Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Topshop Turns One

Topshop, our favorite mass-market retailer, is celebrating its New York store's first anniversary. We've had a DJ residency at the store for the past six months, and we love it, even if we've had to witness the constant appearance of various iterations of our cage dress hitting the sales floor ever since we started. Just saying, it would be nice if we could get royalties added into our paychecks. Or a sweet discount.

Anyway, starting this Friday, April 2nd, and lasting all weekend, there will be birthday cake, special anniversary tanks with purchases over $100, contests and giveaways, and of course, party tunes provided by "the best of NY's music talent," i.e. yours truly (ha!). Our lovely blog friend Elizabeth of Feels Like White Lightning will also be on hand for the entire weekend to take some snaps of all you stylish kids, and will even be giving her favorite Topshop shopper $250 to spend in store. We'll be DJing right as the doors open on Friday, so make sure to stop by. We will be tucked away in the rather hidden DJ booth but you are welcome to pop your head in while we play tunes, snarf down birthday cake, and gossip about people we don't like! Here's a sampling of what I have on my spring playlist--plus you can expect a dash of birthday tunes thrown in the mix (suggestions are welcome). See you there!

PS 22 Chorus covering Phoenix's Lisztomania. Their rendition brings tears to my eyes, I adore these kids.

Surprise Hotel- Fool's Gold. Some of you are probably sick of all the white boys doing Afropop (see Vampire Weekend below), but this song is so perfect for warm weather.

French Navy- Camera Obscura. The cutest, most Spring appropriate song and video ever.

Cuddle Fuddle- Passion Pit. I'm a huge Passion Pit fan, especially since they use the kids from the PS 22 Chorus to sing on several of their songs!

A Teenager In Love- The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. More super-twee music--It's springtime.

Diplomat's Son- Vampire Weekend. I love them in spite of myself--they bring back not-so wistful memories of a private school education.

Charlie Don't Surf- The Clash


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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Bitches With Cigarette Burns

Hiraku and Ying of The Bitches With Cigarette Burns. Photos by Micaela McLucas.

Our very dear friends Hiraku and Ying are two of the most stylish kids we know, so it's only appropriate that they're starting their own clothing line, The Bitches With Cigarette Burns. We see them a couple nights of the week, and since we're always swooning over every last one of their get-ups, we asked them to make us one of their long sheer black dresses in exchange for jewelry. It's a versatile layering piece, and we wore it under a Six Six Sick chain top to the Chictopia 10 conference during NYFW, and to the afterparty we threw and DJ'd (which was so much fun, thank you all for coming). Here are a few pictures of their collection from a recent lookbook shoot they did in Central Park.

Ying wearing a B.W.C.B. top with fringed epaulets

Hiraku wearing a B.W.C.B. red lace hoody and red sheer floor-length dress

Christina and I wearing the B.W.C.B. black long sheer dress and our Six Six Sick chain top at the Chictopia 10 after party. Photo by Felipe Cortez.


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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Triskaidekaphobia in V Magazine

I was completely surprised when Christina told me that our Triskaidekaphobia leather bow necklace landed on the pages of this month's issue of V Magazine. The credit is mislabeled as vintage, but we're still happy since we didn't even know it was going to be in V anyway! It's being worn by actress Kristin Wiig (Saturday Night Live), for a "Brigitte Bardot Goes Geisha" look, and they styled it as a headband instead of a necklace (so versatile!). Our friend, stylist Sally Lyndley, pulled it from Screaming Mimi's, where it's currently sold out (the lovely Aimee Phillips bought the last one). We're carrying them over for fall, so expect to see more around soon!


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Friday, March 26, 2010

Shine On

Iosselliani never fails to astound me. Every season they create immensely covetable, gorgeously crafted showpieces, and they are certainly my favorite contemporary jewelry designer (outside of my own line, natch). Susanne from W29 Showroom calls their jewelry addictive, and it's a pricey addiction to have--although a whole lot healthier than most of the other kinds running rampant in New York. I've personally started with a ring that I never take off, and hope to have the funds to build up my own collection. This season they expanded on their partially oxidized fringe necklaces, giving the metal a lovely ombre effect. My favorite pieces are the dangerously long single fringe earrings that blend into your hair like one long, super-shiny strand.


