Thursday, September 30, 2010

London Fashion Week: Floral Heaven


Mary Katrantzou


If New York Fashion Week was all about minimalism, London Fashion Week was all about a floral heaven. When I think of British fashion, I always think about garden tea parties or psychedelic Carnaby Street (other than riding and hunting gear, of course). Either way, it's a vibrant kind of thing: fresh and delicate.

My absolute favourite collection was by Mary Katrantzou. Sometimes things come along that make you think, "I wish I would've thought of that!" This is the case here with the digital images of lavish interiors printed onto very structured garments. A sort of a play on inside and outside.


Erdem


Jonathan Saunders


In comparison to Katrantzou, Erdem and Jonathan Saunders seem to have interpreted floral in a fairly classic sense. Nothing wrong with that, timelessness is hardest to pull off, in my opinion. What woman wouldn't love to stroll around the garden in an Erdem floral lace dress?

Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane offer a contemporary take on floral that are a bit more on the playful side. Deacon's prints remind me of pajamas but in a fun, young way (but that clown make-up was hideous). Christopher Kane's combination of florals and stripes is hit and miss but when it works, it really works.


Giles Deacon


Christopher Kane


Who else is feeling English Rose florals?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: Louis Vuitton "Beauty" Pumps



$1420 US


My friend and loyal reader Laura posted these velvet "Beauty" pumps with Swarovski crystal heels on my Facebook page along with the word "obsessed." She's got great taste, no? I too fell in love with these immediately after seeing them on the runway. In fact, they were a runner-up for the Fall's Most Coveted Shoes post. Bad news: they are very expensive, even for Louis Vuitton. Only a couple of pairs come under a grand, with others reaching close to $10,000! Seeing how this collection may be remembered in history as somewhat of a 'game-changer', they might be worth every penny. And, I love that they are aptly named "beauty" because, really, could they be called anything else? If I were rich I would buy... these black and blue croc ones.


$9450 US


Available at your nearest Louis Vuitton store (and I'm sure it involves a hefty waiting list).

PS. I promise a cheapie next week!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gossip Girl "The Undergraduates" Fashion Round-Up




Good morning Gossip Girl devotees! I'm away on my honeymoon in Turks and Caicos with my very own Chuck Bass (well, sort of, but he does have an affinity for bow ties and pocket squares). But no worries, fellow fashion blogger and Gossip Girl aficionado, Solo Lisa, gleefully jumped in to provide you with this week's round-up. Sassy, isn't she? Enjoy!

....

Blair was busy! Getting admitted into Hamilton House (“it’s so exclusive it makes SoHo House look like the Halfway House”), filming a fake girlfight, taking down Juliet at Fashion’s Night Out, surprising Serena with a fully decorated bedroom (roomies!), ripping into Eva (played by Clemence Poesy) at Carlos Miele…I’m tired just listing her extracurricular activities.

Granted, it’s only their first day at Columbia and B needs to fill the time until midterms roll around. None of this would be possible without Dorota helping her though. Who knew Dorota had a knack for decorating or that she was so handy with a camera and Internet live streams?

Blair didn’t take one fashion misstep this entire episode (and I’m not just saying that because I love her). Her Gucci leopard dress is one part rarified young lady and one part rawr. And she has the Mulberry Alexa! No wonder Juliet says “I don’t know who’s more excited now that you’re in the House: the girls who want to borrow your clothes or the boys who want to take them off.” If I were one of Blair’s Hamilton House sisters, I’d be dying to rifle through her wardrobe too.


Gucci Pre-Fall 2010 leopard dress
Noir bracelet

Mulberry 'Alexa' Bag
Courtney Crawford platform pump


Compared to B, S was only so-so. I’m not digging the tribal fuchsia-tinged ensemble she wore on her first day of school (too many patterns), but that’s passable compared to the denim vest with armholes cut down to her navel and the chocha-baring skirt she wears when she confronts Juliet about the keys. Did I miss something in the episode where Serena spends the night with Dan? Did she steal Vanessa’s clothes for the walk of shame? Aside from the heels and the Mulberry bag it looks more appropriate for NYU than Columbia.


Diane Von Furstenberg batwing silk dress
Stephen Dweck black agate bracelet

Siman Tu cuff
Motif 56 'Salma' belt
Nancy Gonzalez python tote
Pierre Hardy sandals



Current/Elliot Anchor vest
Robert Rodriguez top

Missoni skirt

Fendi for Ekseption studded cuff

Jean Michel shoes


Every Gossip Girl episode needs a high-profile social function where the characters confront each other and/or a takedown occurs. This time it’s Fashion’s Night Out, the perfect opportunity to name-drop labels (Alexander McQueen, Tory Burch) and insert designer cameos (Lily air-kissing Diane von Furstenberg). Lily always looks great, but her necklace really stole the show here.


