Friday, May 28, 2010

Patricia Ward Kelly: proof that fashion recycles itself

I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Patricia Kelly (writer and wife of the late musical theatre legend, Gene Kelly) last night, and upon my request, she allowed me to photograph her for House of Violet because I loved her military jacket. She enthusiastically volunteered the information that her pants were from Banana Republic and that the blouse and jacket have been a part of her wardrobe since she was in college. I won't reveal her age, on grounds of customary politeness, but she probably purchased these pieces about thirty years ago. Hence, trends not only reappear, but often reappear in almost exactly the same form. Her jacket featured in the picture below is, in fact, the height of fashion currently, despite its age. Current, yet vintage - a beautiful paradox!

I'm also anxiously awaiting seeing her again on Saturday, when she will be sporting a custom designed gown by an LA designer and friend of hers. More details when I have pictures!

I really hate that there is a trash can in the background. I don't know how I didn't notice that when taking the picture.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The underwear-on-the-outside trend - my way(s)

I picked up a denim outer-wear bra (I just made up that name, but I think it's pretty descriptive) at Abercrombie and Fitch the other day for $20 on clearance and I am SO excited about it. Here are some ways I would wear a piece like this:

With Shorts:
(Hollister blouse, Nordstrom BP shorts, Abercrombie and Fitch belt; I honestly can't remember where I got the bracelet or sunglasses.)

With a skirt:
Meghan took this picture and the one below - thanks!
(American Apparel skirt, Forever21 top, J.Crew Cardigan, Nine West shoes)

With a dress:
I do not know what happened to this photo in the editing process, but it looks pretty magical if I do say so myself. If it weren't a picture of myself I would use it as a photography project for school; as is, it would feel too self-centered.
(J.Crew cardigan, J.Crew belt, Jessica Simpson shoes; the dress was given to me by a friend so I'm not sure about the label.)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My own flapper-style dress

Very brief tutorial in fashion construction styles, taken from a lengthier lesson courtesy of Professor Charlotte Jirousek of Cornell University: STYLE 1 - seamless, examples include togas, saris, wraps, etc. STYLE 2 - semi-fitted, examples include any garments with essentially straight side seams (so that the garment does not fit the curves of the body), particularly the flapper style of the 1920s which was intended to minimize the female figure. STYLE 3 - tailored, began with suits of armor which had to fit perfectly to allow soldiers to move, now includes anything that hugs one's figure. STYLE 4 - tailored to exaggerate, prime example being the tiny waists and strong hips and shoulders of the Elizabethan era and the recently returned power shoulders of the 80's.

Sorry if that was a terrible bore, but if you ever bring it up in conversation, you will sound very educated. I feel I should always pass along the very minimal amounts of information I receive on anything fashion related under the assumption that maybe one person who reads about it will be interested and able to use it for something.

Below is a project I did to reflect the semi-fitted style of construction (2), channeling the 20's with a drop waist and sailor neckline.

(shoes - Unlisted by Kenneth Cole, modeled by Meghan)
Sorry the dress got a bit washed out; natural lighting doesn't always agree with my very low-tech camera.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flowing and Feminine for Spring

A noticeable trend among designers this spring is the flirty, typically silk-chiffon dress or skirt with floral print or pastel coloring. This conveniently encompasses my personal taste if I had to sum it up in a single wardrobe piece, but unfortunately doesn't cross over from season to season very well. So as tempting as the high street buys below may be, take note of the fabrics and figures, and then seak a cheaper look-alike. A fairly casual garment wearable for only a few months isn't the most practical piece for which to splurge.

For more floral prints and ruffles, here is a link to designer Cynthia Steffe's website:

I just discovered her because a friend of mine is interning with her in New York this summer (envious beyond description) and her spring 2010 collection is full of great examples of this trend.

I really want to do something like these girls have done (or more likely had done for them) with their hair for my prom. It may be little crazy for the occasion but I have given up on censoring my fashion choices to meet the norms of my peers.
(Alberta Ferretti, Dior - Vogue shoot photographed by Steven Meisel)
(Vera Wang advertisement)
Movement is also a key factor when in the market for a dress like this. Obviously, this ad demonstrates the flowiness (not a word) of the fabric fantastically, but for real-life purposes try walking in a dress before you buy it, or dance and spin around a bit to see if you like the effect. It's also just fun to do in the dressing room when no one is looking.
(Alberta Ferretti advertisement)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spotted: Underwear on the Outside Strikes Again

I NEED one of these.
(from March issue of Vogue; photographed by Steven Meisel; silk bra by Marc Jacobs)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Andy Warhol Youth Fashion Show

I am officially in love with the Andy Warhol Museum. The youth night, during which three fashion shows took place, was like a cultural explosion. There were all kinds of demonstrations, information booths about art-and-music-related opportunities, craft tables, bands, DJs, and of course, the Warhol artwork. The best part, however, was the people. Let's just say the crowd looked like the entire high school applicant pool for RISD with some actual art students and local urban dwellers mixed in. It made me seriously want to go to art school for the first time. I got all their information about future events and educational opportunities. Can't wait to go back!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Project Prom

This about the first half of my prom dress. Train or no train?