30 September 2010

Where the Models Are: Balenciaga and Balmain

I think we all enjoy seeing new, fresh faces on the runway, but there is something so reassuring about seeing familiar faces. And where were the top models this season? It looks like they flocked to Paris for the Balenciaga and Balmain shows. Gisele! Carolyn Murphy! Stella Tennant! Carmen Kass! They were all there, storming down the runway and giving the young girls something to really aspire to. Here they are in their full glory:

Canadian stunner Daria Werbowy opened for Balmain. I know a few critics have lambasted the collection for being too DIY, but I really loved it. All of the models looked fantastic, too. Healthy, and beautifully styled.

The Estonian supermodel, Carmen Kass, rocking the runway at Balmain. Carmen Kass is without a doubt my favorite model ever. I love her. It's so wonderful to see her somewhere besides those Michael Kors ads, too.

She may be pregnant, but Australian model Miranda Kerr can still work that runway at Balenciaga.

Supermodel Amber Valletta taking a break from her budding acting career to walk at Balenciaga.

I'm not crazy about this look at Balenciaga, but Carolyn Murphy certainly looks radiant in it.

I was so excited to see Dewi Driegen on the runway at Balmain! She is another one of my favorite models, probably because of her close resemblance to Carmen Kass.

Stella Tennant is that rare model who can look both regal and edgy at the same time. Her presence on the runway, here at Balenciaga, is always welcomed.

Pulling out all the stops at Balenciaga with the biggest model in the biz, Gisele, closing.

(** all images from style.com**)

27 September 2010

Bold, Bright Bananas at Prada

Critics have been going bananas for Prada's Spring 2011 collection, which is fitting because the fashion-forward dresses and prints actually featured bananas and moneys. I bet you never thought you'd see the name Prada associated with bananas (or monkeys), but take a look at her spring collection to see what all the buzz has been about. I'm still deciding whether or not I think this collection was a "powerful idea perfectly executed," as Suzy Menkes said, or a vision that has been lost amidst a sea of neon pink and yellow bananas.

Two yellow dancing monkeys paired with a lime green and black striped skirt? Where on earth would you wear this colorful ensemble? Not even the shoes can redeem this look for me.

How much for a Prada top covered completely in bananas? At least the shoes are beautiful...

Will I anger the fashion gods if I write that I think this outfit is downright hideous?

Now we're getting somewhere! I really love this look. I'd love to see it accessorized off the runway, too.

More happy, dancing monkeys! If a celebrity were to wear this dress to a red carpet event, would she end up on the worst dressed list, or would critics applaud her sense of adventure in fashion?

Fantastic suit! I would love to wear this and bring my own spin to it. I'd like to get a better look at those shoes, too.

To see the complete Prada Spring 2011 collection, go to style.com, the website from whence these photos came!

26 September 2010

From London: Jonathan Saunders Spring RTW 2011

I know that collections are currently being presented in Milan and that I am (as usual) way behind in viewing said collections. I've slowly been making my way through the collections from London, though, and Jonathan Saunders is without a doubt my favorite so far. I love his use of color, accessories (namely, shoes), and prints. Check out a few of my favorite looks from the Spring 2011 RTW runway:

I posted this look mainly so you could check out these glorious shoes. How do I love these shoes? Let me count the ways... Spectacular. I would wear them forever. I'm also mad for that belt. Fantastic use of accessories here.

I'm not usually one for shorts, but there is something about this look that I cannot resist. Again, you have the fantastic belt and exquisite shoes, but there is something about the continuous line of this outfit that I love. This model pulls off the look flawlessly, too. I adore that pale skin!

This look is one of my favorites because I would wear the entire look, from head to toe. In fact, I have worn something so similar to this that I might have to post my own "What I Wore" inspired post and recreate this ensemble.

What a fantastic dress for spring! The bright orange and turquoise instantly brought a smile to my face.

This is another perfect dress for spring (or even fall, if worn with a blazer). If the dress were a bit longer, I also think it would be ideal for the office. These shoes are also a girl's best friend for their magical ability to instantly lengthen legs.

While I loved the colorful pieces in this collection, I really didn't care for the designer's all-black statements. I have very few black pieces in my own wardrobe, so I might have an initial bias, but take a look at these pieces for yourself:

So many of the other looks in the collection had a childlike innocence that I loved. This sheer, midriff-revealing dress certainly does not. I also feel that it adds very little to the overall cohesiveness of this collection.

Despite the beautiful shoes, I really didn't care for the overall look. Too short, too sheer, too sexy for my taste.

