Monday, October 25, 2010

Lanvin For H&M: Am I hearing this right?

Creative exploration


Fashion has no boundaries and limitations. It can be expressed in many different ways and creative forms. It is not only limited to tangible items and goods. As Coco Chanel once observed, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only; fashion is something in the air. It’s the wind that blows in the new fashion; you feel it coming, you smell it ... in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Fashion, in that sense has been able to provide a creative platform for artists and designers all across the world to demonstrate their imagination and connect with their audience physically and virtually. In a similar manner, after stumbling upon artwork of Ju Duoqi (a Chinese artist who won the first Prize of Art Creativity category during China International Ecosystem Photography Festival), in creating the vegetable art masterpieces to bring art and life together inspired me to look at fashion through a different angle and rekindled and regenerated my sense of wonder at the same time.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet Jameela Jamil

With a name like “Jameela Jamil,” you can never go wrong. Recently, I came across this British beauty in a fashion magazine and I was completely in awe of her style. This dark-eyed ex-model, who is also the host of Britain's Freshly Squeezed and T4 presenter has an impeccable sense of style and is not afraid to experiment with her quirky personality.

May be it's her unexpected style, fierceness blended with her exotic Indian roots and London upbringing that makes her an upcoming hip “it girl” for street fashion.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Style guide for young male professionals

After few requests from my male friends to come up with a blog entry on style guide for young male professionals, I finally did some research on current fashion trends for men and used my own knowledge based on fashion and style to come up with this style guide. Hope this helps!

When it comes to fashion and style, no man should ever say, “I don't have one.” Developing a sense of style is important no matter what gender and background you come from. There is no denial that there is something about a put-together man in his clean crisp suit that makes him look powerful on a subconscious level.
While there are different industries and businesses that people work in, when it comes to dressing up for a professional environment, it really depends on the environment of the office you work for. Another important thing to keep in mind is your body frame and structure. Your clothes should represent you and it shouldn’t overwhelm you. For example, if you are an average built man (neither tall, nor short; neither heavy, nor too thin) - you can get by with a lot of things. However, if you are a tall man- horizontal lines and stripes look good, but make sure that your stripes are spaced farther apart from each other.

Here is a guide to follow when it comes to dressing up:

Short Man- A short man should avoid horizontal lines period. It will make them even shorter.  Thin vertical lines work the best for men of this stature. Solid dark colors can create a slimming effect while light colors can do the opposite. Therefore, it’s important to keep the colors and texture in mind when choosing clothes.
Heavy Man- Firm-fitting clothes do not compliment men of this built- it will only make them look heavier. The trick is to find darker colored clothes in vertical lines- which give the illusion of thinner silhouette. Make sure the pants are worn higher than the hips to avoid the midsection area from looking even larger. Layering clothes will work best for men with this stature.
Thin man- A thin man should absolutely avoid vertical lines. He should explore horizontal lines and fabrics such as tweeds and plaids. Too slim of a cut can make a thin man look even thinner- therefore, try avoiding clothes in that respect.
Muscular man- A man with heavier muscles should avoid tighter clothing. He can still find clothes that are well tailored, but have ample amount of room at the same time. A man with this built should focus more on accentuating their lower body vs their upper body. Suit coats, sports coat, and most shirts should be tailored to follow the 'v-shape' of the torso on the muscular physique. A muscular man should go for darker colors to strike a balance.
Lean muscular man- A lean muscular man should avoid wearing baggy clothes. Someone with this stature should find clothes that are structured and well-tailored to accentuate their overall look. V-neck styles work the best for men with such figures. Dark blue, black, beige, brown are some of the basic colors that look good on these men.

Some classic, timeless pieces every young professional should have in their wardrobe

1.   A classic suit- A black suit is always in fashion no matter what. However, you can never go wrong with grey, tan and dark blue suits either. Make sure your suit is well tailored and fits you perfect. There is no excuse for looking frumpy in your suit. A well tailored and a classic suit can make you look powerful and confident at the same time.

This look is perfect for an office environment that calls for professionalism, but not too formal

Single-breasted suits are more trendy and popular among young professionals

2.   White dress shirt- Every man irrespective of their age should own couple of white shirts. A classic white shirt goes with every suit, with a nice dress pants or with jeans for a casual Friday. You can choose a white shirt in various details and textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore.
3.   Dress pant- A dress pant is a capsule piece for any wardrobe. It can work for a day at an office or for a formal dinner. A solid black dress pant is a MUST have item. However, if you would like to own more than one dress pant- you can definitely try colors like grey, tan or even brown.
4.   Sport Coat/Blazer- A good sport coat or a blazer is definitely an investment. You can wear this on top of a dress pant for professional meetings and seminars, while you can pull this blazer with a pair of khaki for a networking event or even with a pair of denim for a night out with friends. This is an item that cannot go wrong because it falls under that middle ground between being very formal and wearing a suit and being casual and wearing a sweater.

A classic sport coat works for a lot of ocassions
This look can work for Fridays at work or even during the weekends
the trick in looking good is- use one color (preferably darker color) as your base color and add accent colors to give a contrast like the mustard colored V-neck cardigan

5.   Jeans- A professional man should at least have two pairs of denim in his wardrobe. Darker denims work for an office look on Fridays, while a lighter denim is perfect for weekends. A darker washed denim is flattering on most people and can make a person look taller and can give a person the slimming effect, while lighter denims have that “cool-vibe” and work great for a dinner-get together or a happy-hour during the weekend.

The darker denim witha  sport coat is great if you don't want to look too formal, yet look classy and bold

See how a lighter denim works great for a casual look.

