Narciso+Rodriguez+Spring+2013+Backstage+gdVUAP6dsTsl

NARCISO RODRIGUEZ SS13 – PERSONAL BEST

One word: Perfection. The casting, the soundtrack, the venue, and most importantly the clothes, Narciso Rodriguez came correct, brought it home and delivered one of his and the seasons best collections.

Casting Director Jennifer Starr opted for a well-balanced mix of buzzed-about new faces (Ji Hye Park @ELITE, Irina Kravchenko @FORD, and Kelly Gale @DNA), rising stars (Maria Bradley @DNA, Marie Piovesan @MARILYN, and Marte Mei Van Haaster @IMG) and the estblished (Kinga Rajzak @IMG, Kati Nescher @DNA, and Julia Nobis @FORD). You could tell the girls felt the music as they strut confidently to an aggressive and gritty soundtrack consisting of “Wut” and “Yup” by rapper Le1f, which contrasted nicely with the uber posh simplicity and refreshing nature of the clothes. The “simple but effective” angle ran rampant throughout every exit, from layered pantsuits, sexy sheath and sexier slip dresses, to beautifully embroidered tees and muscle shirts – it all just felt so easy. I’d be more than satisfied if every woman dressed like this day to day, or at least took cues. The oversized two-tone clutches were divine, coupled with those sickening wedge sandals.. hurt me. Let’s not forget that delicious colour palette… #chictothenextlev. I could go on, but why not just see for yourselves:

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FICTION OR FOR REAL: CHRISTOPHER KANE TO HELM BALENCIAGA

Here we go again. Rumours have rapidly been swirling that Christopher Kane will takeover the helm as Creative Director at Balenciaga, but French Grazia recently claimed that Balenciaga denied the rumoured nomination (Stylebistro needs a new translator as they garnered Kane’s appointment was confirmed by French media). Sigh.

2012 has been THE year of fashion musical chairs, and I’m tired. Sure, it’s something to write about and fashion isn’t anything nowadays without hype and buzz, but I’ll wait for PPR to make the call. John, Marc, Raf, Hedi, Stefano, and now Chris… I need a drink.

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SPOTTED: GRACE MAHARY AT GIVENCHY FW12

Canadian beauty [yeah, that's right - representing] Grace Mahary was the 3rd exit out during the highly-anticipated Givenchy FW12 show in Paris last night. Signed with WM Paris and Elmer Olsen MM in Toronto (mother agent), this was her runway debut in the high fashion circuit, and what a debut it was; a Givenchy exclusive. As part of a diverse cast of coloured beauties, including Daniela Braga (Next NY), Grace Bol (WM Paris), Ajak Deng (IMG), Joan Smalls (IMG), and Cora Emmanuel (Ford), Grace’s uniquely Eritrean features (those eyes) stood apart from the rest. Exclusives, especially those of the Givenchy nature, only mean one thing: watch out for her. This is a prime example of what Canadian soil can do. Check out her darling video after the jump.

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NOW PLAYING: TOBACCO – DIRT (FEAT. AESOP ROCK)

This track called “Dirt” by Tobacco from his 2008 album Fucked Up Friends, has been on repeat throughout my entire weekend – I’ve yet to stop bouncing. The first time I heard this deliciously gritty beat was a snippet from Prada‘s SS12 women’s ad campaign video (see below), who’s playlist was most likely coordinated by the brilliant Frederic Sanchez (he produces all of Prada’s runway soundtracks along with several other labels). Thanks to Korey Lartigue (@korewhore) and his phenomenal runway music blog, which had the playlist outlined, I managed to find the full-length song. The head-bouncing hip-hop beat combined with electronic synthesizers feels retro and modern both at once. I’ll turn off the repeat function when I feel like it. Also, Aesop Rock is featured on the track. Enjoy.

