Category Archives: fashion

Hell yeah, it’s a holiday sale!

NOW THROUGH CHRISTMAS, at my Etsy shop!

 

Party on! Right now, everything in my shop is 25% off, which is a great start to a happy holidays for you and the vintage lovers in your life! Better still, all orders of $50 and more get FREE SHIPPING within the US!

Treat yourself to holiday gems, like this early 1960s mink trimmed suit.

Was $145.00, now only $109.00!

Or this warm and stylish velvet and tweed cape from Raymond of London!

Was $70.00, now only $52.50!

Turn up the holiday bling in this Victoria Royal sweater:

Regular price $29.99, now only $22.50

Splurge on yourself with this incredible and rare 1950s/60s Louisa Spagnoli dress:

Regular $175.00, now only $130.00

Or show off a perky pink version of holiday cheer in this Lilli Diamond party dress!

Marked down from $50.00 to only $37.50

There’s no wrong way to save money, and it’s not naughty to be nice to yourself! So give the gift of vintage – scarves and handbags are a great one-size-fits all stocking stuffer, and you can always find something in your size (no matter large or small!) and start dropping links and hints on your Secret Santa!

So get shopping already!

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New Book! Vera: The Art And Life Of An Icon

The Vera Company’s blog announced today that their new book, “Vera: The Art And Life Of An Icon”, is now available for purchase on Anthropologie.com. The book is described as, “a chronicle of the career of the incomparable designer, artist and entrepreneur Vera Neumann, who built her company on the philosophy that fine art should be available to everyone.” Vintage fashion enthusiasts, as well as many others who enjoy textile and graphic design, have long since loved Vera Neumann and her bold prints. I can’t wait to check this book out and see what gems it contains!

Link via The Vera Company; book available for purchase from Anthropologie.

David Bowie Interviews Alexander McQueen; Dazed Magazine 1996

David Bowie wearing a coat by McQueen for 1997's Earthling

Dazed magazine posted an interview done in 1996 of the late Alexander McQueen by the the Sovereign himself, David Bowie. The two famously collaborated early in McQueen’s career, notably for Bowie’s Earthling tour which featured costumes like the fabulous Union Jack coat pictured above. At the time of the interview, the two had never met in person despite having worked together for over a year. Some highlights…

…on working in the corporate fashion world:

DB: So how are you going to work in these circumstances [at Givenchy]? Do you feel as though you’re going to have rules and parameters placed on you, or what?
AM: Well, yeah, but you know I can only do it the way I do it. That’s why they chose me and if they can’t accept that, they’ll have to get someone else. They’re going to have no choice at the end of the day because I work to my own laws and requirements, not anyone’s else’s. I sound a bit like yourself!

…a wicked ice-burn on Armani:

DB: Armani says, ‘Fashion is dead’.
AM: Oh, so is he… I mean, God…

…the inevitable “isn’t that sad in the wake of his recent suicide” quote:

DB: Do you think of clothes themselves as being a way of torturing society?
AM: I don’t put such an importance on clothes, anyway. I mean at the end of the day they are, after all, just clothes and I can’t cure the world of illness with clothes. I just try to make the person that’s wearing them feel more confident in themselves because I am so unconfident. I’m really insecure in a lot of ways and I suppose my confidence comes out in the clothes I design anyway. I’m very insecure as a person.

I am an embarrassingly big fan of David Bowie, and this blog should leave no question of my devotion and love of all things McQueen, so any conversation between the two is kind of like porn for me. Too bad it was conducted over the phone, and therefore didn’t result in any charming photo ops of the two laughing at each others’ charms over a spot of tea, or whatever British people do when they assemble in groups. Cricket, maybe? Now those would be some cute pictures.

Read it all on Dazed Digital; link via Fashionista.

Lagerfeld Related Hilarity from the Onion

THE ONION: Forgetful Karl Lagerfeld Inadvertantly Starts Lobster-Bib Trend

Oh god. So funny. I love it.

