Color Me Stylish…In Europe…

Being as all fashions originate across the pond and straggle over to the States in a matter of years, there are certain ways of dressing in full bloom in Europe that some of us (well, most of us) Americans would hardly even consider.  I’ve always known that America is toward the lower end of global-trend-trickle-down, but I never fully understood how far behind we were until a few weeks ago, when I was terribly excited to find that every other woman on the streets of Madrid was rocking a pair of harem pants.

Harem pants, drop crotch pants, genie pants, what have you…they’ve had a maligned reputation ever since the Hammer days. Americans find them so ugly they typically refuse to consider reviving them, while over in Europe, harem revival is in full swing. Knowing how American women feel about the style, it was amazing to pass all sorts of beautiful Spanish women in varying degrees of drop-crotch-ness: some styles easily pass as sweats while others resemble floor length skirts with elastic around the ankles! And, maybe because I was seeing them in a European context, I thought…these look good! Chic, even. I saw hipsters wearing them with tank tops and gladiator sandals and fashionistas wearing them with fitted jackets and chunky heels. Needless to say, I think you know where this is going: before the week was over myself and almost every other girl in my traveling group had purchased a pair. My harem pants are very bohemian, with a bold print in olive and burnt orange (pictures to follow) from a street vendor between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol.

Of course, who knows how much wear they’ll get here in the States. In Spain, where drop crotch pants abound, I wore them all the time. Now, however, they are almost exclusively worn to art functions where they will at least be considered by my peers with an artistic eye. What I find more amusing than my friend’s reactions, though, is the reaction harem pants as a whole are currently receiving from the fashion world. Last month, I found two glossies with completely opposing opinions: one boasted a cover girl wearing a pair yet contained an article denouncing any women caught in them as an epic fashion fail, while the other had an article lauding their cut and comfort. Hmm…fashion is fickle, but what else is new? InStyle recently put out a piece with celebs wearing shiny, satiny versions at public functions. They’ve been up and down the runways; what I am truly waiting for is the time when the runway trickle down hits the American public and I can smile bemusedly about the frivolity of fashions, and the ultimate desire of women (including myself) to be en vogue, even if it means hiding your favorite pair of European pants until Vogue seals them with Anna’s stamp of approval.

Ultimately, the significance of this train of thought is that the world of fashion is constantly sending out mixed mesages and contrasting ideas, and women should rely only on their own likes and dislikes when considering a wardrobe. If I were to wait for the magazines and editors to agree on when Harem pants will be in style here in America, I’d never get to wear them. Instead, I’ll take a cue from the ladies in Spain, and embrace the oddball trends when I chose.

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15 August 2009 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

Halls Of Style 13.8.09

Studying At Starbucks

blog 210

Halls has moved! This year, I’ll be posting them as a part of the front page for prime exposure. Bask in textile ingenuity! Hurrah for a new school year!

13 August 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Color Me Creative

I am always intrigued to discover what the lives of top fashion models were like before finding fashion fame. My favorite catwalker, Sasha Pivovarova, is an artist off the runways, and truthfully it is that fact that endeared her to me in the first place. Reading about her in a TeenVogue a couple summers ago, I was fascinated by her artwork and her stark Russian beauty and ever since have counted her as one of my artistic inspirations. According to New York Magazine, she began studying art at age seven at the St. Petersburg Art Institute.

sashafom

Truthfully, the internet research I’ve done on her work as an artist has yet to produce a satisfying amount of information. I know she lives in a converted chandelier factory in Brooklyn and has been asked by Lagerfeld to do some illustrations for Chanel in the last year, among other things. Since being discovered as a model she’s walked countless shows and been on the cover of many magazines (not to mention, the header of my blog).  Being my favorite model, I keep my eyes out for her anyway, and the more I grow as an artist the more curious I become about her work! She is someone I’ll forever be Google-ing.

spivovarova_08fe8_opening

Pictured above at a gallery opening, and below drawing backstage at Matthew Williamson in 2005.

SPivovarovaherSS06gkB

(For more on Sasha, an interview from New York Magazine.)

Of course, there are loads of other areas in which fashion and art-two of my favorite things-collide, one being in the form of a long eared white rabbit with very expensive taste.

marc4

Fifi Lapin, pictured here in Marc Jacobs, is the blog child of an anonymous artist who dresses Fifi in straight-off-the-runway designs every day.  I think this is the most ingenious idea for a blog, and a surefire way to make top fashions get noticed. I love her attention to details, extensive wardrobe collection, bunny wit, and of course, the prints and other Fifi-related goods on the Etsy shop.

Lastly, while on the topic of fashion drawings, I am so thrilled about Ruben Toledo’s new book illustrations! I’m enough of a bibliophile already, I don’t need anymore reasons to buy books, and these new editions are not doing anything to tame my addiction. In fact, I would say they are doing just the opposite.

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The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights.  (For those of you newbie fashionistas, Ruben Toledo is a famed fashion illustrator and husband to designer Isabel Toledo.)

 

Collisions of fashion and art: a beautiful thing. The creative process is a huge part of why I love fashion; to wear clothes is to make art, albeit a unique form of it. The principles of design remain the same regardless of the medium with which said art is being created. Therefore, fashion is art and art is fashion. Combining the two will always be in fashion.

11 August 2009 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

Color Me On Schedule

I just came across the schedule for this year’s New York Fashion Week. If I could be anyone in the world for one day, I would be a fashion journalist in the second row at every show on Wednesday (Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Nanette Lepore, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexandre Herchovitch, Anna Sui, Doo.Ri). Daydream about the upcoming shows yourself: grab a copy of the schedule.

