Pre-fall 2014 collections have been rolling out over the last few weeks, and as always, they're filling that space of being the perfect in-between collections. Whether pulling in the last of summer like Michael Kors or embracing the approaching cold like Jenni Kayne, there's a lot of good to go around. I'm excited to see some of these things hit the sidewalks at the end of next summer, but I'm even more excited for some of them to hit red carpets in the coming weeks. Here are some of my all around faves from the season (click the photo for review and collection).
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3.1 Phillip Lim
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Dsquared
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Diane von Furstenberg
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Markus Lupfer
And an extra mention for best accessory: Alexander Wang's to-die-for over-the-knee boots.
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Front and back angles for your viewing pleasure.
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All images via Style.com.
 
 
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Images via: (top) insidefmm.com, (left) fuddonline.com, (right) Lanvin via style.com
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Whether it's to make a statement about the fashion industry, demand and consumption, irony or some other reason, designers love to make creative jabs at unexciting everyday items. Designers also knows that the handbag is a mainstay of the female accessory repertoire and that the "it" bag has been a thing for as long as mass clothing production and distribution has been around. So they have a little fun with it.

Disposable bags are those items that serve a purpose and then you throw them away or reuse them, but they're decidedly unglamorous. I love how designers put a (pricey) spin on those things we usually don't give a second thought to. Whether it's leatherized plastic shopping bags, paper lunch bags or actual trash bags, everything is fair game. It might seem ridiculous that people actually spend hundreds of dollars on these, but I love a good play on the everyday as well as a bit of sartorial irony. The concept of a knockoff of these examples of bottom-up fashion is also pretty hilarious, but if I come across cheaper versions, I can't say I will pass them up.
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Tonight was everyone's favorite men want to be with/women want to be situation: the Victoria's Secret fashion show. This sparkly, pink, musical runway peppered with celebrity models and a crowed filled with model celebrities and fashion people is the most commercialized of fashion shows/parties and undoubtably a great time. The zoom-happy, televised version will air December 10th on CBS when the country (and world?) can get backstage and showtime close-up shots of giant wings, gravity defying platforms, mind bending lingerie contraptions and the result of models' grueling show beauty and diet preparation (aka non-human perfection). Until then, we'll have to do with our favorite square, filtered visuals and crippling FOMO.
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Image via: instagram.com/victoriassecret
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Image via: instagram.com/constjablonski
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Image via: instagram.com/KarlieKloss
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Image via: instagram.com/elleusa
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Image via: instagram.com/victoriassecret
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Image via: instagram.com/sarasampaio
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Image via: instagram.com/victoriassecret
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Image via: instagram.com/blaireadiebee
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Image via: instagram.com/constjablonski
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Image via: instagram.com/angelcandices
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Image via: instagram.com/manrepeller
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Image via: instagram.com/allure_magazine
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Image via: instagram.com/KarlieKloss
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Image via: instagram.com/victoriassecret
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Image via: instagram.com/nixcruz
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Image via: instagram.com/jlminkoff
And check out #VSfashionShow for lots more Instagrams from behind the scenes and the runway.
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Zara vest, image via: CamilleOverTheRainbow.com
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Zara top, image via: SongofStyle.com
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Zara top and skirt, image via: Fashionvibe.net
There is no limit to the number of reasons why Zara is great. It's the pricier but better quality fast fashion cousin of H&M and Forever 21, the silhouettes are fashion forward, flattering and can trick any number of untrained (and trained, for that matter) eyes into thinking you're sporting designer duds. Who wouldn't want that?

Well, it seems that most fashion fans also have this idea. As I skim different fashion blogs and street style outlets for looks I want to write about for outfit lab, the H&Ms and Forever 21s start to become less and less as the blogger becomes more well known, more successful and starts to receive gifts. However Zara usually stays strong. The three bloggers above blog from London/Paris, LA/San Francisco and Barcelona respectively, so it's definitely not a regional trend, and when street style stars are photographed outside shows, a good amount of Zara makes it in amongst the designers that prevail. 

The sophisticated structure, thoughtfully placed colors and grown up patterns that still manage to be fashion forward, not to mention relatively successful and abundant runway copies (or close enough) make Zara a go-to for all items from basics to outerwear as well accessories. Zara works as a stand alone, even their plain items speak for themselves and are bold enough to carry an outfit, but the basic nature and good construction of each item also makes them ideal for layering and manipulating and styling as each person desires.

This common thread that runs internationally really speaks volumes about the brand, and it helps explain why when I walk into any Zara store I have to aggressively talk myself out of purchases in order to maintain a balance in my bank account.
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Image via: TheCut.com
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the biggest art fan. I like my share of certain types of modern art, I love street art and I'm a fan of photography, but when it comes to fancy art museums and analyzing a brush stroke or a color choice, I'm pretty lost. Nor do I care so much. But when it comes to fashion in art, I can easily get on board. The Cut put up a slideshow with images from a book about fashion illustration, and I excitedly clicked through and it got me to thinking. I love the internet for bringing creative people to the masses and introducing fashion fans to people who combine fashion and art. Whether it's painting, illustration, graphic design with a message or comical depictions of industry realities, I can't get enough. It's easy to keep an eye out around the web, but some of my favorite sources for fashion art are below! 

