The Side of Paris Fashion Week No One Talks About

The Side of Paris Fashion Week No One Talks About

Strolling through the streets of Paris with my Starbucks in hand, I felt extremely American. In my defense, I knew it was only my first coffee stop of the day. I made my way to the metro station, grabbed a seat and waited for my stop.

Upon walking back up to ground level, the grey Parisian sky was waiting for me. And so was the Champs-Élysées. I strolled down the street, gawking at all the luxurious shops and ran right into Fenty’s pop up shop in the Galaries Lafayette.

A quick walk through the park led me to the Grand Palais, where I saw my first fashion show ever. The photographers were lined up on the sidewalks to capture all the ultra glamorous people wearing giant sunglasses, half of whom I did not recognize at all. They all had one thing in common though: these gorgeous people strolled perfectly through the bustle of the photographers directly into the Elie Saab exposition. The music started. The show began.

After being dazzled by all the beauty I witnessed, it was time to make an essential stop at the Café de Flore. We walked in and sat down.

More Instagram influencers. I didn’t think it was possible to see so many chic people.

My friends and I sat and discussed whether the fashion industry is truly superficial or not. After all, these Instagrammers aren’t really… doing anything. They’re just here. Taking selfies and tons of pictures (in outfits that are, admittedly, super cute).

Are they following trends or are they creating them?

Who actually is creating the trends?

Do the designers and runways shows have control of the fashion world in 2019?

We dipped into a small cobblestone alley because we were tired of walking through crowds of tourists and photographers. At that moment, a Parisian woman walked by me–sunglasses on and purse in hand.

An everyday woman, yet still great style. I could totally recreate that outfit. I turn toward my friends, “All these French women own a pair of jeans that fit them just right and a great blazer. That’s really all you need.”

Maybe these are the people who create what’s new.

The everyday people. The ordinary people. I don’t know about you, but most of my outfit inspiration comes from people I see on the streets.

Sure, huge fashion houses and designers still have an obvious sway in the trends. But I think it’s becoming more common to draw inspiration from one another simply as human beings.

And I love that.


What were your favorite PFW looks? Comment below and I’ll share all my faves!
(Featured photo from Unsplash.)

What Fashion Month Looks like in the Age of Instagram

What Fashion Month Looks like in the Age of Instagram

You’ve seen it everywhere. Bella Hadid or Kaia Gerber snapping selfies in their runways looks. Vogue’s fancy 5 minute makeup tutorials with models like Winnie Harlow or Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. And we can’t forget Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty performance that went viral.

It’s pretty obvious that Fashion Week is in flux. It’s changing and morphing to match the current social media-crazed culture. Just searching the hashtag #FashionWeek on Instagram brings up 20.6 million posts.

So, what does that mean for the industry as a whole? One recent development is the inclusion of many freelance writers and bloggers who are now getting the chance to attend these high profile events–an opportunity not many had before the Internet.

This year, I had the privilege of chatting with two journalists/media communication professionals who attended New York Fashion Week.

Amanda Randone

Amanda Randone is a journalist, New Yorker and fellow French speaker. She was also formerly the editorial manager at Barney’s New York and a regular contributor to Refinery29, Cosmopolitan.com and Coveteur.

Briefly tell me how you got started going to fashion weeks. What was your inspiration? How long have you been attending?

“Believe it or not, I started attending shows at New York Fashion Week seven years ago when I was in college! Which I thought was simply the coolest thing in the world (it was). I was representing the NYU school newspaper, the Washington Square News, where we managed to land invites to higher-profile shows like Badgley Mischka, Lela Rose, and Rebecca Minkoff. I even covered a party hosted by the legendary Patricia Fields (also an NYU alumna!).

This exposure to the fashion world was thrilling, and I loved channelling the creative energy I witnessed on the runway into my own writing. The whole experience helped me envision what a future in fashion journalism would look like, and I knew it was a path I wanted to pursue professionally.”

What were your favorite shows this year?

