A Rumination on the 2015 Pirelli Calendar

06/08/2014 § 3 Comments


I’m not sure how closely you follow the annual release of the Pirelli Calendar, so I’ll give you a quick rundown. Since 1964 the calendar has been known as an annual high-gloss, high-glamour affair, featuring marquee name models shot by equally notable photographers (Lindbergh, Avedon, Ritts, Testino, Sorrenti, Weber…even Richardson). It’s printed in an exceptionally limited edition and gifted to a select group of important clients and VIPs. It’s sort of like the highest possible form of those cheesy automotive calendars you might expect to see hanging in a garage – and yes, nudity is known to abound.

 So why on earth are we talking about this? Glad you asked!

It turns out that this year’s edition – the 50th, if you didn’t notice already – features a beautiful plus-size model named Candice Huffine, pictured above. While purists argue she isn’t the first woman over a size 10 to appear in “The Cal,” citing Sophie Dahl in 1999 and Pollyanna MacIntosh in 2004, Huffine is being touted in the media as such.  Admittedly, I was caught a bit off-guard by the announcement, but in a good way.  It made me think about a few things in quick succession.  First, why was I initially shocked by the idea?  As if Huffine didn’t belong in a sea of nearly naked Adriana Limas and Joan Smalls, perhaps?  No matter the reason, that feeling quickly gave way to excitement at this small victory in the battle to shift entrenched standards of beauty.

While Huffine is obviously super-humanly attractive, the fact that her body more closely resembles those bodies belonging to us “mere mortals” is a move in the right direction.  This acceptance of a deviation from the norm ushers us to a point of reflection: what is the norm? why is this a deviation? how do we feel about that? how do we feel about our own bodies as a result? what kind of representations of beauty do we personally prefer? what kind of representations should we endorse?

This subject has inspired me to work on a new Charm School entry that touches on a subject I’m surprised I haven’t yet dealt with: body image.  In the meantime, I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject of the Pirelli Calendar and Candice Huffine’s appearance in it.

Watch this space.  The conversation will continue.

QC Prêt-à-Porter || Poolside Pin-Up

06/04/2012 § 1 Comment

Models in Miami, Fl, 1956. Photo by Lisa Larsen for Life Magazine, via the Life Archives.

Yes, it’s about that time again — by that I mean bathing suit time.  Love it or hate it, it’s time to start thinking about long weekends we’ll be spending at the coast, near a lake or sitting poolside.  With all the ridiculous options available (purely for illustrative purposes: exhibit A and exhibit B), a classic one-piece suit inspired by the lines of the 1950s seems like a fresh — almost daring — choice.

From top left:
Norma Kamali Bill halterneck suit in emerald
Ank Ginger maillot in purple

Norma Kamali Bill ruched halterneck suit in chartreuse
Lanvin ruched suit in black
J.Crew Hot Dot underwire tank in cerise
J.Crew Anchors Aweigh skirted tank in navy anchor print

Just When I Thought I Was Out… {Ralph Lauren Collection Spring 2012}

16/09/2011 § 2 Comments

…they keep pulling me back in.”  — Michael Corleone

I suppose I should have never doubted that Ralph Lauren would be my favorite from NYFW.  We go way, way back.  And this time around I flirted with the idea of another man, but the indomitable Mr. Lauren didn’t care.  He waited.  He reclinated.  He knew that when he would drop his glittering collection on my head, I’d come running right back to his side.  He knew that I wouldn’t ever be able to say no to him…

The man was right.

For spring 2012, while most other collections showed influences of the 1930s and 40s, Mr. Lauren reached back even further to a decade he is most comfortable with — the 1920s.  And why not?  His costumes for Jack Clayton’s Gatsby are constantly referenced by fashion and costume designers.  Why not seize upon spring’s nostalgia, ratchet up the glamour and hit his own sweet spot?  Textbook really.  These are clothes for both Daisy Buchanan and Jordan Baker, and you probably already know I tend to like Jordan a bit more…  If you were looking for 1920s with an edge, for the ironic jazz age, you won’t find it here, because that is not what Mr. Lauren does.  You need to go talk to Thom Browne if that’s what you want, because that’s what he showed this week.  Mr. Lauren is unfailingly earnest, and you will either find this boring, or love it to death as I do.  Ralph Lauren is not an iconoclast — he is an icon.  And it is a dying breed at that…

Mr. Lauren’s spring 2012 is iridescent, feathered, and jeweled.  It is club-collared, double-breasted and cuffed.  The palazzo pant is making a return.  You better learn how to tie a tie and how to wear a cloche hat.  And above all, get thyself to a fabulous ball because these gorgeous silk gowns, they are screaming to be worn.

