Friday, February 27, 2015

Happy Birthday to Moi

Yesterday I turned 17! Isn't that exciting? I'm the age of one my favorite magazines! I spent my birthday walking through the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago, visiting places like Myopic Books, Reckless Records, and Native Foods. These are some of the gifts from my parents and things I purchased on our outing. The first one is an issue of THE FACE with King Kurt on the cover.
These are some of the gifts from my parents and things I purchased on our outing. The first one is an issue of THE FACE King Kurt on the cover.

h
This is a stop sign shaped greatest hits compilation from the Stones. I love how they always have interesting album art, even on compilations.

This other greatest hits album is one of my favorite albums, since it has a book of about five pages of band pictures right when you open it.

This is a book of David Bowie's album art done by Brian Duffy, a photographer he worked with a lot. The behind the scenes images and story about how the Ashes to Ashes video was cast out of the Blitz club in London are my favorite parts

I know the picture is blurry, but I find it artsy. Shove it. Anyway, its my Sonic Youth hat.

Add caption

This is Kim Gordon's new memoir, which I was going to have signed by her yesterday at a talk + signing at the Music Box Theater, but unfortunately the tickets sold out. Regardless, I love it.

Evil Winter Queens and 80's Prom Dresses; a Rodarte Fall 2015 Review

                      I love reviewing Rodarte collections; their always a fascinating mix of feminine toughness and hyper stylish sheen. Here is my review of their Fall 2015 collection.
                    As if a leather skirt didn't already exude toughness, look 1's skirt bottom ended in sharp points, with a shiny leather jacket and blue furry collar. If this look was faux, I would totally wear it. 2's pants looked uncomfortably tight, and too much like leggings, which are literally the most unoriginal things in the world. But the jacket was awesome; pretty much the same as 1's, but with an orange collar. I think that color for a collar works very well for a fall collection. The dress of look 3 was one of my favorites; a black dress with a combo of silk and sparkles, the skirt forming the petals of flowers...or some sort of rays...or something. But it looked delightful; unfortunately I can't describe it properly. Sorry to say, but I hated look 5's pants. Their already tight leather pants, and then they need lace cutouts on the side?! No, no, no. It looked cheap and absurd. 6's skirt with leather triangles and tulle looked half done, or as if the skirt was ruffled up and the model forgot to pull it down.
                 Look 9's top was great as a lacy, sparkly grunge-like piece, slightly casual with a dash of glitz. The shorts were just plain unrealistic. I'd be afraid to bend over with them! 10 was another one of my favorites; a short black lace dress with a lopsided skirt and lines of daisies on one side. I know it makes no sense, but that's what makes it fantastic; its wholly unique and one of a kind (well, one of how many the designer sends to Bergdorf's or Neiman's). Look 11 was even better. It had the same skirt, but the top was black velvet with big orange flowers. Orange is a superb choice for fall florals. 12 *wipes tear bitterly* was hideous. The dark blue collar was way too big, and how on earth do ostrich feathers go with fur and leather?! Also, so many of the looks have been fall friendly, yet this was so ''evil winter queen.'' Look 15's multiple colors everywhere reminded me of an 80's prom dress, but in a long sleeved shirt. A great party look.
                    I found another favorite in look 20, with its delightful  snow white shimmering color, with red, orange, and brown ostriche feathers trailing the air on the side. 28 and 29's pattern combinations were too un-matching, with the clustered flowers and stripes. 30-32's stripes were fun and sparkly, but they weren't original enough for me. 35 would have been wholly delightful if not for the ostriche feathers. They looked dirty and distracted from the gorgeous soft pink and blue shades. The last two looks of this collection, 36 and 37, also suffered from ''way too much.''
                   This collection produced some of my all-time favorite fall looks, but it also had some disappointing examples of filler, unoriginality, and combos that were mismatched in very bad ways. Totally worth it for fabulous looks like 10 and 20, but not as fabulous as it could have been with talented designers like Kate and Laura Mulleavy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Sludge, Sparkles, and David Bowie; a Zac Posen Fall 2015 Review

