Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fall 2008 Report: The Leather Jacket






Normally I'm not a leather-type of girl. Leather seems too tough to me for my hippy bohemian vibe. The last time I owned a leather jacket, it was a red, vintage number with huge rabbit fur on the lapels. It completely screamed Hair (if I matched it with bell bottom jeans and big sunglasses). Safe to say, the jacket now resides neatly on a clothing rack inside a Manhattan mini storage store room.

This fall, in between deciding a long wool trench or a cute peacoat, I've decided to invest, instead, on a cropped leather jacket. A motorcycle leather jacket -- to be exact. You can't get more of a tough-girl look than a motorcycle jacket. A good one doesn't come cheap, so I was a little weary at first, wondering if this little fall piece will go with anything in my wardrobe.

Fast forward one month, I've been wearing this jacket daily, pairing it with everything from skinny jeans to tunic sweaters to fall's lady-like sheaths. Everything works with the jacket. The little leather piece gives a cool-girl vibe while toning down a serious work outfit. Colleagues commented I looked better and younger, while I DO feel better and younger every time I wear it. My mantra is: if a piece of fashion makes you feel good, then it is worth the investment!

What to look for this season for the perfect leather jacket?

1) Cut -- cropped, short, and lean. No big leather jacket with shoulder pads a la 80s. This season the IT leather jacket is all about fitting the body and showing off your silhouette. Try the motorcycle, the bomber, the hooded cropped number. You'll find one that'll fit-you-like-a-glove. Remember to have your longer tank top, tunic, or a sweater dress peep out.

2) Play with the color and texture -- shiny, patented, crinkled, colored, rustic.. it's all up to you, as long as the jacket is not over-the-top. For a safer investment, go for classic black in a soft leather such as lambskin. You'll be amazed how versatile the jacket will be.

3) Pick a good, soft leather -- again, you'd want a leather jacket that's cut close and mold to your body, so soft leather is a must to get the right look. Personally, I'd always pick lambskin over all other types of leather since it gives a soft sheen without looking too shiny. Crinkled leather looks great as well for that casual, distressed look. Make sure you scotchguard all your leather before heading out in the cold.

Happy shopping!

Photos from top: Katie Holmes in cropped leather jacket, Motorcycle jackets from Express.com, Nicole Richie, Cameron Diaz in cropped leather jackets.

Photo source: People.com, Express.com

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fashion Week: 3.1 Phillip Lim






Fashion is all about embellishments. This season, Phillip Lim went head-over-heals with ruffles. Channeling Pedro Soler with his Spanish influence, Lim's Spring 2009 collection reflects his signature detail-oriented aesthetics, with a strong love of ruffles ruffles ruffles.

The cascading layers appear in the back flap of a chiffon trench coat, tiered on the hems of short military jackets, and floating down knit dresses. Tops and vests came in grey sequin but were mixed with wearable cuffed trousers. A military vest was paired with a short-sleeve shirt with strong shoulders and cuffed black trousers. The menswear line comprised of double-breasted jackets and tapered trousers.

It is a collection that's departing slightly from his wearable philosophy and almost border-line couture. Similar to the Spanish influence where big and bold ruled, his separates are anything but ordinary.

Photos from top: Phillip Lim Spring 2009 collection.

Photo source: Edith Moy, Style.com.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fashion Week: Gottex





"Anchors away" is the theme of Gottex's Spring 2009 collection, as designer Gideon Oberson presented a dizzying 69 pieces collection that takes the audience from St. Tropez to Porto Cervo. The color palette this season has been very much inspired by the Mediterranean, says Oberson. While as a final touch, 18 karat gold details are added to the swimsuits with amazing cutouts and accented details.

Gottex has always been a fun presentation to watch. With its dazzling array of looks paired with bright but floating pareo, the swimsuits are not just suits themselves but chic accessories to the body. It seems that in Oberson's perspective, the Gottex woman is a fun-loving woman enjoying her time under the sun.

Photos from top: Gottex Spring 2009 collection.