While the collection was not perfect (What collection is?!), of the 37 looks, I found at least 30 to be beautiful, interesting, or wearable. Well done, Mr. Saunders!

(** all images from style.com**)

21 September 2010

Elle Promotes Unhealthy Body Images with the October Issue

There has been a lot of controversy associated with Elle's October cover of Gadbourey Sidibe, so much so that EIC Roberta Myers already spoke out in defense of the lighter skin Ms. Sidibe appears to have on the cover. I'm not sure if Elle lightened Ms. Sidibe's skin or not, and I'm really not concerned with that non-issue. To me, the problem with this cover is unequivocally one of health. Why did Elle chose to glamorize someone who is severely overweight, obese, and unhealthy? This is unhelpful and harmful! Two-thirds of Americans (over 190 million!) are overweight or obese. Obesity-related diseases are a $147 billion dollar medical burden annually. Childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama's singular issue, has tripled in the last thirty years (CBS). This is a problem, not something to celebrate as an issue of diversity ("The cover is of a real woman!") or one of self-confidence. It's not an issue of judgment, either. It was Elle's choice to feature someone who is unhealthy.

What perplexes me, though, is why more people aren't bothered by the lionization of someone who is incredibly unhealthy. If the cover model had been unhealthily thin, people would be speaking out left and right about how the magazine is promoting impossible body standards, negative body images, and unobtainable weights. When the person is on the opposite end of the health spectrum, no one mentions the problem and those who do are deemed "insensitive." It is fine for a person to say to me, "You're too skinny!" or "You could stand to gain a few pounds!" but it would be unthinkable of me to say "You're too fat!" or "You could stand to lose a few pounds!" to someone else. I will never understand why that is. Of course, I think any comment along those lines is inappropriate, but in American society, it is perfectly acceptable to criticize a thin person, but insensitive to criticize an overweight person. Elle only enforces that paradox with this cover.

I can't wait to read what Elle readers thought about this cover when the letters to the editor are printed in a couple months.

What are your thoughts on the cover???

15 September 2010

Vintage Vogue Nostalgia

Vogue has come a long way in its august, 118-year history. Though, looking at pictures of covers from the earliest decades of the magazine, I can't help but feel that maybe change isn't always for the best. I find these older covers to be more artistic, more innovative, and more stylish than any of the covers that I have seen in the past ten years. I'm definitely feeling a little nostalgic for the "olden days." Take a look at some of these vintage covers, and you may just agree.

(** images in this post from a Google search**)

13 September 2010

ASME's Best Magazine Covers 2010

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) has released its finalists for the fifth annual Best Cover Contest. To be selected, a cover had to have appeared between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. The finalists, as broken down by category, are listed on the Society's website and Amazon.com, so that the public may vote for their favorites.

Can you guess which fashion magazine had multiple covers featured in the contest and which other fashion magazine had zero? If you guessed Harper's Bazaar for the first answer, you'd be correct. And, if you guessed Vogue for the second part, you would also be correct. Yes, Bazaar had four covers selected (which also put them in fourth for most overall nominees right behind New York Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker), including this cover of Kate Hudson. Not surprisingly, all four covers were subscriber covers (i.e. not the boring, generic covers that grace the newsstands). Another fashion magazine, Elle, also had a cover finalist, but it was also a subscriber cover.

That should tell editors something right there. The newsstand covers are just too plain! There is nothing interesting, eye-catching, or provocative about them. It is the subscriber covers that are really catching people's interest, or at least garnering media attention and winning awards. Perhaps Vogue should consider issuing a subscriber cover along with their peers, Harper's Bazaar and Elle?

11 September 2010

Wonderful Wu: Spring RTW 2011

I'm still sifting through the collections that have shown so far this week in New York, but Jason Wu's work has been an immediate stand-out. I am in love with this collection! It's wearable, varied, whimsical, colorful, and sophisticated. Sure, those words get thrown around quite often, but when you see these photos, you'll agree.

There's almost nothing I adore more in fashion than mixed prints and patterns. The top is obviously too sheer, but that can be fixed.

I would love to see this dress styled with a fitted blazer, opaque tights, and sculptural shoes for fall.

This look is pure perfection on porcelain, untanned skin. A look this classy and sophisticated just couldn't be achieved by applying bronzer (or the harsh rays of the sun) to the skin. I love it.

This outfit beckons to be worn in the South of France. Glamorous and, if paired with a nude camisole, sophisticated in an understated way.

