On Saturday, friends, family, educators and fashion enthusiasts packed into the Urban Outfitters Corporate Headquarters at The Navy Yard for Drexel’s Annual Senior Fashion Show, presented by the Fashion Design & Design & Merchandising programs in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.
As always, the show presented select garments from its sophomore, junior and graduate fashion design students, as well as the collections of 24 graduating student designers, many of whom have received awards for their work.
This was my second year attending the event, and I must say, it continues to be one of the most enjoyable fashion presentations I’ve seen in this city. This has as much to do with the level of featured talent as it does with the array of apparel categories showcased, including evening wear, men’s and women’s sportswear, lingerie, bridal, swimwear and best of all, children’s wear.
If there’s one thing I could say about the show as a whole, it’s how impressed and surprised I was to find that many of the designers constructed their looks from head to toe, making their own jewelry, accessories, prints and various accents.
Here are a few of the many noteworthy creations that came down the runway:
Arcadia Boutique – Now through Monday, take 20 percent off any article of clothing featuring stars and stripes, including that of fave designers Alternative Apparel, DV by Dolce Vita and BB Dakota both in stores and online (promo code: STARS). Meanwhile, starting this weekend and continuing every weekend for the rest of the summer, the shop will be taking 50 percent off select vintage clothes and shoes. (819 N. Second St.)
Jay McCarroll – Free shipping on all orders of $50 dollars or more (promo code: FREESHIP50). The Project Runway star is also marking down his colorful women’s Cambridge cardigans, originally $50 dollars, now just $35 dollars. Ends: Tue/28, 2pm.
Nicole Miller – Receive an extra 20 percent off all sale items now through Monday either shopping online (promo code: spring20) or in the designer’s Center City location at The Bellevue. (200 S. Broad St.)
Three Sirens Boutique – With the exception of items by local designers/artists, this weekend, the Old City boutique is kicking off the summer season by taking up to 20 percent off their entire inventory of summer clothing and jewelry. The sale ends at 5 p.m. on Monday. (134 N. Third St.)
Concrete Polish – You have till midnight on Monday to save 20 percent on your entire order when you shop the local jewelry line’s online store (check out code: BBQ). Should you want to see designer Angela Monaco’s jewels up close first, you can do so Monday night at Silk City during their Mad Decent Mondays dance party (10pm-2am).
South Moon Under – This weekend only, take an additional 25 percent off all the store’s already marked down selection of spring/summer items. (1731 Chestnut St.)
Joan Shepp – Peruse the local retailer’s huge selection of Y-3 apparel and accessories for men and women as it will all be 25 percent off now through Monday. You can either shop online (promo code: MEM25) or stop by their Center City location for the full Shepp experience. (1616 Walnut St.)
Kembrel – Save 40 percent off full-priced items and/or 20 percent off already reduced items this weekend when you shop online (checkout code: MEMORIALWEEKEND).
Jamie Crewe is Poisonous Relationship, and his excellent new house record is called “Garden of Problems”
Those guys over at Butt Magazine are often on the cusp of great things of all different sorts: fashion, photography, music, writers, etc. They do stellar interviews that, somehow, read like high non-fiction. Yes, sometimes high like they’re done on weed (or poppers), but more like they elevate gay culture and talking about gay culture to a brilliant plateau of intellectual seriousness. And the other day, via Facebook, Poisonous Relationship showed up on my feed. The video (below) for the first track and single, “Men’s Feelings,” is one wild ride of visual imagery.
Jamie Crewe is one fascinating queer. The video’s like a drag Cindy Sherman experiment. While he name-drops neighborhoods of Los Angeles, this peculiar creature hails from London, and he caught up with a Butt writer for a Q&A (where the record’s also streaming in full) last week that is quite illuminating. Very little ink has been spilled on this one, and we’re trying to change that ASAP.
If you love Hercules and Love Affair, this record’s going to tickle you all summer. Let’s be real: Poisonous Relationship is house music, but it’s approachable and doesn’t make you feel like you need to be around strobing lights or on drugs to appreciate it. In the way that records by DJs like DJ Koze or Caribou’s Daphni record did, it blends beats, sparse vocals, weird samples and hypnosis to make rambling, long house tracks go down nice and smooth. “Men’s Feelings” is 10 minutes long on the dot, and after the name-dropping comes in the delightful repetitive chorus: “Men’s feelings / Tell me more about men’s feelings / I wanna know feelings / Tell me more about men’s feelings.” This is entertaining on multiple levels, as a man, because men aren’t supposed to have feelings. Or, the stereotype is that women have more feelings or feel things more potently than men. Which is bullshit. Some women are completely unfeeling, and some men (sure, lots of homosexuals, especially) are brimming and bursting with feelings. And in the video, as he coos this phrase on repeat, shape-shifting from glamorous drag persona to persona, it adds another level. Suddenly, he’s a gay man posing as a straight woman asking honestly for men’s feelings to be explained. It’s a beautiful mind-fuck!
