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



MUSICAL CHAIRS. Lovely Lady Punks. Playlist for 17 February 2010

Today’s playlist entitled, Lovely Lady Punks, is a tribute to the early ladies of punk rock, and includes a selection of songs with themes characteristic of the punk rock movement: mischief, angst, sexism, ostracism, and assimilation.

FEATURED PLAYLIST: Lovely Lady Punks. Playlist for 17 Feb. 2010

1.   *Typical Girls – The Slits

2.   *X Offender – Blondie

3.   *Helter Skelter – Siouxsie & The Banshees

4.   *48 Crash – Suzi Quatro

5.     New York New York – Nina Hagen

6.   *Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

7.   *Wax – 45 Grave

8.   *We’re Desperate – X

9.   *Babelogue – Patti Smith

10. *Identity – X-Ray Spex

*Available on iTunes

Musical Chairs’ Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Music Page
Musical Chairs’ Video Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Video Page
Musical Chairs’ Downloads: DJ Ts’ A Disco Gift to You. Playlist for 8 December 2009, DJ Gobi’s Best of 2009 Mixtape. Playlist for 28 December 2009


Musical Chairs is a collection of weekly playlists created by selected artists, DJs, and musicians for LITTLE MAGAZINE. For guest DJ inquires, please send a description of yourself, including a bio and musical tastes.

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:

BESTIAL BEAUTY. Yves Saint Laurent Spring 2010

Chic. Elegant. Decadent. Infused with sophisticated splashes of color, Yves Saint Laurent’s Spring 2010 makeup collection is inspired by the contrasting moods of Paris, and includes an array of soft colors classically applied à la Catherine Deneuve.

Sultry Sheen at YSL Beauty Spring 2010

So adorably cool AND functional, the Y-Mail Complexion Palettes (inspired by the YSL Y-Mail handbag collection) are an absolute MUST HAVE.

YSL Limted Edition Y-Mail Complexion Palettes in #1 Face Highlighter and #2 Blush Highlighter

YSL Limited Edition Golden Gloss in #19 Golden Petal and #20 Golden Macadamia

YSL Ombre 5 Lumières 5 Colour Harmony For Eyes in #9 Parisian Sky

YSL Limited Edition La Laque in #41 Beige Chiffon and #143 Mauve Silk

MUSICAL CHAIRS. lovelovelove. Sandy Kwan’s Valentine’s Day Mix. Playlist for 11 February 2010

Today’s MUSICAL CHAIR is Sandy Kwan, food stylist, photographer and blogger from FancyFoodFancy. Her Valentine’s Day playlist entitled, lovelovelove, is inspired by—what else?—l’amour.

Photography by Sandy Kwan

FEATURED PLAYLIST: lovelovelove. Sandy Kwan’s Valentine’s Day Mix. Playlist for 11 February 2010

1.   *Baby, I Love You – The Ramones

2.   *Girl/Boy – Aphex Twin

3.   *Oh Yoko – John Lennon

4.   *The Caterpillar – The Cure

5.   *Us – Regina Spektor

6.   *I Want a Little Sugar In My Bowl – Nina Simone

7.   *Gobbledigook – Sigur Ros

8.   *Lover’s Spit – Broken Social Scene

9.   *Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing – Marvin Gaye

10. *Lover’s Day – TV on the Radio

*Available on iTunes

Sandy Kwan’s Blog: www.FancyFoodFancy

Musical Chairs’ Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Music Page
Musical Chairs’ Video Playlist Library: LITTLE MAGAZINE’s Video Page
Musical Chairs’ Downloads: DJ Ts’ A Disco Gift to You. Playlist for 8 December 2009, DJ Gobi’s Best of 2009 Mixtape. Playlist for 28 December 2009


Musical Chairs is a collection of weekly playlists created by selected artists, DJs, and musicians for LITTLE MAGAZINE. For guest DJ inquires, please send a description of yourself, including a bio and musical tastes.

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

MUSINGS AND OBSERVATIONS. Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 Couture Part II

A relaxed, expressive elegance seemed to be the prevalent theme for the 2010 Spring/Summer Paris Couture collections. The plethora of hard embellishments, frills, and dayglo brights of past seasons were nowhere in sight, and as a whole, the collections seemed to take on a softer, dreamier feel with many allusions the late 1960s. The following is Part II of my MAOs of the collections, and includes more of my favorite looks from the shows.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection featured an abundance of 1960s shapes in soft candy pastels that translated into: lady like shorts suits, whimsical cocktail dresses, and sweeping satin gowns, all finding themselves adorned with metallic sequins embroidery.

Prim and Proper Pastel Buttons at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture

Late 60s Shapes Dominate at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture

Tiered Glamour at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture

Always a Black Tie Event at Chanel S/S 2010 Couture

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Givenchy showed variations on tuxedo dressing and something fabulous I would have to call disco tribal gothic that included un-frou-frou feather accoutrements, vampy chiffons, and sophisticated sequins.

Tuxedo Luxe at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture

Sheer Vamp at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture

Disco Tribal Revival at Givenchy S/S 2010 Couture

Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
Gaultier’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection donned many hats figuratively, and quite literally. His corseted bodices were worked into a variety of inspired looks, ranging from Spanish Flamenco to ancient Greece, ending at Tahiti.

Decked Out Denim at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture

Bigger, Bolder, Shoulders at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture

Decorated Décolleté at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture

Crinolines Go Green at Gaultier S/S 2010 Couture

Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The showing of Dior’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection was a colorful event filled with high drama gowns and ensembles taken right out of history. Pop culture darlings such as Anne Margaret and Dita Von Teese were referenced in the collection, alongside the iconic designers Charles James and Jacques Griffe, whose two-tone color blocked inspired gowns were offset sublimely by white opera gloves.

Channeling Ann Margaret circa 1967 and Dita Von Teese at Christian Dior S/S 2010 Couture

Taffeta Charm at Christian Dior S/S 2010 Couture

Debutante Proper at Dior S/S 2010 Couture

Elie Saab Spring/Summer 2010 Couture
The dreamy pale hues and graceful, fluid textures in Elie Saab’s Spring/Summer 2010 Couture collection elicited the kind of awesome calm found only in the purity of water. Everything about the collection was exquisite—down to the beading, the embroidery, the lace work; all the things that couture dreams are made of.

Mermaid Fancy at Elie Saab S/S 2010 Couture

Visions in Taupe at Elie Saab S/S 2010 Couture