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Oscars 2015 Recap

Although Ellen selfies and a tripping Jennifer Lawrence were replaced with Neil Patrick Harris in tighty whities and hella-creepy-bulldog-chain-wearing John Travolta, the red carpet at the 87th Academy Awards was anything but subpar.  

Here's a mini recap:

Proving her prowess as a fashion icon, Lupita Nyong'o continues to set the bar high with unforgettable red carpet moments. The justification of world-wide oyster genocide came in the form of her absolutely exquisite custom Clavin Klein number. Simply put, she looked like royalty. Pearls seemed to cascade down her body with an exuberant elegance. It was a classic silhouette with an unconventional twist; a double-take demanding combination that is becoming Nyong'o's trademark. 

Naomi Watts debuted my favorite look of the night: an embellished silver and black glitzing Armani Privé gown with black bandeau. Watts was styled to perfection with effortless waves, drop earrings, and edgy berry lipstick. Youthful, sexy, and unique, this dress was a knockout and Watts's confidently rocked it like a pro.  

A pregnant Keira Knightley looked as though she spent the afternoon frolicking in meadows in her ethereal Valentino with floral appliqués. She resembled a whimsical garden fairy goddess in all the best possible ways. Similar in aesthetic to the critic-hated Chanel gown she wore to the Golden Globes, this whimsical, champagne colored garment completely hit the mark. In fact, it deserves to be written about in a few fairytales.  

Notable mentions: 
Jennifer Aniston completely slayed it in a slinky nude dress–courtesy of Versace–further proving the fact that the woman is immune to ever looking less than perfect. 
Emma Stone reminded me of a green/gold tigress in her sleeved Elie Saab gown. Her signature red locks and makeup complemented the dress impeccably. 

Until next year! PS: Check out some behind the scenes details of Lupita Nyong'o's pearly dress here

NYFW Review: 50 Shades of Grey at Wes Gordon

It's a sunny, crystal clear, 75° Friday in the Bay Area , and, naturally, I am spending my afternoon basking in the live-streaming glory of New York Fashion Week. The hectic, colorful atmosphere and brisk temperatures of NYFW seem much more intriguing than yet another perfect California day–especially with the ability to be in virtual proximity to such amazing talent. 

If you read my blog, you know that the 90s are kind of my jam. Thus, it should come at no surprise that my favorite show of the day originates from the brilliant mind of Mr. Wes Gordon. At the mere age of 28, Gordon has already established a trademark in his craft: timeless sophistication. If we were talking music, Gordon's designs would be a Paul McCartney in a room full of Iggy Azaleas and Aviciis. The guy just doesn't disappoint. 

Wes Gordon's Fall 2015 show lived up to the high standards of his young career, with looks evocative of the Calvin Klein minimalism that made Kate Moss famous. In an interview with the Washington Post, Gordon hailed the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy as a major source of inspiration. The consistency of clean lines, exquisite tailoring, and even sensibly pulled-back hair played tribute to the fashion icon. 

boss moss and cbk
The most captivating aspect of Gordon's Fall 2015 RTW was the way he stayed true to the classic 90s aesthetic. He didn't add dramatic alterations or overwhelming silhouettes. In fact, within a black and gray palette of color, Gordon smartly balanced knits, furs, print, and translucent fabrics––quintessential 90s textiles–– with ease. Chunky turtlenecks, shirt dresses, spaghetti straps, pea coats, trench coats, even silk palazzo pants were all accounted for on that runway. Gordon didn't reinvent the wheel because he didn't need to. Good clothes are good clothes; it's that simple.  

Ahhh, Friends

The start of a new year popularizes gym memberships, gives people new hope, and allows us all to forget the missteps of the previous 12 months. This year, however, my priorities were a little skewed. As I embarked into 2015, I posed a life-altering question to myself: "Why make friends, when you can watch Friends?". 

For all of you (probably) very successful people–who refuse to pose victim to the procrastination powers of Netflix–here's the 411. As of January 1, 2015, the entirety of Friends can be found on Netflix in its original 90's glory. Thus, the question I posed to myself has quickly transformed into a motto, proving to be the most successful New Year's Resolution of my  life. 
As I spend hours fulfilling the challenge I set out for myself, I simultaneously receive a historical lesson in fashion. 

The fashion in Friends really drives the show, with the first season alone featuring iconic looks. What would Joey be without his turtlenecks? Chandler minus a sweater vest or an oversized tie would be a sin, and Rachel in anything but a crop top would feel treasonous. Each character had a distinctive identity enhanced by their respective outfits; wardrobes that evolved with every individual during the progression of seasons. And, in a strange twist of events, the fashion on Friends as a whole feels weirdly current. 

