Thursday, June 30, 2011

All-American: Lauren Bush

 Lauren Bush in the June 2011 issue of Vanity Fair

I was excited to read about Lauren Bush's upcoming FEED Projects collaboration with the Clarins cosmetics company: they're teaming up to create a pouch that contains three of the brand's most popular products (Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, Moisture-Rich Body Lotion and Instant Lip Perfector), and for every pouch sold exclusively through Nordstrom, 15 school meals will be provided.  The ultimate goal is to feed 1 million children in two years.  The $30 pouch will be available for purchase in July.

Aside from being an activist, model and designer, Lauren is the niece of George W. and the fiancee of Ralph Lauren (will she become Lauren Lauren?  Lauren Bush-Lauren?).  She epitomizes a fresh-faced, classic and effortless all-American style reminiscent of Grace Kelly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Style Inspiration: Emma Stone for Vanity Fair

Emma Stone photographed on St. Barth's for Vanity Fair by Patrick Demarchelier
The Look
Rouge lips
Perfect waves
Bright polka dots, stripes or patterns

Emma Stone is almost unrecognizable on the cover of the August issue of Vanity Fair, but I have to say I am really loving the way they styled her, with the tousled blonde hair and retro Marc by Marc Jacobs two-piece.  Can't wait to see the rest of the photos from the shoot!

Her look is definitely reminiscent of beach Bettys of the past.  Esquire has a great article about the history of the bikini, its origins tracing back to a statue of Venus in 100 A.D.  French automobile engineer Louis Reard was the first to officially introduce the bikini (how one goes from the engineering profession to creating skimpy swimwear is beyond me -- but it happened!).  He promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit."
"A bikini is not a bikini unless it can be pulled through a wedding ring." - Louis Reard
 Clockwise from L: Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, models in Australia in the '50s, Natalie Wood, Sandra Dee, Veronica Lake, Brigitte Bardot, Esther Williams, Grace Kelly

Photo Source: Some images were pulled from this fantastic blog

Monday, June 27, 2011

Style Inspiration: Ingenues

 Elle Fanning in the June 2011 issue of Black Book

Monday's inspiration is the next generation of talented and stylish young actresses.  There is always an influx of fresh faces in the entertainment biz, to make people like me feel lazy and ancient (I mean, to see that someone was born in 1999 is a little baffling to me, ain't gonna lie).

Elle Fanning -- probably best known at this point for Super 8 and being Dakota's sister -- is everywhere these days wearing enviable threads (in Lula, Marie Claire, Black Book, that Rodarte short film from earlier this year).  She seems so much older and wiser beyond her 13 years, but can we talk about the clothes she has been seen wearing in her latest photo shoots?  So stylish.

On a similar note, I was pleasantly surprised to see Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka (aka Sally Draper) on The Coveteur, though I do recall reading in Interview that this precocious 11 year-old stated that she has a closet full of Papa D'Anjo and loves Chloe and Dolce & Gabbana -- not to mention she owns a pair of Christian Louboutins (um, I don't know what I was wearing when I was 11... Arizona Jeans and Keds?).  She told The Coveteur: "I love organization, so I split my clothes into two closets according to seasons."  Oh, Kiernan.  To have traded childhoods with you.

A few other favorites include Atonement's Saoirse Ronan (who I barely recognized on the cover of Bullet magazine, how fast did that one seemingly grow up?) and the sassy Chloe Grace Moretz.

Can't wait to see what they do (and wear) next.

 Kiernan Shipka, Chloe Grace Moretz, Saoirse Ronan, Elle Fanning

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Wide Leg Jeans

 J Brand Bette in Wonderama wide leg jeans ($218)

A friend sent me a link to the above J Brand jeans page and said it reminded her of my style and I am in love.  I recently bought wide-leg Paige jeans in a light blue wash and they are so very retro.  I had to get them hemmed because they were entirely too long for my 5'3'' frame, but it was worth it (not to mention they were marked down to $60 on ideeli).  They look great with wedges and platforms and really elongate my legs.

