Whatever happened to '80s Brit band YAZ (also known as Yazoo)? They're the synth-ier, slightly happier precursor to The xx and they're my inspiration this week. Behold them in all their asymmetrical, Bowie-mulleted, neon-goth electro glory...
Whatever happened to '80s Brit band YAZ (also known as Yazoo)? They're the synth-ier, slightly happier precursor to The xx and they're my inspiration this week. Behold them in all their asymmetrical, Bowie-mulleted, neon-goth electro glory...
Food, fashion, cats, and literature--these are some of my greatest loves in life. Swirl them together and you have Eatable of Many Orders, a Japanese fashion label that takes its name from Kenji Miyazawa's short story, "Restaurant of Many Orders" about a cat who seeks vengeance on hunters. Wishing to inspire buyers to dig deeper and question the provenance of the clothing, Eatable of Many Orders presents their collection as you would food and its list of ingredients. They state that they would like to introduce products in such a way as to provoke the question, "What's in it?" Colorful, ladylike, well-crafted, and interesting, even their accessories leave you wanting to know more.
Artisanal Ansatz is a French design duo interested in surrealism and ballpoint pens. They painstakingly recreate graphic paper grids that are adorned with simple-lined images of everyone from Woody Allen and Rene Magritte to David Bowie and Serge Gainsbourg. (And one cannot forget Snoop!) Get 'em in their online shop or over at Colette.
Former Dior Homme designer and accomplished photographer Hedi Slimane is taking over at Yves Saint Laurent, and this is THRILLING for a variety of reasons... 1) per WWD, he wants to restore "the house to its truth, purity and essence--and take it into a new era," soooo 2) we can probably expect masterful tailoring, dramatic shoulders, and modernity, 3) or can we? there's no telling what the man will do come September and holy lord that's exciting, and also 4) in all probability there will be some rock and roll thrown up in there as evidenced by Hedi's Rock Diary.
What else can we expect? A name change. YSL will hitherto be known as Saint Laurent Paris echoing the house's original 1966 moniker, Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. I don't know why everyone's freaking out about this. Change is good! But here's a look at the past, which was pretty stellar too...
I was speed-shopping down London's Carnaby Street with 15 minutes to spare. I ducked into a shop called Beyond the Valley (R.I.P.) and was rendered motionless at the sight of a giant hammerhead shark slung over a mannequin's shoulder. I think I tried it on a dozen times, ran my hands over the supple leather, and asked the shopgirl if it would ever go on sale. "No, it won't," she said rather dismissively. So, I put it down, fingered the £1000 price tag one last time and left knowing it would never be mine. I never forgot about that handbag, though, nor it's mini shrimp clutch counterpart that was slightly more affordable.
The work of is that of Larissa Hadjio, a graduate of Central St. Martins in London. Her line of handbags range from the aforementioned shark backpack and shrimp clutch to crab "bum bags" and oyster necklaces that double as iPhone cases. There's even an over-the-shoulder squid and pink fish bag with protruding eyes. Using 3D patterns rendered with clever doses of elegance, craftsmanship, and whimsy, Hadjio's work is, in my opinion, a game changer in the world of accessories. And, what's more, her new Diamond Vision line (yep, bags in the shape of diamonds) is on sale...
It's hard to attribute these to either Campbell's or Andy Warhol, but skater street wear label Supreme pays homage to both in their latest collection of Campbell's® branded products. You can choose from three different types of Vans sneakers riddled with can labels or wear a baseball cap spelling out the word "SOUP" if you so choose. Pair it all with a grilled cheese sandwich. Crusts cut off, please.
Please excuse my brief absence while I get lost in the frenetic swirl that is New York Fashion Week. But please follow my coverage over at MTV Style!
"I'm not depending on fashion because what I do is very individual. This is mine, and I enjoy it, that is all. Nobody else has to like it. As long as when I look in the mirror--ah!--this is me."
I can't get enough of the wonderful Advanced Style blog. Not only does it illustrate how individual style can be inspiring later in life, it's full of wisdom from all kinds of golden girls. I particularly liked The New 90 Year Old post featuring this video with the sprightly Ilona Royce Smithkin.
