Me, Lanvin Coat, It's A Love Thing

This would righteously be categorized as a "Rachel Zoe" moment. While your counterparts are fixated on world-class matters, you seem too infatuated with a piece of cloth, in some cases a piece of art (materialistic nonetheless), jostle your way through, extend your arms so your assistants can assist you with the piece, accommodate while you look at your reflection in the mirror and exhale, "I die". Life simple pleasures, implying you resource with over $2k to squander on an epicurean, perfectly constructed Lanvin coat of the season. Impeccably preened to take over the world. Lucas and Alber let's celebrate. Cheers!


Dancing With Prada

The behind-the-scenes images from the Prada women's ad campaign have come to surface and the party begins. The clip gives us an insight of the behind-the-scenes preparations (bitch work) and depicts the less celebrated, unnoticed efforts that goes into shooting for a major brand. The Audition, which comes at the commencement of the video features models Mariacarla Boscono (my girl), Tatiana Cotiliar (which stars in Proenza Schouler first ever campaign), Arizone Muse (opened and closed Prada's show, enough said), and newcomers Zuzana Bijoch and Kinga Rajzak, channeling Josephine Baker. The video continues on, we see tables sprawled with all kinds of Prada goodies (Rachel Zoe-esque settings) including: Mary Janes with intricate weaving in any imaginable color combination, tiny leather bracelets, sorts of shades, and bags galore. In other words, it's a Prada paradise, which is where you wanna be. 

The video editing leaves me baffled. I'm still trying to figure out if the models were dancing, being exorcized, suffering from a seizure, or trying to appear sexy. Regardless, at the end of the day, they're getting pay to sell those deep dyed and striped fur stoles, curlicues and sombreros (Laurieann Gibson, they should've call you). 

Last but not least. Steven Meisel is a God

(Unfortunately, the original video I saw contained footage of the men's ad, but now I can't seem to find it because Youtube is being a jerk. Oh well). 

Gurl, I think you missed your call for The Last Exorcist. 


Sort Of Like A Fruit Salad

 Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2011/12

Raf Simons must be feeling rightfully sanguine about life, that could be induced form his colour-packed Fall/Winter 2011/12 collection for Jil Sander. The man received laudable appraisals for his 2011 Spring Jil Sander women's collection he showed in Paris back in September. It was a modern exercise of simplicity with a couture aesthetic, the colour pallet alone encompassed the spirit of the whole season. That was the starting point for this collection, which by today' standards, seems logical. Why not? It's not because of lack of imagination or talent, but it was suggestive of an ongoing dialogue, or even, a continuing exploration of the possibilities of colour. It was palpable. The chutzpah of the Jil Sander man to dabble with alarming colours, that most would eschew from. The first set of models came out in monochrome, two button wool suits in shades of navy blue, magenta, grey, and a hue that resembles rotting avocado (and that's not necessarily a bad thing). Then followed by double turtlenecks; quilted parkas in midnight blue, black (displaying a blue lining) and cyclamen (my pick!). 

The collection was a rich melange of hues, that was visually appealing and palatable that reminds one of fruits (mango-colored ribbed sweaters, pants, and suit jackets), which then stimulates your appetite to devour everything on your pantry, literally. 


It's Balenciaga Time

Balenciaga Spring/Summer 2011 leather watches - I'll take all three

In case of distraction from all the lesbian punks that came down Balenciaga's runway last September, I noticed a few jewels wrapped on the model's tiny wrists. Ghesquire shows nothing to distract from the clothes (that's why you see chignons or perfectly combed pony tails in his shows), expect for the Hardy-designed shoes (piece of art is a more apt name). By jewels, I'm referring to those posh time pieces you see above. As you can see, they feature a relatively thick leather straps in shades of baby blue, carbon, black, and  lipstick red (the one below is dyed-python leatha, I see you Mrs. Beckham). Unlike most ordinary watches, the case here has a rectangular shape, and the bezel displays a half-moon cutout shape where you see Roman numeral numbers. 

