Sunday, December 27, 2009

a compendium of curiosities

I went to New York City today to visit some family and see the sights. It was way too crowded for me to really enjoy anything, but we did manage to make our way to Bergdorf Goodman's to check out the window display.  This year's theme is "A Compendium of Curiosities"-- a sort of Alice in Wonderland meets in the world of high fashion.
Since I got a digital camera for Christmas, I was able to take some of my own pictures for once! Get used it--this camera is very talented, so expect more of its work on this blog in 2010!

I loved this part of the Pamela Love window--a crab, I believe, playing a violin.

Alexander McQueen!

The most eye-catching window featured a playing card-covered table and decked-out mannequins.

You can't really see the details too well, but this was a Marc Jacobs window.

If you're curious to see some better-quality photos of the window displays, head over here for a slideshow.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I love that they put Gaga in this SS10 Viktor and Rolf piece for Elle's January issue.
I realize this blog is quickly becoming a tribute to Lady Gaga... New Year's resolution: Find another hobby? Or another obsession? It's so hard though! I'm still listening to The Fame Monster on repeat! It never gets old!
Anyway, Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Year End Wrap Up

Since this is a fashion blog, there isn't really any way for me to rank and grade everything that happened this year. But it's December and everyone is listing their favorite albums, songs, movies and tabloid stories. These lists are generally meaningless, but they're a fun way to generate a discussion of the past 12 months. So what can I do to get some closure on the year that was 2009?
I decided to share with you my top five favorite women who made a splash in '09. Since, like I said, this is a fashion blog, they had to be generally well- (or at least creatively) dressed. But I'm not totally shallow. This isn't a best-dressed list--it's more like a countdown of the ladies who made this year more interesting, fun and beautiful. Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

Alexa Chung
'09 accomplishments: This former model and British TV presenter won American hearts when MTV hired her to host TRL replacement It's On with Alexa Chung. Since I have a full time job, I only saw Chung's show the handful of times they aired a repeat after 5 p.m., but she was totally charming and down-to-earth--not to mention extremely well-dressed. Chung's tomboy-meets-girly-girl style is easy to mimic, which made her a major '09 icon among fashion obsessives.
She says: "I guess I like things to look more authentic. Or maybe I just like that haggard look. I grew up in a cottage, so I like things to look like the plaster is falling off." -To V magazine
What's next?: Our darling Alexa's show may have been cancelled, but I have no doubt she'll find plenty of new challeges in the new year, even if all she does is show up to events and get photographed in adorable outfits.

Taylor Swift
'09 accomplishments: What HASN'T this girl done this year? She went on her first headlining tour, won a VMA, survived being accosted by Kanye West, swept the Country Music Awards, hosted and performed as the musical guest on SNL, turned 20, and possibly dated a werewolf.
She says: "My toenails are painted black right now. And sometimes I paint them all different colors. I'm making so many major decisions about big things right now - my tour, my second album, which songs to put on my re-release - that I don't seem to be able to make little decisions anymore. Like, what color to paint my toenails." -To LOVE magazine
What's next?: Well, the Grammys are coming up in February and Taylor's been nominated for several. She's also set to appear in the movie Valentine's Day, which will be released on, well, Valentine's Day. Taylor Swift: making everyone else look lazy by comparison.

Brody Dalle
'09 accomplishments: So maybe Brody hasn't been on everyone's radar the way Taylor Swift was, but that doesn't make her place in my heart any less special. After the Distillers disbanded in 2006, Brody finally re-emerged this summer with the release of her new band's eponymous debut Spinnerette. The album was a fun summer soundtrack I played over and over despite the huge departure from Brody's punk roots. But we're all allowed to experiment, right? As evidenced above, Brody also spent 2009 wearing heart-shaped sunglasses and hanging out with robots.
She says: "The death of my dad and the birth of my daughter are really what a lot of this record is about. When you have those two things it's like a huge swing of the pendulum. You look at what's really important about walking around this planet." -To Pop magazine
What's next?: I haven't heard any official Brody plans for 2010, but here's hoping she sticks with Spinnerette and keeps delivering her unique brand of badass girly rock.

