Friday, January 29, 2010

Home is wherever I'm with you.

Sorry about the delay in posting (and the completely irrelevant title), but this past week has been tres busy due getting back to school and adjusting to the arctic conditions (7 degrees, REALLY?).

One thing I forgot about my school was the insane amount of capital people put into their clothes. I remember my first week at school when I saw a girl carrying her books in a Lanvin tote, let me just say I was a little astonished. Anyway, It was pouring the other day, of course I think my Frye boots will suffice..they did not, but on my way to the bookstore I saw a pair of rain boots from 20 feet away that I knew were too nice to be J. Crew. Alligator print, check. Grommets on the strap, check. Hunter logo, check....Oh...this girl is actually wearing $395 Jimmy Choo for Hunter boots...on a college campus. Upon closer inspection I also realize she is wearing an Alexander Wang blazer and toting a giant LV bag.

It probably seems like I'm bitter or jealous (I would be lying if I said I didn't want a Wang blazer), but to be honest I don't understand the need to display oneself this way. With so much visibly designer clothing it eventually lacks originality. This is not to say that Anna Wintour cannot dress because she wears designer labels. Jesus, the woman can dress, but when someone just throws together the most must-have items without any thought, it's like their clothes own them. I think style should be an extension of your personality and only be a description, not a packaged deal.

I guess this brings up the bigger question, what is style? Who am I, or anyone else to decide that something is acceptable. We judge based on knowledge of trends, is what someone is wearing relevant to what was most recently on the runways. We live in a style hierarchy and cycle. I could go all The Devil Wears Prada with Miranda Priestley's very accurate monologue about Andrea's blue sweater, but I feel like it goes even deeper than that. Also development of style interests me. We obviously take inspiration from others and consistently incorporate all those impressions into a look we call our own, but where did it begin? I don't have the answers, maybe someone does. I would love to know what you think about this.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Jean-Paul Gaultianna?

Oh boy. Not awk at all.

I didn't intend on posting today, but when I saw this picture I was inspired...that sounds awful, but you know what I mean.

I woke up at 5:50am this morning, which I don't think I have done since some stressful high school morning where I had a million things due, anyway I woke up at this godawful hour because I had my driving test today. Yes, I am a 19 year-old in suburbia and didn't have my license (I passed!!) until now, but I have managed to get by these past 3 years by much mooching. To the point, I was reading yesterdays Wall Street Journal which published a fantastic article by one of my favorite fashion writers, their fashion columnist, Christina Binkley, about the death of the trend. Considering Trend Forecaster is a dream job of mine, I found this article not only interesting, but also frightening.

In brief, the article discusses how the modern structure of the fashion industry (i.e. H&M and Zara producing runway ripoffs months before the actual designs hit the stores) leaves little room for trends. Unlike decades before, where hemlines and silhouettes were strict, we live in time where everything is okay. In the past two decades, designers have exhausted every trend and style from years past to the point where its a diluted market where nothing is out. Binkley makes the good point that we live in a time where people don't dress the same way, in the sense people now dress for themselves rather than following rigid style guidelines set by store buyers and trend forecasters. I think its a great change, but also it leaves little room for excitement and new ideas. 

I love that fashion is completely accessible to every socioeconomic group, but I think it needs to slow down. Look at mens fashion, it's the slowest moving part of the fashion industry trend-wise. The staples have stayed the same, but its the details that change. For example with men's suiting it takes a while for the pleat to either go in and out of style or the type of lapel to change. I like this. That is what makes things fresh, small details, not overproduction and decoration. What I think would be good and could happen to the womens fashion industry is their version of the slow food movement; a cleanse.

I'm not saying to make every design look like Jil Sander or Calvin Klein, but get fashion focused again. We need to look back at what made this industry so successful to begin with and bring that into the future. Maybe take away the celebrities and glamor, and keep the shows to fashion educated and industry people, people who actually know what they are doing. People need to learn to be patient again, especially in a time where we tire so quickly over everything due to constant exposure. Fashion and design are elements we can't avoid in our everyday lives, so why not start there?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What is a Liz?!!?!

I felt like making a fashion unrelated post, but I am me...aka that would be impossible.

Last night, two of my friends and I witnessed something that is hard to find these days...something that made us scratch our heads. There is a new show on MTV called "My Life as Liz" which was thoroughly confusing at first. We had all seen the advertisements during commercial breaks for the Jersey Shore, that featured a Chuck Taylor clad girl with an asymmetric haircut saying witty shit, basically Juno the television show, but it was all pretty vague. We started to watch the show, but even 10 minutes in we were still unsure if it was reality or not. MTV is the king of scripted reality and was doing an excellent job making us think if it was just another episode of Made or something different. After a quick Google search we confirmed the tales of the anti-LC were not actually true. That didn't stop us from watching an episode...or two.

