Sunday, January 29, 2012

Downhill trend

My year goes like this...

Always, the end of summer with its darker mornings and earlier nights is heartbreaking. I cling to every last second of it, even though I know that eventually I'll have to let the season go. And when I finally do, it's ok - soon after the start of cooler nights is Halloween (which is not just a day but a mini-season, as you all in NY know), then - quicker than I think - Thanksgiving, the dizzy series of holiday parties in December, then Christmas itself. Being an early January baby, I drag out the holiday season until January 5, at which point I'm left with an empty expanse of winter on my horizon.

At about that time, I really want to go skiing. Not just for the day in NY State, that won't do it. I'm thinking full blown Alpine village, hot wine and hot apres, charming wood chalets, passports required, menus auf Deutsch (ou francais), and my ski instructor is called Gunther or Pierre, not Chris, thank you. The kind of place that looks like a James Bond ski scene was filmed there and where you'd feel like you were in a fairy tale if it weren't so darn cold.

St Anton: I was very happy to be there
This year it's been an obsession. I didn't go skiing last year (though I would not have given up an amazing trip to Africa with my sister and parents) but this winter I'm not working, and there's absolutely no excuse not to go given I've got the time, the boots, the wardrobe - everything!! I'd be wasting the best opportunity I've had to go more than once, even!!! It's MANDATORY!!!! And it's so much on my mind that it's showing in how I dress - one of my neighbors even commented that I looked like I was geared up for the slopes not the gym. My fixation is manifesting itself physically!

I will end the suspense and your undoubted concern now and tell you that I do indeed have plans to go to St Anton in February with my friend Deborah (and I am really really excited about it!!!) - and a second ski trip is also possibly on the horizon (woo hoo!!!). But that still hasn't ended my enthusiasm for wearing ski-ish clothes this winter - at least on the odd days that are below 50 degrees - and I love the look on other people too.

So yeah, it's not just me, it seems. It could be that Nordic knits and fluffy boots are what some dormant fashion clock tells us we should wear in winter, like french sailor stripes in spring. Or maybe other people have the same ski trip craving that I do. I haven't been too literal in my ski-inspired wardrobe (I don't actually own any Nordic knits and don't go around the city in actual ski clothes). But the other day, walking down 6th Avenue, I saw a guy wearing a parka, ski helmet and goggles. I had to look twice, as I thought I might just have been projecting, but no, no tricks of the mind as he pulled his goggles down and hopped on his bike. I don't know if he was purely thinking practically, as it was cold, or if he was also thinking of rushing downhill as he rode into the wind. But the fact that he owns a ski helmet and goggles made me think that he's got the same compulsion as me.

Not a literal translation, but ski influenced

Friday, January 13, 2012

Never surrender!

In my last post back in August, I mentioned that I'd changed jobs. Well, there's been more change and I'm now part of the leisure class, the 8.6%, the (f)unemployed, the pink slipped... blah blah..

And while my effort to impose discipline on my weekdays by getting up by 7am and heading straight to the gym lasted about one week (imagine - 10 years of a 5:15am alarm has STILL not turned me into a morning person!), I've upheld my vow not to wear sweatpants or crappy clothes.

There are sections of my closet that haven't been touched since last winter (the work-y clothes), but on the flip side, I get to play around with the fun stuff that I didn't get to wear as much, the clothes that weren't work appropriate and were too "day" for going out. On occasion, I do find myself a little overdressed for the dry cleaners and grocery store. But putting on something I'm happy about sets the tone for the day.

And once you're out the door, you never know who you'll run into. Last week after lunch with my friend Stephany, I was stopped by a crew to be filmed for part of an MTV pilot. While I am pretty sure I came across as an idiot, at least I liked what I was wearing (photo below).

Which just proves that, while not everything in life is under your control, you can at least try to look all right.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Remember me?

It HAS been a long time, I know. As most of you know, I changed jobs and my scheduled changed quite a bit with that. But I've come back. I was called to speak out. There is something happening that is making my stomach twist. The media, public institutions, and corporate America are conspiring against us - and especially the children of America.

So I am here to share this important message:


Don't tell me about back to school, what to wear this winter - wooly plaids in these days? - Yeowch!!! Stop pushing me out of summer and into fall and winter. I love summer - I'm very happy here!! And it IS summer!!!

So, you know those really summery clothes that can't be spring or fall - just a couple months of the year that they're perfect? And maybe you haven't yet had the chance to wear some great summery outfit yet - maybe because you only just got the shoes that make it click? Well, don't waste time in flip flops and shorts. Wear it now!!

And that's exactly what I'm doing. Where am I going tonight? Well, that doesn't matter. I'm wearing the cream jumpsuit and impossibly high shoes that I can barely walk in. Because I want to!!

And because it's still summer!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sexy Beast

Vampires and werewolves are so old hat, don't you think? Not that I don't like the savage wolfman-inspired coats this season, and the vampire-inspired goth we've seen recently has been fun, but Twilight has had more than its moment. It's time for the next creatures.

