Thursday, July 28, 2011

You don't want to see me when I'm angry

Hmm, the geek in me is a tad miffed right now. I know nothing about Valentino, the man or the brand. But I just saw this photo on Style Bubble from the 45th anniversary of Valentino's career, which consisted of an installation of pieces on mannequins in the building that houses the Ara Pacis. For those of you unfamiliar with Roman history, the Ara Pacis, Latin for 'altar of peace', was this elaborate mix of sculpture and iconography that very strongly indicated just how Augustus wanted himself (and his family) to be thought of by the Roman people. So, basically it was a pseudo-religious thing that was really art with a strong political message. And maybe the Valentino people were thinking art belongs with art, Italian is basically the same thing as Roman, etcetera, etcetera. But displaying his clothes right alongside this important piece of history strikes me as both odd and kind of offensive. It would be like installing a Jorge Luis Borges library inside the childhood home of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara, just because they're both Argentine. Or an Elliott Smith exhibit inside Abraham Lincoln's house in Springfield, just because they're both American. Well, actually I wouldn't be offended by Elliott Smith anything being anywhere. But you get the point. Shouldn't there be some sort of cultural rules that keeps such things apart and in their rightful places? Or is any space fair game for a fashion show/installation?

There's light at the end of the tunnel

Usually I ignore and delete those generic-sounding 'Hi, I love your blog, so here's my website' emails, as I figure the writers of such emails can't truly love my blog enough if they hadn't gone so far as to find out my name, fake or real. But today's assumed-to-be-generic* email had landed in my inbox before, so I thought maybe I'd reward their persistence (or, rather, their email program's persistence) and check out their website. And I do actually recall looking at The Bea Project website before, but that must've been on a day where the photos I saw just didn't click. Not like today.

This week has seemed liked the longest, slowest, most grueling drive through Lincoln Tunnel, and only this morning do I see a little bit of Manhattan sunlight trying to make its way into the tiny opening to assure us all that New Jersey is finally far behind us, and we will not, in fact, drown whilst trying to get away from it. That is what the fashion portion of LA-based artist Katrina Bea's mixed-media 'art house' reminds me of. Those bleach spots make these grunge-meets-Dame Westwood deconstructed pieces (made of reclaimed and vintage materials) look sun-dappled, particularly yes-you're-almost-at-Bryant-Park-sun-dappled, or now-you-can-spend-the-day-at-Central-Park-sun-dappled. Sure, Katrina calls them 'Da.tura Metal', but I know what she really means.

Ah, just a few more days, and I can finally getting going again on my Viv-inspired masterpiece. Sigh. Oh, while we're on the topic of Manhattan, the Met is extending their hours to midnight for the final weekend of the Alexander McQueen exhibit, being August 6th and 7th. I truly hope you can go.

Edit: The Da.tura Metal pieces are now available in The Bea Project Etsy shop!

*My apologies to Katrina if the email was not, in fact, generic!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some would say that the Earth is our moon.

I've tried to contain my excitement on here in regards to Björk's upcoming album. But I know you've all wondered what would happen if Björk's music was played on the moon, and since I recently acquired that knowledge (via Pitchfork), I can only share it with you.

September 27th October 11th will be a magical day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

George Shaghashvili, F/W 11/12

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. It might be all the candy I've just had, or the lack of sleep from this weekend's family wedding festivities, but George Shaghashvili's F/W 11/12 collection (found via NJAL) makes me excited for colder weather. This collection takes up where George left off in his previous collection (which I largely failed to showcase when I first discovered him), but turns up the subtle convertibleness factor to 11 and creates fantastic shapes out of tailored basics (double click photos to see details). Brilliant.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yohji Fringe

Dude. I am generally 100% against anything with a fringe (well, besides my fringe). But this vintage Yohji Yamamoto piece available from Madame Chic De France's Etsy shop is absolutely incredible. Good thing it's too small for me... 

By the way, Madame, were you glued to your screen like I was to watch a Frenchman win the Alpe-d'Huez stage of Le Tour today? Brilliant riding, that was.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hampus Berggren

I have a feeling that, if Hampus Berggren had been born in Sweden (or elsewhere, for that matter) about 45 years earlier, he would've been in charge of the costume department for the original Star Trek series. And, therefore, the crew of the Enterprise would have found themselves in a much much much higher quality wardrobe, featuring fabrics other than polyester. As it is, Hampus has just recently graduated with a BA from Central Saint Martins, with the above pieces being from his final collection. So, perhaps when we finally catch up to the timeline of Star Trek (i.e. in another couple centuries or so), we'll regroup and see what he'd like to dress us all in.

