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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Prada Never Disappoints

What comes to mind when you hear the marvelous noun “Prada”? The insightful movie conveniently called The Devil Wears Prada with Anne Hathaway & Meryl Streep? The metal band? Or do you think of the one and only original designer Mario Prada, whose youngest daughter Miuccia Prada is currently running the company? Before I had gotten into fashion I even knew how iconic and revered the label was. With women’s RTW Fall 2011…. Miuccia did not disappoint! It would be sort of unheard of to have a disappointing Prada collection. She always brings something fresh and classy to fashion’s wide-spread table.

Inspiration from the 20’s/60’s, (a bit of a modern nod to the those eras) aviation, and fish-type mermaids even brought forward this soft, high social, and independent woman. . Fabrics varying from organza, plastic sequins, snake-skin, leather, faux fur(least I am pretty sure on this one) floated down on the runway. Normally I despise sequins with a loving passion… but these huge, intense sequins… made the girl look like she was wearing scales in the best of ways possible. Hence why I call it an odd mermaid scale-y sort of look. The color palette was soft… but then some pieces were darker, but with a nice sort of edge. It all reminded me of this Amelia Earhart obsessed flight attendant that couldn’t handle the regular and stuffy uniforms so she came to work one day with some Prada on. HA! And the boots…. yeh people those are boots. Mary Janes with what we think are socks, but really its’ a whole shoe! Shoes with high socks are a definite rising comeback on the industry, no? Here is a small look at Prada A/W 2011, folks;

Classy, huh? Here is a video of the entire show:

Glad to see you made it this far, thank you. It means a lot.

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Viktor & Rolf, The Geometric Duo

Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren are two Dutch designers that treat fashion like its life and death! They both own a line called… Viktor & Rolf; catchy, eh? The line is iconic and renowned for the vivacious haute couture style. The two are also known for their distinct geometric style of designing. Somewhat new to the whole industry they have already gone far with their work… and I have only been keeping an eye on them for a couple of seasons. With this season though… they told the story of a modern-day girl battling her way  in the Crusades. For their trademark idea of hard geometric ruffles, they put these stiff ruffles on girls shoulders, chests, arms, and some small ones on the shoes… kind of like fabric type paper. Red faces, fabric that looks like armor, and an implacable color palette of red, white, grey, and black; equates to a stunning medieval military unit that is ready to stomp a runway. The models looked ready to impale their enemies with those intense shoulder pieces. The red faces were also a perfect touch. Not the average makeup for a collection, and this is one of the reasons I enjoyed it. To me it symbolised the anger, pain, and strife a person can go through when in battle. This Fall looks prominent and pretty far spread out for styles and looks within the industry. These two really upped their game from what everyone else is doing…. and brought something entirely different to fashion’s large table. Take a look for yourself, folks. For Fall 2011… they definitely had an immense success. So far this is my favorite line for Autumn/Winter 2011.

Yeh, it is far fetched, but it is art. A beautiful collection!

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Lori Earley, A Madame Of Portraits

My friend, Alex, has loaned me a HI-FRUCTOSE (superb art magazine) and I have found myself  staring at each page for hours on end. I have soaked up the entire magazine… but not to the point where I will explode. I find myself coming back to it every day and devouring the art spreads to no end. So earlier this week, I realized I want more of this magazine. I Googled it, went to images, and immediately my eyes went to this cover out of all the covers. Stunned by the portrait and its style I found the artist, Lori Earley. The title gave me away, didn’t it? But looking at all of her work… it is like one of the portraitures  from the 19/20th century was reincarnated into a modern surrealist of today. Who are these women? The eyes…. are piercing. The faces are full of bone. The elongated necks look like they have been taken from ostriches, minus the feathers. All together, she is a moving artist. The eyes are what grab me the most. They all tell a story and show this woman’s past. And I think that a few of her portraits are some of her customers. Huh. She deserves props. I write about these extraordinary artists because they deserve credit. People like this artist, need to know that people like me are out here in the world. I am inspired. I plan on actually using some of the eye techniques she has done. And who knows, by the time I am as far as Earley… maybe there will be someone blogging on me. No other woman uses oils like this one folks. Lori Earley, if you ever read this… want to give some art lessons to an art student whose in need of a mentor? And I know I am not a girl… but a portrait of me would be pretty sweet too.

