Sunday, February 27, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Bottega Veneta

Lace can be many things. Bridal. Fragile. Ladylike. Sensual.

Yet there are some words that are rarely said alongside the fabric. Innovative. Adventurous. Those words are saved for the new. For those things with less history attached to them. Less expectations of what they should be doing and how they should be used.

At Bottega Veneta, there was a feel of the ladylike in the way the lace was utilized.

But in the way it complimented the prints and was used to enhance the feel of the color blocking, there was a sense of the new. That elusive grail that fashion is always in search of.

Photos via

Friday, February 25, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Fendi

Staid was the first word that came to mind as I made way through yesterday's Fendi show. But the Fendi woman inspired a second, searching glance. There was a hint of rebellion there, just below the surface. Brightly colored tights made her legs pop against the more classic colors of fall. The warm browns and deep grays and navies. Fur accented her coats and jackets.

She seemed both loose and wound tight all at once.

Photos via

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Alberta Ferretti

I often find that I enter moments of reverie without any warning. As I wait for my coffee, I examine the pattern of chipping paint on the sweatshirt of the patron in front of me before being shaken into reality by the shout of my order. I listen to my iPod and inspect the different flecks of colors on the floor of the train. It usually occurs with items that are complex yet cloaked in simplicity.

Much like the colors on display at Alberta Ferretti.

They urge you to inspect them more deeply.

Photos via

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Erdem

Learning about the adult aspects of florals has been a slow process. It started with those patterns that barely alluded to blooms.

And it's been urged forward by Erdem.

The fall collection was much darker than its ethereal spring counterpart. Less stark and more muddled. But, of course, there are some things I prefer that way.

Photos via

Monday, February 21, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Margaret Howell

I prefer writing outside of the house. On a stoop. In the back corner of a coffee shop. At the library. On those days that I can devote completely to writing, or to reading whatever book I can get my hands on, my wardrobe shifts. There is little fussiness. No headbands and bracelets and all those things that seem to get in the way when it's time to settle down. That, if I do find myself writing while wearing them, have to be taken off and placed on the table next to me. I prefer clothes that are easy, comfortable and classic in those moments. Margaret Howell showed a runway full of those types of clothes.

The kind that make me want to reach for my notebook and lose an afternoon.

Photos via

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Jaeger London

Women are not often taught to play with proportion when it comes to dressing. It is a tricky task to undertake as one can easily become convinced that she'll be accentuating all of those things she's spent a lifetime learning how to obfuscate. Yet at Jaeger London, there was nothing to fear as classic fall pieces in not quite right shapes made their way down the runway.

Oversized lapels engulfed peacoats. Shoulders were large, rounded and reminiscent of those seen in the 1940s as opposed to their shaper 1980s counterparts. When you reach the end, none of it seems as off as it did on first viewing.

Photos via

Friday, February 18, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Ralph Lauren

When the current state of American sportswear is discussed, three labels are generally the first to be mentioned. Calvin Klein. Michael Kors. Ralph Lauren. Lauren tends to be the most opulent of the three. With western influences, or the specter of the East Coast preppy, looming large throughout the collections. But this season Lauren looked to East Asia for inspiration. However, what caught my eye were the parade of chic and sharp black dresses that alluded to that American sportswear tradition.

They are a much-needed palette cleanser as everything moves to London.

Photos via

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Milly

There is one show every season that makes my New England roots appear. It's that side of myself that has multiple pairs of argyle knee highs to wear with her ballet flats. And piles various striped tops under her blazers. The side that meticulously cares for her equestrian-style boots. And pairs her oxfords with almost everything including her gold, sequined miniskirt.

It was that girl who internally squealed with delight while perusing the pictures from the Milly show.

There was something easier and less rigid about the clothes. A slouchiness that has been all over the runway this week. It gave everything a more adult edge.

It's an element I feel that my wardrobe is sometimes missing.

Photos via

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Halston

On our somewhat cluttered mantle, hidden among pictures of my sister and I at various ages, there is a photograph of my mother at age 26. I first encountered the picture when I, at barely 26, returned home from New York. There she was, all legs and afro. An enviable body really, long and lithe. Her position in the photo emanated a kind of ease that I have trouble possessing myself. At times I encounter the vestiges of the woman in that picture when I roam through her closet. I imagine that she would have been as in love with the Halston collection shown yesterday as I was.

Even with my reliance on all things restrained and tailored, the idea of a little fluidity intrigues me.

Photos via

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Marc Jacobs

In fashion writing and criticism, people are always looking for fresh yet succinct way to describe things. Especially now that most of those watching the shows from the front lines find themselves armed with smart phones and only 140 characters to spare.

I watched the Marc Jacobs show much as I have so many shows during the past two major seasons. With my computer on my lap and some sort of snack at my side. After the show, as I began to read all of the various commentary people typed out from their seats, there were definite patterns. Numerous decades were thrown around. The 1940s girl. The 1950s girl. The 1970s girl. Oh, and this girl was being taken on a trip. To the brothel. To the sex shop. To the future.

