Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This is so two weeks ago

More style icon sightings! The glamorous Giovanna Battaglia and Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W magazine. I love Giovanna's outfit. It's so simple and elegant and the oversized buckle makes it high style.

The fashion folk are in Paris this week, but my thoughts are still in New York. What follows are more photos from my exciting NY fashion week adventure as an outsider (on the sidewalk!) at the Band of Outsiders show in Chelsea about two weeks ago. Since then, the style cognoscenti have ogled the runways in London, Milan and now Paris. But style inspiration can be found anywhere at anytime and I hope you find some here, even if this is ancient history.

I love this idea of knotting the hem of drapey wide trousers. 

Beautiful lace and necklace. And the white and coral is so dramatic with her black hair. 

I saw a lot of these leather shorts. 

Lots of block colors and geometric shapes too. 

It's amazing how a motorcycle jacket, striped T and ripped jeans still look great. 
Nice update with the clutch. 


An indy-prep look. It's a shirtdress and loafers, 
but the shapes and proportions are pushed and more dramatic. 

I saw lots of crisp white shirts and with those legs, she sure wears it well!

Very luxe-collegiate!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Style-Star Struck

Grace Coddington, Creative Director of Vogue. She doesn't take photographs, she sketches. I would love to take a peek inside the sketchbook she's holding. 

I was just in NYC for work; a seven-day photoshoot which had absolutely nothing to do with the world of fashion. It was long days of recreating office scenes and groups gathered to discuss their investing in corporate and home surroundings. And at the same time in NY it was Fashion Week! I knew there were runway shows and events happening all over, but I didn't have enough strings to pull to get tickets to any shows. What's a style blogger to do? I did some praying to the fashion goddess ("Isis, Isis, fashion crisis!") and she answered, in a bigger way than I ever imagined.

Last Sunday, we were shooting a corporate event scene at an art gallery in Chelsea. Across the street I noticed a bit of a hubbub. I learned it was the show for Band of Outsiders. No, there were no extra tickets, but I was told I could hang outside and watch the comings and goings. Sure! I'll make the most of what I can get. I situated myself in a good spot with the other photographers and started shooting some very pretty people in great clothes (more on that in my next post). When a white Town Car pulled up and I saw the top of a very red-haired head. I gasped, that could only be one person - Grace Coddington! Sure enough, it was. I was arm's length from one of my major style icons. I began snapping away and getting teary and laughing at the same time. I think I got a bit hysterical. I even called out "I love you Grace!" like a kid at a boy band concert. (What I meant was "I respect and admire you!"). But I managed to keep it together and take these photos.

Grace with that determined expression we're all familiar with after The September Issue

Raydene Salinas, wearing a great fashion photographers outfit: stylish, comfortable 
and ready for quick moves. 

While we photographers were waiting for guests to arrive, I befriended the darling and empathetic Raydene Salinas, Huffington Post photographer and photo editor. It was a relief to share my star struck excitement with her. She laughed with me and said she wished everyone was as enthusiastic about style.

Garance Doré and her great smile. 

No sooner than I could catch my breath from seeing Grace, up pulls another car with Garance Doré and Scott Schuman. I regularly follow both of their blogs. Garance writes in such a friendly open tone that reading her blog feels like a chat with a girlfriend. She's wearing the Valentino Rockstud shoes I've lusted after for some time. I wanted to make a connection with her, so I introduced myself and we shook hands and I stammered out "I really like your blog." She smiled and said thank you. (Note to self: practice more intelligent comments when meeting my style icons!)

Scott Schuman of The Satorialist and Garance Doré of the eponymously named blog. 

Simon Doonan, creative ambassador of Barneys New York. He's easy to spot in his signature 
flower-print shirts and majorly monogramed Goyard bag. 

I adore Simon Doonan and I actually felt comfortable enough to strike up a conversation with him. He's written six books that I've read. They are all personal and very funny so I feel I know him. He has a new one coming out this month, The Asylum, "a collage of couture reminiscences and hysteria." Sounds like a must-read.

Linda Fargo, senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman's fashion office and store presentation. 

Do an image search of Linda Fargo and you will see someone who is always dressed elegantly and up-to-the-minute. Of course, she has Bergdorf's as her closet, but she certainly wears it well.

Even though I was on the fringes, it was a thrill to be in NY for fashion week. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be on the guest list.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Back to School with Flair: College Review Issue, August 1950

I've always loved magazines. It's with pleasure and anticipation that I turn the pages of my favorites, dipping into another world of color, glamour and possibilities. More than "wish books" the best ones open windows to inspiring lifestyles and spark concrete ideas that I can incorporate into my wardrobe and home and what I want to see, read and do.

