Archive for April, 2011

April 25, 2011

Gucci Glasses 2011 Collection

Gucci is one of the most progressive brands in fashion eyewear. A lot of attention is given to sustaining and growing the image of luxurious brand, task that is only possible by continuous quality control, design innovation and creative marketing. Over the years Gucci has been trying to create eyeglasses that will last many years and still appear updated and chic. Shapes are classic, temple decorations are modest and colors relatively versatile. Tortoise, brown and black are most common colors which can be traced to the collection of Gucci purses that today are a hidden dream of every fashion forward lady.

Year of 2011 has brought a number of trends that we covered in depth in a previous articles. Gucci collection has adopted the trend of oversized minimalism and gender neutrality that can be clearly seen in many of these 2011 models. Many frames fit equally men and ladies and instead of dictating the look, they only accompany and emphasise the style of its owner. In these Gucci sunglasses and Gucci glasses men look strong and rich, at the same time ladies look feminine and chic wearing same models. Enjoy the collection.

Gucci Ophthalmic Frames 2011

Gucci 1948 Gucci 1942
Gucci 1644 Gucci 3181
Gucci 3184 Gucci 3186

Gucci Sunglasses 2011

Gucci 1612/S Gucci 1636/S
Gucci 1646/S Gucci 1950/S
Gucci 2887/S Gucci 2890/S
Gucci 2897/S Gucci 2899/S
April 18, 2011

Roberto Cavalli – Success Driven by Instincts

Roberto Cavalli was born on November 15, 1940 in a humble family of a weaver and a tailor. Grandson of a prominent Italian artist Giuseppe Rossi, Roberto grew up influenced by art, beauty and creativity. His father died during the World War II impacting the lifestyle of the family. It was common for young Roberto to hang out with bad guys and to pick up fights on the street. After he finished high school his mother put up a condition to either find a job or to leave home permanently. Roberto chose the latter, however, after some time he made up his mind and enrolled into the Florence Academy of Art.

Roberto was a dreamer. He dreamed of glory. He made his first money painting on fabric. After he gained some skills in this field, his friend, who owned a small factory, commissioned him to do a large number of signature T-shirts. One of the models demonstrating the T-shirt was Bridget Bordeaux, who still young and unknown cheerfully walked along to the Cote d’Azur coast creating buzz. This was an official starting point in the career of Roberto Cavalli.

70’s were years of laying the foundation for his fashion empire. While he hasn’t gained as much recognition as Armani and Missoni, he used this time to develop his style and to obtain maximum creative edge for his designs. He became popular among local Bohemia elite.”This was the prime development time for the Italian fashion industry, we were all so free. The memory of war was still fresh, this is why people wanted to live to the fullest “, he remembers.

In 1972 Roberto Cavalli demonstrated his first collection in the grand Palazzo Piti in Florence. At that time his style was already clearly defined. Fashion for him was part of contemporary art. But his creations were criticized as a bad taste. You bet! Leopard and zebra printed suits, tight pants and rainbow coloured evening dresses. Chosen fabrics were not usual cotton and silk. It was coloured denim with lycra additives. Clothing looked more like a second skin.

The public reaction didn’t stop Roberto. In fact it encouraged him to experiment with fabrics even further. In the hands of a master, leather, another not so popular material at that time, has evolved into a flexible, lightweight and soft material to be used for regular clothing. Dresses made out of this processed leather looked completely natural. And again deception. Again Innovation: use of a laser to create drawing on the leather.

In the 80’s Cavalli’s name has been neglected. He just got lost among the many young designers and rivals such as Gianni Versace, who managed to win the glory of the “celebrity” fashion designer. Loud sexy dresses, bright colors, rich details and finishing took the center stage making Versace uber popular brand taking over runways and stealing critics’ attention.

But in the early 90’s fashion world has undergone slowdown. These were the years of minimalism, which followed a global economic crisis. A short era of supermodels has begun. Claudia Schiffer, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell – no matter what they wore as long as they did. They took the podium during the show. By the end of the decade a meaning of “brand” emerged in the new light. Focus has shifted to the business element of fashion and through the efforts of Tom Ford, brand that stands behind every garment, started to dictate the collection direction. And then many turned to Roberto Cavalli as a consistent designer who had a persistent style and it turned out that his style was associated with elements of brightness and flashy pop, rap, punk and rock’n roll.

In 1994, after 30 years, at the age of 54, Roberto opened his first boutique in San Barthelemy and 4 months later the second one in St. Tropez.