The show follows Texan teen, Liz, who is fighting her way through high school and for her by-the-book-alternative-society-hating voice to be heard in a sea of cookie-cutter blonds. Her life is punctuated with the tunes of Lykke Li, Chromeo, and Passion Pit, which, for me, made for a fun game of solitaire name that tune (but also aggravated the shit out of me that MTV is whoring out these artists) and the overuse of the word "douche."

More to the point, I want to talk about Liz's appearance. Liz wears red lipstick to school (gasp!) and a backpack among a sea of Vera Bradely totes (You go girl!) which shows how ballsy she is (please sense sarcasm here, I beg you). There was a scene in the first episode where Liz is giving the popular girl a makeover at a thrift store (alternative!!) and has her wearing 1) an oversized Harley Davidson eagle shirt circa 1996 paired with skinny jeans and 2) an oversized ugly sweater worn with sweatpant cut-offs. MTV tapped into the indie/alternative fashion psyche pretty damn well... to the point where I was almost yelling at the TV. I felt a little frustrated, it was one of those moments where you wanted to scream "IVE BEEN WEARING/LISTENING TO/DOING THAT SINCE 10th GRADE," but you don't because you don't want people to think you are a closeted hipster/douche.

I'm not sure what I'm getting at here, but I'm interested in how this show will continue to package the stylings of an indie chick for the sponge of a teen culture MTV has created.

Also, I'm now just as confused as I was before about the authenticity of this show because she has a friggin Twitter that is too perfectly obscure AND she gives Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros a shout out. THIS SHOW IS THE ULTIMATE CULTURAL MACHINE.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

You've been invited to a Sugarhi!

It's a double post sort of day!

Today I woke up bright and early to go to the SugarHabit sale. Two of my favorite stores, Third Street Habit and Sugarcube, paired up for a mega sale. Everything was 50-90% off. I went with my brother's girlfriend who is a New York bred sample sale savvy shopper. The sale started at 10, but when we got there (around 9:45am) there was already a line. Every woman seemed to be on a mission and within moments the once organized warehouse was a zoo. I should have brought my camera, but considering the dressing room was literally a large room with about 5 mirrors where hoards of women were stripping and ferociously trying on their finds, it would have been violating to say the least. There were racks and racks of my favorite contemporary brands ranging from Current/Elliot, APC, Isabel Marant, Rory Beca, and more. Plus there were three racks devoted to vintage...and it was all $10. Despite the discounts, most items were still $100+, which doesn't fit into my college budget.  I tried a ton of stuff on and left happily with two items.

I bought a vintage blue and white striped silk button-up and...harem pants. I know, I pants? They were very well priced and since they are made from cotton jersey, they drape quite well. Recently my purchases have been about challenging myself and diversifying my wardrobe. Here is a little outfit I put together with my new digs (Unfortunately because I do not own a tripod or have a personal photographer on call, my mirror will have to do):

 I think my Topshop heels work with this outfit and the hardware contrasts nicely with the softness of the shirt and pants. Can spring come now?

I'm Not Coco Rocha

Now why do I even bother mentioning that I am not the fantastic international supermodel that Coco Rocha is? It gives me the excuse to name drop her. Yes. I saw Coco on Thursday in NYC at Topshop. I was with a group of my friends in the city for the day and while in Topshop I saw a too-tall-to-not-be-a-model woman, only to immediately realize that it was Coco fucking Rocha. My other fashion-mag obsessed friend turned a shade of red that I'm pretty sure that only appears when she sees either A) a supermodel or B) Harry Potter cast members or C) Seth Meyers.

On the note of modeling, I am finally posting the pictures from the photo shoot my friend Mike and I did. We had a lot of fun with this and probably stayed up until 2am taking pictures and eating. After digging around my house for pieces I wanted to use, I realized the abundance of awesome coats in my house that either belong to me, my mother, grandfather, grandmother, or father. Jackets and coats are probably the most versatile items in your closet. They have the power to completely transform any outfit. I wanted to showcase the variety of materials and cuts of said jackets while complimenting the other pieces in the ensemble.

Mike in my mothers vintage Orange Wool and Fox trimmed Isaac Mizrahi coat. My guess it's from the early 90's.

My Vintage Faux Fur trimmed jacket worn with a thrifted T, J. Crew cropped cords, and Natural Comfort Platforms


Vintage Army Jacket worn with a vintage football jersey, J. Crew cords, Natural Comfort platforms, and ring by Michael Henrich


Hinge Leather Jacket worn with Vintage Mariann Boston dress, Marc Jacobs Heels, Moschino Belt,Vintage Necklace, and H&M earrings.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Inching up and out of my comfort zone

Friday I made a day trip up to Manhattan with my friend Shauna. The goal of the day was for me to check out a certain city school, but lets be honest...we wanted to shop our hearts out. With post-holiday sales going and some birthday money I had some high retail expectations. Last year I got some pretty incredible deals due to the economic conditions (ahem Miu Miu mary-janes at 70% off and a skirt from Bendels when then still carried clothes...le sigh), but this year the sales aren't nearly as good. We hit up A.P.C. (they do simple so well...yet so expensive), Agent Provocateur (at 75% off we still couldn't justify a neon pink baby-doll), and Miu Miu (see below) but left with nothing.

Let me talk about Miu Miu for a second. I don't think I can begin to describe my affection for that store. I have never been to the one uptown, but the store in SoHo is most easily described as a candystore fit for Carrie Bradshaw. They have girlyness mastered and manage to make the entire store look like a giant confection with smoky mauves, mint greens, and golden beiges. Last year during sale season, not only was I very successful, I was treated like a princess.  Yesterday, we walked in and were greeted by an adorable salesperson named Spencer who gave us zero attitude and just as much time as any Park Avenue Princess. For kicks and potential purchases I asked him if they had any shoes on sale (you have to ask because there are no price tags), within minutes Spencer was giving us the footwear version of a Tupperware party. Let's just say he had me very close to buying a pair of rabbit fur trimmed heels, and I was torn if I should get a pair of gorgeous beige flats, but I left empty handed.

Miu Miu Fall 2009

I find at so many designer stores, especially in NYC, salespeople don't give you the time of day unless you are dripping in Van Cleefs & Arpels and toting a Chanel 2.55 bag, but from years of retail experience, you absolutely cannot judge your customers and expect a sale. That's what I love about Miu Miu, even though it's Prada's younger sister and a key chain retails for $200, they want you to feel awesome. When shopping, customer service and attention is #1, so regardless of the prices, I will definitely be back at Miu Miu.

Last Year's Miu Miu purchase. The most perfect shade of pink.

We gave up on designer digs on the cheap, so we did the polar opposite...Topshop. I had never been to the London megastore, and I'm not sure if I will be back. The moment I walked in I was drugged with loud remixes of my favorite songs (Shelter by The xx, specifically) and every trend imaginable at my fingertips. In my polyester and sequin fueled haze I thought it would be a great idea to try on acid-washed high waisted jeggings, a studded jacket that weighed at least 12 lbs, and something (I really cannot tell you what it was, either a dress or shirt) with shoulder pads. I was actually considering purchasing these items and thinking  they would be legitimately practical pieces to add to my closet. Shuana was in the same boat, hers including a leather dress with mesh inserts. In a moment of clarity, I realized the utter crap I was trying on was appealing because it allowed me to try the trends I secretly liked and the prices made them a reality. At that point I ran out of the dressing room. As much as I wanted to leave the store without a bag, I ended up with two shoe boxes. They had a two for one sale that I seriously could not ignore, so I have two new pairs of heels that I almost regret buying, but I see them as a way to expand my wardrobe and challenge myself.

 The Challenge:



Both pairs are no doubt on trend and wearable, but my personal style doesn't really match up. I'm more of a Ferragamo girl, and when it comes to heels I generally drool over Lanvin and Chloe. The first pair's upper screams Balmain from last spring, but the heel is going to be awesome for this spring/summer with it's wedgy heel that's going to be everywhere. The second pair has a Manolo Blahnik feel to them minus the heel. It will definitely be fun to play around with these and figure out ways to pair them with the rest of my wardrobe.

The other night my friend Mike came over and we had a lot of fun with a photo shoot that focused on coats and jackets. Once we are done editing I will most definitely post the pictures, but for now here is a hint.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

This little pet peeve of mine. I'm gonna let it shine.

Somehow, no matter how careful I think I am trying to tiptoe around and grip those little flipflops, I manage to ruin my nails EVERY SINGLE TIME I get them done (at least I got a nice color). Only when I'm not shelling out my precious-always-wasted-on-college-textbook dollars and paint my nails myself does perfection occur. Blarg. That was my little Main Line born-and-raised rant that probably made me come off as some overprivledged snot. I would take a picture of my toe to aid my argument, but do you really want to look at my feet? Probably not. ANYWAY.

Let's talk about Scott Shuman.He is the genius behind my favorite street style blog and has such impeccable taste, also he is a Conde Nasty which puts him way up in my book. His eye for detail is like whoa and makes me appreciate the intricacies of suiting. I knew absolutely nothing about men's dressing beyond my torturing my brother about his lack of style until I started paying attention to the Sartorialist. His images capture style in it's purest moments, many times it's just a simple outfit, but one detail or piece will send it to another level. Here are some examples/my favorites:


Photo Credits (All Images):

In Summer 2008, In my admiration for Shuman's images and need for drawing practice I began to sketch his photographs. I'll pick an image based on the clothes, toning, body position, really whatever stands out or what I'm in the mood for. I usually draw in ballpoint pen, but sometimes I'll use pencil. My style is inaccurate, I don't really go for overall precision; I like unevenness.  Ps. A scanner would have helped, but these will just have to do.

This was my first drawing, I think I was trying to do a blind contour.


I've been working on some more, and will definitely post them. My goal is to do one or two a week, not only to keep up my drawing, but to practice toning, composition, and remember some of Scott Shuman's best.