Monday, June 30, 2008

A Tribute

Probably the most beautiful Kazakh I've ever seen, lol. My parents are sad because she was 1) young 2) Russian (well, Soviet, but to them it's the same). I'm sad because tragedy seems to be striking models in mass numbers these days, I wonder who is next?I would sell my internal organs to pull off that hair.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I think we as fashion bloggers do tend to share a unique knowledge outside of the mainstream, and the people whose personalities or tastes we admire is quite indicative of that. While I think we all have our own private style idols, the three women most every fashion blogger seem to all agree on having enviable tastes are Chloe Sevigny and our favourite Gallic siblings, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Lou Doillon. The Trinity, if you will. So intensely loved for their impeccable sense of dressing are they, that their style exploits have surpassed their films in noteriety. Sevigny's star is rising with "Big Love" and I've seen Gainsbourg in "The Science of Sleep" (she was quite charming) and as a rather miscast Jane Eyre. I've yet to see a single film with Lou Doillon in it. Can any one really say they are a great fan of their films? I wonder how they feel about this...

Were this traditional iconography, that of perhaps a crucifixion scene, I think Sevigny would take the persona of Mary Magdalene:

Like Mary, she is bold, a little dangerous, sexual, but in a way you can't really place your finger on, and above all, controversial.

In iconography, Mary Magdalene's attribute (an item or feature that identifies her as that particular saint) is an alabaster jar or box. Chloe's, given her penchant for constantly changing style, would be more difficult to spot, but if pressed I would say her long, blonde hair, one of her few constants.

Charlotte Gainsbourg would be the Virgin Mary. More conservative, traditional, but deeply, almost fanatically revered.

Charlotte's attribute would be her inimitable ability to wear jeans and tshirts and still look like she spent 3k. Something we all want, and can't seem to get.

And Lou Doillon would be John the Baptist. Wild, untamed, natural, disheveled and underrated:

Her attribute would be the wonderful way in which she pulls off hats:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The New Shoe Blues

I have been wanting gladiator sandals for months. Not because they're so trendy, but just because, well--they're cool. I am normally, strictly, a boots kind of girl. But living in such a hot climate makes year round boots simply not doable. But I do have an affection for leather and for leather straps, and gladiators fill that category quite nicely. Thus, I fell hard and fast for these Nine West numbers:

But the pricetag for them locally is around $100. I was quite torn about that, as I usually only spend that kind of money on sturdy, practical footwear. So I was delighted to see these Wet Seal knock-offs crop up:

Dead ringers, right? And a paltry sum of twenty-four dollars! But not so fast--just when I thought I had pulled yet another bargain coup, reality came to smack me in the face. As I've mentioned previously, I am handicapped. But I am also incredibly stubborn, and I manage pretty well in heels, as long as there's a thick, sturdy sole beneath me. Unlike the Nine West versions, Wet Seals "wedge" gladiators narrow to and almost stiletto-like width at the bottom, making them wobbly. Every time I step forward on my left, my ankle wants to roll inward. Which is not good for anyone. Suffice it to say, I am saddened that I will be returning these tomorrow.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Blackhearts

Tavi's post on leather and leather-like materials was very inspiring. But for those of us who can't shell out a ridiculous sum of money for real leather pants (and the money it takes to have it cleaned) we are usually resigned to the American Apparel black lame legging. Aside from being a little "done", it has the negatives of being quite easily scuffed/snagged. If they were ten dollar cheapies from target, you could easily throw them out and get another pair, but at forty two dollars all I can think of is how many normal pairs of leggings I could buy for that sum. It also has the disadvantage of being neither tights (which would be very Vogue Italia I think) nor pants (which can be structured, flattering and warm). And honestly, I think the whole leggings-as-pants look should only be left to the slimmest of Scandanavians. After all, you don't want to recall Lindsay Lohan.

To that end, I went on a hunt for an affordable leather (or leather like option). I have seen a lot of treated black denim jeans made to look like leather, most of which over $150 dollars. Which, while not exactly astronomical, is not very reasonable for something I doubt I'd wear too regularly.

Then I checked eBay. Yes, they are there very cheaply, but most appear to be early 90's relics, so be prepared for some wonky fits. And this may strike you as paranoid, but I always wonder when leather items are involved, where, exactly, such pants have been...

