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Fashion Review Mondays: Chloe’s 2017/2018 Fall/Winter
Olivia of KingdomClothing

This week’s fashion review goes to Chloe. I have been a fan of the Chloe house’s easy, classic aesthetic for a long time. I can remember loving this house’s designs when I was in high school— maybe even middle school. There has always been an easiness and grace to their pieces. And this upcoming Fall and Winter collection is no exception.
Here, watch it before you read on:
I actually riffled through a lot of shows to review before I happened upon this one. I have not been particularly taken aback or impressed by very many designers in the past year, to be frank. As I was looking through, I saw a lot of looks that simply seemed hackneyed to me, or if not that, then too reminiscent to be called avant garde but too garish to be called wearable. On the contrary, however, Chloe’s Fall show didn’t have one look that I really didn’t care for. All of them were tastefully executed, well- styled, and wearable without being boring or already-done.
Let’s start with the basics of the show, the nuts and bolts: the setting, choice in music, and lighting were simple, chic, and fresh. I couldn’t tell if I was watching a Spring show or a Fall one…and I liked that. So many of the pieces in this show (and pretty much all of the ones I’ll mention) are transition pieces and can easily be worn in Spring, Summer, Fall, OR Winter, which is kind of…fantastic. To achieve this level of seasonal transcendence is impressive and not something I have seen in a while. It’s also difficult to do: designing and styling pieces that transition from season to season.
There were many basic traditional Fall-type pieces I appreciated seeing in the collection. This coat, the opening piece, for example:


It’s that perfect Fall coat. But there is a freshness about it that takes some of the traditional Fall heaviness out of it: its slightly shorter length, its decidedly bright palette, its wide sleeves. There’s a funness about it that is like a wink or a giggle: small details that give way to an attitude.
Another beautiful piece is at 1:10 of the show (if you’re watching). I am in love with the easy movement of this simple androgynous look. One piece, gorgeous colors for Fall (but honestly classic enough to look chic in any season), and is a beautiful balance of what is traditionally “feminine” and what is traditionally called “masculine.”

This show also included a lot of patterns and shapes of the 60s and 70s. It was like a neat blend of 60s/70s Paris and modern-day New York City. In some other reviews I’ve read of it, many friends seem to think this collection is safe and lack-luster, but I respectfully disagree. The clothes we wear are about expression, but we mustn’t sacrifice wearability for voice. Some designs have such loud voices in these days that wearability has lost its meaning. What I appreciated so much in this collection was the fact that simplicity and chicness held hands with subtle boundary-pushing and nods to the past. Yes, there was a lack of avant garde, no real “I’m making a huge statement; look at me!” type looks going on. But for me, this show commanded my attention in other ways.
Take this look, for example:

Design-wise, anything ground-breaking? Not so much, but beautiful? Simple? Light? Fun? Still interesting? Classically chic and would still turn heads? Yes. And again, this is a perfect transitional piece. Could easily be styled for Spring or Fall. The dainty little cut-outs inter-mixed with the lace on the sleeves are so pretty.  And all of the simple, barely there, vintage-gracing shoes: gorgeous and wearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I am ALL FOR fashion making statement, speaking for us, pushing boundaries, stepping out of the comfort-zone. But classically chic beautiful shapes and colors never fail and sometimes, as this show reminded me, simplicity is better. Subtle statements can be important, too.
As Keller’s time leading the designs for this house comes to an end, I think her nod to the house’s roots and her light-hearted simplicity in this collection were a beautiful end to a chapter and a welcoming for freshness.


Greasy Grungy Fall

Fashion Review Mondays:  Alexander Wang’s Fall/Winter 2015
This needs to begin with the disclaimer that this review is mostly full of disapproval and lack of admiration. Usually, I only post positive fashion reviews for Fashion Review Mondays, so I try to pick a collection that I actually feel positively about. But this time, I am sad to say that this collection from AWang left a bad taste in my mouth, and I didn’t think it would. There are, in my opinion, some positive aspects, but overall I was not impressed.

