Hippie chick. Boho baby. Glam rocker. Disco darling. The many faces of the “Me Decade” get a makeover for Fall thanks to our talented designers and tireless decorators.
Designer Conrad Booker caught disco fever with his sheer gold lace halter dress with a high front slit. The dress is embellished with irregular rectangles of mirrored Lucite. He added metal door hinges to the belt and heels for a modern twist; an animal print purse and a faux “Afro puff” headpiece top off the ensemble.
Sales Tip: Don’t forget accessories, like purses and belts, when putting together an apparel solution for clients. They help unify a look and can be a great opportunity to upsell.
Created by designer Pilar Briceño Cárdenas for her “Natural Folk” collection, this bright and bold outfit was inspired by the ancestral iconography of her native Colombia. The dye-sublimation patterns that were printed with a Sure-Color F-series printer from Epson (circle 92 on Free Info Card) on a faux fur-lined vest and cropped pants were handmade by Cárdenas.
Decoration Tip: Dye sublimation allows designers to create handmade patterns in a modern, cost-effective way – digitally transferring their vision onto fabric. “The quality of colors and definition that you can find in sublimation inks are really amazing, so don’t be shy when choosing your palette of colors,” Cárdenas says.
Taking inspiration from trippy music videos, designers at Vapor Apparel (asi/93396; circle 93 on Free Info Card) sublimated a blindingly bright lotus flower pattern onto the supplier’s spun polyester fashion fit V-dress (S290WH), echoing the design on Cherokee luxe low-rise scrubs (1066) from Pella Scrubs, a division of Pella Products Inc. (asi/76810; circle 94 on Free Info Card).
Decoration Tip: Choose design location carefully when sublimating to avoid crease marks. They are prone to occur on areas in a garment that don’t lie flat in a heat press, particularly in the underarm area.
This tailored “kirigami” vegan leather trench by Byron Lars stands out with its laser-cut, lace-like pattern and bold metallic belt buckle.
Decoration Tip: Sometimes good design is about taking something away, rather than adding on. With a sharp pair of scissors and a creative plan, a decorator can manipulate even the most mundane T-shirt into something unique.
Byron Lars was inspired by an “African princess” when he embellished this fit and flare dress. It features a hand-beaded front neck with faceted 3-D flowers, white faux-raffia fringe at the decollate, a shredded print chiffon appliqué on the front bodice, machine embroidery in rayon thread on the front skirt panel, swirling sequin embroidery on the black net side-skirt panel and a hand-beaded side front seam. A light blue 100% pashmina wool scarf (PASH-145-050) from Wolfmark (asi/98085; circle 95 on Free Info Card) completes the look.
Sales Tip: Pashminas work for an array of markets, says Jason Harttert, digital marketing director at Wolfmark. They’re a versatile luxury item, perfect for corporate gifts, resorts, college alumni and charity events.
Byron Lars says he was inspired by “Malibu Barbie” when he created this knit maxi dress for his Byron Lars Beauty Mark line. It features a delicately embroidered net base with inset body-mapping knit panels, machine embroidery that mimics crochet at the side-front skirt seam and a gradation of appliquéd doilies on the side skirt panel.
Decoration Tip: Flatter the figure with a sexy silhouette, but leave some mystery to keep it interesting, Lars says: “I’m always thinking about what looks best on a woman’s body. It’s the kind of thing you don’t appreciate until someone sees you walk in and they’re like, ‘What’s going on under there?’ It’s like, ‘Never you mind what’s going on.’ ”
Jane Swanzy of Swan Marketing LLC (circle 96 on Free Info Card) decorated these cotton-spandex jersey yoga pants (8300) from American Apparel (asi/35297; circle 97 on Free Info Card) and long-sleeved jewel neck blouse (2408) from Executive Apparel (asi/53418; circle 98 on Free Info Card) using a floral motif from Urban Threads and a handful of rhinestones for extra sparkle. Patent leather stiletto boots, embellished by Conrad Booker, complete the look.
Decoration Tip: Use polyester thread, rather than a cotton blend, when embroidering flimsier, unstructured fabric, Swanzy says.
Behind The Fashion
Philadelphia-based artist Conrad Booker lived through the ’70s, so when Wearables approached him with the idea to revisit the iconic looks of that decade – from the flowing bohemian and hippie styles of its early years to the glitz and glam of the disco era – his initial reaction was: “Oh, let’s not do that again.”
It only took a few moments for his creative mind to run with the concept, however. For each ’70s theme, Booker created a literal – but not “costumey” – translation of the look and a companion piece that incorporated ’70s flavors – perhaps a wide-brimmed hat or a loosely tied headscarf – into a more modern palette. “I was thinking about how we could put a new spin on the ’70s for the people who have lived through it, but then also respect the fact that there’s a young demographic that hasn’t lived through it and might be experiencing the decade’s styles for the first time,” Booker says.
Booker developed concept sketches for eight distinct looks, and Wearables staff sought out designer pieces that matched his vision, like the gorgeous, hippie-hot maxi dress from Byron Lars’ Spring 2015 collection or the bold, polychromatic vest and paisley pants, designed by Pilar Briceño Cárdenas and featured in Epson’s “Digital Couture” show during New York Fashion Week earlier this year. We also commissioned pieces from industry decorators, asking embroiderer Jane Swanzy, owner of Swan Marketing LLC, to add floral embellishments to a white blouse and leggings, and the groovy gurus at Vapor Apparel (asi/93396) to sublimate a splashy, psychedelic pattern onto a tunic and loose pants.
For his own contribution to the shoot, Booker drew inspiration from the decadent disco dancers of Studio 54 and an image he dug up of Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry in an all-gold pantsuit. “I gave it a modern twist with the materials and hardware overlaying the outfit,” he adds. His gold lace gown shimmers with dozens of Lucite mirror fragments; repurposed door hinges on the wide belt and stiletto heels give the look a hard edge. “I really like to challenge my thinking and look at ready-made, everyday elements in an artful way,” Booker says.