Thursday, February 28, 2013

back to clothing

See, because we're looking at her back... Shhhhuu, moving on.  For the life of me I can't remember whether she said this surf-inspired top was Marc Jacobs Collection or Prada Collection. The Collection part was emblazoned on the gray cells though because we were at a fashion show and it must be perfectly clear that we are not wearing jeans and a t-shirt (fashion shows can only tolerate a certain amount of irony) but rather jeans and the unadulterated sweat of the designer's brow that is The Collection. Not some watered down, malled up Marc by Marc or Prada by Prada thing that was misunderstood by the masses and thus found itself on the sale rack at Macy's along with some Michael by Michael Kors and J by J Lo items.
I would be a lot clearer on whose sweat and whose collection this neoprene-esque top came from if I had not busted up a conversation and rudely taken this unauthorized photo.  In doing retroactive research on neoprene tops -- holy hang ten -- nearly every designer has caught the surf-inspired wave, Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel going so far as to put their logos on the tool of the trade. The surfboard.  It's sort of dangerous to write "tool of the trade" and "Karl Lagerfeld" in the same sentence, isn't it?  Could be misconstrued.  As in, Yo, check out the dude with the totally festy white founding fathers 'do going all rank. Grundle, brah.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


My country tiz of thee... hand over heart now... Sweet land of liberteeeeee.  No kidding, this inspiring view greeted me every time I went to the bathroom on the sixth, and top, floor of The Jane.  The warm glow of freedom had sort of a diuretic effect -- I was in there all the time.  Plus I was drinking a lot.  Of water. 
This time around, I gave Emma and Frank a break and did not stay with them and leave my damp running clothes on radiators and behind the bathroom door. I did that at The Jane,, see below.  That's me sitting on the bed/storage area/lounge/work space in my $79/night cabin. You read right -- 79 clams. They've maintained the charm of the hotel's origins as a sailor's hotel without the scurvy and venereal diseases.  Notice the rail with sliding hooks where my running clothes are dripping.  Charming. In addition to the convenience of being able to touch all four walls from any given spot, there was a window that opened, a flat screen TV, a radio/ipod dock, free and fast wifi, 400-thread-count sheets and, because you have to scamper down the hall to one of several communal bathrooms, they provide a short and revealing robe and awesome monogrammed slippers that were neither right nor left -- you just slip em on and scuff away.  Also included in your unbelievable $79 rate is a 24/7 hipness factor, patronized as it is by models, film industry people and other artsy types practising their craft on a limited budget.  It's located at Jane Street and the West Side Highway, on the border between Greenwich Village and the Meatpacking District, so, if you've ever in your life dreamed of buying dental floss next to Liya Kebede, your chances are better here.  On the other hand, you may be coming back from a run and have snot on your jacket the one time you cross paths with Ben Affleck.  So it's a double-edged sword.
Absolutely every dreadfully hip and trying to be ironically bourgeois (the effort is palpable) boutique is within a three-block radius of The Jane
like the sandwich boarded Margiela shop where there were six white t-shirts hanging from a pole, egg cartons stapled to the wall and a plexiglass covered bathtub quirking up the fitting room.  I made some comment about giving me an exam to the white-labcoated employee -- il n'a pas apprecie.  Much as I apprecie'd the close shave with the cutting edge of fashion...
here is where my blood pressure skyrockets,  the rods and cones go into a frenzy (poor lighting, straining to see if that Helmut Lang jacket really is marked $10.99, mind blown) and the credit card comes out. Note the way the bourgeois concept is carried through effortlessly, down to the sleeping bag and remains of a meal just inside the door.  I did not make any cracks about physical exams to the employees here at the Quincy Street Salvation Army, because they weren't wearing white lab coats.  And because STD testing is only done on Mondays at this location.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dude cannot go to the bathroom in Tokyo, he's so hot

He comes to NYC to use the restroom for school and again with the paparazzi. What's a logo-ed out Bob Dylan look-alike to do?  It was the comrade fur hat and Wayfarers that made me turn around in the queue to the only public restroom in the East Village and be like,  Bob? Is that you? So weird because I'm pretending like I'm not from Minnesota either!  What was really strange was that neither Chanelman nor his girlfriend had ever heard of Bob Dylan which caused me to shout out in cultural indignation and sort of put some nice kids from Tokyo on the spot in Starbucks -- Bob Dylan?!!!!!!  Blowin in the wind Bob Dylan?!?!?!  Nope, nuthin.  They outed with their smartphones at my insistence and, ok, what I remembered as a fur hat was actually Bob's hair, but if you mash up the rare photo of the famous troubadour with frosty highlights + the one in Wayfarers and polka dot shirt, I think you will see that I was hopelessly off base and scrambling the resemblance.
I think I've made my point.  Which is that rising sun vests and bro bags are going to cause a stir no matter where you try to empty your bladder. 
This is not the second time in a row I've imagined I've seen someone famous in NYC.  It's easily the 47th time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

here's why I do this

Of course the main reason is to be an impediment, to get up in people's business, so, mission accomplished! 

