31 August 2011

Modern Glam

Via GtheGentleman

Fashion and the Economy (Part 2)

We left off at shoulder pads...
So it was the 80s, things were good, people were living large and spending cash like it was going outta style.  Then came 1987 and the stock market crashed and crashed hard. Spirits were down, the dow was down, the glitz fell out of fashion. Gone were the huge jewels and sequins that bedazzled an entire era. What remained, however, were the huge silhouettes (Armani's claim to fame). In fact, they began to serve as somewhat of an urban armor, shielding us against the rough economic climate and defending us from uncertain and tense times.

There is a very interesting thing that happens culturally in that we tend to insulate ourselves emotionally with clothing and pad out our silhouettes as a way to protect us and ward off others. Take, for example, East coast and West coast gang rivalries in the 90s. Urban neighborhoods became war zones. Suddenly young urban men found themselves taking drastic steps just to make it day to day. Fashion manifestation:

Dangerous and threatening environment = huge oversized sweatshirts, often hooded, and baggy pants. The thought process being that one looks much more intimidating and menacing with the added bulk. Result: People leave you alone. Of course this style later gets adopted by mainstream culture, at which point it takes on a whole new meaning.

At any rate, we move into the 90s and the economy evens out. Hell, Bill Clinton even presided over one of the most economically prosperous times in history. We were $237 billion in the black! You'd think this would result in fashion that was frivolous and happy. Instead, the opposite happened. We had minimalism (Calvin Klein anyone?) and grunge, of all things. There seems to be a counter-intuitive reaction to rebel against the prevailing climate. If you're rich, it's cool to look homeless, when things are bad, we tend towards frivolity and excess.

Fast forward to today. The economy is once again in toilet and fashion (predictably?) has taken a turn back towards the 80s. Again, kind of an armor meant to shield us against the daily grind and financial uncertainty. Gone are the soft, floating peasanty looks of the 90s. Remember when everyone was wearing a prairie skirt? Fashion plates like Kim K, Beyonce and Lady Gaga and rocking the padded shoulder look.

At least this time around the silhouette is fierce but much  more feminine. The hips are also accentuated Peplums are huge (just look at Victoria Beckham's dresses), forcing a curvy look. Spikes and studs and hardware are becoming increasingly popular as an accessory, either on their own or on clothing. Weapons of the present day.

And all of this only leaves me with one question: the women are all spiked out and ready to take on the world, so what in the hell is up with guys in skinny jeans and slim tees that only accentuate their androgyny and lack of muscle? Culturally relevant somehow, but I've yet to figure it out.

30 August 2011

Fashion and the Economy (Part 1)

The economy - everyone's favorite topic! But it has some very interesting implications for the clothing that hits the runways, and eventually, our bodies. And I'm not just talking price points. As promised yesterday, a short history of silhouettes in fashion.
We'll skip over the entire history of fashion and instead pick up with the rise of Punk in the 1970s in Britain and into the 80s in the US . It has really carved out quite a niche in fashion history. What was going on? Well, the counter culture rock scene decided the establishment was a hot mess and threw itself into rebellion. As a physical manifestation of that anger, enter spikes. It's menacing and off-putting (in hair and on collars).

This brings us to the 80s. The stock market flourishes, people like the Trumps and Reagans became symbols of the older, dominate wealthy rising class. Meanwhile, the younger demographic falls off a bit, not yielding the monetary power of their elders. The US was in a consumer frenzy. Conspicuous consumption at it's best. Malls sprang up everywhere, women wore power suits (Princess Diana) especially after women hit the work force. And because you had places to go and were far too busy and important to look good, you wore that power suit with tennis shoes. Women's clothing became more masculine in response to their growing financial power and the shoulder pad is born. Women steel themselves against the male paradigm and literally pad their silhouettes to more closely resemble a man's, with broad shoulders and boxy suit jackets.

Check back tomorrow for Part 2!

Travel In Style

Via FaucetHead

29 August 2011

Christian Louboutin Very Mix Spike Heels

Who doesn't need a pair of these gorgeous things?! The spikey studded look has been making a huge comeback for the past year (more on that in a later post) and these are just about the pinnacle. So beautiful, so dangerous...like so many good things. They're such a fierce mix of lady-like stiletto meets primitive weapon that they'll add plenty o' danger to any party dress.

VMA Best Dressed List

A very lovely and pregnant Beyonce in orange Lanvin.  Home run, girl!

Adele with some truly impressive volume in her hair.

Ne-Yo in sparkles. It works!

Damn Girl! Demi Lovato kills it in Mandalay mini dress.

Maria Menounos looking sleek and cool in this strappy green Amanda Wakeley number.

