Friday, November 25, 2011

Designer of the Week: Monique Lhuillier

Weddings, to me, are magical. It's one day where the entire focus is coming together, becoming a family and celebrating love that is not easy to find. One of my absolute favorite wedding dress designers is Monique Lhuillier. She has feminine, fashion infused gowns, and as a fan of simple lace mermaid style gowns, hers are perfection.
Bliss 2012
Monique Lhuillier attended FIDM and after marrying her husband Tom Bugbee, now CEO of her couture line, she opened her fashion business in LA after frustration over how few wedding gowns had elements of fashion.
pre fall '11 Bridal
spring 2012 Bridal
From the success of her fabulous Bridal line, Monique Lhuillier also designs a ready to wear line and couture line for other formal dresses, besides bridal. Here are a few of my favorites:
resort 2012

resort 2012

Ready to Wear Fall 2011

spring 2012 Ready to Wear
Hope y'all enjoyed this preview of Monique Lhuillier!
May the Prada be with you

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Well, if y'all didn't know, it's Thanksgiving. Before I go spend some time with my crazy whacky family and grandparents, I wanted to make a list of a few things I have to be thankful for, though in reality there is more than I could possibly list.
 I am thankful for my two wonderful cousins who took me into their home so I could have the most amazing summer of my life attending fashion school in San Francisco. I know that not everyone gets a close bond with their cousins like I have, and I am grateful to say my cousins are my best friends. San Francisco was inspiring and life changing and gratitude isn't an adequate word to express my feelings at being able to experience it.
 I am thankful for the Bernard family, who take me in like I'm one of their own (I certainly look like it-I'm the one on the far right by the way) and are so kind and gracious to me. I am thankful to have a loving group of blondes to hang with and grateful for the vacations as well as the moral support they provide. I am especially thankful for my very best friend, Alie.
 I am thankful for friends who stay in contact and love each other and have a good time even when separated by thousands of miles. This is one of many oovoos we had, which would sometimes get to five or six people at a time oovooing from Canada to San Francisco to New York to Colorado.
 I am grateful for adventure! I'm thankful for all the new experiences I've had this year, such as indoor skydiving, and for the courage to try them all.
 I am thankful for my precious dog-even when she isn't as well groomed as she is in this picture.
 I am grateful for these two gingers, a) for wearing the ginger shirts Alie and I bought them and b) for being teachers, friends, leaders and big sisters to us. They take such good care of us and are so loving and kind. They do more than anyone else for a group of high schoolers and are my heroes. I am so thankful to have role models like them.
 I am thankful for my best friend, my sister, my partner in crime and "my person" Alie. (If you didn't get the Grey's anatomy reference-I'm her Grey, she's my Christina.) She helps me through thick and thin, never fails to make me laugh, helps me go past my comfort zone and always has my back even at ungodly hours of the night.
I'm thankful for these two noobs who are my Crossing friends, and thankful for how much they have helped me explore my faith and dig deeper with Jesus.
I'm thankful for my two precious sisters and for their spunk, laughter and companionship.
For things not pictured I am thankful for my brother, parents, and all the people who support me day in and day out. I am thankful for fashion, and for the creative outlet it provides me. I am thankful for being nearly half way through junior year, which really is as hard as everyone says. I'm grateful for country music, and for my blue jeep liberty.
Hope everyone's having a blessed Thanksgiving!
May the Prada be with you

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Check List

Hello all! So remember when I said I'd be a lot better...yeah that didn't happen. I'm trying though. On my check list for getting the blog back up in running:
find camera battery charger
make time for shoots when still light out
show all the cool DIY stuff I've found
organize my closet
post, post, post

Anywho, I borrowed my best friend's camera to take a shot of my new staples for winter that coincided perfectly for my weekend up in the mountains. This is comfy. This is chic. This is laid back and effortless and above all for a snowy and cold Colorado winter, warm.

Sweater: Nordstrom, Necklace: Forever XXI, Leggings: Nordstrom, Boots: BP Nordstrom, Socks: Urban Outfitters

Yes indeed, my checklist for this winter is primarily focused on the following:
Boot Socks
And let me tell you, these boots are amazing. They're brown faux leather with a heel hidden underneath and a simple sleek design that goes with everything while also very chic. And I love fun winter patterned boot socks peeking out, especially ones that add a pop of color. And it's so cozy!
Of course, I am not at all closed minded when it comes to clothes, and other must haves on my winter shopping list range from sequined everything, to infinity scarves to beaded tops and dresses. However I definitely feel that this winter is really based on effortless, laid back chic with a pop of something sparkly for more formal affairs.
I promise to try much harder, (with the exception of finals week-no promises) and I am going to try to get through some shoots and editing during my week off!
May the Prada be with you

