My Eye On: Backpacks

All through high-school you could not get me to wear a backpack. Not only were they basic and HUGE for my short stature, but most importantly, they were not cool. The it thing to do was to cover your three-ring binder with a collage of pictures or cut outs from fashion magazines and carry the binder around in your arms with a another book or two. Of course, if you had to carry more than two heavy books in your arms, trying to be cool did not always mean practical.

Until now. Convenience, meet style.

 Chanel, Spring 2014

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 Moschino, Fall 2014

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Now, let’s take the backpack a step further and style it in a sophisticated way, such as:

Lanvin, Fall 2014

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The Row, net-a-porter.com

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Alexander Wang, net-a-porter.com

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Alexander Wang, Opanca Backpack

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Moschino, net-a-porter.com

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Proenza Schouler, net-a-porter.com

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  Karl Lagerfeld, net-a-porter.com

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Prada, Fall 2014

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The last image is an adaptions of how you would carry a backpack using a handbag, styled in PRADA’s Fall Runway Collection. Editors and fashion blogger are captured in street style pictures wearing hand bags in unconventional ways, so why not adapt this look to ease into the backpack style.

Did anyone else go through rebel against backpacks? If so, I hope these styles changed your mind, as it did mine.

 

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What Came First, The Building or The Dress?

I recently went to an architecture exhibition which featured the works of Félix Candela featured in the Kukuruchos Gallery in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. As I walked around the exhibition I observed the superb minimalistic tone that surrounded Candela’s wonderful work. I am particularly drawn to the 1950’s and 1960’s era due to the superb simplicity in design found in architecture, interior design and fashion. It was a great surprise to discover Felix Candela’s arquitectural style. IMG_9131

The introduction specifies Félix Candela Outeriño being born in Madrid on January 27, 1910. Candela graduated from the Architecture University, in the Capitol City of Spain. In 1939, Candela was exiled from Spain for voluntarily participating in the republican army during the Spanish Civil War and settled in Mexico. Ten years after his arrival in Mexico Candela founded the firm “Cubiertas Alas”, where he would design the shell buildings that brought him world fame.

Candela’s work is based on three premises: economical, minimalistic, and flexibility. Although his fundamentals were basic, the more Candela worked on the geographical design of the shell buildings, the more he mastered the elaborate yet elegant look of the buildings. These intricate designs led him to technological road blocks which he had to overcome.

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Candela shook up the architecture world with his structures of layered reinforced concrete, better known as shell buildings, that came to life in Mexico and other countries in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The applied construction technique unused in Mexico originated in Europe.

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“Stock Exchange Market”, Mexico City, 1955

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“Palmira Chapel”, Lomas de Cuernavaca, Morelos, 1959

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“Iglesia de la Virgen de la Medalla Milagrosa”, Benito Juárez, Mexico City, 1955

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“Iglesia de Santa Mónica”, Benito Juárez, Mexico City, 1960

Candela was not the first nor the only one adapting the shell building structure, but he took great advantage of the geometric technique to leave a stamp in the world of architecture in the 20th century. His greatest achievements were “El Pabellón de Ráyos Cosmicos” in the University of México (UNAM), constructed in 1951:

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And, “El Palacio de los Deportes”, built for the 1968 Olympic Games which were held in Mexico. Model seen here:

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There seems to be a tone in this 1950’s and 60’s era that made me wonder what type of inspiration surrounded the artists of the time. Whether consciously or unconsciously artists look to their surroundings for inspirations; they must travel, admire art, or draw from personal inspirations to come up with a theme for their next project.

Meanwhile I looked around I couldn’t help but think of the designs of Hubert de Givenchy, Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga during the 50’s and 60’s era. Why? Well, take a look for your self.

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Christian Dior (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga (Source)

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Hubert de Givenchy (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga (Source)

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Hubert de Givenchy (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga (Source)

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Cristóbal Balenciaga  (Source) 

The designs of Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga catapulted  fashion icons Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy during the fifties and sixties era. Whatever the influences were of the fashion designers during this era, and which ever came first – the architecture or the fashion style – I have yet to witness such effortless elegance demonstrated in the pictures above.

Shades of Gray

Gray has not been a color of choice in my wardrobe. It’s a bit too boring, until now. Looking through pinterest posts and street style  outfits made me think twice and approach a monocramatic “all gray everything” look.

