Couture Versace-Gasm

I know the 2010 Spring/Summer couture season it's well past due, but I felt there were things that went unnoticed that season. One major factor was Versace, unlike her competitors, Donatella decided to op for a much more intimate presentation at the Versace Atelier. The media did not concisely elaborated on this collection, thus the public was not fully aware of this collection at some extent. As I have expressed in the past, I have a genuinely attraction towards Versace, not only because of their rich history, and sumptuous designs, but also for what they stand for; their energy, charisma, and brazen attitude. I don't think there is another house in Italy that has those qualities that makes Versace so unique and fond of my heart. 

When I learned that Versace was going to held an intimate presentation for an exclusive group of individuals in the industry, including; editors, buyers and celebrities, I was at least expecting to see a glimpse of the collection while the media reported on the whole couture season, but I never saw a photograph. I was obviously bummed, but then Vogue's Hamish Bowles, sent me a sense hope.  On the Hamishphere, he briefly reported, "At Versace Atelier, Donatella took chunks of Swarovsky crystals, swags of silvery chains, and holograms discs to give a Paco Rabanne-esque edge to her slinky femme-fatale red carpet gowns." A mere sentence was not going to do it for me, I wanted a whole review of the collection, I wanted to know everything, but if it comes from Mr. Bowles, then I'm pleased, even if it was just a tablespoon. The industry is seeing a lot of flesh-revealing and body-con gowns from Versace, and who's to blame? The much popular doctrine of "Sex Sells" was a principle Gianni had preached through his clothes since his humble beginnings, and this idea is being proudly carried on and energized by his younger kin.

Let's pretend I have the enough fashion history knowledge, and the acquired fashion discernment to talk about couture, but from my humble point of view I believe this is the strongest couture collection I seen from Versace. The juxtaposition on soft and hard, feminine and masculine, delicate and severe is nothing new, we seen this contrast throughout history time and time again. But in this occasion, I feel Donatella hit it out the park. She has reached a level of Brahmanism that has allowed her to explore more deeply the message of the house. The sensuous attitude that Kasia Struss, model on duty, depicts is not cliche. It has to do with the clothes, and how she feels in them. Most of these gowns, sumptuously constructed with silk-charmeuse exhibit a sense of empowerment, confident and aplomb that radiates back to the essence of the house. The smart addition of these Swarovsky crystals (just like Mr. Bowles mentions) and the rest of these precious, shiny detailing meticulously placed on these goddess gowns only adds to the sensibility of the collection, even if it was just for adornment purposes, it stills provokes a sense of tradition and glamour, two words that exemplifies the spirit of the Versace woman.


Source: Versace.com


Gisele in Vogue April And The Whole Shebang

I believe it was around the end of February where I read somewhere that a "model" was going to grace the cover of the fashion bible. Quite frankly, I was skeptical at first, a working model has not grace the cover of Vogue for a while and the legitimacy of the source where I got the info from seemed dubious. But I was still hopeful, Ms. Wintour has historically favored celebrities over models to grace the cover of her magazine since the 80's, this has certainly been a winning formula, evident by the ever growing financial and commercial success of the magazine and the adaptation of its competitors (if any). Moreover, I had the least expectation that Gisele Bundchen was going to be anointed cover girl, well to be honest, not really. This woman has just scored her whooping 11th cover, being her first in the 1999 July issue shot by Steven Meisel and most recently the controversial photograph along with NBA player Lebron James for the same issue a year ago.

