Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oh! You pretty things!

I had a minor freakout today about wedding costs versus wedding effort. Faced with the prospect of planning my own wedding on a small budget, I personally feel all cold and sweaty with a giant lump in my throat. I prefer to shell out a bit more to have someone else take care of the details. However, I was starting to fear that budget-wise, I was giving them enough rope to hang me with, and, after reading Brooklyn Bride, began to fear that the personal touch possible on a less professional wedding was slipping from my grasp. I'd never have an antique typewriter filled with a ream of paper as a guest book! I'd never get to hang old mason jars filled with sand from trees for people to eat under!

But, friends, know this. Things are really only out of control if you let them be. I took a head-clearing, two-mile hike through the 9 or so inches of freshly fallen snow and ice, took some nice photos, then settled down with an eyeful of to find these wonderfully bridal confections from Chanel's Spring 2009 Couture show:

These headdresses were made by Katsuya Kayo and six or seven assistants using 11"x7" office paper. Best use of a temp job, ever.

Adorable, as if Pierre Cardin and a Cabbage Patch had a baby.

Intrepid! I'd love to see this one in an ad for running shoes.

Self! Remember everything about this look! The eyes! Those lips! Her eyebrow color! I am in love with this girl's face.

The entire show was a study in white, with a sprinkling of black... beautiful, simple shift-type dresses and 1930's shapes coupled with straight, stiff shoulders were the order of the day.

Karl, how did you do it? I have never once seen a white jacket that didn't look somehow medical. Well, now I have. I'm feeling a strong urge to deplane from a light jet in this outfit.

The collar really makes this. I'm considering sleeves for my wedding dress, actually, either a drapey, elbow-length style, or short and structured like this one.

Could this be any more perfect? At full length, this would be my fantasy gown. I love how the subtle striping gives this dress a sportier edge to balance out that huge, delicious, Aretha Franklin's Inaugural Hat-style bow.

Love the futuristic shine with the lacy bits, and the strong, geometric shoulders.

This one is a little bit too 1990's for me, but if I were a 15-year-old bride running off (in my black Frye harness boots) with my Harley-ridin' boyfriend, this would be my first pick.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The bird and the bee.

I wish I could find The Bird and the Bee's performance on Jay Leno the other night for you... they did "My Love" off of their new album ("Ray Guns are Not Just the Future", which I love, love love) that came out yesterday, and it was all about hand-clapping, foot stomping, and vinyl Sixties shifts, all tied up in a vaguely Calypso-sounding bow. The Bird and the Bee remind me of Bat for Lashes or My Brightest Diamond.

Below, a song off their first album-- retrolicious and addictively pretty!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things I get in the Mail.

In the last couple of days, I've gotten some mad cute stuff from some wonderful internet people. I just wanted to give you guys a big, sticky thank you!

My wonder twin, the lovely and talented Sal of Already Pretty mailed me something for our matching birthdays... a mix cd (if you can read the titles, then you know this girl has some good taste!) and a beaded necklace, all wrapped up in a floaty, floral scarf! Thank you dear girl!

Holly, who runs an Etsy store and posts some of the best, candylicious pictures to Flickr I've ever seen, made me this giant chandelier necklace and airplane fascinator (whee!), in my current favorite palette, pink and red. Thank you ever so much!

Dude. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like your mailbox. To receive person-licked, hand-stuffed envelopes full of joy in. Thanks again, ladies, you are too kind!


Monday, January 26, 2009


I've been watching the US Figure Skating Championships the last couple of evenings, and I have to say that it seems like the sport has been stepping up its game. Much more expressive, with the kinds of lifts and flips reserved for swing dancing. And, the costumes are taking a step up from your basic bedazzled Capezio.

So stunningly 195o's (save for the fringe)! Does she not remind you of Casey from Casey's Musings?

One of the male friends watching with me said this: "Figure skating is probably one of the hardest things to do out there; it always blows my mind the amount of athletic ability funnelled into looking pretty. Every one of them started, imagining themselves floating and glittery past an audience." I never really thought about it that way before, but it truly is a sport whose success is not tallied through number of touchdowns or runs-batted-in, but to most viewers, in beauty.

According to my hypothesis above; winners! How adorable are they? I love, like lovelove her skirt.

I love this girl's Gothic early screen star vibe.

These two, Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker, are easily my favorites. While they are not perfect, they have presence and that Keauna just exudes joy in her sport (she competed throughout a bout of pneumonia even!) I actually cried watching their program. It was then that I knew I had to stock up on tampons.

And for you vintage lovin' fiends like me out there, some skating costumes from the 1940's and 1950's...

Ohmigod! Yes-- a tam is exactly what's missing from the modern girl's figure skating wardrobe!

