hothouse flower

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hiiii lovies! i’ve got Isa back on the blog. she’s wearing something that doesn’t really jibe with the current weather (which conspires to keep us all home and in bed) but it would be perfectly fresh and festive for a new years eve party. (although, Isa, if you’re reading this, please weigh in! what ARE you planning to wear for NYE parties this year?)

even though these aren’t colors i typically wear, i find this outfit absolutely enchanting and charming, and very in line with Isa’s  buoyant personality. i think the blouse is Prabal Gurung X Target, and i love the sheer black panels. the simple cut lets the florals shine, but the garment isn’t overdesigned. the knife-pleated magenta skirt is a vibrant contrast with the limes and emeralds in the blouse. her sandals black and white, have a really cool angular design, with a turned heel and am ankle strap. the black and white acts as a tonic against the tropical palette.

there’s also some great accessories going on, in terms of lilac glasses and a shocking pink rubber watch. Isa’s high-piled hair reveals her purple cluster earrings. overall, the look is balanced — no need for a belt or cocktail rings.

in terms of the illustrations, Shua’s aims for a calm, quiet elegance. we included a photo with slightly more detail so you could see the quality of his lines. my illustration is somewhat out of focus, but you can still see that i was wowed by the energy of the colors. there’s a daisy de villenueve thing going on, with lots of attitude and angles.

thakoon X target

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thakoon shibori

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.

Chicago Looks

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i am so excited to bring you my first post about someone who IS NOT ME! it feel great to present my very beloved friend Isa Giallorenzo, who runs the wonderful streetstyle blog Chicago Looks.

one of my favorite things about Isa is her sweetness and sense of humor. she’s very inclusive, encouraging, and energetic. almost always you can spot her wearing opalescent, violet, or pearly accessories. (in this particular photo, her bracelet is lucite and acrylic from B. Luxo in Sao Paolo, and her acrylic rose ring is from R. Sobral at the Museum of Contemporary Art Store.)

these photos are from the Atelier Azza party back in August, but Shua and i weren’t able to schedule an illustration session with Isa until a while later. we requested her to reprise the outfit, which is a star-strewn dress by Kate Young for Target with an Aldo clutch. you can’t see her shoes, but i remember them to be platforms. it just so happened that the beaded velvet curtains at Ms. Khan’s show create a visual rhyme with Isa’s dress. (another thing i just remembered — on this night i wore black and white too, which we didn’t plan out — so as you can see, we are very simpatico.)

drawing Isa was a delight, because she is so pleasant and conversationally engaging. even though she had to stand still, she was very interested in what Shua and i were doing across the room. i also appreciated the chance to use my markers. having more than one artist on a project also proves out the perspective element of life drawing. Shua’s watercolor has a stateliness and dignity that is sort of lost in my high school style doodle, but both deserve a space in fashion illustration.

i very much encourage you to check out Isa’s blog, which is about Real People style, and not about labels or class signifiers, which makes it very unique in the world of street style. it feels very CHICAGO neighborhood, and very warm.

check back here for more illustrations of Isa — and soon, other friends and muses!

harvest florals

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thanksgiving, one of my favorite food-centric holidays, is a few weeks away. (i am not going to get into the political diatribe in this post, but schools need to stop teaching the Thanksgiving pilgrims-and-indians-were-friends myth.) although i probably won’t wear this to my family gathering — and will instead opt for something more covered-up — the ochre and mustard floral print is very much putting me in mind of a thanksgiving wreath. there is a dip to the neckline, but the collar pleats make it also a little ladylike.

blouse by vera wang lavender

vintage button-front skirt (no label)

j. crew tortoiseshell patent courts

cheapie giraffe bracelet

golden stars in a darkling sky

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this isn’t a dress, per se. the sari is a misprinted length found for cheap on Devon, and usually it is hanging as a canopy above my bed. (which makes for a wonderful, starry effect.)

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back in the fall of 2009, dries van noten showed a piece on his Spring 2010 runway that was a sari, but tied and gathered in a nontraditional way.

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here are some traditional sari styles, but i would feel like a terrible white person if i tried to jack this look. somehow it seems less co-opting to just appreciate the fabric for its beauty, and use it to an unexpected end. that aim made the DVN dress look so unique and fresh. there were other dresses on his runway that used sari fabric and wrapping, but with a european/deconstructivist approach.

because i will never be able to find or afford the DVN dress, and it has haunted me all these years, i attempted to recreate the effect myself. i used a Behnaz Sarafpour X Target prom dress as a base, and pinned the sari fabric to it, twisting and folding the length of it. even working carefully, the final effect is still sloppy, but you can see all the great elements of the material: the royal blue color, the stars, the gold-banded edges, the luxurious length, and the silky weight of the fabric.

thrown into the mix: champagne gucci peeptoes and a yellow rhinestone necklace.

i really wish comments worked on my blog, so that we could talk about this. even if i’m wrong as fuck and i’ll never be anything but a dumb white person with hopeful intentions and mixed-up methods.

phillip lim’s phoenix v.3

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last in this series for a minute, but i’m sure i’ll come up with a bunch more ways to incorporate this sweatshirt as the temperatures drop. in this look, i’m making the most of a bodycon topshop dress. stayed mostly tone-on-tone, but the pattern on the dress is pyramid studs, pearls and square-cut diamonds. the shoes stick with the theme by having a metal-edged ankle strap and ball-stud closures. obviously, d’orsay is mt favorite shape.

nothing else matters anymore

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pre-hallowe’en bones. i love that skeleton pants really work for all year. just a really easy outfit for kicking around the neighborhood and running for groceries. i don’t drink enough to get hangovers, but it’s kind of a hungover-sunday look.

gray vintage varsity windbreaker

Nothing Else Matters Anymore t-shirt by Dead Bury Dead

skeleton leggings from Topshop

blue platform monkstrap creepers from Urban Outfitters

beetle juice

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to quote Shua, “Do I haaaave to paint all the insects?” to which i of course replied that he must at least try, because the print is the feature that makes this dress noteworthy. it’s a little more than one gernally expects from the preppy, coastal Tory Burch line — it’s a little decoupage, a little creepy. and as if to balance out the science-y print, the collar is a braid which descends to a pouf at the sternum.

i love how all the bugs are distinct and different. i wish i were enough of an entomologist to identify even one of the creatures. instead, all i can tell you is that my hair matches both the purple print and the Boutique 9 t-straps. this tailored dress is basically smarter than i am.