Undercover: A Twisted Fairytale

Bosch meets Black Swan in this balletic inspired coming of age fantasy

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I remember one design project in which we had to pick two seemingly disparate objects, ideas, concepts to be inspired by and cohesively and cleverly bring the two of them together to create a couture collection. I chose chemistry and fantasy (geek) and told the story of faeries emanating from chemical compounds, dragons, fabrics woven from the vapors of fuming beakers…. Continue reading

Moschino X Barbie

She's a Barbie girl

She’s a Barbie girl

Jeremy Scott: Fashion industry rebel bad boy? Yes. Bat shit cray Genius? Possibly.

Scott’s great contribution to fashion is his ability to poke fun at fashion, with a skilled hand, an eye for proportion, a knack for accessories, an understanding of marketing and merchandising… it’s this combination of talent and vision that excites us, appalls us and makes us want to buy things while questioning his intentions (are you in fact making fun of us, the consumer? ) and our own sense of humor (maybe we need to stop criticizing his work and lighten up and just enjoy?)

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LEDetailing at CuteCircuit

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Quick, how many ways can you think of to embellish garments? Rhinestones, beading, sequins, lace appliqués, tweets, embroidery… Wait a sec… tweets?! We’ll get to that shortly. And what about lights?

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Menswear Monday: Medieval Magic at Dolce & Gabbana

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What is a well dressed, well-to-do Game of Thrones Fanboy to wear out and about, but  pieces from Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana’s fall/winter 2014 collection?

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We’re channeling Robb and Jon here. Continue reading

Jeremy Scott’s New Moschino Collection: Horrifying, Tacky and Genius

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Our Happy Meal came with a Spongebob toy…. and… beer?!?!

Anyone familiar with the Moschino brand knows of it’s reputation for being subversive. It’s also no secret that Jeremy Scott shares that same humor with the house’s late founder. The difference however is in execution. One of my favorite things about the Moschino label has always been it’s ability to be fun, silly, quirky… while still maintaining a lady-like charm. There’s always been a sweet and sexy feminine sensibility to the clothing that served as the perfect counterpoint to the occasionally over the top humor. It was whimsical. It was Disney princess funny. Continue reading

The Blonds + Catwoman

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Season after season The Blonds are out to prove that they have more fun. And we are ever so grateful they take us along for the ride.

Remember last year’s Spring show, when the design duo drew inspiration from several iconic “Blonds” spanning all of time and space? Tinkerbell, Barbarella, Tweety, C3P0?

Well this time, they got all the material they needed from another widely recognizable blonde. The world’s sexiest most legendary crazy cat lady: Michelle Pfeiffer as Selina Kyle. That’s right: CATWOMAN!

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instagram: ashaaleigh

Star Wars + Fashion Week : Episode I & II

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left: RODARTE at New York Fashion Week. Right: PREEN at London Fashion Week**

EPISODE  I : Childhood Nostalgia in New York

The Mulleavy sisters wear their geek pride on their sleeves, and want us to wear it too. The chic “sci-fi freaks” who brought us their ode to LARPing* (yes, that happened) took us on a trip to a galaxy far, far away. And oh, did we travel in style! Continue reading

The Blonds: Haute Halloween Inspo

The Blonds show has been hands down one of the premier highlights of New York Fashion Week, and this season was no exception. In an age where many in the industry take fashion way to seriously,  The Blonds deliver the perfect remedy of sparkle and humor. Case in point, their latest spectacle:  What better way to wake up exhausted attendees and lift their spirits, then by having designer Phillipe Blond open the show, stripping out of a sparkly spacesuit to reveal himself in fierce expert drag? …Exactly. (you know you want to read that sentence again.)

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Designer Phillipe Blond opens the show

Inspired by their 5 favorite blonds: Marilyn Monroe, Marie Antoinette, Madonna, Jane Fonda (as Barbarella), and the “Original Blond,” Tweety Bird (yes, you heard right.) The designers demonstrated how you could have a lot of fun reinterpreting inspiration into expertly crafted, charming, yet stunningly beautiful pieces.

The collection also serves as a prime example of an idea that has become almost synonymous with geek culture: the mashup.  Ever present to the point of being shoved in your face on a daily basis wherever one might purchase a geeky tee, (almost everyone I know including myself owns one.) the designers take this idea to a whole other level, as only the most brilliant forward thinking craftsmen can.

It’s apparent that the Barbarella influence runs heaviest throughout the collection. So the result is sexy space blonds. (I. E. if Marie Antoinette was another planet… and was performing “VOGUE”, she’d wear this…) There is concept. There is real design–including intricate glass detailing. There is a thoughtfulness that goes far beyond the mass-marketing idea of “put a TARDIS on it….”

By far my favorite thing about this collection is, though they only cited those 5 specific blonds as influences, I couldn’t help but notice–what with the whimsy and sci-fi of it all– the manifestation of a couple of others on the runway (I reveal them below).  Honestly, not only are they way too famous (read : ICONIC) for their appearances to have been unintentional, but they, along with the rest of the collection provide some epic costume inspiration from real world Ready-to-wear pieces.

Take a cue from the designers of this crazy fun over the top entertaining experience. Look at the research material below.  Experiment. Create something inspired. Have fun. You don’t have to be blond to know how to.

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I wouldn’t mess with these ladies.

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SS14 THE BLONDES RUNWAY NEW YORK 09/11/2013

TWEETY!

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Favorite blond: TINKERBELL!

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I think the designers were going for…..

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…THIS sexy Barbarella pic. But after Tweety all I saw was….

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…This. Hello Pepe!

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Can you guess the blond? Hint: don’t think hair, think gold metal.

