Saturday, February 23, 2013

Musings: Uptown, Downtown

Only in New York would there be a "community look" that's distinctive of the neighborhood one lives in exists. In Brooklyn, you get all the "hipster" looks. In the Upper East Side you have the "ladies who lunches." In Soho/Lower East Side "models off duty" roam around the streets like the runway.  It's great seeing all these styles co-mingling in our fair, small city. But what about the "midtown" look? What is that?

Having recently moved from Hell's Kitchen to Chelsea, I thought a 20 block move wouldn't make a huge impact in terms of wardrobe choices in the weekends. After all, I come from a background of dressing corporate five days a week. (Dresses and killer heels, never a suit, unless I'd like to pull a Hedi Slimane Saint Laurent look.) So really, how much would my style evolve when it comes to dressing for leisure?

So it was out of ordinary when I plunked down money for a fur vest at What Comes Around Goes Around. Okay, it wasn't expensive (in fact, it was insanely cheap consider it's real sheep skin). But I surprised myself by wearing it all the time - running errands, eating brunch, going out to dinner with my family - and don't feel out of place whatsoever. In Chelsea, it's exactly the right thing to wear on a Saturday afternoon. At my old neighborhood, where the community consists mostly of young families and Broadway professionals, I'd feel out of place parading the exact outfit doing the exact same things 20 blocks south. Why do I feel this way? Is it because all the bright young things that live in Chelsea - and nearby meatpacking district touting the Milk Studio crowds - all share that same nonchalant luxe in the dead of winter?

The Chelsea look is more upscaled than the Soho girl but more relaxed than the Upper East Side madams. I can't explain it - it's neither uptown or downtown. Maybe the look should be called "midtown?" As Jen Brill (Chanel ambassador, Terry Richardson's muse and girl-about-town) once mused, "My downtown friends called my look 'uptown.' My uptown friends called my look 'downtown.' So what am I? Midtown?"

During a recent brunch, a group of bright 20 somethings walked into the restaurant wearing the most fabulous vintage - a 20s secretary blouse with red lips, a 70s print dress, a 80s Azzedine Alaia's bustier paired with slouchy paints - but the looks are modernized when paired with sleek black coats and sensible slim boots. A lady walked by with the most fabulous white bell-sleeve sweater I've ever seen - paired with a sleek Bottega Veneta leather woven hobo. These are the hi/low juxtapositions that only the Chelsea girls can do it so well.

I so need to learn a thing or two from this crowd.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Fashion Week: Vantan Tokyo

What: fostering young design talents via the intl x-seed program of Vantan Design Institute in Tokyo

Take away: three designers with distinct aesthetics presenting their graduate collection.

What we love: Sagan's poetic prints mixed with soft sweaters. Designer Natsuki Watanabe's interpretation of the woman is delicate and frail with a dose of dreamy romanticism - which on the runway translate into wool sheath dresses with vintage rose prints, our favorite of the evening.

(Photos coming soon.)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fashion Week: DVF

What: rock n roll glam

Take away: You can't get more fun with Cara Delevigne (in her Cheshire-cat like smiles and flirty sway) opened the show in an animal print keyhole dress. The rock-n-roll vibe reverberates throughout the collection - one can see the influences of Rolling Stone's Mick Jagger in some (her suede wrap dresses reminiscent of Diane's own Studio 54 days), some in David Bowie, and overall a fun collection. Diane von Furstenberg has always been the champion of women, allowing them to express their femininity through easy dressing while maintaining the sort of glam that most designers are unable to accomplish in their aesthetics. Although the theme of "life is a party" isn't a new one for her, it is still refreshing to see her reinterpret this theme season after season.

What we love: the tuxedo wrap dress with leaf motif. Life's a party - drink it up!

Photo Credit:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fashion Week: Herve Leger

What: graphic prints on signature body con dresses inspired by nature

Take away: surrealism is dominant in this collection inspired by Les Lalanne, an artist duo whose main subjects are animals and vegetation mixed in different mediums. The graphics are strong and to the point, with juxtaposition of delicate materials carefully laid on tougher fabrics. Designer Lubove Max Azria made the collection fit for all seasons by layering the dresses over sheer black wool sweaters. Overall it is a beautiful collection with a distinct point of view.

What we love: the black sequined bondage dress layered over sheer black sweater.

Photo Credit:

Current object of obsession: Zara necklace

Current collection. Available at most Zara stores now.

In between shows...

