Archive for August, 2009

Color Me Uniform

To me, “fashion” is a split-personality, a two-in-one of sorts. We all know and love “high” Fashion: couture designers, dazzling shows, beautiful eastern-European waifs, and the glossy magazines that serve as the portal of access for us regular off-the-peg wearing women. The twin sister of Fashion is the fashions that surround us, down here and far removed from fashion-fantasy-land, “fashion” with a lower-case f. Fashion is super, but fashion is my favorite. It’s real, it is the women with creative minds, keen eyes, and great design. It is a meaningful, intelligent fashion.

While perusing through the internet this morning I found a blog that embodies absolutely everything I love about fashion. The blog is called The Uniform Project. The blogger’s project is that she has chosen to wear seven identical plain black dresses for a year, in order to raise money for school children in India. (Read more about the project here.) What I love, though, is how it showcases her creativity. Obviously, wearing the same simple shift every day for a year could become inconceivably boring, so she has also turned this into a style-challenge of sorts.

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I wanted to highlight The Uniform Project not only for its mission, but to rave on her style as well! I clicked through the archives and hardly even realized I was looking at the same dress seven different times, et nauseum, because of her flair for accessorizing and being creative with her layering. Readers, everything I’ve ever said about style is shown in these fabulous outfits.

 She exhibits lovely style with a kitsch flair. She can accesorize like mad. She is a blogger with a mission. Uniform?

…only the dress…

26 August 2009 at 6:36 pm 1 comment

Color Me Censored!

On the last day of my trip to Spain, I spent the hour-and-a-half of free time to shop on Gran Via with some girlfriends. Seeing as Gran Via is a long, major road with loads of shops, and also that June is sale-month in Spain, it turned into a group of frazzled American tourists frantically grabbing clothes, dashing into dressing rooms, and running to the next store. All things considered, it was a highly successful hour of frenzied shopping. Half an hour in Bershka resulted in a light jacket and three t-shirts. Five minutes in Zara were spent scanning racks, briefly considering a 100-euro pair of gladiators, and leaving with two bottles of perfume. Next in line was a ten-minute choco-cognac-ice-cream break before spending another half hour perusing the market between GV and Puerta del Sol. If you are doing the math, we now have a mere 15 minutes for the rest of Gran Via shopping.

After quickly debating splitting the time between Stratavarious, Topshop and other Spanish boutiques, we decided it would be just as well to spend the whopping 15 minutes in one store enjoying the clothes rather than running into stores with too little time to actually purchase anything. Thus, we entered Mango, a chic three-story establishment in the midst of a deep sale. To my extreme pleasure, one of the first racks I hit had gorgeous high waist pants on clearance in my size. A pair in hand, I was on my way to the dressing room when a friend pointed out a series of fitted Ts. “This is so you!” – the shirts were all art shirts to benefit a humanitarian organization, and between the cool print on the front, the fit, and the quarter-length sleeves I agreed with my friend and took it to the dressing room. I had never spent so little time in a dressing room and had so much success: the pants and shirt fit, and looked good together. At this point we have about seven minutes to get through the checkout line and run back down Gran Via to the hotel before curfiew, and I thought nothing of my purchases except that they fit and looked good.

Well.

My fellow shoppers and I made it back to the hotel in time, and only then did we share a calm moment to show off our new purchases. It was then that I realized the very cool T would never be acceptable at my highschool: the man on the front is “exposed”, shall we say, and wearing it would certainly merit a pink-slip and lots of questions about my taste and judgement. Where does this leave me? With a really awesome shirt and no place to wear it.

Until now!

Readers and Spain-shoppers, I had a complete Eureka moment today and ta-da, here are two school-safe ensembles with the man-shirt. T-shirt Fail, no more!

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Thruthfully, I haven’t fully made up my mind whether or not the belt over the graphic works or not, but at least I could get away with wearing my five-euro man-shirt to school!

19 August 2009 at 6:51 am 2 comments

Halls of Style 17.8.09

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Just as I promised: school style for your Monday! While always a beauty, J stuck out because of her amazing shoes. The clash of the slightly high waist, structured skinny jeans and the delicacy and whimsy of the old-fashioned black boots totally grabbed me! Among the flip-flops and Tees, she looked like she had just stepped out of a Swedish street-style blog (my favorite!). Love.

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Next we have Queentazo in one of her signature hippie-chic outfits! She is not afraid to mix prints, and here it turned out wonderfully. Leather accents tone it down and add a sense of balance… que guay!

What are you wearing today?

17 August 2009 at 4:38 pm 1 comment

Halls of Style 14.8.09

What Can I Say?

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Bonjour!

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So far, so fashionable. There were a few other elusive fashionistas on Friday as well that sadly, I wasn’t able to snap. Better luck tomorrow.

As for this girl, what am I wearing?

Study clothes…

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…and a hoodie. Sundays are the best!

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As for earlier today, though, it was all scarves-and-prints:

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More tomorrow, readers. Back to the studies I go…

16 August 2009 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

Color Me Stylish…In Europe…

Being as all fashions originate across the pond and straggle over to the States in a matter of years, there are certain ways of dressing in full bloom in Europe that some of us (well, most of us) Americans would hardly even consider.  I’ve always known that America is toward the lower end of global-trend-trickle-down, but I never fully understood how far behind we were until a few weeks ago, when I was terribly excited to find that every other woman on the streets of Madrid was rocking a pair of harem pants.

