Is It Time to Bring Back the Face Veil?

Giambattista Valli Spring 2015 Couture
Like a flash of lightning, Paris Couture week has come and gone, but the clothes presented over the four days will echo throughout the year. Though the styles themselves are rather unobtainable for the average shopper, the trends and styles that debuted in Paris this week will dictate many of the trends that trickle down into brands that sell at friendlier price points.

One look I noticed at a few of the presentations? The face veil. Usually black, netted, and cut at the nose, the chic headwear (facewear?) accessories are vestiges of a bygone era when women really got glammed up and wore way more hair accessories than they do now. Face veils (veil masks? I'm not even too sure on what to call them) remind me of women in the forties smoking long, slender cigarettes and wearing black gloves and possibly plotting the murders of their husbands. Very noir, and very fashionable. 

Chanel, Giambattista Valli, and Ulyana Sergeenko all featured black netted veils in their couture collections. I must admit that it looks cool, mysterious, and sophisticated, though I do wonder about the tan lines those could create. 

What do you think? Would you ever wear a netted face veil?

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Chanel, Giambattista Valli, Chanel, Ulyana Sergeenko

Technicolor Daydream

"Alice in Wonderland. Utopia/dystopia. Edwardian. Urban tribe."

These were some of the notes I took while watching the Chanel Spring 2015 Haute Couture show (from my computer, of course, not from the front row—one day...). What a jumbled pile of notes and thoughts I had while I watched bare-midriff models traipse down the runway in the finest clothes in the world. For any other designer, the conglomeration of words and inspirations would feel like a jumbled mess with no real coherence, but this is Karl Lagerfeld we're talking about. Somehow, he always has a way of making seemingly unrelated and often dichotomous concepts come together in splendid form.  


At the Grand Palais (per usual) the runway was decorated with hundreds of fake, mechanical flowers, like a vibrant dreamlike scene from a Disneyland attraction. The clothes were just as resplendent, full of metallic blooms and blossoming details as well as the design staples we have come to expect from Chanel. 

There was emphasis placed on both past inspiration (Edwardian hats, evening gloves—perhaps Amal Alamuddin is to blame?—and 90's-style midriffs) and the dream of the future (electric colors, artificial flowers, inventive silhouettes), as well as some fabulous fantasy world that is all Lagerfeld's own. 

In particular I found myself thinking of the new Peter Pan film and the character design of Princess Tiger Lily (controversially portrayed by Rooney Mara, but that's a whole other issue...) with the darkened makeup across the eyes and the colorful, exaggerated shoulders. The clothes are gorgeous and fantastical but also decidedly utilitarian, which I've come to expect from Chanel—the clothes will always be extravagant and decadent, but never will I look at a piece and ask myself, "Who would possibly wear that?" 


And with the connotations of Tiger Lily and fairy princesses and far-off destinations, I came to the conclusion that the cult of Chanel is very much a tribe in and of itself, a collection of impossibly chic women who adore clothing and who dress in a very particular way, the Chanel way, if you will. They mix the urban and the traditional, they show their belly buttons off with tweed pencil skirts, they love florals but aren't afraid of an all-black ensemble either. One might say that the Chanel girl is a contradiction, but I believe that it is the contradictory nature of her style, the way she always keeps you guessing, that makes her so fascinating.

One doesn't look at a collection like this spring's and say that only one girl could wear all these different looks. Each look is a variation on a theme, made for different styles and different women, but all of them do fit into the Chanel brand, there's no denying this. Both Kendall Jenner and Ines de la Fressange (both Chanel muses) can pull looks from this collection that fit their personalities and their personal styles, but it won't be the same one. Or maybe it will be! That is the beauty of Chanel. 


The most captivating looks of the collection were, for me at least, the three pictured above. Models Alexandra Elizabeth and Lindsey Wixson donned high fashion capes with their ensembles, looking very much like fairy princess superheroes, with their capes and latticed eye masks. If only The Avengers donned costumes like these, perhaps I'd be a little more interested.

