Friday, March 31, 2006

It won't make a shitty day better, but it'll keep it from showing on your face

You know those, terrible, terrible weeks that you just can't talk yourself out of? You know, when you're having such a bad time that you have to Pollyanna every situation you deal with, whispering to yourself that "I'll only have to deal with this once, and tomorrow will be better! BETTER!" and then, tomorrow comes, and if anything, it's worse? Like, when the shit you have to deal with is just piling up and up, and your friends have tons of shit piling up as well, so not only do you have to fret about your shit, you have to worry about your friends too? Yeah.

Well, I had one such week, and although no amount of ice cream or positive thought helped (I'm thinking of trying out a massive cookie soon, and seeing how that works), I was surprised to see, when I finally got back into my room tonight, that I really didn't look that bad. If anything, I looked (shockingly, and frustratingly) better than normal.

The only explanation I can think of is that, today, I'm wearing a new blush that I heard about. I read about it in a magazine, but it wasn't in a little feature all it's own. It was an offhand comment about how flattering it was in a blurb about another product. See, I've found that beauty products that get rave reviews and get called "miracle workers" and "life-changing" inevitably disappoint, because they don't eliminate the shit you have to deal with, no matter how good you look. They never work miracles or change your life. They just don't deliver. I thought I might be safe, though, with a blush that only got a clause of mention in a massive sentence about something else. And you know what? I was right, and the clause was right. It's flattering.

So try Bourjois blush in Lilas D'Or. I make no promises except that it's a pretty color, but I think you'll all find that true.

UPDATE: I did, in fact, try the massive cookie to see if it would make me feel better, and it did! So, buy the blush, and eat a big M&M cookie as well.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Mmm, Juicy

Lately I've been wondering if this blog isn't to some degree a sort of cathartic outlet for me, an anonymous place where I can confess my deepest fashion secrets, and admit to any fashion guilt I've been having.

Well, one fashion confession that I want to make is that (I'm taking a deep breath as I type this) I really like some of Juicy Couture shoe line. Let me legitimize this by saying that I'll never forgive Juicy for trying to make velour sweats high fashion, and while I do think that sweats can be made fashionable (see Norma Kamali's line for Everlast), making them fuzzy and putting them in obnoxiously bright colors is not the way to do it. I find most of Juicy's stuff offensively girly, and not just because of its saccharine excess, but because I actually think that they play to some stereotypes about being a girl. Not all of us want to constantly wear hot pink, guys.

Juicy Couture shoes, however, are nice in a sort of Hollywood Glamour Girl way, and kind of original (and believe me, I never thought that I would write "Juicy Couture" and "original" in the same sentence), too. Anyone can put rhinestones or metallic leather on a shoe, but the way that Juicy does it is kind of sweet as well as spangly.

There. I confessed.

Don't judge me too harshly.

Recommended reading

The Thursday Styles section of the New York Times is particularly good today. Go read it.

Bolster your portfolio with fashion


Not many people think of fashion as an investment. In fact, since it changes so quickly (by which I mean constantly), most people view fashion as completely disposable. Wrong. Fashion is, in fact, cyclical (shocker!), and the market for vintage, especially designer vintage, is constantly growing. Furthermore, they say the art market can't crash (dunno if they're right, but. . .), and what is fashion, if not art? Fashion and art aren't real estate and stocks--even though the value of new clothing will go down immediately after its purchase, really iconographic designer vintage will pretty much only appreciate.

The secret is to find the piece that really represents a designer's aesthetic; it should be a piece that really had impact on the fashion of the time. For example, a silk Pucci dress from the 60's will be worth tons if it's in a signature Pucci print (and, of course, in good condition) but not very much if it's plainer. A vintage Chanel Ford dress (the little black shift that was such a radical change from the voluminous formal wear that preceded it--signature Chanel--I'm sure you've seen pictures) in mint condition would be worth tons. There's probably one in the museum at FIT (I said probably--please don't quote me!). And can you imagine how much some original pieces from Dior's New Look collection (pictured) would be worth? I mean, you could probably retire on it.

