who doesn't love a topiary head?

I'm gearing up for a big photo shoot for the April issue of Hour Detroit this coming week, and I couldn't be more excited. The concept is pretty fantastical, and we're going to incorporate lots of fun props. Exhibit A: the trio of topiary heads I found in milliner Gena Conti's studio. I was there to pull some fabulous hats, and when Gena showed me these, I had to grab them. They're perfect for the surreal, enchanted vibe we're going for, and I can't wait for everyone to see how this shoot turns out!

To check out Gena Conti's gorgeous, handmade headwear, visit her at www.genaconti.com.


it's a mod, mod world

Right before the holidays, I had the opportunity to work with photographer Tom Roche. We've both been working in the Detroit area for years, but we had never collaborated on a project. Jillian Sheldon, a local model who now lives and works in Asia, was home for the holidays, so it was the perfect chance to get a team together for a fun, low pressure fashion shoot. The theme was "1960s It Girl," and with the help of makeup artist Renata Stojcevski, hair stylist Erika Cortez, and some fab fashion, Jillian perfectly embodied the era. Check out more images from the shoot after the jump!


clover canyon f/w 2013

Before shots from their fall presentation showed up in my Instagram feed, I had never heard of Clover Canyon. But those images immediately captured my attention. Girls in crystal embellished pointe shoes wearing dresses and coats in incredible engineered prints? Yes, please! The line is a bit derivative of Mary Katrantzou, but it retails in the contemporary price range, so it's much more accessible. And I love the inspiration for fall - Faberge eggs, Imperial Russia, and ballet. The swan dress is a definite favorite, and I would cut someone to get my hands on a pair of those pointe shoes... See the complete collection here. (Just ignore the fact that the shoes either weren't broken in at all or the model just doesn't know how to wear them. Poor thing needs to get over her box - my ballet ladies will know what I'm talking about.)

Photos: WWD

mcq alexander mcqueen f/w 2013

I love everything about McQ - the impeccable tailoring, the rock 'n' roll vibe, the way it perfectly reflects the aesthetic of the main Alexander McQueen collection while maintaining its own unique identity. And I love the brand's fall 2013 collection. To showcase McQ's latest offering, the house of McQueen created a fantastic short film filled with fractured, overlapping images and incredible clothes. The collection itself is pretty fantastic, a mash-up of traditional British menswear fabrics and electric zebra prints. Watch the video above and check out some of my favorite looks from the new collection after the jump.


oscar de la renta f/w 2013

From the moment the first model hit the runway at Oscar de la Renta - in a bell-shaped cloche pulled low over her eyes, a vibrant blue coat that looked like 1940s couture, and black leather gloves - I knew this was going to be a different sort of de la Renta show. Over the past few season's, his collections have been filled with a girlish sense of whimsy, but for fall there was a new sense of mystery and sophistication. Perhaps the enigmatic quality of this collection stems from de la Renta's new relationship with John Galliano. In January, de la Renta invited Galliano to join his studio as "designer in residence," the exact meaning of which is steeped in rumors. Whatever Galliano's role, or how much influence he had on this particular collection, the clothes on the fall de la Renta runway were gorgeous. From the jewel tone coats and the toile prints to the sexy rocker chick looks and the regal eveningwear, everything had a modern, sophisticated glamour that nodded to times past. This collection is a triumph. Watch the complete runway show below.


thakoon f/w 2013

I love the simple prettiness of Thakoon's fall collection. The soft colors, the dragonfly and dandelion motifs, the tiny cheetah print - everything has a whimsical, delicate quality that perfectly sums up the designer's inspiration: "Winter longing for summer." You can picture Thakoon's girls dancing through a field of sunflowers or pressing the first colorful leaves of fall between the pages of Jeffrey Eugenides novel. Pretty clothes for smart, romantic girls - that's my kind of fashion. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

pointe magazine tendu tote giveaway!

For all my ballerina friends out there - Pointe Magazine is giving away five of these adorable "Keep Calm and Tendu On" totes, designed by Rebecca King of Miami City Ballet. In her blog, Tendus Under A Palm Tree, King, a member of the corps de ballet, invites readers behind the curtain to experience the day-to-day life of a professional dancer. To enter to win one of the totes, click here.

herve leger f/w 2013

It's pretty amazing how far the now-iconic (and ubiquitous) bandage dress has come. This season, the sexpot staple was noticeably more demure - hemlines hovered just below the knee rather than just below the tush, many were worn over matching leggings, and swingy skirts finished some of the most successful looks. But none of that diminished the sex appeal of the collection. Beading and other embellishments highlighted the curves of the body, and harnesses - which are becoming a house signature - brought an erotic edge to the covered-up silhouettes. Fur hoodies were a surprising and welcome addition to the lineup, and the handbags and shoes were all lust worthy. You can tell designers Max and Lubov Azria are thinking beyond the bandage and continuing to establish a more well-rounded lifestyle brand. Watch the complete show here.

Photos: WWD

altuzarra f/w 2013

Between Altuzarra and Alexander Wang, it's obvious: the must-have accessory for fall 2013 is massive fur mittens. Aside from that emerging trend, the highlight of Altuzarra's latest offering is the leather - oh, the glorious leather. From trench coats to body con dresses, the designer worked leather into some truly amazing looks. The best, hands down, were the sleek, sexy dresses at the end of the show. Corset seaming did incredible things for the models' bodies (not that they need the help), and the fur sleeves and necklines gave them a luxurious, sensual softness. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD

alexander wang f/w 2013

I didn't catch the Alexander Wang show live, but when I watched it online this morning, my first thought was that the models looked like cozy little beasts. With their heads wrapped in fuzzy knit hoods, their hands bundled into furry mittens that looked like boxing gloves, and the opening strains of "Eye of the Tiger" playing on the soundtrack, the first part of Wang's fantastic show had an undeniably animal character. The focus of the show was outerwear and knitwear, both with outsized proportions and interesting volumes. Dropped waists, huge furry lapels, voluminous shoulders - Wang both obscured and emphasized his models' figures with fascinating new silhouettes. There were other cheeky details - a sweater with an extra set of sleeves that wrap across the front and tie in the back, a new handbag shape the looks like a tool kit, legwarmer shoes, and mini polarized lenses inside mohair to give sweaters an iridescent shine. It was a showcase of Wang's youthful experimentation but with a more mature sensibility. And it's one of his strongest shows ever. Watch the complete show here.

