[Chicago Fashion Event] Anna Fong SP/SU 2012 Collection: ‘A Mayan Tale’

Anna’s collection: A Mayan Tale pulls inspiration from her recent trip to Central America, where she re re-discovered her Guatemalan heritage. The collection was full of rich, colorful hand-wovent fabrics vibrant in hue and oozing modern femininity yet remaining timeless and classic.  Anna Fong is known for blending vintage, historical fashion with chic, updated wears and then adding ethnic touches.

Aside from Anna’s amazing collection, we were taken on a journey to the Mayan Jungle with a heart thumping and rythmic performance by dancers in full head to toe traditional Mayan regalia-beautiful feathered head pieces, face paint and lush vibrant costumes. 

Job well done Anna!  It was definitely the perfect closing to Fashion Focus Chicago 2011, a full week of celebrating fashion creations from local designers.

A Mayan Tale: Anna Fong SP/SU 12

New Fashion Target Market: Prisoners?

Now that the art world has succumbed to label mania, all bets are off as to where the next generation of fashion victims will be found. But here’s a clue, Winson Green (a prison in Birmingham, UK) has decided to allow inmates to wear their own clothes in an attempt to boost their self-esteem. Unfortunately, the new policy has not been met with enthusiasm from prison relatives.

“It puts an awful lot of pressure on families to buy them top-named clothing,” said one wife. “The system needs to help families financially from forking out money to provide a prison fashion wardrobe. Like anything inside, it won’t be long before clothes are being traded as currency or used as a status thing among cons.”

Lady Gaga, with your ultra-glam depiction of life inside, I’m holding you personally responsible…

Key Fall Trend: Matchy-Matchy

Roland Mouret SP 2010

The matching skirt and blouse or slightly mis-matching is one of the big trends for next season. I’m fairly sure Roland Mouret was one of the first designers to pioneer this idea a couple of years ago. But practically everyone included versions in their spring collections. It’s already on the high street, if you look carefully.

Will you be one of the first to pioneer this trend? I know I will be! All you need to do is add cable knight tights and a jacket or cardigan, or as separates. It’s strangely thrilling when fashion goes genuinely functional.

[NYFW Recap] Rochambeau Spring 2012 Collection

Rochambeau Spring 2012 collection plays with a bond of freedom and construction, I found asymmetrical cuts and classic tailoring on the blazers execution. Designers, Laurence & Joshua wanted to add an effortless touch to something that already was known as emblematic pieces, but as classic as the vests, blazers and flare mid-waist pants are; the impressive details like leather lapel accents on the blazers or the elongated silhouettes added the urban vibe concept to what everybody thought was classic, seems like a thoughtful deconstruction by revealing something and conducting it to another aesthetic.
The blazers and other tailored pieces included details that emphasize and highlight the construction. The leather necks or the strong contouring form in one of the blazers that comes with black rectangular fabric frame at the bottom and then; the non-frame portion of the neck line is a curvy linear line, adding a sense of geometry and complexity. Other more loosen pieces played a juxtaposition with the architectural precise-execution of the pieces, the long sheer sleeved tops with a slight cut at the crew neck, portrayed men not afraid of suggesting without being vulgar or over the top, the softness of the fabrics balance it so well, that it feels more effortless than rather falling into a tacky statement. In addition, the color palette creates a disperse fusion of greys, deep noir and navys, building a path of consistency between all the looks; the hues also reflected the silence from all the “invisible-colorful experiences” from block by block of the big city.

The designers perspective for their Spring 2012 collection was showed in a short film named “Paralymbic” by Hugh Lippe, who quoted;

The goal was to create something real, something I can believe in, something I feel I could touch, smell, or hear. Narrative?, imagination, observation. The narrative exits in the ever spinning whirl wind of that chaos passing by. Fashion, here is a short about fashion, fashion in the city, New York City“.

