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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Women who rock: Fan Bingbing

Fan Bingbing is a Chinese actress who is both a major sex symbol and a badass. According to Huang Hung at WWD:

"Fan is known for her macho decision-making ability and her support for her friends. For example, her writer friend Han Han was accused of using a ghostwriter. Han Han said he will pay 20 million yuan (approximately $4 million) to anyone who dare to step up and can prove themselves to be the ghostwriter. Fan Bingbing doubled the reward to 40 million yuan — a very macho gesture."

Sources: one, two.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vintage inspiration: delicate lingerie and romantic gowns by Boué Soeurs

Just a little historical inspiration for these last brisk days of February...

I'm so in love with the work by Boué Soeurs, two French sisters-turned-designers who were known for creating finely-embellished, ultra-feminine gowns and lingerie from the late 1800s through the 1930s.

Photography by Deborah Kominek
Photography by Deborah Kominek

Although their work seems to have been very popular during the time, information about the designers is scarce. The house stayed open through the 1950s but their aesthetic did not evolve over time and they fell out of popularity.

But look at that lace, and those ribbon bouquets, and the silhouettes--too gorgeous. I read about them for the first time a few months ago and wondered how I hadn't heard of them sooner--they are the first historical designers that I've felt connected to in any way.We definitely share strong aesthetic threads; they were often inspired by historical paintings and their lingerie influences, popular in the 20s, are deliciously clear.

Of course, their aesthetics translates into actual undergarments seamlessly, as well:

Ribbon roses, fine lace, velvet ribbons, delicate craftsmanship, and a feeling of decadence--five things that no one should be without.

Sources: one, two, three, four, five.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The inspiration behind One for Sorrow, Two for Joy...

"I have a magpie mind. I like anything that glitters." - Lord Thomson of Fleet

Konets Sankt-Peterburga / The End of St. Petersburg (Vsevolod Pudovkin, 1927) (via)

When I set out to design the first she and reverie capsule collection, I wanted to make it represent the essentials of our aesthetic: whimsical prints, vintage-inspired details, ultra-feminine proportions, a heady sense of escapism, and pink, our signature color.

One for Sorrow, Two for Joy is our capsule collection for Autumn & Winter 2012, debuting this week. The collection is inspired by a a sweet melancholia: crisp early-winter mornings, windy fields of wheat, glass glitter and vintage velvet ribbon, and the Black-billed Magpie.

The first time I saw magpies was when I was living in Colorado. They swooped around the park by my house, making nasal chirps at each other and running about with their tails up. Something about them stuck with me.

Magpies aren't the most graceful of birds--compared to the elegance of the crane or swan, their movements are a little awkward and abrupt--but I love their long tails and the flashes of white that catch your eye when they take flight. Their curiousity is especially beguiling; they have a penchant for shiny objects and are said to carefully curate the best ones with which to build their nests.

That concept of curated gathering is what I love the most about the idea of the magpie, because it's precisely how so many of us live our lives and develop our personal aesthetics in today's interconnected world--we collect our favorite images, concepts, and ideas from outside sources and make them our own, applying to them our own ideas of beauty and using them to tell our own stories.

The idea of collecting trinkets inspired many details in our AW12 collection, and the birds themselves are a key element in our signature silk print for this season.

The lore surrounding them is beautiful, as well. Magpies were seen as a sort of fortune-teller--according to the classic nursery rhyme, the number of magpies determines luck--and it's from there that the name of our Autumn & Winter 2012 capsule collection comes...

one for sorrow, two for joy
three for a girl, four for a boy
five for silver, six for gold
seven for a secret never to be told.