Resort 2014: Alice + Olivia

I just want to start by saying I think Stacey Bendet (founder and creative-mind behind Alice + Olivia) is adorable. In fact, I think I’ll do an entire post dedicated to her. So I’ll leave my, “What a badass, girly girl!” thoughts until later.

This line was full of trendy basics and there was one really one piece that made me crinkle my nose. But we’ll get to that.

Basics

Like I said, trendy basics. The trendiness increases as we go along, but the first outfit is a great example: a very neutral, navy blue outfit. The cut of the top is very modern (and also very 80s-esque, but that’s why we love it) but pretty much anyone could throw it on and make it work with anything.

The dress is also neutral, but the pattern is like a modern-day von Trapp children curtain outfit and the length is very “now.” I think there’s something psychologically that happens with an outfit like these: for people not yet comfortable with the real-world application of high fashion, this is safe while giving you a feeling of taking a risk. Perhaps that’s why I consider it a good neutral.

I love the strappy heels. Rock the red shoes, ladies.

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Bags

If we can call that dress a curtain dress, it’s fair to call this bag a carpet bag. And I love it. I’m totally on a big bag kick, and the runway gods are totally supporting me.

These shoe/bag pairings should be the covet of all womenkind.

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Porcelain Doll

These dresses are incredible because you could wear them for seasons to come. The first is my favorite and the second looks like a porcelain doll. Seriously though, more people need to embrace the monochromatic outfits.

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Here’s where it gets fun!

This outfit is good for me. One, it shows how to appropriately pair two sheer, flow-y pieces Most pairings are frumpy, but this one still leaves the model looking delicate and feminine. I couldn’t pull off the hat with it, but I could do my own variation with it.

Heels, ladies. We all need to be more comfortable wearing them. (Can you tell this is a good takeaway from this line?)

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Nose Crinkle

This fell flat for me, (Like, really flat.) but the second outfit I liked. How does that make any sense? First, personal style and second perspective. I really think it’s just the pairing. Let’s take a second look:

Outfit one from the waist up I love. Pair it with jeans, white cut-offs or even a mini skirt and it’d be great. Pair the pants with the white, lace top from above and it’d be adorable (hat included). But how it is? No thanks.

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Outfit number two I like better because there’s something about the funky pairing that fits my personal style better. Maybe it’s the skirt (I’m a sucker for blue), but I really think it’s the sweater. I have held onto the oversized, print sweater trend like it’s going out of style. (Hint, good style is always going out. Kind of like how man-kind is always dying. Yeah, no fear at going deep here.)

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Trendy

Here’s where the trendy hits hard. I, personally, could not get away with the red lips dress, but if I saw someone wearing it, especially to a Valentine’s party or bridal shower, I would be completely obsessed.

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Once again, here’s a fabulous lesson on turning basics into fashion-forwards. Take a second to really look at the crop top; see how the sleeves fit? I love it, and I’m not sure exactly why.

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Here’s my favorite outfit. Even if you aren’t comfortable with a bustier top and harlem pants, you can try a striped tank top and high-waisted dress pants.

And I’m going to start wearing more flowers in my hair. ¡Olé!

Alice_Oliva_resort-2014My take-aways: heels, hair flowers and eyelet tops.

What did you take away from this line?

Resort 2014: Phillip Lim

I’m having a hard time putting the overall feeling of this line into words: vacation/relaxation chic? That’s probably the closest. The cuts are a mix of relaxed and structured while the fabrics are strategically interspersed by detail, color and design to give it a contrasting rich/relaxed feel.

And yet, because I can’t seem to find a thread to guide my thoughts, I’m just going to spitball opinions. (Side note: I’ve decided the term “spitball” should originate from SuperMario, not baseball.)

I’m a big believer that neutral, relaxed fits are vacation clothes so these black and white plus sea green is perfect. These say, “Don’t worry, I’m just stopping for some shopping before getting back on my yacht.”

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This one falls in the above category but I wanted to note that boots continue to be a staple for all outfits. White motorcycle boots are now on my “Coveting” list.

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 While boots are always a win, one thing I struggle with are shorts. Short shorts (read: mid-thigh and above) are easy for me because they just sit well and are comfortable. But sometimes I don’t want to show that much leg and I’m not in the mood for a skirt. Struggles. Therefore I think these pieces are genius: shorter shorts, lengthened by sheer cloth. I love them.

 I love this entire outfit. The fit of the jacket balances the shorts so well and the details are to die for.

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 Let’s talk dresses: This collection had a good mix of lengths and styles. I’m including these two because the first is a good example of the big sleeves that are in this collection and the mix of fabrics (neutrals and metallics). The second shows the sleeveless cut with the deep-v detailing, there are a couple pieces with the same cut. I like it.

