Sunday, November 28, 2010

Since 1937

It's actually absurd the amount of Madewell stuff I deem aesthetically pleasing as well as legitimately versatile enough for real life. Here's a free-for-all post with no point whatsoever other than to publish a bare-boned wishlist from now until the end of time. Take note of peripheral pieces like charcoal tights and mid-calf leather boots serving as offshoots from the lace-up combat boot and cousins of the basic riding boot from a few winters past. Let it be established now that my priority colors to test run for winter '10-'11 are mustard, silk blue (a color/texture that I totally just made up), olive green, apple red and as usual, the ever-popular plum. F/W is my very favorite time to experiment with mixing textures and juxtaposing even the most unnatural, unexpected color palettes.

The more I expose myself to certain crazy talented style bloggers, the more willing I become to challenge established boundaries and show off outfits that I'm expecting will warrant confused looks and whispers back and forth between all-too-typical plain janes who hold their Burberry scarves, Hunter boots and Speedy totes in the highest of overly-conspicuous designer logo esteem. (To Wake girl at GSO: yes, I myself shop online enough to recognize you spent several hundred on your Juicy equestrian boots-- congrats! They're certainly nice, but with that fat investment, could you not pick out something with a bit more soul during your latest trip to Neiman's than a pair of boots displaying an obviously branded company crest?) I realize it's all a judgment call of taste and preference, but four obvious designers in a single outfit via logos? Gross. And so begins my never-ending rant regarding esoteric philosophy... how I got here, I'm not quite sure. So I'd better stop before I become too bitter about how much it STS in even more ways than one.

Back to my initial intentions, presenting Madewell.

Base #1: Black Biker Boots
Starry Nights Blazer, $198
Pemberly Blouse in Gemstone, $118
Nightbeam Shimmer Shorts, $125
The Buckled Biker Boot in True Black, $173

Base #2: Brown Biker Boots
Costwold Vest in Hthr Llama, $128
Perfect Chambray Shirt, $68
Campfire Cargo Shirt in Cornflower Wash, $70
The Griffith Pony Bag, $350
The Biker Boot in English Saddle, $230

Base #3: Black Wedge Booties
Sweatshirt Top in Hthr Smoke, $68
Plié Tank in Black Nude, $52
Gilded Racerback Tank, $88
Seeing Spots Tank, $88
Silk Tulip shorts in Dark Olive, $88
The Cinch Sack in English Saddle, $158
The Leather Wedge Bootie, $248

I'm so looking forward to Christmas break when I can go on a full-out spree because God knows my wardrobe and I very much deserve it.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The university sartorialist

Sam Edelman Zoe platform wedge ankle booties. Barely-there denim cutoffs… sheer floral tights… a black scoop-neck crop top… a suede fringe vest… and lastly, two thin pyramid-studded belts and a buttery-leather hobo bag essentially serving as the peripheral goods of the outfit. Welcome to my world. As skillful as I am at distracting myself from the true applications of Productions and Operations Management by dreaming up these whimsical sartorial concoctions, I will rightfully admit to being even more of a Style Rookie than Tavi Gevinson. So what does this have to do, you may ask, with the photo of the stunningly handsome guy in the picture below?

Ladies, meet my best friend (aww), eligible bachelor Angel Reyes. As NUE Agency’s blog editor and social media director, this city kid’s effortlessly put-together style always makes me feel much less harsh in pleading guilty to becoming somewhat of a snob in terms of my standards of dressing. Crediting sources like Kanye and Lupe as former style influences, Angel utilizes his personal style as a tool to maneuver through the music industry with artist and event promotion both in New York City as well as here at Wake.

The look shown here made a recent appearance at Mountain Weekend formal in the classiest of classy locales: Oak Hill, West Virginia. Viewing this outfit under a microscope, each piece pulls equal weight as Angel makes brilliant use of balance and layering, two concepts central to my own fashion philosophy. The Tommy Hilfiger fitted v-neck knit/Club Monaco button-down match is a combo familiar to many fraternity formals, but the slim-fit 7 For All Mankind jeans are what truly make the outfit noteworthy. Name one other guy at Wake who has the balls to pull off this look successfully. I rest my case.

