October 11, 2010

This blog will be undergoing some major changes within the next few weeks as I intend to make it more photography based. Forgive me if it takes a bit of time to get everything up as I’m in college now. For now, I’ve left some inspiration posts up so it’s not entirely bare.

Until then!


1940’s inspiration.

January 2, 2010

I found this photograph of three women at Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris by Andre Zucca on flickr originally and I’ve been reading up some on the exhibit that it was a part of and becoming completely fascinated with it. Apparently, a disclaimer was put onto the exhibition as a lot of people took offense to the photographs of people seemingly joyful and carefree despite the Nazi infiltration and the atrocities that were occurring both within Paris and far, far more-so in other places during World World II. While I agree that the subjects of the photograph might be misconstruing to the actual state of Paris in the early 40’s and is even disrespectful due to the failure to portray that the city was wracked with hunger and poverty and definitely wasn’t quite as gleeful as the photos seem to state, it’s still so interesting to look at.

Two more photographs from the exhibition:

Nina Leen, LIFE 1946 via myvintagevogue:

40’s Dior sketch & photograph of Lillian Brassman:

Independent Fashion Bloggers Links a la Mode

December 17, 2009

links a la mode

The Countdown Begins

Edited by Dramatis Personae

The countdown has begun–not only until the end of the year–but until the end of the first decade in the 21st century. That’s kind of amazing to think about. Styletastic and Sway, Sway, Away! both look at fashion from the Oughts with two distinctly different visions. [the3st] interviews the founder of ModCloth, while Wicked & Whimsy reviews Closet Confidential (by the hilarious Winona of DaddyLikey fame!).

Since this will be my last edit of links a la mode for this year, see you all in 2010!

Links à la Mode : December 17th

  • 39thandbroadway.com: – How Brands Get Burned By Celebs
  • A Typical Atypical: – Suffering from Buyers Remorse: The Real Deal
  • Brunette and Pink: – Makeup Tutorial: Leighton Meester Inspired Winged-out Smoky Eye Look
  • DailyDivaDish – Create a sparkling New Year’s look with the Tarte Treasure Chest Giveaway. Enter to this limited edition kit.
  • Friend in Fashion – Sugar and spice and all things nice – Unearthing the unique designs of the fabulous, Arizona based designer Monique Martinez, through the captive lense of Galaxie Andrews.
  • Grit and Glamour: – The Trend Conundrum–rends are a tricky thing; what makes some women look so pulled together is not a wardrobe full of the latest styles and trends, but the ability to know which ones to avoid.
  • i’m the it girl: – My Love Affair With Hermes and the Great Debate: Kelly or Birkin?
  • Idiosyncratic Style: – 12 Great Holiday DIY Projects – give something special this year (even if you are short on time and money)
  • kaKofonie Of si(gh)lenS: – My most amazing (and green!) find this year: Denim Therapy, a company who will restore your tattered favorite jeans to like-new condition. Seriously.
  • La Société de Mode | The Fashion Society: – Combats are stomping their way back into style
  • Pursed Lips: – Thoughts/quotes on Lady Gaga as a powerful tool, if a difficult one to reach, for designers.
  • Style on a String – Getting down to the wire: Gifts for the Stylish Geek who is kind of Girly too
  • Styletastic: – As the 00’s are coming to en end, we look back at the fashion memories that will define the decade. Ah the memories!
  • Sway Sway Away!: – Sway Sway Away! presents Caitie’s bitching and moaning on the worst trends of the Aughts.
  • THE COVETED – Love it or Leave it : Rodarte for Target
  • The Fashion Planner: – The Fashion Planner shows you how to make a jaunty beret.
  • The Working Wardrobe: – Beware of “business casual” being too casual for the workplace.
  • tick tick heart: – A focus on the varying fashions of some of our quirkier leading ladies in film.
  • White Rabbit: – Pros and Contras of Artificial Nails
  • Wicked Whimsy: – Closet Confidential: A Review
  • [the3st]: – Success & Getting There: Interview with Susan of ModCloth.com

1930’s inspiration.

December 14, 2009

Vintage 1930’s dresses from www.vintagetextile.com.

Images from tumblr, My Vintage Vogue, The Fashion Spot, and google image search.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl style.

December 12, 2009

There’s always been a specific type of girl who I find the most fascinating in film. She’s the whimsical, dreamy sort of girl who probably doesn’t exist fully in real life – maybe only in the form of teenage girls who try their darnedest to recreate that kind of mysterious yet doe-eyed and innocent persona that can be so entrancing. Maybe what makes them so interesting is the fact that they’re walking contradictions. They’re wild yet sweet, somewhat shallow on the surface yet genuinely multi-dimensional, beautiful yet not conventionally so, and they bring out the life in others when they might feel dead inside themselves. I don’t recall ever meeting anyone who quite lived up to that image that you see on the screen. Someone (Nathan Rabin) did, however, coin these enigmatic and quirky cinematic females with their very own title – “Manic Pixie Dream Girls” or MPDGs for short. Some may find characters like this to be vapid or think that they feed into the stereotypical weak, ultra-feminine characters that inadvertently support male dominance in film – but I disagree. If anything, I think the men need them more than the other way around.

