27 January 2010


(Before I get into this, I would like to disclaim that it was at my husband's urging that I say what I am about to say for the sake of honesty and just putting it out there. I know there will be a fire in fashion hell with my name on it but...c'est la vie.)

...what in the name of walking short hell is this?

I feel like Kyra Sedgwick in Singles when she starts slamming Xavier McDaniel and Campbell Scott says, "dare to rip the X Man" but really Karl? Really? This is like a futuristic nightmare alien version of everything I don't think about when I think Chanel -- as in Coco, not Karl. The shoes, the scary, shiny opaque tights and WALKING SHORTS?? (Honestly, Givenchy had them, too, and I am just not basketball coach enough to don something so completely not sexy.)

I don't understand, to take this a step further, after sitting through 66 images of the show and thinking repeatedly, what the hell? what the hell? what the hell? how someone like Suzy Menkes (Editor for the International Tribune), can openly call Galliano out for continuing to find his inspiration in historical references (hello, every designer on earth...guilty!) and not look forward to the future and reinvent the house of Dior when at least his show offers things that are wearable, interesting and, dare I say, fabulous? Who is going to wear this? Ivana Trump? So I'm going to say it...I am so O-V-E-R Chanel. It's just not what it once was. It's just not and you can't convince me otherwise.

(And p.s. to Suzy Menkes, although I'm sure she knows, in the face of an economic downturn that threatens to render couturiers jobless, any businessman - or woman - would be smart to go back to what they know and shelf conceptual for awhile. Besides, in this "gray" world, we need pretty and pretty is a big, excuse me, fuck off ball skirt with a corset or riding habit, black leather gloves and a whip.)

Phew. Ok, back to Chanel. I will, of course, say that it is still Chanel and therefore you have to know the craftsmanship is superb and fabrics divine. And there were a few pieces that really caught my eye (below -- the yellow is especially gorge). AND I will go further to say that I know the impact is greater when you are actually front and center to a show, but still....quel snooze.

Then we have Gaultier. Yes, of "Gaultier, darling, Gaultier." The critics are crazy about the collection he showed today. I liked this.

It was all very South of the Border meets indigenous tribal warrior (except for this). And that's all I'm going to say about that.

And then there was Valentino...yeah, um. Not feeling that either. Do I just have on my negative nancy (non-designer) pants today? I miss Valentino. Real Valentino. This drive to attract the younger client I think is misled because I don't think the younger client who loves Valentino wants to be inspired by Avatar. I think, too, the blue painted shoulders to reflect that inspiration and the chiffon masking on the models just takes away from a name that doesn't really need all the embellishment for recognition. It's Valentino for Christ's sake. You could send a model down the runway with no makeup, jewelry OR shoes and it would not matter. Don't ruin that. Being current and interesting while being timeless and sophisticated IS possible. (I will say, however, that I liked the color palette. It was a nice departure from all the icy pastels everyone else is using.)

And then there's Givenchy who, although committed the horrible crime of walking shorts, did thrill me otherwise. Tisci is a bit of genius. His style is edgy and romantic -- the perfect dichotomy:

Finally we have Elie Saab who offered a veritable underwater world full of sea nymphs and mermaids. Or at least that's how I saw it. I haven't been gaga over Saab the past few shows as the pieces seemed too sedate and too focused on entertaining a certain clientele but this -- this is just simply beautiful. And truly simple and beautiful.

Until tomorrow (when I try to be a little more positive).
xoxo, kvlm

25 January 2010

Paris Spring 2010, be still my beating heart...

I'm suffering from what I like to call "mouse finger." You know, when your middle finger starts to lock up and play dead from hours of laptop mouse usage? Ok, maybe it's just me but...ouch! This blogging frenzy of late, I do believe, hast awoken my carpel tunnel so recently left behind in the world of pre-unemployment. But alas, nothing can keep me from sharing the news from the past two days of couture shows in Paris. (It may, however, keep said news brief.)

Legendary designer Giorgio Armani said he was thinking of the moon when he designed his Spring 2010 Couture Collection and I have to say it was heavenly. Each piece was either sculpted in curves and put together beautifully with what seemed an infinite flow or incorporated a quick and gilded shard of crescent somewhere in its luminescent design. It was sort of romantic, soft sci-fi without being at all over the top. That's the glorious thing about Armani, it is always so very wearable and always romantic.

Alexis Mabille's collection reminded me of the cubist art movement reinterpreted for our times. Everything was color-block supreme and although many pieces were quite structured and simplistic in their nature, which is unlike Mabille's collections of the past, I found these two to be rather soft and inviting.

Designer Josephus Thimister returned to the runway this season after many years of being away. His collection was dominated by military motifs to the point that there was "blood" splattered on many of the early pieces. The splatters, however, wound up looking more like roses, lending quite a figurative message to the whole collection. A message that carried over into these three pieces which are certainly some of the most feminine of the lot.

