NEW! Best Dressed of January

Awards season has kicked off and the styles have been as spectacular as they have questionable. But for this post, which I plan on making a monthly addition to fashionightmares, is to share event fashions that I enjoyed. A few red carpet outings this month included the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and the Grammy’s. Take a look below at favorites from each show. And don’t forget to check back in for the worst dressed picks on Style!

Golden Globe Awards, January 5, 2020 in Los Angeles 

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Cate Blanchett in Mary Katrantzou
I loved the soft pleated fabric and double hem tier on the skirt!
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Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton
A great color combination on this Grecian style gown!
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Charlize Theron in Dior Couture
I am so enthralled by layered sheer materials. It is so airy and graceful. Although this gown did remind me of Shego from Kim Possible, haha!

The best suiting of the Golden Globes definitely went to Milo Ventimiglia and Arsenio Hall! Good choice with the bow ties, gentlemen.

Critics Choice Awards, January 12,2020 in Los Angeles

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Chrissy Metz in a stunning Honore Private Label dress.

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Kate Beckinsale really brought the glam in this unique Julien x Gabriela ensemble.

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Lupita Nyong’o in an ethereal custom Michael Kors gown. The mixed materials elevated simplicity of the gowns cut for quiet, gorgeous drama.

Grammy’s, January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles

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Lana del Rey bought her Aidan Mattox gown last minute at a shopping mall! SHe absolutely dazzled, and it was so cool her album, Norman F***ing Rockwell was nominated, it was my favorite for album of the Year.

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Jameela Jamil in Georges Chakra. This flirty, textured gown was a really fun number.

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Quavo in custom Prada. The double breasted jacket was very posh, especially with those sparkling details that matched the brash coloring of his suit!

Images courtesy of Daily Mail, Esquire and CNN

Edited on February 27, 2020

London Fashion Week Spring 2020

London fashion week was held September 14 to 17, all over the greater London area. Change is the theme of the season as the UK deals with Brexit delays and a possible no deal outcome in late October. But as the pound’s value fluctuates, therefore influencing shopping habits, on a positive note, there’s a push from designers to open more factories and make clothing in the UK, which would benefit the industry. SS20 promoted inclusiveness and very, very wild creativity. See some of the top runway styles, and of course, a couple where you may need to shield your eyes (I warned you here). Don’t forget to tune back in for full length show videos.

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Temperley London offered a posh but sweet collection of day wear celebrating decoration. Deep earth tones and soft pastels played well in classy prints. I loved the cardigan/dress knitwear combinations most. Romantic notes were hit with Victorian style ruffles along the necklines, cuffs and various ruching. Silk and poplin dresses, jersey kimonos shared from a helping of Venetian influence and tarot cards. Delicate embroideries, a dash of glitter and tulle juxtaposed against a play on the Canadian tuxedo and utilitarian outerwear.

This mix of pragmatism and piquant ideals made for a great variety of options. I mentioned in the NYFW post that I’ve really enjoyed those hodge podge collections. They’re optimistic and can co-mingle with other great pieces, sort of playing on the idea of a capsule.

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Making it in fashion is one thing, and having the power to stay is another. Victoria Beckham isn’t bothered by either in this graceful 70’s infused spring collection. Vivid colors and volume don’t overwhelm when expertly layered and paired with neutrals. It was a confident and composed, and visually stunning. Plunging necklines were left bare or paired with a contrasting top or worn over a turtleneck for that fashionable boost. (A great idea, for temperamental spring weather, too). A mix of business and leisure, this line included the likes of caftan and languid dresses, but never forget your power suit. Thanks for the reminder that a woman can be strong and like pretty things VB!

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Sportswear and ideas of leisure came to be bloviated and sloppy at Natasha Zinko. A pocketed, front zip-up mini dress and similar colored boiler jumpsuit were saviour’s amongst a bandana frenzy. Unfortunately, the bandana idea only got worse as the collection filled out featured as tie tops, duster jackets, even bermuda style shorts. The collection was made from recycled and upcycled material, so I’ll give them a thumbs up, but there has to be a better way than ill assorted patchwork. Also, socks and flip flops are absolutely 100% never ever allowed, ever.

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Molly Goddard is being featured in the British Academy of Film and TV Arts exhibit in London. Although the frilly pink dress featured on Killing Eve was one of my least favorites, it was made for Villanelle. And though that frilly, voluminous tulle isn’t so much my speed, it was tolerable as a featured part of this runway in a more streamlined silhouette. Even a large circle skirt pared with a billowy crop top was vociferous, even if it might be reaching for the moon. Paneled jackets and ribbon embellished sweaters were much more up my alley, while pin tucked tops and skirts and ruffled taffeta frocks weren’t so palatable. Crossbody bags and denim were new featured pieces this season, so maybe there is a shift in the winds for future seasons. Or we’re just privileged to see some depth from this brand.

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Erdem was inspired by Tina Modotti, a silent movie actress who joined the communist party in Mexico. Due to her political ideology, she seemed like an odd choice for a muse. Erdem Moralioglu said he chose her because she was a romantic, revolutionary woman of principle. The clothing had exaggerated shape with tasteful fringe, heritage and strength. All these elements combined to make a very beautiful collection. The beaded earrings and brooches gave it all an extra special touch.

Bucket List item:

Mixed media jackets from Ports 1961

Runway Misses:

My least favorite runway from London was from Simone Rocha. Despite a red sequined gown, it was a folklore storytelling of Celtic wren boys. Outfits that ballooned out were very, very vintage. Rounded out shapes were physically meant to represent a bird. Crocheted pieces and rafia straw bags further fit into the theme. It may have made for an interesting play for cultural profoundness, but would have been better in smaller doses, perhaps.

While Thornton by Preen’s composition was of sustainably sourced viscose and Georgette made from recycled bottles, it felt mostly vacuous. However, the flutter-y blue dress was a standout. 16 Arlington went overboard with the feathers and fringe. On the bright side, I kind of like the feathered cuffs against a plain hem and collar, and feathers are usually nonnegotiable for me. Western elements from Shrimps felt a bit too kitschy for me as well.

