Monday, January 1, 2018

Moving On

It's been fun playing dress up, contrairistas!  Thanks for all the fun fashion pow-wows, conversation and contrary style.

Please feel free to browse/search this archive of my favorite posts.  (I saved all the ones that feel stylishly evergreen!)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Metallic Pleated Midi Skirt: A Must Have Piece for Winter and Beyond

Perfect styling of a metallic pleated skirt
by the fabulous Amanda Tur from A Fancy Affair

You know how much I love the continuing metallic trend.  One of my favorite pieces to emerge from this shiny scene is the metallic pleated midi skirt.  It is similar to a tulle skirt: weirdly able to skew casual even though it's fancy.  As for the midi length?  It's both flirty and demure at the same time.

The Gucci version is beautiful...and expensive.

But don't take my word for it.  Here's what Natalie Matthews, Senior Editor of Elle Magazine, recently said:

"For a statement piece, it's weirdly versatile: with sneakers and a T-shirt to a party or with heels and a silk camisole for a wedding.  Of course, the look became sort of a trendy thing last year, with Gucci and Proenza doing their own versions of metallic pleated midi skirts and fast fashion brands like ASOS following suit.  For me, it's a piece that's got staying power."

Fashion multitasking?  Win-win!

I am still trying to figure out the best version to add to my closet.  In case you're having the same dilemma, here are a few of my favorite choices...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Making Statements ... with T-Shirts

Attention Slow Fashion buddies and DIYers:
Check out this great tutorial to make your own statement T-shirts with Photoshop.

A statement worth making...
Do you wear your heart on your sleeve?  Or would you rather wear your thoughts on your chest?

Although the concept of slogans on T-shirts is nothing new, the trend has crept out of your concert-loving big brother's closet and onto the runway.  Fashion insiders even coined the very serious-sounding term "Statement T," which cracks me up considering how many past t-shirt "statements" have been things like "I'm With Stupid" and "Not as Think as You Drunk I Am."

That said, there are a lot of important things you can say in a few words.  Other than writing a viral tweet, the most surefire way to reach people with a political or philosophical point is by literally writing it out on your shirt.  For most of us, the personal is political ... and what's more personal than what we wear?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Fashion History

Halloween costumes through the decades

That wand is possibly my favorite accessory ever.
What are you going to wear for Halloween?  My husband, daughter and I usually plan an epic group costume theme -- last year, for example, we were Greek gods --but this year we're a little more low key.  My kid came up with the idea to dress as the "How do you do, fellow kids?" meme, and has the perfect shirt to pull it off.  My hubby cut out cardboard cat ears for his version of LOL cats.  I thought about trying to pull off Damn Daniel by wearing my new white Vans ... but it seems pretty obscure. I will probably just wear an LBD, put on a witch hat and call it good.  (Is there a witch meme?  Maybe I can start a witch meme!)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Style Inspiration: Art Deco

Take a stroll through the wonderful Kumu Art Museum's 2015 Art Deco fashion exhibition
Based on the collection of historian/designer Alexandre Vassiliev

As you may have guessed, I'm contrary.

Just as soon as everyone starts wearing a certain style, I immediately start thinking about wearing the complete opposite.  (I've already reminisced about how in my early 20s in Hollywood, my roommate and I wore frilly floral sundresses when everyone else was in tight black spandex.)  I cut bangs when long hair was trending.  I dragged my wide leg jeans out of storage when skinnies became the rage...

Don't get me wrong!  I love dressing up in beautiful trends.  There is something kind of idiotic about always trying to be different just for the sake of, well, being contrary.  But there is something fun about choosing an outfit that doesn't look like what everyone else is wearing.  Think about that lone sunflower in a field of daisies.  See what I mean?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Embroidery Boots Several Ways: Splurge, Affordable & Crazy Cheap

Great slow fashion DIY idea:
Update a pair of plain booties with embroidery patches!

While the stitchery trend has been growing for a few years (much to my delight,) it has fully bloomed  this fall.  The embroidery dresses and jackets are gorgeous, but not always practical for daily wear.  I don't know why professional business attire doesn't include dresses like this. (It would if I had any say about things.) But sadly, for most of us, we can't show up to work in gossamer netting.  

