31 October 2009

Over the Knee Boots

Over the knee boots are totally in at the moment.  They are a great option for both day and evening wear. Pair this pair of suede Louboutins with a chunky-knit cream-colored oversize sweater for a casual yet sexy daytime look:

These Gucci OTKs are totally OOC. I am in love with the architecturual, structured pattern of the fabrics. The patent leather deatiling is uber-sexy. These would be a totally killer, shut-it-down option for a night out on the town. (Wow I really need to slow down with the RachelZoe-isms!).  I would style this with some fantastic dripping-in-sequins top. Check out how futuristic and fashion-forward they are:

And Prada, of course, has their own version of  "yeah, I'm wearing OTK boots because that's how far I'll shove my foot up your ass unless you do what I tell you" boots. So fierce:

And, for those of us who would rather pay the rent this month than shell out hundreds- even thousands- for OTK boots, here is an equally fabulous and totally affordable version from DSW, currently priced at just $69.95!

Go check out the DSW website, they've got TONS of OTK options, many in real leather and suede, most for less than a hundred bucks!

STORES I LOVE: North River Outfitters, Boston

This is probably one of my favorite places to go shopping in my home city, Boston. First of all, it is nestled in the cutest, most historic part of the city, Beacon Hill. It is near lots of great places to go for lunch after you shop 'till you drop- pizzeria Figs being my absolute favorite- and is steps from Boston Common where you can go and sun yourself after picking up the latest in preppy apparel.

North River Outfitters is everything a boutique should be. The retail space itself is neither too big nor too small, but is extremely well stocked with everything from Lilly Pulitzer dresses to a host men's accessories, my personal favorite being the Belted Cow belt which reads "5 O'Clock Somewhere" spelt out in nautical flags. NRO calls itself a "Classic Clothier to Ladies and Gentleman," and it is just that. I walked in off the street and felt like a classic gentleman! The salespeople were impeccably dressed and were some of the warmest and most helpful I have ever encountered.

Any sort of preppy haberdashery can be found here, at a very attractive range of price points (and if you go in late summer, you're sure to find some great sale items!) They literally have everything a prepster could ever want here... iconic Barbour jackets, socks and ties in every color/pattern you would ever need to match your bowtie collection, Vineyard Vines blazers and dress shirts , Dale of Norway sweaters to stave off the cold when you're sailing your America's Cup boat around Nantucket, and even more hardcore outwear from brands like Patagonia, Atlantis Weathergear, Mammut and Cloudveil.

I totally love this store; it represents everything that classic Boston was, is, and is going to be. Don't forget to stop by North River Outfitters next time you're in Boston!

North River Outfitters is located in Boston at 126 Charles Street, corner of Revere. (617)742-0089. And, of course, they are also located in Martha's Vineyard on Dock and Mayhew in Edgardtown. (508)627-7789.

29 October 2009

Gimme Gimme!

Phillip Dubuc is probably one of the most significant Montreal designers of the moment. He was the first Canadian invited to present a show during Paris fashion week. His stuff is very architectural, very modern, and very.... dark. I usually like his stuff, but it would be nice to see some color every once and again!

I was browsing through Phillip Dubuc's flagship in Montreal, and came across this jacket which I am totally in love with:

I love the tuxedo style collar layered on top of the notched lapes. And, just in case you were wondering....

Yes, the layered collar is actually an integrated piece of fabric which can be folded up and used as a scarf! So clever, I've never seen anything like this before.

(The one thing that concerns me is that when I checked out the tag to see what fabric was used, it was 100% of non-natural fibers I had never heard of and couldn't even pronounce! Dubuc's designs are very contemporary, maybe natural fibers are too passe'?)

28 October 2009

STORES I LOVE: uniqlo.

