Monday, August 31, 2009

A Princess, Everafter.

Mario Testino at an exhibition of his portraits of Princess Diana staged in 2007.

In honor of Princess Diana, who passed away 12 years ago today, here are the gorgeous images that Mario Testino captured of her in her final photo session.

Diana was an icon of style and a great example of a warm heart in the mannered world of royalty. I think she looks so beautiful in these portraits.

Photos by Mario Testino, found through a google image search.

Mash Up Commercials Are So Over.

I hate this commercial. I really do. The mash-up style is so overdone and P.Diddy is in it, but I can't hate on the event it's promoting.

Fashion's Night Out to be held on September 10th is a five-boroughs wide event that will encourage every single retailer and every single store in the entire New York area to stay open past their normal bedtimes (11pm!!) and invite everybody to get their shop on! Economic stimulus is at the heart of the matter, but so is fun. I can't wait to see who I bump into after dark. Maybe Mizrahi at Target? Wintour at Kmart? The Olsens at Starbucks? Oh the possibilities. Check out the event's website for more information. Or, do the Twitter thing and follow along to get the lowdown on the highup. Ooooo...Just checked the Twitter feed and apparently Coco Rocha will be doing a performance at DKNY! I'm so there. Need I remind you of her mad skills? Yes? Ok, here:

Man, she gets some air, huh?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Full Of Grace.

Grace loves kitties.

I saw The September Issue yesterday morning with my wonderful friend Blaire, and since I'm a cheap chica we took advantage of AMC's $6 before noon deal. Hence, we found ourselves in a dark theater with Anna Wintour while the majority of the city still slept, or slurped mimosas through a hangover straw at brunch. I for one found the film very worth my early rise and shine, and I think Blaire did too.

The September Issue that the documentary swirls around. Grace didn't love Sienna...

I was going to live Tweet my viewing, but I realized that if I had some d-bag next to me fiddling with her glowy phone through an entire film, I'd be super annoyed and decided to forgo the electronic connection. Besides, I was too enthralled to peel my eyes away from the screen for very long. There were so many wonderfully delicious moments in this film and nearly all of them starred the oh-so-inspiring and utterly lovable Grace Coddington.

Marc Jacobs loves Grace.

Just who is Grace? She's the magazine's current creative director. Working under the dictatorial guidance of Anna, she oversees the ins and outs of many of the magazine's photo spreads.

Examples of shoots from the Vogue archives overseen by Ms. Coddington.

She pulls together stories based on a theme, gathers clothes to fit her narrative, helps cast the models, directs the photographers, and approves the images. That's a lot, but actually that's not all. She also dresses the models, styles the shoots, laces corsets, and buttons, and wraps, and...well if you need a fashion related thing done, she does it.

And she's been doing it for years. She's been at American Vogue since 1995, before that she was under the umbrella of British Vogue, and before that she was a well shot young model. She knows this business inside and out and she's not even a bit done making brilliant things happen within it.

Grace in her modeling days.

Her eye is sharp and her sensibility is romantic. She keeps her senses perked for inspiration that may strike in any, tiny way, through any narrow conduit. She's a true example of someone born to do what they do. Her work means a lot to her, and seeing her fight the good fight in it's honor against her boss is remarkable. She pushes when it's time to push and warmly embraces when it's time to comfort or concede or console. She's a perfect foil to the galaxy-large egos stomping the halls of her office.

A wonderful shoot from the August '08 issue of Vogue starring Karen Elson as Grace.

The book published by Edition 7L featuring thirty years of work by Grace. Click the image for ordering information.

Her shoots are gorgeous additions to the annals of fashion photography and I hope she continues to do her thing for years and years to come.

Friday, August 28, 2009

In Heaven.

Maira Kalman is one of the lights of my life. Her illustrated op-ed columns in The New York Times are gloriously good and always full of Kalman's signature simple, yet beautiful drawings and words. Here's a wonderful slide of Ginger and Fred dancing cheek to cheek from her latest column about what it means to be American.

I can almost see the feathers of her dress floating on the air of their dancing. If you want to see the entire piece, click here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I know, the story is so old...Anna Wintour is a cold, bitchy boss who tortures her skinny employees in various ways while they bleed, sweat, and cry over fashion editorials. I know. You know. We know. However, the chance to witness Wintour in action, behind her desk, rolling her eyes, glaring blankly, and hurling curt insults? I'm so all over The September Issue like LV logos on Andre Leon Talley's water bottle case! So on it. Here's the trailer. Watch it and get excited and then come see it with me this weekend!

Sweet dreams, fashionophiles!
The Other Anna

The Pretty Black Hole.

