Fashionably First: Valentino Haute Couture Live Runway

I was recently on Valentino’s website (I admire the brand very much) and noticed that they will be broadcasting a live runway for the haute couture collection. I am incredibly excited (I have written it on my calendar in big, girly letters to let the entire house know) about this, mostly because Valentino always executes the most beautiful haute couture collections out there. The show will go on live on July 4th at 3 PM on the East Coast of the United States (it will be 6 PM there in Paris where the show is occurring) on live.valentino.com.

What do you think of live runway shows? Do you like that fashion houses are starting to incorporate the international public in their shows?

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Revel Resorts Review: The Sky Garden

Ah, the ever so luxurious Sky Garden at the Revel Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This feature of the Revel has created a lot of buzz and excitement from the public. The Sky Garden is a large, winding garden that is 114 feet above the private beaches on a huge balcony-like structure. It has one of the best views in the city, numerous sitting areas, outdoor fireplaces, access to the pool, and brilliantly done lighting and decoration. I spent a lot of time out on the Sky Garden, either in front of one of those outdoor fireplaces or in a rocking chair that looked out on the beach.

The only negative to the Sky Garden is the fact you cannot access it without a room key– security will not open the door unless you have one of the Revel’s room keys. While this can be annoying for the guests, it can be more bothersome for the public. One morning my mother and I went and ate breakfast at the Showboat Hotel and Casinos, and I met a gentleman who recently tried to gain access to the Sky Garden, but was denied. When I told him that I was not only a guest at the Revel, but I was doing a series of reviews on it, he was more than happy to express his opinion on the hotel. He said that it was styled well and had a lot of hype surrounding it, but he wasn’t sure how word could get out to the general public if the same public was denied access to a majority of the events and amenities of the Revel. I could definitely understand his point and opinion, which is why I included it in this review.

So, what do you think of the Revel Resorts thus far? Do you think that the Revel should allow the general public to come and explore some of the other amenities, such as the Sky Garden, that are usually reserved for just hotel guests?

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Summer Trend #8: The Peplum

Who would have ever thought a top or dress designed to create volume would become a huge trend? Well, this Summer (and this Fall as well), this has happened, and this voluminousness trend is known as the peplum. This trend was popular in the 1950s and 1960s, as well as based on the Dior New Look (which was discussed in a previous post). Peplums, to put it simply, are a structured waist embellishment– it is a pleat, wave, ruffle, or structure that flairs from the waist. Now, this trend will not work for everybody. So, if you have a more curvacious body, I would not recommend this trend for you. This trend works best for women who lack a hourglass hip, but this trend can be worn based on the structure of the peplum. The more hips or curves you have, the smaller the peplum; the less hips and curves you have, the larger and more structured the peplum. Furthermore, it is how you wear the peplum that determines how it looks on you. The peplum looks better when worn with a straight-cut trouser, A-line skirt, a pencil skirt, or skinny jeans– all of these contrast to the volume of the peplum and will make you look both taller and thinner.

Below I have included various types of peplums and how they can be worn. If you want to purchase a peplum trend you can go to most designers, but you can also find them at H & M, Forever 21, and most department stores.

What do you think of this trend? Are you interested in trying it? Let me know and don’t be afraid to try out a bold trend like this one.

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Valentino’s Virtual Museum

The newest trend for fashion houses is the online virtual museum. Thus far, Valentino is the only company to do this. Valentino’s Virtual Museum, which is currently available for download, allows you to examine hundreds of his designs, original sketches, and runway shows. The Museum also provides candid interviews from the designer and a history of the luxurious fashion house. Something fantastic about the Virtual Museum is that it has been carefully designed to look like an actual museum, almost like a new addition to the Costume Institute in New York City. The only thing I do not like about the Valentino Virtual Museum is that it is NOT REAL! I wish this was a real museum so I could go see these gorgeous couture gowns, the huge editorial photographs, and see how Valentino’s style has grown through the decades.
What do you think of the Valentino Virtual Museum? Do you like the idea and think other fashion houses should think of creating their own versions? Are you like me and wish this was a real place?

Has Hollywood Become Feminist?

As many as there are superhero movies this summer, there is an equal number of films with feminist themes or elements. Those films include SavagesThe AvengersBraveThe Dark Knight Rises, and Magic Mike. All of these films examine and discuss feminism in various styles and approaches, mostly based on their target audience and plotlines.