Nothing changed as of this morning. People's thoughts were everywhere and nowhere at once, trying to grasp exactly what they had seen the night before.

In a long ago college English class, another student complained about the fact that we could never just enjoy the books that we read. That we were muddying up the text by spending so much time discussing the author's voice or whatever else it was that we spouted to make ourselves sound smart.

There are, of course, times and places for that type of analysis. I am not immune and often feel the need to parse and define on sight. But I should spend more time letting the beauty of certain things remain undefinable.

Even if I can only stand to do it for a moment.

Photos via

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Erin Fetherston

Clothing imbued with an almost doll-like femininity can generally be found at an Erin Fetherston show. This season, with her focus now shifted to a lower-priced line, everything felt a bit leaner. The palette was limited and, though there were still some skirts and dresses that floated and twirled, everything had a note of the adult in it.

Photos via

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Jason Wu

Though they don't provide the full experience of attending a show, the live streams allow me to see the clothes in motion. As models walk by the cameras, I can examine the tiniest details as well as the intricacies of the embellishments. That was the case with the Jason Wu show yesterday.

The baroque qualities of the shoulders. The fragility of the lace. The scattered pattern of the paillettes. These are things that can get lost in two dimensions. But it's those things that really bring the clothes to life.

Photos via

Friday, February 11, 2011

Favorite of the Day: Lyn Devon

As the new season approached, I considered putting an end to this series. I was fearful that it was becoming stale. That I was starting to feature the same designers again and again. But like anyone, I have favorites, and to call the repeated appearance of some designers stale is to do them a disservice. It's the change from year to year and the creativity that I see in their pieces that cause me to continue featuring them.

So, here again, is Lyn Devon. Everything is a bit looser this season, a thread that I'm already seeing run through multiple collections.

Whether it is the gown or the sweater dress, she tweaks the classics just enough to transform them into something new.

Photos via 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Two Paths

Whenever I arrive at Pre-Fall, writing becomes a struggle. I pull and push and gnash my teeth with little result. Last Pre-Fall I simply chose my five favorite collections and used them to illustrate the trends I thought were important. This year, however, my thoughts refuse to settle down and organize themselves.

There are two directions, if I let myself see them. If I don't over think. If I close my eyes and let the images drift through my mind. There are the fall and winter staples. Those items that reappear every year and prepare us for the cold weather's approach. It's why I've been able to wear my equestrian boots for the past three winters without looking out of place. And why the camel peacoat that I bought soon after college ended still occasionally finds itself being worn even though newer options have taken its place of honor. Those types of signposts were on display throughout the Pre-Fall collections.

As I was doing my usual foundation work, I talked briefly about the coats that first caught my eye. But as I made my way deeper into the season, there were many more that pulled my attention away from the work as hand. Having lived most of my life in a place where heavier coats are a necessity for at least half the year, I know how important they are. And how important it is to find one that doesn't transform you into another pod simply trudging through the snow and slush.

At Elie Tahari

At Burberry Prorsum

At Moschino Cheap and Chic

Pants, for what should be rather apparent reasons, emerge during Pre-Fall to replace the skirts and dresses that dominate spring and summer. This year I felt as if there were a wider range of cuts available. The variety emulated the Spring/Summer 2011 Paul Smith show that I loved so much. There was something for everyone, which is not a statement that can often be truthfully used to describe the industry.

At Jason Wu

At Ports 1961

At Burberry Prorsum

At Balenciaga

At Lanvin

My own inclination, as the leaves being to turn, to begin dressing as if I'm returning to an east coast boarding school is well known here. Many designers seem to share that desire. But as with most styles, there are a range of interpretations. Some shy away from changing the underlying concept while others take pleasure in tearing it down and building it back up.

At Tory Burch

At Pringle of Scotland

At Akris

Then there are the more ephemeral trends. Ones that will remind you of the Spring/Summer 2011 shows. Some that you might see when the Fall/Winter 2011 shows begin in less than a week. Others that will fade away before the new season even begins.

The vibrant colors of the warm months were replaced by cooler, muddier tones. Yet even with that shift, they still gave everything a bit of life to stave off the approaching darkness and chill.

At Nina Ricci

At Jason Wu

At Rachel Roy

At Giambattista Valli

At Doo.Ri

Those colors were also used, in both single garments as well as through styling, to form graphic patterns. None of the patterns vaguely recalled or starkly represented specific objects. They were simply composed of strong blocks of colors that referenced mid-20th century artists.

At BCBG Max Azria

At Celine

At Balenciaga

At Albino

Skirts in floor skimming lengths played the part of fraternal twin to the pants seen throughout the season. They came in all types of cuts made to be worn in all sorts of situations. Sexy slits in clingy jersey and gown-like options in heavier fabrics.

At Lanvin

At Rag & Bone

The 1970s have been heralded as the go-to decade for the past three major seasons. But unlike the 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s before it, its renaissance hasn't been as lasting or far-reaching. This might be the season that the higher waistlines and the looser silhouettes of that era finally make the widespread impact that others have before it.

At Diane von Furstenberg

At Thakoon

At Burberry Prorsum

Photos via