February 26, 2012

Running In Heels

“Why yes boys, I run in heels.” 

Recently, while running to an unexpected and quickly called meeting, my shoes were called into question. How would I, in heels, ever keep up with the boys? All eyes quickly scanned to my Manolo Blahnik clad feet. For beautiful, well-crafted footwear that’s professional, I constantly turn to Manolo Blahnik. He knows how to make a gorgeous shoe that’s comfortable for long hectic days. It’s quicker to walk, when headed over to the east side in the middle of the day. Without going into further detail, I can only say that it’s difficult to believe that in the year 2012 a conversation was being had about my footwear. My response, “why yes, I run in heels.”

I love a beautiful heel, but movement and comfort are paramount. To be frank, I don’t have trouble running around in heels. I never have. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse then a woman struggling to walk in heels. A four-inch heel just feels manageable to me. Let it be known that I equally love flats.

I picked up these two pairs of shoes, from the Manolo Blahnik boutique, a couple of days before Fashion Week. I believe in investing in quality footwear. I always look forward to shopping at the Manolo Blahnik boutique- it’s an intimate space with a lovely terrace. The boutique is across the street from MOMA, which is always a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. The helpful staff makes a point to get to know your wardrobe and style. Growing up, my dad always said,  “you should feel good about how and where you spend your money,” which is such wonderful advice. 

My Personal Photos
The gray flannel pumps are exactly what I’ve been looking for, to punch up black. The leather piping adds an unexpected touch. As for the suede boots, my narrow feet and small calf muscles, make boot shopping arduous. There was just something about the fit and the asymmetrical fold at the top that won me over. I was slow to warm to chocolate brown, but sometimes (in the same vain as navy) it just looks a bit more luxurious and richer than black. In the age of the  “it shoe” I appreciate that Manolo Blahnik makes a beautiful shoe that’s timeless. 

Interestingly enough, news of a Manolo Blahnik/J.Crew collaboration dominated Fashion Week. Last month in this insightful interview* Manolo Blahnik made it clear that he wouldn’t do a mass-market product, if it meant polluting the brand. This particular collaboration seems a bit different. Manolo Blahnik’s iconic Bebe heel will be sold at J.Crew in exclusive prints and colors. Only time will tell, but I love what he’s doing with Lane Crawford here. Collaborating with brands that share his love of craftsmanship and artistry in an innovative and unique way.

*This interview is worth reading for the designer’s perspective on style. I find that I have very similar views in many aspects. 

** I will put together a post on shoe care and maintenance. For those who have asked about caring for Repettos, I have some tips here

February 17, 2012

New York Fashion Week- An Introduction

Courtesy of OscarPRGirl

Thank you to everyone who emailed, tweeted and left comments on this blog letting me know that you couldn’t wait to hear my thoughts on New York Fashion Week. I read each and every comment and never would have imagined there would be readers awaiting my views. I’m truly humbled.

I’m always torn about how to approach Fashion Week here. As you all know, I’m most concerned with carefully considered design. I’ve been attending the collections for years and that experience has shaped my very precise sense of style. The collections really teach you to admire workmanship or gorgeous fabrics that are custom made in house  from a far without the need to consume.

Perhaps Sally Singer said it best; “People who are interested in style -- designers, stylists or the girl or boy on the street -- get an idea and fixate on it, and for their whole lives, that's their ideal…. Yet every season, there's a way to connect your personal aesthetic with something new. You intuitively think, ‘I want something new that updates who I am, but at the end of the day I'm still myself.’" I can’t wait to share the subtleties that will inevitably make their way into my autumn wardrobe.

As for my week, all I can say is PHEW. This coming from a girl who regularly gets a little under four hours of sleep a night. Every season there are more shows. In previous years, I’ve been hesitant to say that there are too many shows; but this season hit an all time high. I can’t help but wonder if some amazing stories have been lost in so many presentations and shows…

February 13, 2012

Thoughts of Late...

Courtesy of Flicker

Happy Monday! Hope you all had lovely weekends. My weekend was filled with all things fashion, which I’ll update you all on soon.

