Monthly Archives: May 2008

A little cork never hurt anyone

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I most definitely dig this DIY lamp with a cork base from Design*Sponge, and I love the idea of pinning things to it. Art, letters… or reminders – yes, it could be a perfect place for that since it would be right there in your face when you wake up and all. If that’s your thing. haha.

The pop of green is fun, too!

Want to make one? See instructions here.

Happy Do-It-Yourselfing!

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I’m writing this naked

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(ok, ok, I’m not – but it got your attention, huh?)

So, interestingly enough, one of my most read posts is also the shortest. While one may possibly assume that according to these results shorter = better; while this may be so (in some cases) it appears that the reason that this post is viewed so often is because… it’s about nudity (and maybe it has to do a little bit with Tom Ford….maybe). Hmmm. Apparently, it’s a topic people are very interested in (*raises eyebrows*). The reaction to a teeny little quote has piqued my interest and got me thinking about what it is about the subject that titillates us so – besides the obvious reasons… more like opinions on the topic of when we are the most real/equal naked vs. clothed. So, let’s repost that Tom Ford quote and bounce off from there:

“With a more natural relationship to nudity, we might also be freed up to find each other a lot more fascinating. There’s an equality to being naked; the fewer clothes and accessories a person wears the less you judge them, and the more you notice their truest traits, like their eyes or their charisma, their great hands or their one-of-a-kind hair or, most importantly, their personality and character. As much as I love clothing, it gives us one more layer to hide behind.”

Clothes. I can’t help but love them. But, I/you can’t really deny that in some ways we can both hide behind and define outselves by them. They are intrinsically a part of the persona that we project, whether or not we are aware of it or do it intentionally. They help to represent who we are and/or who we want to be; and like the great costumer Edith Head once said, “You can be anything so long as you dress the part”.   We stress out about what to wear to an interview, or on a date. We try to figure out which version of ourselves we want to present and how that person ought to dress. Or, of course, we can try to fake it entirely – but often, at least for me, you just feel uncomfortable. I always found it fascinating how our choice in clothes and accesories tie into both our personality and body image. While I was working in retail it was always interesting to see people try something on, look in the mirror, make a face and say, “Oh, that just looks awful on me!” – when actually, in theory, it looks fine. It just doesn’t work with who they are.

And since just about everyone can admit that they’ve worried about what to wear at some point or other, very few people can honestly deny the effect that someone’s clothing choice affects our initial opinion of them. We tend to have constructs built into our mind of how a person of any certain profession or station in life should present themselves, and we might try to assume a lot about a person by what they wear – how much money they make, what they do, what music they listen to, etc. It’s not always a sure thing, however, and you’ll often find yourself surprised. It was uncommon for customers that I least expected it from to would pull out a Black Amex.

So, yes, it’s relatively undeniable that we often (unfortunetly) judge one another by what we wear (at least and especially at first), and perhaps like Mr. Ford says, we’d be a whole lot more equal naked. Without all of those layers to hide behind. Without all of the things that those layers convey about us, we’d be forced to actually talk to one another to find out more.

Of course, you could make a counterpoint that at least here in the United States, we have a whole lot of body issues; not that we judge one another not only by what they wear but the bodies underneath. And in theory, a whole lot more shows when we’re naked. Or maybe just as much…but in a different way. Maybe we’re just too self-concious about the skin we reside in. You can dress to fill a role, but your body will always be your body; though, even so, there are so many forms of plastic surgery and body modifications we engage in so as to make our bodies fit “us” better. It seems that even naked we’re hoping to say something about who we are. And then, of course, that (especially here in the States) we tend to sexualize practically everything. So naked isn’t just hey-man-its-my-body, your form, its naked *wink wink, nudge nudge*

It’s fascinating really, and I could likely go on and on and on about the subject. But, I’ll leave it at this for now, and perhaps it could continue in another post should any interesting comments be raised.

I guess I could just leave it with the question, when do you feel more you? naked or clothed? (for example/additional things to think about… how some people with non-average body shapes have said they don’t necessarily think of themselves / their bodies being “different” until they go shopping and find that not much fits)

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Bravo!

