Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reverting My Attention Back to Fall...With Graphic Scarves



Since I'm sure I can condense my take on Milan Fashion Week into one post, here's a break from all the spring/summer hullabaloo.  Let's not forget that the autumnal equinox was just a few days ago and that we need to prepare ourselves for chilly weather (though temperatures in LA are still reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit)!



Scarves are meant to keep our necks warm, but these accessories are infinitesimally useful and come in many shapes and lengths...you can tie a square scarf around your head during a bad hair day or quickly wrap one around your neck in a loose manner for a quick fashion fix!  If you've ever coveted an Hermès scarf, you'll know that these large squares of silk are big enough to print beautiful graphics on.  Take Lin Beeser's creations for a more whimsical example. 



When these scarves are tied around the neck, they seem to have Balenciaga-esque tribal prints.  But when you open them up, you'll find that these tasseled neck warmers are displays of cute, colorful, and silly takes on scenes of nature.  Nothing like a smiling blue mountain to brighten up your day!



If you're more of a traditionalist, or you're just not into cartoon graphics, Christian Lacroix's scarves may be a slightly cheaper alternative to those pricey Hermès accessories.  The graphics on Lacroix's silk squares vary but they always have a hand-painted look. Whether they really are hand-painted, I don't know, but no matter, these scarves are undeniably beautiful.  Lacroix scarves can retail for over $200 (compared to $500 Hermès scarves) but I once found a great Christian Lacroix sale on ideeli with scarves for under $100 (and that's how I got these pictures, heh).



Images: Eddie Newton of Stylesightings...well, he WAS in charge of Stylesightings, I'm not to sure what happened but visit his awesome new site, mrnewton.net), Barneys New York, ideeli

Thursday, September 24, 2009

LFW, IMO. Part 2: Finding the Gems



Who watched the Burberry Prorsum show live (or at least the online live stream)??  *raises hand*  I hope you did, too!  I actually woke up an hour prior to the actual showing and I WAS a bit tired.  To be honest, I liked just a few of the pieces, not everything.  The ruching was beautiful but that iconic Burberry trench isn't exactly my cup of tea.  Great construction and all, but the mummified versions of the trench weren't entirely innovative (I know MANY people would disagree).  Still, I loved the milky colors and the silky textures of the pieces that came towards the end of the show.  The leather belts add just a touch of edge that's needed to balance out all that femininity. (sidenote: Garance Doré said in her blog that the Burberry Prorsum saw many bloodied fingers due to their sharp metal invitations...)



Though I wasn't enthralled by Nathan Jenden's collection, I commend him for having a full cast of ethnic models, reminding us that you don't have to be a light-haired Caucasian to be model-worthy.



Call me conservative but I feel that many of the Christopher Kane ensembles are awkward-looking, especially the ones that draw attention to the mid-section. The thigh-flattering dresses strangely remind me of Japanese loincloths.  But I love the last floral dresses that evoked fancy Chinese gowns, though Style.com noted that Kane's inspirations included Lolita and religious cults.  No wonder the collection is slightly disturbing.

Trends Observed: Short short short hems, abstract graphics

Yup, that's my two cents on LFW (for now)!  I hope Milan will host some exciting shows.



In other news, I tried on a pair of those supposedly amazing Always Skinny 1969 Premium Gap jeans (the same ones Anja Rubik wears in the campaign).  The size 25 pair (lowest size they've got) fit my waist perfectly but um, as you can see in the photo, my legs didn't fill the jeans up.  So Gap jeans are not that amazing on everyone, FYI.


Party Hat by Jeff Koons, 1995-1997.

Turned the awkward age of 19 yesterday!

Images: Style.com, my own photo, Jeff Koons' website

Monday, September 21, 2009

LFW, IMO. Part 1: The Weekend Wave



I am now blogging from the tiniest two-person apartment room I've ever seen!  It's so strange to be back on campus; even stranger that every classroom is farther from my living space this year!  This makes great exercise, though.  My school is huge (HUGE!), so everyone gets a workout here.

