Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 Oscars -- The Academy Awards

1. Kristen Wiig in J. Mendel

     So due to a wedding I attended this past weekend, I missed the red carpet  to this year's Oscars. But thanks to today's technology (ie the internet, smart phones, and red carpet apps) and loyal friends who were kind enough to send me picture texts of the event via their home televisions, I was able to keep up with all of the red carpet fashion in the comfort of the passenger seat. And I must say, it was a close call between Kristen, Michelle, and Emma as my favorites. But in the end, I decided to name my ultimate girl crush and funny girl, Kristen Wiig, as my favorite red carpet look of the night. The entire look -- from the gown, to the hair, and minimal accessories -- was so flawless. She was stunning and looked so elegant. You know that I'm a sucker for tulle and strapless, sweetheart necklines, but I think that this dress suits her perfectly. She definitely redeemed herself from that choker incident in the SAG awards. 

2. Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton

3. Emma Stone in Giambattista Valli

4. Rose Byrne in Vivienne Westwood 

5. Rooney Mara in Givenchy

6. Maya Rudolph in Johanna Johnson 

7. Penelope Cruz in Giorgio Armani   

8. Cameron Diaz in Gucci Premiere

 9. Natalie Portman in Dior

10. Georgina Chapman (of course) in Marchesa 

Love, KB

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fashion Ad Campaign Obsession: Chanel Spring/Summer 2012

     A year later and I'm still in love with the Chanel S/S campaign ads (which may or not be biased because I love the fashion house and I think Karl Lagerfeld is a design god) that it's almost becoming an instinctual habit to open up the March issues of my glossies and look for the spread (but sometimes spoiled by online fashion news.)  When you think of the Spring and Summer seasons, what words do you associate with the season?? If you say color then right you are (in a Yoda voice.) These seasons are so synonymous with colors that it's what you expect in a spring/summer ad campaign. And then I see the Chanel's ad campaign for the 2012 season and of course, it's in black and white. Karl Lagerfeld shot the campaign so without a doubt, you can expect the following: an influx of the black and white palette while he shoots the entire campaign completely decked out from head to toe (gloves included) glamour, art, a story, and intrigue. You might be asking yourself these questions (or at least you should be!) -- why are the models in high beams and vaults? (which btw is my favorite! I love the big pouffy shoulders! It has Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel written all over that one.The London 2012 summer olympics perhaps? Besides, I think the addition of these athletic props is a nice play of something hard, rough, and strength with something soft, graceful, and delicate like the models and the clothes. Why is it colorless? Did you see the S/S 2012 show? The entire collection was so light and airy that color is really unnecessary? Why is the shoot set near the ocean? Again, did you see the S/S 2012 Runway show? The entire set was practically under the sea while Florence Welch sings from a sea shell. I know the advertisements in magazines seem like just a waste of space (especially in September issues!) but the next time you open a glossy do me a favor -- take the time to actually take a look at these pages for more than just a mere glance. You'd be surprise at the stories they tell. 

p.s. Don't forget to watch the making of the ad campaign! Click the video above if you haven't already! 

Love, KB

Magazine Cover: Vanity Fair March 2011 Hollywood Issue

from left to right: Rooney Mara, Mia Wasikowska, Jennifer Lawrence, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, Adepero Oduye, Shailene Woodley, Paula Patton, Felicity Jones, Lily Collins, and Brit Marling.

