Category Archives: Reviews

God Save My Shoes

God Save My Shoes Poster

via The Hollywood Reporter

Yesterday, I attended the New York premiere of God Save My Shoes, a documentary in which director Julie Benasra gives audiences a look into the shoe closets of the rich and famous, including Dita Von Teese, Kelly Rowland, and poker champ Beth Shak. This film studies why women are obsessed with heels and what emotions and messages these shoes convey by featuring not only the women who buy shoes, but also shoe and physiology experts including: prominent shoe designers like Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, and Pierre Hardy, a psychoanalyst, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

While the film itself is entertaining, especially for a girl like me who appreciates expensive footwear (though I can’t afford it), it’s a bit one sided. It touches on the impossibility of walking in five inch heels and some of the physical aliments that result from wearing heels, but doesn’t delve too deeply into the more serious long term problems heels can cause. (But we shoe fiends don’t think much about those anyway, do we?)  Furthermore, all the people profiled can afford their fancy footwear; there isn’t any mention of shopaholics whose purchases drive them into debt.

That being said, God Save My Shoes is a fun film, one that many fashionistas will enjoy for its great imagery, brief history of heels, and information and opinions straight from the designer’s mouths.

God Save My Shoes is playing at the Quad Theater in New York City through Thursday April 5th.

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Filed under Events, Reviews

Thoroughly Modern Milly

Milly by Michelle Smith S/S 2012

Hey folks; I’m back.  Sure I’ve been gone for a few weeks but I’ve been going to class, working at my internship at one of the coolest new publications around (if I do say so myself), running cross country, and deputy editing W27 Newspaper.  If my lack of recent posts has worried you, fear not!  I’m not going anywhere, except probably all over New York City in search of all things fashionable and particularly awesome.

During New York Fashion Week the Milly Spring Summer 2012 collection fell in the fashionable category and I had the good fortune to attend the show at the Stage at Lincoln Center.  It was quite a mod affair.  A version of this review was originally published in the September Issue of W27 .

The Milly by Michelle Smith Spring 2012 collection has a mod feel to it.  Models stepped out in front of a geometric-print backdrop to pulsing French pop music. The designer continued the color blocking trend by mixing a variety of brights on everything from slim pants to pencil skirts to wide leg trousers.  The collection has beautifully tailored Spring jackets as well. While some looks were very nautical, others were inspired by modern art.As for accessories, models wore pointy-toed printed stilettos and strutted in patent-leather platform boat shoes from Milly’s collaboration with shoe company Sperry Top-Sider.  Handbag styles included both small fabric clutches and large leather totes, all in bright colors and prints.  There was a handbag for every occasion as well as a number of sunglasses ranging from dainty cat-eyes to oversized rectangular frames.

The collection included a lot of  fun options for the preppy customer who likes to mix and match.

What did you think of the show? What shows have been your favorites this season?

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Foster the People at the TLA: Pumped Up Party

Energy, excitement, and some serious movement, those are just some of the elements that composed Tuesday’s Foster the People concert at the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia.  Fans of many ages gathered for the sold out show in the South Street music hall and danced to the infectious beats.

FTP has received a great deal of hype and media attention over the past few months.  With the single “Pumped Up Kicks” blowing up the airwaves, tickets for the Los Angeles band’s small-venue shows have been hard to come by lately.  A visit to fosterthepeople.com shows that the band’s next few gigs from July 1st to July 8th are sold out with the exception of the July 5th show in Tuscon.  According to the Arizona Daily Star the Tuscon show was moved to a larger venue when tickets sold out about a month in advance.

The hype is well deserved as the TLA concert proved to be an energetic spectacle of sound.  Foster the People played “Pumped Up Kicks” as well as many other songs from Torches that will no doubt become hits very soon.  The Foster sound incorporates a number of musical elements such as drums, maracas, and synthesizers.  Front man Mark Foster showed great showmanship as he transitioned easily from singing and strumming the guitar, to pounding to drums, banging on the keyboard and dancing, his arms and legs flailing across the stage.

Audience members that included everyone from hipster twenty-somethings to middle aged mothers danced and sang along, clapping their hands to the beat.  Even those unfamiliar with the band’s full repertoire couldn’t resist the danceable beats and Foster’s unique vocal tones.

“I went into the concert barely familiar with the band, having only heard their hit song “Pumped up Kicks,” and am now a huge Foster the People fan.  [I] can’t wait to buy and listen to more Foster the People songs,” said Ariel M., of Radnor Pennsylvania.

