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I’m Sorry, I Let You Down.

And it’s not even like I have a good “It was Soooo Unexpected” Excuse.

I just went to NY this weekend to visit the In Laws.

I also went to Brooklyn to see the ADORABLE neighborhood of my v, v good friend.

I now have some kind of extended pseudo-hangover that was certainly exacerbated by an excess of indulgent foods (bagels and lox, baked 4-cheese macaroni, edamame, tai snapper sashimi, tuna tartare, and doritos mix, respectively), my ears not popping from the plane still, a tiny smidge of family drama (TMI, I know), very good lychee-infused sake, and bewilderment due to an entire day composed of navigation and traveling.  I took the subways and Long Island Railroad by myself today.  Tiring.

I hate to leave it all hanging around like that, but have no fear!  The promises of V. Becks, Chloe S., and Pammie remain.

I also want to decide whether or not I can get behind LV tonight, because I’m still not sure.

See you tomorrow.  Lurve.

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Pt. 2: So New! So Exciting!

The dulling of many of my favorites so far has created hypothetical (and, in some cases, editorial) space for some very impressive newbies!  My favorites, so far. . .

Sophia Kokosalaki

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Um, boots.  BOOTS.

sophia-kokosalaki-f092sophia-kokosalaki-f093So, we all recognize that the whole studs-and-leather eighties comeback has certainly not died on the runways this season.  To digress for a moment, my mother still talks about what a time of prosperity the eighties were, and perhaps the designers are attempting to “speak those things as if they are” (another term of my mother’s).  Those influences have, for the past four seasons at least, been quite far-reaching, and often to the point of trashy interpretations.  What SK. has accomplished here, however, is profound and deeply desireable:  femininity.  These ensembles are, to me, the perfect balance of soft and hard, tough and sweet, structured and unstructured.  I lurve, loaf, LOVE the boots.  NEED THE BOOTS.

Elise Øverland

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Shiiny.

elise-f094elise-f095So, Elise gets my unofficial award for the very best stated source of inspiration:  sushi!

I’m all giddy – in a very, very self-indulgent way – over the first look:  the shiny mermaid green little cocktail dress with the studded sash. I adore the sophisticated, graphic pairings along with the crazy pageantial lamés and metallics. And, no, pageantial is not a word.  I made it up.  I think it needs to be one, don’t you?

Haider Ackermann

AKA “Be Still My Beating Heart”

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That’s a jumpsuit…!

haider-ackermann-f093haider-ackermann-f095haider-ackermann-f096Zippers!  Embroidery!  Fringe!  Impeccable draping!  Thigh-high boots!

This collection perfectly satiated my deep and impulsive hunger for the gorgeously goth.  To get the full effect, you absolutely HAVE to go to Style.com and view it full-screen so that you can more easily see the AMAZING attention to detail.  Somehow, I am a firm believer that you can be a ridiculous maximalist, as long as it’s all in black.  Sadly, Rick Owens usually does it for me, and this season fell a bit flat in my eyes.  That said, I am so grateful to get to know Haider!  I went back to look at his earlier collections, and – excuse me – why have we not heard of this guy before?

Soon to Come!

Emanuel Ungaro:  Definitely Not for my Mimi Anymore.

V. Becks:  Surprising!

And My Own Personal Fashion Week Awards Show, Starring Pammie Anderson.

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Overboard.

It being Fashion Week Season and all, I’ve been geeking out on my computer, painstakingly sifting through the collections that have been posted.  There are still more to come that I’m waiting on (Stella McCartney), but what I’ve seen has been so amazing that it’s certainly time for the first of what I hope to be many installments regarding how the designers are interpreting, adapting to, and reflecting the current economic situation:  the clear hot button of the season.

Our wallets suffer, but art trudges on!  I expected to be supremely disappointed in what I saw, and for the most part I was pleasantly surprised by the inspiration that has come forth.  For some of my standbys, however, I must say that I was a bit let down.  Christopher Kane, Band of Outsiders, Rick Owens, Balenciaga, and even Rodarte (horrors!) were, from my personal perspective, unnecessarily dull, dreary, and pessimistic.  Christopher put out uninspired houndstooths paired with black black black on girls with little to no makeup, which was so depressing coming from a man who, last season, relied on a theme based on Planet of the Apes!  Christopher, I was counting on you to lift my spirits!  Band of Outsiders’ collection reminded me of one of the girls I knew in sixth grade, who used to attempt to compose something slightly grunge from a wardrobe of middle-upper-class Limited Too separates (I’m sorry, but it was true).  Perhaps Kirsten could rock it out and change my mind.  And the rest?  Too black, too grey, too simple, too ordinary, too sad.

