Monday, June 25, 2007

Rope detail

I've always been a fan of the nautical look. When I was 5, I was very into navy and white, and sailor-style tops or dresses. I still rock the nautical look, and the little things that come together with it---stripes, blue and white (combined with a touch of gold if possible), anchor motifs and now...rope detail.

Like this one from Moschino Cheap & Chic.

They have it in blue as well, a picture of which I have posted somewhere else on this site, so now i'm posting the red version.

And this is something I would so totally wear (if i have not done so already).

Then there's also this very cool one from Sonia Rykiel.

Very French Riveria. Again, I totally dig the outfit.

Finally there's this one by Topshop, which always allows people to sample trends at lower price points.

I know it sounds boring, but I'd pair this with shorts and some snazzy footwear (it's too classic a look to just throw aside!) Or with jeans and a nice jacket when the weather cools down.

I'm currently liking these:

(From Borne)

(From Alexander Wang)

And these jeans:

From Topshop. The zipper and the dark wash is just so cool. Nice contrast to the preppy-ness of the nautical-style top.
From Primark and Ernest Sewn respectively. Ernest Sewn is seriously one of the best denim labels out there. Scott Morrison is quite the denim genius. Ditto Jerome Dahan.

Spot the similarities

Let's play spot the similarities!

(Paul and Joe, and Lux respectively)

Not so obvious, but if you look closely you can still see where the similarities are. (From Velvet, Dahl and French Connection respectively)

And my personal favourite:

L.A.M.B versus Riverisland.

Photographs from:,,,,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Deconstructing Shelly Steffee

I chanced upon this online store on the Lucky Magazine website and I must say, I am loving the clothes there. Very very quietly elegant and quietly cool. The subtly appeals much to me. And among many wonderful labels available on the site, one stands out in particular---Shelly Steffee. Now I am usually not fond of post-modernism anything and by extension, with deconstruction taken to denote the application of post-modernism, deconstruction antying e.g. deconstructivist views in history, deconstructive architecture, deconstructive literature and definitely not deconstructive clothes (you know, those done mainly by Japanese designers that look like oragami and are as difficult to wear.)

And yet, upon first laying eyes on her pieces, I found myself inexplicably drawn to them. I put it down to her ability to balance deconstruction with feminity and elegance such that her pieces have this cool confidence without coming across as trying too hard to show creativity.
Take this top for instance.

It is like wearing a piece of architecture---deconstructivist details make it unique---but the black colour and the clever proportions of the details, together with the belt to anchor the piece, makes it just the perfect blend of arty cool and elegant. It's versatility is also a plus as it could be easily dressed down with short, or dressed up with flowy dress pants or a pencil skirt. It could even be paired with dark cropped denim for a more casual look.

I also like this conceptualist pink top of hers.

This is how the blue version looks on the mannequin (the website didn't have a picture of how the pink one looked when worn).

I prefer the pink one though. Isn't the way it drapes just beautiful?

This top is also very deconstructural. But the zip and the tie at the waist prevent it from coming across as messy.

Then there are the trousers she creates. Like this pair of shorts.

Again a great combination of quiet and cool. The dark slate colour makes it elegant while there is just enough detailing (not overdone) to make it unique.
Likewise for this pair of jodphurs.

My hats off to anyone who can make jodphurs look cool. I would pair this with a white tank and metallic sneakers. Maybe one from Hogan.
Then there are her outerwear pieces.
This is the perfect piece to take along on the plane (for distracting from crumpled clothes). It speaks city sleek without being too minimalistic. Again her fine ability to balance between elegant and unique makes this piece a must have.
Then there's this sweater.
Granted it's not as outstanding as the jacket above, I still like it for its slouchy vibe. And with most slouchy things, it looks really comfortable.
Finally there are her dresses. Again architectural, conceptual, deconstructionist are words that come to mind. Just that this time, unlike most pieces with such adjectives given to them, Shelly's pieces look really wearable as well.

Again belts are used to anchor the piece to prevent it from looking too chaotic, messy or haphazard.

