Just When I Thought I Was Out… {Ralph Lauren Collection Spring 2012}

16/09/2011 § 2 Comments

…they keep pulling me back in.”  — Michael Corleone

I suppose I should have never doubted that Ralph Lauren would be my favorite from NYFW.  We go way, way back.  And this time around I flirted with the idea of another man, but the indomitable Mr. Lauren didn’t care.  He waited.  He reclinated.  He knew that when he would drop his glittering collection on my head, I’d come running right back to his side.  He knew that I wouldn’t ever be able to say no to him…

The man was right.

For spring 2012, while most other collections showed influences of the 1930s and 40s, Mr. Lauren reached back even further to a decade he is most comfortable with — the 1920s.  And why not?  His costumes for Jack Clayton’s Gatsby are constantly referenced by fashion and costume designers.  Why not seize upon spring’s nostalgia, ratchet up the glamour and hit his own sweet spot?  Textbook really.  These are clothes for both Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker, and you probably already know I tend to like Jordan a bit more…  If you were looking for 1920s with an edge, for the ironic jazz age, you won’t find it here, because that is not what Mr. Lauren does.  You need to go talk to Thom Browne if that’s what you want, because that’s what he showed this week.  Mr. Lauren is unfailingly earnest, and you will either find this boring, or love it to death as I do.  Ralph Lauren is not an iconoclast — he is an icon.  And it is a dying breed at that…

Mr. Lauren’s spring 2012 is iridescent, feathered, and jeweled.  It is club-collared, double-breasted and cuffed.  The palazzo pant is making a return.  You better learn how to tie a tie and how to wear a cloche hat.  And above all, get thyself to a fabulous ball because these gorgeous silk gowns, they are screaming to be worn.

Now, I had to restrain myself here.  Of course I wanted to post it all down to the last drop, but if you really want to see every outfit, you can head over to Vogue for that.  And I highly recommend you do because photographer Marcio Madeira had a field day.  His shots are A.Maz.Ing.  What I wanted to share with you, were some of my favorite looks, coupled with some of my favorite detail shots  (Madeira blew my mind with these — I have yet to see any other runway detail shots that are this lavish, this indulgent).

Ready? Let’s Charleston…

“Let’s, let’s stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…”

Well done, sir.

All images via Vogue.

You Could Do Better, Terry Richardson…

21/10/2010 § Leave a comment

Via: GQ

At this point you’ve probably either seen the Glee GQ November 2010 photos, or heard about the controversy surrounding them.  Essentially, people are mad at photog Terry Richardson, GQ and the Glee actresses (note: not the actor, but we’ll get to that) for the very suggestive shoot, claiming it is tantamount to pedophilia because the actresses, while of legal age in real life, play high schoolers on the teevee.  And now Dianna Argon, one of the actresses, has sort of  apologized for offending anyone on her Tumblr.  This moral outrage is more of the sort we saw when Britney dressed up like a schoolgirl and Miley showed her back in Vanity Fair.  Except these aren’t even underage girls.  Personally, I think if we really want to get concerned about overly sexualizing young girls, there are a million better things to get upset over than photos of adult women in an adult men’s magazine…but that’s just me.

GQ has come out in defense of their photos, but GQ knew what they were doing.  No press is bad press.  They hired Terry Richardson to do a Terry Richardson shoot, and that is what they got: girls in various stages of nekkidity — there is not one shot where a bra isn’t showing — posed in a blatantly suggestive manner (I like to call the above pose: “spread eagle in little girl panties with a bench standing in for a !!PENIS!!“) , sometimes sticking things in their mouths, etc.  Of course, the treatment of Cory Montieth, the male actor, is quite different.  GQ is a men’s fashion magazine and it’s to be expected that he wouldn’t be running around in his mesh boxer briefs making sexyface (he’s styled wearing oxfords and ties and sweaters and overcoats).  As a stand-in for the reader, Montieth is frequently draped with his hot-to-trot costars as he smirks at the camera.

Personally, I’m tired of Terry Richardson when he can’t be bothered to do anything outside his harshly-lit, porny, American Apparel-like stuff.  And how did everyone forget he did this same exact thing to the cast of Gossip Girl last year for Rolling Stone?

Yawn.

Richardson is a very talented fashion photographer, but he’s also pretty damn lazy.  Witness his identical photos for Nous Sommes | Pendant and Reebok sneakers.  To me, his most exciting work is when he pushes his own boundaries as an artist, not the boundary between pornography and fashion photography.  I especially loved his August 2010 shoot for Vogue Nippon with Freja Beha Erichsen.

Via: FGR

But if you know anything about Terry Richardson, you know that he takes quite a bit of delight in the lecherous persona that he’s cultivated.  He loves that Jezebel hates him.  He enjoys singing songs about child molesters.  He likes being on Page Six.

You could hope all you want he might evolve, but in the meantime, I hope you like boobies and lollipops.

Street Etiquette: The Black Ivy

20/09/2010 § Leave a comment

The gentlemen over at Street Etiquette have released an amazing project called The Black Ivy.  Most obviously inspired by the recent re-release of Take Ivy, a collection of photographs of Ivy League students taken in 1965 by Japanese photographer Teruyoshi Hayashida, The Black Ivy offers a new and refreshing approach to the usual WASPy prep-inspired lookbook.

For more images, head over to Unabashedly Prep.  Do disregard the nonsense about Affirmative Action…

“…like a white girl dipped in chocolate.”

17/07/2010 § Leave a comment

“The Colour of Beauty” is a mini documentary that follows a black runway model and her (unsuccessful) attempts to get hired for New York’s Fashion Week.  See the documentary here.

It is an old problem.  Runway shows have historically had very few minority models and there are endless justifications for the lack of diversity: that ethnic consumers do not have the same buying power as white consumers, that black models don’t move product, that black models are not thin enough through the hips, etc.  Furthermore, the black models that have been the most successful have tended to have white features…like “a white girl dipped in chocolate.”

This film does a good job of re-introducing this issue to new audiences, but falls short when it comes to offering a solution to change the status quo.  Do we start with the fashion show producers?  The designers?  The fashion editors?  Or is this a larger problem?  Is this an outdated standard of beauty that society has forgotten to modernize?  How do we do that? In a country as beautifully diverse as America, a paradigm shift like this should have occurred years ago.

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