Transition & Transformation

Screenshot from Trendhunter.com blog on luxury style house Longchamp's use of a tandem bicycle in their fall 2012 ads (the ad is in the September issue of Vanity Fair).

I am having a beautiful-if-busy summer (and enjoying every ripe peach and delicious cherry I can get my hands on) but I've got to admit that my very favorite season is fall. I love the weather, I love the changing leaves (even though we see little of that in So Cal), and I love the fashion. So as I prepare to make the media kit this weekend for our upcoming "Cycle Chic: Past, Present & Future" urban bike fashion show on September 13th I was very excited to see that the beautiful September fashion issue issue of Vanity Fair was out on the newstand yesterday! And guess what? Not only do I adore much of the fashion within its glossy pages I spotted bikes featured three times! Woot!

The first is the full page ad for the fashion house Longchamp (screenshot above) which is featuring a tandem bike in a series of images that they released back in June to the fashion trend media to spark interest. Remember when I said that fashion and design can bring vision and long term planning to bicycle advocacy? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Target did the same thing last year with the home line & bike the Italian fashion house Missoni designed for them. They announced the line in May and when the products made their debut in September it crashed the Target website!

Imagine if the official top bike advocacy organizations such as the League of American Bicyclists, the Alliance for Biking and Walking, and Bikes Belong joined together to create a full fledged media outreach campaign for May 2014's "Bike Month"? I'm saying 2013 rather than 2012 because the time is pretty short to do this kind of beautifully styled and photographed campaign I have in mind when there's our big Pro Walk/Pro Bike: Pro Place 2012 conference to make happen first (though I've certainly got ideas brewing...).

On that beautifully styled photography note I'd like to share one of my favorite tears from our Cycle Chic shows lead stylist Cradelle Swon White. The image above is one she recently styled for a shoot for Tinsel Tokyo's May 2012 issue with photographer Ryan Cleveland called "Femme Robotique starting on page 86. I love the whole steampunk theme to it - and especially love the hats (see the shot below). This shot did not make it into that layout but it's one of my favorites. The model is wearing pieces from designer BK Phillips whose designs will be featured in our fashion show as well. I love the movement, and I love that though the model is quite slender we can see the muscle tone in her thighs (perhaps she rides a bike!).

Hats are big for fall 2012, as are tweed, the whole English Country House Riding to the House Look. Oh the tailorin and the boots showcased in Vanity Fair's September issue! And really, everything that wears well for riding a horse wears quite well for riding a bike too!

Actually, everything that's hot right now reminds me of what was starting to be seen in 1982-1983. Yes, 30 years ago when yours truly was graduating from High School and getting ready to go to FIDM. We had both the fine tailoredness of Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani (who made his big splash in the U.S. dressing Richard Gere in American Gigolo) paired against the rock n' roll punk leather and chains street look. How fascinating that we have the same juxaposition coming around again.

What shall I be wearing to our Cycle Chic fashion show? I've got a wonderful vintage Ralph Lauren double breasted jacket that could just to the trick. That is if I don't decide to run out and buy leather jeans...Stay tuned for more on Cradelle very very soon!