Thursday, September 30, 2010

Vanilla

Vintage dress, necklace (worn as belt), ring & Mei Fa necklace. Chanel clogs.
"Be a simple kind of man / Be something you love & understand / Be a simple kind of man / Won't you do this for me son, if you can... / Don't you worry, you'll find yourself / Follow your heart & nothing else / & you can do this if you try / All I want for you, my son, is to be satisfied" - Lynryd Skynyrd, Simple Man
Love Lynryd Skynyrd... Simple is safe, but dense beading dancing across vintage silk-crepe pleases me more. I fold this dress in a drawer as I have too many to fit in my closet - luckily a slightly rumpled look charms me. I find wrinkles fall out of frocks anyway after I wear them awhile; I never use a steamer but discovered hanging garments in the bathroom while showering lessens creases. Some clothing blossoms from wisps of nothingness on the hanger to something special on the body; this dress drapes like a dream - its shape is similar to the Valentino one Tati Cotliar models in their fall 2010 ad campaign photographed by David Sims.
P.S. Read 'Streetstyle Trend: Boot It' on Lookbooks - I help illustrate the story.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Do Do that Voodoo

Anna Sui spring 2010 RTW fashion show, look #21
Anna Sui dress. Vintage jewelry & Forecast hat. Chanel clogs.
Today's dress is look #21 from Anna Sui's spring 2010 show, where it was paired with the loveliest striped floral tights never produced. However, I substituted another fall accessory: a fur hat... This 1940s mink one has a Kaufmann's label (the defunct dept store); I've been intrigued by late great retailers since I was a child playing with the Bonwit Teller & B. Altman & Co hatboxes stacked floor-to-ceiling in my mom's closet (she has a face for hats). This frock's sheer sleeves & square-cut neckline are set aswirl with geometric floral chiffon painted in a palette reminiscent of Claude Monet's Water Lilies series. My tri-charm necklace is a voodoo keepsake from the Institute for American Indian Studies in CT; I visit at least annually to investigate the Indian Market (full of arts & crafts jewels).
P.S. Thanks to Chicisimo for including me in Maria's Picks on Sept 27!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin

agnès b. t-shirt. Gold Hawk dress. Vintage headpiece & Joseph Speaker scarf (worn as belt). Fenton-Fallon necklace. Loeffler Randall sandals.
"Well I'm just outa school / Like I'm real real cool / Gotta dance like a fool / Got the message that I gotta be / A wild one / Ooh yeah, I'm a wild one / Gonna break it loose / Gonna keep 'em movin' wild / Gonna keep a swingin' baby / I'm a real wild child" - Iggy Pop, Real Wild Child
agnès b. is the quintessential French gamine brand whose monochromatic simple shapes have soothed me since college - breezing through one of their minimalist shops is as refreshing as strolling along the Seine. This agnès b. top is printed with a pack of wild dogs standing guard against a single foe except for one naughty doggie facing the other way; its caption reads: 'Lost in the Pack?'. My t-shirt collection has diminished over the years, but this one is a keeper thanks to its positive message (stand out!) delivered in blasé French fashion. Fenton-Fallon jewels insouciantly resemble a klatch of gems dredged from the depths of a jewelry box - my necklace's faux glow gussies up this cotton top.

Monday, September 27, 2010

My First Suit

Nanette Lepore suit. Hanes top. H&M headband. Vintage rings. Marc by Marc Jacobs shoes.
I fought against a suit for so long (too together, corporate, adult), but there's something to be said for effortless sophistication. My bouclé Nanette Lepore suit from her fall 2010 collection (inspired by romantic Renaissance paintings in saturated colors) convinced me that everyone should have a suit stocked in her closet for the sake of chic classicism. This 'Contessa' jacket & 'Caterina' skirt are named after Spanish senoritas, evoking polished ladies who lunch rather than pinstriped girls. The jacket has a shawl collar, zip cuffs & toggles closed between a pair of patch pockets; the skirt has a front box pleat - all in tones of electric blue & charcoal grey tweed (more Blondie visits Wall Street than worker bee). My favorite ruffled blouses are too fussy here, but a tomboy tank top makes every hour happy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Women's Work

