“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.

RELAX…RELATE…RELEASE.

 - by Cat Baker

With cool, brisk weather right around the corner, we’ve found a few comfort pieces for the home that will allow you to unwind from your stressful work week.

MALIN + GOETZ – Otto Candle – A collection of complementary natural notes (grapefruit/ cardamom/ geranium/ rose/ oakmoss/ vetiver) that soothe the mind and enhances the environment.

BARNEYS – Mondrian Throw – Cashmere blanket designed with a reversible mondrian pattern and fringed hem…Cozy perfection.

ALBERTO SANCHEZ– Leaf Swing – Talk about relaxation…A sunny day, leaves falling, your mom yelling, “Finish Raking the Leaves!!!” and quick a “Swing” break to shake up the monotony of your workload. Remember the relaxation??? Inspired by Autumn leaves, this leaf swing can be used for both interior and exterior spaces. Ahhh, memories…

ALVIN TJITROWIRJO – Snug Lounge Chair – With it’s easy conversion from chair to rocker, this leather bound, futuristic, half pod masterpiece is one that would cause you to lose track of time. Yes…In my household, this lounger can ONLY be used when I have absolutely nothing to do!!! It looks WAAAAY to comfortable. Hey…But, that’s what weekends are for…RIGHT???

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

“BOOTIE – FUL”!!!

 - by Cat Baker

My favorite season is upon us…Regardless of how you refer to it, Autumn or Fall, the time is now to find your wardrobe mainstays before your size is no longer available.

While perusing the net for great finds, I’ve noticed a comeback of the “Bootie”…A bootie is a cross between a pump and boot that usually includes a substantial heel and ankle coverage. Well, some of our favorites are embellished, either through textile, minute details or all out decadence!!! These caught our eye and made the LA DOSSIER list:

1. UNITED NUDE for Iris Van Herpen – Synesthesia – Chock full of flavor!!! Avant – guarde with gold sinuous pops of splendor.

2. ALEXANDER McQUEEN – Snake Biker Jacket – With a zipper that gives you instant attitude, these will jumpstart any look.

3. NICHOLAS KIRKWOOD – Erdem Double Gore Satin – Resembling watercolor, this Erdem pumps are a stunner!!!

4. GIUSEPPE ZANOTTI  – Double Belted Ankle – Clean, simple with bold lines, this is a staple for any closet.

5. LOEFFLER RANDALL – Wallaby Lace Up – A mixture of pattern is the “new black”, so this bootie is a keeper.

6. YVES ST. LAURENT – Palais Passementerie – With details resembling military nuances (passementerie), this bootie is a MUST!!!

GARETH PUGH

 - by Cat Baker

Start with a BOOM…End with BANG!!! Brandishing monochromatic tones, the GARETH PUGH collection supplied all of the brilliance that we’ve grown to expect from the British born phenomenon.

This seasons show was a course on how to properly intermix genres. We all LOVE the extraordinary art he’s already infamous for, but would have no event to flaunt them properly aside from New York City’s legendary “LATEX BALL”.

However, this time, he included wearable looks that would pair perfectly with any wardrobe. The infusion of supple fabrics from vests to slim cut trousers, body conscious mini’s and sleeveless maxi coats paraded the catwalk.  Adjoining, respectably, were black and white striped looks accompanied by droves of platform pumps to complete each ensemble.

The “BANG”??? Vamped grandeur!!! Faceless…Fearless…FABULOUS!!!

GARETH PUGH

ROBERTO CAVALLI

 - by Cat Baker

No FRINGE??? Believe it!!! The 40th anniversary collection was chock full of color, prints and beautiful tailoring, but the signature fringe that we’ve come accustomed when viewing Roberto Cavalli was M.I.A. on the 2012 Spring/ Summer runway.

Imported instead were gorgeous gold sequined pieces (jackets, skirts, flapper dresses, etc.) and was followed by laser cut leather or cropped ulsters, printed tuxedo pants and lovely, wafting gossamer gowns.

Gone are the stereotypical distinction of the “Here we go AGAIN” sigh of the assigned gawkers…No embroidered pieces and AGAIN…No FRINGE!!! This season, Roberto Cavalli resuscitated the collection. It’s sophisticated and fresh…

Now, let’s see if he keeps it up…I have no doubt that he will!!!

ROBERTO CAVALLI

DSQUARED2

 - by Cat Baker

As American as apple pie!!!

I don’t know if this is what the twins were thinking, but it was very apparent from my point of view…Maybe it was the American flag t – shirts and scarves, possibly the throwback to the “California” girl in short shorts and vests or simply a tutorial of various ways to layer. The moniker for this show? The “Bohemian Nomad”…A HIT in my book!!!

With so many designers adept in their craft immensely focused on the structuring of the piece OR others who are extremely maniacal in the ways of their production that few would know how to wear some of the designs, it’s refreshing to see straightforward, undiluted, easygoing wares for everyday.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the “focused and maniacal” as well, but it’s great to see a designer just having fun.

DSQUARED²

DOLCE & GABBANA

 - by Cat Baker

The Dolce & Gabbana collection is one that jaunts through time with outfitted pairings of overcoats and dresses, phyllo thin fabrics immersed in vibrant prints of ingredients found in your mom’s cupboard, that wisp through the air, sway oh so softly or simply makes a statement.

The duo’s creations for the 2012 Spring/Summer season gives way to the notion that sometimes “More IS More”!!! Between two piece bloomer bikinis with matching bolero jackets to two piece evening wear emblazoned with beads, baubles and baguettes, the message was loud and clear (to me anyway…)

If you’re going to do it…DO IT!!!

DOLCE & GABBANA