Thursday, March 31, 2011

Candid Cameron

Jill Stuart 'Cameron' dress. Chanel shoes.
My most romantic dress... I don't have anything else like it (the watercolor chintz print wallpapers my castle on a cloud). This frock was made for Dancing at Lughnasa, floating around Venice during Carnival, whispering with spring at a house party in Tuscany - waiting for warm breezes & barefoot beaches.
FASHION FLOWER: Jill Stuart resort 2011, looks 6, 7, 8
Jill Stuart must love this silk-chiffon floral as much as I do: it was featured in three looks from her resort collection, including my so-called 'Cameron' dress. Frontal triangular section of accordion pleats - stringy beaded belt - ruffled V-neck, hem & elbow-length dolman sleeves gathered by drawstrings.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teddy's Clothes

Earl Jean jacket. Hanes top. 3.1 Phillip skirt (last worn HERE). Vintage headpiece & necklace. Betsey Johnson tights. Chanel shoes.
Corduroy jacket from forever ago: snaps closed & interior designed in shearling like a chic lumberjack. Basic clothes can be deceivingly expensive: I bought this jacket in some store on Madison Ave, but it seems to hail from a hilltop mom & pop hunting & fishing shop. I'm a fool for party pieces, rarely plain separates - I never save fancy for special occasions, preferring to spend them on everyday events.TEXTUAL TEXTURE: Lisa McCue, illustration from Don Freeman's Corduroy
The storied teddy bear's overalls are of the warmest material (I have corduroy-velvet bell-bottoms).

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rouge Allure

LADY IN RED: Claude Monet, La Japonaise
Perfect painted scarlet dress worn by Monet's wife as La Japonaise - his brilliant colors allude to contemporary Parisians' yen for Japanese. Mme Monet wears a blonde wig that emphasizes her Western identity but is otherwise immersed in the Orient: geisha enraptured in a printed kimono, moseying among myriads of patterned paper fans. Reminds me to go to Chinatown for a traditional silk robe. ADAM sweater (last worn HERE). 3.1 Phillip Lim skirt (last worn HERE). Vintage headband & scarf. Chanel oxfords.
My red reveals a schoolgirl running away to join the Russian marching band... In cableknit sweater, mink headband, brass button skirt. Everybody wants to run away sometimes; when I do, I seek a far away home on the Continent: chateau in the Loire Valley, crumbling castle in Cornwall, keep in County Meath.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Navy Nurse

Vintage Ketchum-Uniformer cape (last worn HERE) & Regalia Imports dress (last worn HERE). Miu Miu clutch & shoes.
Beading, beading everywhere from dress to toes - these shoes alone are a mini Turkish empire of minarets, mosaics, domes. My cape's a magical magician costume or nurse's winter uniform circa WWII - see the navy/red replica Briony wears in the movie Atonement (below) - a wool shield from snow.
Miu Miu spring 2010 ad (PHOTOGRAPHERS: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; MODEL: Lindsey Wixson) & Atonement film still
My purse was featured (in ivory) throughout Miu Miu's ads last year. Love white dresses but not bags; the lightest color I carry is camel - still neutral for spring without being so worrisome to clean... Although I do adore this season's Dolce & Gabbana grandmotherly frame handbags crocheted with flowering doilies.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flash in the Pan

COSTUME DESIGN: Marie Antoinette (above) & Almost Famous (below) film stills
Fur & flora & tights argyled the same purple as this frock... Look how these panniers on Phillip Lim's dress mimic Marie Antoinette's bubblegum creamsicle ones. My hat is descended from Russian ladies (Lara in Boris Pasternak's Dr Zhivago & Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina) but most of all Penny Lane in Almost Famous. Half in love with the past & beauty & truth - mourning youthful tragedies gone forever. 3.1 Phillip Lim dress (last worn HERE). J.Crew cardi. Banana Republic hat. Vintage necklace. Chanel shoes.
"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up & the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden & she plucked another flower & ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart & cried, 'Oh, why can't you remain like this forever!" - JM Barrie, The Adventures of Peter Pan

