gershwin girl

(preen dress, emma cook cape, mandy coon bunny bag, photo by morgan)

Oldie but a goodie in NYC. Been wearing some variation of this outfit for weeks now, because it's spooky but sparkles with enough whimsy to not pull me down further into my own melancholia. As a lifelong sort-of sad person, I do feel most comfortable when that part of myself is on display, but a touch of optimism prevents my brain from sinking deeper into my predetermined blues. We all have our tiny adaptations in which we use to churn through each day, days that in the moment seem to last forever but in retrospect, all blur together into one montage of joy and regret. I've learned that life is not about wishing away the heartache. It's about managing it until it fades into chalky background drawings. 



Um, so this happened! That's MY photo, in none other than MAGNET MAGAZINE, in real print, on actual paper, in an actual venerated music magazine. I'm pretty aghast myself. The band is Unicycle Loves You, and they craft noisy pop with a very palpable sense of disenchantment. In the interest of disclosure I should probably mention that my boyfriend is their sort-of drummer, but my bespectacled love does not play in shitty bands. In fact, I'd listen to Unicycle were he not their percussion! So run, don't walk, to your nearest "hip" book retailer (wait, do book retailers still exist?) and check out my "art" in Magnet. Page 33, my sweet darlings. I've already bought an extra copy so I can rip out the page and have it archivally framed upon my wall.


presidential days

Yesterday was a blessed day off. I worked all weekend to make up for some time I spent cavorting in NYC, so the day of Presidents was my weekend. I spent my day off at my SECRET THRIFT STORE whose location I will NOT share with you. Sorry. I'll give you a hint though! It's in a sort of DUMBO. And it is full of sequined goods and lush leathers and is my own personal thrift Jesus. I walked away with nothing today though, but law of averages says my next trip will be a success.

(rodarte x OC leather jacket +apron, emma cook cape, venessa arizaga necklace, way old creepers)
I initially put together this outfit because I wanted to feel slightly wood nymph-y, but something about it felt wrong, felt off, felt like it wasn't an accurate reflection of who I was that day. I believe that style is a but an instant snapshot of who you are at that moment. It's a Polaroid of everything that comprises you as a living, breathing person, and that person can change from minute to minute, day to day. That constant evolution is one of the most precious things about being human.

So I went inside to change.

(rodarte x OC jacket, preen dress, american apparel skirt, chris habana necklace)
I guess I was simply feeling more aggressive that day.


do not disturb

Some outfits photos I took in my hotel room during Fashion Week. And truth be told, when I say hotel, I really mean a repurposed tenement building which probably once housed a family of ten, of which of I shared a bathroom, and which had no elevator and I was housed on the fourth floor. No frills for New York's cheap thrills.

(rodarte cardigan, graeme armour top, vintage skirt, necklace loaned to me by langoliers) 
Wore this to Eleven Objects, which I shall post about soon. The goal here was spooky, sludgy texture and was accomplished via spiderweb cardigan and fringed top with fringed skirt. This outfit makes me feel like a rainstick.
(custom risto jacket, fever ray t-shirt, vintage skirt, necklace loaned to me by langoliers) 
Worn to Rachel Antonoff. Actually, I ended up changing into my A Place to Bury Strangers t-shirt later because their music's harshness goes well with this Langoliers necklace. This Risto jacket was custom-made just for me, and is one of those earthly things that I can gaze upon during hallowed hours, and feel, at least for a brief second, like my despair will lift.
 This skirt is one of my favorite vintage finds. It's actually mini-length, but the long cascading fringe turns it into an awkward midi and presents a variety of ways to destroy conventional ideas of proportion. Worn with American Apparel tights and Miu Miu shoes.
Radiator heat and residential view. 


