Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Floss Like Moss.

Click image for bigger image!

Kate Moss is a stylecon of the first order, highest rank, and greatest import. Her star still shines bright after all of these years, and it's because the girl knows how to use her noggin even better than she knows how to use her good looks. She was born to do what she does, and thank the lucky fashion gods, she decided to do her thang with Top Shop, a reasonably affordable outpost for fashionable finds. Her collection is coming to America peeps, this Thursday, to Broadway and Broome specifically. It's full of Liberty Prints and casual cool rockness. I'm loving the bandanna with two little flower patterns. This is big, like a British invasion of the fashion realm. Yippee. Cheerio. Rubbish bin. Cheeky. Tired and emotional. That's all I've got.

Here are Kate's Liberty Prints, based on classics from the storied fabric design house and reworked by the modesigner for her collection.

Aren't they purdy? Or, ahem, swish? I don't know if that even works...

Glamour is Gross is Gorgeous

As one of the fashion world's favorite visual artists Marilyn Minter is obsessed with glamour and bodies and slick, shiny, color-poppy, giant closeups of dirty, pretty, things. Her latest work is an HD video of models licking sticky sweet substances off of glass surfaces. Tongues make big cameos and so do strands of sticky hair, tips of noses, sucking lips, and regurgitated candies. If an 8-minute film of gorgeous women slurping in and spitting out sugary sweets isn't fashion-related art, I don't know what is. It's gross, it's gorgeous, and it's so Minter. The full length feature will be shown throughout the month of April on a jumbo screen in Times Square. I can't wait to see middle American Spring tourists figure out what exactly the giant swirl of pretty colors is. Mmmmm. Sweet.

Read more about the piece here. Marilyn Minter is represented by Salon 94.

Remember That? Madonna and Kurt

So, suddenly I'm a smidge under the weather. My throat is a little unlikable today and in the absence of television (or a cute, non-germaphobe cuddle buddy), I've been letting You Tube keep me company in bed. We've both got our jammies on, it's really something to see. We are quite the pair. And, we've stumbled upon great old videos of another dynamic duo: Kurt Loder and Madonna. When I was young enough to watch them for the first time, these Madonna and Kurt interviews/specials were so fascinating simply because they well, involved Madonna and all of her mystic, legendary glory. Now that I'm old enough to be watching them at least 10 (holy crap!) years after the fact, I'm struck by a few new things. First, Madonna was effing awesome. Let's just get that out of the way right now. She was at the top of her game in every way about 10 to 15 years ago. Second, Kurt is so cutely nervous around the big M; he's got his hands in his pockets and keeps avoiding declarative statements and eye contact. You can tell he fears that Madonna will suddenly transform into the Mad Beast and bite his head off. She knows he's afraid too. Yet, his unassuming, non-threatening nature renders him charming and gets him through the door where other slithery journalists would never be aloud, namely her dressing rooms and recording studios. It's great access and there are great moments to be cherished in both of the specials below. My favorite for eye candy purposes is No Bull which goes behind the scenes of the making of the still stunning Take a Bow video in Randa, Spain. I love that video and Madonna looks phenomenally glam in platinum blonde tresses and red lips and major cleavage enhancing underthings. At one point in her dressing room Kurt actually asks her if her boobs have names. Then at the end she tells him to get a real job. It's priceless. Here is part 1:

You want more? Part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5.

The Ultra Sound special about the Ray of Light album is great documentation of a time in Madonna's life and career where she was letting herself be vulnerable. There she is sans makeup, so gorgeous and natural with big smiles and joking around and being sweet in a way that seems so uncharacteristic. She's letting Kurt hear unfinshed tracks, and talking to him about her new-found study of the Kabbalah. She was still teaching us all these new things then. Do you take yoga at your local gym? Thank the Madonna of this era for that. She looks so gorgeous in this piece, so natural. Kurt is still awkward, but that's why we (and she) loved him. Check it:

Here's the other two parts: Part 2, Part 3.
Old Madonna is a panacea. No kidding.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Closet Case: Fay Koplovitz

When I met Fay she was wearing a cape. She is the only person who I've ever still wanted to talk to after realizing that she was indeed wearing a cape. That says a lot, and when we met we said a lot too. Turns out Fay and I have the same type of Obsessive Fashion Disorder (kind of like OCD, but with more shoes and magazines involved). Our mutual friend Rahul introduced us at an ICP fashion photography exhibit and we bonded in the photo-strewn galleries over favorite editorial layouts by Nick Knight and Steven Klein. Before the night was over, she was signed up to show my readers her closet. I wanted you all to see more of where that cape came from.

