London Fashion Week Special: Burberry Prorsum




Inspiration: Military/The Aviator Jacket
Accessories: Buckle boots; Thigh-high boots; leather handbags
Favorite Look: White belted shag coat worn by Melissa Tamarjin
Thoughts: Alluding to Burberry’s long history with the British military, designer Christopher Bailey described the A/W 2010 collection as a “salute to the services.” In my opinion, it was a salute to a lot more than that, namely Bailey’s designer genius. One of my favorite things about this designer is his ability to keep Burberry fresh and modern, while embracing the history of this 153-year-old fashion house. Bailey is known for combing Burberry’s archives for inspiration, and often he will take one piece from the line’s famed history and build an entire collection around it. Last season that piece was the trench, this season, the aviator jacket. Bailey created this classic wardrobe piece in every which way -some were cropped with delicately sewn buttons and others had oversized collars with zipper-detailing. Shearling has never looked so good.
     So what was under all of those fantastic jackets? Working with a dark color palette and various textures, Bailey created lacy dresses (I love the contrast of lace underneath a tough aviator jacket), ruched skirts and the perfect trousers. And look at those boots (thigh-high is here to stay)! I think Style.com summed up this collection perfectly: “There’s only one problem with the jackets on the Burberry Prorsum runway: Which one to choose?”




Note: You can purchase several of the A/W collection pieces online RIGHT NOW through Friday. Your purchases will be delivered within 6 weeks.

NY Fashion Week Fall 2010: Part Two





Ralph Lauren

Inspiration: The designer’s own 1993 campaign/Sheila Metzner photograph of Tyra Banks
Accessories: Knit caps; beaded necklaces; fingerless lace gloves
Favorite Look: Wool blazer cinched with a distressed belt over a tired skirt and opaque tights
Thoughts: When explaining his Fall 2010 collection, Ralph Lauren said he was “in a romantic and bohemian mood.” We can tell. The collection was a vision of fall romance with floral prints that appeared on fluid dresses paired with girlish accessories, including knit caps and fingerless lace gloves. There were also exquisite embroideries, including a fierce black dress that was reminiscent of a modern day flapper. But Lauren didn’t just give us pretty. Known for blending masculine touches with his feminine pieces, the designer sent pinstripes in the form a cropped jacket and vest over skinny pants down the runway.  

Paris 68
Inspiration: The student revolutions in Paris in 1968 (hence the line’s name)
Accessories: Faux silver gloves (it’s actually just paint!); sky-high booties
Favorite Look: Hand-embellished leggings/long sleeve dress 
Thoughts: Though no stranger to the fashion scene, Marcella Lindberg (a creative consultant for William Rast) unveiled her first collection under her own label last week. This collection is everything we love about French fashion: elegant and chic with a hint of edge. The first look to strut the runway was a remarkable merge of a minidress and leggings and certainly set the tone for the rest of this brilliant show. Focusing on a palette of dusty pinks, gunmetal grays and metallics, Lindberg sent sent one exquisite look after another down the runway, including hand-embellished skirt/legging combos, peplum-hemmed blazers, leather jackets, mohair capes, and tasseled miniskirts. One things is clear: this is a line you’ll want to keep your eye on. 
Phillip Lim
Inspiration: 1970s Halston/Punk
Accessories: Oversized animal print handbags/Louboutin stilettos
Favorite Look: Plaid wool jumper with criss-cross straps worn over oatmeal-colored wool sweater
Thoughts: Philip Lim took us to the disco with this ’70s inspired collection. There were all your classic ’70s staples: plaid, wide-leg trousers, shearling and fur (very “Penny Lane” in Almost Famous). I especially loved the wool skirts with the body straps. Lim also used this same criss-cross technique on a pair of trousers paired with a silk purple top. Lim’s creations also took us out for a night at Studio 54 with several sequin-covered asymmetrical frocks. I can’t wait to see (and try on) these pieces in person come fall. The real genius lies in that no matter what the overall idea of his collection is, you can always find something that is wearable. 
Boy by Band of Outsiders
Inspiration: Manhattan/1972 Woody Allen/Joan Didion/REI
Accessories: Saddle shoes; oversized sunnies by Silver Lining
Favorite Look: Light grey wool blazer with fur collar worn with black cotton dress and saddle shoes
Thoughts: I can always count on Scott Sternberg to present a fresh take on preppy, tomboyish looks. There were plenty of tailored jackets, tweed pants, slouchy sweaters, and all were paired with oversized sunglasses. Sternberg always keeps his looks modern by mixing different textures and fabrics (I especially loved the mixing of different stripes on a miniskirt). The styling of this collection was masterful – each piece blended perfectly with the rest of the ensemble while still managing to make a statements on its own.

