Tuesday, April 24, 2012

T.V. Obsession: Zooey Deschanel in New Girl

     Not only is Zooey Deschanel my ultimate girl crush and comedic hero, (right alongside funny girl, Kristen Wiig) she is also my style soulmate and dark-hair-thick-bangs-twin, except for the fact that she has a beautiful singing voice and I can hardly carry a tune. I've always loved her movies and music -- yes even as a blonde in Elf, the often glanced over YES Man, and the romantic cult movie 500 Days of Summer -- even before her hit FOX show, New Girl, made it big. And since its first season is finally coming close to the finale (the 23rd episode and season finale will air May 1, 2012) I thought that it was more than appropriate, now more than ever, to obsessed over Deschanel's character, Jess Day's girly and quirky style. 

     What's great about any characters that Zooey Deschanel plays, whether it be in the big or small screen, is that they almost always closely resemble the person that she is and her personal style -- especially as it has been made evident with the before mentioned movies like YES Man and 500 Days of Summer. I know for a fact that Deschanel works closely with all the costume designers in all of her projects and New Girl was no exception (she actually helped put together a lot of Summer Finn's looks in 500 Days of Summer.) With the help of the show's costume designer, Debra McGuire, the two have managed to put together looks that are very consistent with the character of Jessica Day and of course, Zooey Deschanel. 

     There was definitely no scarcity of color, playful prints like florals, polka dots, nautical stripes, colorful cardigans and suede ballet flats, and other feminine details in accessories this season. Deschanel's style and persona has often been characterized as "quirky" (have you seen the SNL skits featuring Abby Elliot as Zooey Deschanel?? So funny! Click this link!) and I think that humor she brings as a comedic actress is reflected in her personal style as well. I cannot even begin to list all of my favorite A-line dresses, bright colorful full length coats, and feminine accessories like red patent leather bow belts. Given her shape, I think it's very wise that she accentuates her waist with skinny to medium sized belts and go for A-line style dresses and skirts which in turn makes her look very lean and tall. And not to mention, it gives the entire ensemble a very tailored looked. Also given the fact that Deschanel is relatively short (petite size of 5'5") adding layers to the looks like cardigans and blazers, colorful coats and tights, gives her looks a lot more depth which help distract from her height. The only thing that she and I disagree on, style wise, is her choice of wearing kitten heels (kitten heels are basically any heel height that's shorter than 3 inches.) She wore a lot of different colored suede ballet flats in the show, which I loved, but I'm not such a big fan of her kitten heel usage. Although, it works in her favor since her style is very lady-like/feminine and retro and gives it like a vintage-y-baby doll feel to the entire look (but not the Japanese baby dolls.

Love, KB

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fashion Ad Campaign Obsession: Diane Von Furstenberg -- Be the Woman You Want to Be

     It should come as no surprise to anyone that I'm huge fan of positive and influential women. Not influential in the sense that they're always chasing the limelight and fame, but rather in the way that they use their name to do good for the world around them, and yes even themselves. Fashion designer and mogul Diane Von Furstenberg has always been that woman for me. I admire her for her fashion design career (she pioneered the wrap dress afterall) but most importantly, her wisdom. If you follow her on Twitter or have read about her amazing life, it's almost as if she's this other mother that we women often need. She's constantly saying the most inspirational and nurturing words. I read her autobiography, Diane: A Signature Life a couple of months ago and every page was filled with the kind of truth and insight that only someone who has lived such a full life like she has could write. The one quote that she said that completely resonated with me is, "The most important relationship you have in your life, is the relationship you have with yourself." So simple, yet very ingenious, right? Because if you don't like or agree with who you are as a person, then how do you expect others to see the good and potential in you? 

     If you think about it, she may be one of the first celebrities who created a fashion empire under her name. A total rags to riches story, but with a fairy tale twist. Before she invented her famous wrap dress, she was an it-girl princess living in New York City and married to Prince Egon of Furstenberg (a German royalty.) And it wasn't after that title of princess did she start up her fashion, home, and beauty line (yes, make-up!) among many other endeavors. And for this spring season's ad campaign, DVF launched a campaign that's very true to the woman that is Diane Von Furstenberg. The theme of the campaign is "BE THE WOMAN YOU WANT TO BE." In the campaign, a model wears a DVF floral dress and a mirror strapped across her face, making her nameless and faceless, but at the same time reflects the woman looking at the clothes. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to decipher the implications of this ad campaign, especially with the help of the said slogan. I personally feel as if the message has a double meaning. Instead of putting the face of some famous supermodel a la' Kate Moss or Karlie Kloss, DVF went for a reflective approach, letting their consumers picture themselves in the clothes and the woman they want to be in life. Fashion is an expression of individuality and personal style, so the decision is ultimately given to the consumer as to how they see themselves in the clothes and how they like to perceived by the world with or without the dress. 

     I'm already a huge fan of Diane's clothes and the powerful and intelligent woman that she is, and hopefully this compelling ad campaign for the spring  2012 season will entice and encourage women to see what she is all about. What do you make of the ad campaign? 

Love, KB

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fashion in Films: Mirror Mirror

     Aside from being a fashion editorial stylist for a Conde' Nast publication, I would also love to be the costume designer for a television show or feature film. And of course when I say costume designer, I don't mean like Janie Bryant for Mad Men (she actually designs and constructs most of the looks in the show.) Think more like Eric Daman for Gossip Girl or Patricia Field for Sex in the City, who both interpret the looks on screen in conjunction with the script and the clothes that are available on set or are borrowed from several fashion house show rooms. And the beauty that I love about this job is the fantasy. Costume designers are able to imagine and create a world with absolutely no limits and the movie Mirror Mirror is a prime example of that. 

     I saw this movie a couple of days after it hit theaters and I must say that it was everything that I expected it to be. The Snow White plot aside (which wasn't exactly the same story that we grew up with, especially if you saw the Disney cartoon version -- no spoilers here) the costume design was absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. The costume designer Eiko Ishioka (who unfortunately died in January, even before the movie premiered which must have been tragic) created a lot of beautiful dresses filled with volume, grandeur, and color. It definitely stayed true to the fantasy aspect of the story -- very whimsical, dreamy, and regal (especially for Julia Roberts's Evil Queen character) -- but at the same time very playful and romantic which resonates with the main theme of the movie. 

     Since I'm such a fairytale and fantasy fanatic, I was beyond inspired with all of Lily Collins's costumes in the movie, especially the oversized yellow coat complete with bows (at the neck and elbows) that she wore during the beginning of the film. I distinctly remember saying to my movie companion, "I WANT that coat. NOW." And of course, I was all for the layers of tulle, volume of the skirts, intricate embroideries and floral appliques, exaggerated shoulders, and use of the bright colors in the fabric choices. Julia Roberts's character as the Queen donned a lot of monochromatic looks, but complete with all the frills and details which was perfect for a reigning wicked Queen. Lily Collins as Snow White, on the other hand, exhibited a softer color palette but with a lot of vibrant details to showcase her youth and liveliness. Even the swan ensemble that Lily wore during the Queen's party for Prince Alcott (played by Armie Hammer) wasn't at all ridiculous to me. It was absolutely fantastic and dreamy. I believe that the dream aspect, imagination, and creativity in these costumes was vital to the understanding and presentation of the story. 

Love, KB