Vintage NYC Shopping list

So I decided I knew way too many places for vintage and thrift shopping that I would compile them into a list. They're over there on the left where it says "My NYC vintage shopping map". When it takes you to the google map, some even have notes as to what is expensive, and what is truly fabulous. I will add to it from time to time, but for now it will act as my memory bank.


Stephen Jones hats

I will be weaping giant basketball sized tears for months due to the fact that I was in London a mere 1.5 weeks before the Stephen Jones show opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Anyone who is living in, or heading over to, that side of the pond - this is a must see! Check out some of the eye candy here as well as get information on location and visiting times

Stephen Jones at the V&A


Project Runway strikes back

I understand Kenley's shoulders are a little larger - but can someone explain how her design above on Episode 9 of Project Runway can get destroyed by the judges, but this:

and other similar works featured in the Roksanda show during London Fashion Week can be praised, and even called "wearable" ??!


Christian Siriano for Payless

I'm desperately trying to keep up with the flurry of fashion week, reading everything I can get my grubby little hands on.

This news item though was just too much to share, courtesy of NYMag:

"Last December, Christian Siriano announced plans to debut an accessories line for Payless at Fashion Week. Well, rejoice, the wait is over. The designer premiered his line of Egyptian-inspired footwear (and some bags) at his show last night, full of spikes, chains, and cone heels. His color choices: Deep brown in matte leather (or probably pleather), patent chocolate, gold triangle heels, and aqua satin featuring a print that resembled hieroglyphics."

Yes I get that they look like Rodarte and YSL, but I, like millions of other women in this country, cannot afford Rodarte shoes. They seem a bit upper crust for Payless, and most likely will be insanely painful on the feet since you're not paying for comfort, but c'mon people!


Video of the week

So since I was out of town on business for over a week I missed alot, including my favorite posting - the video of the week. I'm going to break tradition and make it Wednesday this week and will go back to Monday next week.

Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in their adopted home of New York City. The band is made up of Bret McKenzie on guitar and vocals, and Jemaine Clement on guitar and vocals.

Bret and Jemaine have moved to New York in the hope of forging a successful music career. So far they've managed to find a manager (whose "other" job is at the New Zealand Consulate), one fan (a married obsessive) and one friend (who owns the local pawn shop) -- but not much else.

I just started watching this show recently after seriously enjoying Eagle vs Shark (the movie starring Jemaine). The episode I watched recently did not feature as much of Mel - the real comedic genius of the show - but it did have the best song yet. Enjoy and welcome to your new addiction!


Barbie turns 50

Everyone seems to be talking about Barbie's 50th anniversary fashion show that was presented at Bryant Park this February. The show started with a video montage of Barbie in all her incarnations (she’s had over 100 careers) set to Hole’s “Doll Parts" and then came the of presention a variety of looks from fifty of our top designers (think Calvin Klein, Anna Sui, Diane von Furstenburg, Derek Lam, Betsy Johnson, etc)

I can't say I was a fan at whoever they allowed to do the slapstick job of make-up (Barbie normally looks polished, not like an alien), but overall I think it was chic and most looks could be seen on a Barbie doll appearing on the shelves next week.

The show's opening look, designed by Rachel Roy, was inspired by the first Barbie doll created in 1959. “As a little girl, my favorite was the original Barbie, who wore a black and white zebra-striped swimsuit," said Roy. "She represented beauty and style, but more importantly, she represented fun."

“Barbie is an American fashion icon, and I have fond childhood memories of dressing her,” said Monique Lhuillier

"I've always found clothing to be a great vehicle for fantasy," said Erin Fetherston. "Barbie is a perfect example of this. With each change of her outfit, we've seen Barbie do and be anything and everything. This is what I find so magical about fashion, it gives us the ability to channel and experiment with identity, self-expression, and imagination through our own self-styling.

See all the looks at instyle.com here
or check out the whole show (though admittedly a little shaky for those with motion sickness) on youtube here:

Dita von Teese

I took the following picture while walking to my hotel in Paris

Then a few days after I return I see this picture on Perezhilton.com regarding one of Dita von Teese's last nights in Paris

aka once again my vacation is not what it should be, and I might have had a chance at meeting one of the most beautiful women alive. Maybe I should have just gone inside that restaurant on Ile St Louis


NY Fashion Week

We're full swing ahead into fashion week here in New York, and surprisingly, this year so far I have not had one awkward moment on the train when I'm surrounded by numerous woman over 6' tall and dressed appallingly. I give them a few more days before they forget they wear the most beautiful fashions for a living (one would hope they would appreciate it at least a tiny bit) and start looking like they crawled out of the dumpster for their day wear between shows.

So I was flipping through the collections that have happened thus far, and I can't say I'm impressed. I'd like to blame it on the recession, but I know deep down designers have been working on these collections for months on end, and really no one up here has really started feeling this until late 2008.

What I did find amusing is when I looked at thumbnails for Rag and Bone and actually thought I kind of like the little scrunched socks look over tights with shorts for a winter into spring transitional look.

Also, being a monochromatic devotee I love the neutral clothing shades with just the tiniest touch of red.

Then, I stepped outside my comfort zone and looked into Diane von Furstenberg's collection. I normally hate her flowy boho aesthetic (and trust me I still didn't love this collection), but I admired the big Russian-esque hats and there were my little scrunched up socks again!

