Wednesday, April 30, 2008



If you have lovely skin or are especially proud of your spray-on tan, this is the season for you!

Backs are the new cleavage!

The number of backless dresses and tops out there is astounding, and I have selected the best of the rear-views for your shopping pleasure!

First, I have said it before and I’ll reiterate: T-Bags dresses are the most comfy things on the planet, and incredibly chic at the same time. Their backless frocks and tunics are delish, so get some now! In fact, this lovely little patterned party frock (at right) is currently 70% off at! The Elizabeth and James dress pictures at the top left of this CoutureCarrie post is also available at shopbop - so sexy!

Next, I absolutely fell in love with this Roberto Cavalli Floral-Print Dress at Bergdorf Goodman (see left). The motif and shape are the ultimate in refinement, but the back view says this gal has a bit of a wild side!

But, no need to break the bank, my lovelies. This yellow and white cut-away back tank top (at right) by Free People, for purchase at, is in everyone’s budget.
You may also want to troll the offerings at, as they have some impressive backless tunics, like this Kimchi & Blue mesh back vest (at left), each for around fifty dollars!
Now do a little turn on the catwalk!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Our team is R-E-D red H-O-T hot, you can't beat the stuff we got, HEY HEY!!!

Sorry, couldn't help myself with the high school cheer.

In addition to the bevy of flourescent brights out there this season, we are also faced with some seriously steamy SCARLET styles.

First, check out Benjamin Cho's daring "torn" shift dress (top right) in a vibrant, shiny Alexander Calder red with a decorative cut-out flower and exposed sequin underlay. Genius!

Maria Menounos wore a delicious Marchesa dress at the Heart Truth show recently. All the gowns were red and the proceeds went to a great cause (finding a cure for breast cancer), but this frock was a real standout. Plus, I love Ms. Menounos, I must confess.

At Givenchy (right), it was head to toe primary pouf. The flirty, frilly red skirt was adorned with a billowy half-sleeve bolero, almost regal in stature. The model even wore red hosiery and sandals - reddy, set, go!

I adore this vintage red and white taffeta frock (pictured at left), with high strapless "v" neckline and full tea-length skirt, available at, a site I just discovered that is chock full of amazing conversation and museum pieces!

At Christian Dior (right), the classic red shift was accessorized with jeweled neckline and belt, red gloves, and even a handsome oversize scarlet tote.

For a perfect BEACHgoing red, try this handsomely patterned Balinese Tory Burch tunic (at left), for purchase at Neiman Marcus.

If you prefer your scarlet in smaller doses, sport this Vera Wang Lavender Label beaded necklace (left) with a James Perse white t-shirt and your fave J Brand skinnies. It is surprisingly affordable, given its designer provenance, and incredibly gorgeous!
Or, simply dye a red skunk stripe in your hair, as was done at Anna Sui (right).

Alternatively, commit to red legwear a la Gossip Girl (lower right). Though a bit trashy by design, the scarlet fishnet look was quite breathtaking at Betsey Johnson's Fall 2008 show.
Also, really enjoyed Tuleh's pointy-toed, knee-high red suede boots!

As a grand finale, I leave you with this stunning detail image of a model at Zac Posen (from Dilani's Lookbook on The red lip and decorative feathery scarlet bow bustier are a winning combination.
Photos courtesy,, and except where otherwise noted.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Whoever said there is nothing new under the sun was clearly standing in the shade!

Though it's difficult to shock the fashion conscience these days, designers are coming up with new and interesting ways to reinvent established trends. This CoutureCarrie post focuses on accessories re-employed and outfits de-constructed.

Always the most outré, and never to be outdone, Comme de Garçons reimagined the skirt to interesting and fanciful effect. First, he took a trench and lopped it off to create a calf-grazing belted number (top right). Then, even more alarmingly, he made a half-and-half skirt (left), with a subtle grey plaid suiting material on one side, and a fanciful lavender gingham on the other! Half man, half woman, whole skirt?

