Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2010

We all know their names: Miranda, Alessandra, Adriana, Rosie, Chanel... They are the epitome of sensuality and the faces of Victoria’s Secret. The fashion may be the focal point, but it’s the girls make the show. And these girls rocked the runway this year at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. 

Shown live on Nov. 10 at NYC’s Lexington Avenue Armory, the show was brought to the public eye Nov. 30 on CBS as one of the most anticipated fashion shows of the year, expected to garner over 1 billion viewers world wide.
In knee-high boots clustered with studs and sequins during the opening of the show, the Angels stomped down a catwalk featuring a carousel of sex kittens circling in the background. The rock ‘n’ roll theme screamed “Tough Love” and shrieked sexuality through the paradox of studded wings on sinfully sexy angels.  

Keeping with the theme of chicks that rock, following the first collection, Katy Perry graced the staged. Performing “Firework”, she sported her own pyrotechnics of glitter and crystals on her headpiece and one-shouldered ensemble printed with bursts of sparks on a violet gown. Her look was the product of a collaboration between Betsey Johnson and La Coacha.
Transitioning into a western theme, Candice Swanepoel opened the “Country Girls” collection that paraded the softer side of VS with lighter fabrics and picnic-like gingham prints. Bandana quilt-work, denim patches and floaty ruffles exemplified the southern hospitality.
Switching gears, the “Game On” line opened with a stage full of male gymnasts who introduced Erin Heatherton as a true knock-out, complete with gloves, while she brought in the sportier collection of VS. With Lady Gaga bumping through the speakers and whistles blaring in the background, the girls represented the sexy side of boxing, soccer, swimming, racing, football and weight lifting. 

Akon performed next. Looking sharp in a black satin suit, he appropriately sang “Angel” as Chanel Iman sported her first pair of wings; a truly angelic, long white feather flowing pair of wings. The “Heavenly” collection was dreamy and otherworldly, designed against an atmospheric palate of blues, silver, gold and white.
“Wild things” was next in the line up and opened up with Alessandra Ambrosio. In front of an African horizon, the models showed their wild side while showcasing a trend that never seems to get old: animal print. Tribal body paint, cheetah print and zebra stripes adorned the gazelle-like frames of the Angels. And the piece de resistance: a humongous wingspan of tailored peacock feathers donned by Karolina Kurkova.
In her second set, Katy Perry performed to open the “PINK” collection, a crowd favorite full of candy colored costumes on models who frolicked down a runway that was raining with bubbles and balloons. Reminiscent of a paper doll, Perry complemented the collection well with a canary cut-out dress dotted with red and pink hearts.
In traditional VS style, the bevy of beauties flooded the runway for once last hurrah. Grooving to the tunes of Katy Perry and lip-syncing to “California Girls” the girls have done it again: left us drooling over this year’s fashions and lusting for next year’s more than ever.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

D.O.A.

This week’s anatomically inspired challenge on The Fashion Show: The Ultimate Challenge left Michael’s design dead on arrival. He was under the fire this episode and put his house in jeopardy with his “shrunken dress” incident. Apparently, it was a dye-job gone wrong that caused the shrinking and Michael ended up shrinking himself from the competition.
“I’d rather do nothing than do something bad.” 
And that’s exactly what he did. Looking for excuses to not finish his “imperfect” project, he left his piece with three hours to spare to eat and spend more time pacing around the studio. He returned armed with scissors in hand, cut his dress to pieces, threw it in the trash and stormed out of the work room. 
“He’s a schmuck!” echoed from the mouths of the contestants, disappointed with his behavior and even more frustrated with a loss to their collection.
With Michael’s self-elimination, the worrisome teammates of Nami pulled together to create a sixth look to avoid being disqualified. Again with the help of Cesar, the savior, they made it work (pardon the Project Runway expression) and cranked out a dress with only one hour to spare. Not to mention, every design needed to have one element that was reversible in some way.
On the other team, Calvin, for once, lent a helping hand to teammate Golnessa, but to no surprise, his temper emerged minutes before the show when a conflict arose with Tamara about her pleating dilemma. Nevertheless, the show must go on...
Strutting to the beat of a pumping heart, the models for House of Emerald showed a more cohesive collection this week. Like fresh blood, the sanguine pieces streamed down the runway with a fluidity much improved from last week. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep them alive in the competition.
Nami’s more fleshly palate was definitely the more creative collection inspired by muscle fibers, blood vessels and even the female genitalia. And again, they were declared the winning design house. What made this the ultimate collection? “The sophistication of the palate,” said Mizrahi. “It was theme and variation as opposed to one melody.”
Luckily for Emerald, because of Michaels walk-out, no one was eliminated from their house. Instead, a last minute decision was made to rebalance some of the talent and dissolve the dissension between team members. Unluckily for Nami, Calvin was sent to their house and they were give one minute to decide who would sacrifice themselves to the other (losing) team. Of course, Cesar was the bigger person and volunteered himself to make the move. Poor Nami lost a hero, and gained a villain. This should be interesting...
Good

