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 café 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 in 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: Vogue.com
Other sources: dolcegabbana.com 

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! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Rococo Rose

"Delphinium," 2015

Power, beauty, intrigue, mystery, passionthese are just are few of the subjects addressed in the works of Alexia Sinclair. With historical figures like Queen Elizabeth and the last Czarina of Russia as central characters in her photography, Sinclair uses modern technology to bring their stories to life. 

Through the medium of digital photography and post-production techniques, her works take on a magical and ethereal quality  reminiscent of old world painters like Francois Boucher.
 "Bed of Roses," 2015

"Madame Pompadour" by Francois Boucher

All of her pieces have the power to transport you to another time, but my favorites are from her Rococo and Les Antoinettes series. Both series are inspired by the decadent world of women like Madame Pompadour and Marie Antoinette. The period is best known for a playful and sensuous spirit, which not only applied to art and décor, but also to lifestyle.

Sinclair seems  to use the sensual and romantic nature of the period as points of inspiration in works like “The Secret Garden."

In pieces like “The Perfumed Garden," I can’t help but imagine Marie Antoinette sneaking off for a rendezvous with Axel von Fersen.


Portrait of Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun, 1783

The Les Antoinettes series offers a glimpse into the timeline of Marie Antoinette’s life. From her time hiding behind a mask while she flirted with Axel in “L’Opera de Paris”
to making a political statement using her headdress in “La Belle Poule
 to getting in touch with a simpler life at Le Petit Trianon in “La Coiffure Oiseau,” the images whisk you into the magical world of the French Queen. 

"Marie Antoinette in a Muslin Dress" by Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun

Though the passage of time moves us further from the world of these women from history, Sinclair's fresh interpretations and use of technology presents the figures in a modern form. The works demonstrate the power of history and how timeless the themes remain.     

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Diamonds in the Desert

If you're anything like me, William and Kate's recent trip to India has you ready to pack your bags for an adventure of your own. Dressed in Elie Saab's spring couture collection, you'd be ready to explore India's vast landscape. From the dunes of the desert to the steps of the Taj Mahal, the designs bring dreams dripping in opulence to life. 
The color palette mimics that of the desert, with natural shades like tan and taupe. At first glance, the colors may seem repetitive, but there are subtle changes that pay homage to the historical treatment of color in India. An ancient text recognized white as variations in shades like ivory, jasmine, august moon, August clouds after the rain and also conch shell. White is practical given the climate of the region, but it makes it so much more poetic to name the shades something like "August clouds after the rain." 

You could wear your jasmine and ivory outfits for a day in the Thar Khur desert. The luxurious fabrics are made desert ready with jewel encrusted boots and sandals. 

Step up the decadence with textured embroidery on a gown for your trip to the Taj Mahal. The intricacy reflects the ornate detailing of the flowers on the famous building. 

Inspiration for the collection seemed to stem not only from the landscape, but also the historical beauties among the country's own royalty. 
The richness of the styles matches that of a princess. There are flowing sari-like gowns that drape elegantly across the body while a shawl falls delicately across the shoulders.
 Like the fabric, the body is adorned with jewels, including tiaras, to complete the majestic worthy looks. 

So pack your bags and get ready to make your own majestic memories. 

Runway photos: Vogue.com 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Art Deluxe

A bit of candy, bouquet of flowers, a dash of perfume. Sounds like the ingredients for romance doesn’t it? Or better yet, the ingredients for the art of Clara Hallencreutz

I glimpsed some of her pieces that reference Chanel and quickly got drawn into her world of color, whimsy and surrealism. Her modern pop art inspires questions and exploration through her presentation and title selection.
For instance, by painting a fast food meal in soft pastels and using the title “No Artificial Colours,” Hallencreutz makes the viewer question the ingredients of our food. As a society, we have become accustomed to eating out of boxes and drive-thrus, but do we really ever know what we’re eating? With appealing packaging and convenience, we often fail to stop and consider the artificial components of what we put in our bodies.
The series also includes painted roses. With roses as a symbol of love, it makes you wonder, is love sometimes artificial with a layer covering the true form that lies beneath it?

Hallencreutz seems to have a thing for Chanel, but who doesn’t? Her “Smell Deluxe” series is a pretty presentation of flowers in the shape of the iconic logo…perhaps the flowers that inspire the perfumes? 
Her Chanel inspiration continues with the “Taste Deluxe” series, which uses the branded black and white pairing with ice cream and cupcakes. The juxtaposition of sweets and the luxury of the Chanel brand hints at the taste of luxury, suggesting a new Chanel bag is as sweet as an ice cream cone.


The “Candy Crush” collection continues the use of sweet imagery, but in shapes like that of a grenade. Perhaps an ode to the explosive nature of having a new crush?

Regardless of how you interpret her work, you can’t help but get lost in the colorfully sweet world Hallencreutz creates.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Point of Fashion

"The Seine and La Grande Jatte Springtie," 1886 by Seurat 

From afar, the paintings appear like any other, with colorful brush strokes giving life to forms across the canvas.  But step a little closer, and you quickly realize these are not traditional brush strokes that spread color with smooth and continuous movements. But rather, the forms that seemed so realistic and whole from a distance are actually comprised of thousands of tiny paint dots.  
"Eiffel Tower," 1889 by Seurat

This method, called Pointillism, became famous in the late 1800s by artists like Georges Seurat and  Paul Signac. The artists embraced scientific studies on color theory and instead of blending their paints to create different colors, they placed certain color dots next to one another. By doing this, the colors blended in the viewer’s mind rather than on the canvas.
"Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," 1884-86 by Seurat 

Designer Monique Lhuillier appeared to embrace a similar approach to representing colors and patterns in her spring collection. Her ode to Pointillism did not stick to dots, but also used flowers and splattered colors to create patterns.

 "The Port of Saint-Tropez," 1901 by Signac 

At a distance, the fabrics appear to have a large pattern that take on forms with the cut of the dresses. But they are actually comprised of many small shapes that make up the bigger design. 
Though Lhuillier’s use of this technique translates in a more abstract way than Seurat and Signac, it’s still interesting to consider how her placement of colors on the fabrics are interacting with you eyes, mind and perception.

"Golfe-Juan," 1896 by Signac

What could just be a fleck of paint contributes to the larger picture; transforming into  a flower, a garden and landscape.

Runway photos: Vogue.com
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