In remembrance of Nina Simone’s birthday, here’s a clip of a live 1968 recording session in Paris performing ‘ The Other Woman’, one of my favorite songs from her vast catalog of treasures. With lyrics:
But the other woman will always cry herself to sleep
The other woman will never have his love to keep
And as the years go by the other woman
Will spend her life alone
how can you not love this song, then again, how can’t your heart not break for ‘the other woman’ in this scenario? Devoid of any self-worth, this poor woman puts all her validation in the presence of this borrowed man as without him she ceases to breathe or even exist. Loves such as these, although toxic + one-sided, as the man is getting the better end of their arrangement, make for great songs of heartache, especially with Nina’s velvety voice, kindly whispering her lyrics into this ‘other woman’s’ ears as a guardian angel, hoping she takes heed of this poison + walks away, but the grip of her love for this man is by far stronger.
When I first glanced at the pics of Zac Posen’s Fall collection, I got all the feels! From his gowns with tailored bodices attached to ball gown + midi skirts + the expert draping abilities he’s known for, Zac presented pieces full of practical fantasy easily attainable by any wearer. Maybe it’s the textiles he chooses to work with when layered together to create a tiered effect or maybe it’s the idea of taking floral ribbon sewn on black mesh fabric to give the appearance of walking through a cloud of blooms in need of escape + finding the Posen woman as their vehicle for their freedom. But regardless of such things, each piece made anything seem possible from a day at the office, wearing a shirt dress in his famous Liberty print to a skirt suit with an almost bolero style jacket with three-quarter sleeves.
With every piece, you get lost in the smallest of details. From the embroidered holes, creating a pointillist floral design, at the bottom of sleeves kissing their cuffs, to the same detail on fabric panels that hang off the shoulders of a dress like a petal-like capelet to velvet ribbons sewn on vertically creating a caterpillar effect on autumnal colored floral printed textiles, you can’t but help get all the feels. Then you have a delicately layered collar with ruffles on a white top with long ties, under a blue blazer, as the same ruffles peek through covering the wrist, paired with a blue maxi skirt with a very high slit, reminiscent of a film noir femme fatale from the Forties punctuated by his amazing T-strap platform heels bearing a chunky block heel.
The more I stared, the more I could envision old Hollywood icons like Josephine Baker, Lauren Bacall + Greta Garbo, the same way I could see today’s Cate Blanchett, Ruth Negga + Tavi Gavinson lounging in many of these looks, breathing real life into Zac’s pieces seen below. I’ll be surprised to not find one of his gowns on the red carpet for the upcoming Oscars.
While glancing at Delpozo’s Fall collection, I couldn’t help but think of the models looking like sculptural paper dolls. Paper dolls, known to be quite fragile + two-dimensional, Delpozo’s dolls were devoid of any hair more times than not, often covered with a hood, making them look like their paper alter ego. Now add sculptural geometric silhouettes to such a display + you can’t stop your mind to recollect images of Sixties futuristic fashions made popular by the genius André Courrèges. There were jackets with stiff bubble sleeves that looked like they were made of scuba material to retain their round shape so sternly while still respecting the female form with beautifully large lapels that curved around the neck, as they made their way down to their pointed ends. But their short length with an off-center front zipper gave the body of the jacket a flat corset look, minus the darts. Other times, this same effect was applied to single-breasted coats with sleeves that were made of two parts overlapping at the elbow like elongated tulips. When darts were ever applied accentuating the female form, it was usually in that of a jacket with a peplum + large buckled straps similar to the top below. However, for the most part, these stiff shapes were softened by showing long legs in bright tights or pairing them with very flowy or baggy bottoms.
These heavily sculptured pieces created by designer Josep Font were then softened by applying the same architectural enthusiasm to more romantic silhouettes like a triangle jacket in a floral jacquard textile with metallic florals, highlighted by a large ruffle that started at the end of the shoulders descending down its sleeves turning into its ruffled hem. Paired with a black + blue sheer Lurex hooded top + you’re left breathless. According to VOGUE RUNWAY, “Font works from art references—this season the rich palette was inspired by the Nabi painter József Rippl-Rónai, + the collection’s rounded shapes from the work of sculptor Max Bill,” + rightfully so when executed with such effortless precision. Even the buckles present in the collection were big circles themselves.
Yet another component that made a lot of Font’s pieces stay with you like a loving memory was his use of pattern + various embellishments. One such pattern was comprised of bright organic shapes on a knit rust colored sweater, embellished with large circular opaque + iridescent sheer paillettes in an array of colors, along with dangling metallic leaf shaped pieces that also covered the whole front side of a large circular handheld tote. Florals in what looked like clear colored plastic, decorated dress straps, jackets + dresses alike. I especially loved the hint of these iridescent circular paillettes decorating the boot shoes as a diagonal strap from its top side to its inner ankle.
As a whole, the collection proved to elevate the female form by not focusing so much on how it’s shaped but rather on how shape formed the woman within. By shedding light on a woman’s personality, this woman’s strong point of view is clearly demonstrated by making such a strong fashion statement that is sure to set her apart from all the clones incapable of authenticity.
For Fall, designer Stella Jean not only wowed with her creative + signature use of prints, two themes that resonated just as loudly throughout the collection were boxing + hunting.
Comprised of several coats, jackets, sweaters, drop waist dresses, sweaters, midi + maxi dresses + a sprinkling of wide leg trousers, you can’t help but get lost in the details of each look. By applying the covetable satin elasticized waistband often found on a boxing shorts, emblazoned with Stella’s surname ‘JEAN’, at times above a drawstring, hinted at a casual feel to the look. Other times, this same waistband appeared as an elastic belt, over an interesting printed pantsuit, with a contrasting patterned top bearing a high lace collar (pic 1, row 3). Another way Jean took Fall to the boxing ring was by reiterating boxing shoes, in color blocked suede boots with laces + a square toe. The designer then played around with the hunting motif of mallard ducks flying across sheer + gray plaid midi skirts, worn over a longer length shirt dress, peeking from below. Vintage lunch bag purses subtly reinforced the hunting vibe of other looks as well.
Another thing about this collection was its uncanny transport in time to the Seventies, with zipper front collar sports shirts, with color blocking, tucked into a maxi tied patterned skirt.
Overall, the collection is very wearable + sure to push many to rip the waistbands off boxing shorts, just to appear they belong to the cool Stella Jean squad for Fall!
Billed with the ordinarily vague catchall of “a woman’s wardrobe”, according to VOGUE RUNWAY, Sonia Rykiel’s Fall collection elevated that theme by celebrating woman through looks worthy of the woman that works + plays hard.
There were plenty of midi skirts + dresses to choose from in a variety of different textiles, including the gorgeous cream crushed velvet dress above, bearing a front keyhole, paired with suede heeled platform loafers, highlighted by exposed patent leather exposed stitching along the edges, black pompom accents + thin ankle straps. Feminine details were added to make certain shirts resonate that much more by adding vertical ruffles to its sleeves, starting at the shoulder while working their way down to the wrist, giving a vintage feel to a modern silhouette similar to that of the look below, worn underneath a rust suede gilet in a striped pattern. But the romance did not end there. Broderie Anglaise was added to both the collar + cuffs of an all white cotton dress paired to perfection with a white vinyl trench coat bearing contrasting black buttons.
Although the collection was very much ladylike, mixing pretty dresses with long tasseled necklaces or belts + pant looks paired with a heeled shoe, you could easily throw on a pair of oxfords or kicks, + still look as sophisticated. For instance, take the long black knit sweater ensemble below, embellished with petals of what appears to be a very thin plastic, in an array of colors, paired with black cropped trousers + a white turtleneck underneath, would look just as cute paired with a flat shoe.
Sonia Rykiel has always created pieces that easily grant the wearer confidence with ease + chic style, without all the fuss involved with getting dressed. In fact, designer Julie de Libran’s own experiences + preferences were noted in her personal solution to wearing a leather skirt, which she was wearing when speaking to VOGUE RUNWAY. Noting her love for the attitude of a leather skirt, it nonetheless can be limiting, which led to her solution of creating a version in vinyl with sharp red stitching + leather buttons, giving the material easy volume + movement for easy wear. For me, if I could, I’d buy the whole collection as there was no one piece I did not like + I would imagine they would all become wardrobe staples for many years to come.
When it comes to Fendi, all one can think is , “Cha-ching”! Considered a luxury brand for a reason, for Fall menswear, designer Silvia Venturini Fendi decided to make a lot of the pieces reversible, giving you more bang for your buck. But in the same vein of something so simple, so were the clothes, to a point. For this season, Fendi took men to the slopes by mixing lots of ski wear elements with tailored looks, while having lots of fun with color, texture + silhouette.
There were pops of color with bright orange pants + shirts, yellow leather totes + a ski jacket made interesting with color blocking details. Ski shirts, with the zip up collar, complete with zip-up tabs, a current trend, that will trickle its way into next season then Fall, peeking underneath a suit jacket if not cool outerwear, with plenty to choose from, like an army green shearling jacket.
There was a wool coat with bomber style sleeves in cheetah print fur + a striped fur collar with huge lapels that made me think of the stripes found on the collar of traditional bomber jackets made of simple cotton. And who could miss the luxe quilted espresso brown double-breasted leather coat? Gorgeous! But fur was also seen as striped accents on mittens as well as neckwarmers.
Ski wear also made an appearance in the form of pants made paired with a snap collar shirt in ski suit material, underneath a cheetah print fur moto jacket, complete with black + gray loafers, striped socks, a pastel striped fuzzy beanie + a camera bag. Other bags in the collection included striped fur totes, duffle bags + backpacks.
Words, another on-trend accent, was seen on sweaters, beanies + headbands including ‘Fendi, Fantastic + Think’. But for as much one might mistake these guys as if they’re heading to the slopes, they could easily play up these looks as much as in the office or play thereafter. A real standout was a pantsuit with contrasting stitching on the jacket, giving its tailoring a playful feel to it.
As Sylvia put it to Vogue, she had looked back to ’80s + ’90s sportswear, Buffalo (Felix Howard winked forth from the mood board), + her starting point, some inspirational lines from Ernest Hemingway about the positive strategies to try before letting the negative take hold. Mrs. Fendi said: “I want to be optimistic, need to be. These were simple words, universal words like love, listen, try. I was reading this + thinking it is so easy if you follow these universal rules,” + that she did with a collection full of universal appeal.
If there is anyone out there that could perfectly demonstrate the technical form + functional ease of athleisure, it’s FKA twigs, and today, NIKE revealed the new campaign for their Women Zonal Strength Tights, a collaboration with the multi-talented artist.
Apart from developing the creative concept, casting, + directing, Twigs also stars in the ads. But she’s not alone. Finishing the cast roster are twelve athletes, picked by twigs, including karate champion Jay Kirton, track + field runner English Gardner, yummy Olympic fencer Miles Chamley-Watson + dancer Saskia Horton.
Now one might look at twigs + assume it’s her body alone that makes her perfect for such a task but that’s just the surface. FKA twigs has such a relationship with her body, you would think she can feel every muscle + hear every drop of blood flowing within, demonstrated through the beautiful flow of movement she displays by a simple nod of her head + the delicate contempt of her hands, while having amazing control of the staccato moves involved in the technical aspect of her choreography. Have you seen this chick Vogue? Poetry in motion every time! Sigh…
FKA twigs told Vogue.com over email, “When Nike reached out to me about collaborating on this project, I saw it as an opportunity to inspire people who want to use their bodies in a positive way. We cast a group of amazing people who take their physicality seriously + have their own sense of style, to push people to be healthy + understand, through any genre of sport, they can be the best versions of themselves,” + what person doesn’t want that? But besides being blessed by twigs’ seal of approval, what makes these tights special is compression, specifically designed for muscle vibration reduction on the core, glutes, quads + hamstrings. Just look for yourself in the video below, shot by David Uzochukwu in Mexico City. Now, don’t you feel like soaring + flexing just like that, inside your small apartment?
While the excitement of “Who’s going to win what Golden Globe?” swims inside your head, there’s also the question of “What looks are going to persuade you to love your fave celeb even more?”, forcing you to digest different networks featuring celebrity red-carpet fashions before the awards show is underway. There are always going to be those that will leave you breathless, while others leave you flat, like the ones below.
(photos: Steve Granitz/WireImage, Frazer Harrison/Getty)
As much as I loved Riley Keogh in STARZ’s ‘The Girlfriend Experiment’, this Chanel number was a hard sell for me as it did nothing for her figure. Monica Bellucci wore a dress that looked like a black sac while Felicity Jones’s Gucci look felt too costumey with it’s sweet trompe l’oeil jet beaded collar + dangling lace sleeve detail.
Anna Chlumsky drowned in her green toga while Carrie Underwood’s pink number was trite + too mature for her. Gina Rodriguez did shine bright in her dangling beaded dress but the fit was a huge miss, making her look square.
Julia Louis-Dreyfuss has had her great moments on the red carpet, but this black + white one-shoulder dress was too safe, even for her. Zoe Saldana was radiant as usual but not in so many ruffles by Gucci. Whereas, Janelle Monae disappointed in this black + white Armani dress in a style that looked dated.