If you remember well this covered raised some eyebrows and dropped some jaws everywhere. It was popularly compared by the media to the King Kong film released in 1933 directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. Taking into account the history of America including slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, it would only seemed fair that an overpowering, beast-like, athletic black man grabbing a delicate, radiant, caucasian woman (in this case from Brazilian descent) while exuding an intense feign facial expression was going to be later compared to something of such scale, but in a way, it revealed two things for me. The fact that the fashion industry, Vogue in this case has such influence over society and over the American community in general, when such highly respected print publication and one of the oldest fashion magazines in the nation publishes these type of products the media panics or in some other cases rejoices, but if lesser known magazines put something as controversial as this, then nobody cares, this just exemplifies the magnitude and importance of Vogue. I also believe that cover indirectly revealed the unresolved issues we still see here in America, it sadly depicted the prejudiced and somewhat racist community I unfortunately have to be part of, though we have a black man sitting at the helm of the White House. The only good thing I could add, I guess, is the fact that fashion is often described as a reflection of society and the times we live in, and I feel like that cover just did that, whether it has a positive or negative connotation, it sort of served as a window for folks to wake up (smell the coffee) and come to terms with the reality of the situation.

Moreover, I knew Gisele was dating Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback (I had to look that up, I know it's sad, my knowledge of football is very minimal, so don't judge me) but I was not necessarily expected for her to end up knocked up, since her body is such a pivotal part of her job and for some reason I felt like Gisele would be one of those my-figure-is-not-going-to-be-deformed-by-a-bump type of models, or supermodels I should say, not implying she hates children (just like Largerfel I read somewhere) or she may never plan of being a hot mommy, since it would put her career on a hiatus, but I'm glad she's not like that and embraces this true blessing of what a being a  mother is.

Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier; Styled by Tonne Goodman

The whole Vogue team flew down to some remote beach in Costa Rica, and this served as the backdrop for this shoot. I love this type of setting since it fit really well with the story and the subject at hand. Now that I learned that Gisele is an "eco-activist" it just adds more emphasis on the reason why this location was chosen as backdrop. Patrick Demarchelier did such a fantastic job as usual, he always gets amazing shots no matter the location or model, he's just amazing, and Tonne's styling was equally pleasing. At first I had no idea who Gisele was wearing on the cover so I had to peep at the credits. There it says that she's wearing Stella McCartney head to toe, the hoop earrings are from Noir Jewelry and the bracelets are Slane & Slane. I had mixed feelings when I saw the cover, I thought it wasn't glamourous enough, but then it made sense that this was the April "Shape Up" issue not the September one. Nonetheless, the cover looks hot, her hair slightly blowing against the wind and the pose and the clothes do justice so I'm happy.

When I think of Gisele Bundchen, the first image on my mind is not of a mother, but as Joan Juliet Buck describes her as "a towering amazon queen". I perfectly picture her in a Dior show stomping the the catwalk and making her presence felt, in a cover of any top glossy magazine, in a Versace ad who she recently was featured on exuding a image of mysterious sultry, or even now riding a horse on the shores of some beach in Costa Rica. It's this women that the world has grown to see her as, and that's where the majority of her success originates. Therefore, I would completely understand if anybody is experiencing difficulty to assimilate the fact that she now has a baby named Benjamin, and it's her own. I love what Vogue did with this story. Patrick photographed her when her belly was protrudent and clearly visible, wearing the most ethereal, translucent, delicate dress I ever seen on a pregnant woman (see above). Then a few months later he photographed her in some booty Prada shorts, or an Alexander Wang skirt and some skimpy top on a beach. One other picture I love is the one where she's caressing Benjamin while she's tenderly looking at him. This is just such a beautiful picture, I can clearly see it in a diaper's ad (hint hint Pampers?)

