Brandon Sun made it in from New York last Saturday for a trunk show at Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. I had the opportunity along with two other stylists to style mannequins for Brandon’s event. My partners in styling were Emma Arnold of Tres Awesome and Jessica Moazami of Addictions of a Fashion Junkie. We were instructed to style our mannequins however we pleased and use anything from the store, but to keep in mind a young contemporary woman.
I was asked to style the breath-taking Brandon Sun coat pictured above. (Yes!) I could walk around the entire store with the coat, from designer to contemporary and down to level one to handbags and accessories. I’m glad Brandon trusted that I would not walk right out the door with the coat. I mean, this coat was made for me! There was also an Etro trunk show going on the same day which gave me quick inspiration to find a bold print and colorful blouse. Then I thought the look could do with a pair of coated jeans and found a pair of Helmut Lang black leather jeans. I also picked up a sequin gunmetal Haute Hippie tank top and blue brocade jeans by Joe’s as alternates (in case my paisley look didn’t work). I found an orange Chloe bag for the Etro look and a Blue Stella McCartney Bag for the blue alternate look. I had them unleash a Prada belt (these belts are under lock and key) with an olive buckle, and a black Gucci belt with a large silver buckle. We were then told Neiman Marcus visual representative Christina Demos would help us with the mannequins and to wait to add the shoes last.
I went with my original Etro blouse and jeans with the Prada belt. Then Christina told us she would have to rip the seats of our jeans! “WHAT? These are $500 jeans?” I knew this look was important, but there was no need for a pair of Helmut Lang jeans to be sacrificed! She assured us, “I use a seam ripper and rip the seams, and the alterations department makes them new again. We do this all the time.” Phew! Now my mannequin was waiting for arms, and I learned that she really can’t carry a handbag! Less is more! I tried to add several Alexis Bittar necklaces, but Emma agreed, less is more once again. There was no need for a necklace!
I asked Brandon, who was standing by through most of this exercise, if my look (on the left) was too Italian? He said, “Yes, it looks Italian, but I like it!” When it came to the shoes, I was not partial to Italian designers but wound up with a pair of Sergio Rossi chocolate brown studded booties. Jessica Moazami assured I should not be afraid of brown with black, and Brandon and I agreed that the pant should be over the bootie.
While we were working on our looks, I kept grabbing Brandon between customers, and asked him some questions.
SCS: Have you ever been to Chicago before?
Brandon Sun: Yes I was at the School of the Art Institute for a semester. It was actually here that I decided to go into fashion design and then I went to Parsons.
SCS: Oh that’s the best place!
Brandon Sun: I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I was in graphic design, and I love painting, sculpture, and writing. I wanted to be a pop singer!
SCS: I see you use a lot of muted colors. Pastels are big this winter, so are you influenced by trends?
Brandon Sun: Well, I like wearing black and dark colors so I prefer using muted shades of grey.
SCS: Your colors are so flattering for women! You design apparel, too, but do you think you will always design fur?
Brandon Sun: Yes, I think that fur will always be a part of what I design and working with American Legend. My goal is to be a lifestyle brand. Ready To Wear, Accessories – Everything.
SCS: I hope so, because it would all be really cool!
– Carol Calacci
Photos: Second City Style