Thursday, July 31, 2008

An innie or an outtie

The Moment just published this In/Out list by Chris Moukarbel and unlike them, I love In/Out lists. To do one correctly you have to understand very small nuances across broad cultural categories. That or just like making declarative statements.

I think making lists like these can be an interesting exercise and I'd like to try myself, but even more so, I'd like M. Kirstin S. to make one and then I can just look at it and feel smart by proxy.

I agree with Chris though, I always feel my freshest while snapping--it's how I dance. I hold up my wrist just to show off my Casio.

Copy Editor

Susie Bubble posted these looks from "mum-pleasing" label COS. On first glance, I was quite taken with the clothes, as I often am when confronted with things that are outside my normal style palette. While the aesthetic here is obviously demure, what we have to go on is quality of fabric and cut. In other words, while there's nothing to grab at immediately in terms of innovation, there is a definite point of view. Subtlety is the statement, since the recognizable outfit elements are all there, but they're provided depth through opacity and layering, and made interesting by the quiet tweaks in proportion.

But then I got to thinking. There are two kinds of reactions I have when looking at collections: 1) The kind that makes me want to run out and create the looks for myself, i.e. the inspirational kind. Usually in this case it's because the vision of the designer has spoken to a part of my taste that springs immediately to "I can do that!" And then I'm sent every which way. 2) The other kind is more of a "Hmm" category. Not in the bad sense. But it's not like I'm going to all of a sudden limit myself to blacks and grays and shades of brown. I'm not going to mute other styles to edit myself down. But I'm still intrigued, thinking about the kind of person who would and could easily incorporate these very focused looks. In the case of the above COS images, what's working here is the ensemble. Separately, the pieces would be boring. You'd get a cardigan. You'd get a white shirt. But worn together, they express something collectively. And because each of the shapes and fabrics rely on each other to express whatever their message is, you'd have to keep them together.

My question is: what's the value in creating these puzzle pieces that resist the mix and match we usually value in dressing, in subscribing to one look? More than other kinds of looks, these (and I'm also thinking of other brands that market themselves at lifestyles, at a certain kind of person who would wear their clothes) sort of force you into a staple category. Is it such a bad thing to open a closet and see a narrow range of looks? Not to wow with variety and flexibility, but rather with discretion and subtle difference? Does this take away from the game of dressing, or is it a different game entirely?

Usually, this is a question of age. Youth is the privilege of eclecticism, and as you get older, you focus. Or not. I think the "boring" looks above take on new meaning when someone obviously young wears them.

It's fun to think about. Could I pull it off? Do I want to pull it off?


Witty and well-crafted jewelry from Chao & Eero brings new meaning to the directive "Express yourself." Chao & Eero are a goldsmithing duo from Finland in business since 2005. The typographical rings above are part of their "Signs" collection, which I adore for the clever way each piece is worn on the body. While I imagine most of the rings would fall off my fingers, they're certainly quality items. Other collections include Pyromance and Tomppu, which both take playful concepts and construct them out of fine metals.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bad Seed

Right now I'm into seed beads. I own a belt almost exactly like the one on the bottom right. It says Arizona across the back and I love it, but the beads are slowly coming off and I leave a trail wherever I go. The earrings are also cool and something I could actually make myself. With the earrings, the more colorful the better and the longer the better. Just don't come at me with bugle beads; they subtly ruin the look.

Find a lot at ebay store Beads Corner.

The belts are from ebay and etsy.


Mygazines just revolutionized how I procrastinate. Want to read Russian Vogue this afternoon? Why not.

The Trad

The Trad is a blog that follows preppy fashion in a way that makes preppy seem cool. He uses a lot of nice old photos to illustrate his point of view. It's written by a man for men, but he throws in some women's too.

Which Motorcycle Boots?

These motorcycle boots.

New to J.Crew

J.Crew just restocked their website and while I definitely love their simplicity and great use of color, they have seemed a little misguided lately. The dress on the top suits the Mad Men craze and proves that Michael Kors doesn't have a monopoly on that look. For whatever reason, to counter the retro sophistication of that dress, they went and made a couple of Abercrombie-esque t-shirts that leave a bad bad taste in my mouth.

The bright pea coat with an interesting fold-over collar and great tiny buttons is on the right track. I love the contrast of the color and the boucle mohair, making it slightly edgy and slightly preppy. I would probably pair it with black motorcycle boots.

The cardigan is an important standby and might just be the item I need to look like a certain waitress I was admiring.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Etsy- Childhood Flames

A little while ago I posted about one of my favorite blogs making the leap to etsy. That was Vain and Vapid. I've been keeping track of her etsy store and it seems as though things are going well- her new dress sold out before I could get my hands on one.

There's another blogger making the leap as well. This time Camille of Childhood Flames has signed up to start selling her popular circle skirts in her own etsy shop. They are cute, wearable, and make me totally jealous that at 15 I was nowhere near as successful (although I was on my way to a great career as a tennis camp counselor).

-Every time I've checked the store its been empty, but I think that's just because they're selling like hotcakes!

