Fashion Icon – Vera Wang

Vera Wang is without a doubt one of the most famous names in the fashion world, and she’s earned her worldwide fashion icon status through a lot of hard work, determination, and the use of her natural skills and an eye for design.

 

Vera Wang

 

For legions of women, she is considered the queen of bridal design, creating some of the most breathtaking, high-quality bridal gowns in the bridal industry today. Her contemporary approach to wedding gown design changed the face of bridal fashion and all that it is typically known for.

 

Media and Celebrity Exposure

Vera’s passion for mixing sleek, chic, modern design with romantic and vintage style has made her one of the most sought-after designers by celebrities and consumers alike, and has transformed her brand into one of the most recognizable names amidst the sea of heavy-hitter style gurus. Mariah Carey, Sharon Stone, and Melania Trump are only a few of the countless celebrities who adore Vera’s designs.

Victoria Beckham, Kate Hudson, and Chelsea Clinton all wore her wedding gown creations, and she’s been mentioned and featured in a handful of film and television programs over the years. Project Runway, The Apprentice, and Ugly Betty all featured her as a guest, and she appeared as herself in movies such as First Daughter, staring famous actress Katie Holmes, and The September Issue.

The film The September Issue was a documentary that focused on Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor-in-chief, and the drama that surrounded the making of the September 2007 issue of the magazine. Additionally, she’s been referenced repeatedly in pop culture, from Sex and the City and West Wing, to the movie Bride Wars.

 

Vera Wang

Vera Wang

 

Devotion to Style              

Fashion was never a new thing to Vera Wang, who worked hard for 16 years for the world-renowned Vogue magazine as a senior fashion editor. Originally aiming to be a figure skater, Vera instead devoted her entire career to fashion, accepting a job from Ralph Lauren after leaving Vogue.

Early on, however, she did design costumes for famous figure skaters, such as two-time Olympic medalist Nancy Kerrigan, and five-time World champion Michelle Kwan. While working for fellow icon Ralph Lauren, she designed everything from lingerie to sportswear, and eventually began her own line of bridal wear, which would later become a central part of her design legacy.

 

The Look

Vera Wang’s signature look revolves around one thing—sophistication. This is the highlight of all of her designs. Although both vintage and modern fashions come into play with each of her creations, there is always a clear bent toward modern chic. Her look is all about easygoing layers, cool attitude, and timeless elegance.

Along with her bridal looks, her contemporary causal lines are known for sophistication with an edge. Each piece is infused with trendy, funky flair, yet never gaudy or too over the top. Her brand encompasses a range of equally stylish jewelry, fragrances, and eyewear. For everyday cool elegance or a chic bridal look, Vera Wang’s separates and bridal gowns offer the epitome of sexy sophistication for the modern woman.

 

Vera Wang

Fashion Icon – Christian Louboutin

Almost every woman addicted to stilettos knows who Christian Louboutin is, and if they don’t, they should know that the very shoes they wear on their feet were brought back into fashion by this legendary French shoe designer. Christian Louboutin has earned his place as a fashion icon in both the fashion world and pop culture history simply for his fabulous eye for style and his exceptional design skills.

 

Christian Louboutin

 

Louboutin started making shoes at a very young age. By age 12, he would sneak out of school and visit the flea markets in Vila do Conde. The gypsies at the market fell in love with his shoes, and while he received some criticism about leaving school to sell them, he stood by his decision. His choice was later justified when Sophia Loren, a famous actress, introduced her sister that left school at the age of 12 and returned to get her degree, graduating at age 50.

 

Christian Louboutin Stilettos

Christian Louboutin - Black Stiletto

 

Louboutin and Stilettos

Louboutin claims that his stiletto inspiration came from a sign he noticed at a museum. The sign banned women from wearing high shoes because they might damage the hardwood floors. Louboutin stated that he “wanted to defy that, [he] wanted to create something that broke the rules and made women feel confident and empowered.” And defy the rules, he did!

His designs are most commonly associated with evening wear looks that incorporate feathers, bows, leather, and straps into lethally high heels. While there are some lower-heeled designs made by Louboutin, most of his shoes are designed with a heel height of at least 120mm. However, height is not the only signature to his designs.

 

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A Black Christian Louboutin Stiletto

Louboutin’s shoe styles are most easily recognized by the red sole design, which he sought trademark for in the U.S. According to Louboutin, the red sole really wasn’t intentional. He stated that the design actually “happened by accident.” He felt that it “lacked energy.” So, to add energy to his design, he painted the bottom of a shoe with red nail polish. The color was such a success that it became a part of every shoe he made, and rightfully so. The signature look has made his shoes popular all over the world and many companies even try to copy the look.

 

Louboutin Stores

Louboutin owns three different boutiques in Paris and seven in the United States. Two of his U.S. boutiques are found in New York City, two are in California, one is found in Las Vegas, and one is found in Dallas. He also owns two boutiques in London, England, and three in Moscow. These are only a few areas of the world where his fashion icon status is felt on a massive level.

 

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Louboutin Counterfeit

Louboutin shoes are also sold on-line through a website that is owned by Louboutin himself. Sadly, however, his shoes are constantly under counterfeit attack. Since the last few years, there have been hundreds of notices on Google that have asked counterfeit sites to stop selling goods that they are not authorized to sell.

The company has since set up a site that focuses on protecting their signature brand and it even lists hundreds of sites that are trying to sell counterfeit Louboutin shoes. Legal action has been taken on many different companies but the problem still persists. When countless companies are trying to imitate your design, it’s no wonder you’re a fashion icon!

 

Fashion Icon: Marc Jacobs

It is hard to miss the influence of contemporary designer Marc Jacobs, who has been involved with fashion and design since he was a teenager. His company has expanded immensely in recent years and continues to branch out with new products, such as affordable body-splash fragrances and additional clothing lines.

 

Marc Jacobs

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His designs are offered by a number of his brands, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, The Marc Jacobs Collection, and Little Marc, which is a children’s clothing line. Today he is both a celebrity and a fashion designer who is well known and highly regarded in various celebrity circles. Everyone from Sofia Coppola, Winona Ryder, and Kim Gordon are on his fan and friendship roster.

 

Then and Now

Within the last twenty years of his career, he’s impacted the fashion industry in countless ways, beginning with the buzz that surrounded his 1993 grunge collection for the Perry Ellis brand. The collection led to his dismissal from the Perry Ellis line; however, it instead opened new doors for what would become a wildly successful career.

 

Marc Jacobs

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Since his 1993 Perry Ellis collection that garnered much industry attention, Marc Jacobs has influenced celebrities, models, other fashion houses, and pop culture alike. He was listed on Time magazine’s Time 100 list, which is a list of the world’s most influential people, and has received both the Council of Fashion Designers of America Women’s Designer of the Year Award and the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award.

Beginning his career by learning to knit from his grandmother, he has come a long way from working at a small New York City clothing boutique. Along with his groundbreaking fashion lines, he has also served as the creative director for the world-renowned fashion house, Louis Vuitton, since 1997. With a clothing brand that is available worldwide, he has made his designs available in all corners of the world, including the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the U.S.

 

The Look

Marc Jacobs has always been about reinvention. He is best known for his twists on classic and retro designs, with bold, innovative looks that reshape and enhance retro styles, cuts, and colors. He is considered today as one of the most sought-after designers and the face of contemporary fashion, specifically known for his fresh takes on vintage looks.

 

Marc Jacobs

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His styles blend trends from the 1940’s and 50’s with modern fashions, and they often include classic clichés, which he loves to utilize in all facets of his designs. Chic, vintage accessories are also a mainstay among his collections, as are quirky, off-the-wall accessories matched with traditional designs and clean cut silhouettes.

When Australia’s Business, World, and Breaking News publication, The Age, reported his response regarding what he considers to be sexy, his description summed up his style preferences beautifully: “It’s the things that aren’t accepted as conventionally beautiful that I find more attractive.”

It is this genuine desire for unconventional beauty and his love for vintage style that has made Marc Jacobs a household name in the fashion industry. If you have a passion for comfort and luxury, marvel at the styles of Marc Jacobs, a timeless fashion icon.

 

Marc Jacobs

 

 

 

The Life and Death of Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen, the world-renowned British fashion designer, was one of the most famous British fashion designers to date. He is said to have placed Britain on the fashion world map. It is for this reason that his life and the death will always hold a special place in the hearts of Britain and the fashion industry.