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Chalayan’s odd avant garde attire just lost me completely while Richard Quinn went heavy handed on the volume. Christopher Kane’s overall aesthetic wasn’t horrific, but it definitely got weird. Finally, JW Andersen was another story telling collection with folklore elements of goddesses; crystal belts, rope bras and hooded cotton tunics. Creative, but not so viable. Though upon a second look, if some of the runway bravado is stripped away, it seems pretty wearable. I guess it’s just up to the individual. What did you think about London fashion week?

Photos courtesy of Vogue, Elle and WWD

New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2020

I can’t believe its already September! Summer flew right on by, but I can’t complain, since its that time of year for fresh fashion notions. September 6-14 in New York City kicked off our beloved fashion month, and below are just a handful of the presentations from the week. Stay tuned as we cover spring […]

I can’t believe its already September! Summer flew right on by, but I can’t complain, since its that time of year for fresh fashion notions. September 6-14 in New York City kicked off our beloved fashion month, and below are just a handful of the presentations from the week. Stay tuned as we cover spring and summer styles from around the globe.

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Sharing contemporary takes on modern and traditional style, Concept Korea is a brand bringing emerging Korean designers to the major markets. Korean style is something I always have my eye on. There’s so much depth and variations of dress that make it super trendy. Because Seoul has a small, it has challenges reaching press and buyers in NYC and Paris. So the South Korean government has created this program to help further growth as Seoul becomes a fashion capital. The brands featured were feminine Leyii, creative and bright LIE by Lee Chung Chung and sportswear by IISE Corp.

The collections are distributed worldwide in boutiques, popups, free standing stores in Seoul, and LIE Sangbong has a store open in the meatpacking district in New York. Additionally, IISE is available online

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It was big news that Rebecca Minkoff partnered with Stitch fix, creating an adjustable capsule wardrobe with sizing ranging from xxs to 3xx. High waists, cutout boots, bejeweled slingbacks and swishy dresses were all the pieces to love this season. The mix between neutrals and bold colors presented together, and by color for the show, made for an alluring presentation. Working women inspired this collection and the pragmatism was definitely noticed. The “normal” pieces were elevated, sweater with studded detailing and crisp blazer over a metallic dress. A utility jumpsuit paired with a leopard print heart shape bag, shearling offered in vegan and non vegan options, even a woman breastfeeding during the showcase, all embraced the actuality of a woman’s day to day and made it comfortable.

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Christian Siriano said, “we need to have a little fun in our lives,” and that’s what he did for the spring/summer season. The pantsuit dominated in lush materials and a soft green palette, with gorgeous motifs, inspired by New Orleans artist, Ashley Longshore. It was a more is more runway, but personally, I could have used a low key clothing option here or there. This collection ran particularly heavy on evening wear options, a plisse lettuce edge sleeve gown, a stunning iridescent trench and more cocktail dresses than one person could wear in an entire year, let alone a season. But you know I love a good rainbow piece, and there were about 4 lame looks towards the end of the show that really wowed, only to be left with big, messy tulle gowns that closed out the show.

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You expect what you see at fashion week to be beautiful, but Sies Marjan left me floored. From the first navy blazer set to cascade down the staircase (which also came in red later on), this show was a monochrome lovers dream. The teal pieces might have been my favorite. It seemed to have a little European influence in its quite power. If I have to force a critique on you, it’s that there were a few elongated shirts left unbuttoned and un-tucked, and with the rest of the runway being so structured and refined, that styling seemed out of place.

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Ulla Johnson’s runway was crafted, so obviously it dazzled. This soulful presentation included elements from all around the world. Dresses were loomed in India and bags hand beaded in Africa. There was recycled glass jewelry, Japanese shibori dye prints, Afghani embroidery and Dutch wax print dresses. This globally inspired collection was a winner for me. I can’t wait until it’s available!

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Bohemia’s never been so good at Anna Sui. She stated spring was a challenge, but you wouldn’t know that from such a flawless presentation. Using the likes of chiffon and Victoriana, for lighter, romantic elements. There was some tougher notes by way of khaki jackets and combat boots, given a sugar sweet update in neon and paired against sheer bomber jackets. Tiered, embroidered dresses in lilac to daffodil were a standout, but long layered cardigans and eyelet ponchos over even longer, sweeping floor length dresses were inspirational high notes as well. And what’s spring without floral’s and chambray? Pair them with the trending bucket hat and you’re an It-girl.

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Wes Gordon is keeping Carolina Herrera’s crisp, cutting edge style mixed with all the fun one could wish for alive and well. Everything was perfectly constructed. He played with larger shapes this season, especially in the sleeves. But puffy sleeves are all the rage right now and added flair when it wasn’t necessarily expected. My favorite was that black and white plaid skirt, styled three ways. I loved that practicality, right there to be visualized. I know I want to wear my seasonal favorites all the time, and it was so smart to showcase what else in the collection pairs with another piece for more unique ensembles.

Alejandra Alonso Rojas shared serious but relaxed ensembles in timeless silhouettes. Suede belts, pearl accents, silk suits and dip dyed sweaters were made for ambling down quiet cobblestone streets on a Eruopean getaway or enjoying a sunset at the beach. A linen silk blend will be perfect for hot days or opt for a crocheted dress with fringe when you run out for (another) scoop of gelato. Bermuda shorts seem like a much better alternative to bike shorts, wouldn’t you agree? Whatever is calling to you from this collection, there isn’t a wrong choice.

The Row showed at their Greenwich studio, always stating a call back to basics. I loved the play with proportions, especially using a maxi skirt. I was just thinking about when I last wore one, and I loved the idea of simply pairing it with a crisp button down, untucked and paired with Tevas. Polished but placid, but if you need top off your look, match it with an impeccably tailored blazer or jacket. Don’t worry about any embellishments either, let the power of this clothing speak for itself.