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MARNI X H&M – THE TWO-TONE IS MINE

None of the VersacexH&M pieces made it into my closet as hideous, tickity garb is not welcome within those confines. This beautifully simple two-tone leather shopper from the Marni for H&M men’s collection, released on Thursday March 8th in Canada, will surely be joining the ranks (if my main #T @andrewcoimbra has time to cop one for me). Considering it’s made of real leather, the 79,99EU (approx. $104CAN) price tag is apropos and very doable. My current sac has adopted frayed edges and faded colour which is cramping my style [yeah, I said it], aka time for this #chictothenextlev replacement.

The rest of the men’s collection didn’t really speak to me, apart from this lovely two-tone tie (what’s with me and two-toned accessories?) which I may throw into my basket as well.

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BALENCIAGA FW12 – COLOUR IN CASTING

Despite donning the most colour-infused looks of the collection, Jeneil Williams (at Nathalie) and Liu Wen (at Marilyn) represented all the colour for their counterparts during the Balenciaga FW12 show, being the only two girls of colour to walk in the sky high office space. A trend I’ve noticed, specifically with Ashley Brokaw, top casting director who’s clients include Balenciaga, Prada, Proenza Schouler, Tommy Hilfiger, and Rag&Bone, is that her casting for Balenciaga is limited to one black girl, who changes every season, and the invariable Asian girl, Liu Wen, for the girls of colour – that’s it. The rest, a vanilla sea mixed with newcomers and the established. See for yourself:

FW12 – Jeneil Williams | Liu Wen

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ANTHONY VACCARELLO FW12 – I’M SEXY AND I KNOW IT

One would have to be (AND know it) in order to rock these clothes, as they are certainly not for the faint of heart (or for anyone not bearing the measurements of a supermodel). Anthony Vaccarello certainly made a splash last season, with his sexy (major understatement) leg-baring designs landing coveted print and red carpet spots (Anne V in this SS12 look at the 2012 Grammy Awards (below left), and Gwyneth Paltrow covering the March 2012 issue Harper’s Bazaar in this show-closing number from last season (below right)). For FW12, legs were still in abundance with plenty to spare, as were single bare arms with a covered/tailored significant other. Tailoring (the main message in this collection) could have been better executed (twas almost premature for him to venture into the craft so soon), but thankfully it failed to take away from the ooze of quintessential Vaccarello sex appeal, which is what we come for.

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PREEN FW12 – SPRING IS IN THE AIR (NIPPLES TOO)

Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, design duo behind Preen, must have gotten their feet stuck in September as their FW12 offerings reeked of springtime clichés, mostly during the first half of the show; fern and apple greens, sharp orange-reds, snow whites galore, botanical floral fusions, and abstract butterfly motifs (their Pre-Fall collection read better for the fall season than these first 18 exits). Despite the undeniable beauty and freshness they evoked (g-r-eat colour blocking), there was a total disconnect leading into the second half of the collection.

The procession continued and eventually dove into looks that translated into what we deem Continue reading

MISDEMEANOR MONDAY #1

What a night; heavy lip-syncing (I don’t blame her), superstar backup dancers (Nicki + M.I.A.), custom Givenchy x3 (the heart strings were tugged, and damaged), and a sequined homage to André Leon Talley (C-Lo). The  Madonna Bowl was pretty spectacular; so spectacular that it managed to crash the Twitter app on my Blackberry – not surprised:

Cray. I’d add a sister “cray” to that, had the Misdemeanor been performing alongside the Material Girl. Yes, Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott – you remember her, right? Would’ve made total marketing sense too, since A. She and Madonna do make a hell of a team (see past GAP commercial below) and B. her 7th studio album, entitled Block Party and produced primarily by Timbaland, is apparently set to release this spring (or summer). Surprisingly, I hadn’t heard a a whisper about it until I randomly Wikipedia’d her after listening to a slew of throwback tracks, including Supa Dupa Fly (below), Beep Me 911, and Sock It 2 Me. Fuck, she’s such a boss and I’ve been listening to/watching her since she made a garbage bag look “supa dupa fly” in ’97, which is why I’m starting Misdemeanor Mondays on LEBIGT BLOG. I’ll be posting something Missy related (mostly songs/videos) every Monday  until the day Block Party drops. Missy, hurry back to the forefront and don’t forget the PVC.