NEW FAVORITE STORE. Uniqlo is out of Japan and, to me, is the next big thing. (I can't wait for them to open more North America locations. As of right now they just have one in New York.) I couldn't have created this store in my wildest dreams: American Apparel meets H&M with just a dash of JCrew thrown in. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Every pricetag in this store made me do a double take..... Vneck lambswool sweaters for under twenty bucks, cashmere sweaters for 99. Every basic garment you could ever need. In every single frigging color you can imagine. And even some more complex garments if you are so inclined. They've got everything from the broadest selection of sweaters I have ever seen, a great range of warm winter peacoats and other outerwear, fun graphic Tshirts, great basic dress shirts in really high quality fabric, to selvedge denim! I walked into their New York flagship and, to use the RachelZoe-ism, I died. It was bananas. Completely OOC.*

(*"Out of Control")

Boys and girls, next time you're in The City, be sure to make a stop of Uniqlo. on Broadway between Prince and Spring.

Rachel Zoe. Bananas.

Love her or hate her, Rachel Zoe is here to stay. With a hit TV show on Bravo, a forthcoming line of clothing and a list of clients that would make any celebrity stylist drool, Zoe is swiftly approaching canonical status.

Rachel Zoe, although I totally love her and appreciate and idolize her work, is very easy to poke fun at. Here are some funny parodies of her on YouTube:

By far the most true to life:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIL2ZwCOxOs

My personal favorite: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIL2ZwCOxOs

and a slightly more bizarre depiction of Zoe, but hilarious nonetheless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzpDRPD7uCg

27 October 2009


Just bought my ticket to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball next month and couldn't be happier... This show is going to be a SMASH if it is anything like when I saw her Fame Ball last March. Expect lots of fashion commentary after I see the show.

(I'm totally loving her new single, Bad Romance... Has all the parts of a huge pop blockbuster, but also has a new sort of grotesque element.... Halloween came early for Gaga!)

26 October 2009


This model is stunningly beautiful.
And this dress is insane. I love the overall-detailing up top and the glamorous fabric. And the beautiful hair flowing freely makes this complete. One of my most favorite and memorable Ralph Lauren moment's of all time...

Tilda Swinton.... being weird

So I just think that Tilda Swinton is weird. Her fashion choices are usually quite bizarre, like this head-to-toe black ensemble from Lanvin that she wore (and won in) to the Oscars a couple years ago:

Hahahaha and here are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure:

She is CLEARLY not from this planet....

Hey, if Chanel's doing it....

Androgyny all the way, baby! This is from Chanel Spring 2010 show. It brings a tear to my eye... just think how far fashion has come, culturally, since the eighties, even the nineties... Dressing men and women in the same outfits would have been outrageous! But now, it's fierce and fashion forward.... Love it! (Also, I feel like every Burberry ad in recent history features some poorly fed boy who looks like Agyness Deyn if you look too quickly!)

And here is Marc Jacobs after his Spring 2010 show, sporting a lovely below the knee skirt and crisp white shirt a la Carolina Herrera:

Oh, and here is a rare sight, Karl Lagerfeld wearing jeans after the Chanel show : (wait, so he is actually a real person???)

25 October 2009

Jimmy Choo for H&M (???)

Jimmy Choo, known best for their buy-groceries-this-month-OR-buy-a-pair-of-shoes? pricetags will be launching an affordable line through H&M starting November 14.
The collection will feature mostly accessories, but also some womenswear and even a few menswear pieces. Here is a link to the a pdf catalogue of what will be included in the line: http://www.jcforhm.com/wp-content/pdf/JCFORH&M_Overview.pdf

Some of the accessories look promising, but for the most part, I thought everything looked really really cheap! I don't know, I guess I'll have to wait and see the stuff in person.

I do, however, completely support this trend we've been seeing of diffusion lines, where high end designers do more affordable lines through highly commercial entities. Target has gotten some real heavyhitters, including Anna Sui, the Mulleavy sisters of Rodarte, and will be premiering Jean Paul Gaultier's diffusion line next spring. Even le roi himself, Karl Lagerfeld did a line with H&M back in 2004. 

Doing diffusion lines presents an interesting conundrum. It promotes a label known for luxury by producing highly commerical, not particularly top of the notch apparel. As a PR move, I think it's brilliant. Although the same luxurious materials and artisinal craftsmanship which defines those luxury labels aren't there, their aesthetic and vision is still conveyed to the masses. It gets the brand's name out there. But the problem is that this Jimmy Choo stuff doesn't even look that good. It kind of looks like a trashglammed a la Zara-ed up version of Forever 21.