This year’s off to a busy, busy start, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I keep reminding myself to take time to savor the little things. Preferably, the little things are reflected upon over a quiet moment with a cup of tea, but since those are few and far between, here are a few of them…

* A professional goal that’s been checked off the list ahead of schedule. Done and Done.

* Glamorous little side projects that came to fruition on the first days of the New Year.

* Dinner party conversation that turned to the plotting of the next Queen Sofia Spanish Institute exhibition about Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, the creator of the distinct Fortuny pleat. Even if it’s years away, an exhibition devoted to the magnitude of fabrics Fortuny created makes me so very excited.

* Invites to designer studios and showrooms to preview the new collections.

* Declining previews to celebrate precious moments with friends. There will always be glamorous events where your presence will be requested, but close friends are certainty something to treasure.

What are you savoring these days?

February 9, 2012

Style + Identity

Courtesy of Nothing Less Than Perfect Tumblr and Residence Magazine 

“It’s easy to feel like you’ve got nothing to wear, but it’s also a signal of identity problems. If you’ve got a well-developed sense of identity, you tend to know what’s you no matter what the trends. Nothing I buy ever looks new, because I have my look down, and it’s classic.” Anjelica Huston (Harper’s Bazaar, September 2006)

One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging is being reunited with a quote or photograph that you’ve long forgotten. Truthfully, I haven’t picked up an issue of Harper’s Bazaar in years, but the lovely Catssaymeow reminded me of the aforementioned quote. I rarely identify with celebrity style; (I simply don’t need to see something worn convincingly to be inspired), but this quote is dead on; with how I approach style.

It’s refreshing to be able to pull items blindly from my closet (in the wee hours of the morning no less), knowing that everything works seamlessly with one another and is intrinsically me. In my mind there’s no greater simplicity.  It’s interesting to see my choices become more resolute and precise with time. Even when I add new items to my wardrobe, they look like they’ve always belonged.

Hope you are all having a productive week. Tomorrow kicks off New York Fashion Week and I’m headed to the shows. No, “I have nothing to wear” moments here, I’m just going as myself.

February 1, 2012

Swept Me Off My Feet

The perfectionist in me feels the pain of the photographers at the shows who scream at everyone to get their chic feet out the frame. It makes for messy pictures indeed.

"Nobody really knows anymore, especially in the U.S., what couture is. They'll say, 'This couture dress by Ralph Lauren,' and I'm like, 'No. NO.' " Valerie Steele 

My sentiments exactly. Valerie Steele (in the same vain as Sally Singer) always offers intellectual and well-written thoughts on fashion. Both ladies truly elevate fashion beyond the frivolous; and culturally contextualize it. 

I've spent the past week immersing myself in all things Couture and Haute Joaillerie for a couple of projects. In my mind, the internal construction (I can never get enough of examining construction) and production processes are what makes  couture relevant. Many of my favorite designers draw a very fine line between well-made ready-to-wear and haute couture. 

Take Azzedine Alaïa, who designs incredible couture-like garments, but refuses to distinguish between couture and ready-to-wear. The techniques Alaïa uses are similar to couture, however he is not officially a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. "The fabric he uses is woven by machine in Italy and sent to India to be embroidered or covered with sequins or tiny beads. Then it's returned to Paris where it is cut, shaped and finished like cloth." * It all amounts to clothing that leaves me breathless

Giambattista Valli's second couture show left me breathless. For years, I've looked at the draping, construction, fabrics, and technical precision of Valli's ready-to-wear and thought that he should be showing couture. From his ready-to-wear, you could see that this is a designer who reveres the seamstresses, feather workers, pattern cutters, dye workers and artisans who pour their passion and creativity into their art. In an industry and world where people are consumed by voyeurism and self destruction, it's great to see someone excel. 

Admittedly, this collection falls within my comfort zone. Evenings in New York provide plenty of opportunities to wear gorgeous coats, cocktail and evening dresses. There's a simplicity to the silhouettes  that my love of classicism responds to. This collection is about juxtapositions. The traditional couture technique vs. contemporary clothing. Simplicity vs. whimsical colors and prints. A rarefied art vs. the wearable. This collection is dream worthy and sometimes we all need to dream. 

*Suzy Menkes

Credit- Style.com