Monday, December 27, 2010

The Anti-Anna

One of my favorite women in the world to look at is the former Editor-in-Chief of Paris "Vogue," Carine Roitfeld.  Her sense of style is extraordinary & the visuals she has created for Gucci & "Vogue" are edgy, but remain stylish without looking contrived.  She mixes luxury with fashion, but also makes it real--it never seems forced or manufactured & it's always relevant & not the same old jumping girl in front of a screen.  For those interested, this is one of my favorite articles written about her. 

Carine recently resigned from her post at Paris "Vogue" & I have been saddened that I might not have access to her work as easily.  I emulate her in all regards, as a career woman, as a fashion stylist & even a wife & mother.  I think what really strikes me is that even at age 56, she's not "toned" it down because she is of a certain age or "a mother."  It brings me hope that when I'm 56, I can remain true to myself (whatever that may be).  I could still retain my identity.  My experiences would all add to me & not take away from me.

In Defense of Fashion

In “The Devil Wears Prada,” Andy (played by Anne Hathaway) gets a job working for "Runway" magazine (a thinly veiled parody of American "Vogue").  She starts her adventure as a recent college grad without any prior interest in fashion & later, develops a sense of style.

Along the way though, Andy's co-worker Nigel (played by Stanley Tucci) has to give her a pep talk, in which he says:
“Don't you know that you are working at the place that published some of the greatest artists of the century?  Halston, Lagerfeld, de la Renta.  And what they did, what they created was greater than art because you live your life in it.”
That line succinctly & accurately explains how I feel about fashion.  Fashion is not merely frivolous--it is commercial, expressive & cultural.  It's functional as well.  Fashion is often trivialized as being superficial & frivolous, but there is an aesthetic & cultural value to it.

It's always been a peeve of mine that at the end of the movie, Andy's boyfriend Nate (played by Adrian Grenier) accuses her of neglecting her relationships "for shoes & shirts & jackets & belts."  If someone is working hard in their job in fashion, is it not as valuable as someone working hard in any other industry?  Yes, it's not rocket science & curing disease, but it has intrinsic value as art & commercially.  Would it be as acceptable for someone working hard at say, 3M, to be chided by their boy/girlfriend in the same way?  It's probably just not as fun to watch.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Chicken or the Egg?

I don't know why, but the title of this blog entry bothered me. 

As a designer, my mind screamed, "Where do you think fashion comes from?!  You think the people in the photographs just conjured up the clothes with a flick of their magic wand?!"

Of course, I reminded myself that I love looking at these street style blogs for new & innovative ways to put together pieces & see pieces I don't normally have access to.  This begs the question of which comes first?  Or which influences the other more?  There isn't a definitive answer to this, but it's something I will be thinking about.

Cuff 'Em

The Hermès Collier de Chien has been an obsession of mine for a quite while.  While I still can't decide on the configuration of my absolute dream Birkin (35 or 40 or 50 cm?  gold or silver hardware?  definitely Black Box leather!), I know I want this cuff in Black with silver hardware.  Having two would be the ultimate in luxury! 

You can only imagine my delight when I discovered the template for the paper Collier de Chien.  It's definitely not a replacement for the real one, but a good placeholder on my wrist.  You can choose one of many designs & download your own template here.  Here is a (bad) photo of my own handiwork:  

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Darjeeling Limited

In one of the scenes in the movie "The Darjeeling Limited," Jack Whitman (played by Jason Schwartzman) & Rita (played by Amara Karan) sit together in a train car & share a smoke the morning after a dalliance in the bathroom.  "Where Do You Go To, Lovely" sung by Peter Sarstedt plays in the background.  When I heard a line in this song, I knew it had to be the title of my blog. 

Here is an excerpt below:

You talk like Marlene Dietrich
And you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire
Your clothes are all made by Balmain
And there's diamonds & pearls in your hair, yes there are.  

You live in a fancy apartment
Off the Boulevard of St. Michel
Where you keep your Rolling Stones records
And a friend of Sacha Distel, yes you do.
You go to the embassy parties
Where you talk in Russian & Greek
And the young men who move in your circles
They hang on every word you speak, yes they do.

But where do you go to my lovely
When you're alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you 
I want to look inside your head, yes I do.