Fashion

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All Saints Fall Picks

If you’re a regular PurseBlog reader, you know that Megs, Hilary and I all have really different, distinct tastes in accessories and clothing. Megs tends to lean toward clothes with a hippie vibe, Hilary likes clean-lined, modern neutrals and I like lots of industrial black mixed with occasional bold prints and colors.

Look Fab. Shop Our Picks.
  • Manolo Blahnik BB Printed Pumps
  • Olympia Le Tan Alice in Wonderland
  • Aquazurra Raninbow Suede Sandals
  • Saint Laurent Medium Denim Shoulder Bag
  • Frame Denim Le High Flare High Rise Jeans
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Bloomingdales Lookbook Animals

Since fashion’s Internet explosion, the art of lookbook production has changed quite a bit. What used to be straightforward product catalogs that brand and retail employees used for reference have turned into artistic spectacles, pored over extensively in the style-conscious corners of the Web.

Bloomingdales Fall 2012 Designer Lookbook

Bloomingdale’s is among the most storied of American retailers, and if you don’t include it in your regular online shopping rounds, you’re missing out. Beyond the brands that you might expect to find, Bloomingdales.com also offers lust-worthy pieces from the likes of Chloe, Giuseppe Zanotti, Ferragamo and more, including some of the hottest shoes and handbags that you’ll want to have on your radar for Fall 2012.

Saks Contemporary First Look

We spend a lot of time talking about accessories (and with good reason), but a concern that’s equally important to an accessory’s design and quality is how it interacts with your wardrobe. No handbag, shoe or piece of jewelry is an island, and it’s the overall picture that’s important; you want your outfit to be more than the sum of its parts.

Images via Style.com

It’s tempting to call Betsey Johnson “obvious,” but to do so would be to entirely miss the point. Of course she’s obvious. She’s built an empire on being just that, and with Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj emerging as major pop culture style influencers, it’s hard to underestimate the impact that Betsey’s punk-rococo aesthetic has had on both fashion and entertainment.

With the Betsey Johnson Spring 2012 show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Johnson took even one step further into obviousness with a collection inspired by burlesque and lingerie. There were bra cups and straps sticking out of almost every top and dress, hot pants, see-through dresses, the whole works. It was all lively and girly and just a tad subversive, although not particularly high-fashion. I could see Katy Perry in every last one of these outfits, though, couldn’t you? (more…)

All images via Style.com

Monique Lhuillier is a collection that I always enjoy seeing but never expect to surprise me; the designer’s roots in bridal always portend beautiful dresses both short and long, plus lots of red carpet options. Lhuillier’s collections are generally pretty in a way on which everyone can agree. But Monique Lhuillier Spring 2012 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York was something more than that. The cocktail dresses were lean and athletically inspired; the ball gowns were patterned or wrapped in leather.

There was plenty of the Lhuillier we know and love to be found with the classic proportions of the evening dresses, but the mood seemed altogether more modern and, to use an overused word, slightly edgier than you might expect from the bridal maven. These dresses might appeal more to the fashion set than the red carpet set, but here’s hoping that someone’s brave enough to wear one of the patterned (Is it tie-dye? Splatter print?) ball gowns to some sort of public event in the near future. (more…)

Images via WWD

Most fashion watchers have mental lists of designer that we don’t think get enough credit, and these pictures of Cynthia Rowley Spring 2012 from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York should say a lot about why Rowley has been on mine for some time. Sure, her aesthetic might nor be particularly innovative, but Rowley does a masterful job of making pretty, feminine clothes that don’t cross the line into twee or sacharine territory.

Towing that line isn’t simple, but the mixed florals on a background of black or ivory that constitute the overarching element of this collection are anything but obvious. The emphasis on structure amid the patterns makes the frocks feel modern where they might otherwise veer to the predictable, and the balance creates a line full of relevant, smart clothes for a girl who takes pleasure in being feminine. Dare I say that a few of the dresses felt a bit like Oscar de la Renta for a younger audience? (more…)

All photos via Style.com

Because BCBB Max Azria is a brand that’s so widely carried an advertised, most of us probably have some preconceived notions about what the brand’s collections will look like: pretty, contemporary, wearable. While those adjectives translate into strong retail sales, they can sometimes make for a forgettable runway, which is a problem for a collection that’s shown so early in the show season. For Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York Spring 2012, though, Azria took a page from another New York designer, and I can’t help but feel a tad excited. These are not clothes I’ll forget by the end of the week.

Is it just me, or can you feel the specter of Proenza Schouler looming over this collection? And that’s meant in the best way possible; what we see here are edgy, modern clothes that don’t lose the wearability for which BCBG is known for even a second. The maxi dresses in particular, with their mix of patterns and solids, neutral and brights, will surely be a favorite by the time 2012’s warm season rolls around. A gallery of show highlights, after the jump. (more…)

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