Friday, March 25, 2016

What's The Deal With Blue Lipstick?

Back in the early 20th century, the only nail polish colours to choose from were red and pink. Eventually, we graduated to the blue and greens, but though I was not alive at the time, I can imagine this was a difficult transition for society. Now, let's move on to the subject at hand: blue lips. I won't lie. The first thought that comes to mind when I think of blue lips is staying out in the cold too long or, The Titanic. Why would anyone paint their lips blue on purpose?

Lo and behold, my friends, I've already spotted the trend at Sephora and in my favourite high fashion magazines. Is it possible that this is actually catching on? Or more importantly, why am I so shocked by this?

Let's talk about the deeper issue. Why are blue lips such a problem for me? And potentially, for you as well? If the most daring among us try this trend, will it raise eyebrows of envy or confusion?

While I consider myself to be a major lipstick fanatic (I'll try almost any colour once), this one plagues my mind. Then again, before trying red lips in the day time, the mere thought seemed outrageous to me. Today, I'll wear plum purple. If I've managed to ease into a quasi-black lip, is blue in the cards for me? Would you try this trend or will you leave it to the fashion editorials?

What does our reluctance to try such a bold lip say about society? Why are we so incapable of accepting change, even in the smallest form? I ask myself these questions because I can't help but wonder why colours can be deemed "taboo" on the street scene (or maybe just out of our comfort zone). So, I challenge you to try this lip trend one day. Maybe you're only prepared to showcase it in the evening with dimmer lighting. Maybe you're bold enough to attempt it at work. Perhaps you'll get a few compliments. You'll never know unless you try. Be bold this season. Who's stopping you? Other people's judgement?

Think about it.


Monday, March 21, 2016

A Full-Blown Easy-To-Read Fashion Week Recap

Too busy to keep up with Fashion Month's limitless list of designers this year? Guilty of not reading any of my previous posts recapping my top 5 best at the four capitals? None of this matters because I'm about to offer you one final chance at redemption: a full-blown easy-to-read fashion week (read: month) recap. Are you ready? This is what you need to retain.

Fall is all about outerwear and outerwear accessories that keep you warm, right? This season, we learned how to tie a scarf in a multitude of ways. The more it drags to the floor, the better. In New York, Marissa Webb was all about the effortless over-the-shoulder look, while in Paris, Karl Kagerfeld made us reconsider scarves altogether in exchange for a preppy cardigan wrapped around the neck at Chanel.

At Dries Van Noten, we learned that women should wear ties, though at Haider Ackermann, shirts were pretty much optional. But who needs shirts when your underwear can now be worn outside your clothing, as seen at Valentino and Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini? If you're a tad bit conservative, that's fine too. At Marco de Vincenzo and Karen Walker, it was all about those extra layers and at Akris and Paco Rabanne, our trusted turtle-neck was all the rage. Also, the oversized look was a major go at Balenciaga for those seeking comfort with a fashion edge. If sexy and exposed is more your thing, Paco Rabanne taught us how to wear crop tops to work (depending on the flexibility of your manager) and at Balmain, Louis Vuitton, and Moschino, we learned how to expose our shoulders. Perhaps shoulders are the new midriff? Think about it.

As you know, when it comes to brands like Julien Macdonald, Saint Laurent, and Mugler, the sexy look is always in. If you have the confidence of Jourdan Dunn or Gigi Hadid, these brands are for you and we probably can't be friends. Speaking of confidence, it may take a truckload to pull off the transparent pieces at Sonia Rykiel, Givenchy, and Elie Saab. Here's what I've learned. You're either wearing your lingerie out and exposed or none at all. Take your pick. As for some other trends, fringe is still in according to the great Elie Saab and so are wide belts (seen at Miu Miu and A Detacher). But the most important trend to follow is ruffles. Remember that. We saw them at Marissa Webb, Sonia Rykiel, Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini, Fendi, Kenzo, Chanel, Giambattista Valli, and every other show with an inkling of girlish charm. They are the best.

