They Walk in Beauty

Firstly, Happy Hallowe'en to all who celebrate! I had wanted to find a fantastic costume and do something fun and crazy, but of course, it didn't happen. So instead I made cookies. Oh well. I also wanted to apologize for my somewhat abrupt absence from the blog. I will make it up to you with more frequent posting - at least for the next couple of days, ha!

This post was inspired by the lovely ladies of Painfully Hip, who do a weekly round-up of their favorite thrifted looks on Wardrobe Remix, the amazing Flickr group that showcases the style of men and women from around the world. I love browsing through all of the photos, seeing what delightful outfits people come up with, because, as I have stated before, I think the style of "real" people is much more inspiring than anything you can find in a fashion magazine. Of course, those magazines have their place, and they can be very inspiring, but I just love street style. So I decided to pick out a few of my favorites to share with you.

Click on the photos to go to their Flickr page.
StrawberryKitten has such a clean, graphic style that I love. She mixes really bold elements with softer things, like dark tights, sweater, and accessories with a simple shirtdress and cozy scarf, seen above. The combination is so chic and so much fun. I love this look!
Piksi is one of my absolute favorite Remixers. She has a fantastic eye for color and texture. I love the pops of red in this outfit, as it is something I like to do a lot! Red is such a passionate color, so when I wear neutrals I usually throw in red shoes, or a red scarf. Piksi also knows how to dress her shape! This pencil skirt fits her like a glove. Chic beyond words.
I love this mix of old-fashioned and modern from Irene Adler. The colors are beautiful as well - I like the deep purple accents. And if I didn't already adore lace-up boots, this outfit would make me! I have to recreate it myself, although I'm sure I wouldn't be half as fabulous.
Red again, this time from Caotica Ana! This is exactly the kind of look I've been going for this fall: flapper meets schoolgirl meets secretary! The proportions are perfect.
Finally, this incredibly chic ensemble from Aveclove. This is just intimidatingly beautiful! I love how two seemingly simple pieces of clothing can create such a dramatic effect. And can you believe that she bought these jeans from Old Navy for $20?! Wow.

This post was also sparked by a recent trip to WhoWhatWear Daily. They had posted another installment of their feature, MySpace Muse, in which they pick a stylish girl from the MySpace Fashion group and interview her. I have noticed that nearly every time they do this feature, the post is flooded with comments, mostly negative. This certainly is not the fault of WWWD, in fact, I applaud them for taking a break from the celebrity thing and featuring a real girl once and a while. It just saddens me that many of the people who post negative comments completely miss the point. Most of the time they say "unoriginal", which is fine, but when the comments turn to attacks on a girl's appearance - most often her weight - it gets ugly. And the girls featured are never overweight.

Shouldn't we try to offer positive feedback to each other? Especially when it comes to another person's style, it is important to highlight what is good, instead of focusing only on what is (perceived as) bad. This is why I love Wardrobe Remix. Pick any photo, scroll to the comments, and you will see that 100% of them are positive. We are all entitled to our opinions, but we also need to be aware of how they affect others. Honesty is essential, but there is a way to do that without being petty, cruel, and vindictive.

I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this! Please share.


What I Would Wear: 7th on Sale

Welcome to another installment of WIWW. If you don't know what that is, click on the label and scroll to the first WIWW post. It's pretty simple, and very fun! For my fantasy fashion event I have chosen the 7th on Sale black tie gala, held in NYC on November 15. 7th on Sale is a huge auction, where you can bid on thousands of designer goods, and all proceeds benefit AIDS patients.Since it's black tie, and such a high profile event, I want to make heads turn. So I am going to be wearing this Elie Saab couture creation. I love the neckline - it's mod, futuristic, and more than a little badass, in my humble opinion. The flowing skirt is what really makes an impression though. The graduation of colors, from black to mist grey to lavender, is just stunning. With my sharp flapper haircut and heavily lined eyes, I'll look dark and beautiful. I didn't pick out accessories or shoes, because really, with a gown like this, I could go barefoot and no one would care.

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Casual Fridays?

The plight of any fashion conscious working girl is the eternal question of what to wear to a boring office job. You want to look fabulous, but you also have a strict dress code. I don't have a typical office job, so thankfully that isn't a concern for me. But what would I do in that situation? Succumb to the uniform of over-worked and over-tired office drone? Oh hell no! I'll take my fashion cues from 50s era silver screen mavens, 60s secretaries, and the indie darlings of today. Sexy, form-fitting, and professional? Yes ma'am!

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The Sound of Fashion: Ballad of the Broken Seas

Music is an extremely important part of my life. So is fashion. What happens when you mix the two? The Sound of Fashion, a new Modiste series! I'll pick a singer or band and a particular album of theirs, and then interpret the sound using fashion. This time I have chosen Isobel Campbell's collaboration with Mark Lanegan, Ballad of the Broken Seas.
Isobel is a Belle & Sebastian alum, which happens to be one of my favorite bands. On this venture, she and Lanegan have created a gorgeous mix of styles - ranging from bluesy folk to country to pure pop rock. The result is a timeless and haunting album that transports the listener to weathered beach houses and overgrown rural landscapes dotted with rusty pick up trucks. Head to Amazon for a sampling, and then buy a copy! It's the perfect thing to listen to when you need a little alone time. Great for road trips as well!
A lovely navy blue ruffly shirtdress (that bears more than a passing resemblance to Isobel's!) is the perfect piece to represent the album's unique sound. It is at once classic and fresh, citified sophistication and country girl swagger. Fringed boots reminiscent of 70s rock goddesses and a sexy, slim denim skirt hint at a certain sultriness. A simple wool cap and plaid shirt are laid back and effortless.

