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Gauche

A twenty-something's love letter to fashion.


 

 

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February 17, 2012

Six Things I'd Take Home from New York Fashion Week

 

Proenza SchoulerLazaro and Jack took Pantone's 2012 color, 'Tangerine Tango' to heart. Bold and beautiful!

 

Ralph Lauren

Like the rest of the world, Ralph watched 'Downton Abbey' on repeat. I'm not complaining; those three-piece suits are killer.

J. Mendel

It was impossible  to choose just one look from J. Mendel's outstadning collection this year. But this breathtaking 'ice princess' ensemble is as palate-refreshing as jumping into a glacier pool. Probably as freezing to your bank account too.

Marchesa

Ah, the glamour! Marchesa gets a lot of grief for being star-chasers, tacky, and overblown. (Not to mention, Georgina Chapman literally sold her soul to the devil by marrying that disgusting fat schlub Harvey Weinstein.) But I admire their consistent insistence on OTT glamour. Someone has to commit to fantasy creations!

 L'Wren Scott

Wallis Simpson meets Tim Burton. Wacky and awesome.

 Victoria, Victoria Beckham

VB's diffusion line is basically Prada-lite, but her sleek designs and androgynous silhouettes are a nice break from her Roland Mouret obsession. Pleasantly surprising!

 

February 13, 2012

London Fashion Week: Day 2


Here we go again!

 


While in line for the John Rocha show, I looked to my right and noticed a rather plain looking woman with frazzled hair, even a bit overweight, waiting patiently to be let inside. Then I looked again and saw it was Vogue UK editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman. I know it totally sounds like I’m stalking Alexandra Shulman, but I’m just completely fascinated by her anonymity, especially considering she’s the British equivalent of Anna Wintour (and frankly, Vogue UK is waaaaaaay better these days than US Vogue. I literally have no words for how sick I am of freakin’ Blake Lively on the cover.)


Waiting in line with the rest of us peons (paeans?) and being so polite. Could you imagine, well, anyone else of her calibre doing so? Don’t get me wrong, British people love to queue (wait in lines)—I completely believe the British people on the Titanic queued patiently to be told to which lifeboat they were assigned. (Ha!) But she had little entourage and even less fanfare, despite being the authority in this country for fashion. For all Anna Wintour’s iconic bob-and-sunglasses persona, Alex Shulman, to me, is the far more mysterious character.


As I was rushing (in my flats) to the Jaeger show, I (literally) bumped into one of my favorite bloggers, Claire Sulmers, from the Fashion Bomb. I introduced myself and we chatted a bit about the oddities of being American in London (her temporary relocation, unlike mine, only lasted through fashion week). She was very down-to-earth and super nice, and I was glad to have a seat buddy for the show. (Best part: she tweeted about me and linked to this blog! I had instant iPad envy.) I felt a bit bad since I couldn’t recommend any “hot-spots” in London (“Fun? What’s that?”) Since I am so not “fabulous, darling,” I was little help to her. But she was very polite nonetheless.

Plus, I had my very first experience of being 'streetstyle papped': Styleography captured my awkward walk down the ramp after the Jaeger show. I'm concentrating very hard on not falling on my face. What an unfortunate moment to capture on camera!

 

And then, disaster struck: torrential downpour out of nowhere. Since my hair clearly refused to cooperate, I ducked into the MAC pop-up booth and cheered myself up with a slick of red lipstick. It’s odd how instantly done your face looks once your lips are red.



One of the best things about being a journalist during Fashion Week is the awesome perks Somerset House provides. The press lounge last year was a lot more convienient for being inside the giant white tent, but I can never argue with free Vitamin Water, espresso, and (ocasscionally) champagne. Smaller designers showcased their wares in elegant displays within the building of Somerset House. Quite a clever idea, actually; I got lost several times in the maze, trying to find the loo, and stumbled on some pretty cool designs. Oh! Also, there is a great iPad program called Aurasma, which reads some invisible doodad on the cover of an actual, physical magazine, and the image comes to life on your iPad. I saw a demonstration on GQ UK, where the cover photo (on the physical magazine) of Lara Stone became a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot (as displayed on the iPad).


