ready for NYE: isa and kyra

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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!

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.

*overused, abused term. “transported” should translate to TOOK YOU BACK IN FUCKING TIME or DRAGGED YOU KICKING AND SCREAMING INTO THE FUTURE. “dream” roughly equates with GAVE YOU NIGHTMARES and MADE YOU WANT TO DO EVERYTHING WITH SINGULAR DETERMINATION AND BRILLIANCE

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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a REAL Zac Posen dress, made of double-faced silk. there are buttoned cuffs at the bicep, and softly origami’d bows where the collarbone becomes the shoulder, and a draped décolletage. there is a bias panel at the waist, and three little pleats at the arm, to keep the shape generous. at the skirt and in the back, there are oval topstitched darts of some sort, but i do not know what to call them.  i would love to go on a tour of this designer’s maison.

i paired the dress with velvet Cole Haan d’orsay pumps, and starry rhinestone ear cuffs that i found in a junk shop. i made a patent purple lip from wet’n’wild black lipstick and Illamasqua Underworld gloss. my Hotcakes ring features the eyes of Louise Brooks, the greatest silent screen actress.