No Cold Shoulder

I love clothes that make me laugh. This dress from Ann-Sofie Back from Tres-Bien Shop is the perfect example. To everyone else I'm wearing a black dress, then I look down at my puffy shoulders and smile.

Pretty Pretty Pencey

Here are a few looks from Pencey's Holiday 2008 collection. I am more familiar with Pencey for making structured solids, but I am happy to see the mix of grunge, futuristic, and feminine that appears in these looks. Each of the looks seems to carry 2 of the 3 without relying to heavily on 90's references making the collection varied, but surprisingly cohesive.

Blue Suede Shoes

Michelle and I did a lot of shopping when we were in Copenhagen. A lot. It even became easy to ignore the $$$ getting weaker and weaker because everywhere we turned there were great clothes and stylish people to be inspired by.

My single greatest regret was passing up on a pair of bright green Clarks Wallabees. They were suede and bright bright green and wonderful and what was I thinking. I've searched the internet high and low for a pair since, but nothing has come up until today. Since Oak has been giving deep discounts to clear out their store they're ready for some fall stuff- including these Penny Loves Kenny Wallabee knockoffs creatively named "Walkabouts".

I will still always love my Desert Boots though- and expect to see a lot of variations on boys this fall.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Like Subscribing to RSS Candy from a Baby

oh my god what the crap
how is a 12 year old such a good blogger
what the crap
Michelle: sweet God
I hate myself
I am officially going to flush myself down a toilet
I don't understand how she has the self-awareness to create a blog
aren't you still inseparable from the human ooze at that point?
Elizabeth: i have no idea
it makes me uncomfortable to look at
Michelle: I quit

Faux Lagerfeld

Please shut up. I am very busy and important.
Have you seen this yet? It's a blog maintained by a fake Karl Lagerfeld. I return time and again to the same five or six Karl soundbytes, but now I get to browse a virtual treasure trove of quotables. If you ever wondered what would happen if you put Karl Lagerfeld's brain on an IV drip connected to a microblogging outlet, this is what would inevitably result.
"I am going to construct a building site, that is what I'm going to do. No building, just a building site. I love the smell. All those pretty builders."
You know how they say it takes a foreigner to bring out the potential whimsy of a mother tongue? Actually, I don't know if they say that, but I imagine that this is true and accounts for our fascination with malaprop and Borat. Anyway, Karl Lagerfeld is about as foreign as it gets. He simply is out of control out of this world.

Fake Karl is like the imagined terrain of the Lagerverse. Meandering, clueless, dismissive and endearing. Can you tell the difference between real and fake Karl? Let me rephrase that: do you want to?


how are we going to get into the alexander wang after party?
Michelle: what if the secret surprise is free clothes for everybody
Elizabeth: haha
it's funny that that's the best thing i could think of
Michelle: yeah
Elizabeth: its probably a band though, right?
: hmmm...probably
or a dance squad on segways
Elizabeth: yes a dance squad

Monday, July 21, 2008

Inner City Snail

This post has nothing to do with fashion and everything to do with making me smile.

See here

Hi my name is Elizabeth and I'm addicted to shopping

A Rose by any other Name

Celebrity designer collaborations can be such a mixed bag. It seems great to be able to emulate your favorite celebrity's style, but it is not so easy for a brand to box it up and sell it. For this reason I am anxiously awaiting Rachel Bilson's line with DKNY Jeans called Edie Rose. I love her style, but I am nervous that the line could fall flat. DKNY Jeans is an interesting brand to partner with. I don't see Bilson as a DKNY girl and she embodies California style which does not match up with DNKY Jeans's urban undertone. The campaign that WWD posted last week made my heart sink a little, but I finally found some images of the line and I can say that things are looking good. I love the choice limiting the palate to black and white with notes of yellow. It looks edited, young, and current. I like a lot. The line of 15 pieces comes out in September.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Dripping in Gold

This gold Forget Me Knot ring has been around for a little while now. I initially came very close to buying it. I love the idea of something meant to be a temporary reminder turned into something more permanent. They are made from a mold of a real string that designer Kiel Mead tied on her finger. Sunday's Best has taken a similar idea by casting friendship bracelets. I love friendship bracelets and always have. They are great symbols of youth and summertime. I always wore the ones I made at camp until they were so disgusting they just fell apart. If I knew how to make jewelry I would knot each one separately into different patterns and cast unique bracelets.

Also, yesterday I saw Nantucket-style sailing bracelets cast in gold, but I cannot find them today- if anyone saw what I saw please send me the link!


I love you Alexander Wang, but give Chris B. his mohair back.

Batting a Thousand

read it here!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Hawaiian Tropic

I am so super excited- I mean stoked, its stoked right? has a whole section of Hawaiian wear. I have been slightly obsessed with Hawaiian wear of late and want to only wear big hibiscus flowers in off color combinations. I am actually not interested in the kitsch factor of these styles, I actually love them. They remind me of growing up in California and I think the print will be big for Resort 09, so buy now and be ahead of the curve.

