Saturday, February 28, 2009

Style Therapy Video of the Day: Promises Promises

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Trench(es) Warfare

Last night, at 1:30 in the morning, I began to try on my trench coats and quasi trenchcoats. I had no plans to go out and streak or anything of that nature. I wear clothing underneath my outerwear. I was simply analyzing why these long coats were just okay and not exactly what I wanted in a trench.

I've been chasing this trench dream for about seven years now. It first started when I saw a Yohji Yamamoto coat in either Elle or Harper's Bazaar. It was marvelously structured with molded shoulders and sleeves that bent inwards at the elbow. I wasn't able to afford it because my funds were tied up in my offshore accounts (read: I was broke). I ripped out the magazine page and saved the picture. In fact, I still have it.

Then one day I was perusing the aisles of Beacon's Closet in my old Williamsburg neighborhood. After some digging and breath holding, I stumbled upon a classic Burberry mackintosh for $49. This is back when Beacon's was quite cheap. I thought the coat was overpriced and figured I could get it for less money in a matter of time. That was six years ago and I've been on a quest to find the perfect trench ever since.

Now I own 5 trenches or quasi-trenches that do their job, but weren't quite what I was looking for when I acquired them. With every purchase I thought, "This is the one." But it never was. A collarless DKNY zip up with a cinched paperbag waist is cute. I wear it often, but Lord knows it's not what I had in mind. A perfectly acceptable Theory coat is a real trench in that it has the right collar, properly placed buttons, a storm patch, and a belt. But it has no sleeve loop. What's that about? Then there's the taffeta (yes taffeta) Catherine Malandrino with the pimp collar and gypsy-print lining. Not very practical in the rain. There's also a BCBG jacket in this weird ecru color that fits like a dream...except the button panel on the left is awkwardly sewn, so it puckers a bit. The real show stopper is a Viktor & Rolf (no, not from their H & M line-we've been over this before) black number that screams Matrix. It's a beautiful coat with every trenchy element...and then some. If I wear the collar up (as I'm prone to do), I end up looking like Count Chocula. And De Heer Horsting and De Heer Snoeren could have made the belt a tad longer.

I know all of you current and future clients are asking, "Style Therapist, why haven't you purged those jackets during your quarterly CLOSET DETOXES?" The short answer is that they're all good jackets and like my old boss would advise, I'm making them work. They look good on and serve a purpose. One is worn on mild, rainy days, another on sunny, warmer days, one's for dressier affairs; etc.

The truth is, if I tally the price for each of these facsimiles, I would have been able to purchase the real deal Burberry several times over...or maybe even a beautiful Yohji Yamamoto. I ask that you learn from my lesson of settling. If there's something you really want and your funds are tied up overseas, create a saving plan and purchase it; otherwise you'll be spending lots of money and time (and closet space) on items that don't measure up.

Friday, February 20, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 8

The last day! The day of the Ralphs.

RALPH LAUREN (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Elizabethan ruffs and croc booties. Tweed and wool paired with silk and tulle. Ralph Lauren is all about creating a dream to aspire to. That doesn't mean it's okay to show up to a cocktail party wearing your grandaddy's raggedy sweater.

Hated It: Ralph will know this for next year: Edit! 55 looks?!?!??! Come on Lifshitz!

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Just because this couture designer and FIT alum creates a runway line doesn't mean that the same amount of passion and vision isn't applied. You'd better be truly comfortable wearing the best fashion has to offer in order to pull off dramatic looks. You can't jump right out of your stained college sweatshirt into a marvelous Ralph Rucci suit and expect to be convincing.

Hated It: 59 looks?! It must be a Ralph thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 7

Two more days folks. Zorro in Z Formation is a good thing; Hated It, not so much.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Go ahead Francisco! My favorite collection of the entire season...well, in New York anyway. Let's see what happens in Paris, Milan, and London. Aside from the progressive fabrics used, he really took his silhouettes to the next level. Those flaps and seams and marvelously peculiar collars. Parabens!