“I was utterly inspired by the Burnett New York Spring 2020 show this season. A very talented friend of mine is a cofounder of the label, which is still in its industry infancy. Having a personal connection to the talent behind the collection–especially when the brand is so authentically committed to empowering women—and watching their vision materialize in all its beaded, vibrant glory gave new meaning to the whole experience. Plus, the venue was the sun-drenched Elizabeth Street Garden, a dreamy garden oasis tucked away in Nolita. It was the perfect Sunday afternoon.”

What trends did you see the most of? What do you think will actually hit the streets this fall and winter?

“I was definitely seeing geometric sleeves (a good example is the strong circularity around the arms of a few Maria Cornejo looks that were unforgettable… examples here and here).

I also can’t get my mind off of two-toned pants and dresses à la Cynthia Rowley and Dima Ayad (Dima is actually a Dubai-based designer who’s showing in Paris, but here’s a sneak peek of her take on the trend). And there were a few billowing shirt/dresses styled over pants, see Brandon Maxwell and Rosie Assoulin for reference!”

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue fashion journalism?

“Write your heart out! And read trade journals like WWD to better understand the business behind the fashion. It’s an ever-evolving industry, and there are a lot of brands doing innovative things that’ll inspire you to think differently about how retailers hope to further engage with their customers (aka, your readers).

I also think it’s important to understand the major challenges facing media companies today. Get your feet wet with all things digital so you can dive into your first position well versed in SEO, e-commerce partnerships, and data analytics.”

Where can we find updates about you/your media company/your experiences as a journalist?

“I update the selected clips section of my website regularly, which is also where you’ll find the reporting I do outside of fashion (I cover women’s issues and write a lot about Islam, examples here and here!). My thoughts are occasionally on Twitter, and my looks/family/friends are often on Instagram.”

Hannah D’Avanzo

Hannah D’Avanzo is a journalist and founder of HD Access Media. She also happens to be someone I met (and became friends with) in college.

Briefly tell me how you got started going to fashion weeks. What was your inspiration? How long have you been attending?

“I was promised an interview with Jason [Derulo] during Fall Fashion Week of 2017, which was the start of my attendance for fashion weeks. Since then, I have attended Milan Fashion Week, Rome Fashion Week, New York Winter Fashion Week, and this past New York Fall Fashion. People have always inspired me. Everyone has a story to tell, and I became addicted to learning and hearing from others. Creators in particular inspire me because there is always a story behind their clothes and designs. I love a good story.”

What were your favorite shows this year?

“My favorite show this year was Cynthia Rowley.  Cynthia held her show outside which was a nice change from being indoors at shows all day. She had the most fun, summery outdoor theme. Some models even carried surf boards and wore bright colored clothing. I also liked that Cynthia featured one model that was much older and shorter than everyone else. This left me wondering, ‘What the story was behind the older model and who was she?’

I also enjoyed Bibhu Mohapatra’s show because he featured beautiful gowns that displayed his vibrant Indian culture. I’m also obsessed with sequins and details, and each of his gowns were beautifully embellished. I was so thrilled to get an interview with him!”

What trends did you see the most of? What do you think will actually hit the streets this fall and winter?

“Though all the shows were very different, I saw a lot of pieces featuring shades of mustard, orange and dark turquoise on clothing. I noticed lots of models on the runway wearing leather throughout the show. This did not only include black leather but all different muted colors on leather. I would not be surprised to see lots of leather trends in the near future.”

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue fashion journalism?

“Stay up to date with trends. Dress the part you want to play ahead of time because the industry can be very superficial. I’d also say be friendly and get acquainted with publicists. Ultimately, they control everything and know everyone. I’ve had many publicists help me beyond measures. Just this fashion week I was able to watch a show backstage with the designer himself because of a publicist I talked to right when entering the show. I’ve also had many publicists tell me no and brush me off. Though this has happened on several occasions, I’d always recommend reaching out to publicists. This could potentially help further you in the industry.”

Where can we find updates about you/your media company/your experiences as a journalist?

“On my Instagram @hannahdavanzo or website www.hdaccessmedia.com.”


What have been your favorite Fashion Month looks so far? Leave a comment below! Also, follow this blog for more updates about upcoming fashion weeks.


