Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tweet, Tweet Rachel Roy!

Rachel Roy gave her very first Twitter press conference earlier today and yours truly was able to ask the beautiful and glowing Ms. Roy how she stays confident during tough times. She answered!

See, the second from last response (right below my buddy reLYME)? That's her answer to my question. She keeps it all positive and smiley and stuff during tough times. Well, her beautiful clothing and her inspiring success story always make me smile too. Rachel Roy is a great example of a hard working woman who keeps real women in mind when she designs. And she glows. I like her.

Karen O., Will You Marry Me?

I know, I know, I gush all over the Yeah Yeah Yeahs more than their own mothers, but I simply cannot stop listening to the new album. I'm in love with it, and I'm even more in love with Karen O. She is too cool for my words. Just watch her in action on David Letterman (who I also want to marry, so polyamorous I am!):

If I do co-marry Karen O. and David, he has to promise never to bring Paul over. He creeps me out way, way too much for words.

Here's another clip of Karen being cool as hell. Once when she performed in Brooklyn, she led her fans through a dark hallway and sang a rousing rendition of Maps in the in the street.

See, don't you want to marry her now too? I love her haircut and red lips and her sparkliness and her everything. Sigh.

Change Clothes, Tell a New Story.

I love the TED talk series, which brings you a few new minutes each day with a different luminary in the areas of technology, entertainment, and design. Sarah Jones was today's TED talker and watching her slip through identities with the change of a scarf and the addition or subtraction of a pair of glasses reminded me so whole-heartedly exactly what it is I love about fashion. It's the roles, it's the parts we play through how we dress. It's what people can tell just by looking at us, and how easily those prejudices can be proven false and mutable. With her eight-in-one woman performance, Ms. Jones shows just how much we can play within the fence of our appearance. She is so talented. Watch her go:

Her opening character is a spot-on Bubbie Yanofsky. I mean I feel like I just took a teleportation round trip to Florida. Although, Bubbie would have told a few more dirty jokes. Par example, "What does a horny frog say? Rub-it, rub-it." She loves that one, and she would love Sarah Jones just as much. Ok, maybe more.

More is Less.

This is a snap I took of a manifesto posted in a shop window in Soho. It encourages you to shop with your heart, and use your dollars to show support for local stores who need your help more now than ever. It is so strange to walk around an area as previously money rich as Soho, and see signs of store closures and blow out sales everywhere. New York is a city of independents and the shops that are run on a vision and the hard work of a few individuals, rather than the giant machinated chain shops are the real bones of this city's identity. Put your money where your love is and buy from local stores as much as you can. They need it. Check out this recent Time Out New York article for some indie shopping guidance:

Down with TopShop! Well, ok, not really but give the little guys a chance before you saunter into the behemoth megaretailer. Your blood pressure will thank you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Three Quarter View, From The Back.

I love the hint of lash that is so perfectly subtle in Lorna Simpson's gorgeous ink on paper portraits.

Lorna Simpson is represented by Salon 94.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Suddenly I Want Skates

Ok, so they look like they were styled by the manager of your local Urban Outfitters, but I'm digging this indie boy band Hockey and their music.

"Too Fake" was my getting dressed music today. I like the part where he says "get off of me." I often say that.

This Little Piggy Went to Get a Flu Mask

I'm a hypochondriac in normal times, and when there's possibly a global pandemic happening? Oh, forget it! I've already had Oinky Flu about ten times since Sunday. Every sneeze is a death knell. I keep seeing newspaper snaps of people wearing those Michael Jackson masks (who's laughing now, huh?) and my already infected mind wants me to don one, but they remind my sane, rational self of scary recurring hospital nightmares I sometimes have. They are so sterile, so white, and creepy. It's like everyone who puts one on becomes an evil doctor about to perform spontaneous surgery on me. Oh god! What will we do people? Don't panic, please, don't panic. I have a solution: We will wear Samira Boon's Get Well Soon Masks! Yay!