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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mad Hatter

One of Lopeti's new styles. If you name it, it's yours!

If you don't know already, I'm absolutely mad for hats. I constantly bemoan the fact that millinery has become a marginalized art in modern times, with the mainstream selection of hats available usually being of the most mundane and functional variety. You know: those for keeping the head warm, those for shading the sun from your eyes, those for pledging your allegiance to whatever sports team, those for bad hair days, blah blah blah. Therefore I'm always excited to meet new hat designers.

I first met (and wrote about) Lopeti Etu last year when he was designing hats for Selima's in house line, as well as collaborating with other designers. I'm happy to hear that Lopeti has since moved on to launch his own eponymous line of hats for Fall 2010, featuring his distinctive hat shapes for men and women, all adorned with a whimsical choice of trims. For his new collection, he even created an earmuff-style headpiece with dangling chains. The style has yet to be named, so they'll be conducting a "Name That Hat" contest, with the winner receiving the hat at their launch party (time and place TBA, but you're definitely invited). Just email your suggestions to info@lopetietu.com to enter. My favorite hat however is his top hat. I have been looking for the perfect top hat for years, but they are hard to find (and very expensive). Lopeti's version has a jaunty twist to it, often festooned with bright ribbons or plenty of covers, and even has landed on the cover of French Vogue. Maybe it's time I start saving up---it would make a perfect Easter bonnet, no?
EDIT: The hat on the cover of French Vogue was actually designed while Lopeti was still at Selima.

One of Lopeti's top hats gracing the cover of French Vogue


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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pitter Patter Goes My Heart

Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by W29 Showroom to take a peek at some of the Fall 2010 collections. There was tons of incredible clothing and jewelry to see, but I always have to start with Rodebjer, which is a personal favorite. Season after season, Swedish designer Carin Rodebjer creates classic, elegant clothing with a twist, and there are always plenty of special pieces that make your pulse twitch a little faster with desire. Her coats and jackets are always very strong, and this season she created a beautiful faux broadtail coat which is just as luxe looking as the real thing, without the icky feeling of wearing aborted baby lambs (yes, that's where a lot of the real stuff is comes from). I also loved the paisley-printed velvet jacket, and the pretty lace blouses and dresses. Though the pieces might sound rather prim and lady-like alone, Rodebjer balanced out the look with her sensational wedged boots, to add just the right amount of edge.


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Monday, March 22, 2010

Slow and Steady Takes the Cake

The Slow and Steady Wins the Race folding clear sunglasses and the round framed tortoise shell glasses with square lenses

Yesterday afternoon, I got a text from Christina saying "All of Mary Ping is $10 at Urban!" There's a reason why she's my best friend. I immediately dropped what I was doing (which happened to be my pesky Rosetta Stone Swedish course) and zipped out of the house and down to the Urban Outfitters on 14th St. and 6th Avenue. Months ago, it had been the site of an entire Slow and Steady Wins the Race shop-in-shop, and now that they're cleaning out their inventory, the remnants are all up for grabs. And those remnants are good. Plenty of the lines signature canvas 'fake' bags, a few tees and deconstructed white button down shirts, and every single pair of the brand's distinctive plastic sunglasses. The best part? Every single item from the collection was $10 (reduced from their standard going price of $100), which was even cheaper than most items were at the Mary Pings sample sale a few months back.

At the sample sale, I had hesitated and decided against buying the glasses because I wasn't 100% sure they suited my face. But at $10 a pop, I was so convinced that I could make them suit my face that I bought two pairs--the folding pair that I had considered in clear plastic, and a mod pair of round framed glasses with square lenses in tortoise-shell. I also couldn't help but pick out two bags: a gray jersey faux Balenciaga, and a muslin version of the classic Chanel bag. When the cash register rung me up for $40 rather than the normal price of $400, it felt like such a steal I was afraid the security alarm was going to go off when I left the store. If you are in New York, I highly suggest you head down to Urban A.S.A.P. (I'm talking to you Amanda), since at the moment, none of the regular Urban crowd seemed all too interested, and you have your pick of plenty of goods. And if you aren't into Slow and Steady Wins the Race, there are also plenty of Sophomore dresses and tanks on the sale racks for $10 too...