Photos: WWD

prabal gurung f/w 2013

Prabal Gurung had me from the moment the first girl hit the runway during the livestream of his brilliant fall show. Inspired by a story he read in the New York Times about the military testing body armor designed specifically for women (something it had absurdly never done up to this point), Gurung created a collection of fierce power. The show opened with razor sharp tailored jackets, pants and dresses in olive and navy, accented with fur, leather, or a brocade that beautifully referenced Gurung's Nepalese heritage. Even the footwear had a fierceness - some of the dresses were worn with over-the-knee boots that were a cross between something a gladiatress would wear and a leg brace. Belts and harnesses nipped in waists and made one think of paratroopers while emphasizing the feminine figures underneath the tough exterior, and when viewed from the back, several silhouettes had an open cut that created a shape reminiscent of the wings of a glider. Those belts and harnesses were carried through to the second, softer half of the show, when Gurung introduced his signature prints and romanticism with cocktail dresses and evening gowns draped sensually around the body like Saris. The scarlet red, one-shoulder gown, with a flash of skin on the side and a slit up one leg, was absolute perfection in it's simplicity. To see the complete runway show, go here, and to view images of the complete collection, go here.

Photos: WWD


jason wu f/w 2013

A few days before his fall 2013 show, Jason Wu told WWD that he "wanted to loop back to what I started on, the very thing I do, which is beautiful, very feminine clothes." While his feminine signature was certainly apparent in his latest collection, it also had an edge, something the designer has been steadily adding to his oeuvre in past seasons. Marked with sharp tailoring, severe necklines, and opulent outerwear, the looks that opened the show had a powerful, don't-mess-with-me attitude despite the flirty pleated skirts. Some of the strongest looks included a fantastic lace print trench coat, a high-waisted pant in the same print paired with a sweater with sheer horizontal insets, and a metallic snakeskin sweatshirt with a matching A-line skirt. For night, point d'esprit gowns worn over slim trousers offered a chic alternative to traditional eveningwear, but the stars of the finale were the classically beautiful, draped gowns. As First Lady Michelle Obama proved at both of her husband's inaugurations, no one does gorgeous like Jason Wu. See the complete collection here.

photos: WWD

cushnie et ochs f/w 2013

When you think Cushnie et Ochs, you think sexy. Designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs aren't afraid to show a little skin and have made a name for themselves with va-va-voom bodycon dresses with cutout details. For fall, there were still plenty of tantalizing glimpses of skin, but for the most part, this collection is much more covered up - and it's one of their most successful in seasons. Their fall offering - in a monochromatic palette of black, white, and gray - had a sophistication and polish that some of their more aggressively sexual collections have lacked. Fur and leather added richness to streamlined silhouettes, and subtle cutouts at the shoulder or midriff showed just the smallest glimpse of skin. A beautiful abstracted forest print gave depth to a skirt and matching blouse, a perfectly tailored shift dress, and a maxi skirt worn with a long-sleeved turtleneck and a jacket tossed nonchalantly over the model's shoulders (talk about covered up). It was nice to see the Cushnie et Ochs woman evolve this season - she's as sexy as ever, but now she's a much more sophisticated creature. Watch the complete show below.


nyfw fall 2013: lots of livestreams!

More designers than ever are offering livestreams of their runway shows this season, which makes it easy to get a front row seat no matter where in the world you are. Check out the fashion week schedule below (as published on WWD) for upcoming livestreams, and check back often as I'll keep updating this as more livestreams confirm.

bcbgmaxazria f/w 2013

I tuned in for the BCBG fall 2013 live stream yesterday, and as soon as the first model hit the runway, I felt a little thrill of excitement. The brand finally stepped away from the colorblocking it had been doing (very well) for the past few seasons, and instead sent out a parade of urban gypsies decked in layers of wispy chiffon dresses, leather pants, cozy sweaters and oversize outerwear, all topped off with slouchy knit beanies. The medallion and mosaic prints accenting the collection gave it an exotic edge, while the fur - a gorgeous black and white long vest in particular - added a luxurious quality. I also adored the use of leather, from the hybrid pointy-toe-pump-and-leather-legwarmer boots to the lasercut trapeze top with matching A-line skirt. Overall, this was a collection full of gorgeous pieces to wear alone or in all their layer upon layer glory. Watch the complete runway show below.


red valentino f/w 2013

New York Fashion Week is here! The shows start in earnest today, but a few brands have already unveiled their Fall/Winter 2013 collections, including Red Valentino. The younger, more affordable line from the Italian house turned to a whimsical inspiration this season: Hansel and Gretel. The fairytale's German origins are evident in the folky details and prints, and the collection is imbued with a healthy dose of sweetness (the story's heroes were being fattened up on a diet of cake and candy to make them as delicious as possible, after all). Many of the skirts even have an adorable, cupcakey volume, and some of the standout pieces make plaid seem quite ladylike. My favorites are the Hansel-inspired riding jacket and cape. While some pieces in the collection are a bit on the saccharine side, these perfect staples would fit perfectly with any wardrobe. See the complete collection here.

Photos: WWD