The difficult thing, of course, is predicting what's going to rock the fashion world and be worth a house 50 years later, so you can preserve it in an airtight container and NEVER EVER WEAR IT. It's easy to say after the fact; I mean, Marc Jacobs' 1992 grunge collection is clearly one of those things, but pieces from it are probably already worth quite a bit (although, if you're reeeeally lucky, you still might be able to find these pieces in a thrift store in a wealthy area. But I mean really lucky. I mean, like, on an average day, you trip over a crack in the sidewalk and land on a million dollars. Like, really lucky). Of course, his most recent collection recalled the grunge look, so maybe that'll be worth a lot of money someday. It's entirely possible (and it's sad that I can't afford to invest in it in the first place). I also think that Marc's sort of dishelved-sweet look in past seasons might be noteworthy enough to be worth something, but pleeeease don't invest based on that, because in truth, I have no idea. Sometimes, you can make an educated guess--I mean, Roland Mouret is going to stop designing under his own name, meaning that his pieces may be about to shoot up in value, but he's new enough that they just might not. And, of course, if they do go up, it'll only be his hour-glass dresses and pencil skirts that will be worth something; a Roland Mouret jersey tank top won't appreciate so much.

The caveat in all this is, of course, that some of us like to actually wear our clothes. If you want to sell your clothes back to the fashion world in 50 years, they better not have your sweat in them. And for those of us who like vintage fashion, owning it usually isn't enough--it doesn't make you stylish if no one sees it! Even though fashion is an exciting and original thing to invest in, I think it's still more fun when it's not a collector's piece. I have a vintage Gucci bag that has a giant ink stain on the inside lining, and that almost makes it better for me--I have no problem actually using it as a purse. I don't worry about what might happen to it on the train. I have a red cocktail dress from the 50's that's a very classically 50's shape (full skirt, fitted through the waist and ribcage, pleating over the bust, sleeveless--in other words, lovely), and even though it's not by a famous designer, it might really be worth something if it wasn't for the fact that it has a tiny bit of water damage. The upside of the water damage is that I got it for something like $30, and I can wear it to parties (and everyone freaks out over how wonderful it is). I'd love to invest in fashion, but I love to wear it too much to do so.

But for you money-minded types (the only money thing that I'm good at is spending it), fashion might just be the best possible way to diversify your investments!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


You know, Wednesdays are a long day. At least, Wednesdays are always long for me, and today has been just plain bad on top of it. I've been killing the pain by bidding on things that I (don't) need on eBay (hey, you can never have too many babydoll dresses, right?), but these shoes would make my life (or at least my day) 100% better. Even though I usually like neutrals and slightly faded colors, I think I might need these shoes in order to be happy and at peace with my life. I love the idea of combining an open-toed shoe and a maryjane. I love that they're simple and not overdesigned. I think they're amazingly wonderful. I also think that they're brand new Prada. Oh well. Someday.

What an original name

Who knew? While I did notice that sneakers have been getting awfully gimmicky lately, I had no idea that um, shall we say, sneaker afficianados had a name for themselves. "Sneakerheads," as the New York Times claims that they're called (I'm skeptical only because I'm shocked that I've never heard of them before, shoe junkie that I am), are apparently the driving force behind the trend of basic sneakers getting cool by becoming--well--not basic.

Some new sneakers designs, I think, are over the top. I mean, it's not that cool to have a pair of printed kicks if they're available in every possible print. stocks 250 different types of Converse Chuck Taylors alone. I betcha there are a ton of different types of their Jack Purcells as well. Overall, though, I do think that this is a trend I can appreciate--after all, I already have two pairs of laceless Converse Chuck Taylors (one of which is blue tweed), and a pair of those faux-distressed Keds, so I suppose I owe a "thanks" to Sneakerheads everywhere.

Um, thanks.

I mean it when I say, however, that NOTHING will ever replace my black low-top Chuck Taylors. Except, possibly, another pair of black low-top Chuck Taylors, 'cause mine are pretty beaten up.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion

And I don't care. I'm posting it anyway. It's too fabulous.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Good news (for me)!