Ok, so this is the part where I might lose some of my fashion integrity and just get down right stupid. Dior. Dior. Dior. Sometimes I ask myself, What Would Galliano Do? He's kind of at the hierarchy of all things fashion in my little fashion world. And can't you see why? How anyone does not love him is just absolutely beyond me (see, I told you I might get stupid). Dior was the first designer I ever knew anything about. Before I discovered Dior (at like the age of 8) all I knew of fashion was Espirit. I wore bright pink jeans with brighter blue sweaters for G-d's sake! I was a disaster waiting to happen!! And then, it was as if the heavens opened up and angels sang unto me, "DDDDDDDiiiiiioooooorrrrrrrrr!"

Ok...wow. Therapy anyone? Anyway, this show...this show. It's like my History of Costume textbook opened up and came alive. Any couture show with this much historical reference just really turns on every little girl thing inside of me that gets excited over a new dress. I want to shout it from the rooftops! Or...not. Sorry, I get shiny object syndrome after every Galliano for Dior show. Galliano...a million kisses your way, you are a genius! I love these equestrian looks above. How very sexy...turns me on just looking at them. But, wait, that happens whenever I get near a Galliano anything. Maybe that's just a me thing? Maybe it's an I shouldn't share thing....hmmm...

Talk about sexy. I love the unexpected color combination, it's so rich on these fabrics it just looks like juicy fruit waiting to be devoured.

And these two. It's like "My Fair Lady" on speed. I could just eat them both with a spoon! These are the kind of designs that inspire as well as consume you; the kind of dress that caused me and thousands of others to fall head over hells for Dior years ago. I am not stretching it when I say they make me positively giddy and trigger mild hyperventilation. Am I alone here? Does anyone else get that response? Palpitate? Anyone?

And as always, Galliano is the only designer whose final shot I include in my blogs because he's just as much a part of the show as any of the models (well, and because I am insanely in love with him in a very non-sexual way -- obviously). (P.S. I need someone to wear this black frock to the Oscars...Sandra, honey, you could so rock this).

Overall, a very impressive two days in Paris. Although I have to say, after Galliano, I hope the other houses, well, bring it. After a few seasons of minimalism and turning down of the notch, I really need to feast my eyes on the massive embellished ego that is Parisian couture without any hesitations. And if I can't actually be there, I'd like to squeal in delight from a far, so please, please don't disappoint! The world needs more couture like Dior.


24 January 2010

SAG Awards. Sigh.

I didn't actually get to watch the SAG Awards last night so I've just spent the past two hours catching up on footage in any way I could find it. And, wow, I don't even know what to say. Seeing people who are not just committed to the definition of being a "star" but who are genuinely and sincerely devoted to their craft, no different from any author, artist or musician, is truly truly inspiring and remarkable. You can feel the level of honor that just radiates in it's separation from the Globes and the Oscars as the SAG's are actually given by peers in the industry. The SAG's are kind of the Grace Kelly of awards shows -- a little more royal. It excites me and inspires me to devote myself more fully to those things I want to be good at -- now if I could just narrow that down to say two? Yes, two to start would be grand.

But I'm not here to pontificate about that. I'm here to talk about fashion and apparently all of the stars were lined up in perfect order last night because I am just really stunned by the beauty of Hollywood, and that's a very rare thing for me to say. Nights like this act as a flashback to what Hollywood was in its heyday, the kind of night an old movie junkie like myself would have given up a lifetime of good shoes for. I am at once insanely jealous of the frockery and completely enamored. Well done, Hollywood, well done.

And speaking of Grace Kelly...Christina Applegate in Roberto Cavalli. This definitely wins for "Best Dressed" for the SAGS in my book.

While I was not entirely interested in the front of Kate Hudson's Elie Saab dress, I have to say the back of it was well worth the choice. She looks more like herself in this type of design as opposed to the Marchesa she wore last weekend. It's sexy and playful which is obviously a gene she inherited in spades.

Sandra Bullock in Alexander McQueen. This is a look that could have gone wrong very quickly on anyone else. It works for her not only because it's McQueen (drool, drool, salivate, drool) but she, like Meryl, has so much out pouring inner beauty that essentially she could wear anything. Take note, disbelievers, being beautiful is NOT just about looking cute.

I'm going to just put it out there...."Get on with your bad self, Jason Wu!" I'm sorry, it's just the first thing that popped into my head the moment I saw this photo of Diane Kruger (does she ever make a bad fashion decision?). What an excellent, amazing and draw-dropping design. And it's perfect for her, color and all -- and what a hard color to pull off.

So the jury was out on this "look" last I skimmed the internet about Vera Farmiga in this Jay Mendel gown. I have to say I love it right up to her perfectly coiffed 'do. She looks like Rudolph Valentino should be trailing right behind her in 1926. I love the draping, I love the color, LOVE the hair. It was risky, but if you look at it from that kind of cinematic historical perspective, you get it.

