Monday, August 31, 2009

My Fair Isle

Vintage sweater. Ella Moss dress. Vintage costume pearl necklace worn as belt with flower pin. Vintage costume enamel necklace worn as bracelet & gold bracelet. Vintage woven bag. Aviator sunglasses. Loeffler Randall sandals.
I bought this dress twice because I love how it looks like a Victorian girl's pinafore - unfortunately I ruined the first one in the washing machine (apparently the delicate cycle is not a substitute for dry cleaning ). Lately I've been repurposing my jewelry (i.e. the necklaces as belt/bracelet & the pin as a belt buckle here). I love this wooden handle purse & the different floral motifs on either side. However, the bag's compactness limits its usage to the country, where cars take the place of large pocketbooks.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Good Ship Lollipop

Sailor dress. Vintage gold necklace. Loeffler Randall sandals.
Here I appear in a sailor dress suitable for the beach... I hope to squeeze in a few more yellow polka dot bikini days of summer, but the chill in the air reminds me next week is Sept. This is one of my lesser jewelry days - I was wearing some bracelets earlier but removed them because they kept catching on my sweater. Today I traversed some backcountry roads & was inspired to plan a hike - I hope it's OK to wear ballet flats on the trail...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Mean Reds

Marc by Marc Jacobs top. Jill Stuart skirt. Motif 56 belt. Vintage costume pearl & coral (a souvenir from my sister's trip to Italy) necklaces. Satellite beaded bracelet. Loeffler Randall sandals.
Today I wore my lacy skirt again; the belt is also familiar, but suitcase-diving is shallow by nature. My sister bought this red coral necklace for me when she traveled to Italy last summer. I don't usually like matchy-matchy, but lately uniting a look through color appeals to me (in this case, the belt & the necklace). I might even wear a coordinating pair of shoes/handbag if I had them. While matching is a classic form of dressing, it may also be circumspectly rebellious when done nonchalantly.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hopscotch Polka Dot

3.1 Phillip Lim sweater. Joie dress. Motif 56 belt. Vintage costume gold & pearl necklaces. Vintage costume enamel bracelet. Isaac Mizrahi sandals.
Here I'm a French gamine in my black & white dress paired with a red belt (22nd birthday presents) & Chanel-esque cardigan. Today's rain allowed me to catch up on my fashion magazines. I luxuriate in every word monthly but recently fell behind in my reading - I'm still working on the Aug issues even though the penultimate Sept volumes beckon. Publishing may be a dying art form, but it nonetheless conforms to Darwinism: the output may lessen overall, but as long as there are women like Anna Wintour & Carine Roitfeld, the superior publications will remain.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage Calvin Klein belt with flower pin. Vintage costume bottle necklace. Vintage costume pearl & diamond bracelets. Loeffler Randall sandals.
I placed a phone order to a Boston boutique for this dress as I couldn't find my size in the city (I attended college in Boston but don't remember anywhere selling Phillip Lim back then). The chiffon folds across the chest give the frock a Grecian feel & the cinched waist demands a belt - here I wear a woven one with a fabric flower pinnned to the knot. I'm in CT now, the first stop on my end-of-summer tour... The wilting leaves & flowers outside induced me to take a sweater from the cedar trunk.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blue Lagoon

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Chanel belt. Vintage costume peridot, braided & woven bangles.
Clearly I love this Phillip Lim blue dress. The peridot bangle's round green stone is embedded in between an engraving of the gem's name & corresponding birth month (Aug), making this a timely jewel - at least for the next few days.
I'm writing while packing for CT & keep jumping up to add something to the suitcase. Haphazard packing is atypical of me as I prefer to lay out my clothes about a week before a trip. However, the best part about shopping abroad is everything's a souvenir, which is a good excuse to forget a few items. I'll be traveling tomorrow through Labor Day but will share my looks as I go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Vested Interest

Valentino Red dress. Lux vest. Floral scarf. Vintage costume pearl necklace. Kenneth Jay Lane flower ring.
Today I wore my favorite black sparkly dress again; this time I added a tweed vest to make the outfit more work-oriented. Inspired by Lanvin's pearl & ribbon necklaces, I wrapped one of my mom's old scarves around a strand of pearls.
I love Alber Elbaz's both for his feminine designs & feminist sentiments... In Ariel Levy's March 2009 New Yorker profile of the designer, Mr. Elbaz claims to design dresses women wear to fall in love with themselves (rather than clothes worn to attract men). It brings to mind the age-old question of whether women dress for their own sex or for men. I suppose I dress for other women - but ultimately for myself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Love Beads

