Trendspotting | Baroque

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On the Street in Europe | Photographed by Tommy Ton for style.com

It’s been a while since I’ve done a trendspotting post. I’m not as big on blogging about fashion trends, but this one is simply too fabulous to pass up — in other words, I’ve become completely enamored with the Baroque trend.

History

Baroque has an interesting history. According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, the Baroque period began in 17th century Rome and was mainly reflected in architecture, sculpture, and painting (although Baroque themes were also reflected in the literature, music, and theatre of the time). Baroque — which relied on ornamentation, drama, and visual grandeur to create the style — was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church as a means of expressing the emotion of religion through art. The Baroque style also exaggerated the concept of motion, articulating events visually with clear, dramatic lines. This would also become important when Baroque influenced the fashion world, then and now. (Below is very obviously a picture of “then”…)

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“Lady with Fan” by Diego Veláquez, mid-1600s | Source

Style also developed during the Baroque period, impacting fashions throughout Europe. Trends swung heavily during the 17th century, but at the beginning of the 1600s, wide, detailed collars, large sleeves, and dark, heavy fabrics were popular (these would later be replaced by pastels and more relaxed silhouettes). The waistline was raised — for both men and women — and corsets as well as full, ornate skirts remained popular until later 17th century, when a more streamlined silhouette began to take shape. The shoulders were also heavily emphasized.

Baroque-inspired style today is characterized by some of the earlier fashion from the Baroque period. On the fall 2012 runways, luxe materials, exaggerated silhouettes, heavy embroidery, brocade, lace, and chunky jewels were quite possibly the most popular trend. You could literally go baroque with the sheer amount of opulence that took over the runways and glossy magazine photo shoots (and apologies for the awful joke).

Runway

There was no shortage of opulence on the Fall runways to counter the past minimalism of the past few seasons. Here are just a few highlights:

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The Dolce & Gabbana show is probably the most-cited example of the Baroque trend’s reemergence into the fashion world. With gorgeous gold brocade detailing, pretty prints, and dramatic silhouettes, the show evoked 17th century opulence redefined for a modern era.

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McQueen and Marchesa also showcased Baroque style: McQueen with a more futuristic approach and exaggerated shaping, and Marchesa with beautiful fabrics and distinctly feminine designs.

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Robert Cavalli and Stella McCartney opted for a brighter, modern take with colorful brocade. As always, the tailoring on the McCartney runway was impeccable and clean. Oscar de la Renta offered printed fabrics and lots of jeweled details.

Editorial

Plenty of editorials from around the world featured Baroque styling. Here are a few of my favorites, for some inspiration:

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Photographed by Takahiro Ogawa for Elle Mexico | fashiongonerogue.com

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Photographed by Mikael Wardhana for Karen Magazine | fashiongonerogue.com

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Photographed by Mario Testino for Vogue Spain | fashiongonerogue.com

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Photographed by Sofia Sanchez and Mauro Mongiello for Vogue Turkey | fashiongonerogue.com

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Photographed by Zhang Jingna for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam | fashiongonerogue.com

I love the drama of the last image! If any thing, the Baroque trend is very obviously over-the-top, especially when it comes to the details — whether it be a painted blouse, gold brocade, or lace overlay — extravagance defines the Baroque trend. To emulate the Baroque look (not mimic, that would certainly be a disaster), take a cue from the runways and editorials from this season and look for pieces with gold detailing, lots of lace, defined shoulders, or jeweled accents. You’ll feel like Renaissance royalty in no time.

What’s your take on Baroque for this season?

{Sources: street style, Tommy Ton @ style.com; painting, marquise.de; runway photos, style.com; editorials, fashiongonerogue.com}

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Designer Spotlight: Katie Ermilio

Katie Ermilio is my new favorite up-and-coming designer. Her clothes are incredibly simple, but beautifully made and insanely chic. I love the feminine but still conservative cuts and little details, like unexpected pleating and cut-out backs. The bright bursts of colors don’t hurt much, either, and she works almost exclusively with black, whites, navy, hot pink, red, and bright blue. Indeed a very bold but chic color palette.

Katie Ermilio

My favorite thing about Katie’s designs is that you can see the care and craftsmanship that went into every single piece. They are as simple and bare as can be, yet they still manage to be totally original and fashion-forward. Her clothing is like modern art. It also really speaks to my style — I love sequins and pretty add-ons as much as the next girl, but my favorite pieces are all super simple and versatile. But they still stand out.

I think there’s a quote floating around somewhere about how clothes don’t wear the woman, the woman must wear the clothes. (I might be making this up, but it still works nonetheless…I think.) I feel like this rings especially true for Katie Ermilio’s clothing. The styles are minimal and the attitude of the wearer really shines through. Confidence makes these clothes (or rather, the wearer) beautiful.

