Thursday, January 31, 2013

shoe-gooder stimulates economy and eyeballs

These are Marc Jacobs boots. And Marc Jacobs legs.  Dude.  If anyone is even thinking the descriptive word "fierce," your screen will animate and Marc Jacobs gonna kick yo ass.  Same thing if the thought, Damn those some scaly unattractive pegs, flashes up on the grey cells.  Enough judgmentalism -- only I get to do that.  It's time for an Economic Impact Study! Yayyyy!  Inhale. Hoooooooold it.  And let's go!

First off,  these kicks are imprinted in the fuschia interior and the sole with the troubled megalomaniac's genius's name only once, thus Marc Jacobs, rather than the cheaper stuttering version, Marc by Marc Jacobs.  I had some trouble ascertaining the original retail price because studded heels are so 2010 but this minute's boots by the designer are going for between $750 and a million dollars. Thus, using the lower number, we can see that someone was a genuine foo' got the economic ball rolling briskly.  And played along smart as like Paris Hilton by realizing within one wearing that studs attract gamma rays from Jupiter, so she gave them to one of the Village People, who was like, Duh, I'm the Native American, and he put it in a great big garbage bag along with the trappings of his former life as a cowboy, and donated the whole shebang to Savers in Bloomington.  Where I tottered in.  The boots were marked (Marc'ed, ha) $12.99 which made me hesitate but I had a 20% off coupon.  According to Savers website, my $10.30 was part of the $150M they handed over to their nonprofit partners to carry out their valuable services right here in our community.  So that's probably good.  As much as I dearly wanted to grab hold of those economic balls and not let anyone else touch the or play with them and in fact be sort a great big a**hole  and gloat ... well ok, I did do that stuff. (see above)
But then, when it was pointed out that I looked like a salamander with gout I realized I should keep the ball rolling and share it with others less cheap fortunate than me who otherwise would be forced to buy Giuseppe Zanotti boots full fare, I trotted them right up to GH2 in Minneapolis where they pried them from my claw-like grasp and I cried a little and felt so terrible for sharing.  However my 50% take on whatever outrage those nice people put on the price tag will stimulate my personal economy such that me and my rippling effected thighs will reverberate all the way out to NYC. Where some seriously stimulating stuff may go down. And by that, I mean I may order wine with a name other than Red.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

a day without orange is like a day without cold harsh realities

Orange happens. It happens to me with great frequency.  Like beans, or people forgetting to call me back.  For three months. This is a particularly sick orange incident, a vintage cycling jersey with the label Protogs in it.  I dig togs.  Dad n lad togs. Teen togs.  Hitler Youth togs.  Back in the day, before enhancements of breast or performance,  if you were going out to get some exercise, you rocked togs.  So we can see that I'm strictly maintaining the unenhanced integrity of my togs.  I may or may not be wearing this tog backwards, but if you want to get the slice of pizza you put in the pocket, it's a lot handier to have it in the front.  This genuine article is made of superwash wool, long before SmartWool decided to charge $27 for washable socks.  The bonus is that it exfoliates like nobody's business. Thus the t-shirt.  Thought I'd accessorize my Protogs with some dungarees, which would have been even sweeter if I'd had some iron-on patches for the knees.  It was the coldest day of the year, so of course I'm celebrating by strapping turds on my feet. I thought if I amped up the photo it might look like I had breasts.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

another incident that would not have happened if she'd had a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher

You hear about this stuff all the time -- a mutterer, a babbler with some facial drooping on one side lurches up to you smelling of bacon and wearing what appears to be an inflatable raft, blurts something about a blog, tries to take your picture with a fake camera, blames the difficulty on the cold-paralyzed battery and proceeds to "warm up" said "camera" by fondling it.  When will it end?  This whole unpleasantness could have been avoided if she'd had a convincer with a big clip, n'est ce pas?
Unarmed as she was, and super friendly to boot,  Becca is used to crazies because she lives in LA and was in town for her job, which is digital marketing for Red Bull.  But she's from Minneapolis! And she loves winter!  And will be back here some day!  Despite the fact that every time someone came through the door of the St. Paul Hotel just behind her,  an icy blast blew in and withered every potted palm instantly.  Nevermind cuz, completely without warning, the camera went off and captured a crude image of her sweet out-of-production business-cool perfed Doc Martens.  Squint. 
Whoa. Stop squinting.  As I was heading back to my burning trash can thinking what a nice hotdish of a girl she was, I got an eyeful of this edgy 'do.  Which just goes to show, she may have lost some hair in the earmuff zone but not her pragmatism -- duh, cerebral cortex fully haired over and insulated. Everyone knows that.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

is this Tom Ford's fault?

