Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Sixties Rock Stars on Holiday in Marrakech

                  These latest resort (or cruise) collections have been quite interesting, especially with the fun locations for Dior (NYC) and Chanel (Dubai). Sometimes resort collections just fall into a bunch of stereotypical, boring spring looks. But this Chanel collection looked fun and exotic, without appropriating cultures (too much-I get to that at the end). I know that sounds odd, but when I think  ''exotic'' I just think of anything unusual and fun, and maybe something you'd wear traveling...to an exotic locale. The actual destination is unspecified.
                 I loved the shimmering metallic color of look 1, and the relaxed, white cotton fabric of the shirt. And the pants, even though they were a bit slouchy, they also looked glamorous, and not plastic. 2's jacket had beautifully sharp shoulders and clean lines, and the mismatched prints of the skirt and jacket worked. Tweed can be overdone in Chanel shows, but this one was a fabulous, modern take. How does Lagerfeld keep coming up with new ones? Sadly I did not appreciate 3 at all; it didn't make any sense to me. Why would I wear a black lace jumpsuit with squiggly patterns underneath a lumber jack jumper? 4 and 5 were disappointing for just looking like sweatshirts or slouchy tops. 6 was much more sharp, with a hot pink tweed pattern and a white border going around the jacket. Quite minimalist and simple, while having a sharp punch of color. 7 looked so plastic! And the print was way too, I don't know.. tech-y? Electronic? It also looked plain, with a flat color and absolutely no shape; I don't think it would even be fit for menswear. Maybe boxwear though (hey look I'm making up my own words like Charles James! e.g., ''bulltongue'' and ''biscuit'')
              Look 8's top was incredible, with the lacy border along the shoulders and sleeve, and speckles of red, gray, and white on the front. So pretty. But I did not like the skirt. It's pretty and lacy... and then it needs a square smack in the middle? No, no it does not. 9 was a rather distressing example of gray, horrid, pale filler. The profound slouchiness didn't make matters any better. And while 10 did have a bright, vibrant red print... it came off too bright, like a so-called ''glam'' look at Marshall's. 11 was kind of the same idea of boring with a different color. 12, my friend, was fantabulous (oh, how Jamesian I am) . It was sharp, glittery, colorful, and simple. And it had shape! What an idea! It was an understated bohemian look, with the jacket being under the chest and a white shirt underneath. But with the flowers and chic-ness of the look, it didn't look ''pirate'' at all (which is a deep, deep concern for most boho looks). 13 was a rude awakening. I had no idea (ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA) that sludge colored kindergarten quilts were in! For a lack of a better word (or worse word) this was downright ugly. After quite a bit of filler came 17, which was a dusty blush pink skirt suit with matching pants underneath, and a prettily scruffy outline. Look 19 was puzzlingly beautiful; it was very relaxed, but still maintained a shape. The pure white and light pink pattern was sooo pretty.
               I didn't get 22 at all. The dramatic high-low thing was a bit...absurd? An extra flap in the back doesn't look unique. It looks like a lame attempt at making it interesting (I have said this so many-LITERALLY SO MANY-times). Until 27 it was all quite boring with SPARKLES as an attempt to make it SHINY and INTERESTING. But 27's gold was extremely vibrant, bold, and accentuating. It complemented everything, from the model's shape to her hair. Certainly not for anyone shy! 28 was sad and boring. I'm not quite sure what style it was supposed to be, or what it was inspired by. It looked like...nothing. Look 30's dark plaid jacket  looked very ''fall'' and sharp, and the little pinch of shape in the middle was so feminine. 31 was another sleek plaid look, and also very fall. The sheer, geometric patterned shoulders were super artsy. But the pants were the best part! So modern and stylish. These were perfect geometric patterns. 36 was too matronly. It looked flat and seemed to serve the purpose of hiding a woman's shape. And the floral pattern was such a faded shade it didn't even looked good. 43 was horrendous, because 1: filler jackets! and 2: plastic is nothing to write home about. 37 was my first knitting project (which, clue: did not look good at all!). 42's bounty of flowers all over the dress was very bohemian and light, especially the thin jacket. But the pants! Nononononoooo! No plastic pants, PLEASE!
             44 reminded me too much of decoration garden tiles. Look 46 was too weird and scruffy, and the print was not ''Chanel'' at all. But the print with the ballooning pants was so beautiful and flowing. I would do anything (besides destroying these pants) to wear these in the spring. The long coat of 50 was gorgeously inspired by Ossie Clark and Marimekko. I know these aren't pajamaz (the ''z'' adds pizzazz, OBVIOUSLY) but it looks so comfy to sleep in.  51's bolero-style sweater had the same theme as 50, but with an aquamarine background, the flowers really popped. 52's skirt reminded me of something from Oilily,  my favorite designer as a little kid. I only had one dress by them, from a thrift store (clue: its an expensive brand) and I wore it to death. 52 had the whimsical, scrap book aspects of Oilily. 54 was a gorgeous, glittering, one shouldered cloud of colored sparkles. 55's flowers in squares didn't work with the bottom of the dress. Too mismatched. I loved how the lines in 57 overlapped the floral print, and the middle cluster of blue and white flowers. The lines were very Frank Lloyd Wright-esque. Look 58 was so unique; a peplum dress, with a top of squares, and then the skirt is dark black sheer and patterned in tiny flowers. 59 came across very garish... like an 80's prom or wedding dress. Too long with jumbo-wide sleeves. Not a good look!
                64's top was a nice, white, shimmery shade, and the skirt was yet another floral print, but half skirt/half pants. I'm honestly not sure what I thought of 67. It was a blue vest with big 3-D flowers and tiny white dress with circular blue flowers. Maybe I need to see it styled in a magazine. I think thats when you see all of an outfit's true colors. Look 82 was the best look of the collection. Flowing lack tulle with a city skyline in gold, silver, and black.
              This collection was really awesome; I've always had a thing for moons and celestial stuff, and they did make poufy pants look good, which is no small feat. But some of the looks did veer off into a conglomeration of things considered ''foreign'' or ''tribal'', which dumbs down actual cultures and religious symbols, as was the way of the dream catcher. But aside from those looks, this collection was a great example of how good Chanel can be, even when they distance themselves a bit from their classic tweeds and pastels.  Most of it was just great. (how Warholian of me!)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dior Cruise 2015 (plus an existential crisis) (whatever that means)

