26 October 2009

Project WTFWay?

Sorry for the crass title, but this past Thursday's Project Runway is probably the first EVER (and yes, I've watched every episode, every season) that really just left me speechless. And, yes, I know I'm 4 days late but having just watched episode ten of season seven in the wee small hours of the morning, I really feel my late vent may very well be worth it.

10 September 2009

Killing me softly...

I hate, I mean really hhhaaatttteee to post on this particular person because I'm not even really sure she deserves discussion. I've been very slack as of late as I've been waiting for the resuscitation of my laptop to get back to this very necessary outlet (and I've subsequently missed covering all the shows...boohiss). But this, THIS, people is the new face of artistic direction at Ungaro:

The fashion world should be ashamed of itself.

29 August 2009

I'm a Fall Fashion Fanatic

And these minor winds of autumn that keep blowing through the South are really making me anxious for my favorite month of the year, October. Add to that the fact that I am completely engrossed in the Twilight novels, there are Halloween wares on all of my favorite websites, and August will be coming to a winding halt on Tuesday, and I'd say I'm really ready to ditch the tank tops, sundresses and sandals. But then I'm pretty much always ready to ditch those things. If I could live in boots, jeans, dresses, and vintage rocker chic jackets all the time, I would be one very happy girl. Until then, I'll dream a bit and take you with me...

I love the vintage and gothic feel of this Erdem dress. And the color is divine.

So I found this website that housed this amazing coat via another site not realizing it was taken me to Moscow. Still, I had to share. It may be a little over the top for where I live, but can't you just picture with the new boots of the season, strolling around NYC at the dusk of night? Dreamy...

This whole look from Alexander McQueen kills me...well, pretty much his whole fall collection kills me. Gorgeous, every bit of it.

I am completely in love with this dress by Boudicca at Elizabeth Charles. It would be so great with a (faux) fur collared wool coat and a pair of clunky round-toed Mary Janes. Very feminine, very early century.

more later...

xoxox, kvlm

14 August 2009

Yeah, no.

Does anyone else find this kind of disturbing?

When I stumbled out of my heels from a long, hard day at work, I was super pumped to find my first September Fashion Issue -- each year I look forward to those ten pound glimpses into what the next year of fashion will hold. But this is a little too much a little too soon, don't ya think?

I'm starting to become quite disillusioned with all fashion mags which is something I never thought I'd say, having been a regular reader since the age of at least nine. But between the reality tv shows, the movies, the bad publicity and the sell-out covers, my favorite fashion rags are starting to rival the likes of In Touch and US Weekly. What the hell?

This cover is, unfortunately, not the first time I've questioned Bazaar's rationale as of late. As a subscriber, I get "the good" covers, but the newstands get some other spin of the decades old magazine which is usually covered in multi-colored headlines over the headshot of some big-shot actress making it look more like the cover of a glossy tabloid than a high quality fashion magazine. And how exactly do they justify the production of two different magazine covers per month in these economic times anyway?

I don't think paying respect to The King of Pop so shortly after his sudden demise with a happy, shiney faced Agyness Deyn donning his look circa 1983 was the way to go. Maybe if we were celebrating his birthday or the anniversary of his first triple platinum, then I could see it. But sudden death does not equate little skinny white girls with big smiles plastered on their faces to generate magazine sales.

Dignity anyone?

Fashion magazines get a bad wrap as it is for superficiality and feeding the consumer monster. Maybe if they upped the humanity factor, and focused more on the substantial contribution fashion makes to art, philanthropic endeavors, and, quite simply, the global economy, they'd sell more issues? Just a suggestion...

13 August 2009

Three Tidbits for a Thursday

Let's get to the good stuff first. I'm sure everyone has seen the H-H-H-HOT dress Angelina Jolie wore to the Inglorious Bastards Premiere in New York the other day but if you did not, behold:

I cannot get this dress out of my head. It's quite possibly the most sophisticated, sexy, and chic way I have ever seen leather done. And I love that it has that air of "Angelina Past" to it; she really is the proverbial badass, is she not?