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Aviator

FASHION IN MOTION: 3.1 Phillip Lim fall 2010, look #5
Used to love everything en masse from Phillip Lim's collections; fewer pieces speak to me now, but those that do scream my name. This suede shearling cropped aviator jacket is amazing - especially appreciative of its extra long fuzzy sleeves to curl my fingers into when I inevitably forget gloves.
3.1 Phillip Lim jacket (last worn HERE). Anna Sui dress (last worn HERE). J.Crew belt. Vintage sunnies. Miu Miu bag. Fendi boots.
Played tourist with my friend around Rockefeller Center (Anna Sui at Anthropolgie: such pretty pieces for spring & pleasingly priced). We're going to found a Jane Austen Book Club: read classics & review cinematic adaptations. I'm on a mission to find Pamela Hanson's out-of-print photography book, Girls.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Swann's Way

See by Chloé dress (last worn HERE). Vintage jewelry. Miu Miu Mary Janes.
Snow Queen, Ice Queen, ice cream wrapped in cloudy sky... See by Chloé's silk dress glides elegantly as a swan & glows ghostly as an electric snowflake. Wraps have been worn worldwide forever: kimonos, togas, Diane von Furstenberg's frocks - this one is quite feminine, as if I cinched a cloud around my frame.Holiday UNICEF Snowflake on 57th St & Fifth Ave, NYC
"The flake of snow grew larger & larger & at last it was like a young lady, dressed in the finest white gauze, made of a million little flakes like stars. She was so beautiful & delicate, but she was of ice, of dazzling sparkling ice; yet she lived; her eyes gazed fixedly, like two stars; but there was neither quiet nor repose in them. She nodded towards the window & beckoned" - Hans Christian Anderson, The Snow Queen

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cat Fight

CAT PATTERN: Miu Miu spring 2010, looks #15 & #19 (DETAILS)
FANCY FEET: Miu Miu spring 2010 ad (PHOTOGRAPHERS: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott; MODEL: Lindsey Wixson) & shoes
Miu Miu's spring 2010 collection is my favorite to date - love her cartoon prints, especially on strappy shoes. Platform versions of my blue kitty Mary Janes appear in the designer's old ad, where a girl lounges legs akimbo, wearing darkling bird claws & nude silhouettes. Lions are just big cats: the other animal here is my frock's fuzzy tiger face - luckily I wore thick tights because this fabric is sheer organdy.LIONHEART: Pauline Baynes, illustration for CS Lewis' The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe
Anna Sui dress (last worn HERE). Vintage belt, headpiece & bangle. Tintoretta tights. Miu Miu Mary Janes.
Fantasy Wardrobe: CS Lewis' Narnia, Michael Ende's The NeverEnding Story, my grandmother's girlhood.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goodbye Elizabeth

Vintage necklace & Fred Leighton dress. Chanel shoes.
Fred Leighton is famously an antique jeweler to high society, but his first business venture was importing clothes to his shop in NYC. This 1960s romantic number was probably part of his Mexican bridal gown collection, characterized by lace & tucked cotton Victorian high-necked styles. Elizabeth Taylor might've worn an embroidered peasant dress to one of her weddings - the world lost a bright star today.
COLORLESS: Aubrey Beardsley, The Battle of the Beaux & Belles (above) & MB Parkinson, Cupid Awake (below)
This cameo is pure vintage treasure: a finely crafted brooch with loop becomes a pendant. Its lady's delicate profile is expressively flat, conveying the same elegance as Aubrey Beardsley's Art Nouveau ink illustrations. My ivory's sweetness is also suggestive of MB Parkinson's Cupid Awake: a popular Victorian photograph, usually paired with Cupid Asleep - recently I acquired the duo at an estate sale.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Presents!