                            Look 1 of this collection had a toned down burnt red color, but the ''I'' shape on the bodice made it too sporty. 2 was one of my favorites; again with the red color, but this time it was a suit with a wide, roomy blazer. The sweater underneath the blazer was even better, with strange little clusters of embroidery all over. Look 5 was gorgeously old Hollywood/vintage, with its tight red sweater and hip hugging bright red sequined skirt. Hardly casual, yet barely over the top. Look 7 was a dark red fur bath robe. I mean, c'mon! It looks like nothing else! 8's color and pattern was a delightful bright pink dress with floral brocade, but it was too tight. It looked uncomfortable. Look 12 seemed cheaply made; the blues and sparkles were okay, but the fabric just looked flimsy. Stretched out.
                         Usually I just mention filler in collections, but 13-15 were especially frustrating, since they were all gray. How does it that work for a fall collection? It doesn't! Maybe for a pre-spring melting snow/sludge season! I loved 16's sweater; light brown with yellow and green seaweed-like shapes all over the body. Wonderful fall colors. Look 17 was a dark brown tulle-like dress with sheer fabric above the chest, and a fitted bodice and fluffy skirt. It fit the model very well, and was a fun fall look, not a somber, ''leaves are dying'' look. 19's skirt was fabulous; long a swishy, black and shiny. But the top was too plain, and the darts were too obvious. 21's prints just weren't original. Last year and this year's collections were rife with shiny brocade looks. And the skirt was way too stiff, and long. It reminded me a bit of David Bowie's outfit when he was on Saturday Night Live for the first time, where they had to carry him around because he was in, like, a statue dress? 20 was just another prom dress with cut outs, and again, we know there are darts there! Why do the stitches need to be so obvious? Luckily I found a favorite in 25. It was a dark red dress with sleeves that formed a kind of cape that connected to the dress (you have to see it to understand); I loved the originality and creativity.
                Many of the looks after this were predictable or had unflattering shapes, particularly 29 and 31. Why would I want points sticking out of my hips? A baggy dress? 32, though, was a favorite, with its form fitting blue velvet (!!!!!!!velvet!!!!!!!!) bodice and voluminous skirt. The fit was excellent, and I loved the mix of light and darker colors, and soft and stiff fabric. How come so many of the other looks couldn't look this well fitted? 33, the last look, was too overwhelming. The hot pink/burnt red shade with sparkles was too Christmas-y for fall, and the shape of the skirt was too wide. Like, way, way, way too wide.
              This collection had some definite standouts, which made it worth looking at, but the ill-fitting nature of most of the clothes, along, with too much filler, was quite disappointing.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Crashing Oceans and Sludgy Fur: A Review of Carolina Herrera Fall 2015

