August 26, 2015

Zodiac Dresser, Designer Edition: Leo by Versace F/W15

Continuing my year-long Zodiac Dresser Designer Edition series of matching up current collections with the zodiac signs they best embody, today's post celebrates Leo, the lion. I have always associated Versace with this sign because this label exudes confidence, strength and sexuality. 
Leo is the performer of the zodiac and ruled by the sun so unsurprisingly, this is a sign that loves attention. Similarly, the bold colors and silhouettes typical of Versace are also very attention grabbing and charmingly confident. 

Additionally, Leo is associated with yellow's even flashier twin, gold.  
This collection's silhouettes were what struck me as very Leo. These clothes don't hide or cloak the figure at all. Instead, these clothes give the body a graphic, edgy quality resulting in a silhouette that seems to slice rather than float or drape through space. Similarly, Leos unabashedly command attention and have few "soft" qualities to their personalities. 
Versace's clothes are also well known for their unapologetic sexuality, a quality typical of fire signs like Leo. This collection's cutouts, exaggerated hourglass shapes and short hemlines all speak to this confident, outgoing sexuality. 

Like this coat (and all the outwear in this collection, really), Leo is loud, larger than life and commands the spotlight. Leo is prone to grandiose expressions of opulence, a hallmark of the Versace brand. In that vein, this coat has nothing modest about it; the voluminous silhouette, lavish fur and electric hue would are individually ostentatious elements combined into one extravagant garment. 

As I've stated previously, Leo has always brought to my mind very 80s, Dynasty fashions like the dresses above and below. As  Leo is considered the most egotistical self-loving sign of the zodiac, it's only appropriate for this collection to feature giant sequined labels, too. 
I hope you've enjoyed this year's musings on Leo. Let me know what you think in the comments!
heart,
--m

July 06, 2015

the Zodiac Dresser, Designer Edition: Cancer by Dolce and Gabbana

Continuing my Zodiac Dresser Designer Edition series that matches each zodiac sign with a current designer collection, today's post relates Cancer to Dolce and Gabbana's F/W 15 collection. 
Cancer's symbol 
What most struck me about Cancer and this collection is the juxtaposition of sensuality and domesticity. Dolce and Gabbana is famous for their sultry styling and sexy fabrics, yet their aesthetic also incorporates a sense of tradition through references to art history and Sicilian culture. (photos from www.style.com)

The mother of the zodiac, Cancer's symbol represent the breasts, the part of the body this sign rules both for their maternal as well as sensual associations. Dolce and Gabbana's F/W 15 collection was overtly inspired by none other than a mother's love. The dress above says "Ti voglio bene mamma" ("I love you mom") as though it were a personal note. However, this familial sentiment is executed with sensuous details like black sequins against soft silk. 


As is characteristic of Dolce and Gabbana, this collection is completely feminine. Even tailored garments such as the coat above are executed in hourglass silhouettes and luxurious fabrics. 


Again, this look speaks to the sentimental and sensuous quality of Cancer. The top uses all the sexy cliches: black, sheer, lace, visible undergarments, and tight. But the skirt uses a prim, conservative form, length and material given charm with a child's drawing. It's as if the skirt represents the messy-but-charming-in-its-imperfection reality of familial life: a trusted structure made alive through sentiment and creativity. 


Cancer is not a sign quick to embrace change. Similarly, Dolce and Gabbanna F/W 15 stuck to classic silhouettes such as the ballgown above.  I have to wonder if the designers weren't partly inspired by  supermom Angelina Jolie's wedding dress which featured embroidery of her children's drawings. 

I would wear this 
The use of the Madonna is an obvious reference to motherhood as well as an appeal to classical depictions of beauty. Somewhat more subtle is the use of rose ubiquitously throughout the collection, a traditional symbol of beauty and the Madonna, too. 
I would wear this 
I love this collection's use of roses since I'm a huge fan of depictions of roses (more so than roses themselves honestly). What are your opinions on these looks, especially if you are born under this sign?
heart,
--m

June 25, 2015

Links a la Mode June 25

Wow! So happy my designer take on astrological outfits is polling well with the folks over at IFB. Here's there other top picks from the fashion blog-o-sphere as part of:

Links a la Mode Weekly Roundup: June 25, 2015

Do let me know which links turn out to be your favorites!
--m

June 21, 2015

the Zodiac Dresser, Designer Edition: Gemini by Commes des Garcons

Continuing my Zodiac Dresser Designer Edition series that matches each zodiac sign with a current designer collection, today we focus on Gemini. The third sign in the astrological calendar, Gemini is represented by the twins Castor and Pollux and ruled by the planet Mercury. I chose Commes des Garcons S/S15 as the sartorial embodiment of
Gemini because of the avant garde, highly conceptual aesthetic of this collection. (All photos from Style.com.) 

Gemini is a highly intellectual sign associated with a life of the mind and ideas. It is said Gemini might best be represented by a question mark. Well, when you see clothes this expensive and this ... not wearable*, well, it is a collection intended more as art than craft, meant to inspire ideas and questions instead of outfits. (*This is not a judgement, just a practical  observation and probably the reason Commes des Garcons has a secondary, wearable line.) 


Gemini is not associated with the color red, which completely dominated this collection BUT I immediately associated this passionate shade with the quick cleverness and nervous temperament imparted by ruling planet and metal Mercury. 

Gemini is an air sign and it appears to me as if all these models are extremely windswept, as if air is circulating organically throughout the garment; certainly I can't be the only one with this impression? Additionally, all the swirling, flowing lines created by both the clothing and hair styling are quite mercurial, no?

