Sunday, January 31, 2010

Spring 2010 Couture: Chanel

Favorites, and some who didn't make the cut, with commentary. From the Spring 2010 Paris couture shows. All photos from

These were the words running through my head when I viewed the most recent Chanel collection. They're partly based on some sound bites Mr. Lagerfeld gave before the show: Karl. Silver. No gold. Lagerfeld. Pastel. Confections. Communion. Space Age. Now. Future. Old lady. Infantile. Mixed. Contradiction.
Karl Lagerfeld mixed in all the things I loved and hated about the couture shows. Something fresh and modern (tweed suits with shorts?) with old lady (again, like at Christian Dior, I thought I spied some Esmeralda hair from 101 Dalamations). Exquisite details rife in couture were abound, and I was impressed with the creativity and technique. But still, I felt like only a few of the pieces stoked my desire.

Spring 2010 Couture: Thimister

Josephus Thimister couture show. All pictures of fashion shows

Absolutely loved this show. I found it to be extremely relative to the times, but also including a bit of fantasy. Exaggerated and wearable. And again, the red! It's really just enough to raise ones blood pressure. Mr. Thimister, you just may give me a heart attack with all this red. But please, give me more anyway.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spring 2010 Couture: Valentino

Valentino could be summarized like this: pure genius. The color palette was something only a mastermind could come up with. More flesh tones, sure, but also acid yellows, the perfect shade of tomato red I've been lusting after and brick (brick!). The workmanship felt exquisite, like couture quality should. There were all the special details and workmanship you would expect from couture. He referenced trends, and then built on them, making them his own. Now here were some clothes that I would pay top dollar for.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spring 2010 Couture: Alexis Mabille

Where did this guy come from? He's so young, fresh, and ready to just take over the world one fashion show at a time. Loved the looks at this show. It was a little Batman-esque, with these outfits that I could see the joker grabbing right off the runway. That's what I liked though. Sometimes, it feels so good to be bad.

Spring 2010 Couture: Christian Dior

Sometimes I feel I'm crazy because I think the opposite of what all the fashion editors think. I consider myself an expert on all things fashion related. After all, I've been wearing and admiring clothes for 30-odd years now, so I would think it would give me just as much right to comment as anyone else. But whatever. Rest assured that everything I thought about the Christian Dior show was different than the feedback I read. Because I hated it. What was to like? I mean, the ball dresses at the end, they were nice, sure, sure, but there's a whole beginning part I have to review too, and the over all feeling towards that was hatred. First of all, I hated the buttoned blazers over turtleneck with long skirt look. It was very 2010-meets-old-lady. I think they show more skin in Saudi Arabia. You made stuff my grandmother would want to wear, not fashions for the next generation. It just seemed so staid and stuffy and overwrought. And then the next set of looks didn't get any better. You took the old lady and sent her off to Sunday school. Egads! All those frilly over done confections, what were you thinking John Galliano? People may say all that ends well bodes well, and the show ended well enough, with some lovely and wearable ball gowns at the end. But I say never forget, and with those frocks I had to look at in the beginning I'm having a really hard time wiping the old memory slate clean. Isn't that one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Brightest Diamond

My Brightest Diamond, before, after, during aforementioned rave-dance solo. You can see bits of her feather-like cape dangling in back.

This Friday I went to see My Brightest Diamond, who sings rock pierced with staccato guitar licks, replete with yelps and howls. They played at the Bowery ballroom. The singer enhanced the performance by doing everything from singing the blues to doing a spastic rave dance during a drum solo (my favorite part). They also wore costumes that make any fashionista die. The costumes were dazzling: black leotards with white, asymmetric shoulder embellishments replete with a feather like cape in the back. Genius. They sorta looked like misplaced black condors after a particularly spectacular flight. Very Rodarte. I wish I was able to capture them better in my photographs, but what I have featured here will have to do. The best thing about this show is how seamlessly the musicians blended art forms: there was costumes, music and dance. This was not an attempt to cover bad music, but rather the opposite: it stemmed from an appreciation of the arts, and how each art form works together to create beauty and meaning. The show was in a word: captivating. I wish you could have been there.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Video "Bull in the Heather" by Sonic Youth from 1994.

