Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pretty Petals, Stompy Boots

Devon, my cooler than cool best friend in high school, had these awesome flowered Dr. Martens, and seeing them on the feet of a stylin' somebody snapped by The Sartorialist in the maelstrom of fashion week double, triple, quadruple confirms that the 90s are back in bold fashion. You need some blooming boots for yourself. You can troll the internet for the out of print pattern seen in the photo above, or you can check out the slightly updated patterns on offer at the Dr. Martens online store. Flower from the feet up.

My Fairy Godmother

When I was young, like still consistently in overalls young, television was pretty magical and the people on it were definitely talking just to me. I had quite the relationship with Elsa Klensch, she taught me so much and showed me such pretty things. I loved her. She was like my Fairy Godmother of Style. Here's a clip that I actually remember of her showing the wonderful work of Thierry Mugler from back in the day.

It ran in the Fall of 1988. I was six. I would pay to see footage of me watching this then. In my overalls. Osh Kosh B'Gosh.

Common Goods: Hot Child In The City

James Jowers was a night porter at St. Luke's hospital who used his daytime hours to capture the scenes of New York's city streets with a camera. His subjects were the City's denizens, mostly gorgeous women captured in black and white. His photos froze the palpable edge of 1960s youth who lived in (and created) the time's whirlwind of social change, in the city where a lot of it began.

I love the graphic quality of these photos. I love that the black and white makes them look timeless, but that the clothing and makeup maintain the identity of the era. I love New York, now and then.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kate Is Worth The Weight.

I hate discussions about female celebrity weight gain when are put in demeaning terms. When couch potato Americans scream "thunder thighs!" at glaring television screens from their sofas while their own waistlines balloon. But, every now and then someone puts on a few pounds and is actually praised for it, actually looks better, healthier, glowier. THE original waif herself, Ms. Kate Moss, the formerly super-bony model who inspired angry vandal chicks to scrawl "feed me" on her 1990s Calvin Klein billboards, looks, well, softened. She's rounded out enough to be denying pregnancy rumors. She says just a few added pounds and that she's a woman now, with happy curves. I want to officially welcome her to the club. Here are some pics of a shapelier Moss that ran along side a feature on the model mogul in last week's New York Magazine:

I know, she's no Botticelli babe, but she now looks like my skinny friends instead of a girl I want to throw a five day pizza party. I think she looks smashing, and if Kate is still the trend setter she's always been, keep your eyes peeled for softer looking femmes everywhere.

Photos by Bert Stern for New York Magazine.

A Legend In His Own Time.

Excuse me, do you have any pretty glowsticks you can wave in my face for a while? I'm totally high on fashion ecstasy. YouTube is my pusher and my tab is Galliano flavored, a vintage Spring 1995. Here is his amazing Legends catwalk show, part 1:

Tell me that doesn't make you ridiculously happy, and I'll tell you it does. You want more don't you? Here's another hit. Part 2:

Just so we're clear, the only ecstasy I condone is Galliano-related. It will add wrinkles, not holes.

Head Start To Finish

Ok, one more bit of hat magic. Here's a little extra sumptin' sumptin' to add to the post below. Watch a Stephen Jones hat go from theoretical to wearable. See it being hand made, beginning as a plastic covered wood form and winding up a sophisticated and distinct even-stitched top hat.

It's like on Sesame Street when they took you to the crayon factory, only with fancy chapeaus instead of wax kids' snacks.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Put It On Your Head.

V&A is hosting a new show about British milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones, who has hat head in the best way possible. It's his God-given talent to festoon noggins with fancy, clever, spectacles of well-crafted head gear and he's been doing it brilliantly for years. The show, called "Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones" is a retrospective with some new pieces thrown in. The new pieces are fanciful Jones through and through.

Here, spend a few minutes with the man who made hats for Princess Diana and Boy George and regular folk who like lobsters on their heads. Also, joy of joys, meet some of his quirky team:

Want to participate in the eccentric British hat tradition in a safe, watered-down, nonthreatening American way? You can get some cute-as-candy hat-themed accessories created especially by the V&A to be gift shop saleable at the exhibit. You can have a hat headband or a hat hair clip or a collection of die-cut paper hats to make your brain house extra pretty.

They would all be perfect for your next fete-a-tete. Click any of the items above for ordering information.

Click any photo for source information.

Pretty, Pretty Chaos.

Here's the full-on backstage experience at the Louise Goldin show in London.

You like a pretty circus, don't you? I like no-trim bangs and video footage shot in black and white.

Strong, Short, and Sharp.

Scutt has a clear vision. Kanye has a late '80s mullet. Suzy Menkes has it all.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All The Cool Kids Live In London.

