Sunday, September 13, 2009

Miniskirts, Bright Colors at New York Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week kicked off this week in a dynamic run down catwalk in Bryant Park.

The most obvious prediction evident in the batch of new looks - by Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Catherine Malandrino, Marc Jacobs, Georges Chakra, Narciso Rodriguez and Calvin Klein - predicts lots of bright colors for Spring 2010.

To give truth to the old adage "the lower the economy, the higher the skirts," miniskirts will be the hot new look. Also on hand to help dispel the economic gloom, a rainbow of hues in violet, yellow, turquoise, coral and red will be the main colors incorporated into everything from dresses and suits to casual wear and T-shirts this spring.

The Spring 2010 edition of New York Fashion Week continues until September 17, 2009. If the crowds at the Bryant Park tents are too much, take the virtual tour via YouTube videos:

More about New York Fashion Week around the Web:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dressing for Your Body Type

There's the popular fantasy that there are some women now walking the planet who are blessed with ideal proportions.

That may be "true" in airbrushed fashion shoots or classical paintings, but the fact is nobody in the real world meets the criteria to win the title of "Miss Perfect Body".

However, there are lots of tips and tricks for making it appear that way. All you have to do is accentuate the positive and let the eye of your adoring public do the rest.

Long torso - Tall women's fashions look best well-fitted and with classical Greek goddess lines. If you're tall and slim you can easily create those desireable S-curves by simply adding a belt to whatever dress you're wearing. Not only will it bring attention to your waist, it will create the illusion of a fuller, curvier figure.

Oval or pear shaped - Slim down your silhouette with a top or dress in a dark or muted color featuring a deep V neck to create a vertical slimming effect. Earrings, necklaces and other accessories will also help bring attention up to your head and shoulders. The addition of subtle shoulder pads also helps transform your figure from oval to V shape.

Petite - Tired of other people challenging your stature? In addition to adding a high heel, a classic trick for appearing taller is simply by dressing yourself head to toe in a single color (i.e., tops and jeans) to aquire that long and lean look. Be sure to choose straight legged pants or jeans to accentuate the vertical illusion. When choosing skirts, show off your legs! - and avoid calf-length or ankle-length skirts that make you look shorter than you are.

Also see:

More tips about dressing for your body type around the Web:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Where do Fashion Trends Come From?

Hot new looks are introduced every year in Paris, New York, Milan and in other world fashion capitals. But who decides what's trendy or not? How does a fashion trend begin?

It's a fascinating question, and the answer is as intriguing and complex as, say, following the stock market. For years trend spotting relied mostly on nitty gritty reporting on what what was happening in bars and nightclubs, in Hollywood, Monte Carlo, or wherever trendsters gathered to see and be seen.

Today, fashion forecasting still includes what's happening on the front lines, but it also encompasses marketing analysis, geographic data, the public mood in general, psychological studies, color forecasting, along with a look at the most popular films, music and books.

Fashion forecasters exist just to provide this information to the industry which, in turn, will pay a hefty price for it - in the hopes that they learn (or relearn) the complicated dance between it and the public they rely on to buy their latest lines.

It's not all robotic. The most successful fashion designers can take the raw data, process it, and reinterpret it to reflect their own creativity and taste. Those who can't usually fall by the wayside. Overall, it all seems like a Big Brother approach to fashion, and it is, kind of.

Behind the cold science, however, the human touch is still very much in vogue throughout the industry which regularly sends out trendspotters into the streets to see what people are actually wearing. And not necessarily in Manhattan or Beverly Hills.

Today, they're everywhere. In fact, they may be checking you out right now - at a mall, a music concert, a street fair or at a train station. So follow your own style.

Who knows? YOU may influencing the next big thing in fashion.

More about fashion trends & forecasting around the Web:

Suggested reading:

The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever, by Teri Agins

Fashion Forecasting by Evelyn L. Brannon

Friday, June 19, 2009

Plus Size Clothing - Trendy to Classic

Is Loud & Outrageous the new black when it comes to plus size fashion?

While women of all ages have been clamoring for hip, stylish fashion in larger sizes for years, the result is that some clothing lines are obviously trying way too hard, especially when selling to teens.

Today, more clothing stores are finally answer the call for clothing in larger sizes, especially for the younger set. But ... will the styles get any better?

The initial response from the fashion industry seems to equate plus-size with airhead. "OK, we'll just go ahead and churn out the broad horizontal stripes, the puffy sleeves and loud prints and the clothes will fly off the shelves!" Yikes. Even skinny girls wouldn't be caught in some of this stuff.

If you want to experiment with the new thick horizontal lines, hothouse paisley prints and raucous colors, of course you're free to throw the rule book out the window.

But once you've got that out of your system, hold close to the traditional plus size do's and don'ts to pull off a classic, big diva look.

