The Talented Mr. Dutti

05/07/2012 § Leave a comment

Mr. Greenleaf (Pre-Fall 2012 Men)

Mrs. Highsmith (Pre-Fall 2012 Women)

I was already completely excited about the first stateside Massimo Dutti opening later this year on Fifth Avenue, but when they decide to pay homage to Patricia Highsmith’s beloved psychological thriller via their Pre-Fall 2012 campaign?
A girl might just lose her head…

An Erté Vision {Alberta Ferretti Pre-Fall 2012}

03/02/2012 § 1 Comment

Loving the jewel toned, art deco-y Alberta Ferretti Pre-Fall 2012 collection.
A real-life Erté vision.  View the entire show here.

All images via Vogue.

The Ivy Coed {Jil Sander Pre-Fall 2012}

23/01/2012 § 2 Comments

Taking design inspiration from the mid-century American college student isn’t particularly innovative these days.  In fact, it can sometimes seem like designers are perennially stuck in those hallowed years between childhood and adulthood, where the most pressing matters of the day are studying for a midterm or rushing the right house.  Particularly if said years are spent in one of the more storied institutions, such as the colleges of the Ivy League.  This was perhaps most recently and significantly evidenced by the recent reissue and popularity of Teruyoshi Hayashida’s 1965 book Take Ivy, a collection photographs of Ivy style, and its appearance in bookstores and J.Crew stores alike.

But here is where we shall take a step back, because we should note that the conversation above is truly about men and menswear (and perhaps menswear-influenced womenswear by extension).  When was the last time we’ve seen the college coed honored, and not as a caricature — not as a girl in boy’s clothing — but truly female?  Honestly, I cannot recall, sadly.  Which is why the Jil Sander Pre-fall 2012 collection is so exciting to me.

For Jil Sander, designer Raf Simons has honored the collegiate woman.  Not content to merely reproduce — the quagmire that menswear frequently finds itself mired in — Simons’s reinvention of familiar forms is refreshing and startlingly well-executed, especially in the case of outerwear.  The presentation of the designs in a campaign that echoes Hayashida’s photographs, in group portraits that recall sororities and ladies’ clubs, is a stroke of genius and I couldn’t resist pulling up a few real ones.  You know me.

SMU sorority, taken by John Dominis, 1951.

Alpha Kappa Alpha at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1946.

Vassar College.

Bryn Mawr.  Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt , 1956.

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1939.

Vassar College.

Vassar College.

Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, 1939.

Wellesley College, taken by Nina Leen, 1949.

Images via Vogue, the Vassar Archives, and the LIFE Archives.

Victoriana Dreams {Alexander McQueen Pre-Fall 2012}

19/01/2012 § Leave a comment

I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself. 

My oh my, Sarah Burton’s 2012 pre-fall collection for Alexander McQueen is of the stuff my sartorial dreams are made of.  Elaborate, dramatic and a bit Victorian at times, I especially love the nipped-in waists and full skirts.  While definitely a bit too extravagant for application to my day-to-day wardrobe — hello, can we discuss that ethereal gown with the tulip sleeves? can. we. dis. cuss? —  the inspiration here abounds.  And truly, that’s all I ask from the House of Lee McQueen…

All images via Vogue.

Bicoastal {Boy. by Band of Outsiders Pre-Fall 2012}

20/12/2011 § 2 Comments

I only have two small reservations with the lovely 2012 inaugural Pre-Fall collection by Boy. by Band of Outsiders.  First: What.The Hell.Is Pre-Fall?!  I get that it’s the gap-filling counterpart of the Resort/Cruise collections, but at least with Resort collections I can imagine myself on some amazing trip somewhere warm.  The concept of Pre-Fall is definitely in need of some oomph.

Second: I detest the shoes.  Aside from that, I’m very impressed with the inclusive approach designer Scott Sternberg took here.  Taking style cues from prep schools and elite colleges of the east coast and Diane Keaton’s character in Manhattan while adding a fair bit of laid-back California ease, Boy. for Pre-Fall is a wearable, tailored, yet feminine collection that I hope figures prominently in my closet.

“I wanted to take the spirit of the New York woman of that time
and make it new—that interesting system of dressing.”
Boy. designer Scott Sternberg

All images via Vogue.

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