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Friday, October 31, 2014

MARIE ANTOINETTE : Fashion Revolution

 Marie Antoinette was born an Austrian princess. Forced to marry, she was handed over to the Bourbon Court to be the next Queen of France.
From this moment on she was forced to give up her Austrian nationality, and become French. All garments were removed, and replaced with elegant and lavishly adorned French ones. 

Beyond just the French Revolution, it was her own Revolution in FASHION, that made her a legend. 

If there was an era in time I could choose to time warp into, it would be 18th century French "Nobility"(Im pretty sure the rest of France was starving). Known for a period of elegance, beauty, and femininity it was also going through a period of "Enlightenment".
Join me as I time travel back to the 18th century, to explore and understand the impact of Marie Antoinette's Revolutionary style.

                                      The "POUF"

After her husband was crowned King of France, she debut a new hairstyle called the, "pouf". The hairstyle was heavily powdered and teased extremely high, elongating the neck, and extending the forehead. The  hairstyle was often topped with a cluster of white ostrich feathers, or some other form of adornment that she wished. Sometimes even placing an entire boat on top of her head. She was fearless, and soon all of upper French Society was emulating her hair raising style. 

                                THE ENLIGHTENMENT

The period during Marie Antoinette's life, was going through and Age of Reason or the "Enlightenment". It was at this time that individualism was celebrated, and the art of reasons were practiced. Traditions were now being questioned p and broken. Women were beginning to voice their opinions and practice their rights' as individual thinkers. 

                                         HER STYLIST

It is odd to think Marie Antoinette had a stylist but it is documented that she made weekly trips to Paris, and met with the most famous designers of that time. Rose Bertin, started out by selling her fabrics, but soon became her most trusted stylist. 

                                   'Robe a la Polonaise'

'Robe a la Polonaise", was a provocative and edgy creation, pioneered by the Queen herself. It included a bosom-enhancing corset and daring reveal of the ankles. Instead of panniers, fabric was gathered in the back and the  sleeves were now tighter around the elbow's and adorned with frilly lace.  The "Polonaise" was soon adopted by the French and English Courts. 

                                         "THE CORSET"

Marie Antoinette often refused to wear corsets that were use to enhance her posture and shrink her waist. While riding horses, she grew a love for male breeches and male riding jackets.

                                  "Chemises a la reine'

By 1780, Marie Antoinette was now spending her days freely at the Trianon, in her private gardens and away from the scrutiny from the French Court. With her new found freedom, her clothing changed as well. Although highly controversial, she began to wear a thin, muslin, 'chemises a la Reine' which was delicately tied with a silk ribbon at the waste. It was then worn with a straw hat, mimicking a soft, elegant "peasant look".
At the time, such a dress was considered "pornographic" or equal to wearing "lingerie" in public. It was highly criticized by French Society but like true Antoinette style, it soon became another trend.  

                                             Tea Time! 

In true 18th century style, I relaxed for a nice afternoon tea. I had special "18th century" hot chocolate, which is actually spiced with cinnamon plus a cold glass of rose water.The cake, was filled with cranberries, rose, lavender, and orange honey. Delicious! 

Marie Antoinette, is often remembered for her tragic ending, but it is her unwavering attack on Fashion that makes her iconic. Her constant push against traditions, made huge impacts in how fashion is approached, viewed, and practiced today. 
The common denominator is always to be fearless. The fight to be who you are will often receive a great deal of criticism, and that is life. C'est la vie. 
Following the pack will keep you out of trouble, but it also leaves your life as quite forgettable.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How to Do a 3D Autumn Nail

3D Autumnal Nail was inspired by the final burst of colors you see in the last half of Fall. The leaves are now bursting into all colors of the rainbow, and soon they will fall to the ground and dry into crushable memories. 
See how I achieved this look. 

                            MY GO TO AUTUMN NAIL 

During the Autumn months I love to wear a nail color that is warm and soft. Currently, my favorite is called, "Copper Wire". It is a beautiful, warm, rose tone, with a hint of copper flecks. The color seen from the outside of the nail polish is very copper brown, but when worn it has gorgeous reddish mauve undertone.

