For the Love of Paris

By Lona

Paris Fashion Week is already in day 4 and I’m really excited to present some of my favorite designers and pieces from their collections.  But first a little note on my love for Paris.

Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world.  I know that is a little bit cliché because EVERYONE is supposed to love Paris but my love relationship with Paris did not start until I lived there.  In fact on my very first visit some 11 years ago I was very unimpressed and could not understand why everyone was so charmed by this city.  Years later, when I was lucky enough to spend 4 summers in a row in the capital of CHIC I finally understood it’s magnetic allure.

Amongst all the usual suspects that Paris does best like Macarons , foe gras, fashion, art, joie de vivre what I love most about Paris is the sheer history that spans over 2000 years and encompasses some of my favourite eras.  You can feel and touch the history all around you. Every building you see has a historic moment tied to it whether it was a famous moment in history or .  What I enjoy doing while in Paris it to take a picnic spread and sit  by the fountain in the Jardin de Tuileries  directly across from the Louvre.  On a warm summer day it is such a beautiful sight and feeling to sit there and imagine how the Louvre was 100, 200, 300, 500 years ago and get lost in that world.  Below is a picture of that view.

One of my favourite quotes of all times has to be the quote from MIDNIGHT in Paris “To know that Paris exists and anyone would choose to live anywhere else is a mystery to me”

 

Nina Ricci: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Nina Ricci: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Nina Ricci: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Nina Ricci, Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Balmain: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Balmain: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

Balmain: Picture coutesy of Fashiongonerogue

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Emerging Talent

By Lona

While at fashion week, in between the catwalk shows, I had a chance to visit the exhibits that were set up at Somerset House, home of British Fashion Council and where most of the fashion shows were taking place.  At these exhibit, young designers that either were not ready or did not have the budget to show their collection on the runways, had a chance to obtain a booth and display their work to be seen and touched by hundred of professional buyers that came to LFW to purchase for their stores.  These exhibits help emerging designers develop relationships and build their profile and business.

One of my favorite designers was Sophie Hulme because I love her authentic simplicity yet unexpected twists she adds to her bags, belts and garments.  SOMA magazine describes it as “Utilitarian Chic”. Hulme herself said “I am always attracted by menswear—the utility and the toughness,”

I personally loved her bags and belts and wanted to purchase all of them. Luckily for the bank account the collection was purely for display.

Another fun and innovative designer that stood out from the crowd was CLEO B.   She was adorable.  CLEO was no more than 25, beautiful and super nice.  I loved the retro shoes that she had created in all the various jewel tones.

CLEO B

When it came to clothing and ready to wear collections I fell in love immediately with D.EFECT.  This designer from Latvia captured my attention because of the form fitting clean lines and high quality materials she used for her spring collection.  I tried to find some pictures of the latest collection but all I could get was the autumn 2011 collection which was not my favorite I have to say.

Below are some more interesting new designers:

Joanne StokerJoanne StokerJoanne StokerJoanne StokerJoanne StokerJoanne Stoker
George Angelopoulos
Kim Kwang
Kim Kwang

London Street Style

By Lona

Fashion is an expression of one’s self.  While I was tempted to write a blog on what not to wear at fashion week I realized that it would not be fair to judge based on my personal taste and what I think is beautiful.  So here are some images I took while waiting to get into the runway shows.  You can be the judge on whether you think they have great style or not.

Creative Patchwork
Matching screen

Shy Vintage

 

 

The woman and the Bird

London Fashion Week Report: Day 3&4

By Lona

Day 3 & 4 at London Fashion Week was when the big name designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum showcased their S/S 2012 collections.

But Burberry, with its impressive set up in Hyde Park away from the usual venues of the London Fashion Week pulled in a star studded FROW including Sienna Miller, Andy Rodick, Mario Testino, Kanye West etc.  Unfortunately our bus from the main venue (Somerset House) arrived late to the show due to surprise surprise London traffic so I was not able to see the show first hand however I’m sure that many of you were able to watch it live via Facebook and perhaps via “Tweetwalk” which tweeted pictures of every look before it hit the runway.

The International Herald Tribune wrote that Christopher Bailey took the coat to places it had never been before.  Indeed the S/S 2012 collection was a real departure from the traditional Burberry pieces.   It embodied artisan elegance through the African-Inspired prints.  Backstage Christopher Bailey was quoted as he described the concept behind the collection. “I loved the idea of craftsmanship, and things that were made by hand, as a contradiction to the pace of the digital world. These pieces were slot to make and made to treasure and last.”

This quote rings very true to us that live and work in Silicon Valley; the heart of the digital world.  Where everything is created and resides in digital space.  There is something to be said about creating beautiful tangible things with your hands.   This is why I love fashion especially couture since most pieces are created by hand and are meant to last and be treasured for a lifetime.

Below are some pictures I snapped and those professionally taken by style.com

The crowd outside Burberry Prorsum

Two bloggers having a fashion conversation after taking pictures of each other’s outfits

LFW: Day 3&4 continued

By Lona

In addition to the Burberry show I was able to make it to two other shows.  Mark Fast and Louise Gray.

