marc jacobs, teva, and brazil
The Brazil part is my friend Denise who was just summering in South America "not buying shoes". Oh, no, she said, not this time. She might not understand that we shoe mortals all benefit from her shoe shopping and wearing. Her shoes brighten our day... sometimes in technicolor, but always with style. They say to me, "Fun, fun! You can always have fun!" Here is Denise' clothes story:
"Okay, so I saw them and instantly thought 'old school glamor meets funk'. A bit of Carmen Miranda, a bit Copacabana showgirl." Yeah!

Alright, more clothes stories... I became obsessed with these boots because they represent a fairy tale life of style complete with a magical cottage in the woods. It helps that an identical pair are often worn by this stylish girl who lives in a fairy tale cottage in the "woods". For example, I recently called her: "Where are you?" "Oh, I just went down to play in the creek." I'm sure she looked amazing doing it. The
boots are Teva and they are waterproof. Perfect for playing down by the creek... or going to sip a cappuccino at Intelligentsia.

Lastly, my sweet friend (oh, I wish I could link "sweet friend" to her blog, but she does not have one - drat!) gave me these happy, sparkling gloves by Marc for Marc Jacobs. I had never been a fan of this designer, and I think my lukewarm attitude was based on those advertisements that feature photography by Juergen Teller. The photos are not my cup of tea, so I never really noticed the cloth
es. Then, I came across a documentary on this designer by French t.v. I do love seeing an artist in action. I like checking out their process from how and if they collaborate with others to where they find inspiration. Even seeing their moments of self doubt is so interesting to me. I guess it helps me learn about myself. My favorite moment is when he just starts pinning stuff to a pair of pants a model is wearing - in the moment of creation! He seemed like a cool person, and the clothes are stunning. Check it out.

Oh, and there are tiny elasticized holes in the tops of the thumbs and forefingers to allow one to use one's iPhone.
I know.


tattered and torn riches on the range

Christmas came early this year! My husband and I gave each other these creations from a genius collaboration between Pendleton and Levi's. I gave him "The Workshirt" and he gave me "The Cape". These photos pale in comparison to the ones on Levi's website. I am speechless when Native American rodeo riders are turned into hip models - my favorite kind of subversive art, as some of you know.
The poncho underneath was a gift from an Italian friend. She had it made for me by a woman in a marketplace in her picturesque town in Northern Italy. She said she didn't know why she had it made for me. I'll tell you why. Because I have special powers that bring beautiful articles of clothing to me from far off lands. If only I could use these powers to clean the ocean or help countries get along - something REALLY useful to the world. But, I digress. The gold poncho has mohair. Itchy, but works with enough coverage underneath.
My husband convinced me to get the crazy distressed Levi jeans (they were $16 and the same pair without holes were $60!), and now they kind of work as part of a costume, with some conceptual purpose. For example, I can pretend I am one of those peasants lost in the wide open space in The Hidden Fortress, all tattered and torn, who wake up and find themselves surrounded by riches... or free horses in their case. I love that part.
This is a long clothes story.
And then the cape. Oh, there is so much going on there. The cape deserves it's own book. Capes are everywhere this Fall. I coveted the denim Levi cape of way back in... OCTOBER. And then it was gone. Sometimes Levi's just makes and takes away. Bye, bye. Can't even find a photo on the internet. Seriously. I wanted it, and I rarely really pine for something since usually clothes just come to me after I dream about them, like I was saying... Italy, dirty ocean, etc. So then my husband discovered the Pendleton Levi cape on line. Brilliant. I can pretend I am a Native American 1960's star of my own New York City t.v. show. Oh, but now that I got a Pendleton catalog with his shirt, I am in love with the old styles they feature that are straight out of I Love Lucy goes to Connecticut. One thing leads to another, I tell you.
photo from Levi's website


God, I love uniforms

I was just on Rebecca's blog (one of my total favorites - she is just solid, I tell you) checking out her outfit post, when I remembered how I have always been so drawn to uniforms. I could do a whole blog about uniforms! But I am not. A few posts maybe. Oh, uniforms, why do I love you so? Mechanic suits, maid's attire, acupuncturist coats, military of all eras, and yes, Catholic school uniforms. And no, I did not go to Catholic school, although many thought I did when I was in college because of my whole look (no make up, straight, long evenly cut hair, always in sweats or... pleated skirts and button down white shirts). Above is the unbelievable uniform of the impossibly beautiful flight attendants of Air Tahiti Nui, my favorite airline. I mean they have fake Gaugins on the wall, they only fly to L.A., Paris, Tahiti, and Toyko (what more do I need, please?!), they serve sushi, and their flight attendants are all straight out Mutiny on the Bounty dressed in yes, Balenciaga - ONE OF MY FAVORITE DESIGN HOUSES EVER. Oh, and did I mention they change outfits twice in flight? Oh, I didn't I mention that?


