October 30, 2011

Forever a Missoni Fan

On Thursday I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit the Missoni store on Madison Avenue along with some fellow fashion enthusiasts. We were accompanied by Luca and Judy Missoni, the son of the original founders of the brand - Ottavio and Rosita Missoni - and his wife, respectively. I learned a lot about the company and how Missoni garments are made, and I greatly enjoyed the chance to look at the merchandise of one of my favorite designer brands.

Missoni, as I'm sure you know, is renowned for its traditional knitwear, most famously the zig-zag pattern. The garments use a wonderful variety of colors and the quality of the fabrics is practically unbeatable.
In the beginning, the simplest movement to make on the knitting machine was that of the zig-zag, which later became a Missoni signature, but as time went on the level of creativity increased. Missoni patterns are created by moving the fabric as it is knit and by pressing the fabric in certain points for a lace-like effect. This led to many twists on the classic zig-zag. Missoni often creates basic straight knits that are fully fashioned, meaning that machines create shapes that are then linked together, so no sewing or cutting is required. There is also the most expensive technique of knit and wear, when a garment is made in one piece.
Missoni has always been innovative and unafraid of experimentation. Missoni was one of the first, if not the first, to use nylon in the mid-70s to create reversible clothing lined with weather-resistant materials, a first in the fashion industry. Missoni uses space dying, when the yarn is dipped in color, to achieve its unique palettes and patterns. For the look of glitter, laminated materials are knit into the fabric.
Missoni is timeless, always looking forward but always staying faithful to the original foundation of the brand. When I asked Mr. Missoni how the look of Missoni has evolved over time, his response was that of the approach to design. Experimentation "kept a kind of edge," and the brand adapted to evolving technologies. The ideas that worked are kept and adapted, and experimentation is solely for the curiosity rather than the need. Although the fashion industry is known to be fast-paced, Mr. Missoni explained that there is no need for the brand to expand quickly, but instead they must go slow.

Please enjoy my photographs that I took at the Missoni store of the lovely designs that stood out to me.

Photographs taken by me.

What do you think of Missoni? Let me know in the comment section.

October 26, 2011

Inspired by Graffiti

If graffiti were a currency, New York City would be one of the wealthiest locations in the world. It's difficult to spend a day in the city without encountering some sort of this street art - though the "art" term is debatable in some cases - whether it be on the side of a building or on the windows of a subway car. In many cases, graffiti consists of messily scrawled signatures, written in the stereotypical font style of graffiti artists. However, there are also examples of beautiful designs that are so imaginative that they cause me to stop and stare in amazement at the beautiful scene depicted on the wall in front of me.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what this has to do with fashion, or perhaps you have the slightest idea after reading the title of this post. If you've read this far, you can probably guess that graffiti is a big source of inspiration for me. It is one of the most creative art forms that exists today, because there is so much freedom in its creation, despite the fact that it's technically illegal (ironic, right?). Graffiti has been so integrated into city life that New Yorkers are used to it, but occasionally we stumble upon that one example that takes our breath away.
The following photographs were shot by me in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on the day of the Vintage Crawl. For this post, I've used these images of graffiti/street art as references for fashion ensembles: my preferred art form. After all, it's slightly easier to assemble a fantastic outfit than spray paint someone's building.

Giambattista Valli velvet blazer, Jil Sander sweater, Sandro corduroy pants, Vivienne Westwood fringe booties, Arielle de Pinto necklace (on top), Fiona Paxton necklace (on bottom), H&M ring set.

The first thing one notices when looking at this graffiti is the use of the color of green, which is the most prominent detail in the piece. Thus green is the highlight of my outfit, yet to create a monochrome ensemble one has to pair together different shades. In my case, I have a leafy green sweater with a texture that is somewhat reminiscent of the plant in the photograph, and dark green corduroys. I added the velvet blazer for sophistication, as well as for the purpose of creating a unique palette of textures. The fringe booties only add to this mixture, also giving the outfit an earthy and bohemian feel that stays true to the vibe of the image. Sculptural gold jewelry represents the architectural lines in the graffiti, which are piled together into layers of art, much like my more subtle translation using a combination of two geometric statement necklaces. The rings add femininity and finish off the outfit.

Carven dress, Tsumori Chisato tights, Rough Justice suede heels, Delfina Delettrez circle bangle.

This outfit was centered around the idea of color bursting out of the darkness, like the rainbow flooding out of the gray trees in the street art. To stay true to this inspiration, I chose a neutral dress with elegant draping to represent the trees and their texture. The tights represent the fun and imaginative quality of the wall, and pop out from underneath the neutral dress. The blue heels are a portrayal of the sky and lend elegance to the outfit, contrasting the quirky and cheerful legwear. This bangle is so unusual and creative, just like the graffiti. 

All photographs taken by me.
Matthew Williamson dress, Alexander McQueen leggings, Nicholas Kirkwood booties, Venessa Arizaga bracelets.