We will begin this by examining Savages. This film depicts the lives of three young people who are in a complicated love triangle and running a drug cartel. Now, this film does have the main female character kidnapped and used as a pawn to lure in the two male characters, but the feminism of this film comes in through the fact that the main evil villian is a woman– thus, ladies we are no longer sentenced to the role as wife or mistress to the drug cartel leader, we can be the drug cartel leader now. While this film creates a modern interpretation and combination of Pulp Fiction and Scar Face, it somehow empowers women in that we are being viewed as human– in that we can be as cunning, manipulative, and ruthless as male villians. So, perhaps, compared to the other films, this film expresses feminism in a negative concept, but with positive results.

The next film is the billion dollar Marvel movie, The Avengers. It is true that this film only had one female character, Black Widow, but the director seemed to make a conscious effort to ensure that their were women working for the government and that they were actually doing something, rather than just standing behind male characters or awkwardly in the background.

We will now discuss the new Pixar movie Brave, which has received mix reviews on the feminist themes. The film encourages young girls to assert their individuality and role in deciding their futures, as well as encourage young boys to respect girls and believe that girls are capable of being independent. What could be wrong with that? Well, there are critics that claim that because the main female character is not interested in an arranged marriage, she must be a lesbian. Now, I have no issues with homosexual people, but I feel that these critics are saying that women who want to define their own futures and individuality must not be interested in the opposite sex. I feel that in a modern society we should not be automatically assuming that a female character that is independent is homosexual. And if she is, what does it matter?

The next film is the final film to Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises. I find it strange that out of every comic book series, it took Nolan three films to get to one of the many female villians, Cat Woman. I am happy that we are finally seeing a female villian, but I was kinda hoping it would be Poison Ivy rather than Cat Woman. Nevertheless, by having a female villian we are, again, humanizing women by saying we are both capable of good and bad– that we don’t always walk into trouble, sometimes we start it.

The final movie we will discuss is Magic Mike, which has created a lot of recent excitement and critique.This is the first film since American Gigolo to discuss male prostitution and stripping. There have been many films that have explored female prostitution and stripping (in both condescending and sympathetic view points) but a very few that examine the male version. Perhaps this is because people do not want to think about women being interested in anything associated with sex (or even just innuendo) and women feel guilty over admitting they find someone attractive. It could also just be that men feel that showing this type of subject is too vulnerable and would portray men in a negative framework. Nevertheless, this film is showing that men can become involved in this business as the employee, rather than just the boss.

What do you think of these movies and their portrayals of feminism? Do you agree that there are elements of feminism in these films or do you think that there is no intentional feminist values or opinions in these films?

Couture or Costume: The Black Wedding Dress

In an earlier post I commented on the popular trend of red wedding dresses– in this post I will be discussing the infamous black wedding dress. As some of you may know, the white wedding dress did not become popular until Queen Victoria married in 1840. Victoria wore the white gown because she was the new queen of England (the last girl to inherit the throne was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth) and also to appeal to her subjects with the struggling British economy (with a lack of dye in the fabric, it made the dress cheaper). But what many people do not know is that another Royal wore white to her wedding before Victoria– Mary Queen of Scots, who was later publicly executed by her cousin Queen Elizabeth (yes the one mentioned earlier), wore white to her wedding because white was considered the color of mourning and she felt her arranged marriage to be the death of her independence. No matter how the white dress became popular, many modern brides are looking at colored wedding dresses. While I like the red wedding dresses and find the pastel dresses to be interesting, I don’t think I will wear anything but a white dress on my wedding day– so, the black wedding dresses are definitely not for me. Black wedding dresses seem to be in couture shapes and fabrics, such as the enormous tulle ball gown in photo 1. Continuing, these wedding dresses are probably gaining popularity because the go-to wedding dress designer, Vera Wang, showed many black wedding dresses (see photo 2).

What do you think of these wedding dresses? Would you want to wear a black wedding dress or are you like me and think you will stick to the traditional white?

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The Most Fashionable Couple: The Beckhams

Whether you love them or hate them, Victoria and David Beckham may just be the most fashionable couple out there in contemporary culture. With her sleek, structured style and his sweet style, the Beckhams seem to balance each other out and remain level-headed around each other. True, she never smiles and he plays the rough sport of football/soccer, yet they seem very kind with their children and each other. Within the past two years, Victoria has put out her own fashion line of geometric, structured dresses (see photo 3) and must have bags (see photo 4). Even when they were at the Royal Wedding, and she was pregnant, they were one of the best dressed couples there (see photo 2) besides the newlyweds themselves. But even when they are out in public (see photo 1) they are very well put together and compliment each other brilliantly. This couple is so stylish that they recently made the top spot on the BBC America show The Brit List: 20 Sexiest along with many singers, actors, and even members of the Royal Family.

What do you think of the Beckhams? Do you agree that they are the most fashionable couple or do you think there is a couple that is even more stylish?

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