The muslin take on the Chanel bag

The gray jersey faux Balenciaga

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Thrill Of The Chase

Zara jacket, Six Six Sick shingle dress, Alexander McQueen Scarf, Pied a Terre thigh-high boots, Devaki hat, Gerard Yosca necklace, Triskaidekaphobia and Iosselliani rings

Zara is driving me crazy right now. I stopped by last week, and the floor was filled with amazing jackets: a gorgeous tailcoat, a cropped trench jacket, and an awesome Chloe-inspired oversized khaki cape were just a sampling of the tempting selection. My favorite though was this black and white striped fitted jacket with shoulder pads. Even though it was meant to fit into their nautical story, it had a whiff of Gareth Pugh about it, not to mention the fact that it was a much better price than the highly discounted (and mostly unimpressive) Pugh samples on sale at Century 21 right now. Nonetheless, I allegedly have a personal order in the works for a nice black blazer, and since I wasn't sure if I needed another new jacket, I decided to sleep on it. Bad idea. I now realize why I hardly ever find anything at Zara--the moment something good hits the floor, it disappears just as quickly. When I returned the next day, all the beautiful jackets I'd seen had sold out. I had to stop by two other Zara stores before I found my jacket again. Satisfied? Indeed. But during my hunt I also stumbled upon a pair of tan leather paper-bag waisted shorts that are to-die-for, but weren't in my size. I think they might be cause for a second hunt.


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Friday, March 19, 2010

Project White T-Shirt

Skyward reconfigured rope into a t-shirt shape, inspired by their seaside hometown of Goteborg.

I don't know if you guys have been following the going-ons of Project White T-Shirt, a charitable organization that has commissioned thirty-one designers from around the globe to remake their own version of the classic wardrobe staple. Selected designers include some of my favorites: Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair, Iris Loeffler, Slow and Steady Wins The Race, Skyward, and Complex Geometries. The project culminates in an online auction of the works, with proceeds benefiting the Belgium-based organization, Designers Against AIDS, as well as a touring exhibition of the reconfigured white tees. The show is currently on display at Welcome Hunters, and will move to an exhibition of Space 15 Twenty in Los Angeles before hitting other galleries and stores world-wide. If you're in L.A. you can stop by the opening at Space 15 Twenty on March 20th, and if not, look out for a visit from Project White T-shirt in your own hometown! Here is just a small sampling of some of the incredible pieces that were created as part of the project--it's amazing to see how different every single piece is, and how much they relate back to each designer's individual creative style. Make sure to visit the website to see the rest of the designs, as well as video interviews with all the participants.

Mundi designer Mundi Vondi wore his white shirt for six days straight, letting random circumstances (food, nature, friends...) leave their imprints on the T-shirt to give it its own identity.

Narelle Dore departed from the classic jersey tee by creating this "winter tee" out of felt, inspired by the felted coats of Kurdish villagers

Kling by Kling refashioned her tee into a giant dream catcher

My lovely friend Iris Loeffler took an oversized tee and deconstructed it, turning it into a robe

Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair cut of the tee and tied it up into a web of knots to create this beautiful bulbous neckpiece

Julian Louie Swarovski crystals to embellish the tee with a necklace

Doktor Doktor and The Bug Collection created a tee made entirely of marshmallows inspired by the Michelin Man

Anntian created a tee designed to fit a horse's body, and then altered it to drape onto a human torso

Andrea Crews created a "double tee" by joining two tees together


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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Sunshine State

I'm not much of a sunglasses girl. I own a grand total of four pairs, two of which are nice (Chanel and Charles Anastase), and two of which were once janky accessories to Six Six Sick party outfits (heart-shaped Lolita glasses, and a pair of geriatric-style drugstore blue-blockers that I found at the bar at Brooklyn Bowl). Lately though, I've been feeling a conspicuous lack, and last season at Coterie, I put in a personal order for those Alexander Wang cat-eyed sunglasses, which I'm still anxiously awaiting. Apparently I'll have to wait till April, since personals are the last of the order lot to be fulfilled, leaving me with a serious craving for some quality shades. Therefore I pretty much doubled-over with material-lust when I stopped by the Foundation Showroom last week and took a peek at Ksubi's latest collection of eyeware. While the range contains some classic aviator styles, the highlight for me were the bolder styles, like the multi-colored printed Wayfarers, or the translucent sunglasses which looked like their edges had been out-lined with contrasting Sharpie markers. I also love the round glasses that have the cartoonish appearance of half-opened eyes. Maybe I will become a sunglasses girl after all.


