And I didn’t even Climax…

Shock and awe isn’t a new tactic in the fashion world. In fact, shock and awe is the axis at which the planet of fashion revolves around. This is especially true concerning the rise and fall of a creative or an artistic director of any well-known establishment, house or label. In the spring of 2011, fashion headlines everywhere ran with the story of Christophe Decarnin parting ways, after only five years, with the luxurious house of Balmain. The aftermath of that colossal earthquake news was his replacement, Olivier Rousteing. A young, fresh faced twenty something year kid who spent a few years assisting Decarnin. A virtual unknown. And the universe buzzed. Would Rousteing triumphantly rise to the occasion or would he fail? Would he push the label farther than Decarnin or send it plummeting to its death? So many questions, doubts and fears. But in his short stint at Balmain, Rousteing has managed to surprisingly prove most of his critics wrong. He not only has kept the label afloat but assisted with its continued rise in popularity with the hot, young and rich crowd. And unlike another young designer*, suddenly thrust into a gigantic pair of shoes at Balenciaga, Rousteing found his footing instantly and silently, gained the necessary momentum needed to push Balmain into a dominating and influential position. His creative approach, a cautious mixture of preserving the house’s decadent aesthetic and Decarnin’s flamboyant exuberance was an instantaneous hit. And like Sarah Burton, Rousteing was unofficially crowned the Midas of fashion, turning everything he touched into gold. (Burton was named creative director at Alexander McQueen in May of 2010, after the designer’s tragic death)

Fast forward to Paris Fashion Week. On September 25, 2014 the fashion crowd and critics gathered, eagerly awaiting the golden boy’s latest sensation, his spring Pret-a-Porter 2015 collection. Heavily influenced by pop culture and the red carpet sirens he frequently dresses, Rousteing’s most recent work is…dismal and unoriginal. There was no brilliance. No boldness. No opulence. From the sleek bondage influenced pieces, the overexposed body parts, to the impeccable tailoring, the runway told a tale of an unexcitable story. It read boring, had a sort of rushed assembled-like quality and appeared as though he designed it for a lone individual more or less, not for the masses. He is quoted saying the influential muse behind his spring collection is pop starlet Rihanna and while there is no harm in having an inspirational figure as muse, perhaps Rousteing should have put more thought into using her as a creative point of origin rather than the finality as the birth of his collection. In the September issue of US Harper’s Bazaar, he said, “I think fashion is like sex…when you do the show, that’s the orgasm.” Well sir, if the Paris show was our infamous romp in the sack, I am one (of many) dissatisfied lover.

 *Next post, I’ll talk about Alexander Wang’s spring collection at Balenciaga!

 

 

For more of the collection, check out www.style.com!

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The Prison of Perfection

Looking into the mirror has challenged many a women throughout history.  Even the strongest of feminists will admit, they too, sometimes cringe at the reflection staring back at them.  Women are programmed, from a very young age, to sacrifice all for beauty, that it is everything. The standard of beauty in our country creates an illusion of perfection.  Perfect hair.  Perfect Makeup.  Perfect Life.  The constant influx of perfection is plastered on magazines, billboards, and social media every single day creating an unconscious desire to be perfect.  There are thousands of step-by-step instructional tutorials across the world wide web illustrating, in real time, the hows, the whys, and ways to achieve such a staggering faux persona.  Women spend billions each year on cosmetic surgery and expensive clothing with the hope of reaching that unreachable end of the rainbow called perfection.  Celebrities are idolized and reality “stars” given an audience and platform that impacts and influences the ideal of perfection. We look at ourselves in the mirror and instead of just loving and accepting what is seen, we judge. Harshly.  Pick apart each detail that doesn’t quite measure up to the standard of beauty smeared across phone and computer screens every second of every day.  We nip, tuck, pull, push, stuff, slither our way into uncomfortable clothing.  We purchase shoes with red bottoms and brag about it on social media.  We beat our faces “for the gawds” and insert Rapunzel length hair onto our heads. Thus creating the perception of perfection.  And we are never satisfied.  If we get a compliment tossed in our direction, instead of graciously accepting it,  we secretly want more because our desire is for great.  If great becomes the word, we still want more, we want fabulous.  If we get fabulous, we want fierce.  Attempting to pacify a longing, a hunger within, we dress the outside package up and tie a pretty ribbon around it.  Ignoring the constant barrage of inaquadecy and self -hatred that burns through the tissue of the soul.  Leading to a slow and painful annulation of that which is precious and pure.  This is what happens when another’s perception or definition of yourself is allowed to trump what you know to be true.  Flawless on the outside but broken on the inside.  I have a natural inclination towards French culture, particularly Parisian women.  J’adore the rhythm of life in the “City of Light”, the innovative fashion and style, the ancient architecture.  But my real obsession is with Parisian women.  Why? Because they’ve managed, in the times we live in, to remain unmoved by the idea of perfectionism, the standard of beauty.  Parisian women have mastered the art of acceptance.  A crooked nose, bad skin, a mouth slightly askew, all of it is beautiful! Acceptance is the standard of beauty. Effortlessly chic is the wardrobe of choice because Parisian women understand it matters not who you are wearing or even what you choose to adorn yourself in.  There is no external standard of beauty to a Parisian woman because she is the standard of beauty.  Herself.  Her life.  Not some 5’10 ultra slim photo enhanced beauty on the latest cover of a magazine.  Her perception is based on what she knows to be true about herself and how she’s grown to love herself.  She has that extra unspoken something, the illusive je ne sais quoi that is non threatening to other women and is a radiant life force.  She isn’t self centered or approval seeking.  She is simply herself, imperfectly perfect in her own skin.