Hated It: Nothing! I hated nothing. So many designers used familiar silhouettes that were perfectly lovely, but sleep inducing. Costa maintained the austere mood of the house without allowing the severity to become too costumey.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: You know, even the Style Therapist loves a minimalist approach for my personal wardrobe (yes, I used first and third person in the same sentence), that doesn't mean I can't appreciate opulence! This is what I'd imagine the cast members of Dynasty to be wearing had the show been on today.

Hated It: During the current state of the economy, many people would poo poo such displays of wealth in their clothing. But I ask, who wants to see rags? Runway show and fashion are often about fantasy and aspiration. Who wants to aspire to wear rags?

PORTS 1961
(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: This presentation gets much better towards the end. That drapey, sequined top in look 26 and one shoulder fuchsia number in look 30 really are fire...

Hated It: And then look 34 has to come and mess up the party. O Canada. I've never found the silhouettes of this line from the great white north very flattering. Everything doesn't have to be structured and shaped just so, but if you're going to do shapeless, it shouldn't add 15 pounds and 20 years.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: What magical colors! What Francisco did for fabrics and silhouette for me, Mr. Mizrahi does with color. Wake the town and tell the people! Even if this isn't your aesthetic, you must admit, this show was ALIVE!

Hated It: Remember people, runway shows are about theater. Please do not concoct a way to wear your purse as a hat.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Another designer who is very capable of the modern, young lady. Being ladylike doesn't mean walking the streets in old furs that smell like moths. Subtle, pretty prints.

Hated It: It was unfair to look at this show after Mizrahi's. Color-wise, it was anticlimactic. But this is another delivery that I have no real issues with.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 6

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Lazaro and Jack marry two of my favorite things: rich, succulent fabrics and great, functional American sportswear.

Hated It: I'm mad about the structure of the coat in look 1, but it's not very practical on a day with big gusts of wind. Also, looks 18-20 were not engineered for the bustier lot of us.

J. MENDEL (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I think even a few PETA members can admit to themselves, albeit in secret, that a lot of pieces in this presentation are truly lovely.

Hated It: While plenty of young things can wear J. Mendel well, this is one of those lines that a more sophisticated and mature woman can pull off even better.

DOO.RI (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I always expect the best in draping and pleating techniques from this 2006 Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund Award winner.

Hated It: But on a couple of occasions (looks 4 and 9), it was a bit much for one, singular outfit.

ANNA SUI (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Even if one doesn't consider herself an Anna Sui girl—who happens to be a very specific type of girl—one can still appreciate the juxtaposition of trippy prints. She may have picked up where Ossie Clark (the man, not the current line) and Zandra Rhodes left off in the early Seventies.

Hated It: 50 looks Anna? Come on now. We don't have that kind of time. A collection of this size runs the risk of repetition.

Zorro Snap in Z Formation: In a similar printy vein as Ms. Sui, Herchovitch is fearless in terms of mixing apparently oppositional patterns with each other.

Hated It: I'm going to pass on the long shorts with the baggy leggings of look 6. There's no way this would work in Herchovitch's native São Paulo.

CARMEN MARC VALVO (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: My kind of show: only the necessary pieces.

Hated It: I wish Mr. Valvo had decided on all mannequins or all living, breathing models. The two live modesl seem like a last minute decision.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: A huge bravo to Oscar for using models in a rainbow of shades! And who doesn't like a lady in rich, beautiful fabrics?

Hated It: Come on Oscar. You too?! 51 looks? Are you and Anna in cahoots?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 5

It's almost over folks. Soon we'll be packing our bags for Europe. Well, not me specifically. I've got classes and a bevy of clients to tend to. But by Day 5 you know the drill. Zorro in Z Formation is a good thing; Hated It, not so much.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I grew accustomed to flow and floral from Alice Temperley. But remember, the Style Therapist is adaptable to change. This fall collection was more restrained and pulled in. I'd never poo poo structure.

