Tuesday, January 31, 2012

what i'm obsessed with

Hanging modifier aside, I found these incredible turned wooden handbags at the Gallery of Wood Art (which in itself is a gem) in Landmark Center, downtown St. Paul. They're made by an Oakland, CA wood worker, Denise DeRose, denisederose.com. Yes, i thought they were beyond amazing and unique but i don't get out much, so i turned to the googlenets which confirmed, they are amazing and unique. So i got busy and pitched the living daylights out of this idea to magazines high and low. It was only after Oakland magazine responded that i thought i'd better let Denise in on the whole venture.
i just talked with her today by phone. Her day job is an attorney, but she said creating something physical is a biological imperative. Here's how she described this creative need/compulsion/expression:
All of my career as an attorney, I have had a yellow pad on my desk. I alternate between my word-based logical rational job as an attorney, and running to my yellow pad where I MUST sketch something real. These days – a handbag, but in the past, landscaping plans, additions to my house, carpentry projects, lamps I was refurbishing, pots I was throwing. I have to do something in the real world.  It is enormously satisfying to have made something that did not exist before, and that only exists now because I conceived and executed it.  If I did not have my day job, I think I would do more pleasure reading than I do now, and I am pretty sure I would write more.  (My need to create extends to words as well.)  But I am pretty sure I would not be driven to go out and find a case to try. Practicing law is like speaking a foreign language: I can do it and I can do it well, but my mother tongue is creating with my hands.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

making an exit the italian way

Did you donate this to the Goodwill on University by accident? Because it's Italian wool/elastane which is european for lycra. Want it back? Call 1-800- OHS-NAP!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

what I like about you

At first, I admit, I was drawn to her polka dot fingerless gloves. Shallow, I know. So sue me. Staring is rude, even in George's Shoe Repair, so I pretended to look at arch supports while I checked out her look -- dramatic, dark eyes, bright lipstick, very long coat, red ruffley bag with nonfunctional zipper trim, moccasins. That's all good in my book so I lurked outside, again pretending to be super interested in Penzey's window display (Occupying Grand Ave). She looks a little like Anna Wintour, infamous devil-in-chief of Vogue, because her hair is similarly behaving and wonderful. But when I complimented her look, she wondered aloud if it was too much. She is my people and that hurt. I babbled on, trying not to sound like a creep, which is sort of an uphill battle. Then she gave me a hug. Even though I have a mullet. And was wearing some freakish Afghani pants. She is not too much. She is perfect.

Art Shanty Projects

We've hit the dead heart of winter, I have a mullet by my own hand, the chicest thing I've seen of late is clean Sorels. Time for some experiential art, n'est ce pas? In circumstances like this, which is to say, ridiculous, I like to go with Barb. She once danced with Lou Reed. In Las Vegas. She once danced with me when we were both wearing lighted 300-pound pig costumes. This incident was called The Rapture Holidazzle.  Anyhoo, we got our bad selves over to Medicine Lake and, as luck would have it, ended up dancing around with things the size of a Costco carton of tampons on our heads again. This incident was called The Art Shanty Projects, and I can't recommend it highly enough. artshantyprojects.org.
As if that weren't props enough,  I'm about to post some damning photographs. 
Above is Barb testing out a half-made DIY camera obscura that projects an image of what's behind you upside down on the screen/piece of paper in front of you. Thus good for bikers.
This is a stoned delighted owner of a finished camera obscura.

This is some ass riding a coyote bike on the snow at the Ice-Cycle Shanty. I had to sign a waiver that said the dimness and mullet were pre-existing conditions and not a result of falling off the coyote.

You still have time to get on over there and bake (bike + skate == bake) because the experiences in limit busting art keep coming every weekend through Feb. 5th.  Of course this looks plain stupid. Not like riding a coyote.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

happy Campers

Campers make hipsters happy. With irony. I'm sort of filled with self-loathing for noticing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

won't you be my neighbor

Mr. Rogers + Katie Perry = me shoving some ear plugged and inked bum art aficionado out of the way to get this shot because from behind, I thought she was just wearing the irradiated cardigan and floral tights. So I was a little disappointed to find the Daisy Dukes going stealth, but I came around to it to the point where this is my new favorite winter outfit. Now I've forgotten because I wasn't really listening in the first place and there's a lotta roads to nowhere in my neural network, but I think she said that flaming knitwear is old Liz Claiborne or some such.  If you went to the U in the early 90s, you probably tried to kiss up to some office admin person so she wouldn't file your work/study application in the trash which she did anyway because she felt like it, and she was sporting this wonder of lab-raised textile. Just everything about this -- the scorching pink blouse, the big expanse of floral Heidi tights that love to go awandering on Brokeback Mountain val-der-ahahahahahahahaha, the shoulder bag that got stuck in the pattern-on machine, the kiss-me-i'm-purple fingernail polish -- makes me want to try this at home kids. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

