Saturday, March 31, 2012

Alexander Wang toga for sale!* Who's ready?

 If you ever wondered what Barry Manilow would look like in an Alexander Wang toga...
 Overlooking the limp appendages,  THIS IS ONE COU-TOGA! And it can be yours! It's new (other than this brief stint on the fairly freshly showered model), it's silk, it's got an attached cotton undershirt in the manner of the better dressed Romans! I left the tag on for cred and you can feel free to do same -- it says $575, but a manager's special makes this reinterpreted wonder of the ancient world available to you for a mere $100. One clam.  A month's wages, but worth it! And now I'm going to create a sense of urgency by saying it's available for one week only before I am carted off by the FCC it reappears at My Sister's Closet in uptown where you will pay, I don't know what -- maybe a million $$$$.
And now for the fine print: This thing is the devil to get into. What you thought was a stylized rendering of Che Guevera above is actually the Kitty's attempt to show the theoretically functional row of five silk covered buttons and their corresponding loops. Above that, the undershirt has a short zipper, and the surplice part of the skirt that crosses underneath the top gathered part thereby covering the privates (assuming no alighting from chariots) is secured by an outrageously discreet hook-and-eye.  It's a size 0 and senor Wang was not whistling Dixie with that assignment -- the waist measures 24-1/2".  Also tatas are not recommended or supported.
*You know when Apple announces they will out with a life-changing product on January 27th, and they do?  Yeah well, that's not happening here.  In researching what it takes to run an online business, I liked all of it except for the business part. Thus, instead of a boutique, I'm opening my overcoat. It's not illegal unless I cross state lines. Or enjoy it. But seriously folks, if you're at all interested in giving this very fine toga a home, leave a comment on this here blog and we can affect an equitable transaction.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

not enough of you appreciated this

So i jacked it up til you can see it from space and messed around with the contrast and exposure and whatnot to bring out the suedeness, the fuzziness, the blue sockness peeking, the concreteness and their delight at being caught by a street style blogger from Minnesota instead of Bill Cunningham.  Now you can love it/them as much as I do if you click on the photo. And just to make sure, I'm going to keep posting this photo until someone agrees with me.

cover your bean the midtown way

Absolutely every everlasting detail the Kitty could capture. Do you want me to list them, because otherwise you would be, like, Oh there's two people on a sidewalk if I didn't point out the world's best fuzzy fava bean-inspired headgear? Because I know how that improves your blog reading experience. And the world's most unaffected employment of a fedora on the left? And how the fedora fraulein is adorable and got this season's hair at Nieman's? And can we talk about her shearling coat that is tailored and coat-like instead of lumpy and rug-like? Bag with cartoon drawing hair but that cool expensive cartoon drawing? And hark I'm singing about those ankle-peeping boots, like something Bob Dylan would have worn. If he was younger. And a woman. 
Let's go over               here. It just doesn't seem possible that a feopard (faux leopard) coat + shy pink and gray striped scarf + retina-slapping dressette + I-Own-You bag would look that great.  But then again, it doesn't seem possible that I could dribble on about these two for so long. But I did.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

boot camp

Drop and give me 50! Fifty runway turn-and-poses, that is. This is the drill sergeant herself, Ms Denishia, of Ms Denishia's Modeling Boot Camp. I didn't know that right off of course. I was immediately drawn in by the Wild Billy boots of the plains, the Italian-watermark-after-a-few-palate-clearing-cocktails bag and the-redcoats-came-and-found-furry-animals. This is not someone that simply walks by me and my bloggy camera.  After a very brief photo session, we did a card exchange and lo and behold --  I may or may not have tripped on the sidewalk shortly after this snap was accomplished.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Liquid leggings for dummies

Liquid leggings done right? Impossible! Or so I thought. Until I ran into this woman at 514 Studios. The clean and classy tunic, patent pumps (love the not so dangerous toe) and bright clutch take the leggings down a notch while still allowing their ravewear attitude to shine. Let the records show, she is not rocking a mullet which helps propel this look right into polite company. 
I continue to warn you about promote the hotly anticipated launch of my online boutique which is even now being shaped by the shrewdest minds in e-commerce, guaranteed to make shopping and subsequent adornment of your earthly temple more fun than a box of rocks. Errr something.

