Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Eclectic

Hey Brainiacs,

No matter how old we get, we're always learning more about ourselves.  I've recently come into the realization that I have a tendency to like anything eclectic or out of the ordinary.

In my younger years this is something I resisted; let's face it, when we're going through that horribly traumatic phase of acne, hot Cheetos, and learning how to shave our legs without nicking ourselves, it's easy to lose your sense of identity.  You're too busy buying the latest pair of skinny jeans, damn it.  Anyway, I've embraced the inevitable: I like weirdness.  I like anything offbeat, off-color, unlikely, even a little startling.  I must sound like a Victorian-era woman gently attempting to describe pornography.  Allow me to elaborate:

As I've been perusing the collections from Fashion Month, I've seen the same shows that the rest of the fashion world sees, and I know which ones are supposed to stand out for me, but instead I choose to talk about the shows that really do.  These shows tend to be less talked about, but more daring.  Everyone is expecting a knockout show from Dries van Noten, and that's what we get, but who's expecting crazy lines from Yang Li?  Who even knows who Yang Li is?  In honor of those of us who embrace weirdness and eccentricity in all shapes and forms, here is a list of some of my most interesting likes.  Maybe you'll share a few and we can talk about it in a weird little bubble:

1. Bleached eyebrows

Yeah, Kim K kind of brought this one into the mainstream, but I still think bleached eyebrows are weirdly amazing.  They definitely don't fit into any conventional beauty standards, but there's something so haunting about them.  It sort of forces eye contact, which most people are so terrified of.

2. Maximalism

Otherwise known as "bag-lady chic," maximalism is the combination of, what appears to be, everything in your closet.  This isn't sexy, and it rarely works, but when it does, it's pretty fantastic.

3. Menswear

This also isn't conventionally "feminine" or "sexy," by society's standards, but I find it badass when a woman can rock a good pair of trousers and wingtips.

These are just a few of my strange preferences.  Do you have any to add to the list?  Leave a comment.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Jacquemus SS 2017

Hey Brainiacs,

It's already Wednesday in Paris, France and Simon Porte Jacquemus has sent his collection down a staircase.  Jacques' no-frills brand recently celebrated its seventh birthday, but you wouldn't know from looking at it.  This is a brand with an established personality: the Jacquemus woman is chic, elegant, smart, and above all, Parisian.  

Jacquemus tends to stick to minimalism in his designs; his lines have historically been based in white, red, blue, and black, and this season is no exception.  He told Harper's Bazaar in 2013, "I'm not trying to create 'designer clothes.'  I just do whatever I want."  This frame of mind doesn't work for everyone, but so far, Jacquemus is pulling it off.

This season's show was a simple yet stunning production; models were sent down a leveled, dark wood runway with a single, circular cluster of bare lightbulbs against the backdrop to provide a path.  

The collection, although simplistic, was largely asymmetrical and disproportionate in sizing, another tendency of Jacquemus design aesthetic.  The clothing also drew reference to 19th century Paris, as well as classic Eastern Asia.  Take a look at some of the most arresting ensembles:

Look 2:

Look 11:

Look 12:

Look 13:

Look 16:

Look 20:

Look 23:

Look 24:

Look 25:

Look 29:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Model Monday: Jing Wen

Hey Brainiacs,

This Model Monday we're going to talk about Chinese talent Jing Wen.  Wen is represented by agencies all over the world and is considered one of the Top 50 Models in the world.

While she isn't too high on fashion's radar yet (she mainly does runway work), she's recently worked her way up to some pretty major runway shows such as Jil Sander, Prada, and Burberry.  She's been all over Fashion Month this season and I have a feeling it's only a matter of time before she breaks into editorial work.

Wen has an incredible face--very serious and captivating.  She's had a few editorial shoots in Teen Vogue and she's been featured in campaigns, but I'm excited to see her transition to fashion's major publications.

What do you think of her look?  Leave a comment with opinion.


Friday, September 23, 2016

Marco de Vincenzo SS 2017

Hi Brains,

So the show of today that's getting all the talk is Donatella Versace's Versace, and rightfully so; Versace is the legacy and effigy of Gianni, one of the greatest designers of all time.  All of Gianni's girls were on the runway--the only time Naomi Campbell shows up at Fashion Month these days, which is always a blessing to see.  Although the show was a sporty and sexy success, I found perhaps even more pleasure in Marco de Vincenzo's collection.

The collection displayed the perfect sort of ensembles for the season: bright, lightweight, colorful, flirty, and beautiful.  The use of fringe work was unorthodox and yet executed excellently.  Here are some of the major standouts:

Look 7:

Look 11:

Look 23:

Look 35:

Look 36:

Look 37:

What do you think? Leave a comment!


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Moschino SS 2017

Hi Brainiacs,

Whether you're a fan or not, I think we can all admit that Jeremy Scott is owed a great deal of respect for his constant stream of creativity and rule breaking.  Many find both Moschino and his namesake line to be too much, cartoonish, garish, ridiculous.  Well, you wouldn't exactly be unjustified in that opinion.  Jeremy isn't exactly known for coloring inside the lines.  However, even if you think the clothes are hideous, even the most cynical viewer has to admit that his runway shows always bring it.  

