Tag Archives: fashion

David Koma SS14

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Cleaner, sleeker, more productive… I love the overt graphic bent of this collection. It allows the strict cutting and construction of the pieces to be front and center and tempers the effect of the samurai armor references, which in the wrong hands could have ventured into the realm of costume.

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Erdem SS14

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Erdem is one of the collections that I look forward to every season. Besides the fact that SS14 took a bit of a detour from what we are used to seeing from him, his postmodern version of the floral motif was refreshing, especially when coupled with the disciplined color story.

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Inspiration: Gordon Parks

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One of my favorite photographers is the immensely talented Gordon Parks. I recently came across an out-of-print monograph of his work that was way out of my price range, but it led to me taking another look at some of his most well-known images, as well as some that are just flat-out gorgeous. The photo of Eartha Kitt is everything. 

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BLK DNM SS14

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There was much hand-wringing in the lead up to NYFW over the fact that the identity of the New York fashion scene is fast becoming one of commercial, almost too-wearable (???) clothes with no original ideas being brought to the table. Yes, taken as a whole, New York is not exactly an incubator for a progressive dialogue in fashion on the same level as other places like Paris or Tokyo. But there are labels, like BLK DNM, that are advancing the narrative of what American sportswear can be. Here are a few of my favorite looks from the BLK DNM SS14 collection. It makes a strong case for the idea that stability in your wardrobe can be compelling and that wearable need not be a pejorative word. 

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ThreeAsFour SS14

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I’ve decided that I am against writing “reviews” of shows that one doesn’t actually attend. Each show has its own atmosphere and point of view, and things like set design and accompanying music go a long way towards establishing a prism through which the collections should be seen. But of course, I have been following NYFW, and I will be sharing some of my favorite looks from the SS14 collections that I found most intriguing (there haven’t been many so far, unfortunately). Here, a few looks from ThreeAsFour that I love. Genius construction and play with volume that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The expertly edited color palette serves to throw it all into sharper relief.

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Benthic Necklace by Hunter Gatherer Jewelry

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Some girls like a nice string of perfect heirloom pearls, while others prefer their jewelry with the slightest touch of melancholy. I fall into the latter camp, so I was I was thrilled to come across Hunter Gatherer, a darkly beautiful jewelry collection based right here in Chicago. Designed by Laura Prieto-Velasco, Hunter Gatherer does away with the artifice commonly found in fine jewelry in favor of a confident minimalism that lets the structure and design speak for itself. This piece, the Benthic Necklace, is on my wish list: 6 vintage mica rings hang from a hand-knotted black leather necklace. Black leather and weathered metal- it really doesn’t get any more perfect than that.  Hunter Gatherer Benthic Necklace, $90.  See the entire Hunter Gatherer FW13 collection here

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Junya Watanabe Biker Jacket

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It won’t always be 90 degrees outside. When that time comes, I want to have this hanging in my closet. I love the elevation of the biker jacket with wool and herringbone. Need. Want. Now.  $1,710, net-a-porter.com

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Damir Doma Accessories

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I am not one for posting about sales or daily deals, but it should be noted that one of my favorite labels, Paris-based Damir Doma, has much of its SS13 collection on serious markdown. Of particular interest are the accessories, which I always find is a frustrating exercise in striking the right balance between my personal taste (minimal, sleek and usually black), and my economic realities. Here are some of my favorite pieces currently on sale, you can see the entire collection of accessories here

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Kaisik Wong

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I recently saw a woman on the train who was wearing what appeared to be a handmade dress. The patchwork detail and the mashup of textiles reminded me of the work of Kaisik Wong. Wong was the epitome of the outsider as designer- he worked in the Bay Area from the 1960s-1980s, producing among the first examples of what is now called wearable art. Amazingly, he didn’t use patterns to create collections that veered more towards costume than everyday staples that would hang in a closet. Wong often referenced ancient cultures in his work, which was the main source of the fantastical nature of his aesthetic. Wong died in 1990 and every now and then, you can see one of his pieces up for auction for the price of a studio apartment. Here, a few examples of Wong’s work, including a cover from a 1974 album by singer Betty Davis. 

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Style Inspiration: Tamara de Lempicka

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There are few instances where fashion and art merge as seamlessly as in the work of Art Deco painter Tamara de Lempicka. Known for her portraits of strikingly beautiful women (and men), de Lempicka mastered the concept of economy of line- neither the faces of her subjects nor their clothing was ever excessively rendered or overwrought. Her female subjects exuded a slight air of remote passivity, but maintained control of their situation and of the composition. What I have always loved most about these paintings is their specific brand of melancholy: a kind of luxe moodiness. The subjects are chic and their clothes are meant to be well-constructed without being ostentatious. They could have been fashion illustrations from the 30’s and they could be ad campaigns now. It goes without saying that de Lempicka herself was gorgeous and really did look like the woman driving the green Bugatti.  Above: Irene and Her Sister, 1925

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Portrait of Marquis Sommi, 1925

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Young Lady with Gloves, 1930

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Self-Portrait in the Green Bugatti, 1925

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Sharing Secrets, 1928

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