30 November 2009

Flash of Red, Flash of Champagne

DVF Jacket. VPL Tshirt. Champagne paillette hotpants by Rare for Topshop. Christian Louboutin Champagne Chiffon pumps. Valentino Garavani clutch. Yves Saint Laurent glass bead neklace.

KP 4

THE MONSTER BALL: a fashionable perspective

Last night me and a close friend trekked out to Ottawa to see Lady Gaga in her latest "electro-pop opera" musical performance shindig, The Monster Ball. The performance was incredible... the art direction! the choreography! the live singing! the art films! the stage! the message! My mind was completely blown, and walking away from the stadium, my resolve had never been stronger... Gaga is truly an artist capable at once of entertaining and sending a powerful message.

But, loyal blog readers, this is at the end of the day a style blog. So let's stay on point.

The theme of the show, according to Gaga interviews from the past several weeks, is evolution. "How we start off as one thing.... and become another." The show could be taken as a sort of post-apocalyptic view of humanity. Gaga begins the show in a nude spandex suit with built in sparkling lights, very basic and simple, almost elemental in the way she stands out against the dark background. Her dancers are in similar plain catsuits with bone-like headgear and arm-piece-covering-things.

I think my favorite moment as far as costuming  was during her performance of "Monster" and was going for a sort of Red-Riding Hood theme (without the red riding hood, actually?) Gaga appears in a sort of dark forest wearing what appears to be a large fur capelet which covers her entire torso. Dancers slowly accumulate on the stage in equally as frightening black fur ensembles, resembling monsters. They pose this way and that way and terrorize poor Lady Gaga, until the end when Gaga drops off her fur and is in a teeny leather bustier and panties. Oh, how we evolve from natural, furry little monsters into fetishized oversexed monsters. The ensemble changes, bu tthe monster is always within....

Another important moment which I really enjoyed was during her rendition of "Paparazzi" while wearing the leather coat featured on the album cover:

Gaga is crouching on some scaffolding like the big things that lights in a theater are mounted on, and the scaffolding is lifted about 10 feet in the air to simulate this image of Gaga sneaking around in the rafters, and a projection of a silhouette dancing against a wall of lights is played in the background, like Gaga is a stalker, a monster, the phantom of the opera? She sings the song which addresses the themes of obsession with celebrity, blah blah blah, all the while with the leather coat covering her face as in the picture. I loved how Gaga used the fashion to literally obscure her face and become an anonymous little fame-whoring-celebrity-chasing monster. Delicious.

In keeping with the theme of evolution, the last ensemble of the evening was a pantsuit. I thought it was ironic, actually, starting out with this raw, elemental, primordial look evoking skin and bones, and ending up in a bright white pantsuit with massive Quasimodo-style shoulders constructed into the jacket. We start out as one thing and become another....

SO I can't really due justice to the entire art/fashion direction and styling of the show, but just walk away form this blog post knowing that missing out on the Monster Ball is missing out on a powerful, emotional, moving, compelling, fashion and music show/performance.

28 November 2009

dolla dolla bills yo

JCrew just reported that last year's profits more than doubled. Yay! The recession might be screwing over more culturally relevant couture houses like Christian Lacroix or Luella, but who cares?! JCrew is here to stay!

Now if only they would expand to Canada so I can support them year-round....

26 November 2009

Alexis Mabille, Menswear Spring 2010

I was just flipping through WWD Men's Collections Spring 2010 and came across a little blurp on the Alexis Mabille show. My interest piqued, I headed online to check out more of the collection. I would probably describe the show as playful-preppy-bourgeois-boudoir. Mabille sent out these incredible brocade pants, one in a chinoiserie-style pattern and the other in an argyle-a-la-harlequin.  Here are my favorite looks from the show:

Totally loving the backwards suspenders. The pants are totally out of control. Again, I fall prey to my addiction to shiny things.

The only thing I really liked about this was the peacoat. I love a grey peacoat, and the slim cut of the torso and sleeves paired with the detailing on the collar makes this for me. Classic looks done in a fresh way never, never go out of style.

I really liked the slim and trim cut of this jacket, and contrasting textures on collars always gets me. Tossing the jacket on over the shoulder has this great effortless-chic-luxury feeling to it. Playful yet sophisticated.

I would like to state for the record that I am a total advocate of wider-leg shorts, especially (though not in that case) when they are cut above the knee.

