Tag Archives: fashion

Mood Board Inspiration: the Baroque Era

Grandeur. Lush. Exquisite. Go big or go home. Fashion and style in this period was represented by these sentiments and more. It was the idea that grandiose was the way to live, eat and breathe. Splendor and excessive was the norm. Influence from the later part of the era (1660-1775) can be seen across the runway today, my absolute favorite is Dolce & Gabbana RTW Fall 2013 at Milan Fashion Week (read about the creative directors recent conviction of tax evasion). Check it out here at style.com!

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To incorporate this style into your wardrobe, look for heavily ornate pieces, dramatic circular or curving patterns and elaborate embellishments.

Here are a few pictures for inspiration! Happy findings!

 

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The Age of Microwave Fashion?

I recently read an interesting article on the web from the Boston Consulting Group and Business of Fashion. It focused on the plight of fashion houses recruiting viable talent to develop current brands. Nearly 70 percent of luxury brands find it difficult to place creative directors, many citing inadequate talent pipelines. One of the biggest challenges facing luxury and fashion companies today is finding, developing, and retaining great creative and business, as stated by Jean-Marc Bellaiche and Sarah Willersdorf, a partner and principal at BCG.

All across the board, in design and product development, technology and general management in fashion are gaping holes needed to be filled by talent.  But the greater problem beneath this current one faced by larger retail companies and fashion houses alike isn’t easily visible to the naked eye. Companies are searching for artists that have the ability to become, stepping into a role and growing.  The key word in the article is develop. Because of the lightening speed at which we absorb, post, infiltrate the internet today, many of these people lying the talent pool have no desire to be students, i.e., get developed.  Because the internet makes everyone a star…plumps up a faux resume, produces incredible geniuses…and at the tip of a finger one can quickly and unanimously become larger than life. We are inundated with rockstar status IG profiles where living a fashionable lifestyle is envied and admired leading to the notion that being famous is more important than developing (being a student).  No longer are there eager students, hungry for knowledge, humble in approach, those that understand the process of starting from the bottom to learn the business of fashion as a way of life.  No, no.  Studying has been replaced by delusions of grandeur, with the aim of cult like celebrity followers as the ultimate goal.  These faux “fashionistas” (btw I loathe that word) are armed with Google, a MAC illustrator (because no real sketching required nowadays) and the latest Vogue magazine for fast imitation inspiration.  To each his own.  But what happens when the famously internet stars began to outnumber school education or ones who’ve taken the time to develop, i.e. paid their dues?  What type of predicament will the business of fashion be left in?  A quiet but massive chaotic storm is brewing in the fashion community.  The gaping hole between the creative side and business of fashion exists, and not acknowledging it will not make it disappear.  And until both sides in the fashion community can put aside egos and learn to work together co-existing, the future of fashion is at risk.

 

You can read the full article here: The Race for Talent and Luxury in Fashion.  Share your thoughts with me!

Designer Spotlight: Norman Ambrose

We live in a time where everything is instantaneous. Quick. The internet serves as grand wizard with social media reporting the latest greatest at the impossible speed as soon as it materializes. We’ve gotten so used to fast that more and more living, doing, creating is taking on this approach, becoming the norm.  Artists, at times, can find themselves in the middle of this exact predicament. Creating quickly in order to produce forsaking the very reason for the creation. It is absolutely beautiful when an artist takes the time and opportunity to allow his creations to develop, from seed (thought, inspiration) to full bloom (collection).  I knew this was a way of life the first time I laid eyes on Norman Ambrose at Fashion Houston in 2011. Exquisite craftsmanship, luxurious fabrics, handmade embellishments all color a haute couture piece by Ambrose. His designs are dreams of old world aristocrat, assembled, cut and impeccably tailored to gracefully mold the body inside of its masterpiece. Glamour is his specialty, and whether designing for a Baroness, a New York socialite or the modern woman of style and grace, Norman Ambrose is a true atelier and artist. His background education has served him well in the creative arena, he is a graduate of the Academy of Art University of San Francisco, and was bestowed the opportunity to study at the Instituto Europeo di Design in Italy. Ambrose’s resume is impressive, he was afforded the dream chance to train under a pattern cutter from the prestigious House of Balenciaga and a tailor under the iconic Bill Blass.

 

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I love collections that construct an intriguing narrative, that have the capability to hold a person captive while one stares lustfully at a runway while each piece weaves the completed fairytale.  I love collections that mesmerizes; leaves you desiring more.  It is beautiful to witness a designer takes such pride in his craftsmanship, allowing an inside peek into the vivid inner workings of his mind, blessing you with the opportunity to explore his thoughts or providing a source of inspiration.  I was blessed with the opportunity to meet and interview Mr. Ambrose not once but twice (with Fashionably Houston)!  What a grand break that was in my fashion life at the time.  Soft spoken, gracious and humble, I was impressed even the more by Mr. Ambrose after interviewing him. I simply adore and admire him.