Hated It: I think there should be a cap on how many looks can be shown. This isn't just directed towards Ms. T. Any designer exhibiting over 20 looks is overdoing it. Just have the models walk slower. Which editor or buyer out there is crying out for more looks that don't add anything to the line? I'd prefer a concise, well curated show with just the right pieces than a collection with several "what those doing there?" looks.

BADGLEY MISCHKA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I used to see these guys walking along 14th Street (the kind of unsavory bit between Sixth and Seventh Aves.) often back in the day; but that's neither here no there, as they say. We're in 2009 now. Keeping it ladylike is a good thing. That beautiful gown (look 21) in Yves Klein blue would be perfect for when I accept the Style Therapist of the Year Award...although that sleeve could be thinner.

Hated It: Take it easy with the gold lamé, guys. All things in moderation. Remember, if that accent decides to abandon the "e", it become lame gold.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: There's something to be said about the sisters Mulleavy growing up in Pasadena. I've never visited the city, but I'm sure it's a lovely place. However, it's not on most people's "visit here before death" list. When a creative person comes from an environment that's not on par with New York or Paris or London in an aesthetic sense, they're forced to rely on something innate. It's tangent time! The sisters collections have been some of the most forward-thinking of any designer(s) in the past decade. Like Miuccia Prada or Marc Jacobs, sometimes their vision can be overwhelming upon first glance. But when revisited later, it's easier to digest.

Hated It: Be cautious of the dreadlocked sweater (looks 12 and 13). It's liable to get caught in something you don't want it to. And there goes your sweater.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: What a marvelous variety of pants: trousers, skinnies, leather; etc. And those shoes really are the business. Even the muted colors are succulent. Keep doing what you do Derek.

Hated It: Again, here's one of those shows where it's difficult to find fault. Ok, ok. The waist in look 29 is suspect. I'm sure that model doesn't go beyond 25" or 26" in that area. But it came across as Al Bundyesque from where I'm sitting.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: While I would have liked to see more separates showcased, Ms. Sarafpour does structured, ladylike dresses well.

Hated It: Some variety in the dresses would have been nice. After look number 10 it the collection began to verge on redundancy.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: DB is about rich, luxe skins in modern, wearable shapes.

Hated It: Some pieces can look like roadkill. And wearing two animals at once (looks 11 and 12) can be a bit much. Not for PETA sympathizers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 4

If you're joining the Style Therapist for the first time, I'm taking it back to the 1990 with Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather for Fashion Week. A Zorro Snap in a Z Formation is my opinion in the affirmative and Hated It is a thumbs down.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Herrera knows her customer well. She's a refined lady, just like the designer. I think the belly-baring, whale-tail showing tarts walking the streets these days could take a page from CH's book. Love the rich textiles throughout the show.

Hated It: It seems as though several designers this week were inspired by the Snuggie. If you don't have the frame to handle look 17, leave it alone. It will gulp you up.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: It's no secret that Zero + Maria Cornejo is loved unconditionally here at Style Therapy. Controlled volume, marvelous architectural silhouettes, and structured pieces that are not weighed down or too rigid.

Hated It: Que pasa con el random dude in look 25?

CARLOS MIELE (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I've made it abundantly clear that I go bananas over traditional, ladylike pieces juxtaposed with chic and modern menswear inspired elements. Miele has captured this aesthetic with great balance.

Hated It: The guitar solo in the middle of the runway was probably more effective in person. In pictures, eh. He's distracting and ill-placed.

JILL STUART (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Stuart captures the essence of the young, fun, and girly without being nauseatingly saccharine or costumey. A number of the looks (16, 28, 33) could easily transfer over to a more mature and sophisticated closet.

Hated It: I still think it's possible to do young and femining without the little girl element (look 25).

TRACY REESE (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Reese is another designer who's able to capture the essence of the young, ultra-feminine woman without getting too frothy about it.