Now, I had to restrain myself here.  Of course I wanted to post it all down to the last drop, but if you really want to see every outfit, you can head over to Vogue for that.  And I highly recommend you do because photographer Marcio Madeira had a field day.  His shots are A.Maz.Ing.  What I wanted to share with you, were some of my favorite looks, coupled with some of my favorite detail shots  (Madeira blew my mind with these — I have yet to see any other runway detail shots that are this lavish, this indulgent).

Ready? Let’s Charleston…

“Let’s, let’s stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad…”

Well done, sir.

All images via Vogue.

Autumn is Calling {Margaret Howell Fall/Winter 2011 Collection}

18/08/2011 § 2 Comments

Can we talk about this?  Can. We. Talk?

Margaret Howell is conspiring yet again to separate me from all of my money, as you can obviously see.  I am completely in love with this collection and its campaign featuring Dree Hemingway — so much so that it’s hard for me to identify what I like most.  The hats, belts and scarves…the volume of the skirts…the buttoned-up boyish refinery with a splash of the deshabille.  It is as if Margaret Howell opened my brain and extracted a wish list that I didn’t even know was there.

Click the images for a closer look (at what my fall will be looking like).

All images via RDJ.

Afield, Kinda: Men’s Market Week in New York

17/07/2011 § Leave a comment

Today kicks off the beginning of men’s market week in New York and I am looking forward to seeing all that Spring 2012 has in store for the gents and, of course, the ladies like myself who enjoy co-opting from the best from menswear.  Also looking forward to seeing some of my favorite familiar faces (especially visiting with those from out of town) and finally putting a few faces to names.  As always, you can keep up with my shenanigans in real time via Twitter.  If you happen to see me, please do say hello!



06/01/2011 § Leave a comment

Whilst I am still working on my own resolutions for 2011, I definitely like Valentino’s…

1. Do not get upset for stupid things
2. Do Pilates 3 times a week
3. Wear a helmet when I ski

– Valentino


The Lady Prefers Gentleman Shoes

31/12/2010 § 1 Comment

2010 saw women everywhere stepping into brogues, wingtips and oxfords.  Through a lucky series of events, I received a pair of men’s camel oxfords by Common Projects that quickly became my go-to shoes.  While I frequently draw upon menswear for ideas in my own wardrobe, it was the first time my footwear reflected this source of inspiration, and I loved how the oxfords instantly smartened up any outfit.

Lost in a Supermarket posted some beautiful pictures of the very similar F/W 2010 5-hole version in August:

After a few months, my 3-hole pair appear a bit lived-in, and I love them even more.  I also decided to take out the laces, for a touch of insouciance.  When I was in London this month, I was stopped in Tesco by an older professorial-looking gentleman wondering how I forgot my laces.  He was quite puzzled.

Sunny Santa Monica this afternoon.

For those unwilling to wear men’s shoes, many women’s shoemakers ventured into the masculine, with varying levels of success.  One of my absolute favorite lines is by Dieppa Restrepo:

“Inspired by classic gentleman’s style, Dieppa Restrepo is a sophisticated unisex collection of shoes founded by Colombian duo Andrea Vargas Dieppa and Elisa Restrepo. Blurring the division between the sexes, the collection is refined, androgynous and elegant. The shoe is the quintessential grown up sneaker: beautiful and simple enough for the chic and fashion-minded, yet comfortable and durable enough for their contemporary urban lifestyle. The shoe is a walking dichotomy, both non-intrusive and timeless, yet modern and undeniably present.”

You can find Dieppa Restrepo at Maryam Nassir Zadeh (123 Norfolk Street, at Rivington, New York).  Added bonus: they currently have a few models on sale!  So if Santa didn’t bring you enough androgyny this Christmas, you can take care of that yourself.  My favorites are the black on black Coca Colo, just in case you were feeling generous…

H/T: Splendora

Uptown Meets…The Munsters: Kate and Andy Spade

08/12/2010 § 1 Comment

It’s no secret that I have long admired both Kate and Andy Spade for their individual and distinctive style sensibilities.  In fact, one of my most treasured handbags is a nylon Sam (by Kate) in fire engine red that I received when I was 16 (after a bit of needling of my dear old dad around Christmastime — he couldn’t imagine why anyone would need a bright red purse!  Silly!)

