Thursday, October 15, 2009

Let's see what the West Elm vs. CB2 thing is all about.

So maybe I'll have a certain bias because I work for one of the companies, but in terms of style, I'll try to be as frank as I can. Both companies are rivals in the market of affordable modern living, yet they have so many similarities that the products kind of speak for themselves. Look at how similar the products are (Who's copying who?):

Hicks Glass Top Dining Table $399.00 Silverado Rectangular Dining Table $299.00
The main difference is about $100, but in terms of everything else, it's pretty hard to choose which one is better. I like that the Hicks table's is a brushed metal instead of of chrome finish, but I like Silverado's design more because the middle gap is visually more interesting.

Corduroy/Linen Pillow $14.99 - $28.00 $14.99 - $24.99 Cord Pillow $19.95-$39.95
I like West Elm's corduroy pillow more than CB2's because I like the big ribs. Also there are more muted color choices to work with. The only advantage CB2 has in this department is that theirs are reversible.

Essex Mirror $299.00 Perspective Mirror $149.00
For the price and look, the obvious winner is CB2. If I wanted my mirror to look dirty, I'd let it hang unattended, but I wouldn't want someone to do it for me. Also, the Perspective mirror has more abstract pieces put into it, so you get more of the design aesthetic.

Butler Tray & Stand$59.00 - $149.00 $39.99 - $149.00 Formosa Tray Table $49.95
Even though they're pretty similar, I like them both for very different reasons. The Butler Tray and Stand seem very sturdy and has an assortment of materials and colors of the tray to choose from. The Formosa tray table is a lot more clean-lined and simple. However, I don't really know how much it can carry before it collapses.

Organic Cotton Knit Throw $49.00 $39.00 Cable Throw $49.95
Although CB2 has a lot of fun colors, sometimes, it's about versatility and West Elm's throws seem to have that. On top of that the price is about the same, but theirs is an organic cotton. Green products will always pull at my heartstrings.

Adjustable Metal Floor Lamp $149.00 Twine Floor Lamp $199.00
I want to think one is better than the other, but it's hard to say which one is better. They both have tripod-esque legs, but I do like Twine's shape more. Also the proportion is a lot more interesting.

Metallic Botanical Rug $109.00 - $799.00 Pod Rug $299.00 - $599.00
I like CB2's Pod rug a lot more because the leaves are broken up and have bits of red outline. The metallic botanical rug is too "obvious." I'm looking at it the way a photographer probably would.

Organic Noodle Bath Mat $19.99 - $26.00 Cirrus Rugs $19.95
Okay, I don't think I'm that biased because West Elm's bath mat has won me over. Not only is it organic, but also the colors are beautifully subdued and the nubs are thinner. I like color, but there are times when it can obnoxious.

Scoop-Back Chair $99.00 Toro Chair $89.95
It's hard to judge them because they're almost identical. The Toro chair's blue looks like it belongs to West Elm because that's their signature color while CB2's is orange. Now, the scoop-back chair comes in many different colors, but I really don't like any of them, so Toro wins this round.

Courtesy of West Elm, CB2

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lee, you never cease to amaze me.

If you didn't know already, Alexander McQueen is my favorite designer. Even though he pushes the avant-garde envelope very far, unlike other avant-garde designers, his designs have a sort of practicality to them. Also, every single piece he sends down the runway is a show-stopper in itself. For S/S 2010, he mixed different prints, colors and embellishments with Elizabethan silhouettes and space age styles.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Damn, you've "manned it up," Celine.

Phoebe Philo, the former fashion designer of Chloé made her debut with a bang at Celine S/S 2010. You could definitely see the strong Chloé influence, but I guess she just couldn't help it. I think it's a good move because over at Chloé, it was never really about the clothes but the accessories instead. Done are the days of flouncy femininity and what we now have are powerful modern women who dress the part too. Well, I do wish she kept a little bit of the romance that Celine seemed to embody under Ivana Omazic's reign.

This dress clearly comes from the inspiration of a lace-up boot. It's quite clever how they even added the tongue of a boot in there. I personally think the dress could do without the sleeves.

A leather that's a first. It's a little bit on the bizarre side, but from the look of the fit, it's quite remarkable. I love the silhouette of the wide leg pants; I don't know why more people aren't wearing them.

Is this a dress or are these separate pieces? I can't tell. Either way, it's very simple and clean-lined. The bottom is pleated but it's not flying all over the place, so you don't have to worry about having a "Marilyn Monroe moment."

This coat is beautiful all by itself. It's edgy but ever so wearable. The shape and texture are so rich that you can see right down to the intricate details .

I don't know what it is that makes this look so right. It might be the deep blue origami against Iris Strubegger's masculine beauty. Maybe it's the peek of white.

That leather bolero is striking! It adds just the right amount of drama to the white shirt and trousers. This is a new way of dressing, so run with it guys.

Courtesy of Style

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dries Van Noten always knows how to strike my nostalgic chord.

Some things that you can always guarantee from Dries Van Noten are splashes of Mid-century Modern color and prints. He is so incredibly talented that he can make some of the ugliest prints beautiful, which a lot of designers cannot do. It's why I look forward to his collections. For F/W 2009, his collection is very reminiscent of the 1930s-1950s pre and post WWII era. "Edgily retro" is what I would call it.

It's the return of the Teddy girl, a subculture from the 1950s. The sage a-line skirt and the berry top could've been a "war of the colors," but the croc leather blazer became the diplomat.

Black and white has never looked so interesting. The print is very abstract and to add to that, the frills give it come dramatic volume to pump up the 1940s vibe. Oh, and if you can't see, the back of the heels of are black and white snakeskin.

Style-wise this look is very symmetrical. The skirt is so busy but it's toned down by the neutral tone. The orange sweater is simple, but you can almost hear the orange scream out loud.

This is my favorite look from the whole collection. It's got that classic 1930s style with a slight quirk through the snakeskin on the side. I especially love the ease of the blouse.

For S/S 2010, Dries has chosen to incorporate a lot of ethnic prints in his collection. The fact that he's able to manipulate them is beyond me because I avoid using them when designing. I wish I could be braver.

I'm not crazy about the diamond printed fabric, but Dries worked around it in a way that makes me crazy about it. I love the draping and the red bits strategically placed on the waist and neck/shoulder.

The giant bronze polka dots on the shorts are subtle but shine with movement. The boxy cropped blazer complements the shape of the shorts and the color contrasts it beautifully. This is what I would like to see a lot more on the streets.

I like the breezy interpretation of the kimono shirt-dress; it's great for the summer. The thick black pattern outlines add graphic interest to it.

As Chelsea Handler would put it: What... a beautiful shirt-dress. Instead of using different colors to create a plaid, he used different textures to show it off. It's also quite remarkable to infuse the holster and jacket together.

Courtesy of Style