Hated It: I'm going to pass on looks 5 and 8. It seems a little misplaced and reminds me of one of my party outfits back in 2001 during my experimental Sex and the City phase.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Donna Karan rarely disappoints. She's operating on a "design for yourself" frequency. She's a busy, successful, working woman who has conceived her lines in this vein since her days at Anne Klein.

Hated It: I'm going to pass on the fur sleeves throughout the show. It's all or nothing...although...for Style Therapy purposes of wardrobe efficiency, if the fur sleeves double as leg warmers they may get an endorsement.

DKNY (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: The Style Therapist is not the most ardent supporter of the color red. As a pop color. Yeah, sure. Fine. But it plays out beautifully in this collection as the common denominator. The diffusion, "little sister" line to Donna Karan's signature collection appears to have matured and become a contemporary of her sister.

Hated It: Be careful of exaggeratedly oversized cardigans like the one in look 32. It's not hiding anything, it only creates the illusion of more body mass. Those thick horizontal stripes don't help either.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 3

Just a reminder if you're joining the Style Therapist for the first time. I'm bringing back Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather for Fashion Week. A Zorro Snap in a Z Formation is my opinion in the affirmative and Hated It is a thumbs down.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Sharp, ladylike polish in modern forms and prints. Love the little short-sleeved jackets.

Hated It: Like a lot of designers presenting this week, a lot of the shapes seem to be staid at this point. Don't take it personally Lela, this is directed towards the lot of you at the tents and elsewhere. What did Alexey Brodovitch used to say? "Astonish me!" Maybe that's the function of the members of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Perhaps ready-to-wear is about practical clothing for the everyday working (in and out of the house) woman. Sorry I went off on a tangent Lela. Keep doing your thing.

HERVE LEGER BY MAX AZRIA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Azria cultivates the iconic bandaged and bondaged aesthetic of Leger items from the past. And you know we love strong shoulders at Style Therapy!

Hated It: If you dare to wear these dresses, don't forget to wear your Spanx. That goes for you skinny girls, too!

Zorro Snap in Z Formation: A little darker and heavier than I'm used to from DVF. But that's ok. The Style Therapist is adaptable to change. After all, I'm able to weave in and out of the first and third-person. There's no fear here when it comes to utilization of prints at all kinds of levels.

Hated It: This is one of those shows that could have been pared down a bit. Once the collection gets into pieces 30-34, things begin to look similar.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Look 11 is my favorite piece from the Fashion Week thus far. I reckon it's tacky to anticipate a discount (or gift) from Thea and Justin for this biggup.

Hated It: Not sure how Spanx are going to work with look 8.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Just how I like my shows, not and short without any extraneous bits of drib and drab.

Hated It: Here, the issue of age appropriateness rears its head. This aesthetic is a bit too mature for youngins.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: It's no secret that the Style Therapist loves jackets to pull a wardrobe of separates together seamlessly.

Hated It: However, there's nothing in the Style Therapy Rulebook that makes reference to stiletto sneakers.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 2

Happy Valentine's Day!! Remember, there's nothing the Style Therapist loves to research more than the power of clothing. Here, Day 2 of NYC Fashion Week is explored in the most pared down manner possible. Don't forget, I'm channeling Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather. A Zorro Snap in a Z Formation is my opinion in the affirmative and Hated It is a thumbs down.

ADAM (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: To think this all started from extra soft t-shirts that Oprah loved. Plus I love the fact that Adam Lippes can realize Sonny Crocket in the form of a woman (looks 32 and 33)

Hated It: If you're able to pull off the jacket in look 5, more power to you. But I lived in a house with carpeting reminiscent of this piece.

LACOSTE (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Christophe Lemaire has brought this croc logo'd mainstay into a full-on lifestyle brand.

Hated It: There were a couple of Snuggie references (looks 13 and 14) that didn't sit well with me.

