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! is a reprise of the image I also show above and which more specifically illustrates the hypnotic and maddening nature of this film...a fashion classic (costumes by Coco Chanel, for goodness sake!)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fur Collar

I struggle with ways to add texture & color to my line drawings without being heavy-handed (as can happen with keep painting and painting and oops! you go to far, and it's all over)...this is a decent example of learning restraint - with the help of Illustrator (and no, I don't work for Adobe - but it is the best thing since sliced bread!)

Papier Mache

As I have mentioned before, I am challenging myself to learn Illustrator's myriad fun tools, such as the one that allows you to create's a far less messy way to do the same effect as papier mache!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

La Sartorialista

For all 4 of you are reading this apologies for not adding more content more often! I didn't realize how much time it takes to actually maintain a blog...sigh. Anyhoo, I was really busy last weekend hanging out with one of my most sartorially gifted friends - she is a very snappy dresser, which luckily from a blogging standpoint, provided me with some fresh inspiration for sketching!

She is absolutely rocking the romantic blouse with wide-leg jeans at the moment...

Mini Me

I love the idea of a mini dress again...spring is coming!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Wouldn't the J.Crew catalog be just so much more fabulous if it had illustrations??

Sunday, March 2, 2008

What I want to wear...

...and perfect for my body type - short skirt for showing off skinny-ish legs while big sweater/blouse combination hides the old muffaletta* problem, heh heh.

*For anyone who has been to New Orleans and knows what I'm referring to (or if you haven't, the muffaletta is their signature sandwich!), that's going to be my new word for "muffin top", which I now have as a result of my rather indulgent trip to the Big Easy this past weekend. What a great city, so much great food!

Brian Reyes

This designer is fairly new to the scene - I think his work is progressing nicely, and he is on the shortlist of New York designers who could become "the next so-and-so" - perhaps one to watch. There's a great sunburst pleat detail at the center front belted waistline of this dress that is obscured in my drawing a little bit ("art" wins over truth in this case!)

Fashion, dahling.

This is a nice "editorial" dress - it is a long slinky column gathered into a sort of flounce at the top to form this kind of plumed neckline. It will look great photographed...not sure how it would be worn comfortably in real life. But who cares?? This is fashion, dahling. (3.1 Phillip Lim)

3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim does cute clothes at a somewhat reasonable price point (for "Designer") - I believe this look was a cropped, distressed leather jacket with a long, gathered chiffon skirt, worn with severe black bangs and a bunch of deco-ish long necklaces for a little attitude...

Marc Jacobs

This is a beautiful coat from Marc Jacobs - it looked like a giant, plush blanket perfect for the weather we've been having in NYC lately. He did these great feathered headpieces (that's not the model's hair!) that looked like plumed hats that soldiers might wear during the Napoleanic wars or some such thing. Pair with elfin booties and fantastic metallic leaf brooches for the full effect!

Marc does Donna

This languid crushed velvet number (in ice blue, from the vaguely 80's palette he is using for Fall '08) looks more like Donna Karan than Marc Jacobs to me...being tall & skinny helps!

Very Donna

This is a very Zen dress from the guru, Donna Karan - it's basically a very luxurious, fabulous bathrobe!

Calvin Costa

The current designer for Calvin Klein, Francisco Costa, sometimes does some great stuff - this dress looks like it would be fun to wear. It is a knife pleated ball gown in some kind of shimmery black fabric...

Monday, February 25, 2008


So here are a few thoughts about last night's fashion Super Bowl, the Oscars...
  • Under that awful haircut he had to sport in No Country for Old Men, it turns out Javier Bardem is HOT! (There was something strange about his suit, though.) And he brought his mom, awww - she looks like she's a hoot with those armloads of silver jewelry!
  • So bringing your mom to the Oscars means you're not yet jaded, cynical, and "meh" about the whole affair...unlike George Clooney, who brought his 24-year-old girlfriend and couldn't keep his eyes from rolling around in his head every time the camera came to him. Dude, quit trying to be all (fake) modest and date someone your own age!!!
  • I love these kooky creative types - apparently Diablo Cody, the screenwriter of Juno in the leopard number and black bob, was wearing Christian Dior - like the costume designer who won the evening's first award, both managed to look like they were wearing Forever 21 yet they looked cool in their own way, if a little cheap.
  • And what's with Daniel Day-Lewis of the double gold hoop earrings, with Rebecca Miller in Christian Lacroix? I kinda secretly loved their look, actually (they're the new Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis! Bohemians who live off the grid!!) and someone has to help bring back Lacroix, sweetie.
  • Getting now to what I liked...Cate Blanchett looked fabulous, as always - Dries Van Noten is an excellent choice for late pregnancy! She looked much more comfortable and chic than Jessica Alba, wearing Marchesa, who though beautiful (and the color was stunning) managed to look older than she is in her stately dress.
  • I thought Marion Cotillard looked great in Gaultier, if a bit like an extremely chic mermaid - she looked young, French, and happy...what more does one want in life? It's the jewels (a simple gold string) and the hair (pretty, long curls), people. If she had worn a ton of diamonds and an updo, it would have been tragic.
  • For once, I thought Nicole Kidman looked fabulous. She usually looks like death warmed over, in my opinion, but she put that deathly pallor to work for her at the Oscars in chic, sharp black satin (Balenciaga, love) and the best jewelry of the night...spiky, drippy
  • Why, oh why, does Cameron Diaz present an Oscar every year? Was she even in a movie in 2007? She's been in one good movie that I can recall, and the rest are like cartoons. Who is she sleeping with to get a prime spot on that show year after year?? That said, she looked great - beautiful, simple pale pink column dress with interesting draping details.
  • Jon Stewart was not funny, but I still love him.
  • Yay, Once! I am so glad that song won, and how sweet they let the girl back on to finish her speech! I heard that they're now a couple in real life. Love that!
  • I think Paul Thomas Anderson was robbed - There Will be Blood is a great movie and should have won more awards - but I guess I'll have to reserve judgment until after I've finally actually seen this year's winner, No Country for Old Men.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Managed to invest a little "attitude" in this sketch of a fairly ladylike look from Benjamin Cho. This is my struggle as an illustrator in this day and age of everything having to be soooo hipster and cool...most of my drawings are just a little too pretty, I fear!

Blue Velvet

This dress was an explosion of velvet flowers, very beautiful if impractical...
This is an experiment in "offsetting" color - I love the effect, because it makes a pretty black and white image into something a little more interesting (if not perfect...)
This shirt is very "editorial", as they will probably be shot for a million magazines, though you may not wish to wear it out, say, to dinner - it would be very easy to spill soup or drop a crouton in there somewhere! It makes for a very glamorous sketch though...