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Vera Wang’s first runway in 2 years was to celebrate 30 years in the business. She called it California Dreaming, but this isn’t the easy going in paradise vibe that may have jumped to mind. This was a runway Lana Del Rey could croon her sad Hollywood song to. Some may still be confused, but if you picked up on the cynicism, you have to smirk. Backstage, Wang shared that the collection is a tension between extreme structure and the softness and delicacy of lingerie. It’s layering to reveal.

Mini to maxi styles had a backdrop of sturdier materials like wool and herringbone mixed with sheer, chain mail and lace. One of the best element was elbow high leather gloves. The mix of materials was very chic, but not all the layers worked. Some crop tops were unusual choices and disheveled varieties seemed oddly paired to sleeker looks. Where it hoped to loosen the structure here and there, it fell flat. However, there were only a handful of these instances, the construction of the whole runway stayed fairly consistent.

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Brock collection’s play with proportions and easy silhouettes as they celebrated 5 years of creating high fashion. Jaquard, poplin and denim were all mixed on this runway for every stage of life. It’s been a lot of fun to see all kinds of styles blended together, forming a more cohesive picture of a person’s way to dress. How one can always be fashionable, whether its just to run to the grocery store or to attend the opera. Matching jacket/top separates offered up even more ways to extend a wardrobe, while billowing organza trains offered transitional options. Highlights for me personally, were a white empire waist dress with delicate puffy sleeves, dramatic corseted frocks and a stunning mauve dress with pearl encrusted straps and rounded skirt.

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Inspired by fashion giants Donna Karan, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, this was unlike any Alexander Wang show you’ve seen before. Being it was the first ever fashion show held at Rockefeller Center, it was a show expected to wow. Of course, fundamentally it stayed true to his ethos, but the fusion-ed homage built up layers nicely nonetheless. Teeny tiny shorts, bold shoulders, corduroy and plaid were just a few elements woven into this runway. Closing the show were 10 all white logo pieces inspired by suffragettes who often wore the color, a remark about patriotism. Paired with a statue of liberty crown in the show and flags printed upside down, a symbol of distress, its apparent next year’s presidential election weighs on many minds.

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The American Dream was forefront in the offering from Michael Kors Collection. Held at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, he shared about learning of his great grandmother’s arrival to Ellis Island at just 14 with $10. Touching on historical significance of American design as well as his own experiences, especially on the tragic anniversary of 9/11, made for a unifying tribute. Spun against the classicism of the 1940s, inspired by the iconic sportswear created by US designers, the line was sprinkled with gold anchors and stars, studded skirts and double breasted jackets in a pinstripe. They all shared in making a statement of strength. But the line avoided any severe misconception by adding a dash of polka dots, gingham, lemon and cherry motifs, and relaxed even with flared out pants and preppy knit sweaters. Nautical styles were further brought about by way of fisherman jackets with rope clasps and sailor hats. The collection was finished off by sparkling gowns with nipped waists, a nod of romance from sea to shining sea.

Runway Favorites

Tory Burch showed at the Brooklyn museum and had a fresh spin on 80’s attire. I instantly fell for a parachute pant jumpsuit with elastic cuffed pants. Tops from Vivienne Hu and Jonathan Cohen were delightful, while Lela Rose has me wishing summer wasn’t over, so I could wear that crisp, eyelet voile dress. Pamella Roland’s black sparkling pant set was such a fun ensemble, I couldn’t help but share it!

Tom Ford surprised me this season with a funky, sport wear infused collection. Held in the subway, it was complete with basketball-esque shorts, maillots, bomber jackets and topped with baseball caps. It was a very luxurious fashion statement. But while it may have been inspired by the gym, its definitely too pretty to be worn it the gym!

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Runway Misses

19th century inspirations from Vivienne Hu were very interesting, but missed the mark a few times. Same for the half and half sweater from Jonathan Cohen. Would you wear that sweater? The voluminous tangerine gown from Christopher John Rogers and a gold corset inspired piece with birdcages and fringe seemed a tad obscene. The sheer suit set from Helmut Lang was very distracting and upsetting in their presentation. (There was one for women as well.)

There were actually a few ostrich feather decorated gowns in Pamella Roland’s collection that were very tasteful. However, the head to toe feather embellished dress that was one of the last to cascade down the runway left me with overwhelming ennui. The tight, feminine strapless jumpsuit, not only didn’t fit with the presentation, but on the model as well. At first Claudia Li’s collection threw me. The windbreaker material had a bold print with family photos and  but I would have preferred the print in singular doses when it ran through the collection as a layering option.

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What did you think of New York Fashion Week? Share your thoughts in comments.

Photos courtesy of Vogue, Elle, WWD, New York Times and New York Post

Be In The Know: Practicing Sustainable Habits

Fashion is so accessible these days, its crazy and concerning. The Council of Textile Recycling estimates 35 billion pounds of textiles will be wasted in 2019.

That is not ok.

Did you know the Effects of Fashion Waste?

  • 1 in 5 people reported to throwing away clothing instead of recycling or donating.
  • It’s estimated that less than 1 percent of material used to produce clothing is recycled into something more. That’s about a loss of 100 billion USD worth of materials every year.
  • The apparel and footwear industries account for a combined estimate of 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, and fashion is the third highest-polluting industry in the world, after oil and chemical manufacturing.
  • According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the fashion industry produces 20 percent of global wastewater.
  • Donations don’t always end up on someone back. That clothing can still end up in landfills. Due to flaws in the clothing, thrift or consignments, might not deem clothing sell-able. Those items are bailed and shipped to third world countries harming local textile workers, although it does help those in poverty. Only 25% of people donate and only 7% of people purchase secondhand items.
  • Some materials, like synthetic fibers, take a long time, almost 100 years to decompose, and add to our landfills. Many types of material, especially in organic form, are recyclable. Leather for instance, takes about 40 years to decompose. Plus, microfibers from fabrics wind up in the ocean and threaten aquatic life.
  • Making clothes can generate the push to be trendy and on style leads to quickly and poorly made clothing. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is approximately 3 years and consumer willingness seems to present a challenge, as sustainably made clothing comes at a higher price.
  • There has been increased use of toxins and pesticides, especially with plant based materials, like cotton. Dyes or bleached toxins used to treat clothing can be released into the air and damage the Ozone.

