OK Go at Design Miami

Two nights ago, on December 1st, we had the privilege to be invited by our friends at Fendi to the opening of this year’s Design Miami Vernissage in the Miami Design District.

Design Miami/ Opening

For the second consecutive year, Fendi co-sponsors the events which feature an array of Limited Edition unique retail environments, art installations and the world’s most influential design show “” Design Miami/. (more…)

Back when I wrote about the fantastical, confusing, reptilian shoes that Alexander McQueen showed for his brilliant Spring 2010 runway show, I remember thinking that the only person that I could see actually trying to wear the shoes in any serious way was Lady Gaga. Apparently I can predict the future, so if any of you would like to know if you should dump your current boyfriend, you know who to ask. (more…)

Get your sparkle on this fall. It seems Swarovski crystals are one of the fiercest trends of the season. With the influence of Swarovski crystals by Balmain on everything from boots, to handbags and jeans, the tiny bits of Austrian sparkle are not just for jewelry any more. We love a bit of glitz now and then and all taken in moderation. (more…)

Halloween is approaching quickly. It is one of my favorite holidays. I love seeing people en route to a costume party or just running an errand dressed in full Halloween attire. The creativity of the costumes seen on San Francisco streets is an inspiration to behold. Many of the costumes seen on Halloween are extremely ornate and beautiful or shockingly frightening. I may not be dressing up in my traditional costume ball attire this year, but I do have my eye on some spooky clothing and skull inspired handbags to join in the frightening fun on October 31st. (more…)

Louis Vuitton 14Between the half-shoes/half-claws shown by Alexander McQueen and Chanel Spring 2010 being show in a barn with smirking models, I thought I had seen every ridiculous thing that Paris Fashion Week had to offer.

And then at Louis Vuitton Spring 2010, creative director Marc Jacobs saw fit to attach furry tails to the bags. Yep, that happened.

As far as bags go, the show started…dreadfully. Most of them appeared to be made of dip-dyed cotton canvas in candy colors with coordinating fluffy appendages streaming off the back, which were sometimes bigger than the bag itself. After a dozen looks, I thought I was in for a very unpleasant show.

But after a little while, things started to look decidedly better. I’m not sure if it was just the fashion show version of Stockholm Syndrome, I guess that’s always possible, but things rallied a bit during the middle and end portions of the show. Instead of canvas bags with animal parts hanging from them, Vuitton returned to the leathers and embossed logos to which fans are slightly more accustomed.

Which is not to say the bags were boring – they weren’t. The opposite, in fact. And they weren’t entirely successful, but I appreciate the combination of colors, materials, and textures that Jacobs attempted in order to make something new out of one of the most recognizable logos in the fashion world. The collection was heavy on messengers, and the ones that combined logo leather with smooth in different colors were probably the best bags of the show, in addition to the duffel bags made of similar textures. Please, Marc Jacobs, if you’re out there: please give the tassel-covered bags a rest. Thanks.

The more I look through the bags from the last half of the collection, the more the eclectic ideas and influences grow on me, and I’m not sure what my final opinion will be once the dust of fashion week has settled. One thing is sure, though; adventurous collections like Louis Vuitton, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen are what make Paris the world’s reigning fashion city. New York has some catching up to do. (more…)

Add some sparkle to your step this fall with a sequined handbag. This season it is all about luxe embellishments. Paillettes and sequins adorn handbags that can be worn both day and night. The dazzling surface, texture and color will get you noticed. Simply pair a sequined bag with an all black outfit comprised of skinny jeans for day or with a pretty and minimalist cocktail dress for evening. (more…)

Hermes 18In case you have previously considered the idea of wearing a $10,000 purse as a gym bag and ruled it out, Hermes would apparently like you to rethink that decision.

Jean Paul Gaultier’s entire Hermes Spring 2010 collection was a riff on country club chic, and enormous Kellys and Birkins as workout wear, replete with leather tennis ball carriers, were the icing on top of the luxe-prepster cake. Obviously the idea that a white travel Kelly should be slung around the local tennis court is in jest, but the aesthetic does work nicely with the ultraclean lines of Hermes’s signature bags.

Overall, though, I didn’t find myself nearly as blown away as I usually do when looking at a series of the world’s finest handbags. I have wondered before why Hermes doesn’t use more snakeskin in their line, and the oversized python Birkins and Kellys answered that quite nicely – it just doesn’t work. All of the snakeskin bags looked rumpled and, dare I say it, fake. Unless there’s a point that I’m missing, I’m surprised that Gaultier let them walk the runway.

Overall, I find myself a little underwhelmed. The exotic clutches were predictably drool-inducing, and the tennis influence that found its way into the accessories line is very appropriate for brand whose customers probably all count themselves as members of various country clubs. But with the resources and craftsmanship that Hermes has at their disposal, I was hoping for a bit more. (more…)

Chanel 23Like the rest of Chanel‘s Spring 2010 collection, the bags that we saw walk their runway (barnway?) were more rustic-chic than classic Parisian. Whether that’s your thing or not, Karl Lagerfeld certainly seems to believe in it.

The problem with Chanel, though, is that for better or for worse, they have a lot of aesthetic history to consider when a new collection is designed, and Lagerfeld usually chooses to acknowledge that history. What that means is that mostly, Chanel doesn’t innovate. They do something different here and there, and a lot of their bags are quite lovely, but rarely do we see them starting new bag trends.

