Thursday, January 28, 2010

adventures in confusing fashion trends

It seems like every year around this time, when the spring fashion trend predictions start rolling in, we're told "lingerie as actual clothing" is the latest and greatest look to work into your wardrobe. Sure, all ladies have some pretty underthings, but most of us wouldn't dream of leaving the house with these pieces visible (at least not on purpose!). So how to work this trend in a way that doesn't scream "call girl" or "exotic dancer" or call to mind this look from Marc Jacob's spring 2010 runway?

While browsing at H&M today (what else is new?), I spotted a rack of the Sonia Rykiel lingerie line at a serious discount. A corset that I thought could reasonably double as a lacy tank top was marked down to $15 and it was calling my name. Into the fitting room I went.

One problem! How in the name of all that is fashionable are you supposed to handle all the clasps on the back of a corset? I counted about twenty tiny metal hooks, and my short arms could not reach around to secure them all into place. So the adorable top stayed at H&M, and I left wondering how this spring staple would ever find its way into my closet.
Later, I browsed around the Internet for a bit, searching for a practical, not overly revealing lingere-esque top and didn't really have a whole lot of luck. However, I DID find a solution to the whole corset clasp conundrum: ZIPPERS!


Urban Outfitters carries this lovely floral bustier (kind of what I had in mind, but I'm searching for something a little more romantic and a little less 90s-revival) that has a zipper to close it up. What a novel idea. So, here's my challenge to anyone reading this: where can I find a reasonably cheap, pretty, corset-like top that has a zipper, and not a gazillion metal clasps? If you ever see one, don't buy it for yourself--send it to me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

sizing up

I didn't want to comment on V magazine's size issue until I had read and taken the time to digest the whole thing--even though we all saw about 85% of the photos well before the magazine was released. So I was happy to get my hands on a copy when I was out and about this weekend.
It seems that the fashion community is finally starting to realize how unrealistic and potentially damaging it is for them to send the message that looking like a pubescent girl at age 25 is ideal. More importantly, they are actually starting to do something to change it. Plus size model Crystal Renn is becoming more of a household name after starring in a few Glamour editorials and, of course, makes an appearance in V's "One Size Fits All" spread, which features her modeling the same outfit as "straight-sized" model Jacquelyn Jablonski and looking really, really good. I didn't love that particular editorial though. I get the message: Plus sized woman can look just as good as (or better than!) thin models wearing the exact same clothes. But the spread reminded me of one of those "Spot the Differences" games in Highlights for Children. I don't think it was their intention, but I think the shoot seemed to draw more attention to how different the models look instead of how marvelously they both wear the clothes.

I liked the "Curves Ahead" editorial that featured plus-sized models only, but I didn't like that the entire focus of the photos seemed to be on their bodies. When Anja Rubik or Karlie Kloss model, they are showing off clothes or cosmetics or shoes. When they stuck these models behind the camera, the message seems to be, "they might be a size 14, but they still look good!"

What it all boils down to, for me, is this marginalization of so-called plus sized models. They seem to exist so magazine editors, photographers, designers and so on and so forth can be appear less shallow and more open minded to different types of beauty. I don't think it's fair for these gorgeous and talented models to be used so critics will get off the fashion community's back about glorifying unrealistic body types.
I'm not saying the editors of V didn't have their heart in the right place, because I think they did. And mostly, I think the issue was a success. I just wish we could do away with the whole plus-sized/straight-sized label and just call them models. And not comment on a woman's body as if it is ours to dissect. Because at the end of the day, fashion is about beauty and creativity and fantasy. And you need diversity for all those things to exist.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

online shopping at CSN

I hit the blogger jackpot earlier this week when I was tipped off to the online shopping emporium that is CSN Stores. These guys have pretty much everything for your home, from kitchenware to rugs--they even have a huge selection of mailboxes.
I was offered the chance to review something from one of CSN's 200+ stores, and had a really hard time picking something from the hundreds of items they carry. While I wait for my item to arrive in the mail, perhaps you can check the site out for yourself and take your guess at what I picked. Then check back soon for a full product review!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

bits and pieces

Here's a few links to keep you kids busy, should you be so inclined.
I want to post an analysis of V's size issue, since so much has been made of it in the fashion world, but that would first require me to, you know, get my hands on a copy. And since Philadelphia Barnes & Noble and Borders bookstores seem to be a step behind, I'm going to have to wait. But in the meantime...

