Trend story for Composure Magazine from the latest print issue currently available here. The New Neutral: Take a softer approach to the season with variations on one of Pantone’s spring colors of the year, hazlenut.… More
Perla Formentini’s sophisticated footwear line brings European It-girl style to the U.S.
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
For such a sophisticated line with international appeal, Perla Formentini’s shoes are inspired by something very close to her heart: home.
“We are surrounded by renowned Italian art and architecture,” says co-founder Bianca Tse of Marche, Italy, an idyllic, hilly region on the eastern Italian coast. “Even the Mediterranean buildings we walk by every day are works of art. It’s inevitable that our surroundings are reflected in our color palette and in our leathers.”
Whether a sepia-toned metallic sheen or cutout patterns inspired by the history of the Italian city, each Perla Formentini shoe, which range from ballet flats to heeled boots, reference a quality from their hometown. And while the shoes don’t necessarily follow current trends — the classic silhouettes have a timeless appeal — the designs are still modern: silver hardware keeps sandals edgy and high-shine leather amps up a pair of oxfords that are anything but traditional.
Of course, Italian leathers alone can break budgets, but what sets Perla Formentini apart is their ability to provide high-end luxury at an affordable price. Because they keep their manufacturing in-house, this gives them “the unique ability to ensure high quality materials for shoes at a contemporary price point,” says Tse. Not only does this help set the brand apart from competitors, it also gives women a chance to own some exceptional shoes without that all too familiar feeling of shopper’s remorse.
To read the full article head over to ComposureMagazine.com
Hop on Instagram, and you’ll find on the “Explore” page alone a heavy roll of highly edited photos that look just too good to be true. You’ll read stories on how some users spend hours shooting just for a single, tiny square post. Imagine the time spent taking 200 photos to just pick one.
It’s a game. Even I have to upkeep social media for my writing—the ultimate love/hate relationship. I’m much more shy about the selfie or selca trend and prefer to hide behind something if I can, but every once in awhile I’ll step in front for an independent brand I purchased and really support.
Then Japan’s popular WEAR app fell into my lap when a good friend and journalist for Harper’s Bazaar China, Stacy Fan, told me to just give it a go. I highly trust her opinion based on her approach to fashion with intricate reviews of designers and in-depth interviews on Eurasianvogue.com.
She explained WEAR was image based as well, but much more approachable with very little editing and filters. It truly is. I get a view of every day style from Japan to China to Europe. There’s no heavy photoshop or flawless product shots. It’s simply what people wear right as they’re heading out the door. Eclectic to polished, there’s really something to appeal to anyone with a semi-interest in street style.
Though recently launched in the United States, I still find a decent amount of unfiltered, raw images. At the same time there’s stylized shots now. I still give them a nod for creating a crisp, clean image, though my heart is chasing after those more realistic photos.
Trends vary by country, and you can pick this up quickly on the app. What we might favor in the United States, won’t be happening in Taiwan. I spend a couple hours a day on there looking for inspiration and also out of sheer curiosity. I find the Japanese are as shy about photos as I am. Many block their face with cute emoticons or graphics so the focus rests solely on their outfit. This is how I feel clothing really is meant to be, just another necessary aspect of our lives, but we still find some way to express our individuality.
Ultimately, WEAR’s lookbook style platform is Instagram from fashion only, but without all the fuss of numbers and engagement percentages.
To learn more, visit wear.net.
While you’re at it get ready to participate in hashtag challenges across some of the major media platforms Vogue, Refinery29, W, T Brand Studio for the New York Times and Teen Vogue. Here are a couple to show you how WEAR has made their recent splash into the U.S. Markets and to motivate you to take a peek at why this app has been downloaded 8 millions times:
Natalie Chapman brings her high-end luxury line (finally!) to the United States.
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
“I want to deliver timeless classics — a wardrobe staple that elevates…”
It took just one look: The beautiful silks and streamlined jackets of Australian designer Natalie Chapman’s namesake line had us completely smitten. And now those of us Stateside don’t have to fly halfway across the world to get our hands on her chic offerings — Chapman’s moved her entire Sydney headquarters to our backyard, in Los Angeles.
Heavily influenced by her travels, Chapman’s designs bring a more European, city chic aesthetic to the West coast, balancing out the casual, beach-ready looks L.A. is known for. “I particularly love Parisian women and their no-fuss attitude and refusal to compromise their style choices despite motherhood and work demands,” says Chapman. “I have traveled extensively and have an enormous respect for European women and their style choices.”
While influential celebrities like Zendaya and Kendall Jenner are already sporting her on-trend chokers, we love her smart, sophisticated double-breasted blazer and wide-legged jumpsuit. Other standouts in the line include Chapman’s signature pieces: her tuxedo jacket and the slip dress. The deep, jewel-toned shade of green used for the “Slip V” dress has us ready for cold weather layering and is perfect for pairing with other earth tones
big this fall. In contrast, by going for a tailored yet relaxed fit on the tuxedo jacket, Chapman provides a versatile option for almost any body shape. The longer length elongates beautifully.
