Monday, May 27, 2013

For the Ballers: Four Pieces a Man Should Invest In


For The Ballers: Four Things to Indulge In


The Gucci Carryall: A Bag You Won't Mind Carrying Around






Since I can remember, Gucci has boasted their signature red and–green three–stripe panel, found on everything from their horse–bit loafers to sunglasses. 
But today, many “brand heavy” companies are finding themselves in somewhat of a bind — after over a decade spent pushing their brand affiliations through artfully placed logos, along with mainstream media pop culture icons taking it to the extreme extreme - many customers now prefer their luxury goods to be vaguely anonymous looking now, and rightfully so.  
The Rule of Thumb: ONE piece of your ensemble may whisper a good brand, not scream it.  It is no longer all about branding - in fact, it’s looked down on.  Modesty has never gone out of style, gentlemen.


A Brioni (or Loro Piana) Overcoat: The Finishing Touch





Recommended for men who live in the chillier regions of Italy ( ;-) ) or aged 40 and above (generally), the overcoat of a well–dressed man isn't an afterthought, a throw–on, or a thing he should consider later. The overcoat is serious business, and those who know what they are doing and/or can afford the absolute best have turned to Brioni or Loro Piana to deliver overcoats worthy of the rest of their outfits.
Take this double–faced, double–breasted cashmere overcoat: with an impossibly soft hand, (I’ve seen this coat in person) and no interior support or lining whatsoever, it delivers unbelievable warmth with an expertly tailored fit. It also projects an authority that even the most confident among them could use. After dropping a pretty penny on this puppy, let yourself enjoy the added layer of warmth, style, and attitude.  You deserve it.


The New, Updated Moncler V Coat


Moncler has found happy medium between tradition and technology: down–filled jackets with simple wind–resistant shells historically worn by upper elite members of both the fashion world and the sporting world as well. Today, the brand has teamed with Japanese designer Hiroki Nakamura with its heritage–inspired Moncler V line. This jacket brings a shell that has three times as much cotton in it as nylon — which makes it look like a blast from the past with it’s vintage patina, but delivers all the wind and water resistance you need.

On the flip side, look for something like this in puff vest form as well.  Great for cities such as San Francisco (with climates known to shift dramatically during the day, depending on what neighborhood you may be in or what microclimate you’re dealing with), and for blustery spring and fall days in other cities that aren’t yet fully freezing.





Loro Piana Cashmere Pants: The Ultimate in True Style with Endless Comfort

This is a piece that you could definitely live without, but for any special occasion - these wonderful pants offer a welcome variation from suit pants.  They are soft, lightweight, refined, sophisticated and effortless. Every man needs a pair of these at some point in his life.  
Go for taupe, camel, cream, dark brown or grey.

xoxo,
Viva

Spring Sunglasses Guide - 2013

Hello Readers - 

Take a look at my Spring '13 Sunglasses Guide.  Yes it's that time of year again, It's time to shell out on a new pair!


Every single one of these shades can go for Men or Women, in my opinion!


Enjoy.





Neff



So cheap you can buy them in bulk, then scratch or lose them as you enjoy your best summer yet!




Sunglasses ($20) by Neff Headwear, neffheadwear.com.


Burberry


All-black, with a versatile square shape, ideal for a morning spent dealing with basic business.

Sunglasses ($260) by Burberry, us.burberry.com.


Oliver Peoples


The frames are titanium and the lenses are polarized sand-quartz, so they'll fit right in with the rest of your nice clothes.
Sunglasses ($535) by Oliver Peoples, barneys.com.


Oliver Goldsmith




A for-sure investment pair of sunglasses - these are Excellent: A double-bridged aviator, with noticeable contrast from top to bottom. Not for the frugal spender.
Sunglasses ($380) by Oliver Goldsmith, barneys.com.


Persol


Persol's to me are almost like a fresh, yet grown-up and sophisticated version of Ray Bans. It's time you graduated, my friends. With Persols, everything from the silver arrow to the temple tip reflects the impeccable, effortless Italian design behind these. Many pairs fold in half for convenience, but even if the pair you fall for don't, you'll still find yourself springing for the purchase.  
Not only to be worn just on vacation - I URGE you (men and women) to bring a little bit of Italy into your everyday look.  The ones that matter will notice. 
Genevieve’s personal pick.
Sunglasses ($360) by Persol, sunglasshut.com.