What should you wear outside? Shearling is obviously a must for next Fall (as shown at Carven), but if you prefer fur, it's the jelly to fall's peanut butter sandwich. Great advocates of fur include Fendi, Calvin Klein Collection, and J. Mendel. If a full fur is too much for you, you can also wear it as an accessory like at Sonia Rykiel. Another option is the cape, seen at Akris, or the main trend of the moment, the bomber jacket. According to Coach 1941, bombers are the bomb guys. Wear one. When it gets even colder, Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga just made it okay to wear a massive parka, which you can pair with an A Detacher beanie. Some other crazy hat options were seen at Chanel, Daks, Gareth Pugh, and Louis Vuitton (if you're feeling a little whimsical or slightly outside the box). Even if it's cold outside, you should still wear your massive eyewear (because sun is still a thing in the winter contrary to popular belief) as Carolina Herrera, Monique Lhuillier, Karen Walker, and Anna Sui have taught us. But when it's raining, look to those transparent plastic head scarves at Christopher Kane (or your grandmother's closet) and the impermeable rain coats at Lacoste because rain is REAL guys. So is frizzy hair.

Ready for your beauty look? Black lips were major at Dior and Louis Vuitton. But according to Paco Rabanne, blue lips are suitable as well if you're feeling daring. If that sounds a bit too grim, try the fuchsia lip as shown at Alexis Mabille and Topshop Unique to brighten up those dark winter days.

Finally, layer all of your looks with pearls. Why? Because Karl Lagerfeld and Jeremy Scott said so.

If this list was too long for you, this is all you actually need to know.
1) Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are interchangeable and irreplaceable. They swapped hair at Balmain and all the world was in awe.
2) Someone wore a chandelier at Moschino. Sia would be proud.
3) The set at Louis Vuitton was the best one. Karl Lagerfeld opted for no set this year and made a statement doing so. He also gave someone else a shot at blowing our minds. That someone was Nicholas Guesquiere.
4) Skinny legs are out. Not happening. Over. Move on.

And now that I am out of breath, you may rest and take what you can from this recap. I hope it offered you everything you were looking for and perhaps enticed you to check out some shows (or at least the chandeliers). If not, let's hope it was remotely entertaining.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Paris Is Over: Let's Talk About It

Paris Fashion Week is like the whipped cream they add on top of your sundae after multiple layers of chocolate sauce, 3 scoops, and maybe a few mixed nuts. In other words, it's the best part of fashion month and deserves to be savoured. For those of us who aren't running from show to show in the fashion capital (but studying for a math midterm), this savouring can be a challenge, but a necessary one that provides solace in times of high stress. Now, let's cease the chatter and talk Paris. We have some of our top designers in Paris who return every season with a mindblowing collection that never disappoints (regardless of numerous departures behind the scenes): Christian Dior (the powerful opener filled with equally powerful beauty looks to compliment some highly enviable outerwear), Chanel (the reinvention of tweed suits, romantic ruffles, and funky, yet elegant, equestrian hats), Giambattista Valli (the flirtatious mini dresses filled with ruffles and transparent accents), Balmain (glamour fit for the KardashaJenner in all of us), Givenchy (a hint of darkness for the rebel with a (fashion) cause), Valentino (the conservative brand that takes us back to the dark ages in a fresh and bright new way), Saint Laurent (the 80s throwback brand with major bad girl vibes), and Louis Vuitton (the grand conclusion that offers architecture in clothing that appeals to the structured woman in all of us). Some of the more under the radar brands include Kenzo (always offering some wild prints to tickle our fancy), Nina Ricci (presenting the powerful feminine figure with hourglass cuts), and Carven (offering wearable chic and effortless french fashions). There are many more I would mention if this weren't becoming a run-on list of fashion's top designers, but you get the gist. Paris is the motherload. Now, on to the reviews.

Dior always opens Paris Fashion Week with a bang. As you may (or may not) know, Raf Simons has left the building and the brand was forced to reinvent itself without losing his very valuable touch (there's a reason this is the first show and we don't want that to change). Though this was a challenge, the show still presented a memorable collection featuring classic outerwear the brand is known for, some bold print choices, a vast array off-the-shoulder looks, this season's latest trend. As for beauty, the models added a dark edge to their soft Dior outfits with some black lipstick and heavy ear accessories. The low buns kept it classic and simple, drawing attention to the sophisticated pieces that descended the runway. Whether an oversized double-breasted coat or a loose off-the-shoulder dress, the collection kept that effortless Parisian look alive while still adding some creative prints for extra flavour.

Every time I review the fashion month collections, there's always one that present a series of looks I would simply love to wear. It's not about the show or the art or the intricate detailing on each look. Rather, it's about my closet and personal taste in fashion. In Paris, the collection that offered exactly what I was looking for was Alexis Mabille. Don't be mistaken, this does not mean it was boring. That is downright offensive to myself and the designer. First of all, I learned how to tie a scarf in an elaborate and unusual way. I also learned how to simultaneously be blond and brunette and how to pull off very flashy flared pants (it's clear the skinny jean is dying and I may actually require this skill in future). Reasons I loved this collection? There were many statement accessories to capture my attention (including some big necklaces that stood out yet blended with the clothing in some strange way), there were plenty of ruffled necklines to make the little girl in me smile, and some pieces looked a little like haute pyjamas (which I'm quickly warming up to). Predominant colours? Pink and navy. It's evident, darkness and light played a huge role in this collection. Can I have all of it, please?

CHANEL (duh)
As much as I hate being predictable, I really do love Chanel. Karl's collection probably resurfaces a lot in my reports because frankly, he's a bit of a genius. This wasn't my favourite from the designer, but I love the layers and layers of pearls that complimented every single look and of course, the whimsical hats. I'm not quite sure whimsical is the word Karl would have used, but let's face it, they looked like a blend of equestrian and bike helmut. One notable accessory? (other than the hats) The rainboots! Who doesn't love a chic pair of rainboots for Fall to compliment your fuchsia Chanel skirt? It's clear, high heels are not part of the Chanel vocabulary and frankly, the heavy jewelry and tailored pink suits are feminine enough to make a stiletto highly unnecessary. After all, wasn't Mademoiselle Chanel all about the practicality? And nothing is more practical than a pair of knee-high rain boots (or even just your basic leather equestrian boot).

Another underrated brand at Paris Fashion Week? Carven. Perhaps it's the Doctor Jeckyll to my miss Hyde, but as much as I love a good bow and frill a la Chanel, Carven reinvigorates my masculine side and makes me want to wear bomber jackets and slouchy black pants. This entire collection was fit for the sexy tomboy who will rock a mini every now and then, but is in her element in a bright coloured bomber in her favourite sports team's colours (or maybe she just likes colour). Though my favourite looks were a tad girly (I must confess), a classic coat with a white fur collar and fitted purple mini dress, I couldn't help being drawn to a certain oversized sweater and cropped grey pants. Let's just say the tomboy in me woke up and yearned to add a little gamine twist to my ever so girly ruffles and lace. One thing to retain from all this? Shearling's the word for Fall 2016. So, spread it.

Elie Saab always feels predictable to me with the long lace embellished dresses fit for a red carpet starlet, but for once I can say that this collection felt entirely different. Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of long gowns, but the lace was a little more black boudoir (a little less pastel pretty) and the cuts were slightly more sexy and flowy (a little less conservative). It was Elie Saab revamped for the girl who leaves the party in a biker jacket and doesn't hesitate to rock a floppy boho chic hat to her next black tie event. Some of my favourite looks included a flowy bohemian dress in a tie-dye print worn by none other than Kendall Jenner and a sparkling black mini dress worn with a very large hat I cannot stop obsessing over. It seems the designer is becoming a little more rock n' roll, a little less princess. Or perhaps a rock n' roll princess? Needless to say, I loved him even more for it. And also because there were so many ruffles.

Which collection was your favourite at Paris Fashion Week? Was it one of these or perhaps a unmentioned one like Balmain or Giambattista Valli? 

Ponder it,


Friday, March 4, 2016

Time To Review Milan, Yes?

With Milan Fashion Week comes that bittersweet sensation that Fashion Month is about to come to an end. It is the third of the four fashion capitals and thus, it is with slight sadness that we part ways and enter our final city. Before we do so, I'd like to reflect on the magic that took place in Milan this past week. Let me begin by saying that I may be tearing up as I write this report, but Milan brought joy and happiness to my heart with every runway show. This season, it was all about loud retro prints, some romantic cuts, and a heck of a lot of colour. We saw an array of mixed prints at Emilio Pucci and Salvatore Ferragamo to make us feel like we were on drugs. The rock n' roll glamour at N21 and Roberto Cavalli also happened to have this affect. And how about those retro cuts and geometric shapes at Prada and Gucci for the quirky girl in all of us? There was something for everyone at Milan Fashion Week and though each collection showcased something different, they all shared one common feeling: vivacity. If there's anything one can learn from Milan, it's how to embrace life, and in this case, fashion is what breathed life into all of us. Now, let's take a look at some of the collections that brought me to life this week.