Then, to my delightful surprise, the whole thing’s on Spotify for our listening pleasure. And it’s a great listen. As he says in his Q&A with Zac Bayly:
“What’s with your bongo drum obsession, by the way?
I do have a bit of a bongo obsession, don’t I? On the record, it’s about having this constant throb. The original idea for the record was like, ‘What if I made a house record with no bass frequencies?’ Then bongos and hand-drums were really key in keeping it burbling along, leading you from one song to the next. In the end, I put bass frequencies in because it felt better. But there’s not a proper bassline until like the fifth song or something.”
On the second track, “Nobody,” a delicious sax groove dips its toes into the mix. Then comes “Nite Birds,” one tripped-out chopped vocal that’s brilliantly re-worked, carrying you into the high-pitched percussive groove as eerie sirens waft in the background. Oh yeah, and on “Yellow Poppy,” you can hear Beyonce howling (to Missy) “There ain’t nothin’ out there!” from Missy’s 2002 gem from Under Construction, “Nothing Out There for Me.” BONUS POINTS. He smartly employs elements of tribalism, too; bongos, like he says, are something Crewe’s obsessed with, and we’re not mad. Here’s hoping the Gayborhood DJs start playing and remixing this whole thing pronto; it’ll get em’ major bonus points from Buttheads and house fans alike.
*Photo c/o Butt’s Danny Calvi.
What does casual clothing brand Duke & Winston and craft publishing company The Head & The Hand Press have in common? Well, aside from the fact that they’re both based here in Philly, they’re amongst the growing movement of local artisans seeking to revive the city’s fractured post-industrial landscape, bringing quality, craft manufacturing back to the forefront. As such, the two have recently come together to design a t-shirt that highlights each of their unique brand aesthetics (see above). On Thursday, all are invited to join them in celebrating the launch of these tees with food and drinks. They’ll also be announcing the winner of their “Tales of Duke” fiction-writing contest who will read their entry. Thurs., 6:30-8:30pm. Free. Duke & Winston Showroom, 633 N. Second St.
Prada, Manolo, Chanel, Fendi, Louboutin—any of those names ring a bell? Of course they do. For the second straight year, the luxury online consignment boutique “the fashionaires” will be bringing its selection of vintage designer handbags, accessories and shoes here to Philly for a one-day-only curated shopping event. The earlier you arrive, the better your chances of going home with the best items. Hell, even if you can’t afford to buy anything, just being able to see and touch a piece of fashion history might just be enough of a reason to go. Thurs., 12-7pm. Free. Hotel Palomar, TYNG Room, 117 S. 17th St., 2nd floor.
When I lived in Brooklyn, I made it to the Flea once. There were bikes of all shades and colors, cool jewelry (I bought some Erica Weiner stuff), furniture that made me daydream of the budget and apartment I’d one day have, oh and food. And drink. Pretty sure I had a bangin’ pink lemonade. I never thought the spot was so organized that it could up and declare a new location. Like Philly. But on June 2nd, a Sunday, the Brooklyn Flea arrives at the Piazza. The five-year-old successful flea market will have its first weekend in the Jared Kushner-bought Bart Blatstein monstrosity in just a few short weeks.
Kushner’s the husband of Ivanka Trump, and he owns the New York Observer. He’s teamed up with Flea co-founder Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby to bring their model to a Philly space, their first moment of expansion. We’re hoping it’s a continuation of a trend; seems like New York’s finally seeing the beauty of our fair city. In the not-too-distant past we’ve seen stuff like 3rd Ward, SuitSupply, Joe Coffee and, wait, is that Uniglo coming to Philadelphia? Man, it’s awesome.
Here’s the rundown on the Philly Flea: It’s a curated shopping and food experience for your Sunday morning and afternoon in Northern Liberties, and it launches on June 2. There are limited spots, a fee, an application process, and the powers that be pick and choose to achieve a blissful mix of art, furniture, vintage, modern, crafty, handmade, prefab and mad food. (Among the vendors slated are Philadelphia Salvage, Three Potato Four, At Home Modern, Peg & Awl and Forage Haberdashery.) Brooklyn Flea’s been a fertile starting place for dozens of businesses looking to start small, build clientele and create a name for itself before moving into a brick-and-mortar location. No doubt that’ll happen in our Philly locale, and it’s exciting to see which startups will get the green light from the Philly Flea team.
