Friday 27th November 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘Fashion people’

It’s fashion week again

clown college3

Yesterday afternoon, I got so annoyed looking at street style photos from outside the shows that I had to go outside and take a walk to clear my head (it was also time to take the dog out, but still).  Back when dinosaurs walked the earth and I still attended the shows, this whole spectacle didn’t exist: the only people who got their pictures taken were a cache of editors and buyers whose style you might actually want to emulate, because it existed of this world, and not out on planet Loonypants.  Those editors and buyers still go to the shows, and I’m sure they still look fantastic. I wish I could find some pictures of them for you, because they might inspire you the way that seeing all of them in the tents used to inspire me.

this happened

I think the reason it’s got me so irked this time around, instead of just amusing me, as it usually does, is I’ve begun to think these women are actually really bad for fashion. What they’re doing isn’t inspirational, it’s crass, and all in the name of attention seeking, and it has nothing to do with what real women want—which becomes a problem when some of the more notable among them start being referred to as “influencers.” And it gives real street style—the kind that actually does influence designers and create trends—a bad name. I got on the phone and vented to my friend Andrea, who reminded me of what she always says: that fashion week looks like audition day for clown college, only nobody told these people there’s no clown college in this town. And then that did amuse me, and provided some context.

clown college

Especially for shots like this.

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And then also this.

at your office

And this one too. Which I also include because, even though the temperature the past week has averaged around 28 degrees, it has not been cold enough for these women to ignore the memo that apparently went out saying gloves were uncool. None of them wear gloves.

she wore hers

Except for this chick.


Photos via The Cut

Posted on February 11th, 2014 52 Comments

Where fashion as art is fun


I took a little hike over to the Comme des Garcons store in super-west Chelsea on Saturday, more for inspiration than anything else, because the CDG store is trippy-fantastic, and Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe’s equally trippy-fantastic clothes deserve to be seen in person every once in a while. Do go visit when you’re in the city, if for no other reason than to check the place out for yourself. From the outside, it’s easy enough to miss.

comme entrance

But venture a few steps in, and you’ll pass through what can only be described as a sparkling metal birth canal, into a space that doesn’t feel like any other retail environment in the city. The atmosphere—especially for such a high-end brand—is airy and light and friendly. Such a welcome departure from the norm in this town, and an intriguing counterpoint to much of the Serious Artiness hanging on the racks. These guys take monochrome and drapey and interestingly-cut to places I will never not be too much of a wuss to go.

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There are quite a lot of brilliant flashes of color, too: this tweedy-moto-letterman jacket shorted out a few circuits in the fashion part of my brain, and is another perfect example of this. It’s slightly nuts in the happiest possible way, and super-extra out of my price range. In addition to which—as far as fashion risks go—it’s seriously skiing the beginner slope, Comme des Garcons-wise.

beatles tee

The best part of any visit to CDG is checking out whatever fun new collaborative/project-y thing they’ve got going—recent ones have included old-school Star Wars iconography, and Matt Groening cartoon characters Akbar and Jeff—and this time around, it’s the Beatles. I can’t get this apple tee out of my mind. It’s like what a Beatles T-shirt would look like if the Beatles were happening now instead of 50 years ago.

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Another best part of visiting CGD, especially if you are a devotee of their wallets—which have a rather obsessive following, and very much are the best and most functional wallets going—is taking a look at the new season’s designs. Because they wear quite well, I’m years away from needing a new one, so I satisfy my jones by buying their zipper pouches—which are perfectly sized for receipts or business cards or what have you—as gifts for others. This time around, the selection is on the (comparatively) quieter side: simple black with primary colored stitching. But I’m digging it anyway.

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 2 Comments

Sometimes I like things and it scares me

distressed tee

Behold, the pre-distressed tee.

