Superhero or Super Diva - Capes. My obsession for Autumn
I live in a fabulous household. My roommate is one hot mamma and when she dresses up she puts all the girls in New York City to shame. One rule of the household is there must be champagne in the fridge at all times, and if not champagne, two bottles of wine: One red and one white. When we go out we cannot take public transportation and must call a car service, and even on nights when we decide to take a raincheck from the world we’ll still put on silly costumes and party indoors by ourselves like rockstars. So first I’d like to thank my roommate for enhancing my enjoyment of living, but this is a style blog so I’ll start transitioning to the point of why I’ve bought up my roommate in the first place. A few weeks back, I’m slumming on the couch when she bursts in with 3 large bags from Saks Fifth Avenue swirling from her arms. We greet each other, she puts the bags down, and I smile knowing that my lazy night’s momentum has changed and an impromptu fashion show of her new fall show off pieces was about to begin. She shows me couple pairs of killer Christian Louboutin heels, and then she pulls out the piece that inspired my new fall obsession: A plaid Robbie and Nikki cape with hood.
(you can click on the image to purchase)
With modern day entertainment and its comic book superhero phenomenon, when people hear capes they think of Superman or Batman, but before these guys who paired off a long cape with tights and colored tighty-whites over them, capes were for the evening glam society. In old Renaissance Europe, and even far east in old Asian Royal fashion capes were an adorned veil of protection from the weather- most of the time protecting the delicate ensemble underneath that might be crushed and destroyed by a normal coat with sleeves. Most women in the 1920’s would wear their capes to shield themselves from the cold night air but also to hide their backless dresses until their strategic reveal at the ball or gala. I love capes because of it adds that flair of drama to any outfit. The way it drapes when still, but when in flight of motion how it flutters and ripples around, making the wearer seem like a flower about to bud.
More ornate, longer, darker capes are mostly worn in the evenings for those who are dramatic by nature. Capes are sort of like a stage curtain. Draping, concealing the spectacular underneath. Once the cape is opened, the curtain as gone up and must stay off until the end of the night when the main star, the diva is ready to pay final farewells and the cape is put back on and closed. Curtain is down, the main act is finished and you leave with a trail of admiring whispers as you get into your car.
Something like the one that hit the Hermes runway fall 2006:
I love the Lanvin 2011 Fall Spread.
(Holy Crap you have to check out the video ad. It is friggin hilarious! click on the picture)
If want to add that flair of drama but that last scene was too “Sunset Boulevard” for you then I suggest a wonderful short cape like this one by Marc Jacobs Fall 2011:
The plaid cape that my roommate purchased is great for nighttime but also perfect during the day. If you’re a business gal, a cape like that or like the one below is the perfect professional compliment to a stunning pants suit. Take a look at this piece from Pre-Fall 2012 J. Crew:
Now… can men wear capes? Yes only if you know that you’re the shit, and very confident. Back in the day, lords and dukes wore capes. Now in a casual denim society it might seem a bit odd. But it’s just up to you. I found a blog of this guys who made this own cape and it looks amazing. Here is a picture and link.
(Click on the picture to check out his blog article!)
For now, until I find my ideal cape, my black pashmina will have to do as sort of a pseudo cape. If you toss it around well it gives the same effect. Here’s a picture of me during Fashion Week F/W 2010 in Spring.
but I definitely want a cape to sport like my favorite author Oscar Wilde. And I leave you with a picture of him and his.
East Grace Lee
Milan vs NYC – You make the choice!
Greetings EnC Readers!
As a follow up to East’s last post, we want to start reporting news / gossip within the fashion community (in addition to all the fab fall trends!).
I came across an interesting article today from the NY Times about (believe it or not) too much fashion! It’s true; the fashion community can only take so many designers, pretty models and glamour! During the month of September, American designers battled hard with European designers to not have their shows / parties overlap with one another (after all its fashion week, not fashion month). Mario Boselli, president of Camera Nazionale della Moda in Milan (aka the big dog), openly declared “let the best one win!”
This is (fashion) Darwinism at its best. Should retailers, editors, models, photographers be forced to choose which shows they will attend and which designers they plan to cover? As in the movie, Ms. Congeniality, we vote for world peace!
Let’s rewind a bit. Paris has ruled fashion since the mid-19th century. The American collections did not come into play until World War II. However, European designers are now facing criticism for not demonstrating their creative worth (talk about added pressure!) and falling behind the rising demands of the younger generations.
Not to worry folks, Diane Von Furstenberg has stepped into the boxing ring to break-up the fight. She argued this week that the four leading capitals (Paris, Milan, London and New York) should at this point consider themselves as a cohesive fashion community, rather than competitors. We can’t agree more. I think fashion has shifted geers and people just need to accept these facts! The fashion streets are now clustered with traditional vs. contemporary styles, old vs. new designers and the preppy vs. urban consumers. My personal recommendation is for the 4 leading capitals to accept their differences and work together to capture the beauty of vintage fashion that helped start these labels. Then leave the rising fashion designers in Asia, South America and other international regions to meet the needs of the contemporary crowds.