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New host, new twist on The Fashion Show, season 2

Cast and competitors of "The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection"
Twelve designers, two design houses, one world renowned supermodel...and you have the "Ultimate Collection". Well, hopefully. Season 2 of "The Fashion Show: Ultimate Collection" debuted this evening on Bravo, with a new host and a new concept.

Now, I love good fashion TV, but to be completely honest I was leery of a "Project Runway" copy-cat (which it basically was last season). To my pleasant surprise, the new twist gives it all little more distinction than its ex-Bravo counterpart, testing designers a little farther than just making clothes.

The designers were split into two fashion houses, the Green House and the Blue House, later named and House of Emerald Syx and House of Nami, respectfully. The slant of the competition is to design as individuals while creating a cohesive collection specific to their design house.

Their first challenge was to use the new hostess, Iman, as a muse. Her story, career and "bubbly yet prickly" personality were all to be taken into consideration.

Speaking of Iman, as a hostess she was a little much for me. Her supermodel persona came off way more dramatic than necessary, so much that she put Tyra's ANTM  elimination act to shame. As co-host Isaac Mizrahi was a pleasant down-to-earth compliment to Iman's over dramatized hostessing


I originally had high hopes for House of Emerald Syx based on their concept for employing a brightly colored palate to compliment Imans bronze skin tone. They turned out to be a little disappointing and their efforts at a theatrical presentation left me feeling a little awkward. Their models started on the runway under sheets and were unveiled one by one. Syx was "all over the place" in both their designs and personalities. Even Mizrahi was "terrified by the dissension" among the team.

Nami seemed more cooperative, although their inspiration was a little boring. I thought it was very typical to pull from Imans African roots. But their "modern jungle" theme was pulled off quiet seamlessly. Their presentation was sleek and their designs were unified by a white color theme with a pop of print in the finale gown.

With a very arrogant group of designers, I was curious as to how this competition would play out. And like every other reality show/competition, you have your stand-out competitors, heros and villains.

The Villain: Calvin both entertains and annoys me. Definitely the house bitch. I just can't understand why he's so evil, but, of course, it makes for good TV.

The Straight Arrow: David is the token straight male in the competition. I like him; his personal and design style stands out to me. 

The Partners in Crime: Cindy and Golnessa compete not only as fellow designers, but as best friends and co-owners of fashion label "Goci". This could get ugly and will definitely be a test of faith for their friendship and partnership. Only one of them can win.

The Know-It-All: Mike's self-proclaimed "visionary concepts" may not be all he cracks it up to be. For some inexplicable reason, he just gets on nerves.

The Hero: Cesar impressed me as a designer and even more so as a teammate. His craftmanship allowed him to crank out a stellar piece under the time constraints and spend his extra time coaching and supporting his team.

The Dark Horse: Eduardo de la Casas is a competitor that my mom actually spotted online before he was on the show and pegged him as a potential designer for my show, Fashion In Focus. He didn't make much of a splash in the first episode, but his refreshing South Beach-style designs were received generously by the judges.

In the end, House of Syx was lacking in cohesion. In my opinion they were also afflicted with sub-par models. Self-admittidely the group was lacking in unity and it was clear in the developement (or lack of) in their collection. Calvin's conflict with Iman didn't help either. Francine was named "out of fashion" for her mall-like creation. She left a sore loser, but who could blame her after the confrontation with Calvin, who was also in the bottom 2.