Reem Acra Pre-Fall 2010 gown
Aurélie Bidermann heart beaded necklace
CC Skye 'Triple Cobra' bracelet

Kotur snake clutch



Juliet’s takedown has so many twists my head is still reeling, fake girlfight video and all. After being exposed as a liar who blacklisted Serena and abused her privileges as Hamilton House’s keymaster, she’s stripped of her membership and becomes the new social pariah at Columbia. But at least Juliet has Nate by her side, who finally has the cojones to tell Serena off. And what does Serena have? This horrible black-and-white gown with blue sequins and too much cleavage.


Jenny Packham F/W 2010 dress
Raphael Young sparkle pump



Poor Blair. Chuck chooses a blonde wide-eyed innocent over her. I know there are Eva fans out there, but frankly she bores me. I want my Favourite TV Couple back together and Eva is in the way. Clemence Poesy needs to go back to the wizarding school from whence she came. B like S has been crossed in love, but at least she can take comfort in sequinned Valentino perfection.


Valentino Pre-Fall sequined tunic dress
Badgley Mischka necklace

Giuseppe Zanotti shoes


Nate should’ve found his cojones sooner so that he could’ve lent them to Dan during the whole Georgina debaucle. But Dan needed more than balls to get through this mess—he needed to have more than two brain cells to rub together. Can you believe his reaction when Rufus told him he wasn’t Milo’s father? “Why would Georgina do this?” Because she’s Georgina, that’s why. Duh! Speak of the devil, Georgina returns from the spa and finally explains Milo’s origins, a story which involves a Sergei, an Oksana and a whole lot of big henchmen named Boris. Thankfully that’s all behind her now and she’s ready to take the baby off Dan’s hands before he becomes a candidate for MTV reality show Teen Mom.

This episode left a lot of plot holes to explain. I still don’t get where/how/why Georgina learned Russian. Did Gossip Girl know that the “livestream” girlfight video was fake and was she in cahoots with S and B the whole time? When Chuck confessed his sordid past to Eva, did it make poor Eva want to get tested for venereal diseases? And why is Juliet plotting with a convict? Writers, you have some explaining to do.

You know you love me

xoxo,

Solo Lisa



PS. Special thanks to Instyle Magazine and CW.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Item of the Week: Elizabeth & James Silk Explorer Shirt



I'm usually not a fan of celebrity designers but Ashley Olsen seems like a genuine talent (or has a really great team behind her). I'm always immediately attracted to any item with an army and/or safari theme so when it happens to come in silk, it's a done deal.




$285 CAD at Holt Renfrew.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Blue Eyeshadow Returns


Liu Wen, new face of Estée Lauder, at Derek Lam F/W 2010


I know a lot of women cringe at the mention of a blue eyeshadow. I know: it can be oh-so-wrong! Like Joan Cusack in Working Girl wrong! But when done tastefully, it can also be oh-so-pretty. Take, for example, the blue eyelids at Derek Lam F/W 2010, masterfully done by Estée Lauder's Creative Makeup Director, Tom Pecheux. Using his own invention, the "Blue Dahlia" eyeshadow palette, Pecheaux used a darker blue on the inner corner of the eye and blended into a lighter blue all the way to the brow. The bottom lid is lined with beige, and the lips finished with a copper-y "Crystal Beige" lipstick. I think this look is amazing and ethereal.


Sigrid Agren backstage at Derek Lam F/W 2010


Estée Lauder "Blue Dahlia" ($47.50 at Holt Renfrew and The Bay)

Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in "Midnight Blue" ($22 CAD at Holt Renfrew and The Bay)


Read more on the blue eyeshadow comeback on Elle.com.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New York Fashion Week: Fresh & Clean


Narciso Rodriguez


This is not a recap of NYFW, but rather an observation on what I found to be the dominant and strongest theme shown: fresh and clean American sportswear. Not having grown up in North America, I've always admired the ease and minimalism of great American sportswear, often referring to Lauren Bacall, C.Z. Guest and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy for inspiration. If I was a designer, these are the kind of clothes I would make: beautiful simplicity.


Derek Lam


Not surprisingly, clean lines were presented by Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Narciso Rodriguez, Derek Lam and Yigal Azrouel. Most designers kept it simple with a good chunk of the collections being mostly white (save your pretty pennies for dry cleaning next summer), black and grey, but also surprising with bright pops of colour (yellow seems to be dominant for the spring season). Marc Jacobs amazed everyone with a pleasantly grown-up, yet playful, collection for Marc by Marc Jacobs: I could wear every single piece.