These are obvious, but may need repeating:
  • Buy the perfect bra. Not for nothing do they call them foundation garments. The perfect bra fit results in clothes that drape just beautifully for a perfect sillouette.
  • Wear clothes that fit. Even if you haven't put on weight since you last went shopping, the size you always wear doesn't mean that it matches what manufacturers say is a size 14. Buying a size too tight or too loose-fitting means you've thrown your money away on a look you won't feel comfortable in. Surf around on the Web, but be sure to visit the store TO TRY IT ON.

More about tips on voluptuous plus size fashion around the Web:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

2009 Fall Fashion Trends

Power, shine and sparkle are the watchwords for the comming fall season as top designers react creatively to a struggling economy.

It will be the year of big shoulders when a retro 80's theme becomes an inevitable result of last year's Greek goddess look with the accent on padded blouses, or dresses and gowns accentuating the dramatic, broad shouldered look.

On the red carpet, look for copper and other metallics to be a big eye catcher as "sparkle and shine" becomes a theme incorporated into everything from haute couture gowns to sequined purses and hair pieces.

Not that PETA will be any happier, but leather also will be "the new fur" this fall with emphasis on a tough, rock-n-roll look fashioned into coats, pants, skirts and jackets.

As leather is worked into everything, boots make a natural comeback with edgy, thigh-high boots among the most powerful statements of assured sexuality. Belts also will be a signature trend of the 2009 Fall fashion season varying from sashed dresses to big buckled coats to thin, feminine belted skirts.

Continuing a traditional trend for warm fall colors, red will take the lead with deep rose and rich burnt sienna grabbing the most attention, followed by more subdued feel-good honey yellows and warm olives.

More about 2009 Fall fashion trends around the Web:

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Look of Summer - White Jeans

Nothing says summer like crisp white jeans that start appearing in stores around Memorial Day.

Of course, white jeans aren't for everybody and it's not the most practical color for keeping clean. 

Maybe more importantly, white is an unforgiving color when it comes to revealing any lumps and bumps in your silhouette. (And while some fashion experts recommend going a size up - if you're not careful you might end up looking like a hospital orderly.)

To achieve the the well-tailored white jean look, begin with a straight leg pair. For casual evening wear, opt for jeans that come partly over the heel of your shoe to add the illusion of length to your legs. Again, you can avoid the Hospital Employee Look by pairing your white jeans with dark colored shoes.

While wearing white jeans, tops should be fairly straightforward, as well. Above all, avoid shirts or blouses in wild colors or patterns. Simple black-and-white is a stunning look, or opt for warm grays or earth tones with rich gold or silver accessories.

Finally, keep 'em clean! Help preserve that whiter-than-white look of summer by either having them professionally dry cleaned, or presoak them overnight in a stain remover before washing.

With a little thought and planning,  white can be the ultimate expression of cool and sophistication as you head into a hot and fun-filled summer.

More about wearing and caring for white jeans around the Web:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Just for Fun - 1930's Predictions on Fashion

This YouTube video has spooky predictions on pants and transparent knit for the ladies, and for the guys: they'll be wearing tools and communications devices like portable radios and telephones! And check out that funky wedding dress...

Well, they almost got it right. 

Most of this stuff was already being worn by Madonna in the 1980's. 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Audrey Tautou Stars in "Coco Before Chanel"

The story of Coco Chanel's rise from obscure beginnings to  fashion icon is causing buzz worldwide with the recent Paris premiere of the new movie "Coco avant Chanel" (Coco before Chanel) slated for release worldwide this summer.  

Starring Audrey Tautou of "Da Vinci Code" fame, the movie is inspring millions of fashionistas - who've already lapped up the movie trailer - to further bone up on more details of the life of the milestone French designer who turned the fashion world on its ear in the early 20th century.

How Chanel made her mark 

Thanks to the scrappy little Frenchwoman with the boyish figure, gone were the breath-defying corset and frilly 19th century designs in favor of the now classic boxy look, and more comfortable clothing made of jersey - a material which until then was used exclusively for men's underwear.

A pioneer in women's liberation decades before that term was even coined, Coco endured an early impoverished childhood and strict convent orphanage upbringing. But rather than serving as a major influence on her adult world view, it only inspired a complete rejection of women's servitude and dependence in a man's world. 

Chanel into the 21st century

As the moving picture was to photograhs, or Picasso to painting, Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel threw old ideas aside for a revolutionary new approach to fashion that still resonates.

Perfectly embodying the modern woman's ideal of financial independence, Chanel rose to become a major influence on women's tastes in fashion throughout the Western world.

Since her passing in 1971, Coco continures to inspire detailed biographies, a Broadway stage musical and, of course, a major influence on other fashion designers -  as seen  Karl Lagerfeld's classic reinterpretation of the elements of Chanel style in 1993. 

In movie parlance, Coco still has "legs" with a fresh new installment of Coco fixation about to hit theaters.

More about Coco Chanel around the Web:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Summer 2009: The Butterfly is Back in Fashion

Butterlies are back for the 2009 summer season, with the emphasis ranging from on dark classic colors to sweet, gentle but sophisticated motifs.

