Monday, August 31, 2015
The VMA's are held every year on MTV, and it is an award show celebrating music, fashion and everything "pop culture". Unlike most award shows, VMA's are interesting in spotting the current trends of our society. Whether it be vulgar displays of clothing, excessive use of bad language, sexual innuendos or excessive nudity, it is alarming to think that "this" is our society, as of right now.
1) Bad language
The use of profanity has some how become a trend. Fashion brands have celebrated such words as the F - word on cute peter pan colors, jewelry, and T-shirts. Celebrities openly shout profanity whenever they feel like, and the days of proper speech seem to have been left in the dust with our ancestors.
Nothing promotes yourself quite like a good selfie. Once were the days, when narcissism, and self obsession were a negative, shameful quality, but jump to 2015 and its all about the ego. Whether it be Instagram, twitter, or facebook, its all about making your life seem better than it really is.
3.) Privacy and Fashion Nudity?
Whether it be social media, or reality tv, "privacy" seems to be a thing of the past. With so little respect for keeping anything private these days, it is no surprise, fashion is in correspondence with this very attitude.
Nudity, has always been a subject of curiosity, but curiosity only exists with a bit of mystery. With so much exposed in life/body, the shock factor is "wearing" thin. Soon everything will come full circle, and celebrities will just show up naked, just as our ancestors once did.
Press and Vulgarity
The interesting thing about vulgarity is that people love it. Perhaps, we have saturated our past with so much beauty that "vulgarity" has now become a thing. Or perhaps, we have become so immune to feeling anything that we constantly desire to be shocked. Either way, shockingly gaudy, vulgar fashion is currently a "thing".
Style Tip of the Day!
Mixing and matching textures and patterns is a style technique any fashion lover should know. It is a quirky fun way, to style your outfits in a fresh new way. Mix polka dots, with stripes, floral with checkers, it's all possible now, but just wait, there is one simple rule.
The one rule you need to know is all about colors. For example, take one textured garment, and style around it. What colors do you see? In the above checkered skirt, the featured colors are yellow and black. Stick to that color palette when mixing other pieces.
This does not mean you cannot wear garments with any colors other than black and yellow, but that each garment should mainly feature those two colors. Why?
The pop of those two colors, reinforced in other textures, and patterns, creates uniformity in your overall style!
An example of Alice + Olivia Style, using this very technique. Notice the colors of the jacket can be spotted throughout the skirt, sweater, and bag.
How is it possible to have so many clothes and nothing to wear?
I have asked myself this question countless times, and with much thought I have found my answer.
The problem is not with the clothes "individually", but in their abilities to match with other pieces in my wardrobe. I would simply buy a beautiful blouse one day, and then a skirt another, and neither match each other, nor anything else in my closet. It was as if I was collecting a wardrobe full of left shoes. Individually gorgeous but quite useless in combining a complete look.
This made me realize, my shopping approach had been totally wrong.
A wardrobe is actually like a puzzle, and therefore, blindly buying whatever you like will never boost your closet style.
Style is all about finding the missing pieces and linking them together. A wardrobe like a puzzle, should be strategic.
For example, take a Fashion Week runway show. Back stage, the clothes are carefully organized on racks, with the entire individual outfit, completely pre-styled. From outfit, shoe, bag, accessories, and even make up. High style is a "complete" outfit. If you look at the entire collection you will notice almost all the pieces are interchangeable. One jacket matches nearly all the pieces of the collection and a certain shoe is versatility matched to every look as well. More matches, means more possibilities to be worn.
This does not mean in anyway, that you should go buy a head to toe look each time you shop. However, it does mean to always keep in mind what you already own and what items will help "complete" a look.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
Everyday we linger in front of our closet, and are faced with the same question, "What will you wear today?"
Whether it takes you 2 seconds or 2 hours, you scan over your collection of clothing and "usually" there is a small collection of clothing that become the most worn, "Popular Ones".
Would you say these pieces are the best, or the most innovative in your collection? No. Quite contrary, they are usually the lazy pieces that some how look good while letting you think as little as possible.
My "Popular Style"
My most worn pieces or "Popular Style", consists of my favorite James Perse Tee, stretchy black 7 Jeans, Boyfriend Jean, beige sweater top, and my black James Perse Jersey Dress.
Why are they the "chosen" ones? To be honest, they are simply the most comfortable, while still looking stylish. Little effort is needed to look rather acceptable, and surprisingly, I receive more compliments in my "I'm not trying attire".
Early morning bed hair? Check. Minimal make-up with a splash of color on the lips? Check.