Some people may remember the 90's as all flannels and mom jeans, but there was really so much more to the decade. How could we forget the ravers, and also all the girls (including the ravers) who sported those sweet, infantile looks. I think this Sonic Youth video is a great example of those looks. Here, and very young and sweet Kathleen Hanna (you must remember her from Bikini Kill) prances around in pigtails. Kim Gordon writhes around a bed in a baby doll dress (very Courtney Love, who she played bass for on "Violet" by the way). Later, she is seen in a synthetic pink mini-skirt, a look borrowed from the rave scene. I also want to point out that the rave scene and skateboard scene were very connected initially. I remember raving being a viable alternative scene at the time, not a home for lost, drug addled youth as people seem to remember it. I would like to see these looks explored next in fashion.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Street Smarts

Watch My Back

Cool kids bag of choice lately? Turn around. The backpack has taken on new cache. It's practical and chic. Found in all materials, it appears to be most popular in leather. The girl below said she got hers at the thrift store, telling me there needs to be more of these on the market. Designers, get your pencils going!

No. 6 Clogs. Click here to see more of Refinery 29's suggestions for floral shoes this Spring.

I don't care what anyone says. Clogs are the new Doc Marten. And flowers are the new plaid. Making these shoes the cutest ones you could have this spring. (And on another note, don't be afraid these won't match with your stuff. I had floral shoes once, and they looked great with everything, promise.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Golden Children

Key Looks from the 2010 Golden Globes

Drew Barrymore encapsulated the important trends of the night with her skin tone dress, assymetric neckline, and accented hip. Dress by Versace Atelier. For source click here.

Stunning as always. She also went with an assymetric neckline, and a va-va-va- voom thigh high slit. Dress Valentino. For source click here.

Diane Kruger was a refreshing pink gem floating in a crowd of wash-out muted colors. This dress by Christian Lacroix Haute Couture. Picture

Shoulder flourish and asymmetric neckline were popular trends at the 2010 Golden Globes. January Jones in Lanvin. Picture

Cameron Diaz made me want to toss all my orangey-reds back in my closet. Just so stunning. Dress Alexander McQueen. For source click here.

Maggie Gylenhaal, possibly my absolute favorite dress of the evening. Dress in RM by Roland Mouret. Picture

Sandra Bullock wore my color of choice for 2010 (see Pantone's color of the year post). Dress Bottega Veneta. Picture

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Children

Meryl Streep's assymetric neckline and red lipstick embody the over-all look of the Golden Globes. Photo from CBC news.

What can I say? The Golden Globes were just so, so glamorous. So many favorite dresses, how can I mention them all? Cameron Diaz: gorgeous, loved the red. Same to you Amy Poehler. Whoever said orange is the new red hasn't seen a woman in a classic red dress for a while. Loved Maggie Gyllenhaal: an irresistable peach who I just wanted to take a bite out of. Jennifer Aniston and Meryl Streep, keeping the black dress interesting with either a high high slit or a asymmetric neckline. Speaking of asymmetric necklines, this was seen on many of the dresses. There were also hip flourishes spotted on a few numbers (think Drew Barrymore, Jody Foster) and cut-out looks (loved Felicity Huffman's). Overall, colors were relegated to soft peaches, pinks, blacks, with a punch of red (and red lipstick). Golden Globes, you go and let your stars shine.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Love Will Conquer All

So funny that Dazed and Confused had this article about Courtney Love this month because I have been so meaning to dig up some ol' Hole videos and give them a go on here. The best one doesn't have and embed link, so to see a complete version click here. Ms. Love is THE definitive grunge era girl. With all this hoopla about the 90's being back in fashion it's time to give her some r-e-s-p-e-c-t. Note the sweet slip dress with her matted hair and smeared lipstick. Here's to a woman who eschewed traditional forms of femininity and gave male patriarchy a big fuck you with every performance. Courtney Love, I heart you.