Photo source: WireImage.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fashion Week: Michael Kors









To find good American sportswear, Michael Kors is your man. This season Kors paid homage to everything that represent nostalgic Americana -- you'll find wearable separates such as circle skirts and track suits done in bright stripes, polka dots, and feel-good gingham. This is very much a collection reflecting the good ol' days of the 50s and 60s when America enjoyed its post-war prosperity. Everything is bright and big; it is a collection that reflects much optimism and hope for the future.

Swimsuits in black and white polka dots are paired with circular skirts cinched at the waist. Tracksuits came in silk with bright blue and black pin-stripes. Dresses were reminiscent of the housewives 50s dresses with bright red or black gingham. A few sheath in bold black and white and jackets remind us of the Kennedy years when Jackie Kennedy (not O) donned her politically correct outfits while standing by her husband's side.

Kors' inspiration came from the summers of Portofino -- but whatever the mood he wanted to convey, this is a collection that very much reflects the political climate as of late, especially in election year.

Photos from top: Michael Kors Spring 2009 collection, Michael Kors at backstage, Backstage note to models, Models walking on the catwalk.

Photo source: Style.com, Edith Moy.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fashion Week: Ports 1961





For Spring 2009, Ports 1961's designer Tia Cibani found inspiration from the most unlikely places -- Canadian artist Emily Carr, whose works have inspired Cibani to design a collection based on the Canadian Pacific Northwest.

Colors such as yellow, red and purple dominated the collection, with a palette reminiscent of the sky at dawn. The silhouettes are boxy with a play in proportions that elongates the body. The lines are highlighted with embellishments such as frayed paper yarns and silk fringes.

It is a strong collection that mixes elegance with sophistication. These are clothing that's not for the faint of the heart, as Cibani's aesthetic plays on the subtle but intelligence in design.

Cowboy Junkies also made a guest appearance at the show by providing live music.

Photos from top: Ports 1961 Spring 2009 collection.

Photo source: Imaxtree.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Model.Live: The Good Reality TV Show

It is hard to find good TV nowadays as the medium is blanketed by slews of bad reality-TV shows. This is not the case with Vogue.TV's latest venture, Model.Live, a show that documents the rise and fall of three upcoming models. It is reality-tv at its best -- and the way it should be, as the show follows the journey of the models as they fight their way to the top in the harsh terrain we call the modeling industry.

The heroines of the show are Cato, Madeline and Austria -- three girls who came from different backgrounds but with one common goal: to be successful in the modeling business. In hope of having a chance to walk the runways during New York Fashion Week, these girls have to endure long hours and harsh criticisms by industry insiders, not to mention self-sacrifices and their need to leave their homes and families at a ripe young age.

The series depicts a surprisingly honest view to a business where looks and glamor are paramount to success. It also shows the more human side of models, who similar to the rest of us, have the same insecurity issues and lead ordinary lives. The models featured all had humble, ordinary backgrounds, with a strong sense of independence and the support of loving families. This perspective is very much in contrast with the glamor and finicky that describes the fashion industry, where most associate models with immaturity and shallowness.

If you'd like to learn more about the industry, forget about watching the bad reality tv such as the likes of Top Model. This is the show for you.

(Catch Model.Live every Friday on Vogue.TV.)

Fashion Week: BCBG Max Azria





Grecian goddess seems to be the dominant theme of BCBG Max Azria's Spring 2009 presentation, as designer Lubove Azria sent down the runway a collection of dreamy jerseys and silks in versions of short dresses and jumpsuits. The collection, subdued and subtle in use of colors, appears to evolve around a T-shirt dress that's draped and cut in multiple versions that evokes mystery and sophistication.

Strong accents such as a short metallic jacket (ruched up at the sleeves) or wide belts at the waist tie the looks together. The collection reminds us of ThreeAsFour's signature asymetry or last season's Alexandre Herchcovitch neutral dresses with bold colors peaking out from the linings. Playful rompers in feminine silk that ruched at all the right places also offer a suitable alternatives to the dresses.

Overall, BCBG Max Azria seems to deliver another season of wearable couture for the Goddesses in all or us.

Photos from top: Max Azria Spring 2009 Collection, Lubove Azria taking a bow with husband Max Azria.