So this guy is actually the designer Alexis Mabille, and I don't know if he is wearing his own creation (he probably is) but I really like this cardigan. Light pink and grey are a great color combination. Also, it's refreshing to see a designer who seems so happy and proud after a fashion show. When everyone is clapping for you, after you've had a massive team of people put in lots of hours of work to put the show together, nothing is ruder than a stern designer who takes one step on stage, raises an arm in the audience's general direction, and disappears.

Great collection, Monsieur, Mabille, glad to see you're enjoying it as much as we did.

Totally Rad

While in the throws of my style research for inspiration for the blog, inspiration for my own style, and potential pieces to invest in, I've come across what might be the coolest men's label of the moment. Yeah, it's called "Warriors of Radness", no big deal. The vibe of the line is complete and total eighties.nineties revival. Windbreakers, pullovers, neon and pastel colors, SoCal surfer chic insanity.  Check out this picture from their Spring 2010 lookbook:

The stuff looks super fresh, with an 80s revival look that isn't stuffy or cliche. And when I saw the prices, my jaw dropped... SUPER reasonable. I can't wait to order one of their fun windbreakers, it's going to be such a great look for Spring! (I really want the turquoise and pink one in the picture at the very bottom) Here's some more images so you can get a feel for WARRIORS OF RADNESS.

(check out their website + online shop: http://www.warriorsofradness.com/ )

24 November 2009

FAVORITE THINGS: Ludlow Suiting at (you guessed it) JCrew

And alas, faithful gentlemen blog readers, we arrive upon yet another reason for you to love JCrew. Ludlow suiting. Classic JCrew cuts and styling meets a trimmer, more contemporary fit. And in true JCrew fashion, stalk the website for long enough and you'll certainly find a good steal. Go out and get yours today.

23 November 2009

on Autumn Colours

I have a few quick words on autumn colors...

Autumn is probably my favorite time of year for fashion, because it allows you to layer interesting looks without sweating to death, and since there isn't any snow yet, you don't have to start worrying about things like bulky coats and long underwear. It is also my favorite season for colors. I think that deep espresso browns with flashes of reds and oranges look great during this season. Myfavorite sophisticated color palette would be a simple combination of fresh greys and crisp whites with little brightly colored accents like bright greens.

Autumn is definately the best time of year to mix it up a little bit, so don't be afraid to mix some colors that you wouldn't mix at other times of the year.

21 November 2009

Leather and Lace

This look I think can work nicely for both day and night. I love the color of this boyfriend blazer, looks really sexy with the lace camisole peeping out from underneath. I tried to balance the tougher elements like the lizardskin pumps and distressed jeans with softer feminined touches like the flower ring, necklace, and tassled bag.

Boyfriend blazer from Topshop. Kill City lace camisole. Current/Elliot skinny distressed denim. Chanel ring and handbag. Milene Berger pearl and crystal necklace. Lizard skin platform pumps at Browns. Prada butterfly sunglasses.

This look is pure sex. Requires a lot of confidence to pull of a leather bustier and sparkly coat. Not to mention the studded pumps.

Sequin jacket from Topshop. Chanel handbag. Yves Saint Laurent leather bustier. Citizens of Humanity Slick Avedon Skinny Jeans. Azzedine Alaia studded platform pumps.

20 November 2009

polyvore wanna cracker??

I just made a killer discovery. (I'm probably the last one to do so, as I usually am. Case in point, me only just recently falling in love with Kings of Leon, approximately 12 months after the rest of the world) It's called polyvore.com. And they probably have all sorts of cool features but the thing that absolutely drives me nuts is how it allows you to browse oodles of clothing/accessories and mix and match to construct your own ensembles!

(This is actually a bad discovery because henceforth when I am running low on inspiration I'll prob just end up going to polyvore and messing around and posting the Sets on here instead of writing legitimate entries. but that's ok.)

It would be really nice if they had menswear, but oh well!

So here is my first set.... I felt really inspired when I saw this dress to make a fierce glammed-out ensemble with feinine touches like the tulle headband and bow clutch.

3.1 Phillip Lim Sequin TShirt Dress. Valentino bow clutch. Christian Louboutin cage booties. Forever 21 headband. 5 Wrap Crystal Mix leather braclet.

19 November 2009

Old School Kicks

This big trend I've been seeing lately- and a really fun one that I hope sticks around, at that- is the ressurgence of old school style shoes, for both men and women. Saddle shoes, Brogues, wingtips, oxfords, basically anything that we would once have ruled out as 'old-looking.' But think, what makes them old? Yeah, they were often worn by business men MadMen style back in the 50s, but in all honesty, they are really versatile shoes that require solid construction and often posess a high degree of artisanship.

