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From the runways of London to the streets of Boston, maximalist print mixing is au courant for Spring. Joseph Gordon Cleveland takes on the trend in a surrealist editorial shoot with photographer Eric Levin.

All apparel, accessories and shoes courtesy of Neiman Marcus Copley Place.

Photographs by ERIC LEVIN, Elevin Studios
Art Direction & Styling by JOSEPH GORDON CLEVELAND
Hair by JILL COLWELL, Studio 28
Makeup by STACEY FRASCA, Studio 28
Featuring OKSANA for Maggie Inc.


Fashion Democracy Winner

A packed house at G-Star RAW Boston on Newbury Street to vote on Instagram for their favorite FW14 styles in an interactive fashion event produced by DressCode Boston.

The social engagement featured a style competition curated by the contenders: Alex Weaver, Managing Editor at BostInno, Georgina Castellucci, Content Curator at Notes on Lifestyle, Alexander Ingram, Blogger at A Boston Blazer, Ola Munia, Image Consultant at Styles by Ola, Edlira, Stylist at That Style Movement, Vane ssa Lundy Blogger at Vanavainvintage.com, Ferns Francois, Model at Maggie Inc. and Janee Lookerse Lifestyle Blogger at Yellow Bird Yellow Beard.

[huge_it_slider id=”10″] Two days before the event, the models gathered at PhillipoStyle in Boston South for an epic photo shoot, which wouldn’t be revealed until the show. The images were uploaded to @gstarboston Instagram, simultaneously, as each model revealed their Fall and Winter styles to the in-store crowd. The attendees and online followers cast their votes with each “Like” of the image of their favorite looks. Congratulations to Ola Munia for winning the competition.

After the final walk, the party continued and so did the Instagramming. Event guests browsed through the store racks, enjoying cocktails by Deep Eddy Vodka, and the music of DJ Alexander Padei. Meanwhile, the models gathered on the back stairway and roof of the building for another live photo shoot.

The event showcased G-Star RAW through a range of styles to which all Bostonians can relate. From preppy, military-inspired, biker looks to bohemian styles, DressCode Boston wanted to articulate the brand’s lifestyle and inspiration of “core denim range with a sophisticated tailored line that emphasizes proportion, craftsmanship and detailing.” Mission accomplished. 

 

It takes a certain amount of chutzpah to pull off wearing a hat–an amount that typically hovers above the (mostly hatless) heads of most Bostonians. Hats say: Look at me, damn it. Now. And: That’s right, bitch. I’m someone to be reckoned with. If not even sometimes: You know you wish you had guts enough to wear this. None of which are sentiments most New Englanders are exactly comfy with. The ubiquitousRed Sox cap notwithstanding, hats just aren’t our thing.

I’d reckon that was all changed last Monday night. The Boston Fashion Week show of Marie Galvin, milliner and longtime Boston fixture who for years has struggled with a local aversion to flamboyance, had just that kind of impact.

That’s largely because Galvin made two very smart decisions for the show: First, she went for wearability. Gone were her outrageous sculptural creations that may look beautiful behind glass, but would all but eclipse their wearer. (And have, in the past, emitted squawks of, “Where on earth would I wear that?“) No, she kept things earthly, unpretentious, and simply pretty with intricate fascinators festooned with netting and feathers; pom-pom topped wool caps; ’20s, ’30s, and ’60s-inspired numbers topped with petite poofs of feathers. The only hints at architectural derring-do–a fascinator of silk multi-curls here, a gorgeous, asymmetrical black meringue for the finale–were still sized well enough that they stayed proportionate to the models’ heads. Meaning they came off as daring rather than overwhelming or silly.

Her second smart move was tapping CONTRA to style the show, all the clothing and accessories pulled from Neiman Marcus with an eye toward elegance and streamlined refinement that still nodded to the runway. Gauzy blouses, python-patterned pencil skirts, silk shift dresses, and fur-collared coats–all of it a mostly neutral palette, and all of it as ladylike as it was edgy. They were the perfect foil for the hats–and arguably the most convincing argument for the hats themselves.