Photo source: Imaxtree.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fashion Week: Be Eco Chic Event






Carrying on last season's Green movement, Fashion Week kicked off with a fashion show raising eco-friendly awareness at the Museum of Natural History, New York. Hosted by Sierra Club and supermodel Angela Lindvall, the Be EcoChic fashion show promotes the use of eco-sensitive fabrics and recycling seasons-old fashion to make the old seems new.

The show tapped quite a slew of celebrities for runway appearances, including Lauren Hutton, Dominique Swain and Alek Wek to name a few. Designers participating include the eco-friendly labels Edun and Linda Loudermilk, and a few surprising ones such as Azzedine Alaia (vintage), Vena Cava in green recycled crepe de chine, and Carmen Marc Valvo. All materials used are either recycled or made with organic materials.

In addition, Project GreenHouse was also invited to design an eco-lifestyle lounge for the celebrities and VIPs, enjoying the sustainable and reusable decor and furnishings.

Photos from top: Eco-Chic fashion show finale and participants, Hosts Angela Lindvall and Sierra Club's Carl Pope, High School Musical's Olesya Rulin in Organics by John Patrick, Patti Hansen in Nicole Miller recycled cropped jacket, Museum of Natural History turned fashion venue.

Photo source: Edith Moy.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Spring 2009 NY Fashion Week Preview

It's September, meaning, Fashion Week is upon us again! As per industry custom, New York will kick off the Spring 2009 fashion presentations, followed by London, Milan and lastly Paris. The Fashionable Matilda's Diary is once again covering the New York shows with unique insights in fashion, style, and front-row gossips! Stay tuned...

A number of new designers will grace their presence at Bryant Park this season. A few notables include Australian designers Michel Angel and Aurelio Costarella, Asian designers Thuy Diep and Zheng Luo of OmniaLuo, who will be marking debut shows at The Salon. Downtown darling Charlotte Ronson will also present her debut show at the Tent this season.

Sponsors include its usual roster of DHL, MAC Cosmetics, Judith Ripka, W Hotels, joined by beverage sponsors Rioja wine, Perini and Bawls energy drink. Brazilian flip-flop maker Havianas will again showcase its sandal customizing booth inside the tents. The station will open at various hours throughout the week.

Go to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website for show schedule and more information.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall 2008 Report: The Boyfriend Cardigan




The Boyfriend Cardigan is another must-have item this season. Buy versions that are thin and long, the cardigans will make great layering pieces over floaty floral dresses or a simple tank with wide-leg pants. Add a thin belt to slightly cinch the waist, you will then have an updated Fall look that's modern instead of dowdy. We especially like J Crew's version in light-weight merino wool and glass-buttons. The cardigan exudes elegance without being too pretentious.

Photos from top: J Crew Boyfriend Cardigan, Vince Boyfriend Cardigan, Twelfth St. by Cynthia Vincent Striped Boyfriend Cardigan.

Photos source: Jcrew.com, Neimanmarcus.com, Shopbop.com

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fall 2008 Report: Peep-toe Booties




Carrying on the trend of booties and strong accessories from last fall, this season IT item seems to be the peep-toe booties. Paired with dark colored or black opague tights, the peep-toe booties are a fresh way to transition from summer to fall. Look for ones that have elegant cutouts at unexpected places or embellishments to jazz up your fall outfits!

Photos from top: Nine West Lahdidah Bootie, Manolo Blahnik Cutout Suede Bootie, Miu Miu Cutout Bootie.

Photo source: Ninewest.com, Bergdorfgoodman.com

Thursday, July 31, 2008

An Ode to Maternity Fashion: Part III






Time flies when you are in your third trimester. Before you know it, the third trimester went and... LABOR! Beautiful baby Byron was born July 3. :)

July 5: For moms looking for post-partum fashion (not to mention trying to look your very best with very minimal sleep), take a cue from Angelina Jolie's maternity style. Maxi dresses became my new best friend. These worked wonders from third trimester to my post-partum days. I thought these dresses put in a lot of instant-glam to an other-wise un-glam period where sleep and taking a shower in the morning became luxuries. At least the outfit made me looked pulled together, plus the soft jersey knits are really comfortable on a recovering body.