While knockoffs have already been spotted that take the butterly emblem to more girly-girl levels, we like the look that stays true to the runway featuring more subdued spring-like colors, or boldly dramatic but stylish evening wear with an oriental motif, seen in the likes of the 2009 Tibi collection or Collette Dinnigan.

Diane von Furstenberg and Badgley Mischka also used butterfly themes in their Spring/Summer collections.

We think the butterly is the perfect motif for expressing stylish feminity this year, coupled with a drive to emerge from your winter cocoon - and to break out - in the new summer symbol of 2009.   

More about 2009 fashions around the Web:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Best Sunglasses to Fit Your Face Shape

Choosing just the best sunglasses for your face shape shouldn't have to be rocket science, but it usually pays to take the extra time before buy a color, style or shape that works. All it takes is experimentation.

You can cut down the time it takes to choose the perfect pair by following the "rule of opposites" to complement and soften the shape of your face. For example:
  • For square faces, round or teardrop shaped shades (think Aviators) look best as they tend to soften the forehead and jawline.
  • For round faces, create the illusion of length by choosing traditonal frames, squared-off edges or rectangular shapes.
  • If you have an oblong face, round or square frames will work best.
  • Lucky you if you have an oval face, on which most anything goes from circular shades, shields, aviators, square or rectangular.

A word about sunglass width: we'll assume you don't have a hoard of paparazzi following your every move so never try to go Hollywood. And never choose frames that are wider than your face.

Again, there are really no shortcuts for finding just the right sunglasses that fit all face shapes. Our final recommendation? When it comes to choosing the perfect shape, follow the general rule of opposites, but try on as many sunglass styles as you can before you decide on the best sunglasses that suit YOU.

More about sunglasses to match your face shape around the Web:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Summer 2009 Swimwear Trends - The Monokini, Cut Away and One Shoulder Bikini

The hottest most major must-have for the summer season this year is the one-shoulder bikini that turned heads at the London Fashion Show last season. 

Inspired by one-strap wonders in haute couture that sashayed down the runway in 2008 - evoking all the beauty and power of the Greek goddess look -  swimwear designers elegantly adopted the style into a bikini that's now all the rage from St. Tropez to California.
Sexy show-it-alls will also be wowed by another 2009 trend in swimwear, the cutaway monokini that cleverly uses a one-piece  or "bandage" wraparound that provides a bikini-style optical illusion that can be breathtaking.

As the photos clearly show, 2009's cutting edge style is not for everyone - just yet. Although reedy 20-somethings will probably want to dive into the deep end, other designers are adopting the style to their clientele's particular tastes and shapes so watch for more variations on the theme as the summer continues.

More about 2009 bikini trends around the Web:

Colors of Summer 2009

Every season in defined by colors in the world of fashion.

This summer is bringing together the spirit of nature with the 60s to give us a palette of yellows, greens and browns for elegance.

On more casual summer days at the beach look for the blues and violets of the sky and water mixed with sunshine bright yellow or sunset oranges to reflect the back to nature feel of the season.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Buy a Swimsuit That Flatters Your Body Shape

Want to flatter your shape in a stunning swimsuit at the beach or poolside this summer? Here are a couple of simple but expert tips and tricks to finding just the right swimsuit for your body shape.

General rule 1: Buy a swimsuit that's slightly larger than normal, but don't go overboard - you don't want your swimsuit swimming away! Slightly bigger sizes have the dual advantage of being more comfortable while hiding any unsightly bulges.

General rule No. 2: Choose a design featuring bright colors or patterns to accentuate your better features. Your ideal swimsuit will also feature darker colors (at the top, bottom, or middle) for the parts you want to hide or disguise. Black is fine, but any darker hue in green, blue or burgundy will do the trick to achieving a flattering, slimming effect for a large bust, hips or tummy. 

Specific advice by body type:

Long & tall banana shape -  Bandeau tops or tankinis will give the illusion of a more curvy body, while bright, colorful prints will help break up your long, vertical silhouette. Create further balance by choosing a design with horizontal lines or diagonal stripes.  

Apple shape -  There are two schools of thought on how best to accentuate an apple shape. One advises basic black and darker colors. Another puts the focus on wild and bright tropical designs or polka dots to disguise a rounder middle. We'll go for the wild design (it does the job and is lots more fun), but try both to see which one flatters your apple figure more. Whichever one you choose, be sure to opt for high-cut legs and a plunging neckline to avert attention to your middle. Also look for a fitted swimsuit with a defined waist with Lycra or spandex support.

Pear shape -  One of the most common women's body types, pear shapes can be accentuated with a bright, printed top and a subdued bottom. To achieve the look you want, experiment with mix and match separates, or a bikini or tankini top with padded bra, and a black bottom. 

Hourglass -  If you've got a Jennifer Hudson or Dolly Parton figure, lucky you! With this shape anything goes, but accentuating your waist will help to bring out your most voluptuous look.

More about choosing swimsuits around the Web: