Fashion

Paris Fashion Week – What is Couture? 

 

Paris fashion week is wrapping up. I’ve enjoyed monitoring social media this past month to see what the major fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan, and Paris) have in store for their spring collections. It’s weird to me that the runway shows are always so many months ahead, but it does make sense since they’re influencing what trends and colors are going to appear in our stores and other designers need time to take that inspiration and make it an actual product.

Photo: Vogue Runway

Still, I can’t help but wonder what “couture” really means for the rest of us. The above picture is literally something that went down the runway last week. Would you wear it? No one would. That’s not really the point – which is what confuses me. How did fashion get to the point where the top designers are most interested in showing something that they know no one wants to wear?

There isn’t a clue in the definition of the word. “Couture,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary, just means “fashionable dressmaking or design” or “high fashion.” By that meaning, one would think couture fashion would be something that the masses want to actually wear.

I do have a theory, though. I think that the absurd couture fashions are all about status symbols. If someone dares to buy a $8000 dress that they know looks terrible, it’s like they’re saying, “I’m so rich that I can do what I want. I’m too rich to feel foolish. You wish you were rich enough to waste this much money.”

Another theory I have is that couture designers are creating pieces of abstract art that are made to be seen rather than worn. Modern Art is all about geometry and color and texture. Just as other art forms have moved away from general aesthetics that please the senses and have become more about experimentation and being unsettlingly avant garde, perhaps fashion is following suit and becoming more about concept than function.

I’m curious about the trickle-down effect that couture runway shows play on everyday fashion though. Do they truly inspire the colors or textures we’re all going to see in stores in a few months? I mean, the above picture does exemplify ruching as a technique. Should we expect to see more of that in the spring?

I know this post probably seems overly rambly, and I apologize for that, but I just wanted to know if anyone else has thoughts on this. What do you make of couture fashion? How do you think it impacts our society? Do you feel inspired when you watch runway shows or do you find them comical? I’d love to see any and all types of opinions in the comment section.

Thanks for reading!

-XO Tiffy

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Fashion

In Defense of Knitting 

Project Runway has made sewing cool again, but I wish a TV show would come out that would make knitting cool again! Of course, there’s Miss Marple (who I love) but I really wish there wasn’t a stigma attached to yarn crafts that makes them associated only with the elderly.

 

My current yarn stash!

In May of this year, I was feeling kind of stressed and I decided I wanted to try a new hobby that made me use my hands. I also wanted something that I could do on autopilot, ideally when watching TV. I was at a craft store with my family, and I noticed the yarn section. Knitting and crocheting seemed like they would fit the bill!

Thankfully, my Aunt Pat knew how to knit and crochet and she was happy to show me. I definitely struggled at first, but practicing every day made all the difference. I also watched some great tutorials on the YouTube channel Studio Knit. Within a month, I could make potholders. Soon after, I moved on to fingerless gloves. Now, I can also make hats and socks and baby booties and blankets! Knitting and crocheting have becomes really rewarding hobbies that have enabled me to de-stress while making fun things for my friends, family, and charity. A lot of charities, including my favorite – Warm Up America – accept both finished projects and rectangles they can join together.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw this out there: if you’re looking for a new hobby and you want to be creative and do something rewarding, give knitting or crocheting a try! It’s actually really fun and a lot of my coworkers have been impressed by their handmade gifts. Don’t let the stigma stop you if it’s something that interests you!

If you already play with yarn or if you do decide to give it a try, feel free to post ideas here or share pictures of your masterpieces in the comments section!

 

Fashion, Uncategorized

Winter is Here! 

I realized last week that winter had finally arrived when I was working at the library desk and a patron with a hat and coat and gloves came rushing in looking all red in the face. She looked cold and scared and she blurted out, “It’s snowing outside!” before grabbing a few books and checking them out as quickly as she could. Knowing that I had forgotten to wear my new jacket that day, I was worried about leaving and going home until I saw that the blizzard outside was comprised of approximately eight snowflakes.

While I loathe snow and ice, especially when I’m driving, I do love BOOT SEASON! I used to have so many pairs of boots, but when I moved to my own apartment, I knew I didn’t have room to keep them all. Now, I’m down to three pairs of inexpensive but adorable boots.

The first in the above picture (from left to right) is a pair that I got for $30 at Target last year. The middle one I got this year at Gabe’s (previously knows as Gabriel Brothers) for $20. The last pair is from Kohl’s and they were only $30. Places such as these can be very hit-or-miss and their stock turns over very quickly, but I think that inexpensive yet comfortable shoes can be found out there!

So, should you pay low prices for boots you’ll have to replace every year or so? Would it be better to invest in more expensive boots that will last longer? I, honestly, don’t know what the answer should be for you – this is kind of a personal preference. However, I try to invest my money in pieces that are classics. I usually spend very little on anything trendy or something that I won’t wear very often. I’d rather just get the cheaper version if it’s going to have a short life either way. Boots, while they can be trendy, typically fall under the classic category, but I just like to change them up every year. Because of this, I don’t want to spend too much if I’m going to get tired of them by the end of the season.

 

Beauty

Christmas Gift Guide! 

 

Christmas is less than two weeks away! Have you finished your shopping? If not, here are five great beauty buys that are sure to please:

Yes, my presents do match my ornaments! 

1. Dr. Jart + Masking All the Way Set – Sheet masks are one-time-use products that feel like an indulgence. This $37 set from one of Sephora’s best skincare brands comes with 7 different masks to try.

2. Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Bold Lip – Highly pigmented colors are really fun but a lot of people who want to try them are too scared to risk paying for something they may not end up using. This $28 sampler set provides six different shades of lip products from six top Sephora brands, and it’s sure to help people ease into the world of bold colors.

3. NARS Orgasm Blush – This is a cult classic shade that is universally flattering. It is so easy to blend and it builds gradually, so it should work on nearly every skin tone, even super pale people like me. The $30 price tag may deter some, but if you know a beauty junkie, chances are that she either loves this blush or has always wanted to try it!

4. Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm – This is a perfect $7 stocking stuffer. Winter is the season of chapped lips, and this is the best ever lip balm. A tin can probably last you a whole year, and it does an amazing job at moisturizing lips without making them feel sticky. This product does not need to be reapplied often because it has great staying power.

5. Gift cards! – Some may consider this a taboo gift, but I absolutely do not. Shopping is fun, and I think that giving a gift card is giving the gift of an excuse to shop. You can make it slightly more personalized by making sure to give a gift card to a store that you absolutely know the receiver loves.

I hope you all are having a great holiday season so far! While presents are fun, please try to take some time just to spend with loved ones, and remind them how much you appreciate them!

 

Fashion

New Banana Republic Jacket

The love of my life is constantly pestering me about two things: drinking more water and wearing a jacket when it’s cold. I’ve been resisting them both, but he is, regrettably, correct. The other day we were at Kenwood Towne Centre because he wanted to go to Banana Republic, and I found this gem:

product photo
Credit: Banana Republic

Behold! The Banana Republic Flounce Front Moto Jacket! This picture from Banana Republic’s website doesn’t even do it justice. The front ruffles are adorable, and it also looks really sparkly in person. This girlish charm, however, is tamed by the moto structure and the silver zipper hardware. It’s so flattering in the waist region, and I’m really happy that I bought it. It does retail for $158, but thankfully I went during the 50% off sale! That is one of the reasons I love Banana Republic – they have pretty amazing sales, so make sure to wait if you ever see something regular priced that you want. The risk will (probably) pay off!

Fashion

Met Gala 2016 Recap

Those who know me can attest that it is one of my life goals to be invited to the Met Gala. This exclusive event is huge in the fashion world, and it is hosted by none other than Vogue‘s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Each year, on the first Monday in May (which is also the title of a new documentary about the gala), celebrities and fashion icons come together and meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for this fundraiser to support the Costume Institute. I spent pretty much the entirety of my Monday evening on Snapchat to get instantaneous updates. This year’s theme was “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an age of technology.” Here are some highlights from the night:

Best Dressed Female: Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong'o
Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty

Lupita nailed this theme! In a sea of metallic silvers, golds and blacks, she dared to go for a metallic color instead of a neutral. This brave, green choice really stood out and looked amazing against her skin tone. Also, that hair. It’s so fun.

Best Dressed Male: Zayn Malik

gigi-hadid-zayn-malik-met-gala-2016-ball
Credit: REX/Shutterstock 

Most men who attend this event throw on an expensive tux and ignore the fact that there is a theme. Kudos to Zayn Malik who took the theme seriously and came with armored sleeves!

 

Worst Dressed Females: The Olsen Twins

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Credit: Kevin Mazur/ WireImage

Come on, Olsens. You have billions of dollars and cute figures. Why are you always hiding those petite silhouettes under oversized, unflattering things?

Worst Dressed Male: Kanye West 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Credit: Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic

Oh, Kanye. This is such a missed opportunity. You’ve been invited to one of the most exclusive fashion events in the world and you show up with ripped jeans and shoes that clash with your jacket. I’m sure this is some great ironic statement, but I think this just looks sloppy.

Other Noteworthy Moments: 

To recap, this was yet another year that I was not invited to this event due to my lack of fame and fortune…but fingers crossed for next year! I’ve already started scheming!

Fashion

Fashion Finds: Floral Spring Dresses!

It is freezing right now in Cincinnati, but it is still technically spring! Hopefully, it will warm up soon. And when it does, I will be ready to wear a chic floral spring dress. Yes, it may be slightly cliche to wear floral dresses for spring, but it is just so fun and makes me feel excited about the changing seasons.

So, here are three budget-friendly dresses that I’ve found that I think will make perfect additions to a new spring wardrobe.

  1. Floral Dress from H&M – $39.99

 

Photo: H&M
I think this one if just so gorgeous and interesting. I love the patterns and the balance between the light top half and dark bottom half. This could be paired with a blazer and heels for a chic office look or you could keep it casual and simple with a top knot and some sandals. I think this is just a versatile dress.

2. The Story of Citrus Dress in Noir Blossom from ModCloth – $41.99

The Story of Citrus Dress in Noir Blossom
Photo: ModCloth

Come on, people. How adorable is this neckline? It’s just so cute, and I love the pink flowers paired with the belt to cinch the waist in naturally. This one is on clearance though, so buy it fast before it is permanently out of stock!

3. Nine West Floral-Print Fit & Flare Dress from Macys – $79.00

 

 

Photo: Macys

I have a thing for black and white with pink accents (that is, after all, the color scheme of my apartment!) So, this dress is, for sure, one of my favorites. I love how it ends right above the knees. It’s conservative enough for the office without looking matronly. I also love the flare.