chic simplicity life lesson #99: b is for bold-colored blazer

For reasons completely unidentified ― and really, inconsequential whatever they'd be ― I want a cherry red blazer. I've been admiring these two pieces for the past month or so. You might say there's nothing incredibly remarkable about either blazer, especially to warrant their RRPs. True. But doesn't the cherry brightness just make you cheery.

I've resolved to keep an eye out for Rag & Bone's piece, pictured right, (Browns) (and Neiman's, Bergdorf's, and Barneys, in store) once it's sale season (which, by the way, you'd think folks would be smart enough to start sales much earlier this year! People are hardly buying anything! Sheesh!!). The blazer by DSquared (Luisa Via Roma) seems very well cut. But it's got a cropped back vent ― striking detail, yes, but not one I particularly like; I'd thought about extending it with a similar fabric in black, if I ever got the jacket. Perhaps more importantly, at almost thirteen hundred dollars the jacket is over twice the price of the Rag & Bone piece!! So I'm biding my time. I've also been on staple blazer territories, JCrew and Ralph Lauren; nothing in just plain red (yet! keeping my fingers crossed.)

Cherry kisses.


a little pep in your step (boys)!

As I contemplated what'd recently caught my eye in men's fashions ― but, never really taken root in my consciousness because, well, I'm not shopping for any men! ― I exhausted my brain recalling some of the most inspiring and innovative contemporary brands/names I'd heard floating around. An hour, two crosswords and a slice of quiche later...
Nope, nothing.

You see, for 'it' to have even the slightest bit of flair for the typical gentleman, (true, even when dressing women) one has got to take one's cues, very frequently, from brazen, avant-garde designers who aren't afraid to go to extremes. Most certainly, you'll find a striking detail to make your own from the designer's seemingly Gordian, or ― *ahem* crazy absurd ― runway pieces, for instance. And yes, of its on accord, my mind was running amok with selfish desires to recreate such (essentially) male details/pieces to fit myself as a woman.

It was in this despairingly distracted state that I thought of love potion Number (N)ine. And thank the Lord for men.style.com, because I couldn't remember the designer's name, Takahiro Miyashita. Now, I know not very men ― actually, I can't even think of a single male friend ― that would look favorably at Miyashita's ensembles, well, as they appeared on the runway (pics, men.style.com). And I get it. You really don't want to look like a bleach-blond Juliette Gréco channeling a disconcerted, hallucinating Renaissance androgyne sans paint brush (this spring, left pic) or Ali Baba's step-son, reincarnated, and still running from the sharia police (fall collection). I don't want you to either.

But, let's look a little closely at the brilliance of a series of shoes Miyashita showed for this spring season. The uppers are actually made from heavy rich jacquard, the kind normally used in curtains, yep drapery! Have you seen anything like it?? I haven't, and I think it's charming. I mean, seriously, worn with a pair of your usual (ho-hum *chuckle* plain) linen shorts/trousers or sport coat/blazer ensemble say for spring, it's bound to give you a little more oomph in your step. I'd totally do a double take!! Really, let's think about it: I'm not asking you to go crazy because you'd still be in your regular (more or less presentable) clothes; your shoes would just be a little more special. *smile* (at Number (N)ine, Brownsfashion)

So I decided to search out more of such interesting (proper) shoes (brogues, oxfords etc. wait, there are only three?! shoe options for you poor, poor men!). I found some, nothing more in jacquard like I was hoping.

I showed the Martin Margiela's confetti sneakers (I h.a.t.e. sneakers), but compare it to the proper shoes (of which I'm now a huge! fan) and which I could only find on darling site, LuxuryCulture. It's exquisite decadence. The confetti pieces on both the sneakers and the proper shoes ― I think these are derbies, I can't tell the difference ― are supposed to fall off with time, carrying on the uniqueness of the shoes. Gosh I'm in love. (with shoes I can't even own! or can I?)

Top: Raf Simons, Colette Paris; Middle: Gucci, Saks, Neiman's, Gucci; Bottom: Sneakers: MMM, Brownsfashion, or Eluxury.