                                     COPPER WIRE 

                               NAIL POLISHES USED 

                                    THE PROCESS


Basically, all you will need is a tooth pick, and some type of plastic surface that can be thrown away. I used a zip lock bag, but you can use whatever you may have. One useful tip would be to dab a small amount of color that you want to use, one at a time. If you dab all the colors like I did above, it will dry rather quickly and be unusable. 



I know it is just nail art, but having a strategy or mental plan is a good way to prevent a huge mess. I knew I wanted the effect of colorful leaves falling, so I made sure to place most of the dots near the tips. I also added the darkest shade to the tips creating the effect of an ombre effect. 

                                   3D Nail Effect

The effect of dabbing various colors of nail polish to the nails with nail polish creates one dimension. I then apply a gold glitter in various spots creating another dimension. As a final top coat I added a green glitter nail polish all over each nail. Tip: Picking glitter of different sizes will add a more clear 3D effect.

                                   Final Look


The final look is festive and fun. It represents the burst of colors happening in the final half of this Autumnal Season! Enjoy.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fashion Designing: The Making of the "Autumn Leaves Dress"

"Autumn Leaves" is a dress I designed and constructed last Autumn. It is still my most favorite dress in my Fall wardrobe, and very easy to wear. It can easily be styled casual for day, or more formal for nights. 
Fashion Designing is a creative process that gives you quite a bit of power, and once you get a taste of it, you will never look at clothes in the same way.

                                                    THE VISION

When I design anything, it always starts with a vision. Something must spark my interest and inspire me to create. In this case, I was inspired by golden leaves. As you can see the dress started by cutting millions of leaves out of a golden yellow jersey. I was quite satisfied to its similarity to real leaves, and it gave the exact effect I was hoping for. 

My Vision: A dress just like golden leaves floating through the air, making golden piles all around. The climax of the end of Autumn. Golden.

                                          THE SKETCH

After a vision is decided, it's time to sketch. One fun fact I can share with you, is sketching for yourself is very different from sketching for a model. My dimensions are obviously far different, and I spend much time chopping my arms and legs much shorter. 
When designing there are two aspects to consider. There is the practical side, and then the creative side. 
The practical side includes determining what the dress is for. I wanted a dress I could actually wear, so I purposely chose fabrics that were easily washable materials, and do not wrinkle easily. I chose an A-line cut for the skirt because it is very comfortable. I added pockets because they are very practical and cute. 
The creative side: I wanted the impression of leaves that that floated and then gathered in piles on the floor. You can see how I sewed leaves far apart creating a floating affect, and then pact them closer in some places representing piles. 

                                         VISION to LIFE

The best part of creating your own clothes is creating something from your mind and making it real. For me, it is all a bit like magic. There really are no limits on any type of fashion you may desire. As long as you can visualize it in your mind, you really can make it. It's a bit like having a super power. 

                                                   FINAL LOOK

Styling this dress is easy and fun. I usually swap different vintage belts and play with different boot lengths. How I do my hair and make up, also effects the image of the dress entirely. However, I never wear a necklace or adorn the neck area, simply because it is already adorned with so many leaves. It can all get a bit much. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


Dear Reader,

Today I discovered that content from TALK FASHION, has been illegally stolen, plagiarized and used on . So far, I have found 4 articles of mine, that have been reworded in some places, re-arranged, but never the less, copied verbatim in most parts as if they had written it. I assume other content is also stolen from other bloggers/sites, and everyone should remain alert and aware of this site. 

 I have collected all the links below, for everyone to clearly see which articles were stolen and how they are being used in their site at this very moment. I have contacted the creator of the site, and asked them to take down the articles, but as of now, they are still live.

The whole situation is disheartening, and alarming. I was always aware of plagiarizing, but when it happens to you, it is quite surreal. It is an invasion of the soul and mind, and a snatching of an identity. I cannot begin to express the violation I feel, and disturbance of the human spirit.  TALK FASHION, is a site I have created, and am personally very proud of. Everything is written in my words, and my thoughts. It is all very personal to me. I feel a great appreciation to my readers and hold much responsibility in the ethics behind honest 'fashion journalism', and maintaining content that is completely original and created by me. 

