Simply Spectacular!

Thierry Mugler Sculptural Crystal Star Gem Blazer, Photo by

There is so much tragedy and horror in the world. Thankfully, we can always rely on fashion to bring much-needed beauty, eye candy, and distraction. We could all use optimistic diversion right about now. As Diana Vreeland once proclaimed, “The eye has to travel,” and my eyes are constantly seeking the spectacular – especially now.

The Oxford Dictionary describes “spectacular” as meaning “beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way,”; “very exciting to look at,”; “dazzling,” and “breathtaking.” Still, like everything else, this is subjective. It’s one of those things that’s hard to define, but as they say, you know it when you see it.

I think the following 12 items are all “spectacular” in their own way…

Spectacular & Sculptural

Thierry Mugler Jacket with Crystal Jewels, Photo by 1st

This deep red velvet Thierry Mugler jacket from the fall/winter `1992 collection (refer to opening shot) is a museum-worthy collector’s piece with a strong camp vibe. The fitted waist has darts that exaggerate the fitted silhouette, a dramatic neckline, a high collar, and a deep V-neck. Highlights are the iconic Thierry Mugler stars – star-shaped silver metal details with blue crystals – at the sleeves and a big dramatic one at the waist. Priced at $7243, it is for sale on 1st

This dramatic and sculptural black worsted wool Thierry Mugler jacket, also from the fall/winter 1992 collection, is notable for its fitted shape, dramatic silhouette, marvelous high collar, and breathtaking crystal details with star-shaped silver metal on the bodice and sleeves. Priced at $8202, it is for sale at

Spectacular & Bejeweled

Vintage Christian Lacroix Jeweled Statement Necklace, Photo by

This massive Christian Lacroix jeweled necklace, shown on the fall/ winter 1992/1993 haute couture runway, is a knockout. It features a contemporary design accented by large glass faceted stones, gold design elements, and large faux pearls. The Christian Lacroix signed piece is priced at $4800, and it is for sale at

Vintage Lacroix Bib Necklace, Photo by 1st

This vintage Christian Lacroix necklace comprises articulated gilt metal segments adorned with large faceted diamante rhinestones in the center. The articulated plates allow the necklace to sit perfectly on the neck and chest. It is signed Christian Lacroix on the back and on the hang tags. Made in France circa 1992, it is priced at $3600 and for sale at

Spectacular & Golden

Thom Browne Gold Specchio Calf Leather Longwing Brogue, Photo by

Leave it to Thom Browne to conceive of metallic longwing brogues with a front lace-up fastening, pointed toe, logo pull-tab at the heel, mid-sculpted heel, metallic finish, and last (but not least) – a perforated design. King Midas, eat your heart out. Priced at $1750, they are for sale at

Vintage YSL Massive Pyramid Cuff Bracelet. Photo by

This massive Yves Saint Laurent Pyramid Textured Cuff bracelet is from the 1980s. The bracelet has a height of 2.56 inches with an inner circumference of 6.69 inches. Priced at $1449, it is for sale at

Spectacular & Unequivocally Beene

Vintage Geoffrey Beene Gown with Stole, Photo by

Quintessential Geoffrey Beene in cut and detail, this stunning and sophisticated gown, circa the 1990s, is composed of olive green satin with black wool crepe panels strategically integrated into the design and following the intricate seaming and shape of the dress.

The bodice features cut-away arms and a round neckline, while the A-line skirt terminates in a hem of black horsehair. The coordinating stole, gathered at the ends and ornamented by black tassels, is lined in black wool knit. Priced at $970, it is for sale at

Spectacular & Historic

Schiaparelli Tape Coat with Embroidery, Photo by

This remarkable Schiaparelli double-breasted wool coat is embroidered in a baroque style with white leather and cord. Priced at $9800, it is for sale at

The coat was designed by Daniel Roseberry as an homage to the Schiaparelli jacket worn by the Duchess of Windsor in a photograph taken by Cecil Beaton for Vogue in June 1937.

Spectacular & Leather

Schiaparelli Skeleton Trompe L’Oeil Bomber, Photo by

Designed by Daniel Roseberry, this Schiaparelli Skeleton Trompe L’oeil Bomber Jacket is made of dark brown leather and ecru shearling. Its short, close-fitting cut has an oversized collar that unfolds over the shoulders. It is embellished with a trompe-l’oeil skeleton padded shearling, an emblematic code of the Maison. Not many designers can turn a brown leather shearling lined aviator jacket into a couture-like work of art. Priced at $19,973, it is for sale at

Valentino Leather Cocoon Coat, Photo by

Alexander McQueen’s a-line trench coat, made in Italy of 100% lambskin in a color called “Night Shade,” is divinely simplistic yet highly impactful. The coat features an oversized cut and cocoon sleeves, with wide notched lapels, dropped shoulders, and a buckled waist belt. Finished with a front button fastening and a back slit, it is priced at $10,900 and for sale at Brown really Is the “new black”!

Spectacular & Sporty

Roger Vivier Go Thick Strass Buckle Slip On Canvas Sneakers,Photo by

Bold and voluminous, the Viv’ Go-Thick platform outsole takes inspiration from the punk era of the 1950s. The Viv’ Go-Thick Strass Buckle Slip-on Sneakers combine it with a sporty upper in canvas, enhanced by an oversized crystal buckle. Urban attitude, with an unmistakable Vivier touch. Priced at $1495, they are for sale at

Spectacular & Iconic in its Simplicity

Alaia 1986 navy hooded acetate rayon hooded maxi dress, Photo courtesy of One of a Kind Archive, 1st

Azzedine Alaia’s navy knit maxi dress from fall/ winter 1986 has a hood with a draped necklace, pointed trained hemline, multiple panels that contour the body, and a zipper that wraps around. This iconic design was worn by Alaia’s muse, Grace Jones. Priced at $33,000, the dress is offered by One of a Kind Archive,

Spectacular and Inimitably Owens

Rick Owens Sequined Beach Jacket, Photo by Nordstrom

Rick Owens never fails to go bold, as evidenced by this runway-featured pearl/pink/acid sequin-encrusted wool jacket in an oversized A-line silhouette with extended sleeves. Priced at $7075 it is for sale at

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Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

  1. Always keen and insightful commentary bt Marilyn for the fashion lovers among us. Yes, we need a little spectacular right now and the occasions to wear it. Spectacular connotates a sense of optimism to me and doesn’t have to be expensive., just something that makes us pause to elevate our imagination. The mundane dulls our sensitivity to everything.

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