I would highly encourage anyone taking the time to read this to go watch the actual show, not only to— most importantly— formulate your own opinion of it, untainted by another’s slant, but also because I’ll be referencing specific parts and times of the show. To start, the show opens with an all-black tailored blazer, little high-neck leather top, wide-leg gaucho pants, and chunky platform creeper-type boots. Hair and make-up: disheveled chic? I was confused right away. Let us start with the actual clothes. They aren’t bad; they just weren’t that impressive to me idea-wise. What’s ground-breaking? The high-neck leather top is simple, modern, and versatile. Nothing not to like. The jacket, again, isn’t bad… it’s just not that exciting to me either. And now we’re at the pants. I really have never figured out the allure of the gaucho shape. It is a style that simultaneously cuts every woman—no matter how fit, healthy, or slim— the wrong way and also is just an incredibly awkward pant no matter what outfit is built around it. Now again, remember that this is my opinion and if you love gauchos and think they are the bees‘ knees, by all means, wear them to your heart’s content. I am sure they are comfy (comfort is really the only positive I can mark for them). But as far as elevated and innovative shapes go, I’m sorry but I don’t think they cut it. The shoes. Oh my word, those shoes. I’m trying to think of a really forgiving and also eloquent way of saying they are HIDEOUS. And please note that this comes from a person who really does appreciate a good creeper, even a platform one. But these are awful. It wasn’t even so much how they looked, but how they moved. The models looked ridiculous. The way they had to walk to accommodate the shape and height of them made them look incredibly awkward. All I could think when I saw them walking was “chunky duck feet.” Too bad elevated height didn’t translate to elevated taste.

At 0:55 of the show, there’s this look that is a beautifully tailored jacket paired with the prolifically over-occurring gauchos and sky-rise creeper boots. This is one of many examples of a look that could have been so beautiful, had not the weird gaucho pants and platform duck feet held it down. The jacket is gorgeous, wonderfully constructed, has an interesting studded high-neck, and is undeniably a great piece. It’s interesting but a classic. But paired with these odd others, the look just looks silly.

Another situation with a similar issue is the coat-and-gaucho combo at 1:15. I’m all for nontraditional pairing and the shape isn’t what bothers me. Again, perfectly beautiful coat; the shape is perfect. But the styling turns this look around a hideous corner. That coat, with its perfectly curved lines and its heavy structure could have really stood out, but instead, I again could only concentrate on the awful greasy tousle and the awkward gait that was allowed by the chunky duck waddlers. I mean, if I may be so blunt, the model was walking like a caveman in those shoes. It just wasn’t elevation of taste. It made me want to look away.
I will say that there were some amazing bags in this collection. I especially liked the studded leather backpack and clutch. There were also some looks that, save for the awkward duck shoes, were completely gorgeous, like the quilted mini-skirt and coat combo at 3:30. The sweater underneath is an amazing Fall piece as well. I loved that look. It wasn’t all bad, just the majority was unfortunately a bit amiss. Sometimes, it was simply the styling and weird pairing that screwed up a look, not so much the pieces themselves.

There’s another huge issue with this show that I must address: the choice of hair and make-up. I’m sorry, but… what? I read a comment in the comment section that said ‘oh are we bringing strung-out cocaine-chic back?‘ which were really my sentiments exactly. I know what grunge-chic looks like and also what bed-head disheveled chic may even look like, but this just looked like the girls hadn’t showered in a couple of weeks, had been backpacking out in the wilderness and were an oily greasy mess, but they still had a fashion show to work, so they just walked out looking like that. Their hair is literally plastered to their faces. They probably all broke out instantly after the show. It didn’t even look remotely attractive. And I do understand that sometimes, the point someone might be trying to make via high fashion does not always include looking ultimately attractive, but all this said to me was that 12-day-old hair is now in; looking like a grease-ball is all the rage. I think a statement can be achieved without looking disgusting. Plus, I don’t believe he was going for a bigger statement here; it was just bad styling. It was grease-chic. And it wasn’t working.

The real problem I have with all of this is that it didn’t feel like Alexander Wang for me. While I was watching it, if I didn’t already know whose show it was, I don’t think I could have guessed correctly. He has always been an innovator of shape and androgynous character, but has always accomplished this in a perfectly polished manner. He could make a statement while still maintaining an extremely elevated taste and impeccable craftsmanship. But this show truly was a miss to me. Where was the elevated taste? Where was his signature polished flare? Nothing looked well-put-together or attractive. It was different, but not in a good way. I’m sorry to say that, this week, my review cannot not be a completely positive one. From a great AWang fan, I have to say, I was far less than impressed.

