Thursday, February 27, 2014

"I Never Saw The World The Way The City Looks To Me Today"

Benjamin and I were taking photos in the hallway of my apartment building on a colder day, when we spotted a taxicab outside on the street. Of course, I had to muster up the courage to wear a coordinating outfit and pose in front, in the cold, hoping the driver wouldn't come back too soon! We got lucky and quickly got a nice set of photos. 

This look includes of one of my favorite vintage dresses, with a black, white, and subtle yellow pattern throughout it. It's both mod and psychedelic without being too crazy, and I love that. I wore it with a white belt and white boots, because winter white leather is the loveliest and I don't see it enough. A yellow bracelet and an anchor pendent complete the look, making me reminisce about brighter and warmer days. 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Outfit Highlights: Vintage Dress from The Pink House and Boots from DSW

Style Tip: Winter white is probably the most uncommon color of leather to wear, yet it looks so fabulous and even matches the snow. An off-white shade allows us to bring so much lightness into a dark season, which will boost our moods. Don't let the winter blues, or should I say blacks, get you down! Grab some white.

Song of the Day: "Last Words" by The Real Tuesday Weld

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"Goodness Gracious I Can't Seem To Stop"

I made this wool plaid coat and matching pencil skirt while in my third year of school, and it was shown in our end of the year fashion show. My teacher always said to us, "this isn't a wardrobe building project", but for this one I made myself a new winter coat anyway. The purple color was interesting but not too crazy, and the puffed sleeves and peter pan collar made it just the amount of girly I like. It was my first foray into matching plaids, and I have been a plaid snob ever since! Learning the time-consuming details of something like that helps you appreciate it even more. The matching skirt came later with the leftover fabric. Sometimes beginners misjudge patterns and fabric measurements for the better.

I paired the two matching pieces with a vintage purple blouse (from one of those fantastic Cape Cod church thrift stores I had previously mentioned) and peach oxfords from Urban Outfitters. Adding my mom's navy beret from Lord and Taylor's in the 80's makes the look go from city style to a more specific Parisian chic. If only I had a baguette! 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Style Tip: As I discovered in this series of photos, you're never fully dressed without a smile!

Outfit Highlights: Shoes from Urban Outfitters and a vintage beret from Lord and Taylor 

Song of the Day: "Goodness Gracious" by Ellie Goulding
(because this video is gorgeous!)

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @modernromantic!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"It Don't Mean A Thing, If It Ain't Got That Swing "

I thought about why I started blogging the other day, and I realized that part of the reason is because I enjoy creating a scene with Benjamin, my photographer, and pretending to be a different character in a sense while showing my personal style. Figuring out different ways to present head-to-toe looks in the best way possible, including poses and background choices is something we both have fun doing together but it also gives me career practice. As an entry-level assistant in the costume design world, I don't get to make many of the big creative design decisions yet that I can't wait be in charge of one day when I am in the union and an official costume designer. But in the meantime, setting up and styling shoots like this one, working on coordinating outfits and backgrounds can only help me for my big film dreams in the future! 

This particular ensemble is a modern take on the constantly inspiring roaring 20's era. The chiffon dress with intricate beading and lace by Anna Sui is one of the most comfortable yet fancy looks I could wear out for a formal night. That's the wonderful thing about the drapey, loose clothing of the 1920's- how great it feels on. I made the look a little more casual than with the expected tights and heels by wearing shiny leggings and flats. I resisted the urge to wear a headband, making it look too period and instead my photographer and I found a great graffiti wall near his apartment, making the whole shoot more edgy and modern. While I love history, sometimes it's fun to re-invent the wheel. 

Photography: Benjamin Benson 

Outfit Highlights: An Anna Sui tunic dress, H&M leggings, and Katie and Kelly bow flats from DSW

Style Tip: While it's sometimes fun to be costume-y with your look when you're wearing a statement piece that is noticeably from a specific period, other times you should try to modernize the look. Re-interpreting history a bit can make it fun and fresh! 

Song of the Day: "It Don't Mean A Thing" by Duke Ellington

Don't forgot to follow me on Instagram

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Seen on the Runway and Heard Backstage: Karolyn Pho Fall 2014

Last week I had the opportunity to cover the hip and edgy Karolyn Pho show at Pier 59 Studio, part of Chelsea Piers, and interview Karolyn herself after the show! It was Karolyn's New York Fashion Week debut, and it was such an honor to be there. Ms. Pho began in the fashion industry by styling film and music videos but wanted to dress a broader crowd, which led to a desire to start her own brand.

Karolyn: Nice to meet you! 

Caroline: Thank you so much, you too. 

K: It's a marathon!

C: So I wanted to ask you about your inspiration for this amazing collection?

K: It's a very classic, elegant girl- it's the same girl in all my collections. But this season I wanted to make her a little more androgynous and really sit in that feeling- the feeling of being "I don't care"- really slouchy, baggy; relaxed. I really like that feeling, I think it's just like when a women walks into a room and she's just so confident and calm there's something so attractive about her and everybody kind of gravitates towards her. 

C: I can definitely see that!

K: Yeah, it's the confidence. 

C: So where do you see your brand heading in the near future and do you have any long term of short term goals? 

K: My long term and short term goal is just to show next season and I think that will always be my answer. I have so much fun doing this and it's such a selfish act for me. I get to create and I get to exhibit and I don't think there's anything more fulfilling than that, so that's what I want to do! 

C: And where can fans buy your clothing? 

