Confessions of a former style victim

30/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Anna Marie Jagodzinska in The Dreamer | Vogue UK October 2010 (photography: Laura Sciacovelli,  styling: Charlotte Stockdale)
"I never look at labels when I buy clothes... What really grabs me is whether clothes are comfortable or not. I LIKE TO FEEL FREE"

Audrey Tautou, Vogue UK, August 2009

We often forget the last bit, don't you think? Even if we do not look at labels many of us still go for the look without any further consideration.

I can honestly say there were times in my life when I thought that I could walk in THOSE shoes or wear THAT dress simply because I liked the SHOES or the DRESS and didn't think much about the way I was going to feel in them. Yes, the final result would look attractive, otherwise I wouldn't put those things on to begin with, but often the clothes would be chosen for an ideal situation where the pavements are flat, there is no food to consume and, frankly, there is no need to move or breathe either. Sort of a stationary world of mannequins.

I don't think I was a fashion victim, though. It was more about being a style victim, wearing BEAUTIFUL things and seeing the result as a piece of art (and so often art is not about function, but more about an emotional impact).

As I got older I realised that no matter how much I like a certain item it will never going to work if a) it does not fit perfectly (in other words it restricts my ability to live my life) b) it requires a person to to change their lifestyle in order to wear it.

I still remember a horrible feeling of walking in very uncomfortable shoes simply because they added a special touch to the outfit I planned in my mind. Yes, I did look good, but what an excruciating pain I experienced a couple of hours later after we went for a walk! Almost as if something was drilling my brain, that's the only way to describe it (I am not even mentioning my poor feet here).

Another silly situation is to go out in a dress or top that's not perfect for you. All the glamour and sensuality you were after can be easily ruined if you keep adjusting it here and there and spend the evening fidgeting. Nobody would find this attractive.

That is why I always remind myself of how important it is to choose clothes that suit (and fit!) you and your personality and not the other way round. I still wear heels, but can spend ages shopping for my perfect pair of shoes. I know that once I found them I am going to think of looking beautiful and feeling free. Not about every single step I need to make in those shoes and whether or not I need to call a taxi now or a few steps later. I buy clothes that would help me express myself in every situation. I no longer pick up pieces that would require me to change my lifestyle in order to wear them, or go on a diet, so they fit me better. I just live and use my clothes to add more style and comfort to my life because this is the only way I can feel FREE.

Photo source: Anna Marie Jagodzinska in The Dreamer | Vogue UK October 2010 (photography: Laura Sciacovelli,  styling: Charlotte Stockdale)

Stylish quote

29/03/2011

via fashioned by love | vogue uk 2007
"It's always self-defeating to pretend to the style of a generation younger than your own; it simply erases your own experience in history"

Renata Adler

Photo source: Vogue UK 2007

Redhead

28/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Karen Elson in Hed Hot | Harper’s Bazaar UK October 2010 (photography: Alexi Lubomirski, styling: Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou)
The legend goes it was Christina Hendricks who suggested that Karen Elson dyed her hair red. Whether it's true or not, but this girl remains one of the most stunning red heads I've ever seen.

via fashioned by love | Karen Elson in Hed Hot | Harper’s Bazaar UK October 2010 (photography: Alexi Lubomirski, styling: Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou)
via fashioned by love | Karen Elson in Hed Hot | Harper’s Bazaar UK October 2010 (photography: Alexi Lubomirski, styling: Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou)
Karen Elson in Hed Hot | Harper’s Bazaar UK October 2010 (photography: Alexi Lubomirski, styling: Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou)
Photo source: Karen Elson in Hed Hot | Harper’s Bazaar UK October 2010 (photography: Alexi Lubomirski, styling: Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou)

Marion Cotillard sans retouching in Vanity Fair

26/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)
Marion Cotillard is one of those women whom I find absolutely fascinating and beautiful. She is natural and remains true to herself in every situation. Seeing her editorial in Vanity Fair, which went into print without any retouching, was a breath of fresh air and also a reminder that real beauty is all about perfect imperfections that make everyone of us so unique and very special.

via fashioned by love | Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)
via fashioned by love | Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)
via fashioned by love | Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)
via fashioned by love | Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)Photo source: Marion Cotillard in Vanity Fair Italy September 2010 (photography: Bruce Weber)

Carmen Dell'Orefice: living haute couture

25/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice Rolex campaign
I remember the first time I saw Carmen. She was featured in Vogue advertising Rolex. Gorgeous aristocratic looking woman with a quiet smile, amazing hazel eyes and a crown of silver hair. I read her name, Carmen Dell'Orefice, in a corner of the page, but my mind didn't register it.

