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Murder...or what happens when you're shot...

I said that I’d post some images from the shoot I styled the other week and I don’t want to be labeled a fibber so I’m going to do so...even though it's with some hesitancy. I tend to be overly judgmental when it comes to things that I make; I just don’t seem to be able to take a step back and look at them realistically. For example, when I bake I end up not eating any of the cakes or cookies as I’m convinced that they’re sub-par.

I’m having similar issues when it comes to these pictures...I can’t get my thoughts in order. One minute I think they’re too 80’s...the next, and I feel that maybe they’re okay. I don’t know...having an inner voice is one thing but when it’s a bit of a pessimist it can be a little trying...


Delay in play's a question...why is it that if I go to the APC websites for Europe, Japan, or Other Countries (unspecified) I can buy Jessica Ogden's latest Madras collection but when I go to the North America site there's no sign of it? Do they not realize the pangs of longing that some of these pieces are giving me? What's with the delay?


Twinkle, twinkle...

Not only do these Dries van Noten shoes bypass any anxiety about your shoes matching your outfit...or even your shoes perversely not matching your outfit...but they also add a touch of fairy dust to even the dullest day.

They're outside my fiscal comfort zone, but some cheap shoes...glue...and a big bag of glitter and I may have a craft project that would add a little twinkle to my toes.


Good things come in small packages...or at least I hope they do

During our recent trip to NY I finally started to get comfortable with the idea of packing light. Up to that point I’d been an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of girl, working on the idea that weather may be erratic…or our plans may change…or something earth shattering may happen…and I didn’t want to get caught without the right clothes. I’d envied people who had capsule travel wardrobes; I just thought I’d never actually be one of them. Well, I’m not quite there yet but I’m further down the path to minimalism than I ever anticipated.

On Wednesday we fly to London for 7 days and I’ve challenged myself to see how few pieces I can take, yet have the ability to create numerous outfits and not end up wearing the same clothes every day (or should I say, not look like I’m wearing the same clothes every day as some repetition is unavoidable with a mini-wardrobe).

So, unless there are any last-minute substitutions, the line-up looks like this:

Built by Wendy trench coat
Joe’s jeans
See by Chloe denim skirt
House of Hengst striped dress
Uniqlo gingham shirt
APC striped shirt with bronze trim
H&M plaid shirt
Muji dark grey, crinkle t-shirt

Add a pair of grey Converse lo-tops, some glittery red ballet flats, and a Harald kefiyah-style scarf and that’s about it.

Now that I’ve typed out the list I’m getting nervous…in my head this seemed sufficient…but it’s an awfully short list… Rationally though, the jeans and the skirt work with any of the tops and the dress can be worn alone or with the gingham shirt or the t-shirt…that’s 11 options. Surely that's enough...


Whip It!...or cut it...

I know that I've discussed my haircut phobia before...sufficed to say, even a good-looking Italian hairdresser cannot alleviate the pain. I'd got to the stage though where I really was resembling a cocker spaniel, so yesterday I went for a haircut. The end result was long...with bangs...very straight (thanks to the opposed to my normal wind-blown-look)...and a little bit more blonde than usual (also due to the aforementioned blowdryer). I liked it, the husband liked it, all was good in the world...except that I am not a hairdryer kind of girl. I'm more of a "at some point in the near future this will dry and let's see what the day brings" kind of girl.

As today was Sunday...and I had some spare time...I decided to try to recreate that "salon look". The good news is that the majoriy of my hair looked great...long and blonde and fulfilling all necessary requirements. The bad news? I've learnt that I need to pay more attention to my fringe...a little too much time with my head upside down and, bingo, I have a fringe that would qualify me as a member of Devo. Today was a hat day...nuff said.


Green grow the rushes

I was going to do a slightly tenuous Earth Day comparison...she is wearing a green jacket and carrying a plant...but, in reality, I wanted to post this picture from Facehunter because I love her elongated bubble skirt...okay, I love the entire outfit but there's something about the's one of those absolutely perfect pieces that is casual without making you look like a slob (did I mention my hatred of sweatpants?).


