Saturday, January 29, 2011

In the Navy...

Friends, I would like you to meet my sailor pants. Sailor pants, friends. I just know you guys are gonna hit it off.

Ever since concepts like style and design entered my brain, I've loved the look of vintage sailor pants. I think its fairly safe to say Gwen Stefani played a major role in this little obsession (and soooo many others), but I also remember flipping through books of WWII era photography from the library and just swooning over the photos of sailors in the south China seas rocking their button-up bellbottoms, rolled up with deck shoes and wife-beaters, salt-stained caps set rakishly at an angle. I'm sure for them it was just work clothes, but to me it was the epitome of style. I wanted what they were having.

Now, let's get real here. I'm little, ok? 5'0" and 110, to be exact. So, while vintage sailor pants are actually pretty easy to find, the odds of scoring a pair that would fit me even with alteration were slim indeed. Until.
One day, a few years ago, I dropped into Buffalo Exchange to kill a little time (Yes. I shop to kill time. This is the secret to my success.), and there they were, on the end of the rack. I said a little prayer, and hurled myself into the nearest dressing room. And they fit. Actually, they are the only pair of pants I have never had to have hemmed. Every winter, I bust them out, and they keep me oh-so-warm and stylish.

Dearest tiny tiny sailor, I don't know who you are, or how you even got your scrawny misfit self into the Navy, but I love you. So much.

This was really hard to do in cone heels. Which is why my face looks so...special.

Vintage wool sailor pants, thrifted, $8
Vintage Chloe blouse, thrifted, $10
Ann Taylor shoes, thrifted, $10
Velvet ribbon, Michael's, $2/yd

Apologies for the twilight (And my nekkid little toes! Scandalous!)...I lost track of time and we literally took these photos five minutes before sunset! The last few photos I snapped in my blindingly white bathroom (which I will show you in all its glory soon...)...Now I'm off to see my friend Natalie's band Fever perform tonight at Plan B. They are wickedly, wickedly good.

And don't forget to enter my first ever giveaway, at least if you want a custom watercolor portrait of yourself by yours truly. Oh, you know you do!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Look what I found!

Apologies for the crazyface, wild woman hair, and slight dusting of fluff. I was just under my bed and I found my camera. Yes, I looked under there before. With a flashlight. Apparently my physical presence was required.

This is what Norman the reindeer does in the off-season. He accessorizes. 

EDIT: My best friend came over today with much belated Xmas presents. Guess what she got me? A sweet camera. Oh, life. You're silly.

This is how I feel today...

On top of the G.D. world. I woke up this morning and just felt like being really, really, really pretty, so I gave myself a full hour of primp time. Luxury! And then I went to my closet and put on a flannel shirt and my rattiest pair of jeans because....I am painting today! 

My best friends are coming over and helping me paint my bathroom and my bedroom (and maybe the hallway, yeah guys? Guys?). Tomorrow morning I will wake up to the palest whispery seashell pink blush tinged walls. The color is called soap bubbles. It calls to mind that moment just before sunset on a bright summer day, when the clouds take on a faintly rosy glow. I can hardly wait. Right now my bedroom is a rich chocolate brown. Gorgeous, yes, but not at all conducive to waking up on cold, dark mornings! And just imagining the summer sun filtering through the curtains onto pale pink walls makes me want to hug myself with glee. Color is so important, don't you think?

Oh sweet lordy, that bathroom. Can we just take a moment?

P.S. this is my 98th post. When I get to one hundred, I think I'll do a giveaway, to show my appreciation for my awesome readers. So keep posted!

Monday, January 17, 2011

And this is how my imaginary boyfriend will dress...

While I'm rocking ladylike charm, he'll be brooding oh so adorably in Consuelo Castiglioni's working-man inspired collection for Marni, as if Thomas Ripley had stayed in the states and met a quirkily elegant girl with a small trust fund and a large art collection and lived happily ever after in the East Village instead of going to Italy, falling sartorially in love with Dicky Greenleaf, becoming gay (presumably) and killing everybody who accused him of being bourgeois for the rest of his life. Wouldn't this be nicer? Yes. Yes, it would.

 So boyish and easy, but the wicked cool leather makes it...well, wicked cool.

P.S. While Matt Damon is inarguably one of the most underrated leading men in hollywood, I'm not nuts about the film as anything more than a giant editorial on what to wear all the time. The Ripley books, by Patricia Highsmith, however, are a must read. They are gorgeously crafted and creepy as hell, a truly beautiful, wistful exploration of the dark places emotional deprivation can take someone who longs deeply for love and beauty. And dear old Patty had mad style!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dreaming of spring...

