Posts filed under 'Features'
At 18, an age where most haven’t figured out their future, Jason Trotzuk already found his passion: hand-painting denim in his parents’ basement. The Canadian denim-maker, who now calls Vancouver home, is still as passionate about denim as he was back then. Case in point, his latest high-end denim line, Fidelity Denim.
But what’s so special about Fidelity? The line only features stretch jeans because a "A great denim cut in the right shape should shape and mold, meaning it should define your tush a little bit, and it should shape your legs."
Omiru had the chance to chat with the dashing denim designer, who dished about the story behind his company name, why he loves dark skinny jeans so much, and the reason fit is the most important factor in denim design.
O: Why Fidelity? Is there a story behind the name?
JT: If you want to make denim the right way, it’s a full time job. The more devotion you put into it, the better the product is. Long story short, I was looking for a name that would be a right name for the brand, which I wanted to make into a way of life. I was reading an article on Prince, my favorite since he marches to his own drum. It talked about how he had fidelity for his music, and I realized I never knew was fidelity meant. I looked it up in the dictionary, and found out that fidelity means a faith and devotion to someone or something. I thought to myself, "Wow that’s a pretty powerful word." And I had my name.
O: Do you find it hard to strike a balance between classic and trendy?
JT: It’s very hard. I want to make a timeless pair of jeans, but in this day and age, because of the media, people are often fixated on gimmicks. I have been tempted so many times to come up with crazy branding in logo-ing, but at the end of the day, I decided to remain true to the classic jeans. I work in the box, but I work on the very outer edges of the box.
O: Writer’s often experience writer’s block when they run out of ideas. Do you ever experience designer’s block?
JT: Your being a writer and my being a designer, you and I can agree on one thing: every time I sit down to design a season, all I know is that there is a lot of pain coming down the pipes. You have to re-work it and re-work it. I’ll have nightmares on washes and fit. I’ll go over something little for over a week. But if you don’t have any pain, you don’t have any breakthroughs. I know when I’ve done a good line when it’s been a really painful and agonizing experience.
O: Fidelity is known for its amazing fit. How important to do you think fit is when it comes to choosing the right pair of jeans? And do you think it’s more important than fabric and finish?
JT: Fit, fabric and finish–they all have their place. You can take a cheap fabric and a high-end fabric and make the same garment with the same pattern. And when you put it on a person, the two will fit completely different. Both finish and fabric have importance, but at the end of the day, I think fit is the holy grail of women’s denim search. A pair of jeans can an unknown name, or it can have a very well-known name, but when a woman tries it on, if it fits, that’s it. I can have all the prints or great fabric in the world, but if a woman comes in and tries on my jeans and they don’t fit, I have made a big mistake.
O: When it comes to jeans, do you think that expensive equals good?
JT: Yeah. I can say that because I’ve been on both sides. I started off by making cheap jeans, and I thought I knew everything. When it came time for me to tackle this whole high-end game, I quickly realized that what I knew before was going to be useful, but it in no way really defined what a great jean was. I had to rethink and redesign and redevelop me patterns and re-learn how to use denim. Do I believe in high-end denim? Obviously, I do because I make it. I could go back to low end denim but I don’t find it as fun and gratifying and challenging.
O: What can we expect for the fall?
JT: The trend right now is dark and skinny. What I like about dark and skinny is that it’s sexier than hell and you can wear boots with it, and you’re a rock star, and you want to crash cars in it. And that’s the type of thing we need, and that’s the type of thing I love. You’re going to also see black and you’re going to see grey, which is really exciting. Aside from a skinny, I would do a high-zip trouser, which is also very sexy, and it’s probably the future after the skinny.
O: Please clarify: Can all girls wear the latest skinny jeans craze? If not, who should stay away from it?
JT: Girls who are not toothpicks think "Oh I can’t wear the skinny." But I’m going to share one image that comes to mind–Marilyn Monroe. And she was the farthest from skinny. She was the most voluptuous woman to come out of Hollywood. It’s a whole ensemble, and skinny jeans are more of an accessory. You can wear them tucked in, you can wear them tucked out, you can wear them with sneakers, you can wear them with a tank top. It’s an accessory.
