Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Renaming a New Yorker Cover

This illustration by Istvan Banyai is officially called "On the Horizon,"

but I couldn't resist renaming it "Sea Shelf."

How does that tongue twister go?

She sells sea shelfs(!) on the sea shore . . .

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sideburning Down the House: Gaga, Linda, and VMA Chic

UPDATED with photo, below

When I saw Lady Gaga's alter ego Jo Calderone at the VMAs, I flashed back to one of my favourite models, Linda Evangelista, who wore that look well herself, back in the day.

I cannot locate the photos I have in mind, which are of Linda in sideburns and stubble, but here are a couple of Linda in "drag":

I also have a strong suspicion that I've seen Cindy Crawford in sideburns too (no, it's not the VF cover with k.d. lang),  and would be thrilled if any savvy readers knew where to locate the images.

Gaga by Nick Knight 

Here's the terrific Cindy Crawford photo (Herb Ritts, 1993), thanks to Anon:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Just Peachy: Kate Moss's Beautiful Cover

UPDATED! below . . .

This morning my eldest daughter and I walked to the farmers' market for fresh vegetables and bouquets of gloriously faded zinnias.

Although I do like jewel tones, a faded flower, in shades of peach, pink, and saffron, is so pretty at this time of year, when the light begins to change from summer bright to fall warm tones.

I also bought, though not at the farmer's market, August's Vogue UK (at the end of the month, I know), so struck was I by Kate Moss's cover.

Not only does she look more elegant than I've seen her for years in an editorial (I was actually reminded of this image for Liz Tilberis' Harper's Bazaar):

except that she is wearing a gently faded peach dress, delectably embroidered with sequins and silk:

I do hope to see more KM editorials like this one (photographed by Mario Testino).

But wait:  what's this?  A dress so terracotta-y, bordering on "rust," that I ignored it on

How can this earthy dress be the peachy confection far above?  Ahh, the tricks of the light . . .

What's Black and White and Read All Over (and Orange and Green . . .)

Ahh, picking up the daily paper could be such a cheerful errand if all vendors were decked out in pretty prints.

*Image from Waverly

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ballerina Style for Grown-Ups

[Considerably updated below]

Carla Sozzani, owner of the gallery 10 Corso Como (Italy). 
 From New York Magazine.

What intrigues me about this look?  Many elements, to be sure.

It reminds me of two dresses I used to wear frequently: one in thick gray jersey with an identical bodice , but a gently flowing, almost ankle-length skirt.  I wore it with a tall blonde topknot and flat Doc Martens unlaced black lace-up shoes.

But there's also the tank-bodice, saffron, thick jersey ballerina dress that invoked Azzedine Alaia.  A perfectly graceful dress for the summer.

And finally, my favourite sculpture as a lassie was Degas' dancer.  Cliche, no doubt, but when a show of Degas came to Ottawa's stunning national gallery of art, I looked at the tiny dancer until every square of tulle was etched into my mind.  Three different versions are below:

It's a case of Degas vue, if you ask me . . .

Buttons as Bait

Even though I grew up on Prince Edward Island, I'm not much of a fisherwoman.  I've been deep sea fishing only once, in Rustico, and if I remember, was too squeamish to put live bait on the hook, let alone retrieve a fish from the line.

Prada's cast a line this fall, with its fish-scale inspired pailette dresses. (And yes, I'm mad for the head gear).

But those big buttons on the dresses and shoes?  Perhaps they are bait, but they don't reel me in.  A lucky fisherwoman might just find one tossed back in the ocean.

If you're looking for a little fall reading about the fishing life, do pick up Alastair MacLeod's collection of short stories, published as Island in the United States, The Lost Salt Gift of Blood in Canada.  "The Boat" is just about perfect.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

She's Got the Beat

A long time ago, when I was a tender student in the 1980s, I did some front-of-camera work.

One day the photographer wanted to cut my shoulder-length hair.  I agreed, but wasn't fully prepared for the statement cut--short at sides and back, long and high in front.

Memories are, umm, cropping up this season as that look is making a reappearance:

Even the hair stylist of the above three images, Didier Malige for Frederic Fekkai, takes me back!

My monae is on the above look for fall.  Indeed, it seems that every hair style that comes around, Go Gos around . . .

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Feeling Sketchy

Why yes, these small sketchbooks from Liberty of London with Ianthe detail do make me feel like drawing. 

And collecting.

Back to Backward Bedlingtons

Backward Bedlingtons are facing front everywhere. 

I've seen them in magazines, on blogs (Bourbon & Pearls has made a particularly hilarious connection), but not yet on my feet.

Perhaps that's because there are so many combinations:

Far above is my favourite, the gold and pink Backward Bedlington.

But there is also this version.  If pushed, I could say that it reminds me of Malvolio in cross-gartered pink stockings, if he didn't actually wear yellow.

Fortunately, Miu Miu makes a version in not yellow, but in what I'm calling "banana":

The black version is elegant, but as that's not the point of this shoe (it relies on a little garish glamour), I'd call this show a "why bother," aka a decaf, skim latte.  (That's what an old barista chum called my once-favourite drink.)

This is called a pump, but it sends me into shivers of terror with its vampy resemblance to a Candies mule.  No, no, no.

And finally, another criss-cross version, but with more of a toddler swing-seat feel.  I'd happily swing my feet in these.

