Undercover: A Twisted Fairytale

Bosch meets Black Swan in this balletic inspired coming of age fantasy

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I remember one design project in which we had to pick two seemingly disparate objects, ideas, concepts to be inspired by and cohesively and cleverly bring the two of them together to create a couture collection. I chose chemistry and fantasy (geek) and told the story of faeries emanating from chemical compounds, dragons, fabrics woven from the vapors of fuming beakers.... Another classmate chose to fuse together... pirates. And. Birthday cake.... I will never forget that concept because it is simply so utterly obscure a union, you thought her mad or genius. Pretty sure it was successful.  Confetti colored jackets and all that.

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Fast forward to all the elements Jun Takahashi expertly wove together to tell his dark coming of age fairytale, entitled "Pretty Hate Bird".  A far more complex union than NIN's adolescent angst filled Pretty Hate Machine album, and Angry Birds (although I wouldn't be surprised if Takahashi was listening to one and playing the other at any point during development.) Upon seeing the first girl in her debutant ball gown and wings, I thought we were watching the Swan Princess. But then there were tutus and floaty ballet inspired ensembles, like all the sheer skirts and knits... and I realized he was drawing from Black Swan. The hair and make up did resemble that of Natalie Portman's in the film.  But then there were  peasant girls/milkmaids (?) Reminiscent of Vermeer's painting of the subject, and a little of Drew Barrymore's Ever After Cinderella.  There was thought provoking art: surrealist prints featured trompe-l'œil skulls (not unlike the giant skull emerging from a cherry on the runway), and flowers with batwing shaped leaves....

Then, solid, candy colored coats descended the runway in simple silhouettes, featuring the ever present black swan motif in buttons, and... ornately framed screens playing cartoons?!?!?!? I assumed that they were clear pocket for a smartphone, and after scoping the designer's instagram, it turns out I was right! [embed]http://instagram.com/p/tcqSXySvbv/?modal=true[/embed]

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And then there was Bosch! The infamous "Garden of Earthly Delights" tryptic was printed all over a series of skirts, tops, dresses... THE SHOES!! And in what was one of the greatest displays of concept to creation: the pink formations in Bosch's piece were brought to life in the jewelry and other accessories. The girls were living art head to toe. Art depicting the journey the girls were taking. The leaving behind of innocence and succumbing to life's more carnal pleasures and the decadence around you. For a more in depth study of the painting, I implore you to revisit Rachel's beautiful post on the Bosch Dr. Martens.

Speaking of accessories, I'd be remiss not to mention the show's "it" bag. Cherry shaped minaudière suspended from brass knuckles. Give it!

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For the finale, there was a series of exquisite feathered looks, complete with over the top feathered masks. The leather jackets also a sign of rebellion. It was stunning and almost scary, and it paved the way for the final walk, when the girls returned to the runway clad entirely in beautiful black pieces with black wings outstretched behind them, conveying the end of their journey, and their complete transition into the dark side.

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Hey, if your descent into darkness guaranteed you a fantasy wardrobe by a mad genius, could you resist the temptation?

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(images via Style.com and Fashionizing.com (detail shots))

Moschino X Barbie

She's a Barbie girl Jeremy Scott: Fashion industry rebel bad boy? Yes. Bat shit cray Genius? Possibly.

Scott's great contribution to fashion is his ability to poke fun at fashion, with a skilled hand, an eye for proportion, a knack for accessories, an understanding of marketing and merchandising... it's this combination of talent and vision that excites us, appalls us and makes us want to buy things while questioning his intentions (are you in fact making fun of us, the consumer? ) and our own sense of humor (maybe we need to stop criticizing his work and lighten up and just enjoy?)

"Moschino For Ages 5 and Older"

What I love about his latest for Moschino (apart from some of the atrocious evening wear... I swear, I think half the time he sits back and laughs out loud at himself thinking: "I dare someone to wear this.") is that he was not only making fun of fashion and consumerism--in true Scott fashion-- but it also played like a tribute to one of our greatest fashion icons. An homage to the very cliche and very real "Barbie is the reason I wanted to become a fashion designer, " story.

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Ummm..... pin cushion  prom dress Barbie?

