Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Nothing But a T-Shirt On

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage corset belt. Beaded circlet. Vintage cameo bracelet. Tintoretta tights. Delman slingbacks with vintage shoe-clips.
"I held a jewel in my fingers / & went to sleep / The day was warm, & winds were prosy / I said, 'Twill keep' " - Emily Dickinson, I Held A Jewel
A dress with attached jewelry is the ultimate in slip-on-&-run; this neckline sparkles with a beaded grosgrain ribbon. I belted a fabric corset over my frock's casual t-shirt material; it's printed with black/white flowers & has a back keyhole detail. Two of my favorite birthday presents: a pair of shoe-clips (rhinestone bows glamorize a pair of slingbacks otherwise ready for retirement) & a quad-strand pearl cameo bracelet (colored pearls flank a crystal with a floating cameo).

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Civilization Spurns the Leopard

See by Chloé fur chubby. Joie leather skirt. Vintage Bergdorf Goodman hat. Flower ring. Anne Klein cable-knit tights. Vintage Siso bag. Chloé boots.
I suppose I wear an inordinate amount of clothing made from animals for a girl who doesn’t eat them. This leopard faux fur chubby has a special place in my heart because I bought it in Paris (Le Bon Marché is tops for See by Chloé). The jacket has a motorcycle collar, a single column of buttons & a pair of slash pockets – all trimmed in leather, the better to match my flippy skirt. These suede over-the-knee boots are the ultimate, but I wish I knew the secret of keeping them aloft. This felt Bergdorf hat has seen plenty of good times - "As I said to the Duchess, if you want to be duchess, be a duchess. If you want to make love, hats off" (Two for the Road).

Monday, March 29, 2010

Charmed, I'm Sure

Twenty8Twelve dress. Marc by Marc Jacobs slip. Linea Pelle belt. Charm necklace. Vintage rhinestone & poison (a souvenir from my sister’s trip to Egypt) rings. Ribbed tights. Miu Miu shoes.
Accessories transform a look... This tiered belt blooms with fantastical nasturtiums, a candyland species unlikely to be found on earth. My necklace is a glorious hodgepodge of various chains & trinkets (including knight/leaf/pearl wreath brooches, a lucky penny & an etched glass pendant). The necklace's tag dedicates it to “the magical & modern gypsy” - she's who I yearn to be. This poison ring was a birthday present from my sister: the silver dome is topped with a turquoise peak & hinges open to reveal a crevice for poisonous powder/pills. The ring's shape is reminiscent of a minaret (a spire topped with a conical crown commonly found on Islamic mosques), which is fitting since it's from Egypt.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Furtive Glances

Vintage Flemington Furs coat. Kenneth Jay Lane snake belt. Beaded earrings. Vintage flower gloves. Vintage costume pearl & flower bracelets. Cable-knit tights. Vintage needlepoint bag. Vintage Jcracker’s cowboy boots.
"Before I marry I must have three bridal gifts - one dress as golden as the sun, another as silvery as the moon, and a third as glittering as the stars. In addition, I shall need a coat made of a thousand different kinds of fur" - Charlotte Huck, Princess Furball
Ever since this honey mink coat swung into my life, I've hardly been able to bear taking it off. The coat closes with a single button near the collar, but I further cinched it with a skinny snake belt; the lilac lining is obscured, but it's embroidered with the original owner's initials (EHM). My fur's bracelet sleeves are ideal for showing off some faux pearls, but this pair of opera length gloves (appliquéd with lace flowers) is the real star. I was delighted to discover a pocket-size mirror in my needlepoint frame purse, whose periwinkle/lavender flowers flourish despite the threadbare patches.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunflower

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Snakeskin belt. Beaded bow headband. Vintage elephant necklace. Vintage filigree, engraved (a souvenir from my sister’s trip to Israel) & enamel (a souvenir from my mom’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard) bangles. Woven tights. Miu Miu shoes.
Chartreuse, honey mustard or simply yellow - my frock's color shall be associated forever with Michelle Obama's Isabel Toledo-designed-suit for the 2009 Presidential Inauguration. A blouse version of my dress appeared as look #32 on Phillip Lim's spring 2010 RTW runway; here the loosely woven eyelet feathers to a fine knit unto its scalloped hem, while the epaulettes bear jewels. Monotone sans monotony: I knotted a gold snakeskin belt around my lemongrass-sheathed waist.
My penchant for sparkly hair accoutrements was stimulated by a lecture I attended the other evening at the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum: Jewels of Scandal & Desire. Curt DiCamillo (Historian/Executive Director of the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA) explained how the 18th-19th Century British ruling class used jewelry to reinforce their social position. Antique tiaras inspired my beaded bow headband today - a modest flapper version of the real McCoy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trenchtown Rock

