Archive for January, 2009

I Want to Look Like That: Dior Pre-Fall 2009

January 28, 2009

I’m a little more in love with Dior today than usual; first Couture, now Pre-Fall. Although I’ve flirted with several styles in the past few seasons, my heart’s right back at my ultimate favorite — the femme fatale, with a sexy secretary twist. I’m really loving the pop the red shoes add, plus the complimentary lips. Perhaps not the most innovative look, but this is an especially beautiful take on a classic.

Runway Haiku: Christian Dior S2009 Couture

January 28, 2009

Pretty Things, Practically Applied: Casual Cocktails

January 28, 2009

Items:

1. Carvela Awesome Grey Courts Platform ($183.00)

2. Tarina Tarantino Queen Alice Bow Pendant Necklace ($163.00)

3. Coach Cable Knit Beret ($148.00)

4. Topshop Grey Acid Wash Skinny Jean ($80.00)

5. Rag & Bone Sparkly Cardigan ($154.00)

6. Midnight Mint Cocktail

7. Zac Posen Bag Iris Bag ($1,169.00)

8. ASOS Premium High Platform T-Bar Sandal ($122.17)

You Inspire Me: The Dude

January 27, 2009

The Dude’s sartorial choices are noteworthy for the exact same reason the character has become a cult icon; he just doesn’t care. From the first moment I saw him, in his tattered robe and who-knows-the-last-time-they-were-washed sweat pants, I longed to achieve the same level of insouciance. Much like Margot Tenenbaum, The Dude has a very personal, highly identifiable style. This style (or at least, vibe) has become unavoidable on the streets on NYC — many work laboriously to achieve the same devil-may-care look, but  to The Dude, it’s all natural.

I’m not typically a grunge type of girl; perhaps it’s the slouch that appeals to me here. Fashion inspiration comes from the unlikeliest places (in this case, a California burn-out) not because we desire an exact duplicate of a certain person/character’s wardrobe, but because we take a liking to their way of approaching clothing. Some days, I’d like to grab random pieces and wear them with the same abandon.

Such an icon.

Learn A Line: Lanvin

January 27, 2009

Name: Lanvin

Designer: Alber Elbaz

Timeline:

– 1889: Jeanne Lanvin opens her first boutique. Her clothing designs (for her daughter) catch on among the Parisian elite; soon, she’s designing for both daughter and mother.

– 1909: Lanvin joins Le Syndicat de la Couture, officially becoming a couturiere.

– 1927: Lanvin produces its signature fragrance, Arpege, and establishes itself as an important perfumer. By this time, the Lanvin line also includes home goods, fur, and menswear lines.

– 1946: Jeanne Lanvin dies, passing the company to her daughter. From here, the company goes through a chain of succession, ultimately passing from family to investment firms.

– 2001: Alber Elbaz is appointed head designer of the house.

Aesthetic: Bold, solid coloring; minimalism with movement; inventive use of fabric (whether through draping, tucking, or folding).

Known For: Elbaz’s Spring 2008 collection, which exemplified modern glamour in its simplicity; Natalie Portman’s loyalty; extremely covet-worthy (and under-the-trendy-radar) accessories; Maggie Gyllenhaal’s 2009 Golden Globes dress.

Site: http://www.lanvin.com/

How the Hell Do I Wear That!?! Harem Pants

January 26, 2009

While pants have slowly been mounting a comeback the past few seasons, they’ve finally reached saturation point for SS2009. The most intriguing trend to come out of the look is harem pants…

Potential Humiliation: 9/10. Hammer time?

How to Triumph: Pair luxe fabrics with otherwise streamlined pieces.
– Keep accessories (including hair & makeup) super minimalist & simple.
– Stay as far away from pattern as possible (see aforementioned MC Hammer reference).
– Always pair this look with heels — the potential frump factor here is HUGE.
– Buy the pants in a fabric that has good flow — movement is crucial here.
– Note that this item dresses up/down really easily — a major plus!