I too was designing clothes for barbie as a child. The marketing geniuses at Mattel had basically decided our fate for us when they created Barbie magazine, and partnered with Post cereal to make sure we got our barbie croquis (figures) to trace clothes on. But even then, I can't give her all the credit. I also had Selena (what? I'm Latina, she was a very real presence.) and a brochure from FIT that I'd come across at age 8, in the midst of designing Barbie a new Spring wardrobe. I knew then where I was destined to go. But I digress....

My favorite look on one of my favorite models, Hanne Gaby Odiele

Have a look below at the runway tribute to our perfect plastic princess in pumps.  I'm already looking forward to the street style stars rocking these accessories. (Can I haz quilted heart bag?!) Coat hanger as bag? Chanel-esque chained pool floaty? GREATEST IPHONE COVER EVER?!?! What would you rock?

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[embed]http://instagram.com/p/tGYsr6xzUs/[/embed](Images via Style.com)

LEDetailing at CuteCircuit

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Quick, how many ways can you think of to embellish garments? Rhinestones, beading, sequins, lace appliqués, tweets, embroidery... Wait a sec... tweets?! We'll get to that shortly. And what about lights?

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Well, one look at CuteCircuit and you realize that's pretty much their design philosophy. The design duo of Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz craft beautiful, quirky pieces that act as canvases for the light shows and various other illuminated details they project. The best thing about CuteCircuit's pieces is that they are far more than just a gimmick, and don't rely solely on the tech to sell their clothes. At their NYFW debut on Thursday, they showcased some equally gorgeous un-illuminated pieces.

 

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And how do they work, exactly?

"The products we design use Patent Pending CuteCircuit technologies. CuteCircuit uses technologically advanced, ethical and clean manufacturing processes."

 

Sounds like these RTW magicians aren't revealing their secrets any time soon. The technology used reminds me of something I got to witness firsthand in the early stages of development at the _______ company in Milan. LEDs illuminating fibers and powered by tiny hidden battery packs. We marveled at the possibility of it's applications.

Fast forward to CuteCircuit's runway....

And what of those tweets I mentioned?

Have a look at their show stopping twitter dress in action below. An already expertly cut and fitted piece, with a bodice displaying what looks like my screensaver, until people use #tweetthedress to have their messages appear right on the gown. (My feeling is only a select few people are told about this ahead of time, to keep the messages pleasant and PG).

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A brilliant (pun intended) debut this side of the pond by the label. I'm all for innovation and the fashionizing of wearable tech. Honestly, in this day and age, does an iPhone controlled mini skirt, really sound that farfetched?

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Photo by Christopher Minafo

Menswear Monday: Medieval Magic at Dolce & Gabbana

DOL_0107.450x675 What is a well dressed, well-to-do Game of Thrones Fanboy to wear out and about, but  pieces from Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana's fall/winter 2014 collection?

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We're channeling Robb and Jon here.

A blend of modern and medieval luxury, modeled by a collection of refined, rugged, and crowned nobility. The show featured chainmail hoods reimagined as knitted wool balaclavas, breathtaking jewel encrusted gloves and chunky knit mits as modern gauntlets. Rich, silver filigree embroidered court shoes and antique gold studded lace-ups. Oversized sheepskin, beaded fur and stitched leather armor-like sweaters printed with heraldic keys, saints and churches, and portraits of the rulers of the seven kingdoms 8 Norman Kings of Sicily. And what was for me the ultimate show-stopper: A suit of amour. As in, an actual gorgeous green velvet suit with armor printed onto it! Then they did it again on a luxurious, silk front shearling overcoat.

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I wouldn't put it past GoT cast members to start sporting these looks. Would you? (oh, and there may be a surprise at the end of this post)

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The gloves... the F***ing GLOVES!!!!

Okay, so the collection may not be directly influenced by the series a-la Helmut Lang (According to Style.com god Tim Blanks, the designers don't actually watch Game of Thronesbut I highly suspect everyone else on the staff does.) but it is a brilliant and romantic retelling of the Norman conquest of Sicily--Dolce's birthplace, with lots of highly covetable pieces for history buffs and the Westeros bound alike.

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His lordship's shoe porn

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Taking the almost black in style.

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DID I MENTION THE GLOVES?!?!?!

(all images via Style.com)

Great show or AWESOME show? Let me know what you think after you've recovered from the following image..... you're welcome.

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Oh look, it's Kit Harington (Jon Snow) in the February '14 issue of Esquire UK in... DOLCE & GABBANA