Big kisses.


le smoking

I have this thing: a love for women ― no, no men this time, just women ― smoking in fashion eds. I know, I know... whatever. And you know, it's really a complex concept that measures, very carefully, the chicness factor and (usually) sex appeal of the entire spread.

I don't feel like writing or I'd go into detail. Maybe sometime later, when I forget completely that I sat through Larry King interviewing Joan Rivers' face the other night. No, I still don't know what they were talking about. I couldn't think, much less move my hands to change the channel, I was just paralyzed, in awe of the wonder that is Ms Rivers' bust (sculpture, that is). Both puns intended. Anyway, Kate Moss in this studded Balmain jackie got me thinking... Yes, she's a badd! ass! and I'd so steal that jacket from her. (No, I don't smoke, let's not talk ethics, just enjoy the pics) I think I want to do a spread just like hers. Now.Tom Ford gets an honorary mention. Haha. You know I love this man!

Kiss. Kiss. Don't get too close, I don't wanna smell the ciggie on your breath. Thanks.


mlle roitfeld: cnn

Bonjour tout le monde.
Oui, c'est Mlle Roitfeld! Je paresse ...pense à son éclat parisien.
CNN Video: Carine Roitfeld

La fin.
Tu ceci appele une entrée ?!! Shame haha


soft iridescence (and a djebellah i'm crazy for) from sophie theallet

It's the airiness of the overlaid, silk chiffons in her spring pieces; each layer, a single color ― primarily ― emerging softly, shimmering into a mellow iridescence. It's what struck me about Sophie Théallet's first showing at NY fashwk last September. Then, add a smattering of floral: subdued, and yet, eye-catching, eye-pleasing.

Pics: Style.com, Top: Spring. Bottom: Fall.

Just as I sat musing about the Native American influences in Théallet's fall collection (on her (seemingly) bohemian flair), I reverted to that djellabah piece from her spring collection. How perfectly chic! And what if I could wear it both 'as is' and as a djellabah-mini, of sorts; the two bottom tiers a removable piece?? I'm serious. Brilliant, no?? And at least I'd have two pieces for the pricey one.

Yes, she did use all black models for her spring show debut last September. Frankly, I'm amazed; as I did not know there were that many black models in my great America.
No, she was not making a political statement, she'd said. The colors just looked better on brown skin.
― No, I don't believe the former (statement) one bit. (Okay, a 95% degree certainty.)
― Duhhh?!!! re the latter notion. I think you'd be hard pressed to find colors that didn't look much better on brown skin.

PS. Her spring pieces debuted on Eluxe just about the same time the fall collections started showing. Pretty fast huh?? Well, she did spend ten years at Alaïa.

Beaucoup de bisous!


prada transformer

I'll be b.a.c.k.
Meanwhile, do click on the absolute spectacularity that is the Prada Transformation concept: a structure composed of (four) distinct shapes, which rotates according to one of four events it's expected to host at any given time. It's currently being built in Seoul; construction started in Feb. You must watch the video! I only found out about it yesterday. I'm completely amazed; but I do have a few questions. Most importantly, "Where will the internal bits i.e. furniture, design pieces, etc be stored and how will they be moved about as the transformer undoubtedly uhhh... transforms (sorry) to host each event??" Might turn out to be a pain, if they have to be moved often, whatever "often" means. Although I'm sure the smart people at FRCH Design Worldwide have thought alot about this already.

butterfly kisses.

adeline andre (i, personally, prefer seven arm-holes please)

Speaking of Parisian couture, I've had this a bit now... The subdued Adeline André, who hosts her enduringly effortless couture collections fondly dubbed Top-of-wear pieces thinks an aquamarine blue seven arm-holed knee-length dress is just fine for fall, and I agree. What makes this piece especially endearing is its layered skirt, which at first glance, is simple enough. But, on further inspection, one realizes it simply must've taken some measure of fastidious perfection to get it to fall correctly, otherwise one would, just as easily, end up with a lopsided garment (yes, that could be fashionable too, but it's obvs not Ms André's goal for her private clientele!). I have a vision of being unwrapped from this dress as I twirl away from a yummy hunk holding the outer sleeve at one end *bows head in mock shame* It wouldn't work as easily as I envision, I know. Images: Madame Le Figaro

And to say I'm taken with Adeline André is an understatement. Just when I'd pegged the Central African Republic born Ms André as a restrained woman (err... given her recent garments!), I found a youtube video that dispelled my naive notion.

