New Obsession

July 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Been kind of obsessed with Tyler Shields photography lately. Thought I would share some of my favorites.

Enjoy.

 

Balenciaga and Spain part 2

July 1, 2011 § Leave a comment

For those of you who read my blog still, some of you may remember that I posted a blog about an exhibit taking place at the De Young museum in San Francisco about Balenciaga and how Spain and its history inspired his work. Well, I was lucky enough to actually attend this exhibit and it was as amazing as I thought it would be, if not more.

Now, I am going to ignore the fact that the exhibit was full of old women who just had to give their two cents about every single piece and discuss whether they thought one of the pieces was ugly or pretty or if they would wear that dress or not. Let me just say thought that I understand that people are free to state their opinions about the pieces and yada yada yada, I just don’t want to hear those opinions. I also feel that when viewing an exhibit like this, its more about looking at the pieces of clothing as art as oppose to looking at the pieces like they are on display at Neiman Marcus. That is as far as I will go with this rant at this time.

Although I love Balenciaga and own a few pieces by Balenciaga, I never really knew much about Balenciaga until this exhibit. I now have much more respect for Balenciaga as a designer after viewing this exhibit. It was remarkably obvious how he took inspiration from everything that is Spain. Be it the bull fights, the art, the religion, the royalty, or the natives, Balenciaga covered it in a way that is indescribable. The pairing of colors and fabric types was insane and the structure of the pieces was jaw dropping. It really got me thinking about the designers of today compared to some of the great designers of the past, and even the amazing designs by Alexander McQueen. I realized that, besides Alexander McQueen of course, the designers today do not have the skills of a designer like Balenciaga or Dior or Yves Saint Laurent, who got their start by working under tailors and suit makers. In those days that is how you got your start as a designer and you can tell the difference between someone who has those skills and someone who went to school for it and the difference is in the structure of the pieces. Now even though Alexander McQueen was/ is a modern designer, he has the skills and training of a Balenciaga or a Yves Saint Laurent. Its sad to see that that type of structure in clothing is a rarity now a days. You could also see how so many designers have been influenced by Balenciagas designs through out the years be it through the colors or the cuts of the pieces. Each piece there could be worn today and look as amazing as it did in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

Below are pictures of pieces that I loved that were at the exhibit. Since I was not able to take pictures in the exhibit, these are coming from the book I bought in the gift shop.

Enjoy.

This is a drawing by Balenciaga

Balenciaga was inspired by the Spanish Flamanco dancers and designed a lot of costumes for them. This is one of them.

One of my favorite abstract pieces by Balenciaga.

Versace collection showcase

June 10, 2011 § 6 Comments

Yesterday I had the honor of attending the Versace Collection Showcase at Neiman Marcus. I am really not a big fan of Versace, but I thought the showcase was very interesting. Kate Lanphear, the style director of Elle magazine, led it and talked about the theme and different styles of this seasons collection. The concept of the event was nice and interesting. Basically, you probably could have gotten on the list if you spent enough of your husbands money at Neiman Marcus, and the women screamed tacky wealthy house wives. Everything Kate Lanphear had to say was pretty interesting, but I was still distracted by the brightly colored aging women seated around me. I was a fish out of water. But this whole thing felt like more of a sales pitch rather than a fashion show, yet there were still interesting parts to this whole thing.

So according to Kate Lanphear, Donatella’s inspiration was sixties and especially Edie Sedgwick. She was also inspired by a military elements and jewel tones. Leather was used as a lot of accents and Baroque and serpent like designs found their ways through out the collection. If you do not like Versace and are not a fan of looking like a wife from the movie “Goodfellas”, then most of this collection is not for you. But surprisingly there were some pieces that were elegant and subtle enough like this first dress I have posted below. Other than that, it was the normal and expected styles for a Versace collection.

Below I have posted pictures of the pieces displayed at this showcase.

Enjoy.

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Fashion and Television

May 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today I read an article in the Los Angeles Times about how clothing in a television show can set the tone and define a character. If you think about it, this of course is true. What if all the women in “Sex in the City” swapped clothing with another show that was its complete opposite, like “CSI” or something? Would the show have had the same impact as it did? Booth Moore, fashion critic for the Los Angeles Times and author of this article writes,

Clothing defines the characters in these shows, just as it did in ‘Sex in the City.’ You can’t imagine ‘Glee’ and crooked cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) without her Adidas track suit, gay teen Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) without his designer outfits or guidance counselor Emma Pilsbury (Jayma Mays) without her goody goody cardigans.

But then I started thinking, in the cases of “Sex and the City” or “Glee”, the clothing in these show set a positive tone to the show and has, in some ways, made these shows as big as they are. If clothing can make a show, can clothing possibly break a show? Deborah Landis, founding director of the Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design at UCLA says,

If you dressed ‘CSI,’ ‘The Closer’ or ‘Brothers and Sisters’ like ‘Glee,’ the character would be sabotaged by the look.

