Friday, August 22, 2014

New In - Alexander McQueen De manta Clutch

In the Spring / Summer of 2010, Alexander McQueen introduced the DE MANTA, a large clutch that takes its name and design from the majestic Manta Ray. The collection, entitled Plato's Atlantis, was Lee Alexander McQueen's last complete collection before his untimely death. I proudly own a De Manta from that season. The story of its acquisition was a bit... problematic to say the least. It includes a too long waiting list, friends employing fake accents, and a plan based on persistence. Read about my first De Manta HERE.

Since 2010, McQueen has reinvented the De Manta every season in different colors and fabrications. The Spring / Summer 2014 collection gave me my second one. The new clutch is silk and features a white, black, and striking orange feather print. It has black leather trim and light golden hardware. The contrast of the classic black and white pattern with the added pop of color stole my heart. There was just something about that particular color of orange... Admittedly, I'm drawn to the DE MANTA for aesthetic reasons, but I have to admit the unique shape does lend itself to fit easily in the hand and in the heart.

The models of the Spring / Summer 2014 runway show all wore metal helmets with garments that were a mixture of tribal elements and celtic kilts over pants. The overall theme of the collection was colorful and bold and included lots of jewelry. I was able to secure this bag with much less drama than the first one ( they transferred it in from the Las Vegas store) and was able to add an amazing piece to my collection.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Purple Haze

I never need much of a reason to put on a pretty dress, so when I was invited to dinner on a Monday night I happily accepted. I chose to wear my purple ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO Folio dress from Spring / Summer 2012. It's V neck and silk with a touch of stretch; it was perfect for a warm New York City night. I was initially drawn to this dress mostly for the rich color, but I also loved the subtle draping in the front. Once I had the dress on, I realized that the best thing about this dress was the way it feels against the skin.

Although this dress possesses and natural ease and flow, I chose to add a belt. I wore my black elastic band Gucci belt from Fall / Winter 2008. It features a gold medallion of the Gucci crest. The outfit was finished with a pair of Gucci patent leather booties from the Spring / Summer 2008 collection. The black shoes, named the Newton, feature a peep toe and a heel detail covered in a gold tone calf skin leather. It is a mixture of gold and silver, a color the company created called platino

I've had the opportunity to meet MARIA CORNEJO and I have to say she is lovely. When she speaks to you, her sincerity for her aesthetic comes across easily. It is extremely clear that not only does she wear the clothes she designs, she lives them. With her clothing, Cornejo has managed to strike a delicate balance between comfort and elegance. Simply put, Zero is Cornejo's personal style and she wears it well. 

Although these pictures were taken in the early hours of the morning, there was no shortage of photo taking tourists, residents on their way home, and Spider Men a plenty. Times Square is the world's most visited tourist attraction and full of an unique, almost indescribable energy. At one o' clock in the morning you can have dinner, see a Broadway show, or hang out with super heroes. If you've never been, I can assure you that New York is definitely the City That Never Sleeps.

Friday, August 01, 2014

The Met Museum of Art Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Every year the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Costume Institute host a Fashion based exhibit. Some years are better than other, but I have to say that this year's presentation was exceptionally extraordinary. Charles James was a British born American couturier whose career spanned from the 1920's to the late 70's. James mastered cutting and structure in a time where ball gowns ruled the world.

The exhibition itself was quite large and was housed in two separate locations, the Costume Institute and gallery 199. My tour began downstairs in the Anna Wintour Costume Center. Immediately, you walk into a dark room full of iridescent taffeta and multiple layers of velvet. Dress forms are grouped in small clusters behind clear plexiglass walls that proudly displayed white vinyl quotes from the designer himself. As I walked the floor, I noticed that there didn't seem to be much day wear and admittedly the coats weren't my favorite. The dresses however, the dresses were amazing.

I took a minute to absorb my surroundings. There were 4 large projection screens showing detailed video James' work as well as smaller screens that told the history behind the clothes. When you looked closely, it was easy to see the detail in the draping and the contrived construction. To the right of the room stood a dress comprised of several 6 1/2 inch wide antique silk ribbons in peach, gold, and ivory. A feat that no doubt took hours and hours of construction and was magnificent in it completion. Despite the age of the designs, most of the evening wear appeared quite relevant and could easily be pictured on any modern red carpet. My favorite, a navy silk faille cocktail dress from 1953. Some pieces did veer a little towards costume, but then I thought that was okay. Fashion should serve us both in function and fantasy.

Gallery 199 was all about the ball gown. Individual dresses stood on round pedestals under spotlights, each accompanied by an informative screen linked to robotic arms fit with cameras. They carefully scanned around the garments to showcase the detail and the craftsmanship that went into the garments. Everything you needed to know about the dress was clearly displayed on the screen. The retrospective was certainly thorough and a true fusion of Fashion and technology.

Charles James may not have a widely recognizable name like some of his counterparts from his lifetime, but his work speaks for itself. The Met Museum was a spectacular choice to house a lifetime of glamour. The venue's grandness was the perfect setting for the perfect ball gowns. I look forward to what the Costume Institute has in store next.