Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video Obsession: Diane Von Furstenberg Through Glass

     For her Spring/Summer 2013 RTW collection in New York Fashion Week back in September 2012, the legendary Diane Von Furstenberg teamed up with Google to produce this unique video of her runway show using Google's Glass technology. All of the footage in this video was filmed using Google Glass which is simply a clear eyeglass-apparatus complete with a tiny video camera fixture, which gives us a real first person point of view of what goes on at the production of a high fashion runway show. From Diane to the models, hair and make up artists, to the back and front-of-house production team, this technology captures what each and everyone of these key players of this fashion production see -- the final days of fittings, the runway prep, the press, and the actual walk down the runway -- which showcases a super unique point of view that only a few witness through first hand experience. The video is filmed with tons of DVF's signature words of wisdom and empowerment, like her words of encouragement before the models walked on to the runway saying that, "The most important thing is that you are yourself and you think of the woman that you want to be.." On top of it all, this video won the Best Online Video of 2013 at the Fashion 2.0 Awards! Congratulations DVF and enjoy! 

Love, KB

Fashion in Films: W./E.

     Sometimes I feel like an old soul living in this modern world of Twitter, hash tags, and emojis. I believe the term that was used for this nostalgic-denial in the Woody Allen movie, Midnight in Paris, is called "Golden Age Thinking." Which is the "erroneous" yet albeit romantic notion, that a different time period is better than the one one's living in. I would've loved to have lived in Paris in the 1920s or New York City in the 50s and 60. I would've, without hesitation, totally worn proper white gloves everyday like Grace Kelly, walked around the city in my Givenchy and Salvatore Ferragamo confections like Audrey Hepburn, and I would've definitely donned a pillbox hat and tweed Chanel skirt suit like Jackie O. So it should come as no surprise that I'm a huge fan of time period movies and television shows (which explains my undying love for Downton Abbey and Mad Men.) And Arianne Phillips's work in the film W./E. is no exception -- it was phenomenal. 

headpiece by Stephen Jones

     I'm not a fan of Madonna at all, but I thought this movie was fantastic -- but then again you can never go wrong with a Weinstein production. The screen play was crazy good all on top of an amazing cast and fantastic costume design by Arianne Philipps. For those of you who haven't seen the movie (and if you have Netflix, watch this movie right away and then come back to read this blog post ready to discuss) it tells the story of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, formerly King Edward VIII and twice American divorcé and socialite Wallis Simpson. It was the greatest scandal of the time. The newly ascended King of England, Edward, abdicated his throne to be with the woman he loved -- basically, royal family drama and politics that he was forbidden to be with, let a lone marry, Wallis therefore stepping down and giving the throne to the second successor of the line, and his brother, Albert (King George VI, aka present day Queen Elizabeth's father, aka Prince William's great grandfather) So long story short, Edward gave up his throne to be with Wallis and then the rest of the story continued on with the movie, The King's Speech. The film is actually a lot more romantic and complex than my synopsis (it consists of a second modern day parallel story of a woman living in New York City named Wally Winthrop played by the actress Abbie Cornish) but let's just get to the point, the clothes! 

     First of all, the woman who played Wallis Simpson, the English actress Andrea Riseborough, did an incredible job playing this daunting role. It's almost too eerie how both women resembled each other so much and how well an English actress captured the demeanor, mannerism, and style of speech of an American woman who lived in the 1920s. But then again I'm sure Arianne Phillips's costume design easily helped her get into character and obviously lots and lots of research was done on her part. All of the ensembles that Riseborough wore in the film was exquisite -- the impeccable tailoring, the accessories such as the jewelry, the brooches, the fascinators, the gloves, and all other small details like the classic red pout and even her nail polish color --  all transformed her into Wallis Simpson in the flesh on screen. What's even more incredible about the costume design aspect of this film is that fashion houses like Christian Dior and Madeleine Vionnet recreated actual designs that were made specifically for Wallis Simpson. Wallis was actually a patron of the Paris couture house of Madeleine Vionnet in the 1930's. Her original orders are still held in the companies archives and recreations of four of those gowns were made by the fashion house exclusively  for this film. And the same goes for the house of Dior. Three dresses that had been previously made for the actual Wallis Simpson was recreated just for this film, which is incredible. Phillips also worked with the famous milliner, Stephen Jones, to create this one of a kind veiled (and horned! -- so appropriate for the scene when she was walking around town as the scandal of her relationship with Edward erupted in the tabloids) fascinator for the film along with jewelers Cartier and Alexis Bettar. The story is really good and the clothes are even better (over 60+ costume changes) so if you appreciate a good time period film filled with sumptuously designed period garments (and/or just love getting inspired by the fashion in films) or if you're looking to be transported to this incredible time in history and fashion for a couple of hours, then give this movie a go. I guarantee that you'll love it. 

