Friday, December 9, 2011

The Leftovers: Milan Fashion Week SS12

Milan hit all of the “right” notes. It was as if the designers had a cheat sheet and were checking off items as they went.

The Neons

At Bottega Veneta

At MaxMara

At Versus

At Antonio Marras

The Florals

At Dolce & Gabbana

At Blumarine

At Antonio Marras

At Albino

At Roberto Cavalli

Le Sportif

At MaxMara

The Peplums

At Giorgio Armani

At Francesco Scognamiglio

The Shorts

At Etro

At No. 21

Yet something was off. The overall tone felt muddled and without direction. Follow the Leader was the game being played and though there was some sidestepping of the rules, it was not in the way that garners applause.

The Milan runways were witness to the reappearance of the transparency trend seen during the Spring/Summer 2011 season. There is something to be said for breaking off from the other cities and finding a trend all your own but not when it is simply being warmed over and served up from a season not yet old enough to be forgotten.

Though, as always, there were those who handled it deftly.

At Marni

At Alberta Ferretti

At Luisa Beccaria

At Dolce & Gabbana

At Etro

At Fendi

When everything came to an end, I feverishly waited for Paris.

Photos via

Monday, December 5, 2011

Back Issues: The New York Collection

Culling the fashion magazines stacked in one corner of my apartment was one of the first tasks that I undertook when I realized that my New York experiment had failed. It was no small feat. There were two and a half years of fashion tomes to consider. I took to my floor and made my way through them.

I’m generally not a collector of things. My dolls and stuffed animals were to be played with not enshrined. Many of my favorite books are bent and misshapen from spending various lengths of time in my purse. But the stack of magazines was different. Outside of a dust bunny here or there, they were in mint condition. No scribblings in the margins. No sticky notes. No dogeared pages.

Over two years after the move back, I’m still semi-packed. Suitcases are half full and boxes still untouched as I cling to the idea of this move being temporary. So in a box with books that followed me from college to home to Brooklyn and back again, as well as those picked up during my time on my own, live three magazines. As I sat staring at them this morning, my eyes welled up a bit. I had forgotten how many I had gotten rid of. I must have kept more than this. But at that moment in the spring of 2009, I was determined to be an adult about all of it. No crying over silly things. So I was vicious and hard and lugged pile after pile out to be recycled never thinking that one day I’d be 28 and a half, still living at home, and missing them.

The oldest of the three is the Fall-Winter 2008 edition of Vogue Paris Collections. It is an adult, fashion picture book. Photographs of the collections presented neatly in rows on each page. The last quarter dedicated to headshots of accessories. Good enough reasons for keeping it but not the truth of the matter. This magazine was a gift from my mother, and I kept it to commemorate one of those brief and fleeting moments when she seemed to understand me.

The March 2009 Vogue famously had the first lady on the cover in a pink Jason Wu. The fact that this magazine made it back to Boston barely warrants an explanation.

Lastly, there was the May 2009 Vogue.

It was kept because it reminded me of a magazine from long ago. One that lived forgotten in my mother’s house until recently.

When my best friend entered my apartment for the first time after I had gotten rid of them all, she looked at me in shock. Their absence was the ultimate sign that I was waving the white flag.

My current room, the room of my childhood, has magazines from my second post-collegiate Boston turn strewn about. When it’s time to leave this place, parting with them might not be filled with quite as much sorrow.

Images via, via, via, via, via 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Party Down

If there’s one word that makes me want to shop, it’s the word party. It can be preceded by any descriptor. There can be a paper invitation or an email or a “C U @ 8” text message. It can be on a roof deck. It can involve a beach bonfire. I could be crammed into a studio apartment. None of that matters. I sift through my closet beforehand and rarely find anything to satisfy me. Even if there is no dress code. Even if no one would blink if I showed up in a pair of ratty, skinny jeans, a striped, dolman-sleeved sweatshirt and a pair of beat up Bensimons.

When I was little, parties meant cupcake dresses. Green velvet, big skirts, and white sashes with a matching bow sitting atop my head. In college, I moved in the opposite direction. Halter tops and tube tops. Stretchy, suffocating fabrics. Bootcut jeans. Parties meant tighter and brighter. Can you find something that makes you look like a sequin that took a dip in a tub of glitter? Perfect! The discovery of the nearest Forever 21 was a revelation. It took far too long for me to realize a number of things. Firstly, a Forever 21 tube top lasts about three washes before it begins to disintegrate. Secondly, I rarely looked good in any of those things. And thirdly, having a wardrobe meant only for partying was a waste of space, money and time.

But the urge to hunt for something new when such occasions arise hasn't subsided, even though most of the parties that I go to now are of the "Everyone Bring Some Wine and Hang Out in My Apartment with Me" variety. On Monday, I wove my way up and down Newbury Street in search of something to wear to a party that I'm attending on Friday.

And just what was I hoping to find? Not cupcake dresses or halter tops. I'm far removed from both of those phases of my life. Feminine detailing. Ease. Pieces that can weave their way into my everyday wardrobe.

By Jason Wu

By Rag & Bone

By Tory Burch

And, for those occasions that call for it, something that I can dance in.

Images via, via, via 

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Leftovers: London Fashion Week SS12

London has a history of living a few seasons ahead of the other cities. Yet in recent years, I’ve noticed a shift. A falling in line. Or it could be a growing up. Though if one truly thinks about it, those two ideas are inextricably linked.

This season, I felt more carry over from New York than I have in past years.

The designers showing in London have always had a way with prints, so it was no surprise that the florals seen in New York continued to flourish there in a range of manifestations.

At Clements Ribeiro

At Erdem

At Caroline Charles

At Temperley London

At Matthew Williamson

At Christopher Kane

At Kinder Aggugini

And of course prints of other varieties could be found everywhere.

At Maria Grachvogel

At Paul Smith

At David Koma

At Jonathan Saunders

At Basso & Brooke

At Michael van der Ham

At Mary Katrantzou

Outside of the floral prints, there were small glimpses of the other trends that dominated the New York season.

The colorblocking

At Jasper Conran

At Jean-Pierre Braganza

At J.W. Anderson

At Jaeger London

At Margaret Howell

The peplums

At Paul Costelloe

At Peter Jensen

At Osman

At Corrie Nielsen

The shorts

At Daks

At Erdem

But those pieces comprised only a small fraction of the whole story. And the story in London was one of neons. But there were no stepping back from the edge here as there had been in New York. No toning down of the brilliance. Maybe it was in that way that London retained some of the feel of those seasons past. At times, the colors felt too strong, yet you couldn't help but stare in amazement.

At Maria Grachvogel

At Nicole Farhi

At Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

At Matthew Williamson

At Jaeger London

At J.W. Anderson

At Paul Smith

Especially at the brilliant blues.

At Pringle of Scotland

At Burberry Prorsum

At David Koma

At Emilio de la Morena

At Paul Smith

It's a color used as a backdrop so often that you can forget its power.

Photos via, via