Off the grid

Once São Paulo fashion week came and went, I took a stroll around the webs to see what went down. I came across this designer with the most pleasant name, Maria Bonita. Clicking through the looks in her fall '10 show, I couldn't help but feel like I had been transported to the early 00's- a time when minimalist looks with sharp tailoring and modern shapes ruled the catwalk. Maria's vision was something like this, but felt more now, more full of life, and definitely more Brazil. Her collection was actually inspired by late architect Lina Bo Bardi, who favored the ideals of modernism and retained a sense of raw materiality in her work. The resulting homage to Bardi was a well-executed collection of monochromatic designs, visible grids that revealed the skin in different ways, and casual asymmetry. The styling, which included nothing more than parted hair with a single colored line and matching wool slip-ons, couldn't have been more complimentary.

images via Lilian Pacce

Daylight come and me wan' go home

Last weekend I was beyond stoked to go see the Tim Burton exhibit at MOMA. It ended up a big fail though as neither I nor my friends realized you had to buy advance tickets online and pick a time since this is a "SPECIAL" exhibition. Of course they were sold out for the rest of the weekend! Seeing as Burton was already on my mind, I decided to put on one of the best movies of all time: Beetlejuice. I never get tired of this flick and find something new every time I watch it. This time I noticed Catherine O'Hara aka Delia Deetz's costumes were pretty damn spectacular, which they kind of have to be to get the character's strong personality across. After doing a little research, I learned that her look was 100% Japanese designer, which included such up-and-comers (at the time) as Issey Miyake and Comme des Garcons (this movie came out in 1988 keep in mind). All her clothes were purchased during an afternoon at Maxfield’s boutique on Melrose Avenue and O'Hara had never heard of any of the designers.

AMAZING glove turban..such drama!

I'd rock the hell out of this shirt if I had it...betting it's a CDG creation.

Look- drop crotch pants! I read these were actually a sweater worn upside down with suspenders.

This look was perfection- I tried to find a frame of the whole outfit but couldn't get much more than the top half. I've seen practically the same cut in recent seasons and this was over 20 years ago!

You couldn't get more "snobby 80s artist type with money in the bank" than this. I mean, one glove?

And then there was Winona's character Lydia. Who didn't love this girl? Her character had depth and reflected a subculture that wasn't really actually defined yet at the time this was being filmed in '87. Calling her a goth wouldn't even be totally accurate- there's a good piece here dissecting the significance of Winona's character to the time period.

I've always loved the big black funeral hat she wears in this film. Of course wearing it with more than just piles of black would soften the in mourning connotation. I missed out on an auction a few weeks ago for a similar hat by Issey Miyake that had a more exaggerated shape- these are the types of pieces that are good to save for flea markets and charity shop hunts though.

I loved Lydia's full plaid skirt she wore during the final scene while dancing to Jump In Line.

Of course there was some real vision behind the set for this movie. The Deetz's were a strange bunch that liked a lot of "avant garde" furniture- some really interesting stuff if you look closely during the film. My taste tends to stick to the clean modern furniture, but I love the random tacky piece thrown in here and there.

From the mailroom

Margiela takes at least a big slice of the cake for some of the most eyebrow raising and questionable accessories for the spring season. I took a much closer look recently (thanks to NY Mag's detail shots) at the metallic potato chip bag belt number and wondered whether such a thing was just a last minute attempt at jazzing up the show or whether it would really go into production.

I clicked over to the Margiela site and noticed the spring '10 collection is now up so I could scrutinize further. The metallic "bags" in question in reality look like these on the Margiela site:

I wish there was a more detailed shot to see if there's a zipper or a snap. Also, no clue if these even come with the belt clip used in the show or if they are meant to be used clutch style (*UPDATE- these were featured in a the new issue of Nylon and they are meant to be clutches and have a zipper on the case you were wondering!). I tend to be magnetized to garish things like this, and although I agree they look quite ridiculous, there's a potentially good idea under it all (especially if they are leather?). The picture makes them look like those foil mailers (below), which are available with a ziplock closure and cost a mere buck. Maybe if I'm crazy enough to try this look (even attaching a chain or rope if not the belt concept), I'll head to Jam Paper and pick up the "supplies."

It's nice to see the pieces that used a frosted-over tropical paradise print came out better than they looked in the show.

These sandals are part of the less conceptual, more casual MM6 line for spring. I would mistake these for APC or Gap if I didn't know the designer but the colors and platform sole make them just a tad quirky. They are definitely much more wearable than gold mailer bags or paradise boots..if you're not ready to go down that road just yet.

Fresh growth

A lot of the Swedish labels consistently develop some excellent shoes to compliment their collections each season, especially the likes of Acne and Minimarket. A lot of the shoes they produce, like 2009's Acne Atacoma wedge and Minimarket zipper wedge, end up becoming highly sought after on an international scale (until stock runs dry and JC has a go at it), much in part due to the Swedes' ability to dream up innovative, yet classic silhouettes. Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair is another kickass label out of Sweden that in addition to skills behind the sewing machine, make some stellar quality footwear. The sculptural lace boot above was from Fall 09- I'm not even sure if it ever went into full production, but they look mighty fine in their webshop next to all Fifth Ave's impeccably tailored clothing.

