November 15, 2018

Shoulder Pads, Please Come Back

Balenciaga has been on the forefront of the shoulder pad revival for at least two years but it has not gone mainstream yet. It can take awhile but this is a particularly tough one to bring back. People are honestly kind of afraid of shoulder pads I think. The 80s were not our crowning moment in fashion. Aside from the exaggerated shoulders there was often some bad hair and/or makeup that went into the mix. Fear no more, today's interpretation will undoubtedly be fresher and more modern.

Taking a cue from Balenciaga, I bought my vintage Perry Ellis camel hair coat at auction two years ago. I know the people of Chicago think I am wearing a coat that is several sizes too big for me but that's ok. You have to be comfortable with looking a little different unless you want to dress like everyone else.
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November 8, 2018

Denim on Denim


I first spotted the dark denim on denim look in the Fall 2017 Dior show and thought it looked fresh so I replicated it with a dark denim shirt and jeans last fall. At that time I was in New York for Fashion Week and Calvin Klein was showing it on the runway. I love being ahead! If I can't be ahead, I am doing a different take on trend. Don't count on me for doing a current trend in an obvious way. I encourage you to develop your personal style this way or just experiment or hire me. Ha! Anybody can follow trends as dictated. Make them your own.
Jordache is set to relaunch their brand with a dark denim on denim look for their 40th Anniversary. Carine Roitfeld did the styling for their advertising campaign. Jordache Jeans are back!

November 1, 2018

Democratization of Beauty

For at least a century, an elite group of fashion editors, photographers and patrons have dictated beauty. It used to be women could only imagine being beautiful if their body image some how resembled Cheryl Tiegs in the 70s or Cindy Crawford in the 80s. While their beauty could of resembled them, they would never measure up to these goddesslike creatures. Women can have only felt inadequate when comparing themselves to these gifted humans.

Then along comes Instagram, the photo sharing app in 2010. Now girls of every color, race, age and socioeconomic status can be considered beautiful and develop a following. What a breath of fresh air.  Now any young woman can find an Instagram influencer that she can relate to and that makes her feel good about herself. Beauty doesn't have to fit into some kind of mold. 

In an era of dwindling readership of magazines this proves to be another stumbling block. I think that major fashion magazines will feel pressure to showcase these women even though they don't meet their requirements for beauty? Will they cannibalize their magazines? Hard to say but the influencers are here to stay. Our democracy will keep them in power.

           Clockwise: @mayemusk, @thatsnotmyage, @shionat, @doublexposure                      

These gals are just a small representation of Instagram stars. 

What do you think of the change? Do you see any downside?
October 25, 2018

Chagall Wall

I can't get over the amount of public art in Chicago by very famous artists -- Picasso, Calder, Chagall to name a few. Spectacular is all I can say. In the same breath I should mention the Art Institute of Chicago, one of the world's major museums. So move over New York, Chicago is not far behind when it comes to art.

Sorry to do a rerun of my bike short look but I thought this Chagall mosaic was too good to pass up. The mosaic brings out the light blue of my charmeuse-like blouse from Zara. Fast fashion companies such as Zara are under a lot of criticism for environmental footprint ignorance. That said I can't help from getting a little bit of au courant fashion for a fraction of the cost of runway . Zara knocks off the top designers, gets it produced and to market FASTER.
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October 18, 2018

Levi Strauss

As long as I can remember there have been Levi's. That may be because Levi Strauss invented blue jeans. Levi's never go out of style. That said, they do go in and out of favor with us fashion folk but they're never far from the surface. Levi's are iconic.
I am wearing Levi's high-waisted 501s so they're not the originals but the high waist is a better fit for me. The light wash is kind refreshing after lots of dark denim. I wear both. These Levi's are old school because they do not have any stretch in them. Kind of uncomfortable until you break them in but they have great body that the stretch jeans just don't have. I am wearing them with my J. Crew striped shirt and a Balenciaga jacket that I got at re-sale. I was part of a company, that elevated re-sale making consigned clothes chicer than ever before and you don't have to dig through dusty racks at your local consignment shop. This is one of the ways you can address the sustainability issue that I talked about in my last post. 
Please email me with any questions or comments.
October 12, 2018

Sustainability and Fashion

Sustainability and fashion don't really go hand in hand. To be sustainable is to "avoid the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance". Fashion is about consumption. Sustainability has become a commonly used buzz word in fashion today. With the never ending quest of both the manufacturers and consumers to offer and have the latest, we have been made aware that "having the latest" at all times is affecting the environment.  And there are other practices that affect the environment--Burberry was caught destroying $38M of unsold goods in September of this year.

There are a couple of ways we can address this so that we can keep our 'passion for fashion'. One is by donating our clothes to charity and consigning them so they don't end up in landfills. Secondly almost everything is a trend these days, so why not pick your favorite ones and not feel obligated to follow all of them. When you buy something fabulous, it's going to be next season if it wasn't too egregiously trendy. 

I am not wearing one piece of new clothing in this look. The pants are the newest thing by cinq à sept. They are about a year and half old and still work because I bought them before the trend really hit. And they still really work because everything is a trend now as I mentioned before. My Bottega Veneta sandals are almost 10 years old, my DKNY gabardine coat is probably 15 years and my J. Crew striped shirt is about 15 years old. I can't believe I'm telling you this in a blog post but what the heck, I would tell you in person.

I don't want to sound holier than thou because the fact that I am not always wearing new is often a budget thing rather than trying to save the planet. Don't get me wrong, I love composting, buying consignment/vintage and being more aware of the environmental impact of things like synthetics and even denim. It is also not kind to think of animals being sacrificed for fur but it also is not kind of the designers that manufacture fake fur to contribute to the landfills with goods that never decompose. I guess you have to pick your poison because it is becoming more and more difficult to ignore these issues.
Please email me with any questions or comments.

October 4, 2018

Art and Fashion

Chicago has an amazing public works of art collection and one of my favorites is Flamingo by Alexander Calder. My flamingo interest goes way back. I love those unique pink birds that are superbly represented in the famous Audubon prints.
Let's see how this print compares to Calder's abstract sculpture.

Calder has taken artistic license with the color for his amazing bird. Instead of a flamingo pink, he did it in more of a orangish red which has since become known as "Calder red". It is almost as though he has two necks to his flamingo but you can see the similarities between the two representations. Little me is in my fit and flare wool gaberdine jacket with bike shorts that were just shown on the Chanel runway in Paris yesterday. Let's be clear, mine are Lululemon. The Chanel ones won't even be ready for purchase until Spring of 2019.  

My modern bike short look goes pretty well with a Calder's ultra modern sculpture that was actually done in 1974.

As always please email me with any questions or comments.