Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wow. Part 2...

 
 Ariya Karo Kaba Smith & I
 
As I mentioned yesterday, wow.  It's amazing how the seeds that bring forth the future and answer all questions are always in our possession.  Never has this sentiment been more real to me than now in this season as a mother...
 
Reflecting on posts from the past I am reminded of my passion, insecurities, intuitive foresight, evolving perspective, style and body (see this post regarding the passage of time and one's personal style).  I am fuller now in more ways than one...I have to be.  Food Source, Astrologer, Lover, Spiritual Advocator, Homemaker, Student, Stylist, Merchandiser, Legislative Aide, Friend, Teacher, Guide and Witness are but a few of the hats I wear on a regular basis. 
 
When things first shifted and my internal world, with my heart at the helm, became a priority I trivialized the art of getting dressed.  Sad because I could no longer fit many of my treasures, overwhelmed because I didn't know where to begin dressing my new and ever changing physique and unsure where the time and resources would come from to acquire new pieces, I settled within and focused on the matters of the "higher chakras", if you will. 
 
That was a much needed and welcomed transfer of focus yet I quickly discovered my love of fashion transcended ego and is an integral part of my work in this lifetime.  I am an artist and clothing is my medium.  With this renewed insight and zeal for style, I found the answer to my problem in my own closet...CIRCLE SKIRTS!  Particularly vintage hand-painted cotton circle skirts for several reasons...The wrap style closure accommodates the ebb and tide of my waistline as a new mother.  They are one-of-a-kind art pieces that are worth the investment.  Difficult to find in vintage specialty shops but easy to peruse online via Etsy and Ebay, these skirts come in a variety of subjects and themes.  Here are a few I've purchased recently that have transformed my wardrobe and made it function better than I ever imagined during this summer season. 
 
Wrap Skirt Made in Zimbabwe
 
I love this continuous print...There is no true leader in this procession.  Everyone, including the dog, is engaged and an active participant in the journey.  They each possess a component needed to complete the task at hand and are confident individuals in a functioning whole.  Amazing.


Hand-Painted Mexican Circle Skirt with Girl & Burro Embellished with Sequins
 
 
I'm not the sequins wearing type but I always make an exception with this genre of skirt.  The textured cotton and hand painting gives it a casual feel that begs to be worn with almost anything (cut-off Roscoe's Chicken and Waffle tee is one of my favorites pairings with this piece).

Hand-Painted Mexican Circle Skirts with Tribal Motif

It is hard to place the origins of this skirt at first sight.  Some think it's new because the colors are so crisp.  Others think it is from The Continent because of the palette and imagery.  This makes it my absolute favorite because it embodies the interconnectivity of time, space and cultures. 

 
 

 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Wow.

Time has passed.  Fashion has changed.  I am a mother.  I'm inspired to share again.  That is all for now...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

For the love of it

It's a thin line between love and irresponsible consumption.  As an avid follower of fashion, I often feel convicted when my blood rushes at first sight of a smart silhouette or pattern.  Or when my head throws itself back in ecstasy when an ensemble comes together.  Or when my breath goes staccato as I touch the shoulder of a vintage gem shoved between the $3.49 rack of a thrift store.  Or how I coo lovingly at the garment in my lap as I repair it...You get the idea.

I feel like those things shouldn't matter so much to me...but that is passion, and this is what I do.  

Recently, I have been exposed to the culture of luxury consumption on a scale which forced me to question my place in this industry.  I have always referred to modern designer lines as a means of educating myself, not as a standard.  The people who actually invested thousands in these labels and trends were foreign to me.  I now interact with and understand the spirits that consume on this level and was freaked out the moment the price tags stopped shocking me.  I have looked at $900 garments and considered them "good deals".  Wow.


