September 27, 2007

Milan Fashion Week SS08 Wrapup II

Sorry this post is late! I spent the last many hours getting to Chicago (first time here!) and am now jet-lagged (slept too much on the planes.) Thank goodness for the new runway photos -this season's Milan shows are definitely more exciting than last season's shows!
Wow. After last season's collection of heavy artificial materials, this season's sheer, flowy clothes is a great change. The first thing I loved was the dark, moody makeup. The makeup theme -dark eyes and light lips -is made moody and not sexed-up. Miuccia shot for 'fantasy'. And it IS fantasy. Even if it's not dramatic fantasy like Dior haute couture or Alexander McQueen shows, the clothes here are Prada's signature, understated and not-for-everyone sort of fantasy.
See the silk dress on the right -it's amazing how Miuccia managed to combine those peacock-ish colours and still make the dress look pretty and not tacky.
I LOVE that dress on the right with the fairy print. It's so elegant and feminine with a cute, pretty edge.
It's so refreshing to see Prada's intellectual, artisitc clothes not looking like it's usual, boxy self. However, I'm not sure how good they'll look on the consumers or who would actually buy crazy coloured pants (like the one on the left.)
Alessandro Dell'Acqua
While Dell'Acqua's collections have never been as fashion-foward as Prada's, the clothes are always great to see how he mixes his new inspirations with last runway collections' trends.
OK, so the first few outfits of underwear are pretty bad, but I do really like his cocktail dresses. (I have a thing for these fake strapless dresses. They're just so much more practical, modest and comfortable than the usual strapless dress, don't you think?)
I'm not sure how commercial these Japanese-inspired skirts/ dresses will be, but do note the wasit-clinching trend. Ooh, and look at the dress on Du Juan (left,) doesn't it look like flowers are growing on her (and tastefully covering up her private parts?)
Marni is a brand that I see people wear around a lot. It's so distinctive you really can't miss it. Whenever I see Marni clothes in real life, I've always been so bombarded with the prints and crafty accessories that it didn't occur to me that Marni's clothes are now less nature-like than a few years ago until I read the reviews on the SS08 collections. And even though the crafty necklaces are still there, the clothes now really do seem more modern and wearable.
The dress on the left is one of my favourites from this Marni collection. It's artistic without being too over-the-top. And that dress on Lily Donaldson (right) -it actually looks somewhat classic and sleek, something that is not very Marni-like.
The patent leather bags and skirts are still there, but this time paired with brighter colours.
Perhaps it's an attempt to try out new silhouettes, but some of the clothes like the dress on the right was so different from Marni's usual clothes that I can't quite appreciate it on the Marni runway yet.
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September 25, 2007

Milan Fashion Week SS08 Wrapup I

And we are off to Milan! Sigh, it seems just like yesterday I was walking along via Della Spiga, passing by the huge Armani building and breathing it all in. Anyways, back to the runway. Lets start with the most Italian of them all......

Gorgio Armani
Inspired by the languid sensual summers of Southern Italy, this collection had a much more relaxing and casual touch than Armani's usual sleek, sharp and sexy silhouette. And about time too! I was getting bored of using the same adjectives every season to describe Armani.
I am usually not one for gypsy looking shorts, but I am loving these. Armani upgrades them with the shiny material and the subtle tailoring, making them look feminine and elegant while still being very relaxing and comfortable. They appear to be very versatile too, looking great with equally relaxing looking tops, loose and fitted jackets. I want one of these next season!
Then there were the dresses. Or shorts integrated into looking like dresses (left and right above). He keeps with the theme by using these light flowing fabric further enhanced by its texturized print.
More into the evening, we have these creations. Armani's pairing of the sequence top with the flowing floral skirt is just genius.
Something a little more typical of Armani, the evening wear. I simply LOVE all of these, especially the gold one on the right that was the finale. Simply beautiful. Oh and it looks like I'm going to have to invest in light shawls next season too!

