Thursday, December 23, 2010

We no speak Americano

And here's the follow-up to my first post documenting the sartorially-gifted muses I discovered while abroad. Writing this post kind of makes me miss traveling all too much.

Plaza Mayor
Salamanca, Spain
18 October 2009:
Seriously, I love bright pops of color. Photos like this are the reason I respect Europeans so much. While these girls were just hanging out in between classes, their outfits are just so much more awesome and interesting than those of anyone you would find in the US, particularly at Wake. I don't remember if the glasses belonging to the girl on the left were solely for aesthetic purposes or not, but they just work. I love the interplay between her structured blazer (great metal hardware at the sleeves) and the hot pink pashmina that totally changes the outfit in a great way. The girl on the right has gorgeous haircolor, and she also makes great use of a rich knit scarf. I love her oversized parka for the soon-to-be chilly fall weather, and that pair of brown leather knee-high boots is an undeniable staple item that transcends all seasons.

18 October 2009:
I met this fun pair of British travelers just walking the streets in a student group of their own. After exchanging "do you know this place"'s regarding London and the several tube zones, I complimented them on their concepts of layering and balance (surprise, surprise). While the girl on the left probably was not even planning on being photographed in her ultra-casual outfit, I applaud her use of a zip-up vest over the simple grey hoodie. This look inspires me to try a fitted charcoal/grey hoodie (maybe zip-up, maybe not) under my black shrunken motorcycle jacket with the hood and longer sleeves exposed. I'm a fan of those skinny Keds sneakers they're both wearing, now deemed rather city and hipster by brands like Urban, selling a simple pair of cotton sneakers for upwards of $24. Ouch.

Fast-Food Chain "X" (Help?)
Valencia, Spain
20 October 2009:
Without a doubt, this was probably the most inspirational as well as the friendliest group of individuals I photographed during the entire semester. A brother-sister graphic design team stationed in Valencia, I met this well-dressed group in line for bocadillos and onion rings. Classy, no? While looks like this are just finally starting to surface via fast fashion chains, the girl here dressed innovatively at least a year before her American counterparts... shame on our parts for not hitting the ground running in terms of the international fashion curve. I can't stop zeroing in on the wash of her grey leggings, which contrast sharply with the harsh line of her classic brown combat boots... utter perfection. And those guys are just awesome with the blazer/scarf/jean/sneaker combo. Casual yet put-together, something that 99.9% of straight guys in the US have yet to figure out, let alone master.

Haus Erasmus
Vienna, Austria
9 October 2009:
Boys and girls, meet Loveleen Sull, my fellow petite fashionphile. Currently working at an ad agency in her hometown of Vancouver (yes she's Canadian, but awesome), this girl knows exactly what flatters her enviable slender frame with a studded bodycon dress from Zara. As I've stated earlier, I'm not a fan of cap-sleeves, but this dress not only makes the concept work, but creates a need for it in order to create the very best sense of cohesion. The cut-out laced black patent oxfords are also an incredible touch. Never at Wake would you find such awesome shoes to go with an otherwise classic LBD-- the toes are pointed! Inspirational to the max, I'm planing on style-stalking Loveleen's facebook to find more incredible ideas (thank you, and you better stick to that New Year's resolution so we can be blog bffl's).

12 October 2009:
When I decided to spend a week with Nats in Vienna, I had no idea how many fun people I'd get to party (and engage in otherwise sober activities) with from literally all over the world. And I don't mean east coast to west, but from countries like Sweden (Molly, on the left) and England (Lizzie, on the right). Making use again of my favorite concept of balance, they both exhibit a sense of nonchalant, understated elegance that I respect so much. Instead of grabbing what's easiest and safest (read: ratty old zip-up hoodie) to pair with a pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans and grossly-overplayed UGG's, I'd like to challenge more girls at Wake to utilize a crisp blazer, something that completely transforms an outfit. Entering the most fashionably conservative context possible, let's imagine an outfit constructed of a simple Hanes wifebeater and a pair of dark denim skinny jeans with cognac leather riding boots. Instead of going for the black North Face Denali (don't even get me started on the Burberry scarf, the constant peripheral good of this piece), a blazer brings the outfit full-circle and ensures a much more grown-up, polished look that a fleece zip-up otherwise would not warrant.

14 October 2009:
When else in my life have I ever met people from Denmark? My party-hopping week in Vienna definitely allowed me to soak up as much global fashion as possible, so thank you again, Nats. And all in the kitchen of a university dorm? God, I love Europe. Only a year older than my sister, Tess is probably the coolest 17-year-old I know (16 at the time this photo was taken). I love how she uses the popping colorblock skirt to the outfit's advantage, that fuschia strip bringing to life the entire otherwise-monochromatic palette. Her friend on the right makes great use of those black leather over-the-knee boots, tied with tassels at the back adding dimension and texture.

Place Monge
Paris, France
14 November 2009:
I was introduced to Hillary, a very fashionably-aware NYU student from Atlanta, by the one and only Caitlin Garrigan-Nass aka sophomore-year Rooms. Interning for the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Hillary exudes the sophisticated dress of an UES socialite constructing her outfit from some of my very favorite esoteric labels-- LaROK and Miss Sixty-- and a touch of vintage with the chain-link bag she stole from her mom's closet. Mixing textures of the shiny silk blouse with the luxe white winter coat, Hillary's outfit screams nothing shy of remarkably put-together. In a single word: fabulous. While my tastes are beginning to lean more toward the spectrum of risky and even slightly ridiculous, this look reminds me of how fun it is to dress with some ladylike swag, as well.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

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