Thursday, July 30, 2009

Living the Dream

I read about the fantastic blog the emperor's old clothes in the Times today, and immediately made a bee-line for the site, reading the archives throughout the day (slow, if you couldn't tell). The author Fluff/Eric Gaskins puts to words so many things I've thought about fashion, the current state of fashion, working in the industry, and ultimately being true to one's self, which can be a difficult thing to do in this city and this industry.

When I moved to New York, I was living on an overdrawn bank account, with no experience and no connections save for one friend in the industry. Five years later, I've had three different jobs at three very different companies, all very edifying in their own way. None, however, have been quite what I was looking for, had I had the luxury to hold out for exactly what I wanted. Still, I have bills to pay like so many other people, and I'd like to be fabulous with a roof over my head, unexciting as that may be.

Working for many companies in the fashion industry, should you be lucky enough to have a job right now, can be an exercise in patience, endurance, and the ability to sit at a desk all day writing emails, wondering why you aren't using any of the knowledge gained in four years of art school. It can be difficult to accept that this money-driven, very un-fabulous part of the industry is indeed 'fashion'. Sometimes what keeps me going is making sure that I've done the best I can with the garment that will eventually retail for $3.50. Everyone deserves some measure of quality, even if it doesn't come in a Barneys bag. After that, though, I have to admit to myself that this is not what I want for my life long term.

My interests are eclectic, but beautiful, innovative, heart-stopping fashion will choke me up every time. Mr Gaskins's blog was a reminder to me to rejoice in that, and that my career story has a long way to go yet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


There's a great post today on Jezebel concerning the speculation that la Wintour may be shunted out of her throne at American Vogue and replaced by Carine Roitfeld. A little too Devil Wears Prada to be true, but the post goes beyond the rumor to detail the many ways in which American Vogue could make some much-needed improvements.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It Happened One Wifebeater

I wasn't expecting an excess of white tank tops to inspire an emotional reaction. They did, though. As I cleaned out my closet and armoire last weekend, I saw myself as if from a distance, and it was embarrassing.

Anyone experienced in periodic closet rejuvenation can testify that the mess gets worse before it gets better. At the apex of my task, there were mounds of clothing covering the bed as well as the floor. Gobs of hangers everywhere. And ultimately, a feeling of apathy and futility hanging in the air.

There is something inherently sad about sorting though old clothing. It is looking at who you were not too long ago, but long enough to give you a bit of objectivity. Kind of nostalgic, and also bitter, because these are ultimately parts of yourself that you don't wish to revisit, and are throwing away.

I counted 20 identical white tank tops and about 40 pairs of black tights, some still in their packaging. The tank tops and tights spoke clearly to me of a person who was and is afraid of falling into disrepair and shabbiness. I began to think about my buying habits, which are often about obtaining multiple versions of the same garment. While I can justify this ad nauseaum, I know that there is a thin line between having a closet full of uniforms and closet full of the fear of never having enough.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Vogue Mag: about as out of touch as a story featuring the cast of ‘Hair’ could be

As inaccurate as this may be, I often find myself imagining the editors and art directors of Vogue having meetings very much like the one seen in The Devil Wears Prada; nerve-wracking affairs where ideas are presented tentatively by the trembling editors, and discarded mercilessly by La Wintour. I like this vision because in the world of fashion, as in any realm, one must have ideals to aspire to. Like it or not, Vogue magazine still represents some of these ideals.

After a look at the Gareth Pugh/Agyness Deyn/ ‘Hair’ editorial in July’s issue, however, this fantasy took a considerable tumble. Seriously, who ok-ed this thing? ‘Minimalists’ Deyn and Pugh are dressed like trustfund beatniks straight out of central casting, and placed in the middle of sun-dappled Central Park. The rest of the story has their quiet afternoon disrupted by the cast of ‘Hair’, who are just as predictably attired in suede fringe, tattered denim, and love beads. Near the end of the story, we are to believe that Aggy has forged a tentative friendship with the hippies, as she sports a makeup flower over one eye.

Absurdity has a huge place in fashion. It is the dash of paprika that Diana Vreeland described as being essential to an interesting look. However, this editorial is more like an attempt at absurdity that ended up a boring, lazy, cliché. But it’s not fair to criticize without being constructive, so I’ve come up with some suggestions for a less vanilla editorial:

1. Being minimalist does not mean one is a lifeless statue with an unchanging facial expression. Could Ag and Gareth maybe… react to the situation? Personally, I keep seeing them shooting the hippies with laser beams (futuristic!).

2. I know the cast is wearing their costumes, but could they please have some different clothes? This is Vogue, after all. A little Dries and Marni, some Cavalli, anything! The 60s hippie look is, in a word, tired. As is the phrase/era/regurgitation of ‘the summer of love’.

3. Defy convention. Avoid the obvious. Bathe the cast and dress them in the most absurd Thom Browne available. The setting: urban power office with an insane and fabulous decorator.

4. Putting models in straight-from-the-runway looks is neither fashion forward nor interesting. Mix and mingle for a creative tingle! Besides, we will be seeing these ensembles for the next six months- let’s at least try to maintain some of the mystery.

Happy styling!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess who is coming to dinner!

This says hello to me very distinctly!!!  Her hat is true genius, and I think that he might actually be the ideal dinner companion.  Who doesn't enjoy an exotic man with a rather formidable stature.  

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Ok...can we talk about this divine credenza?  I came across this image today while perusing the internet.  The photograph is of a room designed by William Pahlman.  I like everything about this image...from the abundant floral arrangement to the outrageous leopard skin that is stretched across the front of that credenza.  Ok.  Let's be honest.  I adore the outrageous leopard skin!!  The only thing that looks dated is that awful urn.  Otherwise, this would work in a contemporary interior.  This is definitely aspirational living.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Dew

New York is currently in the middle of some kind of biblical heat wave. Air conditioning is mandatory, clothing is a burden, and walking down the subway steps feels like a trip to the steaming core of Hell.

But one biproduct of the heat- dewy skin. Yes! It's probably sweat, but my skin hasn't looked this smooth and luminous since... last summer. Speaking of which, I desperately need a bit of color. What does one do without a proper rooftop for sunbathing and a fear of faux tanner?