And of course, there is the lovely hooded piece that Soo Joo Park wore on the runway, a brilliant feathered shrug that echoed the overall runway set. Between these three looks, I fell in love with the collection in a way that I rarely feel when it comes to fashion shows anymore. So often it comes to be about the consumer, about providing reliable products that are sure to sell, that true art in fashion is often set aside for profit. For this reason I am so thankful that couture week continues to exist, as it allows designers to explore their deepest creative desires without so much of the financial pressure. That isn't to say that this collection isn't a success; quite the contrary, I think both critically and economically this Chanel show stands out as a true win, but there is a beautiful sense of spirit in this collection that sometimes feel to be subdued during regular seasonal presentations.

In the end, what Chanel achieves is a little glimmer of true fashion magic—a challenging feat for today's consumerist-driven society—and once again I am delighted to be given just a glimpse of Karl Lagerfeld's gorgeous fantasy world.

(all images from style.com, edited by me)

Must-Have: The Off-the-Shoulder Dress

Image via Song of Style
I might be a bit biased since I happen to love my collarbone (weird, I know, but it's definitely one of my best features) but I sincerely believe that everyone should try an off-the-shoulder style at least once. It's a fun way to show some skin without a plunging neckline or a daringly high hemline, and it's a shape that is too often underutilized.

There's an off-the-shoulder dress for every body shape and sensibility, too. If you want to show off your curves, a body-hugging Cushnie et Oches dress will do the trick nicely. If you'd rather wear a looser-fitting, flowy dress, Free People is your go-to destination. And if you are a little more conscious of your shoulders and arms than I am, opt for a ruffle detail (this Rebecca Minkoff dress works perfectly). 

A fitted off-the-shoulder dress is perfect for a night out on the town or a glam cocktail party, but a more flowy version is just the look for a garden party, brunch, or a day of running errands.

As per usual, it's all about how you style it. Dress down a fancy silk dress with menswear-inspired loafers like Aimee Song does here, or add fun jewelry and heels to what would otherwise be a more casual dress.

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SHOP OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESSES:

What do you think of the off-the-shoulder dress?

Part of Valentino's World

All images Michal Pudelka for Valentino
Valentino is one brand that is never afraid to embrace the feminine. With Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli continuing to be inspired by Romanticism and the ancient world, femininity is at the forefront of the Valentino aesthetic. 

For Spring 2015, Chiuri and Piccioli took to the sea with an oceanic collection full of starfish, seashells, and dreamy sea blues and coral pastels. The Spring 2015 ad campaign accentuates the theme of spring by placing an ensemble of models in an oceanic paradise, where they lounge in the sand and travel through the jungle in stylish fashion. 

Perhaps it's the cotton candy hues of the clothes, but the photographs have a Sofia Coppola style to them. There's a dreamlike quality to this idyllic island where women sunbathe in gauzy Valentino gowns, and the film The Virgin Suicides, in particular, comes to mind when I see the models leaning against one another and revelling in their perfect girls-only oasis. I'm quite impressed with photographer Michal Pudelka's ability to both capture the beauty of the clothes and highlight the mood of this season's Valentino girl.

Here are some of my favorite images from the campaign:







See the rest of the ad campaign photos here.

What do you think of Valentino's Spring 2015 ad campaign? 

Wishlist - Wildfox Barbie Tee

Wildfox My Resume Hippie Crewneck Tee ($64)
As the Fashion Barbie, I'm always on the lookout for cutesy clothes that pay homage to the original Princess of Pink, Barbara Millicent Roberts (better known as Barbie). When Moschino did it's kitschy collection inspired by the famous doll I freaked, but unfortunately $800 for a pink sweatshirt or backpack is pushing it a little in terms of budget.

Thankfully, Moschino isn't the only one who is feeling inspired by Barbie as of late, as the clever and fun T-shirt brand Wildfox just launched a Barbie-themed collection full of bright pinks and Malibu dream house-worthy prints and colors. 

My personal favorite is this simple pink tee emblazoned with the Barbie logo. On the back, a list of the many different jobs and careers Barbie has held over her fifty-odd years, proving that the blonde bombshell is more than just a pretty face. 