After the death of Versace Cavalli took the celebrity designer status. Celebrities lined up to get his gowns for Oscar ceremonies. Of course who else could surprise with color and associative animal decorative prints making star bodies centre in all magazine coverages. His client list counts a huge number of celebrities: from Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin to Sting, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sharon Stone. Many singers commissioned designer to dress their entire performance tours.

The success of the 90’s was so swift that by the early 2000’s, the company Roberto Cavalli SpA has expanded into several more lines, among which are youth line Just Cavalli, knitwear line, a collection of children’s clothing, accessories, eyewear, watches, perfumes and interior decorations. By 2001 revenues reached 147 million Euros (up to 10 times more than in 1996), 100 million of which came from licensing his brand name.

Today Cavalli is a self made millionaire, husband of a former miss Universe, Austrian model Eva Duringer, who was behind the scenes orchestrator of rapid growth of Cavalli empire. They live in their famous villa in Tuscany. Same place also houses the headquarters of the company, studio and a showroom. More than 2 million Euros has been spent on reconstruction and modernization of the house. Tax authorities has charged Cavalli family for writing off the house renovation as business expense in 2007. Court hearing stretched on for months, and witnesses were Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Cindy Crawford. Cavalli argued that the villa is indeed part of his business, it is used as an office to create new collections, as a studio for advertising campaigns and as a banquet hall for holding business entertainment functions.

However parties is not only a part of his business, it is the essence of his life. In his 70 years Roberto Cavalli sustained childlike enthusiasm and amazement to everything new. Latest creations feature floral pattern and snake symbols. Roberto dresses alike. Always jeans and elegant jacket, riders’ boots and a cigar. He sees the world through rose coloured glasses. “I do not understand people who to the question “How are you?” answer “So so”. I always say “Excellent!” even when it is not the case. You can only achieve something in life by tuning it to the positive channel “.

April 14, 2011

Top 10 Most Interesting iPhone Fashion Applications

There are over 1000 fashion related applications for the iPhone. These range from basic shopping applications to complex graphic games. We tried over 100 popular apps and narrowed them down to top 10. Winners ranked the highest on usefulness, quality and idea. All of the apps are FREE. Some of them are extremely simple and some took teams of programmers to create. Which ones are your favourite?

1. Go Try It On
This app tops our list. It’s a social media powered app that lets you upload photos of yourself and get an opinion from other people about your outfit. Most of the people seem to upload pictures right from the fitting room when deciding whether to buy the item or from their bedroom in the morning. You can comment on other people looks or simply vote Yea or Nea. Some people get hundreds of votes.After poking with the application for a while I realized that commenting on other people looks is actually as much fun as uploading your own. It took a while to set up the profile, but once it was done it was very easy going forward. Application is also useful to learn about different regions and what people wear in other parts of the world. You’ll find people from Europe, New Zealand and anchor cities such as NY, San Francisco etc.
2. StyleStudioStyleStudio is a free iPhone application that lets you design your own clothing. How often you came up with an outfit idea and you want to show it to someone but you don’t have enough drawing skills? StyleStudio does just that – lets you create your own designs for various clothing items such as pants, skirts, dresses and even some of the assecories. Beautifully made app with lots of options for silhouette, material patterns and colors, cuttings, add on details for each clothing type. You can create entire outfits and combine them on the model to see the fit. There is an upgraded version of this application with even more features. Excellent quality, graphics and idea implementation.
3. HairstyleEvery year we see movies with detectives trying to assemble photo robot of a criminal. They try face features and hair styles. Have you ever wanted to try different hairs on your own head? Hairstyle does just that – lets you match your head with different haircuts and styles. Free app has only 6 styles but you can get over 200 by upgrading for $2.99. If you are a hair dresser this would be a killer app for you. If not, it still could make a cool game to entertain your friends.
4. ModiFaceModiFace is a makeup iPhone application that lets you upload your own picture and apply makeup to it to see how it looks, presumably before applying it to the real face. Try different eyeshade colors, lipsticks, foundations, eyeliners, all with a few clicks of a button. This application is very well done as it lets to identify the face features and apply make up quite realistically. If you don’t want to use your own face you can use other models’ faces. Easy to understand description shows close up look of a face part and color swatches step by step. From there you can find a store and purchase eye shadow or beauty goods in case you are missing them from your make up tote.
5. Style.comStyle.com iPhone application is a collection of fashion show videos from latest fashion weeks around the world, critics’ opinion, designer and model interviews. This simple, but very well made application provides hours of video footage that will get you addicted. No commercials, no banner ads – just pure fashion channel on your iPhone. While there is no novelty in this application, it is much needed for true fashionistas as it taps to a professional world of fashion of its highest class.
6. Vogue Wish ListHow often you are browsing through a magazine wondering what brand name is an item that caught your eye and where to get it. One may say, well it is in the magazine, you can just check it online? Well, first, not all pictures are tagged for brand name, price etc. Second, what if you read about it in Chapters or in grocery store while waiting in line? You won’t remember the name. With Vogue application you can take a picture of the magazine and get an instant item description about the maker, price and where to get it. To completely rock the next step for this application would be to provide a list of all items from the magazine so we don’t need to scan each page.
7. Elle CanadaElle magazine utilized very simple, but very useful idea for its app – to share the latest gossips, tips and news via simplified menu. Get this application for free and your time will be filled with hours of quality reading, and photos that you can share via Facebook, Twitter or Email. We did check other similar magazines and found that Elle rates higher when it comes to ease of use and quality of information.
8. LuckyLucky magazine iPhone app provides ultimate shopping experience. Browse thousands of items and find them in local stores or online, check deals of the day or organize items in your wish list. App is quite simple and useful if you are out of ideas or looking for something specific.
9. Pop ArtThis is an Andy Warhol transformer iPhone app that turns a photo into colourful tiles. Very simple to use, takes seconds to get Andy Warhol tiles of any object that subsequently can be saved on your phone. Few configurations let you adjust the number and layout of the tiles.
10. What’s Your Fashion StyleYourStyle is a simple quiz to help you determine what style is yours. Some questions are a bit limiting, like what is your favourite store from a list of 5. None of them was for me, but I chose one most similar to my fav. I ended up being Trendy! Yey…

