Category:FASHION’

MIX MATCH MELANGE…

 - by Cat Baker

The blending technique of assorted colors, textures and patterns is not the easiest task to accomplish, sometimes it takes a bit of practice. After a few tries, VIOLÀ…Refined Eclecticism. Some of our season favorites???

1. OLIVER GOLDSMITH – “KoKo” – These over-sized frames are perfect for an “undercover” moment. With a hint of pattern (AKA “black lace”), they’re the perfect combination of contemporary and eclectic fusion.

2. M. MISSONI – Ribbed Space Dye Tank – Has MM² ever steered you wrong??? Of course not…And this simple tank incorporating a twist of pattern and texture is easily interchangeable with any wardrobe piece.

3. J. CREW – Café Capri in Kerchief Paisley – Print anyone??? This season is one for a little MORE pop in the wardrobe department and these paisley print pants are a great addition.

4. COSTUME NATIONAL – “Zippy” Jacket – I love to add vintage pieces to current styles and the “Zippy” jacket from Costume National looks classic but has a few surprises up it’s sleeve, literally. (i.e. zippers…FAB…FAB…FAB…)

5. THE CAMBRIDGE SATCHEL – The Backpack – My husband bought me a silver Cambridge satchel for Christmas and I LOVE it. Crossbody…Various sizes and colors…Plenty for the fashionista to choose from…Again…LOVE!!!

6. HAIDER ACKERMANN – Pewter Laser Cut Oxford – Talk about the perfect shoe…It’s Spring here on the East Coast which means too cold for sandals/flip flops AND too warm for shoes. Well, this laser cut slipper oxford provide ventilation and comfort with its folded down heel.

7. JEEYUN HUN DESIGNS – “Red Red Wine” Feather Earring – When I think Spring, my mind drifts to light and airy. And Jeeyun Hun’s creations fit the bill. An array of gorgeous feather designs that add a beautiful flair to any look.

8. ERICKSON BEAMON – “Confetti” Gunmetal Cuff – I’ve always loved to pull looks from the Erickson Beamon collection. They think out of the box. Want a piece that will turn heads??? Check out EB…It’s guaranteed.

AMA 2011 – HIT OR QUIT???

 - by Cat Baker

At the American Music Awards last night, nobody rocked the boat on the red carpet. There was plenty of prim and proper and an equal amount of frivolity to keep it interesting…Who hit it or should have quit it???

JENNY McCARTHY – Though often hilarious, she looked perfectly quaint and demure in her purple ensemble. HIT!!!

PHOEBE PRICE – Who?!? Yeah, that’s what I thought too. I don’t know who she is, but trust me Phoebe…Less is MORE. No bueno…QUIT!!!

KIMBERLY PERRY – From “The Band Perry”, known for her rock and country mix, looked neither glamorous or eclectic in this frock. “Plain Jane” is not the word nor is “Over the Top”. The mark was simply…Missed. QUIT!!!

AMY HEIDEMANN – The “Karmin” member looked perfect!!! Platform pumps…Horizontal patterned mini…Pops of jewel tones. Too CUTE. HIT!!!

“ECO” – NOMIZE…

 - by Cat Baker

My ECO conversion is inevitable…At one time, the onslaught of attractive and artful Eco – Friendly product was non – existent. Well today, there is a bevy of choices that will convince you as well…I feel my “footprint” shrinking as I type!!! :) A few of our favorites are:

1. ARTLANTIQUE  – “Commode Assane” – Chest of Drawers – Utilizing wood from the vibrant painted fisherman boats found on the banks of West Africa, these ECO furniture pieces will add a “POP” to any decor.

2. NAZLY VILLAMIZAR – Oversized Jute Clutch – Made from a natural fiber grown in Colombia, this jute clutch is perfectly paired with any daytime or evening look.

3. JEA – HYO LEE – Wood Stool – With sculptures ranging from wood and steel to stone and nails, this artist pushes the proverbial envelope in Eco art and furnishings.

4. SARAH HOOD – Spice Jewelry – Infusing the natural world with our daily grind, the Sarah Hood collection introduces a smidgen of peace and serenity with every design.

5. TIMBERLAND – Ringo Starr Collection – Beginning December 1st., through their initiative “Canvas That Cares”, Timberland will auction off 75 pairs of boots featuring Starr’s original peace sign artwork on eBay to benefit international non-profit WaterAid.