The Grapes of Wrath

The other day when I was wandering around Sephora I spotted a label which read "What is the secret for a radiant complexion?" the label was attached to a little bottle I didn't need to be Einstein to assume that the answer was, as they say, all bottled up. So, feeling a little like a very gullible Alice in Wonderland I decided to buy one...and a sample of Caudalie's Beauty Elixir came home with me.

I've been a fan of the Evian spray for years...and this is a kind of souped-up version...bursting with grape extract and various essential oils (rosemary, orange blossom, rose, myrrh, and mint). It's probably all in my mind but I swear that my skin really does have more radiance since I started using it...and even if my mind is playing tricks on me, my skin smells wonderful...


A question of size

I've read various articles recently regarding "vanity sizing"...or the variance of measurements in clothes which are labelled the same size...presumably to make everyone think "gosh, I've lost a lot of weight". I was curious so I decided to do a completely non-scientific study of some vintage 80's skirts from my closet compared to Banana Republic's online size chart (as I said non-scientific). Our contestants?

1) Moschino "Liechtenstein" skirt - labelled a 48 (US 14)...waist measurement 32"
2) Moschino striped skirt - labelled a 46 (US 12)...waist measurement 30"
3) Roser Marce gingham tulip skirt - labelled a 40 (US 10)...waist measurement 28"

And the results? In two of the cases, the modern sizes are larger. Banana Republic's size 10 comes in with a waist measurement of 29" and their size 12 measures 30.5" (only the 14 is identical at 32"). Not a huge numerical difference but how much additional weight overall are we carrying around to equal that extra inch in the waist?


An Inconvenient Bag

As Earth Day is almost upon us I had to post a picture of Marc Jacobs' tribute to Al Gore.


Zebra Crossing

Pages and pages of pseudo-clinical diagrams have been painstakingly drawn to demonstrate that fat women should wear stripes going up and down, and thin women stripes going round and round. This may be good camouflage but it is not fashion. Barber's poles are rarely smart, and awnings less than elegant.

So sayeth "The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Good Taste". Now, a lot of things have changed since this book was published in 1958...some stripes have become our friends (the striped t-shirt or scarf always receive a warm welcome from me)...but I don't know what Alexander McQueen was thinking when he created this chevron striped skirt for his McQ line.

Any bump, any bulge...essentially anything...will be magnified and blown out of all proportion. Why would you want to do that to yourself?


Run for the sun...

Yesterday was a kind of bargain bonanza...after snagging the shoes I popped into Old Navy...and found a great selection of sunglasses.

I'm a fan of oversized styles (mainly because they cover a multitude of sins) so I was drawn to these glasses and their futuristic 70's vibe. And, as they were only $9.50, I snagged a pair in each color. Recently I've been admiring photos of people in white sunglasses but I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a one-hit wonder...problem solved.


Double Take

A little while ago I posted about the APC stingray sandals in the picture on the right. They were cool...they were summer...but, at $499, they were not for me. But, you know how it is...they still lingered in my a "wouldn't it be on cool if they went on sale and were reduced by about 90% and were in my size?" kind of way.

I was wandering around Urban Outfitters today and there, hanging on a rack, were some shoes that looked...familiar. Not identical you understand...but pretty darned close. All this for $38 and the comfortable feeling that comes from knowing that no stingrays had to quit this mortal coil on my account...I virtually ran to the cash register.


Simply Purr-fect!

As is my wont, I’ve been fixating recently on finding a necklace to spice up my summer wardrobe. I had a short checklist of desires:

1) Something gold (in the past I’ve been a silver girl but at the moment I’m in a full-blown gold rush)
2) My inclination was for a pendant of some sort on a chain…I was open to other options (and I’ve posted a few of the ones that I found)…but my initial craving was for a pendant.
3) Something cute, but not sickeningly so...
4) A necklace that didn’t make me feel like I was paying off the national debt when I put down my credit card, i.e. affordable.

