Saturday, September 29, 2012

Style Maven: Patricia Field

Per the video above, being that this is the "January" of fashion, what more of a perfect moment to highlight fashion visionary, Patricia Field, who, in my fashion, while she doesn't consider herself to be a visionary , in my fashion, she really helped to shape the modern view of fashion, if not through my favorite movie, "The Devil Wears Prada", or her resume of business ventures in retail, it is most certainly through her participation in the looks of the coveted HBO series, Sex and the City! In my fashion, during the 90's and early millennia, “Sex and the City” set the standard for being an independent career women during a time when women were exploring a new reality where classic views on misogyny and gender relations were being challenged and exploited like never before. The fashions styled by Field during the show's run was the driving vehicle to delivering the shows retrospective on the the female point of viewwhich then got me to thinking: 1) how does a stylist translate a message effectively with clothes, and 2) what makes a great stylist, a “great” stylist and fashion visionary?

When one thinks of the 2005 movie, "The Devil Wears Prada", yes we first think of the insufferable, Miranda Priestly, played by, Meryl Streep, with that glamorous white bob. We also think about the bumbling naivete of, Andy Saks, played by Anne Hathaway. But the main reason we remember this movie is because of the character that had no lines the entire movie—the clothes! The clothes chosen for the movie is what furthers that voyeuristic view of the fashion industry depicted in the movie, for which reason, I'm sure, served as a large inspiration for those of us pursuing careers in fashion now—at  least it was for me! In 2007, on the way home from a high school class trip to New York, "The Devil Wears Prada" was the in-house movie on the bus ride—that’s when my head space turned from "reality" to obsessing about the glorious world of fashion. I was absolutely captivated by the beautiful images and the possibility of being in a position that allowed me to be surrounded with the ultimate in beauty all the time, at all times of my day. The prospect of dealing with fabulous clothes, photographs, and gorgeous people all the while exploiting the beauty of our world aiding in consumer’s buying decisions by suggesting what designers around the world were producing marvelous creations seemed like a natural progression of where to use my talents considering, at the that time, I was an obsessive photojournalist and photographer for my school’s yearbook.

Even though I must confess, the sardonic, aloof, austere attitude depicted of Miranda Priestly tickled me so; it is the thought of being around physical beauty all day that energizes my love for the industry. The movie did a good job of depicting the process of developing a world class fashion magazine. While fictional, "The Devil Wears Prada" uses a lot of fictional use of real fashion figures which helps to take us further behind the scenes of the fashion industry and the people who run it. The styling of each character is, in my fashion, what gives us that real life sense of what the fashion world should be if we were a part of the industry ourselves. It’s as actor, Stanley Tucci (who plays Nigel), says in one of the DVD featurettes, “Fashion is the film. We [actors] are the adjuncts to the film.” Considering all of this, I suppose it would be accurate to say that indirectly, Patricia Field, would qualify as one of my greatest inspirations in fashion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Serious Style: Working With What You Got

As I mentioned in my Editor’s Letter at the beginning of the month, I wanted to touch on interior design and sustaining a comfortable abode. When Dwight and I first moved into our apartment a year ago, to test out the cable, we watched a movie OnDemand. Feeling our inner child, we choose to watch a movie we hadn’t seen since grade school—FernGully: The Last Rainforest. This animated movie which came out in 1992, is a movie that takes a stand against deforestation and the negative impacts of industrialization on the natural environment (the movie probably serving as the catalyst to my compassion towards the care of Mother Nature).  It’s a gorgeous movie that took a microscopic view of the creatures and fairy people that made up the rainforest, and that’s when Dwight and I were instantly struck with the inspiration for our house—a botanical garden of cozy comfort. We wanted to re-create that dank, yet soothing aura like that at the bottom of the rainforest floor. Since then we have thus made that vision come together quite nicely, especially evident by our guest’s compliments and their reluctance to leave once they claim a comfortable spot on our sofa. (Contrary to popular practice, in my fashion, considering our home didn't look exactly how we wanted it to look when we moved in, now would be the perfect time for us to have a housewarming!)

Through the years we have been able to be quite” resourceful”, which is our master plan of decoration! In my fashion, being resourceful means finding multiple uses for one object, especially when it comes to design. Design is all about being abstract and finding beauty in the strangest places. For example, at the beginning of this month I challenged myself to put old pieces of our broken furniture I had kept (pieces of furniture that I "intended" on putting back in place someday) together in a way that would be useful as a night stand. The pieces I had to use were the bottom board of a broken drawer, and plank pieces from the back of our old bed frame. The concept for execution: simple, modern, and useful. Dwight suggested we go get wood glue, spending no more than 5 dollars, and I fashioned the plank pieces onto the board in a simple, modern design. I waited about 2-3 days for it to dry (3 to be safe). It worked perfectly.