House of Words

Today I decided to do a post on bullying and verbal harassment because I think, although this subject matter is currently on the rise for receiving more attention, it needs to be talked about and split open a little bit more.
A few days ago, at one of my workplaces, I was victim to verbal harassment and bullying. I usually hate using the word “victim” in any scenario because I always want to keep in mind that there are two sides to any fight and usually two to blame, but in the case of bullying, it’s usually clear that there is a bully and there is a victim. Anyway, as you might know, one of my many jobs is a retail job, and as you might know, retail is one of the most thankless jobs there is, infamous for the difficult customers one encounters in any retail position. I had a particularly awful customer a few days ago and among other unpleasant things she said to me, she called me my number one most hated word for a woman— twice. In front of her two young daughters. Why? Because I asked her youngest child politely to stop soiling the clothing that was on display in the store, which she had been doing (among other obnoxious and unsafe activities) for about an hour.
At this point I was offended (obviously) and so I talked back to her, trying to explain what I asked her daughter to do and also to comment on how inappropriate she was being. I was bullied more, at which point I excused myself to our back room and waited until she left, no longer helping her older daughter. This daughter had become so embarrassed by her mother’s scene and language that she actually asked her to stop talking (the one ray of hope I felt for humanity that day) .
The next day, I decided to tell one of my superiors about it, and I expected to have a constructive conversation about it, wondering what our policy was if an employee was being verbally harassed by a customer. At other places I’ve worked at, we usually had a no-tolerance policy for harassment, meaning that if a customer was behaving in such a manner, the managers had a right to refuse service to them altogether and ask them to leave, and if they refused to leave, they were escorted out of the store by security. When I told one of my superiors about it, she informed me that I should not have talked back to her and should have given her service anyway and that was the end of it. She was callous, not understanding, and honestly, pretty harsh about it, which completely blind-sided me because we were good friends before this. I didn’t feel validated, I didn’t feel defended, and I didn’t feel protected.
What shocked me the most in this entire situation was that it even occurred at all. It surprises me everyday the deconstructive words that people let spew from their mouths, without a second thought to the damage they could inflict simply with their word choice. And I’m not innocent from this— we all use words in hideous manners at some point, or various points, in our lives. I do it too, all the time, without even realizing it. But what I think is so key to the entire subject of bullying and verbal harassment is, simply put, our words. If we’re not using words to build others up or to benefit those who hear them, they should not exit our mouths— period. There is no excuse to verbally harass anyone. Once we start using our words for pride or hate or simply harshness, we rob words of the beautifully priceless potential they have for positive impact. If all we’re going to use words for is crassness and pride, then we don’t deserve the privilege of having words at our disposal.
Another thing I think is important in the sphere of verbal harassment and bullying is all of the bystanders in harassment situations. If we are bystanders (aka, not actually involved but witness to an event of harassment), we must not simply be bystanders. Where is the unity in humanity if we aren’t brave enough to stand up for (and to) our other brothers and sisters? It’s cowardice and irresponsibility to do otherwise. We need to be actively seeking to end bullying and harassment of all kinds, and sometimes that means standing up for someone for their own benefit. We need not be useless bystanders, but brave and active ones.
Point of the story is that words are important. And we need to be brave enough to use them in good ways and stand up to those who aren’t using them in good ways. We need to protect each other from the knife that is a negative word, and call each other out accordingly when we too use words with flagrance and thoughtlessness. Let’s be brave people, not petty. Words can make all the difference in the world, so let’s use them to build up, not to tear down.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~Ephesians 4.29

Junya’s Step in the Right Direction

Fashion Review Mondays:  Junya Watanabe’s Fall/Winter 2013 Collection

Watch show here>>

For this week’s review, I decided on Junya because I love him and I was really impressed with what he put down the runway for this Fall.
Firstly, on a stylistic note, I love the way he styled the models:  heels that never exceeded three inches, soft clean faces, super unruly unkempt hair (probably just because my hair always looks like that no mater what I do and now I feel I have some high-fashion justification for it)— everything complimented the clothes in just the right way.


