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Keep Calm and Style On

Jessie Christian | Sunday, September 23, 2012

 

In the world of fashion, September is the most significant month of the year. For fashion junkies worldwide, it is the month when a normally manageable list of magazine subscriptions grows into a chaotic mass of hundreds of additional pages to read. It is the month when matching designer names to their respective 30-piece collections becomes about as challenging as memorizing the contents of a foreign dictionary. It is the month when models, designers, consumers, bloggers and fans from all over the world explore the phenomenal details of a shared thread. It is the oh-so-glorious month when it finally becomes acceptable to wear the trends we saw in the Fall and Winter runway shows last year, and I’m giving you the rundown on some of the top trends and trendsetters hot off the catwalk. 

What’s on the Runway

Colorblocking:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, colorblocking is a method of clothing construction that consists of sewing different-colored solid fabrics together in a block formation. The trend was extremely dominant in the 1960’s with style icons like Twiggy blazing the trail in mod fashion, and has been spotted occasionally on runways ever since. This year in particular, however, the style has made a tremendous comeback, flourishing as a dominant form of inspiration for many designer collections. Céline designer Phoebe Philo built the brand’s entire Fall/Winter collection on the colorblocking concept. Each look is comprised either of pieces that are individually colorblocked, or different colored solid pieces that mesh together to create a striking colorblocking image. 

OTHER COLORBLOCKING COLLECTIONS: 

NEW YORK: Band of Outsiders and BCBG

LONDON: Acne and Antonio Berardi

PARIS: Balenciaga 

Baroque: 

The term “Baroque” refers to the historical period that began in Italy in the early 1600s and quickly spread across Europe.  The period is defined by an explosion of extravagance that took over all forms of art. Artists, architects and designers alike worked to incorporate the smallest and most opulent details into their bodies of work. Precious jewels, gold embellishments and intricate patterns are just some of the basic components that help to define the art of this period. Given the theme of opulence, it is no surprise that Baroque has been one of the most popular styles on runways this month. Across the world, designers have reintroduced the intricate detailing and expensive material that so strongly resembles the Baroque period. The Balmain collection bared the strongest resemblance to this historical era, as the patterns of many of its pieces resembled those of Baroque architecture. Pieces such as the long-sleeved white mini dress look almost as though they are made of pure ivory, silver, and gold. 

OTHER BAROQUE COLECTIONS:

NEW YORK: Jason Wu, L’Wren Scott, Marchesa, and Prabal Gurung 

MILAN: Bottega Veneta, Dolce and Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Versace

Who’s on the Runway 

If you’ve flipped through the pages of any major magazine in the past couple of years, then chances are – you’ve seen these two girls. 

Karlie Kloss is the all-American girl next door turned supermodel extraordinaire. Born in Chicago and raised in St. Louis, Karlie took ballet classes like many young girls. Unlike many, however, Karlie continued to train until she had established a strong foundation in classical ballet. When the young ballerina turned thirteen years old, she was discovered at a charity fashion show in St. Louis and was encouraged to pursue a career in modeling. She took this advice and was eventually signed to Elite Model Management, one of the largest and most prominent modeling agencies in the world. Since then, Karlie herself has reached a level of prominence within the modeling world, as she models for high-fashion clothing brands such as Victoria’s Secret, Lacoste, and Alexander McQueen. She rarely fails to recognize her training in ballet as the origin of her elegant positions and dancer’s physique. The confidence that she brings to the runway, however, is something she was born with, and without it she just wouldn’t be as fierce.  Want to see Karlie work the runway? Check out photos and video footage of the Anthony Vaccarello and Ellie Saab fashion shows for Fall 2012, or catch her on the dual-cover of the July 2012 issue of W magazine that she shares with model Joan Smalls.

Speaking of Joan Smalls, she was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is the product of a multi-ethnic family. She knew at a very young age that she wanted to become a model, but was encouraged by her family to complete both high school and college before pursuing a career in the modeling industry. After graduating from the InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico, she moved to New York and signed with Elite Model Management. Like her all-American counterpart, Smalls quickly reached success and found herself modeling for top designer brands such as Coach, Oscar de la Renta and Fendi. In addition to gracing the covers of major magazines, you can catch footage of Smalls from all over the catwalk during these past few weeks of top-notch fashion. She was one of the most highly sought-after models last February during the Fall shows, walking for Dolce & Gabanna, Emilio Pucci, Proenza Schouler, Altazarra, and many more designer collections. 

Contact Jessie Christian at jchrist7@nd.edu

 

 

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Keep Calm and Style On

Jes Christian | Friday, September 14, 2012

Its here. The occasional brisk day. The wind and rain. School and football well underway. Slowly but surely, summer is passing the seasonal baton over to fall and its much cooler temperatures.
Regardless of whether we love or hate the arrival of fall, we are all confronted with the same issue when the season finally comes around. As we look through our closets at the shorts, tanks, tees, skirts, and dresses, the reality of the task ahead of us finally sinks in. It’s time to start switching up our wardrobes to suit the colder weather and harsher elements.
For many of us this means pulling tons of clothing out of our closets, throwing it into storage, and restocking with the contents of storage boxes containing our cool weather clothes. The process is often tedious. It forces us to section off our wardrobes, and makes the breakup process between us and our beloved summer season that much more painful.
There is a solution, however, to this fragmented fashion ordeal that we face each year. There is a way to make our parting with summer more palatable. There is a way to hold on to a pocket full of sunshine. Put down the hanger, and grab your warmer wardrobe, because below are some cool ways to take what you’ve been wearing and mix it with some warmer pieces so that it still works for fall.
LADIES
Substitute bare legs and sandals with tights and boots when wearing summer skirts and shorts. Okay – so maybe tights aren’t the greatest form of protection from the colder elements, but lets face it: half of the fashion transition from summer to fall revolves around social normality. In other words, there comes a time when, even if it’s warm enough to wear sandals to class, it’s far enough into fall that they just don’t look quite work. Pairing shorts and short skirts with the boot/tights duo keeps you modestly clothed, slightly protected, and really cute without losing great pieces from your summer wardrobe.
BOTH
Substitute fedoras and baseball caps for beanies and other cool winter hats. Whether you’re an everyday hat person or someone who just picks up a cool hat to top off a cute look, this transition is the move for you. If you like fedoras and cowboy hats, trade in those straw looks for knit pieces by picking up trapper hats or baggie beanies. If you’re more traditional and enjoy rocking a simple baseball cap, or you’re sporty and wear snapbacks, try classic skullcap or tassel beanies. You may have to set your summer caps off to the side, but you’ll love the change so much that you wont even miss them, and your new hats will only enhance the rest of your remixed summer looks.

BOTH
If it isn’t obvious enough already, try taking an outfit that you once wore with a pair of shorts and subbing longer pants or jeans. If you’re still feeling chilly, then try adding a jean or leather jacket into the mix. Between those two additions, you’re dress shirt, favorite tee and summer scarves should transfer nicely into looks for the winter season.
GENTLEMEN
Is your old T-shirt no longer getting the job done? Add a long-sleeved thermal underneath your favorite tee to add an effective layer of warmth without ruining the look. For when those gamedays get cold, try wearing a black or blue-grey thermal under “the shirt” to keep you warm but still in spirit! You can do this with just about any crew neck tee, and it’s amazing to see what the addition of a couple of thermals can do to transform a summer wardrobe.
These tips are a great way to get started, but don’t stop here! Keep calm and style on! Brainstorm some more tricks on your own, be creative and you’ll find new ways to make pieces work for every season.

Contact Jes Christian at
jchrist7@nd.edu
The views in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.