                First, a story from my life that I attempt to make exciting: Yesterday I had a terrible, horrible, no-good day. I had really bad allergies (warm weather finally!), exhausted,  lost my back pack that held my retainer and my two favorite fashion books. I also had a biology test the next day, and I was sure algebra was going to kill me. Me and my dad were walking down the street at night, to the Walgreens where I thought I lost it. I was crying and whining and bemoaning my luckily not-as-bad-as I think life, as my dad told me things could be worse. We got there and no, my backpack was not there (it turned out to be wrapped up in my sister's pile of blankets at the end of her bed). My dad decided to buy a soda, and while I waited I read the latest ELLE magazine. Miserable, yet still in love with fashion. What some people call cloth and useless pictures of models frollicking about, keeps me alive. Fashion magazines can even fix the pain of  a lost retainer. Enough with my hard hitting verbiage; I have a Dior collection to review!
                Look 1 reminded me a lot of the last Celine collection, with the colors and ''real art'' theme (I actually really liked that Celine collection, so I guess my opinion of the brand has changed a bit). The sharp lined and square-ish shapes of color were quite Calder-esque. 2 was not that exciting, and the pants were far too high-waisted. I'm a big fan of shorts and vintage jeans being high waisted, but with fancy dress pants? Not so sure. 3 was one of my favorites because it had, wait for it, wait for it- shape! I loved the 4 buttons and the cinched in waist, and especially the triangular shape of the bottom of the jacket. It reminded me a lot of some of McQueen's uneven jackets from early collections. Look 5 was too slouchy for me, and the print in the middle was too subtle to differentiate it from any other brown satin dress. 7, on the other hand? PERFECTION, I TELL YOU! The mix of glittering purple and black, the mesh over the blue flower petals of the top... it perfectly went with Monsieur Dior's love of flowers and gardens. 10 was sharp and sleek... very cruise. Because I frequent cruises so much, I would know (no, no, I do not). The jacket also had the very accentuated shape Dior is known for, but in a more modern, relaxed, breathable way.
                  After these pieces there was quite a bit of filler, and 14...ewwww. I just don't get the extreme body exposure trend! And its not that I'm some modesty enforcing loony tune, but the way designers are doing more revealing outfits lately is so unflattering. Halston, known for his discotheque style of design, is one of my favorite designers, who also did some dresses with low neck lines...but they managed to be flattering, beautiful, and indicative of the wearer. He didn't design to expose; he designed to accentuate. I also disagree with the idea that super exposure clothes give freedom; they actually restrict you, even more so than a corset; if your dancing and having fun in Halston, you don't have to worry about a horrendous outfit malfunction. If your in Kardashian garb? You can't even turn around! Look 15 was especially disappointing, because while there was filler before, this one had a nice color and the potential to have been interesting, although there was no attempt at that. The lace looks of 16 and 17 were pretty boring and typical, like the dress you wear to your first dance because you don't want to draw too much attention. And I feel happy for the model in 19! She had nothing to wear, but was able to wrap squares of fabric around her at the last minute! What luck! 23 was utterly confusing; I need the point of a sleeveless coat explained! It also reminded me of a recent Dior pale pink vest, that looked like a turtle shell. Blech.
