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Monday, March 30, 2015

WildFox Fall 2015 - La Dolce Vita

Gelato! Pasta! Italia! The Los Angeles-based knitwear brand Wildfox Couture took us all on a getaway to Italy for their Fall 2015 presentation. Retro slogans like "Kiss Me I'm Italian" and "Italians Do It Better" were printed on over-sized sweaters.

The location for the event was set in the classic restaurant in Little Italy, Il Cortile. The run of show program for the different looks was set up in a menu. The collections were set up into "Pastel Gelato Girls" "Vineyard Girls" and "Restaurant Girls". With Wildfox Couture having a vintage slant, you could see the pretty red gingham prints like a trattoria tablecloth (plus gingham is a HOT trend for fall), casually wrapped sweater like La Dolce Vita or more rugged overalls of someone about to work the vineyard. Of course, everything had a feminine touch with vintage lace and tongue-in-cheek attitude.

wildfox couture 2015
photos by Mariana Leung
Models had smoky eyes makeup and sexy loose waves and blown out hair like they just woke up out of bed. I was hoping they would make an entrance on a moped.

Guests were treated to Italian wine tastings and nibbles like meatballs, fresh mozzarella crostini and pizza. I vamped it out at the photo booth with scenic Italian backdrop and Italian phrase speech bubbles. Some danced to IT DJ's the Misshapes. 

It's not hard to see how the romance of Italy inspired design director Kimberley Gordon. I just watched the movie Under the Tuscan Sun (again), reminding me of my honeymoon in the area.

Ciao Wildfox Couture!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#WMCFW: Hilary MacMillan Fall 2015

wmcfw hillary macmillan

Another family affair, this time in Toronto. Canadian designer Hilary MacMillan's relatively new fashion label is known for its mix of luxurious fabrics and a signature print she develops every season. For fall 2015, she collaborated with members of her family to create a darker, rose and skeleton print.

The color palette was cream, black, bright and dark blood red. While it isn't obvious, the muse behind this season's collection was the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead. The fashion show combined satins and leather, silk and knits. There were a lot of separates with updated proportions. Long topper jackets were paired with crop tops, loose pants that ended below the knee and jackets with elbow length sleeves. The models sported smokey eyes and slicked "wet look" hair (or they just ran out of the shower onto the runway).

Macmillan put the show in the fashion show, with the band St. Royals entertaining the guests. Guests included the who's who of Canadian showbiz personalities, like 24's Elisha Cuthbert and TV's Supernatural's Richard De Klerk.

Hilary MacMillan is committed to designing and manufacturing her label within Canada. She designs for the modern urban woman like herself. In a short time she has already made fans of all the top Canadian magazines. When you're on a roll, just enjoy the ride!

st royals band
photos by George Pimentel


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Seduction: Japan's Floating World Exhibit

I gave myself a dose of culture on my last morning in San Francisco at the Asian Art Museum's feature exhibit, Seduction: Japan's Floating World. The exhibit highlights art and treasures from the Edo era.

Japan's "Floating World" was a famed entertainment center, part Vegas, part red light district. It was incredibly expensive and famous for its thousands of courtesans. There were many tiers of stature for the courtesans. The ones at the top were like celebrities, to procure an evening of entertainment from them would require multiple meetings with their handlers and exorbitant amounts of money. The high tier courtesans were also the trendsetters of decor and fashion.

Floating World Courtesans were trendsetters and slaves

This exhibit displayed intricately embroidered bedcovers and garments made of the finest silk that were representative of the period. There were carved precious incense burners that perfumed their quarters and inlaid mirror cases that courtesans used to fix their elaborately coiffed hair and makeup.
One of the centerpieces of the exhibit is a long illustrated scroll that depicts scenes of life in the Floating World. There are tea houses, ladies performing various arts, client negotiations to final payments (in today's money, a night depicted in the scroll would come to about $13000).

There were also woodblock illustrated guidebooks for tourists visiting the Floating World on how to behave and what to expect. The courtesans it was noted, were not common prostitutes. They had a lifetime of strict education in multiple techniques in the arts, music, calligraphy, dance, etc.

