December 26, 2007

Lumber Gals

From left: coat: Kerry Buffalo@ Urban Outfitters, sweatshirt: Kiser@ Karmaloop online, jacket: Roxy

The last time I saw somebody sporting a plaid flannel was 2 years ago in Boston, when i ran into an old friend from Minnesota, who was donning a sloppy black and red one. I was with a friend from LA. We exchanged introductions and small talk, and after we parted ways my LA friend turned to me and blankly said: is that how all people from Minnesota dress. All the tractor-driving, redneck stereotypes i'd so vehemently attempted to denounce during my four years at school in Boston at that moment went to hell. I'd hidden my accent well, and brushed off hundreds of attacks every winter that claimed "i should be used to this mind-numbing cold beacuse I am from Minn-a-sooo-tah". I hate Fargo, no matter how many oscars it won. Nobody ever wanted to take a style hint from the land of (it's now 20,000, thanks) lakes, so why is Paul Bunyan's (the same guy that was the basis for the Mall of America's Log Ride) lumberjack look popping up everywhere?

From left: shorts: Patrizia Pepe@, vest: L.A.M.B., coat: Philip Lim 3.1

November 28, 2007

Penelope Cruz for December Vogue

"You cannot live your life looking at yourself from someone else's point of view"

Regarding my opinion of Penelope Cruz, I've always been neither here nor there. In Vanilla Sky, she was fairy-tale, overly adorable, almost childlike with a forced free-spirited laughter. She whined too much in Blow, albeit she played the nagging wife with the husband in jail role well. And then Almodóvar places her in her native Spanish-speaking roles where she is suddenly her best; her cuteness matures and she is Spain's leading lady of cinema.

After reading Vogue's December cover story of Penelope, I decided I liked her. She could be an Audrey Hepburn role, a femme fatale, or even a screwball comedy protagonist as Almodóvar suggested. Writer Gaby Wood angles the piece to illustrate Penelope's Almovodar-coined "proletariat" spirit-something uniting compassion, hard-work and worthiness of success. The shoot was photographed by Annie Leibovitz, who captures the spirit of a woman incredibly, in Segovia, Spain. Styled in gowns by Marchesa, she captures the essence of a Spanish rose, reflecting both an embedded image of a Spanish princesa and her forthcoming film Manolete, about a Spanish bullfighter who sacrifices his animal rights beliefs for the love of a woman. As for her collaboration with MANGO, she flashes red lips, flapper dresses, and sophisticated business attire, which she co-designed with her sister. At heart I think she really is a girl of the people, but not far is her high society Madrileño costume for when she needs it.

November 16, 2007

Alicia Keys: Hard not to love her as she is

Alicia Keys' As I Am

Most female artists release albums that reflect a general style for that chunk of their life to which it's dedicated: mad love-soaked ballad-ing, soul-searching lyrics mixed with self re-empowerment, or a brush up with a new-found music era that's been done before. But Alicia doesn't need some overblown inspiration, rather a few pages from her diary-today she is lonely, tomorrow she is repressed and has to "tell you something", and on the 15th she's realized she's gathered enough strength to be Superwoman.

She opens the CD isolating a moment for her famous piano skills to shine, then proceeds into her heartful, heavily soulful third studio album. The first 2 songs I immediately couldn't stop listening to were "wreckless love" and "where do we go". Wreckless love is the most refreshing-her sometimes raspy voice has a clear pitch all the way through. In this song, I feel as if she's written off all the other emotions she's poured into the album and admitted us into a free-wheeling love affair. Where do we go starts off like an old fuzzy jazz record, gathers some swing and breaks out into a gospel song complete with organs and drums. Industrial, harmonic, full of movement-"all i can do is follow the tracks of my tears," she wails. "Pain" is belted out with such a bittersweet melody, it's more reminiscent of a helpless cry for freedom. Collaborations with Jamie Foxx and John Mayer don't add anything at all. No one, though I swear I am sick of it, is just too hard to skip once that piano strikes. One of my favorite lyrics, from Sure looks good to me: ...and me and myself we're turning around, we're getting old.

November 14, 2007

In that Navy

i've been looking for the perfect navy/gold detail blazer and i've just found it on Birdie Bell, who wore it to Elton John's Chopard party. Not sure of the designer-and maybe it's Birdie-but she pulls off a relaxed look from a sophisticated cut..(how cool are those tights too?)

November 8, 2007

WinteR BLues BrinG RuBy SHoes

From left: Dorothy in Oz, Audrey in Sabrina, Rhianna (performing at the WMA's)

The Perfect Red Pump is just as essential as the LBD. In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's ruby red Swarovski-encrusted slippers gave her the power to return home whenever she desired. After seeing the musical adaptation Wicked, I was inspired to re-examine the ruby slipper and it's necessitation to tap its way into every girl's wardrobe. In Wicked, the slippers gave Nessarose, the witch's crippled-since-babyhood sister, the power to walk again. Nothing short of magic. Here are some of my favorite red pumps for fall:

THere'S nO PLaCe LiKe...

