A day before the Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2010 presentation was slated to begin, Rebecca herself tweeted, “Who is afraid of a little snow??? The show must go on!” Well, that was before “a little snow” turned out to be a full-on blizzard that was enough to close all public and private schools and universities in Manhattan save for Columbia University (thanks guys.)

Therefore, if I was going to have classes as the snow frantically swirled around the city, I was going to make it to the Rebecca Minkoff presentation. Needless to say, I did make it despite my dislike of the cold and of the coldness of the snow, and it was extremely worth it. You see, I’ve been to a few traditional presentations, where the models stand on raised platforms and generally achieve a death stare whilst remaining in the same position. But no, this show switched it up, and the models were bubbly, twisting and turning at various intervals to show off the funky wares. (more…)


Alexander McQueen, magnificent designer and creative role model to thousands of fashion lovers, has died of an apparent suicide. He was 40 years old.

It would be disingenuous, at this juncture, to speculate about what McQueen’s legacy will be or what impact his all-too-soon death will have, but if there is one thing I can say for sure, it’s that the world still needs Alexander McQueen. (more…)

To finish out Paris Couture Week, I thought it might be nice to have something that’s not at all intellectual or challenging. If as many of you guys go out on Thursday nights as the people in my group of friends, then Friday morning is not the time to be looking at and making sense of Difficult Fashion. No no, Friday is the time for obvious things.

So, for the princess/teenage prom-goer/Oscar-winner in all of us, Elie Saab Haute Couture has the beaded, tulle’d ball gown that we’ve always wanted. In case you don’t have an occasion to which to wear a ball grown, there are a few super sparkly, pastel cocktail dresses as well, but don’t worry, they don’t skimp on the beading or tulle. Ever for someone like me, an Alexander McQueen fangirl that likes things dark and edgy if at all possible, it’s unquestionably fun to drool over something girl and light every now and then. Here’s your chance, folks. (more…)

To (very loosely) paraphrase the great Raymond Carver, Jean Paul Gaultier is what we talk about when we talk about couture. In a week of shows that have left me at times both dazzled and underwhelmed (Valentino, I’m looking at you), Gaultier showed up just in time to remind us all exactly why we’re here: because only a handful of people on the face of the planet are capable of so masterfully creating clothes that make us dream.

That’s exactly what we got with this woven, corseted, sombrero’d Mexico-meets-Avatar collection of things that no one could ever wear out into the real world, except for maybe Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga. But the beauty of couture is that no one needs to wear most of it, which unshackles the designers and enables them to create truly resplendent and inspiring clothes-art without the burden of functionality (or the burden of reality, for that matter). (more…)

I’m…I’m underwhelmed. And a little sad, maybe. But mostly confused. Is this what Valentino Haute Couture is supposed to look like? Are they serious? I think we’ve been tricked. Fooled. Bamboozled.

It kind of reminds me of what would happen if Balenciaga and Valentino had a baby (the term ‘Valenciaga’ has already been coined elsewhere, I can’t take credit for it), and a few of the tight minidresses are reminiscent of Herve Leger, particularly with the neon inserts that were also in the previous Leger spring collection. Which is all fine and good, except neither of those designers make couture – they do a dandy job at pret-a-porter, but this is couture week, people. (more…)

First, I’d like to say that I’m so incredibly happy that Chanel Haute Couture chose to do something more interesting for their show this season than they did for their show last season. Although, if you find silver and white boring, this may be another loser for you.

It was a winner for me, however. For the first time in his lengthy career, Karl Lagerfeld created a collection that completely eschewed black and navy – in fact, it eschewed color of any sort, save for a few traditional Chanel suits with a culotte twist (I just dry heaved a little bit there), which were rendered in various pastels. The collection was beautifully draped, beaded and rendered in the most unforgiving color palette you can imagine for the construction of clothing, but it all worked exactly as it should have. Of course it did; it’s couture. (more…)

Of the few shows that we’ve seen so far Givenchy Haute Couture felt the most like couture to me. As the line between a normal runway show and a couture show continues to blur and fewer brands present the highest of high fashion as time goes on and the customer base dwindles, I still thoroughly enjoy seeing a full-on, beads-and-feathers-and-funny-hats shindig.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what Givenchy gave us. Modernist lampshade-esque hats topped looks from ballgowns to jumpsuits, rendered in lace, beading, feathers and ruffles and then dipped in pure, unadulterated fabulousness. (more…)

Good news, everyone – it’s cool to be an uptight, rich plutocrat again! Adjust accordingly.

Really, where would those ideals be more appropriately on display than at the Christian Dior Haute Couture show this week in Paris? John Galliano styled his Cruella-meets-English-nobility show with riding crops and streaks of Bride of Frankenstein grey hair, and although I didn’t adore this collection as much as I did the lingerie-as-outerwear show from six months ago, I couldn’t help but smile. Haute Couture Week is like getting a big, beaded, sparkly fashion hug. (more…)

The trend toward chain link totes seems like an obvious choice this season. Although totes are somewhat on the practical side of the handbag spectrum, the addition of chains to ordinary totes makes them into something special. These totes featured are far from your generic 9-to-5 envelope tote and are just as adept at toting around loads of stuff during your busy weekdays. Or they would also serve a practical purpose on weekend getaways.

Chain straps do add a few extra ounces of weight to a handbag, so they are not for everyone. I know that when I overpack a tote I feel the strain on my shoulders at the end of the day. If you are looking for just a touch of chain link on your bag for added glam then there are also styles such as the Burberry Barbed wire that feature just a touch of chain as an accent. (more…)

Great googly moogly, people. I sit here every day and talk about $2500 handbags like they’re the most normal thing in the world, so most sane people would consider me somewhat desensitized to luxury prices. And they’d probably be right – I sort of consider Balenciaga bags to be a steal, since most of their motorcycle styles are still priced under $1500.

But even the fact that I don’t live in objective reality when it comes to the prices of designer duds can’t stop my mouth from falling slightly agape at the fact that those in the Fashion Ivory Tower want us to pay $73,000 for the Balmain Crocodile Tail Leather Jacket. Let’s get a better look, after the jump… (more…)

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