little miss sunshine

You'd be happy too if you were a Macalester scholar getting post-Christmas earrings courtesy of out-of-frame mom. And if you were rocking an eclectic assortment of new and used clothing, rich in color, pattern and volume. She says she inherited the style gene from her mom, who apologized for appearing in public wearing sneakers. It was a sartorial first, giving in to comfort, and she was still trying it on for size.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

how not to look like a ho, 2.1

So ingenue, so Audrey Hepburn/Leslie Caron/Mary Tyler Moore all rolled into one very neat, well-organized, nicely pleated and plaided and round-toe flatted package. Of course the yellow handbag speaks to a certain moral frailty, a crack in the otherwise impervious veneer of wholesomeness. 
Naturally, I'm cheering for the semi-slutty bag.
Which is why this is the second in my didactic series on how not to look like a ho. It's meant as a self-help blog, but as much as I can identify and appreciate this sartorial rectitude in others, I can't seem to make this happen where the rubber meets the road, and tellingly, I'm talking about clothes there. E.g., I was also wearing a plaid wool skirt on the other side of the camera but it was Fife Extreme, like something Mel Gibson wore with full frontal greasy pecs and a leather armband. At least I had a coat on. I'm pretty sure. I accessorized with brown men's dress socks and my desert-boots-do-dallas (try to wrap your head and eyeballs around desert boots tarted up on 'roided out 4" rubber platforms, then have a snort of Jager and a Slim Jim and you're almost there). I think it's a 12-step program, so i've got some time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walker this way

Because, see, i was at the Walker and ran (somebody stop me) into just this onslaught of epic boots, so many boots -- it's almost like i went to the Walker to see boots instead of flabby sacks art.  What kind of sick person would do that? Anyway...
These I dig for the brogue-ishness up front -- kinda dandy. They used to have a crest on the toe but it wore off.

These are so agreeably shiny and handmade and expensive. They're Grandson (long line of shiny, expensive, handmade boots), which I came home and google-fied my stalking best and dang if i didn't come up empty. Normally, I would question my memory or blame it on the lighting, but the word Grandson is stamped into the red rubber sole that you see the side of there. Also i asked the wearer to spell it for me to see if he was telling the truth. He knows how to spell grandson. He got them in NYC. So ok, shiny, expensive, handmade and stealth.

This was sort of an unauthorized photo because she and her boy friend were actually very engrossed in a hormonal hailstorm the art and i felt like a tool busting in on their pursuit of knowledge. But those red zippers! Like if you were snow blind or drunk, you could definitely figure out how to get your boots off. So you wouldn't wake up several days later thinking your feet were really hot. Because that would be bad.

Friday, January 13, 2012

peepin' plaid two-fer

So much happens by happy accident -- dinner, kids, this photo.  My intent was her Paul Bunyan trifecta of animal-like presence on the noggin, swath o plaid which warms by making your rods and cones do burpies (we have discussed this before, it's absolutely documented, don't start with me) and boots w/buckles 'n brogue that will be featured in an upcoming post entitled Walker This Way.  Probly. 
But lookee here, i got two peeping plaidsters fer, well, she paid a heavy price certainly, but let's gloss that over because can you effin believe how she and d'wayne shirtsdorfer there without the head are in the same hand-in-plaid-pocket-gettin-art-i-fied pose? Almost nothing could make me happier. Natural fact. I'm just going to take a moment here and appreciate this composition.
that's enough.
As if that wasn't enough learnding for one post, we are now going to take a pretend trip to Japan, the Land of the Rising Cost of Living Sun, where, this woman tells me, Fruits have been around longer than Vegetables The Sartorialist. I know, fuckin wha? Duh, Fruits, the magazine-turned-hardcover documenting street style in the Harajuku district of Tokyo.
But Fruits (we're gonna cover our mouths when we giggle) has got nuthin on this haggard cheese eater cuz while we don't have rich kids making statements with knee socks and pointy shoes (wait, do we?), we do have
Naoto Nakada


