MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear Part II

The collections shown during Paris Fashion Week bustled with nostalgia. Granted, fashion always looks to the past for inspiration; however most of these instances are soon forgotten, replaced by the buzzing current of media driven trends. Fortunately, the Paris Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear collections didn’t take that route. Instead, a return to grace seemed to be the ubiquitous theme on designers’ minds as as the shows were teeming with Medieval, Victorian, and 1960s elegance.

The following include more of my favorite looks and trends from the Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear shows during Paris Fashion Week:

THE OVERCOAT. Ponchos, ulsters, capes, you name it; outerwear was officially the focal point of the Autumn/Winter Paris Ready-to-Wear collections.

Caped Crusaders at Hussein Chalayan and Yves Saint Laurent A/W 2010-2011 RTW

BUTTERY LEATHER. These haute hides are the new ultimate luxury.

Black Leather Like Butter at Celine and Hermès A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Scoring Brownie Points at Valentino and Costume National A/W 2010-2011 RTW

OVERSIZED. Bigger is better in the world of caricatured fashion.

Supersized at John Galliano and Kenzo A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Ginormus Jackets at Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Are You Yeti? Big Fur at Chanel A/W 2010-2011 RTW

SATIN. No longer confined to evenings, satin makes its way to day

Simply Satin at Nina Ricci and Emanuel Ungaro A/W 2010-2011 RTW

TRAINS. Regal, ceremonial, and perfectly pretentious: Why not always travel by train? 

Satin Trained at Maison Martin Margiela and Stella McCartney A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Classically Trained at Alexander McQueen A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Well Trained at Yohji Yamamoto A/W 2010-2011 RTW


Great holy farthingale! Nothing beats this plethora of pleats.

The Future Looks to the Past at Viktor & Rolf A/W 2010-2011 RTW

Alexander McQueen’s last collection was absolutely stunning. Like a High Renaissance painting, the ensembles had a steadfast beauty ethereal in all its rich glory.

The Past is Not Forgotten at Alexander McQueen A/W 2010-2011 RTW



MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Paris Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear Part I

Paris Fashion Week came and went quicker than one can say adieu. The collections shared a certain sense of ease and humor; a welcomed departure from the sexually charged seriousness of Milan Fashion Week. Modern fabrications gave life to Medieval, Victorian, and 1990s silhouettes and color ways, and all of it was noted in the details—exactly what the French are so brilliant at doing. I like to think of it as: French wit.

The following are some of my favorite looks and trends from the Paris  Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear collections.

HOODS. The artistic hood is so damn good.

Not Your Average Hoods at Rick Owens and Gaultier Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

EMBELLISHED SEAMS. Metallic seams are the simplest bling.

Shiny Seams at Elie Saab and Karl Lagerfeld Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

CROPPED. Sweaters and jackets soar to new heights as they shrink in size.

Cream of the Crop at Vivienne Westwood and Balenciaga Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

1990s STYLE STRIPED KNITS. Seriously, striped sweaters are the grungiest fun.

There’s Waldo at Sonia Rykiel and Kenzo Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

Bright Stripes at Issey Miyake Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW


MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Milan Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear

Italians do it better, so they say. Better may not be quite the right descriptive when it comes to fashion; however sexier and definitely more fun come to mind when comparing their American and English counterparts.

As for the Milan Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 collections, color schemes consisting of vibrant reds and deep forest greens seemed to jump right out of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie. Nuances such as a sweater clad midriff or a carefully slashed breast revealed tiny flashes of skin, while Scandinavian motifs and patchwork worked their way in. Embellished hips, fringe, corsetry, and sans pantsenduring trends from past seasons—were well represented within reason. Now I must end this rhyme with a stitch in time.

The following include some of my favorite looks and trends from the Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 Ready-to-Wear shows during Milan Fashion Week:

RED. Standing for sex, power, love, and order: red commands attention wherever it goes.

Taken Aback in Red and Black at Dsquared² and Dolce & Gabbana Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

Redcoats at Armani and Roberto Cavalli Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

DARK GREEN. Luscious dark green is edgy AND pristine.

Exquisitely Green
, Coats for Evening at at Alberta Ferretti and Armani Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

Mixed Greens at Etro and Missoni Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

SCANDINAVIAN MOTIFS. Snowflakes, blossoms, and reindeer comprise; a confectionary aesthetic; the Scandinavian guise. 

Scandinavian Warming Trends
at D&G and Missoni Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

PEEK-A-BOO. Just a smidgen of skin will do.

Sneak Peeks at Gucci and Prada Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

PATCHWORK. Part folk, part arts and crafts; patchwork detailing tells the future, present and past.