My computer hasn't been feeling very well, and I was thinking that I'd have to send it to the south of France to get some rest and some sunlight and to work with the excellent doctors there to cure whatever has been ailing it, but today it was cured! Phew. Unfortunately, my computer's absence prevented me from thinking up anything new and exciting to post, so I don't have any lovely new thoughts and biased opinions to share with you. Check back tomorrow.

In the meantime, you might want to pay a visit to I am Fashion, the newest addition to my hopefully-always-growing list of links, and a positively delightful blog. Enjoy!

Revealing my nerdy side

The best part of having an anonymous blog is that I can admit to anything. So, I admit to the fact that i think that has some pretty cool pictures of original clothing that people have made/revamped for themselves. Some of the stuff is pretty suspect, stuff you'd expect crafty people to make for themselves and feel clever, but some stuff is really cool and original. Check out the pictures.

This is making me feel inspired. . .

Monday, March 27, 2006

The coolest thing I've heard about in a while

You lucky Canadians. Residents of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver can shop at Preloved, where used and vintage clothing is given a new life. Obviously, this isn't a new concept, but a lot of attention goes into Preloved clothes, and the designs they come up with are pretty cool. I wish there was a Preloved here in New York, because I have some qualms with Urban Resurrection (the Urban Outfitters line with a similar design concept), which is the closest thing I can think of here. Reconstructing recycled clothing is cool, but Urban Resurrection things often aren't very reconstructed, they're just thrift store finds marked up 700%. That's not cool.

Preloved, however, gets two stylish thumbs up from me. Actually, I've been thinking about getting a sewing machine of my own to do the same type of thing to my specifications. People who know how to use a sewing machine, would this be a bad idea? I'd love (and probably need) a second opinion.


Cheap Thrills

Love love love this top. Love it. Got $12? Buy it.

For a casual, easy day, I would pair this with a cute grey jersey skirt and flip flops, or maybe sneakers if it's colder. If it's reeeally colder (damn you Californians), try it with jeans, ballet flats, and a colorful button-up cardigan. H&M has some fabulous ones. Oh, and NO v-neck cardigans, unless you're really stylish and completely confident in your ability to do it right.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Recreating the runway part III: dude, she's like, obsessed

This is fun! So, the latest runway shot to catch my eye was from Chloe's recent show. This is such a simple, but still statement-making outfit. It's almost militaristic in it's simplicity, and although the shape is barely-constructed and simple, there's still a little femininity there, thanks to the defined waist, the billowy but still pared-down skirt, and of course, the heels. So let's give it a stab. I bet it's doable for real-people prices.

Here, I really do think that the dress is the most important part of the outfit because it's just most of what you see, what you look at in the outfit. I think that this shape can be recreated with the help of American Apparel (oh, how I love them) and their jersey t-shirt dress in asphalt. Actually, the asphalt color is just about exactly the color of the Chloe dress--cool.

The belt, I think is almost as important, because it's what gives the dress its shape and its femininity. This one is available at, it's the right color (pretty pretty baby blue), and it's pretty damn cheap, too.

For shoes, I feel like simple black patent pumps are a better option than the lace-up short high-heeled boots in the picture. Much simpler, both to write and to wear. While the ones in the picture are bold on the runway, they're sort of granny in real life. Find a million options in black pumps at Zappos. I love Zappos--if you have a bad day, you can have shoes waiting at the post office sometimes within 48 hours! It's fabulous for finals season.

Ok, to put it all together, put the belt at the waist (NO higher--this is NOT a babydoll look, no matter how delightful that style may be), but don't cinch it too tightly. Only wear it as tight as it needs to be to differentiate your waist from everything else. Add black stockings. I'm assuming you all can find those on your own. Simple and stylish in its simplicity.

