Friday, September 21, 2007

012. House of Holland v.2.0.

House of Holland has come a long way in the past year, from esoteric obscurity to's front page. And Henry Holland has completely redesigned his look, and added a team of accesory-makers to the mix.

The bag = gorgeous. And I love the garish rocker look being promoted for the spring. Compare it to this fall's look, whose colors and shapes reminded me of the all-too-bubbly Harajuku Girls line (see below).

Speaking of London's Fashion East, here's the adorablest little frock from Nanou:

Chromosomes as embellishments...who would have thought? Well, it works!

011. Middlingly expensive knockoffs?

It no longer comes as a shock to me when designers rip each other off. After all, fashion is one of the most competitive and cannibalistic industries in existence. But there are some situations when it's undeniable that you've ripped another designer off. It's not that you've been "inspired" or that another designer's collection has furbished you with an idea for your own collection. You're unabashedly stealing to make a profit. Which is (somewhat) all right when you're a chain retailer like Forever 21, but if you try to make some serious money off it, fear my wrath!

They do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I don't think that applies to all situations...

Here's one of Chloé's signature dresses from this fall:

And here's the culprit, a dress by AKA New York ($345):

If AKA hadn't slimmed down the silhouette of the dress and made a few other tailoring alterations, this would be the Chloé. AKA New York? Ha. They should consider renaming themselves "AKA Chloé."

Is it just me or does Chloé seem to be bearing the brunt of knockoffers these days? (Case in point: the jumpsuit incident earlier this year.) It must suck being one of the most eminent design labels of the millennium. Everyone wants to be you. Mmmm...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

010. "What the hell is that?" "It's an Oswald Lorenzo."

The second season of Ugly Betty premieres next Thursday, September 27 at 8:00. Every episode, I hope against hope that America Ferrera will have a Devil Wears Prada-esque makeover, to no avail. Maybe someday I'll come to terms with the fact that her character has to dress the way she does, but seriously, hope springs eternal...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

009. The New Chanel: Like It or Leave It?

"Chanel repudiated all prior canons of style and beauty. Her fashions epitomized the New Woman, youthful, independent, lithe, and athletic."
(From The City Review)

I know you've seen it. I've seen it. We've all seen it. And no, it's not something you'd ordinarily expect from Chanel.

Admittedly, fashion houses have always had a playful side: remember Chanel's take on the skull trend? Recently, the designer label has certainly demonstrated that it wants to maintain a standing alongside chic and upbeat younger labels. But penguin sweaters, Mr. Lagerfeld?

Chanel has always striven to remain ageless rather than appear antiquated, but more and more it appears to be catering to the younger generation specifically. Take a look at another of this fall's pieces:

And now contrast it to a piece from only the year before. (These pieces are meant to be representative of the two runway shows; I didn't pick a flamboyant piece from 2007 and a conservative one from 2006.)

As you can see, while they are both playful, the eclectic mix of color and pattern in the 2007 garments are much more youthful than that of the 2006 outfit. And I don't think you can chalk it up to trends, either. The 2007 is rebellious, even edgy. The 2006 is playful and dark, but in a distinguished way, somehow. And while I consider all three photos to embody what I consider the Chanel "essence" - that inarticulable something, the quirkiness of the French mingled with an elegant refinedness - there has clearly been an compulsory evolution in style, even over the course of a single year. Indeed, I did read recently that Chanel has been falling in profits and is trying to revive itself by catering to a younger pool of clientele. So maybe this explains things, at least partially.

This begs the question: As a member of the twentysomething group, do I like the "new" Chanel? Stylistically, most certainly. I'd wear this in an heartbeat. And I do think the transition is graceful, incorporating both the new and old, taking the best of both. But each to their own. I won't fault you if you long for Chanel's yesteryear. And the penguin sweater? Not for me, but there will be dozens of people willing to pay $1,000+ for a Chanel granny sweater, I can assure you.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

008. The Preciousss, we wants it...

Looking to get your hands on the One Ring? Sick of battling orcs and Uruk-Hai for that little piece of gold? Want a safer alternative that won't drain your energy as soon as you start approaching a mountain?

Turns out Sauron wasn't quite as original as he thought. Matches offers Nicolas Ghesquière's version for £775.

In my opinion, Net-A-Porter hasn't got anything over this UK-based store. They've got a zoom function, a little "Recently Viewed" area, an amazing lookbook -- you name it. Even though overseas shipping is presumably heinous, if you're going to be paying £775 for a few measly hoops of metal, hey, no biggie. Go for it!

And seriously, you saw something on the catwalk you liked? It's here. Talk about temptation. I'm writhing right about now.