Month: September 2012

New York Fashion Week: Spring 2013 collections

With New York Fashion Week wrapping up tonight, it’s time for a look at how some of our favourite designers are envisioning the future, post Mayan apocalypse.

Interestingly, it seemed like there was a definite 70s feel to many of the collections I looked at, particularly in terms of silhouette. There didn’t seem to be a lot of prints, and many of the collections had a very restrained colour palette. Few of them felt particularly spring-y to me. It’s going to be a somewhat somber new year.

With that said, here are some of my favourite looks from New York Fall Fashion Week 2012.

Best Pattern: Thakoon

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Unlike in previous years, patterns seemed scarce on the runways. This delicate and whimsical birdcage print from Thakoon immediately captured my imagination. So gorgeous!

Best Color-Blocking: Diane von Furstenberg

This was one of the collections which seemed to me to have a retro vibe; a lot of the silhouettes, whilst stunning on the runway, struck me as difficult to pull off on the unglamorous streets of Everytown, as worn by women lacking the proportions of these models. Still, I adored the colour combinations created by DVF, and take it as a sign that color-blocking isn’t going anywhere. I will also be using these looks as inspiration when colour-coordinating future outfits – love the mix of pastels and brights!

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Best “Ooooh!!” Moment: Jason Wu

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I not quite expecting the restrained, leather-heavy collection sent down the runway by Jason Wu, though I suppose that surprise is the prerogative of the artist. I was wowed, however, by this stunning evening gown; sparkly tulle is my fashion Achilles’ heel – I will never not love a garment designed around it.

Best Use of Colour and Texture: Donna Karan

No one does monochromatic, textured looks like Donna Karan. I always admire how she works with colour, texture, and shape to create timeless, beautiful pieces. I love her palette this year – faded, bluish slate, soft blush, and raspberry – and I like the simplicity and classic beauty of her silhouettes, especially that 1950s-inspired dress.

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Best Silhouette: Zac Posen

This was another heavily retro-inspired collection that showcased amazing tailoring. Practically every look that came down the runway had me ooh-ing and aah-ing over its Old Hollywood glamour.

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Best Lace: Vera Wang:

What can I say: I’m a sucker for lace. Vera Wang always delivers on super feminine, soft, pretty looks and this wasn’t an exception. Love the colour and this modern iteration of lace.

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Best Outerwear: Michael Kors

Michael Kors’ collection was all about clean lines and primary colours. Oh, and stripes! Lots and lots of stripes. I guess this is one trends that, luckily for fans like me, isn’t going anywhere. But my favourite look was this divine red coat. How chic is it?

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Best Future Red Carpet Moment: Marchesa

Marchesa knows how to bring glamour to a red carpet, as any countless number of awards show can attest. Their spring 2013 collection was very much India-inspired, with absolutely gorgeous takes on traditional saris. This dress has a more 1920s feel to it, but I think it’s stunning. Who can you imagine wearing it?

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Favourite Overall Collection: Oscar de la Renta

It comes as no surprise that my favourite collection from New York Fashion Week this fall was the one I most looked forward to seeing: Oscar de la Renta. At the risk of sounding like an obsequious fan, his clothes have such an amazing, timeless beauty. They always give a subtle nod to the past, without being overtly retro or stylized. They are simply … classic. Here are some of my most favourite looks.

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What were your favourite collections at New York Fashion Week for Spring 2013?


Weekend style: three takes

This past weekend was one of those rare occasions when all the stars aligned just right: chores got done, friends visited, Costco had a special on sweet ‘n salty popcorn, and the kid gave boundary-testing a (brief) break. Best of all, the weather was a lovely, balmy surprise. Actually, scratch that. Best of all were the nine (!) boxes of books I was gifted on Sunday – and not a romance novel among them. Booyah!

