Archive for March, 2010

Iconoclasts

with certain ladies from the past who seem to have some kind of unrivaled impeccable style. I can’t put my finger on it, but they wear clothes somehow more timelessly than any modern-day fashionista I can think of.

Some examples:

Carson McCullers


Carson McCullers is my favorite alcoholic female writer from before 1950 (I like her even better than Dorothy Parker. Gasp.). She wrote haunting, lyric novels about isolation and unrequited love, misfits and characters. Jarvis Cocker set her narration of The Member of the Wedding in a song on his first album (Big Julie, if you’re interested). Charles Bukowski wrote a poem about her. In all her pictures she looks like a fragile, lean, doe-eyed creature (maybe an antelope or a timid, tiny woodland animal.) Yet by all accounts, despite alcoholism, depression, suicide attempts and strokes, she was a vital, strong woman who refused to give in to her demons until they finally got the better of her, in the form of a massive brain hemorrhage, in the late 60s. She was also bisexual (which for some reason makes her legend still more attractive.) Her style seems to reinforce her personality–she dresses with vaguely masculine, bohemian flair, instead of playing up her waifish femininity.

And then there’s beautiful Anna Karina, high priestess of French New Wave:

Anna Karina

I suppose it’s not entirely fair to the rest of us that there are people born this beautiful. And not only beautiful, but probably the most stylish woman that ever lived (in my opinion)–fashion model for Chanel and Pierre Cardin at age 17, with an effortlessly gamine, essentially french sensibility (even though she was Danish-born). A little mod, a little playfulness, a little classic, timeless style, grace and charisma. She’s Audrey Hepburn, but with her own special caché. Not to mention being Jean-Luc Godard’s muse and wife, an actress in many of the best French new wave films (Une femme est une femme being my favorite) and recording a song with Serge Gainsbourg. If that’s not enough style cred, I don’t know what is. She is the pinnacle of style, and I aspire one day to be one-tenth as effortless as she.

Jane Birkin

Speaking of Serge Gainsbourg–let’s take a look at Jane Birkin. How do you do it, Jane? Maybe it helps having a father who is a british spy and a mother who acts in Noel Coward musicals. Maybe growing up with that kind of James-Bond-meets-Blithe-Spirit background somehow predisposes a person to have style greatness within. I’ve been obsessed with Birkin ever since I saw her kiss Brigitte Bardot in Or if Don Juan were a Woman and subsequently Blowup, which, if you are majoring in photography in college, is pretty much required filmage. Growing up in the beating heart of Swinging London, and then spending the rest of your life in France with Serge Gainsbourg, collaborating on songs with Feist, Yann Tiersen, and The Smiths, Jane Birkin lives the kind of style icon life that only someone who has an Hermès bag named after her could live. Her style is waifish, long-haired, long-limbed, ultra femme with a little hint of wilderness. She has a certain feral quality around the eyes that elevates her look from the merely beautiful. Plus, her daughter is Charlotte Gainsbourg, who is a style icon in her own right and with whom I am passionately in love:

Oh, my, Charlotte

Ok, that’s all for today. I can’t stand looking at these women at the same time I’m sitting on my couch wearing L.L. Bean slippers. Tomorrow: Jean Seberg, Yma Sumac, Catherine Deneuve, and Lauren Bacall.

The Seaweed is always Fashionabl…er

Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft would feel all arm and fuzzy inside, if they weren’t both long dead. It seems that this season, the craft-market-etsy-set (yes, that’s a set) has decided to look to the coral reef for inspiration.
It’s an odd phenomenon. Every year one theme seems to penetrate the collective consciousness of crafters everywhere. I’m not sure where said theme comes from; it just seems to appear from the ether and ends up screenprinted on every t-shirt you see all year. Last year the theme was baked goods. Cupcakes in particular. And the funny thing is that after showing up in the craft markets, it ends up spilling over into the mainstream. Haven’t you noticed how you can’t walk three blocks without running into a ‘boutique cupcakery’ these days? The same will happen with sea life items, I’ll bet you anything.

I’ll even bet you this beautifully-made ‘Silver Seahorse Cigarette Case’

found at CosmicFirefly.etsy.com

Or if you don’t smoke, you can choose to wear your immense love of octopuses (octopi? Octopedes? Apparently all three are correct) proudly on any number of t-shirts.

I, of course, would go for the Chris Ware 8-bit inspired psychotic one:

I want to point out that this shirt is called “Octopocalypse”


found at MFM Apparel on etsy.

I could go on all day just with Octopedes (I like that name best), but I’ll limit myself to one more item. There are a whole lot more fish in the sea, as they say.

It was a tough choice, but I’m going with these Octopus Tentacle Earrings (made from a real octopus, apparently, although I’m not sure how that works…)

OctopusMe’s Etsy Earrings


found at http://www.etsy.com/shop/octopusme

For sheer craftsmanship, these take the cake. The cupcake, even. They’re not only gorgeously made, but DANG. How many people do you know that have a pair of these babies? $75 bucks is a steal for these, especially considering every set of earrings made by this shop is unique.

