Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Head Games Pt. II

Yestadt Millinery bowler hat

As I mentioned earlier, I'm heading on a road trip down to the Kentucky Derby tomorrow with Jimmy, and our good friend Forrest (the man behind the excellent Loading Dock restaurant in Brooklyn). While I'm definitely excited for the trip, I have to admit the main motivation for going was the opportunity to wear an awesome hat. I immediately went on a dedicated hunt, contacting my friends who are hat designers, and combing through the hat section of vintage and mass retailers a like. I ended up picking up a few--even though the Derby is only a day, I think I have enough for several changes, as well as the ride there and back!

My favorite is the fur-felt bowler hat that I got from Molly at Yestadt Millinery. I met Molly a few months ago while working at the D&A tradeshow, and immediately fell in love with her impeccably executed work. She often takes classic styles like bowlers, fedoras, turbans, etc., and gives them her distinctive spin. My bowler has a slight tilt in the front of the brim, giving it a jaunty little lilt. I already have my eye on a few other hats of hers for fall, and her signature high trilby hat makes me swoon.

Of course a bowler hat isn't traditional derby wear, so I also picked up a wide-brimmed straw sun hat with a velvet ribbon from my favorite charity shop, The Vintage Thrift Store. It's around the corner from me, so I literally stop there every other day to try on their never-ending rotation of hats. The one I picked is a little banged up, but it fits perfectly, and also serves as a good base if I want to pin on some millinery flowers! For that purpose, I stopped by Forever 21, where I found an oversized fabric flower hair clip, perfect for pinning to a hat, as well as couple of adorable headbands, which I'll be bringing along as well. And just in case I get tired of these options, I'm taking a couple of pieces that I already had in the closet...Now I just have to figure out a way to get them all to Kentucky and back in one piece!

Vintage straw hat with a velvet ribbon from The Vintage Thrift Store

Forever 21 flower hair clip and headbands

I got this oversized bow headband in a goodybag at Stockholm fashion week, and never have had the right opportunity to wear it!

Forever 21 straw boater hat


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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Best Lil' Sample Sale Ever

This Friday, a bunch of the best young designers in New York City are getting together to have a sample sale at my friend Dom's old apartment (60 W. 8th St. Apt 5A., text 347-432-7643 to get inside the building). Dom is moving to the East Village, so he decided to take the opportunity to use the empty space to hold a sample sale with his closest friends. I unfortunately will not be able to make it, since I'm going to be at The Kentucky Derby (!!!), but Christina will be there peddling Arms & Armory jewelry, and maybe a few of our Triskaidekphobia samples too (but no promises, we don't have much stock to get rid of). Dom will be selling his Antoine Dom tees, and there will also be jewelry and hats from Chrishabana and clothes from Telfar (who will also be providing the music). Everything will be SUPER cheap, starting around $20, so stop by to shop and stay for a drink.

Chrishabana jewelry

Arms and Armory jewelry

Chrishabana jewelry and hat
Antoine Dom tee



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Monday, April 26, 2010


Trine Elmkvist dress. All photos from Spot On: TEXTILES.

I know some of you are probably wondering what the hell happened to the old DIY section of this blog. Well, to make a long story short, I have been plodding through a long, tedious (and not very pretty looking) DIY that's taken up the better part of the last five months, and all other side projects and ideas have fallen to the wayside. I'm pretty close to being done with it, and finding these pictures of knitwear designer Trine Elmkvist's work on the excellent Spot On: TEXTILES blog might give me the kick in the pants to finally finish it, if only to move on to other projects. Danish designer Elmkvist's knitwear is inspired by collage making, and most of the garments she knits are constructed from a patchwork of crochet and knit pieces, with the end results having a soft geometric form. Not only are all of the pieces entirely handmade, but Elmkvist even makes some of the yarn herself! While I would never dare try to replicate these dresses, I will definitely be inspired to try out some experimental patchworking at home...


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Princessing About...

Gunne Sax 70's Victorian style dress $85 and blond hairband

I guess it would only be appropriate to follow up my Gunne Sax post with pictures of the dresses that inspired the obsession. I was at The Sweet Ones again today, and during my downtime, I took the opportunity to play dress-up with some of my favorite pieces in the store. This is only a tiny selection of what's at the boutique right now, mainly culled from Alyssa's rack of Victorian-era pieces, and similarly inspired replicas. I could style plenty of looks from other periods, but I'll have to save that for another time, because today I gravitated to the girliest frippery, which had me sashaying around the store feeling like a Disney princess. Of course, I'm no such thing, and during my rounds in the Gunne Sax medieval style dress, I found myself accidentally doing a vaudeville-style backward-somersault off of the store swing. Luckily, no customers were around to witness this, and miraculously I managed to ease myself into the unintentional dive with enough princess-like grace to avoid injury. Anyway, all these pieces are at the store now, and as for my own Gunne Sax obsession, I satisfied it with this find from eBay.

