Monday, October 31, 2011

Get off your butt and get inspired!

It's not only that I've been busy and mad at the world in all sorts of odd ways (my week was completed by losing my wallet/having it stolen and being left without ID. In a foreign country.) but also that I've been trying to find any sort of fashion-related inspiration. Which is difficult when you deal with numbers and economics and corporate hogwash all day (it's taught in school, it's not random when it happens).

So what's the order of business?

Why,an inspirational post to get me (and you, my darlings) off our bored, cold behinds and back into fashionistic enthusiasm.

Maybe Anouck Lepere by Asa Tallgard for Elle Russia, wearing Gucci?

A cozy bedroom that makes me sleepier than I already am?

The beauty that is Arizona Muse, as shot by David Sims and styled by Grace Coddington for Vogue US November?

Some Shalom Harlow, because she's the most interesting and beautiful 90s supermodel? (I'm a dictator on this blog!)

Yes, these all work satisfactorily, but not quite as perfect as this quote. From the wonderful Albus Dumbledor, ahem, I mean, J.K. Rowling: “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish,  but battle on.” 

And, also, thank you, my friends, for the kindness in your comments, all the time, but especially in my previous post. Thank you for the well thoughts. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Taking things for granted

How many times a week do you pass by a particular place in your city? 5 times? 10 times? Several times a day?

Do you still notice it?

I realized I don't. After a while, things become blurred in my mind and I no longer notice the proofs of humanity's craftsmanship or nature's beautiful quirks. I pass by, whizzing through my day, planning a math cramming session or a well-deserved nap.

A few days ago I finally noticed that I'd been walking by, twice a day, one of those scenes people gasp when they see them, and I'd been passing it without even blinking. "It's just a building" I would think before moving on at my recently acquired fast pace.

"It's just sun. It's evening, so the sun is setting. I'm too busy to sit around watching it, not to mention it happens every night."

It is beyond my comprehension how I turned into that person. How I could glance out the window at this view and dismiss it so casually. To turn another page in my books and sigh contently at my resilience.

And then, last night happened. Hearing a woman on the phone telling me my sister had been in an accident, and that I should go to the hospital. Asking her where that hospital is, like the noob that I am. Forgetting any and all tiredness after having been on the go for 12 hours. Thinking never has a subway moved slower. Finding my French words like never before. Thinking "it's not happening". Thinking I had wondered what was for dinner just minutes earlier.

Hearing her voice, knowing she's okay. Literally my heart descending from my throat. Not sleeping the whole night, after my brain found an idea deep inside me: "What if she hadn't been so lucky?". Finding today's classes at University futile and coming home to make dinner for the two of us (that's never sounded so good before) a better way to spend my time.

Life is too short to take any part of it for granted. It's too short to keep our eyes on the ground when we're walking, and it's too short to take for granted that drivers will let you pass because it's your right. Life is too short to think there's another sunset coming.

Please remember that every person crossing a street is someone else's centre of the Universe. Please remember when you're crossing a street that you are someone else's centre of the Universe. Please remember to watch the sunset. The turning leaves. The clouds reflected into skyscrapers. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who am I?!

Until the 15th of August this year, it had never crossed my mind, not even in my wildest dreams that I'd end up studying Business Administration at University. But then, when I was presented with this wild possibility, things started making sense.

Fast forward two months, and I'm a barely recognisable creature. "Sovereign debt" has become a syntagm regularly part of my casual thoughts (like on the subway) and I know what FTSE stands for, as well as what "ceteris paribus" is. I've even decided to give functions that second date I've been denying since the first year of high school. I even know what the EU Summit this weekend is about in freakish detail, and not only because it's kind of taking place at the other end of my street and I have to take a detour on Sunday if I go out.

Fast forward two months, and these three items are regularly and daily found in my hands, my bag, they've become indispensable parts of my day.

The Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and a graphing calculator. 

I actually read these papers on a daily basis, and I've even learnt to use the fanciest options on the little device I previously thought was little more than a VERY foreign contraption. 

You see I was always art-inclined, specifically literature crazy and, obviously, fashion was also a big part of what I thought of on a daily basis, and I was more than certain that I was going to study something in the field of Arts & Humanities. Little did I know I'd be studying to get a Bachelor of Science. 

So there it is friends, the late, late, late update on my studying situation. 

And of course I remain myself. Look. 

L'Officiel's 90th anniversary issue, Tavi Gevinson on the cover, all 529 pages of it, all mine for 5 euros. Oh the perks of living in Belgium (foreign magazines were painfully expensive in Romania).

Will you be/ Were you/ Are you in college/Uni? What will you be/are you/were you studying?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Be the splash of colour you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi once said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". I find this piece of advice to be one of the most accurate and perfect things ever said. I have no intention to adapt or alter it, however, I found myself thinking the title of this post just the other day.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Along with dropping, winter-like temperatures, the month of October brought along some sort of realisational melancholy: yet another year is finishing. Everyone is frowning upon one economic woe after another, and everyone is insanely busy. However, this is the time when we have to look inside ourselves rather than blame our shortcomings on others, and decide that it's us and only us that have the power to make ourselves happy. It's not easy, I know. I've been shrugging and explaining "I have a student budget" for a long time now, yet it's clear to me that it is unto us to make things different.

And I think it starts with our outlook on life. With the world around us, specifically, with small things that we can control. We can control the feeling our clothes give us, for instance, and I think the sure-fire way to go right now is with a splash of colour to remind us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Photo found here

And I'd like to thank Mr.Tommy Thon, in the name of the entire blogosphere (can anyone disagree?) for his beautiful and endlessly inspirational photographs, and for making accessible to us quite a number of shoe-gasmic experiences. 