Lara Stone
'09 accomplishments: This Dutch model completely owned fashion this year, making herself one of 2009's highest paid models. You couldn't open a fashion magazine without seeing Lara's gap toothed mug or bare breasts staring at you. Carine Roitfeld dedicated the entire February issue of French Vogue to Lara, declining to feature any other models in that issue's editorials. She appeared on the covers of British Vogue, W, French Vogue (twice) and i-D. She appeared with Caroline Trentini and others in the ads for Sonia Rykiel's diffusion lingerie line for H&M and walked in several runway shows.
She says: "This Belgian girl was in the way, posing for the cameras. I kept saying 'Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me,' because I had to get to the catwalk, but she just kept posing. So I pushed her. It was only a few stairs." To British Vogue, on pushing a fellow model down some stairs.
What's next?: Lara shows no signs of slowing down. Images of her LOVE magazine cover have just started appearing--the magazine's third issue comes out in February. She's even replacing Madonna in Louis Vuitton's spring ad campaign, so we certainly won't stop seeing her face everywhere any time soon.

Lady Gaga
'09 accomplishments: Type in the letters "L" and "A" into a Google search and you'll immediately be greeted with "Lady Gaga", "Lady Gaga hermaphrodite", "Lady Gaga poker face lyrics" and other nonsense. Gaga completely took over the world in 2009 with the release of her epic, pull out all the stops music video for "Bad Romance" and the subsequent release of her second album The Fame Monster. I had the privileged of attending her Monster Ball tour stop in Camden earlier this month, and had my mind completely blown. This is an artist who really knows how to perform--after two hours, several costume and set changes and dancing galore, I was completely exhausted and I wasn't even the one up on stage. Of all the lovely and talented females I swooned over this year, Lady Gaga has worked the hardest and completely deserves the success she's earned. And just look at all the insane outfits she wore!
She says: "The truth is that every bit of me is devoted to love and art and I aspire to try to be a teacher to my young fans who feel just like I felt when I was younger, I felt like a freak. I guess what I'm trying to say is I wanna liberate them, I wanna free them of their fears and let them know they can create their own space in the world."-To Barbara Walters
What's next?: The mystery of what Gaga's going to wear, say, sing or do next is half her charm. But I can confirm she'll continue touring in support of The Fame Monster, and graces the cover of Elle's January issue. As long as Gaga is still driven to be the performance art extravaganza she was in '09, I expect to include her on this list next year, and the year after that, and...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

maybe cintra isn't so bad after all?

Hey, loyal readers! Just wanted to take a brief moment to direct your attention (if you haven't read it already) to this great Elle interview with the NYTimes Critical Shopper Cintra Wilson.


You may remember Cintra from her controversial column on Herald Square's J.C. Penney in which she insulted everyone from middle American shoppers to the "obese" mannequins inside the store. A sampling:

"It took me a long time to find a size 2 among the racks. There are, however, abundant size 10’s, 12’s and 16’s. The dressing rooms are big, clean and well tended. I tried two fairly cute items: a modified domino-print swing dress with padded shoulders by American Living (a Ralph Lauren line created for Penney’s) and a long psychedelic muumuu of a style generally worn by Rachel Zoe. Each was around $80; each fit nicely and looked good. I didn’t buy either because I can do better for $80, but if I were a size 18, I’d have rejoiced."

Yea, yikes.
Well, old Cinta redeemed herself in this interview and came off as a clever fashion writer who recognizes why people sometimes put down fashion because of its frivolity and excess. When asked about how fashion forward she really is, Cintra remarks, "I think of fashion as a very immediate and fluid art form, so I try to look at top-shelf, couture boutiques the same way I look at art galleries - I don’t need to own the stuff to appreciate what it means, and what it makes me feel."
I've always used a similar line on my parents when they wonder why I freak over bajillion dollar couture pieces I'll never own. Most people will never own the art hanging in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but that doesn't mean they don't enjoy paying admission to look at it all for a few hours.
Also, she's practical! When asked what she'd do with $5,000 to spend at Barneys, Cintra would, "probably end up buying something boring, sensible, indestructible thing that I thought would last the rest of my life for about 2K… and then I’d buy all my Christmas presents."
After reading this interview with her, I've come to the conclusion that Cintra's J.C. Penney debacle was just a bunch of really bad jokes from a woman very out of touch with the middle-American midset. I'm not making excuses for her, I just think she didn't fully understand the impact her snarky remarks would have on readers outside of the metro New York fashion circle. Hopefully the whole experience just taught her a very valuable lesson. Thoughts?

On an unrelated note, I'd like to direct you all to Pandora Radio's Lady Gaga station. It's been a lifesaver during my weekly B&N cafe homework sessions.