Outside of the impoverished and naked, no one "needs" clothes.  We all indulge our desire to look good and peacock when we go shopping.  In light of this, I no longer judge and encourage those who love fashion to proudly partake in new designer collections as your wallets allow.  Just don't forget that vintage designer pieces are artisan made, iconic, less expensive and will love you for life. 


That is all.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Vintage Videos

Want to see a series of high energy, low quality, voice delayed videos of me talking crazy about vintage clothing and accessories?  I knew you did!  That's why I'm sharing these throw-back YouTube clips from the Oak Street era.  

Your welcome, Sweetie!

Vintage Hats

Random Buys

Random Buys

Men's Vintage for Women

Vintage Handbags

Vintage Suits

1890s to 1940s Vintage Garments

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Marios Schwab Spring 2012

M'oda 'Operandi, the site that allows you to pre-order designer collections before they hit stores, has exposed me to a number of labels that have managed to slip my radar.



Recently, Marios Schwab's Spring 2012 line took my breath away.  His seams and layers of sheer and pierced fabrics optically tease the viewer creating gorgeous shapes.  


Marios beautifully highlights the female form using classic silhouettes with a modern twist.  His play on materials and the contrasting of light and dark are focal points of this collection. 


Overall, this line is not for busty women.  The intricate detailing would be lost if the fabric was distorted and the necklines are super high.


In general, to effectively wear pieces like those done by Schwab, I suggest finding a good tailor in advance.  Go big and have the bodice contoured to your shape.  Fit is paramount when honoring such a magnificently designed dress. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Eye Been Framed Trunk Show


BE THERE.

Tuesday, November 15th
8PM to 10PM
Mid-City, New Orleans
Email, call or comment for more info.
757.753.1114
confessapparel@gmail.com



Halloweens

2010 

2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

BOO! **scream!** Muah Ah Ahh!..

I adore Halloween and use it as an excuse to wear the inexcusable.   To prepare, I purchase inexpensive and over-the-top pieces throughout the year stockpiling options for the holiday weekend.  I even have some to spare...hence my phone ringing off the hook with friends needing a special accessory or garment to supplement their costumes. 

I have been asked many times "What are you going to be?!"  The quick answer is, I have no idea.  I am simply going to put on something awesome and be that.

So enjoy, be safe and COMFORTABLE!  I have a good feeling about this year's festivities.

I am concluding this post with my, now infamous, Halloween joke...
*clears throat*

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How many friends does a ghost have?
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*
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BOO-coup!
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Ha!
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Musical Wardrobes

Cheesy or not, I love musicals.  They are amazing performance art pieces combining acting, song, dance, set design and costuming in a particularly powerful way.  The six highlighted here have AMAZING wardrobes and are scenes pulled from some of my favorite movies.  Please enjoy.  This post is very special to me...

Click the hyperlinks or view directly from this page where available.
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Cabaret (1972) 
 Performed by Liza Minnelli (Sally Bowles).

Set in 1931 Berlin, Cabaret is a must see movie that documents the sexual undercurrent of Pre-WWII Germany.  Outfitted in a bowler hat, high-waist shorts, thigh highs with garters, granny boots, vest and choker, Liza masterfully executes classic Bob Fosse choreography and a classic look.
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There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
 "Lazy
Performed by Marilyn Monroe (Vicky), Donald O'Connor (Tim Donahue) and Mitzi Gaynor (Katy Donahue).

 Marilyn's sash and shoes, Mitzi's midriff sweater and this scene as a whole make me swoon!  What a great number!  The colors are perfectly coordinated; Donald O'Connor's green hat, orange band, yellow sweater vest, gray pants, and black accessories work harmoniously with Mitzi Gaynor's cropped sweater and orange shoes...Sheer genius.  I love the sleeves of Marilyn's jumper and the earrings worn by she and Mitzi are adorable.
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My Fair Lady (1964)
Performed by the attendees of the Ascot Opening Day in a severely stylish manner.