Let's say you're on Bleeker Street coming from Ina and the gray cells, all six of them, are completely engaged with pretty clothes and not falling on the ice.  And you see this woman either busting into a maximum security prison (note razor wire) or trying to park her car which, in NYC, may be one and the same experience.  And the gray cells drop what they were doing (you immediately slip on the ice) and move forward as if drawn by attractor beam (the kind that lights up when you're attracted to something), because here is something so much better and more exciting than the 4,379 highly styled, fully staged images you've been deluged with in the last few days.  Right here,  right now.  This is not a photo op, it's a moment in a busy day -- what? yeah, ok fine -- and then it's gone. I see, I like, I show you.  (Ceasar was misquoted, thus the spread of sandals).  This is to document beyond a shadow of a doubt that effortless cool does happen.  Her coated jeans are by Denham which is a Dutch company.  She got them in Amsterdam.  But even if you went to London or Tokyo, where Denham threads are also available, and picked up some coated jeans and a pimped out army parka and a burgundy hide bag, it would be impossible to reproduce this moment in fashion history.  Which is why I'm glad I did my little street style thing.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Two shades of grey. And some black.

I'll be categorizing the colors in this post, tonally and then by matte or glossy.  Color me effin funny.  This is Dee who I specifically instructed to stand in profile as I'd first spotted her because her Zara coat had a nice minimalist teardrop shape.  Which did not come through in the re-enactment.  She was so awful nice even though I got all Richard Avedon on her, and she invited me to New York Korean Fashion Festival. Unfortunately, the Festival happened on the day I left NY but it sounded fun -- Fashion Week sounds like Finals Week, something to be endured, whereas Fashion Festival sounds like floating lanterns and kimchi and confetti and the color red! 

Back to her Zara coat -- I was digging that she'd found a way to rock a short-sleeved coat, imagining she'd layered her own awesome quilted leather jacket underneath. Not even!  Those tuff forearms are part of the coat, literally an arm dickey.  Remember dickeys?  Me neither.  I always wanted a dickey but was misunderstood, with predick-ha-table result.  Let's devote a moment right now to dickeys, be they fake turtlenecks, shirt collars, sleeves, socks or people.... Ok that's enough.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fashion Ten Minutes

 Here's something I learned from other street style bloggers:  Don't chew through your photos in chronological order as if through a package of Hydrox sandwich cremes.  Mix it up -- offer a bite of Cheetos, then a hit of chocolate flavored hydrogenated fat. Post a photo from August in Milan right after the one you took last week in Brainerd.  It makes it seem as if you're constantly jetting across datelines, flitting from one exotic ecosystem to another instead of sitting at your dining room table with a bag of toxic orange-colored fried dough.  When I was writing a story on the Crashed Ice soiree, I met a freelancer who was "based in St. Cloud." As if she only returned briefly to her St. Cloud pied a terre between Mustique and surfing in Fiji to water her plants.  I told her I wasn't based anywhere; that I had not left my bunker in St. Paul two miles from where we were standing in seven years.  I am such an asshole

Yes, but I'm cosmopolitan too -- West Village one day, Rapson Hall the next.  The somewhat less salubrious truths are that one of these women is a two-time victim of my blogging activities, I was outside the Apparel Design Senior Fashion Show at the U of M because I didn't want to pony up for a ticket and managed to photograph a junior in the program and no legitimate seniors, and I was there for ten minutes because I'm based in St. Paul I was parked illegally.

Above and below on the right is junior in the Apparel Design program Kora Gleason,  That's her sister on the left, modeling a comprehensibly zippered jacket that was inspired by Hell's Angels + Oliver Twist.  I think.  I probably should have asked her.  Kora is pretty damn sharp which is why they let her, as a junior, show one item in this seniors-only event.  She accessorized the jacket with bangs, her very tall sister and a dress, which is brilliant.  I was going to title this post More Bang for My Blog (see, because of their bangs) but that would've been dumb.

