Weaving Fashion into Halloween

Halloween is my favorite holiday. A few years ago, I never thought that I would ever say that statement, but now I realize how interesting this holiday can get. My love for it is not because of the spooky atmosphere and loads of candy (I'm not saying I don't love those things, however), but it's due to how fun dressing up can be. My entire life, I've had some pretty interesting costumes (my twin and I were a tree and a literal pile of leaves when we were eight), so I understand how to create a new persona out of nothing. In my younger years, it used to be silly things, like a pumpkin or a warbler from Glee (I had a pretty bad middle school Glee phase), but now after learning more about pop culture through films, T.V., and fashion, I've "matured" my Halloween costumes. No, I don't mean buying a "sexy angel" costume online and pairing up with a friend who would be a "sexy devil". I simply mean using what I know from movies (or other things) I love and dressing up as those characters. Last year, I was the girl on the album cover of Contra by Vampire Weekend (see here), and this year, I decided to dress up as Margot Tenenbaum, a character from one of my favorite movies, The Royal Tenenbaums.

Dress by J. Crew. Coat brand is unknown.
Photos taken by me.

The best way to find a unique costume for Halloween is to find a character with a distinctive and interesting look. And this is where the fashion part comes in -- dressing up as someone with an iconic fashion sense will make a costume 10 times better than anyone else's. That's why dressing up as Margot was so fun. Her memorable fur coat, Lacoste polo dress, blonde bob, and heavy eyeliner create a look that cannot be recreated through anyone else, unless that person is intentionally dressing up as her. When you google "Margot Tenenbaum makeup", photos from fashion shows with heavy under-eye eyeliner will show, and when you google "Margot Tenenbaum style", images of models dressed in luxurious fur coats and striped dresses will appear. Even if you haven't seen the movie, you probably recognize the look, so this proves how iconic this character's style is. This made my job fairly easy. Although I did not have a tan fur coat or an actual Lacoste polo dress, I could still find a white one, put on a similar striped dress, and just do my makeup and hair just like hers (my new hair cut makes this costume so much easier). If you load on the eyeliner, straighten your preferably short and blonde locks, and walk around with a sad face all day, you will nail the Margot Tenenbaum aesthetic. I wish I would have carried around cigarettes and somehow made a wooden finger, but I didn't even need that to look just like Margot. When I showed people pictures of Margot today, they thought the resemblance was almost creepy. And if you have seen The Royal Tenenbaums, you probably recognized how I took these photos based on shots from the movie (I wish I had a Richie to sit next to on that couch...).

For me, finding costumes like this comes easy. My favorite film director is Wes Anderson, and other than this character by his, I could think of five other characters I could have dressed up as (Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom was my second choice). And this is where fashion really comes into the equation. Dressing up as other personas is fun for me because I get to create a look different from my own. Not everyday can I go around wearing a fur coat and a pound of eyeliner, and Halloween gives us an excuse to be whoever we want to be just for a day. Many use it as an excuse to dress up as something ridiculous, but I use it to let my love for fashion shine with an iconic look that wouldn't work on the other 364 days of the year. Halloween should be easy for fashion lovers like me. The opportunities are endless, whether you want to dress up like a fashionable character or an irl fashion icon. I have seen some Anna Wintours this Halloween, but you can go even further than that. You can go back in time and be your best Jane Birkin or Brigitte Bardot, or even work that heroin-chic look by being Kate Moss. And these are just people who have influenced the fashion world. The simplest thing to do is look at characters from your favorite T.V. show or movie with an impeccable style and impersonate them. My twin dressed up as Audrey Horne from Twin Peaks by pairing a crop-sweater and midi with saddle shoes and that iconic beauty mark next to her eye. Although many people in this era don't even know what the show is, people who did watch it immediately knew, and that's due to Audrey's unique look. That's how being Margot was for me -- many people had never even heard of the movie, but people who have watched it knew exactly who I was trying to be. People think that Halloween costumes have to be recognizable by the entire population, but that's not a requirement. I already have a few ideas for next year (Angela Hayes from American Beauty or even one of the Lisbon daughters from The Virgin Suicides). So go out there, and spend this day dressing up as someone you've always wanted to be but couldn't on a normal day. That's what Halloween is for, right?


