Diva’s Choice: Wet Paint

Sasha Pivovarova in Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2008 RTW

When I can’t sleep, I look through slideshows from runway collections. (It’s a new habit, but an enjoyable and relaxing one.) The entire Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2008 ready-to-wear collection is splattered with paint, a little at first, but exploding into a veritable Jackson Pollock by the end of the runway show. (I encourage you to take a look at it, because the gowns at the end are truly works of art.)

I chose this dress amongst the last few glamorous, paint-dribbled gowns in the collection because it was not only an awe-inspiring print – it’s also a unique silhouette. The other gowns are similar in shape to the Christian Diors and Oscar de la Rentas and Marchesas that I post about all the time; this one felt more structurally unique. It certainly has elements of Marchesa and Vera Wang draped cocktail dresses, but the black crinoline peeking out from behind the skirt and the bodice add such a unique element, both in structure and texture. That shock of bright lilac paint on the skirt is astounding; the matching shoes prove that Dolce & Gabbana have the keenest eyes for detail.

Sometimes I feel as if designers only bother to show a fascinating print or a fascinating structure, but rarely both, for fear of going over-the-top or biting off more than they can chew. But D&G dare to go there, and the result is dark, dangerous, and delicous.

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The Weekly Fashion Recap

The Rule of Coco

Now, before we begin, let us remember that this is Leighton on the set of Gossip Girl in Paris. This means a) the rules are different, because Paris fashion is a different world, and b) we must remember that this is Blair Waldorf, not Leighton Meester. With that in mind, let’s talk fashion.

For a filthy rich Upper East Side girl traipsing around Paris, this outfit is basically perfect, if completely over-the-top. But what NYC WASP princess wouldn’t go over-the-top in the fashion capital of the world? It’s all flawless, and every piece can be worn separately with a thousand different things (not that versatility matters much to someone as rich as Ms. Waldorf, but it matters to me). But let us not forget the immortal words of the legendary Coco Chanel:

Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.

Simple words, but they carry an incredible weight, because so many fabulous women do have a strong tendency to over-accessorize, like Miss Waldorf here. The hat is precious and perfect for Paris; I can only see the side of the handbag but I already worship it; I don’t know if that belt/scarf is part of the skirt, but the print is lovely; those bracelets are completely badass and bring a much-needed element of seriousness to an otherwise overwhelmingly girly outfit; even that little box of snacks is its own accessory. But listen to Coco, Gossip Girl costumers. Remember and heed her immortal words, because just dropping even one accessory would tone this look down from overwhelming to perfectly chic.

Beware of the Future

I think if Jackie O were recreated in The Jetsons, this is what she would wear. And while the concept of Jackie O + Jetsons is pretty awesome to consider, it is clear that no one is actually meant to wear the result. Kylie has a history of picking some out-there designs, but this? There is nothing flattering or pretty about this at all. Heavy-handed, rudimentary, and looks like it was made by a first year design student – God, if this is what the future of fashion looks like, let me live a short but fabulous life.

The Best and Worst of Swimwear 2011

As a personal preference, I am pro-vintage style bathing suits all the way. You know, pin-up girl style, bandeau tops with high-waisted bottoms. They’re so much more flattering than the barely-there bikinis of today. But I love this swimsuit from Miami Swim Fashion Week because it’s got all the mot flattering elements and the general feel of the swimsuits of yesteryear, but with a totally modern sensibility. Gone are the polka dots and thick straps; here we have basic black in a strapless cut that feels incredibly fresh and new. I hate the bottle-blonde hair and three-seasons-ago sunglasses, not to mention the tanlines – hello, your JOB is to be a swimsuit model! How can you have tan lines?! – but this swimsuit is simply fabulous.

White Sands Australia Swimwear 2011

Same designer, same collection, but a world of difference. While the first swimsuit feels both vintage and modern, flattering and chic, this swimsuit has none of those qualities. I literally cannot imagine a bathing suit less flattering than this – this model has 0% body fat, and even she looks fucking insane. Can you imagine this on a normal-shaped woman? It flattens out your boobs and might as well have a giant arrow pointing to your tummy saying, “OH HAYYYYY!” Which, for the record, is not what most women look for in a swimsuit.