Burberry Prorsum
Christopher Bailey never ceases to amaze me with his collections that are always refreshing but still oh-so-Burberry. This season, the theme was the Luxury Warrior, I have no idea what the means but it looks to me that it involves feminine ruched up materials paired with rocker chic studded elements.
Personally I don't really like the look of these ruched up material. It looks like bunched up muscles....maybe I've been seeing too much Body Worlds.....But I DO like the whole long jacket over a dress and cinched together with a studded belt look. Very cool. And I LOVE the checkered patterns. Definitely more refreshing than the usual Burberry print.
Without the jacket, those studded belts look just as cool. I especially love the black bubble dress with the black blazer and belt underneath (right) look. Oh and I'm not too fond of that feathery looking pencil skirt (left), looks scary.....
More trenches. LOVE LOVE LOVE that updated trench (left). Looks soooo awesome. And middle outfit with the black trench and the big patent black bag looks soo chic as well. And the purple outfit (right) perfectly illustrates Bailey's mixing of lux materials.
More vibrantly there are these hot pink and blue looks. I especially love the sky blue on sapphire blue combo (middle). Its soo sharp. And that gray dress is just beeeeeeautiful.... so feminine and delicate with a bit of edge from that belt. Perhaps that is what Bailey means by luxury warrior?
Either way, one thing I'm sure you'll all agree with. Next season, the studded belt is THE accessory to have. And from the variety of ways Bailey has shown us how to wear it on this runway, I'd say its a prime investment!

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September 24, 2007

FW07 Trend: Blue Eye Shadows

The ballots are in. All the make-up houses agree. Blue is the shade this season.

As one of their new fall looks, Mac came out with this Blue Storm look.
Created with their new MatteĀ² highly pigmented eye shadow, you can tell from the look above that the effect is very intense. This would be perfect for a dramatic look for a night out. Personally though this is a bit too much for my taste.

Laura Mercier also came out with a Stormy collection (I guess rain and wind is trendy this season). The ad is much more dramatic than the Mac, but the blues are still quite intense.
Their blue sky quad was actually what inspired this whole post. If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you will know that eye shadow quads are my weakness. Isn't this quad sooo pretty? After much admiration on the internet, I finally got around to trying it out the other day at the counter. Unfortunately it seems that blue really isn't my color. I tried, I really did. Usually when something looks nice, I can tell straight away. But this time when the sales lady tried it on me and I took a double take and had to cover my other eye in an attempt to find the beauty in it. The sales lady tried to help by adding eye liner and more of the darker shades for the more "full effect" saying that the blue takes some time to get used to, but no matter what she did/say and how much I tried, I still looked like I'd been punched. It is really too bad, I was fully prepared to buy it! The shades are just too blue! But the thing is, the sales lady looked perfectly fine with the blue shades on and she has a very similar skin tone as me. I don't know what went wrong there.
And then of course there is my darling Bobbi Brown with their limited edition metallics collection that comes in Midnight Metallics.
Isn't this palette so pretty too? I was torn between this and the Laura Mercier. But ultimately, I think this is the better blue palette around, because the two grey/silver blue colors are the perfect compliment to the dark blue, easily creating a whole smokey eye effect with a blue tinge.
Incidentally, I also love their Forest Metallics. The greens are just sooo rich and lustrous that it has blown away all my previous reservations about green eye shadows ever since my friend told me they looked slutty and I saw a middle aged lady wearing lime green eye shadow over her heavy powdered face and very red lipsticks, which really scared me. Those are lime green. But this is much richer and the effect is much classier and more elegant. I absolutely LOVE this palette. Hmm... so I guess at the end of the day, I just can't get away from Bobbi Brown.

Chanel also has an eye shadow quad with blue shades as well, though it is not new. HG has it and the effect looks great, all smokey blue eye with a very pretty sparkly undertone.

September 23, 2007

London Fashion Week SS08 Wrapup III

London Fashion Week's finished. Now all the fashion people are in Milan, but here are a few more London collections. On Thursday, BG talked about how she liked the Matthew Williamson and Erdem collection. I'm going to blabber on a bit how I don't quite love some of the collections: (Please note that this is just my taste. I'm in no way saying these designers have no talent!)

