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From Paris

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Fashion is not all smoke and mirrors. This past weekend in Paris brought a bevy of  sure-to-be copied looks and focused on the conceptual avant-garde — the stranger and wilder the looks, the better. Only a few designers could take the fashion industry’s breath away by the way they place a flower on a lapel, draping on a sleeve, the fringe on a coat. These heavy hitters including Céline, ChloéGivenchy, and Kenzo presented collections that are surely going to inspire a craze or two next fall.

Here are my top looks, so far, from the city of light.

1. Céline

The looks on Céline‘s catwalk featured sleek, thirties-styled tailoring, and double-breasted closings gone wild. The thirties were on Philo’s mind when she was first thinking about the collection, especially women like Hannah Höch and Lee Miller, who were pivotal figures in the Dada and surrealist art worlds.  The new, sinewy silhouette was complemented by soon-to-be-coveted knockout accessories: a single statement earring, a bold colorful cuff, and an oversize tangerine fur muff.

Céline

Céline Fall 2014

2. Chloe

Fall excursions for Clare Waight Keller’s Chloé  are often a swing between soft and hard, the girlish and the boyish. But this Fall there was perhaps an injection of a new element: something wild. The coherence and boyish discipline, together with the pretty-prettiness of Chloé, was given an additional jolt with the wild and woolly today. See this leopard fur coat with strips of marigold and ruby fur worn over an ivory fringed dress. The bag tucked underneath the arm exudes just enough nonchalance. Love the  great new bags and enticing outerwear.

Chloe

3. Acne

One of the reasons I love what Acne does, is mastering the perfect sweater and that they did. Sweater dressing is the season’s hot topic, and Acne had ideas to contribute, including ribbed knits that draped the body like beach towels. Take note of the large pom-pom hat you will find on heads everywhere next season.

Acne Studios

4. Stella McCartney

It’s official: Chunky knit pajama-style pants are one of fall’s key trends and Stella is giving her customer what she knows and loves. Borrowed from the worlds of sport and loungewear, I love the zipper detailing and embroidery on her oh-so-sexy clothes, stirrup pants, and those flatforms are back with a vengeance. I can’t think of a better way to start your day– put on your fringe and dance!

Stella McCartney

 

 

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Spring 2014 Ads

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There is no better time for the release of the Spring Ad season than bitter cold mid-January. Besides injecting myself with vitamin C in the form of kale, blueberries, and orange juice, the sun won’t loan me UV rays anytime soon in the Northern Hemisphere. So, here’s to looking at these stellar photos of Oscar-winners and pop superstars. Scroll below for my top photos and share your take on these über-talented photographers.

Chloe Spring summer 2014 campaign

Julia Stegner and Lou Doillon in their oversized shades and crochet for Chloé, makes me want to go to Coachella this year.

Celine Ad Spring 2014

These bright coat dresses and sandals with silver balls worn by Julia Nobis for Céline are fun and kooky.

Balenciaga Ad Spring 2014

Daria Werbowy is the face of these dark  and stormy Balenciaga ads. Unrecognizable, right? I particularly love the winged dress, but not sold on the dark purple lip and white hair.

alexander Wang Spring 2014 ad 80-wang.jpg.r.nocrop.w610.h610Leave it to Alexander Wang to put us right into public bathroom stalls. Featuring models Anna Ewers and Zuzu Tadeushuk in the literal toilet, the ad really works wonder on the mind. Those shoes, though.

Thoughts?

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Weekend Wears

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I love to make lists. By checking off various tasks on my to-do lists, by end of day, I feel a sense of accomplishment. And if don’t cross it off, the task moves to the following day till it’s completed. It’s a trick I learned in college and stayed with me throughout my working years.

Same goes when I am preparing for a trip. I make a checklist, mark down what I want to put in my a carry-on, and then hunt for said items in my closet. Packing for a four-day trip looking ambitiously cool for all of those days? It might seem like a tall order but frankly, without scribbling down what I need to pack: that red lipstick, the eye mask, and the ubiquitous sweatshirt, my packing situation would be abominable. And I will never look chic, albeit totally planned.

I can, of course, try, which is where this post comes in to tell the tale of time. I brought a pair of jeans, a t-shirt and shoe choices for an excursion to my alma mater down in New Orleans where Pat O’s rules and crawdaddies are the way to the soul. Kidding about the last part—its all about those Po’ boys.

Here I have curated a 19 item, go-to packing post, travel essentials, for your weekend pleasure no matter where you’re headed. Im hoping to dodge this latest hurricane threat. C’mon Karen. All links are clickable, although my underlining abilities are curtailed at the moment.

