mr. little jeans

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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.



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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.

p4k 2013 day 2, inducing whiplash

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vintage pink brocade kimono from Jet Rag in LA, white silk ecoté tee, 3.1 Phillip Lim cuffed shorts, vintage rosette earrings, white H&M wedges

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Pitchfork 2013


on the second day of pitchfork, i really went for it. nothing was trendy, exactly, but there was some flashbulb-bait involved. if you were going to play festival streetstyle bingo, the card would need squares for Crazy Sunglasses, Kimono, Fun Purse, and Seapunk Hair. (probably also Cowboy Boots, Booty Shorts, and Parasol, etc.)

because i haven’t figured out how to do links — which is really  poor manners on my part — i put the html underneath the respective photographs… except for the Chicago Tribune page. having our picture taken by Justin Barbin was a treat. he is adorable and super-friendly.

for the outfit, there are a few differences between the illustrated version and the festival photographs, based on practical decisions: karen walker fluoro sunnies, no earrings, (hello, navigating drunken crowds, clips will fall off) By Phillippe triple triangle necklace, chinese laundry d’orsay flats, and my alexander wang crossbody.

also, because i am a terrible person, i dressed my boyfriend. head to toe, everything he is wearing is mine, but because i dress like a garçonne, and because he is so beautiful, he looked quite natural. he was even shot for the FreePeople blog on his own. To quote the FP journalist, “This was my favorite look of all. So casual, so fashionable. White and navy and done!”

Gábor is wearing an H&M blouse, 3.1 Phillip Lim drawstring trousers, and Chelsea Crew wingtips. The jewelry is vintage

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Source: Pitchfork Festival Fashion: The Boys! | Free People Blog

i can draw too



rarely do i get the opportunity to draw or paint for my own blog, but here is a quick sketch i did on a very slow night at work. somewhere there should be a piece by Shua based on the same outfit. it’s just an H&M sweatshirt with Current /Elliott jeans and vintage boots, but the top is reminiscent of Isabel Marant. it was on the racks last spring, well before the Isabel Marant by H&M capsule collection was announced. (there are some cute pieces in the lookbook, but i doubt i’ll be waiting in line to duke it out over fringed boots and peasant blouses.)

in any case, the perforated little booties are the real winner in this outfit. supple vintage cream leather, with a sliver wedge, each perf is actually a little star. they are just so winnin,. and totally stand-for-eight-hours-appropriate.

and yes, the girl in my drawing looks way more elegantly-schnozzy than i do.  i promise to practice painting and drawing more in the near future, and not just self-portraits.

autumn sweater

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“…we could slip away
wouldn’t that be better?
me with nothing to say
and you in your autumn sweater…”

cable sweaters and suede, two hallmarks of the oncoming autumnal wardrobe. but wait — a skin-bearing open knit, teensy little shorts, and open-toed heels? not like i’m gonna go hiking in this outfit; it’s better suited to watching the leaves change with a window between us… or at an indian summer picnic. with a little champagne, to celebrate the change.

(pixie market sweater, H&M shorts, Elizabeth and James heels, silver and turquoise earrings from mexico)

guess? again

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okay, so i decided to push the envelope. the argument herein, dear reader, is that a washed-out, 90s, stretchy, denim pencil skirt from Guess? can be very elegant indeed if you lend it stiletto heels, (the stiletto part MUST be gold) a drapey silk blouse, and a smart, fitted jacket.

kept the kneehighs.

amirite or amirite?

all about ankles



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maaaaan, have i been hearing a lot of folks trash-talking the denim skirt lately. is this the one item of 90s fashion that is universally hated? really? the simple pencil skirt, in denim. perhaps it is too early-aughts to have its re-introduction to the style files. it will have its moment though.

minimal, flattering, an easy mixer, inexpensive. the denim pencil skirt is basically a classic, and every brand has done an iteration. this one is by Guess? from the goodwill. it is stretchy and slightly acid-washed. shacked up with a marni knit top and my dude’s patent Bally dress shoes. (the chain is his too.) H&M patent envelope clutch.

