Trendspotting | The Oxford Shirt

oxford cover

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:

whites plaid pointy shoes hbz copenhagen street

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.

oxford shirts

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?

Advertisements

Spring 2011 Series | Runway Review, Part II

I started this series a while ago (in January, to be precise) to showcase looks from the Spring/Summer 2011 ready-to-wear shows. And spring is coming up fast now! The goal from these posts is to draw inspiration from these looks, not necessarily try to replicate them exactly. Ashley from 2 Eyes In The Mirror mentioned in a comment on the first runway post that Hermès was her favorite show “hands-down,” so I’ve made sure to include it here! I’ve paired it with Ralph Lauren and Emilio Pucci to keep up the Western theme for spring.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren show made very good use of the color white. It was similar to that at Dolce & Gabbana but with a Western twist. Swap out the floaty blouses and shorts for more structured shirts and high-collared dresses and throw in some leather belts and you’re good to go.

I found a lot of the clothes at Ralph Lauren to be pretty wearable, or at least easy to translate into everyday wear. I really liked the light floral prints for dresses, classic button-downs, and wide belts, although, granted, a lot of the basic silhouettes were exaggerated on the runway (read: pouffy sleeves).

Emilio Pucci

I loved the really rich and vibrant colors on the Emilio Pucci runway, as well as the many gorgeous and flowing dress shapes. The hair and makeup was beautiful and perfect for spring, with hair a little messy and undone, but still shiny and healthy, and a natural, bronzed face. (More beauty shots can be found in the details here.)

My favorite look from the entire show was the orange dress on the left. I’m usually not a big fan of orange, but it looked fantastic with the leather boots turquoise bracelets. The soft pleats on the fabric were also a big plus! I can’t see myself ever wearing something like this in real life, but I do love the color combination of leather/warm brown and turquoise, as well as the slightly sheer fabric for blouses.

I thought the look above left most easily translated into everyday — the leather jacket over the floaty spring dress is a classic combination for transitioning into the hotter weather if toned down a bit from the runway version.

Hermès

This show was incredible and I can see why it was Ashley’s favorite. I loved the sharp tailoring, color scheme, leather details, and the entire runway set. While some of the looks are not something I could ever see myself wearing, the riding pants are Hermès were perfect. We’ve seen riding pants a lot this year in fashion, and it’s great to see that Hermès is continuing the trend in the spring.

I also thought that Hermès was able to pull off the monochromatic trend quite subtly in some of its looks. Top left, Abbey Lee Kershaw looks very ladylike in high-waisted paper bag trousers and a tucked in tee. The black-on-black ensembles that popped up every so often on the runway made great use of different textures (sheer, leather, silk…) to differentiate between individual pieces (we also see this concept bottom right with the light cream outfit worn by Jac).

What do you think of the Western-style ready-to-wear looks at Ralph Lauren, Emilio Pucci, and Hermès?

{Sources: Ralph Lauren and Emilio Pucci runway photos photographed by Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com. Hermès runway photos by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com.}

 

Spring 2011 Series | Runway Review, Part I

Before I begin this post, I want to share a comment that the lovely Ari from The Path Before Forever left on my post that introduced this series:

I’m honestly not a big fashion person but that’s actually something I want to work on — I’m still trying to find my own style. I can’t stand blogs that try to tell you what you can and can’t wear, or only showcase runway styles that are impossible to even try to imitate in the real world, but I love what you have here. Nice job, I’m looking forward to it!

First of all, thank you for your wonderful comment, Ari!

Secondly, I agree completely. I like to look to the runways for inspiration, but in my opinion, runway shows are almost an art form — something to be appreciated and admired, but not fully imitated on a day-to-day basis. If I ever incorporate runway looks (in terms of inspiration, not buying YSL trench coats) into my wardrobe, its because I’ve found a component of the show that I liked and that appealed to my style, an idea that I wanted to try and pull off myself. You may have your own opinions on runway shows, but mine is thus: take it for what it is — fashion inspiration and appreciation.

So in this series, I will have some “Runway Review” posts featuring a handful of my favorite shows and looks. Let me know what your take on the looks are, and if you see any ideas that appeal to you for spring!

