Thursday, January 31, 2008

Shopping- Sales

If you live in NY head over to Gargyle's DUMBO showroom this weekend for their winter sale. Winter merchandise will be up to 70% off. This is a good excuse for my first visit- DUMBO may be far, but not too far to keep me from the most carefully edited inventory I've seen of late. For those of you who don't know Gargyle, the aesthetic is prep-school/country club chic with a huge emphasis on chic.

I also love their website- more on great lines with correspondingly great websites later.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You heard it here second, or maybe third

Apparently I should have spent today dip-dyeing my tights, and my dress, and hey a scarf might be cute too.

As seen on StyleBubble and Fashionista this afternoon.

Fashionista's DIY: Lacroix Leggings

Susie Bubble's Dylon Experiment

I'm not sure why I find both of these so obnoxious- maybe its because I actually love tie-die and am waiting for it to get the attention it deserves, maybe its because it seems a little fashion elitist, it could be too cutesy for me, or probably most likely I'm annoyed that I didn't do it first.

Also, not to worry- Urban already has you covered if you're too lazy.

Oh, and the Gap.

High/Low- I want shoes

Mostly I want to be able to wear sandals and fun heels without my feet freezing off. Shoes often hit right at the heart of a serial shopper's dilema: to buy clothes out of season or to wait... Several new styles solve that problem. They will work in spring with bare feet, but can also be worn now with tights.

ShopBop has only five styles by Chie Mihara, but each is amazing. These two are my favorite, too bad at over $300 each they are out of reach.

Thankfully Nine West just put out their Spring line and there are a couple standouts that while not as special as the Chie Miharas, they will certainly look great (esp with something Proenza or Thakoon). An added bonus is that they are only $90.

What to do with a shapeless dress

Vicky "won" this dress on ebay- when it arrived I was so excited to borrow it. As you can see in the detail shot of the neckline, the whole thing has really cool embroidery and the neck is faded into a pinker shade that actually looks great.

Unfortunately when I put it on it was completely shapeless in a way that just a waist belt won't help. Instead I hiked it up a bit and folded the fabric to hide the belt, then I added some green tights (American Apparel), mens wing-tip oxfords (also ebay), and some ghetto-fab earrings.

The key to this outfit was having enough going on to keep up with the dress and make it younger without going over the top. Mixing colors and adding fun accessories made it work.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Be Mine, Jovovich-Hawk

Their new Spring 2008 stuff isn't even in stores, but you can browse their campaign looks on their website right now. While they've always had a signature style (great details, very feminine), each season still offers surprises in direction. I'm thrilled to see that they've gone a bit more Boogie Nights, a bit more "I've forgotten my mantra," a bit more confectionary, all in great Spring-y neutrals and pale yellows. There are a billion pieces I'd love to snag up. And with my college graduation around the corner, maybe something will go on sale before then...

How extraordinary is the pop of those hot pink earrings with the soft daffodil dress? And the easy, but body conscious cut and drape of both dresses? Sigh.

Would styling this with a parasol and gloves be a little too over-the-top?

Rediscovering belts

One of the best parts about going home is finding clothes you forgot you had. This time it was the belt that I bought in Dubrovnik out of necessity. I was half-way through my three week spring break Euro-trek and my J Brands were getting too baggy. There was no chance of finding a laundromat in Croatia where I could shrink them. luckily there was a leather shop and a kind old man ready to help me out.

This belt is slightly off in a couple ways- it is too narrow, the color is an unusual pinkish tan, and the buckle is plain ugly. All the more reason to fall in love with it again.

Here are three ways that I plan on incorporating it into my wardrobe -- all of them knotted, not buckled, which is the freshest way to wear a belt as we transition to spring.

Spring Preview- Clarks

Michelle's been wearing them for years. I just got my first pair in the fall. Expect to see them all over the place this spring. Probably more boys will be wearing them than girls (hint: the fashion director of loves his Wallabees- watch for their spring preview), but then again Natalia Vodianova wore their Desert boots in Vogue this summer.

Friday, January 18, 2008

& Then

Lambs Ear just previewed Dutch designer Ellen Verbeek's new Spring 2008 shoes. I can't believe I was JUST in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood and neglected to drop in. Oh well. Probably fared better for my pocketbook.

Check out these little numbers:

No price tag listed yet...

I learned a new term from What Not to Wear the other day: pseudo-neutral. This applies to dark greens and navy blues that are technically colors, but still look good with everything. Well, how great would those shoes look with these pieces I'm looking forward to calling my own?

And these two from The Urban Collection. 

Just Wondering

Is taste necessarily a normalizing force? 

Last night I watched one of my favorite movies again: American Psycho. For me, it marked the transformation of one of my most adored teen idols, Christian Bale (from Newsies and Little Women), into a (murdering, monstrous, brilliantly acted) man. The whole thing is based on a novel by Bret Easton Ellis, and is meant to satirize a particular cultural moment characterized by professional and personal greed. Decadence is the name of the game, and the film totally skewers the 80s' unabashed material indulgence by turning everything into a soulless pursuit. 