It is going to be interesting to see how the Jimmy Choo for H&M collection works out. If the stuff isn't as cheap looking in person as I thnk it looks online, this could be great for House of Choo. If it's a flop, well, let's just say people will be that less inclined to buy a pair of shoes instead of paying their monthly rent.

24 October 2009

actually, THESE are next on my shopping list:

While looking for pictures for my last post, I came across these babies and fell in love. I always thought that shoegasms only existed in women. I was mistaken. 

Here they are....

They're from Salvatore Ferragamo and are called the "Andrea Lace-Up." I think they would look really great with a slim black suit. or with some really dark jeans for going out.

Blog readers, Christmas is right around the corner......!

next on my shopping list...

I've been thinking for a long time now about investing a really good pair of (Italian?) driving mocs. I'm not really sure which color I would pick, but I am really into a colored pair. Like a nice blueberry-blue or red. I feel like they would be such an easy way to touch up an outfit. Here are some I've been considering...

This one is from Gucci:

These are Ferragamo:

And these two are Tod's:

23 October 2009

FAVORITE THINGS: exploded check burberry scarf

Ok ok ok I totally understand all of you who think that the Burberry scarf is cliche and JAPpy and over, but I am totally a die-hard fan of the giant check scarf. The regular sized check one is pretty vanilla now that so many people have it. And you could totally make the argument that people wear Burberry scarves because they want to promote a certain aesthetic or project a certain look/image etc. But at the end of the day, you can NOT dispute the fact that Burberry is historically one of the most important fashion houses in the world. They made the trench an ICON. The Burberry scarf, probably used at first to stave off the freezing UK weather, is a great product. Their cashmere is so soft and well produced.

I am a huge proponent of the "when you look good you feel good" ideology, and I sincerely believe that a camel cashmere scarf with the signature Burberry plaid looks damn good. I could wear just a plain black Tshirt and jeans, toss on my Burberry scarf and feel like a million bucks. They are soft, they are warm, and they are part of a proud tradition of English craftsmanship.  On that note, I do believe that the traditional Burberry check scarf is slightly overdone. That is why I'm posting the exploded check scarf as one of my "favorite things" because it is still a way of supporting and believing in Burberry in a slightly different way that says "hey, I like Burberry because of what it is and not because all the JAPs are wearing them!"

(and for future reference, JAP refers to jewish american princess and NOT a slur against Japanese persons. just sayin. not that i have anything against the jews. i love the jews. but, you know what i mean)

So please, the weather outside is frightful, so go get yourself a Burberry exploded check scarf and cozy up with a cuppa tea.

demarchelier, demarchelNAY

I would like to say that I was officially bored by Demarchelier's work in the November 2009 issue of Vogue. The segment, called "the daily news" fell completely flat. It purported to be a piece with "a bit of funk" and "unmistakable jazz" that "moves with the rhythm of the streets." It was none of these things. The clothes were NOT exciting; there was no beauty, and the aesthetics and palette of the looks just looked too retro-revival. And on top of that, the background of the pictures was a drab stone color-- it didn't even make the clothes look particularly good. But I did like how the models were posed. They consistently looked like they were confident, like they were interacting with some exciting things going on outside the gaze of the camera. I liked how they were posed.... the first five times. After a while, even the fierce looks they have on their faces began to fall flat. They had the same expression and mid-air stride pose in nearly every picture.
In closing, the clothes were boring. The models were good but ultimately not able to work with the art direction of the shoot.

Not your best work, Monsieur Demarchelier.

22 October 2009

underwear, under where?

Ladies and gentleman, it's back. Underwear as outerwear. Probably made most famous by Jean Paul Gaultier's infamous underwear-as-outerwear cone bra for Madonna's Blonde Ambition Tour, pictured here.\

The trend is back on the runways, folks.