House of Nami produced this week's "Ultimate Collection", because of the strength and unity of the collection it presented.  The judges felt that their production most accurately represented the "6 aspects of Imans personality". The look that ultimately won was Cesar's one-shouldered black and white print gown that captured the elegant side of Iman and celebrated the feminine figure.

Iman was a little too dramatic for me, almost to the point of coming off cheesy. And actually so much so that she puts Tyra's ANTM  elimination act to shame. Mizrahi, however, was a pleasant compliment to Imans over dramatized hostessing 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Blogger's hell

So it's official...I have forever been damned to the deepest circle of blogger hell for not posting a thing since October 9! I'm so ashamed...But I'm back (I think) and the truth of the matter is that I've been quite the busy little fashionista in the past few weeks.

I spent the last week in Louisville, KY (I was there for the national College Media Association conference) and scoped out some interesting fashion do's and don'ts, a few of which I'll be posting later. While I was there I also discovered an adorable boutique chock-full of great pieces and even greater prices. "Pitaya" has 16 locations nationwide, unfortunately, none are in Florida, but I can shop online at PITAYA.COM!

The week before that I was tied up with The Patriot Press (College of Central Florida's student newspaper) hosting the Florida Community College Activities Association state journalism convention. That weekend I also attended an AMAZING fashion show in Tampa, which I'll also be blogging about sooner than later, hopefully.

Annnnnd.....every second in between I've been planning....(insert drumroll here)....my very first fashion show! And no, I am not a designer but I'm literally PRODUCING a full-fledged fashion event from the ground up, and let me tell you it is NOT easy! I've already had many ups and downs along the way, but I'll be doing my best to chronicle the process here on Rant and Rave so don't give up on me, I'm back on my grind!

Let the countdown begin: 65 days!
Get In Focus!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fashion on the horizon...

I have some big plans underway for my little town...stay tuned

In the mean time, follow @FashionInFocus on Twitter and like "Fashion In Focus" on Facebook for instant updates and info as the details are revealed...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mangia Mangia!: Feasting on Milanese Fashion (this is a long one)

As most fashion fiends would agree Italy is well-known as a birthing place for many brilliant designers and "Milan" might as well be synonymous with "style". I mean, seriously, the country is in the shape of  boot (one made of Italian leather, I'm sure). It really has been painstakingly difficult for me to highlight just a few collections from Italia, and that's why it's taken me forever to post this blog! Anyhow, overall I noticed lots of 70s influence from hippie to disco queen (tons of fringe, flared legs and lots of shine), vibrant lip colors and outlandish accessories (which I always enjoy). Beyond the clothes it was a time to shine for the details that make an outfit complete: The bags at Blumarine, shades at Fendi and Prada, bold lips at Jil Sander, Fendi and Marni, shoes at Versus, Versace and Prada and hats at Missoni...

VERSUS
Really only enjoyed the last few looks, for me they were the highlight of this collection. I've never been a fan of math, but these color-block geometry class party dresses make me want to brush up on my math skills. 

MISSONI

Vivid and tribal. Loose straight silhouettes, floppy square-brimmed hats and colorful espadrilles make for a perfect get-up to get-away.

DOLCE & GABBANA



















D&G does it to me every time. Always uber sexy and never understated, their boudoir-inspired pieces never leave me sleepy-eyed.  I loved the innocent and angelic looks in white lace countered by a few darker, lustier ensembles.

MARNI

I saw one look from the collection and knew i was enamored. The sui generis silhouettes had an interesting appeal and the eclectic flow of the collection was captivating. I loved the orange lipstick, it's one my favorite trends and has been for a while.

EMILIO PUCCI

Famous for those Pucci patterns, this season the design house melded their signature motif in a country chic-meets-mediterranean collection, resulting in billowing fabrics, deep-cut laced up blouses and up-to-there suede stiletto boots.

JIL SANDER



















Blew me away by presenting a brilliant collection both in theory and in color scheme, toggling between cocoon shapes and slimly tailored trousers. I also loved the pairing of a simple white tee with those floor grazing skirts in Crayola colors. There's really something about this collection that I find completely spellbinding.