Fay's Ma and Pa circa the mid-80s.

It just so happens that she got it from her Mama. In fact, when we first started our interview, Fay talked a lot about her Mom and her time as a kid. Fay said her mother would giver her all different haircuts, or put her in dress-over-skirt outfits, but mostly she was a particular little thing who dressed herself. There were various rules: no corduroy (hated the sound it made), lots of teal, and Halloween costumes were her favorite things in the whole world.

Fourth grader Fay with her beloved copy of a Rick Astley cassette (l), and in a Halloween costume she made with her Mom (r), that she affectionately calls the "Trash Angel" look.

Fay's childhood passion for Halloween costumes actually became a career path. Her tastes in middle school and high school started to veer towards higher fashion. She discovered Vogue at 15 and saw a feature on John Galliano and some amazing hats that sealed her deal. She headed to Philadelphia University to study Fashion Design and came into the work force as a sketching, working, designer. Via a curving path she worked her way into styling jobs and eventually landed a coveted gig at a costume workshop. There she gained important hands-on skills, learning how to sculpt fabric, feathers, sparkles and adhesives into film, television, and stage-ready costumes.

Examples of Fay's gorgeous costume work.

Fay's learned skills are her wardrobe's best friend. She's developed an eye for great pieces and she knows how to make them even greater. She often scores items at thrift shops and vintage stores and alters them with stitches and hems, updating them just enough so that they seamlessly blend in with her newer stuff. That cape she was wearing when we met? It was her mother's maternity coat, worn while Fay was still a little bun in her oven. Fay shortened it and now rocks it herself, sans bun of course. Fay also applies her handiness to jewelry, altering second-hand scores, or making things from scratch.

A gorgeous white Victorian lace dress that Fay transformed into a favorite shirt by attaching the hem to the waist. It's delicate and well-loved.

A dress from the '30s that Fay altered for a costume party that she attended as a bearded lady. I love that the girl can also pull of female facial hair (see evidence below). Love it.

In Fay's closet what isn't hand made or scored on thrift adventures, comes from more common places. Fay makes good, albeit spare, use of the usual suspects. Her closet does contain the occasional off-the-rack find from Forever 21 but those pieces are few and far between. She prefers items with a bit of history.

Fay's Mom's cape. It makes her feel mysterious. She was under there when she was still a little tiny belly-dweller.

Some of Fay's jewels including vintage rings, a collar necklace, and a pin, as well as a fringed necklace she made herself.

Fay's super taste doesn't stop at clothing either, she also has a knack for decor. Her digs are temporary right now, but oh-so-covetable. She's staying with an amazing event-planner friend who has used his own skills to make their Brooklyn apartment into a third-floor walk-up cabin in the woods of sorts with lots of hunter green, antlers, and stuffed (not like fuzzy) animals everywhere. Fay's corner of the place is a Morrocan/gypsyesque room decorated with scarves, scraps of specialty paper, thrifted lamps, and fur throws.

Shots of Fay's gypsy inspired digs.

Fay is sweet as sugar, but spicy enough to have some flava'. I think she'll like that assessment, and I like her and her style so it all works out just fine for us. I'm going to follow Fay around some more, appoint her my Brooklyn tour guide, and learn some of her mad skillz. Of course, dear readers, I will keep you posted with ample posts about it all. We're just getting started!

Alber Gets the Girls.

