Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Ok, I'm putting my foot down! Models need an advocate, and I'm signing up! Not only is the average age of the catwalkers a mere 16 years old, but now the youngsters are being attacked backstage! Look at the photos of the prep they go through:

I keep seeing shots of this kind of backstage multi-tasking torture and I can't help but think that this has to be terrifying for the tall, skinny, women-children. They are at the center of a stylist swarm! I mean, how can that even be efficient? I feel like there are only so many hands that can fit on a head/face and still be able to do their thing the right way. The poor girls are being attacked! They endure this numerous, numerous times a day for a whole month. The models seem to just close their eyes and take it. This can't be good for them. Hmmm, maybe we could train this lady to do hair and makeup?

Then at least there would be less nostrils breathing on the models and just one friendly, non-frazzled face to stare into. (If only she was real...) Click that image to have your mind absolutely effing blown by the performance that picture comes from. Do it! Actually, just watch it here. It's amazing.

Hmph. I wish I had that many arms. Well, actually that may be a careful what you wish for kind of scenario.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fashion Honor Roll.

Flipflashh is a star in the fashion illustration pool over on Flickr. She's a fashion design student who does illustration work in her spare time. Her drawings in process are better than much of the finished material in the group's photostream.

Her simple style is mostly stark and utilizes a limited pallet, but nails expressions and moods. That's the stuff good illustration is made of! She's still studying in Spain, so her work is currently only self-published, but any fashion mag would be plain silly to pass her up when the time comes. Keep Flipflashh on your radar, she's an A+ student.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are You Ready For Paris?

You have a little over 36 hours until the Paris portion of fashion month begins. I suggest you brush up in the following ways:

1) Watch this video of Nicholas Kirkwood's Autumn/Winter 2009 line of shoes and then see how many pairs you see on actual editors/models/insiders at the shows. I bet you there's a near one-for-one match!

Did that make you feel dirty? Inexplicably in need of something delightfully wholesome? Move on to two quick...

2) Here's a Warhol-esque screen test featuring Kaiser Karl. Who's more Paris than Karl?

Wait, that didn't make you feel better did it? Maybe you feel worse. Um, here, move on to #3.

3) Watch Anthony Bourdain wait for that most Parisienne staple of life, a baguette freshly made in a boulangerie:

Wait, this is fashion week...nobody eats. Sorry! No bread for you!

4) Ok, why don't you go shopping at Paris's tre magnifique boutique Colette.

I could listen to that man talk for hours. I especially loved how he said "hoodie" at the 4:57 mark. Ooooodies.

5) Last, but not for a second least, take a tour of Alice's Paris apartment.

I have no idea who Alice is, but I thoroughly enjoyed that.

There. Do you feel more prepared for Paris fashion week? Me neither, but that was fun!

Where Are The Wild Things?

They are in your closet! Or, well at least they can be. Right now they are in Opening Ceremony, waiting for you to try them on.

Director Spike Jonze's highly anticipated cinematic version of Maurice Sendak's beloved tale is on it's way to theaters, and the backs of the hipper-than-thou with a little change to spare. Jonze collaborated with the boutique du jour to create a line of wearable wild things. There are fur coats, boxy, shaggy dresses, a fuzzy skirt, and even a Max suit.

Don't worry kind souls, no Wild Things were harmed in the making of this line: the fur is faux. The piece de resistance is the story's signature cuddly suit that mi amiga Nicole is pining after (she's a children's librarian, the fascination is way justified!).

She'd make a great Max, but at $610, I think the fun factor of the get-up is outweighed by the funds factor. If Maurice had a say, I'm sure the Max costumes would be free for all the young and the young-ish at heart.

Here's the soundtrack. Karen O and the Kids! I can't wait to see this darn movie!!!

Where the Wild Things Are Soundtrack

Flower Power.

Bold blooms defined the Dolce & Gabana Spring aesthetic.

The end of Milan's Fashion Week came with a bit of a surprise for this lil' fashion blogger. Dolce & Gabana collections in recent history have not been favorites of mine. With their penchant for overspilling cleavage, ruffles, ruching, loud prints, bright colors, stacked heels, and t-t-t-tight skirts, their wares were a little too tacky for my taste. I know it serves a purpose and has a place in a certain woman's wardrobe, but gaudy doesn't do it for me. However, I always held on to a romantic idea of Dolce & Gabana past. In the '90s the house was a harbinger of a new Italian style. With a bent towards flower prints, flattering silk dresses, and corsetry, their shows combined an old world glamour with a new sexiness that was molto Italiano without the tacky, sticky, spikiness of recent runway shows.

