Hey, Red! {Jessica Chastain for Vogue Italia April 2012}

09/04/2012 § 1 Comment

Well, now.  I realize I haven’t posted about an editorial in almost three months.  Is it because my interest has been elsewhere?  Or perhaps because I just haven’t seen anything that has caught my eye?  In any event, I have actress Jessica Chastain and Vogue Italia to thank for reviving my love of the editorial with an amazing set of images that hearken back to classic Hollywood and were coincidentally shot in one of my very favorite places in Los Angeles: the Fred Harvey Restaurant in Union Station — an art deco masterpiece that has been closed since 1967.

You can see my photographs from my last visit here.

Chastain giving her best Hayworth…

Please believe me when I say I know I will be married here — and I am not at all like that about weddings.  Now all that’s left is to pin down the groom.

Details, details.

Photos by Michelangelo di Battista for Vogue Italia, via FGR.

On Uniforms {also, Style Icon: Emmanuelle Alt}

08/03/2012 § 12 Comments

Keep Anna Dello Russo and her fruit fixation, I much prefer the style of Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt.  Mme. Alt and I have much in common: we both tend toward a slightly androgynous look, we both enjoy a smart jacket (and even more so if it has a military feel to it), we’re both near six feet tall and not afraid of a good high heel, we both employ the bro-tuck liberally, we both prefer unfussy hair.  Obviously, we should be best friends.  Obviously.

I can’t tell you how miffed I get when I see comments on pictures of her declaring her boring, or that it is nonsensical she is at the helm at Vogue Paris, because to me, Alt is the essence of Parisienne chic.  Alt knows what she feels she looks best in and has formulated a bit of a uniform around that.  She won’t try out trends simply because they are new, or seek attention by being outrageous.  Alt is style, whereas Dello Russo is fashion.

As I become more comfortable in my own style, I find myself slipping into a uniform of my own, and I’m okay with that.  While it may not be as Balmain-heavy as Mme. Alt’s, I’ve identified shapes I feel most comfortable in and am continually on the lookout for designers that hit my sweet spot, just as she has.  I no longer feel compelled to wear “the new black” or jump on “of the moment” bandwagons because these trends don’t usually represent my personal style.  Increasingly, I find I’d rather invest in pieces that I know I will love now, and years from now — not things I will want to toss out in a season or two.

How do you approach your own style? 
Do you enjoy following the trends? 
Do you have a uniform?

J’adore the Vogue Paris ladies, all wearing the Alt uniform.


Images via Streetfsn, Grazia.it, Vogue Paris and Stockholm Streetstyle.

Try on Mme. Alt’s uniform for size:

Balmain satin-trimmed wool-crepe jacket
Similar High Street alternative here (Asos)

Balmain stretch-leather skinny pants
Similar High Street alternative here (Zara)

T by Alexander Wang classic muscle T-shirt
Similar High Street alternative here (Zara)

Isabel Marant Zoro leather belt
Similar High Street alternative here (Urban Outfitters)

Jimmy Choo Abel pointed patent-leather pumps
Similar High Street alternative here (Nine West)

I’ve just got one question though:
How does she never have a purse?

Fetch My Walking Stick… {Ralph Lauren Collection Fall/Winter 2012}

16/02/2012 § 8 Comments

So.  He opened the show with the Downton Abbey theme song.
Mr. Lauren, can you please exit my brain?

Just kidding!  Stay as long as you like.  Forever, even.

Please prepare yourself for a mammoth montage of photos from the Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2012 show.  The full looks are amazing — two movements here really: first,  classic English countryside, tailored, outrageously layered patterns and a stroke of ocelot genius; and second, a glamorous art deco, jewel-toned luxury that echoes his recent home collection  — but you can scoot off to plenty of other places on the internets for that.  Here, I’d like to draw your attention to some detail shots by Mr. Marcio Madeira, my favorite runway photographer.  The inspiration abounds.

Long story short, I love the collection.  But I’m sure you knew that already.

Someone fetch my walking stick.

Oh my.

One more time for good measure…

All photos by Marcio Madeira for First Look/Vogue.  For all the looks, head here.

Earlier: Ralph Lauren Collection Spring/Summer 2012

Style Icon: Anjelica Huston

16/01/2012 § 3 Comments

Spirit animal.

