Today's Fashion Headlines: Galliano's Maison Margiela Collection, eBay's Retail Associate Platform, FGI's Rising Star Awards

Galliano Debut at Maison Margiela
Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015
John Galliano returned to fashion’s stage by pouring his bravado into the clothes and not the set or his own personal flamboyant look fro his bow as he has in the past. There was a quick bow from the Gibraltar-born, British designer smiling in the house’s signature lab coat as Shirley Bassey belted “Big Spender” at the Maison Margiela Artisanal Couture Spring 2015 presentation. Galliano married his penchant for romantic silhouettes and daring cutting with the Belgian house’s codes stretching from deconstruction to brushes of white paint at this no-frills couture show in an all-white space  This two-part production had models first file out in one direction, and return wearing the toiles and experiments of this Artisanal collection, with everything from bird figurines, scraps of fabric, toy soldiers and safety pins repurposed. The collection was bold and densely detailed, except for a few simple evening columns, flaring bustier dresses and mannish tuxedo suits.
EBay Retail Associate Platform Rollout
After a year of testing, the e-commerce and technology giant eBay has begun the rollout of its Retail Associate Platform and already has DSW, Nine West and Aéropostale on board. The tablet-based software was unveiled in late 2013 and offers participating brands a number of ways to enhance their offline experience by tapping into the online world, providing a mobile point of sale is a given. The service also helps users measure store performance, locate inventory and access consumer databases, with specific information on purchase history and what items customers placed in their online shopping carts. The platform was built to level the playing field between associate and consumer through data, mobile technology and good, old-fashioned in-person customer service, said David Geisinger, eBay’s head of retail business strategy and innovation.
“Imagine you walk into Nine West and see a pair of boots but they don’t have your size,” Geisinger told WWD. “Traditionally, the process to get the boots in the right size has been complicated.” Now, the associate can see all inventory in real-time with the “Endless Aisle” application — from central fulfillment or other stores — so they can complete that sale for the customer then and there. “The idea is to save the sale,” he said.
Jason Wu Keynote Speaker at Rising Star Awards
Jason Wu will be the keynote speaker at the Fashion Group International’s annual Rising Star Awards Jan. 27 at Cipriani 42nd Street In New York City. Hearst Magazines will serve as this year’s lead sponsor and Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers will present the women’s ready-to-wear award. A.A. Antonio Azzuolo’s Antonio Azzuolo; Harbison’s Charles Harbison; Haus Alkire’s Julie Haus and Jason Alkire; Houghton’s Katharine Polk; Ji Oh; Rosie Assoulin; Sally LaPointe; Stacy Lomman, Tanya Taylor Designs’ Tanya Taylor and Tome’s Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin are nominated for this year’s prize.
In addition to the eight categories, the Karen Harvey Business Innovator Award will be given as well. Harvey’s namesake Consulting Group and Saks Fifth Avenue are this year’s partner sponsors. Saks will welcome the nominees at a cocktail party at the store Thursday night. In addition, Saks’ Lincoln Moore will award this year’s accessories prize. The finalists are Beth Macri Designs’ Beth Macri; Fairchild Baldwin’s Jill Fairchild and Karen Baldwin; Jgeren’s Jen Gerenraich and Lori Wallis, and Jill Haber Design Group’s Jill Haber, and Yliana Yepez.
In the fine jewelry sector, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s Sarah Coffin will present the award to one of the following three labels: Eva Fehren’s Eva Zuckerman; Lisa Black Jewellery’s Lisa Black or Phyne by Paige Novick’s Paige Novick. For men’s apparel, nominees are Alder New York’s David J. Krause and Nina Zilka, Alexander Nash’s Alex Sumner and Salence’s Whitney Hunter and Andy Gathings. Rent The Runway’s Jennifer Hyman will give top honors for the retail sector. Artisan Connect’s Amanda North; Frank & Eileen’s Audrey McLoghlin; Spring’s David Tisch, Alan Tisch, Ara Katz and Octavian Costache; Tinker Tailor’s Aslaug Magnusdottir and Wanelo’s Deena Varshavskaya are contenders.
Architectural Digest’s Margaret Russell will honor the home/interiors winner. Kriest’s Kristin Victoria Barron; Lazzoni USA’s Efe Kababulut; Marks and Frantz Design’s Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz and Sam Allen Interiors’ Sam Allen have been nominated. One of the more competitive categories is the ever-expanding Beauty Entrepreneur. Lord & Taylor’s Barbara Zinn-Moore will present to one of the following finalists:  Lurk’s Anne Nelson Sanford; Mereadesso Inc.’s Linda Stephenson; Restorsea’s Patti Pao; VBeaute’s Julie Macklowe or Willagirl’s Christy Prunier.
– Carol Calacci
Source & Photos: WWD

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