The Itch

My constant itch is back. While this reoccurring feeling has nothing to do with the medical field or my physical health, it does seem to interfere with my work schedule, bank account, and mental sanity.  No, this itch comes from that pesky, but oh-so-indulgent travel bug that has inhabited my life ever sense I moved abroad in 2009 for school. Kicking this travel bug out of my system is like trying to rid myself of that itch on my leg. It’s there. I want nothing more but to scratch it, immediately offering satisfaction and a sense of relief but then, BAM! 20 minutes later, the feeling is back, begging to be scratched again.

But why not indulge?  This bug isn’t necessarily bad for me!  These little holidays keep me sane and allow me more time and experience to figure out exactly who I am and what it is I want out of life. Besides, it seems as though the universe is sending signs my way to back my bags and escape to another foreign local. Last month, the sign was looking through my friend’s album of his adventures through the Mediterranean and this week, as if it couldn’t become anymore clear flipping through the pages of my Elle magazine, Kate Spade told me directly to take a vacation via one of her glamorous, straw tote bags. These are obvious, clear as a summer’s day signs I need a holiday – right?

Normally, I love vacationing in metropolitan cities that offer me diverse culture, exquisite museums, and a rich history.  Even in high school and college, I never really craved the Florida beach like every other spring-breaker did.  I took my breaks to Colorado and Seattle.  However, lately I’ve been dreaming of my next trip to be somewhere warm…touring Bali, taking in the beautiful sights of Nice, or sailing in Croatia. This calls for a change of wardrobe to be packed in my suitcase. Maybe not a major change, but I definitely need to add a bathing suit! Since I don’t usually vacation towards sunny beaches, my bathing suits need to be retired and some new ones welcomed. 

As if it were fate, the page after my Kate Spade sign-of-a-bag, happened to be filled with bathing suits!  I’ve always been a fan of nautical stripes and this summer they are in full swing adding a twist with multi colors and diagonal stripes. What is even better is my love for retro swim suits is back! The 40’s and 50’s figure flattering cut with high-waisted bottoms and bustier tops are on the runways, in the pages, and on your favorite websites again!  Grab anything from classic polka-dot patterns to tribal print to crotched knits.  Pair your bathing suit with a sarong.  Remember to think outside the box.  I just found a gorgeous scarf that I can wear around my neck to dinner at night and around my waist at the beach.

 

Nanette Lepore

 

Mara Hoffman

 

Mara Hoffman

 

Mara Hoffman

 

Rodarte for Opening Ceremony

 

Tori Praver

 

Zimmermann

 

Undrest

 

Mod Cloth

 Now to top my stunning new suit and sarong look, I need some chic shoes.  For day wear, I’m going to stick with a pair of metallic gladiator sandals and for night, a sexy pair of comfortable wedges that lengthens my legs.  Don’t forget about stunning accessories like large floppy hats that instantly dress up your attire and simple earrings that bring attention to your face.

Most importantly, pack the SPF! Sunburns are no fun now and skin cancer is no fun later.  Preserve that beautiful skin of yours so when you attend your 40 year high school reunion, your old classmates will think you had to have had something done to have such radiant skin.

No matter how you like to enjoy your sun, whether it be straight-on lying out on the beach, covered under a palm tree, or at the swim up bar, cocktail in hand, there is a bathing suit look out there waiting for you and me! So plan your next trip and get that travel bug off your back!

 

McQueen Legacy

Unless you have been stowed away 12 feet underground last week, far from any kind of human interaction, you would have certainly heard about and most likely seen images from Prince Will and Kate’s wedding extravaganza!  Now referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their wedding was a highly televised and intriguing affair to be a part of.  Perhaps the most highly anticipated part of the wedding was to find out which gown Kate Middleton would marry her husband-to-be in.
 
Rather than recap the events of the royal wedding, including details about the guests, the theme, or even particulars about Kate’s dress, hair and makeup, which you most likely have gotten your fill of after numerous broadcasts and repeating airings, I’d like to focus this week on the designer who created the Duchess’s timeless masterpiece.

It was unknown for months.  Critics and fashion gurus from all parts of the world tried to take their best guess at which designer would honored with having their dress walk down Westminster Abby.  On April 29th, the pièce de résistance was proven to be an Alexander McQueen, designed by Sara Burton.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Alexander McQueen was born in London in 1969.  He was not raised in a posh environment but instead grew up in council flats, a form of public housing.  The youngest of six, Alexander, or Lee as he was also known seeing as Alexander was his middle name, found his passion as he made dresses for his sisters.  Choosing not to move onto higher education, Alexander finished his schooling at age 16 with simply one O-level (ordinary level) in art.  He managed to get an apprenticeship with tailors, Anderson & Sheppard, along the famous Savile Row in Mayfair, London.  After gaining knowledge and experience tailoring London’s finest (even Prince Charles), McQueen traveled to other parts of the world such as Italy and Milan continuing to work for other designers.

Designer, Lee Alexander McQueen

In 1994, he decided to return to London and continue his education, enrolling in and earning his master’s degree in fashion merchandising at the world famous Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.  Instantly recognized and wanted for his creative works, Alexander was best known for controversy within his collections and shows put on such as his 2006 show entitled, “Widows of Culloden.”  McQueen paired with Gucci in 2000, where he became Creative Director and by 2007, Alexander had numerous boutiques all around the world along with a long list of adoring celebrities.  Alexander McQueen has brought things such as skull and crossbones into vogue, made ultra low-rise jeans fashionable, and created a catwalk so different than any other with his brilliant flare for drama and extravagance.  It is no wonder why he was one of the youngest fashion designers ever to receive the title, “British Designer of the Year,” award and go onto to win it another 3 times.

Widows of Culloden collection

Immensely close with his mother, McQueen suffered from great depression with her death in the beginning of February 2010.  After losing such a large part of his life, sadly, Alexander McQueen committed suicide just a short time after, that February.  He left behind his unfinished collection for autumn/winter 2010 which various fashion editors helped complete.

Gucci later announced that the Alexander McQueen brand would continue and entered Sarah Burton!  Taking over the title of Creative Director, Sarah was Alexander’s assistant previously.  Having worked alongside Alexander for more than 14 years, it was promising that she would be able to keep the core values of the company shining.  She presented her first womenswear collection, all of which she created herself, for Alexander McQueen in Paris in 2010.  Sarah also studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.  After obtaining and internship with Alexander McQueen through a friend, she was hired on full time as his personal assistant.  In 2000, she was named the head of the womenswear department.  During her time with Alexander McQueen she has created dresses for such icons such as First Lady Michelle Obama to Lady Gaga to the most recent and recognizable Duchess of Cambridge.  Through working with Alexander, Sarah has been able to study one of the greatest and innovative fashion designers of all time.  She will, undoubtedly, go on to lead a promising career through her own gifted talents and continue to bring forth some of McQueen’s visions as well her own.

Designer, Sarah Burton

In my opinion, the dress Kate Middleton chose to wear while marrying Prince William could not have been anything but an Alexander McQueen.  It shows country pride, fashion extravagance, and pays tribute to an ingenious designer to whom the world unfortunately lost just over a year ago.

Additional images showing the brilliance of Lee Alexander McQueen before 2010.