Tuesday, February 23, 2010

University of Minnesota

Ooooo I could have hugged this girl for her brilliant use of color. I mean, look at the landscape. She's a balm, an inspiration, a delight -- and she's warm, she reports. I'm particularly stuck on the scrunched down leg warmers over moccasins and the super-full, party-of-a-skirt. A pattern emerges. That's what I would name her ensemble, if I had to, and also what I've gotten out of the last two fashion weeks (the September and recent February runway marathons in NYC). And here I'd like to reference some Gucci stuff and the body tattoos at Rodarte in the fall but have once again gotten ahead of my tech skills. Anyhoo, me and the folks at Gucci and Rodarte are not afraid of pattern and mixing prints and neither is this woman at the U. So I think that's pretty strong stuff.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

a valentine shopping

Caught this valentine shopping and there was so much to love about her look -- the boot harnesses she made with brass and bone beads, the vintage fur coat she scored on eBay and that popping bag.

Friday, February 12, 2010

if it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger pizza

I don't usually shop retail and I don't usually photograph food or publish recipes but let's be open-minded and try new things, shall we? I call this If it doesn't kill you it'll make you stronger pizza. The pan is 16" in diameter and I placed a spoon there for scale, so you can see that I did away with a significant amount of it without ill affect. It's doubtful our distant hominid relatives had a pizza pan and therefore had to run deer to death without benefit of this pizza as fuel. I feel like I could run a deer to death but I just don't want to. That's how good this was. Which is why I will share it. A caveat: I totally invented this recipe and, true to form, I didn't measure a thing. In the interest of public safety, I've made very educated guesses about amounts.
Start with the crust:
if you know nothing about making yeast bread, don't start now -- get yourself to Trader Joe's and buy some pizza dough. Otherwise:
1 pkg. dry yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. white sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
2 cups flour, to start with but keep it handy
3 tbsp. olive oil
maybe 1 cup warm water (here's where things get sketchy)
Mix that all together. It should be definitely doughy rather than batter-y. Put a little flour on the kitchen counter, dump the dough out onto it. Kneed it like it's your job til it looks like Trader Joe's dough. Don't get all perfectionist about this as that attitude kills the yeast. And other friendships. Butter the dirty old bowl you used to mix this lot in (the inside of the bowl, idiot), flop the dough in there, smear it around and cover it with a cloth. Put the bowl in a warm place which would be next to this stuff you're about to saute on the stove.
Get out a smallish saute or fry pan and pour 1 tbsp olive oil in it. Saute til they're tired and brown and sweaty:
Roughly (even crudely) in big peasanty chunks cut about 400 cloves of garlic (ha, kidding, only about 16 or 20 cloves)
1 large or 2 small yellow onions, sliced pretty thin
if you have some shallots and you're feeling snooty, go ahead, but I warn you, don't cut them nicely
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

While the onions and that ilk are sauteing and the dough is rising, get out the other stuff you'll need and heat the oven to 395 (I just feel like 400 is too too, you know). Here's the other stuff:
1 jar of Trader Giotto's basil pesto (do not tell me if you've made the pesto yourself, no one wants to hear that)
1 bag of wild arugula (or tame), be pretty sure it doesn't have salmonella because you're sure as hell not going to rinse it
7 oz. crumbled gorgonzola cheese, or a chunk that you subsequently crumble (sheesh)
a crapload of shredded parmesan
a big pizza pan

Butter the pizza pan. Dump the dough out onto the pan regardless of whether it's raised even one iota because you're hungry and have to get this effin' show on the road. Smash it down and smoosh it out with your fingers til it covers the pan. Spoon about 4 tbsp or more of the pesto onto the dough/crust and spread it around with the back of the spoon. Grab what seems like an insane amount of arugula out of the bag and strew it on top of the pesto. Don't worry, there's greasy stuff to weigh it down. Dump the onion/garlic mixture (that you turned off for crying out loud because the smoke detector was going off) on top of the arugula and even it out all over. Next up, the gorgonzola and last, parmesan in a lacey amount, not a blanket. This is earthy not disgusting. Pop that whole situation in the oven for about 20 minutes, checking it every 20 seconds or so because you're hungry and to catch it just as the parmesan starts to brown.

Have a glass or two of something cheap and red so you won't be tempted to dive right in and burn the living daylights out of the roof of your mouth. If this pizza doesn't make you feel like running barechested and howling through the streets, I don't know what will.

