Wednesday, December 14, 2011

VOGUE: past. present. future.

     Last week, Vogue launched their $1,500 a year digital archive [click the YouTube link above] which features every single issue (and advertisement pages!) since the very first from 1892. But don't fret! Part of the archive will soon be available to its subscribers. But if you really want to appreciate the history, art, and of course, the fashion, of this iconic magazine without having to pay over fifteen hundred dollars, there are much affordable ways in doing so which include books, videos, and the current issue of the magazine itself and its special edition issues -- which coincidentally makes a great Christmas gift for all of those fashion savvy people on your holiday list! 

1. In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine 
2. Vogue: the Covers 
3. The September Issue documentary 
4. current annual issues 
5. Best Dressed special edition issue

In Vogue: The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine

     This 440 page book is the best book about the magazine available out there in terms of the history and background of the magazine. In this book you will learn about the magazine's most influential editors from Diana Vreeland, Grace Mirabella, and current editor in chief since 1988, Anna Wintour and creative director Grace Coddington. The book also features chapters dedicated to that entire era when the magazine consisted of illustrations (as opposed to photographs) as well as the countless photographers (past and present) that have shot for the magazine -- think Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier, and Mario Testino

VOGUE: The Covers

     When I think of Vogue the image that immediately pops in my head is its cover along with that classic Baskerville Old Face font -- that's what the cover is designed after all, to grab the attention of consumers in the newsstands. This 272 page book which was just released this past October (2011) chronicles all of the most iconic covers of the magazine. And as a great bonus (especially if this is given as a gift!) the book also includes five covers which can be framed and displayed in your home! 

The September Issue 

     If you're more of a visual person, then you'd love J. Cutler's documentary, The September Issue. It gives the viewers a first hand look to the production of the legendary (and ginormous!) Vogue September issue, specifically the largest one in the magazine's history, the September 2007 issue which consists of 480 pages and weighs a whopping 5 pounds! 

Vogue annual issues
 $3.99/copy or $12 subscription 

     And of course the easiest way to learn and love the magazine is to get a hold of a copy yourself. Perusing or as what I like to do, dissecting the magazine from the cover to cover, is the best possible way to familiarize yourself with it. I usually flip through the entire magazine first, without reading any of the articles and mark crucial sections like Letter from the Editor, the cover story and layout, and the fashion essays (fashion editorial spreads), especially the ones by miss Coddington and any other sections that catch my eye. Then I tend to go back and read the entire magazine, once again, from cover to cover. 

Vogue: Best Dressed 

     This new Special Edition, in which the first issue was released in 2010, is a completely separate issue from the monthly issue themselves. It's released once a year, usually around November, and crowns the year's most best dressed fashionista. Along with trend reports, this issue also features articles about each of the stylish stars along with a cover story. Last year Blake Lively graced the cover of this new Conde Nast special edition and this year, two cover girls, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were given the celebrated title. 

Love, KB

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fashion in Films: 500 Days of Summer

"This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie 'The Graduate'. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story."

"There’s only two kinds of people in the world. There’s women, and there’s men. Summer Finn was a woman. Height : average. Weight : average. Shoe Size : slightly above average. For all intents and purposes, Summer Finn : just another girl. Except she wasn’t. To wit, in 1998, Summer quoted a song by the Scottish band Belle & Sebastian in her high school yearbook. “Color my life with the chaos of trouble.” The spike in Michigan sells of their album “The Boy with the Arab Strap” continues to puzzle industry analysts. Summer’s employment at the daily freeze during the summer of her sophomore year coincided with an inexplicable 212% increase in revenue. Every apartment Summer rented at an average rate of 9.2% below market value, and her roundtrip commute to work averaged 18.4 double-takes per day. It was a rare quality, this “Summer effect.” Rare, yet something every post-adolescent male has encountered at least once in their lives. For Tom Hanson to find it now in a city of 400,00 offices, 91,000 commercial buildings, and 3.8 million people, well that could only be explained by one thing: fate."

     It should be no surprise to anyone that I'm a hopeless romantic. From my movie preferences to my taste in clothes, romanticism is very evident (Erin Fetherston is my absolute favorite designer. Her designs are very whimsical, feminine, and romantic -- what more can you want?) So alongside the line up of Serendipity and He's Just Not That Into You, 500 Days of Summer is one of my favorite movies of all time. And aside from the romance and of course, Zooey Deschanel, you can't help but fall in love with the costume design in this movie. And let's face it, the only person you're really looking at when watching this movie is Deschanel's character, Summer Finn (it's pretty much the only character, aside from Tom, worth discussing and I think we can all agree that she wins the best dressed category out of all the characters -- sorry Minka Kelly, you were in the movie for like two minutes.) 

