Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Yesterday was Beatrix Potter's birthday! I was mad for her stories when I was a little one. I read all of the books and had a whole set of the animated videos, I still watch "Tailor of Gloucester" every Christmas. So, in honour of Beatrix, I am wondering what one of her characters would wear, were she a girl, and not someone with fur.

Bill Blass blouse. Because her characters were of the light and frothy mein.

UO cardigan

Elizabeth and James jacket
Oscar de la Renta skirt.

American Apparel stockings

Free People socks.
UO scarf
Dior boots.
Mushroom brooch, in honour of Beatrix's love of mycology.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pride and Prejudice

Blah. I bought the blouse at like, 80% off at Anthropologie over the summer. It's not normally my "style", but unlike what I normally wear, it has actual fastenings, and darts and embroidery (oh my!). Also, it's not made of cotton jersey OR denim, imagine that! I feel bad about the skirt, it's shabby. I bought it when I was fourteen at a consignment shop and can once again fit into it, but, it used to be calf length and when I figured out long skirts make me look like a stump (after two years in hippie, tiered catastrophes) I rashly cut off the hem and the results are quite jagged. Once again, sorry for my lack of feet. Anyone want to buy me a real camera?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Appropriation, by any other name

Stephanie's post on Edwardian and Victorian styles inspired me to attempt to put together an inexpensive outfit that could, hopefully, evoke that era, without looking like you escaped from one of those goth cons where they wear cheap acetate corsets and spiderweb skirts.

Obviously, something made inexpensively won't have the rigorous construction of Victorian clothes, but when you don't have to take off five layers of petticoats and chemises and bloomers just to use the bathroom, you will be grateful for that. Charlotte Russe corset. I know, it's ugly and cheap-looking, but you should barely be able to see it by the time we're finished. The point is, it's a solid colour and it should give you a slightly more nipped-in shape at the waist. Plus, it's fifteen bucks!

Vintage clothing from that era is notoriously difficult to find in good condition. Your best bet is not vintage stores, but antique stores. If you do happen to spot one without a lot of damage, buy! It will likely be a little pricey (upwards of a hundred dollars) but the details will be well worth it. The lawn blouse above is $75.00. If not, I would be willing to bet that you have one of those high-necked lace blouses that were all the rage a while back still lurking in your closet. But don't button it all the way up! It's uncomfortable and you'll look like a school marm.
The exaggerated hourglass shape is essential to the victorian look. This wide belt will cinch you in and is a steal at $8.80. Forever 21.

A long skirt isn't necessary if all that extra fabric leaves you feeling bogged down. This pencil skirt is $22.80 from forever 21.

Pair boots with traditional details like buttons or laces with thick tights.

Victorians had the best coats! Once again, I recommend going vintage if at all possible. This men's frock coat is currently on ebay.

All this having been said, if you do have some cash to splash out and are seriously jonesing for a Carine Roitlfeld by way of the Industrial Revolution vibe, I suggest checking out vintagetextile.com or woodlandfarmsantiques.com for some amazing mint condition finds. There's even the ocassional bargain.
If you have the balls for it, something like this mourning dress for $95.00 would make a very dramatic statement.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A cooler version in my mind...

The reason I haven't been doing any outfit posts lately is because my outfits for the past few weeks have all looked like this:

Le Snore, right? I could throw out a million excuses, "The Alabama heat has sucked the will to live, much less dress, out of me", "My camera is a battery-eating, lo-fi demon of Hell." ect. But the truth is I've just been lazy. But it will get better when school starts, I swear! I'm an exhibitionist when it comes to dressing and the fall suits me so much better.