6. SIGNICASE – Bamboo M1 Camera Hive – A bamboo casing that can be customized to your specifications, Signicase has cornered the market for being Eco – friendly AND extremely accommodating to your design needs.

7. BURNING TORCH –  Upcycled Striped Skirt – Eco AND cute??? This chevron skirt is certainly that and more…

8. ALCHEMY GOODS – The Mercer – Compiled from bike inner tubes, the Alchemy brand offers numerous messenger bag and accessory options that will keep your personal belongings safe and dry..

“FALL” FOR FUNDAMENTALS

 - by Cat Baker

Well, it’s officially Fall and to get a jump on the “MUST HAVES” for the season, we have scoured the collections to find the essentials for your wardrobe.

For me, I insist on having looks that are easily interchangeable from work to play and staples that will last far longer than the trend of the moment.  But, whether it’s shoes, jewelry, handbags or scarves, I also make sure that I implement accents to enhance any look of the day. Here are some of our selections for the season (thus far…):

1. CHRISTIAN DIOR – Vintage Lounge Dress w/ necktie bow from LA VINTAGE DOSSIER…Hate being caught with the same outfit as a colleague at work. Well, vintage is the way to go…Stellar one of a kind looks. FAB!!!

2. T by ALEXANDER WANG – Button Front Blouse – A staple…Everyone needs one.

3. KONSTANTINO – Silver & Gold Dome Ring – The statement ring.

4. CHLOE – Marcie Hobo Studded Satchel – The perfect handbag that transcends time.

5. TUXSTER – Vintage Double Breasted Cape w/ necktie bow from LA VINTAGE DOSSIER.

6. JEAN – MICHEL CAZABAT – Wedge – A classic wedge that makes a “point”.

7. VAN DER STRAETEN – Wide Wrap Cuff – This piece will satisfy your need for hardware minus the noise, (i.e., bangles).

8. TIMO WEILAND – Ink Blot Skirt – Combination patterns and fabrics…Perfect for the season.

9. VALENTINE GAUTHIER – Adjustable Vest with removable sleeves – Two looks in one? How economical…

10. EARNEST SEWN – Flare Denim – Your closet is full of skinny, straight and boot cut jeans…Now, it’s time to “FLARE”!!!

11. TOLANI – Peacock Scarf – “POPS” of color. Lovely…

VERSACE…H&M???

 - by Cat Baker

A couple of years ago, from Donatella’s perspective, co – mingling the Versace brand with ANY of the mainstream store markets (i.e., H & M, Target, etc.) was inexplicably OUT of the question…Though almost all of  her competitor’s had done just that…created for the masses, not for just the, in her opinion, “ELITE”…

Kudos to the person who took on the challenge of persuading her to take the chance, I’m certain she needed  a massive amount of convincing…

With the insurgence of anything 80’s currently the hottest thing on the rack, this collection may obliterate the Lanvin sellout record from last year…depending on the price of course…After all friends, this is H & M, not Neiman’s…

Are the fashionistas happy??? Of course…Is this a perfect match??? Or a grave misstep??? We shall soon have the answer. But one thing is for sure, the lines will be down the block and around the corner at every H&M store here in New York City!!!

What’s the buzz??? The Versace “ICONIC” collection, will entail womenswear, menswear  and housewares. For women, Versace signature prints and studded leather…For men, tailored suiting with both collections touting shoes and accessories. The housewares, introduced for the first time in a designer collaboration at H & M,  will comprise of  linens…pillows, bedspreads, etc., which I have no doubt will add a POP to any decor…

Everything’s now available online…Have FUN!!!

VERSACE

“IN – JEAN – IOUS”…G – STAR.

 - by Cat Baker

After a cold, rainy New York City day, the G-Star & Elle Magazine collaboration fête, held at the flagship store, was just what I needed…A tutorial in how to wake up the fashion zealots, the party was armed with makeup, hair and manicure stations for pampering and plenty of staff on hand to elaborate on the G – Star brand.

Prior to mingling with the hipsters in SoHo, I previewed the S/S 2012 collection and was blown away by the attention to detail…Trust, this is NOT your run of the mill denim. Whether it be the textile, construction or simply the utilization of secret dye techniques, the wealth of elements were too many to ignore…

Touting several lines, (RAW Essentials/ Raw Sustainable/ Laundry Army/ Correct Line) the collections have surpassed the “weekend jean” cliché. If you’re searching for a perfect denim with a twist of cool and individual flair???

