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!

when does Game of Thrones return?

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answer: in about 96 days

emotional answer: not soon enough!

while closing up shop tonight, one of my favorite coworkers asked me when our rather geeky guilty pleasure comes back on air. i answered “some time in march?” and went on to detail the horrible events of the Red Wedding (which of course, he had already seen) and the disappointment of the season finale (platinum-blonde Khaleesi supported on the shoulders of a thousand brown people that she had quasi-pseudo “liberated”).

having not read the books (besides the first, which convinced me that the HBO show is in fact a better production than the books) i do not know what to expect from Season 4, and i’m very curious to see how the show will move on without Catelyn and Robb Stark, and with the other principals wandering ever farther apart. To think that Jon was so close to Bran, just outside the mill, without there being a reconciliation!

the outfit of this post is a medieval costume that got a lot of use while i was interested in SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) reenactments. it’s a dense cotton velvet in alternating panes of burgundy and midnight, with braided gold trim. it is lined, but does not have a label, which leads me to believe that it was a much-beloved home-sewn costume.

i could not find my old torque, so i accessorized with a vintage brass and pearl medallion. the closest thing i had to appropriate shoes were Marc Jacobs driving mocs, which suggest something of a Saracen influence — i’m alluding to the European presence in the Arab world during the various Crusades. (a lot was improved in european culture based on what they learned about during the crusades, e.g. cotton, paper, chess, coffee, and lemons, spices, medicine, and math.)

the other accessories are my sword, which is a Spanish steel Excalibur replica, and my hooded velvet cape. my grandma Helen made the cape for me when i was 12. i was wild to have one, and i still love capes — the longer the better. (she had been a seamstress for the Russian Army during the second world war.) the fur shoulder piece is a vintage, rabbit, and removable. braids, because that is the one thing that every female character of GoT has in common.

Shua’s illustration is great because if you imagine the background is forest green, stone gray, or frigid white, it could easily be a character sketch for the show.

vintage pink

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d+B purse

as seen in my Pitchfork Day 1 post from earlier this year, here again is my vintage Dooney & Bourke purse. i’ve never been into their logo-tastic phase, but this vintage edition is so charming, especially in soft baby pink leather. the adjustable belt handles and the goldtone fob are a great touch. (my friend Rita also has a vintage Dooney&Bourke bag that is just to die for. it has the hugest tooled medallion i have ever seen.)

Shua and i agreed that this very special handbag deserved a post of its own, so here we are. one of the great things about it was finding it randomly at the Village Discount on Roscoe, before brunch at Victory’s Banner. i don’t usually find anything so covetable there, at least not lately, what with all the Buffalo Exchanges and Crossroads and Etsy and various online resale sites.

honestly, though, i need to find a better home for it, because i never carry this extra-adorable purse. it’s just too girly for me, but it is so well made it’s impossible to give away. (that’s just me being selfish.)

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.

 

etoile

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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.

the polka dot chop

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Dress Alteration foto w lupe

sometimes you find a dress with great potential, but something fudd-duddy about it is holding you back. maybe it’s been hanging forlornly in your closet for a couple years, or maybe it’s on the rejects rack at the thriftstore. either way, it’s great material, a good fit, a neat pattern, or has some detail that’s kept you from tossing it out.

in my case, this Albert Nippon vintage silk dress fit perfectly in the waist and bust. it had cute tiers at the hips and ruffles at the hem…. but it also had dorky puffed sleeves. even though i don’t go in for polka dots, i couldn’t let it languish. there was something classic about the cut, and i knew a little sexiness would make it modern.

it was a very easy step. i just cut of the sleeves and made the neckline a little lower. i made the armholes a little longer too, so it would fit more like a breezy tank. i did not even bother to finish the edges, but that wouldn’t be hard to do.

Shua has given us three illustrations. in the first panel, you see the dress styled for winter, with opaque tights and a white belt. after the more casual, summery chop, i just went with bare legs and madewell booties. the third illustration is a side-view… of me reading twitter on my phone.

the last pic is a bonus, wearing the dress last february. good for you if you recognize my friend there, who came with me to the circle opening of Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, at the MCA.

(who knew the exhibit would inspire my own creative effort, Destroy the Garment: Altering the Dress.)

versace versus american apparel

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how to do J.Crew better than J.Crew. i figured it out!

start with an amazingly sexy pencil skirt in a cray-cray pattern. this one is Versus Versace with a high thigh-slit and a knotted waist. the fluorescent and seaweed tones turn into flames licking at your hips. (i’m wearing this in a post from the springtime, too. it’s a great skirt.)

then add a casual t-shirt. this one is basic black and white stripes, stolen from my dude’s closet. it’s a micro-knit with the perfect drape, and of course it looks better with the sleeves shoved up on the shoulder.

finish with vintage cut-away pumps (fuschia will do, but anything bright should work) and a non-matchy clutch. for example, amazing vintage python. (this one is beyond.)

why this works for me, i don’t know. there’s no fashion math going on…besides perhaps the scale of the patterns. skinny stripes, small white flames. the vintage accessories add interest, but don’t distract from the main dish, which is the skirt. also, that selma blair hair is fine, basic, easy.

finish with a power stance and you’re set!

muses and friends : gábor

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g leather

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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.

failure florals and sorry stripes

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half-baked at best. i was going for more of a a j.crew thing. sometimes it doesn’t work out. still, in the illustration, pretty cute, the ultimate saving grace. combining stripes and florals is tricky!

vintage silk floral blouse, circa 1956

knit striped shorts from cooperative

baby blue platform wedge monk-strap  creepers (so many adjectives!!!)