FASHION MANIAC TEAM:
Features Editor : Phillip Johnson
All Photography & Managing Editor : Cheryl Gorski
Copy Editor : Chris Alfiero
Stylists : Cassie Elsaesser
Make Up : Dani Weiser
Hair Stylist : Whitney Curry
Casting Director : Kimberly Cohen
Prop Stylist : Todd Warfield, Lucy Mancuso, Michael Merisola
By Phillip Johnson:
What's more refreshing or beautiful than summer whites? As we barrel through the dog days of summer 2011 and its record-breaking hot and humid weather, it's safe (and apropos) to say that we are in the "official" season of white. White is clean, it's fresh, it's sexy, and more importantly, there is a viable option on how to wear summer whites for every woman (and man), despite her shape, height, and needs. Indeed, it seems that white has become the new "black". (That is, of course, until the upcoming fall styles arrive and black becomes the "new" black once again.)
Whether if it's a scarf, comfortable cotton and/or linen shirt, skirt, dress or shorts, you are guaranteed a summer filled with classic sophisticated pieces, casual pieces you will wear all summer without losing your cool, and a crisp, cool traditional summer trend that is back with a bang. Overall, you really can't go wrong with this trend.
To start, the most popular way to wear white this season, as seen on the backs of regular folks going about their daily lives and Hollywood stars attending movie premieres, and industry parties (as well as the pages of US Weekly, People magazine and the rest of their ilk), is to wear different shades of whites and off-whites in a mixture of varying tones and textures. This is best illustrated by Ann Bowen's gauzy off-the shoulder top worn with a mini skirt with a white gold overtone. Another fine example of mixing one's fashion metaphors is Catherine Malandrino's cream maxi caftan worn over a white two-piece bathing suit. Michael Kors' sensuous cream mesh lightweight turtleneck paired with linen wide-leg pants covered this area in more ways than one.
It's a very sophisticated look for night and can be broken up to serve as versatile day pieces paired with pieces already in your wardrobe. Everybody needs a good, versatile summer white blazer or jacket. How else would you ramp up the level of an outfit if you didn't have the option of pairing it with a crisp, white blazer? Pairing a jacket with the above-mentioned Michael Kors cream mesh lightweight turtleneck is one such example. Staying with Mr. Kors, for spring/summer 2011, he, as usual, showed a great many white jackets for both men and women. For men, he showed beautifully loose unstructured linen/cotton white jackets paired with city short and his version of the male palazzo pant. Office wear is never more appropriate than when you pair a fitted, body-slimming (or slightly loose) white suit with a cream or metallic colored tank top or collared shirt. Even better is when you pair that suit with a strikingly colorful top, say sky blue, emerald green, sunflower yellow or blood red. You will be forever in style and the look is one that never dies, it just goes in hibernation until the next summer.
For those of us who never left the gypsy inspired looks of the 60's and early 70's behind (we are talking about you, Stevie Nicks), you are in luck. You can pair a ruffled or ruched blouse; a t-shirt with a maxi skirt or peasant skirt (in lacework or regular cotton) and your favorite wooden or Bakelite bracelets and it will evoke the memory of Woodstock and San Francisco hippies - only with a decidedly modern edge. Lace work is very important. It can go from street-savvy to charity ball sophistication without missing a beat. Furthermore, summer white lacework pieces are not only pure and sexy, but works wonders on one's figure.
From Catherine Malandrino, Tracy Reese, Ports 1961, and Nanette Lepore and Naaem Khan, we were blessed with some stunning lace/crochet long dresses. From Imitation of Christ, we got an unexpected treat with their lace work hoodie cape and veils. Nanette Lepore also showed white lace sheath like and a-line short day dresses, thus giving her customers options for every moment of their lives as they battle the hot summer days and night of 2011. A cardigan is one of the must-have pieces in a woman's wardrobe and especially so in the summer. (The air-conditioning in the office invariably becomes arctic as the summer progresses.) Nothing says summer like a cardigan sweater with dainty ruffles as when it is paired with a flirty a-line or pencil skirt. For leisure time, you can add Capri pants and cute t-shirts to create a look that is the height of casual perfection.