This outfit was based on the contrast between feminine colors and the toughness of skulls, represented by the jawbone of the graffiti in the photograph. The dress is colorful, and the drapes represent the "dripping" detail in the image, while the structure of the dress symbolizes how the art is contained by the shape of the object it is painted on. Neutral leggings with an abstract skull pattern add a subtle touch of toughness, which is only added on to by the fierce Nicholas Kirkwood booties. More color is added with neon bracelets, to help portray the fun craziness of this piece of street art.

What do you think of graffiti? Do you think that artistic graffiti and street art is still a bad thing, or a form of self-expression? Which outfit and graffiti pairing is your favorite?
Let me know with a comment! I read every single one.

October 17, 2011

Inspired by Artwork

When inspiration seems to fail me, all roads lead to Tumblr. An endless portfolio of beautiful images, Tumblr never ceases to motivate me to be creative and imaginative. For this blog post, I have once again turned to Tumblr to create a series of colorful outfits based on various photographs and pieces of art found on the site. Though I wish to give credit to the artists who rightfully deserve it, unfortunately Tumblr rarely notes the mastermind behind these lovely works. All I can say is that I found these images in Tumblr, and each is beautiful in its own right.

Dion Lee blue pleated silk blouse, Chloe green silk bow blouse, Pringle of Scotland cropped pants, Nicholas Kirkwood heels, Phillipe Audibert spike cuffs, bracelets (from top to bottom) by Alexander McQueen, Givenchy, and Lanvin.

I was going for more of an editorial feel here. Pastel tears are represented by the outfit, the green blouse layered under the blue one. These amazing heels represented the eyes, thickly coated with mascara, and their toughness. This fierce, almost scary vibe given off by the eyes is represented in the jewelry as well, which conveys strength and glamour at the same time. I like this contrast between hard and soft, which is also represented in the artwork with the relationship between the colorful streams of tears and the black holes that are eyes. However, the glossy red lips feel elegant, so I attempted to portray this as well in my outfit.

Images via Tumblr

Catherine Malandrino cardigan, Zero + Maria Cornejo dress, Sergio Rossi booties, Cambridge Satchel Co. classic satchel, Marni necklace.

With this outfit, I wanted to portray the beauty and elegance of a sunset, which is what this piece of art reminded me of. I was inspired by the palette of a sunset with this beautiful dress. Both the silhouette of the cardigan and the dress are draped, which represents the waves depicted in the image, as do the lines of the architectural shoes. The satchel adds a classic feel and fits in with the color palette; after all, a sunset is a daily occurrence.

I hope you have enjoyed this post. It was a lot of fun for me to write, though it took a considerable amount of time. Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this! And please do tell me which one is your favorite outfit. I'm curious to know.

Edit: The image for the first outfit in this original version of this post could not be located, so this outfit has been removed.

October 13, 2011

Three Ways: Bright Bag

Now that it's becoming chillier outside, it's becoming increasingly difficult to find colorful clothing in stores. Not only is black stereotypically a New York color, but as the temperature goes down neutrals always seem to be in fashion. For some reason, it just takes so much effort to find a neon sweater or colorful pants that are warm enough to prevent my legs from turning pink.
My solution? A colorful bag! This accessory is rarely seasonal; it can generally be used all-year round, making a colorful bag practical and worth the money, while it also adds pizzazz to any outfit in a way that nothing else can.
Many women seem to shy away from color when it comes to handbags, opting for black or brown in most cases. I can see why these colors are popular choices, but every female I know owns more than one bag. Why not make one of those a colorful one? Though sometimes pricier than their neutral counterparts, colorful bags will stand out from the crowd and will be sure to garner many oohs and aahs - just what any fashionista wants!
Here, I'll show you three different ways to style a bright bag for fall.
Topshop sweater, Current/Elliott boyfriend jeans, Sam Edelman flats, Warehouse printed scarf, RJ Graziano gold cuff.

Why this outfit works: This outfit is comprised of neutrals, so the green bag stands out. The color palette of the scarf, however, helps incorporate the green into the ensemble. These shoes add some more excitement; I actually own this exact pair, and they have to be one of my favorite possessions.
A sweater and jeans create a cozy combination, but when the jeans are rolled up and paired with flat shoes the outfit feels suitable for fall, which is still a transition time.

Topshop blazer, top, and booties; 7 For All Mankind skinny jeans; Anna Mcd cuff.

Why this outfit works: This outfit would be perfect for eating at a nice restaurant. Jeans feel casual, but a blazer and a somewhat fancy top jazz up the look, as do fierce platform booties. The green satchel adds a fun pop of color, while a fluorescent toned cuff adds an artsy touch.

Tsumori Chisato cardigan, Madewell shirtdress, Topshop tights, Frye combat boots, Michael Michael Kors bracelets.

Why this outfit works: The green bag is simply adding color to a palette of mostly neutrals. A blue shirtdress has a sweet mix of masculine and feminine, while combat boots add a contrasting touch of toughness. An oversize cardigan adds warmth as do black tights, and these bracelets add just the right touch of glam.

Let me know what you think of these outfits in the comment section below. Which one would you wear? Let me know if you're inspired by one of my suggestions or by the idea of buying a colorful bag! I'd love to know.