Bonjour, Mesdames et Messieurs! I am "tres" excited about this fashion edit because it is an ode to my beloved city of Paris! How can I not do an editorial about it when I have done numerous editorials depicting different cities and fashion styles right? However, I wanted to channel the classic and vintage fashion style of the quintessential fashionable Parisian Madame, Mademoiselle and Monsieur, hence, the three distinct fashion edits. I was excited to shoot this fashion edit with a good friend and a budding freelance photographer, Larry Dorta, who hails from Miami. Not only he was able to capture the essence of how I wanted the shoot but also, he is my Kung Fu brother as we train at the same school. Indeed, it was a delight to work with him outside of the martial arts school.
People have asked me how I prepare for the STYLE WATCH fashion edits and where I get my inspiration from and that is really a very good question. Truthfully, it varies from time to time. I draw inspiration from my travels, the music that I am listening to or just the specific mood that I am channeling or vibing with. So for PARIS CHIC, the inspiration behind it was my walk-in closet (believe it or not). I recently moved into a bigger apartment that has a full walk-in closet which I designed and adorned with a Parisian theme home decors and it dawned to me that I have not featured a theme as such in the STYLE WATCH series yet and le voila, came the idea.
I took three vintage pictures as shown above (and which you can click to enlarge) that became my inspiration and focal point for the three fashion looks: La Rouge qui Bouge, Mademoiselle Coco and Bonjour Monsieur. You will see how I played on these pictures as a sort of "mood board" and came up with the curated looks featured on this post.
Finding the right location was a challenge because unlike Paris or New York, Miami lack the old European architectural buildings of the old world so I had to think of a venue which at least could have the specific city feel that I was going for. Luckily, Miami Design District had some interesting spots and corners that mimicked Paris and New York that allowed me to capture the essence of the fashion edit. So without any further ado, let me showcase to all of you, PARIS CHIC.
LA ROUGE QUI BOUGE
Oh hello, Lady in Red meets Uptown Girl! This fashion edit was inspired by the vintage dress itself. I wanted to recreate the specific Madame who lives in the 16th, 7th or 8th arrondisement (the bourgeois quarters in Paris) meets the New York socialite who lives in Park Avenue kind of lady. This lady is someone who is always on the go, getting things done right away and who is unwavering of what she wants (Hmmm, sounds like someone I know very, very well!). I am so glad and thankful that I kept this vintage dress that my Mom gave me years ago. This was the first time I wore it and it just fitted perfectly. I paired it with a red beret and heels from Christian Louboutin. To finish the look, I accessorized it with a pearl-shaped purse and a pair of white gloves that I had from previous costumes. This look reminds me of those 50's and 60's movies where the ladies are always very well- dressed in a prim and proper manner. There is a french saying of "mettre en valeur" in dressing up. Meaning, knowing what to "put in value" and knowing what you want to be as the focus of the look. Being sexy and confident does not always have to show more skin or to be risque. With this vintage dress, it captures the quintessential saying of less is more.
If there is one French designer who really established and considered as one of the pioneers of French fashion aesthetic, that would be no other than Gabrielle Chanel. Despite her association that tarnished her image as a lover, working as a Nazi spy during World War II, it was Chanel who began to design the "less is more" approach to fashion. If you are into fashion or at least have a good eye when it comes to it, Chanel's signature black and white ensembles, the iconic tweed jackets and pearl accessories have been adorned by women and lover of fashion of all ages. The brand itself also is one of the most famous and successful brands in the fashion luxury industry that stood the test of time amidst its company changes and directions throughout the years. The Mademoiselle Coco fashion edit is an ode to the fashion house's creative minds including the late Karl Lagerfeld who I considered as my "fashion father" and inspiration towards my love for my craft. The ensemble consists of a black and white button down shirt with ruffles and black lining depicted in the 50's and 60's, a textured A-line black balloon skirt and accessorized it with a pearl jewelries (belt, ring, earrings and headpiece) and finished it off with a rabbit fur scarf and a vintage-inspired black and white lace-up heels. While dressing up in colors can sometimes be tricky, the black and white combination is always a safe yet fashionable and daring look that is timeless and classic in any occasion of sorts.
Last but not the least, I have to do a fashion edit that can be appreciated by the dapper and fashionable gentlemen out there! As you all know, I am a big fan of suit, bow and ties and if you have been following my social media posts, my fashion aesthetic is very androgynous and feminine at the same time. I can only thank Karl Lagerfeld for my appreciation of a good, fitting suit. Ask me what is my go-to staple item when it comes to dressing up for a special occasion? My answer will simply be a suit or a tuxedo. I wore a white tuxedo for my MBA graduation and a red tuxedo during New Yea's Eve 2019. For me, there is that mysterious yet powerful effect a suit brings and gives to anyone who wears it right. For this specific suit, I wanted to play with different staple colors instead of just one color. I wore a black and white lined button-down shirt, paired it with a red tuxedo pants and a black vest and finished it off with a long-lined blazer suit. The vintage look and feel would not be finished without carrying a lion-etched walking cane, a feminine bow-tie inspired ribbon and a black patent derby shoes. This look made me feel like I'm about to perform in a Broadway show or attend a black-tie gala; very dapper, dashing and daring indeed!
I hope you enjoyed this month's STYLE WATCH edition and remember that whatever fashion aesthetic or style you follow, the best wardrobe and accessory anyone can have is their smile and confidence! Shine on and stay chic my beloved readers.
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