so that tonight i might see - rachel antonoff fall 2012

Rachel Antonoff's Fall 2012 collection was a whimsical reflection onto still foggy waters, dreams of yesterday but hopes of tomorrow. I feel in a position to say that because I did that once; I was 19 and living in Alaska and spent 12 hours (so half of my days, in fact) on a boat, oftentimes with nothing but my thoughts and Hope Sandoval's voice to guide me. That inky water, which one day I remember was still as ice but besotted with icebergs, formed a glassy marble which my daydreams of the future projected themselves upon me. Today, those still waters are my neutral zone, my "happy place" I guess, my blank nirvana through which I can go when in need of quiet reflection. It's not a sad memory! It's a lovely one and makes me smile when life's waters are choppy, and when I'm aching for stillness I can fade into that calm.

The entire collection felt like a mini-statement on the progression of life, or maybe I'm just reading it that way because it reminds me of my own life's crossroads. It began with innocent prints and childhood structures. Is it any coincidence that a model wore a Wild Things crown? Perhaps not. It progressed to cheeky strapless dresses and heart-shaped embellishments, signifying our culture's infatuation with extended adolescence, something that is exceedingly difficult to give up, though a secret of aging I've discovered is that no matter how old you grow you always feel like you're 16. In adulthood, which Antonoff was keen to represent through refined tailoring and collars and embellished evening dresses, you simply take on more responsibilities. But that feeling of awkwardness, of youthful wistfulness, doesn't die with age unless you let it happen. I for one, intend to keep that feeling alive within me as long as I can.

The tender prints referenced innocent times, before progressing into more grown-up silhouettes.

Adolescence via exposed shoulders and literal/figurative sweetheart necklines.

The wispy autumnal prints were the perfect color injection into an otherwise nighttime color palette. Something about the sparse use of color in an understand twee manner kept the mood very brooding but also evoked a gentle smile. The coin pocket purse hinted at the beginnings of adult ripening. This is spookiness, but with wonder and knowing and an acceptance of growing up.

And finally the evening dresses, a small army of black that indicates the strength of adulthood...but never forgetting the sincerity and playfulness of younger years.
This model's look really resonated with me. Her icy stare and black n' blue dress with an embellished collar felt like the idealized version of adult myself - a projection of where I've been and where I could go, places I often felt myself wondering while daydreaming on the boat.

Real-life kitty acted as a Familiar and was a really exquisite way to tie the collection together. A symbol of the commonalities of life that follow you throughout life's ups and down and ins and outs, a totem of simpler days but a calming force in more treacherous ones. Also, cute kitty is cute. AND HE HAS A TWITTER.

Creeping on Tavi's beehive.


vampiric tendencies

Last night was the screening of CADAVER, a short animated film that Tavi narrated and sung in. She treated to us to a swoonworthy serenade of Heart of Gold and it did actually warm my cold, dead heart. Don't worry, I'm back to being a soulless vampire today! And that's because I may have consumed a bit too much free Belvedere, and by too much I mean I was positively shitfaced, but what a better crowd to dance with than the bloggers that I'm honored to call my friends? It was a really special night free of bullshit, bad vibes, and grossness that is too typical of fashion week. Just unabashed dancing till close with truly wonderful people. Happy times.

photo by Tavi
I wore my House of Matching Colours dress and Rodarte shoes, and although these shoes are beautiful to behold, they are masochistically painful which I secretly may or may not enjoy. I was proud of myself for lasting almost the entire night in these heels, but that may have also been the alcohol deadening the screaming pain receptors in my toes...

photo via the new york magazine
All jewelry was graciously loaned to me by Langoliers. Thier necklaces are lost treasures from shipwrecks, I'm convinced. Totally works with the black lagoon theme I was going for.

Arabelle wore the pleated Proenza Schouler dress of our dreams from Proenza's absolute best season: Fall 2010. RUNWAY DIVINITY. We kept the party going back at my hotel room where we stayed up way too late with girltalk and she fondled my shoes. That's really not as creepy as it sounds, don't worry!


friendship is magic

Fashion Week! Ha! Where do I start? Well, for starters, seeing my all of my friends has been refreshing and life-affirming for all of the obvious reasons. Living so far from my beloved friends can really dampen my spirits from time to time, but reconnecting with everyone here during fashion week gives me the energy I need to plod through my days in Chicago.

