Tuesday, August 28, 2007

D is for Diane Von Furstenberg

Diane Von Furstenberg epitomizes seventies style and beauty. With a personal look that hasn't wavered much since her emergence as a fixture on the fashion scene in the 1960's, Furstenberg's impact on the fashion industry far exceeds the creation of her trademark wrap dress. As the current president of the CFDA, this forever-youthful, Belgium-born, one-time Princess, contributes significantly to the recognition of emerging fashion designers. Her own designs present an aesthetic that features elements such as geometric prints, short hemlines and voluminous sleeves-offering a vintage look that is high in quality and rich in texture. Musette praises this bronzed goddess for her unwavering vision, triumph over cancer, and of course-for being a beautiful muse to Andy Warhol.

E is for Edith

Ok so the Chloe Edith bag may be sooo last season (or the season before that...) but in Musette's opinion this rare gem of an 'It' bag can continue to be sported for many years to come. Thankfully gorgeous Edith lacks the glitz level that other designer totes scream, ie. the huge chain that suffocates MJ's Stam bag or the toe-breaking lock that decorates Edith's sluttier sister, Paddington. What's more, so far we haven't spotted innocent Edith on the shoulder of Lindsay, Paris, et al. Available in a range of similar styles and unoffensive colours, Edith can accompany you on everyday adventures or on a rocking night out.

F is for FRUiTS

Japanese photographer Schoichi Aoki captures the individualist street style of the Harajuku district of Japan in the magazine Fruits. Portraits of Japanese youth in an inspiring and outrageous array of get-ups can be found in the publication's pages, uninterrupted by advertisements, allowing Fruits to read more as an art installation than fashion magazine. The widespread interest of the spontaneous and unaffected people of Aoki's photos have led to two books on the topic, as well as a global Fruits exhibition tour. The minimalist format of Aoki's photographs and magazines make way for his colourful and dynamically decked out subject matter.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

G is for Giles Deacon

Giles Deacon is a truly imaginative fashion, designer who according to New York Magazine, manages to perfect 'a blend of whimsy and wow.' With obscure sources of inspiration ranging from Gothicism to S&M, Deacon is known to be in contrast, every bit the polite and proper Englishman. Having put in time at numerous fashion houses including Bottega Veneta and Gucci, the designer has gradually worked his way up, establishing his very own unique and independent label. Two years ago Deacon established Giles, his first signature brand, and today works under his full name, where he prioritizes a need for quality, while incorporating a unique wittiness in his show-stopping garments. Look out for Giles Deacon's broad talent in his lines for big names like Daks and the Gap.

H is for Halston

"You're only as good as the people you dress," are words that Halston lived by as he was transforming traditional 1960's style into modernist iconic staples. Halston was a favourite among fashion royalty such as Bianca Jagger; his floor length kaftans, beaded tunics and suede shifts graced the dance floors of Studio 54 on a weekly basis. Halston received no formal design training yet was introducing looks that were fresh and original, and have been often duplicated since their emergence. Halston seemed to be a long forgotten ghost of the disco-era until early last year entertainment powerhouse Harvey Weinstein joined forces with Tamara Mellon, the head of Jimmy Choo, and bought the historic fashion house with plans of bringing it back to life. Uber-stylist Rachel Zoe has been enlisted to design for the new leaf of Halston, not a surprising choice considering Zoe's own look is firmly grounded in the seventies. Musette's eyes are peeled to see if this team can revive the 70's cool-factor of the original Halston, while giving way to a brand-new modern edge.

I is for Ines de la Fressange

One day a model, the next a muse, the next a fully fledged businesswoman-Ines de la Fressange is appropriately honoured by Musette. With a not so shabby start as a Chanel model, de la Fressange caught the eye of the discerning Karl Lagerfeld in the eighties. Years later this pretty face did not let an altercation with the KL himself get her down-she became a fashion designer herself, as well as moving on to consult with another white haired fashion powerhouse-Jean Paul-Gaultier. Today Ines remains strongly grounded in the industry, as boutique owner and spokeswoman for luxury fashion house Roger Vivier. In 1985 de la Fressange was named a modern Marianne, grouping her with fellow French women that reflect beauty, liberty and reason. This is an image that de la Fressange continues to boldly emanate.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

J is for James Perse

After noticing a need for quality and stylish leisure wear, James Perse launched his first clothing collection in the mid 90's. Through the fusion of an LA upbringing dominated by sports, and his father's high fashion company Maxfield, Perse developed an irresistible line of womenswear that according to the designer'perfected shape and softness.' Since then, Perse has expanded into menswear, a kids line, and items for the home. Expect only the best in quality and fit from Perse's casual yet sophisticated offerings that are available at leading department stores, and James Perse flagship stores found throughout the USA.