Photo Credit: Daisy Medina of Velvet Dreams

Rochambeau Spring 2012 Collection

[NYFW Recap] Althea Harper Spring 2012 Collection

Althea Harper is one of my favorite Project Runway alums. Sure, she’s stunning in person and has a charming personality, but she’s also one hard-working girl who knows fashion better than her appearance on the show let on.

It’s mind boggling to me why her collections aren’t given more attention because I truly belive that she’s got a lock on a sort of freewheeling, sexy, urban chic thing that I definitely have responded well to, but this is the first time I was able to attend one of her shows. Fashion Week makes it difficult to hit all the PR alum shows going on in New York at the time, but I was firmly committed to making it to this one and I’m so glad I did.

It’s a shame the venue was so dark, because the pictures aren’t as clear as they could be. Picking up on the trends of flowy prints and minimalist black and whites, this collection ranges from simple body-conscious pieces to more dramatically sexy and wearable prints. Like a lot of female designers, the clothes look like something Althea herself would wear (and she did, in fact wear one of the pieces for the show). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the customer she’s seeking is clearly similar to herself: a stylish, 20-something girl with a city sensibility and a desire to look sexy and confident.  I can not wait to wear the dress that Althea herself donned for special night.

Extra bonus for myself as a Chicago Fashion Blogger was not only attending this amazing show, but running into other fellow Chicago Fashion Bloggers.  I ran into Jena Gambaccini of Chi City Fashion and Daisy Medina of Velvet Dreams.

Photo Credit: Daisy Medina of Velvet Dreams

Althea Harper’s Spring 2012 Collection:

Althea Harper with her models-Absolutely Gorgeous!

Look who I found! Daisy Medina of Velvet Dreams

Guess who else was there? The one and only Jena  Gambaccini of Chi City Fashion
Myself with Althea Harper, she is absolutely stunning in person!

[NYFW Recap] A Fashion Girls’ Dream Come True: Bill Cunningham took my PICTURE!!

Any true fashion admirer knows of the iconic and legendary, Bill Cunningham.  Many in the fashion industry have deemed him the creator of what has now become widely known as ‘Street Style Photography’.  This past spring I had the priviledge of watching the documentory, ‘Bill Cunningham New York’, which was a 10-yr labor of love for Richard Press & Philip Gefter. 

I was educated on 80+ yr. old New York Times photographer, Bill Cunningham.  For decades, this Schwinn-riding cultural anthropologist has been obsessively and inventively chronicling fashion trends and high society charity soirées for the Times Style section in his columns “On the Street” and “Evening Hours”. Documenting uptown fixtures (Wintour, Tom Wolfe, Brooke Astor, David Rockefeller), downtown eccentrics and everyone in between, Cunningham’s enormous body of work is more reliable than any catwalk as an expression of time, place and individual flair.

So needless to say, seeing a snapping camera approaching me and immediately recognizing Bill’s unmistakable blue smock and head of pure white hair behind that camera I did what any other fashion admirer is suppose to do: POSE! I could not have dreamed for a better ending to my NYFW SP/SU ’12 fashion extravaganza. The following are photos of the outfit that were deemed “Bill Cunningham Approved”:

Photo Credit: Daisy Medina of Velvet Dreams

What I’m wearing: Vintage Sequin Blazer, Anne Fontaine White Collared Blouse, Grey Straight Leg Paige Denim, Sam Edelman Booties and ASOS Envelope Turquoise Snake Skin Embossed Clutch. 

Everyone is wearing Mary Katrantzou, are you?

As if we needed any more confirmation that black is dead (it’s all print and color crazy on the SP/SU 2012 catwalks thus far) here’s the lovely Alexa Chung in New York rocking a beautifully ornate Ming vase!

Alexa Chung

Well, it’s obviously not an actual vase, but a dress by one of London Fashion Week’s brightest talents, Mary Katrantzou.

Greek-born Mary Katrantzou, a Central Saint Martins graduate, has got a unique way with prints, and after showing her seventh collection at LFW last week, the early adopters on planet fashion are now taking note.

