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Japan FW TYO Spring/Summer 2009: Day 2

Day Two at Japan’s Fashion Week brings strong shoulders, more “ice cream cone” pants, HISUI seems to have a bone to pick with us, doll clothes, Cousin IT wigs, more ruffs and some ass kicking 80’s.

First up are the decidedly strong shoulders from designer Akira Naka.  For women who have the weight of the world to balance, this collection calls to mind a certain eighties business suit jacket look.

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AKIRA NAKA

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Of all of Tuesday’s collections available for review, I would have to say that support surface was my favorite.  We have fall 2008’s “it” pants back for an encore and a really lovely modern interpretation of the bold shoulder.  I would feel much more comfortable wearing this sort of shape than a set of linebacker shoulder pads as seen in the above collection from AKIRA NAKA.  One thing is for sure, invest in a great pair of oxford shoes!

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Designer

Norio Surikabe

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Like mintdesigns yesterday, HISUI seems to have been inspired by skeletal features.  Is it a commentary on the pressure to be thin?  I’m not really sure, but the first dress in this collection also brings a fish like skeleton to mind.

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Designer

Hiroko Ito

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Oh Né-net, what can I say?  All I could think of was what would Michael Kors say if this came down the runway for him to judge?  Look number two looks like a modern day Depression Era costume (hmm, intentional?) and just in case we didn’t get it, Raggedy Ann and Andy are holding effigies of themselves.

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Designer

Kazuaki Takashima

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Aguri Sagimori had some very interesting uses of the ruffle, which seems to be a popular trend.  I especially liked the white blouse below with the tuxedo-like tail.  That sort of tail was very popular in the mid to late eighties.

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Aguri Sagimori

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Slightly similar to motonari ono yesterday, Kamishima Chinami has its own interpretation of the ruff and an intriguing take on the popular bold shoulder.  It’s a really lovely collection.

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Designer

Chinami Kamishima

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Finally! There’s no need to wonder what you and your man will be wearing on your next date night.  Take a little inspiration from the sexy punk collection by designer Ato Matsumoto.

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Ato Matsumoto

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Photo Source: Japan Fashion Week Organization

Stay Tuned for more of Japan’s Fashion Week in Tokyo!

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Web Poll: Don or Don’t

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Mad About Mad Men

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If you haven’t tuned in to Mad Men on AMC, you’re missing out.  Mad Men is set in the 1960’s at a fiercely competitive Madison Avenue advertising agency in New York City.  From the onset, one can’t help but be a little surprised by the dynamic of the men and women depicted during this era.  The men run around like dogs in heat and the secretaries are subjugated to sexual toys for their male counterpart’s amusement.  But it’s so much fun to watch!

While Mad Men is overtly politically incorrect by today’s standards, I’m fascinated by the complex characters, each of whom seems to be harboring an unethical secret of their own. 

Holding true to the time period, pregnant mothers are seen smoking and drinking, unseatbelted children climb from the back to front seats while their mother is driving and smoking cigarettes reign supreme.  It was this sort of behavior so acceptable to that era, that will have you asking yourself, “What are we doing now that will be considered so deplorable in 40 years?”  It certainly gets you thinking.

For the fashion lovers out there, you will not be disappointed.  Fantastic full skirts with petticoats, perfectly coiffured hair and sweater sets, all hide the dirty secrets that lie beneath; suffocating girdles, garters and the pointed bra.  And we complain about panty hose…

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Then there is the antithesis of the prim house wife and office girl; the bohemian artist…

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After one season, this show has already made a big impact on fashion.  Michael Kors unveiled his Mad Men inspired Fall line this week with the following looks.

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Don’t forget that if you are going to wear one of the above form fitting dresses like that little purple number, you must wear some sort of shapeware.  My only exception would be if you are a size 2 and are absolutely without cellulite.  Proper foundation will give you a killer, smooth silhouette.

If you haven’t caught an episode of this fantastic show yet, it’s not too late.  Season one is out on DVD (and On Demand for you Comcast subscribers) and Season 2 is now underway (you have only missed one new episode).  The show is on AMC on Sunday nights.

Light up a cigarette, pour yourself an Old Fashioned and enjoy!

 

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Fashion Sensei Says…

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Knit One, Pearl Two or Three…

Keep cool in this knitwear the next time you are in the market.

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Do you think you know Fashion?  Prove it!

I discovered this fun little fashion quiz on about.com, to distinguish who really knows their fashion.  Let me know how you do!

 

In The News…

Thomas Pink, known for his high-end men’s dress shirts will roll out a women’s collection in mid- August.  An outside designer Richard Nicoll has created nine dresses, skirts and shirts.  Prices range from $195-$500.  Click here to read more.

