August 31, 2009

Quote of the Week: Bonnie Cashin

Chic is where you find it. Bonnie Cashin







August 27, 2009

Design Lover - Achille Castiglioni Ceiling Bulbs

Castiglioni ceiling bulbs circa 1974

Each one unique and slightly irregular, Castiglioni's hand blown bulb lights glow like candles therefore, making you even more beautiful than you already are. Try Flos for similar.

August 26, 2009

Vintage Bill Blass

Bill Blass
1970

August 25, 2009

Don't Sacrifice Your Image for a Bargain

The fabulous Vintage Vogue boutique in Calistoga, CA

Don't buy much but make sure what you buy is good. Christian Dior

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't going to put together some new outfits for Fall. Living in a climate where there are only two seasons - the cold ones - my Fall wardrobe is pretty much worn year round.

As someone who's made a living off buying clothes, accessories and footwear there are certain mantras I live by. It's one thing to put together a collection for a show but it's a whole other story putting together a collection for myself.

If you're going to shop the bargains, and by bargains I'm including thrifting, make sure the piece fits. Don't be like me and try it on over your clothes. Go in the fitting room and be natural. Put your belt on, keys in your pocket, sit down and cross your legs. Is it tight in the seat or thighs? Button up and walk around. Does it cut up under your arms, show off those private bits, pull across the chest? Put a sweater on under that jacket or coat and raise your arms to see if it's comfortable in motion. Stand in your natural stance, which I've noticed is air guitar for quite a few people. Do you feel like you?

When you've finished with the physical part run these words through your head:
  • Debt is not cool.
  • Cash is the new credit.
  • Need not want
  • No acrylic
  • Black
  • There's a reason it's on sale.
  • Regret
  • Walk away

August 24, 2009

Why I'm Boycotting the September Issues

My first September edition
1982

I'm not buying one September issue this year. I'm boycotting.

I bought my first September issue in 1982. I didn't know what kind of magazine I was buying as I was eleven years old. I simply bought it for the Marilyn Monroe article as I was a star struck young fan.

Over the past twenty seven years I don't know how many September issues of various fashion magazines I've bought but it's been many. What I do know is that over this lifetime of buying those issues I've been increasingly suckered in to buying 90% advertisements. Sure, there were ads in the '82 issues but nowhere near as many that there are in my '08 issues. Of course, I most definitely agree, that you would not exist if you didn't have advertisers but there's a fine line that's drawn that some of us like to refer to as quality over quantity.

If one of the editors of the world's most popular fashion magazine has to go on television touting how great the September issue is and why I should buy it the first thing I think is trouble is brewing at head office. Advertisers pay premium dollar for spreads in this issue. Publishers want you to buy this ad heavy issue simply for their stats. These stats are then shown to advertisers as a sales tactic to increase potential ad revenue and garner top dollar for premium spots for particular months.

Hold your head high but don't take your readers for granted we can see right through it.

Quote of the Week - Norman Mailer

Charm gives life.
Norman Mailer

August 23, 2009

How to Wallpaper with Newspaper

Tilley making sure the table is sturdy.

Actually, the end of the month is a great time to get great finds for free. Last weekend we decided to try out an idea we have for a coffee table. We grabbed this trashed side table raided the free newspapers, picked up some sponge brushes at the dollar store and invested in some polymer medium at our favourite art store. Total cost $14.50.

stacy reynaud
How to wallpaper with newspaper and other stuff.

Materials:
* glossy polymer medium
* sponge brush
* scissors
* your selection of papers
* (optional) glossy water based polyurethane (clear or tinted)
* paintbrush

The polyurethane can be omitted. However, it gives a protective glossy coating.
If you do decide to use polyurethane make sure it's water based or it will smear and run the print. Also, the picture from the other side will show through.

The polymer medium can be used as an under coat and as a final coat.

1. Cut the strips of paper you want to use and turn them face down on a work surface.
2. Apply polymer medium with a sponge brush to the surface. Do only a small section because it dries quickly.
3. Place the strips of paper on the wet surface and press down.
4. Coat it lightly with the medium; if foam forms on the paper it will not dry clear.
5. Continue to cover the surface this way, overlap the edges and corners as you continue to make the collage.
6. Rinse the sponge brush thoroughly so you can reuse it at another time.
7. Once both sides have a coating of the polymer medium applied to them they are sealed and regular water based polyurethane varnish can be applied on top. The polymer medium is used as a gluing agent as well as a sealer for the paper.
8. (optional) With a paint brush, coat all surfaces with glossy water based polyurethane. This gives the paper a hard protective finish. It takes 24 hours to dry and must be painted on evenly in one direction.
9. If you decided to omit the polyurethane finish the surface will require several coats of polymer medium to give it a final finish. This dries within fifteen to twenty minutes. The finish will not be as smooth as the polyurethane and will turn white if anything wet touches it for a prolonged period of time. Other than that the finish is extremely durable.