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What I Would Wear: Teen Vogue Fashion U

Welcome to a new series that I call What I Would Wear. For each WIWW post, I will choose a fashionable event that I cannot attend, and show you exactly what I would wear if I were lucky enough to attend. Got it? Good. WIWW is a fantasy in and of itself, so there is no budget. That makes things a lot more fun! For my first WIWW, I have chosen Teen Vogue's Fashion University, a three day event in NYC that starts with a concert, then there is a day of seminars and lectures, and finally a graduation day in Bloomingdale's. Here's what I would wear:This first outfit is for the day of seminars and lectures. Since it's Fashion U, I decided to go with a Parisienne school girl look. It's a bit quirky, and a little coquettish, which is the perfect mix in my world! I am going for a mix of high and low for all of my outfits, since it seems like a TV thing to do. A Built By Wendy jumper is the centerpiece of the outfit, and the stripy tights and fabulous pumps add color and whimsy. A bow tie blouse and jaunty beret complete the look with a French flair. Top it all with a 60s style swing coat and I'm ready to go!
The outfit on the left is for the very first day, which I assume involves meeting people, and then the concert afterwards. I went for a chic, Carine Roitfeld inspired look, with a bright blue silk top and a swingy grey skirt. Fierce oxford pumps and an asymmetrical blazer - both in black - have real attitude. I'll take the blazer off for the concert! For jewels, I'm thinking a big stack of pearls. The outfit on the right is for the last day, and perhaps may be a little dressy but who cares. This is my fantasy! I went with a classic and simple frock from J. Crew, accessorized with amazing Moschino pumps. I will certainly be chilly in this, so I'll wear the Westwood blazer over it to make it a little more casual and funky. I'd love a 1920s style silver headpiece to wear in place of any earrings or necklaces.

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Ciao Bella!

I was recently asked by a reader what she should wear to Milan Fashion Week. This is an important event, and clearly she wouldn't want to make a faux pas, or whatever the Italian equivalent of that is. To add to the gravity of the situation, she is a cash-strapped grad student. This is my attempt at saving her from an unfortunate fate. While not all of us are lucky enough to go to any kind of fashion week, let alone Milan, I think that the rest of you will find something useful here. These tips - I hope - will come in handy if you get invited to any sort of fashionable event. I tried to work around what may already be in your closet, so that you wouldn't have to go out and buy a lot. But I did keep all of my examples wallet friendly. The dresses (all Banana Republic) are under $150, the coats (both Nordstrom) are under $100, and most of the accessories are under $50. At fashion week, don't worry about being the best dressed. It's all about the attitude! Stay confident and people will really respond to that. Plus, I'm guessing that you won't be the center of attention, so an over-the-top designer ensemble is unnecessary. Leave that to the pros. A simple dress will work just fine, but make sure it's not too simple. Pick one with an eye catching color or a bold print for instant appeal. Even a black dress is fine, if you pair it with great accessories. By all means, make sure everything fits you perfectly and looks clean, pressed, and polished. Even the simplest outfit can be dazzling if the fit is impeccable. Don't be sloppy.

In terms of how you style the dress, be creative. I personally like how Banana Republic did it, with opaque black tights and black shoes. But if that's too trendy, do something different. A different color tight perhaps, or a metallic shoe. Throw on a pile of fake pearls with your all-black outfit and a really wild hat a la Isabella Blow. Just have fun with it - this is Fashion Week after all.
Since it's fall, a statement making coat will be the perfect finishing touch. Find one with really interesting details, like big buttons, or an optic print. Try a red pump for a pop of color, or go with simple black Louboutin look alikes. This pair from Zappos is budget-friendly, but has the designer look. People will probably be able to tell the difference, but having a shoe like this shows that you know your fashion. A hat is another easy way to add a little oomph to your look. This knit beret has a Marc Jacobs look, and again, it's trendy, but appropriate for Fashion Week, which is all about the trends.

My reader mentioned she has a lot of jeans. Jeans are fine to wear! If you have a particularly nice pair, one that has a good dark wash that fits you well, go with that. Then go glamorous with the shoes and accessories. If all else fails, wear a pair of really big, really dark sunglasses.

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Be Beaux Arts: The Rainy Day Flapper

Welcome to my new series, Be Beaux Arts! You may recognize this idea from a post I did a while ago on dressing the part of Marie Antoinette at Le Petite Trianon, based on a painting by Vigee Le Brun. Well, I liked that a lot, so I decided to make this a regular thing. I love art, and I think that it is a wonderful place to gain fashion inspiration. So, for today's venture, I have chosen this lovely 1920s fashion illustration. Not exactly fine arts, but beautiful nonetheless!
You're not a flapper until you have the drop waisted dress. This little number has a pleated skirt, and looks like the foundation of a Suzanne Lenglen tennis ensemble. To emphasize the garconne look, a pair of shiny black oxfords let you stride through puddles just like the boys. And don't forget a little deco inspired shrug to keep the chill off. Top it all with a green brolly and jaunty cloche and you'll be the bee's knees!

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