Straight-up adorable... I kinda wish she'd skate by me in the stands with a burger and fries.

Now this is a woman who understands what figure skating is about! Diva!

Shake ya tailfeather, girl! Beautiful and risque, my goodness, especially for the times! Check out her partner in the sparkling pinstripes. Gangsta! Seriously! Can this please become a street style tomorrow?

Skater Carol Lynne, pioneering a still-photography technique using strobes and lights embedded in her skates. Such an arresting photograph! And what a perfectly aspirational body. Such a beautiful woman.

So, I may not be a figure skater now, though I did take lessons as a wee one. I was never too athletically inclined; I figured that falling was half the fun! However, I have taken away a couple of things from those lessons of yore:

How to rock a short skirt and tights and slide across a slippery surface--

In this case, a banister.

...and finish off with the most dramatic of poses.

Turtleneck: Victoria's Secret. Skirt (actually a dress): Thrifted. Tights: Target. Shoes: Nine West via

[images Googled like crazy. Carol Lynne is from Time Magazine Archives. If I've used an image of yours and would like me to credit you, please let me know and I will be more than happy to!]

Friday, January 23, 2009

Somethin for the whimsical ones of ya.

If you love Klimt or Erte, you'll love these black and white illustrations by Harry Clarke. Harry Clarke was apprenticed in stained glass by his father around the turn of the 20th century, but later turned to illustration. However, his background in stained glass shines through. Yes, I said it. Here, some illustrations he did for Hans Christian Anderson and Edgar Allen Poe.

A whole cache of turn-of-the-century children's book illustrations are available here, for the crafty ones of you out there, some could make particularly terrific tee-shirt graphics. And now, because I couldn't resist, the haunting song and goofy fairy tale video that's been going through my head as I peruse these pictures (Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love").


Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I know I should probably be over looking at pastel, giant bows, and desserts, but I could watch Lily Allen's video for "The Fear" three times over in a sitting.

Lily Allen is pretty polarizing, and I'm typically, mildly "against". However, this song is such a pretty foil for its dark lyrics, that I'm starting to forgive (in spades!) her awards-hosting antics with Elton John. Her voice is smoother, and she looks better than ever-- rekindling my desire for Cher Hair and spurring regret for all the brown Mod dresses I've cast away at the thrift.



I'm back! It was about 60 degrees or so the whole time I was in Florida, and although locals complained about how chilly it was, it was still 70 degrees warmer than home.

The very last day, we could see dolphins playing out in the surf!

Here's the view from where we stayed-- at a friend's parents' condo. They were warm and lovely people-- plus they were fully stocked on wine, cheese and pate. I definitely ate English muffins with foie gras and brownies for breakfast more than once.

Gettin' my Princess on.

We went to the Magic Kingdom on my birthday. I'd never been before and had an awesome time, riding all the rides and discovering that--- the park is full of fake smells! I was constantly smelling hot roasted nuts everywhere I went, spurring a powerful craving for the sweet little guys but there were none to be found--- anywhere! I walked through a rose garden and was greeted by their sweet, sigh-inducing scent. Upon leaning into a flower for a closer sniff, I discovered that the flowers themselves had no smell (it was too cold). Tricksters!

The park is full of these huge crane/loon/stork things that love to strut for people. They have great, bushy white tail feathers and green eyeshadow. Here I am coaxing one over.

He was delicious.

Ballet Flats: Etienne Aigner. Crochet Tights: Target. Jacket: Macy's. Denim Mini (that you can't see): thrifted. Scarf: thrifted. Stripey "Mime" Long-sleeved Tee: Thrifted. Shades: CVS.

We jaunted over to Epcot for dinner, by which point we were ridiculously exhausted, trying to fill the time before dinner at a Moroccan restaurant by alternating espressos and Kir Royales in France. Afterwards, we jaunted "around the world". Verdict? Must. go. to. Mexico.

The following day, we went to St. Augustine, one of the most beautiful cities I've seen in awhile. I don't know if the lights are always up, or are a holiday thing, but they are used to great effect all throughout the city.

Shades: CVS. Necklace: Gift from friend. Jacket: Macy's. Tee shirt: Target. Jeans: Urban Outfitters. Flats: Etienne Aigner.

Cannons are also used to great effect throughout the city. Also, there are chickens running loose all over St. Augustine! I have a friend who used to raise exotic chickens in his backyard, but let them have free reign of the neighborhood--- until the neighbors called the city to complain. But I've always thought it was a kind of romantic idea to have chickens around to liven up the yard.

On our last day, our hosts took us to Blue Springs-- whose shallow waters house 100-200 manatees on any given day. Unfortunately, the far side of the stream was the warm, sunlit side, so the manatees kept their distance. Our flight attendant on the flight home told us that she used to go swimming with her friends in those springs in high school and they would actually get to touch and interact with the manatees! Damn, the only thing we did after school was eat fast food in each others' cars.