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Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Forward

I don't know about you, but if there is one trend that I've fallen for this spring, it's the deluge of neutrals and pale pinks that flooded the runways. While I loved the sea of beige that Hannah McGibbon presented in her collection for Chloe, the entire look is slightly too mature for my tastes--I might be an adult, but I don't know if I'll ever be ready to be that grown-up looking. It looks too much like everything in my mother's wardrobe, and though I'm known to steal clothes from her here and there (I just nabbed the perfect cream-colored coat), on principal I refuse to be seen in the same exact outfit as she would wear.

Lucky for me, Brooklyn-based Shape Shiftr's spring collection strikes the perfect balance of being elegantly and enigmatically chic, while maintaining a distinctly youthful edge. Designed by Meghan Laverly and J'aime Lizotte, who have worked at AsFour and Armani, the line is "an investigation of the constant change in silhouette and form motivated by geometry." I love the silk trapeze tops and the paneled leggings, all rendered in that perfectly palette of neutrals. And, as is the case with most of my favorite young designers, you can find Shape Shiftr at Pixie Market.


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Friday, March 12, 2010

100% Homemade

Oh man, I totally meant to post about this earlier, but of course it slipped my mind. One of my favorite local bloggers, The Shiny Squirrel, and Sew Moni are taking over the Kill Devil Hill storefront (170 Franklin St) in Brooklyn this weekend and turning it into a Homemade Brooklyn pop-up shop. In addition to featuring local talent such as Loyalty and Blood, Old Hollywood, You and Me, The Royal We, Caja Jewelry, Gold Teeth stationery, and Brooklyn rehab, they'll be presenting free DIY classes on Saturday and Sunday courtesy of Brooklyn Skillshare. If you're in New York, you definitely don't want to miss this, and I'm planning on stopping by tomorrow afternoon right after our Topshop DJ set. Hope to see you there!


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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fearless Rachel Freire

Looks from Rachel Freire's Spring 2010 collection. All photographs by Grant Thomas.

I know I haven't been posting much lately, mainly because of a crazy amount of work in the past week. The onslaught of visual information being broadcast from various Fashion Weeks combined with the grueling Market Week in New York has left me feeling almost caustically indifferent to fashion. The last thing you want to do after you get home from a long trade show is to go on Style.com and look at more clothes. Not to mention the fact that I find it slightly confusing that we're always seeing and coveting something a season ahead of time, so that by the time the collections hit the stores, we've already moved on to the next thing.

When the pace of the industry moves this fast, shows have to be really special or spectacular to catch your eye. I really have to swallow my hometown pride when I say that most of the major shows in New York tend to be on the safer (more retail-friendly) side rather than reflecting the true daring, risk-taking, and vibrancy I like to think that this city is known for. I myself am very aware of having to work in this mindset, where the bottom line is what matters; in this current economy it's simply dangerous to do something that might jeopardize your sales, and in turn, your entire business. Therefore I hold incredible respect for the designers who are willing to create something fantastical, exciting, and visually mind-blowing, even if I don't ever expect to see the clothes on an anybody except for Lady Gaga.

London-based Rachel Freire is one such designer, and the images from her Spring 2010 collection demonstrate what kind of risks she is willing to take with her work, which is on the borderline of sculpture. Friere utilizes her background in costume to create Science Fiction inspired pieces which are rendered with her knowledge of traditional period clothing, corsetry and tailoring. I love the way her clothes explore different treatments of human anatomy, seamlessly metamorphosizing from super-form fitting and flattering into extremely exaggerated shoulder pads that completely alter the figure. Naturally Freire already has found fans in Beth Ditto, Little Boots and Lily Allen. While I don't know of a single store that carries her work, it simply makes me happy to know that designers like Freire exist, if only to continue to inspire.


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