                        I hate having so much to do! Especially since its mostly things I can barely stand, like studying for ACTs (I get to wake up at 6 this saturday for a practice one! Hooray!) or trying to figure out at least one mathematical concept. It keeps me from reading my favorite books and writing on this blog, which are far bigger priorities than government mandated educational ''standards'', at least to me. Learning for the test is keeping me from learning things I actually need, and preparing for the career I actually want. Anyway, here's a review of Carolina Herrera's Fall 2015 collection!
                        Look one was delightful for being worn by Karlie Kloss, and for its print. Swirling blues, grays, and blacks formed a solid, marble-like look, with a sparkling, shimmering finish. I really loved the slouchy shape of 2's jacket, and the silver and black, but the fur on the lower middle was unseemly. It didn't belong. 4 reminded me too much of a badly patterned 80's power suit. Look 7's sleeveless tulle dress was one of my favorites; it had the same kind of marbling as look 1, but this time it was slim and floor length, with a vibrant blue shade. Very couture. Until 13, a lot of the looks had unflattering boxy shapes, unappealing furs, and weird sleeves. I didn't like 13's top (the fur reminded me of mold), but the skirt had an elegant cut and the rain print was quirky.
                     After this there was some filler, but 17 was good. Semi sheer in black and orange, with gold leaves that climb up from the side and unto the chest and up over the shoulders. Look 18 had the same pattern, but was a bunchy short dress with way too many layers on top. I really liked 25, despite shying away from less form fitting looks in my previous reviews. It had a chic red, black, and white tweed pattern, with rounded shoulders and was very roomy. Look 26 wasn't my style personally (too much white), but not personally wanting to wear it doesn't take away from its worth. I liked the idea; pure white jumpsuit, with a heart monitor-like red zigzag all down the side. A nice pop. 27 was a favorite; pure white top and skirt, with the top sheathing the skirt, and a very subtle white zigzag. The turtle neck collar was a good bonus too. The bottom of 32 popped out too much. It looked like someone's sewing project when they read the pattern wrong.
                     I didn't really understand 35. The wavy ocean pattern on the skirt was fine by itself; why do we need black slashes on the bodice? 36 was a  white dress with an  ''all over the place'' pattern of tiny black dashes, and little black and white dot appendages on the chest and bottom of skirt. Look 41 was very confusing, because it was the color of maybe a prom or bridesmaid dress, yet stylistically a wedding dress. The color and formal style did not go together. I obviously loved the last look, 47, because, um, Karlie Kloss, and the skirt's extra layers really played up the whole haphazard ocean pattern, with stylish overlapping straps at the top.
                   This collection was pretty complaint free for me, with all of the standouts and a general suitability for fall; but I really did not like the fur looks. I personally don't wear fur, but I don't claim it looks ugly on clothes just because of a personal choice; the fur in this collection was just too gray and sludgy. It made up for this in heaps of glamorous gowns and making us all excited for spring wear.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stars Just Like Little Fish

                       I am a fairy princess! Ick, no. I am an ironically sweet grunge princess (I'll keep telling myself that). Anyway, you may have seen this dress before in my blog, but I hadn't worn it in very long, and I just got these gorgeous sparkly blue flats from TopShop, which are so Courtney Love/Meadham Kirchoff. I used to dress like Kurt Cobain's scruffy twin sister, but I realized I also loved to look as girly as humanly possible, so I went for the rebel prom queen look.

    Beatrice: Can I be in the picture, kitty mommy that I love so much?
    Beatrice: I love climbing up on the vents in the basement, so this height is no biggie. Uh-oh, HAIRBALL!



Thursday, January 29, 2015

Burning Amethyst (A Dior Spring 2015 Review)

