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

*Not Applicable

Paris Fashion Week Fall 2019

There is absolutely no shortage of fashion in Paris. People around the world look to this fashion capital for all their style advice. Events held February 25 through March 5 concluded the first fashion month of twenty nineteen with a plethora of that said style. Though it has come and gone, see some highlight moments below. And tune back in for full length show videos that will be posted soon!

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Playing with proportions and exploration are themes this season at Yves St Laurent. The polka dot tights provided a super fun textural effect paired with short hemlines, but still remained modest paired with a richly patterned bomber jacket or sleek trench. And whats that I spy? More beloved animal print? A fun fact I read  from designer Anthony Vacarello was that power shoulder pieces in the show had to be done by hand! The things we do for fashion. The show ended with cool neon looks brought to life under black lighting. A few sheer tops were snuck into the show which was a disappointment. I know it was meant to mean power to the woman in the seventies, but 50 years later women still aren’t on equal footing with men and exposure just comes across as objectification.

Designers of Aalto are breaking free of the standard. No joke, there will be floral’s, bright colors, and even all white ensembles.. for fall. And I think I’m okay with that. Season less fashions are still currently trending. Why not mix our favorite patterns and colors as well? The multi media jacket above was by far my favorite piece. The brand also partnered with Swedish company, Knitology, for organic wool pieces, which is a genius way to source sustainable materials!

Kenzo designers shared takes from their Chinese Peruvian heritage. It was such a unique collection, with rice print bag dresses, pullera skirts and waterproof ponchos. It was all set against a colorful illustrated mural background by late Pablo Armaringo that added to the kaleidoscope of color to this collection. Plus there were bags that wink that provided modern applications tying together the heritage and ethic pieces to today.

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First off, the quilted tops from Isabel Marant deserved a huge shoutout. They are so chic paired with those power shoulders. Earthy tones and paper bag pants were standout elements. The Marant woman is a wanderer, but should not be confused as timid. Sleek black pieces cinched at the waist with big western inspired belts mixed with leather made for a strong ending to a beautiful show.

Loewe’s aesthetic goal was about reduction, which technically happened. A trench coat simply paired with crisp white sneakers helped make that goal a reality. Then it got crazy, not overtly, but in the details. A poets sleeve there, a fringe skirt there, a paisley print,  pinstripes, and ponchos galore. I feel like I’m trying to write a Dr. Seuss book! Designer Jonathon Anderson, whose own line shows in London, said he was concentrating on stripping away noise, which I don’t think was accomplished. Is something simple if feather trim is involved? Doubtful. Nevertheless I did like it. There were clean silhouettes with playfulness and an intriguing palette. So much for tame, better luck next season!

Nina Ricci started in elegant Parisian fashion, entirely colorless, in a palette of black white and beige. As I prepared to witness a snooze fest, the runway did a 180 turn and received a wonderfully timed splash of color. The notion was brought about by way of maillots, forecasted trend bucket hats and a pretty shade of dandelion yellow silk.

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Who has more fun than Elie Saab? The answer is no one. There was a lot of drama, starting with exquisite monochrome pieces in blue, burgundy, green and black. Ranging from day wear to evening attire with unctuous pieces in wild print, velvet, lace and pretty sequins still following the noted hues. The show ended forcefully in layered looks of black and red that you couldn’t look bad in if you tried.

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Balenciaga stripped back its background, which was in stark contrast to the last few seasons. Minimal elocution was the message ringing true. The cocoon coats struck me as odd, but not unwearable. This was six months of fashion laid out for the Balenciaga customer, as Demna Gvasalia is doing away with precollections. Inspired by Paris itself, and meant for any day or time, left each piece open to interpretation. It moves and works with you, which was a pretty cool statement.

It’s crazy when something is nice, and that doesn’t seem to cut it. That unfortunately seemed to be the case for Beautiful People. The cousin It looking jacket was a stand out, for appearing so out of place, and the rest of the collection was solemn. Either pieces didn’t go together or left no lasting impression.

