Posts in the fashion category

 

Letting other cultures across the world inspire me and my style has never failed.  No matter how many times I look at a colorful photo of a ceremonial ritual in Africa or of a holy man in India, a flutter in my heart occurs.  It may be the lack of interest in their part to please us westerners with their fashion, that is so appealing to me, or the intimate connection that their clothing has to their spiritual lives.  This month’s mood board draws from striking images I’ve compiled while browsing through Pinterest and Tumbr, conducting basic searches like “men in India” or “people in Africa”.  I specifically kept the search vague and open in order to eliminate the fashion riff raff I may have otherwise encountered, and really focus on the essence of these people and their cultures. The images struck a cord in certain instances due to their colors, in others it may have been the expression on ones face, or simply the diligence in which their faces were painted with perfect little dots.

Enjoy!

 

Chelsea Art Walk

As an avid lover of art, I always try to take advantage of the fact that I live in a city so full and readily available inspiration on every corner.  When I heard about the art walk in Chelsea last week I knew I had to attend.  I had been meaning to check out several galleries in Chelsea for a while now, but kept procrastinating, this was finally my chance!

Overall impressed by the variety and concepts I took in that night, my general feeling is that there is definitely a preoccupation with the old while nostalgia reigns in concept, drawing a ton of inspiration from the way things were. Another major theme seemed to be re-purposing of old materials.  I find this interesting as someone who is in tune with the undercurrents of fashion, because it seems to parallel exactly what’s happening on the streets and runways.  Below is a slide of some of my favorite works, including the amazing index paper installation at Pace Gallery by Tara Donovan.

And for those interested in future art walks check out the Chelsea Art Walk site for updates.

I know it’s old news (but lets face it the older the news the more I love it), but I just can’t seem to get away from pink pants.  It’s almost as if they stalk me.  For someone who doesn’t consider themselves particularly girlie, I go nuts over this shade..just nuts!

So when I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Tony of Fair Season and she had these hot pink vintage jeans in her store, I just knew I had to have them.  I’m not certain as to when this obsession with hot pink crept up in my wardrobe, but in recent days it seems to be everywhere.  I own just about every shade in pants and 5 different lipstick shades  which I interchange depending on which one happens to be in my bag that day (for a list of my favorites check the bottom of this post).

Surpassing my love for this color though, is my love for Fair Season.

I met Tony (the shop curator and owner) last year at a flea market while I was visiting LA for the weekend.  I perused the Silver Lake market on a Saturday afternoon with a friend hoping I wouldn’t find anything since my suitcase was already SUPER stuffed with new vintage goodies… but of course there was Tony and her amazing rack of vintage and she immediately not only caught my attention, but ended up having several must have pieces that I made her ship to me (since I legit had nowhere to put them).

All her pieces felt fresh and current, and very west coast (something that at the time felt quite exotic to my east coast eyes).  Funny story about Tony….even though her vibe is very laid back, she’s originally from the east coast and gave up her corporate job for her love of vintage.  How inspiring is that??

I encourage all vintage fans to add her Etsy shop to your repertoire when shopping for fresh new pieces as she will become your closet’s dearest friend, I promise :)

I am wearing:

Fair Season vintage high waisted denim.

H&M top.

Vintage beaded flats.

Bargain District vintage bag.

on my LIPS: Covergirl- spellbound.

Other good pink lips: MAC: Relentlessly Red; MAC: Bold Spring; Makeup Forever #36.

 

 

 

HEY!!!! Whats up?!  Day 3 has arrived.. yes I know time flies when you’re having fun reading my blog.  So here we are, Chermelle and I making our rounds in New York, and today brings us to one of my favorite neighborhoods in Brooklyn,  Greenpoint.  Besides Lena Dunham saying so, I’ve loved hanging out there for ages.. It’s quaint but gritty, there are fun bars and hot men.. what else could we want?  Oh yes.. how about good coffee shops and vintage stores to shop at?

Here is a recap of our day:

Coffee Shop: Café Grumpy Greenpoint

Coffee:  Deri, Kochoha, [Sidama Region] Ethiopia.
 
Thrift Store: Fox and Fawn 
 
Coffee Notes: You handle me with strength and gentility. Your floral flavors in my face so beautifully, I welcome how you demured my spirit – as if I were dried flowers contained and beautiful just the same. 
 
Thrift Notes: balanced beauty, feminine, complex
 
Thrifting Finds:
Gasp! Exaggerations escaped me because the Victorian goodness of this lady number went viral in my heart. Its detail, its fit was perfect. It was a message in a bottle from a faraway place and it said, “meet me in sidama.’
 
Coffee Notes:Your wild and I like it! I’m humming to the tune of guava and tobacco in a field of grass. Is this true, it must be, you give me the memory.

Thrift Notes: punch of something, high

Thrifting Find: I almost didn’t find you. You were subtly tucked somewhere with perfect imperfections, giving you the kind of character that begets the story of a history before I came. A petite hole here, a missing sleeve there. I spin in you and flowers from Sidama seem to appear in my hair.
What did we think? Are we in love with the idea of shopping at Fox and Fawn  and of course having a cup of joe at Cafe Grumpy? Do it, do it!
 
