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*

How many friends does a ghost have?

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.

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.

There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
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.

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.

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...

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.

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.


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...