OHNE TITEL (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: With a wardrobe like this, one never has to ponder what to wear with what. High rate of wardrobe efficiency!

Hated It: However, a closet full of black can lead to gloom and doom moods that channel Daria.

UNITED BAMBOO (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Concise, consistent collection of separates, jumpers and dresses.

Hated It: No more little girl jumpers for grown women!

BARBARA TFANK (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Polished and ladylike without the froth.

Hated It: You'd better be really long in the waist to pull off look 1. Also, consider age appropriateness. These looks work better on a really grown woman. Youngins and boppers wait a little bit longer before taking on these pieces.

BIBHU MOHAPATRA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Lovely, structured pieces that have an architectural quality without the stiffness. Tight collection with no extraneous filler.

Hated It: If you're going to wear the jacket that's lucky number 7 on the train, you may end up unlucky and stuck in the doors. Watch the closing doors please!

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Separates are such a core principle of the Style Therapy philosophy. Here the Ruffian team mix textures with both traditional and more left-of-center silhouettes

Hated It: If early 90210 and Clueless had a love child, she would end up being look 20. For some that's not a bad thing.

Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Biggup to this teddy bear duo for having their mannequins walking with arms akimbo. Why don't more mannequins do that these days? Oh yes, and I love their marvelous ability to drape like nobody's business.

Hated It: It's difficult to find fault here. But since nobody's perfect, I'll zone in on look 15. You know when you get out of the shower and you leave the towel around your neck for a bit?

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Marvelous play on colors, textures, prints, and periods. Plus, I love the idea of plopping all the models on a platform for a quick and easy presentation. No need for this one by one business on the runway.

Hated It: Watch out for the hem length in look 5. That's a universally unflattering length that should be attempted by no one.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Does anyone still have a circle bag from back in the AsFour days? No? In any case, The Style Therapist is biased towards clothing cut on the bias. It drapes better and hangs off of the body beautifully.

Hated It: Stop cutting a whole into your tights! That headgear is for styling purposes only. Do not take these presentation looks so literally.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I love the scarves with holes for one's arms. It's the chic, cooler sister to the practical, yet embarrassingly mousy Snuggie.

Hated It: I'm aware that VPL stands for visible panty lines, but please do not leave the house in your drawers (look 11).

VENA CAVA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Strong grip on separates (a Style Therapy favorite) and the late 80s (more Just the Ten of Us than Small Wonder).

Hated It: Again, this is one of those lines that has such a strong vision, that any old Jane can't expect to throw on a Vena Cava piece and pull it off.

VERRIER (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: These are the perfect pieces for those of you who are more boyish in figure. If you're lacking curves a good visual trick is to throw in some ruffles and frills to give the illusion of more curves.

Hated It: Ashleigh Verrier and a handful of designers have injected their collections with transparent pieces. That's not a hated it in and of itself. Just please remember to wear the proper underpinnings when sporting these looks.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: The trench (look 1) and copper penny dress (look 12) are fire! I'm placing my order.

Hated It: The lampshade chapeaus are for styling purposes only people. Please do not go out and buy one. Remember the line of demarcation between runway and the real way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

NYC Fashion Week: Day 1

Fashion week can be a lot to handle. So in the spirit of Blaine Edwards and Antoine Merriweather, I've devised a concise system for managing the Fall 2009 shows this week.
A Zorro Snap in a Z Formation is my opinion in the affirmative, and Hated It is self-explanatory.

ACNE (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Beautiful, structured cocktail frocks and slenderizing blazers.

Hated It: See-thru pants are for pervy exhibitionists who don't mind a bit of sweat.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Great fabric manipulation in pleating details, folds; etc. Fluid dresses; built-up shoulders; smart use of color and print (bold without being loud).

Hated It: Beware of velvet.

YIGAL AZROUEL (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation:

Hated It: Although quite beautiful, for continuity purposes, this would have probably worked better as two separate shows. Some looks were very architectural, while others were more fluid and billowy. Some pieces were even elliptical. It's not that all of these can't co-exist within the same collection, but there must be some common denominator.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: The Style Therapist loves a built-up shoulder (look 30). Come back Dynasty!