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So, I didn’t catch the original airing of the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance, one of my favorite shows (if not only) of the summer, but when I saw the replay last night and I saw Robert Murraine dance I was like damn. As someone who has danced for the bulk of my life, watching the show tends to inspire me to get up and dance around my little apartment (as best I can)((without infuriating the persons who live below me)). But, my friends, I most certainly cannot do that. Wow. Bravo.

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Distract Everyone from that Embarassing Pimple: The Statement Hat

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Art director/pop artist Nagi Noda has sure done some interesting things with hair:

And now, she has created fifteen hats/wearable sculptures inspired by animals to be sold/displayed at Colette’s in Paris in September. They’ll also be showing up in Bjork’s UK tour. Apparently, Noda is also seeking stockists here in the US. It’ll be interesting to see where they end up – and on whom (she’d like to see one on Winona Ryder). As for me, I certainly think they’re intruiging/amazing. Don’t know how I’d feel about wearing one though… especially since I live in a ‘hood populated by a large number of vegetarians/vegans – I wonder what kind of reaction one might get from them (only because while awesome, I can’t help but feel a slight reminder of those rooms full of taxidermied creatures and/or those old-school fox stoles (etc.) with head and all still attached ((both of which kinda creep me out))…). Maybe if there were little birds on headbands or clips… or a little birds nest as a nod to the pillbox… or a kitten curled up. (???)

via Fashionologie, TrendHunter

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Um, I kind of want this phone…

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I might be into fashion and all that jazz, but I can’t deny that I also have a tech-y interested-in/enamored-by-gadgets side. That being said, I couldn’t help but swoon a little when I spotted this creation on Gizmodo. Unfortunately, this smashing little phone from California design studio RKS is only a concept at the moment *sigh*; but, imagine the possibilities of a truly open source/customizable phone, enabling you to create (if you were to know how) all sorts of nifty functions and/or download them! Personally, I’d dig it it/be thoroughly amused if it had a (numeric) keypad that functioned like a (touch-screen) rotary dial!

photo via Apartment Therapy Unplugged. (You can also read a bit more about the phone there…)

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Because some people really like to zip it

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Saw this first at the Pylones store on Spring Street in Soho and was immediately charmed by the quirkyness. I wanted to at least take a picture but it would’ve been an awkward one since it was in a case and all… not to mention it was right by the cashiers and I was feeling a little shy. Turns out it’s also being sold at Egg Mercantile. Granted, the price is in Euros, but so far it’s the only online location I’ve found. And, of course, it gives me ideas. Sigh to having an overactive imagination.

Update: After further investigation, I’ve found that the designer of this piece, Parisian Zoe Cotlenko, really (really) digs zippers. Intrigued? Check out (more) zipper-fied jewelry, zipper belts , zipper bags , and even zipper-fied flip flops

Hmmm…. Très chouette?

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A rather random train of thought about…..watches

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As I was fluttering around the internet one afternoon, bopping along from site to site and blog to blog, I happened upon this delightfully awesome wooden watch by Bless at Ooga Booga (right). Heartbreakingly, it’s out of stock… and from the looks of my further internet sleuthing has been for some time. (Though a few minutes ago I stumbled upon another wooden watch by Bless, the ebony digital styled one on the left and that one is for sale – from the looks of it – at Chi Ha Paura…?).

Anyway, after I saw and was enamored by that first darling little watch – because I happen to have a thing for things that look like one thing but are actually another and/or is an unexpected use of a generally common object – my mind got to thinking. About watches… and the particular affection I seem to have for (using) them (unconventionally), as evidenced by my oft-commented on watch necklace (will hopefully get a pic up soon), layering them, and even giving people non-working watches as gifts. The interest probably has something to do with the fact that though I like watches I don’t tend to use them for their intended purpose very often (I use my cell-phone, computer, or look on the wall)((as do many people these days, I believe)) and therefore see them as more of a jewelry-esque accessory versus a practical accessory, and also perhaps as a bit of a rebellion against our general obsession with time and the lack of it we seem to have. We’re always rush, rush, rushing. So, naturally, I can’t help but adore a wooden watch…because it takes that whole watch-as-jewelry idea and flies with it (as opposed to just running with it ((?)) AND essentially sort of stops time. Kind of.

