Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Still Have Love For My Inspiration

A few days ago, I came across an article on the Daily Beast about one of my favorite fashion houses, Versace. The article was called Fashion Disaster: How The House Of Versace Went From Rags To Riches And Back Again.  The article documented how Versace had the power and glamour in the 90's (Gianni was alive, the supermodels ruled the world and were all over the campaigns), were on the verge of being a force in the stock market, and setting the tone for brash, flashy, rock and roll and party girl style.  It also documented Gianni's murder in Miami, the downward spiral that began with Donatella's cocaine addiction, erratic behavior, and the company's refusal to change with the times.

I've read many articles about the House of Versace.  Some praised the house, others tore it apart but this particular article hit a nerve for me.  You see, Versace is the label, the house, the company that made me want to be a designer full time!!!  Seeing all of the glamour of the supermodels, having fun in his clothes on and off shoots, in night clubs, parties, and red carpet events made me want to be a part of that world!!! I've even tried to get a job in the Versace store in Miami when I was living there, which was just a few steps away from Gianni's house.  To see an article saying that the house is having some issues really shook me.

When Gianni was murdered, his older brother, Santo took over the business side and younger sister, Donatella took over the creative side.  The fashion world at first, didn't take her seriously, given her known reputation for being a party girl and they thought that in trying to make her mark within the company, she would stray from his vision.  In between mourning her brother, keeping his vision and business afloat, and trying to get her vision in there without losing the customer base, she was dealing with a notorious cocaine habit that made her erratic, causing her to make decisions that didn't benefit the company nor creative decisions that kept Versace at the top.

What also didn't help was their stubbornness about changing the business to go with the times, and keeping up the extravagant lifestyle when the sales weren't able to support it.  Hiring outsiders to fix it, didn't help when they either didn't want to know about how their business worked (more numbers oriented and less creative), or when they would bring the ideas to Donatella, it would be a constant butting of heads and arguments. It would get to the point that they would just quit because there was no getting through to her in that (coked up) state.

Just to keep things going, they had to sell Gianni's home on Miami Beach (it's a Versace museum/tourist attraction on South Beach) and other pieces of real estate to not just cover the huge inheritance tax, but to also cover some things for the company.  It had got so out of control that Elton John had to stage an intervention.

Things got back on track, when Donatella got clean but it was too little too late.  The wind swayed to Gucci by Tom Ford and every other house that was trailing behind Versace in the beginning, has now surpassed them and become billion dollar luxury brands.  Versace is still a contender, but now it has to play catch-up with the rest of the fashion world.

The main problem has been consistency.  Donatella leaped away from the bright, poppy colors that got everyone's attention to more darker, somber colors that still had the sexiness, but quite subdued, which confused their base and messed with the sales.  When your product is not consistent, it makes it harder to keep your customer base.  Also starting lines and then killing them off in the middle can get quite expensive and really mess with production and in keeping product in the stores.  I've loved the looks that have come through Donatella's vision, but those looks also have to transfer into sales and a lot of them didn't work.

To me, they are still the inspirational house that I've always loved.  Every house has it's issues and I'm sure they are learning from all of their mistakes and moving forward.  Donatella is no longer fighting and things are on an upswing.  Sometimes you have to go back to basics to start again.

All the best, Santo, Donatella, Allegra (Donatella's daughter and the light of Gianni's eye) and especially, Gianni!!!! You have inspired this dreamer to be a part of this glamourous world that you have created with your clothes, your campaigns and your personalities!!!!! I will support you and love you no matter what anyone says!!!!!

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Pre Fall/ Fall Fashion

As we head into August, the fashion magazines begin to broadcast the the new trends and looks for fall.  This is the busy time for all of the magazines, because this is the preview to the huge September issues that will be hitting the streets in a matter of weeks.

Pre Fall/ Fall Fashion is always the ideal season to check and shop for.  The heat of the summer hasn't faded too much and the stores are prepping for the tidal wave of new merchandise that will set the tone for the Fall/Winter season.

I managed to get the August issues of British Elle and British Vogue and tear through them like a house on fire to soak up the new trends and even pulled a couple of very inspirational ads from my favorite designers to set the tome for this Fall season.  I even managed to pull some ideas for some new looks. Let's get started.

The first two ad campaigns that are setting the tone for the Pre Fall/ Fall season is my inspiration and one of my favorite designers, Tom Ford.  The look that he is going for is very glam rock chic!!!

In the very sexy (and covered up) jersey gown, they are very fitted with only a sequin starburst or two, providing the only detail, but it's a knockout detail!!!!

In the other Tom Ford ad campaign (same campaign, different ad), the starburst detail covers the entire jacket, leaving the fit to be the star of the show.  Black, white, and even in fuschia fur, the detail is amazing.  I need to walk into his store (or any of the high end department stores that is are selling his clothes) and inspect this jacket more closely.

The  next two campaigns are from the current Roberto Cavalli collection.  He is also my inspiration and one of my favorite designers.  Sticking to his usual tried and true animal prints, sharp Italian tailoring, and keeping it sexy, by serving up rock and roll glamour, this man's designs can do no wrong.  You have to be a bold woman to carry this off and the models in his campaigns are every bit as bold.  Cleavage and confidence rules in his clothes!!! I'd wear every single piece!!!! They exude power, glamour and sex without being vulgar.  They're also a hell of a lot of fun!!!

I absolutely LOVE both of these campaigns!!!!! I can't wait to see some of these pieces hit the streets!!!!!

Now, here are the trends.  The first trend is the color rose.  From the pale to the dusky damask hues and all through the nudes, every piece is overtly feminine and flattering!!!!

 This next trend is also very womanly. It's all about the hourglass shape.  Nipped in waists, breast hugging bodices, full, flared, a-lined, or pencil skirts, brings the "bombshell" to life!!! It's "Mad Men" with a spin!!!!

This next trend is plaids!!! Plaids and tartans of every size and type (glen plaid, houndstooth, Chinese laundry bag).  Full of color, tailored or loose, small print or large, this is a trend that is a lot of fun and can bring out that trip to the Scottish highlands, the London countryside, or the Irish pub!!!

This next trend is my FAVORITE!!! This look is all about PUNK!!!!  Tartan, spikes, studs, safety pins, rubber and leather.  Now, THIS is what the punk exhibit should have looked like!!!!! Tough, edgy and sexy is all over this trend!!!!!

This trend is all about feathers.  Delicate ostrich and maribou in every shade and hue brings the soft to the hard, serving up a glamour with a different kind of embellishment.

This is another embellishment trend, but the subtle kind. Just a little sparkle goes a long way.  This is more of a daytime embellishment than a night time red carpet.

This last trend is all about flowers.  A spring trend that can brighten up any fall day.  From light and pretty to slightly darker, romantic and slightly melancholic.  So beautiful, yet so regal.

So these are the hot trends and campaigns that I love and are all about fall.  This is the time to take chances and drag the pretty from summer into fall.  Let me know what you think.

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Ten Fashion Questions

Hey there, everyone!!! Every now and then I get asked all sorts of fashion questions from my friends. Now, I'm gonna take this time to answer a few of them. I'm also gonna make this a regular thing, so if you ever have questions, just let me know. Let's get started.

 1- Can you wear checks and stripes together?
Yes, you can. It's a matter of finding a common ground to base them in (example: color- if the main color is blue, then it can be tastefully done). If your stripe is bold, then your check should be smaller and vice versa. You don't want to look like you got dressed in the dark. In every combination, there has to be a sense of balance. You have to be able to look at it in the mirror and see the visual as a whole and not just a part. If you notice your check more that the whole look, then your check is too big. If you notice your stripe more than the whole look, then your stripe is too big. In the picture above from RDK Clothiers (, this is a tasteful way to do checks and stripes together.

2- Can you do a scarf with a suit and tie?

No!!! Unless it's winter and you're wearing an over coat, wear one or the other, but never both. The only time you can do that is if you are wearing a tuxedo and even then, I think it can be too much.

3- What hat to wear to the races and to lunch with the ladies?

Interesting question!!!! Ladies, your hat should do two things: compliment your face and compliment your outfit. If your hat is too big, it will take over and no one can see your face, nor notice what you're wearing. If your hat is too small, depending on how your hair is styled, it may get lost and barely noticed. It doesn't necessarily have to match what you're wearing, but it has to compliment it. Your hat should also be fun and it should not block the view of the races for others, or you may develop a reputation for having an outrageous hat that gets in everyone's way and no one will take in how gorgeous it is, but how much of an attention whore you are. They also won't notice your outfit, which should get just as much attention as your hat. Your hat is the dot on the "i" or the cross on the "t" to your overall look. For instance, take a look at how Kate Middleton wears her hats. Each hat works for her because they don't overpower her. They compliment what she is wearing and they work with how she wears her hair.
Kate knows exactly how to wear a hat.

If you're gonna do an outrageous hat like Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, or Isabella Blow (RIP), you better have the brass balls to carry it off!!! These women are no shrinking violets and if you are, an outrageous hat will eat you alive. Here are some examples of fierce hats on some fierce women!!!!

4- Can I go commando every time???

Men, truthfully, you can, however is it always appropriate??? Not so much. If you are wearing dress pants for instance, it will give the same effect as wearing sweatpants with no underwear. In the context of a night out, it's fine, but in the workplace I don't think any of your coworkers or your boss want to see what you're packing, or not packing. In those instances, a jockstrap is best. It keeps the junk in place and leaves a little to the imagination. Also, if you sweat like a whore in church, you don't want your ball sweat to show in your dress pants. Anyone sees that and the first thing that they think is that you have an overactive bladder. If you're wearing jeans (after they have been washed a few times), you can get away with going commando. A little vaseline on the cock will help to keep the fabric from rubbing up against it. Women, if you're gonna go commando, make sure you're wearing something that a: fits properly (i.e long enough), so your vagina doesn't get accidental viewings when you sit down and b: dark and thick enough, so we don't see your birthday suit when you walk down the street. If you don't want me to know about the butterfly tattoo that you have on your inner thigh, make sure I can't see it when you sit down. Best way to gauge if you can go commando in what you're wearing or not, put a chair in front of a full length mirror and watch yourself sit down in various positions in the garment. If you notice a nip slip or how good your Brazilian is, when you sit down, don't do it. A g string or a thong would suffice and stripper tape/double sided tape on the breast will keep the top in place. You can go to any sex store or even a drug store for double sided tape.

 5- Should I wear a t-shirt under a dress shirt???

Guys, I always suggest that you do for two reasons: 1- It eliminates the sweat marks/deodorant stains from your shirt and 2- If your shirt is starched, chances are it will rub up against your skin and irritate you. A v neck tshirt is best because if you decide to not wear a tie, you can have an open neck without showing how manly you are (or aren't). When there are sweat marks in a dress shirt, it usually is mixed in with the alcohol in the deodorant and leaves a nasty stain, that discolors the shirt and no matter how many times you clean it, it still shows up (it's even worse in white shirts), so a tshirt under a dress shirt is always best.

 6- What to look for when shopping for a new belt?

When shopping for a new belt, look for a belt that can be dressed up or down (it can look good with jeans as well as with a suit). Also take into account what size belt you are getting (wide belt, narrow belt). The buckle should be plain. Big belt buckles (name buckles, flags, skulls, novelty) are only for casual wear (jeans). Narrow belts are more dressy. The size of your belt should fit with a little extra, just in case you need to make a new hole, but not so long that it can wrap around yourself again.

7- What colors work best on a larger sized man?

Any color can work on a larger sized man. It's all about the fit of the clothes. Most big men get caught up in buying shirts that look like tents on them, so everything looks huge. It's about trying on the clothes for your size. It may take a little longer, and you may end up walking away frustrated, but you have to keep trying things on to see what looks good on you, so you will not be so self conscious about your size. You have to also be comfortable in the garment. The last thing you need is to try on something that doesn't fit well. A really good sales associate (like me) knows how to get you into something that looks good and feels comfortable. Also a really good sales associate (like me) knows how to get you towards what you like. If you are shopping for the first time in any major store, this is a trick I always employ: Look for the most well dressed sales associate that is close to the look that you want (look around from the door BEFORE you walk in). When you spot him/her, go right to them and ask for their assistance. Chances are, their look is most likely in the store and in your size. If not, they know how to get you the same look with a few different items that actually fit you. You will have to do this a few times, and in a few different stores (because sizing is different in a lot of different stores) but once you get the idea of your sizing, finding things that fit and are comfortable become easier and you can be in and out of a store in a matter of minutes. Also, take the time to find out if the stores do alterations. Most will hem every thing for you, but for more extensive tailoring, get to know your dry cleaner. Some will have a tailor on site and they will help you with how you want things to fit on you.

8- Should men wear "Skorts"? in sports and for fun?

Shorts are cool on men, as long as they're age appropriate and they fit well. Quicksilver shorts are for teenage boys, teenage skaters and teenage surfers (get the idea?). If you are older than 15, leave Quicksilver alone. Nothing is worse than a man who doesn't dress age appropriately. Cutoff denim shorts are pretty cool and they work at any age. Dressier shorts are quite attractive (they are more tailored to the body, not tight)and they show that you have grown up. "Skorts' for men, I personally am not a fan of, but for women, they're pretty cool, as long as they fit well and are age appropriate.

9- Can you do flip flops on the street?

