Archive for the 'inspiration' Category

why don’t I have a pair yet?

nike air max

The Nike Air Max. Give this a listen and love them along with me: Lily Allen Stop There

mix n match

I don’t know who this is but I want her outfit:

Want to wear

where’s my mink at?

I don’t love the cold, but this photo (spotted on and lifted from WhoWhatWear has me itching for some nippy days to spend in fur.
Fur collar
Preferably weekend days to rock fur and sneakers, as above. Amazing.

I think fur collars work particularly well when they reflect the tones of the wearer’s haircolor. With all that mane and fur, you become some regal animal. A luxe beast.

I’m searching for my stole…

a tree grows in becket

I swear it was before watching Eastern Promises. For a while now, in fact, I’ve been mesmerized by people’s tattoos. I don’t watch Miami Ink or anything, but when I tune into Project Runway, it’s Sweet P’s tatted arms I can’t keep my eyes off of.

Here in NYC, there is a fair amount of inky eye candy (nothing like Seattle, where being tattooed is mandatory and enforced by the local population). But imagine my surprise when I was struck dumb by a tat in rural Massachusetts:
tree tattoo

So good, isn’t it? But that’s not all. “I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder…”
tree and birds tattoo
Now that is body art.

In my next life, I want some, too. But in this one, I think I’ll stick to clothes and keep on marveling at the ink on others.

paris calling

Hello, long lost friends!

Last month I was lucky enough to travel to Paris, where my eyes were as ravenous as my appetite. I’ll refrain from waxing poetic about the abundant figs, but I’ll tell you what else was in season, style-wise, that is:

* The crossbody bag
I was eating an awe-inspiringly succulent omelet in a cafe by the Luxembourg garden when it dawned on me: I see no satchels! Looking out the ample windows, my suspicion was confirmed: nearly every woman walked hands-free, as she was wearing a crossbody bag. Please note: this isn’t your typical messenger bag or hobo. These are small bags, not much bigger than, say, a notebook or magazine. And it’s OK that they can’t manage much bulk– that’s what your accompanying Longchamp tote is for.

Back on this side of the pond, I’m into this crossbody by Kale:
kale crossbody
(On shopbop, of course.)

*Matte tights and patent flats
patent flat with tights

I’m telling you, they’re real ladies over there– they wear dresses and skirts! And they set them off perfectly with opaque tights and patent flats. I spotted tights in a pantone rainbow of colors, but tending towards brights like royal blue and magenta. Shiny skimmers were often black and embellished with small buckles or a thick grosgrain ribbon. Topped off with a smart knee-length coat, what could be more adorable?

Check it out: these perfect little lovely ones by Repetto are on sale at bird!
repetto black patent ballet flat

*Gathered sleeves
Le Bon Marche introduced me to both designer Tara Jarmon and the gathered sleeve. It’s distinctly different from a sloping ’70s bell, see?

tara jarmon sleeve
(This Tara Jarmon coat is on

I haven’t seen this much over here yet, have you?

A couple more miscellaneous Paris fashion musings:

*Boots abound: equestrian, high-heeled, slouchy ankle boots…you name it. But NO UGGS–the French do not go for schlump-chic (bless them).

*Bye bye, metallics: I did not spy any shoes glinting gold or silver, just the odd handbag. In shoes, there was instead a lot of patent and suede– in black (natch), as well as greys and purples.

i've got a notion

Flights of wine, flirty cocktails, tapas, obanzai, and “small plates” of all kinds… summer is the perfect time for frivolity and variety, don’t you think? For me that includes indulging in playful accessories. Why I don’t know, but these sultry days, those modeled out of sewing materials—aka notions—are the ones catching my eye:
zipper earring

I first spotted vintage zipper earrings on a sales associate at Park Slope’s high design haven Matter, and it took me no time at all to track down my own pair on eBay (check these out).

A hipster behind the counter at a Brooklyn design shop is predictable source material, but my next sighting was from a less likely provenance. Look what I spotted amidst the many photos in OK! Magazine:
zipper bow

It’s an otherwise awful tank, but the exposed zipper bow is pretty amazing, isn’t it? Summer’s also a time for creativity, so watch out, Project Runway: I’m off to Steinlauf & Stoller to pick up the materials to craft my own.

where's your Bozo line?

