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How To Style 2019’s Utility Fashion Trend

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2019’s ‘nu-minimalism‘ has manifested in myriad ways over the last 8 months, but alongside the usual suspects—think clean-lined midi dresses and crisp tailoring—the utility trend has risen up as one of the more unusual spins on the ‘elevated basics’ bandwagon.

Spotted on the runways of Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu and Chloé, designers have taken cargo trousers, combat boots and utility jackets and combined them with luxe fabrics to create a distinctively grown-up twist on a previously ‘grungy’ trend. It’s all in the details: From the boxy silhouette of a boilersuit to a subtle pocket on a pair of tailored trousers, this is far from Action Man dressing.

Yes, the overwhelming aesthetic of the utility trend is of practicality (the clue’s in the name), and you know you can easily chuck on these pieces at the weekend with sneakers, but, unexpectedly, they also look fab dressed up with heels and layered jewellery—just look at Pernille. When it comes to shopping the trend, high street faves, Arket, Weekday and & Other Stories, are acing this look right now, so make sure you check them out for utility essentials. But, if you’re in need of some more general inspiration, scroll down to see how the fashion crowd is wearing the trend, plus shop the key pieces.



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Fendi Puts a Futuristic Spin on the ’40s Femme Fatale for Fall 2020

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Looks from the Fendi Fall 2020 collection. 

Looks from the Fendi Fall 2020 collection. 

Remember millennial pink? The shade which ruled everything from branding to clothing to the internet at large for the better part of the last decade? Well, it was the color of choice for Fendi’s Fall 2020 collection. 

The rosy shade provided a backdrop for Thursday evening’s runway in Milan. It was splashed across plush, curved couches, calling back to a certain kind of old Hollywood glamour. It was also echoed in the femme-fatale clothes that walked: in satin tops cut low over quilted bras and on splashy Fendi-branded handbags disguised as shopping bags. The crowd-pleasing pink was mixed in with lots of black in sexy sheer tops, beaded skirts and layers of fringe. Retro silhouettes got futuristic updates with plays on shape — an oversized sleeve, a skirt with mega pleats, a boxy coat.

The clothes were good, but what was even more exciting was seeing models like Paloma Elsesser and Karen Elson on the Fall 2020 runway. More luxury brands would do well to consider that their customers comprise a broader range of women than those usually seen at a fashion show.





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Sears snags new financial lifeline as losses continue – sources

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U.S. department store operator Sears has reached a deal for a fresh financial lifeline totaling roughly $100 million from hedge fund Brigade Capital Management LP, as it tries to stabilize after bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Reuters

Sears’ billionaire owner Eddie Lampert rescued the retailer from liquidation in a $5.2 billion takeover during bankruptcy proceedings a year ago. The company’s unabated need for new funding underscores Lampert’s challenges in turning it around.

Sears reached an agreement with Brigade for the $100 million financing in recent weeks, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition they not be identified because the negotiations were confidential. Lampert has also bankrolled Sears in recent months, the sources added, without disclosing the total amount of funding he provided.

A spokesman for Sears, now called Transform Holdco LLC, declined to comment. Brigade did not respond to a request for comment.
Brigade has extended loans to other troubled retailers, including high-fashion chain Barneys New York Inc and childrens’ clothing shop Gymboree.

Last year, Sears sold its DieHard car battery business to Advance Auto Parts Inc for $200 million and clinched a separate $250 million loan from Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, and other investors. The company has also been paying down some of its borrowings from banks, one of the sources said.

Sears said in November it would close nearly 100 stores, leaving it with only about 182, down sharply from the 425 Lampert acquired when he rescued the chain from bankruptcy. The department store operator is a shadow of the company created by Lampert more than 15 years ago through its merger with Kmart, when it boasted $55 billion in annual sales.

Sears lost money nearly every year over the past decade, amid competition from e-commerce firms such as Amazon.com Inc, while Lampert, formerly the company’s chairman and chief executive, provided financing lines to keep it afloat.

The company’s struggles have drained its cash coffers, risking a potential breach of its debt agreements with banks, people familiar with the matter have said. That has left Sears with the choice of raising additional capital or closing even more stores.

© Thomson Reuters 2020 All rights reserved.



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Meet the Watch Brands Who Don’t Want to Tell You the Time

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And where the Rolex Submariner is made for divers and the Yacht-Master for…yacht masters, Ressence’s watches are made for the professionally mindful. To understand Ressence’s philosophy, you first have to understand the brand’s watch itself, which features a completely flat dial that rotates completely, taking the etched-on hands along for the ride. The effect is of animation, of a sketch of a watch come to life. Mintiens, an industrial designer, fills the piece with oil to make the look possible.

The idea behind Ressence was to make a watch more natural-looking and legible, inspired by Mintiens’s belief that 2D objects are easier to read than 3D ones. (Imagine if words in a book levitated off the page). In pursuit of that goal, Mintiens wanted to make a watch that felt more “organic.” But the hard lines, 90-degree angles, and the flat dial seen on traditional dials don’t reflect what we see in the natural world. “There’s nothing flat in nature,” Mintiens says. So Mintiens split his watch case in two parts, filling the top half with 35 milliliters of oil. The oil swelling up against the glass crystal creates an optical illusion that makes it appear as if the numerals and indices are projected onto a screen. No matter how you feel about Ressence’s watches, they are a marvel to see in action.

That innovation came with an added benefit, though. “I cannot say when I did the first drawing I thought, ‘I want to do something that makes me more conscious about time,’” he adds. The philosophy was baked in later, a sprinkle of sugar on top of a finished cake, Mintiens admits. The seed of the design naturally sprouted into something with a more philosophical edge: “If you have the idea you can spend time as you can spend money,” Mintiens starts, “then time is an asset.” (Later, he’ll tell me that consuming time is actually like consuming food.) But, he argues, the way we spend those minutes and hours is no longer a conscious act. Making the Ressence watch display time efficiently and smoothly is Mintiens’ way of encouraging us to spend our time in similar fashion.

“You cannot sell that,” he says, referring to his organic-first philosophy. “So you have to wrap it in something more beautiful.”

Iron Man-Approved

Urwerk makes science-fiction inspired watches so futuristic that Robert Downey Jr. wore one while playing Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame. While most Iron Man technology is strictly movie magic, the watch is one you or I could buy from Urwerk, assuming you or I have $69,000 laying around. And the brand behind it comes with a sci-fi pedigree. The brand’s very first piece made in 1997, the UR-101, was inspired in part by the Millennium Falcon. The pieces look strange on purpose, an intentional hard right turn away from what tradition-bound watchmakers have been doing for generations. “A lot of watchmakers, they just repeat the old history of watchmaking,” says Felix Baumgartner, Urwerk’s co-founder. Rather than repeat the tried-and-tested, Baumgartner wants to imagine where watchmaking is going.





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