Hermès Soie Cool Bag

Hermès Soie Cool Bag

Speaking of Hermès, a new handbag has arrived just in time for spring at Hermès stores nationwide. The Sac Soie Cool is made of silk and leather; not to hard, not too soft. I have to say, it is gorgeous. The silk portion of the bag is made from one of two Hermès classic scarves, the Brides de Gala or the Carré en Cravate. The drawstring bag looks elegant, colorful, and carefree. Unlike the Hermes crocodile shirt for men that cost $100,000 after taxes, the Soie Cool handbag is reasonably priced at $2,050.

Photo: Courtesy of Elle.com

Hermés $91,500 Crocodile Shirt Found Slumming in New York City

We all know that Hermés is the crème de la crème of luxury fashion brands, so we shouldn’t be surprised that a $91,500 T-shirt exists. Should we?  The black crew-neck T-shirt was discovered by a blogger at The Awl, while browsing at the Hermés boutique on Madison Avenue. According to The Awl, “Literally, the entire shirt is just luxurious, beautifully sewn swaths of crocodile“, and it was hanging inconspicuously on a shelf, slumming with the less expensive clothing. (The poor shirt probably doesn’t have a choice. How many 100k T- shirts could there be?)  Unfortunately, the blogger couldn’t take a picture of the shirt, but managed to capture  a picture of the price tag. The taxes on that beauty is roughly $8,000, and I think for that kind of money, that shirt should be your personal stylist and dress you in the morning.

Photo: Courtesy of The Awl

The shirt showed in Paris last year for Hermés 2012 Men’s Spring collection, and I keep wondering “Where do you wear a crocodile shirt?” It’s not a breathable fabric, and it is probably heavy, so showing it off at the club is out. Really, everything is out because sweating will ruin it. Where these special crocodiles? Because no matter how beautifully  the crocodile is sewn, $91,500 is ridiculous. Oh, and you know PETA is livid over the demise of the poor crocodiles that lost their lives to outrageously priced fashion.

Photo: Courtesy of JUST ONE EYE

Hermés is not the only fashion label to slap a ridiculous price on an item. The Row, the Olsen Twins upscale clothing line, collaborated with artist Damien Hirst and JUST ONE EYE, and created 12 limited edition crocodile backpacks for $55,000. The backpacks were sprinkled with prescription pills or dots and sold out in no time.  If you missed out, you can still purchase the unadorned, alligator version for $34,000.

Believe it or not, the  Hermés crocodile shirt is not the most expensive shirt in the world. Datta Phuge, an Indian millionaire, nicknamed the “Gold Man of Primpi”  has a 22-carat shirt that cost $235,000. Phuge commissioned Ranka Jewelers to make the shirt as an investment to leave to his loved ones when he dies.

You wouldn’t expect a bottle of fingernail polish to cost more than Phuge’s gold shirt, but Azature’s Black Diamond nail polish contains 267-carats of real black diamonds, and will only set you back a measly $250,000. This couture nail lacquer is definitely for the one percent, like Kelly Osbourne, who flaunted her expensive Azature manicure at the 2012 Emmys.

Beyoncé Hits the Ground Ruling: Mrs. Carter in H&M Amidst Bow Down Controversy

Is it me or does it look like Beyoncé is taking over? In what could be the trendy retailers biggest celebrity endorsement yet, H&M has managed to snap up Queen Bey as the new face of  H&M. A summer collection is set to roll out globally in May captioned, “Beyoncé as Mrs. Carter in H&M” and from the looks of the promotional photo, it will be a red hot campaign. Her ensemble is seasonably sexy as she lounges in a revealing white sleeveless blouse, teeny black and white printed shorts, multiple gold bangles, and stilettos. Beyoncé undoubtedly had a hand in designing the line so it’s sure to be inclusive of all sizes.

Just a few days earlier, she announced her upcoming tour, “The Mrs. Carter Show” so it looks like the collection will tie into the world tour. Her new song, Standing on the Sun, will feature in the television and online advertisements for H&M, and I Been On, the second part of Bow Down/I Been On, is the featured music for O2 Priority tickets for the UK leg of the tour, which starts in Serbia, Belgrade, April 15.