I am typing this at 6:53 am. Outside I can hear the garbage truck making its cumbersome and clunking way up my street, mechanics whirring, punctuated by the wholly organic sound of pelting rain and a slushy hum from the highway. Why the hell am I up? Excellent question. Lately my sleep pattern has been...unconventional. But, in the absence of caffeine, I'm trusting my body to tell me what it wants, so, awake it is. I should be formatting signage for the upcoming exhibit, checking the dates on items to be included, polishing up a cover design for my sole literary client (My uncle! He writes thrillers!), or, at the very least, finishing the dishes, but...pfft! I don't want to.

It has been cold, my little chickadees. Cold, and wet. Going outside is a miserable and mucky finger-numbing affair. Oh, la la, I am bored to tears with boots and jeans and boots and jeans and boots and jeans. Can I get a hallelujah? Is anybody else dreaming of sunshine and wispy little things? *le sigh*

My outlook for spring and summer is polished and feminine. I'll be sticking to classic cuts and elegant, breezy silhouettes. Lately I've been craving a more ladylike approach to warm weather dressing; collars primly buttoned just so, nipped in waists, and soft volume reined in with sharp little belts, pleated trousers, swingy jackets, lots of grey and navy, and pretty drapey blouses in bold, punchy pops of print and color for whimsy.  Chunky shoes and touches of menswear should keep everything from getting too Merchant-Ivory. I'm also favoring a smaller, brighter bag for spring. I'll be resurrecting my favorite little thrifted purple Prada satchel and keeping my eyes peeled for a perfect low profile but luxe clutch, in an eye popping neon hue.

My favorite beauty trend on the spring runways was the pairing of a classic cat eye liner (This one is what I use every. single. day.) with bright matte finish fuschia and tangerine lips. So fresh and pretty, especially with dewy sunscreen skin and a slightly mussed updo. A swipe of this genius and a dab of the best powder ever should tone things down enough for work.

In the meantime, a girl can dream, right?

ADAM Spring 2011

Alberta Feretti spring 2011

Anne Valerie Hash Spring 2011

Stella McCartney Spring 2010

Dries Nan Noten spring 2010

Dries Van Noten Spring 2010

Dries Van Noten Spring 2009

Dries Van Noten Spring 2009

Dries Van Noten Spring 2008

Araks Spring 2011

Stella McCartney Resort 2010

Jason Wu Spring 2011

Can you guess who my very most favorite designer ever might be? Hmm? Ok, time for breakfast. Adios!

Monday, January 10, 2011

And Wes Anderson, of course!

Since  I can't do outfit posts right now (Still no camera, but I did find the manual, and am studying it so that when I do find the camera, I can take better pictures with the snazzy tripod I got for Christmas! And don't worry, I'm still dressing like a champ! Actually I'm in my bathrobe right now. But I will be dressed like a champ as soon as I finish typing, promise.), I've chosen to focus on the positive and fill this space with a post on what inspires me most as I contemplate feathering my little nest. Or, rather, ruffling and rearranging my feathers. Truth be told, I've owned enough things to furnish an entire house since high school, I just never had a house to furnish them with. Now is their moment to shine! My tastes in home decor, as in fashion, are pretty eclectic, but there are certain visual threads that form a narrative.

1) I love me a lacquered end table or a gilded screen and I'll show you a grin the size of Texas.
2) Sheepskin is so tactile, and adds the perfect clean, modern, slightly rustic pop to a floor or a chair. I have loads of them from Ikea.
3) Blue and white is my favorite color combination. It always looks classic, but fresh.
4) Color. Color, color, and more color. The more saturated the better. Although, I love pale whispery pink walls. Ever since Domino Magazine (RIP) did an " If this movie was a room" feature on The Royal Tenenbaums (see below), I've been obsessed.
5) My Grandma is my ultimate style icon. She was unafraid to mix up midcentury modern and classic antique pieces in her home long before it was considered chic, and it looked wonderful. My mother took that century-spanning, well traveled aesthetic one step further, adding a sense of eclectic magical realism that enchanted my childhood. Since many of the pieces I'll be working with are inherited from the family, I'm hoping it won't be too hard to capture that feeling in my own rooms!

I want my home to feel light and airy, but also exquisitely lush and cozy. Clean lines, minimal clutter, and lots of texture and pattern to keep things interesting. I am enchanted by the idea of devoting one wall of my living room to framed art, and letting the other walls be empty, or limited to one amazing piece. 

images from the Domino archives, Design Sponge, Coco+ Kelly, and Atlantis Home.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ranty pants

Baaaaah! Humbug! I miss my camera!