Bringing the design aesthetic of Ralph Lauren (not only Polo, but also brand extensions Rugby and Club Monaco) to life, Angel personifies the classicism and luxury heritage of a supreme lifestyle brand. Also citing companies like Band of Outsiders, Generic Surplus and 7FAM as favorites, Angel reveres basic pieces because they “give you more opportunity to just put together a bunch of things and make a great-looking outfit—there’s no room for doubt or indecisiveness. You have to be confident about your choices.” Speaking of confidence, things to keep in mind girls? Angel declares, “The most attractive girls to me are the ones that know they’re wearing something different, don't really care, and look great doing it.”

On the subject of Wake’s “pretty generic” fashion scene, Señor Reyes states, “There’s a pretty standard look for everyone, but then again, it’s college. You see everyone at their best and you see everyone at their worst. Nothing really wows me here; everyone dresses safely. The culture of this school doesn’t promote individuality as far as style and fashion go.” Hearing this time and time again, I can’t help but wonder what it is then that prompts everyone to adhere so closely to these so-called rules of dressing. Any famous last words, Angel? Referring once again to on-campus style, he admits, “I wouldn't really change anything. I don't think people should really be worried about developing their individual style during college. It's really not that important when you stack it up against everything else that you’re doing. As most people develop, style fills the gap between how you see yourself and how you want other people to see you. It's in there somewhere—everyone has style. It's a matter of finding a way to express it without seeming like you’re trying.”

Cross-posted HERE.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Edith Minturn

Even the most eloquent of words couldn't do my reverence for Edie Sedgwick the proper justice. I love that even now, forty years after reaching the peak of her fame, Edie and her personal style of fur coats, leotards and smoky eyeliner is still not only relevant, but considered totally inspirational to the most fashion-forward of minds, socialites and hipsters alike. I don't know which makes more of an impression, her casual, slurred drawl and seemingly-intoxicated laughter, or her unforgettable saga as a poor little rich girl turned overnight celebrity. From her signature dangly chandelier earrings to mod shift dresses and dark opaque tights, I love everything about Edie's style and could analyze her fashion photos for hours on end without once feeling the need to check the time.

Obviously, one of the most important elements of Edie's personal style is her willingness to challenge the strict boundaries of dress established by society. Her waif-like features are astonishingly perfect and I could not think of a person, living or dead, I would rather trade wardrobes with. Designer labels are secondary to Edie's look-- it's not about who you wear, it's about what you wear and how you wear it-- a philosophy I respect a great deal. With her popping doe eyes perpetually smudged with thick dark liner, Edie channels the quintessential sixties fashionphile. I'll just cut myself short. Much more could be said about this Factory Girl, but I'll leave the pictures to speak for themselves. I love.

"I had fun, but I didn’t really have anyone I particularly loved except for loving friends. But I have a certain amount of faith that it will come." --Edie Sedgwick

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I die

Very rarely do I go through phases of shoe obsessions (scoff all you want, I promise you it's true), but fall transitioning into winter has messed with my head in more ways than one. While I have yet to pick out the perfect heeled combat boot that was meant for me and only me, a drastically different style has caught my attention and refuses to exit my daydreams. Meet Zoe by Sam Edelman.

Sam Edelman
Zoe, $199

Not to too-closely reference the stylist herself, but these shoes are just to-die-for. They are quintessentially esoteric footwear. In reminiscing back a few months, I wonder what truly drew me to these jaw-droppingly hot booties. Besides the indescribably cool geometric shape, I also really loved that quilted harness detail on the side, reminding me of my chocolate brown equestrian boots (quilted Aigner logos on the sides, smooth leather at front and buckles at the ankle. RIP) which were impressively versatile. Go shoes with hardware. I love the fact that Zoe is not a wedge nor heel, but rather a hybrid of both styles. Usually, juxtaposing leather with suede freaks me out unless I'm proven otherwise, but this style is just brilliant. The fact that you can remove the harness lowers the dimensions of the shoe a bit for more conservative occasions, while still leaving a good deal of interest in place. Anything less is just plain unacceptable.

sans the harness via Zappos

Now, I know this shoe is quite the throwback to Balenciaga's 2006 F/W appropriately titled Harness Boot which was brilliant far beyond its time, but Zoe stands her own ground. While the designer original certainly served as inspiration for this style's creation, they are worlds apart. Both are appealing (please, who could say no to Balenciaga?), but I truly do think Zoe better personifies my style. The blunter chunky heel adds a greater degree of wonder than does the more conspicuously acute-angled heel of the Harness Boot. Zoe fascinates me in that while it channels a classic quilted handbag mixed with nighttime city chic, it also seems to be a versatile design that I could live in day in and day out (the feasibility of walking in nearly six inch heels on the regular, however, is another story).