It seems to me that in recent years fashion has had more of a starring role rather than just blending into the background. Maybe it’s because I am older or maybe it’s because I am in this industry, but it seems like people have become more fascinated with fashion than they were may be ten years ago. Of course, people have always been fascinated by the more luxurious things in life and who is wearing what, but now people are also becoming curious about how “what” is made. I credit this fascination with the construction of clothing and the more behind the scenes part of it to the hit television show ‘Project Runway’, show where starting off designers compete in different competitions to try to win the ultimate prize, a lump sum of cash to start their own clothing line.

In another article in the same issue of the Los Angeles Times by Melissa Magsaysay called “Reality Unleashed”, she talks about how ‘Project Runway’ and other unscripted shows have demonstrated that the fashion business was “good for TV.” Magsaysay writes,

“Project Runway” lifted a curtain on the fashion industry, bringing usually behind the scenes individuals – magazine editors, stylists and designers – to millions of homes. It offered competition, drama, lively characters, and eye candy in the form of sometimes gorgeous clothes and the models who wear them.

Robert Thompson, professor of TV and pop culture at Syracuse University says,

In the case of fashion, many people have always watched TV for the clothes anyway. Look at ‘Dynasty.’ It can be argued that some of those shows were about the clothes. We watch award shows for clothes. Fashion has a good built-in audience.

One of the things I love about fashion is that fashion is unique and everyone has an opinion about it, and I think that shows like ‘Project Runway’ have given viewers the opportunity to become fashion critics and voice their own opinion about the fashions they see during these shows. And of course, it’s gratifying to all of us to criticise something and seem like you know what you are talking about.

A change of pace

May 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

I haven’t written much in previous posts and I am truly sorry about that. Life has gotten busy and sadly my blog has been pushed lower and lower on my list of things to do. Instead of posting nothing I have chosen to post pictures, thinking that it’s better than nothing, but I really would like to share my thoughts more. This is my written proclamation that I promise to post more blogs containing both photos and text in the future.
Keep reading and enjoy.
K

The inevitable post…

May 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

We all knew that this post was going to happen, no matter how long I tried to delay it. It’s the post where I talk about what I think of Kate Middleton’s Princess Catherine’s wedding dress. Everyone has said what they think of it and now I guess it’s my turn. So lets begin.

First off, I think it’s amazing that she decided to go with a dress designed by Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton. That alone almost made me cry.

The official Royal website posted why Catherine chose Sarah Burtons dress as her own and more information about the dress details, etc. Here is a little of what they had to say:

Miss Catherine Middleton’s Wedding Dress has been designed by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen.

Miss Middleton chose British brand Alexander McQueen for the beauty of its craftsmanship and its respect for traditional workmanship and the technical construction of clothing.  Miss Middleton wished for her dress to combine tradition and modernity with the artistic vision that characterises Alexander McQueen’s work.  Miss Middleton worked closely with Sarah Burton in formulating the design of her dress.

The dress epitomises timeless British craftsmanship by drawing together talented and skilled workmanship from across the United Kingdom.  The dress design pays tribute to the Arts and Crafts tradition, which advocated truth to materials and traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often Romantic styles of decoration.  Ms Burton’s design draws on this heritage, additionally giving the cut and the intricate embellishment a distinctive, contemporary and feminine character.


As for the dress, I think it was perfect for the occasion. It’s not like as a soon to be princess she could have worn some outrageous or sexy dress. She followed the rules and pushed them at the same time, I think at least. And I LOVED the veil.

Simon Doonan wrote this amazing article in Slate Magazine that talks about the wedding so eloquently. Here is a little of what he said about Catherine’s dress:

As I watched Kate Middleton in her Sarah Burton-for-the house-of-Alexander McQueen frock, I scrutinized her for any traces of unkind chic. Alexander McQueen, the subject of a poignant retrospective opening at the Met Costume Institute on Monday night, was known for wild experimentation. But Kate was pitch perfect. Nothing too insanely fashiony or arch. No stylish self-indulgence. Nothing radical or innovative. Tudor-esque in silhouette, the frock had a tight bodice and sleeves, contracting with a flaring structured skirt. Mary Queen of Scots meets Grace Kelly. She was in every respect an archetypically pretty princess, an Audrey Hepburn for the 21st century!

Congrats to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

soon to be princess

the princess in her sarah burton dress

Payless?

April 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I love how the new “Payless” commercial has the girl wearing Marc by Marc Jacobs clothing. May just be me but Marc by Marc Jacobs just doesn’t scream “Payless” to me.

just one of the many Marc by Marc Jacobs pieces in this commercial

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