March 18, 2014

Rags to (Relative) Riches

I'm all about experimenting when it comes to putting together outfits. Sometimes I pull together a winner and feel on top of the world, other times I miscalculate and feel like burying myself into a hole for the rest of the day.  Despite the hit-and-miss nature of outfit risk-taking, it's the thrill of finding that unique look no one else has that I live for.  Part of that process involves looking for pieces in places other people don't think of going to. I've already recounted the time I raided my dad's closet to find an oversized denim button-up (that has surprisingly garnered me multiple compliments throughout the years...click here to see the post), and today, I present to you a new spin on my pajamas.

T-shirt: Random Chinese brand | Shorts: H&M | Bag: Mom's vintage bag | Sunglasses: Coach

Yes, my pajamas.  I've had the above t-shirt for more years than I can remember, mostly wearing it around the house and in bed.  I did consider it among my nicer tops to wear at home; putting on a pair of jeans underneath made it supermarket-ready.  But two years ago, when my friend commented and said it was actually a very "hipster" top, it made me rethink the possibilities this faded rag (or so I thought) could bring me.

To combat the bagginess, I knew I had to roll up the sleeves and partially tuck the ends in. I had considered pairing it with a chiffon skirt, but knew the faded top just wouldn't match the femininity of a skirt. So with my friend's "hipster" adjective in mind, I went hip. Crossbody bag, printed bottoms, and a pair of sunglasses to add a slight V to the neckline.  If I had my complete wardrobe here, I would've thrown in a couple of my punk rings. You can't see here, but either my black pointed toe flats (yes, if you read my Missing the Point post, you'll realize I finally found a worthy pair of black flats...expect a future post on that) or cognac studded ankle boots would've completed the look (although I wish I had a pair of oxfords).

Lesson of the day: take a second look at your so-called "ugly" clothing.  Retain a casual air, but pairing your rejects up with higher quality pieces just might leave you feeling like you're on top of the world.

March 17, 2014

R.I.P. L'Wren Scott






























I became aware of the shocking and tragic news through Facebook. "Designer L'Wren Scott Found Dead".

Silence.  Just silence.

Time froze as I recalled what I knew of Scott.  I wasn't a follower of her work, but I knew who she was. I first encountered her in Vogue when she gave a tour of her home, as seen in the above photo. Even through the pages, I could tell she had a presence - that raven hair, those mile-long legs, and that smile. It made you think she knew something you didn't. She exuded confidence.

Throughout the years, I've chanced upon her name several more times in magazines, learning she was a former model, a respected celebrity stylist, an avid vintage jewellery collector, and a designer of glamorous, sensual, and always radiant pieces.

To a talented designer, stunning model, and beautiful woman, may you R.I.P.

Image Source: Vogue.com

March 11, 2014

Chanel Fall/Winter 2014 RTW


Recap: Luxury shopping at its most mundane. Only Karl Lagerfeld could get away with creating an entire collection around l'epicerie chic - complete with sneakers - and send it down the runway of one of fashion's most upscale labels.  Its comment on consumerism aside, this is a show surrounded by humour, fun, and utmost creativity.  Shopping baskets made with Chanel's signature chains, 2.55s redesigned to resemble packaged meat, and purses in the shape of egg cartons.  But it didn't stop there.  As models went about their quotidian shopping, they had the option of buying items 20 or 50 percent higher (darling, Chanel doesn't do discounts), sacs poubelles renamed as sacs plus belles, and a gold chainsaw made with Chanel chains.  As for the fashion, highlights included pieces with childish geometric print, sweaters with perfect slouchy turtlenecks and a splatter of colourful embellishment, tweed coats with built-in bustiers, and pieces with cutouts resembling a shopping basket.

Verdict: Humour in fashion is something critics often refuse to acknowledge. While this collection is more kitschy and possibly against Chanel's image of elegance, the label is also known for its comfort.  Karl brings this concept of comfort into modern day by poking fun at the most amusing runway of all: grocery aisles (Walmart fashion, anyone?). True, Karl could send practically anything down the runway and we'd lap it up and smother it with praise, but hey, he isn't Kaiser Karl for nothing.  He can take risks.  He reminds us that fashion can only ever be one-dimensional without humour and creativity, and that it should never be taken too seriously.

Watch the full show here.

Image Source: Style.com

March 8, 2014

Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2014 RTW

The very first Louis Vuitton collection I saw was back in Spring/Summer 2008.  Needless to say, Marc Jacobs has always been a part of what I considered to be Louis Vuitton's DNA.  I could not envision a Louis Vuitton without him. So when he announced his departure from the historic label just a few months ago, it felt like a train had come raging through my reality, destroying all that I knew to be right (to see my emotional recap of his last show, click here).


But at hearing of Nicolas Ghesquière's appointment to Louis Vuitton after his earlier departure from Balenciaga (which I also recount here), I realized how bittersweet this entire arrangement really is. Yes, two of the most respected designers in the industry left the labels they had nursed for over a decade, but the way I see it, it was all for the better.


Jacobs had developed numerous memorable collections during his time at Louis Vuitton, and had managed to create several iconic looks out of it, but sometimes the lines between Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs (now rebranded as MBMJ) blurred. There were times when I would skip the Marc Jacobs collections because I knew they would carry the same core idea as the Louis Vuitton collection. Maybe Jacobs' decision to focus on his namesake label was the right move - I imagine even greater things will come out of this renowned focus. Whatever it is, I'll be looking forward to it.


And Ghesquière.  Although his departure left me grappling, it opened up the opportunity for Alexander Wang, a fresh, young designer with immense potential, to take the job of his life. Now that I've seen Ghesquière's first collection for Louis Vuitton, I am confident this whirlwind of fashion musical chairs has left us with three brilliant winners.


The instant I saw the first look coming out, with its A-line leather coat, turtleneck dress and knee-high boots, I knew this was going to be a solid collection.  The mix of textures was exhilarating, and the level of innovation astonishing.  Nicole Phelps of Style.com describes it perfectly: "the show's predominant silhouette...cued a 1960s vibe, [but] the workmanship was 21st-century state of the art." New and old. Oh, Ghesquière, you sure know how to do it.


The amazing innovation came in the form of double-handle style handbags...that only had one handle, knit skirts cut with swirling feathers, and dresses decorated with what looked like the fuzzy magnetic iron we used to play with in school.  This innovation, while a key element of Louis Vuitton's brand, is Ghesquière's specialty.  There were slight murmurs of Balenciaga throughout the show, but Ghesquière respectfully moulded his design aesthetic to suit the Louis Vuitton framework - and to great success.


I'm so happy to be able to witness another era at Louis Vuitton, and can't wait to redefine what I see as Louis Vuitton's DNA.  This has been the most successful designer changeover of the past few years, with Ghesquière taking Louis Vuitton in a new, exciting direction.  And suddenly, everything feels so right again.

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: Style.com

March 1, 2014

Emotionally Yours

I have a friend who is a massive makeup guru, and an avid supporter of DIY fashion.  She's always coming up with great ways to transform an inexpensive item from drab to fab, and tries convincing me to do the same.  As much as I admire her creativity and wholeheartedly wish I could DIY my own clothing, I'm a weakling who doesn't have the gumption to alter a single square millimeter of her precious threads.

Hello, my name is Angelica and I have an emotional attachment to my clothes.

Get me therapy, stat.  I'm not even kidding when I say the most effective form of torture for me would be having someone grasp my silk Dries van Noten button-up in one hand and wield a pair of glinting scissors in the other.  Top secret information?  Fine, take it!  Just. Don't. Touch. My. Shirt.


How could I even bear to DIY my clothing?  I can't even bear the regular, everyday wear and tear of my clothing.  You can probably imagine the stabbing pain in my heart I experience whenever I accidentally scuff the toe of my shoe on those devastating, rough pavement staircases (why...why?!...if only I had lifted my foot a bit higher...). Or how my heart drops to the pit of my stomach when a stray dollop of sauce flies onto the sleeve of my cardigan. Or how my hand automatically flies to rub my down jacket (as if that would help) when I lose balance and scrape the delicate fabric along a stone wall.


I love borrowing my friends' clothing because it allows me the opportunity to become another character for a day.  But what I sheepishly hate to admit is that I'm not as Kumbaya about sharing my own clothing (I'm awful, I know; don't hold it against me).  The thought of my vintage cross-body mini-bag being worn on the shoulders of someone else, taking it to who-knows-where, having it bump against who-knows-what, causes a haunting, black horror to envelope me like a heavy blanket.  It's like the empty feeling of a lost limb.


If you didn't think I needed help earlier, you probably do now.  But in all seriousness, fashion is a part of who we are.  It can act as both an extension of your identity, and a mask that makes you who you aspire to be.  Either way, we all depend on fashion to some extent, so who's to judge me for my overwhelming love of something that is so integral to who I am?

Image Source: Fashion Diva Design, Rachel Simpson, Tattoo Shortlist