(Photos by Kim Jakobsen To, via NJAL)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Deathly Kaftan

So tonight, I basically cried like a baby watching Alan Rickman play Severus Snape for the very last time. If you're interested in the Harry Potter books, you've already read them and know what part exactly I would've cried in, whether you like the movies or not (this is the only one I did like). And I won't spoil it for those of you who don't know yet. Anyway, one fashion-y thing I noticed was how much Voldemort's robes look like my beloved Verlaine kaftan. On the screen, it looked much more grey than in this movie poster, but you can see a bit here how the marbled/tie-dyed look is quite similar to the effect achieved by the extremely elaborate dying process of the Verlaine piece. And it looks like a high quality silk material too (at least on the big screen). My kaftan, however, does not shred and lengthen into ribbons with which I can bind my enemies whilst still remaining a very smartly dressed wizard. Sad, I know. But it is still pretty magical.

P.S. For all those saddened like me for not having more Alan Rickman/Snape to look forward to, rumor is the newest Coen brothers film that will be coming out next year stars Rickman. Sigh.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lyudmila Lane

If I didn't already have the most beautiful dress (make that dresses - see #6) in my possession, I could quite easily be convinced that this dress from the (UCA Rochester) graduate collection of Lyudmila Lane deserved that title. Very, very easily, indeed. I also feel like this would be the perfect dress to wear to a ball on the moon. Is that weird?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gallery 8

I really hate the phrase 'Christmas in July', or any variation thereof. But somehow that phrase quite succinctly sums up the feeling of discovering that there's a new Mandula collection whilst finally getting to listen to Herb Alpert (and his Tijuana Brass) on vinyl. In July. The silk jersey tank/dress above is from (the 2011 version of, not to be confused with the 2010 version of) Gallery 8, and I'm quite head-over-heels for it. Hajnalka, I'd send over my next paycheque to you, if only I knew it wasn't my last...

Oh, perhaps I should note that Gallery 8 does not consist solely of images of the one dress (though I imagine it's one of Hajnalka's favorites, seeing as there are so many images available of it). These are my other favorite pieces. All are already available in the Mandula online store, so go on and do some non-existent holiday shopping.

good morning - midnight

There's something about Austrian label good morning - midnight, from duo Manuela Buxer and Lukas Eckhart, that keeps me going back to their Etsy shop just to stare at the clothes. And it seems like each return visit brings a different piece to my attention, even though I know I've seen all of them before. Each good morning - midnight piece is so simple in design and basic in form, and yet it seems like I've never seen a long sleeved cotton shirt quite like that, or an A-line skirt that blends 60s mod with today's minimalism so easily. This season (seen above) brings something new to good morning - midnight as, previous to this collection (seen below), nearly every handmade piece featured interesting seams, colour-blocking (i.e. patchwork) in a simple and very functional colour palette, and perfect tailoring (in both the cotton/spandex pieces and the lined wool pieces). In other words, the kind of pieces that would make you want to get an office job. But I think the new designs are quite a lovely compliment to the good morning - midnight aesthetic, with the pretty linen and wool aprons, collared dresses, and layered skirts. Perfect for a day on the beach where your only task is to look for sand dollars.

Oh, and did I mention that the good morning - midnight cardigan (above left) I bought for my man (many of the pieces are unisex - just order according to the size chart) is both the highest quality and nicest overall piece of clothing he owns? Indeed, he even proudly tells people that it was handmade for him in Austria when they comment on it. Ah, show me a sweater that never pills (and makes my man happy), and you will find a loyal customer for life. My only problem has been deciding on what to buy for myself (first). Though I think it might have to be this half-button up shirt dress, basically because it has pockets. I'm pretty sure that's exactly why it's called 'it all beings with a smile'.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

This Might Be Satire*

I love this outfit by Italian designer Paolo Errico (found via, you know it, NJAL) in so many ways. 
I also love the Oxford comma, perfect cups of coffee, pizza with barbeque sauce, fresh scones with Devonshire cream, delightful maxi dresses, sliding doors, and knowing this is the very last weekend I will have to get up at 4:30AM. Sigh.

*But it's not.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Big, big smiles. And not just because this photo from Brazilian designer Luiz Pita (found via NJAL) has within it baked goods that may or may not be pita bread. Also, I'm sure in my dreams tonight I'll be wearing this outfit, getting prepared to go pick some dandelions or raspberries or library-scented books or some such. If I weren't so smiley, I would go to sleep right now.