Tory Burch is all grown up.
I’m not sure what her typical fan base will say, but the Tory of bright colors, tunic tops, and perpetual resort wear is gone. Fortunately, in her place, she has left the Tory I kept wishing would appear – someone who designs those same fabulously wearable, fun pieces…but for those of us who don’t spend every weekend in the Hamptons.
By far my favorite collection of hers so far, there were dozens of covetable looks in the fall ’08 show. There was a Missoni-inspired cardigan that will almost certainly be added to my closet, and a classic khaki sailor pant that looks as if it might actually be flattering on mere mortals.
Tory definitely kept a touch of her signature playfulness. I loved her knee-high stiletto lumberjack boot (wow, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write), especially paired with an 80s-inspired bow-neck top and sleeveless cardigan. And her love of color was still evident – just a little more controlled. Overall, it was a fabulous show, and I was thrilled to see this new side of Tory Burch.
Michael Kors is a designer I consider to be at the forefront when it comes to designing truly ready-to-wear pieces. His collections are always filled with pieces that are ready to walk right off the runway and down Broadway.
Fall 2008 was no exception – Kors presented a line of women’s and menswear that is destined to hit the closet of many a middle-aged fashionista near you. The only complaint I have about Kors is that his pieces are rarely what you would call “striking” or innovative. He’s known for designing classic, wearable silhouettes that will be timeless – and that’s exactly what he delivered.
In fact, if I were to point to an inspiration, I’d say Kors was giving a nod to classic early 1960s style with this collection. The men’s suits were trim – suit jackets were fitted, pants were slim and just shy of being too short. The women’s pieces seemed to run the gamut from sexy secretary (check out the swing jacket/pencil skirt suit in full leopard print) to an urban socialite from an era when we still dressed up for an evening on the town (look for a gorgeous three-quarter sleeved purple silk print evening coat with fur collar).
In all, the collection was incredibly solid, and stunningly well-tailored. If you’re looking to pick up a classic piece from the fall lines, Michael Kors is always a fabulous option, and this year is no exception.
Carolina Herrera’s fall collection was predictably strong – several ready-to-wear classics that will quickly be on everyone’s “most coveted” list, and just enough eccentricity to keep things interesting.
Feather-adorned fedoras notwithstanding, my favorite pieces from the collection were the overcoats, which Herrera does exceptionally well, and, of course, the evening pieces. There was also a gorgeous mushroom velvet wide-legged trouser that is on my must-own list.
The color palette for the show was a very traditional fall palette, though she made it new by using incredibly deep, rich shades of orange and yellow, and mixing mushroom and navy in with the brown. Feathers were clearly her signature statement of choice for fall, and they appeared on nearly every look that came down the runway. Her prints for the collection were an elegant ruby red jacquard, a gorgeous orange plaid and a truly striking silk in fall tones (orange, deep yellow and brown, with a touch of blue), with a pattern I can only describe as a watercolor impression of feathers, which tied in beautifully with the rest of the collection.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Carolina Herrera without stunning eveningwear, and this collection was no exception. My favorite was a gorgeous pewter strapless gown with an asymmetrical seam along the skirt, ruching at the bodice, and an intricate, feather-trimmed detail at the waist. Truly stunning. On the slightly more wearable end of the spectrum, there were at least three overcoats so completely fabulous that I’d happily mortgage the house to own one of them.
The Oscar de la Renta fall line made one thing very clear: Oscar wants prints back. I don’t think I counted more than 5 looks in solid colors. Best of all, he incorporated a stunning variety of prints – almost none were used on multiple looks. That feat alone deserves considerable praise.
True to form, there were evening gowns aplenty – I’d expect no less. But overall, the collection was one of the more wearable I’ve seen from de la Renta – most of his collections are highly focused on evening wear, but this collection was incredibly strong in day and cocktail attire.
There was a particularly dreamy tulle skirted gown that any princess-at-heart would kill to wear to the ball. And a beautiful Asian-inspired mandarin collar dress that would be truly fantastic for cocktails. But don’t miss the gorgeous boucle plaid swing coat, the chunky belted sweaters with beautifully overstated detailing at the neckline, or the bordeaux leather A-line skirt with black tulle overlay…for day! I’m truly looking forward to seeing the reincarnations of this show in a Barney’s near me.
Proenza Schouler’s fall ’08 collection was nothing short of amazing – definitely one of the most cohesive and forward collections I’ve seen in several seasons.
The design duo relied on a primarily neutral color palette for the first part of the show in order to highlight the extraordinary design details in the collection: gorgeous embroidery and lace applique, impeccable tailoring, and some truly unique silhouettes. I particularly loved the slouchy matte satin (and in one case, sequined) trousers that recurred throughout the show – the fabric would have been much too fussy in any other incarnation, but the styling was so deconstructed, it worked beautifully.
There were also some stunning overcoats – a gorgeous double-breasted, bracelet sleeve version dripping in overlay, and a grey wool open-front style with such an impeccable cut that everything else just fades away into the background.
What little color Proenza Schouler did use in the collection was also flawless. Rich jewel tones, but in the most unexpected combinations; I’ll definitely be going back to the photos of this show for inspiration when fall rolls around. I particularly loved the amethyst silk tunic dress paired with a deep burnt orange tight and an emerald suede platform heel, but the sapphire silk with ruby tights and topaz suede shoes was also outstanding.
