July 30, 2013

Missing the Point

Pointy toed flats and I are having a moment.  I used to think that pointy toes were too severe, but as I get older, I'm starting to really appreciate the elegance of a pointed tip.  Pointy toed flats give you the sophistication of a stiletto, with the more down-to-earth (literally) comfort of flats.  And I'm not talking the outdated toes of the '80s and '90s that were awkwardly long and had a slightly squared tip.  I'm talking pointed toes that have subtle extension, and a smooth, curved tip.  I'm currently on the search for the perfect pair of black pointy toed flats to wear with my business clothing, and on my latest shopping trip, I came across a pair of Steve Madden rhinestone embellished flats from Winners:
Honestly, Winners has such gems if you happen across them at the right time.  These flats give fabulous sparkle to your toes, and from far away, it becomes a subtle shimmer.  Although not ideal for business, there was also a patterned pair that I really liked.  The different coloured rhinestones add a fun personality to the white canvas, and provide so much opportunity for outfit matching. 

But here's the thing.  I really did like these flats when I initially tried them on and the $60 price tag (why do all the flats I like from Winners seem to cost that much...) was almost something I was willing to accept.  Yet on closer inspection, I realized that $60 was most definitely not worth it, and I was once again reminded of why I never quite liked Steve Madden.  Steve Madden produces nice designs, but the price tag never properly coincides with the quality of the shoes (my Dad agrees - he looks down on how Madden men's shoes are merely glued, not stitched, together).  Madden tries to make itself seem higher class, but ultimately, it's along the same lines as Aldo.  I have nothing against that, but when you stamp unjustified prices onto mediocre shoes, then I have a problem (and remember, $60 is Winners' discounted price).  Peering at the seams, I saw poor construction; examining the rhinestones, I noticed a couple stones already missing; looking at the piping, I was disappointed by the cheap fabric - the genuine leather logo obviously only refers to the inside.

By the end of this sobering scrutiny, these Steve Maddens no longer seemed all that great.  $30, or even $20, is the most I would ever spend on shoes like this.  As you may have noticed, impulse buying is not my thing.  The hunt for the perfect pair of black pointy toed flats continues...

Image Source: Photo1, 2

July 19, 2013

Viktor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2013 RTW

I haven't even looked at Fall 2013 Couture yet, but bear with me as I rewind to take a look at a Spring/Summer 2013 RTW collection I can't believe I missed during my Spring/Summer 2013 RTW roundup.  Catching up on fashion magazines this summer, I came across a fabulous pantsuit that had me marveling over the brilliant construction of the pant leg.  Looking at the clothing credits, I learned that Viktor & Rolf was the designer.  Days later, while flipping through a different magazine, I came across another gorgeous pantsuit, and lo and behold, the credits confirmed that Viktor & Rolf were the ones to thank.  It was at that moment I realized I had missed out on a great collection.

I used to always follow the Viktor & Rolf duo because they consistently deliver a good show.  But when school and life get in the way, something has to go into the back burner.  Luckily, I reached past the flames of ignorance just in time to witness Viktor & Rolf's outstanding S/S'13 collection.  Right off the bat, the show started with floor-length gowns.  Accordion pleats were the first focus of the show, done in lamé as mesmerizing as molten silver.

Progressing, the pleats liquified into smooth draping, resulting in those oh-so-gorgeous pantsuits I first raved over.  The colour palette softened to a pure white, with shaved tulle similar to that of Spring/Summer 2010 RTW adding texture.

Then, infusion of colour came in the form of lavender, muted taro, and a quick burst of salmon.  Bow-ties attached to the front of slouchy trousers would almost have been unflattering if it were not for the fact they added that essential Viktor & Rolf personality.  Otherwise, the draping here is so light, so strategic, and so phenomenal that I couldn't help but utter "my goodness" every couple of seconds as I rode a wave of enchantment.

Finally, as the show came to an end, the final hurrah was done in a palette of black with silver and bronze metallic.  The excess sheen reminded me of the '80s TV show Dynasty, but with a much more sophisticated demeanor.

I've said before that Viktor & Rolf always gives a good show, and although they hardly disappointed this season, they went about giving a good show in a different way.  Instead of the exaggerated fashion verging on the unwearable (or as critics would say, completely unwearable), this was likely the most ready-to-wear collection I have ever seen the duo put together.  Although not shown in the photos here, luxurious goddess draping, over-the-top tulle and reflective plexiglass rose appliqués were contrasted against regular items such as varsity jackets, leather motorcycle vests, and tuxedo blazers.  Yet as normal as this collection almost is, the mishmash makes it odd enough to be runway perfection.  You can be sure these gowns aren't the only things that are shining; Viktor & Rolf seem to have an even brighter future ahead of them.

Watch the full show here.

