Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Duckie Brown and Twelve Best Fashion Rules For Men


12 THINGS MEN SHOULD or SHOULDN'T WEAR
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

WE DON'T THINK THERE ARE ANY SHOULDS OR SHOULD NOTS -

DO WHAT YOU WANT - WEAR WHAT YOU WANT - THERE ARE NO RULES

ALWAYS WEAR WHAT FEELS COMFORTABLE. IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN SOMETHING AND YOU'RE BREAKING OUT INTO A SWEAT, THEN TAKE IT OFF

GET A GREAT TWO BUTTON JACKET IN BLACK OR GREY OR NAVY - YOU CAN WEAR ANYTIME AND ALL THE TIME

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A WHITE SHIRT - IT'S A MUST FOR ANY WARDROBE - EVERY MAN LOOKS GOOD IN A WHITE SHIRT

FORGET ABOUT A BELT - IT CUTS YOU IN HALF. IF YOU'RE TROUSERS ARE FALLING DOWN THEN HAVE THE WAIST ALTERED

MAKE SURE YOU BUY NEW UNDERWEAR AND SOCKS EVERY 6 MONTHS - AND THEN THROW OUT THE OLD STUFF

IF YOU'RE BIGGER THAN YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE DON'T WEAR OVERSIZED CLOTHING TO HIDE WHAT YOU DON'T WANT PEOPLE TO SEE.
IT JUST MAKES YOU LOOK HEAVIER - INSTEAD, WEAR CLOTHING THAT SKIMS THE BODY

WHEN IN DOUBT BE OVERDRESSED NOT UNDERDRESSED

IF YOU THINK YOU NEED A SHAVE - THEN YOU DO 

TRIM TRIM TRIM  - NO ONE WANTS TO SEE YOUR NOSE HAIRS  

BETTER TO PURCHASE ONE VERY GOOD PIECE OF CLOTHING THEM 5 CHEAP THINGS THAT WILL FALL APART IN A MONTH. SO IN OTHER WORDS - BUY ONE CASHMERE SWEATER INSTEAD OF 3 COTTON SWEATERS

BUY SHOES - MEN THINK THAT IF THEY BUY A PAIR OF SHOES THAT THEY ARE FOR LIFE. NO SHOE LAST FOREVER. SHOES ARE PART OF THE FIRST IMPRESSION YOU MAKE - INVEST IN A FEW GOOD PAIRS

Duckie Brown website link here ...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Burberry, Burberry .. An Urban Summer '11









Christopher Bailey and Burberry are like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches ... just so perfect, not much to say, did it again. The immediacy of ordering from the runway with deliveries in six weeks is something fast fashion managed. Very fine designer clothes with the waiting for textiles and then limited production runs meant shops would leave orders in October for deliveries beginning at the end of January until the end of March, even the end of April. Immediacy ... really? These are seriously fine clothes. But that's not the point of fashion. That's just business.

Urban cool, maybe it's androgynous just a soupcon (I don't know where the little punctuation things are on my keyboard, sorry). I like the boys and the girls who can wear Burberry with a little nonchalance and all that classic memory just imbued into the fiber. I'm loving mens clothes this year, this and Ducky Brown. There are girls that just rocked these looks - Bianca Jagger, Lauren Hutton, Betty Catroux, Tina Turner, Carly Simon. Actually Christopher managed the perfect business: the staid image of The Burberry and then the fashion part that's absolutely indie.

It would be nice if it were just The Burberry that had that immediacy thing, I think. Fashion has its own way and six weeks is just a little too just business for me.

Stacy Lomman Summer '11: Precious Metal













"Influences of Paco Rabanne in the '60's, mix with the glamour of the late '40's to create a collection of evening/cocktail dresses for the modern woman with an individual sense of style. Strength and femininity collide ... "

Stacy Lomman's notes for her Spring '11 Precious Metal collection listed the sponsors of each dress sent down the runway. Funding for her show came from a collaboration of friends and strangers through the Kickstarter Program; this is the link for the Huffington Post article about Ms. Lomman and the program. She shared bits of fabric and a toile or two along with stories about the journey to be able to have a fashion show on her blog TaffetaDarlings (link here). With a little help from her friends and led by Wendy Brandes (link to her fabulous blog here), something that is almost impossible to pull off happened. And was noticed. Very nice to have Life feature her dress for its Sexy Runway Moments: Spring 2011 issue. Wendy's wearing Stacy's dress in the last picture; the dress that led me to follow this story and then really care.

I asked Stacy about the different skirt lengths shows, the fabrics, the jewelry and decorations. Here is her answer ...