After taking some time off to enjoy life and Blue Ivy, Beyoncé has crammed a lot into the first few months of 2013;  the Super Bowl performance, her recent Shape, GQ (GQ named her “Miss Millennium”), and Vogue magazine covers, a world tour, her fifth album, and clothing line. All of this is coming on the heels of her HBO documentary Life Is But A Dream, and her $50 million endorsement deal with Pepsi. (Did I leave anything out?) Add to that the President and Michelle Obama’s obvious affection for her and Jay Z, and it spells world domination to me.

 All of that exposure and power can’t come without some controversy and this time it’s behind the lyrics for Bow Down, which some say comes off as disdain, not just to her haters, but to her fans as well. R&B songstress Keisha Cole and others have voiced their opinions and confusion over the lyrics because her songs are typically pro-woman and these lyrics are not. When you look at the numerous awards, album sales, and accolades, there has already been a fair amount of bowing down. After all, she is called “Queen Bey” for a reason.

There is nothing wrong with a healthy self image, and if she were a man, there would be no controversy. In any event, this isn’t going to affect clothing, album or ticket sales; in fact, it will probably increase them. Not that I know her, but anytime I have seen Beyoncé in interviews, she appears to be very approachable and grounded, despite her massive popularity and wealth. I am going to assume that there is a method to the Bow Down madness and Mrs Carter is another incarnation, like Sasha Fierce.

Forget the lyrics, I just want to know where she gets her energy from. I probably can’t afford it, but I want to know just the same so I can start saving up. Just writing about what she has accomplished and has planned for this year makes me want a nap.

Do you find the Bow Down lyrics offensive? Are you excited about the “Beyoncé as Mrs. Carter in H&M,” collection?

” Chanel is …”

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Chanel is above all a style. Fashion passes, style remains.”

~ Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel ~

The Regal and the Rebellious – Chanel and the Diamond

“If I have chosen the diamond, it is because it represents, in its density, the greatest value in the smallest volume.”

~ Gabrielle Chanel ~

I have always been a Chanel fan. I have my crushes, but in the end, if given a choice, I will always choose Chanel because the style is timeless and trendsetting. It started with a handbag, the black caviar leather handbag with the gold chain straps to be exact, a gift from my now ex husband. I opened the bag several times the first few days to look at it, too afraid to touch it because I could not believe I actually owned a Chanel. Through the years I have had the privilege of owning several Chanel accessories, but I wasn’t that interested in the clothing until I had the opportunity to see Chanel clothing up close. It was then that I began to see how easily I could make it work with my style.

I was admiring Burberry’s new handbag “The Blaze” online at Vogue UK, when I came across a snippet about a short film called “Chanel and the Diamond”, which was  about Coco Chanel’s legendary fine jewelry exhibit the “Bijoux de Diamants” in 1932. The film was the third installment from a series titled Inside Chanel, which highlights pivotal innovations from the House of Chanel.

 Coco, a.k.a. Gabrielle had a tendency to think outside the box and make her own rules. When she was commissioned by diamond merchants to rejuvenate a weakened diamond industry, she created a lavish diamond and platinum jewelry collection, and when I say created, I mean she performed a complete overhaul that revolutionized the way jewelry was made and worn forever.

 Apparently, reinventing the wheel was not what the male dominated world of  diamond merchandising had in mind when they hired the talented fashion and jewelry designer, and they were even less impressed that the “Bijoux de Diamants” was shown in her Paris apartment on mannequins, instead of cradled in velvet and encased behind glass domes in a boutique. Perhaps they should have been more specific.

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Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel
Photo: Courtesy of Chanel

 The “Bijoux de Diamants” was Coco’s one and only fine jewelry show, and her audacity was talked about for some time. Chanel recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of the exhibit with a stunning fine jewelry collection,  “The 1932 Collection”  that is inspired by the original collection. The invitation only festivities took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, where Chanel decked guests enjoyed dinner and a viewing of both collections.

It’s amazing that 80 years later, Coco’s classic style, whether it be clothing or accessories, is still relevant, inspirational, and on trend.

 

For more insight on the timeless magic of Chanel, watch the other installments of Inside CHANEL series.

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Prabal Gurung

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A look from the Prabal Gurung runway show.