   I would gladly give my entire wardrobe for ONE of the outfits worn in this scene.  Enough said.
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The Pajama Game (1957)
 Performed by Doris Day (Katherine 'Babe' Williams) and John Raitt (Sid Sorokin).

Doris Day is rocking a fabulous top, perfect cigarette pants and I adore Raitt's monochrome (and super tight) ensemble.  Not to mention this song is awesome; it's very catchy and I love hard like that...
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Sweet Charity (1969)
Performed by the Pompeii Club's swanky set.

This iconic clip is absolutely brimming with mod loveliness.  It is madness expertly choreographed by none other than Mr. Bob Fosse.
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Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains (1982)
Performed by Diane Lane (Corinne Burns), Marin Kanter (Tracy Burns), and Laura Dern (Jessica McNeil) aka The Stains


 
If you love 80s fashion, please watch this movie.  The wardrobe is an integral part of the plot and will leave you inspired.  The Stains were stylish from the start donning fishnets, sheer tops, vintage sweaters, briefs, ankle socks and heels to the mainstream outfits featured in the closing credits.  Cult classic...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Polarized: Aging and Fashion

As I approach 30 at the speed of life my style is steadily evolving.  The more I embrace these changes I find myself disheartened by the suggestions of "fashionistas" and the "30 is the new 20" propagandists in the business of making women feel the secret to youth is in their wardrobe.  This is tragic.  I don't want to be 20 again.  Neither should you.  Our bodies are changing; our responsibilities to family, work, side interests and communities are increasing...Shouldn't the clothes we wear also shift?


On the other side of the spectrum, boutiques and lines geared toward a more mature woman are sprouting up everywhere in response to the demand for fashion forward options.  This is a fantastic trend yet it disregards my generation.  There are few accessible and intelligent modern clothing lines to which the confident woman approaching the prime of her life can default.  


So what do we do about this?  We have to start by being honest with ourselves.  We must dress for today and not the life and figure we once knew and fondly remember.  Once that is done, we can't solely look to the standards set by the media and major retailers.  Experiment and let your life, body and personality be your guide by investing not only money but time and thought into your wardrobe.  Don't constantly dress for one facet of your life when so many things define you; think of yourself as a functioning whole.  


I like to feel sexy.  I'm sort of old-fashioned.  I like a polished and well tailored look but I'm edgy.  I work in high-end fashion.  I love to experiment with silhouettes, texture and color.  I'm cold natured.  I salsa dance and use public transportation so movement and comfort are important.  I'm 4'11", petite and curvy.  On any given day, I need a single outfit and a few modifications that will fit in a bag to accommodate all these things.  


Navigating the various, and often conflicting, aspects of our lives is the challenge we all face and meeting them with grace and style yields our unique look.  The benefits of accomplishing this are limitless and invaluable.  Make it a priority.


Godspeed.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Last 48 hours...

I've watched... 

 Fendi Spring/Summer 2012 



Comfort and confidence were the two things that came to mind when watching the Fendi show.  The prints were simple, the fit was relaxed yet extremely polished, and the silhouettes were minimal yet voluminous and rich in structural detailing.  I'm diggin' the color blocking and that phenomenal deep white trim at the hem.  Oh, that collective consciousness in fashion...

"Sadie Thompson" (1928) 
starring Gloria Swanson 



I love old-timey fallen women stories.  This one is fantastic.  It has soldiers, Polynesian natives, evangelical reformists, and a raunchy Gloria Swanson who gets "saved" only to get pounced on by her "savior" who then kills himself.  Don't sleep on silent films...If that sounds entertaining, watch "Diary of a Lost Girl" (1929) starring Louise Brooks.

