2011 Fashion Trade Shows and Updated Trade Show Booths

Exhibitors are always trying to find new and exciting ways to update their trade show booths, and the 2011 Las Vegas trade show season is no exception. But instead of resorting to tired gimmicks like booth girls or cheesy giveaways, fashion forward exhibitors are retiring outdated ideas in favor of fashionable exhibit rentals.

If you’re an exhibitor who has yet to try using an exhibit rental, the following tips will be helpful in determining whether or not to take the plunge.

Attack of the Exhibit Display Clones

Exhibit rentals that are carbon copies of each other are embarrassing and a surefire way to lose potential customers. All too often, inexperienced exhibitors will hire equally inexperienced designers and end up paying too much money for a boring excuse for an exhibit display. Ask for a portfolio.

Rented Portable Booths Don’t Mean Ugly Booths

A lot of this is due to the misconception that rented portable booths cannot be customized. When working with a good designer, nothing can be further from the truth. For talented designers, trade show booths are like skeletons or frames that can be added to fit the needs of numerous clients.

From mural graphics and tension fabric, to storage and lighting, the best exhibit display providers will be the one that offers a variety of options that can be adjusted to represent the design mission of any fashion house.

Don’t Worry About Commitment to Your Display Booth

The best part about display booth rentals is that using them means no longer having to commit to a single design that will be outdated by next season. This of course saves money, but it also helps exhibitors stay on trend without having to waste time developing countless new exhibit displays.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The History of the First Fashion Exhibition

Often called ” the designer’s designer,” Cuban-born Isabel Toledo was little known outside fashion’s inner sanctum until First Lady Michelle Obama selected her shift dress and coat for the January Inauguration Ceremony. Last week in NYC, I visited The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) for an exhibition of Isabel’s work.

Entitled “Fashion from the Inside Out,” it showcases her designs over the last 20 years. Isabel is a minimalist – rarely using ornamentation to enhance her designs – and her signature is the ability to manipulate fabric to form garments. The expression “liquid architecture” has been coined to describe her jersey dresses. The Cornflower Dress is a perfect example, with its ingeniously draped series of arcs. Beautiful, indeed, though I’m not certain how to wear it!

Over the years, I have enthusiastically watched Isabel’s evolution. That is, until her wool lace, lemongrass-coloured shift dress and coat made their debut on the First Lady’s January walk. The Queen Mother immediately came to mind – in a word, dowdy. Where was the young, spirited fashion-minded Michelle? Where was the unique creative edge synonymous with Isabel’s name?

And then, there I was at the end of the exhibition with this famous ensemble. FIT includes the outfit as part of Isabel’s Origami Series – inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding. Paper? Paper is stiff and crisp. The fabric was exquisite wool lace from Switzerland’s prestigious Forster Rohner and should have been finished using haute couture techniques – especially since Isabel, distaining the appellation artist, always reminds people she is a “seamstress first.”

Instead of conspicuous side seams, sewn by machine, the lace should have been overlapped and invisibly joined with hand stitching to create a seamless appearance. When I studied Haute Couture at the Académie des Hauts Couturiers Canadiens, I learned to handle expensive lace. This satin dress is covered with heavy cotton French lace and you can see how I joined the lace at the side seams. Compare this finish to Isabel’s ensemble for the First Lady. The rich, luxurious Swiss wool lace did not get the attention it deserved -what a shame.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The History of the First Fashion Exhibition

The V&A, or The Victoria and Albert Museum,(named after Prince Albert and Queen Victoria) was founded in 1852 and is the home to over 4.5 million objects and 5 thousand years worth of art. The many different collections it houses are some of the largest in the world and that is why it does not surprise me that it’s collection of fashions exceeds 14,000 pieces.

Although, the V&A had received an impressive collection from Talbot Hughes (a collector of costumes and attire from the 16th century through to the 1870s) in 1913. Its first real fashion exhibition came to life in 1971, thanks to one particularly note worthy man, Cecil Beaton.

