Archive for Fashion

The End Of Red Carpet Glamour? I Hope So!

The lifestyle editor of ‘The Age Newspaper’ classified Naomi Harris’s outfit at the BAFTA red carpet as a ‘Hit’ and stated that ‘If only more stars would dress like this to awards nights instead of the usual Rachel-Zoe-styled-stiff-taffeta’. Yes if only!

Long gone are the days when celebrities used to dress themselves. Nowadays they are all too scared to pick their own outfits and hide behind the skirts or pants of some of the biggest stylists in the world.

I personally I’m sick to death of watching award shows with every woman looking like a carbon copy of the other! There’s only so many times that one can endure the sight of sashaying gown trailing behind it’s wearer on the red carpet.

If you were a martian whose first and only impression of the earth was a celebrity red carpet awards event, you would go away thinking that all we earthling females ever wore were long dresses with trails, cut almost always firmly around the bust.

Thank you Naomi Harris for showing up to the BAFTAS in something a little less stiff and proper.

Naiomi Harris1 Naiomi Harris naomie-harris baftas-2014-red-carpet

And  good on you Angelina Jolly ( and I mean this sincerely) for reminding us all women that we can still look smoldering with minimal make-up and a low maintenance hairstyle.

Angelina Jolly

All of a sudden I am dying for a pair o tuxedo cigarette pants and a skinny belt We all know who wears the pants in your relationship!

Looking forward to individuality and personal style, not stylist style coming back to the red carpet. I hope Naomi Harris and Angelina Jolly have started a trend.

Leave a Comment

Fashion Trends For 2014 -Spring/Summer

I have not lost my passion for fashion, I’ve merely become disillusioned. Bored with a repetitive diet of monochromatic hues, colour blocking, and the deconstructed ladylike silhouettes of the modern fashion era, where everything old is new again, and again, and again.

The last straw was the plastic fantastic polyester garments sold at ridiculous prices when in fact it’s being made out of some factory in south east Asia where people are being paid almost next to nothing.

Oh my how I long for the days when there was a bit of Oscar fashion scandal, when celebrities like Cher dared to wear nothing but a stocking with sparkles on it. I wish I could indeed turn back time and escape the age of the over polished botox celebrity beauties parading down the red carpet, flawless without a single imperfection. It’s just not natural.

Anyway…Recently while watching the news, I caught a glimpse of Roberto Cavalli’s bold recycled looks of the 1920’s (Which I’m sure must have been inspired by Baz Lerman’s ‘The Great Catsby’), I almost wet my pants!

Suddenly my desire to wear interesting clothes was sparked. It didn’t take me much to remember what I loved about fashion. The drama, contradictions, colour or the lack of it sometimes, and I was back trolling the net for inspiration for my next look for my wardrobe.  

Sadly what I found didn’t impress me much so I decided to take up sewing to make my own clothes, only to realize that I couldn’t find the patterns I wanted but I sure spent enough money (over $200 AUD) trying.

Don’t get me started on the fabrics! Anyway satisfaction finally came when I stumbled up on the easiest pattern making course on the planet! Really…They should call it pattern making for dummies and long story short, after a month of one day sessions in the course, I can finally make my own dresses, pants, skirts, and a few things in-between. I’m still learning!

The pattern making course is run at Astratex in Richmond, (www.astratex.com), along with other sewing course! I’m loving it. It’s called Sitam Pattern Making. I just realized that most of you do not know where Richmond Melbourne is but the course is available world wide and is especially popular in Europe. And no you don’t have to be a rude and eccentric fashion student to do it! I just realized that I can with a lot of effort probably cut some of the designs that I’ve posted in this blog! Snap!

I encourage anyone remotely interested in fashion to consider making their own. You will be surprised how easy and fulfilling it can be!

Back to fashion…I’m going to like 2014 because designers have made some attempts at being creative.

The overly polished look of the last few years, that seems to have gone on longer than it needed to is finally coming to an end. I never thought I would be excited by the idea that fashion was getting a little more casual but I am over the moon about it. To see the relaxed chic re-enter the over perfectionist consciousness of today’s Fashionistas will be a refreshing breath of fresh air.

Yes most the looks still look quite polished but the fabric choices are a little more fun.

Metallic And Embellishments

Below Roberto Cavalli RTW Spring 2014.