Reinventing Fashion

No, I'm not here to start a fashion revolution (my title may be deceiving). Not like it wouldn't be a dream of mine to be involved in one, but I have realized something that forces me (and others who would like to try this phenomenon) to step outside the two-dimensional fashion world. Maybe it's the spooky weather and Halloween spirits that are making me think about these types of things more closely, but it's this simple -- not every piece of clothing has to be worn like it was meant to be worn. You may have seen some people wearing their long denim front-button skirts as dresses, but I'm not asking you to do anything that severe. I'm not even sure if I'm on board with that new look, and I'm usually open to anything when it comes to fashion, but this new "phenomenon" can be as simple as rolling up the sleeves of a button-up top further than usual. However, I'd like to take more risks than something like that, so I decided to take it one step further.

Transforming a dress into a top is one of the simplest things to do, but it's not done often. The more you want it to work, the less it will work, so my suggestion is to find a dress you like, find a skirt you like, and put it together (does that even make sense??). That's how I was able to work this outfit -- I knew I wanted to make this graphic dress a top, so I paired it with every skirt I owned until a good fit was made. If I had a specific skirt in mind, I may have given up if it didn't look like I wanted it to and thrown on a sweater and leggings. That's my motto in fashion -- keep your expectations low while experimenting with outfits, but keep them high when finished. The only way to be successful in trying new looks is to keep an open mind, and most everything will look fashion-forward. Before I start to sound like a motivational speaker, I'll get back to the outfit. This dress, which I wore a while back during Montreal Fashion Week (here), is one of my favorites due to it's quirky designs but also its simplicity. This nature allowed me to change its look completely by just adding a pastel pink skirt to it, which alters the mod vibe to a more classic style. All I did after this was add my army-green jacket from Topshop and even wear the same Stan Smiths I wore the last time I wore the dress, and yet the outfit is still completely different than the previous one. Maybe it's because my hair is completely different (I forgot to tell you that I finally went for a platinum lob), but I do believe that just one simple step can make all the difference.

So there's my "fashion revolution". You probably thought it would take more effort, but it's in the small things that can reinvent looks. Another perk to this is that it can save you when you haven't had the chance to go fall shopping (yes, I'm talking about me right now). Although I did not pertain to fall trends in this look, I could have easily made a Spring/Summer dress an Autumn look by adding a darker skirt and tights. Like I said, stepping outside the fashion-box doesn't have to be difficult.

Dress/top by Zara. Skirt by American Apparel. Jacket by Topshop. Shoes by Adidas.
Photos taken by me.


It's Starting to Feel Like Fall...

Finally! It has been fall for a month now, and not once (at least in Georgia) has it felt like it. I've had to do some intense research on how to rock fall trends in hot weather, and wearing a mini skirt in an "autumn way" is not an easy thing to accomplish (unless you're the wonderful Man Repeller). There was one perk, however, because I haven't had the chance to go fall shopping. Wool skirts and jeans weren't even needed because the temp would always be above 70, but now, this problem actually exists. I can't let the fact that I own zero new fall clothing faze me because this weather automatically puts me in happy mode. So I decided to work with what I have...

It's so simple to make practically anything work in the fall. Maybe that's why it's my favorite fashion season... Anyways, I haven't had the chance to get new clothes, so I paired my button-up skirt from Urban Outfitters with my favorite knit turtleneck (also from Urban Outfitters) that I haven't even touched since last February. Because it's been so long since I've worn the sweater, wearing it today was just like wearing a brand new one. That's the beauty of not buying a completely new wardrobe for every season (which I still find absolutely crazy) -- you can wear old items from a few seasons ago in completely different ways, and people will probably think it's new. To work with the cooler weather, I wore my thigh highs because it wasn't cold enough to pull out the knit tights that are reserved for December and January.

