Autumn/Winter 2014 Trends And Tribes

One of my personal favorite things is to see how each designer tells a story about their woman season after season. Where is she going? What is her mission? Will she be going to work in the city or lounging about in a coffee shop with friends? Is she a mother, a leader, an associate, an artist, an athlete, a minimalist, a romantic? Or is she all of the above? Designers empower women. For some obscure reason, every season we see similar ideas, trends, color schemes, and designs from the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. One might ask how does such a strange phenomenon happen every season? Do the designers secretly have a conference with one another and decide what will make them money with the coming season? With a dedicated amount of time and thought, I’ve compiled images (courtesy of style.com) that display the similar yet very different clans, trends, and designs of this coming season. Many houses catered to different types of customer all within one collection:  women who love glitter, women of the future, women of the past(mainly the 60’s and some from the Edwardian era), women who are rebels, women who portray themselves as an illusion of stripes, women who wear profuse amounts of blue and green, women who wish to remain cozy. This season, women were empowered as game changers in their environment by the designers.

Ladies Who Wear Illusions

bottega-veneta2

Bottega Veneta by Thomas Maier

acne

Acne Studios

alexander wang 2

Alexander Wang

armani

Giorgio Armani

balenciaga

Balenciaga by Alexander Wang

bottega veneta

Bottega Veneta by Thomas Maier

chalayan

Hussein Chalayan

chanel

Chanel by Karl Lagerfeld

christopher kane

Christopher Kane

creatures of the wind 2

Creatures of The Wind by Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters

dries

Dries Van Noten

giambattista valli

Giambattista Valli

giles

Giles

issey miyake

Issey Miyake

kenzo

Kenzo by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon

prada

Prada

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Blumarine by Anna Molinari

proenza schouler

Proenza Schouler by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez

rick owens

Rick Owens

stella mccartney

Stella McCartney

thom browne

Thom Browne

versace

Versace

Out of every trend this season, the use of line and illusion was the most used. I couldn’t stop smiling because with many designers, this was a reoccurring theme within the collection and I pose my previous stated question: how do the same trends and ideas pop up within many collections? Lines in a profound print, lines as a layered textile, pin stripes that are blurred and fade into a gradual gradients, herringbone print etched or quilted into the fabric, immense and bold graphics that evolve into a line, or simple lines that fall into an illusion, and more were imprinted into the minds of some of the most influential creatives. Do expect to see this trickle down into H&M, and Zara or Top Shop. With a trend that was spearheaded this big, the fast fashion businesses will take advantage of such a huge idea. I love that you get lost while looking into the lines and on some, your eyes begin to hurt. Simply brilliant!

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Spring/Summer 2014 Couture Highlights

There are 6 days and 25 designers (number varies as designers might sift in and out of this exclusive club) in Paris that define the most luxurious, most expensive side of the fashion industry: haute couture.  Many of you have heard the name before, but maybe were never fully educated as to what truly defines couture. Back in 1868, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture was born. In 1973 it morphed into the French Federation of Fashion and of Ready-to-Wear of Couturiers and Fashion Designers. What makes couture immensely different from ready-to-wear is that everything is hand sewn, the fabrics are heinously expensive and highly unusual, while the attention to technique and detail is more on a grandeur scale and kept exclusive. What might take weeks to make a simple ready-to-wear dress would take months to craft a couture gown. These techniques and ideas date back to more than a century ago, and oddly enough it has survived. The French government even protects the titles and ideas of couture. Many slam the couture industry for being an exclusive and a non-lucrative business, however the idea of couture alone was meant to be seen as an art exhibition. One can see the business model behind couture come in somewhere in the mid 20th century, probably after the war, when the likes of the house of Dior would dress film starlets in the “new look”.  Today, we see still see film starlets wearing couture to the Oscars, and other awards shows that celebrate actresses being overtly successful in the entertainment industry. The price range on couture isn’t for the weak minded which is why we still only see it on the upper class today. Many argue that this sect of the fashion industry is dying and should rethink their business model because it’s too exclusive and does not bring in enough money, but after all these years haute couture still manages to survive.

dior new look 2

The New Look by Christian Dior

j law falling in dior

Remember this iconic moment at the Oscars? Jennifer Lawrence falling in Dior. She looks like a Disney princess.

