Wednesday, May 30, 2012

vintage posture

Is it possible to pose in a retro way? Even though they've both done a super job of saying "vintage" sartorially, what rings my Andy Mayberries is the way they're standing.  He's kind of a broad-shouldered palooka just come from his steady job at the bank, standing straight, and proud to be out with his girl. Arm around her waist, not in Guido way, but in a This is my date way. His sweetheart is kind of snuggled into his armpit and doesn't mind it one bit. She's dolled herself up -- lipstick, fixed her hair, fully foundationed -- and standing demurely, feet together, ladylike but confident, shoulders back, smile forward. The curve of her hand on her purse -- Rembrandt-esque. Gosh, they're swell.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Retroguys in tight pants

In addition to being impressed by their tolerance for vaso-constricting clothing, I had not noticed the evil all-seeing eyes of the Minnesota History Center. Lookit that. It feels sort of menacing, doesn't it? One love dudes, even though we're here in the land of Michele B. likker stores closed on Sundays and firearms available 24/7.

Monday, May 28, 2012

a really sweet dressette and blisters under my toenails

If it's not one thing it's another. Sure you get this unbe-fucking-lievable Alice and Olivia dress inspired by a chicken carcass. For $6. But then you get some running shoes, red, flexible, just like you like em and you run like the wind in them, but it turns out they're a little short (big shoes, i.e. shoes that fit, are nasty and long) and for 7 miles they smoosh your toenails. And your toenails get six kinds of outraged and make their point by developing blisters the size and shape of a Hostess (Toestess) Snowballs underneath the nail. My entire feet have not turned black and putrid and started to drain. Yet. So, cute dress and amputation with a rusty butter knife. You can't have everything.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Retrorama is not ruined! Hurray!

The ladeez are killing, killing I tell ya.  Maybe I should have titled this post, Let's get this party started!  That's what I like to holler at the senior sing-alongs.
Is that a gang sign? Not the pearls, the woman on the right?  It probably means she's a member of the Science Museum and there's a reciprocal arrangement with the History Center, so when you flash the sign, yo ya get reduced-price parking sucka.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Retrorama ruined!

The same camera that begat the Nurse Nicole debaucle strikes again! This threesome was just so cute (were just so cute?) I had to post it anyway.  Between our man about town, elbow-warming gloves on the left and the peplumed pretty on the right, you get a strong whiff of vintage here, digitalitis or no. Say, this can be a fun DIY project -- out with the colored pencils and connect the dots, color in the white parts, bedazzle them as you wish! And color me smarter because I ditched this camera for a less impressive looking but more reliable one.

Friday, May 25, 2012

so sue me

Someone told me that only white girls snap their fingers while dancing. Would you want a dress I had done hip thrusts in*?
*I was wearing underpants. It's a Carlisle dress, thus, lined.

in which i make a dress video

Can you stinkin believe it?  Overage video probably should be illegal but right now it's just unethical. So I'm all in!

windy city

Hold onto your hair... wait, dang, that is windy.  Oh silly, she did the asymmetrical 'do on purpose. We both hearted her flowing flagging stripes and I'd like to plug the gold Bugle Boy sandals too.  Good thing the city of St. Paul pointed out that hole to the earth's core in the sidewalk. Because that could be surprising.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

third eye skirt

Isn't this the scariest skirt you ever saw in your whole life?  In a good way.  In fact, it has inspired a haiku:
Three eyes has this skirt.
Fifteen years from the Goodwill,
it has seen a lot.

Eye'm not quitting my day job. Haiku was clearly the wrong vehicle -- this skirt deserves an epic poem because some avant garde chick who made her own tofu bought it, undoubtedly after listening to Ravi Shankar on repeat, and when she got back after the accident, she was never the same. Which may have been a good thing.  Forest, trees, whatever, she boxed up all that old shit and the Indian print bedspread and put it in that donation bin on Nicollet. With $1.49 burning holes in her pockets, the above woman's much older sister got this in a witchy woman Maya Angelou moment. Ten years of scary eyeballing later and she steps in as the caretaker of this historical surreal skirt. Hysterical skirealism?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

