Archive for March, 2010|Monthly archive page

Alexander McQueen F/W 2010

In British, Collection, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, Legend on March 24, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Alexander McQueen’s untimely death brought about two realities: he was the most passionate designer of the millenia, and that he was possibly the last designer standing – after Karl, Jean-Paul, and the equalling talented John – to carry a  fashion empire on his back. Tears and billowing won’t do; all we have is memories. And even if his house is proceeded by someone new, McQueen’s hands, those eyes, that brain – is irreplaceable.

McQueen saw fashion through a world all his own; that’s what makes his collections so special. Many thought he was crazy – of course he was,  how could a genius be normal? How could someone create a dress out of tulle and golden feathers with tiny gold embellishments at the hemlines and be average?  How could someone juxtapose digital-print images of Archangels and “Bosch demons”  with thigh-high leather boots? To be sane is but an insult, for, true talent and originality can only be found in the midst of madness.

McQueen was a British national – a badge he clutched to the very end – and that has everything to do with it. He was schooled in the early depths of the culture from its medieval history to its current punk tradition. And it’s all jumbled into a continuous theme just-so. He stayed on the soil and never relocated somewhere more topical or modern. The Alexander McQueen brand was British through and through. And the world gravitated to him because of his unyielding sense of identity.

Had McQueen been alive, the presentation of his final women’s collection would have been as theatrical as his mind; dramatic, fresh, and as blue as the red sea of Egypt.

Musing: Veruschka

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London, model, Rouse on March 22, 2010 at 3:46 am

Art. Veruschka. This supermodel of the `60s is most remembered as the girl who transformed into a human canvass. She had a short but memorable fashion career. She was long, and blonde, and she saved Vogue. How many covers did she do… 10, maybe 12? She and Mrs. Vreeland pushed both magazine, and modeling industry during a time when beehives and pearls were still on the fashion plate.

 Men and women crooned over Paulina Porizkova’s body. Cindy Crawford’s titillations became a world-wide brand, but if it weren’t for Veruschka, I doubt sexuality could have  merged with high-fashion like this. In Michael Gross’ book Model, she said she forged her career when nobody wanted to work with her. She wore all black to go-sees,  and facilitated the creativity of her photo shoots. What I remember most, was that she was wrapped in miles and miles of Dynel. She swam in it. The blonde synthetic hair  became her signature. It doesn’t take rocket science, she worked with the top of fashion lot. Richard Avedon, Peter Beard. At the very top she earned 10,000 a day and appeared in the Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. But I couldn’t help but feel that even though she was the most memorable model of her time, she was also the most underrated. 

When her flame started to fade, she camouflaged into stones. She camoflaged into swaps. She camouflaged into everything. She became art, and art became her.  Shes allowed herself to age. She has wrinkles, but she’s still graceful. That never really goes away.

Musing: Donyale Luna

In culture, Fashion, Good Look, Hidden Gem, history, Icon, Legend, model, New York, Oddly Unique on March 22, 2010 at 1:07 am

Donyale Luna’s best asset was her body. Endless, lanky and hovering at 5″ 10 1/2 (she was exaggerated to be 6″2) with  looks beyond the small-time Michigan, Detroit, photographer David McCabe caught her leaving an audition and snatched her up. Heading to New York to model,  the Big Apple was the scene to thrust her into supermodeldom, but it also destroyed her  spirit and ultimately took her life.

Adorning blue, green, violet and purple contacts with five different wigs – some of them blond, her groovy attitude towards her ethnicity gave many the impression that she was insecure about her blackness.  It was noted that the freckle-faced beauty was half-mexican. Who knows! But imagine going for a breakfast in a London restaurant  with Mia Farrow at 5Am and being ask to leave for no apparent reason. Let alone being referred to as a “pretty negro model” her whole life. Donyale was a young, black girl in an overzelous modeling world. You know, it’s hard to believe Donyale was trying to break any moulds, though. To me, she was just the embodiment of the glamour-puss she always wanted to be. As Donyale once said, “They saw me as something different but I’m sure it has nothing to do with my colour. I never think of myself as a brown-skin girl.”

In the infamous 1966 article by Time titled  “The Luna Year,” the magazine said that “for she is not really beautiful; but like her namesake, the moon, she is different in every phase, yet always recognizably the same and herself.” But I beg to differ. Salvador Dali referred to her as the “reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti”  and gracing the cover of Vogue,and Britain’s Queen (now Harper’s Bazaar), it was clear cheek bones and elongated neckline – better yet – her whole existence was that of a beautiful creature. I’d like to think of her as the black Twiggy – like a chameleon and immensely versatile. The way she slithered and bended  looked effortless.

Donyale was apart of Warhol’s Factory, she won Vogue’s Model of the Year (`66), she dated – and married – cool artsy guys. But when the pit of New York scene’s started to surface, she fled to the Europe’s safer haven.

