Thursday, December 17, 2009

Doll Revolution: Big Star + The Bangels + Barbie

This video is my childhood. Have a nostalgic lunch hour, dedicated followers of fashion!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Gentlemen of Bacongo," a Look at la SAPE

Photo: Daniele Tamagni

Is stylishness next to godliness? 
In the book "Gentlemen of Bacongo" Daniele Tamagni explores the extreme sartorial aspirations of one culture's elite dandies, young men who don Cavalli and Comme de Garçons and stand out as local celebrities amid the hungry, barefoot masses.

Similarly, perhaps in your hometown right now, a woman is forgoing food to buy a pair of shoes. Not by any means her only pair a shoes, these are dear shoes that cost slightly more than her monthly rent. They will hurt her feet to the point where she can barely walk, but she will hobble around with pride. She will walk tall even while limping.

We can spend time arguing about whether it is stupid or transcendent, whether the pursuit of high fashion is a spiritual or hubristic one, but only a fool would suggest that this desire is uncommon. From Manhattan to Kinshasa, fashion is sublime.

Cool Hunting

Monday, November 9, 2009

This Year's Girl

Late 70s/early 80s Elvis: it works for the fellas, it works for the ladies.

My Aim Is True

MARC by Marc Jacobs red Cambridge Knit Jacket

Paige Premium Denim "Blue Heights" Cuffed Skinny Jeans

Free People Charleston Shoe

Just add bad vision and good vocabulary. Irresistible.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dress of the week: Topshop Canvas Dress by Unique

This dress is part Ad Reinhardt painting, part blank canvas. It is clean, modern and ready to be finished with your signature accessories.

Canvas Dress By Unique
$170.00 at Topshop USA

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dress of the week: Anthropologie Moulinette Soeurs Golden Light Dress

Part Yuan dynasty, part Bollywood, this dress shimmers with glowing gold.

Golden strapless silk dress with tiered skirt, by Moulinette Soeurs.

$188.00 at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Bless Her Heart, Barbie Has Fat Ankles

Anytime someone makes a remark about Barbie's body it's a scandal. Is she too thin, too fat or too curvy? It's enough to fill one's hollow plastic head with all kinds of body-image issues. So, of course, when a spokesperson for Christian Louboutin suggested the poor dear had the dread "cankles" people went nuts. The thing is, though, he's right.

It's important to clarify that fat ankles do not equal fat. Barbie is clearly not fat. But, let's be honest, her body is somewhat oddly shaped, her feet less than elegant. I know Barbie's figure well, as my sister and I both served as her personal couturiers for much of our childhood. We never attempted to make shoes, but even with Jem on the scene if you really wanted to dress your dolls like Debbie Harry you had to break out the scissors and safety pins.

Barbie's feet are absurdly small for her body and shaped in a way that not only makes it impossible for her to stand without assistance, but also makes one wonder if Mattel is run by a bunch of wacko foot binding enthusiasts. They just seem wrong. I think this is what compelled me as a small child to chew the heck out of the misshapen things. Was I teething at six? Maybe. I think I was subconsciously rejecting or trying to fix those ridiculous feet. They are deformed and they make her ankles look even bigger.

Barbie's ankles are a too slim head-on, too wide in profile mess. If someone with as much reverence for a woman's foot as Christian Louboutin wants to improve things I, for one, approve.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Homemade halloween costume ideas

If you find the idea of purchasing a ready-made Halloween costume sad, but don't have any ideas for this year, here are some costume "recipes" from American Apparel.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Too late for Bonnaroo

Alexis Petridis ponders the sartorial nightmare that is the outdoor music festival:

I'm sure you shouldn't heed the advice fashion mags tend to dole out this time of year. It inevitably comes attached to a photograph of Agyness Deyn, Nick Grimshaw and Henry Holland backstage and a suggestion you get their look: a riot of spotless thrown-together designer gear. They look that way only because they arrived in a Swarovski crystal-studded airship, from which they were lowered into the VIP area, where they stayed, eating veal paninis and enjoying cocktails made with hors d'age cognac and poor people's tears.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You really should be following Karl Lagerfeld on Twitter

Some gems from @Karl_Lagerfeld:

For me, Chanel is like music. There are certain notes and you have to make another tune with them. —5:23 AM May 9th from web

My dream? Transparent fur. The hair on plastic and not on leather. We’ve tried, but nobody has found it yet. —9:34 PM Feb 18th from web

Nothing scares me more than people with some doll collection. As a child, I never played with anything like toys. I wanted to be a grown-up. —6:14 AM Feb 10th from web

After the couture, I am spending a quiet weekend in my all-glass apartment, floating over the river on Quai Voltaire. —8:55 AM Jan 31st from web

Believe it or not, I love rap. —9:46 AM Jan 19th from web

On this day each year, I soak the previous year's calendar in my mother's favorite perfume and then set it ablaze. Here's to a fresh start —2:13 PM Jan 1st from web

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For Esther, with Love and Spandex

Oh, the things I've learned from MGM musicals! As a very small girl I knew what life was supposed to be: glamorous, exciting, colorful, filled with music and choreography.

I was madly in love with Esther Williams, and when my Mum signed me up for swimming lessons I simply could not wait. At seven, I was not an excellent swimmer. My dog paddle was strong, but I understood the need to work on some of basic, prerequisite strokes at the beginning of the program. By lesson three, though, I was frustrated. After a bit of aquatic sulking, I finally asked my instructor: "when will we get to the synchronized swimming and the part where I'm underwater standing on the giant shell?"

