Posted by: Viviana M. Rueda Image | January 17, 2008

For Women: Authenticity & Spring Trends

Happy New Year everyone.  I’m back from Colombia and busy trying to transition from speaking Spanish full time to speaking English and Spanglish (the not-so-beautiful blend of “I can’t remember the bloody word for “x” so I’ll throw in one of my other languages to cover for it).  Apparently it’s not going so well because I keep getting odd looks from the strangers that I interact with and my loved ones just smile knowingly.  Hmmm…

So with the New Year that means that everyone in fashion, in their typical confused seasonal way of thinking have already moved onto the 2008 Fall Collection while you, the consumer, are bombarded with “Spring Trends – Find out what you MUST have for Spring 2008”.  Confusing but there you have it.  I live in Southern California, and even I have difficulty thinking about Spring for goodness sakes!  Has anyone checked the weather in Boston this week?  Uhm…brrr.

That said, I want to tie in two themes in this Blog.  Those being, Spring Trends and the idea of “Authenticity”.  Let’s begin with Authenticity.  The Dictionary.com definition is: The quality or condition of being authentic, trustworthy, or genuine.  The Viviana Definition is:  the quality of knowing who you are or what your personal brand is.  To be succinct I think “genuine” is the best way to understand it.  This quality really hit me as I traveled in Colombia this year-end.  While I was there, I was struck, as I always am, at the amount of beautiful clothing and jewelry that the country has to offer and how wonderfully authentic it is. 

I look through fashion publications and read about trends such as “Bohemian inspired, or artisanal details”, and how the editor picked up that amazing red bracelet while on holiday at a 5-star boutique hotel in Morocco.  Then I think to myself, for those of us who aren’t blessed with a private jet what are you supposed to do?  Well, you could go to the many over-priced boutiques in your city where they sell these “artisanal” pieces at a 400% markup or, you could make an effort to really look for these pieces on your own while on vacation.  So you won’t always be getting these pieces at a moment’s notice but you can still capitalize on your vacation travels.  I really want to encourage everyone when on vacation to find those stores where you can find hand-made clothing and jewelry.  Not only are these pieces original but they will always hold a special meaning to you as theywill inspire memories of your trip.  This is PRICELESS. 

Items to look for and are easy to transport include jewelry and clothing, for men and women.  I’ve come away with some amazing hand-made cuff links in my travels (which actually also work for women). 

Art is also an amazing item to bring back.  It will be unique and one-of-a-kind, unless you buy something that has been mass produced.  Clothing, hand-bags and other leather items are always a great thing to collect from overseas.  Last but not least, look for furniture.  Although this makes it a more dedicated process to get it all back to the U.S.  It can certainly be a daunting process but if you ever do this, just let me know as I’ve resources to help in that endeavor.

While I was in Colombia, I spent a few days in a small town named, Villa de Leyva.  It is a very well-preserved Spanish Colonial town about 5 hours away from Bogota.  Much of the original architecture is intact and people have made it fashionable to buy homes there and refurbish them to their original grandeur as country homes.  One of the other amazing things about this town is the amount of artistic and artisanal talent.  Of course I had to indulge in some art and jewelry and I brought back some wonderful pieces that actually tie into some of the Spring trends!  

Here are some of the hand-made bracelets and leather purses that I brought back.  They are all for sale if you want to augment your Spring look.  Just email me at info@vivendifashionista.com if you are interested in purchasing any of these pieces.  You can be one of the few who owns truly authentic, hand-crafted/hand-painted Colombian designs!

hpim0129.jpg         hpim0130.jpg       dragonfly.jpg

This Spring there are a trends that I like and some that I will leave, or “tweak” as I am wont to do when I don’t think the trend works for people in the real world.

The feminine look seems to be here to stay for a while.  Designers showcased dresses, which makes me super happy and I encourage you to invest in dresses.  Especially for going out – Push yourself to subvert the urge to wear jeans for going out.  A trend that I am a little frightened about is the trend toward lingerie-inspired looks.  Like we don’t have enough with Paris and Britney running around in their skivvies, or sans skivvies in the case of the latter!  Here is a photo from the Cavalli Spring 2008 collection.  This dress is stunning and if you look like Kate Moss, bring it on!  If you aren’t blessed with a gamine look and a size zero, try this look with care, or don’t.

cavalli-2008-lingerie-inspired.jpg

There seems to be a push toward a 70’s inspired Bohemian look which is perfect for the Colombian jewelry and bags that I brought back.  Check out this Balmain Spring look.  It’s the “I used to listen to the Grateful Dead, but now I can afford Cavalli” look. 

balmain-spring-2007.jpg

Also here to stay are structured suits with the boy-meets-girl type of look.  Armani, who does suits so wonderfully, has a ton of suits in its closet.  Only thing I didn’t like were the long skirts with some of them as for most women a long skirt is hard to pull off unless you are auditioning for a Jane Austin movie.

armani-2008-suit.jpg

Gauze is in.  Try this with wraps, for those cool Spring and Summer evenings.  Or look for dresses like this awesome Cavalli or take a gauzy scarf and wrap it around your shoulders for an edgy business look like they did on the Cavalli runway.  One of the private clothier lines (Carlisle & Per Se) that I represent also has some lovely gauze inspired jackets and wraps.

armani-2008-gauzy-look.jpg      cavalli-2008-gauze.jpg

Lastly, there are two trends to handle with more care.  One, neon colors…I’ve one word for you here.  Don’t.   Two, flowers.  If you can do flowers like Cavalli (see below) or in jewelry or purses (handbag below has tiny hand-painted flowers) then it’s a good idea.  The problem with flower patterns is their tendency to get dated quickly and to make you look older, so please play with care.

cavalli-2008-flowers.jpg     hpim0122.jpg

I leave you with this.  Collect fabulously unique pieces whenever you can, and on every trip overseas, look for those pieces that no one else will have (at least at home).  Look for things that are authentic and that reflect your personal brand which includes your tastes in fashion, lifestyle, and travel.  For Spring, have fun with the feminine dresses and the structured suits.  Be careful with the lingerie look, stay away from neons and be careful with flower patterns.

This year I’ll be posting my Blog every two weeks on Thursday morning rather than on a weekly basis.  So stay tuned for more!!!  If you’d like to post feedback or if you’d like to request Blog topics email info@vivendifashionista.com.

Wishing You a Joyous, Healthy and Prosperous 2008,

vnewyear.jpg
Viviana M. Rueda
Creative Founder
Vivendi Fashionista

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