Friday, August 24, 2007

K is for K Jacques

When your feet need a break from the strenuous schedule of late night summertime dancing, K Jacques will be there to support your wind-down in style. K Jacques sandals came to be in 1933 by Mr and Mrs K Jacques themselves and have never lost their easy breezy quality. The sexy, feminine style of these sandals evoke summer style and a carefree spirit wherever you choose to wear them. Channel a Brigitte Bardot of 1960's, St Tropez, or glam them up for a comfy, cool night time look with a mini frock, bright toes and head turning dance moves to match.

L is for Lover

'Romance, drama with a touch of rock and roll swagger' is how Lover designers Susien Chong and Nic Brand describe their clothing label. Based in Sydney, Lover hasn't let the smallness of their business stop them, having acquired an eclectic and faithful fan base, ranging from chic stars such as Claire Danes and Michelle Williams to young fashionistas in the know. Seeking inspiration for collections from sources such as early Woody Allen films and classic rock music-think the doomed Altamont festival hosted by the The Rolling Stones for example. Lover's aesthetic is super feminine with a wild, flirty edge. Watch out for their latest installment-a range of sixties style swimwear which will guarantee you a prime spot on any beach. Acclaimed by Vogue, Lover is a name to watch out for.

M is for Miranda July

Multi-talented, multi-faceted, Miranda July is a creative force to be reckoned with. With film-maker, performing artist, actor and musician all on this wonderwoman's vast CV, July's varied projects are funny, moving and downright spectacular. The award winning Me and You and Everyone We Know features July as the film's heroine, while her latest book No One Belongs Here More Than You is a collection of profound, surreal short stories. For fans, or those who are unfamiliar with this bright star, check out mirandajuly.com-it is truly one of the best sites around, and so much can be said for July herself.

N is for Natasha Poly

Natasha Poly is most certainly the prettiest face among a sea of hard-edged Top Models. Her pint-sized features are complimentary of many a designer look, (well at least Gucci, Pucci and Ralph Lauren seem to think so) and her personal style is effortless, flattering and always chic. Yup, this supermod is cute as a button.

O if for Oleg Cassini

In the early 1960's Oleg Cassini designed Jacqueline Kennedy's entire wardrobe as first lady. Today supermodel Jessica Stam won't leave home without the designer's trademark sunglasses. This is a man who has left his mark. Cassini died two years ago, leaving behind a legacy of style that made women feel smart, natural and beautiful. From his iconic pillbox hats to his geometric shift dresses, Cassini knew exactly how to make a woman feel fashionable. Seeking inspiration from the work of Hubert de Givenchy (think Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina) Cassini always put his love for quality and uniqueness first. His vision was reflected through the way he turned himself out, even in the final year of his life. When stopped on the street in 2006 by the maker's of New York Magazine's street fashion book, Look Book, Cassini proudly stated, 'I can afford to have the most stylish clothes because I am slim...like that of a very athletic, young guy.' Seen left: The always debonair Oleg Cassini makes Jacquie O swoon.

P is for Polyvore.com

Closet computer nerds unite! By logging onto polyvore.com you can play stylist, magazine editor or just plain clothes junkie by creating any number of unique clothing ensembles. With the website's foolproof format, Polyvore easily links users to a huge selection of fashion websites, allowing fans to create personalised looks which can include anything from jewelry, bags, perfumes, and of course-shoes. Thought style.com was addictive? polyvore.com will be a sure-fire hit for any true fashion lover.

Q is for Mary Quant

All hail Mary Quant, the innovative British designer of the 1960's who brought mini-skirts and hot-pants into mainstream popularity. Quant designed the mini-skirt after noticing a need for shorter hemlines so that swinging gals could run for the bus without feeling restricted. The look encouraged freedom and style and was named the Mini in reference to Mary's favorite brand of car. The emergence of the hot-pant marks Quant's final large scale fashion contribution after which designer moved on to front a successful cosmetics company. What an enterprising woman Mary Quant proved to be, putting trends in place that would live long and fashionable lives.

R is for Ruby Woo

Feel like looking like a fifties screen siren an irresistible flirt, or a girl in love? Slap on a layer of bright red lippy and you will be away laughing. MAC's Ruby Woo lipstick is a perfectly rich color that goes on matte and stays vivid all night long. Mwah!