But there’s no reason to stop at octopi, when you could be effortlessly whale-chic:

Blue Whale Summer Tank


found at CypressInk’s etsy store

And the oft-ignored nautilus gets a very pretty pastel update in this tote:

Get one at HopefulMonsters.etsy.com


Hopeful Monsters

Maybe there will even be a revival of interest in old classic books like Moby Dick, or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Or…The Little Mermaid. Or Jacques Cousteau, who failed to get much of a revival out of The Life Aquatic. Second time’s the charm, eh, Jacques?

Jacques obviously approves.

So I will leave you with this—a t-shirt featuring a Narwhal (my personal favorite sea creature because, duh, it’s the unicorn of the sea) riding a Segway.

Because why not?

A Narwhal Named GOB


found at Squid Ink Kollective

Hopefully this whole trend will go the way of the cupcake and start ending up in couture lines and Urban Outfitters all over the country (if it hasn’t started to already). I’d love to see Bjork rocking a horseshoe-crab dress at her next press appearance.

Boston–slightly less frozen fashion

I wasn’t entirely successful at my street fashion photography attempts this weekend. (Meaning I got turned down a lot by people who a) didn’t speak enough english to understand that I wasn’t a creep or b) spoke english perfectly and STILL thought I was a creep.)

Still, I got some good shots. More and more Boston girls are looking like supermodels than makes me entirely comfortable. Being normal height and pudgy doesn’t quite seem to cut it these days–at least not on Newbury St.

Winter tones and aviators

Handbag envy

^ This girl, for example. Brazilian swimsuit model?

Chill hat

Laid-back

^ I decided I need more dudes when I take street photos. This guy was perfect.

Fitted jacket, nice boots

Another handbag envy moment

^ She was wearing a little gold headband with a bow. Killer.

Outside Marc Jacobs

love the stockings

^ tough florals is my favorite look this season. Doing a flouncy little chiffon baby floral-print minidress with black leggings/stockings, shoes, and a tough jacket? Outstanding. Oh and I wanted to give a shout-out to her equally stylish friend who’s photos I managed to lose because I am a terrible person.

That’s it for now. Italy next!!!!

Boston Frozen Spring Fashion

Took a short jaunt around Harvard Square this past weekend. The weather being psychotic didn’t help much–I think people don’t really know how to dress when it goes from being 70 degrees on Wednesday to snowing on Thursday, so I decided to get some pics of how people are compromising with the weather, fashion-wise.

Layers

One way to do it is tasteful layering. Scarves and caramel-colored leather.

Military Coat

Love a good pea-coat. They work pretty well as transitional outerwear–fall and spring coats. This one has great military detailing.

Knee-Length

I think she was hurrying somewhere from work, so the lack of coat is understandable. Love the pencil skirt and fun color on the top. Work outfits don’t have to be boring!!

Fuzzzzy

The cute fuzziness of this coat is a great contrast to the big roomy cobalt bag (my favorite color).

Mint Julep

Ok, not technically “street” fashion, but Mint Julep is one of my favorite stores in Boston, so it makes sense that their employees know how to dress. Love the ruffles on the plaid winter dress on the right and the peach color of the sweater on the left. Riding boots are always a good winter shoe, and the color of the boots on the right is unusual and works well with the look.

Cobalt blue again!

I like this tough-cute combo look, plus the color palette she’s working with. Bright blue tights and awesome shoes, leather and pigtails. It works.

Pink and Prada

I think she was the most stylish person I saw that day. I love it when older (not old, mind you) women can dress like nobody’s business. What a great color coat for spring, unique and fun top, and of course, great bag. Kudos.

So that’s it for now. Stay tuned, soon, for a street fashion post straight from Italy!! There might be gelato involved, too. At least I *hope* so)

Polyvore is like crack

So my dream is to someday be a fashion stylist, and to start I want to be a personal shopper. So I’ve been putting together outfits on polyvore like MAD, for no real reason except just to prove that I have good taste.

Here’s a sampling:

More on this later….

Good Eats, fewer double chins

So Alton Brown did an episode a few weeks ago on his epic weight-loss (a little too much, in my opinion, every time I see him he looks more and more like the crypt-keeper.) He lost 50 pounds in 9 months (40 would have been enough to avoid the terminal AIDS look). I, however, could afford to lose 50 pounds and MORE without looking Dachau-chic, so I’m going to try the same diet. Here are the specifics–4 lists of foods.