What I really like about this trend is that this retro style of shoe can be found at pretty much any price point. If you want to splurge, Prada has definately been brining back the perforated leather wingtip, but you can also run out to any Salvation Army and probably end up finding a similar looking shoe for a fraction of the cost.

Old School shoes are really versatile, too. Get a nice pair of caramel colored wingtips or saddleshoes in a brown color palette and you can pair them with a grey suit for the workplace, or some cuffed jeans for a new-meets-old-meets-casual-meets-formal look.

This style of shoe is also totally acceptable for the ladies as well. I've seen some great adaptations with heels if you want the feminine/masculine/blend look, like these from Pedro Garcia:

With the right attitude you could totally rock these out sexy-librarian style!! Just make sure if you are going to be wearing this masculine-inspired shoe that the rest of your outfit does incorporate some feminine details. I would pair this shoe with a ruffled blouse. Or drape-y sweater.

So, kids, the moral of the story is don't worry if something looks old or not, because chances are it will come back into style eventually. And, according to the cardinal rule, it's not what you wear but how you wear it.

Independent Retail Week, or Why the Hell Am I Not in New York Right Now????

So, in my industry perousing I just came across this little event going on this week called "Indepdendent Retail Week." My interest was piqued. All sorts of independent stores across NY are doing all sorts of fun promotions, sales, events, whatever this week. Kind of like Fashion's Night Out, but a week long and wayy more grassroots. In a way, I think this is more important than FNO because these independent stores are what makes fashion personal, what allows these retailers to have their own voice.

Anyways, when I saw the list of participating retailers, I lost it. Why the F am I not in New York right now?? In fact, as I write this post, there is a Steven Alan sample sale going on at the label's flagship in Tribeca! NOOOO!!!!!!!! Anyways, IRW has got all sorts of great stores participating, including The Dressing Room on the LES (the one I posted about a few weeks ago!), Lois Eastlund also on the LES, Jean Shop, Buckler, and cute boutiques galore!

New Yorkers, you are one lucky bunch of shoppers.

Go here for more info: http://www.independentretailweek.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=58&Itemid=71

18 November 2009

"Am I reaching for the stars? I don't think so."

Kids these days don't know how to shop for clothes that properly fit them! Then again, when you wear your jeans halfway down your ass you're entering a whole new world of sizing which I am not familiar with! Should we start buying jeans whose waist measurement equals the diameter of our derrieres? I also think the most common offender of the 'fit' rule is the person who can not understand the difference between something that fits well and something that is just plain old tight.
If I can see your midriff, the shirt is too short. You aren't a cokewhore and this isn't the nineties. Same thing in the back... if I can see your entire lower back, it's too short. There's no problem with flashing a little bit of skin, but if I can count your vertebrae, there's a problem.

If a shirt clings to fat rolls on your torso, shit's too tight, son. Ladies- jersey is a fickle friend. Wear it right, you'll knock em dead. Wear it wrong, it will draw attention to all the wrong places.

Skin-tight jeans on men are a statement piece, not a staple piece for everyday use. And if I can see the boys downstairs, your pants are too tight.

Ladies, ladies, ladies.... I am by no means a Victorian but please, leave some things to the imagination. When you're wearing shorts in the dog days of summer, they shouldn't be similar to spandex in fit and they shouldn't come all the way up to your ass. Same thing for dresses. Find the perfect length for your legs which is both flattering and sexy but doesn't show off your kooch when you walk.

So please, people, don't rush into buying something that doesn't fit well. Make sure you spend that extra thirty seconds looking at yourself in the mirror. And always check how your body can move while wearing a garment before deciding to buy it. There is no sense in buying nice clothes and carefully constructing a look if it doesn't fit the right way!

17 November 2009

FAVORITE THINGS: T by Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang's "T' line is super cool. Moderately priced, revamped basics which are totally wearable, comfortable and scream "WANG!" Every basic shape you can think of, from the perfect racer-back/deep-vneck tshirt to great LBDs and even a really comfy looking onesie! The collection is perfectly drape-y enough without appearing slouchy or slumpy. And Wang is going to be expanding the line to include menswear any day now! Here are some of my favorite edits from the T line:

Meet Tavi, L'Enfant Terrible of the Fashion Blog World

SO usually I don't like to talk about other blogger's work on my own blog, I think it kind of subverts what I am trying to do here, but I am also committed to writing about things that interest and inspire me. That being said...
Meet Tavi. She is in the eighth grade and is the most badass bitch you've ever seen.
Her blog is her own sort of little scrapbook where she comments on fashion shows and trends and pretty little things that catch her eye. She also puts up pictures like the ones I've *borrowed* and put up here where she shows off her own unique, inventive style. Tavi writes with all the sass you would expect from a pre-tween.
I haven't even met adults who are as confident about their style as she is; Tavi is not afraid to mix and match patterns, textures and proportions, and almost always gets it right!
OH and did I mention that she is basically a fashion celebrity?! She just wrote a post on her experience at the PRADA BOOK LAUNCH SHE WAS INVITED TO LIKE IT AIN'T NO THANG.
She's gotta be doing something right, because even the hothouse of Proenza Schouler is sending her free merch! Check out this lime green top they sent her:

Tavi is clearly giving me a run for my money!! I totally respect her, though... she writes about fashion however the flip she wants to and totally rocks her girlish, yet surprisingly sophisticated, sense of style.

gaga, oh la la!

The upcoming December issue of Vogue is gearing up to be a winner. I wish I could express my undying love for both Grace Coddington and Annie Liebovitz, especially for picking a Hansel & Gretel theme! But wait, there's more... Lady Gaga was cast as the witch!

The pictures look incredible, and both of the models have a really editorial/young look to them which makes them perfect for this kind of shoot. Here are some of my favorite images:

I love how as the story progresses, Gretel's style, starting out as purely fun and girly, gets a little more sophisticated and less nieve. By the end, she is wearing a slightly more complex garment which is form fitting and shows off her body. By the end, Gretel has the confidence and power to fight back against the witch and her clothes reflect this.

Hmmm I understand that Vogue is ultimately a women's fashion magazine, but I really would have liked to see some more variety on Hansel!

Gaga is absolutely rocking in her two Marc Jacobs ensembles. Totally Gaga and totally Vogue, great shoot.

12 November 2009

The Canadian Tuxedo. or, A Fashion Disaster Waiting to Happen

You've all seen it before. It is probably one of the most terrifying ensembles you will ever encounter. And it can happen to anyone. At any time.  I'm talking about the Canadian Tuxedo. Yup, that atrocious denim on denim look. And perpetrators always do the same look: lightblue distressed denim jacket/button-down with lightblue distressed jeans. Horrible. Disgusting. It must be avoided at all costs.

But I sincerely believe you can rock this look IF styled carefully and correctly.

Rule #1: Thou shalt not wear the same wash above and below. This is probably the easiest part to deal with. My personal choice would to sport a really dark wash, raw denim, selvedge-y kind of jean on the bottom. The darker the better. Black jeans could work here. And as always, avoid colored jeans like the plague. On top, rock it out with a really distressed lightblue jacket, the more broken and contrasting to both wash and color of the pant in the better.

Rule #2: Thou shalt be cautious of fit. Denim on denim is already a risky enough look. If done incorrectly it SCREAMS old fashioned and out of date. So what we need to do as a sort of insurance plan is to make sure that the fit of the look is completely modern and up-to-date. That means straight leg jeans, the skinnier the better. And as for the jacket, I think that you would be better off with one that is slightly cropped and doesn't go down too low. Make sure it fits close to the body without being to tight. A floating denim shell over your torso is the last thing you want.

Rule #3: Thine top is thine salvation. No matter which way you do it, denim on denim is going to be a bit of a blank canvas look. For a top, I would pick a graphic tee shirt. Or something with paillette detailing. Any sort of print which is going to be peaking out from beneath the jacket without overpowering the look will work here. But make sure the color palette of the shirt blends well with both the washes of your jeans and your jacket.

Rule #4: Thou shalt not forget the details. As always, the details are going to make the look. I would definately roll up the jacket sleeves. Maybe even do that thing where you pop the back of the collar just a bit. And make sure you accessorize correctly to complete the look. I think a cool leather cuff or bracelet would complement this denim ensemble. A cool natural-looking necklace in turquoise or some other stone would go nicley with the rustic element of a denim ensemble. And ladies, wear your hair down, sexy and au naturale.

Here are some looks that I would style. And yes, I stole the picutures so.. ignore some of the prestyled looks!
First up, for the ladies....

Jeans by Naked&Famous. Jacket by 7forAllMankind. Racerback sequin top by Parker.

And for the gents:

Jeans by Naked&Famous. Jacket by Levi's. TShirt by Local Celebrity. Cuff from Abercrombie&Fitch (I know, I know, the dreaded, tacky, overdone A&F. But you CAN'T deny that they consistently produce really affordable, go-to leather accessories.)

10 November 2009

Well, now that you've asked...

My blog post the other day about my friend and his question about the chain has been on my mind a lot lately. So I just have a couple things to say to the gentlemen about jewelry.