Skirt and sweater by Urban Outfitters. Jacket by Juicy Couture. Shoes by Asos.
Photos taken by me

I even took my denim jacket, which I usually reserve as a light layer to be worn in the spring or summer, as an additional layer for when I had to walk outside. Denim has always been a spring/summer staple, but anyone can transition it into the fall/winter (like me!). And voila! I took old basics and created a brand new look that works perfectly with fall fashion and weather. I still need to eventually get new clothes for the fall (and winter), but I find it pretty easy to create unique looks with old clothing. I think I've said this about 100 times through this blog, but I have (once again) proven that you don't need the time (or money) to create fashion-forward looks with the change of the season. You should take risks with autumn because it's the season of fashion experimentation, at least in my mind. Happy fall, everyone!


Fashion Month

This is the first time that I'm actually going to be just like the majority of fashion bloggers out there by doing what everyone expects -- fashion show reviews. The only difference is that instead of physically going to the fashion shows, I had to do my research online. Scrolling through hundreds of designers for NYFW, LFW, MFW, and PFW and choosing your favorites is not an easy task, especially when you're in love with 80% of the collections. It was pretty simple choosing the ones that I definitely didn't love (that Jamaican themed Tommy Hilfiger show wasn't really my thing, and don't even get my started on the Valentino collection that just oozes cultural appropriation), but choosing the absolute best out of the ones that caught my eye took hours of watching way too many runway shows. But finally, after hours of what I like to call "fashion research", I compiled a list of my top 9 shows from the SS16 collections from this fashion month.

New York Fashion Week

NYFW is usually the one to steal my heart, but overall, this season it didn't necessarily deserve a standing O. However, a few shows ended up being my favorites from the entire bunch. And we'll start with...

Jeremy Scott

Photos by Giovanni Giannoni from WWD.com

It's nearly impossible to not include one of my favorite designers in my top nine shows from the SS16 collections. However, it's not even my favorite by him, but it still embodies the colorful and wild nature of Jeremy Scott's unique style. If we can get over Gigis' horrendous opening walk (why does she open most of the big runway shows these days? Why???) and some over-the-top men's fashion statements, this collection brings an obvious tribute to the '60s with a bang, because how else does Jeremy Scott work? Those bright patterns, a-line shapes, and flouncing retro wigs gave this collection a signature look, and I'm not sure if I'm completely in love, but I would love to see someone rocking that two-piece monster (is that what it is?) set off the runway.
Rating: 8.0

Public School

Photos from Vogue

Public School is one of my favorite New York-based brands, so it was also second nature for me to choose the duo's SS16 collection. It also has to be my favorite from all of NYFW's collections this season. Those navy blue and white oversized trenches and sweaters were practically calling my name the minute they stepped onto the runway. The collection gave off this practical chic aesthetic (just look at those shoes) that I would definitely wear next spring and summer. Designers, watch out for Public School, because they're getting bigger and better by the minute.
Rating: 9.6

Alexander Wang

Photos by Giovanni Giannoni from WWD.com

Once again, one of my other favorite designers. I stuck to the brands I knew for NYFW because that was the easiest way to find the ones I knew I would love, which isn't a compliment to this season's NYFW collections. However, this one definitely stood out for me and didn't fit in with the bland, "beachy vibes" that we got from most of NYFW's collections. This collection definitely showed who Alexander Wang is as a designer -- someone who wants to innovate new trends from the old. He created this dynamic collection in the grittiest way, using army green, denim, and revealing tops as the basis for his set. This designer turned casual, what looks like "your older brother's clothes" into individualized styles that make a bold statement. Props to you, Alexander Wang, for putting effort into everything you created with this collection, whether it's the actual pieces, the styling of the models, or even the racy after-party you hosted.
Rating: 8.5

London Fashion Week

This week upped NYFW just by a little bit because it was more difficult for me to choose which collections I liked the best. However, I only picked two -- I was going to include Topshop Unique, but it just didn't appeal to me this year (which is a huge shocker -- I can usually count on them). We'll start with a classic...