Friday, March 23, 2012


 From halo braid to read-my-red lips to working shirt, down a loooooong narrow French sailor maillot-on-leave to the granny-packing-heat boots -- I don't know where to begin. Wait, I'm already done, spent. That's it. Why gild the lily, right? I rushed in to 514 Studios where The Shows were about to happen, came upon this wonder-in-waiting five feet inside the door, lingered so as to lead the front of house folk to think I might possibly liberate the dollars for a ticket, pressed the big red button twice (I asked permission of course) and felt like my job was done.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blue pants, black trench

You'd be surprised how blaze orange booties, goddess-length braids and a face that could launch a million ships can really turn an outfit.
Sorry I've been a little out of touch with reality. I've been in L.A. and guess what -- did not take out the camera. Running and thrift store shopping exclusively.  I'm gathering inventory for my own online store, friends. Raise your hand if you like Alexander Wang.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

my favorite teddy bear

How could I have forgotten about this? Her furry furry bear coat with long hair blowing in the aggressive wind? We were outside Milk Studios in Meatsea (live in the past, see post entitled Coupla Great Things) and confirms my assertion about Mongolian blast. I regret not passing pleasantries with Her Coziness, but we both felt like the nanosecond this photo required was gonna have to do. You know how you open your mouth and a really icy wind rushes in and freezes your vocal cords so all that comes out is, Innngkk? That's how it was. I'm newly appreciating her cropped pants, aerated ankles and gorgeous boots because at the time, this whole scene was merely a vague impression, blurry as through a sea of streaming tears.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ms. Alt is ready for her closeup

We're back in Lincoln Center friends, and I got a super shot of the back of this guy's head.  It took me a minute to identify the subject of this photo op -- it's Carol Alt, supermodel of the 1980s (which is why I recognized her). When I went looking for an image from that era, I found a post that listed her birth year as 1960. Any way you add that up, she's pretty... well, pretty. Even before I realized who this was, I was blown away by the extreme coat (strips of python? with fur) and long gloves. It was the gloves that did it for me -- full on commitment to Going Out. Very glamorous. When the photo op was over, her PA busted things up and they were gone.
Here's a Vogue cover shot of Carol Alt, circa 1981...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Waste not, want a lot

Oooo, my rods and cones are doing a traditional west African dance here, shaking it like nobody's business. BUT FIRST, we're going to back track a little to talk truth about East Fourth Street and sustainable jewelry, as depicted above in the fantastic copper collar and cuff. I was off the mark, again, in saying Susan's materials were found. Here it is from a reliable source, Susan herself: "All of my metals -- sterling silver, 14kt gold, copper and aluminum -- are recycled or reclaimed and the stones are reused free-trade and ethically sourced or lab created.  The collar and cuff are made from reclaimed copper. Their patina is non-chemical and done through heat." You can find Susan's designs at Gallery 360, Cliche and Digs in Minneapolis, at the Northfield Arts Guild in Northfield, or at her studio by appointment -- cal 612-735-1712.

Now I haven't been able to get hold of Renalie Bailey, potentate of Wren Wear and creator of the swatch witchery above, and it's been a while since we spoke, so let's call this a post of creative nonfiction. Like A Million Little Pieces, on so many levels. As I recall, the dress was made from scraps of traditionally dyed and woven fabric made in a west African village, so as not to waste anything. The jewel-like collar of the dress is made of solar panels, cut in rectangles, with the sharp edges bound in leather.  While they're not actually functional, the solar panels speak to the green design mandate.  The collar reminds me a lot of this Burberry motif that I cannot upload but will plague you with the link,;slide=11;  See what I mean?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

sustainable means you'll never have to feel bad about that whole blood diamonds thing