Early 20th century cotton dress with lace details, vintage necklace. My own vintage turban and Gerard Yosca cocktail ring.

80's velvet bolero with fur shoulders $95, and blue shoes $45. My own Kate Moss x Topshop dress, American Apparel tights, Gerard Yosca necklace, and vintage turban.

If I look sheepish, it's because I just accidentally plunged backwards off of the store swing. Gunne Sax 70's medieval style dress with velour placket, $65, and blond hair headband.


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Saturday, April 24, 2010

That 70's Dress

Gunne Sax white dress from eBay

I have a new obsession---vintage Gunne Sax maxi-dresses from the late 1960's and the 1970's. I'm not exactly proud of it. First off it's almost doltfully un-chic, considering the name Gunne Sax refers to Gunny Sacks, as in BURLAP BAGS, which were allegedly used to make the trim of the original collection of dresses. Perhaps the naming was meant to be ironic, but somehow I have a feeling it was meant to be evocative of the humble days of prairies and pioneers that the dresses often aspire to sartorially imitate. Secondly, the dresses often are described with somewhat gag-inducing eBay adjectives like "boho" and worse yet, "Ren Fair" or "demure wench," and are usually accompanied by poorly styled photos evoking the above terms. Is your stomach turning yet?

In short, these aren't the type of clothes I'd naturally be drawn to. I blame it on Alyssa, and working at her store, The Sweet Ones, yesterday. Being surrounded by an archive of authentic 19th century clothing for a full day inevitably makes you want to dress in it. Unfortunately authentic Victorian clothing was cut for true Victorian ladies, with 22-inch corset-cinched waistlines, rather than my modern frame. The Gunne Sax 70's interpretation is still slender, but more forgiving, and with forty years of aging, almost looks truly antiquated, save for the modern details: zippers where bridal buttons should be, high collars descending into modestly revealing necklines, synthetic fabric lining. Plus, they look even better once you try them on, with their perfectly billowing leg-of-mutton style sleeves, and their seemingly endless cascading hemlines. Of course they easily lend themselves to the hippie outfits that they were arguably originally intended for, but to me, they're evocative of John Singer Sargent via Virgin Suicides. Here are some of the best Gunne Sax dresses I've found for sale around the internet. Naturally I didn't share my absolute favorites--I might want to bid on them myself!

Prairie style Gunne Sax dress, $58 from Mother's Daughter

Gunne Sax lace Victorian style dress, $124 on eBay

Gunne Sax 70's corseted dress available on Ebay for $166.
Gunne Sax corseted dress $72 on eBay


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Thursday, April 22, 2010


A.morir studded sunglasses

After a raucous party at Fat Baby, Convent has now been officially open for about a month, showcasing awesome and adorable clothes and accessories at a relatively accessible price-point. Run by our friend Travis Wayne, the store sells a range of emerging designers from New York and around the world like The Costume Department, Dusen Dusen, The Twentyten, Odeur, and of course, our line, Triskaidekaphobia. Travis has done a really good job of working with many of his designers to get pieces made exclusively to fit the progressive design aesthetic of his store, and I think you'll find that most of the pieces in the store have special twist. We stopped by to drop off our jewelry this afternoon, and I snapped some photos, while eyeing some of the newly arrived shorts and swimsuits from L.A. based label Geronimo. If you're in New York, make sure to stop by, take a peek, and hang out with Travis and the gang. And if you're not from NYC, don't fret--the online store has every up, and until April 24th, they'll be offering free shipping on all North American orders of $150 or more!

Dusen Dusen printed backpack and A.morir studded sunglasses

Beetle and Flor porcelain skull

An I Love Factory headband made exclusively for Convent

Acrylic jewelry

This dramatic unisex fringed hoody from The Costume Department has already gotten plenty of blog love...

These high-waisted Geronimo denim shorts look amazing on!


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Head Games Pt. I

I'm heading to the Kentucky Derby next week, and the main reason my husband convinced me to embark on this adventure is the promise of an excuse to wear a crazy hat. I thus have impunity to buy myself a new hat without having to listen to him complain about how much clothing I already have (we are constantly battling for closet space), and have spent a good percentage of my free time perusing the internet for the perfect Derby hat. Not content to settle for one, I've already bought myself a few hats and headpieces, and came across plenty more that I can only admire, because they're out of my price range. One of my favorite millinery designers is J Smith Esquire, from London. To me, Justin Smith's hats evoke all of the fantasy, drama, and majesty associated with haute head pieces, without falling into any of the traditional church-lady tropes of traditional wide-brimmed hats. Perfect for the Derby, no? Here are a few of the pieces on my dream list from his Fall 2010 collection. I'll show you the ones that I actually got later...


