Friday, 25 May 2012

Oscar de la Renta: Resort 2013

Timeless elegance. There is no better way to describe the new resort collection by Oscar de la Renta. The silhouette, the flow of the fabric, even the make-up was done in a way that just made me want to breath a sigh of relief. 

My Favourite Dress of the Collection

Cutting edge design is what makes the world go round, especially in an age where technology is moving at a break neck pace, but sometimes there's nothing wrong with taking a classic and revamping it in a classic way. The lines in this collection are simple, there are no odd protruding hem or waistlines, only simple cuts that move with the body. Obviously one cannot always stick by the status quo, especially in fashion. Tomorrow's trends will be yesterdays fads, but  there was something simple and appealing about this collection. Oscar de la Renta has never really been on my radar, and until now I wasn't familiar with his style. This collection had a bit of Chanel and also a bit of Dior thrown in there, but there was always something in each garment that wasn't quite either. For the black and white suits there was more softness around the edges, and the dresses weren't quite so flouncy as a Dior creation. 

A little bit of Chanel
A little bit of Chanel

A little bit of Dior
Something else I found really refreshing was the minimal use of make-up and other accessories. I'm not sure if it's just me, but I can't understand why designers insist on making there models look like monsters! For an industry that is supposed to set the standard for beauty at an unreasonable level it's certainly done so in a backwards way. There are many times when there is a theatrical aspect to a runway show and in those cases, I consent, that a certain amount of theatrical makeup is needed to keep the theme coherent. Unfortunately, this often translates into the models becoming freak shows. In this collection the models are able to utilize the asset for which they are hired, there natural beauty. People needn't be distracted by the odd position of the eyebrows or strange protrusions coming from the models cheek bones. There are certain designers who attempt to make the models disappear completely though.

Which Way Are They Facing?

Martin Margiela is probably most famously known, not for his designs, but the way he masks his models so that they are unrecognizable. Margiela claims he doesn't want the focal point to be the models, and this is his solution to make the clothes the centre of attention. obviously this has the exact opposite effect, but this is now the trademark for his label MMM. It makes me extremely frustrated that people buy into this as being fashion. It becomes the image and not the clothes that matter. Anyone can understand the affect of hiding the models to make them appear as though they're walking backwards to be counter productive to Margiela's objective. This is why I appreciate de la Renta for his simple designs and make-up to match.

The thing I found unsuccessful about this collection was the use of colour. The greens and blues used were quite a sickly colour, and the patterns did help. There were a few outfits with botanical print that I thought were almost there but still missing something in the way of colour and visual impact. 

Oscar de la Renta might not be a "fashion forward" designer, but there's something to be said for the elegant and timeless.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A New Kind Of Collection?

I'm trying to understand, without success, what a resort collection is exactly. On certain websites it says it is a collection meant for people who go away during the winter to warmer places. This makes sense for the ultra wealthy who have enough money to buy a new wardrobe for one vacation, but it still doesn't work logistically. The Chanel collection just came out, I am currently working on a post for the Oscar de la Renta Resort Collection 2013, if these collections had come out in the winter I would understand, but they didn't. If anyone has any insight into the current reason for Resort collections I would appreciate some clarification. 

You're welcome to leave a comment for this and any of my other posts if you have anything that might add to them.  

Monday, 21 May 2012

Daily Quote #3

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years.

-Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn,%20Audrey-Annex.htm

What I love about Audrey Hepburn is her sense of fun. She had a free spirit in an era dictated by some of the most drop dead gorgeous blond bombshells. Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and the list goes on, but with all of these super glam, sexy movie stars Audrey stuck out because of her unusual personality. 

