rock-climbing in a skirt
Levi's blouse, homemade skirt, Teva boots (What's new?), Dorfman Pacific Company hat, vintage belt, Bettina Duncan earrings

This fall,I've run in a skirt with the middle school cross country team (while being pulled by a fluffy white dog), I've hiked in a skirt, walked long distances... and rock-climbed.  Yes, I am having fun.  I get to pretend I live in some other time, a character in historical fiction.  On this day I felt like gold rush girl or something.  And I was encouraged to climb higher than ever by the boy who is taking my photo.  I had to stop at one point.  "Jump across this steep crevice thing into this little tiny cave on the side of the mountain."  Uh, no.  I think I'll just get down now.  Beautiful day, though.


almost black friday at lacma AGAIN

Theory dress, Teva boots, Moda leggings, homemade necklace (gift)

I can't believe I did a post from LACMA on black friday a year ago.  Here I am again, a day past one year later.  Not just going to LACMA almost the day after Thanksgiving again, but coupling it with the best Cuban food at El Colmao - again.  Yum.  Saw Asco show at LACMA.  Whew.  Missed Tim Burton, but couldn't miss Asco.  After seeing amazing urgency and realness of their statements that was beyond any contrived art idea coming from NY at the time and the out of this world costumes that went with their performances, anything that thinks it is cutting edge right now seems super conservative.

Look at these photographs behind me in the museum!  Just look at them.  Okay, I know they are too small, but it's what, nineteen seventy early something and they're dressed all prohibition gangster like in MALIBU.  It's just crazy.  I'm just acting like I'm hanging out with them in this photo.  
"Decoy Gang War Victim", 1976, by Harry Gamboa Jr. is my favorite photo/document of a performance in the show.  I'm not sure what motivated them then (because I was a little kindergartner at the time), but it was only the 70's and for me, they were messing with a bunch of Chicano stereotypes/traditions like gang wars, Day of the Dead parades, and murals in this playful, irreverent, hypnotic way.  How dare they be conceptual?  But they were.  And as an artist today with a Hispanic last name that tends toward illustrating my stories through songs, paintings, installations, and outfits, I am only understanding now how I have reaped the benefits.  That happens a lot in art history... and in "other" histories, for that matter.  Thank you, Asco.

About the fashion:
from The Art Outlaws of East L.A., L.A. Weekly, 2007 by Daniel Hernandez
Valdez recalls during an interview in her Echo Park home that her fixation on outrageous clothing was rooted in a longing going back to her girlhood. “I had this taste, I wanted things,” Valdez says. “I always liked nice things and I never had them. My mother went, ‘When you get older.’ And I go, ‘I’m sick of it, I gotta make something of myself, I gotta be somebody.’ The environment around me was not the world I lived in, I lived in my head, in a fantasy, so I created my own look, through movies and fashion.”
In old Asco photographs, Valdez personifies a nostalgic ideal of L.A.pachuca glamour. There she is, in short skirts and high heels, gloves, extreme eye makeup, fishnets, leather, bold colors, lots of black, eye-catching jewelry — the sort of vintage Eastside look some women still reference and replicate today. The men were often just as stylish and outrageous.
“In East L.A. in the ’60s, you didn’t wear jeans to school, you wore slacks. So it was again pushing that notion of limitations,” Gronk said. “I used to think, if you could walk, wear it. That was the motto that I had.”
"Asco" by Humberto Sandoval, sepia photograph, 1975


the fancy painters

It started with Basquiat. The story of him painting in Armani, not caring about how messed up his clothes were getting was so inspiring to me from the moment I heard about it as a grad student at San Francisco Art Institute. It was rebellious. Sacrificial? Definitely cool. Of course, it sounds cool when you don't think about the background story.  His story is so complex.  His art is so profound.  

And then Giacometti. In Henri Cartier-Bresson's photo of him in the the 60's he looks just as stylish and exciting as in a portrait from the 30's. His clothes were part of it. Again, painting and sculpting in those beautiful suits in that same studio all of his life in that dark part of Paris.  Can't you just see it?

O'keefe was the minimalist desert beauty. Just look at that waist, that belt, the hair. She dressed like her paintings, so elegant, so emotional and peaceful at the same time.