So, those were my criteria and, quite frankly, I didn’t think I was asking too much. Which just goes to show how wrong you can I’ve been hunting around and wasn’t able to find anything that was “just right”...until now.

This tiger pendant from Les Bijoux de Sophie meets all of my’s perfect. In fact, as I found this in a French magazine, the only problem I’m left with is finding a stockist. Merde!


Out, damned spot! out, I say!

The Doo.Ri, Rodarte, and Thakoon limited edition designs based on that old wardrobe basic, the white shirt, hit Gap stores today. I really like a couple of the designs, namely the Doo.Ri scarf shirt and the Thakoon tie shirt shown below. Odd as it sounds in this context, I just wish that they weren’t white. When it comes to pale colors, I am a stain magnet…so white inspires dread rather than any sense of purity or freshness. (The really odd thing is that in colors or dark tones the stains leave me alone...they must sense fear.)

And if stain apprehension means I can’t eat or drink it rather takes the fun out of wearing something. And let’s not even mention the hazards of public transportation and white clothes...”should I lean back or is the back of the seat dirty?...”will the person standing over me with a cup of coffee suddenly get jolted and pour half of it all over me?...the pressure is unbearable.

So, in this instance, I’m going to admire the shirts (and the people who can successfully wear them) from afar.


The bitter pill

The combination of fashion and art can be problematic...and in certain instances the wearer can feel like a walking billboard.

In the case of Obvious Classics, the most recent collaboration between Miuccia Prada and Rem Koolhaas you literally are a walking billboard as the designs originate from the "billboards from the future" that Prada projected during its men's Spring/Summer 2007 show.

I like t-shirts...I like upcoming trip to London is based upon the timing of an art exhibition BUT these t-shirts leave me cold. They're not so much art and fashion as the kind of souvenir t-shirt that you might buy from the gift shop at the end of an exhibit...which is fine at $20 but not so good at $210.


Black and Tan

Question: What is a Black & Tan?
Answer: The all-Guinness Black & Tan is Harp's Lager and Guinness.

Black and Tan also describes this striking French streetstyle picture from dans Paris.

I love everything about this look...the tight jeans and the loose dress...the textures (leather, suede, denim, linen)...and the fact that black and brown can look so right together...

Cheers! Or should I say, À votre santé!


As the cat said in the adage…


Long live the Queen! Viv, that is...

One of life's eternal questions...why is it so difficult to find somewhere that sells Vivienne Westwood clothing in the US? In a country this large are there really so few people who appreciate her designs?

The indisputable fact that I'm living in a Viv-less desert means that I'm looking forward to my upcoming London trip like a camel who's just spotted a waterhole. Specifically, I am in love with these two outfits from her Red Label...


Best foot forward...

Another day, another pair of expensive skull's like I'm being taunted by the cobblers of the world. This time the shoes in question are from Loeffler Randal and feature a more subdued cut-out skull stencil.

This is definitely the chic skull option; I could imagine Holly Golightly wearing them if she wanted a little edge.


Somebody shoot me!

Well, I made it through the was a little choppy in the beginning so, trust me, there were a couple of times when I wasn't too sure...

Basically, the set-up was this...a friend who is a professional photographer and two friends of his, who just got married and wanted non-traditional wedding pictures...add to the mix a hair/make-up artist...and me. I'd been given a rough idea of the bride's size and told that she was very pale with a blonde mohawk...the description of the groom was even shorter; I knew he had tattoos. I was told they were bringing clothes themselves and that I needed to provide "bizarre" pieces and props. My big mistake is that I took this at face value...they were a wonderful, fun, quirky couple...but they must have brought about 6-7 things between the two of them. So, lesson number 1 was...never assume anything and bring everything (kitchen sink included). This was followed quickly by lesson number 2, knowing the model's size is a MUST (well, d'uh...I say to myself, now).

