Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: fashion story for REDMILK MAGAZINE


Luca Galasso tells the story of a teenage girl who owns a killer style and wants to unleash it on the world. Will she do it? 

 A young girl (model Shaughnessy Brown) wears a t-shirt and acid-wash mom jeans that look handed-down or vintage, which means her family gave them to her or she got them for cheap at a thrift store. The floral embroidered sheer socks are romantic, while the shoes are chunky low-heel shoes from the 1930s. The delicate socks are a contrast with the rusted mailbox with tenant compartments. 

 The jeans ground the floral tank dress. She’s a street girl with dreams of fame and fortune, and if she makes it, she won’t forget her roots a la Jennifer Lopez. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

 The silhouette of the white midi skirt is like Cinderella’s dress with the apron when she was a servant in her own house. She mixes a sexy lace tank on one shoulder with Coca-Cola logo t-shirt associated with adolescents.

 She mixes gingham with tie-dye rolled up sleeves.

 She wears an orange spaghetti-strap dress over a graphic shirt that tames the sexiness of the dress. She wears her sheer socks without shoes rubbing her sock feet in sand. The plastic shopping bag acts as a makeshift handbag. She can dream, can’t she? Note how the color of the dress matches the orange she holds.

 The sheer socks are shown making contact with the hard concrete.

 The lace-trimmed bustier is worn over another graphic t-shirt with a suede pencil skirt. The red house slippers are her version of Dorothy’s ruby slippers; she’s Dorothy living in Brooklyn. Again, the plastic shopping bag becomes her go-to accessory with a fashion magazine inside. She’s dreaming of taking a trip somewhere over the rainbow. If she just closes her eyes and clicks her heels…


Photographer: Chris White
Stylist: Luca Galasso
Model: Shaughnessy Brown @Next
Hair: Ezio Diaferia @Close up using Tecni Art L’Oreal
Make up: Luca Cianciolo @Close up using MAC Cosmetics

Friday, November 6, 2015

Be what you want to be in 'Hollywood Horror" fashion editorial

Halloween has been over for almost a full week, but I discovered this horror-themed editorial that will creep you out and turn you on; it’s pleasure and pain at its best. Styled by the talented Luca Galasso for V Magazine, the spread is about what Halloween is about: free to be outrageous for one special night of the year. The men and women in these photos want to be dominated, tasted, invisible, befriended and terrifying, all while selling the clothing with style. Galasso mixes romantic brands like Gucci and Céline mix with the avant-garde of J.W. Anderson and Alexander Wang to create penetrating color schemes of reds, blues and greens with a particularly creative use of red that resembles blood. The editorial’s heavy use of vinyl, astrakhan fur, and leather and restraint belts speaks to a person’s desire to be stifled, literally and figuratively. Pictures courtesy of TRENCH COAT Contrary to popular belief, black and blue go together. Appreciate this trench coat for its finish that looks like it was brushed with fresh paint and perfect for going incognito. SHINY FINISHES The shine of the coatdress and shirt resembles the foil used to wrap pointsiettas at Christmas time; the leather harness gives a middle finger to that holiday spirit. FUR AND FEATHERS Astrakhan fur and feathers are perfect for those with dirty minds on Halloween. Can you imagine the feather and fur tickling the skin? BOLD RED SKIRTS Powerful silhouettes and cold-blooded texture come in the form of these bold red skirts and coats of python and croc. There’s a June Cleaver quality to the A-line skirt and a playfulness to the skirt shaped like an upside down tulip. THIGH-HIGH BOOTS Leather studded thigh-high boots are a play on a Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman boots and a nod to BSDM culture. In the spirit of Halloween, a red collar simulates blood spilling from the neck. MESH & FISHNETS Fishnets and mesh say, “look but don’t touch” and evoke cages and fish scales.
ROSES & RED A quaint floral Alexander McQueen dress transforms into a puffy comforter when put under plastic. The printed roses resemble crumbled pieces of paper making it clear this woman was thrown out with the trash. Red Prada Mary Jane heels pop out like the ruby slippers found on the feet of the dead Wicked Witch of the East.
A TOUCH OF RED A red belt attached to a zipper is a stripe of bloody terror.
RAINCOATS Recall the movies The Matrix and Don’t Look Now in these shiny raincoats.
INSIDE-OUT COATS This look is warlock high fashion and another example of how wearing coats inside out creates a whole new piece.
SLEEVELESS SHEATHS These little black dresses are the witchy sexy kind. A coven never looked so good opting for tweed checkerboard patterns and restraint strap details.
PLATFORM BOOTS The platform boots instantly take me back to the days when the Spice Girls ruled the world; the dyed fox fur coat is pure Scary Spice.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Top 10 looks from Dries Van Noten SS16

The Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2016 collection offers a provocative 1940s style that women can wear while balancing their family and social lives.

The women present in the Dries Van Noten SS 2016 runway show during Paris Fashion Week are mothers and socialites; they’re Kris Jenners without the fame. The cat eye sunglasses and victory roll hairstyles portray these women in a 1940s style reminiscent of the iconic femme fatales Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford used to play. At times these women are soccer moms and at others they’re femme fatales. They’re also matriarchs who care deeply about their family and friends. The mood of the clothing is lively, full of tropical leaf patterns and sparkles, as well as luxurious silks and tulles. The Dries Van Noten SS 2016 collection contains the makings of a wardrobe for women trying to live their fullest life, balancing their family and social lives. Take a look at the best of the Dries Van Noten collection on our top 10 pieces.

  10. A loose blazer hangs with effortless bravado conjuring images of Katharine Hepburn destroying gender norms with her androgynous style. Throw on a blazer with a gown and you’ll look innovative. Watch your kid in the school play in a dress with a relaxed jacket and then take the family home in time for a dinner party hosted at your house.
9. The purples and pinks of the sweater are a cheery childhood flashback, while the Depression-era brown pants are a dose of reality. The model keeps her hands in her pockets like Fred MacMurray walking on a Los Angeles street in Double Indemnity in deep thought about a double cross.
8. When you mash feminine and masculine elements together, they become more distinct and compliment each other. The sparkly bra gives this outfit a daredevil quality perfect for attending fashion shows or a trip to the mall (maybe without the bra). The Mr. Darcy coat is dapper Victorianism that will make you look extremely capable.
7. As much as those shoulders scream 1940s era Joan Crawford, the dress flows into a geisha silhouette. The tropical leaf patterns are lively and can be worn to a dinner party or even to church. It’s such a down to earth dress.
6. In a great outfit for plotting a double cross Double Indemnity-style, a bold patterned suit with opera gloves will make you feel independent and in control of your destiny.
5. The languidness of pajamas defines this electric purple coat making it perfect for a day of shopping at the mall while the kids are at school. A seemingly everyday trip to the mall is time to soul search about a career in fashion that seems so far out of her reach.
4. This shirtdress immediately brings to mind Grace Kelly’s Paris dress in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window (1954). The brocade and obi belt are Asian influences that recall birds and fish evident in the tulle overlay cut in folds resembling fish scales and plumage. Wear this to any fancy event, from the dinner party to a Broadway play.
3. The model wears a perfect coat for sleuthing that Harriet the Spy would wear as an adult detective. The sheer tulle turns the Columbo coat into something sacred and feminine.
2. The masculine and feminine styles converge again in this outfit that recalls ‘90s R&B divas like TLC and Aaliyah who mixed gender styles. The staples of this ‘90s look are the midriff bustier and baggy pants. While you go to the tailgate at the NFL game, wear a loose blazer over the above outfit; when you go to the sports bar after the game, show off your provocative outfit.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Top 10 fashion moments from ‘Madam Secretary’ episode “Whisper of the Ax’

(Photo credit:

On last Sunday’s Madam Secretary episode, “Whisper of the Ax,” the color teal finds its way into t he characters’ costumes, unifying the characters even when they’re divided. Madam Secretary Elizabeth McCord’s Microloans program is hit by scandal and everything seems to be falling apart, but teal stands strong like a guardian angel.