Slightly discouraged. I rummaged through my inspiration file and dredged up this photo from Urban Outfitters I absentmindedly saved a few months ago:

They are P-E-R-F-E-C-T in my opinion. Fabric, so they'll be both breathable and warm. A flattering, modern skinny fit. Denim, so it will be structured and flattering. Shiny, but not blindingly so. Since it's treated and not real, cows didn't have to make the ultimate sacrifice just so I can look like Carine Roitfeld. And unlike real leather, you can wash them before they start decaying, Jim Morrison style. Eww.

Lamentably, they are no longer available on the Urban Outfitters website, so I can't tell you how much they cost, much less buy them. But UO jeans rarely run over a hundred dollars. Provided I'm not wrong, I will be combing the store for them next week and, hopefully, snapping them up the second I see them. Layered knitwear, delicate lace, dr martens, my scalp tingles with the combination possibilities...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Imitates Life, Part Deux

One of the most well-recieved posts I've had on this blog (so far) is my comparison of art and fashion collections. Art is one of my great passions in life, and I hardly need any excuse to talk about it. (as my father, bearing a long lecture about the nature of Hellenistic sculpture at The Met, can tell you). Therefore, I thought it was time for an encore! Hopefully I don't get too carried away. When I tell you that I see art's influence as "pervasive" in fashion, I mean I can probably find a painting that corresponds to every collection---ever.

I think this obsession with "degrade" and "dip dye" prints that is currently all the rage can be traced directly back to Abstract Expressionism, and more specifically, to Mark Rothko.

While the colours themselves do not have the effect of bleeding into one another, it is the perfect way in which they intersect that I feel so strongly influences designers. Vera Wang, A/W 2006

Jackson Pollock is an artist whose later works I have never been able to wrap my head around. Even now that I have seen his "splatter" paintings up close and personal, I fail to see the intention, if there be any, behind them. Regardless, he is a greatly influential artist, and you don't have to be a museum fiend to see how he inspired Dolce and Gabbana's spring collection.
Number One, 1948
Gustav Klimt's (very gilded) influence, has lately been running through a great deal of collections, and I for one could not be happier. I have always felt him underrecognized, and there is something about the way he "cocoons" his subjects in gold-leaf and geometric shapes that I find very moving. "The Virgin"- 1913
Christian Dior S/S Couture 2008

One artist who had the most direct and immediate influence on the world of fashion in his time was Jean-Antoine Watteau. His paintings were so influential to the culture of the French bourgoeis that a particular style of gown, that which is cinched in the front and has long, loose pleats of fabric in the back, was named after him. Robe a la Francaise
L'Eseigne de Gersaint- 1721

You can still see his sack-back dresses popping up today, designers putting little "suprise" details in the backs of their dresses is "the last cry".

Lanvin, Pre-Fall 2008

And finally, Though not an artist himself, we have the artistic and operatic subjects of the Pierrot (sad clown) and the Arlecchino (harlequin) of Commedia dell'Arte, to thank for Miu Miu's fantastic puffed up mini silhouettes, jewel tones and skewed, whimsical ruffles, prints and collar-cuff combos.

Who knew clowns could be so sexy?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Alexander the Great

"Aspirational dressing" is a term used often fashion to describe clothes that don't necessarily suit the person you are, but rather the person you wish to become. While for most people this means a very formal style of dressing and tailoring, for me, the strongest sentiment of aspirational dressing that currently has my attention is that of designer Alexander Wang.

I am by no means some kind of super-lithe urban ingenue. But fantastic clothes like these give me the (perhaps slightly delusional) concept that dressing similarly could make me one. And that's why Alexander Wang's clothes are such a boom. He has the same "selling ice to eskimos" quality perfected previously by Marc Jacobs. No matter what he makes, people will like it because it appeals to a persona they would want to adopt.

Until very recently, I saw him as quite overrated and overpriced. After all, who needs his stuff when you can easily wear your own skinnies and a "distressed" white t-shirt for about a twentieth of the price? But that is the real genius behind his clothes. It usually takes a lot of effort and hunting around to get "the Prada look" or "the Marc Jacobs look" because they're so complex and forward. But Alexander Wang's fashion is truly democratic. Even if you can't afford his perfectly cut blazer, you can approximate it on a very shoestring budget, and even if you don't have the body type of his muse, model Erin Wasson, you can take elements of it and shift them for your body type.

