Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Life in technicolor

London. I still love everything about her. Bustling tube stations, mild-mannered children and obscenely priced menu items ($46 for a legitimate sushi lunch- and that's now with the current exchange rate)... I miss House guest lists, coat checks and constant invitations to bottles and table service at Molton House and funkybuddha. Simply stated, everything looks cooler with a Union Jack stamped on it, and fashion itself is no exception.

I was lucky enough to attend a legendary September concert (as well as the after-party at Cafe de Paris)  featuring just about the most epic lineup of all time- Coldplay and Jay-Z- at Wembley Stadium. It was here when I noticed this adorable 15-year-old schoolgirl sporting a slim, lightweight blazer over a versatile b/w tee tucked into a pair of jeggings accessorized with a thin black single-row grommet belt. How could I not pick her out from the crowd? That's what I love about Londoners- being put together is the rule, not the exception as it is in America. (But honestly, the more I roll my eyes and sigh about Wake Forest kids and their homogeneous dressing habits, the less likely they are to do anything at all to wow me.)

Wembley Stadium
17 September 2009

Sweet-natured Hannah introduced herself to me as a die-hard fan of Topshop (really though, who isn't?) and a lover of River Island, where I have yet to make a purchase. While I admire the sense of cohesion throughout her entire outfit, my favorite part of all is her pair of shiny flat patent leather oxfords. These shoes are just brilliant. As a tribute to Hannah and her oxfords, I chose several inspiring styles from Steve Madden's Spring 2010 collection upon which new March outfit concepts could be based.

Tuxxedo- Black Leather, $49.95

Tuxxedo- Cognac Leather, $49.95

Tuxxedo- Black White Leather, $49.95


Tirah- Black, $69.95

Tuxx- Gold Multi, $89.95

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

In honor of

I was shocked amidst packing for New York City on the first day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week that the design world had lost conceptual genius Alexander McQueen so early in his career. I had just been connecting even more with his S/S 2010 line after reading this brilliant blog post written by my friend Tiffany, highlighting the interconnected inspiration between James Cameron's film Avatar and McQueen's colorful, futuristic collection; the similarities in innovation are uncanny.

All images courtesy of Coutorture's  

Though the Gucci Group brand house will continue to operate under McQueen's name, nothing can compare to his brilliance. As a fashion novice, I am vowing never to forget the epic hoof-like Armadillo shoes made popular by Lady Gaga or the dramatic draping and volume of his watercolor cyber-inspired dresses that models sported as they slinked down the Paris runways just months ago.

Rest in peace, Alexander McQueen.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Savvy Miss Mellon

Who knew you could learn such amazing fashion-related bits from The Wall Street Journal? A few weeks ago when I was doing research for Global Marketing Strategy, I came across this article and learned the most brilliant details about the fabulous life of Tamara Mellon.

1. Her L-shaped shoe closet (15 x 24 at its widest) has angled shelves to increase visibility of her (wait for it...) over-800 pairs of Jimmy Choo's, each shelf accommodating two pairs front to back.
2. Miss Mellon keeps a full photographic index of everything she owns. Cost containment investment, anyone?
3. Denim has its own section. Finally, someone who understands me.

   Photos courtesy of The Wall Street Journal | Fashion

This self-proclaimed "inspiration, the heart and soul" of Jimmy Choo, has even further fueled my drive to succeed in the fashion industry. Though the globally-recognized luxury brand is not credited as her namesake, Mellon was equally as responsible for launching the company over a decade ago with a $250,000 investment she received from her late father. Building the brand to its current, fashion-empire status, Mellon became a "designer by default" as the company now operates over 100 stores internationally and receives an estimated $200 million in annual sales.

With the economic downturn greatly influencing consumer purchase decisions, Mellon recognizes that women today are more conscious of value than ever before. Following the tangent of endless consumer reports, she has concluded that what really matters to the target market is creating a lasting product with clear-cut benefits and qualities that render it far superior to competitors. Though the company is far from infancy, a lesson in entrepreneurial feasibility demonstrates that under Mellon's supervision, the Jimmy Choo brand can only be poised for success in the future.

