Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Elizabeth BB Contemplates LV

How do I love this heel?  Let me count the ways:

1. It is straight instead of curvy.

2. It is substantial instead of spindly.

3. It is, granted, high, but the heel's sturdiness makes it seem not precarious.

4. It is architectural.  I see skyscrapers.

5. It is strong and exudes confidence.  To rewrite a maxim from Michael Keaton's character in The Paper: "A clipboard and a confident heel will get you inside any building."  (Aside: Do I want to carry a clipboard?  Nooo.  How about a leather-bound notebook?  No Blackberry, either, please!)

6. It is from Louis Vuitton Fall 2010, demonstrating that Marc can indeed make an elegant shoe.  He just often prefers not to.  Bartleby the Shoemaker, I guess.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Reindeer in May

I love this combination of a Christopher Kane dress with a vintage apron (image from T magazine). 

At first glance, the apron looked like it was crocheted, which pleased me, since it redeemed the image below, an embellished Chanel cardigan shot by Bill Cunningham for his NYT feature on cardis.

I think that this piece looks like Chanel's version of a reindeer sweater (in May).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sweaty Dressing: Alexander Wang's Corset Sweatshirt

Unless you're Norma Kamali, circa 1981, it's unlikely that you could have made me raise an interested eyebrow over sweatshirt dressing.

I didn't participate in the Jucification of the universe in the early noughties, nor did Jennifer Beals' torn Flashdance sweatshirt thrill me at the time.

But thanks to a recent editorial in Vogue, I've been considering a sweatshirt--and it doesn't have a university's name emblazoned on the chest. 

Here is Alexander Wang's cotton corset sweatshirt, in a perfect shade of oatmeal, just waiting to be paired with a skinny pair of khaki-colored ski pants.  Wang both elevates the humble sweatshirt and devulgarizes the demi-demi-cup corset. 

But underpants comme des garcons?  In brief: of corse-t not.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Doppelganger: American Woman

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, painted by Robert Henri, 1916. 

Or Parker Posey?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stylist Project Revisited

I'm late to this party, but upon seeing (in Vanity Fair) a peek of this portrait of Ginnifer Goodwin by Kimberly Brooks, I went on a research spree. 

The painting is from Brooks' "Stylist Project," for which she painted fashion stylists, including Rachel Zoe, Arianne Phillips, and my favorite, Janie Bryant, the Mad Men designer:

But she also showed her portrait of Goodwin, which, with Goodwin's short hair and yellow twisty dress, is very pretty.

Do the Bustle

It's really not a goal in life, but I do think it would be lovely to own a piece of Morgane Le Fay clothing. 

This bustle dress would be perfect for clomping about town (for one really should wear brogues or boots with it), large bag of vegetables in arms from the Farmers' Market.

Cobwebs and Couture: Lady Gaga Saves the Rainforest

I couldn't not take notice when I learned that some rockers sang "Don't Stop Believing," one of my favorite Glee covers, at Sting and Elton John's Save the Rainforest benefit the other night. 

Sure, they were reading teleprompters for the lyrics, and sure, Sir Elton mangled the second verse a bit, and--horrors of horrors--Kate Hudson joined in for the final chorus, but I didn't mind (OK: I minded Kate very much) because I was in thrall to the kittenish adorableness that was Lady Gaga. 

Channeling Edie Sedgwick brows, Keane eyes, a postmodern Miss Havisham cobweb bustier-mini dress and Rosemary's Baby toes, Lady G charmed with every move. 

She put an arm around Sir Elton after his flub; she sang with Sting;

she engaged in a modest twist (all in the toes);

she posed with Trudie Styler;

she did not try to upstage Debbie Harry to her right or Shirley Bassey to her left;

all the while looking delectable.

You can see the video here, on Huff Post.

Friday, May 14, 2010

With Character

Quite a while ago I wrote about my love for character shoes.  When I worked for the Charlottetown Festival, I was able to perform in a pair of Lenore Zann's shoes, which was a thrill, way back in the 1980s!

Browsing Tabitha Simmons's site this morning, I spied these lizard heels.  They remind me of the classic character shoe, a little dowdy, but that's what appeals.  They're calling out for the wearer's own character to make them into something spectacular.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Dressing with Grace

I'm delighted to announce that I have a new piece in the May/June issue of Selvedge magazine.

It's on Grace Kelly's style, and is timed to match the opening of the V&A's exhibit Grace Kelly: Style Icon.

Here's a peek at the article, and this month's beautiful cover:

Many thanks to the wonderfully smart women who provided quotes for this article (in order of appearance):

Kate Battrick, stylist and author of Make Do Style;

Linda Grant, author of The Thoughtful Dresser (both book and blog) and shortlisted Booker-Prize author of The Clothes on Their Backs;

Virginia Postrel, author of The Substance of Style and editor in chief of Deep Glamour;

Jo Glynn-Smith, retail editor of UK Harper's Bazaar, via Mrs. Trefusis;

Stephanie Savage, co-creator of the TV show Gossip Girl.

I hope you can check out this issue on the magazine racks to read these women's thoughtful perspectives on Grace Kelly's style.

Monday, May 3, 2010

J Crew v. Target: The Liberty Peacock Print Swimsuit Challenge

J Crew and Target both offer a peacock-fabric swimsuit this season.

The J Crew, in the original Liberty print, is to the right and costs $125.

The Target, in a reimagined Liberty print (dare I say a Liberty *inspired* print) is below, and costs about $19.99.

To my mind, the Target/Liberty prints look fine when clustered together, but when compared with the original, there's no contest.

Which one do you think is better for the beach this summer?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Grammar Police: The "Trump This" Edition

If there's anything worse than the grammar police, it's a grammar policeperson who gets it wrong. 

To wit: I was channel surfing the other night (yes: I still have TV; the Kentucky Derby is upon us, you see) and lingered on The Apprentice

Big-hearted, sincere Cyndi Lauper had just begun to make a point--"I feel bad . . ."--when the horrifically haired host of the show interrupted her.  "Badly!" he barked, and the ever polite Ms. Lauper demurred to either his authority or his volume.

Of course, many a gentle viewer and reader will know that Cyndi Lauper was perfectly appropriate in her use of "bad" and the host should be . . . well . . . fired from his self-proclaimed position as guardian of the English grammar.

The 1980s icon Cyndi Lauper recalls for me another 80s icon: Katharine Hamnett, who also knew a thing or two about grammar, with her sentence shirts. 

Frankie Goes to Hollywood co-opted this one, above, but I think its message still stands: Relax, Mr. T. 

And Wham! wore Hamnett too.  Their hair was/is definitely Number One.

Do you think that the t-shirts fit badly?  Don't feel bad if you do . . .

May Day

Perhaps it's only fitting that I've been rereading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, as "May Day" plays an important role in it.  The narrtor riffs on how that code term connects to m'aidez, "help me" en francais

But on this May Day, I don't think that any help is necessary.  Rather, I'm conjuring up images of festive maypoles (which I adore, athough Mad Men has sullied them for me a bit). 

May this month bring many flowers, both literal and symbolic!