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from the runways: nanette lepore

14 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning! 

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there’s something thrilling about settling in to watch a fashion show. what will the music be like? will there be a crazy light show? what beauty regime were the models put through? what will the story line be? and most importantly, how will the clothes look?

it’s often easy to forget, but fashion shows are still about the clothes. developing them, showing them, and hoping buyers will buy them and editors will write about them. but with the amazing productions that shows have turned into – lookin’ at you karl – it’s natural to get distracted from the very essence of why we all cram into bleacher like seats on days when the weather can only be described as treacherous.

nanette lepore and her team of producers did a nice job of keeping the balance between design showcase and fancy production. simple lights, backdrop and music did the trick as models paraded down her runway in non-overwhelming makeup and slicked back hair pulled into small twisted buns.

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but while the logistics of the show didn’t take over, there was still a good story to be told. lepore took us to mars for fall, using images of the recently news making mars rover as her inspiration. the music accompanied this muse quite nicely with its techno-space-agey notes and upbeat tempo.

the clothes and accessories were an appropriately scaled ode to outer space as well, featuring futuristic materials. there were iridescent tops, holographic purses, shoes and belts and some peculiar shimmer reminiscent of scales – perhaps lepore was trying to tell us something about her martian models?

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her looks were modest but still flirty. peeks of shoulder, collar bone and thigh indicated the lepore girl doesn’t mind a bit of intrigue, but still respects tasteful style.

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there were plenty of light weight trousers, skirts and arm baring tops, making the collection more suitable for early fall. but the abundance of outerwear – seems to be a theme this season – could easily carry our girl into the throes of october and november.

all-in-all, an interesting, boundary pushing collection for a designer who usually embraces the über girly. well done, ms. lepore.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

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from the runways: jenny packham

12 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning! 

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jenny packham, one of the new kids on the fashion block – err, runway? – has left no lingering questions as to what design niche she wants to be a part of. from the bevy of delicious ball gowns that floated down her runway today, it’s clearly eveningwear packham thrives in.

and thrive did she ever today. the designer transported us into an eery setting reminiscent of a trippy cartoon romance. punchy fairytale-esque melodies with a techno edge accompanied dewy faced models as they moved robotically down the runway, looking like strange mechanical dolls.

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and packham’s looks perfectly suited this oddly entrancing scene. beautifully crafted gowns and sweet but not saccharin cocktail dresses filled the collection, reinforcing the designer’s tendency toward the glamorous.

there was an astute color gradation that equally caught my attention – starting out with a rose colored gown, the collection moved smoothly from blush to red to whites to black then navy and finally to an olivey-seafoam green (which sounds awful but is really quite pleasing). the colors were as much a part of the design element as the tailoring itself.

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and how ‘bout that tailoring? bewitchingly captivating, if you ask me. there was something about the fluid movements of packham’s gowns and the youthful yet seductive air of her cocktail dresses that i couldn’t take my eyes off of – the ruby red décolletage-baring dress particularly comes to mind. oh, and the off-the-shoulder black number.

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subtle hints of sensuality – exposed collar bones, bare sides and a peek at the small of the back thanks to low-slung necklines, sheer fabrics and keyhole cutouts – were peppered throughout the collection, further adding to packham’s credibility as a designer who doesn’t shy from intrigue.

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and while there was nothing particularly groundbreaking in this collection – hey, that’s entirely understandable for a designer still feeling out her path in the fashion world – the looks were divine nonetheless.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: marc by marc jacobs

12 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

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it seems to me that marc is trying to tell a story about his perpetually youthful muse this season. perhaps once a wallflower, afraid to embrace the girl she knew she was deep down. perhaps a late bloomer, unsure if she would ever come into her own. perhaps once timid, mousy and painfully shy.

whatever the case, the marc by marc girl has sure grown up for autumn/winter 2013. while not going in the way of the sex play theme we see way too often nowadays, there was an unmistakable air of acknowledged advancement about jacobs’ looks.

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once flouncy skirts segued into curve hugging – a loose, respectful hug, mind you – silhouettes and slightly unflattering proportions bloomed into properly buttoned up blouses and trousers, with even a ladylike belt thrown in here and there.

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but this is not to say the lineup was boring, pious or elderly. the playfulness of the line rang true throughout the show’s entirety, reminding us that were indeed in the presence of a marc jacobs collection.

polka dots, plaid and stripes were all still there –just a bit grown up this time. attention hungry – and perhaps slightly jarring – color palettes became muted and scaled back. spritely shapes were refined and tailored down into internship appropriate looks (i say internship because there’s no doubt the mbmj girl is still in her youth). and that once uncertainty about how best to flatter her figure was transformed into confidence and wisdom.

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oh, and the fabrics – wool, satin and perhaps jersey (can’t quite put my finger on that last one). there’s something about the tactile this season, no?

not a bad lineup for the fall months. can’t wait to see these looks in real life. what’s your take?

