Friday, February 29, 2008

balenciaga: a burgeoning love affair

At first when I saw all these super-high slits in the skirts, dresses, and jackets, I wasn't sure what to make of them, but they really work in relation to one another from each outfit to the next. And of course the super-structured but light dresses and coats are always so interesting and distinctive from Balenciaga. I also usually don't really "get" a lot of the intricate, abstract descriptions that fashion editors use to describe collections, but with Balenciaga it's always pretty obvious that what you're seeing is just really really good. No guess work.

I love these loose wrapped tops, there were also red, yellow and grey-blue and more silvery ones.

These are some crazy boots -- way taller than most scrunchy boot types, and I love the thin leather, it looks almost like paper the way it folds.

Of course Fall 2006 will probably always be my favorite by Ghesquiere. I love how he picks a few key ideas in each collection, which are quite different while complimentary, and really shows their full range of potential versus trying to make every outfit look different but still cohesive. And then there's the fact that the liberty prints from Spring 2008 are now everywhere! How does he keep doing it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

So for me the Oscars are more like "Penélope Cruz Appreciation Day." These big, extreme gowns are really her forté, and I don't think she can really do wrong; even if I don't love this dress in itself, and if it's not a patch on what I think is her best overall Oscars look, in Oscar de la Renta in 2005.
Otherwise, I thought the red was a bit much, and inappropriate. Considering how well-publicized it was that Heidi Klum would be wearing a massive red dress that would be auctioned off for charity, isn't it a bit rude for so many other actresses to show up in the exact same shade of red, sort of stealing her thunder? What were stylists thinking? I guess knowing what she would wear set up a built-in trend for the night that it was easy to play into, without looking like you were "playing it safe."
I think in general the fashion suffered because it didn't seem like there were that many big actresses actually there: did the cancellation of the Vanity Fair party (everyone only really goes for the afterparty, or so they say) mean that actors decided to forego the event entirely? It's also been noted that few major, popular actors were nominated this year, so they only appeared as presenters.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I liked Marion Cotillard's dress, it was absolutely her night. I think for a French actress, going with something a little more risky and exciting is perfectly appropriate, as is the choice of Jean Paul Gaultier. Okay, a little mermaidy, but on screen (as well as, I assume, in person) the dress was a lot more bright and sparkly than fish-scaly, and the texture of it is not unlike the paillettes that made appearances in a lot of collections this season. I thought her long necklaces were very appropriate as well, and they worked with the outfit as a whole; much more successful than Nicole Kidman for example, who's necklaces would have been passable if they hadn't kept migrating to one boob and looking almost like part of the dress. Maybe I'm biased because I was so happy, and surprised, for Marion, she absolutely deserved it. And can't we agree that the Oscars are at least 10x better when the winners get emotional and excited --she was visibly shaking and crying-- rather than kind of robotically being gracious and calm? It's also why Julia Roberts' win from years ago is still so memorable.

For the rest, I thought Ellen Page look very appropriate -- at the same time dressy and not trying to hard to fit into a style that's she's not comfortable with. Jennifer Garner's dress wasn't bad, but it would have actually been nice if it were a dark navy, a dark ochre, any hint of color really. Renee Zellweger was as robotic as ever, with crazy hair to boot (I hope that's for a film role). The only other people who were really memorable were people who I don't even know who they are, such as Mrs. John Travolta who was in a bright orange/yellow and Mrs. James McAvoy who was in a tiered Yves-Klein-blue Moschino dress. But don't get me started on James McAvoy, I could be here all day.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

don't you wish every day of your life looked like this?

Or forget that, any day?
In Herve Leger, at Herve Leger

Photo Bill Cunningham for NY Times

Saturday, February 23, 2008

"I like clean, clean, clean, clean. It's my new Zen attitude, you know? The less you have, the more you enjoy."
Carine Roitfeld,
NY Mag, Spring 08 Fashion Issue

Not exactly what you'd expect to hear I guess from one of the most important fashion editors today. But that's what I like about her, her sort of "atypical" view on things. She goes on to say how she doesn't like handbags, despite them being basically the bread and butter of many designers' sales figures. She also says that people's notion of success is "really American," which is interesting because I think people here at least like to think it's a universal thing, to strive in the same way towards supposed success. But it's sort of refreshing in a way, to think that even though she is this woman at the very top of her field, she doesn't seem to view it that way, doesn't want to stay in the job forever, it's more just a part of the rest of her life, a phase between here and there. I wish it were easier to remember this, to be happy with where you are and take it with a grain of salt, and not always be focused on getting to the next step.
"Because of this, Roitfeld's French Vogue is the polar opposite of most American fashion magazines. It is unconcerned with making fashion wearable or accessible to its readers. It is not inclusive: There is no advice on how to dress if you're shaped like a pear or about to turn 50. In Roitfeld's world, models are never too skinny, diamonds are never too expensive."
And I also sort of like this, because it's more honest. Fashion these days isn't really about accessibility to everyone, just like it's not really about "pretty" anymore. To pretend it is and go half-way is really just more cruel than keeping it completely a sort of fantasy, out of people's reach.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Nina Garcia during fashion week, from the Sartorialist on
I really like this monochromatic look, even if not the individual pieces themselves, the various shades of cream and white are really flattering and interesting I think. This is almost definitely a really really horrible comparison, but it reminded me of this photo from a few weeks ago of Lindsay Lohan at a casting call -- again not for the pieces but the overall effect.

(photo Just Jared)

And another all-white look, with touches of pink and gold which I think are perfect, in NY. I also love love love the heavy structured fabric of the top, with the tied belt.

(From NY Fashion Week Street Style)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It might be difficult to actually pull off, but I love the texture of the cream cotton shorts/jumper. It's such a throwback to old ways of construction, but at the same time clean and fresh and as light for spring/summer as it is stylish when layered here for winter. Something to think about anyway.

This is such a simple formula, but this woman reminds me instantly so much of someone I shared a train compartment with in Italy the last time I was there, from the loose but crisp white shirt to the perfectly not-perfect blown-out hair. It reminds me that perfect tailoring doesn't always mean form-fitting or specifically aimed at being flattering. And cuff-linked shirts are so rare for women, maybe this was a man's shirt? Only the Sartorialist would find this women in the crowds and pick up on the subtle details I think.

I like this because it's a formula that I wear most of the time -- jeans, a more interesting top or blouse, and a jacket or sweater over that -- so I always look out for different ways to keep in interesting. I love her hat as well.

From the Sartorialist's Fashion Week coverage on

Friday, February 8, 2008

From Street Style on, in London
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