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These Rebels Among Us….

One of Banky's pieces from his crudeoil series

 Just finished watching “Exit Through the Gift Shop”, and my oh my. To quote  a friend here “It is a mind trip!”, I hold no disagreement with that statement. And I now get why Justin Timberlake said “I am Banksy”, at the Oscars…, I felt really out of it. The film is not my main point with this post, but a few quick words. Thierry Guetta, other wise known as Mister Brainwash (MBW), literally painted his way to the top in seconds, in what really should have taken years. I think MBW is very talented and that he deserves his credit. Breaking the somewhat obvious industry “rules” and using other people’s ideas for his own. Now I say this, who doesn’t do that in general these days? Just as Banksy said “There are no rules”. In all industries there are people that take another genius’ brilliant idea. They make it their own, and sometimes the originator might not get his credit. That is sort of the unfortunate part of it all. MBW, I say, was the first one to take it to another level. And it is stunning indeed. I had actually seen some of Banksy’s or Shepard Fairey’s work… and I had no idea that is was… well illegal a lot of the time. I really had no idea that there was this intense, underground industry truth be told. I knew what graffiti was… I just didn’t see that it was intentional art.

Galliano's Spring 2011, not his concetraion camp collection....

That was some quick word. Sorry. But the main point of this is that with art comes controversy. I haven’t truly taken in who the artist really is. Whether it come to someone jaw dropping like Chagall or someone modern like Alex Pardee… I love their art. The texture, color, and the shadow of it all. Finding myself envying their talent. I just look at the paintings. Not them.  And now that my eyes are fully opened I see the artists that I admire. I see their strife and what it took for them to create their work. I knew that art came in many different forms. Music, writing, theater, painting, designing, I knew all of that! I have just overlooked the people who made these works. They are all rebels… in different forms. But none the less, rebels! Whether it come to people like Picasso who intentionally put sexual symbolism into his paintings. Or John Galliano who actually created a collection inspired by the WWII concentration camps. Or Lykke Li (Swedish musician) who made a whole intense song about prostitution. And on a side note, this is kind of getting more common… which is a tad unfortunate. Andy Warhol who used iconic celebrities for his artwork. C.S. Lewis, the Oxford/Cambridge professor who wrote about theology and fantasy that he “wasn’t qualified to write about” or even Banksy! This underground mysterious graffiti artist that goes against all odds (literally) and illegally spray paints his way around cities.  They are/were all rule breakers, even when there really isn’t rules that should limit them. All of the people listed above got serious beef for being themselves. There are plenty more people that I could list off, but then I would just be ranting even more than I am. All of their work displays the world as it really is. In fact, it is not rules that scare them. Maybe it is the idea of society looking down on them for being themselves. Yet they still do it. Sometimes the work can be sexual, sometimes just horrific, sometimes religious, and sometimes just plain weird. These are some of the things that society really looks down on. And yes, it can all go over board sometimes. How else is the artist suppose to grab the attention? How else must they make their point? Let the art community be itself. Let opinions be challenged. As odd and graphic as it gets… it makes people actually use their heads. Like I said, they are the rebels among us. It is inspiring for such people to put themselves and their work out there. It gets applauded and bashed. Art makes society think… preferably.  

“Art is a lie which makes us realize the truth” -Pablo Picasso



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2011 Fashion; Looking Back & Ahead

Look at me, I am already celebrating 2011 and we are only 2 months into the year. Back in Fall 2010 everyone was anticipating what the next rising trends of 2011 will be. Well, well, well… come in closer m’ friends and let me show you what has been staring at your faces the entire time. What style? Vintage and resort gone retro. What year? 40’s/60’s/70’s… mainly 70’s though. What’s hot? Stripes, polka-dots, leather, intense prints, sparkly bling and of course fur. What colors? Bright bright ecstatic colors… oh and white. What origins? Bohemian, Mid-west, Victorian, Japanese, and surprisingly some American influence (I just find this one odd, because we are the ones that usually take inspiration from every other culture of the world). Now, you are asking how on earth did all of these things happen? It’s all to chaotic and all to weird, and no one would ever wear that… yaduh yaduh yaduh. It just might be too much… for some people. But, in all honest truth; the designers have indeed so been successful. All of them stuck to their aesthetic! They all know their customers inside and out. And it has been a beautiful 2011 with fashion, indeed. Even many of the spring trends really sneaked on over to the Autumn season this year. Here is to looking at you, 2011 Fashion. Take a look at my proof folks, because I am not crazy for seeing these repeated trends!

