Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ten minutes with Tim Gunn


Two nights ago I was stressing out in one of the best ways possible – I was standing in front of my closet trying to decide what I’d wear to interview Tim Gunn. At that point it still hadn’t completely sunken in that in less than 24 hours I’d be seated next to him firing away some carefully selected questions for only a ten minute time slot. That’s a lot pressure, but I was up for the challenge.

Last night at 5pm dressed in a LOFT watercolor portrait graphic tee, LOFT chunky tweed mini, LOFT faux fur knit vest and my favorite heels (let’s call them my power heels), I gave those ten minutes my all. I spent my first questions asking him  about generation y, then asked a question that relates to a previous post (intellectual property law for fashion and his thoughts) and learned that he has actually been to Capitol Hill working with a lobbyist on the issue and wants the US to have a law that acts “like a shield, not a sword” against design plagiarism (noting that we’re the only country that doesn’t protect our designers in this manner), and then I finally asked him for any words of wisdom regarding my future internship at Conde Nast. During the interview he confided that he should have done some homework reading up on gen-y to prepare for my interview – I don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of my interview skills!

(Pssst.) Prior to the event tonight I did an e-mail interview with Mr. Gunn, the answers to which can be found at the Star-Telegram online.

I tried really hard to keep my cool, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t start smiling really big until after I left the backstage area, but then again after the interview I couldn’t have told you what he was wearing (a lightweight suit – possibly wool, a purple gingham shirt and a purple/gold/orange striped tie). I can tell you he has blue eyes and maintains fantastic eye contact. He was so easy to talk to, I didn’t feel like he was this larger-than-life person I had dreamed up. He was calm and shot some of my questions right back at me! Even if he wasn’t Tim Gunn, it would probably still be one of the best interviews I’ve ever had because of the discussion I was able to generate between the two of us.

After the interview there was, you know, the actual event: Liz Claiborne fashion show showcasing the Liz Claiborne line, now exclusively available at JC Penney. Because I’m a rock star I had a reserved seat on the front row (sitting front row at a fashion show is definitely on my bucket list, but I don’t know if this really qualifies). After reading through my scribbles of notes, here are some of Mr. Gunn’s key iterations from this event:

– an item should never serve only one purpose in your wardrobe (exception: a bridal gown), always think of how an item works multiple ways
– always think about being “on trend, without being trendy”
– always try to enhance natural proportions and always, always, always elongate (the biggest example of this at the show was black opaque tights paired with the same color pumps)
– think about the body in thirds: shoulders to hips, hips to knees, knees to feet and dress in thirds – never cut your body in half
– purple (my fav color!!!) is popular for fall – even on guys – as is grey
– personalize your look, don’t try to be someone else if it’s not true to who you are
– mix patterns! – as long as both patterns aren’t to the same scale. Mr. Gunn had paired stripes with plaid, stripes with argyle
– jackets that hit at the widest part of the hip are most flattering
– I thought it was funny that halfway through they mentioned the fluctuating Texas weather as a packing challenge for the trip! haha
– an untucked shirt (on a male, but the same probably goes for a female) is a disaster! but add a sweater vest and you’re good to go
– cap sleeves help to mitigate larger hips

Truth? We all probably knew about most of these, only one or two were shockers. The real treat was seeing the styles walking down the runway. I was pretty impressed with the offerings. I must also add that I was even more impressed with the model selections – every size, shape, age and body type was well-represented. Here are some pics.






And just for fun, here’s another with me and Tim. I can pretty honestly say that this was the best night of my life. 🙂

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Leighton Meester

Every day for the last week or longer this look from Leighton Meester has been plastered all over E! as a disaster. Well, I’m sorry to disagree, but I rather like this dress on her. Having read several articles where Leighton describes her style as nothing like that of her alter-ego Blair Waldorf, I think this dress suits her. I wouldn’t wear it, but I don’t have her midriff. Leighton, I think you really pulled this look off, regardless of what the E! Fashion Police say.

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Sidetracked by MrBradGoreski

As I’m working on my NYFW article for the Baylor student newspaper, I’m checking out the NYT (more as a distraction than anything else…). I find an article on Brad Goreski, (published on Friday, indicative of me taking the weekend off from everything). I’m instantly sidetracked, thank you NYT for doing exactly what I had intended. Here’s the article. It’s brilliant, I just wish I could have been the one writing it. Le sigh.

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A quick run-down, days 4/5/6/7/8…

Deepest apologies for neglecting my little blog during the last few days of fashion week, it’s astonishing how 13 hours can still consume my life so. I don’t want to skirt any shows that deserve coverage (at least in my eyes…) so here’s my own “reader’s digest” version, if you will.

Also, I must say I really could have a future in fashion forecasting because several things I projected for spring/summer 2011 are walking down the runway as we speak. I’m pretty proud of myself.

Marc Jacobs
Retro colors and prints, seventies flair with a nod to sophistication, oversize flowers that would make Carrie Bradshaw proud. Overall, I like it. (Plus it’s straight from my “botanical delight” mood for s/s 2011).

Monique Lhuillier
Below the knee shirts, effortless femininity and the Garden of Eden!!! Monique may have jokingly said “welcome to the Garden of Eden” at the beginning of her show but no joke, I called my forecast for s/s 2011 the Garden of Eden – her collection looked as though it stepped out of my “faded petal” mood.
Donna Karan
Right out of my “stepping stones” mood for s/s 2011. Easy nudes, crinkled effects on the paper thin fabrics. Oh and did you count Karlie Koss three times!
Proenza Schouler
Proenza Schouler put new life into Ivy League prep. There were nods to fifties defined waist and A-line silhouette as well as the twenties drop waist.
Rodarte
When the style.com reviewer said that this collection wasn’t a predictable one, I completely agree. It’s a little backwoods lumberjack meets classic tailoring and the Rodarte girl, with fewer knits. I was surprised to see girly peplums paired with such stiff architectural structure.
Oscar de la Renta
Style.com doesn’t have images yet, but I caught the live stream and can we just agree that Mr. de la Renta is the kind of tulle? It was stunning, true artwork. Very fifties couture garden party. I actually kept thinking about one of my favorite movies, Funny Face, the entire time I was watching his show. Love!