And now a word of advice:
Dear Men Who Insist Upon Skinny Jeans,
I get it. I don't approve of it, but I get it. Justin and Lil Twist, I actually loved your outfits. However, if you're going to wear them, please wear them as pants are meant to be worn. You cannot sag skinny pants because you look like the penguin waiters in Mary Poppins. By choosing skinny jeans you forfeited the right to the baggy pants look - it's one or the other.

28 August 2011

The Best of The House of Harlow 1960

House of Harlow 1960 is a jewelry and accessories company founded by Nicole Richie in 2008 and launched at famed LA boutique Kitson. It is now carried at exclusive retailers such as Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

You've got to hand it to Nicole Ritchie for taking what was quickly turning into a Hollywood train wreck of a life and morphing herself into a savvy business lady and mother of two. (Do you remember The Simple Life? Didn't she have pink and blue streaked hair? She's not even the same person!)

 Her House of Harlow 1960 brand is very Ritchie boho chic glamour girl. It is based on fabulous old costume jewelry and has a beautiful 30s feel. The costume jewelry aspect is great for the rest of us because it means great, stylish designer pieces for reasonable amounts of $. This fall she introduces bags to the mix! Can't wait! And so below: some of my favorite pieces from House of Harlow.

Triquetra Ring
Stargazer Earrings

Crescent Tasseled Earrings

14K Rose Gold Plated Ring

Palladium Ring

27 August 2011

Prep School Chic

Via ClassyintheCity,

Sea Bags

I LOVE these bags. The company, Sea Bags, is based in Portland Maine and recycles old sails from sail boats into the preppiest, greatest bags ever. They are incredibly durable and stay good-looking forever (do you know what a sail has to withstand on a daily basis?), are eco-friendly upcycled and just about the hottest authentically nautical accessory ever. They've been on the market since 1999 but since I referenced them yesterday I just had to do a post. Retail approx. $150. www.seabags.com.

26 August 2011

Black and White Makeup

Via eyeshadowlipstick

I'm such a big fan of flower petal lashes (in fact, it looks as though she has a pretty lush pair of normal false lashes, topped with flower petals). This makeup is (obviously) very theatrical and intricate but beautifully executed. The textured black and white look is carried through the clothing, hairpiece and jewelry for an opulent yet cohesive look.

Stella & Dot Pegasus Necklace

 The necklace for fall! This bib necklace is by trending jewelry designer Stella and Dot and features rows and rows of golden feathers on a 16.5" chain. Hand made in India. $198.

Archie Grand Notebooks

Wonderful little notebooks that'll make your acquaintances think twice. Archie Grand makes a huge series of notebooks in candy colors stating a range of professions/athletes that you can claim your affinity (or otherwise) for.  Face it, we'd all love to scribble down our thoughts on certain someones every now and then. 120 blank pages for all your thoughts $10. Archie grand notebooks available here.

Designer Dog Collars

If you're dressed to the nines, there's really no reason your dog shouldn't be too. These glittery, sparkly leather dog collars with gold colored hardware are really quite eye-catching. I'm tempted to buy a small for myself and wear it as a bracelet.  Available at DesignerDoggieCollars for $20.

Kim Kardashian's Wedding Dresses Revealed

Via StyleCaster

The dress Kim wore for the ceremony was a surprisingly full ballgown style with a tulle skirt.

This is the second dress of the evening, which Kim wore during the couple's first dance. Mermaid style, with a full train of ruffles and fitted bodice.

And finally, a very 1930s inspired bias-cut satin gown, also with long train and accessorized with a beautiful diamond hair clip and bangles.

I have to hand it to Kim for playing against type and wearing that big fluffy princess ballgown wedding dress of every little girl's dreams.  She definitely made up for it with the next dress of the evening, which was much more the form fitting couture we're used to seeing her decked out in. The third pales in comparison and seems rather unnecessary, even for a wedding of this scope. It looks so limp next to the insane structure and volume of the other gowns.  There is however a nice progression of silhouettes and hair styles throughout the night from very formal and done-up to  more relaxed and sexy.

25 August 2011

A Little Bling for your iPod

Beautiful 18K gold earphones encrusted with diamonds by Clive Ranger jewelry. Retail: Approx. U.S. $5k. Luckily, exponentially more affordable versions are available here!

And while we're on the subject, how awesome are the spiked headphones Kat Graham is wearing in her latest photo shoot for Fenuxe magazine?

Boho Glam

Secrets of Success: tousled hair, aviators, a white T and a bright scarf.

Wayne White Word Paintings

Via Honestly WTF

  How about these brilliant paintings by Wayne White?!  He was the Set Designer on Pee-Wee's Playhouse (you know that was the reason you watched that crazy show! 3 Emmys-BTW). Anyway, now he's done a collection of 172  irreverent, risque pop art style phrases defacing pastoral and bucolic oil paintings of yore (the kind everyone's grandparent has hanging somewhere). See more after the page break!