31 July 2006

Best Dressed of 2006

Kate Moss is Vanity Fair's best dressed person of 2006. Here's the September issue. Can't wait to see the article.

She looks like a little tsarina.

A Tour of My Room

Jamie King

Dress by Toni Maticevski, Jimmy Choo shoes, bag by Chanel.

Kate Hudson

Cute litte cropped (merino?) jacket and plaid vest with a belt.

A. Alaia

Azzedine Alaia is opening a boutique in Paris on Rue de Moussy. And I live in Washington. Life's given me lemons.

Fall Trends

Style.com has released its list of Fall trends, including:

- The Bubble
- Fur
- Metallics
- Oversize
- Layering
- Napoleonic

Follow the link to get a full report, including a slideshow.

30 July 2006

René Gruau

For those of you who aren't familiar with the artist René Gruau, you should familiarize yourselves. I'm a huge fan of his artwork and actually have two of his paintings hanging above my desk.

Gruau was an extremely important figure in 20th century fashion. Read all about it: click the blog title and the link leads you to his obituary at Guardian Unlimited.

Soapboxing: My Anti-Generic Manifesto

“The difference between style and fashion is quality.” - Giorgio Armani

When I decided to start this blog, I was trying to pinpoint why I wanted to. The first thought that popped into my head was "I Hate Generic." That's not to say that I'm a brand snob, but rather that I dislike generic or inauthentic style.

Now, I know that not everyone has the time or money to buy nice clothing. I know that putting food on the table is a higher priority for many people.

And no, I pass no fashion judgment on a tired, paunchy mom wearing a purple tracksuit as she chases around her screaming children. That's perfectly acceptable chasing-children attire.

I'm casting my disdain on the people who obviously do spend the time and money on themselves, and come out looking like clones of each other. People who try very hard to project a "fashionable image" when in fact they're projecting a generic image.

I know a girl who has a knock off Hermés bag that she got at a purse party, but she flaunts it around like it's the real thing. (It's beyond ironic to flaunt the knock off of a $20,000 bag, in my opinion.)

I know girls who still think a Tiffany charm bracelet is the height of fashion, so they buy the Claire's version and wear it snottily around and tell people it's Tiffany.

Certainly, not everyone can afford Hermés. I sure as hell can't. But what is the purpose of lying about an obvious knock off? I appreciate well-made things, and if I could afford Hermés, I'm sure I'd own Hermés. But in the mean time, I most certainly will not fabricate an upper class facade and carry around a plastic knock off made by a child sweatshop worker in Vietnam so I can pretend I'm rich.

I know a young-twenties pageant princess who is constantly dressed up with full-on pageant makeup and a blowout. She has chunky acrylic nails, suspiciously puffy lips (thank God for restylane) and carries around plastic knock off purses (Guess knocking off Gucci, for example) with an air of superiority.

Little does she know that I do not find the Steve Madden pleather stilleto with Seven jeans and an Abercrombie blazer look attractive. I find it very middle class trophy wife. Especially when paired with war-paint makeup. It's mediocre faux riche bullshit.

Just like girls with brassy highlights wearing Target's version of a Juicy terry tube-top, walking around the mall wearing their knock off sunglasses indoors, practically screaming, "I'm Jessica Simpson... don't look at me, wait LOOK AT ME!"

This is the generic bullshit that I hate. If I saw just ONE girl dressed like that who projected individuality and confidence and personality, I would change my mind. But the girls I see like this ooze insecurity. They're trying to compete with every other version of themselves they see walking around the mall in the same outfit. They have no personal fashion sense, they just scan through People and wear whatever Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton are wearing, only the Wet Seal version.

This is why I never go to the mall. I shop almost exclusively at thriftstores and antique stores. No pretense in those places.

I like seeing what people used to wear. There is nothing exciting about terry tube-tops from Target (or Juicy tube-tops, for that matter). They're boring, and I'd feel like my personality was literally draining out of me if I wore one.

So that's why I created this blog, so I can post pretty clothing that represents something nice or inspires my personal sense of style. I really believe that what I wear should represent me honestly. I'd be terrified if I felt like a knock off Birkin represented me.

