Sunday, January 31, 2010

CTR, IMO: They Come In Peace

Yes, I am indeed back!  That was quick, wasn't it??  Thank you all so much for not clicking that "unfollow" button once I mentioned a hiatus from blogging. And a warm hello to my new followers!  Now that I'm not an emotional wreck (or at least less of one), I can return to fashion blogging and what perfect timing, too, because the Spring 2010 Couture collections have just finished their premiere!  I'm afraid I'm going to leave out some of the toppermost collections in this post, simply because I want to sleep early tonight.  Sorry Gaultier, Givenchy, Dior, and the rest.

Okay, so the Armani Privé show wasn't at OMG EPIC status, but it was still very beautiful.  I love a collection that sticks with a theme and this couture collection did just that.  Giorgio Armani wanted to take us to the moon through the pearly colors and crescent shapes that appeared in each piece.  Also, I can't help but imagine Lady Gaga, who is definitely from another planet, in Vlada's full moon dress.

Admittedly, I had never heard  of Alexis Mabille before this couture season.  The collection starts out impressive with a strong color duality motif.  But soon, the motif is only visible from the models' hair styling.  Mabille ventures off into sheer fabrics, blacks, whites, costume jewelery and all sorts of head-spinning elements.  What began as a seemingly simplistic collection ended up being an incohesive one.  And honestly, I liked the sheer black and white ensembles more than the color block outfits.  The sort of good news is that this may be the beginning of a new hair trend.  I find it really cool, actually.  Can't ever pull it off, but still.

Tribal futurism indeed.  The styling and makeup at Valentino remind me of that disgusting Pris character from Blade Runner.

Freaky.  I couldn't keep my eyes open during that movie (as in, I was covering them the entire time...I'm sure Blade Runner is a good film but I just can't take even an ounce of violence that involves weapons).

Those sheer bands that wrap around the models' eyes seem perfect for the warriors of the year 2100.  The unnatural rippling of the bands adds a sort of mystique to each ensemble, something that a futuristic collection should definitely encapsulate. What really stands out to me is the light chiffon; especially with all that draping and wrapping, the fabric moves with you.  Long strips of flowing neon yellow will really attract attention if the colors aren't ostentatious enough.

Designer duo Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli definitely took a different route than the one that Valentino Garavani would've taken but whether this collection is simply evolving or moving away from its fundamental roots is debatable.  We can't predict what these creative directors have in store for spring but hopefully it won't leave us scratching our heads.

Bryanboy mentions on his blog that he believes Elie Saab is the perfect individual to helm Valentino and one look at Saab's couture collection totally explains it.  There was glitz everywhere in this show, from the embroidered dresses to the venue that they premiered in.  The gowns are totally red carpet wear and of course, the red carpet is always graced by Valentino's name.  Don't think the current Valentino designers are budging from their creative director seats, though.

Wat, more spacey stuff?  At least we're not seeing those signature cardigan jackets in these Chanel ensembles.  Actually, the pieces above aren't representative of the whole collection (jackets were indeed there).  They do, however, reveal the many themes that Karl Lagerfeld merged together for a collection that is truly unique. The draping makes me think of Greece but the silk and embroidery say Japan.  It was all so romantic while the silver touches and the outrageous hairstyles made the models look out of this world.  Really, what's with the heart-shaped hairdo?  Not very flattering, but very interesting.

Trends Observed: SPACE (duh!), gloss, shiny things (sorry, my mental word bank decided to take a snooze)

One last thing before I get some're following my Twitter, right?  Alright, you don't have to but at least follow my Twitter list of Fashion Weekers in time for the Fall 2010 shows.  YES. Fashion Week-related tweets from 110 bloggers, musicians, writers, photographers, and designers in ONE webpage!  Sure, you can compile a list yourself if you're willing to give up a couple of precious hours of your life.  You're better off just following my list which is already conveniently there for you! If you plan to attend Fashion Week and will definitely update the masses in Tweet form, let me know and I'll add you to the list.

