Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shoot From the Hip

SQUAT installation opening at the VPL store

The Hipstamatic app is by far my favorite iPhone program, and I've taken such a fancy to the faux-aged digital images that I almost like them better than the photos I take on my much more expensive REAL camera. You can change the film, the lens, and the flash for varying results, but they all have a wonderfully dreamy, washed-out, vintage feel, like they were dug up from your parent's photo albums from the seventies. Here are some of my favorite photos that I shot in the past two months. Do you use Hipstamatic? What are your favorite settings?

My cousin Vincent and his beautiful bride Jenny cutting the cake at their wedding

Jimmy and I at Jenny and Vincent's wedding. I wore a Stella McCartney dress and a Kate Moss x Topshop leather jacket.

Chandelier at the Catherine Malandrino x Lacoste launch party at the Mondrian Soho

Olov celebrating his birthday at home

Olov's collection of headphones, wires, and miscellaneous stuff

Artist Allen Grubesic having a cigarette break

Artwork at a warehouse installation in Gowanus, Brooklyn

Urs Fischer's 'Untitled (Lamp/Bear)' in front of the Seagram's building--built with the help of 3D modeling!


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 30, 2011

Who's Horse Did You Ride In On?

Elizabeth Knight Pegasus necklace. Image courtesy of Tiff Porter.

A lot of people get somewhat freaked out by the idea of wearing horsehair. I've seen the material used in numerous jewelry collections before, receiving alternative reactions of awe or horror. Very few people realize that the material is regularly used in the inside of their clothing to stiffen and give structure to the fabric. I personally love the wirey nature of the material, which is incredibly strong and smooth, and feels entirely different from human hair, even if it closely resembles it appearance-wise.

The latest Elizabeth Knight jewelry collection, Dark Horse, has a decidedly equine theme, incorporating plenty of horsehair as well as bits of pony hide into almost every piece. Taking advantage of the drama of the material, designer Elizabeth Thompson braids multiple strands of the hair into gigantic breastplates, hangs them in shaggy curtains, and twists them into graceful ropes that form bangles and necklaces. Mixed with the armor-inspired metal pieces, the jewelry conjures images of warriors on horseback, giving added dimension to the jewelry collection's name.

Chiron Necklace. Image courtesy of Tiff Porter.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gone Dotty

I first encountered the artist Yayoi Kusama's work at the age of ten, stealthily making my way past the signs warning of "adult content" and material unsuitable for children--all the emblems that naturally attract unsupervised kids wandering in a museum. What was revealed was shocking--hilarious to my ten year old self actually--an armchair covered entirely in stuffed phalli. There were also some videos of naked men running around to Beatles songs, but what I remember most was the chair, which sent me into a fit of giggles (probably why children aren't allowed to view such things). While I've only matured marginally since, it only took me a few more years to appreciate the brilliantly off-kilter, obsessive-compulsive nature of Kusama's work. Kusama is probably best known for covering objects, rooms, giant gourds, and her own body, with thousands of polka-dots, and the graphic and colorful nature of her art has inspired numerous fashion designers.

For Fall 2011, London-based designer David Koma drew inspiration from Kusama's dot paintings, adding them as a recurring decorative motif in his collection. Rather than printing an ordinary polka-dot pattern, the designer laser-cut the dots into the fabric, which he layered over colored fabrics, creating a more three-dimensional effect. Koma also borrowed the artist's vivid pops of color, and even added some dyed fur pom-poms for an over-the-top dotty effect. While the inspiration was somewhat insane (Kusama resided voluntarily in a mental institution for many years), the eye-catching prints and furs are balanced out by controlled and form-fitting silhouettes. The results are tailored and feminine, yet entirely otherworldly.

Yayoi Kusama, Soul under the moon 2002. From 21st Century Blog.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hot Town Summer In The City

After an abysmal and virtually non-existent New York Spring, we're finally getting a whiff of summer heat. What better way to celebrate the change of seasons than with Margarita Saplala? While these are Fall lookbook images, Margarita's collections always feature plenty of airy, flowing silk dresses and separates, perfect for sticky days where you wish you didn't have to be wearing anything at all. And let's be real, with the way things are going, summer will probably extend way into Fall anyway. The simple, comfortable cuts all highlight the original prints, and the clothes are uncomplicated enough to wear every day, yet eye catching enough that you don't feel like a total slob doing so---a perfect formula for easy summer style. Unsurprisingly, Margarita is constantly inspired by her homeland of the Philippines, where beating the heat is a day-to-day sartorial challenge.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Secrets Secrets Are So Fun

Nasir Mazhar for Topshop Jeweled Headdress with Multicolored Pompoms

I've always appreciated how Topshop has gone out of their way to support designers who might not yet be known to the general public, even ones who only recently graduated from college, and use their clout to introduce them to a wider audience. While the UK based flagship store is well known for both collaborating and stocking emerging designers, only some of those collaborations have made it over to New York. Lucky for us New Yorkers, that's about to change, and starting this Thursday, they will be launching a "Secret Store" at both their New York and London locations.