Hated It: About 10 looks too many. Could have been curated better. Certain looks don't add to the story and feel more like filler (looks 5 and 10).

RACHEL COMEY (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Interesting shapes infused with pop colors and lively florals.

Hated It: Eclectic mix with a strong point-of-view that's not for everybody nor every body.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Various body types could pull off these looks. The Style Therapist is an advocate for egalitarian clothing.

Hated It: Do NOT take look #9 literally. Please wear a slip!

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Modernized classics in lovely fabrics.

Hated It: Color story was only slightly more exciting than a container of wheat germ.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Like a favorite cashmere throw luxed up in beautiful, sharp pieces. And did I mention the lovely, sturdy shoulders?

Hated It: Cashmere helmets weren't meant to protect the head from trauma.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Som understands the importance of the waist in creating a silhouette; daring prints and bold use of color.

Hated It: The frequent bell silhouette is not for the hip-averse.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: It bears repeating that structure is a Style Therapy favorite. If you've got cottage cheese body parts, structure is your best friend. Plus, that purple is fire!

Hated It: Outside of Palm Beach, floral pants have limited appeal.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: I love RR for being one of the first young designers to embrace the polished, young lady PRE-Mad Men.

Hated It: The hair and makeup is a little close to my main man's Stefano Pilati's look for Yves Saint Laurent a year ago. Also, this is not the RR I'm used to for the reasons above. It's fine to evolve, but don't lose veer too far of course.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Clean, simple, and refined.

Hated It: Some of these looks seem recycled from recent seasons past (note look 5 and 18).

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Both ethereal and grounded at the same time. I usually say toss your ripped hose out the door, but in this case, it's a part of the theme. Clever.

Hated It: Don't wear any of these to a wedding unless you're deliberately attempting to upstage the bride.

CHRISTIAN COTA (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: The most interesting use of shape and texture so far. Not one look to incite a yawn in this grouping.

Hated It: Here's a show I had difficulty finding fault in. But the model in look 14 seems like she's had enough of the photographer telling her to make love to the camera.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Structure and fluidity done the right way. There's no disconnect between the looks. Well curated.

Hated It: Look 2 is not for everyone. In fact, it's not for most.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: One can never have too many dresses. It's great, lazy, minimal-step dressing.

Hated It: I hope those square toed boots were borrowed.

RAG & BONE (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: This is another design firm that has a strong point-of-view and has maintained their original menswear-inspired aesthetic. Each season they create the most modernly classic blazers.

Hated It: I'm going to pass on the superfluous ties in the pants. It creates a stumpy effect.

SHIPLEY & HALMOS (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Remnants of this duo's prepped out Trovata roots can be seen; but I appreciate its subtlety. This shows they've evolved while maintaining the integrity of their original aesthetic.

Hated It: We don't really need a turtleneck under EVERYTHING, do we?

STAERK (view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: The Style Therapist is bananas for menswear inspired done right without being too literal. Is that Fatima Siad from Cycle 10 of ANTM in look 6?

Hated It: I had a jumpsuit very similar to look 10. But I was 9 and that was back in the late 80s. This outfit is best left in reruns of Full House and Small Wonder.

(view the show)
Zorro Snap in Z Formation: Anyone who dresses the divine Ms. O is ok with me. Marvelous updated classics with chic details.

Hated It: Careful now Jason. Look number 25 seems awfully familiar. Right Oscar?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Beware of Microtrends: Two Waists

Some members of the animal kingdom may have multiple sets of things: breasts, limbs, eyes. As humans, however, we tend to have one or two of each—at the most. And when it comes to waists, it would behoove us to have a single, solitary version of that. Unfortunately, I've been noticing something lately. It's not a pandemic, nor is it even an epidemic. It's barely a trend, but I've witnessed enough instances to be worried. My purpose is not to alarm anyone, but I think it's in our best interests to be cognizant of bad trends so we're able to shut them down collectively.