1) The 20's (left) Fornarina Flapper-girlesque pumps.
2) The 30's (center) Miu Miu's black swarovski crystal heels give a vintage glam touch to elegant heels, evoking the silver screen meets costume era that was the 30's.
3) The 50's (below) Sabrina heel's were made popular by Sabrina herself aka Audrey Hepburn. Pumps by Luichiny.

4) The 70's (left)- red platform pumps by Kate Spade.
5) 2007- (center) tye-dye inspired color is infiltrating back into the 21st century. Shoes by Stuart Weitzman.
6) Havana (below) Red salsa shoe by Charles David.

7) Catholic school-at least the rebellious vixen fresh out-(left and center) pumps by Bronx and Alexander McQueen.
8). Hollywood- see Rhianna and Christina (Aguilera) for sassy open-toed red pumps. Pump Marc by Marc Jacobs.

9) HOmE!!! Classic ruby red's from left: Briant Atwood, Alexander McQueen, Manolo Blahnik

November 2, 2007

Notes from a Stylist

This week was our press preview at Bismarck Phillips, where stylists from every magazine set up appointments at our rented space in SoHo to browse the looks they saw parading the runways in September. I won't name names, but some of Vogue, Elle and WWD's top critics pulled favorites and took pics for upcoming stories.

Wunderkind. They loved the mixing of all the prints and thought the beading was "amazing". The purple leopard looks (see corset dress which is meant to cascade out) were favored (they came in brown, red, and blue as well). Wunderkind's entire collection was inspired by a sole bandana!

Christian Lacroix. These were the two favorite looks of one stylist. She absolutely loved the bright shrimp dress in addition to the multi-color print kimono. (We are sharing the Lacroix collection with Paris and London, so a lot was missing).

Reyes. The yellow looks were favored. Stylists loved the navy trench with cropped sleeves and navy dress that tied at the waist. The red/white/blue dress and sweater pieces, they also loved. They noted how "tennis-y" the collection appeared.

Carlos Miele (left 2). They loved the silk print mini skirt and the "Polaroid" gown, which was inspired by personal Polaroid's of Carlos. Jovovich-Hawk (right). They loved the white gown, a fine example of how the collection was inspired by lingerie.

Preen. One stylist thought the swimsuits were "insane". (They really are so incredibly detailed and complex for swimsuits). Another stylist loved the bright coral looks at Preen (many of which weren't seen at the show).

Jenni Kayne. Jenni is a young LA designer that is growing and recently opened her first boutique in LA. One stylist loved the royal blue sweater. A few stylists took pics of the long blue print dress.

October 29, 2007

Yves Saint Laurent's Elle; A Tribute to Michael Haussman

I've always thought Madonna's Take a Bow was one of the most incredibly shot videos; an intriguing and seductive, yet graceful portrayal of Madonna in her pre-evita/intimate bedtime stories era, glorifying the Spanish bullfight. I researched the director only to discover it was Michael Haussman, a Rome-based writer, director, and producer who I credit for capturing the uber potential of a stylish and sexy femme. He's also the creative guru behind many of Replay Jeans' commercials where he portrays the female protagonists as angels and outlaws. He is responsible for Jennifer's Lopez's explosive escape from victimized femininity in Que Hiciste and Shakira's raw, tortured, and imprisoned love in La Tortura. Most recently he directed Yves Saint Laurent's commercial in Europe for Yves Saint Laurent's Elle parfum. Sharp and seductive, the ultra-confident Haussman woman paints pink femininity fiercely across the bleak windows of a skyscraper. [Set to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Gold Lion"] the commercial is the electric female Yves Saint Laurent dresses.

October 25, 2007

Osman & I; Osman & Mango

Osman Yousefzada SS08


Osman Yousefzada, described his collection to Meredith Melling Burke yesterday as "India meets Zen". I stood there beside him in the plush white/mint green lobby that is Vogue, while he pushed his far east-inspired collection filled with candy stripes, stiff box-cut blazers and skirts pumped with volume onto Meredith and Lauren-the heiresses in question of Anna Wintour. Osman is just like his clothes; prim-and-properly cut, but odd, coming from a different planet and trying to find his way into New York's melting pot of hipsters. He showed his SS08 collection last month during London Fashion Week; it was sponsored at MANGO and held at their flagship store. Osman will return the favor next season with the creation of 12 little black dresses made exclusively for MANGO, to be seen in stores come January. Hopefully the MANGO in SoHo will be opened in time! (perhaps the last 3 looks can preview the LBDs)