A Twitpic of CourtneyLover79.

Following Courtney Love (CourtneyLover79) on Twitter is kind of like slipping into a pretty little black hole. Her world is frantic, frequently updated, un-punctuated, ramble-rousing craziness spiked with fun and lots of girly, gorgeous stuff.

She lets tweeters in on homeade fashion projects, including turning a shawl into a dress in an hour.

Sometimes the ranty mumbo jumbo clears and the Lover passes along a nugget of internet goodness, whether it be a blog, a designer's website, or maybe a really great Etsy seller. Also, I've always been fascinated by Courtney's crazy.

Courtney shares her favorite Etsy sellers and a link to The Moldy Doily, all great stuff.

If not for her unique mix of probably undiagnosed brain stuff and insane genius (I once read an article about her challenging everyone she met to timed NYTimes crossword puzzle contests and winning every time!) the world would be lacking a certain spice, if you will, a certain flavor.

Courtney even tweets about tweeting, or as she refers to it, "Twatting". ha.

Love has always embraced the internet and Twitter has become her new outlet. When a list of 10 tweets in a row pop up from her on my feed, I feel a little assaulted, but usually it hurts so good. Just like Courtney Love should.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I See Red.

Former Dazed and Confused Photo Director and current Things I Want You To Know About blogger, Sylvia Farago is featured with Partner + Partner's Christopher Simmonds on The Selby. Her red nails totally steal the usually decor-centered slide show.

All photos Todd Selby for The Selby.

Fancy Guidance.

The Artist's Guide series are books that collect drawings and images from lots of creative and talented art folks on a particular topic. The one I love the bestest is on a subject close to my heart: dressing fancy. Here, take a flip through the book.

The Artist's Guide To Dressing Fancy from on Vimeo.

Thumbs up! You want a copy of your own? Click here.

Layer By Layer.

Over at the SHOWstudio shop you can pick up all sorts of ephemera crafted in the quest for fashion shoot perfection. There are set pieces from shoots that appeared in W, Vogue, The New Yorker, etc. Hand-made by set designers and prop stylist like the extremely talented Shona Heath and Simon Costin, items include giant fiberglass cherries, furry rabbit ears that sat atop Alber Elbaz's head, and a giant, furry poodle puppet. But, if you want an item that was there for it all, for every shoot, offering necessary support and guidance and important stability for all the creative types, including the models, you need only purchase one thing: The floor!

Yep, you can by a block of the photography studio floor signed by photographer Nick Knight. It is a relic composed of layer after layer after layer of paint rolled on to the floor to provide a fresh white coat for the next morning's shoot. It's like a supremely stylish onion of sorts. It's mind-boggling how something as thin as a layer of paint can add up to inches of thickness over time.

The blocks on offer may be just wide enough for you to stick on a pair of stilettos and play Kate Moss in front of the mirror. Maybe.

Ah, to be a Jersey Girl.

I know this has made the rounds on the internets, but it is not to be missed. So, if you haven't seen this clip of Ruthless Film's 1994 documentary on Wildwood, NJ, you haven't yet lived.

How amazing are those girls and their hair? Their nails? Their violent tales of crazy?! I used to go on summer vacations there. I can almost smell the heady scent of hairsrpray, fried dough, and sandy cigarette butts. Oh, Jersey, how I love you!

Back To School.

It's that time of year again, kids! School's back and it's comin' to get ya! That used to be not such wonderful news, but I'm sending you to ReForm School, and you'll love it--I promise!

Reform School is a California-based store that vends items of original art, home decor, clothing, accessories, toys for the kiddies, and little, stuffed hippos.

The store may be the only reform school you'd ever willingly be sent away to, but seeing as how it's in Silverlake, CA it may be hard to get there if your parents aren't eagerly packing your bags and paying your air fare. But, do not fret! Their website is it's own kind of brilliant. It's designed by Also and features the illustrations of the most excellent Julia Rothman.

Set against the backdrop of loose leaf paper (three hole punched for your binder) complete with margin doodles, the site's side bar leads you through your basic high school schedule: Home Ec., Literature, Intro to Sewing--there's even a braggy Student of the Month Club that showcases the MVP's of the creative classes.
The store's founders, Billie and Tootie, ace the assignment of pulling together interesting, aesthetically pleasing, articles of kitschy greatness with a focus on quality and sustainability. There are postcards, prints, bags, Viewmasters, puzzles, soaps, and lots more. They have this aptitude for knowing what you never knew you needed. You need a ceramic Polaroid camera. They know you do. I give them an A+. And, a smiley face sticker. :)