Since the summer I've been noticing women belting their Empire dresses. It's the most peculiar sartorial defect since the muffin top. An Empire dress, by default, has a waist that's directly underneath the bosom. This style dutifully conceals bloating, weight gain, and lunch at Pizzeria Uno. The built-in waist gives the woman wearing the dress (or blouse in some cases) the opportunity to forget about a belt and let it all hang out. Why anyone would add another waist to this style is perplexing. It's akin to sewing an extra leg into your trousers, another collar on your shirt, or an extra seat in your jeans. It's redundant and unflattering.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the women committing this egregious act suffer from the Sex and the City Effect. They're taking fashion risks that end up falling with a big, dull thud. Not only is this dreadful trend a waste of resources because it prohibits the Empire waist from doing its job; but the wearer is creating a slovenly, sloppy gut for herself when the belt is worn low. Come on people. We need to do better!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chapped and Screwed

We've all experienced chapped lips before. Especially with this harsh weather, our poor lips can't get a break. That doesn't mean it's ok to run around in the streets with sheets of dead skin flapping in the breeze. We've got Burt's Bees, Kiehl's, coco butter, and good old-fashioned Vaseline to help out. Lip licking may be considered sexy to some of you, but it only exacerbates the problem.

The other day I was minding my own business in class when I noticed this young lady had the most egregious chapped lips I'd seen in creation. She knew it, too; because as she talked, she was picking away. At times she would stop peeling and just allow the skin to flap in the breeze like those international flags at the used car lot. Normally I wouldn't co-sign on public grooming—particularly when it comes to lips. It's on par with nose picking and bare belly scratching in public. But this girl had a foot-long sheet of dead skin on her bottom lip. I wanted it gone! Because I believe in God, the Secret, and the power of positive thinking, I prayed and Secreted her dead skin away. And it worked! When I looked away and turned back to her, her shiny new bottom lip was revealed. Kind of like when that nasty cocoon shell falls off and out pops the butterfly or when you take a rusty, old car to Maaco and have it painted in a marvelous new color.

As I reveled in the power of my mind, my body shook with great horror. Where had she disposed of that foot-long piece of dead skin? There was no garbage can near her desk and she had not gotten up to throw it out in a bin. She wasn't sitting by a window either. Did she put it in her pocket? Her notebook? Her boots?

Listen people. The world can be gross enough as it is with all of the nose pickers and bare belly scratchers walking the street. Is it too much to ask to excuse yourself and go to the WC to handle your business? Come on now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

If You Love Yourself...

you'll unload that extra baggage from 2008 I've been begging you to get rid of. You owe it to yourself to bring your A-game whenever you can. Love your closet. Love yourself. And because the Style Therapist is full of so much love, I'm offering a Valentine's Day Special. If you book a CLOSET DETOX by February 22, you'll receive 2 full hours of Style Therapy for $65. That's a 13% discount!! And for those of you who aren't ready to give up those old smelly, DNA covered college sweatshirts and those MC Hammer pants—I'm not giving up on you yet!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Birthday Wish/Birthday Present

only come once a year, so it's imperative that the wishes made are important ones. It is my wish that you all bring your A-game: when you go to the bodega for a quart of milk, when you have a presentation before the board of trustees, and when you bump into your crush at Danceteria. Despite the recession, there are options.

If you were born between January 20 and February 18, you get Aquarius 30% discount off of a CLOSET DETOX—a phenomenal deal that Oprah, Jennifer Anniston, and Christie Brinkley can utilize. If you fall under the other eleven astrological signs, no need to fret. There's the popular CAPSULE COLLECTION service that many people have found incredibly helpful. With a wardrobe foundation, the possibilities are endless. We've all brought our C-game long enough. The C-game is average. It's the year of the ox. It's time to be above average!