Monday, February 29, 2016

Taking A Break From Fashion Month To Discuss #OscarsSoWhite

Before you read this, I have to confess. This is actually a best-dressed list disguised as an argumentative essay about the predominantly white Oscar nominations this year. So I apologize in advance if that's what you were expecting. Perhaps the very fact that this best-dressed list is slightly too white might make us all think about the current issue plaguing the mind's of Hollywood's elite. I invite you to think about that as you take a look at this best-dressed list. Full disclosure, the choices are entirely based on the dresses, not my opinion of the women wearing them. In my book, every woman on that Red Carpet deserves to be honoured and admired for her work and the dress is merely a matter of taste, that differs from one critic to another. After several hours of watching Mad Max win awards, let's analyze and criticize the most frivolous, yet integral, part of the show: what everyone was wearing (or maybe just my top 10 best).

Mindy Kaling in Elizabeth Kennedy
I am a huge fan of Mindy Kaling for a number of reasons. One of them happens to be her classy sense of style. While Mindy has made a few strange Red Carpet choices, this one was simple and yet, also one of the best. The cut was flattering and the surprise at the back gave it a touch of glamour, making it Oscar-ready. Let's not forget to mention, her beauty look is beyond chic.
Jennifer Garner in Rene Caovilla
While this look could have potentially landed much higher on my best-dressed list, it remained slightly safe and a tad too predictable for my taste. Regardless, Jen looked bombshell stunning in black with just the right amount of sparkle to stand out on the Red Carpet.
Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier
I may be impartial to Rachel McAdams because she's Canadian, but it's undeniable that green is definitely her colour. While the best green dress just happened to be worn by someone else last night, I still loved the sensual simplicity of this look.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Prive
Cate Blanchett always wears Armani Prive and this year is no different. She has never made my best-dressed list though. Until now. Generally, this actress loves to make a statement on the carpet and while I'm usually a huge fan of bold statement-makers, hers never quite succeed at giving me the fuzzy feels that other dresses do. This year, I couldn't decide if I loved or hated this aqua dress. Part of me felt as though I were looking at a sea creature. The other part just wanted to touch it. It's the type of dress you might see in a fairytale and that is exactly what I loved about it.
Charlize Theron in Christian Dior
Charlize Theron is probably the only actress who can actually say she ALWAYS wears the dress (the dress never wears her) because no dress can upstage someone that beautiful. Whether this simple Dior number with a stunning deep V and a necklace that could blind the blind or something as elaborate as Cate Blanchett's dress, nothing can take away from Charlize Theron's modelesque figure and natural beauty. I'm pretty sure Emily Blunt wanted to kill the Academy for forcing them to present together.
Saoirse Ronan in Calvin Klein Collection
This sparkling emerald green custom Calvin Klein dress shone as bright as Saoirse's pride in her Irish heritage. Nothing says best-dressed like a look that came straight from the heart. Not only did she look stunning, but you could tell she felt it too. That is precisely was got her in my top five.
Olivia Munn in Stella McCartney
This dress may have been very simple, but as far as red dresses go (sorry, Charlize), but this one was definitely my fave. It was flattering, eye-catching, and striking against Olivia Munn's beautiful black hair. If I had to pick an Oscar dress, this would be the top choice on my list. The real question is: was it orange or red? I'll allow you to ponder that one.
Naomi Watts in Armani Prive
Naomi Watts, a constant contender on my best-dressed list, has blown me away once again with her Oscar choice. Like Cate Blanchett, this outfit was fit for an aquatic wonderland, but Naomi was the mermaid and Cate was a sea urchin (no offence to Cate intended). It was a cross between Saoirse's and Cate's dress, only better because it has ombre. I'm in love.
Priyanka Chopra in Zuhair Murad
Obviously, Priyanka Chopra cheated her way onto this list by choosing to wear the most incredible designer, Zuhair Murad. How could this look possibly have failed? Everything this designer produces is breathtaking and Priyanka owned this look. P.S Maybe this list isn't that white after all.
And the number one best-dressed on my list goes to...
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
Yellow may not be my colour, but it is definitely hers. Alicia's look was romantic, classy, and just bold enough to make her number one on this list. What can I say? Louis Vuitton speaks for itself.
Honourable Mentions:
Eddie Redmayne's black velvet blazer.
Chris Rock's white tuxedo blazer.