Other unique ideas:
1. iMade for Skate – a skateboarders’ portal and encyclopaedia of skateboard fashion, tips, ideas, stories and more.
2. Color Fashion $0.99 lets you change color of any part of the picture. It could be your hair, clothes, shoes or your dog!
3. iShoes and iBags – a collection of shoes and bags with built in search engine to search by brand and style. While these apps are free, they didn’t work for me. Good idea, but needs some bug fixing and/or richer database.
4. Justin Bieber Fashion $2.99 – dress Justin Beieber game. How about undress Justin Bieber?

April 11, 2011

The Most Glamorous Sunglasses of 2011

Every year we watch Haute Couture collections and analyze them to catch current trends. Collections are presented in Milan, Paris, New York each season and are followed by extensive media coverage in Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and countless other magazines and TV programs. This year is no exception. We covered noticeable eyewear trends earlier giving you snapshot on both glasses and sunglasses styles for 2011. But this year has also brought styles that stand above general trends. Here we present the most flamboyant, glamorous and beautiful glasses that are commercially available today. While completely wearable some will find them a bit too crazy. You either love them or hate them. But love alone is not enough. Question is “Are you daring to wear them?”.

Prada PR 05NS This mean looking frame is a first mover, “matrix” inspired style. It follows the general trend of raised eyebrow line, however is the only one of its kind among lead brand names. It’s the only cat eye shaped frame that is narrow. Minimalistic decor on the temple is thought through to fit both ladies and men.

Dior Panther 1
These Dior sunglasses are made special because of the combination of cat eye shape and animal print that reinforces the wild feel. One can almost say “Rrrrrr” when putting them on.
Dior Striking Another Dior with a name that speaks for itself – Striking. Yes, this “space craft” inspired sunglasses it is not only striking but also shocking and especially creative. It follows the trend of minimalism and will fit both men and ladies.
Bvlgari BV8081B Bvlgari chose to showcase this frame in all their 2011 print ads for a reason. It is the most representative of an idea of jewellery because of massive coloured crystal on the arm. It may not look very big on glasses picture, but it surely does on Julianne Moore ad that came out with a controversy adding the glasses even more glamour
Roberto Cavalli RC587 Snake has been a signature decoration on Roberto Cavalli glasses for a few years now. Ladies love it, men hate it. But these sunglasses got their snake to be especially huge. Extravagant color choices add viciousness to the style.
Valentino VAL 5766 This Venice mask inspired glasses are the most beautiful for Valentino 2011 collection. Can you count how many crystals are there? Perhaps around thousand. Can you only imagine how much work went into making this one? A true glamour! This one you can pass to your daughter and granddaughter years later and it will still be current. The model is available in silver and gold colors
John Galliano JG00010 John Galliano made a debut in releasing a collection of sunglasses last year. Many models are made above and beyond what is considered “ready to wear” by mainstream public. Many sunglasses have exaggerated something. It could be oversized shape, absolutely crazy color combinations or shapes. But this what made his sunglasses look a true fashion accessory. They are made to decorate your face.
Oakley Radar Range 

Oakley Jawbone

Oakley glasses deserve a place in this post. They create and follow their own trends, turning many models into classics. They are not in fashion business; they are in high quality sunglasses business. If you are looking for a glamor while you bike, skateboard or run, Oakley sunglasses will rock. Jawbone frame comes with two sets of lenses giving your more options to transition your look from striking to very striking.
April 5, 2011

John Galliano is Yet to Apologize and Other Loud Scandals

It has been over a month since John Galliano anti-Semitism and anti-Asian scandal broke out. Perhaps this was the loudest scandal in the fashion world in the last 25 years and given the breadth of news coverage this story tops as the loudest ever. Since February 25th when first news came out many things happened for John. He was fired by Dior practically on the spot after his arrest for the drunk-and-offend behavior. His collection presentation at Paris Fashion Week was cancelled. New evidence in form of video (posted here) from another similar incident was uncovered and again blew out the press. John Galliano has checked into a rehab to get treatment for alcoholism and anger management. But what everyone was waiting for has not happened yet – an apology! John has very vaguely admitted his alcohol issues through the lawyer. Just before the video was made public, he denied that incident has even taken place. He never gave an official interview explaining himself or issuing an official statement of apology. Is now too late?

While wondering how far this can go we dug several similar incidents where our beloved celebrities have saved their shaky reputation by apologizing on time.

Mel Gibson

On July 28, 2006 Mel Gibson was arrested for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol. During the arrest he has made anti-Semitic remarks that included a file language and blaming Jews for “all the wars in the world”. Gibson was released on bail the following morning at 9 am and very same day, on July 29, 2006 issued a sincere lengthy apology admitting his wrongdoings, unacceptable behaviour and acknowledging that what he said was wrong. He said “… I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said and I apologize to anyone who I have offended …”. A few days later, on August 1, 2006 Gibson apologized again specifically for anti-Semitic remarks and offered to meet with leaders of the Jewish community to affect healing.

Since the unrest Mel Gibson has given many interviews discussing his health and anger issues. While his life was never the same and his career was recovering very slowly, people today seem to have forgiven him and no longer bring the anti-Semitic issue to the table when discussing his other, very turbulent personal or career affairs. His new movie The Beaver with Jodie Foster is scheduled to be released to theatres on May 20, 2011.

Prince Harry

On January 13, 2005 The Sun, a popular British Newspaper has published a photo of Prince Harry wearing swastika to his friends’ costume party. This was a beginning of the loudest anti-Semitic scandal of the modern Royal Family. Just two days later, Price Harry issued an official apology “I am very sorry if I caused any offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise.” Despite, there have been threats to deny the Price enrolment to the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as well as world-wide criticism of Harry’s behaviour and even overall association of the Royal Family to Nazis. New historical facts were publicized including Duke of Windsor visit to Germany as personal guest of Hitler in 1937. The Queen herself had to step in and apologize on the Families behalf. Harry was still accepted to Sandhurst and successfully graduated since. However, just in 2009 a new scandal broke out when a voice recording from 2006 military training was unveiled. On the recording Price Harry issues very offensive anti-Arab statements in the address of his Pakistani Army colleague. Apology was issued immediately. Today Price Harry is very active charity campaigner splitting the time between army duties and humanitarian activities. After the announcement that he is set to be a best men at his brother’s wedding, Harry’s reputation is on the steep recovery.

Miley Cyrus

In February of 2009, a group picture of Miley Cyrus and friends posing slanting their eyes went viral. Despite that she was not the only one doing the grimace and even there actually was one Asian in the centre of the group, Miley Cyrus undergone a massive media criticism for the photo. Organization of Chinese Americans found the photo officially offensive and one lady sued Miley for $4 billion dollars. Just two days after the photo was released Miley apologized in her own teen way “I’ve also been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces! Well, I’m sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context! In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity!” Her life went on since and reputation recovered through her active charity campaigning for cancer, a new music album “Can’t Be Tamed” and movie appearance.