This post also served as the perfect opportunity to reference yet again my undying love for the late Alexander McQueen's genius Armadillo Heels. I don't know what it is about freakily-shaped boots that look beyond-impossible to walk in, but some kind of splendor permeates these heels, making them so damn interesting to look at. Again, Zoe's anything-but-usual geometry is comparable to that of McQueen's famed hoofs; both are drizzled with intrigue and have captivated me completely. So, maybe it wouldn't kill me to invest the first $200  here and the rest in stocks as planned. I've never deserved anything more appropriately in my life.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Statement pieces

There is nothing remotely average about sophomore Bentrice Jusu’s personal style. Flaunting an easy light-wash denim button down and versatile black skinny jeans (both coveted staple items in my own transitional summer-to-fall wardrobe), I was determined to introduce myself to and get to know this walking textbook definition of nonchalant urban chic. What first caught my eye about Bentrice’s entire getup were her utterly awesome boots, a hybrid of the hiking boot, combat boot and high-top flat oxford—an undeniable necessity for fall. Where the majority of Wake girls tend to constantly over-utilize their beloved chestnut UGG Classic Short/Tall’s, Bentrice instead opted for personality-packed lace-up boots that scream distinction and command attention. Her worn camel-toned leather boots take a new spin on the traditional black leather combat boot popularized recently by Megan Fox in the “Love the Way You Lie” music video which I recently wrote about.

My reverence for the rest of the outfit worked from the ground up. One of the first blog posts I ever wrote was about my favorite black denim J Brand skinny jeans. With the form-fitting cigarette leg and inconscpicuous yellow/orange stitching, my favorite dark skinny jeans are a familiar wardrobe staple for the most esoteric of fashionistas. Like Bentrice, I also love the stylistic effect that comes from tucking jeans into the chunkiest of boots—if you’ve seen me on campus at all, you’ll know that I really could not survive a day without my trusty Sam Edelman cowboy boots. 

On top, a denim button-up is one of the simplest outfit enhancers that exists today. Matching it with a pair of rain-wash leggings or even sporting it unbuttoned over a monochromatic silky floral babydoll dress like I suggested here (or even a pair of dark-wash denim skinny jeans—don’t let the jeans-on-jeans aspect deter you) instantly challenges an outfit to go one step further. Instead of opting for the typical cuffed-sleeve, pastel-pink-and-white-striped PRL oxford to wear with a pair of bootcut 7FAM’s and black patent Reva flats (perhaps the safest of safe Wake uniforms), I commend Bentrice for making a statement with her ultimately cohesive outfit appearing as if it were just thrown together without a thought more—which is probably my favorite statement made of all.

Cross-posted HERE.

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Man Repeller

What Is A Man Repeller?


outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.

–verb (used without object),-pell·ing, -pell·ed.

Some of my introductions to the most legitimate resources in fashion can be attributed to the brilliant and gorgeous Kendall Thornton, whom when I first met was sporting Louboutin's as well as a bottle of Dom Perignon in the Pike lounge. Clearly, I had to meet this girl. Though she's busy being the shit working for Weber Shandwick in Boston, I would (almost) give my cream silk Marc Jacobs scoop-neck to have her back in Winston with me for a casual Friday afternoon wine and venture-planning session.

Now, with regards to the most curiously-titled site of all time, one could not ask for a set of more playful, cleverly-written entries where a certain Little Miss Style Blogger does not take herself too seriously. Just a single day of Leandra's posts kill me with intrigue. How is it possible to be so witty, composed and nonchalantly cool... ALL THE TIME? With the most recent entries highlighting Chloé wedges with wicked Missoni socks, fur hats à la Holly Golightly and fun capes inspired by my personal favorite of the American Girl dolls, Samantha Parkington (obviously because she was rich, had pretty hair, lived in New York and came with the best accessories-- who else could afford an ice-cream parlor?).