Mary Katrantzou is a Greek-born designer who studied textiles at Rhode Island School of Design (that's RISD to you!) before transferring to London's genius lab Central Saint Martins (that's Wonderland University to you!) to finish out her degree. She knocked some British socks off with her graduation show at the storied London school by sending tromp l'oeil, over sized jewelry painted on jersey dresses out into the fashion universe. People liked it. She's on the up and up. She just did her show at London Fashion Week and Dazed Digital has excellent backstage photos of her unique looks. You take a look:

Monday, February 23, 2009

And The Winner is...

Rodarte! The Mulleavy's owned the Oscars if you ask me. Two of the night's biggest and brightest wore their creations and looked great.
I'm so happy that they were well represented. Their designs are gorgeous enough to be classic glam, and interesting enough to satisfy the serious fashion eye in me. Their vision is so unique, yet toned down a bit it translated well on the Red Brick Road to Oscar Land. Yay for them, yay for us.

Photos from

Round Two!

A funny thing happened on the way to the Vanity Fair Oscar Party last night, many of the Academy Awards attendees switcharooed their outfits before their arrival. Some of it just seemed a little over indulgent if you ask me. Yes, I get it, a lot of those gowns are not made for dancing, and there are skirts that are too large for crowded parties, trains that will get stomped on, but some of the switching was from one fancy gown to another. I smell product placement. I also smell another round of fashion commentary. Woohwee...

I think this dress, especially the canary color, is a better pick for Keys than her hot pink number for the show. It's kind of like she got a do-over.

Penelope went from one white gown to another, but this time she gave the crowd a spicier view. I was kind of hoping she'd dress like her character from Vicky Christina (hot!). Maybe that should be a rule, if you switch outfits your second one has to be in character.

Jessica Biel switched into an equally no-go purple gown with WWF (WTF?) sized gold belt. Homage to the Ram Jam?

Rourke shed his white telecast suit (surprisingly well played) for a flamboyant bit of Rourkian flair. No other word to decribe that ensemble. I kinda like it. It reminds me of the Golden Girls in a weird way. Like if Blanche were to bring home a rebellious younger man, this is what he would wear. Yeah...

Tomei put on a little something interesting. Colorblock! My jury is out on this one, but I appreciate the break in sparkliness. I do think she should have dressed like her Wrestler character as well. Or not dressed, I guess that would be a better term.

Taraji P. Henson slipped into something equally fancy, but with a bit less back and front.

Marion Cotillard's second choice was more chic, less princess. More better, less tutu-y.

I wonder if anyone wore a third dress. That would be amazing. I call that as a wave of the future. Watch for it and remember that you heard it here first.

Click any photo for source/more information.

Questioning Cathy.

Honey-voiced Cathy Horyn, the outspoken and oft-chastised fashion critic for The New York Times is taking questions for the paper's Talk to the Newsroom feature. I've already submitted my question, wondering why the fashion industry so often states that she's unqualified for her powerful position. What do you want to ask her?

I just hope they do the Q&A in one of Horyn's signature audio slideshows. I could listen to her lilting, slow speak for days. Here are two tastes of her delicious delivery:

Her On the Runway blog for the Times is also a must-read. I'm excited to hear her two tons of sense as the feature unfolds beginning today through the 27th.

Click either image to launch audio slideshows. Both images from

Domo Arigato, Mr. Oscar.

I need to just say right off the bat, I find Hugh Jackman utterly unwatchable. I know, I know, Sexiest Man Alive, blah, blah, blah...I don't care. He should have been immediately replaced by dynamic duo Tina Fey and Steve Martin, or the Mr. Roboto thanker, Kumio Kato. Immediately. It would have saved me the four minutes and change that I will never get back from the stinkhole that was that musical number with Lipsynka protege Beyonce. I could have watched Ben "Joaquin" Stiller and Natalie "I'm in with the Rodarte girls!!!!" Portman rip on the poor frog-seeing, non-acting musician for a few more hours (FYI, that line about the Hasidic meth lab? Perfect!.) It would have been much easier than sitting through Huge Hackman's awkward celeb audience member shoutouts and vocal stylings. He should stick to playing a wolf mutant for the kiddies and denying all of those rumors. Just saying.

Anyways, on to the good stuff! Here's what I noticed when I wasn't wincing at Hugh:

I don't get Jennifer Aniston's appeal. I never have. My brother tries to tell me things about how she's like a real woman, like a girl next door, but still, I don't get it. Don't know if I ever will. This mall prom dress that looks like it came straight off of the Cache rack doesn't help me get it.