"The skirt lengths... yes, pretty much arbitrary.  Since it was a small collection of dresses, I didn't want to gravitate
toward one length because it would have looked too repetitive.  Each dress had to be special in an individual way as
well as fit into the collection.  To me, fabric was the connective thread to all the pieces and silhouette set them apart. 
Also, certain styles require certain proportion.  And yes, a couple of the girls were like 6'2" so maybe the dresses
looked extra short.
-Almost all fabrics have some kind of metal component.  Silk gazar, heavy lame, spun polyurethane in metallic,
opalescent faille, metallic brocade, etc.  There aren't any jewels, but a couple pieces have metal iron-on discs, one
piece has burnished metal sequins on tulle as an applique, As far as being optional, I hadn't thought of it... I like the
pieces the way they are and feel like they wouldn't be as special w/o those details, but I'm open to other possibilities.
I think in terms of lengths, etc., anything goes these days.
I like that there is more freedom in fashion... wear what you want (as WendyB would say).
I don't think we have to follow trends the way we did before... pants can be wide or skinny,
skirts short or long, jackets are all over the place... it's up to the individual to figure out
what their style is, what looks good on them and how to put separates together.  So, as
a designer, I think we have a lot more freedom to express ourselves and our personal
style rather than try to fit into the trends -- which I was never about.
I love that you're looking at my clothes through a buyers eye.  That's what I need to learn!
And of course, there are other options for fabric (less expensive), but I always like to start
high and then work a bit lower if need be."

So. Dressmaker cocktail/dinner dresses, gorgeous fabrics and dressmaker touches.  Love the light touch on the waistbands and the pretty backs, the shape of the gold lace running up the dress.

5 Things A Fashionista Should Remember: The Best Guest Post Ever



5 Things A Fashionista Should Remember
 

I’ve become fascinated by fashion blogs over the past 2 months. Ever since I created my blog, I’ve met some truly great fashionistas who just happen to be intrigued by relationships and the problems that come with them. Subsequently, a wonderful exchange has been going on. While I write about long distance relationships and douchebags, I learn how to properly accessorize a maxi dress or which designer to look out for. Can you imagine that I only discovered what a romper was 2 months ago?! So, this guest post is a tribute to my favorite bloggers in the fashion community. Especially, Madeleine, who has been so patient with me and this guest post. Thanks for inspiring me!

Fashion and love have a lot more in common than you’d ordinarily think. Here are some of those factors.

1. Sweaty Palms and the Stomach Flip. Sometimes clothes bring out a physical reaction from the best of us. It happens. Our hearts race. Our palms sweat. And, oh yes, there might even be a stomach flip. This happens with guys we like, too. My mind may not be too thrilled with him, but my heart is. Why is that? Because the heart and mind LOVE to disagree. Usually because the heart is impulsive, crazy, and half-wrong most of the time, while the mind is too rational, and half-right. They need each other. They need to fight. I’ve come to realize that sweaty palms don’t mean that you belong with him. They aren’t signs from up above, pointing to your soul mate. They have nothing to do with fate. You just have to believe me, especially if this is a guy you know you shouldn’t fall in love with.  

2. Daydreaming. Have you ever imagined having a different life and being a different you, all due to a different wardrobe? I have. I’m talking about intense daydreaming where you see yourself wearing a new article of clothing, and the whole world treats you differently. I have imagined that a simple pair of shoes would CHANGE MY LIFE. No one would ever see me the same way. I’ve daydreamed about guys in the past, as well. Jump to the future, we’d be married with kids, and our respective jobs. I have believed that crushing on some guy tomorrow would change my life. But, this is over-anticipation (due to jealously, low-confidence, or even self-importance). And it happens too often for any of these scenarios to actually be life-changing. These new items, these new crushes, they don’t change much at all—especially if you went after them seeking something that would change your life in the first place.
3. Popularity. There are some items labeled as “Unique Must-Haves.” They’re short-lived items that most people won’t wear forever. Like the powder blue tuxedos of the 70s. Or showing your g-string with your low-rise jeans in the early 2000s (very few people still do this…).  Everybody wants it and commonly accepts it at a specific point in time. There will be times when ALL your friends will be saying, “He’s so hot.” Watch out. This is a complete trap. And though I imagine myself to be a person with a unique mind, able to form my own opinions—a girl who thinks outside the box and doesn’t fall for what everybody else falls for—I still tend to like the guy who’s extremely popular … for no reason other than that. You may start off by saying, “He’s so not my type,” or “I’ll never wear that.” But, do you always stick to your word? Watch out for traps. I’m sure you know that popularity isn’t everything. And popularity surely isn’t sane. We often look back at our clothes, our crushes, our early interests, and wonder, “What was I thinking?”


