Category Archives: Trend Forecast

Fall Trends! Ode to Draping & Ruching


Hey Glamazons,
I don’t pick favorites in fashion, but if there was any genius silhouette and fabric technique to emerge as a huge trend within the five years I’ve worked in this industry, it’s draping and ruching. Short of getting plastic surgery to become Beyonce or Amber Rose, there is nothing you can do to better create and accentuate curves than buy a draped or ruched dress. And they are everywhere this season (and next! Spotted on the Spring 2010 runways!!).
The gathering and/or layering of fabric vacillates between flowy and fitted to create a masterpiece where your flaws are flattered and your curves are celebrated. Don’t believe me? Check out the draped & ruched celebrities below and then try one on for size! And of course, I have tips for you at the end; when draping goes bad, you look like you threw a blanket over your shoulder and came outside…take heed.


Draped and ruched beauties – Kerry Washington, Sanaa Lathan, Zoe Saldana and Rihanna
Yigal Arouel showed a turtleneck dress that gathered at all the right places.

Derek Lam’s ruched dress creates a beautiful silhouette that’s subtly sexy.

Donna Karan – the fluid silhouette looks stunning on eveningwear.

Balenciaga skirt accentuates the curve of the hips while minimizing the waist.
Just gorg. This silhouette is truly a woman’s dream!! Make the most of a few tips (below) and draping/rouching will become your best friend this Fall:
Don’t – wear a draped dress that’s too loose, i.e. it mirrors a toga. Too much fabric and you look like Jesus of Nazareth.
Do – wear draped blouses with fitted pants and draped skirts with fitted tops to create a balanced, flattering silhouette.
Don’t – wear a too-tight dress. Nothing’s tackier than a ruched dress that’s too tight. It looks like the fabric is creasing at each of your stomach rolls. ::Shudders::
Do – be mindful of the length. Ruched dresses that are too short can look extremely cheap – looks that graze the top of the knees are always best.
Kisses,
Coutura

Would you wear…?

…Brandy’s distressed jeans?

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It IS a fabulous, funky trend, resurfacing from the ’60’s and the posh-grunge era of the ’90’s. And it gives you an excuse to wear those comfortable, worn-in jeans that you can’t bring yourself to throw away, even though they look like you were jumped, thrown in a mud puddle, ran over by a jeep then wrestled by a pack of dogs. Everyone has a pair.

My favorite jeans in the world from Express have tears right under the butt part (as they clearly were made for an ahem…flatter derriere) and yet I LOVE them. Several mornings, I’ve put them on in a bold, fearless, “I wear what I want” attempt to defy fashion convention. But I get embarassed at the thought of sitting bare-bottomed on the A train or worse, unraveling in front of throngs of NYC commuters…and run right back into my room and put on something decent.

Obviously, this hasn’t stopped Brandy, Agyness Deyn, Giselle Bundschen or Heidi Klum from umm…overexposure. But tell me, is the Edward Scissorhands look taking it too far?!?!?!

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Whoa.

I love a ruggedly posh look (read: ripped jeans and a blazer) but it HAS to be done right. If I was you, or Brandy, I’d follow these tips:

1- Professional ripped jeans completely defeat the purpose. If you’re not lucky enough to have some tore up, janky looking jeans in your closet, buy some that look authentic like Ashley’s or Beyonce’s. Or get a tad bit creative with the scissors and muck them up so they don’t look manufactured. DO NOT go overboard, I beg you.

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2- Please keep the rest of your outfit simple or atleast complimentary, to the distressed denim. Dress it up with a blazer and white tank or keep it casual in a plaid button down shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Tops that are too dressy or complicated (like Emma Robert’s assymetrical, ruffled blouse) will ruin the look.

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3- Less is more.


Rule No.3 is by far the most important. Too much loose thread and people start to get confused. Are they shorts or jeans? And btw, what weather does this even work for? If it’s summer, your knees get sweaty and damp; if it’s winter, the NYC wind will beat at your knees until they crack and bleed. And no matter the weather, one nonchalant pull of a loose thread and you’re pantless in the middle of the street…NOT glam.


As for me, I’ll keep my rips relegated to the knees (with a couple dispersed throughout the leg) and leave my worn out Express jeans for clandestine appearances in my apartment. What about you? Are you rocking the bold and rugged look like Brandy? Sound off.


Kisses,

Coutura

Beyond the Bedroom

I never understood lingerie (why spend so much money on something nobody sees?) until I started handling the market for our magazine. Now that tons of gifted bras, panties and chemises are coming my way (yes, the perks are amazing!), I’ve fallen in love with the soft lacy necklines, luxurious satin pajamas and 40’s pin-up style corsets, dripping with sensuality.

