Filed under: Handbags
Designers go a little crazy sometimes creating handbags with outrageous features or price tags, all in the name of style, exclusivity, and pushing the boundaries of fashion. From clutches covered in diamonds to exotic skins dipped in 24-karat gold and even purses meant to look like garbage bags, we've seen it all.
Although it's hard to imagine actually carrying some of these handbags (for example what shoes to wear with a cage clutch that resembles a small metal lobster trap?), it's easy to appreciate the unique beauty and creativity involved in these little works of art. We've compiled 10 of the strangest and most outrageous bags -- which are your favorites?
Gallery: 10 Outrageous Designer Handbags
Filed under: Shoes
New York City fashion. In most ways, I feel like I've nailed it. How to pair black and wear color, how to sport statement pieces, vintage finds, silk, leather, carryall bags, tiny clutches, you name it. And yet when it comes to heels, I'm as clueless as a Wisconsin dairy farmer.
Don't get me wrong. I love a gorgeous pair of heels and I would love to pull them off effortlessly. I'd love to meet a 7-foot-tall guy and wear 6-inch stilettos 12 hours a day. But honestly, I find it hard to wear anything over 4 inches for an hour. It's remarkable how many girls in New York can pull this off. And like me, they're not all fashion editors with a car service. Like me, walking is their primary mode of transportation, and they clock miles a day without a change of shoes.
There are stories that heel masters like Victoria Beckham wear stilettos on the treadmill. (Don't worry it's a rumor; she only just started exercising). And sure, they admit, no pain no gain. But there's a difference between suffering a little pain for fashion and walking around like a defeated hobbit after the workday is done.
Is there something I'm missing? Is there a way to train your feet to withstand the pain? When it comes to learning, I'm an immersion type of gal. So I, with my friend Bryce Gruber over at TheLuxurySpot, decided to try a little experiment for the sake of fashion. In a new series, we're going to try out a variety of vertigo-inducing heels in the most inappropriate situations possible. An activity that's totally insane to do in anything but flats? We're there. Could we find out the hard way some tips and tricks for wearing heels? If I were to run a mile in stilettos, would it make wearing them to the office a breeze?
For the first run, we decided to start out simple, something active, but not too strenuous. What's the one place we regularly frequent that would draw stupefying glances our way as we treaded on $4,000 machines in sharp heels? Pilates. And to go all out for our stiletto workout look, we donned some fabulous leotards, courtesy of American Apparel.
This spring's hottest fashion trends is about showing off your most vibrant and colorful self. Electrifying neon accessories can be found everywhere. And as much as I love all the new trends and translating them into my personal sense of style, you just can't beat the impact of black.
The set: the icy chill of a tented quarter-mile hallway leading to the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center on March 24.
The story onstage at the Met: love, identity confusion, and some cross-dressing in the 19th century. Met director Bartlett Sher has described "Le Comte Ory" as "a place where love is dangerous. People get hurt."
"That can be very funny and very painful," quips Sher.
Let the media coverage begin!
As you may have heard by now, Friday marks the 100th anniversary of one of the worst workplace tragedies in history -- the Triangle Waist Company fire where 146 people, mostly women, were killed in a New York garment factory. The factory was one of the largest makers of the shirtwaist. That event changed the labor movement forever, not to mention mandated laws like sprinkler systems and unlocked exits in public areas.
As newspapers and TV documentaries chronicle this terrible turn-of-the-century event, some people have asked me, "What exactly is a shirtwaist?"
As La Ferla points out in the Times, the shirtwaist was all the rage in America at the turn of the century. It was a combination of a tailored shirt and a skirt that showed a bit of leg (it would show even more leg years later). The shirtwaist began to take on historical significance in fashion. After the fire, it signified women's demands for better working conditions and a kind of liberation.
Several decades later, it morphed into Dior's famous New Look of the '40s, typified the way most women dressed in the '50s (think: Donna Reed) and, later that same decade, became an emblem of the civil rights movement.
Normally, Tokyo follows India in the global fashion week calendar. But in the wake of the earthquake, the tsunami and nuclear explosions that rocked the country, shows were canceled. Although Tokyo wasn't directly hit by catastrophe, the decision to halt the shows came down to an iffy electricity supply, transportation snafus and the safety of attendees.
Yet some of Japan's top designers showcased their collections at Lakme Fashion Week (pictured above) in India. Tokyoeye, an initiative by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, brought the best of Japanese fashion talent to India. Designers Motonari Ono, Tamae Hirokawa and Sara Arai showed on the very day the tsunami hit their home country.