The Cut: Between illustrated fashion personalities, photographs re-imagined or fashion shows drawn andpainted, New York Magazine's fashion blog really knows how to find and commission people who create some of the coolest fashion art. Search through the site for more.

Paper Fashion: I follow Paper Fashion on Instagram, and I love the beautiful embellished drawings that come up in my feed. Katie Rodgers is extremely talented and really has an eye for bringing out the subtleties.

Honestly WTF: One of my favorite blogs, they cover real art, which I almost always love, but also fashion art and illustration. They find people from all over the world and bring it to their great blog. It's led me down a lot of hours of rabbit holes.

Pinterest: My board titled "Create" logs all the artistic ideas I find on Pinterest and all around the Internet. It's not just fashion art, but there's a lot of fashion art in there, and each pin will lead to where I found the work if it wasn't from my Pinterest feed.

UPDATE: Honestly WTF highlighted Vogue's December cover spread which used inspiration from iconic art pieces for recreations featuring Jessica Chastain.
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Bridal fashion week ended not too long ago, and though I'm light years away from actually having to choose a dress, I can't say I don't like to look, especially in the spirit today's topic of dressing up. One of the most striking things I usually take away from the week of shows is how many different styles of dresses there are, and how much I would want to wear some of the dresses to other non-wedding fancy events (considering I'm only planning on wearing a wedding dress for a wedding one time). Though white dresses always threaten to be "bridal" on a red carpet or at other formal events, I love white in a sea of black and red party goers. If a white dress is styled right, it's easy to forget that looking bridal is a possibility in the first place. Below are some of my favorite dresses from the season that just showed to wear outside of a wedding, or, I guess, ones I'd love to see walk a red carpet. You know, in the event that red carpet invite comes in the mail. I guess we can always leave that for the celebs.
All images via TheCut.com and Brides.com (these photos are also watermarked). 
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pencil skirts. 

One of my biggest takeaways from this fashion month was the office. I'm not big on pencil skirts in general. It's like, why would you wear one outside of the office when they are so clearly destined to be work wear? Well, now I'm convinced otherwise because every city had many killer pencil skirts paired with tanks, crops, button downs, shirts of all kinds, and they looked great. Count me in for this trend outside of the office now that designers have offered many new types and ways to wear them.
-E
NEW YORK
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Christian Siriano
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Lacoste
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Douglas Hannant, image via: TheCut.com
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Kate Spade, image via: TheCut.com
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Maki Oh
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Nicole Miller, image via: TheCut.com
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Oscar de la Renta
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Sachin + Babi
LONDON
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House of Holland
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Michael van der Ham, image via: TheCut.com
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Sea
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Tom Ford
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Burberry Prorsum
MILAN
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Blumarine
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Marco de Vincenzo
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Mila Schön, image via: TheCut.com
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Missoni
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Sportmax
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Stella Jean, image via: TheCut.com
PARIS
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Amaya Arzuaga, image via: TheCut.com
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Andrew Gn
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Masha Ma, image via: TheCut.com
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Stella McCartney
*All images via: Style.com unless otherwise noted.
 
 
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Image via: TheCut.com
Paris fashion week, and with it, fashion month is over, and the fashion industry will return to its normal resting state. Just last week, I said Milan was my favorite week so far. Well, I guess I have to amend that to say that Paris still has it. It was a week of mostly blacks, whites and grays, and the structured, architectural looks were just as well designed as the slouchy effortless looking pieces. It was really inspiring to see these spring iterations of some of the oldest houses in fashion and see why they're still around. Paris's collections deserve a rundown. There are so so many new favorite collections.
-E

first, some trends.

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Guy Laroche, image via: Style.com
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Acne, image via: Style.com
male fantasy/stolen from the men
There were lots of instances of peek-a-boo coat situations, where like we've seen in seductive teasers on screen, a woman approaches a man in just a coat and heels. Nothing underneath. On the other hand, stolen from the guys suits abounded on the runways. I'm always a fan of menswear-inspired, and this season's offerings were no different.
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Lie Sang Bong, image via: TheCut.com
spring coats
We all know spring doesn't get no-coat warm until well into May, so good thing Parisian designers have you covered with coats of every kind you can imagine.

slip dresses
A lot of these came down runways in New York, and we saw a lot in Paris, too. They're so simple and feminine, I want a party to wear one to every night.
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Sharon Wauchob, image via: Style.com
black, white, gray and combinations of the three
We saw black and white solids aggressively return this week, with an additional appearance from gray. But designers didn't go solid only, combinations of these were also extremely common. 
On another note, "sporty style" was also a common theme, such as the look seen in the Jay Ahr photo.
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Jay Ahr, image via: Style.com
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Cédric Charlier, image via: Style.com
decade callbacks
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20s modernized | Manish Arora, Image via: Style.com
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60s | Chanel, image via: Style.com
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30s/40s wartime | Alexis Mabille, Image via: Style.com
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80s | Balmain, image via: Style.com
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40s/50s | Olympia Le-Tan, image via: Style.com
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90s | Carven, image via: Style.com