At a rate of 60 an hour, she kept a London apartment looking over the Thames, but  professed that ” I make about a thousand dollars a week but often there are a couple of days at the end of the week when I find myself broke again.” And she  landed some bit parts in French films directed by Otto Preminger (Skidoo) and Federico Fellini (Satyricon). Close to the end, she also posed for Playboy (1975). I wonder if it had more to do with needing the money than the glamorous title.
Around 1979, feeling sick, she entered a Rome clinic on a Tuesday and died on a Thursday. Some say it was an accidental drug overdose. Again, who knows. She was 33. “She didn’t like to pay her bills,” claimed a fellow black model. Who does? I don’t think that was the whole of it. It was more like life didn’t like what she had become.  

If I were a boy…

In Fashion on March 12, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Wendell, Wendell, Wendell…  boy oh boy. Kiss-him-more

He’s another one of those guys that make me embarrassed. In my case, when I find a guy attractive, I’m not particularly a nice gal – not mean, just kinda… professional.

Despite the fact that I’m old enough to be his big sister (thank god), he’s mature beyond his 24 years (I assume by the time of this post) hustling a modelling job and a son. I’ll say one thing, he’s got more responsibilities than moi.

But what’s gorgeous about this fella is his cultivation. Army brat kids, or kids born to parents in the army can be fortunate. In the sense, that they become temporary expatriates to the world. In this lad’s case, he lived in Germany. Which means he was probably able to stay quite level-headed when his modelling career started to take off.

Represented by Red Models in NYC and Ford Europe, Monsieur Lissimore has done Lookbooks for Hermes, and commercial work for department stores including Bloomingdales and campaigns for Stone Island. He has hit up the gay market too, and I’m not surprised. Quite frankly, Monsieur Lissimore’s got the appeal for all ends of the spectrum.

I’m concerned, though. I see he’s done some editorial for 2009, but since his peak in 2008, he’s semi-M.I.A. I sure hope not, because he breaks the stereotype of token black guys that enter the modelling scene. Meaning, there are girls that just want to see a sexy black guy; doesn’t have to be mixed with chinese or looking like he got plucked out the jungle – just a sexy black guy that you may actually see your self associated with at some point in your life.

Your around the way boy. I’ll be hitting up the fashion weeks this year, and I’ll expect to be seeing him on some runways.

One to Watch: Pedro Lourenço

In Collection, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, In the Know, One to Watch on March 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm

So this is the part when I bite my tongue in excitement. Just when I’m lacking inspiration, something – in this case, someone – turns my life around and proves to me that faith work wonders.

Pedro Lourenço, a 19-year-old Brazilian native’s Paris debut stopped me dead in my tracks. Rummaging through NY Mag’s fashion section, as  I zoomed in on the first look, I was locked. I cared not to see anyone else. As google would have it, this kid is fresh. Not only when it comes to his style, but also in his place in the fashion scene.

Why is it when I look at him I see references of Monsieur Nicolas Ghesquière? Could it be that as fairytales would have it, he’ll be scooped up by a major fashion houses strengthening a fashion empire based soley artistic talent?

Of course his collection could use a lot of work, but at 19, so what? His well-groomed up bringing, and his historical knowledge of fashion makes this young lad something of a prodigy. He’s not just about making “hot” clothes” there’s a cultural significance in his concepts. I wouldn’t be surprised if he can speak about five languages, well I mean, maybe so, considering that he was born into an atelier thanks to his parents Gloria Coelho and Reinaldo Lourenço. I’m also pretty sure that his bloodline runs through that of the legendary Novelist Paulo Coelho, if you pay close attention, there’s a bit of a “dreamy nightmare” in Pedro’s collection. An army, of some sort.

Musing: Nathan Jenden A/W 2010

In Collection, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Hidden Gem, Icon, style on March 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm

After nine heartfelt years, DVF’s Nathan Jenden stepped down from the coveted throne as Creative Director to set his sights on cultivating his own namesake. DVF’s influence runs rampant throughout his eponymous collection, and he’s one of the few designers who continues to strut his catwalk with women of colour (he represents Benetton tribe to the fullest).

I’m new to Jenden’s empire; but the most obvious thing to me is his understated fame. Diane Von Furstenberg’s fashion line never had the shock value as Chanel or Dior, but it managed to build a solid following and was always in the top ten of the world’s most celebrated fashion brands. Reason being was the safety net factor; it didn’t step outside any boundaries, but women over the fresh-faced age could always ‘come home to DVF’. Jenden’s a young guy, though. And through his collection he experimented with being – perhaps – what he wished DVF would be. But being a talented designer for a bigger brand means  following the protocol for what that brand stands for.

I see what could be a cry for Lady Gaga and Rihanna in his current collection. Heck, I see this collection as a calling to any girl who likes to be equated with ‘fierce’  Amber Rose, Daphne Guinness, whoever. My eagerness is to see if he breaks the ceiling with this collection. It’s possible – we’ll see.