Are you ready? To be no longer a prisoner of perfection but a free being? Yes? The key isn’t tucked away, hidden from you, it is right where its been the entire time…in your hand.

 

Mood Board Inspiration: the Baroque Era

Grandeur. Lush. Exquisite. Go big or go home. Fashion and style in this period was represented by these sentiments and more. It was the idea that grandiose was the way to live, eat and breathe. Splendor and excessive was the norm. Influence from the later part of the era (1660-1775) can be seen across the runway today, my absolute favorite is Dolce & Gabbana RTW Fall 2013 at Milan Fashion Week (read about the creative directors recent conviction of tax evasion). Check it out here at style.com!

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To incorporate this style into your wardrobe, look for heavily ornate pieces, dramatic circular or curving patterns and elaborate embellishments.

Here are a few pictures for inspiration! Happy findings!

 

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Mood Board Inspiration: A man’s World

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The iconic movie, Annie Hall featured young Hollywood starlet Diane Keaton, epitomized the style of menswear for women.  Nothing excites me more than contrasting ideologies mashed perfectly together to create an effortless bold look.  A boyfriend blazer or jeans, a panama or fedora, a vest can be incorporated into any wardrobe to achieve this style.  One of my favorite old Hollywood actress and style icon, Marlene Dietrich, was known to wear men’s trousers and tuxedos in public.  And despite the type of clothing, a woman can still be feminine and sexy in menswear.  Designers  such as Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and Phoebe Philo have all translated entire collections into a swirl of polished dainty menswear for women.  Get inspired today!

*My fav to go ensemble is a pair of great boyfriend jeans, a fitted tee/blazer and cute flats!

 

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Mood Board Inspiration: The Great Gatsby

gg1 Considered the greatest literary work of his career, F. Scott Fitzgerald, painted a beautiful illusionary tale of forbidden love, lost and found. The 2013 movie adaption, directed by Baz Luhrman, explored themes of excess, abundant passions and over the top glamour that seemed to define the Roaring Twenties. Art Deco reached its height of popularity during the mid to late 1920s and the art movement was defined by vibrant color patterns, plush and excessive ornaments and bold geometric shapes.

Valentino, Chanel and Dior are a few remaining fashion houses that produce haute couture (high fashion made-to-measure) garments.

Here’s to fashioning a new look, planning a dinner party or simply taking in some glamour for the day!

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Spring 2014 Wishlist

 

 

     Spring is the season of new beginnings, it is when we shed off our wintery skin (wardrobe) and layers and replace it with lighter fabrics and more vivid selections. The fashions gods in New York, London and Paris have spoken and since I have a direct line to said gods (yes I do, in my mind lol) here is a quick recap of Spring 2014 RTW. Draw inspiration to create your own original version of spring’s wishlist!*

 

New York:

Prints, prints and more prints! Whether tribal or mixed, prints were splattered all over the runway as designers found new and innovative ways to showcase them. Other great color combos were: pastels+neutrals, white+black and white+metallics.

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London:

It was all about bold, modern and sleek fashion in the City, think hipster cool kid with chic sophisticate. Most designers stuck with a contemporary white+black palette, mixing in a splash of color as a personal signature, while others went wild with lustrous fruity colors.

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Paris:

Bring on the seductive lady of fashion! Designers here turned the volume all the way up on femininity and were not afraid to show some skin! The collections kept in mind the effortless construction and delicate balance that makes a Parisian woman the ideal style tutor.

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*wishlist: Provocative term used to describe the must haves of the moment or season

 

 

 

 

All photos courtesy of style.com