Cecil Beaton was a photographer, illustrator, set designer, costume designer, writer and diarist. To say he was a man of many talents would be a serious understatement. During his life time he worked with magazines like Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar. He was also commissioned to be a royal photographer, and became official photographer for British government and military agencies during WWII. The huge number of famous faces and personalities he captured on film during his lifetime is ridiculously impressive and left me wondering if in fact there was any one he hadn’t photographed before his death in 1980. To name a few so you get an idea, Dali, Picasso, Monroe, Brando, Jagger, Mae West, Warhol, Twiggy, Dietrich, Garbo… I think you get the idea.

I could go on and on about Beaton (his personal life is an interesting one, rude, bitchy, gay yet had an affair with Garbo etc) but the point of this particular post is how he came to be the creator of “Fashion: An Anthology” what was basically, the first, of the kind of fashion exhibitions we go to today. (Don’t worry, I shall be returning to him in another post!)

The exhibition came about thanks to a New York dinner party in 1969, where Cecil had been seated next to the then director of the V&A, John Pope-Hennessy. Hennessy made a comment to Cecil, about how he was surprised that the Balenciaga gowns which were so in vogue at the time, were not collected as works of art. An idea was born.

Beaton was of course by this time, so well known and established that he had absolutely no problem getting in contact with the kind of women he knew would not only have these kinds of dresses,but who would be happy to donate them. In the end he ended up with a collection of 450 pieces for the exhibition and even more to donate to the museums collections. Some of the oldest pieces dated back to 1897, but it also featured 1960s fashions, including a skirt donated by model of the day, Jean Shrimpton.

Her Majesty The Queen, The Duchess of Windsor, and many other well known royals donated as well as some other rather recognizable last names, Onassis, Guinness, Niarchos. The collection itself had all the most coveted designer names ever known, such as, Schiaparelli, Balenciaga, Dior, Desses, Poiret, Givenchy, YSL (who complained as he only had 6 dresses within the exhibit )

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

2012 Fashion Exhibitions in Museums Around the World

With the recent success of McQueen’s fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, must-see 2012 fashion exhibitions are on the rise with some of the most notable fashion designers out there. Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Custom Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, told the trade, “Clearly the critical as well as popular success of the McQueen show suggests that fashion design has a more secure place in the precincts of an art museum.” If fashion is no longer just for those interested in following trends, but rather for all who are interested in art, then fashion museum exhibitions are here to stay. Here is a list of the top three fashion displays that can be found at your local museum this year.

Fashion Exhibit 1: “IMPACT: 50 Years of the CFDA”

The Council of Fashion Designers of America is an organization that supports industry initiatives, rising talent and has some of the country’s most important designers as members. CFDA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a show of over a hundred pieces of clothing and accessories, along with images and acknowledgements of the nearly six hundred designers who have been CFDA members over the years. This 2012 exhibition will be at The Museum at FIT in New York from February 10 to April 27.

Fashion Exhibit 2: “Louis Vuitton – Marc Jacobs”

This Paris show will convene Louis Vuitton’s past and present. See how Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs cultivated the label, from its conception and look when Vuitton was at the helm during the 19th century, to the contemporary ready-to-wear collections created during Jacobs’s 13 years as creative director. This show will be featured at the Les Arts Decoratifs in Paris from March 9 to September 16.

Fashion Exhibit 3: “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”

The couture, cone bras, striped sailor shirts and costumes worn by celebrities like Madonna and Kylie Minogue make their way to San Francisco. The third stop on this touring exhibition will give Californians a reason to applaud fashion’s enfant terrible. This exciting exhibit will be at the De Young Museum in San Francisco starting on March 24 continuing until August 19.

Be sure to stay current will all fashion trends as well as the fashion industry’s history and see these fashion museum exhibitions. 2012 is definitely an exciting year for a glimpse into the rich history of fashion designs and houses.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off