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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Monique Lhuillier Brides Down The Rabbit Hole SS16

monique lhuillier ss16 bride
monique lhuillier wedding dress

It looks like a lot of designers are into fairy tales for weddings this year. Monique Lhuillier's 2016 bridal collection had Alice in Wonderland as her muse. The presentation was held in the gorgeous Baccarat Hotel's Grand Salon.

While the inspiration is not seen as a literal representation in the collection, Lhuillier saw her bride as someone who was exploring curiosity and fantasy. Instead of an all-white collection, there were gowns of blush, honey, mint and pale blue. Almost every look had a dramatic skirt silhouette. There were lots and lots of layers of transparent fabrics. One would be a mountain of tulle. Another dress was graduated organza. Trumpet shapes gowns, flowing lace, every bride was meant to make a huge impression entering or leaving a room.

As per her signature look, Monique Lhuillier incorporated rich, delicate embroidery into her collection. Also, she is a master of fabric manipulation in her gowns. It is not a surprise that so many celebrities choose Lhuillier for their red carpet or wedding look. Her gowns are timeless glamor.
Photos by Greg Kessler

Friday, April 17, 2015

Theia's Fairy-Tale Bride 2016

When designer Don O'Neill talks about creating a fairy-tale wedding, he means it. The THEIA 2016 bridal collection was inspired by illustrations of Hansel and Gretel, The Brothers Grimm and other storybooks of the Victorian era. The muse specifically was the Art Nouveau aesthetic of the artist Kay Rasmus Nielsen. 

You can see the influence in the delicate butterfly appliques on a bodice, the illustrations printed on transparent silk, Art Nouveau motifs beaded onto the gowns and wispy web-like fabric treatments complete the theme.

I grew up on the same books  that had these illustrations. I was also obsessed with Hansel and Gretel at the age of 3 (though it was more for the idea of a gingerbread house than anything else). At 5, I was obsessed with the witch after seeing the Canadian opera version of this tale. She was my childhood standard of glamor all the way into my teen years as she was the first person I had ever seen with glitter eyelashes and jeweled nails.

What many bridal collections do is water down trends seen in Haute Couture into a wedding dress. What I love about THEIA is that Don O'Neil will take fashion forward silhouettes from sportswear and give it a luxurious makeover for walking down the aisle. How gorgeous is the silk jacquard shirt dress? Crop tops,  a sleekly tailored suit are great for brides who want to stay true to their personal style when they get married.

My favorite dress though was the finale gown. It was a lacy sculpture of butterfly 3-dimensional corset. Design team member Eduarda used an innovative 3D printing pen tool to draw/sculpt/print? The bodice of the dress. This look was the epitome of what Theia does the best in the industry. The brand experiments with cutting-edge technology and use it to execute classically beautiful fashion aesthetic in a new way.

The intimate runway and backdrop were quite small but gave a thorough ambiance to the presentation. The woodsy moss runway and fanciful bouquets were created by fiancĂ© floral designer Pascal Guillermie of Fleur de Pascal. It's so touching to see  the longtime partnership in real life was also the perfect creative  marriage on the runway, then soon to be romantic wedding in the upcoming year.

I already had my own wedding, but seeing THEIA's 2016 bridal line-up, I think I might go for a posh renewal of vows...
THEIA models and design team
photos by Mariana Leung


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Truly Zac Posen Bridal 2016

zac posen wedding dress

Here come the brides! NY Bridal week is taking over Gotham just as the city starts to bloom. Zac Posen unveiled his latest collection in collaboration with David's Bridal Wednesday under the Truly Zac Posen label. 

Many luxury designers have partnered with more mainstream retailers for a smaller, more affordable bridal collection. I found that many of the cheaper versions of a designer's brand were exactly that, cheaper. They don't look like the designer's work; they don't reflect the aesthetic and not surprisingly, they don't look like luxury.

With Truly Zac Posen, the price tag for the most elaborate gown tops out at $1850. That might not be cheap by sportswear standards, but still affordable in wedding gown standards. There were similar florals, color palettes and silhouettes to his recent collections. However, the fabric quality, while similar in texture, was noticeably not the same (then again, his top tier collections can be 10X the prices here.)  There were beautiful ballgowns that swished extravagantly though slightly deflated from the biggest skirts of his main runway. The David's Bridal budget can afford less petticoats.. 

A good designer knows how to achieve expensive looks no matter what the budget. There were still embellishments like bonded lace appliques, feathers and pearl beads. Lace pricing can vary wildly as can pearls. The trick is to choose wisely and with a great eye.

As a New Yorker, we love lean towards a darker palette. We don't necessarily need to be all dressed in white. Many modern brides are happy to wear a gorgeous black or brightly colored gown down the aisle.

If you are a contemporary bride with a modest budget and lofty dreams, Truly Zac Posen might be your the fashion Godfather to grant your wish.
photos by John Acquino via WWD

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Alternatives to Festival Fashion Cliches

Are you partying it up at Coachella? Outside of fashion week, it is one of the most anticipated displays of bohemian style and festival fashion. Coachella, the Governor's Ball, SXSW, are all competing for post-hippie glam. Of course, in the few years since Coachella launched, certain types of festival fashion have already become cliche. Here's how to update your boho chic:

Let's not be a Coachella style stereotype

1. Don't be on the fringe.
Fringe is undoubtedly one of the biggest trends this year across all categories of fashion. I can't wait to rock a few pieces this fall. However, when you are outside, sitting on the grass all day, your trendy fringed vest or handbag is sweeping up everything you come in contact with. Picture all the dirt (or worse from the Porta-potty) that you will have collected.  Of course, you can still have a beautiful, crafty, hippie styled look with a flowing crochet vest. It has pretty patterns and open weave that give a feminine touch to your festival outfit.