Not to worry, I’ll continue posting about more shows, I just don’t want my posts to end up taking up the entire length of my page. Until (probably) tomorrow!

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Days 2 & 3, Spring 2011 is white hot!

The countdown to a Fashion Night Out when I get to participate is finally down to zero. Next year when September 9 or 10 comes around, I will be out enjoying the festivities rather than sitting in Waco reading all about it on my twitter feed. I can’t wait!

Jason Wu
The wide-legged trouser and short predominated Wu’s spring/summer 2011 collection, which I can best describe as a day and night collection. Smart geek-chic suits and day dresses complemented by a smattering of evening and cocktail dresses.
BCBG Max Azria
Simplicity ruled at BCBG, which was all about pushing boundaries this time last year with alluring cutouts and sheer. For spring/summer 2011 the dresses are mostly white, airy and almost nymph-like. I like the dramatic shift in point of view.

Jill Stuart
Natural makeup with a dramatic red lip. Hair in a messy bun. The style.com reviewer used the phrase “whimsical romance” to describe Stuart’s new collection. I would add that there are very obvious and quaint pastoral influences. All in all it’s a remarkably pleasant collection. It doesn’t push the envelope, but isn’t off-putting either. I rather like it.
Alexander Wang
Another designer who took a departure from their last spring collection into the white. After hearing all about the carnival at his party, I half expected A Wang’s collection to be much more lively. Albeit, there are metallics and pastels splashed on this collection. All of this was fine, but the chunky knits for spring left me scratching my head. I think I much preferred last year’s schoolyard-inspired line. I did like the shoes, though!
Prabal Gurung
The long skirt returneth. Unlike the Voluminous A-lines inspired by the 1950s for this fall, Prabal Gurung practices planned obsolescence by bringing the skirt closer to the leg. The mid-calf length was also seen on the trousers in this collection, perhaps something to take note of in other collections.

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Filed under Designers, Fashion Week, Spring, Summer

The happiest time of the year

On yesterday’s first day of NYFW, I got the treat of reading the Thursday Styles section in the NYT (which has always been available to me on campus, but this year it is available in the journalism department, an oversight in past years that has been rectified). The entire section did a wonderful job of both amping my excitement and instigating my jealousy that I could barely focus on class. This one article really made me wish I was there on the upper west side in the middle of all the action: Marshaling Fashion’s Troops.

In recent years fashion week has brought the elite and everyone else closer with the use of Twitter, bloggers and a smattering of live streaming now enters the next realm with far more live streaming than last season. Too bad I was in class all day and couldn’t partake, le sigh. Without further ado, here I go reviewing what I missed because I was sitting in a desk taking notes all day.

Christian Siriano
I’m always impressed with the air of sophistication that comes with Christian’s collections. I know with Christian that I can always expect refined looks in a controlled color story with luxe materials. Spring/summer 2011 did a fantastic job of incorporating subtle ruffles into most designs. However, I do feel like every one of his collections has an evening dress in almost the same silhouette, this time it was look 38. Still stunning and remarkable, but now it’s come to be expected. One thing I also expect – but love! – is how Christian’s last few looks always up the drama.

Richard Chai Love
Clicking through this collection on style.com (how great is it that ads are on the side and don’t interrupt clicking through the images anymore?!) I felt a strong middle eastern influence with the billowing layers and slouchiness, like Jasmine’s wardrobe if Disney had a fashion illustrator on the animation team. However, with the number of sheer pieces, which were stunning, any woman wearing a burqa in this style would be shot dead in her tracks. Another reason being Richard Chai’s layers highlight a woman’s chest, which keeping it completely underwraps. It’s kind of genius.

Vena Cava
Color blocking and a slightly country take on tribal is the best way I can describe this collection from Vena Cava. The color blocking is down extremely well, so that the pieces from this line will be highly covetable, but it looks as though some pieces might not work for women with hips. Those looks are best left on the models (who even look a little hippy strutting them).

I’m really excited for this particular round of fashion weeks because I can’t wait to see how my forecasting project from last semester is going to pan out. I already see small hints of my forecast coming out and I can’t wait for more!

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Filed under Designers, Fashion Week, Spring, Summer

Summer reading, extended


I’m increasingly happy with the positive consequences of taking a mild 13 hours this semester. My newest passtime: reading. Sounds novel, right? I don’t think it’s been since middle school (with the exception of blissful summer reading) that I’ve been able to read for my own enjoyment, and I rather welcome the concept. The first book on my fall reading list (that has nothing to do with a syllabus!) is Tim Gunn’s Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Lessons for Making it Work.

Instead of penning another book in the same vein as his other titles, Gunn is branching out and giving us a delectable piece full of vignette-style stories from his personal and professional life, along with anecdotes of the ruthless industry he survives and that I am pursuing. I’m so happy that the LOFT here in Waco is right next to a bookstore, and that I can just pop in and buy some good reading material before or after working my shift. I hope I don’t end up spending more money there than I already do at work… perhaps this isn’t as good of an arrangement as I initially thought. The jury is out on that for now. Happy reading!

And I’ve already heard enough spoilers, no more please! Also, the happiest time of the year is about to begin – Christmas comes three times for me: February, September and December. I love fashion week.

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