Wallowing in this disappointment would simply reinforce the reason for the disappointment in the first place.  Fashion is joy!  Escapism!  While I have always been one to search religiously for the political and philosophical in fashion (and it is not only there, fashion is saturated with it!) I don’t see the need to directly reflect the obvious; the simple act of doing so leaves no room for commentary.

That being said, here’s who blew my socks off.

Pt. 1:  The Standbys

Maison Martin Margiela

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My favorite of all conceptual mystery men!  The photos I have shown here are my favorite looks in chronological order.  The “cloud” was the turning point of the show:  before was black (which shifted from simple to more complicated); after were sweet, naked, little cloud-girls.  Genius.

Lanvin

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Here’s what I love about Alber:  the man is both romantic and practical, both opulent and reserved, both realistic and full of imagination.  If I had to give this collection a title, it would be “Bleak, not Broken”.  Alber’s reaction to a suffering economy is to give the women both what they want and what is useful to them.  Luxurious (but not outrageous) fabrication, beautifully and classically crafted handbags and shoes, outrageously chunky jewelry, and perfectly placed embellishment.  Essentially, luxurious novelty that was completely devoid of TREND.

lanvin-f09-detail2And the makeup and hairpieces were effing flawless.

3.1 Phillip Lim

At this point, Phillip Lim earns the place in my heart reserved only for the designers that I can count on season after season.  So far, this is my favorite collection that I have seen yet for fall.  Lim’s exuberance is all too clear in his designs for the season, as his devout followers have not lessened due to his comparatively reasonable price point.

Now, I feel that Lim tackled what everyone else tackled in a perfect way.  To me, when it is time to cut back (which it certainly has been!) my first instinct is to hoard, hoard, hoard; to pile on all of the “good” pieces, like a nomad or a bag lady.  There were soooo many influences that it seemed almost as though the Lim Girl this season simply raided her mother’s, grandmothers’, and great-grandmothers’ closets and put all her favorites together.

The layering is done with an artfulness that hasn’t been accomplished since Marc last did it right in 2005, and with chutzpah that I haven’t yet quite seen at all.

Here are my favorites:

pl-fall-09pl-fall-09-3pl-fall-09-4pl-fall-09-5pl-fall-09-8That’s a rabbit print.  So you know.pl-fall-09-6The SHOES.

pl-fall-09-7And, of course, more shoes.

pl-fall-detailpl-fall-09-detail-2I just love the combinations!  The lace plus the studs plus the slouchy pants plus the contrasting blue and red…heaven.

Stick around for

Part 2:  The Newcomers

and

The Fashion Week Awards!  That I Made Up!

Which will be posted either tonight or tomorrow.

(Haider Ackermann, Elise Overland, Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony, Victoria Beckham and morrreee)

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LUST LUST LUST

F*** B*DGETS!

Alexander Wang Romper

Alexander Wang Romper

Now, I’m going to crawl under my (freshly washed!) comforter, and cry.

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Prioritize, Economize, Accessorize.

To me, the most comforting aspect of this whole Schlump is that what is current is what is classic.  How helpful!

Go to your closet, pull out all the structured jackets, distressed (non-embellished!) denim, black leather, black pants, and basic tees that you can muster.  All of these pieces are critical to this spring.   And while investment pieces are being resurrected – and I hope you’ve been through your storage boxes already – some of us lack the necessary pieces to the puzzle that allow us to tie the whole look up into one, pretty, 2009 (stimulus?) package.  Alas, with very little to spend, let us see if we can solve said conundrum:

Express Multi-Chain Necklace, 34.50

Express Multi-Chain Necklace, 34.50

Yes, Express!  The very store that, in my youth, I frequented as it was the most wildly “fashionable” that I could afford at the time.  Mostly, I recall my outfits being poly-blend and very, very loud.  Now, the store still smacks of a tacky club in the thick of Long Island culture, but I must say, the finds I have recently discovered have been very, very good ones!  I bought something similar to this necklace, it has served me well.  Think of it as the jewelry version of an Alaia belt:  utilize it to toughen up your sweeter looks, or to add to a minimalistic outfit without distracting from its structure.