When it comes to writing about Grace Jones, I just need to quote Andy Warhol: "I never read, I just look at the pictures." I could write too many words about this amazing woman and her indomitable style, but I'd rather let the pictures do the talking. Let me say this first, though: a certain modern pop-star's "original" style comes to mind when I look at vintage photos of Grace Jones, who was a TRUE style originator. I just want it to be in your mind the next time you check out this other, much ballyhooed reigning pop queen or hear people freaking out about her latest funny hat, bondage, and crazy makeup choices--I want you to remember that she copped it (which is cool and all). But the inspiration is clearly all Grace.
Those are tears in the above photos. TEARS, people! Who does that for real anymore?
I'm on a SK8 kick these days...
"Breakin' is a memory."
FADE IN: Venice Beach, 1986. Perma-tan, pec-olated newbie Corey (aka Josh Brolin) is all about gnarly shreds and bitchin' threads. Despite his Teen Beat preen, he's a serious skater determined to win the local downhill competition as well as the continued admiration of his harmless gang of florescent foals, The Ramp Locals. One day at the beach, amidst the fading glory of breakdancing's heyday, Corey stumbles across Chrissy, a midwestern blonde with lazy eyelashes and one serious fetish for pastel.
ENTER: The Daggers, a hardcore "LOCALS ONLY!" skate crew ready to pummel all outsiders, "Valley jerks", and dudes like Corey with feathered hair. Too bad Chrissy's bro, Hook, is Dagger head honcho or else these two love pups would immediately roll off into the California sunset. Instead, boy fights and turf-wars ensue.
FUN FACTS: Johnny Depp was cast (I'm assuming in the role of Hook) along with his then-girlfriend Sherilyn Fenn only later to be dropped by the producer. Thrashin' marked the debut of Catherine Hardwicke, who served as the film's production designer.
STYLE: Graffiti punk, headbands, ripped Converse, Siouxsie and the Banshees t-shirts, white nails, and a whole lotta face paint.
If I had to choose one store in which to blow a ton of money I don't have, I would--without hesitation--throw it all away at LN-CC, aka Late Night Chameleon Cafe. Pretty much ground zero for the heppest of hep-cats in East London (and many a celebrity who book private appointments), LN-CC is a Kubrick-esque concept store, web shop, library, basement club, music hub, and mini style museum. I'm going to go ahead and declare it the coolest store in the world right now, because you know what? IT IS.
Launched in September 2010, LN-CC is the brainchild of seasoned buyers John Skelton and Dan Mitchell (formerly of Harrods and Oki-Ni). Boasting innovative and hard to find labels like Damir Doma, P.A.M, Saskia Diez, Folk, Tze Goh, and footwear brands like Silent and Yuketen, LN-CC takes their retail concept further by stocking art books, zines, and music. They also host DJ nights and art openings such as this month's Richie Culver exhibit and have recently introduced a sort of "thank you to our International customers" contest that will give away a free trip to London plus a £15,000 shopping spree at the store.
A place for inspiration as much as retail-ization, the LN-CC store itself is a dramatically minimal wonder. From a caged hallway tunnel to a series of individual rooms linked via untreated wood, soft lit concrete, and gravel pathways, it's a lifestyle store unlike any other. Here's a peek inside...
The Earth Room
The Light Room
The Warmth Room
Items from my wish list...
"I don't do minimal."
I'm not alone when I say that octogenarian style-icon Iris Apfel is one of my heroes. A longtime New Yorker and polymathic aesthete, she lives her life in BOLD. From a legendary wardrobe bursting with eclectic accessories and whimsical ensembles that has been celebrated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute to her maximalist taste in interior design, the world Ms. Apfel has created for herself is utterly unique and entirely her own. She seems to relish living life by her own rules.
I've always wanted to know what Ms. Apfel's Manhattan apartment looks like, and this month's issue of Architectural Digest gives us a rare peek into her home life. It's just as I imagined and more. I especially loved learning more about her history, specifically that she used to be a copy girl:
"But after landing her first job as a $15-a-week copy girl at Women's Wear Daily, she figured out that advancement there was blocked because the editors she hoped to someday replace were, as she puts it, 'either too old to get pregnant or too young to die.'"
