Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Burberry's Spring-Summer 2011 show was probably the most painful to watch. The clothes were a little heavy on the studs and rock 'n roll, but the big black elephant in the catwalk would probably be the heels that sent model Nina Porter on her knees. It wasn't the best sight to see, but kudos for her willingness to finish the walk.
Porter's struggle with the shoes was apparent when her right arm started stiffening, perhaps in an attempt to steady herself. On the last leg to close the show, she lost balance and tumbled on the runway. Surprisingly, it wasn't only her that found the shoes uncooperative. Some models took the perilous eight-inch heels off.
It was a pairing of tough biker jackets and lithe dresses.
Back to the clothes, it was a predictable pairing of tough biker jackets replete with spikes (how edgy!) over lithe silk dresses. Of course, Burberry wouldn't be complete without the trademark trench coats. Christopher Bailey remodeled the Burberry trench into a zipped coat/mini with "motocross sleeves." (Style)
There isn't anything revolutionary in the collection (save for new non-earthy colors like brilliant eggplant, avocado green and, my favorite, electric blue), yet the fluorescent belts wrapped on dresses and coats reminded me that there is something new, even a wee bit, for the trench-centric brand.
Videos from youtube.com
Sunday, September 26, 2010
It's hard to put my finger on Prada's Spring 2011 show. The message wasn't solely about wearability. The collection, it seems, is between a display of Miuccia Prada's superior craft as a designer and a derision where the collection is the joke.
Prada is probably the only label I know where competence and caprice befit each other. In other words, it thrives in contradiction--from minimal to baroque, monochrome to kaleidoscopic, quirky to sexy, funny to serious, the Spring 2011 collection exuded the all-time Prada aesthetic.
First, let's take a look at Miuccia's version of "baroque." Suffice to say that I haven't seen anything more updatedly baroque than a manic cluster of cherubs, monkeys and bananas in one dress. Other pieces have zany stripes that could put a technicolor zebra or inmate to shame. The patterns are definitely youthful and vibrant, yet it bordered cuckoo territory: some pieces are so ridiculously styled it feels almost like a joke on Prada's part.
The Spring 2011 collection exuded the all-time Prada aesthetic.
For something less of a jest, she offered superb minimalism in the mix. Sparsely decorated dresses (save for a few ruffles), jackets and skirts are probably the most coveted in the collection; they are both flattering to most body types and not overtly deranged. The plunging necklines gave sensuality and seriousness to a collection that is otherwise messing around.
Of course, Prada never disappoints with accessories. The tango heels and sombreros never looked more appropriate in the collection's Latin flair. But to add something out of left field, she presented multiplatform brogues that appeared in the men's collection and fur stoles (really? fur, for spring?).
Images from nymag.com; video from youtube.com
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Last week, a couple of friends gave a treat for my birthday. And the treat was alcohol! I tried wine before and thought it tasted like expired grape juice; beer was a lot like wheat grass juice; but I never tried the hard stuff so it was time for me to. After I drank shots of vodka (Smirnoff), Jäger and beer (as my ill-chosen chaser), I instantly became flushed and very, very uncoordinated. Like my head was spinning when all I'm doing is standing up.
So that was my introduction to alcohol. And surprise, surprise did it leave a lovely souvenir! After the "party" I threw up all the toxic nasty of aforementioned beverages (at the comfort of my home), and got rashes. That was the time I learned I am alcohol intolerant. Also known as when I drink alcohol, I'll surely get allergic symptoms. I still have some rashes left over from last week. And it is unbearable!
And if you were wondering what the "boobs" are about, New York Fashion Week showed a couple of them. Fall 2010 is the season of busty, demure chests but the Spring 2011 treatment is about flaunting them. See Marc Jacobs for sheathed chests, Altuzarra for patched poitrines, Yigal Azrouël for see-through, and rag & bone for boob suspenders.
And enjoy the Florence + The Machines' music video, "Dog Days are Over." I call it the "Eat Pray Love" theme song.
Video from youtube.com
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Fall 2010 fashion is almost in full heat, and chilly nights should be fast approaching. How else to celebrate? With raging critiques! Just not mine.
I asked a couple of highly practical friends to opine on some runway looks. I gave them looks that are undoubtedly not the best, but they aren't the worst either. Read their unbiased remarks below:
Shateka: Hell no I wouldn't be caught dead in public with that on. The whole thing is just a total mess. It's almost like a [...] Darth Vader outfit. Maybe without the gloves and Darth Vader mask it would be okay for someone. And what the hell is up with [the] shoes?!?!
Vera: Is this person male or female? This outfit might actually be pretty good for cold weather. It's thick, it looks warm, and the face mask might actually replace a thick scarf.... The face mask really bothers me; I question whether the model has [...] allergies or maybe even has some sort of contagious, airborne, sickness (though I doubt he'd be working if he did). It just doesn't make sense.
The skull pattern on the sweater is, to say the least, different and unusual. It reminds me of pirates. I do, however like the gloves and shoes, although the shoes look out of place and blend with the floor.