So, I have attempted for the time being to put aside my fixation with vintage frills, and set my sights on a more relaxed way of dressing.These Alloy shorts are a pretty brilliant knockoff and a steal at $28.50
Sheer black tights are ridiculously cheap and easy to find. But for god's sakes, don't try to rip them! You'll go from hip to homeless in 2.5 seconds. Same goes for slouchy, worn-in tees. You probably already own five, or can steal them from your boyfriend.

Throw in some cheapie heels.

And top off with a beanie for that "fabulous" urchin look. I don't know. When you break it down into individual elements, it sounds so ridiculous, but it all seems to work.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Hipster Scum

Yep, I am.

When the keffiyeh first become a popular trend on the "scene", I made a promise to myself not to wear one. Not only because of its associations with sleazy hipsters of all forms, but because I am Jewish and I know some people find them anti-semitic. I personally do not find them offensive, but I don't think it's cool to ignore the feelings of your own ethnic group just so you can wear a passing fad. But with last fall's Balenciaga collection, it became harder and harder to ignore.

I finally caved and bought this from a street vendor for ten dollars, justifying that the pattern was nothing like that of a traditional keffiyeh. But even at that, they're just so...done already! In spite of that, if I were to wear it (and this should illustrate the slow progress of my little city for you) I would still be one of the first. The girls around here do read fashion rags like Nylon, but they rarely practice many trends outside that of the skinny jean. They're still wearing pointy-toed stilettos here. I feel like a lazy fashion blogger and a sellout.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Sorry sorry, I know it's only one outfit pic, but on the rest of them there was this weird glare on my glasses (note to self: no more flash!). I'm really having a hard time catching the whole "taking pics of my outfits" curve and learning how to find angles that don't make me appear like a four-foot-tall hippo. It's not that I'm trying to make myself look skinnier or taller than real life, it's just that cameras tend to skew all of our proportions. Some, with good results, like models. Then there's me.

I've got to say I'm loving the cardigan I got from American Apparel in soho (even though they were incredibly rude to me) I'm definately seeing where it will come in handy in the fall.

T-shirt: Rogan for Target. Cardigan: American Apparel. Jeans: Wet Seal. Bag and Shoes: secondhand.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


As you can imagine, for a small-town girl like me with limited cash, H&M was one of those "must hit" stops for me while in New York City. After an exhausting (and hot) day trekking the village, my father and I finally arrived at H&M in soho in the late afternoon. He was obviously quite miffed with me because there was no place for him to sit and rest. I was miffed because the lower floor could only be accessed via escalator (I'm handicapped, I can use escalators, but they do make me uneasy especially when pushy tourists are involved). But still, I was happy to be in this much-heralded mecca of acessible fashion.
Imagine my sense of disconcert when the front first section was filled with cheesy slogan tees, maxi dresses and ruffed miniskirts not greatly superior to what you might find in Wet Seal. The back did have a few gems, but most of them were infanta dresses with a trapeze shape to them. While I wholeheartedly believe these styles look fabulous on some people, but on short, busty me, I just look like a ten year old in black nail polish. There was a layered t-shirt dress (ala Marc Jacobs) that intrigued me, but it was three sizes too big. The only option left that I found appealing was a leather skirt, but it was very abreviated, and the fabric was flimsy. At forty dollars, my cheapness overrode my impulse to buy something that my mother might forbid me to wear.