Calvin Klein


Michael Kors



Yigal Azrouel


Marc by Marc Jacobs


Next week: London Fashion Week. Do you have any clear favourite S/S 11 collections so far?

Images courtesy of style.com.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shoe Wednesdays: L'autre Chose Stiletto Boot





Here we go: a perfect knee-high black stiletto boot! An item like this is actually really hard to find for some reason. Designers often tack unnecessary things onto an otherwise simple boot, like studs, tassels and gratuitous texture. The geniuses behind L'autre Chose know that beauty lies in simplicity, and this soft elegant boot is surely what dreams are made of.






$645 CAD at Gravity Pope.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gossip Girl "Double Identity" Fashion Round-Up




“I’m Chuck Bass.” Yes, yes, you are and welcome back. You look hot, even in a French barman, er, vest and cane. And you speak French. Of course, even broken Chuck Bass gets hot girls, and none other than the French 'It' girl, Clémence Poésy.

But seriously, seeing your ex looking as close to a hobo as Chuck Bass can, should surely mend a broken heart, even more so than Prince Louis (nee Charming) can. Even after Blair finds out about Chuck's engagement ring - intended for her - it's not enough reason for her to forgive him for banging Little J, and, finally: "I don't love you anymore," all while wearing a red Oscar de la Renta gown with Prince Charming in tow. She finishes him off with "It Takes More Than Even You to Destroy Blair Waldorf." And that, ladies and gentleman, is how you rebound in style.

There is Blair and Chuck, and then there is everyone else. Yawn. I so don't care about Serena/Nate/Dan/Baby/Vanessa storyline. The only thing keeping me going is Serena's clothes, the hope of seeing shirtless Nate, and the occasional witticisms from Serena: “It’s like choosing between éclairs and Napoleans. They’re both delicious!” (And Blair's comeback: “Except Humphrey’s a doughnut.” Yes, a doughnut: the occasional desperate drive-through doughnut when in absolute starvation mode.)

Let's talk about Serena's pants! I love this outfit. Serena is finally beginning to mix masculine and feminine elements, a welcome change from her Herve Leger Season 3 attire. The cerulean blue in combination with gold is a surprising and refreshing combo. And I loved her weird half bun/half ponytail hair.


Emilio Pucci S/S 2010 jacket
Joie tank

Tibi S/S 2010 pants

Brian Atwood 'Loca' studded pumps (available)
Chanel 'St. Tropez' bag

Janis Savitt 'Little Nautical' cuff



This episode was all about Blair and she had four outfit changes worthy of royal courtship. First up was a cute Marc by Marc Jacobs for wine at 11am (?) with Serena combined with Siman Tu's flower necklace (she wore a similar one in Season 2). Next up (sorry, I couldn't get a picture), for the kabob date (I loved how grossed out she was by it), was a Sariah F/W 2010 Dress (available) paired with a Chanel S/S 2010 patchwork bag.


Marc Jacobs S/S 2010 dress
Siman Tu necklace (available at Sophie's Closet)
M.C.L. bracelet Swarovski purse
Christian Louboutin heels



Then, of course, there was the Oscar de la Renta red ruffle gown. Very Blair, ruffles and bows, exactly the way Chuck loves her. I bet it was killing him inside.


Oscar de la Renta Pre-Fall 2010 gown
Harry Winston necklace

Christian Louboutin 'Ernesta' satin bow sandals
Roger Vivier pouchette


And finally, back in the d'Orsay for some reason, in a polka dot off-shoulder circle dress and Roger Vivier velvet pumps (and she is right: they're way better than Cinderella's stupid glass slipper).

Bensoni S/S 2010 polka dot dress
Roger Vivier pumps


Chuck Bass finally returned back to his old self in a Phineas Cole brown pin-stripe suit, cane in tow (although I think the cane makes him kinda hot and rugged). Boys take note: pocket squares are the shit!


Phineas Cole from Paul Stuart suit
Alara shirt

Ike Behar tie

M&S Schmalberg pin

Dolce & Gabbana shoes



And that concludes the Parisian style. I look forward to the NYC back-to-Ivy-League-school outfits. I hear Blair is back in headbands. There is also the long-awaited return of Dorota! Is it wrong that I kind of miss Little J, raccoon eyes and all? Nothing to make fun of and Vanessa is not even worthy of ridicule at the moment.

I'm away next week (with internet but without television) but I'm combining efforts with Miss Lisa from Solo Lisa to bring you the Gossip Girl fashion fix promptly after the episode airs. It looks like a good one! In the meantime, here is a little video of Eric Daman speaking about Gossip Girl's Parisian chic.





