Monday, December 21, 2009

Tongue Tied

I was making my way through the Pre-Fall 2010 collections, when I found myself without anything coherent to say near the end of the Naeem Khan presentation.

This dress is why I need fancy events to go to.

Photo via

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Other Side

I've been trying for quite awhile to increase my knowledge of men's clothing. About fits and cuts. About how to match ties with shirts with pocket squares. About how many pairs of shoes a man needs. Last month I even bought my first issue of GQ. This purchase may have had something to do with the picture featuring the men of True Blood in tuxedos or the fact that the hometown quarterback was on the cover, but I actually read the words too.

I couldn't let you go without including at least one of the pictures, but now back to the story at hand.

I’ve tried my usual store wanderings to try and get an understanding of what’s on offer for men. I’ve slowly made my way through the mazes of the H&M, Saks, Barneys and Filene’s Basement men’s departments. I looked closely at the suits. Examined the patterns. Took note of how the mannequins were styled. How the products were merchandised. And then I get home all jumbled and think yeah, I still don’t get it.

I feel like I should do interviews. Have a list of 40 in depth questions to ask a sampling of men about how they dress. But this is just the analytical part of my mind taking over and talking crazy. Trying to keep in check the part of me that simply thinks, well he’s very, very pretty, so who cares why he's wearing a three piece suit as opposed to a two piece option.

I'm going to have to force my brain to meet somewhere in the middle.

Photo via

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Everyone Gather Round

I have a quick announcement to make. This has been in the works for awhile, but you can now read me once a week at a new online shopping magazine called Fashionism. This week's installment: Dark Sequins.

And I'm working on a few new things for here. Things have been a bit hectic. Having a part time job, even for the holidays, has been more time consuming than I thought.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Nice List

This is the time of year when one is supposed to be buying for others.

But I am a seasoned shopper and don't feel the need to rush out for sales the day after Thanksgiving. I know what I'm getting everyone and spend no more than one trip of three hours rounding up various gifts.

Instead I've spent the past few days putting out feelers for my New Year's Eve dress. And I've failed miserably.

I've been to all of the stores in my price range and unless I want to look like a slutty extra from Pretty in Pink or one of Julia Roberts' streetwalker friends from Pretty Woman, it appears that I'll have to dive back into my own closet.

Or splash out for something I cannot afford.

Like this:

And these:

I wonder if Santa takes clothing orders.

Photos via

Friday, November 13, 2009

Second Glances

I've spent the past few weeks reassessing Boston.

Maybe it's that I've gotten familiar once more with the city of my birth. Or that the pain of leaving the little home, the little community, that I found myself a part of in Brooklyn has begun to fade into the background. But when I really think about it, neither of these reasons are the biggest factor.

I should have known. Or known better at least. This is a city for fall dressing. I, a native daughter, who almost rationalized buying a pair of elbow-length cashmere gloves because of their color and who has, for the past two months, found herself visiting a pair of Bottega Veneta heeled oxfords that reside in the Barneys shoe department, should have realized. Because before Princeton and London and Clinton Hill, there was this place.

So there are the cardigans and the coats. Young men who actually pull off a bow tie and cardigan combination without looking twee. Cords of all cuts and colors. Mustards and browns and hunter greens. There are tights of plum and gray worn with sweater dresses and woolen miniskirts. Scarves and hats and boots. I often find myself appraising the many pairs during very long bus rides. The wellies and the riding boots and those that lace up. Deep, soft, supple leathers covered with the marks of past winters. On warmer days, people leave their outerwear open. Relishing the last moments before everything has to stay behind the curtain of their coat in order to keep out the chill and the snow.

Boston's season is fall.

And, as such, it is mine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


With my computer's logic board deciding that it needed a trip to the Apple spa and job training for a little seasonal work, I've been a bit busy. Preoccupied. Unfocused. But now I'm back, and the quest for sweaters continues.

Photo via

Friday, October 23, 2009

Holiday Seasons

Everyone has a holiday. For some it's the barbecues and beaches of the 4th of July that appeal to them. For others it's the the turkey and trimmings of Thanksgiving.

And for many the playful spectacle of Halloween is more their speed. I could personally live without it. I love the candy corn but not the holiday itself. I'm always uninspired in the costume department. I found a set of pink wings here last week from my senior year of college when I went, rather uninterestingly, as a fairy. Last year, not caring until the very last minute, I bought a two dollar devil set, threw on a very, very small black dress and layered my red tights beneath my fishnets. I could not have cared less.

New Year's Eve is my holiday.

When I was seven, or maybe eight, my mother took me to a Boston Pops performance to celebrate the changing of the calendar. She made me a fantasy dress. It was gold, and I was in love with it and its twirly skirt. At midnight, we made our way down from the balcony to where they had cleared the tables away so everyone could spend the first part of that new year dancing to the sounds of the orchestra. I gazed at all of the adults in their pretty dresses and pretty tuxes and swayed gently from side to side to the music.

For the past three years, looking for a New Year's Eve dress, either in stores or in the depths of my closet, has been one of my favorite endeavors. To ring in 2007, I wore a pink BCBG. Oh, and a tiara. In 2008, it was a silver dress from H&M and a mask. For 2009, it was black from Old Navy and a set of 2009 glasses.

And for 2010, I want the dress that stopped me in my tracks in the midst of a casual stroll through Barneys yesterday.

And maybe a sparkly top hat.

Photo via

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Back Issues: Lucky, September 2006

I've never used the "Like It" and "Love It" stickers included among the first few pages of Lucky Magazine. I don't really like stickers. And I don't like putting anything on my magazines. I have trouble even making myself dog ear the page of something I especially like. So the September 2006 issue of Lucky, festooned with Post-It tabs, is something of an aberration among my collection.

Considering Lucky's publishing cycle, I probably bought this copy as soon as it arrived in early August of that year. I had been temping at the same place for a month at that point and had a lot of down time. Mostly that time was spent on the computer. Reading the news. Fooling around on Facebook. Instant messaging my friends. This all changed when the CPU of the computer had a meltdown and I was left without one for a very long time. I needed a new way to distract myself, so every single September issue made its way to my cubicle. They sat in a little pile on my desk to the left of where my computer had once stood. I don't think I've read any group of magazines so thoroughly. And when I was done reading, there was nothing left to do but find a use for the Post-It tabs that I had discovered while rummaging through a desk drawer.

I love organizing things and making patterns. The tabs did not escape this mild obsession and were placed in the magazine in the order of Red Green Blue. That is until I ran out of red tabs near the end and was left with a simple Green Blue pairing. On the clear portion that adhered to the page, I wrote myself a note. The name of the designer. Or the type of clothing I was drawn to in the photograph. I've changed so much in the three intervening years that I'm surprised by some of my choices.

But the tabs, as well organized as they are, are not the reason I kept this Lucky. I made my way quickly through the front of the book ads. Gap with actresses and celebrity scion. Lily Cole for Max Studio. Doutzen Kroes for Calvin Klein. Lily is an actress now. Doutzen is a Victoria's Secret Angel. I stopped briefly at the "What I Want Now!" feature. I wasn't into leopard prints or bohemian items or pin-tucked pleats then. I'm still not.

Almost halfway through and with no discernible reason for this magazine's salvation, I stumbled across "The Best New Designers" story. Usually the reason would lay here. I remember the Fall 2007 edition, which I regretfully tossed when I was moving, being full of designer names that I wrote down on a notepad to look up later. This was not the case for 2006. I began taking the pages ten at a time.

And then there it was. Mecca as it were.

In the March and September issues, there is always a season appropriate shoe guide. And four of my nine tabs were placed within this one. The featured styles would have instantly wormed their way into my schoolgirl loving heart. Loafer pumps. Flat boots. Mary Janes. Dressy flats. Cuffed boots. Platform pumps. Knee high boots. Only the t-straps would have left me cold.

That fall I spent far too much time wondering if I would ever find my way into a job where having multiple pairs of these shoes would be a possibility.

And this afternoon I spent far too long wondering if some of these shoes were still available in some far-flung corner of the internet.

Cover image via

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Leftovers: Paris Fashion Week SS10

We've come to the end.

Unlike Milan, where the trends already seen in New York and London felt stale and worn, many of the collections shown in Paris found new ways to interpret those ideas for next Spring and Summer.

The Neutrals

At Bruno Pieters:

At Akris:

The Prints

At Stella McCartney:

At Giambattista Valli:

At Giles:

The Sheer

At Sophia Kokosalaki:

At Chanel:

But even in These Times™, there were some who still took the time to innovate. It's an element that has been noticeably lacking this season. Some did offer looks that were slightly more commercial than those they've sent down the runway in the past. But for the most part, they strove to provide a solution to the industry's never ending search for something new.

The Innovators

At Gareth Pugh:

At Rick Owens:

At Yohji Yamamoto:

At Viktor & Rolf:

Alexander McQueen, however, truly took this task to heart. Like Burberry, he streamed his show live on the internet. I sat and watched, not knowing exactly what I was seeing at first. Confused by these creatures that would have fit in either under the sea or in outer space.

On closer inspection, I knew exactly what this was.

Photos via

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Favorite of the Day: RM by Roland Mouret

Paris has been the city of favorites with tumultuous recent histories. There was the shuttering and reopening of Rochas. The new direction at Nina Ricci. The pair of designers making their mark at Valentino following some initial uncertainty following the departure of the legend.

Roland Mouret's first line simply carried his name. Four years ago I spent far too much time calculating how long I could last on shallow breathing so that wearing one of his dresses would be a possibility.

Fall 2005:

Spring 2006:

The Galaxy dress, pictured in blue and black above, was one of the most coveted pieces of this decade. So it was with an immense amount of shock that the fashion world met the news of his departure from the company that bore his name. Not even owning part of the company, he had to leave behind that item which defines most of us from birth.

But that also meant a fresh start on his terms.

This season
there was a touch of air that I have never seen in his clothes.

I'm sure I would be able to inhale and exhale deeply this time around.

Photos via, via

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Favorite of the Day: Valentino

When clothes meander into the soft and girly and sweet, I prefer the hemlines on the high side like they were at Valentino.

Longer gowns are often the stuff of daydreams.

Shorter ones can fit firmly into my reality.

Photos via

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Favorite of the Day: Celine

I expected there to be a day with no favorite for Paris, and yesterday was that day. The absence of a favorite had more to do with my general clothing fatigue. After clicking through hundreds of pictures, I decided that I should spend my time outside enjoying the last breaths of good weather before the hammer of winter falls. I put on my green swing coat and spent most of the afternoon with a friend.

But today I can see the end in sight. And that sight has reinvigorated me.

I, like many people who pay attention to such things, anxiously waited for news about Phoebe Philo's return to the fashion world after she stepped down from her position at Chloé. So it was with far too much excitement that I greeted the announcement that she had been chosen to helm Celine.

After three and a half weeks of outfits that were sometimes loud, sometimes sheer, and often devoid of pants, this was what I really needed. There were no awkward adult diapers here. No overt references to past decades.

Just the kind of simple luxury that I so often crave.

Photos via

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Favorite of the Day: Haider Ackermann

Avoiding dowdiness can be hard with a long skirt. It takes a skilled hand to make it flattering and sensual. Haider Ackermann has those hands.

His clothes are body conscious in a way that appeals to me. You become a long, lean line instead of a heavily strapped doll afraid that one false move will lead to a moment of indiscretion.

These are dresses for women, not girls.

Photos via

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Favorite of the Day: Lanvin

At Lanvin, the dresses were either more structural or more draped.

All were more beautiful than anything I've seen thus far.

Photos via

Friday, October 2, 2009

Favorite of the Day: Nina Ricci

It wouldn't be a stretch to say that I am generally not a fan of romance. Any hint of it has been missing from most of the collections that I've found myself loving. Nina Ricci broke that pattern.

And I can't resist a good pair of gloves.

Apparently I have a thing for brands that have left Olivier Theyskens unemployed.

Photos via