Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Transformation of the Qipao

  I was reading the style section of the New York Times today and came across a fascinating article by Joyce Hor-Chung Lau about the special exhibition on the history of the qipao currently at the Hong Kong Museum of History.  Called  “The Evergreen Classic: Transformation of the Qipao,” this exhibition is like a walk through history as you travel from the loose elaborately styled qipao made famous in portraits of Empress CiXi and her court to the fitted modern gowns worn today.  It's a beautiful style of clothing.  If you are like me, and can't visit in person, I think that between the pictures on the Hong Kong Museum's website and the New York Times article, it gives you a nice overview of the exhibit. 

 I found some great blogs with posts about their trips to the exhibit- check them out for a virtual visit:

Friday, August 20, 2010

Valentino: The Last Emperor

I watched this last night and enjoyed it immensely.  Of all the fashion -related movies I have seen, this is one of the best.  It tells a great story, and shows many unguarded moments, although Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino's longtime business partner and companion would say that Valentino is intensely private and you can never really know his private thoughts.

There is a certain hauteur to Valentino but it is easy to forgive him for it because his creations are so amazing, and his manner more often gracious than not.  It seems to me that it is inherent in a prolifically creative person that they also have a strong sense of their own importance.  How can you not become a little self-important?  At one point Valentio and Giancarlo are talking about the runway show production around the corner from the camera and Valentino declares, " I want them on their knees before me!"

Valentino and Giancarlo also have some tender moments and it truly is amazing to watch this film and see all they have accomplished together.  Amazing film.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nina Garcia's Look Book

There are a ton of fashion advice books out there, but the new Nina Garcia book has to be one of the most useful.  It's called Nina Garcia's Look Book

 She has also written  The Little Black Book of Style, a primer on style, The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own, a discussion of the pieces every woman should have, and The Style Strategy: A Less-Is-More Approach to Staying Chic and Shopping Smart, a blue print for creating and maintaining a stylish wardrobe.   

The Look Book  is specifically for outfit ideas in an exhaustive list of situations, broken down into these categories: work, dating, day, night,  holidays, life events, weddiongs and dream travel.  While the idea of writing about when you should wear what is not new, surely it has never been addressed to exhaustively!    

 One entry I liked was the one about what to wear to a Parent/Teacher conference.  Dressing for school-related situations sounds easy enough, but when you are at school and you see how differently people can dress for the same situation (like anywhere, I suppose), it can make wonder if you are on the right track with what you chose to wear. ( I was quoted in an article on that very topic once.)  I liked that this situation was included in the book because it goes beyond the usual what to wear to work and weddings that every style book has.

This book is small in size so it feels very handy to use.  I am keeping mine in my closet so I can just flip through it when I want some inspiration.  When I read through it the first time I took it in my tote bag when the kids went to swimming and since it is small, Icould take it out to read without feeling silly,  like I was balancing a big picture book on my lap, the way it is with many other books in the style genre. 

Nina Garcia continues her collaboration with Ruben Toledo in this book.  I can't get enough of his beautiful illustrations!  The book is very beautiful overall.  I even like the squiggly embellishments on the spine of the book (see first picture).

Nina Garcia' s Look Book is out this month.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Poketo for Target

The official debut of Poketo for Target is set for August 10th, but I was happy to see the line already on display at my local Target yesterday.  I had checked out the collection online, and already was coveting pieces like this cute little wallet, above.  I thought it was a deer with funky hair, but at the store I showed it to my 6 year old and she said, "Oh! An alpaca!"  That made much more sense, even though I did like the idea of a deer mixing it up...

Basically, I would like everything in the Poketo line because it looks so joyful and the designs are very practical.  Everything was nicely made.  I also bought the Zig Zag crossbody hobo yesterday because I don't have anything like it and I plan on using it at upcoming concerts or at the big state fair next month.  Attached to the front zipper is the Poketo  deer alpaca:

It was hard to stop at these pieces.  I really could have gone home with more, but I decided it was important to pace myself.  I hate it when I talk myself into being practical!