     If I was the movie's costume designer, Hope Hanafain, all that I needed to know to dress Summer Finn upon reading the script are those two quotes above -- the opening narrative line and the line talking about Summer's irresistible effect. Those two lines alone sufficiently summarizes Summer's character: (1) she's absolutely beautiful (2) guarded. I think Hanafain did an amazing job synthesizing those characteristics and making it work for Zooey Deschanel frame. It was very smart of her to put Summer in a lot of A-line, full skirt designs with very modest hemlines and appropriate skin coverage. Anything too body conscious or revealing would've registered very wrong. The audience can definitely see that Summer is very beautiful, but she doesn't need to show a lot of skin and cleavage to make that point. I think the kind of beauty that Hanafain went for -- the kind of effortless beauty that Zooey's character doesn't really notice or pay much attention to -- was absolutely perfect for Summer.

     I lovelovelove that polka dot dress with the bow in the back during the bus sequence and who can forget that gorgeous pale blue dress she wore during Millie's wedding. I also thought her work attire was very darling especially with the addition of the bows in her hair and even the looks which consisted of separates (and hoisery!) were very well put together. I think it's fair to say that Zooey Deschanel's personal style might've bled through her character, but I think it works in her favor, and for the sake of the movie, perfectly. Don't ever underestimate the power of costume design! The way a character is dressed in a movie can speak volumes. 

Love, KB

Monday, October 31, 2011

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from the Fashion Blog!

     Even though our childhood days of trick-or-treating are long gone, I hope everyone had a great weekend dressing up in your adult costumes! What did everyone dress up as?! Better yet, what are you plans for this Monday-Halloween-Night? Whether you are staying in to watch gory and chilling horror movies, or It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (which is as adventurous as I'm going to get with horror) I hope you're stylishly dressed for the occasion and that it involves lots of sweets! 

p.s. isn't this mini Audrey Hepburn in her LBD the cutest?! best Breakfast at Tiffany's reference ever! 

Love, KB

Friday, October 28, 2011

Video Obsession: Emma Watson for Lancome Midnight Rose

     As I turned to the first page of Vogue's November 2011 issue (featuring The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's leading lady Rooney Mara) I was greeted with Emma Watson's vibrant and pleasantly romantic print ad for Lancome's new fragrance, Midnight Rose. The Internet was buzzing about this new endorsement since March and now the end product is finally in print and video form and the television commercial is already running in Europe. I can't get over how well that pixie cut suits Emma let alone those bold colored lips! -- don't even get me started on the black moto jacket put together with a romantic sheath dress (a very nice play of hard and soft, and ankle boots!) and the androgynous ensemble that I've been obsessing over (lace shorts, white shirt with a poplin collar and bowtie, blush hued blazer) -- and if you're really curious the fragrance smells like mischievous blackcurrant, sweet rose, and mysterious wood. Enjoy the video! 

Love, KB

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fashion in Films (Audrey Hepburn Classics) : Funny Face

     There is something about Autumn that just makes me want to snuggle in bed and watch the classics like The Wizard of Oz and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. But of course it wouldn't be complete without the Audrey Hepburn series of classics. While her role as Holly Goligthly in Breakfast at Tiffany's cemented her position as the one of the greatest actresses in cinema as well as a fashion icon (you cannot associate the LBD without Audrey Hepburn) my absolute Hepburn favorite was when she played the bookish type turned supermodel Jo Stockton in the musical Funny Face. I want to become a fashion editorial stylist someday so it's important for me to form a foundation of iconic references to draw from and what's more fitting than a classic Hepburn film about a high fashion magazine shooting an editorial spread in Paris? tres chic, yes?

     This 1957 film also stars Fred Astraire as the photographer and love interest, Dick Avery and Kay Thompson as the editor in chief of Quality magazine, Maggie Prescott, who was rumored to resemble former Vogue editor in chief Diana Vreeland. The plot of the film revolves around the accidental discovery of Hepburn's character as a result of a guerilla photo shoot in a book shop where she worked. She was then made the new muse and face of Quality magazine and quickly whisked away (after a brief convincing via a musical number) to Paris, France where the fictional couturier Paul Duval was to design an entire collection dedicated to the this so called "Quality woman" who will model the clothes in a fashion show as well as be photographed in a high fashion editorial spread to be featured in the magazine -- which of course was my favorite part! 

     The editorial spread which featured a total of eight looks -- from a timeless black A-line frock to a wedding gown -- were completely separate from the pieces that were shown in the fashion show. And thanks to Hollywood's most iconic costume designer, Edith Head, this film has the same profound impact as the costume design in Breakfast in Tiffany's in motion picture fashion history, despite the fact that the latter was released four years after this film. Breakfast at Tiffany's can have the Little Black Dress, but this film featured other timeless pieces such as the trench coat, ballet flats, turtleneck, and of course, the skinny black jeans which inspired Gap to produce the Audrey Hepburn Pant (basically black skinnies) in their 2006 "Keep it Simple" campaign which was inspired by her dance number in that smokey cafe in Paris.  

trench coat

black skinny jeans, flats, & turtleneck

Love, KB