P.S. If you’re looking for more information on London Fashion Week, I’d suggest starting with this article by Man Repeller.

For the styles at Milan Fashion Week, check out Refinery 29’s recap. Oh, and this video of J. Lo sporting the iconic dress that literally launched Google Images.

USA brand brings European style to the West Coast

USA brand brings European style to the West Coast

If you look at her Instagram, you might think she’s a travel blogger. But she’s actually at every fashion week to get inspiration for her newest collections. From Portugal to Paris, fashion designer Brittany Correy is always on-the-go.

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Correy is the name and face behind the lady & the sailor, a simple clothing collection based on a solid fashion philosophy. “Good basics are the foundation to creating beautifully uncomplicated style.” With three boutiques in L.A., her brand is bringing European fashion to the U.S. one classic piece at a time. 

How did you become interested in fashion?

“I wouldn’t say there was one pivotal moment. I come from creative roots; that was my upbringing, art. It was just the natural progression. Fashion is just a daily form of art to me. It’s unique to the person. Each day you choose colors and textures. It’s like everyday you wake up and say, “Who am I today?” Such a fun form of expression.”

How did you start the lady & the sailor?

“With a set of ideas and long hours! I built the idea for the collection initially on my need for certain things. I would get dressed and feel like I was missing certain “building pieces.” For example, a tee refined enough to wear to a nice dinner. Or a tank long enough to layer under a specific sweater. The brand was built on the five pieces I always thought I was missing to complete an outfit.”

How would you describe your brand?

“Feminine with a nod to boy.”

What’s your favorite accessory?

“Hands down my favorite vintage Levis! I wear them endlessly, and they seem to fit the bill for almost any occasion in LA. Daytime with a sweatshirt or striped tee. Nighttime with a perfect leather jacket, black tee and heels.”

What’s a typical day like for you?

“I usually start my day at the office and check in with the 3 boutiques. Once they are all situated, I move on to design and production. There’s daily design, playing with color palettes and fabrics. And then fittings several times a week. Fashion moves fast; there’s never down time.”

What are some of your favorite hobbies?

“All my favorite hobbies are not fashion related. This business is so consuming for me, when I get free time, truly the last thing I want to do is fashion related. Sometimes I need to rest my mind so I can be inspired when it counts. I love travel, yoga and it sounds crazy, but organizing! There’s nothing more enjoyable for me than a quiet evening at home organizing my closet or bathroom drawers.”

What inspires you?

“Travel, always. I can’t get enough. I love to see what people are wearing, men and women both. There’s also so much inspiration found in cityscapes, food, everything. I was in St. Tropez this summer and came across this incredible street of pink buildings: each had a different color trim. I wrote down every color combo there was!”

What’s it like constantly traveling? Are there things from home you miss while you are gone?

“First and foremost, my French bulldog, Clyde. After a day, I miss him so much it hurts! Then, of course, my husband and my family. Then it’s the little things, like my favorite coffee and my bed. Also just the luxury of having down time between travels. There’s nothing better than being home on a Saturday afternoon with literally nothing to do. No deadlines, no pressure. It’s the best feeling in the world.”

What tops your bucket list?

“I wouldn’t say it’s a single destination or experience. Rather, I would love to get to a place in the future where I could spend a full summer abroad. Relocate for May or June until August. I’d pick a place that I find the most inspiring at the time. I’d spend the summer absorbing the culture and then of course designing and sourcing. The summer would culminate with shooting our spring campaign, which we shoot every August. It’s our biggest and most important lookbook of the year. The campaign would likely be inspired by my summer.”

What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?

“I’ve always envisioned the lady & the sailor as a lifestyle brand, comprised of more than just clothing. We’re currently working on branching into accessories, bags, shoes and things of that nature. During my travels, I’ve seen so many beautiful things made by international artisans! There’s so many of these things I’d like to infuse into this realm of the brand.”

 

To shop, visit the website.

Photos courtesy of Brittany.

