Let's just make it a denimcentric day, shall we? Just wanted to point out two particularly good denim blogs: denimnews.blogspot.com, which many of you know and which is written by Henry Wong, who actually works in the industry. And there is also the super-stylish Denimology. Check them out!
There's a top article today in WWD about how skinny jeans have created a new denim surge, at least in major cities. The change from the traditional bootcut jean to a long, lean, narrow silhouette has prompted a new bump in denim sales, with dark indigo or black-based washes leading the fray, along with clean, non-distressed styling. Brands cited as being the vanguard in the trend are: Sass & Bide's Frayed Misfits style and Superfine, as well as Earnest Sewn, Habitual, J Brand, Acne, Taverniti So and the usual suspects (Seven, Joe's, etc.) The trend meets some resistance outside of major cities, but in places as diverse as Los Angeles and Paris, the skinny jean is in, with Paris hot for black and white denim. Some boutiques reported having to ease their customers first into straight legs before going skinny (which I found inexplicably funny, imagining all these cowering would-be customers recoiling from skinny jeans with some sales person slowly approaching them with a pair of jeans, going "It's okay, these are only straight legs, they won't hurt...")
So it looks like for now that the skinny jeans trend is making its mark in the premium denim arena, enough so that sales have picked up overall. But does it have legs? Are skinny jeans a 'blue states' thing? Suburban areas report slow sales, and even though trends take fire in urban areas, there's only so long before the market cools again and suburban sales keep things steady - if a trend takes fire there.
I was digging up some old stuff the other day and came across some old issues of The Face from waaaaay back in the early 1990s, easily one of my most favorite periods in international pop culture. I used to obsessively hunt out those British style magazines from that time period, and even today, a quick glance reveals the images and fashion produced around then to be as quietly oppositional to the usual notions of glamour that still proceed now, with a certain spirit of celebrated imperfection. British photographer Corinne Day was one of the vanguard photographers of the time period, with a certain grittiness and casual documentary quality that recalls artists like Nan Goldin, and it wouldn't be overstating it to say that without her, Kate Moss wouldn't have embarked on her path to becoming one of fashion's icons. Back then the images were embroiled in the heroin chic/waif debate, but I'm sort of struck most by how youthful everyone seems, and an evanescent quality of melancholy imbues it all. Anyway, in honor of the creeping return of Nineties influence in fashion, one of my favorite photos by Day:
This is turning into one of Those Weeks: you know, the ones with multiple deadlines everyday, a to-do list that seems to press upon the margins of your attention span till all you feel is the pressure, the pressure, the never-ending pressure of it all...and then you see some photos of pretty designer clothing by Tsumori Chisato and it's like leaping through fields of flowers mentally. The Tokyo-based cult designer, who shows in Paris, is known for her simple lines, bold use of print and colors and a quality that I like to call "whimsy without being flimsy." Looking at Chisato's gorgeous print dresses and charming tops calms me down and makes me feel happy that spring is coming. Until the next deadline, that is...
>> Buy Tsumori Chisato online at Satine Boutique
>> Buy her work also at LaRedoute (for cheap!)
My roommate and I were talking one night, reminiscing about fashion trends from our more innocent days in late grade school/early junior high. (Friendship pins? Vuarnet sunglasses? Z. Cavaricci? Anyone?) I fondly remembered how everyone had those little oxford tennis shoes: how plain and comfortable they were, and how everyone would scrawl lyrics, band names and crushes on their blank canvas. (Rob Cariss, I would still die on a double-decker bus with you.) So you can imagine how I freaked when someone sent me a link to Keep Company and I spied their selection of oxford tennis shoes: I have complete love for their grey-and-pinstriped canvas shoes, and then I discovered there's a particularly rad sweatshirt featuring a design by one of our favorite Los Angeles artists, Ashley Macomber. I love their plaid t-shirt so much, it's not even funny. And like icing on top of that cupcake, the company is ethical and aware and pretty rad all-around:
Keep is a shoe company, a clothing company, an amalgam of interests, a way of being, a force, a language, a family and many other things. Our kicks are for ladies, though sometimes our promos are unisex. We produce our shoes in Brazil and we work with people we respect, love and who make us laugh. We aim to keep things personal. We do everything the way we think it should be done. We pay attention to details.
We do Keep for all the women who have their game tight, who work hard to make things happen, who spread positivity and energy around them, who take care of their loved ones and most importantly take care of themselves. We make Keep shoes for those women who are tired of clown shoes, too many bells and whistles, and the misappropriation of the color pink.
We start to believe in fashion again when we hear about companies like Keep.
The #1 search term that I get at this blog is "Sienna Miller," which is really odd to me - I hardly write about her. So to Sienna seekers who have landed here, you may want to check out this site devoted to the theory and logistics of getting her style. These type of sites are slightly nuts and utterly fascinating, right down to the links where you can buy Sienna-inspired items. It's not as exhaustive as the one devoted to Carrie Bradshaw's style; that one is completely and totally epic.
(Those less starlet-centric yet just as crazed about finding out what designer made those shoes on that show, have a go at Reel Style.)