What secrets do we have in store? Special treats from regular partners Meadham Kirchhoff, Emma Cook, and Ann-Sofie Back will sit alongside accessories from milliner Nasir Mazhar and jewelry designer Maria Francesca Pepe. We also can look forward to new partnerships with Michael Van Der Ham, and pieces from local favorite Tom Scott. I would love to get my hands on one of the Nasir Mazhar bejeweled headdresses which were originally designed for the Meadham Kirchhoff Spring show, but unfortunately they're about $600. However, his geometric brass hair combs are around $80, and might be a more affordable option. I look forward to seeing all of the pieces in person--look for the "secret" entrance market by the eclectic flower arrangements...

Nasir Mazhar for Topshop Headdress

Nasir Mazhar for Topshop comb

Nasir Mazhar for Topshop comb

Maria Francesca Pepe for Topshop Love necklace

Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop Bangles in a heart shaped box

Steven Morris for Topshop scarf


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh Dear

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

I don't know the lyrics to the lullaby "It's Okay My Dear," that served as the inspiration for the name of Ashley Cheek's sweet new collection, but Maria's list of favorite things from The Sound of Music could describe the theme just as well. Apparently Ashley's Mom wrote the lullaby to comfort her during solemn times, and in that spirit, the line is meant to cheer you up when you're in low spirits by conjuring up wistful images of youth and first love. Each piece is full of gloriously girly indulgences such as as flouncing skirts, frilly trims, and big fat bows. This might sound like child's play, but Ashley gives the pieces a grown up touch with revealing cutouts, structured boning, and raw edges. Best of all, each piece is made by Ashley herself in her secret studio hidden behind the In God We Trust store in Brooklyn. Handmade with love? Definitely on my personal list of favorite things.


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, May 20, 2011

Red Stripe + Goat Curry

This camera hogging stray dog followed us around for twenty minutes and insisted on jumping in all of my photos. Cropped tee courtesy of Blood is the New Black, Acne shorts, backpack courtesy of Fjällräven, Charles Anastase sunglasses, Havaianas flip-flops.

Last week I got a birthday present better than I could ever deserve: a surprise trip to Jamaica. Jimmy had hinted that he would take me on an excursion, but I didn't know anything until twelve hours before our plane departed for Kingston. We spent the first part of our trip in the beach side city of Negril, and then spent the last two days of our vacation in the lush and verdant Blue Mountains outside of Kingston. I have to admit it took a couple of days for me to adjust my city girl self to doing absolutely nothing, as well as being in nature with half of the known members of the animal kingdom creeping around. Nonetheless, I got acclimated to our beautiful, if slightly random surroundings: a little resort hotel that was mostly populated by middle-aged, topless sunbathing, pot-smoking, single females from America and Germany who had taken Jamaica as their second home.

After this strange but lovely interlude in MILF country, we moved on to a more quaint and cozy bed and breakfast called Rafjam's nestled into a nice little valley in the Blue Mountains, which felt more like a home stay. Susan, who owns and runs the bed and breakfast with her husband and young adorable sons, couldn't have been a more wonderful host and guide, and I would honestly go back to Jamaica just to visit there again. In addition to the idyllic setting, the goat curry by the side of the road is worth a plane ride on it's own. While our hiking was minimal, we did take a little trek through Alex Twyman's family run Old Tavern Coffee Estate, which is a must see if you're in Kingston. We got to see how coffee is grown and produced, in addition to tasting plenty of it. Thankfully, one habit that laid-back Jamaicans and high-strung New Yorkers share is conspicuous caffeine consumption.

Birthday dinner at The Rock House in Negril. Alexandre Herchcovitch x Rosa Cha skirt, Chloe Sevigny x Opening Ceremony top.

Alex Twyman's farm and house on the top of the Blue Mountains

Alex demonstrating how coffee beans are roasted

Freshly roasted coffee beans being cooled

The view of Alex's coffee farm from her living room window

My pathetic attempt at a hiking outfit, wearing the best sneakers I own. Something Else by Natalie Wood dress, VPL bra, Rogan x Target leggings, backpack courtesy of Fjallraven, Charles Anastase sunglasses, sneakers courtesy of Jeffrey's x Keds.

Jimmy at the Kingston military base

Rafjam's Bed and Breakfast

Typical Jamaican breakfast at Rafjam's

The view from our hike in the Blue Mountains


Stumble Upon Toolbar