Notes on Style and Fashion

Archive for October 2007

One of the best things about fashion (at least for me) is learning about new designers. New, in this sense, can mean just starting out or new to me. In either case, I find that I get a small rush of excitement as I’m viewing what the designers of a particular new line have created. This happens often when I visit a site like Unsung ( My mouth is agape after viewing the dramatic jewelry from Couture Saboteur.

In all its boldness there is still softness to the shapes of the numerous pendants. I like that in fashion. Go for bold, but stay chic and feminine.

It is why I’ve now fallen for Dolley Clothing. The pieces in Dolley Levan’s collection are simply beautiful and stylish. There’s no secret that I enjoy French fashion, and Dolley Clothing is great representation of what many consider elusive French chic.


On Saturday, I did what I had The hill of clothesbeen putting off for months–I cleaned out my closet. What I thought would initially take an hour to do turned into a five hour ordeal not helped by the fact that I had my Salsa Mix blasting on the iTunes. Every so often, after emptying one dresser drawer, I’d get up and dance for a bit…or simply sit between the piles of clothes on either side of me, one that was the “Go away!” pile, the other the “Keeper!” pile. What brought on this Fall cleaning was that in the most recent weeks, I had been unable to put away any freshly laundered clothes. I had clothes popping out of the drawer, which prevented me from adding anything new to the mix. My closet was another story. For a number of years I have watched the shiny chrome bar sag beneath the weight of pants, skirts, sweaters, blouses, and coats, all dangling from all manners of hangers.

It was due to great necessity that I went through and tossed what I had forgotten that I owned. Some things I did keep. I re-discovered a pair of black ankle-length straight leg dress pants that have a very Audrey Hepburn vibe. They’re my own version of a cigarette pant. Half of my clothing did find new homes among the closets and drawers of my two younger sisters. One (wo)man’s trash and all that.

Today, I went out and purchased three new articles of clothing. Because my birthday is on Thursday, an aunt bought a gift card to New YChinese Laundry heelsork & Co. for me. I’m not one who shops there on any kind of regular basis. In fact, I only see the inside of the store once a year. I’ll let you guess when that is. The gift card was for $50, and I assumed that I would be able to purchase one top. As it turns out, there’s some great promotion going on. I was able to walk away with a deep V-neck ballet-inspired wrap-like (without the wrap) top in cyan for $9.99; a pair of straight leg jeans for $24.95; and a pair of midnight blue cotton pedal pushers that hit my leg just below the knee for $7.49 (after a 70% reduction from the already reduced $24.99 tag). I’ve already got plans for those pedal pushers.Chinese Laundry heels My strappy gold Chinese Laundry heels (purchased a couple summers back) look nice with them.

Now that the Spring shows have ended (and what a whirlwind these six weeks have been), I’ve decided to look back at what was presented in each city. The plan is to gage what trends–clothing, shoes, and accessories–we have to look forward to when the temperature starts warming up, and the days began to get longer while the nights become shorter.

Cinched Waists
Alexander McQueen
Martin Grant
BCBG Max Azria
Lela Rose

Bold Color
Catherine Malandrino
Junya Watanabe
Giambattista Valli

Stella McCartney

1920s & 1930s
Temperley (South of France)
Christian Dior (1930s)

Dark Lips
Christian Dior

Flowing, kaftan-like dresses
Giambattista Valli
Stella McCartney

Grecian Silhouette

Erin Fetherston
Sophia Kokosalaki
Alexander McQueen

“Although some would call his designs outrageous, London-born designer Alexander McQueen has garnered attention for many years due to his ability to create clothing that is original and innovative.”

–from a paper titled “Notes on Style” that I wrote three and a half years ago during my graduate study.

The opinion remains. There are many designers whose works I admire, however Alexander McQueen’s name is usually at the forefront if I’m asked who some of my favorite designers are. In my everyday life, when I think about clothing that I would wear, I’m more drawn to the Catherine Malandrino/Diane Von Furstenberg/Martin Grant aesthetic. From an artistic stand point, from a visionary standpoint, though, I adore and appreciate Alexander McQueen’s artful beauty.

His collections veer into the whimsical, which I enjoy. And what holds them together is the careful construction of each piece; a close attention to some detail, whether it’s the precise cut-outs in a stiletto or the swooping curves of a tall hat. Everything is crafted to tell a story, and what a great storyteller he is.

[Photo credits:]

Martin Grant’s collection for the Spring does exactly that. He’s created finely tailored clothes that accentuate the best parts of a woman’s body–her shoulders, her legs, and her neck. However, there was one miss, and it was the hot shorts that he made. Yes, they accentuate super long legs, but I found them to be a bit much. Aside from that, I was in love with the collection. There were details on each of the outfits that are worth mentioning: the single button; the cinched waists; the perfect gathering at the hem. The color palette was simple in creams, camels, and greys, but there were moments that he punched up the collection with eye-popping lime or shimmering pink.

[Photo credits:]

Stella McCartney continues the floral theme seen in the Balenciaga show. Her collection was very floaty and flirty, quite reminiscent of an ethereal nymph.

Giambattista Valli went for the girly hues in rose, canary, and powder blue.

Céline went for the bold in everything from clothes to bags to shoes. Très chic!

Some of the silhouettes, particularly when looking at Stella McCartney and Giambattista Valli, also recall a 1970s vibe with the paisley print and roomy caftan dresses. Groovy!

[Photo credits: Getty Images; WireImage]

Thursday, October 4th, looks as though it will be my favorite day of this whole Paris Fashion Week business.

Giambattista Valli, Céline, and Stella McCartney are showing!

la fashionista has had an interest in fashion and style since childhood when she first saw her mother dress in the various fashion of the 80s. Her mother was also a great seamstress, which was a definite influence on la fashionista's foray into fashion. Sadly, her mother's sewing talent did not get passed on to la fashionista.

But that doesn't mean that she doesn't still love talking about fashion. Because she does!

Please send all fashion correspondence and inquiries to:

notesonstyleandfashion [at]gmail[dot]com


October 2007
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