And Frida. I resisted her for the longest time. When I first saw her work at 18, I was really disturbed by it. I went to her house at 24. I'll never forget it. And then I got it. Her indigenous blouses as she shopped in the outdoor markets, all those silver rings on her fingers as she painted, the flowers in her hair as she sat for portraits, it was all part of her art performance.

I think the marvelous clothes actually affect the art that is made. Just the way people say that music affects the cooking. Here is one of my studio outfits. I feel like a great dress with the right accessories really feeds into my paintings, makes me feel colorful all over, and the whole thing feels like a performance - especially since my studio is a gallery/storefront!

silk skirt by (actually, it is a dress) Rebecca Taylor
blouse by Karisma
silver and turquoise necklace, unknown craftsperson in Taxco, Mèxico 
silver earrings by Mingle (!)


summertime, and the living is easy...
No posts since June 10th? I am shocked. I promised myself I would never make excuses for why I haven't posted for a while. So now you know why I am not. Instead, I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate summer. Summer is my FAVORITE time of year. I love warm weather. I love hot weather. I love breezy, sunny weather at the beach, stand-still desert days, tropical humid, rainy days, and lovely mountain summer days. All of it. I am particularly enjoying this summer because last summer was cold and foggy ALL summer at the beach. We had to leave the area to find summer. This time all the right ingredients are here: the blue skies, the slight breeze... maybe the ocean will even be less than freezing in the coming weeks! This summer is also special because I have started a new chapter in my life called, Paradiso Arts. Doesn't that name just go with the whole year-round summer attitude? I love it.

Also, here is a song that we just can't stop playing at our house today... my favorite version of this classic right now. Thank you, thank you to whoever digitized the 45. I suggest listening to it at least seven times in a row. Then, you will start to understand the genius of melody, rhythm, attitude, everything.


i am the pirate captain of my golden fish ship

Well, basically I am a kid. I may appear to be a grown up sometimes, but I am a child dressing up in costumes. I just have to work on staying in character a little more. I am sure I have friends who would like to pretend with me. Totally inspired by Pirates of the Caribbean. My kids just watched one, two, three on dvd so they could go see four. And Penelope is on the Vogue cover. Did that movie need more advertisements? No. It was always my favorite ride at Disneyland growing up 20 minutes from there, and I will always see any pirate movie (or spy movie, or car chase movie - I don't care how dumb it is).

Ah, but here are the stories. My father-in-law, who was a film editor, was working on a studio lot back in the early 80's when he brought my mother-in-law to a sale where they have clothes from different movies. This blouse was bought by my mother-in-law for one of her sisters, who has since past away, and so it came back to my mother-in-law. It was worn by Mitzi Gaynor in a movie back in the 50's. It has her name in it. Crazy. People ask me about the blouse which is really falling apart - thus, it really fits the pirate theme. I mention Mitzi, and they get all excited. Well, now I know who Mitzi is, and I am definitely a fan of pre-70's movies. Here I go with the decades again.
And the earrings! Oh, I suffered on Sunday when I could not buy every single piece of Mingle jewelry at my friend's fundraiser for CCFA. She has this open house/jewelry sale once a year and the actual Mingle designer is there. It is the only time I buy jewelry for myself. I had various friends who could not make it there with me that day, but who admire my Mingle, so I was sending them photos from my phone, and they were calling me to tell me what to get for them. It was really fun. Phone shopping with your friends!
Costume designer unknown blouse, Levi's jeans, Teva boots, Mingle copper (yes!) earrings, vintage necklace


bikini, dress, landscape
These were painted in the Art Barn of Esalen a year ago this month. I go to Esalen at least once a month... in my head. A place for learning, meditation, and relaxation, Esalen is located in Big Sur, California - one of the most beautiful places on this planet. These are very fashion-y paintings, especially because I painted them on the back of clothing tags I found in the Art Barn!
The coast, the Art Barn, inside the Art Barn with my paintings in the foreground (resident stylish artist in the background;)


I have always had this vision of rolling racks instead of closets. Finally I moved one from the shed in to the upstairs. It houses my leather coats, boots, and special vintage pieces. - Holly
the church of clothes Or is it the gallery of clothes, or is it the nest of clothes? When your closet is really good, what is it for you? I've heard people joking about nannies who color code children's closets. Uh, is that weird? My fantasy closet is definitely color coded, and yes, I color code my children's t shirt shelves. I mean, they make me happy when I look at them! And I do the same for myself. I love having a moment, and thinking, "Do I feel green today? Red? Blue? Oh, the obvious lack of blue in my wardrobe..." But, I digress into color coding, when I just wanted to talk about closets. Holly had a closet clean out weekend. Lucky. Here are a few snaps: Vintage Chloe stacked heel!
Stack of Missoni, Rosae Nichols and Donna Karan.
Pucci vintage 1975. Fabulous!
Joe Erin boot- very comfortable. Had to have them!
Vintage dress and Lanvin heels!


dresses for spring fun
Hanging out outside the barber shop.
Comme de Garçon vintage dress.