I have to confess that, lately, weekends have had me less than enthused given their tendency to be even more exhausting than a typical work day. Parents of multiple children, I take my hat off to you; I can barely keep up with one toddler. As a further confession, I must tell you that, not coincidentally, my weekend style has been suffering as of late. I get really excited about ‘dressing up’ every morning for work, but ‘dressing down’ for my grocery runs or the “tire the kid out and pray he naps” trips is somewhat less exciting. So, for the last while, my weekend getting-dressed routine revolves around whatever pair of jeans is closest at hand and the grey hoodie I wore practically every day of my maternity leave. Glamorous, right?

Well, if that sounds like a style rut (and it does), consider me free once more. Last weekend I managed to put together not one, but three pretty cute outfits – none of them featuring jeans OR grey hoodies. To celebrate that accomplishment (and perhaps inspire anyone else who’s felt her casual style slipping to the dreaded “grey hoodie comfort zone”), here’s a quick peek at my three takes on weekend style.

Saturday morning: Grocery shopping

Chinos, Banana Republic; shirt, Marc by Marc Jacobs; shoes, Joe Fresh; bag, Yves Saint Laurent

Another point of pride is the fact that I didn’t wear any black all weekend long. In recent weeks, on the odd occasion when I felt like my chores called for a more pulled-together look, I usually just went with something black. Safe, bland, uninspiring, snooze. Don’t get me wrong: I like black just fine; but, let’s be honest, black can easily be nothing more than a comfort blanket.

For this outfit, I resisted the urge to wear my black flats, and took a cue from the colours in the pattern of my Marc by Marc Jacobs shirt – pairing pink with purple and cobalt blue. If that’s not taking risks with colour, I don’t know what is.

The lovely hydrangeas were for my mom (and dad), for grandparents’ day on Sunday. Unlike Madonna, I love hydrangeas; a couple of stems can look fantastic on their own, and they can last for weeks. I don’t care if they’re considered over-hyped or un-hip these days; as far as I’m concerned, trends are for clothes, not flowers. I bought my bouquet at Costco, and it’s a deal you can’t beat: $9.99 for 3 stems. Costco has the best reasonably-priced flowers around.

Saturday afternoon: Clothes shopping

I made a quick trip out to the shopping monolith that is South Common in the hopes of finding a couple of new blouses. I’ve been finding myself wanting to experiment more with layering, and coming up short in the blouse department; I have a lot of camisoles and shells, but very few sleeved, collared tops I can layer under things. Normally, I don’t put a ton of effort into my shopping outfits, but the warm, sunny afternoon inspired me to pull out one of my summer dresses for one last (?) hurrah.

Dress, Zara; shoes, Nine West; belt, Kate Spade; bag, Yves Saint Laurent; sunglasses, Gucci

Two things. One, I just picked up these Nine West platform sandals from the remnants of their end-of-summer sale for a sweet $26. I’ve had a hankering for this type of chunky sandal for a while, and the price was right. They look unmanageable, but are actually comfortable. To be honest, because of the price, I didn’t double-check if the material is leather; if it is, it’s very, very soft – a must for strappy shoes, I find. The heels are a bit clunky-looking, especially from the back, but I kinda dig the 70s vibe. Also, they make me 6 feel tall. Enough said.

Second, as much as I love the print and neckline of this Zara dress, I think we’re headed for a break-up. I have long feared that it was simply too short for me, and my fear was confirmed this weekend. Bending down to strap my son into his car-seat, I felt a definite breeze on my upper thighs. Luckily, our neighbours weren’t around at that exact moment to witness any inadvertent indecent exposure. But I have learned my lesson. I am debating whether to try turning the dress into a top, or just let it go altogether. I think it may have to be the former, unless someone can talk me into a sweet swap.

Sunday afternoon: Coffee date

Skirt, Winners; shirt, H&M; shoes, Nine West; bag, Longchamps

I love the look of crisp white shirts, though I usually don’t feel like I can pull them off. This is the only white shirt I’ve ever felt really comfortable wearing, mostly because it’s a more relaxed, wrinkly-on-purpose style. And it can still look polished, as demonstrated here, tucked into my go-to skirt of the summer.