Monday, February 18, 2013

yoga/musician week in NYC

Duh, by the Bikram calendar it's yoga/musician week, thus her lamb coat of many curls.  The sunglasses are in remembrance of Curt Cobain. Probably.  And because it's very very sunny.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

the real show begins

They brought up the lights after the Lhuillier smackdown and the crowd of about 4,763 made for the exit like they were giving away free cheese.  Much as I enjoy clothes as they were meant to be -- lumpy ass-free and set to mesmerizing beats -- this signals the start of the real show for me, free range and salt stained.  Luckily, even without pushing,  I was able to keep on eye on my first victim, above,  because she was literally above,  easily 6' of blackness in flat shoes.  She denied being a model but, my friends, let's look at the evidence:  Spotted at a fashion show (!),  commitment to severe monochrome,  elements of leather including racing gloves,  hair,  Clint Eastwood poncho.  Pretty damning.  Damn pretty also.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

how the magic happens

Ok, so the previous post showed the stunning artistry and slick styling of a traditional runway show in all its sharp-boned glory. Here's what goes on outside that closely cropped photo.
The girls -- most models have only been on this planet 16 to 20 years -- are apparently told they won't get the puppy if they register so much as a flicker of life in their expression.  Furthermore, model training focuses on a mode of ambulation that flies in the face of physics, physiology, animation and most of the guests in the front row.  Think show pony who's had a bucket of Pucker.  Against all odds, they make it down the runway, fortified by very stout mascara, until they run into the above wall of photographers, their hip bones arriving ten minutes before the rest of the skeleton. They give a real hard glare, clatter a 180 and head back. There was only one high-heeled wobble in the Monique Lhuillier show and the model saved it with a minimum of flailing and not a blip on the flat line of her facade. That's control.  Or powerful weed.

 Holy crap, this is a rough crowd with all those undead.  I was actually able to take this photo using only the glow from my own zombie eyeballs for lighting as I was 45 minutes past my expiration date. Thus the term fashionably late.  Also the term alright already. The seating at these affairs makes the Hapsburg court look like a love-in -- celebs they've lured with free pants, buyers from Barney's, editors of major fashion magazines, trust fund chicks with names like Poppy and Nasturtium and bloggers exhausted with the effort populate the front row, and it filters down the social ladder as you go up and back until, see that black hole at the top of the photo with the barely visible shackles against the back walls? ... Well it was only 20 minutes.
What appears to be a comparison of male and female pattern balding is actually the shot I got of my favorite scalp  gowns.  The Monique Show was relatively long at 40 looks which took about 20 minutes to trot out which seems a shame -- months of work and Xanax for 20 minutes. They recycle the models, buttering their elbows to slide em out of one sausage casing and into another at great speed.  This is accomplished by legions of verklempt dressers, hair and makeup people wielding brushes and sponges and people hissing into headsets.  If you don't have a facial tic and a spinal neuroma from flinging your head around looking for someone to yell at, you have not done your job correctly.  In situations like this, I enjoy responding to frantic requests to move down to the end of the cattle chute row by walking real slow and blinking with my mouth open the slightest bit. It soothes people.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Monique Lhuillier: Every day's an occasion

 Full disclosure: I did attend the Monique Lhuillier show (thanks Donna Bohn, manager of the Edina salon!) but in the interest of showing the clothes rather than the bald spot of the guy in front of me, I nicked these photos of my favorites from, where you can see all 40 looks.  But you can only get my insightful blather right here, so buckle up and away we go to ML's Pounds of Gowns.

For the benighted, Ms. L started out in bridal (which is still the bread of her bread and butter), then expanded the occasion potential to red carpet events and state dinners at the White House because, think about it, the average woman buys, what, probably four wedding gowns? Hello, business model.  Now, are you a Jil Sander (who is so minimalist, two Ls were redundant) customer?  Well then, look away because we're going all rocococococo with a lace overlay. And some fringe. And some Swarovski crystals.  Example A+ above and my fave:  You are gonna be the shit when you strut down the produce aisle at Lunds in this marvel of Art Deco intricacy.  Are you bothered by the crotch-centric hub of black hair lace?  Me neither.  As Diana Vreeland used to say before she died, The eye has to travel -- mission accomplished.

Inspired by malachite and rubies, above and below are ML's concession to the practicalities of life -- pants for those chilly days at the dog park, and a shorter, bike-friendly silhouette with larynx protector and sternum ventilation. Seriously, would you not feel so much better about cleaning out the furnace filter if you were wearing something magical like this?
ML does not go part way -- she also designed all the shoes in the show, and I guess I'm more than a little in love with the ones above.  Though one could gather that Her Lhuillier-ness is anti-pant, given the leg-swathing she did show was closer to lingerie than trouser,  she has a history of coming out for the finale wave n' walk in full-on pantalones (below).  Anyhoo, the takeaway is, whether you're tripping up the red carpet or you just want to put some vavoom back in vacuuming,  Monique Lhuillier's going to do you right.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I get you into a presentation -- how lucky for you

Retraction: I have been waaaaay too hard on Alon.  The fashion world is a cold and bitchy place, and takes itself really seriously. What would you do?  Make fun of it, of course.  But I'm just messing with our man Alon -- I dig his sense of drama, his vision, the sweat of his creative brow and the godawful toll an event like this must take on one's liver.  To Alon and his frozen jewels!

