And now the favorites from which I managed to pick more than just a few looks:
I always try to resist Carolina Herrera because my associations with the brand are 1. older society women, and 2. my old roommate who went to Stern, NYU's business school, while I fluttered around being an English major. CH designs for people who are Not Me, in other words.
It was the last look here that really got me. That is exactly how I want to dress when I get older, I thought to myself, and then I thought wait, I would actually wear that now. And then I kept going through the collection, and I kept finding other things I would also wear, and I wondered if this was what growing up was like, when you hit age 27 and realize you're finally ready...for Carolina Herrera.
Next stop, mortgage.
I think this is the first season I've ever actually paid attention to Jill Stuart, and it's because this is the year she decided to do all kinds of crazy shit with prints. I really, really love a good print. At this exact moment I'm also really obsessed with finding the perfect orange dress, and I think the sixth one up there might be it. I mean it probably isn't, because I probably won't be able to find it (where is Jill Stuart even sold? Is she regular designer or just contemporary?), and by the time autumn arrives I'll probably have shifted my affections to some precise shade of purple that doesn't even exist on the color spectrum because I made it up, but right now I really feel that my wardrobe needs a shot of orange and a vixen or two. Give it to me, JS.
I'm honestly still not as obsessed as I've been in past seasons, where I'd seek out the clothes just so I could gaze at them all wide-eyed and lurk around caressing the details until the Barneys salespeople were like "can I help you," in a way where it's not even a question so much as an admonishment, but I would wear these dresses happily, with a song in my heart and naught but moths in my wallet.
The first few looks they showed had some killer long dresses I wanted to know about, all unfortunately covered by jackets I wanted to see less of. I hope to see those long dresses in the wild in the future; who knows, I might do some lingering for old time's sake. The beige dresses are all pretty flawless for all they are pretty beige. I still love you, Kate and Laura!
I've looked at pretty much everything I'm going to look at from the New York shows, and so far nothing's knocked me on my ass. A good indicator of me loving a show (aside from that strange feeling in my heart, like a slow thaw) is that it makes me step outside what I already want and try something new. Judging by the looks I've saved so far, nothing has done that. Also either NY this season was seriously lacking in minidresses or my secret horror of knees has finally shown itself, because I don't think I picked out anything less than shin-skimming.
Right now, at this very moment, I want to wear long dresses, slightly less long circle skirts, really bright colors, wacky prints, red red red, and frankly whatever the Mulleavy sisters tell me I should wear. Here are my favorites from New York:
Marc by Marc Jacobs
I'm dying over the 1940s vibe on the first and third here: the flowing cuts, the war bride/secretary silhouettes. The sheerness and sprightly little polka dots, that perfect shade of green. Mmm.
Shout-out to leopard print done perfectly (it has to either be fur or gold, that's the rule I just made up right now) and the 'don't mind me I'm chillin' in my pumpkin-colored sweater' party happening as well.
I tend to be moodily resistant to the nineties revival (probably because I spent most of the nineties being moodily resistant) but I'm feeling their approach here. If something must be dug up from that era, let it not be the floral dresses that looked awkward then and still look awkward now, let it instead be a midriff cut that bares only the ribs, and slinky dresses cut across so low it looks like the sleeves aren't even attached. Perfect.
Diane von Furstenburg
I would wear a red floor-length sequined dress every day. Fact. (Okay, and a red jacket over it when it gets cold. Done.)
Dance clubs in reality: women in Forever 21, cheap satin, and BCBG, men that look like people I wouldn't want to date.
Dance clubs in my imagination: women in Altuzarra, men that look like Nicolas Hoult.
This is the latest fashion film from Rodarte, The Curve of Forgotten Things, starring Elle Fanning and featuring their Spring/Summer 2011 collection. I just watched it and it sort of overwhelmed me; like hearing a song that reflects your own personal experiences only with better phrasing than you could ever come up with, I finished this film feeling like it was made just for me.
I wasn't as impressed by this collection as I had been by their previous showings. It felt too toned down, lacking those fantasy elements that had so captured me these last few years in their work. This film, though, both helped me understand the collection itself and also gave additional context for their work as a whole.
Since I was a kid I've been fascinated by themes of isolation and discovery, and a lifetime of mulling these things over made this film feel like it took my place in my own head.
It also tied the collection into past collections for me. Autumn 2010, inspired by factory workers in Juarez waking up early and getting dressed in the dark before walking alone to work. Spring 2010, with its menacing, post-apocalyptic feel. Spring 2009, where dresses were stripped down to the skeletons, held together with chains exposing leather ribcages. Fall 2008, with its Japanese horror inspirations. These are lonely collections: the loneliness of waking up and walking alone in the dark, being left alive in a ruined world, reduced to bones pinned and snapped together, blood and helplessness and being ripped open.
I didn't feel any of that with this collection, not until I saw it in the context of this film laid out bare: finding things in the dirt that you can't share with anybody, empty houses you wander through alone, sunshine and no spaces in time, just lapses between movements before you disappear into gold light.
February so far's been slow but bright. I've derided Los Angelean style a bit in the past (all that comfort can make you lazy!) but I'm definitely seeing the appeal of light dresses that do all the talking for you. Also: hell yes flowers.
BFF and I hit up the Vintage Expo in Santa Monica this past weekend; it was much nicer once I decided to think of it as more of a really packed clothing museum where I could see beautiful pieces up close but not buy them. Oy, those prices. Hopefully Fashion Week will help remind me of the excitement of new things and offer a little pricing perspective - something brand new for $3,000 surely makes $300 for something a hundred years old seem reasonable. Which it is, right? Damn it, eBay and years of antique shopping, you've ruined me.
Here are a few things I've worn lately.
dress, Hussein Chayalan
1920s bra, eBay, hat from an antique shop
dress, Plenty by Tracy Reese. shoes, Vera Wang Lavender Label. flowered hair comb from the Expo
In between bouts of shaking my fist at capitalism, I've done a lot of walking around my neighborhood (it's pretty!) and reading more books than I have in awhile thanks to the Out of the Closet thrift shop and Stories cafe on Sunset, both of which offer a great stock of cheap used books and a ridiculous turnover that means I rarely leave without a new volume or three. Oh my god you guys: books. So great. Here are my most recent reads. (I am a total Malcolm Gladwell fangirl.)
I've also been haunting the internets for old magazines lately, and am currently on tenterhooks in anticipation of the arrival of the 1926 (!) issue of Harper's Bazaar that I managed to score for peanuts on eBay. Speaking of magazines, if my twice monthly blog updates just aren't enough for you (oh my god, how demanding are you), here's my latest published work. Laugh, cry, rend your garments, etc.