Photos from londonfashionweek.com

I've honestly never been a huge fan of Burberry until now. They strayed away from their classic plaid aesthetic and went for a more military meets feminine look, which I'm all for this season. I'm starting to see a pattern in these collections -- a sort of utilitarian, masculine feel from the fabrics and a feminine touch from the cuts and shapes. Androgyny in fashion is one of my favorite trends, so keep it up, designers. I love how Burberry literally embodied the modern London woman feel with those gold trimmed blazers and black lace dresses. Also, Cara Delevingne and Annie Clarke were the cutest couple in the front row, and the 32-piece orchestra definitely made it a show that makes me envy the important people who get invited to these shows.
Rating: 9.4

Simone Rocha

Photos from Vogue

This is what I've been waiting for this fashion month. I didn't even know who Simone Rocha was until I was researching these shows, and once I stumbled upon her, I fell in love. Feminine shapes with cloudy, floral, and frilly aesthetics is what I love in fashion and exactly what Rocha brought with this collection. Valentino's collection last season had it, and now this season, it's Simone Rocha. What I love is that they're all ready to wear (unlike Valentino's haute couture gowns), so it makes these designs accessible for any occasion (if you don't mind looking like a literal angel). Even the ground these models walked on matched their godly outfits -- that green carpet just screams Parisian femininity. I would say that this is my favorite of the bunch, but the ones coming up get even better.
Rating: 9.9 

Milan Fashion Week

For some reason a lot of us seem to forget about MFW, but they always carry a lot of the most well known designers and brands (Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, etc). I absolutely loved most of these shows, but because I don't want to keep rambling about my favorite shows, I only chose one from this week. Because most of these shows were amazing, this show was obviously one of the best out of all of the shows from this season. And the lucky winner is...



Photos from Vogue

Until now, I've never been the biggest fan of Gucci. I saw it as this overrated brand that slowly became a "joke" to the overpriced, high fashion world. But this is before I even looked into them that much, and once I saw this show, my view of them completely altered. This show made me realize how much I love fashion, because everything about it was so beautiful. The ethereal music with soft whispers in French (almost like she was like the painted snakes on the ground) and the angelic walks of all the models made the show an out-of-body experience (literally...), and I haven't even talked about the clothes yet. Gucci brought the Italian glamor we usually see in their collections with those intricate floral and snakeskin designs, but they also added a touch of "geek-chic" (as Vogue calls it) and a greek-goddess aesthetic to the collection. I've never been a fan of too much accessories, but the huge bows and flouncing skirts only worked well for this collection. Honestly, the best way to describe it is simply... beautiful, in every sense of the word.
Rating: 10 (yes, it's my favorite of all of them)

Paris Fashion Week

And we're down to the last week... This one was hands down the best. Of course, fashion month has to go out with a bang, and PFW definitely accomplished that. In the beginning, I had seven shows picked out just from this week, but I had to cut it down to just three. Before I even begin, I want to give an honorable mention to Elie Saab, one of my favorite designers ever. Your collection was amazing, but it didn't make the list. Let's start with...