SuperCandy by Candace Ang Studded Satin Necklace, 68.00.  At Urban Outfitters.

SuperCandy by Candace Ang Studded Satin Necklace, 68.00. At Urban Outfitters.

The sweet, blushy pink is heaven against a denim jacket or a simple white t-shirt dress.   Pair with last-season’s gladiators and two thin, gold bangles, and you’ve got it all together.

  • Urban Outfitters Stone Cuff, 18.00.
  • Urban Outfitters Stone Cuff, 18.00.
  • These pieces fit seamlessly into the Western-Rock chic that is current, luxe, and surprisingly simple to pull off.  Combine with anything studded, leather, torn-up, and/or black, throw on last season’s black booties, spritz your hair with John Masters’ Sea Mist (at Whole Foods!) and you’re done.

    Bebe Leighton Patent & Stretch Bootie, 179.99

    Bebe Leighton Patent & Stretch Bootie, 179.99

    Now, the girls at Elle don’t lie.  Right now, Bebe is making the best runway-“inspired” sky-high heels around, and in substantial fabrications, too.  These are  a more classic riff on the super-now, ever-loved Shoe Boot, and in keeping with the sleek, futuristic, early-90’s vibe that the runways emanated this spring.  Wear them with your super-destroyed cutoff shorts and a boyfriend blazer to lend the look sleek sophistication, or use them to anchor khaki paper-bag pants.

    Bebe Rome Leather Sandal, 139.99

    Bebe Rome Leather Sandal, 139.99

    Another too-good-to-be-true version of a gorgeously sculpted shoe.  Use this one more liberally, with a floaty dress or a 70’s-era  jumpsuit.  Substantial heels are essential for this season’s looks; without them, they can seem a bit slouchy.  Voluminous jumpsuits only look right with flats if you’re 5’10” and have no hips whatsoever.

    Bebe Slouchy Patchwork Hobo, 179.99

    Bebe Slouchy Patchwork Hobo, 179.99

    The epynonomous slouchy satchel is KEY this season, no matter which magazine, editor, or designer you call your own.  I’m sure that you are all aware that the It Bag is out, but what is going unsaid?  To many of us, the It Bag is also now considered both extremely tacky and rude. This is clearly due to our current economic climate; now is not the time to be competitive.  Most prominent designers, such as Alexander Wang, have been showing lasting, slouchy, multipurpose bags with minimal hardware in luxurious, but downplayed fabrications.  Leather made to look like denim, superdistressed suede, eelskin, and matte snakeskin all made an appearance on the most loved bags of the season.  Best of all?  When you tote one of these babies to a family gathering or to work, you won’t become a complete spectacle because of your purse.  Use this one, and get the same laid-back chic for a tenth of the price.

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    A New Segment.

    I have an urge.

    The whole dressing other people thing is at a standstill.  I need to make over someone!  So I am starting a new segment.  Enjoy.

    Icon:  Riff Randell

    I was reminded of the other day of this movie I had seen about two years ago, one of my absolute favorites of all time.  Want camp?  Cheesily hilarious one-liners?  Joey Ramone looking creepy in a teenagers’ bedroom?  Look no further…

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    The heroine of the Rock ‘N’ Roll High School, Riff Randell (at left), is a colorful, irreverent, self-professed “Teenage Lobotomy” at Vince Lombardi High School.  Much to the dismay of the staff of Vince Lombardi High, Riff dances in the hallways to the Ramones in her headphones, causes Joey to magically appear in the setting of her choice, and inspires general Ramones-based havoc among her peers and, eventually, her authority figures.

    Riff’s style is reflective of the movie:  saturated, sardonic, classically American, and a tad innocent.

    riff-outfit

    1. 3.1 Phillip Lim Cadet Jacket

    Lim’s playful version of the Sgt. Pepper classic would have suited Riff as the perfect tribute to the most classic of rock and roll bands.  Plus, it would match her red pigtail-holders beautifully!