(Oh, and if you're so inclined, free blowouts too)


Here are some (blurry) images from the Zoe Jordan show. So much weirder than last year's elegant salon presentation in the Haymarket Hotel.


Adorable couple!

September 17, 2011

London Fashion Week: Day 1

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Ok, so Bing Crosby meant Christmas when he sang that, but honestly, who needs roasted chestnuts and sleigh bells when there's a whirlwind first day at London Fashion Week to be had!

First up, Corrie Nielsen, whose show was amazing. I loved her collection from last season (as per my admittedly effusive review) and it was really nice to see that her newfound success hasn't dampened her creative energy. Rodnik Band was ... well, let's just say that Spongebob Squarepants isn't the best inspiration for a fashion line. (Cartoon eyes on dresses? Really?) But Jean-Pierre Braganza owned the day: I loved how he blended sherbet tones with sharp, graphic prints.

My view from the second row at Jean-Pierre Braganza!

(Really wished the shoes weren't so blurry; they were a marvel of construction. Very Nicholas Kirkwood.)

My LFW partner-in-crime, Cathy of The Dirty Cat, got street-style papped all day long!

Video courtesy of the Dirty Cat

Here we are at the Rodnik Band presentation at the St. Martin's Lane Hotel. Salon shows and presentations are my favorite part of LFW; designers tend to use the intimate setting for very detailed decor and little perks like yummy cocktails. But Rodnik Band clearly saw "The Life Aquatic" one too many times. Next time, try not to ape Wes Anderson so obviously.

Julia Lang (from GeeksNdFashion) is wearing a Marni coat, Prada sunglasses, Yves Saint Laurent shoes, and an H&M purse. Woman after my own heart - great mix of high and low.

Corrie Nielsen

Although last year Corrie Nielsen showed in the big tent at Somerset House, the show was offsite in this dingy-but-"hip" warehouse (that I hate) right off New Oxford Street. I get it, show in an edgy, unpolished space and people assume that you're avant-garde or whatever. But a drafty, empty, dark airplane hangar does not a happy reporter make! 

Photos: New York Magazine

Nielsen's inspiration was "Picture of Dorian Gray" meets "contemporary Japanese aesthetic." Honestly, I didn't really see the connection, besides a few souped-up kimonos Nielsen threw on her models. But her incredible eye for construction and gothic detail (and sumptuous fabrics) seems to be her signature, and consistent with last season's show.

Every time I see bright shoes with floral embellishments, I remember that SATC episode when Carrie buys those Louboutins for her epic last date with BIg ... and then Miranda breaks her water all over them. Is that cause for breaking up a friendship?? (Kidding!)

Here are my favorite looks from Jean-Pierre Braganza:

 

On to Jaegar, John Rocha, and Zoe Jordan! Happy Fashion Week, everyone!

 

 

February 15, 2011

What Will Kate Middleton’s Maid of Honor Wear to the Royal Wedding?

Meet Pippa Middleton, the luckiest bridesmaid in England. Yesterday, Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their siblings Pippa and Prince Harry would stand beside them at the altar on April 29. But while “Royal Dresswatch” amps up daily (Bruce Oldfield? Monique Lhuillier?), we want to know the more pressing question: when your sister is the future Queen of England, can you pull off the princess look too?

Pippa has been blessed with her sister’s tall, model-esque figure, so she could wear designs straight off the runway. Princess Catherine might be a big meringue walking through Westminster Abbey, but hopefully her sexy sister, the most eligible bachelorette in town, will choose a stylish, sleek gown from one of the following designers.

From ersatz drag queen to couture royalty, Victoria Beckham has come a long way from her Posh Spice days. Whispers began in early February that the former Spice Girl would be appointed royal dressmaker when Middleton requested Beckham’s dresses be sent to Buckingham Palace.

“Apparently, she likes my clothes and has asked to see a selection. It will be from my current spring/summer collection. … It’s tremendously exciting,” Beckham told the Daily Telegraph’s fashion editor, Hilary Alexander.

Kate may have claimed royal blue as her (unofficial) color, but personally we’d love to see Pippa in look 70 (pictured) from Beckham Spring 2010 collection.