Audrey's clothes reflected her fun personality. Whimsy is a good word to describe Audrey's overall aesthetic, which always had the right amount of playfulness. Of course Audrey could carry practically any dress, because of her association with ballet she had the perfect posture. For this reason she wore dress' that gave her a princess like quality. She was a girl of the last era of true old fashioned glamour and elegance and she took advantage of it to the fullest extent. Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga were the foundation of the late actress' wardrobe. The New Look let Audrey be flirtatious yet never too revealing, unlike so many of her contemporaries. Her hair also helped the overall look. I've never liked the pixie cut and only once have I actually met someone in the flesh who was able work it properly, but Audrey Hepburn pulls it off. I've decided that in order to get away with it one can't be too serious, it just doesn't work. It's called a pixie cut for a reason. Pixie's are meant to be free spirits, slightly mischievous, and forever laughing. 
Pixie Cut

Audrey at the 'bar',  laughing and smiling

I received a book from my mum for Christmas called 'Audrey 100', which is a compilation of 100 photos chosen after her death by her two sons. The fact that her sons chose the pictures and not some random detached biographer gives the book the necessary imagery to capture the true Audrey. The majority of the photos chosen show a smiling face with that signature 'funny nose'. The clothes come second in the photos, and the woman first. A lot of them are photos captured behind the scene before the director yells 'action'. However she is always well dressed despite not being completely encompassed by her looks. 

To finally get onto the quote. Audrey was a philanthropist and cared greatly for all those around her. Later in life, once she had said goodbye to the golden screen, she travelled to impoverished countries in Africa to give aid in any way she could, from a kind word, to a laugh and a smile. Her beauty and her elegance only started with her clothes. She dressed to reflect herself and no one else. 

The older she got the more beautiful she became. The last pictures in the book I have show her in Africa in her later years, and she never looked more radiant. 

Audrey later in life doing humanitarian work

It isn't a story of a fashion icon so much, although she was that, but a caring, loving woman who, despite a tough start, lived a life of beauty and happiness through more than just her clothes.

I apologize for this whole post being rather 'sappy and cheesy' but the quote can be considered some of the same. It doesn't make it a bad quote, on the contrary, I think it is a simple truth and it is told the most beautifully in this message. 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Chanel Resort 2013

Je Me Souviens...

Palace of Versailles Gardens
Hmmmmmm, it's probably one of my biggest fashion dreams of all time to go to a Chanel show. When I see Chanel runway shows on TV it's never just a walk up and down the cat walk kind of thing, it's a performance. It's like watching a play and going to the theatre. One runway show in particular that comes to mind is the Chanel Cruise 2009 2010., Even someone uninterested in the fashion would be captivated by this performance, because it is just that, a performance.

The setting for this years Chanel Resort was nothing less than 'Majestic'. The scene was set, and when Lagerfeld yelled 'action', it started to roll. 
I have grown up reading of princess' and fairy tales just like any other young girl, but for me it was always more intriguing to learn about the real women behind the tiaras. For this reason I read everything from historical fiction when I was younger, to full biographies on Eleanor of Aquitaine. Period costumes were one of the big intrigues of reading these books. Fashion, in the 18th century was never dictated by what people were wearing on the street. It was the aristocracy that influenced every move in fashion. From Marie Antoinette to Queen Victoria, royalty and period clothes will always go hand-in-hand.

Lagerfeld understands this, and the connection of royal life at the court and fashion. This show had all the pomp and ceremony of a real court style event. There were fountains and luxurious fabric tents, and of course it was set in the most ostentatious of settings, The Palace of Versailles. 

I admire Lagerfeld for bringing a style on the brink of obscurity back into style. It takes a lot of creativity to take something, originally styled for the drastically changing world of 20's, into present day relevancy. Throughout all this Lagerfeld has produced his own style which steers a little more towards a regal look, than the toned down practical style of Coco Chanel's original vision. 

Fit and Flare Style

The Marie Antoinette aspect of this collection seemed somehow ill fitting for what Chanel stands for. Chanel fought long and hard to liberate women of the cages that were once worn universally. She would not rest, when, after the war Dior took the world by storm with his 'new look', she got back up and fought hard for women until her dying day. All this makes me wonder at the shape and figure of some of the dresses presented at the Cruise. To be perfectly honest the venue and some of the dresses remind me more of Dior than Chanel, and considering that Dior was the closest that can come to be a fashion enemy for Chanel, I think it's a little peculiar.

