All Posts By Ali Gay

In Full Bloom: Floral Looks For Every Aesthetic

by

Some things just naturally come in pairs. In Autumn, we fall head over heels for the golden leaves; in Winter, it’s snow days accompanied by tall mugs of marshmallow-laden hot cocoa. So when Spring comes to mind, you already know the other half of the combo: flowers.

While flowers may not feel especially novel for Spring/Summer fashion, we’d like to argue that it’s practically sartorial sacrilege to completely abandon them in one’s warm-weather wardrobe. This season’s designers have succeeded in reinvigorating this seemingly fatigued trend. Even if you prefer strictly all black garb (we understand the impulse), there’s a way to try out these floral looks while remaining true to your own aesthetic. Ahead, we’ve picked our five favorite garden-inspired designs from some of this season’s collections for a little inspiration. As it turns out, there’s really no wrong way to go floral.

 

The Look: True Romance

There’s a special sense of power that comes with slipping on a long, filmy dress — feminine power, that is. If you’re like me, trying on a romantic maxi dress transports me to a former era where elegance reigned supreme (one that I often wish I had been born into), allowing me to become an Austenian lady or Renaissance goddess for the dreamy twelve hours or so that I get to float in such a magical dress. Raquel Diniz’s designs, like the Alice dress below, are for the unabashed romantics who yearn for the dresses their lady-like dreams are made of.

The Brazilian designer turned her attention to the manufacturing aspect of fashion after traveling the world as a teenage model and browsing through textile shops in her time off-set, where she realized the design process fascinated her more than posing in front of the lens. Her line, formally launched in 2016, has a duality to its DNA, infused with the lively spirit of her homeland and crafted in the artisanal Italian tradition adopted from her training at the esteemed Istituto Marangoni. Working closely with Como-based silk virtuosos, (delicate silk chiffon is her preferred medium), Diniz creates silhouettes that elegantly drape to flatter the feminine form, accented with smocking, ruffles, and puff sleeves, and last but not least, each season’s signature floral motifs.

 

image courtesy of raqueldiniz.it

 

The Look: Gothic Romance

Loyal subjects of the McQueen empire know that the British house, named after its controversial founder Lee Alexander McQueen who passed in 2010, has always instilled in its designs an alluring hint of darkness. Blurring the lines between edgy and romantic, today, Creative Director Sarah Burton continues the label’s tradition of daring textile juxtapositions that have defined the line since its inception. This season’s collection, ushering in Spring with its various oversized floral patterns and ornate embroidery, finds its inspiration in the milestones in a woman’s life — births, christenings, weddings, and funerals, for instance — and the strength women possess in expressing emotion and embracing vulnerability during these poignant moments. Strength and softness stand side-by-side in each piece, functioning as the perfect metaphor for Burton’s vision. Ultra-feminine floral dresses — some skin-tight, others showcasing elegant long, A-line silhouettes — are toughened up with smooth leather jackets, aprons, and belts, and strands of chunky chain-and-stone jewelry that harken back to the house’s Gothic essence.

 

 

The Look: Girly Grunge

If the phrase “sexy tomboy” feels apt for you, R13’s alternative-rock-inspired looks belong in your wardrobe. Though the New York-based brand is most sought after for its denim designs — often styled with asymmetric silhouettes and uniquely-placed rips — we’re in love with one particular piece in the label’s collection this season: the label’s punky take on a traditional feminine piece: the negligee. This evening-inspired design is classic in its silhouette, with a V-neck and lace trim, and punky in its personality, featuring an orange floral motif and dramatic bleach stains that give this style its girly-grunge aesthetic. We like the laid-back look of a denim trucker jacket layered on top, but a black leather moto jacket would complete the outfit just as well.

 

image courtesy of barneys.com

 

The Look: Whimsical Menswear

Make no mistake: men should feel inspired by this season’s blooming bouquets as well. In today’s society, harsh gender lines continue to dissolve, and we’re thrilled by the boundless creative expression this permits when it comes to selecting those pieces that feel perfect for us — regardless of how we identify. Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo is one such creative who’s been celebrated for her bold, offbeat styles since the label’s establishment in 1969, like this whimsical sportcoat style from her Spring/Summer collection. A playful take on the classic menswear style, this piece is crafted of innovative PVC and styled with slashed sides, a recurring detail in her designs this season. The tropical-floral pattern of this piece renders this style a statement piece well worth the investment, one that is sure to have a place in your wardrobe for years to come.

 

image courtesy of barneys.com

 

The Look: Playful Wardrobe Staples

If you’re a lower-key shopper that prioritizes comfort and ease in your wardrobe, we don’t blame you — luxurious casualwear is an essential in everyone’s closet for those days where we just don’t feel like trying so hard. Toying with interesting prints is an easy way to elevate an otherwise basic piece, as is unique stitching, as exemplified in this playful brushed jersey V-neck top by Craig Green. The blurred-floral print is a signature motif in the British designer’s Spring/Summer collection, and is ideally paired with either all black or all white so the top can take center stage.

 

image courtesy of barneys.com

 

 

Read more Fashion articles at Cliché Magazine

In Full Bloom: Floral Looks For Every Aesthetic. Featured photo courtesy of Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Suited Up: How To Buy The Best Swimsuit For Your Shape

by

After what was for many a long, seemingly endless winter, sunnier days are finally upon us and here to stay. With these higher temperatures also comes another occasion: swimsuit season. For some, the thought of dancing around on a beach clad in an itsy-bitsy bikini with a Mojito in hand is nothing short of heaven; and yet, there are still those of us that, even upon hearing the word “swimsuit”, experience a unique sense of panic (and perhaps a few blushes). But that needn’t be the case. Whatever your body type is — slim, curvy, busty, athletic — there’s absolutely a perfect swimsuit out there for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the most flattering style for your shape.