Images: Coutorture,

Friday, January 22, 2010

Since I've Been Gone

So what have I been doing that has prevented me from fashion blogging?  There's a lot going on in my life now.  First of all, I am now EMPLOYED!   I'm going to be paid minimum wage but it's cash, nonetheless, that will surely help me pay my tuition.  Second, I just underwent a very lengthy internship application process, but after my interview, I'm actually thinking of declining their offer.  Yes, that's a lot of time wasted but I have most definitely benefited from the process.  I now have a portfolio available upon request and a cleaned-up resume!  Finally, and most importantly, I've really bitten off more than I can chew.  I've got a week of midterms/essay deadlines coming up, yet I've barely prepared for them and I've volunteered for a bunch of time-consuming extracurricular projects.  Through all of this, I've entered a sort of college crisis and I'm now wondering what to shave off from my schedule and whether the academic path I've chosen to take is really the right one for me.  It's really hard to cope with everything so I'm going to take a brief hiatus from fashion blogging for a week or two to rethink my priorities.  The Deal Corner on the bottom of the right column in this blog will still be updated daily and my Tumblr queue is always posting up a new image every few hours during the day, but other than that I've really got to take some time off to focus on .  Hopefully, once I'm back on the blog, life will be better academically and of course emotionally.

Sorry, that was a long-winded!  I don't want to leave you all on a strange note so below are some trippy imagery taken from Prada's Spring 2010 Lookbook, available on the brand's website.  Some of the beachy backdrops you see were extracted from the pieces that the models wear.  And the models, including Lindsay Wixon and Hanne Gaby Odiele who star in Miu Miu and Alberta Ferreti spring campaigns, respectively, take relaxed stances within a surreal vibrance.  Enjoy the following, and I'll be back soon!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Now Presenting Your Wishlist

Jarred Bishop of Tumblr fame is known for his uncomplicated designs that you must have seen in use at least once, even if you've just clicked through a few Tumblr blogs (mine included, hopefully!). Of course, his projects extend outside Tumblr and recently, I've found faabric, a sort of FFFFOUND! for fashionistas.

At first glance, faabric appears to be a simple wishlist but unlike the items you compile in your online shopping cart without ever actually buying (you do that, too, right?), the garments you add to your profile are organized into a simple collage.  It's pleasing to the eyes, but not overwhelming.  This is also a great way to discover new products that you might possibly want to buy.  Or covet, whichever works.  Currently, the site doesn't appear to have many users.  Even though I haven't added any favorites to my profile, I think I'm the most active user...but let's change that!  It's really simple to get started; make a faabric account and follow the instructions (well, the instructions just consist of dragging a link to your bookmarks toolbar).  Once you've made your account, share it!  Let me know what you covet!

Just a short notice: if you check my blog's sidebar, just below the list of sponsors, you'll find my brand new Deal Corner!  One reason I started a fashion blog was to share the many discounts and sales I hear about with you all.  As my friend noted, I'm quite conservative with my (parents') money, so I might as well pass on what I hear about if I'm not going to buy anything!  Hope you all find the Deal Corner helpful, I've been updating it everyday!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Links à la Mode

links a la mode

Style: An Introspective Approach

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

This week, some of us looked back at icons of the past, such as // Fade to #c5c5c5's Marchesa Luisa Casati, Fabulous Finds Gal 's Horst photography post, and Cafe Fashionista's take on Diana Vreeland's famous quotes, while others looked at how far we've come, such as The Curvy Fashionista's plus size fashion observations and A Dress & A Bike 's thoughts on what it means to be sexy. Each post brought a unique angle to the subject at hand, and raised important topics of self-expression, style, adaptation, trends, individuality, and acceptance. It's fascinating to examine our own fashion-related introspection, and think about how our inner selves, thoughts and feelings, are reflected through the clothing choices we make, the pairing of certain looks, and of course our writing and blogs.