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ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, please excuse my borrowing of photos from style.com. hop on over there for the full collection and their take on this season’s designs.

from the runways: jason wu

11 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways in lieu of our regularly scheduled posts. happy fashioning!

there’s nothing like a jason wu collection – classic yet modern, ladylike yet edgy, lighthearted yet impressive. all in all, wu never fails to impress.

and impress did he ever for autumn/winter 2013. as guests filtered into the park avenue venue, seeking refuge from the treachery outside, softly pulsing music filled the air, perfectly mirroring the upcoming collection – unassuming yet impactful.

the first look out, a black trench adorned with fur clad pockets, set the tone for the whole show – a very grown-up “extreme femininity,” as wu described it. the collection was a visual journey through rich color palettes and a level of texture play i don’t think we’ve ever seen from the designer before. black faded into white, which melted into snake patterned tops, then lace, then jolting red, caramel, more black, white, and of course, some royal blue thrown in for good measure. and the texture? fur, feathers and leather throughout. this wasn’t the sweet color/textile theme we usually see from wu. no, this was an array of mature, womanly hues in elegant materials, perfect for the designer’s maturing aesthetic and customer.

of course there were the classic dresses, gowns and trousers – and even those characteristic wu stripes – but what stood out most for me were the exquisitely executed outerwear pieces. beautiful cinched-waist trenches, short jackets with bold shoulders and an incredible all white fur coat topped off with patent black belt are what really signified the designer’s segue into a more mature customer base.

but while wu’s muse does seem to be coming into her own age-wise, it’s equally important to note the maintenance of that youthful vigor the designer burst onto the scene with in 2006 – it’s just a bit more refined this time around.

ed note: since i’m having to enjoy nyfw from the comforts of my own home this season, the live streamed shows are the next best thing to being there in person. please excuse the low quality photos, and check out style.com for the full collection – and better looking images.

from the runways: 10 crosby derek lam

8 Feb

it’s fashion week again, and in honor of the sartorially rich week, i’ll be bringing you reviews and editorials straight from the runways. happy fashioning!

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the 10 c girl has always been one for doing things differently – odd proportions, seemingly non-compatible pattern pairs and the curious menswear-esque shoes to round things out have consistently been the core of derek lam’s diffusion line muse.

for being only a couple seasons old, this line has stayed true to itself, allowing that girl to keep doing things her way. this season saw similarly off-kilter silhouettes and interesting shoes. but something new was the play on texture that purposefully trotted to the spotlight, cueing the line’s typically eye catching color palettes to take a back seat.

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case in point: this faux pony hair coat to kick things off. perhaps a tad off-putting at first glance – i repeat: faux pony hair – upon deeper consideration, it’s easy to gain a profound respect for these initially deterring pieces as each maintain the brand’s serious approach to tailoring and share the clout so carefully cultivated in lam’s eponymous line.

equally begging for a second glance were the tuxedo influenced pieces. there were impeccable black trousers complete with cummerbund and a jacket overlaying a cross body piece of fabric you couldn’t quite wrap your head around – was it a bandeau gone awry? a misplaced bra? did she simply forget to put her blouse on?

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work-appropriate ensembles rode along side casual looks perfect for city roaming on a crisp weekend afternoon, aligning the collection, yet again, with that muse who never forgets to have her share of amusement in life. slouchy sweater dresses and a few top and shorts combos perfectly touched on that off-duty look while dresses with liberal silhouettes would seamlessly carry our girl into dinner and drinks.

overall, a pleasing and autumn appropriate execution from design director elizabeth giardina. i’m already craving the crisp winds and rich colors of fall.

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photos from style.com.

from where i sit: content vs. commerce generation

27 Nov

while scouring the web this morning, i came across an article on the integration of content generation and ecommerce. it’s an interesting idea – one that i’m intrigued by but don’t have a solid opinion on yet.

from my business pov, i applaud the out-of-box sales innovation – it seems genius, and intuitive to create easy access pathways for consumers to buy products while they’re comfortably sifting through their favorite blogs, ezines, web sites, etc.

on the flip side – as a consumer – i’m not sure how i feel. my blog-hopping each saturday morning is reserved for leisurely browsing and unviolated inspiration. i originally veered toward blog reading for the personal, uninfluenced opinions of the authors. this is what made the blogosphere unique, intriguing and influential.

now with the inundation of “buy!” and “shop!” buttons on every blog under the sun, i’m not so sure about this realm of media anymore. it’s quite evident that bloggers are being compensated – in some way or another – for their promotions, and as a result, they’re becoming less credible. it’s sad to say that some of my once favorite blogs now almost exclusively consist of sponsored posts.

but at the same time, these are writers, business owners and entrepreneurs. they have to make money somehow – and that is a notion i wholeheartedly understand and support.

what do you think? is the rising trend of “organic” ecommerce a pro or a con? my verdict is still tbd.

photo from the business of fashion.

ardent eyes

29 Sep

keeping in step with my newly formed blog schedule, i’m introducing an end-of-the-week inspiration post. anything from an enlightening quote to a breathtaking image, whatever sparks my current creativity will be here at the end of every week.

this week: power play. beautiful women, unbelievably stylish and on the way to conquer their careers.

image from style.com