Chung isn’t the only one to champion the 28-year-old’s marvelous work: Actress Leelee Sobieski-who out of nowhere it seems, has asserted herself as quite the thoughtful dresser-made an impact when she showed up to the Metropolitan Opera opening wearing a peplum, fish bowl-print minidress, a style very similar to the one Vogue Japan fashion director Anna Dello Russo was pictured in during New York Fashion Week.

Leelee Sobieski & Keira Kightley

Even Keira Knightley-who has a penchant for frothy Chanel and Erdem frocks-opted for a directional, midi-hem gown that is from Katrantzou’s AU/WI 2011 collection.

If anyone needed further proof that Mary is ‘Going Global’, just consider all-round hipster Solange Knowles (yes, Beyoncé’s little sis) who got into the Katrantzou groove with a slouchy, printed shirt dress to attend the London shows.

Anna Dello Russo & Solange Knowles

Miss Katrantzou, my predictions are that your future looks colorfully bright.

32 more days!!


You guessed it everyone, I’ve got 32 more days until I join the ranks of women who are now officially referred to as a ‘Mrs.’ and will forever retire my title of ‘Miss’.  I am still unsure of how I ultimately feel about this, but what I do know is that I am completely and utterly consumed with a joy and happiness that words will never be able to describe.  Why many ask? Because I get to spend the rest of my life with someone who not only feels exactly the same way I do about me, but ultimately because they make me a better person.
I’m going to be taking a momentary hiatus to focus in on the task at hand: Ensure that every single wedding detail is not only addressed but insanely micromanaged.
So, I will see you all in October! Until then, stay fabulously chic and don’t forget these amazing words that I believe every woman should live by, ” ‘Style’ is an expression of individualism mixed with charisma. Fashion is something that comes after style.”  xoxo

Need Some Styling Inspiration for Glamorama?

What to Wear to Glamorama Chicago

Alice Olivia flared dress
$495 – net-a-porter.com

Vince short sequin cocktail dress
$425 – net-a-porter.com

TopShop panel dress
$98 – topshop.com

Erdem satin ball gown
$1,920 – net-a-porter.com

Christian Louboutin peep toe shoes
$995 – net-a-porter.com

Gucci heels
$1,995 – net-a-porter.com

Jimmy Choo suede heels
$795 – net-a-porter.com

Steve Madden patent leather pumps
$100 – nordstrom.com

Pierre Hardy platform shoes
$1,285 – net-a-porter.com

See by Chloe clutch bag
$395 – net-a-porter.com

Philippe Audibert cuff bangle
$505 – net-a-porter.com

Erickson Beamon leaf jewelry
$510 – net-a-porter.com

Antik Batik cuff jewelry
$90 – net-a-porter.com

Isabel Marant beading jewelry
$210 – net-a-porter.com

$9.80 – forever21.com

To midriff or not to midriff? That is the question…

Once in a while, a trend comes around that makes you wonder: “Should I go there, or shouldn’t I?” This question rears its head with news that it’s currently acceptable-dare I say, stylish-to show off “The Midriff”, words which spark fear in some and a knowing spark in others.
Pioneered in the Fifties by the likes of Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe, who championed snug cropped jumpers with pencil skirts, and who could forget the Nineties, when a waify Kate Moss rocked grungy slashed-to-the-navel tees.  
Well, it’s back and the good news is that the new midriff is all about a subtle show, rather than an expanse of bare skin – waist-high flashes of flesh were spotted at Chloé, Marc Jacobs, Prada, Versace and Yves Saint Laurent. 
Tips for wearing this trend: The key to “flashing” correctly isn’t to think about the skin on the show, but the length of the top, and the height of the trouser, skirt or shorts you’re wearing below it. The two pieces should almost meet in the middle, but not quite. Still too much flesh on show? Try pairing a top and bottom that meet exactly in the middle, so the peep of skin only appears when you stretch your body. Failing that, you can cheat your way to the look without showing any flesh at all.
Yves Saint Laurent-SP/SU 2011