Easy, breezy, indeed.

Two pairs of shoes, a dress, and a pizza place

OK, ixnay on the pizza place. I’ve been watching too much TV Tropia and reminiscing about the days when Ryan Reynolds had curly hair and better taste in blondes. Anyway, this post isn’t a complete tease: there will be shoes, and a dress.

Believe it or not, I am still looking for a cream blouse; no luck yet. But I keep finding other things to buy – quelle surprise! Having said that, I actually didn’t buy many of them. Instead, I’ve been enjoying getting reacquainted with my work wardrobe (which makes up about 80% of my closet) and focusing on updating my jewelry stash. In place of my usual showy, trendy pieces, I’ve found myself drawn to more delicate, discrete things. Most of them still qualify as costume jewelry, but of higher quality and, hopefully, greater durability. Although, I must confess that I had been secretly denigrating Winners sterling silver jewelry for a while (after one too many pieces starting turning black) and it turns out that my complaints were rather unfounded; a good scrub with a toothbrush and some toothpaste, and they all look as good as new again. Tip of the day there.

Anyway, back to the clothes. I had been holding my mom’s Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress hostage on an “extended loan” basis for some time, and she finally put her foot down. Back went “my” lovely. As luck would have it, I had just bought a new pair of shoes to go along with that dress – nude patent leather Nine West shoes.

Nine West Rocha

I’m kidding, of course. I would never buy a pair of shoes for just one outfit; even at 50% off, that’s still silly. These pumps work with absolutely everything, and they make me look like one of those 7 foot tall Amazons. See?

Courtesy of Rachel Foley Photography

I bought the Nine West shoes at Winners in what qualifies as a bit of a “bender” for me these days – two pairs of shoes in one day. The other pair was a grey suede Enzo Angiolini one with sky-high heels. Possibly some of the most comfortable shoes I own, thanks to the tall platform.

Enzo Angiolini Smiles pumps

I love this colour because it’s a brown-based, warm-toned mushroom grey, which works well with most neutrals (similar warm greys, navy, camel, black). Here are a couple of examples. Now that my feet are re-discovering the love part of their love-hate relationship with heels, this type of rounded-toe platform pump is my go-to footwear choice for days when I rock skirts or dresses at the office – in other words, most of the time. The style is pretty and ladylike, which are the adjectives that I think describe most of my wardrobe these days. [By way of contrast, pointy-toed pumps are waaay sexier. Which is not a bad thing, at all, but they definitely bring a different vibe to an outfit. Pairing them with a dress that’s sweet and girly makes for a questionable combo, much like pickles and chocolate. Only some people can handle it with aplomb.] With that in mind, $140 for two pairs of shoes that are versatile, comfortable, and decent quality is a pretty good deal.

But my luck didn’t stop there. Consignment store shopping has been a bit of a bust recently, but it redeemed itself somewhat when I came across this pretty Trina Turk wrap dress.

Trina Turk Kiki wrap dress

Although the print is different, overall feel is very similar to the DVF dress my mom repo-ed. Win! I really like the neutral colours of the dress, because they make the dress so easy to accessorize. Win again! Although, sadly, the fabric is not the amazing silk jersey of DVF dresses, it’s still a decent rayon – and a steal for $20. Triple win! Trina Turk dresses usually run around $300, and the L.A.-based label is known for pretty, feminine pieces. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, you may be in luck; Banana Republic was recently featuring a collaboration with Trina Turk, and you may still be able to find the pieces in stores now.

Going back to my original post title inspiration – if my new Nine West shoes are the Ryan Reynolds of this shopping episode, that would make my grey Enzos the, um, other guy, and my Trina Turk dress the girl (obviously). Do you see a resemblance?

Not shabby either









Definitely lust-worthy. [The shoes, that is. I’m more of a Jesse Eisenberg kinda gal.]