July 15: Shopping on a tight baby budget (you know, those designer-strollers cost quite a lot in 2008 dollars!), I discovered the beauty of Forever21.com. Forget about the end-of-season sale at Barneys or Bergdorf Goodman... for clothes that are baby-spit friendly AND won't break your bank, go for the Forever21.com website. Prenatally I tried to shop at the store but was too overwhelmed with its crowdedness and chaos. The website is conveniently there for you 24/7, plus they accept refunds (which the stores don't).

July 20: The constant bouts of nursing Byron made me aware of the need of a good nursing bra. What can I wear underneath all my breezy summer dresses? My lactation consultant informed me of La Leche League, a non-profit group that supports and advocates the benefits of breastfeeding. One of the beauties of LLL, aside from giving valuable advice in the art of breastfeeding, is that it sells a great collection of nursing bras that are not found in your mom-and-pop maternity stores. A strapless bandeau number is a life-saver, and it goes well all my strapless jersey dresses (and maxi dresses). Wacoal also makes a soft nude bralette (it's not a nursing bra, however) that provides extra comfort day and night.

July 30: My husband and I are bringing Byron to his one-month pediatrician visit! How exciting. Where to put his bottle, diapers and all the doo-das that are associated with outing with an infant? Forget about the squarish, boxy diaper bags! Towards the end of my third trimester I discovered the wonders of Pret A Portobello.com. Selling fashion and accessories directly from vendors of London's famed Portobello Market, I scored a lovely gold leather braided hobo bag. (The style is currently sold out, but the vendor make a fabulous grey leather number that's roomy enough to hold your essentials.) The bag fits everything from Byron's diaper changer, to his bottles, to my lunch whenever I'm on-the-go. Why be typical when you can be different? And while we are at it, don't forget to wrap your little one in Aden & Anais soft cotton muslin wraps. These work wonders as swaddling blankets, make-shift baby bed linens, everything!

Motherhood is a wonderful and exciting time to learn about yourself, your family, and your new joy-in-your-life. Baby Byron brings a lot of joy to my husband and I everyday. I also learn something new from him daily even though he's only 4 weeks old!

Ladies, I hope you've enjoyed this maternity fashion series. Motherhood is a challenge but there's no reason you should abandon who-you-are, fashion-wise!

Photos from top: Angelina Jolie in Alberta Ferreti Maxi Dress, Camila Alves in Nui's Cotton Jersey Dress, Pret A Portobello Leather Bag, Maxi Dress from Forever21.com, La Leche League Strapless Nursing Bra.

Photo source: People.com, Pretaportobello.com, Forever21.com, Lalecheleague.org.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

An ode to maternity fashion: Part II





(cont'd from last post...)

May 1: Dress search is growing frustrating as most maternity dresses either fit strange or they are black. LA T-shirt designer Splendid delivered a God-send with the Kaplan Swing dress. The stretchy fabric accommodates a growing bump plus the white color is perfect for summer. Bought 2 from Bloomingdales and pretty much wore them to death for about 2 weeks.

May 14: Dress search has officially became an obsession. Tried on about 40 dresses from a sample sale -- sizes ranging from xs to xl. None worked. A Spring 2007 DVF dress in size 8 seems to accommodate my bulging tummy in a size 2 frame.

May 16: The Gap CFDA edition dress designed by ThreeAsFour surprisingly fit well with plenty of fabric to give at the bump. I bought one size bigger so I could wear it now and one in my pre-pregnancy size so I will be able to wear it postpartum. Figured since this is a ThreeAsFour creation, having two as collectibles won't be an indulgence anyway.

May 23: Discovered a maternity-friendly brand Bailey 44. This season the LA-based designer featured simple yet elegant stretchy dresses in tones of white, black and grey. A few of my favorites include the black and white Vespa dress cut with an empire waist, and the white and grey Octopus t-shirt dress that has interesting pleats at the skirt. Figured since I'm growing big I might as well show that big tummy, now growing an inch wider and increasingly weightier. -- Edith Moy.

(to be cont'd...)

Photos from top: Splendid Raglan dress, Spring 2007 DVF dress, ThreeAsFour designed Gap CFDA edition dress, Bailey 44 Octopus dress.

Photo source: shopbop.com, nordstrom.com, gap.com, shoptuso.com