Toms


A brand known for it’s use of sleek chrome detailing, application of color and use of wood, it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of Toms. Not only do they typically bring a whimsical note -  but a good deed, too. For every pair bought a portion goes to charity.
Sunglasses ($139) by Tom's, toms.com.



Warby Parker



I couldn’t author a sunglasses reccommendation guide without mentioning Warby Parker.  For both readers and sunglasses, this brand continues to wow me.  Their use of unusual and rare materials continues to improve with each season, and I believe they're one of the frontrunners in the optics industry. 

Almost every style they produce is one I’d recommend, and they come in at an extremely reasonable price point. Cheap and versatile? Take them to work, sailing, swimming. Just don't lose 'em, because they will probably sell out.

Sunglasses ($95) by Warby Parker, warbyparker.com.



Zanerobe





These Zanerobe "Bowie" shades are unisex (as are most good pairs of sunglasses). Your girlfriend will have no idea though, until she decides to steal them.

Sunglasses ($180) by Zanerobe, zanerobe.com.



xoxo,
Viva

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2013 Academy Awards


Charlize Theron, Dior


Charlize Theron in Christian Dior Haute Couture

What was the first thing you thought of when you saw this dress on her on Sunday night?  Oh yes, that's right....it was THIS we thought of:


Because of the exceedingly obvious similarities between these two dresses, Charlize gets a bit robbed on this one.....why would she wear basically the same dress that Anne Hathaway wore a few weeks ago?  To be fair, I will say that Charlize's dress fits better.  I also like how the fabric is smooth and silky looking, instead of pleated or puckered like Anne's was.  Also, Charlize's bodice fits CORRECTLY which I am applauding, because that was my main gripe with Anne/s.  Other than that.....TWINSIES!! <3<3  Even down to the hair!  Oh, that reminds me....this hair.  It just doesn't look right.  Its a free country so if you feel more awesome in short hair - go for it.  But, I'll secretly be missing your long, luscious, soft locks.




Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior Haute Couture





I have mixed feelings on this one. When I first laid eyes on her in this gown, (I was late to watch the show and turned it on right as she came onstage to present to someone) Jennifer was walking across the stage to present, and the entire dress was swaying, gracefully moving with her body and both my boyfriend and I literally gasped and went "Oooooooooohhhhh" at the same time. It makes a grand impression.  And for a minute I thought to myself "They hit the nail on the head with this dress for her.  This totally what I thought she'd wear, and how she should look."  However, over the past day, I've been revisiting the way I feel about this dress!  Let's start with the things I love about her look.  This dresses fabric -is soft and pillowy, I love the drama of the full skirting, and lastly that delicate little chain highlighting her back.  However, I do think she stayed close within her comfort zone which took out the element of surprise.  People.com actually predicted the exact dress she wore - so if that doesn't say predictable....  Also, the torso portion of the dress looks longer and longer each time I look at it, and lastly....I felt her hair could have been styled a LOT better as a sleek, high ponytail which would have finished this look off with the perfect touch.  Her hair was normal, plain, dowdy.



Nicole Kidman, L' Wren Scott

 Starts out great....then you continue to pan down.....to those random spirals.  Dammit!  This really could have been a winner for her, but those silly spirals ruin the whole damn thing.  WTF.  I wonder. Which designer thought "lets silly up this gorgeous dress with some stupid spiralies down below!  Oh how fun!"  No. Not fun.  They don't even go with the theme of the dress.  The upper portion is sleek, sexy, dark, serious....then that shit.  Real potential.  She has real potential in general.  She could be a fashion icon, easily with her looks, grace and height.  Tsk tsk.          Pfffft next.




Jessica Chastain in Giorgio Armani


This dress on her was fantastic.  THIS is a great example of knowing your colors and choosing clothing that flatters, accentuates and plays with your coloring.  It doesn't really come through in this picture, but this coppery color with a silver overlay really was eye catching in real life.  The dress FITS well, which is important with bodices.  I also appreciate how the gown was left long and hemmed to the correct length ...just because our mothers didn't want us to ruin our long dresses by dragging them around doesn't mean we should shorten them - which ruins the entire look.  The only thing about this look that left me wanting more was the lack of accessories.   This could have used maybe small, dainty accessories - a long, thin teardrop style gold earring...perhaps a few thin gold jeweled bangles.  Or, on the contrary: a statement necklace could look really fabulous, maybe with dark metals and dark stones to mix up the whole vibe.  However -it would have to be the absolute PERFECT necklace or there's real potential for disaster.  Best Dressed Nominee!