(I drew those white circles on my camera lens so that, in the rare event my clothes are not stained, I will still photograph normally)


It's mystery time mofos.  One puzzle I've already solved for you is which is the ventral and which is the dorsal elevation of this strangely featureless scaffolding. And I'm not talking about the dress.  Aside from the photo caption, you can use the model's toes as a North Star -- they almost always point toward the front.

Now the facts. I got this dress at Savers perhaps six years ago and have never worn it out of the house for fear of causing no stir whatsoever. The thought of exposing my solar plexus and no one knowing or caring, well...well, experience has shown, it's a bummer.  Also, it's probably wrong where food is being served. ANYHOO, the label says Cathy Hardwick, so as a value added program, I did some research on this Korean-born designer who moved to the U.S. in her teens and was the shit in the 1970s and again in 1985. In 1986, a super good-looking guy with perfectly maintained rugged yet urbane facial turf knocked on her door.  Following is a transcript of an interview with Tom Ford about that incident:

 FORD: I had always been fascinated with architecture because I like building things. So I went back to school and studied at Parsons and studied undergraduate architecture.

RAO: But, when you graduated, you couldn't get a gig.

FORD: No, not quite true. I drew up a fashion portfolio, banged on everyone's door on Seventh Avenue, said I'd just graduated from Parsons, here's my portfolio. I never said that I had only studied architecture. So, I misled people a bit. And I pursued a woman called Cathy Hardwick.  And she gave me my first job. She later told me she liked the shape of my hands and that's why she gave me the job, not because I was a good designer or that I had a great portfolio. She said, "You know, you had very beautiful hands" - don't zoom in on my hands, they're not beautiful today. But anyway, that's how I got my first job.

Tom Ford was the head designer for the Cathy Hardwick label from 1986 to 1988.  Tom Ford famously went on to make Gucci the designer of record for American Balloons N Botox, LLC based on clothing that demanded careful grooming of the sternum (see above).  It would be well within the bounds of historical reconstruction to state that once Ford had (not) sewn up this breathable number with his beautiful hands, it was purchased by Elaine, of Elaine's, and was party to an all-night Boy George-fueled rave. Soon after that, Elaine had some technical difficulties, kneecaps became the body part du jour and the dress and its owner went out of circulation. Hazelden happened, which is the sole reason Minnesota's population is > 4. Following the rule of twenty years which states that any artifact or person not used in twenty years shall be donated, bing bang, we're at 2007, Lake Street Savers, and me and my sexually ambiguous frame walk in with $3.99 burning holes in my pockets.  There it is -- mystery solved. So this is all Tom Ford's fault.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

when natural elements happen to good dresses

Remember the Florida sunshine orange Courreges shift of several posts ago?  This pat of butter silk from Bonwit Teller took the same cold water plunge but did not fare as well.  No matter, something had to be done about the 40 years of sloughed skin cells, bodily fluids and dressing from the watercress tea sandwiches this thing was harboring.  Ok, yes, I shrunk it. Happy?  And as of this photo, have not taken on the formidable task of pressing it after the bath. But the soul-enriching color and the under-the-arbor-at-the-countryclub low back remain as enchanting, and less toxic.  I know there will be naysaying, but even before I introduced it to an element of nature, anyone over the age of ten would have had to remove several ribs to get into this thing. Now the age limit is about 8 but, say, this 8-year-old is going to be the best dressed person at Chuck E Cheez by a long way. The only label other than Bonwit's is a small one that says Cameo New York.

Friday, January 18, 2013

black and white and vintage all over

One, two buckle my shoe...

Ok the cute Fluevog shoes, but what I want to call out here is the black camel hair riding hat with bow in back. It's vintage.  That means good.

Three, four there's so much more...
Like I said.

Five, six just for kicks...
She made these.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

where have all the people gone?

