Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bee Beautiful

They say April showers bring May flowers. But this won’t be true if the bees aren’t there 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 go all the way with some floral earrings and a spritz of Marc Jacob’s Honey perfume.
So here's to saving the bees, one lip balm and buzz worthy hashtag at a time. 

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 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 That Khuri desert. The luxurious fabrics are made desert ready with jewel encrusted boots and sandals. 

Step up the decadence with textured embroidery on the 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: 

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:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Pride and Prejudice and McQueen

Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice got a reboot thanks to author Seth Graham’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The book comes to life in the the recently released film. 

Elizabeth Bennett leads the way in the re-telling of the famous story, this time with quite a repertoire of sword-wielding skills. As zombies roam the hills of the English countryside, the Bennett sisters must put their fighting skills to the test while remaining ready to find Mr. Right in the search for a suitable match.

The movie is sure to whisk you away into the world of Regency England with the style and beauty of the period. But that doesn’t mean the style of the period is restricted to the silver screen. As we often see on the runways, historic styles are reinterpreted for modern audiences, as was the case for Sarah Burton’s Spring 2016 collection for Alexander McQueen.

With the mix of history and modern style of these designs, you can easily picture the Bennett sisters walking to Meryton in the floral dresses.

A white corset and delicate chemise mimics the underpinnings the sisters may have worn with their gowns when heading to the ball at Netherfield. Though for the Regency period many women chose not to wear the confining corsets and instead enjoy the freedom of a more natural shape. 

Feminine column gowns mirror the classic style embraced by women of the Regency era. The runway styles also feature Spencer-style jackets women often wore in the period. The short jackets mimicked a menswear tailcoats, but cut shorter to the waist without the tails. 

Additional designs featured military inspired coats paired with feminine gowns made of sheer lace with ruffle details. The combination becomes the perfect pair for Elizabeth to wear, one part feminine and one part zombie fighter. 

As you pick up the book or head to the movies, dreams of being best friends with Elizabeth and Jane, or marrying Mr. Darcy may float through your mind. As you consider life in Regency England alongside your favorite characters, you can dress the part in real life with Alexander McQueen.

Runway Photos:

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Gibson Girl Gone Bad

Gibson Girl meets Edward Scissorhands. A blend of pompadour hair and leather clothing. 
These were the two images I had in my mind while looking at the Alexander McQueen fall collection.

Just like the Gibson Girl was a symbol of a new type of woman breaking free of Victorian restrictions, Sarah Burton seemed to take this idea a step farther, more of a Victorian girl gone bad. She has revealing necklines, sheer fabrics, leather accents and racy cut-outs.

The hair of the models mirrors the bouffant or pompadour style made famous by Charles Gibson’s Gibson Girl drawings. The unruly nature of the styles seem to pay a bit of homage to Edward Scissorhands’ unruly look. But unlike the Gibson Girl who still followed many of the rules, Burton pushes the boundaries to an edgier take on feminine beauty.

More than 100 years have passed since the Gibson Girl took to the streets riding bicycles, showing athleticism and breaking boundaries, yet the power and beauty of this new Victorian woman continues to inspire.

Runway photos: 
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