Don't be silly -- it's a presentation, not a show. Mr Ed coulda gotten in.  I had gained admittance to the temporary structure Mercedes Benz builds out of used air bags by saying I was there for Moan-eek Loo-ee-ay, and was taking a load off in the product sampling and air kissing area.  My, it was nice and loud with maybe 3,762 people competing for attention by way of fake Louboutins and other big costume boobs stuff. I was sporting completely authentic eye bags, a mullet skirt by Cos and lumberjack boots. Inspired by frostbite. Suddenly, a thin and earnest fashion vassal, thus fashal,  appeared before me and pressed some collateral materials into my hand, fairly begging me to attend a presentation that was happening Right Now.  Presentations are shows for beginning designers.  When you don't know who the hell they are, like Alon Livne.  His mother is going to be super pissed off I said that. I thought I'd go and give Alon one more frail body, but as you can see, I would not have been missed.  Those photos should be switched around because the second one shows my initial impression of girls forced, no doubt at gunpoint, to wear android swim caps on their heads, and the first one shows how I then effectively shoved through the crowd to document the nudity abuse.

According to Alon's press materials, he is located at the epicenter of Tel Aviv glitterati, one blinged out oy vey. This collection was inspired by the "beautifully bleak post-apocalyptic world as described in the writings of British author J.G. Ballard."  Clearly Alon has never been to Brainerd, which I think is well-known as the epicenter of beautifully bleak post-apocalysm.  Alon went on to say his mannequins are beautifully frozen jewels hung between... do you, like me, feel like Alon wrote this while realizing for the first time that NYC is a cold cold place for jewels. And other vulnerable appendages.

Monday, February 11, 2013

a show goer

Moments after a two-leg flight, a 75-minute subway trip and five blocks of dragging my suitcase through the poo of winter storm Nemo, I stumbled (all too literally) on this nice unarmed person. Given her camera-loving face atop beanpole frame (see? she's taller than the fountain at Lincoln Center), I thought she might be working a show, but no, she was on her way to Tibi. I felt so special saying I had somewhere to go because it is a crime in NYC not to be busy and important that was a designer's name.  And even more special that I can spell and pronounce it -- Monique Lhuillier.  Moan-eek Loo-ee-ay.  Tray speshul.  Even though we were steps from our destination, I took this photo and immediately went into the wrong building where a tired security guard told me to take a left and go til I got smarter.

Friday, February 8, 2013

what Lady Gaga would wear in uptown

Lady G has influenced Brian even though she won't be slithering out of an egg at the upcoming Grammys because she expresses herself to the point of being obnoxious, and he respects that.  Ergo, the pink and purple shoelaces. Brian, or maybe Bryan (I didn't confirm spelling thus confirming my hopelessness as a journalist) made my day by answering my opening request for photo with, "I insist." What's that? The glasses? Let's list all the ways we can describe them -- effin huge, Prada knockoffs, steam punk in philosophy, unnecessary.  That's why I like him. Them. 

Clap your WWJD bracelets together and say a semi-stoned prayer because I'm hitting NYC tomorrow at the same time as Nemo.  It's Fashion Weak!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February like you mean it

 Dude was either horrified by me or the fact that people still blog, or both, so I tried to keep crazy chatter to a minimum.  The coat is from Banana Republic, not this man's army.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

go big and go home

Lookit.  This is why I patronize the credit union instead of TCF -- a pretty someone wearing key rings of the ancient Aztecs on her earlobes and hair she is never gonna lash someone with (I'm making a citizen's arrest on Beyonce for assault with a nasty weapon) invited me to have some popcorn.  I like that.  This was her first day on the job, but from the way she was working the snacks, I see car loans, what the heck, 30-year fixed rate annuities in her future.  By the way, she likes chunky jewelry but admitted, by the end of the day she's going to have ears like a bassett.  But with her big eyes and smooth hair, if anyone could pull that off...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

on the coldest, darkest, bleakest day of winter

 Hurray! A conceptual photographer to the rescue!!  I like her eyeliner. I like her rings. I like the fact that she was willing to risk certain loss of extremities just to rock this Trader-Joe's-shopping-cart-red leather jacket with zip-off peplum.  I don't even understand the zip-off peplum but that's ok!  In fact, it's part of the attraction -- the mind-blowing options! The mystery!  The rod-and-cone party, 110% red quilted leather! At the last possible moment, Karrah,,  saved me from grim descent into headless photos of myself and clothes laid down flat and lifeless which were often hard to distinguish, with dramatic lips!  You know how vulnerable I am to dramatic lips.  Over-stimulated, reckless use of exclamation points ensued and now I have to sit quietly for a while. 

Ok, I'm cured. Thank you Jesus.  And thank you Karrah.  I said she looked very California and she said she's been traveling in California.  Note, traveling.  When you go to California, you come back looking like Roy Orbison. When you travel in California, you come back looking like this. See the difference?