Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Footwear - Gladiator!

This is the image that says it ALL to me regarding my favorite thing about summer... sandals!

Ah, the feeling of grass between your well-shod, prettily pedicured toes:

But this year, we have a somewhat sinister development. The near ubiquitous (in NYC, anyway) GLADIATOR SANDAL.

It is ugly. It is aggressive. It is not at all man-friendly.

Yet every pretty young thing in this town is sporting a pair! What is it with these it a clever hedge against construction worker wolf whistles?? I think they're sorta cool (we do, afterall, have my dear Nicolas Ghesquiere to thank for this trend), actually, and perhaps I'm just jealous because my stumpy short legs just would not look good in this particular trend and I can't participate. But I'm officially OVER it - let's move on to a new look, ladies.

The ankle-height version in a heel (hello, Christian Louboutin) are somewhat fabulous...

The knee-height brown leather numbers...not so much, unless your legs look this (i.e., impossibly long) in them:

Actually, I'm kind of shocked that I haven't seen them yet on any Christian Siriano-wannabe, boy fashion victims yet... oh, the horror, the horror when and if that day comes!!! I'll keep you posted...

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blooming genius!

One of my favorite designers is Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga...he is a genius, truly.

Here is an interpretation of two of his iconic looks for spring. He mixed beautiful watercolor print florals with hard-core, sci-fi influenced jackets with mini skirts cut in stiff silk gazar...the effect is thought-provoking, challenging (what conventional woman wants to look like she's wearing something shaped like a beetle carapace?) and utterly beautiful.

I've actually used a blown-up image of the prints as a background to my sketches...don't sue me Nicolas! It's done out of love!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Finally, Spring!

I have been remiss in posting for the last couple of weeks - "writer's/artist's block" is my excuse - the ideas just were NOT flowing. It is an absolutely terrifying feeling, the possibility that there is just no more in the tap, and then aha, inspiration finally strikes!

I have seen so many cute spring jackets/coats at my subway stop recently! Here's a little abstract that expresses the sheer joy of warm weather finally returning to NYC...

Ode to the Trenchcoat

This time of year is so great because it brings back the trenchcoat, which Wikipedia tells me was designed by Thomas Burberry - the inventor of gabardine (who knew?) in 1901...amazing. The trenchcoat still looks fabulously chic over one hundred years later!

My favorite way to wear it is with a simple black turtleneck, very spy-lady...

Or buttoned up with cigarette pants, high heels, and a clutch bag...

Or with a black & white striped bateau shirt and a wide patent belt...

Or "hipster" style with checked Vans and leggings...

Or perhaps as a ballgown?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008



Narciso Rodriguez is one of the most talented designers among the (relatively) young crop in New York who manage to get support from somewhere to actually start a to impossible nowadays with all of these untalented celebrity chippies starting their own lines (Lauren Conrad?!? Jesus). Narciso is a craftsman, a genius, and thank goodness his business was saved by Liz Claiborne - of all things - before he went under. Hopefully he'll be able to make a go of it, because this guy is the real deal, and he has more than paid his dues.

High Times

Do you ever go shopping and get sorta high feeling from the sheer rush of it? I fracking love to shop for some reason...I recently had a fun day out with my friends Heidi and Bruce at butter, this great store in Brooklyn that has the perfectly curated selection of Dries (my personal god), Ports 1961, Marni, Rick Owens, etc. I tried on this incredible dress with a very clever seaming-pocket detail, and Heidi tried on harem pants (yes, harem pants) that were truly cool, no lie...she is probably the only person I know who could pull this look off! We were so giddy with how great these clothes were that we almost, the both of us, plunked down $1100 each until we were saved by reason - in fact, by Bruce - recovered, and left without buying anything (sorry, Eva!) even though I was also dearly coveting these great oxblood patent Dries pumps. We hadn't even been drinking!! Don't let this happen to you...bring a [male] friend who can help you see the light when you become overcome with the dewy haze of a great shopping experience and start to lose grip on your senses (and wallet).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Subway Fedora

This is an example of how a great accessory - a fedora, no less - can sort of take an outfit to a whole other spotted on the subway platform in Brooklyn on the way to work one day last week:

Clark Street

I sometimes see the best looks on people waiting for the subway at 9AM on weekdays in Brooklyn Heights...are they going to Wall Street in these outfits?? Doubtful.

This drop-waisted coat (what a great idea!!) was paired with slouchy cowboy boots, and no she wasn't standing like this on the subway platform - let's just call this "artistic license"...

Mad for Plaid

I saw this hipster girl in Fort Greene the other day sporting plaid, which I love, but usually only wear in the fall - an empire seamed little jacket in a lightweight cotton plaid is the perfect way to carry it into spring (if only I knew where she got that jacket!!)...

Seriously Skinny Jeans

People in New York are taking skinny jeans to serious extremes...if you've got it, flaunt it!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Last Year at Marienbad

The film Last Year at Marienbad (L'Année Dernière à Marienbad) is probably one of the most pretentious, gripping, obnoxious, fascinating, sickening, outright boring yet undoubtedly fabulous movies I've ever seen. It is a MUST-SEE for anyone who is interested in film, in fashion, and especially in both! But be prepared to hate it at the same time that you become convinced you should be loving it...

The film begins with a 10-minute narration which describes a glamorous, isolated, baroque resort hotel and its guests - slowly you realize it's the same set of words over and over and you really begin to believe it will never end.

Once the "action" starts, it is clear that the film - while mesmerizing - will continue in the same vein of subtle, slow "advance and retreat". The events - such as they are - involve a married woman who is the object of desire for a stranger who begins to convince her that they carried on an affair the year before at the same resort, though she has no recollection of the affair or of him. A bizarre card trick - run by the woman's tall, gloomy husband - is repeated continuously throughout the film, along with varying angles of the same group of guests murmuring quietly in expensively fashionable attire as the stranger works on the woman's mind...
The costumes in this film (made in 1961) are absolutely to-die-for, and any one of the looks could walk off the screen and onto any runway today and be considered the height of fashion. The clothes are one of the elements cited in many reviews of this film targeting the vacuousness of the characters, the emptiness of their social pretensions, the arch, icy facade of each set piece. The inaccessible aspect of the woman's beauty is what makes this film a favorite of designers seeking inspiration in the timeless chic of her haughty, but vulnerable, allure.

There is a metallic brocade number in this film that would make Miuccia Prada die if she saw it...what am I talking about, she probably has seen this movie a zillion times! This kind of an intellectual, art-house movie by the great Alain Resnais with costumes by - two words, people: Cha. Nel. - is catnip for a designer like her (supposedly a member of Italy's Communist party in her youth, if you can believe), so I have no doubt that dear Miuccia has seen this pretentious movie at least once and been duly influenced (either subconsciously or not).

The woman becomes progressively more disoriented as the stranger works on slowly altering her memory, not a seduction so much as an outright manipulation...she floats through the maze-like gardens at this point in the movie, even losing her shoe at one point! Fashion is definitely a "character" in this movie, I'm convinced...her garments literally swoon as she falls under the spell of the stranger...

...and the next two images are near the end (finally!) of the movie - an insane culmination of the twisted horror of losing one's sense of reality - expressed for some reason in fashion concoctions of first jet black and then snow white feathers. The woman cannot remember the supposed affair but has now become convinced and is on the edge of running away with the stranger...I can't say I would blame her since her husband resembles Lurch and this other fellow is a handsome Italian, but still - the mind games, the endless loop of this man's voice, his utter persistence have left her without the capability to resist. Sick and fabulous, all at the same time!