Posts Tagged ‘Fashion’

“…my whole life is art and my whole life is performance…”

August 1, 2009

Lady Gaga’s unique style has always caught her audience’s attention. “Fashion is everything,” she says, “I want the imagery to be so strong that fans will want to eat and taste and lick every part of us.” The artist has definitely been successful in making an impression with her shocking outfits; she’s performed in a bodysuit with cone-shaped lightning breasts, she’s been photographed wearing nothing but metal orbit-shaped discs around her head, and she became a lampshade for one of her interviews. But, my all-time favorite is the Kermit the Frog coat she wore in a recent interview she had with German television. She even accessorized her outfit with a single Kermit on her head!

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa

Lady GaGa & lampshade

“I dress this way all the time because it inspires my life. I dress this way because my whole life is art and my whole life is performance,” explains Lady Gaga. “You don’t need money to live the way that I live. You just need a good idea and creativity.” Lady Gaga definitely has tons of creativity when it comes to the way she dresses, and the best thing about it is that, even when she’s dressed in the most outrageous of outfits, she acts completely natural, as if she is not wearing anything out of the ordinary. Although this interview is in German, one can still see that the singer is trying to take her outfit seriously. She is talking as if she is wearing jeans and the plainest tee, and not a coat made of dozens of drooping toy frogs!

Lady Gaga’s coat was created by French nobleman and clothing designer Jean Charles de Castelbajac (who is also known as JC/DC).  De Castelbajac’s creations have included a coat of teddy bears worn by Madonna and, of course, Lady Gaga’s famous Kermit coat.

Lady Gaga & Kermit

What do you think of Lady GaGa’s style?  Is she fashion forward?  Or completely ridiculous? Fall 2009 Trend Report

July 31, 2009 just released their trend report for Fall 2009, listing fall’s most important trends: 

  • biker brigade
  • boudoir crossing
  • forties and fabulous
  • party like it’s 1983
  • ruche hour
  • smart investments

biker brigadeboudoir crossing

forties and fabulousparty like it's 1983

ruche hoursmart investments

Check out what AG writer Sarah S. had to say last week about the new biker trend and 80s trend for fall.

What do you think of these trends?  Will you be wearing them this fall?  Which trend is your favorite? Let us know in the comment section!

Boho Beauty

July 30, 2009

Lately I’ve found myself to be drawn to a bohemian style of clothing.  Lots of magazines feature pictures with celebrities who carry this “boho-chic” look.  Those glossy pages consist of pictures of the Olsen Twins and their colorful outfits and large bags holding their Starbucks in one hand.  Well, here’s the boho look from my eye.

“Boho” comes from the word bohemianism, which, according to the dictionary is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits, with few permanent ties.  When I think of bohemian I think of the Renaissance Era- a very literary and artistic time yet full of freedom and expression.

The look is actually modeled off of style in the 1960s involving long skirts, big glasses, and one eye popping colorful piece to complete it all.  I love this look for several reasons: 

  1. It’s easy and cheap!  Go to local thrift stores, grab a big yellow bag, pay $10 and pretend you found it in London or somewhere glamorous like that. 
  2. It doesn’t look “prepared.”  How many people have seen someone completely overdressed?  By overdressed I don’t mean wearing an overcoat in the middle of the Sahara Desert, but I mean overdressed to the point where either nothing fits or it’s simply too polished for a nice daytimelook.  By achieving the boho look, you simply feel and look as if you rolled out of bed, threw something on really quick, and just happen to look awesome.
  3. You can accessorize!  Boho style leaves a lot of room for accessories.  Dangling earrings, golden belts, pink sunglasses, you name it.  Add these to any outfit, and your outfit gets a few more golden stars. 


A lot of celebrities are turning to the boho look because it’s unique.  Everyone can share the same preppy style by wearing a polo, but with bohemian style, no one has the same vintage shirt because it’s just unique to the person.  It gives you an identity as to who you are.  Maybe you choose one thing to wear all the time, like a bohemian looking bracelet.  That alone adds a whole new character to make that outfit work. 

No matter the season, the bohemian look is always in style.  For the rest of the summer, get a colorful skirt, or try a long flowing top and pair it with skinny jeans.  This fall try going for the boots (No, I’m not talking about UGG boots and I’m not dissing them either- I do love them when it’s really cold).   Instead, I’m suggesting that you define your style and get a super-chic pair of boots like Nichole Richie has.  Wear it with dark jeans and you’ll look boho-fab. 

