Wednesday, October 29, 2008

cold hands, warm heart

There is quite a cold snap going on here, and I find myself unprepared. Seriously, I have like, two sweaters that aren't ugly and fit. This is complicated by the fact that I am currently broke.

Jacket: TJ Maxx Shoes: Target Skirt: Wet Seal Hat: Thrifted Shirt: Walmart (boys section)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Oh, Susannah

I have made no secret of the fact that I loathe living in the rural south. Nevermind that I live in the second largest metropolis of my state. I have found myself, since the age of ten, constantly stunted and dead-ended emotionally and creatively by living here. I live in perhaps the most unpicturesque part of the entire state. I bore quite easily, and I have seen many people of similar temperments given over to apathy, bitterness, or just a bad liquor fixation before they hit 25 here in Alabama. I could go into a big rant, but suffice it to say everything from the (unseasonably hot and sticky) weather to the indigenous culture has never meshed well with me.

That having been established, I am always delighted (and okay, a bit suprised) whenever Sweet Home AL shows any sign of civilisation. So when I read about Florence, AL based designer Billy Reid in my brand new issue of Nylon, I googled him in haste. Florence, for those of you uninitiated, is somewhere between a quaint town and a spot in the road, it's two great landmarks being the FLW Rosenbaum House (which I have mentioned previously), and the University of North Alabama.

Upon entering Mr. Reid's website, I will admit to being at first blush, underwhelmed. His clothes are not unlike what you might find in J. Crew or, for us girls, Anthropologie. But as I looked closer, I began to appreciate the smaller, finer details. The curve of a seam. The lining of a pocket. Ticking on an inside dart. Do take advantage of the "zoom" tool on his site to see what I mean.

And while his prices are somewhat perplexing in these lean times, and I honestly have no idea what sort of market he can aquire in Florence, a town currently in the economic downswing, I can certainly appreciate the obvious amount of work in his clothes and indeed his stores (check out the website pics). And as an anachronism fiend, have a great appreciation for the Civil War tenor of his aesthetic.
I would gladly take this apron dress home any day of the week.

I will get around to answering all your delightful comments and adding to my blogroll when I find myself in posession of a greater surplus of time, I apologize. And part two of my European post IS coming soon, please, hold me to that, or I shall surely forget.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How To Dress European

A guide to dressing like an exotic and worldly European woman, as written by a biased pseudo-Russo-Jew who's spent half her short life in the writhing south.

the cliches about French dressing are mostly true. Simple but with a twist. And yes, most of the allure of Gallic chic lies in actually being French I'm afraid. So attempting it at say, your local Walmart or a square dance, will have mixed results. I know.

Most of these items will need to explanation. Fluttery silk blouse= chic.

A little secret about Euro women: They're cheap. There are exceptions of course, but they adore fashion and don't like to spend much money on it. Sample sales and outlet stores are their friend.

French women love miniskirts and never got that whole fashion mag memo about "no minis over 25!". Good for them.

Every iconoclastic french woman from Deneuve to Gainsbourg has worn a trench. I think there's a good reason for that. This one has nifty zippers.

On anyone else, that leather skirt+ these boots would = slutty. But Frenchness means such concerns about too much or not enough belongs with ugly Americans who don't smoke and are scared of carbs.

Italians are all about nero nero nero. And take risks that the French girls sometimes won't. Sometimes it really works and sometimes it really doesn't

My Italian professor was OBSESSED with skinny black pants. She wore them almost every day for an entire school year. Seriously, I never saw a skirt on the woman.

Again, at least one inexpensive thing.

This Chloe jacket is l'ultima moda. Yes, this is daywear. How dare you even ask.

My poor Italian professor. If she ever sees this blog she'll never forgive me....Okay, one more anecdote: She used to ride her bike to school. In five inch platform shoes. Every day. She sometimes came to class with bandages on her face and palms, but she always looked fashionable. I've never seen her without her height having been jacked up a good four inches, so I'm honestly not sure how tall she is.

I've never seen an Italian woman with a french bag.

Part two possibly coming soon, depending on how much flack I get from people taking this way too seriously.

P.S. Sorry for the pic hugeness. Blogger is being hormonal.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We All Can't Copy Kate Lanphear

This outfit is really unflattering. The blazer is too big, the cut-offs (yes these are shorts not some hideous denim skirt) hit me in the wrong place, the boots make my legs look shorter. My well meaning homage to Louise Ebell has instead given me Helena-Boneham Carter's hair. My Puritanical mom is ripping me a new one for wearing shorts that go above my knees. I should probably just change back into my flattering bootcut jeans and a sweater and get to class, right?

Nope. For some weird reason, I don't particularly care anymore. My professors are looking at me like I came from Saturn, but it's midterms and they're giving me crappy grades anyways. It sort of feels good.

cut-offs- random jeans I ruined. blazer- Target. t-shirt- Hanes. tights- Walmart. Shoes-Delia's.

Fashion blogging has turned me punk.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Talk About it, Stud

Every time I buy a new pair of shoes, my parents make a crack about me becoming Imelda Marcos. Now, they seem to ignore the fact that, including running/walking shoes, I only own twelve pairs. But they probably have a point in that if I had a regular paycheck now, most of it would probably be blown irresponsibly on footwear. My 'real life' friends would probably be shocked to know this. I had quite a scene the other day where I suddenly dropped my things, swore profusely, and lobbed my very uncomfortable pair of suede flats at the nearest garbage can. I proceeded to walk around campus the rest of the day, no doubt contracting some kind of disease from the floors of the liberal arts building.

So, this post is dedicated to the "moderately priced" footwear. Not the Ann Demeulemeester lace ups or Chloe clodhoppers that will most likely elude me until adulthood. But those over a hundred dollars that remain heartbreakingly close but exceed my budget. (Such as those UO boots, see post below) First up are these delicious Free People doc-a-likes for $388:
Mmmm, studs. Leath-ah. I know what you're thinking. "DIY". And true, the studs themselves would be simple to replicate. But the boots themselves? That soft, distressed buttery leather could only be approximated by very vintage docs. And Alabamians are not known of their love of grunge/punk. Though, should you find some in size six, feel free to send them my way.

Urban Outfitters should really be paying me a commission. I'm a big fan of knee boots. They keep you warm and make your legs look longer/slimmer, and not to mention, sexy. I love the odd shape of these, and the heels look very comfortable and stable, which is a challenge when you go to university that sits on hill and has flagstone sidewalks. $298 dollars worth of futile longing by Dolce Vita.

Many blogs have been lit up lately with odes to Pygmalion. The Pygmalion shoe by LD Tuttle, that is. I find the random tuft of feathers in the back offputting, but they're so damn cool, if I had the $578 to buy them I could gladly ignore it.

My inner MGMT groupie has a major crush on Minnetonka boots. I don't think they would be particularly flattering on my stubby legs, and given that I have naturally long, black hair, the "Pocahontas" comparisons would be sort of inevitable. But at a gumball short of $100 dollars at Delia's (not including shipping) I doubt I will ever get to solve that problem.