Alexander Wang

Inspiration: “Deconstructed Wall Street”
Accessories: Velvet backpacks; thigh-high leggings; Linda Farrow oversized velvet sunnies
Favorite Look: Black draped assymetrical dress with cinched in waist 
Thoughts: Simply stated: Wang took the popular menswear-inspired looks for women and ripped them up. Literally. Taking a cue from Wall Street (although I doubt you’ll be wearing these pieces to the office), there were pants and skirts with cutouts around the hips and pinstripe blazers cut at the midriff. This collection highlighted one of Wang’s strong suits: draping. Seen on a cozy gray sweater and several of the dresses (especially a lovely black one), the draping was simply exquisite and so well done. Another major element of Wang’s collection was velvet. As always, Wang’s collection was undeniably cool.  


NY Fashion Week Fall 2010: Part One

It’s officially the end of an era. After nearly two decades of housing fashion’s most elite event, the tents at Bryant Park closed for the final time last night after a finale show by Tommy Hilfiger. Beginning in September of this year, the shows will move to Lincoln Center. To celebrate the final hurrah, designers brought their best for the Fall 2010 collections. Here are some of my favorites:



Marc Jacobs



Inspiration: Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Accessories: Envelope clutches; all shoes (including adorable Mary Janes) worn with socks
Favorite Look: Metallic silver gown
Thoughts: MJ surprised viewers by presenting a collection that was completely, well, un-MJ. Known for being a rebel in the fashion pack, Jacobs normally presents us with things like flourescent ’80s jackets and heel-less high heels (all of those fabulously unpractical items that we love so much). But not this time. For his fall collection, Jacobs gave us pieces that were totally practical and very wearable. Working with a neutral palette consisting of mainly grays and taupes, the designer presented a wide variety of pieces, including wool coats, tea-length dresses, and even a three-piece suit. While the collection may have been less colorful than in seasons past, the future (especially in retail) is certainly as bright as ever.



J. Mendel



Inspiration: Ryan McGinley’s “Moonmilk” series
Accessories: Christine McPartland’s gunmetal pyramid jewelry and all things fur (mittens, muffs, berets and even handbags)
Favorite Look: Moss green strapless chiffon gown
Thoughts: Just when you thought Gilles Mendel had done fur every which way possible, he sends out his Fall 2010 collection starring fur as its main character. Inspired by Ryan McGinley’s photographs of caves, Mendel created luxurious fur pieces by combining different types of fur in unusual ways (patchworking, for example). Don’t worry, Mendel didn’t leave us without delivering some of his exceptional evening gowns. Working with a palette of blue, red and green, the designer wowed us with several sophisticated and modern gowns sure to be seen very soon on the red carpet.

The Row



Inspiration: Straightforward basics
Accessories: Gladiator sandals
Favorite Look: White 3/4-length sleeve sheath
Thoughts: At last, the wait is over. Ever since the Olsens debuted The Row three years ago, I have been patiently waiting for this design duo to present at fashion week. For their first show, the Olsens said they wanted “do something low-key and straight to the point.” Mission accomplished! The collection focused on a tri-color palette of black, navy and white and featured sophisticated and elegant staples (think buttoned-up shirts, tuxedo jackets and silk trousers). While keeping things simple and chic, the designers also experimented with textures by incorporating blue python into their cropped jackets, clutches and mini-skirts.

Rag & Bone




Inspiration: “…the crazy English guys who climbed Mount Everest in the twenties in tweed.” (Style.com)
Accessories: Cashmere legwarmers; lace-up boots; bolero ties; backpacks
Favorite Look: Green Harris tweed blazer worn over a hoodie, black silk shirt and shorts
Thoughts: In fashion, layering is an art. And David Neville and Marcus Wainwright are artists. The talented duo sent their models down the runway in layer upon layer of cozy outerwear. Their inspriration was clear in the blazers, utility belts and vests that accentuated each look. Each ensemble was flawlessly styled (thanks to Vanessa Reid) and could literally be worn straight from the runway out into the flurry-filled streets of New York.