 

Fashion Flashback: ’90s Sitcom Edition

Fashion Flashback: ’90s Sitcom Edition

Happy Friday et joyeux 14 juillet à tous!!! 🇫🇷

The end of another week means the beginning of another fashion flashback post. Today we are exploring the wonderfully bizarre decade known as the 1990s.

Ahhh, the ’90s. Since the turn of the century, people have been reminiscing on the nostalgic beauty (and horror) of the 1990s.

The style of the ’90s is definitely in a category of its own. From Friends to Fresh Prince, the style encapsulated in the classic 90s sitcoms is enduring even today. While each one of these TV series could realistically have their own separate blog post, I am going to attempt to briefly show you a few of my favorite ’90s sitcom looks.

  1. Saved by the Bell
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    I am not even lying when I said I spent my entire freshman year of high school trying to be Kelly Kapowski. And I constantly crushed over Zack Morris (yes, I know it’s kind of weird if you think about it. I mean, he’s like 25 years older than me). When it comes to the crazy fashion of this even crazier TV series, all of them have a distinct yet somehow relatable style. Whether it’s Kelly’s matching floral pieces, Jessie doubling up on denim, or Slater’s muscle shirts, there is something everyone can enjoy.

  2. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
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    Just hearing the name of this show makes me want to sing the theme song. Not only is the show itself so amazing, but it also has some great fashion cameos. See: Carlton’s preppy cardigans and plaid shorts, Will’s patterned everything outfits, and Hillary’s blazers with absolutely gigantic shoulder pads.
  3. The Nanny
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    Even if you had never before watched this show (and I’ll admit, I hardly have), you will automatically recognize two things about The Nanny: Fran Drescher’s distinct voice and absurd outfits. Yet somehow I’m still insanely jealous of her wardrobe.
  4. Full House
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    What. A. Classic. This show has such a variety of stereotypical 90s looks! I mean, really, the list goes on and on. DJ and Stephanie Tanner kept up the trend of floral and denim everything. Kimmy Gibbler made sure that scrunchies didn’t go out of style. Uncle Jesse was the cool (and extremely good-looking) uncle. Danny Tanner is, like, the ultimate dad. He has the dad jeans, the dad hair, and the dad jokes. And, like all other ’90s babies, Michelle rocked those overalls.

  5. Seinfeld
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    By far one of the funniest/best sitcoms ever made, Seinfeld definitely has some iconic fashion moments, including Kramer’s weird button up shirts and Jerry sporting all the Nike merchandise. Truth be told, Elaine Benes is actually one of my style icons. Her persona is so business casual/cool (maybe it’s just wishful thinking that I can pull off blazers with shoulder pads).

  6. F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
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    It’s no secret that the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. craze has been vamped up yet again with all the ’00s babies now watching it on Netflix. I can’t deny that I’m super jealous of how well Rachel and Monica pull off those mom jeans. I pretty much want their wardrobes. Even Ross has some killer looks in this series! And don’t get me started on the weird matching cast photos. This show is honestly probably one of the most well-known sitcoms ever, and it’s style is just a reflection of how iconic it was.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite looks from such an interesting era in TV history. So tell me, what are YOUR favorite ’90s sitcom looks? Are there any that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

KV

Fashion Flashback: La Nouvelle Vague.

Fashion Flashback: La Nouvelle Vague.

Welcome to a new segment of my blog called Fashion Flashback! Considering how much I appreciate the art of alliteration, I think it only appropriate that these posts are to be published on Fridays.

Today I’m talking about a wonderful era still freshly imprinted upon my mind: The French New Wave. Known as La Nouvelle Vague, The French New Wave was a 60s cinematic revolution that continues to inspire and intrigue audiences today. Its influence can be seen in many modern movies, in the realms of both cinema and style. As a fashion fanatic, the style of the French New Wave is absolutely impeccable. And it is perfect for a summer look book.

Without further ado, here are some signature French New Wave looks.

  1. Black Turtleneck, Black Pants (Les Quatre Cent Coups, 1959.)
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    I know, I know. It might seem unrealistic to wear this in the summer (even though this is my go-to outfit in every season), but it’s time to take some style advice from a pre-teen. This kid is ridiculously cool, even with his one outfit throughout the entire film.P.S. Check out his style evolution that came with the usage of technicolor film! Still super rad.

