Monday, September 27, 2010

One-Earringed Warrior.

Robyn ain't new. She's been around a deliciously long time, a fact I find remarkably comforting. She's someone that I had very ignorantly overlooked for many years simply because once I listened to one of her songs and it was too blip-bloop-bleepy-electropoppy for my taste. After that particular afternoon I never looked back, and dare I say that I was soooo wrong not to. I personally use this example of my own failing to never say no til the third try of anything ever again. After so long of clicking past any presence of the cute blond popstress, what made me reconsider? A friend with good taste (thank God for those!).

A little while ago my friend Rahul posted a Letterman appearance of Robyn's as his g-chat status message with the simple text: "Yes!!!" Because Rahul is nearly prescient in his level of taste, I clicked and watched Robyn make a hand-kissing fan of Mr. Letterman with her rousing rendition of one of her latest singles, Dancing On My Own (see above). The performance quickly became my repeating lullaby, alarm clock, and daytime dance tune. In fact, I only recently replaced it with something new, which is....also by Robyn. Her video for her song Hang With Me is sweet and officially cements her status as cuteness embodied.

Robyn's pixie appearance is edged with a taste for the modern. She favors designers with a like of tailoring and structure. She also prefers one of my all-time favorite modes of accessorizing--asymmetrical earrings. She frequently dons just one dangler, or a big and a small one. This trend should have come and gone a long time ago. But, when the right person does it, it instantly transports me back to that sweet spot of time in the '80s when all of the cool, older girls were doing it and creating that magical kind of envy that makes a little girl want to stick out childhood so she can do it too.

Robyn, can I be you when I grow up?

On a Mission: Fabrication Fantastic

Dolce and Gabana's 2011 Spring outing entered virginal territory. Based on the caches of cloth brides would prepare and bring with them as part of their wedding day trousseau, the show was a mostly white ode to needle craft. The handiwork that results in the fabrications they showcased has been specialized, skilled labor for centuries, and is timeless in its crafted beauty.

In choosing pieces for my own wardrobe, I'm taking on a commitment to own garments made of special fabrics. I've found two pieces recently: one black top with embroidered cutwork, and another zipped, quilted jacket made of embroidered, creamy cotton. They were both cheap thrift finds ($8 and $3, respectively) that feel priceless and timeless. They are classic black and white pieces that dress up my basics and make me feel a little special. In that good way--not, you know "special".

Photos: Yannis Vlamos / via

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oh, Mallory! I love you.

If you ask me who my childhood heroes were I would have to say: The Giving Tree, Madonna, and Mallory Keaton. The first two are pretty self-explanitory, right? Who wouldn't want to be an awesome tree with so much to give, and an international pop star with tons of rubber bracelets? I don't know who. The third may not be as immediately evident. You see, to me, Mallory Keaton was the ultimate older sister. She was tough and pretty and had that great brown, feathered hair. Sometimes she would wear eyeliner, but mostly she was just simple and pretty. Something about her spoke to me. And as dumb as they made her seem on the show, I knew she could kick that little twerp Alex's ass any day. Because she was older and cooler than me at such a formative age, I have forever looked up to her style and envied her wardrobe. I loved her tomboyish prettiness and in the last few years, I've been thinking of her a lot as a style icon. No joke.

A few months ago I had gone to the trouble of Netflix streaming an early episode of Family Ties to screencap still shots of Mallory's amazing wardrobe. It was a lot of work and in the busyness of my days I forgot the pursuit and saved it for a later. Well, I'm apparently not the only one who loves Mallory. Someone beat me to the punch and I'm thrrriiillled by it. My amazingly astute, awesome librarian friend Nicole "Colie" S. sent me a link to Mallory's Clothes.

It's a single-serving Tumblr (the best kind, honestly) that is in pursuit to present "a comprehensive rundown, in chronological order, of Mallory Keaton's outfits from the series Family Ties (1982-1989)" Um, YESSS! I couldn't be happier and hope you can share in this joy. Let's show Mallory just how much we honor her tele-style and make this Tumblr a hit. I'm so excited!!

Photos come from my new favorite Tumblr, Mallory's Clothes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Please enjoy this vimeo video of morphing ladies of the 18th Century by user Rene Delacroix.