A Few More
There have been more racial scandals in the past 25 years, among them Michal Richards making most obnoxious racial statements to date, made in his November 17, 2006 live comedy performance. Apology issued at David Letterman show. Sharon Stone has been involved in anti-Asian scandal when she, despite her presumably Mensa-level IQ score, offended Chinese people days after worst earthquake of decade, in 2008. She offered her explanation to the reason of the earthquake by saying that it is bad Karma because “they” (Chinese) are not nice to her friend Dalai Lama (Tibetan). She has not apologized and her Dior ads were torn down from Chinese malls immediately and movies banned from Chinese cinemas.

Given these few stories we wonder when John Galliano will step out and issue his sincere and official apologies. Now it’s been almost 2 months and even though his collection of Galliano prescription glasses released in Spring of 2011, perhaps by legacy agreements, his other creative business halted.

April 1, 2011

Valentino Garavani – A Beauty That Prevails

 

I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.

Valentino Garavani is an avid collector. Perhaps that is the reason why his fashion creations are often eclectic. His models can be recognized by a few distinctive features: the perfect silhouette, thin fabrics, embroidery and, of course, frequently used the color of red.

 
Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani was born on May 11, 1932 in Voghera (a town in northern suburb of Milan, Italy). Not much said about his childhood, other than about his parents who were loving and supporting of his art interests. They supported him going to School of Fine Arts and in The House of Haute Couture in Paris, the most prestigious specialized training institutions at that time. After graduating he earned apprenticeship at known designer Guy Laroche.

 

Upon returning to Rome, Valentino opened his first atelier on the loan obtained from his father. If not for the accidental meeting with Giancarlo Giammetti, we might never have known grand Valentino he is today. At that time, only after a year in independent business Valentino’s shop was on the verge of bankruptcy. Giancarlo dropped from architecture school to join Valentino as a manager. Valentino has never had an unprofitable year since. And in only 5 years Valentino welcomed his most notable customer, Jacqueline Kennedy.

 

To save the company from financial fiasco Giancarlo moved the shop to less prestige location in Rome and put more concentration on marketing. Success picked up with press recognising Valentino’s talent and despite his already fairly mature age pronounced him “the golden boy of Italian fashion.” Valentino earned an international reputation after the show in Florence. A historic “White Collection” was presented in Florence earning the designer a prestigious Neiman Marcus prize. The collection was named this way because of the use of pastel colors and light fabrics. Also, notably in this collection Valentino’s now trademark “V” symbol was used for the first time.

In 1969, Valentino opened its first boutique, which sold “Prêt-a-Porte” models in Milan and then in Rome.

Throughout the years Valentino earned a reputation of a flamboyant party-man, spending tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes even millions on entertaining guests. He leads a very lavish lifestyle and owns dozens of château across Europe, yachts in many ports and artwork by Picasso and famous modern artists. He contributes the choice of this living standard to desire to experience lifestyle of his customers to help them look and feel beautiful through his clothing creations. This image was portrayed in detail in recent documentary “Valentino. The Last Emperor”. In the film one can see the most expensive collection celebration to date held in historical Coliseum.

 
Valentino often decorated his collection premieres and product unveilings by inviting famous artists and singers. Even in early years, in 1978 Mikhail Baryshnikov was invited to dance on Valentino’s fist perfume presentation in Paris.

 
Over the years, Valentino constantly expanded the boundaries of his designer talent and business drive. 1983 saw the launch of youth line “Oliver”. Gradually, the logo of the Fashion House “Valentino” appeared on the collector’s wallpaper, tiles, furniture and accessories such as purses, jewellery, Valentino glasses and sunglasses. In 1989 the designer opened cultural center “Academia Valentino”.

 

Valentino’s admiration of history and arts made him an avid antique collector. Many times elements of other cultures were used in his models. For example, his extensive collection contains a large number of Russian antiques. Inspired by the Russian cultural values the designer has created, for example, a dress with hologram of Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.

 
In 1998, despite the relatively rapid and successful development of its business, Valentino Garavani sold its Italian holding company to Partecipazioni Industriali, while remaining as Creative Director. After four years the fashion house has been resold to the Marzotto corporation. In early 2007 the fashion house has once again changed hands, this time taken over by the British company Permira. In 2008 after marking a 45 anniversary of his fashion house in Rome and presenting the “Haute couture” Autumn / Winter 2008-2009 collection, Valentino resigned from his position as a Creative Director.

 
Valentino throughout his career has created a unique style that was embraced by countless famous women: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis , Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Madonna and many others. His style is largely built on his own rich persona with his own ideas and interests kept largely unquestioned and not criticized, skilfully shielded by Giancarlo. In the Last Emperor he is quoted saying “After me is flood” referring to a saying of Louis XIV that means concentration on self importance. This perhaps is the secret of a true Valentino style.