    2. Current/Elliott Boyfriend Jean

    She would have wanted us to think that they were once Joey’s.  The worn-in look would perhaps have given this a bit of believability.

    3. Sonia by Sonia Rykiel Vive La Rock T-Shirt

    Rykiel’s  cartoonish-cum-real life vibe is perfect for Riff and her stated self-image.  “I’m a Rock and Roller!!”

    4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Skull Watch Necklace

    A skull necklace would have loaned Riff a bit of street cred.  And a watch on the backside comes in handy to see how late you are for class!

    5. Comme Des Garcons Long Embossed Wallet

    Handbags wouldn’t have been Riff’s style.  When you’re jamming out everywhere you go, you can’t be bothered to think whether your purse is going to smack your BFF in the head.

    6. Marc Jacobs Heart Cutout Flats

    Riff wore her love of the Ramones on her sleeve, and with these, she could have worn them on her feet also.  An alternative to Converse, and more dance-friendly than heels, Riff would have adored these rainbow-colored numbers as a nice, match-y staple in her Rock ‘N’ Roll wardrobe.

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    Day Twelve.

    Part One:  The Pros.

    I actually enjoyed my Mardi Gras this year.

    I didn’t get very much parade in, which is favorable.  However, I stepped outside of Tommy’s Wine Bar on Julia Street this Saturday for a prosecco and a light when, much to my ecstacy, Joan Freaking Rivers rode on by like it was no big deal.  The pic I got was terrible, as it was on my phone.  I fumble a lot when I get excited.

    We went to Blue Tomato for dinner, a place that is essentially a trailer with the best GD margaritas you’ve ever had the pleasure to down.  The menu is amazing, though I think that Garbage Can Nachos with the works (and I mean, the WORKS) and 2x fresh-squeezed drinks is more of a Jessica thing than a Jon one.

    We went to Republic to see Trombone Shorty + Juvenile and it was quite amazing.  We never make it out to Republic, as it can be a random toss-up as to the crowd in attendance.  This time, it was just a good crowd of people who were clearly and simply all about a good time.  Just like any New Orleans gathering should be.

    Well, except for that we are 95% sure that we spoke to that tall, mixed-race girl who is currently (did they have the finale?) a contestant on Top Chef, and she was doing that thing where she insisted she wasn’t that girl, and kind of being a bitch about it.  She was talking about how there are no good men anywhere, so we introduced her to some striped-button-down types and ran away.

    I woke up with a pounding head and stinky, stinky hair (which I don’t know how I managed to accomplish, since Republic is non-smoking), along with – literally – Mardi Gras beads imprinted up and down my legs.

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    so I missed out on the fabulous REX BBQ that B&S put on, along with the annual bash that my kid’s SouthShore Grandma puts on annually.

    However, after a short nap, I had an amazing time sitting on my girlfriend L’s porch, discussing babies and family and Canadian strippers.  Her shotgun apartment is instinctually New Orleans, but – unlike mine, sadly – it’s also successfully incorporated a very loungy Old-Hollywood girly vibe.  I’m in love.  I’ve never seen a rose-colored velvet couch used so appropriately.

    Part Two:  The Cons (i.e. How I am Rethinking my Priorities Along with my Advantages)

    As far as what has happened, I continue to waver between the decreasing sensation of bitterness and hurt, and an increasing sense of complete relaxation and relief.

    I’ve taken comfort in the establishment of Ebay, since I have noticed items that are far more precious and far less expensive than that of the ol’ Liquidators, which never used to be the case pre-recession (yes, I’m one of those awful people who can’t help but take advantage).   Also!  The upcoming website theoutnet.com (which is not opening in February anymore (damn), but in April instead), will be the official outlet for net-a-porter (!) with items up to 80% off (!!!) to start.  So, since my loyalty has clearly been jeapordized, along with that of my more staunchly allegiant friends, there are my alternatives.  To ease the pain.

    I’ve also realized that, in the past, when I’ve truly become involved in my artwork, the fashion falls to the wayside just a bit.  It’s as though my self has a quota of expression or something, and either way of fulfilling it is just as satisfying to me.  I am sure that there is some way to integrate the two.  L and I spoke about creating an area to work in; perhaps it’s time to refocus upon the talent that has the most chance of leaving a delible mark, not the talent that is the most socially gratifying.

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