How To Spend It: Ornate Expectations

Posted on October 30, 2012

And finally, darlings, for your Pretty of the Day, let’s all turn to How To Spend It magazine, with a fabulously lush homage to the fall 2012 baroque trend. Enjoy, dolls.


How To Spend It Magazine
Editorial: “Ornate Expectations”
Photographer: Andrew Yee
Stylist: Damian Foxe
Models: Nina Porter, Laura O’Grady, Louisa Facchino-Stack, Mary Ballantyne, Edda Oscars, Kiera, Elenor Hayes and Sam Rollinson
Hair: Ernest Montenovo
Makeup: James O’Riley

Valentino Fall 2012 Collection

Lanvin Fall 2012 Collection

Balmain Fall 2012 Collection

Alexander McQueen Fall 2012 Collection

Dolce&Gabbana Fall 2012 Collection

Oscar de la Renta Fall 2012 Collection

Dolce&Gabbana Fall 2012 Collection

Vivienne Westwood Fall 2012 Collection




[Photo Credit: Andrew Yee for How To Spend It magazine]

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  • Heather

    I love anything involving baby chickens, but I’m kind of disturbed by how she’s holding the one in her hand in the first photo, and in the second photo, it appears to have pooped on her.

    • Anathema_Device

       As the owner of 6 chickens and one conure, my first thought was, “Oh, those chicks are probably pooping all over that gorgeous dress.”

      • Louise Bryan

        What’s in her hand in the second picture doesn’t look like any avian poo that I have ever seen.

        • Heather

          It’s just a sort of ambiguous yellow splotch. I think because I CAN’T tell what it is, I read it as poo because of the first photo.

        • Anathema_Device

           In the second shot, it looks like she’s holding the remains of the chick she ate for pooping on the first dress.

          I didn’t see any poo…I just imagined what the shoot was like. Also, that first dress is good camouflage.

      • out for a walk

        This was definitely my reaction as well. Chicks are adorable but full of messy messy bird craps.

  • Wednesday Addams

    *sigh* Absolutely gorgeous. This is my aesthetic, exactly.
    Like they say, if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.

    • Sobaika

      I appreciate Nyone who can quote Cogsworth

    • turtleemily

      I wanted to say that, even if I thought it would make me sound like a dork. So I’m happy to see my mind’s not the only one that went to BatB!

  • Adriana Blair

    Gorgeous and opulent. Each photo is like a piece of art.

  • Cassie

    Gorgeous. And what amazing transformations.

  • Anathema_Device

    Really stunning portraits. So luxe.

  • Monabel

    So much ridiculousness. Except the bunny and the chickens.  Did Lanvin girl just have blood drawn?

    • Heather

      It’s very Easter-ish, isn’t it?

  • Pants_are_a_must

    They’re gorgeous, childish, ornate, saintly heroines dying of consumption. Using the latest collections. LOVE IT.

  • marlie

    I love the Baroque trend! These are really lovely photos. 

  • MilaXX

    Like everything except the first look. Somehow the chicks make that one creepy.

  • 5HT

    Stunning. The photographs almost look like colour pencil drawings.

    • kimmeister

      The models definitely look waxen, like mannequins.

  • hughman

    I seriously thought “How To Spend It Magazine” was a joke title at first. “Dresses On Skinny Girls Monthly”!

  • Contralto

    The D&G gold brocade is KILLA.

  • gabbilevy

    This so so fabulous. It’s gorgeous in a sometimes-conventional, sometimes-totally-bizarre kind of way (that chicken?!). Can’t pick a favorite… maybe the bunny/de la Renta, the Westwood or the McQueen.

  • Monday1900

    How to Spend it Magazine?  WTF?

    Very baroque, not my taste (particularly that army of gold embroidered warriors!)

    • lizajane1776

       Perfect way to describe them, “army of gold embroidered warriors”! Particularly jarring after that Jane Eyre-esque image from the magazine.

    • Sara LaBatt

      That army pic scared me!

  • theblondette

    These photos are stunning. Though the fuck kind of name is that for a magazine?

    • turtleemily

      Hey, the rich suffer, you know. All that money and no idea what to do with it.

      • NurseEllen

        No joke, I used to occasionally pick up a copy of Town & Country and my husband once remarked that it should be called “How To Spend Too Much Money On Just About Anything” magazine. 

        The last photo, of the Westwood dress, is truly magnificent.

        • Sara LaBatt

          As it turned out, that magazine already exists.  Who knew?

  • BrooklynBomber

    Thank you.

  • turtleemily

    I wish I could’ve been there when that Balmain was being designed…

    “You know what it’s missing? Pockets!”

  • Carrie

    Not a fan of the clothes, but the spread is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Beautiful!

  • LesYeuxHiboux

    I have always hated baroque art and cannot wait for this fashion moment to pass, but it is well deployed here. The editorial as a whole is lovely, particularly the Valentino and the Balmain. 

  • UglyCasanova

    If only we could all live as opulently … 

  • SewingSiren

    Mostly of love these pictures of the dresses more than the actual dresses. But is that gianormous  necklace on the Oscar de la Renta real or photo shopped cuz that I love. And in general I feel there should be more chickens and rabbits in fashion.

  • formerlyAnon

    This is what those clothes were designed for. Tableaux of a Romantick nature, featuring consumptive beauties who fear not maquillage inspired in equal parts by Theda Bara and ’70s Cosmo covers.