Harem pants, drop crotch pants, genie pants, what have you…they’ve had a maligned reputation ever since the Hammer days. Americans find them so ugly they typically refuse to consider reviving them, while over in Europe, harem revival is in full swing. Knowing how American women feel about the style, it was amazing to pass all sorts of beautiful Spanish women in varying degrees of drop-crotch-ness: some styles easily pass as sweats while others resemble floor length skirts with elastic around the ankles! And, maybe because I was seeing them in a European context, I thought…these look good! Chic, even. I saw hipsters wearing them with tank tops and gladiator sandals and fashionistas wearing them with fitted jackets and chunky heels. Needless to say, I think you know where this is going: before the week was over myself and almost every other girl in my traveling group had purchased a pair. My harem pants are very bohemian, with a bold print in olive and burnt orange (pictures to follow) from a street vendor between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol.

Of course, who knows how much wear they’ll get here in the States. In Spain, where drop crotch pants abound, I wore them all the time. Now, however, they are almost exclusively worn to art functions where they will at least be considered by my peers with an artistic eye. What I find more amusing than my friend’s reactions, though, is the reaction harem pants as a whole are currently receiving from the fashion world. Last month, I found two glossies with completely opposing opinions: one boasted a cover girl wearing a pair yet contained an article denouncing any women caught in them as an epic fashion fail, while the other had an article lauding their cut and comfort. Hmm…fashion is fickle, but what else is new? InStyle recently put out a piece with celebs wearing shiny, satiny versions at public functions. They’ve been up and down the runways; what I am truly waiting for is the time when the runway trickle down hits the American public and I can smile bemusedly about the frivolity of fashions, and the ultimate desire of women (including myself) to be en vogue, even if it means hiding your favorite pair of European pants until Vogue seals them with Anna’s stamp of approval.

Ultimately, the significance of this train of thought is that the world of fashion is constantly sending out mixed mesages and contrasting ideas, and women should rely only on their own likes and dislikes when considering a wardrobe. If I were to wait for the magazines and editors to agree on when Harem pants will be in style here in America, I’d never get to wear them. Instead, I’ll take a cue from the ladies in Spain, and embrace the oddball trends when I chose.

15 August 2009 at 8:35 am Leave a comment

Halls Of Style 13.8.09

Studying At Starbucks

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Halls has moved! This year, I’ll be posting them as a part of the front page for prime exposure. Bask in textile ingenuity! Hurrah for a new school year!

13 August 2009 at 9:44 pm Leave a comment

Color Me Creative

I am always intrigued to discover what the lives of top fashion models were like before finding fashion fame. My favorite catwalker, Sasha Pivovarova, is an artist off the runways, and truthfully it is that fact that endeared her to me in the first place. Reading about her in a TeenVogue a couple summers ago, I was fascinated by her artwork and her stark Russian beauty and ever since have counted her as one of my artistic inspirations. According to New York Magazine, she began studying art at age seven at the St. Petersburg Art Institute.

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Truthfully, the internet research I’ve done on her work as an artist has yet to produce a satisfying amount of information. I know she lives in a converted chandelier factory in Brooklyn and has been asked by Lagerfeld to do some illustrations for Chanel in the last year, among other things. Since being discovered as a model she’s walked countless shows and been on the cover of many magazines (not to mention, the header of my blog).  Being my favorite model, I keep my eyes out for her anyway, and the more I grow as an artist the more curious I become about her work! She is someone I’ll forever be Google-ing.

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Pictured above at a gallery opening, and below drawing backstage at Matthew Williamson in 2005.

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(For more on Sasha, an interview from New York Magazine.)

Of course, there are loads of other areas in which fashion and art-two of my favorite things-collide, one being in the form of a long eared white rabbit with very expensive taste.

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Fifi Lapin, pictured here in Marc Jacobs, is the blog child of an anonymous artist who dresses Fifi in straight-off-the-runway designs every day.  I think this is the most ingenious idea for a blog, and a surefire way to make top fashions get noticed. I love her attention to details, extensive wardrobe collection, bunny wit, and of course, the prints and other Fifi-related goods on the Etsy shop.

Lastly, while on the topic of fashion drawings, I am so thrilled about Ruben Toledo’s new book illustrations! I’m enough of a bibliophile already, I don’t need anymore reasons to buy books, and these new editions are not doing anything to tame my addiction. In fact, I would say they are doing just the opposite.

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The Scarlet Letter, Pride and Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights.  (For those of you newbie fashionistas, Ruben Toledo is a famed fashion illustrator and husband to designer Isabel Toledo.)

 

Collisions of fashion and art: a beautiful thing. The creative process is a huge part of why I love fashion; to wear clothes is to make art, albeit a unique form of it. The principles of design remain the same regardless of the medium with which said art is being created. Therefore, fashion is art and art is fashion. Combining the two will always be in fashion.

11 August 2009 at 6:21 am Leave a comment

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