Most Surprising Hipster: Betty Draper

Wow. For someone who plays the perfect early 1960s housewife to a tee on Mad Men, this is one surprisingly hipster-fabulous ensemble. Not that it’s so daring or risky, but I’m used to seeing our very own Betty Draper looking more like this:

Betty Draper in Mad Men Season 1, Episode 4

Just being able to see the shape of January’s legs is a bit shocking, isn’t it? It’s off-putting to see her look so modern, with her super-skinny hipster jeans, black pointy flats, and fabulously sexy black lace/mesh top, not to mention the ever-present big black handbag, the staple of the modern woman’s wardrobe. Throw on the uber-trendy Ray Bans and the iPod and she’s as clearly 2010 as Betty Draper is 1960. Just goes to show you that a woman that beautiful can do a perfect representation of any era.

And can we just talk about January’s hair? That’s possibly the greatest hair color the world has ever seen. With her flawless skin and perfect pink lips, it’s just unfair that one person should have so many amazing features. Sigh.

Bad Dress, Worse Hair: The Joey Potter Story

 

I just don’t know what stylist approved this before Katie stepped out of the house. Unless it’s your very first day of kindergarten, those shoes, that dress, and those god-awful ringlet curls are never appropriate. You’re at the premiere of your own movie, for God’s sake. At least pretend that you give a shit. This is just pure laziness, and the Democracy Diva does not take well to laziness on the red carpet. Make the effort, or pay someone to make the effort for you, or stay the fuck out of the spotlight.

Business Chic Meets Red Carpet

Here’s Amanda Crew at the premiere of her new film Charlie St. Cloud, co-starring Zac Efron. I never could have told you her name or recognized her face before, but kudos to Ms. Crew, because I’ll certainly remember her from now on.

This is the perfect combination of day wear and evening wear. The business chic blouse is deliciously crisp and super-sexy; that glitzy, glamorous skirt makes the whole look dressier, and the accessories are minimalist and beautiful. Also, those legs are astoundingly long. Seriously, she looks like an Amazon woman. I can’t even handle it.

Repeat Offense: Trash Bags as Cocktail Dresses

 

Do you know what the worst part of this dress is? Besides the fact that Lanvin is selling trash bags as cocktail dresses, presumably for thousands of dollars? The worst part isthat this is the SECOND time that I have to express my hatred for this dress, because somehow, against all reason, ANOTHER CELEBRITY ALREADY WORE THIS. Yes, I blogged about this dress when J.Lo wore it a few months back. I hated it then, and I hate it even more now.

Sadly, this is not even the worst thing Rihanna wore this week… but you’ll have to keep reading for that.

Editorial of the Week: Marion Cotillard

The cardigan is Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, the bustier is Nina Ricci, the woman is Marion Cotillard, and the photo shoot is fabulous. I don’t have anything to say besides the fact that I now officially have a huge lesbian crush on Mademoiselle Cotillard. That stomach, those legs… and I’m stealing that bustier for Rocky Horror.

Repeat Offender: Rihanna

 

 

Well, it’s official. It’s time for Rihanna to go to rehab.

Fashion Icon of the Week

 

Easily the greatest on-the-street summer wear I’ve ever seen. The incredible bloggers over at The Sartorialist snapped this photo of Vogue Japan Editor-at-Large Anna Della Russo in Milan. The goofy sunglasses, the casual shoes, the simple clutch, that astounding, sun-kissed, just-out-of-bed hair – and that perfect dress that just screams “summer in Southern Europe.” And the black bra and panties – or perhaps bathing suit – are so sexy, but the dress covers enough that this doesn’t seem slutty. It’s just the perfect youthful summer dress.

But here’s the best part – this woman is 48 years old. (Yes, for real! I couldn’t believe it either.) Just another reminder that if you have fun with your wardrobe, smile constantly, and walk with an attitude, you will be young forever.

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Diva’s Choice: The Lilac Bride

Vera Wang wedding gown, front

Vera Wang wedding gown, back

I promise, there are some more traditional wedding gowns that I do enjoy, but for some reason all I ever want to write about is the atypical gown. This, like the Oscar de la Renta gown I featured last week, is still very obviously bridal in spite of its color.

Let’s start with the bodice, which is truly a work of art. Ornate, impeccably constructed, and complex, though that black sash does nothing for it, and I think it actually hides some of the beauty of that spectacular design. Flowery and shimmery, satin and textured, and I love the way it sort of melts down into the dress. The skirt is of course a draped crinoline piece of heaven, like so many Vera Wang gowns, bridal or otherwise. And the colors are amazing. Greyish mauves, lilacs, lavenders, and pinks make the skirt look as if it’s made of air, billowing out like smoke instead of fabric.

