Fashion Face-Off: Opulent vs. Minimal

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We've been obsessing over Kanye West's video clip for his upcoming video "Power" while also watching Jay-Z's "On to the Next One" on loop. And we've realized that the progressiveness of both of these styles is also crossing over into fashion in a big way. In fact, it seems that if you're a die-hard fashion enthusiast, you're going to fall into one of the two contingents: That of Kanye and the more pile-it-onopulent trends, or that of Hova and the stripped-down minimal trends. Pack-rat or neat-freak, romantic or a realist, it's impossible for your style to be at once over-the-top and pared-down. We're (mostly!) an office of hoarders who collect shiny, pretty treasures like raccoons, so we consider ourselves the former. But we'd like to throw this of-the-moment debate over to you: Are you opulence all the way or a bunch of barely there minimalists? Read on for our Fashion Face-Off contenders. 

Wanna argue some more? Weigh in on whether you're into chunky heels or skinny heels, and if you're a bad girl or a good girl.


Sea of Shoes vs. Childhood Flames

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Sea of Shoes' blogger Jane Aldridge's claim-to-fame is her ability to pinpoint the most hard-to-pull-off pieces of the season. But thankfully the blogosphere's got room for her less wacky counterpart, Camille of Childhood Flames. The down-to-earth Oregonian has become our go-to for clean, sleek looks utilizing timeless pieces.

Above, from left: Jane from Sea of Shoes; Camille from Childhood Flames.

Alexander McQueen vs. Jil Sander

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Alexander McQueen was and will pretty much always be our ultimate King of Opulence, so it comes as no surprise that the gorgeous shape of this long-sleeved, elaborate gold dress is the only minimalist thing about it. On the other hand, you can always count on Jil Sander to create a chic yet simple frock with just a touch of uptown-girl charm.

Above, from left: Alexander McQueen Dress, $1,495, available at Net-a-Porter; Jil Sander Jersey Dress, $975, available at Net-a-Porter.


Daphne Guinness vs. The Traina Sisters

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If Alexander McQueen is the King of Opulence, Daphne Guinness has got to be Queen. Prominent in the fashion world for her deft styling skills and her haute couture closet, the Irish heiress is no doubt at the top of the list of daring fashion mavericks. But across the catwalk sits sisters Vanessa and Victoria Traina, whose equally amazing sense of style never fails to stop us in our tracks. Sometimes simplicity is key, right?

Above, from left: Daphne, image via W; The Trainas, image via Style Seeking Zurich.


Lanvin vs. Proenza Schouler

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If we could limit our closet supply of handbags to two designers, it would have to be Lanvin and Proenza Schouler. With its slick, metallic shade of red and a glitzy gold buckle, the Lanvin is perfect for an evening on the Upper East Side. But for everyday wear-and-tear, we've got to go with Proenza Schouler's basic PS-1 mini. 

Above, from left: Lanvin Leather Bag, $1,250, available at Net-a-Porter; Proenza Schouler Mini PS1, $1,595, available at Barneys.


Kanye vs. Jay-Z

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From his incessant tweets to his megalomaniac antics, Kanye West is always on our radar. If his new video doesn't scream Versailles opulence, we don't know what does. Not feeling the feathers and gold? Go back to black with Jay-Z who claims that black-and-white simplicity is what's next.

Above, from left: Kanye West, screeshot from "Power"; Jay-Z, screenshot from "On To The Next One."


Stubbs and Wootten vs. Opening Ceremony

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Nothing says opulence like a pair of patterned loafers that channel Playboy guru Hugh Hefner. However, if you're not down to chain smoke on crushed velvet armchairs, go for the much less colorful, yet still fashionable, polka-dotted pair at Opening Ceremony.

Above, from left: Stubbs and Wootten Slipper, $375, available at Stubbs and Wootton; Opening Ceremony Flat, $340, available at Opening Ceremony.