Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Denim-But-Not-Exactly-Denim Jeans

Is there an alternative to denim jeans?

Leandra Medine from the Man Repeller once mentioned that denim jeans are like bread. Similar to the white t-shirt, you can never tarnish its reputation by wearing it wrongly. Even if you see someone pairing it up with the most ratchet stripper heels and cropped bralet that only conceals 10% of each boob, you would never have a different perception (less think twice of it's immaculate capabilities) of the denim jeans.

Why is this so? Are we ingrained with the fact that denim jeans are, de facto, our staple diet in our everyday closet that no matter in which manner, or position, or style, one 'feeds' on their denim jeans, we would just shake it off (cues Taylor Swift now) and continue with our daily diets?

Despite the fact that you've tried on denim jeans with the white t-shirt combination, with a black t-shirt, with a chambray shirt, with a sequinned top, with a fur vest buckled underneath a camel coat, etc, we still never fail to revisit our past staple love. Maybe denim jeans is indeed like rice to Asians and bread to Westerners. And instead of rice and bread, it is of a unique source that can be commonly fed on by many different individuals with varying styles.

We thrive on similar denim day after day. Prove me if I'm wrong, but when you're out in town, or just running your errands or simply getting some caffeine fix, you may never not find at least one person in either a light, dark, or medium washed denim jeans. The immediate notion behind the word 'denim' instantaneously emanates (and thereby indirectly restricts) 'blue tones'. And thus forth, we all nourish ourselves in only a bowl full of blue denim jeans.

What I just said in the preceding paragraph does show that I'm against blue denim jeans. I'm not. I was never (maybe used to but now, nope) against any denim sort of. In fact, I'm favoring blue denim. I have two racks purely and solely for the storage of my blue denim jeans.

However, with all those prejudice and favoritism aside, do you think that the ideology behind denim being 'restricted' to solely blue should be revoked? Or shall we still persevere on? I believe we should mix around a fair bit, retain our inherent beliefs for blue denims and expand our opinions to accept colored and printed ones.

Hence, this is why I disregarded my blue denim jeans that were seen prevalently in other blog posts and hopped over to a colored (and printed) pair this time round. They are from H&M's collaboration with Isabel Marant, re-introducing her signature navajo printed jeans into the kids line (which I could fit into the largest size, yay!) at a cheaper price. They would do justice in times when my blue denim jeans are in the washers, fleeing in my mum's closet or hiding somewhere in the kitchen, in preparation for my next diet.

Uniqlo oxblood corduroy shirt, Isabel Marant x H&M navajo jeans, Bimba & Lola sandals

Image credits Imran 

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Why Are Dark Hues Immediately Related to Fall-Winter?

Imagine yourself in a country during fall (or imagine your country if you're already experiencing it). It is a Saturday afternoon, the sun is shining brightly yet the climate is cool. You geared up, prepping yourself to keep your body warm, whilst heading to Starbucks (or any coffee joint you'd prefer) to grab a fresh cup of hot coffee (or hot chocolate/hot tea). When you're waiting for the barista to call out your name, you looked around the joint. You noticed something. Everyone is in hues of navies, oxbloods, pine greens, khakis, mahogany browns and blacks. Perhaps we throw in a little rare sightings of dark salmon and dark tangerine. That is when you finally realized the normality colors - for outfits - for fall-winter season would be bounded within the region situated at the end of the color spectrum.

So why are darker shades granted this unique 'ability' to be automatically deemed as appropriate color for fall-winter? Is it because that the colors are much more relatable to what we are realistically going through: more nights than days? Or is it because we are just inherently more comfortable in darker hues when the first mandarin orange leaf falls onto the ground?

I oscillate towards the latter more despite believing that both of the reasons play a part in it. Darker hues have always been noted to be signature colors for fall-winter season. It has been reflected in runways for so many seasons that it is almost somewhat predictable. The ivories, pastels and neons gradually fade away during the interphase between seasons whilst the navies, maroons and khakis emerge.

From past runways to present day, we are already subconsciously taught that darker hues equates to fall-winter whilst brighter - somewhat more jovial - hues means spring-summer. This indirect approach that translates through runways and then to fashion and fast fashion and then proceeded on to real people themselves have indirectly instilled in us that darker hues are directly proportional to fall-winter when we were able to first see and think. Some of us who are more intelligent and verbal would have already questioned its pattern repetition back then.

Do you think we can ever reverse such an idea? Designers have been trying - can be seen in Rosie Assoulin, Altuzarra and even Alexander Wang during their latest FW '14 collections - and even us, as street style go-ers, have also been doing so. Yet, I believe that such an innate idea is hard to shake off. Are we just purely stubborn that we'd change out our closets into darker hues because of the chillier weather every season when it hits fall? Or are we just simply more comfortable in clothes that are forest green as compared to neon green during fall-winter?

