Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's my party and I'll dress up If I want to

Who said that? Yes, me, the Shak... I'm back? No, not a question, I'm pretty sure that's a statement. I'M BACK (how many times have I said that). 

So, I guess it's time to admit it. Summer is officially over, the other day was the first day of fall. I guess this means I need to retire all my summer clothes, my summer fashion archive (which I've been relying on and took me forever!) and, tear, my summer uniform (despite finishing work over 3 weeks ago.) Now that I'm back in Canada (woop) and back at uni (woop woop), I get to wake up to the cool Canadian wilderness everyday. Like this...
This is an image by Franklin Carmichael, a member of the Group of Seven, the most prolific band of painters in Canadian history. They specialized in painting landscapes during the 1920s and were heavily influenced by the Impressionist movement... across the pond, ya know, "where the history comes from" - Eddie Izzard.
This is another 'member' of the Group of Seven - Tom Thompson. He actually was never an official member (because he died before the group was actually formed... kinda a problem), but he was affiliated with them and many of the members were sympathetic to his style. I love Canadian foliage, yep yep.

Anyhow, yeah with the end of the Spring/Summer season comes... yes indeed, Fall/Winter and oh baby, this season is THE season. I'm not sure if I mentioned that this winter season is all about the new breed of simple, chic, wearable clothes... Minimalist is the new black. 
Here are two perfect examples of the 'new' minimalist that hit the runways. On the left, Frida Giannini threw some spectacular sleek trousers and jackets onto the Gucci runway, but this slate dress with the subtle slits is classic but still maintains it's sexy a la Tom Ford. On the right, Bottega Veneta's mannish interpretation of minimalist = the most sleek silhouette... I guess the whole 'minimal is the new black' may have been said a tad too soon.

With every season Christopher Bailey's Burberry gets harder and harder to handle, the clothes are just so fantastic, it kinda makes me salivate. Marc Jacobs and his many brands brought so much for the table that choosing an iconic look from them all was hard, but this jacket is the epitome of the season... subtly sexy and made for women with real figures.

Designers professed to wanting a return to the basics so that meant clean cut tailoring that came in the form of lush coats and jackets, high waisted, leg lengthening trousers, and long, full figured skirts. 
For the past several seasons Phoebe Philo has been creating minimalist fashions for Celine and it has often fallen on deaf ears, but the tastemaker is responsible for this season's boom in wearable clothes. While many of the trousers that marched down the runway were highwaisted, flared, her cigarette trousers perfectly counter the thigh skimming trench. On the other hand, Prada put out a collection so perfect it made girls everywhere scream and shout, these models and these clothes had hips! Finally

The colors came in a rich palette of camel, rust, plum and emerald and then the neutrals of white, beige, deep brown and navy. When it came to make up everything was pared back, neutral and exceptionally 'clean' <-- there's just no other word for it. 
Stella McCartney, the designer to the stars is adored by many... but this collection makes it all the more clear for those who belittle her for her famous connections. Chloe is responsible for many if not most of the sleek camel looks that swished down the runway. This camel coat is the item of clothing for this season. Go out and get one. Both jackets are stunning and come in the season's hottest colors: iron and camel

This is a bold statement, but there will be no more of this over the top sexed up fashion business (we normal humans can't pull off crotch skimming skirts and vamped up lipstick without looking rather ridiculous. All you glamazons like Freha Beha Erichsen and Karlie Kloss with your toothpick legs and fabulous bone structure, go right ahead, you'll look chic... Grrrrr).