Not only is there a compelling woman behind the clothes, a woman who designs a myriad of pieces; there's an intriguing intuition that accompanies her simple pieces; ironically, so obvious, it's easily overlooked. Her pieces are extremely wearable, to say the least; additonally, they offer the fashionably discerning wearer greater control and possibilities on wearing, dressing up or down. And as if her brilliance isn't enough, she had to have her three arm-sleeve garment registered in Paris only a year after setting up shop as a designer!! Umm.. do you know how difficult it is to get anything trademarked, much less anything in fashion?! Let's not even talk about in France?! ...the snobbish French manner of doing things. (Je vous aime toujours, mes chéris!)

Bisous. Bisous.


chic decadence

Carrying on ― as though I haven't got some 'splaining to do, except to say I think melancholy prods the frozen recesses of my soul, so a post for my records it is ― did you know I first titled my fashion memoirs CHIC DECADENCE? Yup, it's true, and you can totally see it, can't you?!

I think the decadent part is really a combination of my burgeoning (just plain-old greedy) desire for truly luxurious fabrics that I can't even afford; my mother's impressions on me, growing up, unveiling a treasured item for a special occasion and sometimes, just because... (she felt like it, honestly, mom?! indulgent much?!); and lastly, let's face it: even though I do a very good job of pretending I'm not Nigerian, there is a certain hedonistic 'fanfare' that comes with every ounce of every drop of Nigerian blood and culture (and I love it! more and more!! each day). So you see, nature +nurture, I totally can't escape it!!

So yeah... sorrowfully pensive state well established (fall's line-up alternately permitting me temporary reprieve (and forcing me downward still as it fuels my insatiable hunger)), and it's on to Giambattista Valli F/W 2009-10.

Relatively subdued for the man who'd sooner dress what's (or who's) the left of the world's Lee Radziwills (but just perfect for me!), Mr Valli showed a collection suffused with clean, clear-cut lines, and sprinkled, here and there, with ornate glimmering silks (or brocades). Of course, having foraged as a magpie in a former life, all the shiny fabrics are especially attractive; and yet ― perhaps c almost distracting from the simple wearability of Valli's pieces.

Even then, the shiny (haha) pieces aren't the best of the lot! Okay (I lie and I die!!), save for this long coat (pictured left) accompanied with its exquisite silk-corded tassel, a pleasing theme running through the collection. Really, the coats have it and all I want to say is... I want this (coat)! and this! and this!! Thank you very much. A gyrl can dream, can't she?? BTW, I'd never catch this niggling cold, if I had one of those coats... I'm just saying.
(pics: thanks Style.com)

But seriously, I especially love this peacock-feathered skirt and I ― undoubtedly ― want it for my mom!! She wouldn't buy it herself (given the game-of-pick-four-or-five-random-numbers price-tag that will certainly accompany it) that much I know, but she'll definitely take it from her gyrls (if we ever found it *on sale*). I know she'll also say something like, "how am I supposed to wear this in the stifling heat (of Nigeria)?" True. So maybe, it should be a tea-length affair... (perhaps attach a simple light-weight (sheer?) ruched fabric at the bottom mimicking the edges of the feathers.. It's kinda hard to explain... but I'm altering and refining the skirt in my head... HA!) what am I saying?? Nigerians wear much more in the stifling sun, no?? Pictured with that turtle neck, it makes me feel hot (temp-wise), just looking at it. Anyway, I think it's just perfect... *giggles*

Decadent kisses, leaving lip stains on each of your cheeks.