Archive for August, 2008

Color Me Terribly Turned Around

Do you ever have those moments where something that you usually understand perfectly suddenly makes absolutely no sense at all? As I flipped through the September Fall Fashion issue of Teen Vogue a few days ago, I had one of those moments. Between the “Fall Fashion A-Z” column that is the core of any fall fashion issue and the runway coverage in the “Fashion Rocks”  supplement, I felt like I was reading nothing but old news and runway coverage was from seasons past. What threw me off was the fact everything I was reading was news from February and March, and yet was contained within the fall fashion issue. 

What Teen Vogue considers to be “Fall Fashion” really happened last spring, when the fall collections showed. Therefore, to the Fashionista, about a quarter of what is contained within this issue is old news-really, really old news-and is now completely irrelevant as spring Fashion Week is almost here. This so called “Fall Fashion” is going on seven months old, and anyone who is familiar with fashion will tell you that if it is seven months old, it’s on its way out. So, when the fall-at-Zac-Posen was listed under “O-oops, I did it again” in the “Fall Fashion A-Z” column, my first thought was, Wow, I almost used that picture in Color Me Grounded… back when it was actually news…

and “L”s leather leggings left me completely speechless (Not like Susie Bubble has been posting about PVC and leather leggings for the last year or anything). After resort collections all summer, Fall coverage of fall fashion” felt like a giant step backwards! Believe it or not, a mid-August reference to “the fall runways” does not equal “recent collections”; the “fall runways” one looks at are actually from six months ago, when Spring was beginning to bloom. What I want to know is: Why does it feel so counter-intuitive to be presented with fall runways during Fall itself? I am beginning to give my self the same cross-eyed sensation I get when I ponder the fact that “Christmas in July” as we North Americans know it is normalcy to those living in the Southern Hemisphere! Spring fashion happens in the fall, fall fashion happens in the spring, yet if the magazines reported accordingly, women all over the world would would fly into tizzies.  Part of the problem lies in the six-month trickle-down period: fashions are put out six months in advance; the girl who jumps immediately on the bandwagon, wearing “fall” styles in the spring or “spring”  styles  in the fall, is considered to be extremely fashion forward when in reality she is right on target; the girl who fails to realize the “fresh” styles at JC Penny have been “fresh” for six months when they debued in Paris is scoffed at for having no style; girl A is wearing clothes that are too early for their designated season; girl B is wearing clothes that are too late for their designated season.

Girls A and B go home thoroughly confused at the backwardness of “Fall fashion” never truly meaning FALL fashion, and I wonder why this has never confused me before….

I suppose it all goes to say, while the runways are exciting to keep an eye on, it is probably much simpler to develop your own sense of style- style that transcends seasonal distinctives -than to give yourself headaches like the one I have just induced by trying to keep up with the whirling dervish that is the Industry!

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13 August 2008 at 4:02 pm 1 comment

Color Me Jumpy

Spring/Summer 2008 Ready-To-Wear made me a little uneasy at first.

Jumpsuit.

See? Aren’t you squirming inside? That word gives you such an unpleasant (jumpy?) feeling, probably because it brings mechanic workgear, catsuits and bad 70s throwbacks to mind. It was exactly this feeling that I had when I first read that one of Fall/Winter’s new trends is just that.

Jumpsuits.

I was somewhat resistant to this new fashion at first, mainly because I could not seem to reconcile the images of high fashion models with how I was imagining jumpsuits, but once I sat down to investigate they not only began to grow on me but I discovered that many of them were – gasp!- quite beautiful! After looking through every archived jumpsuit of the Spring/Summer 2008 RTW collections on Style.com, I concluded the following things:

1. A jumpsuit can be extremely versatile. For example,

the simple styles shown at Hermes and Yigal Azrouel could be dressed up or down, and are also appropriate as they stand for a variety of daily events. Also, note that belted jumpsuits hardly even look like a one piece outfit, as the belt draws the eye’s attention to the break in the garment’s flow as opposed to the garment itself. Haider Ackermann and Tommy Hillfiger showed simple jumpsuits at their finest, and they are (surprisingly?) tres chic!

The best part about a jumpsuit is that they are so dramatic by themselves that they hardly require accessorizing at all! Valentino adds a splash of print and a bag, while Paul Smith Women opts out of large print for bold head/neck accessories.

2. There actually exists a breed of jumpsuits that could easily replace typical workwear-style suits, such as the models shown at:

Anne Valerie Hash, Givenchy, Malo, Martin Grant, Ruffian and Yoji Yammamoto. In order for a jumpsuit to be appropriate for a workplace, however, the key things to consider are a, not having a lot of skin exposed; b, neutral or solid colors; and c, MINIMAL accessorizing. A jacketed version, or adding your own jacket, will also dress up and professionalize a jumpsuit.

3. Jumpsuits are becoming the new dresses: there is one for every occasion. Your brunch dress has now become a Stella McCartney jumpsuit, and your run-to-the-grocery-store-then-art-class dress has morphed into the jumpsuits of Yves Saint Laurent.

The casual jersey dress that you wear to school is now a Gianfranco Ferre jumpsuit, and the spunky dress you wear on sundays now has stars, stripes and legs courtesey of Chanel.

 Your “date” dress and “going out” dresse(s) are now the jumpsuits of

Bruce, Anne Valerie Hash, Three As Four and Undercover, and if you are really daring,

 

Gianfranco Ferre can outfit you in his lavish jumpsuits for your next black tie event!

 

So, as you can now see, “JUMPSUITS” nowadays connotes a new breed of dressing that does not, in any way, resemble the mechanic-like ensembles of the 70s that many of us originally thought of upon hearing the “J” word. As long as you avoid these, which will remain unnamed,

you should be fine. My tips to you, daring fashionistas in training, are:

  • Avoid animal prints!
  • Avoid weird coulotte-y styles
  • Resist the Nu-Rave-Billy-Idol-fan jumpsuit urges
  • Don’t over-structure your jumpsuits!
  • Wear jumpsuits with shape
  • No Disco
  • If it looks like pyjammas, stay away…
  • Resist  Goth-Fruits urges, too!

And…

  • Because of the general shape and proportions of the new jumpsuits, I highly reccomend only wearing them with heels. I can already hear the whines of you not-so-daring fashionistas in traing. “Who wears heels with thier run-to-the-grocery-store-then-art-class-dress, let alone jumpsuit?” I do. Get over it, unless you want you make your legs look nice and stumpy…

Lastly, if you are shorter, timid or just uncertain of how to pull of a jumpsuit, go for a romper! StyleMobbers will show you how:

If only there didn’t exist that random “No Jumpsuits/Bodysuits” rule in my school dress code….

 

6 August 2008 at 3:42 pm 4 comments


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