Every woman loves to feel sexy—that’s no surprise—but this season brings an edgy, fashion-forward feel to lingerie…and oh, one other major difference. You wear it outside the bedroom.
Are you still with me? Good.
Bows. Lace. Silk. Sheer. All boudoir staples that can be found in the collections of your favorite designers—in the most unconventional of ways.

Sheer Bliss

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From top left: Alexander Wang. Dior. Derercuny. Alberta Ferretti. Malandrino. Just Cavalli.

The translucent fabrics that were airy and wispy last year have given way to revealing patterns and curve-hugging silhouettes, that leave little to the imagination. Work them into your day wardrobe with a feminine blouse (like Derercuny’s printed top) and then slide into a slinky, sheer dress (worn over a slip) come nightfall.


Silk Road

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Both by Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana says life is a pajama party with silk menswear-inspired pj’s, elegant and sophisticated enough to be worn out on the town. If the thought of strolling around in your nightclothes is unnerving, you can opt for a more subdued version of the trend. Silk blouses paired with structured pieces, like pencil skirts, will strike the perfect balance between night and day.

Kate Beckinsdale nails the pajama look in a sexy, satin YSL wrap dress at the Heroes/CNN tribute.

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Amazing Lace

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From top left: Jean Paul Gaultier. John Galliano. Just Cavalli. Marchesa. Rachel Roy. Tracy Reese.

There’s no fabric as romantic and charmingly feminine as lace. John Galliano’s stunning blue gown aside, lace noir is Fashion’s edgy answer to the dainty white, muted lace of seasons past. It lends itself to dark romance—dramatic, erotic, vampy and bold.
Here are three ways to tone down the va-va-voom appeal for day: (1) Layer the lace so it becomes less transparent and gives more coverage. (2) Pair with structured suiting or denim. (3) Choose full, ladylike silhouettes, like Tracy Reese’s halter dress. For night, throw caution to the wind and go dangerously sexy like Gwyneth (blazer is optional).

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Take A Bow

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From top left: Marchesa. Christian Dior. Elie Saab. Lanvin. Marc Jacobs. Temperley London.

Oversized bust bows are my new obsession in life. They’re playful and coquettish in the most modern, fashionable way. The perfect accent to a beautiful dress like Marchesa’s frill-seeking number, worn by glamazon, Eva Longoria, to the Emmy’s.

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Bustier Beauties

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From top left: Alexis Mabille. Carolina Herrera. Christian Dior. Dolce & Gabbana. House of Holland. Berardi.

Bustiers provide a classic, vixen silhouette, lifting and cinching in all the right places. This season gives you two looks to choose from: the seductive top coupled with a voluminous skirt for a look that’s high in contrast or a minimalist study in sleek, like Berardi’s fitted dress. I love the look of a bustier under a blazer with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt, it screams sexy sophisticate.
What do you think about the new lingerie-for-day? For one thing, it certainly takes care of the problem of no one seeing my expensive innerwear. With these refined, revealing looks, you’re sure to be the center of attention.

Kisses,

Coutura

Photos: Style.com.

Sole Mates

My secret? I can barely get through packing for Accessories and Cover shoots without being transfixed by the most beautiful, alluring shoes that come into the office. My many lovers—John Galliano, Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent—have all been the sole object of my affection at one point or another. What happens is I sit on the floor of the Fashion closet and stealthily try on stilettos, platforms and pumps instead of focusing on the fifty pairs of shoes I have to do inventory for in the next hour before the messenger comes to pick up the trunks. And from the looks of the Spring 2009 Collections, my clandestine love affairs will only be getting worse…

Romance was in the air during Paris Fashion Week, where the heels were alive with Miu Miu’s painted wedges, Louis Vuitton’s tribal motifs and Dior’s fertility Gods (the latter are shoes a lot of people shouldn’t be wearing, Dior…).

Take a look, I promise, it’s love at first sight!

John Galliano’s modern metallics

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YSL’s wire-framed stunners
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Dior’s divine delights (fertility gods complete with pregnant bellies)
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Chanel’s feminine 40’s glam
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Louis Vuitton’s fashion tribe
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Lanvin’s embroidered beauties
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Miu Miu’s painted masterpieces
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Alexander McQueen’s crown jewels
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Viktor Rolf’s eclectic heels
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Wow, aren’t they beautiful?! Glamazons, which shoes are you head over heels for?
Kisses,
Coutura

Legends of the Fall: Part Deux

2 – The Booty Calls…
Confession: I am a shoe feine. I crave the perfect boot like a junkie and go searching the city streets (hello West 4th!) until I find it. Why do you ask? Because the right boot can take your old, warm-weather looks through fall without missing a beat. 
Let me explain: no one notices that you’re still wearing your gray t-shirt dress from two summers ago when it’s paired with a killer pair of fringed, embroidered boots (trust me, this happened Wednesday). Whether knee-high or ankle, leather or suede, boot or bootie, this season’s shoes are a step in the right direction.
-Knee-length boots
Believe it or not the more tarnished and beaten down your boots look from trekking through city streets, the better. Wear them flat or with heels (from three-inch to kitten). I personally can’t get enough of the contrast of knee-length boots with pretty dresses, but they’re just as glam over skinny jeans, tights and leggings.
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You better work, Ang!!! And Vanessa’s slouchy boots are so laidback glam.