So, what do you want to be? A lion, a tiger, a sheep, a goat, or...wait for it....

A Pig?! I know which one I'm picking!

The masks were created by the folks at Samira Boon during the Asian outbreaks of SARS and Bird Flu. The collective was inspired to take a scary situation and make it a bit lighter with an Old MacDonald type mentality. Apparently they are still effective anti-flu tools, even though they are dyed and printed on. Maybe they kill the germs with cuteness? Who knows. I do know that they may be hard to come by, but you can get them through the online store for the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan. Check out their main site for a little non-flu related fun as well. Stay healthy, people. Stay cute. Also, please do not sneeze on me. I can't take it.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fetish Where? Pakistan.

Maybe you never gave a thought to where all of those assless chaps in Christopher Street store fronts were made, I know I didn't. Well, just in case you were wondering, this New York Times video sheds some fascinating light on the rags to leather story of two Pakistani brothers who have turned the Wests' secret desires into big business.

Someone has to make famous spanking skirts for the lovemaking, it might as well be them! They started a million dollar business with $800 and a computer. Smart guys.

Common Goods: Girlie Show

These photos are from backstage at the Girlie Show that was part of the Vermont State Fair in September of 1941.

They sort of leave me speechless because they are so beautiful. So I'll let them do the talking to you. I'll just say that when they discover time travel, this is where you'll find me.

You can find these images right now in The Library of Congress Photo Stream on Flickr.

Model Measurements.

I have the same size feet as Amber Valletta.

Dot Dash.

I'm a purist and usually get peeved when the Google search engine deviates from its standard design or typeface, but today's Morse Code birthday celebration format of dots and dashes is quite alright with this coded girl. You love Morse Code too? Well, check this out!
You can create a tee or hoodie with some dots and dashes of your own.

Over on the Primitive State site you get up to 10 characters to express yourself in code. I say put "Single" or "... .. -. --. .-.. ." on the front and geek out with your soulmate when he or she rushes to get your number. Just a suggestion. You can use your ten characters any way you -.. .- -- -. well please. In fact I bet you can say things like ..-. ..- -.-. -.-, ... .... .. -, and maybe even .. / .-.. --- ...- . / -.-- --- ..- and no one would even know the difference, except your soul mate and some pilots.

Master Class with John Galliano

Here's a rare chance to hang out with Mr. John Galliano for a little private tour of some of the highlights of the Dior archive. The dresses come both from Mr. Dior's own, historic work and Galliano's decade plus of diligent service to the house of Dior. They look almost as fab as John himself-- almost.

This video was actually made in 2006 to celebrate Galliano's ten year mark at the helm of the house. I can't wait to see the retrospective of the 15 year mark. His work is always fascinating and a little, dare I say, crazy. What a treat to hear him discuss it in private, and in his lilting, effete voice, no less! Thanks internets!

While we are on the subject of John Galliano, I need to fawn over his unbelievable collection of exit photos. His final wave and walk outfits at his shows are immensely enjoyable. Here's just a few:

A rapier, a space suit, some payos, a rake? Loves it.

Photos are all from

Friday, April 24, 2009

Beautiful Justice

Maira Kalman's wonderful op-ed piece in today's New York Times narrates her trip to D.C. to learn a little something about the laws of our land. In classic Kalman fashion, the illustrated column takes a pretty, pretty path through courtrooms and cherry blossom-lined sidewalks and private conversations with public figures. Following Maira's mind from thought to pleasing thought is always a joy for this fashionista as her eye inevitably rests on some gorgeous dress, or a dapper suit, or a festive hat.

Kalman makes mention of Ruth Bader Ginsburg supplanting Jane Austen as her imaginary Best Friend Forever after their inspiring talk. Well, as long as Ms. Kalman and Diana Vreeland can get along I'm inviting her to join my imaginary Best Friend Forever club. I can't kick Diana out, she's too dear to me. Besides, I think Kalman and Vreeland would get along just fine and have much to discuss. They are both women who appreciate boldness, encourage confidence, and like a pink dress.