For me, that's always been an important part of Barbie; for all the controversy about her figure and the emphasis on physical appearance, what I loved about the doll when I was little was that the possibilities of what Barbie could do or be were limitless. She didn't let anything hold her back, and if she wanted to be a fashion designer one day and a veterinarian the next, she went ahead and did it! Sure, her bust-waist-hips ratio is a little unrealistic, but—at least for me—Barbie was always about possibility and never limiting yourself, not an early form of conditioning myself to hate my own body. 

But I digress. Anyways, I just think the shirt is cute. What say you?

Get the Look—Pernille Teisbaek

Pernille's Look | J. Crew Turtleneck | MiH Jeans | Band of Outsiders Blazer | See by Chloé Boots
During my time interning at WhoWhatWear I was introduced to the sartorial genius of Pernille Teisbaek of the blog Look de Pernille, and I absolutely cannot get enough of her covetable style. The Danish blogger and stylist has a penchant for the effortlessly cool style of the seventies, preferring luxe basics and timeless staples to flashy, trendy looks.

What is Teisbaek into as of late? Try flare jeans and turtlenecks, two styles that are gaining steady momentum this spring. When paired together, you've got a comfy-chic look that will make you look like the coolest girl on the block. Slip your feet into seventies-style western boots with a stacked heel, and throw on a classic double-breasted jacket if you're feeling chilly, and you're good to go!

Shop the Look:

Did you know that I had a Tumblr blog too? Check it out for more of the things that inspire The Fashion Barbie!


Step Up Your Braid Game

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Looking for a new 'do but not sure which direction to head in? Consider an intricate braided hairdo. I'm not talking no boring braided pigtails or Pinterest-style complicated princess updos; rather more modern twists on the classic hairstyling technique.

Consider brands Antonio Marras and Christian Dior, who for their respective pre-fall collections turned to a Heidi-meets-Princess-Leia type for beauty inspiration. The end result: a both folksy and futuristic hairstyle that is at once unique and très cool. Braid your hair into three or four sections, then loop them around and pin them up to create your own take on the look.

I also am really digging the reverse French braid pigtails that Refinery29 recently did for one of their editorials. This is not your average playground hairstyle; no, this is an edgy look for a tough lady who just also happens to love pigtails.

If you want to avoid looking like you're ten, try a smoky eye or thick sweep of eyeliner to edge up the look, or wear a minimalist outfit with clean lines. You won't look like you're trying to be ten years younger than you are, but you will be looking like the coolest girl in the room.

What do you think of braided loop hairstyles? Will you be trying this look out?

Look of the Day - January 15, 2015

Rebecca Taylor Blouse | Sparkle & Fade Cardigan | Paige Jeans
Madewell Loafers | Urban Outfitters Necklace | Kate Spade iPhone 6 Case
Getting back into the swing of things (things meaning school) with outfits that are comfortable but smart. I'm absolutely in love with my new Madewell loafers, and who can go wrong with a printed floral top + drapey knit sweater combo?

Shop The Look:


The Best of Pre-Fall 2015

No. 21 Pre-Fall 2015 (via style.com)
Ah, the pre-collections. As we eagerly await the main events (Fall fashion week hits this February, and couture isn't until the end of the month) we have pre-collections to tie us over and feed our hungry fashion appetites. Often geared towards the consumer and made for commercial success, pre-fall offers us an opportunity to get a hint at what designers are working on for fall.

The trend of the pre-fall collections this time around? Effortless coolness. Everywhere I turn it seems designers are vying to be the coolest clothes makers around, showing current cool girl staples such as turtlenecks, culottes, and sculptural jewelry.

Here are some of my favorite offerings:

Christopher Kane

I love Christopher Kane's constant ability to utilize fabrics and traditional clothe-making methods in new and inventive ways. Lace and embroidery have never looked as badass as they do when Kane gets his hands on them, and for pre-fall he returned to some of his creative staples and reapplied them once again in a more wearable style. 

There's a mix of avant-garde looks and minimal, streamlined pieces for the girl who prefers a cleaner look with unexpected details, like stripes of patent leather defining a blazer waist, or a geometric keyhole detail on a dress. One of my favorite looks was the Margot Tenenbaum-esque black fur coat and green turtleneck combo, complete with an athletic-stripe belt in a matching apple green. Equal points quirky and cool, and just the way we like it.