  • nannypoo

    The idea of How To Spend It Magazine is so hilarious that I looked it up and discovered that there is a free (free!) app. So I went to the itunes store where I discovered that the app has been rated 1 star because it doesn’t work. Hmmm. Maybe they should have Spent More Of It on their app. Anyway, the pictures are pretty, except that last woman who seems to have blood oozing from her eyes.

  • quiltrx

    What a lush, gorgeous editorial.  Each picture actually shows the look off BETTER than it looked on the runway…instead of covering it up or making it unrecognizable like in so many eds.  Very nice.

  • Miss_Magpie

    For the most part I enjoyed the editorial pics more than the runway shots…until it came to the shoes on the De La Renta model…those are DiVINE!

  • lucasuk82

    This might be my favorite pretty of the day ever.  I’d love to know how the photos were processed to achieve the painting effect.  I never would have picked up this magazine, thank you for highlighting it.

  • Qitkat

    The exquisite details on the beautiful gowns and considerable amount of money represented in each one of these photographs is staggering. My favorite I think is the one with the two rabbits, the one on her lap looking exactly like the pet my daughter-in-law owns, with the haunting stunned look on the model’s face, and the oversized half face peering out from behind the curtain, as if a maid peeping at her ladyship, created in miniature in a sumptuous dollhouse room. The oversized emerald pendant, as large as half her face, emphasizes the fairytale aspect of it. It transports me to a gilded storybook world of astonishing excess and pain and unimaginable perfection.

    The uncredited beautiful grey and white dress is by Giles, from looking at the post under ‘You might also like’ Fall 2012 Trends: Ornate from TLo 3/27/2012. I adore the navy version of the Oscar de la Renta coat.

  • korilian

    I never dreamed of becoming a model, but that was before I realized you get to cuddle with baby chicks. 

  • buddy100

    I love ornateness. It’s my hipster fetish. I’ve been waiting for YEARS to see beautifully detailed imperialist themes bleed into mainstream fashion and fuck the whole “LESS IS MORE!” mantra up the arse. Embroiderers, royal historians, McQueen diehards…pander to me. 

    • formerlyAnon

      I love this sort of work as wearable art. Or just art.

      I prefer actual clothing to be much less adorned, but I’m happy to admire if I don’t have to wear. (ETA: if I don’t “have to wear.” As if anything in my price range will ever be this ornate and beautiful. Even if made in the most shameful of sweatshops.)

  • buddy100

     Wow. Blame the wine. I realize how pretentious I sound. My point: there’s a beauty in detail that becomes often overlooked.

  • decormaven

    I’d love to see the Vivienne Westwood up close, just to admire the handwork. These are stunning; definitely a confection. 

  • Call me Bee

    Chickies!  Bunnies!  Embroidery!  These clothes are beyond beautiful and the photos are stunning.  Thanks for the pretty. 

  • Ali

    I want to live in this editorial! So gorgeous.

    • Denise Alden

      Me, too!

  • In_Stitches

    Eleganza!  That Balmain is hilarious; the woman looks like a chair!

  • MoHub

    I want the Westwood.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever said that before.

  • poggi

    These are beautiful.   I really like the “languishing on the fainting couch in my feather dress amidst the flowers” McQueen shot.  In this world, even exhaustion is glamorous and pretty. 

  • ballerinawithagun

    If I had it, I would spend it, on these.

  • maggiemaybe

    There’s a magazine called “How To Spend It”? Okaaay.

    Gorgeous photos and clothes, though.

    • l_c_ann

      We had looked at waterfront property in Naples FL ($$$$$), didn’t buy it, but just looking got us on a rather strange listing and we received a single copy of a magazine that was glossy and pretty and it was to help people give their money to causes.  When we didn’t respond with major contributions, we were dropped from their mailing list. It’s name could have been “How to give it away”, but wasn’t.

      • maggiemaybe

        Thank you for clearing that up. It’s good to know the magazine has more of a philanthropic slant because the title was kind of making my eye twitch…

  • IMNAngryLiberal

    These pictures are fab, but I hate, hate, hate the Baroque trend.  These clothes all look heavy, itchy, and uncomfortable.

  • kingderella


  • Sarah Caponigro

    Cool pictures except all I can think about is how often chicks(the poultry not the models) poop.

    • l_c_ann

      Chicks poop, roosters poop, rabbits at least leave pellets.  My first thought was drycleaning bill, and then I hoped for photoshop.

      The over sized blowup photos in the far background, all the other stuff, makes it less easy to appreciate the artistry that went into the clothes.

      Chicks?  (Must have been some city boys in the mix somewhere.)

  • Judy_S

    Ummm… somehow all I see is ladies who are going to end up on the guillotine or in front of the revolutionary firing squad. How to spend it indeed.

  • crash1212

    Stunning. I want everything in the McQueen shot.

  • Ass Kicking Adviser

    Lack of electric prevented me from seeing this until now but I have to say, wow! That is really something. Pretty for the day? Pretty for the week – in a week when we needed it. 

  • Denise Alden

    I’m going to spend all day coming back to look at every single one of these photos!

  • oohsparkley!

    Gorgeously composed, shot and edited photos, they look like paintings. And the clothes are sumptuous! Love it!

  • librarygrrl64

    That Valentino is stunning, and I’m still loving that D&G stuff. Is it just me, or has that collection had more exposure than just about any other this year?

  • guest2visits

    Ornate and luxurious looking. Really looks like all the beads and embroidery in the world has been used for these.
    My favorite is the 9th pic with the mirrored tray, and the blue jacket in the 11th.

  • sweetlilvoice

    Beautiful! And you can actually see the clothes! Love the bunny, chicks, and rooster too.