|Last time I mentioned one of Natalia Brilli's pieces I was lusting over a headband with leather wings...just the thing for the neo-Grecian girl about town.|
Now, much as I still love her signature wrapped leather pieces, I'm fascinated by her latest offering...her burnt offering for those of you pun-inclined (because the wooden beads have, in fact, been burnt...and then attached to a leather strap).
There's something so alluring about this kind of distressed beauty...its very ruin takes it out of the realm of the generic...and it calls to my inner pyro (the girl who wanted to learn how to join the circus and be a fire-eater).
Even though it is in actuality one piece (i.e. a dress) there's something about this sequined topped and silk skirted number from the London based husband and wife team behind the label Pyrus that suggests an experiment with a children's flip-book...the thought that somewhere there is the top of a lilac prom dress waiting to be re-united with its lower half...and presumably a suitably "flapper in camouflage" bottom in search of it's long-lost top. But it's that very juxtaposition though that makes this so strangely desirable...
As I downloaded yet another scanned page from an editorial in a search for some autumnal inspiration...this time Carla Bruni looking very tousled in a trench from the September issue of Vanity Fair...I realized that I hardly ever actually buy fashion magazines anymore. Not that it's a conscious decision, you understand...I don't have a specific agenda to save money or trees (though the cost of some foreign magazines is becoming disturbing)...it's more that as I stand in Barnes and Noble, flipping through the pages of that month's offerings, I rarely seem to be able to find a magazine that has enough interesting content to make the purchase worthwhile.
|I can't decide if magazines truly are a little lacklustre at the moment or I'm living proof that the aphorism that "there's no such thing as a new idea" is true and I've bought so many 'zines in years gone by that I am now essentially reading regurgitated themes and advice. All I know is that, thanks to forums like The Fashion Spot where kindly souls scan editorials from magazines, there's no real necessity for me to buy...though a part of me misses the excitement of curling up on a Sunday afternoon with a crisp, new magazine...|
A big thank you to Stylefrizz for tagging me with a Premio Award...which, inexplicably, made me think of a variation of the Phil Collins' song (Pre-pre-premio)...hence the title.
Of course, this means that now it's my turn to hand out the award to some blogs that I enjoy. So, here goes (in random order)...
|The Search For Chic |
The cherry blossom girl
And now, so that no Phil Collins fans feel gypped by the title...meine damen und herren, mesdames et messieurs, ladies and gentlemen...Mr. Phil Collins...
WARNING: Apparently this was voted one of the 50 worst videos of all time...which is probably valid unless you happen to enjoy numerous sightings of the 80's British mullet in one of its native habitats...
It's a whimsical way to start the week but I couldn't resist posting a picture of this puff-sleeved Mr. Rabbit t-shirt from See By Chloé...in a way it reminds me of the illustrations that Sir John Tenniel did for the first edition of Alice in Wonderland...all of his animals seemed to have such an aristocratic air and this shirt continues that theme...
When I wrote about my sudden lust for a pair of white leather and faux python cowboy boots I mentioned that I considered it an aberration, style-wise. Now, after ogling this image from Nicole Farhi's Fall/Winter ad campaign, I'm wondering if it was indeed a deviation or if I'm being irresistibly driven towards a Western motif this winter.
Admittedly this isn't what you typically think of when you consider the genre...it's more Gothic Victorian cowgirl than Roy Rogers' girlfriend...or maybe Roy's girl on her way to a funeral, after a few too many drinks the night before...
“Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine, Yet let's be merry; we'll have tea and toast; Custards for supper, and an endless host Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies, And other such ladylike luxuries” - Percy Bysshe Shelley
I think I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that I've eaten jelly since I was a child...and, truth be told, even then I didn't indulge on a regular basis. Entering adulthood, and moving to the US, didn't cause a change in my habits...especially since, no matter what Bill Cosby says, Jello is depressing...forcing jelly into a two inch plastic cup is the culinary equivalent of caging a wild animal, cruel and unusual punishment.