Of course, wide leg jeans are nothing new and were popularized in the 70s.  Do you remember the Vogue editorial from a few years back with Jessica Miller as Jane Birkin?  The look stays so completely true to Birkin that if you didn't know any better, you'd probably think it was her.  Everyone from Rachel Bilson to Dree Hemingway to Penelope Cruz have been seen in the style.  Dree's is one of my favorite looks -- Current/Elliott jeans in a light wash with a striped Breton top (more on that look here).

 (L) Jessica Miller as Jane Birkin in a Vogue March 2007 issue.  (R) Jane Birkin back in the day.

 (L-R) Dree Hemingway, Rachel Bilson, January Jones, Penelope Cruz.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Design Inspiration: Arts and Crafts

One of 15 creative/nerdy wedding invitations via this site

My boyfriend sent me some creative and nerdy wedding invitations via Blah Bethany and my favorite is a tie between the zombie invitation and the records.  It always amazes me the amount of creativity that is out there.  It certainly makes me wish I was more crafty.

Although one of my favorite invitations is via Hum Creative, who designed Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard's wedding invites for their Seattle-based ceremony.  They are incredibly cute, but would you expect any less from the golden indie couple?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Music: The New Laurel Canyon

Joni Mitchell, David Crosby and Eric Clapton in Laurel Canyon, circa 1969

I've been listening to Dawes' new album Nothing is Wrong non-stop.  The Los Angeles-based band crafts soulful Americana songs that are reminiscent of the Laurel Canyon sounds of the late 60s and 70s.  One song even features Jackson Browne on harmonies.

I'm a fan of that particular era of rock, and the Laurel Canyon crowd (Jackson, Joni, Carole King, CSN&Y, the Mamas & the Papas, the Eagles, Frank Zappa, Gram Parsons, the Byrds, etc.).  The Canyon was the epicenter of the rock music scene of the late 60s, located in the heart of the Hollywood Hills.  Even German chanteuse and Velvet Underground collaborator Nico managed to find her way there.  Fun facts: Graham Nash wrote "Our House" about the home he shared with Joni Mitchell.  The Mamas & the Papas song "Twelve Thirty" was inspired by the Canyon ("Young girls are coming to the canyon / and in the mornings I can see them walkin' / I can no longer keep my blinds drawn").

Michael Walker, who wrote the book Laurel Canyon: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Legendary Neighborhood, explained to NPR his theory of why so many good musicians seemed to end up in the Canyon:
"Musicians need to breathe the same air," he says. "And these were some of the best musicians of their generation, sort of by luck and happenstance jammed into this beautiful, leafy, little neighborhood." Source
There's a new generation that carries on the legacy, thanks to musician Jonathan Wilson, whose revival of Laurel Canyon jam sessions some time in 2006, draws in the likes of everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to members of Pearl Jam and Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis -- providing the same sort of open, collaborative environment for musicians to freestyle.  Keyboardist and songwriter Barry Goldberg (of The Electric Flag), who lived in the area back in the day, said, "First time I went to Jonathan Wilson's house and walked through the beaded curtain, I almost had a flashback.  I started crying because of how proud I was of these kids for carrying it on with reverence and not just bullshit or jive."

Source: A lot of these wonderful photos came from the incomparable Henry Diltz

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Smart + Sleek: Menswear for Women

Kirsten Dunst looked amazing at the 2011 CFDA Fashion Awards, sporting a menswear-inspired Patrik Ervell tuxedo and a sleek bun.  I'm not a big fan of the earrings, but I'm in love with Ervell's design.

Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn were forerunners of this masculine look that favors function over fashion without sacrificing sophistication and style.  Hepburn was quoted as saying of her look,"I like to move fast, and wearing heels was tough, and low heels with a skirt is unattractive.  So pants took over." 

WWD noted in a February 1, 1933 issue regarding the rise of the women in menswear trend:
While Women’s Wear Daily has been reporting the acceptance of trousers in cinema circles and while the consumer press has been discussing the controversial subject ‘Will women wear trousers?’ at least two progressive manufacturers…alert to the ever-shifting whims of fashion, have been quietly at work designing tailored cloths to meet this demand. Especially noteworthy is the fact that [Zuckerman & Kraus] has dared to make tuxedos for evening. (Source)
What do you think of the menswear-for-women look?