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How amazing are these boots! Get the slouchy, sexy look for $180 at aldoshoes.com.
-Peeptoe booties
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“It’s Fall, why on earth are you showing your toes?” Because it’s fierce, that’s why. 
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The dominitrax style peeptoe will murder any outfit (in a good way)! These killer booties are $119 at ninewest.com.
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Okay, I’m drooling. Jimmy Choo gives you a more subdued, sultry version in suede for $550, jimmychoo.com. I know, the price is outrageous, but aren’t they just beautiful?
-Fringed suede boot
Fringe adds the perfect Western, bohemian flair to any outfit. Keep the rest of your outfit artsy (i.e. no structured menswear pieces or lacy, frilly looks) and you’ve got a look that’s retro, carefree and fun. 
TIPS AND TRICKS
Just limit it to one fringed piece per outfit or you’ll end up looking like Pocahontas…def NOT glam.
These cute, girly Betsey Johnson booties are $320 at zappos.com, and come in black and pink for the adventurous types. (And very cute pink bottoms, Betsey, a la Christian Louboutin…love it!)

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Or you can go for a classic, Western look with these suede boots by Minnetoka that boast removable bead and feather details. $75.95 at dsw.com.
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3 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits
Okay, there’s nothing wrong with the Hillary-esque tailored, monochromatic pantsuit…umm, right? 
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But Fall’s pants are just as smart, sassy and confident—and more stylish by a landslide.
-Loose wideleg pants
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They’re flattering on everybody, I promise. If you’re hippy or boy-shaped, get in good with your tailor.  If you’re short like me, invest in some comfy heels. 
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And the wideleg jeans are pure genius. Throw on a blouse and blazer and you’ve got the most comfortable work pants ever.
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And for $34.50 at oldnavy.com, they’re a no-brainer.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Be mindful of the hem. It should break right at the top of your shoe and slant on an angle toward the back. Highwaters are a natural disaster.
-Skinny jeans

…are back with an edgy, rock and roll vibe. Look for an ubercool color like washed-out grey or fresh details like ankle zips and cropped lengths. Dress them up with red shoes, dress them down with black patent flats. Gap has an amazing pair for $55 on gap.com.
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Work, Rih Rih!

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-Leggings/Tights/Knee-Highs
Please somebody tell me where I can find those amazing liquid leggings Miss Rih-Rih was wearing. (Update: I spotted them at Urban Outfitters for $88 by Members Only but I’ll be getting the H&M version…thanks).
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I’d shy away from the brights since in the words of my gay crush, it’s allllll about monochromatic color this season. So lengthen your legs in gray and black hues with matching footwear. And pair your leggings/tights with a long tunic or cardigan to keep the sex appeal at bay (remember proportions are key!).
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The best selection of tights, leggings and knee-highs I’ve seen so far is at H&M. They have everything from leopard to metallic to striped for reasonable prices. 
Oh and ladies, by the way, you can never look like you tried. You literally woke up and threw your clothes on and voila, you’re a bonafide glamazon. 
Let me know which trend you’ll be rocking, and which you wouldn’t wear to your funeral if you were paid in advance. As for me, I’ll be rocker chic in a cropped leather jacket and peeptoe booties (already bought mine from Aldo!). But I’m won’t be wearing harem pants unless it’s Halloween and I’m Princess Jasmine…
Talk soon.
Kisses,
Coutura

Legends of the Fall


Are you one of those people that are in denial when summer leaves in an instant (seriously, wasn’t it just warm out)? I am. I swear I’m going to wake up one day and it’s going to be ferociously hot and I can’t walk down my block in my havianas because it’s sectioned off for cook-outs that last to 1 in the morning with ribs sizzling away on the grill and loud club music blasting and iceys for days. But alas, the only people out that late anymore are the crackheads, the only ribs you get on the grill are made the George-Foreman way (which you gotta love, but sigh, it just doesn’t taste the same). And club music blaring while I’m snuggled under the comforter watching Project Runway? I wish somebody would.