I have always been curious how Kate and Andy successfully collaborate artistically and in business along with managing marriage and family and plumtv gives us a backstage look.  We tour the Spade Southampton home, Andy’s Partners & Spade showroom/studio in NoHo, the J.Crew Liquor Store in TriBeCa, and the Spade Upper East Side apartment.  I think the homes are the most interesting feature of the three part series.  You can immediately sense Kate and Andy have strong design opinions, but somehow they manage to beautifully merge their ideas and envy-inducing living spaces result.  You can also sense they are a couple that strives to be fair — Andy talks about moving from downtown to uptown because Kate wanted to, Kate discusses leaving the fashion industry to raise their young daughter.  For those of you battling your domestic partners over decor choices, take heart!  If Kate and Andy can do it, so can you…

…and now Kate has me wanting a fire engine red library, natch.

You Could Do Better, Terry Richardson…

21/10/2010 § Leave a comment

Via: GQ

At this point you’ve probably either seen the Glee GQ November 2010 photos, or heard about the controversy surrounding them.  Essentially, people are mad at photog Terry Richardson, GQ and the Glee actresses (note: not the actor, but we’ll get to that) for the very suggestive shoot, claiming it is tantamount to pedophilia because the actresses, while of legal age in real life, play high schoolers on the teevee.  And now Dianna Argon, one of the actresses, has sort of  apologized for offending anyone on her Tumblr.  This moral outrage is more of the sort we saw when Britney dressed up like a schoolgirl and Miley showed her back in Vanity Fair.  Except these aren’t even underage girls.  Personally, I think if we really want to get concerned about overly sexualizing young girls, there are a million better things to get upset over than photos of adult women in an adult men’s magazine…but that’s just me.

GQ has come out in defense of their photos, but GQ knew what they were doing.  No press is bad press.  They hired Terry Richardson to do a Terry Richardson shoot, and that is what they got: girls in various stages of nekkidity — there is not one shot where a bra isn’t showing — posed in a blatantly suggestive manner (I like to call the above pose: “spread eagle in little girl panties with a bench standing in for a !!PENIS!!“) , sometimes sticking things in their mouths, etc.  Of course, the treatment of Cory Montieth, the male actor, is quite different.  GQ is a men’s fashion magazine and it’s to be expected that he wouldn’t be running around in his mesh boxer briefs making sexyface (he’s styled wearing oxfords and ties and sweaters and overcoats).  As a stand-in for the reader, Montieth is frequently draped with his hot-to-trot costars as he smirks at the camera.

Personally, I’m tired of Terry Richardson when he can’t be bothered to do anything outside his harshly-lit, porny, American Apparel-like stuff.  And how did everyone forget he did this same exact thing to the cast of Gossip Girl last year for Rolling Stone?


Richardson is a very talented fashion photographer, but he’s also pretty damn lazy.  Witness his identical photos for Nous Sommes | Pendant and Reebok sneakers.  To me, his most exciting work is when he pushes his own boundaries as an artist, not the boundary between pornography and fashion photography.  I especially loved his August 2010 shoot for Vogue Nippon with Freja Beha Erichsen.

Via: FGR

But if you know anything about Terry Richardson, you know that he takes quite a bit of delight in the lecherous persona that he’s cultivated.  He loves that Jezebel hates him.  He enjoys singing songs about child molesters.  He likes being on Page Six.

You could hope all you want he might evolve, but in the meantime, I hope you like boobies and lollipops.

Ralph Lauren: In His Own Words

29/09/2010 § Leave a comment

In a captivating montage, Mr. Lauren discusses the inspiration and hard work that are essential to creating his runway shows while we are treated to a viewing of the Spring 2011 lines.  While it is no secret that I am already a big Ralph Lauren fan, I loved hearing Lauren describe his own creative process — quite inspiring to any creative type!

“This is not a job, it is a joy.  This is what I breathe, it’s what I live.”

J’adore monsieur Lauren!

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