Tuesday, December 25, 2012

à la mode: *Holiday Season 2012"

Looks from designer Jennifer Carpenter, Lex's of Carytown, and  707 Men's Store at "A Winter Gala" presented by RVA Fashion Week in association with Flames 231, The Firestarter Group and benefitting Dress for Success
I am in utter adoration of this season choices in holiday wear! On my gift shopping excursions this month I was absolutely floored with the fantastic, festive, and fun pieces for consumers to choose from. I am particularly obsessed with all things that shimmer! Glittery, extravagance is most definitely the feel of the moment if you ask me. I feel after 2012 we are making a clean break from the past and headed towards "A New America" with the rise of the younger generation. One of the largest examples of this rise is our President Barack Obama being elected into office for a second term! Barack Obama represents a momentous occasion in history in that his success represents a changing tide in America's demographic   decision making considering the diversity of our nation. American today is diversified in that an more inclusive and tolerant mindset is practically necessary where ever you go in the world in order deal with people on a normal basis. As Vogue says in the first issue of 2013, "Let President Obama's second term be unfettered, inclusive, visionary--even, dare we say it, a little bit fun." As Obama is inaugurated for a second time this coming month, I am excited to see what good Obama will bring the nation, just as much as I am excited that we will continue to see the coveted Michelle Obama and what sartorial genius she will bring women for the next four years. It is no argument that their gorgeous daughters will also be under closer watch sartorially as their adolescence continues in the white house.  

RVA Fashion Week staff working hard backstage.
Back to fashion, this month Dwight and I have found ourselves quite festive throughout our holiday season. If you have caught any of my tweets as of late, you know I have been assisting Richmond Fashion Week prep for this upcoming show season that will occur in April. In November, model calls were held, and two weeks ago, RVA Fashion Week held a Winter Gala at the restaurant, Flames 231, in the trendy downtown Shockoe Bottom area. The Gala supported the Dress for Success Organization whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Executive director Shantell Malachi, a human resource consultant, puts the groups mission simply in the November 2012 issue of Belle Magazine: "We're getting them started on a journey with confidence." As a part of Style Weekly's "Top 40 Under 40" list, she proclaims, "We want to put her in the correct outfit," she says, "but she's not going on an interview to sell a suit. She's going on an interview to sell herself." At this gala, food, and cocktails were enjoyed as models walked the stretch of the restaurant in this seasons newest looks from local designers, and Richmond business who showed marvelous frocks from high end designers. In my fashion, the looks were spot on in regards to what is happening in fashion of the moment. 

There were many shimmery sequined pieces that I loved because while we are all still sort of in the dumps financially, sequins are a giddy reminder that we will not let our destitution ruin the joy of the moment. As we go into 2013 with higher hopes for financial stability, sequins, glitter, and high octane frocks keep us looking forward towards the goal of a more stable economy. I've noticed that sequined shorts are becoming most popular since last season as people are finding the best ways to pair them with solids or a more basic designed top that contrast well with all the sparkle down below.

Shoes and accessories were shown by Salon VIP, Champagne and Shoes, and Random by Ciera 
Brocaded prints and muted metallic hues are the stand out pieces of the season. Velvet is a fabric that I've seen being used more in design as it offers that sultry shinny sheen that catches our eye in certain looks. Solid colored dresses with this shinny sheen are an easy way to look dazzling at holiday parties and out on the town. An good example this month of this trend was at this year's Ms. Universe Pagent, where the winner, Olivia Culpo, from the USA wore a full, all red, long-sleeved dress with a velvet top which showcased her breast quite voluptuously from the Georges Hobeika Fall 2012 Haute Couture line. Her tight bun coupled with the full bottom of her dress made the look very classic and ladylike, especially when she played with it as she walked—very "Dior-like". It's the first time the U.S. took home the crown since 1997. Local Richmond designer, Jennifer Carpenter, and Lex's of Carytown provided fantastic evening looks that fit these trends.

For men, this season is all about the details. A classic male frame, with intricate design detail is  what will bring most attention. Like I emphasized in November, don't be afraid to mix checkered prints, with metallic ties; mix and match those gingham shirts, with suits that shimmer and shine brighter than the rest of the pack. In my fashion, finding interesting colors is the key. Being daring and pairing "off"colors together will make eyes look twice. Men's clothes were shown by The Phoenix, and 707 Men's Store. 

Local designer Brittany Covington brought interesting, edgy looks that included hunter green velvet pieces. Other local establishments that are located in the Carytown area of Richmond included the stores Roan, and Pink. Roan shared sleek and sexy designer pieces—body hugging dress from Phillip Lim 3.0 whose fabric was light but thick enough keep a women warm, and breathable enough not to feel suffocating. The Helmut Lang pieces were sharp and sculptural, perfect for your run of the mill bad girl. A light gray tank top with black sequin geometrical design detail stood out for me because it was high-end and dangerous looking, while being light-weight, and wearable for the girl. Pink showed some darling florescent colored dresses that I adored because the ladylike A-line design of the dresses was classy, simple, and girly. There was an all hot pink knee length dress I am sure is remembered by attendees of the Gala. Be sure to attend the RVAFW shows to be shown April 15th to the 21st.

"Merry Christmas!"
This show was perfect because this was a great way to get into the feel of the season and mingle. Being that this is the time of the year where one will find multiple holiday parties and celebrations around the city, Dwight found himself on call for a gig of his own. Christmas came early for Dwight wore his sequined shorts at, Joe's Inn at the heart of the fan, where the staff of the restaurant, 8 ½, wound down with each other to celebrate the season. Picture this: you are sitting at the bar, beer in hand, and on comes the classic holiday song, "Santa Baby". Unbeknownst to you, the bar's doors swing open and a boy with a Santa hat and red robe is at the entrance. He slips off the robe and reveals a scantily clad, "gay-Santa helper" who comes sauntering your way wearing nothing but a bell, sequined shorts, glittery candy nipple pasties, and bright red boots. It was a hoot as unsuspecting bar customers watched him spread holiday cheer, even going as far as to stick one of his pasties to someone's head as he walked by—priceless holiday surprise! To get an idea of what he looked like sauntering through the packed bar, see his video below.

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