While on the topic of schedules, I just made my outfit schedule for the first two weeks of school, roughly. I don’t know if anyone else does this- I have to, in order to remember what’s current in my closet. Sure, it merits odd reactions from people who inquire (“You plan your outfits?”), but really, it can’t be that uncommon! How many of you make some sort of list, mental or otherwise, of how things will look together?

SV301249

I don’t always keep to it- spontaneous outfits happen, too- but I am a list-maker. Thus, another peek into how my personal style works…

10 August 2009 at 1:40 pm 1 comment

Color Me Sartorial

Once as I was scrolling through pictures from the Sartorialist, it occurred to me that I had no idea what a “sartorialist” was. Being the knowledge-hungry word nerd that I am, I opened a new tab in my browser and looked it up.

Sartorial:

1. Of or relating to tailors or tailoring  (American Heritage Dictionary)

2.  Of or pertaining to clothing or style or manner of dress: sartorial splendor (Dictionary.com)

3. Anatomy.Pertaining to the Sartorius.  (Dictionary.com)

Of course, then I had to look up what a sartorius is, and for those of you who are curious how any of this is relevant it is a muscle in the leg that is you use when crossing your legs like a tailor, apparently.  Anyway, now that you know what the definition of sartorial is, hopefully those of you in the dark can read the Sartorialist minus the confusions.

The Sartorialist is a globe-trotting fashion blogger who photographs natural people in their own clothes as he passes them on the street. Read more about him and his work and see his inspiring subjects here.

8 August 2009 at 7:43 am 1 comment

Color Me A Thrilled Tourist-Shopper

I discovered quite a few new favorite stores while in Spain! Most of them I had never heard of before (seeing as they are either Euro chains or just not in the US) which made shopping quite a treat. And a few I was already familiar with, and so are you (probably).  

My absolute new favorite shop is the Spanish chain Bershka, of which there were three on my street (Gran Via)  in Madrid alone, giving you a slight idea of how popular Bershka is with the Spaniards. I resisted until the last night of my two week trip, and treated myself to a frenzied half hour in the little Bershka on the side alley sporting questionable women hanging out in the shop windows, if you know what I mean. I came away with a small armful of fashion fabulousness!  (pictures of which will be posted when my digital is returned to me.)

bershka in segovia 

I never made it into a  (Sfera) but they looked very chic and swank. Regardless, I would recommend it to my readership based on the (Sfera) window shopping I did for two weeks!

 June is sales month in Spain, and I struck high-waisted gold at Mango! I found a lovely pair or charcoal super high waist wide-leg pants on deep sale, and in my size, too…pictures to follow.

Stradivarius: not just violins!

Of course, I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with Zara, seeing as they are pretty global. The clothing was fabulous, but instead of taking the blue suede gladiator stilettos that were crying out to me I drifted over to the perfume shelves and came away with two new lovely scents: a sugar (“SweetME”) and a strong floral (Zara Agua Perfumada en Flor de Azahar). I feel like Spain whenever I wear them.

Lastly, I feel like Topshop should receive some recognition, but seeing as we now have one in America (and my severe lack of time whilst in Madrid) I never made it into the many I saw in Madrid. On one hand, I don’t mind as much because Topshop is more Euro than uniquely Spanish, but on the other hand, I kindof cringe inside knowing there was one a stone’s throw from my hotel in the Puerta Del Sol that I never stepped foot in…

Oh snap, guess that just means I have to go back someday!

 

**Pictures to follow separately. My camera is currently being loaned to somebody…in South Korea.

5 August 2009 at 9:46 am 1 comment

Color Me A FredFlare Fan

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’d like to present you with a visual list of some of the reasons why I love FredFlare.com:

fredflare connect the dots dressfredflare unlock my heart pendant 

Connect The Dots DressUnlock My Heart Pendant

navy optimal dressforget me knot rings

Navy Optimal Dress/Forget Me Knot Ring

black nefertit dress14k tinyluck necklaces

Black Nefertiti Dress/Tiny Treat Necklaces

258_D

Librarian Pin

purple haze smocked dress

 

Purple Haze Smocked Dress

bowtie wallet

Bowtie Wallet

paddington ballet flats

Paddington Flats

 

While somewhat pricy, the clothing is always adorable with a retro-fresh air, and the accesories are cheap and tres cute. Let me also use this post as an example of how to put together an outfit (a question that I’m frequently asked but hardly ever answer sufficiently). I usually start by picking out one item I want to wear on any given day- could be clothes, jewelry, scarves, anything- then build around it by adding complimentary colors. While monochrome dressing can be a lot of fun, I personally aim for two to three colors in any given outfit: either bring  out the colors in a patterned piece, or supplement a solid garment with lots of matchy-matchy extras. For balance, try to have some color on top (hairthings/earrings/necklaces/scarves), in the middle (belt/bracelets) and one on the bottom (shoes). I like alternating: say, yellow hairscarf, teal necklace, brown shift, yellow belt, teal bracelet, yellow shoes. Maybe that formula is a bit contrived; really, the most important thing to think about while putting together an outfit is using pieces that you like and letting your own unique style shine through.

Here’s some FredFlare examples, all built around the same pair of flats and wallet (minus the balancing of colors, since I’m only using these ten products):

1:bowtie walletblack nefertit dressfredflare unlock my heart pendantpaddington ballet flats

2: 258_Dfredflare connect the dots dresspaddington ballet flatsbowtie wallet

3: paddington ballet flatsnavy optimal dressbowtie walletforget me knot rings

4: 14k tinyluck necklaces purple haze smocked dresspaddington ballet flatsbowtie wallet

 

28 July 2009 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

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