6.    T-Shirt- Even though the power and versatility of t-shirts are often overlooked by most people, I think that owning few nice quality t-shirts are very important. It works great inside a sport coat or a blazer and can also be paired with dress pants or jeans. When buying t-shirts, go for solid/basic colors- preferably darker hues.

7.    Tie- A good classic tie can make the overall outfit look great. It is also a form of self-expression. Therefore, have fun with it, but at the same time keep your personality and career in mind. It is not OKAY to come to your job with a polka-dot tie. A classic black silk tie is always in fashion. You can also definitely go for colors like blue, dark brown, beige, silver, and red.

8.    Shoes- A good pair of shoes can either make your outfit or break your outfit. Every young professional should at least own a black pair of leather dress shoes. You can definitely play with designs when it comes to shoes. Here is a quick list of what every young professional should own when it comes to shoes:
·         The sneaker
·         The casual shoe
·          The black dress shoe
·         The brown dress shoe- an acceptable alternative color
·         The ankle boot
9.   Classic Cashmere cardigan/sweater: A V-neck classic cashmere cardigan/sweater not only keeps you warm, but looks great inside a pair of suit or even with a sport coat for a casual day at work. If you’re office is not too traditional and conservative, sometimes a nice classic cashmere sweater can be an alternative to a suit. It also works well with a pair of tie and even with a shirt and khakis/jeans for a casual weekend. You can definitely have some fun in terms of colors and style when it comes to a cashmere sweater. Go for something that works for your personality and lifestyle.

Have fun with colors when picking out cashmere sweaters. They work for casual wears and at the same time work very well for a formal get up

10. Watch- A classic metal watch is a staple piece for a young professional. It can prove a great accent to your overall look. It is one of the most important accessories a man will ever invest. Go for a classic look and avoid too much of design on it.

11.  A cashmere scarf- A good classic black, beige or even a brown scarf can make your fall and winter look sophisticated and professional. A scarf can be worn outside a trench or a suit. A good woolen scarf is the way to go.

12. Trench Coat- A nice classic trench is definitely a great item to invest despite your career backgrounds. Even though a timeless trench is little expensive- it is definitely a "must-have" item for your wardrobe. Camel colors are definitely the way to go when it comes to a trench, but a black one isn’t a bad idea either- if you are more of a classic person.

13. Leather Jacket- When it comes to a leather jacket, either it can give you a professional and a tough attitude or it can make you look like a “biker gone wrong.” Therefore, picking the right leather jacket is tricky. Stick with colors like black and dark brown when buying one. Make sure your leather jackets hits your waist when getting one. The trend of wearing a longer leather jacket is dying out. So, don’t make the mistake of looking like a spy from the 70s.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Having a masculine moment?

Fashion over the years has evolved in many different ways and forms. The ever-changing nature of fashion is what keeps the industry alive and refreshing. Looking at the fashion trends right now- menswear-inspired styles are making a huge comeback this fall. Fashion’s love-affair with menswear-inspired clothing isn’t something new to Hollywood starlets. In the past, menswear-inspired look has been popularized by celebrities like Katherine Hepburn, Bianca Jagger, and Diane Keaton. However, today celebrities like Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Alexa Chung and Angelina Jolie have equally shared their passion and love for menswear-inspired clothing by adding an extra shot of sex appeal and a modern edge to the trend.

Over the years, menswear-inspired fashion have only become better as a result of designers such as Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Calvin Klein adding a refined edge to them. There is something incredibly sexy about menswear-inspired pieces such as a pair of a boyfriend blazer, a cropped leather jacket, a tuxedo inspired jacket, a fedora hat, a pair of cargo pants, a pair of cigarette pants paired with something feminine and soft. May be it is the juxtaposition of feminine curves meeting the hard masculine clothes that gives this look some sensuality and boldness.

See how a leather jacket added to a bright preppy skirt can give you that raw appeal
       The boyfriend blazer paired with this feminine dress like this one can work for happy-hours after work or even to a cocktail party

Menswear-inspired vest gives you that masculine feel, but the strand of pearls can add that softness to your look Remember! it's all about pairing masculine pieces with feminine touch 

                                            This is perfect for an office look on Friday
    This menswear-inspired button down shirt paired with a chunky chain necklace can add toughness to your overall look, however the skirt with lacy details when paired together (which you can't see clearly in the picture) can create that perfect harmony 
It’s all about the execution and presentation when it comes to menswear-inspired fashion. This kind of fashion is flattering on someone who is not afraid to play and experiment with her feminine side. The masculine appeal works at its best when one pairs it up with something feminine and soft to create that balanced look. And, it’s not just menswear-inspired clothes that give you that raw appeal, accessories and accent pieces inspired by menswear fashion such as an embellished necklace, a chunky bracelet, a pair of Oxford shoes, a plaid fedora hat, a newsboy cap, a pair of aviator glasses, or even a satchel can equally add a modern touch of boldness and sleekness to your overall outfit.
 However, there are some things one might consider when it comes to pairing masculine pieces to feminine clothes or vice versa. Remember, just because it’s called menswear does not mean, you dress like a man. Even though you are adding menswear-inspired fashion to your wardrobe, the trick is to buy items that are structured and well tailored. Here are some tips to wearing menswear-inspired pieces:

  1. Find a tailored jacket that hugs your figure. Stay away from items that make you look boxy.
  2. Soften up your menswear inspired suit with a soft romantic blouse in softer colors
  3. Have fun with fedoras and pair them up with a flirtatious dress for a casual day out
  4. Feminize your dress by adding menswear-inspired accents such as a chain necklace or a pair of Oxford flats
  5. Explore fabrics like tweed or leather to give you that modern edgy feel
  6. Play with some dark colors such as black and grey and pair them up with contrast color
  7. Try a menswear inspired button down shirt with a pair of legging and a penny loafer

                                       Here are some more examples...