True words, even to this day. Perhaps inspiration for those of us who want to live by our own rules or break out and do something by ourselves in a different way. I don't know about you, but I think our world needs more color, whimsy, and individual exuberance. Also, gigantic glasses and multiple brooches on one lapel. I love you, Iris!
Photos via Architectural Digest
"Every girl should be given an electric guitar on her 16th birthday."
Holy punk rock, have you seen this movie? You've got Diane Lane pre-The Outsiders as Corinne Burns, a passionate, small-town teen who wants to start a girl band called The Stains in the wake of her mother's death. Her rebel yell goes like this: "I'm perfect! But nobody in this shithole gets me because I don't put out!" Rounding out the cast is a young n' lanky Laura Dern wearing some seriously awesome pastel n' pleather outfits. Christine Lahti plays her mother and Corinne's aunt (OMG CHRISTINE LAHTI!), and is a tall glass of taut, tanned, feathered-out Long Island iced tea. Then you've got Ray Winstone as Corinne's love interest and lead singer of The Looters, the band The Stains open for on tour. Who plays guitar in The Looters? Oh, just Mr. Paul Simonon from The Clash. Yeah. So, if you haven't seen Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains already, I urge you to go and Netflix this party! It's my style inspiration for the week.
Punk pioneer. Feminist poet. Style macerator. Brace face. You were an inspiration and a true original. We will miss you...
I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
you know you know
The world turned day-glo you know
I wrenched the nylon curtains back
As far as they would go
And peered through perspex window panes
At the acrylic road
I drove my polypropolene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun
The X-rays were penetrating
Through the latex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees
While browsing in the men's section of Bloomingdale's downtown, I kept feeling like someone was watching me. I turned around and found myself eye to eye with this odd, bearded sailor fellow. Next to him was another bearded man whose thatch of brown hair was offset by a seasick green visage. They stared me down as I approached. When I got close enough to touch--their eery open-eyed gazes unwavering--I realized that they were, in fact, made out of paper. Lots and lots of paper. I couldn't really comprehend what I was seeing; moreover, I couldn't believe that what I was looking was some seriously AWESOME artwork right there in the basement of Bloomingdale's.
This is the work of Nick Georgiou, a Tucson-based visual artist who is inspired by "the death of the printed word." Nick makes sculpture out of books and newspapers in an attempt to convey our shift towards digital domination. A former New Yorker, Nick also draws inspiration from the surroundings in his new desert Southwest home. His sculptures run the gamut from portraits and still life tableaus to spooked looking animal creatures. It's weirdly wonderful work, subversively genius. You know what's also weird and wonderful? That Bloomingdale's is exposing the masses to such interesting art. Bravo.
One of the pleasures of living near friends in NYC is popping over for a spontaneous movie night. I hosted the most recent one, and in between wine sips and ice cream scoops we took in the romantic slo-mo tableaus of Xavier Dolan's Les Amours Imaginaires, aka Heartbeats. The sophomore effort from the young French-Canadian director/actor/writer is a menage a trois love story of sorts set in modern day Montreal. The plot isn't totally new or completely fleshed out (pun intended), but the aforementioned slow motion closeups are so bright and beautiful you find yourself desperate for Pepto-pink dresses, thick eyeliner, or a straw boater--if only just to have the baby blue lined hat box it rests in. A hit at Cannes, Heartbeats is a lovely, lazy romp through French New Wave fields that are dotted with Almodóvar poppies, and there are delightful performances from the entire cast, especially the hilarious Monia Chokri, who can count me as one of her new style stalkers. The Good Neighbor Film Society (which I've just dubbed us) suggests you watch it tonight on demand!
It's ridiculous how much I want this belt. Isn't it amazing?! It's the cast bronze wonder-work of Brooklyn-based Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels, an artist, traveler, designer, jeweler, metalsmith, teacher, writer, illustrator, and rusty object collector. That's just a preliminary list of Serra's polymath-like descriptions, FYI. She currently makes awkwardly shaped house installations in places like a former convent and will be showcasing new work at the Gowanus Ballroom's Art + Architecture show opening this Friday. Go check it out!
