Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fine Feathers: Victorian Photo Collage

My eldest daughter dearly wanted to babysit her school's rabbit for two weeks during spring break; I, uncertain that our golden retriever would share her sentiments, thought it an unwise move.

She has not, fortunately, resorted to putting a rabbit-ear headband on our very patient retriever.  (I tried this with our bulldogs once.)

The image above, from the Met's current exhibition on Victorian photo collages, does more than put headbands on animals.  Those bonnets feel festive and grand, in an Easter Parade (Easter Swim?) sort of way.

Monday, March 29, 2010

April's Vogue: Aqua and Re(a)d All Over

If April's Vogue US is any indication, red and aqua are the colors of the season.

To wit: red and aqua on the cover.

I find this color combination to be striking:

Nan Goldin for Bottega Veneta.

Karen Elson for Tiffany.  (Think of the blue box.)

OK: this Nan Goldin photo wasn't in Vogue, but it fits the theme.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's Un-likely

Would I wear J Crew's "luxe terry un-sweatpants"?

(See above for answer.)

OK, ok: maybe if I were feeling un-der the weather.

Or un-der duress.

But I'll bet I'd be un-derdressed.

(What if I worked at Dunder Mifflin?)  With David Brent and co., though, please.

Sling Blades: Camilla Skovgaard's New Treads.

I've been pondering Camilla Skovgaard's new shoe tread this spring.

It recalls a saw blade; indeed, a particularly jagged one.

If these shoes were only sling-backs, I'd christen them sling blades

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Kiteya: "Come Right In"

Last December I was nosing around Soho and was delighted when I popped into Kiteya.

It's a charming shop of Japanese products, ranging from perfect hair clips (for my daughters' stockings) to lovely rice-print scarves (to dream about) to iron work (to ogle). 

The lovely SA offered to wrap my purchases but I was on deadline--a chilly, hungry family waiting outside--but I suspect that the wrapping would have been very pretty. 

(We tucked into Le Pain Quotidien, which I like to think of as Panera for hipsters.  And not in a bad way.)

Kiteya (which means "come right in") is right across the street from Rudy's Guitars' new location, so be sure to bring your guitar picks too.  (And yes, I do mean that double apostrophe.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Margo Selby Shoes: For the Curious

Yesterday I offered a quick tweet about my sugar-bush ensemble, the two most interesting aspects of which included my Le Chameau boots and beloved Margo Selby scarf. 

I've written about my passion for Selby's textiles before in a post, and thought I'd revisit the London designer's home page, since I hadn't paid a call in a year or so.

There I was intrigued by a whimsical collaboration with Daita Kimura, for the Dickensian Old Curiosity Shop: shoes outfitted in Selby's trademark bubbly silk (my term).

I wouldn't wear the cocktail court shoe (wish I could see its heel, above) with a solid-color ensemble; that's too generic.  Rather, I'd pair it with a riot of patterns, ideally on a bustle skirt or somesuch and a fitted jacket.  Or maybe with a perfect Manish Arora dress.  To my mind, pattern begets pattern.

This cocktail hogtoe boot (truly one knows this is a porcine boot before reading its name) is a peculiar mix of Victorian novel, Tim Burton film, and street chic. It's the piggy cousin to Alexander McQueen's Bedlingtons and I am in thrall.

It could look terrific with a pair of perfectly cut fluorescent beige* jodphurs (wait--do pigs and ponies mix?) and an eccentric but fitted jacket.  Oh yes: and a vintage top hat. 

*This is my new favorite color, which I just heard articulated in the film Precious.  There's nothing precious about fluorescent beige: it's in-your-face cool.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Jenny Packham Dress

I see no reason not to have this Jenny Packham dress in my closet. 

It could take me from Austen to Zadie,

from Barbara Stanwyck to Joan Fontaine

from "Dancing with the Stars" to TLC's "Hoarding"*

on any given day.

It's perfect for tripping the light fantastic or, well, tripping over things.

Detail . . .

*This is a rather terrifying new show, for anyone who is claustrophobic or clutter-averse.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Titian Hair

I'm in the red these days, having recently decided on a copper base with golden highlights.  And so I'm taking particular notice of titian-colored locks.

The first place I read the word "titian" was, of course, in a Nancy Drew mystery, the girl detective famous for her titian hair, which, to my mind, was a mix of red and gold.  Indeed, Nancy's hair was an important element in every book cover, above and below.

