Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When I grow up, I want to dress like an organ grinder's monkey.

"Fashion is always a reflection of its own time, but we forget this if it is stupid." Coco Chanel

Stupid fashion. Forgettable fashion. We see so much of it, as people chase fads, and adults continue to want to dress like young girls and/or boys. Arrgghhh!

If you read this blog, you know how I feel about stupid clothes, and the people who wear them. They make me so confused. I always wonder, WHY?

Here's the latest fashion victim look- La Petite Chapeau (the little hat). AKA- the sad little orphan look. Or, as I like to call it, The Organ Grinder's Monkey.

Let's discuss...

for a larger look, go to- http://www.whowhatwear.com/website/full-article/accessory-report-petite-chapeaus/ 

Top left- Katie Holmes. Dressed like an organ grinder's monkey. Enough said.

Top right- Blonde girls on the street. OK, I get it. The British rocker's girlfriend look. Kind of cute, kind of struggling model look, but they get points because they are trying to channel Jane Birkin (Yes, that Birkin, of the iconic Hermes Birkin bag). They might not even know who JB is. So speaks the power of her influence in the 1960's and later. Maybe it's the balance of the baggy jackets, which read both retro 1980's and Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, mixed with the skinny pants, but they have pulled it into "a look", with the pale hair, and pale skin. Let's call them the Trying Monkeys. Moving on...

Bottom left- Ashlee Simpson. Oh, dear Lord. This girl is a train wreck. She has lip synched her outfit. This is kind of like a Kelly Osbourne before look. Why can't she find herself?  It's all sad. Boots that make her legs look like cut off stumps. (They aren't). Flowy dress, too light and too short for the  jacket; it says, "I wish I was still a tiny little girl".  It's a wonder she isn't posing pigeon-toed. And the makes-no-sense-jacket?  Meh. The hat- probably plopped on in an attempt to look trendy- the little boy look, you know- but it ends up making her whole body look out of balance.  The shape of a Christmas tree comes to mind. With a tiny little organ monkey bonnet on the top. Yeesh. She's pretty. Why does she fight it so hard? Lost Monkey.

The little girl in the middle? Well, yes, it's the organ grinder's monkey look, again, but she's so young, she can't possibly know that yet. Probably just read and followed TEEN magazine, and wants to meet Zac Epron. Teen Monkey.

Emma Watson- bottom right. Emma Watson is very sweet, really special, and has a beaming light inside her that transcends anything she wears. Plus, she had the good sense to wear a big, soft, lush trench jacket with clean lines, balanced by everything else simple, simple, simple black. So, she gets a pass on this unfortunate subject. Chic monkey.

Jane Birkin style-
  This is how it's done, ladies...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

La Dolce Vita!

WAIT! What? Huh? I haven't even found all my Christmas presents yet! Wait, I haven't even figured out how to dodge another geeky Halloween party yet! It's still just the end of summer in Los Angeles!

How can we be talking Spring 2012??? Because someone inspired us! Because there is no stopping fashion dreamers with romantic imaginations.

Dolce and Gabbana have done it again. Fun, fresh, looking forward to spring already...

Think Sophia Loren, and pretty, feminine dresses, and there you are! They are showing a celebration of that easy, breezy time in a young woman's life where nature kisses her, and she gets to shine from the inside, out. That's what these clothes remind me of. You can see her walking- swaying- down a street in  Rome, Venice, or Portofino, stopping for lunch, or a little shopping, maybe a cool drink at an outside cafe. Time does not matter. The senses matter.

This collection is full of juicy, delicious, refreshing prints of lemons, tomatoes, red peppers and eggplant, lots of green, and barely a clunky orthopedic gladiator shoe to be found! (I knew if I waited long enough, someone would do it!)

The hair is soft and pulled back, simply beautiful-

 Photos- Vogue

Some fun accessories-

See the collection- together in thumbnails, or look at the slideshow- click here-


Do some pretty, clean make up-

Photo courtesy Margaret Kimura, MCK Academy

Find yourself some beautiful strappy sandals-

and it's La Dolce Vita!"

p.s.......just because I also love some black....


Pretty is coming back to town. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

I wrote this a while back. It still holds true, so here we are. The film is Bill Cunningham New York, and like it's subject, it is a treasure.

The film will finally be released for sale on September 13, 2011. Here is the Amazon link-

For those not in the arts, the subject might seem frivolous. To the artist, it is a joy.

I write my posts about the world and what I see in it, because I have to. I can't help but see it. That is how I absorb things, and that is how I learn. Fashion and art, style and beauty might not be survival like food and shelter, but to many of us, they are oxygen. I wish I had in my abilities what Bill Cunningham has in his pinkie finger.

Photo: GQ magazine

There is art in everything, and I wish everyone could find their platform. I don't care what it is, it matters. That which feeds the heart, matters.

The other day I was making mental lists of who my favorite artists were. I was trying to think of what was the definition of cool. In a previous post, I wrote about where, to me, "hip" derived. Very different, and separate from cool. Who was cool?  Well, Steve McQueen was cool. The Stones. Paul Newman. They represented freedom of one's soul, not yielding to others. They made their mark because they couldn't possibly have stopped themselves. But they all got their style from, amongst other things, street culture. Cool often comes from the street, elevated to look- via better fabrics- elegant, chic and nonchalant, but it often has lesser beginnings. Designers, if they're smart, know this.

The brightest of all in the world of fashion is Bill Cunningham. Riding along on his famous bicycle, or stooping down on 57th & 5th, dressed in his humble French blue workman's jackets, (which he made chic just by wearing them), he understands fashion like no other. Miraculously sensitive, brilliantly alert. Frugal. Focused. Undeterred. For 50 or 60 years, he lived in a tiny little room in Carnegie Hall. His entire being is driven by chronicling fashion in New York through his marvelous eye, his indefinable lens.... of fashion, in particular, high fashion, led and formed by street fashion.

He has been called The Most Important Person in The World. In the fashion world, he might very well be. His knowledge of the history of fashion, fabrics and design is unrivaled. No one escapes his eye.

At 80 years old, he is a treasure, to be sure. He has humbled the likes of Anna Wintour. An impossible feat. She feels like an amateur next to him. She envies his vision. Of course, we all know her as a brilliant editor, a critic, a powerhouse. She the most feared person in fashion, yet she shows humility in her somewhat remarkable quote, "We all dress for Bill".  She admits that while they often sit and look together at the same thing,  he sees that which she does not.

Anyone can get into Vogue these days, it seems, but the hardest and most sought after photo for anyone in fashion is to be shot by Bill, in the street. That is THE definition of making it.

Bill Cunningham started at the New York Times, then worked at night, for free, helping to create the forward thinking Details magazine. He also worked for a while at W magazine, but left when his work was compromised, which he would not allow. In the words of Annette De La Renta, he has never taken a mean photograph. He is not unkind. He does not care one whit about celebrities. He cares about the clothes.

As someone who loves New York, and spent my formative years living in the fashion and photography worlds of London, Paris and New York, this film is a marvel. There is something in that experience that I think can only truly be understood as an insider, in those particular cities, but of course, I am probably wrong. Anyone who respects art will love this film.

Earlier this year I was to New York, walking on Central Park South, and passed the new home of Bill Cunningham, where he was forced to move after he and the other last, longtime tenants were unceremoniously given the boot from their studios in Carnegie Hall. I stopped to peek into the lobby, hoping to get a look at his iconic bicycle, possibly resting in the lobby. No such luck. That would have been a happy moment.

No matter. He would hate the silliness and attention. Another reason to love him.