Arai, implemented a dying art from Japan called Yohenzomei, in the form of a fabric that changes color under light. She hoped to make an impact on India in order to "send cheer back to her countrymen." Designers Hirokawa and Ono noted that they were influenced by their country's traditional weaves and craftsmanship.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is currently featuring more than 80 sculptural fashion creations by Italian designer Roberto Capucci in an exhibit called "Art Into Fashion." Capucci is known for his wild and interesting use of silhouettes and structural design elements to create fashion that's as much art as it is clothing. The exhibit marks the first survey of Capucci's works in the United States and also includes various sketches and drawings from past years.
Roberto Capucci was born in Rome in 1929 and sold his first design at age 18 to the wife of film director Roberto Rossellini. The "Art Into Fashion" exhibit runs through June 5, 2011.
Filed under: Apparel
Experimental, provocative, avant garde French fashion label Maison Martin Margiela has teamed up with London-based luxury eyewear manufacturer Cutler and Gross on its first full collection of sunglasses. The collection, handmade in Italy for both men and women, features two distinct concepts, "Wrong Size" and "Anatomic", both offered in acetate and metal varieties. The "Wrong Size" range highlights Martin Margiela's pension for deconstruction and the experimental. Classic Cutler and Gross aviator-style frames are deconstructed then reconstructed with wrong sized lenses, making for a decadent and distinct pair of sunglasses. The Anatomic range features extra-large futuristic, functional wraparounds that "anatomically" wrap around the wearer's whole face providing absolute coverage. Prices for the collection, now available via haute online eyewear boutique Eyegoodies, range from $550 – $680 per pair.
Gallery: Paris Between the Wars
Filed under: Apparel
The Victoria's Secret sirens have brightened up this miserable late winter weather with a preview of sexy swim fashions for spring and summer. The lingerie leviathan whisked South African stunner Candice Swanepoel (above), Brazilian bombshell Alessandra Ambrosio, Minsk minx Maryna Linchuk and more to St. Tropez to frolic in the sun in their latest creations. Leopard prints, bright batiks, near-psychedelic patterns and a smattering of sequins make for an anything-but-understated selection of swimwear. The full collection can be seen in the new Victoria's Secret Swim 2011 catalog hitting mailboxes this week, featuring 50 pages of eye-popping pix. Check out the gallery for a preview.
French fashion label Façonnable, born from a tailor's atelier in Nice in the 1950s, has always been one of our favorite men's style staples. Now the company, which is committed to innovation, quality fabrics, impeccable cuts and singular details, is launching a new line called Façonnable Jeans, adding a contemporary spin to its portfolio. Inspired by the relaxed lifestyle of the Côte d'Azur, Façonnable Jeans offers the best of the world of denim while adhering to the principles of fine tailoring the brand is known for.
Refined stitching; the finest materials such as Japanese chambray; and contemporary fits distinguish the new collection, while prewashing and hand finishing guarantee a soft feel and unique patina. The new collection encompasses more than just jeans to round out the wardrobe, including khakis, washed cotton polos and T-shirts, and various styles of jackets, along with stylish accessories such as pocket squares and handmade ties, shoes, bags, belts, scarves, caps and boxer shorts.
Gallery: Faconnable Jeans Collection
Moncler, the French–Italian luxury sport label founded in 1952 famed for its stylish down jackets, took over New York's Grand Central Terminal on Sunday evening for a "flash mob" themed Fashion Week presentation. 180 models descended on the NYC landmark clad in designs from Moncler's Grenoble Fall 2011 collection for a seven-minute choreographed performance inspired by the work of Bob Fosse and garments that "combine contemporary style with the high performance of the active sphere." The spectacle delighted passers-by, while another 200 performers infiltrated their ranks disguised as fellow commuters.
Key elements of the Grenoble collection for both men and women blend the brand's heritage with ultra-contemporary styling. Tweed is used with a waterproof finish for heat-sealed snowboarding pants and a ski suit, with elasticized panels down the side. The fabrics are warm and light, including stretch flannels, wool denim, worn Ventile cottons with an opaque look borrowed from truck tarpaulins, natural waterproofs, and innovative materials such as trilaminate. Pieces are designed to be layered and incorporate hoods, warm quilting and exclusive technical padding. Colors are full and intense with a retro feel in burgundy red, mustard yellow and green-grey.
Gallery: Moncler Grenoble at Grand Central
The glamourous gown shown above, a silk ball gown embroidered with metallic threads, pearls and sequins, by French designer Pierre Balmain from his fall/winter 1953-1954 collection, is just one of the items that will be on view at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, as part of the "Material World" exhibit starting on April 22. The Material World exhibit showcases textiles and personal adornment from cultures around the world focusing on the role of how textiles and ornamentation have been used throughout time to indicate wealth, status and power. The exhibition highlights fabrics adorned with luxurious materials including gold and metallic threads, beads, shells, mirrors, semi-precious stones, bones, fur and feathers. Items range from a Buddhist bone apron to Dior and Chanel couture pieces and span several centuries to the present day.