When you think of the synthetic rubber-like substance Neoprene – developed by chemical giant DuPont – you likely conjure up things like laptop sleeves, knee braces or electrical insulation. But not any more – the form fitting fiber is now the fabric of choice for some high-end designers including Clover Canyon, Ted Baker and Alexander McQueen. And here’s the deal, it’s much more forgiving than you might think. I know – when you grab hold of it while the dress is on the rack, you are thinking, “No way – I’m not wearing a wetsuit to a cocktail party.” But the truth is the thickness of the fabric smooths and conceals a multitude of body sins – it’s almost like pulling on a full body “Spanx” but much more comfortable.
Clover Canyon – a Los Angeles based company – first burst onto the scene in 2011 with its bold Neoprene shift dresses that look like paintings. The line first started showing up in niche boutiques around New England more than a year ago but now it’s mainstream and can be found almost anywhere including Saks, Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus. In fact the problem with Clover Canyon is that its designs are too recognizable and the dresses have become common to the point where you might find yourself at that destination wedding next to a gal from Dallas wearing the same piece.
Now though, other designers are taking a crack at the synthetic rubber scene with more subtle designs. I wasn’t crazy about the Ted Baker pieces, but Alexander McQueen knocked it out of the park. Look at it this way, if you don’t like it, cut it up into round circles and give it to aspiring musicians, I understand Neoprene makes a great drum practice pad.
I know, I know. There’s still a lot of lace out there and it’s a lovely way to cover your arms if you don’t want to go sleeveless, but like I said last month, it’s tired and cliché. Everyone has that royal blue dress with the see-thru lace over a matching colored slip. So, let me suggest one of my favorite looks for the all-daunting upcoming holiday season–something literally kicky with enough variation in style that people won’t notice if more than one of you is wearing it. Try a pretty metallic dress with a steely fringe, or a simple Phillip Lim black cocktail dress with a feathery fringe. It’s an especially good look if you’ve got good legs and even better if you want to distract from your arms. Also, it’s a way to minimize accessories as the fringe is an accessory itself. I saw a really cute black Milly dress at Nieman’s with a sweet fringe or, your bank account permitting, you can go upscale with a Chanel fringe. Here are a couple of suggested designs. I’m partial to the cowboy look myself, but that’s just my thing.
Five new designers emerged from the Launch at Boston Fashion Week, held last Sunday at the W Hotel. In its sixth year, the event introduced Ty Sinnett, Maryanne Meservey, Chynna Pope, Dominique Quinque, and Jeffery Dickerson, who were hand selected from a pool of young designers. The Launch is an ideal platform for new designers to showcase their work and gain exposure.
The five runway shows started off with introductory videos of the designers., which were extremely well done, conveying the spirit of the individuals.
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Happy start to the fashion season everyone. There are a lot of new looks out there, many good but many to think twice about. As a self-confessed “shopper” I’m keeping an eye on trends for styleboston and don’t worry, it’s not all about my purchases. My favorite thing to say to myself is “That looks good, on her.” So as I tromp around the boutiques and malls of Greater Boston I’ll be posting regular observations and suggestions. We’re calling it “Emily’s List.” That title is taken you say? Too bad. Here we go:
Normcore, the idea of normal and hardcore fashion concepts colliding, has been floating around for a couple of seasons now but is still considered under the radar. If you haven’t heard of it, here’s what the NY Times has to say about this grungy yet light style.
1. A fashion movement, c. 2014, in which scruffy young urbanites swear off the tired street-style clichés of the last decade — skinny jeans, wallet chains, flannel shirts — in favor of a less-ironic (but still pretty ironic) embrace of bland, suburban anti-fashion attire. (See Jeans, mom. Sneakers, white.)
2. A sociocultural concept, c. 2013, having nothing to do with fashion, that concerns hipster types learning to get over themselves, sometimes even enough to enjoy mainstream pleasures like football along with the rest of the crowd.
3. An Internet meme that turned into a massive in-joke that the news media keeps falling for.
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Autumn’s most iconic piece is undoubtedly the knit sweater. It can be paired with just about anything in your closet, making that summer skirt last that much longer. Lucky for us, California brand For Love & Lemons is debuting their Knitz collection for fall 2014.
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EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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