Monday, August 30, 2010

Spotlight : Ailine Liefeld, a World of Delicacy

This Berlin photographer recently made the front page of FlickR. I was immediately seduced by her treatment of the light. It is soft, delicate, very far from the awful, harsh light of Terry Richardson. Ailine Liefeld's light isn't agressive with her models, but instead, seems to caress them.
Her shots are uncluttered, without ceremonial, and focuses on the woman -or the man, I am really found of her male portraits- or the details of the outfits, that are always charming.
Browsing through her work is extreamely refreshing.

Working under the nickname bCaptured, she is always ready for spontaneous shootings in Berlin, and even has got an interesting project called 'Freunde von Freunden', dedicated to interiors of fellow Berlin inhabitants. An interesting way to learn about your neighbours. You can contact her if you want to join the project.
Too bad, her website isn't working yet, but it isn't really hard to find her pictures on internet : FlickR, Deviantart and more, offer a tour inside her world of peace and light.

Friday, August 27, 2010

IFB's Links à la mode : I have been chosen !!!

Links à la Mode: The IFB Weekly Roundup

Looking Forward to Looking Back for Fall

Edited by: Ann of Holier than Now
Every season begins with looking back: the designers revisit trends of yore, and we fling open our oversized Tupperware bins and dig through the back of our closets to see just what it was we wore this time last year. Despite the thrill of new trends, most of us probably feel that the first Fall shopping we should do is in our own closet (View from 5 ft. 2 and Your Saving Style inspire on this front). Next step: after considering your bank account, and perhaps the pros and cons of fast fashion (see: Consumerism Killed My Soul), a visit to your local thrift store or flea market for vintage finds might replace that mall excursion you were imagining. With a wealth of inspiration from the blogosphere, there’s never been a better time to invest in – or just be inspired by – style from the past.
Join us at IFB’s Evolving Influence Fashion Blogger Conference @ NYFW

Links à la Mode: August 26th

Source :

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Decoding : Christina Hendricks, Icon beyond her Will

Christina Hendricks was certainly not expected such a rise in her popularity. In the last months, her picture have been used in every fashion magazine, illustrating an article about the women proud of their curves, one on the red-haired ones, and, definitely, on one relating the revival of the 50s.
How this happened ? An actress who was mostly reduced to second roles and apparitions on TV series, suddenly turning into "the icon" ? Christina owes this to her role as a secretary in the TV hit Mad Men. The serie recounts the hazards of some New York based ad agencies in the beggining of the 60s. This role soon impelled the generous redhead into the galaxy of the sex-symbols.
Now that voluptuous women are back in the trends, the magazines are fighting over her image, trying desperately to prove that they are not "plumpophobic" and taking advantage of people's fascination for the curvy actresses. Her hair is another source of success. After centuries of rejection, ill-treat and mockery, the world have decided that the redheads were the last IT thing. Now, they are treated like any minority and have their quota in every serie.
Sexy yet chilly, TV redheads are not an usual cliché on the television panorama : the rigid Bree of Desperate Housewives, Glee's Emma Pillsbury, the surgeon Addison Shepherd of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice, Miranda of Sex and the City, The Mentalist's Agent Grace Van Pelt or Castle's adorable kid, Alexis.

So, Christina is a genuine bargain for fashion gurus. And besides, she is not vulgar at all. The lady always dresses with taste, with elegant outfits that emphasize her body, yet don't willy-nilly inflict her décolleté around.
She even has a crush for retro outfits that are an extension of her successful role of Joan Harris. Her style has finally made its way into fashionistas' minds, and put 50s and 60s back in the magazines. Each of them devotes full pages to this 'new' trend, quoting Chloé, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and many more that have dived into the Time Machine. Suddenly, we are all fans of our grandmothers' clothes : long skirts, thick coats, heavy materials and strict hairdos and glasses. And if you are not happy with that, you can always blame Christina for it, even if I don't think she really feels responsible ...

That's a bit crazy, this sudden turn around in medias opinion. Things that were out of the question months ago are now acclaimed. But maybe is there a bit of hypocrisy ...
For example, the models that are now celebrated for their curves, Lara Stone and Kate Dillon - another redhead by the way- are starting to lose weight under the pressure of their employers.
Red-haired people are in fact more stigmatised than emphasized, and provocations such as the video of singer M.I.A., Born Free, directed by French red-obsessed Romain Gavras, cause more uneasiness than real respect.
So, are the red hair and curves a fad ? And what about the 50s style ? At least this one is avaible for every woman ...
It is very elegant and feminine, but not suitable for every morphology. The main problem in Fashion is that, when something is trendy, you find it everywhere and it is sadly exclusive. And soon, you see women that shouldn't, wearing ugly oversized skirts, and it distorts the beauty of the retro style, because they were told to wear that, whereas they should wear something more appropriated to their shapes.
I hope this won't happen, because we have a lot to learn from past fashion, especially how to build our own style identity. It is not because we are in 2010 that we can't invent new things anymore.
Back to Christina, I hope that she will not allow TV to confine her to the role of the pulpy ginger, and force them to think outside the box. Because boxes really not fit women. Only what they contain ...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tribute : The Legacy of Alexander McQueen

I have to admitt I wasn't a fan of Alexander McQueen during his living, and that I was sceptical about the demonstration of love that everyone showed after his death. But then, I came accross his last creation, the Fall Winter Collection of 2010. And then, I started to understand.
Jewels, pure jewels. Dresses like the costume designers of TV serie The Tudors would dream about.

