January 28, 2013

Where Light and Dark Meet

Couture week transports us to a time of elegance. As much as we would hope to remain in such a saccharine fantasy, we cannot. We return to wintertime, with its brooding color palettes and gothic florals. Yet this chilly realm is not without its own version of romance: we mix dark and light in order that we might still cling to our sugar-coated fantasies.
“Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
-Kurt Vonnegut

Moschino Cheap & Chic graphic print silk tank top (available here), A/wear floral skirt (available here), Alexander McQueen box clutch, Charlotte Olympia platform pumps (available here).
Kurt Vonnegut's musings inspired my play between dark and light. While he urges us to hold on to our sweetness, we may find a new fashion dimension by maintaining a whisper of hardness. I am a color enthusiast, but darkness may bring out the lightness in us all.

January 22, 2013

Christian Dior Spring 2013 Couture

Relative newcomer to the house of Christian Dior, Belgian fashion designer Raf Simons showed the Spring 2013 Haute Couture show amongst a set of vibrant green foliage. In this fashion garden, the first breaths of spring emerged and Simons's aesthetic came to a ripe bloom.

The collection proves that his seasoned taste in minimalist tailoring can flourish under an arc of feminine charm. Technique was the reigning queen here, as it ought to be in the world of couture. Whereas select couture designers get carried away by a cacophony of detail, Simons's floral embellished frocks were extravagant and bold, yet most importantly tasteful. The use of color for these designs was sublime - a dark, glittering blue against translucent black; sparkling layers of red encircling petal pink, gold, blue and green.

Most of all, the sharpness of Simons's minimalism for Jil Sander took an exciting turn towards the dainty. The woman who wears the angular periwinkle dress is self-assured, have no doubt, but she does not sacrifice girlish charm for her power.

The simplest looks were masterfully done. Take note of the canary yellow gown with a cut-out sheer panel by the thigh. It is obvious that Simons knows his fabrics, for he has manipulated it into a cut that rests perfectly upon the body. Such craftsmanship puts other designers to shame.

Although the brief usage of luminescent fabrics did not quite succeed in enticing me and the outfits of layered separates proved somewhat unflattering in their bulk around the hips, the show was still an obvious high point for Simons. He is settling into his new seat of fashion power, and it is one that suits him.

Images from Style.com

A parting note: I have nothing but appreciation for the individuals who enliven couture with the technical skill and attention to detail that it demands.

Click here to the view the show in its entirety.
I recommend taking advantage of the Zoom tool; only up-close can one fully enjoy a haute couture design.

January 15, 2013

Weave Me Alone

I love to collect handicrafts throughout my travels. This instance of souvenir shopping supports craftsmanship in a world becoming increasingly consumed by factory work. Forgo the tourist traps of magnets and tote bags emblazoned with the name of your current destination for a trinket that is more exotic. In the case of fashion and accessories, crafty finds add another dimension to a mainstream wardrobe. When we all shop at many of the same stores, it is nice to diversify.

Aruba is a notoriously touristic vacation island, but I discovered this hand-woven bucket bag on my recent getaway. My new addition marks a departure from a previously leather-focused collection of bags. It is roomy enough for my everyday necessities, yet upon the shoulder it is a subtle postcard from the latest destination.

Top: Elizabeth Peyton for Marc by Marc Jacobs; Jeans: Earnest Sewn.

I love to acquire colorful accessories, and I am excited to experiment with ways in which to pair this beautiful color scheme with varied apparel.

Have you discovered any unusual souvenirs in your travels?

January 12, 2013

A New Year of Color

Although I'm a bit late to the party, I would like to impart some commentary on the turning of the new year. This transition is distinct in that it is a universal time for people to decide on a new vision for themselves. We sit down and transcribe a list of ways in which we would like to remake our personhood in the coming year. It is a noble effort, yet most would agree that it comes to naught as the newness of the year wanes and we settle into our old habits.

I could wax eloquent about the manner in which I hope to evolve this blog and my own personal fashion identity, but specifics seem to stick to their original form - writing, that is, rather than transferring into daily life.

This blog has carried itself into something more than intended at its initial birth. As Girl Loves Color approaches its third year of existence, it also approaches a celebration of the development of a new kind of creative thinking. My writing has matured from brief captions into analytical prose; my subjects have evolved from simple features to more complex juxtapositions between the niches of the art world and my own fashion ideas. Girl Loves Color has expanded upon my ideas of color and entered into something more: a different mode of thought, a different set of perspectives on the ways in which I bring creativity to various areas of life. What it is, I can't say exactly. The blog has brought itself here, guiding my teenage hand to the point at which I type these words.

Kathryn Schulz in this week's New York Magazine proposes, "maybe we humans change the way species do: through random variation." We make specific attempts to help ourselves (in this specific example, Schulz discusses the genre of self-help books), but is this really how we change?
Schulz says that the self helps itself. We dream up different hypotheses, but ultimately we must "throw all the options at the occluding wall of the self and see what sticks."

So, here is to a year of trying new things. I hope to bring Girl Loves Color more into the practice of my everyday life: becoming inventive in my everyday outfits and shopping habits, letting the inspiration I feel online flood my real-life fashion circumstances. I can't make a list of specifics to help me achieve these things, but I can try a multitude of things in order to make it work.

We can know how we wish to change, but we cannot identify what makes us change: this is the conclusion of Schulz's argument. And we can bring it to fashion as well.

I'm going shopping today, and I feel more informed than ever about the ways in which I want to update my wardrobe this year. I know how I want to bring colorful fashion to my 2013, and I am willing to experiment in order to fulfill this goal. I may not know what will bring me to the point I will be at on this day 2014, but I will know that somehow I got myself there.

Happy (belated) New Year!