While reading other reviews of the couture season, a lot of writers and bloggers a like were rather bored with this coming season. Maybe they were coming from the view point that this is a dying business. However, I found it to be rather invigorating, even though there were a couple questions marks on some designs here and there. Ethereal comes to mind for many names. Viktor & Rolf hired professional dancers from the Dutch National Ballet to tip toe their way around the runway in teased and cascading fro’s with immense and cream draperies, Karl Lagerfeld opened Chanel with Cara Delevigne running down the stairs in thousand dollar sneakers (this is one of the odd ball question marks) on a spinning stage with Sebastien Teller playing “L’amour Naissant”. Maison Martin Margiela showcased some controversial tattoo ensembles. I can already see the celebrities wearing pieces from Zuhair Murad , or Elie Saab to the Oscars(predictable). Though I do enjoy their designs, both Murad and Saab tend to send the same sheer and sparkly silhouettes down the runway season after season, though they’ve found a beautiful system that works for them, it is not as exciting. I will go down start from what I found to be memorably outstanding, and to the questionably foreseeable levels of the runway.

Outstanding Ovations:

 Viktor & Rolf

viktor and rolf 2

viktor and rolf 3

viktor and rolf

viktor and rolf themselves

viktor and rolf finale

I love the use of print and draping. It plays with the mind in the best of ways. The birds give the illusion they are pinching the fabric between their beaks, the bows feel like they’re the only thing holding the dress together. The colors are light, they blend into the skin. This was my favorite show of the season. When I first began looking at the runway shows and in my early years of getting into fashion, Viktor & Rolf were the first designers, next to Rodarte to inspire me and give me chills. To this day, they always impress me with their theatricalities. I can only hope someone is smart enough to go to the Oscars in one of these, I could see Tilda Swinton or maybe Saoirse Ronan basking on the red carpet in one of the longer silhouettes with pants underneath.

“We like the idea that you don’t know what’s skin and what’s clothing. We are blurring the lines between the two,” explained the duo after the show. “We wanted latex that was as light and ethereal as chiffon. It needed to be delicate for it to be right for couture. We literally wanted to elevate the whole collection. It’s the whole purpose of haute couture.” -Viktor & Rolf on their S/S 2014 couture show.

gif credit goes to Oxford + Park

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The Return: New Beginnings

Three years ago, I was 16 and in high school learning about myself. I was mildly awkward and unsure how to handle it and I started this blog. Today, I am 19 and a recent graduate from high school. I can still be awkward, but I got out of my shell and found a lot of myself within those three years but I still have a lot to learn. Now, I find myself back here. I still have a major appreciation for fashion and art. Major enough that I know I want to pursue a career in the fashion industry as a photographer or a stylist. Or maybe even a writer. Who knows in this economy what they want to be anymore?

I woke up today and somehow I remembered this blog’s password. Why did I stop blogging three years ago? Mainly school and stress. But the point is: I am back. Officially. And I’ve grown. Not only in taste, but in writing as well. While looking back through my old posts I realized how I was overtly cheesy. I couldn’t stop laughing, but people actually read my blog, and within those three years I’ve accumulated a mass group of views. Almost 100,000 people have looked at my blog. That’s huge!! That’s crazy, and that is partially why I return. I must have been good at it back then. Now I can only imagine what I have the power to do now on here. So thank you WordPress for hosting an abandoned blog for the last three years and letting the masses see my posts, mainly they came to see the late Alexander McQueen appreciation post I wrote a while ago.

Thank you

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I really owe this to you; the reader.

This time, I intend to come back with full force. New York fashion week begins this week, couture just ended, and like I did so last time, I wish to show case the work of some of my favorite designers and editors. They are to be celebrated for their hard work, and because on a personal level, they’ve gotten me through the day by inspiring me. Also, I wish to showcase my personal work as an aspiring photographer and stylist. I am changing the URL, this isn’t necessarily a clean slate, rather a new era. The short but successful dynasty of “Art, Fashion & Him” is over. “The Eclectic Photographer” dynasty begins today. Here’s to you, reader. May we embark on this journey together. I am thankful for you, I wouldn’t necessarily be nothing without you,  however I greatly appreciate an audience who views what I love doing: writing and appreciating art.

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Editorial Films

Recently, I have been looking at how the fashion world has kept progressing forward through its choices of media: films. The concept isn’t extremely new, but plenty of designers, magazines, and fashion houses are joining the trend and creating editorial films along with fashion editorials. Now… I have a few to share. I will go from least favorite… to favorite.