Post-Ann Yee lunch with Laia and Arabelle, with conversations ranging from Lindsay Lohan to family drama. This photo was taken when the subject at hand was bronies.  FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC.

Stalking Meg at Tanya Taylor. Her collection made me want to live in the Secret Garden and sip tea and have a garden full of topiaries. Can we discuss this sorta-brocade knit? Can we discuss how much I need this crewneck sweater?

Kaelen, which I LOVED. Black lace and more inky prints and smart suiting and black + blue? YES PLEASE. 

What I wore to Concept Korea, as photographed by this gentleman. Rachel Comey coat, Rodarte x OC dress, thrifted bag, Givenchy glasses, Rodarte shoes, Americal Apparel tights. I'm scrunching up my face strangely but how is that any different from normal for me?

Kimberly Ovitz began with O-ren Ishii's diatriabe about the dangers of question her Chinese-American heritage. The whole collection was samurai-inspired and featured some fierce eyebrows which I was not able to capture with my camera. I especially loved the fringed leather and comfy furs.

My outfit for Creatures of the Wind. The presentation was so moving, so beautiful, so powerful, that it deserves its own post where I can at least try to describe its glory. Dress by/from Risto, Rodarte x OC jacket, Zana Bayne harness.

What I've really been doing in my hotel room. I don't get invited to *fashion parties* which I am totally okay with, so my nights have been spent decompressing from the day, accompanied by X-Files and delicious deli food. Why doesn't Chicago have delis?! It's simply not fair. I am going to pout forever about it.


i can't even right now

New York Fashion Week! I'm here in the full throes of everything, all of the delightful clothes, my friends, the bitter cold as I traipse to and from each presentation. I'll post more tomorrow, but for now, here's one of my outfit photos to tide you over. Took this from my tenement hotel room I left for the day. A look that I can only describe as Bettie Page meets Microsoft Encarta Mindmaze court jester. And with that pithy reference, I just dated myself. It's quite obvious that I focused on the carbon monoxide detector rather than myself, but hey! It's ARTSY!

Mandy Coon "Night of the Jaguar" dress, Carven collar, American Apparel two-toned tights


the blog post that celebrates itself

So I didn't mean for this post to be showoffy and "waving around my record collection" and I am sorry if that's what ended up happening, trust when I say that it's the furthest thing from my mind. Really though, in keeping with my theme from my last post, I wanted to go very literal in describing my inspiration from shoegaze. Looking at art from some of my favorite albums is perhaps the prime example of the sort of aesthetic that I want to envelope my life in. Dreaminess, spookiness, and just a general haze of pastel colors and and waves of saturated color that seem to flow. There is this notion that the only way to be spooky is to dress exclusively in black, and while I love wearing black, this artwork reminds me that using color in conjunction with heavy black creates an entirely different mood.      This artwork is still brooding and melancholy and expresses a much wider range of emotion. I've often felt that wearing exclusively black feels "too cool" for me, I don't feel "cool", and it doesn't really do a very good job of capturing my bigger picture. The richness of black can be coaxed out by incorporating blues and pastels and pinks and greens and prints. How do you use color to express a part of yourself?

I've also included links to what I consider to be seminal works from each album, do listen to them if you have a moment...

And in some housekeeping: I'm competing in Refinery 29's Style Blogger contest. I'm sure I have aboslutely zero chance of winning, but this gives me an excuse to daydream about being taken seriously one day! You can vote for me here, if you want. Also, Roma wrote this adorable interview with me HERE and you should read it because I tried very hard to sound clever. And with that, I'm getting on a plane and am I'm heading off to New York Fashion Week tonight! See you on the other end.