-Mary-Kate and Ashley's line The Row will show at New York Fashion Week in February. This will mark the first time the twins have presented an actual runway show. Excitement!

-Alexa Chung found herself another job since It's On with Alexa Chung got the can. She's going to design a line at Madewell, J.Crew's trendy cousin. Expect lots of torn jeans and Peter Pan collars!

-Target's next designer collaborations look really promising! If you haven't already checked out Jean Paul Gaultier and Zac Posen's respective lookbooks--do so immediately!

More to come soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

vampire weekend

I headed straight over to Repo after work today to pick up the new Vampire Weekend album, and let me tell you, Anna approves. She stuck the guys in an editorial with Sasha Pivovarova in Vogue's January 2010 issue.  Just thought you might like to know.


In other news, happy birthday, Colleen!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

how i spent my saturday morning

What's more cozy than the smell of cinnamon buns baking in the oven? And what's more satisfying than the feeling that you made them yourself--and I don't mean cracking open a tube of Pillsbury and squirting on some frosting. 
This morning, I embarked on a journey full of flour, cinnamon and kneading. And the result was cinnamon buns. I haven't tried them yet, but they smell fantastic. This isn't exactly fashion-related, but whatever. I created something in my kitchen and feel the need to share it with the world.

Step one: you make dough and knead it for a little while. Some people report kneading to be a pain, but I think it can be quite relaxing.

Step two: after creating a mixture of brown and white sugar and ground cinnamon, you spread it on the flat dough, add some butter and roll the whole thing up. If you ever try this recipe, use LOTS of flour. The dough can get really sticky, which gets majorly frustrating.

Step three: After slicing the roll into individual pieces, you place them on a baking sheet and let them hang out for a little while before sticking them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Step four: You have cinnamon rolls! Hooray!

The recipe I used came from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's Vegan Brunch cookbook. While I'm not vegan (and I admit, I used regular milk in this recipe), I am vegetarian and try to use vegan recipes when possible. Even if you aren't vegetarian, this is a really cool cookbook, so check it out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

alexander wang for linda farrow shades

All the cool kids want a piece of Alexander Wang, the 25 year old fashion whiz kid and current king of the white t-shirt. Since I don't have money to burn on simple basics, I still fawn from afar. But now that I've seen images from his upcoming line of sunglasses for Opening Ceremony, I'm thinking of saving up for a pair. When I first saw them, I thought they looked pretty Gaga-esque, so I wasn't surprised to see she already wore them back in September. I can see these selling out lightning quick when they go on sale, so I'll be sure to keep an eye on this developing story. I've got my heart set on this pair though, as seen on Gaga herself:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

experimenting with floral patterns

I've never been huge on prints--I'm not sure why I shy away from them. But alas, with a little extra Christmas money in my pocket and some post-holiday sales in the shops, I got a floral skirt from the Urban Outfitters sale rack to experiment with (note: I realize the skirt looks better on the model and it's cheaper in stores than online!).  My sister predicts florals will be huge in spring 2010 (you don't say!), so I took some fashion cues from her and paired them with my Olsenboye combat boots for a little 90s throwback ensemble.
This is my first-ever outfit post. I don't know how often I'll do these, but I figured I could experiment with my new camera at least. Lord knows I need the practice--I'm an awful photographer.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

new year's eve is over

But I just bought these sparkly shorts at H&M today (on sale, $10!). I don't know what it was about them that drew me in, but I just had to have them.  I feel like they could have been semi-appropriate for New Year's festivities, but that's all over.
Seriously, does anyone out there have any idea how I can pull these off?? Right now I'm thinking either under a mini dress or with tights and a baggy cardigan.  I just don't want it to be overly

Worse comes to worse, I can always use them for Halloween or something.