February 11, 2010: In snow-filled Mahattan, a steady stream of poshly dressed socialites in rather precarious shoes for the weather could be seen making their way down a darkened alley off of Lafayette. No, this wasn’t some nefarious large-scale-snow-bunny-designer-drug transaction, but the location of the presentation of the newest collection from up-and-coming designer Karolina Zmarlak.
I am not a cold weather person. If I had it my way, the temperature would never drop below 65 degrees. However, if I have to contend with chillier climes, I will take my pleasure where I can. And during the winter, I take all of that pleasure in boots. Not only do boots get you where you want to go in convenience and comfort, but they are also a commuters dream come true.
This season in particular seems to have a larger than normal myriad of lovely boots available, in a wide range of shapes, styles and colors. Whether you are an uptown princess, or a rugged gypset, there is a boot currently on the market for you. The following are a few of my personal favorites…
1. Fiorentini + Baker Nylon Boot: If the devil is in the details, then there is a veritable hell in those buttons. They like make some OCD part of myself convulse in delight at the mere thought of buttoning them up.
2. Frye Deborah Studded Boot: Motivation for these shoes: take a pixie, move it to Texas, then beat the hell out of it. These are that pixie’s shoes.
3. Mario Bologna Boot: These shoes are so structurally gorgeous, it just makes me want to scream – the metal pin-heels, the back-drop of the shaft, the vertical ribbon…it’s like I’ve died and gone to “hot shoe” heaven.
4. Juicy Couture Walker Motorcycle Boot: In terms of an all-around “rough and tumble” boot, you can’t beat this pair by Juicy. They would be cool and casual with a pair of jeans, or a tough touch to a pretty dress. The fact that they look comfy as hell doesn’t hurt, either.
5. Coclico Ndakinna Boot: A black, short boot is an essential staple of any wardrobe, in my humble opinion. This pair by Coclico is not offers a playful take with it’s toe-overlapping leather detail, but also merges the traditional wooden clog into its heel design. Wizard.
Have a personal favorite boot this season? Let me know what’s captured your eye…
Out of all the Nolcha shows, Dutch designer Jessica Joyce’s collection was by far my favorite. It was simple, subtle, and otherworldly. I think that Jessica’s quote on her own site sums up the ideal perfectly:
“The sensual and spiritual are linked together by a mysterious bond, sensed by our emotions, though hidden from our eyes. To this double nature of the visible and invisible world to the profound longing for the latter, coupled with the feeling of the sweet necessity for the former, we owe all sound and logical systems of philosophy, truly based on the immutable principles of our nature.” – by Karl Wilhelm von Humboldt
Using a buttery color palette of pinks, yellows, violets, grey and creams. Jessica’s collection transported the viewer to this wonderful fairy-alien wonderland of simple form that allowed the garments to exist in an unencumbered surreal landscape, yet were still relatable on a casual scale.
I particularly liked this outfit, as it reminded me strongly of one of my most beloved movies, The Dark Crystal. If this isn’t “Kira”, I don’t know what is…
Like living on a cotton-candy cloud…and the crimped hair is such a perfect touch…
Some highlights from emeDesigns appearance at the Nolcha runway show, an elegant small label based in Illinois Quad Cities. I really enjoyed some of the fabric choices in the show, which were inclined in the slick and shiny direction: like this lovely brown evening dress. I really like the layering of two different heavy patterns in the same color family. It creates a look that is very strong, yet subtle.
Also, a lot of “big pants” in this show – bigger than I have seen yet. They somewhat remind me of the JNCO’s I used to wear when I was a wee skater chick in high school, and I find it interesting that I find them somewhat appealing and compelling. The robust fabric choices really brought the cut to life, and made them pack a very dramatic punch. And there is nothing I love more than dramatic pants.
A very clean, nice collection to look at; not a risk-taker, but frankly, I don’t feel like they all have to be. I really loved the little details in the collection: the slit sleeves, the scalloped ribbing, the bags and the shoes. It really gives me that Sophia Loren, European vintage vibe.
With an aim to highlight the emerging and independent fashion designer market, Nolcha shows are always a special treat for me each season. Though this show was marked with some general confusion (the show began late, and there was some confusion with seating), it seems that the Nolcha events get better and better every year, and this set of shows did not fail to impress.
Seeking inspiration from style icon Marilyn Monroe, the show began with the work of Milan-based designer Christina Crawford, whose Spring/Summer 2010 collection taps into soft forms, a sensual palette and streamlined femininity.
I particularly liked this collection for its ability to merge modern elements with more delicate, feminine aspects. It seems far too often modern influences turn all too quickly into something more masculine and strong. It was nice to see the frills and soft edges remain, but made significantly less saccharine by being combined with strong lines, and a minimalist sense of proportion.
I had special love for the pleated vest (above), and the cowl neck halter top (below). While I don’t get any “Marilyn” vibes from the vest, it’s incredibly beautiful, strong piece, that would be a valuable asset in a closet – my minds spins with the potential outfits one could whip up with it. The cowl reminds me extremely of Monroe; I love it’s soft structure, and perfectly summarizes the play on feminine/modern I like so much in this collection.