J.W. Anderson

Talk about cool girl fashion bait. The J.W. Anderson pre-fall collection seemed to be designed by the Man Repeller's Leandra Medine (I'm sure she's already got that shearling-block jacket on pre-order) or another fashion-loving street style star. Turtlenecks, flare jeans, mules, and disco-ball earrings? Be still my beating heart, it's almost too much goodness to bare.

Perhaps my favorite styling detail are the too-long contrast shirt sleeves. Sure, they may not be the most practical, but they definitely look fascinating. The whole collection is very 70s, with a bit of 80s and 90s thrown in just for good nostalgia measure, and it hits at all the right points to create an overall commercially-successful look. These pieces are going to come flying off the shelves, mark my words.

Rochas

Rochas always has a certain quirkiness to it that I absolutely adore. There's a cool grandma feeling to oversized coats over full taffeta skirts and the velvet mary janes, right down to the glove print motif, and I wouldn't want it any other way. Rochas is always a bit vintage in all the right ways, and this collection is no exception. I love the blending of deep, rich fall colors with pops of bright hues like that electric blue coat, making sure we never know quite what to expect. 

I always think that Rochas is seriously underutilized in editorials and on the red carpet, so hopefully editors and stylists take note of the continual delightful collections as they look to make runway picks. 

Stella McCartney

Cool girl looks from the coolest of the cool herself, Stella McCartney continually impresses with her offerings for every collection, major and minor. For pre-fall she's continuing her exploration of the sweater suit, this time with wide legs and asymmetrical cuts, as well as making the beret a fashionable headpiece option again (hooray!). Though McCartney is strictly vegan, she doesn't shy away from faux fur and vegan leather, and she even had a fuzzy bear suit looking thing that I'm sure will be all over editorials come July.

Michael Kors

The king of American sportswear, Michael Kors knows how to make something sell without sacrificing style or taste. The key is all in the styling: mixing a sparkly shift dress with sporty cross-strap sandals, or tossing a luxurious fur-trimmed leather coat over a simple black and white striped T-shirt dress, the perfect blending of high and low, luxe and sport (aka sport-luxe, which Kors has seemed to have perfected).

The best look may be the peacoat and turtleneck paired with a red and white track pant. Anytime a designer makes a sporty staple seem undeniably chic, you have to give them a round of applause. You know street style stars will be emulating this look come fashion week.

What are your favorite pre-fall 2015 collections?

Your Guide to Winter Skincare

Photo Source
By the time January rolls around, my skin usually feels so dry that I feel like it's about to fall off. It's frustrating because with my breakout-prone skin you'd think drying out would be a good thing, but in the wintertime my skin goes to drastic extremes that aren't good for anyone. Therefore, I must be proactive about switching up my skincare regime in the chillier months so my skin doesn't feel like a flaky croissant. 

The key? Moisturizer. Shocking, right? But really, adding moisture and hydration wherever you can is key to fighting off dry skin. 

Below are some of my favorite makeup products that I rely on in winter and how I go about my beauty regime during winter.

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Lips: You shouldn't have to forgo bright, bold lips just because your lips are flaking. I always carry a tube of Burt's Bees chapstick in my purse but during wintertime I am even more reliant on it. Lipsticks and glosses can dry out your lips even more, and since I am a fan of colorful lipsticks I know I need to supplement with plenty of moisturizing balm. Once or twice a week, apply a sugar scrub to clear away any flakiness. Your lips will feel smooth and kissable!

Face: During wintertime I'm not afraid to double up on moisturizer. In the morning I start out by applying a luxe moisturizer from Clarins (with anti-aging benefits, too!) on my face and neck. Then, I use Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer to clear away redness and even my skin tone. I'll powder my nose and chin to get rid of any lingering redness but try to keep the powders to a minimum. At night I use hydrating cleansers and gel masks like this Fresh hydrating gel cream in order to make sure my skin is always feeling fresh and moisturized.

Hair: I know, I know, dry shampoo seems counterintuitive when battling dryness, but hear me out. Because it's so dry out I usually only wash my hair twice a week during the winter, and I usually avoid blow drying it since that strips your hair of even more moisture. A spritz of dry shampoo (I highly recommend Drybar's wonderfully-smelling "Detox" dry shampoo) keeps your hair looking voluminous and smooth in between washes. 