I can hear the whining now -- we already saaaaaaw this picture.  Don't start with me because this time, not only can you identify that Bridgestone is the inner tube of choice for rubber clothing, but I want you to focus your awful bloodshot eyeballs on the hand hewn reclaimed copper cuff with brass screw.  It was made by sustainable jewelry designer Susan Crow, whose company, East Fourth Street, was invited to show at The Green Shows in NYC in conjunction with Fashion Week.  Susan and I were in NYC at the same time, living lightly on the Earth -- one of us intentionally, and one of us because I had to.
Perhaps you're scratching the old noggin and thinking sustainable jewelry? Wha? That is because so few of us hacked diamonds out of the dirt with a cocktail fork 20 hours/day when we were ten years old and were renumerated with a bag of cornmeal a week. That is not sustainable for the miner.  Fair trade gems, green mining practices -- these are terms you've never heard, right?  Because they don't exist! I just made em up right this second. No my friends, gem and precious metal mining, refinement and production are rife with human rights and ecological abuses. Wow, way to rain on your nuptial parade, huh? Not when you've got someone as smart as Susan to turn to. All of her super clean, strong designs are made from reclaimed (melted down), repurposed or found metals and stones. OK, I am going to be the first mofo to say Look at this friggin rock I found on someone else's finger! Not even. Susan's biz is totally legit. I mean, look how cute she is...
Here's her official statement -- “Previously good design employed function, great aesthetics and innovation, but now we are adding a fourth-- sustainability. This new reality is about designing smart by integrating sustainable thinking into jewelry design and the development processes from the very beginning.”See?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

This is not your grandmother's rubber jacket and lace-up leggings

Yah, granny could never handle long sleeves. She had to be able to push em up and stash a tissue in the sleeve and motorcycle inner tube rubber just doesn't scrunch up all that well. You heard me. It doesn't scrunch. 
Project Runway, nuthin. This wonder was designed and constructed at great personal sacrifice by local designer Jenn Bratvold and furniture maker Atom Pechman in answer to an Eco design competition. The category was nontraditional materials and their response was jacket and leggings of motorcycle inner tube rubber and dress of copper sheeting shined up with lemon juice.  As you would. They chose these materials because that's what was donated by local shops and friends. Can you imagine trying to be gracious about freebies like that? Thank you soooo much for the inner tubes. They're so nice and black. 
 I asked Jenn if it was difficult to work with these materials. "Oh, yes!  My finger tips were destroyed because a thimble only helps so much when trying to hand sew in a zipper!  Thank goodness Atom has an industrial sewing machine.  That's how we sewed the main seams of both garments. I think it could probably sew through plywood!" Even now, Jenn is thinking about plywood pants. But if you're one of those traditionalists who likes her clothing without hinges, just ask Jenn -- she will try to comply with your weirdo requests. No website as yet: Just let me know through this here blog and I'll hook you twos up.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

So much to look at

I took Art Appreciation back when Rembrandt taught the class and I recall something about how your eye should travel around the composition, focusing first on one object, the pearl earring for example, he was always talking about the pearl earring, that was highlighted with light of celestial origin, and then on to similar forms in a clockwise direction ending up at a rotting grape or the ring on milady's finger that looked like a grape. 
Well that was the 1600s and I've forgotten a lot since then. Obviously.  I mean, where to look first? Detached retinas is a serious concern. So here are the directions for appreciation, as per the master:
1. Be polite and look Jennifer Allen in the eye with a firm handshake and a smile. Repeat her name. Nice to meet you Jennifer. She's an independent stylist with accessories folk Stella & Dot, Which leads us to...
2. DON'T jump ahead to the Power of Pink boots. Don't. Oh my gosh, I can't help my eyeballs -- they just go to the strangely compelling Orbs of the Couch. Which totally own me. I feel like a footstool.  Pry them off with a thwaaack...
3. Ah yes, earrings. And tasselly pendant, and tasselly bag and filigreed cuff and turquoise ring. Those are all of Stella & Dot provenance.  Make your eyes go round and round in an accessory hokey pokey. Now put your right eye in, take your right eye out...
4. NOW you can travel down to the boots, warm your hands over them. OK, that's enough.
5. Something subtle that you may have missed is her trippin' dress. And now art aficionados, we're back in the center of the portrait. With Timothy Leary. Peace out.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

mea maxima culpa

It's come to my attention that I have mistaken mean, ugly and harmful for funny and edgy. To those I've offended or hurt, I'm sorry. It's easy to do damage on the Internet, and very hard to restore. I'm turning over a new needle, which reminds me, the above painting is by Canadian artist Tom Thomson.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

On with the show!