Sadly, Rachel McAdams has a much less qualified stylist. Who should be out of a job today or at least lashed with a wet noodle for sending her out to her first starring role in a long time, ie. the premiere for The Time Traveler's Wife.

I'm sorry to report that this white-opaque-shiney-short-ruched-low-cut-shoulder padded nightmare of a dress whose Hollywood Tape is barely holding the dress to her breasts though doing so enough to make it obvious that it's taped because it's draping across her minimal chest is really really bad does nothing for her. Nor do the shoes. Now from the neck up, she looks gorgeous! Absolutely stunning. Unfortunate. Maybe in black and TURNED AROUND and maybe a little longer, we would have had something. Girls with shorter legs take note: wearing shorter dresses does NOT make you look taller. It makes you look like you have a two inch long butt and makes your legs look like Nadja Comanechi. A mid-knee look would have made her look much taller and slimmer. (Not that's she's not slim, mind you!)

Ok, on to the next tidbit as my lunch hour dwindles down to the last minute...we'll call this a bit of a product review. The genius' over at Sexy Hair Concepts have come up with this gem of a product:

At first I was a little scared that the pumpkin smell might be a bit overwhelming or that I might smell like one of those air freshners cab drivers hang from their rearview mirrors. But I was desperate for new product. This schizophrenic weather we've been having has really done a number on my mostly-curly hair making it mostly frizzy, somewhat straight, and then mostly kinky. Good times. NOT. At any rate, being the HUGE halloween fan I am, I figured these bottles of fragranted October heaven might turn out to be a winner. And was I right! I picked up the rehydrating shampoo (yea! no frizz today and it's even raining!), the leave-in conditioner with ginger root (yea! not heavy!) and the styling souflee (which is scary when you open it as it looks like orange cake icing) but so far so good! And I smell like fall which is NEVER a bad thing!!

Ok...back to work!

26 July 2009

La La La La Lanvin

So I watched Charlotte Gray last night which was beautifully shot, brilliantly acted, and horridly heart-wrenching. But the costumes...WOW! Really had me thinking of how much of the '40's, my absolute favorite fashion era, were all over the fall runways this year...lucky me! Lucky us! And that got me thinking of my love for Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. His collection for Fall 2009 was exquisitely draped and although a bit somber (perhaps for the times), it still offered the undeniably Lanvin-esque Parisian stature, grace and elegance that one would expect. This is how, you would imagine, French women dress -- for their day, for a meeting. Reflective of the economical downturn yet defiant in its right to give up the sense of femininity and style no one wants to completely surrender...especially if you are lucky enough to live and work in Paris.

The shapes here, and the draping, again...genius. The thigh-high leather boots were literally EVERYWHERE and I'm interested to see how they will translate to the street. I, for one, would go out and buy a pair right now but I'm not sure how such a highly stylized element will work in the moderate/conservative atmosphere of downtown Raleigh, NC. The colors, yes, black, bone, slate grays, might seem overly expected when you think about how fashion parallels the low density of our wallets at present, but I will always be a sucker for these colors...they are are timelessly chic.

I love the accessories, as well, and they compliment each piece so effortlessly. No, I am not a fan of fur (that's just one fashion commodity I will never support) but you could easily replicate the effect here with a faux piece or (even better) a vintage piece that happens to be faux as well. Black leather gloves were also seen on more than one runway this season and I absolutely intend to buy them in a variety of lengths for the fall...what an easy way to give your ensemble a little extra something without breaking the bank.

Shoulders are another big focus this year and I like the way Elbaz kept them soft but still gave them shape. The length of the skirts are perfect, too. I was getting so tired of the short short minis I've seen way too much of over the summer (girls in these parts need to look up the the sex appeal of being a bit demure...it goes much further, trust me -- and seriously, the gladiator look was NOT mean to be taken so literally...I saw a handful of girls on the street last week that looked like extras from Troy). Proportions have seemed off for an entire season so I'm excited to see a return to lady-like attire that is not overly mature or dated. It's a nod to the past but still completely contemporary and completely modern.

