ready for NYE: isa and kyra

KyraAndIsa sm copy IMG_3650







a couple months ago, i dressed up two of my favorite girls as if they were about to hit the town. these particular frocks don’t get enough action, because my actual life is so much more sedate than the fantasy.

Isa looks badass in the low-backed blue velvet dress with python boots — basically ready for New Year’s Eve 2014. this Elizabeth & James dress was featured in a post two summers ago, co-starring with a cello.

kyra looks equally party-proper in a draped LBD from Wayne. the platform heels actually belong to Isa, but these girls have equally tiny feet!

the only sad part of these outfits is that chicago is way too cold to be wandering around bare-legged. i won’t dare expose any skin ’til april.

looking really cute you guys — can’t wait to ring in the new year!

mr. little jeans

GaborVest sm copy





i can’t help it that this dude wears skinnier pants than anyone else. he can dress more creatively, but this was just a drawing exercise. also, sometimes style is about function over glamour.

his sweater is H&M, the denim is THVM, and the boots are Timberlands. the vest might be vintage and the hat is…..five paneled? the silver amulet is antique, and mine.

watercolor by Shua, blind countour-face by me.



Nick Quick sm



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.

photo 2

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

emerald sequins

GreenTextureDressClose sm copy IMG_1442 GreenTextureDress sm copy

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….

muses and friends : gábor

GaborJacket sm copy

g leather

g jakcet2


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.

phillip lim phoenix v.1

FashionILlCrowAZ003 sm copyIMG_0704


this is the first time that i saw an item on a runway and determined to buy it. there were a lot of great pieces in the show, but i knew this top would blend seamlessly into my functional wardrobe, be quietly noticeable, and perhaps even affordable, in a manner relative to garments shown on a new york runway. i stalked the phillip lim website for months, until the lookbook was posted, and then used the corresponding code number to pre-order the sweatshirt through nordstrom.

that process was somewhat breathless to a girl much more accustomed to choosing whatever looks promising from a cluster of hangers in a thrift store. the sales associate on the phone told me that the michigan avenue nordstrom would only receive three of the sweaters, one in each size, and that she would put the small aside for me when it came in.

of the 3.1 phillip lim pre-fall collection, this piece leapt out at me as something i’d want to frequently wear. because the design is quilted, tone-on-tone, i wouldn’t tire of garish embellishments or feel allergic to colors. there aren’t even metallic threads! also, the gray sweatshirt is so ubiquitous and classic in american style that i have no fear of it losing versatility or relevance. (not that i really worry about those concepts.)

when i picked up the sweatshirt, just a few weeks before my birthday, i did not even try it on in the store. it looked plenty roomy and fairly close to how it had appeared on the runway… although something seemed a little different. i plopped down my credit card, skipped lunch, and returned to work. upon further inspection, the sweatshirt was extra-extra-large on me, which was fine, and the cotton was appreciably thick and heavy. the only sad part was examining the interior handiwork, and realizing how easy (and industrially-replicable) the quilting process was. the phoenix design looks great, but with an embroidery program, producing the effect doesn’t require much more technology than screen-printing. (which helps explain the variety of knock-offs.)

the first idea i had about styling the sweatshirt was just to go as obvious as possible. little leather shorts with my petrol docs. tomboy, no-nonsense, understated. the illustration, in colored pencil, really brings a lot to the look that isn’t achieved with photography. by layering colors, Shua enhanced the colors around the legs, the competing iridescence of the boots, and the purple highlights in my hair, letting the outfit have an impactful neutrality. you have to forgive me for the mismatched laces though. that was a moment of crisis, and the broken shoestring has since been replaced by a proper pair.

how to turn heads at Pitchfork Fest 2013, day 1

Alana + Gabor_ PitchFork_1FashionIllCrowAZ036 sm copyIMG_1073

hiiiiii! this is a post i’ve been meaning to do for a long time. pitchfork fest was about three months ago! clearly, i’m not cut out for journalism. certainly, i’m not even going to talk about whatever bands i heard play that day….except Bjork, who surpasses the hype and is incredible and wonderful and it was such a treat to see her. that storm clouds called for an evacuation of the grounds still breaks my heart. Bjork is probably the most special performer i’ve ever seen at pitchfork, and hopefully she’ll return to chicago in the near future. i would link to video of her performance if i knew how to do that on wordpress.