nurse nicole

Wouldn't it be great if this was some kind of artistic effect?  But no. Instead, I am weeping with frustration (insert gnashing of teeth and professional wailing) because there are so many good things lost to what I will call digitalitis. 
When I asked if she dressed this fabulously all the time, she said yes because she's a nurse... So when not in scrubs, she presses all the Hot buttons at once and goes out de do'. Like jorts + heels + mile after mile of gam sandwich. You will not be surprised to learn she does some modeling on the side.  And also on the front and back. She just got that hair -- blackened, pixied, banged straight across, devil-may-care. I took a closeup of her eyelashes because they were like a tourist attraction, like the Empire State Building for heaven's sake. Even being able to stick fake eyelashes to her eyeballs instead of her cheek was photo worthy but, whoa, double bug-eyed blink-tastic when she confirmed they were her very own fringe.  That closeup came out like a Rorschach test.  Nurse Nicole and others in the medical community interpreted the test and diagnosed User Error. Applicable to both brain and camera.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

hats interrupted

 These two photos of the same woman are separated by this blather and three years. Above she's rocking the fedora and below, a Chanel-esque cloche.  Even without exposing myself to the harsh glare of the lens, this blog has revealed two of my many moral weaknesses -- patterned tights and hats. I'm drawn as if by a gigantic magnet. Here's how I try to make this sound not pathological: Patterned tights and hats are just far enough out of the mainstream that, by just placing them on our legs or heads (and this is double true when people put tights on their heads and hats on their legs) it totally changes the underlying body part. Yeah, renders it almost unrecognizable -- like some new appendage as yet unobserved by science.  Whoa, what is that round tufted bladder on top of your neck? With the flange-like shelf?  Except in this case, I wouldn't recognize her head without a hat. In scientific circles, they call that a compliment. Here's some more science jargon coming at you -- she has perfect perfect skin.

Friday, May 18, 2012

this is what some people look like coming home from work

 Again with the employment of crisp black and white, to nice affect. What's remarkable here is that this is the end of the day, 5 bells, and she is not sporting raw sewage on any portion of her being. I thought that was a given -- why else would you take a shower? It's times like this I realize my life has been happening on a parallel but nonintersecting plain.  Proof positive? See the cute bow-browed sunglasses below? Why would I buy something like this..
when I could be rocking the pieces of black plastic they gave the little man after they dilated his pupils? And why wouldn't I have a TV set with rabbit ears? If you are a facial plastics specialist, avert your eyes from the Chucky-esque nasolabial canyon.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

visitor to A Man's World

Luckily this interloper decided to bust in on It's A Man's World fashion show or there would have been an event without sparkles which is like a brand new pencil -- long and pointless. You've been a great audience, thank you, oh enough, you're too kind. 
Moving on, yes, I heart the sequined jacket and sparkly clutch, but I'm intrigued by the satin peplum. Did the blouse designer run out of silk and decide to finish it out in satin? Was the juxtaposition of fabrics deliberate? There's a lot of retinal tension at the blouse-peplum border that makes me feel alive. My blood pressure is jacked over the whole concern. Also, this marks the second time I've photographed liquid leggings in which Olivia Newton John was NOT singing Better Shape Up in the background. And again, the affect is one of citified sophistication rather than urban blight.
Next time a camera is pointed at me, I'm going to try to remember to cross my legs like this. And smile. With both sides of my mouth, equally.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Banging good show, old sport, well done. Wearing some attitude there but we can overlook that for the plum-derful jacket. Yessir.  Kicks of butta. And the locally artisan-printed t-shirt, name of which has seeped through the cheesecloth that's draining my gray matter. Are you just thinking "head cheese?" I am.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

24K education

 How badly did I want to caption this photo "Gold bunions?" A lot.  Trouble is, there's not a bumpy bunion to be found. In fact, these are a couple smooth and fetching lower extremities. Way to ruin it for me sister sparkle.

