[ runway to life: fishnet back ]

Lida Mankovskaya FT1

New York Fashion Week might have marked the official end of summer but open-back tops are trending in full force.   Designers are incorporating fishnet-back blouses, backless tops, and spine-baring dresses into their collections with increasing vigor.  Layering a tank or bodysuit is a potential solution to the inevitable drop in temperatures this season.  When in doubt, layer!

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[ deep wines ]

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In an eerie overlap with the theme and aesthetic of Michael Costello’s Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Collection, this look is comprised of many of the same stylistic features – thigh slits; sheer detailing; deep décolletage; bodysuits; lace; floral headpieces; and of course the deep wine tones.  Having just shot and edited the images, I was astounded to discover the countless similarities after stumbling upon Michael’s collection on Instagram.

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[ chiffon glow ]

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In general I think that the juxtaposition of textures and themes within the same look makes for an interesting interplay. Here, I played around with the soft and the hard, the feminine and the indelicate.  The sheerness and ruffles of this asymmetric skirt introduce an element of ethereal romance to its traditionally aggressive animal print.  The bold, minimalist accessories in the form of a metal gold belt and large matching bangles counterbalance the softness of the chiffon.  “Lights are stronger in the contrast.”

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[ bustier as daywear ]

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While sculpting your body in traditional binding pieces like bustiers or corsets is ultra feminine, their styling requires proceeding with caution. The key to making the bustier appropriate for day wear is all in finding a balance.  This can be done by adding volume via bubble or maxi skirts; pairing it with high-waisted pants or shorts; or even layering an oversized sheer blouse.  Once relegated to the lingerie drawer, the bustier now has stand-alone power but that power must be used wisely.

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[ black + sheer ]

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Looking back to the runways: if you’re inclined to do opulent luxurious fabrics this fall, black lace should be at the top of your list.  But irrespective of the fabric, black sheer tops generally are the season’s evening staple.  I’ve included some notable runway looks for you to consider at the bottom of the post.  Happy peekabooing!

[ View Full Post ] “[ black + sheer ]”

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[ runway to life: missoni + stella mccartney ]

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This look is a pairing of the flirty and the rocker-chic.  Combining a ruffled mini in a sweet floral print with a distressed moto-jacket is one of the many ways to approach the style of “rock-femme.”  The rainbow sandals tip the scales in favor of the feminine but I couldn’t resist.

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[ runway to life: la perla beachwear ]

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If anyone were to ask me about my favorite lingerie label the answer would be La Perla without hesitation.  How can a girl resist their finest lace, chiffon skirts, structured bras, loose deluxe pajamas, macrame detail, shiny silks, luxury embroideries, and strategically placed sheerness.  It is a label that constantly walks the fine line between underpinnings, outer things, and the in-between – their gorgeous beachwear.  If ever you have the pleasure of being tasked with constructing the perfect pool party look your sartorial sensibilities need not take you further than the beauties of La Perla.

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[ runway to life: yellow brood ]

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When this draped one-shoulder Brood dress arrived in the mail I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of it.  I looked at its fine washed and distressed silks in various shades of yellow; the intense ruching; the draw strings that hold it together and thought to myself, “is it supposed to look like that or should I get the steamer out?”  After deducing that wrinkles of such intensity must be intentional, I proceeded to attempt the first fitting.  As it becomes evident by the last image of this post, the top of the dress was not meant to cross the body as I so confidently assumed and wore throughout the shoot.  By the way, all of these uncertainties could have been resolved with a simple google search but I chose to remain in willful ignorance until it was time to write the post.  Sometimes it’s more fun to remain unaffected as it promotes your own creative engagement, if only in the form of a simple shoulder placement.

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[ runway to life: nude-panelling ]

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In my recent reflection on the trajectory of this blog I realized that the “Runway to Life” posts seem to have disappeared.  I love seeing runway pieces incorporated into everyday wear by real people so I’ve decided to bring “Runway to Life” back to life.  I’m not sure if you guys ever experience this when checking out collections but I am often left thinking, “that looks cool but who would wear that?”  In these posts I attempt to take on the challenge by styling garments off the catwalk and making them a little more wearable.  Tyra Banks said that, ‘the runway symbolizes something in society that’s very intimidating to women.”  This is an unfortunate truth and I hope to dispel some of the intimidation that comes from seeing designer clothes on the runway, one post at a time.

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[ out of checks and balances ]

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Checkered prints in black, white, and grey are a notable graphic trend from fall/winter 2016-2017 fashion week.  Admittedly, there is nothing particularly novel about plaid and check patterns for fall, whether in vibrant or muted shades.  What distinguishes our treatment of this classic pattern in the fall of 2016 is all in the execution as the preppiest of preppy codes gets redefined.  Alexander Wang mixed tweed checks with metal-pierced leather and wrapping around thighs where old-fashioned garters would be (see last image.)  Throughout the entire collection he “deliberately opposes standard definitions of beauty and taste.”  Here, I didn’t go quite as far in corrupting the checkered print.  The exposed décolletage and midriff was my adaptation of the rebellious motif.  I think the suspense and surprise of fashion is in reshaping the status quo to reflect “you.”

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[ modern case for crochet ]

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This folky-retro, semi-see-through yarn is perfect for those sun-basking days of summer but it can take you beyond the festival and beach.  Crochet back-tie halter tops paired with high-waisted pencil skirts are a balance of playful-boho and classic-femme.  I read that, “the modern case for crochet hinges on a throwback approach to sexy, where a woman’s curves are alluded to, not vacuumed-packed in spandex.”  I aimed to demonstrate that “modern case for crochet” through this look.

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[ runway to life: a friend like that ]

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I talk to him when I’m lonesome like;
And I’m sure he understands.
When he looks at me so attentively,
And gently licks my hands;
Then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes,
But I never say naught thereat.
For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes,
But never a friend like that.

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[ overload ]

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Intense florals, heaps of jewelry, color fusion, layered patterns.  This high waist + crop combo is an aesthetic overload.  Being that it’s comprised entirely of statement pieces this type of mixing should never work in theory.  I don’t mean to sound presumptive in assuming that it works in practice to all of you because that’s unlikely.  However, if the workability of this combination is not completely outside the realm of possibilities I will consider my experiment a success.  Alexander McQueen’s famous quote, “it’s a new era in fashion – there are no rules”, means to me that there has been a shift to an expression-centric, individual-based mode.  The “Fashion Police”, “Hot or Not” metric of what is embraced or rejected is a thing of the past.  This new era is freeing and fresh.  An era where you can create and explore one crazy combo at a time.  The only rule is to refrain from judgment; both of yourself and of your fellow fashionistas.  It’s a fresh start.

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[ power red ]

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I shied away from red altogether for the greater part of my adult life.  Somehow it was always too much for me.  Too dominating, too vibrant, too overpowering.   It’s definitely the most assertive and unapologetic of hues.  Unfortunately, girls are socialized to be the opposite of all that red embodies and that might be, at least in part, the reason behind our hesitation wearing red.  We are taught that to be beautiful we must be subtle, reserved, balanced, and pleasant.  But isn’t beauty about being comfortable in your own skin?  What if your mood on a given occasion lends itself to the most vibrant of reds?  If so, rock it with conviction!  Better yet, intensify the look by adding red accessories.  We might have been socialized towards pastel pink but RED is what we are – Strong, Mesmerizing, and Dynamic.

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[ runway to life: all that sparkles ]

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The accessories for Spring 2016 are anything but subtle and the necklace placement is of some importance.  It should hit somewhere below a choker necklace and above the décolletage.  So collar bone necklaces of havier sparkle intensity are the pieces of choice for this season.  Don’t be afraid to shine a little brighter this Spring and remember, “everyday is a fashion show and the world is your runway…”

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[ runway to life: laser cut ]

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It might be Alaia that you think of when laser cut detail comes to mind but many other designers are now embracing the trend.  I’m currently obsessing with laser cuts of all varieties.  It’s perfect for elevating even the simplest of looks.

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[ thankful ]

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Thanksgiving is not a holiday I grew up with but I welcome the idea of pausing to give thanks for the preceding year.  With the pace of life now a days we rarely get the opportunity to just chill and appreciate life.  This past year has been an emotionally charged roller coaster for me, many parts of which I hope to never relive again.  But I’m so very thankful for everything I have learned and the person those experiences have helped me become; the support and patience of my family and friends; my adorable little puppies whoes cuteness never fails to put a smile on my face; my law firm for creating one of the most amazing work environments in the Silicon Valley; this blog for giving me a creative outlet; for all of the turbulence in my personal life finally coming to an end having made me stronger, more independent, and oh-so much wiser; the freedom to do whatever and be whoever I want; the travel; the beauty; the love and laughter; the peace. Thank you life!

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[ runway to life: navy lace ]

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Vanilla lace is luscious And chocolate lace divine But navy lace Makes my heart race Every single time – The Masked Pimpernel of Hello Poetry

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[ runway to life: Blue White Red ]

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I’m a strong believer that if a question can be put at all it can also be answered and if your curiosity stretches wide enough the universe will eventually arrange your circumstances in such a fashion so as to make you understand.  But when it comes to some subjects I’m almost afraid to probe for fear of what it might reveal about humanity.  The recent tragedies in Paris, Beirut, and Garissa, Kenya are mind-boggling.  Travesties occurring all over the world and inflicted in the name of political or religious ideologies are simply unfathomable.  I understand that the people behind all this pain have their own worldview, history, and struggle, but I will never understand how there could be so much darkness in human beings.  Anne Carson once said, “Why does tragedy exist? Because you are full of rage. Why are you full of rage? Because you are full of grief”.  So maybe grief is causing the rage, which in turn is causing the tragedies.  And those tragedies are further perpetuating the cycle by having more grief manifest into rage and so on.  Of course it would be possible to come up with thousands of alternative and probably more pessimistic theories but I’ll stop here.  At the end of the day they are nothing but theories.  Lives are still being lost.  #prayforhumanity

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[ belted midi ]

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I wore this fitted gold / bronze look to last night’s performance of Lucia di Lammermoor at the San Francisco Opera.  The Mark Jacobs dress had been hanging in my closet for over a year – going completely neglected – until I was able to find the perfect belt pairing.  I think bodycon dresses of mid-calf length look best with a belt that sits on the smallest part of the waist.  The visual line created by the belt adds some contrast and detail.

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