Proenza Schouler




Inspiration: The 1990s
Accessories: PS11 (the new version of their famed PS1); thigh-high hose (trend alert); saddle shoes
Favorite Look: High-waisted pleated leather skirt worn with a crisp white shirt and cotton blazer
Thoughts: Blue must this design team’s favorite color. Continuing with the true blues we saw in their spring 2010 show, the designers infused their fall collection with midnight and robin’s egg hues. Reminiscient of school girl style, the collection featured pleated miniskirts, tailored blazers and saddle shoes. The designers also focused on graffiti-esque print that was present in a pair of skinny jeans that they created alongside JBrand (go ahead and put yourself on the waiting list for a pair of these). It’s been said over and over again but Jack Mccollough and Lazaro Hernandez really are the coolest kids on the block.

Marchesa



Inspiration: Circus performer Lola Montez
Accessories: Louboutins with adorable bows up the front
Favorite Look: Cotton-candy pink silk and organza gown
Thoughts: Feathers, lace, organza and tulle: all of the necessary ingredients to create a Marchesa masterpiece were present for the Fall collection. Designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig presented flawless pieces including several embroidered gowns and a couple of suede numbers. Red carpet worthy? Absolutely. Which one of these pieces do you think we’ll see on the red carpet come March 8?

Victoria Beckham

Inspiration: Comic books (specifically Dick Tracy)
Accessories: Brian Atwood sky-high stilettos; oversized sunnies
Favorite Look: Every. Single. Piece.
Thoughts: I’ll admit I was totally skeptical when the former Spice Girl announced she would start designing and would show her collections seasonally at NY Fashion Week. But four collections in and I’m officially one of her biggest fans. Beckham remained true to form by focusing her fall collection solely on dresses (26 of them, to be exact) The signature sheaths ranged from well-tailored above-the-knee frocks to form-fitting (and exquisitely draped) evening gowns. (Note: Beckham revealed that she plans to wear the nude-colored one shouldered gown to the Oscars.) I would wear every single piece in this entire collection. What do you think? Has she won you over yet?

Pop

Tie-dye seems to be on everyone’s minds this month. The February issue of Interview magazine features a graffiti-themed editorial with top model Sasha Pivovarova. Photographed by Craig McDean and styled by Karl Templer, the editorial was shot in an alabaster white room with graffiti-covered furniture. Pivovarova (who is ranked #2 of the top 50 models in the industry) dons an assortment of pieces from the spring collections, including Miu Miu platforms and Prada’s chandelier dress. The vibrant colors and over-the-top styling make this spread totally chaotic – but I love it. What do you think?

Tied and Dyed

When you think chic ensembles, tie-dye probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. That is, until you watched Proenza Schouler’s S/S 2010 show. The fashion house led by the design duo of Jack McCullough and Lazaro Hernandez presented a spring collection that was not only totally refreshing, but also single-handedly brought tie-dye back into our lives. And, thanks to Who What Wear, you can get the psychedelic look all on your own! Check our these simple DIY directions:

Ingredients:
-Rubber Gloves
- Tulip
Tie Dye ($5) in Black, Blue, and Yellow
-American Apparel
Sheer Jersey Long Sleeve Tee ($26)Directions:
1. Lay the shirt down on a flat surface. Insert a piece of cardboard in between the layers, so the dye does not bleed through from the front to the back!
2. Spray sides of the shirt with the Yellow fashion dye creating two outer panels of color.
3. Spray the middle section of the shirt with the darker contrasting color (in this case, the Blue fashion dye). It’s ok if the color overlaps a little bit—we think the bleeding looks cool!
4. Let it dry flat (for approximately thirty minutes; it’s ok if it’s a bit damp, as it will help the color bleed) and repeat first three steps on the backside of the shirt.
5. Once it has dried, gather the shirt in very thin vertical sections, grabbing from the neck and the bottom of the shirt (to create an accordion effect!)
6. Finally, make thin horizontal lines with the Black fashion dye (with tip applicator) across the gathered accordion surface using the tip of your tie dye bottle nozzle. Repeat on the sleeves.
7. Again, our master crafter recommends you wait for the shirt to dry for three days before washing, according to the directions on the tag. For peace of mind, wash it in like colors or all by itself first!