Juliana Rancik in Juliana Rancik


Juliana usually picks gowns that let her fly under the radar, I'm guessing due to her position on Fashion Police.  I found out after writing this critique that she actually designed this dress herself. " She doesn't look right.  This seems like a pick she wouldn't have normally gone with.  Seems like a weird choice." Well, now we know why it seemed to not fit in, and sadly....the creation didn't turn out so well.  I can see what she was trying to do, but it's a poor interpretation.  It could have been a lot more dramatic and would have worked much better. Those folds all over the damn place are folding here, there, everywhere - the randomness is not accentuating to her body. Additionally, she looses her womanly figure in this while at the same time looking wide? That's a pretty hard feat to accomplish with someone of her size. The look all together is messy and cluttered. It's boring, it looks cheaply made (I wrote that last bit about cheaply made BEFORE I learned she designed this dress herself) On top of it all....is it just me or does she looks like she herself is not liking this dress and is sad to be in it.  Shame.  Better luck next time love.




Kelly Osbourne, Tony Ward Couture



This is the definition of underwhelming.  Is she trying to lay low?  Why would she pick something this boring?  Maybe she feels pressure to set trends and be a fashion icon now and shes trying to lay low.  But honestly, there is nothing about this dress that would make me want to style it or even wear it myself?  I'm looking at it and looking at it, and I cant find a big problem....but I'm still SO BORED. Meh.  She's been a big disappointment.  And she seems so high and mighty on her show.  You know what? No. I've changed my mind - this is actually offensive. It looks like a spiderweb, with little silver threads all over - worst dressed nominee.




Kerry Washington in Miu Miu



This is a pretty dress, pretty look.  For me, it stops there. She has a record of wearing dresses like this - dresses that in my opinion, hold her back.  She tends to go for dresses that don't necessarily get her noticed.  SHOW US YOUR STAR, KERRY!!!!  I don't want her to fake it per se, but I think she's absolutely gorgeous and should be in a FANTASTIC dress that will make the entire room stop.  I'd love to see her in something like what Halle Berry wore, and if she took more risks instead.  It's cute, but it also doesn't really look like anything special, either. A girl could wear this to her prom and it would fit right in.  In my opinion, this really wasn't an Oscar worthy dress. I do hope she comes out of her shell soon, because I think shes beautiful and a great actress.  I want more SENSATIONAL out of her! 




Ann Hathaway, Prada




I'm guessing that she feels she's at the level of stardom now where extravagant, glamorous, beautiful Oscar Gowns are now past her. This looks like something borrowed from Sex and the City's Charlotte circa 2001. Also, her nipples were taking a lot of attention from the look, and that's all anyone could focus on!  That and the fact that this dress is just a plain disappointment.  Additionally, I felt the slit was not flattering.  Have you noticed that ever since the Angelina Jolie superslit all these slits are emerging everywhere? The slit hits at a weird place, and then every so often you get one of her pasty ass, white legs emerging in a non attractive way....smh, lol.  She could have done a lot better and produced something like she used to back in the day before she was an Oscar Winner.  Oh, also!  So, I guess she changed at the last second because her gown shared a similar style of embroidery to her Miserables costar, Amanda Seifred because she wanted to stand out from her costars.  If that doesn't speak volumes about her....ugh. So annoying.  I saw the gown she was supposed to wear, and it was slightly similar but nothing to make such a big deal about.  Then, she releases that dramatic apology to Valentino...blah blah I'm going on a tangent but my point is, get over yourself Anne!  And you ended up on all the worst dressed lists!





