Jenna Lyons

Some consider J.Crew the best store to stock up on wardrobe staples, others think of it a place to splurge on one special piece. Either way J.Crew has surely solidified itself as a necessary American brand and much of the credit for that success is due to Creative Director Jenna Lyons, the woman who thinks sequins are the new black.

image via Glamour.com

Lyons first became creative director in 2008 and has worked for J.Crew since she was 21. "I was an assistant to an assistant" she told Cindi Leive in an interview with Glamour. Her actual title was assistant designer in menswear and her first task was to redesign men's rugby shirts for the brand. She quickly worked her way up the ranks to the point that now I can barely imagine a J.Crew without her. Her signature style of mixing well tailored basics with loud, sometimes over-the-top details like sequins or feathers has become the new norm for the brand. And if you think her outfits look like they have been copied and pasted from a J.Crew catalog, then you would be absolutely spot on. Lyons is responsible for changing the catalog to a "Style Guide" meant to more closely resemble a fashion magazine editorial. Her influence on the styling and design of the guide is undeniable and many see Lyons as completely synonymous with the J.Crew woman.

Lyons was born Judith, not Jenna, in Boston, MA but moved to Palos Verdes, CA at the age of four. She was born with a genetic condition called incontinentia pigmenti which causes scarring, hair loss, and tooth problems. She began taking sewing classes at 11 partly as a solution to the problem of finding clothes to fit her lanky frame and partly as an escape from the bullying endured from her classmates. it wasn't long however, before fellow students began admiring her talent as a budding designer. "A girl in social studies passed me a note saying, "I like your skirt." I was like, Is this for me? It was major (Glamour)." She was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year in 2012 and currently holds a much revered position on the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Board of Directors. In the latter position she assists in choosing the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund finalists and winners.

images via 1. Instagram @theOutsiderBlog // 2. WhoWhatWear // 3. Jean Stories // 4. Vogue UK // 5. Vanity Fair // 6. Madame Le Figaro // 7. Elle // 8. How To Spend It // 9. WWD // 10. Jean Stories // 11. Vogue // 12. Where did U Get That // 13. Style and Forks // 14. Elle // 15. Popsugar

Fast Facts:
- Because of her genetic condition she wears dentures
- She graduated from Parsons Design School in 1990
- She has a son Beckett with artist Vincent Mazeau
- Lyons currently resides in Tribeca with her son and girlfriend Courtney Grangi
- She owns almost 300 pairs of shoes as seen in this video (and I want them all...)

 

Oscar de la Renta

Earlier this week designer Oscar de la Renta passed away at the age of 82. The fashion designer had been battling cancer on and off since 2006. He passed away peacefully in his home in Kent, Connecticut, but his loss will not pass so quietly.


de la Renta started his fashion career in the early 1950's, working for brands like Arden, Balenciaga, Lanvin, and Balmain. He launched his own label in 1965 and quickly became a household name as he worked with Jacqueline Kennedy, making her a true fashion icon. Since then, his work has graced nearly every red carpet event and has been the top choice for numerous celebrity weddings. Most recently, de la Renta designed the dress for Amal Alamuddin's wedding to George Clooney. He served as President of the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) from 1973 to 1976 and again from 1986 to 1988, and won the CFDA's Designer of the Year award in both 2000 and 2007. de la Renta certainly created an act that will be tough to follow, but on October 13, 2014 Peter Copping was named that new Creative Director of the de la Renta fashion house.

image from WGSN.com

image from WGSN.com

Coming from humble beginnings as one of seven children in Santo Domingo, de la Renta rose through the ranks to become the legend that he is today. His collections always embody a sense of ladylike grace and beauty that are uniquely his. Equally as memorable are his many quotes commenting on style, fashion, women, designing, and life in general.

"Never, ever confuse what happens on a runway with fashion. A runway is spectacle. It's only fashion when a woman puts it on. Being well dressed hasn't much to do with having good clothes. It's a question of good balance and good common sense."
 - Oscar de la Renta