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

Links à la Mode: January 14th

  • // Fade to #c5c5c5 - Marchesa Luisa Casati inspire artists, designers and authors till this day, more than 50 years after her death
  • A Dress & A Bike - Discussion of the trends of 'sexy'
  • Alice in Stilettos - Runway Review: The Colors for Spring!
  • Bonnie Vie - Discussing retail hell and how both customers and sales associates can contribute to better shopping experiences for everyone.
  • Cafe Fashionista - Why Don't You...? In the spirit of Diana Vreeland; a post featuring luxurious things one can do to make themselves feel fabulous!
  • 'cause I'd rather waste my life pretending - Bites sized interview with Stephanie J, Editor In Chief of N.E.E.T Magazine
  • Cool Mama Style - Is there an ideal pair of panties?
  • Dedicated- Gets downright nosey with Nadia Izruna of the gorgeous & girly indie label Nadinoo
  • Denim Debutante - teaches you about discrepancies in denim sizing
  • Dramatis Personae - How to Custom Order Goods from Your Indie Friends
  • Fabulous Finds Gal - Horst photography is a study in elegance, style and rarefied glamour that spanned 60 years
  • Fashion Pulse Daily - Finds the Habillees series on the Sundance Channel to be the perfect elixir for another hectic fashion week soon approaching!
  • Fasshionaburu - Reviews an indie label from Australia she discovered called Evil Twin
  • Independent Fashion Bloggers- How to cover fashion week....when you're not there.
  • Le Quaintrelle - A collection of Hermes-inspired outfits from my own closet.
  • M.I.S.S. - She's Crafty - Safety Pin Epaulets & Fringe Lapel Pin
  • odetoawe - Love for the movie Cry-Baby, and how to get Traci Lords' rockabilly look
  • Rags to Reverie - Fantastic plastic to slip on your fingers
  • Skinny Buddha - Sending out some love to the artists creating handmade items
  • Style Symmetry - Interview with Audi of Fashion For Nerds
  • The Coveted - Snow boots? Winter comfort or style?
  • The Curvy Fashionista - Plus size fashion has picked up major steam, inspiring both yeas and nays for the latest in V magazine- stating it just a trend- or is it?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Belated Finding: Imogen for Topshop SS 2010

I'm pretty terrible at keeping up with the pace of fashion (as if you can't already tell with my sporadic posts) but that doesn't mean we can't still love what most people already knew of.  For example, I JUST found this series of Topshop photos promoting their looks for Spring 2010 and some items featured in the images are already sold out.  Some people have adverse feelings towards high street fashion as it often crosses or depending on how you look at it, smears the luxury realm.  However, I actually like Topshop!  I used to think it was just a really expensive version of Forever 21 but at least Topshop outshines in clothing quality (which is still not the best).  The pieces are unique and very trendy, but then again, I live in America where there's only one Topshop.  Styles made possible by this UK-based chain obviously proliferate the streets of London much more in Southern California suburbia.

Oh, but I digress.  What I really wanted to blog about was the beautiful styling of the Topshop wardrobes donned by one of my FAVORITE models Imogen Morris-Clarke.  Though I'm not a big fan of the 'Sporty' look (leather jacket + jersey harem pants = not that cool), I quite like the other outfits! This image above is supposed to focus on petticoats but that lovely fuzzy jacket and Imogen's blue lips stand out much more. I wouldn't have ever thought of layering the colors and fabrics presented in the photo.  So unexpected yet original.  Also, I've got to find out how to get tousled hair like that.

This is my absolute favorite of the looks!  I love how the lace adds a sort of youth and girlishness to the ensemble but the blazer keeps it all structured.  Too bad the blazer is sold out...I would so buy it if it fit my budget.

Fringe is still in, according to Topshop, and apparently they also recognize that chunky side braids are definitely going to trend.  Imogen looks lovely but the dress lacks enough fringe for a '20s flapper alter-ego.
Wow, that was a rather short post...closing remarks: SoCal needs a Topshop.  Or something better than F21.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Acrylic Fingers

Nowadays, who can afford gems? We're seeing more and more high-end jewelry made of alternative materials like wood, feathers, and of course, plastic.  With the proliferation and popularization of off-beat online shops, I've found some fun, guilt-free pieces that tap into my inner Barbie girl (I almost forgot I had one).  Hopefully, your engagement ring won't be made of plastic, but here are some fun acrylic rings to slip on your fingers.

soop's playful products can literally fit a zoo right on your fingers!  The animals atop these colorful rings range from forest to farm and you can even make them feel more at home by stacking them with a toadstool or tree ring.  Each jewelry piece is only $12 each but you can buy a whole bundle of forest or farm animals with a small discount and free shipping!