Posted on September 16th, 2013 15 Comments

Anarchy on upper Fifth

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For the most part, the famous and fashiony folk who showed up last night at the Metropolitan Museum’s of Art’s gala for the new Punk: Chaos to Couture show elected not to try and dress to fit the evening’s theme. Or if they did, it was ever so blandly: a spike necklace here, some dramatic eyebrows there. Still, there were moments that amused. Like Italian editor Giovanna Battaglia’s safety pin `do.

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And Jenna Lyons, who came as a walking Clash lyric.

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Also: Debbie Harry, who showed the kids how it’s done.


And Madonna, who got an A for effort. Check out how everyone else looked at The CutUs, People, Vogue, Daily Mail, and Huffington Post.


Posted on May 6th, 2013 5 Comments

The quasi-orthopedic shoe as fashion: Part 3 of a series

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It seems not quite right that I can’t remember anyone actually wearing Birkenstocks while I was in college, even though they’re the shoe I most closely associate with the kind of hippie chicks my school specialized in—back-to-the-earth types with unshaven legs,  Give Peas A Chance T-shirts, ankle beads and secret wealth. I’d imagine this probably has something to do with the fact that directly after graduation, I moved to Seattle, where you would have to stay locked in the house to avoid them. Everyone wore Birkenstocks—not just hippie chicks, but bearded weekend rock climbers and preppy type-A coffee boutique owners, and anyone else who valued comfort over chic. Seattle has come a long way in its style evolution since then—and, as it turns out, Birkenstocks have gotten more fashiony. That’s because ultimately, Birks turn out to be remarkably adaptable: you only come off like a cast member of Hair if you’re already dressed like a cast member of Hair. Check out how completely of a piece this pair looks with the whole outfit here. Perfectly sophisticated and city lady, but totally relaxed too.

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Birkenstocks have been talked up in the  fashion rags this season, all due to the appearance of two rather auspicious shoes from big-name designers. This one is from Celine, and I don’t know how to explain it to you.

giambattista valli birkenstock

And here’s Giambattista Valli’s.

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Somehow—even putting aesthetics aside—these miss the point for me. The fashion people I know who wear Birkenstocks—stylists and market editors who’ve seen so many trends come and go that they’ve adopted uniforms, and who always look pulled together—wear Birkenstocks exactly the way they’ve always been worn. And that’s not as Big Fashion, but as kicking about shoes, a nice alternative to flat sandals for traversing the city on a Saturday, for example, or driving into town for grocery shopping on a country weekend. Here’s Ashley Olsen, wearing another classic style, the Gizeh. The stripes, the jeans, the perfect red bag: it’s as classic an ensemble as a person could imagine—and the hippie chick sandals just fall right in.

Posted on March 18th, 2013 20 Comments

How to get photographed during fashion week, F/W `13 edition

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The tents went up. The photographers came out, and the crazy followed.  Here’s what it took to rise to the top. 

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Wear ski googles at the first sign of snow. As one does.

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As ever, clashy prints were big. Don’t stop piling them on until looking at the outfit you’ve composed makes you a little dizzy.

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Also: extra points for clashy prints with clashy hair.

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Wear a kittycat hat and you will go far.

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The I’ll be totally busted if I’m not back by study hall look was popular.

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And texting while accessorizing was photographer catnip.

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Models pretending to be bandits was a real sleeper hit.

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As was this top-guard-in-charge-at-fashion-prison look.

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And above all else: just be cool, and don’t look like you’re trying too hard.