I was up at 5am this morning for the Nike Liberty 2011 Collection launch hoping to get my quick-typing fingers on a pair before they sold out. Success! Liberty will release some styles today and others (like my faves, the vintage plane pair above left) in the coming weeks, so follow them on Twitter for more info.
If you were to ask me what sparked my interest in style, I would tell you two things: a CNN news anchor named Elsa Klensch and a mismatched herd of dancing zebras. I wrote a li'l story about it over on my friend Bina's blog, Passionless Fashion. That's Elsa below in her stripes and scarf. Isn't she fantastic?
Please excuse my absence. Please blame Fashion Week[s].
"In Carnaby Street, you can't tell the assistants from the customers. Anybody addressed as 'Madam' would probably sue for defamation of character."
I went to a screening of Bill Cunningham New York at the MoMA a few months ago and had no idea it would affect me the way that it did. I couldn't stop thinking about it--or Bill--all night. Like the man himself, it is charming, heartfelt, tenacious, courageous, beautiful, subtle, and deep. A moving portrait of an individual as well as an ode to individualism, I urge you to go and see it.
All hail the ORIGINAL street style photographer!
An assault of color
Texture tipped and true
She stood motionless in the lobby
With jaunty cap
Two math-grid legs
And flamingo cool
A polka dot mess
With tropical stripes
Just found my new fall wardrobe for next year courtesy of Balenciaga's Pre-Fall Collection. Now all I have to do is find some cash.
Side note: I might have mentioned that what owls were to 2010 foxes will be to 2011, but could this actually be the year of the German Shepherd?
I love you and your hair, Françoise Hardy. We all do.
A Viennese trained ballerina
Chief dancer to Balanchine
On stage and on screen
A life lived in London
Then to Broadway with Astaire
She enraptured audiences
Including Ginger Rogers in full glare
Tilly took to Hollywood
A supporting player in flux
She retreated back to Broadway
Where creativity remained luxe
A bout with depression
Made her incredibly ill
So she took to painting portraits
With undeniable skill
"Work to me isn't hard; it's who I am. I think what's hard is going against a current, trying to be something else."
Artist and Etsy seller YOKOO is known for both her hand-knitted products and the uniquely stylish way she photographs herself wearing them. I peruse her shop regularly just to see what outfits she's concocted around her gigantic knitted scarves or pom-pom hats. Yokoo spends over 15 hours a day knitting her wares describing herself as a perfectionist who truly enjoys the process of creating and completing her work. She does all of this while watching old movies on her iMac, too, which might seem like a dream job until you realize how fast her hands must be working.
All of the hard work appears to be paying off as evidenced by a NY Times article that listed Yokoo's earnings as more than that of most law associates. She has singlehandedly proven that Etsy can turn a hardworking artist or craftsperson into a bonafide industry. Recently, The Storque (Etsy's handmade blog) did a fantastic film portrait of Yokoo capturing her thoughts, work process, and picturesque environment in Atlanta, Georgia. It's an inspiring and moving piece on the importance of staying true to yourself by doing what you love. Also, that hard work pays off in more ways than just your wallet.
These architectural rings by Phillipe Tournaire are SPECTACULAR. I'm not typically a jewel-y type of gal, but whoa. Also, hello, Dream Christmas Wish List!
I can't get enough of Danish clothing label Wood Wood's new Muzak project featuring eclectic music mixes from a variety of international musicians and artists. Available for download or for instant streaming, the current six evoke everything from tranquil daydreams and urban anthems to forgotten 70s disco jams. Simply click on one and infuse your work day with a new soundtrack!
Just in time for the end of fashion week and right when I finished reading The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, Marc Jacobs opened his latest namesake boutique, Bookmarc, featuring--you guessed it!--books, and lots of 'em. The petite corner shop replaces the former Biography Bookshop (newly relocated and renamed) and features a well-edited selection of art tomes and colorful paperbacks in addition to Marc's signature assortment of motley accessories (think journals, pencils, and cute book bags), which are specifically designed for and sold exclusively at the store. Also worth noting: Bookmarc carries Olympia Le-Tan's fantastically clever, hand-made and embroidered book clutches. I've got my eye on Mr. Dracula below...