Lesson #3, go with the flow. As I mentioned, things were a little sluggish in the beginning. The bride and groom's comfort zone was their own other pieces had to be introduced slowly. The good news is that by the end of the shoot the bride was 100% in items that I'd brought and was having a blast.

Lesson number 4? This is hard are lugging multiple suitcases across town, stressing due to the realization that if only you'd brought a black tank top all problems would be solved, and generally running around like a crazed fiend.

In the end though, I think things went well. The photographer seemed pleased, the "happy couple" were happy, and there were several images that looked great (I'll try and post a few at a future date)...and, on a personal note, once my nerves subsided I had fun. Now I just have to keep my fingers crossed that I get to do this again!


Silence is deadly

Today's absence of posts was caused by an IM I received yesterday...from a friend who's a professional photographer asking me if I'd like to assist with styling a shoot he's doing...tonight.

Deep to... And so, I've been running around ever since pulling clothes and props like a thing possessed. I should mention that this is the first time I've been asked to syle other people so I am, understandably, a little nervous.

However at this point, for better or worse, everything is packed and I have a few minutes before I head out. Inactivity would lead to more nerves...hence the quick post. I'll write a post-mortem of the event tomorrow...if I survive.


Can someone pass me a magnifying glass?

It's pathetic really...such is my love of APC that when I found this image of catalogs for the upcoming Fall/Winter collection I was a happy little camper. Until, that is, my initial burst of enthusiasm waned and I realized that I can only get the vaguest idea of what she's could be her boyfriend's could be her shirtdress...let's face it, the fact that it's blue is my only certainty.

I'm being taunted by a photograph of a photograph...I need help...or a magnifying glass.


Hello Sailor!

One more thing to add to the London shopping list...a Breton sailor striped shirt from Dover Street Market...


Furry little critters

What do you think of when you hear J. Mendel...champagne...preview of the Fall/Winter Collection...?

Well, when I received an invitation from a friend, my first thoughts were of young NY socialites (and free champagne). At this point, can I just say, false advertising?

The Chicago store (in the picture on the right) is...size 0 small and filled with fur, wool trimmed with fur, and $700 belts. Tonight it was also filled with about 60 people...and waiters with trays of cocktails and bizzare hors d'oeuvres (pea puree anyone?)...and...

There was a beautiful, boiled wool, fitted coatdress with mink puffed sleeves that I loved...but both fiscally and realistically was out of my reach. There were some beaded dresses and geometric furs that had a 30's veneer. But in the end, the impression that I got was of a store that had an older clientelle and stocked pieces for its customer base. Which is wonderful if that fits your profile but is definitely not for me.


A World of Contradictions...

For every good, there is an evil...every yin has its yang...and, in my mind, every outfit has to have its dichotomy…the elements that add a twist to the look. So, today’s vaguely secretary/librarian ensemble gets the addition of a small Chloe skull necklace...just a little “off” and yet strangely on theme at the same time (if you’re a secretary from a James Bond movie that is).

I’ve never been able to decide if my inability to let an outfit remain pure and unadulterated is a positive or negative character aspect. While I admire people who can wear restrained clothes with the confidence to let the purity of the design speak for itself I know I will never join their ranks. Quite frankly, it makes me feel like a nun...I need my embellishments and fripperies.

And I’m not alone...apparently Phillip Lim enjoys a little contradiction himself. This dress is half tomboy/half girly frills but the whole is perfection. The utilitarian aspects tone down any feeling of drowning in saccharine, while the ruffles make sure that everyone knows that you’re still a girl (of course the vast expanse of leg probably adds to that message as well but that’s another issue).


Colored Eggs and Cash Registers

Today I received e-mails from two different stores regarding their "Spring Kick-Off" sales...

Did I miss something?

End-of-season sales I know, and love, but when did the "hey, the Easter bunny just hopped by" sale hit the radar? Or are we, the consumers, just not doing our part? Thereby forcing the friendly neighborhood purveyors of fashion to slice 20% off...