Roberto Cavalli Spring1 2014 RTW

Roberto Cavalli Spring2 2014 RTW Roberto Cavalli Spring3 2014 RTW Roberto Cavalli Spring4 2014 RTW Roberto Cavalli Spring5 2014 RTW Roberto Cavalli Spring6 2014 RTW Roberto Cavalli Spring 2014 RTW

Casual Chic from the other designers…

Channel RTW Alexander McQueen1 Alexander McQueen Diane Von Furstenberg Marc Jacobs RTW Etro

Comments (1)

The Splits Are Back Again – Trend

While some of us fashion elitist’s were out today looking for winter clothes in 30 degree heat (I think that’s about 98 degrees for Americans), celebrities on the red carpet were slowly catching on a trend I wrote about last year, correction! I wrote about it almost two years ago (2011/11/29)
Splits Solange

For my fashion IQ on this trend click onto the following link to the post.

https://beautyandtheblackwoman.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/doing-the-splits-trend/

Now I know that the lovely Solange looked ‘a treat’ in her green dress with a huge split up the thighs, but all I could think about when I saw this photo was ‘why are these so called hip celebrities just catching tail of this so yesterday look?’

Splits jordin-sparks-clive-davis-party__oPt Splits Ashanti Grammys

So before you rush out to copy their look bare in mind that it’s almost on the way out.

You should be looking forward, not behind.

Psss… Monochromatic hues (again?), tangerine and other pastels, ditsy printed florals are just some of the trends coming ahead.

Don’t get left behind.

What the trend setters are looking ahead to….

Diane+von+Furstenberg+Spring+2013

 

Spring summer 2013 – Dian Von Fursten.

Note the soft flowy blouse in citrus line, almost shear. The raw silk shorts (although I love candy pink), must be a hang over from last season.

Comments (2)

Race and Fashion – The Last Frontier

I must have been asleep, then again I’ve got an excuse because it was around Christmas that the Dutch magazine, Jackie referred to Rihanna indirectly as a n***r b***h. Two words that are not in my vocabulary. And Rihanna’s response was well ‘f**k you’. I read extracts of the article and extracts of another magazine article by Nathalie Dovilo who tried to classify black fashion as a ‘trend’.

Both these articles have resulted in controversy, apologies, and resignations and a lot of negativity.  In both cases before we all get excited (and I’m as offended as anyone who is black), we need to look at intent and audience that both magazines were intended for. We also need to look at western culture, the personification of black people in the media.

The Dutch magazine  appears to be some type of edgy online magazine for the fashionably alternative and out there. Elle on the other hand is the fashion magazine for the girl next door.

Recently I bought two magazines, US Bazaar and UK vogue. I generally buy the Australian versions of these magazines. Besides the numerous amounts of advertising (at least 34 pages of glossy adds before the contents page), I was disappointed by the fact that both magazines had no articles about any black celebrities, black models, or even advertising containing black people or any other race for that matter. It’s sad, because according to statistics, at least 40 million Americans are considered to be black (12.6%, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html), from the US census of 2010. 40 million people is a lot to ignore but the magazines do, (I’ve failed to find any recent data on the population of black people in the UK so I can’t make any comparisons).  But it’s a lot harder to ignore a black president and a black first lady.

Living in Australia I’ve learned that the average white person knows nothing about the average black person. What they are familiar with are the stereotypes. The angry black woman, the video vixen, the mammy stereotype amoungts others.

When most white people they or see someone who doesn’t fit the stereotypes, for example Michelle Obama, they get confused.  In their minds the idea of a sophisticated black woman with style, finesse, and elegance is abnormal. They only associate these traits with white western women.

 

What Nathalie Dovilo was trying to do in her failed attempt at describing  the style of black celebrities such as Solange Knowles, is defining a look for black women. The idea of a stylish black doesn’t exist in Nathalie Dovilo’s mind before the arrival of Michelle Obama. She’s trying to be the first in the fashion world to define something that isn’t exactly definable and doesn’t require labels or names. Black women are fashionable. And because the idea of a fashionable black woman is beyond the scope of the white imagination and foreign, the only way that Nathalie Dovilo could explain it’s existence was by attributing it to the first black first lady, Michelle Obama.

I hope Mrs Obama doesn’t take this the wrong way but a lot of black women I know don’t talk about how fashionable she is. I doubt that creative types like Nikki Minaj, Janelle Monae, and Solange Knowles are  taking their fashion ques from the first lady.

The back handed complement that resulted in outrage and indignation was a reaction to challenging the stereotypes of black women and also the status quo. It’s never been us against them but it has. The idea that black is beautiful also applies to black is fashionable. White women have been historically praised for their beauty, graces, and style and have held this monopoly forever. But women like Nathalie Dovilo are not about to let us black fashionesta’s enter the fashion fold without a little resistance and fight. So she’s described us all well dressed black women has integrating ‘white codes of style’. Modern fashion is an eclectic collection of urban, street, tribal, European, and ethnic influences and can hardly be described as white.