The color is there when Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord’s Microloans program is called into question by congress. The color is also there when Elizabeth’s oldest daughter Stevie may have found her calling.

Teal even makes it onto the ties of congressmen. Like a versatile actor, teal plays many roles: cupid, prep school student, upscale socialite and politician.

The episode rides on the theme of independence, especially female independence, and in an America where it’s easy to drift without realizing dreams, the color teal symbolizes hope. Check out my list of the top teal costume moments from “Whisper of the Ax.”

10. Male congressman wears a teal striped tie, which links him with Elizabeth and others. This is a bold color for a stern-looking man in a dull suit.

9. Isabelle’s teal cashmere sweater that she wears while talking to Elizabeth in her apartment. Shortly after, Isabelle’s home is raided due to Elizabeth suspecting her as a leak.

8. Elizabeth wears a teal suit jacket in order to look strong, but she’s soon humiliated when the Congress tells her that the head of the Microloans program created fake Microloans to pay for gambling and prostitution.

7. Kyle Feeney—the guy who discovered the scandalous hotel photos of Microloans head— wears a teal-striped tie at the Congress meeting, which he thinks will be the downfall of Microloans.

6. The teal vest dress that Elizabeth wears resembles a school jumper, a nod to her prep style. 

5.  Stevie wears a teal heart print scarf while eating lunch at café with her dad, who tells her she needs to find something she’s passionate about or else she will drift her way through life. The hearts predict a potential romance.

4. Stevie decides she’s passionate about Microloans, so she goes to volunteer for the program and she meets Arthur Gilroy who needs help fielding calls. She wears a teal mohair coat that screams money, like a socialite.

3. A teal cross print shift dress is worn underneath Stevie’s mohair coat. The crosses speak to faith and hope.

2. Arthur Gilroy matches Stevie’s teal outfit with his teal print tie. Is it a sign that they’re both wearing teal? Especially since teal is not the most common color.

1. Jay Whitman, the policy advisor to Elizabeth, seemed to have turned on his boss in a drunken rant witnessed by Kyle Feeney, but the next day at the Congress meeting he shows up in a sharp suit and teal/gray striped tie. He wears teal as a badge of confidence when he shows that he was faking out Feeney.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Good Wife's 'Dark Money' is all about tweed and green

Alicia in red-and-black plaid suit

Episode 13 of The Good Wife called “Dark Money” features its leading ladies in some green and lots and lots of tweed.

Alicia Florrick and Diane Lockhart are two sides of the same coin on many levels, but especially their fashion sense. They’re conservative dressers overall, but they wear their tasteful suits like gazelles, managing to glide through space.

Alicia begins the episode in a tweed red and black-stenciled plaid skirt suit with black tights are undeniably preppy, but those towering Louboutin pumps give her an Amazonian edge. Think of this as her Clueless outfit.

Diane stays decked out in tweed suits including a suit skirt with a cropped jacket, but throws in a red satin blazer to keep things fresh.

Just as Alicia is influenced by Diane’s style, Eli Gold’s daughter Marissa has started to wear body-con dresses and tights, like the embroidered paisley red and black dress she wears with black tights and heels; it’s a sophisticated look that’s less severe than a suit. Interestingly, Marissa’ s body-con dresses are worn when she’s chatting with Colin Sweeney’s wife Renata who stays wrapped in body-con dresses with ruched bodices and see-through chiffons.

Kalinda’s obsessed with evergreen in this episode possibly because she’s in an unfamiliar situation with Lamont Bishop: escorting Lamont’s son to school and coming into his house, which is sort of like playing house since there is no mom in the picture. The color green is applied to Kalinda’s usual shapes of body-con dresses and asymmetric lines that reflect her contradictions.  Her various moto-jackets and trench coats are her version of noir, which reflect her mysteriousness. 