However, awareness and attitude is changing.

Sixty percent of millennial’s say they would like to shop more sustainably! And in more good news, fashion brands globally are working on better production methods. For example, Patagonia is the first company to make polyester fleece out of plastic bottles.

H&M has become synonymous with “fast fashion” over the years, but is also quickly becoming sustainable fashion’s most vocal supporters. Evidence of their commitment to the cause can be seen through their increasing use of recycled materials in their clothing production, which increased from 26% in 2016 to 35% in 2017. In total, and in partnership with San Francisco’s Zero Textile Waste initiative, they have collected almost 18,000 tons of textiles through its own garment collecting initiative in the past year, which is the equivalent of 89 million T-shirts.

Looking forward, H&M is also making strides for a more equitable workplace in addition to an environmentally friendly fashion industry. In 2018, 100 percent of their garment manufacturer units in Bangladesh conducted democratic elections of worker representatives, and out of the 2,882 persons were elected, 40% were women. Furthermore, H&M has pledged to use all recycled or sustainably sourced materials by 2030, setting an annual collection target of 25,000 tons of disposed clothes.

Adidas is another company working as a sustainable leader, publishing an annual Sustainable Report. They banned use of plastic bags in their stores in 2015 and are partnering Parley for Oceans project, making shoes out of plastic harvested from the ocean.

So what can you do to help?

  • You can take items to Levi, Northface, American Eagle and Madewell that will recycle clothing. You may even get a reward from a few, H&M offers 15% off and Madewell offers $20 off a purchase of denim.
  • Cities have drop off sites you can find by searching textile recycling in your area.
  • Take time to repair clothing, like a missing button or broken zipper.
  • Upcycling vintage pieces can extend life of your wardrobe and you’ll have one of a kind items.
  • Most importantly, research brands so you know about your purchase!

A thriving planet will always be most fashionable and if we can practice awareness and responsibility, then I think we’ll be taking the right steps into a better and still stylish future.

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Information from Impakter and New York Post

Rewire: What to Do With Apparel Too Dirty To Donate, 20 dec 2017

Ellen MacArthur Fund: A New Textile Economy

Unece Forest & Timber: Fashion is in an Environmental and Social Emergency

Kreussler inc. Blog, 4 Sept 2018

Be In The Know: 6 Tips to Better Care For Your Clothes!

We’re continuing to talk about how to best care for our wardrobes, and that comes with how we do laundry. It’s not one of my favorite chores, but it is important to keep my clothing looking it’s best! Below are just a handful of tips and tricks that could be helpful to you. Always, always, always remember to check the labels of clothing items for best care options. Do you have a favorite laundering tip? If so, share it in comments!

1- Heat from hot water can be just as damaging as heat in the dryer. Cotton and wool in particular are prone to shrinking in the wash. Make sure you use cool water to better protect shape of items!

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2- Gravity can pull and stretch some of your favorite items like sweaters or shirts because they’re hung on a hanger instead of folded in a drawer. You can look at my previous post about hanging vs. folding to see how more items can best be stored.

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3- Zipper’s metal teeth can snag and pull at delicate items, so remember to zip zippers shut before putting them in through the wash. Also, denim is a sturdier fabric, so when it comes to jeans, you can wear them a few times between washes. I actually just spot clean my denim pieces unless they have a stain or I’m putting them away for a season.

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4- Never lose socks again and extend life of delicate’s by investing in a mesh bag to keep them separate from everything else in your laundry!

5- Fabric softener leaves a residue that basically renders moisture wicking materials useless. This material is often found in work out gear. This can create an odor in the clothing and cause you to sweat more in the gym. Ick! Keep your work out clothes soft by using white vinegar instead! Pour 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle or in the fabric softener dispenser on the washer.

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6-My favorite laundering tip to save time and use less energy can be done by adding a dry towel to your laundry load when you put it in the dryer! A friend told me this in college and I have loved her for for it ever since! It cuts a little time off of the laundry process, so you can go about wearing your fabulous wardrobe!

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Be In The Know: What Are You Wearing?

Let’s talk about our clothes. Sustainability is becoming part of the discussion more and more in regards to fashion. I think many of us find it important, but applying it to our wardrobes isn’t always as easy as it seems. It can be challenging to know what materials incorporate sustainable practices and materials, especially with mixed material blends that might not be able to be recycled. Below I’ve included a few material options that are great choices and some you might want to reconsider! Being smart consumers will allow us to make better shopping choices and feel good about our purchases!

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Polyester and Nylon

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Nylon was first sold in 1938 as a toothbrush and mainly used in the military during World War II, this plastic material was an instant success. In clothing, its stretchy and easy to care for. However, the material is fragile, nonabsorbent, color can fade and bleach will harm the blend of both polyester and nylon. Nylon dropped in popularity soon after the war as new technology appeal wore off and consumers became concerned about environmental costs throughout the production cycle. Obtaining the raw materials (oil), energy use during production, waste produced during creation of the fiber, and eventual waste disposal of materials that were not biodegradable. (The fabric sheds microfibers as it decomposes.)

As of 2008, it represented 12% of the worlds synthetic materials. It has been noted that Nylon has about the same carbon footprint of wool and because of it durability, has a lower overall impact. It is better to look for a recycled option. Many fabrics are now being made from recycled soft drink bottles, which would cut down significantly on use of fossil fuels and diminishes solid waste sent to landfills.

Cotton

The United States, China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkey and Australia provide the world with 70% of its cotton. It’s crazy that this natural fiber, has become a bit of an issue. This fan favorite material can be tricky because typical cotton usually is drenched in chemicals and pesticides; and can be a genetically modified (GMO) product. Because it needs a lot of irrigation, it uses a large amount, lots and lots, of water.