Visit Victoria Beckham for more information and more looks from the Fall 2011 collection.

 

It was the dress heard ‘round the world. Instantly famous for Kate’s gorgeous sapphire engagement dress, Daniella Helayel creates figure-flattering, timelessly elegant gowns. In fact, both sisters have been photographed wearing Issa designs.

For the moment, Helayel’s keeping mum about whether she’s been invited round for tea at the queen’s. But we’d welcome the sight of Issa’s deep, saturated hues amid the sea of English florals and wonky hats.

Visit Issa London for more information and more looks from the Fall 2011 collection.

 

Renowned for her glitzy, glamourous wedding dresses, Jenny Packham could easily be Gatsby heroine Daisy Buchanan’s favorite designer. From Notting Hill’s yummy mummies to Wills and Harry’s privileged “Glossy Posse,” Packham’s gowns have been a staple at weddings in Gloucestershire and Gstaad. Queen Elizabeth surely disapproves of cleavage and sequins, but what’s a wedding without a few raised eyebrows?

Visit Jenny Packham for more information and more looks from the Fall 2011 collection.

 

Known for her dreamy, ethereal gowns, Alberta Ferretti embodies romance. Were Pippa to wear one of her floating chiffon creations, she might even upstage her sister.

Visit Alberta Ferretti for more information and more looks from the Spring 2011 collection.

 

Part panda bear, part nervous self-deprecation, Lanvin’s adorable designer Alber Elbaz might not welcome the spotlight if Middleton chooses one of his exquisite creations. But Pippa would look ravishing in this scarlet gown from his Spring 2011 show.

Visit Lanvin for more information and more looks from the Spring 2011 collection.

C.Kane, as Diddy would call him, cited Princess Margaret, the current Queen’s late sister as the muse for his Spring 2011 collection. So far, Pippa hasn’t exhibited the hell-raising, scandal-making behavior Princess Margaret was famous for, but we’d love to see her turn heads in this daring, thoroughly rebellious dress.

Visit Christopher Kane for more information and more looks from the Spring 2011 collection.

*Images courtesy of Getty and Style.com

February 15, 2011

Racy and Lacy: 6 Hot Lingerie Brands to Get His Blood Pumping

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Some of us embrace it; for others, it’s worse than getting dumped by text. But instead of treading the tired “chocolate and champagne” route, surprise your man with these sexy (and sometimes hilarious) unmentionables.

For the Boudoir Betty
Marilyn said she only wore Chanel No. 5 to bed; you’re classier, but no less sultry. Part Victorian madam, Part Golden Hollywood starlet, you infuse your life with endless glamour. Loulou Loves You’s sumptuous silks and satins in rich jewel tones will feel so delicious next to your skin. Who needs a man when you’ve got a mirror?

 

Lola Heart bra, £50, and panties, £60, Loulou Loves You

For the Pin-up Girl
Your closet resembles Gwen Stefani circa 1994. You love Katy Perry’s retro pin-curls and pintucked garments. You’d never dream of leaving the house without a sexy slick of cherry lipstick. But what do you wear underneath your vintage 1940s frock? Flo-Jo Boutique has just the thing. From frilly pinnies to burlesque knickers, Flo-Jo’s deliciously retro offerings won’t disappoint. They even sell a DIY knickers kit for the truly adventurous. Ladies, start your sewing machines!

 

Vintage Silk Handmade Knickers, £22, Flo-Jo Boutique

For the Elegant Lady
Are you more Charlotte than Samantha? Love by Susie’s luxurious corsets are always sexy, never skanky. When your man walks in the door with Veuve Clicquot and two dozen red roses, dazzle him with this handcrafted, insanely feminine corset.  Plus, it comes in bridal white, so you can bet he’ll put a ring on it.

Orlaith Corset, £200, Love by Susie

For the Earnest Romantic
Remember when love was simpler and holding hands with your crush sent sparks throughout your body? Your first kiss. Running through fields of wildflowers. Playing with puppies. If your life follows the plot of a Taylor Swift song, you’ll love Peachie Keen’s sweet lingerie. Wow your man with a picnic at home dressed in nothing but these floral gems.