black friday at LACMA

Chain mail and goldfish come together for a limited time only at the Urban Light Sculpture at the Los Angeles Museum of Art! This sweater feels like soft metal all knitted together. It is by Nancy Pollack from the 70's - thank you to my mother-in-law for cleaning out her closet. The goldfish locket, I saved from my mom's jewelry box. I have memories of going into her jewelry box, opening this fish and smelling the amber perfume inside. I love things that surprise you when they open. I feel like I am going to dance in a 70's disco in NY after I have gone horseback riding, of course. Oh, and the boots are from a thrift store in Milwaukee.

prada hat, NY
Holly is in New York trying on hats at the Prada store while I am... sighing as I receive her brilliant images in Los Angeles. Hey, it's sunny here! So what is the story with this hat? Since I didn't get a story, I am going to say that Holly has chickens at home and her son has had more than one bird-related Halloween costume. It also reminds me of a yellow feathered Chinese hat I used to wear down the street as a kid. My dad would say, "Where are you going? Hollywood?" whenever I wore it.


the paint has a mind of its own
I've been going around with watery paintings/dresses in my head. I see them floating on paper, floating down Abbot Kinney in the bright sunlight. This explains why I am not a great listener. How can I expect students to listen, let alone remember my instructions on how to make paper, when I am dreaming about watery dresses all the time.

Anyway, I owe so much to an artist named Ev, for showing me you've got to add water to the Chinese ink. Duh! It was like someone telling me, "You know, you have to drink water if you want to be able to do anything that flows, that's graceful. You know that, right?" I like watercolor because it's not just about me controlling the medium. The paint is like an unpredictable collaborator. Give my collaborator some water and she really lets loose like firecrackers.

Can you imagine if this dress were real? It is reminiscent of a saloon girl from the gold rush days, yet modern because it is shorter in the back made of hand-painted silk. Crazy color feathering out in unpredictable ways... oh, to wear a beautifully formed painting! Heaven.

Watercolors by me, photo from Victorian Closet


inventing clothes stories
"Is that the latest Louis Vuitton?" she asked
"No, it is not", I could have said.
Instead, I said, "Yeah" looking so happy with myself as I purchased lipstick in Hollywood.
I don't know what came over me. This article of clothing has it's own power over me. Maybe that is why I hardly ever wear it. "What, did it cost 10,000 dollars or something?" she asked. "Yeah!" my eyes widened, with a "I know, can you believe it?" attitude. The truth is I purchased it in San Francisco's China Town in January, 2008. My friend I was with got an almost identical one. It was sooo fun. The label says, "Lazun". The leggings are "Moda International" and the shoes are "Asgi".


"You just have to be French", I told her
The lady on the right had purple hair, I just have to tell you. That's why I took her photo on the streets of Paris two summers ago on my fortieth birthday. Paris is a good place to go for an American woman's fortieth birthday because obviously, French women are not obsessed with looking like teenagers. They feel hot and attractive at any age. They are experts!

So the other night, when an extraordinarily stunning mother of adult children felt obligated to comment on her "old lady arms", I said casually, "Oh, you just have to be French." "What?" she asked.

I have been thinking about the French thing for a long time since my last Paris trip so to me it was so obvious. I love assuming everyone knows the history of my thoughts. It's a bit confusing for people, though.

And by the way, those lovely and sassy French ladies all have a little belly. They have these gorgeous outfits, exquisite jewelry, enviable shoes, and a little belly from enjoying life (i.e. the best cheese, butter, and baguettes). And, they all look like they are in love with their partner who is their age. Lovely.


dreaming about sweaters
I admit, I dream about clothes. Last night it was me reporting to my "fashion captain" that indeed there was no better sweater than the one I was wearing. Yes, I dreamed up a sweater and now cannot find it anywhere on the internet. It was kind of like this one. Waah. And as I awoke, I was panicked to not think of where, where is the similar sweater that my late mother used to wear. It was 60's mohair! It was beautiful. I used to borrow it in high school. Oh, well. It was a really good dream, anyway. The school where I teach had transformed into a mall full of clothing boutiques. The stairs had even become escalators. In the process of looking for my dream sweater on line I found this shop that is really yummy: clever nettle.


silver on the edge of the world party
Okay, I like to name outfits, and that is the name I am giving Holly's elegant ensemble. What is the clothes story, though? Holly said, "It is a Stella McCartney jumpsuit from spring 2008. I found it at one of my vintage consignment stores - had to have it altered - it was a little big. I wore stacked snakeskin platforms and an over sized agate cocktail ring- very fab."
I agree.



Testing, testing... 1, 2, 3.