    What was most impressive about this collection, in my eyes, were the shapes of all the clothes.  Talk about ground-breaking work— I mean, this collection was anything but safe and anything but boring.  The show starts with these outfits that consist of highly zippered leather jackets paired with knee-length skirts that have a slight high-low hem.  At first, I was like “Hmm, what an odd shape; I’m not even sure that’d really be flattering.”  But as the models walked in them, I realized how fluid the movement of these garments were and how they were actually very flattering, in an odd way.

If you’re watching the show, at about second 0:40, there’s this look that I am crazy about:  this weird leather and plaid-tweed giant sack-jacket thing with that same slight high-low hem.  At first, it just looks like a giant plaid bubble, but once I watched it move with the model, I was like “Oh my gosh, I WANT THAT.”  It’s quite a strangely flattering piece and I actually like how it fits loosely around the hips— my hips need a width hem, so I appreciate this innovative fit.
Shape and fit are SO vital to why this collection is so strong and innovative.  Along with the new silhouette of the “plaid bubble coat,” there are other key details in many of the looks that make them special.  In many of his longer jackets, the top would be done in the zippered leather, while the bottom would be done in another material— often a wool-like fabric— and the seam where the two different materials meet is shaped like a rainbow.  This is genius because this arc-shaped seam perfectly outlines where the hips should be underneath the garment, but the shape is curved in such a way that it really flatters the hip and waist area.  The fit is truly incredible.  It really is the modern take on the drop-waist.  On some of the inversions of this same look, his use of color-blocking really draws attention to all the right places as well; it elongates the wearer and gives such a long, sleek look.

Another aspect of the collection that I simply adore is the use of denim.  At around 1:35 of the show, this incredible look comes out that consists of an immaculately intricate houndstooth-print moto jacket (that is so amazing I really can’t even describe it) paired with these ultra-baggy but somehow ultra-chic boyfriend jeans that have patches all over them, cuffed up over a pair of low turquoise heels.  This look is phenomenal for many reasons.  I love the nod to the 90s, I love the worn-in and comfy fit of the pants, and who couldn’t love a jacket that crisp and chic and perfect.  This look is so many different styles in one, but it really works.

At about 2:40 of the show, there is a coat that really blows my mind.  It is a neutral brown color, which is simple enough to handle all of the details it contains.  It has these unique color cut-outs in darker brown on the upper arm, and then zipper arcs over the hips.  This is astonishing in the world of fashion, because a typical rule of thumb is that no woman really wants to bring more attention to her hips, but these zipper arcs somehow bring the right kind of attention to them.  The loose silhouette of the coat is perfectly balanced with the introduction of the zipper detailing; it gives it its shape and the fit suddenly becomes beautiful.
Another bit of playful spirit as far as fit is concerned occurs at 7:40 of the show, where there are a pair of flowy pants that are so wide-cut that they almost look like a long skirt unless you look closely.  I love them.  (And I mean, just think about how wearable and comfortable they would be).  After this look, another pair of interesting pants come out, which are half-skirt, half-capris; very weird fit but so creatively done that I have to admire them.  What a breath of non-conventional fresh air.
Junya really has always been a true fashion innovator, but this collection seriously highlights what a forward-thinking genius he is.  He’s taken Fall fashion staples like plaid, houndstooth, and leather, and pushed them to be something different, something fresh, and something with a heartbeat of its own.  It’s a truly well-done collection, and I honestly hope to own several pieces from it one day.

Thanks and Creds for the photo stills:

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Christian Siriano’s Amazing Autumn

Fashion Review Mondays: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter 2013 Collection
By Olivia of WangGuk


This week, I’m reviewing a collection for the current season: Christian Siriano’s Fall/Winter collection for 2013.

From the start, I was quite impressed with this collection. But really, when I’m honest with myself, I’m always impressed with Christian. He’s just always known who he is and what he’s doing. He’s a master of detail, and this collection showcases that. The taste level was, for the most part, very high and all of the looks were detailed and polished without being over-worked or busy. I loved the collection as a whole— I mean, there were definitely moments when I thought “Well I don’t think I’d ever have the compulsive need to wear that” and others when I thought “Oh my word, I’m going to tear that off the model because I want that in my closet NOW.”

