Friday, March 21, 2008

Taxidermy Chic

I can't get over the texture of this Armani bag. Made of perch skin, it walks a fine line between deliciously decadent and vaguely creepy. Personally, I like the taxidermy-esque look of it, but then, I'm also thrilled by the recent flourishing of natural history references in design in general. Discovering the beautiful in the strange can be so uplifting.

It helps that everything else about the bag is totally understated. Delicate, discreetly glowing gold hardware, utterly simple shape. And obviously, given my obsession with pale grey, I think the color is fantastic too.

Bag by Giorgio Armani. Image from Harper's Bazaar UK Shoes and Bags Supplement, March '08.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Shoe In

Alexander McQueen has been designing some pretty amazing shoes lately. The pheasant feather pumps in his Fall '07 collection had me rabidly scouring eBay for an affordable pair in my size. Still no luck on that front, and now he trots out these babies. I love everything about their shape, from square snub toe to spindly, vertiginous heel. Proper and retro and sexy all rolled into one.

I'm also really feeling closed-toe pumps right now. I know it's spring and most people's thoughts are turning to pedicure-baring styles, but I can't help but admire the way the color and shine of these shoes helps one buck that trend but still feel au courant. They're spring-y, but not desperately spring-y. Showing a little restraint in transitioning between seasons while the fashion pack goes new-season mad seems like a good idea.

Shoes by Alexander McQueen. Image from Elle UK Bag and Shoe Supplement, March '08.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I'll Take the Knock-Off

I'm writing about this because it never happens: I much prefer the cheap knock-off to the designer original. Here's the copy:

And here's the Gucci version:

See what I mean? The inexpensive (£45) Per Una version is way better. While I love the knock-off, I wouldn't even give the Gucci dress a second glance on the sale rack. The Gucci dress has too much going on, causing it to upstage the wearer. One-shouldered with a bold floral print, a big knot on one side and a jagged hem, it's overkill. The Per Una version takes the best ideas from the original but is utterly wearable. The simple, crisp black and white color scheme is enlivened by large, irregularly-places sunflowers on the skirt. Simple fit-and-flare knee-length summer dresses are my holy grail and this one's a winner.

Images from British Elle, March '08.