Archive | March, 2011

Fashion Inspiration

26 Mar

I was doing my usual blog browse this morning and I absolutely fell in love with these shoes from Jak and Jil (photographed from renowned street style photographer Tommy Ton). It’s funny because I adore photography and would love to take photos like this but never seem to come across the right material. It takes a lot of determination and patience to find really amazing street style.

Credit: Jak and Jil


Fall 2011 RTW: Trends from Paris

25 Mar

Many of the NYFW trends were pervasive throughout the month of shows — minimalism, the seventies and retro prints…They are fun to look at but pretty much remain constant throughout each reinterpretation. There are only so many ways to do minimalism. Paris brought a whole new theme to the FW11 trends though and they were really interesting ideas.

First we have the full-body print. What I love about this is how in spite of using the same print for each piece (dresses don’t count), there is a lot of different and change within the look. What I mean is, when you wear a two-piece hot pink look the meat of the outfit is the pink — the bold color choice — not the pieces themselves. When you add the pattern to the mix it transforms into something else. The pattern is just as important as the pieces. You can’t layer the same pattern with any pattern — it takes a stylistic eye and a real knack for fashion to see what looks chic and amazing as opposed to looking like a juicy tracksuit. The Celine piece has that wooden pattern with the nude turtleneck as the only distracting element but it adds to the look. I just think this entire concept is fascinating and so hard to do (trust me, I’ve been trying). Even the Givenchy look with the cuffed sleeves like from Varsity jackets (I’m blanking on the term — it is only 9 AM though) gives the entire look a retro vibe. It manages to remain chic and inspirational while giving a nod to this very outdated look.

A reinvention of structure was really big in Paris this year. It manifested itself into two categories in my opinion — there was the boxy structure (an infusion of masculine if you will) and the creative structure (à la McQueen kind of thing, I’ll get to that in a bit). Here we have the boxy kind. This is something that is on the runway every once in awhile (flashback to Margiela’s Spring 2011 collection) and is generally applause worthy but pretty unwearable. This season there was a breakthrough with this style. McCartney did it the best in my opinion — she puffed up the sleeves and boxed out the style but kept the waist feminine and skirt flattering. It takes a balance to not look boxy and unflattering — herein lies my fascination with fashion, the dichotomy between something completely new and outstanding while still remaining beautiful and graceful on the body. In some cases it is impossible but when it’s done right it is just truly awe inspiring. Gaultier took a different route with the outerwear — my friend argued that I was stretching it a bit but I don’t think so. This jacket really dominates with the unusual structure and reminds me a lot of the Burberry Prorsum Pre-Fall coat that has the same structural ingenuity. It’s the opposite of the McCartney dress in terms of the balance between modern and new and flattering — the top is  feminine with the fur and the quilting but then puffs out to a kind of hoop skirt around the waist. It’s amazing. YSL had an innovation that a few others felt inspired by as well which is just the entire boxy dress. I love this idea because by keeping it a mini they are free to do what they will with the above. This season is where designers stumbled upon the realization that they can contrast the beauty of the body with the intensity of this boxy style they’ve toyed with for years — it’s like when my mom said to me, “yes, by all means where a mens shirt if you’d like but you have to wear something tight on the bottom.” It’s intuitive to a woman — hide one area, you got to flaunt the other.

There’s really not much to say about Peplums except that they were just absolutely everywhere. I love them and they’re flattering in their own strange way.

Ok so there’s not much one can say about these because they are so individual to the designer, but these three stood out to me (from many). This is a staple of the McQueen collections and one that Burton is so skilled at it is practically indistinguishable from McQueen himself. I can never forget the intensity and just absolutely stunning quality of the closing look from the Spring collection. Viktor & Rolf’s entire collection wasn’t really my pace but I admire it none the less. It was medieval and renaissance but there wasn’t a lot of variation within the theme. The Yamamoto show was deadly amazing and I love this and the symbolism of it. The deconstruction of fashion and the deterioration of the business is really a big theme with the grunge pervasive this season. I love these and I love this entire style it really is evidence within itself of just pure, raw talent.


Stella McCartney Fall 2011 Runway Review

Celine Fall 2011 Runway Review

Givenchy Fall 2011 Runway Review

Jean Paul Gaultier Fall 2011 Runway Review

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 Runway Review

Miu Miu Fall 2011 Runway Review

Alexander McQueen Fall 2011 Runway Review

Viktor & Rolf Fall 2011 Runway Review

Closet Inspiration…

21 Mar

Spring break = Spring cleaning = My favorite transition from winter to spring.

