Friday, November 26, 2010

The New News

Hi, hi, hi. It's been a while and loads of stuff's been going on 'round here as November wraps up: Latin tests, Deadmau5 concerts, sushi, Harry Potter, sicknesses, school, more school and more more school. So, I apologize for the silence.

Anyway, there's been some pretty fabulous stuff going on in the fashion atmosphere recently. News that made my stomach lurch with excitement. So... I'll get right to it.

One of these days someone is going to tell me that my obsession with Alexander McQueen is getting old and that I should shut up and take a hike, but I really couldn't care less. He's like my favorite musician, when he's in town I'm gonna go crazy and try to get tickets to see his show.... and that's exactly what I'm going to do come this May.
Backtracking to allow some catch up... every year the Metropolitan Museum of Art (a.k.a the Met) puts on its Costume Institute Gala (co-chaired by the lovely Anna Wintour). Often called the 'Oscars of the Fashion World', it is an event where fashion royalty: designers, models, muses and celebrities come together to celebrate an elaborate themed costume exhibit... and the result is one of the most extravagant evenings in the fashion calendar. Past themes have included Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity, The Model as Muse and Anglomania.

Well... there's a exhibit coming to town and it's gonna rock your socks off New York. Yes, it's obvious, is it not? The theme of next year's Costume Institute Gala is 'Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty'.
OH. MY. GOSH I need to go. Too bad tickets started at around $6,500 in 2007... and who knows how much they'll be now. And all that is without purchasing some sort of dress for the event, plus I'm going to need a bus ticket and hotel room and... Hold up... let's be serious, I'm in planning mode for something that is never going to happen. Sad, but true even though it's kinda fun. Anyway, the Gala will kick off a several month exhibition at the Met of over 100 McQueen items, the largest collection of his works that have ever come together. You know how stoked I am.
 - Courtesy of NY Magazine                               

There was a post where I had a bit of a meltdown over a certain designer: Tom Ford. Well he's back in the business of womenswear (Women everywhere rejoice!) and pictures of this upcoming collection were released to VOGUE several days ago. The Spring 2011 Collection was shown in an extremely private and exclusive preview back in September during NY Fashion Week. The reason for this, Ford wants to reject the extreme nature of our media based culture so as not to ruin his clothes. He doesn't believe in the necessity of having images of his clothes uploaded months before they are going to be stocked in stores, which is sad for all the computer nerds like myself who live for the hours of waiting for new uploads. Anyway, without much further ado:

A sketch that teased many for months before the images of the collection were release last week
Can you say 70s revival? That's one of the major themes of next season but Ford is quoted saying that these were the most wearable clothes and that is the idea behind his collection. I see fringe, leopard, afros, pantsuits, wrap dresses and a whole lotta sex appeal, which is to be expected from him of course.
- Photos and interview

Karl Lagerfeld was the pioneer of the whole big name brands collaborating with high street labels storm. And as of last week we can add one of my favorite designers to that list of powerhouse names that have collaborated with H & M:
Yeah, it's kinda old news but Alber Elbaz and Lanvin are in stores.... right this second!  His  collection for H & M was released worldwide this past Tuesday (the 23rd). It's an awesome feat because Lanvin is such a fresh label that is garnering such praise for its beautifully sculpted and ageless clothes that look good on women. I see alot of influence from his past runway collections in these clothes and hopefully when I'm in Toronto this weekend I'll be able to take a peek in stores and see if there's anything I like (haha, that's a joke, I love it all).
This video was released at the beginning of the month when the images of the collection first surfaced and it couldn't make me want the clothes any more. With models like Natasha Poly, Tati Cotliar, and Hannelore Knuts you know the fashion world is behind him 100%. I really love the idea of models ransacking a hotel... it feels like we're seeing them in their natural habitat, a behind the scenes view that is bordering the perverse and intrusive but is hilariously light hearted. I HEART LANVIN.