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sorry for Sucking

Hi! SO. I am fully aware of the fact that I haven't blogged in....God knows how long. I have been swamped by my Junior year of high school and between six IB classes, violin, tutoring kids, and young life haven't had a spare moment. But I am making the effort and once I figure out a time to regularly take photos I plan on getting everything back up and running.
But my latest fashion obsession has been realized by my obsessive use of (seriously check it out, it's addicting) and that is following my theme this year of androgynous dressing. That means mixing opposites, a guy plaid shirt with skinny jeans and heels, a dress with tough boots, or in my latest delight, denim oversized shirts with ultra girly skirts.
clothes by J. Crew

(I looked but couldn't find the original ad)
What I love about these looks is that they are so cute and feminine and flattering without going your typical sundress or skirt + cardigan way. They allow girls to be chic and girly at the same time. The rough denim shirt also allows for a really dramatic skirt, because with anything else the skirt would be overdone. (boy clothes=getting to wear ultra girl clothes...funny how that works.)
Basically, I'm still searching for a floor length, crazy, beautiful skirt, so let me know if you find one, and am also stocking up on cute denim/plaid shirts for this winter season. Also loving for this season: oversized loose knit comfy sweaters, minimalist chic tanks that will layer perfectly with blazers, and tailored long sleeved shirts with ruffles.
More to come, and sorry for sucking these last months!
p.s. blog is officially one year old. wahoo!
May the Prada be with you

Monday, August 22, 2011

Made With Love

I admit that on days people compliment my clothing choices, I feel pretty good and get a boost in confidence. However, getting complimented on what you picked off the rack in Nordstrom is not half as satisfying as when someone compliments something you made.

Skirt: made by yours truly; tank top: Nordstroms; Cardigan: Urban Outfitters; Shoes: Tahari

Today I donned my new skirt, the skirt I made in my sewing class at AAU this summer, and got countless compliments, even from teachers. Okay, well the teacher was an LA teacher and therefore loves crosswords, but nonetheless it felt so good to get such rewarding feedback on something that was a result of my hard work and something that was a result of my imagination. I even have a few requests to make some for other people!
Each year I like to switch up my wardrobe with new themes and ideas to stick to. This year I'm going with clean chic and have also really enjoyed mixing a bunch of different patterns and prints, as well as combining things you may not think of, such as black and brown (normally cliche but can be made super chic) and combat boots with lace dresses (coming soon).
What fun twists have you all been putting on your new back to school wardrobes?
May the Prada be with you
Best wishes,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Goodbye's are Bitter Sweet

My last night here was fabulous, including In'n'Out, Martinelli's floats, Grey's Anatomy, lots of laughter, and finishing my final project for design. This is my final article from journalism to post. I'm very sad to go home, honestly. But I know it's where I need to be and I have no doubts that something good is waiting there for me.
The Three R's of Fashion
Vintage style brings new shopping trends
Any girl would jump at the opportunity to get her hands on a designer piece or the newest item a store has to offer, but with the strong trend of vintage looks from the last few decades gaining popularity, a new and more affordable way to shop is on the rise.

Nicole Richie in vintage
Besides catering to those craving garments from the 50's or the 80's, thrift and specialty vintage stores offer individuals a chance to own a completely unique item, with no worries of running into their friend in the same outfit. Another bonus of thrift stores in particular is the price, where, if enough searching is done, one can find a designer item for a thrifty price. Indeed, more and more young fashionistas, bloggers, and celebrities wear vintage in quest of an original and savvy style.
However, while some finds can be just right, it's to be noted that many will require some snipping, altering, or tailoring to avoid looking like you raided your grandmother's closet. Creativity is a must when it comes to thrifting or vintage shopping and opens more doors, rather than the closed mind approach of searching for a "to die for" vintage piece that already fits and has no concerning applique or puffy sleeves so large you might float away. With an open mind, an overdone prom dress can become a cute, sleek skirt, or a loose knit sweater into a beach-worthy crop top. 
The possibilities are endless, and this trend certainly puts a new and stylish spin on recycling.
May the Prada be with you

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Won't You Save Me San Francisco?