Perhaps I've made this a bigger deal than it is. Perhaps fashion is petty and it absolutely shouldn't matter that people flounce around in chintsy outfits.

But I'm not sure that's true. It's not necessarily what you're wearing, but how it makes you feel and act, and what it says about you.

As Stella Blum says, fashion reveals a person's inner feelings. Generic styles signify generic personalities.

Words of Wisdom: Chanel

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Coco Chanel


"Sometimes I wake up and I think I should start wearing a beret, but I don't do it. One day I'm gonna, though. You bet your ass, I will have a beret on. That's ridiculous, but it's true. I always fight with wearing a beret.” - Mitch Hedberg

Stop fighting it, Mitch.

Santino Rice

Santino always seemed like a cocky ass on Project Runway, but I have to give him credit for making this really pretty silk-organza dress. Looks really similar to a Chloé dress from last year, color and all, only the Chloé dress had a silver tie.

Some of his work is so avant-garde that it's obnoxious, and at times it seems like he's trying to be the new Alexander McQueen, but this dress seems like he actually thought about what a woman might wear to feel pretty, instead of just making whatever he felt would push the envelope.


Kate's new Calvin Klein campaign.

I already have this ripped out and pinned on my wall.

29 July 2006

So Pretty

This dress, on the other hand, looks charming. I like the little laced bib and the pleats. It's about a hundred times more flattering than the dress below. On me at least.

How fun would this be with shiny red heels and a shiny red manicure?

Merciless Dress

This dress is merciless. Can you imagine it on anyone else's body than waify Keira Knightley?

It's a neck-compacting, hip-accentuating, boob-flattening, upper-arm magnifying, leg-shortening, bloat-adding, waist-thickening disaster.

I'm just saying.

Catch Du Jour

Today I woke up and had a hankering to do a little Goodwill shopping. The Goodwill isn't really an ideal place for finding treasures, but if you have patience and time, it can be rewarding.

Today I found... ahem, drumroll, et al... vintage Ferragamo white leather (with a black patent leather toe) slides! I also found another pair of Ferragamo heels, but they were not in my gargantuan size, damn them.

I also got a pair of no-name leather military-looking books. They actually look like Burberry. Yes, I admit it, they're generic, but quite smashing and quite cheap. I got a little red and white striped tank top from the 80s, a tiny black silk Bebe cocktail dress, three purses of various eras (80s, 70s, 60s) and a cream colored leather wallet with a big gold clasp. AND a little vest and blue cashmere sweater.

All for under $50. Yes, ladies and gay gentlemen, I am a bargain shopper extraordinaire.

If You Want to Look Like an Ornament

...and I do.

What dress could be more fun for a night on the town? Obviously, would wear enormous sunglasses and too much lipgloss.

Words of Wisdon: Wolfe (and alliteration, too)

"Vain trifles as they seem, clothes... change our view of the world and the world's view of us." - Virginia Wolfe

Dysfunctional Fashion

Bolero by Smashing Grandpa - $93 at lisakline.com

Cute, simple, sweet little bolero... but Smashing Grandpa? Sounds like someone's got a dysfunctional family.


Last Spring I had a tonsillectomy and was stuck miserably in bed for two weeks. Luckily, it was the same week that all the Fall fashion shows appeared on style.com. I watched every single one, but one that I watched over and over was Roberto Cavalli's. The inspiration for the show seemed so sweeping it was hard to catch a theme. Many of the Fall shows seemed obvious or tedious, but Cavalli's was so out of left field. Is it Asian? Russian? Flapper? Old Hollywood? 1970s Glam? There was no pigeonholing it.

My absolute favorite piece in the collection is a kimono-like, fur-collared coat that is so regal and stunning it looks almost kingly, something you might expect Henry VIII to wear with white tights and a floppy hat.

At any rate, this coat had me in a panic of deja vu. I could not figure out where I'd seen it before. Finally I placed it. It was in an old McCall's from the 1920s on a model wearing a little Cloche hat and a beautiful, silky robe-like coat with a large fur collar. I have tried to find this picture, but I can't. This was the closest I could find:

Seeing that coat in his show made me so excited and instantly took me back to my childhood when I was poring over old magazines in awe of a glamourous era long gone. Cavalli inspired that same awe of glamour in me as I lay post-op and incapacitated. It takes a designing genius to make a girl, incapacitated by pain and high on painkillers that aren't painkilling, have such a wonderful moment of inspiration and beauty.