Fashion! from rene delacroix on Vimeo.

Happy-making, no?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ticket Me.

The shows used to be industry functions, now they are theater that begs for a loving audience.

I'm not rich. I can't afford to buy "off the rack" unless that rack is in a big box retailer. It's the truth, and instead of loathing the state of my financial affairs, I use it as a challenge and many of my fellow fashion forward friends do too. We go to vintage shops, thrift stores, clothing swaps, and sample sales. We gather what's old or used, and mix it with what's newly made in China and come out looking pretty fly if you ask us. That's because we love fashion. We study it and seek it out. We get our hands dirty and get creative with stitches and sewing machines or glue or seam rippers and wear what becomes something new. I'm not boasting, I'm just truth telling. The way we put things together becomes the fuel that fires the trend driven fashion machine. We are such a big part of the big business, and yet we can't get into the tents without a scheme or a name badge that reads "Tavi."

Now, I wouldn't ask to touch anything. I'd just look with my eyes.

I'm not trying to seem entitled, there is a sense of earning your place in the tents. Those runways are nothing if not hierarchy on display. I don't want or need frontrow seats, or even a seat, but what about a standing pass? My plea is this: I wish designers would designate a certain section of space at their seasonal shows for fans who show their love in ways other than whipping out their wallets. In the past fashion shows were industry events. They were a fairly straightforward means to an end. Designers would open their studios, or set up satine sofas in salons to show their latest creations to buyers and editors. There were few if any outside viewers that were there simply for spectacle. My, how that has changed. Fashion shows now are performances. They are brand building exercises in theater with the best costumes this side of Bollywood. They beg to be seen and we want to see them with the thump of the music in our chests, not our earbuds plugged into laptops.

Any room for me at that table? I'll do the dishes.

What if houses held contests for design students, aspiring stylists, or wishful photographers? What if writers could submit design reviews, ad copy, or press releases? Someone somewhere could take a few hours to judge the group and select attendees. This would be two fold, helping to source up-and-coming talent for the industry. Or, even easier? Do student rush tickets. Charge a flimsy fee and let people line up to buy tickets before the show. It would make some peoples' lives to be let behind the velvet ropes and see a show in person.

There used to be empty chairs.

This thought was sparked by my dealings with Mercedes Benz Fashion Week's new venue. Lincoln Center was remarkably un-fan-friendly. I happened to slip in on the coatails of a friend who had an invite to the Christian Siriano show. Inside the tents was fabulous, outside was dull and awkwardly inaccessible. In Bryant Park the tents and their environs were a fantastic place for a fan. There was the back entrance where the celebs would breeze in surrounded by squabbling paparazzi. There were the many tiny tables and chairs in the park where editors and makeup artists took phone calls or checked email. There was the plume of smoke rising from the corner where the made-up models would smoke their lunches before the shows kicked off. It was delightful eye candy for a fashion fan, even if you couldn't get in to see the show. I miss it. I'd love a way to participate in this world that I love even before I become an employed, card carrying member of the fashion industry, and I think the ability to see contemporary designs upclose and un motion would benefit my studies immensely. Well, that and it would just be an effing thrill. I'm just throwing it out there.

On a Mission: Lalalalace

Doing this On a Mission exercise of seeing what catches my eye this fashion month, I'm noticing that I'm a bit of a tomboy. I don't like fussy, or frilly, or straightened, glossed, and shimmery. But I do like feminine touches to go with my fairly boyish fare. I think it has something to do with my curves, they are almost aggressively feminine. Having boobs and an ass makes you a little bit of a sexual display case for the world. You are announced as a female, announced as a sexual object just by being in your body. Sometimes that's great, sometimes that is powerful and beautiful. But sometimes I want a volume knob on it all, and that is where the comfort in more masculine clothes comes from. In fact, a little bit of boy on me makes me feel even sexier than all the girlishness most days. However, a shot of something really girlie, like the pretty lace in Imitation's latest outing, is so beautiful and keeps me remembering that I have girl power (you know the ability to generate life, cry in public when I want, and play dress-up unquestioned).

Pair it with some red lips, jeans, and boots, and keep it in a solid, simple palette and it's tempered to a perfect pitch of pretty. It's not little girl, it's a soft weapon.

