Friday, July 16, 2010

Acne your looks

Scandinavians have a great thing about design. Perhaps it's due to the fact that they are shrouded by darkness and merciless cold for most of the year that they resort to creating extraordinary aesthetics to pass time. Or perhaps it's just their diet that makes them special that way.

In the past, Scandinavia has been known mainly for their furniture design, which is very clean, practical and innovative. This principle seems to have been carried through into their clothing design. Two of my favorite brands is Acne (pronounced Akh-Nay to divert any thoughts of unclean skin) and COS, which are both from Sweden. The latter is the sister brand of fashion giant H&M and its high-end, fashion forward line. Both labels produce designs that are clean, practical, innovative with its silhouette, androgynous (some styles can be easily worn by both genders) and definitely fashion forward.

Here Acne shows us how it's done in its Men Spring 2011 collection. Simple pieces carefully layered in contrasting solid tones. Mens fashion can be somewhat tricky as the majority masses prefer not to be seen as too dandy. Too many embellishment tends to create that unnecessary overt-metrosexualness, which is why Acne does it well with a few simple details.

By layering simple pieces, the effect provide depth to the outfit while adding a subtle illusion of detailing - such offsetting colors, patterns or texture. The trick is to layer thin pieces together instead of sturdy cottons. Unless you want to look like a college jockey or an American. No they are not bad things, just explaining what the other options were. For beginners, layer with white as the color brings out the best in others and lends a note of refined casual.

Colors and silhouette also play an important part in creating a look - something that women have been learning and men have to learn. Play with bolder tones and strong colors by pairing them with muted ones such as white, beige or grey. Grey is that in-betweener of the fail-safe white and black, which gives it a unique authority that makes almost any color chic. Contrast large or loose volumes with slim lines to balance the overall silhouette.

The men's SS11 collection is a reflection of the women's RST10 collection. Which is great - because now girls may expand their wardrobes by getting a just-as-stylish-boyfriends.

Valentino Paradise

When Valentino recently unveiled his museum-like archive of his works, it included 12,000 grand dresses, 10,000 impressive sketches (on the walls and and on iPads!), and a stream of beautiful people in fabulous gowns created by the retired maestro himself.

Not a fan of gossips (or Gossip Girls for that matter), my attention was immediately captivated by the aesthetics of the gowns that were presented that evening. Colors were aplenty and my, in such beautiful palettes! From strong red, to soft colorful neons, to romantic pastels. Like how all gorgeous gowns should be, the fabrics looked most exquisite with intricate details such as melting ruffles and tiny sparkles that added to the subtle elegance. Nothing that screams attention-deficit.

My personal favorites were from Elizabeth Hurley (she still can do no wrong!) and the sweet group of girls call Paltrow, Alba and Danes.

While enjoying myself browsing through the images, I couldn't help but gasped when I saw this images of Lively with the omni-powerful Wintour!

I don't believe I've ever seen anyone put their arms around Wintour (Too cold perhaps? Or just smart enough not to). Tsk tsk, young American girls who don't know their manners and proper social etiquette. Poor Wintour looks so diminished standing next to nearly 6ft tall leggy blonde.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

This is summer wear

This is summer wear and how summer wear should look like. It's light without being too bright, it's elegant without being conventional, it's chic yet still practical, and it is appropriately accessorized. It's very nonchalant though one may see that effort has been put into this effortlessly chic look. But most of all, it has got that relaxed smile that summer tends to bring out people.

Most of the time people are either not used to dressing for summer, so they tend to focus more on their spring and winter looks but throw their style matters out of the window come summer. Or some just can't be bothered because it's there all year round. This look is a breath of freshness from the usual suspect of butt-revealing-cut-offs, tubes and summer dresses. We don't wear enough of understated style, everything about summer seems to be who can shout the loudest about their bodies. It's tawdry and tasteless. Summer should still be about style in a different light and a different season.

Image: The Satorialist