I cannot understand the purpose of copying someone else's work and making it their own, but I would like to warn all of you to be aware that this sort of thing is happening. Be careful. Please check out the links below. 

Take care. 


 1.) Plagiarized Content:
"What is your Fashion IQ "

-Original content from:
"What is your Fashion IQ." 
Published on Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2.)Plagiarized Content:
"Ways to Celebrate Your Body Shape Through Fashion"

-Original Content:
"3 Ways To Use Fashion to Celebrate your Body Shape" 
published: Saturday, September 13, 2014 

3.) Plagiarized Content:
"Is Being Fashionable Superficial?" 

-Original Content:
"To Be Fashionable or to Be Superficial that is the Question"
published on May 31, 2014 

4.) Plagiarized Content: 
"Breaking Free from the Fashion Stereotype"

-Original Content: 
"Breaking the Fashion Stereotype"
published on Friday, June 13, 2014 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Are Fashionable Headphones a Ripoff?

Now a days, everyone owns a smart phone, and with it, a much needed pair of headphones. Music provides an escape, and a much needed break from the excess noise of "life". It is no surprise fashion has taken full advantage of this growing tech trend and the birth of the 'head phone accessory' was born. However, how much fashion power covers a plain old rip off? 

Beats head phones recently partnered with Alexander Wang launching a sleek and modern design of gold accented black headphones and accessories, for a staggering $450.

FRENDS headphones range from $149-$249 and  they are a brand based entirely on making fashionable headphones. Having partnered with such designers as Rebecca Minkoff their designs are often seen worn by celebrities and fashion lovers. 

Frends has also recently launched removable covers that allow you to swap the exterior design of the headphone and swap it for another. However, the covers don't come cheap, ranging from $39-$49 each. 

There is no doubt FRENDS headphones are gorgeous!  The Bauble Bar, 'Layla' rose gold collaboration is perhaps the most beautiful headphone I have ever seen, and extremely tempting to buy. 
What stops me? At a high price of $179 it is a total rip off. Mind you, a "beautiful" rip off, but still a rip off. The quality as a headphone is extremely low, verses the price tag which is horribly over priced. Think of it like a standard nice Hyundai, embellished in beautiful fake rhinestones and charging the price tag of a Ferrari. Would you buy it? Surely, I would hope not. Fashion has a way of blinding you, and this can be dangerous when your money is involved. It makes you a very easy target, and selling ridiculously overpriced items a piece of cake. 
The beats headphones in collaboration with Alexander Wang, is a very good quality headphone, but the price of $450 is a bit ridiculous. Even fashionably speaking, it is not that much different from the standard black sony headphones, but at least the quality is good. 

 In the name of "FASHION", don't be ripped off. Honestly, the FRENDS headphones are beautiful and I would have no problem with their product if they charged a reasonable price (as in cut the price in half). All I am saying is, either they lower the price or raise the quality. Yes, I know fashion brands in general are highly over priced but at least, there is a level of superior quality.

                                          SONY MDR-1R

My headphones are a Sony MDR-1R and in my opinion they do not look that much different from the Beats (Alexander Wang) headphones.  These ones are $289 and they are the real deal. For those of you who say you cannot hear the difference between a good and bad pair, trust me, a quality pair of headphones will change your listening experience. At first your ear might not pick up what is different, but your emotions will feel it. Guaranteed. 

Don't be a Poser. Fashion is a philosophy. True fashion cannot exist without a foundation of true quality. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Autumn Edition: Alexander McQueen's Vision

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”
—Alexander McQueen

 Alexander McQueen's creations championed the authority of the imagination and self expression. McQueen paved his own path and created a genre of fashion all his own. As a fearless individual, he always followed his own visions and redefined the meaning of high fashion. 

  “What I am trying to bring to fashion is a sort of originality,”  (McQueen)    

His methods of cutting and construction were created without instruction. He was classically trained, but at times he would be inspired to create on the dress forms entirely.  Innovational is the best way to describe his work. His ideas were both revolutionary and ingenious, simply because they came from a place no other designer explored. His forms and silhouettes were questionable, in the sense they distorted the female form. He was a designer that made you think. Blurring the lines of beauty and ugly, while making you question what you felt, and thought.
The  “bumster,” a type of silhouette-form that he created and used since his earliest collections, was a distortion on the human form and yet quite unforgettable. Everything he did was completely questionable while being totally mesmerizing.