While there are a few variations of MPDGs, something they always possess is an effortless and unique style. Even if they dress simple and mundane, their fashion is always different than any of the other girls in their given film, even if that sometimes means being understated and not as typically wow inducing as the rest. MPDGs are leading ladies who are the antithesis of your garden variety heroine.

Since I’m so fascinated with these kind of characters, I thought it might be fun to point out a few favorites with a focus on their varying styles.

Kate Winslet as Clementine Kruczynski in Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind. Kirsten Dunst in Elizabethtown may have been the inspiration for the term, but I think think of a better fit as a MPDG than Clementine. Everything about her is eccentric and quirky – from her constant hair color changes to her mood swings to her famous line, “I’m not a concept. Too many guys think I’m a concept or I complete them or I’m going to make them alive, but I’m just a fucked up girl who is looking for my own peace of mind. Don’t assign me yours.”

Wanna look like Clem? Well, you could dye your hair blue or bright red like Kate’s in the film, but if you’re not up for that much of a plunge, you could opt for less drastic options. Her styling was a diverse mix of sloppily sophisticated and a thirteen year old deeply immersed in her “look at me, I’m a rebel” stage. For the former, you could pair a little black dress with funky jewelry, an eccentric, patterned scarf, or brightly colored Doc Martens. And the latter? Easy, easy, easy. Get some funky or ironic t-shirt, pair it with some camo pants, converses, and a hoodie and ta-da! You’re a Clem lookalike. Not so fashionable, but that’s not what you’re aiming for. The most important aspect of creating this MPDG style is the way you carry yourself and your attitude. It’s what tips the scales from mall rat to point of interest.

Hannah Murray as Cassie Ainsworth on Skins. Cassie is without a doubt, the ultimate television MPDG. I mean, really, downing pills with alcohol in a tiny toy gun? Bouncing around between clinics and institutions? While she’s a slightly darker and more conflicted MPDG, she still possesses the same wonderment. Every MPDG has some sort of defining quote or catch-phrase. For Cassie, it would undoubtedly be her infamous, “Oh, wow… lovely!” with her wide eyes and endearing over-bite. Though Sid is entirely hung up on Michelle, Cassie is still able to entrance him enough to finally realize she’s the girl for him. Only a MPDG can be completely messed up, yet still desirable at the same time.

Cassie’s style simultaneously makes sense, but then… doesn’t. It’s a mix of early 90’s grunge with baby-doll dresses and white Kurt Cobain sunglasses, anime character with eccentric jewelry and patterns, and things that are trendy. Probably the coolest aspect of Cassie’s style is that Hannah Murray was allowed to use things from her own wardrobe for the character. Achieving Cassie’s look requires the right eye for mixing articles of clothing and patterns that don’t necessarily seem like they’d mesh well together, but creates an amazing final product. Cassie wore a lot of really whimsical, pale colored mini-dresses with knee socks and flat oxfords and Mary Jane’s. You could also pair a cute t-shirt with a long pleated skirt and really random jewelry. Cassie also wore a lot of sequin detailed pieces, mixed with less flashy thinks like structured blazers with shoulder pads and flat canvas shoes.

Zooey Deschanel as Harriet (Happy) Lolly. Okay, let me tell ya, it was difficult choosing which of Zooey’s characters as her ultimate MPDG. Summer in 500 Days of Summer would have been the obvious choice, but lots of people have already gone that route. Not only that, I can think of a zillion other roles of hers that fit off the top of my head (The Go Getter, Yes Man, Flakes, Manic, her character on Weeds… etc.). I chose Gigantic despite it being an incredibly dull and unusual (unpleasantly so) film because of Happy’s clothing and the fact that her off-beat personality is about the only interesting part of the movie.

The outfits that Happy wore were slightly more subdued than those of the other MPDGs I’ve mentioned. Nothing is really all that out of left field except maybe the adorable kimono she wore lounging around her father’s house. Throw on a similar one or any silk robe and some heels while hanging around the house and feel like you’re a movie star or model waiting to get your hair and make-up done for some glamorous photoshoot. Happy also wore a lot of dark, rich colors like burgundy and navy blue, so any warm, fall colored articles of clothing will get the vibe going for you. Some of her outfits had a 70’s vibe to them – high-waisted jeans, gold chain belt, soft ruffled tank tops, fur (faux, please! >:|) lined blazers. In Happy’s case, what upped her MPDG status is how aloof she was. There was something to her character’s quirkiness, but the film failed to go into who she really was. She existed merely as an interesting focal point in an otherwise hum-drum story.