One of the best, Flair, was created by Fleur Cowles, and published from February 1950 to January 1951. Cowles was a visionary and created a magazine that was unlike anything at the time or since. Covering fashion, travel, art, interior design and literature. In addition to the fabulous articles featuring contributors such as Jean Cocteau, Katherine Anne Porter, Gypsy Rose Lee, Salvador Dali and Tallulah Bankhead, each issue is a thing of art in itself, with an artful mix of photography, illustration, intricately cut pages.

Once again, it was my BFF (Best Fashion Friend) Karen, who introduced me to this wonderful find and loaned me the original copies that she's collected. And because it's back-to-school season, below are some spreads from the college issue with excerpts from the actual copy. The writing is a bit quaint and fun to read. All the issues are so visually rich, I have plans to feature more in upcoming posts.

Inside front cover. 

Big men on campus. Such as Bob Jennings, president of the Triangle Club, the local high-kicking, song-hitting drama and social group. He majors in English, is polishing up a script to try out on
Hollywood and will round the world on a three-year cruise in a private schooner after graduations.

The mouton-collared greatcoat originated in the stiff cold weather bouts of the upper Midwest, has in the past few years blown into every northern campus town, many a big city. Collegians find these coats recapture the rah rah of flask-era raccoon without as much weight. They also recreate the bygone swell's mink or caracul-collared coat without like expense.

The photo on the left: Commonsense fashions have a way of spreading from East to West, or West to East. This Princeton man looks right, is right, in his Eton cap with backstrap. Today's high fashion news in shirts, the round-point pin collar; a constant favorite, the madder foulard tie.

 On right: A well-thought-out wardrobe relies on color and shape and endless combinations, is best when compact. It is, at first, as basic as freshman courses. Color is the first consideratjion. Which basic color is basic enough to take us through the entire year? Bright red. A good contrast and companion to red 365 days of the year? Black. We need a third color to accent and relieve the intensity of red and black. White. A well-thought-out wardrobe comes close to being, like college, a four-year plan. Work and fun, but worth it.

How to combine red and black and white into, first, eight costumes; and then, by turning all the flaps, another eight costumes. You take it from there...

Gray Matter -- Gray, dark gray, is a matter of moment at the moment and the darker it is, the better it looks.

It is little effort for Marjorie Clarke, Smith, '51 to maintain her position as a BWOC (big woman on campus). Marjorie is good-looking, hard-working and serene, combines her hearty interest in local Smith doings with frequent weekends at Yale and Dartmouth.

Tall, brown-eyed Charlene Weiss, a junior at U.C.L.A., has the energy, good health and independent mind which characterize the California coed.

Cocktail parties in upperclassmen's rooms are a Harvard classic, a pause in the day's occupation between the football game and an informal House dance...Short, bare-topped dresses with jackets are a fashionable hedge for uncommitted evenings...The incoming generation knows the ropes, takes the sacred code of student taboos with a grain of salt, recognizes that the simple habit of being agreeable is the secret of that mystic word, poise.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Art 2 Wear: San Miguel de Allende

I had my first experience photographing a runway show! A group of designers and fashionistas led by India Bastien in San Miguel de Allende organized a weekend-long fashion event called Art 2 Wear. I attended the fashion show held on a large tented stage in the center of town two weeks ago on Saturday, August 17th. Free and open to the public, the event drew a large and all-age diverse crowd. It was a long show, about five hours. I was there for the last half, positioning myself with the other photographers at the end of the runway. It was a thrill!

There was a DJ playing high-energy catwalk music and then it suddenly died. While the poor DJ tried to fix the sound system, one of the resourceful organizers had a group of mariachis from El Jardín, the main plaza, pop up on the stage and play. They were dressed so sharp, they're naturals on the runway.

Designs from Tuna Boutique, this dress modeled by Mittie Roger

Beautiful traditional style on the street. 

Opening entertainment with great flair and style for the clothing line Apashanka, by designer Apashanka araña tejedora

I fell in love with Apashanka's sexy designs using traditional embroidery but in a bold modern way. This dress worn by Mittie Roger.

The Apashanka dresses were modeled with Cock of the Walk boots. 

The fashion show ended with the tribal, hipster Mexico City designs of Summer Romero

It was a fabulous event, full of sensory delights. The range of creativity and talent in San Miguel is a constant source of surprise and inspiration. This year was such a success, there are plans for a bigger Art 2 Wear festival next year and I hope to be there at the end of the runway once again!