Category Archives: Fashion & Trends

NYFW: Self Portrait

New York Fashion Week, after leaving the centralized hubs of Lincoln Center and Bryant Park before it, has found itself geographically scattered around Manhattan. Designers and fashion houses are quick to find runway alternatives in downtown event spaces like Milk Studios or Skylight Clarkson. Finding a unique venue has become a secondary challenge, and sometimes event production appears as little more than a means to an end.
Self-Portrait, in presenting their Fall Winter 2016 collection, clearly chose a different way.
Located in a sprawling, classic Downtown loft – more the early working kind that was likely a sewing factory in a previous incarnation – the Soho space became as integral to the presentation as the models and production itself.
A vast hall, open to an Old New York skylight, framed in steel and exposed to “un-gentrified” 19th century brick, had the scale and drama of a full catwalk. And Self Portrait’s collection filled the open space with a minimalism that’d be possibly overlooked in one of the more common super-studios.
An up-lit stage and a couple dozen Phillip Starck Ghost Chairs helped stage the collection with grace.
The clothing presented was futuristic but precious. Instead of the bland uniform aesthetic that talk of futurism usually evokes, it was more about color way and form.
The color palette, though inherently reserved due to the nature of the collection, felt unexpectedly harmonious and light. Silvers, blacks and blues let way to elaborate yet refined ornamentation. And the obvious and meticulous, hand worked details left a lasting impression.
Oversized neck pieces, shimmering but downbeat metallic textures, and sleek tubular silhouettes were all styled expertly. Floral prints, with careful cutouts and bold outlines, felt more like modern illustration.
And the space, far from an afterthought, only further emboldened the presentation.
What makes clothing “modern” to you? Is it the colors, the shapes, the textures? Let us know in the comments.

XoXo LenLenStyle

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Jill Stuart

This past Saturday at Downtown NYC’s Industria SuperStudio, industry icon, Jill Stuart, presented her Fall / Winter 2016 collection in full psychedelic regalia.

Featuring kaleidoscopic oil-art light installations by Joshua Light Show, the runway event was fast, colorful and reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s cynical, urban aesthetic.

Along with cultural counterparts on the west coast like the Merry Pranksters, Warhol popularized the psychedelic oil-and-art effect as part of his over indulgent art and music presentations of 1965 and 1966, then dubbed the “Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Featuring the Velvet Underground and Nico playing live behind models and performance artists, it’s come to represent a very specific time in New York’s fashion industry.

Jill Stuart captured this collection’s rock and roll origins without relying too heavy handedly on any linear fashion chronology. Flashing lights, burning guitar sounds and a pulsating kick drum drove, but didn’t overtake, the collection itself. And in spite of the maximal inspiration, the show actually presented with a sleek and driven character.

Featuring metallic dresses, studded fabrics and mod sheer tops, the show was wild yet driven. Rhinestone collars and red fishnets continued to engage its palpable rock and roll influence. Dark bell bottom trousers, and black off-the shoulder-gowns looked far more familiar to Max’s Kansas City than the Summer of Love before it; the collection’s rough and tumble glamor was confident and self-calculating.

Long silhouettes, and a series of red metallic boots cemented it as very much a New York show.

What fashion trend do you predict for these coming seasons – 60’s boho with its flowery ornamentation (as many designers are suggesting), or the fierce rock and roll spirit that gave New York it’s once-tough repute?

XoXo LenLenStyle

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New York Fashion week press

As New York Fashion week presses on, PR ladies and paparazzi just behind, I’d like to share some of the avant garde glamor I’ve been a part of during these past days.

With countless black cabs criss-crossing downtown New York, quick brushes through the many blustery-weathered lines, I got a behind-the-scenes look at some serious fashion talent.

Some stand-out highlights:

Yigal Azrouel:

Israeli designer and NYFW alumnus, Yigal Azrouel masterfully executed a morning runway show at Skylight Clarkson.
Themed around the duality and cross play of darkness and light, figuratively and symbolically, the FW16 featured Yigal’ s signature draping and deconstructionist style.
With modern jacquard fabrics and decadent silhouettes, the show presented as sophisticated and deliberate.

Cushnie et Ochs:

Veteran designers, Cushnie et Ochs, presented in their usual, bold production style with quite the unique thematic inspiration:
“Louise Brooks Goes to the Circus.”
The sexy, silver screen film star brought inspiration via her vixen like aesthetic. Bridging the indulgent circus theme were tonal stripes, silver lame, high waisted trousers and jester-like ruffled collars.
Dazzling and outrageous, Cushnie et Ochs was clearly an audience favorite.

Zimmerman:

Zimmerman held a beautiful runway event at Art Beam to a focused and excitable audience.
Inspired by the colors of India and the woven, stained glass ornamentation traditional on the subcontinent’s myriad textiles, the show featured casual metallics and a joyful color palette.
Zimmerman, run by designers, Nicky and Simone, created their FW16 collection with an optimism, a lightness – in somewhat of a response to their Spring 2015 line – which was decidedly and deliberately a bolder and darker affair.

XoXo LenLenStyle

I’ll be reporting back with more fashion updates over the coming days and week. In the meantime, “Keep warm out there, campers. It’s a cold one!”

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Marissa Webb

Marissa Webb has spent decades as designer of the most classic heritage brands in American history — Ralph Lauren and J.Crew. She has long hung in our wardrobes, sharing her innate sense of effortless chic — a little menswear, a bit of moto yet always hyper feminine. The Marissa Webb formula has become a go-to for the modern fashionista.

While we were saddened to lose her Midas touch from J.Crew, we were more excited to see what Marissa could present under her own namesake. And although the launch of her own line has been a roaring success, Marissa cannot ward the siren song of big brand, Banana Republic, where she currently also serves as creative advisor.

A pro at brand building, Marissa Webb, stayed true to her DNA as she sent her FW 2016 collection down the runway yesterday — each look felt like something she would wear herself.

Layers upon layers ruled Marissa’s catwalk with unexpected combinations of houndstooth and plaid, alpaca wool sweaters, faux fur jackets in bright pops of color and the most fabulous leather leggings. Also, noteworthy, were the accessories which the designer fashioned as well. The ubiquitous over-the-knee boot isn’t going anywhere and Marissa feminine rider with bow tie back is a must-have.

Luckily for us New Yorkers, Marissa has just opened her very first store in SoHo. I know where I’ll be after this next show 😉

Xoxo LenlenStyle

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Walk of Shame

If you’re a girl who likes living on the fun side of Saturday night, the early morning walk of shame on a Sunday morning may be an all too familiar affair.
Hey, I’ve been there often too.
What’s life without a bit of wild fun now and then, right?
I mean, we don’t stay young forever.
Perhaps, someday we young things will start to get bored of these mindless sexy nights.
But that’s not today.
As embarrassing as the walk of shame may be, it’s almost always worth it. Unless you’ve shacked up with a guy who’s so embarrassing that you’d want to get swallowed into oblivion.

The walk of shame

The walk of shame almost always invites attention.
You’ve got joggers and morning walkers all around, and there you are, walking in an eye catching skirt that rides up your ass, a stagger and smudged mascara.
Along with attention, it also invites a lot of stares from women and drools and catcalls from men.
Yes, it’s annoying. But it’s insulting only if you feel insulted.
Every time I’ve had to head out on a walk of shame, I feel confident and happy, like I’ve accomplished something the others only wish they had.

Thanks for reading me

XoXo LenLenstyle

Girl in hat

Hats are a complicated accessory, part-costume, part-cultural signifier. In modern-day America, they’re mostly worn as a highly functional necessity: woolen skull caps to keep us warm, wide-brimmed straw versions to shade us from the sun or baseball caps to disguise bad hair. This isn’t England, where those cunning mini-hats known as fascinators are sometime formal requirements. Here, one false move and your headwear becomes a crime of pretentiousness (read: Williamsburg 20-somethings in top hats or L.A. blondes in wool fedoras despite 80-degree weather).

That doesn’t stop us from taking the leap sometimes: Two years ago, I optimistically purchased a wide-brimmed, chocolate-brown felt number fully intending to channel a breezy, bohemian French woman. But before I even wore it, my daughter spotted the thing perched on my bureau and laughed in my face. “You’re just not a ‘hat person,’ ” she said. But I wanted to be.