This was really fun. My friend and I had to take photos in the Culver Hotel's bathroom. It had swan faucets! Not a vintage piece, but I love it because it looks like it.
An Original Milly of New York dress.
Holly says, "Diane Von fustenberg dress and Dolce Visa shoes. I am at the MOCA opening of art in Tge streets. Saw Tge dress. Didn't look gray on the hanger. Tried it on and had to have it!" I think this dress adds a lot to the painting's composition, que no?


australia has style!
Yes, there is a fashion week in Australia. Once again, the world is SO big. They have aboriginal wisdom, surfing, actors, and now really beautiful clothes. Sigh.
From Lover's SS11/12 collection. See the rest on one of my faves - Oracle Fox.


pretty lace

This outfit almost makes me want to compose a poem... or a song... but here is the story, at least. I needed to put an outfit together to represent my family's Latino heritage. Along with one my boys we would share the story of making tamales on Christmas Eve in front of his whole school. Of course, the whole business became a deep and profound experience for me when I got dressed in the morning. "I will layer my Merida Mexicanness over my colonial intricacies, OVER my hippie California silk. Yes. And Hush Puppies. Yes, those represent my OC childhood, of course," I think. Okay, every morning does not involve an extensive inner monologue like this, but this was a special day. My son wanted a serape or at least a guayabera with all the attention I was putting into my ensemble, but all we could find was a faded Mexico FIFA tshirt from 2000. It was a cool contrast.
Marc for Marc Jacobs lace blouse, Glam Vintage Soul silk dress, Creaciones Mario vintage blouse from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, Bettina Duncan earrings, Hush Puppies shoes.
shoe stopping
Holly: Favorite fioritini and baker lace up boots!

Holly says, "I was early for the John Varvatos event to support Stuart House so I had time to stroll down Melrose. After too much coffee I needed to take a break so I hopped in Kitson (of all places- not a usual haunt for me) and spied these towering wedges. I had to have them, and of course a really cute pair of suede booties! I stopped at the car to drop them off and walked over to enjoy KD Lang!"
A "Poem" by Holly
Schuler and sons spring tassel wedges
Loved the color and found them
On sale at Anthropologie


outfit extravaganza

Starting from the top...
Mexican Art Deco: This is what I was wearing when I walked into the Balenciaga store in West Hollywood. Yes, I was designer shoe-less, Levi-wearing having animated conversation with Balenciaga shop girls. This probably only happened because I had just been across the street at MOCA looking at security-guarded Rodarte dresses in the dark from behind a white line. One of the shop girls wore a black pillbox hat with one long black feather cradling her face. Details like this is what really makes the experience. That, and the futuristic hidden headquarters of a store with built in runway screens, fantastic fabric that you can touch, and the feeling that it goes on forever (like a casino!). Mexican silver jewelry from our honeymoon in Mexico City, Marc Jacobs blouse from friend's closet clean out (FCC, I will call it from now on in this post), Levi's 501 jeans, 80's belt.

That Swiss Mexican Girl: One of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen was a girl I knew in college who was Swiss Mexican. I am confabulating when I think that she dressed like this. She would have looked so good in this outfit! Actually, this choice of outfit is about trying to reconcile Mexican me with the Orange County resort scene. Matty M sweater, my mom's Mexican dress, homemade silk belt with wooden buckle, Teva boots.

Librarian in Barcelona: I pretend that many of my outfits take place in Barcelona. Here, I am taking a moment to try to focus. "Where, oh where is the Gaudì section? I mean, I work here. I should know these things. Was it the fourth floor? Huh, I probably just need a Spanish latte to awaken my memory." Marc Jacobs FCC sweater, Levi's jeans, Poleci FCC blouse, Mingle earrings.