You’ll want to look for organic cotton, it is a safer choice for you and the environment.
Organic cotton means 80% of it is rain-fed and grown in crop rotation, so it naturally breaks the cycle of the pest. By growing cotton for one season, the pest that lives on the cotton plant doesn’t have a host anymore, so it will die. If season after season, you plant the same crop in the same location and have a monoculture, the pests will continue, so you’d eventually need pesticides. The soil becomes exhausted and then fertilizers and heavier irrigation systems become a requirement. Organic cotton is a great cash crop for smaller farms, because it can be sold among the food crop rotations. Cotton bolls are ready to harvest at 25 weeks.

Some of the most renowned clothing and textile companies have committed to the 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, which is a campaign designed to move the textile industry closer to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. As the name suggests, participants have committed to using 100% sustainable cotton by the year 2025. Look for or ask in the store if a company is involved with Organic Cotton, Fairtrade Cotton, Cotton made in Africa or the Better Cotton Initiative.

Faux Fur

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As many companies have vowed not to use fur based products, sadly, the alternative of faux fur isn’t great either. The synthetic material isn’t biodegradable. One of the main issues with it is consumption. The plastic based product can come in funky colors that are more likely to run their course in fashion quickly, operating as more of a fad than a staple. Think about it, if you buy a shearling coat every 20 years, that is far more environmentally friendly than the synthetic option. Remember, plastic takes at least 400+ years to decompose! It seems to currently be a moral question over a sustainable one. Hopefully in the near future, we will be able to see a recycled material or better option to enjoy the look of a fur, knowing it is not causing any harm to animals or our planet!

Linen

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Linen is becoming a very popular material lately, I see it more and more often when I’m shopping. I’ve been using it in my own sewing projects! Its one of the best sustainable options because of its super low impact. It doesn’t grow on fertile soil. It doesn’t need pesticides because it’s a hardy crop. It also doesn’t need to be irrigated, and it can be blended. Linen was even used as currency in ancient Egypt! It has high conductivity, making it cool to the touch. It absorbs water quickly, is lint free, and gets softer the more you wash it. This material has continued to rise in popularity, where it was only used about 5% of the time in the 1970’s, it skyrocketed to 70% in the 1990’s.

Linen wrinkles easily and should not be dried too much by tumble drying. It is much easier to iron when damp. Nevertheless, the tendency to wrinkle is often considered part of linen’s particular “charm”, and many modern linen garments are designed to be air-dried on a good clothes hanger and worn without the necessity of ironing.

Lyocell

Lyocell is made from wood pulp and recently, powdered seaweed has been considered in the production process. It is soft and makes good wearable garments, so it can be found frequently in anything from everyday wear and active wear.

One thing to look out for on clothing labels is the Tencel-branded Lyocell fibre, a more sustainable alternative to material like viscose. You can find it in lots of clothing brands and it could provide a template for potential improvement of production methods for other fibers! It is made from the pulp of trees, according to the Tencel website, which explains how it’s produced: “The fibres originate from the renewable raw material wood created by photosynthesis. The certified bio-based fibers are manufactured using an environmentally responsible production process. The fibers are certified as compost-able and biodegradable, and thus can fully revert back to nature.”

Wool

sheepWool is a great material choice! It’s biodegradable, strong, odor resistant and has insulating properties. New Zealand, Australia and China lead in providing the bulk of the world’s wool. Australia alone has over 72 million sheep! New Zealand is known to have very high animal welfare. Buying sourced wool can be important to the economy as well, as wool that comes from the Scottish Highlands is contributing to the whole area and the livelihoods of the people. Wool can come from many different animals, including camels, rabbits, goats and Llamas. They are shorn of their fleece (or coat) in a safe process to the animals. Depending on the time it takes for them to grow a fluffy fleece, they can be sheared between a few time a year to once every three years.

You might know wool to be itchy, but that actually just means it probably wasn’t made properly. When manufactured with care, wool should make for very comfortable clothing. Wool can be easily damaged by heat and chemicals. Exposure to hot water can weaken the fibers and ruin the garment. Always check the care label, but a rinse in cool water with mild detergent should do the trick. Let wool garments air dry on a flat surface, as hanging them will stretch fibers! Also keep in mind, pests like moths love to burrow in wool, but keeping an herb sachet of Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender and Mint will keep them at bay; however, air them out regularly because that will not stifle eggs. Larvae like dark places, not light and air.

Silk

Silk is made from silkworms and dates back to 1200 BC. China, India, Uzbekistan and Thailand are world leaders in silk production. Silk is a sustainable material because you are simply taking a waste product from an animal and silkworms need minimal space. A humane or ethical silk is where the silk is harvested when the worm has gone through metamorphosis and has left the silk ball behind. If you are looking for this specific type of silk, it is commonly called “peace silk.” Ask if a company doesn’t highlight it. A regular silk is still a great choice as well, as it is biodegradable, hypoallergenic and drapes well. The downside is that silk tends to be one of the more expensive materials on the market.

While moth caterpillars are most commonly used to produce bales of silk, there are other insects that produce silk like crickets, beetles and spiders. Who knew! There is currently ongoing research into the quality of silk that is produced by them.

While these are just a few options, there are plenty of other sustainable options from more creative methods available on the market. Fibers have been made from coffee grounds and sour milk, hard to believe right? It’s great to know we have plenty of environmentally friendly options!

Information gathered from Huffington Post, Ebatotes and CBC

Image courtesy of Contrado

CFDA Awards 2019

The 38th annual CFDA Awards were held at the Brooklyn Museum, celebrating all things fashion, and the red carpet was full of amazing style. Brandon Maxwell took home the award for Womenswear Designer of the Year and Rick Owens won in the Menswear category.

There were plenty of other awards including Emerging Designer of the Year that went to Emily Adams Bode. It looked liked a very fun night, below are just a few highlights from the red carpet. Which outfit is your favorite? Share your thoughts in comments and tune back in for video clips of the red carpet!

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Jennifer Lopez won Fashion Icon of the Year and looked amazing in an orange set by Ralph Lauren. And Alex Rodriguez is dapper in Tom Ford.

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My favorite look of the night was Olivia Palermo in Vintage Valentino Couture.

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Anna Wintour looked impeccable as always in a red and black tiered dress

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Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen took home Accessory Designer of the Year with their label, The Row. I loved Mary Kate’s crocodile print clutch in blue. It was a bright pop of color against her black dress.