- Your EnC Stylista
Beauty Behind the Clothes: A personal note to our readers from East
Hello Style By EnC Readers,
Tis I, East Grace Lee, returning from an extended MIA period because of the September rush. You all know how this time gets. Summer is when everyone is on vacation, only doing the minimum amount of work then when September hits all the new projects, job opportunities, school, filming starts and every day becomes a deadline.
Before September, I was bartending at a downtown Soho spot called Sanctuary T where I was constantly inspired by the fashions that walked into the restaurant. The restaurant also being in the heart of the high fashion P.R. world I was able to engage in constant conversations with people from Louis Vuitton, Dolce and Gabbana, and finish the night off with a glass of wine with Kelly Cutrone, huge T.V. personality, and head of People’s Revolution. Working there also allowed me time to do photoshoots, keep up with P3 Talent’s projects, and continue interviews and shoots for TV and film.
In the beginning of September, I interviewed for a new restaurant where my close friend Hung, Top Chef Season 3 winner, is now executive Chef. Luckily, I got the job! It’s called Catch and it’s located right in the epicenter of Meatpacking District on the second floor of the newly renovated building on 13th Street and 9th Avenue. It’s definitely the new celebrity hot spot where the hottest new movie stars, supermodels and A-list music industry icons have graced us with their visit. The people working here are also pretty hot too. Great looking and spunky personalities. They are the ones that really help me going. You see the training was not tough but time consuming, all the while I’ve been holding my days at Sanctuary while talking to directors about upcoming filming projects, and remember fashion week? Oh by the way, I have a fun video coming up where I filmed a “how to sneak into fashion week” (kind of ghetto fab production since my friend and colleague Mercy Ameyaw was helping me by filming with an iPad but her thumb was covering up the microphone half the way so most of it will be in subtitles but I think by now you all should be used to seeing subtitles videos featuring Asians).
Anyway I’m right now grasping 10 minutes of downtime before I have to head into Catch for the night but I must admit earlier today I was so exhausted and upset because I’m stuck with an extraneous schedule where I’m trying to keep up with my life before and the demanding schedule including Catch that I have now. What really hit me off the edge was when my father called and he thought I was sick and I told him I was just exhausted. Then my mother called telling me that my father thought I was sick, and I just told her I’ve been over extending myself. The worry in their voice really cut to my heart and I felt crushed. I feel like some of you readers must know what I’m talking about and probably in the same boat. Feeling like you’re working all the time and just trying to catch up with all the things you set for yourself. I feel frustrated because I haven’t been able to have any time to myself to work out, go to fashion/entertainment events, and share fashion/styling moments with you on Style By EnC and have my own time without the pressure of obligated time constraints.
I was so upset that as I was walking to work I stopped in the middle of the street, huffed loudly, took out that emergency cigarette and curbed myself and smoked. I took my first drag and sniffled back tears of anger. Not angry at anyone in particular or work, just at the weight of my life in general. Then as I smoked and looked at the crowed passing by me on 14th and 9th I observed the busy people of NYC pass by me- all in their own zone and striding on to the next “to do” in the ensemble they had picked out for the day, and it hit me. I don’t know what each stranger passing me by was going through with their own lives but they were still on their way to knock down the next thing to do. I looked around me and the beautiful city of New York City and it helped to look up, out of my own miseries and place myself where I am now. I may have my struggles, but I’m standing here in New York City, not in North Korea, or Darfur, or Somalia, and I’m given the opportunity the chance to rise up in the ranks of society by my hard work and determination.
Within these trying times true style is not only about what you’re wearing, but the confidence and character that you put forth and believe in. I had to stop being a defeatist about the situation and start walking like a juggernaut, invincible and powerful. I needed to start smiling, not frowning (no one should ever frown since it creates wrinkles- be conscious that you never frown even in the toughest times- it helps trust me) but smiling not like a strange Barbie doll on the outside, but smiling from within. I started trusting and believing in myself that this was all going to pass and I was going to overcome this challenging time in my life. When I was able to dominate my sadness with my own trust and confidence, I was able to feel the world again. I felt the wind through my hair, and the cobblestones of the city streets beneath my feet, and I felt beautiful.
I, alongside my partner Chelsea, will do our very best to present you with the best fashion and styling tips as we move along in our blog journalism, but I hope within your own struggles that your life holds, you remember to let your own lasting beauty trump over, what is truthfully, passing matters. Then you are a true noteworthy presence that people will admire.