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A basic white T-shirt is a must-have and this one by Fine Collection is on sale. A great layering piece for any lewk. Grunge is big, and flannel shirts have never been cooler. Bring back the 90s with this colorful Equipment Dandelion plaid is a winner. Distressed boyfriend jeans are my current favorite and these by Frame Denim have just the right rips in just the right places. It’s fall, and keeping warm will be not be an option for us very soon. Not that I’m rushing into it, but prepare with this baby blue Topshop sweater. The “Happy” necklace really does make me happy and it might brighten everyone’s day. This one is from Lanvin, and by the looks of surfing the web for past hour, there seems to be a shortage of wearing your words, I also love this COOL ring– guaranteed to make a statement.
Middle column going down: Celine sunglasses, a red business card case by Saint Laurent and Henri Bendel leopard iPhone case are all   necessities. Floral  prints are big this fall and this Red Valentino dress is a fantastic option. As for shoe options, its sneakers, flats, and heels. These are by New Balance, flats by Chloe, Topshop heels.

Moving over to the right, Sugar Lip stain, NARS bronzer for quick applications, and as for accoutrements, the more the merrier. Here’s my top picks. These stacked LOVE rings are cheap and do the trick. This ALDO clutch resembles the Alexander McQueen without the price tag. A stylish graphic tee is good option to pack, get a similar one here.

You might want to remember your packing list, or the trip you are about to embark on. This Smythson black book will remember it for you. All you need is a pen. And of course, we can’t let go of our phones although my latest endeavour to give it up for a few hours a day is working.
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Get Me off the Wait List

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There are a few things right now that I would like to call my own. One of them is the new Net-A-Porter mobile app that is an invitation only mobile site. The app called the “The Netbook,” is based on the idea of a diary, a metaphor for the physical diaries that we carry around with us to meetings and our crazy lives. It’s an app with a live feed that shows what shoppers, stylists, editors are buying, pinning, and selecting in real-time.

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I was recently interviewed for an article, not yet published, about my favorite fashion apps and why I use them. Besides Pose, I am on Fitting Room Social, Poshmark (a marketplace to recycle my goods) and others.

In the same way that Facebook has “friends” and Twitter has “followers,” users of this shoppable app will be able to become a part of a virtual world and build a “love list” filled with a community of customers.

What else would I love to call my own? I don’t know if I can believe the hype until I’m in, but just like a Soul Cycle class, it feels good just to get off the wait list.

The cherry on the proverbial sundae?  Gimme these fat Celine creepers that I am also on the wait list for, and I will immediately love thee.

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Céline creepers Fall 2013

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Slip-Ons

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Remember when the wedge sneaker reigned supreme? I sure do, that was only 6 months ago. It-girls world-wide wore the Isabel Marant sneakers and they became the latest ‘thing’? Those clunky, space-age lace-ups truly snowballed a revolution, pushing all others sneakers to the bottom of the pond. And then as soon as you can say I’ll take those in every color, they became ubiquitous, and every retailer under the sun quickly create their own version at every price point imaginable. This in turn prompted the trend to travel a familiar trajectory, going from top editors, to street style stars, to fashion bloggers, to everyday fashion lovers, to bargain shoppers, to mall-crawling teenagers. And now, do I still want to wear them? That wedge does add much-needed height to the petite population…but I digress.

Today in debatable subjects on The Fashion Hunter: enter the slip-on sneaker. While the slip-on silhouette isn’t, in fact, new, (it’s long been favored by skateboarders, grunge-lovers, and pretty much everyone in the ’90s), it’s never truly been embraced by the couture crowd, until now.

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Céline, (See above pics), the arbiter of everything that’s cool and coveted, was an early adopter of the fashion slip-on sneaker, releasing $720 sneakers. This was swiftly followed by a near-exact all-black iteration by Zara, favored by a variety of hip fashionistas, and which sold out in the blink of an eye last winter.

And now?

Givenchy is doing them.

Tory Burch is doing them.

Vince is doing them.

Sandro Paris is doing them.

Vans, duh, always did them.

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Sandro Paris

Obviously, when one trend goes out the window, another swiftly swoops in, and judging by a host of street style pics, fashion campaigns, and e-commerce sites, we’re guessing the slip-on sneaker is the new sneaker wedge. If you are a fan of the slip-on sneaker,  don’t fret. Come fall, there will be plenty available.

I’d be hard pressed  to report that these are uncomfortable, because they’re just the opposite. Here are some laceless wonders.

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 Edmundo Castillo black woven laceless sneakers, $490. Vans classic Slip-On, $45. Givenchy lace sneaker, $650., Vince Blaire Slip-ons, $225, rag & bone perforated slip-on, $290., and Superga is getting in on the action too, $60.

Do we sense another revolution?