Pretty, but no shrinking violets.

With early '90s nostalgia in full swing, the house hit the target of now so completely. Aside from a few screaming, red, leopard print pieces, most of this season's collection kept a level palette of black, white, and cream and showcased that archival brand of D&G sex appeal that honors women, rather than reverts them to played out roles as mob wives and mistresses.

There were gorgeous floral prints that echoed the old Dolce & Gabana '90s nuveau Italian aesthetic wonderfully. The thing to admire about their floral prints are their strong sense of femininity as power. Where most florals are used in fashion to denote a sweetness, a softness, or a girlishness, the bold blooms on Dolce garments are seductive. They are defiant of their usual connotations. They are stretched across the body in shiny satin or sheer silk in a way that doesn't disarm their wearers, yet rather adds to their toughness in the most delicious way, demanding respect. Flower power indeed.

Lace to the finish.

The lace in the show was similarly seductive and sophisticated. There is always something romantic about lace. It's revealing; it's so evident in its construction, in the work it takes to create its intricate woven patterns. Lace is one of those fabrics that women gravitate towards and that may ebb and flow in popularity but never leaves the realm of chic. It was smart of Dolce & Gabana to lean heavily on lace, and despite it's timelessness as a material, somehow they were able to make it look so fresh. The black pieces were elegant, the white garments were austere yet pretty. This was lace of adult women, not angelic girls. The crocheted knits, the fringed wovens, the webbed netting, it was all so well rendered and pretty. Understated, classic, smart, sexy, fresh. All of those descriptions are equally balanced across this collection.

The menswear element was also right on for the season. Women are suiting up and headed back to work. They are living again in a man's world, appropriating the sartorial cues of power. In boyish bolero suits and pleat front pants, the ladies looked like sexy bull fighters. Like women ready for a charge.

Raffia corsets, woven and structured, were another highlight of the collection. They were so smartly understated. It seems as if a raffia corset would be a superbly unnecessary garment at this particular time, but the rough sexiness of it, the natural element of the material, the whole package makes me want one. So many of the pieces in this collection strike a chord of desire. They are special. They are garments that women will be able to justify purchasing. They are elegant, classic, and again, very special. Those are the keys to sales in a time of restrictive spending. Give the girl (woman, excuse me) something to desire that seems practical and you get the gold card. Simple as that, designers, simple as that.

All photos from

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Double Diamond Dumpster Diving.

Jeweler du jour Philip Crangi admits a dirty, yet very beneficial, little secret to

Garbage night, here I come! For not so stylish--and utterly unbelievably shocking--hoarding behavior, check out the A&E series Hoarders. It is captivatingly disturbing television. Just the way I like it!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Italians Do It Better.

Let's try and forget about Anna and her American Vogue empire for just a second. In terms of provocative, artistic achievement Italian Vogue is the true top of the fashion magazine heap. It has been for years. The cover of the Italian edition of the fashion bible has launched a thousand models' careers from Kristen McMenamy to Karen Elson. The partnership of the publication and photographer Steven Meisel has yielded shoots as innovative and notorious as Super Mods Go To Rehab, and the all black issue.

Meisel shots from Italian Vogue's all black issue, and their editorial that cheekily sent supermodels to rehab a la Lindsay and Britney.

While Meisel is the maestro in charge of shooting the superb content, none of the magazine's insanely good material would ever come to be without the pub's editor in cheif, Ms. Franca Sozzani.

Sozzani has a surfeit of laudable qualities. She's softer than Roitfeld and eons more daring than Wintour. Her humble demeanor and undeniable talent has won her legions of fashion insider fans and more praise than one can proffer in a reasonable lifetime. Sozzani's sartorial style is as admired as her editing skills. Her soft mane of blond waves compliments her striking baby blue eyes in a way that leaves her looking angelic and gentle. Yet, she dresses like a sharp Milanese woman; her choices leave her looking sophisticated and stunning. Here, watch her talk about transforming the magazine from a trade rag to an international phenomenon over the past 20 years:

She's an icon.