What does the Fashion pack eats in between shows?

(Psst: lots of liquor, and no desserts for you!!)

Enjoy the show Ladies!

(PS: follow our Fashion Week board on Pinterest!)

Fashion Week: Son Jung Wan

What: Upper East Side Madame with a modern twist

Take away: Korean Son Jung Wan knows a thing or two about the "Ladies who lunch" in her native Seoul. As designer of a label who rakes in $34 million in sales a year, Son knows her market of affluent customers who needs a touch of sophistication thats often sought at the European collections. Luxurious fabrics such as mink and cashmere wool are used heavily in the collection, all come in an array of wearable separates such as fitted coats and sheath dresses. No detail go unnoticed, such as a nude pink slip dress decorated with mink lining at the shoulders, or a fox fur coat with horizontal sequined details.

What we love: the pink slip dress with mink shoulders. Why can't we wear more mink to bed?

Photo Credit: Imaxtree

Friday, February 8, 2013

Fashion Week: A Detacher

What: avant guard meets world traveler. The theme of the show surrounds the theme of traveling and discovering new places.

Take away: the show opened with caftans in wool that evoke a sense of safari travel. But it got more interesting as city worthy pieces came in the form of boxy jackets, long tunics paired with pants, and feminine all-in-ones paired with sweater jackets. You can see the storyline through the clothes, as our world traveler (presumably a She) evolved her style based on the places she went. You can see the Stockholm street style influence, the London punk scene, and the New York girl plus more in this collection. Designer Mona Kowalska ended the show with various silk dresses in a world print - a perfect way to finish out the story line.

What we love: the silk dresses in atlas print.

Photo Credit:

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fashion Week: Kenneth Cole Collection

What: urban warrior

Take away: Thanks to the digital age, one can pretty much watch a live fashion show in pajamas via streaming on the internet (and this is exactly what we did). For this collection, the designer sent down the runway a collection of wearable separates that are boxy in cuts but luxurious in quality. Think wool with lots of leather mixed with the occasional lace and metal. This collection has bells and whistles but not too much in terms of originality (what, Alexander Wang hasn't thought of it yet?). Cole, as the champion of warm coats and work wear, certainly delivered a collection that will appease the masses.

What we love: a tuxedo all-in-one that's perfect for the after work cocktails or parties, and a sheer cocktail dress with metal peplum detailing.

Photo credit:

PS: Check out our Fashion Week board on Pinterest!

Fashion Week: Costello Tagliapietra

What: dresses that drapes the body in sumptuous fall hues. Shirring mixed with hand-knitted sweaters and wool coats.

Take away: doing what they do best, the designers again sent down the runway a collection of ethereal dresses that hug the body in all the right places. Sensual viscose and silks are draped close to the body with occasional deep v necklines. The dresses float with the body as the model sashayed, with sparing use of airdye prints keeping things interesting.

What we love: everything. All 27 pieces of the collection.

Photo credits:

PS: Follow our Fashion Week board on Pinterest!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Current Object of Obession: Marni Necklace

From A/W 12 (Buy here).

Prabal Gurung for Target

Talk about timely marketing and ultimate cuteness. The Prabal Gurung for Target collection, slated to launch Feb. 10 (get to your nearest Target stores or early!), has an excellent home page where you can find out the type of Romantic you are - perfectly in time for Valentine's Day. The 45-piece capsule collection is inspired by Love, a theme Gurung has returned time and again for his eponymous runway collections. Florals, colors and black and white prints mix brilliantly in easy-to-wear basics and structured a-line sheaths. The icing on the cake? Those miniaudiere in luscious reds and black with matching ankle-strapped sandals. Spring can't be here soon enough!

See the collection's lookbook here.

Photo credit: Target


Monday, February 4, 2013

Street Style: Tommy Ton at Couture Fashion Week

Get a taste of what's to come in the next four weeks - a sampling of Tommy Ton's fashion shots at Haute Couture Fashion Week in Paris. (Remember, follow my boards on Pinterest!)

Photo courtesy:

Fashion Week A/W 13 Live Stream

The month-long Fashion Weeks will officially kick-off in New York this Wednesday. Want to watch all the shows in your pajamas without fighting the crowds? Check out these websites here for live-streaming of your favorite shows. (And remember to post/repin your favorite pictures on Pinterest!)

IMG Livestream (It was announced today that all shows at the tents will be livestreamed by IMG this season)

New York Fashion Week Live

Milk Studio on Livestream