March 29, 2011

PRPL

Revisiting an old favorite color, purple, today...

The Tsumori Chisato tights (more photos of/deets on them here) are actually more of a slate/gray, but combined with human legs, this lavender tunic, and my new purplish/mauve lip gloss to me they take on a purple hue.

Details: I found this Alexander Wang sweater at a consignment store for $50. I bought it because it was my birthday and that's what u do.

Today had to be the first day of spring here, right? I mean, I still had to walk on ICE a couple times, but spring can't tease me again like last week... when it was 50 degrees, all the snow melted, and then a full on blizzard happened again. My heart can't take any more. I insist that it steady get warmer from today on.

Also, clean it up, Minnesota. This is just unacceptable:

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One more thing b4 u go! You wanted to hear more about my new lipgloss, right? That makes 2 tubes of non-Burt's Bees lip products I own. The other being the coral Sephora lipstick my homegirl Carissa helped me learn how to buy. Well, last week I used all her advice on my own! Went to Sephora, rubbed various sticks of shit on my hands, carried the best samples to the mirror and top-pumping alcohol bottles, wiped em off, and applied. 5 tries and I left with this.


My lips are naturally kind of purple and brownish and I wanted to accentuate that with a mauve/purple shade. I don't know how you feel about it but IMO I can wear just this and no other makeup, and it's all good. I have nothing on my face in these photos but the gloss, because I heard, that girls, in college, they wear less makeup on their faces.

March 27, 2011

Assassin Chic

Pretty girl assassin movies = one of my favorite childhood genres. Watching Bridget Fonda in Point of No Return repeatedly on HBO in 3rd grade was how I learned about Nina Simone. No lie, my parents weren't of refined taste.

Anyhow I was reminded to finally do this post after my girlfriend Ann noted the Rodarte exhibition at MOCA in Los Angeles. (I hope all of you in the vicinity will go. I wish to, but it's unknown when I'll return again to the region.) Ann included photos of the Black Swan costumes, which brings me to today's topic: Natalie Portman and how I can't deal with anything she's said or done since The Professional. I'll spare you that hater rant, but just know that I have not seen the ballet movie and have no plans to ever do so.

Mathilda was most certainly one of my childhood heroines tho. Her looks were the bomb. I had a velvet choker just like hers, little charm and everything. And also, you can wear this whole look head to toe again this summer and be the coolest. Because it's like, from the 90s, duh. :/

But no really, don't wear that shit. Well, maybe one of these knit hats. What I reeeeally want to indicate is that more men could take some style notes from Léon. I mean.

His silhouettes were just incredible. When checking your coat fits, ask yourself, can I conceal many guns and also a high powered rifle under this? But, please don't actually carry guns. That's really not cool (so Tea Party). Just use your imagination, like you've been doing when picking out hunting jackets for that hunting trip you'll never take because you don't hunt. (Or just revisit Yohji Yamamoto collections on style.com and admit to liking fashion.) Pair your big coat with slouchy fit pants, and roll em up to reveal your white socks. And then keep a simple white t-shirt or thermal on up top. Forget the plaid button up and the selvage tie, I'm sick of seeing it. It's not authentic anymore because everyone knows about it now. You need some new real man shit to look like a real man who does really manly things like kill people. You need some whites like dad used to have. The kind that need hot water and bleach. Try to work in a harness without looking contrived, if at all possible. And most importantly invest in circular shades. Top it off with a tiny hat and you are all set. Oh and please take good care of your house plants. All these things will make you sexy to neighboring 12 year old girls, and me.

Is life always this hard, or is it just when you're a kid?

March 21, 2011

Old people can be so sweet.

One of my reasons for blogging is to endlessly quote Clueless. You would think it might get old, but it just doesn't. I also have a serious problem with titles and being absolutely terrible at coming up with them.

Moving on. I came across these images and was immediately struck by the style. To me, they evoke street style photography, personal style blogs, Advanced Style, and a number of current trends all at once. And yet they are quite clearly much more than those things (my thinking just shows that I've spent too much time in an internet bubble). I was actually surprised that the writer at the blog where I first saw these, We Find Wildness, said they found the images "difficult at first."

These are all photos by Katy Grannan, and were shot in Los Angeles or San Francisco.

The harsh lighting against an anonymous wall reminds me of Brook&Lyn outfit posts.The red lips, long black sheer dress, and big ring and fur all stuck me as so "blogger." But the obscured face means I can't see what this woman really looks like, just the clothing through which she presents herself to the camera (to the world?).

Bright color blocking. So Jil Sander.

Big armhole tank + sideboob. Beard with colored tips (next level).

This one is my favorite. She's very Prada/Miu Miu with the printed button-up, allover white, and that swan bag... 


