Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby is nearly here and already inundating us with the glamour of flapper-era fashion. I have made no secret of my love for Chanel and her contribution to change in women’s fashion. As she said, “A girl should be two things; Classy and fabulous.” I also recently divulged my adoration for the cloche. Needless to say the 20s is my era.

So what is it about the spirit of the roaring twenties, jazz age, or as the French say “années folles (crazy years) that beckons me, you ask?

Well simply put “girl power”. It was an era of women rebelling against social constraints; freeing their restrained corseted figures from bondage, ditching the high necklines for free flowing styles and a casual ease, and cutting their hair. All this while still maintaining a sense of femininity and glamour. Come on! Women earned the right to vote. What’s not to love?

Elsa Schiaparelli wrote the ancient Greeks “gave to their goddesses… the serenity of perfection and the fabulous appearance of freedom.” I believe that is what the 20’s did, freed woman from the constraints of dress yet still let the goddess below radiate.

It was an artistic time teeming with jazz music, flapper styles, dancing, gin, speakeasies and Art Deco. Even Mickey Mouse was born in the 20s.

Now I do think an argument could be made drawing a parallel between the roaring twenties and the story of Sodom & Gomorrah. A thesis written on a time of great excess leading to divine judgment (Wall Street Crash of 1929) and then subsequent era of the Great Depression (God’s Wrath). But I leave that to the theologians and scholars to suss out on their own.

For me this is the historical period to which I would return if given a chance. So in that vein I present you with Louise. In all her simple elegant ease.

and a little something Extra~ a Great article on how to wear hats in case you’re inspired.

Monday Meditation ~ Elegance via coco

I recently watched Coco before Chanel (again) and realized that Chanel makes smoking look desirable. Seriously I think she made it appear chic…effortless…elegant.


This was of course recreated again and again throughout the movie by Andrey Tatou

coco-Andrey tatou

Bad habits (in my opinion) aside Chanel was a dynamic woman way ahead of her time. Or perhaps simply out of time with the world in which she lived.

Inspired I drew a sketch. I wanted to practice illustrating leather especially after discovering these studded Chanel Boots. So here is my Coco along with the words of the one and only…..


“A woman has the age she deserves.”

“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time!”

“Elegance does not consist in putting on a new dress. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future. Elegance is refusal.”

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening. Fashion fades, only style remains the same. Look for the woman in the dress. If there is no woman, there is no dress.”

“Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”

“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.”

“Since everything is in our heads, we had better not lose them.”

“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.”

by Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971),  a pioneering French fashion designer

SS 2012 Couture Preview

In this week’s Wall Street Journal they write “couture makes a comback as labels burnish image with unusual details and techniques”.  The Yin and Yan of fashion where couture creations play the balancing act between the high end and mass market. Here are a few snapshots of the Spring Summer 2012 Couture lines taking their own unique risks.

Atelier Versace Haute Couture Spring 2012: Of Corsetry and Lace ~

The presentation intimate, the front row star-studded and from the background sounded classic opera. Dripping in bright colors, corseted metallic gowns, futuristic details glittering with sequins and crystals the clothes focused on the curves of a woman’s body.


Armani Prive Haute Couture Spring 2012: Oscar Buzz Admist Glittering Gowns ~

Metamorphosis  and “the woman who is at first calm and easy and then is drawn out of her own skin” was the theme and Oscar was the buzz. Armani delivered striking a balance between the sweet silliness of the corkscrew headpieces and his simmering creations- the ‘Oceans of organza undulated and glittered like late-night waves’. Reptilian shimmering textures, shades of green, iridescence, draped fronts and second skin sheaths completed the evolution from flora to fauna, water to solid.


Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2012: Nothing But Blue Skies ~

With Stewardess sexy Lagerfeld managed to convey a sense of lightness, casual ease to couture. This lightness was echoed on the runway with a “monochrome rainbow” of blues, blacks, and creams. Structured and clean, dropped waists, puffed sleeves and exaggerated boat necks and subtle embroidery. The evening looks glimmering with crystals, beads, sequins and high shine PVC.


Dior Haute Couture Spring 2012: Back to Its Roots ~

Returning to the classic full skirts, nipped waists it was pure nostalgia with “All the structure of iconic Dior, thanks to lots of fittings, but all of it see-through,” Gaytten explained. There were layers of ultra-femme transparent fabrics- chiffon, organza, gauze, artful folds and just the touch of a modern edge with croc leather and checks.


Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring 2012: Pure Fairytale ~

A child’s Haute Couture dream, all fairytale, echoed in the gold leaf interiors of the salon. Opulence displayed in the delicate floral accents flooded with crystals and clusters of beads. Sheer tops, draped tops, raspberry, cream and salmon pink lace, folded knots sprinkled with fairytale touches everywhere the collection had a timeless aspect of a reawakened princess.

Images: Fashionista and Fashionologie