Category Archives: Fashion!

Clothing, style, vintage, resale, lookin’ good, feelin’ good.

Dead At the Movies: Diana Vreeland

This fall there are plenty of docs and biopics to see if you want to learn more about famous, beloved, dead people. This week I’ll highlight five, kicking off with my personal fave, Diana Vreeland.

A sketch of Diana Vreeland, fashion icon and bon vivant.

The documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel is about the iconic editor-in-chief of Vogue who was actually so much more. Made by a filmmaker who married one of Vreeland’s grandsons, the film is billed as an “intimate portrait” and celebration of her life and legacy.

Official Synopsis: During Diana Vreeland’s fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis, and established countless trends that have withstood the test of time. She was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar where she worked for twenty-five years before becoming editor-in-chief ofVogue, followed by a remarkable stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, where she helped popularize its historical collections.

Awesome Stuff: She worked hard and established herself in an era when it was more common for a woman not to work and not to be able to rise to such a position of power.

She started the trend of wearing bright red nail polish, which I believe she called “laquer”

She said many cool things, one of which I have posted over my desk: “I’m looking for the suggestion of a thing I’ve never seen before.”

In photos, her clothing and jewelry look as fresh as they did 50 years ago. She had a living room that was all red. She was no great beauty and it didn’t matter – as it shouldn’t for any of us – what mattered was her style and her eye.

She had a gift for giving the people what they didn’t even know they wanted – before the rest of the world had even imagined it, Vreeland was capturing it and putting it in her magazines. For many years, she was the zeitgeist.

If you want to read more about D.V., here’s a post I wrote about her in 2011.

Who should go: Anyone who loves history, fashion and who welcomes an opportunity to learn more about an influential woman in American history. If you don’t think clothes matter, or that style matters, maybe this will open up some doors that have been closed for you. As we all know, the eye takes in the true story – what message are you sending out?

To see photos of Vreeland, go to dianavreeland.com.

Bringing Sexy Back (Yet Again) This Halloween

woman wearing a sexy debit card costume and asking for Jell-O shots

You’ve seen them. We’ve ALL seen them. They bring forth in us, depending upon our outlook and motives, either outrage or appreciation. Sometimes we put them down but we all know that, no matter what, they aren’t going home alone on Halloween night.

It’s the Sexy Ladies of Halloween. Women who can turn any costume into a wonder of titillation.

Not all of us have that ability, you know. We don’t have the body or the will or the drive. Some of us would maintain that we don’t have the cheapness, the sluttiness, required to take part in such a thing.

My days of slutty Halloween-ness are long gone. Let me amend that – my day of slutty Halloween. For I only attempted sexy once, as a freshman in college, when I went as a hooker and my then-boyfriend went as a pimp. I know. They took away my Take Back the Night card for that one. I never, ever mentioned it in any of my Women’s Studies classes. Don’t ask, don’t tell, was the sexy Halloween policy back then.

But now it’s rampant. “When did sexy Halloween costumes become a thing?” Keith asked me the other day. “It seems like there was a time when that wasn’t the case.”

I’ll tell you the very first time I realized that Halloween costumes could be sexy. It was while watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In the Halloween scenes the mom, played by Dee Wallace, dresses up as a sexy cat. And when I say “sexy” by today’s standards it was actually very demure. She’d be shunned at the club for dressing “all Amish and shit.” But, yeah, I thought she looked kinda hot.

My friend JoEllen has a tumblr called Miss Guised that pays “homage” to sexy Halloween costumes. Each day  this month, she’s posted yet another ridiculous sexy costume, from Sexy Sriracha Sauce to a sexy highlighter pen – she’s truly found the best of the worst. Go take a look if you need some sexy inspiration – I think you’ll find that if you can’t think of a sexy costume, you’re just not trying hard enough.

As for me, I’m struggling (yet again) to come up with any costume, let alone a sexy one. But whatever I come up with I’m pretty sure I’ll be fully clothed. Just call my Sexy Otter.

Me dressed in a head-to-toe otter costume.

 

 

Thanks, C. Ramirez

The best thing I got on our recent trip to NYC was a belt purchased at the Brooklyn Flea.

Leather and brass belt, made in Italy, purchased at the Brooklyn Flea.

I saw it sitting on a table and grabbed it in one of those “this is totally mine” moments.  The buckle and the decorative front piece are made of brass and the belt part is worn brown leather. Someone wore the hell out of this belt already.

Actually, I know who had this belt, at least for awhile. On the inside, in marker, it says “C. Ramirez.”

I could have stayed at the Brooklyn Flea for an entire day, looking at all the clothes (I also got a skirt). The prices were “meh” – you’re not going to find great deals here – but duh.

What I didn’t enjoy so much were the overflowing Port-O-Pots. An old man opened the door to one, looked inside and walked away shaking his head. I really had to pee so I went in holding my breath and keeping my eyes level with the door.

Still, my cool belt is worth a minute of crouching over a pile of shit.

My belt raised security concerns on the way home. It was in my suitcase but the pointed and crossed brass horns raised the alert and my suitcase had to be searched, the belt extracted and run through the x-ray on it’s own, to make sure the horns weren’t really poison daggers or knives or tiny guns.