... I love your Spring/Summer 2011 collection!!
(Love your fall collection, too).
I met Carlen Altman a few years ago during an improv class at Upright Citizens Brigade. We made each other laugh and may or may not have caused our teacher to quit halfway through our term (our teacher's hatred for both our constant snickering and a rather infamous--and well loved--Catholic School Girls sketch was no secret). Carlen always liked to call me a "beauty doll", which I thought was special until I realized she called everyone a beauty doll. Sometimes she would say it sweetly with a smile and other times like she was about to slice my throat open with a pencil. Either way, I found it endearing.
After several years in the big, bad city, Carlen has gone on to helm a variety of fantastic projects, one of which is her line of Jewish Rosaries. She was also featured in a bunch of cute outfits for a Lucky magazine spread awhile back. When I ran into her last night, she was wearing some of her newly designed pieces, and folks, they BLEW MY MIND. What you see above is a large, silver ring with a bearded man holding a tablet. What you don't see is that the beard can move up and down... like the man is ranting, chomping, or laughing at you from that middle finger. It's GENIUS.
Carlen also designed a zig-zag necklace (seen in the photo above) that transforms into a star, which you can see below.
She also has a chuckling pharaoh ring and a pyramid ring that opens up to reveal a mummy inside. Fantastic!!
All of these new pieces as well as a few more from her "Jew-elry" collection should be available soon. You should check out her blog for updates (and for a good laugh). This beauty doll is a serious riot.
I was at a wedding recently where many of the women looked relaxed, chic, and completely comfortable in what they were wearing. Usually, there's a lot of fuss, constant fluffing, and the frenetic taming of frippery. Not so at this wedding. One young lady was wearing a long silk dress, beautifully constructed and minimally adorned. Another had on a simple, roomy shift in a muted color that hit just above her knees. Ditto for another in simple sleeves and an unobtrusive print. All of this unfussy loveliness was the work of Vena Cava. It's also worth noting that most of the fashionable wedding guests were from Southern California. I'm probably not the first New Yorker to admit it, but LA style is kind of where it's at right now.
Thus, it came as no surprise that Vena Cava's Spring/Summer 2011 collection--designed in SoCal, of course--was all about laid-back, ladylike style. Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock (whose smiling sets of parents cheered them on from the front row along with indie lasses Annie Clark of St. Vincent and Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces) were inspired by the 1980's Memphis Group design movement headed by legendary Italian architect and designer Ettore Sottsass. The Memphis movement is characterized by vibrant geometric shapes that are meant to be humorous, thought-provoking, and modernist in nature. Vena Cava constructed their own hanging structures in the middle of the runway, the models providing slow-gliding punches of red and gray between them. Makes me want to pack up and write poetry in Laurel Canyon by day, sip Prosecco on a succulent-strewn Silverlake patio by night...
September is my Christmas and New Year's all rolled into one. As a lifelong magazine lover (and hoarder), this is the month when the fashion and design Santas bestow us with their most triumphant, ad-strewn gifts. I've thumbed through almost all of the gigantasaurus beauty bibles, dogeared the best of the bountiful spreads, but the one I keep going back to is also the slimmest and least ad-heavy of the bunch. Say hello to Tokion magazine's new incarnation, FACTORY. Filled with wearable, well-styled clothes, pencil illustrations by Jenny Mörtsell, and some lovely fashion collages by Peggy Wolf, this is the little fashion gift that keeps on giving.
Hot Karl! I will take absolutely everything from the Parisian accessory house of Yazbukey. If I have to narrow it down, though, here are a few of my choices...
Or don't. Because you're awesome. Teamo's Vincent Gallo t-shirt is for sale at Bona Drag.