     Hello gorgeous! Or should I say that eleven times over? Vanity Fair's March Hollywood issues are fast becoming like the highly coveted September issue glossies and this year's cover (and trifold spread) proves its iconography. 2011's spread had that old Hollywood feel to it (click here to see that Fashion Blog post) with crisp tuxedoes, glamorous jewels, gorgeous floor length gowns with super sexy cuts and leg slits (I can still distinctly remember that dress that Oliva Wilde wore with that ultra revealing leg slit! Oww!) This year's cover excludes the Y chromosome, a touch more soft, and ultra feminine. The 2012 cover of Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue features Hollywood's up and coming female talent in a 20s/30s Jazz Age setting as styled by Jessica Diehl and photographed by renowned photographer Mario Testino. The entire shoot had a boudoir feel to it with the young actresses clad in pastel color gowns of satin and feathers. I always like reading this issue before the watching the Oscars, because it profiles all of the nominees and the new fresh talent, including all of the women on this cover. I'm so excited that all of these beautiful, talented, and most deserving women have made it on the cover and I can't wait to see how the rest of their promising careers pan out. How beautiful does Rooney Mara look on this cover? Her black hair (kept that way for her role as Lisbeth Salander in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series) is so 1920s flapper! Who is your favorite cover girl?And don't forget to tune in to watch the Oscars on Sunday, February 26! 

Love, KB

Rooney Mara's dress by Ralph Lauren Collection
Mia Wasikowska by Ralph Lauren Collection
Jennifer Lawrence by Donna Karan
Jessica Chastain by Giorgio Armani 
Elizabeth Olsen by Salvatore Ferragamo
Adepero Oduye by Carolina Herrera
Shailene Woodley by Ralph Lauren Collection
Paula Patton by L'wren Scott
Felicity Jones by Burberry
Lilly Collins by Annabelle New York
Brit Marling by Tommy Hilfiger

Saturday, February 4, 2012

25 Days of Style: a Fashion Blog series -- Day 25

     Could it be?? Did I make it to Day 25 at last??! It seems only yesterday that I came up with the brilliant beyond brilliant idea which could instantly turn into a disaster if done poorly. I made a promise to myself when I started this series to be true to who I am and my style aesthetics. Every single one of the looks featured in this series are looks that I've carefully put together as a new never-before-done ensemble out of my closet or looks that I've been wearing for quite sometime. When I started this fashion blog a year ago, my sister told me that if I wanted to be a serious editorial stylist I have to photograph myself in looks that I've put together instead of on the dress form. And I get what she means. Dress forms can be synonymous to store shop windows and displays and can be faceless and lifeless. With a real person, there's so much more life and movement to the clothes (as evident by my constant attempt to get a good action shot.) This entire process definitely hasn't been easy -- I had to style, photograph, edit, design, and write all of it myself -- but it definitely has been a lot of fun. One day, all I'm going to be doing is style the models to be shot in an editorial spread and have plenty of man/woman power to take care of everything else. I'm more comfortable behind the camera anyway, I just want to play and create stories with beautiful clothes. 

     So today's look puts together a lot of my favorite elements in clothes which are comfort, color, movement, and pizzaz (no, not pizza.. mmm.. pizza) I've had this dress with this beautiful accordion pleats in the skirt for quite sometime and it took me a while to figure out how to style it -- which is the norm when it comes to my creative styling process. Sometimes putting together outfits comes easy and other times, I get stumped on a particular piece, but I know that it has got real potential. Remember Cameron Diaz in the movie My Best Friend's Wedding when she said to Julia Roberts that "you wouldn't be comfortable unless you're distinctive." My approach when it comes to dressing is about the same process. I believe that style is something that's unique from person to person. Remember when I made the distinction between fashion and style? Well trends is also something that's completely different. Fashion is what we see on the runway, it's constantly changing -- some are new ideas, others are mere interpretation of what's been seen and done before. Style is what's personal to us as individuals, like how you wear a certain piece or style with accessories. Trend on the other hand is the influence of what's on the runway which has the capacity to repeat itself within the years. 

     When I get dressed in the morning, I usually stick to three things: my personal style, the classics (always reliable and timeless), and an eclectic mix of whatever it is that I'm in the mood for, the weather outside, and my own interpretation of the current trends. This is important because keeping up with what's being worn in fashion is important, but you need not look like a carbon copy version of Karlie Kloss out of the pages of Vogue, capiche? I know that sounds a bit contradictory but make the distinction quick! So in styling this dress, I just simply opted for a square floral scarf that has been folded into a triangle and worn like a necklace. And to make the look a little more casual, I just layered with a denim jacket to make the look more daytime appropriate and seersucker oxfords for comfort. I think this look is a nice reflection of the spring season that's just around the corner -- things are going to get colorful around here. 

