- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Id0FrFe2.dpuf Hell or High Fashion: December 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 Days Of Skirts

In the midst of 5 Days Of Skirts, a conversation with a friend about style made me think about the name of my blog: Hell or High Fashion.  "High Fashion" is very different from run-of-the-mill fashion.  Something can be in "fashion" without being "High Fashion"- bandage dresses and other forms of club-wear come to mind as "fashionable" things that the "High Fashion" world would scoff at.

There are a bunch of subjective definitions of "High Fashion" floating around on the internet (I even found this pretty ridiculous WikiHow article on "How To Look High Fashion"), but the most clear definition I could find was "the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes."  Essentially, High Fashion is art.  It's creativity. High Fashion encompasses the avant garde trends that trickle down to the mass retailers, who then process the trendy content and push out socially-acceptable versions of high-fashion concepts. 

To the layperson, High Fashion is Vogue.  It's the Paris runway shows.  It's clothing that doesn't care about practicality.  High Fashion is not what you find at Forever21- although those pieces are inspired by High Fashion.  

So how come my blog is called Hell or High Fashion (even though I wear Forever21 pretty much everyday)?  Because even though I'm rarely wearing High Fashion pieces, I always aim to incorporate High Fashion concepts into my everyday wear.  In 5 Days of Skirts, I'll show you exactly how I do it!

Day 1

Ostwald Helgason SS14, Stella McCartney FW13

Blazer, H&M.  Set, shoes, and bag, Forever 21.

On Day 1 of skirts, I drew inspiration from both the Fall 2013 runways and the Spring 2014 runways.  Matching sets are a huge trend in the high fashion community right now- I loved Ostwald Helgason's interpretation for Spring- so I reached for my matching floral skirt set from Forever 21.  Even though it's LA, it's still too chilly to walk around outside in a mini skirt and a crop top, so I threw a navy and grey pinstriped blazer from H&M on top.  This pattern and color combo was a huge Fall 2013 trend, most notably at Stella McCartney, and when I saw this blazer for just $50 (compared with McCartney's $1000+ price tag) I couldn't resist!  A cross-body bag and leopard pumps broke up the dark look.

So, even though I ripped trends from the high fashion runways, the look is 100% me.  Why?  I mixed and matched them in my own way!  Combining Fall and Spring trends in a fresh way ensured that I didn't look like a walking ad for the latest runway looks. 

Day 2

3.1 Phillip Lim FW13
Sweater, Banana Republic.  Shoes & Skirt, Zara.  Necklace, Forever 21.

Day 2 was the day that got me thinking about Hell or High Fashion!  I paired a patched-up denim pencil skirt from Zara with a simple black Banana Republic sweater- I loved the way this look mixed street wear trends with a polished silhouette.  When I met up with a friend that day, she (lovingly) teased me about my outfit, saying the skirt gave me "a mom butt" and that I looked like "a 90s Rachel Greene."  Little did she know that this patchwork skirt is actually on the cutting edge of high fashion!

The skirt was inspired by the Fall 2013 3.1 Phillip Lim runway- the designer showed jeans, shorts, and denim jackets covered in biker-esque patches and I loved the idea!  When I saw this (blatantly knocked-off) skirt at Zara, I was excited that I could incorporate the look into my wardrobe on a budget.  My friend and I clearly had different opinions of this piece- but that's why high fashion is great!  The avant garde ideas on the runway aren't made to please everyone- they're meant to speak to a select group of people, who can take those ideas and run with them.  The 3.1 Phillip Lim runway show spoke to me, and I put my own spin on the designer's aesthetic with this look.

Day 3

Burberry SS14
Top and skirt, vintage.  Shoes and Jacket, Topshop.

Day 3 was Burberry day!  When I saw Burberry's Spring 2014 runway collection, I knew it would inspire me to break out some of my favorite vintage pieces.  Burberry's designer Christopher Bailey sent a gorgeous vintage-inspired black and white print down the catwalk, and I actually owned an authentic vintage crochet top with the same print!  Ahead of the trend and I didn't even know it.  

The Burberry show featured a lot of pastel colors, like baby pink and powder blue, so I paired my vintage top with a pretty pink polka dotted skirt (also vintage).  At night I added my floral leather jacket to the mix, but wore it over my shoulders (another big high fashion trend- read my blog on it here).  I love that the Burberry show drove me to wear things I already own in a new and exciting way!

Day 4

Tibi FW13
Turtleneck, H&M.  Sweater & skirt, Forever 21.  Shoes, Steve Madden.
Things got dark & moody on Day 4, because I woke up late & my apartment was freezing.  I wanted to throw something out that was easy and warm, but I didn't want to forget about my 5 Days Of Skirts challenge.  I decided on a cozy turtleneck worn under an oversized, embellished sweatshirt, a leather skirt, and black pumps.  

Like I mentioned in 5 Days Of Pants, turtlenecks are back in a big way!  They were seen all over the Fall 2013 runways, but my favorite turtleneck looks were those from Tibi.  Tibi gave the formerly-square turtleneck a dark, edgy vibe by pairing them with loads of leather and oversized coats and sweatshirts.  Tibi's version was a little too dark for me, though, so I made sure my sweater sparkled and I showed a little more skin than their models!  A leather mini with punky zipper detailing and classic black pumps made the look less "Tibi" and more "Jessica".

Day 5

Sister by Sibling (2) SS14, Burberry SS14
Skirt, Kymehra.  Top, Kate Spade Saturday.  Shoes, Steve Madden.

On Day 5 I debuted my new stylehaus skirt!  I LOOOOOVE this skirt.  I think it marries classic sensibilities with a modern dose of sex appeal and it's perfect.  It also happens to echo some pretty high-fashion concepts from the Spring 2014 runways!

One of my favorite runway shows for SS14 was Sister by Sibling's London show.  A throwback to 50s/60s style, Sister by Sibling updated vintage silhouettes in modern materials, like fishnet, with grungy styling.  Sheer skirts worn over cute undies were seen at Sister (and at Burberry), and my skirt took the trend and made it wearable (skimpy booty shorts are socially acceptable, undies are not).  I added a striped tee with a high neckline and my go-to black pumps to add some conservative touches to the otherwise revealing outfit.

So what did 5 Days of Skirts teach me about my relationship with High Fashion?  While I may not be wearing genuine high-fashion garments, every look that I put together is inspired by high fashion.  The high fashion world is a bag of tricks that I can pull from when I get dressed ("I love the turtleneck look at Tibi") and supplement with my own personal style ("BUT Tibi's runway was too dark for me").  

A lot of people are quick to mock the more out-of-the-box runway looks (Jimmy Kimmel's piece on Fashion Week was hysterical if a little judgmental), but most of the time they're not meant to be worn literally.  If you want to get inspired to expand your personal style, just look to high fashion.  Style.com is a good place to start; click on the "Fashion Shows" tab and go nuts.  You're welcome.