You didn't think I would go to the Carmen Marc Valvo show (which I will say many many times for effect and because I am enthralled by high fashion that also scores through the roof on crash safety tests) and only share the most base details, did you? Picturesque as my area blogger adventures are, I think you will enjoy the real article-- slinky models, gowns in their purest moment prior to being toned down, cheapened up and widened out for the likes of Mrs. Putin (the comrade in charge of Photoshop is now living it up in Siberia). No no, I have front row, nearly-slashed-by-the-models'-hipbones photos!! In the interest of keeping the show moving, I'll restrict my comments to monosyllables and little chardonnay burps. Setting the scene, below, of serpentine walkway, models and guests.  Glass block wall at upper left looks out on Times Square! A very important and over-caffeinated minion assistant requested that I kindly stay in my chair after this.
Absolute fave! No previous breasts required!
PETA nightmare!
 Woofer! Meeeeow!
The A train!

Monday, March 5, 2012

In which I go to a runway show under an assumed name!

Now we're getting somewhere, the Carmen Marc Valvo show to be exact.  I mean, who goes to NYC during FashionWeek to loiter on the sidewalk like a bum and wear four days' worth of clothes at once and go to the Museum of Natural History just for the bathroom and the bag check and not be entirely confident what Manhattan neighborhood they're really in? 
Not me.
Ok, well, me. 
But let's not forget, awful h8ters, I have some connections in the industry, regardless of how reluctant. Just FYI, getting a very limited ticket to these shows is a matter of your importance to the designer. So, the editor of Vogue, the buyer for Niemans, the Connecticut-based mistress of an as-yet-unindicted hedge fund manager -- come right in, sit right down. Some rube from East Buttwhistle with a runny nose and a camera? Not as much. My connection, who shall remain nameless, had more tickets than she knew what to do with so, with the weight of maintaining her good name suppressing most of my natural impulses as well as my circulation, I tottered into the Nasdaq building on Times Square and announced I was someone else.  This, on top of library fines.
As other guests checked their furs and Burberry trenches, I unloaded the Cub backpack with a sodden thud that spoke strongly of a dead raccoon, and was immediately offered a glass of chardonnay. This is more like! This is how the quality live.  The antechamber was packed with finely dressed people who seemed to know each other. As we waited for the show to be fashionably late, I observed nearly all my peers with their phones pressed to their heads. Seeing as how I was impersonating someone normal, it seemed prudent to fit in, so I outed with my Dixie cup with the string attached...
My seat neighbor, above, caught my eye for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I am convinced he was merely pretending to have a conversation, jabbering into a silent phone until the house beat shook out our fillings and the show started. But also his violet and grey plaid pants! Love! And best of all, his padded parket! The only sport coat endorsed by Tenzing Norbu! Haute coature. Country club to base camp versatile! Keep your dehydrated dal in the zippered pocket! Goes well with frostbitten extremities! Ok, I'm finished. Out of rope.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

High schoolers with heart

Aren't they the cutest? And more than legging-with-lace-up-boots deep too (they absolutely did not txt coordinate before they left the house). They could have been sailing in the Bahamas or obsessively checking their portfolio value online or malingering at the MoMA like all the other teens but no, these BFFs volunteered their time to brush off Anna Wintour's chair to keep it free of dust particles and tell the Let's Live! editor from the Rockford Star for the third time that they still can't find her name on the list. Even if it's Snooki with an N. 
Do-gooders or no, I liked everything else about these girls (they're 16 or 17 or 18, so first condominium age) -- privacy glasses (which did not work), a whiff of rocker, the attitude they left in their gym locker so instead they had to go with whatever persona was at hand, in this case, two nice girls having fun at Fashion Week. Also their bags, look downward mofos...
grrrr leopard left and on the right, some kind o' hide, probably Himalayan ibex, completely studded with clear lucite pegs on the bottom. That's the part I wanted you to look at, not the shiny off-duty rock star pants.