I used to have an imaginary hillbilly rock band with my friend Jeff named GINGHAM. We never learned how to play instruments so we took the name and slapped it onto our theatre company. The Gingham Theatre Company has only produced one play at this juncture (which was pretty well received at the New York Fringe Festival awhile back), but we're currently using our hiatus to lubricate the creative muse so to speak. Thus, I'd like to invoke these gingham accessories from Tatty Devine to magically fly across the pond and land upon our persons. We need the inspiration.
Dear Intergalactic Space Diva from the Planet Disco 2000,
Please emerge from your techno cocoon and bestow us with your dancing pigtail madness! Bring back your platform sneakers, your late-night Tootsie Pop orange. Relive the days of raves and poses, make them brighter than neon junebugs and lady bunny heat. (We need your flippy banter, your cat-eyed giggle beat.) My supperdish, my succotash wish, now is the time to dance and have some fun.
Snipa (Former Princess of the Protean Beat)
I'm a few days late, but I haven't missed out on the party entirely. It seems a rather lackluster Fashion Week, if I do say so myself. The shows lack punch, and the parties groove forward with predictable--yet waning--vigor. As always, I stand on the sidelines watching, waiting patiently for someone to WOW me. Perhaps it's the recession or the lingering shadow that is the untimely death of one of my fashion heroes, Lee McQueen--a remarkable designer who never failed to entertain his audiences with consistently innovative and over-the-top spectacles. Whatever it is, something seems off about New York Fashion Week this year, and I endeavor to find out why.
At first, I thought it was due to runway shows giving way to presentations, but often the presentations are a much more entertaining (and less expensive) alternative. Scott Sternberg conjured up Wes Anderson-y magic with his Boy by Band of Outsiders presentation. Preppy, cheeky fun in cinematic tableau is the best way to look at his clothes, not to mention taking in the tableau of well-known fashion editors actually smiling at his creations. The same applies to Lorick. I adore Abigail Lorick's cheeky take on the imagined uptown tea-party set. At yesterday's presentation, she unveiled "Angels and Cocoons," a shimmering display of wispy cocktail dresses and tweedy suiting popping with bright green accents, which was inspired by a Eugène Carrière painting at the Met.
I'm finding that I actually prefer presentations to runway shows. For one, you can take in the ensembles for as long as you want and notice details often lost in the whizz of the runway waltz. Also, the designers themselves are in the room with you answering questions or providing ear-shot insight about what went in to the collection. There are some exceptions to the runway rule, of course, such as Vena Cava who always display their enigmatic cool at heightened decibels. Or Karen Walker whose girls always seem to clomp confidently through the room with know-it-all literary character.
That being said, I still want whimsy and exploding grandeur the likes of which are only seen in Paris. Marc Jacobs has already mentioned a celeb-free show, which is fine by me as long as he gives us his the same killer styling theatrics (kudos to Venetia Scott and Camille Bidault-Waddington) or a return to eye-popping set design (like his S/S 2007 show). In the meantime, I look forward to a few more presentations this week and some shows that are off the NYFW grid. I'm hungry for that which is not on the radar, those who are ready to usher in a new revolution. Is it possible? We shall see.
For now, I leave you with David Sedaris expounding on the perfect accessory.
As per usual, Marc Jacobs trumps all with his super-fun, neu-wave, hyper-eighties slash fest of ribboned dresses, tuck n' tapered trousers, and pseudo-kilts. The man can do no wrong. He's the only designer that has any fun during New York Fashion Week (with the exception of Betsey Johnson's whimsy and Vena Cava's lovely tableaus). Marc is the one we all wait for, and he's the one that never disappoints. At this point, I've completely overlooked the fact that he never made eye-contact with me all of those years when I made sure the kitchen had enough of his favorite chocolate pudding in stock. But that's another story for another day. Today, cheers to you Mr. Jacobs! You Stinky Rat, you.
Here's what I want to wear come fall (still debating on whether to attempt the Flock hair...could be fun!):
(Courtesy of A Shaded View on Fashion)
As a long-time fan of Isabel Toledo, it was a true delight to see Michelle Obama wearing one of her dresses this morning. Isabel and Ruben Toledo (or the "Bolero Duo" as I like to call them as they remind me of a sharp, red waistcoat trimmed in elegant black brocade) are two of New York City's most enigmatic artists. He paints; she makes clothes. They fell in love in high school and are continually each other's muses. With impeccable style and eccentric glamour, they create art that intertwines with their lives.