Piecing it Together at Versace and Just Cavalli Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

EMBELLISHED HIPS. Hips don’t lie, they multiply; by way of external pockets and statement peplums.

at Bottega Veneta and Marni Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

FRINGE. It’s acceptable to binge, on the lighter sides of fringe. 

Ultra-Femme Fringe at Versace and Iceberg Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

CORSETRY. Boned, laced, and bustiered, the corset is fiercely displayed.

Staying Put at Moschino and Just Cavalli Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

SANS PANTS. Since Lady Gaga started running around in bodysuits, it seems nobody wants to wear pants anymore. Just dance sans pants.

Pitchy Knickers at Dsquared² and Iceberg Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW

Dolce and Gabbana’s Pantsless Procession – Autumn/Winter 2010-2011 RTW


MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. New York Fashion Week Fall 2010 Part II

Although New York Fashion Week’s Fall Ready-to-Wear 2010 collections tended to be somewhat calculated, there were aspects I found to be rather exceptional.  The following include more trends from the New York Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear shows and my favorite lookson the darker side naturally, taking cues from medieval times.

SHEER ALL THE WAY. Like it or not, sheer all the way is here to stay; at least for a season or two.

Enmeshed at Catherine Malandrino and Cushnie et Ochs Fall 2010 RTW

On Detail at Yigal Azrouël and Jen Kao Fall 2010 RTW

EXAGGERATED CURVES. Like a coat of armor, contrasting fabrics and boning create dramatic structure.

Burgeoning Hips at Alexandre Herchcovitch and Donna Karan Fall 2010 RTW

FRINGE. Fringe gets refreshed in edgy colors and shapes.

Fresh Fringe at Paris 68 and Cynthia Rowley Fall 2010 RTW

PEEK-A-BOO. Glimpses of skin is a playful DO.

Peeking Through at Jeremy Scott and Proenza Schouler Fall 2010 RTW

VELVET. Rich, supple and romantic; velvet is a lost love returned for fall.

Snow White and Rose Red at Anna Sui and Alexander Wang Fall 2010 RTW

Velvet Touches at Nanette Lepore and Zac Posen Fall 2010 RTW

1930s STYLE EVENING GOWNS. Long, fluid lines in draping fabrics denote classic evening glamour.

Liquid Gold at Carolina Herrera and Reem Acra Fall 2010 RTW

And by far the most interesting piece of all the NYFW fall 2010 collections.

Hair Dressing at threeASFOUR Fall 2010 RTW

So cool was Betsey Johnson’s Tribute to Alexander McQueen.

Betsey Johnson Fall 2010 RTW



Alexandre Herchcovitch and Donna Karan Fall 2010 RTW

MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. New York Fashion Week Fall 2010 Part I

Although I love New York Fashion Week, I don’t love New York weather in the dead of winter, which is why this season I’m very happy to be a remote observer. The greatness of the New York ready-to-wear shows is that these designers more or less create a guide for consumers in terms of accessible, everyday fashion that is purchasable in stores and online. It’s what the H&Ms, the Forever 21s, and the Urban Outfitters will be using for inspiration over the next few months. And it all starts in New York.

Speaking of which, it’s the last fashion week in Bryant Park, since IMG decided to move the event to Lincoln Center starting next season, a change I’m not super fond of at the moment. Bryant Park is such a charming and romantic locale with its vintage cafe tables and stone walkways and is in such close proximity to the New York Public Library, one of my favorite places in the city, which is where I go to retreat from all the fashion week madness. It will be interesting to see how it all pans outs logistically and socially next season.

I digress.

As for the shows, they generally still had a very serious feel to them. Edgy, unfrivolous investment silhouettes seemed to be key selling points along with safe use of color; black is the new gray, gray is the new khaki, and varying shades of tan and is the new monochromatic way. Patterns were integrated somewhat desperately into the collections, and likewise, the urge to color block everything apparently was a difficult temptation for designers to resist. On top of it all were layers of vintage inspired furs to spell out F-A-L-L in case anyone had forgotten due to all the shorts sightings. In all, the collections were beautiful—but extremely safe executions of classic fall/winter dressing.

Many variations of the following trends were seen at the Fall 2010 Ready-to-Wear shows during New York Fashion Week:

COLOR BLOCKING. There’s absolutely no stopping color blocking this Fall/Winter.

Easy Color Blocking at Narcisco Rodriguez and BCBG Fall 2010 RTW

Sporty Color Blocking at Cynthia Rowley and Y-3 Fall 2010 RTW

Ladylike Color Blocking at Chado Ralph Rucci and Zac Posen Fall 2010 RTW

JUMPERS. It’s official. The jumpsuits of seasons past have metamorphosed into—the jumper.

