Thursday, August 25, 2011

Color Wheel

Despite what the subsequent heatwave might have wanted me to believe, I’ve felt the end of summer looming since the 4th of July. And with its end, the trends for fall have settled into many, if not all, stores. Most trends don’t need too many instructions. So leopard is popular. Do you want it in a shoe? A scarf? A bag? A pair of high-waisted pants? The choice of how much or how little or none at all is yours. But some trends present more of a slippery slope.

The ease of composing multi-piece outfits out of items in bold, solid colors fades away as one gets older. A quick walk through a playground, or a trip through an old photo album, reveals how easy it is for children to do just that. There is a carefree nature to dressing at that age, as there should be when your bright yellow pants will probably end up covered in dirt or chocolate or finger paint or fruit juice by the end of the day, and every color seems to go well with every other color.

But with age comes the urge to "tone down" bright colors with something in the neutral family, like a black, a white, a gray, or a navy, overtakes us. The easiest way to move away from that impulse is to include one piece that does the colorblocking for you and to add on from there with items like a brightly hued pair of tights or a vibrant shoe.



Isabel Marant Etoile


The other option is to chose pieces in those shades you sometimes shy away from and style your outfit accordingly. That path can lead to more creativity and more excitement but also more mistakes, so it's best to start with one piece and build from there. In this case, I chose a pair of bright blue jeans by J Brand.

From there, it's easiest to begin with colors that live a good deal away from blue on the color wheel. Mustard yellow reappears every autumn and is a perfect complement to the candy color of the jeans.

Especially when it comes in a swing sweater from H&M.

And is finished with tiger print stilettos by Isabel Marant.

A cool, berry tone, much like the one this slouchy Rogan sweater is found in, is the perfect antidote for those whom find yellow to be rather unkind.

A pair of short Frye boots give the look a relaxed, weekend feel.

But for most, it’s not complementary colors that cause problems but playing with colors in the same family that presents difficulties. There’s the possibility that you’ll choose shades that are so similar that you’ll look like one definitive stroke of paint. On the other hand if the shades are just off, you’ll seem hopelessly mismatched.

However, a deep navy, like in this sweater from Marc by Marc Jacobs, will simply dampen the shocking nature of the jeans.

And bright green loafers by Topshop will add an additional pop that breaks up the blocks of blue.

In the end, all of that color and all of that playfulness will act as a shield as the long nights and short days of winter approach.

Images via, via, via, via, via, via, via

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Heights

After spending all of my life somewhere on the tall spectrum, I’ve settled rather comfortably into the medium tall range of which the perks include having pants always hit me in just the right spot and being able to reach most tall shelves. For this reason, and because of The Legs, I rarely need to wear heels. But most heels aren’t about necessity. I own several pairs of course. Mary Janes. Espadrilles. Wedges. Stilettos that were not made to be worn on the brick sidewalks of the South End or, previously, on the gravel paths of my college campus.

Yet even when I feel the urge to put them on, I turn instead to the flats strewn about my room. I’ve stopped wearing heels during job interviews. Instead I pair my black suiting dress with black ballet flats and call it a day.

The reality of my life might have something to do with my devotion to the ballet flat. When I’m at work, I’m always on my feet. When I’m not, I’m walking everywhere. Over various bridges to Cambridge. Down to Fort Point Channel. Around Jamaica Pond. I balance my late 20s obsession with all things mini by wearing shoes that keep me close to the ground and keep my outfits sweetly sexy.

But heels of all types are, after dresses and boys and the perfect job, the things that I most often daydream about. I can lose hours in the archives of Tommy Ton's Jak & Jil street style blog. When I wander through shoe departments, I construct elaborate outfits from the bottom up. I’ve been having recurring fantasies about Manolo Blahnik mary janes in colors and prints that it doesn’t come in this season like leopard and red patent leather. And even though I should probably start by simply wearing the shoes that I already own, I can’t help lusting after a number of pairs.

From the twisted classic



Christian Louboutin

To the candy bright

Miu Miu

Alexander McQueen

To the sky high

Jimmy Choo

Images via

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Resort has shed any semblance of being a forgotten, in between season participated in by those few who could afford the cost of presentations or full runway shows. It now stretches more than four weeks. Chanel has spent the past few years turning their Resort show into fantasy trips for those invited. Some bring their wares across the Atlantic from London and Paris and Milan to present their collections multiple times to groups of editors and buyers and tastemakers. While others, mainly younger lines, have found new and inventive ways to present their art to the masses.

Prabal Gurung Resort 2012 Film Featuring Rye Rye

And with all of that expansion, the history that led to the naming of the season has begun to experience its last life breaths. Many designers have taken to calling the season Pre-Spring, freeing them of any of the season’s past associations and opening the floodgates to inspiration from all corners.

Yet pieces from that past still hang in the air.

At Chanel

At Elie Tahari

At Alice & Olivia

At Christian Dior

At BCBG Max Azria

But for the most part, Resort has transformed into a season more like Pre-Fall, a combination of what was there before and what is to come. From the Fall/Winter season, two trends continued to exhibit a particularly strong hold.

Colorblocking has lasted longer as a trend than any I can think of in recent memory. And throughout the Resort collections, there was no sign of its domination abating.


At Rachel Roy

At Gucci

At Pedro Lourenço

At Stella McCartney

The bright reds that added a pop to the Fall/Winter season in order to act against the dreariness of the cold winter months continued to litter the collections.

At Gucci

At Elie Tahari

At Preen

At Yigal Azrouël

At Ohne Titel

And again, like Pre-Fall, there was a return to the staples that return simply because of the change of seasons. For this Resort season, that role was played by stripes of the maritime variety.

At Organic by John Patrick

At The Row

At Moschino Cheap And Chic

At Philosophy

At Rachel Roy

But mostly there seemed a move towards the overtly feminine. Lace adorned everything from sleeves to entire dresses often without the usual underpinnings.

At Rachel Comey

At Peter Som

At Jason Wu

At Jonathan Saunders

At Erdem

At Prada

Flirty polka dots adorned sweaters and skirts and dresses of all sorts.

At Fendi

At Marc by Marc Jacobs

At Jill Stuart

At Oscar de la Renta

The color story seemed to be one of sherberts. Of sweetness and lightness and joy.

At Michael Kors

At Prabal Gurung

At Roksanda Ilincic

At A.L.C.

At Peter Jensen

At Burberry Prorsum

It's not a surprising reaction to the continued uncertainty that seems to cast its shadow over everything at the moment. And one that I expect we'll see in the coming Spring/Summer 2012 shows.

Photos via