Author: Elle

The Collective Behind the Vetements Collective

Relative fashion new-comer Vetements became the most anticipated, buzzed about show of Paris Fashion Week A/W2016, attracting mob scenes of fans and fashion powerhouses from across the globe. As the story goes: Frustrated and stifled in the fashion establishment’s straight-jacket, several long-time cohorts gather nights and weekends in Demna Gvasalia’s bedroom to unchain their creativity and design purely for love and fun. Add an enterprising brother and the mystique of anonymity, and upstart brand is set to shakeup BigFashion. While the Vetements’ backstory has been well documented, the line’s creative evolution has not. How did the brand go from what Business of Fashion’s Siska Lyssens described as “deceptively simple,” “nondescript at first sight” and “sober” to being hailed a mere two years later by W Magazine’s Alexander Fury as the “most radical thing to come out of Paris in over a decade?” Gvasalia’s oft-quoted commitment to “real” clothing is usually cited as the determining factor, telling BoF, “The most important ingredient for us is the reality, what our woman wears to feel good and comfortable,” and …

Fashion Passport: Rajasthan, India

Five no-hassle, high-quality shopping experiences in northern India. For many, the hustle and bustle of India’s street markets are a shopper’s paradise. The lure of glittering saris, exotic spices and aromatic teas is hard to resist. And let’s face it, where else can you pick up an armful of bangles or fifty strands of beads for a mere 100 rupees (about 1.25€)? But for some (like me), they can also mean sensory overload. I found wandering through stall after stall and wading through the thousands of choices paralyzing; the constant hassling, haggling and high-pressure tactics exhausting. By day three, I longed for something a little more relaxed. Ferreting out low-pressure, high-quality shops in India wasn’t easy. But with a little persistence (and some help from our tour guide), I finally found exactly what I was looking for: stores offering authentic, made-in-India goods in an atmosphere meant for leisurely browsing. If on your next trip to Rajasthan you begin suffering street-market burn-out, checkout these five places for a restful respite: 1.  Fabindia Linking over 55,000 craft-based, rural producers …

Time(less) Travel with Louis Vuitton

How the Louis Vuitton retrospective at the Grand Palais won my wanderlust heart. I have a confession to make: I’ve never been much of a Louis Vuitton fan. Fashion heresy, I know. The logo-emblazoned handbags have always seemed just a bit too flashy, too obvious a display. All that changed about fifteen minutes into my experience at the recent Louis Vuitton “Volez Voguez Voyagez” retrospective at Paris’ Grand Palais. Curated by Olivier Saillard, the exhibition (the title of which translates to “Fly Sail Travel”) retraced the brand’s journey from 1854 through today. Here, I would discover not just the brand’s fine craftsmanship, but a kindred spirit inspired by the love of travel, adventure and life’s journey. The experience began expectedly enough, taking us back to Mr. Vuitton’s origins as an apprentice to box maker Romain Maréchal. Eyeing Vuitton’s tools of the trade – those of carpenter rather than couturier – and wandering through his early creations, I began to understand the thoughtfulness and quality with which they were crafted. His trunks meticulously compartmentalized every dress, hat, glove, coat and shoe of his clients’ wardrobes. Ergonomically designed and tailored for …

Les Benjamins Brings the Street to SILENCIO

Designer Aydin’s Paris Fashion Week party lives the rebellion of his “Ottoman Punk” collection. The silent staircase leading down to SILENCIO gave us little indication of the mayhem ensuing at what may have been the hippest after-party during the Paris Menswear Fashion Week. After having our picture snapped red-carpet style (check out all the guests’ photos on the Les Benjamin’s Facebook page), we shimmied through the club’s golden corridors, lined with achingly beautiful models, tattooed rappers and fashion it-girls. Making our way to the (normally subdued) lounge area of the David Lynch-conceived salon, we found party-goers dancing on tabletops, drinks in one hand, cigarettes in the other. After hitting the open bar, we bumped it on the dance floor with Rita Ora, Alexander Wang, G-Dragon and Derek Blasberg. Performances by Montaigne Street, ASAP Nast and Section Boyz laid the backdrop for the street-chic scene. While this latest edition of the near-legendary Les Benjamins’ parties did not disappoint, neither did Bunyamin Aydin’s AW16 “Ottoman Punk” collection for the brand, which we previewed via an exquisitely-produced film shown in SILENCIO’s theater room. Dervishes whirled amongst mohawked models displaying the gender-neutral collection of …

How I Decided to Follow my Dreams.

One year ago today, I decided to follow two of my life-long dreams: going to graduate school and living in Paris. It was a long time coming. I first had the idea to go to grad school in Paris when I was finishing up my undergrad. But it had taken me seven years to get my Bachelor’s degree and at 25, I was quite a bit older than most new graduates. I had some ambitious career goals and felt spending another two years in school wouldn’t give me enough time to get where I wanted. Marriage and kids would mean taking a break from the workforce in my early 30s for sure. And besides, I didn’t need a graduate degree to work in advertising. If anything, it would make landing an entry-level position more difficult. So I put it off. Ten years later, I was still single, didn’t have any kids and had accomplished everything I’d wanted in my career. The thrill of my work gave way to routine. I was bored and longed for new challenges. I again thought of my dream of grad …

Sneaky Diet Saboteur: Gummy Vitamin Supplements

I have always hated taking vitamins. When I was little, I used to bury them in the ketchup on my plate so I could hide from my mom the fact that I hadn’t taken them. As an adult, I’ve never taken them on a regular basis. But, in an effort to pay more attention to my health, I recently decided to start taking various vitamins and other supplements. I was so happy to find they’ve finally started making “adult gummies.” Finally, something I actually want to take! Well, not so fast, lol.  I knew it was too good to be true! Since my fantastic little MyNetDiary Pro app also helps you track nutrients, I started entering the nutritional values of my supplements into my daily intake as well. Horrors! My supplements are adding up to a whopping 120 calories a day. Yikes! I’ve heard over and over again that as little as 100 calories a day can make the difference between maintaining a healthy body weight and becoming obese. And there it is—120 calories a day I didn’t even realize I …

Love & Hate: ExfoliKate

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate for some time now. It started about two years ago when I was given a sample. My excitement to try this product bordered on embarrassing. That excitement turned to horror less than five minutes later, however, when I rinsed off the treatment and found my face not only beet-red, but covered in 2nd degree burns. Some burns were about the size of a pin head, others nearly the size of a dime. The redness lasted for several days and the painful scabs from the burns took a week to heal. To be fair, this wasn’t exactly Kate’s fault. The product sample didn’t come with full directions or warnings and I have famously sensitive skin, turned red and irritated by even some moisturizers over the years. Nonetheless, this was the first time a beauty product had literally reduced me to tears. But as the redness subsided and the scabs healed, I noticed something else — my skin was incredibly smooth, visibly brighter, and the sunspots noticeably lighter. Still horrified from the experience but impressed …