Yves Saint Laurent

I really enjoying the beautiful tailoring and simplicity of the YSL show. Many of the Spring 2011 ready-to-wear runway shows were all about classic, dramatic tailoring and the reinterpretation of minimalism. Bold colors were also a key component of the shows, and the clothes at YSL embodied both aspects for spring. One of my favorite pieces was the sleeveless trench coat in the center (above). It looks so simple, yet completely chic, just thrown on by itself with a pair of metallic gladiators and some bold lipstick.

The center look (above) is a great example of sleek, chic tailoring. I also love the choice of navy blue – it’s a little unexpected, but it looks very classic. And Abbey Lee is rocking that jacket!

Yves Saint Laurent nailed the outwear, in my opinion. The white trench is chic without looking like a hospital gown, thanks to the wide, floppy collar. The navy coat also takes on the exaggerated color for a dramatic silhouette. With the new minimalism, the shape of garments becomes so much more critical and I think that YSL had some great pieces that were a perfect example of good tailoring.

Dolce & Gabbana

The Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2011 ready-to-wear show was one of my favorites of the season. Everything was floaty, feminine, and beautiful — nothing short of what we would expect for Dolce & Gabbana, of course. I loved the lace and references to classic lingerie silhouettes. Overall, it was a stunning show with pieces that were simple in color but intricate in design.

There were also some beautiful dresses on the runway. I loved the longer dresses, especially the form-fitting ones. And the shorts, too! The white bloomer shorts were a great addition to the show, and very flirty and playful for Spring. Dolce & Gabbana did white right for this show and, without making it seem too bridal-like, they created some excellent pieces that are the perfect inspiration for a light and pretty Spring wardrobe.

Givenchy

I have always liked Givenchy, especially after its standout couture collection for Fall 2010 (that had plenty of lace and intricate detailing without being too over-the-top). The clothes at this show were simple, following Spring’s minimalist trend. I especially loved the oversized blazers (including the sleeveless version, top right). And look, plenty of sheer skirts!

What do you think of the Spring 2011 ready-to-wear looks at YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy?

{Source: Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy runway images by Monica Feudi/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com. Dolce & Gabbana runway images by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com, accessed via Style.com.}

bloglovin

fall 2010 series: beauty breakdown

Why do I love beauty trends? They’re the easiest to follow. Most looks can be re-created at home with supplies already on hand, or with a few inexpensive extras. (Of course, buying new makeup is always fun too!) But the point is: changing up your makeup is fun, easy, affordable, and if you mess it up or it doesn’t look good on you, you can wipe it off and try something new, consequence-free. The case is definitely not the same if you purchase that dress you’ve been lusting after on “Final Sale” only to find it doesn’t even fit when it arrives in the mail.

Here’s my quick list of some of Fall’s top beauty trends and how to achieve them.

Red Lips.

Red lips are HUGE for Fall this year, and I’m sure you’ve heard about this trend hundreds of times already. From Proenza Schouler to Givenchy to Chanel haute couture, bold lips graced the runways of my designers. I personally love this look — it’s classic and sexy, strong and feminine. But it has to be paired with a strong dose of confidence to pull it off correctly.

How-to: As with any bold makeup trend, it is essential that the rest of the face be neutral to avoid clashing (e.g., smokey eyes with nude lips and red lips with a fresh face). To get a matte red lip, first outline your lips with a nude lip pencil (some makeup artists also recommend applying concealer to your lips as well, to hold the color better) and then apply your chosen lipstick color, blot, and repeat until you achieve your desired shade. (To go glossy, simply apply a heavy gloss on top, starting at the center of your lower lip and then blending out with a lip brush.)

What to invest in: If you don’t have a great lipstick color or just want something new, a good lipstick is (obviously) the key to pulling off this trend (also a nude/clear lipliner to avoid the dreaded “ring” around the mouth). I’m not much of a lipstick guru, but I do like Benefit lipsticks — they go on very smooth when applied (try Benefit Full-Finish Lipstick in “Flirt Alert,” $18). Click here for a list of 11 lead-free lipsticks.

Grey Eyes.

