Runway Thoughts: Carolina Herrera

Since I looked at Dior yesterday and it was so very very scary, today I decided to check out a collection that I normally really really like – Carolina Herrera. Her designs always have great shapes and beautiful flattering garments. This collection had both of those things, but I was pretty luke-warm about a lot of it.

CarolinaHerreraCoat1

There were a lot of coats in this collection. Most of them had fur trim (although many had less fur than the coat above). I chose this picture because it gives you a good idea of her coats for the season as well as her color palette. The colors were mostly muted browns, grays and blacks. There were pieces with more color, but the overall color palette was pretty muted.

CarolinaHerreraDress1

I love this outfit! It is very very flattering, showing curves beautifully. There were a lot of details (like the neckline above) that were very evocative of Jackie Kennedy’s White House style. Normally that annoys me, but these dresses are so pretty and well cut that it doesn’t bother me. They have the nice details without the boxiness that characterized a lot of Jackie’s suits.

CarolinaHerreraDress2

This was one of the most colorful pieces in the collection. I love the color and fabric, they are great, and the design is very pretty. I could absolutely see wearing this to a party!

I loved the flattering details in Carolina Herrera’s designs for this collection. I have liked some of her past collections better, but this one really is stunning. I would love to own some of her designs!

Is Fashion for Real Women?

Today Almost Girl has a very interesting post about a problem that exists in fashion that really bugs me. It’s the problem of the Child/Woman. It exists elsewhere too (most notably in anime), but is very evident in fashion. The designs are very childish and clearly designed to make adult women look like little girls. High waists, short skirts, baby-doll necklines and puffed sleeves are common.

Read the rest of this entry »

Movie News: Bridge to Terabithia

Walden Media (the studio that made The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) has begun filming on Bridge to Terabithia. This is based on an absolutely amazing book by Katherine Paterson and won a Newbery Medal. I can believe that Walden Media could do this right (they’ve proven that they respect the books they base their movies on), but I’m very worried given the description. I really don’t like that they intend to create Tarabithia as a fantasy world. I think that’s a horribly bad idea. I’m still mostly willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for the moment, but I’m worried just the same. Read more about it here.

Runway Thoughts: Christian Dior

I had considered not writing about the collection from Christian Dior (by John Galliano), but I decided that I would be remiss if I neglected it. This really was the “what the hell?” collection of the season, in my opinion. There are more pictures for this one because I just couldn’t explain it without visual aids, you wouldn’t have belived me.

DiorGhost1

Ok, so, did I mention that all the models looked dead? This one actually isn’t too bad as far as looking dead compared to some of the others. The high neck thing appears on several designs. I think it might be supposed to imply that her head is missing (Galliano seemed overly enamored of the French revolution in this collection). I posted this picture specifically because of the high neck, the panier design shape of the skirt and the cross. I don’t know what was up with the crosses, but half the models were wearing at least one giant cross.

DiorGhost2

Notice the blood? Yeah, there was lots and lots of blood and lots of red chiffon to evoke the idea of blood. We get it, they are dead. All dead. Who does he want buying this stuff anyway? So beyond the blood, this is the most impractical coat ever. The top is fine, but the bottom of it is netting. But then, practicality is so far from this collection that it almost hurts. Oh, and look at the scary make up!

DiorGhost3

I don’t even know what to say about this one. The corset is very old-fashioned, but how is it staying on her? Again with the blood… And we get that she’s dead. Wrapping her head in fabric is just likely to make her fall off the runway! The make up was conveying the deadness of the models just fine.

DiorGhost4

Ok, the bottom of this outfit has me baffled, but I love the top. It’s very pretty and I could totally see someone wearing to the Oscars with a totally different bottom. That is part of why this collection is frustrating – there are parts of things that look great, but the overall effect is just costumey and weird. I can see someone taking the top half of this dress to a designer and saying “I have this great top of a dress, can you make me a great bottom half to go with it?” Oh, notice the number on her neck? Lots of the models had those too. I think it’s another nod to the French revolution/excecuted prisoners theme.

DiorGhost5

Apart from the scary make up and hair, I like this design a lot. I love how the skirt opens to show what appears to be struckture below it. I like the one flowy sleeve. I have no idea where I would wear something like this, but I really like how it’s designed. The model really needs some breasts, but the dress is great.

So this collection is truly proof that Galliano is insane (you should see the scary leather-strap outfit he wore and the rapier he carried). I liked some parts of it, but in general I was so busy being confused by the models that I didn’t see much of the detail in the clothing the first time through! I honestly felt like they were all vampires. Seriously. None of their mouths are open, so there could easily be fangs in there. And haven’t we all met Vampire LARPers who would wear some of this stuff in an instant?