Natalie Portman as Sam in Garden State, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golighty in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Mischa Barton as Marissa Cooper on The OC (I’ve been lusting over that dress she wore since 2003), The Lisbon Sisters from The Virgin Suicides, Kate Hudson as Penny Lane in Almost Famous, and Helena Bonham Carter as Marla Singer in Fight Club.

1920’s inspiration.

December 7, 2009

1920’S French postcard. As striking as the woman is, I think it’s the man who steals the spotlight in this particular photograph. He looks so mysterious and vampy, as if he’s about to move in for either a kiss or bite and she’s maintaining a cool exterior like she doesn’t really care either way. Image found on tumblr.

Actress and pianist Edythe Baker (left) worked the Broadway and cabaret circuits in the 20’s and 30’s. You can hear her playing “Mad About The Boy” on piano in the early 30’s here. One of the Ziegfeld Girls (right) in an issue of Vogue. A lot of elements of this photograph reminds me of things I see in editorials today. More about the Ziegfeld Girls below. Images found on My Vintage Vogue.

Clara Bow and Marceline Day in The Wild Party directed by Dorothy Arzner. This film from the late 20’s is about some college girls who party just a little too much until one lands herself in some big trouble. Interesting tidbit, Dorothy Arzner was one of the only women filmmakers working during the time period. Image found through google image search.

Gloria Swanson (left) was an actress known also for her amazing fashions and Clara Bow (right) is undoubtedly the quintessential 20’s girl, fashion icon of the decade, and the very first “it” girl. Images found on My Vintage Vogue and google.

Vintage 1920’s drop-waist dresses. Images found on The Fashion Spot.

All of Clara Bow’s photographs possess such a whimsical quality and have so much personality to them. It’s really no wonder why her look was so influential and is still recreated and played off of in fashion today. Images found through google.

1920’s woman and her dog and vintage shoes. Images found on The Fashion Spot.

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in City Lights (left), 1920’s bathing beauties (center), Jule Andrew in a gorgeous Chanel dress (right). Images found through google and on The Fashion Spot.

Charlie Chaplin and Virginia Cherrill in City Lights, a film about a derelict who falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. Image found through google.

Irina Lazareanu in 20’s inspired pieces from Basso And Brooke (left) and Michael Kors (right). Images found on The Fashion Spot.

Two women at a sporting event (left) and Louise Brookes (right). Images found through google.

The Ziegfeld Girls were showgirls who were members of the chorus in the Ziegfeld Follies. The Rockettes of the Radio City Music Hall are reminiscent of what the Ziegfeld Girls were in the 20’s. Images found through google.

Edwardian era inspiration.

December 4, 2009

I’ve always loved Victorian clothing, homes, and design, but I have to say, in researching the Edwardian period more than I previously had, it’s starting to win me over somewhat. Though the two have a modest amount of differences, the Edwardian clothing and styles have a bit more of a darker, romantic, gothic feel to them. The clothing that I select for myself has more of that same principle to it – I wear a lot of black and white and like to mix dainty lace and frills with contrasting dark accessories and garments that are more structured and have a less flowy quality to them.

Lily Elsie (left) was a and English theatre actress. When I spotted her while researching actresses of the Edwardian period, I was immediately intrigued by her look. I might do a post solely devoted to her one day after I’ve read a bit more about her! I haven’t looked that much into Phyllis Monkman (right), but I believe she was an actress and belly-dancer. The photo above is from The Butterflies and you can read an interesting little review of that performance here.

Daisy Jerome (left) and Mabel Love (right), two more lovely Edwardian actresses. Something about Mabel’s face reminds me quite a bit of Clara Bow.

Beautiful Edwardian inspired corset and children playing while donned up in clothing inspired by the era.

Items found while playing around on polyvore – some authentic Edwardian pieces and some other dresses and accessories that I thought fit nicely with the time period. The ModCloth dress on the left specifically reminds me of something that would have been worn then.

Edwardian style home and the most gorgeous dress ever. I need a dress like that in my life! Of course, I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it, but hey. Maybe if I get married, my wedding dress will look like that? A girl can dream.

Edwardian inspired pieces from a Christian Lacroix (left) collection and an Armani (right) collection.

Isadora Duncan (left) was a highly acclaimed American dancer with an extremely interesting life story (check out her wikipedia!) and I can’t seem to find much on Ethel Oliver (right), but she was another beautiful Edwardian actress.

Victorian era inspiration.

December 3, 2009

* “Madonna Mia” by Oscar Wilde.
* All photos found through different facets of the internet (google, photobucket, flickr, tumblr), taken by me, or from The Fashion Spot or Victorian Trading Company.