House of Holland

So I've decided maybe I don't hate those neon-coloured, slogan Tees that much. They're just annoying. Before this collection, I didn't know exactly what to expect. Afterall, he couldn't possibly do endless collections of slogan Tees. And even though I knew I wasn't going to like it, it was more terrible than I expected. The clothes are just so colourful in a trashy way. I know House of Holland is all about being worn to parties, but why would one want to turn up to parties looking like that?

Louise Goldin

Louise Goldin is supposedly this runway season's new London designer to lookout for. Since a few of the online reviews seemed to have liked this collection, maybe it's just me who didn't really get the appeal of these clothes so I'm really not too impressed. Maybe it's because I'm too much of a realist and can't imagine wearing these clothes in real life. Oh well, what did you think of this new designer?

And to finish this post with a pretty collection: Giles
Such a pretty collection! Giles has really improved since he first started. A lot of the dresses from this collection felt very 'fancy tea party' to me.

The techo, tie-dyed looking silk dresses are so pretty -the blue, the purple, the swirl of colours. And look at the dress in the middle, it looks like a painting of purple clouds (together with the white-ish chiffon underneath.)

And finally, the artsy dresses. I love how Giles (for the middle dress) combined artsy, cutout pieces with the simple mid-sleeved dress on top. It's a totally wearable simple dress without looking boring!

Next week is Milan Fashion Week -can't wait to see the Prada collection!

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September 21, 2007

London Fashion Week SS08 Wrapup II

As HG pointed out, London fashion week is always fun to look at, but a great pain for those of us who want to try and imitate the look. Or maybe that is just me...But anyway, lets look.

Matthew Williamson
Matthew's show is one that I always love to check out every season, because one can be sure that it is going to look fun and colorful. This season is no different. The clothes are colorful, fun, chic with a hint of tribal vibe (aztec prints?).

I love how he mixes the prints/colors here in these outfits and it still looks so perfectly put together and chic. I'd never be able to do that no matter how much I study unless I buy the whole outfit off the mannequin.
I especially love this outfit on the left. The simple pairing of plain top with printed shorts, and just a hint of mix 'n matching with the scarf is so me. Note the very colorful sneakers on this runway paired with everything, even dresses, which one wouldn't usually think to pair them with. Looks sooo comfy! Though I wonder if one can pull if off if one doesn't have legs as skinny and long as these models.
Then he has some tie-dyed outfits, which kind of reminds me of Prada and Miu Miu this season. But I do so like black, white and pink. And I absolutely adore pairing these flowy printed tops with structured blazers (right). Again, so me. Blazer is my uniform.
I am STILL looking for the perfect shift dress this season. You'd think with all these lovely creations sprinkling the runways the last few seasons I'd find one by now. But no, they just keep coming on the runway tempting me..... esp like the black dress with the printed trimmings.
Lastly there were these beautiful, flowy, colorful dresses. The printed one here on the right is soo Matthew Williamson!

One of the brands I've been keeping a lookout for ever since I saw some of their collection in the Harvey Nichols catalog. This collection is the epitome of British casual chic cool for me.
I love the shape of these dresses, which are so different. One is structured and the other one is all flowy and free. And the stripey print adds structure to one and gives the other a illusion effect. So cool.
Casual cool outfits.
Its so cool how he put bold white stripes over the delicate floral pattern of the silk dress. It makes for a very sharp contrast.
Sharp design to match the bold colors on top of the silver grey. Gives it a slightly futuristic edge.
And these last four are my absolutely favourites. They are just so chic, classy and feminine.
Just LOVE these dresses in their soft, feminine effortlessly cool way.

Ps. Remind me to get bold colored footwear next season!

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September 20, 2007

London Fashion Week SS08 Wrapup

Woo it's London Fashion Week! LFW is always more of a fun, just-for-looking week of photos for me, but the clothes are always so young and creative, (though argueably and unfortunately not as practical and commercial.)