London Fashion Week is celebrating its 25th anniversary, inviting back top British designers who often travel abroad to show their collections.  These include the likes of Christopher Bailey of Burberry Prorsum, Antonio Berardi, and Matthew Williamson. I haven't been keeping up with Fashion Week so much, but I'm catching up so here we go...some bits I liked from LDN FW:



Mary Katrantzou is such a talent in trompe l'oiel fashion.  The dresses look like they're made of some sort of swirled, metallic material but they're all part of the designer's clever visual trickery.  I kept asking myself whether these features were illusions or not.  And the cuffs (for the wrists and neck) that glass blower Peter Layton crafted are so beautiful.  The pieces themselves seem delicate but once they're worn, the subject appears strong.



This swimsuit is the only thing I liked from Topshop Unique's collection, but I wouldn't wear it.



Matthew Williamson's collection is AMAZING.  I'm literally looking at these pieces without even glancing at the models' faces.  I'm loving those paper bag skirts and shorts, the pastels and nudes, the triangle patterns, and those shoes with the weird bows!  You know what, I love everything.

I just discovered some great NYFW collections...so this is a reminder that I must babble about them someday.

If you're going to be awake at 6:30PM, London time on Tuesday the 22nd, you should definitely watch the Burberry Prorsum fashion show, which is streaming live on live.burberry.com.

Images: Philipp Klinger, Style.com

Friday, September 18, 2009

NYFW, IMO. Part 2: How My Spring 2010 Predictions Held Up (Warning: Post contains more text than eye candy)



Fortunately, Proenza Schouler wasn't as nautical as I worried it would be, and neither does it prepare us for the rain.  "Off-shore" was the term Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez used to describe their collection and though their designs seemed sea-worthy, they stayed far away from the sailor motif and instead entered the surfer realm.  The ensembles were super sporty and super cool; mash-ups of swimsuits, track outfits, and evening wear, topped off with the models' beachy wind-blown hairstyles started the show off.  Even the slightly buggish large-framed sunglasses with iridescent lenses were sporty chic.  Brightly tie-dyed dresses were less Woodstock and more Hawaii while the sequins, metallic fringe, feathers and aquatic animal prints kind of reminded me of mermaids (don't know what the feathers have to do with anything, though).  This collection is definitely made for a young crowd as I can't imagine many women who would be all over those micro-mini dresses.  Maybe it's because I'm a Californian and I embrace anything easy and breezy enough to stand the heat, but this collection (sans the awkward babydoll tops) is easily one of my favorites.  Even if you don't like the garments, you've GOT to dig those heels!



"Structured" was the word that Narciso Rodriguez used to describe his collection, but I think he should've used a different word like "light" or "volume".  I think my predictions for Rodriguez were almost entirely wrong.  Short-sleeved dresses weren't prevalent and the last evening gowns billowed as they came down the runway. Though Rodriguez's signature bustiers will be here for another seasons, his designs for the most part were airy and loose -- perfect for spring.  Also, it's nice to see a collection without any peek-a-boo slits and cut-outs for once.



So I was wrong about 3.1 Phillip Lim.  The "collage" hint mislead me into thinking that the collection would include layers upon layers of outerwear, tanks, and pretty much anything that can be worn.  But his hint seemed to be relevant only to the dresses that closed the show which, as I predicted, included plenty of different textures.  I'm not to keen on these pieces, though.  Can someone say "RODARTE"?  Seriously, the dresses seemed like a Rodarte Spring 2009 redux.  Also, all the different material and colors mixed together wasn't visually appealing.  But of course I'd wear some of the first pieces that walked down the runway.  I loved the layered tops on Hyoni Kang and I literally clasped my hand over my mouth when Meenal Mistry's Style.com review noted that the tucked-in jacket was machine washable.  As I inherit a lot of my aunts' office clothes, I've always sort of thought that all business wear had to be dry cleaned (which I never do, but I swear nothing smells yet).  Though this season didn't reveal Lim's best collection, his pieces are very wearable as always and his regular buyers will continue to be regulars.  Hopefully Lim will pleasantly surprise us next season; I still have faith in him!


by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello via The Moment

How interesting that the Mulleavy sisters covered the models in black material, only revealing their faces and occasionally, when the models decide to take a smoke break, their tattooed arms.  I'm guessing that the sisters did this because they aimed for a large impact once the garments came down the runway but no matter what, these pieces were going to STUN.