anyway, more about me. based on the past couple years of festivals and media, i am absolutely aware that style bloggers and music journalists and personal tumblr-types are wandering the fairgrounds. each day of the fest, i was shot many times…. which does not necessarily mean that my outfit will get published on the internets. the cutting room floor is probably quite familiar with my face. still and all, there i am [in the top photo] with my phenomenal, delightful boyfriend, eating frozen kefir. (the icy treat was free, therefore i ate it every day.)

the dress itself is a vintage piece that aims for a jane birkin vibe. way, way back, i did an ode to her consistent love of white minidresses. i also did a post on this white lace dress, in its original, floor-length form. the morning of the fest, i very carefully — with a seam-ripper — detatched the section that fell below my thigh area. (to be blunt, the resulting garment was short enough that my brains could nearly have fallen out.) because i am not Sky Ferreira, (never have been, never will be, never wanted to be) a set a white undergarment, in grandma proportions, were involved.

so, beater boots to balance that out.

in retrospect, i realize that the dress would have been much more harmonious (and perhaps more bloggable) if paired with mist-colored lace up boots from Hasbeens and a highly-collectible, vintage, barely-pink Dooney & Bourkey bag. the pale accessories trend would be complete with nacreous frames.

there’s always next year.

wonder woman

RedBootsOn smIMG_0774


modern, minimalist, tribal. gray topshop dress in cotton jersey, upper and lower halves joined by a knot at the middle. red suede boots from urban outfitters. silver torque collar from ethiopia; my mom bought it there when she visited in the 70s. (i do not mind that it looks more gold than silver, but i could scrub it with baking soda.)

i feel a little Wonder Woman.

chambray three way

ChambrayThreeWays sm IMG_0673



levi’s chambray shirt jacked from my dude’s closet. it’s bleached in spots and frayed at the sleeve and hem, but that makes it way better. the denim is super soft and breezy. sometimes i object to the americana aesthetic, but in this case, it’s so natural and easy and individualistic.

i feel like the words “individualistic” and “unique” get thrown around a lot, in relation to US jingoism and the marketing of denim, but somehow the estimation feels authentic. i’ve borrowed (read: stolen) a lot of jeans from boyfriends over the years, and the way they fit is always idiosyncratic to them. threadbare in certain spots, sagging in others, stained from use or paled from washing, the habits are embedded in a garment of such frequent use. carrying a cel phone or a pack of cigarettes in the back pocket will leave a certain imprint. the height of their knee demarcates the place where the bend to sit or kneel. wearing your partner’s clothes is always intimate, but wearing their jeans is a study in their physical poetry.

accordingly, in the third look, i am wearing Levi’s that were handed-down by an ex-bf. woven platform sandals by Lucky Brand and a vintage crocodile belt. very Texan tux.

the second look involves an H&M leather skirt with a sheer under-layer, a spiked Topshop headband, and Alexander Wang’s “Angela” bag. vintage beater boots, natch.

the first look also utilizes H&M — suede cheekies (barely visible beneath the untucked shirt) — and the Angela bag. the d’Orsay flats are by Chinese Laundry, and a TOTAL RIP of the Jenni Kayne style, but i love them.

i feel like extra credit should be given, for doing a different braid in each look.

common to the three styles is my new perfect necklace from By Phillipe. a little inverted crown, in light-weight gold, even though i’ve never appreciated yellow jewelry before. very optimistic and very summer.

studs X sweats

Studded Sweatshirt duo studded sweatshirt multipose studded sweatshirt foto


two major trends –longterm ones besides — combine to make an awesome and awesomely heavy sweatshirt. each sewn on, thimble-shaped stud weighs a bunch, but i feel like this garment isn’t TOO in your face. i like the looseness of the cut and the density of the cotton. the things you’ll find at H&M sometimes!

paired it up with a Pierre Balmain miniskirt and Miss 60 boots*. black on black on black!

*a few years ago, i saw an annoying Anne Hathaway movie and one of the least bougie details about the film is that we had on the same footwear.