Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Noir Valley

Vintage Jacqueline de Ribes dress, necklace (worn backward) & bangles. Studded belt. Fenton Fallon necklace (worn as headpiece). Prada shoes.
Inspiration: Hubert de Givenchy's little black dress designed for actress Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.
I never thought of myself as the black dress-type, but perhaps that's because I never found The One until now... My Jacqueline de Ribes dress & I met by chance at an estate sale in CT; the Saks Fifth Ave label reveals it belonged to a lady of a certain age & style. Ms. Ribes is a French designer, socialite & member of the International Best Dressed List; her clothing is characterized by discreet grandeur, such as this simple shift par excellence. The frock fit perfectly off-the-rack (which was lucky because usually I have to tailor my vintage finds - I don't shop by size but by beauty). This short sleeve dress has an elasticized waist & the ultimate 1980s ruched bubble hem; I played Punk Princess in a studded belt, backward pearl necklace & sparklefest necklace-cum-headband.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Black or White

Top photographs: Ella Moss white bikini. Maya cardigan. Vintage scarf.
Bottom photographs: Guess black bikini. Vintage shoe-clip (on bandeau), blouse & feather-clip (in hair).
Buying designer swimwear is easy breezy with SwimSpot's patented Bikini Builder - guaranteed to generate the perfect bathing suit for every girl under the sun. Usually I'm attracted to colorful bikinis, but SwimSpot's selection of black & white suits inspired me to bring elegance back to the beach with some ladylike layers... This black ruffled Guess bikini has a tuxedo top & skirted bottom; I pinned a vintage shoe-clip to the bandeau (which I removed before swimming) & slipped on an antique lace blouse. This white eyelet Ella Moss string bikini shimmies with wood beads; I added a summer-weight cashmere cardigan & silk scarf. My scarf illustrates 'The Story of Tea - 780 AD to 1840 AD': from Chinese fieldworkers harvesting tea leaves to colonial gentlewomen attending a tea party - a famous vintage find. Many thanks & Bain de Soleil kisses to SwimSpot for their finely curated swimwear collection & making summer last all year long.
Stalk SwimSpot via VIP Club, Facebook, Twitter.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sea Flower

Anna Sui dress. Vintage belt & YSL espadrilles. Turquoise ring.
"The moonlight fades from flower & rose / & the stars dim one by one; / The tale is told, the song is sung, / & the Fairy feast is done. / The night-wind rocks the sleeping flowers, / & sings to them, soft & low" - Louisa May Alcott, Fairy Song
This sailor dress is another Anna Sui frock from her spring 2010 collection... Nautical shapes are usually executed in monochromatic neutrals, but here berry flora dances across the requisite sailor bow swooping over my shoulders. The most memorable version of this silhouette (mod princess sleeves & voluminous skirt) was at the Balenciaga spring 2008 RTW fashion show: full of flowers blooming across sculptural surfaces, including sharp shoulders & undulating folds of fabric. Ms. Sui tempered designer Nicolas Ghesquière's powerful cut with rounder edges, a flash of clavicle & a bubble hem.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Doll's House

3.1 Phillip Lim dress (top photograph) in January 2010 British Vogue
Hanes top. 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt. Vintage necklaces & bangle. Doll bracelet. Prada sandals.
Model Riley Keough posed in Phillip Lim's golden dress in British Vogue earlier this year; here I wear the skirt version - gilded lace looks right in any shape. I kept my silhouette exclamation mark!-slim with a ribbed tank from a Hanes three-pack; they're ideal travel tops because they roll up small & are available at drugstores nationwide - I have so few blouses because I'm forever buying frocks instead. This doll bracelet is a souvenir from a trip to Paris; I purchased it in a museum gift shop after visiting a fashion exhibition (I'm fuzzy on the specifics)... It's a corsage of a couple instead of flowers: a boy dressed in a pair of overalls & a girl in a headband over braided pigtails - neon colors play a psychedelic game of cowboys & Indians.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Teddy Bear Picnic

Vintage Maggi dress/belt & bangle. H&M headband. 'Love' bracelet. Miu Miu sandals.
"I've been to Hollywood / I've been to Redwood / I crossed the ocean / for a heart of gold / I've been in my mind, / it's such a fine line / That keeps me searching / for a heart of gold / & I'm getting old" - Neil Young, Heart of Gold
The plastic heart buttons on my 1950s dress earn it the theme song Heart of Gold - they both put me in a sweetly sentimental mood. Red checkered fabric is the perfect picnic blanket or Italian Restaurant tablecloth, but a pink checkered frock is ideal for an alfresco meal. This dress could've outfitted a soda shop waitress thanks to its pocketed skirt, scalloped sleeves & crossover collar; the snappy bow belt is slightly yellow but still lovely in matching gingham. Mid-century magical movie wardrobes: Doris Day in Do Not Disturb, Sandra Dee in Take Her, She's Mine & Grace Kelly in High Society.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Green Day

Anna Sui spring 2010 RTW fashion show, look #33
Anna Sui dress. Vintage Ralph Lauren belt, bracelets & Andé bag. Chanel clogs.
My forest flower frock stalked Anna Sui's spring 2010 show in buttercup, but it's even more gorgeous in green - a color absent from my wardrobe until now. The sheer yoke (scribbled with curlicues & mod blooms) is topped by a Peter Pan collar, while the hem swirls with silver lace. A mint dress goes with a brown bag as naturally as leaves grow on trees; this vintage suede pochette swings from a gold chain delicate enough not to clash with my belt's heavy metal silverware. I'm on a mission to minimize my handbag holdings after learning that French Vogue Editor-in-Chief Carine Roitfeld doesn't carry one at all. Francophile style is mystifyingly chic, but perhaps the secret is a plethora of pockets... I adore it when dresses secretly sprout them.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Girl in Gardenia

Vintage dress, jewelry & bag. Chanel sunglasses. Prada shoes.
"A-tisket a-tasket / A green & yellow basket / I sent a letter to my love / & on the way I dropped it / I dropped it, I dropped it / Yes, on the way I dropped it / A little girlie picked it up / & put it in her pocket" - Ella Fitzgerald, A-Tisket A-Tasket
Bouquets of raffia wildflowers embroider either side of my 1950s linen handbag; one could refresh it with different fabrics thanks to snaps under the wooden handles - newness is forever fashionable (see Fendi's recent foray into interchangeable bag covers). My belted frock joins the garden party in a sash with appliqué felt flowers. Sentimental Mood: the charms on this chain were gifts from two important women: my mom & my first boss... Mom passed down these pearl pieces (the Northern Star & a musical tulip) on milestone birthdays; my former boss bought me this Victorian hamsa hand at the Isabel Marant boutique in Paris to celebrate my premier business trip.

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