Embroidery or jacquard boots, however, can be easily combined with clean lines -- used as a kind of punchy accessory to a simple outfit.  A pair of embroidery boots is an enthusiastic exclamation point on an otherwise minimal fashion statement.   

My Dior boots are too wonderful.
A few years ago my husband bought me a long-coveted a pair of Christian Dior floral boots I had admired since their debut in the early 2000s.  He found me a never-worn pair on Tradesy for a fraction of the utterly impossible regular price.  I adore them!  

First of all, props to my hubby for knowing to look on Tradesy.  (I've taught him well.)  The boots were a wonderful gift, representing something of beauty and quality.  I love them dearly.  

The problem is: wearing a vintage pair of Dior boots feels like I am dragging a priceless Van Gogh painting across the pavement.  I don't want to damage fine art!!!

Needless to say, these lovely stiletto babies are for special occasions only.  (And for taking out of my closet and sighing over before putting them back into the box.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Your Very Own Judgey Robot Stylist? Amazon's Echo Look is Cool but Creepy

"Open the closet doors, Hal..."

File this one under Things That Are Great...Except That They Are Also Probably Terrible.  Amazon is rolling out the Echo Look -- an innocuous looking little robot, surveillance camera, device that promises to be your personal stylist, fashion photographer and brutally savage fashion critic all in one.  From the comfort of your home, and prompted by the sound of your voice, the Echo Look will take hands-free, full-length photos and videos of you to build "your own personal Look Book."

I didn't know I needed a personal Look Book, but the idea makes Instagram #stylechallenge collage photos seem soooooo 2015.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Style Inspiration: The Ultimate Rule Breaker Iris Apfel

"I don't have any rules, because I'd only be breaking them." --Iris Apfel

There needs to be another word besides legend or icon to assign to Iris Apfel.  Of course she is both of those things, but much more.  She's packed at least four lifetimes worth of exuberance, style and panache into her 95 years, and still shows no signs of slowing down.  (You could spend a week pouring over her mid-20th century textile designs, alone.)  Her attitudes about everything from relationships to aging are as fresh and exciting as her unparalleled knack for accessorizing.  And don't get me started on her Park Avenue apartment... I don't have to say anything.  Just look at it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

More of My Picks for Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Fashion Trends

Ease up on fashion rules with everything from space prints to Fall florals.

Designers are pushing all kinds of envelopes this year when it comes to fall and winter fashion trends, and I couldn't be happier.  There are so many different approaches this season, it's as if all the rules were abandoned and somebody declared a style free-for-all.  (I'm in!)  Skinny pants, wide leg pants, short skirts, maxi skirts, fringe, faux fur, metallics, demure checks, wild floral prints, patent leather, oversized sweaters, embroidery, lace... if you can think it up, you will probably find it this year, often worn together in a brazen embrace of pattern mixing.  

Here are some of my favorites for FW18:

Friday, September 29, 2017

Sustainable Fashion Fall & Winter 2017-2018 Picks

How to Engage with Ethical Fashion

We are awash in images of new fashion for the FW17 season, and the designs are gorgeous.  But how can we enjoy style fun without contributing to the egregious waste and exploitation of the fashion industry, especially when fast fashion makes it easy to embrace every trend?

Sustainably chic in a Karina dress!
One way I try to limit my fashion footprint is by supporting sustainable, ethical fashion brands.  The documentary The True Cost was instrumental in changing the way I looked at the clothing I buy.  I'll be honest ... the film is shocking.  It reveals the ways fast fashion depletes the earth's resources and utilizes what can only be described as slave labor in horrific and even deadly working conditions.  I had begun to wonder why I could buy a pair of shoes for only $14.  The answer? Because the industry had found a cruel, wasteful way to cut costs.

That just didn't sit well with me.

I realized that while our global economy is praised by politicians and big business as good for American corporations and consumers, it actually means that most of the goods we buy in America are made elsewhere, often in appalling conditions.  It's not just fashion, either.  Almost everything we purchase -- from mobile phones to furniture -- is manufactured in settings with far less worker protections or environmental consideration than laws would allow here.

So how do we even begin to make a difference without buying nothing, moving to a cabin in the woods and eschewing the modern world?