I currently suffer from an average sized closet — for some, this is a luxury. For me it is a burden. Clothes flood my room in various containers and I constantly look for new ways to rearrange it until I have a place of my own.

I search blogs and blogs but is where I really got inspiration for my own closet based on others who suffer from a strong love of fashion as well.

The first step I followed in rearranging  my closet was to solve the shoe problem…Tracy Taylor had an ingenious idea of taking Polaroid’s of each shoe to easily find in the closet.

Okay, this doesn’t mean anything but I fell in love with this Dries van Noten dress…

My closet is color coordinated — I find it impossible to find pieces without this system. I think it’s key to a functional wardrobe. I love the cute purses along the top. I’ve always thought of this type of rubber-covered structure as kind of tacky and just so not what I want in my closet, but it works here. It helps it function in the way that it needs which is really all that matters.

To end… a brilliant photo…Pheobe Philo is an icon and I love her, and this bag.

Credit: thecoveteur

Fashion Inspiration

17 Mar

How much do you love this? This photo is Michelle Harper in a Yazbukey headpiece photographed by Phil Oh at Paris Fashion Week.

Credit: vogue

Fall 2011 RTW: Shoes, Shoes, Shoes…

17 Mar

So many killer pumps with such a retro feel — the really thick heel is back in a big way and I love the way it was reinvented. So many killer styles but there were some amazing pieces. There was way more snakeskin than usual but the colors and use was definitely unusual and so killer. Lots of booties and wedges, lot of modernism. The Louis Vuitton pumps with the cute little white bow straps were my absolute favorites though in the entire season. They’re on point with the time and simple, classic, feminine… What are your top picks?


2011 CFDA Awards Nominees Announced

16 Mar

Womenswear Designer of the Year:

Marc Jacobs

Alexander Wang

Proenza Schouler

Menswear Designer of the Year:

Simon Spurr

Michael Bastian

Patrick Ervell

Accessory Designer of the Year:

Reed Krakoff

Proenza Schouler

Alexander Wang

Swarovski Award for Womenswear:

Prabal Gurung

Joseph Altuzarra

The Row

Swarovski Award for Accessory Design:

Alejandro Ingelmo

Jason Wu

Pamela Love

Eddie Borgo

International Award Winner: Pheobe Philo

Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Marc Jacobs

Eleanor Lambert Founders Award Winner: Hal Rubenstein

Eugenia Sheppard Media Award Winner: Hilary Alexander

CFDA Board of Directors Special Tribute Award Winner: Arthur Elgort

Fashion Icon Award Winner: Lady Gaga

Review: “Valentino: The Last Emperor”

16 Mar

I am by no means a film critic, but an avid lover of cinema and literature alike. I watched this documentary, eager to learn more about one of my favorite fashion houses and designers. I was very surprised by my reactions. I’m going to start by saying this is definitely a movie to see. It doesn’t provide as much of a glimpse into the world of fashion as other documentaries do but it is really enlightening in terms of learning about Valentino and what kind of man he is. As a psych major, I was really interested in his narcissism and the unusual way it manifested itself. Garavani is so consumed with his work this amazing life and force in the world of fashion that he has built. The way he shoves aside any contradictory opinion and says that he is right when — as the movie proves — he is not unless it is a matter of fashion, is fascinating. His entire world revolves around beauty, I couldn’t even fathom the amount of times he said the word “Beautiful” in the film. It is sheer luck that the documentary was made at this time — documenting the last year of Valentino’s career before it was known to be his last year. With all the turmoil surrounding the business, I found Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti’s relationship to be the most endearing and interesting. These men work together and love each other day in and day out and getting this glimpse into their lives was really eye-opening. It’s such a difficult business — one that I am killing myself to enter.

Also, the beginning with the puppies? My favorite part. Scratch that. Any part with the puppies. And seeing Lagerfeld animated the way he was…I see him as such a caricature in such a phenomenal way.

New York Fashion Week: Trends

15 Mar

Looking back, I am surprised by the trends that were/were not present in New York. Most notably was the almost complete absence of classic feminine looks. Obviously Tadashi Shoji, Marchesa…the couture names showed beautiful couture and airy, flowing pieces that absolutely radiated femininity but it was in a much more restrained manner and really not notable elsewhere. Minimalism was more than just a trend this season — it was essential. In new york we saw minimalism, a lot of patterns influenced from other cultures — mostly oriental but Proenza Schouler incorporated a lot of Native American patterns –, luxurious sportswear and a lot of pieces infused with a harsh modernity.