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

 

 

 

Early Life

Alexander was born in Lewisham, London, in March of 1969. He was the youngest of six children and started out making dresses for his older sisters. It was during this time that he expressed his desire to enter the fashion world.

After his education at the Rokeby School, he moved on to an apprenticeship with Anderson & Shepard. He then moved on to work with Gieves & Hawkes, but he didn’t earn his reputation until he took a position as a theatrical costumer with Angels and Bermans.

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

 

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Career

He quickly climbed to the top of the fashion industry and became known for his shocking and controversial fashion designs. McQueen also made a mark in the runway department, known for his lavish and unconventional style. He even invented the trousers named “bumsters,” which were a part of his “Highland Rape” clothing line.

McQueen’s fashions quickly became must-haves for stars, models, and celebrities of all kinds, including the beautiful Lily Cole and Nicole Kidman, and his fashions have been copied by many other designers all over the globe.

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Thandie Newton wears Alexander McQueen

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His edgy, rebellious, and unconventional looks even earned him the British Designer of the Year award four times, from 1996 to 2003. To date, he is the youngest designer to ever be presented with this award. He was also named the International Designer of the Year in 2003.

By 2007, McQueen’s boutiques could be found all over the world, including New York, London, Milan, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. More and more stars were seen wearing his edgy fashions, and his popularity continued to grow. His groundbreaking styles, along with his openness about his sexual orientation, won him the admiration of high-profile celebrities such as Lady Gaga.

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

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Death

Sadly, the prominent designer did not cope well with the death of his mother. Just nine days after she passed away from cancer, on February 11, 2010, McQueen hanged himself in his wardrobe. This was just days before Fashion Week. According to a close friend, David LaChapelle, McQueen had been doing a lot of drugs and was said to be “unhappy.” An autopsy revealed that McQueen had overdosed before hanging himself. Blood samples revealed sleeping pills, cocaine, and tranquilizers, all in his system at the time of death.

McQueen’s death will long be remembered as a tragic event in the fashion industry. His death was greatly mourned by all who knew him and his designs. He was even honored and commemorated by Lady Gaga after her acceptance of the Best International Artist award at the 2010 Brit Awards.

While the death of Alexander McQueen was a tragic event, his fashion and his life will triumphantly live on. He will always be remembered for his dramatic, edgy, and theatrical fashions. In the words of McQueen’s fashion house, “Each piece is [as] unique as [he was].”

 

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

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Popular Fashions at the Royal Wedding

The royal wedding was a long-anticipated event, surrounded by flurries of media from the moment of engagement right up until the grand occasion. So, it is no surprise that some of the hottest fashions were worn and admired at the wedding, and of course, the media was right there to cover the top styles donned by Britain’s royalty! This year, the lavish event was all about chic, bold hats and lots and lots of lace.

 

Princess Marie Chantal of Greece

Philip Treacy

One of the most prominent designers worn at the wedding was famous hat designer, Philip Treacy. Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece, scoring a spot on the best-dressed list, topped her look off with a pewter, rose embellished Philip Treacy hat. Victoria and David Beckham were also seen wearing Philip Treacy hats. Victoria paired her dramatic floral design with a navy blue dress from her personal clothing line, while her husband, David, paired his Treacy top hat with a Ralph Lauren suit. Tara Palmer-Tomkinson was seen entering the Westminster Abbey with her sister, wearing a beautiful blue off-the-shoulder Deborah Milner dress, which was gorgeously complemented by her matching, rosette-topped Philip Treacy.

Tara Palmer-Tomkinson

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A number of royal attendees also flaunted unique Philip Treacy hat designs. Belgium Princess Mathilde paired her bright teal dress with a wide-brimmed, elaborate Philip Treacy that perfectly matched the tone of her dress, and that’s not all! The Duchess of Cornwall, stepmother of the groom, completed her Anna Valentine champagne-colored dress with an airy, champagne-colored Philip Treacy hat. Additionally, Zara Phillips, the next royal attendee to be married, paired her periwinkle outfit with an intricately designed black Treacy style.

 

Hats, Hats, and More Hats

Treacy’s designs were not the only hats present at the royal event, though. Mother of the bride, Carole Middleton, completed her Catherine Walker passementerie coat with a matching Jane Corbett hat, and Claudia Bradby’s dramatic Jane Marcantonio plumed topper swooped up and above crowd.