Here are some of the looks: 
The tee features the adorable sketch that Alber was doodling in the promo video and I really want it.
I hate florals, but somehow I can stand these... I think there's so much going on that it hasn't registered in my brain.
I love one shouldered dresses, I have a couple hiding in my closet back in the UK and my mom will ask me to justify why I need another one, but that's absurd. I mean, it's Lanvin for H & M.... duh haha. 
Courtesy of NY Magazine

Something about the model shenanigans in the hotel rang familiar in my brain and I realized that I'd seen it already, but instead the models had a Y chromosome and had no fashion...
Gotta love me some Crosby.

And finally on November 16th the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner was announced: Congratulations Billy Reid, menswear designer! Just before the winners were announced miss Anna Wintour announced that the prizes were to be increased to $300,000 for the winner and $100,000 for both runners up. Speaking of which the two very worthy runners up were jewelry designer Eddie Borgo and womenswear star Prabal Gurung. This award is established to help young American designers break into the business and The nature of these awards is that the recipients meet regularly with a business mentor who will help them with the expansion of their line. Congrats guys and good luck!

From left to right: Billy Reid (W), Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld, Prabal Gurung (RU), CFDA President Diane Von Furstenburg and Eddie Borgo (RU)
And the top three: Gurung, Reid and Borgo
Before we wrap up for the day here are some examples of Reid's work from his Fall 2010 line and Spring 2011 collection...

Anyway, I'm off to Toronto and St. Catherines this weekend so peace!

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Johnny B Goode' - Chuck Berry
Observations: FREEZINGNESS
Craving: Candy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In Costume

If asked to define my style I'd love to lie and say I'm eclectic and daring but it's actually more conservative casual... tops in block color and lots of black in plain shapes and usually with jeans. However, the one aspect of my style that is verging on eclectic and often speaks louder than my clothes is my jewelry. 

While many say less is more and Coco Chanel herself said that you should always take off one accessory before leaving the house... I live the with the opposite mantra... more more more! Excess, not less. I feel as though a simple outfit and a piece of statement jewelry is an exceptionally powerful look. I love big pieces of jewelry... Costume jewelry, and that's what we're attacking today.
Urchin Cuff - Alexander McQueen Spring 2010. What's a blog post without a dash of McQueen eh?
My take on costume jewelry... I designed this for my senior prom to go with an exceptionally bright dress but it functions well with just a plain black one too.
To begin, I need to clarify what costume jewelry implies... it is fashion jewelry that is not meant to be classic and is intended for a specific outfit. It is meant to only be in style for a short period of time and is a reflection of the trends of the time. Below are some examples of Art Nouveau (turn of the 20th Century), Retro  (roughly 1930s - 50s) and Art Deco (roughly 1920s - 1930s) Jewelry. Dates and info from Wikipedia.
- Pictures courtesy of
Fairly tacky, but completely eclectic and original.

Coco Chanel was one of the pioneers of Costume jewelry in the fashion world and Karl Lagerfeld continues this legacy with relish today at Chanel. Here's a look at the Spring 2011 collection:

It's one of my favorite collections of the next season... more on that another time.

Burn after reading? No way, after reading I relegate all my magazines to a drawer to await their meeting with mes ciseaux et ma colle. So one day, when perusing an old Harper's Bazaar I came across a teeny article with huge impact. 
All about Dior's 2009 partnership with Camille Miceli, a young but very established jewelry designer.Well well, I did alittle digging and found some of the pieces...

This necklace twinkles at me and seems to be in constant motion, as though the links are spilling out. And just in case you or anyone else forgot who you were wearing, there are nice little C  D's to remind you. Christian Dior, je t'aime... and of course John Galliano. Duh.

You can never go wrong with pearls; with the chaotic, overly large chain links and the different strands of fabric, they inject a sense of order and class. I tend to use alot of pearls in my jewelry because they mix exceptionally well with any style bead. My supplier happens to be my dad, who buys me huge strands from a nearby market in Saudi Arabia. There are so many great shapes and colors to play with: seed, black, freshwater, pink, flattened, oval, round. It's one of my favorite things to scoop a handful and let them spill through my fingers.