From left clockwise Gigi Hadid in Louis Vuitton with Virgil Abloh, Geena Rocero, Camila Morrone with Prabal Gurung and Alek Wek in Rosie Assoulin with Rosie Assoulin

Fei Fei Sun with Zac Posen and Bella Hadid with Michael Kors

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Andrew Bolton with Thom Browne and Badgley & Mischka with Heidi Gardner

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Photos Courtesy of Today, Who What Wear, Pop Sugar and Zimbio

Australia Fashion Week Resort 2020

Its Fall Down Under, but the 24th annual fashion week for Sydney was on fire. The showcasing shared some of its best looks yet. Over 50 shows were held, below are just a few highlights. I always find inspiration from this event. There is so much to love, from sustainable company methods to quality materials that feel as great as they look. Tune back in for videos to see more of the tantalizing Aussie style for yourself.

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We Are Kindred shared another stellar collection, full of charm. There were crisp summer whites and scalloped, eyelet edges. Two piece coordinating sets in gorgeous fabrics provided flair to the runway, while slouchy suede boots and fringe bandanna scarves were peppered about other pieces. Everything had an appealing ease to it, a reminder that getting dressed doesn’t have to be overly difficult. This collection held all the magic and possibility that we love about summer!

I loved the linen suit from Tigerlily, especially paired with a woven bucket hat and ankle. Bonus: it will also come in hot pink! This was another great bohemian wardrobe, inspired by the Aloha State in the 1960s. Light, breezy and expertly crafted, this brand actually made a return to the runway after 17 years focusing mainly on swimwear -which still offers great options.

Ten years in fashion hasn’t slowed down Bianca Spender. Gesture was a primary focus in this collection. Spender is adamant that women throw out the idea of saving clothes for something special, and instead invite occasion into the everyday. Simplicity doesn’t have to mean boring. Punchy colors dotted the runway and sleek silhouettes didn’t miss a beat. I loved the woven tops with bishop sleeves , as well as flowing wrap skirts. among these gems were asymmetrical cuts and minimal blazers, long enough to wear alone or be paired with impeccably made trousers.

Finally, on a sustainable note, half of Bianca Spender’s collections are made from Dead stock, with hopes of continuing to created clothing that’s produced locally. Deadstock is fabric produced for a collection that was never used due to a flaw in the fabric or overproduction by the textile mill. She would like to continue Made In Australia fashion and increase that number to seventy percent of the collection.

Daring and innovative, Christopher Esber’s resort collection was called “On Holiday”. A brand that knows how to make “less is more” a chic statement showed black and white work wear before jumping into an off duty, carefree deconstruction that was playful yet pronounced. The carefully crafted pieces were laced up, buttoned up, or collage like that came in deep shades of yellow, rust orange, terracotta and beige. The ribbed knit maxi dress was a favorite of mine.

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Double Rainbouu had the best “runway”. Held at a Chinese Friendship Garden, attendees got to walk around while models were posed throughout the garden. Hawaiian shirts are a brand staple, but there was plenty of shibori dye, macrame, zebra print and chambray in the collection.

Aje titled their collection “Bloomscape” sharing bold patterns in flowing silhouettes. A highlight was highway signs and koala print. Bassike shared a relaxed and colorful runway complete with great swimwear options. Highlights were a leather mini dress and leaf print beach pants.

Ten pieces shared a largely chroma collection with a few pops of red. They debuted denim and had great options of outerwear, whether it was an abstract print or a large logo. The Uggs in the show were also custom made!

Photos courtesy of Vogue Australia

Camp: In Review Met Gala, Part 2

Camp is a description that seems like it may have lost it’s impact in language through the years. Maybe that’s in part because its so hard to pin down one definition. Sontag’s Notes on Camp was dedicated to poet Oscar Wilde, who called Camp, “actions of exaggerated emphasis”. And it actually was first used by the French from se camper, meaning ‘to posture boldly’.

I know up until a few months ago, I had never heard of the term, and had no idea what it meant. Regardless, it seems like a reminder to have a little fun. I think we can all stand behind that! I am happy this year’s Met Gala theme had this resurrected, and I can’t wait to see the exhibit. So without further ado, see more of the gala arrivals below. Share your thoughts about your favorites and dislikes in comments!

Florence Welch, Ashley Graham, Alessendro Michele, Regina Hall, Saorise Ronan, Harry Styles & Jared Leto in Gucci

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Pro: The Gucci Gang did alright this time. There was lots of flair, it was all tasteful and complemented by various jewels and footwear.

Con: Carrying around a head that looks like you is creepy. This has been a runway concept, and it was weird then too. How much longer is this idea going to be in circulation?

Emily Blunt in Michael Kors

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Pro: 510,000 sequins are on this dress, there is no way for Emily not to shine. Her flowering headband was the Midas touch to the look.

Con: A photo is only worth a thousand words. That barely covers all there is to say about this pretty piece!

Zoe Saldana in Michael Kors

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Pro: This disco inspired dress of 60,000 sequins paired with purple orchids was an ode to carefree nights. Cue up Dancing Queen, Mr. DJ!

Con: I have no critique for this gem.

Sara Sampaio in August Getty Atelier

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Pro: The bubble skirt of the top part of this dress could have stood alone. With a vintage pair of heels and a stack of pearl necklaces, this could have easily been a theme coordinated look that was just as pretty.

Con: I dislike the floor length white fabric descending from the upper hem of the skirt. It just doesn’t seem to provide any purpose to the gown.

Cardi B in Thom Browne

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Pro: Art museums are know to be a little chilly, so I guess in lieu of a jacket she decided a blanket incorporated into her gown would be a better option.

Con: The synchronized swimming cap and feathered shoulders make absolutely no sense at all. I’m over all of her red carpet appearances being so gimmicky.

Katie Holmes in Zac Posen

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Pro: Katie looks great in purple and those halter straps are so bold.

Con: She should have worn the Maleficent horns for some real drama!