 

Prabal Gurung is my new favorite designer. Not that I don’t still love my Chanel and Alexander Wang, but every time I see an outfit that I fall in love with on sight, it’s a Prabal Gurung. I am really drawn to his aesthetic.  He is destined to be in my closet and I want my wallet to agree without constantly reminding me it’s impossible… Mission Impossible.

There is no doubt that Prabal Gurung has arrived.  He launched his capsule collection for Target on February 10th, and according to Business Insider,  it almost sold out in one day. The 93-piece line has clothes, shoes, handbags, and jewelry. The collection is colorful but not overwhelmingly bright because there is black incorporated to give it some balance. The florals are more classic than trendy, and the line print is a bit abstract, but not enough to make you lose interest. Top the collection off with the bold jewelry if you still feel the need to kick it up a notch. Everything is meant to match and swap, and the possibilities are endless.

 

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A look from the Prabal Gurung for Target capsule collection.

 

You can definitely see Prabal in his collection for Target, and it cost a fraction of his high-end line. Prices start a $19.99 and top off at $199.99? So if you always wanted a Prabal Gurung but couldn’t justify spending thousands of dollars,  Target is giving you the opportunity to start your Prabal Gurung collection. If you’re a super-fan this nail art tutorial is inspired by one of his prints.

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Prabal Gurung Inspired Nail Art by Elizabeth Monson

 

I need every single Prabal Gurung outfit I saw from his New York Fashion Week show. His Fall 2013 RTW collection is… Badass. Sorry, if there are any sensitive ears out there, but I was actually sugar-coating my description. There really is no room for political correctness here. The olive green military inspired outfits are embellished with fur, belt straps, and leather gloves, and the results are striking. The collection is inspired by Asgardа, a  Ukrainian martial art that has been recreated to accommodate a woman’s physique, and many of the outfits have authentic Ukrainian embroidery. The dresses are seductive, and feature strategically placed cutouts and thigh-high slits that flow seductively in white, olive green, royal blue, and red silk.  The message is clear; look but don’t touch. It’s hard and soft and reeks of attitude. There is very little in his 2013 Fall collection that I didn’t like. Check out the gallery of my favorites and tell me what you think about the collection.

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Project Runway Teams: What Do You Think Of The New Format?


I was already upset because Anthony Ryan won the second season of Project Runway All Stars instead of Uli or Emilio, and already put-off about Zac Posen replacing Michael Kors as a judge (not that I don’t like Zac, it takes a moment to warm up to change) because Kors has scheduling conflicts. Then, I see Zac and Tim Gunn on Good Morning America announcing that the designers are going to be working in teams. I am not excited about this format at all because it doesn’t give the viewer a chance to get to know the designers as individuals. I don’t remember any designer in the past 10 seasons of Project Runway getting excited over team challenges and the entire season is nothing but teamwork. So at a time when I would normally be getting very excited about a new season, I am anything but.

 

I can’t imagine the designers liked the twist either, as they are coming on the show to show what they can do and express their point of view, not worry about creating something that must be inclusive of others work and opinions as well. I don’t think that any of the past designers have worked with others and most creative types, (writers included) prefer to work by themselves.

The decision to make every challenge a team challenge this season stems from Heidi wanting the designers to work in a realistic environment. Apparently, successful designers do work with others. I don’t know why I thought that it was a one man/woman show where the designer delegates and the others fall in line. In an ideal world right? 

The 16 contestants are divided into two teams, “Dream Team” and “Keeping It Real”. Moving on…

I was prepared to dislike the new format but Emily, who started the episode patting herself on the back and belittling others, sent down the ugliest creation in the western hemisphere. I don’t even know if you can call it an outfit and the judges apparently agreed because they sent her packing. I tried real hard to feel sorry for her but I couldn’t because she deserved to go home based on her attitude alone. There is no “i” in team, but there is an “i” in bitch. Bye, bye.

    

The Loser (The pictures don’t do this monstrosity justice)

    

The Winner

There is some real talent of course, (Daniel Esquivel won the challenge) and everyone is super-nice now, but there is bound to be some drama stitched in the midst of creation and runway. After all, they are competing for a 2013 Lexus GS 350, a spread in Marie Claire, a technology suite worth $50,000 from HP and Intel, and the opportunity to design an exclusive collection for Lord & Taylor. With all of that on the line and the pressure of having to work with others, this season might not be as bad as I thought.