Alexander McQueen on Charlie Rose

Boing Boing points out a recent episode of Charlie Rose that features a replay of a 1997 interview with recently deceased Lee McQueen.

The interview with McQueen is heartbreaking, but enlightening. I love what he has to say about his ideal woman as strong and independent, not naive. He says, “I don’t like her to look as though she could be taken advantage of.” He also talks briefly about his much maligned tenure at Givenchy with a charming sort of cheek – “I think it put most people in a coma,” he says in regards to accepting the position of head designer.

But there are moments in the interview that hint, perhaps, at some of the personal struggles that might have led to his recent suicide. When Charlie Rose asks how hard he has worked, McQueen replies, “Too hard,” with no hesitation.

“Sometimes you sit back, and you wonder what you’re doing it for,” he says.

Later, Lee McQueen laughs as he says, “I can never go through this again. Once is enough.”

How sad.

On a less dark note, the round table discussion preceding the McQueen interview is quite interesting – it’s long, but touches on great points regarding fashion as a business versus fashion as a “dream”. Designer Narciso Rodriguez, NYT’s Cathy Horyn, J Crew CEO Millard Drexler, and Elle Magazine’s Roberta Myers all have interesting things to say, and their perspectives from all different points of the industry – design, retail, magazines, and newspapers – provide for a well-rounded discussion. Watch it if you have the time.

See the full clip here, on Hulu. The 1997 interview with McQueen starts at around 45 minutes in.

Original link via Boing Boing.

Cover Girl Tina Fey Talks Fashion for Vogue

Link: Tina Fey Opens Up to Vogue’s Johnathan Van Meter…

The hilarious and lovely Tina Fey has been photographed by Mario Testino for the cover of this month’s Vogue magazine. Johnathan Van Meter talks with the refreshingly normal superstar in a great piece that talks about fashion, feminism, and boob tape.

Some highlights…

…on being normal:

“I don’t fit the mold,” she says. “In this country, success usually happens when you are 22 and six feet tall…I feel like I represent normalcy in some way. What are your choices today in entertainment? People either represent youth, power, or sexuality. And then there’s me, carrying normalcy.”

…on white denim:

One day when Fey was in high school, she went to the Springfield Mall with her friend Sandee and came upon an outfit that spoke to her inner bad girl. “Talk about the power of clothes to make you feel like more than you are,” she says as if she had just tried the outfit on this morning. “It was a white denim suit: a fitted skirt above the knee, and then the top was a jacket with a turned-up collar that you could zip all the way up. It probably had three-quarter sleeves, and it was very fitted through the waist. I remember thinking, I look fantastic in this. I have really come into my own in my white denim suit.”

…on fashion shows:

“I get invited to fashion shows,” says Fey, “but I feel like I’d get busted if I went to them. People would be like, Who you tryin’ to be?”

…on fashion and feminism:

“I spend most of my time in my daily life trying to be like a fashion noncombatant. My hands are up! I’m not even trying! That said, to talk about the impact of fashion is really interesting. I think so much of it is tied into feminism. I am a post-baby boomer who has been handed a sort of Spice Girls’ version of feminism. We’re supposed to be wearing half-shirts and jumping around. And, you know, maybe that’s not panning out. But you can tell different generations of women by whether or not they wear that Hillary Clinton blue power suit or the reappropriated Playboy-symbol necklace worn ironically. I think women dress for other women to let them know what their deal is. Because if women were only dressing for men, there would be nothing but Victoria’s Secret. There would be no Dior.”

Check out the whole article on Vogue.com. Tina Fey’s outlook on femininity, fashion, and body image are so charmingly realistic and straightforward; I know it’s been said a thousand times but she really is a fantastic role model for women of all ages. And she’s pretty damn funny, to boot.

Image via Vogue.com

R.I.P. Alexander McQueen

Link: Fashion designer Alexander McQueen dies

The British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead at his London home at the age of 40.

His company, Alexander McQueen, issued a statement saying: “On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family.

