Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun in the Sun

I do not envy the modern fashion designer. I mean, these people work like slaves anymore. Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, Pre-Fall, Resort... it's just one continuous fashion show. When do they sleep? It's hard to believe they're not all cocaine addicts; hell, I need extra stimulants just to look at all the pictures from all the shows, let alone have to do all that designing.

And yet, some of them manage to crank out show after show of wonderful stuff. Like my buddy John Galliano designing for Dior. Based on his last couple of resort collections, I wonder if this isn't Galliano's favorite season. He just seems to have so much FUN with resort. He's still very much working his retro, Palm Beach, Babe Paley thing, but I really thought a lot of the clothes were extremely wearable.


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That is a GREAT dress. That is a dress just about any woman could wear and love, and depending on how you dressed it up or down, that dress could go anywhere from work to a lunch meeting to an afternoon wedding. Terrific.

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Galliano loves color and I adore him for that. I don't think there was a single black garment in this entire show.


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Beautiful suit. There is just no arguing with a suit like that. Gorgeous.


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Okay, yeah, the skirt is a little over the top, but we've seen much crazier from Galliano, and the proportions are really good. It's not completely around the bend -- you could wear that, provided you had the touch of bravado it would require, and not look like a circus freak. And that jacket is to die for.


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Lovely dress, lovely color, lovelylovelylovely.


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Yes, this is very much a special occasion outfit, but who could not love it? Look at that skirt (or are they pants?) billowing out behind her! So dreamy!

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Another beautiful, wearable suit.


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Yeah, buddy. Full-on 1972 cocktails by the pool and I'm kah-razy about it. Every woman needs some leopard print, is what I say. Do not be afraid of the kitty-cat.


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But back to earth -- everything about this is good.

Obviously his collection very inspired by a very specific stereotype -- the pampered Palm Beach aging-not-quite-as-gracefully-as-possible socialite. The theme seemed to extend even to the makeup. Maybe it's just me, but scroll back up & take a look at the models' faces. I'm wondering if the makeup artist behind all these looks purposefully gave them that over-Botoxed glaze. The eyebrows all seem just a liiiiiiittle too high, as though they're on their second or third face lifts, and the lips are just a liiiiiiittle too full, as though they didn't know when to stop with the lip-plumping injections. Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was humorous, and it does seem like something Galliano would do. And, along those lines, when I looked at the backstage photos, yet another cautionary tale presented itself.

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Here we have Christina Aguilera (along with the Funky Little Fashion Troll himself) -- formerly one who favored Amazonian hair extensions so expansive that small children could sleep comfortably in them and skintight leather leggings so low in the rise that calling them pants was a gross exaggeration. Ms. Aguilera has married, brought forth progeny, and seems hell-bent on respectable-izing her image. However, troweling on bad foundation, plucking your eyebrows into mannequin-like arches and sqeeeeeeezing yourself into a too-small (satin!) suit with cleavage that threatens to interfere with your earrings is not the way to go about it.

This, sweetheart, is how it's done:

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Behold Lauren Hutton (here with Jacqueline Schnabel, also no slouch in the sophisticated glamour department). I don't now how old Lauren is now, I don't care. Most 20-somethings I see could take a few pointers from this effortlessly, timelessly elegant woman.

Here's another lesson in Why Trying Too Hard Usually Backfires:


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Jennifer Lopez (who has apparently donated her lips to charity or something) standing around looking terribly glam and terribly uncomfortable. Goodness, my hairline hurts just looking at her. It's all so perfectly, robotically matchy-matchy that she's managed to take an assortment of truly beautiful clothing & accessories and make them yawn-inducing. Here's another way of going:

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Goodness knows, I do get tired of Lou Doillon's funky gamine bit, but at least she looks like she can sit down in her outfit, and like she might actually have spent her day doing something besides having individual hairs shellacked to her skull. A little imperfection can be an awfully good thing.



Photos: Style.com




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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Style Spy Divests

Have you ever read my blog when I was talking about my wardrobe and thought boy, I wish I could shop in her closet? Well, you can. I have gone through my closet with a fine-toothed comb and pulled out several full-to-bursting shopping bags that are stuffed with clothes I can no longer wear or that it is just time to let go. This Saturday morning I'll be taking part in a yard sale with a friend who lives in Rosedale here in Austin, and I'm hoping to get rid of a lot of things. Importantly, I'm hoping to sell things to people who will appreciate them, because there is some nice stuff in those bags including many things that have never been worn or only worn a few times. There are a few items it's actually a bit difficult to part with, like this coat:



Camel wool Adrienne Vittadini full-length coat. Size 12. This is made of the most beautiful, amazingly soft Piacenza wool -- I thought it was cashmere the first time I put it on, but it's just very good wool. I bought this to wear to Paris one February and it did keep me nice & toasty then and on a subsequent November trip, so it's sentimental, but it was on the large size when I originally bought it and now it simply drowns me. It was an $800 coat originally, I'd like to get $100 for it.



Battenburg lace straight skirt with side vents. Nifty. Size M. $10.


BCBG printed satin flats with comfy rubber soles. Size 9.


I think I wore these once. $10.


