Speak of fashion and your thoughts are likely to wander off to anywhere other than a forum driven by the ideas of social change and consciousness, laden with a hint of political commentary. Yes, on the surface, fashion doesn’t usually draw you to think, as much as it draws you to react quickly to create an imaginary world of never-ending fabulousness. But the mere thought of fashion changed when a panel graced by Arianna Huffington, Willow Bay, Rozae Nichols, and Julie Gillhart addressed the audience of Barneys New York in Beverly Hills, CA.
As a part of the launch for Rozae Nichols collection title IAN, the panel of women whom each boast phenomenal careers in media, fashion, and business, were on hand to bring forth the idea of fashion consciousness and the idea of creating a hybrid between the old and the new when it comes to the fashion industry and the media industry that supports it.
Rozae Nichols is a designer that seems to be a leader in the art of creating fashion that is born out of a positive, sweatshop-free environment. Choosing to use fabrics and patterns that symbolize the natural structures of Earth and humanity, she has been able to reach far beyond the crust of the fashion pie and cut deep into the savory middle where few have been afforded to taste the sweetness that lies within. In her latest collection which is named after her husband, Ian, the sheath dresses and tops are intricately detailed with a honeycomb design that is demurely sexy when hints of skin peek through on the collar bone or thigh.
I was immediately drawn to the unique aesthetic of the line and imagined all the places that I could where it! The designs are for every body type and it is one of those go-to collections for every occasion. Guests of the discussion wore pieces of the Ian collection with jeans, belted, or loose with flats or sandals. The collection and the premise behind all of Nichols designs are what led ex-news anchor and Huffington Post editor Willow Bay’s facilitation of the discussion. Questions behind thought and practice of fashion, the movement of fashion in our current economy, and society’s ideas placed on the fashion industry helped charged an intimate dialog between the panel and the guests in attendance.
Arianna Huffington of the world-renowned The Huffington Post lent her voice to explain how we are moving toward a hybrid within media and thereby within fashion. With consumers ready to obtain information quickly, the onslaught of Internet based media forums have become a more likely option. It is through these Internet forums that fashion designers and such are able to target the masses quickly and inexpensively. However, Huffington states that the feel of a tangible paper or magazine will not go extinct, just yet. “People still love the fill of flipping through a magazine,” says Huffington. And I could agree with her more.
But, what I do hope becomes less of a hybrid and more of a lean toward the “left” if you will, is the need to be environmentally aware of the products we choose to use for the consumption. The ways in which we process our food and clothing are a couple of the social changes that are starting to drive consumers and creators alike. However, because of the time and money associated with doing things the “right” way, many designers have yet to follow suit. Why is that? Why does it seem as though the good is costly and the bad is cheap? I can only hope that this changes in the near future. Through the creation of awareness events like this panel discussion and through our support of designers and media outlets that promote this type of fashion conscious dialog, I am sure that we are on the right path!
Thank you to Barneys New York of Beverly Hills for hosting such a thought provoking discussion and serving passed hor'dourves and champagne!
Thank you to The News Inc. for organizing an event that managed to think outside of the box, rather than to stay bound within it!
For more information on Rozae Nichols, log on to http://www.rozaenichols.com
For more information on Arianna Huffington or Willow Bay, log on to www.thehuffingtonpost.com