Bloomingdale’s will expand their collections for women age 35- 50 into a boutique-like departments where multiple labels will be intermixed to allow women to mix and match styles from a variety of makers.

Hip Hop Artist Andre 3000 will debut his new menswear collection this August at department stores such as Barney, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.  The collection is said to be based on the preppy styles worn on college campuses in the early 20th century.  Prices range from $75 to $1,995.

Angelina’s been dumped.  Not by Brad Pitt, by St. John.  After three years, Jolie will no longer be the face of St. John.

“The campaign, using models who aren’t household names, departs from the black-and-white images of Jolie shot by Mario Testino under the direction of David Lipman. It consists of four color vignettes shot at night in New York City locations, including Times Square and Central Park. Each captures a specific color palette and group, from daywear to cocktail to evening. The ads will launch in the August issue of Vanity Fair.” WWD

 

Androgynous Art…

Timo! wallets are the hottest eco/efficient/artistic billfold to hit the hipster scene.  The slim wallets come in artistic prints that you or your honey will love.  Maybe even a gift idea for Fathers Day…

(click image for shopping info)

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Clip This Coupon…

Express buy three get one free!  Click here and print.

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Fashion Lesson #15 Crimes Of Fashion

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Last week, I wrote about developing your own Signature Style.  Since then, it has come to my attention that I also need to discuss self editing. Therefore, I will profile 4 of the worst offenders and their fashion personalities:

She’s Bringin’ Sexy Back

This describes the woman who always wears clothes that are either too tight or are ill fitting. The inspiration for this post occurred when I went to thesalma_hayek gym last weekend. A woman checking in ahead of me was wearing a very low-cut, flesh toned tank top in which her breasts looked like they were fighting to escape.  The woman seemed to be oblivious that she needed to cover up.  The Sexy Back gal doesn’t know what’s appropriate and where.

Fashion Tip:  Get a professional fitting for a bra, Go up one size in your clothes and understand sexy is not looking slutty.  You can wear clothes that bear a little cleavage, just not all of it. One other thing, keep the butt cheeks under wraps too while you’re at it.  Think Salma Hayek when looking for a sexy style role model.

 Pack Rat

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A client of mine recently asked me what the basic expiration is for clothes.  While not everything has an expiration date (i.e. vintage Chanel), in general, I would say about 2-3years.  That does not include timeless well tailored basics like a white blouse, black pants or jacket.  Understand that each year designers look for ways to update their collections to generate more sales for their companies.  Prime examples are the changing lengths of skirts, shapes of shoes (think wedge or pointed toes) or cuts on collars. 

So many of us keep things counting on the return of that fashion cycle.  But consider this, chances are you will be too old to wear that trend the next time it comes back around the fashion merry-go-round. 

Back in the 80’s, fluorescent T-Shirts, skinny jeans and half tops were considered really stylish.  That was 28 years ago.  Imagine how stupid I would look wearing a half top 28 years later (designer or otherwise). 

Fashion Tip:  You have to know when to let go.  If it is showing signs of wear or you haven’t worn it in 2 years get rid of it.  If you own quality jewelry or shoes from trends of yore, hold on to them and wear sparingly during the next cycle of that trend.  But also think about it this way, do you really want to hold on to all that stuff for another 20+ years?

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This is a woman who doesn’t like to play by the rules.  She likes to use pieces that were never meant for the purpose she is intending.  A prime example was the woman profiled on Buttercup Punch this week. She decided to wear a scarf for shirt (I doesn’t matter that it was a Chanel scarf).  Consider your shape, wearing a scarf for a shirt will either make you look like you are waiting in line for a smorgasbord with your bib ready or a contestant on Survivor.

There’s also those women who don’t understand formal wear vs. casual wear.  These ladies will put shoes that they wore in last summer’s wedding with a pair of shorts and casual top. 

Fashion Tip:  I embrace experimentation and so should you.  That being said, if you don’t have anything clean to wear, do the laundry; don’t start experimenting with household objects.  Try to step out of your comfort zone and try looks that you wouldn’t ordinarily.  For example, try a little bit of color or a pattern that is in proportion to your size.  It’s ok to try new things, but take it one piece at a time.

40 Going On 20

stan190 Did anyone see The Real Housewives of New York City?  Do you remember Ramona?  This woman’s young daughter had to tell her that she dresses too young.  Ramona actually snuck a lingerie looking top out of the house so her daughter (who hid it) wouldn’t find out.  How bad is that?  

Fashion Tip:I understand that 50 is the new 30, but you need to check yourself if you are over a certain age and still visiting the Junior section.  This is something that even I struggle with from time to time.  I really like youthful fashion (I own Little “RED” Riding hood Chuck Taylors), but there is a line.  As with the Fashion Experiment, you need to edit wisely.  Once you enter a new decade for your age, you need to limit the number of trendy pieces you wear at once. 

