Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ask Viva

Lately I've been asked a few questions by some of my readers (so flattered and surprised anyone actually cares to ask lol!).  I thought I'd shed some light on these little tidbits.

What do you consider to be a substantial fashion don't?

I guess I'd have to say that what I consider to be the biggest fashion don't in my book would be dressing in a way that doesn't reflect your personal style and personality.  Usually, with that will bring a whole slew of fashion don'ts along with it.  I remember I just had to have this one gorgeous deep purple Jill Stuart handbag that I fell in love with on a couple years back.  It looked so gorgeous in the photo, and that thing cost a fortune.  And its lovely, sadly sits in my closet, unused season after season.  It just does not fit my personal style, and buying it was a mistake.  Hopefully I'll put it to use later in life...but it definitely fits into this category.

You can be rocking the most fashion-forward, luxury couture pieces, but if they do not fit you well, it is going to come through in your look and will appear awkward.  It's the whole becoming enchanted with certain pieces in the store thing that I mentioned in one of my blogs before.  You can drop a load of cash on an amazing piece, but when you bring it home and it doesn't compliment anything else in your wardrobe, I'm sorry to say that it's just not for you.  I know you don't want to, but if you can't envision at least 5 different outfits you'd pair it with, you should take it back.  So, to summarize...just be true to yourself.  

How would you describe your personal style?

I have a wide variety of looks I like to achieve on different occasions.  I should actually probably scale it down more, to be honest...and stick to one arena of style.  There are days that I like to go for the rustic city chic look, with leathers, feathers and scarves...but I am also a big glamour girl as well.  I usually am wearing a lot of eye makeup that gives a dramatic effect with whatever I wear, I guess my personal style would best be described as glamorous. Any look I put together is going to have at least one element of intensity or surprise in there. For example, I like to spice up an otherwise toned-down look with big glamorous sunnies or my foxtail that I connect to my purse.  It brings an edge.

What are your favorite trends for this season?

I'm digging the lace trend.  I was just gifted some amazing Nicholas Kirkwood black leather and lace booties that I adore.  I like how when worn right, lace adds just the right amount of luxury to an outfit, but can be dressed up glamorously or dressed down for daytime too.  If you're going to wear it in the daytime, make sure your lace is limited to only accentuating parts of your look and not having it be the centerpiece.  Also, as with every winter, I am loving jewel tones again.  Especially when paired with velvet and satin.  I just wore a lovely amethyst colored satin dress to one of my best friend's weddings, and the deep purple color and shiny satin finish came out beautifully in the pictures. Perfect for the holidays.  I'm envisioning a deep sea blue satin dress with black lace boudoir accents for this winter...a great combination of some of the ongoing trends.   I will find one!

What do you consider to be splurge worthy?  Not worth a splurge?

Anything you would consider a staple for you is spurge worthy.  A staple piece is one that you will use/wear regularly.  Something that will inspire you to design outfits around. 

Also, an amazing dress is splurgeworthy, but only every once and a while.  The thing about dresses is, you're only going to wear the dress 3, maybe 5 times - top.  Most of them only once or twice.  So, it's hard to spend upwards of $300 on a one-time deal.  I think its ok for a special occasion every once and a while, however.

I think a good rule of thumb for splurgeworthy items is: if it's made impeccably, and you feel that it fits and represents what you want your style to be, then go for it.

What I personally don't think is splurgeworthy is ANOTHER  lbd or pair of black heels.  BO-ring.  Yea, we all need them...but these are items that can be achieved for much less than a ton of cash.  Some (probably most) people would feel the exact opposite, but I feel like a girl should spurge on unique, remarkable items that are going to stand out, not what we've been told by our mothers and grandmothers to covet.  I'm not really even a fan of the lbd.  It has to be pretty phenomenal to make a lasting impression, and most of them aren't.  For me, at least.

Oh and lastly, another spurgeworthy item: a trip.  If you are presented with the opportunity to take a spontaneous trip somewhere, usually I say go for it.  My life has been dramatically changed (in a good way) by a few spur of the moment trips that I spontaneously decided to take, and they both propelled my life in great directions.  It's most likely not going to be something that you will regret, so go ahead and spurge on that luxurious hotel room and spa treatment.  The memories will be there to covet.

Who decides when a fashion risk 'works' and when it doesn't? Also, can you define a "fashion risk?"

Well, I guess my first instinctual answer to this would be: the top and most respected designers should be deciding when a fashion risk works. BUT, I have seen on many an occasion high end couture pieces designed by these same top designers being a disaster when actually worn off the runway and in a real-life setting.  I'd say its on a case by case basis.  Additionally, if 2 out of 3 of your most fashion-savvy friends say DON'T, then I'm gonna shake my finger disapprovingly of it most of the time, because they know you best.  

For defining "fashion risk", I'd say that it's an act one takes in fashion that most will say no to when only presented with the idea.  Most will still disagree with it even after they see it.  It's usually the "fashion risks" that appall me at first, and they then have this sneaky tendency to begin to grow on me, and before you know it, its a have-to-have look.  I think we should all be a bit more open minded when it comes to fashion, and take into consideration the context and personality behind he/she who is wearing the fashion risk and the nature of the event (time, place, ect) that they wore it to. Often times, those "fashion police" articles in the back pages of the tabloid magazines peg celebrities in these seemingly horrific outfits that were worn, however I've come to find that often, they are completely appropriate for the occasion or event the person was attending.  For example, one time I remember they showed a celebrity wearing a "ridiculous" french maid outfit, only to find out that it was a french-themed event and was actually very stylish for that specific party.  So, I'd say that timing, placing and appropriateness decides when fashion risks work, and not just people themselves.  It's a collaborative effort.

Feel free to send me any questions you'd like to ask Viva. 


This was a fashion risk...I think it worked. :-)
[Rare Opulence ballgown skirt, BCBG clutch, Free People bandeau]

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