In the spirit of Fall, I have compiled his iconic Autumn/Winter Collections, and referenced them in McQueen's own words. 
All his collections begin with an idea, form into a concept, and then the fashions can begin. From there he can create an elaborate storyboard full of references and inspirations from art, film, music, etc. His runway shows were more of a theatrical performance than a simple fashion show. 

 The Girl Who Lived in a Tree 
Autumn/Winter 2008-2009

“I don’t really get inspired [by specific women]. . . . It’s more in the minds of the women in the past, like Catherine the Great, or Marie Antoinette. People who were doomed. Joan of Arc or Colette. Iconic women.”

- Alexander McQueen

  It's a Jungle Out There

 Autumn/Winter 1997-1998

“When you see a woman wearing McQueen, there’s a certain hardness to the clothes that makes her look powerful. It kind of fends people off.”

“The whole show feeling was about the Thomson’s gazelle. It’s a poor little critter—the markings are lovely, it’s got these dark eyes, the white and black with the tan markings on the side, the horns—but it is the food chain of Africa. As soon as it’s born it’s dead, I mean you’re lucky if it lasts a few months, and that’s how I see human life, in the same way. You know, we can all be discarded quite easily. . . . You’re there, you’re gone, it’s a jungle out there!”
-Alexander McQueen 

  Angels and Demons

  Autumn/Winter 2010-2011

 When Alexander McQueen died in February of 2010, he left this collection, called Angels and Demons, unfinished in his studio. Sarah Burton, McQueen’s chief designer for many years, helped to complete it.
“I relate more to that cold, austere asceticism of the Flemish masters, and I also love the macabre thing you see in Tudor and Jacobean portraiture.”
“For me, what I do is an artistic expression which is channeled through me. Fashion is just the medium.”

-Alexander McQueen

 Highland Rape

 Autumn/Winter 1995-96

“When I design, I try to sell an image of a woman that I have in [my] mind, a concept that changes dramatically each season.”
“[In this collection] she was a feral creature living in the tree. When she decided to descend to earth, she transformed into a princess.”
“[This collection] was a shout against English designers . . . doing flamboyant Scottish clothes. My father’s family originates from the Isle of Skye, and I’d studied the history of the Scottish upheavals and the Clearances. People were so unintelligent they thought this was about women being raped—yet Highland Rape was about England’s rape of Scotland.”

-Alexander McQueen

Autumn/Winter 1996-1997

“People find my things sometimes aggressive. But I don’t see it as aggressive. I see it as romantic, dealing with a dark side of personality.”

- Alexander McQueen

In the Victorian era, each stage of mourning referenced a specific color. Lilac, as seen inthis corset’s jet beading is also associated with mourning. Here, McQueen petically hints the beauty that exists, even in death. 

 Widows of Culloden

  Autumn/Winter 2006-2007

“When we put the antlers on the model and then draped over it the lace embroidery that we had made, we had to poke them through a £2,000 piece of work. But then it worked because it looks like she’s rammed the piece of lace with her antlers. There’s always spontaneity. You’ve got to allow for that in my shows.”
“I have always loved the mechanics of nature and to a greater or lesser extent my work is always informed by that."
“Birds in flight fascinate me. I admire eagles and falcons. I’m inspired by a feather but also its color, its graphics, its weightlessness and its engineering. It’s so elaborate. In fact I try and transpose the beauty of a bird to women.”

- Alexander McQueen

McQueen often used the raw materials of nature. McQueen's collection, Widows of Culloden, was a reference to a battle between England and Scotland.

The Horn of Plenty
Autumn/Winter 2009-2010

It is important to look at death because it is a part of life. It is a sad thing, melancholy but romantic at the same time. It is the end of a cycle—everything has to end. The cycle of life is positive because it gives room for new things.”