Donatella Versace

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Pro: Only a fashion queen, like Donatella, can pair multi color beading and neon together and look flawless. I like that the text follows the shape of the skirt, sloping down to ripple along with movement.

Con: N/A

Diane von Furstenberg

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Pro: Diane von Furstenberg’s look has significant meaning to her. She took to Instagram to let us know, “Today May 6, 1944, my mother was arrested and sent to Auschwitz… 75 years later, I am going to the Met Ball as her torch of Freedom!” Lady Liberty never looked better.

Con: N/A

Caroline Trentini in Thom Browne

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Pro: Occasionally, Thom Brown creates something really wonderful. This skeleton dress is one of those times. This was one of my favorite looks from the night!

Con: Since the theme gave everyone creative liberty, I would have loved if Caroline had done some skull makeup.

Ciara in Dundas

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Pro: The Wizard of Oz called to say he’s so pleased you were inspired by Emerald City.

Con: The monochrome is chic, but I might have chosen a silver belt and black heels. I’ve been going back and forth on this, do you like the all green?

Alicia Keys in Carolina Herrera with Swizz Beats

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Pro: This shimmering beauty looks light as a feather. The train ruched at the shoulder added some extra detail for construction in the dress. Bonus points for “twinning” with her husband!

Con: N/A

Emma Roberts in Giambattista Valli

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Pro: Emma looks precious in this bubblegum pink gown, decorated with cherry blossoms in her hair.

Con: It’s…tulle. Therefore, I have a strong aversion to it. But at least it doesn’t have an equally poofy train.

 

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Pro: Here are just a few more looks for those who can’t get enough of the Met Gala’s fashion.

Con: There wasn’t too much that specifically seemed like “Camp”. Thanks for the stylish moments though!

Photos courtesy of Whowhatwear & Town and Country Magazine

Camp: In Review Met Gala 2019, Part 1

Held Monday May 6, the Gala we’ve been waiting for is here! The elusive concept, “Camp” can be found in most forms of artistic expression, especially in regards to fashion. What was potentially fun, or possibly disastrous about this theme, was that anything goes. See some of the celebrity arrivals below and if you live in or are visiting NYC, don’t miss the exhibit of over 250 objects, dating from the seventeenth century to the present, from May 8 to September 8, 2019 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There will be a part 2 of the Gala’s pink carpet, so be sure to tune back in for it!

Lupita Nyong’o in Versace

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Pro: I liked the exaggerated rainbow shoulders and the star pattern of the dress so much. The accessories gave the look a sophisticated boost without overwhelming.

Con: I can’t tell if she’s holding a fan or a bag, but at a certain point, less is more. Because there was so much going on elsewhere, I personally would have just ditched the bag.

Zendaya in Tommy Hilfiger with Judith Leiber Clutch

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Pro: One of the most whimsical gowns of the evening was this illuminated Cinderella costume. I’m surprised we don’t see more fluorescent lit gowns at this event, it is such a magical touch for the event. And my favorite detail I cannot get over is the pumpkin carriage clutch!

Con: I hope she didn’t lose her glass slipper! 🙂

Dua Lipa in Versace

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Pro: The bouffant was a great choice, especially paired with large pemplum in the skirt. The go big or go home attitude was a choice that paid off swimmingly. The print of this dress was fascinating too.

Con: There isn’t one!

Emily Ratajkowski in Dundas

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Pro: In a different material, this might be semi fun attire for a music festival.

Con: The headpiece looks like she has Furby ears. Remember Furby’s? The furry bug eyed 90’s toy? Cute as a toy, not so much as a styling option.

Hailey Bieber in Alexander Wang

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Pro: From the front, this was a sugar sweet look from the velvet ribbon in her hair to figure flattering silhouette.

Con: From the back, this was kind of vulgar. The scoop back is way, way too low and a purposely exposed, crystal studded emblem thong was not a fashionable choice.

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell

Pro: Though Lady Gaga and I amicably parted ways after Artpop, it was fun to see her bring her showmanship back to the red carpet. We’ll never forget the meat dress, will we?

Con: Was the 4 part disrobing just to end up in her underwear necessary? Maybe to twirl from the black princess gown to the pink slip dress would have been in better taste. Also, please explain the umbrellas, many thanks.

Katy Perry in Moschino

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Pro: This 40 pound costume was the most lit, literally. (Forgive me, I know that joke isn’t funny anymore). Katy’s glittery baroque-esque shoes were the best part of her outfit choice.

Con: I’m not sure what dressing up as a chandelier has to do with Camp or fashion.

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen in Vintage Chanel Couture

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Pro: The all leather dress and the leather jacket maxi skirt combination were a welcome surprise. That they kept their hair, makeup and accessories minimal made these pieces really shine.

Con: Since I’ve decided to nit pick, it’s not their best ever Met Gala look.

Constance Wu in Marchesa

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Pro: I like that this gown has an art deco Gatsby feel to it, even though it still serves up trendy notions, like the cutout shoulder.

Con: I would have loved this gown to have a lined bodice. I think it would have accentuated the sheer sleeve and skirt more so than as is, with the entire thing being see through.

Miley Cyrus in Saint Laurent & Liam Hemsworth

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Pro: I will always adore a dress with pockets! This sparkly mini was perfectly exaggerated with an asymmetrical shape extending past the shoulder. And it was made a little extra with polka dot tights and wrap platforms.

Con: I can’t tell if the back piece is supposed to make a bow or it’s just useless geometric play.

Kerry Washington in Tory Burch

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Pro: This pretty set reads negativity is noise. She had matching rings with the message as well. While this was one of the tamer looks of the night, the statement was actually something that Susan Sontag wrote about numerous times throughout her work. I appreciated the simplicity from this in notion and creation.

Con: N/A*

Jennifer Lopez in Versace with Alex Rodriguez

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Pro: These lovebirds stepped out and stepped up together in tasteful attire.

Con: These were fashionable choices, but they felt a bit on the safe side.

