Indefatigable designer Kelly Wearstler presented her latest collection in New York the other day. I took a spin around and loved the riot of at her Resort 2013 presentation. Some of the looks I would love to have my best friend wear out with me – they are perfect for her skin tone and whippet thin figure. The pieces I gravitated to were the tops and jackets, which I see as the mainstays in the modern woman’s wardrobe. Ms. Wearstler is pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself. When I lived in Los Angeles, her sensibility was bubbling up through hotel design and she was starting to hit the big time as a major Hollywood decorator / designers. Her use of color, pattern and texture are as unique as a thumbprint. Now I think of her first as a fashion designer, second as an interiors guru. Can you feel it?
By Caroline Melly
Open now through mid-August, Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, at The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, is a gorgeous exhibit that compares and contrast the work of two renowned female designers, Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. Coming from similar old Italian families, Schiaparelli and Prada are designers who each showed early signs of thinking out of the box and their careers have flourished in separate generations, nearly half a century apart.
Over the course of fashion history, style, values, and the status of women has changed hugely, from the confining bones of a corset in the 1800s to the acceptance of trousers for women. (We can all thank Nan Kempner for a push forward on this – she was at a New York restaurant wearing trousers for a dinner, and the manager told her she was not allowed in as a result. This great lady just took them off and wore her shirt as a dress!) Schiaparelli and Prada’s work emphasizes on feminizing the female figure, as well as empowering the mind and body through their designs.
In the early 1930s (the days of café society) Schiaparelli designed for a woman who needed to look her best primarily seated in a social setting. There was no demand to focus on the lower half of the body, for it was often hidden under the dining table. As a result, Schiaparelli designed jackets that are beautifully embroidered with stunning detailed. Prada, a powerful and passionate woman, focuses often on skirts, featuring modern, feminine design through the striking detail on each of her skirts.
My favorite room of the exhibit was the feature “Neck Up/ Knees Down”, the accessory display part of “Waist Up/ Waist Down”. Schiaparelli’s elaborate hats as well as Prada’s beautifully crafted and designed shoes were displayed next to each other. I instantly envisioned myself on rainy day on the streets of Manhattan in Schiaparelli’s geometric clear cape, or an upscale vintage car show where I will slip on Prada’s light blue T-Bird inspired wedged shoe. The repeated focus on one part of the body by each designer clearly illustrated the intellectual connection between the two designers.
The Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations exhibit gives light to the notion that in the fashion world the past is often represented by the present. The Costume Institute Gala celebrating the exhibit was held three days prior to the opening of the show. Chaired by Anna Wintour and interestingly, Jeff Bezos of Amazon (they are trying to break into the higher end fashion market), it was a night filled with A-list celebrities and fashion icons. English actress Carey Mulligan arrived wearing a futuristic, custom-made, Prada dress. Constructed out of silver and gold fish scales, this statement halter dress was Prada at her best: witty, ingenious and beautiful. (Look closely at Anna’s dress – that is a lobster wrapping itself around her – hilarious and fabulous!)
Norma Kamali is a designer I like for her originality and optimism. Though I am not quite brave enough to wear her designs yet (I need fewer curves pretty much everywhere…), her punk English countryside feel with the houndstooth and furs are a delight to see on others. Here are my top picks from her show this week: (And tell me which ones you would wear!)
I have been watching the preparations of the annual Met Ball, hosted by Anna Wintour, for several days now outside the venerable Metropolitan Museum of Art: the tented entrance in case of rain, the spiffying up of the exterior stairs and facade, and this morning, visible through the windows into the Egyptiian Wing, tables with beautiful flowers next to the Temple of Dendur. Surely Cleopatra herself would be a guest, or possibly the decorator, should she be alive today (read her awesome biography by Stacy Schiff here). This year will celebrate the all-too-short career and life of Alexander McQueen – if you are in NYC over the next months, be sure to go see.
This evening, none other than the ever-inspiring, most fabulous guest, Daphne Guinness, will take a seat in the windows at Barneys, facing Madison Avenue, and prepare herself for the party this evening. Surrounded by pieces of her unrivaled couture collection, Ms. Guiness will prep (hair and makeup) and dress herself inside the vitrines. A terrarium of a whole different sort!
If you can't get yourself to Madison Avenue and 61st street from 4 to 6pm this evening to Ms. Guinness's routine commence, then do watch it live streaming here beginning at 4pm.
