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Architecture is not necessarily…

23 Mar

… synonymous with austerity, even when you practice a relatively restrained classicism. At least, there may be some discrepancy between your architectural aesthetics:

Paris' Pantheon by Jacques-Germain Soufflot

… and your sartorial choices:

Floral Madness

I want to thank E. from Academichic, who offered this embroidery bonanza as a reference of the extreme variability of the (gendered) meaning we assign to such and such aspect of our clothing.

Color Theory…

21 Mar

… is quite a fascinating subject and should be on the curriculum of any wannabe fashionista. As you may know, Goethe is something like the father of the field where optics meets aesthetics, both as a theory of perception and as a theory of fine arts. Here are two interesting passages from the sixth part of his Zur Farbenlehre:

§ 841: People of refinement have a disinclination to colors. This may be owing partly to weakness of sight, partly to the unceertainty of taste, which readily takes refuge in absolute negation. Women now appear almost universally in white and men in black.

§ 845: The scale of positive color is obviously soon exhausted ; on the other hand, the neutral, subdued, so-called fashionable colors present infinitely varying degrees and shades, most of which are not unpleasing.

Musing on the internet, I found Manolo’s excellent friend’s excellent friends’ excellent friends are doing a bit of very very good fashion oriented popular color theory. You must check that.

Colorwheel from Academichic.com

Up to now, there’s four parts to the course:

  1. The wheel and the two thirds
  2. The neutrals
  3. Triads
  4. Applied investigation

Musical attire…

20 Mar

From this site via this site.

Ditto…

19 Mar

Follow me!

18 Feb

bloglovin


Simplicity again…

7 Feb

On the occasion of a commentary on a previous post, I discovered this very nice blog, bearing simplicity as one of its mots d’ordre. You know me, my little shrimps, I was all excited. And she has some very nice pictures. I borrowed there something from the last Zara campaign.

The ads star Stella Tennant. She’s 40. And she so totally rocks the casbah it’s scary. She must drink blood or something. It’s not that she look very young. She looks friggin’ eternal, like she’s out of time. (Someday I’ll do a post on this idea of older models. If you read the first post of this blog, you know I think that an important part of fashion as an art form is the way it deal with the idea of death. Old models are interesting in this perspective.)

Anyway. The pictures are beautiful. They do not beg the question (for it means something entirely different) but they call for an answer anyway: what shoes do we wear with this?

Bretagne, Cornwall, New Jersey... Fresh seasides

There’s a suggestion here, which is good, but we know better. I don’t like much the effect of the toes peeking out under the pants, reminds me of the infamous sandal-boots we alluded to before. And I’m not shy of the obvious, I would go for a marine on marine outfit, like with this wonderful nautical number by Diane von Furstenberg:

Sailor's Sandals

But that’s a little bit on the safe side for our taste, let’s face it. We’re the artsy bitch. We want a piece of the action. I know! Let’s fire the boat with some chromatic insanity, like these wicked Dior platforms, by Galliano, as brilliant as usual:

Espadrille? check. Animal Print? check. Sick orange? check. Woven heel? check...

Shoes pictures from Style.com.

What would I wear…

1 Feb

… if I had all of a sudden to welcome hordes of unexpected people, in all probability sartorially educated since they come from the home of my precious internet friend, the Manolo himself?

Well, had I to grab hastily one pair of shoes in order to improvise a manifesto, they would probably be something from Nicholas Kirkwood. I find this young man supremely gifted, in possession of an extremely wide expressive range, from classically tasteful to outright punk to way-over-the-top-trendy to modest with a twist.

For an introduction to my guests, I’d go for feminine of course, and would have to fight the urge to play it safe and black. Since I’m an arty snob bitch, why not chose a color that is in itself a reference? So let us find something approaching the famous International Klein Blue, like these gorgeous slingbacks from the SS09 collection (I believe).

IKB slingback

This is all very well, I hear you mumble, but what about the rest? How do you match colors if you start with such a flashy note? Following the spirit of this very talented young woman, I cry: clash, don’t match!

While I’m not the hardcore man repeller myself (I blame it on my french education) I think there’s a very valuable lesson here. Dressing to get man action is weakening your fashion potential dramatically. Forget that you care, and there’s a limitless ocean of possibilities for layering, print clashing, color abuse and many other cool misbehavior. Let us endanger our sartorial salvation, and stand by our initial desire for chromatic extravaganza.

Sin #1: killer orange Prada dress. But forget about the green roadkill.

Prada SS11 retina offender

Since cold is still upon us, I’ll need a pair of leggings. And since we fear nothing, we’ll go for

Sin#2: Black Milk’s velvet softness.

Here we go

But all this still lacks some visual peps. What about a coat?