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  2. Stripes. (À Bout de Souffle, 1960.)
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    165f8b2e40586176bfb127f90f5572eeJean Seberg captures the essence of vintage chic in this stunning dress. It is perfectly shaped and fitted. (And her adorable pixie cut only adds to the luxe of this look!)

    Seberg wasn’t the only French kitten (actually, she’s American..) to sport a nice striped something. Check out this trio in Jules et Jim (1962).

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  3. Effortless Cool. (À Bout de Souffle, 1960.)
    d51750f6048169d567e175daa1306d23cf0a538f4041dac3ca4d13e17f385ff8I would be completely amiss if I didn’t also credit Jean-Paul Belmondo for his trop stylé attire in this film. Attempting to mimic American actor Humphrey Bogart, Belmondo seems to put an irresistible French twist on an American classic.
  4. Rouge et Bleu. (Pierrot Le Fou, 1961.)f5f44d9582b1e0fff96694b56eb5cf311682753e3acbbd418b07700e2256c3ea36457db7cbe2ed47267db4a9097abb6fLet’s just take a moment and appreciate the costume designer for this film because all of their outfits are absolutely sublime. Karina and Belmondo compliment each other so well in these gorgeous nautical colors. (Not to mention the essential French colors!) The poppy reds and baby blues blend perfectly together for the spring/summer season.

 

While these outfits are decades old, they still hold with strong resonance today. Hopefully these 60s babes could inspire you to stylistically stretch yourself this summer. If you have any cute summer outfits, send them my way! I want to see what you come up with.

P.S. Stay tuned for next week’s exciting post. (Hint: Apocalyptic signs.)

 

À bientôt!

KV

 

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.

Although autumn and winter are my favorite seasons, I cannot help but get spring fever as I walk outside on a beautifully sunny day. I figured I would share my fashion inspiration for this season. It might not be what you expect for such a bright season, but I am working on branching out. (This is something that is stylistically different from my typical all black outfits.)

 

1. Minimal.

I know that’s such a hip catchphrase nowadays, hence the reason I’m using it. This season is all about keeping it minimal! My personal look this spring is going to be grey + white (and black accents, of course).

2. Denim.

I can already tell denim is going to be HUGE this spring and summer! 1970s inspired jumpsuits are everywhere, and I can’t say I’m complaining. (Actually, the only thing I am complaining about is not being tall enough to wear them.)

3. Pastels

Light pinks, baby blues, and soft yellows. What a perfect way to welcome spring. Wes Anderson must be so proud.

 

I cannot wait for this season’s fashion! Let me know what YOUR favorite (or least favorite!) style trends for Spring ’16 are!

Until next time,

KV

 

P.S. All pictures are from Pinterest. Credit where credit is due.

Winter Weather Essentials.

“It’s a marshmallow world in the winter!” Today I am showing you five must-have pieces for your closet this snowy season.

 

1. Big Overcoats

These come in many shapes and sizes. They are extremely cozy and versatile. Also, fluffy. You can never go wrong with a neutral toned duster. Or spice it up with a pale pink furry coat!

2. Hats

Static-y, unkempt hair day? Grab a cute hat and you’re on your way! For this season, I personally am wearing a black wool floppy hat.

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3. Pointed Heels

You can never go wrong with a pair of these! They are classic and timeless. Grab a few pairs of neutral pointy heels to style with any outfit. They can provide a elegant or edgy look, depending on how you style them.

4. Turtlenecks

Yes, mom. They are back in style. Pair a ’90s turtleneck with your favorite overcoat!b9972b995b131fa7410dc2b57377f972

5. Vampy Lips

Last but certainly not least, a makeup trend. Dramatize your look this season with deep reds and plums. If you’re not into that but want to something on your lips, try mauve and taupe colors!

 

Comment below and let me know YOUR favorite winter fashion trends!!!

XO, KV

(P.S. All photos are from Pinterest. Credit where credit is due.)