Photo: Tommy Ton

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Super Model

*I swear I didn't mean for two post titles in a row to start with the same two words... but don't you love it when that happens?

People argue over what a supermodel is, and nowadays it's kind of accepted that supermodels aren't what they used to be, that is to say celebrity power-houses in their own right. Victoria's Secret "Angels" make the tabloids, but high fashion models, the ones that grace the runways in Paris, are no longer "all the rage". 

But I kind of like that. It means "us", the "fashion crowd", that is to say, people that are actually interested in fashion as an art form rather than a glittery spectacle, get to admire and love them without being part of a practically world-wide agglomeration of adorers. 

That said, who is the Super-Model nowadays? The runways are numerous and people get lost in the crevices of an ever-globalizing (thank you, Internet) fashion universe but here and there, a face sticks with us, and we recognize it season after season. 

There are many models. Many many many gorgeous girls that embed their names in our heads because they have that special look, that particular walk, that perfect body. But one raises above all. One floats among them with a serene smile on her face and 16 tattoos that would have scandalised and earned her no castings 15 years ago. 

You guessed it, it's Freja. Freja Beha Erichsen, Karl Lagerfeld's muse, the odd, black-dressing smoker that once dated Catherine McNeil (or didn't you know that?!). Many people might love to jump in disagreement, but in my opinion, there is no one that "does it better", she is the goddess of the runways in Paris. 

Freja has always been a special presence during fashion shows, but during SS2012 she brought with her an air of serenity, of calm contentment and that (previously) rare smile, that lights up her surroundings. 

Something else that makes Freja Beha Erichsen beautiful? The fact that she is real and down-to-earth, by realizing it's not all as glamorous as the world around her. She is aware there are people on this same exact planet who are struggling in ways we can't even imagine - so she lent her image to the Starved for Attention campaign, and smartly let the world know by wearing the T-shirt for the campaign during Fashion Week. 

This button feels unloved. ^_^ 
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Do you like her? Who is your favourite model?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Unbearable Lightness of Fabric

My biggest, most unquenchable penchant in the entirety of all fashion concepts is sheer. Without a doubt, a material that allows the eye to see what is underneath excites my eye and compells my attention and imagination like nothing else, and if that material happens to be black as well, I'm in love.

Alexander McQueen, and one of my favourite sheer looks because of how transparent the sheer fabric is, despite being black. 

Calvin Klein Collection


Karl Lagerfeld's aquatic, whimsical inspiration translated into pieces as light as air for Chanel.

Costume National also provided a plentiness of sheer, some of it barely visible.

Erdem Moralioglu did a stand-up job.

I see myself forced to admit that Bill Gaytten didn't fail at John Galliano, as he used the lines within which John himself used to play: erotically transparent garments, daring cuts etc.

Alber Elbaz made us sigh (what else is new?) at Lanvin with  variously coloured dresses that were elaborate and simple at the same time.

Peter Dundas's collection for Emilio Pucci was a pretty big win, with dresses that were sexy bordering on smoking.

Ralph Lauren (my review here)

Valentino was all sorts of epic. The models had the air of noblewomen and the show seemed a clean, ideal escape into the Middle Ages. 

Playful, sexy Jason Wu.

The idea that something can be black and completely revealing at the same time the way sheer black fabric is mesmerizes me beyond belief. And this season, designers delivered beyond my wildest hopes. An infusion of unapologetically enthusiastic darkness flooded the runway, and it is finally accepted and acceptable that this darkness is sexy and natural.


Ann Demeulemeester, one of my favourite designers of all time, used the gradient technique as well.


Bill Gaytten returned to the roots in a risk-free show for Dior.

Rachel Comey made use of brilliant design, using wool-like prints on silk.

If they weren't dark, the sheer garments seemed to simply float around the models' bodies, not daring to constrain their beauty in any way, only to adorn them, to protect their delicacy without strangling them, to enjoy being permitted presence.

So you see, this lightness of fabric is only unbearable in that it is irresistible, and I can very well imagine not being able to resist those items if I were to come to touch them.

What did you think, darlings? Do you like sheer garments?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Super Show

The fashion world is funny. It's funny, because it has such a fine, inexplicable equilibrium, as if it works for and through itself, without minding what all those fancy people think or do. It's funny, because every season, there's a show that makes everyone sit silent for a second and ponder the implications, the impressive effect the collection they've just seen will have on the future. Two seasons ago, it was Celine. Last season it was Haider Ackermann. This season it's Givenchy, methinks.

Even from my pathetic little corner in the online fashion world, I can see it. It was just one of those shows that will be talked about until the next fashion month. One of those shows with the perfect array of models, one of those shows opened by Natalia Vodianova and closed by Gisele Bundchen.

Inspired by mermaids and surfers (visible in shark-tooth necklaces, scale-like sequins and skirts with considerably longer sides, like mermaid tails), the collection had the kind of superfluous greatness that simply allows one to "enjoy the show", because the pieces are so good, they don't require extra attention. 

Sure, we could drool just about all day long over those perfectly-cut, perfectly colored vests and blazers, but then we might miss the ankle-length pants which were just the perfect amount of "tight".

The shinier-than-thou (ha!) trend didn't skip the Givenchy runway, but in a particularly impressive fixing-up of sequins, their fluidity reminiscent of the scales on a mermaid's tail. 

To conclude, Riccardo Tisci has managed to deliver one of those stop-and-stare shows, and after you stop and stare, you make a small sound of yearning. I foresee all those glorious garments flying off the racks and into the closets of cool girls, rock chicks and business women alike. 

Did you like it?