March 29, 2012

Marni for H&M

I cannot believe I am sitting here typing up a post about Marni for H&M; it feels like I just finished posting about Versace not too long ago!  Once again, school has prevented me from keeping up to date on the latest fashion news, and I've missed the launch of Marni for H&M by 3 weeks.  It was especially significant this time too, because it was the first time an H&M collaboration came to my home city.  But alas, I was too busy studying for my Psychology exam on the day of the launch (at least the studying paid off!).  Nonetheless, I'm here to take a look at the collection.
When I first heard that Marni was next up for a collaboration, I was unsure whether Marni was the kind of brand that would attract H&M customers.  Marni was never about being blatantly sexy like Versace, downright cool like Karl Lagerfeld or Stella McCartney, or high luxury like Lanvin.  And frankly, their target age groups just didn't seem to match.  So what, exactly, would the H&M customer see in Marni?
Of course, it's obvious now.  There was never a doubt Marni patterns would make it onto centre stage, but Marni is selling much more than that.  It's selling exactly what it's always been known for - the bohemian, eclectic, artsy lifestyle.  Cool and collected, the Marni girl nonchalantly walks out in blaring prints.
The clothes, as always, look great.  Dizzying patterns everywhere you look, and nothing too glamorous.  Laidback pieces true to the heart of Marni, but tailored to appeal to a younger consumer.
I myself am not a fan of boho, but I do love prints.  I'm very much liking the patterned tops for those days when you want to go casual and go big at the same time.  Below are some of my favourites:
Remember how Versace didn't manage to get the bags right, and before that, Lanvin didn't manage to get the shoes right?  Well this time, Marni has surprised me by getting the accessories just right.  The accessories are beautifully modern (even though they have vintage influences) in their geometric simplicity, and Consuelo Castiglioni made the smart choice of doing her bags in fabric.  I might not like the style of the shoes, but they are unique and look of good quality.
Funny how the collection I was most uncertain about ended up being fully successful.  I'm very excited for the announcement of who the next collaboration will be with, and hopefully, in the end, I will once again be pleasantly surprised.

Image Source: Fashionologie

March 27, 2012

Confessions of a Shopaholic

First it was The September Issue, now it's Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009).  Seems I'm in the mood to talk about fashion-related movies lately!
Confessions of a Shopaholic is a movie adaptation of a book by Sophie Kinsella.  I've read all the books in the Shopaholic series, and it is one of the best examples of good chick lit.  Girly, fun and romantic, but done with a sharp wit and none of the typical shallow tendencies some chick lit fall prey to. 
There's an edge to the Shopaholic books that make it more real, but at the same time, so exaggerated that you can also get a laugh from it.  It's about an uproariously hilarious, slightly oblivious, dreaming kind of girl who's - as you can probably gather - a shopaholic.  Rebecca is her name, and she schemes her way out of debt issues, family issues and love issues, all while in very expensive shoes.  So it goes without saying I was really looking forward to the movie.
But wow, was it ever a let-down!  I know movies rarely live up to the books, but this movie only managed to scrape the surface of the original book.  The humour was lost, Rebecca was portrayed as being a bit too "dumb", and the whole movie was so polished it felt like a bright light being shone into my eyes.  Too hard to look at.  It was all fun, no substance.  Of course there's nothing wrong with a frothy, frivolous movie, but there's a problem when the original book isn't simply a frothy, frivolous book.
However, I digress.  I'm not here to review the movie.  What I'd really like to talk about is the way Rebecca was styled in this movie.  I know everyone's going to have a different vision of Rebecca's personal style, but I didn't find the outfits in the movie encompassed how Rebecca is portrayed in the book. 
Throughout the movie, Rebecca takes colour blocking to the max.  Every imaginable bright colour is brought together, and slapped on top of pieces that are terribly aging.  Rebecca is only 25, but she's dressing like a middle-aged woman trying to feel young again.  There was this complete lack of playing around with different textures and fabrics; everything was so sugary and Barbie-like it hurt.  It was all surprisingly unfashionable.
I understand the idea was to convey Rebecca's outgoing, quirky personality, but there are certainly more stylish ways of doing that.  After all, I was led to believe Rebecca had good taste...
So would I recommend you see this movie?  Certainly not for the fashion.  Nonetheless, if you just want something that doesn't require much brainwork, or if you're a fan of Sophie Kinsella, then you might as well watch it.  Me?  I'll just stick to the books.