Something tells me that the purpose of this watch is not necessarily to dictate time, but to be shown off in special occasions (not grocery shopping, I hope). Well, at the end of the day, if you can afford a watch of this caliber, implies you dominate, or least, able to read Roman numeral numbers (Sidenote: When I learned the lovely price tag, I think my heart stopped beating for a second, literally...I'll let you investigate the price point for yourself). 


Vivienne Westwood Plays Match-Maker

Vivienne Westwood does not care about what anybody says. Though she has been harshly criticized by the British press, she still marches to the beat of her own drum. She lives in her own stratosphere, where a small dose of hilarity is part of an everyday routine. Her work is esoteric, sure it doesn't resonate with most of the world, but if she'd produce "crap", she would have not been on business for over four decades. I'd like to think of Westwood as a cult-following brand. I can clearly envision on a underground locale somewhere in the U.K. a small throng of misfits who see Damme Westwood as their hero. 

Vivienne Westwood Fall/Winter 2011/12

Who's the Westwood man? Is he gay, straight? A revel or conformist? Taking into account her recently unveiled collection for next fall/winter, I see the man in her dreams is going through an identity crisis. And that implies, his personality and behavior directly affects on what he wears. According to official press (a source I have to rely on since I was not in attendance) Westwood intended to make her catwalk a platform to showcase British blokes on search for their better-halves. "Come on girls, our catwalk is your chance to dream", she told Matthew Schneier. In light of the approaching royal wedding of Prince Williams and soon to be princess Catherine Middleton, it only seemed opportune that Westwood would build upon the hoopla. But as we all know, in her world, the simplest things become twisted or even complexed. 

The show opened with a medley combo of loose-fitting 3-piece suits in camel and steel blue, that vaguely echoed the undoubtedly 60's bespoke tailoring . Some were even worn with simple tees. The jackets were buttoned up on the bias, giving the illusion that there was an obvious human error. Moreover, there were pleated, high-waisted trousers (some sustained by thick suspenders) and roomy, paper-waist pants that elicited a slight street vibe. A concurrent trend seen in most collections in Milan was the drop-crotched pants (God, help us), they were shown with hoodies and bright colored knits. For night, she proposed classic tuxedos with diamon-shaped cutouts on the shoulders. Furthermore, Westwood is a master of delivering double-meaning innuendos through her work. I couldn't help but intermittently notice throughout the collection apparitions of what seems to be parrots in love (festooned on sweater, last look on picture above) or ancient Egyptian aves (on first look, picture below). If there was a symbolism behind the motifs, it only added depth and dimension to the collection. 

I haven't come across any woman who prefers her beau with painted lips and perfectly coiffure a la Josephine Baker. But apparently, Westwood finds something charming in a man in touch with his feminine side. Her subversive, anti-establishment aesthetic was manifested not only on the clothes, but with the attitude of the models. A few of them made goofy gestures as they were walking down the runway, even one of them gave the finger to the photographers on the pit. Though that may not be socially or morally appropriate, that perhaps was her response to the vilification in the air. 



This shot unintentionally shows what my reaction would be if I was in similar circumstances

While I momentarily attempt to take my mind off Fashion Week, I wanted to share this piece of jubilation with you  readers. I been wanting to post this for sometime, but for some mysterious reason I was not able to, but this seems to be an apt opportunity. Stay with me. When did uptight, generic car insurance commercials became so provocative or visually appealing? (The answer would vary depending on your perspective). It sounds utterly cliche, but sex has been use as a medium to market and sell almost anything. They're meant to grab your attention, and entice a spark within you to pull out your wallet and relinquish your hard-earned money (in a non-violent, uncompromising form). It's a no brainer. It's called affective marketing. 

