style fuss

How to Wear it: Ombré

Posted in How to Wear it, Trend I Love by Ciara on January 14, 2010

My most influential design professor often reminded my classmates and myself to use gradients with caution.  It’s a good rule to follow in graphic design and, perhaps, in fashion and beauty, as well.

In fashion, ombré generally refers to a fabric-dyeing technique that results in a subtle-to-dramatic color gradation.  Recently, this term refers not only to the clothes on the runway but models’ hair as well.

photo courtesy of Stazee's tumblr

As with the gradients one might attempt in Photoshop, ombré hair should also be approached with wariness – while this beauty trend can look amazing in photographs and on runways, in real-life it might seem as if you’ve just let your roots run wild…

This actually makes me wonder…  Is this some sort of ironic homage to the recession?  Wealthy individuals paying hundreds of dollars to get a dye job that looks like the hair of lower-income women who haven’t the means to maintain their own (at-home) color…?  I’m not sure of the implications.  I’d definitely like your thoughts on this, whether you love this look or hate it.

So, all subtext aside, maybe this (hair) trend is not for you.  There are still a lot of ways to embrace the ombré trend, from a fabulous ombré-inspired manicure to some sweet lace, color gradation tights from Urban Outfitters.

Click image to view set details via Polyvore

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Trend I Love: Digital Prints

Posted in Trend I Love by Ciara on January 11, 2010

As a fashionista with a background in graphic design, I can’t help but be completely elated when I see my two passions co-existing together so seamlessly!  Needless to say, there are many emerging trends to watch for on the Spring 2010 runways and I must say that one of my favorites is the abundance of digital prints.  There are a lot of beautiful prints around this season — from the inescapable florals that one can expect for spring, to the emergence of ikat from Gucci and Marc Jacobs — I am most drawn to the striking, optical, and often graphic prints of Balenciaga, Givenchy, Versace, and, as to be anticipated, Proenza Schouler.

Balenciaga Spring 2010 RTW

Balenciaga Spring 2010 RTW

Givenchy Spring 2010 RTW

Givenchy Spring 2010 RTW

Versace Spring 2010 RTW

Versace Spring 2010 RTW

Proenza Schouler Spring 2010 RTW

Proenza Schouler Spring 2010 RTW

I particularly enjoy the juxtaposition of such strong, graphic prints with flowing fabrics and soft edges (see Givenchy).  The contrast within the prints themselves might be enough, but this pairing of hard and soft can be seen through out all of the aforementioned collections and adds such a nice dynamic element.

For all of you graphic design buffs, if you haven’t played around with it, try Processing, an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions.  It is an incredible tool to explore and can (among infinite other possibilities) help one create images quite similar to these fabulous digital prints.

Images from Style.com