The Best Loafers


vintage Gucci loafer

No, it's not a new series in the Fall lineup starring Seth Rogen. I'm referring to that saucy leather number that's infiltrated everywhere from college campuses to corporate boardrooms.




1970s loafer available at Rusty Zipper here

With men's fashion fueled by convenience and comfort, the loafer has managed to maintain its footing for over five decades. That's a lot of appearances on a lot of different runways.


The ubiquitous Gucci bit-buckle loafer, first seen in Wall Street boardrooms in the seventies, sashayed its way into mainstream malls in the eighties. Where does the loafer stand now? Poised for style supremacy or back seat to the brogue?
These side buckle shoes were on the Fall 2009 Alexander McQueen runway but not offered for purchase on McQueen's website. Where are they Mr. McQueen?


Designers showing loafers / slip-ons in their Fall Winter 2009
footwear collections:

August 20, 2009

What became of the men's pinky ring?


Associated more with a Quentin Tarantino protagonist than a Victor Fleming lead the men's pinky ring was once a symbol of male elegance.


I'm trying to think back historically in order to understand how Peter Warne morphed into Ron Burgundy. The 1960s perhaps. Elegance became associated with money and money was associated with 'the man'. The lines were drawn and the styles defined.


Any of these looks could hold their own today. That is, of course, minus the pinky ring.

10 Unique Bedroom Ideas

We spend the most time in our bedroom. Let's make it good.


Style. Get that television out of your bedroom now and put in a dimmer switch. Good lighting, texture and personal style can turn that rental white box you call a bedroom into whatever your fantasies desire. After all, it is the bedroom.


Ambiance. Reel to reel, projector, candles, mini bar and I'm sure there's a smoke machine somewhere in there.


Consistency. Let's say you love brown but have reservations about painting the entire small room brown. Why not take shades of brown and extend them throughout the space by using texture, accessories and furniture. Striped wall paper hung horizontally stretches a small room even further by the use of a mirror. In this room the lamps, clock, wardrobe fixtures, sable crushed velvet bedspread and mirrored vase play off the reflections of the mirrors and the silver stripes in the wall paper.


You. Remember how you decorated your bedroom as a kid. Collages of rock posters, fashion spreads, seals, cars, supermodels, or whatever, it set you apart from your parents. I remember the feeling of pride I had in my bedroom when new friends would come over to listen to lps, gossip or put together outfits. When I moved out at nineteen a box of incense and a pack of candles were the first things I bought.

August 19, 2009

What is your personal style?

Apparently last week's mind fog was actually a time machine that took me back to Paris in the late 60s. The attraction seems to be unshakable. A sure sign to grab the inspiration and start my fall picking.

In his autobiography, Dior by Dior, Christian Dior reminisces on the social aspect of walking to and from the city during the German occupation of France from 1940-1944. Walking the same route everyday became the most important networking event of Dior's career. I will keep this event to myself. Read the book.

Living downtown makes walking my main mode of transportation which usually covers about 5 kms a day. Walking this much has made the phrase, 'I don't have the right shoes.'; one of the most common in my vocabulary. Trust me, those black closed toe YSL platforms would be mine if I wasn't so practical. Instead I'll take that eight hundred bucks and buy a closet full of timeless vintage pieces and hopefully find the right pair of shoes to wear.

What I'm getting at is - plan your shopping for your lifestyle. Personally, I'm attracted to Francoise Hardy's style of the late 60s because I see it as an adaptable suitable style for my lifestyle. Comfortable chic. For another great look of Françoise's check out her 1967 video for Voilà here.

Note: In my repertoire the fur is faux.

Belle de Jour - Coats Shoes and Sheaths

Luis Buñuel had a shoe fetish. However, the first thing that caught my attention as I watched this montage of shoes from his 1967 film Belle de Jour was coats. I love a well tailored 1960s coat. My eyes then moved to the sheath dresses, then the hair and finally the shoes. I'm more of a boot woman. If you made me pick - starting at 3:52 both his and hers are pretty fine. By the way, is it the shoe itself or the foot dressed in the shoe?