Some looks from her fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection:

I have heard some fantastic things and some not-so-fantastic things about Katie’s work, but I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I, for one, am very attracted to her clothing and find it very chic and beautiful. As I briefly mentioned in this post, I rarely wear prints or patterns — much of my wardrobe is full of solid basics that I layer and combine in different ways. So I find her take on ready-to-wear very appealing: a simple color palette (with some fun colors to add a playful touch…can you imagine how boring these clothes would be if they were all black, white, and gray?) and plenty of chic but flirty silhouettes.

Katie Ermilio, only 25 years old and already on the fast track to becoming the next big designer, was originally hoping for a position editing a fashion magazine, with internships at both Teen Vogue and Vogue under her belt. But she began sewing dresses to wear to work and soon was accepting custom orders from colleagues who wanted chic frocks of their own. She also sold many of her dresses in her father’s storefront for extra money. Before she knew it, she had become a self-professed “accidental designer.” You can read the rest of her interview with fashionista.com here!

Who are some of your favorite fashion up-and-comers?

{Sources: Images via katieermilio.com, fashionista.com, and style.com}

Missoni for Target Launches in 10 Days!

…And I, for obvious reasons, could not be more thrilled. Missoni has made its mark in the fashion world and become known for its very distinct signature zig-zag pattern. I have never been a print kind of gal (I honestly have no idea why because I like prints, I just never buy them), but Missoni managed to win over my heart a long time ago. Of course, the prices made many a zig-zag print bikini or cozy knit sweater not much more than a dream for me. But no longer! Because Target’s latest high-fashion designer collaboration is the one and only Missoni.

The 400+ piece collection (!!!) will feature signature Missoni knitwear, swimwear, shoes, clothing and accessories, as well as home goods, stationary, luggage, and even a Missoni bicycle. (Okay, so I really like/want/need the bike, just because it’s cool.) Although not everything in the collection is my cup of tea (I mean, you can’t expect each item to avoid tacky territory), there are tons of fabulous pieces available for all fall fashion palettes, including lots of comfy knitwear.

These pumps are probably my favorite item from the entire collection. Definitely not one of the big stand-out pieces, but the detailing is super cute and I adore the chunky wood heel. Check out some more highlights from the complete lookbook below:

Some of the knits are cute, and I’ll probably be looking for some zig-zag patterned sweaters, like this one. A lot of the Missoni for Target accessories and home goods are super cute, I especially love those mismatched mugs! I think I’ll be spending more in the accessories department for this collection.

What are your thoughts on the Missoni for Target collab? Love it or hate it?

{Sources: top image via target.com; lookbook images via racked.com.}

Trendspotting | Sixties Style

Sixties street style | Jak & Jil Blog

I don’t think I’ve done a real fashion post in quite some time! But I did want to discuss one of the bigger trends for Fall this year: sixties fashion.

It seems that each year, some new decade is revived for Fall — and for 2011, it’s the 1960s (with a few elements from the ’50s thrown in). I’m actually pretty excited about this trend, as much of my current wardrobe features classic sixties shapes while still being more modern and current. (The other trends for this year are a different story…I am not a huge fan of bright colors, seeing as I can never quite figure out how to wear them well. They do look fabulous on most people though!)

History

So, a little history first (mostly thanks to Wikipedia, there’s no way I would know all this off the top of my head): the 1960s were a decade of change in fashion, when focus shifted more to the modern, teenaged consumer (and mini dresses and skirts were popularized). The early and mid-sixties saw style inspired by fashion greats such as Audrey Hepburn and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, who was responsible for the craze surrounding the iconic pillbox hat. Her personal style reflected fashion trends from the beginning of the decade: shift dresses and boxy, geometric shapes, with big buttons and straight, simple tailoring. The “space look” also came into vogue in 1964, taking Jackie O’s classic style one step further with sleek boots and accents like PVC and sequins.

Later, the Mod look (iconized by Twiggy) surfaced in Britain, and women began opting for clean, slim fits and simple hairstyles. The “Mods” also paved the way for a slightly different approach to the sixties fashion that had defined the beginning of the decade: richer fabrics like velvet, psychedelic prints, and more relaxed silhouettes became more common. By the time the sixties were over, popular fashion had transitioned into the hippie style that marked the 1970s, with loose blouses and bell-bottom jeans.

1960s supermodel Coleen Corby. The hair and makeup = absolute perfection.

Kudos to you if you actually read all that — but hopefully it gives you some basic idea of the incredible amount of fashion that emerged throughout the decade. I also wanted to note how much I love the beauty trends from the 1960s — the flippy Bridgitte Bardot-style hair and smudged smokey eye were also common during the decade, along with more futuristic beauty trends.