I don’t know if that’s a positive or a negative – it just sort of is. If you like their aesthetic, then I’m sure you’re completely fine with what they do and how they do it. If you don’t, there are plenty of alternatives on which to spend your money. There are a few unexpected things in this accessories, but mostly it’s just the same bags we’ve seen with slightly frayed edges. I can totally understand if that’s what they want to send to retail, but I also can’t help but wish Lagerfeld & Co. would embrace the fantasy of the runway a little bit more in the accessories department. (more…)

Chanel 21I must disagree, strenuously and vociferously, with the reintroduction of the wood-bottom clog to the high fashion lexicon. Even when these particular wood-bottom clogs are from Chanel Spring 2010. I will not stand for it.

What I do like, however, is smiling. Models smiling. When was the last time that you saw model after model, looking reasonably happy and human, in a major fashion show. In the fashion show of Paris Fashion Week? And do my eyes deceive me, or was supermodel Sasha Pivovarova talking on a cell phone on the runway?

And is that hay? Did Karl Lagerfeld turn the Grand Palais into a barn?

Yes and yes.

Quite honestly, regardless of the clothes (which were reasonably fabulous, but not the best of the week. Like I said in a previous post, Alexander McQueen already won), Chanel’s show appeared to be the most joyful. At my college, we had a saying: our team may occasionally lose a football game, but we’ve never lost a party. And that’s exactly what Chanel did this week: they won the party. I mean, they even had a live band! With Lily Allen! Was there a keg? If there was a keg, I bet it was really nice beer. (more…)

mcqueen shoes

Unless you weren’t already convinced of Alexander McQueen‘s dark genius by the pictures of the clothing from his show, we submit to you: the shoes.

What we got from this collection (among other things) is perhaps the most ostentatious, progressive approach to footwear that we’ve ever seen from a major designer, at least in recent memory. The shoes were, on average, a full ten inches tall with huge platforms in the front to make them at least somewhat functional for walking. I pray for the models’ poor little ankles, but it was worth it to see these looks in their full form.

They came in three main varieties: first, ultra-high booties that looked more like prosthetic lobster claws than shoes you might see on the racks at Neiman Marcus, in keeping with the apocalyptic-aquatic theme of the show. These came in exotics, smooth leathers, and a variety of exterior embellishments, including shards of turquoise. The second type were booties that looked like something a resident in Wall-E‘s post-apocalyptic Earth might wear. The heels were covered in an amalgamation of industrial metal, creating perhaps the most wearable shoes of the collection. The third type were intricately carved porcelain platforms that were reminiscent of a coral reef, held on to the foot by clear plastic straps.

These are the shoes that a mermaid would wear, if a mermaid had feet. Luckily, the ones in McQueen’s show did. (more…)

McQueen 10Alexander McQueen. He wins. He wins at innovation, he wins at Paris Fashion Week, he wins at life. His collection was so mesmerizing, so totally awe-inspiring, that I don’t even need to see the rest of the shows to declare him the victor.

McQueen titled his show “Plato’s Atlantis,” and the aquatic, amphibious influence was clear from look one. Other designers this season have shown us visions of the world, post-apocalypse, but this collection may be the most fully realized of any of them. Not only do the clothes depict an eventual devolution from woman to sea creature, but so do the towering, sculptural platform shoes (more on those in a post later today), the prostheses that were applied to the model’s brows, and the molded, horn-like hair looks. When McQueen tells a story, he goes all out.

Regardless of the story, these clothes were nothing but mind-blowingly beautiful. The prints were some of the most interesting I’ve ever seen at Fashion Week, and they also represented a step towards fashions technological future – they were digitally designed. In greens, browns, teals and blues, they formed sculpted, architectural cocktail dresses that were unlike any you’ll find at a store near you.

The attention to detail that was paid – the ruching, seaming, pintucking, and beading – was worthy of any superlative that you can imagine. McQueen brings a decidedly couture sensibility to his pret-a-porter, and he continues to lead the way in innovation. This collection embodies what fashion can be, on its best days – fantastical, experimental, full of ideas. (more…)

Balmain 2If the clothes of Christophe Decarnin’s Spring 2010 collection for Balmain were the costumes for a movie, that movie would be Beyond Thunderdome 2: In Da Club.

The clothes are straight from the closet of a post-apocalyptic party girl; they’re equal parts grunge and glam, which continues and builds upon the half dozen or so trends that Balmain single-handedly spawned with their Fall 2009 effort (if you’ve bought any daytime sequins or hard shoulders for fall, thank Christophe Decarnin).

This season was another one filled with military jackets, glitter, epaulets, and deconstruction to the point of near-demolition. But these garments were less glam-industrial and more dystopian-fabulous, which means we got them in shades of gold and bronze instead of silver and graphite.

The glittering tanks that looked a bit like ultrafine chain mail were a standout under the types of jackets that have come to be a Balmain classic under Decarnin – lots of embellishment on top of statement shoulders and a militaristic aesthetic, smart shrunken leather blazers, and a vague marching band vibe here and there. And it sounds ridiculous, and it was, but also incredibly brilliant.

And if you don’t like it, well, too bad. Much of chain retail is going to be ripping off this collection in every way imaginable in a few months, and you’re going to be hard pressed to find something on-trend that doesn’t look like it came from this runway. (more…)

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