Bless You, Jackson Rathbone

Bless you.

You’re keeping the dream of the terrible crack-den velvet suit alive while Rpattz is indisposed. (And of course by “indisposed,” I mean “barred from dressing himself.”)

Feel free to return to your rock-star-wannabe ways as soon as Rpattz is off contract for the Twi-series, when he can return to his former glory as a hobo.

[Source for the Rathbone pic: T&L.]


Tie ’em Right

Try again, Stylist.

Dear designers and stylists of the world:

Is it really that hard to research the proper way to tie a pointe shoe*? I mean, if you’re going to reference ballet costumes so far as to actually purchase the shoes that professional ballet dancers wear, don’t you think you could at least GET IT RIGHT? Ballet is not, in fact, an obscure art.

Look, I even found you a reference photo from Wikipedia:

(via wikipedia. WIKIPEDIA!)


[Image via Tom &]

*No, it’s not. I found this fantastic tutorial in about 10 seconds. You’re welcome.

Dark, dark, bright, dark.

I was first introduced to the idea of dressing based on one’s own personal coloring by Rebecca at The Space Between My Peers. At first I thought it was a rather limiting idea, that one could only dress based on the colors in one’s hair, eyes, skin tone, etc. But the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. If one wants to dress in the most harmonious manner, one should indeed take into account one’s natural coloring, as they form the base for whatever clothes come next.

I had always thought this was a nice theory, but never put much more thought into it other than occasional observations in street style photos or that one time when one of my classmates accidentally put together the most perfect color harmony because the gold in her watch exactly matched the highlights in her grey-brown hair and the rose color in her floral shirt matched the undertones in her skin–oh man, it was perfect–ahem, until I flipped through the September Teen Vogue and lighted on this photo of their “Beauty Blogger,” Eva Chen, trying on her best Beyonce impression. At first glance, this photo reads “One of these things is not like the others:” Jane Keltner de Valle (the blonde) stands out terribly, as she’s a bright spot among dark workout clothes.

See? Dark, dark, bright, dark.

But take a closer look at who’s wearing what. The editor on the left has dark, almost black hair, and dark skin. She’s wearing black workout pants, and a dark-toned (but not black) top. Eva Chen has dark–black again–hair and pale skin, which she sets off with black workout clothes. Jane Keltner, the pale blonde, doesn’t go for black–instead she’s wearing pale blue (like her eyes) and silver, which doesn’t appear to be part of her coloring (her eyes look brown) but matches the value of her hair and skin better than either white or black. [Editor’s note: I’m pretending Laurie Gibson doesn’t appear in this photo because her pose is so awful.]

Desaturate it.

The idea is more pronounced when I desaturated the photo–and I didn’t boost any black or white levels in photoshop. Notice how Left Editor’s top almost disappears into her skin? And how Eva Chen’s shoes blend in with her legs, but how her hair matches top matches pants? And how Jane is almost one solid color from top to toe? She’s almost entirely bright, while L.E. is almost entirely dark. Eva Chen, whose hair contrasts highly with her skin tone, mixes dark and bright.

If I were art directing this photo, I’d put Jane in the center, to balance the visual weight a little. Especially with the inset of Eva Chen on the left, the whole visual weight of the picture lists to the left. However, that would completely derail the concept of the article, because it’s all about putting Evan Chen in Beyonce’s shoes. Literally. In this case, the emphasis focused on drawing a comparison with B’s “Single Ladies” video (with a screencap conveniently on the first page of the article!), so I’m guessing that body type and the three-person pose took precedence over things like visual weight as it regards to personal coloring.

Overanalyzing teen magazines? That’s what we do best here. Over and out.

Somewhat of a relaunch.

So, I’m back.

Sorry about that.

Coming off the other side of the master’s degree, I realized that I missed fashion. I think we can all agree that talking about fashion is much more fun than digging through academic journals. And much more applicable to one’s life than, say, postmodern composition theory, or creation of authorship in apocryphal Shakespearean texts. Not that I don’t enjoy talking about those things (except…I kind of don’t, most of the time), I just realized that I missed looking at, thinking about, and discussing clothes.

But I also realized one thing: I am not a clotheshorse. No one wants to see my new style adventures, nor do I particularly want to photograph them. I am not out to try out whatever new whim suits my fancy (as much as I wish I could). If I were a designer, I’d dress much more like Uncle Karl than Betsy Johnson: I tend to wear the same thing repeatedly. I’d rather take my flights of fancy in the imagination.

I am not a clotheshorse.


So I want this blog to be a better reflection of my natural state: analysis. I love reading crusty old academic books about the history of costume, and it’s sociological or psychological or cultural or literary or philosophical implications. I want to know why certain editorials or outfits work, and why they work in this particular moment. I want to talk back to magazines, like I tend to do when I’m reading them. I’ll still pay attention to things like Guy Style, and perfume, and the latest collections (I didn’t see any of the fall/winter collections this year; I feel so lost), but I’m going to push myself to do what I do best. Which is write.

There are a couple academic fashion blogs that I know about (Threadbared, for one) that do a great job of tackling fashion from a number of different critical lenses. I’m not really interested in doing that (I’m too much of a scatterbrain), but I love the thought they bring to a subject that can easily become thoughtless. I miss what Winona brought with Daddy Likey, a blog focused on writing that provoked some thought about fashion and what it means to us (and also how funny it can be).

And there I go again, wandering off into that pesky academic ritual of citing one’s sources.

Essentially: I’m back. Trying to write more of what I want to read. Let’s do this.

Squirt Them Velociraptors

My friends, if there is anything that can lure me away from my graduate work, it is my dedication to keeping you all safe from the dreadful scourge that has infiltrated our intrepid cities and impersonated our friends. I cannot neglect my annual Velociraptor Awareness Day post. In the years past, I have covered basic Velociraptor safety tips and fashion for non-victims. It would be wise of you to refresh your memories, for such important information should not be overlooked or left to fester in some long-forgotten back room of the mind.

One of my personal favorite deterrents to the scoundrel Velociraptor is Concord grape juice. Science is not sufficiently advanced to tell us exactly why these creatures seem so averse, but nonetheless grape juice, especially when squirted into the eye of an oncoming attacker, is a necessary addition to any well-stocked arsenal. One of the best methods of administering the grape juice compound is the squirt gun, or super soaker.

It occurred to me recently, however, that many water-shooting devices are quite ugly, especially for the style-conscious reader of a blog such as this. To assuage those who deplore the loss of their stylishness for the sake of Constant Vigilance, I have compiled a list of

The Bestest, Most Stylishist Grape Juice Squirting Devices

Best for Stealth: The Water Weenie Super Squirt
Shrivels up after use to hide in a purse or messenger bag.

Best for Accuracy: Stream Machine
You control every aspect of this minimalist assault weapon.

Best to Raise Awareness: Space Squirt Guns
Distribute these to your friends as you warn them of Velociraptor attacks.

Classic: Super Soaker
Never goes out of style.

Keep your favorite juice-blaster stocked with grape juice at all times, and it will not betray you even in the advent of great peril. Hide a few around your home or place of business, and keep a mental map of potential reloading stations should the need arise. Even one person armed against a velociraptor can change the course of an ambush; always be prepared.