Everything I anticipated for Rodarte was revealed in the collection, but the clothes held so much more than what I had predicted.  The color palette was dark, the looks were definitely deformed, and the burned, shredded fabrics were as grungy and grotesque as possible.  But the collection's underlying message is what resonates with me.  If everything from the Rodarte show, including the tribal tattoos and ambient neon lime dry-ice smoke, was in a movie, it would be a neo-noir/sci-fi film.  The show's atmosphere carried a sense of despair...as if "the end is near".  Very apocalyptic, like scenes from a movie that would keep me awake at night. I don't usually do this, but I have to include this bit from Laird Berrelli-Persson's Style.com review for Rodarte:
The idea that someone could "be scarred and still beautiful" was the collection's leitmotif, and it was about as far from some banal notion of "tribal fashion" as you could get. So where did this hallucination originate? A trip to Death Valley, and a corresponding obsession with singed land (which there is sadly too much of in California lately), sparked the sisters' imagination. That somehow evolved into a tale, part Mad Max, part Tim Burton, of a woman burned alive who is transformed into a California condor (you begin to appreciate Gordon's point). Forced to scavenge for existence in a barren, war-torn landscape, she pieces together her attire from rags that, as Laura Mulleavy pointed out, only serve to expose her wounds.
Brilliant! I love a collection with a story to tell.  The collection's "scarred but beautiful" theme pretty much embodies the literal meaning of my blog's name.  These pieces transcend fashion and perhaps even art.

Trends observed: Cut-outs (not only bare navals), Unique fringe, Sheer fabrics

Ugh, I'll be leaving for school tomorrow and that might mean even fewer posts (I know, I can't blog at the speed of 5 posts a day).  You can surely expect updates from LFW, MFW, and PFW, but forgive me if new posts become less frequent!  I'll making y'all proud by contributing to society and studying my ass off!

P.S. Sorry dial-up users...I know this video-heavy post is capable of killing your internet window.



Might seem strange, but I listened to Peter, Paul and Mary before I even knew of Bob Dylan.  RIP Mary Travers.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Links à la Mode

lam0917

Beyond Fashion Week

Edited by Ashe Mischief
There’s a certain amount of irony in the fact I edited this week’s Links a la Mode, as it’s New York Fashion Week– because it’s something I’ve never actually covered before. Style moves on– whether it’s fashion week or the holidays, or the worst day of your life, and for that, we’ve got a bit of coverage from NYFW, some great posts to challenge your mind and body, and a bit of eye candy to tide us over through the weekend.

Links à la Mode : September 17th

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NYFW, IMO, Part 1: Alex Wang's "Perv" Collection, Siriano Impresses, & More!



When Alexander Wang's spring 2010 collection popped up on Style.com, I thought "Ohhh, so that's what he meant by 'perv'."  While some of the clothing was cut to reveal plenty of skin, I found the "underwear as outerwear" theme more prevalent.  If this conservative blogger could afford Wang's collection, she still wouldn't wear too much of it.  But honestly, every look that came down the runway was fascinating IN A GOOD SENSE.  I loved the color palette with those greys, browns, and reds.  And I've always liked jersey knits...don't know why, maybe because all my clothes that are made of jersey are my favorite to wear at home.  Perhaps Alexander should haveve slowed down when he told Women's Wear Daily that he wanted to create "timeless" and "investment" pieces this season.  The puffy silhouettes for sweaters, shorts, and dresses wouldn't flatter many people but as I recall one person say about the Chanel SS07 sequined hot pants in a Style.com video, "they're fun to look at."  I was kind of reminded of those commercials featuring kids in their underwear with shirts wrapped around their neck as capes, but overall, this collection is a job well done.
And now for some other bits of Fashion Week...
 


1. Who knew that Christian Siriano would stay "successful" two years after he won Project Runway?  Here he is garnering fans with his oceanic prints and and beautifully draped dresses. I'm not sure whether his shoes for Payless will sell, though.  My idea of a Payless shopper (from observing many of them in my family) is a low income woman who is looking for semi-decent looking, but overall comfortable shoes.  Siriano's taloned shoes are interesting, but comfortable?  Doesn't seem like it...and that corn on the model's foot doesn't make the shoes look any more appealing.