What was your favourite look from last night's Oscars? 

Ponder it,


Friday, February 26, 2016

London, London, London: It's Review Time Again

I absolutely love London. You know why? When it comes to fashion, it doesn't follow any rigid rules, but rather, contradicts them, with unusual colour combinations and a lot of rock n' roll glamour. While New York reintroduced the bomber jacket, London reinvented the puffer with shearling collars at shows like Burberry and Topshop Unique. While New York was more about classic femininity with midi length skirts in sheer romantic fabrics, London was all about the mini skirt at shows like Felder Felder and J.W Anderson, two labels who gave the look their own unique twist. While New York designers offered many conservative work-appropriate looks, London was more about embracing the colder weather with head scarves at Mary Katrantzou and plastic rain protectors at Christopher Kane which were emblematic of the rainy city the Brits call home. Some of my favourite shows combined that rock n' roll sex appeal that is quintessentially London with an abundance of fluff that was very Kate Moss. Needless to say, I was smitten.

Are you ready to review?


Let's begin our discussion with Daks. While watching this show, three words came to mind instantly: dark, sexy, and mysterious. The collection consisted primarily of head-to-toe black looks, but it was anything but plain. A variety of textures were introduced such as the age-old favourite fringe, sheer panelling (for the ladylike amongst us), lace (for a sexy boudoir-inspired look), and velour (for a hint of melodrama). All of this proved that black is for everyone, no matter your personal taste. Though the first look was a long flowy dress, the masculine-inspired pantsuits that followed made this show ooze of sophistication and attitude. Also, my new favourite accessory made an appearance on a variety of looks: the black fedora. Call it goth meets glamour or Sherlock Holmes meets Hercule Poirot, this collection was infused with mystery and left me wanting more. Some of the best looks included a tuxedo jacket I only hope someone will be gutsy enough to wear to the Oscars, a black feathered skirt that took the 1920s flapper to a whole other level, and a ruffled dress with a bow that strongly appealed to my girly side. Needless to say, I'll need an order of every piece from this collection. Please and thank you.


Are you ready for a glamorous night on the town with a glass of champagne and a man on your arm? Well first, you need to take a look at Julien Macdonald's latest Fall 2016 collection. The designer took everything that is sexy and put it together in a variety of looks only suitable for the model of duty or a woman with infinite confidence (proven by none other than British model, Jourdan Dunn, who owned look 55 at the Brit Awards). Of course, it wouldn't be a party girl collection without a lot of glitter and sparkle, some high slits, and deep Vs that even a true disco diva would have to be quite daring to wear. The primary colour tones were silver and black, but what really struck my attention was the pop of red that almost seemed out of place, yet so consistent with the theme of the collection. If you're daring enough to try one of these looks at your next big event, I urge you to go for a long slinky number with major cutouts. As for me, I'm smitten with the little white dress that closed the show fit for a ballerina and sex kitten all at once.

Every year, I like to talk about David Koma because he seems to know exactly what women yearn to wear, or maybe just me. This season, the collection was all about structured lines and muted tones like pale grey and white.The designer maintained his signature architectural theme on many of his looks with asymmetrical hems and strategic cutouts at the shoulders. The collection veered into darker territory halfway through the show with head-to-toe black looks combined with metallic accents and the ever-so-edgy cobalt blue. Some specks of red were introduced on a few sportswear inspired dresses and mixed print dresses. By the end, the handiwork was blatant and sexy with bits of metal scattered in unusual places to create works of art you would have only expect to see at the Tate.