But there are other famous titians too.

Consider Ann Margret:

And Karen Elson:

as well as two former blondes:

Lauren Holly:

and Christina Hendricks:

It's, ahem, no mystery why these women are embracing titian hair.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

DV at the Met

Inspired casting:

For the Metropolitan Opera's production of Hamlet,

Diana Vreeland will play Gertrude.

Her one concession:

no blush.

Gertrude was not a blushful queen.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Paul Smith Shirtdress

I'm not a real fan of proper shirts with collars, buttons, and sleeves, nor am I mad about the shirtdress. 

As I've probably said a gazillion times here, they make me look too conservative, too outfitty, even, and I prefer either a thrown-together, slightly askew mix or utter minimalism.

But one look at Paul Smith's mini shirtdress with assymetrical closure on the side and I was intrigued.

I'd undo the top buttons, lose that ghastly necktie from the catwalk (below),

and wear this shirtdress as a fitted tunic with a pair of cigarette-leg khakis and high, high substantial heels.  Nothing dainty.

And I'd totally keep the topknot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Not a Shoe-in

I'm finding spring shoes to be mostly uninspired.

There's an attempted resurgence of mules, against which I will wage a fierce campaign;

from Alexander Wang

the ski boot/ortho device hybrid (*for a truly spectacular example, see here; chez Sister Wolf);

from Altuzarra

the ubiquitous clog;

pump/clog hybrid from Comme des Garcons

the wooden platform heel;

from Robert Clergerie

the remaining gasps of the treadful look (this one reminds me of the black swan from Swan Lake, treading water, naturally);

from Alexander Wang

or the hippie over-tooled/woven sandal.

from Givenchy

Have the shoemakers lost their way this spring?  How can we get their--and our--feet on the right path?

Telephone: Lady Gaga's Gams

This is my favorite bit from Lady Gaga's new  "Tele-phone" video:

just the gals' legs,

both front and side view,

grooving in unison down the aisle.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brad Johns, Buttery Blondes

When I saw this headline in the NYT ("Taking on Hair Color's Bad Guy"), I immediately knew who the story would be referencing:

Brad Johns.

(It was really about ammonia.)

But Brad Johns was my reflex assumption, and for good reason: I have never heard of any colorist since the mid 1990s who's made such a splash with his strong color (or "buttery blondes," to quote his website) or his outspokenness.

You may recall that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's lawyer issued him a "cease and desist" for talking about his client or that he preferred "crisp" $100 or $500-bill tips, with an elegant thank-you note.

Outspoken indeed.

Aside from his well-known clientele, Johns was known for his "chunking" technique, which gave a "fabulous" but not necessarily "natural" look (his words).

When I worked in NYC, during 1996, Johns had his own salon--not under the umbrella of Avon or Elizabeth Arden, but his own joint--on 5th Avenue in an upstairs location.  One lunch hour I went for a consultation, determined to capture all the New York magic that I could during my residency.

Mr. Johns was pleasant enough, plopping a portfolio of his work into my lap, but I ultimately did not have my hair colored there.  Why?

Because I didn't like Brad Johns' own blonde hair--it looked more brassy than flattering to his skin tone so I didn't trust his judgment. Terrible mistake?  Who knows.

For my money, Kathleen, then at Bergdorfs, now at Salon AKS, was just right.  And I have no regrets.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

From Alexander McQueen's Final Collection

These exquisite looks, from Alexander McQueen's final show, seem to be made for a postmodern medieval faery. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Charlize Theron Oscar Dress 2010

Charlize Theron is no clinging vine,

nor is she a shrinking violet.

But she is wearing groping roses.

Frankly, I like this dress by John Galliano for Dior very much--on her.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Perfect Studded Prada Shoe

I am so in love with these Prada studded platforms photographed by the inimitable Tommy Ton

And the lavender/purple tights remind me of the hair ribbons I wore for Easter in Grade One.

Something new; something nostalgic.  A tug at the heart.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Massimo Vitali at the Beach

Massimo Vitali photographs beaches and bathers.

I love the cool colors in his photos, juxtaposed with a pop of hot: the awning-stripe chairs (above), an inflatable water toy.

They also encourage a certain nostalgia: if the large white rock below were red, it could very well be Cavendish Beach.

I am looking forward to summer.