O: Quickly…High-rise or low-rise jeans?
O: Skinny or boot-cut?
O: Plain or embellished?
O: Dark or acid-wash?
O: Anything else?
JT: Something Fidelity has that no one else has right now is the jean we have called the Japan Rose with the skinny flare. The Japan Rose (pictured left) is a skinny jean that stays long and skinny until about your calf, then we finish it off with just a little bit of a flair bootcut. It’s a great silhouette and it’s the only thing that’s a must for everyone who wants the sexiness of the skinny.
Find the nearest store that carries Fidelity, and view Jason’s most recent denim collection at Fidelity Denim.
November 9th, 2006
Jessica Elliot literally grew up in the middle of the entertainment industry. Living smack dab between Donald Sutherland and Robert De Niro, Jessica went to school and summer camp with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Hudson, and Sean Astin. Her Hollywood roots pushed her towards acting, but after dabbling in movies, she soon gravitated towards her true calling: jewelry design. Read on to get a backstage view of Jessica’s life as a designer.
Omiru: You dabbled in movies before moving into jewelry design. How did your time in the entertainment industry shape your sense of style?
Jessica: I got a few small parts in classics like Hellraiser V, but I think things have a way of working out the way they’re supposed to. I knew I wasn’t the next Cate Blanchett, and what I really needed was something to channel my creativity into, and I found it in jewelry design. As far as style in the entertainment industry, I was always interested in fashion. I watched the Oscars and the Emmy’s for the clothes and jewelry rather than the actual awards. As for how the entertainment industry shaped my style, I always loved old Hollywood—the flawless glamour that always seemed so effortless. I’m working on a lot of vintage inspired pieces for my spring line.
O: How did you decide to pursue jewelry as a business?
J: I was making jewelry as a hobby, for my friends and for myself. At the time, I was waiting tables, and just about every night someone would buy one of my necklaces right off my neck. So I started bringing piles of jewelry to work with me. One day I realized I was making more money from the jewelry than I was from waiting tables…so I quit.
O: What makes your jewelry special?
J: I mix a lot of opposites to give them life—masculine and feminine, gold and silver, oxidized and polished, delicate and bold. I feel more and more inspired every season– I think I learn a bit more with everything I make.
O: Your jewelry has been featured in hit TV shows, ranging from Friends to Desperate Housewives. How did you make that happen?
J: Some wardrobe people and stylists have just found me—tracked me down and come to me for jewelry. I also have a woman I work with who sells my line directly to these shows.
O: 5 Things you love about LA.
J: I love traveling the world for inspiration, but I also give a lot of credit to my LA, my home. I love that you can see mountains, desert, beach, and city all within an hour drive. I love the broad cultural mix. I love the food choices. I love the pace—slow if you want, fast if you want—depending on your mood. I love my friends. I love the diverse style.
O: You only took one class in metal fabrication, with no further training in jewelry design or fashion. How did you become the designer you are today?
J: Designing is an ongoing learning process— I feel like I grow as a designer every day. When I took that one class, it got me excited about being creative with my hands. That’s how I work— I’m much more tactile than I am visual. I design by doing, not by thinking. The class was something I just took for fun, and it helped me find this random hidden talent I never knew I had. As far as the actual designing goes, the ideas just kind of come. I’m inspired by everything I see. I get a lot of ideas when I’m traveling— I’ve been some amazing places and plan to travel to many more. I’ve been inspired by my travels to Turkey, Thailand, Cambodia, Cuba, Morocco, all over Europe, and more. My next big trip is to Bali.
O: How about family influences?
J: I also just happened to grow up surrounded by artists. My entire family is self-employed in creative fields. My mom is an artist/graphic designer, my stepfather is a photographer/exhibition printer, my stepmother is a graphic designer, my dad was a musician—and now an art dealer, and my sister is a chef. I never thought for a second that I would grow up and have an office job—and I was right.
O: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
J: Never go to bed mad.
O: What’s your bestselling piece of jewelry?