One thing I really loved about this collection was that the models Christian had walking in the show exuded such a powerful, strong woman. Like, she was a badass, you know? A well-dressed, expensive badass. The girls looked polished and sleek in their styling and they walked in a way that said “I don’t know who you are, but I know who I am— and you better just get out of my way.” The girl who is wearing all of these beautiful clothes is strong, confident, tough, and self-sufficient. I liked that. I liked that I felt that just by the way they walked in those clothes— I was able to imagine the girl who would wear all of these pieces, and that is so key in any collection. We always must ask “Who is wearing this?” and “Where is she/he going?”

Another aspect of this show that is particularly noteworthy, and which all the more built the character of this tough, powerful girl is the track Christian decided to play: music by Brad Walsh, featuring mezzo soprano vocalist Ilene Pabon. It was gorgeous in kind of a creepy, eerie, mysterious way— which matches the girl who was being illustrated in the collection. I loved it. It pulled everything together— a perfect choice for the show.

As for design aspects of the collection, there were many things Christian explored and experimented with that I appreciated. As for shape, a traditionally feminine one was what most of the dresses and suits were based on. I notice that Christian often stays with this form— his shapes never really stray from this more traditionally feminine form. When I look at other designers like Thom Browne or Rei Kawakubo or Junya Watanabe, I think that a lot of their design innovation comes to play in terms of shape and fit— these are designers who are always playing with shape and fit and pushing the envelope in terms of new silhouettes. But Christian seems to play around with other elements, such as color or print or material, as in this collection.

I’ve heard many people say “Oh so much black” and “There was finally a little color at one point”— to which, I was kind of always like “Well yeah…like, do you know which season this is?” Yes, there is a lot of black. Yes, there is a lot of neutral golds and browns. It’s Fall. But I love black, so maybe for a person who needs the rainbow as their wardrobe at all times, this collection would be not as wearable. But I loved all the dark looks. That said, one aspect of the collection I appreciated was that he used a color that we don’t typically associate with Fall or Winter: hot fuscia pink. Perhaps there have been others who have employed this loud color as part of their Fall/Winter collections, but for the most part, I feel like I always see red or gold or maybe a bold purple of some kind during Fall. That is why the pink in this collection was so unexpected for me, but it was also refreshing for that reason. I happen to dislike pink quite a bit, and the first time I watched the show, I was like “Ew that color is heinous; what on Earth would posses anyone to wear it?” But I watched the show a couple of times over, and I realized that this color actually adds a lot of necessary dimension to the collection. Plus, all of the dresses in this color were fitted immaculately and looked super hot. So, I was okay with the presence of pink here.

Something I found to be gorgeous was his use of lace and sheer paneling. Many dresses in the collection employed this. The shorter, gold, modernized circle-skirt dress was one of my absolute favorite pieces, and I loved it for many reasons (the color, the modernization of the circle-skirt shape), but the main reason was the balance it contained. The sheer top is completely balanced with the heavier fabric of the bottom skirt part. The dress is perfectly proportioned. The lace becomes the epitome of chic and classic, where if it had been paired with a less-conservative bottom, it would have become tasteless and vulgar quickly.
The black dresses that follow this one (the ones that are I think around minute 8 in the show) are also some of my favorite pieces. The black with the gold detailing is exquisite— I can’t even tell you how beautiful they are. They truly speak for themselves as pieces. I loved the bolero dress; I thought that was very modern and chic and perfect for Fall. I loved the black dress with the gold detail shoulders with the shell of tulle coming out— it reminded me of Bowser from Mario Brothers… only chic haha (this actually was more of a shape innovation, and I loved it for that reason).  All of these black and gold pieces were gorgeously pieced and just perfect, really.