Those Swedes sure know style

Growing up in the midwest, I was terribly, terribly jealous of everyone who had access to the fabulous clothing at H&M. Now that I am one of those terribly lucky people, I'm glad that my envy wasn't wasted--I truly think that H&M is amazing. I recently found the absolute perfect sundress there--it's black with pastel chevron-ish stripes, the straps are adjustable, so I won't have to get it tailored, the shape is simple and lovely, and it's sort of empire-waisted, but the bustline has an interesting, almost jagged-looking cut. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am thrilled! Best part: $20. Let me repeat that because it's so amazing: it cost $20!! I mean, a vintage sundress on eBay wouldn't be that cheap!

Oh, and in keeping with the theme of socially responsible clothes, H&M won't use sweatshop labor, and they're in the process of removing all the potentially envirtonmentally damaging chemical components from their clothes. I even heard that they might start using 5% organic cotton in their clothing. As far as ethical business goes, it's hard to beat that.

H&M's clothes are always stylish, but I'm eagarly awaiting their next designer collaboration (whoever that'll be). I'm still kicking myself for missing Stella McCartney.

Have I mentioned how thrilled I am with my new dress?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Hey, wait. . .

A recent wander through Urban Outfitters has forced to recall my childhood. Fortunately, it wasn't their selection of novelty books about sex or all the cheap barware; rather, it was the look that they were pushing. See, I spent a large quantity of my childhood dressed in Land's End (which might explain my current obsession with clothing that's, um, aesthetically pleasing), and the items that my mom most liked were leggings and tunics. LEGGINGS AND TUNICS. Oh, and what I lusted after in first grade were those leggings edged in lace, because everyone else wore them. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Certainly I know that fashion is cyclical, but I'm kinda surprised that what was once clothing for a seven year-old has become prime "edgy fashion" for young adults a decade later. Oh well. Can't change the past. And unfortunately, can't change the mass-marketed present, either.

Hey Urban Outfitters, I did it first.

Clothing with a conscience

I've had a request to write an entry on socially responsible clothing. That's a weird phrase. To clarify, I'll say that I try to make my own clothing consuming habits as economically equitable and environmentally sustainable as possible. That's still a weird thing to say. People don't really think of their clothing having an impact on the environment (I mean, cars and factories, sure, but a pair of jeans? What?), and while clothing is one of the things more frequently produced in sweatshops, it's very, very difficult to know which companies use sweatshops and which don't, because we can't really monitor clothing production outside the country too terribly well. So, while the idea of "socially responsible" clothing is a strange idea to most of us, it is a vast topic that I can't really cover in an entry that's not going to suck up all of blogger's bandwidth.

I'll try to consistently post little soundbytes on what clothing companies do what things to their workers and the environment, but it's too tough and too complicated just to call companies good and bad. One thing that I can say with confidence, however, is that the absolute least socially responsible place to shop is Walmart. They hire illegal workers who, in turn, they abuse and underpay; many, MANY of their products, clothing included, are made in sweatshops where workers are forced to work unpaid overtime, and where there have been reports of supervisors beating workers; they've lobbied to lower the standards for producing organic food; they've violated environmental laws; they have repeatedly violated the Americans with Disabilities Act; frighteningly, the list goes on. I know that stuff is cheap at Walmart, but think about what the savings cost. If it's any consolation, I personally think that the clothes at Walmart are ugly and look cheap anyway. Just a thought.

I hate to lay it on all heavy, though, so I'll offer a solution--the company that's practically Walmart's antithesis is American Apparel. They run just about the most efficient clothing business possible, because all production, marketing, administration, distribution, everything, is done in one building, which is here in the U.S. (Los Angeles, to be specific). They're completely anti-sweatshop, and they pay their workers the highest wages in the garment industry. They give their workers affordable health care, paid vacation time, masseurs (um, can I have a masseur, please?), and free ESL (English second language ) classes. They even offer a sustainable line made out of organic cotton (quite a lot of pesticides are used on cotton production). Plus, um, oh yeah, the clothes are CUTE! I have two of the displayed skirt (both in colors that are positively sublime), and how can you not love a brand that sells legwarmers along with their basics? Perfect. I know that there has been some controversy about their ad campaign, but personally, I appreciate the fact that the models look like human beings instead of airbrushed 15 year-olds with negative space where hips ought to be.