If ever I were going to try again, this would be my moment. Look around and more women than ever are pulling off that devil-may-care jeune fille look I had in mind. There’s a distinct movement afoot (or is it ahead?) that’s arguably gained steam since Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane featured wide-brimmed hats on his spring 2013 runway to thunderous applause—a pivotal moment that not coincidentally kicked off the ’70s revival currently under way.

“Hats have taken over the scarf trend,” said Elyse Walker, owner of an eponymous Los Angeles boutique and fashion director of e-commerce site Forward by Elyse Walker. Ms. Walker said she saw hat sales last year increase around 150% at her Pacific Palisades boutique. E-commerce site Net-a-Porter, meanwhile, reported millinery sales nearly doubled. Marcus Wainwright, co-managing partner of New York-based label Rag & Bone said that the company can barely keep up with orders for its floppy-brimmed fedoras, constructed by heritage hat company Bollman.

That’s a lot of “hat people”—if you believe in such a designation. Los Angeles-based milliner Janessa Leone, 27, passionately rejects it. “That’s like saying you’re not a shoe person,” exclaimed Ms. Leone. “You have to wear shoes! There are so many different hats. You can find one that is flattering.”

Her advice is to keep it simple. “For me, [a hat] needs to be classic,” she said, “so you can’t tell if it came out of 2015 or the 1940s. It can’t be over-designed.” The original inspiration for most of her styles is a worn-in man’s fedora unearthed by chance at a vintage shop in Paris.

More than a few excellent brands make similarly timeless hats, including Rag & Bone, Eugenia Kim, newcomer Clyde and haute couture milliner Maison Michel. Saint Laurent also offers very fine, though pricey, versions to wear with its ’70s-inspired clothes for this season.

Whether a hat flatters you is, like everything else in fashion, a matter of proportion, said creative consultant, Cayli Cavaco Reck, who swears by hats, from a winter-appropriate Prada trapper to a gray cowboy style. Ms. Cavaco Reck particularly considers brim width. Wider is more feminine. “But not too wide,” she warned. “[For me], it’s not Jessica Simpson or J.Lo. It’s not for drama.” She added, “You can get it equally wrong with heel height or bags. But [those] aren’t at eye level, so you don’t notice as much.”

Net-a-Porter buying manager Sasha Sarokin suggested that beginners start off with smaller shapes, like the fedora, and stick to neutral colors. “I love the wool-felt styles from Maison Michel or Rag & Bone for a more casual look,” she said. “These are manageable in both size and color.”

But even with the right hat—one that’s classic enough, low-key enough and the exact right shape—you (OK, I) can still feel ridiculous venturing into public. So above all else, the trick to wearing a hat is swagger.

“You just have to go for it,” said Rag & Bone’s Mr. Wainwright. “Take no prisoners. If you own it, you look cool in it. You can look like you’re trying too hard quite quickly.”

Ms. Leone also stressed the need to make a commitment: “Don’t fidget with it or take it on and off. If you’re self-conscious, that’s the number one reason you won’t wear it well.”

It’s clearly a mental game. I suppose I should take comfort in the likelihood that, given how many hats have been sold, I won’t be the only “Girl in Hat” on the street when I take the plunge again—however conspicuous I might feel. As Ms. Cavaco Reck reminded me, historically a hat isn’t a means to look ridiculous, but rather polished. “It makes you look finished,” she said. “When Hedi Slimane put them down the runway, everyone thought, ‘Well, now that looks smart.’ ” Added Net-a-Porter’s Ms. Sarokin, promisingly, “It’s not uncommon to feel naked without your hat once you’ve gotten used to it.”

What About My Hair?

It’s important to nurture a good hat-to-hair relationship, a la Leslie Caron in this straw number in 1965.
“THE HAT will tell you what you need to do with the hair,” said Wes Sharpton, a stylist at New York’s Hairstory Studio, somewhat cryptically. Translation: Before you buy a particular hat, take a clear-eyed look at how it works with your particular hair. “Even if [the hat] is amazing on its own, on you it might be a disaster,” he said.

However, a quick hair makeover can sometimes rescue an ill-conceived purchase. “[It’s] something nice and sleek so your jawline is showing,” she said. Something softer like a fedora is flattering with loose locks. If you’re leaving your hair down and long, she advises playing up your natural texture with a sea-salt spray, like one from La Tierra Sagrada. Another option: a loose, centered braid—with the sides tucked behind the ears and pulled tight—that you’ve added some grit to with Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray before it is plaited. It’s a bit bohemian but also sophisticated.

As for combating that dreaded post-hat flatness, Mr. Sharpton suggested a simple and product-free trick. Before you put on your hat, flip your hair in the opposite direction of the way you usually wear it. “Then you just flip it back when you take your hat off. That’s what builds lift.”

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Balmain x H&M Green Dress

The latest recruit to collaborate on a limited-edition collection for H&M showed what he was made of last week. Olivier Rousteing debuted his explosive new line at the Balmain x H&M show in New York. This is not a drill.

H&M is building up the long awaited release of this year’s designer collaboration with Balmain, which hited stores on 5 November.

So, as teasers for the collaboration inevitably began to dominate our social media feeds for the passed weeks, I round up everything you need to know about the eagerly-anticipated (and super glam) collection by the luxury French house headed up by Olivier Rousteing.

The Campaign

H&M last week revealed the official campaign for the collaboration, unveiling models Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Hao Yun Xiang and Dudley O’Shaughnessy (who you’ll recognise from Rihanna’s We Found Love video) as the stars and latest soldiers of Rousteing’s #BalmainArmy.

“When you love the Balmain world, you love the models that are part of it too. Kendall, Gigi and Jourdan are my friends, and they are the perfect choice to star in the Balmain x H&M campaign,” says Rousteing. “Love them.”

Last week, fashion lovers all over the world were doing their best to get a piece of #HMBalmaination. Of course, some were lucky enough to be invited to one of the pre-launch VIP shopping events H&M hosted in select cities. I felt in Love with each peace from the collection. Its just Amazing!

I was lucky to have few pieces from the collection so I will put it piece by piece in my blog)

My first the most favorite one is this dress.

This is a beautiful and sexy party and holiday dress magical green color.

LenLenstyle
xoxo

Unexpectedly Classy Ways to Rock Ripped Jeans. Street Style.

Think your basic blouse can’t up your sex appeal? Think again! Don’t let this wardrobe staple’s simple design and office-only rep fool you—a classic button-up shirt can be surprisingly alluring. With an awesome styling tips, you’ll know just how to take your basic button-up top to the next (steamier) level. Try wearing your (any color you like) shirt with a pair of skinny jeans and insanely eye-catching heels. Im sure all of you have that set at your wardrobe.

There are a lot of ways to wear ripped jeans and still look totally chic just add some accessories with it and you are ready!!! I know we wake up every morning we have a question what to WEAR just Keep it cool, urban, relaxed and casual.

But ripped jeans are coming back! This clothing item has a super casual feel, and it can be hard to make it look put-together and polished. But it’s definitely not impossible! In fact, when styled correctly, destroyed denim looks seriously street-chic and so cool. You just have to know what to pair it with so that it looks less grungy and more “look how awesome my style is.” On how to wear distressed denim that will make you want to start putting holes in all of your jeans.

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We see knee ripped jeans, elegant top, necklace, bag and heels.

LenLenStyle XoXo

trend alert with kenzo

At a recent luncheon celebrating Pitti Uomo—the esteemed Florence trade show for menswear—the guests of honor were Opening Ceremony founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, who are slated to unveil their latest Kenzo menswear collection at the annual event in January 2013. After creating a runaway retail success with Opening Ceremony, Leon and Lim took the helm at Kenzo in 2011 and have since been widely credited in bringing new life to the Parisian label. A guest designer stint at Pitti is really just the icing on the cake—at least for their menswear collection.