Shateka: The shirt--if that's what they want to call it--shows too much tummy. The thing with the long sock-looking-pants-cut-off is trashy. I don't know who in their right mind would wear that. If they make the what ever that gray thing is into a coat, it would be good on, well, anyone but me. The way the bottom is makes me wonder if she's wearing shorts or just her undies.
Shao: This outfit is so obscure, I'm not sure what kind of occasion this outfit is for. At first it looks like a business suit, but then the stomach is showing so what gives? Fall hardly ever demands that you wear sunglasses and those long socks don't look very warm. At a practicality standpoint, it's not very good in my opinion, but it looks great =). A grey/black color scheme is a good choice. I bet the guys along the front row want to take a peak to see if she's wearing any shorts or not.
Shateka: She looks like a walking magazine! Atrocious!!! The pants are okay, shoes are okay but the magazine's gotta go! I would wear the pants and shoes but not together.
Mel: I love everything about this look, plus the model is pretty. The only thing is this whole ensemble does not really scream FALL for me, instead I can see this in the transition between winter and spring. I’m not too fond of the neck piece this girl has on; it looks kinda Batman-ish. Of all the looks I was asked to critique I would have to choose this look; it's fun and definitely wearable.
Vera: It's useful and looks very warm, but it looks sloppy. If you're going to put a fancy jacket over a regular jacket and a T-shirt, you might as well hide the under layers.
I don't like that the model is walking around with his whole hands in the pockets. Hands-in-the-pockets speaks that you're uncomfortable with yourself, neurotic, and introverted. Plus, tucking entire hands into small pockets isn't good for the figure! Who would want larger hips?!
I wonder if it was even worth styling his hair into that ridiculous-looking clam shell thing on his head.
Shao: More black? What the hell? At least this one looks more practical than Alexander's. I like the coat, it's not too short or too long. The red seems out of place since the rest of the outfit is entirely black. I don't understand the significance of wearing those ugly boots in fall. This is just my personal taste but those jeans/pants ARE WAY TOO THIN. How the heck would you sit down with them? =/
Mel: All I can say about this look is Rawr (I do not mean that in a good way)! I do not want to end up as road kill or shot by hunters because honestly when dressed like this you would definitely be mistaken for a winter forest beast. The model looks really cold and angry.
Plus points for the jacket though. I love the military style of her leather jacket and the fur on the lower portion of the jacket makes it look fun. But everything else about this outfit is just so wrong, it's just too much fur. I would not be caught dead wearing it unless I was trapped in Alaska and had to wear them to keep myself from frost bite.
Shao: At first I thought I saw a grizzly bear walking the stage. Those pants...the only way I see them being practical is if you live in the north or south pole. I like the jacket/coat thing, I want to see the rest of it but those enormous hideous pants are covering it. Color is quite plain on this one, just one color. Black and grey can get away with monochrome since they unambiguously go with anything. But brown is just too boring to only wear one color of. Those shoes, oh man, those ARE shoes right? or are her heels being covered by the ugly pants?
Shateka: What the flies?!?! I'm hoping that's for the snow. First off, how the heck is he able to walk in all that clothing? And his head is barely sticking out. I'll be honest I would buy and wear the jacket and sweater but not together. And I would wear the scarf for Christmas. But that's about it. The pants look uncomfortable to be in.
Shao: The next time I go hiking or skiing in Big Bear, I'll remember this. Jacket is great, but why isn't it zipped? There's no point in wearing an unzipped jacket made JUST for the cold weather. Who's in charge of the boots/shoes of these people? So far, all of them suck. I like the color choices with this outfit. It's not all grey like the first [and] it's not all black like the second. It's a mix of different colors and tones; I see red, green, black, grey, white, I love the diversity! Although I can't tell if it's a guy or a girl, but I'm assuming guy since a girl would wear something thinner and smaller.
Shateka: I title this one The Devil's Mistress. Due only because of all the red. It's not bad but it's just too much red. Maybe bring some of the black out and make it easier on the eyes. Maybe a design in black, but overall it's good. Except for the alligator shoes.
Vera: The outfit is sensible, and in neutral tones would be appropriate for work and such, although animal protectors would pounce at those reptile-skin shoes. I really love how the undershirt draws the attention there, thus creating a cool spot for sore eyes to relax.
I understand that the makeup was done to match the outfit, but the red eye-shadow makes the model look sick, as if she had some infection irritating her eyes. She doesn't look so happy to be wearing the outfit.
Shateka: Don't have much negative things to say about his outfit. Except the girly sweater's gotta go. Everything else is good.
Mel: I absolutely lurve, lurve, lurve the sweater. I love how this shade of pink complements the model's skin. I would have left one or two of the buttons unbuttoned because the look is a bit stiff. The pants and the shoes also go well with the whole look but I'm not too sure about the bag. This look would have gone well if paired with a soft brown leather bag or something of the sort.
Vera: This piece is interesting. What is it? A baseball shirt under a vest, under a parka? The piece is like a puzzle, taking moments from life, such as a first game, a wedding, and maybe the winters from childhood and cramming it all together. The vertical stripes and patterns on the shirt and parka work, elongating the model and the white just "make his 'dreamy' blue eyes pop!" (Isn't that what people say when they notice clothes?)
