Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jewel Jamboree

Ralph Lauren jacket. Jill Stuart dress. Judith Jack belt. Fenton-Fallon necklace. ‘Love’ bracelet (a souvenir from St Thomas). Striped tights. Vintage Siso bag with Perry Ellis scarf. Chanel oxfords.
My lucky eyelet dress is a tabula rasa for accessories - sometimes a girl has to make a statement: my necklace screams, Hello Dolly! It features some chains clutching a setting of Swarovski crystals/Czech stones & a duo of beribboned bows, toughening up its gaudy glamour. A flurry of DIY activity consumed me this weekend, including tying a chiffon scarf near my tote's open-top & freshening up this herringbone jacket with a trio of flower buttons. Finishing touches include these sheer striped tights (mimicking the pattern of my blazer's pinstriped lining), while the belt's sparkling clasp returns full circle to the necklace.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Must Love Leopard

Michael Kors dress. Betsey Johnson belt with flower pin. Vintage locket necklace. Vintage woven bangle. Vintage costume pearl ring. Taupe tights. Marc by Marc Jacobs wristlet. Roger Vivier ‘Belle Vivier’ shoes.
Everybody got their something... Mine is sartorial pleasure, usually in the form of frocks & handbags. Michael Kors tailors to travelers who take his designs on jaunts worldwide; my shift dress' tulip skirt & I debuted at a party in NYC, but I have high hopes for the places we'll go. This frock's green leopard sheen glamorously revamps army camo print, while the flower pinned to my heart-studded belt is a force of peace, love & happiness. My purple topaz locket necklace is tinged with magic because it belonged to my grandmother; it matches this lavender bag (convertible from clutch-to-cosmetic case-to-wristlet).
Recently I discovered a website for people who share my passion for purses: Handbago! First be inspired by the catalogue of celebrity arm candy & then peruse the database of designer purses before making a purchase. Mutual admiration society: Handbago featured me as one of their favorite bloggers - I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chasing Cows

Armani Collezioni sweater. Rebecca Taylor dress (worn as top). Joie skirt. H&M headband. Vintage rings & clutch. Chloé boots.
I recently had a hankering for a leather skirt - something with a little flounce, frou, joie de vivre; it's only fitting the brand Joie designed my dream. This skirt's supple leather flutters from a high-waisted band (I only wear high-waisted bottoms now to ensure ladylike silhouettes regardless of how high the hemlines). I identified a dearth of tops in my wardrobe but can't cease buying dresses, so I started wearing them in lieu of blouses - here my floral chiffon frock's sash cascades over the skirt. This necklace's guitar was originally part of a key ring in the gift bag from Anna Sui's fall 2010 RTW fashion show, but it's too charming to bury at the bottom of my purse. I usually carry this vintage needlepoint clutch as a wallet (unless a late night fits inside): the exterior embroiders a scene of revelers from a Rococo tapestry, while the magenta silk lining contains 2 pockets & a comb/mirror.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blue Hoo

Piazza Sempione dress. Vintage Peacock Silk Trading Inc scarf worn as belt. Vintage chain & vase necklaces. Vintage twisted bangle. Vintage feather & stone rings. White tights. Judith Jack bag. Lanvin shoes.
"Why make so much of fragmentary blue / In here & there a bird, or butterfly, / Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye" - Robert Frost, Fragmentary Blue
No worries: I didn’t undergo a life-changing haircut – simply pinned up my hair to experiment with bobbing it, the better to display my frock’s floral epaulettes. I confidently don this tweed shift dress for work, but it’s short enough to rival Mary Quant, Queen of Miniskirts. These white woven tights add to the mod mood & bring out the cream in my (wannabe Hermès) equestrian scarf. As a metallic maven, I'm a conduit for lustrous objects: my favorite pair of gold foil, bow bedecked Lanvin shoes dance divinely with this stingray bag - kissed with a costume diamond/onyx brooch clasp.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Ballade of the Automobile

Vintage car coat. Coin belt. Beaded earrings. Vintage bakelite (a 20th birthday present) & Ben-Amun charm bracelets. Cable-knit tights. Chloé ‘Edith’ bag. Vintage Jcracker’s cowboy boots.
This suede car coat with mink collar was ♥love♥ at first sight (the intact silk lilac lining was icing on the cake). It’s from the 1960s, but car coats have been in circulation since the invention of automobiles; I’ve lusted after some Victorian ankle-length lovelies, but this mod one is swingy yet practical. I paired the overcoat with this honey of a bag (it’s by Chloé but masquerades as a 1970s purse) & a pair of vintage boots; I’m particularly prudent about antiquarian shoes, but these were barely worn before my feet graced them. When in doubt, add a belt or jewel: a jingly jangly coin belt hugs my waist, while a precious bakelite bracelet dangles charmingly around my wrist.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Say Yes to the Dress

Maya cardigan. Gold Hawk dress. Coin belt. Vintage beaded necklace. Ball bracelet. Tintoretta polka dot tights. Vintage Bergdorf Goodman hatbox (on ground). Delman slingbacks.
Repurposing fabrics inherent to certain seasons/events is a fresh way to both shop your closet & combat global warming... Some designers upped the ante by including leather/fur in their spring 2010 RTW collections - after all, who wants to be confined to nothing but silk/cotton for months at a time? This summer-weight cashmere cardigan buttons up with sparkly crystals & as for my embellished white dress, it'd be equally at home dancing under the black light at a lost disco or attending a spur-of-the-moment wedding. Hats are a vanishing sartorial pleasure; this Bergdorf Goodman hatbox may have once housed My Fair Lady's bonnet, but now it stores my collection of tights (sometimes I carry it as luggage if traveling by car). These shiny slingbacks are courtesy of a Delman sample sale; apparently I share my love of ballet flats with NYC's female Orthodox Jewish community as we're both always in attendance.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Darling Dahlia

See by Chloé dress. Hadley Pollet belt. Vintage wooden & beaded necklaces. ‘Love’/seashell (souvenirs from my trip to St Thomas) & vintage Byzantine bracelets. Turquoise & moss agate rings (souvenirs from my trip to St Thomas). Vintage bag. Prada platform sandals.
This Mexican flora belt (dahlia is the national flower) has sentimental significance as I bought it on the eve of my departure for college - my last purchase before becoming a (temporary) Bostonian. I remember I was taking a farewell walk around my neighborhood when this belt smiled at me from a boutique I rarely frequent; I added it to my haute hippie regalia not least because it's reversible (the other side is printed with a small blue flower chain). I wore the belt here to enliven my coolly neutral eyelet dress that somehow exactly matches my eggshell bag. A few strands of wooden/glass beads & a silvery turquoise ring complete my costume to play pretend Monday away.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lumberjack Song

Ralph Lauren top. 3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Linea Pelle equestrian belt. Vintage flower headband. Kenneth Jay Lane elephant bangle. Plaid tights. Chloé boots.
"For oft, when on my couch I lie / In vacant or in pensive mood, / They flash upon that inward eye / Which is the bliss of solitude; / & then my heart with pleasure fills, / & dances with the daffodils" - William Wordsworth, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
A plaid shirt + an equestrian belt express my affinity for outside scenes: nature walks, gardening & tending to small animals - with the right wardrobe, I could be a country lass, a city lady or more likely someone in between. It's disconcerting yet satisfying to see something I own on a famous person or published in a magazine; The Hills' Lauren Conrad was photographed in this Phillip Lim dress at a recent event. I wore mine around town in search of a good time & found one alright: the spring lines in stores have inspired me to no end - can't wait to share my new looks here!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Mickey Mouse Club

Diane von Furstenberg top. Tiered skirt. Nicole & Co headband. Les Néréides bracelet (a souvenir from my trip to Paris). Costume amethyst ring. Purple tights. Flower bag. Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes.
Beige & blush are usually color code for boring, but here they quietly glow until popping with pink & purple. My top has the elements of a classic Diane von Furstenberg piece: jersey fabric, a whimsical (geometric) pattern & a collared wrap shape. I tucked it into a tiered skirt of picot-edged organza strips - a casual take on flapper fringe. My new prized bag is named Fleur for her raw cut chiffon flowers, long necklace-like chain & coin purse closure. A pair of mouse flats + an apricot bow headband make me feel like Oliver Goldsmith's Little Goody Two-Shoes (Cinderella redux - just another girl charmed by some footwear).
P.S. Thanks to Chelsea's Girl (a stylish blonde who radiates inspiration) for recently featuring my blog as one of her favorites!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blackbird

Twenty8Twelve jacket. See by Chloé dress. Allison Daniels Designs belt. Pearl necklace (a 14th birthday present). Vintage costume cage, diamond & feather rings. Betsey Johnson rose tights. Loeffler Randall ‘Matilde’ boots.
"I do not know which to prefer, / The beauty of inflections / Or the beauty of innuendoes, / The blackbird whistling / Or just after" - Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
I admit it: I'm a Wang-ette (an Alexander Wang devotee). His fall 2010 RTW collection enthralled me: velvet (an old fashioned fabric I've always admired), thigh-high leg warmers (perfect under my dressy wardrobe) & layers of cropped blazers/vests - streamlined (Wall) street chic. I borrowed elements from Mr. Wang's recent collection for Black Friday: a velvet cropped tuxedo jacket envelops my taffeta frock, complete with a bow tie adorning one shoulder like a pageant sash. However, my love child roots followed me to the dark side (see the flowers springing eternal from this belt buckle & tights).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pleasantville

Vintage cardigan. Jill Stuart dress. Woven belt. Vintage beaded necklace. Vintage coral necklace worn as bracelet. Cable-knit tights. Minnetonka moccasin boots.
Today's trifecta of inspiration: Doris Day in her heyday, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins & Tiger Lily (Peter Pan's Indian princess). My cotton candy cardigan circa 1950 is embroidered with beads & topped with a choker necklace of enamel gumballs. This lacy ruffled dress has clean lines & sweet vibes; black tights with light colored clothing reminds me of a doll in the best way. My suede boots are fringed, beaded with Indian warriors & tie with rabbit paws; moccasins are supposed to quiet footsteps for hunting - I suppose I'll sport mine on shopping field trips.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sequined Season

Cashmere sweater. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Vintage costume pearl necklace worn as headband. Vintage heart & gold necklaces. Vintage gold bangle. Vintage amethyst & bow rings. Polka dot tights. Fendi ‘Baguette’ bag. Chanel ruffled ballerinas.
The usual row of suspects were treated to Anna Sui's fall 2010 RTW fashion show: Hamish Bowles of Vogue, Joe Zee & Anne Slowey of Elle &... me! The collection explored an enchanted forest of earthy colors where eternally bohemian '70s schoolgirls & sparkly flappers trolled for a party. Snejana Onopka wore my favorite look: #48 (an ivory lace/velvet dress); it reminded me of a '20s wedding gown - until Karen Elson marched the finale in a traditional one. Each season, Ms. Sui's treasure trove of prints attracts more rock star/flower children groupies.
I would've worn something by Ms. Sui in honor of her stellar show but couldn't wait to wear my new Phillip Lim metallic sequined skirt from holiday 2009; it happens to match my burgundy Fendi 'Baguette' (I knew I saved it all these years for a reason). A v-neck sweater + a pair of sheer dotty tights = coed à la Love Story exploring her Belle de Jour fetish.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Cheetah Pet

Vintage coat & belt. Costume star brooch. J Brand ripped jeans. Chloé ‘Paraty Capsule’ bag. Loeffler Randall ‘Matilde’ boots.
A leopard with pony hair fur would be a curious looking creature, but my vintage swing overcoat marries these elements with panache. It reminds me of Edie Sedgwick's signature coat; I love how she wore it loosely over a narrow black silhouette. I paid tribute to Ms. Sedgwick with some skinny jeans tucked into a pair of riding boots but belted my coat with a strip of supple leather.
Today I bathed in a deluge of fashion reviews for the NY fall 2010 collections. Cathy Horyn's critiques satiate my soul like poetry; she recently described Zac Posen as "skilled enough to deal with types, & so the uptown fur, the girlish flounce, the camp seamed stocking" - how I long to be a modern-day Capote swan in an "asymmetrical jersey dress with a silk flounce."

Monday, February 15, 2010

Animalia

HWR cardigan. Nanette Lepore dress & slip. Judith Jack belt. Vintage cork necklace worn as bracelet. Vintage filigree bangle. Purple tights. Vintage Travel Joy train case (on ground). Vintage Jcracker’s cowboy boots.
"I will give you a gift," continued the Fairy, "that at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel" - Charles Perrault, Diamonds & Toads
My lemon grass cardigan shines with bejeweled buttons: diamonds, pearls & knots of ribbon; the alligator/diamanté belt adds a touch more sparkle. I love fairy tales: Disney versions mislead with their happy endings, but the original stories are much stranger & more compelling. This zebra chiffon is a special species of frock: it moves like a lady but allows the wearer to let her hair down. A pair of purple tights + a train case = punk with That Touch of Mink.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

Vintage vest. Splendid top. Bubble skirt. Ball belt. Pearl (a 14th birthday present) & vintage pocket watch necklaces. ‘Love’ bracelet (a souvenir from my trip to St. Thomas). Vintage costume pearl ring. Knit tights. Chanel oxfords.
Why are the colors red/pink associated with Valentine's Day - they're happy hues & who wouldn't want that feeling year-round? Recently I've been contemplating how socially-constructed gender roles determine dress codes: when gentlemen wear Valentine shades, we say they're in touch with their feminine side - but perhaps these colors simply make men smile. This red cashmere vest belonged to my dad (a man who dressed for his own pleasure) when he was a little boy; I subverted its masculine origins by pairing it with a taffeta pouf skirt. An embroidered ribbon knots a strand of wooden beads; it could be a belt (as it is here), headband or necklace. The lesson learned: only our authentic selves will reap true love.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Under the Sea

Piazza Sempione dress. Vintage Ralph Lauren belt. Vintage costume gold & pearl necklaces. ‘Love’/seashell (souvenirs from my trip to St. Thomas) & costume jeweled garland bracelets. Turquoise & moss agate rings (souvenirs from my trip to St. Thomas). Vintage lattice bag. Prada platform sandals.
"Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks & lilies for instance" - John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice
This marine dress is patterned with peacock eye feathers floating in alternating deep/shallow stripes of ocean; it makes me dream of sailing to hidden coves. I wrote an essay on the role of Venetian architecture in Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You & Summertime (starring Katharine Hepburn) for a college art history class; I don't remember my thesis, but it was undoubtedly a love song to this kingdom by the sea. I need to shorten my frock but couldn't wait to wear it, so I'm holding up the hem with my hands here. A silver belt + some hippie hippie shake jewelry + a strappy rope bag = beached mermaid in the New World.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bonnie Blue Butler

3.1 Phillip Lim jacket. Vintage jewelry, Albert Nipon skirt, Siso bag & Echo scarf (worn as belt). H&M headband. Chanel shoes.
Pablo Picasso had his Blue Period & now I'm in a blue mood myself: style luminary Alexander McQueen's death yesterday (fittingly during Fashion Month) shocked the world. His avant garde designs were provocative (i.e. the fall 2009 RTW collection that parodied seminal sartorial moments) but commerically successful - the elusive ideal.
I was inspired to be a bit offbeat in a bandleader jacket & a flouncy skirt; blue coats my jacket, peeps from my skirt & blinks from the fish eyes on my belt. A black lace hair bow contrasts with a beige bag whose 'H' clasp aspires to be Hermès. These red shoes remind me there's no place like home; I hope Mr. McQueen found his way home to his mom & Isabella Blow (the stylist/his best friend) who both recently passed away.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Spiderwebs

3.1 Phillip Lim top & skirt. Jessica Kagan Cushman ‘Do You Have Any Idea Who I Am?’ & vintage costume flower bangles. Turquoise ring (a souvenir from my trip to St. Thomas). American Apparel heart tights. Vintage Desmo bag. Miu Miu shoes.
Happy NY Fashion Week! I'm off to the races in a lace-on-lace outfit: my paean to look #7 from Phillip Lim's resort 2009 look book. I'm not one to plagiarize, but Mr. Lim's union of white + black lace divinely inspired me (a pairing so kismet, I wonder why it's not more prevalent). This uptown-girl-goes-downtown proves honey catches more flies than vinegar: thick spiderweb weaving challenges leather's monopoly on urban attire, all while floating demurely over gossamer strips of nude chiffon. Big city lights smile brightly on a stark color scheme - a sleek homage to a clear perspective, the Chinese concept of yin yang & typical fashion crowd attire.
A big thank you to Look 10 (an in-the-know roundup of international glamazons) for their second award to me in The Best Selection!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Over the Rainbow

Junk Food Rainbow Brite t-shirt. Betsey Johnson dress worn as skirt. Studded belt. Chanel snowflake earrings. Vintage costume engraved, twisted, woven & flower bangles. Emillio Cavallini tights. Marc Jacobs ‘Mina’ bag. Lanvin shoes.
"What are little girls made of? / Sugar & spice & everything nice" - Robert Southey, What All the World is Made of
I always loved Valentine's Day: hugs & kisses & flowers, oh my! Today's look is inspired by my girlhood... I wore a faded Rainbow Brite t-shirt (the 80's cartoon supergirl committed to coloring the world) over a gothic tulle dress, whose every rustle whispers of past bas-mitzvahs/sweet 16's/cotillions. Some elastic fabric makes a saccharin outfit a little more mod: it innovatively quilts this grape purse & stretches beneath the studs of my belt. A pair of bow tie shoes + a stack of bangles = ballerina cha-cha-cha.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

White Russian

Armani Collezioni dress. Lake Shore Drive belt. Vintage necklace. J.Crew bracelet. Marc Jacobs 'Ursula' bag. Prada sandals.
"I don't want to own anything until I know I've found the place where me & things belong together. I'm not quite sure where that is just yet... It's like Tiffany's... Not that I give a hoot about jewelry. Diamonds, yes. But it's tacky to wear diamonds before you're 40" - Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany'sA winter-white frock frosts my body like a constellation of petals on a cherry blossom tree; its pattern reminds me of barren branches scratching the sky. The mandate to remove one article of dress before going out is attributed to Coco Chanel, but I adore excess jewelry (hello gemstone therapy - although I wonder if faux jewels possess healing powers). If bags grew on trees, I might mistake this juicy purse for a Granny Smith apple dipped in dew; its sporty shape is perfect for disco nights at Bowlmor.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Vera Wang Lavender Label coat. Vintage chain belt. Flower duo headband. Vintage costume twisted & charm bracelets. Vintage costume cage, diamond & feather rings. American Apparel heart tights. Bally bag. Chanel ballerinas.
"I made my song a coat / Covered with embroideries / Out of old mythologies" - William Butler Yeats, A Coat
If anything was to inspire me to join the navy, it'd be the nautical uniform (or rather the clothing I associate with sailors): fisherman sweaters, striped t-shirts & linen bell-bottoms. This pea coat (an elongated version of the ones issued to seamen) was tailored for a Victorian doll: it has a bubbly tulip silhouette & is trimmed with a gray fur collar/ginormous side pockets. A gilded rope belt jauntily encircles my waist & a flower alights in my hair like something the Girl from Ipanema would wear on leave to the Northeast.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bamboozled

Valentino Red jacket. Ralph Lauren top. See by Chloé dress. Crocodile belt. Vintage woven necklace. Turquoise ring (a souvenir from my trip to St. Thomas). Hue lurex tights. Gucci bag. Chanel ballerinas.
Safari sojourn in a khaki tuxedo jacket & a flowery frock that's effective camo for a garden party. The jacket has a haphazard bow tie around the collar & I added a flower button; the dress dances circles in fields-of-gold colors... Every queen of the desert needs accoutrements: I'm adorned with a crocodile belt, Nefertiti's choker & a bamboo handle logo bag (the better to assimilate with natives of the urban jungle). I could trade my knuckle duster of a turquoise ring for supplies or else harness solar power to use the ring as a flare if I get lost out there. Are my shimmering tights a mirage, or will they lead the way to El Dorado?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blueberries for Sal

Armani sweater. 3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage Ralph Lauren belt, Emanuel Ungaro scarf, Morris Moskowitz clutch. Miu Miu shoes.
"Where is she, the woman who wore it? The scent of her lingers & drugs me. / A languor, fire-shotted, runs through me, & I crush the scarf down on my face, / & gulp in the warmth & the blueness" - Amy Lowell, The Blue ScarfA river of blues runs through me: no shade the same, but that's the charm. Now I wear silk scarves as easily as necklaces, but first I had to grow up to be worthy of them. Scarves symbolize sensuality (French women), derring do (cowboys) & classicism (the well-to-do/workers). Proper ladies tie their scarves in complicated knots in front of the mirror, while bohemian girls wrap theirs loosely on their way out the door; here I looped my vintage Emanuel Ungaro scarf like an ascot & tucked it into a luxe ballerina sweater. Clutches are usually evening-wear, but my elongated woven bag holds all I need for daytime.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pinafore Days

Anna Sui dress & slip. Bow headband. Vintage costume breastplate & pearl necklaces. Jessica Kagan Cushman ‘Do You Have Any Idea Who I Am?’ & vintage costume twisted bangles. Hot Sox lace tights. Chanel ballerinas.
What's Cooking, Jenny Archer? The kitchen was the starting place for both Miuccia Prada's Miu Miu spring 2009 RTW collection (aprons) & my day of play (a pinafore). Pinafores are fancy aprons that allow dresses to frolic freely "Over hill, over dale, / Through bush, through briar" (William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream). Victorian girls such as Alice in Wonderland tied one over a frock to keep it fresh - this pinafore dress is trimmed with lace/sparkly wisps & flutters at the shoulders. My accessories would inspire envy among a bevy of singers: a rap superstar necklace (Flavor Flav), a pair of purple tights (Prince) & some bangles (Madonna circa Desperately Seeking Susan).

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Popcorn Popper

Vintage Saks Fifth Ave popcorn cardigan. Hanes top. LAMB skirt. J McLaughlin ladybug belt. Vintage costume crystal & charm necklaces. Costume amethyst ring. Nicole Miller windowpane tights. Delman boots.
The best vintage clothing has been treated with TLC all its life - the proof is in the pudding when a garment's genealogy is known. I treasure this wool popcorn cardigan not least because my mom bought it at Saks Fifth Ave 35 years ago: a deep v-neck feminizes the grandfather-shape & its four buttons are embossed with marijuana leaves (apparently Saks was the Lucien Pellat-Finet of the '70s). My kilt from Gwen Stefani's empire of sartorial/scented/sound creations breezes over a pair of blushing tights that matches my preppy ladybug belt. Little known fact: I collected J McLaughlin ribbon belts during my Lily Pulitzer period one fateful summer in Martha's Vineyard (chalk it up to my Upper East Side girl proclivity) - yes, birds/bunnies/frogs used to parade around my waist on a regular basis & I loved it.
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