4. The Tale of a Fairy – Chanel

Sadly… this was really dreadful. Karl Lagerfeld gave a stab at… directing? He had good intentions, an amazing art direction, and flawless clothing to sell, but in all reality (punnel, watch the film to get what I mean with “reality”) the acting and the plot fell short. The actresses were Kristen McMenamy, Anna Mouglalis and Amanda Harlech prancing around an ornate mansion located in France with male models for lovers and a fairy (Freja Beha) in their midst bringing the millionaire heiresses to and fro from fantasy. The acting will make any one feel uncomfortable and on edge. Although… out of all the characters I think Freja executed her character better than the others. The one redeeming quality of this fashion film is the fact that you can pause any shot… and bring forth an amazing movie still that can easily be seen as a photograph. Stunning art direction, beautiful clothes, but awful actresses and confusing plots.  Props to Lagerfeld for trying, maybe he saw Tom Ford’s work in film and thought “Maybe I can do something just as good?” Maybe? Watch for intriguing cinematography, and an ornate collection of clothing,  folks.

“The Tale of a Fairy” Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcWR8nqdqoI&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5x_4fbVuU&feature=related

3. Lanvin Paris – Alber Elbaz

A corny, but altogether enjoyable message to the public that Lanvin’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-wear collection is a smash hit! Featuring  female beauties Raquel Zimmerman, Karen Elson, and strapping boys Lowell Tautchin with Milo Spijkers. Of course it’s intended to be awkward… but they are having fun in high-class, pricy, and altogether beautiful ensembles! Who wouldn’t want to be in a fancy hotel room dancing with Karen Elson or Raquel Zimmerman to Pitbull?! I don’t give a damn if the models can’t dance like professionals either, I just want to be with a girl wearing one of those pieces and dress myself up in one of those suits. I thoroughly enjoy it, even if others don’t. It gave me a smile, which is appreciated every now and then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KyG0xKTDJs&feature=related

2. Prada, Spring/Summer 2011 RTW

This one had me when the music started. Featuring the odd yet exquisite body movements of  Tati Cotliar, , Kinga Rajzak, Zuzanna Bijoch, Mariacarla Boscono, and Arizona Muse! This collection was memorable due to the stripes and ornate prints, so with the simple editorial such as this, is shined out brightest compared to the other collections featured last season. Great visuals and it truly does make the eye… dance. And the fact that I have been listening to this song by Ratatat the last week has made it a grand week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBBGE7vz02s&NR=1

1. The Curve of Forgotten things – Rodarte (Kate & Laura Mulleavy)

Directed by Todd Cole, The Curve of Forgotten Things, deserves an Oscar for…. best picture! Which would be groundbreaking history in the film industry due to the fact that this film has no speaking at all! Featuring the delightful nonverbal talents of Elle Fanning, the fashion film made me think about what really has been left behind through the years. The film focuses on how old things such as farming, ornate interior furnishings, and quaint memories have been left behind to remain alone, still, and beautiful. To begin on a homely note, the music will take the viewer to an entire world, if only deerhunter did more scores for films like this… if only! I have an eye (so I like to think) for cinematography and this takes the cake. Every split second, the viewer’s eyes have the privilege to see film come to life by simply pausing it and soaking in all of the angles, colors, shapes, lines, and textures. Whether those shots be through the clothing, the landscape, the lone house, or Elle itself, well that is up for the viewer to decide. And those clothes that were featured… they are my favorites Rodarte has ever produced. Moving art that can be wearable for all sorts of women in all sorts of environments. What would  fashion be if the industry didn’t sell wearable items to customers in need of rich yet polished silhouettes? Nothing. Now, please, if you are reading and want to watch one of these items, and only one, do watch the link beneath. Your creative thinking will be enlightened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL5a0Z6MKsk

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2012 Resort Collections Have Gone To The Streets

Who else would have the genius to put a leather jacket with a maxi floral dress? Oliver Theyskens!