And so things stood, until I came across Bompas & Parr (aka The Jellymongers) and their quest to take jelly moulds to an artistic zenith last seen during Victorian times. Which means that, if the fancy takes you, you can order one of their bespoke tinned copper moulds in whatever shape you desire...I'm thinking jelly hand grenades or mice might make for an interesting end to a dinner party...or you can bid for one of 12 lots in their Article 25 Auction. Each lot comprises of a one-off photograph of one of the jellies designed for the Architectural Jelly Design Competition (who knew?), signed by the architect, design material and one of the jelly moulds. Though I'm keen on St.Paul's...and the jelly version of Foster + Partners Wobbly Bridge...my heart goes out to Barajas Airport which is large enough to feed you and 249 of your closest friends (maybe 240 if a couple of them are piggy and want more than one jelly aeroplane).
It's not quite 'having you cake and eating it' but it's darned close.
|Two things that I'm not keen on doing...buying things at full price when the season is well under way...and putting my name on a list for something so far in advance that by the time my object of desire is available I've forgotten that I did so...but, here we are, and I've done both those things.|
"What caused this aberration?", you ask. Well...I'm almost embarrassed to say...because it was a pair of FitFlops. Not, I hasten to add, for their workout properties (theoretically they are 'engineered to tone and trim your legs as you walk') but because I fell (heavily) for the sexy/orthopedic look of their Aurelia gladiators. Of course, if they do work some kind of leg toning miracle during the remainder of summer I won't complain...
It's a guilty pleasure but I'm a huge fan of Japanese candy...not just for the flavors and packaging...but for the toys that you can sometimes snag as part of the deal (yes, I am way past the stage where I should want a toy with my sweets but what can you do?). When I was living in London I managed to start a collection of Hello Kitty keychains and was dismayed when my favorite one fell off the bag it had been attached to and was lost for evermore.
All of which, as you probably guessed, is a preamble to try and explain why I am lusting over these Kittys bedecked in designs from the Christian Dior Fall/Winter collection. Just the thing to jazz up your cell phone and, theoretically at least, if they did fall off it would be inside your bag...which should make a search and rescue mission slightly more successful.
I've been thinking a lot about scarves recently...partly due to a long-standing preoccupation with them...and also because of a couple of scarf-related items which have caught my eye...
Item #1, The Telegraph ran an article on the babushka meets Grace Kelly headscarves which were littering the Fall/Winter collections. Much as I love this look on Grace Kelly...or any other heroine from that period, especially if worn while being driven around in an open sports car...it's not for me...any time I try it the overall vibe is more cleaning lady than soignee sophisticate.
Still, if you're dying to give it a go The Telegraph has put together some pictures to show you how...though as this is probably the easiest way to tie a scarf I'm not sure that they're entirely necessary. They are good for a giggle though...as an example I've included my favorite picture from the set which gives the impression that the model is being attacked by someone using an Hermes scarf. Still, I suppose there are worse ways to go...
Random item #2 is this Alexander McQueen scarf that I noticed on Net-a-Porter. On the plus side, it does look beautiful and is hand-embroidered. On the minus, it resembles the Indian wall hangings that you see at some markets, except that it's $5,590 and they're usually about $10...
The only thing more alarming than the price is the fact it's sold out (insert query about "aren't we in a recession?" here).
The lovely people at Ekoh, a new eco-conscious online boutique, are offering readers of this blog a 20% discount...just click on the link and enter Splendidcity when it comes time to check-out.
Personally I'm considering some Baggu bags...because I may not be the most environmentally friendly person on the planet but one of the few things that I do actually manage to do is bring my own bags when I go grocery shopping...something from the Caudalie Vinotherapie range...a spritz of their Beauty Elixir is so refreshing on a warm day plus, narcissistically, how can you feel bad when you're dousing yourself with 'beauty elixir'?...and possibly Dr. Hauschka's Body Care Kit...I've been hearing a lot of good things about this range and really wanted to give it a try.
Actually, there's a slew of other things that I'd buy if I wasn't trying to be good at the moment...which, once again, proves that the meaning of "good" is open to interpretation...