Hazy soft grey eyes (seen at shows like Rodarte and Chanel) are a super chic twist on the neutral eye. As with red lips, be sure to pair them with a fairly neutral face — a bit of blush and nude or soft berry lipgloss/stain should do the trick.

How-to: Both makeup artists Kristin Gallegos and Sandra Ganzer emphasize that the key to making this look work is perfect blending. Start by blending a light grey shadow all over the lip and all the way up to the brow, as well as a little underneath the lower lash line. You can then add a darker or more metallic grey shadow closer to your lash line to define your eyes a little more. (Personally, I think a silver/pewter shadow makes eyes really pop!) You can then try winging the outer corners a bit with your shadow brush (or just use a liquid liner) and add mascara — whatever suits your look.

What to invest in: Good brushes are essential here for getting that perfectly blended look. Try the Sephora Collection Professionnel Angled Shadow Brush #20 ($16) and/or the All Over Shadow Brush #22 (#13). (See the full brush selection here.) Also, if you’re looking for a cool metallic liquid liner, nothing beats Urban Decay’s Liquid Liner in “Revolver,” $18.

Neutral.

The starting point for pulling off all of Fall’s beauty trends, a neutral face is key to pulling off red lips, grey eyes, and other bold trends. It’s also a great base for the classic smokey eye, so be sure to master this simple, fresh look. No one pulled off neutral better than Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs (the most natural faces on the runway this season!), but the look was also spotted at Alexander Wang and Ann Demeulemeester.

How-to: To get flawless skin, start by applying a medium coverage foundation and then using a good concealer to hide any spots or redness. Set the look with a fine powder.  To get the grunge-y Alexander Wang look (a smudgy brown eye), use a medium to dark brown cream shadow and smudge with fingers or a brush. To get the sleeker Ann Demeulemeester look, use a black eyeliner pencil in the crease and smudge with a brush or q-tip (or just use a black eyeshadow in the crease). Or simply apply a fabulous, bright cheek stain or blush and leave it at that.

What to invest in: A good foundation and concealer is the most important part of this look. Clinique is a must-try for good, basic makeup and beauty needs. Lauria Mercier also offers a Flawless Face Kit, $65.

Bright Eyes.

Not the kind of look you would wear everyday, but still something fun to try for a more dressed-up event or a night out. Colorful eyes were found in abundance on the runways of Caroline Herrera, Oscar de la Renta (my personal favorite — tons of smoky metallics), and Dior haute couture.

How-to: Start by priming your lids with an eye shadow primer, which makes the colors appear brighter and helps your look last longer. Then simply apply whatever shade(s) you desire! Just remember to keep the rest of your look in check — a little blush and nude lips should do the trick. Topshop.com has several video tutorials on various bold eye color trends (as well as one on red lips), so definitely check those out for more specific tips on pulling off this trend. I especially love the “Sun Shower” look (à la Oscar de la Renta).

What to invest in: A good eyeshadow primer to hold the most color for the longest amount of time. Try Urban Decay’s Eyeshadow Primer Potion in “Original,” $18.

Dark & Shiny Nails.

Nail polish trends are always my favorites for Fall and there are usually way more than one “it” shade. One common thread I’ve been noticing in Fall nail polish hues is that they are almost unfailingly dark, moody, shimmery, and mysterious. (Like Chanel’s Paradoxal“, $23 — by far the hottest nail polish for Fall.) A couple similar (and cheaper) shades: Sephora by OPI’s “Just a Little Dangerous,” $9 and Rescue Beauty Lounge’s “Scrangie,” $18. But purple isn’t the only option! Also look for deep, glittering navies and greens.

How-to: Make sure nails are clean to start. Then clip, shape with a nail file, moisture, buff, apply, and dry. Or go to a nail salon. You know the drill.

What to invest in: Chanel’s “Paradoxal.” Obviously.

What’s your take on the Fall 2010 beauty trends? (Not just the ones I listed here!) Will you be trying any of them out?

 

 

 

 

View the full Fall 2010 Series here.

{ Source: All runway images used in collage from style.com. Chanel nail color image from sasareport.co.uk. Thanks to urbanoutfitters.com for trend and application information. }

bloglovin

* P.S. If you’ve blogged about any of these trends or reviewed any of the products listed here, please let me know!