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Ports 1961 Pre-Spring Presentation. It took place in the Meatpacking District, in the midst of a torrential downpour. There’s something extremely amusing showing up to a fashion show, resembling a drowned rat.
The presentation was delightfully small and informal. Unlike your standard runway show, the small setting allowed for a much more close-up perusal of the clothing, hanging on racks and displayed by models. An ideal environment for a blogger.
The collection did not fail to impress: beautiful, clean pieces, that harken back to classic standards, yet all the while completely fresh and modern in their simple comfort and sensibility of form.
A perfect example of some of the detail one can appreciate in such an informal, personal showing.
One of my personal favorite pieces was a series of crocheted necklaces. They feel so organic, and quirky in a lovely way.
A dim, dreary day on the east coast this fine afternoon, and it seems only fitting to show a little fashion to match the mood. Taking a little trip in the way-back machine today, to the supremely wonderful, unique collection of Luella, circa Fall 2008. I just love this collection – that Wednesday Adams/Bohemian schoolgirl look is so mysterious and lovely. Also, I think we should all make a concerted effort to wear more witch and gnome haberdashery.
What I find so exciting about this collection is the way Luella Bartley successfully manages to capture that creepy feeling in what is obviously a Halloween inspired collection, without falling into the usual cliched traps surrounding this style and the elements usually used to invoke it. Gingham, puffed sleeves, and twill blend folk and contemporary elements to create a look that is sexy, yet extremely smart and eclectic, with a little bit of “BOO” thrown in for good measure.
Just the sort of thing you’d long to wear on a grim, rainy day…
To see more of the Luella Fall 2008 collection, click here.
(Images courtesy of Style.com)
There are many beautiful collections this season, but there is one that has completely enraptured me as of late. I am absolutely, positively, utterly head-over-heels for Missoni’s AW09 collection. Entirely centered around knitwear, extreme layering, and a soft-as-snow color palette, Angela Missoni has captured all of my ideal aspirations for winter dressing.
(Images courtesy of Style.com)
As many of you who read my blog are aware, I am the antithesis of “suffer for fashion” – I place as much import on whether something feels good as well as looks good. My main clothing goal during the winter are to be warm and comfortable, followed quickly by the desire that it still looks awesome. Missoni’s chunky cardigans, Dr.Who-esque scarves, and bunching wool leggings entice me to pile on my knits in wonderful jumble of warmth and comfort, while still looking like elegant and lovely.
(Images courtesy of Style.com)
One thing I am just giddy about is the movement in this collection. The swing of the scarves, the swag of those layers really make the individual feel like a presence as they move, like they are the precious nucleus that all those layers of knit are protecting.
(Images courtesy of Style.com)
There is something very gypsy-vagabond about the whole look that I find extremely appealing. Also, it struck me that this collection seems to me the beautiful interpretation of dressing like a Mystic from the Dark Crystal…
If you need me, I’ll be in my wardrobe, piling on my sweaters, and wearing scarves as hoods…
I have been a huge fan of Ports 1961 for some time now, so you can imagine my delight when I received an invite to their show this season. Ports 1961 launched from New York City in 2004 under the vision of Creative Director, Tia Cibani, and since then has become known for its fantastical and romantic forays into the world of culture and woman’s wear. Each season, Cibani takes us on another voyage to her idealized style local: this season it was India, and Cibani did not fail to impress on this fantastic voyage.
Upon entering the tent, it was clear that excitement was high for this show. The show itself was by far the most crowded I have experienced – rows upon rows of additional seating were set out to accommodate the audience, as people squeezed, wiggled and cajoled themselves into a chair. Seating did not stop at the runway – actual rows were squeezed ON it, as the models’ path brought them in a full circuit around those with coveted seats in the nucleus. (Yours truly was about 6 rows up – which sadly did not make the best photo opp, but we do what we can).
Once everyone was tucked in, the show started off with a bang – literally, a cymbal crash. The music for the show was provided by a live brass band, situated at the runway entrance. The music was an uplifting, jaunty beat that immediately called to mind for me the music of Beirut, and put the audience in the mood to be sipping cool drinks off a liner’s prow. What a more suitable entrance for such a seasoned collection?
And seasoned it was, with the scent of cardamom and patchouli, saffron and spice. The show presented itself in unfurlings of sensuous colors: greys, golds, and pinks walked out to the bombast of the tuba. Sizzling golds and magenta shifts were relaxed with loose drapery – creating a new-age sari. Hemlines stayed long and comfortable, and slacks of breathing fabric, loose with a taper at the heel.
If there is anything that could be said to question this wonderful collection, it was the seasonal choice. Such steamy fabrics, brilliant golds and relaxed dresses specifically cannot help one thinking about summer rather than fall. However, if Cibani wants to keep us in a state of perpetual August, I am happy to come along, regardless the season.
My photos of the show:
Also, I couldn’t wrap a bit about this collection without showing this lovely little outfit worn by Tia herself – it is so comfortable and creative, yet so sweetly feminine at the same time, I just love it…