22 de março de 2009

Backpack back

For all you urban explorers, those who leave home in the morning and fill up their handbags with everything they might possibly need throughout the crazy everyday journey, the perfect fashionable city luggage is here for you to carry it all!
Oversized bags tried to do the job but they were not so practical (and you always needed room for two wherever you'd go! you + bag.), so as many of you might have noticed, they're old news! Clutches are also really nice and all, but seriously, what can you get in there?! And holding it in your hand all day?? Nah. Pretty and not functional never work. 
Now it's time for the back pack.
A comfortable way of bringing you tooth brush, magazines, agenda, phone, flip flops, wallet, make up, hair brush, perfume bottle, pair of heels, apples, sweaters, gym outfit, lunch, camera,  sketch book - you name it!, everywhere you go. 

'cos you never know where your day might take you.

Be fashionably ready for your daily traveling in the city.

Cool stuff.

Rike Feurstein hats, Channel very-organized bag & H&M feather headband (I have one too!).

16 de março de 2009

Shapes are back?

Magazines and stores keep working on the "bring sexy back" movement, but designers and celebrities are clearly looking another way. There's no stopping the stick-thin look.
Images of ridiculously skinny women have been around for such a long time now, that we're actually accepting it as normal. What should strike us as "you are a minute away from starving to death" is instead "you're so skinny, you look great, I'm so jealous". 
Some weeks ago, while watching a football game at a friends house, I grabbed some fashion magazines from 1996 (much more interesting!) where Linda, Claudia, Cindy, Bruni and Campbell killed it with their astonishing beauty and curves, and still, I found myself in shock shouting : "THEY WERE SO FAT!!!" 
They were obviously not fat, we're just insanely brainwashed in this collective anorexia that distorts the way we look at women (ourselves and others). Dangerous thing is that it will be harder to reverse the process because now we don't want to be "fat" again. 
Some say that at that time models were so pretty and curvy and famous that the designs on the runway were simply ignored and for that matter designers decided to get skinny boring girls. What happens is that now the designs are loosing shape and beauty because they're worn by skeleton figures who make anything look baggy and out of proportion.
I don't want to go back to trend size 8 but enough with the sizes zero and 2 already!
It's hideous. 


For artwork click in the MY ARTWORK link on the right. Some pieces are available for sale.

Turquoise is the new pink.

As soon as my Fashion Studies program started at Parsons, I had to attend a presentation by TrendUnion about trend forecast. Had just landed in NY, not yet figured out the subway lines, completely confused in regards to registration and classes, and even though I've always had a passion for fashion I have to say... I knew nothing about it. So here I am at this trend forecast presentation, surrounded by what I now call the "7th Av Nightmare" (annoying over acessorized barbie dolls and boys in skirts and pony tails), when the lady in the stage makes the statement of the day:
Turquoise is the new pink.

I instantly thought "what am I doing in the Paris Hilton world of fashion?"

That sentence really hit me. What made people say such stupidities with such conviction? (I soon understood that that's exactly the survivors guide to the fashion industry: no matter how shallow your speech is... say it like you mean it!). 
From then on that punch line became a part of my introductory opening act "Bla bla bla, nice to meet you... from portugal... here since january... bla bla bla... yeah, in fashion... Parsons... hum hum... BY THE WAY, did you know that turquoise is the new pink?"
Yes. Drop it like it's hot, leaving people wondering if I was being sarcastic or was just plain stupid. I was enthusiastically  embracing my fashion  sense of non sense!

Fact of the matter is, that turquoise really has become the new pink, and for the record, I now say it like I mean it. 

It's the "blue lagoon paradise island" look and it makes it wish you were there.

10 de março de 2009

Natural talent goes a long way!

Deborah and I were probably the most laid back students at Parsons; hardly ever had our homework done in time, were always chatting in class, had a pretty hard time being focused in the mornings and were usually recovering from heavy drinking. Excuses and more excuses about not having our patterns or sewing assignments ready (arghhhhh!) and how we'd constantly loose our draping projects somewhere in the apartments. For some reason I'd always seem to get away with everything and still score some A's and B's whereas Debs had the harder time. Teachers would usually say she was too fine arts, too conceptual, that her sketches didn't have enough detail or that they were just too artistic and hard understand. I always thought her sketching and draping was really cool, powerful, creative, absolutely unique and yes, very very artistic! She could not keep her mind and hands from creating new artwork constantly; yeah... not the perfect cute kind of things everyone was expecting, but... she had so many ideas, she had to be fast bringing them all into life! No time for little details and ton sur ton rendering. Also, like she used to say: teachers are just frustrated idiots who made nothing out of their pathetic lives and love bitching about ours! What do they know?
I told her to take shoe design class, 'cos I'd taken it in the first semester and the teacher, Scott, who was certainly a veteran party animal and heavy drug abuser (lol, poor guy!), would just tell us to listen to our Ipods and sketch shoes all morning. Fantastic way to earn extra credits easily!
So Debs took that class and soon started working for a shoe design company in Manhattan. After learning all shoe design and manufacturing skills, she decided not to wait for anyone else to tell her that her style was so this or so that - she took matters into her own hands and she launched her own label - MECHANTE OF LONDON! 
Now her shoes are everywhere from magazines to boutiques all over the world!!! I'm so so soooooo proud of her! Who would have thought?!!!! I thought we were both destined to beach and cocktails (well, I might still be...) but she definitely has come a long way!!! Her brand Mechante of London is modern, sexy, feminine, colorful, super cool and street chic, some designs have that unfinished raw look of "Who wants to be a perfectionist? We have better things to do!" while others are ultra polished!

The newest collection is mediterranean inspired, filled with vibrant colors and luxurious textures. Do check it out at www.mechanteoflondon.com

I love it and could not be prouder!

9 de março de 2009

Hello Shoulder pads.

The 80's were a pretty freaky fashion decade. For a while I thought it might be the only decade NOT to make a fashion come back. Just the idea of bringing back wayfarers, fluorescent colors, leg warmers, short tops, high waisted pants, leggings...OMG, what a nightmare. 
And yet here we are. But most definitely, if the shoulder pad was to make a come back never again, that'd be too soon!
Yet again, here we are.
Instead of being placed under ridiculous lady-like blouses, it is now being added to bad ass fitted little blazer jackets. And it's a mean look! Pretty alien-y, futuristic and super cool.
Thank god for Paris Fashion Week and all the sexy aliens on the runways. 
Can we now get over the 80s please????????????????
Move on!

To Fifty and Fabulous!

Happy Birthday Barbie Doll! 
Took you 50 years to finally be properly dressed, elegant and classy. Congrats!
Photography by Karl Lagerfeld, outfits by Chanel.

6 de março de 2009

So many clothes, Nothing to wear!

You suffer from this syndrome if:
  1. You buy compulsively! Any gear that's cool and cheap is definitely going home with you!
  2. You buy 'cos it's so hot right now! So you buy boho, urban, sophisticated, ethnic, eco, chic, classic, sporty, girly, trashy, vintage, 80's, 50's (ok, you get the ideia) AND THEN, it's so freaking hard to pull out a look that combines all these styles!
  3. You buy 'cos you're bored at lunch time; which leads to a zillion pieces in your closet with their tags on. You don't even remember you have so much stuff. And when you do, you go: but WHY?
  4. You buy anything that looks really good in others! If friends, models in magazines, people on TV or random people on the street look really good in something - you just run to get it, taking advantage of ideas somebody already had for you. But does it really suit you???
  5. You buy black compulsively!!! And then you feel that your look is boring and depressive...
  6. You buy dresses to force yourself to be feminine, even thought you know you're not ever gonna wear them...
  7. You buy stuff 2 sizes bellow 'cos you actually believe you're gonna loose weight!
  8. You buy stuff 'cos it was sooooo inexpensive, it's hard to believe! And then you bring home nylon, polyester, rayon... and a bunch os plastic. Now that's cheap!
  9. You keep everything you buy, since the day you were born 'cos you think..."this will make a come back one day". Get some storage!
  10. You keep everything you buy even if it's missing a button, got a lot of holes or is totally damaged. You actually believe some day you'll fix it. Just trash it already!!
  11. You're obsessed with high heels and you can't stop buying shoes but then you constantly wear your same-old ballerinas...
  12. You keep buying stuff to go out at night and have nothing to wear for work. You keep buying sportswear and have nothing to wear for work. You keep buying stuuf to go to work and you don't even have a job!
This is when the Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper comes in handy.

Step 1. Define your style according to your personality, body shape and coloring (skin tone, hair color).
Step 2. Adapt that style to your lifestyle - What's the point of buying heels if you work at the beach?
Step 3. Understand what's in your closet, what's a "Take, a Toss and a Trash!" (like the Sex & The City Movie) and what pieces are seriously missing.
Step 4. Suggest what silhouettes looks good on you and what kind of basics will help you pull out an easy and stunning look every morning.
Step 5. Go on a shopping spree with you and teach about shapes, colors, fabrics, what to pick and what to avoid. It will help you stop the compulsive shopping - and save LOADS of money.

Let's bring va-va-voom back!

Appointments at mariaguedeslisboa@gmail.com

Above: Nicole Ritchie, before and after getting a Stylist.

4 de março de 2009

LONG ago was easier to spend big!

There this one thing that no matter how much I look, I simply cannot find:
a simple, elegant, well manufactured, made with great leather, perfect details, perfect finishing, perfect size, everyday and every night handbag.

Not too fancy, not too fashionable, not too trendy, not too clutch-y, not too colorful, not too oversized. No fringes, no thousand buckles, no endless straps, no brands, no prints, no studs, no cheap fabrics, no hard to handle hardware.

Just a plain, easy to carry, easy to use, super polished elegant handbag. 
With enough room for my wallet, moleskine, cell phone, couple of gadjets and a lip balm.

I've been a fan of Longchamp since I was 20 but, sweet irony, was easier for me to buy a 200€ handbag back then then it is now. Ugh, what happened to great stuff at sweatshop prices?
I still feel spoiled by the latest sales, and anything over 20€ just feels outrageous to me.

Another item hits my wish list.

Urban Outfitters

Days like this make me miss NY. 
When I feel under the weather, and the weather also sucks, wish I could just grab my Ipod, a grande soy latte and walk around in the city hopping from one store to the other, one gallery to another, one cosy caffe to the other. At the end of the day I'd be sure to have an overdose of inspiration, creativity and energy to get my art on.

On my itinerary: always a couple of Urban Outfitters (16th st, 11th st, Bway...) and a cool H&M (probably the one at Bway).

Looking forward to getting my NY fix this coming April.

Above: stuff currently at UO that I've been pre-shopping lately ;)