                                     

The idea that the emergence of more traditional forms of African dress that have been adapted and  are a strong part of Solange Knowles eclectic style are a classic twist to the ‘white code’ of style that we are all copying is a desperate attempt at diminishing what is the infiltration of the African influence on fashion and style. The fact is most of us black fashionistas are happy to embrace the more traditionally fabrics worn by our mothers and grand mothers and if anything are shying away from the ‘white code’ of dress and embracing our ethnicity through fashion.

In the past few years the beauty industry has received a lot of attention for it’s exclusion rather than inclusion. The idea that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, skin tones and ethnicities as been an emerging ideology with cosmetics companies expanding their foundation colour ranges to  include colours for all skin shades.

In the last year, fashion went gaga with colour; colour blocking became a big part of everyone’s wardrobe. White people had finally discovered colour. For most of us black men and women, colour has been a part of our lives since the beginning of time.

As for the Dutch Magazine, Jackie, and the comments about Rihanna, the comments have more to do with rebelling white teenage girls trying to copy and emulate hip hop culture than the racial undertones that it’s been accused of. Hip hop and rap entered the mainstream media when white kids decided to find a new way to offend their parents; by embracing a part of black culture that the generation before them disapproved of. This was how rock and roll was born. Artist’s like Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley where strongly influenced by the black music of the time. Back then the hip shaking moves of Elvis where considered satanic by white adults but the teenagers where seduced and entranced by it. And so rock n’ roll was born.

This phenomena reminds me of the Kanye West concert in Melbourne on Tuesday I went to. I’d never seen so many 18 – 25 year old white and Indian males, dressed like gangsters. The somewhat subdued and dorky crowd went ape when Kanye belted out the intro to the song ‘Gold Digga’. They became ecstatic when yelling out the n word and lyrics ‘live your **s for a white girl’ like they had any idea of what the song actually meant. To them liking rap and hip hop are what rock n’ roll and Elvis where to the kids of the 50’s.

Whereas the copying of black culture has been mostly done by males in white society (through fashion and music), it seems white girls are finally getting in on the act. They too want to be that video honey, dress like the video vixens, and drop it like it’s hot.

One of the few advantages of living in Australia was that none of my fashion style was ever attempted by my white co-workers or friends. They believed only I could pull of bright colours, animal prints and bold jewellery.  So my look remained unique. The article in Jackie, although titled ‘how to get the Rihanna look’, was more likely about how  to get the hip hop or rap female look.

Rihanna and Beyonce are the biggest female musicians of today. They just so happen to be black. I’ve seen a lot of magazine articles with ‘how to’ guides to getting the Beyonce and the Rihanna look.

I was outside Rod Laver arena one day and wondered why there were a thousand pre-teen girls dressed like street walkers. I overhead an excited girl talking about Rihanna and the concert and it all made sense. They all dressed the way they their music idol dressed and they were excited to be going to her concert. My comments don’t excuse the comments made by either of these ignorant and socially ill informed writers, but hopefully provides another point of view to the discussion. Sometimes things aren’t so black and white.

 

Leave a Comment

Lady Like Suiting Style

Suits, twin sets, and pant suits. New year and a new trend on the horizon. Seen on the runways of the spring/summer 2012 fashion collections.

The Do’s

Personalize the look with appropriate footwear. Stay away from chunky heels and from full length boots. Kitten heels and stilettos make for the best style footwear to accompany this look. If you have to wear boots make them ankle boots.

This is a look that you can’t mix and match with.

Minimal accessories. Suit are often very detailed and the detailing can clash with accessories.

The Don’ts

Double Breasted suits are not suited to the bigger busted. All D Cups and above, approach with caution.

Avoid matching your shirt/blouse with the suit and shoes.

What To Wear Underneath

Biggest challenge I find with suits is making them look feminine. You have two choices for what to wear underneath. Blouse or shirt, long or short sleeve. For a feminine look, opt for a blouse for softness.

Most suits are traditionally made in dark colours, choose a shirt/blouse in light pastel colours or soft floral prints.

Tailoring and Fabrics

When it comes to suits whether you decide to go ‘manstyle’ like Janelle Monae or ‘Lady Like’ (Halle Berry above), the quality and the tailing of the fabric is everything!

Stay away from 100% polyester, unless you can find a suit made from this fabric that doesn’t look cheap. Opt for a wool blend or other natural and synthetic blends for affordability.

The Evening Suit

Not all of us have the confidence or the fashion cred to rock a black tux with metallic embellishment like Halle Berry. Stay away from such extravagance and stick with simple prints or subtle pinstripes as above. Where a sheer blouse in a lighter colour than the suit underneath.

