Sunday, June 19, 2016

A New Perspective

As the world left behind the standards of the Victorian era, artists began to explore new ways of interpreting everything they saw. Straight lines, basic shapes and forms reduced to geometric planes became prevalent during the early decades of the 20th century.
Within the Cubist movement (1907-1914), spearheaded by Pablo Picasso in Paris, artists no longer accepted objects and subjects at face value, but rather interpreted them from multiple perspectives in a single moment. They rejected the idea that art should only represent nature. For instance, instead of painting the curving lines of the human form and objects as they appear like in "Weeping Woman," Picasso used straight-edge shapes to represent the multiple planes that may comprise that moment in time, interpreting the 3D in a 2D form.

"Tableau I," 1921
In a similar manner, artists like Piet Mondrian furthered the artistic conversation regarding the use of geometric forms within the De Stijl, or “The Style” movement. This Dutch movement (1917-1931) was embraced by rtists and architects as they reduced their palette to black, white and primary colors and embraced the use of vertical and horizontal compositions.

Looking at Ralph Lauren’s spring 2016 collection, the fabrics used on some of the designs seem to blend these two artistic movements. The geometric shapes are juxtaposed on the fabric in ways that mimic the multi-view perspective of Cubist artist.
The color selection and color blocking of the pieces also resembles the treatment of color and shapes of The Style artists.
"Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow," 1930

Though this connection between Ralph Lauren’s work and 20th century art may only appear visual, it also makes me pause to wonder what more these design choices could be saying. In the same way the artists took time to reflect on how they were viewing the world around them in the early 20th century (from 3D life to the 2D planes of their canvases), could this be something we too need to do in our own era, but in the opposite direction? 
The world is moving at an increasingly fast pace each day with technology reducing our lives to the 2D screens in front of us. Whether viewing and living our lives through the lens of the computer, smart phone or television, the real world is forever intertwined with the 2D digital sphere. Just as artists like Picasso did 100 years ago, we too could gain some value in taking time to reinterpret the 2D into the 3D. Instead of just experiencing an event through a screen (via pictures, texts, etc.), perhaps there’s an opportunity for a 3D experience with conversation, quality time and life lived together. 

Runway Photos: 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Modern Day Marie Antoinette

"The beauty of her heavenly face, that expressed benevolence and goodness, and whose features were so regular and delicate, the loveliness of her figure, neck, and arms, the exquisite freshness of her complexion – all was enchanting beyond anything imaginable." 
Self Portrait of Vigee le Brun
Such was the description of a woman from the diary of artist Elisabeth Vigee le Brun.  Though we don’t know who she was thinking of, we can imagine through her eyes a classic Rococo beauty full of life and allure. Famous for painting portraits of Marie Antoinette, Vigee le Brun captures the spirit of the period through her words and paint brush.
Romance, soft gestures, playfulness…all were present in this 18th century world. The mood of the era is embodied in the newest spring Red Valentino collection. The baby doll dress silhouette often seen among the designers’ work is interpreted for a modern-day Marie Antoinette with corset and lacing details.
Romantic chokers and flower embellishments worn by the models resemble those of the Queen herself.

The collection wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the courtiers that participated in the flirtatious banter in the garden and court of Versailles. 
"The Swing" by Fragonard 
Mirroring the breeches men wore, the models don feminine jumpers.

Artist Jean-Frederic Schall embraced the playful spirit of the period with his paintings of girls dancing. 

Whether peasant or royal, life seems so pleasant when dancing…

With a touch of romance, a floral embellishment and playful spirit, here’s to embracing the beauty of the season.

Runway Photos: 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Candy Colored Summer

"Lifeguards on Duty" 
Every season brings with it the chance to embrace something new. It’s a clean slate waiting to be written. So as you enjoy the unofficial start of summer this weekend, what better time than now to ask yourself what kind of season you would like to have.

How about a candy colored summer?