Interestingly, the designers themselves weren’t what first caught our attention at the lunch: One of the label’s press representatives was wearing one of the most coveted pieces of the Fall season—a sweater with a graphic lion emblazoned on the front, along with the Kenzo label. To say that Kenzo’s tiger sweaters (one was a knit and one was a sweatshirt) were a hit is a serious understatement; During the Spring 2013 collections in New York, it seemed like every It-blogger, fashion editor, and model was wearing one, and—making the item all the more tantalizing—the sweaters were not to be found for sale anywhere.

So just how does this kind of runway retail hit happen, anyway? And when were these bad boys actually available? It turns out that Leon and Lim were just as surprised by the sweaters’ success as we were.

The Origins

When Leon and Lim first started work on the women’s collection, the two were very much inspired by the interiors in Paris, and in particular, some of the showier, exotic pieces. “In the ’60s and ’70s, people would have these amazing rugs that were kind of like tiger rugs,” Leon told us. “Then as we were looking through the archives, one of the things that stood out through the ages of Kenzo is that he had these little tigers that would be on the inside of waistbands, on the inside of bags, on tiny things in watches.”

As it happens, the duo were already on the hunt for new iconography for the label, which had previously emphasized flowers as its main symbol. “Carol and I never felt like [Kenzo] owned flowers,” said Leon. “It didn’t feel believable to us—we weren’t convinced. We understood the value of an icon that a brand can hold onto … So the tiger was one of the first things we worked on. It feels right for the brand. There’s something kind of elegant and cool about it—I think it rides the perfect territory of both.”

To bring the whole inspiration full circle, the initial version of the sweater—a knit—looks like a tiger rug on the back.

How It Got Made

In addition to the knit, the duo decided that they really wanted a sweatshirt version. (Leon confessed that he mostly wanted one to wear on the runway at the close of the Fall 2013 show.) But they hit a snag.

“The brand has never made a sweatshirt,” said Leon. “Ever. In 40 years. So when we decided to make a sweatshirt, the company was like, ‘We don’t do that” …. And we were like, ‘We’re doing it.’ They were like, ‘No one buys it.’ And we were like, ‘People buy sweatshirts.’ So we really fought to make these sweatshirts!”

Ultimately, Leon made the sweatshirt mostly for himself, and samples for the models. Then, of course, the stores bought it.

The Reaction

Leon and Lim were out of town when the sweaters hit their New York Opening Ceremony outpost, so they had no idea that they were a hit until they returned, hoping to snag one for themselves.

“Carol was thinking she’d get a sweatshirt for her husband,” Leon said. “And they were gone … We said, ‘Wait, this can’t be—we just got them in yesterday.’ But they were gone.”

The sweatshirts sold out at Opening Ceremony in just two days. According to Leon, the duo had made 2,000 pieces, thinking they’d be on the racks even up through the holiday season, so folks could buy them as gifts.

“We got it into our Paris stores [in October], and it sold out within three hours,” he said, “Three hours just through Facebook, and they’re all gone.”

The Fall-Out

Since the sweaters sold out, Leon and Lim have been inundated with requests—this editor among them!—for a stray sample or a sweatshirt somewhere (anywhere!) that’s still for sale. Editors claim to have combed eBay and begged for favors to get one, but according to the Opening Ceremony co-founders, there’s no inside handshake. “To this day, I have friends e-mailing me and saying, ‘I can’t get it! What’s happening?!’” laughs Leon.

“I don’t know how it became a thing,” he confessed. “It’s a really interesting thing, and it’s funny because now, the same people that were saying ‘we don’t sell sweatshirts’ are saying ‘where’s the new sweatshirt?’”

In a single day in New York, I have walked past seven Kenzo sweatshirts worn on the streets. I see Kenzo caps and merchandise everywhere. Lim and Leon have created such a feverish cult-like desirability for all things Kenzo that they’ve reignited the long mothballed trend for logos, created a new fashion icon in the Tiger sweatshirt and struggle to keep their hottest items on the shelves.

Do you find it odd seeing it everywhere?

H: We don’t recut the same colours, so we know how many are made each season. They’re all sort of limited editions. We know when we do a special one as soon as we see it.

….. So Thats a New Season 2015 winter Color guys Sweatshirt , which surprisingly was the last one in the shop of my size…

Always yours
xoxo LenLenStyle