May 27, 2012

Flash of Skin

I haven't had a real shopping trip to Holt Renfrew since Christmas, but I went there last week to a joyous welcoming.  It was Mother's Day weekend, and Holts had transformed into the land of mother-daughter bonding.  With the saxophonist's tunes echoing throughout the store, it made tasting the complimentary gelato, cupcakes and lemonade all the more enjoyable.  Although we decided against it, we also could have received a free caricature to commemorate our day of good (window) shopping. 

And boy, good window shopping it was. I waxed lyrical about shoes last post, but don't think for a second I forgot about handbags, my second favourite accessory.  Handbags this season follow closely behind the shoe trends - retro colour blocking and refined luxury.  A notable handbag from my shopping trip was the Jimmy Choo Justine L:
The bag takes many cues from 1970s sportswear, seen in its rounded shape and duffel bag handles.  While I would prefer the shape of the bag to be less casual, the bright anaconda skin is just too irresistible.  The way the bag looks like it's revealing its inner secret with a single open flap keeps onlookers wondering how many tantalizing layers your bag actually has.
The snakeskin is so soft both my dad and I had thought it was textured leather, but a quick Google search confirmed that it is in fact real anaconda skin being unzipped and displayed.  The clean metal bar securing the flap in place adds a whiff of industrialism, dressing up the otherwise insouciant bag.
It's a coy bag made for a coy woman.  While I don't normally advocate gaudy flashes of skin, in this special case, flashing skin couldn't be classier.

Image Source: Jimmy Choo, Net-a-Porter

May 19, 2012

Precious Metals

I've just been bursting with happiness walking through the mall these past three weekends.  Spring 2012 is full of colour, florals, and gorgeous, polished pieces.  Especially the shoes; they're making me weak in the knees.  Definite shoe trends are emerging, among them are suede colour blocked heels, wide strapped sandals, and metal detailing.  I would dedicate a post to colour blocked heels (and maybe I will), but for now, I'd like to focus on the growing number of shoes developing their own steely personality.  Remember the gold capped flats from Givenchy I tried on last year?

It seems Givenchy was ahead of the curve, as metal capped toes are now showing up all over the place.  Zara, Louis Vuitton and Stuart Wietzman have all hopped onto the bandwagon, cleverly mining their way to our hearts.
Louis Vuitton
Stuart Weitzman
But as I was shopping in The Bay, I found something truly unique: the Dolce Vita Archer.  So far, metal capped toes have all been seen on either flats or pumps, and sandals have been forced to wait patiently for their turn.  It is for this reason that the Dolce Vita Archer caught my eye, even from across the store.  Metal rimmed sandals have arrived.

Ingenious.  Absolutely ingenious.  No longer will you have to worry about stubbing your toes, and just imagine the glamour of having sunlight seemingly reflecting off your toes.  I tried on a pair of metal rimmed sandals from Boutique 9, and funnily enough, it wasn't the metal tip that enticed me, but the lovely, light lavender colour of the Boutique 9 Berthes. 

Although the lavender leather is heartbreakingly beautiful and soft, the sandals didn't look as chic as they did on the wall.  The wide straps made me feel like I was ready to trek through the desert, and as interesting as the exposed inner half of the shoes were, I wasn't fond of looking like I was wearing two different shoes on one foot.  However, the tasseled zipper was a delight, and I still envy whoever ends up being an owner of these shoes.

Shopping is going to be a joy this season.  There's polished luxury everywhere I look, and everything I see is telling me to indulge in myself a little.  This spring, it's all about dipping (and tipping) your toes in gold.

Image Source: Givenchy, Dolce Vita, Boutique 9

May 11, 2012

Fame Game

With time to finally catch up on all the fashion magazine reading I've missed in the past four months, I'm here to share a spread from the October 2011 issue of Flare Magazine, titled Fame Game.  What struck me about this spread was not the model or the fashion.  In fact, I found the looks to be dull and average - your typical glamorous photoshoot.  None of the photos really made my jaw drop, but what made me linger a little bit longer on each page instead of swiftly flipping through them was the theme.  As any person familiar with the process behind putting together a fashion spread knows, a theme that ties all photos together is key.  For Fame Game, the theme was, well, climbing the oftentimes slippery ladder of fame.  Below is a look at the spread, with respective captions above each photo.

The sheer reality is that you haven't really made it until your face is plastered on a Times Square billboard.
J'adore the star spangled spotlight, but it's lonely at the top.
Dress to impress - today it's almost famous, tomorrow it's Internet sensation.
A little snakeskin and late night scandal never hurt anyone.
Overexposed and underdressed: essential elements of Youtube fame.
Piling on the fashion hits creates a magnet for the paparazzi.
A woman in traffic stopping red becomes the only woman in the room.
Generally, photos in a fashion spread all have a similar feeling, but Fame Game branches off by jet setting us all over the place.  I found the use of the billboard, Youtube interface and TV screen to be very creative, but at the same time, the spread as a whole was incoherent.  I felt like I was looking at 7 individual photos instead of an entire spread.  Even the story only loosely tied all the photos together - how did she go from being plastered on a billboard and being "at the top", to becoming a Youtube sensation?  Maybe that was the idea, to show how fame is just one big confusion.  Nonetheless, a spread about the reality of fame is an idea worth commending.  Fame may be a game, but it's a deceiving game where the winners don't always play by the rules.

Image Source: Fashion Photography, noirfacade

May 3, 2012

Ali Michael

At the request of Dahl, Ali Michael is up next on this blog's model feature!
Ali is an American model known for her clear complexion and strong eyebrows.  In 2005, she won the Fashion! Dallas/Kim Dawson Model Search contest.  She's struggled with an eating disorder in the past, and has spoken candidly about pressures to be thin in the modeling industry, revealing that a lot of the models she knew had issues with food in some way.
On the streets, she keeps it casual and you'll most likely find her with a slouchy shoulder bag, and black separates which she will energize with a white or printed top. 
Her latest appearance has been during the Pre-Fall 2010 collections:
Oscar de la Renta
If there are any other models you would like to see featured, just give me a shout if you haven't done so already!

Image Source: Ali, Editorial 1, 2, 3, 4, Street 1, 2, 3, 4,