These are great fun:


Green leather sandals with leather flower appliqu├ęs on the toes. Size 9, only worn a few times. $20.



Classic, perfect pair of black satin slingbacks. Worn once or twice. Size 9. $20.


This is wonderful:


Red wool knit TeriJon dress. This is one of those garments that needs a body in it to do it justice, but it is a beautiful dress. It's very fitted through the bodice, and that self-tie sets off a nice ballet neck. A great dress that you can wear for years to come. $20. Size 10.




Fun pink striped silk & cashmere cardigan. Size XL. Nice & snuggly. $10.


Anne Klein vanilla gabardine trench coat. Oh, I love this thing, but it is just too big on me. It has always been too big, but the only size they had at the store was a Large, and I liked it so much that I ignored my better judgment and bought it. Every time I've ever worn it I've gotten a slew of compliments, it's a great-looking coat even though it's too big. It needs to be dry-cleaned, so it's only $20.



Iridescent green & bronze pleated party skirt with the cutest little net flounce underneath and a removable sash with sequin trim. Such a fun skirt, with a satisfying rustle when you walk. Size 8. $20.

Oh, believe me, there is lots more where these came from, including the stuff on the Shop Style Spy's Closet Blog. There is what I think is an entire bag of blue jeans of various sizes, more shoes, dresses... just gobs of stuff. Most of it ranges in size between 12 and 6, although there are a few smaller items that have worked their way into the lot. I am flexible about the prices, which are probably going to range from $100 to $5, so bring cash or your checkbook. We'll have a place for you to try things on as well, so you can be sure something works before you take it home.

So come join us in Rosedale Saturday morning between 8:00 and noon! If you'd like the exact address of the sale, contact me by clicking the e-mail link in my profile and I'll shoot you some directions, or check out Craig's List, where I'll be posting an ad. If you're not in Austin and you see something here you think you need, let me know. For the cost of the item plus postage, I'm happy to ship stuff.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cool Breeze

So I was looking at Vera Wang's newest resort collection the other day and I just loved it.

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I mean, I just ate it up, I wanted every single thing in it.

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This dress? Is perfect. Perfect. Who wouldn't look great in this dress?

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Of course, I always love Vera Wang's dark, slightly funky, geometrically romantic clothes.

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But for some reason I was just gritting my teeth with lust over these things, even more than usual.

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And then it struck me -- they look so cool. Not cool as in hip or nifty, but cool as in, it's damned hot out there and I need to wear something cool. These clothes all float away from the body so beautifully -- it looks like it would be easy to catch a breeze in them. It's not enough, for me, anyway, that warm weather clothes be skimpy or short. I want them to not stick to me. I want fabrics that will sort of fall around me rather than cling to me, which is why I often will prefer a summer dress made of something like polished cotton to a jersey. I don't want stuff glomming on to me.

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Because it is damned hot out there here where I live. It's already shaping up to be one of the hottest Junes in recorded history, and this does not bode well for the summer. It's unlikely things are going to significantly cool off for July and August.

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Of course, summer is always hot here. It just is. Austin, in case you're wondering, is on roughly the same latitude as Cairo. (Cairo, Egypt. You know, where the pyramids are. And the big desert.) I have a friend from Kenya who feels the heat here. When the guy from Africa thinks it's too hot, it? Is hot.

There's not much point in complaining about it, although some people seem to do nothing but complain. Personally, I think complaint just raises the temperature. That's no way to deal with the heat. When the going gets tough, the tough slow down, sit back, order another margarita, and buy seasonally appropriate clothing. Like the ones I'm going to show you.

With all these items, I was shooting for something that had that easy, non-sticky Vera-ness to them. Veracity, if you will. (HAH!) Click photos or hypertext for links.



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I bought this blouse. I am a crazy fool for this blouse. I'm going to get another one as a backup, because I promise you by September I will have worn this thing to rags. So pretty and so comfy.


Moschino Cheap & Chic Off Shoulder Strapless Dress Taupe & White

Love this. So cute.





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These are silk, so probably best for indoors or after sundown. But so pretty, no?


PLEAT DETAIL TANK DRESS








TENCEL JERSEY SLEEVELESS SHIFT DRESS



All of these dresses are best worn like the ones from the collection -- with cute little flats, preferably something metallic and strappy.


PRINTED SILK LANTERN SLEEVE DRESS




EMBROIDERED COTTON BATISTE SMOCK

This is better in the white, but the photo of the black makes it easier to see the sweet eyelet detail at the bottom. Adorable.




COTTON SILK VOILE SHIRRED SMOCK



And of course, who's more Vera than Vera herself?



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(I love the way the Kohl's website makes the clothes look as though they're hanging from an invisible clothes line with a gentle breeze blowing them. For some reason, it just cracks me up.)


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Another fantastic white blouse -- I'm very tempted by this. I do have a white blouse monkey on my back, I can never get enough of them.



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I cannot tell you how sorry I am that I do not have an occasion for this dress, because it is crazy on sale as well as completely wonderful.


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These next ones are from Neiman Marcus, and right now their sale merch is an extra 25% off. These are steals!


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You should click on this to go to the site and look at the back. Just gorgeous.


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So, go! Shop!!




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