Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Explore and Expand

Here are a few sites that are worthwhile for anyone with a curious mind and an appreciation of the sublime.

"Boho-fantasy" from Pamela Love NYC's Journal
Image originally from weheartit.com

A voluptuous diary of life by the talented jewelry designer, Pamela Love: http://pamelalovenyc.tumblr.com/

"Poetico-Speculative Bubble" by PIIMS, from an article by the Idea Engineering Lab

An article for those who wish to expand their cognitive horizons to include realms of abstract complexity: "Introducing aesthetics to rejuvenate intellectual capital management and enrich knowledge-based development strategies" (Note: this is a pdf.)

from Oliver Glass's FashionChurch.com
A perspective of culture through the creative passion of fashion and photography: http://fashionchurch.com/

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shoe Select

Walking After Midnight: Episode 3
Directed by James Franco for Stuart Weitzman

I've recently neglected my favorite fashion accessory, the fairest of them all, the beloved shoe--nay, high heel. This has merely been a coping strategy on my behalf. It ails me for my relationship with the shoes I love most to be limited to peruising, a distant tease that leaves me more dissatisfied than before I laid my virgin eyes upon the forbidden fruit of my soul (and wardrobe). So, I've been altogether avoiding my favorite sources for shoes. It's sad, I know. I used to be able to get a quick fix by purchasing a decent pair of shoes at Baker's or a mid-tier department store, but I'm disgusted and depressed by the overabundance of faux stacked heels, horrid stitching, and stiff plastic "leather," frequently at around the $100 price range. So I scavenge. I scavenge for the $300 pair of Charles Jourdan's at Last Call for $90, the $225 Via Spiga's on clearance for 65% off, and the grand-daddy finds like a $350 pair of Calvin Klein thigh-high red suede boots for $100 at T.J. Maxx. I attribute this disaster of a shoe market where fake cork heels are plastered on shoes in almost any store outside of Saks and Neiman's to multiple factors, including most of my fellow shoppers who pay $50-$100 for subpar-quality shoes. Michael Antonio is getting away with murder. Imelda Marcos would have him beheaded (befooted?).

I understand my rant may come off as a bit snobby, and I apologize for it (obviously if I'm not trotting around in Loubou's I simply can't be that much of a snob). I do not mean to offend anyone with fake cork heels; I can respect you without respecting your shoes. I'm aware that this cheap-shoe-thing is a personal pet-peeve of mine. I'm plenty sure, however, that there are several ladies who will read this and identify with what I say with exuberant passion. I still remember the first pair of designer shoes I got: a pair of hand-painted Stuart Weitzman wedges gifted to me about 10 years ago. Oh, when I saw that purple box with the gold lettering, I thought it couldn't be!

This post is in tribute to the ladies who cherish the boxes in which their finest shoes are housed, appreciate the baby's-bum-smooth leather sole of fine shoes, and dream of wardrobes with endless shelving for their favorite heels. Even if you can't afford it, you can appreciate it--it excites something deep within that could only be rivaled by the ignorant high of a fantastical first date. All that being said, here are shoes that are sure to wow and dare to disappoint.

image from Neiman Marcus

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Fine Art Kind of Beauty

Fashion and art are just as friendly as fashion and architecture. One needs to only look at this year's Yayoi Kusama's hyped collaboration with Louis Vuitton or Yves Saint Laurent's infamous Mondrian day dress from 1965, representative of the original paintings by Piet Mondrian, a fine artist influenced by the same cubism movement that inspired Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural creations (Falling Water). But it doesn't stop there. With increasing attention to the cosmetic scene in the latter part of the 20th century up to the recent explosion of nail art among the masses and a T.V. program, The Makeup Show, that elucidates cosmetics applications as a craft, beauty and cosmetics are jumping on the crossover bandwagon.

image from Snap Fashion

Mondrian Day Dress by YSL circa 1965

Nars Cosmetics is one of my favorite makeup brands for its range of highly pigmented shades and commitment to not testing on animals. For Spring, Nars collaborated with Thakoon for the Thakoon for Nars Nail Polish collection. This fall, Nars has reached beyond the world of haute fashion for inspiration and gives us the Andy Warhol collection, available exclusively at Sephora. This collection features the Flower's Eyeshadow Palette, available in 3 different colors: Flowers 1 (white/rose/lavender/gold/lavender grey/black), Flowers 2 (white/heather blue/lavender grey/black), and Flowers 3 (white/pink champagne/brown/lavender grey/black). Watch "Get the Look//Underground Pop" video here for the best how-to using the Flowers 3 palette.

image from Sephora
Flowers 1 eyeshadow palette by Nars: Andy Warhol, Sephora $55

In conclusion to my collection of posts looking at the crossover between fashion and architecture, which ended up including all of the raw incestuous activity among arts beyond fashion and architecture, I'd like to introduce you to a project that promotes the arts while contributing to a cause. In LA, Frog Yogurt, a favorite spot of VH1's Basketball Wives, is showcasing the work of different local artists every quarter, with the proceeds being donated to the charity or cause of the artist's choice. Until December, Plasticgod is the featured artist who is supporting The American Cancer Society as his cause. Plasticgod has had exhibitions all over the world, has had his work showcased in the Andy Warhol Museum, has been recognized in media in publications such as Vogue and Entertainment Weekly, and, last but not least, was the top selling artist at Hello Kitty's 35th Anniversary "Three Apples" Exhibition.

image from LA Dine-n-Club

Frog Yogurt in LA teams up with artists and charities

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Aesthetic Accessories

As promised, here is the next installment of "Fashion is Architecture." If fashion is to architecture, then surely jewelry is to furnishings. The furnishings of a room can make or break it, just as jewelry can make or break an outfit. The best accessories, whether in a building or with an outfit, are those that enhance the presentation of whatever it is they are decorating, not solely how gorgeous the accessory is in and of itself. Regardless of whether the furnishing or piece of jewelry is a statement piece or an unobtrusive punctuation for a roving eye, the overall aesthetic should improve and they should contribute to the feel of the look. Too many accessories, not enough accessories, clashing accessories (different from contrasting), or accessories wrongly placed will detract from the overall aesthetic. You can't just throw on jewelry or haphazardly furnish a room and expect it to work. Don't make the mistake of relying on your outfit's garments or the architecture of a room to compensate for wretched accessories. Take some time, give it some thought, and make sure those additions are truly adding something!

image from Ross-Simons.com

drusy earrings in sterling at Ross-Simons $150

Here are two of my favorite accessory pieces that I've seen during the past couple of months. I chose these earrings for their sparkle, must-have style, affordability, and versatility. Below is the limited edition, $18,000 Stellar Console table by Jake Phipps. The detailed facets of the range table refract light from 900 individually sized mirrors, mimicking the natural crystals of the above drusy earrings, delivering a unique texture and incredible sparkle.

image from JakePhipps.com

Stellar Console table by Jake Phipps $18,000