Style is all about expression and experimenting, so try something new or spice up the old, and rock that bohemian style like they did back then.  Let’s show those folks in the Renaissance we haven’t forgotten their inspiration- we’re just adding the rest of the flavor.

Bright Days and Neon Nights

July 29, 2009

Spring 2009 runways showed a lot of brights and florals, as would be expected for that time of year. Suprisingly though, the Fall 2009 shows also presented neon and bright colors. While many people enjoy the colorful garments, neons and brights are often seen as hard to wear without making someone look like a glowstick or highlighter. 

Michael Kors believes that neons and brights are the way to go this fall. His show featured a shocking neon green fox fur coat as well as many other bright pieces. Says Kors,”Electric neon brights add an optimistic urban punch to this fall’s neutral palette. Who says clothes can’t make you smile?”

According to Khaussandra Delgado, several designers seemed to agree with Kors on one of this fall’s biggest hits:

“The Fall 2009 RTW collection features several neon pink pieces, varying from a black and hot pink constructed clutch to a pair of wildly seductive black boots with hot pink trim and soles. Givenchy also offers a pair of shoes in screaming neon pink; the cut-out boots are featured in a Day-Glo shade that is endlessly eye-catching. The neon trend is everywhere these days; it has gone from the raves to the runway and entered every stylish girl’s wardrobe.”

Neons and Brights

Made on by Kate

Some may still be wondering, what’s the easiest way to wear neons and brights? The most flattering and chic way to wear them is to pair them with black or neutral colors. A hot pink dress makes a statement, but still looks classy when worn with black tights and a black belt. Another easy way to brighten your style is through accessories, such as bright green or pink shoes, bright yellow bags and skinny neon belts. It is important to keep in mind that a little goes a long way when it comes to this trend. If you just want to add a little hint of neon to your look, try some of this season’s newest makeup and nail polish shades, including Essie’s Perky Purple.

For even more about this Fall 09 trend, check out this short clip from Harper’s Bazaar.

“Truth be Told”: Interview with Stylist, Kim Shimkus

July 24, 2009

The world of fashion can be shallow yet blatantly honest, new and hip, yet so last season.  Upon interviewing stylist Kim Shimkus, the truth of fashion became uncovered through an insider’s perspective of our trendy ever-changing world.

Q:  What do you do for a living?

A: Right now I’m an assistant buyer for Ananas in Oak Park, and I work on the sales part of the store like client logs.  I worked a lot of years with Utopia, been store manger and I used to own a clothing boutique.

Anana's, 109 N Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60301

 Q: Tell me a little bit of your background.

A:   Well I studied agriculture at Southern Illinois years ago, before universities had environmental science as a major, and had aspirations of having an organic cotton farm…

Q:  Then how has your degree in agriculture helped you out in fashion?

A:  Well when I had my store we had a lot of eco friendly products.  The store in Oak Park I’m at now, is getting organic products, and I’m educated on these fabrics.  Anytime I can, I buy organic products, I do.  Fashion is a growing industry of organic products.  You look at all these celebrity’s recyling trends, just like the Green movement, which I think a lot of the hype has to do with. Organic products like wool, cotton, I’m educated on and I think people are becoming more aware of the benefits of these products.

Q: Why are you interested in fashion?

A:  Well right out of college I found a job working at a clothing boutique.  Ironically, the clothing boutique I’m at now.  Worked there 6 years, managed it, and just loved it.  I’m interested in fashion because I’m big into feminism.  I love fashion because that was the way women expressed themselves nonverbally.  It was used and is now used to express their own individuality.  I love making people feel confident and beautiful- women have so many body issue nowadays, it’s so nice to take an everyday women and make her feel beautiful. 

Q: I hear you collect vintage clothing.  Why do you do so?

A:  Oh, it’s just so beautiful.  When I was younger I’d go shopping at these second hand stores in the city, and I’d hunt for labels.  It was a rather affordable hobby.  You could buy vintage cashmere for twenty bucks.  I just love the beauty of vintage and I think it’s such a fun and unique hobby.

Q: What is so great about vintage clothing?