2. Most large frames don't fit my face because the bridge of my nose is so small, a common facial feature in Asians. But I was glad to see a picture of Chinese model Du Juan donning those glamorous Jason Wu glasses on the runway.  Wu partnered with Modo eyewear to create the shades, featuring gradient lens paired with slightly angular frames.



3. Hello, Marc Jacobs.  We all anticipate your collection every season, you know that.  But of all the pieces, I love your white transparent dress the most.  It's like you took out a pencil, scribbled in the air, and POOF came this dress!

4. AGH!  Bare midriffs, what are you doing in Thakoon??  I guess I'll just ignore that bit for now, this collection has more important things to share...like those GORGEOUS prints!  Nude and light blue are perfect for each other!

Trends Observed: Bare midriffs, Colorful swirled prints

Lots more updates to come and I'll be checking up on even more of my Fashion Week predictions.

Images: Coutorture, NYMag.com

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Feathers...I'm in Feathers...


I just watched my first Astaire-Rogers musical comedy...Top Hat!  Despite being made during the Great Depression, the film is incredibly smart and funny, plus the script translates surprisingly well into the 2000s.  After watching A Hard Day's Night, I thought all classic movies were hard to understand.  But since recent films aren't sufficient to satisfy my entertainment needs (oh yes, I'm very needy), I've been digging for classic musicals.

Ok, here's what you've got to know about this scene to understand why it's hilarious: Dale thinks Madge is married to Jerry, but they really aren't. So she thinks Jerry is being a douchebag of a flirt when all he is an innocent flirt.  She's surprised by the "brave" Madge who encourages her new relationship with Jerry.  Funny, right??  Skip to 3:25 for the dance segment.

No one can forget the slightly gaudy, but overall enchanting ostrich feather dress that Ginger Rogers donned during her dance number with Fred Astaire.  Though some of the fluff came loose and were visibly sprinkled all over the dance floor, the dress's floaty feathers were mesmerizing.  They caressed Rogers and followed her every move, as if they had a life of their own.  While Astaire danced with Rogers, he broke into the romantic tune, Cheek to Cheek.  "Heaven, I'm in heaven..."  A dress that looked so light certainly appeared angelic!


It's a pity that the true color of the dress was not visible in the black and white film.  Ginger asked Bernard Newman, the costume designer (not Eric Rhodes' character, THE GREAT BEDDINI), to create a pure blue dress for her.  "Like the blue you find in paintings of Monet," she requested.  I can't pinpoint the exact color she thought of, as Monet's paintings had tons of blue hues.  I'm imagining royal blue, even though the dress appeared to be a light color.  I actually imagined the dress color to be exactly like that of Jason Wu's feather dress, the closing piece for his Spring 2010 runway show.  The dress looks alright, but one must wonder WWMOW (What Would MObama Wear?).

In other news, the Stussy hats I'm auctioning off on eBay are still up for bids (click here and here to take a look).  I had no idea that anyone was watching these lots but according to my eBay summary, the caps gained some popularity.  Now...if someone would just bid...

Top Hat screen caps: filmfanatic.org, LA Times Blog. Monet transparency: Wikipedia. Photo: Coutorture via Getty Images

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Give Me A Hint!



CLEARLY, I'm missing something.  Move-in day at my school is next week and I have yet to start packing...even with all this time I have, SOMEHOW, I never got the news that New York Fashion Week starts...well, actually it already started!  Fashion Week starts today!  I was awaiting The Cut's well-known "One Word Inspiration" post but I guess I missed it.  Every season, The Cut asks designers to give them one word that describe their upcoming collections.  And usually every season, obviously I haven't done it yet, I try to predict what will show up on the runway.  So I better start right now...



Was Lazaro and Jack inspired by the sea?  The image of their palm tree prints for Proenza Schouler's Target collection just popped into my head.  I hope the team didn't go too nautical for their collection...I doubt that they did. Maybe this collection will prepare us for the rain. (not that there will be much here in California...)