Mulberry hasn't presented a show at London Fashion Week in a number of years and now that it has finally made a comeback, I could not be more pleased. Coats were definitely the style statement at the show in fall-ready colours like maroon and navy blue with a few striking capes dispersed in between. One of the most remarkable colour combinations in the collection was khaki and maroon, two colours I would have never imagined at the same dinner table, but a combo I can't stop thinking about. The collection eased quickly into edgy streetwear with blouses and dress pants that had just the right amount of attitude and leather accents that still managed to radiate femininity. Bold furs and strong colours like red and yellow gave every look a unique touch while capturing everything that I love about London. When it comes to fashion, this city is fearless and that's exactly what Johnny Coca demonstrated at Mulberry this week with just enough sex appeal to make it rock n' roll. Did I mention, I'm dying for a pair of those platform shoes?


Of course, I always save the best for last. As usual, my obsession with Topshop and Topshop Unique remains untouchable because nothing says London more than this cult favourite brand. Though I could not get enough of the shearling coats, printed mini dresses, and leather accents, my favourite part about this show would have to be the magenta lipstick. Nothing says "I'm a woman with an attitude" like a bold lip colour that adds some extra personality to your outfit. This 80s-inspired beauty look did just that. On another note, half the collection consisted of oversized pieces, such as sweaters, pants, and bulky coats full of fluff that I just wanted to throw on to keep warm in the winter while also looking drop-dead-glamourous. This collection was exactly what London is about: breaking every rule in favour of bigger and bolder prints, a bit of transparency, and a few ill-fitted pieces that somehow still manage to look sexy.

While I shed a tear for London and wish I were there, it's now time to move on to Milan. But first, let me know which shows were your favourite in this rock n' roll city.

Ponder it,


Friday, February 19, 2016

NYFW: My Top 5 Shows In-Review

New York Fashion Week has officially come to an end and the closing remarks are bittersweet. Bitter, because it's time to resume our daily routine of lowkey dressing and sweet, because we're about to open the London chapter and start afresh. While there were some challenging moments (i.e the frigid temperatures), it only challenged bloggers and editors alike to step up their street style game.

On the runway, it was a week filled with future street style inspiration brought to us by streetwear pros like Marissa Webb, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Michael Kors, and more demure office wear for the New Yorker on-the-go presented by Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein, and Huge Boss. For the girl with a little more attitude, Rodarte and Alexander Wang did not fail to come through in the clutch, and for the gal with a little spring in her step, Jeremy Scott came prepared with a closet full of playful and colourful options. While New York Fashion Week is generally the most conservative of the bunch, it has its own persona that is perfectly aligned with that of the city girl with a penchant for fashion. The overall wearability of the clothing is exactly what makes it a crowd pleaser, offering a wide range of ideas for next Fall.

As per the custom, I've selected five shows to review because they presented some of my favourite looks this season. Are you ready?


Carolina Herrera epitomizes elegance and femininity, qualities exhibited by the soft flowing fabrics in her collections and 3-D floral appliques that adorned her much sought-after dresses this year. For her Fall 2016 collection, Herrera juxtaposed light sheer midi skirts with luxe furs to create a ladylike look with some added superstar glamour. The colours ranged from neutral nudes and pinks to dark grey and blue, proving that Spring and Fall can coincide. This may be appropriate considering the "see now, buy now" attitude currently permeating the minds of fashion folk today. Some flashes of mint green and purple sparked our colour trend radars, particularly for the approaching wedding season. Could these be the ones to watch out for? Though most of the looks were conservative in nature, large-and-in-charge eyewear made our pupils dilate a little more, while adding a little whimsy to this otherwise demure collection. It just goes to show that even the most ladylike among us have a hidden playful side that yearns to surface with just the right accessory.