Carven Fall/Winter 2011-2012




I adore this French label established in 1945 by the amazing and "vertically challenged" Carmen de Tommaso (Madame Carven) who entered the Parisian haute couture realm as a novice and quickly made a name for herself.  The Fall 2011 line is young and modern featuring great separates, practical designs for real women and rich textiles.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2012




The love of my life, Karl Lagerfeld, never ceases to amaze me.  He is the king of the "new sexy" where both relaxed and firm fabrics reside away from the body merely kissing the figure that lies beneath.  He beautifully juxtaposed this move toward the more modest feminine silhouette by adorning his models with faux nose and eyebrow rings.  Who does that?  Karl does.  Skewed and minimal geometric lines on traditional boucle jackets, girly epaulettes, ribbons, underwater flora inspired embellishments and so much more.  *sigh*

"People Will Talk" (1951) 
starring Cary Grant and Jeanne Crain



They pulled Cary Grant's character in this film straight out of...I have no idea where.  It is sort of ridiculous but life showed me a long time ago that anything is possible.  Picture this...a doctor has a student he finds out is pregnant and unwed, she shoots herself after receiving the news and survives, recovers, runs away, he finds her, falls in love with her, marries her and they live happily ever after.  Oh yeah, years earlier as a medical student, he receives a cadaver that he finds is still alive, the cadaver becomes his manservant/friend and they live happily ever after.  Go figure.  


Jeanne Crain's wardrobe is subtle and beautiful.  That lace shawl in the top photo is belted and I love the lapel on her masculine jacket in the bottom pic.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Why they are so expensive...

Have you ever felt the weight of an artisan sewn hem?  Have you walked in a garment that moved as if it were living?  Have you ever been enveloped in softness beyond explanation?  


I felt like I crawled into the primordial womb when I first put on a Chanel jacket.  It is my happy place.  I now understand why they are so damn expensive...

Hem weighted with cuban link chain...
Delicate quilting...
Timeless

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saks Fifth Avenue, New Orleans

It gives me great pleasure to formally announce my position with Saks Fifth Avenue.  After months of interviewing and a week of training, I am the newest member of the Women's Designer RTW team.  With labels like Marni, Etro, Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Yigal Azrouёl and Burberry to love on all day, I am further sharpening my eye for detail and design in addition to having a fantastic time.  


So stop by, spoil yourself, stroke on a few pretty garments with me and try something on.  Saks Fifth Avenue;  301 Canal Street, second floor...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Pretty Parade...NY Fashion Week Spring 2012

Here is a quick re-cap of the collections I've viewed from New York's Spring 2012 Fashion Week that concluded this past week.  Enjoy and be inspired...

My Favorite Trends...

1.  Longer shorts:  Mid thigh walking shorts that are cut slimmer than their traditional counterparts can be found in a number of collections.
 Thakoon

2.  White:  The classic color is holding strong yet another season.
 Altuzarra

3.  Geometric prints:  From digital to tribal, linear prints and detailing are everywhere.
Preen

4.  Sheath dresses and pencil skirts:  Often right above the knee and super slim.
 Donna Karan

5.  Asymmetry:  Found in many blouses, blazers and skirts.
Jen Kao

6.  Florals:  Prints to silhouettes, flora has inspired a number of the Spring 2012 collections.  
Tadashi Shoji

7.  Circle skirts:  In varying lengths and fabrics.
 Donna Karan

8.  Mono-print ensembles

9.  The suit:  With interesting lapels and modern detailing, suits are in every hue, length and material for the spring.
Zac Posen

10.  Wide sleeves in stiff fabrics

11.  Sheer pants
Vera Wang


12.  Thigh slits:  In long flowing skirts
Doo.Ri
13.  Symmetrical prints and adornments
Badgley Mischka

14.  Shift dresses:  Falling right above the knee or higher
Phillip Lim 

15.  Tulip shaped skirts, pants and shorts
Carlos Miele

Other trends to consider...

*Deep pant cuffs or trim in a contrasting color*
*The colors coral, lemon, lime, violet, soft grays, cantaloupe and mint*  
*Pleats*
*Plunging neck lines*

My Favorite Collections...

