Tag Archives: Libertine

Fall 2019 RTW

This is a crazy time for fashion. Well, it’s a crazy time – so it has to be a crazy time in fashion if fashion is doing its job. I would venture to say that not since the epic revolution of the late 1960’s has the world seen such upheaval and such chaos. Our culture is facing some harsh realities with the MeToo movement, LGBTQ revelations and setbacks, social media domination,  the political climate of all out war between Red and Blue, record breaking government shutdowns and Brexit. Fashion has been affected in various ways – as it should be and needs to be, where designers are choosing their topics to tackle on the runways. Some are more literal using phrases and images, some are subtle using silhouette and avant guarde, some are switching gender roles and so forth. The runways have been bananas, who knows where we will land.

Kes

Again, not an exciting collection – unless you’re into comfortable, practical, easy to throw on and go clothes. In which case – YES! This will do just fine. I’ve been on an unofficial hunt for a good jumpsuit in the style of the traditional Dickies men’s one piece and this one looks pretty good, not perfect but close and the long lean coats in rich fabrics are divine. These are good solid basics, cut well in high quality fabrics.

Vera Wang

I believe that after dominating the bridal market for so many years Wang has been in a position to be more experimental with her design. A few years ago her more commercial ready to wear line took a hard turn into almost avant guarde. Definitely more of a gothic/alternative vibe. The looks had purposely experimental and avant guarde elements like 5″ platforms with 9″ heels, or sleeves that came to the knee. She hasn’t tired of these elements yet either – as they appear in this current season too – but along side these hard to translate to life looks there are items that are easily wearable on the right woman. They speak of confidence and introduce a rare if ever seen before combination of edgy and elegant. Look at these pleated trousers – brilliant.

 

For Restless Sleepers

I looooove this line. They are doing something so wonderful in fashion. While everyone else seems to be clamoring for exposure, they are quietly creating decadent clothes in rich vibrant colors and sumptuous fabrics for women. Their use of traditional zoological and chinoiserie motifs has become part of their identity and you can count on seeing glorious elaborate prints in jewel tones covering luxe silks and satins. It feels like a banquet for the eyes full of classic elegance with a indulgent helping of eccentricity. I would live in these clothes if I could.

 

Luisa Beccaria

This collection is chocked full of light as air florals accented with delicate embroideries and layered with lovely silk velvets and faux furs. Not exactly screaming modern… not exactly screaming at all. This is in fact a whisper. There is a refreshing delicacy to this that feels like a spring breeze. It evokes a simpler time of beauty and fresh air and it has a kind of  literary romance element. I can’t really recall a specific piece or dress that stood out but the feeling of this collection is the takeaway. And it felt good.

 

 

Snow Xue Gao

This is the first I’ve seen of this designer and I am intrigued. I tend to gravitate to Asian influence in print and fabrics. The storytelling imagery and heavy jacquard silks in vibrant jeweltones or dusty shades are a long time favorite. I’m always excited to see them pop up on the runway. Here they have made some lovely wearable pieces, especially in the charming day dress and they have done something very interesting with the layering of the jackets. The contrast of the old and new in the plaids over the silks or vice versa. Its very thoughtful and I can’t wait to see more.

 

Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha is fearless and concise in her use of texture and embellishments. It shows true talent to be able to push into the territory of over designed but then pulling back at just the right moment. There is so much going on but it all fits together like a 4 dimensional puzzle. In the use of layering sheer with embroidered and sequined and solids she creates complex and multi level looks that are fascinating to behold. Last season I was impressed with the idea of layering over coats and this season seems to be a natural and successful progression of that idea.

Paco Rabanne

This collection was choked full of references to the past. There was 1930’s, 1940’s, glam, country, rock and many more. I for one love any old Hollywood reference so I was happy to see the bias cut floral dresses and embellished cardigans which are reminiscent of the ones I wore when I went through my thrifting phase in High school. It’s not forward or modern nor is it on the cutting edge. What it is, is expressive, playful and lighthearted, things we could all use a bit of right now.

Libertine

When London solidified it’s standing in the fashion world it did so by bringing the fun. It was the 1960’s and London was the new fashion capitol because they had a point of view that connected with youth, vitality, music – ultimately a feeling of a bright and shiny future. It did this by celebrating color and shape, experimentation and trends. Plastic dresses and go go boots, ultra minis and mod silhouettes. Libertine as a brand seems to honor this legacy of fashion from London in every collection. Often there are direct references to the 1960’s through icons and silhouettes, other times it’s the styling but it is always there and you kinda have to love them for it. This season was no exception.

Jeremy Scott

Is on a roll right now. Between this collection and his most recent for Moschino he is creating political, culture commenting, covetable fashion. When I say Fashion – it is in the most literal sense of the word. These clothes are of this specific moment in time and he’s nailed it.  This collection is straight from the headlines that dominate and corrupt our daily lives with their scandals and provocations. It is an overwhelming time and this collection shows how much we all live with it, wear it on our faces and our choices so why not on our clothes. No question this collection will be in a museum someday and if Scott continues on this trajectory he will be celebrated in the Met for his contributions in years to come.

 

Phuong My

Another new designer this season. I’m not sure who this customer is, perhaps an older lady in her 40’s at least but more like her mid 50’s, 60’s… who wants to be edgy but not look like shes trying to be 20. There is sophistication here for sure and the clothes are cut and proportioned perfectly. There isn’t a lot of variation in color or fabrics here and it could only be better if they offered some option for those who don’t want satin, or red and black. Its almost as if they had collected the most solid looks from the last 20 years as shown by the most forward designers and brought them all to one collection. Here we see that the full (exaggerated) hip, the asymmetric dress and the origami shapes (which are standard edgy fare) are some of the biggest influences.

Dolce & Gabbana

Over 100 looks that are at times retro and whimsical while covered in pattern and trope loi. I love it which is why Dolce & Gabbana have been a favorite of mine since high school when I pasted their advertisements on the walls. I love the world they have created; one full of heroines and theater, romance and glamour. Here they had a bit of a 1930’s – 1940’s old Hollywood element that I find irresistible. Not to mention that they seemed to have gotten the memo that women are wearing their menswear so they have featured some of the menswear on the ladies this season.

Alexander McQueen

Leather and lace, literally and figuratively. The contrast of hard and feminine has been a long running point of inspiration for McQueens’ Burton and she is featuring two extremes in this collection with great success. The addition of the punk element is also a standard but I love how she showed consideration of the movement in her embellishments. Punk invented what we call DYI bedazzling when they painstakingly hand studded cheap upholstery tacks through dense leather – which isn’t easy btw. At times even making clothes entirely with safety pins. She has one jacket in particular where she uses said safety pins to attach and embellish a exquisitely cut blazer with antique buttons. She also uses other “cheap” items as punks would have, like zippers, chains, snaps and hooks with deftness and honor.  It is no doubt her respect for the past and her Bristish culture that drives her design forward and it’s just brilliant.

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Spring 2019 RTW

The buyer must be sweating it this season. As runway after runway sees models stomping down in experimental looks, abstract conceptualism and other evidence of designers either playing with fabric manipulation, expressing political opinions and outrage, going neo modernist and anything else you can think of. The idea of expression at any cost is rampant even when the cost is wearability and sellability. Neiman Marcus, Bergdorfs and even Nordstrom are going to be wringing their hands looking for the glamour for their society ladies and the wardrobes for the modern woman. Combing through all the art looking for viable fashion. In a retail environment where businesses are closing left and right can designers really afford to be artists and revolutionaries? I would argue there needs to be a balance of art and commerce where the designers that are steadfast will be seeing the rewards while the myriad others who let expression overcome practicality fall to the wayside. With so many voices screaming and clawing to be heard it all drowns each other out. Hopefully next season some of these will soften and try to incorporate their point of view into the clothes with more savvy, after all isn’t it the reflection of our times that turns clothes into fashion in the first place? But then again what better reflection of our current cultural climate than chaos?

Nili Lotan

Nothing exciting here, no newest and latest, no cutting edge or attitude. Just wearable, well made clothes that everyone can wear in real life. Practical and good. Thank God someone is doing it.

Carolina Herrera

There is a classic 1940s Hollywood glamour to this collection that is irresistible. The full skirted dresses, the bright colors and silky fabrics all harken back to the era of I Love Lucy when they were in Hollywood. Lounging by the pool and sneaking around the Beverly Hills hotel looking for movie stars. A fitting retro collection from the new designer, as Herrera has always been synonymous with classic, sophisticated glamour.

Petar Petrov

This is the first time I have taken notice of this designer and I’m hoping I haven’t missed too much. These clothes are wearable, they look comfortable, they are practical and they have a chic ease to them that make them extremely versatile. Who doesn’t need that in their wardrobe?

Libertine

At Libertine more is always more. This season was no exception. Patches made it onto just about everything – even stockings which has got to be a first – and pattern and color were on everything. I usually tend to like their less appliqued items and go for the more artistic pieces. This time my favorites were the painterly pieces and colorful graphic prints. How awesome would it be to pick one standout piece to add to your wardrobe from each season, have a curated collection of Libertine in the closet? A girl can dream – in color!

Moschino

I’m not including this collection because I love the clothes. More often than not Jeremy Scott goes way too gimmicky and overboard but this time… Genius. The idea of making the sketch – literally making the sketch is brilliant. I don’t doubt that these items will be highly sought after and collectible for may years to come. This is an iconic collection. Bravo.

Dice Kayek

Sure there is a doll clothes reference here, but the silhouettes are so lovely. The bright satins and crisp edged sinuous lines are striking and feminine yet strong. I love this resolution of ultra feminine shapes and strong defined edges. The curves of the full ruffles, waves of fabric and the conflict of those elements is masterfully controlled.

Paco Rabanne

As a longtime fan of the national dress of India this collection is a delight. It feels like the designer has taken that strong influence and sprinkled in some grunge shapes and styling and created a hip, fun and youthful collection showcasing the rich textures and colors of India. So great!

Kes

This is the first time I’ve noticed this designer, and it’s not that the clothes are that special, but as a group there is something so effortless and just cool about them. There is an understated confidence happening that feels inviting. For some reason I see the cool girl in these clothes – the Lisa Bonet  type. That girl who just knows exactly who she is and doesn’t need nor does she care to explain.

Ann Demeulemeester

This collection was full of fluid, flowing and dramatic pieces that have a dark romance. The styling is always theatrical but underneath all the theatre, the pieces are there. The stars of the show are the long button down shirts which work as dresses, jackets and…shirts! Remarkably practical and functional items that add a touch of that romance while allowing comfort and ease. There are also some breathtaking long lightweight coats that are perfect for adding instant drama.

Rochas

Good solid collection of uptown, chic clothing for the evolved fashionable woman. Some interesting silhouette tweaking as in the pale blush dress with the bows, and the LBD that make them feel modern yet classic.

 

Maticevski

This designer has been a favorite for some time for their voluminous shapes and lovely exaggerated ruffles. Ruffles aren’t often modern feeling but the manipulation is so subtle and feels so natural – like water over rocks or fabric caught in an uplifting breeze yet the fabrics are not light and full of actual movement they are stable – like a moment stopped in time. The result is like a visual poem.

Givenchy

There have been a few changes over at Givenchy where this time last year it was being designed by Ricardo Tisci.  He designed a bit on the dark side with themes like Vampires and Victorians and has always had a gothic undertone – in some of those cases overtone. He was a visionary and designed intricate, edgy, luxury garments that more than qualified him as a master. This newer designer, Clare Waight Keller, still has an edge to her design yet it’s not quite edgy and definitely not gothic. Personally I miss the drama of Tisci’s collections but I cannot dispute the fact that Keller is good. Maybe even better than good. Her Givenchy may not have the drama but it does have the glamour and upholds the sense that this woman – the Givenchy woman – is a woman of status and distinction. The star of this collection is the genus crystal shrug/cap/caplet whatever it is, little layering piece. I have never seen that before and it’s certainly a piece that is versatile (if you are in the high society world) while still being special. Looking forward to seeing what other genius pieces she will design.

Dries Van Noten

What can I say about Noten that I haven’t already gushed? That he is my idea of the quintessential French designer – always chic, always totally unique and not giving a shit about trends. Always perfectly balanced design regarding proportion and fit. Always a strong point of view with a stunning use of color and print. Here again, he pulls off the definition of “jen ne se quios” with cool confidence.