Plastique pieces are perfectly described on the label's Etsy shop: "plastic jewelry with a graphic designer's touch."  You might understand the quirky design references (care to kern your rings?) but of course if you're not a design geek, Plastique still has something to offer you.  Any jet-setter would love the world landmark rings ($22) and the turntable ring ($13) would be a great gifts for that DJ/audiophile friend of yours.  By the way, Plastique is having a New Year's Sale right now!  A set of broken heart rings for just $5?  Lovely!

Last but not least is Dutch designer Alissia Melka-Teichroew's label, byAMT.  Her charming acrylic jewelry don't appear cheap with their precious stone silhouettes.  They've even popped up in several museum stores (I first spotted Alissia's acrylic diamond rings at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Grand Avenue gift shop...find them at MoMA, too).  Her rings used to cost a not-so-bad $10, but due to rising manufacturing costs, the price has increased to $12.  Back at the MOCA gift shop in early January, I debated whether to drop $10 for a ring and I ended up not buying one.  I kind of regret that decision now...just imagine how cute a couple of these rings would've looked stacked on a finger!  If you'd rather invest in jewelry made of precious metal, you can buy this silhouette style in white, yellow, or rose gold.

P.S. Sorry for being MIA this week...had some last minute things to take care of...

Images: (Photography by Lisa Klappe), soop Etsy shop, Plastique Etsy shop

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Solar Psychadelia

How to explain solarization...basically it's shining light on a frame or print while it's still developing (I think?).  I learned about the process back in high school, when all that mattered were those nice shiny A's.  My solarized prints for a photo assignment weren't great, but I didn't put too much effort into my work.  The way I learned how to solarize photographs was probably much simpler than Man Ray's 'perfected' method which produced the well-known work above, Sleeping Woman (1929).  The process actually requires precise timing, something I didn't consider for my project. I guess I should say...LAST YEAR, I found that solarization wasn't a technique only reserved for high art (by high art, I mean stuff created simply for the sake of art then later auctioned off by Christie's with reserve prices that reach like 100K). But then again 'high art' is an ambiguous term.  I found a few solarized images in my favorite print medium...the magazine!  Here are some tear sheets as well as a few more of Man Ray's stunning works.

The Louis Vuitton Spring 2009 ad campaign shot by Steven Meisel is an obvious example of solarization used for fashion photography.  Not my favorite campaign, though and it's not just because of Madonna (I kid...I sort of like one of her songs).  As advertisements, the solarization doesn't really work, especially since the images and colors are distorted.  Too busy-looking...pretty colors, though!

The solarized parts of this Interview (December 2009) editorial by Craig McDean are so subtle but the small flashes of wild colors are just enough to stun.  Bottega Veneta is one of my collections for spring, even if Kasia looks like she's wearing a diaper.  I love the lines of electric blue on her clothing.

Hanne's necklace is beautiful!!

Freja tries to make up for the lunch she skipped.

Tom Guinness...same editorial, just not wearing Bottega. Random.

Richard Avedon's solarized portraits of The Beatles, distributed by the Daily Express in the UK, Stern Magazine in Europe, and LOOK Magazine in the US (I recently received the issue as a gift!!!!  Still really happy!!) in 1967 and early 1968. I wish I knew how he created these prints.

And now for Man Ray's photos...

Calla Lilies, 1930.

The Veil, 1930.  Reminds me of that photo (sorry, it's small) promoting the Vanity Fair Portraits exhibit at LACMA.

Double Portraits (?)

Self-Portrait with Camera, 1932.

Profile and Hands, 1932.  It's like he traced the image.

Image Sources:, Bengt of tFS, Fashion Gone Rogue, Christie's website, Art Deco Blog, Getty Museum website