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Alexander McQueen showed tailored suits and fluffy frocks. There were flower petals manipulated into the fabrics that added a fun whimsical touch to the collection. Remnants and industrial materials made up an upcycled portion of the show that I thought was well executed and beautiful. This was meant to show the balance of tradition and culture of the English countryside. Did you know that in 18th century England men referred to things that were fashionable as macaroni? I say we bring it back!

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Obviously one of the biggest shows this season was the final collection from Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel. Karl passed away February 19, but his legacy will last forever. This was a stunning collection, perfectly displaying his insight into the world of fashion. The hound-sooth mixed with classic Chanel tweed suits were an excellent start. Coats came in a variation of style, be it full length or cropped, parka or bomber. Gorgeous fair isle sweaters and skirts were paired together by neutral shades, but color was not eliminated from the runway. Purples, pinks, bright blue and red were paired with furry snow boots and logo accessories. It ended in angelic whites in true form to the brand and to the man. Feminine and pragmatic, Karl created some of his best work for this season and we will always cherish his beautiful mind and impact to the industry.

I would love to hear your thoughts about bucket hats! These are some styles from Dior, Loewe and Valentino. Do you love or hate this trend? Leave your responses in comments.

Images courtesy of Vogue

Milan Fashion Week F/W 2019

‘Make it fashion’ is a popular phrase I’ve often seen recently on social media. I like that it means being a little extra or having a creative styling moment. But can you do better than Milan Fashion Week? I think not! The debut of Fall 2019 Ready to Wear, according to Italian fashion houses held February 20 through 25, was unbelievably good. Naturally there were still a few snafus, but overall impressive. Keep reading to see for yourselves, and tune back in for full length show videos!

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Moncler was an event that seemed like you “had to be there”. The show took over an entire street, where a 12 designer show was done. I couldn’t find images for all the runways, but it included collaborations with London based designer Richard Quinn, Simon Rocha, Pierpalo Piccoli, dog couture designer, Poldo, Crazy Green, Liza Kebede, Valextra, Palm Angels, Sergio Zambon, Sandro Mandrino, Fragment, & Hiroshi Fujinera. The collections will be released monthly beginning in June. I’m not sure what the order will be, but I imagine with the displayed collection being cold weather attire, it won’t be until later this year. What I did see seemed like good high fashion. Many people continue to say fashion is dead and needs some kind of revival, but I don’t think reinventing the wheel is necessary by lieu of this show.

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Alberta Ferreti shared a moody runway that was very enticing. From day-wear to evening attire, your wardrobe can have it all. Romantic dresses, jumpsuits that shine, even white cowboy boots if your into that. I loved the neutral palette that gradually continued to included soft pink and gray tones in the show. The metallic mix was another fun touch. My favorite pieces were the all black ensembles, elevated by their play with textures for lots of depth and an all around individual look.

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Two years ago I had never even heard of the brand, Vivetta, and now its a show I always look forward to seeing. Even in its crazy moments- like this upcoming season’s teddy bear coat made of actual stuffed bears, this is the embodiment of fashion. It’s serious, but shouldn’t be taken so seriously. Vivetta is truly a world of its own, where art and fashion blend together seamlessly. I can’t help but be dazzled by the delightful aesthetics. The question is, how soon can I get that cobalt blue suit in my own closet?

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Prada is always expressive, but this might have been my favorite runway yet. Miuccia Prada still infused subtle prettiness into this collection, by way of flowers, pink and lace, even though she emphasized in backstage interviews she is conerned with the threat of war. This concern was hit with darker notes, spotlighting utility. There were uniforms, collars buttoned all the way up, and combat boots. The stern expressions models had and severe hairstyles, Wednesday Addams inspired braids and slicked back buns, created a perfect storm of fantasy and reality. The best Ready To Wear yet, am I right or am I right?