                Look 24 made me wonder why they don't keep chocolate-eating toddlers away from backstage. Luckily 25 was a dress I liked. The skirt looked black and velvety, and orange/red square on the top (with black lines) matched with the black. This represented the good parts of modern Dior to me. 26 was even more prettier; I love pale blue for its fresh feel in the skirt, and even though I believe fashion is art and that sometimes it gets annoying when designers try to make it look like ''real art'', the paint brushed of pink, dark red, and orange were quite chic. Most of the jackets were  lackluster, sleeveless, bathrobe like, and blah. 33 appeared kind of gray. It confuses me when flowers (known for being colorful!) have plain colors. 34 was very different and I liked it. One of my favorite things Raf Simons does is mixing prints. And in this dress, those prints were floral, stripes, and shimmery brown/gray speckles at the top (with a slash of black on the collar). He has a special ability to know what goes together. 35 continued with this theme, one which I simply adored. This one had the stripes, flowers, and speckles, but the flowers were much more vibrant and the speckles green and red. Very feminine and beautiful. A completely unique piece like no other. 36 was more romantic, though with the same pattern scheme again. It also had a wonderful shape. 37 was the first outfit to rebel against the pattern scheme, and it wasn't that exciting. Nice pale pink shade, but it looked a bit lazy. 38's top was shapeless like a  fake marble paper weight from the dollar store.
                         Look 40 was lack luster; the flower print fell completely flat and didn't have any of the luxurious attributes the best Dior looks have. I found a look I liked in 41. Very Georgia O'Keefe with the exploding flower; instead of just having pretty poppy flowers, its one big flower in brown, orange, and white splattered on the dress. <3 LOVE <3. 44 was another spectacular look. I loved the wide sleeves and  sleek slashes of dark colors. 45 was a little too wall paper-y for me. Why is that such a fixture in so many collections nowadays? Ugh! 46 was basically a tassled rug turned vest. Colors were unflattering, and though there was a bit of shape in the middle, it looked far from the model's body, like some weird shell. Afterwards there was way too many tassled rug looks, until 50, which was an elegant, wavy dress with a layered fabric skirt and subtle silver/pink top. 52 reminded me of a rainy day, gray and dim yet lush and shiny. And the print on the skirt reminded me of daffodils and crocuses. Look 53 was a very artistic look. It's a long, plain black dress-but wait! On the model's right the side pops out into a white and brown puff. It reminded me of a dress I saw Elsa Schiaparelli in. In 54 and 55, I thought the skirt was too much. Not only was it long, but it went up into the top. The looks after this were pretty boring. Gray jackets, different variations on previous prints of the collection. Quite banal.
              This collection definitely had positives, and the best ones showed off Raf Simon's best design skills. But we really need to rid fashion of filler, and plainness. If you can get plain clothes at Target, then why spend thousands at another place?


Monday, May 12, 2014

Sista, Gimme Shelter (From This Polyester)

             WOO WEE! The heat of the air here in Chicago is hot enough to fry a churro at Navy Pier. And this was the ''perfectly opportune'' moment to wear a polyester dress. This dress, my friend, shall be used in fall. Well, actually really soon, when my mom tells me I'll pass out, then I'll ignore her, and pass out in a puddle of moldy churros and mud at a street fest as a has been from a 70's sitcom dee jays for a crowd of frat boys. 

    I simply adore the way the belt makes this look! And the picture makes my hair look thick and wavy like Jane Birkin's... not like the tangled mess with crumbs of Frito Twist entangled in it that it truly is.

                             A positive of summer is being able to go outside and paint my nails. My dad is severely allergic to nail polish.

                                  This is my board of inspirations (queue wide hand gesture). It includes pictures of Lorde, Diana Vreeland, Marilyn Monroe, and Mick Jagger.