Amazing details, fabrics, embroderies and colours.
This last collection is the archetypal illustration of what Haute couture is. The inspirations are more classical than his previous collection. Here, you find Persian prints, Grecian drapé, Renaissance's splendour and imperial luxury.

Watching this gorgeous profusion of details and obviously huge work, I think to myself that it never have been that good to feel wrong. Those dresses are made for a museum of Fine Arts, not for a living woman. The pattern of the feather repeats itself in every model, and you would think this is a collection made for angels. It is even decadent, as it seems too luxurious for our world, like the last collection of Givenchy.

The only decent place where these dresses could be worn is an historical movie. Perhaps we need to think Fashion again. Is it a race toward the Absolute clothes, where the woman is just a way to show them, or is the real purpose a way to emphasize the woman ? For me, clothes must be a bit more discreet, to reveal women's true beauty.

So, to my mind, collections like McQueen's are Art, not Fashion and belong to our History, not to Premieres of movies or parties. And I think it is what Alexander McQueen wanted to give us, as an heritage : something to think about the price of our life, and what is important. We will never be happy because we are wearing a dress that cost a monstruous price and because it is from that designer that is so trendy. Happiness is in our capacity of believing in the beauty. In our own beauty.
Models : Fakeshake3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Two girls, two styles : Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry

The title could have been 'a girl, two styles' as they so look the same ! Both brunette with blue eyes, pale skin and similar faces, both singer : could Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry have been separated at birth ?
Zooey was born in Los Angeles 30 years ago. She is -I catch my breathe- actress, model, singer, songwriter and musician. A very complete artist.
Katy, her, was born in Santa Barbara -just 2 hour away from LA- 25 years ago, and she is a singer, songwriter and musician. Not yet an actress and a model ? I'm sure she has considered the opportunity.

But do the similarities stop here ? Do they have the same style ?
At the beggining of Katy's career they did. Both were wearing pastel and retro clothes, girly dresses and loose hair. But then, Katy noticed the existence of the discreet Zooey and had evolved toward a sexier, catchier and more contemporary style, changing her hair colour and chanelling her inner sci-fi heroine and pin-up.

So, she left the romantic, wise and classic outfits to Zooey. But maybe they could sometimes pick in each other closet.
For the moment, the girls are succeeding in different careers, but perhaps their universes would collide in a common project, singing or acting. Who knows ?

Wouldn't it be great ? What do you think ? Do you prefer Zooey or Katy ?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trend : At the drop of a hat

I hate to sound pretentious, but I do have announced it months ago : the hat is coming back.
This summer already, it bloomed on the women's top, as a real sunflower.
In cloth or in straw, it smelled good the return of the retro, the time of Coco Chanel or the impressionists. They were all stolen to the old wardrobe of European men. As yes, the contemporary headgear of women are all men's. Boater, Panama, Borsalino, Stetson : they left the historical movies for the podiums of the women's fashion. From Galliano to Antonio Marras, every designer have made his models wear something on top of their head. The fashionistas had the choice : Western or Countryside.

The trend persists this winter. Not a head could be bare, which will assure us to stay warm and trendy at the same time. How good is that ?
The hat will play on the extremes : micro hat which will drive us back to the 50s and which will transformed us into Mad Men's actresses, or, for the boldest, try the enormous, extravagant model. Copy Lady Gaga or Sarah Jessica Parker and crush on British designer Philip Treacy's creations. His hats are inspired by the unfamous ones of the British aristocrats, who rivaled with each other in boldness and elegance at Ascot.

The choice is now between Posh and Rock. On one side, you can look ingenuous and deliciously old-fashioned, with ribbons, pearls, veils and other cute details. You will match those discreet yet refined hats with elegant outfits inspired by Audrey Hepburn, Virginia Woolfe, Brigitte Bardot, and Dita Von Teese. The woman of the winter will be half pin-up, half Parisian bourgeoise.
So, don't be afraid to dip your mother and your grand-mother's wardrobe. It will never be too kitch and too faded.

But if you prefer something wilder, opt for a hat which will be more rock'n'roll, even gothic.
Choose it black, in leather or in other materials : plastic, feathers, lucite, and preferably really crazy. You will be sure to be the center of attention, and the sensation of the party.
I think we can really rejoice of the come back of the hat, as it is one of the most beautiful accessory a woman can wear. You can always find some pretty ones at very affordable price, and every shape is timeless.
So, as the Queen could say : God save the hat !
Pictures :
Agyness Deyn, Moschino, Sarah Jessica Parker
Philip Treacy, Lady Gaga
Philip Treacy, Oscar de la Renta, John Lew
Mischa Barton, Philip Treacy, Daphne Guinness

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Trend : Pixie Crop Someone ?