As I wrote that headline up there,  my brain and eye bags and perhaps my liver were occupied by Pete Seeger, and while I meant to intimate that it's rock bottom Ugg-tastic winter and no one is venturing out of their underground bunker, thus the body-less presentation above, Pete felt like busting out with his 1955 folk classic Where Have All The Flowers Gone.  Oh snap, we made a photo joke.  See, because there are flowers...

You cannot believe how this ensemble, scrounged on various trips to Goodwill on University, delights me.  The happy navy and yellow flowers of mind-blowing proportion -- man that is good stuff.  The long skirt was made in France for I Magnin and is a delicious silk/cotton. The closeup photo is meant to give you a fighting chance to see the covered buttons up the front of the skirt. If you have every wondered how to disguise buttons, here is your answer. The cotton coat has only one label that says Melody Thomas Scott. I looked this up and found that Melody Thomas Scott is an American actress best known for playing Nikki on The Young and The Restless. I...I...I'm confused. Do I now have the coat of daytime TV star?  More importantly, did she emblazon her clothing with her name because she was senile and living in an assisted living home where other old ladies sometimes pinch her stuff?  What was that Pete?  Melody Thomas Scott, long time paaaaassing.

Friday, January 11, 2013

these are not floral jeans

There's a lot more than an ass-widening botanic buffet going on here, and I'm not talking about the gold toe socks.  Learnding is about to happen so assume the position, cocktail in hand, medical marijuana at the ready, and dig...
Katharine Hamnett, the cause of this carnival for the lower extremities, is a British designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins School in London, and is best known for her ethical, environmental and social campaigns,  Burma, life, organic cotton, solar power, no nukes, child labor and pollution are just some of the things she's taken on using her designs as a billboard. If I turned around, I think the message would have been clearer -- something about saving the vast rolling tropical rainforests of the Amazon. There's a really good interview with Ms. Hamnett here,, although again I warn you, there's a photo of Boy George that is just uncalled for.  In this interview, she cops to launching the careers of photographers Ellen von Unwerth, Jurgen Teller and Terry Richardson, and models Kate Moss, Claudia Schiffer and Nadia Auermann, so her Buddhist faith hasn't completely cleansed her of ego.  Yee gads.  Also Jurgen Teller has contributed to more hideous photography than a basement-full of 1970s home videos, so I'm thinking it might have been more socially responsible to have launched Idi Amin. 
I'm not sure of the date on this denim but it's a departure from her big white slogan t-shirts, perhaps falling somewhere between the No Nukes and Wear A Condom campaigns,  miraculously conveying both environmental concern and safe sex (the 47-button fly is like a three-day cooling off mandate). There it is friends, more than you ever wanted to know about Katharine Hamnett. Except that in 2011 she was knighted a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for service to the fashion industry.  Those Brits really know how to do pomp, don't they?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Add up Really dramatic + Really black + Red lipstick + thRee layers of long underwear, plug that into regular household current and that gives you the R-value, which in this case, is quite lovely.  It was -10 degrees on the Kelvin scale and she may or may not have had to get into a sleeping bag with someone else to thaw out her smile. She is a firm believer that warm does not have to look like dog poo, the color of kibble + a tennis ball and sort of intestine-shaped. I added that analogy to boost the Revolting value of this post.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

High street

Talk about swagger, and we weren't.  This marvel of asymmetry is by British company High and, as of this posting, was sold out on Polyvore and several other sites, so eh guv'na, she bought the very last one.  That was my Cockney accent coming out -- happens when under the influence of Spitalfields. East Buttwhistle. Draining Whitlow, which is just down the road from Knocking Headboard. Right. Seem to have lost my way now...
Those are expedition-strength boots, are they not, with the little animal oozing out at the top. I like.  But could never pull this look off without affecting a Dickens of a persona.  And there are just too many armed people ...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

this is one of those year round bikers

At first of course, I was just going to use this soapbox for public humiliation and to provide a real clear target next time you're bombing around in your big-ass 1995 Villager van after a snowstorm, but then he parked his bike so you can't see the make and model I really dug the comprehensively denim look with pop top of orange.  He says he wears a lot of denim and if you strain your eyeballs, you can see a denim shirt under the denim Vans jacket. Socks? Denim. Underpants? Denim. Facial hair? Denim.  Jeans?  Duh, those are NOT denim. Those are special biking jeans by Cadence,,  that are reinforced with titanium, and diamonds, and have an inner water resistant coating. And they have turn signals on the ass and beep when you back up.  See those manly work boots?  He did not activate the auto-kick function on them, for which I am very grateful.