What might a candy colored summer be? Perhaps a little bit bright with rose colored hues and soft yellow highlights.
"Los Santos" 

Maybe it’s the refreshing feeling that comes on the winds of a sea breeze.
"Wind and Sea"

Or the inexplicable hope of a daydream.
"Candy Castle" 

The photography of Matt Crump helps inspire such candy colored notions. Whether exploring his portfolio or perusing his #candyminimal curated collection on Instagram, the inspiration is endless.
"Bright Tiles" 

It’s hard to feel unhappy when you can enjoy the cotton candy colored dreamscapes he creates like the Eiffel Sunset. 
"Eiffel Sunset"

The options for a candy colored season are endless. 
Only one question remains…where will your path lead?
"Pretty Path"

Anchors Away

As spring makes way for summer, the season evolves into plenty of sunshine, clear skies and pops of red, white and blue. The patriotic color scheme seems synonymous with summer thanks to holidays like Memorial Day and the 4th of July. 
As we celebrate Memorial Day weekend, it seems only appropriate to use the color palette as a point of inspiration and way to remember those who have served our country.

Stars, stripes and gold accents are the perfect trio to celebrate a patriotic spirit. Designer Zuhair Murad did just that in his spring collection. He kept the looks fresh with youthful silhouettes like the trapeze top and front peplum detailing.
The spirit of Americana is evident in the designs thanks to stripes and gold accessories that shimmer like stars.
Not only do the color and fabric choices bring to mind the American flag, they also pay homage to WWII sailors. 
The use of nautical stripes and gold buttons are particularly reminiscent of the American sailors. There’s even a pant suit in the collection that resembles the flared legs of their uniforms.

As you set sail into summer, be sure to celebrate the season and the country’s heritage with a little bit of red, white and blue.

Runway Photos:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Italia is Love

From the rolling hills of fruit orchards…

to fields overflowing with blooms…

to beautiful beaches, the summer collection for Dolce & Gabbana is ready for an Italian adventure. 

If travelling to Italy isn’t in your summer plans, you can still enjoy the spirit of the country with pieces that feature landmarks and tourist attractions embroidered on the fabric. It’s almost like wearing a post card to celebrate things like the leaning tower of Pisa.
And what would Italy be without a Roman Holiday?

 The collection is like a love letter to Italy, a celebration of the vitality and zest of life that can be felt in everything from the history, landscape, art, food and people.  With the #ItaliaIsLove tag, it’s hard to ignore the mood behind the designs and the ads. I love the ad campaign for the collection. You can’t help but want to sit at the sidewalk cafĂ© to enjoy some pasta or read a book. 
And of course, the event wouldn’t be complete without some selfies.

The designers continued to use devices like cell phones as key accessories like we saw in the fall collection. But this time the models, both on the runway and in the ads, pause to take selfless
Though funny and a bit unexpected to the devices on the runway and in ads, it makes sense given our culture of social media and constant sharing. Models seem to be giddy on their love of Italia and the brand.
Regardless of where your summer adventures take you, you can take the inspiration of love and happiness with you.

Runway Photos:
Other sources: 

Bee Beautiful

They say April showers bring May flowers. But this won’t be true if the bees aren’t here to pollinate the flowers we all love. Bee populations are declining due to things like pesticides and decreasing habitats. Without the bees, our world would be depleted of not only flowers, but also fruits, vegetables and other crops that help keep us alive. 

But all is not lost. You can help and look great while doing it.
One of my favorite brands, Burt’s Bees, currently has a Bring Back the Bees campaign to increase awareness and give us easy ways to help. Burt’s Bees will plant 1000 wildflowers in your honor when you post using the #BringBackTheBees tag or when you buy a special edition lip balm.
Amazing lip balm, beautiful flowers and helping a worthy cause all at once…count me in!
With bees on the brain, you can continue to celebrate the buzz of your good deed of helping plant wildflowers by donning spring inspired accessories from Kate Spade

From a flower potted purse to a tote worthy of a queen bee, the collection of bags is a playful take on the season. 
And if you’re going to carry a bumble bee wicker purse, may as well take it all the way with some floral earrings and a spritz of Marc Jacob’s Honey perfume.
Here's to a bringing back the bees with style! 
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