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

March 24, 2012

Bowled Over by Bowles

I'd like to take the time to devote a post to the great Hamish Bowles, Vogue's European Editor at Large.
I should probably admit now that I absolutely adore this man.  The flair he brings to Vogue is irreplaceable.  Just from his looks, you can already tell he's sophisticated, intelligent and very dapper, but always with a twist - whether it be quirky glasses, a flower on his lapel, or head-to-toe plaid.  It's a joy to look through all his different outfits.  He may care about his looks (as every fashion editor does), but he's not so vain he won't get down and dirty.  Definitely one of my favourite fashion people.
The only exposure to Hamish I get is through his writing, but his personality comes across loud and clear.  He possesses such a wide range of vocabulary, and I'm constantly learning new words whenever I read his writing.  For his humour pieces, his self-deprecation and dry humour always have me laughing out loud.  For his more serious interior design pieces, his intricate descriptions transport me intimately into the house he so describes.  It's an absolute pleasure to read his writing, and I look forward to it in every issue of Vogue.
Whenever Anna Wintour sends him off onto another outlandish adventure, he never fails to lovingly mention that when it comes to Vogue, you never doubt (or at least, dare decline) Anna's suggestions.  And in the most recent issue of Vogue that I read, Anna just as lovingly returned the favour by praising him in her Editor's Letter.
Among getting back to basics and camping in the wild...
...surfing for the first time in glistening waters...
...and playing basketball against Amar'e Stoudemire...
...Hamish's latest adventure involved singing on X Factor - in cognito, of course.
Whatever he does, you'll be guaranteed a couple pages of good laughs.  It's always the saddest part when you realize his article is over.

So here's to Hamish Bowles, a man who deserves all the praise Anna can give.

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

March 19, 2012

Lady Dior - Lady Grey London

I've said before that there are very few fashion videos out there I find worth taking the time to watch.  A fashion film is best when it embodies the essence of the brand without being too long and drawn-out (ahem, Karl Lagerfeld), contains gorgeous fashion, and like any film, has good acting!  Ever since watching Édith Piaf, and then subsequently watching five more movies with Marion Cotillard (her best performances have been Édith Piaf and Nine), I've come to see her as a respectable actress.  When my friend suggested I take a look at a Lady Dior video with Marion Cotillard, I knew I was going to be watching something better than the usual fashion films.  Not only does Marion perfectly capture the look of the Dior woman, I admittedly have more faith in Dior's film-making abilities than I do in Lagerfeld's.  Lady Dior - Lady Grey London has officially made it onto my list of good fashion films.

It starts off glamorous and naughty, then gets somewhat creepy, but ultimately ends on a beautiful, emotional note.  I honestly almost teared up during the dressing room scene (Ian McKellen was just heartbreakingly adorable!).  The greatest twist made in an 8 minute film, if there ever was one.  So who, then, is the Dior woman?  A woman whose beauty and compassion enraptures men, gives life to them, and in this case, literally brings them to their feet.  A woman whose intensity pulls men away from their inhibitions and constraints, allowing them to express themselves freely.  The ending is, like many successful movies, up to your own interpretation.  I see the ending as symbolizing how, although the Dior woman captivates so many men around her, she is happiest and most free when she is on her own.  Independent and strong, she is not a woman who needs a man.  This is a wonderfully touching fashion film, and one that is fittingly inspired by John Galliano.

On a side note, it's about time I posted about all the wonderful ladies who have taken the time to acknowledge my blog.  I was tagged a long, long time ago by Burning Skies for a fun little handwriting activity which I unfortunately never got around to doing.  Again, a long time ago, Dear Girl awarded me my second Stylish Blogger Award...

...and Dahl gave me my first Lovely Blogger Award.

Finally, just recently, Aimee Victoria Long graced me with my third Stylish Blogger Award.  Thank you ladies for your kind recognition!

March 17, 2012

Green with Envy

I didn't do a St. Patrick's Day post last year, but with my favourite actor being Irish, I can't pass up the chance this year!  Of course seeing as this is a fashion blog, I'll be talking about the colour green more than anything else.  But it isn't going to be as simple as that.  I've been watching a lot of movies lately, and there's one thing I've noticed - green is for The Woman.  The strong woman, the woman who steals the spotlight, the woman who's got all the eyes on her.  Greatest example would be Keira Knightley in Atonement.  Ah, that famous green dress.
But it's not just Atonement.  When Anne Boleyn returns to court in The Other Boleyn Girl, she steals the king's eye and desire with a sharp, green dress.
However, both these characters had love, lost love, and gave up everything else along with it.  Green is for The Woman, but it's also for the tragic woman.  Luckily, off-screen, wearing a green dress won't attract tragedy, only appreciative (or envious) glances (or gawks).  And they may say purple is indicative of royalty, but green sure isn't far off:
So to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, do like the following women and royally take the leading role.
Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! 

Image Source: Atonement, BoleynKate, PippaStreet 1, 2, 3, 45

March 14, 2012

Keeping it Personal

Just like how that person in front of you at Starbucks orders a "Grande no-whip white chocolate mocha with five pumps and an extra shot, made with soy", everyone has their personal preferences.  Personal style is no different - a "cute, feminine, trendy girl who occasionally dabbles with the casual California beach style on the weekends, and who's never without her Tom Ford sunglasses", anyone? 