Speaking of ladylike and demure, let's talk about Oscar de la Renta. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I was really feeling the old school feminine collections with a lot of long skirts in loose cuts, furry accents, and high necklines worthy of a Victorian dame, this season. I must say, Peter Copping is proving to be an excellent choice as Oscar's successor based on his latest collections for the label. This particular Fall show featured models in flared skirts and dresses with cinched waists, but don't be mistaken, it was not reserved solely for the angelic amongst us. Bits of leather were added to the show, whether on a knee-length burgundy skirt or a dress in the same shade, giving the collection a bit more of a woman-in-charge attitude. This woman may start off as the CEO of her very own fashion company, but she's quick to change into an elegant gown for the cocktail party after hours. Much like the late designer, Copping ended the show with some jaw dropping gowns with organza skirts as well as some floral jacquard looks for the slightly more rebellious party-goer. I can only imagine a glass of champagne in hand to accessorize one of these dresses, whether of the cocktail variety or the floor-grazing type.

COACH 1941
Let's take a moment to pick at a collection slightly less "ladylike" this season and much more of the masculine-inspired variety: Coach 1941. This year, for the first time, Coach captured my attention during fashion week. This may be due to the fact that it was recently revamped by designer, Stuart Vevers, hoping to raise its fashionista status. Whatever he's doing, he's done it right, taking the lead from designers like Tommy Hilfiger, who perhaps inspired himself from his high school days on the field or maybe even the recent Super Bowl. Allow me to explain. This collection was filled with bomber jackets in all shapes and sizes, whether with shearling collars, long or cropped, or even bedecked in sports paraphernalia, proving that this is probably your next Fall coat, so put it down on your wishlist stat. Though the hemlines were high (the abundance of mini skirts was impossible to miss), there was still a strong masculine feel to this collection, or perhaps a defiance of gender, one of the main themes of fashion week this season. The most surprising part of the show? Models in western inspired booties in metallic shades that somehow went perfectly well with the predominantly preppy garb. Whose to question the power of fashion right? In this day and age, anything goes.

I haven't always identified myself as a Kors girl, or even one to carry his famous shoulder bags on the daily, but this Fall 2016 collection definitely caught my eye. While many of his collections have proven to be unflattering for a small body type like my own (involving many oversized pieces and extra layers to drown a petite frame), this one was much more user friendly. Though it remained jetsetter appropriate (with enough variety to suit every possible destination), this collection was much more streetwear focused. From classy cold weather ready coats (including luxurious furs and peacoats in camel and pale blue) to easy-to-wear flowy mini dress with small slits in bold animal prints or the ever-popular checked look, Kors created a collection that contains enough variety to spice up your wardrobe without losing sight of your identity (no promises though). Some striking pieces in the show included a disco-inspired white mini dress with feathers popping out in all directions and an all-black pant ensemble of the same feathered variety. While it was all slightly less jetset than usual, the essence of Michael was still very much present with an extra pinch of glamour that only served to jazz it up a little more.

Full disclosure. I am absolutely obsessed with Marissa Webb. Though she may have pressed pause on Banana Republic, her namesake collection is stronger than ever and filled with looks anyone with even a modest interest in fashion would be dying to wear (at least parts of it). The collection started with an array of winter ready dark looks with sexy leather thigh-high boots (I'm already coveting) and some sophisticated office-ready plaid. What began as quite a dark collection featuring more structured looks eased its way into the loose floral printed dress for the girly girl who still yearns to look sophisticated without feeling as constricted. Though much of the collection remained in the neutral hues like tan, black, and pale gray, Webb took us all by surprise with a few mustard coloured dresses that were surprisingly appealing. Could this colour be making a revival? (Pantone 2k16?) Another thing the designer seems to be incredibly skilled at (other than sparking our interest in the oh-so-(un)flattering mustard yellow), is layering. If there's one thing this show was NOT missing, it was the abundance of scarves draped around the necks of the models. One particular quality they had is that they flowed all the way to the ground, rather than being wrapped securely around the neck (and these girls are 5"11 on average). When scarves weren't involved, there were heavy turtlenecks galore, reminding us all that this trend is here to stay. If there's anything to take away from this collection, it would have to be that when it comes to winter accessories, more is more.

Hope you enjoyed reading these reviews! Stay tuned for London and let me know which shows were your favourite.

Ponder it,


Friday, February 12, 2016

The Fashion Calendar Revised? (Time To Discuss This Saturated Topic)

Yesterday morning at 9am, the air seemed fresher, the sun shone brighter, and my NYFW app notified me that I had just missed the Nicholas K show, an indication that New York Fashion Week had begun (and that I overslept). But let's put this news on hold for a moment and reflect on the current state of affairs in the fashion industry today.

Social media has exploded in the past 5-10 years, creating a millennial generation that lives in the now. Though the fashion industry may have been the first to embrace this uprising, the concept of instantaneity is only beginning to have a strong (nay, delayed) impact.

In the last few weeks, a few designer labels, including Tom Ford, Vetements, and Burberry, have announced that they will be following the consumer schedule rather than showcasing their collections 6 months ahead of time. In other words, the Fall 2016 shows will be presented in, yes, you guessed it, FALL 2016.

As a millennial, and a committed fashion week follower, I've frequently contemplated this particular subject. Though I watched all the shows back in September, I can honestly say, I can't remember what I witnessed. I can only assume florals, stripes, and white lace were involved, but frankly, I draw a blank when it comes to the precise themes of the designer collections. In the past, I would revise them on YouTube or Vogue Runway (previously called to give myself a quick reminder of what's to come and occasionally, I would just check out what the shops had displayed in their windows.

Is it possible that there will come a day when this will no longer be necessary? Are the days of feeling depressed every time Fall rolls around and all I see on the runways are short hemlines and sandals I won't be wearing for another 6 months about to come to an end?

Are we even ready for this change? Or rather, have we waited way too long for it to come about? Is it a positive step forward or a sign of conformity?

Are you prepared for a confusing transition that involves Fall and Spring intermingling for the next few years until everyone converts to the new system? I know I'm not. But I'm excited.

Ponder these questions and let me know what you think.

Have a great weekend!


P.S Stay tuned for my Fashion Month play-by-play in the upcoming weeks!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Still Talking About Couture Week

If you missed Couture Week, you're in luck. I am about to review the top five must-watch shows. Are you paying attention? Good. Right before you sit back, relax, and sign in to Vogue Runway (you're ultimate fashion week guide) to keep tabs on Fashion Month, you get to enjoy Couture Week and fantasize about every look you wish you had hanging inside your closet (or about attending the Oscars in one of those dresses). From the romantic Giambattista Valli to the spectacle at Chanel, Couture Week is a dream-like experience featuring such a wide selection of looks that it becomes almost undefinable. Couture is a runway of artwork and unlike ready-to-wear, it possesses the magical powers to seduce each and every one of us. Every dress invites you to discover its details with wonder and bewilderment as you become immersed in the catwalk. Now, are you ready to review?

It may be almost 30 minutes long, triple the time of your average runway show, but when it comes to Jean-Paul Gaultier, every minute is worth it. While I still feel nostalgic for the days of ready-to-wear, it's undeniable that Gaultier's strongest asset is la Haute Couture. Every runway show he presents tells an elaborate story and if you've ever seen one of his shows, you'll know that the spectacle is directly related to his own fun-loving personality. Now, let's get to the point, shall we? This show began with a wide array of models in fancy sleepwear for the rich. Some of the features included gold lame and traditional bedtime stripes, but the show was anything but traditional. It gleamed and sparkled like the two-piece outfits on the runway and show-pony chapeaux to match. The models walked down the runway with sass and a bag-girl attitude only suitable at a Gaultier show. It was all very "rock n' roll diva who stayed out very late at a Studio 54 party", demonstrated by the models with cigarettes hanging off their dramatic pouts. Everything was loud and vibrant with 70's deep V's and bralets that added much sex appeal. How do I score this one? I'd say 8/10. I've seen wilder Gaultier, but this definitely kept his fervor intact.

What can I say about Valentino that hasn't been said before? It is the definition of romantic, demure, and totally nostalgic for a time where high necklines and an elegant bodice were what people wore every single day. It perfectly encapsulates the mood we're all currently feeling by taking us back to the past, to a time where living in a castle was totally legit. It felt like an episode of Game of Thrones with Medieval headgear and velvet galore. There were several deep-V necklines, but somehow it came off as innocent and majestic rather than provocative in a Jean-Paul Gaultier type of way. For the most part, the colours remained earthy with some Roman goddess white numbers to take note of (notably looks 43 through 46). While the collection may seem dated to you, it's traditionalism is exactly what makes it fit so well with our nostalgia. Just turn on your television and you'll see that it's all about our history, an escape from selfies and smartphones. And I must say, even though I watched the show on social media, my mind was fully in tune with Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brains behind the collection.

We may have lost Raf Simons at Dior, but the brand is still true to the original designer with an underlying feeling that Raf's influence is still very much present. The collection was feminine and sweet with flared hems and colourful prints that embodied the strong artistic influence at Dior. One of the dominant Spring 2016 trends made an appearance throughout the show: bare shoulders. Is it safe to say we may be spotting this one during awards season this year? Jennifer Lawrence, I'm looking at you. A few other characteristically girly touches were the ruffles, sheerness, and giant bows tied at the feet. Nothing captures Dior better than a classy stiletto heel with a hint of ooh-la-la. While most of the collection portrayed a strong sense of femininity, the oversized jackets and vests added some masculine edge to the collection. But rather than appearing out of place, they felt empowering in contrast with the softer looks. Raf may be gone, but his legacy lives on and so does Christian Dior's. This was only a hint of what's to come and I'm eager to discover the new touches that will be introduced to the brand during Paris Fashion Week.

Chanel would have to be one of the most highly anticipated shows at Couture Week. First of all, Karl Lagerfeld always manages to deliver nothing short of perfection regardless of how many collections he's scheduled to present. While Valentino brought a Game of Thrones touch to its runway, Chanel inspired itself from Star Wars with Princess Leia hairdos to compliment dramatic stage makeup. Though the beauty presentation may have been intense and theatrical, the clothing was anything but. Keeping the Chanel vision alive, Karl had his models walk the runway in classy suits in sophisticated colours like navy blue and white. The necklines were high and the hemlines were low, drawing attention to the details on each elaborate garment. Some of those details included Karl's customary fanny packs and flower motif buttons. As the show progressed, the materials got flowier and softer, appealing to our romantic side. What remained the same was the class and sophistication of every look, whether it contained a feathered skirt or a hint of sparkle. As per Lagerfeld style, comfort was key when it came to the footwear. Rather than put the models in sneakers, this season, they wore the black and white Chanel shoe with a grass-friendly wedge for your neighborly garden party. Now, I don't know about you, but I am ready for some hors d'oeuvres in the garden right about now.

While Chanel may be the most well-known and consequently, sought after, Couture collection, Giambattista Valli speaks to my soul and his collections, ready-to-wear and couture alike, never fail to capture my heart. Each piece is consistently beautiful with ruffled accents on sweet mini dresses and floral prints that can only make you think of a field of flowers on a bright sunny day. The textures at Giabattista Valli make you want to reach out and touch them through your computer screen as you watch each model cascade down the runway. While the show began with shorter hemlines, it took a turn halfway through with a few longer and fuller skirts (namely looks 16 and 18). At this point, we entered into the realm of black and white juxtaposed to create an image of a sweet girl with a hint of edge. The black cape dress on look 24 was a personal favourite of mine because it encapsulated the dark and romantic theme perfectly. And of course, it wouldn't be a Valli show without some extravagant tulle dresses at the very end that have developed into his personal signature.

Eager to watch the full shows? Don't forget to check them out via YouTube along with Then, I'd love to know which was your favourite. Was it Valli or Valentino? Or maybe it was Versace?

Ponder it,