October 8, 2009

As If I Need to Fall In Love With Another Foreign Magazine

From July 2009's Australian Vogue.

Sheer beauty. From the concept to the colours (I love shift from black and white as one looks further down the image), to her hair.

(Photo from foto decadent)

Can we just discuss...

The misuse of the term "couture." Seriously, this is my biggest pet peeve ever. Couture does not mean "relating to fashion" or "a pretty dress". You cannot refer to something as being so couture, and while some ready to wear garments are very expensive, they are not couture.

Please do not refer to something as couture unless it is custom made with painstaking attention to detail. I just think that it's really insulting to all of the artistry and effort that goes into creating couture pieces.

This, while beautiful, is not couture.

(Elie Saab Ready-To-Wear, Spring 2010, photo from style.com)

This, my dears, is couture.

(Christian Lacroix Couture, Fall 2009, photo from style.com)

I just read an interview on an otherwise fantastic fashion website wherein the interviewer misused the word couture several times, as in, "What's it like attending all of the most couture fashion shows, like Margiela?"

Please friends, let's correct this.

October 4, 2009

The 5 Best and 5 Worst Celebrity Fashion Lines

The fashion world has been up in arms since it was announced that Lindsay Lohan has joined Ungaro as the line's "artistic advisor". While expecting the perma-legginged starlet to play any kind of direct role at a historic french fashion house is alarming, celebrities dabbling in design is nothing new (Lohan herself launched 6126 last year).
While some celebrity lines have been utter disasters, others have managed to make a name for themselves in design. Here are my favorite celebrity labels, and the ones that give me nightmares.
The Five Best (Yes, Two of These are Helmed by the Olsen Twins)
1. Elizabeth and James (by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen)

(photo from net-a-porter.com)

Named after the Olsens' younger siblings, Elizabeth and James provides young, fun fashion that is on trend but not gimmicky. The collection is full of slim-fitting pants, boyfriend blazers, and 90's inspired pieces, that are wearable but apt to turn heads. As a bonus, one gets the sense that the Olsens are among the most directly involved in the design process of the legions of celebrity "designers".

2. William Rast (by Justin Timberlake)

(photo from style.com)

No one expected Justin Timberlake's label to be this good. Face it, the crooner is known more for his hit songs and famous girlfriends than any sort of sartorial sensability. Yet the denim-saturated William Rast line contains lots of cool over-sized tees and skinny jeans, for an effortlessly cool look.

3. Victoria Beckham (by Victoria Beckham)

(photo from style.com)

Victoria Beckham is unfortunately a bit of a laughing stock in the fashion community. From her spray tan to her augmented chest, she is a bit hard to take seriously. However, while her tastes may differ from those of fashion darlings like Erin Wasson or Anna Wintour, her line is full of red-carpet ready dresses that toy with shape and proportion, and are a perfect match for the sky-high heels Beckham wears 24/7.

4. L.A.M.B. (by Gwen Stefani)

(photo from style.com)

After several successful seasons, Stefani has proven herself as a designer. Seamlessly blending trends with Stefani's personal style, L.A.M.B. is chic with rocker sensibilities.

5. The Row (by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen)

(photo from mkashley.com)

Still known primarily for the boho-chic style they rocked at the beginning of the decade, one might not expect many basics in a line designed by the Olsen twins. But simplicity is the watchword when it comes to The Row, which aims to provide basics at their best. Full of well-cut blazers and little black dresses, The Row is more focused on providing quality than following trends.

The Five Worst:

1. Lauren Conrad Collection (by Lauren Conrad)

(photo from amazon.com)

Until recently, Lauren Conrad starred on The Hills, a show about her life working in the fashion industry. One can see the irony in this upon seeing her (no longer in production) fashion line. Jersey dresses similar in quality to American Apparel's but sold for hundreds of dollars more do not a fashion icon make. It's not that Lauren Conrad Collection was terrible, but it lacked personality. As a member of Team LC (as opposed to Team Heidi or Team Kristen), I think that she could do better.

2. Heidiwood (by Heidi Montag)

(photo from mtv.com)

Another Hills star, another terrible label. While Montag dissed her co-star for setting such a high price point for her clothes, her own line looked cheap, in all senses of the word. Equal parts skanky and Forever 21 clearance rack, Montag's line was tragic. Happily, she has since stuck to what she does best: reality TV and staged paparazzi shots.

3. Abbey Dawn (by Avril Lavigne)

(photo from kohls.com)

Lavigne described her clothing line to USA Today as "[a] lot of hot pinks and blacks and stars and purple and zebra. Basically, everything I wear." I don't think that I have to elaborate.

4. Paris Hilton (by Paris Hilton)

(photo from parishiltonsite.net)

Let's face it. It's hardly surprising that the bulk of this collection consisted of T-shirts with Paris's face on them (which she proudly wore, of course). What was surprising were the numerous ugly items that even Hilton wouldn't be caught dead in, including a cheap looking turtleneck sweater dress and what can best be described as a sleeveless mom-blouse with an attached tie.

5. Ashlee Simpson for Wet Seal (by Ashlee Simpson)

(photo from blog.buffalostate.edu)

Combining the worst of Abbey Dawn and Paris Hilton, Simpson's collection featured T-shirts with her face on them and items bearing a neon animal print motif.

Note: Miley and Max is only excluded from this list because:

a) I respect Max Azria and hope that one day he will come to regret this trainwreck of a line.


b) It is so terribly mundane that I tend to forget it exists