Athleisure

People in the fashion industry have a penchant for making up new words. The latest example? Athleisure. As you might assume, athleisure wear refers to clothing that could be worn for either athletic or leisure activities, and covers everything from bomber jackets to leggings to bodycon dresses. So what differentiates between those cashmere sweaters meant for the office and those meant as athlesiure wear?

an image from Lululemon's Holiday campaign (glitter color currently sold out)

an image from Lululemon's Holiday campaign (glitter color currently sold out)

The answer is really in the hands of the customer. Of course certain items, like sweatpants (yes, even if they are cashmere) and sports bras, will likely never be considered office appropriate. But that isn't stopping designers from trying. The brands embracing this new trend range from Lululemon to Chanel. It has really become a catch all for sporty items that can be worn both on the track and outside the gym.

As is the case with many trends, it's unclear why this style has become so popular but I have a few guesses. Over the past few years, hundred of healthy habits campaigns have been launched by a variety of individuals like Coca Cola, the CFDA, and Michelle Obama. Since then it has become the it thing for many to brag about their latest workout or health binge, posting images of their new squat PR to Instagram and Twitter. And what is the easiest way to broadcast your fit focused lifestyle? By wearing clothes that make it look like you're either coming from or going to the gym. It doesn't matter if you haven't actually visited the gym in a few months, you can still give the impression that you're not only just as healthy minded as Karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls, but just as fashionable too.

Check out some of my favorite athleisure items below or head over to Net-a-Sporter (yup, that's a thing) to see what athletic gear means to high end designers.

LVMH

LVMH is one of the biggest luxury goods powerhouses of all time. The initials stand for Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy. The company formed in 1987 as a result of the merger between Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy, which was itself a merger of the Moët and Chandon champagne producer with the Hennessy cognac company.

image via  Pinterest

image via Pinterest

As for the fashion end of the business, LVMH manages big name brands like Nicholas Kirkwood, Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Céline, just to list a few. Dior is in fact the main holding company of LVMH owning 40.9% of its shares and 59.01% of its voting rights. Basically, Dior has a lot of say in how LVMH runs things. LVMH is based in Paris and lead by CEO Bernard Arnault.

You may have come across mention of LVMH in articles in Women's Wear Daily (WWD) or in some of your favorite fashion books. Any book that discusses the history of fashion is sure to mention LVMH and the influence this company has had over the industry. But the company is much more than just a luxury brand conglomerate. Arnault makes sure to  dip LVMH's hand into many charities and is a patron to the arts, not just in France, but globally.

Just one year ago in November 2013, LVMH created the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize, which some see as the French equivalent of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund. The winner is awarded a grant of 300,000 Euros and a one year mentorship with a designer of fashion mogul of their choice. This past February, 20 finalists presented to the panel of judges in London, with Thomas Tait being announced the winner in May.

a selection from the Louis Vuitton Spring 2015 RTW show (images via Style.com)

LVMH has a far reaching influence on the fashion world and will likely only continue to grow. If you're interested in being a part of the international luxury goods market, you better have them on your radar. Even better if you have them on your resume.

Vintage

It all began with a trip to Buffalo Exchange. My mother and I were taking a bunch of old clothes there to see if we could make a little cash, when she started asking if BE was a vintage or a thrift shop. I thought I was confident in my reply that it definitely wasn't vintage, but that got me thinking - what exactly does vintage mean? How is it different from antique, second hand, or just plain old? And that's what brought me here.

image via  Pinterest

image via Pinterest

Vintage generally refers to clothing of a previous era. Antique clothing is any piece that is at least 100 years old, while vintage encompasses fashion from that time up until 20 years before present day. So right now, antique means dating from 1914 or earlier and vintage means anything from 1915 to 1995.

Many people and stores will emphasize a certain level of quality when talking about vintage clothing, although the word doesn't inherently have any meaning associated with quality. It's likely that the words 'vintage' and 'designer' automatically go together in your head, but unknown names and brands are also vintage and can have just as high quality.

images via HarpersBazaar.com

Here are a few other handy definitions, just to clear things up:

Thrift shop - a store often associated with a charity that sells donated clothes, typically already worn/used

Retro - clothing that imitates the styles of a previous era

Modern/contemporary clothing - clothing designed and produced in the past 20 years

Jacquard

Lately I've found myself gravitating towards a lot of clothing marketed as "jacquard." Something about them always draws me. However, until I actually looked up what jacquard meant, I couldn't for the life of me see the real connection between any of those clothes.

As it turns out, jacquard refers to an apparatus that can be fitted to a loom to make it easier to weave brocaded or intricate fabrics. The noun has since been adapted as an adjective, referring to the fabric made by the jacquard. If you want to get really specific, a jacquard makes it possible to raise each warp thread independently of all the others, offering the highest level of warp yarn control. Knowing very little about weaving, I can't tell you what a warp thread is, but maybe it'll turn out to be one of my next posts. You never know!

a jacquard look from Moschino's Fall/Winter 2013 collection

a jacquard look from Moschino's Fall/Winter 2013 collection

In any event, it looks like there isn't much of a connection to all my favorite jacquard items, except that the fabric used to make them required more complicated weaving than a typical loom can offer. Maybe I'll just start thinking of the word as a way to say "made with a little extra love and care."

Shop a selection of jacquard items from my fall wishlist.