Brittany Murphy Inducted Into Secret Society

Film still, "Uptown Girls" from allmoviephotos

Brittany Murphy, we love you. I still remember when you were Cher's beauty experiment in Clueless. You really grew from there. If there is one way for all to remember you, it would have to be in this outfit from Uptown Girls. I love the distressed denim with the patches. I will wear this outfit this Spring and dedicate it to you. You've been inducted. Love, Secret Society

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just For The Long and Short of It

Long, elegant and accessorized to a t, loving these outfits from .

The exaggerated silhouette of the boots really amplify the sex appeal, making it easier to wear this look.

The coat also adds to the sex appeal. It's unexpected, but ties in with the textures and accessories perfectly.

Speaking of blogs, and I speak of mine a lot lately, a friend showed me this: While the blog focuses on one girl taking pictures of herself, something I can find a little self-serving, I will forgive this girl for doing it well. And, I have to admit...I love her outfits. Anyway, I was REALLY lovin' this one, with the long dress. Part relaxed boheme, and other part rock star, she looks ready to run off with the band any moment now. For the upcoming summer months this is a definite do. What a refreshing move from yester-summers short shorts and mini's. How much skin can we bear to bare? Here's to a long, long decade.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Color Stories

This just in from NPR: atoms splitting can look really cool. I just love the three shades of grey with the red in this illustration. Oh, the wonders of science.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Peruvian High Life

Group dyeing yarn using the cochineal beetle. This beetle in central to dyeing techniques in this part of the world. It produces colors from pink to red-orange to a deep burgundy red.

Man wearing traditional vest and knitting chullo. Knitting is practiced mostly by women, but by both men and women in some communities.

Woman spinning thread on her phusca, or drop spindle. Spinning is done by most in these villages, especially those unable to weave because of extreme youth or old age. All photos from the book "Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands" by Nilda CallaƱuapa Alvarez

OMG, so absolutely fabulous. Totally jealous of anyone who gets to wear these clothes on a daily basis. I am just ready to rip an item of clothing off from each wearer. I would coordinate them with my skinny jeans and tromp down the mean streets of New York City. There I would shock and awe all with the wondrous creations I'd be wearing. These are from a book I got for Christmas (thank-you Marina!) . If you knew the work each person put into each textiles you would never take a piece of cloth lightly again.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Pantone Color Swatch of The Year

Swatch depicting Pantone's color for 2010. Go to their website here to read more.

At first I thought they were crazy. I mean, turquoise!? With all the new colors I've been excited about right now like fleshy peach, lemon zest, and jade, how could they choose turquoise!? It felt like a violation. But still, maybe they have a point. Turquoise does remind you of the serene waters at your favorite island get-away. You know, the one you can't get to this year because it costs too much damn money? Yeah, that one. It also is a great way to segue from the greens and other warm colors so popular of late. Even so, given my choice, I'd vote for a different color. Maybe reddish purple. This color, seeing tromping all over runways this season is also a great way to segue from warm to cool. And as for its soothing qualities? Er, I'll have get back to you about that one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Color Charge

I just felt so inspired by the colors in this photo from Sunday's New York Times I had to share.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Shabba Ranks: A Trailer Load Of 90's Fashion

So maybe you remember him better as Mr. Loverman. However you remember him, you gotta love this video I found. What I enjoyed best are all the hot 90's trends featured in it. There is enough day-glow and underwear as outerwear in in this video for an average girl to wear from now straight into 2020. I was literally hard pressed to pick a favorite outfit, but forced to make the choice I'd say it has to be a toss up between the peach spandex body-con shorts outfit and the green sequin hot-shorts. Keep your eye on the black outfit with the gold coin embellishment. That is what I see reinterpreted for 2011. Oh, and Mr. Ranks? Love the hair.