I have been on a brief hiatus from WordPress. I know, there are people out there that are much busier than a student and can still get work done. So maybe I have been a tad lazy but still busy at the same time. Is that possible? Now with summer in our midst, things are much brighter for some folks. The parties are spry, some people can sleep in, some people have time to do actual activities, and plenty of people take advantage of their wardrobes. The weather is lax and allows people to actually wear one layer without sweating a storm or feeling uncomfortable. Now… to my main point. Looking at the resort collections from the designers has been eventful! It is like… they stepped onto an actual street in downtown Paris… or Manhattan and took a look at what the lower class people are stuck with. With them being the creative folk they are, they made street wear pricy and… even better than it was. Designers like Oliver Theyskens or Alberta Ferretti created an edgy, urban, hipster girl who goes for something unique. Even the house of Alexander

One out of a million candid shots from Bill Cunningham

McQueen found a street side. And you know, this street side has always been there in fashion. I mean, I saw Bill Cunningham New York(stunning film, it deserves a blog post) the other night and just look at the girls that he has taken pictures of! Why not rock a flashy blazer, or wear an open trench coat with some baggy balloon pants, or a maxi dress with a pair of leather boots! Sweater with a skirt? And oddly enough, pajamas are back in… imagine a trench coat with those new Ralph Lauren bottoms! Classy. What about a to-the-knee skirt with a pair of long boots? Short shorts with a formal boyfriend blazer and sandals? The possibilities are endless, folks. Street wear is officially back in, take advantage of it… these things change too fast.

But do look at a few more pictures…. Photo courtesy goes to http://www.vogue.com/?us_site=y

Alberta Ferretti Resort 2012

Alexander McQueen, Resort 2012

Burberry Prorsum, Resort 2012

Alexander Wang, Resort 2012

Balenciaga, Resort 2012

Marc Jacobs, Resort 2012

Nini Ricci, Resort 2012

Chloé, Resort 2012

Theysken's Theory, Resort 2012

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Grace Coddington’s 70th Birthday & Her Time At Vogue

  When people ask me who inspires me the most this present day, I tell them its Grace Coddington! And most of them don’t know who this marvelous woman is! There have only been two or so folks, that I know, who actually know and follow her work. She has been the creative director at American Vogue for 23 years! Anna Wintour and her have been  partners at Vogue for almost the same amount of time, because Wintour actually needed a diverse woman working at Vogue! She is the woman behind the scenes that makes a lot of the key items to getting the magazine out the door. People hardly knew who she was until R.J. Culter’s “The September Issue” came out.  With the April issue of Vogue featuring Rihanna on the cover, Wintour dedicated her editor’s letter to Coddington. And by the looks of these pictures, it seems as though she was thrown quite a smashing party.

Grace’s work at Vogue has and always will be astonishing to the public. Her photos always make the eyes dance across the glossy pages of each issue. Now, I only began following Vogue… three years ago. Credit goes to my godmother and godsister for introducing me to… well, fashion in general. Of course I knew what Vogue was… back then, I always saw it as another heavy magazine on the stands at the local grocery store. My godsister, Morrow, gave me the 2009 September issue when we were just chilling out in Starbucks one day. It was already the end of September The one with Charlize Theron on the cover? Yeh, I devoured that puppy within minutes and then looked through it a few more times. From all of the ads to the glorious editorials, I knew I had found something I could sink my teeth into. Out of all of the numerous spreads in that September issue… the one that caught me eye was Grace’s shoot on “Little Red Riding Hood”. Seeing the whole fantasy, the interpretation, the whimsy Natalia Vodianova prancing around in a red poncho & the 2009 must have over-the-knee boots. Asked Morrow who had the concept behind it all. And then I heard her name. Googled her work. FOUND EVERYTHING THE GENIUS HAS EVER MADE. Once the “September Issue” came out I got to see her in action, and you could say that film confirmed my dream of pursuing a career(preferably stylist or an editor) in the fashion industry. Since then I have been an arduous follower of her current and past work.

To honor Coddington’s seasoned years at Vogue… I present some of my favorite photographs that Grace Coddington has made. Each tell a story, showcasing not only the clothing but the model. Some of the more extreme editiorials portray fantasy at its best and most expensive form. It’s not all of her work, but these are the ones that stuck out to me the most. Enjoy!

OH, and Happy Birthday, Grace! May you have many more years to come at Vogue!

Image credit goes www.vogue.com

Thanks for reading and getting down this far! Comments are appreciated!  And this is more of her recnt-ish work, couple older ones here and there on this, but mainly within the range of the last 10 or so years.

Grace, if you do ever read this… know that you remind me to keep my eyes open during everyday life. I wish I could meet you someday. Thank you for being an inspiration. – Daniel Shapiro

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The Tribulating Story of “Never Let Me Go”, by Kazuo Ishiguro

If you are here and have read or seen, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, you are most likely to get what I am talking about. If you haven’t read or seen the book/movie I highly suggest you go to the nearest Barnes & Noble and purchase the book and obviously read it. Then rent the film, and engross yourself in its symbolism. I will begin with talking about the book because books are and  always will be better than the films.