The icons: Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Myrna Loy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Alfred Hitchock's Vertigo

Anouck Lepere in Dizzying Whites - photographed by Raymond Meier for Vogue May 2002
I'm applying to school again and was writing an essay about how I came to love fashion, and something that popped into my mind was how much I love the merging of fashion and cinema.  I'm a huge fan of classics -- I love the works of Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchock and George Roy Hill, to name a few.

In doing research for my essay, visions of an old editorial I saw in Vogue popped into my head.  It really encapsulated how much I love the old influencing the new.  This particular editorial featured Belgian model Anouck Lepere and was inspired by Hitchock's Vertigo.  I was so glad I was able to find the scans online.  The editorial is beautiful and rather haunting, much like the film.  The films costumes were designed by the legendary Edith Head.  On a side note, great illustrations of some of Edith's work can be found here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Style Inspiration: Marion Davies

I love this photograph taken by Garance Dore of Jazzmine Berger.  She looks beautiful and charmingly retro.  For some reason, for me, it brings to mind old Hollywood starlet Marion Davies, who had the same sort of girlish allure and penchant for hats.

Photo Source: Marion Davies color photo

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fashion Flashback: More, Pleats

 Self-portrait: Rocking vibrant orange pleats today.

One of my favorite dresses is a $40 pleated dress I bought from Dillard's a few months ago.  I've received compliments from friends and random strangers alike.  I love not only the retro feel of the pleated skirt, but above all, the movement.  There are so many different kinds of pleats (accordion, box, etc.), but the most fashionable ones at the moment are diaphanous and flowy, typically falling above the knee or slightly below it.

Keira Knightley was recently photographed with her new boyfriend in Venice wearing a lovely yellow pleated skirt.  I adored Carey Mulligan's pleated Proenza Schouler dress -- I'm in love with that mustard color.  Olivia Palermo wore a great sheer Topshop skirt in a photo shoot.

I haven't really been able to pinpoint its popularity to a year, but Jill Stuart and Chloe have included pleats in their 2011 collections, so the trend should be in full swing this fall. 

Inspiration from the Past:
  • Loved Goldie Hawn's little pink pleated babydoll in 1964's Cactus Flower
  • Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks wore sheer, flowy pleats onstage
  • Fashion photographer Horst P. Horst's snapped a photo of a model in the '50s in a tweed pleated skirt
  • Marisa Berenson modeled a pleated skirt for Valentino's 1968 couture line
  • Silver screen starlet Gloria Swanson sported more structured, conservative pleats

Photo Sources:
Bluetramontana Style, Eclectic Jewelry and Fashion, Couture Allure

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Breton Stripes

Alexa Chung sporting nautical stripes in Vogue Korea, June 2011

Nautical Breton stripes are a classic summertime look, and there's a way to wear them as an everyday option without seeming like a misplaced gondolier.  I love the way Alexa Chung is styled in this month's Vogue Korea, paired with a sophisticated creme blazer and white shorts. 

Coco Chanel was a fan of the stripes, and upon doing a little research on the Breton striped shirt, I found that Miss Chanel played her own role in that she drew inspiration from working-class clothes and sportswear in a time when there was more structure and rigidity to women's clothing.
A sea-change was taking place in French fashion and society, and it would propel the Breton T-shirt from undistinguished workwear to iconic fashion item. By the Thirties, Saint Tropez and the other Riviera resorts were enjoying a new, second wave of popularity. In the 19th century they had grown rich on their winter season, when the monied classes descended from across Europe to enjoy the mild climate in the opulent surroundings of grand hotels and villas. In the new century, fashion leader Coco Chanel began a cult of sun worship, which rapidly took off, spurred on by the spread of the railways and roads to previously inaccessible seaside resorts. A new, summer season was born. (Source)

Of course there are other effortlessly stylish French women seen sporting this look back in the day, including actresses Jean Seberg, Jeanne Moreau and Brigitte Bardot.  American style icons Marilyn, Jackie O. and Ali MacGraw also were seen in this look, and it was flattering for all.

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