I'm sure none of these were considered "street style" photography, but the lines are very much blurred for me because these people all have so much style. Don't try to tell me orange beard wasn't going for a "look." If these are supposed to be ordinary or overlooked people, or people who fall outside the mainstream norms seen in the "media," I wonder what that media means and to what extent style blogs are part of it. 

There are elements of each of these people's appearance that set them apart from the polished, wealthy ladies and gents on Advanced Style. (Is that what makes this art? What makes them "authentic" subjects?) But to me these are just people who still work it, regardless of their social status. As someone who will never ascend to Iris Apfel heights and have my clothing shown at the MET, I often wonder what I, and this generation of lookbook.nu kids, will look like in old age.

These people (all people) haves stories. I look at their pictures and can't help but imagine what those stories are. So often I see an image of a person with "style" and the story I imagine sort of depresses me. But with these images I'm full of interest. I imagine the lady in fuchsia drawing on her mole, doing her eyeliner, and I want to know more about her. It might sound, like, really fucking corny, but I feel like her face holds so many of the mysteries and secrets of life that I don't ever want to stop thinking about.

March 18, 2011

Moonbeams

This is an important astrological PSA. Tomorrow, the moon will be at its closest point to the earth, AND, it will be a full moon. This means tomorrows night will be insanely beautiful with an extra big, bright moon. Pause and look up around the beginning of nightfall and behold.

And now, a literal clothing connection. I first noticed this collection on geometricsleep, and then was reminded of it today on Style Bubble.

















Jeremy Laing is a self-taught designer based in Toronto who sharpened his skills as an apprentice to Alexander McQueen. I'm intrigued by his work. I would love to save enough money to have either the last dress, above, or the black jacket/tunic above that. Each piece is immensely wearable and strange. This grunge hair and makeup might be getting a little overplayed, and other looks from Laing's collection too closely aligned with specific Alexander Wang or Acne looks. But so goes any trend.

The geometry of the cuts -- circles and varying angles that recall grade school work with the protractor -- combines perfectly with the draping in each of these looks. The long moon print gown is stunning. Ditto the circle-cut knit dress. Styling and a few nods to current trends aside, Laing's garments transcend trendiness because of their singularity, anonymity, and wearability. Now, which piece shall I attempt to save for and hunt down in the next season? (Dreaming.)

March 15, 2011

Daily Views

hats




w/ mink jawbone, basis for engagement necklace 

pine cones collected on a winter walk, sand from a friend's Twilight research trip to Forks, WA


lamp/necklace holder

tea, coffee, and chili peppers



shameless

 
clothes in an ikea bookshelf

there are two of us

I didn't kill this one!

I hate to admit that this white bulk is still there. But disappearing fast.


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This little internet space started out as a chronicle of us trying to figure out how to aesthetically care for both ourselves and a new home. Its no mystery that it's a small home. Our very first place together in CA was even smaller, a studio comprised of a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. We are happy in small spaces, not taking up more resources than we need. A big home would stress me out because when I clean, I get meticulous.

Moving into this one bedroom apartment, I tried to decorate it like I thought a normal person would. I even shared it online (eek). We got tired of that arrangement. I desperately needed a separate work space. My office was behind that couch, we barely used the bedroom which remained drab, and everything just felt wrong. It was the worst during the winter.

So last summer I instigated "The Big Switch." (You can see the results here, and in, um, all indoor shots since last summer.) We sold most of that earlier stuff on craigslist and turned the living room into a big bedroom and the bedroom into a big office. So we're back to no living room, but all my work bullshit is contained. I also shared that, ugh. I now dream of a two-bedroom. One room for an office, one for sleeping, and one for having company gather. Pretty basic. 

Since we got rid of unnecessary furniture the space is more relaxing and open. It's these little views that make me happy. I stare at these things every day without feeling tired of them. I'm home constantly, and this was the least painful winter of them all because I enjoyed my space. It's not perfect, but I'm figuring this shit out as I go.

Late Winter Casual(ty?)

I like that the British say "jumper" rather than "sweater." I learned this difference from blogging. I wish we said jumper, instead of a word with the root "sweat."

I wish the color was on my body, not on the wall. I'm working on it. This jumper was on heavy rotation this winter (can I say jumper?). As much as I'm dying to feel the sun on my skin, it's also a little terrifying to think about giving up its precious comforts.

Nothing says style like doubling up on long, slumpy garments that make one look bigger. Well, this top and skirt are 100% SILK, for what it's worth.

Robert Clergerie boots = one of my best acquisitions from back in '09 when I knew nothing about the brand. Worn constantly during winter whenever the furry Docs were not necessary.