And, no trip to Florida is complete without the wacky, tacky and true-- these freakish embryo looking things are indeed, bottled sharks. They share retail space with tiny shell-covered elephants (below), and rows upon row of crocodile heads, chimes, palmetto honey, snowglobes and the best pecans and grapefruits in the world.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Beachy keen!

As you read this, I'm sunning and funning down in Florida for my birthday! To help you feel a little bit of that beachy goodness yourselves, I put together a little playlist for you... I'll share the pics when I get back!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And, oh yeah, I wear an 8 1/2.

So, if you're a family member (or generous benefactor) of mine, you may be wondering-- what shall I get that girl for her birthday? It's kind of short notice though, so if you were planning on gifting me, you probably already got it. But if not, read on, my dear fellow procrastinators, for my (heavily shoe-populated, alas) birthday wishlist...

1) The Nike Shox Accomplish in black/silver/gray.
Ethical clothing choice makers, please avert your gaze. I know that in some circles, Nikes are frowned upon, but they do make a superior running shoe. I usually go for something pink, but this slick black number engenders a feeling of running prowess within me. I feel a growl coming on.

2) An adorable sweater.

I feel like it's a stroke of luck for me to find my beloved cloud motif on my most favorite shade of green. If I looked good in khakis, I'd wear this with a slim-legged, ankle-length pair with white Audrey Hepburn-style loafers. And then sit at the window of a coffee house all day and dream, dream! But in real life, this sweater would be worn at any occasion calling for whimsy, enchantment, or a sweet-ass sweater in a minty hue.

3) The Lomo Diana Dreamer Camera.

I'd still want it if it were empty inside, to coordinate with the Cloud Spattered Sweater. However, I have always wanted a camera that takes inexact, tie-dyed looking photos, and this one does the trick nicely, and in style.

4) All Black "Gee" Ballet Flat.

If you'd like to put together a birthday package, you can get me some tightrope-walking lessons to go with these.

5) Giuseppe Zanotti E9004 Sandal.

This one goes out to you, generous benefactors. I am willing to do things for these shoes. Horrible, dirty things. Like clean out the holes of your landline phone. Have you ever looked in there? It is a scene.

6) Wing and Flower Necklace.
I would really like to be wearing this for the wedding, enough to track it down online after first seeing it in People Magazine, of all places. I mean really, who can resist a necklace with wings, spirals, rhinestones and little stars pieces dancing along the piece throughout that still manages to class it up?

7) A helper pony.

Because they're cute, furry, would snuffle into your hand and wear little tennis shoes (nike shox?). But also, they can open the door for you if your hands are full, greet callers at the door, and provide hair inspiration. That is a helpful pony.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Ms. Manila in the Conservatory with a Vintage Boot...

This coming weekend, my sweety and I are going to Florida for my birthday! We're staying with a friend's parents in a condo right on Daytona Beach, exploring St. Augustine, thrifting (and yay! sticking to our gym-going resolutions) in New Smyrna, swimming with sharks (holy YES!) in a special cage at Sea World, and lastly but certainly not leastly, going to Disney World! I've never been-- but everyone, from the lady at the bodega to my advisor has instantly lit up when I mentioned I'm going.

I can't wait. So much so, that we went to the Conservatory to pre-game some tropicality.

The father of a friend of mine curates the Conservatory's collection of bonsais. Unfortunately, they lost about $10,000 worth of bonsais in a recent fire. Luckily, this bonsai bearing the cutest of oranges survived.

I had to get a picture of this Grand Staircase in the main greenhouse, a) because when I tried to Google "staircase" for a project, there were only the weakest of images for pages and pages. I'm trying to pay it forward. B) The main greenhouse is home to many a wedding (Sweetay, are you reading?), and I love the thought of making our entrances down this lovely glassblock staircase.

The Conservatory also has several art galleries in addition to their plants. I've heard it said that Chihuly's Medusa-like glass works are played out, but I think they look festively at home in the greenhouse.

Scarf: thrifted. Sweater: thrifted. Bag: thrifted. Jeans: Express. Boots: thrifted.

Sigh!! Imagine your wedding guests dining by tiny little lights around this wishing well! Here I am helping myself to some soda money.

A section of the cieling... kinda reminds me of Joan Miro.

Last but not least, your requisite plantlife close-up. Orchids are the big theme over at the Conservatory now, and this pitcher plant-like one was my favorite. Also, I'm pretty thrilled to have a camera that doesn't turn a close-up of a flower into a glowing, fuzzy mass.

Damn, I'm feeling pretty lucky!