You can read my co-imaginary Best Friend Forever's whole delightful piece here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Model Maker.

Mr. Steven Meisel is unparalleled in the field of popular fashion photography. He is the industry's greatest living, working talent. He still uses his genius eye to pluck girls from relative obscurity and sky rocket them to fame via his covers of Italian Vogue (of which he has shot every single one since 1988), or his shoots for American Vogue. Just like the models say in the Cathy Horyn praised May Vogue profile of the super photographer, Meisel changed my relationship to fashion. In fact he opened my eyes to a whole new world. This exact shoot, for the pages of Vogue's December 1992 issue, was my first addictive dose of amazing fashion photography.

I was 10. I was so besotted with Kristin McMenamy's eyebrowless, chiseled face, and her dark hair, and pale skin that I clipped her picture from the glossy mag and taped it into my grade school diary (see first photo above!). There was something absolutely magic about it. I can even feel it now when I look at it. I think the idea that a woman could look that strange, that different, and be the main attraction in a Vogue portfolio just totally cracked my ten year old world view wide open. That's Meisel's magic; take the quirky beauty (or classic, whatever) and highlight her amazing features until she looks like an otherworldly creature who somehow alighted on earth through divine intervention. His talent for doing so is unmatched and has been for about 30 years. Kristen and the elusive Steven creature are both snapped by the photog in the new May Models issue of Vogue.

In his profile writer Jonathan Van Meter makes much of Steven's reclusive nature, and I'm thinking maybe I've discovered the reason behind it. Maybe Mr. Meisel is just hiding from this cameo he made in the 1983 film Portfolio, which has surfaced on the internets thanks to Youtube.

I must admit that I cannot say with confidence whether this video is the real deal or not, but I think it could be. Either way, don't worry Steven, your genius far outweighs your early penchant for frosty lipgloss. And anyways, it was the '80s! We as a nation were in love with Paula Abdul and puffy sleeves, thus all indiscretions are null and void. You can come out of hiding. Have a splashy museum retrospective, put out a giant book, or maybe dance down fifth avenue with Linda on your arm. Whatever you want. You can do no wrong.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Clean Closet, Clean Earth.

Happy Earth Day. Be sure to hug the planet today, but please don't buy anymore clothing. Just for a day, people. Just for a day.

I know, capitalism is what makes the traditional blogosphere go round and round and round, but after being pitched stories on a few lines of Green wear, made of repurposed hemp and dyed of natural causes or whatever, I've decided to take the stance of abstinence in honor of Mama Earth today.

Don't shop for a day. Instead, look at the plethora of stuff on store racks. See the huge glut of fabrics sewn into trendy shapes, in all the bright colors of "now", screaming for your dollar, and turn them down. Feel the claustrophobia of so much extra stuff clogging store shelves and eventually landfills. Just for a day resist the urge to participate in the game of getting more, and awaken your senses to the sheer amount of clothing, jewelry, shoes, bags, hats, hair things, undies, and all the rest that are being made, cheaply bought, worn and quickly tossed. It is all so disposable. Believe me, I'm all for the love of things, for beauty and the thrill of shaping your wardrobe and shopping to fit a personal style. I love fashion. But, like so many other societal norms we have come to take for granted, the easy game of trendy shopping needs to be reexamined.

My suggested solution? Buy things you absolutely love, things that make you tingle and light up. Buy items that you have carefully considered and that will last you through trends. Maybe spend a little more, but ultimately it doesn't matter how much they cost. More important is whether or not they will be with you for the long haul. Get to know your style. Clothing that pleases your senses will make you a happier, better person to the world. Don't laugh, it's true! When I feel good in what I'm wearing, I smile more. I talk to people. I have a better day. That kind of goodness is contagious. That kind of happiness is good for the planet on all levels.