I am beyond words. Alexander McQueen was, with absolutely no exaggeration, my favorite fashion designer – of this generation or any. His work was consistently bold and innovative. I remember thinking, many years ago before I was as interested in fashion as I am today, that his designs stood out because they looked like individual artistic creations. His pieces were architectural and gorgeous, and it is such a loss for those close to him and for anyone who appreciates the creation of beauty.

It is unfortunate but not infrequent that artistic genius is so frequently coupled with mental troubles. If the scope of McQueens genius can be used as a measure, he must have been fighting some serious demons. I can only pray now that he is at peace – if he believed in a place better than this one, I hope he is there now. For his family and those close to him, they will have a difficult task of grieving privately while the public demands statements, photos, and more. I pray that they will have the opportunity to mourn properly, and that the press at large will respect their loss.

I cannot express how very sad I am to wake up to this news. Long live McQueen.

Jeans Tucked Into Boots and You – A Cautionary Tale

Otherwise known as “You Look Like A Hooker In those Knee-High Boots.”


I’m sorry, but it’s true.

 

I went to the symphony last night, and for some silly reason I assume was aimed at making classical music more “accessible”, the performers and audience were invited to wear blue jeans. Yawn. Whatever. If I wanted to slum it in jeans on a Saturday night, I would have gone to the hockey game at the civic center half a mile down the road. As it stands, the area I live in is pathetically anemic in terms of even the least fancy of fancy dress events, so why I would want to trade in the opportunity to wear a cute, classy dress for yet another chance at throwing on crappy denim is beyond me. Also, it was insanely cold outside, making it my one and only opportunity this Florida winter season to bust out my huge, plush, Russian princess-style vintage faux fur coat and actually have it serve its purpose of keeping me crazy warm and appropriately formal. (As opposed to burning hot and inappropriately over-dressed.)

Needless to say, I was not wearing blue jeans. But a lot of people were, and here’s the thing: No matter how many hundreds of dollars you spend on an ultra fancy pair of denims, it’s difficult to make them look dressy beyond a certain point. The current way to attempt to get your jeans beyond the “looks alright for a classy restaurant/martini bar” phase and into the realm of “acceptable for an evening out at a fine arts event” is apparently to shove as much of them as you can into the tallest, stiletto-est pair of boots you can find. I learned last night that this is a bad idea. Allow me to demonstrate.

You thought you were going for this sort of look:


Classy – pretty riding jacket, the jeans fit well, the shirt is nicely tailored, and the boots complete an equestrian look.

Or maybe you’d try for this style, nicely exemplified by the lovely Sandra Bullock:


Biker jacket, biker boots, managing to make both look classier than either of their original iterations – job well done, Gracie Lou Freebush.

You’ve got knee high boots, you think, and a pair of absurdly expensive jeans. You can look like these pretty ladies! Nope, sorry, nine times out of ten you look more like Pretty Woman.

Or another well known whore:


How does someone with so much money manage to look like they stole the outfit off a mannequin at Wet Seal?

When 50+ women are doing this look on a German QVC “runway”, I think it’s safe to call it dead. (Also, the Germans have QVC? Who knew.)


Too sexy for your schnitzel.

Making this look work is prohibitively difficult. It requires the perfect storm of a bangin’ body, extremely well-fit jeans, and boots that are sexy without looking like they are literally selling sex. I’ve got more “bad example” pictures than “good example”, so here’s a few more to drive some additional nails in the coffin:


C-c-c-classy!


Oh, Raven-Simone. The things we’d talk about if we were friends. The boots? The jeans? The hat? The aggressive angel wing sleeves sprouting from your gaffer tape corset?


S-s-s-sasquatch!


These boots were made for sluttin’?

I understand that in the last picture, the girls aren’t wearing shirts in any proper sense of the word, and that definitely gives them bonus points in the “Oh girl, no” category. Regardless, they appear to be doing some sort of low-rent Pussycat Doll choreographed routine in a pro wrestling ring, and if that isn’t enough to make you not want to emulate any aspect of their style, then I just don’t know what to tell you.

