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Fashion Flashback – Styles of the Late Sixties and Early Seventies With Courrèges

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A brief window back in time, into the style of the late sixties and early seventies, via André Courrèges is an ultra-modern and sleek vision of fashion and style. At the time, his designs were unusually geometric and boxy giving an uncluttered look. No surprise there, given his education as a civil engineer.

Courrèges opened his fashion house in 1961, showcasing his unique style in his famous A-line miniskirt, little white dress and trouser suit. The iconic 1960′s French fashion house has “a predilection for futuristic designs, geometric shapes and angles, and eye-catching textiles.

A day ago on May 6, it was announced that the fashion house had tapped a pair of new artistic directors of womenswear Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant of Coperni Femme​, “a young fashion line which, in its two years of existence, garnered ANDAM’s First Collections Prize, was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize, and attracted lots of attention from fashion editors for their “sleek silhouettes, decadent textiles, minimalist lines, and structured style.”

Courrèges relaunched in 2011 without an artistic director. They announced a new makeup line with Estée Lauder in March of 2014.

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Images from Harper’s Bazaar

Asian Pop Star CL is Stunning in W Magazine Photoshoot

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She’s called CL, but her name is Lee Chaerin. Chearin is her first name. She’s Korean, she’s the leader of a girl group called 2NE1 who sing kpop, but are known worldwide. The 24 year old recently signed with Scooter Braun, Justin Beiber’s manager, and is hard at work on a crossover album to the United States. CL is both a rapper and singer.

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Throughout the photoshoot, CL is wear various traditional Korean clothing called the hanbok.

Ladies hanbok consists of only two primary pieces, a full, high skirt called the chima, and a large petticoat called the mujigi. Over these can go an additional piece, a long and wide-sleeved top called the jeogori.

The main fabric used in hanboks is silk. However, summer hanboks are made with ramie, a flowering plant in the nettle family or hemp. And, winter hanboks are made with brocade or satin.

This Hanbok is the same Hanbok we blogged about, back in 2013. It’s designed by Kim Young-seok, who has also designed hanboks for the president of South Korea, Park Guem-Hye. The current president of Korea is a lady, who’s also the daughter of a former president. His name is Park Chung-hee, and he is credited with the developments that planted the seeds for South Korea’s rapid industrialization.

Kim Young-seok prefers a more modern interpretation of hanboks for his designs.

Embroidery in hanboks was reserved for royal wear. As CL and her fans style her as a queen, the hanbok she’s draped in is embroidered.

Aside from how incredibly stunning are these photos, their is an underlying sentiment CL wants to share. As she crosses the bridge to the future, she wants to be remembered as Korean. So maybe this is goodbye, to Korea, goodbye to Kpop.

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Color is the most important element in hanbok design. And, the stunning red Hanbok CL is wearing, below, could not express that sentiment any more. Red, Yellow and blue are traditional Korean colors.

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CL’s Instagram is a stack contrast to this luxurious spread’s modern day take on Korean royalty. CL’s Instagram which has her posing with producers and their friends, is as granola-American as it gets.

We. @kevin_amato @annatrevelyan

A photo posted by Twitter:chaelinCL (@chaelincl) on Mar 27, 2015 at 3:38am PDT

Maybe that’s why she’s hiding behind the mask here.

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Street Qt: Ivy League Besties in Matching Outfits

Wearing matching outfits from head to toe, the pair walked into the coffee shop and sat opposite one another, toe-to-toe. A fascinating and striking scene on the college campus.

Over their dark- brown chestnut-colored booties (they prefer calling them just “boots”), they wore a black-themed outfit with one of them wearing a rebellious zip-detailed leather-biker jacket. And, her bestie wore a perfectly contrasting Michael Kors cross-body purse, with brown strap and detail almost in perfect sync with her boots. “Was it planned?” “Of course!” “How?” “Snapchat!”

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SHOP THE LOOK:

Zip Detail Leather Biker Jacket from Burberry

Michael Kors Selma Mini Logo Messenger

Louis Vuitton’s “Brown and Beige Damier”, and Michael Kors “Checkerboard.” “Who wears it Better.”

I was standing on line at a convenience store, and in front of me stood a fair brunette with extensions. Hanging from her shoulder was the iconic Louis Vuitton Speed 30, with its golden zipper open. Genuine or not, she reached into it and pulled out a Michael Kors wallet in a checkerboard pattern.

LV SPEEDY 30 Damier Canvas Speedy 30

MK Checkerboard Wallet
An interesting juxtaposition that actually works really well from a visual standpoint, may have a non-initiate in the world of fashion asking, “Who copied who?”

The beige and brown Damier canvas pattern on Louis Vuitton’s iconic monograms was conceived by Mr Vuitton himself in 1888 to deter imitations. Fast forward about 100 years, enter Mr Michael Kors, who has not hesitated to adopt and adapt the design for his purposes. By now, whatever trademark or copyright LVMH may have had on the design, would have long expired.

For Mr Kors, the adaptation works, because it makes the design accessible. Although, the preference is for Louis Vuitton, because of its high-luxury brand. Or, as Ivy-League student Rihanna said “it’s more upscale.”