 

Carole Middleton

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Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and the wife of Prince Edward, paired her neutral beige Bruce Oldfield ensemble with a Jane Taylor rosette spray. Even the queen herself, Queen Elizabeth II, the grandmother of the groom, was bright and cheery in an all-yellow ensemble, completed with a flowered hat designed by Angela Kelly, her personal assistant.

 

Lovely Lace

A number of lace hats were also found at the royal wedding, along with lace outfits, all of which seemed to naturally add to the bride’s beautiful, modest lace wedding gown choice. Chelsy Davy paired an aqua green Alberta Ferreti skirt and jacket with an elegant taupe lace hat, made especially for her by Victoria Grant.

Also, it was hard to miss Princess Letizia of Spain, who paired a pink bandage Felipe Varela dress with a cloche hat, complete with a laced blusher. Out of all of the wedding attendees, Miriam Gonzalez Duantez, wife to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, seemed to pull off one of the least conservative looks, including a tight, body-hugging dress that was draped in lace, completed with an eye-catching red hat.

Overall, guests at the royal wedding flaunted an abundance of color, with fashionable, conservative, designs, just like the stunning Kate Middleton, now the official Duchess of Cambridge.

Miriam Gonzalez Duantez and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

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The Coco Chanel Legacy

Coco Chanel, the only couturier to be listed in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, redefined countless aspects of the fashion industry. Her keen sense of fashion and refusal to follow the mainstream changed the way women dress and the way designers create their art. Her life, legacy, and work ethics all shaped the way that fashion designers approached women’s fashion, and this influence still holds true today.

 

Coco Chanel

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Her Early Years

Coco Chanel was born to a workhouse mother who died when she was a young girl. After her mother’s death, Coco’s father abandoned her and her five siblings. She then lived in an orphanage and learned how to sew from the Catholic nuns who took care of her. Her extended family taught her how to sew more elaborately. Originally, she made her own clothes because she could not afford to buy her own, but she eventually left sewing behind. These humble beginnings set the stage for her future career in fashion.

At the age of 18, Coco started singing in cabarets in Moulins, France. While her singing career never really took off, it was here that she met Etienne Baslan, a young French textile heir. Coco became Baslan’s mistress and he took care of all of her living expenses, adorning her with lavish gifts. It was during this time that Coco began designing hats as a hobby, something that she would later grow a deep interest for.

 

Chanel Fashion

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Coco later began an affair with one of Baslan’s friends, Captain Arthur Edward “Boy” Capel. Capel’s own clothing store inspired the signature Chanel look, which incorporated jersey material into male fashion designs, with a feminine twist. Capel also helped Coco set up her business and introduced her to many wealthy women. These events led to the official start of her career.

 

MGM

In 1931, Chanel met Samuel Goldwyn through a mutual friend, the Grand duke Dimitri Pavlovich, the czar of Russia’s cousin. Goldwyn loved Chanel’s unique fashion sense and offered her a proposition that would further enhance her career. She would travel to Hollywood twice a year and design costumes for MGM stars. This business proposition led her to an opportunity to interview with Colliers magazine in 1932, while in route to California from New York.

 

Chanel No. 5

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Chanel No. 5

Chanel never actually owned her signature perfume, which is what many of us think of today when we think of the Chanel legacy. In fact, she originally only contracted her name and her lucky number to the developers of the scent. It wasn’t until World War II that Coco received any actual proceeds from the perfume that carried her name. After writing a letter to the government administrator that ruled the disposition of Jewish assets, Chanel received back pay as well as future pay of 2 percent of all Chanel No. 5 sales.

 

 

 

Later Years

Coco stopped designing during the war, due to the fact that she felt it was not a time for designing. She did, however, return to the fashion industry in 1954. An agreement made within the new Chanel No. 5 contract paid for the reestablishment of her couture and paid for all of her living expenses up until her death. Because she had a strong connection with the Nazis during the war, Chanel’s designs did not blow over well in Paris, but it was during this time that her designs became loved by the Americans and the British.

Today, clothes continue to be manufactured in the likeness of her original works and are endlessly loved and appreciated by the fashion industry that she contributed so much to, as well as by the women who still wear them.