What does this have to do with Cowboy Pants? By some measure, very little. But in other regards...well, let's just say it touched on some of the guilt I harbor for dwelling on what to some may seem like a petty concern: clothes. A particular scene struck a chord with me this viewing, and that is a hilarious moment early in the film in which the businessmen who populate the Wall Street world compare their business cards. Naturally, these business cards are wholly uninteresting and nearly indistinguishable from one another, save for some variation in font, off-whiteness, and any of the thousands of "details" that the cards' manufacturers would have you believe are markers of taste and style. Hardly, right? But how far off is this cutting scene from the actual world of fashion that some people imagine, and very well exists? There are certainly Patrick Batemans in the world, who tan and have a rotating closet of dark suits. Variations on the same thing, trading one luxe marker for another...surely these are to be found in fashion's cities and streets. What do these things service if not empty status? 

Not my fashion. I pray that I'll always remain poor enough not to indulge some of the emptier fantasies of the fashion industry, and instead look at style as a means of real expression, as something in touch with history as well as the future. I guess what I'm wondering about is the status of the term taste. Does it carry connotations of refinement or elitism? Probably both. 

I was surprised to return to the movie and find the iconic Chloë Sevigny. Her part is memorable, but knowing now who she is and what she means for fashion really makes her pop as the secretly smitten secretary who wears boyish clothes and girlish bangs. I'm glad Bateman didn't shoot her in the head. What would Opening Ceremony have without her?

Not So Basic Boutique

Have you been to Basic Boutique lately? Despite its pretty dumb name, this site curates some of the most desirable, wearable lines around, including my perpetual favorite, Vena Cava. Unlike other online boutiques, which either cater to a much younger style set (it is possible to have too much Juicy, you know), or alternatively, a much older (much richer) clientele, Basic Boutique hits just the spot for my 21- (almost 22-) year old self. Sure, I can spend hours browsing Ron Herman's voluminous, colorful, usually unaffordable offerings, or days upon days surfing the luxe, fantastical, black-gray-black variations at La Garçonne. But at the end of the day, when I want to fantasize about what I'll be wearing when I'm free of the shackles of a private college tuition, I beeline for Basic Boutique's simple, soft clothes. There's nothing too cute or too whimsical about their sophisticated pieces, but this doesn't sacrifice sweetness. From printed silks to provocative strapping, a look at their What's New page will have you salivating for Spring. And a look at their Sale page will have you pining!

Salivating and pining -- now those are two things I can certainly do at this age, until such time as I am Refined and 29.


Vintage dealers invariably have the best style. Theirs is the art of mixing old and new, but they always come off as equal parts quirky and classic. Just look at how well Marjorie over at The Urban Collection (which just posted a buttload of new items...hurry!) puts together all of her pieces: magic! And recently I discovered Vava over at Metal-Thread Vintage, an eBay tradepost that creates spreadworthy outfits using Polyvore to advertise her finds. I loved reading the story behind the store's name, which alludes to the owner's love of metallic textiles common to early 20th century clothes. Adding any of her one-of-a-kind pieces to your wardrobe would be like injecting that little hint of sparkle that metal threads lend,  and I highly recommend patronizing this site often.

The enthusiasm and output of the entire online vintage community is inspiring. Usually, I hate seeing a "SOLD" tag on a piece I'm dying to have. Who wants a reminder that something beautiful is out of reach? But when I see such a marker on the clothes that Marjorie and Vava sell, I think, "Good for you!" and am only a little bit jealous of the vigilant vintage fans who got there first. 

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Craving Maps

Maps are cool. And I love the internet. These two creations combine the two in interesting ways. I would put either on my wall.
Country Codes of the World (Byte Level Research)
Online Communities Map

How to: Layer Rings

I adore delicate gold jewelry. Lately, however, I’ve been getting tired of just my tiny bracelet and three rings, so now I will show you how I’ve decided to experiment a bit with my jewels.

I’ve been craving a pinkie ring for a while now so I got an old signet ring sized for my pinkie. Next, I tapped into the best resource that any girl has for unique jewelry—her mother. I stole these two more rings from mom, one topaz and one emerald (her birthstone).

The key to stacking a bunch of rings is to have a common theme and for each piece to offer some variation. Mine is delicate gold. The problem with my original three rings was that they were too delicate and almost disappeared, so the heft of the signet on the pinkie balances that out. The colors of the topaz and emerald add some more variation. Another thing to think about is how to spread the rings out between your fingers. Lastly, don’t forget your other hand. My only ring on the left hand is strong enough to stand alone -- not too much, not to little.



Sporty Spice- What's your default style

Everyone has that one go-to outfit that makes them feel fabulous. Mine is a black D&G bustier dress. I find any excuse to wear it, I’ve even worn in to interviews (confidence is key, right?).

This post is about pretty much the opposite situation—what is your default outfit?

Personally, I default to sporty. This is not just because I like the way my tush looks in spandex. I love skater style, throwback Nikes, even earthy yoga looks. This may have come through in my earlier post about loving heathered gray sweatshirt material.

Whether you default to sporty, preppy, hippie, feminine, boyish, whatever- take a look at your default style and be sure to do that with as much enthusiasm and care as when you put on your go-to outfit, this is an easy way to always look your best.

This is why my sweatshirt from Won Hundred is the perfect default item. It is still comfy, but the bright color and pea-coat style snaps elevate the look. See it here on Michelle. Also, check out their spring lookbook- its fantastic.

A.P.C. = W.T.F.

Check this out. I don't understand how this page even exists; it is so useless to me.

I was like: APC on SALE?????????? Nope. SOLDOUT. Nothing on sale. Nothing FOR sale.