Sin #3: sheer folly FW10 Dior yellow coat

Not for the faint at eye

I’d probably want my gloves and scarf IKB (still a long way to go to the full fledged Man-Repeller). And a bulky black necklace.

The astute reader will have noted that I build an outfit from the shoes up. You always should. Good shoes are almost the outfit in themselves (and can save the day in many many cases), bad shoes will ruin anything — unconditionally. So you’d better always chose the shoes first, the rest will follow easily. Which is good, of course. Especially when you are in a hurry.

And you, my dear? Is there a limit to the chromatic dissonance you can handle? Taboo combinations?

Punk Fashion

29 Jan

This place have been sanctified by the visitation of Manolo himself! He even wrote comments. I cannot tell you what happens in my lady parts without telling wordpress to protect innocent eyes from my blog. But lots of moisture is involved.

So the point (directly taken from one of his recent posts) was to discuss “the perennial fashion trend of extremely costly clothing made to look like garbage.” Like this:

Good bad taste

I seem to be going to do my snobbish bitch and throw a little discordance in this harmonious gospel of commonsensical obviousness. You know me, right? I’m quite the bitch. I would buy blood and semen fragrance.

So why is that I get tickling in my lady parts when I read consensual abhorrement of the trashy expensive fashion?

Firstly, as I happen to know first hand (you guessed right), hot girls are even hotter in well chosen trash, which does provide the spice of a contrast. It’s just a question of measure (it always is). So it all makes sense when you go for hot.

Smoking hot trash

I don’t. But I see fashion (at least the interesting part of it) more as one of the fine arts than anything else. And not engineering. Nothing in the world will justify the price tags of fashionable shoes when seen from the point of view of functional efficiency (as the Manolo himself discovered to his great stupefaction on the occasion of a pair of Timberlands if I my memory doesn’t betray me).

Fine arts are more than anything about the expression of freedom, which received during the last century a peculiar interpretation: systematic transgression (not that the element was lacking before, it was just not systematic). There is great joy (of undeniable artistic nature) in the sadist and deliberate aggression of well established values. Ever since the divin Marquis himself. One of those being the monotonic function from production costs and use value to price tags. So it will be outrageously expensive. And it’s not a downside, it’s meant that way, it really matters (read L’Erotisme of Georges Bataille for an elaboration of the tension between art and technology).

Another establishment to merrily demolish is good taste. Since Baudelaire at least, good taste is the worst enemy of art. But taste is racing close behind art. There has been times when a play by Oscar Wilde or some apples painted by Cézanne sufficed to raise storms in the circles blessed with good taste and manners. But modern taste has a much stronger stomach, the boundaries have been pushed far away, there is much space in the playground.

Only, you know the artists, how they are. They won’t leave those boundaries alone. They just have a problem with the notion. They want to have bad taste, to kick the bourgeois where it hurts. These guys are impossible people.
And the worst part is that they will find obnoxiously wealthy and hot bitches not unlike yours truly (except maybe for the wealthy part) willing to give them shocking amounts of easily earned money for a bag looking just like the trash bag, just a french-rose-scented trash bag with carbon nanotube in it, nothing too fancy.

Until, of course, there’s nobody left to be shocked by that. You know, like you would make a statement saying you love Van Gogh or Beethoven. Wow. Punk.

Trash Art, circa 1886.

Crossover

23 Jan

Let’s talk about shoes, for a change.

Crossovers have never been high in my lists of good ideas. They rather are typical false-good: you think you’ll get the better of the n worlds involved. Marilyn’s looks with Einstein’s brain. But usually what you get is the least common denominator, ie an Einstein-looking guy with the wits of a Marilyn, which is not that bad but kinda sucks in comparison with the expected outcome.

Witness the recent plague of sandal-boots, or whatever you may call this inanity.

Sandal boots, seriously?

I know I have a thing for Bauhaus-style functionalism one may or may not concur with. But come on, there’s no way to get away with such contradictio in adjectio. One step further you’re doing high heeled thongs ski boots. Whatev.

Nevertheless, in some cases, you actually get away with it. Then you really have something. Take for instance these gorgeous Burberry 5″ heeled combat low-boots. I wouldn’t have bet one kopek on such a project, but I have to admit they do work gallantly. I cry: hot!

Hot shit

By the way, I’m acquainted to their existence by paying a regular visit to Manolo the shoebloger’s place. He says; oddly compelling. I say: +1. The guy is so hilariously erudite shoe- and otherwise, has such a beautiful mind and prose that he should be taught in high school. TV-brainwashed youngsters may even get to know Villon and Lawrence in passing. Which is good, of course.

What is the least plausible working crossover you know ?