BLUMARINE




















OK, so I was initially not impressed by the over-exaggerated animal print trend (specifically the leopard, or maybe it was cheetah), but I did find love in the slouchy over-sized over-fringed handbags and again later on with dresses reminiscent of Sfogliatella (one of my favorite Italian pastries!).


PRADA


Lots of quirky details at Prada this season: shapeless sleeves, stacked loafers, sandals that sit on checkerboard platforms, fluffy fur boas, silver streaked eyelids, zany prints featuring bananas and monkeys and a slew of stripes.

VERSACE (this is the last one, I promise!)


Donatella knows exactly how to do sexy while keeping it classy with slim fits and just slivers of skin peeking through. Minimalism was the key to the collection (with the exception of a few brightly printed pieces) with classic lines, smart pops of color and Greek key accents throughout the series. 


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Premiere Issue: The Gainesville Style

I'm proud to announce that The Gainesville Style will be releasing their premiere issue on October 1st, just a few days away!

I'm more than anticipating getting my hands on the final product. The epitome of satisfaction is seeing the hours, days, weeks and months of hard work put into a publication come to fruition.

In this issue I have had the honor of having a couple blurbs of my writing included within the pages of the periodical and received the ultimate compliment of being featured as the cover model!

Congrats to the everyone involved with The Gainesville Style! I've had a blast working with the team so far and look forward to many more successful issues in the future.

PLEASE check out the issue! Oct. 1st

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finally! Front Row Fashion at Tampa Bay


Surprisingly, for someone who adores fashion as much as I do, it was just yesterday that I got to attend my first live fashion show! It's not that I've never been to one, but I'm usually on the runway rather than in the audience. And I do have to say there's a lot less stress in the front row than there is backstage...still, a part of me was missing the bright lights in my face and nervous anxiety of stepping foot on the catwalk.

But I digress, the real reason I'm blogging tonight is to present some of the local talent that South/Central Florida has to offer. So here's a look at some the artistry coming out of Tampa Bay. 

(My apologies for the blurry pics, but I had to use my phone!)

Triniece Cagua for JCagua Swimwear:
I've actually walked for Triniece before and not only are her designs fun and sassy! She's a great designer with a wonderful personality to add to the talent. Her collection this year was bright and playful, focusing on an "Aquaglow" theme.

One of the looks from JCaguas "Aquaglow" collection
Final line-up of the girls for JCagua


Nina Verklas for Bambina NV:
I had never actually seen Nina's work until this show and I was honestly blown away! I would've never expected such an edgy, punk-rock collection complete with chains, leather and studs from the quirky designer who never goes without her black bow-tie. Can't wait to see more from her!

A funky-fresh look from Verklas' menswear collection
Helen Gerro:
Also a new designer to me. Her collection was comprised of floor sweeping gowns in a rainbow of colors and fabrics, some with handpainted VanGogh-reminiscent swirls near the hem. Of all the colors though, this piece stood out from the rest of the collection because of it's classic lines and the combination of velvet and lace



Pat McGhee:
I am somewhat familiar with McGhee's work and saw a guest at the event sporting one of her designs. I was most impressed with her collection in 2008, but this years spin on the military/naval trend kept me interested. The piece below was my favorite; loving the plaid.

Kimberly Hendrix for K Hendrix:
It's always exciting to see a collection from a designer that I'm unfamiliar with because there's no expectations, just a clean slate to form an opinion. The collection at K Hendrix kept me glued to catwalk! This was her runway debut and maybe it was all the sequins, but I couldn't take my eyes off the pieces coming down her runway. Each handmade, vintage inspired, meticulously detailed look had me fixated.


These photos do no justice to Hendrix work in real-life


Essence Flowers:
I have also walked for Essence (in her own first runway show in 2007) and her talent in undeniable. Her construction is flawless and her designs are nothing less than incredible. Always elegant and always perfectly feminine. This year's collection featured bridal-like headpieces and a very soft palette of pastel pinks and taupe (a little something blue).


Something old, something NEW, something borrowed, something BLUE
INTERESTING FACT: All of the girls who walked for Essence Flowers are Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders! Essence re-designed their uniforms for this season.