Is this fashion at my best? Not really, I'm just being lazy.
In many ways, popular is success at impressing without intimidating. It is a celebration of medicrity and doing what is relateable. Nothing too bold, too eccentric, or ever thinking too hard.
The "Special Ones"
In society the "Special Ones", have adopted quite a negative impression as "oddballs, misfits, or losers." They are the people, who just don't fit in and very few can relate to. They are the artists.
To be "special " in fashion is rather the same concept. You can easily be fashionable by falling trends but it is only in the risks of uniqueness, that one can become an artist of style.
Now lets take those crazy purchases that leave us shaking our heads and wondering, "What was I thinking?", or those dusty pieces in our closet, with their price tags still dangling lonely in the back of our closet, and challenge ourself!
Sometimes a garment of clothing seems off not because it is a mistake, but because it is not styled correctly. I cannot tell you how many times I have had a piece of clothing that I never wore, not because I didn't like it, but because it felt incomplete or off.
Then by a freak chance of innovation, I challenged myself to match my "odd ball" piece with a rather unexpected choice in my current wardrobe. The match was the perfect compliment and the entire look now made sense.
The key is to constantly challenge your sense of style, and take risks. Step outside the box of comfort and problem solve. What may not work now, maybe the missing piece to another outfit.
If you always wear what is easy, and follow the trends, there is no level of "challenge".
Dare to think.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
For the past few weeks I have been following the reality series, "I am Cait". It follows the journey of former Olympian, Bruce Jenner, and his drastic transformation from man, to a fashion loving "woman".
As I watched this series, I couldn't help but question to myself, "What does it mean to be a woman?" Is it the pretty clothes, bouncy hair, perfect make up and augmented breasts that make you a real woman? Does this trump actual gender? It was rather disappointing to watch Cait focus so much attention on looking like a "Kardashian" and less on the mental state of what a female mind in a man's body is like. From watching the series, one may think, shopping, slumber parties, and gossiping is all "we" women do. The show would have been much more effective if she would have opened up on a deeper, psychological level and given us a taste of what it may feel like to be transgender.
However, the show did get me thinking about the definition of what a "woman" is. I always identified it to be a strictly biological label, distinguishing the difference between male and female parts. However, transgender redefines that term by establishing the mind as separate from the actual body.
I try to imagine, what it might have been like if I was born in a man's body with my current "female" brain. Would I have acted more "male" while still feeling quite female? How hard it must be to live in a body that does not feel like your own, and yet to be so strongly identified by it.
After much thought, I believe the definition of a woman is completely personal. For me, I feel very lucky to be a woman. Of the two genders, a woman can create another life in her body, and this gives her the closest bond to another life for 9 months. I know every woman cannot have a baby, but in my opinion, the qualities and characteristics of being a "mother" should be celebrated in all woman. For example, a nurturer, a lover, a kind heart, intelligent, femininity, fragility, and yet such a massive strength.
As much as I do love fashion, and expressing myself artistically and individually through clothes, I do not believe it has anything to do with being a woman. A woman without clothes, make up, or perfectly quaffed hair is still a woman if she understands the privilege, honor and beauty that comes from within our female identity.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Friday Tip of the Day!
With Summer coming to an end, and Fall right around the corner, we have reached an awkward moment of transition. It's not quite cold enough for full Fall gear, but dressing in head to toe Summer seems out of place as well.
My style tip of the day celebrates this transitional moment with a look inspired by Fall. Try a warm brown smoky eye, ombre nail, and a nude lip and you are sure to enjoy the upcoming season to the fullest!
In the spirit of "Back to School", lets talk about the fashion epidemic regarding "Bullying". Whether you are in school now, have a kid, or work, fashion bullying is everywhere, and it some how seems acceptable?
Making fun of what someone is wearing, starts as soon as we can speak, and seems to show no signs of stopping. Adults are the prime example of fashion bullying and children quickly mimic their beliefs and ways. Rather than enforcing fashion as a way to discover who we are, it is often taught as a weapon of status and power.
In 2013, a Utah woman made headlines for forcing her 11 year old step daughter to pick and wear the ugliest clothes from a thrift store, after she was caught bullying a classmate for her ugly clothes. Her goal was to teach her step daughter empathy, by having her literally live a day in her ugly shoes.
Why does this not work?