Image Source: Style.com

July 7, 2013

Dconstruct Your Style

Every single year, I insist on attending my city's largest annual festival.  Every single year, I do the exact same thing: ignore the (nauseating) rides and (nauseating) food, and instead, scour the art and product exhibitions.  I had a great time today slowly strolling past painting after painting (I high suggest you check out silk painting - the natural sheen of silk gives these paintings such incredible depth), and unearthing the artistic talent of our local community.  Fashion-wise, I also managed to discover a Canadian talent that I am so excited to share with you.  Presenting: Dconstruct.

I have to admit that local jewelry design does not often appeal to me.  The designs tend to be outdated and the materials austere.  However, the instant I saw this gold cuff displayed in front of Dconstruct's booth, I sensed that I was in the presence of fantastic local talent.

Dconstruct is a jewelry label designed and manufactured in Winnipeg.  It's also an eco-friendly label, but don't think it produces your average crunchy granola fashion.  There are many eco-friendly labels out there that claim to be both green and fashionable, but with my fastidious eyes, I find a lot of eco labels to be just as bland, boring, and unflattering as I would expect them to be.  Dconstruct exceeds my expectations.

I can for once say with great earnesty that Dconstruct is an eco-friendly label that also produces products truly suitable for the diehard fashion girl. Every piece is made of recycled resin, and contains at least 40% pre-consumer material. Deconstruct's unique combination of industrial, architectural materials and smooth, organic resin results in jewelry that is soothing and minimalist, but with a modern and trendy edge.  Not every piece is made of industrial material, however. I saw the most beautiful things encased in resin: flowers, translucent leaves, delicate blades of seaweed, and even a spattering of silver sequins.

Another thing I find interesting is that the resin is not polished to a high gloss as most resin jewelry is.  There is a matte quality to the jewelry, giving it a soft, dusty appreance.  This quiet elegance actually makes the jewelry seem more expensive and valuable.  Stacked along one arm, these bangles would lend instant modernity to a simple, chic outfit.  If I had the money to invest in jewelry, Dconstruct is a label I would gladly support.

There were several designs shown at the festival today that are not available online (I give equal praise to Dconstruct's necklaces and vases).  However, I still highly, highly, HIGHLY suggest you check out Dconstruct's website here, and see for yourself what good Canadian creation can look like.

Image Source: Dconstruct

July 6, 2013

You can dress me up, but you can't dress me down

Boy, it's been a fantastic week!  My summer job is a constant reminder of how lucky I am, and this past week once again proved that I work with an amazing group of people.  Looking forward, the weekend will be a good one too!  While I'll be attending the city's biggest festival of the year with my parents tomorrow, and reconnecting + fine dining with a long-time friend, I kicked off the weekend today with a leisurely, relaxing shopping session with my mom.  A long-awaited visit to Holt Renfrew resulted in, not bags of clothing, but a bag of popcorn and a sparkling lemon drink in my hands.  I tried on quite a few things during my shopping trip, but I'll spare you the boredom and narrow it down to all the dresses I whipped off the hook today:

H&M Diamond Print Dress

I took a liking to this dress the second I saw it on the rack.  After being unable to find a size 2, I dejectedly picked up a size 4.  As I zipped up the dress in the dressing room, to my surprise (or horror?), it fit fabulously around the torso.  I can either rejoice over the fact that I'm not a walking stick anymore, or cry over the fact that my stomach is not as flat as it used to be (I'm planning an exercise regime as we speak).  Anyway, back to the dress.  Although the torso area fit, the shoulder and back area were still loose.  That, along with the cheap quality of the dress and the $30 price tag, kept me from taking it to the cash register.  Shame, because that diamond print is really unique!

H&M Floral Dress

Another dress I instantly took a liking to, even though I knew the straight waist wouldn't look good on my frame.  It did end up being more flattering that I thought, but I would still have to wear it with a belt, and I'm tired of cinching everything that's too large for me.  So while the placement of the floral is so pretty and fresh, the dress' lack of versatility was a key reason why I put it back where it came from.  It stood at a cheaper $15, but its cheap fabric made $15 seem expensive.

Topshop Botanical Floral Bodycon Dress

The print on this dress is interesting, and it sure doesn't deserve the fabric it's printed on.  Pulling this dress over my head, I may as well have been wrapping myself tightly in one-ply toilet paper.  The fabric was so thin that e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g was accentuated to exaggerated degree.  Why does it feel like I've lost my decency, despite everything being covered up?  I imagine this is what girls wear clubbing, minus a couple inches off the bottom.  Ridiculous.  That's all I have to say.

Alice+Olivia Lora Drop Waist Pleated Dress

Here I am again, trying on yet another piece from Alice+Olivia!  I'm a huge fan of the '20s revival we've been having (hey there, Great Gatsby), so I was eager to test out this drop waist dress.  Unfortunately, I couldn't fill out the torso well enough (I thought flat chests were all the rage in the '20s...) and the metallic gold was unforgiving in showing me how my hips just couldn't support the pleated skirt.  My mom disliked the mesh back, saying it instantly cheapened the entire thing, but by then, I had already planted a big "NO" on this dress.

Image Source: H&M, Topshop, Alice+Olivia