There may be a reason the word "Etro" is in "Retro". Just saying. This collection featured an array of 90s inspired looks featuring edgy leather biker jackets topped over slinky black lace dresses. Another 90s trend that made an appearance? The sheer floral dress at the floor-length or cut right at the ankle. There were prints galore aside from the traditional floral, including an oversized plaid coat, some heavy striped sweaters, and brocade. Essentially, if you aren't into prints, this collection probably isn't for you. Veronica Etro's ability to combine the heavy with the light when it comes to her fabrics is a skill on its own that requires a rule breaker attitude mixed with some artistic inclinations (or maybe they're one in the same). A few notable accessories? Some knitted berets and long scarves that dragged onto the ground like an afterthought that worked out way too well.

Something felt different this year at Versace. Usually it feels a little too sexy for me with slits to the upper thigh and deep Vs that scream wardrobe malfunction. While the overall sex appeal of the Versace brand was still present, something about this collection it felt more real. Allow me to explain. From the moment Gigi Hadid walked down the runway in an oversized navy coat and NOT a bodycon dress, I knew something was up at Versace (despite her endless legs). The first few looks remained in the navy and black tones with cinched waists and highly conservative cuts. The collection then took a strange turn with a much more athleisure approach. Models strutted down the catwalk in striped crop tops, gloves that looked like knee-high soccer socks, and fitted dresses with very obvious sportswear influences in baby blues and corals. Donatella then took us into a world filled with bright colours such as yellow and red while keeping a conservative approach with her shapes and hemlines. At the very end, the designer brought back a few microminis to keep us on our toes and remind us that she is the queen of sexy. It was just enough for it to still feel like Versace, but with a slightly fresher view.

It wouldn't be a review of Milan without a look at Giambattista Valli's Giamba collection (a recurring one on my blog). My obsession with this collection raises concerns and tugs at my heart strings simultaneously. It is filled with youthful touches like frills and flared hems, but with rebellious/Lolita undertones. It's about the good girl gone bad who consciously wears black underwear underneath her frilly white lace and black platform boots with a polka-dotted dress. Let's not get things twisted here. This was definitely NOT a collection made for little girls, though some might be drawn to it. It's for women who yearn for the 80s, when sensuality and punk rock were one in the same and romance was infused with darkness. I can imagine this girl hopping on a motorcycle with her rockstar boyfriend in a frilly dress of course. The designer combined high hemlines with higher necklines and longer skirts with deep Vs to keep every look feeling sexy, but slightly angelic. This girl is giving everyone a wink as she unties her bow to reveal a black choker and a heart-shaped tattoo.

Speaking of the 80s, we must address Armani's Emporio Armani collection filled with pops of colour and geometric shapes. While Armani may be known for more sophisticated cuts suitable for your average business woman, this year he had a little fun playing with colours, cuts, and prints. Some of the colours spotted at the show included candy cane pink and kelly green, with splashes of yellow and blue on a variety of printed dresses and flirty mini skirts. It felt like a modern art gallery, while still paying tribute to the 80s nostalgia that dominated the runways with high-waisted wide-leg pants (RIP skinny jean) and classic blazers in a variety of lengths. It was fun, with a hint of sophistication, a combination only Armani could pull off. 

Sarafini's latest collection was a cross between the 80s and the early 1800s with frilly necklines and many high-waisted pants. Nothing catches my eye quite like a high-waisted pant and some very pretty bows to tie it all together. If I could, I'd take you through every look in this collection because each one made my heart skip a few beats (in the romantic and cliche way as it should). While this collection featured many youthful ensembles (much like Giamba), it possessed even more feminine qualities like black lace overlays and layers of dramatic frills fit for a judge from the early 20th century, but also, a lady. The designer entered the realm of colour by choosing unlikely combos like baby blue and red in a mix of black and white boudoir-inspired outfits. It was edgy, romantic, and youthful without slipping into kinky territory. For the girl who's constantly being called cute and dreams of looking sexy, this collection is calling your name.

Which collection did you love at Milan this year?

Ponder it,