Shao: That jacket looks ugly unzipped, but otherwise I think it looks good. Those thin pants does not go well with that gigantic jacket. Black and white color choices are good although a bit plain for my tastes. Finally some decent shoes! Even though they still look ugly =/. The way I see it, if you're big enough to fit that huge jacket, you won't be small enough to fit those thin ass pants. At least Americans won't anyway.
Shateka: I could see a couple of people wearing certain things. You (Nico) with the scarf. My brother with the pants. But I personally don't like the sweater and I absolutely hate the shoes. What the hell are those??? They look woven like a picnic basket.
Mel: I love the sweater, the pants and the shoes. The look is very laid back, comfortable and casual and the colors are definitely "in" for fall. The only thing I have a problem with is the scarf and the head dress. The add ons are very, very distracting and ruins the whole image.
Shateka: The first thing that comes to mind is...nun status! The thing on her head is a total no-no. The necklace, purse and gloves all gotta go. The blouse is okay but in order for me to wear that, the blouse would have to be a little more snug. I like the skirt and the shoes.
Vera: I think nuns are getting tired of getting poked at in the fashion world, and maybe they're dishonored with the use of skirts that go above the knees. Going back to knees, I really hate when models or celebrities show them. Do they really want people to see the damage they’ve done to themselves by wearing high heels all the time?
The separate pieces [...] exaggerate the model's figure. The long headpiece makes her look as if she has a long neck; the heightened waist and the pencil skirt thin her down; and the heels make her legs look longer; but never have I heard of anyone who wears necklaces with 5-inch pendants that fall down past one's hips.
Again, the gloves I find very cool-looking. Hmm, maybe I have a thing for gloves.
About the critics:
Vera - has a budding interest in gloves. She has heart (maybe not for fashion) and lots of it. Follow her here!
Mel - lovable and kind, this freelance artist can bring joy to anyone--and that includes this blog! Witness more of her musings here.
Shateka - a self-described quasi-hater, she is upfront about anything and everything. See her cynical view of fashion? That's only a sample.
Shao - is discriminating when it comes to footwear. But on the whole he loves color diversity. Suck on that all-black ensembles!
All images except topmost from nymag.com; topmost screenshot from Google Images
Thursday, September 2, 2010
It's almost the end of the year and I'm taking stock of some important events. I should be doing reflections toward the year's end, but I'd rather have more time to undo or anticipate some things. Here's nostalgia and optimism at work:
What I Miss
1. Summer vacation - no matter how much I ranted about it, in the end I miss it. Dearly.
2. Cousin-ly bond - when my Kansanite cousins came over, I realized how much more fun it would be if they lived right here. They definitely brought the crazies.
3. Summer school - I failed to take summer school so this is a literal miss. Now I'm behind a semester. Wonk wonk.
4. Abby - she moved to Las Vegas for good reasons, but I already miss her! Well, at least she's not on the other side of the globe.
What I'm Looking Forward To
1. Posting my first September feature - it's under works but I'll reveal it when the time comes! Do stand by for updates.
2. New York Fashion Week - Spring 2011 collections en masse. What can be better than that?
3. My birthday - huge event I'm half-heartedly anticipating. Pro: I'm gonna be legal! Con: more responsibilities. Best of both worlds.
4. Visiting Abby - no matter how far away she is, I'll still visit her. Time to save some money, honey!
And if you're wondering why I have some somber-titled music for this post, don't fear! I am not in some emo phase, on the verge of cutting myself. I just like this song. Don't believe me? Go listen!
Video from youtube.com
Yes readers, H&M's next designer collaboration will be with Lanvin. Excited to witness Alber Elbaz' drama and sophistication for the women's line? Or how about Lucas Ossendrijver's mix of casual and formal for the men's line?
I for one am super duper elated of the mere fact that Lanvin will bestow their aesthetic to a mass retailer. Or it could be the other way around as Elbaz quipped "'what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public.'" (New York Magazine)
The collection will drop November 23, 2010. Save the date!
Image from twenty2.onsugar.com
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Yes! I finally went on a legit vacation! So after some rants about being stagnant at home, I went with Gramps to San Diego.
It was nice to view new scenes and go people watching around SD's pier. But what really tickled my fancy was how badly dressed tourists really are. And that includes me!
Here are some prominent items tourists were wearing:
1. Teva sandals - sometimes with socks, sometimes with no socks. Either way, it looks bad.
2. Aerodynamic reflective sunglasses - supposed to deflect the sun's rays but somehow they're out of place. You're not in Tour de France, people!
3. Distraught faces - I saw myself sporting this expression when I tried boarding the trolley system. It's the face most locals love to see.
Speaking of trolleys, I thought they were trains at first because of the configuration. It's odd to see locals actually run after the "trains" because a) it is dangerous; b) it is illegal to do so in some cities and; c) there's no guarantee it's gonna wait for you.
But I will say that San Diego is a nifty, clean, charming place to live in. It's just not my scene since I'm more into the gritty stuff L.A. proudly offers. And now for pictures!
P.S.: I didn't get to go to the San Diego Zoo or Sea World or Coronado Island. Maybe next time!