The number of girlcrushes that fondly claim the lovely Anjelica Huston must number in the majillions.  I came to this realization after searching for images for this Style Icon post, and noticing the abundance of posts and the repetition of many well-loved photographs of Ms. Huston.  So here, I’ve tried to offer a few new images to the mix, pulled mostly from her career as a model in Vogue via youthquakers and from a collection shot by Life Magazine on the set of her first film, A Walk with Love and Death, in 1969 (she’s 18 in the photos).

I have always loved the versatility and originality that Anjelica embodies.  I love that she is a tall lady.  That she is darkly handsome in a non-conventional manner.  That she tends to make off-beat character choices.  That she gets even more beautiful as she gets older.  That she was involved with Jack Nicholson for over fifteen years.  That she is a third generation Oscar winner.  Ah, and her voice…

For further Anjelica love, check out Allison and Diana‘s posts.

You can also wander through the youthshakers archive.

Style Icons: The Women of the Wild Bunch

21/12/2011 § Leave a comment

Image via Tomboy Style.

Because I had a number of flights over the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite films.  One of them yielded a bit of style inspiration in a roundabout manner and it has been on my mind for days now.  The film? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, starring Robert Redford as Sundance, Paul Newman as Butch.  If you haven’t yet seen the film, I highly recommend you make the time — it’s even on iTunes, in fact.  Loosely based on true events, the film follows real-life turn of the century bank and train robbers Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, members of the Wild Bunch and the Hole in the Wall Gang, through a series of heists and concurrent efforts to outrun the law.  Katharine Ross plays Etta Place, a woman who was companion to the Sundance Kid and traveled with both men across the country and to South America.  There are only two known pictures of the real Etta Place — in fact, it’s actually not even clear that Etta Place was her real name — and she vanished without a trace around 1909.  Quite the mystery.

The real Etta Place, with the Sundance Kid

At its heart, the film is about the relationship between Butch and Sundance and the chemistry between Newman and Redford is spot on. But I couldn’t help but be drawn to Etta Place, the school teacher who somehow became enmeshed with two of the most prolific thieves in history.  My favorite scenes are when Etta dresses a bit boyishly, but truth be told, she spends most of the film in very proper and very ladylike attire, usually complete with hats and gloves.  (Sidenote: The costumes in this film are a.MAY.zing.)

Image via The Selvedge Yard

A bit of further research led to an unexpected discovery.  While the film version of the Wild Bunch was men-only (with the tangential exception of Etta), there were in fact, a few female members of the gang.  Most notorious among these women, was Laura Bullion, “The Rose of the Wild Bunch.”

Laura Bullion’s 1901 mugshot

Far be it from me to glorify any real-life criminals, but I was taken aback by Laura’s mugshot and the scatty details of her life.  Born in 1876 to an outlaw father, she is linked romantically to Ben Kilpatrick, also a member of the Wild Bunch.  Her crimes tended toward robbery, prostitution, and forgery, for which she ended up spending almost 4 years in jail around the turn of the century.  After serving her time, she eventually moved to Memphis, where she posed as a war widow under assumed names and oddly domesticated herself, becoming a seamstress, drapery maker and interior decorator.  She died in 1961, the last living member of the Wild Bunch and last person to have actually known Etta Place.

The 1901 mugshot is arresting.  It’s almost like she dares you to look away.  Her gaze is all hardness and resolve.  For a woman at that time to choose such an unconventional lifestyle, one can only guess what her life must have been like, growing up surrounded by criminals.  Also, can we please note the bow tie?!

Interestingly, as I researched more female outlaws, I came to notice how frequently their sexual activities and partners were mentioned — distinctly different from the characterizations of their male outlaw counterparts — and how the accounts that were made at the time have a distinct impact on the accounts that are written today.  It is interesting to note that these women were frequently made out to be sexual deviants, loose women, and/or prostitutes — defined by that all too-familiar double-standard.  Not only did they break the laws of the land, but since they shirked sexual mores with abandon, society made it clear they were outsiders.  Perhaps even more so than male outlaws.

From Laura and Etta, I’m taking a sense of rebellion and adventure.
But I will leave it to them to break the laws.

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