Thursday afternoon I will depart for Orange County to see my grandparents and meet up with my family and before I know it I will be home August 7th. I've really loved San Francisco. I've loved the opportunities, experiences and people. Here's a quick photo recap.
 From the cool and quirky architecture and design found around the city...

 to fourth of July....

 to the amazing aquarium including an albino alligator...

 to the planetarium...

 to friends visiting from across the country who visit flea markets and zipline among the skyscrapers...

 to visiting Golden Gate Bridge like tourists...

to a fabulous Giants game with first row club level seats between first and home.
San Francisco has been a dream and I can't wait to post all my work from my classes.
May the Prada be with you

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fashion can be Found in San Francisco

Hi loves, this is me keeping my promise of being a more regular blogger and also fulfilling my class assignment of posting a few articles I've written. This one was a pleasure to write and involved a very cool experience. My class wrote a review after visiting the Balenciaga and Spain exhibit at the De Young Museum in San Francisco, and it was simply stunning. But before I get ahead of myself, here's the article:

"Balenciaga and Spain" Brings Life to Historic Fashion
A look at the Balenciaga exhibit in the De Young
In the fashion world, the name "Balenciaga" is one of inspiration, creativity, and genius that radically altered many aspects of what is now couture. From groundbreaking silhouettes to subtle elegance, Balenciaga was a Spanish couturier who is now renowned for his incredible work. 
The de Young Museum in San Francisco, California hosted an exhibit dedicated to the designer, showcasing many of his infamous gowns and creations. Crowds of people attended and experienced the elegance and genius that is Balenciaga. Several rooms filled with awe inspiring works like none other held a simplistic and well put together ambiance, ranging from simple black rooms with dim but vibrant lighting in the background to themed stages representing Balenciaga's inspirations.
The exhibit opened with a beautiful coral gown and then presented a series of all black designs including both evening dresses and more reserved business wear and women's suits. Though all in black, the women were not dull, but instead, striking. The color became bold when put into the creative and skilled hands of Balenciaga, whose artistic and elegant craftsmanship draws your eyes not only to his unique designs but also to the quality of the garment itself. Each article of clothing had an elegance that was both over-the-top and understated.
Themes included a healthy dose of lace and layers as well as skilled draping around the body to create a flow of fabric. Helpful signs explained what the theme of both the room and creations were, as well as details about Balenciaga's childhood that contributed to the theme of his work.
While the mannequins were basic, lacking hair or accessories, the hands were expressive and poised, later tied into Balenciaga's intrigue with Andalusian dance and flamenco.
After the encompassing magnificence of the initial set of dresses, the viewer is fed into another small room housing the couterier's more progressive gowns with revolutionary silhouettes. It was made notable that Balenciaga had no fear of breaking the mold, particularly of setting a dress shape to be heavier on top. These dresses possessed less details, focusing more on the shape, and were cut of fabric of deep and rich hues. The display for these was simplistic as well, to allow the full attention to be directed to the construction of the garments, such as the famous "I" silhouette. 
The audience is then led into a large room filled with multiple different displays, and this room is suddenly extravagant and colorful, with several different themed collections setup with their corresponding inspirations. Rather than dim lighting, minimalist displays and creations, an overwhelming arena of sequins, bows, lace, pleats, music and color greet the general public.
A platform with richly colored garments with creative and original hemlines is accompanied by light flamenco music and a background that has the essence of Spain, Balenciaga's country of origin. Each of these mannequins is posed in positions reminiscent of Andalusian and flamenco dancers. One of the standout gowns was that which appeared to "open up" in the front and reveal layers of ruffles beneath. A special corner of this theme was devoted to bull fighting, with exquisite jackets and a symbolic carnation dress, representing Spain's national flower as well as what is thrown at the bull fight.
Several other collections dominate the floor, such as a display recounting the influence of the Catholic church on Balenciaga, best demonstrated by intriguing hats; a display honoring his invention of the "bubble skirt" still present in modern day fashion and reminding us of his everlasting impression on the fashion world; and a display with a theme of royalty that houses regal gowns, including an odd gown resembling a skunk. certain gowns such as this draw the viewer's attention to the fact that Balenciaga was not afraid of going over-the-top, exemplified by a dress absolutely covered in bows and yet he was also able to pull back for a simple chic look as shown in his creation of an elegant gown with one simple bow on the back. He is a master of statements, understated or extreme. 
Several special pieces are shown in the center of the commotion in glass cases, allowing for a 360 vision. These seem to be reserved for his more extreme and well known pieces, such as a black silk crepe gown with a large and impressional chou chou, or a red and black polka dot creation inspired by flamenco. Each creation was crafted with the great quality and though created many years ago, still can be traced to modern fashion and still emit a desire from viewers to one day wear a garment as classy and creative as them. One could wander the exhibit for hours, and still have many details left to note and take in. 
The exhibit was well put together and a welcome reminder of Balenciaga's genius and influence as well as a reminder of the inspiring effect that couture as on the world. I would highly recommend the exhibit, not just as one of exquisite craftsmanship, creative genius, and simple beauty but also as a historic landmark represented in gorgeous gowns.
With only five days left in this beautiful city, I'm treasuring every moment and excited to see what the last few days hold.
May the Prada be with you

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Designer of the Week

Hello all! I am currently in my journalism class at AAU and our assignment? Blogging. Excited? Duh.
The assignment I am turning in today was to do a feature article on a designer of our choice. Before this program, the designers names I knew to choose from was well under 20. Now I can't even count how many designer's names have been thrown at me, and it has been inspiring to say the least. I thought as an inspiration to you all, you may enjoy a weekly feature on designers that make my heart sing with joy. My feature article, and therefore the first designer that I'll feature, was on Rei Kawakubo, the founder and current creative director of Comme des Garcon, as well as my most recent idol. I love her views on fashion, her legendary style creations, and how she takes the fashion world by storm, not concerned with fitting in with the rest.

Making Headlines and a Statement
An inside look at the influential couture house Comme de Garcon and the designer behind it
Leah Cioth
Comme des Garcon's Spring 2012 collection continued its signature quality tailoring adn brilliant ideas, courtesy of creative director and founder, Rei Kawakubo, with a new twist of a moreromantic mood, which further proved Kawakubo's creative genius at marrying two separate ideas to create an edgy and consumer friendly line.
Rei Kawakubo
picture link:

Though now known as the founder of one of the most famous fashion houses in the world, Rei Kawakubo had a humble beginning, not even including proper training at a fashion design school. Kawakubo attended Keio University in Tokyo, graudating with degrees in fine arts and literature. From there she became a freelance stylist adn also worked for a textile company until 1973 when she established her own legendary company, Comme des Garcon, french for "like the boys." In 1975 she opened her first boutique with women's clothes in Tokyo adn three years later she added on her mens line.

Her move to Paris took place in 1981 where she opened another boutique adn started showing in the Parisian fashion shows. Kawakubo made a splash in Paris fashion week, 1981, that was later known as "Hiroshima Chic".

Comme des Garcon challenged the 80's standard of beauty with its disheveled adn rough appearance, becoming a signature fashion of anti fashion with neutral and dark colors, as well as a theme of deconstruction. The deconstruction appears in unfinished edges, deliberate holes in the garment, and fabric draped across the model's body. She made a statement about not only the definition of feminine beauty but also of fashion itself and its role. Though the industry may have underestimated her initial influence, the mainstream fashion scene quickly replied with deconstructed garments of their own.
Comme des Garcon Spring 2012
picture link:

Kawakubo is also known for her unique shaped garments that take a life of their own rather than focusing on the human silhouette it is encompassing. As stated by Simon Werle in 50 Fashion Designers You Should Know "in her fashion the human being is more than a mere silhouette."

Comme des Garcon has made its name in an industry that is arguably one of, if not the, most difficult to break into, with artistic and quality construction and revolutionary attitudes. This leads one to question, how does the artistic genius Rei Kawakubo come up with these creations and how does her creative process work? She explains to NY Fashion Magazine, "I start every collection with one word. I can never remember where this one word came from...After I find the word, I do not develop it in any logical way. I deliberately avoid any order to the thought process after finding the word adn instead think about the opposite of the word, or something different to it or behind it." Kawakubo's collections are certainly unique, ranging from her first collection that was referred to by many as "apocalyptic end-of-the-world fashion" to her most recent romantic and edwardian collection.

Recent accomplishments for the couture house include a line for H&M, the swedish store that specializes in getting top couture designers such as Lanvin and Versace to create lines for the general public, which was a total hit and successfuly a more toned down collection but still signature Comme des Garcon. The multi million dollar empire also launched a temporary brand by the name of Black in 2009, with ten stores opening around the world, as the designer herself said, to bring "positive energy" to the difficult times.

Another notable contribution to the fashion world made by Rei Kawakubo was her once intern turned successful and independent designer, Junya Watanabe, her own protege. Watanabe is notable for, similar to his mentor, innovative fashion construction and style, as well as his advanced ideas in fabric. He is also noted as being tight lipped and media shy, though he was quoted in a rare interview to Interview Magazine about his 2009 collection. He stated, "it's important for me to consider where you wear the clothes and what purpose they serve." Watanabe also signed on to Converse All Star and designed a collection of shoes in 2007. He has also joined the ranks of designers to have outfitted the first lady, Michelle Obama, when she was seen wearing his blue patterned cardigan in April of 2009.

As to Kawakubo's morals and beliefs, she has quite pointedly stated that she is not a feminist, told to NY Fashion Magazine but instead stated, "I just decided to make a company built around creation, and with creation as my sword I could fight the battles I wanted to fight." Kawakubo also views fashion as a total package and ambiance rather than individual goods meant for a museum. She has shown she does her job clearly out of passion and with a vigor, creativity and a goal that implies the fiercest of hearts, expressed in a couture line that will be remembered for centuries.

More posts soon, I swear we will be back on schedule.
May the Prada be with you