The Piazza’s one weird space. But did you know that it can contain nearly 8,000 people? There’s no other space within a short radius of Center City that can so easily and professionally host such an excellent collection of vending tables and tents. There’ve been maybe a dozen businesses that have come and gone since Blatstein cut some deals for cheap rent in the piazza’s youth, a result of a number of factors, no doubt. Personally, I have no desire to dine at a place like Gunner’s Run (again). But when the Flea’s chosen food vendors populate the Brooklyn Philly Flea, they’ll pretty easily become the most solid eats outside of the dependable Bar Ferdinand and El Camino Real that will neighbor the flea (and benefit handily).
It’s just good all around: New York expanding to Philadelphia, sophistication in the form of curated shopping, a thing to do every weekend and a revitalization of one weird, underused space. Starting in June, you’ve got a good reason to head up, if nothing else for a good place to stroll with a coffee in hand and peruse high-to-low-end goods and art. Plus there’s like a 1000-percent guarantee that some cuties’ll be shoppin’ too.
Also, one quick note about the Flea’s June 2 opener: Since it’s the day after the sure-to-be-bangin’ Roots Picnic, call it the official “Roots Family Post Picnic Brunch,” ’cause according to insiders, Questlove and a slew of other dope local DJ are set to rock the Piazza stage.
Suit Supply just landed in Philadelphia on the corner of Locust and 16th, and dandies with a healthy income should be totally pumped. The Amsterdam-born brand is now 13 years old with 44 locations internationally, but only five in the U. S. of A: Atlanta, Chicago, D.C., SoHo and now Philly. At the grand opening, dandies were everywhere. SuitSupply (they like to play with capitalization and title spacing) definitely skews preppy and/or Ivy League. They encourage suiting mixed with casual wear and sell everything from wingtips and desert boots to tuxedoes and weekend bags. They definitely want dudes to walk in and be able to walk out with an entire outfit (not sure about underwear, though) and at a modest to high-end pricing scale. The store manager I spoke to explained that his whole outfit costs about $700. And the handsome staff should hopefully style and size you right.
Adding significantly to the menswear shopping situation in Center City, SuitSupply will provide a lot of style to our city’s fairly grim (for dudes, at least) fashion sense. With the departure of Club Monaco’s men’s section, we don’t have a lot of places to pick up some high-end product that can be worn for years and in a ton of different situations. We’ve got Barney’s, naturally, and that’s great and all, but you’re probably looking at a much steeper price tag on a designer suit. And while we’d love to be able to afford a Philip Lim or Theory suit, it’ll probably be a little bit of a moment in time; a suit you’ll take out in 10 years and think I can’t wear this anymore. While we’ve got a nice handful of boutiques and shops that nail casual and stylish staples (like Ps & Qs and Sugarcube), SuitSupply’s a great international brand for a little more luxe. And until we get a rumored Uniglo, the more international fashion we can get in Center City, the better.
The two-floor story also prominently features an on-site tailor. There’s a fee associated with each specific service, but, depending on volume and timing, they want you to get your suit tailored while you shop. That being said, the silhouette of the SuitSupply man is slim. The fit of these clothes is a modern, fairly skinny cut — not so sure how the big boys’ll do in this store. The suit room, downstairs, is wild, and blazers line the wall, with sizing from 30s to 50s. But beyond Macy’s and heading out to King of Prussia, men have a great new option for event suiting. Meaning, you need an interview suit? A wedding or graduation suit? You can start your search with $500 in Center City and probably find a great, quality, well-constructed suit that’ll cover you—maybe for the rest of your life.
That’s right, next month, Philly’s go-to indie eco-fashion and lifestyle boutique will be closing the doors of their Rittenhouse location (265 S. 20th St.) forever.
But before you go sheading a tear, there is some good news. Actually, there’s several pieces of good news.
With only a short amount of time to unload their selection of sustainable clothing, denim, shoes, jewelry, home accents and gifts, starting this Friday, Arcadia Rittenhouse will be having a HUGE clearance sale that’ll continue through mid-May. Even better, with one less business now to worry about, Arcadia owner, Ali McCloud is focusing all of her attention on her NoLibs location (819 N. Second St.) and more specifically, expanding its collection of vintage apparel, accessories and casual men’s clothing.
Also, starting this summer, the socially-conscious contemporary interior design firm, Design6 will be setting up a small studio space inside the boutique, offering everything from wallpaper, fabrics and furniture samples for inspiration to full-scale interior design services. In other words, you’ll be able to spruce up your wardrobe and your apartment all at the same time. It just so happens that DESIGN 6 is the creative team responsible for Arcadia’s chic décor and digs.