On a personal note, I seem to have a soft spot in my heart for individuals born under this sign, ranging from my beloved, late uncle Athanas to my personal fashion guru (yes, you Gaia!). Also, how do you feel, Geminis and non-Geminis alike, about such conceptual clothing? (Me, I love conceptual art so....)
--m

May 08, 2015

5 Things I Like and Musings: Ugly Shoe Edition

Ugly Shoe is in every look for much of DKNY's S/S 2015 campaign.
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The Ugly Shoe is having a major moment right now. But just because a shoe is ugly doesn't make it "Ugly Shoe". Defining characteristics of Ugly shoe are:

  • chunky
  • flat or stacked platform with no lift
  • lacks any sense of gracefulness whatsoever
  • toe can be round or square, but is always wide 
  • often borrows from athletic, slipper or clog forms
  • can take on a few different vibes/aesthetics such as sporty, minimalism/normcore, healthgoth, 70s, meanswear or loungewear
Before I show you more Ugly Shoe, here's it's opposite, by Oscar de la Renta, to provide a point of reference:

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Quite a few S/S 2015 collections and campaigns featured ugly shoe very prominently. Here are my

Top 5 Ugly Shoe S/S 2015 Moments: 

DKNY

Can't realistically see myself wearing this.
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I mean, these are some pretty hideous, athletic inspired shoes. The bright colors and geometric accents give these a retro, almost mod feeling I appreciate. 
I'd wear this.
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 Coach

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I'd love to wear these platform slipons which are clearly inspired by Dr. Scholl's sandals.
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Ok, so this mule does have a bit of a cutout and lift to the heel which is not exactly Ugly Shoe but... it is executed so clumsily as to somehow create not just a deficit of gracefulness. I actually would love to wear these paired with vintage floral dresses, especially those from the 70s for a boho vibe. 

 Burberry Prorsum

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What I most appreciate about this collection's footwear is the neon/bright colors that are very en vogue in the gym right now. As a secret gym rat (Gold's Gym, no less, the mecca of gym rattiness FYI), I'm pretty into neons (especially polish) right now so... yeah, I'd wear the sandal below for sure. 
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Peter Som

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Gosh, these shoes are just so... very ugly to the point of absurd that like surreal art, it makes sense by not making sense, amirite?!
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Circus by Sam Edelman 

Wow, Mr. Edelman 's got quite the range of both Ugly and non-ugly Shoe alike. 
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And of course I love silver shoes/anything. 
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We all recognize this shoe's reference thanks to our 3rd grade teachers. Hence, I dub this, the Teacher Shoe. Normally I despite teacher shoe, but the addition of the woven platform heels and metallic leather make this palatable.

Not Quite Ugly Shoe

Some shoes are not quite Ugly Shoe all the way, but certainly evoke the aesthetic with a certain chunkiness.
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By Chanel, this platform has a bit too much lift and curve in the platform. That plus the elegance of the straps give this shoe a hint of gracefulness which veers away from pure Ugly Shoe.

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These big wedges by Bally have rivets and wood, common features of Ugly Shoe, but again, the curved wedge and slightly tapered toe make this shoe slightly graceful. Also, they are almost too obviously borrowing from 70s disco platforms to qualify as Ugly Shoe. All that said, can I just say I simply swoon over these? 

OG Ugly Shoe

Fashion is incredibly referential so of course there are predecessors to Ugly Shoe, predominantly 90s trends. 

Dr. Scholls Sandals 

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This brand was founded in 1906 and has been a household name since at least the 1970s. But for me, these shoes most evoke the mid-90s when they were especially trendy and came in various colors. (I never had any, though, nor do I especially want any now.)

Reebok Pumps

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The Pump has been in production since 1989 and has resurged in popularity recently thanks to various fashion collaborations like atmos and Titolo. It's been endorsed by athlethes, too, but we all know the most iconic Pump moment of all time:

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Birkenstocks 



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Well, I would have assumed that living in Eugene would have made me allergic to these shoes, but strangely I do like knockoffs that are slightly less wide and not brown/tan. 

Teva

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Teva began in Arizion in 1984 and has remained a popular outdoors brand. They've since entered the arena of high fashion with collaborations like Nasty Gal (pictured below) and Opening Ceremony. At $40 a pair, the original versions are actually pretty affordable but not for me. 
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Adilette by Adidas

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A personal favorite which I covet, the Adilette was released in 1963, the first sandal design by Adidas, a German company that goes back to 1924 and whose 1936 Olympic partnership with Jesse Owens was the first Olympic sponsorship of an African American athlete. The Adilette was originally designed for the locker room, but I also like them paired with minimal, monochrome outfits. 

Ugly Shoe within Reach

Though my examples so far have been from high end designers, there are quite a few knockoffs out there. These examples are all currently available at Target
Space shower shoes. 

Leopard is always a good look for Ugly Shoe, no?


Gotta say this shoe is the most hideous pictured here. So hideous it comes around to neutral and harmonious. 



Obviously I love silver shoes/anything. 



Farm to table is so 2014. 2015 is all about shower to street. 
Ok, not quite an ugly shoe because of the lifted heel, the front of this shoe definitely meets the Teacher Shoe profile. 

I recognize this is not a new trend nor am I the first to report on it. Ugly Shoe as I've defined it appears to have been a noted trend since at least 2013 that continued into 2014 and the present. Oh, and about Uggs: Uggs do not pass "go" the way Ugly Shoe does, where it transcends hideousness and enhances the cuteness and/or sleekness of the rest of your look. Nope, Uggs are just plain ugly shearling bags for your feet. Sorry, but not sorry, I hate them and they have no place in fashion. 

What do you think of Ugly Shoe? Would you wear it and if yes, how would you style it? Me, I'm obviously a fan or else I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of writing an entire blog post about it. I would pair this with both sporty and very feminine looks for casual occasions. I'm also a big fan of the banded-slipper style for doing stuff around the house and yard. 
heart,
--m

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