Monday, January 9, 2012

here are a few of my fay-vor-it things

Mystique or McQueen?
brace yourself because extreme couture has penetrated the fog of dementia and lifted me from the ooze of my existence on a chopstick of brilliance so that for a brief moment i saw the interconnectedness of the human experience, the insatiable hunger for beauty and horror.
damn, that's epic BS.
but by happy accident of ricocheting synapses, i did remember something that happened more than 36 hours ago. my very favorite ensemble from Mystique brought to mind the incomparable (read: a little bit scary) Savage Beauty exhibit of Alexander McQueen's tortured genius at the Met. ropolitan Museum of Art. in New York City. because i went there.
here's what McQueen had to say about his process: “When we put the antlers on the model and then draped over it the lace embroidery that we had made, we had to poke them through a £2,000 piece of work. But then it worked because it looks like she’s rammed the piece of lace with her antlers. There’s always spontaneity. You’ve got to allow for that in my shows.”
that probably went over pretty big with the woman who spent her youth making the lace.
here are some other spontaneous mcqueen moments that showed up in some form at the Mystique show.
"The skirt is made out of hundreds and hundreds of circles of organza. Then, with a pen, what Lee did was he drew organic lines. And then all these circles were cut, joined together, and then applied in these lines along the skirt. So you created this organic, oyster-like effect." cool but not very spontaneous.
"[In this collection] she was a feral creature living in the tree. When she decided to descend to earth, she transformed into a princess.” --Alexander McQueen me
i really do love this over-the-top stuff. i said that.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

world's scariest ball of twine

Someone help this woman! She's been hijacked by a ball of twine and it's caused her to break all sorts of eyeliner rules and match her eyeshadow to the drapes! Children of the Twine! Or is it a foreshadowing of a future when designers finally give up on skinny jeans and put forward a style anyone can wear?
I crack myself up.  But seriously, if someone could look hot in a stylized giant ball of string, she does.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

I am Joan's sternum

She oughta work out, right?  Mercy. As Master of Torsos, Joan warmed up the reserved, not very drunk NYE crowd at Mystique 2012. You already know more about her than your high school prom date, but here's some other tidbits -- i was up in her business at the 2011 Envision fashion throwdown where her assets were similarly appreciated (it's her MO, sheesh). And she's a style blogger herself, chief cook of TheBrownGirlFiles.tumblr.com. And I think she owns Secrets Fashion Agency, facebook.com/secretsfashionagency, which sounds a little sketchy (ha, get it? fashion? sketch-y? yah, sue me) but it's no secret, Joan is out there and knows how to get exposure.  I know my 12 sick followers good friends are on board.
The Almost Dress was made for boob tape her by local designer ArielSimone. Or Adrienne Yancy. ArielSimone.com. I'm confused.  If you had a fancy name like Adrienne Yancy, why would you hatch one like Ariel Simone? What witness protection program? Ooooohhhhh, oops. Ok so hurry on over to Ariel Simone's (wink wink) website or http://www.etsy.com/shop/ArielSimone or Cliche in uptown before they she disappears. Word, shine up your sternum and polish the old cellulite before you go to Cub in these creations.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Here's Tearra, a model with Ignite, serving up sass which is her specialty. Her hair be stacked high, her lashes be wing singing, her lip gloss be popping. I added some background incidentals -- the hand on the left fixing her hair and the top of John the Baptist's head on the platter. Because there was not enough going on in this photo. I was backstage at Mystique getting in the way helping.

Monday, January 2, 2012

To dresses flowing like wine!

To you, fully dressed partier! Your frock is flowing, your shoulder is showing, your bits are not! Thank you!

Mystique: in which i am NOT mad crunk, crotch covered

Oh yuck, do over, right?
There, that's better.  This is Kelly. She is not a model. Any more. She's segueing into a position with Ignite Models as a coordinator of new faces, as they say in the biz. She is very convincing. For example, I did not question when she looked at the first photo and opted for a do-over.
Trying to imagine what it would be like to find the first photo unacceptable in any way (other than the 12 crayon quality provided by my point n shoot camera). She's not blinking, her nose is not throwing a shadow resembling the Guthrie. If she has a goiter, she's done wonders with contouring. I tried so hard to imagine going to the DMV to get tabs for my car looking like this, smoke started coming from my ears and my eye bags vibrated, so i gave the old imagination a rest and let stuff come in through the eyeballs and out through the slightly ajar pie hole without so much as a Hold it right there sucka.
A little explanation.
I volunteered to help get models into and out of tights, corsets, bunny heads, neck ruffs, very high shoes, and eight-layered Elizabethan jester costumes very quickly over a 20-minute period. I know, Mother Theresa was a frickin pretender. Let's not forget, I had to hang up two detachable collars and place a helmet on a table too. This was backstage at the Mystique 2012 tea and crunkettes held at the Epic Event Center on New Year's Eve. I did this out of the goodness of my heart because I got in free, and so did my guest, Lady Gaga Dennis. To differentiate the evening from just another 27-hour rave, we went substance-free and wore underpants!
This, in sharp contrast to the other 4000 wicked baked revelers. I was shocked, shocked i tell you, not by visible vulvas and canapes in close proximity (don't eat the sushi!), but by the universality of the uniform. The lack of creativity! I searched and searched -- nothing but pubes peeking out of a charming bit of lycra/poly picked up for $12.99 at By The Hour. There were a few notable exceptions (thanks Jenny D!) but by far and away, New Year's Eve rang in short, tight and wasted. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Are those lounge chairs washable?