To avoid being overly curmudgeonly, I will acknowledge that I like the look of flat riding boots with skinny jeans – I think it’s because riding boots are generally wider at the top and do more to make legs look thin and long than their skin-tight hooker boot cousins. It goes well with a relaxed, slouchy look, as shown by Katie Holmes:


But keep in mind that she’s about 15 feet tall and has legs up to her ears.


I probably wouldn’t have noticed or cared enough to whine about boots in a blog post if it weren’t for the fact that “casual day” at the symphony provided a large assembly of women of all shapes and sizes doing variations on a theme. It isn’t often that you get such a broad sample set from which to gather data, but when a theater full of women all decide to dress up denim, it’s easy to see trends in action. There’s a ton of bloggers and varying other internet peoples talking up the boots-in-jeans look and going on about how it’s a great look for all shapes and sizes, but I am naysaying all over that general consensus.

 

Unless you are Patty the Daytime Hooker, of course. In that case, I applaud you for wearing pants at all.


Patty’s the one on the left, in case you aren’t watching My Name Is Earl as often as you should.


Images mostly from the appropriately titled and extremely topical JeansInBoots.com. I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s some foot/shoe sub-sub-culture fetish site, but it is regardless a thorough and completely work-safe compendium of images of people wearing jeans tucked into boots. Oh, internet.

 

Link Explosion – Dialing it in for the New Year

My natural laziness and the holiday blitz have conspired to keep me away from blogging recently, and in fact are still conspiring to keep me from doing any meaningful blogging now. Instead I’ve compiled a link-tastic link-splosion of deliciously linky links to the fashion-related whatnot that’s caught my eye of late. By badly generalized category, let’s begin with…

SHAMELESS BUDDY PROMOTION:


image from Fucked at the Ballet

Go get Fucked at the Ballet! It’s a smart(ass) blog for smart(ass) dancers, written by my homegirl. Read it if you are a dancer, if you were a dancer, if you are dating a dancer, or if you watched Center Stage and have since been tempted to end all arguments by rudely declaring, “I am the best goddamn dancer at the American Ballet Academy. Who the hell are you? Nobody.”


BLOGGING HYPERBOLE:

The New York Times explains how Prada (and others) don’t know how to use these mysterious inter-nets; and did you know Alexander McQueen did a live broadcast of his most recent runway show? Had you heard that mentioned before? Maybe once, or twice, or all the goddamn time?

The New York Times would also like to know if you have heard of these “fashion bloggers”? The fashion industry has!


image from Gawker

Gawker has, too, in this hilariously spot-on rebuttal to the above NYT article. They say it better than I could, so go read theirs and imagine me saying, “Yeah, uh huh, exactly that!” at the end.


EVERYTHING OLD [IS STILL OLD, BUT THAT’S COOL, TOO]:

Mad Men provides fodder for yet another fashion related article; this time for aspiring Roger Sterlings and the re-emergence of the well dressed young man, specifically in contrast to the particularly unfashionable older generation. My dad’s style icon is Brett Favre, so yeah, this article is pretty spot on.


image from FIDM Museum & Galleries

The FIDM Museum & Galleries blog serves up some tasty 70s Marimekko treats. This blog is always full of both eye and brain candy, and I adore Marimekko anything. Yum yum yum!

Lizzie at The Vintage Traveler posted
an interview with Theresa LeQuay, a vintage pattern collector and designer. It’s a great piece that combines a few of my favorite things – sewing, designing, and collecting vintage.


OMG SO PRETTY:


image via The Glossy

The Glossy has pictures of Balenciaga’s Spring 06 collection, illuminated over glowing mannequins that highlight their impeccable design and fantastically sculptural shapes. The photos were taken for Pop Magazine, because I apparently needed an excuse to hunt down one more overpriced, picture heavy fashion mag for my ever-expanding stash.


image via sandrabacklund.com

Worn Through looks at some of Sandra Backlund’s mind blowing knit designs. Bonus points for the picture of glamorous alien Tilda Swinton looking like one of the yarn people of Nylar 4 (and double bonus points to you if you catch that reference).