This corset top from Dior's most recent show is a great example.  Unapologetic sporting of the undies as a normal garment. Love it. And here is my favorite example by far:

This look is from Gaultier's Spring 2010 show. I love the underwear-like structuring of the bust on this ensemble. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's just a couture bra, can we even call that a top? My favorite aspect of this is the deconstructed shoulders. A lot of designers are pushing shoulder pads right now, and this is Gaultier's take on it. In his signature style, he is revealing what lies beneath. Why can't the unadorned shoulder pad be just as fashionable as one sewn into a Balmain or Margiela jacket? I love Gaultier's aesthetic, the deconstructed nature of this look. And on top of all that, the flash of purple coming out from the jacket; the model might be wearing her bra for all to see, but just because she's showing her underwear doesn't mean she still doesn't have some tricks up her sleeve! Just when you think you've got Gaultier figured out, you find another layer to peel back....wonderful!

21 October 2009

these guccis are made for walking, and that's just what they'll do

I don't think i'd be able to resist a woman wearing these.
This paillete bootie from Gucci sums up everthing I look for in a woman: confidence, sexiness, playfulness, and edginess all in one.

20 October 2009

why Raf, why?

Raf Simons Spring 2010 show was, to say the least, not my favorite. It did have it's shining moments, like the jackets with the silk upperarms. One motif that was repeated several times throughout the show was this sort of high-waisted belt cinching in the model's ensemble, here, a sportcoat. I do not like this look at all. I am totally in favor of the use of androgyny here and there in fashion, but this is outright terrible. It cinches in the waist and overemphasizes the hips, creating a bizarre feminine silhouette. And what is the wearer of this high-waisted belt going to look like when they aren't a male model who hasn't eaten carbs since the Clinton administration? I'd really like to hear what Raf Simons has to say for himself about this....

STORES I LOVE: montreal

BOUTIQUE DUO, prince arthur+clark
Love this store. The salespeople are always so helpful and friendly. I always make this place a weekly stop as they are pretty good about rotating whats on the shelves. Great selection of accessories. They have a extensive price range, so if you're looking for a $30 tee shirt to go with your new jeans, or a $400 Alexander McQueen oxford to wear out. I've also known them to have a pretty reasonable sale rack in the back. This place is such a one-stop-wonder, and they totally get what the stylish Montreal man is looking for. Love the aesthetic, love the experience.

U&I BOUTIQUE, saint laurent between prince arthur and ave. des pins
Slightly pricier, but beautiful and stylish clothes nonetheless. All sorts of fashion-forward labels like Acne and Phillip Lim. They always have a really wide selection of distinctive shoes. A big thing that they're pushing right now are these winter parkas from Mackage, a local Montreal winter coat maker. The salespeople can be a little pretentious and standoffish, but the selection totally makes up for it.

FRIPERIE SAINT-LAURENT, saint laurent and duluth
Off-beat, very hit or miss vintage store specializing in leather jackets. Careful, I'm not suggesting you should run off with one of their intense-hardcore-decked-out-in-fringe-texan-cowboy-revival-hipster leather jackets, but if you look carefully enough, I'm sure you can find a buttery soft, perfectly broken in leather jacket for a pricetag that won't break the bank.

BOUTIQUE MICHEL BRISSON, saint paul between rue mcgill and rue st paul
Absolute favorite. A wide array of designers, including everything from lots of accessories to the latest in contemporary suiting. The salesperson was actually helpful and interested in selling me something I wanted and looked good on me, and wasn't pushing me to buy something for the sake of making a sale. And on top of that, when I went, they were having this rediculous sale.... Martin Margiela shirts (fashion-forward design, impeccable craftsmanship) which usually retail for upwards of six hundred dollars, for $59!!!

19 October 2009

no more neon, please!

Attention: I would like to hereby pronounce the neon trend as over. Done. Dead. In the past. And I hope it never comes back!  The color is RARELY flattering and identifies its wearers with a certain... aesthetic, shall we say, that is NOT stylish. Ok, at first, it was ironic to wear neons but actually, who wants to walk around in a neon yellow or lime ensemble looking like a day-glo tranny mess?