This time round, I vacillate fairly between both. Brighter hues naturally emanates the impression of loud, fun and happiness whilst darker ones are more prone towards sensual, comfort and safety. We'd love to change out our closets to welcome new clothes - that also happen to include bags and accessories (link) as well - and naturally prefer to slip into those dark, snuggly pullovers and curl up in a fetus position, like we're back safe as a baby in our mum's womb.

If you guys are craving for reliving that childhood moments of being a pseudo baby, I have three choices that does not have any direct relation towards what we just conversed. Yes, they are not related to pullovers, however, they are indeed in darker hues to provide you that necessary comfort you require. For your feet, these Marc by Marc Jacobs velvet grunge pumps shall do the trick. For your vagina, this Tibi leather skirt would literally re-virginize you. And for your hands and wrists, this Deux Lux weaved pouch should allow you to achieve silky, baby hands without the help of those hand creams.

Formal images from Google: Alexander Wang FW 14, 3.1 Phillip Lim FW 14, Blair Waldorf. Latter images from Google as well, dining room background is none other than Big and Carrie's apartment.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

How to be Lackadaisical Without Wearing the White T-shirt and Jeans Combo

You know how I have been repeating innumerable amount of times about the basic chic outfit that revolves around the succinct yet immaculate combination of white t-shirt and denim jeans till the fact that it has been a tough challenge for all the other ootds to transcend it in terms of it's lackadaisical yet effortless chic? The bond between the white t-shirt and denim jeans have become so strong that it is insurmountable. You find ways to overcome their relationship but yet you are always being thrown back into the arena of white t-shirt and denim jeans when you are too lazy to dress up. You thought: 'Maybe I should face that fact that it's time I should just stick with the usual regime when I'm running late, or getting a little too sloth.'

I am going to break your chain of thoughts now and tell you that the bond is, de facto, surmountable.

I changed the game up a little when I felt that it was time to eradicate the normality in achieving that lackadaisical feel. I suggested inverting them, attaining a whole new look without compromising to the same laid back vibe. I also proposed varying your denim jeans length, so that you will not kill everyone with your continuous 'coincidental' combination that might eventually lead to boredom.

Despite the fact that I (or anyone else out there) have came up with 2154236458745 approaches in annihilating the mindsets of everyone that the basic chic does not necessarily coincide with the white t-shirt and denim jeans combo, it is still inevitable that people will still continue doing so. Is it an act of rebellion? Or have we become so innately influenced by the perpetrator to only accept the connotation oof 'basic chic' as that aforementioned fusion?

I believe it's the latter. We are not rebels who choose not to make a change. Fashion is all about changing up. The runways change, seasons change and clothing change. Some of the collections might be a re-edition of yesteryears, but we cannot deny that they are being infused with a tinge of different style.

And this is where I'm instilling something new to the old basic chic style, and in hopes that it will eventually intersperse. I took the white t-shirt and denim jeans, broke their what-you-thought-was-insurmountable bond and hooked them up with something else (not someone else). As we are still striving for that lackadaisical look, I have decided that the denim jeans would go well with a biker jacket thrown over a loosely fit muscle tank top.

As for the white t-shirt, I only paired it up with an orange wide leg pants and some combat booties underneath. You cannot deny that it is a lazy look since it's only down to three pieces and you can definitely put them together when you're running late. Can you?

Image one: Topshop biker jacket, Man Repeller x Patterson J. Kincaid muscle tank, Zara jeans and sandals, Alexander Wang x H&M bag pack

Image two: COS white t-shirt, Zara orange wide leg pants, Sam Edelman booties (cannot be seen here)

Image credits Imran 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Fall Bags (Not Fall Backs)

As the season changes, our closets gradually evolve as well. We somehow feel compelled to involuntarily eradicate the chiffons shirts, denim cut-offs, laced t-shirt to gracefully and utmost willingly invite in the knits, jeans and oversized coats. We often do it for our 'clothing closets' and not our 'accessories closets' because accessories are like chameleons. They are easily adaptable to whatever the season is. You will not find a neon orange weaved purse or fuchsia dyed fur clutch only applicable for Spring and Summer, neither would you discover a military green duffle bag or a magenta tote au courant for Fall and Winter. Rather, like a chameleon, accessories could be used at any point in the season.