Whether it was belts on her arms at Christian Lacroix (near left) or a cardigan worn as a skirt , key pieces were cleverly misplaced at the Collections this year.

Ralph Lauren has the Scarf Bag (far left, at, and Marc Jacobs lets innerwear become outerwear (at right). . .

Photos courtesy unless otherwise credited.

Sunday, April 27, 2008



Celestial seasonings and supernovas abound this season. Take this flashy JG4B Starlight Bandeau Bikini, available at Net-A-Porter. This new line of swimwear is absolutely out of this world!! Kinda makes me want to wear Milky Way rather than eat it!!

Peter Pilotto boldly goes where no designer has gone before with this heavenly body of work (photo at right, courtesy Both tunic and pants are spattered with stars and constellations. Though a word to the wise: go galaxy on top or bottom, not both! And please don't pair your star-studded outfit with cowboy boots!

And then, of course, come the Star-Trek inspired outfits (see CoutureCarrie's previous post about SCUBA glamour as well!). At both Jeremy Laing (left) and Louise Golden (right), it felt more like we were on "the bridge" than on the runway! These two pics courtesy
Beam me up!

Saturday, April 26, 2008



With the Costume Institute’s upcoming, much-touted Superheroes: Fashion & Fantasy Show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on my brain, I am pondering the villain as inspiration. It turns out, Batman’s foes abound on the runways! On the left, please find film stills of our villainous DC Comics muses, and on the right, their modern-day couture embodiments. KA-POW!!

Two-Face, as played by Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever; it’s not only his face, but his outfit, that’s split down the middle (image courtesy
), much like Limi Feu’s half and half look for Fall 2008 (runway photo via WHAM!

Poison Ivy, as embodied by Uma Thurman in Batman and Robin (photo courtesy wikipedia), and as reflected on the Fall 2008 runway at Temperley. Impossibly shiny green outfit, decolletage, fiery red hair, undeniable allure – the whole poison package (albeit, to less dramatic effect than some of the other looks in this post)!

The Riddler – or Edward Nygma, played by Jim Carrey in Batman Forever, and channeled by designer Jeremy Scott, whose comic-book reference was undeniable (note not only the color of the dress but the painted-on mask worn by the model!). THWACK!

For more superhero madness, behold the spidey suit at Martin Margiela . . . it seems that our masked marvel has cast his web on this waify blonde model!! [Comic
book image from interior page of The Amazing Spider-Man #547
(March 2008)].

Fashion Credits: Runway photos courtesy and

Museum Note: Met show opens May 6, 2008 - be there, preferably in costume!!

Friday, April 25, 2008


In the manner of Déjeuner sur l'Herbe (Claude Monet, 1865), dine al fresco in style! Gather your friends, some oozy brie, a baguette or two, and a bottle of slightly chilled Pinot Noir . . .

The proper attire is essential to the enjoyment of a lovely picnic. I would opt for a comfortable, breathable sundress, preferably knee-length, with a full skirt. Be sure to wear boyshorts underneath so you can toss a Frisbee with your pals without fear of Britney exposure! Of course, you should tuck a cashmere throw into your tote bag, along with a lightweight cardigan. The Pashmina, while no longer an appropriate fashion statement, does provide elegant warmth, either as a shoulder wrap or chic blanket.

To guide you on your quest for the perfect picnic attire, I have provided a sample outfit from Cynthia Steffe's Spring 2008 show (at right, courtesy I love how this sundress has pockets! See below in this CoutureCarrie post for an extensive list of the best sundress purveyors!

While Manolos would look adorable with your Milly frock, they simply aren’t practical for grass and sand. So go with a chic gold flat sandal. I just saw the most fabulous pair in the Alloy catalog for less than twenty dollars! Or try this inexpensive Urban Outifitters option, the Helena Gladiator sandal, pictured at left. If you must wear heels, a platform huarache is acceptable, but only if it’s Louboutin.