The folks at State Farm are not stupid. They're selling car insurance, not underwear. The decision to tap actor Mehcad Brooks and Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks was smart. It's obvious they're targeting my age group. If they wanted to lure the older crowd, they would have called Vanessa Williams and Rick Fox. So when you have Mehcad on set, the most logical thing to do is to ask him to take his shirt off to jazz up the commercial. Why not use his perfectly sculpted body? Such a terrible thing to waste. Thank God he did. And undeniably, he looks great, especially in those jeans. Selita is beauteous (an underuse word), cute physique and equally attractive features, but Brooks stole the show. To hell with the insurance, get me Mehcad on my doorsteps. 


Who's Thirsty For Some Coca-Cola?

D&G Fall/Winter 2011/12 

One of the greatest qualities about fashion is that its followers can relate to designers and their offerings. In some cases it's personal, or emotional. I think we react to designers and what they do base upon our understanding and familiarity of not only their brand, but the culture in which we live in today. I been a campy follower of D&G for a decade (I still watch their shows from back them), when I was 10 years young, still a baby, I felt an immediate attraction for the brand, I just wanted to be one of the guys, and live in the world that Domenico and Stefano created for that season.

Their source of inspiration has taken them from "Man on The Moon" to "Aristocrats During The French Revolution" to "A Picnic Day" for last season. The collection that they presented just days ago in Milan hints to American pop culture. I know...nothing new, even people such as Uncle Karl have created collections imbued by America, and its rich (often tortured) history. Who would knew that John Pemberton, American druggist and Coca-Cola inventor, would have such a big fashion moment? Hoodies, sweaters and even a jacket were emblazon with the infamous logo. The ubiquitous, and multi dollar establishment sure has had a few swings with fashion, but nothing of this caliber. The bigger picture though brings memories of 80's American pop culture; what the cool kids would wear and most importantly how they wore it. We saw corduroys pegged, drop-crotched pants (God, help us) in sherbet colours of, hot pink, burgundy and green; combinations of prep ties with check-pattern shirts, striped cardigans, shrunken jackets with a vintage vibe, plaid suits with high-tops, bright-colored head phones, and Kanye-worthy shades. A continuing motif from their last winter collection were Mickey Mouse printed oversize sweaters and hoodies that would make Mr. Walt Disney proud. 

The furs? Pure fashion orgasm. 

For the finale, two lines of models came out clad in vintage looking tees festooned with the Coca-Cola logos, Mickey Mouse prints, and in some I saw a glimpse of The Statue of Liberty. What's more American than that?...Cheeseburger and fries? That's rhetorical. 

(Sidenote: It literally took me a whole day to edit that sexy banner you see above. I think it came out decent. I have now a new profound respect for graphic designers out there). 

they way that I love you

1. Corey Baptiste backstage at D&G F/W 2011/12 (post coming later). 
2. Prada 2011 S/S ad. Meisel is a God.
3. Vintage Chanel ad (reminds me of a prostitute after she's done with a client. Not that women who wear Chanel are prostitutes, but you know what I mean). 
4. Jack + Lazaro (Proenza Schouler) + Kristen Stewart + Mario Testino + Tonne Goodman = Vogue Magic. 
5. Abbey Lee Kershaw for Versace. The definition of cool. 
6. D&G high tops. Who is Patrick K.? It should read Jimmy D. 



"This Time" - John Legend

I thought both images oozed a sense of serenity and the perfect accompanying melody sets the mood...What's hotter than sitting atop a horse, wearing nothing but a tee while holding a big, obnoxious perfume bottle between your legs?


The American Gigolo

Dean and Dan Caten, the Canadian twins behind cool label Dsquared thought of Richard Gere's alter ego Julian Kaye (hence the "Julian" shirt above) in Paul Schrader's American Gigolo for their Spring/Summer 2011 collection. The show, as usual, visually transported the crowd to Kaye's bachelor pad in Los Angeles. While the collection was a hit-or-miss, the ad campaign has come to light (by this time I'm sure you seen it in Feb. issues). The gayest duo Mert & Marcus shot the campaign with styling genius Katie Grand. I love the Hemult Newton-ish vibe of the shots. I'm sure this is going to be a good season for the twins. The video below visually exemplifies the message of the collection (Sidenote: fyi high-rise jeans are not for everyone). 