Foods to eat every day:
– Fruits
– Whole Grains
– Leafy Greens
– Nuts
– Carrots
– Green Tea
-BREAKFAST (more about this later)

Foods to eat 3 times a week:
– Oily Fish
– Yogurt
– Broccoli
– Sweet Potato
– Avocado

Foods to eat once a week:
– Red meat
– Pasta
– Dessert
– Alcohol

Foods to never eat:
Fast Food
– Soda
– Processed meals/frozen dinners
– Canned soup
– “Diet” anything

So. Since I don’t drink once a week, that means 2 desserts, right? God I hope so. For breakfast he suggests a smoothie, and the recipe he made looked so fantastic that I just had to try it this morning:

See? Pretty, purple breakfast.

Alton’s Buff Like Me Purple Superfruit Smoothie [modified]:
1/2 cup pomegranite juice
1 frozen banana
1 handful frozen mango slices
1 handful frozen mixed berries
3 frozen strawberries
1/2 cup soy milk.

Blend.
Enjoy.

Now I’m going to have a wilted spinach salad for lunch, a snack of roasted ginger almonds later on, and a couscous and black bean dish for dinner. 50 pounds sounds about right…

Boston’s Independent Movie Theaters

When I was in my sophomore/junior year of high school, I wasn’t exactly partying it up. No Texts From Last Night hijinks for me. Not even on par with those wacky Degrassi canadians with their teen pregnancies and their 100% intense drama. I wasn’t part of the group of kids from my all-girls prep school that drank and let boys stick their boy parts wherever they wanted.

Nope. What I did was go to midnight movies. That was my entertainment. My friends and I would check the movie listings at the Coolidge Corner Movie Theater every week to see if something racy was playing, and then sit in the dark watching Donnie Darko or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and wondering why we weren’t shotgunning beers in someone’s basement.

I loved those midnight movies. It was like belonging to a community of cult-movie fans who all looked a little like Tom Waits and knew all the words to Repo Man. So it’s with a healthy dose of nostalgia that I present to you my top picks for best indie movie house in the Boston area.

5. The Somerville Theater

Would you like a beer with that movie?


All I have to do is mention that this theater serves beer and wine as well as lindt chocolate bars and the usual movie theater crap candy. Sold yet? It also has live shows (I saw The Flaming Lips there when I was 17). Sold now?

4. Kendall Square Theater

If you can find it.....


Kendall is great, except for one thing–it’s in the middle of the bermuda triangle in cambridge. I suppose if you were taking the red line, and got off at Kendall, it might be ok, but driving is a different story. The signs that direct you to the cinema are about 2 microns across, and say “take left here” instead of just having a stupid arrow. DO A THING, Landmark Theaters. On the other hand, there is plenty of parking, and they have a great selection of foreign films, documentaries, restored old classics, and short film collections. Plus this is another theater where you can buy gourmet chocolates and beer. I love you, Boston.

3. The Brattle Theater

Upscale, yes, but it's Cambridge, what do you want?


I will always have a soft spot for the Brattle, ever since the time the theater caught on fire during a showing of Correlli’s Mandolin. So, instead of having to sit through one more second of that absolute Nicholas Cage wankfest, I got 16 free movie tickets, and free popcorn. As well as having hollywood releases and independent films, they also have festivals (a yearly bugs bunny festival, for example,) a yearly Oscar party, and the Harvard Bookstore holds very interesting author lectures there (Jody Picoult is an upcoming speaker). It’s also cozy and slightly upscale, leading to the feeling that you are going to see an opera instead of Shutter Island.

2. The Regent Theater

Slumdog Theataire


This theater deserves to be on this list simply because of it’s utter uniqueness. Located in Arlington (my hometown, by the by), it has live music of all, albeit strange, types (most popular being Journey and Steely Dan tribute bands); festivals of everything from bollywood films to strange animation, comedy shows, Seussical, and singalongs. Yeah. But what they’re most famous for is “The Bombay Cinema” which offers first run movies from India. People flock from miles away because really, either they’re jonesing for movies from home, or they’re Indian movie enthusiasts. Either way, it certainly is unique.

1. Coolidge Corner Movie Theater

Beautiful old school art deco marquis


There’s a reason this one ranks number one on my list–and it’s not only fond memories of my partyless teenage years. Though the ticket prices are slightly cheaper than the big chains, the place is beautifully restored, with gilded, sumptuous theaters. Their midnight movies are almost always themed, cult hits–for the coming weekend it’s Robocop and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. In the past they’ve done horror themes (Halloween, The Thing, and The Blob), bizarre comedies (The Big Lebowski, Repo Man, Fear and Loathing), and, of course, Troma in all it’s gory splendor. In addition to regular midnight movies, they also have sing-a-longs (Hedwig and the Angry Inch to name one) and quote-a-longs (Blazing Saddles one of many). How fun does that sound? Sitting around at midnight with a bunch of like-minded freaks, quoting along with Mel Brooks. There are other things to recommend this theater–lectures and classic films and foreign film festivals. Here’s the deciding factor–last month they had Alton Brown there to talk about his new book. Case closed.

Who's up for Old Boy at midnight next month???