Kristen Stewart, Reem Acra



Oh, bloody Christ! Kristen looks like she can't be bothered to be at the Academy awards. Would it kill her to smile and get her hair situation figured out?  Doesn't she just seem like she's trying to make a statement like "look at me wearing this thousands of dollars worth gown, and I didn't even bathe today baahahahahahahah". The look in general is sloppy, and the dress just looks messy on its own as well. It doesn't fit properly, its baggy and the tulle at the bottom looks like its been packed away in a box for years - it's all crinkled looking. In fact, the whole dress looks like it was pulled out of a box in grandma's attic, doesn't it?! She looks sooo pained to be at the Oscars....at least smile and stop limping around for sympathy and what not (if you watched the Oscars you may have noticed her limping and crutches).  Just messy, all around and she somehow manages to capture and transfer her pretentiousness straight through the camera in it, too?  Over her!




Brandi Glanville, BrandB




She's "showcasing her own line" here. As soon as I read that, I thought "Ahhhh - makes sense." This look is a hot mess.  This look could have been pulled off without looking so awkward.  The fit is not right.  It still could have been a risque, elegant gown without coming down unproportionally low, being lopsided and squishing her breasts way way too tight.  Also, what the hell is she doing at the Oscars?  The more she speaks/is around, the more I don't like her.  This is a worst dressed nominee.






Halley Berry, Versace



This was one of my favorite dresses on the Red Carpet.  Its glitz, glam - and just enough for Oscars Glamor.  The fit is impeccable, slimming to her body, clutching all the right places.  And even though shes pretty covered up for what she has been known to wear in the past, it still gives a very sexy look, revealing just the right parts of skin.  I also love the vertical lines - these give an otherwise fierce and serious dress some whimsical value.  She looks fantastic, and is the only woman who can pull off short hair like this and still look like a showstopper.  Best dressed nominee.



Jen Aniston, Valentino



Ugh - WHY is this getting so much attention from the fashion critics?  I don't really feel it's anything special whatsoever.  Its a plain, strapless red ball gown.  It reminds me of the kind of thing Angelina Jolie would wear and then get endless glowing press out of. It doesn't look bad at all, it gets the job done....I just don't understand what the draw to such a one-dimensional piece is.  Very, very safe. Meh.





Naomi Watts, Giorgio Armani Prive



Naomi really impressed me here in multiple ways.  

1. Naomi doesn't usually wear dresses like this.  She tends to fly under the radar, shy away from the spotlight, and she seems like she never wants to make a big statement on the red carpet or be in the running for best dressed.  She came out of her comfort zone here with this and is proving that she made the right choice - she looks fantastic!                

2. The cut and fit of this dress is not an easy undertaking.  The fact that it looks so perfect on her body tells me that a lot of work went into getting that neckline to fit as perfectly as it looks like it does in the pictures, and throughout the rest of her body as well.  The dress fits very, very well which is probably my favorite part about - it even looks like it was custom to her. Lastly, the neutral shade of gunmetal keeps the sequins in check from being too much, but all while remaining a truly glamorous, head turning and fashion forward look.  Best dressed nominee!




Jennifer Gardener, Gucci


This dress has a lot of potential, because that beautiful drapery on the backside of the dress really brings it to another level....its the bland front of this dress that's the party pooper. My first instinct is to add maybe a belt, a thin belt at the waist?  It just needs something.  Maybe a little bit of jewels....a slight V cut showing a little cleavage?  I don't know, but I'm yearning for something more with this.  On top of that, it needs a better fit all throughout.  I don't know whats going on with that little peak jetting out of her hip on the left....I'm guessing its because the bodice doesn't fit correctly.  The dress needs to be slightly tighter all throughout, and there should be something in the waist area to break up the purple color block.  I don't know. I can't put my finger on it, but it NEEDS something.  Hair and make up solid B+, its what she always does blah blah.  I do like that bushy tail, however.






Zoey Saldana, Alexis Mabille Couture



I can see why she liked this one...she picked a dress that's remarkably similar to this one a few years back that also had that tri-color fading thing going on and a similar vibe in general....here let me remind you:



Doesn't it give kind of the same vibe??  She didn't get praises for the purple one, either.  The problem with this year's dress is, there is just way too much going on!  It looks cluttered and disorganized.  You've got the embroidered floral detail at the top, then that rigid, cheap looking belt (my least favorite part), THEN--the belt has its own ribbon or bow of some sort jetting off to the side, and finally down on below to the tri color layering ombre part.  It just doesn't work.  I keep thinking "well if you take this off.....well if you remove that and just keep the ...." but without any results.  No matter which way ya slice it, this dress just is.... awkward.  Also, the grey shade of this dress comes across as drab.  It's curious, because Naomi Watts's dress is also a shade of grey yet does not fall so flat.   With so much going on, I'm almost getting a crafty, home-made feel with this dress.