Nanette Lepore trench coat. Elizabeth Gillett flower pin (in hair). Chanel rhinestone earrings. Vintage costume South Sea pearl necklace. Les Néréides bracelet (a souvenir from my trip to Paris). Vintage stone ring. Nicole Miller lace tights. Chanel ‘2.55’ bag (on door). Miu Miu shoes.
Luckily this taffeta trench coat (complete with carved circle buttons & bell sleeves) leads a double life as a fetching frock - I'm wearing little more than a pair of lace tights/jeweled shoes underneath. My coat is light enough to withstand April showers, but these yellow accessories repel rain: a fabric flower secures my side-braid (all hail Alexander Wang & Miu Miu spring 2010 RTW) & an elongated pearl necklace cascades like rays of sunshine.
"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, & thanks" (William Shakespeare) - a handful of kisses to these lovelies... Maggie at Rocker Repro runs a fabulous fashion blog about rocker chick clothing; recently she featured me in Scene Style as a contemporary example of 1920's noir style. Also Be in Style's Carnival of Shopping (a mecca of beauty/fashion trends) gave me a shout-out in their latest blogger merry-go-round.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

La Bouche

Anna Sui dress. Woven belt. Vintage beaded necklace with poison ring charm (a souvenir from my sister’s trip to Egypt). Vintage costume gold bangle. Lips purse. Woven tights. Chanel ballerinas.
I’ve had my eye on a lips handbag for awhile, longing for a Lulu Guinness, Timmy Woods, or vintage Moschino version. A few days after I bought this mouth makeup case, Scott Schuman at The Sartorialist posted a photograph of this jeune fille in Paris with her patent leather lips purse. I’ll use mine as a clutch to carry my mobile, some mad money - & a crimson lipstick of course.
My chiffon frock reminds me of Delftware (16th-18th Century Dutch pottery), from the blue & white color palette to the china-pattern flora. A pachyderm parade tromps through Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights on my dress' skirt; they say an elephant never forgets & I'll always remember the first time I wore this frock: fireworks, furtive glances & shy smiles.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Clash of the Seasons

3.1 Phillip Lim fur chubby. J Brand jeans. Vintage leather belt. Vintage Signature Echo scarf. Vintage leaf earrings. Vintage rhinestone bracelet. Flower bag. Lanvin shoes.
My Mongolian fur chubby's soft/shaggy fur makes me feel like a well-groomed Abominable Snowman or The Wizard of Oz's Cowardly Lion after he discovers the pleasures of a red hair-bow. In-between seasons is suitable for all the vagaries of my wardrobe... A pair of skinny gray jeans + a pink flower purse = rebirth of spring; recently I started to love the proportions of a tiny bag on a long chain strung across my body. A Thanksgiving-colored cotton scarf + these coordinating suede shoes = misty autumn memories.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

White Castle

Gold Hawk dress. Filigree belt. Tulle bow headband. Vintage gemstone necklace. Jessica Kagan Cushman ‘Do you have any idea who I am?’ bangle. Vintage feather & stone rings. Cable-knit tights. Chanel ballerinas.
"First, rob'd in White, the Nymph intent adores / With Head uncover'd, the cosmetic Pow'rs. / A heav'nly Image in the Glass appears, / To that she bends, to that her Eyes she rears" - Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock
The short sleeve version of this dress has hung in my closet for several years & I was delighted to discover Gold Hawk recently re-released it sans sleeves. Like its sister, this frock is delicately embroidered with flowers & faux buttons; here I paired it with a filigree clasp belt (essentially a golden pretzel). Jessica Kagan Cushman designs scrimshaw bangles scribbled with iconic pop culture phrases, such as "Lions & tigers & bears, oh my!', 'Nobody puts Baby in a corner' & 'Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn'. My sister bought me one that reads: 'Do you have any idea who I am?'; it's our family's inside joke because my mom taught us to talk our way out of difficult situations with these words.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Witching Hour