The picture that is making the front news in the fashion blogs today comes from the Facebook page of actress Emma Watson.
"Yes, I cut my hair off a few days ago ! I love it --I feel incredible. Hope you like it !" the Harry Potter star tweeted last night. On her Facebook page, she adds : "I've wanted to do this for years and years; it is the most liberating thing ever."
The youngster is certainly trying to put her Hermione's past behind her, and to celebrate at last her admission to adulthood. But she is not the first to have sacrified her hair on the altar of an ageing Hollywood : British actress Carey Mulligan already made a great sensation with her short hairdo on the Oscars' red carpet.
Their haircut is called a Pixie Crop : it made its breakthrough during the sixties, sporting by actresses and icons such as Jean Seberg and Mia Farrow. This year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and in the same way as the Liberty, we see it everywhere.

But is it relevant for every woman ? I personally experienced it once, when I was 16, and I consider it as one of my own greatest fashion disaster. If you don't look like a pin-up, all doll up 24 hours a day, you will certainly be called "Sir" by a tired shop assistant, be mistaken for a Slavonic refugee or a cancer survivor, and your sex-appeal will dangerously drop before the end of the day.
So, what do you need to wear the pixie crop with success ? First, you have to be a brunette or a redhead. It is a high-risk choice for a blond girl. On actress Michelle Williams, it does look great : she is fresh and mischievous and it matches well with her wadrobe, made of little dresses with elaborate necklines. At the beggining, Agyness Deyn looked great with short hair, but now, she is nearly shaved, and she looks more like a junkie than a top-model. What a disappointment !

So, be careful : not too short ! American actress Mena Suvari is almost disfigured, and we really suffer for her. Avoid it also if you like dressing with boyish clothes, or you will be mistaken for your skater younger brother, so does singer Pink.
Everyone is not Jean Seberg, get it !
For darker hair, it is a classier choice, especially if you mix it with dresses and delicate earrings. Bigger jewels would make you look cheap.
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin is very glamourous with her black pixie crop, and she matches it well with a natural make-up and graphic outfits. If you are bold, you can wear it like Rihanna, and change of colour everyday. But pay attention ! The second condition to look good with a pixie crop is to have a great figure and to be rather small. If you are a tall walking skeleton like Victoria Beckham, please, grow hair and eat a cheeseburger !
It is also a bad thing if you have a boyfriend with the same hairdo, wearing the same clothes as you, like poor Kathy Holmes ... It would be ridiculous !
So, did Emma make the good choice ? She is red-haired, with a pale skin, rather small but thin : depending on which dress she would wear, she would look like a little angel. But I advice her to let her hair grow at least a little bit. Hair are a woman's most beautiful gift, and it would be a shame to refuse it.
Plus, it really makes somebody looks older, and wearing his auntie's hairdo is never a good idea.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Spotlight : On the Road with Karen Elson

It is the story of a Greater Manchester girl who have been striken by the demon of blues. It sounds like a tale, whose heroine would be an evanescent redhead; this heroine's name is Karen Elson.

You cannot miss this 5'9'' red-haired 31 years old beauty : she is the incarnation of class. Discovered at 15 by a model agency, she did her first shot for Vogue at 18 and from then, she had a successful career. One of the most attractive models of the world, she worked with the major fashion photographers, walked the runways and did several campaigns for the most prestigious designers of the planet.
She even replaced Angelina Jolie as the face of St John and did a serie of gorgeous shots for the brand, epic and magisterical, even if the Photoshoped pictures didn't do justice to her freshness and her porcelain skin. This same skin she shows entirely for the ads of YSL's perfume, Opium.
A true fairytale, you'd think ? Not for Karen Elson. For her, Fashion is not everything.
The life of the 1998 Model of the Year and the 2005 British Fashion Awards' Best Model really changed the day she met Jack White, the leader of the rock band The White Stripes. It was not only love at first sight, it was also a whole new world that opened for the model.

The young lady was already an accomplished singer, who covered Marlene Dietrich with her cabaret troupe The Citizens Band in the clubs of New York. But with Jack, she discovered the wild South, with its torrid landscapes and its mysterious floklore, which have inspired the rock'n'roll, the blues and the country. Karen mixed all of these new roots in her debut album, The Ghost Who Walks. She carries us away, in a trip to Nashville, very far from the podiums.
Each of her songs is a story, melancolic and feverish, narrated through her warm, deep, truly bewitching voice, ideally emphasized by an hypnotic guitar.
In the course of her album, innocence mingles with darkness in a desert road where only coyotes venture, under the moonlight of a Tennessee's night. It is a fantasy, of course, mostly inspired by the superb cover of the album.
It is, surprisingly for a first one, a very good album, slow yet intense, with great lyrics and melodies. An excellent musical find for your summer. The listening of The Ghost Who Walks will definitely proves you that a model is more than a pretty face and a slim body. Beauty is in the inside, and Karen proves it, revealing a genuine talent.
Let's hope that the music industry will stop focusing on easy tunes and give a real chance to this artist. The story doesn't say if the fairy Karen would stop modeling, but what is most likely is that she will live happy in her Nashville home and will compose many songs ...