4. The Little Black Dress. The little black dress has been around forever. Every magazine recommends having one. I first heard about it on a talk show years ago. I sat in front of the TV and watched how one model could show up on the runway 6 different times with 6 different looks—all including the same black dress. I’ve recently discovered that the little black dress is the epitome of the ideal man with all the basic standards you could ever hope for. He’s loyal and reliable. He’s versatile—able to thrive/adapt to any situation and any place, while still staying true to himself. He doesn’t detract from your life, he adds to it. You can do your own thing, and he’ll still be there. He will never go out of trend.

5. Following Trends. Let’s just say that you’re a trend-follower. If you spent five, solid years following trends, at the end of that time, your closet would be a complete mess. The outfits you’d have wouldn’t be a reflection of you. They’d be a reflection of society through the ages and what that particular society expects from you. They'd be a random collection of popular things of the past when you should be living in your present. With guys, when you choose to ignore some of the jerks, douchebags, and big flirts, even when they’re insanely popular at the time, you'll end up much happier with yourself and whoever you do decide to spend some time with it. You’ll have more command over your life. And with guys that are completely wrong for you, it’s alright to notice their admirable qualities. In fact, identify what attracts you to him. Pick and choose those qualities from all your past crushes and add them to your basic standards: like, “He must understand my sense of humor,” for example. What you’re doing is building a classic wardrobe! And there’s nothing better than that.

At the end of the day, men aren’t clothes. They aren’t fashion trends. And you should be able to love one without maxing out your credit card. Guys are human beings. They’re unpredictable, complicated, and terrifyingly simple at the same time. I'm simply an observer. Trying to figure out how life and relationships work. I document my life and show you what to look out for. Thanks for reading this! And thanks for this guest post, Madeleine.


You all need to immediately run to Zabrinah's blog linked here ... How Not To Fall In Love. I'm wickedly addicted, enchanted, nodding my head yes and think everyone NEEDS this. Thank you for this. I think the book will be available sooner than later. Get over to her blog!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In Which Beautiful Dresses Are Very, Very, Very, Very Long and Gene Pressman Is Needed

Last week it seemed like a good idea to have a late afternoon snack at Barney's Greengrass in Beverly Hills. A sunny Thursday afternoon after the lunch crew departed, there were only two other tables occupied. A cheerful middle-aged man with his white shirt tucked past the beginning of a tummy bulge into crisp jeans with a quiet girl in her twenties (well, safe guess: everyone at Barney's looks to be in their 20's regardless of their true decade of birth) in designer white and black suede expensive booties, sleek black hair to her waist and a bit petulant. He was quite friendly, stopping by our table holding two large black shopping bags with the girl following. He wished us a good lunch and they left, sunny smile of his.

We paid and wandered floor by floor. The top floor beyond was empty, a ghost floor with well-dressed mannequins holding sunglasses. Somewhere between excited and dreading (what if we couldn't live without something on a floor that has four digit items), we slowed down to touch and look. The evening racks were sparse but there was a curious similarity in one detail. Each of these evening gowns were about the length of the amazingly beautiful Marchesa dress pictured here. I held one up perplexed; this was not a usual long dress with a train but a dress that had I worn it would have had half the skirt length puddling around me, more even than the decadent curtains at Anoushka Hempel's Blakes Hotel in London. Apparently at that moment there were actually no sales people at Barney's either, another peculiarity.

Next were exceedingly ethereal black silk chiffon dresses and each held the residue of white deodorant. We walked ever more slowly, sadly at designer dresses unzipped, tilting precariously off its hangar.  Azzedine Alaia had the section that used to house Giorgio Armani with natural light clarifying exquisite color and detail. The series of knit dresses were hung, the knit top lighter than rather complex skirts that pulled and tugged; the kind of dress that should not ever be hung. My companion, with a true look of horror on her face, removed one dress from its pending disaster, draping it beautifully on a large glass table that had been barren of any display at all. And still no staff appeared. (Note: I have dreamed each night of that dress, I am now obsessed. Possibly that is the most perfect dress ever made and it is increasingly difficult to stifle my desire to own it.)

So really there are two mysteries, at least. The length of these dresses, as you can see, are atypical of the usual female form. There appears to be no one home, no management, not even sales staff at Barney's. Dresses that are in the rather spendy neighborhood of (gasp) $3,200.00 are treated rather more poorly than even markdowns.

It's necessary to admit on a gigantic corporate level that a terrible mistake was made. It's time to return the store to Gene Pressman. Now, please.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer '11 Louise Gray - 'Get Some Stuff Gray'





Ms. Gray's first amazingly incredibly wonderful solo collection with sweet socks and sandals by the equally amazingly incredibly wonderful Nicholas Kirkwood for Pollini, is purely unadulterated very, very good. Fabrics, twists, drapes and playing ... whilst managing all with precision and maybe happiness.