EYEWEAR IS THE GATEWAY TO THE SOUL – FW12

Oh sunnies, how I do adore thee. The eyewear offerings this FW12 season came in a slew of shapes, finishes, and contexts, representative of each collection and, ultimately, the man wearing them. The classic aviator shape ran rampant throughout, naturally, but were pushed and played with in the better collections. In the way of lenses, we saw gradient (1,4), mirror (4),  solid (3), and clear (5, 6). Speaking of pushing and being playful, Kris Van Assche (5) channeled geek-chic by adding splash guards on the temples of his clear frames, which resembled safety goggles and fit seamlessly with the tone of his collection.

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AHH, TWAS DUE TO PRABAL!

So, I just realized that the inordinate amount of hits my blog received on Jan 17th was because of Prabal Gurung! Whoever runs his FB/social media decided the post I wrote about the lack of his clothes on the Golden Globes red carpet (see post here) was worthy enough to be shared with their 25,795 Facebook fans (and counting). Prabal and co., I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and merci for the share! xo

Visit + Like Prabal Gurung’s Facebook page!

CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION FW12 – CROC ME GOOD

Slowly, but surely, I’ll begin to both sing praise and brutally thrash the FW12 menswear collections. The weekend is now upon us, which means I have some time to sit down and carefully go through the shows and construct an opinion. Calvin Klein Collection is always a favourite, and Italo Zucchelli delivered another home run. Apart from the flawlessly foward-thinking, minimalist aesthetic-bearing, ultra luxury-evoking clothes (all the croc paneling/separates and those matte iridescent pieces), the casting was the other impeccable story here. From the current face of Givenchy, Simone Nobili, to past faces of Calvin Klein, Dmitriy Tanner and David Agbodji, to the runway favourites including O’Shea Robertson, Simon Nessman, and Sebastian Sauvé, the gorgeous-faced exits didn’t stop. Exclusive to CK this season were the highly buzzed about Australian twins Jordan & Zac Stenmark, who opened/closed the show (Zac opened, Jordan closed). Dear Jennifer Venditti (casting director for this and other high profile shows), thank you. Gushing about a well edited and beautifully executed collection is one thing, but watching it for yourself is another:

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SHOULDA, COULDA, PRABAL – 2012 GOLDEN GLOBES

Sunday night’s wears at the 2012 Golden Globes really ran the gamut from famous couture houses (Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman in Atelier Versace, and Evan Rachel Wood in Gucci Première), to lesser known designers (Meryl Streep in Alessandra Rich and Jane Lynch in David Meister), and, of course, the red carpet regulars (Charlize Theron and Mila Kunis in Dior, Lea Michele and Shailene Woodley in Marchesa). Prabal Gurung, who’s highly praised Spring and Pre-Fall 2012 collections both included award season ready looks, was one designer missing from the lineup this year (Bring back Hailee Steinfeld!). Three looks, in particular, from his most recent collections would’ve made this carpet next level:

1. Iconic Meryl Streep (pictured right in Alessandra Rich) has been around long enough to know what works for her on the red carpet, which is always a practical long-sleeved gown. This deep emerald silk-satin number with tastefully plunged neckline from Gurung’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection (perhaps done in black at Meryl’s request) would’ve garnered rave reviews, as opposed to the sad-looking bag she chose to don around her lower half (not that she needs it, but it’s always nice to get that nod as a seasoned vet). Continue reading

LOUIS VUITTON & YAYOI KUSAMA COLLABORATION

Personalized Polka-dotted Louis Vuitton Ellipse bag by Yayoi Kusama

We sensed that Yayoi Kusama’s endless dots would echo a while in Marc Jacobs’ mind“, stated the narrator as Marc Jacobs and famed-Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama part ways (watch the video below + start at 2:48) in the 2007 critically acclaimed documentary “Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton“. 5 years of endless echoing has finally brought upon us, as confirmed by fashion journalist Jim Shi on Twitter, a wonderful collaboration between Louis Vuitton and the self-proclaimed “obsessive artist” Yayoi Kusama, set to release in July 2012. With the extreme success of past collaborations with renowned artists, including Takashi Murakami and Stephen Sprouse, there’s no doubt that this polka dot slathered collection will dazzle the eyes of LV fanatics across the globe. The bags will surely be the bread winner of this full collection, which will also include Ready-To-Wear, shoes, accessories, watches, and jewellery. The July 2012 release is quite timely, as it lands roughly in the middle of LV’s highly-anticipated Marc Jacobs exhibition, which will run from March 9 until September 16 at Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris.

