Tag Archives: Womens Fashion

Charles James: Beyond Fashion #MetBall2014

Charles James Board 1The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Ball is literally around the corner and the biggest night of the year for the fashion industry.  One red carpet night a year the fashion elite showcase their stylistic interpretations of each year’s themes.  Last year’s theme was dedicated to the great impact that punk has contributed to the fashion industry and I could not have been more excited.  This year’s theme is a complete dichotomy of punk but the influence and insurmountable contributions is bar none.  The theme of “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” is in dedication to the life and work of courtier Charles James.  The name and significance of Charles James is not well known outside of the fashion community so I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to Charles James and his legendary work.

  • Who’s the Designer:  Charles James, otherwise known as the “Great American Courtier”.  James started his design career in London, and then Paris, and arrived in New York City in 1940 (fun fact is that before he officially settled in New York City he spent time here in Chicago).  While he had no formal training, he is regarded as one of the greatest designers in America to have worked in the tradition of the Haute Couture.   His fascination with complex cut and seaming led to the creation of key design elements that he updated throughout his career: wrap-over trousers, figure-eight skirts, body-hugging sheaths, ribbon capes & dresses, spiral-cut garments, and poufs.   In addition to these design elements he also has a long list of iconic ball gowns from the late 1940s and early 1950s which are the Four-Leaf Clover, Butterfly, Tree, Swan, and Diamond.
  • What’s the inspiration & relevance:  The exhibit is a focus on exploring James’s design process, his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today.  Approximately seventy-five of James’s most notable designs will be on display.   
  • Who’s wearing what? :    That is the big question but here are a few predictions so tune in to see if they happen to be right-Prada will be represented by brand face Lupita Nyong’o and Michelle Dockery; Prabal Gurung by Zoe Saldana; Givenchy by Amanda Seyfried; J. Mendel by Taylor Swift; Diane von Furstenberg by Margot Robbie and Olivia Munn; Tommy Hilfiger by Zooey Deschanel; with Jessica Chastain, Emilia Clarke, Naomi Watts, Jessica Pare and Allison Williamsalso attending. Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz will be there with a mystery celeb, but not usual house model Emma Stone.

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Noir Kei Ninomiya Fall/Winter 13-14

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  • Who’s the Designer: Kei Ninomiya from COMME des GARÇONS
  • What’s the inspiration:  In Ninomiya’s own words his inspiration was drawn from his want to, “fuse conflicting elements of organic and inorganic matter.”   His designs have always had a duality in their approach so it was no surprise that with this collection he utilized both warm and cold fabric textures with his choice to focus on handmade knits juxtaposed with laser cutting or incorporating this incredible knit fabrication interlaced with metal rings and drawing back to the the organic with a with biological motif.  
  • Why it’s relevant: New and innovative approaches to traditional fabrications is why style & fashion have a relevant purpose in all of our lives.  The idea of changing how we interpret a regular knit garment and manipulating the construction based on the point of view of drawing inspiration from nature is ground breaking.  Ninomiya is a bright shining star that reinforces the notion that “Art is Fashion & Fashion is Art”.  His approach to giving more depth to the technique of knitting based on the idea of “I see crows picking up wire or something on the ground to build their nests.  Like them, I thought I might make knits using odds and ends around me. I like to think of ideas to realize things that seem impossible.”  His knitting focused on geometric patterns of which he created his dresses and skirts based centrally on the idea of knitting the graphics three-dimensional based on the houndstooth pattern.
  • Where to wear it:  Everywhere, period. Kei Ninomiya’s collection is for the bold statement makers who appreciate fashion as a real artistic element.  After all, you know what my motto is –“Using fashion as armour to walk life’s runway”- and this collection just resonates that mantra so wear each piece with smize and werk that runway of life!

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#WWAW: Spring’s Biggest Trends? Rocked it!

So it’s officially Spring and long overdue for a #WWAW (What Would ‘Ana Wear) post.  With Spring temps finally gracing us with it’s presence and Memorial Day weekend around the corner it’s time to get a handle on what Spring trends to try out and work into your wardrobe rotation.  Ready, set let’s go and explore some trends shall we?

What’s the Inspiration:  Mixing and matching Spring’s biggest trends such as crop tops, florals, cut-outs and bucket handbags.  Every designer from Proenza Schouler to Christopher Kane had sprinkles of each of these key elements in their Spring/Summer 2014 collections.  There are so many trending zeitgeists that initially I tried to narrow down and figure out which one to start with as a focus and possibly do a series and then had an ‘aha moment’ to incorporate them all into one outfit.