What the hell??  Is Alexander's collection inspired by PERVERTS??  Or do the clothes make people look like perverts?  I don't get it.  Perhaps there will be lots of skin-revealing looks.  Seems like a very Alex Wang thing, no?  The element of sex in this collection will probably louder than ever.



I'm not surprised with the word the Mulleavy sisters chose.  We can expect slightly deformed looks and grotesque textures again but this collection might be darker...some black and maybe some intense red.  I don't know, just maybe?



I thought some of Narciso's pieces from fall were quite structured with those wired bustiers with neck straps and that weird hat/mask.  We might see something similar with his fall collection.  Short-sleeved dresses in non-flowy geometric forms, perhaps.



I adored Phillip's fall collection...well, I like anything with rock and roll references.  We may witness some experimentation with different patterned prints and textured fabrics.  I loved last season's light sequined jacket paired with that jersey dress.  In addition, we may see lots of layering.  Mary-Kate can eat her heart out!

That's all for now, time to sleep!  You all should be sleeping as I type...you'll need the energy for Fashion's Night Out!

Kind thanks to Coutorture for the hi-res Getty Images photos.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dreams of Ideeli


If you like jellies or if you are just mildly curious of how it feels to slip PVC on your feet, then you might like Melissa Plastic Dreams's unconventional footwear.  They're vegan, completely recyclable, and anti-bacterial!  The styles only run at an average of $25 (like the above style) on ideeli.

Purple Secret Love, $24

Yellow Melissa Sin, $24

Gold Melissa Night, $26

Pink Melissa Ultragirl, $25

Other brands being sold include Ed Hardy, L.A.M.B., Donald J. Pliner, and Vince Camuto.  The sale lasts for two more days, so hurry to ideeli, click here to be invited to the sale!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Caps For Sale (No Monkey Business Here)



Need to put a lid on?  Sun shinin' down a little too hard on ya?  I'm selling a couple of hats I bought from a Stussy sample sale at my school last October (yes, I went to a Stussy sample sale...).  I purchased the hats in the middle of my John Lennon hat craze...will blog about the Lennon hat later...but I didn't try anything on and there was no mirror around. When I got back to my dorm, I found that I couldn't wear the caps in that Lennon fashion.

I'm selling these on my blog FIRST for you blog readers (and anyone else who reads this...), leaving them up for grabs for 4-5 days (probably until Saturday early morning, Pacific Time) and after that, anything unsold will be auctioned on eBay.  I'll include the eBay link here, too, just in case you found this post a little too late.  As a special plus for you readers, shipping is FREE for anyone in the United States. Once these hats are on eBay, shipping costs will apply.  International buyers will pay a small shipping fee.  I'll keep it as low as possible!


(click images to view larger)

New without tag, only wore this to try it on (don't worry, I'm lice-free).  Stussy Deluxe. One size fits most with the adjustable strap in the back of the cap.  The hat was originally bought with some lint on it, as it was stored in a box with other hats.  Lid has a small tag that reads "Stussy".  Plaid inner lining.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
(click images to view larger)

New with tag, and I only tried it on once.  Black and white patterned newsboy cap with a black button on top.  Fabric tag doesn't show size or style (probably because this is a sample) but the hat appears to be made of wool (except for the cloth inner lining) and measures 60 cm in circumference (about 24 inches).  Since the hat is roomy, it can comfortably fit many sizes, from small to large.

$12 for each hat, FREE SHIPPING!  Paypal only, please!


Readers-exclusive sale is now CLOSED.  Head over to my eBay page to bid on these hats.
Black Cap with Adjustable Strap
Black and White Newsboy Cap
Starting price: $8.99  Shipping: $3
Be the winning bidder of BOTH hats and the second hat receives FREE SHIPPING!

Questions?  Need more pictures?  It's a miracle that my old point-and-shoot camera even focused under room lighting.  Just leave a comment with your inquiry and your e-mail address.  If your comment includes your e-mail, it won't appear on my blog so no worries, spammers won't get you.

P.S. Remember this book?  Yeah...good ol' Reading Rainbow.