Everyone, absolutely everyone, has personal style.  Even those who don't bother thinking twice about fashion have personal style.  For some, it's clearly defined and they know exactly how they want to present themselves.  For others, they may be all over the place, taking joy in experimenting with as many different looks as possible.  I've put thought into my personal style before, but it wasn't until my friend out right asked me what my personal style is that I realized I didn't have an answer that could encapsulate everything I wanted to convey.  I know what I like, and I know what I don't, but when I look at the larger picture, I can't find a way to easily summarize what I like.  So what follows is an attempt to pick out the major looks I tend to gravitate towards, but remember it's hardly all-inclusive.  Sadly, this is also style I wish I had, not the style I actually have.  The outfits I'm showing are ones that I've put together myself, using a website called Looklet.

1) Romantic and Feminine - Ok, so I'm sure of one thing: romantic and feminine style is probably the one look I would most like to have associated with me.  The following two looks are my favourite ones out of all looks I've put together here.  My knees go weak every single time I encounter lace, silk chiffon, and pastels.  I'd love to have bow ties, ruffles, pleats and florals decorate my wardrobe, and I think I'd be a lost child if I didn't have lovely leather accessories to pair with it.
2) Chic and Polished - Closely related to romantic and feminine is chic and polished.  I always enjoy a sharp, sleek outfit, with everything perfectly in its place.  This is a great look for everyday wear; it's casual, but never sloppy.  You can look put together without looking like you're trying too hard.  However, the chic and polished look is popular with many girls out there, so with this look, the most important thing for me is high quality, unique pieces and accessories that will make you stand out, even if the foundations of your outfit are similar to everyone else's.
3) Classic and Sophisticated - I will always be a fan of the woman who keeps it classy.  With nothing tacky nor overtly trendy, being classic and sophisticated is the epitome of timeless, elegant fashion.  LBDs, column dresses and pearl necklaces steal my heart away from tight bandage dresses and mini skirts.  There isn't one person out there who can convince me that dressing more conservatively is any less alluring or sexy.  Why else would Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn (and no doubt Kate Middleton) remain style icons to this day?
4) Glamorous and Trendy - I may be all about timeless fashion, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy mingling with high fashion, trendy pieces.  I've always wanted a wardrobe with those stunning, outrageous pieces you don't see other people wearing.  A fashion fanatic like me can't live without a little bit of glamour.  Looking through photos of street style during Fashion Week, I ooze jealousy.  What I would do to have the wardrobe of a fashion editor!
So there you have it.  A very simplified look at my personal style, or at least, what I aspire to have as my personal style.  Beyond this, I also like military outfits, utility chic, stark minimalism, American sportswear, edgy romanticism, and sometimes even an indie look.  Maybe it's best I don't have a clear definition of what my personal style is.  I've still got many years of experimentation ahead of me.

Note: I've been obsessed with Looklet ever since I went on it, and it takes an embarrassing amount of time away from my day.  If you want, check out the website and look through some of the pieces they have.  Choose a piece, any piece, and I'll make an outfit from it.  Just give me specific details on what the piece looks like, and how I can find it in their inventory.  Go on, I dare you to find the ugliest thing.  ;)

Image Source: Looklet

March 11, 2012

Alexander McQueen Fall/Winter 2012 RTW

This is going to be my last review for Fall/Winter 2012 RTW, but if you want to see a review of any of the shows, just let me know!  When I have time, I might revisit some of the other collections worth mentioning.  Until then, let's end my mini Fashion Week Marathon with a look at Alexander McQueen.

So far, Sarah Burton has been fairly consistent with the general look she puts forth each season, but she experimented with something different this time, and it's going to give her divided results.  Her loving followers will continue to sing praise, while her more skeptical critics will only have one word for this collection: poodles.
If you're like me, you'll see that Burton wasn't in fact going for poodle, but for the beauty of aquatic life and her self-described explosion of optimism.  She started off with pure A-line dresses accessorized with puffs of fur at the shoulders, neck and wrists.  It was a wonderfully tactile way of representing the purity of birth and the beginning of life.  Silver belts that I couldn't stop seeing as coral wound themselves around the models' waists.  The boots were admittedly poodle-like, but I found them strangely appealing.
The breakaway began with laser-cut ponyskin on leather, which then emerged as black pompoms.
And then the pompoms exploded into puffballs of ostrich feathers, quivering like a sea anemone making its way through the sparkling water.  Although the full feather party dress has been done many times before, you can tell Burton does it with a lot more structure and architectural design.  The following dresses were lightly dusted with "dandelions", with sleeves so exaggerated they blended right in with the skirt.
In the only bit of colour during the show, vibrant red dresses not unlike new fascinating deep water organisms proceeded, before, completely unexpected, they further exploded into masses of fluff that were just beyond words.
So many people focus on the wearabilty of collections nowadays that they're forgetting the beauty and innovation of the clothes themselves.  If you're complaining about the practicality of these looks, then I suggest you go and look at the hundreds of other labels out there that do great wearable ready-to-wear, and let Sarah Burton do her thing.

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: