Friday, August 28, 2009

Back to the Future (Again)

Let's talk about this 80s thing for a moment, shall we?

I was born in 1983. My early childhood was filled with stirrup pants and body suits and windbreakers and very, very bright colors. Denim on denim on even more denim. And the florals. My goodness, the ugly florals that I loved to death. I lived that time. Sure I was young and I wasn't really picking out my own clothes, but I wore all of the trends. And when their time passed, I was done with them. (This might explain why my wardrobe only contains white, black, blue, gray, pink and sometimes yellow now and is devoid of patterns.)

I was definitely not ready to see the clothes of that period return. It makes me feel old. Not that I am old. I'm not one of those young people who has no concept of the fact that she is, in fact, young. I know that I am. So let's rephrase that. Seeing 80s fashions return makes me feel older. But that only explains a fraction of my distaste.

During my adventures through stores of many stripes, I often try on things I would never, ever purchase, even if I were flush with cash. A recent trip to H&M featured a lot of this. I entered the fitting room and examined what I had picked up. A red and yellow striped tunic, or possibly dress if you're so inclined, completely covered in sequins. And a dress with the over-sized shoulders that have been everywhere since the early Spring.

I felt like I was playing dress up when I put them on. Or preparing for a Dynasty-themed party. I kept poking at the shoulders of the dress and watching as they collapsed slightly before I restored their shape. I became mesmerized by the way the sequined tunic made the light dance on the white walls before remembering that I utterly hate being the center of attention. And there would be no way to avoid that in such a piece.

For me, a lot of the clothing feels like costume. Fashion designers are always referencing the past. But many of the clothes I see don't feel like they are inspired by the 80s. They feel like they are from the 80s. Like someone opened my mother's closet or went through my sister's wardrobe, picked out some of their dresses and acid-washed jeans and blazers from 1985 and copied them stitch for stitch. And if any decade lends itself to quickly falling into the category of costume when not handled correctly, it is the 80s with all of its flash and all of its excess.

It's a fine line that few can navigate.

Photos via

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pick Your Poison

It all started with these.

As the fashion editorials began to set their sights on fall, I noticed oxfords popping up everywhere. I placed this observation somewhere in the back of my brain as I do all things that are somewhat important but not necessarily relevant to my life at that moment. Until, that is, while doing a bit of online window shopping, I stumbled across this vintage Yves Saint Laurent pair. Maybe it was the fact that they seemed almost new. Or the soft pony hair. Or the jaunty way the model posed with them on, but I fell in love before I realized that they were not in my size. And that I can't afford them at the moment. (Maybe that should have been the first thought?)

I've been following my rule about staying aware of trends but not becoming a slave to them, but once a season, something enthralls me. This fall it is the oxford shoe. Oxfords have, of course, been around for a rather long time. I almost definitely had a pair that I wore with my little plaid uniform at Catholic school when I wasn't in penny loafers or mary janes. But as when any item from the past reenters the public consciousness, the shoe has been reimagined. People take the original and play with it. Twist it into something new. A piece that recalls the past but also speaks of the present. And because of that fact, there are enough iterations to satisfy everyone.




Pedro Garcia

Spectator Style:

Candela NYC


Christian Louboutin

Contributor by Rachel Comey

Rag & Bone




Christian Louboutin


Pour La Victoire

D.CO Copenhagen



And Wang:

For me, it will probably end with these.

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Friday, August 14, 2009

Back and Forth

I often dream of a seafaring life:

Obviously firmly back in the dressing for summer camp.

Photo via

Monday, August 10, 2009

In Session

I still think of September as the real start to the year. Over four years out of school, one would think that this would no longer be the case, but that feeling has lingered. Though in college I often hoped that my summers would magically extend, in elementary, middle and early high school, I wanted them over as soon as possible. I wished and prayed for August to rush by with all of its stickiness and be replaced by September and textbooks. I'm not the only one who shares this sentiment.

I find myself, when looking at clothes for fall, drawn year after year to those items that remind me of school. Or the school self that I wish had existed at the time. All corduroys and blazers and pleated skirts. Decidedly New England prep school. When I did wear school uniforms during Catholic school, I hated them. I thought tights were the devil. The very itchy devil. Wool sweaters were the devil's equally itchy cousin. But now as September approaches yet again, that's all that I want, as was very evident to me when I wandered through the mall last week on the way to pick up a birthday present for a friend.

In the blur of going through pictures from the various Fashion Weeks, I, of course, miss things. But when I run into items in person, I wonder how I could have overlooked them in the first place. This was the feeling I had as I fingered the Moschino Fall collection with all of its deep navies and ruffles and knit detailing seen here.

And here.

I found the non-bank account killing version of this blazer when I wandered into J.Crew during the latter part of my jaunt.

Along with these.

And a little sparkle.

The Gap and I are back on speaking terms again after I tried on a pair of jeans that are the perfect fit for me.

Though the $10 tights that I have littering my wardrobe are lovely, I can't help but take a peak into Wolford when I am near it and fantasize about a pair like these. And about all of the wonderful pleated skirts they would complement.

And though I did not come across these boots during my trip, I feel like including them in a post will become a yearly tradition until the price falls into a range I can afford. That should occur about 17 minutes before hell freezes over.

I doubt I'll ever grow out of this. September will always be the start of the New Year. And I'll always need the school items that come with it.

Even the new pens.

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