Monday, January 7, 2013

vintage Courreges!

Now that I have seduced design freaks (for those with a higher tolerance for key names in the garment biz, Courreges' designs not only hung on the likes of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton but also in the MOMA,  Victoria & Albert Museum and other mad mad mod venues of historic importance), I'm about to horrify you with the details of abuse of said dress.  I got it from the dingy basement Ragstock in uptown along with fleas or a rash or kookemia (yechhh that place creeps me out) for $12.  Even aside from it's hi-beam color that is visible from space, this wonder jumped out from the racks of diseases moldering away in the dankness.  The heavy wool, completely lined, feels like it was made on the royal loom, it's that hefty and majestic. The architectural construction was accomplished by the loving hands of a master tailor, not a 10-year-old in Malaysia. Heck, the big old label screams Bon jour ya fookin idiot, but I can't even speculate how many pierced and inked Ragstock shoppers instead picked out the orlon acrylic re-enactment of the bathroom floor of the Schooner on a Sunday morning hanging next to this important piece of design history.

It's vital that you appreciate the filth in which this garment was found so you won't judge me too harshly for using salad tongs to place it gently but quickly in my washing machine with a liberal amount of environmentally friendly laundry soap (which everyone knows is simply ineffective) and hitting the gentle cycle. While it's true, I'm too cheap to use dry cleaning, I'm also convinced that you get back all of the filth, contagion and bodily fluids you dropped off,  eternally horribly sealed in a plastic wrap of toxic chemicals. Eeeuuw, I'd rather take my chances on ruining the garment.  The documentation you see here, taken prior to pressing, shows that it came through the ordeal like a trooper.  If possible, I feel even better about this sequence of events.  I may make a little gallery in my house, in the upstairs real tiny bedroom and rope it off with colored yarn and establish a suggested donation of $75, like the Met. And maybe I'll have Petula Clark on the hifi and visitors can dance. Plan your visit by clicking here. Or calling 1-800-NOT-LIKELY.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

at the end, the hair dyes

Gave away the ending but the story, in uptown anyway, is selective dyeing and strong eyebrows.  This killer dye job was executed by Hair Police (wow, how long can I ride this violent riff? apparently about to here).  She's got some dreds tied in the purple mane too, and if you bug your eyeballs out with effort, you can sort of see an orange rose earring she scored on Etsy for, like $1.  More than anything, I thought about this last bit of information.  Did that include shipping? I would like to see this artisan's business plan.  What is the break-even point?  Is the creative satisfaction from gluing plastic roses to earring backs such that monetary reward is redundant?  Wait just a stupid reflective minute... People doing marginally creative things for zero monetary gain because they don't have computer skillz?  I think I can speak to that.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

wild horses

Blond forelock courtesy of The Fox Den Salon, on 22nd Street in Minneapolis.  Eyebrows that punch above their weight and perfect eyeliner.  Wild horse-themed fleece most recently from Salvation Army.  Doc Martens.  Can't drag me away.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

newsbear cap

She says the vintage fuzzy bear was the best purchase she ever made, and I believe her, although it was the dapper newsboy cap, tilted down at a winter solstice angle, that urged me to execute a deft 32-point turn on the River Road.  

I have a vintage navy blue animal coat similar to the one above and common sense tells me... ok well, common sense tells me nuthin. Common sense and I are not on speaking terms.  It feels incredibly soft and pelt-like and while the labels don't say directly that it's made of lesser marmots, it does say "Professional dry clean by fur method." So I infurred (whoa there, on fiya) that my silky blue friend was not a cheap toupee made from millions of plastic threads glued to an underlayment of virgin polyethylstearabutylene, but rather a rare carpet made by plucking one downy tummy fur per day from the Tibetan oryx. Or it might be New Jersey rat dyed with that knock-off denim that's so popular on Canal Street.  Either way, it's one of the best purchases I've ever made too.