- Alexander McQueen
This ensemble is made out of duck feathers dyed black. It gives off the impression of a raven. A raven which is also a symbol of death, is a melancholic symbol but also very romantic. McQueen's collection, The Horn of Plenty was a collection that was very much inspired by the 1950s haute couture. McQueen loved a very hard shoulder and a very small waist. In McQueen’s work feathers are often used due to his great love of birds. 

 The Overlook
 Autumn/Winter 1999-2000

“I especially like the accessory for its sadomasochistic aspect.”

-Alexander McQueen

This coiled corset is inspired by the coiled necklaces of the Ndebele people of southern Africa. McQueen requested jeweler Shaun Leane to create a necklace that transforms into a corset.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flashback Friday: Afternoon in France

Walking the parks of France during Fall is a feast for the eyes. If there is anything I miss the most about Europe it would be this very place at this very time. Like an everlasting dream, I remember...

For this "Flashback Friday", join me down memory lane, for an afternoon in France. 

My style in the colder months of Fall is inspired by the colors found in Nature. Recieving almost all my inspiration from trees and the colors found in the changing leaves, my style is cohesive with the environment I am surrounded by. On the practical side, I layer sweaters over sweaters,  to stay warm. A dear friend once called my style, "like a cabbage", which still makes me laugh to this very day. 

                                            THE SCARF

The Scarf was made by me, and also the first scarf I have ever knitted. I was inspired to make it because I could not find a scarf in the stores that fit my vision. I really wanted a scarf that celebrated the beautiful variations of greens found in changing leaves. It is made of wool and cashmere, and is embellished with beads, and softly hand embroidered leaves. 

                                             THE BAG 

The bag is by VALENTINO and one my favorite bags to wear during Fall. I simply love it because it is a golden yellow. For me, the yellow golds that flutter through the air during the Autumn months are simply breath taking. 

                                          The HEADBAND

The Headband is by Evita Peroni, and is made of Swarovski crystal beads. I must admit, it is my version of a tiara for the modern day woman.

                                          ANGELINA (Paris)

Angelina is a legendary Tea House established in 1903 for Parisian aristocracy. Such legends as Proust and Coco Chanel have rubbed shoulders with the biggest names of fashion in Angelina's Salons.

The famous African hot chocolate is composed of three selections of African cocoa from Niger, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire. The chocolate mixture is an ANGELINA  specialty and is an experience that cannot be missed. 

Iconic for their pastries, my favorite was this pistachio and strawberry cream puff. The little surprises found in it's layers are a visual delight.

France is my love, and my most special place in the world. In my heart that is where I stay....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

How Autumn Inspires Me

Yesterday I posted shots of my Fall Shoe Collection, and I briefly explained how my shoes create these visual images in my mind that remind me of all my beautiful Autumn memories. I guess you would call them flashbacks, but it always surprises me how strong our senses really are. 

This is how Autumn Inspires me,
see what I see when I put on my shoes...

When I use to live in Brussels, I had two very large windows, over looking my bed. From my window I could see millions of Ivy leaves change from deep greens to vibrant orange, red, purple, and gold all throughout the Autumn months. It was like a fire work display of the final curtain call. It is remarkable to think Autumn is actually the ending of the seasons, and the leaves are actually dying. As humans, we always fear our deaths and the process of aging, and yet, leaves, climax till the very end. 

Such life and colors, why is it humans cannot live like leaves? 

Leaves are the fingerprints of life. They change so softly into beautiful shades of every color.

Walking through Autumn.
 I remember how my mind would be in awe of the beauty of this season. Such a juxtaposition.  Surrounded by the warmth of colors and yet the flow of crisp cool wind. 
I could walk for hours. 

Autumn nights. Filled in a sea of darkness, are golden leaves that glow in the reflection of softly lit street lamps. I close my eyes, and remember, such beauty falls in the hearts of those so alone. 

Blue skies and Rainbow leaves. Look up, it's magic. I remember...

Dancing leaves. Golden. How happy they must be. 

Like human hands, filled with veins of life. So intricately woven and mysterious. Leaves are exposed in sunlight. 

The sounds of autumn. Walking through puddles of dried leaves that have curled, you can smell the crisp Autumn air.