Wednesday, October 28, 2009

An American Brand in London

Question: How much do I love Ralph Lauren Rugby? Whenever I receive a periodic e-mail here or there about styling events and  new outfit concepts, my heart skips a beat. There's a lot about the States that I miss, but one of them is walking into the Rugby store in Georgetown and being completely engrossed in their window displays and mesmerized by the outfits arranged proudly on the forms.

Here is a simple yet statement-making outfit constructed from Rugby's current website offerings. Browsing through their pages upon pages of quality merchandise, I made a vow to step outside my box, mix prints and patterns, wear boyfriend jeans with heels and go crazy with the layers. Risk is what makes it fun, as long as balance is maintained, of course.

Little Boy Polo Jacket, $298

Suede Patch Flannel Workshirt, $89.50

Boyfriend Denim Jean, $150

Skull Heritage Crest Belt, $98

This is a breezy, perfect-for-a-Saturday-afternoon outfit, complete with a strong-buckled belt that can hold its own in terms of bringing the entire outfit together. Undoubtedly, my favorite piece is the Little Boy Blazer, while the flannel arguably has the most personality. The playfulness of the shirt and jeans are toned down a great amount by the fitted blazer, which gives it the perfect amount of feminine charm to two otherwise androgynous items. The cuffed denim hem ensures that this outfit is not overly stuffy, as it still gives off an ultimately fun vibe. This outfit is the perfect transition piece to bridge a strong sense of American pride and the guidelines of British Fall fashion.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Style Icon

Since when did TV presenters become fashion It Girls? Jameela Jamil, the co-host of London's Freshly Squeezed morning show and T4 weekend program needs not prove herself further, as her innovative wardrobe has been receiving massive amounts of positive attention. The former model is undoubtedly striking with her coveted full-fringe hairstyle and trademark pouty red lip stain, but her natural beauty alone is only icing on the cake.

Jameela Jamil at the UK premiere of Bruno
The Empire, Leceister Square 
16 June 2009

My favorite of Jameela's looks is structured around a metallic blazer over a black skirt or dress and chunky black heels, a mix of androgynous and feminine when disputing the fabric, construction and fit of the outfit as a whole. Returning to the concept I always find myself harping on, it's all about balance.

Jameela Jamil is a testament to my theory that there really is something extra about the aura British celebrities give off. Maybe it lies in the accent or the confidence harvested from living in a global fashion capital.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.


Growing up, I always wondered if my older Chinese cousins knew just how cool they were for sporting beautiful jade bracelets or gorgeous pendant necklaces. No, these cultural pieces haven't become the latest fashion accessory, but the jade color concept has most definitely caught on in Europe. As somewhat of a brand extension of the mint-green hue, Chanel has introduced a new shade of nail varnish for Fall called Jade. Already out of stock on Chanel's website, the color was unleashed on Chanel's Paris runway only a few weeks ago.

Chanel Le Vernis in Jade (407), $25 / £19

Jade at Chanel A/W 2009 Catwalk Collection

Garnering high-profile fans like Rachel Bilson and Alexa Chung, the color is already making its rounds in the big cities and as any successful trend, has been spreading like wildfire. Drew Barrymore, in attendance of the Toronto Film Festival, had her nails painted minty green to celebrate the promotion of Whip It, her first-ever credit as a director. In observing their looks, the stars have been bold enough to try out this new color concept while keeping it classy by playing down the rest of their outfits (typically a variation on the ever-popular LBD) and keeping makeup to a tasteful yet statement-making minimum.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

We Love Locals

If you're at all familiar with London, you'll surely be able to relate to my appreciation for the bustling Camden Markets which are located fortunately a mere fifteen minutes from my house. It was there where I was introduced to the lovely Sharon, Lauren and Ellie, venturing a few tube stops up the northern line to Camden Town from the city. They divulged to me, as many Londoners would, that the Oxford Circus Topshop was by far their favorite place to shop, and that if I was looking for a locals-only place to scope out other fashion-minded individuals, Shoreditch was the place to go.

Sharon, Lauren and Ellie
Camden Markets
29 August 2009

I'm a fan of all three outfits; the three girls' individual looks tend to complement each others' rather well. Key items for London fall are portrayed fabulously well here- the long-strand mini purse, the loose denim button-up top (here worn as a dress) and the navy schoolboy blazer with gold embellished buttons. Conceptually, these girls know exactly what they're doing and it is this uncanny British composure that makes me want to learn more about what Londoners frame their outfits around. Looks like the marketplace is an incubator for creativity, not just the fabulous finds themselves.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Never Disappointing: Vince >> shopbop

Minimalism, clean lines and a monochromatic palette. As yawn-inducing as these words may seem, we all know how well Vince brings these concepts to life by personifying contemporary yet classic sophistication. Providing that happy medium between casual weekend basics and refined workwear, I've always revered the subtle dramatics of Vince's slouchy sweaters, classic shift dresses and perfectly fitted pants, perhaps because I'm a die-hard fan of fall weather clothing. In my opinion, what could be better than layers upon layers of single pieces brought together to marry themselves as a single brilliant outfit? Think balance: a cozy charcoal tie-front sweaterdress draped over a heather grey long-sleeve knit top tucked into a nubby herringbone miniskirt with violet tights and Frye boots. Top heavy, yet bottom simple.

Yes, I'm afraid I've gone off on a tangent about my passionate love for fall fashion, but I'll spare you and bring you back to my original point- Vince. While Vince is clearly not the most controversial design aesthetic out there, mixing simple Vince pieces with more risky items can always ensure an outfit that flows and just makes sense.

The Vince Fall 2009 line presented for shopbop fails to disappoint. Here are a few of my favorite London-inspired looks that make me want to conceptualize outfits for the well-dressed locals I've observed wandering Kensington High Street.

Sequined Mini Dress, $225

Motorcycle Leather Jacket, $750

Stella Cable Cardigan, $325

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Still Esoteric

The title is self-explanatory: Villedela is back, this time exploring and interpreting London fashion one fitted schoolboy blazer at a time. Get familiar with Villedela's UK counterpart because in all honesty, American style can't even begin to compete with what London has to offer. Risk, concept and innovation- it's all here. Enjoy.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.