Photos by Isidore Montag

I don't think a single fashion blogger talking about their favorite shows missed including the Dior show. Everything about it was magical, whether it was the genius location of the Louvre, the flower mountain that literally took two weeks to construct, or the well-designed collection that gave a sense of Parisian nostalgia. Those flowing veiled skirts and signature chokers gave this collection a certain look that everyone fell in love with. This show was a great way to start off PFW, and I'm pretty sure it was a prediction for how well the others went, because things just kept getting better.
Rating: 9.7

Moncler Gamme Rouge

Photos from Vogue

This designer for this collection, Giambattista Valli, is also one I have never heard of until I was researching all the PFW shows. And the same goes for this collection just like Simone Rocha's -- I'm in love. Everything about it, whether it was the literal meadow the models walked in or the styling of the sneakers with garden fairy-esque dresses, fit into what I love in fashion today. (Side note: I told you that I'm not the only one who likes to pair casual sneakers with dresses, like in this post.) This show also gave off a greek goddess feeling, but while Gucci did it in a fierce, "Nike" (the goddess of victory) way, Moncler Gamme Rouge did it in a soft, "Aphrodite" (the goddess of love) way. I also love how Valli used white in all of the pieces, but each one either has an accent of all white, metallic silver, red, or green. There's probably some symbolism in it that I don't want to go into right now, but bravo to Giambattista Valli for creating a collection that's fit for a fairy.
Rating: 9.9

Alexander McQueen


Photos from Vogue

Of course, I have to end this post with a bang, and what other way to do so than with the wonder that is Alexander McQueen. This isn't anywhere near my favorite out of the nine I selected, but I thought that the legacy McQueen brings would fit for the final review. Obviously, it's now Sarah Burton who now runs the brand, and while she still brings the traditional Alexander McQueen look (just look at those collars), she brought a subtle femininity to the usually over-the-top edgy brand. With Victorian-era collars and silhouettes, frilly layers, and a black and white color scheme, she goes back to a romantic time frame that is strange for McQueen, but also refreshing. Even without Alexander, the brand still runs strong with subtle changes yet still the same McQueen look we all know.
Rating: 8.8


The Return of the Turtleneck

October has just begun, so it might seem strange to jump straight into fall trends. For some, it takes a few weeks to warm-up to the colder weather and new seasonal styles, but for me, I've been waiting since July for the best (at least in my opinion) season of fashion. Right when the cold(er) weather hit, I took that chance to showcase what I've been wanting to do for months now. Maybe it's too early to start wearing turtlenecks, but recently, I decided that this was the year to embrace the trend. Last winter, I wore them a few times, but I never felt completely comfortable, and that's probably because many people refuse to work with the revival of this style. Of course, in April, when it was far too hot to even attempt wearing turtlenecks, I decided that I was going to bring them back in full swing when the temperature dropped. Finally, after six months of waiting, the temperature dropped, and I began my endeavor to make turtlenecks fashionable again.

Most of the fashion world has caught on to this trend, but the fashion world is only a minuscule percentage of the entire world population. Wearing something like this can still make my peers glare at me (which I will never understand), but I noticed that I got better feedback this time than I did when I wore turtlenecks last year. I guess the rest of the world is beginning to catch up with the high fashion and street-style-obsessed population. Of course, I always try to match my personal style with up and coming trends, so I worked the turtleneck into the '70s revival we saw all over AW15 fashion shows. I paired the striped-turtleneck with a wool vintage skirt (which actually came directly from the '70s) and my Stan Smiths to fully embody the '70s look. I may even like this revival more than the recent comeback of '90s trends, so choosing an outfit for today was really enjoyable for me. But of course, it always comes back to fitting with my personal style, so instead of making this outfit have a '70s color scheme (rusty oranges, bright reds/yellows, pale blues, etc), I worked with a darker, neutral theme, almost to match the color of the sky we've had for over a week. Also, now that I look back at the outfit, the striped top gives off a Parisian vibe, which is perfect for the start of Paris Fashion Week (side note: a blog post is coming soon about the best SS16 fashion shows, and the extravagant Dior show from earlier today will definitely make an appearance). And you may have thought that I would bring back the turtleneck just by pairing it with boyfriend jeans. That sounds like an ideal outfit for another day, but when I bring back a trend that I've been wanting to do for six months, I come in full force.

Top by J. Crew. Skirt by Gap. Shoes by Adidas.
Photos shot by me.