For people like Rihanna saying good-bye to August means packing up their summer clothes and getting in a Fall-to-Winter shipment. Lovely for them, but I’m a little too entry-level for a complete wardrobe change. And I wouldn’t blow the money if I had it. All I do is pick three double-duty pieces from their wardrobes and my closet becomes cold-weather-ready faster than you can say “65 degrees.” Here’s how.
1 – Under the Cover-ups
God bless the Bohemians! I shamelessly wore my little Ikat boho dress to work with a long cardigan and cowboy boots and it felt brand new! And thank the Lord because I just moved into an apartment and do NOT have the $ to buy anything really new without sacrificing lesser important expenses…like food and electricity. My cardi singlehandedly saved what would have been a drab Fall wardrobe. 
I know what you’re thinking: rocking your pretty tank tops and sleeveless dresses under a cardigan is an old trick, but the Fall season gives you plenty of ways to update your cover-ups. The number 1 difference? These cover-ups should become a part of your outfit, instead of feeling like an add-on.  
-Knee-length cardigans
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Glamazons, it doesn’t get any chic-er than this. Buy a neutral color like gray, brown, navy or black, even deep purple. Pair it with a dress of a similar length and a complimentary hue…or a blouse and a pair of knee-length shorts…or a fitted top and short skirt. And you’re done.
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And the cost of your new go-to piece? A mere $19.80 at http://www.forever21.com. (They have a million cardis that I just love, including the open front cardigan for $22.80…so glam!)
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You can belt it for a shapely silhouette (skinny belts work) or just let it flow. The look is stylish, comfortable and somehow, supersexy.
TIPS AND TRICKS
But ladies, beware. A few missteps and this lax, luxe look can go irreversibly sloppy. Keep these tips in mind:
-It’s worth it to invest in a cardigan that’s constructed well. Read: an unfinished hem, loose threads and moth balls will make you look like you went shopping in your grandma’s attic. 
-Balance it out. Wear loose cardigans/sweaters over fitted dresses, skirts and tops. Or long cardigans over skinny jeans. Too loose begs the question of if you bothered washing at all. Too tight completely misses the mark.
-Have fun with it. Bohemian is synonomous with understated, uninhibited cool. Play with texture, experiment with color. Just don’t go overboard (i.e. bulky layers, accessories galore). When you’ve got it right, it will feel pulled-together and effortless.
-Cropped jacket
Two words: contrast proportions. Keep the top long/fitted and the bottom full (or vice versa) and you’re good to go. Exhibit A: this glam Jil Sander look.
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Mariah, Mariah, Mariah. Here’s how NOT to do the cropped jacket. The pop of color is glam, but the proportions are all wrong. The look is too tight and the length of the top and short hem of the leggings is a jarring combo.
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With a flowy top and fitted skinny jeans, Rachel Bilson gets it right.

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-The Blazer
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I am just in love with how a blazer can make a look instantly sharp and sophisticated. Don’t believe me? I remember going to my internship at Marie Claire wearing a great blazer, my old Express jeans (atleast three years in) and a flimsy white tank top…and looking like a million bucks (for about $50 altogether, I swear!) 
This season brings new styles like the smart contrast piping (below on Vanessa) and the All-American color scheme, worn by the fabulous Blake Lively (Gossip Girls).
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You can just as easily throw your blazer over a corset and be ready for a night out with the girls.
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The right blazer is worth every dime. In terms of fit and construction, a little quality goes a long way. Ralph Lauren works their signature look for about $300 at http://www.macys.com (love the crested emblem, it gives a preppy, Gossip Girl, private-school-snob feel). 
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But I’d get the Nine West blazer for $129 (also, http://www.macys.com) with the edgy zipper pocket detail.
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-A leather jacket
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A la Rihanna. Rocker chic is one of the few winter looks that’s just as irrestibly sexy as an Herve Leger bandage dress. It’s tough and glam with just a touch of goth. 
Just avoid over-styling like the plague. The jacket should take the lead, think Beyonce, and everything else is Kelly and Michelle. 
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Everywhere from Bebe to Member’s Only has incredible styles. Check out leather stores too, like Wilson’s, for amazing variety.
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Crisp and classic. $595 at http://www.membersonly.com.
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This jacket is calling my name! The tough luxe leather meets the soft ruffle trim for an unbelievably sexy look. $249 at bebe.com.
-Colored scarfs
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For $5 on a New York street, the wrapped scarf looks unjustly expensive. It’s the perfect way to cover your chest lest you get a cold (like your mama told you) with style. And a color that pops—orange, green, fuschia—looks so fashionable against a casually cool ensemble. 
If it’s super cold, take it off and wrap it over your shoulders. If you just got a touch-up and there’s a surprise rain storm, Erykah-Badu it until you get under cover. Worn over a blazer, blouse or dress, this scarf is your new best friend.
Avoid getting a too-long scarf like Lindsey (below) as it tends to overwhelm the look. 
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Beyonce’s scarf falls at the perfect length. 

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And if it’s too long, tie it like Kylie..

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Btw, love the YSL mail bag…very glam!


More Fall styles to come…talk soon!
Kisses,
Coutura
Photos: JillSander, WireImage, Getty Images.