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1. T-shirt by Rag and Bone, Trouser by Maison Martin Margela 2. Blouse by Isabel Marant, Jeans by J Brand 3. Top by J.Crew, Pant by Vince

But of course, adding personal accessories for some extra umph is encouraged. For example, I would pair the below Valentino statement necklace to the first outfit. (In my book, adding a statement necklace to a plain T never fails).

 

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For the second outfit I would add a colorful shoe, such as these Guiseppe Zannoti, Ester Patent Leather Pump in Red. 

 

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As for the third outfit, I would pair the above pump, but in black and put on a black coat. Contrast is key, even though the pant is sporty, adding a pump will give dress it up. (Besides they are categorizing the sweatpants in the trouser department for goodness sake! Dress up your sweats to wherever your imagination takes you). 

What would you pair with each outfit?

 

Haute Helmets

Here is a definite way to get the fashion industry interested in the Super Bowl. CFDA has gathered 48 top designers for Fashion Touchdown, where NFL helmets are designed for a cause. From Alice & Olivia to DKNY, you can view their interpretation of some fashionable designs. Here are some of my favorites:

ALEXIS BITTAR

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ALICE + OLIVIA

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HELMUT LANG

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NICOLE MILLER

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RACHEL ZOE

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MARCHESA

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Bloomingdale’s will donate 100% of the proceeds to the National Football League to support their programs. Auction closes February 4th, 2014. To bid and view all of the Haute Couture Helmet designs visit nflauction.nfl.com

Journey of a Dress Exhibition

Two years ago I purchased my first wrap dress. The occassion: A New Year’s Eve dinner party. I was in search of a party dress that was flattering yet effortless. As much as I am a firm believer in the little black dress (aka LBD), I was looking for a change, a new style I had not tried before. Isn’t it funny how the New Year season opens up the door to try new styles, make bold decisions or acquire a new diet? I always seem to be most daring and open trying on new styles around the New Year, so I gave the wrap dress a chance. Although it was not a Diane Von Fürstenberg original, (it was rather from my go-to store, Zara) the wrap dress fit perfectly! Thanks Diane.

Diane Von Fürstenberg launched her wrap dress in 1974. It was the the era of Studio 54 and Andy Warhol. She must have been so in tune with the lifestyle, because her dress design was well received among the fashion industry. From the cover of Newsweek to Interview, DVF was everywhere.

40 years later, DVF celebrates the “Journey of a Dress.” The exhibit begins with her editorial exposure, including an epic letter praising the design of the wrap dress from THE Diane Vreeland. 

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“Vogue editorial featuring wrap top and skirt”

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“The first Women’s Wear Daily cover, 1974”

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“Wrap dress and two piece wrap top and pants in one of the first buying office reports, 1974”

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 “Vintage advertisement featuring a wrap dress in a geometric print, circa 1978”

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“Newsweek cover, photographd by Francesco Scavullo, March 1976”

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“Interview magazine cover, photographed by Ara Gailant, designed by Richard Bernstein, 1976”

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DVF in front of her first Warhol, photographed by Burt Ginn, 1977

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“Wrap dress advertisement, 2011”

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Exhibit of DVF portraits by Warhol.

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Entrance to “Journey of a Dress” Exhibit

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“A Ghost May Come” by Dustin Yellin, 2013

As you continue to walk through the main hallway you will arrive to a room displaying 40 years of wrap dress history. The dresses are staged in 5 categories: black and white varieties, felinity, nature, pop and geographic.

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To celebrate the 4o years of the wrap dress, visit the exhibit until April 1st 2014 at Wilshire May Company Building in Los Angeles, CA. Visit www.dvf.com for all the details.

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Put a Coat on It

As a traditionalist, it is a must to have a classic black, navy or camel coat in my closet. I’ve had my black coat for the past ten years, and with this outerwear craze, I’ve brought it back into my wardrobe rotation. I often look towards street style for inspiration and browsing through some pictures I can see I need to up the ante. From embroidery to animation on a coat, outwear has turned into a fashion statement and a must to complete an outfit. Witness for yourself:

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Street Style – photographed byTommy Ton, Style.com

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Street Style – photographed by Tommy Ton, Style.com

High Street:

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Embroidered brushed-twill coat by DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, net-a-porter.com

POP ART 

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Street Style – photographed by Tommy Ton, Style.com

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Street Style by Tommy Ton, Style.com