Here are the lessons I have learned from binge-watching Friends so far
3.. Rachel Green can literally rock anything. I mean anything
4. And, everyone should wear rings like Phoebe Buffay

Furthermore, watching Friends outside its original context makes me nostalgic of a time period in which I barely existed. The 90's in NYC seemed pretty rad: a time where rent for a few gigantic apartments could be paid through minimum-wage jobs, and a group of well-dressed best friends could spend their days gossiping at a coffee shop. Ahhhhhh, the 90s. 

my new screensaver

Happy Birthday, Jane Birkin

Jane Birkin–singer, actress, and fashion icon–turned 68 yesterday. The British beauty unexpectedly became an iconic figure in the 60's and 70's, and continues to inspire generations of fashion aficionados. Her style is minimalist, effortless, and timelessly cool. She chicly propels an uncanny sense of put-together confidence.  A complete Birkin ensemble includes a perfect fusion of bohemian and classic Parisian pieces, a pair of (probably red) ballet flats, a fresh, sans makeup face, and, of course, her namesake Hermés Birkin bag

 Jane Birkin's true iconicity lies in her ability to look tailored and put together in relaxed garments. Her denim is always flared, blouses loose, jackets oversized and jewelry kept at a bare minimum. I think her authenticity of clothing stands as one of the reasons behind public fascination. Many street style darlings  of today try to gain respect and attention in the industry by dressing as trendy or outrageous as possible. Jane Birkin shows us that great fashion isn't trendy or fleeting. By staying true to her classic, personal aesthetic, Jane Birkin created a signature style that is as wearable now as it was in 1970. 

She revolutionized 70s fashion, wore crop tops before crop tops were crop tops, and started the cut-out trend decades before those peekaboos of skin made it on runways. Oh, and she has an Hérmes bag named after her.  Can you say legendary?

Here are some of her magical looks throughout the years: 

with daughter Lou Doillon in 2011

Advanced Style

Every fashion enthusiast knows that cliché Yves Saint Laurent quote, "Fashions fade, style is eternal." As I watched the colorful, lively trailer for the Advanced Style documentary on a gloomy Saturday morning, Laurent's wisdom rang in the back of my mind. The film features a plethora of fashion inspiration via New York City's chicest senior citizens. These women, many of whom are in their late 80's and 90's, are not defined by any single decade of trends or styles. In fact, all of their personal styles are a sum of multiple decades of elegance, infused with whimsical details and lots of personality. I found the women in the video to be incredibly refreshing amidst the all-too-similar faux fur, flannel, and boyfriend jean clad fashion bloggers of this season. 
These elderly icons are not slaves to trends but dress for themselves; their outfits driven by an overwhelming sense of self and happiness. I think we can learn more than fashion wisdom from women like Iris Apfel and Ilona Royce Smithkin, two stars of the film. While their styles inspire many, it's their self-confidence and loving devotion to elegance that enlighten us all to the true creative spirit of fashion. 
Watch the beautiful trailer here

Mermaids Exist at Rodarte SS15

In preparation for New York Fashion Week, designers find inspiration from a wide array of sources. In recent years, popular collections have incorporated the revival of trends from decades past. The 70's seem to be a constant wealth of influence, as well as 80's neon and 90's grunge. I was beginning to worry that the fashions of my youth–the early 2000s–were next on the agenda. Nothing was worse than cropped polo tees, Juicy velour tracksuits, or Von Dutch trucker hats. Nothing. 
Luckily, the Mulleavy sisters saved us from yet another fashion resurrection. 

During the preparatory phases of their SS15 line, sisters (and Berkeley graduates) Kate and Laura Mulleavy of the renowned fashion house Rodarte, set their sights on a timeless, natural piece of inspiration: tide pools. As young girls growing up in Northern California, the Mulleavy sisters frequented the mesmerizing underwater tide pools of Monterey. Kate told Vogue.com, "We wanted to re-create the texture of those underwater tide pools... to explore this idea of underwater worlds, with all the movement and fluidity." By channeling a personal memory from their youth, Kate and Laura Mulleavy were able to achieve wizardry at NYFW. 

Tuesday's runway show was magical from the start. Spectators arrived to find the set a seaside reverie; the floor bejeweled with broken beach glass and Swarovski crystals. Once the show began, the venue finished it's transformation into an underwater realm. The models stunned in delicate dresses made of netting and tattered chiffon, like sirens on the shore. You could practically feel the ocean breeze as the ever-flowing ruffles on dresses, skirts, and scarfs danced down the catwalk. Opalescent sequins and scales added to the shipwreck vibe. 

The most remarkable facet of Rodarte's collection existed in it's ability to offset fluidity with rigid structure. Instead of allowing cascading fabrics overrun the runway, the Mulleavy sisters skillfully balanced things out with elements of sheer strength: thigh-high gladiator boots, skin-tight jeans, anorak jackets, and, of course, those incredible rows of sliver eyebrow piercings. 

Feast your eyes on the entire collection here

Amazing. All I can say is... Go Bears.