I'm sure the crisp product photography and floral decorations boosted my fondness of the new spring shoes, but like I said in my rambling above- classic silhouettes with innovative details. Boom! Forget peep toe, here's peep top of foot. It sure takes the worry out of not being able to wear your shoes because you haven't had a pedicure in forevs! You can see how great these would compliment colored socks too from the way they were styled on the runway.

image via Copenhagen Fashion Week

Head Start

Local fans of SSWTR might want to hop down to Chinatown this weekend as they are having a sample sale starting Friday! Expect to see clothing, shoes, and accessories from some of their past few collections at 50% off and up (hopefully including the canvas wedges), which would put many of their items at 50 bucks or less. Happy shopping kiddies.

Blessing in disguise

Last summer I found myself near the crossroads of LES/Chinatown and decided to check out Project No. 8. Once I layed eyes upon the Bless puff sandals, I immediately wanted them on my feet, but then I snapped myself back to reality (which was I needed to pay rent). Saturday the sun was beaming, so Danae, Laura and I wandered around LES on a caffeine high. I hadn't stepped foot in Project No. 8 since last summer and the sandals didn't even cross my mind until I saw other rad Bless items in the shop, only to tell the shop girl how sad I was to miss out on the puffy shoes from last year. To my surprise, she had a few pairs left in the back, one being the right size and color I wanted. Talk about luck man.

I also popped in Oak this weekend for the first time in forever. The store is a sea of black as you know, so when scanning the racks, I tend to notice texture and fabric first. I picked up a fuzzy sweater jacket that reminded me of the Weekday one I love from their fall lookbook. It feels like a rug and will totally be a lifesaver at work, where I can never seem to get warm.

jacket, A.OK; shirt, 1 1/2; shorts, H&M; ombre tights, Target; sandals, Bless

Plants really make a home come alive. The boy and I were bad parents to our last plant family so we had to toss them before moving last month. We are slowly bringing back the green into our new apartment and today I picked up this brain cactus from Sprout Home in Williamsburg.

Of course I'm that much of a freak I can look at a plant and relate it back to fashion- it reminds me of this knit brain bag Undercover's Jun Takahashi did for Fall 07....right?

image via ASVOF

Hanging around on Bowery

Tuesday night, I stopped by Eva for the Telfar spring preview party for his diffusion line Un.der T. It's a store that's been high on my list of ones to visit but for some reason I've never gotten around to checking it out (they have an online store but appears to be down right now). Well what have I been missing? A LOT. The store stocks a really great mix of established & emerging labels such as Henrik Vibskov, C.Neeon, Telfar, Barbara Gongini and Savant. Telfar's line hung near the front on these mannequins suspended from the ceiling.

On the right when you walk in, the walls are ablaze with neon works by artist Norma Markley. I'm not sure how much longer the exhibition will be up, but if you're in the area and dig neon art as much as I do, definitly pop by.

My girl Susanita under a cloud.

Here's a shot of some of the C.Neeon pieces stocked at Eva- one of just a few stores that carries that line in NYC.

The back of the store housed a lot of the emerging designers- was stoked to see local label Take Off Your Clothes represented. My eyes popped out of my head though when I saw this rack of vintage fur coats. I did not adjust the colors in photoshop- they were really that bright! I'm pretty sure they were llama, but could be mistaken. I couldn't even bring myself to try one one knowing I couldn't afford this madness anyway.

Eva also carries some super rad jewelry, especially necklaces. They have the Zero + Maria Cornejo horsehair necklaces I love, designed by her stylist Victoria Simes.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this store. If you want to make a day of it, you're not too far from New Museum, Rogan and St. Marks. Also, this giant ode to Homer Simpson on the wall down the street...hilarious.

CTRL yourselves

Finland is a cold dark place. Those people should know how to make a good coat then right? Well one of favorite coats actually came from Finnish brand CTRL- it's a hooded leather bomber that has made it through quite a few NYC winters now and hopefully many more to come. These CTRL kids (I consider myself a kid so using that term loosely) have fun each season making a really well-rounded streetwear range of graphic prints and equal parts excellent cut-n-sew. They are kind of like the Finnish PAM. I know I'll be stalking their webstore for these polka dot numbers (I missed out on the CDG x H&M button up polka dot tops like these so excited to see a similar take).

Big bright shirts are so summer, and so is that hairdo...can my hair grow out already so I can do this?

I'm really feeling their use of color this season. Also, never thought I'd like acid wash anything ever, especially not colored (gasp!) but this jacket is the ill styles.

Let's all pretend we are lifeguards from the other side. Who's in?

full lookbook here!

The Wall

I've been busy getting settled in a new apartment, and decided to bring back the cork board to give some life to the white walls above my desk. I started over fresh, partly because a lot of what I had on my last wall got misplaced in the move. Old issues of Nylon (before '03) and Dazed are some of my fave go-tos to tear up. I was digging through my junk drawers and realized I saved a lot of cool hang tags, like the PAM one I put on there. Oh, and that's David Carson's business card on the lower right (if you don't know, ask somebody)!

I picked up one of these free totes when I was at the Telfar party at Eva the other night (courtesy of Jargol blog). It's a tribute to some of their favorite fashion names (and a lot my top picks made it on there). I kind of like it on the wall as an art piece. You can buy one here.

These aren't mine, but kind of go with my wall theme, no? Like wall in front of your eyes...anyway, they are vintage Issey Miyake frames I came across on ebay and they blow Kanye's out of the water.

Un.der T

The second installment of Telfar's diffusion line Un.der T is launching tonight at Eva New York. With fabric provided by American Apparel, and pieces that include reinterpretations of some of Telfar's best work over the last half decade, expect to see a TRUE diffusion line. There will be 15 limited pieces ranging from $80-$150, for the girls or boys as always. The spring preview goes down from 5-8pm at Eva (355 Bowery).