Body: Never underestimate the power of a good lotion! Hands, elbows, legs, etc. Your body will thank you for keeping it smooth and soft. Nothing beats L'Occitane lotion, another go-to that I always try to keep in my purse.

What are your wintertime beauty go-tos? 

Slip On These Babies

Photo Source
Intricately-laced-up sandals and multi-buckle heels may be stylish and fun, but everyone needs a break from the constant bending over to fasten hardware and readjust complicated shoes. Thank God for the mule shoe, an easy slip-on heel that is as edgy as it is easy.

The mule comes in many forms: flat, heeled, open-toe, and so on. It's 2015's answer to the d'Orsay and it is a style that you should be wearing. The mule is perfect for almost any occasion; pair with rolled boyfriend jeans for an elevated casual look, or wear with a boxy shift dress on date night.

The mule is best when it's minimal and sleek, making it a perfect wardrobe staple to have in your arsenal.

What do you think of mules?

SHOP MY FAVORITE MULES:

How Do You Tie Your Sweater?

Missoni | Thankoon Pre-Fall 2015 | Sportmax | Opening Ceremony | Trussardi 1911
Way back in the first grade, tying a sweater around my waist was my go-to styling trick. How else would you deal with weather that fluctuated between cold in the morning and warm and sunny in the afternoon while still maintaining optimum mobility (the better to run around)? There was a long while when I had outgrown my childish fashions and decided that tying a sweater was soo immature, but now I'm in college and back to tying sweaters around my waist or over my shoulders. Seriously, middle school me was very wrong about many things when it came to style.

Tying a sweater around yourself is the best. Because, seriously, who wants to tote a sweater around once it warms up when you can integrate it into your outfit?

In the world of high fashion it seems that tying a sweater around your waist (or elsewhere) is totally en vogue again, as collections like Missoni and Thankoon are taking to the styling trick in new and inventive ways.

If tying around the waist is too pedestrian, you can do an asymmetrical shoulder tie à la Missoni or Trussardi. Opening Ceremony has an off-the-shoulder take if you want to show off your shoulder bones. Or, if you have a pullover, you can just stick your head through the top and leave the rest of the sweater as a makeshift scarf, like Thankoon does it.

No matter how you tie a sweater, it adds a certain cool factor that will make everyone envious of your look!

Look De Pernille | Style Du Monde | Pop Sugar | WhoWhatWear | Diego Zuko via Harper's Bazaar | We Wore What

January 2015 Wish List

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Let's get back to basics, shall we? At the start of a new year (Hello, 2015!) it's always good to detox and look to refresh and renew the basic essentials of your wardrobe. Trendy things come and go, but there's a reason why the above looks are classics: they never go out of style. *Cue Taylor Swift*

This Tibi top is an excellent mix of basic and fun. You can never go wrong with a black sleeveless blouse, but the feathers are totally exciting and add a little modernity to the look. Mix with a leather mini or bordeaux pants—with matching lipstick, of course—for a brilliant date night or party outfit, or pair with worn boyfriend jeans and classic black pointed pumps for a sophisticated twist on an easygoing look.

I've been searching forever for the perfect pair of boyfriend jeans. Ideally I would like a pair of perfectly-fitting vintage Levi's, but it's hard to find a well-fitting pair with just the right amount of distress and that is also flattering while being just a tad slouchy, etc. So these Point Sur x J. Crew jeans might do the trick just as well.

Shockingly enough, I lack a pair of simple black pumps as well as a classic trench coat. I don't wear heels on a day-to-day basis, but as I near the grown-up world (can you believe it, I'm already a junior in college!?!?) I am slowly trying to fill my closet with a few mature standbys like pumps and trench coats. It's also been cold as ever and raining quite a bit, making me dream of cool trench coats and saving no-name cats from rainy alleyways. What better choice is there than a Burberry trench? If you're going for a classic, you might as well go for the brand that started it all.

Check out the sidebar for these and other January picks and happy January 1st, everyone! I hope 2015 is the best year yet.

What pieces are on your New Year's wish list?