintage-nista: The dress is too long and the patterns too busy. Lose the feather too.

Mexican actress Salma Hayek
Agent GoaSS: Confusing pattern + hideous dress design = a top spot on the worst dressed list.
Special Agent Flip-Rops: Salma's hips sure don't lie!
Major Vintage-nista: Never wear anything that blows your hips out of proportion.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

American label Bebe fashion (pronounced "bee bee") features a diverse range of designs in its Spring Fever Spring 2009 Collection

Eclectic Mix of spring fashion from Bebe


WHEN the theme of a fashion launch is Safari Chic, naturally earthy and khaki hues spring to mind. And since it's a spring collection, it seems only logical to include floral designs and pastel shades.

American label Bebe (pronounced "bee bee") features a diverse range of designs in its Spring Fever Spring 2009 Collection.

The line-up exhibits strong prints, neutral hues and floral designs to meet the various needs of the modern woman. Fabrics include plush textures such as high quality silk, knit, stretch sateen and rich jersey.

In keeping with the Safari theme are Kenyan-inspired creations featuring heavy animal prints and khaki suits. Shades in this range are predictably camel, beige, brown or black.

A standout piece is the leopard-face print tube dress that looks comfy and sensuous.
The design also comes in a slash neckline, waist-gathered top which, paired with a pair of pants or jeans, would make a great party outfit.

Colourful caftans and floral butterfly print dresses form the brighter side of the collection.

The tops come with feminine ruffles and slit-sleeve designs in colours ranging from fuchsia to striking blue.

For casual get-ups, skinny distressed denims are stylishly paired with short caftans or racerback tanks.

Those looking for a sharp office outfit might be interested in the vest and pencil skirt combo with fringed detailing.

The Spring 2009 collection also has some fitted and structured jackets which, matched with short pants or denim jeans, create a pared down look.

Current Bebe chairman and founder Manny Mashouf opened the first Bebe boutique in San Francisco back in 1976, filling a niche that was neither junior nor bridge, and he hasn't looked back since.

The Shakespearean phrase "to be or not to be" inspired Mashouf to choose the name of the fashion label.

Interestingly, the word Bebe means "woman" in Turkish and the Persian name for the queen in a deck of cards.

Celebrity clientele of the label are believed to include Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Lopez.

The label Bebe entered Malaysia in September 2007 and is also found in Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

* Bebe boutiques are located at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, and 1 Utama -Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.