Kelly Rowland, Donna Karan




Gosh, well isn't this a let down from what we saw her as last, isn't it? What a difference a dress makes, ey?  The gown she wore to the Grammy's was unbelievable.  Gosh, now I'm thinking she may never be able to top that.  With the dress above alluding to the truth of that statement, it might be hard for her to find dresses going forward, once you have an "ah-ha moment" like that in fashion. This dress is whatever.  Not remarkable, memorable, or anything to write home about whatsoever.  It even makes her look thick, which is proof that the dress is not flattering because just one week ago her body looked amazing in the other gown she wore to the Grammy's. Lastly, her HAIR is just awful here.  It looks fake.  I know that African American hair is very very tough to work with, but this bun and bangs is a much to harsh look and gives the effect of wearing a wig! And the earrings!!! Worst dressed nominee.





Olivia Munn, Marchesa



I predicted someone might wear this on the red carpet after seeing it on the runway, and as I thought - it does fall flat when actually worn in real life.  It looks good on the model, but the shape of this dress just sort of comes loose and loses its entire look when worn in real life.  I'm thinking it's a dress that is probably only good for printwork.  It's hard to explain what I mean - the point that's created by the bunched up fabric should be more pronounced.  I just don't know how to pinpoint my disappointment with this dress worn off the runway, so i will show you the comparison of how it looks on the model:



Do you see what I mean, now?  Not feeling it on Munn.







Amanda Seifred, Alexander McQueen




Ugh. She's turning into another Lea Michele for me.  She literally looks like she's been wearing the same goddamn dress all awards show season!  Lots of boring, unimaginative nude dresses that are completely forgettable and all look the same. I feel as though she is struggling to find her style, because everything she wears doesn't work on her.  There's always something about her look that leaves me wanting a lot more. She's another one that needs to take more risks.  What I was actually blown away by is what she wore after the show to the afterparties.  HUGE IMPROVEMENT.  She 100% should have worn this red dress to the ceremony, hands down:


I mean, soooo much better than this frock above!  This is the type of dress I want to see her in more often!  Had she worn that red gown to the Oscars, I believe she would have been on every best dressed list.  It works so much better than the nude gown, and is much more interesting and just seems to fit her so much better, as well.  She looks so much more confident in it, too!  Here's another shot:






Melissa McArthy in David Meister



I don't know why, but I tend to give larger women more leeway when it comes to fashion due to the fact that many times, there simply are not as many options to select from when you're this size.  Many styles just don't work, or the actual clothes aren't made in plus sizes. Sometimes it's so irritating that all the designers put so much emphasis on creating fashions for thin women, yet can't come up with something better than that this for a larger woman. She deserves better. That being said, this is still a look that I feel could be improved upon in a big way.  The color is falling flat on her complexion.  The gathered fabric is not flattering, and the dress looks like it's too big. It looks like a bed sheet, draped awkwardly across her.  Looking forward to what she wears next time, as anything will be a welcome departure from this. I do really like her hair teased up big like that - it's flattering to her face.  Overall, ugh.  Not a good look.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sensational at 67!


Now this is the way to do 67 right!  I can only hope to look as elegant, youthful and sophisticated as Helen Mirren consistently does when I reach my sixties.  The only thing about this that I don't like is that unfortunately her dress got wet at the hemline! :-(

Her choice in attire is always *slightly* forward and edgy & usually out of the realm of what women in their sixties tend to wear.......but this shade of soft pink in her hair brings it to another level.  BRAVO, Helen!



Helen Mirren in Nicholas Oakwood Couture

Thursday, February 14, 2013

We Shall See: Oscars Prediction 2013

So, here are my hopes in some dresses that will be worn at this year's Oscar ceremony:







This one below I'm slightly lukewarm on, but on the right person it could look fantastic:






 Show us the gown!  This one could have some REAL potential, if that black sheath was removed!





Now these, I have less hope for...but I can see someone wearing one of these styles and it not being so fabulous in translation on the red carpet:







All Marchesa, all fabulous.  We shall see....