They say that inspiration hits in the unlikeliest of places. I can attest to that as, midway to an "almost faint" (when you don't actually pass out but come pretty darn close) I spotted a portion of what I later discovered was the Poverty Medley from My Name Is Barbra (Streisand's first television special from 1965)...I can't quite decide which affliction is worse...that I have the occasional fainting spell...or that I could still think "nice dress" whilst in the midst of one...
But it was pretty hard to ignore the (still very modern) combination of leopard coat, leather dress, and shoots (the shoe/boot hybrid). When I watched the entire clip via YouTube today I was stunned by the number of lustworthy outfits there were...okay, not the white fur knickerbockers...but most of the other ensembles had me sighing and longing for some '60's, co-ordinated, I am woman, hear me roar' outfits...
|Normally I'm not much of a fan of cowboy boots...unless you're an actual cowboy something generally feels a little 'off'...like a vegetarian going to an all-you-can-eat steak restaurant. But, in the long tradition of "never say never because you know you're just tempting fate to come up behind you and yell 'boo'", I find myself visiting (and re-visiting) these Jeffrey Campbell boots.|
The icing on this particular cake is that not only are they cowboy boots...they're white cowboy boots with faux python detailing...it's layers of madness on top of madness...so why can't I stop checking them out?
I tend to dislike issues of magazines that try to inform their readers what to wear at age 30...or 40...or 50... The idea that personal style can be reduced down to a calculation of what is deemed appropriate based on your age group is ludicrous, and exceedingly dated. The latest incarnation of this type of editorial (and the one that started this rant) appears in the August issue of US Vogue...the "age" issue...with editorials for each decade from the 20's to the 50's based upon the personal look of one of Vogue's stylists (though there's a bit of bait-and-switch going on as Tabitha Simmons who is the inspiration for the "20's" images is actually in her late thirties).
Apart from the suggestions for women in their fifties, which are so depressingly dull that it gives one very little to look forward to, the overwhelming impression that the reader gets is one of confusion...without the accompanying numerical indicators it would be difficult to decide which picture falls under which age group. But, if this is the case, why categorize them this way in the first place? Surely the very fact that it is difficult to look at them and say "this is the skirt that Vogue says should be worn by a 42 year old woman" shows how completely unnecessary this type of article is...
* today's quote, for those of you who are curious, is by Aldous Huxley...unfortunately Blogger has a limitation on title length which I often feel the urge to break.
|From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!|
Tops 2 Bottoms gets some styling inspiration from Military-inspired waistcoats.
Style Manila invites readers to say hi to makers of fabulous dresses.
Style...a work in progress asks what four words you'd use to describe your style?
Lucy of the chic tee-shirt line Rose La Biche answers some questions about her design life for Indie Style File
Her Accessories has been scoping out the Fall handbag previews and like what she sees!
Vote for your favorite celebrity look of the week over at CelebLOOK.
Just A Formality loves this silk and satin champagne gown from Tadashi.
Bullitt (the cat) over at NY Spender has found a great deal: skinny jeans for only $39.00!
Shopalicious is tickled pink by a cute chemise for $23.90, and invites you try your chance to win a $25 certificate from Oh Cheri!
ShopDiary is craving for Eairth, an edgy yet sustainable clothing line.
Check out this Chloe suede ankle boot with an open back at Shoe Blitz.
Glamour Gift Guide adores this L.A.M.B. ombre patent tote in glossy red.
Beauty and Fashion Tech tells you how to kill calluses and soften your feet with AB Skin Care Happy Feet.
Beauty Secrets Revealed is giving away 6 Bestselling Skin Care e-books.
Viva Woman finds out if your sunscreens can double up as moisturizers.
Beauty Bento Box experiments on a couple of Dove hair care products formulated for coloured or treated hair.
Looking for a eco-friendly way to dry your hair? All That & a tries the new Barbar eco 800 hair dryer and loves it!
Krizia from Beauty Match talks to Dr. Paul Cohen about Skincare cosmetic rejuvenation treatments for men over 35.
The Mineral Makeup Blog features a review about the newly reformulated, talc and paraben free Alison Raffaele Mineral Concealer
Cinnamon Kitten checks out the colourful and popular Danish cosmetics line - Gosh Cosmetics - now available in Canada!