G-STAR is bound to have a look or two that will pique your interest…

THE REBIRTH OF COOL…

 - by Cat Baker

The ever popular labels of the late 90’s have transformed, morphed or simply, matured into brands that appeal to a distinguished crowd and the “rad” set . Gone are the super size cut jeans and oversized polos, now, choices range from tailored suiting and slim fit denim to a collage of various looks with complementary accessories.

MARC ECKÔ – Established as one that is synonymous with clean design and a tailored hand touting a twist of ego, his new venture, “Cut & Sew”, easily transcends economic lines. Similar to the original brand, “Cut & Sew” will be worn by the uptown, mid – town or downtown man…The collection offers suiting and separates, as well as accessories: ties, hats, watches and eyewear.

ROCAWEAR – This company has also evolved, still exuding the street swagger that made it popular, but in a refined and polished package. With sleek jackets, shirts, jeans, etc., the introduction of eyewear and hats complete the look.

ZOO YORK – On the playful side, ZOO YORK is back on the map as one of the preeminent providers of street wear. Known for their skateboard gear, the inclusion of all other elements will make the shopping easier…One stop shopping…The perfect solution!!!

“KNIT” WIT…

 - by Cat Baker

Do you feel that??? Slowly, but surely, the barometer is reading cool, brisk temperatures. The key word for these moments??? LAYER…LAYER…LAYER.

What’s the easiest way to layer??? Sweaters, of course…Regardless of the construction, be it crew or high collar, wool or rabbit, chunky or extrafine, the end result should be warmth, comfort and, most importantly, CUTE!!! :)

These are some of our favorites for the season:

1. JOHAN KU – The Hole – 100% Wool – The extremely chunky, sculpture – like silhouette knitwear is the signature element of this designers repertoire. Beautiful pieces that transform a simple look into an art show.

2. RAFAELLA – Paragon – Angora and Rabbit Hair Blend – Yes…Argyle is making a comeback and this sweater is one of the softest textures touting a backdrop of black and POP of neon…A MUST HAVE!!!

3. PROENZA SCHOULER – High Collar Cardigan – With a mixture of cashmere, wool and silk where can you go wrong?!? Slim fit, extra long sleeves and FABULOUS high button collar…LOVE!!!

4. BURNING TORCH – Recycled Cashmere Cardigan – This up cycled cashmere cardigan is chocked full of details that would make even the most non Eco – conscious fashionista become a zealot for the cause!!! Silk charmeuse front panel, Crinkle chiffon drape collar, Metallic textile inserts, Leather belt…The perfect addition to any Fall wardrobe.

5. SONIA RYKIEL – Intarsia – Chunky Wool Blend – This wool blend cardigan is an easy transition layering piece that provides all that any FAB closet should have…Spirit, Splash of color and the comfort of Simplistic Panache.

6. KITSUNÉ – Classic Round Neck Cardigan – All should have a basic button front sweater in the closet. Preferred colors for me??? Black (of course…) and a vibrant color, red is good…Kelly green is GREAT!!! This extra fine merino wool look from Kitsuné is a “no brainer”.

7. RAG & BONE – Kobra Sweater – Again, the layer piece comes in various styles, this knit scooped neck sweater by Rag & Bone adds a bit of sex appeal to an ensemble that’s plain and needs a burst of pizazz.

8. ALICE + OLIVIA – Florence – Cropped Sweater – Add a twist to your look with this chic, criss – crossed button front, 3/4 length sleeved, “bolero” sweater. In heather grey, this soft, yet sassy look is easily transitioned from work to play.

LOUIS VUITTON

 - by Cat Baker

Along with the bevy of models participating in the LOUIS VUITTON presentation, Marc Jacobs invites us on another ride, via carousel.

This tour transports the masses through his panorama of a melodious, soft – hued collection, reminiscent of  care – free breezes and fresh Spring days…Don’t you feel the warm comfort of…Oh, never mind, maybe that’s just me…

Nonetheless, the collection is one that unveils beautiful workmanship in each stratum (ensemble, elements and accessories). Incorporating an assortment of fabric components, from exotic (crocodile and feathers) to elegant (organza, lace, tweed or crystals) to the basic (plastic and cotton nylon).

