Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

boys will be boys (and men will dress like men)

there is much to love in the men's spring 2011 collections, where sensibility reigned alongside just enough youthful details to compel. prada was one of my favorites, but the boys and older gentlemen presented by agnes b. were really something.

there are two elements that i've been looking for at recent shows: a variety of models and facial expressions. when most fashion people go on about diversity within modeling, they almost always mean 'the black guy' or 'the one plus-size girl everyone is using this season to keep critics from slamming our obsession with ribcages,' but i think it's time for 'the old one' to step forward. if you consider that the main consumer base for all fashion houses are well beyond adolescence, it makes sense to present part of each collection with models who at least somewhat represent those who will actually purchase, and wear, certain pieces. i say 'certain' because the suits agnes b. outfitted her Man Models in are clearly for an older customers; it would take a very, very hip 40-year-old man to wear the pirate-cum-surfer look sported by the young guys, though i wouldn't rule it out completely...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the strangely glamorous mug shots of freedom riders

(from Eric Etheridge’s book Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders)

these have been re-posted all over the place, but i can't stop thinking about this set in particular. when the heat is on and things get serious and you know you're right, every hair and righteous smirk falls into place.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

taliban chic

this song...omg.
i was already obsessed with das racist's "rainbow in the dark" but this jam is killer. next time i see those guys at union pool i may have to walk up and give them an affected slur: "WHERE HAZ WE MET BEFORE? BALENCIAGA SHOWWW?"

Sunday, February 28, 2010

she's like a rainbow

the other day, a friend and i got into a discussion about the lack of variety in our wardrobes. she claims that all of her clothing follows strict guidelines of being very masculine, and all earth tones. i showed her a random photograph of my closet from when i was still living in the NYU dorms (i always do this when i have one shot left on a disposable camera) and held it up next to my actual, february 2010 closet for her to judge.

"all of the color's been sucked out!"

you see, i used to dress like a crayon. not even just a crayon--the whole box in one go:

look at that. even in a head shot, i've managed to get in about ten different colors. i still have a crush on this "Fifth Element" haircut but those legwarmers are bringing down my self-esteem so let's keep it moving, please...

i like to think of my new A Détacher cardigan as being a kind of kaleidoscopic telescope receiving signals from my old, risk-taking rainbow self. since getting it a few days ago (thanks boss!), i can't stop thinking about hot pink and cherry red and regal purple and day-glo green. sorry black, i'm officially kicking you out of bed.

shield me from winter sun

Much like the way you know you can always find a Barenaked Ladies album in any music store's used section ("chickety china the chinese chicken"? what were we thinking?!), digging one of Missoni's signature "zig zag" sweaters out of any fancy New York secondhand shop (of which there are many) is a sure bet. I always get a twinge of excitement when I come across one, but that's just the label doing its thing. The truth is...I don't like Missoni at all. Their color combinations just aren't flattering or even interesting. So color me totally shocked when I saw this utterly perfect coat! The pattern may be classic, but its cocoon shape and elephantine weight keep it from reminding me of Midwestern winters. This is not a coat for the lady who shovels snow, after all...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Détacher's lady rednecks

I've been working at the A Détacher store in NoLita since last summer, all thanks to my very stylish friend and co-worker Caitlin (a clapping ritual).
Admittedly, my job is somewhat related to my opinion that this F/W 2010 collection was one of the highlights of Fashion Week, but it really has more to do with that green silk number. And that almost-trashy bubblegum pink dress (perfect for leaning in the door of a trailer home designed by Philip Staerk or something). And the fact that those over-the-knee socks have been the highlight of my winter wardrobe--without which, I might never wear anything but jeans in this wet New York weather, and that simply wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't happen.

Here's a little insider knowledge of the show: it was very, in the words of designer (and my lovely boss) Mona Kowalska, "very Mom and Pop" as far as expenses and staff were concerned. And yet...everything went smoothly. The models really appreciated the calm atmosphere--no yelling, no demands, and a chance to snack. Though I'm not one to get intimidated by tall, willowy teenage girls, chatting with them while I painted their nails sidewalk/trashcan gray was grounding; the experience left me with a definite "we're all in this together" feeling, later echoed by one Ali Michael (she stops by the store pretty often), who told me that the real problem with the fashion industry is a lack of respect between agencies, designers, models and press. Agreed!