August 18, 2009

J-Beauty



Keeping Japanese women slim and beautiful for over twenty years Fibe-Mini is 100 ml of carbonated fiber goodness. One bottle contains the dietary fiber content of about two heads of lettuce and the equivalent of 15 lemons in Vitamin C (300 mg). Sounds like a high dose fiber detox combined with collagen stimulation. I think I'll eat an apple. Domo arigato.

View the Japanese Fibe-Mini advert complete with school girls, aliens and a female super hero below.

August 17, 2009

August 16, 2009

Quote of the Week - David Bowie

Well, if I wear these things, I suppose in the next few months we'll start to see a lot of these around.
David Bowie, 1970s

August 14, 2009

Woodstock: An Aquarian Fashion Exposition


The Summer Pop Festivals of 1969 not only show cased some of the greatest musicians of all time but they also unknowingly premiered America's evolving fashion scene to the rest of the world. It wasn't since the 1930s that America saw both men and women eagerly cultivating their own personal style and individuality in regards to their appearance.


To this day music festivals hold a treasure trove of 'inspiration' for designers. I must admit that I felt a pang of sorrow, disbelief and a jab in the heart when I saw photos of the' 'Looks of Coachella' in a recent online spread for a popular women's fashion mag. I chuckle to myself thinking of this mag doing a fashion spot at Lollapalooza '92 - 'Grunge is Grand: The looks of Lollapalooza'.

During a vintage show in Los Angeles I was approached by someone who commented, 'I don't know how you can sell your stuff. I'd hate to see people walking around looking like me.' Hey, fashion is fashion, style is confidence. Keep it real.

Related Posts:
A Eulogy for my Friend and Inspiration

August 13, 2009

This is it

You see my mind has been a little groggy this week due to a car accident on Tuesday and an attack of the, I was fed a ham and cheese quiche after being meat free for 21 years, monster. My apologies. My thoughts have been here but laden in tar. The conclusion - car has been written off and ham tastes like salty rubber. So, on with the show this is it.

August 12, 2009

10 Best Boots for Men

1. Alberto Fasciani - back zip low boots




2. Boulet - motor cycle boot
stockists at bouletboots.com
3. Chronicles of Never - desert boot
online at oaknyc.com
4. Rocco Pistolesi - hand stitched chelsea boot


5. Red Wing Iron Ranger
stockists at redwing.com
6. Raparo


7. Anne Demeulemeester
online at Brownsfashion.com
8. Collection Privee'? - motor cycle boot


9. Buttero - Trofane
stockists at buttero.it

10. Gianni Barbato - multi buckle boot

August 11, 2009

Shoes in the City


August 3, 2009
11:00 - 11:45 am
Vancouver, Canada




Design Lover: Frank Ligtelijn Globe 2000 Lamp

Designed in the 1960s by Frank Ligtelijn for Raak Amsterdam, the Globe 2000 floor lamp captures the nascent Space Age of mid 60s design. Raak has manufactured a large range of wall, floor and swag lamps always in the futuristic combination of glass and fine grained structured metal with chrome or silver accents.

Measures:
Height: 111.76 cm (3 ft. 8 in.)
Adjustable second height: 167.64 cm (5 ft. 6 in.)
Width: 35.56 cm (1 ft. 2 in.)

Available online: 1st dibs, or search the post title.

August 10, 2009

Quote of the Week - Vivienne Westwood

Sexiness is the most important motive in fashion because fashion is eventually about being naked. Vivenne Westwood






Vintage Gianni Versace


Gianni Versace
1982
the label was only four years old

August 6, 2009

8 Storage Cabinet Ideas for Your Space

Don't limit yourself to the typical when choosing storage for your work space. Why settle for a boring office supply store filing cabinet? Your space should be inspiring and reflect who you are.

Here are eight cabinets I wouldn't hesitate to put in my space:

1. military strong box from Get Back Inc.
2. black lacquer Oriental cabinet
3. Paul Evans bar cabinet
4. industrial metal cabinet from Get Back Inc.
5. Aldo Tura cabinet
6. 70s Paul Evans inspired resin bar cabinet
7. Danish modern cabinet
8. ornate 1685 cabinet from the Louvre


Related Posts:
14 Dining Room Ideas
A-Z of Inspirational Design

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