Monday, February 27, 2012

Fashion Flashback: Fringe

Since flappers popularized the fringe dress in the 1920s, the look really hasn't really gone out of style.  The fringe created movement as they shimmied on the dance floor to their jazz favorites.  It was later popular in the 1960s and '70s with the go-go girls (see: Nancy Sinatra and her famous father in the inspiration board below), and even still today.  I think a lot of it has to do with the relevance of the look in cinema, in films as recent as Midnight in Paris and The Artist -- and of course there's the release of The Great Gatsby to look forward to at the end of the year.

Photo Sources:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Style Inspiration: Emma Stone in Elie Saab Couture

Emma Stone in Elie Saab Couture.  Hair by Mara Roszak.  Makeup by Mai Quynh.

Emma Stone looked incredible at the 5th Annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon in a white lace Elie Saab Couture dress from the Spring 2012 collection, a Ferragamo clutch and Brian Atwood heels.  The dress has a very 1950s silhouette with the full skirt and cinched waist -- but I like the unexpected flash of skin in the back.  It is slightly reminiscent in cut and style as the Edith Head-designed dress Audrey Hepburn wore to the 1954 Academy Awards.

Photo Sources:
1, 2

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Style Inspiration: London Fashion Week 2012

 Clemence Poesy in cropped tweed trousers at Burberry during London Fashion Week 2012.

I'm totally a fan of the blouse-and-trouser combos I'm seeing at London Fashion Week.  Everyone styled their looks in such vastly different ways, it really gives you some ideas for interesting and fun ways to wear different trouser styles, from Clemence Poesy's preppy tweed to Poppy Delevigne's cropped polka-dot pants to Elizabeth Olsen's more classic cut.

Elizabeth Olsen at Mulberry

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at Burberry

Poppy Delevigne in Topshop

Olivia Palermo in Manolo Blahniks, with a Mulberry bag
Blogger Peony Lim in Thakoon ankle boots.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Style Inspiration: Decorative Barrettes

I find that you can dress up the simplest of outfits with an accessory that makes a statement.  The barrette above was a gift from my aunt in Thailand.  It also adds a bit of an old school glamour if your hair is coiffed a certain way or if the barrette has a more antique, ornate look about it.

There are so many options -- I especially like what Rodarte's creations, from the falling star to the gold butterfly and nugget, seen on the model and Kirsten Dunst below.

Photo Source:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Fashion Flashback: Golden Yellow

Spring is approaching and I'm loving all of the bold and unexpected colors I'm seeing in stores, magazines and on the runway.  My favorites are golden yellow or mustard yellow (I particularly like it when paired with navy blue -- see the inspiration board below).  

I found two gorgeous editorials from a February 1961 Mademoiselle titled "The Spring Fashion Picture - How to Put Yourself In It" and "Wild Oat: Ripe for the Picking."  The article refers to the color as "wild oat," describes it as being "cosmetic as a sunny disposition."  It was just as fashionable in 1961 as it is now -- Ashley Greene was most recently seen wearing a lace L'Wren Scott dress in the shade on the cover of this month's issue of Lucky Magazine.

Photo Sources:
12, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Style Inspiration: Camel Coats

Since Christmas, I have put myself on a bit of a spending freeze as far as clothes go -- but I caved and bought this BB Dakota camel coat from ideeli recently.  I just love the color and timelessness of the style.

Below is a mix of inspiration from today, but also the '60s and '70s (from Ali MacGraw in Love Story to Barbra Streisand in The Way We Were).  The one seen on Emma Stone is the Sargano camel hair coat by MaxMara, whose camel coats have become a classic and iconic item for the brand since 1981 (particularly the original 101801 style)  Stone's retails for a cool $2,190.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Friday, February 10, 2012

Style Inspiration: Loafers

Grace Kelly is preppy and casual in cuffed pants and loafers.

As someone who more often than not wears heels, I've been in search of a pair of comfortable, flat shoes.  This thought came to me after I started going to the gym regularly and finding it to be quite painful to wear heels to work the next day (heaven forbid the impractical nature of high heels should ever occur to me otherwise).

I'm looking for a pair of loafers -- they are classic, versatile and preppy.  My first thoughts for inspiration were Grace Kelly in High Society or Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face, but other major icons of the day were seen sporting them, from Brigitte Bardot to James Dean and Paul Newman.