Photos courtesy of The Cut, Vogue, Bazaar, Racked, and


Posted on February 15th, 2013 17 Comments

Full Nanook

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Fashion Week stops for no one, because to do so would be to risk inciting a (practically Zoolander-ian) International Fashion Incident. Literally—if Proenza gives Schoeuler a case of mono and they decide they need an extra week, London, Milan, and Paris do not cheerily throw up their arms and agree to split the difference.  There are serious negotiations about this type of thing, and not the kind that conclude with a big round of double-cheek kisses. So my guess is that, eight inches of snow tomorrow night or not, there will be shows on Saturday. If Diane von Furstenberg and the entire CFDA Board of Directors themselves have to get out there and operate snowplows with the Army Corps of Engineers, there will be shows. And at those shows, there will be editors who leap from Town Car to venue in just exactly whatever footwear they would have chosen were the city an not arctic-style disaster zone, because no matter how ethereal and manicured she may appear, a true Fashion Person has the drive and commitment of a Navy  SEAL when it comes to not letting the weather get in the way of a look. Personally I always preferred the editors and stylists who managed to work their  big old crazy clomping snow boots into some chic but seasonally appropriate outfit—usually just jeans and a sweater and a scarf, and nothing that a trend-crazed street photographer would stop to snap, but unstoppably chic nevertheless.

Posted on February 7th, 2013 8 Comments

Having said that, the clothes are always lovely

Sometimes I look at the accessories Miucca Prada sends down the runway and wonder if she’s having a big laugh on all of us.

And then other times I look at the accessories Miucca Prada sends down the runway, and am amazed I ever even wondered.

Posted on September 21st, 2012 2 Comments

How to get your picture taken during fashion week: S/S 2013 edition.

Blue hair helps.

Really, the bluer the better.

Scary animals are big.

And scary animals paired with crotchy-shorts? All the better. Especially if you want to go ahead and throw a spiky death-choker into the mix too.  In addition to which: a well-deployed, kinda contrasty, kinda matchy twinsy look is street photographer heroin.

When it doubt, go clashy.

No, really clashy.

Now we’re talking.

Attempting a Mommy’s been taking a lot of the pink pills look can be risky, but might just pay off if you low-key it with a quiet color palette.

Never underestimate the power of a good, solid pout.

And if your Chanel bag doesn’t have a lil’ buddy Chanel bag, you might as well pack your bags and go home.


Pictures from, The Cut, Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle.

Posted on September 10th, 2012 25 Comments

Welcome to Fashion’s Night Out. Do spend


The Ace Hotel/Opening Ceremony party: fantastic designers all in one place. Couldn’t pay me enough to go.

It’s difficult to sum up the vibe in downtown Manhattan on Fashion’s Night Out: You’ve got roving gangs of every fashiony subset you can imagine: Carries, Charlottes,  Samanthas, and Mirandas—and the twentyish girls who moved to New York to be them—doing their best to maneuver across the Meatpacking District’s perilous cobbletone streets. Beautiful, androgynous fashion students who’ve made the kind of very risky hairstyle choices involving asymmetrical head-shaving that only the very young and very beautiful can pull off.  Well dressed Europeans from hither and yon. And the entire Fashion Industrial Complex, in town for the collections and preparing for their  close-ups.

It is, in every possible way, not my scene. I always prefer an intimate gathering to a crowded one, and there are no intimate gatherings on FNO. Still, it is one evening when I do feel compelled to fly the flag. I don’t make many stops, but I try to make them good—and comparatively un-terrifying— ones. Here’s my agenda.

I am currently having a Zero Maria Cornejo love affair: her stuff does not come cheap, but nobody drapes more forgivingly for a woman’s body, ond she works within the most beautiful color palette. Also, she’s added a charitable component to her event: a portion of profits from sales tonight will go to Human Rights Watch.

Oak, one of my favorite purveyors of the black, the white, and the interestingly drapey, is hosting a Cheap Monday pop-up shop. Which excites me, as Cheap Monday has only quite recently popped up on my radar as a great source for reasonably-priced separates.

And not even a block away from Oak on Crosby Street, Benetton  has taken over a gas station and installed a pop-up store/gallery/craft workshop dedicated to “The Art of the Knit.” They’ll be selling yarn-covered everything—like even iPhone covers. And this intrigues me.

Then it’ll on to the L train for a visit to Bird in Williamsburg, where they always know how to put on a show (I know, enough with Bird already;  but indulge me). They’ve got special pieces designed for the evening by Loeffler Randall, Melissa Joy Manning, Gretchen Jones, and Whit. And a hot dog cart!


Posted on September 6th, 2012 3 Comments