Thanks, Racked

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cowboy Pee Pants?

From Stella Neptune, screenprinters and clothing revivalists.

Clean Up Everybody Everywhere

Last night I sat down to an episode of The Wire and an overstuffed PB&J wrap. It was perfection. (I now measure time in episodes of The Wire. 1 Wire = 60 min.) But as glop after glop of jelly and peanut ooze snuck out the bottom of my concoction, I thought about how stains + me = inseparable.

Good thing Little Factory was nice enough to include cleaning instructions with their shipment notice for the number scarf I bought from them last week. The email directed me to a charming page that photographically documented the care instructions for their product.
See? A little soap and water and good as new! And if Mystery Arm can do it, I certainly can in a mere quarter of a Wire.

Sew: a needle pulling thread

Last night I was altering a top I got this weekend from the new location of Angel Street Thrift Shop- I am happy to say that they decided to come to my own neighborhood and the shop is very nice. The interior is clean, modern and not at all cluttered. As I was sewing through layers of denim I broke my needle and it came flying toward my eye (blindness happens to be my worst fear).

Just as I overcame that trauma and regained my excitement for sewing Alison sent me the link to Burda Style. It is an open source sewing site that allows users to post their own creations and patterns. I am excited to find some fun patterns and hopefully create something wearable.

Re: Bill Cunningham

Thanks for highlighting Bill Cunningham, Elizabeth. Oh man! This has probably been up there in my favorite NYT multimedia features of all time, along with The Minimalist (see episode featuring the Mini-malist).

He doesn't pretend otherwise: Bill Cunningham's persona is kind of an anachronism these days. But he always manages to be right on point while being tragicomically (I'm sorry...but it's true!!) clueless. He stalks the streets looking at women like a loving zoo patron, treating his subjects' style with the shock and awe usually reserved for children marveling at the things an orangutan throws around his cage.

My favorite episode is probably the one highlighting the vertical wonder of Parisian women's shoes at the latest fashion week. He focuses his lens on the complicated foot cages that stomp Paris' Rues and waxes bemusedly about French sartorial boldness.

This Mr. Magoo of street style snappers is worth obsessing over, and following closely, because he appropriately reveres and highlights the circus that is fashion, with all its strutting and plumage.

On the Street| Crazy old men

This weekend my friend Paul told me to watch Bill Cunningham's slideshows for the New York Times style section.

They are at once unintentionally hilarious and very informed. Watch for yourself- this week he discusses pencil skirts and how we put up with the constriction. The slide show images emphasize the stalker in street stalker.

Friday, July 11, 2008

DIY: Fleet Ilya

The other day I saw a girl wearing a pair of suspenders hooked onto a belt around her waist instead of onto her pants. The look was so obnoxiously hip I knew instantly that I must replicate it. I was excited when Susie Bubble posted about Fleet Ilya because one of their belts/harnesses (?) has the same shape while looking like an actual accessory. This is key when trying not to look obnoxiously hip. The line has a ton of great belts and bags, but since I am on a tight budget and have no idea where they're sold I ventured on an ebay search to recreate the Fleet Ilya look myself. The result was these tan leather suspenders that I will have to find a belt to go with and will probably require some sort of a trip to a cobbler, but I think will turn out nicely.

It's all in your head

Thank you Jennifer Romolini for saying exactly what I'm thinking.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

If the Shoe Fits

I don't know...make it 11 different kinds of shoes in one? Nice try, Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy.
Actually, 11 is just a guess. Boot, spectator, gladiator, Mary Jane...How many styles can you guys count in there?

Cues and Whispers

From Stockholm. Filippa K launches a novel retail concept around its new branded secondhand shop.
Any clothing enthusiast wages war not only with his or her own stuff, but with the idea of accumulating, generating, encouraging and disseminating said stuff. But the people at Filippa K have come up with a way to welcome back and repackage their clothes, all within the family. Have a couple Filippa K sweaters you have no use for? Sell it through the very people whose name is on the label.

The not-for-profit idea not only promotes environmental consciousness through its emphasis on reuse and recycling, but also reflects positively on the timelessness and high quality of Filippa K's garments to begin with. The shop will also carry seasonal collection samples to keep the inventory fresh.

As Springwise points out, the concept signals a welcome and "healthy antidote to fast fashion."

As someone who has always paid her clothes forward, it's also exciting to note the possibilities from the shopping end. There's joy in curated, assorted vintage, to be sure, but now you can shop at your favorite brands knowing that the garment you hold was proudly owned and worn by a fellow Filippan. Or Phillipan...hint hint.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dressed in Malia Mills

I just discovered that in addition to the most perfectly simple and flattering swimwear Malia Mills makes a collection of dresses. They seem to follow her same philosophy of being beautiful on a wide range of figures. The whole collection is casual and easy to wear with just enough special touches to make you stand out. My favorite is the black Mommy Dearest dress because I'm dying for something that buttons up the back. Also, if you're looking for a new bikini or are lucky enough to have the best legs in the world. These Majorette Shorts are perfection.