 

 

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Utility Dressing

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What should be the easiest part of everyone’s day ie: getting dressed in the morning, is sometimes the hardest. Getting dressed is actually a real pain. Matching, styling, digging through your closet — especially at a way-too-early morning hour. Luckily, this spring’s hottest denim trend comes in one easy piece: the overall. They can be great especially on a lazy Saturday when you don’t want to wear your gym clothes all day long, you don’t have any real plans, but you are miffed by what else besides basic jeans you could throw on.

Nineties style as I have written about before, See: Neo grunge, has returned in a big way, with flannel shirts, floral babydolls, and Dr. Martin combat boots slowly taking over our wardrobes. But that one item I wore in the 1990s I truly haven’t missed: overalls. Remember wearing overalls?! There were long ones, short ones, skirt ones, colorful ones, corduroy ones. Sometimes I’d even leave one strap unbuckled for cool points.While it can be intimidating for those of us who haven’t donned a pair since elementary school, no fear–why not try a pair and see how easy it is to get out and start your day?

Overall, (get it?), wearing them is a great idea, except for the bathroom necessities when you’re out and about. Last week while on a showroom appointment, I used the ladies’ room and my straps literally fell into the toilet. Sometimes you have to laugh things off, and not take life too seriously. The key here? Wear them, don’t style them. It’s a very real piece of clothing. Nothing underneath except a tube top or a blouse.

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Wearing Topshop Full-length overalls, get a similar pair here and Current / Elliotts here, J Crew Breton striped shirt Elizabeth & James bright pink blazer, V73 transparent tote bag, Retrosuperfuture sunglasses

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I watched silky overalls march down the runway s this past fashion week and wasn’t sure how quick it was going to catch on. I’ve already spotted  many variations of the ’90s-tastic style, some even with one strap un-hooked à la Salt N’ Pepa. I think it’s safe to officially call it a spring trend.

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Céline sandals

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 Photos taken by Ria Michelle

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The Buzz from Paris

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Yes, it’s over. You can rest your eyes for now. At the bleary end of a runway season, I am exhausted just looking at the shows from Paris. I would love to watch the clothes sway down the catwalk, but from an outsider’s viewpoint, judging from the photos on Vogue.com, Style.com and Instagram, my feed was filled with so so much identifiable pieces (see: plaid, oversize coats) that I created my top five hit list– a great exercise in editing down the collections.

We know that Mr. Slimane has been the talk of Paris Fashion Week with his Neo-Grunge throwback to the 90′s collection for Saint Laurent, consisted of baby-doll dresses and flannel shirts, but there were plenty of others looks and powers that be that deserve attention. Despite the number of shows, it’s easy to pick out the winners and the trends we will see next fall. One thing is for sure, fur, whether real or faux, is a must buy. And the rest? Chew on this.

1. Restraining Order

My first example, Céline’s “fit and flare” dresses and skirts seen here in ivory, were simple, but hardly plain. Contemporary and highly covetable, the fluid looks shown by Phoebe Philo nailed the I-can-pull-off-chunky-sweaters, ankle length boots, and skwishy-bags whilst remaining chic without a hitch factor on the head. And so much of what made her collection so potent is in the proportions of the top and skirt, or the clean-cut of some gray wool shifts. The edge was amped up with the thick-heeled, above-the-ankle boots shown below. Perfected takes on the tried and true, see also Dior and Hermes.

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And now let’s turn our attention to MMM, Maison Martin Margiela, where crisp white shirts are just that–crisp and white, but not without a twist to the oversized sleeves that basically paralyze the functionality of the hands. Masculine, yes, but this could become the backbone of many a woman’s wardrobe. Menswear suiting et al.

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2. White and black.

Trends come and go but polar opposites always attract. Black and white give the ultimate graphic punch. See looks from Hermes and Gareth Pugh below and also check out Dior and Mugler for inspiration.

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3. Mad for Plaid.

It takes a certain woman, possessing a complicated personality of sorts, to pull off the ability to layer plaid. The pattern, seen in many incarnations, were seen at Céline, Stella McCartney layers, and also glamorous coats at Louis Vuitton.

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4. Surreal Patterns

There were florals and paisley, plaids and unpredictable patterns like the all-seeing eye at Kenzo (most likely the IT pattern for next Fall) and Bambi at Givenchy. Mix it all up in a blender and you get a melange of prints that connect with a global street beat while screaming “look at me”!

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5. Wrap it Up 

Large oversize coats ruled the runways this season, but some of the oversize heaviness, unless you are towering over 5 foot 8″ can be a tad overwhelming. But the belted up coats, nipped in at the shoulder or waist, minimized all the heaviness and excess fabrics were “straight-jacket chic.” From Nina Ricci and Carven, go.

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This may be monotonous for some, but for the rest of us obsessed style hounds, the season starts and ends in Paris. As Cathy Horyn  so eloquently states,Paris fashion gets its weight from ideas, whether from the past or from the street, and its authority from the way designers like Raf Simons for Dior can reorient your thinking about notions like modernity and good taste.”