While the (male) executed literature and artwork described this world as glamorous and pleasurable, the exhibit itself noted that this culture was NOT the same for the courtesans involved. Typically, the women were procured from poor rural families who had sold them into servitude to houses to serve the courtesans. If they showed talent, they would be trained in the arts or courtesan skills. The costs of being a top tier courtesan (or even lower tiers) were extremely high, between paying entourage servants, sponsoring house, grooming, wardrobe, etc. This ensured that the courtesans were perpetually mired in debt, keeping them a slave to the profession.  The only hope these women had in earning their freedom was to land an extremely wealthy client who could pay off their debts.

The gorgeous items worn or used by the courtesans of the era would be prized possessions that were passed down through generations. They might be gifts from VIP clients. A spectacular kimono might be the signature look of famous courtesan. The exhibit didn't shy away from both the beauty of the artwork from the period and also the dark side of the society that made it possible.

Are you reading to take the journey to Japan's Floating World? The exhibit runs until May 10, 2015.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Mister Triple X at Art Hearts Fashion Fall 2015

art hearts fashion
mister triple x fashion

Who doesn't like a little kink and fetish to heat up the NY Fashion Week runway? 
Mr. Triple X  opened the Art Hearts Fashion Show with a collection body conscious separates for both men and women that were accented with chains and leather straps. The signature pieces were more accessories that could be worn alone for a sexy club (or night in) look or to add some edge to more traditional fashion ensembles. My friends and family were most grateful for the plentiful eye candy of the male models.

The label is designed by Erik Rosete. He intended his collection to be a  high end street wear line for everyone's inner rock star. He is also one of the founders of Art Hearts Fashion organization which brings together artists, designers and creatives to produce events in multiple cities to benefit the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Before talent management and fashion, he actually started his career as a mortgage banker. Quite a complex background which no doubt benefits him now.

Like what you see? You can support Art Hearts Fashion and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation by texting "FIGHTAIDS" to 41444 to donate any amount you choose. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Desigual Fall 2015 With Chantelle Brown Young

desigual model skin
desigual fashion show

Fashion should have something for everyone. Spanish label Desigual made a statement on their fall 2015 runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week with a model lineup that represented a broad range of looks.

Their new spokesmodel Chantelle Brown Young opened the show. She was originally scouted by fan Tyra Banks to compete in America's Next Top Model. She stood out for her unique skin patterns as a result of a condition called vitiligo. While Chantelle was teased as a child, she has the last laugh from the end of top runways this season for New York Fashion Week. She was chosen to represent Desigual because her originality, beauty and multiple colors was in sync with the brand itself. Some of the prints of the collection seemed to be designed to line up with the patterns of her own skin like they were designed just for her.

The other models flaunted wild natural hair and big smiles. The other photographers and I always love shooting this show because the models get to dance and have fun.

The clothing was very cozy with woven, folk art type patterns that had hints of Native American blankets, South American motifs. Other prints echoed painted abstract art. The short easy dresses are perfect for romping around in. The tapestry coats are great to make a statement when the weather gets chilly. Accessories included handbags that matched the prints and hats with big over sized pom poms.

I love that a brand that really tries to appeal to the independent spirit and being unique actually hired a model that embodies that. I found that diversity was not well represented on this season's runways as a whole, but this is one of the few shows that always has international appeal. Keep the party going Desigual!
photos by Mariana Leung

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Blogger Love: Spring Blogging

Spring is the thing this week at IFB. Bloggers are talking about everything from spring makeup to interiors to bucket lists—oh, and of course spring style. Thank goodness, because I’m ready for some serious closet cleaning and a fresh spring look. Weddings are also on the horizon and on bloggers minds. And as always, you’ll find posts with helpful blogging and shopping tips. On to the roundup!

SPONSOR: EatSleepDenim: Shift, Floral, and Coral Dresses, Gentle Monster, Ronny Kobo, Raga, Maison Margiela, Cia Maritima, Green & White Lace Dresses