Ahhh, Alberta Ferretti has this way of bringing something new to the table every season, and with Fall 2011 she went against the 70's bandwagon and did the 60's from her beautiful perspective! Beautiful bright and bling prints!


Gurung just kicked off his career... and whew the man is taking himself to great heights. He is one of the many good examples of fur and bright colors this Fall


Feathers, paint, and some drapery? Alexander Wang brought forth his resort wear aesthetic for Spring 2011. Quite the success and some big hits off of the hair style...


Victorian blouse clashed with a Mid-West belt and jacket? What a stunning mesh of origins, Ralph Lauren, STUNNING!


Marc Jacobs took the liberty to clash polka-dots with bling. He is quite the charcter and is one of my favorites....


Diane Von Furstenberg and her newest partner in crime Yvan Mispelaere created a collection focused on the American woman and flaunting elegance....


Does Galliano ever fail? NO. Dior this season really went for bright boho classic Hollywood... and it made a stunning impact alright.


I couldn't leave out the British color blocking genius... Vivienne Westwood? Now look at the makeup, look at the bling-y fabric on both shirt and pants. Then take a look at the tye-dye purse. Tacky fashion? Maybe, but it's Westwood I am talking about here... she is a genius.


Frida Giannini really took to the 70's/40's/20's this season. She had the moxy to put out some floral shoulder pieces on the models for fall, and they look lovely! She also had fur with every silhouette in absolutely stunning colors. Gucci is the perfect example for the 2011 trend! Not just stunning, but breathtaking.

 And so here comes another end to another post. See all of the beautiful and repeating motifs of this season? Stunning. Beautiful. It truly is art. If you didn’t take a look at all of the highlight parts up at the top paragraph this might look like I am rambling on. The people placed above me are some of the greatest artists to walk this universe. They have been rightfully gifted… well I hope you enjoyed this, whoever you spammers are.

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Rodarte, A Rising Empire with Fall 11′

I know, I wrote a Rodarte post back in December. But I am jumping on the Mulleavy’s collection this season before anyone else does! The two sisters never cease to amaze me…. every season. Showing at New York Fashion Week, for Fall 2011…. they made a folk prairie girl gone retro. The most different runway show for Fall 11′!  They were clearly inspired by the Golden Hour and Mid-West America with cornfield fabric,  a Dorthy Wizard of Oz-ish ruby-red dress, aprons and pinafores with patches, corn/wheat field fabrics, floral lace tops, knit sweaters, elongated pioneer gowns, I mean the list goes on for the implacable collection! They also used storm theory within the fabric!!! Mid-West indeed!  All together, symbolic…. and the makeup? The faces were like a setting sun! Very gradient… very sky-like. And the hair… much like a messy girl living on the farm, but she is trying to look beautiful at the same time? Stunning. All together stunning. And I’d say honorable mention for going for the non-obvious this Fall. Fashion is looking at Rodarte with an even larger grin this season. 

You might be asking “A Mid-West inspired collection…? You off your high horse, Dan? This sounds corny…” No pun intended, thank you very much. But that is what any person would think… right? Right? Of course right. But no, no, no! I found the two sisters back in fall 09’…. and a couple of years later I have seen them expand into something even greater than just a couple of hippie designing sisters. They are starting an empire… and the Mulleavy kingdom gets bigger and better every season. And they never forget to emphasize the heels on the models. I mean… for Spring 2011 they added white/blue floral prints on the sandal/boot/heels, and such. Back in Fall 09′ they had over the knee duct-tape boots. For Spring ’10 they had eccentric leather stilettos. Now they add an entire folk-y geometric print on their boots on a few of the girls. Also having a simple black heel, with the sock peeping out on the Pioneer gowns; beautiful. They always deliver. Always. Kate and Laura Mulleavy… I give 5/5 stars for Rodarte, Fall 2011!


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