Seeking shade

growing up in l.a., and now as a visitor, my personal aesthetic never quite meshes with the prevailing style. i like the old los angeles, the hollywood haunts and the deco facades. but when it comes to personal style, here in sunny southern california, i have always been a party of 1.
several months ago the first a.p.c. store opened here, and creature of comfort seems to be doing well, both on melrose and on the web, but they are the exception to the general rule. when i lived here before, i was on my own, and my city did not influence my style.

if you were entirely isolated (from stimulation, commerce, etc.), what would you wear?

and happy new year!
i'll be back to normal ;) posting on friday.


nancy cunard
(all this sunshine is putting me in a dark mood)

Stalking style

zero maria cornejo. a while back i stumbled upon one of her dresses and haven't been able to shake it. worse than that, it led me to investigate the line. then the designer. now i frequently check on what she's doing.

when you find something you like, do you buy it (or lust after it), and leave well enough alone, or do you turn into a stalker?

The same, but different

heaven is a nibble of a macaron from paulette. supreme heaven is a nibble from half a dozen different flavored macarons from paulette. i'm the same with clothing - if it's good in one version, i'd like it in half a dozen more.

how many of your favorite (clothing) items would you like in a different (additional) color?

It's all relative

i'm getting to wear light tops and a jacket i thought would have to wait until spring. the weather is so mild. yet the gate attendant for the car rental the other night was wearing a hat, scarf, gloves and the "i'm freezing" hunch-over. if it's usually 80+, it seems that a 20 degree drop in temperature is interpretted as winter (i have amnesia i guess, and can't remember the "winters" of my youth). would someone visiting the east coast from, say, alaska, tell me that 40 degrees is balmy?
so i'm very happy to get to wear my fall/spring-weight things. it's a nice reprieve from the down and wool awaiting my return.
i am, however, missing walking.


Warm wishes

heading west.

Just the essentials

busy packing today.
more info on trip tomorrow.

The future

the futuristic metallic leggings already peaked in '07. as we approach a new year, any guesses as to what we'll be wearing in 2008? 2009?

what about in 54 years?

Members only

some people pay a lot, often, knowingly, a large mark-up, for their desired item. some people put their name on wait lists for the opportunity to buy an anticipated item. often a prohibitive cost or a limited production number only enhances the demand for and desirability of an item. i suppose the implication is you're lucky or loaded if you get your hands on the piece.
what if it were even more exclusive?

how would you feel about having to qualify, through some process of evaluation, to make a purchase?

The reviews are in

i gave my first product review on a shopping site just now. i do read user reviews occasionally to gauge the likelihood of my satisfaction with a product. if 3 out of 4 reviewers say a beauty product smells funky, was underwhelming, was damaging in any way, it will definitely give me pause. so i thought i would leave a review (it was positive) to assist the next person who might consider that particular product. while just about any crackpot can post a review, i suppose i do consider them with slightly less suspicion than i would an editorial endorsement. i have, in the past, found that my experience does not always match those reflected in reviews, yet they do still occasionally weigh in as factors in my purchase.

would you be interested in reading reviews of clothing?
could they sway you one way or the other?
what sort of observations would you be interested in?

Full coverage

while temperatures drop here, covering up all exposed skin is a daily goal. when the weather goes neutral again in a few months, and stops posing serious health risks (briefly, before going in the other direction), where will concealment fall on your list of priorities? do you eliminate evidence of underwear? tug at revealing necklines (or avoid them altogether)? shun certain hems and such? is "sheer" in your vocabulary, or your closet?


quite often when i flip through a magazine, i have a particular focus/fetish that i am concentrating on, and i look for any and all relevant images/material on that subject (hats, socks, false lashes, hair, etc.), glossing over the rest.

if magazines focussed exclusively, and extensively, on one topic per issue, how many issues would you prescribe they devote to such topics before they repeat again? (how many topics would you want to receive that much coverage on?)


pick the keeper: choose one item from this picture that you think you would want to wear for at least 3 years - meaning, it would not become dated, out-of-fashion or lose it's appeal (to you).


fantasy or extreme hair.

Seeing red

confession - the red carpet bores me.

if/when you pay attention to what is worn on the red carpet, are you hoping to find inspiration or humor?

Making the grade

it's midweek, how'd you do so far?
right now, from head-to-toe, what would you give yourself? A? B?
"E" for effort at least?

i've been extremely sick, so i'm exempt.


with a recent magazine purchase, i received an h&m magazine. it featured a letter from the staff, contributors who were independent professionals in their fields (not h&m employees), celebrity and pop culture coverage, fashion forecasting, fashion spreads, shopping guide, fashion horoscope, mini travel guide and even advertisements from other companies. aside from finding the featured fashions predictably limited to h&m, it was actually fine. i wouldn't have paid money for it, but it was fine.

if you had to pick one label to produce a magazine that you would want to read - a label that would dictate the coverage contained within, both the aesthetic as well as the content - which would it be?

