December 31, 2011

Fashion 2011: A Look Back

It's so hard to believe that it's already been a year since I recapped fashion in 2010.  This year has gone by in a blur, but that didn't make it any less thrilling.  Fashion 2011 was filled with tears of sadness, tears of joy, the marriage between two people, the marriage between high fashion and fast fashion, and quite interestingly, two labels that went just a bit too far in their advertising.  Take a look below for a ride down memory lane. 

March 1 - John Galliano is fired from Dior after 14 years at the helm for making anti-Semitic remarks in a leaked video.

March 5 - Haider Ackermann's Fall 2011 show is a triumph, moving many in the crowd to tears..

April 6 - Christophe Decarnin officially steps down from Balmain after 6 years at the label, following his failure to show up at the end of his Fall 2011 show due to being hospitalized for depression.  Olivier Rousteing is later confirmed to take over.

April 29 - The biggest wedding of the century takes place in Westminster Abbey, between Kate Middleton and Prince William.  The world watches with eager eyes, and is rewarded with a Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen dress, and two kisses.

May 4 - The Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit opens at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to record-breaking success.  It also symbolizes the year of rebirth for Alexander McQueen under Sarah Burton.

May 9 - Clare Waight Keller takes over at Chloé after Hannah MacGibbon, who has been at Chloé for the past 10 years, announces she is leaving Chloé to pursue other projects.

June 17 -  Jean-Paul Gaultier's retrospective, The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, opens in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, chronicling the work of fashion's enfant terrible from the 1970s to modern day.

July 1 - Other fashion royalty Kate Moss marries Jamie Hince in a John Galliano dress.
It seems modeling never ends, with wedding photos shot by Marino Testino featured in the pages of Vogue.

July 13 - Sarah Jessica Parker leaves Halston Heritage as president and CEO after a year and a half, along with designer Marios Schwab.

August 31 - Karl Lagerfeld for Macy's is released, with 45 pieces ranging from $50 - $170 hitting 235 Macy's stores.

September - Controversy rises over the global Fashion Week schedule change.  New York pushes back its Fashion Week by a week to avoid the Labour Day weekend, and London duly does the same, but Milan refuses to follow suit.  Milan's Fashion Week clashes with New York for a day, while it overlaps London's entire Fashion Week.  Only Paris remains unaffected.  The messy schedule change causes massive fashion headaches.

September 13 - Missoni for Target is released, and crowds go crazy for classic Missoni knits, patterns, and colours.

October 1 - Kanye West's highly anticipated fashion line, Dw by Kanye West, debuts in Paris Fashion Week.

October 5 - Topshop makes its foray into Canada with the opening of its first capsule collection at The Bay in Toronto.

October 25 - Oliver Theyskens is officially announced as the artistic director of Theory, now the most sought-after label for cool girls hunting down easy basics.

November 9 - Marc Jacobs' Oh, Lola! ad with Dakota Fanning is banned in the UK for being too provocative.

November 19 - Versace for H&M is released, gracing the masses with sexy Versace prints and dresses.

November 23 - A Miu Miu ad with Hailee Steinfeld is pulled from the UK for showing a teenager in an unsafe, irresponsible situation.

December 1 - François Lesage, head of the last great embroidery atelier in Paris, Maison Lesage, dies at the age of 82.  Lesage has worked with many elite haute couture designers and was the last genuine couture artisan who would attach each bead by hand.

Before I know it, I'll be doing a recap of Fashion 2012, but let's enjoy the last day of 2011 while we can.  Happy New Year everyone!