Check them out here. And G, thanks for the request.


Let's have a moment of silence to mourn the loss. . .

I just lost a delightful vintage Missoni skirt on eBay. I'm trying not to be superficial about things (ha), but I really am sad. See, I don't have a mailing address right now (don't ask), so I had someone else bid for me so that she could send a money order, I could pay her back, and she could send me the skirt. I just can't believe that the damn thing went for $17.50. I would have bid sooo much more than that. I mean, it was a favor for her to bid for me, so I'm not angry, but I am rather depressed about the whole thing.

New Missoni clothing costs soooo much more (the skirt at right is more than $1,000), and the ironic thing is, I actually think that the vintage skirt (up left) is better, at least, better than the one at right (plus, I wouldn't have an anxiety attack every time I thought about wearing it out of the house). Big sigh.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The only still-cool way to do preppy

Mi piace molto la marca Trovata. Penso che i vestiti sono attraente e interessante.

But leaving the realm of first-year Italian ("Trovata" is the Italian feminine singular of "found." I'm sure it has some colloquial meaning or something, but I couldn't tell you what that is), Trovata is a line that really has impressed me. I'm soooooo over Lacoste polos. I'm bored to tears with the mass-marketed, overwrought, distressed-prep look at Abercrombie (and Hollister, and Tommy Hilfiger, and American Eagle, and everywhere else where all the assholes at my middle school shopped). Even Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, the modern kings of classic Americana preppy just don't seem that exciting to me. While I can still enjoy a little cheeky-English-schoolgirl-prep, most preppy looks just don't interest me much.

Trovata is the exception. Their collection is full of classic pieces and shapes, and no one would classify them as non-preppy, but their clothing has a sense of humor. It's all lovely, but it almost seems to poke fun of itself and the concept in general. I mean, their lookbook, the theme for the season, was called "Pompous and penniless." They work well with the preppy aesthetic, but they just never take themselves too seriously.

In middle school, I dressed like everyone else to avoid the vultures (they were vicious). I was never really excited about my clothes, so I almost regret the wasted time, but I went at least two years without getting teased (only two because in 7th grade, I went through a bohemian phase that was pretty, um, criticized). So, if you go to a dress-like-everyone-else-or-your-life-will-be-hell school, give 'em hell and dress your own way. But if you really do enjoy the preppy look, be a little different and wear Trovata.

What comes around goes on eBay

I wandered into that famous famous famous vintage store What Comes Around Goes Around today, because I was by it, and I've read about it (and seen it's name in fashion spreads) more times than I care to count, so I thought it would be fun. Well, it was certainly fun, but it was a bit on the shocking side, too. I mean, I grant that their collection is extraordinary, but their prices are as well. The cheapest things in the entire store are these printed vintage circle skirts, a bargain at a whopping $98 dollars. Now, their collections of vintage Manolo Blahniks and Alaia knitwear are pretty damn impressive too, and I've never seen so much literally MINT vintage all in one place, but they had the nerve to charge $300 for denim miniskirts made out of vintage jeans--in my hometown, there's a store that sells those (and they're great, too, they use corduroy and engineer-print denim as well) for around $20. And they're the EXACT SAME THING.

So even though I admire What Comes Around Goes Around for the fabulous collection they've amassed, and I hope that their new label is successful, let's take a look at the best ever website and see some price comparisons.

The bid for this delightful vintage circle skirt, which, unlike the skirts at What Comes Around, has a delightful crinoline lining, is currently at $8. Now, granted, you'll have to pay shipping for the eBay skirt, but it's still $90 less.

This positively lovely vintage slip, which I think could easily be worn as a mini dress with the assitance of a belt, is currently going for $17. It looks as mint to me as anything at the shop today. Plus, the purple is an awfully cute touch.

These sweet little vintage Manolos are currently going for $80. I will grant that they could go up a good bit before they end, but I promise you that they'll still be less money than the ones at What Comes Around were (I do grudgingly have to grant that the ones at What Comes Around were better and more true vintage, though. Argh. Defeat).