On that note, I’m going to find a less scary collection to look at.

Runway Thoughts: Zang Toi

Today I looked at the collection from Zang Toi. This collection was interesting. Nothing in it really called out to me, but there were some pieces that were interesting or well done.

ZangToiSuit1

The color palette in this collection was really strange. The majority of the pieces were in grays, blacks and whites, but there were a handful of dresses and accessories in violets and baby pinks. It was very odd! I like this outfit, it’s well cut and flattering. A lot of the outfits from the collection were very flattering and had great lines.

ZangToiDress1

See what I mean about the violet? The black and white stuff was very professional and grown up while the violet and pink stuff was very girly and precious. It’s a strange combination. I like the skirt on this dress. It’s got great texture and would look nice with a white blouse (maybe one of the Nanette Lepore ones). I’d rather it came in a different color though. It would look great in black or white, actually.

ZangToiSuit2

I had to post this suit. It totally reminds me of Jem, only on her it would be pink. The lines and the unusual neckline scream Jem to me. All it needs is a pair of pointy high heels. In bright pink it would be truly outragous!

I enjoyed this collection, but it’s contradictions did little to endear the designer to me. I like the lines and pieces, but felt that that collection had some serious unity problems.

Runway Thoughts: Heatherette

There has been a lot of talk about the new Heatherette collection, so that’s what I’m going to look at today. I’m really not sure about this collection. It has some cool pieces, but it also had a lot of stuff that made me go “huh?”

HeatheretteDress1

No, I have no idea what is up with that hair. Many of the models had hair like that. I don’t get it. Anyway, beyond the hair, I’m not totally sure what’s going on here. There are so many different fabrics and textures going on that I don’t even know where to look first! Mostly it just feels busy and like it’s trying too hard to be edgy or something.

HeatheretteDress2

It’s a bird! Wait, no, it’s just another dress. There were two dresses in the collection made entirely of feathers. I picked this one to show because it’s purple (the other one is made of browns and grays). It’s an interesting art piece, but who would ever wear this?

HeatheretteCorset1

I actually really like this design. I’m not sure about the fabrics, but the colors kind of work. I doubt I would wear this on a regular basis or anything, but I could totally see wearing it to a party or Gen Con or something!

I can’t say that I really know what to think about this collection. It left me a little torn. There were some great pieces, like the corset top above, but there were also some awful things that made me cringe. I doubt I’ll be buying anything Heatherette any time soon, but I could see taking a little inspiration with a big grain of salt from them.

Runway Thoughts: Michael Kors

As an avid fan of Project Runway, I’ve seen more than is really healthy of Michael Kors lately. Nevertheless, it is his runway collection that I am going to look at today. Now, I’m not normally a big fan of Michael Kors. I generally find his designs rather uninspired. That said, I mostly liked this collection.

MichaelKorsPotter1

He started out with a pair of outfits that really made me wonder what I was looking at. Is it me, or this couple Potter-fan-tastic? The striped scarfs (in Hogwarts school colors, no less), the black cloak-like coat, everything evokes J. K. Rowling’s magical school! What is he going for here? Trying to buy into Potter-mania? Does he think it was original? I just found this pair confusing, and since they were the first thing I saw, I was very confused for a while.

MichaelKorsCollege1

The entire rest of the collection was college chic. I know. A few days ago we had high school chic, now we’ve moved on to college. What’s next, office chic? Anyway, this outfit is pretty typical of the collection. The shoulder bag, practical looking pieces that could be mixed and matched easily, lots of simple trench-like coats and lots and lots of black! I seriously thought I was looking at University Ave. during passing time.

MichaelKorsCollege2

This outfit again continues the college theme. It totally feels like something I would see on a girl walking into class carrying a latte in a paper cup! The men in the collection all looked great – sharp and put together. They still looked college-esque.

There were lots of pieces from the collection I could see wearing, but most of them I could buy at Gap or Old Navy or even Ragstock if I wanted them! The collection was good, but I kind of felt like it wasn’t worthy of a runway collection. I guess that’s just what I came away feeling.

Project Runway Judges

As most of you have probably gathered by now, I’ve been devotedly watching Project Runway this season. I’m enjoying the show and I like the concept and structure, but something has been bugging me about it all along. I think I’ve figured out that it’s the judges. I really dislike the judges. Heidi has been fine and I’m not going to get into the guest judges for each episode – some of them are good and some just suck, but regardless, it doesn’t matter because they are only there for one show. The problem is Nina Garcia and Michael Kors. I just don’t get them. They keep saying that they want to see things that are creative and different, but then they always cut the person who didn’t do what they expected!

