Very little is more exciting than the dress-up opportunities available during the holidays. Christmas and New Years are both fancy dress occasions, and once that's become a little tired (not) we get to throw on some sweats and enjoy the fashion of the Golden Globes, Oscars and Grammys. What a wonderful time of year. To get in the sprit of things, here are some of the shoes I believe should make an appearance under my Christmas tree:
I bought an owl ring today. It makes me ridiculously happy. Statement rings are great pretty much all the time, because they don't often conflict with embellished clothing the way earrings and necklaces do. Also, there really is nothing more fun than rocking a crazy ring. Here are some of my other faves:
Yes, Burberry Prorsum's male models often look as waifish as the girls, but they're also incredibly well dressed. In fact, there is something about the male body that begs to be dressed. Too bad most boys I know would never let me deck them out in designer wear. At least male fashion allows me to dream. And honestly, we must trust the wise words of Cher Horowitz: "He dressed better than me. What would I bring to the relationship??" Alas, boys dressed this well are only to be dreamt about:
Collette Dinnigan is the first and only Australian designer to show a full ready to wear show in Paris. Dinnigan also designs lingerie; her Wild Hearts Collection, and was sold at Target in 2008. She has since won honors for her work at home in Australia and around the world. What is amazing about Dinnigan is her ability to craft classic, ornate, ladylike pieces.
Here are some standouts from her latest Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 collections:
Counting down the days until Christmas has been made even more fabulous by Mr. Christian Louboutin himself, with the Loubi Advent Calendar, which can be found on the Christian Louboutin website. Visit daily and you can reveal a different Louboutin design. This should keep all of us dreaming about what we'll find on Christmas morning (and in a more practical sense, what we'll be looking out for boxing day shopping!)
As if you needed any extra incentive, Louboutin's website also includes a countdown to the unveiling of his Spring 2011 collection. Christmas miracle? I think so.
I'm not so impressed at all, despite the allure of warm earthy tones, boots and fabulous hats. Fall and winter are amazing for fashion, but fashionistas, brands and department stores are always looking ahead. Although Spring 2010 was not my favourite for most labels, Spring 2011 is showing much more promise. Nearly every line featured the new spring staples: white and shear, but most designers were not afraid to simultaneously infuse their lines with saturated colour, funky florals and feminine lace. Stella McCartney's Spring 2011 line offers all of these things (although I'm not so sure about her florals). Overall, if I were to find any of these items under my Christmas tree, maybe I wouldn't mind the snow. Spring always comes around eventually.
Should you find yourself in Paris with nothing to do over the next few months, the museum of Les Arts Decoratifs is holding an exhibition on fashion (ready to wear as well as couture) of the entire decade of the 1990s. Although the uninitiated may remember the 1990s as a black hole in fashion, the museum (and I) see this period as one of the watersheds of modern fashion. This is when some of the most laudable designers we see today got their footing and began their style evolution.
Included in the exhibit are Azzedine Alaia, Balenciaga (Nicholas Chesquiere), Chanel (Karl Lagerfeld), Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior (John Galliano), Lanvin (Claude Montana and Alber Elbaz), Gucci (Tom Ford), Viktor and Rolf, Helmut Lang, Vivienne Westwood, Prada, Ann Demeuleester, Alexander McQueen and Issey Miyake.
The collection offers a glimpse into the artistic stylings of these designers, showing visitors their creative evolution through the 1990s, and elucidating how designers paid homage to their predecessors. Divided into categories of artistic styling and geography, the exhibition also hopes to show how these designers became front runners among their peers.
April 9th should be a day that women, as well as men, take up as an international holiday. It should be a time of celebration and remembering that dressing well is important. On this momentous occasion in 1963, Marc Jacobs was born and the face of fashion changed forever.
Although there have been critics, cough Oscar de la Renta cough, Jacobs' star has been on the rise since he graduated from the famed Parsons School of Design. Between designing a line of sweaters whilst still in college, working for Perry Ellis immediately after, and teaming up with long-time partner Robert Duffy to create a design company, Jacobs also started his own label in 1987. In the past decade, it has become an unwavering staple in many a Vogue-reader's closet. His celebrity following is a veritable who's who of A-list Hollywood, and the stories that he tells with his collections could almost be surpassed with those whispered in the gossip rags about his personal life. (2002 makeover anyone?!)
His influence is everywhere. Three major labels: Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc, and Louis Vuitton (where he has worked as the Creative Director since 1997). Three powerhouses. All successful brands, all spearheaded by a man that makes wearable, to-die-for clothing.
Jacobs is credited with turning Louis Vuitton into a major player in the fashion game, as opposed to the sidekick it once was. He created the line's first ready to wear collection, which in turn snowballed into further expansion for the French line. As if that weren't enough, he also has a successful line of perfumes.
I love him, you love him, we all love to love him. Why? Because beauty will always find admiration. And Marc Jacobs makes beautiful clothing.
Here's a few pieces from Spring 2011, both Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. The designer let the '70s reign supreme in both lines, but MJ was focused on glamour while LV saluted Asia. Neither collection was particularly groundbreaking in terms of what Jacobs is capable of (that pink pantsuit in the MJ line was dreadful), but here are some standouts nonetheless.
The clutch bag has always been a staple, but lately the small bag is making a comeback across the board. Spring 2011 offers up an array of shapes, sizes, colours and designs. Some are great and some are just plain strange (think Carrie Bradshaw and her swan bag). Either way, just like a great pair of shoes, a clutch can be a little piece of art that you get to carry around, and just happens to carry a (small) amount of your stuff in it. What could be better?