Trendspotting | The Oxford Shirt

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Paris, photographed by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil.

This spring, the quintessential dress shirt is making a comeback. While the Oxford shirt has always been a classic, the reworked dress shirt — in whites and blues, with unconventional tailoring and accents — will be cropping up everywhere in the coming few months. At least in my book, this comes pretty close to perfection — white shirt worn casually, a chic skirt, and pointy pumps:

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Copenhagen Street Style by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar.

Although I don’t really “do” trends, this one I’m kind of excited about — mainly because I already wear Oxford shirts on a pretty regular basis. (You know, because I’m classy like that.) There are also so many ways to wear a dress shirt beyond the conventional norms — wear a stark white shirt alone, play with a contrast collar, or go for some jeweled accenting (all of which can be found at jcrew.com, it should be mentioned). I also like this trend (if you can even call it that) because its not going out of style anytime soon — so you know anything you purchase will be a worthwhile investment.

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Top row: photographed by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Japan. Second row, left to right: Dior s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Tod’s s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Alexander Wang s/s 14 (via style.com). Third row: Altuzarra s/s 14 (via style.com), Balenciaga s/s 14 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Giovanna Battaglia by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar. Fourth row: New York by Tommy Ton for Jak & Jil. Fifth row: Leandra Medine by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar, Kel Markey by Diego Zuko for Harper’s Bazaar.  

The return of the Oxford, contrary to its functionality as a dress shirt, marks a decided shift towards a more relaxed approach to style. While the shirt can be styled up or down, it is chic even in its most basic and unfussy incarnations (especially as it is worn in most of the above images). The dress shirt — whether starched and pressed, or crumpled and thrown casually over a skirt (or nothing at all) is part of a larger transition to a looser structural style that many designers appeared to favor for the spring season: slouchy blazers, a more casual approach to menswear for women, and large, floaty pants were also all on trend. The Oxford, however, is truly a wardrobe classic, and super accessible — which is why I’m such a big fan of its spring comeback.

Thoughts on this trend for spring?

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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}

Style Fix | Le Pencil Skirt

I have recently developed a love of pencil skirts. In part, I blame J. Crew, which seems to be responsible for the majority of my style and color palette fixations (my goodness, but seriously, Jenna Lyons knows what she’s doing!). They’re simple. Classic. Elegant. Feminine. Versatile. And so incredibly chic, when done right.

Clockwise, from top right: Acne, $390, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $90, jcrew.com; Karl, $310, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $98, jcrew.com; Kelly Bergin leather skirt, $460, net-a-porter.com; J. Crew, $98, jcrew.com.

I used to avoid them, thinking they were too serious or just so drab and unflattering. But with the right cut, a punch of color, and the perfect pairings, they can function as chic, dressed-down pieces for everyday as well as being staples of any work wardrobe. These are just a few that I love — although in the past year or so, the pencil skirt craze has resulted in tons of options for every possible price point and palette, whether you’re into colors, prints, tweed, leather, or just classic black cotton.

What’s your style fixation this week?

Sources: Images via net-a-porter.com and jcrew.com.

9 Ways to (Tangerine) Tango

For me, orange has always been a love-or-hate color. I know people who are absolutely obsessed with it, and others (like myself) who can’t get anywhere near it. I do not own a single piece of orange clothing; I do not have a single orange accessory; I have never decorated with anything orange. Despite my love of pinks and reds, I have never shared the same affection for oranges or yellows (and perhaps justifiably so — they both look terrible with my skin tone).

That being said, I do believe that Tangerine Tango will be an excellent color to represent 2012 as Pantone’s Color of the Year. Honeysuckle pink was chosen for 2011 — a bold, energizing hue — and tangerine takes this concept even further. It is revitalizing and vibrant, perfect for a bright and sunny new outlook.

Despite my personal distaste for wearing orange, the pops of tangerine color that have been appearing on the runways as of late have been oddly appealing. Sometimes I think orange is incredibly ugly, but when used right, it can also be incredibly chic and refreshing. It looks amazing with some good color-blocking, and is a great burst of color in chunky necklaces or skinny belts, cinched at the waist. Fashion aside, it is also a great accent color for decorating (just don’t paint an entire room in Tangerine Tango — try a few squares of accent color instead).

Anyway, so without further ado — 9 chic tangerine pieces I found online:

And the all-important shopping information:

  1. Pleated Bib Dress, $25, forever21.com.
  2. Nantes Pennon Earrings, $98, anthropologie.com.
  3. Block Print Pillow, $20, worldmarket.com.
  4. Sparkle & Fade Suit Short, $49, urbanoutfitters.com.
  5. Roseblossom Kerchief, $14, madewell.com.
  6. Fire Ring Drops Earrings, $32, anthropologie.com.
  7. Qupid Athena Sandals, $29, piperlime.com.
  8. Edie Purse, $238, jcrew.com.
  9. Classic Wide Bangle, $28, jcrew.com.
And with that, I shall return to the comfort of my all-black wardrobe. This has been quite enough orange for one day.

 

So what are your thoughts on tangerine for 2012? Love or hate? (Please, I know there’s no in-between.)

 

{Image Sources: imagesmith.com, forever21.com, anthropologie.com, worldmarket.com, urbanoutfitters.com, madewell.com, piperlime.com, jcrew.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}