I mean I just love the juxtaposition, I don't see Vogue is trying to influence their female readers to get pregnant and go to some beach and start taking horse backriding lesson, but this just seems to be a great manifestation of womanhood and maternity. Now below check out the behind the scenes from the shoot and a few words from Vogue contributing editor Joan Juliet Buck. My favorite quote:

"She has a really strong spirit, Gisele, and she was letting me in and I would just become a sponge and just absorbs whatever there was for me to absorb"

As I was flipping through the contributor's page I noticed and unusual picture. There was (see below) of one of my favorite fashion insiders Teri Agins sporting a fro, the picture was taken in Chicago back in 1977 (When I saw the date, it sort of made me realize how long this women has been part of the industry and I obviously respect that, mmmhmmm...I hope I get there once) . For this issue Ms. Agins talks about how Vogue and Marsha Hunt (described by her as "the embodiment of black beauty, a sassy sister, whose hair seemed so effortless and natural") inspired her to proudly wear her natural hair, "But what began as merely a trendy hairdo gradually stirred a new sense of pride in me. I know fully understood why my mother, a first-grade teacher, insisted on displaying brown-skinned Santas on her bulletin boards at Christmas. Just like the black Santa, the Afro made me value my blackness in a positive new light." She then adds, "When the January 1, 1969, issue of Vogue arrived, I finally found an arresting centerpiece for the Wall--an image that I could truly relate to. It was a black-and-white photograph of Marsha Hunt, a fetching young black woman with a beach ball of frizzy hair" - "Every day I picked and patted my Afro, inspired by Marsha's reflection in the vanity mirror." It's not only great to see fashion solely related to clothes, as most people see it as, but also to hair, and how fashion can become a positive factor on one's life, which at the end of the day it's what suppose to be, inspire and bring the best qualities out of people.

As I read on, it was great knowing that just like me, Ms. Agins was inspired by Vogue's pages, "The fact that Vogue devoted four pages to the revolutionary image of Marsha Hunt was a very big deal", "seeing Vogue zero in on this new hairdo meant that the Natural was certifiably groovy." As most of you know by now the 2010 Spring/Summer Louis Vuitton show featured models, mostly white, in humongous, cheeky fros, which Ms. Agins says, "It was cool, modern, take on the vintage do." I loved how this collection played homage to such iconic hairdo, aside from the clothes, which were great, and don't get me started on the bags, I thought the hair that season influenced a bevy of designers not only in Paris, but Milan and New York as well. As most of the attendees and online viewers that day watching the show, Ms. Agins "felt a rush and recognition as I flashed back to Marsha Hunt. " She finally ends by saying, "[Marsha Hunt's] hair first delighted me simply as fashion. Later it would instill in an entire generation of women a new sense of style, and the freedom to be."

Vogue has one of the strongest editorials in the biz, and this issue doesn't disappoint. I love "Float On" shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Pigott, featuring one of my favs and top model Liya Kebede, and styled by Edward Enninful. The first word that popped into my head was "Barbie", the hair just reminded me of that black one with long puffy straight hair and pretty eyes (I don't think I'm gay enough to say I played with Barbies, but I obviously know how one looks like, just saying). I adored all these billowy dresses (I can certainty point one by Marc Jacobs) paired with structured jackets and this lovely white brogues, such a smart choice. I mean he really nailed it this time.

I don't know if I can pull one of these off, since I guess I would look like a mix of a black version of Marc back in the 90's and a slutty secretary or perverted librarian, so that's out of the question, but at least they are nice to look at. Love the ad, and the lipssss (hence slutty) mmmhm, enough said.

I never heard of this lovely black beauty before named Shala Monroque, but if anyone can pull off a Rodarte dress, with a Prada turban and sandals with a Hermes bag, then she's on my style icons list, but seriously, she's hot, and not need to mention of her beautiful chocolate skin.

I believe it would only seem fair that the most influential fashion magazine would feature at least an article after Mcqueen's passing. As I was flipping through the pages I stopped here, and I thought "he's actually kinda hot" I mean, Alexander Mcqueen was sexy, I love the color of his eyes and the whole macho facade he got going on. I'm in love with this picture at the right taken by Steven Klein, one can just sort of feel the internal pain coming from his eyes, his lips look rather relaxed by his face to me looked tense. There is not a question in my mind that he was periodically dealing with unresolved issues with himself and society in general that ultimately led to his unfortunate death. I wished he'd sought out professional help and reach out to people that were capable to lift him up. Now there is nothing we can do, but celebrate his work. His body, mind and soul are gone, but his spirit lives with us.

Before tearing that picture on the right and pining it up on my Wall, I had to read the amazingly well worded Hamish Bowles' article on Mcqueen. First of all, I must note that Bowles is one of the best writers Vogue has, his sentences and paragraphs just flow so seamlessly, and his word choice is part of his genius, I mean I wish one day my writing would be as eloquent as his. But to sort of makes things a little different, I would list my highlights from the article:

Mcqueen was fat and drank beer, when meeting Alexander Mcqueen for the first time in London back in 1992, Bowles says "I was unprepared for the vision before me. Beer-bellied, snaggletoothed, foul-mouthed, his jeans slung low around his hips, he seemed every inch the cockney thug, and had I encountered him on a dark street or, let's face it, in broad daylight in this faintly insalubrious part of town, my stomach might have clenched and my pace quickened." HILARIOUS!!!, I mean some of the people I see from time to time in Washington DC, look sort of like this, but let's be honest here, like Hamish, if I found myself in a dark alley with a clutch of these, I would start running the other direction like Usain Bolt, probably not as fast as him, but you get the idea.

Mcqueen was a bad boy, "The sketches on the wall indicated a febrile imagination, and the sewing machine in the middle of the room pointed to his own technical skills; Mcqueen had apprenticed with a Savile Row tailor, where he famously chalked obscenities in the linings of Prince Charles's jackets." I can use imagine the Prince team's reaction when they found out those words chalked on the lining, priceless.

Mcqueen was rude, Mr. Bowles was assigned to run a story by Vogue on the hottest London designers back then, unlike the other designers he chose, Mcqueen was not as experienced as his other fellow designers, but Hamish included him for a group portrait because of his "shinning promise". However, things did not go as planned, "On the appointed day, however, he didn't show, and when I finally heard from him he told me with winning honesty that he didn't like being photographed, didn't approve of the company he was to have been photographed with, and anyway couldn't give a flying fuck for American Vogue." I paused, astonished thought; Did he just said the f-word??? and in top of that; Did Vogue just printed this???. This could have been easily a very detrimental turn for Mcqueen's career. A designer's relationship with editors and buyers are pivotal, even more with American Vogue, who has launch the careers of several designers. So for Mr. Mcqueen to say such hateful words was tasteless and out of line. I guess the effect was much more minimal back then since Mcqueen was just one of many up-and-comers, but if that would've happen now, the backlash and boycott the media could  create could potentially entice the end of Mcqueen's career.

Mcqueen worked with amazing talents, "His loyal team--including stylist Katy England, design assistant Sarah Burton, visionary show producer Sam Gainsbury, set designers Simon Costin and later Joseph Bennett, and collaborators including master milliner Phillip Treacy--worked with him through the night to realize his fantasies, creating magic often with no money." The idea that a designer alone manages to do everything is so naive. It would be impossible for Karl to produce, make, direct and design a whole Chanel collection all by himself. Chanel is such a colossal brand, that it requires hundreds of people to run it, headed by Karl, of course, but if he ever attempted to take such tasks for any of his shows, I guess he'll suffer from a heart attack, no seriously. The same applies to Mcqueen, though his brand is not as big as Chanel, his shows are very theatrical and beautifully elaborated. As Mcqueen told Vogue in 1997, "I don't see any point in the audience leaving the show with no emotion"--"with my shows, you do get the energy, buzz, and excitement you'd get in a rock concert." Then Hamish adds, "his collections transported us into magical and often disturbing world." Indeed, there are several instances where I thought I was watching a Marcus Nispel movie. At time it's spooky but it's so good, you have to watch.

Mcqueen loves women, not sexually though, in 1997 he told Vogue, "I want to empower women" to shut down allegations of misogyny back then, "I want people to be afraid of women I dress." There is no question about that.

Oliver Theyskens admires him, "When I was at school, he was the one, always pushing the limits of expression." I can name a few people who would've love to go to school with him, including me.

Mcqueen had similarities with Balenciaga, Mr. Bowles notes, "As I would later discover, he could, like Cristobal Balenciaga, take his shears to a piece of fabric and, cutting directly into it, using instinct rather than a pattern piece, create a perfect garment." Ok, so how many designers do you know who can do that???

Hamish Bowles actually likes Mcqueen, "He was a concentrated fireball of raw talent and ambition who struck me as a maverick in the Charles James mold--brilliant, passionate, compelling, feral." He then adds, "Lee Alexander Mcqueen was an artist himself, with an artist's ability to inspire and provoke, who has bequeathed a monumental body of work that is a wondrous testament to the passion and courage of his convictions."

To finish things in a much more positive note, this accessories editorial titled "Dipping Below" looked very fresh and it sort of makes me want to be there in the pool, enjoying my day. It was shot by Raymond Meier, and styled by Lawren Howell, which I knew little about her, but now I see the level of her talent. All these sandals look great and I won't be surprised if any women out there who loves fashion would take any of them to be part of her shoe collection. But I personally like the first two sandals; the double ankle straps Lanvin with gold chain and red toe strap that retails for $888 and the one next to it, the plastic Prada with crystal embellishment strap and velcro closure, retailing for $990.

I can't believe this post has taken me three days to wrap up, it looks pretty intensive and dope to me. Since I love Vogue so much, I would post this monthly regarding each particular issue. The magazine inspires me, so I hope this blog inspires you in some way. Feel free to feel you comments below.

Photos: fashiongonerouge.com


Life "Unfashionable" Things

I know I been a very very very bad boy in the past few days, but I have an excuse people. I been dealing with life things and whatnot, trying to become independent and build a future for myself, and that takes time, money and sacrifices. The biggest problem here is timing, I'm like the most impatient person out there, but I manage, I'm progressively learning to control it, but there are times where I feel like I'm loosing it -- I need this now!, or why these people are taking two hours to get off the train? A few days ago somebody posted "I wished my life came with an Easy button" on their facebook status. After I read it and commented on the blank space below, it got me thinking on how drastically my life would change; no tedious work, no stress, no thinking. In the other side of the spectrum, this device, as it's making my life easier, it's ruining my aesthetic, discreetly disabling me from independence and maturity while putting me in position where I only rely on a button and stop using my medusa to solve problems through. In other words, it will eventually make me useless. And when people become useless they become worthless. Regardless, this button could make my dream come true, editor of Vogue, but it's inevitable that reality of the situation is unyielding. I'm completely aware of my competition and this long journey I must embark on but I don't like to wait (I'm impatient remember?). I guess this "disorder" has been programmed in my system since I was a very young, but of course with good intentions. When I was younger my grandparents used to get me anything I demanded and they kindly obey and pleased, I think they cared too much for me since I was their only grandson and their oldest grandkid. I've never labeled myself as "spoiled" since it just sounds so horribly tacky, but grateful and blessed to have such lovely, warmhearted, affectionate, caring grandparents. My parents got divorced when I was five years young and they were always present whenever I needed something, but I feel like I had a special relationship with my grandparents [eyes start getting watery] and I still do, even though we live a seven-hours plane ride apart.

But don't loose hope on me since I haven't lost hope on you guys, I love all my readers and I do get excited when I see new comments. Being said that, I will attempt to become a better blogger and post my "analysis" on fashion and whatnot. Expect a new banner soon and a fresh post tomorrow or Monday. I'm wearing (picture above) vintage suede jacket, Hanes t-shirt, A&F scarf, Levi's denim.