Jumpers Neck to Neck at Vena Cava and Erin Wasson x RVCA Fall 2010 RTW

Suspended at 3.1 Philip Lim and Betsey Johnson Fall 2010 RTW

SHORTS. Shorts are sophisticated and seasonless when paired with smart legwear and footwear.

Shorts Stories at Nicole Miller and Jill Stuart Fall 2010 RTW

GRAY SPORTSWEAR. Sportswear goes gray all the way come fall.

Gray Days at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Marc Jacobs Fall 2010 RTW

TAN. Monochromatic shades of tan are the new autumnal hues for 2010.

Monochromatic Tans at Mulberry and  Zac Posen Fall 2010 RTW

LAYERED PRINTS. Nouveau grunge consists of a mishmash of layered prints.

Mixed and Layered Prints at Anna Sui and Boy by Band of Outsiders Fall 2010 RTW

FUR COLLARS. Extra large fur collars are fit for snow queens, not snow bunnies.

Fur Trimmings at Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler Fall 2010 RTW


MODUS OPERANDI. Alexander McQueen

This Modus Operandi post is dedicated to Lee Alexander McQueen, who tragically took his own life yesterday. The designer, discovered by his close friend, the late iconic stylist, Isabella Blow, and better known professionally as Alexander McQueen, has always been one of the most fascinating talents in fashion. I still remember the French press referring to McQueen as the “enfant terrible” after being named head designer of Givenchy Haute Couture back in 1996, when I was still a teen.

Quintessentially gothic, what I admire most about McQueen is his ability to channel his dark genius into absolutely beautiful and stunning art that is neither contrived nor cliche. However sadly, it was this macabre energy that consumed him in the end. The following are a few of my favorite Alexander McQueen designs of all time, accompanied by some of his more candid quotes.

“I kind of like it the way it is right now…I believe in that one-on-one sell. I don’t really believe in flooding the market with loads of goods that don’t mean much, and (you) lose your identity.”

Alexander McQueen Fall 2009 RTW

“The pink sheep of the family.” (on himself)

Alexander McQueen Spring 2009 RTW

“If you ask any lady they want to be taller, they want to be slimmer, you know, and they want a waist. I’m not here to make people look like a sack of potatoes.”

Alexander McQueen Shoes Spring 2010 RTW

“Fashion is sacrificial. I’ll give my body over to the general public whether they want it or not! I don’t care!” (When asked about his Samsonite Black Label collaboration)

Samsonite Black Label “Hero” by Alexander McQueen 2007

“British fashion is self confident and fearless. It refuses to bow to commerce, thus generating a constant flow of new ideas whilst drawing in British heritage.”

Alexander McQueen Fall 2006 RTW

Alexander McQueen for Givenchy Couture Spring/Summer 2000

In 2008, Elle magazine asked McQueen, “If you could come back as a dress, which one would it be?” His reply, “My kimono dress from fall ’03.”

Alexander McQueen’s Kimono Dress Fall 2003 RTW

My favorite Alexander McQueen piece, which I was fortunate enough to see at FIT’s Gothic Dark Glamour Exhibition, is absolutely mind-blowing in person.

Alexander McQueen Voss Collection Spring 2001 RTW

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuss

Agreed. Thank you Alexander McQueen for having existed, for your wondrous creative genius, and for your magnificent contribution to fashion. You are forever an inspiration. May you rest in peace.

Net-a-Porter’s Tribute to Alexander McQueen

Related LITTLE MAGAZINE posts:

The Valentine’s Day GIFT GUIDE. Poetic Gifts For Her

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought it would be most appropriate to post a gift guide in honor of the patron saint’s holiday. The following gift suggestions, accompanied by such amorous quotes as thus, are perfect for you and your lover’s delight, or for any occasion really.

“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.” —Dorothy Parker

Agent Provocateur Melody Basque $590

“It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.” —William Carlos Williams

Rene Caovilla Satin Rose Sandal $1095

“As perfume doth remain In the folds where it hath lain, So the thought of you, remaining Deeply folded in my brain, Will not leave me: all things leave me: You remain.” —Arthur Symons

Kilian Beyond Love, Prohibited $225 (a provocative tuberose floral intermingled with notes of tonkin musk and Egyptian jasmine)

“The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life.” —Jean Giraudoux

Martha Stewart White Phalaenopsis Orchid Bouquet $199.95

“Don’t ever wear artistic jewelry; it wrecks a woman’s reputation.” —Colette

Sunday’s Best Triple Triangle 4201 Sterling Silver Ring $130

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” —Ernestine Ulmer

Payard Parisian Macarons $26

“Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me.” —Dracula

St. George Absinthe Verte $64.99

A great snippet on absinthe basics –‘s Absinthe 101