Also, get rid of the unnecessary clothing clogging your own closet. Do an inventory. Maybe you don't need to buy another black button-down after all, maybe there is one hiding in between your old prom dress and your new spring floral. Know what you have and toss stuff you don't need or like, but wait! Don't toss it in the garbage. Instead donate it to the Goodwill. Or, bring it to be recycled. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) has teamed up with the Union Square Farmer's Market to provide a drop-off location for your old clothing. They take anything clean, even torn or unusable clothing items. The program is fast expanding to help alleviate the environmental and financial stress of the whopping 193,000 lbs of clothing and textiles sent to landfills and incinerators each year (as reported by the NYC Department of Sanitation). Check CENYC's website for additional information, such as collection dates and added drop-off sites. Clean closet= clean Earth. Happy you= happy planet. It's all good. Happy Earth Day.

Click on any above images for source information.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sneaky Flats.

My spring/summer feet want to wear these Lela Rose flat sneaks for Payless:

Don't knock Payless, people! It's the shoe source. I shopped there even before the economy tanked. They may make your feet smell a little extra funky, but everything comes with drawbacks in life. The $28 pricetag, and pink piping trimmed striped combo of cuteness more than make up for the few extra bucks you'll have to throw down for some odor eaters.

Thanks for the tip Julia!

Monday, April 20, 2009

One/One-Thousand: Richard Avedon

Bernard Buffet, painter, and wife Anabel Buffet, writer, Paris, January 27 1959

The late Richard Avedon was/is a photographic legend. His portraits of the famous (and not so famous) rendered in a restricted palette of black and white against a stark, plain background were more than just evidence of his distinctive style, they were his timeless contribution to the annals of photography. While color photos gained popularity and presence in his time, Avedon stuck with his two-tone portrait style and created some of the most concise and moving photographic studies of interesting people that have ever seen the light after a dark room. His fashion shots were exceedingly eloquent and glamorous, while his studies of famous actors, artists, and musicians were quirky, active, and maybe even a little unflattering. His reverence in portraiture was not for the perfected face of his known subjects, but for the truth of their essence. A strange expression, an obvious squint, a wrinkle, a lip purse, or head tilt were his desired treasures. There was no hiding in his simple shots, only magnification of what was so. You can almost see his subjects thinking in their portraits, their minds twirling with whatever talent made them of interest and garnered them a place before his lens. Actually, the unknown sitters are even more dynamic than those who are recognizable. The miners, farmers, snake handlers, and bee keepers he shot give their life stories in one glance, in the weight of their stance, their clothes, and the dirt on their skin. His work speaks so many volumes in so few, two-dimensional square inches that it's almost as if photography and its "one shot yields one thousand words" maxim was invented for Avedon and his lens. He worked extensively in the fashion industry, producing iconic images for Versace campaigns and all of the major publications of note, but in my humble opinion, his non-fashion portraiture speaks even more clearly of fashion. It's the clothing of everyday folks, of creative minds and real people and function, it is fashion in it's less glamorous habitat. It is fashion at home on real bodies. Look and see:

Singer Marian Anderson, singer, New York, June 30 1955

Sandra Bennett, Twelve Year Old, Rocky Ford, Colorado, August 23, 1980

Ezra Pound, poet, Rutherford, New Jersey, June 30, 1958

Debbie McClendon, carney, Thermopolis, Wyoming, July 29, 1981

Mary Watts, factory worker, and her niece, Tricia Steward, Sweetwater, Texas, March 10, 1979

Richard Wheatcroft, rancher, Jordan, Montana, June 19, 1981

John Martin, dancer, Les Ballet Trockadero de Monte Carlo, New York, March 15, 1975

Joe Butler, coal miner, Reliance, Wyoming, August 28, 1979

All of the images above, as well as more selections from Avedon's archive can be viewed at Or on my wall if you'd like to come over...