Sunday, October 28, 2012

BROOD Retrospective

The sky outside my window is an ominous colorless blank. A gray-white that has been leached of all dimenson. Hurricane Sandy is coming, and God help you if you don't have a flashlight and bottled water. As long as the East Coast is hunkered down for the impact, I'm going to make the most of my working Internet connection and share fashion photos.

I first read about BROOD, the new line by up and coming German designer Serkan Sarier, in a tiny magazine column two years ago. Since then, Sarier's utilitarian-silk designs have exploded onto the fashion landscape. His clothes have an elegant-aggressive edge to them, and are interesting from every angle. As chronologically presented by myself:

(Click on the photos to enlarge the detail.)

S/S 2011: Velvet-toned fabrics with a gritty feel, crumpled and twisted into wearable sculptures.

A/W 2011: A tough aristocratic refinement infuses rich brocade-like silks that have been draped, folded, and braided into surprising yet sensible shapes.  

S/S 2012: Vivid purple and orange bleed shibori-like onto a clean white palette, in an asymmetric explosion of sheers, ruchings, and drawstrings. (And the last two are among my most hated fashion elements!) 

A/W 2012: Here I felt the young designer stumbled, as he made his first venture into prints. Half of the looks could have come out of a Helmut Lang collection, and the whole vision felt scattered. Most compelling were the gold lame pieces. 

S/S 2013: Sarier seems to have finally broken free of his ruchings and drawstrings to create a vibrant collection of almost psychedelic flower prints, bound in demure-naughty silhouettes inspired by the housewife apron.

And the craftsmanship is stunning. Just look at this flower print jacket. Alas, the prices do reflect the work that goes into the pieces.
Part of fashion's appeal is change and evolution, and BROOD's development is one to watch and enjoy.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Design Gem: Alaia Gray Suede Platform Ankle Boots

Ooh, what a lovely tall drink of milk.

These Alaia suede platform ankle boots are especially perfect in profile.

And they add a whole 6.5 inches to your height.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Belgravia

Last week we had our first freezing night, which means it is time to put away the things of spring and summer. Among them is sadly Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Belgravia. This is a vibrant, shimmering rose-fuchsia that always cheers me up.

Belgravia wins my heart for managing to be bright yet cool. The juicy formula is effortless, and the intensity can be controlled by layering: the color starts out quite subdued, and becomes progressively bolder without ever losing its elegant finish. Me being me, I end up piling on something like ten layers.

What else can I say? Adore, adore this shade. I don't know if Belgravia is still available anywhere, as it was part of the limited edition Chanel Harrods mini-collection released in fall 2011. I'm just glad I can look forward to wearing it come next spring.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Perfect Pairing: Collette Ishiyama Stingray Necklace and IMAGO-A Cowhide Bag

I have made no secret of my love for Of a Kind and their unique designer editions accompanied by thoughtful behind-the-scenes profiles. Today I woke up to find that the Alumni Sunday's edition was the Stingray Trillion Necklace by Collette Ishiyama.

Immediately, I was all over this for two reasons: 1.) It's gorgeous, with its sleek brass lines and the textural contrast of the black stingray patch, and 2.) It goes perfectly with Thursday's edition, which I already had ordered. The Vortex Bag by IMAGO-A had grabbed me with its strong architectural treatment of semi-glazed cowhide.

Doesn't one echo the other so well? I can't wait to try out the pairing in person.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Rapture

RMS Beauty lip2cheek in Rapture is aptly named. I'm in raptures over it.

This was my first taste of the ultra-organic makeup line by Rose-Marie Swift, and I'm kicking myself only for waiting so long. I had to order sight and touch unseen.

The product is packaged in a sturdy squat glass jar that comes inside a charming white cardboard box. On the back of both the box and the jar itself is the complete ingredient list, of which Xiao from Messy Wands has an excellent close-up.

Touching my finger for the first time to the surface of the cream, I was not quite sure what to expect. Would I have to dig in? Just what would the texture be like? How much of a color payoff would there be? The answers turned out to be: not at all, smooth and creamy, and intense. I felt like I was applying a rich lip balm, the way the color glided easily onto my lips, but the cream also gave me the control and precision of a lip stain. A little goes an extremely long way. I pressed my finger to the surface three times (you can see the slight indentation I made in the jar shot above) and built up thick layers of saturated red. And what a saturated red it is. 

Rapture is described as a "rich deep brown based red suitable for all skin tones." This is spot on. Rapture leans toward brick red, but still can function as a true red. While bold red lipsticks are notorious for being temperamental, RMS Beauty has come out with a product that makes it almost effortless for you to apply and maintain a dramatic red lip. There is absolutely no bleeding or feathering, and over the hours Rapture mellows down to more of a stained red. I was able to wear this dramatic color on a bare face without any other makeup. I test-drove Rapture through a full dinner, and it faded evenly while avoiding both chapped lip lines and that dreaded "ring of death." I have only one caveat to give: as long as it's layered up on your lips, Rapture will transfer to anything and everything. The necks of water bottles, white mugs, napkins, other people's lips, your fingers. But you'll continue to look great, and isn't that the important part?

Rapture is called a lip2cheek, but I have yet to test it on my cheekbones. I'm having a hard time imagining how I'd pull off a brick-red blush. Perhaps I could take Xiao's cue and do an ironic china doll face, but I don't think I have the bone structure for that! RMS Beauty also suggests that, "used sparingly," Rapture "intensifies one's natural lip color." That sounds perfect for me and my ghastly pale lips; a smidgen of product should bring a healthy flush to my lips for the winter.

Xiao also sadly reports that RMS Beauty plans to discontinue Rapture. What? I need to stockpile backups, and you need to try this color before it goes away.

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