At Mark Fast the provocative crochets in his spring collection came in all colors.  “We worked with yellow, orange and fuchsia and feathered printed neoprene to compose a tropical exotic surge of color.” Explained the British designer.   One of the models was constantly getting her shoe caught in the long crochet dress and about to fall but she managed to walk the runway despite this difficulty.   I’m guessing there was no practice run 🙂

Louise Gray’s collection was at the Topshop Show Space where many of the attendees were super excited to be there, mingle with each other before the show and show their strong support for this very quirky and exuberant British designer.   Her collection had to be one of the most distinct I have ever seen.  Gray’s signature is her mishmash of color, pattern and texture. “Its how my mother taught me to dress,” she said, “everything matches if you like it.” I think she is extremely creative and original but at the same time I cannot say that I would wear some of the pieces from this collection.  Below are some of the photos I snapped during the shows yesterday.

Mark Fast

Mark Fast

Mark Fast

Gift Bags at Louise Gray

Louise Gray

Louise Gray

London Fashion Week Report: Day 2

Yesterday was so packed with fashion shows and activities around London Fashion Week that I did not get a chance to run to the computer and blog with all of my excitement.:)

The day started off by arriving at the Somerset House where this time I found it fully packed with Fashionistas, buyers, VIPs and lots and lots of bloggers.  The organizers said that this year they had such an explosion in bloggers that they had a very hard time keeping up with all the requests.

Indeed the designers were all different and their collections were nothing short of innovative and inspiring.  I had not heard of most of these talented British young designers but given their aptitude I’m sure we will hear and see their pieces worn by celebrities and used in fashion magazines. I was fortunate enough to meet Claudia, the CEO of gobritish.co.uk in the front row of Felder Felder fashion show and she was kind enough to give me tickets for all the shows yesterday.

The first show I went to was Jean-Pierre Braganza.  I loved the collision of femininity and graphicness of this collection.

Then I moved on to Felder Felder . FELDER FELDER was launched by identical twin sisters Annette and Daniela Felder, while still studying at Central Saint Martins in London 2006/2007.  As per the PR this collection celebrates the tough yet feminine woman who wears her heart and her armour on her sleve.  I’d say I loved 25% of the collection.  The rest was not quite my style.

After Felder Felder we moved to the power prints of Basso & Brooke. I have to say this was one of my favorite collections.  The colors were stunning and the fabrics luxurious.  I would love to own one of the dresses from this collection!!!

Finally, at end the day we enjoyed the collection of Ann-Sofie Back Atelje. This season’s collection showed a collective austerity, a crisp and holly aesthetic according to the designer.  The fabrics used were a mix of linen, heavy structured organza, linen/nylon knits and wovens. The colors of choice were midnight blue, ecru, white and black.

Below is a mix of my photographs and professional photographs from style.com

London Fashion Week Report: Day 1!

London Fashion Week kicked off this morning and I’m so excited to be here and report back on the latest trends for Spring 2012.  The vibe, the designers, the venue are totally different from New York Fashion week but that is what gives it its charm.  Today’s collections were edgy and dark as you would normally expect from London’s catwalks but I have picked out some colorful favorites as color is what I love.

The Rodnik Band

Sass & Bide

Maria Grachvogel

Maria Grachvogel

.

 

PPQ

Sass & Bide

Jean-Pierre Braganza

Joanne Stoker

Corrie Nielsen

Runway Favorites from NY Fashion Week

By Lona

It’s day 4 of New York Fashion Week and I have picked a few favorites from the shows so far.

Jason Wu

For his Spring 2012 collection he cited KAWS, the graffiti artist who came to fame in the nineties for inking up bus-shelter ads of Kate Moss, as a major source of inspiration, according to style.com. Jason Wu is a usually a favorite of red-carpet starlets and First Lady Michelle Obama.

He pushed the boundaries in the areas of fabric innovation and embellishment.  Wu used a nearly weightless nylon “that moves like chiffon” for his outerwear which I thought was very cool.

Monique Lhulier

“Lhuillier was focused on the body this season—most notably, on the athleticism that makes the body worth focusing on—and she fused elements of sport into her couture aesthetic. Bold color-blocking and sculpted seams lent an aerodynamic edge. The first look out, a strapless, seamed, blue and black corset dress, was as tight as a scuba suit, but much more appealing. Harness detailing appeared throughout; bodices were banded with leather, and sides were slashed open to expose sections of sheer black lace. An off-the-shoulder, cobalt blue cocktail dress wrapped in twisted tulle elicited actual sighs of desire from the front row.” style.com


Mandy Coon

“The DJ-turned-designer rolled out graphic lambskin halter dresses, disco-era jumpsuits, and kilt-like miniskirts patchworked together with pleated chiffon strips, which served to deliver an altogether brighter, more polished mood; albeit with a disheveled edge, in keeping with her youthful vision. What struck most was her playful use of color; a digital, Balenciaga-esque drip print in cobalt, moss, and lemon, promised to lure a more commercially minded customer to her growing band of acolytes.” Vogue.com

Coon’s inspiration? Artist David Altmejd’s towering, figurative sculptures, which incorporate a madcap mix of textures. That, and a nerdy childhood fascination with crystals and rock formations, whose structure played into that inaugural use of pleats. “It’s an indirect translation of those two things,” she says with a shrug. “And an evolution of the discipline I brought into my work last season.” Vogue.com

Ruffian

Inspiration: “Thoroughbred” -Brian Wolk and Claude Morais

Luca Luca

Inspiration: Designer Raul Melgoza said backstage, “I was thinking about sensuality.” This collection is super femme!!!