An all-too-quick look into the workshop/laboratory of Maison Martin Margiela. Anybody that’s ever saved an innocuous piece of junk from a trash can, and then fired up the hot glue gun with the intention of gluing that piece of junk to another piece of junk to create a new, larger, more creative piece of junk, wishes that they got these kind of results. It’s really the highest attainable state for every duct-tape-prom-dress-wearing-crafty-so-and-so that ever dreamed the dream of making something from nothing. Myself included, minus the duct tape prom dress.


image via The Pipeline

The Pipeline on Refinery29 shows off hand made papercut origami wig hats. So pretty. I haven’t even gotten into my eternal and abiding love for all things origami on this blog, but suffice to say, origami FTW.


Those links should keep you busy for a while – at least long enough for me to cowboy up and get back on the blogging train. In the meantime, continue to enjoy the last dregs of your holiday season, and enjoy your new year with tidings of comfort, joy, and all the cheap champagne you can get your grubby paws on, you lush.

Sh!t I Apparently Can Afford Sunday – Rodarte for Target

It’s a special edition of “Sh!t I Can’t Afford Sunday” today! For this week only, this feature is going to be more aptly titled “Sh!t I Apparently Can Afford Sunday.” Why the change? Did I finally get around to hocking my kidney on the black market and now find myself slightly lighter and considerably wealthier? Nah, nothing so dramatic. But today is the day the Rodarte collection debuted for sale at Target stores and online, and instead of bitching about things I can’t buy, I decided to go test the limits of my credit card and do a little shopping.

It was fun! Unlike in NYC, nobody in my podunk-ass Target was giving the collection more than a passing glance. Fine for me; I got my absolute pick of the lot. I am normally a bit color shy, but I decided to just go balls-to-the-wall (for me) and get the mustard yellow lace cardigan and skirt, and gosh darn it, I like it!

Rodarte Mustard

And at around $30 bucks a piece, it definitely didn’t break the bank.

I was surprised at how cute this sequinned snow leopard print dress looked on me. So I bought it, too!

Rodarte Leopard

This whole collection is really quite pretty. The flirty, feminine dresses weren’t really my style, but even the girliest of them looked better on than I thought they would. The excesses of tulle evoked classical ballet tutus without making you feel like you’d be coughing up netting after a night out. I’m pleased with the fit and sizing, as well. The dresses and skirts were short enough to be sassy without showing off all your lady parts, and the cardigans and tops hit at a very flattering place on my figure.

The only thing I’m bummed about is that the Target I was shopping at didn’t have any of the accessories. I was really wanting to get the belt in (at least) black, and of course, they’re already sold out online. Wicked bummer! Altogether, though, the collection available in my store was pretty thorough – a couple pieces were not available (notably, the ribcage dress – which I probably wouldn’t have bought, but at least wanted to try on), but they compensated by including pieces I hadn’t seen featured in the pre-release photos.

One of the ones I hadn’t seen was the pretty printed raincoat.

I bought it, because god knows it’s rainy enough in Florida to justify it many times over. It’s super lightweight, so it should be good through the summer (well…most of the summer, anyway). And it comes with its own bag; how cute is that?

Job well done all around, today. Kudos to Rodarte for a nicely designed, very wearable collection, and kudos to Target for doing this whole “designer stuff for cheap” thing. I went to town on the McQ collection last year; and I’ll probably do the same for the Zac Posen line coming up next year. Finally, kudos to me! I think I deserve it, for the blissful buying coma I managed to put myself in for the rest of the day. It’ll be business as usual next week with a showcase of coveted clothing I can’t afford, but for accuracy’s sake, I may have to change the title to “Sh!t I Could Have Afforded If I Hadn’t Blown A Lot Of Money On Rodarte For Target Stuff.”

Images from The Cut.
Shop (what’s left of) the Rodarte for Target collection online here.