Free People boots

ooooooo why can't i figure out how to take a screen shot? i don't usually shop retail but run-ins can't be avoided. this link...http://www.freepeople.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/products.browse/categoryID/c74bf9dd-8f31-4c95-b1c5-6b514cc89390... to Free People boots is visually pretty unsatisfying. which is too bad since, as i scrolled through the six pages of ruffled ankle boots and motorcycle boots and slouchy bucked western boots, there wasn't a one i wouldn't give my eye teeth for. they're pretty pricey (which for me can mean anything over $10, but in this case, means over $300) so i was mentally making out my living will to include wearing a pair of these bad boys to the other side. but then i remembered i'm going to be cremated and scattered on the Lake Street Savers (haven't worked out the details yet). so i better enjoy them while i'm still limber. probably if i sold all my clothes, i'd have enough...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

schooled once again

It's late so I don't have the ambition to document my latest gaff. Some hours after that post about lonely J Jill or Eileen Fisher designers, I stopped by the Lake Street Savers and came home with a butter soft purple suede (eggplant to be exact) jacket from... wait for it... Eileen Fisher. Oh snap.

Also my new favorite museum is the Minneapolis Museum of Russian Art. Recall my mewling about lack of color? Solved. The permanent collection is wonderfully approachable and appreciable, and it was augmented by a boggling matroyshka exhibit that opened my mind to that genre, and a Silk Road photo exhibit by the photographer to Tsar Nicholas II. The textiles in this exotic primitive environment -- I could have wept. The fact that mere people could produce such intensity of color via natural dyes and capture it via very early color photography was mind-blowing. Mama don't take my kodachrome, mama don't take my kodachrome awaaaay.

color that means business

Outside, there's a whole lot of white and various shades of grey to the point of fatigue. That is obviously what drove this Savers purchase which has absolutely been delighting me ever since. Doesn't it just make your rods and cones jump around? The color saturation, mmmmm. The skirt is a homemade cotton velveteen maxi with on-seam pockets in front. Like the striped pants of previous post, this skirt may go under the knife (scissors, but knife sounds more dramatic) and come out a mini. Right now, I need the coverage. The purple v-neck is a silk/modal softy from Martin & Osa and the yellow is cotton. And yellow. Why don't people like yellow? It's so sunny and happy. I read somewhere that people who like yellow and orange are unstable. This hogwash is the work of some bitter designer from J Jill or Eileen Fisher. Who is lonely and doesn't get out much.

to flare or not to flare

I'm suckered into 1960s English rock band striped pants every time and these had such a groovy blue/green/purple/black color scheme going on. True, they're just of crappy Limited provenance that someone had hemmed up (with tape) about 4 inches but since I paid $3 for them, the delight in having a striped bottom half was worth every penny. But put yourself in a Mick Jagger state of mind (whatever it takes my friends). Wouldn't Jumping Jack flash have been wearing straight skinny striped pants? One should not assume that the Limited knew what they were doing when they cut the flare and I'm thinking about correcting the mistake now. It's not too late, it's never too late for striped pants. The top photo shows a straight silhouette, the bottom, the current flare situation. I say straighten up and get a job. Are you with me?

Turkish carpet boots

These boots are two of the most delicious and mysterious Savers buys yet. The outer is a wool kilim -- we have one from Turkey in almost the same pattern and colors. Inside, collar, eyelets and edging are all very soft leather, and the sole bears the name Conti, which is the only marking on the whole boot. Conti is a European maker of tires (tyres) and shoe soles. See the edge all hand stitched? They're barely used but I can take care of that. Except of course, these beauties will never see slush and snow. I'm nurturing a suspicion that they're handmade Italian gems and will be only marginally interested in any contradictions of this theory. Unless someone can provide well-supported documentation to the contrary. Anyone? Has anyone even seen footwear of this nature?

hello collar

Winter doldrums have arrived -- though I've gone on several style fishing expeditions, I've caught great big nuthin. As so often happens in northern climes, I've turned inward. Even in the darkest, most inhospitable days, Savers shows the love. As above, where were you in '72? I've deliberately cut off my head so you can not make fun of the fact that the collar is significantly larger than my head. Also note the groovy stylized western yoke coupled with a mod zip front. Vicky Vaughn was conflicted about design statements and hoped the industrial strength red poly/wool fabric would bring it all together. Not sure this would have made it on Project Runway but I can tell you this -- it appeared on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Am I right?