Such open-mindedness can really set your wardrobe apart from the rest of the fashion pack. Are you on board?

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Pre-Fall Collections

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Fashion is in constant perpetual motion and fashion-camp has recommenced by spinning its wheels for hints of what’s to come down the pipeline. I almost dismissed Pre-Fall as just a small-scale production, one that can be ignored, but I thought that would be downright disrespectful. My blog and my brand is a teeny tiny production in our massive universe, and I would hate to be dismissed as just that teeny tiny dismissable unit.

Hear, hear to the pioneer!

That said, Pre-Fall is a highly anticipatory event that most of the time, fails to disappoint. These collections, that hit stores in May, typically present the transitional dressing that we-want-to-wear now combined with threads of desire for the months to come. And we are all “gimme gimme” when this relationship works. Store buyers have been asking for more fashun in preseason collections–they don’t just want a bunch of commercial clothes. Smart thinking. Luring consumers into your store, with the web at your fingertips, can be a challenging proposition.

If we are playing “which designer captures the spirit” game (see Nina Ricci, Chloé, Celine, Acne, Stella McCartney), we’ll realize that they all play up their own whimsical takes on the challenges of the season. Checkmate. The shows that I was in awe of, held in high brow presentations seen on Style.com, are inspiration for what will be landing in Lincoln Center next month. There’s no better time than the present to brush up on the fashion lexicon du jour. Leaden platforms!, 60′s mod!, and cue those hats, hats, hats! for starters.

Starting with Nina Ricci, I find the combination of a heavy knit combined with a floral skirt so new, don’t you?

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At Céline, can we talk about these enormous platforms? Or straw hat?  The pilgrim brass belt buckles? Céline, oh my Céline.

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Photo: The Brunette Salad

At Stella, pushing the envelope with oversized coats and stripes….this is not disposable fashion, kiddos.

Stella McCartney Autumn 2013 Presentation, New York, America - 08 Jan 2012

Photo: Billy Farrell

My takeaway? Celebrate the season of androgyny, the continuation of flat footwear (see Céline pool sliders), and the single  sole  that doesn’t need to be justified.

For some of my favorite looks click on the gallery below. That’s all.

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Coveting Céline

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Consider Phoebe Philo, the designer behind the  label whose flipping major following waits with bated breath to see what genius narrative she is going to come up with next. Her existing line, consisting of cool sportswear, metal cuffs, widely copied totes, and funky shoes proves that she has good instincts–a certain je ne sais quoi. On tap for next season? Look down at the fur-lined Birkenstocks and fold-over clutches. Whatever Phoebe does turns to gold, and people usually want in.

The mood, both of looseness and of ease, has permeated much of the Paris shows this season, and it has been quite exciting to watch the drama unfold from the interwebs. I was most interested in watching Céline, who sent out her own interpretation with slouchy flat-front trousers, loosely knotted tops, and jackets with unfinished hems. Summing up the mood, it was clean and fluid with a bit of funk. Or as I call it, the “Céline-knack.”  The dernier cri.

No housewife yawn, Phoebe’s shoes were key to her collection: a cavalcade of models pranced on the runway wearing mink-lined leather shower sandals and pumps in bright yellows, reds, and lavender mink. Perverse, odd, and most likely krazy expensive, Philo has carte blanche in the fashion world with her streamlined essentials with just the right appeal. Our collective attitudes towards normal versus abnormal is skewed by what should be and what shouldn’t be. Chances are, those mink Birkenstocks will be highly covetable. Take a look here:

I guess this Spring getting dressed will be an option. Or at least, putting on proper shoes. But hey, who wouldn’t want to walk around in furry slippers all day?

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Céline Resort

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I have been admiring Phoebe Philo’s last few seasons as designer at Céline and this Resort Collection is blowing my mind. A long time Céline fan, Philo has mainstreamed her collection into a highly-edited, sophisticated, and lust-worthy signature line. Her accessories have become the status symbol—-the Luggage tote is on every upwardly mobile Upper East Side woman’s arm. It was on my what I wore to Fashion week last season and doesn’t show signs of losing its luster. Philo introduced this new bag for Resort–the All Soft, a zipless fold-0ver tote which I am currently crushing on. On the clothes front, there’s just something about Mary a crisp white suit with a short jacket and flared pants that’s oh-so chic it hurts. Strong outerwear with a sportif current were prevalent throughout the collection, with pops of reds, navy, and green. If there is an “OMG I have to have that now” piece, it will probably be the striped trousers with contrasting color at the hem. They will be the ultimate get for the fashion insider. Check out the amazeballs pics below and share what you will be craving next winter! And.. if you can’t wait till then, there’s always Celine.com 

Images via Style.com

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