Watches bouncing around in my head, I then remembered my Stepdad’s Reverso watch. It’s a watch that flips around to silver (?) that’s monogrammed, if I remember correctly. And I always sort of dug that idea. Partly because, as I said, I’m a fan of that sort of thing and partly because I tend to be a fidgety person and I could see really enjoying sitting around and flipping it around over and over again. It’s probably why he’d likely never let me borrow it, haha. Then I thought about the digital watches I had as a kid that were covered by an animated character on it and flipped open, and then I remembered the little bracelet I had that opened up and had some lipgloss in it. They still make those sorts of things but they seem to be either for kids, or really logo-ized. And I thought, gee, it would be nice to have something like that now but with a better lipbalm.. like, hey, Burt’s Bees. AND what if it looked like a watch. Brilliant(!), I thought, and hopped to it. So, here you go:


A tin of Burt’s Bees, some fabric (in this case some silk dupioni ribbon), a bit of paint, a bunch of dabs of Magna-Tac.. and voila!


It’s a wide wrap-y sort of deal.. the first thing that came to mind, though I enjoy wrapping some silk around as a bracelet anyway. I opted for some simple gold and black paint, because it makes it look sort of like a classy old-school face. Generally, I think it’s rather nifty and friendly idea.. like a candy bowl on the coffee table, but instead it’s lip balm on your wrist. You dig?

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A Battle of Art Vs. Fashion

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It’s really such a pity that Louis Vuitton is suing (Danish) art student Nadia Plesner for depicting a Darfurian child decked out Paris Hilton-style, Louis V. inspired bag and all. Pelsner claims that enough was changed so that it is not an exact copy of the oft-toted handbag but the folks at Vuitton seem to disagree – enough to request $20,000 for each day that she continues to use the image. But she stands by her right to use the bag saying that, “If I was making bags and I was copying the design, I would understand the problem. But in this way I feel like I have the artistic freedom to display the caricatures that I want to.”

Personally, I think that the points she makes are valid. It would’ve been interesting if Vuitton could see that she’s commenting on our / the medias constant focus on things of such little relevance to the world as Ms. Hilton instead of giving attention to more worthy world topics and not commenting on the design house of Louis Vuitton itself.

Because, after all, fashion (to me at least) is an art-form that can (and often) certainly act as social commentary (and barometer). Pity when the business of it gets in the way. Especially when Vuitton tends to team up with artists, such as Takashi Murakami (who *ahem* actually designed the print on the L.V bag the Darfurian child is holding).

I think it would be a whole lot more interesting if Louis Vuitton took the image and put it on one of its bags. After all, we seem to dig the ironic and tounge-in-cheek considering the mass hysteria over the “I’m Not a Plastic Bag” bag. Hey, they could even donate some of the proceeds to help Save Darfur or towards the fight against counterfeit designer bags and the sweat shops that create them. But, perhaps not doing so would be more ironic. It would be ironic on top of ironic. People would love it.

To read more of the interview with Ms. Plesner by The Cut, please click here
Image property of Nadia Plesner .

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Motivation sans cheese

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So, I happen to be madly in love with these fabulous alternative motivational posters from Right Brain Terrain sold at Vitamin D(esign). As much as I adore pictures of cute kittens hanging off of trees imploring me to “hang in there”, these lovelies will get you inspired to do your thing without the requisite cheesiness of your typical motivational poster. And they’re pretty. Function + art = A+ in my book. Not to mention they’re “printed on 100% post-consumer recycled papers that are FSC certified and certified processed chlorine free (CPCF)…print[ed] with vegetable based inks, such as soy.” – so your green side will be satisfied, too.

