Friday, August 27, 2010


I love it when my mom proves she's cooler than me. She posted a link to London's Black Cab Sessions on her Facebook page today. It's a music/film project by five friends born of a love of music. They invite indie (and not so indie) artists to hail a cab and sing a song in the back seat. The resulting acoustic, squished sessions wind up posted to the site for all to see. One of their more recent film is of the Aussie band Cloud Control offering up a charming backseat version of their whoop-inducing song, "Gold Canary".

Cloud Control from Black Cab Sessions on Vimeo.

The band's original video for the song is lovely little ode to historical television graphics and brings me back to Atari daze.

In honor of the song's title, I offer my fashion fiends a precious little ode: A golden canary charm of their own, ready to be strung and worn.

Tweet, tweet.


The first issue of i-D, August 1980. Designed by Terry Jones.

I have a love hate relationship with online slang. The internet land shorthand can get out of hand, and the elllloonnngatttiiiiooonnn ooooffff woooorrrdddsss drives me bananas, but the one thing I couldn't do without are the winky, smily, sad-faced little emoticons that help make typed-word-only convos a little more human. In this post, I pay homage to one of the first major communication vehicles to make big-time use of the graphic representation of an emotion: i-D Magazine. See it winking at you? It's been doing that since it's first issue (above) published 30 years ago. I was just reading a NYT article that cited the name of the fashion glossy and I winked back. Here, in all of it's glory is the winky wink and it's long tradition of cover girl imitations.

Why the wink? Because it's cheeky like all things British should be. Thanks for so many years of so much fun i-D. Wink on.

For a good time visit the i-D cover archive.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sweet, Flickering Heaven.

You are a savvy fan of the Internet, so I don't have to tell you how amazing the treasure trove at your fingertips is--but I will anyway. The glowing screen you are reading, which is a conveyance for a limitless, wireless, wall-less archive of everything and anything ever produced by human culture is astounding. I spent today surrounded by books; first at the flagship, marble-carved 5th Avenue branch of the New York Public Library, and then in the stacks of FIT's Gladys Marcus Library. Both are incredible resources filled with bound volumes of magical storytelling paper, original physical artifacts, and recordings of all kinds. Both smell amazing. Both have their own atmosphere and their own set of glowingly dorky, mostly bespectacled staff so eager to help you research your topic that the apples of their cheeks hurt when they hand you your sources. They are phenomenal, historic places worthy of our utmost care and conservation, but I couldn't help foreseeing all of those rooms weighted with heavy tomes replaced by slim hand-held e-readers. Don't get me wrong--the imagined scenario filled me with a sinking sadness, but it was buoyed by the certainty that the portable, light-emitting archive that is the Internet is a gift to all of us. For everyone who can't make it to the library today to request appointments with special collections departments in order to spend a pre-determined period of time with actual artifacts, the galaxy of resources on the web is a fantastic alternative. That may seem to be an instant grasp of the obvious, but today it struck my just how fantastic it is.

What has sparked this rave? A growing love of old things and a really wonderful, rare old thing. I have recently embarked on a journey to become a fashion historian (for realsies, not just for blogsies). In the two days that I've been an enrolled student in FIT's MA Museum Studies program, I've been delightfully inundated with evidence for just how important fashion history is (not that I needed much convincing). It is the history of politics, of nations, of every culture, all wrapped on the form of the human body. It is a window into the development of technology, the resources of the natural world, and the evolution of creative expression. It is studied, like any other aspect of time past, through the analysis of artifacts and written accounts. These artifacts in their original form are held in a web of museums, galleries, and libraries all over the world. These institutions were created in efforts to encourage the public to take pride in their culture and develop it further, thus they are incredibly accessible and public friendly. As a student I now have even more access to the collections of these places. I can head to individual institutions, seek out actual items, and view artifacts or read documents on any subject in person as an aspiring scholar: I can take my academic queries to institutions far and wide. Or, I can click on a few links and suddenly be at home viewing an original, rare visual document in my pajamas, on my bed, with a pillow under my head and a MacBook heating up my lap (that's an accurate description of my current state, BTW).

What's glowing on the screen is absolute gorgeousness. It's a reel of test footage from Kodak's archives showing hand-cranked color motion picture footage. This footage was shot in 1922, a full 13 years before the release of the first color film. It's magic.

As an aspiring historian, this document is invaluable. It shows materials from the time coming to life. It shows their texture, which is important in identifying their type. It shows hair color, makeup, posture, all of the contextual information that allows for a firmer grasp on the time. I can't stop watching it. Here, take a look:

The past is everywhere, and it's such a present.

Credits: My friend Jenny alerted me to the film clip as posted on The Daily What. The original publisher of the piece was Kodak them selves, via their YouTube channel. You can read more about the footage at their website.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of School.

Today is my first day as a student at FIT. If you follow this blog at all, you can probably guess how I'm feeling: I'm thrilled. I'm also filled with all of the nervous energy that being thrilled entails. A lot of the nerves are coming up around what to wear, naturally. I'm searching through my closet as I type to find the perfect outfit for a fashion student's first day. Granted I'm not a design student, and that lends itself to a certain brand of relief around not having to prove my aesthetic in my outfit choice. No overwrought frills for me, I'm going to keep things simple, classic, comfortable and weather suitable (which today means safe for soggy). Thank god I'm also not a high school student.

First day of school outfits from Flickr users.

These girls are headed to their first days of high school, which is way more loaded than heading to your first day of Grad School. Remember how much your first day outfit meant? Remember the back to school shopping and the laying out of clothes the night before? Remember the next day when all of those clothes that you laid out the night before didn't look right at all, and you needed something else in the ten minutes before your bus or your ride honked for you? Oh, dear, I do. Well, teens today have a new tools for sartorial stress of this kind...Youtube and Flickr. The new "So, what should I wear tomorrow??" conversation is a now a photo or a vlog entry with a fashion show of options for your viewers to vote on. If only I had thought ahead, I'd be taking advantage of all of your style eyes! For now, I'll watch and learn from the teens below who were barely out of diapers on my first day of high school.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The Dover Street Market in London is a Comme des Garcons project that stocks curated merch for the ubercool. My favorite DSM wear are their playful heart-logo tees that feature some cute characters for your closet. Here are five of my favorites:

If I had the opportunity to wear one of these babies, I have a pretty good feeling that it would be a very self-hug kind of a day. Aren't they sweet? Something about their lack of mouths makes me love them even more.

Beautiful but Overpaid, and Vacuous.

Are you smarter than a supermodel? Sybil Buck does the legwork (and cheesy interpretive dance style acting) to find out in this vintage House of Style clip.

How the hell did that girl know the capital of Mongolia? Cudos, my pretty friend, cudos!