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.

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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