Together, Galvin and Contra showed Bostonians that not only are hats wearable every day; they showed them how to wear them–as an improvement to an already spectacular outfit. That’s the kind of equation capable of proving to the hatless public that style statements are nothing to be afraid of. And that, even as vintage-inspired as many of Galvin’s creations may be, is an idea that’s time has finally come.

For the premiere of StyleBoston’s third season, I partnered with an all-star team to bring you what I consider to be one of the best Fashion Forward features to date: a behind-the-scenes look at our Fall 2011 editorial shoot.

I’ll admit, as a whole this F/W season was wildly underwhelming for me.  Throughout the shows in February, it seemed as though designers were reacting to continued buyer hesitation by pushing aside designs that could or would have felt new and fresh. Instead, in concert they gave us collections that not only pandered to the last-standing dollar, but also diluted, with their severe safeness, the very essence of the brands which designers were scrambling to save from financial woes. Gone were the idiosyncratic signatures of each designer–the differences that distinguish one brand from another–and in their stead was a mild sea of sameness. The waves advanced but never broke, and if they ever reached the shore, well, I must have missed them from where I was standing.

As a result of this conciliatory consensus among designers, the editorial pages of America’s major fashion tomes–Vogue, Elle, W, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire and the rest of their ilk–were chock full of predictable features hailing the neoclassicist revival as the next best thing since the no-carb diet. “Finally, designers have come back to reality and created sensible collections that every woman, in every city, in every country, of every shape, of every age, can wear!” Never mind that no fewer than twenty designers brought you nearly the same pencil skirt silhouette. Never mind that you most likely already own that very silhouette and have for over a decade. These are clothes you can buy, said the editors. And though seeing that tired phrase over and over again definitely annoyed me,  I could hardly blame them. After all, designers lose money when their more outlandish pieces don’t sell and their retailers scale back their seasonal buys. Designers losing money = designers having smaller advertising budgets = designers spending fewer advertising dollars with America’s paragons of print.  Either way, it was clear: the buzzword of the season was buy buy buy buy buy, and it was repeated ad nauseum.

My word was somewhat different: bored.

Of course, I enjoy a somewhat rare position: we at styleboston maintain a pretty strict separation between our sponsors and our editorial coverage, so I’m not beholden to tell you to buy buy buy buy buy whatever’s sitting on the racks at your nearest boutique or department store. That, frankly, just isn’t my thing. If you already have it, you probably don’t need another, and if we’re being honest with ourselves, you don’t actually need any of this. But fashion, at its best, is an incredible form of escapism, a bit of fantasy that you can put on and take off as you see fit. By my estimation, when a design hits that mark, it’s always a worthy investment.

All that in mind, the team and I selected our favorites from the Fall 2011 season for this feature. That labels like Comme des Garçons and Proenza Schouler made it onto that list is to be expected,  but there were certainly a few surprises, too: a diaphanous cocktail dress from Christian Siriano, for example. The designer himself dubbed the tulle confection the “ChaCha” dress because of the way the skirt floats and sways away from the body as you move, and frankly, who could resist a dress that makes you want to dance until you drop? I mean, damn, even I was tempted to purchase the thing, and I don’t wear dresses (they don’t fit) and I hate dancing (because I can’t dance).

All kidding aside, I hope you’ll take a few moments to peruse the feature, Cosas Oscuras, and maybe, just maybe, remember that while fashion is a serious industry, it is not serious business. Consider some of fashion’s most historic moments… In 1947, Christian Dior rebelled against post-World-War-II fabric restrictions by using over 20 yards in a single silhouette. It was a perfectly pedantic whim, but in the process he débuted the revolutionary New Look. Yves Saint Laurent fantasized about a modern power woman, slick and in control. That fantasy manifested itself as the Le Smoking tuxedo. It was the first clear foray into menswear as womenswear, territory designers are still mining for inspiration to this very day. Or Savage Beauty, the Met’s Alexander McQueen retrospective, which not only drew record crowds, but was then extended, then sold over 20,000 new memberships as people vied to skip the four-hour lines. When it finally closed, the museum could hardly meet demand.  In short, a little fantasy goes a long way.