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Bottega Veneta was very structured, as expected. Many have been in anticipation as Daniel Lee became Creative Director in June, after formerly being Ready To Wear Director at Celine. The quilted pieces were a highlight for me, even the square toed pumps! There were plenty of knitwear options and one’s choice of leather outerwear. Other mention-able attire included dramatic scoop neck tops, sophisticated hem lines and a nice cheery orange made an appearance that really brightened the collection.

Tod’s was another structured line that was very straightforward. A play with proportions made for a powerful ease on the runway. Choose between a trench coat, belted or loose, in patent, snakeskin or matte, or puffy vests. Select and Aline skirt or trapeze dress. Pick loafers or ankle boots and add a tiny bag or drawstring bucket bag and viola! The maroon and camel color combination was my favorite. I didn’t even know I wanted a pair of leather Bermuda shorts until I saw them! What are your thoughts on the leather button down shirt?

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How can a brand be fresh after 50 years? Just one look at Etro will make it look effortless. The runway meant to embody the company’s values, first by going back to it roots in paisley print. Veronica Etro, Creative Director of women’s wear said, “it’s all about how you mix things up and wear them, that’s life I guess.” There were time jumps from Edwardian collars to a current blazer dress. Crocheted and knit fair isle pieces created a  cozy folk ambiance. From baroque printed mini dresses to taffeta, there were so many great material options, I can’t pick a favorite. Timeless shapes, like cigarette pants, helped tie everything together flawlessly. Tassled trim, spangles and chunky belts added luxe detail. And the icing on the cake was seeing models of all ages on the runway, proving no one is too young or old for great fashion.

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Romance & flair made up the runway of Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini. It was inspired by the 90’s supermodel, and left the viewers nostalgic for that decade. There were slip dresses, tuxedo jackets, straight leg jumpsuits and vegan leather ready for girls looking to get glammed up and go out on the town. The silk blazer looked so delicate yet polished. And I’m dying curl up in one of those cozy turtleneck sweaters!

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The sky is the limit for Giorgio Armani, and this season was no creative exception. Ladies wear velvet pants with a wild top or simply suit up. There were so many great jackets and bags to choose from! For those who want to go the extra fashion mile, don a gown with a rose adorned collar or try a puff sleeve with ruching. As for the gentlemen, go double or single breasted in a suit jacket, either way you can’t lose. Chooose a pinstripe or go all out in leather. Mix things up with a jacquard or bomber jacket. Whatever you decide, you’ll look your best in any ensemble from the titled collection, Rhapsody in Blue.

Clockwise Left to Right, Byblos, Angel Chen, Marco de Vincenzo

Even though I truly love the holographic trench coat, I’m skipping on the shag accessorizing from Byblos. I also have no plans to have my hair done like a Who from Whoville, as donned on the runway from Angel Chen. What’s more, I don’t understand the Bird Box inspired look from Marco de Vincenzo. Things aren’t that dire, pinky promise. What are your thoughts about Milan Fashion Week? Share them in comments!

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Huffington Post

London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019

February 16-19 took us to London for a fashion spotlight. There was so much to take in, and that doesn’t even include what the Duchess of Sussex wore to the shows! Take a look at some high and low moments below. Don’t forget to tune back in for full length show videos!

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I preferred the more streamlined looks to the playful ones from Jaime Wei Huang’s collection, but was left impressed by the end of the show. There were lots of memorable moments. From wool coats to puffer jackets, there were plenty of great outwear options. Other personal favorites included wide leg trousers amd a trendy large pocketed scarf. However, I was less impressed with the janky hemlines prominemt through the show or the see through sweaters, (like really?). There was also no love for the fuzzy fanny packs. Sad face.

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It was all about high drama & oversized shapes at 16Arlington. The label is interested in exploring red carpet opportunities and definitely succeeded at presenting a show. The oversized blazers were a highlight for me. And the two textured coat was such a surprise! The graphics were also a great idea to give a little dose of extra to pieces. The blend between minimal notes and maximalist ones is too good to miss.

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Full disclosure, I had a traumatic experience in argyle as a child that has still made me cringe at the pattern to this day, but thanks to Molly Goddard, I think I may be able to leave the past behind me. The distressed patchwork sweater captured my attention fully.