As the yen for skinny jeans begin to fade, wide-legged pants are primed for a major comeback. The secret to the staying power behind a pair of white, wide-legged trouser is simple: They exude luxury and comfort. For spring/summer 2011, the options available for wide-legged pants range from slightly loose around the ankles to pieces enhanced with voluminous folds of fabric as to be mistaken for a maxi skirt. White pants are especially great with summer tans, neutrals and colorful pumps, and can be worn from season to season.
For summer evening events, the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris was ablaze with gowns and cocktail dresses designed to allow you to shine like a bright new penny. What's equally important is that these pieces will transition very well into the fall when the high society charity ball season start in earnest in September.
Summer whites, unfortunately, has the potential to be can be boring and/or underwhelming (or even overwhelming in some instance). Therefore, fashion experts far and wide are also advocating for the mixing of summer whites with a variety of other looks. Floral prints work very well with white because it breaks up the monotony. You can pair your floral sundress with white espadrilles and a white belt or switch it around and pair your crisp white sundress with a floral print belt or shoes and a handbag with a floral motif. Either way, you are on trend.
Color-blocking is one of the hottest new trends for the season, as it combines the use of two or more solid color blocks of color in an ensemble. This could be for a top, bottom, tunic, a dress and even a handbag or shoes. It can include monotone, bright colors, muted colors, contrasting and complimentary colors. While bright colors are the most popular color blocking option, color block is not limited to just bright hues. This season, there is a large selection of color-blocked clothes and accessories in neutral, muted tones from whites to beige to nude and all others in between.
The Do's and Don'ts of Wearing Summer Whites
As often is the case, you can't depend on everyone to get the trend right. There's always someone out there that is so off the mark that you want to take out your fashion police citation book and serve them with a warning ticket. Here are some rules to follow, that will serve you well this season and others to come.
Tip 1: Whites tend to be see-through, so be sure to wear flesh colored undergarments and/or a camisole. If you make the mistake of wearing patterned undergarments (or even white ones), the world will know it and they won't be impressed. And no matter how cute your butt is, this is never appropriate and beyond tacky! Before you leave your home, you may want to stand in front of an open backlit doorway and have a loved one check to see if your silhouette is something you are comfortable with before leaving the house. However, this a moot point if the goal all along was to show off your pink bra under your sheer white top.
Tip 2: Keep your white garments light and flowy. You can even wear pieces that are fitted BUT not tight. Tight and white is not flattering on most figures. Anything fitted will always complement your figure because it follows the natural line of your body working to give your figure shape. Anything that is flowy and light will enable you to breathe while looking fabulous. On the other hand, anything tight has the tendency to highlight the bad bits and pieces here and there that you wouldn't necessarily want seen.
Tip 3: Accessorize the white with bright. Anything white is best thought of as a canvas. By itself, it's plain and simple. But, as soon as you add some bright accessories to it, you enliven it up, give it some flavor, and just generate curiosity.
Tip 4: Bare, tanned legs look best under your white dress. Opt to wear nude colored Spanx instead of hose, but if you must wear hosiery, don't choose a white pair. White reflects light and expands your shape. Your legs will look chunky encased in white. Even worse, you will look like a nurse.
Tip 5: For the same reason, unless you are very thin, steer clear of white leggings. Pair a white blouse or tee with a darker pair of pants or shorts to elongate your figure. Too many sins of bad taste have been committed with women wearing white legging or even legging as pants. You don't want to be that person anymore.
Tip 6: Too much of a good thing can ruin your look. Again, by itself, white has the tendency to be so overwhelming plain. And not only that, but if there are no color lines to break up the outfit, your body shape may just get lost in all that whiteness. You will become a Swiss Alp or worse, a narrow, long white candlestick. For example, it may become unclear where your hips begin because your whole outfit is continuously white. So throw in some nude hues, metallics, or a pop of color to break up the monotony. Typically, that would mean wearing a gold or blue shoe to look more flattering with your all-white outfit than a white pair. Break it up with color. Thus, especially when wearing a white suit, wear a different colored shirt.
Our latest Fashion Maniac shoot took place at the historical Central Train Terminal. Frits Abel orchestrated the Echo Art Fair hosting over 50 artists. This was our third live photo shoot and patrons could have their photo taken in our set. I applaud Alexis Quin, Bray Alexander, and especially Aaron Waters, for their spectacular modeling/acting/dance skills in the sweltering heat! Not to forget our Dani Weiser for her 'marbleing' body paint effects. I want to say thank you for all the hours everyone put into this, and for partaking in this event. Our Fashion Maniac team is a proud sponsor of the arts.
Model's clothing provided by:
Lotions and Potions | 789 Elmwood Ave | Buffalo | (716) 886-6457
Morgen Love - studio shots
Roman pillars provided by Charlie Spier
Leave it to the Fashion Maniac team to show that Buffalo has what it takes when it comes to fashion trends and models who like to showcase the latest and greatest. Check out the other shoots to see the national trends and where to find them locally: United We Stand @ Tifft Nature Preserve, bathing suits on the Spirit of Buffalo, Black Velvet, James Scissorhands, kicks and handbags at Niagara Square, Morgen Love, bowling, blue jeans on tracks, 1950's, rocking scarves, warrior, the workplace can be sexy, raingear and the twins, Li'l Black Dress, Lingering Nights, concrete jungle, Hay Fever, Freeze Frame, the custom hatter, night moves in Allentown, Spring into Summer, Who Did It?, Good Clean Fun, Love Never Dies, Buff Designs, Oh What a Night, and the sultry bridesmaid.
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Photos starting top left Clockwise: Kimberly Cohen, Andrew Brown, Whitney Curry, Dani Weiser, Cheryl Gorski, Todd Warfield, Cassie Elsaesser, Michael Merisola, Lucy Perrone-Mancuso, Phillip Johnson
Cheryl Gorski | Photographer & Creative Director | 716-895-1689 | 716-903-0600 | email@example.com | Also on Facebook specializing in: Fashion, Head shots/modeling/acting, Editorial, Portraits, Bands/ CD/ Press Kits, Corporate events, Web photography, Run-way
Cassie Rose: Specializing in Visual merchandising, Styling, Fashioneditorial and Media arts, personal shopper, and blogger | E-mail is Cassandraelsaesser@yahoo.com | Facebook-Cassie Rose | Twitter-CassieRosee
Dani Weiser: Makeup Artist www.hollywoodmakeupartist.net | 716-348-1239 | Make-up teacher, weddings, T.V., Film, Print and SFX. Hollywood | Sunless Tanning - for apointments. website is www.hollywoodsunlesstanning.com. Please call for any questions.
Lucy Perrone-Mancuso: Prop Stylist | Owner of Moda | 1509 Hertel Ave 725-6636 | Specializing in accessories, antiques, jewelry, furnishings, buy & sell, motion pictures/films, photo shoots.
Todd Warfield: Prop Stylist Extraordinaire | 716-289-1078 | Specializing in special effects, production of designing and building sets, theatre and photo shoots.
Whitney Curry: Hair stylist for photo shoots, films, bridal, personal | Whitfemale@gmail.com | Chezannsalon.com
Phillip Johnson: Freelance Writer specializing in the fashion industry, and beauty | firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-512-2528
Michael Merisola: Set Stylist & Expert in Antiques /Modern Furniture | Owner of Coo Coo U | 1478 Hertel Ave, Bflo, 716-432-6216 | www.coocoou.com.
Andrew Brown: Hair & Makeup stylist and owner of Salon Rouge 700 Elmwood Ave | 716-884-1010 | Specializing in Up Dos for weddings, color, cuts, Halloween, Run Way and photoshoots.
Kimberly Cohen: Casting director and model/ actrss for movies, plays, photography and films | email@example.com | Twitter: kmcohen | Facebook Kimberly Cohen.