Some video tidbits for those who love moving images as much as fashion:
+ Are you one of those people who drop double-digit dollars on obscure foreign magazines with seriously amazing imagery and cryptically written articles? (I am.) Then check out FLY: a gorgeous dream of a video magazine, showcasing beautiful clothes in short films created in collaboration with such talents as John Malkovich, Ryan McGinniss, and more. Their press release states, "FLY's Zero Issue includes 140 mins of film content - including 14 short fashion films by established and emerging photographers / filmmakers featuring designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Boudicca, Zac Posen, Calvin Klein, Cloak, Y3 etc. In addition there are also 6 interviews and documentaries, 9 music videos and The Loop (30 mins of cool film clips from FLY playing to mixed music from Output Recordings)." (Now that is a lot of content.) Have a look here; available in New York at Moss, Seven New York, The Mercer and Soho House.
+ And via Style Bubble, my new favorite fashion blog: Chloe Sevigny's in the film/commercial, 'Carousel,' for Ritz Fine Jewellery, which is a part of the Ritz Hotel, naturellement. I have no idea what it's about, the use of voiceover is heavy-handed, but why am I taking this seriously? It's fun to look at, and anything that quotes from Godard's Band of Outsiders scores points.
In honor of the new Pretenders box set, Pirate Radio, we hereby devote this entry to frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, she of the husky voice, rock star swagger and durable, no-nonsense songwriting. We also recognize her pioneering style: skinny jeans tucked into boots, as shown below, de rigueur for any downtown girl worth her drainpipes. She would scoff at such recognition, but then again, no one scoffs with such style as Chrissie.
Cute, comfortable, and arty, cutout flats work beautifully with spring's folkloric and handicraft motifs. Some favorite examples for a wide range of budgets down below!
From Sigerson Morrison:
From Steve Madden:
I was reading an article about Urban Outfitters' fourth quarter's earnings in WWD a few issues back. The company keeps showing a nice growth, but are looking for profits to slow down in the next year. (Don't worry, I'll get to the interesting part right about now.) Some corporate someone-or-another in the article said something fascinating as the reasoning behind this, being that women are slow to embrace the change in silhouette that has been emerging in fashion lately: the skinny jeans and voluminous top, essentially, as opposed to the bootleg pant with form-fitting top. While the company's Urban Outfitters customer may be quicker to adjust, the older Anthropologie customer probably won't. (But then again, I have to wonder who buys pants at Anthropologie? No one I know--everyone seems to be into their tops, lingerie and dresses.) I'm sure there is a clever cultural historian who can align the disappearing waistline with some sociological trend or another. (I'm going out on a limb and guessing that the girls attracted to such a silhouette are rejecting the midriff-exposing, nymphet, Paris Hilton-type stereotype, which practically advertises an appealing hip-to-waist ratio that is supposed to attract the attention of the opposite sex. But I'm just making stuff up.) I'm just fascinated by how a company's whole corporate strategy can shift to accommodate a trend. What do you all think? Do you think skinny jeans are here to stay for awhile? There is always a push-pull between what a company senses its customers want and what those customers really want, but it seems like this company is forecasting that skinny jeans and the like are here for awhile.
I spotted a few very cool-looking ladies wearing these Easy Spirit by Tara Subkoff wedges at the opening night reception of the Whitney Biennial. They're incredibly amazing-looking in person. Oh, and the art was pretty cool, too.
In honor of Blondie's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Marc Jacobs boutique on Bleecker Street in New York has gussied up their windows to celebrate the icon. And they're selling $20 Blondie t-shirts, the proceeds of which go to Debbie Harry's charitable organization of choice, Riverkeeper. Go to!
I caught a screening of the upcoming film release Stoned, which chronicles the life and high times of Brian Jones, a founding member of the Stones who ultimately became a rock 'n roll casualty and died at age 27 under mysterious circumstances. The film itself was on the incoherent, chaotic side (I'm sure the makers would say that they were going after that hallucinogenic feeling, but I know shoddy dialogue when I hear it), but I have to give it to the film - the music was great and the costumes were fantastic. It visually captured the flamboyance and rebellion of the Swinging Sixties in London quite well, and more on point for this blog, nailed down style legend/professional rock star girlfriend Anita Pallenberg's costumes. Actress Monet Mazur plays her as Pallenberg's often described: slightly exotic, foreign, elegant and decadent, and she's decked out fantastically in fur coats, Moroccan caftans, strapless dresses, black eyeliner - all the iconic images that have been inspiring Kate Moss for years. Watching the film is like being inside a crazy fashion magazine editorial - it has approximately the same sense of narrative (um, nil) but a keen visual sense.
Anita Pallenberg and Brian Jones
Anita by herself!
A week ago I checked out the full collection of Norma Kamali for Everlast at Bloomingdales, and I have to say - it's amazing. Everything is cut superbly, amazingly comfortable and fits right into the whole grunge ballerina aesthetic that I love so dearly.
Michelle Williams wearing Vera Wang.
(Crash winning Best Picture? What?!)
Combining mod style with Journey: what could be better? Mods Vs. Rockers is the latest project from New York designer Shadrach Lindo of Monkey Club. Find out more about Mods Vs. Rockers' limited edition Steve Perry soccer/football scarf at http://www.oohoohaah.com.