November 27, 2012

Lust List: Bright Scarves

One of the reasons I'm so fascinated by color is that it can have such a powerful influence on one's mood. There has been a significant amount of research on the impact of distinct hues, but color as a whole seems to be universally uplifting.
As I am surrendering to a monotone formula of getting dressed in the morning, scarves have risen significantly in my wardrobe hierarchy. For me, scarves provide an easy way to counteract an all-black dilemma.

Bright scarves have been ranking high on my shopping list recently, so I've compiled a collage of my picks.

Lust List: Bright Scarves
Clockwise (from top left): J. Crew silk-cashmere wrap (available here), Friis & Company knit tube scarf (available here), Stella & Dot printed scarf (available here), Erdem scarf (available here), yellow scarf from Etsy (available here), Kate Spade abstract printed scarf (available here), Mary Katrantzou square scarf (available here), Tory Burch scarf (available here).

November 19, 2012

The Tribulations of Fashion

Belgian artist James Ensor is known for his important contributions to surrealist and impressionist painting. Upon a visit to the Museum of Modern Art this afternoon, I found his piece Tribulations of Saint Anthony to be a magnet to the eye. It is a recreation of the story in which Saint Anthony battles a world of temptations, shockingly rendered in a vivid color palette. Created in 1887, the painting brings together a fantastical world characterized by sharp pastel-colored strokes and the darker sins of Hell, suggested by the almost demonic expressions of the creatures that populate this alternate universe.

Ensor's depiction introduces a visual imagination unlike any other work I've seen from his era. His innovation now inspires my own Tribulations of Fashion.

Tribulations of Saint Anthony
Mary Katrantzou bodice (available here) and skirt (available here), House of Harlow 1960 box clutch (available here), Nicholas Kirkwood boots (available here), Alexander McQueen skull ring (available here).
The outfit creation merges texture and color to evoke the details of Ensor's work. Surrealist shoes draw the eye downward, as in the visual path of the painting that leads to the creatures in the bottom left corner. A skull ring is paired with Mary Katrantzou's petal pink garment confections: the perfect harmony between fantasy and darkness.

Ensor described his interpretation as one in which "the bizarre prevails." Here, too, the avant-garde fashion reigns supreme. 

Image from
Collage made with Polyvore

November 05, 2012

Holy Flowers

Leave it to Dazed & Confused to entrance me late at night, the house a chilly depression from the recent power outage. I'm a bit tardy to the party, but in my defense it takes some time for the publication to arrive in New York magazine shops and a bit longer for me to pick up an issue.

The October 2012 issue is emblazoned with a mantra, "Temptation" across the cover. Flip to the issue's most awe-inspiring fashion editorial, "Holy Flowers" and one is tempted not by springtime - as the floral theme may suggest - but by romance, seduction, mystery.

Floral-centric editorials naturally offer a garden full of floral print clothing and accessories. It never gets old for me (I with a self-proclaimed penchant for petals), but I am always anxious for a new interpretation. "Holy Flowers" incorporates its floral frenzy as props, a point of emphasis to the brooding feminine fashion featured on the pages, a mix of classic girlishness and moody Gothic styles. The focus is distinctly couture: frothy layers of tulle, a feathered Alexander McQueen gown rendered in deep fuchsia, an ornate embellished mask by Maison Martin Margiela.

The excitement here is the floral interpretation. A melancholy romantic tinge meets a darker, almost enigmatic exploration of the notoriously effeminate theme. The images draw you in; they come alive from the page.

The most ingenious of fashion editorials let the eye travel across a planned route. Multicolored petals flung at brocade Dolce & Gabbana garments carry one's vision to the fashion, up to model Zuzanna's impassioned expression. Clad in Marc Jacobs, she lies on a blanket in bloom across the bottom of the spread. And a spiral of flowers carries us into the floating chaos of a lilac Oscar de la Renta confection.

"Holy Flowers" sets the example for the innovative creativity that fashion editorials should aspire to. It's a glorious spread, and it has cemented a top spot in my list of favorite fashion editorials of all time.

Photography: Pierre Debusschere
Styling: Robbie Spencer
Florals: Mark Colle
Model: Zuzanna Bijoch

Images via