1) Gather pieces; 2) Make measurements; 3) Add pieces to board; 4) Wait to dry

This is why I am a heavy advocate for being environmentally conscious. There are so many uses for the things we consider trash! Recycling and being "resourceful" is a great way to build personal style because it’s nice to keep the stuff in your life that resonates with you in one way or another because as supermodel, Dayle Haddon, postulated about modeling in the recent HBO documentary About Face: Supermodels Then and Now the same can be thought about style: It is about, "how you  translate your experiences, good and bad, into something that is meaningful to yourself and other people." The dismembered pieces of furniture that at one time served one purpose, now, serve a whole new purpose, bringing an old piece of my past back to life as it assumes its new position in my life as my new night stand—and, I only spent 5 dollars in the process to make something I really needed, and saving money, I am sure, would be reason enough for most of us to be “resourceful” and think twice before we throw out an “old” item.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bit-O-Inspiro 14

A fantastic magazine I discovered this past weekend that has great fashion and style coverage called, BULLETT magazine, has profied Pharrell at a new stage of his life, and, in my fashion, the above quote is great advice to young men about understanding what women want.

Preserving Style: Teavana

"It's tea time."
Vogue, December 2003
Lately I have been on an experimental quest to find the best tasting teas for my daily morning wake up. With Green tea, Chamomile tea, and Earl Grey, being my usual favorites, this month I have been mulling over the tastes of other traditional style black teas including English Breakfast, Lady Grey, and Irish Breakfast tea flavors (aside: Lady Grey being a new favorite). These black tea flavors have been good for waking me up for these chillier fall days we've been getting as of late. Last month was the perfect time for me to have tried out a fruitier line of teas which included flavors such as Peach, Blueberry, Wild Berry, Raspberry, and Black Cherry. It was perfection because instead of drinking hot teas during the hot months, these fruitier flavors as iced tea woke me up just as well as hot tea, for the chilled shock of berries was a real eye opener. Always with a pinch of honey to sweeten my drink and I am good to go.

Last weekend walking in Stoney Point Fashion Park, a cute Teavana associate gave me a few samples of their new Golden Mojito flavored White Tea, which had my tongue’s taste buds spiking every which way from the sweet and sour tastes of this warming tea. As described in the pamphlet I was given upon my departure, this particular tea is a "sweet and sour citrus blend of three types of pineapple, sweet orange and 'super fruit' sea buckthorn." I love when you drink tea and you get that sensation as if as I had been warmed by a cashmere scarf that has draped itself around me from the inside out. One can feel the warm passing of herbal liquidity flowing like a river down ones throat and into the stomach where its comfort can really be felt. Perhaps I adopted my love for tea from my mother whom all my life filled the morning air of our house with her aromatic teas and occasional potpourri. She would boil a large pot of potpourri which would fill the air of the house in an arid scent of those dried flowers and leaves, and then she would brew her tea (iced or hot) in her over-sized coffee mug. 

All in all, tea really helps to inspire me for the day. When I take a sip, it’s like my mind dissolves for a second and brings itself back together; a sip, acting as the equivalent of the "refresh" button on one's internet browser. After each sip, I feel calmer, and more collected then before—a more spirited state of mind, especially because I know that what I am drinking is insanely good for my body, anti-oxidant and nutrient wise. I know coffee lovers may feel the same way about coffee as I do about tea (for there was a time when I too used to use coffee to get through the day at work), but just knowing that my body is getting its daily source of disease fighting nutrients has a lot to do with that smug comfort I feel as I drink down a cup of mother nature's herbal delight. 

If you are feeling as though you need to spike up your internal health to look good externally, try drinking tea consistently and try to distinguish the differences in your health per the inclusion of tea in your diet. As my mother always told me "cleanliness is closer to godliness". Tea is great way to flush out the mess in your life, physically and mentally. Read some facts below from the Teavana’s brochure I was given:






Sunday, September 23, 2012

Recap: Spring/Summer 2013 Ready-to-Wear (Part 4)

Jenny Packham

Jeremy Laing

Jeremy Scott

Jil Sander Navy

Jill Stuart

Joanna Mastroianni 

Jonathan Cohen 

Jonathan Simkhai 

Joy Cioci

Juan Carlos Obando 


Karen Walker 

Kate Spade 

Katie Gallagher

Katya Leonovich 

Kelly Wearstler 

Kimberly Ovitz 


Lauren Moffatt 

Lela Rose 


Lisa Perry 

Louise Goldin 

Lye Devon 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Recap: Spring/Summer 2013 Ready-to-Wear (Part 3)

Duckie Brown

Duro Olowu


Elie Tahari 

Elizabeth and James


Erickson Beamon 

Erin Barr 

by Erin Fetherston 

Farah Angsana
by Michael Bastian

Gen Art

Helen Yarmak

Helmut Lang

Hervé Léger

Holmes & Yang 



Imitation of Christ

J. Crew 

J. Mendel

Jason Wu

Jen Kao

Jenni Kane