Musing: Moises de la Renta

In affordable, Collection, designer, Fashion, Men, Shopping, steal, style on March 2, 2010 at 10:33 pm

It’s one thing to be a talented black man, but a talented black who’s ‘heir’ to the throne of a revered couturier? To call life a colorful soirée of  dainty-ism is probably an understatemet. But despite his rising fashion icon success, he comes across as a down-to-earth guy. After reading this, he’d probably roll his eyes. He’s probably not really interested in being perceived as a ‘black man in fashion’ anymore than just a fashion man.

But we already know fashion’s limited circle of authentically talented black professionals, and it doesn’t take even the common-est commoner to understand that the fashion world can be an air-headed balloon at least 99.9 % of the time. But Monsieur de la Renta’s adding his flair, and it’s all worth noting.

I’m not really a fast-fashion type of gal, okay – well, maybe I am. But  you know, special collabs or not, buying H&M just because Stella McCartney spiced it up can’t really get me on the wagon. Unless of course,  there’s some seriously breath-taking essentials in the collection. Spain-based ‘fast-fashion’ line Mango is not on my list, period. Never has been and may very well never be. However, what I can appreciate is that it produced a collaboration that introduced me to this fashionisto in the making. Set aside that he debuted his own last line, MDLR last year, there’s a bigger picture at hand.

What I’m seeing is a new and refreshing school of fashion leaders. He’s been on the radar of fashion bibles, but now, he’s on his way to become an established and accessible name to kids outside The Hills crowd. And that’s kind of a big deal.

So here it is folks, here’s a glimpse of some limited edition T-Shirts, de la Renta has designed for Mango. Kinda cute, no?


I’m a Prada Girl

In culture, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Shopping, style on March 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

The scent of Lavender streams through my senses as I open my eyes. Hmm – must be the mug with the tea bag from last night. I squint as I look to the left; a fresh blue sky with droplets of orange nestles beside my window Payne.  I feel warmth. The fierce feline and my companion, Bernadette is curled up on the pillow beside me, her purrs are comforting. I can’t get out of bet just yet, but as I reminisce about last night, my heart squirms with excitement.

Snowflakes swirled from the sky and filled the streets like confetti. But the weather didn’t stop me, of course not! It was my day, and it was once in a lifetime. My fairy godmother granted me one wish: pick a store, any store. You have one outfit, from head-to-toe. Guessing from the subject line, I’m sure you can tell who I chose.

The Prada store stretched for miles. As I looked around, I was greeted by a young fashionista, not a stitch of make-up but a high impact fashion statement. She wore black velvet peep-toe booties, and a navy-blue jumper. “Hi! Welcome to Prada” her voice relaxed yet inviting. I felt at home.

Two Hours Later

As I left the store, I felt empowered with my Prada bags in check. It felt like eyes were all on me, and they were. I don’t know where I’m going tomorrow, but I know I’ve got to do this.

And tomorrow is today. I pulled each Prada box out of each Prada bag (it all means that much to me). The knots caught up in my stomach, my legs quivered. For one day, I was a Queen – a Prada Queen. And I think I even got a text message, from some guy that looks like a french model. Maybe I was in France? Who knows…

Get My Look: Rude Girl

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, handbags, Heels, In the Know, Shopping on March 1, 2010 at 4:00 am

Ray-Ban tortoises aviator-style acetate sunglasses, $135 USD. Available at Net-A-Porter.

Barker Black scarf, 275 (Euro). Available at Colette.

Maison Martin Margiela T-Shirt, 155 (Euro). Available at Colette.

Acne skinny denim leggings, $230 (USD). Available at Net-A-Porter.

Isabel Marant fringed canvas boots, $1,160 (USD). Available at Net-A-Porter.

Vionnet brass faceted cuff, $530 (USD). Available at Net-A-Porter.

Alexander Wang Donna leather small hobo, 795 (USD). Available at Net-A-Porter.

If I were a boy…

In France, Men, model, Rouse, sex symbol, sexy on March 1, 2010 at 2:47 am

I’d be Baptiste Giabiconi. This boy is a boss.

I think he’s my latest obsession – despite the fact he’s barely legal. Vingt ans? Yeah, BARELY legal.  I was actually kinda scared to make an entry on my blog.

I made a quick ode to Baptiste on my facebook and was told by my guy friends (You know he likes dudes, right?)
First of all, since when did saying someone’s attractive mean wanting to actually get him? (Some guys are so jealous). And even if he is, so what? If you ask me, I just think he’s comfortable with his sexuality.

But anyway, clearly, Baptiste can get it. He can get anything he wants. And he is getting it; by the looks of things, he’s enjoying it.

There’s only ONE problem… he smokes. I mean, the smoking thing’s sexy in pictures, but it’s not the kind of thing I can conceptualize in person. Because then I envision what all that smoking will manifest in 20 years.

But what can I say? Baptiste Giabiconi… C’est magnifique.