Finally, the piece de resistance, the Alaia, is currently going on eBay for $200. The auction is almost over, so I'd be surprised if it went up too much from there. The Alaia skirt that I checked the price on at the vintage shop was $400, and I'm sure the dress that they had was significantly more. Furthermore, this one has more detail work, so it's probably worth more anyway.

Now, I didn't dare touch the bags at What Comes Around with my possibly greasy hands that could cause the leather to distintegrate a milosecond sooner than it would on its own, but I know that vintage Hermes bags (the ones they had looked like Hermes, and I doubt they'd take much else) can sell sometimes for $8,000--Christ, that's almost what a new one costs--and I'd be shocked if the ones at the vintage store weren't going for the average market price, if not more. The vintage Kelly bag (Yes, that's a KELLY bag by Hermes, people. Fo' real) at left is currently at $300. Once more, that's $300. Now, I'm sure it'll go up before the auction ends, but since it's engraved (can you see it?) there's no way it'll go for more than $1,000. I believe that's $7,000 less than you'd pay at upscale vintage shops.

Sooo, the moral of this story is that if you want to save $7,000 (or more!), you should skip places like What Comes Around Goes Around and Resurrection, and get on your browser asap.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Marc Jacobs is the only man who understands me!

While I'm certainly not a neat freak, I'm not terribly messy either, so perhaps it's odd that I like all my clothing to look as though they're just a little unclean. No, that's not the best way to say it; I mean, I hate laundry, but I do it pretty often anyway. What I actually mean is that I like my colors to look muted, as though they were covered with just a thin layer of dust. So it's no surprise that I gravitate toward gray, black, camel, dirty-wash denim, and the occasional bit of mauve or dusty rose as well.

It's not that I don't like color. I love it. Spending an afternoon at MoMA or the Whitney or something really is my idea of a good time. It's just that, with my clothes, I don't want color to wash me out. While I will occasionally wear bright blues or purples (I have blue eyes, so blues and blue tones pick up on them rather than wash me out--but I still love dusty blues and periwinkles), most other bright colors look kind of overwhelming on me. If I absolutely must have bright item of clothing, I'll pair it with something as dark and muted-looking as possible, and I'll like it more when it's faded (I have an ancient green J. Crew tissue tee that I love to death, which is ironic, since it's probably about to die). I've pretty much stopped buying brights, since I know I won't wear them much.

The designer who seems to best understand my color quandary is Marc Jacobs (is there anything this man can't do?). I mean, I need to keep buying color, since I don't want to subscribe to black only like it's a Maoist uniform like everyone else in New York does. His colors are never garish or annoying or unflattering, and even though his clothes don't look vintage or ratty, they usually do look like they have some sort of story. They look faded, or worn, or loved, or something. Take the red dress. It's red. No dumbass would deny it's red. But it's not traffic light, in-your-face abrasive red. It's just nice, slightly washed-out red. Much better than stop-sign red. His use of slightly (but only ever so slightly) toned-down color and soft, brushed-feeling fabric makes his clothes better than real vintage. Today, I tried on a pair of olive pin-striped Marc Jacobs pants, and the color was sublime (the pants were too big, though). I also tried on a lilac (dusty lilac, I should say) slouchy Marc sweater (slouchy because it was way too big too, but tops are a lot more forgiving than pants), and while I don't exactly need sweaters going into spring, I couldn't resist it.

Now if only I could afford to buy all the rest of my clothes from Marc Jacobs, too. Sigh. Maybe Marc'll jump on the bandwagon and do a line for Target. Well, a girl can dream.

Just a few more reasons to email that Dorothy Perkins store and beg them to ship to the US

So doooo eeeet! I've done it. It's easy. The PEER PRESSURE is ON!


A few horoscopes for today:

"Don't go shopping when you can go for a walk. It's not about material goods today."

"It's all about money for you these days. You might want to think about taking on more hours at work (if that's even possible) or -- yikes -- cutting back on the purchases for a while."

