Saturday, February 19, 2011

university of minnesota

Awesome epaulets -- Balmain, right? Wrong by a factor of 21.  Forever 21, that is. They are doing something right, both in this case and in the larger sense.

They're in the design program now, so soon, they'll be backstage instead of working the front of house as they are today. But they were working it -- the pop of bright color on the woman on the left, and her big beautiful heart pendant. Love the cutouts on the other woman's dress, a ModCloth piece. Together with the leather jacket and patterned tights -- so nice.

See the drawstring pants on  the right? They're butter-soft leather. I know this because I touched them. Naturally I asked permission first. Yup, pretty spectacular, with crazy cool knee patches and six kinds of designer edginess. She got them moments earlier at Fashion Avenue -- they're made by Yigal Azrouel who would be even hotter if his name was easier to pronounce and spell. I carelessly left off the umlauts which should go over the e in Azrouel. I'm also crazy about the white shirt that is in denial about its tailored origins and is trying to remake itself as a blouse. The transvestite of shirts. She thought she got that at the same time as the pants but obviously the pants rendered her temporarily unable to do anything but hand over the credit card. They had the same effect on me. Her friend had to scrunch down to get in the picture because she had some dominating boots on, and some leggings with suede patches on them.  I just realized they both have leather-reinforced knees so they could easily refinish a floor if the urge hit.

design graduates' show, university of minnesota

Without any forewarning, I picked out this chic woman from the crowd waiting to get into the show -- she's the director of the U's design program. She made her blouse, using nifty buttons she got in Portland. But I think it's the ankle boots that kick the look up a notch. She says this show of the senior's work is more important to them than graduation.

Go all the way to the bottom -- that's right -- John Fluevog boots! She got them online. Side laced, with the signature flared heel that makes them quite pragmatic. It's "just" a Calvin Klein coat in a beautiful tweed.

Levi's ranch pants

Gave it away in the title there -- i got these vintage Levi's ranch pants at the My Sister's Closet in uptown yesterday. Heart them. This is when Levi's first started making pants that could not be called slacks for women. I'm channeling Elizabeth Taylor in Giant as I wear these, and while i'm not out ropin' and ridin' i am working very hard at wrangling dirt and dust in my bunkhouse. I may or may not paint on a beauty mark ala Liz. Naturally these pants are very high-waisty and have these adorable pearl snaps on the pockets, like the kind on the front of a western shirt. They're cropped and actually black (although photos kept making them look blue) and made of this cowgirl-tough cotton twill that still has plenty of wear left in it after 50 years or so of active duty.  Just as an aside, or rather an ass-side, why didn't anyone tell me that thing was so big (see profile view above)? You go around facing forward all the time... Oh anyway, are you rootin' tootin' loving pants with a 26" rise?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

undercover asian

Again with the Goodwill, provenance of the biosweater of previous post. The stitching on the word Japan caught my eye but I was plunged into despair, yes it hurts bad, when I saw the 21 and thought I was played a pawn in Forever 21's tricky plot for world domination -- Rue 21, XXI, twentyone. Ecchhhh. I imagine I'm hip to their cheap imitations and take it personally when I fall for their (Charlotte) Ruses. Ha. (Saw opportunity for retail joke and could not resist). But not so fast! Blue Marlin, the maker of this bit of sartorial irony,  cut the neckline all off-kilter, put a rising sun on the 21 and sewed the sleeve and neck binding on with Frankenstein-esque stitches.  They took an American classic and twisted it and beat Forever 21 at their own game. Devious and delightful. Or maybe that's the 3 cups of coffee talking.

Monday, February 14, 2011

weird love

Today Valentines, I send you this expression of weird love that I scored yesterday for 99 cents at the Goodwill on University in St. Paul.  It's weird and I love it, or it's weird that I love it -- either way, I'm rocking this handmade sweater today. I see huge applications on Earth Day too.
Just the facts ma'am: it's a simple ambidexterous sweater rendered in a basic stitch but the sleeve/upper part of either the back or front (depending on how you choose to wear it) incorporates some shaggy yarn for a turf-like effect.  Why? Why an astroturf sweater? Why only one side? Was someone following a pattern for this (disturbing thought) or did they invent this on their own (even more disturbing)?  Was this part of a botanical costume? Why would someone perform this labor of love and then donate it to Goodwill? There are many mysteries and, for me, that's part of the appeal.  Another part is the reality of it -- I can wear a green and cream striped sweater that looks like it has grass growing out of it. Because it's there, because I can. This factor cannot be underestimated.  Another floral allusion just struck me -- the stripes are like rows in a farm field and the hairy part is the actively sprouting plot. Continuing down that road, this sweater is the seed of someone's imagination.  Like a rare heirloom variety, it would never have been nurtured to life in a normal retail environment -- too special, too niche. Maybe the creator meant to toss this on the compost pile but I found the little sprout and am propagating its lively green style, bringing it to streetside fruition. It grows on you, doesn't it?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Como Conservatory

I went to the Como Conservatory for a hit of color and, wham bam thank you ma'am, two steps in the door and i got what i came for. Doesn't she look like a flower? Ruffled, hothouse pink? eh? Here's the irony-- and i love irony in clothing -- the coat is from White House/Black Market. I feel better on so many levels.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

more show n tell

 I manipulated the photo a lot so you can see the gathering at the front. I had a time figuring this dress out -- yes, the black layer is open in the front like a curtain but no worries. The inner white layer is a full frontal dress. But, hello, it does draw attention to the crotch/hips. Pass.
 1976. The prom that I didn't go to? I know, boo hoo, but I've moved on. Into this absolute dream. In colorful polyester glory that goes alllllllll the way to the floor. And the fluttery sleeves? Remember how people thought they disguised meaty upper arms?  So hippie chick. It's a trip for me and I'm not selling this one. Bonus: the nonbreathable poly from shoulders to toes is quite warm.
I've been a little sensory deprived, what with our two outside colors -- white and dirt -- and this is how it manifests. Pattern and color overload. Can't get enough. I've worn this same headache five days in a row. Would you do this?

it's come to this

It's been a long cold winter and between my own infrequent ventures out and about, and the profoundly uninspired stuff I see when I do go out, the only visually exciting stuff I've found was at one insanely fruitful trip to the Goodwill at University and Fairview in St. Paul. So I'm going to show you a few tidbits.

I admit, I was attracted to the 24K bling, but lookit, Kikit. And the cutout? Pretty sweet. Gotta say though, it's like wearing a Brillo pad. I couldn't get it off fast enough.
 Aye me leprechauns, it's mighty green. But unlike above sweater, it's a nice civilized rayon knit that fits n flatters. Kinda Chanel-esque.
Have I missed the boat? Are swing dresses over? Yes but this one has such a delightfully tropical print and that's a sheer overlay, furthering the cool cool nature of this dress. Not that we will ever need an article like this.