Chanel Denim Boots (Praise Uncle Karl)

Male model/Sexy Daddy Brad Kroenig walked on the Spring/Summer 2011 Chanel show at the Grand Palais last October, many were emotionally touched, not because of him per se, but because he was walking with his baby boy. They both were wearing identical outfits; an off white Chanel tweet blazer, matching denim shirt and jeans. But what did go unnoticed were the buckle-strapped denim boots with wooden soles. I know Mr. Mazzaro makes the shoes for Chanel, but I'm not sure if they provide men's. Nonetheless, I want a pair.

Dear Uncle Karl: If you're reading this, I'm size 10 in the US and 43 in Europe....just saying. 


Anna Wintour World Tour Domination

In a nutshell...

Anna Wintour goes to China = Chinese women (and gay men) pull out their best garbs while shaking in their boots. 

Yes man. Those Chanel shades are for intimidation purposes, I know China is not that sunny indoors. It's evident that this woman (my surrogate mother) holds mighty power over millions of obsequious minions, we know that *Candy Pratts voice*. At the sight of a Prada shift dress and fur galore stepping into the offices of Vogue China, I'm sure there were some folks feeling a bit nervous, we can't blame them. It's just nature. Now, Anna how does that feel?


Color Story

The message for this spring is clear: Color. 


Valentinos "It's A Love Thing"

 While I was flipping through the winter issue of Pop magazine (the one with Britney Spears on the cover), amid inspiring pages filled with kitschy imagery with a touch of Japanese pop art (aside from Shala Monroque's page, I love Takashi Murakami's complementary stickers) I found a candid interview with Valentino's creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. In the lengthy profile, they talk about their anointment as helm of the italian house, their unexpected first encounter in Florence (through Giambattista Valli) and their families. The interviewer, Melanie Rickey, inquired on their obsessions. "My obsessions now are white shoes. I only wear white shoes", Pier answered. "It's a love thing", Maria Grazia responds regarding the studded pointy slingbacks you see above from their 2010 fall/winter pret-a-porter collection. "She has the studded slingbacks in every colour", Pier chimes in. I think throughout the interview they finish each other sentences, indicative of their work for Valentino. They sort of complement each other, what one has the other is missing and viceversa. 

The slingsbacks that Maria Grazia is obsessed with (which leads me to assume she wears them too frequently to the Valentino Atelier) is a direct reflection of their interpretation of the Valentino woman. She's ever so sweet but has a dark side. A thug on a dress? It's probably an exaggeration, but I imagine her with a knife under her underpinnings.


Take A Bite - Djimon Hounsou

What's so alluring about Djimon Hounsou? The question proposed itself as I was mulling on subjects for this feature. I can't quite formulate what makes Dijimon special, but besides the exterior, I was enthralled with his story. Mr. Hounsou was born and raised in a small country in Africa called Republic of Benin. In the late 80's he moved to France and established a career as a male model (I read somewhere Thierry Mugler discovered him). Consequently he moved to America and transcended into film. You might remember him on Janet Jackson's "Love Will Never Do You", where a camera follows him in slow motion running in what appears to a wide open field. I'm sure his physique and charming smile captured the attention of some. Janet, was sure pleased. Furthermore, I remember the first time when I watched "Beauty Shop", the scene when Queen Latifah knocks on Joe's door (Dijimon) and he opens the door shirtless. Pure Eye Candy. And who can forget his championship performance in "Amistad", "Gladiator" and "Blood Diamond"? Class Act. 