The dreamy creamy limp and lazy tone of New York Fashion Week was wonderfully beautiful and perfect for recovering from the harshness of the last few years. Sweet ponytails and cheery lips and tissue weight fabrics - defining Summer '11.

Louise Gray is a goblet of good champagne and looking forward. OK, she's my absolute fave. London is really, really, really important. A few frail, fey silk things and then right here please.

Really wishing for my dream store and just imagining the window displays with Ms. Gray's happy, excellent collection: Hello Summer.

Louise Gray website link here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Valentina ... Beautiful, Beautiful Valentina and Donna Karan









Sometimes there's a softer mood in fashion, creamier colors and a lighter hand. Possibly as much to do with the complexity and passion of a woman designing for other women as with the need to move past a darker, gloomier, tougher time. Donna Karan's pale collection has the memory of lightness that Valentina felt when she arrived in America, escaping the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Valentina said something that could have been said by Ms. Karan  ... "Simplicity survives the changes of fashion," she said in the late 1940s. "Women of chic are wearing now dresses they bought from me in 1936. Fit the century, forget the year."

Valentina ... her story is here. The photos underneath the videos are of Valentina's work from the '30's and '40's.

Summer '35ish Madame Gres, Hope and Donna Karan Summer '11





There's a lovely mood for next summer. Just thinking that fashion reflects moods, too. It looks like hope, a beautiful easy thing coming away from the harsh gloom of the last couple of years. Just poking around in the history of fashion and seeing that after those bad, bad soup kitchen years, there was another moment of soft and beautiful. Women designing for women are complicated, imbued with feeling and always fashion.

(the black dress is Madame Gres ... I did meet her when her company was bought; a complicated bad thing)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back To School: A Camel, A Shark, Jackson & A Backpack



Jackson went back to school, his final year in high school, this week. My wishing for a bit more summer didn't work this year anymore than it did any other year. But this is a very different kind of year in so many ways: this year he was ready to leave all on his own and early.

I wonder if he'll have to do the proverbial essay: "What I Did This Summer." Leading camels to water (peanut butter on his face helped keep it moving), releasing sharks back into the ocean after a photo op and shopping; back to school shopping on his own. I didn't know last year when we were hunting for backpacks together that might be the last time. 

I dropped him off this morning - early - admiring the backpack he'd shopped for without me, not one like last year sort of black and limp, made of an unknown material. These straps are leather, the fittings are Prada-backpack worthy and the whole thing just seriously wonderful. I looked closer and saw that it was a Filson, a company founded in 1897. On his own, with his own money. Beautiful ...

 Filson website link here.

In The Moment of Technology, Fashion and Change ... The Magical iPad


"Chronology is styled by Cathy Edwards, and in an innovative fusion of inspiration and instant gratification, the looks seen on Boscono are available on Net-a-Porter, which is debuting a version of the film today (while NOWNESS hosts the director’s cut).  “Short film is a way to capture the imagination of our clients,” says Loehnis. Guadagnino does this and more—with its rich palettes and flashes of surrealism, Chronology ignites our desire for the textured, glamorous folds of fall. A closer encounter with the fashion in the film can be seen here."

This fairytale/art film/fashion story from Nowness.com will be seen on Net-a-Porter.com by about 3,000,000 viewers this month. 

The Row, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen's fashion collection (which is reasonably close to perfection; and their leather legging is probably an absolute necessity), has the fall video on the website (link here). As you watch the video the items shown will be immediately underneath and you can click and buy.

Fashion + Technology = iPad





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vera Wang Is Wonderful ... The Complexity Of Women






Dark and artful ... the mood of Ms. Wang's summer collection. I'm fascinated with Ms. Wang: I know she has children because I hired one of her nannies for Jackson. Somehow everything she does comes out with a subtle languor, a delicate shimmer and a lot of excellence. She makes you need to get married just to wear her confections of cream and silk, maybe a sensuously bias cut lanky dress, and then something devastatingly dark for your divorce. Perfection ... and I can't think of many things she can't make you covet.

The link to her website is here. Bedding, candles, eyewear, luggage, mattresses .... bridal, evening ... and and and.

I'm fascinated with her ... her personal simple, elegant style that transcends fashion, her sleek hair to her waist, her collection of great pieces from other designers. In my dream store, I wouldn't be able to sell any of her collections; she's very established and my protocol requires indie.

The thing is that there was a moment when she made the decision to leave Vogue; Anna Wintour had taken the job she wanted. Ms. Wang used that time as a gift to begin her business. I remember her earliest group of bridal dresses; she donated one of the gowns to the first Divine Design. Miles of tulle and delicate beadwork. Not just a fashionable woman making beautiful dresses or defining taste - this is a major corporate/marketing/design world of hers. Love her silky long hair ...
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