Monday, September 29, 2008

For Love Of All Things Pretty and Printed

As far as I can remember, I've always had an affinity with color. When I was little, my favorite going-out ensemble was this shamrock green top and skirt two-piece; not the usual little girl pink lacy dress. I'd rather not talk about the unfortunate fashion choices during my high school years (although believe me, those things really were the "trend" at the time), but I remember always gravitating towards the brighter color, the cooler print/ graphic, not wanting to look dull. Pretty much the same went for university, only fabric got a little smaller. Tight, bodycon tees, sometimes showing a bit of skin. Oh I am so glad to have gotten over that. Not that I can still pull it off, even if I wanted to. I could never wear purely black and/or white, much to my boyfriend's disdain. There had to be a pop of color, a statement piece.

My love for matching colors started about three years back, when I saw this editorial (Vogue, Teen Vogue, Cosmo Style? I can't, for the life of me, remember!) introducing colors for spring and clashing them together for the ultimate statement. I fell in love. I was so excited slipping into my voluminous bell skirt in a rich deep hue of green, which I anchored with purple satin pumps that had a bit of bright in it. I knew I looked fabulous, so I didn't really care that some people didn't get it. It was a shift in direction, suddenly wearing everything to match wasn't the trend; clashing colors and prints were. It's so mismatched that it comes off eclectic, kitschy, cool. Fashion, after all, isn't supposed to make sense. It's all about passion, bringing sartorial fantasies to life.

Speaking of sartorial fantasies, where and when else do they best thrive but during fashion week? Here are a handful of my picks.

I think it's interesting how Badgley Mischka shifted to light weight appeal from their almost-signature ornate designs. In place of the rich embellishments Mark Badgley and James Mischka loved to indulge their pieces in,  the fabric this season was sprinkled with soft ladylike prints, which I thought very fitting to the airy garments. Everything appeared delicate and gracefully tendered. One of the highlights for me was a particular cropped jacket in gray with intricate floral cutouts that almost looked like lace.


A sculptural top toughens the floaty skirt

I have always adored the eclecticism that defines Anna Sui's collections. This season was no different. It had a strong sense of the folkloric, all treated to a modern appeal - which I thought was brought on by the touches of gold. I found all the checks, lines, florals, and ethnic prints fused together in a vista of marvelous medley. 


Footwear was detailed with texture in form of weaves, studs, embroideries, and such. All elements were excellently put together creating a collection of quirky and extremely covetable shoes. Now excuse me while I drool.

Check out the crafty weaves and beads.

new It accessory: Woven bib necklace

Matthew Williamson is a master of abstract geometrics. He creates the signature look of Pucci by shifting color palettes this season to vibrant sunburst oranges and yellows, pale peach and forest greens, and some brights teals. The added structure on some pieces' shoulders and sleeves were also a nice touch, creating a sort of symmetry between the lines in print and in fabric. There were a couple of questionable pieces, though, that had some reference to safari trends. To me those looked more like DVF than Pucci.


It's all in the shoulder, lapel, and cuff detailing


Sashaying stunningly down the runway is the collection from Marc Jacobs' melting-pot genius where he mixes checks, metallic tweed, and gingham, yes, in one fabulous outfit. This amalgam of print and textures were seen throughout the show -it is Mary Poppins gone wacko with the watercolors and somehow emerging in all her superstar Nanny glory. A touch of English, a hint of Western, a drop of the Middle East, and some shimmer of the Orient -Jacobs dominates all boarders and accomplishes a zany palette that somehow, in a way only MJ can, works together.


I want that metallic tweed vest!

Purple perfect

On the forefront of diffusion line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, MJ veered his androgynous looks from the severity of black and neutrals. He keeps the structured lines and incorporates it with playful colors, introducing a new playful look to menswear and injecting it with something unmistakably feminine.


Color blocking and printed wide belt

I want to dress my man in head-to-toe Marc by Marc Jacobs aesthetic! Exactly like above picture

Goddess of all my prints-and-patterns fantasies, Nicole Miller does not disappoint. Her new Haiti-inspired prints got my heart racing and me sucking in my breath with awe and deep desire. I have been reading another fabulous page turner by Lesley Lokko and her main character is this beautiful Haitian who is incredibly stylish. In London, her affinity for bright colors and sensual fabric sets off her unorthodox sense of style against the rigid fashions of the women in her society. In my mind's eye I picture the collection on this woman's staggering beauty, her exotic flavor bringing the dresses to vibrant life. 


Pop of color underneath a black blazer

Scrunched up sleeves

Oh my stars. Astronomical dreams and fantasies printed onto fabric.

Starry Arabian nights

I love this. From this photo it looks like a bastardized Filipiniana; where prints and ruffles supersede the traditional Piña Silk fabric

More to follow...

"It's about the joy of dressing up." -Marc Jacobs.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

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