Keep your accessories low-key and practical. No one wants to go hunting for your dangly earrings in the damp grass after dark! Opt for chunky bangles (like these "exotic" bracelets at right, just $14 for a set of 6 at!), a simple gold chain, hoop or stud earrings . . . you get the idea.

You and your crew will also need a beach blanket. I personally LOVE a double towel, or a couple of these chic Missoni printed terry throws (photo courtesy


Forever 21
Lauren Moffat
Lotta Stensson (yellow strapless jersey dress picured at right, available at
M Missoni
Mara Hoffman
Nicole Miller (tunic at lower right, also at bluefly)
Old Navy
Rachel Pally
Rory Beca
See by Chloé
Tory Burch
Trina Turk
What Comes Around Goes Around
Now it’s off to the park! Bon appetit, and happy shopping!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


“It’s your Scuba Suit!” (Rob Lowe to Mare Winningham in the 80s cult classic St. Elmo’s Fire -- and that was long before the invention of the dreaded Spanx - yuck! Don't EVER wear anything that you wouldn't want your lover to see! There are better ways to camouflage figure flaws than with yards of hidden spandex! But I digress. . . )

Surfer-inspired duds are awash on the shores of fashion, and we're ready to suit up!

Get a load of Roksanda Ilincic’s shiny green and black wetsuit-inspired dress for Fall 2008. Totally rad!

At the Miu Miu show for Fall 2008, scuba-like suits and dresses were personalized with the models’ initials! And they were even worn with swim caps (hello, Adult Swim!) and scuba-style leggings! Honestly, I think the most "realistic" way I can see American women channeling this look is through neon tights. I never thought I'd see the day when fluorescent socks would come back into favor. But you know the old quip about "never" . . .

Models at Etro's Spring 2008 show sported surfer duds in the form of clingy mini skirts and capri leggings in chunky block prints - gnarly!!

So grab your board and your Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax and hit the beach (or the runway)!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008



With this season’s focus on bold color and outrageous design, it’s no surprise that designers have us strutting down the catwalk of life in festive plumes.

There were several quite literal interpretations on this bird-brained scheme.

First, I am particularly proud of Alexander McQueen’s strapless peacock frock (pictured at left, courtesy The full skirt is so decadent and fabulous! Moreover, the corseted waist and bust are expertly emphasized by the symmetry of the two birds, whose beaks touch at center front, creating almost a heart in the negative space where cleavage commonly appears.

Also appreciated the subtlety of Elizabeth and JamesPenelope silk dress (available at Neiman Marcus). The peacock plumes appear here as well, but in a more subdued fashion.

In addition to avian iconography, there were numerous "suggestions" of feathers on the Spring 2008 runways, like at Celine (at top right, from's runway coverage), where the billowy tiers of marine blue fabric hinted at a bird's plumage.


Of course, there were also actual feathers in the mix. Burberry Prorsum’s Fall 2008 show had a number of standout pieces, including this painstakingly wrought feathered coat (detail image at right courtesy

Newcomer Kristian Aadnevik softened an armor-like bronze corseted dress by wrapping it in pale pink plumes. Gorgeous! (Runway image at left courtesy

Fly away home, my lovelies!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008



Butterflies abound this spring, on everything from dresses to handbags. But I think they found their most delightful expression in the season's jewels.

At the Valentino Spring 2008 Couture show, the clutches were snapped shut with winged, jeweled clasps (image courtesy - check out the site for more incredible detail photos from the couture collections!).

What's great about this interpretation of the trend is that there are boundless affordable options. Kenneth Jay Lane’s ring and Tasha’s bangles are both under $100 each (for purchase at and Nordstrom,

Even Barneys got in on the butterfly iconography, using the insect's abstracted silhouette, complete with clever high-heeled "wings", in its recent advertising campaign!