This show was meant to match strength and light heartedness, but opposites don’t neccessarily pair. I did like the message, but not the application. I preferred the gentler approach, with a touch of edge, as opposed to the outlandish outlook taken. Like those multi tie dresses were working for me, but that canary yellow feathered dress was more reminiscent to Big Bird. Lovable as he is, I don’t want to look like him.

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Streetwear inspired House of Holland  made for a cultural experience. Mexican influences topped with french tied scarves brought western inspiration to the runway, while Mandarin collars and Japanese obi knots brought inspiration from the Eastern hemisphere.

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It was a play with textiles from Ports 1961, how fun is that? The shaggy sweaters, drop earrings and slouchy boots accessorized seamlessly an all hours offering. The dress structures were so elegant in a rich palette for a truly luxurious feel.

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Emilia Wickstead was inspired by the film, The Godfather. The show was even held in Le Caprice, one of the oldest Italian restaurants in London. It really set the perfect backdrop for the Italian influenced showcase. It was very dramatic with a touch of ritz, but remained thoughtful and elegantly constructed.

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Burberry’s Creative Director named this season Tempest to contrast British culture and weather. It was posh, and honestly one of their best collections in structure and shape. I even enjoyed the handful of avant garde type pieces throughout the show. They said this runway encouraged inclusion, however there was a lot of backlash over a particular piece, the “suicide sweater”. It was a beige hoodie with a woven rope around the neckline that unfortunately did resemble something like a noose, sparking a heated internet outrage. As of February 26, the company had issued a formal apology and plan to educate and train employees on diversity. There are additional plans to assemble an advisory board of external experts and recognize talent through Burberry Inspire, an art and culture program the company owns. They also hope to support outside organizations that promote diversity, inclusion and aid to people in crisis. These are good causes to be behind, and I think this is a good reminder to everyone that its always important to be mindful.

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Natalie B Coleman partnered with UN and #wearingirish fair trade to celebrate UN sexual and reproductive health agency 25th anniversary. She is a student at Dublin College obtaining a masters of Philosophy for Gender and Women’s studies.

A highlight was a hand stitched ovary motif for scarves that took 32 hours to craft. It was so opulent and meant resemble medival scabbards.

Anya Hindmarch had another experimental show, remember the cloud pillow from September? This time showcasing woven bags and a climbing net that attendees were encouraged to try out made from the same material as the bags.

Margaret Howell, a favorite for simplicity, shared another stunning coed line. Offering ease and refined style, honestly, what more could you want.

Mother of Pearl, a brand focused on sustainability, was unique this season. It was a see now buy now show with vintage inspiration. There was also a ball pit meant to represent the profusion of microplastics that wind up in the ocean from synthetic fibers. This is putting marine life at risk. Mother of Pearl also made a 10 percent donation of sales in February to a charity working to clean-up the oceans.

Shrimps was not a highlight this season for me, although I did like seeing lots of bishop’s sleeves and cowell neck coats.

New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2019

Hooray its Fashion Month! Starting always in NYC, shows were held February 7-15. There were some new faces on the scene and longtime favorites. I’m always excited to see what different brands want to share, what inspired them and their game plan for the new season. Take a look at some highlights below, and as always tune back in to see full length videos of the shows!

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The premier cocktail and gown company, (Pamella Roland’s words and I agree) whisked the upcoming season away in crystals, pearls, beading and feathers that guarantee party worthy attire. I loved the deep shades of plum and red that were used against black and white frocks. And I couldn’t get enough of the sharp silhouettes or sheer overlay jackets.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh’s mix and match runway was a treat. What she called “handpicked dressing” allowed room for experimentation, and a challenge to fashion overall. Among tie dye and animal prints were a few understated looks that I felt helped bring the collection together. Not everything was a hit, but I appreciated the statement.

