Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My sister. Rock-chic, upper east side-inspired means white vintage lace-ups, warm woolly socks, a handmade sweater pin made by me to keep your long knit together, and a great chain bag. But winter, winter, winter calls for a fuzzy white faux fur muffler with a satin bow.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
So I happened upon a Vuitton "Climate Project" ad with Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; next to her was Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovelle.
I wish I was Sally Ride.
I used to dream about being in a spaceship and going to the moon --- anywhere but where I was. It really is another world out there. When I'm in Manhattan, I actually rarely see the moon because the buildings just tower over it. Now that it gets dark so fast here, I do have the opportunity of catching a wonderful view of it from the studio window in Brooklyn. What would have happened if I had never took the fashion path and became a NASA astronaut? Would I have thought, "Being an astronaut sucks! I should have done something like fashion!" That's the magic of dreaming though...you always want to just kick off your stilettos, throw on the explorer uniform of shoelaced boots, knee-high wool socks, a hunter's jacket, and goggles (that's the quintessential explorer signia) and run away from whatever is going on with your life at the moment.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
As an assistant patternmaker, I have the capacity to enjoy beautiful things but rarely have the opportunity to wear them. When you're draping, sewing, and drafting, it is near impossible to stretch, bend, kneel, and climb in that beautiful vintage YSL jacket of mine, that Nina Ricci dress in my closet, or in my mom's beaded Holt Renfrew jacket.
Obviously, my vanities call me to settle for something else pretty, like this slick gunmetal fishtail bangle that gets me quite a few compliments from strangers and friends alike. Not only that, I get to look at it all day when I'm drafting skirt patterns after jacket patterns after dress patterns. The relatively flat construction of the bracelet also makes it super comfortable to rest my wrists on the table when my hands get tired. What won't tire are my eyes since I will be oogling over it all day.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Bonjour! Allo! Ni Hao. I just turned one year older on Friday.
I don't know about you, but I like to think that my birthday was every day. Okay, so maybe not everyday Angelique wants to draw a picture of me, not every night Mackenzie wants to go out to Arlos & Esme at midnight after a long day at work, and my best friends back home aren't going to send me embarrassing childish birthday cards every week. I really shouldn't be eating sinfully delicious cupcakes with orange icing from Jocelyn and Kandace every supper. Anyways, I digress.
What I essentially mean is, girlofbirthday is essentially me trying to design my own life so that I am doing it for me. For me, when I design every aspect of my life, I don't see it as wearing the hottest new bag, buying the latest printed t-shirt, or investing in something as ugly as that Honda Element car. A wonderfully designed life is about choosing elements that enhance your everyday and function in a stylish way that is aesthetically pleasing so that I feel like I'm living in my own, say, Jean-Luc Godard film. So you should celebrate today like it's your birthday too! I'll be dancing in your honor.
*Illustration credits: Angelique
My friend Genevieve just designed a gorgeous new bag for her Myrtle & Pearls line called Prince Louis! Makes me dream of those days when Native Princesses would carry around beautiful leather drums across their shoulder and trek through desert forests. You probably remember Genevieve in one of my previous blog posts, and she's added her signature fluttery feathers to her leather charm. The movement's such a great contrast to the duffle structure. For Genevieve's blog, click.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
O Hallows Eve is a-comin'. The always stylish Chelsea Market has a rad display of pumpkins carved in funky designs, including a globe. The pumpkin pics are just a little sneak peek to my first Halloween here in the Big Apple.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I had a chance to visit Edmonton last week, and was fortunate enough to pass by Randall Stout's new Edmonton Art Gallery. Getting there!
Friday, October 2, 2009
If we're going to keep ogling over a great pair of pants and how it's possible to have intelligent design that compliments lifestyle, Balenciaga's vegetable-dyed leather "jeans" from SS10 are living proof of that fascination. High fashion proof, too. Runway pants have details, finishes and fabrics to die for, no pun intended. Didn't I say Barbara Bui envisioned this for women several years ago?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Such a sense of comfort when I see Angelique's photo wall. You're really settling down when you start hanging pictures on your wall, which was one of the first things I did when I arrived in the City.
By the way, isn't her blazer tres chic? So now? So London? Because it's London Fashion Week right? Only she will tell you the story of how she made such a smart acquisition.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Je suis l'amoureuse. It's the end of summer, but I'm still crazy inspired by love. Love is...
...my beautiful friends Yonathan and Suzy walking at the Pier 17 Seaport in New York...
...capturing my sister on the Brooklyn Bridge when she was visiting me for a week...
...a small bag that's crossed over your chest...
...or a 1970s single lens pro camera crossed over your chest...