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Why it’s Relevant:  So the whole idea of trends is that they are temporary fads, but what causes the transition to style is to not have any restrictions and to embrace being a rule breaker.  As a style & fashion rebel I took on the challenge to not only incorporate 4 trends into one ensemble but to make them my own.  While many would not mix florals with cut-out spikes or stripes and ripped jeans I believe all trends can cohesively be worn all together.  The trick is to ensure that you stick to one color palette especially if there are a number of different juxtaposing trends. I chose to stick with the modern black and white palette with a pop of color accent in my blazer and complimenting this accent color in my accessories.

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Where to Wear it:  These trends are key elements in my Spring/Summer wardrobe and the big bonus?  This ensemble is food/music/art festival ready.  Why you say, because any style maven who lives in Chicago knows that means you have mastered the art of layering and fully appreciate any ensemble that allows you seamlessly adjust to any change in Chicago’s bi-polar weather.

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What I’m wearing:  ASOS Floral Blazer/ ASOS Striped Bandeau (Similar)/ ASOS Ripped Skinny Jeans/ Marc Jacobs Bucket Handbag (Similar)/ Jeffrey Campbell Spiked Cut-out Booties/ Mirrored Sunnies 

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Mary Katrantzou X Adidas

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  • Who’s the Designer: UK luxury womenswear designer Mary Katrantzou will be teaming up with iconic sports brand Adidas for an Autumn/Fall collection that will be released this November 2014.
  • What’s the inspiration:  The inspiration for this capsule collection will be centered around Katrantzou’s “‘iconic, hyper-colour, kaleidoscopic’ patterns”-is anyone else screaming for joy besides me?!! (please excuse the high pitched squealing that I pass off as screams of joy).  Katrantzou goes on further to explain the reasoning behind her inspiration and want to partner with Adidas, “I grew up, like so many other kids around the world, wearing adidas trainers and I’m really excited about bringing my vision to such a global brand…They have a fantastic heritage and their ability to innovate in sportswear makes them the perfect partner for us to work with in this market.”  And I would have to 100% agree with you Mary especially due to Adidas willingness to collaborate with some of the industry’s most innovative designers such as Jil Sander, Jeremy Scott, Stella McCartney, etc.
  • Why it’s relevant: Mary Katrantzou is at the forefront of redefining our perception of prints and had created a beautiful niche for herself in clearly trademarking a signature style in her approach to prints.  Because of her we have the widely accepted notion that print on print is not only okay but prints are now considered a basic.
  • Where to wear it:  EVERYWHERE!! With this collaboration happening it’s a clear indication that the current athletic footwear trend of spring/summer will not end when Labor Day weekend rolls around but should be ushered into your fall/winter wardrobe.  Basically athletic footwear will be a key footwear silhouette for the next few season so don’t sleep on refreshing your fall/winter shoe game by introducing a pair from this capsule collection.  Lord knows I will definitely welcoming home one (maybe two or three but who’s counting right?)

 

 

 

 

Roland Mouret for Banana Republic!

Roland Mouret X Banana Republic Board

  • Who’s the Designer: Luxury designer Roland Mouret is collaborating with US based high street retailer Banana Republic.
  • What’s the inspiration:  The inspiration is Banana Republic’s innovative Sloan bi-stretch fabric.  This fabric caught Mouret’s eye and it was history from there.  Mouret is a masterful craftsman and most notably with his trademark dresses.  Armed with this impressive fabric he has said, “When I saw that fabric I was so interested in working with it in my way” so don’t expect a replica of his own clothing line in a less expensive version but a “fitted dress for the Banana Republic customer.”  I don’t know about you but I’ve drooling over what the endless possibilities could be for this collection.
  • Why it’s relevant: Any stylish working girl in tune with her own personal style undoubtedly has a few basics in her closet and 9 times out of 10 these pieces are from Banana Republic.  This collaboration is a brilliant move on BR’s end due to giving their basics a nice updated refresh.
  • Where to wear it:  Naturally these pieces will be a great jolt to your work ensemble rotation but with what we know about Roland Mouret’s style aesthetic and impeccable skill for draping and fit that these pieces will be versatile in transitioning from day to night seamlessly.  The collection will launch both in-store and online on August 24, 2014 and the price points will range from $49.50 to $165.  So mark your calendars now and be ready to discuss the many different ways to style each piece!

 

 

John Rocha Spring/Summer 2014

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  • Who’s the Designer: John Rocha
  • What’s the inspiration:  Rocha’s spring/summer collection was inspired by the love of his life, his wife Odette.
  • Why it’s relevant: Spending a few months out of the year here in Hong Kong it is extremely hard not to fall in love with the fashion and style aesthetic that defines this beautiful culture.  One of Hong Kong’s most prominent designers is John Rocha.  Rocha’s signature mantra of effortless beauty, arduous effort are the defining metaphor for fashion itself.
  • Where to wear it:  His gowns are the perfect stand out pieces for any event that you are wanting to make an entrance.  When making the perfect statement needs to be done through appearance alone let Rocha’s impeccable textures, appliques and mix of fabrications do the talking for you.  After all, isn’t all you want to say is “Bam! I’ve arrived” (wait, or is that just me…)

 

 

 

April: Diamond!