Another runway, sharing a love of tie dye paired with snakeskin, chintz, brocade and faux fur, was a bold and funky share from Kim Shui. I liked the colorful opaque tights and the different hem lengths and collars of dresses. It gives the customer lots of options, so fill up that social calendar!

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I’m obsessed with sets. They take the guess work out of an outfit for days I’m rushing or feeling lazy. So I was thrilled to see so many options from Ralph Lauren’s fall season. It was a black, white and gold presentation that was as stylish as it was beautiful. The flagship mansion was turned into Ralph’s cafe for the show and the runway started with a descending staircase. From the runway down to the ambiance, this collection was so fun. Bonus points awarded for the sparkle.

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It was no nonsense at Brandon Maxwell. His inspiration actually came from a illness his family is dealing with. This collection was about refinement and protection that  fashion can offer. Almost colorless save for a couple peridot and fuchsia gowns, there were still plenty of depth in the silhouette and detail. The high collars, over sized pockets and puffy or sleeveless shapes offered a reminder that there is beauty in strength.

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This collection from Tory Burch was inspired by a liberal arts school, Black Mountain College, no longer in operation. But that creative mentality really came through this season. Floral’s were featured, yes for fall, don’t freak out. And the shoes were understated stars, from gold toed and platform boots to metallic strap mules. I think this line showcases fashion’s evolution to breaking standard ideals and replacing them with whatever works. The frilly collars and bishop sleeves were great components as well.

I read an article a few weeks ago that said leopard print is out. In my book, never! It’s always and forever the ultimate print and pattern to accessorize and be fierce. I am female, hear me roar! So I was pleased to see the layers upon layers of leopard print from Adrienne Landau. I loved the balance between bright colors she created pieces in, against the perfect neutral attire. I may even wear bike shorts if they come in a leopard print! Ok, ok, that may be an exaggeration, but the collection was a smash.

Ryan Roche called his collection prairie dressing. It was neutral in it’s color and minimal in concept. Although he did a collaboration with Royal Stag Hats, there was scarcely an accessory to be seen. The collection being stripped back was meant to offer simplicity, but material choices struck me as high maintenance. Being that this is high fashion, I don’t mind, but when I imagine prairie terrain, it invokes the idea of the open frontier, undeveloped land. The elements make me want to dress down, not doll up to the nines like so.

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Always refined and sleek, the fall collection from Taoray Wang did not disappoint. The line offered a perfect silhouette and included soft gray plaids and pinstripes. A pink lined powder blue jacket was a highlight for me. I was also happy to see plenty of blazer dress options, I’ve been trying to hunt one down and there was a great selection in different materials.

Alice + Olivia was held in a gothic revival synagogue that set a dark background for its rainbow collection. The contrast was gorgeous, and do I spy with my little eye a leopard print? Wink wink. The edgy show included velvet and leather pants that will paired wonderfully with sequin slogan tees. And there were plenty of evening wear attire in deep, rich tones for an extra oomph when or if one is feeling moody.

Anna Sui’s retro runway was a star. Amongst a rainbow of brightly colored wigs and tights were plenty of sixties favorites. Tweed dresses, Mary Jane shoes and lots of plaid were just a few highlights.

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Recycled cashmere knits, alpaca jackets and alluring slip dresses were all apart of Zero + Maria Fall presentation. There was a lot of textural play, as most of the ensembles were monochrome. A favorite of mine was a tan corduroy jacket, but I also liked the composure of a geometric knee length dress paired with boot cut pants, a floral blazer set and royal blue jumpsuit. Each piece had a softness to it and paired with its counterparts created a strong statement overall.

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A sensory experience to behold was the nod to 70s glam from Michael Kors. Get your fill of all the best fashion goodies. Snakeskin boots, sparkly frocks, faux fur lined coats and jackets, even Studio 54 logos, the place of places to party. Everything came in the polished MK luxe we adore so much. In these ensembles you don’t have to ask where’s the party, you’re it!

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I’m taking a hard pass on these Ugg Eckhaus Latta collaboration open toed furry mules. What are your thoughtsabout New York Fashion Week?