With NY Fashion Week (which we will be covering for you our readers) just around the corner, what better time to invest in some pieces that will add a little pop to your current winter wardrobe and transition nicely into spring. The theme here: layering!
1.) Striped Dresses
Great to wear with tights, boots and bold accessories to really make it your own. Both of these dresses will look great in winter layered with a cardigan and jacket and alone once warmer weather hits. Stripes also look GREAT with metallic. Buy them here.
2.) Oval Frame Sunglasses
These are an easy way to update any look right now. Each pair from Cutler & Gross is handmade and we love them all. The lines on them give off the perfect preppy yet edgy vibe. It's so great when a piece feels retro and chic at the same time.
3.) Neutral Booties
Rag & Bone score again! These are the perfect booties to take you from Winter to Spring. Pair them with dresses and tights now and dare to go with bare legs in the Spring. These are both walkable and wearable for every day – a wise investment.
4.) Woven Necklaces
Layer ACB's woven black leather necklace over a loose fitting tank and jeans to update your look. Or, for more of a statement layer it with other silver or gunmetal necklaces.
5.) Loose Fitting Leather Vests
This asymmetrical fold-over vest looks great over a long sleeve or a tank. It would be perfection paired with the striped dress above.
This week's chic is tamgerines, an electrical engineer from San Jose, California, whose closet is totally wired for style.
Here's how tamgerines describes her current look: “Tunic dresses with chunky boots, menswear-inspired pieces with feminine accessories, slouchy cardigans with boyfriend jeans.” Adorable! Her closet has tons of things that align with her style point of view, so you have to check it out here. >>
And since we can't go shopping with her, we'll have to settle for following her on Closet Couture. >>
Tamgerine has styled bunches of outfits that we love… Here are just a few!
When it comes to gift giving in Los Angeles eclecticism is key. It's all about being creative in order to find that perfect gift, and the perfect gift does not necessarily mean dropping bills. The left coast has such a unique style so it's important to give items that enhance the recipient's personal style. Here are my picks for my L.A. friends that I am secretly wishing someone would get for me (ahem ahem). Oh, and just for kicks they are all under $50!
1.) Everyday Astrology by Gary Goldschneider ($24.95). This book gets down to the nitty gritty, such as how to stay in touch with a Leo or nail a sales pitch to an Aries.
2.) This scarf from a.ok ($48) has the prettiest different shades of purple. It measures to 25” wide and 70” long so it's big enough to make a statement and keep you warm at the same time!
3.) These Celestial Coasters ($32) come in all different colors will look great in any California space.
4.) Denny & Ozzy's Hooded Wrap ($48) is ideal for the L.A. winter, especially over a sweater.
5.) Gift the gift of style inspiration with The Sartorialist's new book ($14.62). Scott Schuman's blog always fascinates and sparks fashion ideas and his book is excellent for those working with items they already own.
6.) Too Faced Smoky Eye Palette ($34) comes with everything you need to create the perfect smoky eye. The kit comes with three step-by-step instruction cards that teach you how to get your smoke on.
7.) This Casablanca Embroidered Pouch ($14) is the perfect size for a cell phone, cash and keys. It screams west coast chic and is a total steal at $14!
How badly did you want to win the Be & D bag in our “Style Blake Lively” contest? We know, we wanted one, too – big time! Good news… Be & D is having a sample sale and they invited all of their Closet Couture friends (that means you)! If you're near NYC, swing by! Here a few of the lovelies that will be available…
Hard to say whether we're bigger fans of Tavi and her blog Style Rookie (daily read), Target (the peeps at the one in Manhattan Beach know Art Director Ashley by name) or Rodarte (We did a li'l partnership with them last year)… so this video is pretty much a MUST POST in our book.
Don't you want to go play Little House on the Prairie with Rodarte and Tavi? I know, let's go have our own fashion field trip to America's heartland. Only let's make sure to be back in time to get a good night's rest for when the collection hits stores December 20, m'kay?
P.S. Sorry the outfit images are blurry… But doesn't it sort of heighten the anticipation to see the real thing?
Lorelle1313, who styled a rocker-chic look for Blake Lively using adorable pieces from Be & D won the gorgeous hobo bag shown in her outfit.
We loved the mix of downtown and boho flavors. And Be & D unanimously picked the look she styled when we showed them a selection of some of our favorite made-for-Blake looks.
You can still make looks for Blake Lively by visiting the Style an Icon section of the site here. >>
And here's the look that nabbed Lorelle1313 the fabulous Be & D prize!