Image Source: Galliano, Ackermann, Decarnin, Royal, McQueen, Chloe, Gaultier, Moss, Halston, Macy's, Fashion Week, Missoni, Kanye, Topshop, Theory, Lola, H&M, Miu Miu, Lesage

December 29, 2011

Good things come to those who wait

After an entire year, I have finally used my $100 gift card to Holt Renfrew.  It was almost hilarious how quickly I decided to buy the item, compared to how long it took me to actually find the item.  But all self-reflection aside, I am a proud owner of a Charlie Jade silk dress.  I can't seem to find a photo of it online, but it is similar in silhouette to this dress:

The print of my dress is almost like a watercolour painting of poppies, and the many nuances of colour on it make it easy to accessorize.  On me, the hemline is just above the knee, and as much as I wish I were taller, the fact that I found this dress in XS is good enough for me.  The dress was on sale for $109 from it's original $189, but I doubted I would find any other item within this price range that would be as worth it as a dress.  I'm hoping to be able to wear this dress in more formal, business occasions, while I try to hunt down a nicely fitted, good quality, affordable black suit, but I still need black pumps before this dress can go formal.  So in the meantime, I can't wait to wear it out more casually in the summer.

Because I couldn't show you an actual photo of my dress, I'll make up for it with a quick look at the Charlie Jade label.  The Charlie Jade label focuses on playfulness and creativity.  Their website states that, "The Charlie Jade girl has a creative soul... a sense of playfulness, fantasy and surprise.  Her passion for prints, texture and color leads her on many exotic travels in search of a unique mix of style, beauty and quality.  She will enchant you, have a laugh with you and never let you down."

I may not embark on any exotic travels anytime soon, but as is with any dress, you hope that you can embody and transform into the woman the dress creates.

Image Source: Amazon, Charlie Jade

December 25, 2011

Festive Forever

As Christmas arrives, I have nothing more I want than to spend time with the family after being away for 3 months.  I'm very happy to just sit at home and relax (besides, with Boxing Day tomorrow, I surely won't be doing any sitting and relaxing then).  Christmas doesn't have to be a huge production, and the following women seem to think the same.  Whether they do so knowingly or not, they proudly don the Christmas colours all year round.  Here's a look at some fabulously festive fashionistas:

May your holiday sparkle and shine as bright as any Judith Leiber clutch.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

December 19, 2011

Walking on Air

Some of the greatest discoveries in the world were, and still are, made by accidents.  Just a couple of days ago, I was mindlessly searching the Internet for a profile picture I could use on my Skype account, when I happened to stumble upon this photo by Tim Walker:
I was instantly drawn to this dramatic, but very soft and ethereal photo.  There was something so captivating about the elaborate, winding staircase, leading you to any corner of your imagination, and the juxtaposition between the rustic, antique interior with the beautiful, romantic gown.  Yet the interiors still complemented the dress, thanks to the overall robin egg blue tinge.  And, in case you haven't noticed from my blog, my favourite colour combination is light blue and white, which can either be crisp and icy, or soft and feminine.  From this photo, I decided to learn more about Tim Walker, and this is where the surprising discovery came in.

Tim Walker is a British photographer who has been photographing for British, Italian and American Vogue for the past decade.  His photos first appeared in Vogue at the ripe, young age of 25.  In fact, I have no doubt you will recognize some of his work.  When I realized Tim Walker was behind some of the great fashion photos I've seen throughout the years, I felt as if I had finally found the last piece of the puzzle: I finally knew the master behind the photos.
Walker has an extremely distinct style.  His photos are often extravagant, romantic, surreal, whimsical, and incorporate oversized objects or an abundance of objects (he seems to enjoy working with balloons and ladders in his shoots).  Oftentimes he will play around with height to help create a truly magical world of fantasy.  There's almost always a fairytale aspect to his work, and he has a fantastic eye for colour.  Below are some of my favourites (my very favourite is still the first, winding staircase one), but go check out some more on your own!  It's impossible for me to show you all his brilliant photos.
My love for fashion has exposed me to many things, and I have come across so many talented artists  - some already established, some still emerging - simply by chance.  That's one thing I love about fashion.  No matter how long you work in the industry, you will never know everything.  That's right, Anna Wintour doesn't know everything about fashion, but that's exactly why she's still in it, and exactly why I am too.  It's a learning process, and in fashion, you never, ever stop learning.

Image Source: Photo1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11