In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a revolution happening over at Gucci and the genius leading the rebellion is a man who strongly believes in emotion over rationality. Since he was appointed creative director nearly a year ago, Alessandro Michele has uncovered the delightful eccentricity in the Gucci woman. And then some. She’s a nerd, she’s punk, she’s a lady, she’s multi-lingual and multi-generational, she’s smart, she’s quirky, she’s glamorous, she’s a history buff, she’s a maximalist and most importantly, she sees fashion as a form of individual expression. With this reinvented woman as his muse, it’s no wonder Alessandro has stirred up a feverishness within the industry. Since his debut last winter, we wait in giddy anticipation before each collection showing – both women’s and men’s. And in days following, we’re studying all the multifarious details and envisioning ways in which can we bring out our best Gucci woman.
After seeing woman artisans in rural Guatemala lack market access for their stunning handwoven wares, Ruth DeGolia was motivated to start Mercado Global. More than ten years later, the handbag company has worked with over 400 artisans across the country, empowering women with increased and sustainable income and inspiring them to build up cooperatives within their own communities.
I feel so fortunate to have been invited to Guatemala last month to witness the impactful model first hand, with the Mercado Global team. After arriving in the charming, colonial capital of Antigua, we made our way to Lake Atitlán, a breathtakingly stunning lake in the volcanic highlands of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Side trips from Mercado Global’s headquarters in Panajachel led us to indigenous entrepreneurs like Cristobalina, a Mayan weaver whose craft had been passed down from multiple generations. There, in her weaving studio, we watched in awe as the skilled hands of her and her fellow weavers handled two life sized foot looms with preciseness and dexterity. Hundreds of meticulously arranged cotton strings danced up and down, from multiple warps, creating intricate patterned fabric that would eventually be constructed into handbags. Not only has Cristobalina worked alongside Mercado Global for several years, but she has since been able to independently support her family and send her elder children to school for the first time. She and other women in her cooperative are also provided steady educational programs which enable them to lead, improve and address health and financial matters on their own.
It was rewarding to observe Mercado Global’s socially responsible business model, something we so rarely see within the fashion industry. And it was gratifying to experience Guatemala and all of it’s magical charm and beauty through the eyes of the Mercado Global team. I can’t wait to return but in the meantime, I look forward to continuing to support such an inspiring company.
We look forward to London Fashion Week the most as it’s always full of surprises and emerging talent. There was a noticeably dark and moody edge to the fall collections this season, with hints of rebellion and quirk that we can love and appreciate:
Markus Lupfer: There was an undeniably delightful 70s disco vibe to Markus Lupfer’s fall collection that felt subdued enough where it didn’t feel too literal but rather, very very wearable. Head to toe, we wanted it all: velvet and pleated metallic lurex skirts, corduroy coats and capes, hand embroidered and sequined floral motifs, and metal lip and star studded leather coats and suede boots.
Toga: Japanese designer Yasuko Furuta first piqued our attention a series of coats, from her 2015 fall collection, that featured an internal cross body sash that allowed them to be slung off one shoulder. She was onto something there and we were onto some mad talent. This season, it was the futuristic and glam/punk details that got us excited: a gold lurex lined military coat, a ruffled organza slip peeking out from a belted knit dress, denim flares with silver studded hems, and fur mufflers attached to the body with leather straps. Clever, clever . . .
My recent infatuation with signet rings has led me down a deep rabbit hole, tracing it’s fascinating history all the way back to 1800BC in Ancient Egypt. For centuries, signet rings have been used to signify authority and seal business transactions, with symbols engraved in stone or etched in metal and then stamped on hot wax. Fast forward to the 16th century when wearing signets in Europe became a status symbol, mostly amongst royalty and aristocrats. Today, they are worn blank or monogrammed and most of the time, purely as a fashion accessory. I’m continuously on the lookout for a storied vintage piece, as well as a more masculine signet, to stack alongside my modern version. Scroll down for some of my favorite picks – you might find your own initials emblazoned on one of these gorgeous antique signets!
You can always rely on Hungarian designer Sandra Sandor to inspire with the ease of her silhouettes and the unexpected combination of textures and colors. This season, a softer and more muted palette allows the emphasis to shine on some wonderfully structured shapes and beautifully knitted details. Flared blouses, side slit knit skirts, loose fitting knit fringe dresses and soft suede babouches, get in my closet now.