LOOKBOOK: Marc Jacobs resort 2011, look #20
Best birthday present ever: Marc Jacobs' citrus magnolia cotton voile flutter ruffle babydoll. Stringy metallic bow at neck & pleated hem/bodice with buttoned back; gold knotted pine belt wraps waist.
SHEEP MEADOW: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, In the Meadow
A frock for flying through fields: Sheep Meadow (the grassiest spot in Central Park) or Renoir's painted Meadow, where waves of sunrise watercolor his landscape the same spring shades as this dress.
Marc Jacobs dress. Vintage belt & ring. Chanel shoes.
My cameo collection grows by leaps & bounds... This ring is one of two specimens I received yesterday: gold gilt frames the ivory profile of a lady carved in low relief. A sweet surprise from the best vintage proprietress/friend (read more about my adventures with Joanna of Grape in the Shade HERE).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birthday Song

Vintage ring & coat (last worn HERE). Acrobat scarf. Elizabeth Gillett pin. Kate Spade 'Book of the Month' clutch. Chloé boots.
"Looking at her. She was a slender, small-breasted girl, with an erect carriage, which she accentuated by throwing her body backward at the shoulders like a young cadet. Her gray sun-strained eyes looked back at me with polite reciprocal curiosity out of a wan, charming, discontented face. It occurred to me now that I had seen her, or a picture of her, somewhere before" - F Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
1950s child duster sewing pattern
This is what a birthday girl looks like: first day of spring & my life! Vintage suede single-breasted duster symmetrically slit at hem to make riding cars or horses easier - a straight version of the swing coat pattern above. Carrying Great Gatsby's bag: a neon yellow hollow hardcover glowingly says, gogogo. My cashmere B scarf is a relic from monogram-happy days devoted to patrican prep - to name is to exist.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nifty Vest

Joie dress (last worn HERE). Vintage necklaces, vest (last worn HERE) & Jcracker's boots.
Family visit to CT on the first glorious spring weekend. Giddily spun around my backyard, mourning trees cut down in the name of a view since I was last here: gone are ones with climbably low branches, inedible apples, a wood swing... I'm a country girl again as soon as I slip on these cowboy boots.
SUNNIES: Two for the Road film still
Sun-worshipping in a spotty dotty dress & little boy's vest. These plastic shades are ringers for Audrey Hepburn's in Two for the Road - adore her adventures through Europe in a skinny minnie mod wardrobe.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Wintry Water

aerie & Marc by Marc Jacobs slips. Ralph Lauren sweater. Vintage necklaces. Chanel shoes.
Sheer delight: metallic doily shoes & a mesh lace slip the translucent turquoise of tropical water. It'll be my bikini coverup come summer but wearing it now over a cashmere T-shirt. Almost as layered as those old fashioned bathing costumes, more suited to stretching along the sands than deep sea swimming.
OVERDRESSED: Claude Monet, The Beach at Trouville
Monet's painted Beach is an intimate portrait of two women, fully clothed in opposites-attract colors. One wears white dashes of paint (sunlight shining) & holds a parasol over her floral hat & veiled face.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sleeping Stars

IN FASHION: Anna Sui fall 2010, look #49 (details)
STARS ABOVE: Vincent Van Gogh, Starry Night Over the Rhone
Everyone knows Van Gogh's The Starry Night canvas with its cerulean sky swirling above flaming cypress shrubbery, but I prefer Over the Rhone's muted waves & comforting sight of a couple strolling the riverbank. My jacket's a rose version of Van Gogh's vision: flowers floating heavenward.
J.Crew jacket (last worn HERE). Anna Sui dress (last worn HERE). Chanel shoes.
Greige is illuminated in an unchained melody of embroidery, velvet, chiffon at Anna Sui's old show... The color of grey sky morning, sunshine streaming through clouds, light spilling onto snowy sidewalks.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girl, Gone

"A strange melancholy pervades me to which I hesitate to give the grave & beautiful name of sorrow. The idea of sorrow has always appealed to me, but now I am almost ashamed of its complete egoism. I have known boredom, regret, & occasionally remorse, but never sorrow. Today it envelops me like a silken web, enervating & soft, & sets me apart from everybody else" - Francoise Sagan, Bonjour Tristesse
Anna Sui dress. Vintage jewelry & headband (worn as necklace). Chanel shoes.
Recently re-watched the movie Bonjour Tristesse & fell more in love with Jean Seberg, playing insouciant ingénue Cécile. My antique ivory dress is something she might've worn her 17th summer on the French Riveria... Diamond lace, velvet burnout poppies, crinkled chiffon; shimmering lamé, scalloped hem, frayed edges. I experimented with this loopy velvet headband as a pussycat-sailor bow & prefer it.
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