Luckily I'm not one to hold a grudge.  Especially when this Macalester scholar stepped up and deftly taught How To Wear Gold Not on Your Grill Or Your Lady Parts And Still Look Quite Good 201.  Recall, Gold 101 was led by Professor PartyPants a few posts earlier.  So there you have it under-gold-uates.  Do I get credit for this BS?  Somebody stop me.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

two guys carry off normal

Have you ever tried to look totally normal? And what happened?  We're telling the truth here. The Enquirer was flooded with calls of Elvis sightings and the site that informs citizens about level 16 sex offenders in your neighborhood crashed from overuse, right?  These two dudes get double bonus points for absolutely nailing normal (they're available for babysitting!) at a fashion show, no less. They are not Ken dolls -- their skin looks weird because I was goofing around with Photoshop and couldn't get back to Normal. There is something personally meaningful in there...

happy mother's day

I sure am glad you decided three kids was a good number and kept me real clean and made me that handkerchief print dress  and bought me lace up Hush Puppies instead of penny loafers because they were too wide for my narrow feet. Like yours.  And taught me to eat real healthy whether you like it or not. In fact two important takeaways are: We all have to do things we don't want to (like smile, see below), and don't think too much of yourself (this was before they invented self-esteem).
This was Mom being silly. Because it's ridiculous to smile. This is also much much larger than life size.

The top photo in this group is my favorite of all time for so many reasons -- they all look so kind and gentle and like they genuinely love each other. I love the way my grandma is not looking at the camera, but rather at her only child, my mom. And her finger-waved hair. Grandma made all of mom's clothes, including the Little Comrade hat and coat, and the awesome harem pants/sweatpants. So prescient.

Friday, May 11, 2012

party pants

It was her birthday, ergo the party pants. They are festive, no? In a classic Greek way. Ooopah! Which is Greek for Bring some more of that flaming likker! I was kind of surprised later after I toddled away on my bike and the lonely gray cells had time to connect up via pony express, because the message that was handed off was Huh, I have just witnessed gold shiny shiny gold leggings and I don't feel dirty or like I should call a responsible adult at all, the way I do when I see the same article in an American Apparel ad. I guess it's the simple sandals and belted vacationing-in-Capri-the-island tunic.  And the fact she's not wearing handcuffs. Happy Birthday golden girl -- you're already older and wiser! And shinier!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

things that start with W

White shirt, without wrinkles, Wilhemina models (Eric, left, is agency director), woman wearing wicked tall shoes, wigged out, wtf is going on with Blogger?, trying to Woccupy Google, what would you do?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's a Man's Post, ha

Secrets Fashion Agency, the brainchild of local fashion impresario Joan whose sternum we met previously, produced a men's fashion event called It's a Man's World, which I cannot argue with.  Men walk around in their world in pretty unremarkable clothes (there is a reason for this, see below), so when I got wind of this male magnet, I hurried on down. And was rewarded! Dudes! Feeling the tiniest bit self-conscious! So I like to capitalize on that and call it out -- people like that.  

Above we find Sam in a blue phase. Just chillin'. Those are not jeans, they're denim and may or may not be new.  The tie and vest suggest he's in the business of chillin' and very very successful at it. Right on man, cute as the dickens.  (Is it better to be grammatically correct and use the apostrophe, ex. chillin', or to be colloquial and hope that my readers, both of you, understand that chillin is neither a new verb nor a typo? The gag reflex that I get from having typed this term four times tells me I should be gougin' out my eyes, it's that morally wrong).

Here is why it's best that guys walk around in unremarkable clothes...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

high-low for dummies

Margiela + Walmart = all you have to know about looking offhandedly chic. Example A, above, demonstrates ably. Tailored jacket with sweatshirt, street-ready jeans with office-going pumps. Hard candy butterscotch ring and hippie beaded earrings. Check, check and check. Red flag?  If you've got more than one item that say Kiss Me I'm Irish  by the same designer, you need to change.  Or if you're me, only one undergarment on the outside at a time. 
Not sure if the pursed lip woman was in on the sting, but I captured the museum brownshirt in the background with her very large cement brick-sized phone calling for backup to bust me and my flash.