Screen grab from the 2007 documentary "Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton".

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ARIZONA, PLEASE STOP

Smiling, that is.

Forced, unauthentic, uncomfort-inducing, contrived (shall I go on?), are all adjectives that pertain to Arizona Muse‘s grin on the latest cover of British Vogue – February 2012 (enlarge). As painful as it is to look at on such a fresh and optimistic spring cover, it doesn’t stop there – check out her Isabel Marant SS12 ad campaign (after the jump) where she continues to delight us with flashes of her pearly whites that aren’t awkward or at all brazenly fake, and and a wonderfully placed hand across her forehead (please note heavy sarcasm).

My good Twitter friend Sergio (@SergioKletnoy), sounded off this morning re: Arizona’s venture into lackluster-ville, referring to her last few campaigns/work in general, and I do agree with him. Personally, I don’t feel that she’s as exciting, and doesn’t induce the gasp as when she first blew up on the scene, and her unimproved, treacherous runway walk doesn’t help.

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THE UNMISTAKABLES, BY MR. PORTER

The Givenchy rottweiler t-shirt of Fall 2011 reached accredited tumblr fame (yes, I said it) and solidified itself as the piece to have/wear/get snapped by every street style photographer alive. Not only could you only find it on eBay selling for approx. double it’s original retail value, not long after hitting the shelves of both online and brick+mortar retailers, but it sprung a new wave of “the unmistakable luxury t-shirt”. The combination of a lower/accessible price point (compared to the rest of the collection(s)) and design that evokes the tone/feel of the collection and/or brand, makes it a winner ($). I took to one of my favourite/the few great online menswear retailers, Mr. Porter, to find the next crop of covetablet-shirts we speak of for the season (click a below to find out more + shop). Personally, I’ve got my eye on the ‘Ankara’ print Burberry Prorsum from SS12 (top right) – mouse off.

     

     

     

Source: mrporter.com

FAUSTOVERKILL

It was bad enough to witness street style marvel Anna Dello Russo, Fashion Editor/Editor-at-Large of Vogue Japan, wearing this Fausto Puglisi frock to no end (see here), but now her undying support for the designer has manifested into print, in the pages of her magazine. This is a prime example of overkill, as she’s repeatedly been seen/photographed whoring out the dress in many variations/colours during fashion month. Despite my distaste for the frock, one could argue that the collaboration of Puglisi and Dello Russo was genius; she single-handedly, and perhaps unconsciously, (continues to) put on a Fausto Puglisi fashion show for the most important eyes in fashion, regardless if they would’ve attended or not, as she attends the most important shows of the season, which a relatively unknown designer with no runway show of his/her own could only dream of – right?

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ON THE STREET: THE WANG FACTOR

Last minute holiday preparations have caused me to postpone posting this weeks edition of ON THE STREET (every Friday – see last week), until now. Karen Blanchard of Where Did U Get That STREET STYLE captured Sarah, a New Yorker about town, donning my favourite piece from FW11. Alexander Wang‘s FW11 collection was all about poking fun at luxury, with a key focus on outerwear. When I first saw this sleeveless coat on Emily Baker in the show (after the jump), I couldn’t wait to see it translated off the runway and into reality – at last! It’s a go-to, never-fail piece to throw on any look for an instant lift, despite how casual – her look is a prime example. The exposed baby yellow nylon panels are cheeky, and give the coat that unmistakable Alex Wang spin, not to mention that uber plush fox fur collar, which luxy feel ran rampant throughout the collection. It’s petty clear why Sarah and her wonderful, jealously-inducing coat (which is now on sale) garnered my attention and earned the top spot for the week!

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