2. Flower crowns to Goddess crown.
If there were one unofficial  mascot for festival style, it would be the flower crown. This item certainly didn't start with Coachella. Ladies at Woodstock were sporting daisy crowns along with peace and love long before this generation. For a 2015 update, how about going back to ancient Greece? Laurel crowns can give festival fans some beautiful Goddess chic. There are some gorgeous pieces to be found on Etsy.

3. Gladiator Sandals to Ancient Greek Sandal
The gladiator sandal looked great in all the street style snaps in 2013. However, what do you think your tan lines will look like after a full day in the desert sun?  Ditch the Romans and the avoid making your legs look like a picket fence. Go for some Ancient Greek sandals like this with a low profile instead.

4. Crop it and reverse it
If there was a runner-up for Festival fashion mascot, it would have to be the peasant-like crop top. Coachella street style snaps are filled with these little tops on women with the smokin' bodies. That's fine if you are comfortable showing your belly. For those of us without the teeny flat stomach, but want to show some skin, I vote for the short, flirty slip dress. A swishy hem is forgiving for those nights where you, um, got the munchies for some reason. A short frock like this Southwest Racerback dress from Aeropostale allows you show off shapely legs if you have them.

Music and art festivals like Coachella are a celebration of creativity. Make sure you add your own creativity when putting together your festival fashion wardrobe.

Photos from Etsy, People Magazine, Blush Boutique, Neiman Marcus, Mariana Leung, Antropologie

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Blogger Love: Going Deeper


This week, many IFB bloggers sought to go deeper than the #OOTD, with shout outs to philanthropic organizations including Scotty’s House and To Write Love on Her Arm—plus we heard some compelling personal stories. Other posts tackled diversity in magazines, the “new sexual revolution,” and older women’s right to wear leggings. On the lighter side, we have our fair (and necessary) share of fashion and beauty tips, trend pieces and news bites. All around, it’s a well-balanced collection of fashion blogger fare. I hope you enjoy!

  • A Handful of Stories: Shooting Outfit Posts With the Olympus OMD-EM10
  • Attire Club: The Men's Guide to Wearing Pastel Colors
  • Bibi Shelter: Jeremy Scott for Adidas Original Fragrance Launch
  • Charlotte Lucy: Alexander McQueen/Nick Waplington: Working Process at The Tate
  • Flip Flops and Furs: A Benefit for Scotty's House
  • Funky Jungle: 5 Fashion 'Must Haves' I Don't Own
  • A Glamorous Revelation: To Write Love on Her Arms
  • Jodie's Touch of Style: Leggings With a Tunic After 50
  • Ms. Fabulous: Winners of the 6th Annual Fashion 2.0 Awards
  • Prime Butterfly: 5 Magazine Trends That Need to Die in 2015
  • Purushu Arie: Celebrating the Spirit of the Seventies
  • Riva la Diva: Easy DIY Valentino-Inspired Dress Tutorial
  • Ri(t)ch Styles: How to Pick the Right T-Shirt for a Guy
  • Sly on the Wall: A Hair Story
  • Spy Girl: L.A. Frock Stars—Golden Age of Hollywood
  • Storybook Apothecary: Swimwear Looks for Every Style
  • Suzanne Carillo: 10 Important Life Lessons I Learned From Watching Mad Men
  • That Paki Blog: Illustrating Pakistan Fashion Week by Mahoor Jamal
  • TLV Birdie: Watch Your Mouth
  • Wear It Fair: Vintage Styles for Work, Rest and Play

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    Thursday, April 9, 2015

    Custo Barcelona Fall 2015

    We all know fringe is one of the biggest trends by far this season. Custo Barcelona's fall 2015 collection played around with what that meant. Instead of the wimpy, stringy fringe every other designer used in their collections, Custo Dalmau and his design team decided to beef it up a little.

    Dalmau envisioned the wide heavy fabric strips that slap against your automobile during a car wash. (That brings to mind the musical number "Sugar Daddy" from Hedwig & the Angry Inch). That resulted in wide, embellished strips on the hems of those fabulous short dresses you see in the second photo. In person, those hems had great movement, perfect for dancing.

    photos by David TW Leung
    Of course, the signature look of Custo Barcelona is the rich mix of textures and patterns. Plaid was mixed with woolly tweed. Brightly colored woven patterns with a black ground echoed the textiles I often see in South America. Some of the prints I saw looked like inkblots from a Rorschach test. There were big furry collars for both and women.

    Accessories were designed to coordinate with the clothing. rounded messenger bag type shapes and carry-all handbags were blocked with matching patterns and textures as the outfits. If your legs are cold in the fall/winter season, the brand is offering up a sort of legwarmer or shoe/boot extender in fabrics that match the clothing as well. It is an interesting item that doesn't quite fit into any specific accessory category.

    Custo Barcelona's fall 2015 does loud and busy in a way that looks sophisticated and Euro-chic. Also, I bet you'll never look at a car wash the same way again.