Bisou Bisou,

It Girl

PS. Special thanks to Instyle Magazine, CW and gossipgirlfashion.net.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Item(s) of the Week: H&M Camel Coloured Coats





By this point in the season, you don't need me to tell you that camel coats are in. They are everywhere. The real camel hair coat is a luxury item that will probably set you over $1,000 (and the Chloe one is the one that we all want, right?). It is something that a woman should invest in, something to carry from season to season. But should and could are not the same, and H&M, always being on top of things, has a couple of great non-camel camel coat options: one structured and tailored, similar to Michael Kors, and the other loose and drapey a la Chloe.


$129 CAD


$179 CAD


Both are beautiful: it just depends what coat silhouette one prefers. In this case, I'm a drapey gal, I think. They are both supposed to hit the racks in late September/early October so make sure you snag one!

h&m.com

Friday, September 17, 2010

Beauty Fridays: Tom Ford Private Blend Lipstick



This is probably going to read like a very odd product review. In fact, please stop reading unless you want to witness me profess my undying love for Tom Ford.

I have a theory: lipstick is a lipstick. And this happens to be a $52 one. Yes, $52. To be honest with you, I don't see the difference between the $16.50 MAC, $40 Chanel and the $52 Tom Ford. But I do feel the difference. Tom Ford is pure sex. When you wear it, it's like wearing Tom Ford on your lips: sultry and classy, yet just a little bit dirty. We put on make-up every day because it makes us feel good about ourselves, and that's exactly what a little Tom Ford can do for you.




My choice of shade is 'Moroccan Rouge,' a spicy berry shade that compliments my pale complexion and dark hair impeccably (surely he designed it for me, right?). Sure, the lipstick is smooth, moisturizing and it does stay on for a long time, but, like I said, it's so much more than that. Call me crazy, but I do think it's worth every penny. I'm so in love that I'm posting a picture of myself wearing it, and I almost never do that!




$52 CAD at Holt Renfrew.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If I Were Rich I Would Buy... a YSL "Le Smoking"


YSL "Le Smoking" F/W 1966 Haute Couture


I can't think of a piece of iconic fashion that I would rather own more than Yves Saint Laurent's "Le Smoking," whether it's Haute Couture or Rive Gauche (I'm not picky). First designed in 1966 for his F/W Haute Couture collection, this iconic piece is synominous with the Yves Saint Laurent aestethic: a modern, confident and chic woman. Lauren Bacall once said, "when it's Yves, it's the pants," and I agree. She-that-wears-the-pants is not about androgeny, it's about power and changes in female lifestyles.


Ulla wearing YSL F/W 1966 Haute Couture


Vibeke in YSL Haute Couture photographed by Helmut Newton for Vogue Paris (September 1975)


Gia Carangi and unknown model in YSL Rive Gauche photographed by Helmut Newton for Vogue Paris (March, 1979)


I'm going to share an interesting anecdote from my Yves Saint Laurent retrospective book. In the 1960s, Hélène Lazareff, founder and director of Elle, forbade her female staff to wear pants in their offices. It was very common at the time in Paris, London and New York to refuse entry to workplaces, social clubs and high-end restaurants based on how one was dressed. One evening, the legendary Nan Kempner, my idol, walked in to New York's La Côte Basque restaurant wearing YSL satin "Le Smoking" pants with a long YSL tunic, and was refused entry! But staying true to her "I wouldn't miss the opening of a door," Nan simply took off her pants at the entry and proceeded to the restaurant wearing only a tunic as a very mini dress, which was, of course, for some very illogical reason, a perfectly acceptable "formal" attire at the time! Oh, how the world has changed....


sketch from the S/S 2000 Haute Couture collection, inspired by the original 1966 design


But what hasn't changed is the timelessness of "Le Smoking." I would have happily taken the outfit forty years ago, would happily take it at this second, and will happily take it forty years from now. It will be mine one day.


Jerry Hall, Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer in the 2002 YSL farewell finale show


Sofia Coppola in YSL photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Paris Vogue (January 2004)


I'm sure you are wondering about the price? It's available upon request from YSL, of course, which probably means $5,000 plus.

www.ysl.com

I'm the It Girl in Fashion Magazine


(click to enlarge)


I was honoured when Rebecca Tay, Fashion's Western Editor, interviewed me for the blogette feature in the October issue. And, I'm thrilled to be highlighted alongside fellow Vancouverite, Alexandra Suhner Isenberg of Searching for Style, and Toronto's Afiya Francisco of The Style House and Julia Seidl of The Style Hog. Having my picture appear in a magazine right next to my idols Nan Kempner and Chloë Sevigny is just mind-blowing. Never in a million years would I have imagined that would ever happen. The best things in life happen when you least suspect.

Visit fashionmagazine.com and enter for a chance to win Lily + Jae's 'Olivia' hooded rain coat, one of my picks for the fall season and current Item of the Week.