Despite the fact that bags and shoes and anything else that are deemed under the 'accessories' segment could be reused and revisited at every season, we still have that unexplainable urge to purchase something new of everything for every climate change. There is just this unknown spark within us that stir our hearts into splurging on a new pair of Christian Louboutin, or a Proenza Schouler purse. It is innately in our minds (and heart and thus forth our hands and credit cards) that we need to purchase a new thing for a new season. We momentarily come to a pause with our garment shopping, head straight to that shoe department or bag section (also includes jewelry) to pick out that new item we "need".

Is this a natural human behaviour? That when an old season disembarks and a new season arrives, we tend to do the same thing to our lives; discarding certain old bags and shoes (and clothes too) and welcoming brand new ones? Or are we just simply craving for more material goods that are only available during that current season and hence automatically tagged as limited edition?

And that is exactly what occurred to me, a blame I choose to put on what I deemed as the "natural human instinct"; I picked a new bag straight from (nope, not the shelves) Shopbop when they were announcing that major sale. I decided that it was time I chaperoned a new bag in to my fully-packed-hence-close-to-non-existential closet, because it was my way of "inadvertently" welcoming the new season.

And since I've "unintentionally" brought up the topic of purchasing something new and actually, legitimately bought something au courant, I've decided that you guys should be (voluntarily this time round) influenced by me with my top few choices for bags this season.

In clockwise rotation from top left: Alice + Olivia Martini cross body bagMilly hologram python clutchFurla candy mini bag with embellishmentRebecca Minkoff Paris clutch in petrol and Clare V. tan with blue stripes tote (middle).

How are the ideas? Tempted to sing and dance along to Jingle Bell Rock (this is random because the song was playing on the radio and I suddenly thought of Mean Girls and since Christmas is approaching, why not?) and get yourself something new now?

P/S: I also got the bracelet because I couldn't resist.

3.1 Phillip Lim small Ryder cross body bag in black and nickel hardware c/o Shopbop, Aurelie Bidermann red district bracelet.

Image credits Imran

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Style Icon: Jenna Lyons

In life, we constantly look up to celebrities/fictional characters/anyone-you-love to ameliorate oneself. Be it in lifestyle, personal style, career or even our daily choices, having a role model in our lives could often alleviate us from the difficult times we are perpetually confined with. I look up to Carrie Bradshaw (fictional, though portrayed marvellously by Sarah Jessica Parker) in terms of her personal attitude and love for Manhattan (no pun intended for the 'man' portion), Leandra Medine for her writing and style, Ellen DeGeneres for her incessant humor that never seem to die out despite after twelve seasons (and still counting) and all the Parisians out there because I am inherently (and secretly) a Parisian.

Having role models to look upon doesn't necessarily mean that you're not being yourself. It simply acts as a cushion for you to fall back on in times of doubt. I replay Sex and the City constantly to get writing and question inspirations from Carrie. I constantly type in 'manrepeller.com' in my search bar when I'm feeling uninspired for my next ootd. I watch Ellen just to listen to her crack jokes in order to stimulate life and joy in me. I read 'How to be a Parisian Whenever You Are' whenever I feel like my Parisian self is slipping away.

Not only that, having inspirational high profile individuals to admire also shows how one could be inspired by so many others and eventually metamorphose into a collective and compounding role model ready to be transpired to the subsequent generation. We are not escaping from reality and losing ourselves; in contrary, we are actually searching for ourselves. We are simply looking out for a stepping stone - a guidance - to discover (and perhaps accept) who we truly are.

Yet, I have not comprehended the fact that I was never able to successfully sartorially emulate Jenna Lyons. She is my preceding style icon, that feathered maxi skirt paired with a mandarin button down and a mink coat (second image) is a look that made me screenshot it in my iPhone and consistently flash it to everyone who walked past me. Not to forget that she could pull off a suit effortlessly on Tuesday (forth image), and then don in a sequinned maxi skirt with a pullover over a shirt (fifth look) on the next.

And as I scroll through numerous amount of times (of an approximate 639301845) at Jenna Lyons ootds (and counting), I couldn't help but wonder: Are we fashion victims emulating our style icons or are we simply inherent fashionistas seeking for inspirations? To be honest, I feel like I oscillate between both. Her feathered top paired with tailored trousers and semi combat booties (third look) is something I aspire to emulate, whilst her t-shirt meets trousers, cross body bag and coat over shoulders (seventh look) is something that I've tried, yet still constantly doing some soul style searching to diverse up the same look in different ways.

It eventually boils down to these three looks that I would totally emulate Jenna Lyons for. In any way, there isn't any harm to what we are doing, is there? If Rihanna has a doppelgänger (Andele Lara), why can't we be our role models' lookalikes?

Images from man repeller and the fashionable wife