Carey Mulligan in Lanvin. The dress looks like satin curtains fell from atop the stage of the Opera National de Paris, someone grabbed a diamond encrusted brooch from the prop shop, swathed her in it, pinned it, and sent her on her way. And I mean that in a very, very, very good way. (I love you, Alber Elbaz, in case you didn't know).

Kyra Sedgwick in Vera Wang. I wish I could find a better shot of the train of this gown -- simply gorgeous.

There were a few questionable choices on the red carpet but I decided to leave those alone. Sometimes it's nice to just write, well, nice things. Besides, we are rounding the corner to the Oscars and I'm quite certain there will be plenty to talk about there (um, isn't there always?).


19 January 2010

Golden Globlahblah and other stories of no consequence

I'm going to try to keep this short and sweet because, hello, the Golden Globes? Boring. Quel snooze. This is my theory:

a) there was a HUGE sale/closeout on one shoulder dresses. (apparently, since EVERYONE had one on...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz).

b) all the dresses got thrown into a big room and the actresses were forced to "first dibs" it like, say, a girl looking for last season Chanel at a bargain basement warehouse sale.

c) sickly thin is the new skinny. (really, Jennifer Garner, eat -- that dress would have been so much more fetching on you IF you weighed about 10 more pounds).

Sadly, I will have to get out my pointer stick and make examples of a few of them before I get to the ones I loved, of which there are three.

Example 1: Kate Hudson:

She looks like fondant -- and not in a good way, not that there is every really a good way to look like fondant. White works on so very few people in any arena other than a wedding. And full-on boned, strapless white with a train is just a really good way to get yourself made fun of. And the shoes...oh the horror of the shoes. Take notice ladies, this is what the new trend of platform heels will do to you. For one, they take away the femininity of this frock and two, they make her feet look like clubs. It's Princess Di meets Ziggy Stardust. Not good. Not good at all.

Example 2: Julia Roberts

Never have I had a cross word to say about Julia Roberts' style. I've always admired her boho chic spirit and her ability to do classic and elegant all in a single bound. But, sister, you were nominated for Best Actress. While I totally respect the want and desire for vintage YSL and, granted, I'd give up chocolate for that necklace, couldn't you have rocked something a little more interesting than a cocktail length black dress? Something that says, hey, I'm so excited to be here and thrilled for the nom? I guess once you've won an Oscar, you don't have to go all Elie Saab on the red carpet but really...I'd wear this to get coffee. Ok, maybe a cocktail but certainly not to the Golden Globes.

I could probably pick a few more (Heidi Klum and Nicole Kidman you have fashion detention until further notice) but really, right now, who cares who wore what. It's old news and the world has much bigger problems. So, to lighten you up, here are three gorgeous dresses on three very gorgeous women, in order of gorgeousness. Gorgeocity? Gorgeandipity?...

Emily Blunt in Dolce & Gabbana. Fabulous color for her, the dress is romantic but still interesting. And wow, look at her arms! Or should I call them guns?

Diane Kruger in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture. Lacroix, darling, Lacroix!

And my personal favorite: Meryl Streep in a Chris March (of Project Runway fame) gown. It's not just that I like the dress, it's interesting but certainly not show-stopping. It's that I love Meryl and she is so absolutely beautiful from the inside out and back again. You inspire me, Meryl; where would we be without you?

In Other News:
Having been sadly disappointed by the McQueen line for Target and at least a good 5 years to old for the Anna Sui AND the Rodarte line, I'd just turned a blind eye to "Targ" related news. And then I saw this little shimmer of light as the Zac Posen Lookbook made it's way around the Internet. And I actually loved it all. ALL OF IT, I tell you. It's diverse, edgy and classic all rolled into one. And then, as if the heavens heard me rejoice in excitement at my renewed love for all things Targ, the announcement of Jean Paul Gaultier's line hit the news this week, too. I liken this excitement to me standing in Harrod's between (not in front of or off to the side of mind you, but BETWEEN) Galliano gowns nine years ago. Gaultier, darling, Gaultier!!!

insert silly schoolgirl squeal here

I smell a lawsuit:
And I should be pretty good at picking up on those given my past work experience. Newport News has ripped off Prada. Does Prada know? Does she even care? I wouldn't be so "whistleblower" about it if it were, say, pretty? But it's not. So I will. Behold.

It's patent leather. And it's white. And it's patent leather. Shame on you, Newport News. Shame...on...you.

No more news to report for now; thank you for letting me unleash the fury from my shiny brain. I have been neglecting the fashion blog lately to focus on my house and all things domestic. It was temporary; we now return to your regularly scheduled program already in progress.


07 January 2010

Hell Just Froze Over

Karl Lagerfeld, hater of the fat, shot a plus size model for V's size issue. I am not entirely sure that I am not in shock; someone get me a blanket.

NY Magazine Article