Which needs to be in a Bond movie.

 

The Evil of Comfort

The ubiquitous Croc shoe, made of plastic, a sure sign someone has given up on life.

“You’re abandoning a lot of ideas when you are too into comfort. ‘Comfy’ – that’s one of the worst words! I just picture a woman feeling bad, with a big bottle of alcohol, really puffy. It’s really depressing, but she likes her life because she has comfortable clogs.”

– Christian Louboutin, The New Yorker, March 28, 2011

Friday Is For Fashion

We’re well into spring. Do you have your spring wardrobe together? No? Well, here are some suggestions for items you might gather up on this last weekend of April.

Drawing of a peplum skirt.PEPLUMS are back. Or, more accurately, they are now joining us from the 80s. The peplum, in case you don’t know, is an over-skirt. So, if it’s attached to a full skirt, it’s a tiny skirt that only grew partway down.

You can get skirts with peplums or shirts/jackets with peplums – it doesn’t matter what your peplum is attached to, as long as it springs out from around your hips and makes them look wide. Which is what you’ve always wanted, right? To look wider than you are?

SEE-THROUGH PURSES are the must-have accessory. This makes it much easier for Drawing of a see-through bag with all its contents on display.strangers to assess so many things about you – if you have anything worth stealing, if you have any spare change  and if you’re on prescription drugs.

If I wanted to be all English major about this, I would say that the see-through bag is a response to our ever-more-transparent society. We overshare online and now we can overshare with fashion. Nothing is off-limits!

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Friday Is For Fashion

A round-up of fashion-y stuff to take you into the weekend. Don’t get too excited.

What’s wrong with this picture from a Ralph Lauren ad?

Colorful shirts and pants by Ralph Lauren. Let's hear it for color blocking!

If you said, “Everything,” you’re wrong. Not everything. The orange pants, for example, would be quite lovely paired with a shirt that covered one’s middriff.

The correct answer is, “Those green garbage bag pants.” After staring at this photo for awhile, I realized that those are not pants. It’s a jumpsuit, made out of an old parachute, worn as pants.

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Terry-fied

I’ve been racking my brain for an hour trying to come up with some witty commentary for this.

But it speaks for itself.

Mens' Terry-go-Round from Sears catalog from 1976.

I do have questions.

Why the pocket?

Was there a 1970s post-shower situation during which a man would hang out in the Terry-Go-Round to shave, check the mail, count change (in his pocket)? Was it a simpler,  less-hurried time when a man didn’t feel the need to rush from naked directly into clothes?

If you ordered the  7Up version, were you admitting to not being macho? And WTF, Alabama and Virginia? Your citizens can’t show their Budweiser pride?

Celebrate Pre-Washed Denim!

Sometimes, in terms of fashion, it can feel as if our society is falling down into a black hole.

But maybe, just maybe, we are climbing up out of one. I mean, it’s not this bad anymore, right?

Page from 1976 Sears catalog featuring prewashed denim for gals and guys.

Guys, maybe you sometimes feel like you’re not the most fashionable. Maybe you feel schlubby or dorky or mismatched.

Remember that, no matter what, you’re not this guy.

You are not this guy.

That counts for something.

Note: Yeah, I found a Sears catalog from 1976 for $1.60 at an antique store. That’s a lot of fun for only $1.60. And I’ll pass the savings on to you!

Friday Is For Fashion

Images to inspire you over the weekend.

Big Eyelet is taking over – covering skirts, dresses, gowns, blouses and… pants.

I would wear these pants by Alberta Ferretti. Especially on that terrace. Looks like something Betty Draper would have loved to wear back when she was thin.

Model wearing eyelet pants by Alberta Ferretti. Continue reading

The 1980s Don’t Always Have To Be So… 1980s

Last night I watched Stop Making Sense, the Talking Heads concert film from 1984, directed by Jonathan Demme. Besides being blown away by the music, I was blown away by the fashion.

It’s not particularly memorable fashion, but it defies the fashion sense of the 1980s by not being so, well, 1980s.

The color palette is neutral (no neon!) and the cuts are roomy but also point to things we might see, and actually wear, today. If you watch the concert, you’ll notice that bassist Tina Weymouth (new girl crush) starts out with a roomy jumpsuit and then changes to a miniskirt with arm warmers, patterned tights and suede boots… straight out of the pages of NYLON or a post on The Sartorialist.

Bassist Tina Weymouth of The Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense.

Below is my favorite clip from the concert – for the song “Life During Wartime.” [Note: I’m still bummed that director Todd Solondz made a horrible, hard-to-watch movie bearing this title in 2009] Watch the back-up singers in their shorts/jumpers as they dance around having a blast along with David Byrne. I want to learn their moves and do it as a workout in my living room.

Note that they don’t have to have their breasts or asses hanging out to be beautiful and eye-catching. Would these outfits ever fly today? I don’t think so because:

1. They are comfortable.
2. They can move in them.
3. They dont’ show enough skin.

It’s too bad because, when you watch this video, the music and fashion are timeless. The only point during the entire concert when I could say for sure it was 1984 was during the last song, when the cameras turned to the audience, who were definitely rocking their 80’s finery.