Spring/Summer 2012


In Stores

Asos.com  (http://www.asos.com/au/Women/Suits-Tailoring/Cat/pgecategory.aspx?cid=13632#parentID=-1&pge=0&pgeSize=-1&sort=-1)

Leave a Comment

Skinny Waist Belts

There’s a thing about fashion trends, they come and they go. Sometimes they are kind to us and sometimes they are not. I’m not sure if the reason that I don’t like skinny belts is because of my own genetic deformation of being born with a very small waist and a short torso.  They don’t suit me and I can’t wear them.

My personal opinions aside, the trend is back in swing, and slowly but surely catching on like a house of fire if the accessories stands at Topshop Melbourne are anything to go by or Paris Spring Summer 2012, October just passed.

So for all those of you pondering the question ‘to skinny belt or not to skinny belt?’, take a few moments to consider your body shape, personal style and intent.

The skinny belt is about subtlety and refinement. It’s a classic best warn with man style pants or lower waisted pants and skirts. Those of you with your teeny tiny waists too close to your bust lines, a short torso (you’ll know who you are) stay clear (celebrities like Beyonce fall into this category).

For those that can wear this style, a few simple rules to avoid the fashion police.

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple sister), ie remember this tiny little strap of leather is a highlight, don’t obstruct it.

Below Gabrielle Union, a current fan of the skinny belt, shows us ‘how not to’ in the pink dress and ‘how to’ in the black dress.  The pink dress has a little too much detail for the slightly lighter pinker belt to really stand out. A skinny belt should be as simple at possible and shouldn’t have additional detailing such as plaiting.

Another day another outfit. The skinny belt comes into it’s on in yellow and shines against the black backdrop of a simple dress.

Other notable mentions on the skinny belt front Tyra banks, shows us how it’s done, not once, but twice in different colours.

The Look For Under $80.00 – http://www.asos.com/au/ASOS/ASOS-Mini-Tulip-Dress-with-Flute-Sleeves/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1644748&cid=8799&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=200&sort=-1&clr=Mustard

The Look For Under $100 – http://www.asos.com/au/Vero-Moda/Vero-Moda-Shirt-Dress-in-Sheer-Fabric/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1962442&cid=8799&sh=0&pge=1&pgesize=200&sort=-1&clr=Latte

 The $7.00, free delivery anywhere in the world http://www.asos.com/au/ASOS/ASOS-Glitter-Skinny-Belt/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=1754319&cid=6448&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=-1&sort=-1&clr=Blue

Online Shopping Guide See Asos.com http://www.asos.com/au/Women/Accessories/Belts/Cat/pgecategory.aspx?cid=6448#parentID=-1&pge=0&pgeSize=-1&sort=-1

Image Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Leave a Comment

Avoid Buyers Remorse At End Of Year Sales

While most of us are pondering what to get the loved ones and ourselves for Xmas, others are looking forward to the end of the year sells. But before you part with your hard earned dollars and pick up that bargain that you don’t need, here are a few thoughts.

All that is on sale is all that didn’t sell. In retail, when something doesn’t sell, there’s generally something wrong with it. So a price reduction wont necessarily make it right.

Most stores have a no return policy on sale items so choose wisely. Consider if the garment is something you’re ever really going to wear? Will it play nicely with the other toys in your closet?

To avoid buyers remorse and a closet full of unworn clothes, below is a photo gallery of some of the upcoming season’s trends all in white from Paris Fashion Week Spring 2012.

Use this sale time to update your wardrobe.

Buy trans-seasonal pieces. Stock up on items that can be warn throughout the seasons from winter to summer, spring to autumn.

White will be a key colour for next year’s spring/summer. Stock up on colours that will compliment the colours of the next season.

Always read the washing instructions. If you’re not prepared to spend time ironing or taking things to the dry cleaner then don’t buy garments with the label ‘dry clean only’.

If it doesn’t fit don’t buy it. There have been many times when I’ve bought things that are too big for me with the resumption that I was one day going to take it to the tailor. Well it took two years for a pair of pants I’ve only worn once. There’s the hopeless assumption that if you buy a size smaller you’ll be motivated to keep your new years resolution for weight loss. Good luck!

Don’t buy a trend that’s on it’s way out. While the last few fashion seasons have been about the abundant display of flesh, designers have shifted gears, making the next fashion calender about refinement, high necklines, and below the knee lengths. The pleating that we saw this season on everything from dresses to skirts to tops was mostly absent from most of the spring/summer collections.

Happy Shopping

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »