3.30.2012

wish list: stuart weitzman capsize mary janes


I have to admit, I am not a fan of the return of pointy-toed shoes, but these Stuart Weitzman "Capsize" Mary Jane pumps are pretty rad. I love the hard/soft dichotomy of the feminine blush patent leather and the badass, knife-sharp silver toe. How do you feel about the return of pointy toes? Are you all in, or are they just too early 2000s for you?
$375, Stuart Weitzman 

3.22.2012

the eagle has landed

Denver Art Museum

I have arrived in Denver!!! I cannot wait to check out the YSL retrospective at the Denver Art Museum!!! Posting will be a little light until I get back to Detroit next week, but in the meantime, you can keep up with my adventures in the Mile High City on Facebook, Twitter, and - for all you iPhone users - on Instagram @beccastyle. Did I mention I'm excited to be in Denver? Because I'm excited to be in Denver!!!

3.20.2012

yves saint laurent: the giveaway


Hmmmm, what could be inside? I bet you'd like to know!!!

In celebration of my trip to Denver to see the "Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective" exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, my good friends at Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection have generously sponsored an amazing giveaway for readers of paper + cloth! Let's take a look inside this gorgeous box!!!

3.19.2012

wish list: vintage yves saint laurent

There are only a few days left until I head to Denver to see the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Denver Art Museum! And what better way to get in the mood than drooling over some gorgeous vintage YSL? From ebay and Etsy to physical vintage boutiques that also offer online shopping, the internet has a lot to offer when it comes to vintage YSL. Shoes, bags, ties, scarves, and of course clothing...ahhh, the clothing. There are some many great pieces out there! Here are some of my favorites from around the web:


1/ Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Peasant Skirt
From the 1976 "Rich Peasant" collection, this skirt screams summertime. The tiered floral print cotton is accented with braided cobalt trim, a tie waist, and feminine ruffle detail. Boho chic at its finest.
$698, Free People

3.16.2012

yves saint laurent: the brand


When Yves Saint Laurent the man founded his couture house in 1962, it was the start of a new fashion empire. The house's history is, according to Voguepedia, "a capsule version of the modern fashion industry - from its beginnings in couture to the eventual dominance of ready-to-wear to the rise of global conglomerates through branding and licensing. Saint Laurent not only witnessed these changes, he helped instigate them, with the assistance of [longtime partner Pierre] Berge."

Couture, pret-a-porter, cosmetics, perfumes, menswear, eyewear, shoes, handbags - it's an empire that eventually proved too much for its sensitive, turbulent founder to handle, and Saint Laurent began to retreat from the world in the late '70s.

But Yves Saint Laurent the brand has endured for 50 years, thanks in large part to the new generation of designers who have carried the torch for the revered founder. Saint Laurent oversaw couture himself until 2002, when he presented his final collection and retired. But Rive Gauche, the ready-to-wear collection and what today we think of as YSL the brand, is a different story.

3.15.2012

yves saint laurent: the man


As I mentioned yesterday, next week I head to Denver for the "Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective" exhibit, which is making an exclusive U.S. appearance at the Denver Art Museum. On view March 25 through July 8, the exhibit covers 40 years of haute couture by the legendary designer.

But what exactly makes Yves Saint Laurent, the man, such a legend in the fashion world? The answer to that is simple: he was a visionary.

3.14.2012

denver or bust!


I am getting very, very excited! Next week I head to Denver to check out Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum! Exploring 40 years of creativity by Yves Saint Laurent (the man, not the brand), the exhibit, which is on view March 25 - July 8, showcases 200 haute couture outfits, as well as photographs, drawings and films that show how Saint Laurent developed his style. That is a lot of fashion to drool over!

And there will be lots of YSL to drool over on paper + cloth in the days leading up to my departure and while I'm in Denver. Stay tuned for updates, including a super amazing giveaway sponsored by Neiman Marcus at the Somerset Collection. You won't want to miss it!

3.08.2012

au revoir, paris! (but first, check out chanel, valentino and elie saab)

The shows have all walked in Paris, and fashion month has come to an end. But before we say goodbye, there are a few more collections from Paris that need to be mentioned:

1/ Chanel



I love the geological structures, the wacky intarsia sweaters, and the rock crystal embellishments. Seriously, these are clothes for some super chic science nerds. See the complete collection here and watch the show below.

watch this: the making of erdem f/w 2012

I adored Erdem's beautiful fall collection, so I absolutely love this behind-the-scenes video documenting its creation. It's always fascinating to learn about a designer's process and see what goes into turning their fashion inspirations into a cohesive collection. And Erdem is just so darn cute and lovable, isn't he?