J: My Antique Keys.
O: How about your current favorite piece?
J: I have several: a long gold double leaf necklace with silver mini charms, a long open clover tassel necklace, a flaming heart necklace.
O: What jewelry trends do you think will be huge for spring?
J: Vintage-inspired, big medallions, pearls, mixed metal.
O: What trends do you wish would just go away?
J: In clothing and shoes—Balloon skirts, shoulder pads, and platform flip-flops. In Jewelry—“horn” jewelry and big wood beaded jewelry.
O: What’s on your radar?
J: Buying a house.
O: Little known fact about you?
J: I’m a bit superstitious.
O: Best weekend escape?
O: Favorite music?
J: 80’s music.
O: Current obsession?
J: Knee-high boots that lace up.
O: Best Fashion Tip?
J: Don’t try too hard, and accessorize.
O: Where can we buy your jewelry?
J: At my website, Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Henri Bendel, and about 150 boutiques around the country.
O: Last Words?
J: Seize the day, embrace life, and appreciate your friends.
Shop Jessica Elliot’s jewelry collection at www.jessicaelliot.com.
November 2nd, 2006
We asked: Are Layered Necklaces In or Out?
You said: Layered Necklaces are still In. 58% are still all over this trend, while 14% think they’re Out. The remaining 28% think this jewelry trend is On the Way Out.
Omiru’s take: We love the drama that Layered Necklaces create for an outfit. With the ability to take a simple outfit from vanilla to cookies & cream, Layered Necklaces are an essential in this era of mannered, ladylike dressing to give outfits a bit more flavor. In order to take full advantage of this jewelry trend, we recommend pairing necklaces with compatible colors but wildly different textures.
Next Question: Striped Tops are on one hand a figure flattery liability (the wrong sized or placed stripes can make you look like you took a few too many sweets from the cookie jar) and on the other hand a fashion trend that’s all over the stores. But what do you
think? Tell us, are Striped Tops In, or are they Out? Cast your
vote on the sidebar!
Pictured: Lee Angel Oval Link Necklace | $425 at Scoop NYC.
October 23rd, 2006
“Inspiration comes from love, which brings beauty to our
lives. I strive to deliver nothing less.”
Indeed, the worldly Tamara Pogosian does design with a distinct passion. Tamara’s sophisticated, finely constructed garments
reflect both her international upbringing (she was born in Armenia, brought up
in Russia, and schooled at Parsons and FIT in New York) and her innate design
talent, recognized by Fashion Group International as they nominated her for
their Rising Star award two years in a row.
Read on to learn more about Tamara’s design influences, her take on
Spring 2007 trends, and how she keeps her line fresh season after season.
Omiru: You’re a world traveler, having lived in Russia and Armenia before moving to the US. How have your travels influenced your work?
Tamara: It is almost impossible for me not to connect to my past. I’m proud of my Armenian heritage, growing up in Moscow, and pursuing my goals in NYC. I find influences and inspirations from anything I experience, which I then transform into my designs. There are subtle touches of details in every piece.
O: What makes your clothing line unique?
T: I can never design the same piece twice. There are certain details, which evolve into new ideas, but they are never the same. Through my technique and style of draping, along with my vision and background, I am able to deliver a unique collection every season. I don’t necessarily follow the trends, but I utilize them in my own way to keep my collections timeless and fresh.
O: Describe a typical day for you.
T: There is no such thing. Every day is a different challenge.
O: How would you like people to describe your Spring 2007 collection?
T: I hope that people will understand and appreciate the art behind my collection. I aim to express the individual wearing my pieces. I am not saying that I judge a person by how they are dressed, because you can’t judge a book by its cover. But great clothes can affect how the individual feels about themselves regardless of how much they spent on the look.
O: What trends do you think will be huge for Spring?
T: For women, I believe there will be a lot of volume, flirty dresses and color. For men, I see a rebirth of a personal style by mixing the old with the new tailored pieces. I think the emphases on the waistline (for men and women) will remain essential. However, trends don’t always work for everyone. Designers present their vision, editors pick the trends, buyers merchandise the stores, but the customer decides on what they want to wear. It’s the circle of Fashion Life.