So yeah, this season = simple and wearable... Well scrap that for Louise Gray, our focus for today. She's the new, young, hip Vivienne Westwood of London's East End. Don't get me wrong, her clothes are totally they're chic and very tasteful, they're just slightly out there... and I really do mean that in the best possible way. 
Exhibit A) Spring 2010
Exhibit B) Fall 2010
Exhibit C) Spring 2011

Verdict? Yeah, she's kookoo catchoo ca-razy. And fabulous!!
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Her Spring 2o1o collection "Oh no babe" showcased the textile designer's talents at mixing and matching fabric to create a supremely joyful parade of clothes that I could see in place at a nine year old's birthday party. Electric eclectic clothing in bright colors featuring graffiti type scribbles and prints but in the form of shift dresses, shorts, jackets and trousers that are easy to wear, just very.... flashy.
This is what I call English neon grunge. It's clubby, gritty, peppy, poppy, camp... you name it. One of my best mates went to CSM and she's exceptionally stylish; however, she said she felt suburban and plain Jane compared to her classmates. I'm pretty sure some of these CSM kids probably own some Louise Gray and I bet they accessorize even crazier than Gray.
Pack these separates for a beach vacation to throw on top of a bikini or maybe go to a craft barn play with the glue gun and yarn. Hint, look at the shoes, I'm pretty sure something is nesting in em. Maybe, don't wear the dress on the top right to your job at the daycare... not sure the human anatomy is completely appropriate. 
Gray's playful collection required playful makeup. Case in point, dabbing paint below the eyelids and on the ears (mimicking earrings?). Hair thrown up into a bun is slightly messy, with tendrils snaking out but the majority of the hair is wrapped in cotton candy?!?! Yummy. Honestly I think of cupcakes when I think of this collection. Sweet to eat.
I love the loose sweaters with the knit on top. There's something so childish and innocent about the whole thing, it makes me really happy
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Welcome to the current season, Fall 2010!!!! And trust me, this whole "I'm-gonna-pare-back-and-be-minimalist-and-chic" does not apply to Ms Gray. She's way to cool for that.
This season the prints were less pop and more earth. The fabrics were more organic and while everything was still as bright as ever there were darker tones like a violet in the jacket above left, navy in the tee shirt above right and the olive jacket below right. Even the patterns were alittle tamer... but hardly Gucci or Celine.
The furry booties are particularly cute. I'm not going to lie, I'd love to slip 'em on before a swim practice or during a meet. Oooooooh how warm and you know you lose like half your body heat through your feet. Good idea Louise. 
Awwwww, blankie, so cute and endearing. So Gray is not the only one who showed a crazy furry suit this past season. Karl Lagerfeld and his crazy shenanigans, for his Fall 2010 show he had real chunks of ice brought in to the show and most of his models tromped down the runway in eskimo fur boots, but there was a FANTASTIC fur suit for his mens collection. Well, as a joke Creative Director of Elle, Joe Zee, traipsed around New York in the heat of summer in this suit. You gotta love a sense of humor. Especially from someone that deep in the fashion industry.
Bahahahahaha. Love it, he's so cute, sipping on his Starbucks.

Beauty: Well again, there is the clean makeup with some sort of paint (again) but this time it's plastered to the model's eyebrows. I swear my artsy friend said she met a girl at CSM who went out with sequin eyebrows.... maybe next season Louise?
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Spring 2011: Wooooah.... no I'm not psychic no, as we speak Fashion Week for next season is going on, so I have a ton of designers to canvas and plenty of screen shots to take. 
Gray seems to have taken inspiration from birds of paradise and I personally think of the magpie, despite it being a perfectly ordinary bird... I'm a self professed color magpie. These birds are attracted to shiny things and are complete kleptomaniacs. They build nests with objects that they have pilfered from their surroundings and this is what I see in this collection.
However, another bird I think of is the crowned crane. The models are wearing crested headpieces of purple rafia that are just too similar to the crane's crown to be a coincidence.
A kaleidoscope of different recycled materials are incorporated into her collection: buttons, bottle caps you name it and the raffia headresses add to the eclectic chic. She seems to have revisited her Spring 2010 collection of color inspiration but she is growing when it comes to her clothing construction. They're becoming more wearable (except the outfit below right) and infinitely more eye-catching. 

Anyway, I'm pooched, this took forever but it was so worth it. Kinda like a giant cleanse. Take care y'all

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Miami 2 Ibiza' - Swedish House Mafia
Observations: CSI, HIMYM, the Mentalist 
Craving: Some of my frigging amazing potato pancakes

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