Then there's their home loft/atelier. In a word it's a dream. I saw their apartment in both New York magazine and the Woody Allen film Melinda and Melinda and fell in love with them all over again. What an amazing space!
So on this wonderful, celebratory day, I want to extend a hearty congratulations to Isabel Toledo. I hope she finally gets the world-wide recognition she deserves.
Once, when I went to Universal Studios, I wore my favorite black velvet hat with big mauve roses on the front. I loved that hat. It made me feel unique. Anyway, this little girl got really excited when she saw me. She started pointing and tugging on her mom's sleeve excitedly. This is who she thought I was.
You know what? From this picture, I wasn't that far off.
I'm hyperventilating. COMME des GARCONS is my FAVES. Whenever I'm feeling listless, I go to the COMME store to stroke the sweaters or spray three different parfums on my person (in COMME-Land, you say parfum). Two weeks ago, I filed out of a rather lackluster fashion show and made my way to COMME for inspiration. It's silent when you enter the egg-shaped door. One minute you're on a jack-hammered Chelsea street, and the next you're floating into a Japanese space pod where no one speaks lest the dripping racks of black go unheard humming their solemn lullabies. In COMME-Land, you find yourself fingering dresses that defy imagination, waists cinched and hems tucked preposterously. You're distracted by white t-shirts bearing hearts with suspicious eyes. Stripes are king, but obsidian reigns, and on a tidy glass shelf you can sample the scent of Kyoto.
I often imagine what it must be like to take a dress from the rack (and a pair of gold oxfords) and have it wrapped in black tissue. What would it be like to take my COMME dress and shoes in my COMME tissue and bag out for some sake afterwards? I'm going to find out in November. I may not get to waltz into the space pod to do it, but I will be FIRST in line at my trusty H&M to get my hands on everything in the COMME des GARCONS for H&M collection. Unlike Karl or Stella or the travesty that was Cavalli, I will not hold myself back. Oh no, I will fight for this stuff (I'm talking to you Conde Assistants International), and I will win my black and my white with my polka dots all over.
Who else wants to...
Photo courtesy of Alix at Modepass
My current obsession is Modepass, a fashion and beauty site with TONS of self-generated "street-style" photos. Basically, you sign up for a member page then upload your own photo shoots. These ladies go all out, too. One of my faves is the Parisian internet sensation Alix, she of the fantastic style blog ...the cherry blossom girl... I suggest pouring yourself a tall glass of iced hibiscus tea, throwing a couple of petit fours on a plate, then blasting some AIR while you click away. Here are a few more lovelies...
Photo courtesy of Balibulle
I have long been a fan of Milk, France's ultimate children's fashion magazine. They recently extended their publication to Japan, and the results are both inspiring and hysterical...and way better than most adult fashion magazines. Here's a look at my favorite spread. When I have a kid, I want a little Hockney...
"Please, please, please can I borrow your ticket? My girlfriend is stuck in STANDING ROOM. Ohmygod, you're a life saver!"
I was "Gabrielle" last night at the Alice Temperley show. I've been keeping it light this Fashion Week so I can swizzle my sticks in other cocktails, but being back in the ol' circus tent made me miss the soul sucking pandemonium of it all. There's something thrilling about ascending those concrete steps, flashing an embellished invitation, getting the nod, then being bombarded by girls in shaky heels brandishing the latest issue of The Daily.
When you get to the doors of the Bryant Park tents, you can already feel the energy pulsating on the other side. There's a two second check you do before going in. A quick sweep of the bangs, a secret tug on the skirt, one delicate smack of the lips. Once the door is opened, that's it. You're sucked into a twittering vortex of flashing bulbs, cacophonous chatter, swirls of colorful advertising, and a multitude of eyes all staring at you.
The new Built by Wendy fall collection is "trickling in!" I'm a long time fan of Wendy Mullins' quirky-classic sweaters, jeans, and movie inspired tees (hello, Mr. Wonka). Don't even get me started on the dresses. When you wear a Built by Wendy dress, people will sneak glances at you while you wait for the subway, full on accost you at the coffee truck, or punch you in the arm at a wedding.