If anyone has ever wondered about the validity of astrology, I can personally assure you that I will not be heeding either of these horoscopes--I'm spending the day in Soho.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ghostly gorgeous

Am I the last person (who pretends to be) in the fashion world to notice how FABULOUS Ghost is? Well, I'm certainly noticing now.

Wanting. . . needing. . . waiting. . .

. . . for the day when I have $700 and I can get on eBay and bid on this dress.

The saga of the pants. . .

Remember how, ages, ago, I posted that loooong entry on fashion nostalgia, and how I now have a pair of pants that I think I might love forever?

Well, yesterday they were attacked by french dressing. It's bad enough that they're apparently magnets for grease, but the cruel irony of the fact that it's always food that I ALMOST NEVER EAT is just too much. Sigh.

For superficiality and pretty pictures, scroll down

What is it about the unnecessary? Why is there so much allure in the things that are completely irrelevant to our survival? I guess that for those of us who have never known real poverty, for whom shelter, food, and warmth have always been a given, there's nothing exciting or novel about necessities, because we count on the fact that they'll be there. I know I do.

Ok, I know that this is really vague and sounds sort of specious. Let me clarify. There's this blush that I've wanted for a while (Bourjois blush in Lilas d'Or), so I went to Sephora today to buy it, and I decided to devote the rest of the afternoon to beauty shopping, because I needed some lip balm and a new powder brush as well. Seemed like fun. At Sephora, all I needed (by which I mean wanted) was the blush, and I didn't even specifically want anything else, but I just wanted to buy something more. I looked aroud at shiny things in pretty packages, none of which really appealed to me too much, but I was determined to find something to spend on. Finally, my eyes fell on a Benefit (love their packaging) lip gloss that I've noticed before. It was sort of a loud color, a pale fuschia-ish pink, and even though I figured it would be kind of distracting on the face, I decided to try it. On my lips, it was actually sheer enough to morph into the perfect non-brown nude shade. I went for it. The thing is, I have about 10.7^6 (that's 10.7 to the power of six, for those of you who haven't had to type or read typed math stuff before) lip glosses as is, and half the time I wear Burt's Bees lip balm anyway.

Moving on, I went to a drugstore for a powder brush (I love Sephora's brush collection, but even I can't pay $40 for a makeup accessory that's not actually seen on your face). I found a nice cheap one, and of course had to wander too, and I almost bought my second eyeliner brush before I remembered that I prefer to apply most of my makeup with my fingers anyway. I wouldn't even use if it if I had bought it.

Here's the thing, though--walking through Time's Square while beauty shopping, you will pass by many homeless people. I mean, I spent close to $60 today, none of which was on stuff that I really actually needed. It's not that it isn't my right to do so, nor is it as though I asked to be born into relative priviledge, but simultaneously, no one asks to be born into their social class. Thinking about spending large quantities of money just for the sake of spending when some people have to stand on freezing street corners and beg just to get insufficient necessities makes me kind of nauseated.

Sometimes I think that the reason that so few people take action to combat the social problems of the U.S.A. is that, rather than just ignorance, plenty of people do actually think about issues like poverty and homelessness, but it's so overwhelming to think about that people don't know where to begin to help on an individual level, much less a societal one. Personally, I think that that's kind of legitimate--I mean, even the wealthiest people don't have the money to fix all of the social issues of the U.S., because it's a question of finite resources in a country where we've convinced ourselves that money (or at least monetary opportunity) is infinite. And even when you can help out a little, how do you know where help is most needed? I mean, is it better to give a dollar to a homeless person, or a public art museum? So instead, people distract themselves by thinking about something else.

Fashion, for example.

This is a vague, nebulous entry, and I don't have any easy conclusions like "thrifting is great" or "I love Prada" to give you. I promise that tomorrow or later tonight, I'll post lots about pure and simple fashion. I mean, hey, I still have my passions.

I gave $2 to homeless women to assuage my guilt.

It didn't help.