Here, we’ve taken the stress out of swimsuit shopping with a simple guide to help you buy the best swimsuit for your shape this season. Though we of course believe that any woman can and should try out any look she so desires (#bcbodypositivityisimportant), the right fit is undoubtedly the one key to looking good, no matter your size and shape. Read on to select the perfect ensemble that will take you from pool parties to tropical vacays in these warm months to come.

 

The Hourglass

The ladies of the Hourglass are blessed with beautiful proportions that are meant to be shown off. If you’re one lucky enough to have this covetably contoured shape, your balanced figure works in your favor come swimsuit season, as there are so many different designs suitable for your body. Perhaps the best of all is the cult classic: the triangle string bikini. This barely-there style allows your curves to take center stage, and is not to mention ideal for a bronzing session while sprawled out on a towel with a good book, or an impromptu photoshoot with your friends (whichever suits your fancy). We love this glamorous metallic look by Lisa Marie Fernandez, as well as another popular style this season: crocheted swimwear, for those who adore a bohemian aesthetic. Hourglass shapes also look especially seductive in underwire styles, which also provide additional support and definition up top.

 

 

The Pear

For Pear shapes, your thighs, hips, and behind are your greatest assets (pun intended? yep.), but also the features that you’ll have to work on balancing out for a more proportionate look. The idea is to celebrate your bodacious bottom half — you put all those squats in for a reason, right? — while also finding a style that will help to elongate you since your lower body tends to dominate your physique. Boy shorts and skirt styles are no-go’s for these reasons, as these designs cut you off at the mid-thigh and will actually make you appear shorter and stockier.

For a longer and leaner silhouette, opt for tops that draw the eye — be it with bare shoulders, cutouts, twists, or ruching — and bottoms cut high on the hips for a leg-lengthening effect. Sports-bra-inspired styles present an alternative option for these ladies, as the straight-cut design assists in creating the illusion of increased width up top that will match well with your lower half. Our picks for this shape include this minimalist, lilac-hued set by LA Hearts, and this wallet-friendly ASOS find perfect for those who’ve recently put a little extra work into their abs.

 

 

 

The Apple

Apple girls boast a full bust, but often carry more weight in the mid-section area, which sometimes makes swimsuit shopping a bit more intimidating for these folks. But, the reality is, there’s a wide range of styles conducive for this body type. For one, plunging necklines were made for the Apple shape; not only are you able to play up your plentiful cleavage, but the vertical line created by this style draws the eye up and down, creating the illusion of more length. Surplice necklines are similarly flattering, as they serve to highlight the upper waistline and thus create a curvier silhouette.

Details are especially important to consider when shopping for the Apple shape swimsuit. Styles featuring gathering at the front or side have a slimming effect, as do suits with colorblocked side panels. Don’t be afraid to play with textures and prints, too — especially at the bodice, which helps to draw attention away from the fuller waist area. Strategically-placed ruffles conceal any lumps or bumps, and moreover add a feminine feel. High-waist bottoms are always a safe bet when you feel the need to streamline your silhouette, or if you’re going for a retro look.

 

image courtesy of swimsuitsforall.com

 

The Inverted Triangle

Ladies with the killer upper body strength, we’re looking right at you. As the name of this body type suggests, Inverted Triangle gals are best known for their beautiful backs and shoulders. These features should be shown off — but the lower half of this physique can sometimes be overshadowed in result. Since a proportionate look is the end goal, swimsuits that attract the eye to the core and below are the most successful fits for this shape. Halter strap styles are especially ideal for balancing out broad shoulders, and self-ties at the hips help to add emphasis to the legs.

We love this sensual bandage bikini design by OYE Swimwear because it still bares the shoulders, but moreover wraps around the body in a fashion that accentuates the natural waist and midsection for an hourglass effect. As a basic rule: everyone should own at least one black swimsuit, the most slimming color of them all. This one-piece style by Suboo is another attractive option, with a chevron-pattern knit fabric and flirtatious side cutouts that add interest.

 

 

The Ruler

The Rulers are the naturally long, lean girls of the group, with straighter, athletic builds often equipped with a solid core and powerful legs. Given their more “rectangular” shape, these ladies will benefit from a suit that gives their sweet and subtle curves some extra love. Bikinis are perfect for showcasing your toned bellies, but avoid straight-cut styles that will only further emphasize the straightness of the body and instead search for styles with ruffles, cutouts, strappy details, and the like to add dimension. Bikini styles with high-waist bottoms are also helpful for Ruler shapes since they enhance the natural waist, like this chic one by Solid & Striped.

We also can’t forget about a basic one-piece, which was made for athletic ladies who are more likely playing volleyball on the beach than just chilling in the sun. If you’re not so into solid-colored suits, playful patterns and textured fabric elevate these simple pieces so you don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality.

 

 

 

Remember: these guidelines are tips — not hard and fast rules. The truth is, each and every one of us has a unique and beautiful figure that only we know best, one that’s also determined by other factors such as genetics, health conditions, and lifestyle choices. We’re the ones that have to be both happy and comfortable in the style we choose. The one real mantra to bear in mind is this: rock what you got, and play up what’s lacking. And make the shopping experience as fun and positive as possible, of course. We certainly wouldn’t frown up a dressing room fashion show should the need arise.

 

Read more Fashion articles at Cliché Magazine

Suited Up; How To Buy The Best Swimsuit For Your Shape. Featured Image courtesy of The Curvy & The Curveless