Royal Blue (Denim Actually)
Not my personal favourites, but an interesting concept

I did, however, really like the collection (I happen to be a huge fan of Dior as well.) The one thing that brought some of the outfits together to give it that Chanel feel was the classic tweed jacket which no collection can go without. The Royal Blue used was a beautiful shade and very fitting. Oddly enough some of my favourite outfits had more of a fit and flare style rather than a traditional Chanel silhouette. 

Classic Chanel Suit with a Twist,0,48

Another Fit and Flare

Well, maybe one day my dream of attending a Chanel fashion show will materialize, if and when I break it big, and I will feel like a princess in my own right... the queen of couture has a nice ring to it ;) 

* This is a link to the 2013 Chanel Cruise

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Pucci: Spring Summer 2012

Predominant Style of the Show
Pucci: Spring Summer 2012 Collection

COLOURThank goodness for Pucci! In a world filled with Banana Republic's & GAPs it's so refreshing to see some colour. Pucci is always reliable when it comes to that special Mediterranean, African, Middle Eastern look (a little broad I know). Not only is Pucci not afraid to use colour but they embrace pattern to it's fullest extent. 

Emilio Pucci
Just as a background to Pucci. Emilio Pucci flourished in the 60's because of the use of colour and print his designs catered specifically to the market of youth wanting to break away. Pucci prints are geometric and a text book case of the typical 1960's look. In this collection the use of colour and geometric print references back to the original Pucci look.

Vintage 1960's Pucci Dress

What I really love is the new twist put onto the classic button-up shirt. Like blazers (which I've already talked about) the button up shirt, if done properly, is  a classic way to up the ante on any outfit. This collection of shirts takes it to the next level, they aren't just for the boring monotonous banker outfit. What really makes these shirts luxurious is their material. It looks like a silk almost, and there's no better way to feel pretty, than to wear a pretty feeling outfit. Just like a blazer this can easily be worn with a pair of jeans to make it a conversation piece (yes clothing can be conversation starters) and add punch to one's everyday style. 

Pucci: The Not-So-Classic-Shirt
Spring Summer 2012

The collection featured an almost belly dancer type ensemble with a midriff baring top and flowy skirt. This was very feminine and pretty, but with punch and flare. There were no unnecessary frills or bows but the sense that the clothes are made for women is evident. Looking at the photo below, there is nothing delicate about this outfit but at the same time it is whimsical and, again, flowy. The music definitely evokes an arabian feel to the show which fit perfectly. 

Pucci Spring Summer 2012
Pucci Spring Summer 2012
Wedding Dress

The collection finished off on a traditional note with a wedding dress. The wedding dress isn't my favourite and I think it could be a little more original to end such a good show.

These are some of my personal favourite pieces from the show... 

Pucci: Spring Summer 2012

Pucci: Spring Summer 2012

Pucci: Spring Summer 2012

Pucci: Spring Summer 2012

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Daily Quote #2

In difficult times fashion is always outrageous
-Elsa Schiaparelli 

Elsa Schiaparelli

Really, I don't think there could be a more fitting quote for Elsa Schiaparelli. Schiaparelli lived through the great depression of the 20's and both World Wars. I don't think that there could have been a much more difficult time to go through. These were back-to-back atrocities and as a result fashion changed drastically. World War I ended in 1918, and with it ended the reign of aristocracy and it's associated apparel. There has really never been a more radical up-heaval in women's fashion to match that of the early 20th Century. Women went from wearing corsets and gowns that went down to the toes...

Edwardian Era Wedding Gown

Parisian Models in the 20's shapeless flappers that went all the way up to the knees. 

Elsa Schiaparelli had grown up with these extremities and when she burst onto the fashion scene in 1928 she had her own agenda. Her fashion never conformed to the style of the day but instead maintained an "outrageous" personality

Never conforming to the dominant style this lobster
 dress was one of many outlandish gowns created by
Schiaparelli in the 1937

Schiaparelli's fashion was definitely outrageous and the times were definitely difficult, but if they hadn't been difficult perhaps she wouldn't have been inspired to produce some of the fantastical pieces such as the one above.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Daily Quote

Fashion fades, only style remains the same.
-Coco Chanel

Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel

This is my all time favourite quote because it epitomizes what a great designer should aim for. There's no point chasing trends. Like the stock market no one can really predict what will happen. But at least in fashion one can always rely on timeless style to guide them.