Stay Beautiful and Strong,
East Grace Lee
Recap of S/S Fashion Week 2011 (Report 1)
Its been a crazy week of fashion shows, after parties and celebrity sightings!
As always, EnC is here to give you the fashion scoop! Below are some of the pieces presented last week that really caught our eye and most importantly, they are wearable! We predict more common retailers (ie: H&M, Express, TopShop) will be pumping out these trends later this year, so be on the look out.
Bottoms: Throw out your bright colored skinny jeans, its time for electric dress pants!
[Concept Korea - we’ve had the pleasure to work with this design company…they are truly talented artists!]
Colors: Don’t throw out your whites just yet, they’ll be in style next year!
Evening Wear: Next spring, its all about the flow. Look for dresses and gowns that are fitted at the top, but flow elegantly below with COLOR. Very sexy and classy.
- your EnC Stylista
September 8 - What To Expect At This Year’s Fashion Week
If you are like me, you must be counting down the days…hours…minutes before fashion week arrives! With over 250 scheduled runway shows and after parties crammed into one week, designers are scrambling to make their collection STAND OUT!
EnC is here to give you a sneak peak as to what you can expect to see and read about next week.
- 3D Fashion Shows: That’s right people…It’s not just the movie theatres that are popping out shows in 3D! Fashion has also fell into this technology trend. Be on the lookout for designers who will be including 3D films, images and patterns on their collection.
- The history of fashion 3D really started with Thierry Mugler’s last autumn / winter fashion show. For those of you who may know Mugler’s style…it’s very futuristic, edgy and matrix looking – obviously not a daytime look. In order to really appreciate the fabric and depth of detail, the designer wanted 3D capabilities.
- Bryant Park White Tents: Many of you may have walked by bryant park during fashion week in the past and can remember the large white tents with photographers surrounding the entrance. Well…white is definitely out of season. Many designers have opted to display their collection off-site in more intimate spaces. Last year, fashion week’s opening ceremony was at Lincoln Center! The wide open space, beautiful architecture and crowds of viewers makes the show much more casual and relaxed.
Lastly - EnC was recently interviewed by Tyra Bank’s team on our thoughts on fashion week. Be on the look out for the article! Check out the site at typeF.com
- Your EnC Stylista
- 1 note
When in doubt, clutch it!
Picture this: Its Friday night…you’ve got big plans and need to look the part. Maybe your ex will be there? Maybe your crush will be there? Either way, you need to SPARKLE! You got your wallet, keys, cell phone, lipstick and gum in hand. As you leave your apartment you ask yourself: “Where the hell am I suppose to put all this!” Ladies, it’s time to expand your clutch collection. Most women overlook this item when shopping, but it’s an important accessory to have in your closet because I bet you there will be moments when you don’t feel like dragging your work bag or your daytime bag to an event.
What are the latest clutch trends you ask? We are happy to give you the full report:
- Envelope style clutches are in! Designers are just pumping out these clutches. This trend originally started while Sex and the City was still around. The great part about these clutches is that it’s not too formal or too casual…it’s the perfect blend and can fit any occasion!
- Bright colors! We always tell our EnC readers to stand out in the crowd. Follow our advice and be brave with your color selection. You don’t want your purse to just blend in with 30 others at a party…you want people to notice your outfit and then notice your bag! Your clutch DOES NOT have to match your outfit in anyway.
- Faux Snake Skin! Do not throw up at the idea. We do not support the use of animal skin for fashion, but the alternative option works great! What is great about this trend is that it gives that ‘luxury’ and ‘expensive’ look that you may want to add to your look. You don’t need to stock up on faux snake skin bags, just one will be perfect.
Below is our selection of trendy clutches at good prices:
Envelope style with eye popping colors! Available at www.asos.com for $35
These clutches are on the conservative side, but still trendy! You can find this at www.zappos.com for $118
Pretty! Very classy look. Believe it or not, you can find this at www.aldoshoes.com for $45
- 1 note
DKNY + LUXOTTICA “Sunglasses In the City”
This past Tuesday my friend Justin, fashion director at the new, innovative print publication magazine “Dirty Durty Diary Magazine” invited me to attend the DKNY+Luxottica Summer in the City Eyewear event at the new Dream Hotel in Chelsea. Dream Downtown recently opened its doors to its modern, swanky, “velvet rope” scene on 16th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues just about a month ago. The event was held on the second floor outdoor courtyard area which is complete with bar, pool, and a sandy beach walkway area that captivates you in a wonderful summery feel. (insert cheesy line)- It was positively… DREAMy. (You know I can’t resist cheesiness! It didn’t have to happen, but it did).
There were two powerhouse companies that I personally have worked with and adore.
DKNY as most of you all know is a popular city label by Donna Karan whose products are worn by the everyday, trendy metropolitan dweller.