I still really like my new lip gloss.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

Recreating the runway part II

Copying, I mean, "creatively reinterpreting" that Luella runway shot was so much fun that I thought I'd try it again. Let's go for Spring Prada and those slouchy tights that everyone (me included) is so damn excited about. This outfit is almost perfect, if there is a perfect, isn't it? The simple, delicate, pretty dress over the redeemingly imperfect (but stylishly perfect--does that make sense? probably not) rumpled tights, and the pop of the somehow-still-understated red shoes. . . I love it. Most of us (me included), however, probably can't afford this outfit, so it's back to the drawing board (fashion blog?) to create the look. Obviously, the tights are the most important part, so let's start there. I believe the Prada ones cost around $100, which actually isn't too bad for anything with the word "Prada" attached to it, but I personally don't want to pay so much for something that goes under clothing anyway. So my recommendation is to start with a pair of normal, cheap grey tights--I like the idea of them being organic, like the ones at right--and cut off each leg RIGHT below the crotch (I've heard the Prada ones are really long, so you want to keep the length here). Moving on, you need some statement-making red shoes, and I know just where to go for that--see my favorite shoes at left Really, I do want to buy them--they're only $35--but I just can't bring myself to purchase anything from a website called "Dressed2Play." It seems so tacky. But maybe I'll break down. I asked my brother if I should get them, and he said no because they're unsubtle. HA! I said, "Subtlety is not the point." But I digress. The last element is the dress. The dress is obviously the hardest part, but in a way, I think it's the least important part--I mean, it would be a pretty dress and nothing more if it weren't for the seemingly incongruous shoes and delightfully slouchy tights (I WANT those tights!!). So let's try a simple white tank dress (I know the picture is pink, I know, I know, I'm sorry. Don't actually wear pink. You'll look like a valentine with those shoes). American Apparel is the place to go. I know that it lacks the detailing, but the detailing is faded and washed out (and perfect) anyway, so it's not terribly important.

Ok, the way to put it all together is to put on the stockings (which should be two separate stockings at this point) and pull them down until they're not much above your knee, and try to situate most of the wrinkles around your knee and ankle, but when you walk, they'll probably end up there anyway. Holding true to the Prada vide, hair and makeup should be pared down--besides, with those shoes, you really don't need anything else to stand out. Lovely. Perfect.

Me, myself & iPod

I would like to share a recent philosophic revelation with you, a fashion PSA, if you will. If you dress to impress people, like if you plan certain outfits for days when you'll run into certain people, or days when you'll see a lot of friends or be in public a lot (something of which I'm certainly guilty), you will never enjoy your clothes as much as you could. First of all, your outfit won't really be your style, it'll be what you think people will like on you. Second of all, it takes all the delightful indulgence out of fashion--if you're not dressing for yourself, where's the fun? Lastly, you're in for a big letdown when you don't run into whoever you wanted to be seen by, or worse, when they look right past you and don't even notice the cute miniskirt you're wearing even though it's frickin' 33 degrees out and you're freezing your ass off. So please: do your fashion sense a favor and dress for yourself. I mean, when I'm traveling alone (one of my favorite things to do) I bring all my favorite clothes so that I can enjoy them. By myself.

And by "by myself," I mean with my best friend. My iPod. Oooh, how I love thee. . .

(To all my dear friends and family who read this, you know I love you all to death, but none of you sing me to sleep at night.)

Baby Britain

Anyone who has ever looked in my closet (ok, my room) knows how much I love shoes. I search high and low for shoes, online, offline, in stores, magazines, and catalogues, and the most desirable shoes I've seen recently have mostly come from a new source for me: England. Observe:

Top row: Faith, middle row: Dorothy Perkins, bottom row: Office Holdings. Lovely, no? All delightful, all reasonably priced, all British as can be. I must say, ballet flats are just plain better across the pond (check out London Sole for some equally fab but slighty pricier options). The brits have ballets down.

Ok, here's the outrage: Dorothy Perkins won't ship to the U.S. We can look at her shoes, drool over them, but we can't buy them. Personally, I'm going to stock up on wonderful shoes next time I'm in London (whenever that is--fingers crossed for soon), but in the meantime, we could all bombard them with emails suggesting that they ship here. Sound good? Good!