Terri Funaro:
Another designer who was new to me. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from this collection because my phone decided to die, but the photos wouldn't do the looks any justice anyway! Terri's collection was classic and full of incredible details: brilliant pleating work on an ice blue ensemble and again on a delightfully chocolate cocktail dress, embellished bodices on wedding gowns and flawless tailoring on my favorite piece- a blousy white top partnered with a handsome pair of HIGH-waist wide-led champagne trousers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

London Time!

 First, I just have to get this off my chest: I absolutely hated the shoes from Fashion East...they look like something my dad would wear on vacation. Call me old-fashioned but I love a high-heel.

Now that that's out of the way, here's my rundown of some standout designers from London Fashion Week:
Meadham Kirchoff- a whimsical, yet perverse, marriage of a gothic easter bunny to a naughty Alice in Wonderland. This collection definitely brought life, energy and theatrics to the LFW stage.


Mary Katrantzou- Dainty and yet still daring;  like a housewife gone mad with lampshades, chandeliers and curtains.

Burberry = love. The perfect integration of bad-ass with femininity. THE collection of London Fashion Week, but that's just my opinion, of course.

Christopher Kane- The most energizing color palette! LOVED the shoes.

Giles Deacon- Interesting poodle-puffed headpieces, but enjoyed the colors and I always love a good juxtaposition, like glammed-up sneakers and mini-dresses.

Sass & Bide- I'm always a fan of hardware and statement necklines. Both of which were present in this collection.  I REALLY was impressed with the strength of these pieces.

Matthew Williamson- Yes please! I'd like to pack this collection up and carry it with me for the rest of my life. I'm a sucker for fringe and shine, but not only that I felt that this collection was so complete I could actually make a wardrobe out of it. Kudos Mr. Williamson!

Interesting fact: Although I still, of course, have not had the opportunity to watch everything I did notice a few full-figured models on more than one of London catwalks...hmmm

Monday, September 20, 2010

NYFW Highlights

So I STILL haven't even had the chance to watch all of the shows and look at all the reviews, but here are just a few of the moments that I enjoyed from NYFW...


Marchesa...wow! Left me breathless and speechless, this collection speaks for itself.
I couldn't pick just one favorite at Marchesa



I loved the working girl meets weekend chic attitude at DKNY. From blazers paired with swimsuits to blouses casually tied at the waist, the collection was a perfect manifestation of what Spring fashion should be. I equally enjoyed the Donna Karan collection; it was so beautiful and such a womanly collection that it makes me want to be the woman that those clothes were designed for. The subdued palette drew all the attention to the detail, lines and body of the pieces in all their glory.


Workday-meets-weekend at DKNY


Floaty neutrals at Donna Karan



Thank you Marc Jacobs for the drama that I long for! Big hair, dark eyes, flashy fabrics and really drew me in, plus the music and lighting really made the show. I can honestly say that I would wear every single look that I saw coming down the runway; it's the collection of my dreams.
Show-stopping shine at Marc Jacobs




Michael Kors shows was so light and refreshing. His S/S 2011 collection epitomized the essence of comfy-cool-chic.
Cool, calm and collected and Michael Kors




Surprisingly the looks that I loved just a little less came from two designers that I absolutely adore. The girls at Rodarte had me a little confused, while I love the idea of mixing shapes and patterns, I'm not quite sure how I feel about their peculiar silhouettes or sporting those woodgrain skirts. Nevertheless, I love the Mulleavy girls just the same.


Woodgrain ensemble at Rodarte

I was also left just a tad underwhelmed after Proenza Schouler's presentation. Although the collection was no-doubt a beautiful presentation of femininity and subtle sensuality, it was just a little too demure for my taste. I did love the statement necklaces and fluro-pops of color though!


Lady-like at Proenza Schouler 


I also noticed a pattern throughout the week of mussed hair and bare faces. Maybe it's the fact that I grew up under the wing of a professional make-up artist mother, but I look forward to the high-drama hair and make-up to complement the trends.

I could honestly blather on for pages about other collections that I loved (Vera Wang, Nanette Lepore, Thakoon, Oscar de la Renta, Betsey Johnson...) but I don't have the web space for that. 

Now, on to London!