This is an older interview from The New York Times with Mr. Alber Elbaz, the genius designer behind Lanvin, who is one of my fashion loves. This former Israeli soldier has the most brilliant visual sense. His draping, his odd choices, his ability to make dresses that manifest female desire, it's all unique to him. I also really love his round-rimmed glasses and bow ties. Really love them.

I can't stop watching this interview, and there is a profile of him that appeared in The New Yorker's style issue that keeps coming up in conversations with my friends. Both bits of journalism made me realize that his clothes are as amazing as they are because he somehow really understands being a woman. He talks about it a lot, the perfectionism that women have to contend with, the body image issues they have, and he shares those hang-ups as well. He demands perfection of himself, he struggles with his weight and shape. His clothes are rare in the fashion industry because they are really for women. The sex appeal of Lanvin clothing is not in the display of cleavage and buttocks (which he makes brilliant mention of in the video), it is in the shape and sharpness. There is something smart about his work, something so subtle and styled just right that makes the wearer look sophisticated and strong, but still has that magic feminine quality. The first time I ever heard of Elbaz, was when a fashion insider made a comment about his female friends being obsessed with the Lanvin look, like it was some sort of illicit substance. Turns out it is; it's smart feminine sexiness with an air of sophistication. It's powerful stuff, addictive even. Designer drug.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March Plaidness.

Spring weather is finally here, and my feet are so ready for some non-boot shoes. Long, cold winters may make for a painful transition from cold-weather foot gear to sunshiny flats and flip flops, but the pain is worth the fancy freedom of warm weather's more footloose styles. My feet's current dance card is filled with Springy choices in light, plaid patterns. I'm loving all sorts of slides and sneaks in plaid for sunny weather. Here are a few that your feet might want to dance with too:

Even if it isn't sunny, my feet'll be radiating sweetness. That's how I like to roll, or walk as the case may be. You want some of the sunshine too, don't you? Well, you just go ahead and click any of the pics and get 'em. Do it! Your feet will love you. The mary janes are only $16. Happy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Tilly Bloom makes objets d'art after my own heart. Her illustration-based, wearable (and not so wearable) artworks are beautiful without being "pretty". They are interesting without being weird, well some of them are a little weird. They are black and white, which I love, and they are affordable, which I love even more. She's an Etsy seller originally from Scotland who now resides in Brooklyn. I'm especially loving her thick bracelets lined in colorful felt, which are pleasantly priced at around $24. Here are a few of my favorites:

The bracelets have great names like "OMG They Killed Caesar!" and "At The Party Alice Felt Gloomy". They'll surely transform your pulse points into talking points. Tilly Bloom is quite prolific, so if you like her style, click on one of the images above and peruse her Etsy shop; there's plenty more where these came from.

My President is Hot.

Seriousness aside here for a second, how handsome is our Commander in Chief?

Look at him, all casual and sippin' a beer with that glint in his eyes. Is this wrong? Can the Feds pick me up for the violation of some sort of decency law for hot-izing the Pres? Is objectifying the leader of the free world a crime punishable by law, or is it simply tasteless? Either way, my level of patriotism is sky high right now. That's all I'm saying.

For further evidence of my official stance, watch the man dance again in this slightly oldie-but-goody.

He's got rhythm. He's got style. Who could ask for anything more? Well, except a functioning economy.

The picture is from today's Style section in The New York Times.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Look, Ma! No Bangs!

I love kids. I especially love when they cut their own hair. I used to work with kids and it happens all the time. They always have a very good reason for doing it too. A few tops that I've heard over the years:

1) My bangs were tickling my eyes.
2) I wanted to look like daddy (she had gorgeous long curls).
3) It's beautiful what I did. I look beautiful.

I recently let my friend Fay, who is very talented, cut my bangs for me. It came out great, but the lo-fi experience in her kitchen gave me flashbacks to when I myself chopped off my own ponytail in my mother's bathroom with her scissors. It made perfect sense at the time. I'm sure all of these kids I found on Flickr also had very good reasons for their self-inflicted hair cuts.

Click on the pics to go to the original photos and read the stories behind the cuts. I love the shot of the girl with Elmo. She chopped off a pony tail too. Perfect.