In addition to her travels, Chapman’s sleek aesthetic is “inspired by my customer who dresses to feel empowered and confident in herself.” She’s also mindful of her customer’s real-life concerns. Longevity may be a novel concept in the era of fast fashion, where the speed of design and affordability seem to be king, but Chapman wants customers to invest in a piece that will go well beyond one fall or spring. “I am not a big believer in following trends,” she says. “I believe in reinventing the classics. I didn’t set out to create a product that will last my customer a season and then be ‘out.’ I believe that if my customer is investing in me and in herself, I want to deliver timeless classics — a wardrobe staple that elevates and empowers her, not just for now but for years to come.”
Read the FULL article at ComposureMagazine.com
Inspired by historical European royalty and museum-worthy masterpieces, this season’s velvet, lace, brocade, and embellishment add drama to your fall wardrobe.
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
- Gramerci Soiréray Lace Band Ring, $32, gramercidesigns.com
- Perla Formentini Nivea Glitter Heels, $355, perlaformentini.com
- Topshop Velvet Pants, $79, topshop.com
- Morrisday The Label Carousel Embroidered Skirt, $75, morrisdaythelabel.com
- Muehleder Melly Crop Top, muehleder.com
- Marc Jacobs Victorian Velvet Jacket, $480, marcjacobs.com
- ASOS Embellished Clutch, asos.com
- Wearing Memories NV Cocktail Ring, $450, wearingmemories.com
- ASOS Lili Flats, $37, asos.com
- Lee Paton Peplum Pencil Skirt, $1,515, leepatton.co.uk
- Topshop Brocade Velvet Top, topshop.com
Add graceful movement with this easy, breezy summer style.
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
Catching up this week on posting more of my work with Composure Magazine: Trend Story + Layout Design! Read more in-depth celebrity interviews, beauty editor favorites and fashion profiles at Composuremagazine.com and be sure to buy the print issue from the shop!
Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer (and the kickoff to the fall fashion season), but temps are still soaring. Navigate the long holiday weekend with some fabulous fall-toned styles.
STORY: Min A. Lee
Summer’s Last Hurrah: Labor Day fashion
Minan Wong Fitted Sleeveless Ponte Top, $110, minanwong.com
Blue Shirt Shop Mercer Shirt, $158, theblueshirtshop.dl1961.com
E. Shaw Jewels Lapis Lazuli Articulated Bracelet, $150, eshawjewels.com
101.Watch Christian Paul Whitehaven Grid Watch, $139, 101.watch
Read the full post here.
In partnership with 101.Watch‘s article/blog section, I share with you some styling advice featuring the amazing brands you can find at 101.watch. With a keen eye on the designer watch industry both internationally and here stateside, Sona and Karel work together to pick out timeless, yet modern, pieces that perfect for today’s street style fans.
From Karel, “selling wristwatches that are made by small, independent manufacturers was our main goal. We wanted to allow to our customers to own unconventional and trendy, yet affordable, timepieces.”
Read an excerpt from the article below and see some of the favorite blue styles:
From The Runway To Your Wrist
Min A. Lee x 101.Watch
Get on board with all the blues from the Fall 2016 Fashion Week shows with watches from Christian Paul and TechnoSport!
Riverside and Airy Blue are the selected pantone favorites for their calming properties and complementary ease. In this world of fast fashion and digital influence we work to find you designs that stay on top of these runway trends, but also provide a sense of exclusivity. Everyone looks for that statement piece that will pique conversations, and 101.Watch favorites Christian Paul and TechnoSport provide just that!
With a vivid blue leather band and contrasting grid face, Paul’s unisex Balmoral time piece can be combined flawlessly with your fall neutrals. Think tailored trousers and a sports jacket, add in a pocket square of the same bold hue for sophistication. We tend to opt for darker navy, but you’ll find the brighter color of Balmoral is very diverse.
- Christian Paul Watch Balmoral Grid 43mm
- DL1961 Men’s Slim Straight Jeans
- Sebastian Cruz Couture Navy Pocket Square
- Topman Selected Homme Linen Mix Gray Blazer
If your closet is full of athlesiure and urban wear, shop our TechnoSport brand. The Aviation TS-100-3AV’s mix of blue silicone and rose gold hardware provide that cool, streetwear vibe. With excellent craftsmanship that looks and feels like a thousand dollars on your wrist, you’ll find it’s actually quite budget friendly.
Also another blue option for fall is TechnoSport’s Dreamline TS-100-16. You’ll always capture attention with the neon yellow second hand. The best part about TechnoSport timepieces is the 10 ATM water resistance. You can swim or shower with them without retaining water damage. Definitely break these out for your most active days!
To read the full article, click here!