LES Avant-Gardistes: Lady Gaga and Rei Kawakubo.

Here's some of the cover art from Lady Gaga's "The Fame Monster" album due out next month. Its relation to fashion, you ask? I saw it and I knew right away... Gaga is impersonating Rei Kawakubo, designer of the monolithic fashion house Comme des Garcons. The hair seems to be a direct reference with the angular bob and the straight bangs. The patent leather jacket Gaga is sporting seems to be a reference to Comme des Garcons Spring 2009 collection which made a huge use of angular, architectural, highly structured leathers.

Analyzing the picture a little bit more reveals Gaga's true genius. She is invoking not only the image of the fashion icon that Kawakubo is, but what Kawakubo has come to represent in and of herself.

Comme des Garcons is undoubtedly one of the most significant avant-garde fashion houses of the twentieth century. During the eighties, when everyone was all about color and pizazz, CDG was the first label to pioneer black as a high-fashion medium. I can't emphasize enough how their work with black in the 80s came to effect high fashion in the 90s or even street style today.

Gaga is invoking the avant-garde nature of CDG. I know what you're thinking... how can a Top 40 pop singer dare to call herself avant-garde? Well, my friends, I could go on and on and on about that one, but let's stick to the fashion. (In short, I think it was extremely avant-garde of Gaga before she was famous to go deep into the Lower East Side hipster scene in NYC and play pop music... brilliant!)

Just like Kawakubo has always been reclusive and media-shy, Gaga wants her work to speak for itself. She is holding her jacket across her face. The big dramatic haircut distracts us from her face. All we see of her is her piercing eyes. This ties into Lady Gaga's notions about "the fame" and how celebrity comes to transcend the individual. AGH IM GETTING CARRIED AWAY I COULD WRITE AN ESSAY ON THIS STUFF!!

Bottom line-- fashion/art/music is the name of the game, and Gaga wants us to realize that her art is becoming monolithic enough to her genre as we know it: how we listen to pop music, how pop music is created, and how we obsess over pop culture.

Well done, Gaga.

Galliano Jacket, Spring 2010

John Galliano's Spring 2010 Runway show was, as usual, out of control. Who would think to have a laserlit runway... with these gently falling orbs which create little poofs of smoke when they hit the floor?-- and more importantly, who else would be able to pull this off??

This one look struck me. The jacket is incredible... it's all about the contrasts. An innocent and girly shade of baby blue is covered with black lace. The lace itself is delicate and features a whimsical pattern, but is somehow extremely fierce and serious. The angular cut of the jacket and the strong shoulders says fierce, but the blue and lace details are distinctly feminine.

This, to me, is Galliano's true woman. Girly. Fearless. Strong.

18 October 2009

don't be afraid to show a little... ankle

(Rag & Bone Spring 2010 up top, Michael Bastian Spring 2010 below)

One of the biggest trends of the moment in menswear is showing your ankles. Be it that the your pant is hemmed high enough that we get a peek at the elusive ankle, or your premium denim is rolled up tastefully and smartly so we can catch a glimpse, flaunting the ankle is the look of the moment. It was even in all of the recent runway shows for the Spring 2010 season. Thom Browne, Michael Bastian, Rag&Bone, Phillip Lim, and so many other important menswear designers were showing ankles!

And this isn't just on the runways... I've been spying so many people on the streets of Montreal sporting the look. Everyone from hipster boys to young professionals with their suit pants neatly rolled up and pressed into place.

I absolutely love this trend- it's such an easy way to add a bit of style to even the simplest outfits. It is a great way to show off a pair of contrasting striped socks, or even the lack of socks if you should be so daring. Obviously this trend should only be applied to a straight leg or even skinny pant. So come on boys, roll 'em up!

