Sunday, March 30, 2008

parisian street style

I went to Paris for the first time last Easter, and as cliché as it is to say, you really do notice a difference in the level of style everywhere you go on the street. If I lived there I would either feel inspired all the time, or inadequate myself all the time (or probably both!). Anyway what I love about this outfit are the simple, utilitarian in design Repetto shoes mixed with a very sophisticated outfit, especially the caramel-colored Chanel bag. One of my main impressions when I was there was that Parisian women have a way of making sophisticated, elegant outfits always look relaxed and casual, whether they're wearing flats or heels. Even if they were wearing skirts and stilettos to pick up groceries, they found a way to look completely comfortable. I guess you avoid ever feeling over- or under-dressed that way!

What first caught my eye in these two outfits were the scarfs incorporating grey-blues, gold and black which work amazingly well with both their blonde hair and the black, white, and navy they are wearing: a great study in subtle color combinations. Somehow frenchwomen seem to work the color navy unlike anyone else. I have a vague color theory based on weather and climates, but I'll spare you! Suffice to say the different textures in the navy on the right are subtle and flawless at the same time. And the shoes! I've also just noticed -- is that a gold spoon hanging down from her neck? I have no idea but it's sort of precious if it is.

Again the subtle tonalities really make this outfit for me, from her hair into the skirt and the bag contrasting with the black. The proportion of the skirt is very "now," as they say, as well, and looks like it might have been a longer skirt tied up into a high waist with a satin sash. The fact that each element has simple and clean lines makes this outfit not too fussy, which is always important and easy to forget when you start getting enthusiastic about mixing things. It reminds me of something Coco Chanel once said, which is to put your outfit together and then take one thing off before leaving the house. It's better not to over-do it.

I normally don't like Nina Garcia (and of course she isn't Parisian) but I do like this outfit because even though it is all black she put in little surprises throughout in the silhouette and details: from the shape of the front of her Louboutins, to the flare and wide collar in the jacket, to the extra-high shoulders and extra-long sleeves covering half her hand. It all creates a nice balance without being boring.

Pictures from Elle at Paris Fashion Week

Saturday, March 29, 2008

nude and red

I love everything about this picture, from the styling of the hair and make-up, to the grainy, washed-out quality, to the mix of nude colors and bright blood red bow. The swimsuit could double as a cute summer top, if you don't mind everyone you see doing a double take to see if you're wearing anything at all.
Clothing, Bottega Veneta; Photo, Taku for BlackBook

Friday, March 28, 2008

how could this smile not light up your entire day?

Love Kate Bosworth.
Pictures like this make me start to wish I were blonde...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Christopher Bailey on being English

"I sometimes describe it as this disheveled elegance. I love the fact that there is something quite traditional, quite stoic ... along with this real art side to it, along with this real almost rebellious side."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

the new classics

I love these pictures that were in Harper's Bazaar a few months ago, not just for the clothes -- one of my favorite styles is classic equestrian, mixed with a little bit of nautical, which Gucci often gets really well -- but also because of the beautiful setting. Horse country with those wide fields and black wooden fences is one of the most perfect things to me, it reminds me of home I guess.

Pictures by Nathaniel Goldberg in Harper's Bazaar 2007.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

natalie portman in elle

ELLE: How have people responded to your own independence and ambition? Has that been uncomplicated for you?
NP: It's definitely complicated. I bury it a lot, which is a very common woman thing to do. They say women often preface their statements with “This might sound stupid, but…” It sort of tempers what you are going to say. It takes the edge off so you can still be seen as ladylike. I think I have a lot of that in me. I'm very nonconfrontational; I'm definitely a pleaser.

