bowie ball

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black sequin tunic foto

next week, the MCA is sponsoring Bowie Ball, in honor of David Bowie, at Berlin. i have already started to put together outfits that i could potentially wear to this promising party. looking the best isn’t the point, and i’m not going to recreate a Bowie costume, but being sparkly and glam should be enough. i might also be tasked with dressing my friends and co-workers, but i think there are enough sequins in my closet for everybody.

omigod — sudden realization that i might have to put eye makeup on mon petit ami. yeahhhh

this get-up is actually kind of demure, but it’s almost entirely sequins. the ankle strap mules are velvet, which has a luster to it, and the vintage python clutch has a dark glitter to its scales. the silver pants are by Twenty Cluny, a design group  that really shines when it comes to the sequined stuff. the oversize tunic is vintage by Royal Feelings, made in India in the 80s.

as if that wasn’t enough glam, i threw on a long rope of mixed pearls, a pearl-and-acrylic cuff, and beaded hoop earrings. based on reading the above paragraph, you’d think i come off like Vanna White or one of the Ab Fab ladies, but it’s actually so chill and slouchy. (the cap of hair and lack of cleavage might be key to making this look minimalist-90s as opposed to maximalist-80s or even decadent-70s…. which means i need to keep experimenting until the party.

Shua sent along a couple angled shots of the silver pants, so you could see how the paint glimmers on the page. i actually love the way the lens focuses with an angled image. i also love the lavender wash in the background, which makes the silver and black pop. it’s more interesting than matte white, and helps balance the pose.

really excited for the dressing up and dancing on NYE and at Berlin. send me any suggestions you might have regarding Bowie-appropriate dressing!

lilac haze

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Shua did a fantastic job with these illustrations, and we did quite a few poses this session. as someone who has never done yoga, let me confide in you that a full lean onto my knees isn’t exactly comfortable, as floppy as it might look. (i was aiming for languid.)

the lead illustration is the best, as it seems that the body –my body, after a fashion– is comprised of mist, hardly corporeal. the bun is a calligraphed suggestion. only by my forearm have we committed to flesh.

in the fourth illustration, a triptych, you get a sense of the scale. usually Shua’s illustrations are about three feet in height, or so. (by contrast, my illustrations are four or five inches.) lots of extended brush strokes that vary in saturation along their length.

j. crew cardigan (borrowed from the boy)

topshop satin maxi dress (it has short sleeves, but my goodness it’s too cold for that)

miu miu suede peep-toes (you can’t see them)

skinny leather belt, perforated with stars

sorry for the sourpuss expression!

working class

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right now chicago is 22°F and snow is drifting from gutter to gutter, so this isn’t the kind of outfit you can actually wear outside. as i type to you, i am wearing thick jeans, a bootleg balenciaga sweatshirt, and sorel boots. please allow me to indulge in the fantasy of a sheer blouse, a white pencil skirt, bare legs and ballet flats. thank goodness for shelter and heat — things that we think of as necessities, but would be considered luxuries by many who are living in much less comfortable conditions. some folks heat is shut off, some houses are way draftier than my own, and some homeless folks are living outside.
 
even if everything in this picture is from a thrift store, it is still a luxury item, because i had the time to hunt through the racks, select it, and buy it. none of it was given to me because i am unemployed or disadvantaged, and all of it is still of finer-quality materials and craftmanship. even if i can’t afford things new, i can still afford the internet, my laptop, and an annual subscription to Vogue, so i stay abreast of trends and labels. plus, i have the leisure and liberty to pick out what i wear, even if it’s impractical.
 
i suppose the further irony of this look is that it’s mostly based around workwear concepts. the blouse has a sort of conductor-stripe, and pseudo-functional pockets. the white skirt is denim. the flats have a perforated wingtip pattern, which has its origins in classic menswear, but is most often worn by aspirational types. the necklace is a ball chain strung with humble fowl anklets — the kind that chickens and domestic ducks wear — from my aunt’s farm.

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.

 

Nick!

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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!

girlboss

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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.

thakoon X target

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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.

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.

Elise Øverland :: Bianca Jagger

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Elise Øverland, who hasn’t done a runway since February 11, 2001, is fanous for working mostly in black and white — or cream and a little bit of fleshtones. that last runway was an ice-skating rink, and the clothes were a color riot. why this designer, who used to dress rock n’ rollers, has pulled out of the game, i don’t know.

what i do know, is that this little silk romper — all formal cream with tiny studs and an attached cummerbund scarf — is very comfortable and allows plenty freedom of movement. also, just like a dress, it makes outfitting yourself very easy. all i needed was a go-to pair of dressy heels (gucci champagne) and simple earrings (green vintage crystals, for a color injection). it’s very much a white tuxedo for slightly-punk ladies. if i had bigger hair, it would be very Bianca Jagger.

Elise, we miss you. Don’t stay away too long!

ooh, we also have a special guest illustration from Gabor. he was hanging out while Shua and i were working, and tried his hand at painting from life. pretty cool.

phillip lim’s phoenix v.2

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the sweatshirt’s second outing was a little more clash-y, but still adhered to a perverse sort of “fashion math.” the long, voluminous sweatshirt balanced out the high, risque slits in the Prada leather skirt. the pieces were both modern, but together created a drop-waist silhouette. i added d’orsay flats in a camo cloth because both were very urban trends this year, and i felt the small dose of camouflage played well against the large blocks of gray and white. the d’orsay cut also worked better than a ballet flat or heel because it’s more naked, more modern, and less expected.