In September 2007, Hounsou made fashion history when he became the first African model for Calvin Klein underwear commemorating their 25th anniversary. The ad campaign, shot by giant Peter Lindbergh in Palm Springs, made headlines everywhere. There he was in traditional tighty whities reminiscent of a Greek God. The spotless white backdrop highlights his smooth, seemingly oiled skin (reminds me of a Hershey's chocolate bar melting). His beefed, chiseled, perfectly sculpted physique is not a result from gifted genes as you might expect, "I regularly have to watch how much, when and what I eat," he told the New York Post. "It really becomes a daily routine. You just have to do it - get up, eat something and go to the gym -- so you can burn as much and look lean. It's pretty challenging." Who knew? But whatever he does is indisputably working for him. 

Moreover, I find these images (below) by celebrity photographer Robert Ascroft of Djimon mysterious for some reason. The one where he's wearing a perfectly fitted three piece suit gives a vibe of mystery. The question rises if I've never heard his name before. What does he do? Is he a banker? A movie director? I love the overall composition of the photos, and seem as if they belong in the pages of GQ: well polished loafers, smart selection of clothes, and give a sense of personality. 

I think Djimon Hounsou embodies the idea of the so-called "The American Dream". It's an ambiguous idea, but generally it's a representation of what us, migrants, would not have accomplished in out homelands (or not as easily). He was smart enough to seek an opportunity to grow and evolve as an artist and a person, and that's commendable. I can relate to that, so I guess that's why I decided to dedicate this humble post to him. Not only do I celebrate people who I find interesting or are linked to fashion, but also individuals who dream and inspire. 

In case you missed it, on my previous Take A Bite I shredded light on male model Chad White


I'm sensing a lesbian moment coming

Melodie Monrose and Anais Mali by Solve Sundsbo
Gisele Bundchen by Steven Meisel 
Abbey Lee Kershaw and Edita Vilkeviciute by Mario Sorrenti

I can't recall a moment when fashion was as provocative as it is now. Perhaps back when it was chided as "racist" by outsiders, but truthfully, those folks just wanted to see diversity in pages of magazines and on the runway. They got what they wanted (not because of social pressure, but because of the evolution of fashion and cultural development). Now the issue, or should I say, topic, at hand is a bit different. Sexuality has nothing to do with fashion, though it seems the industry is more receptive to homogenous types. After all, that's where we stereotypically belong. I don't know many lesbians in the industry, but it just sounds like a breath of fresh air among the excessive catty faggotry.

Giselse Bundchen is not just a model. She's an Amazonian, married to one of the most successful ballers on the NFL and a mother of one. Part of her success and notoriety comes from her years at Victoria's Secret, which suggests; she's lanky, with beautiful features and oozes sex-appeal. Looking at the image of the recent unveiled Spring 2011 Baleciaga ad campaign shot by Steven Meisel, the notion of "sexy" is nowhere to be seen (sex and its derivatives are subjective). The woman is wearing a butch lesbian blonde wig, leather vest and sleeveless polka dot shirt, standing in the most masculine pose. All she needs is a cigar and a mustache, probably resulting in Rosie O'Donnell. The campaign does echo the collection, but any hint of femininity is best found on her lip color. 

Elsewhere, it was with little surprise while I was flipping through
Interview I found "Double Vision" shot by Solve Sundsbo, a story of two seemingly-curious girls fondling in spring's lithe garbs. Interview is a magazine that tends to push the boundaries of fashion, art and sex, so these type of editorials do not come as shocking, at least to me. I thought the girls were instructed to act as friends more than lovers by the low level of eroticism emitting from the photos. However, this was not the case in "The Bride Whisperer" shot by Mario Sorrenti and styled by Karl Templer. Vera Wang's weddings gowns? You only see a veil and gaiters on one model, a diaphanous black beaded dress on the other. And breasts on full view. This is certainly a non-traditonal ceremony. While this may came off scandalous, I admire the care and thought behind the photos. It's not pornographic, but tasteful, visually arresting imagery with a pinch of sex. 

Does that mean that Ellen Degeneres is gracing the cover of Vogue anytime soon? I don't think so.