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Foster the People’s debut album “Torches” can be purchased on iTunes, Amazon, and their online store.  For links and the complete track listing click here.

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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Looks from Plato's Atlantis via MetMuseum.org

Transparent red microscope slides hang like scales down the long bodice of a mock neck, single short-sleeved gown.  Red ostrich feathers fade to black at the bottom of the gown’s wide skirt.

Dress, VOSS S/S 2001 via. MetMuseum.org

One of the opening looks of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this dress from the VOSS Spring/Summer 2001 collection examines the unconventional forms of beauty that played such a pivotal role in the late designer’s work.

Lee Alexander McQueen, a British designer, produced many avant-guard and conceptual clothing collections over his relatively short career, before tragically taking his own life in 2010.  He trained as a tailor on Savile Row and studied at Central Saint Martins in London.  His fashion shows were theatrical, and sometimes controversial, especially his “Highland Rape” collection.  He is known for his romantic and often fetishist designs that were inspired by many sources including nature, Victorian dress, and travel.

This exhibition takes the most intricate and interesting pieces of McQueen’s career from his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins to his posthumous Angels and Demons collection, and groups them by inspiration such as Romantic Gothic, and Romantic Nationalism.  Pieces from his time as creative director of Givenchy are also on display.  Accessories including, jewelry, headpieces, and shoes, by a number of collaborators are also shown.   The designs of the gallery’s rooms highlight each period of inspiration.  One is made to look like dingy London warehouse, while another has a haunted house feel.  The rooms also house videos of the designer’s most interesting shows.  Quotes from McQueen let the viewers into his mind and give insight into his inspirations for the collections.

The College Group at the Met hosted the McQueen for a Night event in conjunction with the exhibition on Friday May 20, 2011.  Local college students were given the opportunity to learn special facts about the exhibit, listen to a panel discussion, watch movies that inspired McQueen, dance, and create arts-and-crafts projects, as well as view the exhibit together.

This exhibition is a fitting tribute to McQueen, whose legacy will live on though his recognizable aesthetic.

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art until August 7, 2011.  Learn more about the exhibition by visiting MetMuseum.org 

*UPDATE: This exhibit has been extended by one week. According to Women’s Wear Daily the $50 “Met Mondays with McQueen” program begins Monday June 6 and offers visitors special Monday access to the exhibition between 9:30 am and 2:30 pm.

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Silk Sculptures: Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion

Entrance to The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Intricate pleats in countless colorful hues cascade from a wide ruffed collar down the back of a voluminous gown.  The gown’s colorful silk ripples call to mind a pinwheel, yet the dress’s shape provokes images of a butterfly in flight.

The Designer with the Sculpture Gown Mentioned Above via Outlook India

Insects, flowers, rainbows, Asian fans, architecture, each of these elements can be seen in the designs of Roberto Capucci, an Italian couturier and sculptor who gained acclaim after World War II and continues to design elaborate works of art to this day.  Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion, on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, showcases over 80 of his most impressive works and allows the viewer to take a close look at these masterpieces of fabric.

Capucci began his career at age 20 by opening an atelier in Rome’s Via Sistina.  The small but theatrical collection he showed in Florence in 1951 sold out to buyers and the young designer’s career took off.  In 1962 he established his couture salon in France but returned to Rome a few years later.  In 1980, in response to the rise of ready-to-wear, he decided to forgo to the twice-yearly fashion shows in favor of a single show each year in a different city.  The gowns he made were never reproduced.  They were no longer simply wearable garments, but silk sculptures.

Art into Fashion showcases Capucci’s designs with garments from his first collections to pieces and sketches he created for the Venice Biennale in 1995 and for the Museo della Fondazione Roberto Capucci in 2007.  Iconic dresses such as the Nove gonne (Nine Dresses) gown with its nine tiers of skits, and pioneering box-line frocks show his forward-thinking attention to silhouette and his fascination with nature and architecture.  Later sculptures feature complex pleating and striking color combinations, painstakingly created by Italian artisans.

The evolution of Capucci’s aesthetic is clearly seen in this exhibition.  The garments and sculptures are shown on simple dress forms that allow the viewer to truly appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the works and the intense creativity of the man who made them.

Dresses and Sculptures by Capucci via Expensiva.com

Roberto Capucci: Art into Fashion is on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until June 5, 2011.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/411.html?page=4&ticket=1

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