Or has it just reached that time of the week when I get cynical and jaded?

Answers on a postcard, please.


Postcards from the edge

As I don't speak Japanese I have absolutely no clue what these images from Jun Takahasi of Undercover's blog are related to...but I have to second the message...


The greatest show on Earth

You probably already have a sneaking suspicion that I love a good pattern. I also love a good handbag. So, when the two collide...look out!

When I first saw this McQ bag I thought the motif was nautical, but as the theme for his Spring/Summer collection is the circus I had to take a second look. So, instead of naval in character the stripes must be...a circus tent...and the rope, for the trapeze that must mean that what I initially took to be the neck and head of the Loch Ness monster must actually be an aerial artist’s hand...or, am I simply reading too much into a handbag?


Things that go bump in the night

"I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all [men] have."

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

And speaking of unsatisfied thoughts...I’m still on the hunt for a necklace. I mentioned the exceeding expensive one that I found at Anthropologie but failed to touch upon the much more affordable owl necklace that I also discovered there.

Though you can find a huge variety of birds and animals on jewelry (and I’d never turn down the offer of any Carter panthers that came my way), I’ve always had a soft spot for anything featuring an owl. They’re worldly-wise but just a little bit evil...the avian Eartha Kitt...


Caught NAP-ping?

The goodies that I ordered from Net-a-Porter were delivered today; after some raised blood pressure due to DHL. Answer me this...if something is delivered to an office building with 24-hour security and a receptionist how do you only manage to "attempt" delivery? How? Is it purely to give me a panic attack as I wonder where my package has got to? The obligatory pain before the gain? Thankfully, a very helpful lady at the DHL call center asked the driver to turn his van around and, voila, my box was delivered.

This was my first purchase from NAP...mainly because I try to avoid ordering online. I'm a tactile shopper. I like to feel the clothes, enjoy the ambiance of the store, even a nicely designed shopping bag gives me a quiet thrill. So, ordering online, and getting something heavily creased and wrapped in a plastic bag (which I have had happen) has never caused me much excitement. I'd heard that Net-a-Porter managed to avoid the online wrapping conundrum but they completely exceeded my expectations. A heavy-weight, matte black box tied with black and white ribbon...crisp black tissue paper surrounding a Net-a-Porter dustbag shirt and skirt (which I love)...each folded in tissue paper with no sign of a crease or the dreaded plastic.

This could be dangerous...freak that I am, I'd order things just to un-wrap the packaging...


Rule Britannia!

Every so often my in-born love of tackiness raises its head (my husband would say this is usually shown in my musical tastes but that’s another story). Yes, once in a while I see something cringe-inducingly God awful but, for some reason, its love at first sight.

The most recent occurrence of this phenomenon occurred while I was flipping through the April issue of UK Elle and found this Union Jack patterned Chanel bag. It’s a holiday souvenir gone wrong...a combination of every saucy seaside postcard, stick of Brighton Rock, or miniature Tower of London ever sold...and yet, I cannot get enough of it.

I just need to keep telling myself that this madness will pass; maybe that’ll work with my Emma Bunton CD as well...


A tiger can never change its stripes...but can a shoe?

If you read this blog regularly you will know that I'm not a heels girl...not that I don't like them, I just have no sense of balance. So, while I can admire the Pierre Hardy shoes on the left I realize that, for me, both pricewise (at $605) and heightwise (at whatever perilous number of inches they come in at) they are out of my range.

Thanks to Urban Outfitters though I can have my stripey cake, and eat it too. These striped black suede and gold skimmers have the feel of the Pierre Hardy shoes but with a manageable (even for me) 1" high platform. At $88 the price doesn't leave me reeling either...


Twisted Sister

Rightly or wrongly I always thought of Anthropologie as Urban Outfitter's big sister...a bit more grown-up and sophisticated at times but still fun and playful. I carried that thinking over to the pricing structure, though recently I've had to revise my opinion.

