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my boss was going through some dusty boxes and found a couple back issues of Punk Planet. this one features Jaime Hernandez of Love and Rockets fame. it is fantastic, and makes me miss Punk Planet so much. he used to lend support to Young Chicago Authors –where i worked– but at the time i didn’t understand how awesome he was. thank goodness Dan Sinker is still doing so much in chicago. (teaching at columbia, his tweets-book satire of rahm emmanuel, maintaining the time portal of infinite chicagos…)

anyway, the outfit is a quasi-plaid blouse from etoile isabel marant. (i say quasi because it’s yellow and black, which is barely plaid, and closer to check, right? it is also my ONLY plaid shirt.) over that, a sheer blue H&M sweater. the vintage jellyfish necklace is a piece my friend Vince found in a junk shop. the trousers are 3.1 Phillip Lim and the kitten heel sandals are Sigerson Morrison. it’s sort of artsy, the three blues with the near-cmpliment of dried mustard and the tonic of white.

someone looking at this photo will notice, first thing, that my toes are sans lacquer, and they will think it looks godawful. if i did toenail polish, lavender might have been nice.


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in my spare time, i get to contribute to the fantastic street style blog Chicago Looks. this is Nick, who works at the Museum of Contemporary Art. every time i see him, he looks smashing. it’s just comes naturally to him. the following photo was first published on Isa Giallorenzo’s site — go there to read Nick’s great little interview and see details of his outfit.

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thanks Shua and Isa! i love collaborating with you guys!


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one of my best girlfriends found me this great organza blouse at the salvation army. it’s emanuel emanuel ungaro, which is crazy to think. poor ungaro– to think that they once maintained a diffusion label! (actually, i remember about 20 years ago they had a capsule for the la redoute catalog.) i really love the sensuality of ungaro, and i hope they can eventually recapture that.

underneath the blouse, which slightly gossamer, is the barest of little black brassieres. the leggings are tone-on-tone flocked velvet from topshop. the d’orsay ankle-strap heels are charles jourdan. the earrings are carved cellulose, from france. they are big and aggressive, like gauges, but luckily for me, they are clip-on. if i was a girlboss à la sophia amoruso i could probably get away with wearing this outfit to work.

rachel in gold


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moron stroke: i forgot to take a photograph of the ever-camera-ready-Rizzo-Ford. we’ve got the two illustrations, one from me and one from Shua, but while Rachel was holding her pose it didn’t occur to me to reach for my iphone.

still, you get the idea. i layered my illustration between the Miu Miu gold leather jacket and the brocade Miu Miu trousers. the trousers don’t fit me anymore, and i basically bought them with too much wishful thinking.

Rizzo made a great model and she could hold her pose, no problem, and though this isn’t her everyday style, she pulls it off it with totally authenticity.

the polka dot chop

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Dress Alteration foto w lupe

sometimes you find a dress with great potential, but something fudd-duddy about it is holding you back. maybe it’s been hanging forlornly in your closet for a couple years, or maybe it’s on the rejects rack at the thriftstore. either way, it’s great material, a good fit, a neat pattern, or has some detail that’s kept you from tossing it out.

in my case, this Albert Nippon vintage silk dress fit perfectly in the waist and bust. it had cute tiers at the hips and ruffles at the hem…. but it also had dorky puffed sleeves. even though i don’t go in for polka dots, i couldn’t let it languish. there was something classic about the cut, and i knew a little sexiness would make it modern.

it was a very easy step. i just cut of the sleeves and made the neckline a little lower. i made the armholes a little longer too, so it would fit more like a breezy tank. i did not even bother to finish the edges, but that wouldn’t be hard to do.

Shua has given us three illustrations. in the first panel, you see the dress styled for winter, with opaque tights and a white belt. after the more casual, summery chop, i just went with bare legs and madewell booties. the third illustration is a side-view… of me reading twitter on my phone.

the last pic is a bonus, wearing the dress last february. good for you if you recognize my friend there, who came with me to the circle opening of Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, at the MCA.

(who knew the exhibit would inspire my own creative effort, Destroy the Garment: Altering the Dress.)

emerald sequins

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just thrifted this sequined dress from Haute Hippie at Buffalo Exchange. what i love about it is the long sleeve feature. most dresses expose your arms, which doesn’t work as well for me because i am almost always cold. long sleeves, as long as they are trim, are super elegant. (i remember marina rust writing about matter this for Vogue a couple years back.)

i also love that this dress isn’t curve-hugging. that sack shape is just fine — it’s already short and sparkly, and a party dress that isn’t overtly sexy is a lot more fun.

lastly, of course it would be great with heels, or a bootie, but i thought patent Docs were the freshest way to style it. a sheer stocking might be more alluring than opaque, if you’re replicating this at home. only the simplest jewelry with this one, to keep from competing with the frock — my gold By Phillipe inverted crown.

the illustration turned out beautiful, so Shua has provided us with two images. the former is a closeup, so you can get a better sense of all the layered greens that go into giving the layers and reflections convincing dimension. blues, silvers, golds, seaweed, forest….

versace versus american apparel

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how to do J.Crew better than J.Crew. i figured it out!

start with an amazingly sexy pencil skirt in a cray-cray pattern. this one is Versus Versace with a high thigh-slit and a knotted waist. the fluorescent and seaweed tones turn into flames licking at your hips. (i’m wearing this in a post from the springtime, too. it’s a great skirt.)

then add a casual t-shirt. this one is basic black and white stripes, stolen from my dude’s closet. it’s a micro-knit with the perfect drape, and of course it looks better with the sleeves shoved up on the shoulder.

finish with vintage cut-away pumps (fuschia will do, but anything bright should work) and a non-matchy clutch. for example, amazing vintage python. (this one is beyond.)

why this works for me, i don’t know. there’s no fashion math going on…besides perhaps the scale of the patterns. skinny stripes, small white flames. the vintage accessories add interest, but don’t distract from the main dish, which is the skirt. also, that selma blair hair is fine, basic, easy.

finish with a power stance and you’re set!

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thakoon X target shibori dress. great dress with pintucks and a hidden placket down the front. i loved the soft black and gray patterns, but i just sold it to buffalo exchange. a very smart international flip on a classic 1950s-american silhouette. i love how Shua’s errant lines mimic the blasted-out graffiti on the brick wall.

from the fitting room

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reporting from the Nordstrom Rack fitting room, i am in love with this Christopher Kane dress. it’s a size 12, and i’m a size 4, but what of it? it looks kind of great sitting away from the body, instead of hugging my frame. it’s made of holographic celadon brocade, with knife pleats and origami folds, and it’s the only one on the rack. it’s also over $600, marked down from about $3000. even at that kind of discount, i cannot afford it. so here we are, being mildly ratchet and going the mirror-selfie route.

thank you Shua for getting back to me with a lovely illustration. and thank goodness for cel phones, which let me keep the memory, if not the dress.

muses and friends : gábor

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gábor’s look is inspired by kanye. i’m not even going to joke about it. he is wearing my leather mini-kilt. also a sheer pleated blouse, to maximize the layer count. there is a lot of leather going on, actually: the levi’s jacket, the balmain skinnies, the patent doc martens, and the aforementioned kilt. (i swear it’s not a fetish!) he’s also got on a antique silver vial necklace.

anyway, you get two illustrations — lucky you! note the different approaches Shua and i take to rendering leather. watercolor vs. pentel marker. sorry i didn’t allot proper space to fit the boots.