Piazza Sempione dress. Hadley Pollet belt. Birthday candle necklace worn as headband. Elephant/hamsa hand necklace. Vintage costume pearl necklace worn as cuff. Blue tights. Vintage jewel-box bag. Miu Miu shoes.
A little black dress makes a safe hiding place; this one has get-out-of-the-way epaulets & is woven with shiny strips. Feeling blue: a reversible floral cloth belt & a pair of blueberry tights. My vintage gold purse hails from the Middle East (via Israel/Turkey); I imagine it was carried by handmaidens to transport treasure to the sultan or accompanied noblewomen to banquets for cosmetic touch ups. The bag's hard exterior is a cross between a seashell & jewel-box; it swings from a long chain & hinges open to reveal blue velvet lining (including the cap). Peace in the Middle East with my lucky elephant/hamsa hand necklace - namaste.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Birthday Girl

3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage costume pearl necklace worn as belt. Chanel logo-drop earrings. Birthday candle necklace. Gold bangle (a 14th birthday present). Kenneth Jay Lane flower ring. American Apparel heart tights. Miu Miu shoes.
What is time anyway? I feel 17 forever... I'm the party girl in a birthday candle necklace (cost: free) & the ultimate frock. It's the gray version of look #26 from Phillip Lim's fashion show & was featured in both Bergdorf Goodman's Spring Collections Magazine & April's W Magazine. This U-neck dress has a paper-bag waist, a pleated skirt with sequined panel & a double-happiness bodice (the frontal paillettes form a crocodile pattern, while the back's bows tie me up/tie me down).
I craved a classic NY evening for this year's birthday - theatre fit the bill: A Little Night Music starring Angela Lansbury & Catherine Zeta-Jones (I spied Ms. Zeta-Jones' husband (Michael Douglas) in the audience). Afterward I mingled with a mix of omnipresent financiers & visiting Frenchmen at Bar Mark in the Mark Hotel's lobby. A loving & satiating birthday in every way.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Songs from the Sparkle Lounge

3.1 Phillip Lim jacket. Ruffled skirt. Vintage pendant necklace worn as headband. Vintage flower pin. Vintage turquoise ring. Hue tights. Vintage Siso bag. Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Varina’ shoes.
"All that shimmers in this world is sure to fade / Away again / She dreams a champagne dream / Strawberry surprise, pink linen & white paper / Lavender & cream / Fields of butterflies, reality escapes her" - Fuel, Shimmer
I spent the day reveling in my birthday discount at Anthropologie: dresses, blouses & jewels galore pervaded my changing room, leaving me victorious with a preliminary spring wardrobe. Shopping in my favorite clothes is good luck for finding new ones; to this end, I wore my best sequined jacket & a fringed skirt. A velvet flower + patent leather shoes = a Tale of Two Mary's: Miss Quite Contrary meets Buster Brown's Mary Jane.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Just Jeans

Marc by Marc Jacobs jacket. Betsey Johnson skirt. Lake Shore Drive peace belt. Flower duo headband. Vintage Cacharel scarf. Vintage turquoise ring. Metallic tights. Jil Sander bag (on ground). Chanel ballerinas.
I stopped to smell the flowers in my Marc by Marc Jacobs jean jacket... It dates from Boston University's Homecoming Weekend circa fall 2003; I bought it with my mom at the Prudential Center's Saks Fifth Ave on one of our inevitably joyous shopping sprees. I was drawn to this denim piece for the temperate seasons; more substantial than a typical jean jacket, my cargo coat has a plethora of pockets & a mink collar I can turn up when the cold wind blows all around. I zipped it over a flippy cotton skirt & a pair of metallic ribbed tights. Jil Sander designed my grungy green purse; the saddlebag with simple silver hardware perfectly sums up Ms. Sander's minimalism.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sequin Queen

Moschino Cheap & Chic top. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt (worn backward). Vintage bottle & locket necklaces. Moss agate ring (a souvenir from my trip to St Thomas). Herringbone tights. Vintage Morris Moskowitz clutch. Chanel ballerinas.
With a little twist, shimmy & shake, my sequined skirt presents a plain front to the world. I tucked in a knit top with a sweetheart neckline; there's a bow pinned to the cusp of the V (which seems to have vanished in these photographs), but I ducked under a pair of pink/purple pendants to revel in sparklers. I tend to accessorize with necklaces & rings: it feels natural to layer chains like so many protective talismans & rings add decoration without conflicting with an outfit. My leather clutch is battered along the seams after quality time tucked under my arm, yet its mahogany leather emerged burnished & supple.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Wearing of the Green

Luca Luca dress. Linea Pelle belt. Bow headband. Barbie necklace. Costume jeweled garland bracelet. Moss agate ring (a souvenir from my trip to St Thomas). Hue leopard tights. Chanel ruffled ballerinas.
The artist-collector Hunt Slonem embodies my eccentric aesthetic; his NYC home was recently featured in New York & POP Magazines as well as on Kelly’s effervescent Glamourai blog. Mr. Slonem's apartment is an Aladdin's cave of luscious wallpaper/textiles, inspiring me to adopt this golden frock; florals are deeply etched across the fabric & shimmering straps swoop from my shoulders. It was originally a tube-dress, but a little tulle renders Luca Orlandi’s design more practical.
My Barbie necklace wears enough green (coat, dress & pair of heels) for both of us in honor of St Patrick's Day. She hails from a key-chain - the great untapped resource for necklace charms (their inexpensive darling doodads easily detach from the ring). I perched Barbie in my belt & away we go to the holiday parade!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

She's My Cherry Pie

See by Chloé tuxedo jacket. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Linea Pelle love belt. Vintage Hermès scarf. Vintage Art Deco earrings. Vintage gold brooch. Moss agate ring (a souvenir from my trip to St Thomas). Betsey Johnson rose tights. Chanel ballerinas.
I begin my journey to Hermès heaven with a single scarf: it’s vintage (natch) & printed with a golden peach garden. Consider wearing a scarf in lieu of a necklace (it's far superior to a tangle of chains). French girls are schooled in the veiled intricacies of a folded scarf – here my scrap of silk is draped as an ascot. The scarf is the cornerstone of my outfit, but it plays fair with this fringed skirt (gossamer crepe & delicate beading form the essence of a flapper). Science + the art of fashion… Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion dictates that I rough up my feminine inclinations with a tuxedo jacket - I even attached a cascading gold brooch-cum-pocket-watch to be the consummate gentleman.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sailing to Byzantium

Sailor dress. Motif 56 belt. Vintage lace scarf. Vintage mosaic bracelet. Vintage costume pearl ring. Hue lurex tights. Chanel ballerinas.
"I started Early - Took my Dog - / & visited the Sea - / The Mermaids in the Basement / Came out to look at me" - Emily Dickinson, I started Early - Took my Dog
As Three Days of Rain sprinkled NYC, I ran away on a rainbow in my sailor frock - more of an hommage to Shirley Temple on the Good Ship Lollipop than screen siren Sophia Loren in Houseboat. This dress is piped in blue (along its hem, pockets & back flap) to match the bow & although it plunges into a deep v-neck, I cozied up to my mom’s wedding veil (reborn as a scarf). A red belt + gothic gold tights = French Disco Dancing Queen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Birth of Venus

Michael Kors dress. Vintage grommet belt. Vintage pendant necklace worn as headband. Vintage vase & pearl with Betsey Johnson flower pin necklaces. Flower ring. Flower tights. Chanel ballerinas.
Michael Kors punk-rocked his way through the spring 2010 RTW show with exposed zippers slashing the surfaces of shift dresses; my seafoam frock's zippers (look #24) decorate the chest & side. It screams for spring ergo flora is the ideal accompaniment: it blooms on a pair of tights, strand of pearls & saucer-sized ring. I unzipped the architectural dress across my clavicle to untuck a vase necklace & along the side to unearth a secret pocket. My circlet crowns me as a sea nymph, while this swirly grommet belt ultimately honors Mr. Kors' sleekly punk vision. A one-shouldered periwinkle version of my frock appears on the designer's perennial favorite Carmen Kass in this season's ad campaign.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Film Noir

Anna Sui jacket. Milly camisole. Twenty8Twelve skirt. Ball belt. Vintage pocket-watch necklace. Satellite bracelet. Vintage stone ring. Pink tights. Chanel ballerinas.
"Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, / By the grave & stern decorum of the countenance it wore, / 'Though thy crest be shorn & shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven
The fashion community's intimacies were demonstrated yesterday after the post on my tote garnered the attention of Boy Meets Girl's Stacy Igel (the bag's designer). She even sent me some love on her blog BELIEVE - -DJ Daisy Deesh... This Victorian mourning jacket is the epitome of jet-beaded romance; it's delicately bordered with scalloped lace, including the stand-up collar & football shoulder-pads. My flippy skirt lives up to its name under this belt's embroidered ribbon - mimicking the mythical Firebird's tail.
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