     So many thanks for those of you who have kept up with this Fashion Blog series and I hope that you learned a few (or many!) styling tips along the way as well as something about yourself when it comes to your fashion sense. I've always believed that getting dressed is an art. Many think that fashion in itself is art, which is also true, but at the same time, I truly believe that the act of getting dressed itself is a true art form and a lost one at that. When you go to class or out in public to run an errand wearing sweatpants and a hoodie, it only communicates to others that your'e comfortable. It doesn't express much about the self respect that you have for yourself. I know that everyday is not a fashion show, but making a habit to look polished and put together, just to please yourself and no one else, is a good exercise. Because when you look good then you feel good, and when you feel good, your mood is uplifted and you feel much more confident in your skin. 

Love, KB

red pleated dress by Cooperative -- Urban Outfitters 
denim jacket by Hollister 
floral square scarf by Heritage 1981 
seer sucker oxfords by Steve Madden

Friday, February 3, 2012

25 Days of Style: a Fashion Blog series -- Day 24

     When I meet some young self proclaimed fashionista and they tell me that Chanel is their favorite designer, I can't help but laugh inside -- no offense. Honey, Coco Chanel has been dead and hasn't designed anything since the early/late sixties. If you say Karl Lagerfeld, who is currently designing for the fashion house, then we can start talking. But I know what they mean. Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel has pioneered so many classic and timeless pieces that all of us can't help but constantly refer to her work like the boxy tweed jacket, costume jewelry, the quilted chain bag, the scent of Chanel No. 5, and of course the Little Black Dress (LBD.) Audrey Hepburn cemented this look in her role as Holly Golightly in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's but did you know that the designer responsible for all of her looks in the movie, along with the famous costume designer Edith Head, was actually Givenchy? So when looked at as a classic analogy Chanel : LBD :: Givenchy : Holly Golightly's LDB. Chanel may have made the LBD a classic, but season after season, every designer creates their own version of this iconic piece. 

     LBDs can definitely be too cocktail dressy, but I like wearing mine even outside of social events. To make it daytime and work appropriate, I simply layered it with a tailored blazer and accessorized with pearl costume jewelry -- another Chanel classic. If only the flowers on this necklace were Camellias then this is a Chanel inspired look through and through. And to finish off this polished look, I just simply wore my trusted black suede pumps with the hidden 2 inch platforms. Have I talked about the magic that is hidden platforms? It is Day 24 after all and I can hardly remember all of the distinct details of what I jabber about on here. But yes, hidden platforms is your new best friend! Are you too intimated or clumsy for 6 inch heels? Hidden platforms in pumps basically will save your life and make an otherwise super uncomfortable shoe into something super comfortable and wearable -- or at least much more tolerable. Without it, your feet would basically be inclined tenfold in 6" heels, so it acts as an added layer or two of extra platform. 

     Even as a young teenager, the interlocking C's of Chanel always intimidated me. There was this mysterious omnipresent feel to it that I couldn't explain. Every time I would walk near a Chanel boutique when I was younger, something about it felt too delicate to touch let alone enter. Maybe it was the presence of those (asset protection) guards or sales ladies in their classic black and white Chanel ensembles that would dishearten me, but it was definitely one of the logos that I grew up around especially with a very stylish mother and grandmother like mine. No one had to explain why it was so classic, so special, but just like with everything else when I was growing up, when I didn't understand something, I would read about it. And through books, movies, and documentaries did I learn the importance of Chanel to the fashion industry and to modern history. Besides, a lady is always learning. 

Love, KB

black tiered dress by Erin Fetherston for Target 
blush blazer by Heritage 1981 
pearl necklace by Charming Charlie 
black suede pumps by Steve Madden