Love is great fashion done effortlessly because you are no longer following the consciousness that overrides your natural intuition and tells you to put on the "proper" outfit in the morning. Suddenly, you can breathe. You pack lighter, need less, and you feel like it's just you and love standing between the ground and the sky. France's (fashionable) first lady, Carla Bruni, describes this feeling with such perfect score in her uplifting music video, L'amoureuse, which I would LOVE to share with you.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Bonjour, world. I have been m.i.a. these past couple of weeks as a result of the demanding overtime hours one is required to pull, especially when Fashion Week is coming up.
In the meantime, I feel it is important to mention my new acquisition, a blush coloured, silk satin cardigan with burnt lace from my favorite vintage store in the city, circa 1950s-1960s, and so Catherine Deneuve. This negligee is definitely meant for the bedroom, but I've decided to take it to the streets, preferably with pegged-leg pants, and a pair of pointed-toe, men's slip on dress shoes in dark brown, snakeskin, or black. It's about the delicate/rough, the sensual/austere, the tough economic times against the fragile nakedness of the human spirit. I just might run back to the store and get the matching teddy now.
I guess it also means that it's time for me to retire my blue japinoiserie kimono from my last trip to Asia.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Summer dresses, it just isn't working out between us.
I used to declare myself a huge dresses fan, but I find that I can only get through the day feeling comfortable wearing some form of trousers. Ladies, you understand what I'm talking about. When we discuss the dress, we're also discussing leg waxing, proper panties selection, tanning, lotioning (shimmer for some), pedicures, underarm shaving, evening skin tone, back scrubs, working out for a summer body and strapless bras, to name a few. I've seen women go through these long beauty regimens and put on something, like...an American Eagle dress. It's like building a beautiful million dollar home and getting IKEA furniture.
So you and I, Fashion World, we need to compromise, okay? I need something that's figure flattering, leger enough for the day, comfortable, allows me to shorten my beauty regimen list to just working out and shaving, and still have enough artistic flare for the temple that is my body.
Enter Barbara Bui. We would all love to give credit to Balmain's Mr. Christophe Decarnin when we oogle over the glitzy, sexy, Parisian rocker-chic look, but the reality is that Barbara Bui has been doing the look for years. The curse of the female fashion designer.
Barbara Bui's mastermind head is probably going something like,"Le pantalon est sexy." Her Fall collection is the one collection that pumps me up for Fall. My favorite look: a printed sheer robe with satin trims, layered over a sheer black tank, and heavily seamed leather pants. This woman is all about pants: pants with buckle straps going up the side, dip dyed pants with hip pockets, pants seamed to emanate snakeskin. The accessories are absolutely to die for as well: fringed bags, studded slouchy-heeled boots, stencil leather over leather.
Looks like I have a date lined up with her new Soho store this weekend.
All photos taken from Barbara Bui's Website
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Everyone knows I am a huge, huge boots fan. There's something androgynous but womanly about them that commands power and ownership when you walk. That's probably why the military has been wearing them for years, and probably why at 79 degrees girls will find any excuse to pair their floral dresses with brown fringe boots and scarves. I hate to brag, but I have worn pants tucked into combat boots several years before the Dr. Martens became such a big hit in street style blogs this summer. I, myself, have adopted a beautiful pair of black Frye engineer boots, which are great for any weather, ten times more stylish than rubber boots (and 150% more hygienic), and will look great with white dresses or harem pants for spring, and with printed leggings, a baggy knit sweater, and blazer for fall (accessorize at your own will). I'm sure these boots will be passed down to my kids.
Okay. Onto my real point. I am addicted to The Living Room in Ludlow, East Village, NYC. They have an amazing playlist of up and coming bands, and if you come in late the way I do, you get pushed to the front center seats and get a great view of the artists' accessories. Exhibit A: Leah Siegel and her Duke of Wellington leather boots with red piping, brass buttons going down the side, and a large pilgrim buckle around the ankle. Brooklyn fave Leah (who sings like a mixture of Judy Garland and Jeff Buckley) lets her music and singing take the stage, but her true accessorization expresses true taste. Especially when boots such as these aren't sold at any regular department store or clothing chain.
Yes Captain, I'm entranced.
Visit Leah Siegel's MySpace
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Dietmar Busse's photograph collection, "Lotus Lounge", absolutely fascinates me, because it's like a cross between Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love, and Godard's Pierrot Le Fou. The models in the photos appear locked in space and time --- space, in the form of empty, white rooms with chinoserie furniture and accents; and time, in the form of exaggerated 1960s garb and excitingly bad haircuts and perms. The whole feeling is kind of fervid.
Is it just me or does the sixties-Shanghai fashion era never go out of style? Pointy blue pumps for women, pointy patent black loafers for men; black pantyhose for women, black trouser socks for men; and high hems for both genders. Some vintage looks can be recreated through a camera lens time and time again, yet constantly look new and curious.
all photos taken from dietmarbusse.com