I clearly picked the more monochromatic of the image selections, because let me tell you, some of her pattern pairings could singe your eyeballs, but I was astounded at how similar these were to Rag and Bone's choices. It happens, trends swing and designers pick up on it, so now the real question is, do I actually wear this look now and feel like I'm somehow being pushed in that direction by multiple designers, or just suck it up, wait a season, and wear them once it's fashionably out and yet uniquely in?


Happy Valentine's Day!

And for those curious, an excerpt from Wikipedia on the real meaning of Valentine's Day:

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. Until 1969, the Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine's Days. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome. and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.

Valentine of Terni became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).

The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.
No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the fourteenth century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.

In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feastday of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular (local or even national) calendars for the following reason: "Though the memorial of Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14."The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan (Malta) where relics of the saint are claimed to be found, and also throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Vatican II calendar.

The Early Medieval acta of either Saint Valentine were excerpted by Bede and briefly expounded in Legenda Aurea. According to that version, St Valentine was persecuted as a Christian and interrogated by Roman Emperor Claudius II in person. Claudius was impressed by Valentine and had a discussion with him, attempting to get him to convert to Roman paganism in order to save his life. Valentine refused and tried to convert Claudius to Christianity instead. Because of this, he was executed. Before his execution, he is reported to have performed a miracle by healing the blind daughter of his jailer.

Legenda Aurea still providing no connections whatsoever with sentimental love, appropriate lore has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who refused an unattested law attributed to Roman Emperor Claudius II, allegedly ordering that young men remain single. The Emperor supposedly did this to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers. The priest Valentine, however, secretly performed marriage ceremonies for young men. When Claudius found out about this, he had Valentine arrested and thrown in jail. In an embellishment to The Golden Legend, on the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first "valentine" himself, addressed to a young girl variously identified as his beloved, as the jailer's daughter whom he had befriended and healed, or both. It was a note that read "From your Valentine."


Alexandros Vasmoulakis

Alexandros Vasmoulakis has a solo show opening tonight in Athens. Even if you can't make it there, his art is worth taking a look at

Very Anthony Lister meets Francis Bacon. Which means, sure it may be a slight rip-off, but it's still good.

Info from Wooster Collective and images from Alexandros' site here


The bag tax

This seems to be all over the news here in New York today, and then I read about it again on fashionista.com. At that moment I said I've had it, and I'm making a post on it too.

The Bag Tax is Coming

Back in November, when word first got out that Mayor Bloomberg would be proposing a tax on plastic grocery bags, we wondered if the city would realize it might be worth it to stick it to retailers, too.

And yes, it did - The plastic bag tax, which was officially proposed last week, will cover plastic bags of any kind - even at restaurants and department stores like Macy’s - which will cost shoppers five cents per bag unless they’re armed with their own stash of totes (or, presumably, plastic bags they’ve saved from prior trips).

Do you think Mayor Bloomberg’s bag tax will really stop people from using plastic bags? Or will the tax just raise tons of money for the city, without any real environmental effects? I happen to be thrilled about the bag tax. Sure I might be eating my words after a lavish grocery shopping that costs me......(wait for it)........$1.00 (10 bags double bagged for those less mathematically inclined). Does anyone not realize that there is a small charge on anything bottled? Does that really stop you from getting your water/gatorade/soda at the corner store? I'm so sick of the word recession. If 5 cents can bring millions into NY's economy, then accept the fact that you're paying an extra $5.00 or less a month to help out.

Change isn't going to happen without us people


Video of the Week

In my time lapse that I apparently had last week I didn't post a video of the week. I'm really trying to be good about this whole thing, so I'm going to venture out of my comfort zone this week. You don't get the usual factual about the artist or the song, but about me and my experience with it. Deal with it.

I know a lot of people who know a lot about music. I am not one of those people. I can tell you who a few present day singers are based purely on whether they live their lives in the spotlight. I could spot Kanye West or Fall Out Boy or Lily Allen on the street, but I haven't the foggiest what their music sounds like. I like living in my naive little bubble because I don't particularly like new music.

So a few years ago I had an acquaintance with a song on their webpage that I loved. I used to listen to it here and there and one day when I checked in for my monthly fix - the song and the site were gone. Now me being me I never wrote down who it was, and I have a killer memory for useless information, but this was one of those things my mind just couldn't recall. I tried miserably to guess the artist and eventually just gave up. Now a week ago my mother was in town visiting which means much shopping and some crumbs cupcakes to add on to what I shopped off. The song I had forsaken years ago (though never forgot about!) was playing! Of course they didn't know who it was. Here comes another four years of never knowing the truth about this song I thought. Then a few days later, one of my colleagues on their facebook posted a comment about enjoying the new Junior Boys album. That cinched it. I knew immediately that that was the name of the group and one short youtube search later I was the proud owner of a bookmark to my song.

All this means a lot because aside from not knowing anything about current music - I really don't like techno or industrial or whatever you would call Junior Boys. I have no idea why this song resonates so much within me, but it does, and I may not always be the most open person initially, but if something can penetrate my core I am extremely accepting (even of my own hypocrisy).

Now that it has all been said, I bring to you Junior Boys: "In the Morning"