Ahh, gentle readers, are you hissing or miouing over these Miu Miu Backward Bedlingtons?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Young Girls with Long Hair and Sandalled Feet

I am thinking of an Alice Munro story, one whose title I cannot remember and one whose text I cannot find on my bookshelf.  Munro often creates an image that speaks exactly to something that I am feeling or didn't know that I needed to feel. 

The story I cannot locate ended, I believe, with a line about the kind of trust children place in their parents, and how parents, imperfect as we are, do not necessarily earn or deserve that trust, though we are granted it. 

That's a Munro image I keep in my heart, and return to, when I am feeling awed.

But that's not the image I'm contemplating now. 

This image is at once literary and cinematic, from both Munro's story "The Bear Went over the Mountain" and Sarah Polley's film of that story, Away from Her.

It is "young girls with long hair and sandalled feet."

The image refers to university students, as seen by a male professor through his rather lusty lens, but my lens is not his. 

I still see female students, but they are, perhaps, my daughters, not yet teenagers, sitting at their desks with their home-salon pedicures in purple or aqua (often both). 

Or perhaps they are young college-age women, whose sandalled feet identify them as still in those precious years of study and contemplation, before they change into professional shoes and begin their careers.

My lens is tender, maybe a bit nostalgic, but mainly full of hope for these young girls with long hair, hope that they will embrace their youth (of course they will) and have many, many years to look back upon these sandalled days.

*image by Kiki Smith, Come Away from Her after Lewis Carroll

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Buy Bernardos, or Not to Buy?

Oh, I had plenty of time to think about them, so there's really no excuse for my tardiness. 

I had seen them in February, and yet again in May on the Manolo's Shoe Blog and visited Zappos each time while making mental notes.

But I guess I forgot about them until I saw a fellow ferry traveler in Nantucket wearing them, wearing them so very well indeed.

By now I had forgotten their name and manufacturer (Mojito; Bernardo), so I engaged in some research that overheated my happily vacationing computer, till I located them again.

But this time I read the reviews (this can either be a genius or self-defeating move) and determined that about nine-out-of-ten wearers either sent back the sandals or were *very* unhappy with how the sandals fit.

So, gentle readers, should I jump at this "last" chance or be happy that I've avoided what may be a disappointing fit?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Gorsuch Style

A sure sign that summer's coming to an end is the arrival of the Gorsuch catalogue.  Full of over-the-top Gstaad ski togs and Alpinabilia, this catalogue inspires both desire and amusement.

For instance, more than once I've admired a sweater on a well-clad model and, scanning the price list, think to myself, "Oh, $175 isn't too much for that sweater." 

Then I read more carefully and see that's the price of her cashmere socks.

(Full disclosure: my beloved Technica boots are from the Gorsuch catalogue.)

Following a quick perusal, here are my short-list picks from the latest edition:

I like the purply-pink trim on this brown sweater.  And the shell buttons:

These shoes, though, are my real objet d'amour:

Made by Brunello Cucinelli, their laces are not mere grosgrain, but silk grosgrain.

And this confuses me: an iPad (tablet) case that costs more than the actual tablet?  Ooh la la:

To be sure, it is made by Bottega Veneta . . .

Do gentle readers enjoy the Gorsuch lookbook or is it my guilty pleasure alone?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Baby's Got Baggu

Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop and I definitely agree on one thing: the functional prettiness of Baggu.

I bought my nylon Baggu, which has a zip close and no handles, at Purl Soho, to store my new stash of fabric and notions:

I do not carry the juice--cough, cough--to offer a discount, but Goop readers can receive one by clicking on the above link and locating the proper code.  And as Baggu is extremely affordable anyway, the discount simply adds to the pleasure of the purchase.

Quite obviously, I hope, I did not receive any compensation for this post; just pointing out how _____ minds think alike. (blonde?)

Watercolor for the Beach

When I was in my early twenties I looked forward to buying a new swimsuit every summer. 

My label of choice then was Gottex, prompted by the then enticing ads I'd see in Vogue. 

Valeria Golino in Gottex

Once I saw a Gottex ad of Paulina Porizkova (one of my very favorite models, now and then), who was wearing a bandeau one-piece, in light turquoise blue embellished with a silvery-gold crackle design.  I ran right out to a swimsuit shop in Ottawa and got it. 

(I still have the Paulina ad, but it's home.  I'll try to scan and post upon return.)  The beauteous Paulina-for-Gottex is also above, top image.

Another time I saw a matte-gold maillot with a bandeau top and retro straps (gathered at the top of the swimsuit, wide on the shoulder) in Flare magazine and embarked on an immediate telephone search.  I'd located and purchased it by lunch.

Naomi Campbell in Gottex

Since I no longer live on a small island where beaching can be a career in the summer, I haven't been so much in tune with swimwear for the past years.

But when vacationing on Nantucket last week, I saw some watercolor prints that are helping me get back into the swim of things, so to speak.

The first print is by the Italian company Leggiadro. This shop has a crazy cap/lower-cap-mix "handwritten" label and boasts a hearty helping of cheetah print, but can also be subtle.

These swimsuits were in the shop window, and were particularly appealing, given the island light:

The second print, below, is by Manuel Canovas, a name I hadn't thought about in years, but was delighted to remember.  I particularly like the flattering cut of the maillot, though the bikini looks equally wearable:

One of my favorite swimsuit models from the great 80s is Ashley Richardson.  Her patented pose was the extraordinary leap:

I liked her work for ELLE (not so much SI, thanks).  Here she is with Rachel Williams: 

And of course, Rachel is another athletic model who could work a swimsuit:

Do gentle readers have any favourite combinations?  Swinsuit/model; swimsuit/designer?