The display represents a fantasy of how beautiful life should be…light, airy, tailored and GORGEOUS, of course… :)

I’ll say it again…Marc Jacobs…You’re a genius!!! LOVE…

LOUIS VUITTON

MARC JACOBS

ALEXANDER McQUEEN

 - by Cat Baker

One may have thought that the successor of the “House of McQueen” would fold under the strenuous pressures of attempting to live up to the incomparable designs of its namesake (i.e., visionaire…Alexander McQueen). I have to admit, the probability crossed my mind as well…

But, aren’t we all pleasantly surprised that 18 months later, Sarah Burton continues to create couture masterpieces. You don’t believe??? Let’s list the complexities…First, the construction of each garment is staggering!!! Then you interconnect that fact with the textiles utilized (organza, lace, chiffon, leather)…Thereupon injecting her personal virtuosity by embellishing with gold, copper and silver within the look??? The result…Pièce de Résistance.

With fabrics flowing, sweeping, rippling and rolling oh so fluently, the consensus was clear…Sarah Burton has “IT“. Quoting a friend after leaving the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the MET, “McQueen is the baddest, alive or dead”…I agree, but Ms. Burton has rounded the corner and is nipping at his heels…BRAVO!!!

ALEXANDER McQUEEN

PACO RABANNE

 - by Cat Baker

Showcasing elements of vintage PACO RABANNE concepts, Manish Arora presented a collection that was flamboyant with a tinge of restraint. Known for his “out of this universe” creations, the designer’s looks for this show were similar to “Star Trek” splendor.

With the inclusion of accessory designers Philip Treacy and Nicholas Kirkwood, the show was certain to reach galactic heights!!! Infusing plastics and prismatic organzas with gems, Arora paid homage to Rabanne by incorporating re-creations of looks from the original collections and constructing body conscious ensembles with featherweight materials.

The culmination of the presentation were below the knee metallic dresses made of paper that allowed for the reminiscence of Paco Rabanne of old…Phenomenal…Preposterous, yet…Powerful.

PACO RABANNE

PHILIP TREACY

NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD

KANYE WEST

 - by Cat Baker

The debut collection of the periodically controversial rhyme savant was all abuzz. Long awaited, KANYE WEST, who executed a stint at Louis Vuitton as a design intern, presented his variation of what the fashion savvy should sport for the 2012 S/S season.

The Spring looks were indelible…Plunging necklines, Cropped trousers, Slouch tops…Beautiful fabrication.

Regarding the fashion calendar, the collection teetered between Winter and Spring, but hey, in May, when it’s warm and sunny in New York City, it’s cool and clear in Anchorage…Perfect for a smidge of leather or a touch of fur. But, we think “central” (U.S./ Europe), so would the looks work for our climate??? No.

But, keep in mind, Mr. West seems to be ten steps ahead in his music, so he may be privy to information we DON’T have regarding fashion…You never know when “Niño” will blow through…And who will be flying off the shelves??? You got it!!!

KANYE WEST

TSUMORI CHISATO

 - by Cat Baker

The 2012 S/S Tsumori Chisato collection is simply a glimpse of a vacation before the actual event.

Chocked full of tropical prints, hues that transposed the optic nerve resulting in a chromatic aberration and just the right amount of chic sophistication…A welcome “sight” if I may say so…Straw hats, flowy above – the – knee caftans, cat eye sunglasses, matching umbrellas, calico covered footwear, so much fun…book my trip now!!!

Is it a bit “kitschy”??? Possibly. But, there are a plethora of pieces that when added to the wardrobe will outshine even your most prized piece. Who wouldn’t want to spruce up with a dash of raffia, chiffon or crochet???

It’s a MUST for 2012…It’s okay, take some time, let it simmer…You’ll come around. :)

TSUMORI CHISATO

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

 - by Cat Baker

Dame Vivienne is at it again!!! She is one, of only a few, that can make a show that resembles a vichyssoise of thrifty fashions into a “rive gauche” showcase, if you will…

Constructed with the finest textiles (lace, lame, satin and sequin), the end result is easily meshed with the necessities of wardrobe (knits, hosiery) and accessorized with pops of pleasure…(i.e., totes, platforms, bangles, bloated bowlers, etc.).

For well over 40 years, she has kept PUNK alive with her continuous homage to the life and style of the genre. It’s safe to say that the movement is alive and kicking…

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD