Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday This and That

DivaDebbi's beautiful collages of fashion and found items have enchanted me for months, so I finally asked her how she created them. Debbi told me Polyvore, so this morning, I went off to play. I still have a lot of questions, and very few answers, but I created this collage in no time at all, using a template on the site. It was fun. Now I must go try to figure out how to "do it right." Hop over to her page and see a Top Set she created - one that was judged top-notch by Polyvore. I agree!

I kind of hate winter. Today is a beautiful day if you look outside the window. It's sunny, the sky is blue, yet tonight or early tomorrow morning, it's predicted that we will have the pleasure of freezing rain. I'm so glad to don't have to go anywhere in the morning.

Today, between reading The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, by Chandler Burr, which for some reason I cannot read continuously for more than 30 minutes, and browsing spring couture on WWD, I have immersed myself in the fashion and beauty industries. Some of the fashions shown for spring are glorious testaments to the creativity of their creators. Even though some were a little risqué (I don't like peep show fashion, always created by men, it seems), I think the spring collection by Elie Saab was exquisite.

He explored degrees of transparency, with his signature crystalline embroideries scattered across fragile tulle and airy crinoline dresses - in familiar hourglass and fishtail columns, plus a new shorter, flaring Fifties shape. "Saab kept everything tone-on-tone, sticking largely to a pale palette of ivory and makeup pinks, sparked here and there by icy blues and hot coral." That quote from WWD pleased me.

Click on these photos to see that properly placed embellishment and strategic lining took nothing away from his glorious work.

Unfortunately, he let a few vulgarities through - Lord knows why. The gown below could have been sent by the angels if he had lined the top (which I assume will be done for his couture clients).

Tom Pecheux created the makeup for the runway. “I love the fact that the collection is extremely feminine and very, very transparent,” said Pecheux. “Everything is very delicate and fragile,” he told WWD.

So, too, was the makeup. A mauve-lavender hue was applied to models’ eyelids, while their eyeliner came in a burgundy shade. False eyelashes in brown were affixed piece by piece (Erin Lockhard's perfect way), and there was a creamy blush highlighting skin that was then topped with a thin layer of foundation. Under not over. “It’s really [about] little details,” said Pecheux.

Hairstylist Orlando Pita looped models’ tresses back in an asymmetric fashion. “There’s a roll, there’s a twist,” said Pita, adding of Saab: “Basically, he wanted the hair up with a side part and wet texture.” Put together, it all worked nicely. I thought it was a splendid presentation.

The Chanel show, although critically acclaimed, was, in my humble opinion, a bit bizarre. Strung together by pieces - the Chanel way - that look otherworldly when combined on the runway were shown in a garden setting that could have been a fairy tale if it weren't for the goth-like makeup worn by the models.

Their eyes encircled with dramatic feathered lashes, they could have been the birds in paradise. To me, the eyes distracted from the luscious setting and floral embroideries. It will be fun to watch these couture looks morph into the trends we'll see in the coming months.

For all you who have been waiting along with me for the new Frédéric Malle fragrance, it is now known, thanks to Perfume Shrine, where I read that Malle is going to launch a line of eponymous designer scents that "go off the beaten path." The first fruit of this collaboration is a fragrance for Dries Van Noten, one of the pioneers of the Antwerp "School of Six."

The new Malle perfume is touted to be inclusive of a new, natural Indian sandalwood from a sustainable source. Indian sandalwood, for those who didn't know, had essentially been eradicated from perfumery in the last 20 years or so, due to concerns and regulations on the sustainability of the Mysore sandalwood. The news, therefore, is a leap of hope for the industry in general and sure to create a real peak of interest in the heart of every perfume fan out there. The new fragrance is an oriental woody, smooth, and polished like the designs of Van Noten.

The composition has been undertaken by rising perfumer Bruno Jovanovich of International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF) The fragrance notes are citron, sandalwood, guaiac wood, saffron, Spanish jasmine, tonka beans, Cashmeran/blonde woods, vanilla. and musk.

There is a generous draw for a sample, so head over to enter if you are as anxious to be one of the first to sniff as I am. I had called Barneys New York this past week to find out when a new fragrance would arrive. The rep didn't know (clearly he doesn't read blogs!), but promised to call me when this new fragrance arrives.

I had been expecting a lily of the valley floral that never materialized. Malle's PR had denied the rumor (see Basenotes), but I had held out hope that two greats, Malle and muguet would unite for something very special.

There are two new rose fragrances at counters now. Both are lovely, although I haven't felt compelled to purchase either - yet. Balenciaga's L'Eau Rose Eau de Toilette, shown above, is described as "a sparkling violet fragrance. A twist of the iconic violet with a sparkling touch of blackberry and musk. The scintillating and youthful fragrance is a feminine scent that captures the sophistication of Balenciaga Paris with an enticing, floral musk." Odd that I didn't smell the violet. I have to go back when I don't feel a winter cold coming on. The second, by Cartier, is Goutte de Rose, shown below.

It's all rose - very pretty, bright, and reminiscent of a garden rose. The nose behind this fragrance is Mathilde Laurent. I remain undecided between the two.