3.07.2012

louis vuitton f/w 2012


You know what the best part of the Louis Vuitton fall show was? It was a show. Marc Jacobs is one of fashion's consumate showmen, and he followed up last season's beautiful carousel with a train - yes, a train! The train, with an LV emblazoned on the side, pulled into the "station" and the girls exited one by one, each trailed by their very own porter to carry their bags for them. What better way to show off the real star of this show - the bags? And they were spectacular, ranging from mini frame bags to green alligator hat cases. The clothes were pretty great too, falling right in line with the eccentric tone set by Jacobs in his namesake collection. But when you have your own train, do the clothes even matter? Watch the show below and see the complete collection here.

miu miu f/w 2012


This morning I tuned in for the livestream of the Miu Miu show, and as soon as the music started, I had a clear vision of what the collection would look like. The song was Bjork's "Venus As A Boy," and the collection perfectly captured the vision the song conjured. Boyish, colorful suiting paired with chunky platforms, structured bags, and silk ties - in other words, a dandy girl's dream come true. The second half of the show walked to another Bjork classic, "Violently Happy," and the slightly more feminine silhouettes and exuberant prints fit that tune perfectly. The entire show demonstrated just how important music is for setting the mood of a collection. I definitely would have liked this show regardless of whether I heard the music, but it definitely made me appreciate it even more. Who knows, maybe I'm just a sucker for Bjork and amazing accessories. See the complete collection here and watch the show below.

alexander mcqueen f/w 2012


Sarah Burton's fall collection for Alexander McQueen is yet another tour de force. When Burton took over after Lee McQueen's tragic death, she was tasked with filling the biggest shoes in fashion - she has done so with grace, creating beautiful work that honors the house's legacy but constantly moves it forward.

For fall, she turned to the future for inspiration, but her's was a completely different take on the theme that also inspired some of her predecessor's most awe-inspiring work. "It’s futurism with softness, not cold futurism," she told WWD. "It’s looking forward in a completely positive way." Burton's view of the future is hyper-feminine and romantic. Cocoons of ruffles, laser cut ponyskin mounted on leather so it looks like lace, exaggerated sleeves, outsize feather hems, and fantasy tutu shapes - it's a future where the clothes move beautifully, almost as if they're living, breathing things. It's a future that takes your breath away. See the complete collection and watch the show here.


photos: WWD

3.06.2012

yves saint laurent f/w 2012


Fall 2012 was Stefano Pilati's final collection for Yves Saint Laurent. Since taking over seven years ago when Tom Ford left the label, Pilati has become one of the most celebrated designers working in fashion today. But he was always plagued by replacement rumors (apparently former YSL executive Pierre Berge wasn't a fan of his work and even excluded him from the opening of the YSL retrospective at the Petit Palais in 2010), and his resignation was announced just days before the fall show (reports indicate that Hedi Slimane is taking the reins now).

At least Pilati's leaving on a high note.

When I watched the video of the fall show this morning, I was blown away. It's one of my favorites of the season. Here are the notes I took during the show:
- edgy, noir sensuality
- love all the leather trim on the suiting and outerwear, the cape is amazing
- chainmail - sooooo sexy
- incredible graphic, oversize calla lily print, calla lilies as 3-D effect on leather top!
- fierce shoes, calla lily necklaces are beautiful
- relatively easy evening wear is an interesting counterpart to the severity of the rest of the collection
- the enthusiastic standing ovation during the finale is testament to how well-loved Stefano is (also, love the glimpse of Anna Dello Russo dressed in a cloud of white feathers!)

The fashion world may love Pilati, but for whatever reason, the YSL brass no longer does. His tenure has left a mark on the house, though (see a retrospective of his work for YSL here), and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for YSL. It will be even more interesting to see what the future holds for Pilati.

stella mccartney f/w 2012


Stella McCartney's fall show opened with a beautiful lineup of slouchy trousers, trim skirt suits, and feminine dresses in black, white and cobalt blue. That blue is one of the most exciting color stories of the season, and it looked incredible in tone-on-tone jacquard or as the backdrop to graphic black and white embroideries. The second half of the show was just as great, with knits that look heavenly soft, curve hugging tweed jackets and coats with athletic-inspired striped knit collars, and a finale of sporty-yet-feminine color blocked tweed dresses. Stella at her finest. See the complete collection and watch video of the show here.


Photos: WWD

3.05.2012

plenty to love in paris


It was a busy weekend for Paris Fashion Week. Alber Elbaz celebrated 10 years at Lanvin with an exuberant collection filled with sleek, chic dresses with sculpted peplums and ruffles, big jewels, and watercolor prints. Over at Givenchy, Ricardo Tisci explored the dark, sensual equestrian motifs that have been dominating the collections this season. His impeccable tailoring, gorgeous slip dresses, and to-die-for accessories offered a new twist on the trend.


In between, there was plenty to love in Paris:

beauty buzz: benefit hello flawless oxygen wow liquid foundation


I am obsessed with Benefit. The San Francisco-based beauty brand is my go-to for shimmery velvet eye shadow (love Leggy and Fawn Over Me), the perfect shade of red lipstick (full-finish and silky-finish in Flirt Alert), and the best powder compact ever - Hello Flawless. Now the powder compact has a liquid foundation counterpart, Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow. Available in nine shades, the brightening liquid formula is oil free, lightweight, and has a natural finish that allows for customized coverage. Best of all, it hydrates and protects the skin with SPF 25, so skin is left healthy and happy.
$34, www.benefitcosmetics.com

3.03.2012

christian dior f/w 2012


I feel bad for Bill Gaytten. Since John Galliano was fired, it's been a rocky road full of ups and downs for Dior's interim designer. His fall collection for the legendary French house is at least on solid ground. The ballet-inspired collection is definitely pretty, with it's twist-neck off-the-shoulder leather tops, nipped in waists, tulle skirts and pointe shoe-inspired footwear. Unfortunately, it was also safe and a little underwhelming. There was no spark, no fireworks, none of the theatricality that Galliano brought to his collections. Maybe Gaytten was playing to the commercial crowd - Dior's business is reportedly booming, despite the lack of a permanent designer, and there are lots of fab pieces for fall that will sell very well - or maybe he's just having trouble investing himself in a job that he might not have tomorrow. Either way, you gotta feel for the guy. See the complete collection here.


Photos: WWD

balmain f/w 2012


Since taking over from Christophe Decarnin, 26-year-old designer Olivier Rousteing has brought a new sensibility to the house of Balmain. Gone are the days of $600 tattered cotton t-shirts and $3,000 distressed denim. Don't worry - the clothes are still hyper expensive with nods to rock 'n' roll, but there's a new level of sophistication. Rousteing's vision for Balmain is couture with ease, and for fall he crafted a collection of intricately embellished clothes inspired by a Faberge egg that Richard Burton gave to Elizabeth Taylor. Pearls, crystals, studs, needlepoint florals, quilting, and embroidery accented or fully encrusted thigh skimming dresses, velvet pants, boxy leather jackets, and slouchy suiting, all of which was paired with lots of leather and more velvet. It's an uber luxe collection worthy of Balmain's astronomical price tags. See the complete collection here.


Photos: WWD

3.02.2012

watch this: the fashion fund, episode 6


This is it! The finale of The Fashion Fund...it's been a long road for the 10 finalists, and in this episode we find out who wins the coveted prize and who the two runners up will be. There are also fantastic guest appearances from Rooney Mara, the eternally wonderful Vera Wang, and Calvin Klein - the real Calvin Klein.

mugler f/w 2012


I'll be honest - this is the first Mugler collection I've liked since Nicola Formichetti took the reins at Mugler. The past two seasons were too reliant on his relationship with Lady Gaga, and the clothes suffered because of it. The fall collection manages to be even more dramatic, but without the over-the-top theatrics of seasons past. For fall, the clothes are a fascinating take on the animal kingdom, from fuzzy polar bear coats to leather exoskeleton jumpsuits that channel insects in the best way possible. It's an intelligent, interesting collection that hopefully marks a new phase for creative director Formichetti and women's designer Sebastien Peigne at Mugler. See the complete collection and watch the show here.


Photos: WWD

balenciaga f/w 2012


When asked about the inspiration for his latest collection, Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere told WWD, "I had this idea about a Balenciaga firm done in a very cinematic way, with different characters with different functions, the executives, the technicals, legal, the researchers, all about how women dress for work." This is Ghesquiere we're talking about, so don't expect to see any traditional three piece suits. No, his office is a very space-age, technology driven enterprise, with employees dressed in everything from semi-sheer dresses with leopard print panels to nerdy chic sci-fi satin sweatshirts. The collections stand out pieces, though, were the gray leather coats and jackets and the bustier dresses featuring pixelated snakeskin jacquard. It was a forward thinking collection that might be a little too out there for most office environments, but kudos to you if you work somewhere that fits into Ghesquiere's fascinating vision. See the complete collection, along with video of the show, here.


Photos: WWD

3.01.2012

gareth pugh f/w 2012


The girls on the Gareth Pugh fall 2012 runway looked like aliens from a really chic, cold planet where everyone is a badass. Leather, fur and a black and gray color palette in shapes that were cut close to the body or with extreme volume - it all added up to a collection that had shades of sci-fi (think Star Trek, Blade Runner, and Battlestar Galactica all rolled into one...wow, I'm really letting my nerd flag fly right now) but still looked wearable, especially by Gareth Pugh standards. See the complete collection here.


Photos: WWD

dries van noten f/w 2012


China is not only a rising global power, it's a rising luxury goods consumer. So it makes sense that designers would draw inspiration from a country and culture that is home to a potentially massive customer base, and China has indeed been fertile ground this season. Jason Wu's gorgeous fall collection gave us China three ways, and now there's Dries van Noten.

Van Noten was influenced by China and its neighbors, mining the archives of the Victoria & Albert Museum for historical Chinese, Japanese and Korean costumes. As WWD reports, he photographed the actual garments for the large scale prints that dominated the collection, used on everything from dresses and pants to outerwear and suiting. One of the strongest looks of the show was a white suit with the jacket spliced with a panel of brilliant color. Several of the outerwear pieces also stood out, including a perfect parka with a furry upturned collar and a black velvet coat with fur sleeves. Overall, it was a gorgeous collection that took those historic costumes and translated them into something beautiful - and accessible - for the customer of today. See the complete collection here and watch video of the full show here.


Photos: WWD