...here, in my men's peacoat (actually Mike's main winter coat that I got to borrow) and unshapely knit, I could eat a feast of food and not worry at all, just go straight home and nap. Which is exactly what we did right after these photos. It was an intense food coma in which we didn't speak the entire way home.

But really, I want to pack away this jumper, see all this fucking snow disappear, and eat salad and fruit every day while sweating not because of wool but because of heat and humidity. Snow, your time has come. Please go away.

March 13, 2011

Sitting on the dock of the bay

Until I can head for the 'Frisco bay, I'll mostly just be wasting time. In this case the "dock" is at the bottom of my mac screen. The "bay"... I don't know, igoogle? If you, too, need to waste this time in your life away, why not take my suggestions on how? I'm becoming an expert.

Whatever, I've always wanted to make one of these link-filed posts. It's the weekend.

1. THE 90s YOU GUYS. Are we sure this was the most glorious of times? Durga Chew-Bose with the ultimate YM/Seventeen cover compilations.


2. Two beautiful videos from two beautiful women. Each breaks my heart every time. And Lykke's shirt rules. It reminds me of that Stella McCartney jacket.




3. Deep thoughts with another dear blogger! Stephanie from One Sleepless Night continues to ask interesting and important questions about the connections between cross-dressing, camp, androgyny, and the fashion world. This time, via Paris is Burning. Her blog is recommended reading in general.



4. Not only did I manage to find a blog called "the hauntological society," but it has a post about the Museum of Witchcraft. I would love to visit this place. The ideological differences between these two videos is pretty major. The first, newer, one is much more compelling. The the second one is so old fashioned but has some great imagery.




Sometimes the events in the world are unbearable in their heaviness. The internet allows deep voyeurism into a broader range of visual stimuli than I ever imagined in my pre-AOL youth. I really need an internet vacation, but won't get one for a few more months. So this morning, I'm aiming for neutrality.

March 9, 2011

It's true that I'm passionate about clothes...

Proenza Schouler pre-fall 2011

...clothes, not fashion, and not style.

I'm self-aware enough to know that there are too many words on this blog about clothes, and that my writing will never be taken seriously when it's just about my love for them.

I'm probably not doing a good job of crafting a professional self because I'm too uncertain about the stakes in that game. I don't want to play a game. I want to live passionately and with my whole being, without compromising my feelings about my clothes, without abandoning those worth my love and care before ever meeting them.

Jil Sander FW 2011

Adulthood is a concept that makes you act according to standards that are not your own. If you are approximately 11 years of age or older, you are actively shaping the world according to your own desires -- you are already doing what we mistakenly believe some other adults, somewhere else, are doing to us. You're making the world in your image every day.

Mary Katrantzou FW2011

Every day might not be a choice. Time may be circular rather than linear, and we may be predestined or fated to powers greater than ourselves. But that's where we have the most freedom. The freedom to not worry. Not to not give a shit, that's no good. But to not allow anxiety, guilt, shame, stress, or panic to consume our beauty and potential.

In Postmodern Fables, Jean-François Lyotard writes:
Differences between the fine arts proceed from differences between... the various ways, all contingent, the body has been threatened by nullity, of being anesthetized: deaf, color-blind, bedridden, etc. Aesthetics is phobic, it arises from anesthesia, belonging to it, recovering from it. You sing for not hearing, you paint for not seeing, you dance for being paralyzed. In each of these arts, the tiniest phrase is equivalent to a remission of pain.*
Aesthetic experience awakens something indescribable that makes demands of us. I can't not be inspired when in awe of a garment. I can't resist the urge to care for it deeply, even its passing image on a glowing screen. I can't imagine an inability to be with things in this intimate way. Take these things away and the inevitable result is a deep sadness. A lack of pride in one's appearance can be truly damaging.

 
I can't deny that The Row FW11 totally stopped me in my web browsing tracks.

My mother was adopted from Korea by a strict and domineering American woman with a savior complex who forbade her wearing anything other than homemade mumus as a teen. This was during the 1970s in Hawaii. She stole blue jeans and tight tops, or borrowed them from girlfriends. She would hide behind palm trees to change out of her mumus and into her jeans everyday before arriving at school, such was the pain of humiliation in her mumus, which, btw, were made in twos so she and her adoptive (not genetic) younger sister might match. This story, told to me as I was granted freedom to fashion myself however I pleased from about 3 years old onward, has been deeply seared into my memory.

Sure, it's a Western social construct to need to seem "cool," and my childhood consumerist desires knew no bounds. But after exhausting all critique something undeniable remains. We might call that a love of fashion. We can also call it an embrace of life itself.

Celine pre-fall 2011

ALL PHOTOS ELLE.COM
*From xii, here. bold emphasis added.