Here are a few of my favorite outtakes from the day:
During our cupping!
Can you believe we both found dreamy white dresses?

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this journey with you guys.  Chermelle of Smdlr and I met via Instagram and it was friendship from the start, based on mutual appreciation and love for culture and fashion.  Soon after, we decided to meet in person and that’s how this Coffee and Thrift project began.

We decided we were going to explore various neighborhoods of NYC and within each go to a roaster/coffee shop and then follow it by going thrifting.  We were convinced that the experience during our coffee outing would affect our moods and in that manner also affect what we would pick out while shopping. In the process we both learned a lot about coffee, fashion, culture and each other.  It was a beautiful marriage of creative minds.

Our first stop was Williamsburg, Brooklyn where we had a formal cupping (tasting) at Toby’s Estate followed by some shopping at Stella Dallas Vintage.

Here are both Chermelle and my notes from the day, along with our vintage finds.

Coffee Toby’s Estate

Coffee: Ethiopia – Nyeri Kenya, Gatombaya


Thrift Store: Stella Dallas

 
Coffee Notes: You demanded my attention. And, once you had me, you gave me warmth like a blanket – balanced, cozy and sweet but not overpowering.


Thrift Notes: masculine, warm, comforting.
 

Thrift Find:  Boy’s vintage plaid shirt that settled me right into my element.  I put it on and I’m far from Brooklyn. I’m camping in the woods, sitting by a fire, roasting marshmallows. The shirt’s masculine and utilitarian qualities are so easy and feel so right, they settle me right into the dead of winter, equipped to take on whatever it may bring.

Coffee Notes: There’s a deep husk in your scent that cuddles my thoughts. Pleasantly disoriented, I am yours and you are mine. Now, stillness comes.

Thrift Notes: rugged, aged, close.
Thrift Find: An oversized leather vest by Open Road – Made in Korea – with tassles that swing and shimmy. With you on, I’m again in grandpa’s backyard. We rock slow, we rock steady in a wooden chair. Memories of him, of us, float in the air. My arms in, are his around me, around thee Gatombaya.

To set the mood for our adventures listen to our mixtape from the day.
Playlist: ‘my girl’ temptations, ‘the boss’, james brown ‘knife’ grizzly bear

Check availability of coffee on Toby’s Estate website and don’t forget to follow your outing with a visit to one of my favorite vintage stores in NYC,  Stella Dallas!!!

Fur Vest Manifesto

When I was young I despised my moms fur coats.  I happened to think that in them, she looked like a furry linebacker.  Throughout high school and college my feelings towards fur remained the same, truth is I had not been exposed to the right kind of fur, plus it had yet to make the comeback it has in the last decade. Once vintage shopping became a standard part of my life, my appreciation for the beauty of fur slowly reared it’s head out.  To this day I have never purchased new fur though.  Call it my love for animals, or my love for vintage, but the truth of the matter is I probably never will!
I find the charm of finding vintage fur part of the experience, you’d be amazed at the selection available to us, and to think of all the cute little old ladies that once owned this wonderful pieces. 
To give you a brief history of my fur purchases…my first piece was a beat up over sized double breasted chocolate brown rabbit coat I found at a thrift store about 5 years ago.  I look HUGE in it, but love it nonetheless, cause she’s so soft and keeps me so warm in the freezing NY winter months.
My second purchase was a fox fur stole.  I did a lot of research before making the purchase, assuring that the piece I eventually bought would incorporate into my outerwear collection seamlessly.  I loved the idea of a stole for it’s reminiscence of 20’s glamor.  The stole had to be something I would be comfortable wearing with my chucks and jeans, or an evening gown though, so eventually I settled on a piece I found on Ebay. 
My latest fur purchase was this INSANE vest that I can’t describe as anything other than shockingly awesome.  I was perusing the aisles of No Relations: one of my favorite second hand stores in the lower east side.  I had noticed her but didn’t think it was a purchase I was interested in making at the time since it was hot as balls out (early September?), until I ran into Joan of Vanhees Vintage there and she mentioned what a great find it was.  When I asked her why she wasn’t buying it herself, she said it had some damage.  That’s ok I thought to myself, perfection is WAY overrated anyway! 
So I decided to throw the vest on and my mind was blown.  This thing was EPIC.  My mom in the 80’s would have done a double take.
What propelled the purchase is that at this point in my life I’ve gained enough confidence to wear stand out pieces such as this vest with no reason at all except that I feel like it.  I used to think you needed an occasion for a wow piece, now I just think you need to love fun. 
Mom and I are overdue for a hang out, and you bet we’ll both be furry linebackers this time around, no shame at all.

Wearing my new favorite vintage fur, Mcqueen army coat, vintage Levi’s, Helmut Lang tee, vintage cardigan, Zara studded oxfords.