 

Chanel Fashion

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An African American Trendsetter Sitting on top of a Goldmine

Russell Simmons is known for his vision, revolutionized fashion, music and finance empire. He sets out to make things happen and in simple terms, he does. His blueprint for success is to visualize, perceive success and make things better. Simmons has been called the entrepreneurial role model; providing guidance on achievement directly and indirectly. So how exactly did Russell Simmons set trends in fashion? His fashion line spoke directly to street savvy urban America. He listens to the people, what they want, what they need, and melds it all together to determine what will be hip and successful.

 

Russell Simmons

 

The rap culture provided a hook for inner city youths and young adults looking for a style that was upbeat with all the attitude of the music. Russell Simmons embraced this need and identified what would become popular and what wouldn’t. What signified the intense music and what would people respond to?

But what started out as a niche, Simmons help to evolve and create a bigger brand that involved not only street savvy individuals but corporate America. Dare I say “Argyle”?

 

Phat Farm by Russell Simmons

 

Simmons has been completely receptive to the consumer needs. And while it all started in the inner city the label has become a prominent success with mainstream worldwide consumer appeal. The clothing targets everyone looking for ensembles that are fashion forward yet keeping with today’s trend.

Russell understood that time and fashion evolves and of course consumer appeal changes so how do you appeal to a wide group? That is one of Russell Simmons great successes; being able to successfully launch a business and being inspired to change the perception of that brand. Phat Farm was once thought of as “street wear” but today it fits anyone and everyone from urban to corporate America.

 

Phat Farm caters for both urban and corporate America

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Russell is a definitely a trendsetter and this is evident with his enduring label. His creative mind took a major influence of hip hop music and made us fall in love with a trend that is all attitudes. And as a result, Russell Simmons has transformed his approach to include a little of everything; urban, contemporary and metropolitan style.

Russell Simmons

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The Style and Substance of Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has influenced the fashion world with his mastery of classic yet comfortable ensembles. His clothes make a statement for any and every budget – tastefully elegant, straightforward yet refined. When you dress the “Lauren” way you’re stating you have impeccable taste.

Ralph Lauren

The Ralph Lauren fashion line is not flashy but definitely obvious of refined class and elegance.  Ralph Lauren devotees opt for his elegant, easy-to-wear timeless pieces that exude good taste with that polished class. Every one of his basics can be mixed and matched to accommodate any occasion and every plan.

Ralph Lauren doesn’t follow the latest trends or radically change his line from season to season; it always remains typical Lauren – elegant and classy with a statement. And while it’s definitely not your typical ready-to-wear, his pieces are always accessible for any engagement.

Just think; your monotonous black slacks are so predictable; however, paired with a RL iconic ensemble piece and you look and feel like you’ve just walked off the runway! A perfect example of how a Lauren timeless piece turns obsolete into great style.

Choosing just one piece from his signature “Lauren” fashion line can uplift and refresh your wardrobe.

 

 

The understated style of Ralph Lauren

Why is he an Icon?

Ralph Lauren Ladies Golf Shirt

Ralph Lauren’s look is a reflection of a refined conservative culture. He’s equipped with an unyielding understanding of peoples’ fashion needs. He knows how to make people feel comfortable, all-the-while feeling relaxed and confident. Lauren takes staple pieces and pairs them with a luxurious classic that’s uncomplicated.

Suits, tailored blazers, classic ribbed sweaters, smart polo shirts, and tailored dress shirts are all examples of his uncompromising taste. And his branded Pony is known world-wide and visible everywhere.

Ralph Lauren’s clothing is all about your lifestyle; loving his design and the feeling of luxury.

You never have to worry about the vibe of the office because all his collections work in any environment. You’ll spot his Polo Pony in urban areas as well as affluent avenues, transcending all cultures.

 

Ralph Lauren Shawl Sweater

While many items are pricey the brand strives to include all price points and, therefore, it’s accessible to everyone. But Lauren’s message has been heard loud and clear: Buy the best you can afford and keep it classy and classic.  While dressing in his uncomplicated style, you’ll profess your love of quiet sophistication and class.

One thing you can be assured of; invest in one colored pony polo to pair with any slacks and your ensemble will rise above ordinary.

 

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