Bookmark this collection – you’ll be seeing it (and it’s inevitable imitators) absolutely everywhere by next September.
BCBG is usually a collection I can rely on for incredibly wearable, if not necessarily innovative looks – particularly dresses. But this year, not a single dress came down the runway that made me even moderately excited. The fashion house seems to be playing around with their classic, works-for-everyone silhouette, but the results lacked polish, and none of the dresses really felt like they fit the models. In fact, the looks I liked best from the collection were the menswear-inspired pieces, which are almost always my least favorite pieces from BCBG. They sent out some fabulous wide-legged trousers and a french-cuffed jacket with beautiful tailoring.
Not a lot of color in the fall collection…the house focused on a very neutral, safari color palette, though they did play with some really gorgeous sapphire blue and saffron yellow silks on a couple of pieces that were fantastic.
Even if I’m not in love with a collection, I like to at least leave a show with some idea of what trends to look toward for the upcoming season. It’s clear there is no “definitive” skirt style for fall ’08; we saw everything from micro-minis to bubbles to below-the-knee A-line styles. Silhouettes were really varied, though BCBG did do some fabulous things with pleating that are worth taking notice of. And keep your eye out for overcoats without sleeves — I’m skeptical, but willing to keep an open mind.
If Max Azria wants you to take one thing away from his fall ’08 collection, it’s that he’s had enough of the shapeless silhouettes of seasons past. Belts are back. Literally every look he sent down the runway was belted with an identical leather belt that was tied in a knot in the center. But beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.
Not long ago, I got an email from Gina of Two Sisters Jewelry, asking me to check out her wares. And the results were fabulous. The two sisters are actually identical twins, and they originally came up with the idea for the line as a way to live in the same city. Now, Jennifer does most of the design, and Gina handles the business side of things. Talk about a perfect pair.
If youâ€™re one of those women who loves your bold, statement jewelry, Two Sisters is a canâ€™t-miss stop for you. My favorite piece is their Geometric Necklace, available in short and long versions, as well as a couple of styles with added embellishments. Itâ€™s such a great twist on the exaggerated chain style weâ€™re seeing everywhere right now. And their Emilia and Josie earrings have become a staple in my jewelry wardrobe. Theyâ€™re perfect to dress up or down, and they go with just about everything. Next on my â€œthings to covetâ€ list is their gorgeous Fiona chain link bracelet, which is classic enough for every day, but still manages to be unique and fun.
Best of all, their pricing is fantastic. Most pieces are well under $100, and you can score those gorgeous earrings I mentioned for $20. And to top it all off, the sisters have generously offered TDO readers an exclusive 20% sitewide discount on their already amazing prices. Just enter code “dailyobsession” at checkout, and you have an even better excuse to shop your heart out.
I always feel a lot of guilt post-holiday season, when it turns out that I’ve flaked on sending holiday cards yet again. It just seems like the holidays get underway and in full swing so quickly, theyâ€™re over before they even start. But I have finally found the perfect solution. Erin Condren (of Erin Condren Designs) just sent over a package of her gorgeous, personalized Valentineâ€™s Day cards, and I’m smitten. I just love the idea of sending valentines instead of Christmas cards â€“ it reminds me of making those valentine card boxes in grade school, and digging through everyoneâ€™s cards at the end of the day to see who gave the best candy.
Choose from a variety of sweet (never corny) versions, like â€œAll you need is loveâ€ or â€œLove the ones youâ€™re withâ€ (my personal fave). Just send Erin the details, and the customized cards will arrive at your doorstep in a little over a week. She even adds in matching envelopes and customized address labels, and delivers them all in a darling, reusable plastic case.
All you have to add are the conversation hearts.
As spring pieces start to trickle into stores just as fall and winter items are hitting serious markdown territory, it’s tough to decide between splurging on the new or saving on the slightly-less-new. The best compromise I’ve found is this gorgeous ankle-strap ballet flat by French Sole. The bright red color is perfect for spring, and the ankle strap detail is going to make these just gorgeous with all of your spring dresses and shorts. Oh, and did I mention you can score them for 35% off, thanks to our friends at Barefoot Tess? Just enter code DAILY35 at checkout to save 35% sitewide until 1/31. So, while you’re picking up those fabulous picks for spring, don’t forget to check out the rest of their stunning offerings.
For the girl who’s always after the latest and greatest beauty looks, Therapy Systems has put together a couple of amazing gift sets that are perfect for the holidays. I got a chance to check out the Essential Clutch ($210) – a gorgeous woven leather clutch bag that comes packed with a gorgeous loose shimmer powder, a cream gel eyeliner, brushes for both, lipgloss, and their fabulous coffee cherry face serum.
The shimmer powder is fantastic; it gives just the right amount of sparkle, without getting into “glitter” territory. And I have a chronic phobia of eyeliner, but even I loved the gel liner from Therapy Systems. It went on flawlessly, stayed put, and I was able to control the amount that went on much better than conventional liners. If you have a true beauty diva on your list, or just someone that’s been complaining that their look could use an update, this is sure to be a hit!