“Anything Pink Rocks,” an article in the March 26th New Yorker, profiles Jimmy Webb, the now legendary Trash and Vaudeville salesman. Apart from being delightful, Jimmy has some great things to say about getting dressed. I liked this one sentiment in particular:

“Dressing is all about the whole look. If one thing stands out, you’re a beautiful coat walking down the street, or a pair of pants on the subway. With everything on, even if the elements are different from each other, it blends. You can’t cross that line to Bozo, though. You must never cross the Bozo line.”

I think we all have our own personal Bozo lines– for some, that means mixing patterns or bright colors; for me, it generally trips me at jewelry.

How about you? Where’s your Bozo line?

the power in not falling back

Hey, you!

Yes, you.

I know you. You’re the fall-back girl. You fall back on brands and trends, so every time I see you, I recognize every individual thing you’re wearing. I mean, I can dissect your outfit like a middle school science class worm, name the designer, brand and price of each and every item. Oh don’t worry—I know there’s not a knock-off on you, and of course you paid retail for every last thing.

Yes, fall-back girl, I know you and I’m mad at you. You spent good money on pricey and uninteresting clothes! Look, I don’t mean to get all psychological on you, but I think I know why you did it. Suze Orman would call you a “money pod.” Dalton Conley, an NYU professor of Sociology, says in relation to how people dress, “The real issue is not money itself, but the power money gives you.” It’s a power thing, see—but may I venture to say that you’re missing the real power available to you and your abundant clothing fund?

Look at this lady here:
the height of style
Now clearly she’s talented with this getting-dressed business. But really—she’s mesmerizing, isn’t she? Aside from the Gucci tote (a fall-back status bag, yes, but let’s forgive her that, shall we?), her clothes are a delicious mystery. I want to feast my eyes on her outfit for hours. I want to interrogate her about the origins of every single element, from her shoes to her bold-print jacket.

Now that, my friend, is power. Quit falling back and go get yourself some.

(Want to see more NYC style shots? Check out threadmettle sightings on flickr.)

I heart trend pages (or, forgive me for not liking fashion photography)

I read a fair amount of fashion magazines, and you know what I find annoying? Models. Models mooning at the camera, or caught mid-jump, or doing any of the other ridiculous things I imagine are required of them at photo shoots. I peruse those magazines for the clothes, to consider the clothes for me, and those pretty, lanky aliens, spayed this way and that… well, they’re distracting!

My outburst now complete, I’ll tell you what I love in fashion magazines: trend pages. You know, the pages dedicated to this or that new look, the pages that are usually just pictures of stuff, ready for you to get a hold of and try on in your mind’s mirror. Lucky, being a shopping magazine, is replete with trend pages, and that’s why I cry out in total and complete devotion when it is delivered each month. Conversely, Vogue has few trend pages; it is about fashion and culture, I guess, meaning that you must wade through a bunch of editorial and, once you get to the clothes, you have to vie for a peek in your mind’s mirror, because it’s crowded with the socialites Vogue loves and, of course, the models.

But this is not true of all Vogue publications—a friend’s mom picked up this Vogue/H&M mini-mag in London:
British Vogue/H&M publication

A shopping magazine instead of a fashion magazine, it was fabulous, total eye-candy. It had trend pages galore, including this one that really spoke to me, celebrating the summer’s “ultra brights”: royal blue, canary yellow, fire engine red…you get the gist:
British Vogue/H&M pub trend page

The clothing, shoes, etc., in this glossy were from a variety of London retail outlets, and they were all laid out—by trend—for the shopper’s evaluation, just waiting to be circled (like my friend did in the pic above). I’ll take that over some waif doing a cartwheel in Roberto Cavalli any day.

at long last

Friends, it’s been a long month since I last posted. After pontificating on graphic tees, my attention quickly turned to my mother, who landed suddenly, painfully ill in the hospital. She’s at home now and back in her sprightly form, but it was a terrifying experience, and a shining example of how our lives (and the lives of those around us) are not in our control.

And see, that’s one thing I love about clothes, about dressing, about presenting ourselves to the world. That is in our control. It’s fun, it’s creative, and it’s a daily opportunity, a clean slate. How hopeful. What a wonderful luxury. Yes, it is a luxury, but as long as it brings you joy, why not indulge?

What is frivolous joy? Is there any such thing? I say, joy’s joy, and since sometimes there isn’t room for it, when it’s there, clear a wide berth.