FAVORITE THINGS: naked and famous denim

I never really understood most of the 'designer denim' trend. Seven For All Mankind makes a pretty good pair of jeans, so does J Brand, just to name a few. But labels like True Religion really do not impress me... what self respecting, truly stylish man is going to walk around in a pair of flared out bluejeans with bright white stitching... that twists around the leg? I have yet to see a man pull of True Religions 'signature look' without looking out of proportion and like they just came from a western/tranny/burlesque show.
ANYWAYS I'm not here to trash certain denim labels. We'll leave that for another blog post. What I want all of you to know right now is that I have found denim nirvana.
NAKED AND FAMOUS DENIM. Here's how they describe the product on their website:
"Naked & Famous Denim uses only the most unique and rare denim fabrics from Japan. The prestigious mill in Japan, from which we import all our fabric, is committed to producing only the best (and most expensive) denim in the world. Throughout each step in denim production (weaving, dyeing, finishing…) the mill uses a combination of old school and modern methods and practices. So much culture and history is poured into the fabric so that it can be appreciated by the denim purist.
We keep all our jeans raw and simple. No washes, no embroidery, no gimmicks… just the best fabric in the world combined with modern fits. We have eliminated these costly (and in our opinion unnecessary) after-effects, and have stripped down our jeans to the core essentials. Now true denimheads and newcomers alike can enjoy these special fabrics at a reasonable price."
In short, it's literally the best frigging denim in the world. Super comfortable, and super affordable (for what you're getting). I have been know to splurge on jeans, spending as much as $300 for one pair. But my new Naked and Famous jeans were just under $150 (canadian!) and I wear them all the time. Since they're selvedge denim, they've begun to break in gently, and they have begun to mold to my body and how I move, so it feels like I'm putting on a custom piece of couture when I slip into them. And they transition so well from day into night. I could go on forever about how much I love these!
So, ladies and gents, for Naked and Famous Denim, the Kingston Project verdict is: YES. Go out and buy your pair today, I know you'll fall in love!

17 October 2009

"plato's atlantis", or "why mcqueen matters"

Alexander McQueen's spring 201o runway show- dubbed 'plato's atlantis'- was incredible; not only were the clothes and styling off the hook, but the actual production of the show was fresh and fashion forward.

For any of you who haven't seen the video, here's the link. I took it straight from McQueen's website... I love the accesibility!

The clothes were insane.... I felt like extraterrestrials had taken over the runway. Except they were all fabulous and had great legs. And the shoes-- totally crazy. Attention all ladies: platform heels are here to stay, run out and buy some NOW!

Not only was this the strongest collection I've seen in a while, but the actual production of the show was completely fashion forward. Two gigantic robot-video-camera-contraptions slid up and down the runway, projecting onto a massive screen. Their focus would vacillate between the models and the audience, blurring the line between art and critic, what is on the stage and what is off the stage.

The most pivotal moment came as the last model (dressed head-to-toe in a fabulous metallic silver ensemble) walked towards the massive screen, and the cameras lined up so as to make the runway seem infinitely long. During these dark days when couture houses are closing up (RIP Christian Lacroix) McQueen doesn't take a negative view or even a pragmatic view as others have been; instead, his last model walked on into the future, into infiinity. For just a moment, McQueen was urging us to keep going and to look forward and see that fashion is so much more than just the finances. We are fashion, we are the future, and we are the ones to wear his fabulous couture out of the economic crisis.

Well done, chap.

16 October 2009

hello there, my pretty

Fashion is everywhere. It's in New York. It's in Marrakech. It's on the runway. It's sitting across from you on the subway. Fashion is your mother, your boyfriend, your Sunday brunch, your hot hot sex. It is in your memories, it is the future.

So here I am. With nothing but my own two eyes and an internet connection. And my obsession with fashion.

The Kingston Project is my scrapbook. I hear a bit of news about the fashion world, on the blog it goes. I think a fashion show is worthy of my praise/scorn, on the blog it goes. I see someone on the street with a good eye for style, I snap a picture and post it here for your viewing pleasure. I want to rant and rave about anything from Anna Wintour to neon leggings, it goes on the blog.

So, fashion lovers across the globe, brace yourselves. The Kingston Project is firing up, and NO ONE will be able to escape my gaze.

My name is Kingston. And this is my HAUS.