It was just a name back then. A few months later I read a book called Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women by Michael Gross and saw the name again. The problem is that my visual memory remembered the face, but couldn't put the two together, so I just finished the chapter and moved on.

I guess, my fashion fate had a different path for me and I was destined to learn more about Carmen because just a few days later I read about her again. This time I finally I realised that THIS woman and THIS name are the same person. I was stunned, then stared at the photos and, a few minutes later, run upstairs to get the book and re-read her story.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice Madame Germany October 2010 (photography: Bryan Adams / Tim Petersen)
Carmen Dell'Orefice may not have been as popular as some other iconic models including Suzy Parker or Lisa Fonssagrives, but she is definitely the one who stayed in the business the longest. She is even featured in the Guinness World Records. "I am the least important model of my time" she said in her interview in 2008.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Irving Penn in Vogue 1946
One of the things I admire about her is that she still remains as beautiful as she was 40 years ago and turns heads wherever she goes. Horst P. Horst compared her to a painting by Botticelli. Salvador Dali was inspired by her.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon in Harper's Bazaar October 1957 | Carmen Dell'Orefice biography
She worked with the greatest photographers of the golden age of fashion including Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn (who she had a crush on), Erwin Blumenfeld, Francesco Scavullo, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon, Victor Skrebneski and Frances McLaughlin-Gill. She has modeled gowns for Mainbocher, hats for Mr. John and evening dresses for Galliano and the Emmanuels, who designed Princess Diana's wedding dress. She is still so busy and in demand that the Ford has to have a full-time agent to keep track of her bookings.

"I don't call what I do a career. I am just working. I refer to myself as a body for hire", she said to Pamela Fiori, the Town & Country magazine's editor in chief.

Carmen Dell'Orefice by Frances McLaughlin in 1946
Carmen was born in 1931. A daughter of a Hungarian dancer and an Italian violinist, she grew up with relatives and in foster homes as her parents were continually breaking up and moving back together, but moved back with her mother when she was 7. In 1944 Carmen caught rheumatic fever and was in bed for a year. In 1945, healthy again, she was approached by the wife of photographer Herman Londshoff on her trip to a ballet class. Her mother agreed to let her pose for test pictures on Jones Beach.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon in Harper's Bazaar October 1957
via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon in Harper's Bazaar October 1957
"I was a big flop," Carmen says. "The magazine sent my mother a letter saying I was charming and well brought up but totally unphotogenic". Later, her God father with connections introduced her to Vogue and a few weeks later the fourteen-year-old's image was spread across seven pages of the magazine and she signed up a contract with Condé Nast for $7.50 an hour. She was just a skinny kid in love with a neighbourhood grocer's son and now she was working for one of the biggest fashion magazines!

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice biography | Chanel campaign
Carmen didn't have an agent at first, but then she found out that Powers was trying to reach her. She visited the agency and saw her full-length photos on the wall in Power's office behind his desk. She joined up.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Horst P Horst in Vogue 1946
Dorian Leigh was one of her guardian angels or her Big Momma as Carmen calls her to this day. Carmen and her mother, both accomplished seamstresses, also made clothes for Dorian. Carmen rolled-skated everywhere she went. A bus fare was five cents and she didn't have it. Dorian gave her a taxi fare and Carmen took it to her mother to buy food with. In 1947, with Dorian's help, Carmen won a raise from Vogue to $10 an hour and the right to shoot ads for $25 an hour.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice biography | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Horman Parkinson in 1946
She was so undernourished that Penn insisted she get medical treatment and plenty of sleep. After a regimen of iron and B vitamins for her anaemia and hormone shots to force her into puberty prescribed by a Condé Nast doctor, Carmen blossomed into a nymph. "I was 17 and looked 35", she says. Soon after that Mr. John, a milliner, gave a party to introduce her to eligible bachelors. She suddenly realised that she was attracting a number of café society names including DeCicco, the Long Island playboy and Gloria Vanderbult's first husband, Igor Cassini and Joseph P. Kennedy.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice by Horst P Horst in Harper's Bazaar
At twenty-one she married William Miles, ten years her senior, with whom she had a daughter. The marriage didn't last; neither did her second, to a photographer Richard Haimann, nor her third, to an architect Richard Kaplan who said she was too old for him.

She returned to modeling because it "was only one thing I was qualified for, one thing I had experience at, one thing I loved doing" and succeeded.

via fashioned by love | Carmen Dell'Orefice biography
Her life story is not a fairy tale, but more of a beautiful haute couture philosophy of living a stylish life and remaining true to yourself no matter what life throws at you. Perhaps, this is her secret of her amazing ageless beauty? Who knows...

References: "Town & Country" travel magazine, 2008, Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women by Michael Gross

Photo source: Carmen Dell'Orefice Rolex campaign, Carmen Dell'Orefice Madame Germany October 2010 (photography: Bryan Adams / Tim Petersen), Carmen Dell'Orefice by Irving Penn in Vogue 1946, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon in Harper's Bazaar October 1957, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Frances McLaughlin in 1946, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Richard Avedon in Harper's Bazaar October 1957, Carmen Dell'Orefice in Chanel ad, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Norman Parkinson in 1946, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Horst P Horst in Vogue 1946, Carmen Dell'Orefice by Horst P Horst in Harper's Bazaar, Carmen Dell'Orefice in WestEast magazine Winter 2010

Natalia in Harper's Bazaar Russia

24/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)
I am doing my happy dance now because I finally got a chance to see new photos of Natalia Vodianova from Russian Harper’s Bazaar. I’ve missed her a lot.

via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)
via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)
via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)
via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)
Photo source: Natalia Vodianova wearing Ralph Lauren in Harper’s Bazaar Russia April 2011 (phtography: Antonio Paredes, styling: Olya Borissova)

Finding your inner French girl

finding_inner_French_girl_1

I guess, you already know that I am slightly (well, maybe a bit more than that, but lets leave it as "slightly") obsessed with France and Paris, in particular. This cute book was an answer to my craving for everything French while I was going through yet another period of nostalgia for Paris. Written by Debra Ollivier who worked for Harpers, Salon, Le Mode and spent a decade of her life in France, Entre Nous: A Woman's Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl was a truly self-help book, a pleasure to own and fun to read.

Stylish quote

23/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Natalia Vodianova wearing Christian Dior Couture by John Galliano in High Art | Vogue US November 2004 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)
"Fashion is a tool... to complete in life outside the home. People like you better, without knowing why because people always react well to a person they like the look of."

Mary Quant

Photo source: Natalia Vodianova wearing Christian Dior Couture by John Galliano in High Art | Vogue US November 2004 (photography: Annie Leibovitz, styling: Grace Coddington)

Monday for Marie Antoinette

21/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
Starting a week with an enchanting Marie Antoinette inspired editorial from Elle Sweden. It is fascinating how talented some stylists are to be able to play with clothes created for a 21 century princess and create an atmosphere as gorgeous and era-appropriate as this.

via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
via fashioned by love | Marie Antoinette inspired fashion editorial | Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)
Photo source: Elle Sweden August 2008 (photography: Jimmy Backius, styling: Cia Jansson, Lisa Lindqwister & Jenny Fredriksson)

For Japan with love and hope

18/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Shu Pei in Vogue China January 2011 (photography: Regan Cameron, styling: Katie Mossman)
"To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will determine our lives. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don't have to wait for some grand utopian future. 
The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvellous victory."

Howard Zinn

Photo source: Shu Pei in Vogue China January 2011 (photography: Regan Cameron, styling: Katie Mossman)

Stylish quote

17/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Camilla Belle wearing Christian Dior by John Galliano in Marie Claire US October 2009 (photography: Matt Jones, styling: Elizabeth Stewart)
"Style is primarily a matter of instinct."

Bill Blass

Photo source: Camilla Belle wearing Christian Dior by John Galliano in Marie Claire US October 2009 (photography: Matt Jones, styling: Elizabeth Stewart)

The magic of scent: Serge Lutens and his creations

16/03/2011

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens
“Perfume is a form of writing, an ink, a choice made in the first person, the dot on the i, a weapon, a courteous gesture, part of the instant, a consequence." 

Serge Lutens

Serge Lutens is a proof that a truly gifted person has a multitude of talents. Born in 1942, he began his magnificent journey at the age of fourteen as an apprentice in a prestigious hair saloon in Lille, his home town. Fashion photography and make up were his hobbies and friends - his models. Before he knew it the hobby became a job when Lutens moved to Paris and was soon hired by Vogue as a hair and makeup artist. He worked with Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens
In 1967 he was approached by Christian Dior to design a make-up line that US Vogue called "a revolution". At the same time he created beautiful photographs inspired by the works of Monet, Picasso and Modigliani. In 1974 Lutens directed his first short movie "Les Stars" followed by "Suaire" in 1976.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens
In 1980 he was hired by Shiseido to redesign the company image. The result was spectacular. Lutens photos were more haute couture art rather than just a make-up campaign.

In 1982 is the year when Serge Lutens creates his first perfume. Nombre Noir was a result of collaboration between Jean-Yves Leroy, one of the in-house perfumers for the Shiseido, Lutens and Yusui Kumai.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens
Lutens chose an extremely expensive natural osmanthus and a synthetic aromachemical, a big-stock damascone molecule of rosy-woody with prune. The perfume became infamous for its breakthrough packaging designed in collaboration among Serge Lutens, Shuichi Ikeda and Masataka Matsubara. "The most unremittingly, sleekly, maniacally luxurious packaging you can imagine: a black octagonal glass Chinese bottle nestled in exquisitely folded black origami of the most sensuous standard."

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes
In the early 1990s he conceived and designed the now famous "Les Salons du Palais Royal", a house of perfume. In 2000, he launched his own brand "Parfums-Beaute Serge Lutens".

I am glad this was one of my discoveries of 2008 because his perfumes to me are like a perfect little black dress. There is one created just for you and once you find it it makes you feel happy, confident, feminine, sensual and attractive to the point of no return.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes Numero December 2010
I fell in love with Serge Lutens perfumes three years ago as I went shopping for a new fragrance. I had a few well-known names in mind and was going to stick to my "shopping list", but as I walked in a shop I was instantly drawn to a shelf filled with very simple and chic perfume bottles. The names sounded intriguing and being a typical curious woman I decided to have a proper look. The shopping list was forgotten. I was a child in a confectionery shop.

First of all, let me tell you that I have a strong belief that perfect perfume is made in France. Always. Whether they have the best noses in the industry or just the best taste in scents, French perfume is always something very special and precious to me. The beautiful bottles containing precious elixirs came from Paris. It was a good sign.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes
Serge Lutens didn't disappoint. His perfumes resembled memories... teased senses... Some were sweet with hints of vanilla or cinnamon, some had woody velvet notes of cedar or neroli... One of two fragrances were truly unexpected and frankly, shocking. One particular scent (I wouldn't remember its name now...) brought a nostalgic feeling of being a little girl, back at home, with my mum. Her winter coat always smelled of perfume, just a touch of scent, which would blend and melt into the fur leaving a strange but very warm comforting cloudy scent. I smelled the perfume and it felt as if my mum gave me a hug. It was truly magical.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes
As soon as I inhaled the next fragrance I knew it was THE ONE. It was called Douce Amère (transl. bitter sweet) and smelled of chocolate. Actually, the top note of it is absinthe, but since I've never got acquainted with the latter, I thought of citronella that melted into chocolate. It was velvety and gorgeous. My olfactory was seduced.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes
One thing I must say is that these perfumes really do have three distinct groups of notes. First you smell the top notes and as they slowly disappear, the middle notes come out to tease your imagination and senses. The base notes appear 30 minutes later. The perfumes seem alive and you can really distinguish the movement of each scent as it comes out and slowly fades away... Like a beautiful memory.

via fashioned by love | Serge Lutens perfumes
There are three collections to try: Beige collection (17 fragrances including Douce Amère and newly introduced Miel De Bois), Ephemeral collection (Borneo 1834) and Black collection (5 fragrances). I strongly suggest that you avoid temptation of ordering any of these perfumes on-line before you actually smell them. The fragrances are truly personal and you may really hate one or two no matter how beautiful their names and descriptions are.

Rerefences: wikipedia, sergelutens.com

Photo sources: Design & Typo le Blog, The Window Barneys, Numero December 2010, PopSugar