K: Right now it's a little bit all over the place. We're in Japan, Dubai, Kuwait, California, New York, Texas, Chicago; mostly boutiques but I'm hoping Nordstrom, Neiman, Saks; the big league soon. So that's my next plan within the next few weeks.

C: Well great, thank you and congratulations! 

K: Thanks so much for coming! 

The show itself felt hip and young on one hand, yet timeless and wearable on another. The collection was heavily colored in black in various textures, with two notable pieces being a sheer jacket and a fur vest. Bold pops of color including yellow and cobalt blue were matched with pleather and metallics, in minimalist designs. The sleek, slicked back hair with flat sandals kept with the elegant simplicity. Pho makes minimalism look easy, which it is to wear but not to design. Seeing her past work, I can see she has a true talent for designing for the same kind of customer throughout her different work. In her Fall 2014 collection, Karolyn Pho managed to appeal to a broad spectrum of women wanting to be comfortable yet fashionable. 

Photography: Benjamin Benson and Caroline Wilson

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Been Dreaming of This Since A Child, I’m On Top of the World"

 I was honored to model some of my friend Michelle Xiatong Zhao's apparel designs on a roof in Chinatown a few weeks ago. We were fortunate to have a warmer day where the sun on the roof felt almost like Spring! These designs from her collection titled TonG are cutting edge, avant-garde but still wearable pieces. I felt modern yet feminine in the different looks, which ranged from a fitted, ruffly velvet jumpsuit to a sheer overcoat she printed herself, and a metallic, pleather asymmetrical coat. Please check out her designs on her website where you may also contact her with any inquiries! 

Photography: Maryann Samreth

Style Tip: Sleek, pulled back hair is the best way to show off a captivating, unique look. 

Outfit Highlights: All looks are from the TonG collection by Michelle Xiatong Zhao

I also had the opportunity to model a couple other looks for Ms. Zhao, so stay tuned for more soon! 

Song of the Day: "Top of the World" by Imagine Dragons

Thursday, February 13, 2014

"I Think I Saw Your Airplane in the Sky Tonight, Through My Window, Lying On the Kitchen Floor"

As a blogger, I feel the need to do themed posts when holidays roll around. I have never been a big fan of Valentine's Day and would probably rather celebrate any other holiday instead. I do enjoy heart-shaped items, chocolates, flowers, color red and I'm a hopeless romantic, so why is this true? I suppose I believe that every woman or man deserves to be treated like a princess or prince every day of the year by those who care for them (significant others, friends, and parents). 

But if we need to celebrate this holiday, I should do so comically, in a very Caroline sort of way by wearing heart-shaped glasses in a bright red outfit and making a silly sad face! I suppose I have my favorite band, Los Campesinos in mind and take this holiday sort of sarcastically like when they released "Songs I've Written About Your Girlfriend" on Valentine's Day

We'll see if my long-distance boyfriend gets here or not tomorrow depending on the weather and if not I'll live and we'll have a special relationship dinner where we try appreciating each other extra another time! Anyway, St. Patrick's Day and then Easter are soon and that means drinks with friends and Cadbury Eggs so hoorah. 

Photography: Benjamin Benson

Style Tip: This dress is actually a pleated skirt! I love hoisting up long skirts and belting them. It enlarges my closet instantly. 

Outfit Highlights: Thrifted items and an H&M purse. 

Song of the Day: "Heart" by Stars

Sidenote: Sorry this has been the most un-fashion focused post ever! I got fashioned-out during fashion week :)

Seen on the Runway and Heard Backstage: Georgine Fall 2014

I had the pleasure of not only seeing the beautiful Georgine Fall 2014 collection, but also interviewing the designer herself backstage afterwards about her collection, brand, and process. As an up and coming fashion blogger, I am honored to support new designers in the industry. The brand Georgine has been around since the designer's 2011 senior thesis was picked up as a collection by a high-end boutique, but this was her first show as part of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

Caroline: Congratulations on your show, it was amazing! I especially loved the fur.

Georgine: Thank you!

C: What was the most challenging part of creating your first show at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week?

G: Getting the fabrics in time!

C: What special processes do you do with the fabrics in particular? 

G: Well of course we play around, and test them and do different things. But most of them are sourced from Italy or France. We do the fur in New York. 

C: Do you have any advice for young and aspiring designers in this competitive industry? 

G: Work hard. Nothing comes without hard work. 

C: What do you personally feel differentiates your brand from everything else out there in the fashion world?

G: Quality and craftsmanship. Every seam is finished beautifully. Also, the fabrics- it's really classic silhouettes with innovative fabrics. 

C: What kind of woman did you have in mind when designing your collection? 

G: The woman is always the same. She's always strong and confident and elegant, and has an edge and embraces her femininity first. 

C: Great, I can see that. Thank you and it was nice to meet you! 

This collection was simply beautiful and I know many women who would wear the clothing because it was unique while being wearable. As the designer herself said, the clothing is finished properly and well made, and this attention to detail really came through during the runway show. I could tell the clothing was made to last, since it was so classic and had many pieces you could have in your closet for years to come.The silhouettes were mostly fitted, and reminded me of a modern take on the elegant women of the 1930's and 1940's. My favorite look from the collection was a shiny black pencil skirt with a longer sheer overlay, a simple black top with a big black fur muff on each wrist, and a circular black bag. My blog's photographer Benjamin Benson got press pit access to the show. Check out all of my favorite looks below and stay tuned for more fashion week coverage tomorrow!

Photos by Benjamin Benson