Wallis Simpson on the Left and Andrea Riseborough on the Right

Love, KB

Monday, December 17, 2012

Grace Coddington for Vogue -- November and December 2012

     If it's not apparent enough (which is pretty much impossible since I've talked about her in about every other blog post) I adore Grace Coddington. I don't love her just as an editorial stylist and creative director of Vogue. I love her as a person, even though I've technically never met her (but plan to one day, when the first opportunity comes my way.) This love and adoration is completely validated in her memoir, Grace. Click this to buy it now. Do it! I finished the book within a couple of days because I simply couldn't put it down. From her modeling days to her relationship with the famous Editor in Chief of American VogueAnna Wintour and everything in between (from working with Norman Parkinson as a young model in Britain, her days at British Vogue as fashion editor, a lunch incident involving a crazed PETA activist and a frozen raccoon, her cat psychic, and all the personal heartbreaks and triumphs) I felt like within those pages, those illustrations (drawn by Grace herself) the photographs from her childhood, and the display of her selected work from the pages of British and American Vogue, I felt like I got to know her as a close friend just like her actual and long time friends, Karl Lagerfeld and Nicolas Ghesquiere. The release of the memoir prompted a media coverage on Grace who usually despises the spotlight and paparazzi -- from a style feature in the New York Times, to the cover and cover story of i-D Magazine's Wise Up Issue, and a Fresh-Air session with NPR -- Grace was finally at the center spotlight, where I personally think, she belongs. She even had a live Twitter chat through Vogue magazine's twitter account and at the end bluntly admitted that she quite enjoyed it despite the fact that computers and technology still frustrates her (she's 71 years old after all!) Read the book over the holiday season and I guarantee that you will love it and laugh out loud like I did (especially during the chapter when she talked about her cats and her cat psychic, Christine.) As for the rest, here's the tail end of her work in the pages of Vogue from the November and December 2012 issues. 

Love, KB

p.s. The November 2012 Issue of Vogue has a pretty lengthy excerpt of the memoir, so if you want a sneak peek, read it here

November 2012
Little Pink Houses
For you and me: quirky feminine pieces in the sweet hue of motherly love and conjugal romance. 
Photographed by Arthur Elgort

December 2012
Full Spectrum
Paint the town in a rainbow of artistic colors: stop-sign red, ocean blue, inky violet -- an intense palette to brighten and heighten the holiday season. 
Photographed by Craig McDean

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fashion in Films: The Classics -- From the Pages to the Big Screen

     The relationship between books and films has always been symbiotic. When done right in every aspect of the production -- from the screenplay, the casting, the costumes, and the set -- some of the greatest movies of all time usually arise from the stories that were derived from books (with the exception of original screenplays, of course.) With holiday films rolling in and the big summer blockbusters looming ahead, I'm more excited than ever by all of the trailers that are being released each day. And I'm not just excited because they're some of my favorite books that I've read when I was growing up and I love nothing more than watching those movies come to life in film, but mainly because of the clothes (obviously.) Period piece movies have always been awe inspiring because the costume design in such productions have a certain intricateness and grandeur to them. I mean, they kind of have to have grandeur because people didn't particularly lounge around in their jeans and t-shirts in those days. Aside from the fantastic dresses, stunning jewelry, and grand headpieces, I've also noticed a common theme in the plot of all of these movies: Love. I've always believed that the greatest stories of all time are the ones about love. Read these books and watch these movies to see for yourself (or in this case, watch the movie trailers for now) then let's discuss. 

Love, KB

p.s. I think casting Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in the Great Expectations is the most brilliant beyond brilliant idea. I've always had this image of Miss Havisham in my head when I read the book in middle school and her eccentricity is the perfect match for the role. 

Anna Karenina book written by Leo Tolstoy 
release date: November 10, 2012
director: Joe Wright
costume designer: Jacqueline Durran
Kiera Knightley as Anna Karenina
Jude Law as Karenin
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky

Les Miserables book written by Victor Hugo
release date: December 25, 2012
director: Tom Hooper
costume designer: Paco Delgado
Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean
Anne Hathaway as Fantine
Russell Crowe as Javert
Amanda Seyfried as Cosette
Eddie Redmayne as Marius
Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier
Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenardier

Great Expectations book written by Charles Dickens
release date: Winter 2012/2013
director: Mike Newell
costume designer: Beatrix Aruna Pasztor
Jeremy Irvine as Pip
Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch
Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham
Robbie Coltrane as Mr. Jaggers 
Holliday Grainger as Estella

The Great Gatsby book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald
release date: May 10, 2013
director: Baz Luhrmann
costume designer: Catherine Martin
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby 
Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchannan
Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway
Joel Edgerton as Tom Buchannan
Isla Fisher as Myrtle Wilson

The Wizard of Oz book written by L. Frank Baum
Oz: The Great and Powerful
release date: March 8, 2013
director: Sam Raimi
costume designer: Gary Jones
James Franco as Oz
Mila Kunis as Theodora
Rachel Weisz as Evanora
Michelle Williams as Glinda