Quick Quirky Quotes

Every other day or so I am going to source a quote on fashion or make my own if I happened to be inspired. I'll also add images to illustrate the point of the quote.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Blazers: The Movement

Jeans are often considered everyday wear and not for formal occasions. While I agree with the latter I believe jeans can always be dressed up for a dinner, a date, or even a business meeting. In my opinion blazers are the perfect accessory to instantly "upgrade" one's outfit from street to high fashion. 

This blazer on the left is a simple blazer that can be used a an evening dinner jacket or a work jacket.

 I'm more a girl of the 20's but if I were to choose on thing I loved about the 40's it would have to be blazers. I think because of the 40's, and what it signified in terms of women's rights and that whole movement during the war, the blazer has really become a powerful piece of clothing for feminism. Wearing a blazer shows a a professionalism and a certain kind of power that says, "Yes, I am a woman, but I work like a man."

This a more fun and quirky blazer than the one above. Instead of the workplace consider wearing it to a summer party or just for everyday life to add a structured and spirited feel to one's look.

The Do's and Don'ts of Red and Pink


This is a beautiful Christian Dior dress that, for me, epitomizes the RIGHT way to wear red and pink. As a rule I generally try to stay away from this colour combination because more often than not doesn't work. What works for me in this dress is the 60's flare and the tones of the colours. The vintage aspect plays well in this dress and the tones of red of pink are closer than a stark rose red on powder puff pink. The overall effect of the two colours is a mix, instead of two different colours one gets a blend which creates an overall esthetically pleasing shade.


This is a prime example of how not to wear pink and red together. Unlike the first dress the shades of each colour do not complement each other. The pink is like a a Barbie doll pink and the red is a pure red, there's is no subtle tone on tone in this dress. The only time red and pink work is if they are complementing, not competing. 

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Dress Dilemma

Out of all the shops I go to, ranging from Toronto to my local mall, I can only ever rely on one store when I need a dress. Pendulum swings, in my opinion, always result in losing one bad thing in exchange for another. When women were granted the freedom of pants they never imagined it would mean giving up dresses, and although technically speaking that's not what we've done, it comes close. Women are always trying to equal themselves to men, but instead of adding to our merits while retaining our old ones we throw them out the window. We needn't become men to be equal to them. Dresses, in street fashion, have gotten a bad rap as being exclusively for "girly-girls" and the most formal occasions. We have subjected ourselves to look like and mimic men instead of confidently embracing our femininity. I find dresses infinitely more comfortable than pants and much easier to dress an outfit around.


This is no longer what dresses look like. Tight waisted, puffy petticoat, polka dot  wonders are no longer the style, but for some reason this is still a some what stereotypical attitude towards dresses that is maintained. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that this is truly the last decade of ladies-who-lunch kind of dressing. As soon as the 60's got into it's full swing, women started to wear pants in public en mass for the first time. Prior to this it was seen unbecoming to be seen outside one's own home in slacks. In the 1960's TV series "Bewitched" I think this is the most evident. The series starts in the early 60's, and there is one particular scene that really hits is home for me. (watch at 3:40 for about 1 minute) It shows how it is unacceptable to go into town in slacks.

Now fast forward a few years and one will see just how quickly things have changed. (watch from 15:50 for a couple of minutes) The hippie bell bottoms are in and everyone is wearing them (even the relatively conservative Samantha.)

However dresses no longer look like princess gowns. Personally I find dresses more comfortable and practical than pants or shorts and they're more flattering as well.

This is a dress from the United Colors of Benetton. It is definitely referencing a 60's esthetic, and I think it looks great. Too often people opt for sweats and a t-shirt because they find putting together an outfit too hard. To me it makes so much sense to choose a dress because it involves one piece of clothing and a pair of shoes, nothing could be easier! 
This is a link to the store where I get all my dresses.

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