I’m not in love with the way the fabric crosses over itself and then poofs out the middle when you see it from the back. I’m somewhat opposed to trains – I think unless you’re royalty, they’re just too much – so perhaps that’s why I don’t love the way the fabric parts to make way for a mini-train. But I do wish I could see a veil in that amazing smoky lilac color – that would perfect this gown, which is already an alternative bride’s dream come true.

Diva’s Choice: A Tote for All Seasons

Prada Spazzolato Tote, $2450

I’ll confess: I do not have an obsession with designer handbags. Handbags and belts are the two accessories that I could just never really get into. I’ve come a long way on the handbag front (thanks to Betsey Johnson and Ted Baker), but I still find most designer handbags unimpressive. They need to really stand out to impress me (as opposed to a blazer or a coat, whose mere existence makes me crave it with an unnatural and certainly unhealthy desire). But this? This is one stunning handbag.

Now, it first struck me as a winter bag; the print looks like the sky before a snowstorm, doesn’t it? And the bejeweled buckle just feels like icicles. And it’s rare to find a fabulous winter accessory that isn’t a boot or some sort of hat/scarf/glove. Not that I would ever dream of toting this Italian leather dream around in the snow, but she sure would look beautiful during snowpocalypse. (This bag is worthy of personification.)

But then I considered what she’d be worn with. And suddenly she was a fall handbag, clutched under the arm of a woman in a black top, skinny jeans and boots or a charcoal gray sweaterdress. But then, in my mind’s eye, I saw her in the arms of a woman wearing a crisp button down, a brightly colored cardigan, and a pencil skirt, heading to work on a lovely spring day. And then I envisioned a girl in a white sundress and tan sandals, and this became a summer bag. So there you have it – a bag for every season.

But in case you were thinking about ordering four of them immediately, keep in mind that the Saks website explicitly forbids you from ordering more than three of this bag in a one-month period, so high in demand is this particular item. Good night, my dear readers, and let us all dream of a day where our biggest problem is only being able to blow 7 grand on purses when we want to spend 10k.

Diva’s Choice: The Spring Coat

Oscar de la Renta coat, $6450

It’s been five whole days since I’ve shown a coat! I’m disappointed in myself, kittens.

This silk coat with threadwork embroidery is from Oscar’s Spring 2010 collection. Such unique colors – that blue and the yellow are both unexpected, and together, they’re unstoppable. There’s something very Egyptian about this look – the embroidery feels like hieroglyphics – and it’s the kind of coat where it doesn’t matter what the hell you wear with it, because the outfit is all about the coat.

I don’t know if she’s wearing a headband or a braid with a ribbon tied through it, but for the record, I’m obsessed with whatever is happening north of her forehead.

And on the Oscar de la Renta website, this coat is on sale for the totally affordable price of $3870! Thank goodness for that.

Diva’s Choice: The Cocktail Cruise Dress

Giambattista Valli Resort 2011

I often find myself aboard a cruise ship, wishing I had something funky yet nautical cocktail dress appropriate for the occasion, as I sip my Perrier with lime, no ice. [Note: This may or may not be complete bullshit.] Well, Giambattista Valli has anticipated that unique but dire need, and showed this fabulous little number in his Resort 2011 collection. I love everything about this, with the exception of that model’s terrifyingly small head. Seriously. I’m kind of concerned for her.

A sleek bodice – draped yet tailored, asymmetrical with an adorable little shoulder. The perfect cinched waist – most of my favorite bridal gowns have that little ribbon around the waist, and I think it’s darling. And then the black skirt, which could seem out of place in a resort collection, but instead it just adds a little grit to an otherwise angelic summer dress. It somehow makes the dress badass, more formal, and more unique all at the same time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have neverending legs like Ms. Tiny Head over here. But I digress.

Diva’s Choice: Modern Knitwear

Eva Ren Spring/Summer 2011

Never underestimate the importance of knitwear. I simply love when crocheted garments show up on the runway (this is from Hong Kong Fashion Week) because there’s nothing better than grandma chic, as far as I’m concerned. Elaborate knitwear like this feels so unique and handmade, like you’re really wearing a piece of art that someone crafted. And this crocheted tunic is just stunning. The color, the design, the shredded look – it’s amazing that something so delicate can look so badass. A bathing suit cover-up in the summer, or styled like this over a black top and leggings – it just screams creativity and originality, and feels so summery and so intriguing at the same time.

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