Yawn, stretch

June 18, 2007

Ouch. Coming back from an A+ holiday stinks. There are times when a great holiday is just what you need to get a kick start on everyday life, but this time I’m stuck wanting more, more, MORE! For the first time in a while, it’s not for more stuff, rather the energy of a vibrant city, the wonder of a new place, all the secrets waiting to be told and shared.

One of my recent lessons learned while vacationing is the necessity of toting sunglasses when out for a night on the town. When night turns into morning turns into afternoon, discovering you left your shades at home faced with the blaring early morning sun (or in many cases, mid-day) and many party-haggard faces, a harsh reality descends. Call me naive, but it was only recently that I began caring about shades -thanks Oprah.

For years I’ve been wearing Ditas; it started when I was fifteen, working in a boutique where the staff discount made these the only decent sunglasses within my price range, so it was a practical move. I was lucky to have discovered them then since through all the years that have passed, they have treated me well. They are solid as hell, made in Japan, and the cases are resistant to repeated sit-ons. Nevertheless, I had been blind to the amazing powers sunglasses hold and generously bestow upon the wearer. In any case, I was fortunate to have learned the teachings of Dita a decade ago and also to have learned repeatedly the utter necessity of this important accessory when partying in the great city of Berlin. Although I’m increasingly resisting consumption, I think it’s time for a new set of Ditas (Bullet in Caramel) to pair with the fresh eyes I’ve come home with.


Serpent care

December 12, 2006

(illustrations by Lynsey McCafferty and Matthew Forsythe)

Since a great deal of partying is likely to be done in this dress, a bit of pre/after care will be in order as sequins will inevitably be lost. To avoid a glorious sprinkle of gold trailing you wherever you may go, I am told that a light all-over spritz of hairspray is effective in combatting sequin loss. Perhaps this is a widely known fact already, but I’ve never owned a sequined garment before so this is news to me.

A true gem

November 22, 2006

stockholm coat
(Photo from Facehunter)

Despite stopping in at Facehunter daily and scrolling past this photograph numerous times in the past few days, the marvellousness of this woman did not hit me until last night – and when I took a closer look, I was just blown away by this woman’s subtle and totally amazing sense of style. The coat alone is crazy awesome, but the shoes, the happy grin while toting two bags at once? I know I am perhaps using some inflated language here, but doesn’t this woman’s style demand such grandiose words? Very well played, I say.

The local wildlife

September 9, 2006

(photo via Hastings+Main)

Dressing in the in-betweens can be a tedious task. The mornings here are brisk, but the past few afternoons/evenings have been balmy and very Indian summer. I tend to dress on the side of too warm, as it can be pretty miserable being underdressed in pre-fall temps. I always find that light dressing with the accessories of fall can be a pretty good way of negotiating this grey area.

This Hastings+Main dress is perfect for this time of year. A nice part of the collection this Fall is done in a haphazard and rumpled silk with a refined fall palette of mustard, forest green, aubergine, black and beige. A matte mustard silk blousy tube top with black silkscreened ferns has been in heavy rotation of a friend’s summer wardrobe for a couple years, and I have to say that everytime she wears it, I think, “wow, what a beautiful top.” The pieces in the fall collection are nice and drapey with just the right amount of a slouchy and more subversive brand of femininity.

Sweet Adele

July 29, 2006

(Pumps at Creatures of Comfort)

There are several pairs of beautiful Adele Clarkes in size 10 on sale at Creatures of Comfort -can someone please buy them already? It pains me that they’re not being worn and are languishing in a box, they must adorn a pair of feet post haste!

Adele Clarke’s footwear aesthetic is something I feel a kinship with. They are beautiful, with unusual cuts and shapes, the textures look lovely and rich, and they somehow also manage to look sensible and practical -no wonder since she has said herself, “I can’t tolerate uncomfortable shoes. I’m really difficult like that.” Her designs for Hussein Chalayan’s footwear line also communicate her amazing aesthetic -I saw the collection and admired it immediately, only finding out later that she was the woman behind these beautiful shoes.

(Hussein Chalayan s/s 2006 footwear collection)

(Some favourites from Chalayan f/w 2006)

With little financial backing, her line is almost entirely independently financed -got to give her props for that. That kind of hard work requires a real dedication to the craft and only speaks of a true love and appreciation for shoes -and I admire her and her shoes for it.

Friendly fashion

July 26, 2006

(Filippa K dress from Oak)

I saw a petite, heavily pregnant young woman walking around the neighborhood in this dress. The drape of the dress was amazing and she, bra-less, wearing white canvas slip-ons and sporting heavy bangs, was just the picture of beauty. Though it was a hot and humid day, she looked amazing.

That’s the thing with Filippa K (no doubt compounded by the fact that this girl was wearing it well), whether it be the dead of winter or the height of summer, her stuff always looks fresh.

A longtime devotee of the line, I appreciate Filippa for the following reasons:

  1. The clothes fit well and flatter, use quality fabrics, and have a long life (the trousers are nice and masculine, and she makes a mean winter coat);
  2. The prints are unique. Case in point: I spotted a shirt with a beautiful peacock print in Copenhagen in the fall of 2002, stalked it for a season, didn’t buy and always regretted. The print haunted me until finally one day last winter the shirt crossed my path again (eBay) and now lovingly hangs in my closet. Needless to say, the print was a memorable one;
  3. Having signed up to receive their catalogue in 2002, I without fail continue to receive them the beginning of every fall and spring -something small that speaks of the brand’s consistency and reliability.

I’ve actively had to seek out Filippa wares upon returning from Europe as the line isn’t widely available in North America – but with Want Agency heading up distribution here, that is slowly changing. With little advertising and press, the brand has been growing into a mini-empire; and with an underlying philosophy of simplicity and longevity in the clothes, it should continue to flourish. This is friendly fashion.


PS: All of Oak‘s stock is 50% off, but damn…the super cute and functional tres bag is sold out!

The polarizer

July 23, 2006

(Boots from Azzedine Alaïa f/w 2006)

A t-shirt with private parts thinly veiled as a googly-eyed face, I do not find obscene in the least. A pair of thigh-high patent boots covered in wavey thick black fur? Perhaps more so. I saw these boots and stared slack-jawed for a moment, in awe of their unabashed and utter “extra”-ness. Certainly never one for a practice in restraint, this “master” hailed as the champion of sexiness has produced this crazy boot for 2006 f/w.

The shoe line is utterly amazing, feminine and beautiful, if only for a particular woman. (Though these I find entirely awesome and wearable):

But when things get a little staid – with the run of the mill stiletto, platform, and boot – throw a ridiculously hairy boot in the mix and that’ll get people’s attention. Still grappling with these as a specimen of footwear and fashion, I haven’t even thought of what they would look like on and who would wear them. I would rather see these in a costume archive than anywhere in real life (unless worn in jest perhaps by someone like Amy Sedaris); they would be marvelled at for years to come as an artifact of our decadent age.

(They have a remarkable resemblance to a windjammer covered mic).