Yigal Azrouel

This New York-based designer took inspiration from painter Pablo Picasso for his Spring 2012 collection. The collection displays a mix of slim silhouettes, nautical prints and ethnic patterns.

Real time pictures from fashion week

By Maja

Being from San Francisco where the tech scene is as hot as the fashion scene in NYC, we see a lt of cool startups popping up everywhere. Heck, we have one ourselves 🙂

A really cool one is Picture.ly started by my buddy Eoin. Picture.ly is a live feed of twitter pics sorted by hashtags. Right now you can find all the cool photos from fashion week posted on twitter by searching by the hashtag #fashionweek. Here are some I found:

Pic sources missing, apologize for that.

 

Fashion’s Night Out SF

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is almost here and even though this year I will not be attending I’m super excited to be in San Francisco and celebrate along thousands of fashionable women & men @ Fashion’s Night Out SF.

This is a worldwide event that takes place on the starting day of fashion week.  On the 8th of September numerous fashion houses and retailers join forces to put on a glamorous evening filled with trunk shows, cocktails and delicious treats while allowing everyone a chance to interact with the latest collections.  Some of the companies participating in San Francisco are Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Marc Jacobs, H&M, Banna Republic, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, BCBGMaxazria, Betsey Johnson, Alexis Bittar, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cole Haan, Bebe, Vince etc.  For more information check out http://fashionsnightout.com/

Looking forward to seeing everyone in the streets of fashion on Thursday.

Timeless Elegance

So for the past 8 months I have been obsessed with the Calatrava watch from Patek Phillipe.   I adore this watch and its beautiful simplicity.  I think it is the ultimate timepiece that will withstand the test of time and fashion.  It exuberates elegance and nobility.  Yet it is very understated and unassuming.  Patek Philippe is not a name brand you hear of everyday like Rolex.  However ,their watches are synonymous with the highest quality, impeccable style, perfect design and superb performance.

Patek Philippe has always amazed its fans by innovation in watch making.  In fact on May 10, 2010, a Patek Philippe wristwatch became the most expensive to be sold at auction when purchased by a Swiss museum, through Christie’s in Geneva, for 6.26 million swiss francs ($5.50 million US).

Below is my favorite model.

Style is knowing who you are, what to say and not giving a damn

Ever since my early teenage years I have had a fascination with Kate Moss.  Her cool persona and her unique style have made her a global fashion icon and extended her modeling career through 3 decades so far.  Which by the way is very impressive for a model’s career.  Just as an example fashion and runway models have a career of 2-5 years and commercial/print models generally 10-15 years.   Of course Kate Moss is not just a model she is a super model which makes a big difference in ones earnings but still, as a supermodel she proved to have the most longevity out of the supermodels of her time despite her shortcomings in body dimensions and lack of curves.  She is only 5’6’’ compared to most supermodels which you find in the range of 5’9’’ to almost 6’0’’ and she is known for her boyish figure and very small size.   In fact she went on to become the “anti-supermodel” of the ’90s when supermodels like Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell were knows for their curvatious and tall bodies.  She made popular the heroin chic look of the 90s which worried even Bill Clinton who spoke against this growing trend.  Despite all the controversy and scandals in her life she is still at the top of her career.   Ultimately I believe that her distinct style and her ability to have endless looks in her repertoire make Kate Moss timeless.

 

This is one of my all time favourite pictures of Kate.   Mario Testino (photographer) has worked with Kate since she was 16 and he also had the honor to shoot her wedding album.  Those pics can be found in the VOGUE September issue.

Reflection of Culture

It is said that architecture is as much about style as it is function. I believe that architecture defines a place and gives it its uniqueness.  Algarve, Portugal a region I had the opportunity to visit just recently reflects its style in its beautiful architecture. The outfit below is inspired by their beautiful blue ocean, white walls, blue mosaics and intricate coble stone roads.

Shoes: Tods; Skirt: Leifsdottir; Sunglasses: Tory Burch; Bag: Chanel; Old T-shirt.

 

Simply Chic

Although I think Christian Louboutin is an extremely talented designer for some reason I don’t always find myself oozing over the latest collection.  However, last week while I was waiting for my flight in Tirana, Albania to board I saw these beautiful ankle boots on a very stylish woman and I fell in love with them.  I immediately emailed a picture of the booties to my two best friends in NYC wondering whether they were comfy. And of course they replied right away saying that they had already scoped them out and had tried them on.   Unfortunately as I had imagined they reported back that the booties were not the most comfortable.  But then again how often do you see fashion and comfort pair up to create incredibly beautiful high heel shoes? Almost never……ahhh the pain we endure in the name of style.