- Keep it simple. Unless you've got some professional advice, avoid wearing more than one necklace at a time.

- If you're going to do bracelets, pick one arm... two arms with bracelets is entering dangerous territory...

- As far as coloration goes, never EVER wear a silver necklace with a gold bracelet and vice-versa or any combination thereof. If one is leather or other natural-fiber based, you'll have a bit more mixing freedom.

- Approach ALL gold with caution. Silver always looks fresher, younger, and it goes with more.

- In my professional opinion, unless you are married, rings are SELDOM a good idea.

- Keep it sleek yet substantial. Be very careful with the width of the chain. Too thick will look like tranny costume jewelry. Too thin will look too cheap.

- As far as length of necklaces, chokers are never EVER ok. Personally, I prefer longer chains, ones that hang down to your sternum. They make your upper torso look longer and draw out the line from your chest from your head. If done corrrectly it can make you look taller and thinner.

Totes for you and totes for me!

A good tote bag is something that everyone needs at one point or another. Be it for holding food on your way to a picnic or potluck, or tossing in a change of clothes to slip into after your couture party, here are some of my favorites, all stylish, all from different price ranges.

Iconic in its own right, I think everyone should own their own monogrammed LL Bean tote bag. They are super affordable and come in a constellation of sizes and colors, and they are so easy to wash in case yours gets dirty.

Jack Spade makes some great masculine options. The first is a pretty basic one that is hand dipped in liquid rubber to add extra durability. You will literally have this bag forever. The second is my personal favorite. Neutral colors go with everything, and this one is currently on sale on the Jack Spade website for about $70.

Kate Spade also makes a really fun and girlier option. I love the splash of pink on top of the handle here!

Burberry, accessories legend, has a simple nylon tote with the Prorsum logo on th e top. Very simple, very UK-chic, under $200. Also comes in a red, a lilac and a really fierce black.

Longchamp, French accessories authority, has become extremely widespread. Particularly, every spoiled girl has the basic "Pliage" tote. An easy way to one-up all those dumb girls while still being able to partake in the luxury of Longchamp's style and craftsmanship would be to go upscale just a little bit and get a slightly more embellished, but still easily recognizable and disctinctively Longchamp, bag. Here are my picks:

This first one has a really cool handle, making this a great option for the men, too! And the second Longchamp:

Totally easy and breezy, very elegant and completely utilitarian.

And, of course, if you are willing to splurge a bit for a great tote you will use forever, Hermes has a great product called the "SilkyPop." This line of bags is made out of silk inside of a kind of Continental style leather wallet. You unzip, and out "pops" the bag, and the leather folds open and becomes the base of the bag. Really easy to travel with, and just like Hermes scarves, they come in about thirty thousand different patterns. Et voila!

09 November 2009

Thom Browne Spring 2010

Loved this look from Thom Browne's Spring 2010 runway show. The cuffs on the pants are really playful in a London-chic sophisticated kind of way. The rest of the pant is a bit too highwaisted for my taste. But whatever.

The Fahrenheit 451 mask and tennis skort were not quite my style, but I completely died when I saw this jacket. Love love love this is going to the TOP of my wishlist.:


Lately I've been really hung up on just how frigging hot Jessica Stam is. She's got such a great Cindarella story, too.... apparently she was discovered in a Tim Horton's on her way back home to small-town-Ontario and was discovered by an off-duty modelling agent. Next thing you know, she is walking down every runway and is in every ad campaign from Milan to LA! I mean, granted, she's been professionally modelling for almost seven years now, but still it's a pretty impressive story.

She is so mysteriously beautiful, and there is something so fierce about her eyes that strikes you immediately, but you can't really pinpoint why.....

Here's some Stam-Candy for all y'all to enjoy:

08 November 2009

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

Alright. So lately, I've been going down a road I never thought I would venture down... my shoe fetish has been burgeoning and blossming. Particularly, shiny shoes. And sneakers. Shiny sneakers, of course, being my ultimate weak spot.

I've come across this shoe label called "Swear" out of London and I am obsessed with everything they've been putting out, but these two caught my eye in particular.

They're understated with just enough sheen poking out in the heel. Totally great to toss on to run out for some errands.

These shoes are out of control. I love love love them because they aren't too much, but you definately need the confidence to pull them off. I would style these with some dark unwashed selvedge denim that would show them off. And a simple tee shirt in a neutral color, or even in black or a gauzy offwhite. And perhaps a slimcut black blazer with rolled up sleeves. Great choice for wearing out at night without having to get too dressed up, maybe on a dinner date or to a cocktail bar.