"HEY! IS THAT MT. RUSHMORE ON YOUR DRESS?!"
"Yes, indeed it is. But doesn't Roosevelt kinda look like Stalin?"
"Whoa, crazy. Who's the other guy that's not Lincoln or Washington?"
"That would be Thomas Jefferson, our third President, an avid horticulturist."
Built by Wendy, people! You can learn something from it! You can school your friends! So, here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking you should treat yourself to this Sailor Pullover right here.
Now, put it on, fluff up the couch, and pop in a DVD of "Niagara, Niagara" to witness Robin Tunney's fantastic and totally underrated performance. She's awesome.
Built by Wendy is awesome. Goodnight.
We were in London having expensive cocktails at St. Martins Lane when she walked in. My back was to the room, Jeff was facing out, but I felt the air shift when she entered. Skinny, with ink blot hair and a wispy confection of feathers crowning her face, she was unmistakable.
"Oh my God, Jeff. It's Isabella Blow!"
We watched her glide past us and duck into an unseen area in the back of the bar. My heart raced in her wake...this fantastical British style icon and Auntie Mame-ish wisp. She of the mystical hats and blood stained lips peacocking her way through Fashion Weeks across the globe year after year and, now, in front of us. For a li'l lass from West Texas who watched Style with Elsa Klensch religiously as a child, this sighting, this brush with Fashion Greatness, was my li'l dream come true.
She was with a few other people, and they were all dressed up for some fantastic party or event or something. I'd like to think she looked that way all of the time. Fluffed, puckered, and cinched...even when going for a quick cocktail after work or for the newspaper in the morning. I'd like to think that she lived in a white marble townhouse accented in black and white striped awnings with a gold leaf staircase winding up from a harlequin-tiled foyer floor. I'd like to think that she had a hat library next to her bedroom. That all of her hats were color-coded and displayed on crystal busts molded in her image. I'd like to think that she had 50 different types of red lipstick and that some were collector's items from the the 1920's that had never been worn. I'd like to imagine that on Sunday mornings, when no one was around, she'd host a parade of mini horses wearing tiny velvet top hats on their heads.
Isabella Blow, stylist, editor-at-large, former assistant to Anna Wintour before quitting to move to West Texas herself and work for designer Guy Laroche (yee-haw!), discoverer of uber-designer Alexander McQueen, muse to madhat milliner Philip Treacy, and all-around triumphant global style creature was pronounced dead at the age of 48 this past Sunday.
I'm really saddened by her death. She deserves to be remembered by style scribes the world over because, without her, there's nothing really EXCITING in the world of fashion right now. She wore what she wanted and demanded that attention be paid to individual style. Clothing as art. Image as sculpture. Shock and awe with detailed sartorial elegance.
I wish the papers, or at least the ones that are supposed to be devoted to the business of fashion, would have the decency and class to focus on that rather than speculation on how she died (which is what many of them are focusing on). A gruesome rumor pinned onto a death is nothing but a tacky accessory. If you're interested in learning more about Isabella Blow, I urge you to read the Daily Telegraph's tribute, "Death of an Original", written by an original herself, Hilary Alexander.
In the aftermath of a rather lackluster and utterly boring display of Hollywood-styled-to-death "fashion" at the annual Costume Institute gala this week (with the exception of the venerable Charlotte Gainsbourg), I, for one, am gonna miss the hell out of Isabella Blow. Who will show up with the Parthenon on her head?? Who will peek out from behind protruding dollar signs or pose with a mess of pink spaghetti over her eyes?
Who, just WHO, will fly down a red carpet under a giant crown of silver wings?
I'm guessing she's doing just that right now.
The search for the perfect dress for my friend's upcoming Vegas wedding continues. Sadly, as my funds continue to dwindle, so do my options. But if I were to win the lottery, I might just buy this Burberry Prorsum dress below. I know it's a dark color for spring, but I'd kick it up Vegas style with lots of gold accoutrements. And fun hair. Oh, and these, of course.