Quick synopsis of the plot for all you curious creatures that have not engaged in its beauty quite yet, and I won’t give away any major spoilers, but there are some in this…. you have been warned.

It is the near future. Doctors and scientists have discovered the cure for the incurable diseases in the world. They bring organ donations to an entire new level. Our main character of Ishiguro’sbook is Kathy H., who is a young girl that questions the system, subdues all possibilities, and most importantly cares for other. She is among multiple others that meant to die at a terribly young age due to the fact that they are all organ donors. Kathy is taught this idea with her friends Tommy and Ruth. They all begin fresh at a lovely boarding school called Hailsham, that teaches them how to take this reality in. Ruth begins, at a young age, caring for her loved ones like Tommy and Ruth. Before they were all friends, people picked on Tommy for his stupidity in art class and his outrageous tantrums. Odd mysteries and rumors lurk around corners as they grow older. Confusing things like why they were expected to make art as children and to give it away to an odd woman, or why other donors tell them that they can postpone their deaths to the fact that they are Hailsham students.

Getting out of their adolescent lives, they have grown into responsible young adults that can manage on their own. Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth move from school to cottages where they meet other donors that have similar issues with the system. Tommy and Ruth now have a relationship, and Kathy begins to come to the conclusion that she is an unwholesome third wheel, trying to keep the peace. Kathy even begins to explore her sexual nature and discovers a dirty side within herself. This and other problems cause the three friends to part, and walk their own ways.

Kathy finds herself working as a carer. She takes care of other donors from all around the country, not only from Hailsham. While being content and living a relaxed short-term career as a care taker, she finds Ruth a few years later, seeing that she is in her second donation of organs and wants to care for her. Recollecting their years together they question their times at Hailsham, their lives as donors, and their relationships with each other and Tommy. Somehow all three end up together again, but only for a short time. Tommy and Kathy begin their well awaited relationship and pursue a deferral.

I won’t dare give away any more! I already said a good portion of the book, and yes I know this technique. It is used by some pesky English teachers out there in the world. But some immense symbolism and parallels to modern-day society grow and prosper in this work. Here is the analytical part of this writing.

I love the whole idea behind an unfair and short-lived life. Throughout the entire book, I saw multiple characters yearn for something bigger or better. Whether it come down to a simple job to endure with, someone to love and hold onto in hard times, or even a longer life… all of characters exhibit these ideas. In reality, these donors hardly have anything. They are put into the world to provide life insurance for folk. That is all. And I am failing to mention something vitally important, but read the book… you’ll see what I mean. Kind of like that film, “The Island”?  In a sad way, they are somewhat treated like creatures by certain folk like Keffers; he was the cottage care taker and disdained them in some ways, but in other cared in a weird master sort of sense. Even Miss Emily, the Hailsham headmistress, wants to give them the lesser of the few evils and provide a good short life. But there still is that idea of a master and how she must put them both as children and adults into their right, and unfortunate place. One last repeated motif in the book is the sea. In a couple of parts of the book they group ventures out to the coast to find something that was lost, or never really evident in there lives. They go to Norfolk to search for Ruth’s original, but really that plan fails. Instead Tommy and Ruth stumble upon her favorite CD as a child, “Never Let Me Go” by Judy Bridgewater. Another time they take a trip to one of the many remote coasts in Britain and find a wrecked boat/ship stuck in the sand. That whole sense of discovering something that was once missed or never seen in that light makes me happy, and it goes along with the sea because water gives and takes things away in a literal and metaphorical sense.

I give the book a definite 4.5/5 stars! For the movie… 3.5/5 stars. And yeh, you might call me generous… but I rate it on how much I seriously enjoyed it. The book hooked me in from page one! The film… huh, it was pretty well done truth be told. As far as literate movies go… this one takes the cake! Mark Romanek read the book… and clearly had a good sense for who or what belonged! OH. And a super cool highlight on the film; there are three parts to the book; Kathy’s childhood at Hailsham, her short but well enlightening time as a young responsible adult at the cottages, and finishing off with life as a career. The film transitioned each of these parts with colors fading the image off the screen into a stale yet ever so bright color. Such a sad story…. enjoy at your own extent.

Comments are appreciated as well.

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