Cushnie et Ochs...(pronounced kush-nee et oaks) Décolletage, geometric detailing, full skirts and structure meeting delicate folds.  Powerful and feminine.

Zac Posen...My absolute favorite thus far.  1940s style super slim suits, fish tails everywhere, sculpted bodices, exaggerated hips and amazing varying sleeves.  So glamorous!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New York Fashion Week: Spring/Summer 2012

Today marks the beginning of the highly anticipated Mercedes Benz NY fashion week showcasing top designer's Spring/Summer 2012 collections.  I'm not sure I care yet...I'm gearing up for Fall and super excited about blazers, boots and breaking out my coat collection.  


For those of you who shop out of season (which I recommend and rarely do myself) or enjoy layering over last season's picks in the cooler months this event is worth paying attention to.  I will document the lines that catch my eye here as YouTube videos become available...



7 Tips for Blending Vintage and Modern Clothing

1.  Think in layers from essential wear on up.
Great chefs know that a fantastic dish consists of complimentary and delicious layers.  As you dress, assess your silhouette at every stage.  With pre 60s vintage dresses in particular, a strong foundation is important.

2.  Research the styling from different eras.
Vintage is a broad term that encompasses all things 25 years or older.  Even though most decades of fashion have strong visual themes, there are many obscure looks and concepts to be uncovered.  Watch films, rifle through photos and advertisements from various periods for inspiration.
  

Christian Dior skirt from 2 piece suit, Vivienne Tam wrap sweater, vintage Dior hat, Eye Been Framed browline glasses, Ancestral Art jewelry, Chanel pumps and vintage corset.  
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3.  Consider the details of vintage and modern ensembles.
Outfits are art.  Use the same eye exercised when viewing a painting to ponder the individual elements of a look and how they relate to one another.

4.  Fit is everything. 
Don’t compromise fit for style; especially when wearing vintage clothing. 

5.  Think accessories.
Jewelry, gloves, hats, shoes, handbag, scarves, glasses, hand fan, parasol, legwarmers, belt, fascinator and countless other accessories are great tools when creating a look from various periods.  



DeWeese vintage terry cloth cardigan, "Jazz Fest" mini wrap skirt, Eye Been Framed cateye glasses, Ancestral Art jewelry, vintage corset and Chanel pumps.  
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6.  Have fun.
Do you remember paper dolls?  Constructing endless outfits using stiff icons?  Invoke that spirit of play when putting your wardrobe together.  Set a time for you and your imagination to go through your clothes and have a ball.  Music and wine are optional.

7.  Follow Confess Apparel’s blog.
Clearly, for information like this from a woman dedicated to helping everyone look their best.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Spectacular Spectacles

 Eyewear is to an outfit as the bass is to music.  They anchor the harmonic structure of an ensemble while possessing the ability to rock out on their own. 

The color, finish, shape and lenses unassumingly restructure the wearer’s face and shift the viewer’s focus making glasses my favorite little accessory.

Butcher or Artist?

I’ve been spectacle dependent since the age of 12 and felt early on that awesome rims were imperative.  After years of lackluster satisfaction with mid-range designer sets that prematurely shed their accents or fell apart, I found Eye Been Framed; a French Quarter based business that sells DEADSTOCK vintage glasses from the 1950s to the late 80s.  Hallelujah. 






Eye Been Framed is a treasure trove of reasonably priced, unworn eyewear in styles that make the modern mock-ups appear shameful.  Each pair is like a finely tuned custom Cadillac.  They are the epitome of face jewelry that make believers, and junkies, out of all who witness the collection first hand. 

With modern designer labels recreating cat-eyes, aviators, exaggerated 80s style and browline glasses, the fashion savvy now have options.  You can spend considerably more investing in replicas that were mass produced for inflated profit margins and global markets OR you can purchase the vintage originals that were artisan built to last out of sheer innovation.   

To attend the next Eye Been Framed party and view this incredible collection, contact me.