Nick Jonas with Priyanka Chopra in Dior and Joe Jonas with Sophie Turner

Pro: Feathers and sparkles were excellent choices from the Spouse’s of the Jonas Brothers. Priyanka’s fairytale elements were a particular standout, they had an Alice in Wonderland feel to them!

Con: Joe’s attempt to have an idea about the theme wasn’t lost to anyone. It was sweet at least to have a coordinated outfit to match his wife. It would have been a lot of fun to see a similar approach from Nick.

Josephine Skriver in Jonathan Simkhai

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Pro: The bright floral pattern against taupe is truly stunning. I like the flouncy strapless top paired with a flouncy mini skirt. The headpiece is darling and the matching boots in silk elevate the look.

Con: The train, while also pretty, may have been overkill.

Celine Dion in Oscar de la Renta

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Pro: I could definitely see Celine wearing this at her show is Las Vegas, and while I’m not generally a fringe fanatic, I am mesmerized by this ensemble. I love the nod to dance, highlighted by her shoe choice, someone strike up the band!

Con: What in the world is on her head?!

Hamish Bowles in Maison Margeila

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Pro: This look has a very Henry VIII vibe to it. The plushness and royal purple were exuberant and very “Camp”.

Con: N/A

Janelle Monae in Christian Siriano

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Pro: I really enjoyed this pop art styling, especially the eye clutch.

Con: I feel like 4 top hats was fun, but not really necessary.

Hailee Steinfeld in Viktor & Wolf with Judith Leiber clutch

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Pro: It was very cheeky to specifically wear a dress saying no photos yet still carry a camera shaped clutch.

Con: The large typeface was a gimmicky idea, but its placement among ruffles doesn’t seem to have come out well.

Anna Wintour in Chanel Couture

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Pro: The pink and purple feathery cape was exquisite against a sequin floral frock. She said that her inspiration was directly from Sontag’s Notes on Fashion. To summarize, the quote says camp is a woman walking around in a dress made of 3 million feathers. I’d say mission accomplished by the event hostess.

Con: N/A

Dakota Johnson

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Pro: The simplicity of this shimmering gown was mesmerizing. Adorned with a gorgeous crown and a heart that’s bleeding love, I could not have designed this better myself.

Con: No Complaints here!

Cara Delevingne in Dior Couture

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Pro: The rainbow stripes were very amusing and the headpiece was another pop art highlight.

Con: 1- Why the cane? 2- Where are your pants? 3- Call me crazy, but is it possible there are too many rainbows here?

Ezra Miller in Burberry

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Pro: His trippy eye makeup was very bold. I liked the classic black and white pinstripe suit paired with bejeweled oxfords. The Tiffany’s diamond corset is pretty, obviously, but seems out of place. This being a costume event, I won’t stress too much over its placement or purpose. We’ll just call it extravagant.

Con: The concept of the train is lost on me.  At first glance, I thought it was a wrap skirt of sorts because it’s layered under the jacket. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. So…why is it there?

Kacey Musgraves in Moschino

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Pro: Barbie debuted in 1959, and has been apart of little girls lives ever since. I really enjoyed this Life Size moment of bringing the world’s favorite doll to the red carpet. The look was completed with pink heart shaped sunglasses and a hairdryer clutch. Barbie would never be caught having a bad hair day! Moschino actually created a doll that has this exact look, that’s being sold in the Met Gift Shop in honor of the Camp Collection Exhibit.

Con: All that’s missing was the arrival photo in Barbie’s Dream Car!

Gwen Stefani in Moschino

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Pro: This seemed to be a dance or stage inspired look. Gwen’s jewel embellished leotard was simply paired with fishnets and black pumps and topped by a luxurious fur coat with glittery stripes.

Con: I know for this event, people like to be over the top and exaggerated, but I would not have gone with such a long train.

Gigi Hadid in Michael Kors

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Pro: Go Go boots, Twiggy lashes and just the right dose of sparkle really made this ensemble a highlight of the night!

Con: I might have done the vest in black for a contrasting mod style.

Bella Hadid in Moschino

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Pro: From the hip up, this is a seemingly elegant dress, accessorized beautifully.

Con: From the hip down, its like the designer just decided to give up. It’s like he said put a cutout here and and a bunch of tulle there and and we’ll call it a day! And its too bad, because it could’ve really been one of the more alluring gowns of the evening.

Lily Collins in Giambattista Valli

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Pro: Again, I loved the bouffant hairstyle, especially adorned with pearls. Lily’s inspiration was Priscilla Presley on her wedding day. I loved the puffy sleeves and flouncy hems. Accented with a retro purple eye shadow, this tribute was gorgeous.

Con: N/A

Gwenyth Paltrow in Chloe

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Pro: This would make for a delightful nightgown. At least a house dress, as it might be uncomfortable to sleep in a ruffled turtleneck.

Con: Apologizes, but the dress has taken ill with jaundis. Terribly really, just terrible. And on the evening of the Met Ball no less.

Yara Shahidi in Custom Prada

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Pro: She told Vogue that her look kept evolving until she had to walk out the door. The sparkles and the hair looked great. She also was inspired by her astrology sign, and its featured in crystals around her eye.

Con: Not so much a con, but a question for the audience- would you wear opaque tights with open toed shoes? Share your answer in comments!

Kylie & Kendall Jenner in Versace

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Pro: The very bold colors were another fun nod to the sixties and the feathered frocks were on trend for the evening.

Con: The see through dress is dead, did the Jenner girls not get the memo?

Jemima Kirke & Lena Dunham in Christopher Kane

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Pro: These quirky outfits are the epitome of Camp. I love the graphic text on the front and the bows adorning the back. The gem clutch paired with black evening gloves were exciting touches to museum display worthy looks.

Con: If you think of one, you’ll have to let me know. I really like this style!

Serena Williams in Versace

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Pro: I always like a tennis shoe/ball gown combination. Those Nikes were probably very comfortable for the evening!

Con: While I generally enjoy a monochrome or matching ensemble, I might not have chosen neon yellow as the color to dress head to toe in. It was good those pink petals were scattered all over the gown to break up such a rich shade.

Photos courtesy of Whowhatwear and Footwear News

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