I haven't made the jump into metal crafted jewelry and these pieces make me wish I have. Give me a welding gun and the tools to mint my own shapes and we'd really be in trouble. It's a spectacular collection of standout pieces that could take an LBD from casual day, to classy night while still maintaining a rough, hip and youthful edge. 
- Images from

In a several month old Grazia I found another article about a brand and jewelry designer collaboration. 

J-Crew and Fenton Fallon came together earlier this year to bring us a 'punk-meets-polish' collection that women everywhere should get their hands on:
Again we're seeing the mix of peal and chain. The delicate dangling chains are tipped off with pointed arrowheads... possibly a take on the modern work woman as a warrior, I do not know. All I know is that it's edgy.
This is the most expensive necklace in the collection at the moment with a retail price of $295. Again, there's a ladylike twist to the rope of chain, with some silk ribbon and diamante centerpiece. I get a very Art Deco vibe from this one, check back upstairs and I think you'll agree.
Don't mess... agreed. Again, some more Art Deco and studs. This woman is like Wall-street meets Mad Men meets Hells Angel.
- Images from J Crew website.

Often designers reserve costume jewelry for their websites or Couture Shows as the extravagance tends to detract from collections, but one of my favorite women's-wear brands, who never fails to create sensational clothes, Lanvin, has made consistently beautiful jewelry for the past three seasons. Each has had a strong motif that has me salivating to the point where I need to get wellies.

Spring Summer 2010 

I get an Eastern tribal vibe: serpents and dragons which lend a Chinese zodiac calendar vibe, an abundance of different semi-precious stones which lend a Silk-road-on-the-way-to-Europe-riches aura and an eclecticism that ties it all together. My favorite aspects have to be the twisting serpents spilling around the models necks and coming out of the regular necklace plan as though trying to bite anyone who dares get near these Amazons. I see turquoise, amber, onyx, enamel, lapis... all colors that I associate with the Middle and Far East.

Fall Winter 2010

This is a different tribal that the previous, here I'm being summoned to the plains of Africa and the jungles of the Amazon, the complete opposite direction from Spring. With an emphasis on wood, metal and crystal there is a rawness that is grounded in the mostly earthy tones of the collection. Also I like the circle within a square imagery... simple shapes reinforce this desert tribes vibe to me. Shuffle in some feathers, a dash of fringe, fur and claws and you're laughing.

Spring Summer 2011
The first word I though of was: Revivalism... not sure why I needed the -ism at the end of that (Probably because I'm studying for an slide test, but other than that)? Let's see, I spot moths, butterflies, leaves and florals, you can't get enough of a good thing. So let me explain my bizarre word choice: I think of butterflies as being born twice... first you're a little caterpillar and then you decide to become a bit of a hermit and construct yourself a cocoon and after a certain length of time, voila back to reality, newly reinvented as a beautiful butterfly. So yeah, I think this speaks about the clothes alittle as well because they are meant to be worn by women of all ages and the ribbing you see is meant to lend itself towards wrinkles. On the jewelry front it's all art deco/ bejeweled... hard and soft at the same time.   

I liked the animal vibe of Lanvin and then I saw Prosenza Schouler Spring 2011 collection I had a bit of a heart murmur moment. 

I bloody love the retro owl and semi-precious stone combination. The entire collection is a turning point for them, but these necklaces are what drew me to it. 

So I've brought up that I make jewelry pretty often and since this is my jewelry themed post I decided to show some the the pieces I am most proud of... so enjoy and I'd love to know what people think.
Turquoise, pearl and coral
I just noticed the leaf pendant in Lanvin's necklace and mine...
These are some of my favorite pearls... I don't know how they got this way, but I'm glad they are what they are: pearl, garnet and silver.

Definitely my favorite bracelet to make of all time. I love amassing all the different colors and putting them together.

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Cooler Than Me' - Mike Posner
Observations: Glee episode was one of the best I've seen... probably ever
Craving: No more sore throat