Ancestral Opulence // Editorial Exclusive

The growing trend of ethic inspiration in contemporary fashion has come full circle with Rajdeep Ranawat’s collection.
By Stacy Ellen

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India is known for its incredible embroidery and textiles, but in recent years the global fashion market has also started recognizing India’s luscious designers. Rajdeep Ranawat is one of these designers that take inspiration from ethnic, vintage and modern fashion trends. His collection “Beyond the Cold” of the AW14 season was inspired from the cold forests where myths are born and legends are created, which illustrates the opulence with the infusion of these elements. Many new styles proceed…

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Ranawat takes inspiration from nature, his ancestors, vintage trends and the international fashion market to create a luxurious collection. Ranawat describes his collections as, “Where civilizations have thrived and then withered away into oblivion. It captures the possibility of the blurred lines between imagination and reality.”
With India coming of age and embracing globalization according to a Scholars World report, it is a pleasure to see a designer stay true to his roots but at the same time keep up with current global fashion trends. This somewhat new globalization of the Indian market creates an open field for innovation as Ranawat says, “By generating
diverse digital and embroidered pieces the collection tells innovative stories and deliver powerful ideas of fortress once beautified
by the wild imagination of human talent and creativity and their eventual downfall to the wilderness.”
My first impression of Ranawat’s collection is that it takes inspiration from the direction Dolce & Gabbana has gone in the last few seasons. Old world elegance with contemporary styling. Rajdeep Ranawat tries to graphically capture a sense of degenerating mosaics and lost handcrafted artifact; crumbling architectural structures over run by the forest, of treasures lost and parchments dissipated. The collection is created using pure fabrics like silk crepe, silk georgettes, organza and chandheri, the collection reflects its inspiration through its fabric treatment.
The “Beyond the Cold” collection is based in the variety and versatility of Rajdeep Ranawat’s resources and skills, the spontaneity of ideas and the heterogeneity of our Indian craftsmen, knowing that every garment is unique and singular. This trend has been on the forefront in the international market for a few seasons where the combination of new technology and old world esthetics meet to create a true harmony in style.

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Ranawat was educated at The Lawrence School, Sanawar; then went on to graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi in 2000. He gained vast exposure and experience with a French fashion house based in Paris, ‘ISHWAR, S.A.’ and trained himself in European embroideries, colors and silhouettes under the guidance of various commercial French designers.
Thereafter he was appointed as the ‘chief designer’ for a New York based fashion house, and designed for the likes of brands such as
Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor, etc…. only to give him enough aptitude to launch his own brand label in 2004 for the domestic and the overseas markets. He fused European culture in terms of colors and embroideries combined the feel of the Orient, the commercial charm of Vintage and the essence of the generic cuts of his silhouettes that ooze elegance and create stance for all…

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‘Rajdeep Ranawat’, the label first launched in Oct’ 2004 is synonymous to women with an aura of glamour and charisma.
Ranawat said, “The Indian Fashion Consumer is a globe trotter today, they are well educated, and travel constantly for work or pleasure or both! With the foreign luxury and high street brands in India erupting.” There has also been an influx of high end designers such as Dior, Galliano, Balenciaga and Christian Louboutin outsourcing parts of their manufacturing to India according to a New
York Times article, which again brings this ethnic design trend full circle.
The American market has embraced Rajdeep Ranawat’s collections as well and he says, “Our resort wear is very popular not only in the Americas, but in India and other parts of the globe too… they are light, airy, breezy in luxurious silks and chiffons, with artworks that are exclusive and cuts that are comfortable and European in nature.”
Rajdeep Ranawat can be purchased in India at Ogaan, AZA, Fuel, Designer Studio, Elan, Ahamm, Anahita, Samsaara, as well as leading retailers in Hong Kong, South Africa,Jakarta, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, New York, and London.
In the United States at Madison Avenue and ‘SoigneK’ in New York City as well as ‘Fashion’ by Rohini Bedi in LosAngeles, California. For the current collection and
stocklist visit www.ranawat.com

Invasione Italiana // Editorial Video Exclusive

The world is yearning for roots and Roberta Sparta brings hers all the way from Italy…

A descendent of an Italian fashion house that turned manufacture for all the top labels such as ARMANI , VALENTINO, UNGARO, VERSACE. Sparta was born into the fashion business and came to Hollywood, California nearly  8 years ago to take her career as an actor and model to another level.