Fashionista’s can sometimes take for granted the power of their staples. Correct me if I’m only speaking for myself, but there seems to be a trend of more is more sometimes just to feel like you are making a statement with your outfit choices.  With that being said, I think as I mature I have also gotten a little better at the editing portion of getting dressed, and that understated cool is sometimes the best kind of cool! :)

Today’s post focuses on the simplicity which let’s the elements speak for themselves.  Also, I look really good in all black with my platinum do! 
The little black dress is something that for a long time I didn’t feel the need to own.  Whatever interpretation you make of it, its a great staple for every girls wardrobe.  If you find the right shape and texture you’ll find yourself going back to it time and time again.

Vintage lace dress, Ethnic bib necklace and oversized clutch can all be purchased on the Omnia Vintage Website, shoes are vintage Via Spiga.

Where do I begin?
As always NYFW is a complete shit show, during which everyone and their mom firmly believes they should be a part of it, myself included. 
After many presentations, late nights hanging out with handsome male models, and collecting swag, the week has finally ended and now’s the time for the roundups of best, worst… most entertaining and most disappointing.

This portion of my round up will focus on the presentations I attended:

Alice and Olivia: Femininity and decadence all wrapped into a neat little beautiful package.  We saw a ton of bead work, white and sage and dusty pinks.  Full skirts complemented cropped tops and jackets were boxy with intricate fabrics and trimmings.  Loved every bit of this collection.

Oswald Helgason:  I missed this show because I had to work, but stalked the shit out of photos afterwards since I knew it would be amazing, and amazing it was. The colors and kitchiness of it all were right on point and nothing short of what we’ve come to expect of the brand.

 Raoul:  Clean and simple silhouettes paying a homage to the 60’s.  The prints had a Mondrian feel to them which I absolutely loved.  The graphic nature of these pieces makes them extremely timeless and classy. I was especially fond of the grey two piece with rectangular cut outs.

Rosie Assoulin: I’ve personally met this designer and have nothing but wonderful things to say about her as a person and a talent!  The first time I met her was at my cousin’s engagement party.  From a distance I spotted a beauty in a cream pant suit.  Her bold style and confidence shook me from across the room, so it was no surprise only about a year and a half later, to see that she had begun her own collection.  A common theme from last season’s pieces is the sexy yet sophisticated dropped shoulder silhouette for her tops.  I can’t get enough of this timeless elegance.

Maki Oh:  This Nigerian designer blew my mind with her gorgeous hand dyed textiles and innovative combinations of shapes and textures (peek at those hats).  It felt young, fresh, rich and sophisticated with a heavy ethnic influence.  What’s not to love? (images courtesy of WWD)

It’s no news that I shop at thrift stores a lot. As a matter of fact I’ve begun in the last few years to really pride myself in my skills at finding super cool gems where others refuse to look (Ew someone wore that already?).
I’ve told many friends before when discussing second hand shopping, that I strongly believe it makes a person so much cooler, even distinguished, while building character and a strong sense of self.  I say this because it takes a unique kind of eye to make something out of nothing, finding treasures and seeing the potential in someone else’s discarded items.  You tell me it ain’t cake to find beautiful things if you’re shopping at Barney’s.
To give something a second chance is a pretty sweet feeling and it also forces you to be a lot more creative.  But if you are reading this now you probably already know all this and feel very similarly, right?. 
What I really think we ought to discuss though is the few pretty cool discoveries I made about myself my last visit to the thrift store.

Realization #1:  I met up with a coworker the other day and she had on these fantastic cluster earrings and of course I noticed them and asked where they were from (cocky one I am, I already knew she was gonna say vintage and a flea market.. but I still asked.. and yes they were vintage clip ons from the flea market) and then it occurred to me that I’ve been neglecting clip ons for a really long time because I was under the impression that they are uncomfortable.. and also why use clip ons when I have perfectly pierced ears.  Well it turns out I’ve developed a pretty bad reaction to costume earrings.. they always end up leaving me some weird rash.. so clip ons all of a sudden became a very appealing option to me.  Guess what! I found the COOLEST pair of them today.  They look very 80’s but at the same time very ethnic and very now in some weird way.  RIGHT?
On top of all that, the guy running the thrift store saw me trying them on and said they “opened up my face” which I’m not really sure what that actually means, but it has to be a good thing or he wouldn’t have said it.
In addition to that he said they made me look taller. How? I have no clue but I’ll take it.

Realization #2: I’m pretty darn skilled at spotting designer stuff without seeing the tag.  Ok this is kind of a no brainer if you shop vintage a ton, because you become very familiar with designers and their aesthetic but still… I saw below sweater vest (yes I said sweater vest and yes I will be wearing one this fall) and KNEW instantly that it was a Missoni.  I proceeded to scan the inside for the tag and the previous (clever but not clever enough) owner had cut it out.  For a second I doubted my magical talent, but then…… I realized they had forgotten to cut off the size tag and voila.. any doubt I had was instantly diminished, cause well, I even know what the size tag looks like. Now a Missoni sweater vest mine for less than your Starbucks latte.