Paid in full

per merriam-webster online dictionary:
mon·ey \ˈmə-nē\ noun, (Etymology: Middle English moneye, from Anglo-French moneie, from Latin moneta mint, money, Date: 14th century)

1: something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or a means of payment.

we buy clothing with money, so can we assume that clothing is worth money?

assuming your savings account was healthy, how would you feel about receiving the occasional payment for your work in the form of clothing (clothing, i should add, that you would like)?


just a quick follow-up to a previous post.
last night i came across a line of lipsticks (15 colors) called PlantLove™, from the cosmetic company CARGO, with the following package details:
"This lipstick case is made out of corn and is biodegradable. The box is made out of corn and is biodegradable. This box is embedded with wildflower seeds; moisten and plant. $2 from the sale of this lipstick goes to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital™."

it's just a matter of time before you can have a cardigan garden.


i'm going to be stuck at home for a few days (this is already day 2, in fact), and i'm kicking myself that i didn't stockpile some material (magazines). i have the internet, but it's not as cozy to curl up with a laptop, and, honestly, magazines are easier - no searching, just page turning.

if fashion/style were not accessible to you 24/7 via the internet, how often would you make a point of seeking it out?

ps i may not be able to post this weekend. back to normal on monday!

Deconstructionist diet

the beauty standards are too unattainable, the clothes too expensive, the shoes too dangerous. people grumble about fashion being inaccessible. they feel excluded, cannot identify with the ideal customer for the brand.
in reality, all well-financed fashion houses make sure that there is something for everyone with an appetite. accessories, bags, scarves, jewelry, sunglasses and makeup are major business, and major treats for customers, tiny tastes of the big fat frosted cake.

what crumb are you most susceptible to sampling? & nordstroms

Villain, victim or hero

any audience who has been indoctrinated into cinema and its cliches can intuit who to root for from the get-go, once all the choices have presented themselves, in their wardrobe - though it isn't the wardrobe that is the giveaway. a cape can work for good (superheros) or eeeeeevILL (dracula). it is usually the costumes in relation to one another that offer the tipoff. if someone is handsome, they are heroic, unless they are too perfect (in contrast to a more accessible and human choice), and then they are suspect.

within each category, the stereotypes that fill our modern myths and movies allow for a range of extremes: the villain might be edgy and dark or deceptively packaged in saccharin sweetness; the hero, a plain everyman or tailored and competent; and the victim can range from powerfully appealing to helpless and weak.

if you had to pick one ideal, which would it be, (and best portrayed by whom)?
in reality, which is your style role?


i was wondering whether the technically inaccurate but consistently popular rhetoric that ownership is 9/10ths of the law could apply to style. not in terms of what we, as individuals, hold authorship of over others, but rather in terms of the personal time line of your style in the larger cycle of trends - if you did it the first time, or before the trend hit, any interest in revisiting? i don't mean that old (10+ years to qualify) favorites should have to go into a time capsule. quite the contrary - for me they never stopped being part of the selection, yet if i wear them now, it will appear to be on the new wave of popularity (heinous thought).

how do you retain the authenticity of something that has been appropriated?


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).

Either or

you only have 2 choices, so pick one (and nope, no wiggle room):

1. either you could wear clothing that made you look in shape, or clothing that made you feel happy.

2. either you could wear clothing that looks expensive, or clothing that is top quality.

3. either you could wear clothing that keeps your body temperature constant (never freezing, never sweating), or clothing that keeps you awake/alert.

4. either you could wear clothing that makes you smarter, or clothing that makes you look great.

5. either you could wear clothing that always garners you compliments, or clothing that makes others be super nice to you.

Code green

green gifts are getting a lot of media coverage this year. honestly, i would not mind if, as a gift, someone planted a tree or adopted a manatee (for me). but after december comes january, and then february, and then march, and then a few more months until my birthday, and then i don't keep track again until we run the whole cycle and get closer to my birthday again, but all the while, the ozone keeps getting depleted and a whole mess of other related problems contribute to yet more problems, and i keep shopping. i'm saying it's not exclusively a holiday problem. so on to a solution - if some how my constant shopping activity, let's say X, could some how be turned into a positive factor to offset global warming, we'll call that Y, then maybe i could single-handedly save the world or everyone could do it together. just a pipe dream?

which would be your preferred way for fashion to go green:

A. any item sitting unused in your closet for more than 4 weeks (during the appropriate season for the item) gets donated to a shelter or charity.

