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Olive Goil: Daisy Fuentes

It has been a whirlwind my darlings, and I have been swept up in the beautiful chaos! NYC Fashion Week is drawing to a close, but I cannot let the week go by without sending out props to the beautiful Miss Daisy Fuentes, who just debuted the a gypsy/boho-influenced, lace and loverly line of wearable, wonderful clothes.

I attended her opening night shindig and show and had to many times wipe away the drool, as I stood in gape-mouthed awe, eager to get my little hands on this hot collection.

Paisley maxis, smoky colored swimwear, all gold and bronze and laser cuts, Miss Fuentes is a woman of firsts – first major Latina model, VJ, entrepreneur, designer and general Jane (or Juanita) of all trades.

On the eve of her Fashion Week debut, she shared her advice to gals like me around the globe,  “Stay focused, but keep yourself open. Your destiny may have bigger plans for you than even you can imagine. Listen to the people who’ve gone before you and find a mentor.”

Wise words, aren’t they? Not only is Miss Fuentes gorgeous, but she is also smart, humble, focused and with a flair for designing duds that make a lady look gorgeous without hurting the pocketbook.

Okay my dears. It is Friday and the afternoon is waning. I am happy, weary and still swooning over the sights and sounds of the past event-filled week. I’ll dish on more fabulous things soon, but until then – over and out from NYC.

Live Olive: Save The Garment Center

I know at this point you must think all I have been doing here at Fashion Week NYC is gallivanting around rubbing shoulders with fabulous people and looking pretty.

But, really, that’s not all folks, I swear!

The fashion industry is built on much hard work and creativity and love and sweat and tears. Designers have to be committed to succeed and a huge part of why they are able to produce such well crafted and stunning pieces has much to do with the sewers and suppliers who help make their visions reality.

You’ve heard me talk quite a bit this week about Save The Garment Center, but really, I can’t say enough about the importance of this organization!

I am so very pleased to introduce a lovely lady who can tell us all a much, much more about SGC,  than I. Ladies and gents, introducing Erica Wolf, Executive Director of Save The Garment Center.

Can you tell us a bit about the history of the Garment Center?

West 35th Street to West 41st Street, and Fifth Avenue to Ninth Avenue today roughly bind The Garment Center.  This area has played a vital role in New York City’s fashion industry and economic history over the last 100 years.

In the late 1800s, an influx of immigrants came to New York and many worked in the apparel industry.  The industry took advantage of the local seaports by bringing in supplies such as fabrics from European and New England mills, and accessing major markets overseas.  As Manhattan’s Lower East Side drew the majority of early immigrants, the neighborhood subsequently became an early center of garment production.  The city’s garment industry continued to grow rapidly, expanding from 562 manufacturing firms in 1880 to over 1,800 firms in 1900, effectively establishing New York City as the hub of the nation’s ready-to-wear industry.  Over the next few decades labor movements and government action pushed garment production out of the cramped working conditions of the Lower East Side.  Residential and retail developments lead the factories further uptown, and the industry ultimately settled in what we know today as NYC’s Garment Center. (Source: Municipal Arts Society)

What factors have contributed to the potential loss of the Garment Center?

For the past several decades a decline in domestic manufacturing has lead to a great loss of businesses and jobs in New York City’s Garment Center.  Designers began producing clothing overseas at a much lower cost, and garment industry jobs have continued to move overseas at an alarming rate until recently.

Real Estate pressures also contributed to the loss of jobs in the Garment Center, and a 1987 zoning law was put into place to combat these development forces.  Over the past few decades, factories have begun to feel the real estate pressures once again with landlords harassing them in their place of work, and cutting short their leases.  Landlords have been complaining that the zoning is outdated and the regulations need to be changed.  A change in the zoning would be the complete loss of the Garment District as we know it.

 Why is important to save the Garment Center?

The Garment Center is a research, development, and production hub.

Emerging designers come from all over the world to take advantage of this district.  Its 10 block radius is a cluster of factories, fabric and trim suppliers, showrooms, and countless other resources.

The local factories afford emerging designers the ability to start small and grow their production as orders increase. Domestic production allows for more thorough quality control, easier management of inventory, and a quicker turnaround time to fill orders and meet spur-of-the-moment trends.

If we lose our manufacturing infrastructure, we risk losing future generations of emerging designers, and losing our status as a leader in the world of fashion. The newness of these designers is what draws the buyers and press from all over to come for markets and fashion week.

We can only sustain a future for American fashion by supporting the American manufacturing base, and fully utilizing its potential. Consumers have enormous power to signal their desire for more Made in America garments with their purchases. We need to encourage established American designers to bring some manufacturing back from overseas. By buying American and asking your favorite brands to manufacture more in the USA, and New York City, you can help ensure a future for jobs in American fashion.


Olive Loves: Bonkuk Koo

There are times, my dears, when fashion moves far beyond the runaway or the street and becomes something much more like high art.

Seoul Korea-born and Fashion Institute of NYC educated Bonkuk Koo is one of those designers. His is the kind of creative mind whose imagination stretches past the confines of the ordinary.

“I want to make a dress which can be exhibited in her living-room rather than kept in her closet, “ say Koo on his blog. And boy, does he deliver!

Bonkuk Koo makes dresses inspired by the storm-tossed waves of the Hudson river, the intricate detailing of an antique guitar, by leaves in the wind, flower petals or geometric patterns.

These dresses that look more like sculpture and make the ladies wearing them – look as if they stepped from a dream.

Oh Bonkuk Koo, Olive loves you!

Hand-cut, crafted with care, each of his fantastical pieces is stunning look at what miracles can be achieved with mere scissor, thread and fabric. This young fella is a talent on the rise, my darlings! So keep your eyes open wide for his utterly unbelievable creations!

I attended his show this morning at New York Fashion Week – A total breath-taker! Here are a couple pics from Stoli. More pics to come soon XOXO



Olive Loves: FNO Outfits

Okay folks, tomorrow is the big, big day!

I have a few more options for outfits to run by you, all culled from some of the fabulous designers who will be participating alongside me at the FNO event.  I need all my friends out there to help me decide what I should be sporting as host!

Shall it be the “Kate” blouse from Spoon, perhaps? In midnight black with the laser cut-out detailing? Ooh, so slinky and simple and luxe! Maybe I should match this elegant blouse with a classic pair of gold and pearl earrings from BB Jewels?

Top it off with a vibrant red python clutch from Primary NY? Or what about Primary NY’s “Kelly” dress in coral? Maybe to start the evening, then a costume change?

Oh my, it’s very overwhelming folks, to have this much gorgeousness to choose from.

As you might have noticed – yes, yes, yes! I am getting so very, very excited to play dress up and cavort about high in the sky with the beautiful people of the Big Apple.

Stay tuned for more…

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