Photo: Monica Feudi / via

On a Mission: Let It Fall

The real mark of high style is fit. A shaped, tailored garment is priceless--yet so is one that falls and gathers just right. The sparse new collection from Helmut Lang includes some pieces that give in to gravity in the prettiest ways.

Lang isn't a house one would usually associate with the word "pretty" (pretty tough is usually their aesthetic) but with wide collars gracing shoulders and slouched necklines sloping southward, the flattery of these garments will be imitated by many a femme.

Photos: Dusan Reljin / Management Artists via

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Manifest This: Like Switzerland, With Sparkle

I want more nude in my closet. Isn't that some kind of an oxymoron, err, or something. I love this neutral look from Band of Outsiders. Pale and shimmery. I'd rock that with some poppin' lipstick. Coral? Orange? Red?

I like the simple cuts of the pieces. Keep it simple, stupid.

Photo: Courtesy of Band of Outsiders via

Bits and Bobbins: Silky Strong

Now that I'm on my way to being an accredited fashion geek, I thought I would share with you some of the more fun, less known facts I'm collecting like a nerdy lint roller. Here's the first installment of ::drum roll:: Bits and Bobbins!

Wednesday was intro to microscope day at school. Those are silk fibers under the lens!

Did you know that silk, that ever-so prized, shiny thread that unfurls from the backsides of certain blessed critters, is super strong? In fact, the same thickness of silk has greater tensile strength than the same thickness of steel. No kidding. Why would I joke? Also there is this species of spiders called Golden Orb Spiders (which I'll spare you a glimpse of here because they give me the heebs) that spin gold-colored silk threads. A group of people collected their silk for 4 years and wove it into a tapestry that is currently on view at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Mind blown? Good, because that's all for now. Join me next time for another installment of ::echoy announcer voice:: Bits and Bobbins!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Manifest This: Collars Pokin' Through

I love fall mostly because I can layer things. Layering is fun when it's done with cake, or maybe my hair, or bricks, but it's fabulous when it's done with collared shirts and light-knit sweaters or dresses a'la 3.1 Philip Lim.

I like that.

Photos: Monica Feudi /

Manifest This: On a Mission.

Instead of giving you the full-on fashion month coverage that you can get every single other place on the style-o-webs, I'm inviting you all on a journey. Shall you choose to accept my invitation, you'll float through the wireless air on a magical carpet plush enough for the spikiest heels. We'll travel to the far reaches of, weaving in and out of each look from the miles of runway shows. We will circle supermodels and dive bomb Z-list celebs. We'll wave to Grace Coddington (how you doin', Red?). We'll upgrade Lynn Yaeger to first class and bump Anna what's-her-name to stand-by. Most importantly, we'll search for new style. You see readers, I'm bored with my closet. I'm in fashion school now, and if I don't up my cool factor by at least half, they'll kick me out--or at least kick me. I'm ready for some fresh idears in my wardrobe. Where to begin this seemingly overwhelming search? With a mission statement of course:

Who's with me? Let's go. Now. No, you can't tinkle first, this is more important and we're already late! C'mon!

Never Don't Be Confident.

Boys, sometimes I think I pay you too little attention. As an "I'm sorry." watch Gabe and Max's Guide to Man Style and forgive me.

Watch all of them. Forgive me endlessly.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Twist for me, lil darlin'.

I love these hair portraits by Etsy seller nosideup. Prints are available for $20.00. A customized sketch of your own updo can be yours for $75.00. Peruse her shop for other delights such as paper bling and your very own "it" bag. To be cool like her, follow her blog.

Sew Easy.

Dejection, desertion, delight. The three sisters become Singer Sewing Stars.

There was a time when the answer to all your fashion pinch problems wasn't a disposable clothing store with hidden religious messages. At one point, when Daddy said no to a new dress, it was time to pick up the needle and thread. I'm sure most of us couldn't imagine sitting and sewing our own fancy party dresses today, but if it was as easy as it looks in this 1940 Singer Sewing Center commercial, I'd much prefer a session at the Singer to the chaos of Forever 21 on a Saturday in New York.

How much do you love that announcer? I need him to narrate my day.