If you have any other Fashion Crime examples or better yet, pictures, feel free to leave a comment!

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Fashion Lesson #14 Signature Style

When you think of Anna Wintour’s style what do you think of first?  I think of her bob haircut. (It’s reported that she has had the cut since the age of 14.)  Karl Lagerfeld? Fingerless gloves and white starched high-collared shirts.  Finally, when I think of Coco Chanel, I think of pearls and the Little Black Dress.

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So when it comes to your style, what is your signature look?  Is it an old locket that your mother gave you that you never take off?  Smartly tailored shirts? Killer heels?  When someone thinks about you, what comes to their mind first?  My only hope is that it is not overly sprayed hair, tapered acid washed jeans and blue eye shadow.

There’s a difference between a signature look that evolves with you over the years and just sticking with something that looked good on you two decades ago. 

For me it has been long hair.  I’ve cut my hair over the years, but I seem to look best when I wear it long and usually with a lot of layers.  I also have a necklace that I have only taken off a handful of times over the past 5 1/2 years.

My suggestion for “discovering” your signature style is to think about what you love most about yourself or is meaningful to you.  Do you have killer legs?  Wear skirts or some wicked heels.  A swan-like neck?  Think of making necklaces your signature look.  If you were blessed with a tiny little waist, you could make belts your signature style.  If you have lovely delicate hands, keep your fingernails well groomed and polished; ditto for feet.  Another accessory that just about all of us can pull of is a hat.  As we saw at the London premier of Sex And The City, hats come in all shapes and sizes; there’s something for everyone.

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So while you are going about your day today or when getting ready this weekend, think about your signature style or lack there of.  What do you want others to know about you when they see you?

 

Click on images for photo sources.

 

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Fashion Lesson #13 What Is Fashion Sense?

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Photo Source: Style Slicker 

A couple of weeks ago, sinisterrouge from Buttercup Punch wrote “What Is Fashion Sense?”.

I was really struck by her honesty:

“I have no fashion sense. None. I also have no beauty sense. I lack what people would refer to as ‘girly-ness.’ I wear barely any makeup. I don’t do my hair. I don’t know how to apply liquid eyeliner. Don’t get me wrong. I get by. I can do the basics. Like jeans and a sweater. But to put an outfit together? That is what I would refer to as hell.”

There are a lot of women out there that feel like sinisterrouge, with the overwhelming choices available to women and the trends that are in today and out tomorrow.  What do you buy?

Another contributing factor to her fashion sense quandry, was her strict upbringing and a lack of a beauty or fashion mentor.  Sometimes it really does go back to your childhood doesn’t it?  I once had a conversation with a client who would compliment me on a pair of red Mary Jane shoes that I wore.  I finally convinced her to buy a pair of red shoes similar to mine.  After I delivered them to her, she revealed to me that she felt that she could never wear red shoes because her mother told her only “harlots” wear red shoes.  Wow!  I can only imagine what she would think of me, I wear those shoes all the time.

I think fashion sense can be an inherent trait or something you can learn.  That is much of what I try to do with this blog.  I sincerley try to impart helpful information with these Fashion Lessons so you can move past some of the inherited attitudes from your childhood and embrace your own athstetics.

The rules in fashion are always changing.  Wearing matching shoes and handbags was a rule our parents or grandparents wouldn’t dare deviate from.  Now, the only time you see matching shoes and handbags are when people are wearing black and I venture to guess that is the only color purse they own.

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When trying to break out of your preconceived fashion confines, take baby steps.  Choose a new bracelette or necklace.  Buy a scarf for your hair for those bad hair days (the one pictured is only $4.80, click on it) or go really crazy and buy a pair of shoes with color in them, not just the black or brown variety.

When your ready for a real overhaul, invite your best friend over and have them help you go through your closet.  A close friend like this should have no problem advising you if something is too old, too ugly, or too small.  THEN GET RID OF IT! Too many of us hold on to a bunch of old crap that we don’t wear any more, or fit the afore mentioned criteria.  It’s time to break up with the old college T-Shirt that has holes and stains from your first college kegger.  Discarding old clothes does not mean that your are throwing away pieces of yourself or parts of your life.

Some people hold on to the ugliest clothes, shoes etc. because it represents some period of their life.  Take a picture of it, put it in an album and move on.  Make a quilt (albeit an ugly one) to remember all those pieces of your life.  At least that is practicle and will leave you more closet space to usher in a new chapter in your life.

Don’t do it because you feel guilty, do it because you deserve it.  Thanks sinisterrouge!

 

 

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