Yep. Still missing. I have wracked my little brain, trying to figure out where it could have wandered off to between now and Christmas night, which was the last time I uploaded photos. The cable is still right there on my bedside table (Yes, I blog in bed. I do as many things as possible in bed. Bed is a wonderful place.). I know I haven't taken any pictures since then, as I have either been too sick or too busy...So what gives?!

Its just as well... I won't pretend I haven't been wearing the same flannel, jeans, duffel coat, and boots all week. If I was photographing my clothes you would be disappointed, and maybe a little grossed out. Pffft, its cold, kittens! And I'm sartorially lazy! But there is hope...

I made some lovely finds at Goodwill today...the Tucker for Target blouse in cream (If you don't already know this, Target sends most of their past season items to Goodwill. This particular blouse had sold out in my size at Target almost immediately, but I found it for $5 at Goodwill! There were several other items from the Tucker collection, all priced under $10.), a vintage cheongsam in gorgeous midnight blue brocade with chartreuse piping, and an absolutely perfect DB suit, made in Italy, in navy blue lightweight wool with gold buttons. The tailoring is just breathtakingly polished, and it strikes the ideal balance between masculine and feminine. I actually wish the museum was open right now, just so I could wear it! Rowr!

In other news, my lovely friend Joia came over yesterday night and helped me tackle the mountain of chaos that is my studio room. There is still a ways to go, but things seem ever so much more manageable by the light of day! The studio is the one room in the house I don't want to paint or change in any way (It is a heavenly deep blue with white trim, and a sea blue crisp and restful.), but since it will be serving as my art/sewing studio, home office, AND extended closet, it is going to take a lot more energy than all the other rooms in terms of organization and functionality.

And now, since I can't give you any current pictures, here is a random photo for your enjoyment. These are my best friends. They're going to kill me for this, so drink it all in. Cheers!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Obligatory New Years Post

I am excited for 2011. Here is why.

A) 11 is my favorite number. Seriously. I love the number 11. Its so....symmetrical.

B) The apocalypse is next year, so, obviously, this year is as good as it gets. Live it up, cats and kittens.

C) 2010 was completely overwhelming. So much happened. I got my amazing job at the museum, moved into my own house (Where I live! By myself! Wheeeeeeeee! I can do ANYTHING I WANT!), had my first art show in ten years, seriously considered getting married, broke up instead (The right choice, I know, but still, so difficult. And sad.), spent the entire year meeting challenge after challenge in an entirely new career field, started a blog (Hello!), and finished out the year facing a rather daunting health setback that will require me to drastically restructure my lifestyle. That's why I haven't been around much this last week. I've been restructuring. And resting. And also, I lost my camera, so, bummer. Which brings me to...

D) I have a house! It is mine! But it is messy, and unpainted, and half my stuff is still packed up, and I haven't set up my studio, which means I haven't been making any new art, and somewhere in all this chaos is my camera. So, game on, house. I'm gonna make you clean, and then, I'm gonna make you pretty, and then, I'm gonna take pictures!

So, to sum up, I'm confident in my job, I feel I'm taking my life in the right direction in the larger sense, and now its time to focus on well being, creativity, and creature comforts.

As I consider the coming year, I'm also thinking about the direction in which I want to take this little blog. It started out as a haphazard documentation of nothing in particular. I always wanted to do outfit posts, and I think I will continue to do so, but definitely not on a daily basis! I know I want to add more dimension to my posts in terms of setting and staging; I want them to feel more thought out and editorial. I love taking photos at my grandma's house, but it definitely doesn't reflect my taste, nor am I as comfortable as I would be in my own habitat, or out of doors. Dear spring, come here now! I also would like to incorporate more of my own art and creative endeavors into the blog...I've seen it done well, and I think it would be more interesting, and fun to share that side of my life with you, my readers. What do you think? Would you like to see some of my drawings, paintings, and sewing projects? Also, how would you feel about an occasional post documenting the process of decorating my little house? What about recipes and restaurant reviews, shopping resources, and beauty posts? Is there anything in particular you think would make this blog a more engaging read? Let me know your thoughts, because I am genuinely interested in finding the balance between blogging as self expression and as communication. I have met so many wonderful people through this blog, and I want to make sure you all feel loved and entertained!

And last but not least, I want hair like this.

Street Style Aesthetic

Laura Laine

I realize it may take longer than a year (And what's the point anyway, because, hey, impending apocalypse...), but I am committed to the dream of long, luxurious pre-raphaelite locks. And then I'm gonna do this. Because how fierce is she!?