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Phillip_Lim_017_1366.450x675 Here’s where the fun mixes comes into play: The first half are pieces that are structurally linear, the second half plays with linear patterns.

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I don’t know what it is about this one, but I love the mix of the shorter baby blue coat with the red top. It almost feels like a clash of East and West (Mao Zedong versus Napoleon) or antique and space-age.

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I bought a jacket a lot like this from a Goodwill in high school and I loved it. Metallic-green color blocking on a motorcycle styled jacket, I’ve missed that jacket randomly throughout the years since I got rid of it, but seeing this jacket makes me really regret not keeping it.

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The pattern on these pants remind me of a modern mariachi pant, which I think pairs with the tuxedo jacket really well.

Phillip_Lim_038_1366.450x675I think this is my favorite outfit, I would wear this everywhere. Any idea what the texture of the jacket is?

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There are definitely things I want from this collection (jackets and those shorts) but  I’m not obsessed with this collection. I think the reason is I wasn’t pulled through the collection like some shows do and I missed the story.

 

High Fashion: Alexandre Vauthier Fall 2013 Couture

This show was a hit and miss for me. I loved some of the aspects while others left me flat, but I was pleasantly surprised by some unexpected details. This is one show that would have benefited from multiple pictures of each outfit: front, back, sans-jacket, details.

Some of my loves

I love the harem-cut pant (probably mostly because my body-type prevents me from wearing it) and this show pulled that gathered look into both pant and skirt and I loved it.

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I love fur, so points for starting out with some fur.

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These pants are perfection, mostly because I could actually wear this kind of harem-like pant but also because they are so chic. These could, and should, be worn everywhere. I want them.

I started to type that this collection was mostly achromatic, but that is a gross generalization that offends the delicacy of this collection’s color palette. (If that sounds dramatic, it’s because I know better than to discount the depth and variations provided by Blue, my favorite color.) Let me get to my point: The collection has a mellow hue, except for the soles of the shoes: Bright red. Love.

Remember how I said I wished each piece had more than one picture? The sheer backing, and bold geometric patterns at the hipline (my love of art deco continues) were covered by the jacket, which is how the image shows the model.

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Here again: I wasn’t expecting the back on this one and I love it. Especially the gold diagonal.

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Things I didn’t like

I don’t like the full-sheer here I think it loses its couture feel. If this were a swimming suit with cover-up, I’d love it, but it was a miss for me because it felt out of place in this line.

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I don’t like the ruching, I feel like it takes away from the form and makes the fabric look clingy. Also, I wasn’t a huge fan of the cups throughout the show, and these are a good example. Are they supposed to be asymmetrical? Probably not, but either way I’ll pass.

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So in summary, I think it was a good collection. Not my favorite, but definitely had some solid pieces (Seriously, can I have those pants?).

Full collection here.

High Fashion: Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013 Couture

My biggest frustration with this line is the backdrop to the runway was black, causing all the pieces to drown. I think the combination of the black background and achromatic flooring was beautiful, especially once the models made their way down the runway, but it bugged me.

I wasn’t a huge fan of this collection. The pieces are a little too costume-ish for me to fantasize about owning them and the whiteface was distracting. But then I saw the last posed model:

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Image source: Style.com

The lighting and her figure are stunning. Seeing this image changed my perspective on the entire show. The variation of patterns, and contradictions (soft billowing silhouettes paired with severe angles) all subtly cloaked in black, are interesting, but lost on me until I was given the chance to see a piece interact with its surroundings, as opposed to simply walking the runway.

In my mind, these pieces are wearable pieces of art and should only be worn with the above lighting.

High Fashion: Hilary

I like flipping through images of fashion shows because I find I have definite opinions about the clothing, the story they tell and whether or not I think it was a success. This probably isn’t too uncommon, but I love it because I was raised in a not-high-fashion house. My parents are modern, but not couture by any means and I’ll admit I shied away from my interest in popular culture and fashion because of a taught feeling it was ridiculous.

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As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized how much my personality falls in line with the fashion world. I prefer shopping at thrift stores because they offer more variety; allowing me to mix and experiment and wear ridiculous clothes. Also, I can get more bang for my buck. It leaves me feeling unique, creative and guiltless.

This winter I won a competition with Diet Coke so they flew me to New York for their Red Dress Fashion show. While waiting in the airport to fly out I stopped to get a water and decided it was appropriate to buy a fashion magazine. I settled on Elle, then realized it was the first fashion magazine I had ever dared to buy. It’s actually a little sad; I’ve spent my entire life looking for inspiration and here were articles and images from driven, successful women who seemed to fall in line with some of my passions and interests. Why had I denied myself for so loassess my career path. Why had I denied myself for so long? 

No more. Whatever is inspirational, go for it, right?