The UK Telegraph's Fashion section best sums up Man Repeller as "Sartorial advice for girls who love the clothes men hate." I've definitely heard the wise words time and time again that "Girls don't dress for guys-- girls dress for other girls", but Man Repeller takes this statement to an entirely new level and I could not be more pleased. With recent respect to utilizing two hardware-heavy belts, Leandra writes, "Step 2: Set a trend and then incorporate it into your outfit. I think more people should start layering belts. It's fun, looks cool, and will confuse the shit out of the male species, so I'm going to wear two belts." Hope that little snippet gives you a taste of how utterly awesome she she is.

Below are some of my favorite Man Repelling style concepts. Not necessarily all real-life-approved, but definitely aspirational to the max.

Get the Look for Less: Proenza Schouler F/W 2010
17 November 2010:

I'm a huge fan of this entire ensemble. I chose not to include the ghostly Proenza Schouler runway models, but this innovative outfit emulates the collection perfectly. I die looking at this brilliant skirt from Zara and am now totally inspired to try these red lips with matching T-strap dancing heels.

Trend Spotting: Stolen from the Superhero, The Cape
16 November 2010:

Who would have thought I really would have been swayed by an soft sky blue poncho-type contraption? I really love the contrast of the blue and the black-- very 1940's NYC socialite. I actually do love this look to extremes; maybe man repelling will come in handy if I anytime soon experience any more events like those which transpired this summer. So xoxo Gossip Girl.

From Man Getter to Man Repeller: Leather Pants
15 November 2010:

Leather pants and leopard print... what other combo could so easily make guys scratch their heads in confusion, then do a 180 and pursue the girl across the room wearing the much more familiar skimpy-ass dress and hooker heels reminiscent of the trashiest rap video in entertainment history? This one gets points. I'm curious to see what would happen should I actually execute it.

Guess the Blogger Pose: Trousers and Capes and Fur...Oh My!
8 November 2010:

This look breathes Holly Golightly! I'm such a fan and really do want to match a houndstooth or orange wool coat with a cozy fur hat and Warhol-esque shades, just to see guys' reactions. See ya, 10-year-old-brained Wall Street guys in suits. My girls Tina and Dani would be proud.

How to Get Style Snapped
2 November 2010

(This post also includes a beyond-brilliant segment on layering. Just genius.)

Notice: Blog Break Ahead
20 October 2010:

I LOVE THIS LOOK. Period. I can't get enough of sheer tights with denim cutoffs, and the Louboutin's and crisp white shirt make it all the much better. This exudes pure chic and is a quintessential man repelling outfit.

DIY  Your Own TurBAND
11 October 2010:

Now this look is something I could try in real life. Of course, I used to (read: two weekends ago) own a red chain-print scarf just like this, but it somehow blew away with the wind at most recent football game thanks to a bit too much Four Loko and Disco Pogo. Sigh. Regardless, I love the light-wash denim button-up tucked into the dark bottoms, and those sliced-front shoes are classy as hell. I'm a fan.

Paris Fashion Week: The Olympics of Man Repelling
5 October 2010:

Again, I really want to try this headwrap business. I don't know if I'd be too miniature for these American Apparel-style pants but I love the entire look together. So much interplay of color, texture and movement.

Guess the Blogger Pose: Snorkling Sex Monsters of the Sea
24 August 2010:

Why am I strangely attracted to these Cousin It-like boots? Leave it to Opening Ceremony to create the ultimate in man repelling footwear. I don't know why I am in such support of these fuzzy skunk-on-a-shoe things, but the more I look at them the more cool they get.

Rock My Ankle Sock
19 August 2010:

The same goes for these hairy booties. As much as I myself was repelled at first, and assumed this post was a sick joke, I actually really want a pair of these things. Going back to my usual drunken "I wish I were blonde!" rant, these boots would give me the chance to try out giving myself an excuse for blonde moments, even if the blonde were on my shoes instead. I know 99% of the reason I'm so drawn to this wonder is because it's basically a pair of blonde-haired cowboy boots. I'm so smart.

Hello from Cannes
6 August 2010:

Probably the least man repelling of them all, but I am in love with this look. Of course, it makes use of several of my favorite pieces: cuffed denim shorts, a pain white tee, a leather jacket (draped and inspired by a summer-minded Kara Fabella) and fratty plastic neon shades. Even though I'd probably get stares even with this mild look at a lounge party, I'd be willing to take one for the team and try it out. Only time will tell.

Now don't you feel so much more educated?

Here's to you, fashion. Cheers.