Haider Ackermann

As a woman who has always borrowed from the wardrobes of men this collection totally spoke to me. The looks were designed to be shared between the men and women and were designed to work for either. The prints were beautiful yet masculine, the cuts modern and perfectly tailored as usual except this time with a few more straight lines in the jackets and pants. Which only makes them look even more modern. The pops of bright yellow and green along with the ever-present black and white and the hint of a metallic seem to be a signature of late and come together seamlessly, no pun intended.

Oscar de la Renta

Hooooow can I express how much I love what is happening at the house of Oscar? It is everything that got me excited about fashion in the first place. It is clothing that is transformative. In the tradition of the great houses of Paris in the heyday of couture, these garments are simultaneously elegant, expressive, sophisticated and exquisitely crafted. These are clothes that those who are lucky enough to own them – or even borrow will instantly realize what an experience it can be to be dressed in the best of the best. The feeling of confidence, pride and transformation.



Spring 2018

First of all I want to acknowledge the addition of varied size models on the runways of such designers as Prabal Gurung, Tracy Reece and Christian Sirano. This is a positive step toward normalizing the impossible size standards in the industry. When you hear of size 0 models being told they are too big simply because either the designer has a fetish or they are trying to save money on cutting expensive fabrics, it’s disturbing to say the very least. There have been designers like Jean Paul Gualtier  who have used “regular” people in conjunction with models, but that always seemed more of a gimmick as they often did not sell their clothing in a range of sizes beyond 10. Now we actually have the possibility of adding more sizes into designer collections. I know how frustrating it was for myself and my customers to love a garment, or the aesthetic of a line but have to tell them that they simply didn’t cut anything above a size 10/12. So if you’re 5 pounds over-size 12 – you’re too fat. Bullshit. I hope to see more designers follow suit and offer sizing that includes more people and alienates less. Considering the fashion industry has a tendency to follow trends – I think it’s only a matter of time.

 

Gary Graham

Once again Graham has delivered an oddball bohemian vibe. He sticks to his subdued color palette shown here in Victorian style patterns. Small patterns in soft colors on light fabrics with the anchor of black. I love the insets of lace and pattern in the draped dresses and the modern slouch pant. It all feels sort of dreamy and gypsy like, true to form for Gary Graham.

Coach 1941

Hello 1999 – 2004. This is a Courtney Love love letter. The embellished slip dresses, the 1970’s vintage style leather jackets, the double faced satins in bright and pastel shades of blues and pinks… I cannot help but grin when seeing all of this because this is exactly the type of thing we were making in house at enexile when we had the brick and mortar shop from 1999-2007. We made chinoiserie print A-line ball skirts, brocade coats, satin skirts and hand dyed, hand embellished vintage and one of kind slip dresses. This collection is nostalgic no doubt, but it also feels like we are going down a similar road to Heidi Slimane when he took over at St Laurent and went all Disco/ sleaze /teddyboy/ punk. No doubt it will kill with the kiddies, but I don’t imagine many who have been there once are going to go back, especially it they still have the originals in their closet, like I do!

 

Diesel Black Gold

Well if we needed any more evidence of the sturdy revival of the grunge era this is it. An obvious nod to Mark Jacobs’ Perry Ellis epic Grunge manifesto. I had to include something that honors a moment that helped contribute to my own eclectic personal style.

Vivienne Tam

This is right on my wavelength at the moment. In the last 6 months I have been working on a project which is heavily chinoiserie influenced and have been researching images of cranes as a result. Images exactly like the ones peppered through this collection. There also seems to be a hint of a peruvian or gypsy influence which is interesting and makes sense with the colors and varied fabrics. There was a lot to choose from and many different silhouettes happening but overall I got the sense that it was modern day chinoiserie in modern shapes and styles.

Oliver Theyskens

I want to say that this collection is an interesting take on the 90’s slip dress. A deconstructed yet modernised version of the softer side of the grunge era, highlighted by the ever present monkey boots. But there is more here than just that. It has got serious streetwear attitude and what they are wearing  potential. It’s feminine and tough – which makes it sexy in a very cool, casual way.

Libertine

Heres what I love about Libertine:  they always play up color, there is always a bit of mischief and they love to go over the top with graphics. My favorites as always are the sequins, the mildly cheeky and the items that aren’t so loud you can’t wear them on a regular rotation without them defining you. Basically the practical pieces, (at least practical by libertine standards) that you can wear easily on their own. Like the sequin dress or flashy coat with jeans. Meanwhile always knowing that whenever it strikes your fancy you could wear the sequins and the patterns and the tat all at once! It’s liberating. heh

Christian Dior

There is a reason the French coined the perfect elusive term, “Je ne sais pas” Christian Dior is solidly back to upholding and representing this phrase for French fashion. There is a coolness and edge that is decidedly and impossibly French. Dior hasn’t been this cool since Galliano.

Dries Van Noten

Noten consistently cultivates colors and prints into collections of the most impressively unique and chic pieces around. The cuts and shapes are always soft and easy, nothing strained or tight – it’s so much easier to be cool and graceful when you aren’t tied up in your clothes. It’s also so refreshing to view his collections as they always stand apart from whatever the trends are, the latest thing the hottest whatever. It doesn’t touch him. He doesn’t need a gimmick when he has this much style. Thankfully for the rest of us he shares.

Oscar De la Renta

This collection impressed me more for the designers ability to channel De La Renta himself, than for the clothes. They have captured the essence of the old house perfectly while adding in a fresh, original and modern evolution for the line.

Maticevski

Maticevski straddle the line between abstract and refined. The clothes are always pushing forward through the exploration of volume and form. This time there were some looks that really didn’t work but you can see the progress being made. They are inventors, pioneers and always fascinating.

Dolce & Gabbana

After clicking through countless uninspired or conversely overwrought collections I was beginning to think that this season was wrapping up with a thud. But then I saw this. Dolce & Gabanna has never let me down and this was no exception. This collection was full of bright colors and pattern, timeless black suits, sequins covered flashes of brilliance and chic feminine dresses. And the shoes! You will never see the models in the same shoe on this runway as every shoe is considered a part of the overall look, never an afterthought. There are no afterthoughts! The bags, the jewelry all fit the theme of the outfit. I have seen other designers try but no one can do what they do, no one can replicate the magic world they have created.


Spring 2017 RTW

Is it just me or did the Spring offerings look more like Resort than the layerable looks we usually get for the season of crisp mornings and drizzly afternoons? The Pajama trend was still abound even though it has had a pretty good ride last year. There we plenty of light floaty dresses and thin tunics over palazzo pants – Resort right? Perhaps many designers are simply adding their resort items to the Spring lineup, or they just said fuck it and went for full summer wardrobes. Not sure, but it definitely felt off balance.

Hellessy

What I really love about these two looks is that I could probably wear them. No problem. Like, tomorrow. They would layer easily and they look comfortable and fluid. They could be accessorized with long necklaces, cropped jackets, sweaters, boots or sandals. They look easy, simple, but well made and quite lovely. Wrap ’em up!

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Stella Jean

Clothes for Carrie Bradshaw’s  hypothetical art school dropout little sister to wear on her vacation to Tahiti. Sex in the City had one of the best costumers in the business, Patricia Field and she is probably the reason why so many designers style their offerings in odd combinations and layers. I loved it then, when it was totally jarring in some instances and completely dumbfoundingly brilliant in others, and I love it here now. These clothes are playful, they are whimsical and they make me want to get crazy. Bravo.

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Gary Graham

Ever since I became aware of Gary Graham I have become an increasingly bigger fan. The clothes are interesting. The styling is decidedly cool girl where the clothes could border on being old lady hippie. The way they walk that line fascinates me and keeps me coming back to see what they have next. This time out there is a nifty group of dusty florals and bohemian made at home feeling silhouettes. Simple shapes, layered in interesting ways that result in something I’d expect to see on Lisa Bonet. Who is awesome btw. I wonder if she wears this designer?

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Pringle of Scotland

I’m not really into plaid this year but when I come back around I’m going to think these are fantastic. Love when plaid is used in atypical ways like this draped lilting chiffon fabric. The stripes are great too in the design of the print and the choices of layering.

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John Galliano

This season just as last season, there is a little hint of what we used to see in the lavish couture when Galliano was the head of Dior. Those were the days of Dangerous Liaisons esque drama with undertones of the Marquis De Sade. They were captivating. The wrapped and slung leather belts styled over the light floaty dresses are provocative yet tame enough to be accessible. The signature draping skills are in full force across shoulders and hips creating beauty in shape and form. Finally there’s a sprinkling of menswear that adds the edgy contrast that brings the cool factor. So good.

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Libertine

It’s hit and miss with Libertine as sometimes the embellishments don’t seem justified by the design. When it works though I’m a fan. Especially when they antagonize the Queen. Where would the English be without Punk Rock? My favorites here are the Union Jack dress and cardigan and the black silk slip dress. Love the contradiction of sexy and snarky.

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Alexander McQueen

What’s so captivating about this collection is that there are some many different inspirations happening all at once. Yet they all work together to create a striking and fresh Frankenstein. There seems to be some tribal, some India, some Hasidic Jew, some punk and some English heritage all carefully worked into this new creation. It’s so fitting that this cultural mash up come at a time when we are having a global cultural clash of sorts with refugees and new leaders wreaking havoc. To see how it can all come together into something totally new and how it can all compliment each other. Maybe I’m getting too in my head, but that’s what I see here and its fucking awesome.

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Haider Ackermann

Impeccable tailoring. Edgy. Coolest designer out there. It’s not out of the question that I may find myself staring a Haider Ackermann fan club. This man inspires such awe and devotion, he delivers time and again and it’s always contemporary yet stays relevant over time. These are forever clothes. We love you Hay ay der, oh yes we do-oo, we love you Hay ay der, and will be true…

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Cushnie et Ochs

Ba-Bam! Wow, someone call Chrissy Teigen cause these dresses are edgy and foxy all at the same time.

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Maticevski

Once again the play with volume is masterful. Like a sculptor who knows his medium, this designer has the ability to craft shapes that transcend clothes and become wearable art. After looking at this collection it’s difficult to appreciate other designers collections. The works shown here take your head out of the fashion bubble and into the gallery. It’s easy to see that this will become a new and exciting minimalist movement that will set the tone for the post embellishment era that is upcoming and inevitable.

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Antonio Marras

These outfits are striking. They immediately bring to mind a 1950’s socialite who set the trends. When she arrived at the party all the other ladies whispered their jealous disapprovals yet secretly wished they had the guts to wear something that different and ultimately fabulous.

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For Restless Sleepers

So this is a line of Pajamas. I didn’t get that right away because of the big PJ trend that’s been happening, but once I caught on it was like, GENUS! I fully intend to become a eccentric old lady who slinks about her elegant apartment admiring her collections from her travels and THESE will be my uniform. Not that I wouldn’t wear them now nor that I wouldn’t want every single one, because I do. I just couldn’t live in them as I plan on doing later. I wonder if they do layaway?

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Dries Van Noten

There is a decidedly 1930’s feel to the clothes but I cant put my finger on why my mind goes there. Perhaps the yellows and oranges against the creamy white and blueback? It has a vintage postcard feel that is so French and intriguing. That lovely serene woman with impeccable style and uniqueness. Je ne sais quoi indeed.

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Dolce & Gabbana

Before there was Alessandro Michele there were Domenico and Stefano. These designers have set the bar for playful, sexy, bright and spectacular. And they do it again and again and again. The have a seemingly endless well from which to draw inspiration. They have never let me down when it comes to dealing out showstopper piece after piece of elaborately decorated garments bags and shoes. There will always be roses, there will always be corsets and there will always be black lace and gold trim. You can count on it.  It’s like coming home to a baroque embellished yet quaint village in Sicily for a glass of vino and a dance.

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Gucci

I said that I would no longer get angry at Gucci for having so much damn fun with this historic house, but my immediate response is NO! Stop it!

Why? Why does it freak me out so much every time? I know it’s going to be madness and color and ridiculous animal sweaters with stripes and sequin and on and on. Maybe it’s because it feels like a cheap Harajuku brand, or that it’s haphazard and ultimately doomed to become a cliché? A cheap thrill? Yet it endures still. I think it’s because I love over the top, stripes and sequins and color and rhinestones and tat and glory and I can’t stand to see it abused with abandon. Knowing it can’t possibly continue on at this breakneck pace. People will tire of it, the novelty will wear off and that will be that. (sigh) I’ll be so sad to see it go. It’s just so fucking fun to watch, and I really do love those bags and shoes and printed skirts with skull butterflies and sequin tigers and starbursts and beads and satin ruby red bows on celadon green skirts….*passes out*

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