I'll Say It Again...

I've said it before and I'll say it again. A man's watch looks so flattering on a woman's wrist. The chunkiness of it makes the wrist look slight by contrast. I've worn women's watches before and they always make my arm feel massive, so I take them off.

Icon #3: Lauren Bacall

This was difficult for me because I have a stack of about twenty icons and I hate having to choose.

I chose Lauren Bacall because she was my first movie star ideal. I saw her in "To Have and Have Not" and I went right to the library and checked out her biography. I was mesmerized by her soft, wideset eyes and her rough, husky voice. Her hair always looked so soft. But most of all she looked strikingly similar to my Dad's mother, who had beautiful glamour shots taken of her in the early 1940s.

I even bought a paperback version of her biography and cut out the entire picture section to put on my wall.

She made me want to take up smoking (I did later), because who looks more beautiful smoking than Lauren Bacall?

Tracey Ross

I used to walk past the Tracey Ross boutique almost daily to sit in the sunshine and watch the Sunset Strip traffic while sipping my iced Coffee Bean coffee. It was a peaceful feeling of anonymity with the traffic backed up endlessly, Range Rovers and stretch Hummers idling in the heat, while I sat in the shade with a cool drink. When I got tired of people-watching, I'd windowshop at Tracey Ross and stare longingly at the clothes and then go home and dream about them.

Visit traceyross.com to enjoy. And nevermind the "Om/Serenity" category. It's L.A. Take it with a grain of salt. Everyone's Buddhist in L.A., even stores that sell leather. That's prohibited in Buddhism, right? Read the Monastic Code, people. And read traceyross.com

Could You?

Could you resist a pair of Sigerson Morrison candy apple green flats? No. Neither could I.

28 July 2006

Leopard Christian Louboutin Pumps

Sorry, I'm not trying to turn this into celebrity ass-kissing blog.

However, Drew Barrymore looks so lovely in this picture in her little black dress and Christian Louboutin pumps, I couldn't resist.

I don't know what she's done to herself in the last few years, but she never seems to have a fashion miss. She looks healthy and radiant.

Thank You For Reminding Me

I just realized that I haven't put Gwen Stefani on this blog once. It's a travesty, and I intend to right my wrong.

Gwen says, "My inspiration...is the same as it's been all my life. A little Sound of Music, some Orange County chola girl, some Rasta, and a bit of The Great Gatsby."

Well, whatever it is, it's working for her. She's beautifully colorful and creatively accessorized, right on down to the color of her manicure (looks like Vamp) and her ever-present red lipstick. If I could pull it off, I would.

Chic at Shell

Pictures of Kate looking amazing at a Shell station.

Those sunglass are Tom Ford, but they look damn near identical to the Halston ones I just bought. Not such a huge fan of the boots. They were popular about two years ago in LA, and I never warmed up to the fringy-ness of them.

BTW, Kate with be on the cover of September's Vanity Fair and is rumored to have a substantial spread in the magazine. I can't wait!

Carrie Moment

I suppose in a more internationally-diverse forum I might be chided for posting a picture of Carrie in sweats and drinking beer. It is soooo American of me. However, it's a weekend. I'm tired. Sweats sound nice. Besides, you're always dressed up in heels, and gatdammit, she's got heels on and they look suspisciously Italian. And that beer looks imported.

Why Oh Why?

Why oh why do these have to be made out of a pony? And why do they cost $1000? And why do I love them so much?

I'm convinced that Christian Louboutin makes the sexiest shaped heels in the world. If you find a sexier heel, you will let me know, won't you?

A Little More Azzedine

A woman doesn't buy corset-inspired shoes if not for seduction.

Today I Bought...

Carolina Herrera Shimmering Talc Powder. I bought it because the little powder box was too cute to ignore. It happens to smell good. And it looks perfect next to the other gold things on my dresser.
I also bought Marc Jacobs Blush. It came with a little silver cosmetics travel case and a creme shimmer blush, a mirrored compact and clear mascara (I'd been needing some and I had no idea Marc Jacobs made it...). It's a really lovely soft floral fragrance. Very dewy smelling.

