Friday, July 30, 2010

Back Issues: Vogue, September 2004

The oldest magazine in my arsenal lives in an old dresser. It shares space with various historical and political books from college, long forgotten DVDs that I’ve never felt the urge to search for, and many other magazines.

The September 2004 issue of Vogue must have been bought either right before, while on my trip to, or during the first week of my last year of college. It was a tri-fold cover featuring the biggest models of the time. Though my almost obsessive reading and collection of magazines was only beginning, I knew that such a sight was a rarity in general, much less on the all-important September issue. Actresses of various levels of fame, or infamy, now hold court.

Daria, Natalia, Gisele. Isabeli, Karolina, Liya. Hana, Gemma, Karen. Most of these names probably mean little to you. They meant little to me at the time.

The cover itself was enough of a reason to hold onto it.

The magazine was heralded, in large typeface, as the biggest ever. A phenomenon that had been occurring for years prior and would reach its apex in September of 2007. The ads at the front of the book seemed endless as I flipped through the pages for the first time in years. The last set of Tom Ford for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent campaigns starring Daria and Gemma respectively. Bai Ling featured prominently in a Saks Fifth Avenue advertisement as opposed to on the pages of Go Fug Yourself. Many of the ads had one or more of the women featured on the cover in them. Their appearances lay somewhere between coincidence and well thought out advertising plan.

Mostly the magazine reminds me of a time before everything shifted. I was preparing my medical school applications. I was steeling myself for one final year in a place I had grown to loathe. I was mistaking my fear about the future for excitement. And for all of that anxiety, there was no better salve then slipping into the over the top luxury of that magazine. Ten commandments for every women to live by that fall welcomed you to the fashion-heavy final fifth of the issue. Tackle chores in sequins. Wear the trousers. Bone up on the classics. Don’t leave home without your “face”. Make yours mink. Kick up your heels in a racy cocktail frock. Buy yourself your first real evening dress. Thank your lucky stars when it’s a bad-hair day. Say sayonara to strappy sandals. Ransack Grandma’s jewelry box. Some of them make me chuckle in that way that relics of the recent past sometimes do.

In the editorials, Karolina did a handstand in Alexander McQueen.

The models lounged in Theyskens-era Rochas and pre-contemporary Helmut Lang.

Everything radiated lushness.

For me, it is a touchstone. A reminder of when this all really started. Despite the other small awakenings that occurred during those collegiate years, this issue marks the most important one. The flashbulb. The genesis.

Photos via, via, via

Monday, July 19, 2010

Forward Motion

One question planted in my mind as I made my way through the Resort 2011 collections. When will this season be given a new name? There has been talk throughout the industry about whether the term Resort represents the feel of this season. With more extensive presentations, as well as elaborate runway shows from the likes of Chanel, Dior and Oscar de la Renta, one has to wonder if the season has grown beyond the confines of its name.

What the name will be, or if it will ever be changed, are questions that I don’t have answers for. It's possible that the term Resort could remain attached to the season forever. A vestigial organ with no real meaning. A marker. A placeholder.

But as the name remains the same, the season itself continues to transform. Even from last year to this year, you can see the further eradication of those things that once defined this space between deep winter and early spring. The larger and more established houses, as well as a smattering of other brands, relied more on the history. They did, of course, play with threads from the previous season and, most likely, from the season to come. But these were mostly clothes for those who spend the harsh winters lounging on various stretches of the Mediterranean coast. Women who spend winter days in shoe-optional environments.

At Chanel

At Diane von Furstenberg

At Jason Wu

At Vena Cava

At Louis Vuitton

At Emilio Pucci

At Lanvin

At Monique Lhuillier

At Isaac Mizrahi

At Akris

At Salvatore Ferragamo

For those not jetting off to warmer destinations, there was much to choose from and be inspired by. The majority of the labels used the season as an incubator for themes to come or as an extension of things that had passed.

At Burberry Prorsum

At Thakoon

At Daryl K

At Tibi

At Donna Karan

At Marc Jacobs

At Erdem

At Alexander McQueen

At Chado Ralph Rucci

At Giles

At Chris Benz

At Roksanda Ilincic

At Giambattista Valli

At Céline

At Proenza Schouler

At Rag & Bone

At Rachel Roy

At Organic by John Patrick

The clothes were almost seasonless. Able to be worn anytime of year and not just in the no man's land of Resort.

Photos via

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


While reading Jezebel almost a year ago, I came across a post on fashion and decades and silhouettes. I was intrigued by the concept. The decade I prefer should be obvious to anyone who reads this blog with any regularity. From my unabashed love of all things Mad Men related to my hatred of the 1980s. From my fear that I’ll see someone walking down the street in a suede jumpsuit now that the 1970s are being fully accepted as a trend to my distaste for anything resembling a dropped waist.

This has nothing to do with being nostalgic for the 1960s. Nostalgia often leads to a whitewashing of the past. I can’t say that seeing all of those Cher Horowitz doppelgangers didn’t make me squeal the tiniest bit, but I try to remember the good with the bad.

No, what I crave is the silhouette. Not exact replicas. Not costumes. My clothes, for the most part, fit perfectly well into the current decade.

When skinny jeans surfaced as a trend in the middle part of this decade, I spent months searching for the perfect pair. Many pairs later, I now own the slimmest ones yet. An inky and ankle length set that I have to peel off. When my mother first saw me in them she said, You know what those are called? Pedal pushers. Her statement made me consider them more closely. They are not pedal pushers but capris. Pants best known for briefly inflaming America when worn by Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show before being accepted into the wardrobe of large numbers of women.

The cinched waist and wide skirt, which bled over from the 1950s, is recalled every time I belt a long white cardigan over The Dress. The miniskirt, which appeared in the latter part of the decade and represents one of the great shifts in the landscape of female dressing, litters my closet.

My love for the lines of that time extends far beyond Oooo, this is pretty, though I am susceptible to those juvenile moments. It finds its root in how the clothes look on my body. The way slim pants define my legs. The way minis show them off. The definition and curves added by the cinched waists and billowing skirts.

The way it all speaks of sex but never too loudly.

Photo via

Thursday, July 1, 2010