Saturday, February 17, 2018

Love Letter

Love is not something to only be celebrated on a single day each year. It is something to be embraced and expressed every day before the moment passes you by. 

For centuries, love has been shared through the written word. Words of longing, hope and desire have filled countless pages in love letters. Whether they are words of love to a friend, soulmate or family member, a letter has the power to immortalize feelings of admiration and caring.



“You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the number one earthly reason for my existence.” –Johnny Cash to June Carter


“The charms of the incomparable Josephine kindle continually a burning and a glowing flame in my heart…I thought that I loved you months ago, but since my separation from you I feel that I love you a thousand fold more. Each day since I knew you, have I adored you more and more.” –Napoleon Bonapart to Josephine de Beauharnais


This season, designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia put their love of Oscar de la Renta directly on the fabrics of the Spring 2018 collection. 

The name of the late designer graces the fabrics in a cursive-like script. Paired with hearts and the colors of love, the collection is like a walking love letter to the designer and the brand he created. 
The romance, elegance and beauty lives on in this celebration of Oscar de la Renta.




Runway Photos: Vogue.com

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Shades of Love

From the first butterflies of a crush, to the deep passion of soul mates, there are many shades of love. Cupid is already fluttering his wings and readying his bow for Valentine’s Day, so what better way to celebrate than with a color story in pink?
Love has been the subject of countless books, movies, songs and art pieces. Sometimes love is demure and quiet, while other times it is loud and exuberant. It can be sweet, exciting and passionate. Just as there are variations in a single color, ranging from lighter to darker hues, love can be expressed through a variety of colors and shades. Red and pink always dominate February’s celebration of love. With the help of spring styles and art, we can explore the softer side of the sentiment in shades of pink.
 Chanel, Spring 2018

"Cupcake Couple" by Christopher Boffoli, 2013
Love can be sweet, even as sweet as a cupcake. With soft layers of tulle and ruffles in blush tones, Chanel and Marchesa showcased designs as delicious as a cupcake’s icing. There is an innocence to this shade, as it calls to mind cotton candy and sugary sweetness.
 Marchesa, Spring 2018


 As shades of blush deepen to a more vibrant pink, a playfulness and charm emerges. Just as the feelings of love bloom, the dresses of Marchesa and Alexander McQueen bloom with playful applique flowers and detailing.
Alexander McQueen, Spring 2018 

Shades of bubblegum pink become pops of color on the runway and in art. Artist Romero Britto features this shade of pink in pieces like “American Dream” where he uses pop art styling to depict American royalty, JFK and Jackie.

Marchesa, Spring 2018

John Mayer crooned the lyrics “love is a verb.” But as artist Scott Pratt explores in his bubblegum back-dropped piece (seen below), love is also the root word of nouns and adjectives like lover and loving. No matter the type of word, without love as the foundation, the others don’t exist.

 Zimmermann, Spring 2018
Are you ready for Cupid’s arrow to take hold this Valentine’s Day? Celebrate all that is sweet and romantic this holiday in your favorite shade of pink.

 "I Love You-pink, poppy red, cool gold" by Damien Hirst, 2015

Runway Photos: Vogue.com
Art Photos: Artsy.net

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Blues

Whether it’s for a date, meeting friends for lunch or running to the grocery store, blue jeans are a staple fashion choice. Paired with the right shoes, top and accessories they can transform for any occasion. They come in all shapes that range from classic straight leg to skinny to trouser to overalls. The options are endless, as are the washes and color choices. But the classic continues to be blue.

No matter the season, jeans are always a good choice. Designers like Dior feature the material in every shape and style, using the material in pants, blazers, overalls and more on both the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 runways. 
Why do we love jeans so much? Is it their durability, their comfort or perhaps their style? 
It’s amazing that a clothing item with roots in mere functionality has become so central to the style lexicon. As miners and men of the gold rush headed to the mountains and hills of America's Wild West in the late 19th century, their paints couldn’t handle the wear and tear of the jobs. 

It took a shopkeeper named Levi Strauss and a tailor named Jacob Davis to discover the power of blue jeans. Using heavy canvas material and rivets, they found the solution and patented the jeans that birthed Levi Strauss & Co. 
The pants continued to serve their durable purpose as a uniform of sorts for the working class for many decades. Cowboys also adopted the fashion item as they faced the rugged working conditions of ranch life. 
 As time rolled on, people outside of laborers welcomed jeans into their closets. By the 1930s, young people started donning the pants as a fashion statement. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that they hit mainstream popularity. Once James Dean smoldered on the silver screen in Rebel Without a Cause in a pair of blue jeans there was no stopping the increasing love for jeans. They began to embody a spirit of freedom, exploration and rebellion. 

Starlets and style stars like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot cemented the style for women everywhere as they showcased styles like the high waisted straight leg and cropped skinny.

Even as styles continue to evolve around us and some styles fade into mere memories, blue jeans have staked a permanent claim in our wardrobes. 

Though the styles, cuts and washes may vary over the years, the blue jean remains a classic we count on.  

Runway Images: Vogue
Jean History: The Smithsonian and Racked 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Fashion meets Art: Monica Lee-Henell

As December gives way to January, most of the trees are now bare and the grass has faded from green to brown. Even though winter has only just begun, I’m already dreaming of spring. 

For a taste of spring's warmth, I find myself gazing at Monica Lee-Henell's paintings like "White Blooms," shown above. I can almost smell the flowers, feel the sunshine and hear the birds chirping in these oversized paintings. Even as they seem to offer a glimpse of the season to come, there is also a resemblance to the flowers that are still blooming and the recent collection from AlbertaFerretti

"Falling in Love" 
The leaves of the evergreen trees give splashes of color to the winter horizon. And though it may seem that the garden is empty until spring, there are still a few blooms offering their petals for our enjoyment. The deep hues of green, black and brown, that act as a backdrop to blooms of white, yellow and plum in Lee-Henell’s paintings are reminiscent of the deeper colors and feelings of the winter season. There is a heavy and earthy quality of the leaves and shrubs that is offset by the lightness of the blooms that mimic nature’s display this season.   

"Forsythia Unconditional"
Even if only for a limited time, the vibrant red and bright pink of begonias add a touch of color against an often gray sky. The last of the white and fuchsia mums nod in the winter breeze. And the purple, gold and white pansies shine brightly even as snow graces their petals. 

Lee-Henell’s lush and large brushstrokes across the canvas transport us to a place of beauty, one we might not always find in the dreary months. 
Flowers like those in the "Mystique", are like a snapshot of winter's remaining flowers. There is an abstract quality to many of the blooms in her paintings, with the mere suggestion of shapes through highlights and shadows.  
 


The fabrics used by Ferretti are similar to the painterly approach of Lee-Henell. The gauzy fabrics move across the skin like the soft and wide brushstrokes across the canvas. The floral prints are sometimes abstract with delicate details like ruffles and pleating to mimic a flower’s petals. 
"Lush"
Even though it’s not always easy, and the frost might deter you, these paintings and gowns serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, no matter the season.


Runway Photos: Vogue.com
Art Images: Monicaleehenell.com
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