a vintage mint green Coach leather satchel (it goes perfectly with seersucker)
For the past year or so I have been intrigued by the idea of having a signature scent. I love the process of finding the most suitable perfume–not just a smell that fits your personality, but one that works with your body chemistry. I started with a website that broke down perfumes into personality categories and searched under “elegant”–not because I consider myself to be particularly elegant, but because I like the idea of using a solid, classic base to build whimsical or playful or tomboy-ish outfits on.
I researched the perfumes that came up and I was really taken with what I read in reviews of Flower by Kenzo. When I tried it on, the scent lasted well over eight hours and was soft and floral–like a more contemporary version of the perfume that my grandmother wore. Right away I knew that it was the fragrance I wanted for everyday use and I ordered a bottle soon after.
But it was in reading a review of the Kenzo fragrance by Chandler Burr in NYT Magazine that I found out about Diorissimo–a 1956 scent that features lily of the valley and is, apparently, often mistaken as a soliflore. Because lily of the valley is the flower of May, my birth month, I decided to try it out and found it to be lovely, fresh and clean. The perfume was recently reformulated so I would really love to find a vintage bottle (which a friend owns and which I found I liked better than what was in the department store) to use just for special occasions.
Having recently met a 60-some year Swedish woman at my favorite bar, who chided me for not wearing perfume (thus motivating me to actually find one) and told me that she herself preferred Lancôme, I also checked out their fragrance site and landed on Poême basically because I liked the name. What interested me about this fragrance were a) that it doesn’t follow the top, middle, base note structure and b) the descriptions of it as a night-time perfume that contrasts bitter and sweet. I tried it on at Bloomingdales and loved it, especially because of how well it complimented and transitioned from the daytime Flower by Kenzo that I had been wearing all day at work.
Flower by Kenzo: Wild Hawthorne, Bulgarian Rose, Parma Violet, Cassia, Hedione, Cyclosal, Opoponax, White Musk, Vanilla. (Sephora.com)
Diorissimo: Bergamot and calyx, middle notes of lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang ylang and lilac and a base of sandalwood.(Saksfifthavenue.com)
Poême by Lancôme: Top Notes: Blue Himalayan Poppy, Lychee Blossom; Heart Notes: Orange Blossom, Mimosa, Jasmine; Base Notes: Vanilla, Desert Datura Flower. (Lancome-usa.com)
There is such incredible talent coming out of Australia right now that despite all of the uncertainty surrounding MBFWA, I think it’s possibly the most exciting fashion week of the year. Romance Was Born kicked it off with a ridiculously cool take on comic books. There were pieces of clothing printed with comics, riffs on superhero suits, over-sized silhouettes, jagged peplums (a trend as ubiquitous in Sydney as it was at every other major fashion week), sequins and fringe, exaggerated cuffs and bold stripes and color-blocking. The first thing that came to mind for me was “Prada does comics,” just based on the originality of the collection.
Other highlights of the week so far would have to be Gail Sorronda (disco vampire clown chic that made me think of that new Johnny Depp movie, Dark Shadows), Kirrily Johnston (boho draping, tiered floral chiffon jumpsuits and high-waisted pants, art deco jewelry and a whole nun thing–habits and all), Nicola Finetti (pastels, cut-outs, more jagged peplums, gorgeous silhouettes, bras as shirts, and asymmetrical hems), and Ksubi (denim evening gloves–pretty much covers it).
It’s been really interesting reading about some of the challenges that MBFWA faces. According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, the designers who show there would prefer that the event either be moved forward a month (when women are still considering and budgeting for their spring wardrobes) or pushed back a month to coincide with the international resort collections. A week before the event kicked off, two of its biggest names, Dion Lee and Josh Goot, announced that they were withdrawing in order to focus on the collections they will present during the international fashion seasons.
Personally I believe they would do best to push back to June, because I think most potential customers start planning their spring wardrobes well before March or April, basically settling on what they saw in the spring collections back in September. Whereas holding MBFWA closer to the resort collections will make designers more relevant in the minds of buyers. In general Australian designers face the singular challenge of working from a country where the seasons are completely flipped. I think that while sometimes it can seem like they’re playing catch-up seven months later, that distance from all of the hype about trends is what fosters the independent spirit of so many Australian labels.
Last night I read this article on Style.com about how over the past several years male designers have received overwhelmingly more awards and exposure than their female counterparts. I don’t know what the actual reason for this is, but the article suggested a couple of really interesting theories:
- Women designers often balance their work with taking care of their families, meaning that they are unable to work the party circuit the way that male designers do. Also, even for occasions they are able to attend, male designers still garner more attention as the party dates of fashionable celebrities.
- For male designers, women’s fashion can be more exciting, theatrical and artistic, while most women designers create clothing with practicality in mind–they design clothes that they would wear in their busy everyday lives.
The article also highlighted really talented female designers Daryl Kerrigan and Jane Mayle who were never able to achieve any sort of longevity, quite possibly for one or both of the reasons above. This past year, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava were unable to produce their Spring 2012 collection due to financial constraints.
Hopefully the likes of Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo and Consuelo Castiglioni, all of whom are really having a moment, will be able to right the scales in terms of the perception of and exposure granted to female designers.
The average cost of attending prom in 2012 is expected to $1078. When I went to prom 5 years ago $250 was considered a steal for a dress, and on top of that there’s the cost of limos, tickets, dinner, hair and makeup and pictures. There are too many families who can’t afford even a fraction of that. Do Something’s “Prom for All” campaign is asking that people donate gently used dresses (which most likely are just gathering dust in storage anyway) so that everyone can take part in this right of passage. Dress drives are going to be happening around the country and the link below will direct you to your nearest location.