1. AE Double V Striped Tank ($19.50)

2. Forever 21 High Waist Paper Bag Capri III ($27.80)

3. Charlotte Russe Sporty Platforms ($29.99)

4. D&G Vintage Rope Chain Bracelet ($225.00)

5. Forever 21 Dimpled Metal Ring ($3.80)

6. Sonia Rykiel Cotton Silk Harem Pants ($985.00)

7. Splendid Scoop Neck T-Shirt ($50.00)

8. Doma Washed Leather Biker Jacket ($620.00)

9. Miu Miu Whipstich Patent Pumps ($695.00)

* Photo courtesy The Sartorialist

This, I Need: McQ Intarsia Cardigan

January 26, 2009

Although it feels like Winter’s winding down (what with Spring shipments and Fashion Week coming up), I get an awful sense that we still have a few more months of cold ahead of us…

To help make the bitterness a bit easier to stand, I’m planning on pairing this cardi with my Spring purchases. With prints, the look is very MJ SS2009, and with solids, you’ll look every bit the perfect neo-Dude (more on that later).

McQ Geometric Intarsia Cardigan ($490.00)

Runway Haiku: 3.1 Phillip Lim SS2009

January 26, 2009

Fashion People for $400, Please: Cathy Horyn

January 23, 2009

Name: Cathy Horyn

Born: 1956 in Coshocton, Ohio

Education: Undergrad from Barnard College; Master’s in Journalism from Northwestern University.

CV:

  • 1986-1990: Fashion writer for The Detroit News
  • 1990-1995: Fashion reporter for The Washington Post
  • 1998: Cathy begins her career at The New York Times as a fashion reporter (in the interim, Ms. Horyn worked at Vanity Fair as a contributing fashion & entertainment editor)
  • 1999: Cathy becomes the fashion critic at The New York Times
  • 2001: Cathy is awarded The Eugenia Sheppard Award for fashion writing

Aesthetic: Cathy Horyn tends to appreciate pieces that are commercially viable but push the envelope developmentally; Ghesquiere’s early Balenciaga work and Lagerfeld for Chanel are particular favorites. She also favors a playfulness in fashion (a la Marc Jacobs), and often rejects uninspired minimalism.

Known For: Her runway reviews are brutally honest; so much so, she’s been banned from several shows after negative write-ups. Horyn was most notably in a very public feud with Giorgio Armani regarding “unnecessarily sarcastic comments” on his Spring 2008 collection.

Site: NYT archive

Closet Dilemmas: How to Fit All That Stuff?

January 23, 2009

When we moved to NYC, we literally sold an entire house worth of stuff — tools, kitchen utensils, Christmas decorations, etc. Obvs, the most difficult was consolidating my bedroom’s (yes, I had a bedroom for a closet) worth of clothes into a single duffel bag. What I ultimately came away with was a mish-mash of favorites — from a DVF wrap dress to several old concert tees — and what resulted was a motley combination of nostalgic pieces and those too expensive to toss. Needless to say, my early NYC wardrobe was an absolute mess.

Gradually, I realized which items were more suited to city life, and also began to reassess my personal style in light of the amazing outfits I saw on the street everyday. I started editing based on what I was actually wearing, instead of what I aspired to wear. After all, there was no room in my mini apartment-sized closet for ill-advised purchases still bearing tags.

After we moved apartments last Fall, we were downsized again to a 3′ x 5′ box of a closet (for two people — including shoes!!!). At this point, I began to group the items I commonly wore together on hangers, so as to save as much horizontal space as possible. The thought suddenly dawned on me: I’ve always wanted to wear a uniform, so why not put together several complete outfits together for easy reference?

The benefits? Now, I have fifteen complete looks at my disposal at all times — no more wondering what skirt to pair with what top in a frantic morning rush. Instead, I set aside seven looks every Sunday night, and cease to think about dressing for the duration of the week. My shoes, jewelery, and even hoisery are paired for optimal wearability (no item gets more play than the others), so I know every item in my closet is always used. I’ve even found that I’ve become more creative with my makeup, since I can pair whatever look suits my outfit for the day best.

I understand that not everyone has it in them to be so completely OCD about their everyday lives. Very simply, I don’t have the time every morning to worry about what I’ll be wearing — the planning is a great measure to guarantee efficiency. In terms of creativity, I’m still able to fulfill my desire to assemble outfits while shopping (this is another rule — I never buy individual items; only complete, hanger-ready looks).

My friends think this approach is absolutely nuts, not to mention unattainable. What about you? Could you pull it off? How is your closet organized?