While many fashion designers have drawn inspiration from the Catholic faith, appropriating crosses, rosaries, and even clerical garb for their own twisted purposes, fewer have looked towards Judaism. It is not everyday that you hear about a designer making "couture yarmulkes," and when I heard the term I admit I initially guffawed. However, I was familiar with the label, Young&ng, and their completely unique line of statement headwear and jewelry, and knew I should take a look. The fall collection includes a jagged gold headband that slightly resembles a crown of thorns, a cuff that is cut to look like shattered glass, and of course, a metal "yarmulke crown" with a honey-comb like cutout pattern that is meant to be worn like a fascinator. Even if a bejeweled yarmulke isn't your thing (it also carries a pretty heavy pricetag of over $1000), the other pieces are undeniably rad. The very secular looking gold haircomb with a metal fractal growing out of it is more to my (atheist) liking.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
If you've ever felt similarly, now might be the time to take the plunge. Talenthouse, a website that sponsors creative contests, has just launched a new invite for aspiring milliners, with the first prize being an internship with legendary British hat designer Stephen Jones. The contest will be judged by the designer himself and Dolly Jones of Vogue, and if you're interested in submitting your designs you can enter below. If you need some additional inspiration and motivation, here are some examples of his work, as well as some photos from his studio.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Last season I was somewhat bewildered by young&restless's inspiration: the flying squirrel. This season, designer Ashburn Eng has gone for a more familiar source of inspiration: boy meets girl. The collection centers around powerful women dressed in menswear inspired pieces and three-piece suits, with an atypical and often asymmetrical twist. A button down jacket loses an arm and opens up with a low-cut neckline for a revealing reinterpretation of the power suit, and pleated half-skirts are attached to classic black slacks. While many other designers have been inspired by Wall Street style (Alex Wang comes to mind), I've never really taken to these collections, as they are so far away from what I normally wear. However, the young&restless collection seems far enough abstracted to be perfectly to my liking, probably because I wouldn't dare to wear them to a real office!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Harem pants courtesy of Prancing Leopard Organics, Elizabeth and James tee, L.D. Tuttle shoes, Slow and Steady Wins the Race sunglasses, Anni Albers DIY washer necklace c/o Urban Outfitters.
Over the past few months, I've gotten into doing yoga on a regular basis. While I've been dabbling with it for about twelve years, I never practiced seriously, as I haven't ever taken to regular exercise. I'm one of the least active, and least physically fit people I know, but lucky for me, at the most basic levels, yoga doesn't necessarily require a plenitude of athletic skill. However, as I've gotten more deep into the practice, and more interested in improving, I've wanted to push myself further. I've found Michelle's ballet journey incredibly inspiring, even though yoga and ballet are very different, and yogis come in all ages, shapes, and sizes. It feels good to try to take a very new and somewhat difficult challenge on, and as you grow older, the subtle progress and improvements you make become all the more revolutionary. It also helps that I've been joined by two fabulous friends.
Of course yoga and fashion aren't known for mixing very well, and any personal vanity is best left outside the yoga studio. Thus, when it comes to deciding what to wear to yoga class, the choices usually range from dull to disgusting, and for the most part, I've opted for my own leggings and old tees, even though they were never designed for exercise. I was therefore very excited to have the opportunity to try Prancing Leopard Organics, a line of organic cotton yoga clothes made without any chemical treatments, and manufactured using sustainable practices. The clothes are meant to transition from the studio to the street, without the shameful scrubby feeling of wearing your exercise clothing out in public. In addition to being better looking than your average yoga clothes, designers and owners of the label Sevda and Bert explained how the majority of mass-produced clothes are treated with dozens of chemical processes to prevent them from wrinkling, stretching, fading in color, etc. These chemicals are likely to seep into our skin while we sweat, which we're obviously more likely to do when we're exercising. Miraculously, the couple have worked with their mills to create an organic cotton fabric that isn't chemically treated, but still wicks away sweat, like other commercial athletic wear.
I took their yoga pants to one of my favorite classes at Laughing Lotus, and put it to the test. The fabric is a little thick and heavy feeling, and I was worried that they would get hot, but they were perfectly comfortable, and lived up to their promise of wicking up sweat. Plus, I love the harem pants so much that I've found myself wearing them even when I'm not planning on going to yoga class. Anyway, if you're also into yoga, and if you're in New York, make sure to stop by Escape to Yoga Island, a free all day yoga event taught by the city's best instructors, including Laughing Lotus's Dana Flynn. I'll be there wearing my harem pants.
Capri pants courtesy of Prancing Leopard Organics, T by Alexander Wang bra.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
All photos by Shourouk
A couple months ago, I spied a glittering necklace with sequined cherries adorning one of my classmates in my CAD for Jewelry Designers class. The design reminded me of the classic Bakelite cherry necklaces that you see on auction, or at high-end vintage jewelry shops, remade with a glimmering twist, and I had to ask my classmate where she got her necklace. You can always depend on other jewelry designers to give you the best jewelry shopping tips, and although my colleagues and I will jealously guard our sources and production methods, we will always blab about other designers who inspire us.
