Tsolo Munkh – Mongolian designer

Tsolo Munkh, full name Tsolmandakh Munkhuu, grew up in Mongolia, later emigrated to France, and attended the school l’Atelier Chardon Savard. Her designs, while a bit dark and black for my tastes, involve a sense of mysticism and fantasy that’s hard to fully grasp. She uses natural themes both in the presentation of her lines and the pieces themselves and looking at her pieces, one can identify certain Asian symbolic themes, varied use of textures, and a melange of materials.

Tsolo Munkh

The following video is a fantastical portrayal of some of her pieces:

The next video is a fashion show by Tsolo Munkh:

These pants are my favorite piece by her that I’ve seen so far:

Tsolo Munkh

Find Tsolo Munkh at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tsolo-Munkh/127592450632764

http://www.mc2-showroom.com/collection.php?o=femme&ID=146&PHPSESSID=u3l8l75o46clslr75tp43m7gt5

Trend for Spring/Summer 2012: Sheer Lace Dress

A dress trend I’ve only recently picked up on for this season is the long, sheer dress with short slip combination. Often the over layer is a maxi-length dress and a major color for this style dress is black (from what I’ve seen). The effect is stunning and all sorts of fun. Another big trend that I adore is the asymmetrical hemline with dresses shorter in the front and longer in the back. I bought a sheer maxi dress at Zara in Budapest a few months ago and wore it to a ball in Vienna. It worked perfectly and now goes perfectly for both formal and casual events with jackets, layered with shirts, or just by itself. The fun and whimsical lace pattern gives it personality and a bit of variety. Mine isn’t quite as shapely as some of these examples but is easy to wear and a versatile addition to my wardrobe.

A friend and I at a ball in Vienna. Sheer dress from Zara, around $60-$75

See other fun trend-spotting images of sheer dresses below:

Sheer dress trend

Sheer dress trend

Sheer dress trend

Sheer dress trend - click on image link for blog on vintage examples!

Swatch – the reinvention of the watch

Swiss watches have the reputation for quality, craftmanship, and fine art. However, the symbol of Swatch that defines much of the world view of watches coming out of Switzerland today did not always flourish as such. In the 1970’s, Swiss watch makers faced huge competition from Japanese watch companies. To match the competition, they ventured to make the thinnest watch in the world at the time and released it in 1979. A group formed called the Swatch Group that later formed the brand Swatch. The goal was to redesign the watch from a high class, fine piece of jewelry to something that was quality but mass produced and made of plastic, resulting in an affordable, durable, disposable, well made, and fashionable watch. The Swatch watch featured fun colors and designs and became known for their creativity and sense of fun. The very name “Swatch” comes from the term “Second Watch”, implying that the new watch was one a “normal” consumer could have multiple of, a more disposable and affordable  yet quality version of a timepiece. The company took off in the 1980’s and managed to revive the Swiss watch industry resulting in unprecedented success.

Swatch watch

Today the Swatch is a piece of fashion and works in tandem with new trends and even art. See the history of Swatch featured on the Swatch Group’s site. What’s your favorite Swatch? Also, see the fantastic play off of the social movement Occupy Wall Street in a piece of Swatch artwork below:

Swatch Art - "Occupy your Wrist"

 

Steven Arpad – “undercover” experimentalist in fashion history

Steven Arpad (1904–1999), a French shoe designer, experimented with traditional shoe style back in 1939 and came up with extremely out-of-the-box pieces. His shoes are featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (but apparently are not on display) and exist as some of the only records of his designs as he worked anonymously under various fashion houses. The shoes are fantastic, whimsical, and shocking coming from such a historical time as the first half of the 20th century. The message? Fashion designers have experimented with traditional lines for hundreds of years, but always base themselves on the idea of “newness” and novelty, but these shoes show that not everything is new. Designers experiment and produce (hopefully) new and great results. Browse the museum’s collection of Steven Arpad’s shoes here: Metropolitan Museum of Art – Steven Arpad. I’ve included a few I find most interesting below:

Steven Arpad 1939

Steven Arpad 1939

Steven Arpad 1939

Steven Arpad 1939

Anupamaa – Indian high fashion at its finest (or funkiest!)

I do believe I have a new favorite designer. Anupamaa, a brand launched in 2004 out of India by Anupamaa Dayal, has seen enormous success and received extremely positive feedback from such fashion gatekeepers as Cosmopolitan, Elle US, Style.com, and Vogue UK. Anupamaa’s bold patterns, colors, and inspirations backed by endearing philosophy makes a definite statement and reinterprets traditional Indian dress and accesses its trademark use of color and embellishment. See her site at http://anupamaa.com/index.html.

Said about her line from Fall-Winter 2010-11 (this is what I first came across, drawn by her use of Cubist and Picasso influences for that line) on http://wifw.indiatimes.com/showstory.php?storyid=795&dayid=5, the muse for the collection was a woman who is a ‘global nomad’.

“According to the designer, her muse is someone who has traveled the world and her world reflects multicultural influences. The designer creates her own fabrics and for the collection she had varying degrees of silks for different garments with prints derived out of resist-dyed techniques. Being influenced by the concept of ‘global nomad’, the clothes had a very Bohemian free-spirited personality… Anupamaa explained, “I have used a lot of layers, so that the wearer feels comfortable. After all, it is all about being comfortable in your own skin.””

The way Anupamaa expresses her vision for her own fashion approach, women being comfortable in their own skin while being bold and fashionable, as well as her vision for a global nomad who aspires to be multicultural drew me in. Below are some of my favorite designs by Anupamaa (I found these more recent runway images on this blog http://www.fashioninquisitive.com/2012/02/wills-lifestyle-india-fashion-week_16.html). Her brand is sold the world over and features in many well-known stores around the world.

Anupamaa - Autumn-Winter 2012

 

Anupamaa - Autumn/Winter 2012

 

Anupamaa - Autumn/Winter 2012

Anupamaa - Autumn/Winter 2012

Rosamino – a mystery boutique yet undiscovered

Having walked by the store hundreds of times, one might think I’d have noticed the boutique Rosamino before. But only the other day on a relaxing weekend afternoon, I walked by this small designer store in a small town in Switzerland and realized the genius of the voluminous dresses in the windows. I’m a sucker for dresses with volume that aren’t of the wedding, prom, bridesmaid, or general over-the-top evening gown genre. I haven’t had the opportunity to go in yet, but the store windows boast wearable yet high design dresses full of promise. Here’s a picture I took of the storefront:

Rosamino - store front

Something about these dresses draw me in. I can’t wait to go in and see more! My favorite dress from that day is pictured below:

Rosamino - dress in the storefront window

To see the studio’s (rather plain) website: http://www.rosamino.com/

Fashion Sightings on a University Campus

As colleges go, my school tends to be on the well dressed, high fashion side. This tends to manifest itself to a fault, but leaves for great people watching and brightens up the average college students’ day where I attend. Here’s two of my friends (with very different fashions) who always sport masterpiece outfits. While it’s always fun and informative to watch the high fashion runway shows or check out your favorite designer, so much of fashion is around us, created in the new and exciting combinations made by us and those we see. Open your eyes a bit more on the street and you’ll see fashion wonders. Next step (when I get the courage worked up), I’d love to capture a few of the outfit masterpieces I see around town… I hope you enjoy these (sorry for the poor quality) and find them as inspiring as I did!

M. wears the most daring, bold outfits imaginable. Her jacket that day grabbed my attention - along with her funky styling with the high ponytail and eye-catching black/silver earrings.

A. borrows nifty vests from her mom's closet (a mother's closet is a great place to shop for college students) and makes them a staple of her outfits. Also note her mis-matched socks and fantastic jean skirt (a bit hard to see here).

The Importance of Quality Shoes: Manolo Blahnik

Being rather new to the fashion enthusiast world, I’m always learning about new designers, making the fashion world exciting and new despite the fact that I tend towards retro and vintage. However, as the Divia Harilela so eloquently notes in her article on http://www.howtospendit.com, (http://www.howtospendit.com/#!/articles/7095-the-haute-seat-lane-crawfod-shoes), most people pay attention to the newest, up-and-coming designers. Quality and history is not something so easily forgotten. She talks about her first pair of designers shoes from Manolo Blahnik, a shoe designer of Czech and Spanish origin who popularized the stiletto heel in the 1970’s. Here’s a pair I especially like:

Manolo Blahnik shoe

And here’s another pair featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (what an honor for a designer to be featured in a museum – a sphere so often not open to the fashion designer despite the obvious “art” of fashion):

Manolo Blahnik and Damien Hirst: "Spot On" featured in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Fantastic Summer Hair

Rosie the Riveter

Upon coming across a fantastic way to wrap your hair up for the summer, I was immediately bummed seeing as I chopped off my long locks last summer and they have yet to recover. However, if you’ve got enough hair to do this, I think this is a great way to spice up an outfit this summer. A bit reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter and the 1950’s housewife, (funny how those things come back), this might give your grandmother some flashbacks.

 

 

 

 

But for those who haven’t gone through the scarf over the curlers phase, this is a fresh, new look and a new take on fashion. And I might just try it with my short hair anyway! See the tutorial here: http://www.keikolynn.com/2011/07/head-scarf-tutorial.html

Keiko Lynn - Hair wrap

I’d also like to add that Keiko Lynn’s blog look’s quite promising, deliciously vintage-inspired, and rather colorful http://www.keikolynn.com/ I’m checking it out now and am sure you’ll enjoy it too!

Sustainable Fashion – Sseko Designs

After a too-long hiatus, I’m back at blogging and I’ve gathered lots of inspiration during this time.

Recently, a friend of mine posted a link to Sseko (say-ko) Designs, a not-for-profit organization that provides women in Uganda who are transitioning from secondary school to university a temporary job to make money to pay for school. Sustainable ways of making clothes like this one are coming into fashion, as they should be, and present a great way to spend your money on something with more of a story and meaning than just any pair shoes. Buying a pair of shoes means you get to accessorize with pride and support girls going on to get educations to be “doctors, lawyers, politicians, writers and teachers”.

Sseko Designs

As summer is on the way and, if you don’t live in a rainy climate like I do, spring has sprung and so has sandal season. Not to mention, they’re a great way to bring a bit of color to any outfit. Read more about the organization and shop for some new sandals at http://www.ssekodesigns.com/

Sseko Designs