Saturday, October 31, 2009

Time to Rise & Shine

3.1 Phillip Lim jacket. Cynthia Steffe dress. Bow barrette. Vintage Saldarini scarf. Vintage costume charm necklace. Vintage costume pearl & moonstone rings. Black tights. Chloé 'Sally' bag. Chanel shoes.
In an ominous ode to Halloween, the sun never rose today. However, it was warm enough to wear my FAVORITE jacket without a sweater (thanks global warming). Rainbow sequins & frayed edges make the blazer a work of art - I feel lucky to own it but try to wear it gingerly as the sequins are prone to molt. I layered an oversize cloth scarf the same color as the jacket over a white crochet dress - it's actually a tunic, but I like to live dangerously.
Tonight I'm going to Christopher Gray's lecture on Park Ave Palaces at the Met to be followed by some Halloween revelry. I'm still not 100% sure of my costume, but my eye makeup will be inspired by the sooty lids in the Chanel fall 2009 ad.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Purple Heart

Anna Sui top. Nanette Lepore skirt. Vintage costume gold earrings. Vintage costume Art Nouveau necklace. Vintage costume pearl & turquoise rings. Betsey Johnson tights. Roger Viver shoes.
Today's show is brought to you by the color purple... I love a skirt that twirls & this knife pleated, layered chiffon skirt does so with abundance. I tucked a purple beaded top (the breastplate beading is almost like a necklace, but I added another one for good luck) into the skirt's cummerbund waistband. Grape colored tights swath my stems & I wore a pearl ring that reminds me of a tower of grapes.
Halloween is imminent & I feel nostalgic for my childhood - I usually disguised myself as a princess, bride, fairy, or some combination thereof. Purely frivolous costumes have given way to this year's contenders - a trio of Edith's: Sedgwick, Beale & The Lonely Doll. While remaining true to my girlish aesthetic, these looks have a dark glamour in keeping with my current mood.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Circle of Trust

Milly dress. Clasp belt. Vintage costume circle & tassel necklaces. Vintage costume flower bangle. Vintage costume mosaic bracelet. Betsey Johnson tights. Delman velvet shoes.
This two-tone tweed dress is embossed with a pattern of circles, which I echoed with my shorter necklace: a wreath punctuated by two pearls. The frock is all business in the front but has a low back & pockets on either side. Circles represent divinity, eternity (wedding rings) & cycles. Currently I find myself entrenched in a cycle of shopping the holiday collections, selectively returning said purchases & buying some more. It's not even cold yet, but I'm already planning a vacation somewhere warmer where I can wear my resort wardrobe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Schoolgirl Gone Bohemian

3.1 Phillip Lim blouse. Milly camisole. Lina Tsai skirt. Bow barrette. Vintage costume breastplate necklace. Vintage costume twisted & woven bangles. Vintage costume animal ring. Ribbed tights. Chanel shoes.
Say goodnight, Gracie… Today I wore a ruffled chiffon top with a pleated skirt printed with girls named Gracie - it seems tailor-made for me because my dad called me Gracie (referencing George Burns' sidekick). Recently I trimmed the skirt with eyelet to make it longer (I've had it since high school & went through a phase where I lopped off all of my hems to make everything mini). Heavy gold jewelry + short skirt = 80's schoolgirl.
Measuring a life in dress is a fundamental way of marking time as it reduces everything to its outside shell... Judging by appearances only, I may seem younger than I am. Grown men who act like boys may have a Peter Pan complex, but is there a female equivalent? While I don't want to grow old, I do want to grow up - as long as I retain a sense of wonder.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Éminence Grise

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Bow belt. Vintage costume leaf earrings. Vintage costume pink & green bottle (a souvenir from my mom’s trip to the Caribbean) necklaces. Vintage amethyst, bow & costume flower rings. Hue polka dot tights. Chanel shoes.
Even though this gray dress’ crystals fall behind me like a lost disco bunny leaving a trail to find her way home, I’m fond of its chiffon slip, crochet overlay & aforementioned sparklers. Crochet is often associated with hippies or beachwear, but Mr. Lim subverts our expectations by making this frock suitable for a futuristic albeit bohemian girl. I don't shy away from matching if it happens organically - here the tights' pink & gray polka dots go with my belt & dress respectively, while the leaf earrings complement my green bottle necklace.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tangled up in Plaid

Milly chubby. See by Chloe dress. Vintage Saks Fifth Ave belt. Vintage costume charm & vase necklaces. Satellite bracelet. Vintage costume stone & amethyst rings. Tintoretta tights. Chanel shoes.
Grunge meets glamour when my lavender plaid dress slips under this faux fur blonde jacket... The chubby came into play today because who couldn't use a fuzzy hug on a Monday? Even though I bought them separately, I knew these gray knit tights (sexed up with a lilac seam up the back) & this purple dress would complement each other. I love charm jewelry, especially when the charms are collected over time; this necklace consists of two hearts & a striped bow with a windmill/clogs (evocative of Amsterdam - another stop on my sister's world tour). Sometimes the stars align to bring happiness... These talismans may be auspicious, but I make my own luck.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Field Trip

Vintage blouse. Milly camisole. Twenty8Twelve skirt. Vintage costume pearl necklace worn as headband. Vintage costume gold brooch. Vintage costume pearl & John Wind for Maximal Art pocket watch necklaces. Satellite bracelet. Vintage amethyst & bow rings. Emilio Cavallini tights. Delman suede shoes.
Today's bright & blue dawn inspired me to don these red argyle tights to bask in the sunshine... The grass is especially green after the rain. My sister's carousing through Ireland now & my outfit seems ideal for dancing an Irish jig. This Victorian era sheer cream blouse is delicately embroidered & the sleeves extend to points over my hands. I added some lace to the hem of this pleated skirt to elongate it & finally, as Napoleon did before me, I crowned myself with pearls as a paen to ancient Irish royalty.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tweedy Bird

Tweed jacket. Lil dress. Vintage Chanel belt. Fur scarf. Agatha earrings. Costume white/black bangles (souvenirs from my mom's trip to Martha's Vineyard). Vintage costume coin & pearl bracelets. Black tights. Vintage Jcracker's cowboy boots.
This outfit is inspired by Ralph Lauren's luxe palette of tweed, fur & country... I bought the herringbone jacket for its elbow patches while attending college in Boston, MA - my look back then was Love Story meets Legally Blonde. I love a princess dress & this lacy one comes complete with several layers of tulle/silk petticoats. I belted the ensemble to circumvent the cupcake effect that arises when playing with volume.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Le Smoking Sweater

Vintage Kasper for J.L. Sport, Ltd cardigan. Ella Moss dress. Kenneth Jay Lane snake belt. Vintage flower headband. Costume mixed material necklace. Costume orange/black (souvenirs from my mom's trip to Martha's Vineyard) & silver (a souvenir from my sister's trip to Israel) bangles. Betsey Johnson tights. Delman boots.
I layered this silky dress under a wool cardigan (reminiscent of an old fashioned velvet smoking jacket) that belonged to my mom & replaced the fabric tie with this sparkly belt. The white flower/yellow beribboned headband comes from a local town fair in CT.
I'm in the country now, spending some quality time in my mom's closets... I much prefer to shop hers than my own - they remind me of the wardrobe in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, except instead of magical realms, there dwells out of season clothes, designer pieces & vintage garments she deemed special enough to save for her children. Today's quest unearthed two vintage dresses/skirts, which are as fashionable now as they were when she last wore them.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Swinging Sixties

Marc by Marc Jacobs dress. Vintage costume enamel earrings. Vintage amethyst, bow, costume stone & diamond rings. Hue tights. Delman suede shoes.
My yellow dress (look #36 from Marc by Marc Jacobs' spring 2008 RTW fashion show) sparkles more strongly than autumnal sunshine & literally stands out - it's a mini version of one of Marie Antoinette’s frocks, which continue to inspire designers' (such as Zac Posen & D&G) fall 2009 RTW collections three centuries after she wore them.
I bought these rectangular white/gold enamel earrings at an estate sale... Their pattern reminds me of the Penguin 1994 edition of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead as it conjures up the cover's image of one of architect Hank Reardon’s buildings pierced by rays of light. Ms. Rand’s view of the world is characterized in New York’s & The New York Times' reviews of her new biographies; I associate her novels with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Diamond As Big As the Ritz as both authors try to express the cause/effect of material wealth on modern civilization.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Think Pink

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage fish clasps with Diane von Furstenberg scarf worn as belt. Vintage costume pearl earrings. Costume flower ring. Black tights. Chanel shoes.
This pink zipper dress (look #31 from Phillip Lim’s spring 2009 RTW fashion show) is what dreams are made out of… The zippers act as ruffles & undulate around my body like something a groovy space-woman might wear. My fish buckle is back but this time hooks a vintage Diane von Furstenberg beige scarf. Instead of my usual layers of necklaces, the fish clasp acts as a pendant, anchoring the dress at my waist. My Chanel camel ballerina shoes connote a darling biddy, bringing some classicism to this futuristic yet feminine look.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Purple Haze

Cashmere cardigan with vintage buttons. Marc by Marc Jacobs dress. Vintage Chanel belt. Vintage costume black/gold necklace. Vintage costume stone & Ben-Amun charm bracelets. Vintage costume turquoise ring. Purple tights. Chanel shoes.
I love this white scalloped dress (not least because Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf wore it to the white party during season 2). Blair's my favorite character on TV & I appreciate her sartorial choices (some of which coincide with my own). I transitioned the frock into fall with colorful tights & a black cardigan whose buttons are the fruit of my labors… Recently I bought a hodgepodge of vintage buttons (flowers, jewels & crests) at a tag sale in CT & spent some time refreshing my wardrobe.

Planning is important as it gives one something to look forward to... Currently I’m excited about: Halloween (I think I’m going to be Edie Sedgwick), Black Friday sales (to scoop up what I lusted after this season - mostly Phillip Lim & Anna Sui) & a lecture at the Met on shopping in the Gilded Age.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Bead It

Milly blouse & camisole. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Bow headband. Vintage costume crystal & tassel necklaces. Vintage costume woven bangle. Costume amethyst ring. Ribbed tights. Roger Vivier shoes.
"Baby you're my centerpiece" - Lambert Hendricks & Ross, Centerpiece.
My favorite skirt (I love it so much that I also want the navy dress version of it) encourages me to dance the Charleston down the sunny sidewalks. It comes with built-in jewelry - the beaded scalloped hem is reminiscent of a flapper's frock, which is why I paired it with a silver tassel necklace (I associate flappers with tassels). I made the skirt suitable for work by wearing it with a long sleeve sheer black blouse with a cream colored Peter Pan collar & cuffs - I layered a cuff over the cuffs because I like how it sounds.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Dream of Jean-ie

Anna Sui blouse. Milly camisole. J Brand zipper jeans. Vintage fish clasps & Perry Ellis fish print scarf worn as belt. Vintage costume ball & blue bead necklaces. Delman shoes.
"O hushed October morning mild, / Begin the hours of this day slow" - Robert Frost, October
Mr. Frost's words describe my weekend passing by in a wash of rain - there's never enough time to do everything. I bought some more Chanel flats mostly because I couldn't help myself: a pair of black patent leather oxfords & another pair of black leather ballerinas with a ruffle around the toe. I believe in the adage of cost per wear (the more you wear something, the less money it costs in the long run).
This Anna Sui top is made for a love child; its flowiness is balanced by my cigarette ankle length jeans. These gold fish clasps hook together through loops on their lips to kiss - they followed me home from an estate sale in CT because I had the perfect thing to wear with them: a vintage Perry Ellis fish print scarf that belonged to my mom. She taught me to buy multiples of something if it fits well (see my above-mentioned collection of Chanel shoes & my mom's stockpile of classic pieces - she owns this scarf in three colors).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Victorian Miss

Jill Stuart dress. Vintage buckle belt. Vintage velvet headband. Vintage Ben-Amun charm bracelet. Vintage amethyst & bow rings. Silver tights. Lanvin ribbon shoes.
"The best color in the whole world is the one that looks good on you" - Coco Chanel
As perpetrated by Ms. Chanel, black & white is a fail-safe chic combination & mixes/matches in a variety of fabrics with other colors. Here I gussy up a potentially stark look with metallic accessories, including a belt, tights & shoes. This frock (from fall 2008) was featured in several magazines (including Elle & Teen Vogue) - it's satisfying to see one's taste confirmed in print. I attended the same elementary school as Jill Stuart's three daughters - how lucky they are to have a designing mother, especially if they're interested in fashion.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Put a Bow on It

Valentino Red bow trench. Costume flower earrings. Vintage costume animal & stone rings. Crochet tights. Delman shoes.
Rain's redeeming quality is the opportunity to wear a trench coat - this is my favorite one thanks to the bow in the back. Trenches are classic overcoats that embody some of the leitmotifs of pop culture, including European style, mystery & naughtiness. The khaki trench’s timeless appeal allows for modifications (such as fabric, hem length & embellishments) without compromising the integrity of the garment. One need only look to Paris spring 2010 RTW fashion week's designers Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons & John Galliano for both his eponymous collection & Dior to see there are still ways to reinvent the trench. As for me, I cheerfully adopt mine come rain shower or spring breeze.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rosetta Stone

Vintage Ballantyne of Peebles cardigan. Rebecca Taylor dress. Vintage Dior belt. Vintage costume enamel earrings. Vintage costume pearl necklace. Vintage costume pearl & amethyst rings. Hue polka dot tights. Delman shoes.
I’m in a little black dress-mood & this one charmed me with its floral chiffon hem. Sometimes I have a style icon in mind as I dress - here I’m moonlighting as Audrey Hepburn at a day job. Polka dot tights seem to be a recurring theme this week as these sheer black stockings are spotted with pink & gray. Usually I'm wary of wearing the color camel because of my blonde complexion, but I'm partial to this cashmere collared sweater’s gold buttons & waffle woven bits.
Today I had lunch with an old friend - we both worked at Gotham/Hamptons magazines a few years ago & check in with each other periodically. The best kinds of friends are those with whom one may easily resume a relationship after being apart & it's as though no time passed... Similar to the rediscovery my old favorite cardigan, I remember the good times we had & am assured we'll have each other in the future.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sailor Moon

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel cardigan. Sailor dress. Hanes top. Stud belt. Vintage costume gold earrings. Vintage amethyst, bow & Kenneth Jay Lane flower rings. Tintoretta polka dot tights. Roger Vivier shoes.
Today I wore a sailor dress (I think it's the same one Mischa Barton wears in the spring 2007 Keds ad campaign - I loved the frock all this time & only recently found it for sale). More fun tights... The pattern on these gray knit polka dot ones echo the silver studs on my elastic belt. I have a propensity for black cardigans (particularly cashmere ones) but only if they're long sleeves - they're harder to find than one might think as many of them are only 3/4 sleeves. I bought some mismatched vintage buttons at a tag sale last weekend & intend to freshen up some of my plain sweaters.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leatherhead

3.1 Phillip Lim leather jacket. Rebecca Taylor dress. Vintage costume Art Nouveau & black bead necklaces. Vintage costume stone & amethyst rings. Crochet tights. Delman suede shoes.
I've contemplated the leather question for awhile now... While fur (both faux & real) seduces me everytime, I'm not sure if I'm the biker chick type. Still, I fantasized about throwing a tough jacket over a feminine frock to toughen it up - seeing cool girls do it & having my favorite designer make the ideal coat with a fur collar this season finally convinced me. This pink floral dress may be dressed up/down & serves as a foil to the jacket. I love the pendant necklace for its delicate Art Nouveau wire design - it reminds me of one of my favorite drawings, The Peacock Skirt (an illustration for Oscar Wilde's play, Salomé) by Aubrey Beardsley .

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paisley Princess

Anna Sui dress. Vintage costume pearl earrings. Vintage costume pearl & turquoise rings. Floral tights. Chanel shoes.
Today was the debut of my glorious gilded paisley dress (look #22 from Anna Sui's fall 2009 RTW fashion show). To keep the focus on my frock, I omitted any necklaces & instead wore a pair of gold rimmed pearl earrings & two cocktail rings. The gray floral knit tights were directly inspired from Ms. Sui's runway (my rule for mixing prints is to keep them in the same color family).
Even though I bought this dress awhile ago, I try to ration my new clothes to be worn over time - wearing something fresh puts a spring in my step, which is absolutely necessary on a Monday. Clothes serve as armor against the world & I take comfort in presenting an unimpeachable façade... It's my primary solace in the corporate world.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Eyelet You

Elizabeth & James jacket. Vintage blouse, necklaces, rings, Dior belt & Ben-Amun bracelet. Milly camisole. Jill Stuart skirt. Delman shoes.
Baby it's cold outside... Don't let the sunshine fool you. Today I wore a summery mix of eyelet & lace but winterized it with a fur blazer & black camisole/tights (looks like a bodysuit sans the impracticalities). My new vintage Dior belt (gold clasps over maroon suede) is literally the centerpiece of my outfit - I ran with the gold theme by adding two necklaces & a bracelet.
I spent the past few days galavanting about the countryside & the evenings ensconced in films: Where the Boys Are, Easy Virtue & Bright Young Things... I know I say this a lot, but I long to live my life in another time (I also must read Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies upon which Bright Young Things is based).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Love a Brocade

Marc by Marc Jacobs dress. Vintage Saks Fifth Ave belt. Costume bow earrings. Costume pink snakeskin & black/orange (a souvenir from my mom's trip to Martha's Vineyard) bangles. Vintage amethyst & bow rings. Black tights. Vintage Etienne Aigner crocodile bag. Vintage Jcracker's cowboy boots.
The colors of my dress match the sun streaking through the fall foilage on this perfect autumn day. A lamé brocade is festive for all seasons - I played up the 80's fabulousness of this fabric by piling on the accessories: a chain belt, a pair of drop earrings & three shiny bangles. These boots date back to a vintage store on Boston's Newbury St during my college years.
Two more tag sales & one book sale later... I have handfuls of costume jewelry, a Dior clasp belt & a vintage Stratton lipstick case. As Halloween (one of my favorite dress up holidays) is approaching, I bought some gothic tales & Edith Wharton ghost stories to get in the mood. It's funny... I always think I'm a country girl until I return to the city.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pocahontas

Vintage Perry Ellis sweater. Juicy Couture dress. Isabel Marant hamsa hand & charm necklaces. Vintage costume gold bangle. Vintage gold bracelet. Black tights. Vintage needlepoint bag. Minnetonka beaded boots.
I'm visiting my family in CT for the weekend & today I hit the estate sale jackpot: fur! I purchased two vintage ankle length coats (a William H. Harris silver fox & a Bloomingdales brown mink) for less than 1/5 of the price of store-bought outerwear.
I welcomed my new jackets in a braided Perry Ellis sweater (it belonged to my mom, thus pre-dating Marc Jacobs' tenure) over an eyelet dress. The boots (embellished with feathers, beaded Indian figures & laces tipped with fur) were discovered at a sample sale. The floral handbag is from an antique boutique in town; the owner has an excellent eye - her finds have been featured in films & scooped up by designers' scouts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mad About Plaid

Ralph Lauren top. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Vintage costume pearl earrings. Vintage amethyst & bow rings. Black tights. Delman velvet shoes.
The latest fashionable catch phrase may be "shop your closet", but I gave myself permission to buy something new with the realization I didn't have any black skirts - this one was acquired for its cummerbund & gold buttons. The plaid dress shirt is from the boy's dept (a treasure trove for blouses & blazers). I limited my jewelry intake for the day because I attended a client meeting... Apparently the clients don't like it if you sparkle more than they do.
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