I'm on the lookout for a gold-toned necklace...I was originally thinking of some kind of pendant but I'm open to ideas. So when I saw the picture of this necklace I thought, "we have a potential winner". I clicked to get more information and was stopped short by the $798 price tag staring back at me. It's by Alexis Bittar, it's beautiful...but sister's tastes suddenly got too rich for my blood.


Glamour is a Rocky Road

I tend to idealize travel…traveling by train across the US will be, I assume, as glamorous as North by Northwest…sailing across the Atlantic will be like re-living the crossings of earlier days…Paris will be romantic, just because it’s Paris gosh darn it.

Of course, nothing lives up to these high standards but, instead of causing disappointment, there comes the realization that the trip was wonderful for its own unique and personal reasons. The sleeping cars on modern trains may be compact (to say the least) but there is something very quixotic about packing a bottle of wine and some food and having a picnic in the confined space as the world passes by. Similarly I now know that I can beat most contenders at shuffleboard and that one of the most romantic things about Paris was standing, by myself, at night, in the rain, on one of the bridges over the Seine.

Another of my travels ideals was created by the Jim Jarmusch film, “Mystery Train” and the Japanese couple in the first segment of the film. In the movie they make a pilgrimage to Memphis to see Graceland (something that’s on my travel list). Though it’s not an integral part of the movie I always think of this film in terms of the woman and her suitcase. The case is her Aladdin’s Cave, filled with clothes that are just so laidback and “right”…it’s hard to explain…it’s not glitzy, in fact the settings are decidedly grubby, but there’s something about the overall message of just packing a bag and hitting the road which is very alluring. And, if that bag is a microcosm of your wardrobe, distilled and refined…so much the better.

All this was brought to mind by these pictures from “Take a trip” in the April issue of Jalouse. These images gave me the same feeling as the Mystery Train woman and her suitcase. They seem to encapsulate everything a road-trip should be; which, of course, means the reality will be different…but just as good.


That 70's...bag?

I am having such a 70's frenzy at the moment that I almost feel embarassed. First the McQ/Chloe combo that I posted about yesterday (and yes, I succumbed...darn it)...and now, the Meredith shoulder bag from Kooba.

It can be carried or worn over the's distressed...and I feel like Ali McGraw just looking at it...


Welcome to Margherita-ville

I think (especially if you’ve ever picked up a copy of Jalouse where they tend to be a standard fixture) that there’s a tendency to be slightly jaded when it comes to the European young, rich, and well-connected (okay, add a smidge of jealousy in there as well)…they have the money to buy good clothes and, in a lot of cases, can wear them well…but couldn’t that be said of many other people if they were given the same opportunity?

Initially I lumped Margherita Missoni into this category…mainly because she seemed to be wearing head-to-toe Missoni in any pictures I saw of her. I mean, it must be wonderful to have access to that kind of family-wardrobe but, wouldn’t you want to mix it up a bit? On a more down-to-earth scale, your granny might knit you a sweater every year but that doesn’t mean you have to wear them constantly.

But I was wrong in my initial assessment; in recent pictures she looks wonderful. The outfits are fun and quirky but sophisticated and put-together at the same time. Funky, chic, and she has my Chanel handbag…definitely inspiring…


I swear, I'm trying to be good...

I find this blog theraputic...or do I mean cathartic?

Either way, I post about items and it relieves some of the pangs of longing and lets me take a good look at the piece I'm thinking of buying (thereby drastically reducing the impromptu and much regretted impulse purchase).

So, somethings I blog about and resolve to love from afar...some, I write about and lose all interest in shortly afterwards and some...
Some, I know before I even start typing that I am going to have to hold onto my credit cards...quickly.

Into the latter category falls this McQ sweatshirt/shirt and See by Chloe skirt. Together they are a little 70's trucker much so that I can imagine Kris Kristofferson whisking me away in a truckin' convoy across the USA.

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