This is fashion for the fashionable. And these are my favorite pieces from the collection...

xoxo, kvlm

16 July 2009

Style Francais

I don't have a shoe fetish (ok...maybe an addiction?) but this picture makes me understand why people do. Marion Cotillard's raspberry and black spectator inspired t-straps's, well, they turn me on! Maybe it's because I am so very over gladiator's and cuffed shoes and I'm ready for something more feminine. Or maybe it's because I'm just off watching all the couture shows and there were several '40's influences. But I adore these shoes! I love how she mixed the raspberry and black with the ballet pink which has such a simple, elegant French style to it. I want it all.

I found these black and pink t-straps's by Jeffrey Campbell at Nordstrom for $85.90: I love the vintage feel of them and the colors; I may have to purchase.

These Georgina Goodman's, too, are similar -- but unfortunately with a much higher price tag -- and a bit more red:

The next closest match actually has a purple accent but I still think it would work. Pour La Victoire Lourdes Ankle Strap at Endless:
Maybe with this Ralph Lauren Black Label Lucinda Organza Skirt:Ralph Lauren also has a great soft pleated skirt available in ballet pink on yoox.com but the images were not cooperating.

This flirty Dolce & Gabbana would also work:
Top it all off with this Adam Viscose Tissue Jersey Cardigan thrown over a cami, then belted or tied?
Voila! The look....well, except for the Johnny...I've yet to find a website that sells those, but I'll keep you posted!

xo, kvlm

12 July 2009

Couture Confection's 2009

Ah...couture. It's like a fantasty trip into another dimension where I can only look through a very thick plate glass window while cradling some hope that, beyond these brillant artistic creations trickling down into ready-to-wear, I can maybe pick up a piece or two of inspiration here and replicate it in some fashion, however small. Couture is the high-art of fashion and some pieces look as if they belong more in the Louvre than they do on the street; in fact, they do.

To some, couture may seem an unnecessary venture at present, given the economic state of, well, the entire world. But to me, to many, couture stands on a vital pivot of optimism, light, and determination. In many ways, it's the fashion world's battle cry that says, this too shall go on! It's crucial to the history book being written as each House takes a gasp or two of air, going back under until the whole downturn blows over and praying that it does.

I try really hard, after the shows are over, to do two things. 1) Don't read what other people write about them. I want my opinion to be as unbiased as possible, even though my opinion, in the grand scheme of the fashion universe, doesn't really amount to a hill of glass beads. 2) Choose a handfull of defining photographs that capture the spirit of each show. Both are virtually impossible to do. 1) Everyone writes on the shows, I get 15 emails a day with updates, highlights, etc. etc. I have just have to turn a blind eye...oh but it's so hard! 2) Yeah. No. That's like trying to "chose your favorite star."

Alexis Mabille is a newcomer to the couture scene, somewhat evident by his collection, but it still is a refreshing swirl of colors and fantastic fabrics. I don't know that is exactly what I'm looking for in a couture show, although you can see the potential all the while imagining where he'll be in 10 years, so I'm not including images. I like to save space for those ones that make me swoony.

Giorgio Armani's Armani Prive smacked of Katherine Hepburn shaped suits mixed with a bit of shimmer, a monochromatic palette, and lush velvet; 1940's reinvented. The suit was dominant, with tight pagoda shoulders and straight legs. I always love Armani's gowns; I particularly loved these two:

I am not really sure how I feel about Karl Lagerfeld right now other than the fact that I think he needs to put food in his mouth instead of constantly insulting people. In the past few months he has successfully insulted Heidi Klum and Audrey Tatou. I'm sure Klum let it role off her perfect backside that he said she's fat (in which case he would probably compare me to some sort of sea creature such as the manatee), what, two times? But Audrey Tatou is the new official spokesmodel of Chanel AND she's playing Coco in the soon-to-come biopic so I think that one is slightly more unforgiveable. As for his collection, well, Karl can do whatever the fuck Karl wants to do, and I only say it that particular way because that's what he would say, yeah? I wasn't a fan of most of it; his muted palette's reminded me of the Depression and I think that's exactly what couterer's don't want people thinking about. In my humble opinion, I think it lacked editing but what do I know? I did, however, adore all of these:

When I dream about fashion heaven, which is at least a few nights a week, my very first thought is always, always Christian Dior. Now, then, forever, Christian Dior. John Galliano, I adore you...you are in my top ten list of people who would probably make me completley stupid if ever I were lucky enough to have a peeptoe pump in your magical presence (and for that, he is the only designer I would ever include the final shot from a show of...well and I love the two ensembles flanking him...but look at him! the man is magnifique!) I love this show on so many many levels, and not just because I am a) completely bias here and b) a bit of a vintage whore, but also, think of it this way: he took a return to Dior basics...the structure, the colors, the New Look glam of it all, which, I think, in this repressed economy, was a fantastic idea. It says, hey, remember why you come to this House...well, in case you don't, let me remind you. And suddenly you are sucked into a colorful, sexy and classic Dior slice of heaven. (There we go with that heaven again...)

It was said that Lacroix was literally pulling fabrics and trims from every corner and from every friend he could think of to pull this show of as the House of Lacroix seems to be breathing it's last breath (let's all pray that's not true). I think the collection was beautifully edited, pulled together, had a few of the classic over-the-top touches Lacroix is known for, while erring on the almost practical. If this is his last collection (for now, anyway), it was well done and refined. I thoroughly believe the black and white graphic below will find it's way into many an "inspired" ready-to-wear garment by year's end.

It's easy to see why Lebanese designer Elie Saab is such an Oscar favorite...his work is the pinnacle of what every girl imagines herself walking down the red carpet in. It's almost Peaches-n-Cream Barbie Doll perfection and I don't mean that in a bad way. Of all of my flocks and flocks of Barbie clothes, that is the one dress I remember vividly (dork flag, flying high). It was a little odd that Saab chose to put on an all white show shortly after Lagerfeld did the same thing. And some of the detail is undeniably similar to Michelle Obama's Jason Wu she wore for her first dance as First Lady. I didn't see Saab here in a lot of ways...his structure was off, and no color? I mean really, no color? He's kind of known for his crayola box of monotone dresses. Some of these felt like they just simply belonged to someone else. These I liked, but never was there full on in love. Unfortunate.

I'm not sure about Riccardo Tisci's collection for Givenchy either...I am absolutely on the fence about it. It certainly had depth and intrigue. I was immediatley attracted to the mysterious vibe that floated around each girl, the Indian influnece, the henna, the sarouel-effect he used quite well without being over done, I adore the velvet (there are two kinds of girls: velvet girls and leather girls, I am DEFINITELY a velvet girl), and this piece below I just fell for. But the pants really threw me off. The jodphur inspired trousers ranged from slightly more ballooned than the classic to rivaling those of MC Hammer. I'm not sure that's a look I'm ready for. Those and harem pants...no thanks, man. But this...this color, this silhoette, this drama...this is the kind of thing a girl would take another girl out over. Seriously. Can you imagine? Literally makes me palpitate. This may have my award for best couture piece of the season (you know, because I give those out and people care. Yeah, not).

There's a reason Madonna goes to John Paul Gaultier. That mix of the Marlene Dietrich attempt at titillating androgyny blended with blatant sex appeal spun on an edge...HOT. Dear G-d, so HOT. I love the pieces below...so classic Hollywood masterfully stirred in 2009. If I could have a closet full of suits in this vain, I would probably sell all my furniture, vintage bags, and any piece of designer clothing I have (well, excluding my Marc) to do it. Perfection.

Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri over at Valentino were alive in black. And to be more specific, quite skilled in creating a swarm of night bird's. Every girl's dress seemed some sort of magical symbiosis that was at once both over done lace and tulle while being completely organic. I loved the shoes, but the shoes often caught my attention more than the dresses. It's not that I didn't love the collection, I mean come on, it's Valentino, but I think this may be one of those collections you have to see in person to fully appreciate. It just felt like there was something missing. Like it was couture "light." Now I wonder how long it will be before I'm struck down my lightening for criticizing thy name, Valentino.

xoxo, kvlm