Vintage dress & Perry Ellis scarf (worn as belt). Anthropologie necklace (in hair). Loeffler Randall sandals.
"I wear my sunglasses at night / So I can, so I can / Watch you weave then breathe your story lines / & I wear my sunglasses at night / So I can, so I can / Keep track of the visions in my eyes / While she's deceiving me / It cuts my security / Has she got control of me" - Corey Hart, Sunglasses at Night
I was delighted to discover my local hardware store started to sell sunglasses; I bought these aviators for a song - I was looking for some light lenses to wear on cloudy days. This embroidered dress perfectly suits a sunless Sunday; wearing white is risky when it might rain, but luckily it didn't while I danced at the NY Gypsy Festival in Central Park. I adore the Arts & Crafts Movement & my frock seems to be inspired by its principles: truth to traditional materials in simple shapes & decorated in romantic folk style. I wish I could embroider a wardrobe suitable for turn of the 20th Century Britain, where I'd practice my handicrafts in the hills & wander home to an overgrown country cottage.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Big Fish

Vintage Florenza (right) & Avon (second from right) bracelets
3.1 Phillip Lim dress. Vintage jewelry. Chanel shoes.
Fish medallion + little black frock = first prize for dressing half-asleep. Today I overslept & primped without a backward glance to attend my friend's art opening. I cast two necklaces over this netted nude slip: 1) a fish framed against a plaque suspended by scale-like beads & 2) a pearl choker (a birthday present from long ago) - it occurs to me that fish, pearls & netting are all oceanic flotsam. A pair of ruby slippers are a conversation piece... Several Dorothy-wannabes at the show asked about them - these shoes are from the Chanel Paris-Moscow fall 2009 collection & I'm not sure if they're available anymore. I've adored The Wizard of Oz (both L. Frank Baum's series of books & the film) ever since I was a little girl; the idea of Home (both as a destination & a feeling about oneself) has always resonated with me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Velvet Rope

Vintage Gloria Sachs jacket, Perry Ellis scarf (worn as belt) & necklaces (one worn as headband). Vera Wang Lavender Label dress. Prada shoes.
"Her eyes they shone like the diamonds / You'd swear she was queen of the land, / & her hair hung over her shoulder, / tied up with a black velvet band / As I went out strolling one evening, / not intending to stray very far / I met with a frolicsome damsel" - Celtic Folk, Black Velvet Band
Fall flower frock + velvet jacket = Autumn in (upstate) NY. Usually I carefully curate my closet to display clothing for all conceivable occasions but am not immune to Variations on a Theme (i.e. white dresses, ballet flats & gold necklaces). While there are many rich iterations of velvet, I'm in love with its jacket incarnation & have two remarkably similar ones: this vintage one is long & collarless, while the other is a cropped closure-less tuxedo. Mixing materials is sartorially pleasurable: my strappy chiffon frock lends itself to layering under voluptuous velvet while air kissing my skin Underneath It All.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Touch the Sky

Vintage blouse & necklaces. Moschino Cheap & Chic skirt (worn as dress). Loeffler Randall sandals.
Bowtie shoe-clip-as-necklace + birthday candle necklace-as-headband = fancy dress party (is there any other kind?). Speaking of holidays, I indulged in some tall Chloé boots (gloriously scalloped caramel leather) upon my recent half-birthday - does anyone else celebrate theirs? Sky falls to Earth on my cropped top & skirt-as-frock: both are baby blue & splashed with gauzily wrapped bonbons & blowsy daisies respectively. I have another black beaded necklace (a souvenir from my mom's trip to Ireland) similar to this dark gold one; I actually prefer it but require a pair of pliers to fix a loose link. I may pick up a whole toolbox while I'm at it as I don't like depending on my superintendent or shoe-maker for minor repairs - nothing like a Magical Thinking yoga class to inspire independence.
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