Try To Ignore The Bones

I know she's deathly skinny, but there's nothing about this outfit I don't like.

Marc, I Salute You

I don't think I ever tire of the military coat. I bought a cropped military jacket last Winter, and sadly I lost some of the gold buttons. I'm determined to get it back into shape for the Fall.

(photo courtesty of net-a-porter.com)

I See, I Want

(See by Chloé)

I can imagine little Penelope Tree in this. And little me in this.

Words of Wisdom: Alaia

"A woman's not going to buy a little skirt for a lot of money if it's not for seduction. What else are clothes made for?" - Azzedine Alaia

Givenchy's Nightingale Bag

You can thank Givenchy for this lovely doctor's bag. It can hold just about everything and it looks like shiny licorice. Florence Nightingale might come back for this one.

27 July 2006

I'd Never Take It Off

This wool sweater from Anglomania looks so comfortable, I think I'd wear it from October to April and never take it off.

Real Men Wear It Snug?

In an article for The Village Voice entitled "Real Men Wear It Snug", Corina Zappia says:

"Mick Jagger would never wear pantaloons. The scrawny-legged rock star is a totem of masculinity in skin-tight leggings. David Bowie, too, was a big fan of flaunting the twins. But it was really Iggy, our precious Iggy, who made the skintight rocker-jean a joy to behold. And then—poof!—every crotch-cuppin' pair of denim disappeared from the market. With the dawn of hip-hop, real men wore big, baggy, where's-the-beef jeans. Only fattened up country-singing losers like Garth and Clint sucked themselves into some ball-squeezing Wranglers (Southern-style birth control at its finest)."

Because I'm mostly in-and-around Seattle (i.e. Tac-Town, Tacompton), I get to see more than my share of ass-tight jeans on men. Only they aren't on country singers, they're on emo-hipster-scenesters. From Seattle to Tacoma these kids think that wearing all black, quoting Kerouac, and listening to The Velvet Underground makes them deep and unique. All ten thousand of them.

One notable fashion trend among these kids is, aside from the all-black, all-day, everyday thing... skinny jeans. Black skinny jeans, obviously. These jeans are certainly not a new concept to the fashion world, for fuckssake, but these kids think they invented them.

I own a pair of black skinny jeans, but they don't for one second inspire me to get the "emo forelock" (carefully eye-concealing long, black bangs) and then let my tears of agony drip slowly into my (black) coffee and saturate the pages of On The Road.

So what makes me so high and mighty? Well, I like skinny (pegged, stovepipe, drainpipe, cigarette... whatever you call them) jeans because they are classic. They are NOT the property of emo-hipster-scenesters. They are absolutely the property of Audrey Hepburn (watch Funny Face), Edie Sedgwick and all things Mod and Factory, Mick Jagger and all things rock 'n' roll.

They are a gender-neutral, international representation of iconic people in 20th Century fashion. They were not invented in Seattle for the sake of Capitol Hill emo-hipster-scenesters.

My friend Jordan asked me to write my thoughts about men wearing skinny jeans. Well, here is my succinct answer: I love skinny jeans on men, as long as the men wearing them aren't moping around coffee shops waiting to bum a cigarette off the first person they see, and in the meantime, you guessed it, crying into their black coffee.

(picture courtesy of newyorkmetro.com)

Words of Wisdom: Cavalli

"My devotion to my job started from a personal defeat: my first girlfriend's parents rejected me because I wasn't rich. I decided to show them what a big mistake they had made." - Roberto Cavalli

A Little Reading

I should reference Taschen's "Fashion Now" book, which has become an invaluable resource to me. Any fashion lover should own this.

Je suis désolé Dior, J'adore L'Occitane

I've always been around L'Occitane because my mother is a hopeless Francophile. She was partially raised in France by a French teaching mother and now buys every French product known to man. My entire life, and to this day, my mother's frangrance collection has included L'Occitane, Roger Gallet, Guerlain, Chanel 5, L'air du Temps, Quelques Fleurs, Je Reviens and on and on.