At the end of the day, it's the final product that really counts. The beautiful, beautiful clothing. And if those involved with those products could try to be a little kinder, a little more organized, a little more true to their word, the fashion industry itself may get a little more respect.

Monday, February 22, 2010

i want you.

I want you so ba-a-a-a-ad.


I want yoo-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh.

(from The Sartorialist)

I want you so ba-a-a-a-ad it's driving me mad, it's driving me....

(furry stole from A Detacher F/W 2010)

Wouldn't these three things look perfect together? ignore the cigarette in his hand, his potentially dubious level of self-obsession, and the fact that denim purses remind me of my mini backpack from sixth grade (purchased with my Sanrio points card!) and this fantasy threesome is looking pretty fine.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

be mine

i've always said i dress to please myself, not men.
case in point:

watermelon sneakers and a tendency to munch on rooftop bricks aside...if you're like me, you turned down a date for valentine's day. reward your independence (yep, independence, that's my story and i'm sticking to it) by baking a loaf of something sweet. this recipe is pretty amazing--a great way to get rid of the mushy bruised bananas killing time on your kitchen counter, and if you don't think you can finish the whole thing within a few days, it freezes really well!

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar (adapted from Orangette)

3 very ripe medium-to-large bananas
2 large eggs
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (preferably Guittard)

For topping:
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter or spray an 8-inch square pan.

In a medium mixing bowl, mash the bananas well with a fork or a potato masher. Add the eggs, and stir well to combine. Add the two kinds of flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and vanilla, and stir to mix. Add ¾ cup of the chocolate chips, and stir briefly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir together the topping ingredients (it'll seem like a ton of sugar, but use it all! the crunchy topping is key). Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the batter in the pan, and top with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, January 29, 2010

she is benediction

Has there ever been a cooler musician/poet/artist than Patti Smith?

Let me re-phrase that: there has never been anyone cooler than Patti Smith (with all due respect to the Pop-Bowie-Reed trifecta). She radiates smoke and light and rock and roll like no other performer, and her style's influence on contemporary fashion is undeniable. Even in color photographs, she appears to live in a black-and-white world. I've seen her unwashed hair, ripped and torn washed-out t-shirt and pegged jeans copied so much in the past few years, but she's the originator who cannot be topped. Story time! I met her a few years ago at a Film Forum Q&A and she wore all black, all Comme des Garcons, and positively reeked of cigarettes and signed my book and called me "sweetie" and loudly mocked a question about whether her relationship with designer clothing conflicts with her politics ("I's not really your fucking business! Someone sends me a Prada jacket, I'll wear it for a decade. Talk about a silly fucking question"). We should all hope to age as raucously!
My first attempt at performance art involved me walking into my art school classroom dressed in boxers and a t-shirt, with headphones on. I stood in front of my classmates for a minute or so before launching into a very loud, tone-deaf and sweaty version of "Gloria," arguably Patti's most well-loved song. It was a hot mess and I nearly threw up afterward, but I'm only telling you this as an example of my obsession, not of my lack of talent within the performance arts.
This is an outtake from a Mapplethorpe photo session that produced the cover of "Horses." In high school, for my senior portrait, I tried to re-create this look by standing in front of a white backdrop in a cardigan and scarf. EPIC FAIL. As if my Midwestern pre-calculus tutor (slash part-time photographer) could make me look this timeless, this empirically cool.
I just read her new book, "Just Kids," which details her long and complex relationship Robert Mapplethorpe. At the store, customers have been asking me about it (I always leave my current reading material in plain sight) but they seem to be only interested in finding out whether the two of them had sex. I'll answer that right now, just to save you time: Yes. Yes they did. The rest of the book is much more fascinating than that little detail, and the last twenty pages or so had me in tears.

This is my favorite shot. Warrior Patti, wielding scissors next to a theatrical demon of a cat. And this is a performance that made me seriously contemplate an assassination attempt. Enjoy!