 

Liberty Bright Pants, £22, Bra, £32, Peachie Keen

For the Football WAG
Dream of leaving the council estate in the arms of Wayne Rooney? Made by Niki’s risqué unmentionables will make his jaw drop on the floor. Dress to impress in racy garters, thigh-highs, bustiers, and knickers. Just make sure you don’t forget your perfect blowout, French nails, and six-inch heels. Or better yet, leave the heels on.

Knockout Sheer Slip, £99, Made by Niki

For the Hipster Nerd
Too cool for Valentine’s Day? Let’s be honest, you’re too cool for everything. Send up Hallmark’s worst holiday with “Election Pants,” complete with saucy minx Margaret Thatcher’s face on your bum. Don’t worry, you can tell your friends you’re turned on ironically.

Margaret Thatcher on Blue Pants, £20, Twisted Twee

September 20, 2010

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall ... in Love

 

Photo Source: The New York Times (haha, this is not my fiance and me.)

A few weeks ago, my fiance and I (and our families) hosted a really spectacular engagement party. The day was perfect, the food was delicious, and I feel really blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. But even though I got engaged this past spring, it's only after the party that I've had wedding on the brain (well, let's be honest: I've had wedding on the brain since I was about six years old).

But it got me thinking. What are my favorite celebrity wedding gowns? Well, not necessarily celebrity (no Mariah Carey extravaganza on this blog!), but fashion editors, stylists, or just some gorgeous, non-famous, incredibly elegant women.

Photo Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

I looooooove this dress. Caroline Crown (with the awesome blue Louboutins) used to work for Chanel (of course :) and I've been dreaming about her Monique Lhuillier Meredith gown for a long time. I also love how all the bridesmaids wore white! It's very stylish, and if you're really naughty, then way to outshine your bridesmaids. No one looks better than the bride.

 


I'm always reminded of this quote from Anna Karenina when I look at Grace Kelly's timeless wedding dress.

"[Levin] looked at her high coiffure with the long white veil attached and white flowers, at her high scalloped collar encircling her slender neck, which, in a peculiarly maidenly fashion, covered the long sides of her neck and and just showing it a little in front, and at her remarkably graceful figure. She seemed more beautiful to him than ever. But it was not because the flowers or her veil or her Paris gown added anything to her beauty but because, in spite of all the prepared magnificence of her attire, the expression of her lovely face, her eyes, her lips, was still her own special expression of innocent sincerity."

Photo Source: Google Images




Photo Source: Google Images

Darcy Miller, EIC of Martha Stewart Weddings (Vera Wang)

Photo Source: Martha Stewart Weddings

Here's Taylor Tomasi Hill, Marie Claire's style and accessories director. Beautifully ethereal, artfully disheveled. Clearly she's well-versed in luxurious simplicity. Her gown is J. Mendel.

Photo Source: Idle Fascination

Check out her bomb-dot-com Azzedine Alaia heels! Rock it, girl.

Photo Source: Jak and Jil

I've always loved the idea of a custom wedding gown. Alix from The Cherry Blossom Girl was lucky enough to design her dress with Maria Lucia Hohan. Doesn't it suit her perfectly?

Above three photos: The Cherry Blossom Girl

The elegant, inimitable Carolyn Bessette Kennedy (Narciso Rodriguez)

Photo Source: FameSpy

Lawren Howell, Vogue West Coast Fashion Editor (custom Rodarte gown)

Photo Source: Vogue

September 15, 2010

The Official Preppy Handbook: Reboot

Photo Source: All the Pretty Birds

The Eighties are back ... or they never left ... it's hard to tell. The neon, acid-washed denim, Bon Jovi hair has been around for a few seasons, but I never really got into it. I've always been a preppy girl, myself. To the point where (and I can't believe I'm telling this story), in eighth grade, I used to call my Gap khakis kaaaaahkeees ... with a stiff-upper-lip, "Mummy, I want a new pony!" (fake) British accent. Eighth grade! I should've known better.

Photo Source: All the Pretty Birds

But seriously, my obsession with all things prep is like fifteen years and counting. And after four years at Princeton (and two in the Ivy eating club), it hasn't diminished a bit. So I was thrilled when I read this hilarious Vanity Fair article about the updated edition of the Preppy Handbook.