B. all your current clothing could last forever (indestructible...that means impervious to coffee and chocolate).

C. when you're done with an item, you plant it and a tree grows.

D. a % of every fashion purchase goes towards the manatee (or some equivalent, or some equivalent).

E. ______.

(if you're waiting for me to bring the x and y back into the equation to justify their introduction, i'm sorry to say i'm just going to leave them hanging.)

normal rockwell's 'night out'

Daily perils

life gets messy. besides fit and flatter, function is another "f" word that is relevant to the big F (fashion!). my idea of perfection is when clothing meets all three Fs. by function, i mean that you can function at normal capacity wearing the item. i don't tend to do fragile, personally.
if a beautiful new silk top gets ripped or stained during the course of a typical day, another f word is likely to come out, especially if the grape juice doesn't.

for some it's personal clumsiness, for others, cat hair (or cat claws, or cat irritable bowel...), pet hair in general, pet slobber, crayons...

do you have any particular daily hazards that take a toll on your clothes, or that simply play a factor in what you can and can't wear?


1. would you rather a giftcard, for a large amount, to a store you do not particularly care for, or a giftcard, for a small amount, to a store you adore?

2. would you rather get as a gift an item you wanted (and essentially chose, through incessant hinting), or one that totally surprises you, that you had not previously considered?

3. if you knew a friend wanted X very badly, but you thought it did not suit them, would you still buy it for them as a gift?

4. what is your protocol with gift disappointment? A. honesty, B. stealth return/exchange, or C. bury it in a drawer for all eternity.

5. if you gave someone a disappointing gift, which would be your preference for them? (see #4 for choices)

6. when buying a gift, you receive a 'free gift with purchase,' which A. goes along with purchase to the intended giftee, B. goes to the gifter (you) as a perk.

7. the gift-giving season is A. stressful, B. a fun, guilt-free excuse to shop.

8. you start your shopping for this season A. months in advance, B. at the last minute, or C. ______.

date it

can you guess which year this was from?

Pencil it in

there is really no need to have a reason to shop, but the calendar does come with a few built-in. cutting out the gift-giving incentives (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays) and the "shop now!" black friday imperative, and looking just at the impetus for personal-shopping, my primary cause for the shopping effect is the change in season. i used to reassess my needs and supplies when the weather still shifted with some degree of predictability, but with fall clothes being shown and shared via fashion runways in the spring, and spring collections revealed in the fall, it is possible that the industry preemptively jump starts the process in me, and gets the ball rolling. anyway, when i was younger, the seasons delivered an excuse to shop. i grew up without real seasons yet the magazines always got me drooling for corduroys in september for 'back-to-school' (those same corduroys got me panting in 90 degree heat, but that's another story).

as the beginnings of semesters and beginnings of vacations stopped defining my year, i found myself living across the country among the long-dreamed of seasons. real, actual, perceptible changes in weather. hot, cold, the works. the works are getting noticeably more and more gummed up, i'll admit. this year, summer lasted a long time, then it was suddenly winter, then it was fall for a week, then back to winter, then a day of spring and now it's winter again. but for me, september still means fall (blazers, cardigans), even if it's 80 degrees outside, and december is winter (hats, boots). spring (dresses) will roll around in april, even if it's snowing, and summer (sandals) comes in june. i'm programmed, i think, to make sure i have the necessary supplies, and if not, it's my job to shop for them.

if there were absolutely no seasons, and therefore no need for seasonal wardrobes (even if you live in a mild climate, the media heralds in the new season and delivers a sense of cycle), how would your shopping habits be effected?

Done deal

when a retailer puts a price on an item, that is the amount they reasonably expect some people to pay for it, that it ought to be worth that amount to someone. additionally, any product has an inherent value to the producer of it. the jaded among us can assume it's a fraction of the mark up, but every item does have some degree of value based on the cost of its production. when an item is marked down in price, and put "on sale," logically it is the retailer who suffers, as some of the expected profit is reduced as a compromise with a resistant customer. does it take away at all from the base value of the item though? if it costs less than before, is it at all worth less than before? for the customer who pays full price, the gleaming newness or the pleasure of perfection, or a need satisfied, all justify paying the full price.

if you knew an item or brand was never going to go on sale, would that make you more or less likely to buy it?


name one thing you would add or subtract here (you can't do both).


actresses, musicians, models, socialites, heiresses, even figure skaters and cowboys do it. many people harbor delusions of design talent. additionally, the market is flooded with underwhelming talent that is legitimately trained to work in the fashion trade. and then there are happy sparks of really really good stuff (which i think is the exception).

is there anyone (artist, author, photographer, poet, philosopher, etc.) who does not work in fashion (living or passed) who you would be curious to see what they might create if they did?

both: Hector Guimard


sorry so late - had to run out to snap these pictures.
yellow leaves. yellow leaves and grey bark.

Matter matters

if asked to provide a starting point for a line, or even a single piece of clothing, to be designed from scratch, what inspirations would you choose?

shako hat,art by louise bourgeois,dior,proenza schouler ss08