Looking ahead, Mellon paid homage to her own closet to create the new S/S 2010 line called "24:7". By remixing 30 of her favorite past-years designs, Mellon walks a fine line between classic and trendy, ensuring that every single piece is versatile enough to be revisited in a few years. As the collection ranges from patent leather, kitten-heel d'orsay pumps to demure black peep-toe slingbacks, I'm confident that one day soon, I'll be able to cross off the number one item on my fifth-grade wishlist, which was of course, a pair of Jimmy Choo's.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow day goodness

It took them long enough... four days to be exact. Of course the University chooses to cancel everything on Friday, when Calloway doesn't even regularly schedule class. While I sit grumbling at my kitchen table practicing endless homework problems for Quant 1, here is the product of my stifled creativity. Because everyone knows Chloé is so much more interesting than computing summary measures and constructing frequency distribution tables anyway.

Net-A-Porter never ceases to amaze me. I will never forget sitting outside for lunch at the Bryant Park Grill when I saw the famous black Net-A-Porter van speed past the lunchtime crowd of businessmen, PR girls and throngs of tourists trickling out of Times Square. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of Mondays, at least I know I always have the weekly "What's New" e-mail to look forward to in getting me through the week. Below is an outfit constructed from all new items featured on the site.

Vanessa Bruno >> Collarless Leather Jacket >> $915: This jacket really fascinates me. I'm all about leather jackets, even here at Wake, but the ones I've noticed are all rather similar- shrunken and fitted, personalized with metallic hardware and typically hitting at mid-waist. This one is an entirely different character in itself. With cinched arms and defined shoulders, this leather jacket is completely free around the neck, giving this piece a special one-of-a-kind feel. Come on, where else have you seen a collarless leather jacket like this?

Willow >> Sheer Chiffon Blouse >> $520: The photograph of this blouse not on a model doesn't do justice to the absolutely perfect fluttery design of this top at the neck and lower shoulder area. (Go here to click around for some better images.) The shoulder cut-outs add an understated sexiness to this otherwise plainly innocent tunic top. Remaining tastefully elegant, this top could be paired with worn-in jean shorts for a lazy Saturday shopping day, dark-wash skinny jeans and heels for a girls night out in Philly or black Theory dress pants for dinner with the parents.

Chloé >> Striped Denim Shorts >> $540: Yeah, I know. Over $500 for a pair of shorts? But they're Chloé... I know that's no excuse, but this is solely an inspiration piece. Railroad conductor stripes will never get old to me, no matter how reminiscent of seventh-grade Abercrombie & Fitch jean skirts the print may be. As always, I'm challenging myself to step outside my box and pair shorts with heels and formal with low-key. Balance is everything.

Chloé >> Canvas and Leather Sandals >> $650: Wow. These shoes are just something else. While I can imagine Nicole Richie stepping out in Melrose about 900 times more than I could ever see myself parading around in these shoes to a fraternity lounge party, I love the personality and statements that come with this shoe. Without a doubt, these heels will definitely add that extra oomph to any outfit as needed.

Chloé >> Marcie Large Leather Shoulder Bag >> $1,780: What a beauty this purse is. I don't know what to talk about first, the brushed gold clasps, the buttery soft brick-red exterior or the detail incorporated into the twist-braided handles. With its distinct color and trusty large tote size, it's no wonder that this calfskin leather gem is already sold out.

Willow >> Beaded Open-Rope Necklace >> $415: Talk about statement piece. Though I'm not a big jewelry girl (yet), this piece might be my very favorite part of the entire outfit. There's something about knotted pieces of jewelry that really tugs at the impulse buyer in me. I love that the little silver beads cover the base rather imperfectly; this handwork really adds dimension and personality to the piece, ultimately translating to totally fun versatility.