"Every single one of us—no matter the age or gender or sexual preference—owns a blue blazer." (It's true; I wear my beloved Anne Klein navy blazer [from Goodwill, natch] with a striped Breton t-shirt, jeans, and my London Sole flats once a week.)

"High-heel rule: You must be able to run in them—on cobblestones, on a dock, in case of a spontaneous foot race."

The lovely Giovanna Battaglia, in a uniquely Euro version of prep.

Photo Source: Hanneli Mustaparta

"Clothes can cost any amount, but they must fit. Many a preppy has an item from a vintage shop or a lost-and-found bin at the club that was tailored and looks incredibly chic."

"You can never go wrong with a trench coat."

This is like the time when I discovered Stuff White People Like. I laughed and cringed and shook my head in abashed self-recognition. These were all jokes! Right? Except when they weren't. Oh dear, I am a preppy yuppie.


I walked into JCrew last night and once again, fell in love with the aesthetics of Jenna Lyons. I wanted to steal entire outfits off the mannequins.

Jenna is the fairy godmother of prepsters. She just gets it. The styling, quality, fabrics, and brand names associated with JCrew's recent fashion resurgence are totally on point. And I just read that she's been promoted to president and executive creative director. Bravo, Jenna!

Photo Source: Elle Decor

Photo Source: The Sartorialist

July 19, 2010

Calling All Chubbies!

Vintage advertisements: so un-P.C., so un-subtle, and so awesome! I found this hilariously inappropriate ad for plus-sized clothing retailer, Lane Bryant, and I've been laughing about it ever since. It's so insensitive, it becomes funny! Even though the Mad Men universe is deliciously glamourous, I'm very glad I no longer live in a world where these kind of ads were par for the course.

But dang, that coat sure is cute!

June 29, 2010

It's a Man's World

Astrid Munoz in custom Giambattista Valli (Photo by Garance Dore)

There is nothing sexier than a well-cut suit (or tuxedo) on a woman. Miniskirts are cute and all, and we all know how much men love skin. But as a woman who subconsciously dresses for other women ... (don't lie, we all do it :), I never feel sexier than when I'm in my version of YSL le smoking: awesome sailor pants from Club Monaco, sheer white button-down, super high Louboutins, and a huge cocktail ring. I feel on top of the world. Perfection.

 

P.S. If you guys feel so inclined, add me to your list on Blog Lovin'! It's a collection of your fav blogs, but with a Twitter-like feed of their most recent posts, so you don't have to go hunting around the interwebs every day. Brilliant. Check out the vid!

 

June 21, 2010

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

I love summer!

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

Creativity really comes out in the warmer months; wearing a sequined evening top with baggy chinos is so unique. Effortlessly glamourous.

Unfortunately, I live in a really schizophrenic place. My home is located north of San Francisco (where we actually get sun and 90-degree weather), but the city itself is always, always cold. Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." Funny, but painfully true. I leave my house in a sundress and sandals, but I need two cardigans, boots, and a scarf by the time I get to work. No joke. I keep my change of clothes in a tote bag.

Photo by Hanneli Mustaparta

Hanneli's outfit could work seamlessly from beach to city and even at night, with a high pair of heels. Ahh, sand and surf. I'd give anything to go lay on a warm beach somewhere.

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

I would LOVE to wear a gorgeous white sundress to work one day. I really admire her mix of gold and coral jewelry - plus her bag is stunning.

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

This man is AMAZING. I just love his mustache.

(Photo byGarance Dore)

The great thing about this outfit is the saturated color of her blouse, and her pants as well. I instantly thought of my two favorite crayons: cobalt blue and burnt sienna. It could work for fall too, with a nude or navy blazer.

(Photo by The Sartorialist)

Well, this is mostly just eye candy. Delish.

Meet Bijani

 

Gauche is a collection of my musings on fashion and the beautiful things in life.

 

I work at a digital magazine in SF, but my dream is be Senior Features Editor at a fashion magazine in New York or London.

 

In fact, if I had a genie, I'd become a Tina Brown/Carine Roitfeld composite. It's not too much to ask to rule the world, is it?

 

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