A: Vintage clothing is popular, because again, it sort of ties in with the Green Movement.  People are realizing we as humans have a clothing habit, we just have so much clothing.   Things you see in magazines can go out of style, but with vintage we can wear something then reuse it.  People are buying vintage American garments made by hand and then they realize the quality of other clothes doesn’t compare.  People in magazines dress hipster now with a vintage flair.  So quality, timelessness, flexibility.  I think it’s a combination of all ot that.

Q:  What makes the perfect outfit?

A:  Well I would definitely say accessories.  I have a pair of Levis I’ve had for 20 years, and I’ve worn them for 20 years with every kind of shoe, white blouse, or a black turtleneck.  The shoes and the earrings are what changes.  If you’re you’re gonna be a super urban dresser, you should be trend driven. You know, [the] shoulder padded jacket, people aren’t buying that this year, only Kate Moss is wearing it.  If you’re not going to be following these trends religiously, that’s alright, just get yourself a nice handbag and you should be okay.

Q:  Do the clothes make the outfit, or does the person wearing the clothes?

A:  I definitely think the person.  The clothes don’t hurt, but the attitude of the person wearing the clothes it what makes the outfit work.  You can have the most fantastic looking person, amazingly dressed with a stylist and all, but if she feels miserably about herself it’s not going to be as amazing if she doesn’t feel comfortable with who she is.  So, the person definitely is in charge of making the outfit work or else there’s no real reason to dress nice in the first place, clothes are all about expressing that individuality.

Q:  How do you find the right clothes?

A:  I think having dressed for 20 years, you have to look at yourself honestly with kindness.  Depending on your body shape, you’ve got to be realistic as to what you can wear.  No one can wear everything, but there are definitely things that look good on everyone.  If you want to put an effort into the way you dress, you need to be honest with yourself and put some time into it to try out things that work and know the things that don’t work.

Q: What are your future plans?

A:  I would like to have a personal shopping/wardrobe business.  Where I fit people properly with a handful of stores.  I don’t think I’d want to own a store again, but I do miss my store.  Every time I want to get away from the fashion industry, the more I want to get back into it.  It’s like a trap.  Once you start, you never leave it.  Same goes for advertising or whatever it may be.  But when I think about leaving it, I think about doing something more spiritually fulfilling, like becoming a yoga instructor.  But then you always go back to what you’re familiar with.  But I do like where I am and I’m happy being in something that makes me feel good about myself and also helping others.

The Return of Depression Era Fashion

July 21, 2009

For those of you who haven’t seen the new movie Public Enemies, you are missing out on a great story and great some fashion. The film, starring Marion Cotillard, Christian Bale, and Johnny Depp, portrays the story of John Dillinger (Depp), an infamous Depression-era bank robber. Based on real events, the film is a great look at late 1920s and early 1930s fashion. Ardis Taylor, owner of Vintage Apparel by Ardis, helped create the looks for the films main actors.

Public Enemies

When speaking about the garments choices made for the movie, Ardis says, ‘”The ’30s are the most rare, especially for menswear,” Taylor says. “‘Public Enemies’ was from around that era. It’s the hardest to locate because a lot of people within the business don’t know much about the fashion at all,” he says. “Within the ’30s, I like the textures of fabric — the herringbone tweeds and the chalk stripes they had in that period.”’

It seems as though Depression Era fashion or Depression Chic is coming back in style and is showing up in fall collections. Some might not be sure what it means when something is “Depression Chic.”  “Colours…are sombre, with a lot of greys, khakis and browns. Plaid is still very important and a revival of tweeds and herringbone patterns make a comeback in re-thought classic outerwear. ‘It is all about conversational pieces’ a sales representative from Unruly Heir told WGSN.” 

One designer whose Men’s Fall 09 collection was inspired by the Depression Era, is John Bartlett. His latest  collection featured plenty of tweed, plaid, news-boy caps and velvet suit jackets.

Says Bartlett of his inspiration, “There’s a new depression happening right now…It’s not a financial one but an emotional depression, with every friend of mine being on Prozac. The clothes from the Depression have a real elegance and a real innocence I’d like to recapture.”

According to the New York Times reporting on Bartlett’s current line, jackets had softer shoulders, tight pants were loosened, and models all had slicked back hair. One garment included a coat that hit close to the knee, and pants were all a bit short.

This summer and fall has shown Depression Era influences in film and fashion. It is a bit fitting, considering the current state of our economy, but let’s hope that all that’s repeated is the fashion and not the Era itself.