purple reign

Rose red lipstick, orchid purple tights and the dress of a thousand posies -- this woman is not afraid of color.  Which I like in a person.  And then she cut the sugar with some badass boots... nicely done. The art aficionados in the background are getting pretty heated up about ducks in the postmodern lexicon. As you would.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

in which I tout an Italian woman with real skillz

I met Angelina, chief cook and arbiter of style at, at Art in Bloom and she did not look like a cloud in the blue sky so naturally I did not take her picture. I've just gone to her blog and been blown away -- here is someone whose kitchen creations do not serve as a horrible warning. Here is someone who can make food that people can eat with their eyes open. I have copied and pasted her recipe for Basil Lemonade below in hopes that some of you who are not reading all this shit might think I cut those lemons so thin and perfect like that, and that I have a cutting board and made this refreshing drink. For all my guests. And my small German/Irish family that gets together irregularly and worries when I have a glass of wine in my hand.

Basil Lemonade

With the summer-like weather this weekend, I thought it would be the perfect time to make my Basil Lemonade.  The inspiration of this drink came from the wonderful D'amico and Sons restaurant here in uptown.  A few summers ago, they featured this lovely drink and I instantly had to go home and create my own recipe.  After a few trials and many lemons later (I used to squeeze the lemons by hand and figured out buying the juice is much easier), I discovered the perfect drink that is fantastic for picnics, summer barbecue parties, or just during a hot day.  If you are entertaining, feel free to add some rum or vodka to the mix. Cheers!

Basil Lemonade
4 cups water
3 cups basil simple syrup (recipe follows)
2 cups pure lemon juice
1 lemon sliced into wheels
1 small bunch of basil leaves

In a large pitcher pour in the water, basil simple syrup, and lemon juice.  Stir to combine and then add the sliced lemon wheels.  Tear the basil leaves in half to release their flavor and add to the pitcher.  Stir all ingredients together and pour into a glass filled with ice.

Basil Simple Syrup
3 cups of water
3 cups of granulated sugar
3 bunches of basil (about 2.5 oz)

In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and basil.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and cool the syrup.  Once cooled, remove the basil leaves and discard.  Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

blue heaven

Hoooweee, word, new moms -- the bar has just been raised. One more damn thing to cry about. When I saw this fabulous either-I'm-dusting-my-baby-grand-in-a-multilayered-chiffon-dream-reminiscent-of an-Edith-Head-original-or-I'm-effin-wasted go by with her American boy doll on the hip and some shoes that had me thinking how easy it would be to simply knock her down, take them and run like hell...well. Like you, I assumed she was either a super hot teenage babysitter or a celeb mom and that this photo op would soon be over and the nanny would take the kid quick before mummy's blowout got mussed. 
Dead wrong mofos.
She made that child her very own self (in between a pilates class and a worthwhile volunteer gig one assumes) and was confident enough in the care and operation of said toddler to bring him to a museum with lots of breakable art and people in a barf-ready white skirt (!) and mummy's-ankle-has-an-owee  heels(!) and hair(!)  Don't shoot the messenger when I tell you the skirt stayed white, the art remained intact and so did this party's sanity the entire evening. On top of wearing white and heavenly drapey blue and momming with one hand, she was real friendly and nice and told me she dresses this way all the time (except for the heels) in her job as a teacher at a Minneapolis Montessori school. "The kids listen better when I'm dressed well," she said. It's true. In her warm, pretty, smiley presence, all my urges to push or butt in line or swear just melted away. Pretty much.
P.S. Is she a Jennifer Lawrence look-alike or am I stoned?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

models in bloom

 What are the chances, right?  That I should happen onto not one but two models in the tribal uniform of off-duty models, one of whom (her leopardness) had recently returned from a modeling assignment in Singapore, who both love and represent and are represented by Vision Management only moments after I was busted by a museum brownshirt attendant for using a flash which probly degrades the art by hosing it with photons, so I turned off the flash and tried to rely on holding the camera steady for 8 or 10 or a million seconds while the shutter invited every particle of light from the third floor in?  

Come to think of it, the chances are quite good.
This is my impressionistic rendering of her TSA-friendly Jeffrey Campbell shoes. Impregnable (and I may have said a mouthful there) shoes are having a moment, aren't they?  I could see where an off-duty walker or an off-duty finder-of-stuff-in-the-dark might accidentally aerate their body.