The shoe's origins were rather unlikely:
The penny loafer originated in the 1930s when loafers of several varieties were fashionable as men’s and women’s shoes. Somewhat unbelievably, this fashion started with the Spaulding company when they produced shoes styled after those of Norwegian dairy farmers that had appeared in an article in Esquire Magazine. (Source)

The "penny" in its name comes from John Bass's idea to add a little embellishment to the loafer, or a decorative touch, often held in place by a small object, like a penny.

Here are a few styles I've been lusting after:

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Through the Lens: Alida Valli

The stunning actress Alida Valli.

I recently watched The Third Man, an excellent British film noir starring Orson Welles, his good friend Joseph Cotten and the Italian-Austrian actress Alida Valli.  Valli is absolutely striking in the film, playing Welles' distraught Czech refugee girlfriend in post-war Vienna.  David O. Selznick hoped to turn her into the next Ingrid Bergman or Greta Garbo, and Benito Mussolini declared her the most beautiful woman in the world after Garbo (Source).  In The Third Man, I found her to be somewhat reminiscent of Vivien Leigh.

Though Selznick tried to groom her to be the next great American screen starlet, Valli was mostly successful in Europe -- until a 1953 murder scandal involving her lover greatly affected her career to the point where she had to rebuild it, though she would continue to act, in television, films and plays throughout her life.  When she died in 2006 at the age of 84, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi said her death was a "serious loss to Italian film, theater and culture." (Source)

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Monday, February 6, 2012

Through the Lens: Gabriel Jeffrey & Kate Earl

Singer-songwriter Kate Earl and her pup, by Gabriel Jeffrey.

Photographer Gabriel Jeffrey and singer-songwriter Kate Earl are truly an artist and his muse.  I've been a fan of Kate's since hearing her first album, 2005's Fate is the Hunter, on KCRW.  When her second album was released in 2009, I was struck by the beautiful photographs from her Web site.  I love that there is a classic quality to them; she often appears to be a glamorous woman from times past -- whether channeling a bohemian quality of the '60s or Edie Sedgwick for a David Bowie-themed photo shoot.

Gabriel also directed her music video for "Melody," which is lovely and worth a watch.

Photo Sources:
Cargo Collective

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fashion Flashback: Kenzo Pre-Fall 2012

A fun and colorful dress from the Kenzo Pre-Fall 2012 collection.

"Kenzo was always about color and pattern and having fun — 

that’s why we are so happy to start with a spring/summer collection." 
- Humberto Leon, Co-Creative Director, Kenzo

The Kenzo Pre-Fall 2012 collection is bold, colorful and full of great prints that stay true to its '70s roots and multi-cultural influences, from East to West.  The Parisian brand was founded by Japanese fashion designer Kenzo Takada, who left Japan for Paris in 1964 and established the company in 1970 and opened his first shop, Jungle Jap.  It has gained a fresh perspective from its newly-appointed creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (founders of Opening Ceremony).  Said Lim on the Kenzo Web site: "We're honored to take on this next chapter of the brand and infuse it with youthfulness, vibrancy and imagination."

Below are a mix of Kenzo designs from the '70s and '80s, as well as a few of my favorite pieces from 2012 (you can view the full collection here.)

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Music: The Kills Cover "Crazy"

My snapshot of Alison Mosshart and her crazy pink hair.

The Kills did their cover of the 1962 Patsy Cline hit "Crazy" the other night.  It really was a nice surprise.  I didn't capture the first part of it, but was able to record the rest.  The sound quality turned out better than I thought it would.  One of my favorite bands covering one of my favorite songs (and artists)!

Patsy Cline had a stellar and unmistakable voice. I love the story behind this song -- Willie Nelson penned it in 1961 when he was just a young unknown songwriter.  He was shopping it around Nashville and presented it to Cline's husband, Charlie Dick.  Cline happened to be looking for a song to follow up first chart-topper, "I Fall to Pieces."  Apparently upon first hearing Nelson's demo, Cline wasn't impressed.  Her producer, Owen Bradley, convinced her to record it.

From Rolling Stone:
Told that the song's title was "Crazy," she responded, "It sure is." But Bradley helped Cline make the song her own with a lush arrangement and understated backing vocals from gospel group the Jordanaires. Cline's vocals, cut in one take, infused Nelson's lyrics with slow-burn sex appeal. "Crazy" set the stage for a sophisticated new phase of the C&W sound known as "countrypolitan," although Cline herself wouldn't be around to shape it: She died in a plane crash less than two years later.

Ps. You can listen to a full version of the Kills' cover of this song here.
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