"My biggest influences are strong, creative women that chart their own path, lead their own lives and drive the course of history"- Rachel Roy
My good friend Tierra seems to always have the 411 on events, so when she told me that Rachel Roy would be at Tyson's Corner Mall in VA on Sat. May 22, I immediately made the necessary arrangements to clear that date. She was doing a meet and greet to promote her retailer friendly Spring 2010 line RACHEL Rachel Roy at Macy's. Me and Tierra waited in line for not too long and got a chance to speak to the lovely spirited, sweet, and gorgeous designer. She sparked conversation about my ethnicity and where I was from and I discovered that she went to school in the DMV area at Columbian Union College. She also told me that she liked my shorts and when a fashion designer compliments you on your clothing, you know your doing something right! She told Tierra that she had to work her way up the latter from interning at Rocawear (where she met her then husband Damon Dash) from the mailroom to being the head of their women's department. Now she's her own household brand, and happens to be one of those most successful and inspirational women in fashion.
Roy, 31 , is making a huge footprint in the industry, and after yesterday, she has managed to climb her way higher on to my list of top 10 designers. Celebrities such as Iman, Penepole Cruz, Tyra Banks, and FLOTUS Michelle Obama have all sported Roy's designs. Her 2010 spring line was full of tribal influenced and festive prints, infused with tie dye and watercolors that included dresses, shorts, blouses, cardigans, etc. Her clothes were very much my style, as I am a huge fan of clothes that are structured, tailored, but that also have a good print. After we met her, me and Tierra picked out our fave items and tried them on in the fitting room. They are made well to comfortably fit many body types from the size 2s to the size 10s and are affordably priced.
Here were some must-haves that me and Tierra tried on from the RACHEL Rachel Roy line (click on the links to be directed to the shopping website):
These are pieces that easily transition into fall. You want to spend money on clothing that will be timeless and will last a good while and denim is always a good investment. I prefer a light wash in the spring/summer seasons because it's a warm tint. It doesn't have to be destroyed but I think it gives the lightness of the material an edge. Pairing jeans and a denim jacket might be much, these are pieces that should be worn separately
Toward the Light from Net-a-Porter.com Light Destroyed Denim Vest for (pricey... but good quality)
Siwy Hannah Slim Crop Jean from Shopbop.com (on the pricer side, but these are an investment)
This time year of year should be about light colors: pinks, blues, corals, yellows. Since spring is a colorful season. Warm weather brings out warm hues. Colorful canvas sneaks, polish, etc are good touches for a spring stylish fit.
I recommend these High Waist Size Zipper Pant from American Apparel. There newer colors butter and summer peach are great spring and summer pant ($78 each, but the price did drop from $90) These are strictly a seasonal pant, so stash these for the next year when winter approaches.
My DO NOTS:
Uggs with short or skirts.
Vanessa Hudgens in full fashion faux pas mode.
A fashion crime I've seen too much of. These boots lined with fleece don't make sense to wear in warm weather and should only be worn during the fall. Actually, the ugg boot trend should be put to be rest by now. It is a comfortable shoe, but its fashion relevancy has faded and should be put in your wardrobe archives. I'm all about pairing opposites that make sense when put together, but a winter fleece boot with warm weather bottoms is a contradiction that will stay that way. Why would you want your feet screaming for ventilation?
Tunics (worn as dresses.)
Picture this top worn as a dress... yea not pretty.
These are one of those pieces that were easily transformable, but it will never be long enough to be worn alone. With leggings, it may be acceptable, but nothing is sluttier than rocking anything that barely covers your behind. The way the model is wearing it is acceptable, but if you minus the jeans, it probably won't be a good look. And no, that elastic band at the bottom does not salvage the situation either.
A collaboration between two potentially iconic performers who currently sit on the thrones of their genres, mixed with bad acting, about nine wacky wardrobe pieces, a "pussy wagon," and Tarentino-type cinematography. With that, you will have a nine and a half minute Thelma & Louise themed, fashion blunder that is the video for Lady Gaga's new single "Telephone". (click to watch)
What obviously attracted me to this wanna-be "Thriller" status video, were the over stylized outfits where Gaga manages to go from being practically nude strapped in emergency tape, to fully draped in a flowy white gown. Fashion influences from iconic figures such as Madonna and Betty Page, just to name a few, appear throughout the video. After watching, it was pretty clear to me that GaGa was attempting to revolutionize the market of pop fashion. However, many artists were taking this on a while back, and they did it masterfully. Madonna and Michael Jackson, who have reached icon status and have a wall of fame inductions to prove it, have set trends that no other artist after them can claim. They did and wore things that people never could quite comprehend in their time, and now its all being replicated by this generation of pop stars.
Beyonce in her Betty Page bangs. She also sports them in her "Video Phone" vid.
GaGachanelling Madonna in her Vogue era in the "Telephone" video.
I mentioned in my last Alexander McQueen post how I felt about avante-garde fashion, how it was beautiful and artistic. Gaga is known for donning outfits that would shy away any McQueen piece, but not in a flattering way and that is my major issue with GaGa. I believe she used fashion as a marketing vehicle more so than as an expression. Granted all artists have a certain image to uphold, and what they wear can make or break them in the biz, but the level at which she takes it makes a mockery of the artistic value of those pieces. And regardless of how many people say she is unique and refreshing, there is nothing that she has done that has surprised me in a positive way.
Lady Gaga in a Jean Paul Gauliter frock from his RTW Fall/Winter 09 collection at the 2009 MTV VMAs. She accessorized with a feathered neck brace and ring from KiKo Jewelry. Phantom of the Opera like mask and hat...not sure of.
If she stripped away all the impractical, what would she be truly known for? Would she be stripping her popularity too? Or would it be easier to actually see the talent that lies beneath all the tacky? GaGa has been declared as the ringleader of "individuality" and uniqueness, but at what point do those traits lose meaning when everyone else is joining? Shaved heads, crazy garbs, etc., have all been done in the past, but now that the Gagas, Rihannas, Ambers, and Cassies becoming the face of those fads, all acclaimed "fashionistas" want to emulate them. They have become followers versus leaders and lose themselves in this circuit of trends. What sets those two groups apart is that special trait of personal style.
The golden rule that all authentic fashionistas should and must abide by:
Even though he took his life a little over month ago (and I've blogged probably a lot over a month ago), I still feel the need to pay homage to one of my fallen fashion heroes.
McQueen- the name harbors a royal essence and his designs will go down in fashion history.
He began as the head visionary behind Givenchy for five years. From there, he found his high RTW avant-garde fashion line to his retailer friendly McQ collections, and also contributing to the Puma sports brand. McQueen easily became one of the most revolutionary and creatively bold designers in the biz.
McQueen definitely qualifies to be in my top ten. Some may not grasp the idea and purpose of couture that probably wouldn't be seen worn outside a tent. The way I see it, is that those are pieces of art, models are canvases, and the show is a museum with fashion hoarders ready to buy and sell. His creations were nothing short of masterpieces floating on a runaway. He contained a rare skill for dressing the boldly unconventional, yet sophisticated woman. The skull printed chiffon scarf , which has been worn by plenty of celebs, was one of his signature accessory pieces that were one of my personal favorites. Though McQueen's clothes were known for being somewhat roughly edgy and daring, there was an air of elegance shown through the construction of his gowns and dresses with draping and trains. He understood a simple, but intricately structured silhouette and also knew how to use attention grabbing prints and motifs. His clothes were almost a contradiction, and if you can marry two opposite components to birth something beautiful, you have created something that could be also considered genius. And McQueen was just that- a fashion genius.
Kim Kardashian in a skull printed McQueen scarf.
Thandie Newton in a McQueen gown.
Rihanna in a McQueen jumpsuit.
First lady Michelle Obama in a McQueen chiffon blouse.
His death was certainly untimely, but McQueen's fashions will always be timeless. I wonder if there will be a successor to his empire that will carry on his vision... but that would be a hard, pink soled shoe to fill, let alone walk in.