New Target dress. Cute and cheap, but something about the sleeves makes my arms look huge! Any suggestions on how to remedy this before I start to develop some body dismorphia?
My hair tonight. You like? (My face was ugly in the extreme)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Holland 1945

I hope you all enjoyed reading my last post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Now I have decided to stretch my imagination a bit further.
If you are not yet familiar with the music of Neutral Milk Hotel. You should be, like, now. Seriously, go, click! I first discovered them when I was twelve years old, at the insistance of a much older crush of mine. At first, I was very much put off by Jeff Mangum's reedy, nasal voice. But once those lyrics hit you, there's no going back. One of the great tragedies of this band however, is how little music we have of it. Not long after his star began rising, frontman Jeff Mangum had something of a nervous breakdown and left the music scene, for good. And while their previous album On Avery Island is quite good, nothing quite compared to 1998's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, which was, according to Mangum, his way of dealing with the very intense manner in which he connected with the death of Anne Frank after reading her diary.

You can tell by Neutral Milk Hotel's album artwork, and certainly their archaically-rooted lyrics that Jeff Mangum is/was fixated with not only the aesthetic of an earlier period of history, but with that era in its entirety. Looking at these album covers, and listening to Aeroplane, led me to an odd musing: "What would the girl living inside Mangum's head look like?" Or, more specifically, "What would the girl living inside this album look like, what would she be wearing?" Not in her era, then I could just be posting a bunch of links for vintage clothing and call it a day. What would she wear now, if Mangum indeed made his time machine?

I have to admit, this one is trickier. Since the subjects of Magnum's songs are so very grave, I want to give them some levity and grounding in fashion, without cheapening it, or making some sort of ridiculous, magazine-like musing of how to dress like some kind of movie character. Once again, nothing too flashy or too modern, but she'd want to blend in and appreciate the freedom of modern fashion.

Given the seaside themes of the album art, I think she would appreciate slight nautical motifs. Old Navy sweater, Alloy shorts, Marc Jabobs bag.

What she would wear knocking about her latter day highschool. I think she would spend most of her time in the music room, don't you?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

N is for Neville who died of ennui.

Any of you who went through a "goth phase" in their adolescence is no doubt familiar with artwork and books of one Edward Gorey. His illustrations, with their spidery, undulating, heavy, ink lines and gloomy pall are instantly recognizable. And, at an authorship of over a hundred books (ostensibly for children but some like "The Curious Sofa" were written almost entirely in double-entendre), very prolific. In my opinion, his stories and illustrations are the only reason directors such as Tim Burton's and bands like My Chemical Romance's aesthetic visions are able to exist (though as for the latter, I wish it didn't).
The look of his creative concepts were very distinctive, and as consequence, are essentially ripped off by every emo band's album cover art across the country. There's nothing I hate more than seeing an aesthetic wantonly abused. So, in a fashion related homage, I wondered to myself: "What would one of Edward Gorey's illustrations wear?". Not as some sort of "costume", but as a real life girl living in 2008?

Nothing too overt would do. After all, the Gorey girl is not one who craves attention. Translation: No Hot Topic gear. She would appreciate the soft, feminine aesthetic of the turn of the century and would desire to subtley emulate it in her everyday clothes. Such as this Urban Outfitters dress:
This Miu Miu dress would be first on her list for a big night out:

And she would never, ever be without a pair of black tights.

She is not impractical and most enjoys this Alexander Wang coat when the weather turns chilly:

Gary Graham blouse.

Delias pants.

Topshop hat.

Finally, shoes would be where her perverse side comes out to play. Givenchy's are a favourite.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Army of Me

I have always loved loved loved Tank Girl
For the uninitiated, it's basically a campy, post-apocalyptic action movie based on a comic strip, set in the now-not-so-distant year 2033, as seen through the day-glo raver lens of the early 90's. It's totally corny, totally awesome. It has Naomi Watts, pre her serious, blonde actress days as a very shy "Jet Girl" with a very heavy Australian accent. Lori Petty as, in essence, a bleach blonde, futuristic Gwen Stefani...on MDMA...with guns. And for god's sakes, Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo. And I can easily see where some designers could get there cues from her post nuclear meets Sid and Nancy style.

House of Holland. Jet Girl would wear this on a date, when she gets out of her wallflower phase.

Louise Goldin. The ladies would wear these on a jaunt into Liquid Silver.

Alexander Wang. For kicking Water and Powers' ass.