I can't resist this beautiful look! It's not the most fashion-forward look we've seen from Wu, but it's endlessly wearable. And isn't that the most important thing to consider when accumulating new pieces these days?

Is it possible that this dress could also be made in ivory and blush? I'm hearing wedding bells...

(** photos courtesy of style.com**)

10 September 2010

Grace Gravitates Towards Redheads

It's official- I'm dying my hair red. In a brief blog post from The Cut ("In Fashion, Redheads Stick Together," 9/10/10), Grace Coddington recountedwhy she was initially drawn to current Glamour executive fashion editor, Anne Christensen, when she hired her as her assistant at Vogue many moons ago. "You go toward a redhead. At least subliminally," Grace told The Cut. I'm guessing that Ms. Christensen had many other notable attributes which made her worthy of a gig at Vogue, but it sounds like being a redhead may have given her an additional leg (head?) up on the competition.

Other noteworthy redheads in the biz include blogger Jane Aldridge (at least, I think she is a natural redhead...), Karen Elson, and Maggie Rizer.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must make my way to Target so that I can procure a lovely shade of strawberry blonde to color my hair.

08 September 2010

Carey Mulligan's Vogue Moment

I'm so excited to finally see a fresh face on a Vogue cover! Carey Mulligan will be the cover model for the October issue, and she looks absolutely radiant. Not only do I adore the soft colors and palettes they chose for the cover, but I love the way her hair was styled.

I know that I have groused (a little!) in the past about actors taking the place of models on fashion magazine covers, but I think Carey Mulligan actually possesses unique style worthy of fashion's most revered cover. I'm not sure if she has a stylist, but she is constantly in new and exciting looks. There's something about those British girls- they have undeniable style!

What do you think of the cover?

07 September 2010

Quotable Quotes from ALT

I know that the live coverage for the Lincoln Center public fashion show is still going on, but I wanted to share a few thoughts and, most importantly, quotable quotes from the irreplaceable Andre Leon Talley.

First off, could poor Hanneli Mustaparta have been any more awkward alongside ALT? Oh, my goodness... This was obviously her first gig in front of the camera and off the runway. Plus, although she had worked as a model, she didn't know most of the guests who came to chat with ALT. And, as fabulous as he is, Andre really didn't make much of an effort to include her in the conversation or to introduce her to the designers.

Secondly, this was clearly the night to toot the horn of Anna Wintour. I'll include a few of Andre's choice comments regarding Anna's state of being the supreme fashion potentate. They were excessive!

I thought the show was very exciting, but way too fast-paced. I liked the concept of having a constant stream of models moving around the arena, but it was difficult to focus in on one particular look or model. Gisele opened the show in Marchesa and later admitted to having been nervous during the show, likely due to the length of the runway. Other top models including Karolina Kurkova, Lily Donaldson, Chanel Iman, Karlie Kloss, and Angela Lindvall walked in the show.

And here are a few of my favorite quotes from ALT that I scribbled down while he was commentating the show:

"Shoes from Prada or Payless!"

"Trying to clean up the world" ALT about Donna Karan

"Fashion is for everyone today!"

"Walk that train, girl!" ALT to Naomi Campbell

"I am so happy that people feel good about themselves!" (Not sure what he meant there...sometimes ALT's ways of thinking are higher than ours...)

"It's her (Anna Wintour) city tonight!" Agreed. Mayor Bloomburg should just relinquish his seat and give it to Anna.

"I love that beehive!"

"Go out at night in plaid!"

"Masterly! Drama!"

"You should do coffins!" ALT to Vera Wang

"Polish is important."

"Waists are back, curves are back!"

"I love the glitter on the eyelids!"

"This is a night of history!"

Let's face it: ALT is a veritable book of quotations, so I'll have to limit myself to those gems.

And now I must return to the evening's festivities!

Fashion's Night Out Festivities Kick Off Tonight

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little overwhelmed this week! There are just too many exciting things happening in fashion to keep up with- and that's a good thing. Tonight's public fashion show at Lincoln Center in New York kicks off the FNO festivities. Andre Leon Talley will be broadcasting the show live as it is streamed on CBS. Hanneli Mustaparta will also be joining ALT. The streaming begins at 7 p.m., so eat a quick dinner and get ready to camp out in front of your computer for the remainder of the evening. I'll look forward to posting some thoughts on the show after it has aired!

Check out the public fashion show at www.cbs.com/fno. CBS also has other videos and promotions regarding Fashion's Night Out, so check it out!