O: What trends do you wish would just go away?
T: Empire waistlines and pleated pants because they don’t work for everyone.
O: What are your current obsessions, fashion or otherwise?
T: I love comfort, style and practicality: sweater dresses with great boots, a belt, and a beautifully cut coat.
O: How about your Best Fashion Tip?
T: Personal style is a must. Paying attention to your body and proportions because “trends” don’t always work for everyone. Concentrating on a part of your body you want to “show” without compromising comfort, style and confidence.
O: Little known fact about you?
T: I drape every piece in my collection and design with a passion rather than a calculation. Inspiration comes from love, which brings beauty to our lives. I strive to deliver nothing less.
O: What can we expect next from you?
T: Long-term future plans include a collection of handbags and shoes because I love accessories as much as the clothes. I want to be able to offer a complete look for my customers.
O: Last Words
T: I would like to thank my family, friends, colleagues and everyone that has supported me in expressing my vision. I am eternally grateful to those who have believed in me. Thank you!
Can’t get enough Tamara? Check out Omiru’s review of Tamara’s Spring 2007 Collection.
October 12th, 2006
Omiru: Style for All (www.omiru.com) conducts an interview with Sandra Yu, artistic director for Rusk Hair, backstage at the Araks Spring 2007 show at New York Fashion Week.
October 3rd, 2006
We asked: Are Capes and Capelets In or Out?
You said:We’re completely divided on this issue. 37% vote In, 39% vote Out, and the remaining 24% voted On the Way Out. Paradoxically, capes and capelets appear to be both In and Out.
Omiru’s take: Capes and capelets add a bit of drama to evening ensembles, and they can take a daytime getup from okay to outstanding. However, we feel that the strong hesitation against wearing them stems from their presence in the shadow of their formerly popular cousin, the Poncho. While the Poncho was wildly accepted for a couple of seasons, it fell from grace, and the fashion fallout from wearing the item as the trend waned was equally large. Omiru says: forget the poncho, and for those who are so inclined, embrace the capelet, if only for its layering potential. An added bonus? If worn over a near monochromatic outfit (as pictured), capelets tend to visually shorten the torso and elongate the legs, making you look taller!
Here at Omiru, we’re all about fashion and function, which explains our love of the Dresses with Pockets trend. But what do you
think? Tell us, are Dresses with Pockets In, or are they Out? Cast your
vote on the sidebar!
Pictured: Theory Josefa W Interest Capelet | $335 at Shopbop.
October 2nd, 2006
Omiru: Style for All (www.omiru.com) conducts an interview with VH1 stylists Alana Kelen and Esther Pak at New York Fashion Week.
September 27th, 2006
Omiru: Style for All (www.omiru.com) conducts an interview with Vena Cava designers Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock at their Spring 2007 show at New York Fashion Week.
September 22nd, 2006
Omiru: Style for All (www.omiru.com) conducts an interview with Jay McCarroll (of Project Runway Season 1 Fame) backstage at the Jay McCarroll Spring 2007 show at New York Fashion Week.
September 21st, 2006
We asked: Is Menswear as Womenswear In or Out?
You said: It’s In. 58% are all over this trend, while only 24% think it’s Out. The remaining 18% believe it’s On the Way Out.
Omiru’s take: Perfect for work, menswear inspired separates like vests, tailored shirts, ties, and wide leg trousers are a welcome addition to our closets. These classic shapes are easily adapted for womenswear with the addition of accessories like clutches, wide belts, and fedoras.
Next Question: The big trend story for Spring 2007 is Volume, Volume, Volume. Sleeves, in particular, are larger than life with kimono styles, which have sleeves cut in the same piece of fabric as the rest of the garment. But what do you
think? Tell us, are Kimono Sleeves In, or are they Out? Cast your
vote on the sidebar!
Pictured: Nickel Vest, Ya-Ya Shirtdress, Vince Wide Leg Trousers, Malini Murjani Clutch, all at Shopbop.
September 18th, 2006