New Trend: Biker Chic

July 21, 2009

A fashion trend I’ve noticed spreading quickly both on the runway and on the street is called “biker chic”, or at least that’s what Elle is classifying it as. It’s basically a throwback to the grunge look of the 90s, but it includes some of today’s hottest trends like skinny jeans and funky scarves.

When I looked in my closet to see if I could pull the trend off, I was surprised at how many of the biker essential pieces I already had. There isn’t much to this trend—it’s very easy to pull off. My rule of thumb is that if it’s leather, studded, or has chains—it works. Any combo of the three and you’ve got yourself some bonus points.

Biker Chic

Biker Chic by sophie1632 featuring Alexander McQueen

I think that if you pair some of the biker-inspired pieces with some of your own personal favorites, you can give your usual style a fresh new look. This trend just gives you more ways to spice up your style.

For me, I like pairing something non-feminine, like a leather jacket, with a really summery, flirty skirt. Or you could pair skinny jeans and a leather vest with much more feminine jewelry, like a big flower ring or some colorful bangles.

Biker Chic 2

Biker Chic 2 by sophie1632 featuring Forever21

This is a trend I would definitely recommend trying. It’s fun to be a little edgy for the day.

Contemporary Vintage: “Log Cabin Chic”

July 10, 2009

WWD - Rustic MeasuresThe lastest trend for Fall 2009: vintage-inspired rustic and hard-working American styles. According to Women’s Wear Daily, retailer Steven Alan said, “It’s not something that’s just trendy…It’s a little bit ironic.” Design director of Earnest Sewn, Benjamin Talley Smith, also told WWD that the style is probably “a reaction to the overdressing of previous years: ‘People want to be casual, wearing something that’s been worn-in and beat-up.'”



What pieces should you add to your fall wardrobe in order to be a part of this rustic trend?

  • Plaid or flannel “lumberjack” shirts
  • Mechanic-style jumpsuits
  • Work boots
  • Hunting vests
  • Earflap hats

The key to following this trend is looking effortless.  If you’re trying too hard to look rustic and rural in an urban setting, it just doesn’t make sense. WWD adds:

“And while the log-cabin-chic pose can come across as inauthentic, these clothes have an undeniable appeal. Maybe it’s because these days, the new rock stars are people who work with their hands (especially for people whose only calluses come from correcting the auto-spell function on their iPhones.)”

You can obviously find the rustic, log cabin look on the runways

Marc by March Jacobs Fall 09 Ready-to-Wear

And on the streets The Wellie Brigade - The Best Looks from Glastonbury

Check out these vintage-inspired/log cabin chic looks from Urban Outfitters, Modcloth and more.

Log Cabin Chic

Log Cabin Chic by adriane

That’s Haute

July 8, 2009

Bonjour from Paris! 

As a “foreign correspondent” for Avant Gaudy during my one month stay in Paris for a fashion design program, I have been able to get the scoop on what’s hot in Paris. I had the opportunity to go backstage for an awesome haute couture fashion show featuring designer Georges Hobeika.  Hobeika is a Lebanese designer with a background in French fashion (He interned with Chanel and other major French designers). He opened his haute couture label in 1995, specializing in evening gowns, wedding dresses and suits.  He now has a ready-to-wear line featuring several flowy, draped dresses.  Although haute couture is mostly popular in Paris, the extensive detailing and craftmanship can be an inspiration to everyone.  I was actually able to help dress models wearing gowns that cost well over $100,000.  There’s only a small percentage of people who can actually buy these kinds of dresses.  The rest of us just admire them for the works of art they truly are.

Check out Hobeika’s website at:

Here’s a few pictures from backstage and on the runway…

backstage at Geores Hobeika

backstage at Georges Hobeika

backstage at Georges Hobeika

the Wedding Dress

Au revoir for now,

Get the Look: Metallic Maxis

July 7, 2009

Are you inspired by runway looks but would rather wear an affordable vintage item? 

Check out this runway-inspired look featuring Avant Gaudy vintage clothing.

Inspiration: Roberto Cavalli Fall 2007 Ready to Wear

Roberto Cavalli Fall 2007 RTW

AG Piece: Silver Lame Maxi Dress

AG silver metallic dress, $58

How to Style It: long chain necklaces, colorful bracelets

Price Range: $58.00 at Avant Gaudy.