Even though I don't remember ever seeing Luella's clothes in real life before, I've always love the Luella vibe -that preppy, punk, fun vibe. This Luella collection, to me, seems very influenced by last season's collections of other designers such as Balenciaga, Marc Jacobs and Prada.

Luella's clothes usually has some really British feeling, like these little flowery prints. I love how she managed to make such otherwise grandmotherly flowery prints look preppy and cool.

And more British preppiness. Isn't it so unfair how the Luella models make huge black spectacles look cool?

The little party dresses are so cute and fun.

Christopher Kane
All I can say is, totally unexpected. Who would have guessed that Kane's new collection would have no tight-fitting, PVC or leather little dresses? This collection is made of lots of light material. I'm still not sure what I think of it. There were some outfits that I liked and some I absolutely hated.
For example, I absolutely hated the snake prints, which was extremely prominent in this collection. Even more ugly than the snake prints are the one pieces that have the snake print plus another type of print, like the middle outfit.
Out of all the outfits, these four outfits were the only ones I liked. I would love the dress on the right (although potentially in another colour.)
The snake print in small doses, like in the dress on the right, actually looks ok and much more tasteful.
Jonathan Saunders
Such clean-cut clothes for a British designer! These dresses would be so great for office, dressy events if you want a bit more than the standard little dress.
Most of the time we really just take black and white clothes for granted. Just take a moment to look at the way the black and white lines are on the dresses, then you can appreciate the design more!
Gosh, I really need to see these clothes in real life. Writing this blog is excellent encouragement for me to go to nice English stores like Selfridges and Brown more!
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September 18, 2007

Classic Burberry Trenches

Ahh the trench coat. The wardrobe staple that every chic girl in town has that never goes out of style and is perfect with everything, over jeans, suits, skirts and dresses. My friend had one last year when we were studying abroad in Europe and she wore it all the time for everything- perhaps beside a jaunt on a paddling boat in the river at Versailles where we could've possibly capsized- but that is understandable. So inspired, this fall, I decided to have a look myself.
Naturally if one is going to splurge on a trench coat, one should splurge it on a Burberry. You can't get more classic than Burberry. They truly never go out of style and will last you forever
- unless you have a sudden huge change in body shape, but that is unlikely. They are perfect for all ages. But anyway, just look how cool Gweneth Paltrow and Kate Bosworth look in their Burberry trenches! I am especially inspired by Kate Bosworth updating the classic look with ankle boots, which we will still be seeing a lot of this season.
I always thought that for the classic, there only is one style. But turns out it is not quite as simple. So lets go back to the beginning and start with the very classic one: the hazelmere (or I think that is what they are called). Basically this is the trench coat that is more loosely fitted with a broader shoulder designed to be worn over a suit. This is one of the reasons I want one, because I can never figure out what to wear over my business suit in winter that will look appropriate, though to be honest, it is actually very thin and I don't think it would provide much warmth- even if it does come with an extra layer inside. I looked at ones with extra layers and they are very thin, even though they say they are made of wool, it will never survive a Chicago winter. Besides, it doesn't look very good if I wasn't planning on wearing a suit underneath (very loosely fitted) and I am looking for more versatility in my trench.
After that one... I lost the order of trench evolution. But anyway there is this harbourne, that stops mid thigh, which is less bulky and more fitted.
And then there is the Ivybridge, which is what Gweneth and Kate has on. This is also more slimming and goes almost to the knee, which I think is more classic and gives the body a more elongated look. Actually this is the perfect style trench out of the lot. The only problem is that the extra winter layer they offer is terribly thin (as I was saying before....) and it cannot fit a suit underneath, so its quite seasonal really. I could've sworn that my friend's trench had a thicker and warmer extra layer.... I'll check. I wish they had one that combined all my practical needs and didn't have to compromise the cutting.

But oh the less practical ones look so chic and smart on! I want one! I was thinking of this beige color since it IS the original color and we are going for classic here, but Gweneth and Kate looks soo cool in their black one as well. Oh the choices!!!

Photos: Burberry & Celeb Life