Luxottica produces and distributes the most prestigious luxury eyewear brands such as Oliver Peoples, RayBan, Persol, Oakleys, Vogue Eyewear, Revo, and now DKNY. If you sport these stunners in the sun then you are wearing Luxottica.
In my initial exploration at the party, I floated to what looked like a normal street food vendor cart but I was immediately reminded of how stylish this event truly was when what was being served was not food, but of course stunning DKNY sunglasses handed out by two gorgeous models. The vending cart sported the theme of the brand: “Summer In the City” and thanks to the new DKNY aviator glasses that I got my summer just got hotter!
Here’s a picture of what the vending cart looked like. Okay you see that red head model? My close friend, colleague, model extraodinairre: Bianca Hirsh (as seen in a previous StylebyEnC post!). I had no idea she was working the event so it was an awesome surprise. You see it was perfect running into her and connecting with her at this Luxottica event, because Bianca and I first met modeling for Luxottica back in a showroom fashion show during market week years back and our friendship blossomed and we’ve been a dynamic duo ever since. Here’s a picture of us during the Luxottica job, backstage goofing around before walking down the runway.
So because I had already worked with Luxottica before I had a fantastic time reconnecting with familiar faces from the job I did with Bianca, but had a great time being acquainted and networking with other style reporters, stylists, creative directors, and other prominent figures in the industry.
Here is a picture of the sexy rounded blue aviator DKNY glasses I picked!
The purple fan was given out as soon as you checked in. According to Justin: ”Fans are so in right now” lol. Striking “Karl & fan” pose.
Here’s a closer look at the glasses:
The purpose of sunglasses (from a fashion perspective) is to give you a sexy mysteriousness look because who knows what stories your eyes might tell, but leave them hanging until you reveal that you’re just a drunk hot mess! But you gotta get a pair that fits your face right. I looked around and think this site really helps explain what sunglass shape goes well with your unique face shape. Hope it helps!
“Finally!” Gay Marriage in New York by East
This is a joyous article to follow up on our “Not Your Wedding? Not a Problem” article that we posted last week. As you all may know, it is now possible that you might get invited to MY gay and happy wedding! Here’s the thing readers… I am so happy that I want to share my thoughts about the recent approval for gay marriage, but you must understand the risk that I am taking by writing this article. Yes, I am out to everyone in my community and to our EnC readers, but my parents don’t know about me. I know a lot of you are thinking: “UM HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW?!?”. Believe me I have the same reaction. Maybe they do. I mean, they’re the ones that gave birth to me and know me the best, but I never had the courage to come out to them. You see they are both very conservative Christians. I love them so much, but I’m afraid the news might just break their hearts. Growing up, my relationship with my parents was always a challenging one. It was this constant feud between my rebellious “Americanized” childhood and their stubborn and traditional Korean ways. We worked through these conflicts while I was in high school and continued even after I moved out at the age of 18. Maybe they know about me and they’ll be more receptive than I assume, but I’m still not 100% sure. So before I continue with my thoughts, I ask those who know my parents, and might be just finding out about my sexuality and my life, that you keep it discreet for I would like to be one to tell them. Thank you for your discretion.
Now about that historic Friday night… I was bartending when one of my clients at the bar put down her phone and screamed out: “They passed the bill to legalize gay marriage in New York!” The bar exploded with celebration, and we brought out the champagne bottles! To my surprise, as the bottle tops popped and champagne flowed out, so did my emotions. All those times when I secretly supported and organized LGBT events and donated money to HRC are finally being paid off. The most overwhelming feeling of victory and relief rushed through my body. Now, I can get married and have the government of my beloved state back me up legally, recognize my partnership and love whoever my Prince Charming will be. Things are completely different now. I expect that the dynamics of the gay dating scene will change now that there is the possibility of having a committed legal marriage. I also think that legalizing gay marriage will also help save lives. The community can take more precaution in their sexual life so that they are in their best health for marriage. It’s great for the economy too, because now we may have to save our disposable income for wedding planners, stylists, designers, event planners and animal specialists because you know one of these couplings are going to have a swan in their wedding *snap snap*.
A lot of things have changed with me as well. It’s brought back thoughts of coming out to my parents again. Marriage or the thought of marriage was never imposing so I could keep my love life hidden. Maybe one day I might want to get married, and I will have to come out of the closet because I want my parents to get involved in this huge step of my life.
Also! Now I’ll be reporting style tips for the perfect gay wedding! God I always laughed at girls freaking out about their wedding fantasies, and now I think I’m becoming one of them! Move aside Bride-zillas, watch out for the New GAY-ZILLAS!
The Dynamic Gay Duo Dolce and Gabbana in very chic Gay Wedding scheme
Ellen and Portia’s Marriage Ceremony picture