Browsing Louis Vuitton’s website looking for the bags section is like a treasure hunt. Click “women”, but no “handbangs!” Is it under “accessories?!” No, “ready-to-wear!? No, No, can’t be. “Leather Goods,” then. And, then another menu pops up:
“Hand Bags;”
“Small Leather Goods;”
“Travel;”
“Celebrating Monogram;”
Was that really all necessary?!
The damier canvas patterns are found under “Monogram Icons,” under “Hand Bags”

On Michael Kors’s website, bags are listed directly in the rather tacky looking primary menu. And, there are lots of them – a prodigious amount of them.

DKNY’s Exciting and Urban Resort 2015 Collection Hits the Shelves

DKNY has long overshadowed its mother-label Donna Karan, and its latest arrival in stores from the Resort 2015 collection is really exciting and prolific. The poster child of the collection is Cara Delevinge, who’s wearing her go-to accessory… a leather jacket.

DKNY Resort 2015

The collection is urban, feathery and full of swag. Primarily monochromatic and pastel pink, the designer creatively put together pieces that are youthful and agile. The collection also has a casual and sporty feel, making the sneakers the models are wearing totally relevant.

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resort14look113_alt1resort14look113_main1. The Feather Drop Waist Dress is an adorable above-the-knee dress with a shiny feathery skirt. So the top, cut like a short-sleeved t-shirt is made of ponte, a combination of polyester, rayon and spandex.

 

 

 

resort14look143_mainresort14look143_alt12. The Fringe Tunic Dress comes straight out of Brooklyn in style and substance. The immaculate white dress has the long fringes emanating high above the waist. Also short-sleeved the dress maintains its sporty feel, and the style with white sneakers and long strap hand bag is totally on point.

 

 

resort14look501_main - moto leather jacketresort14look175_main3. Cashmere Drawstring Pants with exposed ankles and elastic ankle cuffs.

 

 

 
 

resort14look159_alt1resort14look151_main4. DKNY Jeans Avenue B With Moto Style

 
 

 

 

 

 

5. Petal Hem Long Sleeve Dress is a reminder that urban isn’t always about being tough as nails. The petal embellishment on the already adorable pink gown elicits a fresh girly attitude.

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Alice and Olivia’s Shimmering Fall in Soho

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While everyone else is sucking out any semblance of color out of fall, including mother nature, Ms. Bendet of Alice and Olivia is using any means possible to inject it right back in.

From bright red-colored butterflies, to sun-scorched orange fall leaves, the warm aura is inviting at Alice and Olivia’s store in Soho at 96 Green Street.

 
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Her use of sequin in this sleeveless evening gown with an exquisite backless cut out, shows an attempt to take in any and all color that surrounds the wearer and reflect it back to the world in thousand shimmers. And, color is light reflected.

 
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Ms. Bendet paid a lot of attention (or paid someone who did) to the shape of the bareback in this seductive gown. The shape is almost regal, like the window to a palace…. or a temple.

 
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The patterns on this neutral-colored sleeveless dress with the fur collar, emotes luxury.

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Street Qt: Fall Fashion – Cowboys and Indians

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75 degrees in October is always welcome, summer’s little goodbye gift. For this October staple, affectionately called “Indian summer,” the ladies of New York City have decided upon western wear. This little game of “cowboys and indians” has filled the streets with brown boots and those floppy hats straight out of wardrobe on a John Wayne movie set.

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SHOP THE LOOK

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Wool hat from H&M
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Camel wool ha t from H&M
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Felt wool hat from H&M
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Wide Brim Felt Hat from Zara
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Leather Boots from H&M
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Boots from H&M
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Fringed Boots from H&M

Street Qt – Fall Trends: Grey, Plaid and Brown

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It’s fall in New York City, even if it’s a beautiful 71 degrees outside. A definite trend this calm October morning is grey, coupled with a leather-brown tote or bag. Plaid, in black and white is even more fashionable, and exciting to see in a hoodie.

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SHOP THE LOOK

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“Boyfriend” plaid shirt in linen and cotton blend from H&M
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Flared calf-length imitation leather skirt from H&M, and jersey top
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Flared calf-length imitation leather skirt from H&M
Plaid Flannel Shirt from H&M
Plaid Flannel Shirt from H&M
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Voluminous plaid pullover sweatshirt from Urban Outfitters

Tory Burch S/S 2015: Ethnic Adventures, Origins and Influence

Tory Burch is a cultured woman. She said recently, “every collection that we do… is a lot about travel and different countries.” Her Spring/Summer 2015 collection is no different. Tory Burch showed off her newest designs in the hallways of Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall on Wednesday September 9, 2014 as part of New York Fashion Week. The collection was ethnically driven and inspired from two disparate regions of the globe. Tory Burch’s collection evokes the traditional textures and styles found among the Yoruba of West Africa as well as ancient Japan.

