Friday, December 31, 2010

Grande Odalisque

Anna Sui fall 2010 fashion show, look #44
Anna Sui dress. Vintage necklace (worn as belt). Fenton-Fallon necklace. Betsey Johnson tights. Chanel shoes.
"I take pictures of myself because it is by looking at these photographs that I know how I feel... Sometimes I pretty much know what I feel before I click the shutter, but still, it's nice to have the visual confirmation... A photograph is also nice because I can refer to it later. In this way, self-portraits are my own mood-stabilizing alternative to lithium" - Augusten Burroughs, Snap Judgment (Oct 2010 Allure)
Happy New Year - take photos for posterity! Costumed in a Starry Night dress (look #44 from Anna Sui's fall 2010 show) styled in ode to Ingres' Grande Odalisque painting. Galaxies infiltrate the iridescent panels of this star-stamped jacquard silk with details galore (tiers of lurex ruffles & pleats), topped with glowing pearlescent orbs & chained rhinestone ribbons. Watch Wintertide stars for fleeting moments of introspective illumination - Dec 2010 British Vogue is even dedicated to universal luminaries.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cream or Sugar?

Vintage necklace & DCSB Original Design dress. HWR cardigan (worn backward). Delman shoes.
"She wore daringly a gown of sheer white. Over a sheath-like slip of white satin, which outlined with cunning design every curve of her fascinating figure, flares of transparent tulle, billowing to the ground, yet managed to convey an impression of artless innocence. There was no contrasting colour except her bright gold hair. The spotlight turned it into a nimbus" - Winifred Watson, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Some girls wait until their wedding day to debut a sheath-like slip of white satin, but I hoard a bridal shop's stock of ivory gowns - each one occasion-worthy, even if only for a dinner party at home. This one flutters across the shoulders anchored by a swath of velvet ribbon; the hem used to resound with a corresponding ruffle, but I ripped it free in a fit of minimalism. My golden pretzel pendant (part of a repurposed belt buckle) hangs heavy; my bottom layer is a cardi worn backward Junya Watanabe-style.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Forward March

Marc Jacobs jacket in March 2010 Marie Claire
Marc Jacobs jacket. Nanette Lepore skirt. Vintage belt & headpiece. Chanel oxfords.
Gung ho in Marc Jacobs' cargo jacket trimmed in Oriental damask ruffles, which echo this skirt's graphic gingham pleats. My headpiece is flocked with tawny feathers flecked with sprigs of greenery & bonnie bluebells. Army uniforms are incomplete without glossy shoes... My Dad's first job was as a shoe-shine boy & he retained his trusty kit to maintain his own dressy pairs ever after. These patent leather oxfords glow all on their own, but sometimes I buff them with a brush in deference to Dad's meticulousness.
Featured on FabSugar's Look of the Day: Getting Red Right (Dec 29, 2010) - inspired by ADAM fall 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wooly Bully

Vintage jewelry, Perry Ellis sweater & The Villager dress/belt. Betsey Johnson tights. Delman shoes.
"She was a city girl / With no responsibility / A pretty little city girl / All fired up & what's / That got to do to me... / It's as clear as a / Sunrise in Sedona / Just what it is / That's blowin' in the wind / It's the fire in her eyes / It's the tear when she cries / It's the heat when I fall on my knees" - Aerosmith, Sedona Sunrise
Sunrise, Sunset, my orange dress is cheering as a summery Creamsicle: chintzy flowers are my favorite bouquet. I'm longing for a greenhouse to stop & smell the roses while the perennials sleep in snowy blanketed beds. Winterized with a wool sweater braided down the sleeves; Perry Ellis' 1970s boxy cropped cut scratchily charms me. I've been living in these knitted bow tights because they're so warm - I'm going to try them with only a slouchy boyfriend cardi as they're opaque enough to be leggings.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Undone - The Sweater Song