You can follow Norman Ambrose on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for current details from the designer!

 

 

Here is an excerpt of my recap after witnessing his runway show in 2011:

 

The sun.  Brilliant, radiant, magnificent, the perpetual light that ignites the world and prevents eternal darkness from swallowing us whole.  Life would be impossible without it…now imagine sitting in a spacious room with a runway at the center and experiencing the sun…in its entire splendor…from the slow rise out of the east, to the intense luminosity of day, ending with its glorious subdued descent.  On Wednesday night at Fashion Houston 2011, Norman Ambrose delivered the sun.  He  fashioned his S/S 2012 collection to represent the cycles of the sun; carefully choose a color palette to interpret his vision and set ablaze the souls of fashion lovers everywhere.   Vibrant noir…shimmering metallic gold… iridescent silver… pale apricot…lustrous tangelo… to an exuberant then soften coral.  It was sensory overload but in the most marvelous way!  And that was just the color palette.

 

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Lupita, Lupita

  
Dearest Lupita,

   6:15pm CST.  The collective sigh as you made your appearance on red carpet at the Met Gala is the maddening reason behind this post.  You are a star.  Destined for greatness.  Your humble spirit and immense talent speaks volume.  The world has taken a seat in your audience, eagerly awaiting your next move.  But let’s address the daring move you made last night, I get it, it was your JLo-in-the-Versace-at-the-Grammys-moment.  You wanted to make a bold statement.  After all, you have stunned and silenced us throughout this award season.  Radiant in Ralph Lauren, Glorious in Gucci, Dazzling in Dior and Charming in Chanel.  On Oscar night, I expected the mecca of dresses and though you looked graceful and elegant as always in Oscar de La Renta I must admit I was quite disappointed.  This was your chance to showcase your true beauty and fashion sense (and your stylist).  You didn’t flunk out but you failed to excite. 

Last night you excited but you failed to ignite.  The Met Gala red carpet wasn’t the place for the flapper inspired emerald green Prada gown and the Star Wars headpiece.  Where was the architecture (structure)? Volume? Charles James inspiration? Red carpet fashion is about risk taking but the Prada was a poor choice for a beautiful starlet.  Please, Lupita redeem yourself in only the way you can. By dazzling us once again and enrapturing us under your magical fashion spell.

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Met Gala, 2014 Edition

charles   Each spring, celebrities and fashion lovers unite at the fundraising gala for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute known as the Met Gala.  Fashion Mecca.  Fashion Prom.  Each year brings a new exhibition (and theme) highlighting the creative work of innovative designers.  This year’s exhibition is Charles James: Beyond Fashion, showcasing the designer life of “America’s first couturier.”  James, a British-born designer, known widely for his architectural aesthetic with many pieces being interchangeable keeping his ideas new and fresh.  Exquisite tailoring and lush embroidered ball gowns were signatures of James.

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There was just one dress tonight….just one…it represented Mr. James well and it was simply stunning.  Karolina Kurkova in dreamy Marchesa.

 

 

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Kurkova stunned two years ago at the Met Gala in Rachel Zoe.  The theme was inspired by the exhibition of Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations.

 

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Mood Board Inspiration: American Hustle

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I love fashion from the 1970s, actually I am a lover of period fashion and the history behind costume. Today’s inspiration is derived from the 2014 movie American Hustle, starring Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and directed by David O. Russell.  Truth is, my excitement in viewing the movie was only because of the costume design.  Fashion from the 70s is flamboyant and seductive.  The movie reproduced all of the notable elements of the glamorous era with wavy big hair, bold makeup, and glitzy clothing, not to mention attitude.

If you’re thinking about adding some staple 70’s inspired pieces to your wardrobe, check out the pictures for inspiration!

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Designer Profile: Jean Louis Sabaji

jls4      I am in love. With fashion, the possibility of this occurring is often fleeting and not always notable. There are just a hand full of designers I keep close watch on and I have to thank my friend, Cherise, for introducing me to the incredible Jean Louis Sabaji.

Sabaji, a second generation Lebanese designer, debuted his collection at Dubai Fashion Week. this month to a well pleased and admirable audience.  The final outcome was clear, he is definitely one to watch, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more of him in the upcoming fashion seasons.  The collection was well constructed, painstakingly so, with a grand flair of and mother nature.  The insect appliques reminded me of Zuhair Murad‘s fall 2014 RTW collection which showcased his love for dragonflies and butterflies.  Insects never looked so sexy!  Please check out the debut collection on his website.

You can follow the designer on Facebook or twitter to keep up with the latest.

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