Anna Sui top. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Judith Jack belt. Chanel star earrings. Vintage costume turquoise ring. Delman sandals.
This is the same gray Phillip Lim skirt from last week worn with a beaded top that makes a necklace superfluous. Women are often advised to have a go-to outfit - something reliably flattering for when it's impossible to think straight. However, I try not to appear in the same look twice - I shop my closet but make it a point to innovatively accessorize.
In times of economic crisis, people are cautioned to make wise investments. Today I made a fail-safe investment in Chanel - three pairs of ballet flats in black & camel leather plus an irresistable red patent leather version that was akin to Dorothy coming home.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pierrot's Collar

Valentino Red dress. Vintage costume gold & narrow gold (a 14th birthday present from my mom) bangles. Penny Loves Kenny sandals.
One of the reasons I bought this dress is for its frilly collar, which reminds me of Pierrot's costume in Jean-Antoine Watteau's painting of the same name (the enigmatic picture of a sad-eyed clown). This work's poignancy is largely due to the feelings I recognize in both the French stock character & myself, wherein we momentarily become lost in reverie on life's stage.
Whenever I wear this dress, people tell me how avant-garde the neckline is... I agree insofar as it's reminiscent of Chris March's collar motif for Project Runway's Season Four, but ultimately I wear this sundress with ease, not as a statement piece.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

White Rabbit

Juicy Couture dress. Woven belt. Vintage costume cork & cameo necklaces. Vintage costume white bangle. Costume pearl, blue bead & charm bracelets. Isaac Mizrahi sandals.
I wore this white dress to combat the humid & thunderstorm-ridden weather. Light colors are difficult to wear in the rain - they usually become mud-splattered in the city, but driving door-to-door seems to curtail that effect here.
Today I explored the next town over... Usually I reserve my country shopping budget for vintage but made an exception for an Alice & Olivia gold lace frock. This was not a random purchase but rather a serendipitous reunion: I admired the dress earlier this summer in the city but was never able to chase down my size.

Friday, August 21, 2009


3.1 Phillip Lim vest. Milly camisole. Bubble skirt. Woven belt. Vintage pearl necklace. Vintage bamboo, bakelite & wood bangles. Vintage leather bag with flower pin. Sergio Rossi ponyhair sandals.
Backyard lounging... this vest is a little big, so I always belt it or wear it open. My Bubby gave me this ladylike bag to which I affixed a leather flower pin.
Traveling means inevitably leaving what you want to wear behind. I keep some clothes at my family's country house - mostly for the storage space but also so I have something to wear when I visit. Sometimes I rediscover pieces I've written off - these leopard sandals for example are coming home with me.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Layer Cake

Jill Stuart dress. Black bead necklace (a souvenir from my mom's trip to Ireland). Vintage costume gold & narrow gold (a 14th birthday present from my mom) bangles. Vintage costume diamond bracelet. Vintage costume pearl ring. Penny Loves Kenny sandals.
This dress' layered ruffles & rosette adorned waist unabashedly express my girlishness. My mom gives me fine jewelry on seminal birthdays... I received a pearl necklace for my 13th birthday & the skinny gold bangle I wear here the following year. My 18th birthday garnered a pearl, sapphire & diamond ring & I inherited my mom's pearl ring upon my 21st year - I wear the latter two pieces everyday on my right hand.
As the photograph suggests, I'm taking a long weekend in CT; this picture was taken at a stone bench around my family's driveway. As children, my parents instructed my sister & me that this was a safe bench - we were supposed to assemble here in case our house caught on fire for example (which luckily never happened).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

White Knight

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Echo scarf. Vintage costume stone necklace. Vintage costume flower & Kenneth Jay Lane elephant bangles. Delman sandals.
This is one of my favorite white dresses - here I wear it with my mom's old scarf, which is part of an inspirational shopping story... Years ago, my mom requested Saks Fifth Ave to ship her purchases home. Upon the arrival of her parcel, she was surprised to discover a dozen designer scarves tucked in tissue paper at the bottom of the box (this scarf among them). With this fable in mind, I ship my shopping whenever I can - not only to save the tax but also in hopes of finding my own packaged fairy tale.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lace Up

See by Chloe top. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Vintage costume pearl & green vase (a souvenir from my mom's trip to the Caribbean) necklaces. Vintage costume diamond & Les Néréids crystal (a souvenir from my trip to Paris) bracelets. Vintage costume turquoise ring. White sunglasses. Penny Loves Kenny sandals.
Here's another one of my corporate looks - I gave a presentation & aimed for professional with a feminine sense of style. The white sunglasses were complimentary with my Feb 2008 laser eye surgery. While I liked my old Chanel tortoiseshell geek-chic eyeglasses (I never wore contacts), the surgery remains one of my best/bravest acts. Even now I rarely wear earrings, which is probably a result of wearing eyeglasses since the fifth grade (too much adornment around my face). Ms. Chanel said it best: "When accessorizing, always take off the last thing you put on".

Monday, August 17, 2009


3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage costume chain & elephant/evil eye necklaces. Vintage costume pearl ring. Delman sandals.
This dress is perfect for a picnic - or for performing office work during a heatwave. I did both today, reading on a bench in Union Square Park during my lunch break.
After work, I treated myself to a lively romp through the Anna Sui store downtown & bought two dreamy turquoise dresses. I also scored an invitation to the afterparty of Ms. Sui's Spring 2010 fashion show in September. I wonder if I should wear one of my new frocks to the event or if it's a faux pas to wear the designer to her own party...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Black Tie Affair

See by Chloe dress. Filigree belt. Vintage costume peridot & 2 gold bangles. Vintage costume flower bracelet. Delman sandals.
I wore this black dress on my last birthday, so it's infused with good vibes. The jewelry is mostly from CT estate sales; I bought the flower bracelet several years ago. More recently, my sister purchased a pair of flower earrings at a local antiques store - they match the bracelet exactly, which makes me wonder if our jewelry was originally part of a set. I love such coincidences & am pleased that the bracelet & earrings are reunited within one family.
This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock; I'm sure I was there, dancing in the moonlight (as my propensity to imagine myself in the past leads me to believe). I love everything Woodstock represents & consider myself to be a liberal optimist, albeit more haute bohemian than social reformer. After all, I fully support vintage - fashion's ultimate recycle bin.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tea Time

Jill Stuart dress. Vintage costume black/gold bead & black bead (a souvenir from my mom's trip to Ireland) necklaces. Vintage costume gold bangle. Costume flower ring. Loeffler Randall sandals.
I bought this dress along with a similar chiffon frock one summer at the Jill Stuart store downtown. It reminds me of a 1920's tea dress - something a flapper may have worn to an afternoon call on her friends.
I spent the afternoon admiring Phillip Lim's beige Mongolian fur jacket trimmed with a metallic beaded placket at Bergdorf. Remembering the Phillip Lim chubby I bought a few weeks ago, I refrained from buying this one; I was sad to leave it behind.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Secret Garden

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage Chanel belt. Vintage pearl necklace with flower pin. Vintage costume gold & Jessica Kagan Cushman 'Do You Have Any Idea Who I Am?' bangles. Vintage costume diamond bracelet. Bally bag.
This is the black dress I wore to my mom's last birthday. The yellow pearl necklace is gratifyingly long, so I wrapped it around my neck twice, securing it with a yellow fabric flower pin. These pictures were taken outside a church en route from the Madison Ave bus stop to my family's apartment.
I'm so excited about a pair of Chloe brown suede over-the-knee boots I recently purchased. They entered my shopping list as soon as I saw them - as mentioned previously, I love making lists. The boots are too delicious to wait until fall to photograph, so look for a visual here soon.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Flower Child

See by Chloe dress. Theory belt. Chanel pearl earrings. Vintage costume pearl bracelet. Vintage pink sunglasses. Delman sandals.
This dress is special because it was my first See by Chloe purchase. I bought these square sunglasses at a CT tag sale. Later I realized they are just eyeglasses tinted pink - the kind biddies wear driving around FL. I wear them only on cloudy days.
This look reminds me of the The Virgin Suicides-era but is too vibrant for the sisters to have worn in Sofia Coppola's movie - those girls flit about town in muted, ethereal clothes, which emphasizes the transience of their lives. Ms. Coppola's work entrances me; I read somewhere the three films (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation & Marie Antoinette) are meant to be considered as a trilogy - the story of a girl growing up.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name

Rebecca Taylor dress. Vintage Saks Fifth Ave chain belt. Vintage velvet headband. Vintage costume ribbon necklace. Kenneth Jay Lane flower ring. Loeffler Randall sandals.
I admired this dress' rose bedecked hem in Bergdorf & bought it for a cousin's wedding. The vintage gray suede & gold chain belt was uncovered at a local CT town fair. Recently, vintage has been touted for its craftsmanship & contribution to one's personal style... I started buying vintage downtown during high school not only because it meant fewer people would have it but also for the history intrinsic to each item.
My vintage pieces were part of other lives before joining mine... if only clothes could talk. I wish I could glimpse previous owners wearing our shared inheritance. Vintage shopping aids my search for a connection back in time, to a place where I may have belonged once.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lady in Red

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage Chanel belt. Vintage costume sunshine necklace. Kenneth Jay Lane elephant bangle. Vintage costume stone bracelet. Delman sandals.
I bought the belt this weekend in CT - I need to have it taken in as it's a bit big. The dress was a gift from my mom for my last birthday; as with most of my presents, she garnered the idea from my annual birthday list. I'm teased about this directory every year; it consists of item descriptions, visuals & where to shop.
I enjoy making action-oriented lists: what to read, see & buy next. I cross off items as I finish them, occasionally even including completed tasks as motivation - this makes it feel like accomplishing goals. Sometimes writing something down is the first step toward making it real.

Monday, August 10, 2009

On Gossamer Wings

Catherine Malandrino dress. Vintage costume stone & heart necklaces. Costume flower ring. Loeffler Randall sandals.
Voilà the debut of my 10 days old dress. I prefer little white dresses to black ones - they look fresh & insouciant costuming my fairy flights of fancy, where nymphs & nymphets roam free.
This summer frock's capacious sleeves anticipate fall's volume. I refresh my wardrobe every season, but autumn is my favorite... It reminds me of my schoolgirl shopping sprees. These days I stock up on cashmere & fur, knowing they will be well worn in the future.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Say Goodnight, Gracie

See by Chloe jacket & top. Lina Tsai skirt. Loeffler Randall sandals.
I have a couple of plain blazers - I like this one because the lapels remind me of a tuxedo. This is my favorite skirt - it's printed with little girls named Gracie wearing pink dresses. My dad used to affectionately compare me to Gracie Allen from The Burns & Allen Show, so I feel a kinship with Gracie's antics.
I'm home from the country now. Even though I'm a born & bred city girl, I have a special place in my heart for the countryside. A passage from The Importance of Being Earnest resonates with me: when Jack says one must amuse other people in the country but is free to amuse oneself in town. While I'm sure to find amusement anywhere, I have more social obligations in the city - the country is where I'm the most free to indulge myself.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Early Bird

3.1 Phillip Lim top. Jill Stuart skirt. Deena & Ozzy belt. Vintage costume cameo & mixed-medium necklaces. Vintage straw hat. Isaac Mizrahi sandals.
This blouse's navy print is the same as a chiffon dress I have; I bought the top first but wear the dress more. I've had the lace skirt for years - it adheres to my Victorian aesthetic, which has been my look for awhile.
I woke up early to attend a nearby town festival - I know from experience the best buys go within the first few minutes. In the white elephant section, I bought some vintage jewelry, stationary, a floral hat box & one of my best purchases to date: a Chanel black leather belt with a gold buckle - I live for such serendipitous discoveries.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Custom of the Country

Lil dress. Vintage chain & elephant necklaces. Vintage bamboo, bakelite, wood & silver bangles. Vintage straw hat. Aviator sunglasses. Sergio Rossi ponyhair sandals. Vintage Etienne Aigner crocodile bag.
This dress reminds me of a Victorian petticoat, which is one of my favorite periods for fashion: lace, pinafores, embroidery... I love ladylike things. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong era - I should have lived in a medieval castle, a colonial homestead, or even the Rhinelander mansion.
I bought the straw boater, bag & most of the jewelry at CT sales. I've yearned for a hat like this since I read the American Girl's book Kirsten Saves the Day when I was young. My favorite part is when Kirsten's family travels to the frontier town & buys her a straw hat trimmed with black ribbon & cherries. Now I'm free to indulge my yesteryear fantasies on sunny country days.
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