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Homemade Brooklyn Is Back!

For those of you who missed the first run of Homemade Brooklyn (I myself am hanging my head in shame), Jessica from The Shiny Squirrel and Sew Moni are giving us a second chance to partake, with another run of their pop-up shop showcasing locally made products. If you've read Jessica's blog, you know that she has amazing taste, as well as a knack for hunting down unique and hard-to-find items, and I expect that her store will naturally reflect this. Located in the Williamsburg at 522 Metropolitan between Union and Lorimer, the shop will feature wares from jewelry designers Species By The Thousands, and perfume from Brooklyn Brainery Perfume Workshop, in addition to nightly workshops, lectures, classes, art exhibitions and performances. As always, all the events are free, and this time the store will be open for a full week, so you have plenty of time to make it over there. I've posted the calendar of events below--I'm going to try to make the opening party, even though it coincides with the night that we're having Hot Chip DJ Webster Hall (which you should also come to), but if you don't see me there, I'll definitely be popping in for one of the workshops!

Calendar Of events:

April 23

Opening Party

6:00 – 9:00 pm

Free Food and Drinks

April 24

Short Film/ Music video Screening

presented by local bands and the Brooklyn Filmmakers’ Collective

live performance by glazz

7:00 – 10:00 pm

free food and drinks

April 25

Performance art piece by Miniature Rhino

An interactive mail making experience

12:00 – 8:00 pm

April 26

Species by Thousands Trunk show

6:00 – 8:00 pm

April 27

A Brooklyn Brainery Perfume Workshop

7:00 – 9:00 pm

April 28

Kong magazine presents an Erotic fiction reading

w/ Rachel Kramer Bussel, Mo Beasley +Rue brutalia

spicy ginger beer by Brooklyn soda works

7:00 - 9:00 pm

April 29

4 x 5 = under 25

An art show of 5 artists with 5 pieces who are all under 25

7:00 – 9:00 pm


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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dolly Girl

A doll wearing a floral gown inspired by Alexander McQueen's Spring 2007 collection. The dress took Andrew sixty hours to hand embroider with all the fabric flowers!

After two months of planning on meeting up, I finally stopped by my dear friend Andrew Yang's new Williamsburg studio, which is home to his quickly growing collection of couture dolls, The Koukalitas. You might remember them from their high-fashion debut in last month's issue of The Block Magazine, which stunned fashion-freaks and doll-lovers alike, in addition to sparking the interest of many high-profile stores and magazines. I'm going to have to keep mum on the upcoming projects, but let's just say that they're about as exciting as it can get. Remember when I wrote about my friend Joseph Altuzarra during his first season? I have a feeling that Andrew's dolls will be receiving a similarly warm reception from the fashion industry (I already heard that Michele Lamy posted a picture of the Rick Owen's doll in their home office).

I actually didn't just stop by to ogle what he's working on, but to talk about helping out with making jewelry and accessories for his upcoming massive orders, as well as hang out and help stuff some dollies. I got a first hand look at how each doll is meticulously, painstakingly constructed, and even brainstormed with Andrew and his lovely business partner Jen a little on transmogrifying all the crazy runway looks into miniature versions. While some looks are easy for Andrew to whip out on the sewing machine (an Alexander Wang Wallstreet inspired look, slinky black jersey pieces from the Row, a fishnet dress from Y-3), some looks will really challenge his creativity, like a fully bead-embroidered multi-colored look from Manish Arora, and a Mary Katrantzou dress featuring one of her wildly complicated digital prints. Another mystery: dolly-sized platform shoes and fashion heels---anyone got any brilliant ideas? It would be so much easier if he had one of those shrinking machines that Rick Moranis had in Honey I Shrunk The Kids.

Anyway, here are some behind-the-scene photos of the magnificent studio, which rival's Santa's workshop for general magicalness. I can't show too much though--you'll have to wait to see the fully realized dolls at The Koukalita's debut during the next Fashion's Night Out in September!

Andrew and his partner Jen in the studio

The office mascot, Andrew's cyclops doll, Ingrid St. Clare!

Jen stuffing the leg of a doll--not as easy as it looks, especially when you're making a couple hundred of them!

Embroidered swatches for future projects

The wig wall, along with plus-sized doll, Beth Gouddard

Mini dolls!!! These little ladies are about 1/3 of the size of their larger counterparts.

Name that look! These are the fifty looks from the Fall 2010 collections that Andrew will be recreating for a very large order!

Doll bodies and parts on their way to being hand stitched together


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