My classmate happily informed me that the necklace was by French designer Shourouk, and a quick look at his website revealed pieces that tickled all of my closeted and repressed princess tendencies--I almost had to surpress a squeal when I saw the bunny necklace or the snail headband. The whimsical baubles are inspired in equal part by vintage and retro glamour, a childish sense of play, and the designer's Tunisian origins. Many of the pieces mix traditional embroidery methods and sequins with hundreds of rhinestones, to create jewels that sparkle with the intensity of diamonds, while flaunting the fact that they're the antithesis of those precious gems. Who needs those conflict-ridden diamonds anyway, when these rhinestones will do the trick?
Monday, July 18, 2011
This never ending heat wave has me wishing I was at the beach every day of the week. I would be heading for the Far Rockaways right this moment if it wasn't over an hour an half away by subway. Like the incredible Rockaways, Nycked, by Lorenzo Martone and Jules Kim, magically combines elements of the surf and New York City for Resort 2012. While the two seem at odds, the surreal juxtaposition of lounging on a beautiful beach in front of a housing project perfectly reflects what this strange and wonderful city is all about. Similarly, Nycked draws inspiration from elements of New York life that seem to have nothing in common with a romp in the sand. New York's architecture is reflected in the swimsuits' sexy cutouts, which have an art deco feel. Nightlife and clubkids are referenced in the disco sequins and the neon coral, electric green, and bold blue colors. And of course, black and white have a heavy presence as they are the foundations of a Manhattanite's daily uniform. Who needs to getaway, when you can take these out to the streets for a sultry staycation?
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Michael Kampe's amazing digital print parka. I know someone who would look amazing in this...
This afternoon, Brandon and I stopped by the Premiere Vision textile show with the intent of taking a look at the newest textiles and materials available for clothing and accessories design. I came out rather disappointed as a jewelry designer, as there wasn't much that I could use, but I did appreciate the fact that they had some of the designs from the Hyères Festival finalists on display. I've read and heard much about the famous design festival, but have never been, nor have I ever seen any of the pieces in person. While they did not allow photographs to be taken of Festival winner Celine Meteil's designs, I actually found that I preferred the work of a couple of the other designers who were displayed. My absolute favorite was a digital print structural Men's parka designed by Michael Kampe that would look perfect on the gay hubby. Wish I could lift it for him, but alas, it was too bulky to stuff under my skirt. I was also obsessed with Emilie Meldem's cage dress, that was constructed from leather straps and linen petals. I can't help but think it was made with Susie Bubble in mind.
A close-up of the digital print
Emilie Meldem's cagey dress
Juliette Alleaume & Marie Vial
Juliette Alleaume & Marie Vial
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Bijules Bone Cross earring
Last Friday, I went down to Tribeca Grand to hang out with my friend Jules Kim of Bijules Jewelry, and view her new film short, Amasia, which was made especially for Diane Pernet's curatorial project at Vicenza Oro. As I've mentioned before, I've been working with Bijules on sales, but putting all obvious biases aside, I've always been a huge admirer of her work. The more you know about Jules and Bijules, the better you understand the deep introspection that goes into making such extroverted jewelry. I think the film provides as good of an image of the inner workings of Jules's head as an outsider is likely to get.
Viewers might be surprised by the lack of jewelry, as only one Bijules piece appears at the end of the film, and promotional shots are eschewed in favor of monumental images of metamorphosing icy and craggy landscapes. Jules chose a more metaphorical approach to the subject, saying "If nature is systematic, then there is a calm before the torrents and an unleashing of perfectly normal change. The moving imagery of terrain is pure. Its realness fools an untrained eye as visual effects may trick the sharpest one. The jewelry industry is a well - mapped frontier in search of discovery. The scenes in this film welcome a new generation of raw talent and poise to an unexpected universe." Everything that Jules creates is unexpected indeed.
Monday, July 11, 2011
Bill swimsuit and Round Zyl Frame sunglasses courtesy of Norma Kamali, vintage Christian Lacroix skirt, Proenza Schouler nail shoes, French and English Confectioners backpack, Forever 21 hat, Triskaidekaphobia tooth necklace.
The lovely people at Norma Kamali asked me to participate in their Summer Looks Facebook contest, and since I'm a true fan of Ms. Kamali, and her timeless classic styles, I couldn't say no. Along with a few other bloggers, I got to play around with the 50's style ruched Bill swimsuit, and a pair of her Round Zyl Frame sunglasses, which I've secretly been lusting after for a long time. While there wasn't any water to dip my swimsuit in on 4th of July weekend, I found that the Bill makes an excellent bodysuit, and wore it under my favorite vintage Christian Lacroix skirt (the modest style can also double as a dress since I'm so short). I did get a chance to test it out in real water this past weekend at Rockaway Beach, where it was perfect for the Open Ocean Sessions Yoga and Surfing class. "Like" Norma Kamali and "like" my look on Facebook for a chance to win your own Bill swimsuit!
Another shot that my dear friend Izzy of The Dandy Project took of me this weekend wearing my Zyl sunglasses. Dress courtesy of Margarita Saplala, Gerard Yosca necklace.