If you've ever had a yen to see your design on a t-shirt this could be your moment. Actually, to be more specific, this could be your 3 million yen moment...as that's the grand prize in this year's Uniqlo UT Grand Prix competition.
Now in its fifth year, the "T-shirt Design Olympics" as they call it is open to everyone...any age...and any nationality. The application process runs through September 21st and will be followed by two rounds of evaluations, culminating in the announcement of a winner in the spring of 2009.
Last year's competition ended in April of this year when the winner was announced at a fashion show held in a special site that was set-up in Tokyo Midtown (some of the finalists t-shirts are shown below).
On their website Uniqlo says, “A t-shirt is more than just a t-shirt. It’s an expression of who you are. Where you’ve been. What you love.” So grab the chance to show the world who you are...good luck!
|Laddering tights...a skill that I personally excel at...possibly due to my insistence on wearing skirts at the most inopportune times...moving furniture, crawling around on my hands and knees. And yet, strangely, each time it happens I'm freshly surprised that my hosiery looks like it's been attacked by killer moths...it must be a similar affliction to the child who continues to believe in Santa Claus long after evidence has proved he doesn't exist...|
Luckily I, along with Alexander Wang and Rodarte, like the distressed look (though not necessarily when it happens to a brand new pair of DKNY's). Which is probably why I find myself drawn towards Topshop's laddered t-shirt...perhaps the rips will appear more purposeful if they're part of an overall motif...
|The Kate Spade e-mail that dropped into my inbox was intriguing enough for me to click through...not, I hasten to add because of the Carrie Bradshaw-esque flower brooch...but because of the pale, boxy bag that the model was carrying. A little bit mod, and a little bit classic it looked like one of those bags that would take its personality from the rest of your outfit...as opposed to overwhelming the outfit with its own (not that I don't love a devastatingly overpowering bag every now and then).|
The only downside (apart from the fact that I have an irrational dislike of Kate Spade bags simply because you see them everywhere) is the color. I know myself too well to buy a porcelain colored bag. In fact, I guarantee than within a couple of days it would be less 'porcelain' and more 'sink full of dirty dishes'.
Oh, the curse of being a klutz...
A trip to the museum...a room full of totem poles...dark...brooding...and leaving me with an urge for something heavy and wooden and carved. Whether for the house...or to adorn myself...I'm unsure...
"For me, the most important thing is more about the attitude and having a kind of elegance that is natural."
"People often speak about me as being the representative of the French girl on the street," explains Marant. "It's true that my aim was to dress up everyday girls who want to feel pretty, but don't want to feel overly sexy or over-dressed — a girl who's a bit casual, cozy chic."
|The quotes above were taken from a virtual tour of Paris that designer Isabel Marant put together for Elle's website. I posted them here because, as I read them, I found myself nodding in agreement as they perfectly (and succinctly) sum up what I aspire to outfit-wise...pretty, casual, cozy, chic...done, yet un-done, at the same time.|
All of which got me wondering...if you had to describe your style objectives in four words, what would they be?
Things that I officially do not need:
1) a golden, beaded harness (even if it is by Alexander McQueen)
Things that I would wear with everything...we're talking dresses, t-shirts, even pj's here:
1) (you guessed it) a golden, beaded harness
Which means that there is (yet another) addition to my DIY list...at this rate I will be sewing for most of the rest of the summer...once I manage to source the perfect beads and sequins for this little project.
Every so often I get the urge to do something "pretty" with the unruly mop which constitutes my hair. It is, however, generally a rare and rather fleeting feeling...which means that I should probably get a grip on myself and not splurge on one of Paris jeweler, Adeline Cacheux's sterling silver "Bijou de tete"...
So, even though it is incredibly pretty (in a satisfyingly punk sort of way)...and probably a great morale booster during potential 'bad hair days'...it will be staying in Paris. Which doesn't mean that I'll necessarily be bijouless in the tete department. I'm thinking some chain necklaces that I don't wear anymore...a little elastic...and I may have a passable homage to the real thing.