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Yup, you guessed it. C3PO!!

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Oh C3P0 corset, how I covet thee!

V for Vendetta on the Runway…?!

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V FOR VENDETTA ON THE ADRIAN WU RUNWAY | TFW FALL 2012

Well, we know of at least one designer who’s a huge V for Vendetta fan…. among a million other things, apparently. Not exactly how I would choose to reference a movie. What do you think of models parading around in, “look-at-me-trying-to-make-a-spectacle-I-mean-statement-about-politics,” Guy Fawkes masks?

Toronto Fashion Week didn’t know what hit it…and maybe neither did the designer….

Here, he attempts to explain:

“This collection is titled “Hierarchy of Needs”. I wanted to do a collection that ascetically looked dramatic, romantic, and a little bit wearable but very much a reflection of my own technique. Three years ago I came across a new way of sewing. I invented this sort of minimalistic bodice and ‘inverted pleating’ and it is these techniques that maybe have created a sort of new language in fashion. The cuts of the collection are taken by the ideas of old parisian clothing, the colours to the silhouette. Philosophically, I like my work to have context. I used the mask as a commentary to the specific comparisons between North American Politics versus European Politics and how it effects Human Rights by citing the movie “V for Vendetta”. My dream continues to be that one day I be hired by the house of Dior. I invite you to question every aspect of my work, from the pieces to the environment. I am inspired by people and people who effect my life. Enjoy”

And yet, I don’t think Raf Simons has anything to worry about.

RALPH LAUREN X DOWNTON ABBEY

I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for ages. Why the hold-up? Well, aside from a conscious decision I’ve made to spend a little less time away from social media to focus on my own collection (read: portfolio), when Ralph Lauren had debuted this fall collection, I hadn’t yet actually seen the series (!!!!) . I know, clearly you must think I’ve had no right calling myself a chic geek until this point. The fashionably geeky elite shake their heads disapprovingly.

However, having finally caught up to the rest of the world, via a little help from a friend’s Netflix account and a Hulu Plus free trail, (I am TV-less), I too have fallen in love with the fashions, the characters (BATES!), the fashions, and overlapping intrigues of the Abbey’s residents… also, the fashions.

And while I was giddy with excitement over the idea of comparing the ultimate fashion plus geekery crossover spectacular—The A-list cast is comprised of many familiar faces from other well-known series’. The Dowager Countess herself (Maggie Smith) seems almost a continuation of Smith’s Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter films. Too, we’ve had our shouting at our screens “OMG, she’s that chick/ he’s that dude from Game of Thrones!” moments. And so on. (this a show that Vogue writers are obsessed with, you guys. Obsessed)— I found, that there wasn’t much to compare. Hear me out.

What I loved about the collection: It’s exactly what you’d expect from Ralph Lauren. What I didn’t love about the collection: ….It’s exactly what you’d expect from Ralph Lauren. I love the label. It’s known the world over for producing chic, luxurious, beautifully tailored garments. At some point or another, we’ve coveted many a timeless piece of his. But that’s just it. Those beautiful, timeless, luxurious pieces worthy of the English aristocracy will always be there (I suddenly NEED a gold cardigan). More than anything, this collection was more of just Ralph Lauren doing Ralph Lauren. Suddenly creating those pieces in tweeds, styling them with all the hats, doesn’t necessarily make it Downton Abbey.

Can we see the nods to Yorkshire? Absolutely. And I love that the inspiration goes beyond dresses to the menswear. Does it look like Lady Mary raided Matthew’s closet at the start of the show? Yes. Would Lady Sybil jump at the chance to wear ALL the pants? Yes. But I suspect a second reference is at work here too. Why? Because Ralph just can’t help himself….

Points:

  • Stage set with stunning chandelier over the runway? Check.
  • Downton Abbey theme opening the show? Check (wait, it has WORDS?!)
  • References to WWI era England? There were hunting plaids, smoking jackets, jodhpurs (albiet, in velvet)… umm… check.
  • A feather cape worthy of the Dowager Countess? Check.
  • Models gracing the runway sporting canes they could’ve borrowed from Mr. Bates?  Check.

To my knowledge, however, he only has the one. So where could the other have come from? What other fictional character could’ve said, “here, Ralph, the lady can borrow mine?” (Because, let’s be honest, the countess isn’t letting anyone touch her cane. Ever.) And this is possibly where the allusion to the second reference is made. The cloches, the bowlers, the top hats…. Yorkshire? Yeah, I see it. But what of the nods to the flapper towards the end?  Like I said, Ralph just can’t help himself. Did you see the Spring collection? The beading and Art Deco embroideries look less like a preview of Downton season 3, and more like a continuation of Spring/Summer, the Roaring Twenties and Ralph’s favorite go-to reference…. Gatsby.

Here, in a review of Spring 2012, Style.com writer Nicole Phelps, offers insight:

NEW YORK, September 15, 2011

In 1974, not long after he founded his company, Ralph Lauren designed the costumes for The Great Gatsby. They launched a mini Jazz Age trend at the time and jump-started his career. Today, with Baz Luhrmann remaking the film— are reprising the roles originally played by Robert Redford and Mia Farrow—Lauren took the opportunity to revisit the roaring twenties, half a year before the movie actually hits screens and everybody and his mother decides to “do” the decade themselves.

More like a whole year before, as Warner Bros. just announced on Monday that the film has been pushed back from it’s original Christmas release, to Summer 2013. But now, it all makes sense.

And now, something else to think about: In a fight (over a Lauren gown, of course) who would win: Lady Mary, or Daisy?

Carey Mulligan and Leonardo DiCaprio