Although her mother had good intentions, she is still in many ways, looking down at people who shop at thrift stores. Making a "punishment, out of someones life, is not empathetic but rather arrogant. There is nothing wrong with shopping at thrift stores, and I cannot emphasize enough how amazing they really are! (Remind me to start a series dedicating all things thrift store.) She is emphasizing "clothes" as the problem, when in reality bullying is an issue far deeper than what you wear.
The issue is this :She, like most parents in our society, teach the dangerous and quite mistaken Fashion Algorithm:
(Money + Clothes = Popularity ( Success) = Money)
Notice the emphasis is always circling money?
People who pick on others for whatever reason, have misplaced self worth by feeding off the flaws of others. It has nothing to do with the best clothes or the worst, but everything to do with wanting to be somebody.
Would it not have been more effective to teach her daughter lessons through a non-materialistic platform? Take her to volunteer at a shelter, or donate her clothes to a thrift store. Let her find her place in the world without the "stuff" and the joy that giving can bring. Practice positive changes to yield positive results.
The Algorithm of Fashion in the future should be:
( Soul +Creativity+ Clothes= Identity, Confidence, and Empathy = A Better World)
Money is not the leading factor of fashion, and with creativity one can even rock paper waste as "Haute Couture".
Never let fashion lead you. It is you that creates it within your own inner style.
Fashion needs you. It is not you that needs it.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Fashion Week Innovation
With such innovation found in paper, it is no surprise that some of the fashion designers have found inspiration in origami as well.
Christian Dior (John Galliano Haute Couture Collection 2007)
In 2007, John Galliano's Haute Couture Collection was inspired by Madame Butterfly's Cho-Cho-San and her romance with Lieutenant Pinkerton. Models faces were fully painted white with red 'geisha' lips.
Th most innovative part of his collection, was his use of intricate origami folds and pleats not of paper but of richly embroidered satins and silks. You could almost imagine an origami paper crane, magically coming to life and becoming part of this world.
132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE (“Regeneration and Re-creation”)
132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE is a label created by Issey Miyake and his Reality Lab team. It is a new movement of exploring the possibilities of "A Piece Of Cloth”, inspired by the ancient Japanese art of Origami.The clothing is innovative in their use of a mathematical algorithm, (132 5.)
(Explanation of 132 5):
1: Represents a single piece of fabric.
3: Represents a three-dimensional shape.
2: Represents the three-dimensional shape that can be flattened into a two-dimensional form.
5: Represents the fifth dimension. The fifth dimension, is the precise moment when the garment is worn on the body and comes to life. "through the communication among people.” -Issey Miyake
All clothes are made using recycled PET products, sometimes in combination with other recycled fibers.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Fashion Week of Innovation
Shoes, shoes, shoes! Yes, I am a shoe addict.
I don't know what it is about shoes, but for some reason, the word "enough" does not exist.
Therefore, if the latter is true, buying can not be the answer, and becoming wiser, and more creative is no longer a choice, but a necessity.
Here are my shoe styling tips that curbed my addiction into a creative method of shoe styling!
1.) Ankle Bracelets
Ankle bracelets are an easy way to add character to any shoe. Whether it maybe boots, heels or sandals, it can be worn easily and matched to your other jewelry or outfits.
A simple bow makes any shoe look instantly sweeter. Just tie it around your ankle or loop it through a strap, it is an easy way to change up your shoe.
3.) Permanent Markers
Drawing on my shoes, is something I have done since I was a kid. Now a days, with my colorful variety of permanent markers, drawing on shoes, has become an art form.
Add your mark on your shoes, and let it inspire you all day.
4.) Leg Warmers
Leg warmers not only keep your legs warmer, but add a new life to any shoe. If you live in a colder region, you are aware of how certain types of shoes, are just not practical to wear, during Autumn/Winter.
My favorite is, leather leg warmers, and they have been seen all over the runway. They are an absolute must, if you love wearing your stiletto heels. They turn any low ankle shoe, into an amazing high cut boot.
5.) Socks with Fur Embellishments
I personally love boots with a bit of fur embellishment. It is very tempting to buy a fur embellished boot even though you have one just like it, minus the fur. The solution?
Fur trimmed socks. It is seriously the most genius creation that peeks out of every heel, ankle boot, and Mary Jane. It is also a fun way to warm up a strappy stiletto heel.
6.) Fun Knee High Socks
Gladiator shoes or leather cut out boots are sexy in the Summer, and fun in the Winter?
I love, wearing fun socks, that slightly peek through the holes of these type of shoes. Wearing funky socks simply on its own, can make you look like a clown, but paired behind leather cutouts gives a very cool effect. It's a bit like stained glass, where small bits of color peek through the black cut out structure.