John Mayer, if you want to explain it to me, to help me understand clearly, I'd entertain a discussion with you--as long as you were wearing your Borat swim suit. Otherwise, it's a no-go.

Sans Seventh Heven Jessica Biel is basically a famous reminder of the blessed existence of Justin Timberlake at this point, which I appreciate immensely. But, when she shows up places without him, I just cry. Unfair. Also unfair? Her absolute waste of an opportunity to look gorgeous. I mean women slave over hot treadmills to look like her, and then she wraps herself in an illfitting, sacky gown.

This dress absolutely had potential, absolutely. It is structurally interesting, looks unique, has this amazing black and white element, but the bottom doesn't fit. It looks like she deflated a little. Makes me think of a crushed toilet paper tube. How amazing would that dress have been if it fit her on the bottom? A little hug of the booty? Would have been very nice.

Get your rods ready (read the rest of this sentence before you jump to any perverted conclusions, ok?) because I declare open season on all fish tail dresses. I'm not a fan.

They are just unflattering on anyone other than a lithe 7-foot stunner and they make me so uncomfortable and nervous. I can't imagine walking in that. Waddle, waddle.

Kate Winslet was by far my favorite actress this year. Her performances in Revolutionary Road and The Reader were phenomenal and she's spent all awards season looking stunning. But, I do fear she got a case of the Jennifer Connellys last night. It's a sudden illness that leads gorgeous, talented actresses who have looked phenomenal at all other victorious awards ceremonies of the season to show up at the Mac Daddy event looking far less than stellar.

I would never not love Kate Winslet, and she's simply stunning and talented, but this dress is a do-nothing dress. It's not flattering, it doesn't showcase her shape, and it does nothing for her coloring. It's an eh. She's a wow. Shouldda been a wowee.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman made a bold head gear choice last night:

A beanie. To the Oscars. And, he wore it the whole time. What was the weather like in LA anyway? That's no temperature related choice, that's a statement of somekind. Oh, most talented actor, what are you trying to say?

Who hit Lisa Rinna with the x-tra large, maximum botox stick, and when? I mean I know she's looked very well preserved for a long time, but this is obscene:

Age, women! Age! It's ok. It happens. Jeez. I just averted my eyes from my own blog...

Actually, that picture made me feel a little cheap. Depressed. Ok, I'm switching gears. We are going the high route people! I'm taking my inspiration from Best Original Screenplay winner writer Dustin Lance Black, and using my powers for good instead of evil. Here are snapshots of what I loved:

Angelina Jolie's earrings were simple, green, splash-of-color perfection! That's the kind of accessory I like--strong, singluar, sensationsal.
Extreme close-up, huh? Earring porn!

Natalie Portman puts a little Pepto in her step, making a color my friend Sara affectionately refers to as "obnoxious pink," the brightest, most beautiful hue of the evening.

Nice tan, Ports. You look marvelous in your Rodarte.

Taraji P. Hensen' s ruby red clutch gets my Bangin' Bag award.

That splash of deep red against her gorgeous creamy gown is a yay. She was my second favorite part of Benny Button (Cate's amazing complexion was the first) and she looks fabulous.

Diane Lane, star of the sexiest cheat-on-Richard Gere movie ever, looked simple and gorgeous and should serve as an inspiration to mature women everywhere.
I love a nice thick lash with some red lips. So classic, so gorgeous.

Another makeup look I loved? Evan Rachel Wood.

I know, I feel like I'm cheatin' on my true love Dita, but what can I say, the girl looks good. Much better than in this photo:

There, Dita. You still win. Hands down. No question.

Speaking of Mickey "Ram Jam" Rourke--he was robbed. How can you witness a man wearing that much spandex and peroxide and not award him. I give him the best chiuaua charm award.

R.I.P. Loki.

I love this photo of the Slumdog Millionaire kids. They were so, so good in that great movie, and they look so, so great here.

Ok, I can't take it any longer. I need to confess my love for Tilda Swinton. I heard she has an open marriage, so this is my plea to join it:

Oh Tilda, I think I love you in so many wierd ways, but I think you'll understand because you seem to be weird, that's why I think it would work so well. I love your flair for unflattering yet strangely appealing sartorial choices. I love your ever-changing red hair color, I love your talented intensity, your phenomenal acting abilities, and I love, love, love your slightly unnerving alien-like physical features. I would love to see your home planet and be let into your universe. I'd worship you just as lovingly as Viktor + Rolf. What do you say?

You know what I say? I've had enough. It was great, ruby red carpet fun, but now it's time for it to be over. I'll hunt around and see the party wrap-ups and check in with you later. For now, feast on the plethora of sites you can access by clicking any one of the images above. Have fun!