You can do flip flops on the city streets, but more of the leather dressy type (designer or Birkenstocks), and less of the Havianas. Haviana's have no real support for the impact of concrete, like the leather or Birkenstocks's do. I've worn Haviana's on the street and they are not the most comfortable in my eyes. Socks and sandals are a NO NO!!!!! A lot of people don't like flip flops. I'm on the fence about them. Men and women, if you're gonna do an open toe shoe, GET A PEDICURE OR CUT YOUR TOENAILS!!!!! Get those feet gorgeous before you step out in open toe shoes!!!!!

10- As a serious question, why should anyone care about fashion, especially when you see how much is being charged for items of clothing, when there are people who are starving and facing horrific daily challenges in the world?

Great question!!!!! I can only speak for myself about it, but I care about it, because like music and theater, it is an art form that can be used to take away from some of the pain and strife of the world today. I also care because this art form, as many others can be used to help benefit some of the things that ail the world (breast cancer, world hunger, AIDS and HIV prevention, malaria, etc). There are lots of things in the world, that if I constantly thought about it all, I'd go batshit crazy, because there is so much evil and darkness. Hell, even I've gone through some bad times, but all is not evil and dark.

Fashion and music for me, make this world a little easier to deal with. As for the cost of clothes in some of the designer places, the cost is usually factored into what it takes to make it and from where the materials are sourced, as well as the designer name attached to it. You may also have to factor in if it's handmade, or only a few are made at a time as well as a bunch of other factors (rare materials, seasonal items, environmental innovations, etc.).

Also a lot of that is factored on the business aspect (having an office, paying employees, paying the electric bill, etc). It ain't cheap to run a business, and this art form is tough for anybody, but it's accessible to everybody. No artist/designer wants to work for free and we all can't walk the streets naked (though some may have tried), so why not try to put our best foot forward and make the world better. Just putting a smile on your own face because you like how you look can change how you view the world and how the world views you. You can't climb a mountain until you take that first step.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this blog post!!! I also hope that I have answered your questions to your liking. I also hope that they were useful. If you have any more questions, just let me know in the comment section or on my Facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Punk- Chaos To Couture and Stephen Burrows: When Fashion Danced

While I was in NYC, I checked out a couple of fashion exhibits that I couldn't wait to see. I checked out the Metropolitan Museum Of Art's Punk- Chaos To Couture and the Museum of New York's Stephen Burrows- When Fashion Danced. I was electrified by one and was slightly disappointed by another. Stephen Burrows electrified me, but the punk exhibit was a slight disappointment.
The reason: It wasn't as punk as you were led to believe. It had all of the punk elements (safety pins, studs, torn pieces), but it looked like the sales floor of Bergdorf Goodman, Sak's Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus. The aggression that punk has wasn't there. The Vivienne Westwood pieces were and are tried and true punk as well as the few pieces by Gareth Pugh, and even thought the designer interpretations were interpretations of punk, what was missing was the edge, attitude, toughness.

This particular exhibit seemed whitewashed and watered down. I couldn't even take any pics at this exhibit. The book from the exhibit, provided the edge and attitude, by intermixing the pics of the real punks (Johnny Rotten, Richard Hell, Jordan, Vivienne, Malcolm) with the designer layouts of the other featured designers (Maison Margela, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino, etc.).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art did a similar exhibit previously called "Anglomania- Tradition And Transgression in British Fashion". That exhibit had everything that this one lacked. It had all of the toughness and edge that made punk what it was. Even the designer interpretations worked well and propelled punk into the present day. Even though punk is more of a British phenomenon, it did get a hold on American shores and take effect. In America, it was just as chaotic as in England, but it also bore some amazing artists, musicians, designers, etc. All in all, I would recommend checking out the exhibit.
The Stephen Burrows exhibit at the Museum Of New York "When Fashion Danced" was electrifying!!! It was full of color and style!!!! Stephen Burrows is an African American designer from the 70's that designed clothes with movement in mind. He was also the first African American designer to gain international status and a celebrated fashion innovator who helped defined the look of a generation.

Stephen designed easy glamour like Halston and the clothes moved on the body, which was great for dancing at Studio 54, Xenon, or Danceteria. He also made pieces that men and women could wear. No matter what he made, COLOR was always on the forefront, so everything EXPLODED with color, color and more color. I managed to get a few pics of the exhibit. I also suggest checking it out and getting the book!!!! FULL OF COLOR, glamour and easy fashion!!!
I would suggest checking out both exhibits. Both of them were quite inspiring and they are both simply beautiful!!!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028-0198
Phone: 212-535-7710

Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street
New York, NY 10029
212-534-1672 Phone
212-423-0758 Fax E-mail

Stay fashionable and sexy!!!! +