I don't know what it says...for life in general...or my sanity in particular...that a stylized view of Britain...in the form of the "To The Manor Born" editorial from the August issue of Vogue Nippon...can invoke waves of nostalgia. And yet, here we are. And a virtual flip through the images made me yearn for a pint in a pub, overcast skies, and the inherent grimness of what Billy Bragg sang about in "Northern Industrial Town". Even Balenciaga's frontally slashed skirt was included in the halo of rose-tintedness...despite my personal belief that almost everyone is going to look like they've got chunky thighs in that little number.
The sorry state of the dollar though means no trips to the UK are in my immediate future so I'll just have to content myself with these pictures...and thoughts of silk scarves, ladylike skirts, and pointy shoes (once the weather becomes a little less Hades-like).
|I think this is one of the first times that I've actually cursed having a Mac...usually I treat it in the same way as someone would their beloved spaniel.|
"What's the problem?", you ask. Well, when I first spotted this webcam designed to look like a vintage tripod camera my cursor started edging towards the "add to cart" button quicker than you could say cheese, then I read the depressing words..."not Mac compatible".
Hence the aforementioned cursing...
|"If you think about the history of Hip Hop we've had artist who can talk about from socially significant ideas to something as cool as sneakers." - Grandmaster Flash|
I'm not much of a sneaker girl...they always me think of 80's office women on their daily commute...power suit up top, running track down below. Having said that I am completely besotted with these Nike Dunks Low Liberty numbers. The combination of the floral Liberty print and the acid yellow has me smitten...even though I know that, if I bought them, they would probably never get worn...just displayed on a shelf as art.
Thanks to my recent splurges at the sales it will be a case of "look, but don't touch" for the near future. Which I'm not complaining about...not one little bit...until, that is, I see something like this Martin Margiela fringe necklace from the upcoming Fall/Winter collection that I stumbled across on La Garconne (I'm not even going to get into the fact that I don't really have any urge to see winter clothing when the temperature has finally got to the insufferably humid and sticky point...the only thing that a sweater makes me think at the moment is 'hot'). The necklace was black...and fringy...and looked like just the thing to jazz up lots of different outfits. It was, naturally, not inexpensive though so I clicked away before any damage could be done.
When I ventured back to the site...not because I am a complete glutton for punishment but I'd realized that I could probably do a reasonable "interpretation" of the necklace myself quite cheaply...it was gone. Obviously someone who was equally smitten had said "credit card debt be damned" or something similar and had snapped it up.
So now I'm faced with a new DIY project...after a trip to the fabric store and (hopefully) locating some slightly larger/clearer pictures to work from.
|You know how it is...you go out shopping for one thing and mysteriously come back with something completely different. Yesterday's hunt was for plant pots and yet I managed to arrive back home with some rattan covered glasses. As a (somewhat) mitigating factor they were on sale...and I found them at a garden store.|
Anxious to use them...and thereby prove what a good buy they were...they became summer-y Chianti containers...and were used to toast the one really decent summer-ish pasta dish that I make. For anyone looking for an (exceedingly) easy...inexpensive...and very tasty...recipe I'm posting it below (serves two).
1/4 lb good bacon (i.e. more meat than fat)
1 lb ripe tomatoes (any kind will do, yesterday I used Romas from the farmer's market)
Grated cheese (personally I like a shaved Grana Padano Parmesan)
A finely chopped clove of garlic
A sliced white onion
Fresh basil (or any other herb you enjoy)
Cut the bacon into little strips (I use scissors) and fry until golden. Around the mid-way point add the garlic and onion (if using). While that's happening boil the water for the pasta and get that cooking. You can also take care of the gloriously messy portion of this dish...get a bowl and squeeze the tomatoes by hand into the bowl so that you get a bowlful of tomato mush (and wet sticky hands). Everything but the hard white center stem of the tomato should go in the bowl.
Wash hands...drain grease from frying pan...pour tomatoes into frying pan...and cook. The tomatoes will break down further as time goes on (5-10 minutes).
Drain pasta...pour into a serving dish...pour bacon/tomato sauce on top...add some thinly sliced basil and cheese on top.