Vintage dress, necklaces & Sportsworks cardigan. Betsey Johnson tights. Delman shoes.
"Night & you & blue hawaii / The night is heavenly & you are heaven to me / Lovely you & blue hawaii / With all this loveliness, there should be love / Come with me while the moon is on the sea / The night is young & so are we / Dreams come true in blue hawaii / & mine could all come true" - Sinatra, Blue Hawaii
A checkerboard cardi + peekaboo lace = playing dress-up with old clothes & friends. NY/CT was regaled with a monstrous snowstorm: magical falling & frolicking in a powder kingdom before the plows came - now I'm ready to float in Hawaiian blue rather than fight gray sleet. I devoted some trapped indoor time to rediscovering my wardrobe's golden oldies, such as this sweater (knit with honeycomb holes & closed rosebuds) & frock (raining spiderweb pansies). I even got a little arts & crafty, severing a peace sign buckle from a patchwork belt to create a groovy pendant necklace - a heavy but worthy emblem.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Morning After

Miu Miu bag.
Vintage headpiece & Rowes coat. Betsey Johnson tights. Chloé boots.
Hope everyone had a magnanimous holiday! Best gift ever: Miu Miu's quilted leather bag. Its flap-top has a jewel-encrusted turn-lock closure & dangles from a faceted-jeweled chain (which incidentally is removable & looks darling as a necklace or belt). This present is particularly prescient as I was looking for a long strapped medium-sized purse: it fits in between my Chanel '2.55' & 'Maxi' bags. Worn with a vintage Rowes wool coat discovered this weekend in a CT shop while visiting family; 'Made in England' is scripted across its label & I imagine some well-bred girl wore it from her ancestral home to one of the posh boarding schools around here, where it was lost in time for about 50 years. My cheerful mustard double-breasted princess pea coat is a slice of serendipity with last year's chocolate suede thigh-high Chloé boots (beloved for their corseted back & how they slip on with the requisite amount of slouch).

Saturday, December 25, 2010

April's Cranberry Sauce

Ralph Lauren sweater. Betsey Johnson dress/slip. Vintage belt. Miu Miu shoes.
"She was in a shop now, it seemed, moving lithely among the velvets & the furs, her own dress making, as she walked, a debonair rustle in that world of silken rustles & cool soprano laughter & scents of many slain but living flowers. The Minnies & Pearls & jewels & jennies would gather round her like courtiers, bearing wispy frailities of Georgette crepe, delicate chiffon" - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful & Damned
I revel in sartorial descriptions - they're somehow more satisfyingly evocative than clothes alone. I always mark these passages in books & study magazines to ensure every word's image is imprinted on my mind. My fashion fervor reaches its zenith playing dress-up, but perusing pictures (photos, paintings, sketches) with stylish captions is a close second. When I'm out, shopping say, fashionable parlance (about street style, racks of trends, vintage originals) comes unbidden - as if an omnipotent narrator is dictating my life story. Sometimes it's brief, like Lady in Red: cashmere cable-knit + swiss dot chiffon.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Lamé Lady

Anna Sui dress. Ralph Lauren sweater. Vintage belt. H&M headband. Chanel shoes.
Starry-eyed in the loveliest lamé dress, whose saturated tropical colors could clothe a dancing dervish in Bollywood.* Anna Sui's silhouettes usually hang long & loose on me, but I belted this frock to fashion a blousy top overhanging a shorter skirt. Layered cake over a brown cashmere sweater: inspired by Ms. Sui's spring 2010 runway styling (look #29) & warming as a mug of hot cocoa during Decemberist.
*I love dance films; one of my family's holiday traditions is going to the movies every Christmas. I was excited about The Black Swan, but it seems too intense for some of us - still, I'm nodding to the Swan Lake genre with a feather headband here. Also looking forward to Sofia Coppola's Somewhere... I always become deeply enamoured with her heroines' whimsical worlds, beckoning with their dark romance.
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