There’s a skirt suit that Alicia wears when she’s talking to Colin Sweeney that I call the “French Window” dress because the white stitching looks like a French window pane made out of a spider’s silk. Alicia is surprisingly more open-minded with Colin as opposed to their earlier scene in her guarded plaid.

By the end of the episode, Alicia’s sitting on her living room sofa having an emotional moment with her daughter Grace, while dressed in a cream cashmere sweater with ribbed front; Alicia looks comfortable instead of the high-fashion armor she wears to work.

A standout of the episode is Renata’s maroon halter bodice body-con dress with chiffon sleeves that she wears while making sexual expressions at Colin in court. It’s a dress that is pure sex, all tight and see-through, and perfect for an exhibitionist like Renata.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


 Text by Christopher Cole

Production designer Cornelia Ott has created a modern world devoid of privacy in “Passion,” director Brian De Palma’s remake of the French film, “Love Crime.” The sly thriller, released in 2012, stars Noomi Rapace as a Creative Director at a Berlin ad agency who worships her beautiful and assertive boss (Rachel McAdams). When McAdams’ character Christine steals credit for an innovative smart phone ad that Rapace’s character Isabelle created, an intricate game of dominance and submission occurs leading to violence. Cornelia Ott designs sets that reflect a tech-savvy world where privacy is sacrificed to satisfy voyeuristic pleasures; the irony is that the more access we have to information, the less access we have to the truth.

Christine’s house is a clean space full of white walls, columns, glass tables and chairs that evoke the minimalist look of Apple stores: glass and open space; a large champagne-colored French sofa anchors the room. The erotic paintings on the walls of Sapphic Grecian women and the carved wood picture of a horse and its master reinforce the film’s theme of dominance vs. submission. The basket of wood (for the mantel-less fireplace) and the trees give the room a rustic element.

Isabelle’s apartment is a small space, yet its minimalist look makes it look larger. The dominant color is white reminiscent of vanilla ice cream, but the color orange plays a memorable supporting role adding warmth to the space: the fruit bowl of orange/white swirl pattern full of apples that rests atop a blond wood table in Isabelle's kitchen. The hallway carpet outside Isabelle’s apartment is a similar orange that continues down a spiraling staircase evoking the cinematic language of Alfred Hitchcock.

Inside the foyer of Dirk’s house (visible from the street through a glass door), three African masks and a spear hang on the wall, and when you see Dirk’s brick-walled bedroom, it’s clear that the masks and spear symbolize  masculinity.  The bedroom is a little shop of humiliation: in the open bathroom, a ceramic sculpture of a penis sits on the top of the medicine cabinet and a life-size statue of a dog painted white looks up dependent and submissive.

The workspaces are understandably less warm than the living spaces. The glass desk is a feature of both Isabelle and Christine’s offices, as are advertising posters, but Christine’s office again contains small rustic details: Japanese bonsai trees and snake plants. Like Christine’s house, her office filled with white furniture and white walls.

Christine’s penchant for rustic reaches a high point in her bathroom: large tree branches hanging from the ceilings create the atmosphere of a forest, anchored by a white bathtub. The light, clean surfaces start to get dark and messy, as the plot thickens.

The rehearsal for a fashion show that Christine takes Isabelle to is a lesson in symbolism. A screen projection of a moving jellyfish on a ocean-blue backdrop represents duality: a jellyfish is a predator with tentacles, but it 's also a weak, spineless person. The catwalk is transparent as is the floor of lit squares; the chairs are glass and bring to mind the feel of Cinderella’s glass slipper.

The cocktail party at the Bode Museum is pure decadence: walls gilded in gold with marble columns and scrollwork; a sweeping staircase with a gold gilded railing. The calla lilies in vases are calm and elegant. Statues of nude Grecian women display watches in slots on their chests and stomach: the union of sex and consumerism. It’s a luxurious space that is old-fashioned and baroque, a departure from the film’s mostly simple, modern spaces.

All of the spaces share an openness, spaces where there’s nowhere to hide, reflecting the film’s theme of society’s loss of privacy.