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FFS_AS1_1024x1024Several pieces in the collection appear centered around a fabric called ashoke (pronounced ash-or-okay). Ashoke or aso-oke dates back several centuries to the early days of the Yoruba Kingdom. It comprises strands of textile woven into strips, which are then sewn together to make the fabric. It’s this technique that gives the fabric the vertically or horizontally aligned patterns. This would explain the strips and striped patterns running up and down, as well as left and right on the outfits in Tory Burch’s S/S 2015 collection. Another influence of this technique is frayed hemlines, which are also found in Tory’s collection.

Here’s a quote regarding how ashoke is made, from an African designer Adele Dejak:

Originally, the pieces were either deep indigo, a natural beige silk, or an imported magenta silk weave. Today, the strands of cotton, polyester, rayon, silk, lurex, and acrylic are all merged on narrow strip looms into long, thin pieces of fabric. The strips are sewn together to create a piece of fabric unique from all others ever created. At times, an artist doesn’t have quite enough of one strip, and will add a totally different one to even things up. In yet more artistic whimsy, pieces may come hemmed, partially hemmed, or totally unhemmed. The open work, embroidery, shine, design, textures, and color work together for a textile unlike any other that is impressive and artistic.

The Yoruba woman, and many women in Africa wear a top or blouse called the Buba. The Buba is usually a loose-fitted outfit that’s usually worn over a wrap-around midi-skirt.

The necklines of some of the outfits in the collection, particularly the needle point neck lines, can also be found in African men’s wear including the dashiki. It’s also a neckline found in tunics out of India. And, we know Tory loves her tunics.

Ashoke Yoruba Fashion
The Japanese influence in the S/S 2015 collection, although not as dominant as the ashoke, is even more evident. A couple of pieces use ancient Japanese vector patterns that are still widely used today. Specifically, Tory Burch used the Raimon or thunder pattern and a version of the Sayagata.

Japan Raimon Thunder Pattern

Tory Burch is a soft-spoken and charming lady. Her aura is one of mild manners and a gentle demeanor, and this collection like many before it, reflects that in its use of color. The colors are not loud and inane, but instead offer soft persuasion and seduction through warm earthy tones.

The best description suited for Tory Burch’s S/S 2015 collection, came not from a fashion critic but from WhoWhatWear’s sister site, DomaineHome. The site, which reviews stylish interior décor and home furnishing, published on the same day as the Tory Burch S/S 2015 runway showing, the following description:

We love the distinct look of Tory Burch’s boutiques where traditional elements and furnishings mix harmoniously with ethnic textiles, bold colors, glamorous accents… Like Burch’s clothes, the boutiques often feature a fearless mix of multiple patterns and prints. A unifying color scheme helps the diverse designs work well together without clashing.

WhoWhatWear.com wasn’t far behind in its review of the collection:

Tory Burch’s global-inspired collection for S/S 15 is defined by minimalistic shapes in alternatively bold color or all-white. The shapes are chic and wearable, from shift dresses to pencil midi skirts, while subtle metallics and fringe detail add interest. Tory Burch clearly understands and delivers what stylish modern women want to wear.

However, many critics in their reviews were fixated on the south of France and Françoise Gilot.

As recounted by Style.com,

… Burch’s muse was Françoise Gilot. “Because she was a strong woman and a great artist,” she said a little testily when asked why. “And she was the only woman who left Picasso.”

This would explain Suzy Menkes seemingly random sojourn to the south of France in her review of the collection. Françoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso spent some time in the south of France.

The day before Tory Burch’s collection showing for NYFW S/S 2015, Ms. Menkes berated Donna Karan for allowing African influences to dominate her collection.

Donna Karan just seems to try too hard to take influences out of Africa, while her home city – New York – would surely offer more easy answers and easy pieces.

Having used “Africa” as a theme in her Vogue column just the day before, Ms. Menkes wouldn’t want to be told take her own advice, by using it again to describe Tory Burch’s collection… so she went to the South of France. But with having to review 7 collections each day for a whole week, she can hardly be blamed.

Another critic who couldn’t resist the French connection, was Women’s Wear Daily, who called the collection a “savvy interpretation of la parisienne bohème.”

Tory Burch has a pretty underwhelming personality that belies an overwhelming creativity, with the use of rich textures, outlines and compositions, in her collections.

Click here to see more pictures of ashoke used in African fashion.

Street Qt: Dazzling Turquoise

Summer’s over in New York City. But a few short weeks ago, when the sun’s rays radiated beautifully on the city’s sidewalks, this lady walked by in a dazzling turquoise sleeveless-dress.

More on the pastel side, the midriff lace details and the above-the-knee hemline give it a little edge.

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Shop the Look:

Forever 21: Lady Lace Fit & Flare Dress Forever 21: Lady Lace Fit & Flare Dress

Forever 21: Garden Party Skater Dress

20710331_099_f Urban Outfitters: Sparkle & Fade Knit Skater Dress

 

 

61600295_largeDorothy Perkins: Closet Turquoise Flared Belted Dress

And a few matching items…

96-327.1AShiekh Shoes: Nature Breeze Women’s Cambridge-04

product photo shootNew Balance 501 Women’s Lifestyle & Retro