The flower district episode was a perfect example. They gave the designers two days and $100 to make a dress out of plants. Well, first off, anyone who has ever bought flowers will know that they are very very expensive! $100 doesn’t really get you very much. Because of that, the designers got creative and bought leaves and raffia fronds and moss. The results were fantastic dresses in many shades of green! But what did the judges say? “I wanted to see flowers!” And the one person who used noticable flowers won while they harped on the lack of flowers in everyone else’s designs.

Another very good example of this problem happened in the makeover challenge. Nick created a great looking suit (albeit a little wrinkly, but he had two days, it happens) but it didn’t follow the traditional menswear rules. The coat had no pockets and no buttons, creating a different type of shape and the pants had no pockets and laid closer to the skin than typical mens’ suit pants. It was a different look and Daniel looked great in it. But Michael and Nina couldn’t get over the fact that there weren’t pockets and buttons and the result was that Nick was kicked off the show. He lost for breaking rules.

I just don’t get it. I realize that Michael Kors’ designs tend to be pretty typical and boring (I think my review of his latest show goes up later today), but he keeps professing that he likes designs that take risks and say something different. And I realize that Nina Garcia works for a magazine that isn’t really considered enormously fashion forward (Elle), but she claims to want to be surprised and wowed. So why do they totally balk when they see something unexpected? I love Daniel V. but he is one of the most traditional designers in the show. His clothing is beautiful, but usually not enormously unique. He’s won more challenges than anyone else by a long shot and I can see why – he gives the judges the comfortable familiarity that they want.

If you are trying to find fresh new designers, try actually thinking outside the box rather than just saying that everyone else should and then punishing them for doing so. Diana Eng never could have won this, she doesn’t think traditionally. I think the show is great, but they seriously need to hire some less hypocritical judges in the future or I’m likely to give up on it and just stick to the largely crappy pictures on the website.

Newsflash!

Women buy cars! They buy them as much as men do! In fact, nearly 85 percent of car purchases are either made or influenced by women! Whoa! When did this happen?

Evidently, the Ford Motor company just realized this. They want to capitolize on this information and the best way to do that is to make make-up, right? I mean, all women buy gobs and gobs of make-up! So they are pairing with the Benefit Cosmetics company (scary, scary website) to produce the “Curve Hugger eyeshadow” in a special box made to look like a rear-view mirror with a picture of a girl in a mini-skirt standing by a car on the cover. They are promoting their cars to women in other ways too! They are opening a series of “Fusion Studio D” lifestyle experience centers where you can “put your life in drive” through fitness, health and makeovers. They are reminding everyone that they support the “Race for the Cure” breast cancer awareness events. They also want us to know that they will be hosting speed dating events and concerts!

From the press release:

“We know women do a lot of research before they purchase their vehicle,” said Linda Perry Lube, Ford car communications manager. “Ford wants women to be exposed to the vehicle in many different ways so they can be confident about their purchase decision. Contextually relevant advertising is part of the mix but you need to spice it up with experiential activities too.”

Seriously, what do *any* of these things have to do with cars? And rather than making me want to patronize their business because they are so women-friendly, this makes me want to *not* buy their products because I find it rather insulting that the ways to get women to buy cars apparently include make-up, makeovers and finding them dates. When I look to buy a car, I look for the specs and safety ratings and consumer reports and financing packages avalible, and other things that *actually relate to cars in some way*!

I find news like this very depressing. If you want all the details about Ford’s new programs, go read their press release here.

Runway Thoughts: Diane Von Furstenberg

I got sick of collections that I didn’t like at all, so today I chose to discuss Diane Von Furstenberg‘s collection. Usually I really like her designs. Every collection has several pieces that I would totally wear, if they came in a different fabric. And this collection was no different.

DianeVonFurstenbergSuit1

I love the shapes that Diane Von Furstenberg uses. This suit is beautifully tailored and looks great. Except that I would feel very strange wearing a jacket completely made of that bright a plaid! The shape is great though. There were several wonderful tailored designs in the collection that I liked a lot, despite the strange fabric choices.

DianeVonFurstenbergDress1

I love this dress design, and I might even wear it in that fabric, but the top should be as solid as the skirt. There were several other similar dresses with more solid tops, but this design (I love the skirt) and fabric were my favourite. I like that this collection (and many of her others) used classic shapes and flattering cuts. The shoes were horrid, but the dresses looked great!

This was a great collection and one of the few where I would wear several of the pieces!

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