I got completely hooked on L'Occitane a few years ago on a flight home from New York, when, after getting bumped to first class, I was given a little travel bag of L'Occitane toiletries. The bag included, among other things, the Extra-Gentle Cleansing Water and Shea Butter Hand Creme which I now use daily.

When I lived in LA, a block off Sunset Blvd., I'd walk to the L'Occitane store at Sunset Plaza every month or so to buy a Verbena Harvest candle. L'Occitane's Fleur d'Oranger Parfum is also one of my top five favorite perfumes.

I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging, and L'Occitane's Provençal packages are trés jolie.

(picture courtesy of loccitane.com)

La Linda Returns

Linda Evangelista, an original supermodel, is on the cover of Vogue. I'm always pleased to see an actual model on a fashion magazine, rather than a, say, naked popstar or something (hint, hint, nudge, nudge Bazaar...)

In the article she admits to regularly using Botox. At least she's honest...

(picture courtesy of vogue.com)

On A More Positive Note...

Here's a picture of Scarlett looking lovely and promoting her latest Woody Allen flick. I haven't found out what this dress is yet, but it looks a little like Oscar de la Renta. I have to say, I love Scarlett's stylist, and I'm so glad that Rachel Zoe hasn't gotten ahold of Scarlett and Malibu-ified her.

Scarlett Hearts $$

Scarlett Johansson is the new designer and face of Reebok and is promoting a campaign called "Scarlett Hearts Rbk". This alarms me on a few levels, but primarily because Scarlett doesn't look the least bit athletic (she was a very unconvincing tennis player in 'In Good Company' and she has cellulite in the picture above, Lord love her). Secondarily, does she even know how to design? Thirdly, she apparently wants to be Stella McCartney, but can she possibly rival the Stella-Adidas success? Fourth and lastly, much to my chagrin, but to her agents' delight, I guess she's pursuing a career in spokesmodeling. So much for being the next Great Actress. I'm pretty sure Meryl Streep was never the face of L'Oreal and Reebok, and she's done well for herself. What's next, Scarlett, ProActiv?

Love the Stella McCartney dress, by the way.

Done With The Dead

It was kitschy rock'n'roll-cool when Alexander McQueen started it, but now it's just Avril Lavigne/Hot Topic obnoxious. I enjoyed Pirates of The Caribbean as much as the next Johnny Depp fan, but now the all-pervading skull trend needs to, uh, die.

And mostly because it's such a flash in the pan... people will look back in a year and go, "Why the hell did I spend $500 for a scarf with a skull on it? Everyone will know it's last year's scarf. I'm such a sell out! My God! What have I become??" At least I hope that's what they'll say.

Sadly, the skull thing has digressed down to local mall level. That means any girl with $20 bucks in her pocket and the latest Us Weekly in her hand is sporting a skulled-something, like sunglasses with skulls encrusted on them, or a skullcap with skulls on it. Ugh.

Enough. Move on. Leave the skulls to the haute houses and go buy a floral blouse.

(Image courtesy of nytimes.com)


Yesterday I was randomly doing a lot of research on Milla Jovovich and Carmen Hawk's label Jovovich-Hawk. I was preparing a post on their clothes, and today it was announced that Jovovich-Hawk was a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund initiative. SO, I figure what better time to check out this line.

I particularly love this line because each piece seems to have been so carefully constructed and personally inspired. Milla and Carmen even flew to the Ukraine (Jovovich's native country) to buy handmade lace and other textiles for their line, because, as Jovovich says, "Those people just came out of a revolution, they're starving for democracy, they're starving to make a connection with the West."

It's not a surprise that the clothes are so amazing, because Milla is always so beautiful and fashionable. To check out the rest of the line, visit www.jovovich-hawk.com. Below: Milla Jovovich and Lou Doillon in Jovovich-Hawk.

Not So Dirrty Anymore

I've never looked to Christina Aguilera for fashion tips, or eyebrow grooming tips. But she looks really adorable in this picture. No drag-queen makeup. No crotch visuals. Just sweet. That sweater looks really comfortable, and her little Mary Janes are really cute. I can't tell if her headband is leopard print or faux-tortoiseshell, but I like it. And look! I think her eyebrows are even growing back!!