This year was no different as Scott sent his models, amongst them Stella Maxwell and the Hadid sisters, down the runway dressed in sexy, colorful, cartoonish ensembles tailored to resemble the cut-out dolls we used to play with in our childhood.  Yes, Scott has found a way to fuse a fond memory of the past with the fashion of the future.  I doubt there was a woman in the audience who didn't shed a tear of joy for her inner girl.  Take a look for yourself:

It's a wild concept, but I absolutely adored the show.  Here's the biggest question: Who will actually dare to go out and buy one of these pieces come spring?  It will be interesting to witness.


According to Fox, Women are Toys--Nothing More

Hey Brainiacs,

I was both disgusted and delighted last week to get my issue of New York Magazine in the mail and find the story I've been waiting on: "How Fox News Women Took Down Roger Ailes."  For those who are unaware (because of how great a job the media has done of downplaying it--thanks for that), the head of Fox News Roger Ailes has been forced to step down and is being taken for over $2 million for the sexual harassment of over two dozen female employees.

This is a story that, let's be honest, we all kind of saw coming.  Fox News has been known for years now as the one news station that almost exclusively features young, blonde, beautiful, curvaceous women and powerful old white men.  With an aesthetic like that, it's difficult to believe that it's operated in a fair, ethical, unbiased manner.  After a twenty-year run under Ailes' tyrannical reign, we finally get the truth.

The story came about earlier this year when popular and successful news anchor Gretchen Carlson was demoted from her primetime spot to the less-viewed 2 p.m.  It was a startling change in the lineup, but no one questioned it too much.  Meanwhile, Carlson was setting up a lawsuit against Ailes himself (her contract was too restrictive for her to come at Fox News as a whole) for sexually harassing her for years, which has finally brought her justice.

I won't recite the entire article, because it's told with eloquence and elaboration in the following link:  Read it for yourself if you have interest in knowing all of the facts.

Basically, the problem isn't restricted to Ailes.  While the man verbally abused his staff, propositioned women to advance their careers in exchange for sexual favors, and attempted to whore his female staff out to friends for favors, he is not the only man at Fox who has done so.  Another story that has been properly covered up is Bill O'Reilly's sexual harassment case of 2004.  He allegedly tried to engage his former producer, Andrea Mackris, in phone sex and further tried to get Mackris and one of her college friends to sexually gratify him in his hotel room.  Yet, this is a man who TO THIS DAY is revered on Fox News as a brilliant journalist (even though all he does is recite his talking points practically verbatim for an hour).

So the question is: What can we do about this?  Stop watching Fox News.  It's the top-rated news station in America, and yet it's filled with misogynistic, power-hungry, deviant men who treat the female staff as if they are objects, sex toys, something there for their disposal.  Is this our country?  A country that reveres unsolicited sexual harassment?  Continuing to watch Fox News, continuing to provide them with stellar ratings, only adds fuel to the fire they are thriving on.

Sure, it's difficult to switch news stations when you've made a habit of watching one for so many years, but what is the bigger issue here?  Watching this says you're okay with this, says you approve of this, but let me ask it this way: what if your daughter, your wife, your girlfriend, grew up watching Fox News and aspired to work there?  She pursues her dream, gets hired, and then is eventually asked to get on her knees or walk out the door and never come back?  Is that a reality you can live with?

Yes, big companies like Fox have corruption like this.  I'm not naive enough to think Fox is the only business with this disgustingness, but this is one we know about.  These aren't rumors--these are facts.  Taking a stand against Fox News will help chip away at the tradition of men in power taking advantage of women.  What are your thoughts?


Monday, September 19, 2016

Roksanda SS 2017

Hey Brainiacs,

As I'm sure most of you know, we've now picked up Fashion Week and moved across the pond with it.  Although New York is king, the center of the world (at least my world), I've always found London Fashion Week to be the most exciting.  New York is quick, impatient, a 10-day staccato of dark glamour.  Paris is chic, sophisticated, everyone's idea of a perfectly put-together woman (with a flawless chignon).  Milan is sexy, sexy, and more sexy.  However, there's something about London that is just so incredibly endearing to me.  The street style is so unmistakably British: women with little makeup and an affinity for menswear, managing to make an oversized blazer paired with sneakers look effortlessly fashionable.  The clothes are eccentric, the shows are bold and all-encompassing, and no Fashion Week in the world has more female designers represented in the line-up.

This year has been wild as ever with a cheerful, fruit-shaped show from Charlotte Olympia, a deconstructed masterpiece from Phoebe English, and gorgeous gowns at Peter Pilotto, but a show that has really stood out to me thus far is Roksanda.

The pieces started out minimal and simple and grew more intricate as the show went on.  It had geometric, even Asian influences in the designs and a sensualness almost indiscernible to the eye.  Here are my favorites:

Look 4:

While simple, this dress is rich in color and tailored to perfection.

Look 6:

It's the different shades of oranges that transforms this look from prisoner to cocktail partygoer.

Look 10:

Such a clean innocence to this entire look; it's almost French.

Look 12:

The statement overcoat and bright belt makes this otherwise drab jumpsuit come to life.

Look 18:

Easy to wear, beautiful to look at.

Look 24:

This is a great use of lines.

Those are my favorites; which are yours?