                   When I first saw pictures of this collection, I was very impressed with the pure ''springness'' of it all. Look 1 was a perfect example; a sheer jacket with floral embroidery, over a white dress with a bright green collar and a wide, shimmery green stripe under the chest. Light, green, wispy. 2's dress, a bundle of yellow and silver fuzzies, was a very formal, though still spring look. The jacket geniously combined amethyst and black, almost like the stone was burning. Look 4's top was too plastic and ''space-y'' for me. I don't know what it could go with. 5 was not a look for the fainthearted; a tightly fitted jumpsuit, with a gleefully disorganized set of colorful circles, lines, and flowers. What kept it from being too obnoxious was that there was enough black to block it out, and the colors weren't too bright, or dark. Look 6 was quite similar, but the more pastel, or soft colors...almost seemed like too much? 7 was a delightful brown skirt and blue blazer combo, with heart shaped buttons.
                 Look 8 was a very wide, light blue dress with a black chest and abstract flower shapes scattered around. I love how it hugged the body in the great way that Dior usually does, but in a more modern, not classic 50's housekeeper way. 9 was a little similar, but the side cutouts were lame. That has been done more times at Target than I can count. 12 would be a perfect look for a young woman like Elle Fanning;  short and simple, with an artistic and youthful twist. The pink stone encrusted collar and green teardrop were my favorite parts. Look 17 could have been a fantastic dress, with its gorgeous baby blue and pink floral pattern, but again, those dumb side cutouts! Its so unoriginal. And, it being only held together by what looks like one tiny button makes it look broken. 22 was a ripoff of Prada's  art-by-women inspired collection, with the straps, color patterns, and general length. 24 was an excellent clear raincoat, with subtle brown flower prints. Its perfect for future fashion weeks when you might want to show off your new duds! Look 26 made me wonder- did she over stretch the straps of her overalls? Or, should I say, her sparkly pink Dior overalls?
                       The color of look 29's jumpsuit reminded me of vanilla ice cream frosting, with its semi sheer base and silvery sparkling stripes. For some reason it was very ''model'' to me. I could see all the models after a long fashion week, going out to party in this. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to wear a crumpling, wrinkled dress like 33. Its not grunge, or scruffy, or ''distressed.'' It looks like someone was ''distressed'' and late for work, and ran out of the house too fast. I found look 35's dark blue sleeveless jumpsuit with shorts and crumpled up, sunflower-like flowers, very appealing. Its a very fun, on the go look. (cliche warning, Chloe, cliche warning!). 36 and 37 were way too droopy, especially for a Dior collection, where things usually are round, curvy, and bouncy. 40's shimmering amethyst/pink color was gorgeous, but I can't help feeling like the sheath dress is a broken record. The tank top of 46 was plain and yellow, but that skirt! Oh my! A tight yellow waist with the skirt popping out into the familiar white and striped pattern from previous looks in this collection. Super cute.
                    The rest of the looks were pretty, but more or less variations on previous looks. This collection had many looks that went seamlessly into the spring season, while a few were filler pieces and lame variations on other popular looks from the collections of other designers. All in all, a great addition to your spring wardrobe (or for us broke folk, a great inspiration).

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lazy Shooting Stars and Art Deco Hands; a Schiaparelli Spring 2015 Review

                   Yay! A new set of couture collections!
           The first look of this collection wasn't a big deal, and the hat wasn't very unique. It was a Shriner's hat; not a couture hat,  not a Schiap hat.  You could get it anywhere. And the suit was boring and cream color; the decorations looked like water stains. 3 was a favorite, especially since it included signature Schiaparelli bows, but this time embroidered into a Willem de Kooning-esque cats cradle. The background fabric of shimmering white/cream framed it perfectly. 5's pants were way, WAY too wide and baggy, but the top...FANTASTIC! A semi-sheer dark purple sleeveless blouse made out of star shaped fabric. The best part were the ties at the top that trailed behind the model, like lazy shooting stars. 7 repeated the boxy/baggy pant issue, and the blazer was too short. More of an accessory. 9 was a decent shade of blue, and I usually love butterfly patterns, but the fit of the dress was lackluster. Its a couture collection, for gosh sakes!
                  12's skirt had been done before, and the blazer was far too fitted, to the point of looking uncomfortable. Look 13 was a chic Woodstock/70's beach look. A blush pink halter with a matching floor length dress. The waist and hips were tight to the body, but the skirt popped out. 14's coat and shorts were beautiful, in their dark black sparkling mystery. The back of the coat also had a cute criss cross pattern. 15 (finally!) was a jumpsuit I liked. Aquamarine blue, with surreal white and red blobs sprinkled about. And for once, it was fitted to the body, and not constrictive  at the same time. Unfortunately, 16 reminded me of a cheap 80's prom dress from a vintage store's blowout sale.  17 again used 15's surrealist spirit, this time with a tight mermaid-style pea green dress with a matching head wrap, with a swirling ribbons and art deco hands print. The rest of the prints on dresses were plain, and the last look just didn't work; a burnt gold blazer with a train? Too much!
                I liked this collection a lot more than previous Schiaparelli + Marco Zanini collections, but was disappointed with some  of the plain filler and ill-fitting pieces.