Even though this whole outfit costs about my life savings (Kidding. Slightly.) and more, a girl can dream. If anything, it's more incentive for me to work hard so I can live the lifestyle I've become accustomed to. "When we're baller..."

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Long overdue

Yes, I realize it's been an entire 11 months and 11 days since these photos were taken, but this post had to be made sometime. This being said, I remember the very first time I browsed the intimidating multitude of archives belonging to The Sartorialist, wishing I had just half as much of Scott Schuman's incredibly baller persona. It simply amazed me how one individual could possess this level of confidence and spontaneity, traits that are almost prerequisites to photographing well-dressed strangers in the name of fashion and not feeling awkward about it during and after the first introduction.

Los Angeles International Airport
March 14, 2009

March 14th, 2009 was my first-ever encounter with a subject to photograph for my blog. Her name was Anastasia and I met her in LAX waiting on my return flight to Philadelphia after Spring Break. Dressed in a lot of comfy vintage finds, she divulged to me her love for Philly thrift-store shopping and learning new languages. It may have been a coincidence with how the photos turned out, but her oversized Kanye-esque shades seemed to complement her mahogany lace-up Oxford flats perfectly. Anastasia definitely stuck out to me among the rest of the young travelers in the typical college hoodie and jeans look, proving that airport garb does not equate to dull uniformity. Her outfit intrigued me from head to toe; she was able to pull off a completely monochromatic base without looking one-dimensional or blendy- an extreme accomplishment in my eyes. The skinny scarf, chunky ring and shoes just added an unexpected dimension to her look, taking it from good to great. So maybe this is why I need to learn to accessorize... but I digress.

In short, the mini-photoshoot I had with my dinky pink Olympus digital camera was not the most earth-shattering event to happen in the world of fashion, but it did open up doors for me and allowed me to understand that in order to be more comfortable with myself and my interests, I would have to do things like this to grow. I carried this confidence over with me to London, photographing a total of forty locals for my two blogs collectively over an entire semester. Giving a nod to my OCD and severe need for anything and everything to flow in chronological order, I can now start posting the rest I've photographed over the past year. A step up, I must say.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

"Hey playboy..."

I'll proudly admit to adopting yet another culture, but you know it's bad when your own grandmother actually mistakes you for one of your Korean friends in a picture you took just the day before. My inside source for the absolute best Korean food, entertainment and celebrity eye candy is none other than the notorious Yuri Bong, who I have yet to dedicate a post to in all of her stylish glory.

One of her latest introductions pointed me in the direction of my 4 adorable new girl crushes: Dara, Bom, CL and Minzy of girl group 2NE1. Besides their undeniably catchy songs (which I naturally don't understand any of the words to) and music videos that capture the highest essence of girly fun, I did what I do with everyone I'm introduced to and radiated immediately toward their individual senses of style.

The very best part about bubblegum-pop groups is that detail-oriented stylists always ensure that outfits for any given time flow cohesively, just like a good designer collection should. A rock-solid concept will translate to a seamless design aesthetic. Take a leader singer's flowy one-shoulder blouse for example. Should the top be leopard print, every member of the group will have leopard print incorporated into her outfit as well (case in point, Spice Girls and Destiny's Child circa early 2000's). By principle, each will each have her own distinct personality, showing off what she enjoys wearing best while remaining true to the overall visual identity of that particular occasion.

So I'm starting to ramble, and I realize these outfits would probably look more appropriate on a Powerpuff Girl than a twentysomething college grad, but it's impossible to deny the creativity and fierceness taken in 2NE1's approach to fashion. Whether it's ridiculous patterned leggings reminiscent of optical illusions or an in-your-face acid-wash motocross jacket, 2NE1 definitely inspires the "rawr" factor in me and gives me that extra tap on the shoulder, reminding me that it's okay to go a little crazy once in awhile.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.