Happy Birthday to all you Aries & Taurus’s!  April’s birthstone is the stunning diamond gemstone.  It is the hardest gemstone and is definitely one of the most valued.  After all, Marilyn didn’t just coin the phrase “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” for nothing right?

So start the year long celebration of your birth now and check out the envy inducing  pieces I’ve picked out to help you do it in style! P.S. Yes I picked out budget friendly diamond options because why not be unique and debit card friendly too right? xo

Diamond Board

 

Top L to R: Firecracker Bib/ Conifer Cluster Studs/ Nail Ring/ Ella Personalized Bangle/ Winged Ear Cuff/ Spiked Lily Necklace/ Stripe Friendship Bracelet/ Silver Wave Ring Set

 

 

PUMA X Solange Disc Collection

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  • Who’s the Designer: PUMA Creative Consultant, Solange Knowles in collaboration with New York Designers Gerlan Jeans, William Okpo, and Hisham Bharoocha.
  • What’s the inspiration:  Launched in 1992, PUMA’s Disc System scrapped traditional shoelaces, instead developing a novel closure technology: by rotating the dial, runners can tighten and loosen up internal wires in the shoe for a super custom fit. Now in its first season as a women’s collection, each of Solange’s Disc styles channel her respective designers’ aesthetics through the sights and sounds of Brazil. 
  • Why it’s relevant: Spring and summer are in major dedication to the comfortable and easy going footwear.  Blame this on the Celine making the emergence of Birks being the chicest form of “normcore” to date or just embrace that fashion is finally giving us a much needed break from the 4 inch beautiful nightmares that have caused many days and nights of agony.
  • Where to wear it: With everything and wear them everywhere!  Take full advantage of the fact that you can wear sneakers with any and all ensembles you have lined up to don this spring/summer.  After all, kiddies this fashion pass for flat comfortable shoes only comes along once in a Bergdorf’s blue moon so don’t miss out.  So start your comfortable footwear addiction here with a pair of these PUMA X Solange Disc styles!

Shoe Board

 

 

March: Aquamarine!

Happy Birthday to all of you Pisces and Aries style mavens!  Your birthstone is the Aquamarine and naturally is the shades of cool water.  The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.

So start the year long celebration of your birth now and check out the following envy inducing pieces that I’ve picked out to help you do it in style!

Aquamarine Board

Top L to R: Potpourri Bib/ Lagos Bracelet/ Alexis Bittar Cocktail Ring/One Kings Lane Ring/ Rumba Time Watch/ Nak Armstrong Hoop Earrings/ Bijou Gem Necklace

 

#WWAW: Parental Advisory Warning

So winter temps  and weather are still here and unfortunately they aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so PARENTAL ADVISORY WARNING: Winter is a straight up motherf&*ker so don’t put your coats and scarves away anytime soon.  Snow and cold temps are in the forecast here at home in Chicago and will be following me to New York City, NY where I will be spending the week for work.  So let’s take a final look at what are great pieces to keep you warm for now and will be great building staples to usher in spring with ease.

What’s the Inspiration:  Drawing from the fall 2014 runways and incorporating the trend of mixing fabrications and textures.  So much leather and fur (both real and faux) that  littered the runways that just oozed dreamy comfort.

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Why it’s Relevant:  Staying true to my style mantra of Edgy, Comfy, Chic was made extremely simple with fall 2014’s key trend of mixing fabrications such as leather and fur.   I added my personal touch to these fabrications by mixing in spring’s key denim trend of high waisted jeans and sporty footwear.  I don’t know about you but I’m embracing a spring/summer that is all about comfortable footwear.  Seriously, who knew this was ever going to be a reality in fashion so don’t ask any questions and just embrace this.

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Where to Wear it:  This has become my weekend uniform and I bask in it’s glory.  It’s the perfect ensemble for brunchin’ it up like champs at Prasino in Wicker Park or checking out the Christopher Wool exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The perfect combination of edge and trend while all serving the all important purpose of keeping you warm during this long ending bout of winter snow and temps.

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What I’m wearing:  Adidas Beanie/ ASOS Coatigan/ ASOS Moto Leather Jacket (Similar)/ Custom ASSATA Fur Scarf (Similar)H&M Graphic Tank/ Vintage Crossbody bag (Similar)/ River Island Sunnies/  Etienne Aigner Leather Gloves/ ASOS High Waisted JeansNike Hi-Top Sneakers

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