EVERY thing about this outfit is kinda outre, kinda trashy — but i think it’s super modern, too. THE element that ties it all together…without which it would all be just icky…are the sheer knee high stockings. seriously, when i wore these to work, my 70yo coworker sucked in her breath and semi-chided me for being racy. when is the last time you thought of knee stockings as titillating? huh? do ankles* GET YOU GOING??

somehow, the stockings make the outfit both more modest and more sharp. there is the visual hyphen from black top to black footwear, and the reinforcer of the concept that denim can be elegant.

eleganza… sprezzatura… did i manage it?

*ankles totally get me going. especially a well-turned male ankle. just being honest.

killer McQueen

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oh, Alexander McQueen. oh, Lee.

i don’t really have the words. everyone has said so much, over the years, but they’ve hardly touched the amazing talent and heart that was Alexander McQueen. it seems better that i say little, and let a hush of awe speak for itself.

but, allow me just a little breath, so that you know i’m serious.

McQueen was one of the first fashion designers that made me aware of the runway. his designs were dramatic, but in a much less theatrical way than either Galliano or Gaultier. i immediately was besotted with his earnest darkness and gothic passion, partly because i was a moody teenager and partly because there was an innate seriousness and necessity to his wild looks. his runways transported* you, made you dream* and made you want to dress like a fantasy monster/maiden/huntress/flame. there are many stylists that do a superb job of dressing women, and many designers that teeter almost into architecture, but McQueen birthed raw concepts and then constructed his ideas into a vision beyond gender and style and wardrobe; he encapsulated a history or yearnings, injustices, terrors, and desires into fabric, and then asked mortal women to walk in them.

i am grateful to have seen photographs in magazines and on the internet, and the occasional dress in Nordstrom’s window. if anyone reads this and wants to see THE BEST book on McQueen, the book that will make you feel his imagination in the most tactile way, i must recommend Love Looks Not with the Eyes: Thirteen Years with Lee Alexander McQueen.

anyway: this tiny cocktail frock, produced in his McQ collaboration with target, was inspired partly by The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss…but that seems generous, since her style isn’t anything stand-out, as rocker chicks go. (i’m sure this dress would look great with blunt-cut blonde bangs, though.) it’s draped gray and black silk, cinched with a wasp waist. threw in some h&m booties and disc-shaped cellulose earrings from paris. i’m glad that he went ahead and allowed this affordable collection to happen, within his lifetime.


addendum: here is a watercolor of the dress that i made back when i first found it at Buffalo Exchange. (no, i never go to Target to duke it out with the crazy fashionistas.)



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this is the direction i want to move with my wardrobe. less messy, more louche. even though everything i’m wearing is cheap, it adds up to a visual wealth. the plum jacket, with it’s fit and flare waist and discreet zippers, is a Lanvin rip off. it’s actually too small, but they only had size 2 left at H&M — at least it was only $15 on sale. even the photograph doesn’t convey the “raw silk” treatment of the fabric.

the draped tank actually is mulberry silk, also from H&M, and has been a closet staple for years. it’s lightweight, doesn’t show wear, and the charcoal color is so versatile. the leggings are from Joe’s and i wear them way too much. the d’orsay flats are jenni kayne knockoffs from chinese laundry. the Gucci dolphin belt is the one i wear almost every day. the brooch is actually “too much” as far as i’m concerned, but the pitch-perfect pewter flower i was wearing earlier broke. such is the way of vintage.

i love this look because it is functional, structured, and muted without being stark or boring. it is sensual, sculptural and looks grown-up without being staid or rigid. watch this space for more attempts at this idea.

soda jerk

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when i put this look together, my intention was not at all to look like a mashup of barbershop quartet and soda jerk. is it the bowtie? is it the cuffed sleeves on the shirt dress? i guess this is an accident that i thought looked cute. it happens.

these shoes, btw, are totally schizophrenic. gold and silver lace-up sandals on a striped espadrille wedge. thank you h&m.

recently i came across a survey which stated that most women are of the opinion that bare toenails are not to be tolerated. really?? i always thought that going without paint was modest, natural, and elegant…