MG_1877           161304419    Christian Siriano, Ready to Wear, Fall Winter, 2013, New York        christian-siriano-autumn-fall-winter-2013-nyfw27
The only part I will say that I did not particularly care for was the closing dress: all sheer lace with strategically-placed pieces of gold lace or stitch detailing that covered up all of the essentials. When I spoke of the gold dress before— the modern sheer circle-skirt one— I had said that the reason it worked was due to the balance. This final dress had none— the whole thing was sheer and I could see the model’s butt-crack (kudos for her walking with still such a strong, confident stride while she mooned the audience). I know that couture isn’t  supposed to be confined by the standards of a ready-to-wear look, but I just couldn’t really even appreciate the dress because of the vast lack of wearability. That aside, oh my word, the detail on the dress is, again, immaculate and Christian’s signature, so for that I congratulate him.

The cohesion and sophistication of this collection were astounding, and anyone who got to see it live is lucky as a duck because I would absolutely LOVE to see Christian’s amazing detail work up close and personal. He’s a genius. He always has been. And this collection is nothing less than incredible.

Video here>>

Still Photo Creds:

Alexander the Great

Fashion Review Mondays: Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2014 Collection

By Olivia of WangGuk

This Monday’s fashion review is on Alexander Wang’s new Spring/Summer collection. As always, the show was overall fresh, new, exciting, and embodied innovativeness.

The show opened with an easy, white, cropped long-sleeve shirt coupled with a flirty hip-hugging mini skirt. Everything about this look and those that followed says “Spring.” The collection includes everything from structured menswear-type jackets, to flowing knee length skirts, to perforated leather coats, to logo-mania at its finest.
 When I think “menswear wool jacket”, I wouldn’t typically assume it to be a feminine item. Alexander Wang achieves this, through a masculine-does-feminine twist.


And when I look at the shape of these menswear-gone-womenswear jackets, I can see what makes them so sexy. Alexander Wang always knows what he’s doing in terms of shape and cut— he’s a master at designing cuts that flatter a woman’s body. So, with the right shape, a heavy wool jacket can look quite sexy, and still maintain a sense of conservativeness because of the fabric choice.

Logo-mania is another key player in Alexander Wang’s new collection. Logo-mania, which first rocked the high-fashion scene in the 1990s, is something Alexander Wang really played with in this collection. He said he wanted to bring the energy and fun of logo-mania to this collection, and channel it into the “necessary wardrobe items of today.” He completely achieved this.


His reference to the 90s suddenly becomes new and fresh and chic in this collection. He took something from the past, made it his own, and executed it in a way that made it modern. This logo-mania reference is woven throughout the collection, and was incorporated into the luxurious and hotly-discussed perforated leather coat, in which Alexander Wang’s name is laser-cut into the leather.

Another refreshing feature of his show was the styling. In so many ways, styling can easily kill a beautiful collection— it can become over-worked or busy, but this Spring collection is flawless. Once again, Alexander Wang has captured that New York girl. The make-up was barely there, the hair was just polished enough to be chic, but just unkempt enough to embody the effortless cool of a girl who can go straight from her bed to the streets looking edgy yet put-together.

What is arguably most notable about this collection— and a trademark of Alexander Wang’s work— is the seamless execution of androgynous beauty. His pieces always reference both feminine and masculine ideas; he so often incorporates both feminine and masculine into the same look. He does it using menswear wool and cutting it into a feminine shape, or by pairing a cropped flirty tank top with tailored wool trousers. And most of the time, this marriage of masculine and feminine is even more subtle than his stylistic choices. He can take a tailored menswear wool trouser and make it suddenly feminine by making the pant a capri, or tilting the pockets ever-so-slightly in a way that makes them so flattering on a woman’s body.
Alexander Wang is seriously pushing the envelope as far as innovativeness and fashion-forwardness. His aesthetic captures a beauty that is both masculine and feminine, but at the same time is neither. The beauty in his clothes is an elevated kind of beauty— a new kind of chicness. His clothes say “beauty is beyond being gendered.” His clothes speak of a new height for modern fashion, where menswear meets womenswear and where relaxed downtown edge meets high-fashion chic. Most importantly, his clothes are not merely clothes; they are words, spoken from designer to wearer, where wearability and utility are never lost in translation or sacrificed for the sake of innovation and creativity.

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Thanks and credits to the following for pictures and video interviews 🙂 

watch full show here>>