A Hollywood dream is born through her talent, beauty and determination to become the next successful import from Europe. The Fashion Noir film,  “Invasione Italiana” shows a twisted view of Hollywood.

Most recently the European and American worlds collide as Sparta is featured on the Italian TV show “Notorius” where the correspondent Alina Chelaru  follows Sparta around Hollywood capturing a day in the life of this rising star.

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Sparta born and raised in Dueville, Italy has called Los Angeles home since late 2008 when she moved here and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

She has starred in films such as “Anger of the Dead” , “Sex and the Single Alien” , “Ritual: A Psychomagic Story, “Things from Another World” and “Through the Wormhole” produced by Morgan Freeman.

In 2011 Sparta produced a short film entitled “A True Love” that was included in the “Short Corner” section at the acclaimed Cannes Film Festival.

She recently took on the animation genre by lending her voice to several characters in the Disney short “O’Sole Minnie” that won “Best Animated Short” at the 2014 Emmy Awards.

With all of these accomplishments Sparta has a big heart finding true comfort and joy in helping other through volunteering.

Two things she cannot live without, italian coffee and love!

To say the least Sparta is driven, and will make it as high as her dreams take her.

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Creative Director: Stacy Ellen
Photographer: Rodrigo Elenes
Actor|Model: Roberta Sparta

Hair|MUA: Cristina Fabian

Style Assistant: Brandon Godoy
Location: Venice Beach Canals, California USA

Hollywood Award Season // Style Exclusive

It’s seems like movies influenced fashion before designers were mega stars of their own. In the early years of the film business, costume designers were named “designers” although CoCo Chanel is one of the first well known fashion designers that has stood the test of time. Costume designers of the same time period were shaping the fashionistas and celebrities desire for the latest “in fashion.” According to a WWD article, “The clothes worn by some of moviedom’s most memorable characters have had audiences rushing to replicate the looks for the past 75 years.”

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Much like history, fashion repeats itself. Mary Pickford won the Oscar in 1930 wearing an unknown designer, this silhouette is very similar to Kate Hudson‘s dress by Versace she wore this year to the Golden Globes.

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Also wearing a dress to the Globes with nods of vintage style was Felicity Jones in Christian Dior. Her dress is reminiscent of Joanne Woodward‘s dress she wore to accept the Oscar in 1958.

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Jones wears another show stopped by Alexander McQueen to the Oscars which has a nod to the Hubert de Givenchy dress won by Audrey Hepburn when she won in 1954. Givenchy happens to be the first well known designer worn at a Hollywood award season and is still going strong at the ripe old age of 87.

The term “Bitch stole my look” has been in the making for nearly 100 years.

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In 1976 Louise Fletcher won the Oscar yet again wearing an unknown designer. This years award season, Jennifer Lopez wore a dress by Zuhair Murad that has an uncanny resembles of Fletcher’s to the Golden Globes.

 

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Gwen Stefani wore a courture jumpsuit by Versace to the 57th Grammy awards that is similar to the one Sissy Spacek wore when she won the Oscar in 1981. Showing that the 1980s trend is still relevant.

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Designer Yves Saint Laurent made his first appearance at the Oscars in 1972 when Jane Fonda won wearing one of his designs. More then 40 years later, Margot Robbie wears Saint Laurent to the Oscars in a dress very similar to the one Fonda wore.

The Hollywood award season started out as a humble affair to honor the art of the film. Many starlets of this inception wore their own clothing or possibly something from the wardrobe department of the lastest film they were working on. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that actors started wearing designer dresses on a regular basis and naming them on the red carpet.

An article from WWD states, “It’s a different process from that of a fashion designer, who faces the pressures of the marketplace, Jacqueline Durran points out. And, My focus as a costume designer is on interpreting a script and making some kind of solution that culls the thing together,” she explains. “Whereas [if you’re] a fashion designer, you have to sell the thing you’re making.”

New York Fashion Week // Style Exclusive

Trend: My favorite trend of the SS15 season are the pastel hues mixed with soft textiles and engineered fabrics such as metallics, latex and mesh satin seen in the Monique Lhuillier and Alon Livne SS15 collections. Also the very simple silhouettes of most Australian womenswear designers is seeming to cross over into American designers such as Rubin & Chapelle.