This was not the last time I felt disappointed by the decided lack of glamor in the world around me, and pretty much sums up the way I feel while shopping for swimsuits. Have you ever been in a Hollister store or looked through a Lands End catalog? There is something terribly, terribly wrong with this world.

As a remedy, here is a small collection of stylish swim attire —all allow the wearer to be alluring while maintaining her mystique, no Brazilian bikinis in the bunch.

This high-waisted petal pink two-piece suit looks like the perfect modest two-piece. If only it came in black!
The Betty Swimsuit
Mod Cloth

Halter Swimdress, aka 'The Marilyn Swimdress'
Esther Williams

Dottie Swimsuit
Stop Staring Clothing

A lovely pastel colored and petal covered swim cap, you've always wanted one. Today is the day.
Petal Swim Cap
Headcovers Unlimited

This is a cute, classic black one-piece from Urban Outfitters. I wanted to see this on a girl with a slightly curvier figure, or at least a girl who did not have the hips of an adolescent boy, hence the sloppily edited version on the right.
BDG Retro One Piece
Urban Outfitters
$59.99(on sale, typically $88.00)

Liberty of London Accessory Showcase

I adore my vintage Liberty silk scarves. Here are a few accessories that evoke a garden afternoon with flowers birds and bees:

Silk Twill Peacock Scarf 90x90, Liberty of London

The Elizabeth, Liberty Of London
Oversized clutch in hydrangea print leather

Black Jewelled Bug Pouch Bag, Liberty of London
This bag is amazing. Drool.

More at the Liberty of London website.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Marion Cotillard is Lady Noire

The first in a series of short films for Dior, directed by Olivier Dahan (the brilliant director of "La Vie en Rose"), is a dark, sexy, Hitchcockian ode to a handbag.

This is an exceptionally well made, visually stunning film that is, to me, much more exciting than the bag itself. Masterful art direction invites the viewer to experience a entire world crafted of the bag's silhouette, cannage quilting and implied mystique.

Best to see this in full screen at

Follow Lady Dior on Twitter for deliciously mysterious clues and updates.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

"Rose Festival Dress" by Anna Sui for Anthropologie

This is the perfect dress for a summer party. The print —in rich gold, pinks, reds and browns— reminds me of my favorite vintage 60s bark cloth curtains.
Cotton and silk with a raffia belt, made in USA.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Woody Allen settled American Apparel lawsuit for $5 million, but who won?

This was so not about the money.

Woody "the high rabbi" Allen's image on Billboards in LA and everywhere on the web, media coverage all over the world and people talking for the last 2 years — all for only 5 million bucks? American Apparel got a pretty good deal.

The billboards were tasteless and uninspired — pretty much in keeping with American Apparel's marketing aesthetic — but maybe they'll inspire the V-neck T-shirt and be-legginged set to see "Annie Hall."

See the billboard here: Curbed LA

Read more in the New York Times.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just say no to buying things off the peg, make a Celia Birtwell bag

Celia Birtwell tells the Observer:
"When we were young we made all our own clothes - always so much more fun than just buying things off the peg. I can't wait to see you all carrying your bags around town - go on, be creative!"

This one is not for the novice crafters out there, stenciling is pretty much a craftastrophe waiting to happen, but it sure was nice of Ms. Birtwell to share this!

Want to give it a try? Read the step-by-step instructions.

King and Queen of Hearts

These lovely new stamps from the US Postal Service may be ordered here.

These make me wish I had more interesting mail to send these days. Hope the electric company digs retro illustration.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Karl Lagerfeld Principle

Karl Lagerfeld gets it. He knows a very important secret about fashion and how to keep an iconic brand fresh: there is very little difference between young and old. Imagine your favorites from a KL Chanel collection, now imagine them being worn by first, your grandmother and then a subversive teenager. They just work, for both women. This is the magic of Karl Lagerfeld. His act of genius is not creating a collection for two dissimilar women—I maintain that the two have much in common, as I'll explain below—but in understanding their similarities.

What does a "women of a certain age" have in common with disaffected youth? Too much. For starters, no one can tell either of them "no," really, either you wouldn't think to, or it wouldn't matter if you did. Second, these two phases of life are, I think, the two times in a woman's life when she can most easily let herself be free. Without the constraints of a "real" job—neither the Orange Julius nor Junior League count as "real" for my purposes—or family she is free to be, and dress for, herself. Don't like shocking pink, or her careless mix of Mum's good, and bright plastic jewelry? Tough. She's got headphones, or is a wee bit hard of hearing. Furthermore, you're out of her will.

Monsieur could never let Chanel stagnate, his looks are ever-fresh because he understands the fashion-forward qualities of frumpy. A Chanel box coat might be one of those classic pieces that "every woman should own", but it is also one that looks best on the very young or old. Purple high heels, an enormous hat or over-the-top broach all tend to look silly on middle-aged career women.

This is perhaps also true of the iconic fragrance Chanel No. 5, which is as challenging to wear as it is venerable. (Could there be anything worse then smelling like your sweetheart's favorite aunt?) The magic of age can make No. 5 your obvious potion of choice provided you, and your beau, are old or young enough for the fragrance to stand on its own merits.

I can think of no better poster girls for this concept than the Olsen twins. I was tempted to do a little bit of creative Photoshop work on these images to age the girls, but I don't think it's necessary. Do you agree?

Friday, April 17, 2009

In their Jeans?

George Will shares an unpopular truth:

On any American street, or in any airport or mall, you see the same sad tableau: A 10-year-old boy is walking with his father, whose development was evidently arrested when he was that age, judging by his clothes. Father and son are dressed identically—running shoes, T-shirts. And jeans, always jeans.