And while I do have sympathy for creatures like Frankenstein's as I've got a few stitches scars myself, the square head and clompy shoes really kill the buzz.

And frankly, I don't think zombies have much to offer us in terms of style inspiration. In fact, I often think the harsh overhead lighting in NY subways already makes me look like I'm one of the walking dead when I catch my frightening reflection in the window. And it's not something I'd pay money to achieve!

I think that it's the Mummy's time in the fashion spotlight. Its influence is not new - Herve Leger has been mummifying starlets for ages, and Rodarte is all about deconstructed bandaging.

And if your budget won't allow for Leger or Rodarte-priced bandaging, these tights are a (much) cheaper option!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Do as I say...

In my last post, I mentioned I was coming out of shopping hibernation and pointed to a few inspirations for fall from last spring's shows.

My friend Doreen commented that the looks I pulled together as inspiration were pretty dark, monochromatic, and masculine ("who are you, and what did you do with red?" was how I think she phrased it...)

So, mostly with Doreen's comments in mind, I thought you all might appreciate that on the first day this summer where I needed to wear a coat, this is what I felt like wearing...

Takes a while to get into fall, I guess...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

... and probably the virtue in which I am most deficient. (though I suppose that comment implies my modesty isn't excessive either).. but anyway..

Fashion-wise, I'm counter-seasonal to bears. Weird statement, but be patient with my metaphor please: Summer is a hibernation period, in terms of my interest and concern with what I wear. Of course, I do care how I look, but with temperatures holding above 90, I want only the lightest, loosest, coolest clothes and don't give a thought to layering, textures, structure, etc. when I am getting dressed. Sure, I read fashion magazines in the summer, but they don't resonate. Fall just feels too far away for me to think about it.

But then in August, when the sun starts to rise after I do, something starts to change.. just a little bit... I don't yet feel sick of my summer clothes or look forward to cooler days, but there's the initial stirring of a little feeling inside that maybe it will be ok that summer is going to end sometime in the still somewhat hazy future and that there may be a redeeming virtue to a bit of freshness in the air. If you were to ask me, I'd say it was incredibly sad that it's Labor Day already but that tiny little spark tells me it's going to be ok. And that tiny little feeling grows and grows and eventually triggers a deep and powerful memory that's been ingrained in me and others before and after me well before we could even remember, a powerful pull like the tide: time for back to school shopping.

And that's why I bring up patience. Because when I realize summer is actually going to end and it's not light outside at 9pm anymore (or 6am, for that matter), I look for that redeeming virtue to the upcoming chill. Awake from my peaceful, frugal fashion hibernation, I go out and look for nourishment. And the world is full of it: Fashion week! Bulging September issues! Store windows that actually seem relevant to my life! And I notice specific items start to exert a particularly strong pull (like the boots I wrote about a year ago in "Obsessed Until Possessed"). And I want them NOW! And I know they will change my LIFE!! (or at least my wardrobe!)

And darn it, they're never on sale...

Some fall inspirations (am trying something new, so this is via polyvore...)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Deciphering dress codes

You may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while, not since before the World Cup started, which is not a coincidence. But it's over now (sniff) and I am slowly getting used to a world without a constant buzzing sound in the background.

..which does make it easier to concentrate

..and remember ideas for blog posts, such as

Wardrobe challenges

There are some occasions in life that are pretty easy to dress for (work followed by summer happy hour at a bar outside), some less so.

(what I wore to work, followed by summer happy hour outside)

For example, what does one wear to a rose tasting dinner (wine, not the flower, I don't know how to insert an accent aigu), followed by a band at Terminal 5 where you'll be standing during the show and dodging dripping beer from the mezzanine and sloshing beer from the cups of dancing fans?

(hint: comfortable heels that look good for dinner and offer better view at the show; take off the dry clean only jacket when the beer starts sloshing)

Or, to a reception for the Israeli ambassador to the UN hosted by a friend of my friend Christina, shortly after the Gaza boat incident, and, your own politics aside, you don't want to inadvertently offend anyone as you are a guest after all?

The red dress I'd planned to wear is "dressy work" and seemed appropriate for a nice cocktail reception and going out after, but isn't a red keffiyeh associated with Hamas?

(and was I just really over-thinking things because it's unlikely anyone would have thought that this is a protest outfit!!?? .. and yet, Madeleine Albright did use those brooches...).

Or a semi-formal wedding at the Four Seasons restaurant (dress code: New York fabulous) and, knowing your friend who is getting married, it definitely will be fabulous.. but it is at 1pm (so you can't be too dressy), though it is likely that the after party will carry on for quite a while, and you have one hour to get from LaGuardia (after a week's vacation), home, dressed, and to midtown.

(yes, you have seen this before, but I did say that I wanted to wear this dress again as soon as I could find a reason for it!)