S is for Sonia

Dream of strolling the uber-stylish streets of Paris but lacking the airfare? Sonia Rykiel's younger and more affordable sub-brand is the ticket for you. With an aesthetic true to Rykiel's trademark French look, rich with stripes, the colour black, and sequins, Sonia will adorn you in ultra-feminine designs featuring hearts, over-sized bows, and polka-dots. Keep warm in chunky knits, bulky scarves and tailored coats or stop cars in a shift dress and adorable hat. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel will no doubt leave you looking tres jolie!

T is for Te Casan and Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman, (our generation's answer to Audrey Hepburn)is at it again with her angelic do-gooding. This time the Hollywood stunner and her stylist, fashion genius Kate Young, have teamed up with shoe retailer Te Casan to create 100% vegan footwear that won't make you feel like you are wearing cheap orthopedics. Together, Natalie and Kate have conceived a line of footwear that are cutting edge, chic, and of course, animal-friendly. Portman discovered the need for a guilt-free shoe line after having difficulty finding fashionable footwear that wouldn't compromise her devout vegan beliefs. Even if slipping into a pair of leather Louboutin's doesn't send your conscience into a tail spin, Natalie Portman's charitable kindness should be recognised and appreciated-she really is a rare diamond in a rough full of bad apple young starletts.

U is for Updo

Be it a swept up ponytail or a dramatic bouffant, an updo is the chicest way to show off you face, your outfit, your accessories-yourself! The classic pony reached peak popularity in the 1950's-an ode to Sandra Dee-as a means to accentuate foxtrottin' girl's bright hair ribbons and scarves that were tied sweetly at the neck. Later, the updo got wilder with the emergence of curlers and back-combing. While the ponytail exudes a youthful American charm, the more elaborate updo can bring an edgy rock and roll look to an otherwise prim lass, think Jane Birkin, (as pictured above) 80's Madonna, or most recently Miss Chloe Sevigny. Gracing red carpets throughout the decades and many an Oscar podium, an updo is a timeless way to reflect grace and beauty, so don't save it simply for your next workout.

V is Victor and Rolf for Piper Heidsieck

Avant-garde Dutch fashion design pair Victor and Rolf have injected their characteristic flair to long time French champagne house Piper Heidsieck. The duo admits to being intimidated by the task of messing with a company with such a traditional brand identity, but true to V and R's abstract image they completed the task in a round-about manner-literally. "How could we make something new out of something eternal?" mused the team, therefore the only answer was to totally invert Piper's proportions. The result is fantastic-a huge cork, leading down to a neck which rests at the bottom. The upside down bottle comes as a dynamic set complete with an inverted bottle cooler and flipped champagne flute, reminiscent of a skewed martini glass. Piper Heidsieck's limited time Rose is guaranteed to go down well with drinkers, designers, and fashion fans alike.

W is for Woodstock

We are stardust, we are golden... the lyrics of Joni Mitchell's hit Woodstock, epitomised the attitude of the half a million strong music festival that took America, and the world, by storm. As flower children grooved to the sounds of iconic rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez and Janis Joplin, they donned bell bottoms, daisy chains and moccasins. The multitude of photographs that were taken at the 1969 festival have secured the spirit of the 60's style that continues to be relevant today. Open any current magazine and you will spot a shoot featuring vests, head-pieces, peace signs and long haired foxes with middle parts. Rolling Stone may have voted Woodstock as one of the most important moments in the history of rock and roll, but Musette votes the festival as the moment that locked in the recurrence of 'hippie-chic.'

Thursday, August 23, 2007

X is for X-Ray Vision

Sunglasses continue to be the easiest statement of cool
for people everywhere. Whether you are camouflaging dark circle-ridden eyes from a hard night out or simply adding a sophisticated touch to an otherwise simple look, sunglasses remain a timeless accessory. Trying to avoid the masses of Ray Ban Wayfarers converts? Check out Karen Walker's X Ray Vision sunnies, (seen left) for a fashion-forward statement.

Y is for Yigal Azrouel

Perhaps the presence of five older sisters impacted fashion designer's Yigal Azrouel's super feminine collections. With a focus mainly on skirts and dresses, Azrouel has caught the attention of stylish stars such as Rachel Bilson and socialite Byrdie Bell, who have lightened up the red carpet with unabashedly girly frocks. Check out the January 08 TeenVogue for the cover story shoot, full of fun Azrouel items. Azrouel may be known for decorating cool girls in nothing but dresses, but this designer has created one of the chicest cropped leather jackets around. Yeah Yeah Yigal!

Z is for Zooey Deschanel

With screen stealing performances in independent hits such as The Good Girl and All the Real Girls it is no wonder this Indy-It-Kid is set to portray Janis Joplin in this year's biopic Gospel According to Janis. Maybe it has to do with her designer chums such as Isaac Mizrahi and Marc Jacobs that Zooey always seems to steal the red carpet too.