For those of you who are Tom Ford fragrance fans, there are two new scents on the way. I don't have photos yet; you know how secretive Tom Ford can be.

Sahara Noir will be available, I'm told, in a bottle looks exactly like White Patchouli, except that it's completely gold. The box is also all gold. It will debut at Tom Ford Kuwait. Sahara Noir is said to have top notes of Italian bergamot, mandarin orange, violet, ginger and basil. The middle notes are grapefruit blossom, orange blossom, tobacco, and black pepper. The bottom notes are Indian amber, Tibetan patchouli, cedar, oakmoss, and leather. Although it wasn't mentioned, a friend who has smelled it noticed a licorice note that should be benzoin. It's definitely an oriental and is a new direction for Tom Ford.

There will also be a new Private Blend - a replacement for Amber Absolute. Little is known about it. The bottle color will not be brown like most of the line. No details on notes have been revealed. It will debut at Tom Ford Shanghai with a huge launch, along with new lip and nail colors.

That's all my news for today. I hope you found something here of interest.

Photo at top created by Best Things in Beauty using a Polyvore template; other photos courtesy of WWD,, Balenciaga, and Cartier


Anonymous said...

How does the new Cartier rose fragrance differ from their Baiser Voile? I love Baser since its lily and so fresh but I love roses. thanks Kris in Seattle

Evelyn said...

Well, the model in the un-strategically lined top doesn't look so happy either. I always wonder what's the point of that? I don't find it edgy but as if you forgot a piece of fabric. Maybe I'm fussy but that's me. The designs are beautiful otherwise. I'm not so happy with the colors coming out lately, pale, icy or pastel, they make me look wan.

I'm ready to try a new rose perfume! I shall get sniffing. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Kris,

Totally different fragrances. Not lily at all. Rose, perfectly rose.

Charlestongirl said...

Evelyn, you would like the deep blues and reds, then. I was drawn to the pastels.

I just don't understand why male designers like sending nearly naked models down the runways.

Eileen said...

Hi Evelyn,

I'm firmly in your camp when it comes to the pastel color palette and exposed nipples at the Saab show. I'd look like death warmed over in pale colors like those and as for the exposed nipples--fahgettabouit! LOL. I don't really understand why the dress was sent down the runway like that. It could have had a modesty lining that would not have detracted from the illusion of nudity in the least. J Lo's stunner at the Golden Globes was a perfect example of how a gown could give the illusion of nudity without actually exposing anything. Oh well, what's a fashion show nowadays without a bit of titillation!

Hi Charlestongirl,

I agree with you about the Chanel show. There were a couple of items I thought were lovely, but most of it seemed repetitious. I got tired of that stiff banded upper arm he put on so many of his things and as for the floral print pieces he created, they looked like they belonged in a totally different show. I thought the black lace on the eyes was a fun, slightly goth touch but I know a lot of people didn't like the runny makeup look--not that I'll be putting lace on blackened lids any time soon :-). I also liked the feathered hair ornament hanging forward and in their eyes. It was a whimsical, steampunk kind of thing; ever so tawdry and was one of the unifying touches to the collection. I can easily see a young girl rocking it just for the fun of it.

Have a great week everyone.

Charlestongirl said...

Eileen, you are spot on about JLo's gown. Lined! Still sexy. No need for nudity. She's a mom too.

I would gladly purchase one of Saab's gowns and have it lined. They were exquisite. Not a dog in the collection - if you consider that they can all be lined.

There were a few gorgeous pieces in Karl's collection, very few, that if I were a Chanel wearer, I'd buy. I am more in Ralph's league, though.

DivaDebbi said...

Oh CG!
I knew you would be a Polyvore natural and you are! My early sets looked nothing like this! Thank you for the lovely shout out. I think you will find creating these fashion and beauty sets to be as addictive as I do.

Adore the Elie Saab pics, thank you so much. Agree with all that the unlined chest is just silliness. I have sat at many a show and watched the front row of straight male executives eyes pop right out of their heads like a bunch of 13 year olds!

I am a Balenciaga fan and I like Rose fragrances, so I will be stopping into Sephora tomorrow.

Thanks...I think, lol.

Anonymous said...

Out of all the prettiness of the dresses in this post, the words that excited me the most were "burgundy eyeliner". After Chanel's failure to give us the black-red Roige Noir liquid liner in the holiday collection, I am looking forward to seeing if anyone else will come up with something in that colour category!

I have the Stylo Yeux in Grenat, but I want something more dramatic!


Anonymous said...

Elie Saab's designs are very beautiful, he rarely ever gets it wrong, except of course, when models are sent down the runway topless. You're right, why no modesty panel? You can always have the illusion of nudity without actual nudity. I'd say the illusion is edgy enough, wouldn't you?
Even Halle Berry's infamous Oscar dress by Saab covered her up (although they did have to add extra embroidery for that, beautiful as that dress was).

Out of all the prettiness of the dresses in this post, the words that excited me the most were "burgundy eyeliner". After Chanel's failure to give us the black-red Roige Noir liquid liner in the holiday collection, I am looking forward to seeing if anyone else will come up with something in that colour category!

I have the Stylo Yeux in Grenat, but I want something more dramatic!