This is how the dress on the top right looks when worn on the model. For those digging the futuristic look of the spring summer 2007 catwalk, this is just the piece to get. And it isn't doesnt look too futuristic that can't be worn once the trend is over.
Really, Shelly Steffee has sparked my interest in oragami, architectural pieces of clothing. Here ability to balance between edgy and creative with elegant and wearable is just astounding, never once crossing the fine line between cool and pretentious.
Now if only there were more such designers out there.
Photographs from:

Thursday, June 7, 2007

ankle-length skinny jeans

I am currently having somewhat of an Audrey Hepburn-esque moment. Audrey used to go around in skinny ankle-length pants. Currently I am into skinny flood length jeans. Especially those with zippers at the side. While there is a hint of the 80s in it---the tapered part and the zips---i think that the new ankle-length jeans of the 00s have like waaaaaaaay surpassed anything the 80s produced, mainly due to fit and wash. (Somehow, when it comes to the 80s, images of bad clothes, bad hair and bad makeup come to mind. In short: not very fond of the fashion then.)

This first pair comes from Goldsign, whose founder Adriano Goldschmied is a pioneer in the denim industry having designed for Guess, Lucky, founded Diesel and his own-highly sought after-label AG.

It would look nice paired with this simple Topshop tee. The floatiness of the tee nicely offsets the slim cut of the jeans.

Another pair i like are these grey ones by Sass & Bide, who, if i'm not mistaken, started their business selling skinny jeans from the boot of their car. They became a huge hit and the rest is history. So it comes as no surprise that they are the ones to go to for nice fitting jeans. Like at the height of the skinny jeans mania last year, many a celeb was spotted wearing Sass & Bide Misfit jeans.

These are their ankle-length Smokey Gitane jeans. I love the zipper detail and the inky grey wash.

It would look nice paired with this top from Graham & Spencer.

Or with this pretty top from Moschino. The feminine detail provides a gentle counterpoint to edgy-ness of the jeans.

Then there is this pair from Juicy Couture. I really like the cut and colour of this one.

I'd pair it with this Anna Sui top for a vibrant, but not over-the-top loud, look.

Or with this Vince top for a more casual look.

I'd also add a statement jewelry piece to give the outfit a bit more pizzazz.

These two other grey ankle-length jeans also look fab. The pair on the left is by Siwy, a US denim label launched last year to much fan-fare among the celeb set with their denim hot pants being seen on the butts of young hollywood (think nicole richie, lindsay lohan...). The one on the right is by Ernest Sewn, a denim label i am particularly fond of for their great cuts and cool washes.

They can be paired with this blouse from Theory, another label for great basics.

Or this top from Just Cavalli. This looks like an outfit that i'd wear to school---with my pointy toe kitten heels. No need for jewelry here: the collar details provide enough "statement" to do away with a statement piece.

There's also this pair from Dittos, a brand just launched this year, by the people who brought you Frankie B. They're more well known for their wide legs and for evoking the Summer of Love 70s feel, but I like the zipper detail and rock star vibe of this 80s-ish pair.

And I'd match it with this oh-s0-lovely top from Koi Suwannagate for 3.1 Philip Lim. I can't resist the rocker-meets-feminine juxtaposition. It's just too cute.

It'll also look nice with this Jcrew top. Again I like the juxtaposition---preppy meets punk.

And how could I leave out Seven for all Mankind---the denim brand that started the denim revolution of the 00s. Of course they wouldn't be left out in the skinny ankle-length denim trend. This is their Joyce jean in a lovely light shade of grey. I'd wear it with this tank top from Generra. The buttons on the front are cute.

Seven's other ankle-length skinny jean is named Roxanne. (Both the Joyce and the Roxanne are slightly longer than other ankle-length jeans featured here, but i like them anyway.) I love this wash---it's called Dakota---nice and inky, with just the right amount of distressed finish.

I'd like it with this tunic top from Mociun. I'll add some gold bangles and wear it for a night out on the town for a pretty look that is still comfortable enough for running around or dancing or whatever.

Then there's this grey top from Rebecca Taylor, which would look good for a school outfit or a shopping/running errands day outfit when paired with the Roxanne jeans.

Ditto for this Jcrew top.

And perhaps for something a bit more formal, there this blouse from Neiman Marcus. I'm not sure who the designer is---saved the picture quite a while ago and didn't write down the designer's name, and I can't find this piece online now---but i think it'll look great with the Roxanne jeans.

Photographs from:,,,,,