Runway

History lesson aside, the Fall 2011 ready-to-wear runways were replete with 1960s-inspired fashion. With so many key styles having emerged from that decade, it was almost difficult to find a show without any clothing or accessories designed in the sixties style. Here are some of my favorites:

I loved how Alberta Ferreti and Carolina Herrera showcased classic sixties cuts in an array of fresh, bright colors. The tailoring was absolutely stunning, and the patterned details and fun boots at Alberta Ferreti also helped bring key elements of 1960s fashion to the runway. Dolce & Gabbana and D&G played with a basic dress silhouette, experimenting with sequins, prints, and bold hues. The low neckline in the center Dolce & Gabbana image is especially sixties-inspired.

The great thing about sixties-inspired fashion is that it is incredibly wearable, not to mention versatile, for fall. You won’t be finding too many outrageous pieces that would be impossible to pull off. Calvin Klein and Balenciaga both featured very simple silhouettes that are perfect basics and all-around wardrobe staples, sixties-inspired or not. Chloé and Banana Republic followed suit, with pieces that were chic and cozy for fall. Miu Miu, however, had to be my favorite show of the bunch. With absolutely gorgeous shapes and simple but luxurious touches, all the pieces on the runway were stunning.

Although all bright colors have been making a comeback this fall, orange seemed especially popular on the runways this year and was used by many designers. The Aquascutum show featured the color in many of its looks, and Burberry Prorsum also played with the hue. Although orange has never been my favorite color (indeed, I do not own a single piece of orange clothing), it looked decidedly chic on the runways, especially when paired with neutrals. I also had to featured J. Crew here because it’s one of my favorite stores on the planet. The fall collection seemed to have a bit more of a vintage feel than the other sixties-inspired ones, but the pieces all featured careful tailoring and rich colors nonetheless.

Editorial

There are some fantastic editorials out this fall that showcase clean silhouettes and bright colors. Just as a little inspiration, here are some of my favorites!

Karlie Kloss by Arthur Elgort for Vogue Nippon | via Fashion Screen | see more >>

Tiiu Kuik by Koray Birand for Harper’s Bazaar Turkey | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

Fei Fei Sun & Ming Xi by Stockton Johnson for Vogue China | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

Natalia Vodianova by Mert & Marcus for Vogue | via Fashion Gone Rogue | see more >>

I absolutely LOVE the last editorial with Natalia — she always looks so stunning, and the styling (by Grace Coddington) and beauty could not be more perfect. The mood of the photographs is wonderful, do check out the rest of the editorial if you have the chance!

And the question remains: what do you think of the 1960s fashion trend for fall? Hopefully I’ll get a shopping and styling guide for this trend up soon!

P.S. Who’s been keeping up with this season of Project Runway??

{Sources: Street style photo by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil; Coleen Corby image via Wikipedia; all runway photos via style.com; Karlie Kloss photographed by Arthurt Elgort via Fashion Screen; Tiiu Kuik photographed by Koray Birand via Fashion Gone Rogue; Natalia Vodianova photographed by Mert & Marcus via Fashion Gone Rogue}

The New Rachel Zoe Collection

I suppose I owe you a fashion post. Piperlime is one of my favorite places to buy shoes online (good selection, good sales, always free shipping!) and so, naturally, they feel inclined to flood my inbox with random fashion news and updates. (Piperlime, which is an online-only retailer owned by Gap, sells a selection of designer clothing, shoes, and accessories. They also send your order in really cool boxes.)

Today’s email focused on the new Rachel Zoe Collection, which can be purchased/pre-ordered at Piperlime.com. The collection by the renowned stylist features chic denim, great fall coats, basic blouses, dresses, shoes, and handbags. However, in the interest of full disclosure: it was not my favorite collection. While the clothes and accessories were all cute and stylish, I didn’t find them all particularly interesting, even if they would serve as good wardrobe basics. Also, it’s a little overpriced, with some dresses running around $400.

There were some pieces I enjoyed. The denim is cute and stylish, and comes in classic skinny and bootcut styles. Some of the shoes are gorgeous (with killer 6″ heels). The “Melissa” bag is a fantastic piece, and a couple of the dresses are beautiful as well as original.

In all, it’s a solid collection of basics with a few surprises thrown in. I suppose I just didn’t think the pieces all went together well — it’s not that they had to match, but there is definitely a mix of styles present in such a small collection. Just my opinion — take a look for yourself, and let me know what you think! Do you love it, or is it all hype?

{Sources: all images via piperlime.com; collages by me!}