So what gives, H&M? I expected to walk out of your store, beaming with an armful of bags, and it broke my heart that I had to leave empty-handed, particularly since unlike my other nyc haunts, you have no online store, and the nearest brick-and-mortar is in Atlanta, over four hours drive from here. Are you just overrated, like the never to be spoken of again Century 21? Their incredible lookbook for fall tells me unequivocally no, and it just adds to the heartbreak. Why why WHY can't they just have online shopping? It would be so soothing to all my unease and regret of all my lack of purchases in New York City.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shake it Like A Polaroid Picture

I know this is going to be ancient news to you Brits out there, but I saw this on style bubble and thought it was absolutely fascinating. Topshop has recreated the infamous Helmut Newton's photo machine idea (all for their greedy corporate gains of course), wherein the subject would stand in front of a mirror and a timed camera holding a shutter and photographing themselves. I wonder how much it costs, I would love to do it. Oh well, it's not as if it matters. it resides currently in England and I doubt it would ever be travelling stateside. It is a fascinating concept though! I suppose, if you had a very good camera with a tripod, a shutter, a large mirror and a large room with good lighting (or were just a professional photographer with access to such things) you could make one yourself.

Helmut Newton is famous for his agressive, dominant and hyper sexualized images of women, often nude:

However, Topshop's interpretation is quite a bit more tame:

Oh dear. I do hope this doesn't get too pedestrian.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Back in Black

I have returned from NYC! I am exhausted, rather depressed to once again be inhabiting the hot and swampy valleys of the deep south, and with no six Starbucks within a five-block radius to comfort me. Yeah, I'm that forlorn. Anyways, I've got lots of stories and pictures to regale you with but I've got to um--sleep, first. You dig?
Postscript- Two comments, in five days, does not construe as "lots" where I come from. Just thought I'd throw that out there.


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Le Zebra

Ugh, too effing hot (we topped out at ninety-two degrees) to wear anything more original today. Sorry for the lack of...feet (and consenquently footwear), but my room is only so long. I was wearing the faux Docs, fyi.

jeans: Belk. shirt: Jovovich-Hawk for Target

This is me trying to pull and American Apparel.--Rawr? Sigh, I think I'm too fat for AA.

I head to NYC tomorrow, so no new posts until Tuesday. Leave me comments to make me feel missed!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Let's Talk Sex

So yesterday, my friend Anna dragged me and her sis Calan to none other than "Sex and the City" the movie.

I still have absolutely no idea how she convinced us. Calan had never seen it, and for me it was always something I could take or leave, watching occasionally when it would pop up on late night tv. But we were bored, and maybe a little sloshed, so we gave the green light.

What were we thinking?! If we had known it would be a two and a half hour opus to materialism (what Carrie calls the two l's, labels and love) we would have left early. It was near eleven at night when we finally left the theatre, leaving us unable to get some much-needed coffee, and subsequently putting Calan in a very poor mood.

I had never particularly cared either way about the Carrie and Big coupling. Chris Noth is very charismatic in the role, but the fact that she always kept coming back sort of made the character of Carrie a victim. I had always preferred Aleksandr Petrovsky, for obvious reasons, I had an enormous crush on Mikhail Baryshnikov when I was seven and was heartbroken to learn that he was in fact, quite old. And if anything, this movie made her seem like even more of a sadist, a sadist that could be bought off with a big closet, and Big, for his part, more of a commitment-phobe than ever. In any event, we all knew what was going to happen in the end, and why they had to drag it out for all of time, I shall never understand.

Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda all had their moments in the plotline limelight, and I always find it hilariously ironic that you will never find much "sex" in title character's life, for that, you must go to Samantha, and in this case, her lusty Italian neighbor in Malibu. Mostly this time she just moped around. Charlotte is as perky as ever, and Kristen Davis had some of the best scenes, becoming protective and a fierce protector of the shattered Carrie from the oblivious Mr. Big.
Another thing I don't understand: Carrie's over the top, ill-fitting wedding gown. Calan, by her own admission, clueless in fashion, even remarked that it gave the toned and tiny Sarah Jessica "torpedo boobs". The girls looked fantastic in their red, blue and black bridesmaid dresses, but the bride looked like she was swimming in a sea of pas de sois. The dialogue too, was cringe-inducing. SATC has always been proponents of corny dialogue and scenes, but this was just much too much of every cliche.

In the end, I wanted to watch to see what crazy, amazing outfits Carrie could come up with, and I was not dissapointed.
Her Dior shoes, her Nina Ricci sweaters, the way she pulls off thigh-high socks. All was desirable and just off-beat enough to keep you wanting more.

It wasn't a complete waste of time, but I wish I had just waited to rent it instead of wasting a night of good fun on a mediocre indulgence of entitlement.