When people...okay, it's mainly Mr. Heb...ask me why I never throw anything out of my closet I generally don't have a snappy comeback. After all, I can't say I'm saving it for future generations (I don't personally plan on proliferating the species) and I can't (with any honesty) claim that every item is an incredible piece of design that should be saved for posterity because, really, there are some things in there that make me embarrassed when I think about the money I spent on them. Even the honest response that they (the good, the bad, and the ugly) are a part of me...friends from the past with whom I share a good many memories...makes me sound slightly deranged.
Then yesterday, out of the blue, the urge hit me...and, together with an American Apparel grey v-necked t-shirt and a well-worn Nicole Farhi skirt, the waistcoat finally saw the light of day. Which makes it one small step for me...one giant leap for clothes-at-the-back-of-the-closet-kind.
|From the Splendicity Community, comes this week's best in Beauty, Fashion and Shopping. Check out the very splendid best!|
Aging Fabulous tried out some anti-aging products from L'Oreal's Skin Genesis Line. Stop by to see what they were and what she thought.
NY Spender pampers herself with two new products that won't break the bank.
Beauty Bento Box tells us how important it is for us to give our bare legs a sleek, sexy and glowing look that's perfect for this summer.
Beauty Secrets Revealed shares a Homemade Lip Plumper Recipe
See how Beauty and Fashion Tech made her own mineral makeup using a Bramble and Berry Mineral Makeup Kit complete with pictures and swatches!
Viva Woman takes a look at ingredients that can cause your skin to become more sun sensitive.
Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog shows you how to create an orange, gold and teal eye look with Nars Cosmetics.
All That & a got a fresh new design and has a review of Not Just a Pretty Face, a book about the dangers in our makeup and skincare
Krizia from Beauty Match meets Candace Bushnell author of Sex and the City.
Style...a work in progress proves that hope springs eternal...and finally gets her sticky little fingers on Heimstone's Perfecto jacket...
Would you wear a red wedding dress? Just A Formality features this gorgeous Justin Alexander Red Bridal Gown.
Tops 2 Bottoms lets you in on the latest swimwear trend.
Kim atIndie Style File needs to be more graceful to be a ballerina, but at least can look like one with a tutu tank dress by ouma
Her Accessories wonders why we need camouflage Louis Vuitton? Pardon me, it's called "Monogramouflage" - for the urban jungle perhaps?
CelebLOOK found some hot zebra print bikini's that will have you looking as hot as Lisa Rinna in hers.
Enter to win this M Z Wallace handbag valued at $335 at Glamour Gift Guide.
Shoe Blitz features an assortment of Prada boots that are perfect for fall.
Shopalicious is pining over these to-die-for python heels -- and they're on sale!
ShopDiary says you can pre-order Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale Beauty Exclusives now before the sale officially begins on July 18.
Hopefully everyone is enjoying their 4th of July...or lazy Friday afternoon for those non-US readers...by stopping and smelling the flowers, grass, clover and all other summer-y, outdoors-y odors that lighten the heart and give you that whole "glad to be alive" feeling that you hear so much about.
Another day...another sale purchase...though I swear on my future dream closet that this is it. At this point in the current sale season I've racked up the vaguely avant garde (the Watanabe Humpty Dumpty meets MC Hammer pants)...the childlike and comfortable (Opening Ceremony's suede desert boots)...and the long-lusted after (Heimstone's Perfecto jacket).
All that was missing were a couple of basics...like this shirt and cardigan from Fred Perry Subculture...the cardigan will replace a similar black cotton number which I literally wore to shreds and the gingham shirt because, in my humble opinion, a girl can never have too many gingham shirts...even though Mr. Heb did some serious eye rolling as he said "what, another one?"
|I'm thinking that it might be time to blow the cobwebs off my "Badge Factory" so that I can try my hand at a homage to these button/rosette hybrids by artist Tauba Auerbach.|
I'm also thinking that I need to come up with a less embarrassingly tween name than "Badge Factory"...perhaps a pseudonym is in order...
"I'm going to be spending the afternoon with some geometric paper, ribbon, and Emerson..."
Ah yes, much better.