I also happen to dig this other poster (a re-creation of a Brittish WWII original) that seems to be taking the blog world by storm:

It may not be motivational, persay, but if you happen to be a panic-er like myself it could be a helpful reminder in the midst of it all to basically shut up and get on with it. And sometimes you need that, y’know? If you want to purchase a poster like this you could try ReForm School. Or you can search Etsy for other reproductions such as this one that comes in different colors(!).

I’d love for more artists to jump on this concept of alternative/different motivational posters.

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How Do You Like Your Fashion?

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Guess how much the above dress costs.

Hints:
– It was recently worn by Sarah Jessica Parker to a movie premiere. Have a number in your head? Good.

Now,

– It sells at Steve and Barry’s . Hmmm.

Well, reader, you may have put two and two together and remembered that Ms. Parker has a line of clothes that sells at Steve and Barry’s and that everything in said line sells for under $20 – an intriguing feat all its own. However, this dress actually sells for a rather surprising $8.98. A price that undercuts even Wal-Mart. And it’s not hideous, and apparently the quality is not too bad (though I’d have to see it for myself to make a personal judgment call on that fact – since I tend to be a bit picky). Regardless, a recent New York Times article queries “Is This the World’s Cheapest Dress?”. As a quasi-expert in cheap (but fabulous) clothes-shopping, I’d have to say that no, it’s not the world’s cheapest dress. But. Maybe the world’s cheapest dress designed by a celebrity who (at least) has style, is being sold new, and is reported as being of reasonable quality. Perhaps.

It’s not news that we all (well, not *all*, but most) love the cheap clothes. Designer wares tends to cost somewhere on the continuum from a lot, to expensive, to a fortune. A lamentable fact to clothes-lovers who happen to not have bundles of money such as myself. And it does make sense, sometimes even to those *with* money to shop at places like Forever21 and H&M, etc. for those super trendy items that will be rendered useless (as in out of style but, uhm, also literally useless – they might/often/always fall apart rather quickly) in a few months – especially when they are nearly identical knock-offs of the original (which raises some questions of its own – speaking as a designer who probably wouldn’t be a huge fan of having my ideas stolen and mass produced). Which is, of course, one reason why big name designers work with retailers such as H&M and Target to create a mini line of their clothes but cheaper (and not like those “cheaper” lines of some designers that are still expensive to the general public); because those designers probably want their clothes to be more accessible to their admirers of more modest funds (in some ways, at least), and working with those retailers permits the lower price point that we all seem to find so gosh darned titillating.

Of course, things are sacrificed for the lower price – such as fabric quality, fit, and detail – which is why I, personally, occasionally tend find myself somewhat disappointed in those lines as compared to the designer’s namesake line. So, as much as I love, love, love some of my clothes from H&M, Forever21, et al I also love holding a piece of really, really well made clothing. Something that I can really live in (I sure love my clothes, but I don’t tend to baby ((most of)) them), toss around, and still be able to hang onto because, hey, maybe some day I’ll have a kid and she’ll want it when she grows up. Or, maybe I’d just want to pull out the original when that style comes back into fashion. Either way.

Ms. Parker champions, “fashion is not a luxury.” And it’s true that maybe sometimes (often) it’s too inaccessible – especially when you’re literally just paying for the name you’re wearing and little else. I suppose it all depends on how you see fashion; where you exist on the continuum of viewing clothes and the industry that surrounds it as simply the things you wear so as to not be naked, as an art-form of its own, or any other number of standpoints on the subject. But, as a whole, I think many of us have lost appreciation for a well made, beautiful piece of clothing that someone put a lot of work into creating. “Fashion” has become so much more about just business lately, leaving out the art of the craft, and the personal expression (of both the creator and the eventual wearer) – not to mention quality.

It’s why you can pick up a one-of-a-kind vintage piece of clothing from 50, 60, and more years ago and still wear it, and sometimes if you know the right places you can get it cheap too.

All I know is that my favorite dress that by the way has gotten me more compliments and taken me to the widest variety of occasions than most everything else I own cost me about $5.00, and came from Goodwill (about 6 or 7 years ago)(( and it’s still in good condition)).

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