Minimalism is a hard look — in a venn diagram it would be that piece in the middle overlapping with the other circles. A lot of other current trends (i.e. Color blocking, modern inspired and chic sportswear) play off of the minimalism vibe.

I absolutely loved the prints for the fall. Many aspects of the season were lacking but the unusual prints were not one of them. The sources ranged from Jill Stuart’s wild animal prints, Thakoon’s love of the Masai Warriors, de le Renta and Lauren drawing from eastern cultures and Schouler with Navajo cultures to name a few. They were gorgeous and were really flattering on the models, something prints often inhibit.

Like minimalism, modern influences manifest in many different ways. In Paris there were a lot of structurally futuristic vibes but not so much in New York. In new york it was more material — the combination of sheer and lace, the delicacy contrasted with the intensely built skirt foundation had a completely futuristic vibe. “Digi-craft” was also big. That is the futuristic style of prints similar to the Preen style and other similar kinds.

What is there to say? This is a pretty solid trend the past few seasons. I am absolutely in love with the Rag & Bone shorts — the entire style.


Rag & Bone Fall 2011 Runway Review

Thakoon Fall 2011 Runway Review

Proenza Schouler Fall 2011 Runway Review

Michael Kors Fall 2011 Runway Review

“Empire of Feelings” Vogue Russia Editorial

14 Mar

Model: Tatiana Cotliar

Photographer: Jason Schmidt

This is absolutely the most beautiful editorial I have ever seen in my life. This editorial was shot in the Romanov Palaces in St. Petersburg — the first time anyone was allowed to do such a thing in the beautiful building in over 100 years. It is completely restored, refurbished and renovated to reflect its real grandeur and the history of the place. It is to die for. I have probably looked at this one editorial 18 times in the past ten minutes.

Credit: blog wore black

Caroline Brasch Nielson

14 Mar

It’s been almost a week since fashion week ended and it has taken almost that long to recover. One thing I have never really covered on my blog but have always been tempted too is models. I was recently asked who my style icon was and really stumped as to how to respond. I always look through street style  photographs and love the art and intricacy in these photos…yet I have never really taken note of the names and true character of these people. These are the women who embody the clothing we dream about — we subject them to endless criticism yet completely idolize them anyway. It’s a completely hypocritical relationship. With the ending of fashion week, why not start with one of the absolute top models walking this season — Nielson walked a stunning 71 shows this month. She’s seventeen and ranked #39 and only entered the business last spring for Paris’ fall collections.

For a perverse reason, I was curious about all the shows Nielson walked in –and it was a lot. For such a newbie, she opened and closed quite a few and some pretty big venues such as D&G. The long list is as follows: Acne, Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, Anna Sui, Anteprima, BCBG Max Azria, Balenciaga, Bill Blass (Open), Bottega Veneta, Burberry Prorsum, Chanel, Christopher Kane, Christian Dior, Chloe, D&G (Open), Daks (Open), Derek Lam, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Edun, Emanuel Ungaro, Emilio Pucci, Etro, Fendi, Gianfranco Ferre, Giambattista Valli, Giles, Gucci, Hakaan, Herve Leger, Iceberg, Isaac Mizrahi, J. Mendel, J.W. Anderson, Jason Wu, Jill Stuart, Jonathan Saunders, Kenzo, Lanvin, Loewe, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs, Marni, Matthew Williamson (Open + Close), Michael Kors, Missoni, Moschino, No. 21, Narciso Rodriguez, Nina Ricci, Oscar de la Renta, Paul & Joe, Pedro Lourenco, Prabal Gurung, Preen, Proenza Schouler, Rick Owens, Richard Chai, Rochas, Roberto Cavalli, Rue du Mail, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sass & Bide (Open), Sonia Rykiel, Sportmax, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop Unique, Valentino, Vera Wang, Viktor & Rolf.

Nielson really made a splash when she entered the business — and Valentino saw her potential immediately. The same season she walked in her first show — Dries van Noten — she opens for Valentino (also for Balenciaga, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel). She was then mentioned in The Cut’s top 10 newcomers and there we have the astonishing start to her career. She has either opened or closed for Valentino each season since her debut and is also the face of Valentino (and Marc Jacobs).

Nielson has an utterly spot on sense of style — I love the combination of polka dots and cheetah print, it’s really bold but really beautiful. They are so similar yet combine to such a strong look. I read an interview with her where she mentioned her favorite designer is Alexander Wang and she loves Miu Miu wedges — but really, who doesn’t?