Category Archives: Fashion

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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Vivienne Westwood, A Barmy Yet Marvelous Woman

How  can one describe her collections? Westwood is immensely iconic and known for her crazy style, ingenious color  blocking, and her unique art direction. I am beginning to notice that a lot of these British designers… are insane; which makes them all the more gifted. She really has a thing for punk and extreme couture fashion. I mean… this is the woman who designed shoes making Naomi Campbell stumble on the runway! You have to give her props to design such a daring shoe that would make a professional model trip… on the runway? Crazy things have happened before… wait forgive me; I am talking about the fashion industry. Crazy things happen all the time.

Back to our lovely ginger of a designer. Now for her A/W 2011 RTW collection, Westwood brought together an ensemble of darks and grotesque looking girls that flaunted down the gold splotched runway in some of the most tamed clothing she has ever designed. I am not saying they are the typical “casual friday” outfit, but it seems that a more tamed inspiration was going through her head this season. And I am not down sizing her as a designer because of the few somewhat casual/wearable pieces. A lot of the collection is not even close to casual…. just some of the pieces. Her past work has had pretty far-fetched items. Let’s just say this; you wouldn’t see average Jane walking down the street in these clothes. And average Jane would probably never wear designer clothing like this either so lets not worry about Jane.

 The models this season had these intensely grotesque but some what semi-attractive paint masks smudged across their faces. Westwood always creates an artistic bang with her makeup choices… I mean a year back she put French mustaches on her models for womens RTW Fall 2010.  Crazy,right? But in the most beautiful of ways type of crazy. As far as prints go, she deserves some immense credit for having obscure combinations like plaid with indian type crows, or huge polka-dots, floral mixed in with portraits of women, bling with more floral, or plaid with a rustic mute. That list goes on. I loved the fabric choices like a bit of organza, some chiffon, silk, tons of sequins, even a tad bit of velvet. Along with the color pallete; greens, reds, yellows, gold, silver, black, grey. There was a diverse load of shoes… plaid boots, sequined gold bling-y heels, sequined bling-y sneakers, floral gold boots. And on a few of the heels, there were a few high knee socks? What did I say? That trend is getting bigger and bigger every week. The tights were refreshing… no really, it was like perfectly ice-cold water was sliding down my throat when I saw em’. Tights varying from yellow, some what invisible fish nets, red floral. An array of baggy paints, loose knit sweaters, floral & plaid skirts, sequined tops & bottoms, peeping socks harmonized the style and execution. It was all very diverse and beautiful.  The collection told multiple stories from women of a different social milieu: I saw an environmentalist that had street-wear type shirt saying in bold lettering spelling “TREES SAVE LIVES.” I saw a few girls out for a night on the town with some intense sequins action going on. A student walking to her bus stop but still looking nice and sensable.  The fashionista who still wants comfort with what she wears. That girl who seeks attention from all of those around her so she throws on her craziest print with a random pair of knit socks and heels. A young girl who is willing to take a risk and wear a bubble dress with some silk pants. A smart bohemian chick that wants to flaunt her cleverness and style. An heiress wanting a red carpet affair.  Yes, yes, yes…. Westwood successfully found a way to connect with her customers on many different levels. Fall 2011 Vivienne Westwood was indeed so the most diverse collection London saw.  Keep on being the crazy ginger you are, Vivienne… because the fashion industry needs diverse folk like you.

Go ahead and take a gander.

Marvelous collection, and see the wedding gown above? She should do more…. least I want to see more. And this is somewhat creepy, but when the time comes I kind of want to name one of my kids after her. She’s that amazing. Thanks for reading through… and comments are appreciated!

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