And for those who wonder at my admittedly pretentious title, Cosas Oscuras, I’ll come clean: the phrase was plucked from one of my favorite lines of Pablo Neruda’s verse, “Te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras…” I won’t bother translating it because, hey, this is the digital age. You, like me, have google.

So take it in, love it, hate it, burn it (difficult through a computer screen, but I admire persistence!). And, as always, please feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section.

Much love,
JGC

Those of you who read my Letter from the Editor last week know that I spent the Sunday prior in Gloucester, slaving away on a photo shoot. I didn’t tell you why or whatfor because, these days, I like to keep my secrets.

That said, the results are now ready! I have to admit the day ended up being far more fun than it was work (due largely to the crew I worked with, and largely to the phenomenal weather that day…).

So take it in, kids: one of the last vestiges of summer. As a California transplant, I’d say I did all right, non?

All clothes courtesy of Neiman Marcus & Stel’s; all shoes courtesy of Sperry. For purchasing info, leave a comment and we’ll give you the details…

As promised, the results of my impromptu, avoidthisgoddamned heat photoshoot…

Many thanks to the team at Marc by Marc Jacobs (Dani, my wifey; Connor, nicest guy evahhhh; and to the sales associate whose name I cannot remember but who pointed out the dart necklace, I love you and you’re awesome and no, I’m not just saying that because I cannot remember your name..), and to Brian James and Matt Atwater for sweatin’ to the oldies with me to get some crisp, cool images.

If you cannot already tell, this Mattwater kid is becoming a bit of a muse for me. But don’t tell him that. Homegirl doesn’t need a big ego. Leave that to me…

Yes, I realize how many people have used this tagline before. I don’t care.

The blistering heat of late inspired my latest impromptu shoot, focusing on easy, summer pieces with enough interest to keep you from the t-shirt doldrums, even when you feel like your skin is melting off.

Not feeling particularly up to trolling Newbury for an afternoon, I pulled exclusively from Marc by Marc Jacobs. 1) I was lazy and hot and sticky and miserable and hated everythingeveryoneGODDAMNITGETMEOUTOFNEWENGLAND, 2) they always have dope ish, and 3) their team is always super helpful and super goodlooking.  Legit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly person in that store, which only further confounds me because they are always so NICE. The combination makes me vaguely uncomfortable. I’ll let you speculate as to why. [Also, special thanks to Connor for somehow always tolerating my frantic visits. You’re a gentleman and a scholar and I like your shorts, but I told you that already.]

ALL THAT SAID (with nothing actually being said…), I’ll have the images up Friday morning. Just in time for you to run to the store, grab some ish, and get yourself to the nearest beach.

Teaser: I may or may not have included a pair of electric pink speedo boyshorts. If that’s not a reason to check back then I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

When Conor Doherty calls to tell me he wants to shoot, invariably I’m in. Add to that one of my favorite Boston models, Matt Atwater, and you have love affair on film. [Don’t worry, Conor, it’s purely platonic… you’re a good-looking guy and all but I’ve seen you wear chinos. You’re safe for life after that one.]

I was also alerted to an incredibly cool apparel, accessories, and shoe company out of Korea, VirginBlak, by our model, Matt Atwater, and have been perusing their site almost non-stop for the past three days…

An aside: If I recall correctly, our ersatz shoot took less than an hour in total. If only I could be as efficient in my writing…

Much love,
JGC

Model Matt Atwater, Photographer Conor Doherty, and I decided on a whim to tool around our beautiful town for an ersatz photoshoot that turned out to be anything but.  To illustrate the point: the image above is nearly straight from the camera, uncropped and unretouched. More to come Monday…

Until then, get out of the house and enjoy the weekend! AND the Bruins celebration and its concomitant day of sanctioned debauchery! Having never heard of the Bruins until Wednesday evening when the name was being screamed at an ear-exploding decibel throughout my South Boston neighborhood, I feel a little too late to the party to show up now. I also don’t care about sports and am lazy.

To borrow from Lyyke Li (one of my favorite things to do, clearly):
“Yeah, I’m workin’ a sweat but it’s all good. I’m breakin’ my back but it’s all good, ’cause I know I’ll get it back. Yeah, I know your hands will clap.”

Much love –
JGC

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