What's Not Hot About Pucci

In a season where minimalism and subdued maturity have been the most prominent sentiments felt on the runways in Milan, Peter Dundas, the creative director of Emilio Pucci is heralding an emerging trend, exploring an era that has brought some of the most nostalgic, decadent and iconic fashion imagery. Mr. Dundas was imbued by those gypsy-glam-hippie seventies moments that I'm sure brings back lots of memories for those folks that had the privilege to lived it. Besides all the weed/opium smoking, peace signs tees, and dizzy disco nights, there was a moment of glamour that it's still relevant today. And that was the starting building block from this Fall/Winter 2010/11 collection. The show started with Abbey confidently walking out in a long jersey dip-dyed purple jersey gown in Capri, a print that has been part of the house for decades. This pattern was also seen in a long narrow skirt and a long-sleeve short dress. The idea of wearing a fringed scarf (long or short) seems like such a stretch of the mind, but Mr. Dundas managed to make it look flirty and fun, without making the girl look like a joke or even dare to say a hippie-hooker (does that word-phrase really exist?, in case it doesn't, you get the point).

One thing that his customers are going to appreciate from Peter come fall is that this sensual sophistication that is surely practical yet stylish, the look he proposed was this high-waisted pants worn with this delicate almost translucent silk blouse paired with either a cropped leather jacket with bushy fur trims, or a great embellished boleros in black or burgundy (see above). This is just such a great way to dress, playing with proportions that work so well in a woman's body. I know this look does not completely benefit a petite body, but at least it gives these an option of purchasing a well crafted jacket that works for everybody.

What felt somewhat refreshing in this collection is the incorporation of tailoring (another big trend for next season).  Something that was missing in previous Dundas collections for Pucci (though this is only his third rtw effort for this house). I love all these men's jackets festooned with brass buttons under these fragile and feminine figures. I know this was not just invented last year, but I love seeing classic tailoring juxtaposed against something more revealing, say, a black lace dress or something less formal, such a baggy t-shirt. But definitely expect this trend to be in major glossy magazine editorials.

I think I talked about attitude and conviction these past collections have evoked, especially in Milan. This nonchalant yet poised strut that his models came out in glorious fashion had something to do with the sexy evening options we saw at Pucci. The look consisted pretty much of fully covered arms and bare legs, just the right amount of leg cleave and enough coverage of the arms, since I guess nobody wants to look like their grandma (no offense) unless she looks like Sophia Loren. Moreover, Pucci showed quite a few of these options, one of them (first on left, see right below) was this purple velvet (another big trend) and black; another one that Mariacarla (second left) was (working the hell out of) in gold and blue sequence, the other two looked much more worked; one had a gold lace panel at the front and the other one (far right) displayed what looks to be shiny black beading with a v-shaped lace panel on the front. I mean can you say HOT!. I believe just the dress itself demands such attention that when a girl who supposedly would be wearing one of these Pucci mini dresses walks in and everybody would just stop doing whatever they were doing, turn and die with envy. They're just show-stoppers. 

The sumptuous furs thrown in models' back are just as hot, especially the ones I picked below; the fox coat with white edges and attached embellished belt and the other coat that looks like something taken out of Oscar the Grouch's closet from Sesame Street. After all, Sesame Street characters are in fashion, they were featured in the 2009 September issue of Harper's Bazaar (Oscar the Grouch was shot next to Oscar de la Renta, coincidental?). Regardless, it still looks fierce

The red-carpet worthy gowns (picture below) seemed so whimsical and lithe. So that when these two came out  for some odd reason the picture of Jasmine from Aladdin sort of crossed my mind at some point. Not that I currently watch these type of Disney series, but I guess the billowing sleeves from the look in the right and the flowy appeal from this red one brought me back to the show. I was also delighted seeing how these gowns just glided down the narrow runway, it was such a special moment.

I'm a huge Pucci fan, even more when Peter took over this brand not too long ago and sort of reenergized it for this new generation. I can't wait 'til his next show.



Yet again, watch the entire show below.