ELLE: Your recent film, The Other Boleyn Girl, strikes me as a classic cautionary tale about female ambition. Your character, the notorious Anne, is punished with rape, humiliation, exile, and ultimately execution for being cunning and opportunistic. Her “golden sister” Mary [played by Scarlett Johansson] wants nothing more than a simple country life and is content to accept whatever fate her father, husband, uncle, and king devise for her—and she gets to live happily ever after.
NATALIE PORTMAN: That's so interesting, because I really saw it as a cautionary tale about capitalism. All of the characters who subscribe to these values of rising up and gaining power and who will step on anyone to get there are punished. Anne is certainly the most forward about it, but she is following her family's values. She wants to impress her father even though he betrays her, whereas Mary thinks there's something sick about this world and removes herself from it. I think it's very different to be ambitious and to be ruthlessly ambitious, which Anne certainly is in the movie. In reality, an argument can be made that Anne Boleyn was witch-hunted because she had so much power.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

my looks for spring (part one)

From Luella To start I love this simple black and white t-shirt with an illustration of Batman (I have a friend who screenprints so I might copy the design and have her make me one, I am a poor student after all). Then I really like the proportion of the short skirt and the high waistline created by layering the cardigan over it. The batman pin is an adorable touch that ties this look into the rest of the collection, and it reminds me of those pins they used to give kids on airplanes of wings back in the 90s.
I don't want to go overboard buying things with liberty-print flowers on them, since as soon as the trend passes they will probably look completely dated, but I think the pleating in the skirt is a nice way to change it up (or accordian pleating would be nice as well), or this deep-necked blouse is really wow, as long as you don't mind flashing people accidentally a lot.

These wide boldly-striped skirts from Miu Miu and Gucci are great as well, and can be worn more casually or dressy (and there are many cheaper versions made in a similar style). And I really like the black and white layering on the Miu Miu top.

H&M currently has a skirt similar to this black and white floral one from the Balenciaga Resort collection.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Double Dutch
Cathy Horyn, Times Style Magazine, on the creators of Fantastic Man and Butt magazines

What makes a magazine modern, I asked him.
"That’s a question we ask ourselves all the time,” van Bennekom said. "I think it’s reading — the whole idea of concentrating and being alone in a room. I think that’s what a magazine has to offer: a reading experience.”

Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati, a 2006 cover, said, "It’s one of the first male magazines that I really considered male.” He added: "It has an appreciation for people and what they’re doing with their lives. You feel quite relieved in a sense to let yourself go and say what you want. You feel a dialogue with the magazine that you don’t have with many others.”

When Butt started, van Bennekom said, the emancipation of gays in Europe was more or less over. "Gay marriage had come through, not only in the Netherlands but also in countries like Spain,” he said. "The whole political movement was bankrupt intellectually.” He added: "Nothing felt underground or funny. I mean, where did the humor go? Did the humor really end with [the artists] Pierre and Gilles and that kind of camp? Do we all have to aim at one type of body?” (They started a publication for lesbians — its title unprintable here — but it soon died. Apparently lesbians don’t have the same sense of humor.)

They also have a feature on The Sartorialist in their new issue of Fantastic Man.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

embracing my inner hippie

Some friends are reluctant to believe I ever had a hippie phase (it's called my childhood), so it might be time to turn that around... and it should be easy now that the Milla-Jovovich capsule line is arriving at Target (probably the best of these collections they've had).

maybe on sale...

Of course, I've yet to see the atrocious quality and fit in person.

Friday, March 7, 2008

white miu miu in blackbook

So this month's BlackBook magazine has a feature on MiuMiu's latest, and I seriously love every single look. And so much more so than what was shown on the runway for next fall. I don't really get the airy faded-out pictures though. I mean I get it and they are beautiful photographs, but isn't that sort of the technique you go to when the clothes are kind of crap and the only way to make them look good is to obscure them? (see also: fashion editorials with close-ups of the models face and about an inch of the outfit's collar.)
The other thing I noticed flipping through the magazine was how the ads were much more predominantly European brands which are not often seen in major American fashion magazines (Sisley, Ben Sherman, etc); it was a nice change. The same is also true for Nylon.
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